Contact Info

Questions? Concerns? Invitations to high-society potluck dinners?
Email us at

Monday, June 30, 2008

Info Nugget: Christmas in July

Originally created by the German composer Wilhelm Richard Wagner at some point between his birth and death, Christmas in July appears to be another opportunity during the year to empower people with the Christmas spirit. In reality, however, Wagner’s intentions were not so pure.

In all actuality, Wagner was an anti-Semite and created the holiday because he was disappointed that the normal Christmas in December (often referred to as “vanilla Christmas” or “Christmas”) only alienated Jews from the gift-giving process once a year. He hoped that by having two Christmases a year he would be able to weaken the foundation of Jewish faith.

Unfortunately for Wagner, he was unsuccessful. The Jewish people in Europe did not feel alienated by the second Christmas, and actually felt even better about their faith because they got watch all their Christian friends deal with the bullshit that is gift receipts twice a year. Not to mention all the wrapping they didn’t have to do. That shit sucks.

Christmas in July in America
Not aware of the holiday’s original cruel intentions, President William McKinley made Christmas in July a recognized holiday in 1904. Nonetheless, the holiday was adopted with a few twists. Just like how New Orleans’s culture was born from a fusion of French, African, and hurricane influences, Christmas in July in America comes from a similar fusion of blind patriotism and love for baby Jesus.

Ways to celebrate
There are two acceptable ways to celebrate Christmas in July:

1. Celebrate like you would any normal Christmas, but at the end of the night shoot fireworks at the Christmas tree while chanting “USA! USA! USA!”

2. Go door to door singing, but instead of Christmas carols sing “Proud To Be An American” by Lee Greenwood. Or “Boys Don’t Cry” by The Cure. I really like that song. End your night by shooting fireworks into the tree while chanting the three magical letters that stand for freedom.

Why should I celebrate?
There’s fucking fireworks and presents! Who doesn’t like fireworks? And presents! Why wouldn’t you want to celebrate it? You’re not…gay… are you?

If you are, I won’t tell anyone. Do your parents know? Ah, I see. Don’t worry! I will be your rock. Together, you and I will weather this storm. Together.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Road to Wellness: Anger Management

Ever since the German's invented anger in the 12th Century, it has been the the accepted way to showcase your displeasure with others and their inadequacies. However, people can get carried away with their anger and scream obscenities, throw phones, and beat my mom at my 12th birthday party. Letting your anger get a hold of you can lead to awful things, but in his defense, she should have sprung the extra dollar for premium sprinkles. Anger in my family is hereditary, and in order to circumvent some future outbursts, I've taken it upon myself to research some possible hate-deterrents for both of our benefit.

In order to keep your anger in check, the different exercises will rated by the effect that it would have on your Killcumference. A moderate killcumference to have when you are angry is 4 yards, but infectiously angry people have been known to attack anyone within a three city block area.

Deep Breathing
If you feel yourself getting tensed up and ready to smash cars with your punches and kicks, just trying taking a step away from the action and taking a deep breath in, a steady exhale, and then repeat that for about a minute until you forgot about wanting to punch and kick cars.

Killcumference: It'll bring you down to about a yard, but very slowly. While this might seem like it would be effective, the method of breathing itself is for pansies. "Oh no, I'm angry! I guess I can just breathe and not be angry anymore!" Who would ever admit to saying that?

Also, you might need to punch and kick cars. What if this is that bonus stage from Street Fighter II and you need to destroy the car in 30 seconds? This furthers my point that breathing is retarded.

Tai Chi/Yoga
Tai Chi and Yoga have been lumped together because they both baffle and frustrate me. From what I gather, People achieve peace by balancing on one foot, raising their hands, and various other school yard things.

Killcumference: This stupid piece of shit of a goddamn Asian culture will lower your killcumference to 2 feet, but you look like a Goddamn idiot for doing this stupid ass exercise. Goddamn, isn't their one way to just lower your anger that won't make you look like some down-syndromed ballerina on barbiturates. FUCK!

IS YOUR LIFE STRESSFUL AND MAKES YOU ANGRY AS FUCK? THEN JUST FUCKING IMAGINE A COOL... island... breeze coming off of the shore as you sip your... Mai Tai and just soak in your surroundings... just like that...

Killcumference: It brings it down to barely nothing, and that's a good thing.

Edit by Mr. Jones: At this point, Leon took a break from writing and went to the bar we have in our shared office. He came back furious, because "SOMEONE accidentally left the milk out." It was probably one of our interns.


