THE BEST QUINOA RECIPE for First-Timers

Add the entire package of the recently-purchased quinoa to your kitchen garbage can because no matter how and with what ingredients it is cooked, it will taste like who did it and ran.

Serves: You right

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WHERE THERE’S A FIRST WILL, THERE’S A WAIT

I feel fine. In fact, I have not felt this good in years. Yet, because I have recently observed how quickly a hefty pile of snow can melt, I am compelled to express for the record my dead desires, just in case. I am calling it my will. Lawyers and judges may disagree, but screw those lying, sanctimonious bastards.

Okay, here goes:

I, Robert Iozzia, am of sound enough mind to have the wherewithal to compose this document and save it to a flash drive.

I wish to have my carcass cremated and its ashes interred in a Maxwell House coffee can (because I was “Good to the last drop!”®) and kept in prominent display at my fitness center. This should not be considered the childish prank of an asshole, but a warning from an asshole that exercising is not what it is hyped to be, and is in the top one-thousand causes of death—just before quinoa-gorging and after masturbating in a sauna.

The following songs shall be looped and played at my memorial service: “Already Gone” [Eagles], “Hell’s Bells” [AC/DC], “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” [Blue Oyster Cult], “In My Time of Dying” [Led Zeppelin], and “(Too Fat Polka) I Don’t Want Her, You Can Have Her, She’s Too Fat For Me” [Frankie Yankovic]. I absolutely do not want any Grateful Dead tunes! For the record, I hate them more than I hate asparagus and the Tea Party (separately and together).

I bequeath all my worldly possessions to my wife, who shall keep or divide and distribute them as she sees fit, except my guitars shall be given to that person I wish to drive slowly mad (she will know who I mean), since none of them can ever stay in tune.

I bequeath all my unworldly debt to the Walt Disney Company. The “Evil Empire” has had no bearing on my life, except that I hate it like fabric odors hate febreze®—although I like ESPN (which it owns), even if its programming is more repetitive than a stutterer with Alzheimer’s, and way too many of its on-air “talent” are not able to use good or well properly even if their lives depended on it … and they would if I were king.

I am not now or will be when I am dead in any position to demand that my wife remain a widow for the remainder of her life. If she does remarry, however, it is my desire that she wed a wealthy, closeted homosexual male with no desire to touch her “in that way,” but needs her to be his “beard.” I suppose I cannot dictate his profession, but I hope he will not be a dentist, attorney, or in any manner associated with quinoa, asparagus or the Tea Party.

See you soon?

Reluctantly submitted,
Robert Iozzia

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December Song, 2015

Sometimes I wish I could travel back to a time before my parents were married, sort of like “Back to the Future” when Alex P. Keaton hung out with his eventual mom and dad.

I would say to my mother, “Don’t worry, my second wife is a keeper, and our daughter is awesome.”

Not knowing who I am (of course), this firecracker would say something like, “You don’t know what the hell you’re doing, and if you don’t leave me alone…”

“I’m terribly sorry, young lady; I mistook you for someone else,” I’d interrupt. There would be so much more I would want to say to her, but I never want to make her uncomfortable — even in this fantasy. So, I move on and along in search of my father.

It takes me a while to find him because he’s been gone much longer than my mother. I finally see him in the distance, playing sandlot baseball. He has just scored from first base on a single to the outfield — an impressive feat for anyone, let alone a teenager whose brain is so oxygen-deprived-confused that he thinks smoking an unfiltered cigarette on his team’s bench will help him catch his breath.

I wait a considerate and considerable length of time before addressing him. “Nice wheels,” I say in hip athletics vernacular meaning “impressive running.”

He has almost entirely caught his breath, lights up another Lucky Strike (or whatever), turns in my direction behind the fenced-in bench and says, “Thanks. You look familiar. Do I know you?”

“Not yet,” I foolishly answer.

He turns away while saying, “You’re a fuckin’ nut. If you don’t leave me alone, I’ll sic my girlfriend (my eventual mother/his future wife) on you.”

“I’m terribly sorry, young man; I mistook you for someone else,” I’d say. There would be so much more I would want to say to him, but I never want to upset him — even in this fantasy. But had I the chance, I’d probably say things like, “You would have loved my second wife; she’s a babe with so much goodness, it kills me to see her hurt by all the craziness that’s going on in the world.

“And you’d go ape-shit over your granddaughter; she’s got her mother’s beauty & sensitivity and your musical talent. She’s an incredible human.”

I’d have to collect my composure before continuing. “Pretty soon, you’ll be going to foreign lands to fight a war. You’ll be fine, but you’ll lose a lot of buddies. I’m sorry that you have to go through this hell. No one should, let alone a teenager with nice wheels.

“That said, I need a favor from you and your Marine pals. If you could somehow extend your service and somehow figure a way to do this, we’d have to come up with a more superlative term to call your ‘Greatest Generation.’ It’s difficult to fathom, but there are forces in my world that are even more evil than the evil forces in yours. I need for you to extinguish a fire that doesn’t yet exist in your world.

“Oh, and one last favor,” I’d say. “Please quit smoking now so that you’d be able to see for yourself that I was not exaggerating about my wife (the second one) and our kid.

“It’s your turn to hit again. Keep your eye on the ball and swing for the fences — this could be the most important at-bat of our lives.”

