Ms. Bird

Dear Ms. Bird,

I enjoyed reading your profile. I too, am a Bill Murray fan. For me, it doesn’t get any better in Scrooged when the props guy asks how to put little antlers on a mouse and Bill goes, “Have you tried staples?”

I admire your decision to work in the medical field. I have a couple of friends who are nurses and they say the work is as rewarding as it is challenging. It’s a lot of grace and stability under pressure and to be honest, when I am faced with such a task, I find that my go-to move is to pull on the fire alarm and run out the door. Sometimes I have to go running out of the building screaming, you know, really sell it, because there’s only so many times you can pull that off and make it believable. Hint: You can do it up to 3 times before people get a touch skeptical when they see you nearing the wall during questioning.

In the early mornings I write humor articles (hence the time stamp of this email) and during the day I work in the Chalfont area where my supervisor is an admitted former crack addict. True story, he smoked crack back in the day and now he falls asleep on the forklift.

Granted, it might be the apnea and not the remnants of inhaled cocaine from 1989 that causes the sleep spells, but whenever he approaches me and says for instance, “Here’s how I would have done this…” And if I don’t agree with him I simply say, “Yeah, but you’ve smoked crack, yes? Sorry, I just wanted to ask that again; I keep forgetting.”

Of course, if I find that I am completely in the wrong and have put my foot in my mouth (which, believe it or not, has happened), most buildings (if they are up to fire code) have what I call a, “Get out of Argument Free” lever on the nearest wall.

I hope you have a wonderful day, Ms. Bird! And I’ll leave you with my favorite poem by one Bob Wiley: “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m a schizophrenic, and so am I.”

Cordially,

Mike

Ms. Fallon

Dear Ms. Fallon,
Good morning! I hope this letter finds you well. I came across your profile and thought that I would write you a letter. I too am looking to someone to laugh with. I wasn’t too sure about this match.com business, but I was feeling a bit of pressure from a coworker of mine who gave me an insightful observation about myself.

I’ll never forget what he said to me. It was an unseasonably cool Wednesday morning when he said to me, he said, “Mike, your life is terrible.”

And I said, “Matt, you don’t even have a home. How can you be telling me that my life is terrible?”

“You need a girlfriend,” he advised me. “You’re in a rut. And before you ask, yes, I have a girlfriend.”

“Matt, you sleep in the park! How can you possibly have a girlfriend?”

He then went on to describe some vagrant “hot spots”—places for the transients to comingle and get together. Most of these places were tucked below underpasses and were not fancy enough to have a place to set down your stick and bindle. I finally had to cut him off and say, “Match. I’ll join match. Please just stop talking. Please.”

It was a very eye-opening conversation for me, to say the least, Ms. Fallon. What made you decide to join match? Do you have a homeless friend that coerced you into joining? I have other friends who live in solid housing structures and they said match was the best bet; it cuts out a lot of the riff-raff, I hear.

Ms. Fallon, have yourself a wonderful day! I hope to hear back from you, unless of course, your name is Ms. Taken…

Signed,

Mr. Mike

Taste the Bugle Betrayal

bugles1

I was a Bugles kid. The crunchy corn snack in the shape of a stalactite or stalagmite (depending on which way you’re holding it) was the snack for me. In my professional, 8-year old opinion, there was no snack that could match the beauty, the flavor, the relentless ecstasy that was the Bugle corn chip.

The corn. The salt. The Crunch! Oh, my!

Sure, you could try to sway me from my Bugles, but your efforts would be in vain. Goldfish lacked the dangerous flair by both shape and taste. Potato chips—how pedestrian. And what about Fritos? They’re made from corn, you might be saying. Well, you know what I’d say to that? Fuck off, with your frivolous Fritos talk. Give me nothing but the Bugles, baby!

Me and Bugles were tight. We were like this. I had a box of Bugles with me wherever I went and that says a lot because I had a My Buddy doll, and my Bugles saw more of the world than that doll could ever dream. If I didn’t have a box of Bugles on me, rest assured that my breath would tell you I had just consumed a box.

I don’t remember precisely the first time I discovered Bugles because I didn’t feel as though life had any purpose before I had my first Bugle. The first eight years of my life, I was just meandering, living without meaning or drive. But then I discovered Bugles and suddenly everything made sense. I knew why the sun shone.