I'm not angry. I just want to know where the intern is. He took the day off? How convenient. Give me that fire poker. I'll deal this milk justice myself.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Every week, countless people write in to various advice columns in various publications. We can only make the educated guess (a hypotenuse, as it is often referred to by people with glasses) that the only reason these advice columns still exist is because enough people aren’t aware of the fact that The Guide is more than qualified to answer any and all questions.

Instead, people write to columnists like “Dear Abby,” whom I feel is professionally under-qualified because she doesn’t have the courtesy to use her full name. Since the beginning I have always used both my last and first name (Jones and Mr., respectively), and I’m incredibly intelligent; I know things that only few know. Stuff like the longest side of a triangle is called the hypothesis.

Not to mention I’m pretty sure Leon is descended from Russian royalty.

You hear that everyone? All the obstacles in your life could be remedied by a Czar.

But we have adapted. If people aren’t going to come to us for advice, we’re going to just have to take their inquires. Leon has bred a hyper-aggressive flock of carrier pigeons trained to intercept mail in the hopes we manage to land a letter to an advice column. So far the success ratio isn’t that impressive, but on the plus side the pigeons have came back with all kinds of goodies, including a copy of Maxim, a flyer for the March of Dimes, and a postman’s eyeball.

This morning, however, one of our pigeons brought back a letter seeking advice just as we eventually hoped they would when Leon started creating these filthy, red-eyed abominations. You should see these fucking birds. They’re an absolute affront to God.

Turns out, it was a letter addressed to “Abby.” It reads:

DEAR ABBY: I am 19 years old and have known a girl I'll call Emma for a couple of years. She's 14 and like a member of my family -- a little sister. My parents joke that Emma is their second daughter.

Emma is an only child and lives with her mother. Her dad is an alcoholic who is currently serving time in prison. Lately Emma has been hanging out with a group of 18- and 19-year-old boys who let her drink and smoke pot with them. People say she's just "doing what all teens do," but I have never smoked or had a drink in my life.

Should I tell Emma's mother what's going on and risk losing our relationship, or should I wait to see if it's just a phase? I feel responsible, but don't know what to do. -- BIG SISTER IN OKLAHOMA


Dear BIG SISTER IN OKLAHOMA: I am calling bullshit on your story. No one named Emma is that cool. Just like naming your kid Jeeves pretty much ensures he’ll become a butler, naming your daughter Emma ensures she’ll spend her adult wife knitting sweaters for no one until arthritis sets in and she is forced to give up her one joy in life and just begs for the sweet, forgiving embrace of death.

Unless Emma isn’t her real name, and you’re just using a pseudonym to protect her identity but I find this even more troublesome. Out of all the names in the world you picked Emma? Where the fuck do you get off? And, more importantly, were you really worried she was going to read Dear Abby and think “Oh shit, is that me?” No! She’s too busy being a victim of statutory rape and smoking pot to read!

It appears to me that “Emma” here has grown up. BIG SISTER IN OKLAHOMA, I suggest you do the same.

Best of luck,
Mr. Jones

Monday, June 23, 2008

How do I lose a guy in 10 days?

Ladies, has this ever happened to you? There is a man, or "guy," who seems pretty cool, but he's nasty in some way, and you feel as if you must get rid of him, or "Lose" him. Women! Say NO MORE! I, Leon Firestone and to a lesser extent Mr. Jones, have found the solution to your creepy "guy" woes which will take no more than a week and three days, or "10 days."

These plans are not exclusively for "ladies" "losing" "guys," but could be used by anyone to "lose" any sort of person. You could be a man trying to lose a mistress, a child trying to lose a stray puppy who is following him home from the baseball fields, a mistress trying to lose a man, a puppy trying to lose a stray kid who is following him home from the baseball fields, a man trying to lose a kid, a mistress trying to lose a stray puppy who is following her home from the baseball fields, and any other combination of people you might think of.

(Note: midgets are not people, and therefore cannot be lost in 10 days. See Appendix GG of the guide, titled Dealing With Midgets.

Day 1
Do not return calls. If caught in a conversation, become standoffish.

Day 2
Call when they pick up, but only yell non-sense in the phone and hang-up abruptly.

Day 3
They will stop by your house for an impromptu visit. Handle this by showcasing your previously unveiled dead animal collection.

Day 4
Stop by their workspace. Bring your dead animal collection.

Day 5
Invite their family over for a dinner. Pee on them.

Day 6
Apologize for the dinner party incident. Give them one of your most prized dead animals. The catch: the dead animal is filled with their family.

