Please don't feed PickleMan
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by: Max Burbank

You all want to know more about me. That’s a given. You are, as they say, "Champing at the bit". But let me say this to you: You don’t really know what you want.

You think if you knew what clothes I wore, the women in popular culture I entertain ‘thoughts’ about, the make of car I drive, the politicians who’s views are most closely aligned with mine, if I did or did not ‘chew’ the leaves of the beetle nut plant, that this would somehow make you and I ‘closer’. This is not the case. Only one thing could make you and I closer. Money. As you are visiting this web site I will assume you are either an intellectual property lawyer or broke.

Knowing what books are on my night table or the restaurants I frequent will tell you nothing of substance. I invite you instead to share a few things that have been on my mind.

1.) On my way to the train station, I pass a man sitting on a park bench. He is approximately 50 years old, quite over weight and his clothes are shabby enough that perhaps he has spent the evening at a local shelter, though one cannot be sure. He has a wall eye which seems to follow me as I pass, though I’m sure it does not. He reaches into a greasy bag of "Krispy Kreme" donuts and throws crumbs to a crowd of pigeons, chanting softly, "Chicken Wings, Chicken Wings". What the hell is the deal with that?

2.) What if my whole life, every waking instant, is a day time talk show viewed on movie theater sized screens by the hosts of Heaven and Hell? What if every stupid bit of small talk to a co-worker, every fidgety moment in line for coffee or probing of my ear elicits the kind of hiss or laughter or calls of ‘you go, girl’ generally associated with tapings of "The Jenny Jones Show"? Should I ‘play to my audience’ on the assumption that if I’m wrong about this whole ‘show’ concept, people will just write off my winking and mugging as ‘tics’ and give me a ‘wide berth’?

3.) Maybe I should give sour cream a try again.

4.) The other day, I’m walking to my daughter’s school to pick her up, and this guy driving by leans out his window and goes "Nice Legs, Jerk!". What am I supposed to make of that? Yes, I was wearing shorts, it was hot. My legs may not be my best feature, but they’re pretty much just legs, there’s nothing in particular about them that should draw the eye or indicate in any way that I’m a jerk by exposing them. Why did he do that? Do I walk funny? Is he stalking me? Or was it just random? Is this guy just cruising around town looking for anonymous people to belittle, does he get something from making strangers feel bad? And wouldn’t that be worse by far in the grand scheme? I mean, if it’s me he’s after maybe he’ll just kill me and then it will be over, but what if he has a whole life ahead of him hurting one person after another? He looked young, if he does this for an hour every day it’s warm enough to roll down his window, he could ruin literally thousands of days! But maybe I’m thinking about this too much.

5.) I’ve totally got writer’s block on this limerick, I’ve been working on it off and on for almost a decade, see what you think;

An old Hebrew Ponce from Nantucket
enjoyed his mate’s members uncutted
It’s perfectly safe
it’s not like they’re trafe,
You don’t really eat it, You...

I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know, maybe I should just let it go and move on.

6.) How come when some guy in the employ of Barnum and Bailey puts on all weird face paint, an orange fright wig, giant floppy shoes and then hauls a bucket out of his oversized trousers and douses you with what you at first think is going to be water but turns out to be confetti, that’s entertainment, but when I do it I’m breaking parole?

7.) Ethical dilemma; There’s this married couple who live in a swamp. The guy goes to get supplies. There’s a flood that washes out the bridge and there’s all these hungry alligators. A guy who has a boat says he’ll ferry the wife across, but only if she sleeps with him. She does, and when the husband finds out he shoves her in the river and the alligators get her. The Ferryman just stands there watching. Who the hell’s going to make dinner now?

8.) I have this "Meatloaf" concert T-shirt from the "Bat out of Hell" tour, and when I bought it, it was really cool. Now though, time and the thirty pounds I’ve put on have strained it severely, until my belly looks like a humongous, hairy coconut in one leg of a little girl’s black ballet tights and what ‘back in the day’ were pectoral muscles are lifted and separated like Britney Spears' front porch. My wife says I should throw the T-shirt out or at very least stop wearing it. Screw her, right?

9.) I already know smoking is totally bad news what with it’s growing social unacceptability, hygienic concerns, the cost, not to mention emphysema and cancer and talking with one of those little machines you jam against your throat, so does my preferring a lady’s brand of cigarette like Virginia Slims really make it any worse?

10.) I’m totally paralyzed by my inability to decide on a catch phrase for if I ever get a sitcom. Should it be; "Shutchyer Chow Hole, Crapface!" or "I did WHAT?!" followed by thunderous canned laughter and stock footage of a standing ovation at the Kennedy Center?

note: If you still want to meet him after reading all of the above... get help.

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