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RAP NAMES FOR FOOD

Food                                                               Rap Name

Hot Dog                                                          Lil’ Weiner

Pizza                                                               P.  Zee

Shoo Fly Pie                                                   Ratha Eat Da Fly

Chinese Steamed Dumpling                           Mister E. Meat

Hamburger                                                     Round Moundacow

*Chewing Gum                                               Snap ‘N Pop

Pulled Pork Sandwich                                     Pig Ditty

Chicken Cordon Bleu                                     Cheez Mastah Cluck Oink

*Qualifies as food if swallowed

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WHY MEN TAKE BASEBALL PERSONALLY

I intend no disrespect to women, sufferers of the recent loss of a loved one or those noble citizens who willingly assume the responsibility of positioning themselves in harm’s way for the greater good. But to many of us men thirty-five years of age and older, the outcome of a baseball game played by our favorite team is a virtual life-and-death matter. From the seventh inning on, we fans (short for fanatics) are as locked into the action of the battle being waged before us as are the participants. Ladies, there are deep-seated reasons why we curse at the TV one moment and unabashedly perform a blissed-out, one-person wave the next; why we want to emasculate a player who makes a fielding error in the eighth inning and then offer you to him after he homers in the ninth.

There are as many reasons why baseball is such an important fabric of our lives as there are threads in the fabric. Because most of us were introduced to the game when we were toddlers, self-analysis to determine why it is as much a part of us as our navels has never been deemed worthy of consideration. Just like the trusty belly button, the significance of baseball was never a topic of serious discussion. All we knew is that it always was and always will be. Amen.

What follows are what I believe to be the major universal reasons why we personalize this game played by strangers with whom we have nothing in common (adults in knickers getting paid millions to frolic in a pasture, to whittle it down to its core). While I’ve never discussed the subject with any other baseball junkie, I’m certain that my thoughts are theirs as well.

I Wish I Could Do That On Television

How many of us who are not gangsta rappers (not to be confused with gantseh machers) have an unfulfilled fantasy of publicly tugging our crotches and not being yelled at by our mothers?

Even Ugly Players Have Babes For Wives

No explanation needed (except: so do I).

Dad

The father-son dynamic is what regenerates baseball and sustains its life. While it now may be
nostalgic and downright Capraesque to label it as “America’s Pastime,” it is indisputably accurate to recognize it as, arguably, the paramount bonding agent between father and son. We were taught the game by our fathers, who then accompanied us on our developmental journeys — as coaches, boosters, and healers of skinned knees, bruised egos and broken dreams.

I’ve only recently realized (or have come to acknowledge) that the number one reason why I love baseball so much is that I love my father and cherish his memory. When I am transfixed by a nail-biter of a game I am lost in time with my Dad. He’s young, healthy and my living real-life hero.

The movie Field Of Dreams has a line that synopsizes the film and the Kevin Costner character’s mission: “If you build it, he will come.” For me, when I watch a baseball game, my father and I are together again.

Thank you, Dad for giving me baseball. Thank you, Baseball for giving me Dad.

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TIT For TAT

Increasingly, tattoos are viraling with white people. To my knowledge, sailors were the first subspecies of Caucasians to embrace skin graffiti. Back then, the messages and symbols on these men were simple and kept to a minimum of characters — a body doodling version of contemporary tweeting.

It seems as though Cauc females are fast closing the tat gender gap that exists today. The men still have a commanding lead in devotees and decorated areas, but the women are gaining ground and are decorating themselves in provocatively personal places. I don’t have an inkling when inking gained popularity with the ladies. With one exception, I have not inspected female nakeditity since nature started parting my hair in the middle (BTW: my ‘one exception’ is my incredible wife, who has a clean canvas.).

However, I cannot help but notice the attention-demanding artwork that adorns many women, especially when it is advertised on the visible portion of their ta-tas. I hold sacred the female form in all of its beautifully plain glory. So for me, a woman inking her chest region is as sacrilegious as crayon-coloring a Rembrandt pen-and-ink masterpiece.

Still, I am of course seduced by the vivid colors and erogenous locations chosen by the illustrated vixens. Therefore, it really burns my butt when a sanctimonious temptress, realizing that my laser-gaze is tattooing her tattoos, indignantly scolds, “Hey, asshole, my eyes are up here.”

Word, all my inky sisters: the naked truth is it’s tit for tat when you tat a tit.

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How To Get Blood From A Rock

1. Befriend a rock.
2. Buy a clever disguise.
3. Become familiar with the rock’s patterns, such as what bar it frequents after work and what blood bank it makes withdrawals from after becoming tipsy and unfocused at said bar.
4. On a night when moonlight is dim, follow the rock to its watering hole.
5. Act friendly by buying it enough drinks to make it tipsy and unfocused. Say things to give it a false sense of security and invincibility — like, “You are such a rock.”
6. Anticipating when the rock will be ready to leave the bar and stop at the blood bank on its way home, dismount your bar stool 15 minutes ahead of that time, announce loudly enough for at least three future witnesses to hear you say, “Well, it’s time for me to get my drunken ass home. I am so loaded that the only thing I will be able to do is drive directly home without stopping anywhere or having social encounters of any sort.”
7. Once outside, sneak into the unlocked storage shed at the rear of the parking lot. Change into clever disguise.
8. Lurk in the dark, maintaining a safe following distance from the rock, which has now left the bar and is approaching the blood bank’s ABM (Automated Blood Machine).
9. Once a bag of blood has been dispensed, beat the rock into unconsciousness and steal its bag of blood. Do not worry about taking the receipt — it’s not your responsibility.
10. Remove and discard clever disguise and go on your way with your ill-gotten booty.

By the way, why do you need a bag of blood, anyway?

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