Day 7
Replace the milk in their fridge with expired milk. Watch from afar and get ready to laugh!!

Day 8
Burn their house down.

Day 9
Make them a new house. Use dead animals and expired milk.

Day 10
Burn their house down.

You notice some of the items are reused. CONSUMER CONSCIENCE! Buy dead animals and expired milk in bulk to save on costs. You'll be glad you did!

Friday, June 20, 2008

How do I pass time at the airport?

Leon and I were originally going to take a trip to the Galapagos Islands for the purpose of traveling the same path Darwin did as he wrote The Origin of Species so we could prove that fucker wrong once and for all, but the plans fell through. Leon told me “his people” could hook us up with plane tickets free of charge, so I left the responsibility in his hands. Little did I know that Leon had been stealing medicinal marijuana from a mutual acquaintance of ours that has glaucoma and that “his people” consisted of virtual versions of Joyce Carol Oates and John Grisham that he created in The Sims. Since he had spent this last week baked out of his mind, he was convinced that not only that his Sims were real, but he could use their immense wealth (which was attained through cheat codes, something I do not approve of) to get our plane tickets.

I have every right to be angry, but I am honestly a little thankful that we can continue writing guides for the everyday without distraction.

After all, there will always be more chances to undo Darwin’s accomplishments. In fact, just last week we firebombed the home of his closest living relative. Granted, that doesn’t hurt the integrity of Darwin’s work, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t feel awesome.

Long story short, Leon and I spent two consecutive days at a terminal in the airport waiting for the not real version of Joyce Carol Oates to give us the hookup.

For everyone who has ever been faced with delays at the airport, here are some games we played that will help you pass the time:

John Grisham Charades
This game is played like regular charades, but the only difference is that you only act out the works of John Grisham. This game had potential to be fun, but quickly became frusturating because Leon was under the impression that John Grisham was responsible for The Call of Cthulu, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Canterbury Tales, Back To The Future Parts I & III, and The Cosby Show. Leon also thought John Grisham was the black cook in Pearl Harbor. I did not have the heart to tell him that Cuban Gooding Jr. and John Grisham are not the same person,

After playing this game for the better part of four hours, I came to the conclusion that Leon was under the influence of marijuana. Two things tipped me off: 1.) he reeked of weed and 2.) he was constantly holding a huge blunt.

Luggage Jenga
Not only is this game just fun, it’s a great ice breaker for talking to people in the terminal. You simply wait for someone to fall asleep or become otherwise distracted and you take their luggage and stack yours on top of it. You then make them pull their luggage out while everyone else chants “Jenga! Jenga! Jenga!” at increasingly louder volumes. The game ends when someone knocks over the luggage or if a security guard comes by and calls you a faggot. Rarely has the game ended in the former manner, and more often than not in the latter.

Collect The Urinal Cakes
I noticed that the bathrooms at the airport contained urinal cakes and I saw this as potential entertainment. This game is played over the course of an hour. The rules are simple:
  1. At the end of the hour, you receive one point for each urinal cake you possess.
  2. You do not receive points for things that are not urinal cakes.
Whoever has more points at the end of the hour must declare himself “The King of Urinal Cakes” in a loud, bellowing voice. That person than wins the game unless that hateful security guard calls you a faggot. In which case, the game ends with no winner.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

From the shared desk of Joe and Mike pt. 2: The Retrospective Conintues.

I'm Mike Haverty, the internet's Leon Firestone, and I fear that a long post about what the guide means to me will be seen as redundant to Joe's post earlier this week. While Joe wrote more about the process of The Guide, I feel the human level of it is much more entertaining.


It's a little-known fact that Joe and I have had other projects before this. These were often giant collaborations with schoolmates and creative equals where we would draft scripts, shoot movies, make stage shows, etc. These are little-known facts because they rarely got off the ground. An idea would come up and everyone would approach it with vigor. Then our giant brainstorming sessions would devolve into sessions of Smash Brothers or Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, and any creative output would be put on hiatus for my team of Cable/Tron Bonne/Strider.

This is how every creative pow-wow went for three years, until Joe and I said, in unison, "fuck that" and started our own project.


The Guide showcases our affinity for 1950's guides, written for teenagers to tell them the dangers of the world around them. Our characters go one step further, and are disillusioned by all of the dangers this world has to offer compared to the happy-go-lucky 50's. Instead of generic hygiene and courtship tips, we write for specific situations. The first few posts are the best examples of this, where giving birth at a friend's baby shower seems like a plausible problem, or becoming self-aware of one's birthday party only has one solution: cannibalism.

Another main influence in The Guide's creation was John Hodgman, which is obvious if you have ever read his book The Areas of My Expertise. If you haven't, read it now and realize how inadequate our site is compared to it. He is my favorite person living or dead, and he changed how i view comedy. This is a guy who was a literary agent for many years, dabbled in short works and McSweeney's, wrote his own book of made up facts, and now appears on the Daily Show from time to time because his promotional interview with Jon Stewart was so damn good. Upon that, he's the humor editor at the New York Times and contributes to NPR's This American Life.

These are all things I wanted to accomplish in my life, and he's kind of harshing my game by doing everything before more, and probably better than I could ever do it.

The Rough Times

It's been fun to do the guide, because both Joe and I know that some of our content sucks. Really bad. But this is also how you can tell that one of us is having a very bad week. I found out I didn't have enough money to go anywhere except community college minutes before I wrote about Ghost Riding. I feel like I have done an injustice to Ghost Riding by writing a lackluster post, but I got through it because The Guide is always there in my life, and no matter where I am emotionally in life, I need to see to that it gets written.

With that being said, the Guide in my life is passive. This meaning that my day's motivations rarely revolve around my post, but the post is a culmination of what and how I am at the moment of posting. It's a moment of zen at the end of a shitty day where I can have fun writing something that only a few people will read because they Googled "Space Mountain+Decapitations" and just wanted to read something factual. I take pride in that misdirection.

The Future

I think Joe and I see the Guide as different things. Where he wants it to be an extravagant and layered epic journey, I just want to make people laugh. I know all three of you returning readers are scared of Joe's idea of a narrative. It sounds boring on the screen, but believe me when I say that we want nothing more but to keep this site as funny and semi-fresh as ever. There still will be guide entries, but they will be pertinent to the adventures we go on in our arc.

The last thing we want to do is alienate you.

For those savvy to webcomics, Crtl-Alt-Del is the opposite of what we want to emulate. For those who do not know their current story, the main character's girl had a miscarriage. While I admire the sizable testicles one would need to take the story in that direction, imagine waking up to that comic in your RSS feed. We are not losing the vigor that started this humor site. It will be as retarded in its humor as it ever was. How long will this arc go for? We really do not know. Will there be others like it? We really do not know. Does anyone really care and just wants "the funny?" We really do not know. We haven't gotten any e-mails from readers, and our Google Analytics page is probably filled with lies.

Hey, if you read this site and you like us, send an e-mail over. Give us an idea of what our project means to you. I think there are times that Joe and I forget that this thing is on the internet, and we just want to get a better idea of our fanbase. We've been around for a year, and that's like 10 years in internet years. We won't be considered hip and StumbleUpon-worthy for another 20.

Survive Another Day,

Monday, June 16, 2008

From the shared desk of Joe Anderson and Mike Haverty:

For clarification's sake, I am writing this as Joe Anderson and not Mr. Jones. Doing this puts me at a moral crossroads because I feel blogging about anything that falls into the realm of my personal life puts me one step away from just posting pictures of my niece with captions that read "LOOK HOW CUTE WE ARE!!!"

I would also like to point out I used the term "blogging." I very much hate the word but at the end of the day, the Survival Guide is just another humor blog.

Much like how Family Ties had that very special episode where Michael J. Fox gets addicted to diet pills, you can consider this post the Guide's equivalent.

Last Friday marked the 156th post, which marks completion of a full content year. We started this a summer ago as a pet project and in the preceding year churned out sizeable amount of content. Some of which was good. Some...not. In fact, one of my favorite games to play consists of picking a random week of posts and see if the median quality of the posts falls into the category of "solid" or "were we even fucking trying?"

Shortly after we started, I talked to Mike about the guide format getting old. To be honest, I had fear of having the wheels fall off the wagon. Although some could argue there was never a wagon in the first place, or if there was one, it didn't have wheels to begin with. Or, better yet, we had a wagon with wheels, but it never achieved forward movement so it would be inherently impossible for the wheels to fall off a stationary vehicle as a result of movement. Or something.

We love the Guide. We love the fact it forces us to churn out content three days a week and we love the fact some poor bastard came across our site when he Googled manatee vagina not once, but twice. We love it so much that Mike and I will bicker like some same sex parents about it. I will wake up to text messages on my phone about how I need to get my posts up earlier and I will send him an angry email back that has some quip about his hilarious inability to proofread and then he, in turn, will point out that half the time I write posts that aren't even guides to anything, and then I'll point out that the post about Mr. Jones's sexual experiences with a black woman was fucking hilarious and then he'll agree that it was funny but then he'll impatiently ask me what is the point of calling it a guide when some of the shit I write, fake as it may be, cannot even be construed as guide.

Then he will let it go because he fears conflict and I will silently consider myself the victor because I am a smug asshole as it relates to creative endeavors. Then, two glorious weeks later, the cycle continues.

Starting next week Monday, we want to try something new. We want an honest-to-God narrative thread because that affords us the luxury of character development. We chose to make our aliases characters for a reason, but (although we have certainly tried) we could not bring the characters out in the writing.

Not only that, but a coherent narrative arc will force Mike and I to collaborate. In it's current form, the guide is very much "Joe posts. Then Mike posts. Then Joe posts." Although we both are probably collaborating in some sense of the word, it is collaborating the same way two people playing adjacent Pac-Man machines is considered collaborating. Sure, we both are trying for the same goal, and we are more than willing to give each other some tips to get those fruits and eventual key, but at the end of the day we're still playing our own game.

This new narrative will be told from the perspectives of not only Mr. Jones and Leon Firestone, but as well other people they meet on their overseas journey for academic validation.

If that premise seems cryptic and haunting, rest assured it only seems that way because we are crippled underneath the weight of possibility and potential failure.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

House Calls: Homophobia

Internal Monologue
I'm really glad that we went out to this new restaurant. I was getting sick of that old place. I need a change in scenery, and I haven't done anything trendy in years. What do you think of our waiter? He seems nice. And fun, too. And a snappy dresser to boot! Man, this guy seems to have it all... you don't think he's... you know... right? RIGHT? OH MY GOD! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOHMHGHHHHHHHHHHH!

Homophobia in today's society has a definition that does not fit its Latin roots. When we call people homophobic, it is usually due to a deep rooted hate of homosexuals, stemming from a Catholic upbringing or living in the South. However, a phobia describes a fear, not a hate. Just as genetics or traumatizing experiences provide you with fears of spiders and close spaces, a commonly overlooked fear is the fear of gay men and women. While people can be more genetically predisposed to it than others, it can happen to anyone depending on your upbringing. One of the most famous case studies come from a girl who witnessed her father and mother killed by a man in pink short-shorts. Not only does this fear make it impossible to blend in today's open-minded and ideal society, but reinforces ugly short-short stereotypes. Like any other fear, it is completely irrational and will usually make you look foolish in front of people family, friends, and other people trying to eating at the very nice restaurant, you ignorant fuck.

The series of events that causes these symptoms are quite complicated to explain, but if you realize someone is attracted to members of the same sex, do you assume the fetal position and start yelling? If so, you most likely suffer from homophobia. Other behaviors in response to observed homosexuality is running away, hyper-ventilation, and jumping on a chair and going "eeeeeeek" a great deal.

Like any phobia, psychologists can help a great deal in setting straight your fear of the non-straight. Like fears of spiders or heights, the fear does not set in until you notice said spider or said height. You could be fine if you had blinders on to the personal life of others, but human nature is to pry, even if it is detrimental to our own well being. You can also try going on Maury. He has those episodes where people are forced to face their fears in front of an audience, and it's usually pretty funny. I don't know if it actually helps but, man, that shit is pretty funny. YouTube it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Info Nugget: The history of the poetry slam

The poetry slam, although originating in Chicago, can trace its roots back to Ancient Greece. During ancient times, the predecessor for the modern poetry slam was the Olympic sport of pankration. Introduced in 646 B.C., the rules for pankration were simple: two naked men would engage in combat employing a variety of punches, kicks, choke holds, and takedowns. A winner was decided when one man was knocked unconscious, submitted, or died. These competitions were so brutal that wins that came as a result of killing one’s opponent were not uncommon; additionally, the restrictions on the combatants were virtually nonexistent. Anything went over the course of combat, save for eye gouges and bites.

As you would expect, the sight of two dudes killing each other was a popular spectator sport until the popularity of the sport eventually died when people realized it would be a lot more fun to watch if the fighters put some Goddamn pants on. The Professional Pankration Association of Greece (PPAoG) refused to adapt the sport to the wants of the fans because they felt clothing would ruin the integrity of the competition. Eventually, Pankration fans grew tired of seeing way too many dicks get way too close to way too many assholes, and the sport slipped into obscurity.

Fast forward to 1984. Marc Smith, an American poet born on the southeast side of Chicago, found himself conflicted. He loved poetry, he loved reading it, and he even loved listening to other people read it, but he just couldn’t escape the feeling that poetry might be missing something. On his way home from his construction job on one hot June evening, he witnessed two young men peer editing each other’s Penthouse letters on a park bench. The two men quickly got into a heated argument as to which letter would more likely appear in the publication which then quickly escalated into nude violence.

Upon witnessing this, Smith was inspired and ran to the nearest library and angrily demanded that the woman at the desk give him access to all books on the subject of naked men fighting.

The librarian pointed out that Smith was standing in a public library, so, based on the nature of public institutions, he already had access to what he wanted. Smith apologized for being abrasive but records show that the woman behind the desk still called him an asshole under her breath as he walked away.

Nonetheless, Smith eventually came across the sport of pankcration in an encyclopedia and, not knowing how libraries work, took it back to his house without checking it out. The same librarian that was accosted by Smith watched him run out with the encyclopedia, and, being of a non-confrontational nature, decided to just quietly call him an asshole again then actually stop him.

Smith spent the entire night drawing up the process for the modern poetry slam, which is as follows:
  • After every poet reads his poem, there is a five-minute slam session.
  • At the beginning of the slam session, an air horn is blown.
  • After the air horn, other poets have to physically remove the last speaker from the mic.
  • The rules for combat are the same as pankration except eye gouging and biting are encouraged.
  • After the five minutes are up, the air horn is blown.
  • Whichever poet is in the possession of the mic by the time the air horn is blown reads next.
  • The process continues until the end of the night.
  • Whoever is in control of the mic at the end of the night is the champion.
Smith was debating on making nudity a necessity to compete, but fearing that history may repeat itself, decided against it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What were Leon Firestone and Mr. Jones like as children? Part 2

As Mr. Jones stated in the previous entry, we were not born into this world with the enthusiasm for survival documentation we possess now. My mother was not heavy with a child who craved enlightenment through knowledge, and knowledge through strength, and strength through 8 Minute Abs. Rather, it was a rocky road leading up to that faithful day at the Northern Divisional Speed Dating Competition. We might have only tied for fifth place, but I think our enriching lives earned us the gold.

Part 2: Leon Firestone

Yes, you read that right. I am one of the many Firestones, an influential family that has helped shape America into what it is today. For those uninitiated, my Grandfather Charles Firestone worked with Rockefeller and directly influenced the industrialization of America. You know the ideas of windows in factories and warehouses? That was all his idea, and I'd be darned if productivity didn't increase three-fold because of it. Unlike Rockefeller, he was not a philanthropist and kept most of his riches to himself, his wives, and the nine children sown from his seed.

My father Jebediah, the fifth sown seed in this Mormon family, saw my grandpappy as a greedy hedonist and moved out at age 17. From there, he opened his own sandwich shop a few states over and was doing surprisingly well for himself. He got positive write-ups in the local magazines and had opened up three other stores in neighboring towns by the time that grandpa died ironically by falling into the machinery he created a need for. In his will, he stated that all of his riches will be given to my father because he was the only one that "didn't suck from the wrinkly ol' Charlie teat." (Note: this was taken directly from the will. He sounds like a pretty cool guy.)

My dad's newfound affluence corrupted who he was and he ran away, suddenly becoming everything he ever hated. I was born from a prostitute that my father paid handsomely so she would bear his seed. He was hoping that a child would give his life direction and purpose, but it ended up just giving him a drinking buddy. Not that he was a huge alcoholic, mind you. He looked professional, like a Firestone, and showed up at all the right parties. He just did not know how to raise a child. Much like my counterpart Mr. Jones, I did not receive a traditional education. Which is to say, little education. Instead of going to school, my dad paid off teachers so I wouldn't have to show up or do any work. He got tired of this by the fourth grade, so he called in some favors, passed some money, and I became the only ten year old boy to ever get a Masters at Harvard.

Though this was a nice gesture, he completely ran out of money because of it. So it was up to me, the 12 year old Harvard man, to become the breadwinner. I bluffed my way through many interviews and took up oddjobs in which the employers paid no heed to the fact I was a mere child. For instance, butcher shops loved me. Not only because of my precise aim and tiny hands, but I did this trick where I could punch through a cow's skin and pull out any organ a coworker would name.

It was either learn a new job or starve, and I have an affinity for eating, so I just conned my way into different jobs, learning life lessons as I go. At the age of 16, I felt like I have already lived a full life, and it was a life that I wanted to spread with the world. Not through a biography of the forgotten Firestone, but through tips on how to live on this crazy ride we call life.

Friday, June 6, 2008

What were Leon Firestone and Mr. Jones like as children?

Now, normally we wouldn’t answer this question but it recently came to my attention that our VH1 special was unfortunately left on the cutting room floor. Which is odd because although I do not understand how the cutting room works, I’m pretty sure entire hour-long specials don’t get left on the floor. However, we were compensated with a discounted lunch at Denny’s, so I’m willing to let VH1 off the hook only because they filled a Lumberjack Slam sized hole in my heart.

Much like our ahead-of-its-Goddamn-time TV special, our story will be divided into two parts.

Part I: Mr. Jones

The origins of the guide are best described as an epic tale prone to leaving readers empowered. Our story is one filled with plenty of go-getter attitude, optimism, dedication, and ample amounts of elbow grease.

Leon and I met at the Northern Divisional Speed Dating Competition, hosted in Racine, Wisconsin. But in order to paint an accurate picture of what kind of childhoods the guide draws from between Leon and I, we’ll have to look past that glorious day where we both shared a 5th place medal.

Growing up, I had a strong yearning to be a Fireman. This largely stems from the fact I was raised in a gentlemen’s club and fire protection-themed exotic dancers were my favorite. For the fleeting moments when the fire jackets and boots remained on, I was drawn to their bright red and yellow coloring. I also thought utilizing a fire pole would be a cool perk that comes with the job.

One of the 17 women that raised me.

Unfortunately, I was young and naïve. I soon learned that real firemen used poles as a means of traveling quickly between floors and not by rubbing your crotch on it until people throw money. Not only that, but given my environment, I also believed that police officers, construction workers, nurses, and cat people all employed fire poles as an integral part of their occupation.

At this point I should note why I was raised in a strip club. Like many children I was unwanted and my biological mother left me under the care of the dancers at Flesh Palace. I originally was under the impression that my mother knew people at the club, but I later found out that it wasn’t the case, and Flesh Palace was just the easiest building to aim for when throwing a laundry hamper with a baby inside out of a speeding van.

By sheer happenchance, I actually did get to see the inside of a real firehouse. What I saw was a bunch of dudes wasting time until the fire alarm rang by either working out or playing table tennis. Shocked that my dream job was nothing as I imagined it, my life was turned topsy-turvy.

Not knowing what to think I ran away from home at I believe the age of 8. Seeing as I did not attend school like a normal child and was instead stripper-schooled, I had an incredible level of street smarts. I made enough money to live off of by charging people on the street for my wisdom beyond my years. This was my first experience with something that resembles what I do today and little did I know it was the start of something huge. All I knew was that it was an amazing sensation and I wanted more.

If only my young self knew that, at the very same time, my future associate was experiencing the very same sensation…


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where should I keep my pets, children and old people during the summer?

Every summer, we are treated to the same news story about how we cannot keep pets or kids or old people in cars because it's way too fucking hot out. However, the news fails to mention alternatives to what is possibly the most cost-efficient dog house/litter box/crib/day-care/bong/kindergarten/nursing home ever. You'd fork over some extra money for each of these, but you really cannot think because damn, it's really hot out. In response, here are some things you can stuff your pets, children and old people into.

Plant care center
Found outside of big box stores during the summer months, these tented pet-child-elderly care oases have qualified plant-watchers, who will happily use their knowledge to watch over your belongings as you shop around for flowers. However, there are unspoken rules about the underground care center they run. In order to initiate conversation, ask them how the petunias are coming in. If they answer "do you want us to watch your shit?" that means they are in on it and will be glad to help you. It's usually 10 bucks an hour, but at least you know they are in good hands, and kids love playing in the carts. But like, how do the workers even manage with this heat? It's unbearable. How many bottles of water do you think they go through. A lot. I can tell you that right now. Fuck, I'm sweating all over the place. I'm a mess.

Display sheds
A common site outside of hardware stores are those giant plastic sheds people can bring home to store tools, make a work bench or sometimes just get away from it all, man. Because looking at them is free, I say you exploit this and dump off all your pets, kids, and old people and tell them to act as potential buyers while you go to work down the street at PoleKatz. The sales associates frown upon this abandonment, so it's important that your pets, children, and old people are REALLY into the act. They should have nothing less than 2 years experience in professional acting and should be well-versed in long-form improv. Wish them good luck improv-ing in this 400 degree weather. Christ. I mean, 51 more degrees and books will just start fucking combusting. That is if your sweat doesn't put out the flames. Christ.

Train Station Lockers
With the previous suggestions, we rely a lot on the honor system. With locking people in a confined space, you can be rest-assured that your pet, kid, and/or old person will never wander off. Make sure they bring a ball they can bounce off the walls. This is made to make their time spent in the box bearable. And it's so much cooler in the station than it is when you are out in the jag-off sun. Yea, keep shining. See where that gets you. Know where that gets you? Shitcity. Population: You, you middle-sized star. Dick. Christ. Hot. Christ.

A closet with a chair blocking the door
It's pretty much the same thing as the locker, but instead of locking the door, you can just grab some chairs. It looks shady, but when it comes to day-care, shady is sometimes the best. I could just use some shade. My God, my eyes. I cannot see anything. Only spots. I tried to rub my eyes with my hands, but my hands feel like they are constantly burning. This agony can only bring death.

Goddamn it's hot out
Are... Are you there? Can you please drag me over to that car. I need to be under it to escape the sun. This blacktop burns me, but I cannot escape it. I spent 3 hours trying to climb up a curb but I couldn't. You can see my trail of blood, sweat and tears from there to where I am now. If I die right now, can you please tell Mr. Jones that I am sorry, and I will never run away from the Survival Guide Headquarters again? We had this falling out, and I just don't want to be remembered as the guy who yelled and flipped tables when the team room was out of Triscuits. Fuck. Now I'm getting cold. Hold me. Hold me and never let go.

Related Enties
How do I know if I lived a good life though deathbed retrospection?
House Calls: Oh Jesus, it hurts everywhere.
D.I.Y. Time: It's so fucking hot out.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Writing Workshop: How do I write a poem that's not an Haiku?

Earlier, Leon wrote a Writing Workshop segment on how to effectively write a Haiku. After an onslaught of your emails, it has been made clear that you, the masses, desire to be taught how to write other kinds of poetry.

At first, we were confused. “Other kinds of poetry” was a phrase we were not familiar with. As far as we were aware, poetry as an art form was born during WW2 with the birth of the Haiku. After several minutes of putting search queries into Google like “history of poetry” and “poetry that isn’t haiku,” we soon learned we were very oblivious to the art. We also searched “Kate Beckinsale +tits” which produced results that we felt, quantitatively speaking, were awesome.

Regardless, I am a man who respects academic integrity. As such, I feel it is out of my personal ability to instruct others in something I didn’t know existed until about 20 minutes ago. Much like building an actual size replica of Princess Di out of toothpicks, becoming an accomplished poet takes patience and time. What I can do, however, is instruct you as to why you should write a poem.

As far as I can tell, a poem should be written when you have a cool idea but are unsure if it would make a good television show. As a poet, you must ask yourself, “Would people watch this on TV? And if so, on what network?” If the answer is “no” or “UPN if it were still around,” it is extremely likely that your thoughts will be best communicated as a poem.

Poems thrive in environments where writing space is a scarce commodity. If you have a lot to say, and not a lot room to put it, say, a stall in a bathroom, a poem will prove more effective than a prose essay. Not only that, but if your friends use that same stall in the future, they’ll probably high-five you for rhyming “Becky’s snatch” and “down the hatch.”

I am unsure if all poems need to contain the words snatch and hatch, but if you like receiving high-fives you should really consider becoming a poet.

You will also find you can take seemingly boring lines of text and make it them infinitely more artsy by throwing in random line breaks and a powerful title. Watch how I transform the following note…

Mr. Jones,
I am sorry. I can’t do this anymore. These love/hate cycles are too much. The yelling and the hitting followed by fancy dinners and flowers the next day. I thought I was trapped until I finally told my sister (she never liked you to begin with) about the whole ordeal. And although we both cried so much we grew dizzy from dehydration, that absence of water was replaced with hope. You can bruise my body you asshole, but you can’t bruise my pride.


…Into mind blowing art:

The Woman That Got Out Of The Bear Trap

I am
sorry. I can’t do this anymore. These love/
hate cycles are too much. The yelling and the
hitting followed by
fancy dinners
flowers the next day. I thought I was trapped until I finally told my sister
(she never liked you to begin with)
about the whole ordeal. And although we both cried so much
we grew dizzy from dehydration,
that absence of water was replaced with
hope. You can bruise my body you
but you can’t bruise my pride.

Let us forget that poets live amazing lives! T.S. Eliot worked in a bank and Edgar Allen Poe probably died of rabies!