However, a dark, sinister force was resting just beneath the beautifully lit world and it surfaced in the winter of 1990. My Saturday started off typically with a mid-morning snack of a box of Bugles. There was nothing strange about that. But what I did find strange was that by the early afternoon, I heard the call of the Bugle again and thought nothing of it as I went to the cabinet to get a box of Bugles.

You know how people say they know they are addicted to something like cigarettes is when they light one up without even consciously doing it? It becomes more of a reflex than anything else? Well, I was doing the same thing, except with a box of Bugles. I got halfway through the box before I slowly began to think, “Hey, is this my second box of Bugles today?”

I kept eating as I thought about it. My stomach began to feel like an overstuffed vacuum bag as it slowly dawned on me that I was about ¾ of the way through my second box in nary a couple hours. Upon realizing this, it became a point of pride to finish the box, if only to brag that I had eaten two whole boxes of Bugles.

I could just imagine two girls standing by their pink bicycles and remarking to themselves as I walk past:
“Say, who’s that strutting down the street?”
“Oh, that’s Mike Jenkins. He once ate two whole box of Bugles in 4 hours. Isn’t he a dream?”
“Hi there, Ladies.” (wink and a gun)
(Swoon)

Now, allow me to drop some quick math on you. As I finished the last Bugle of box #2, my 8-year-old tummy was harboring over 14 servings (18.2 cups) of enriched cornmeal goodness, as well as 560% the daily recommended dose of saturated fat for an average adult human.

I did not hold these stats for long, however, as I very quickly became a liquid Bugle dispensary. The force of my body’s rejection of the Bugles was quite violent, as the slightly digested General Mills treat blasted itself out my nostrils while I cried in fear. My taste for Bugles had literally been purged.

It’s been 25 years since my first scrape with overindulgence and much like anyone’s first love, it was the strongest. Maybe you think Bugles and I could resolve our differences if I just took the time to sit down with a box and talk it out. But let me tell you, if you lock me in a room with a box of Bugles, some interesting things are going to happen.

First, I am going to shriek like a girl; that’s pretty standard. The shriek will be so high that you will feel nothing but shame and embarrassment for me and you will distance yourself from me and claim that you don’t know who I am and that I am probably, “autistic or something.”

Second, if the box is opened, I am most definitely going to try to claw my way through the door like a goddamn Tom and Jerry cartoon. By the time I am done with it, the door will look more like Buffalo Bill’s well in Silence of the Lambs, whole nails embedded in the structure and all.

Last, I will do anything in my power not to smell a single Bugle for the rest of my life. If you locked me in a room with an opened box, I will take off my shoes and socks and breathe in the sweaty, wet odor of my foot before smelling a Bugle. If I do smell a Bugle I will vomit mercilessly and I will try to kill myself. If I am not able to kill myself, then surely I will asphyxiate on the odor of all of the stomach acid on the floor. Either way, I’m dead, I’m fucking dead. But if I do somehow escape the locked room, I will find you. And I will kill you. This is a promise.

And I am not lying when I tell you that when I was looking for photos of the box of Bugles, I wasn’t really feeling too sick. But then I came across a picture of what a box of Bugles looked like from 1990, and I was like the kid from Ransom when he heard Gary Sinise’s voice. Except I didn’t pee my pants. I dry heaved.

Funnily enough, booze has made me sicker than Bugles has ever made me in my life (on numerous occasions), yet I always go back to it. But hey, that’s the charm of alcoholism for ya.

Ms. Cubs

Hi, Cubs

My name is Mike. I came across your profile and I found it very endearing. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have six siblings; I just had one older brother so a drive to the beach left me nowhere to hide. He’d look around for someone to hit and he’d look over and go, “Oh, hey, there’s Mike.” Then he’d punch me. I really could have used a couple more siblings to help dilute the punching, is what I’m saying.

And for a bit of transparency, since you actually had the bravery to admit that you’re human and do clumsy things, I will tell you one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done. My friend once left his cell phone over at my place and I thought, “Oh, I should let him know.” So I called him. And then his cell phone rang, but it said the call was coming from me, so I picked up the phone and placed it to my other ear, saying, “Hello? Hello??”

This went on for approximately seven seconds, which is eight seconds too long. What’s more, this happened in the privacy of my own home and nobody saw it but me, but it was so “Looney Tunes Elmer Fudd” dumb that I told everyone I came across for the next few weeks, even my boss.

Thank you for admitting your human side and I hope to hear from you! Take care

—Mike

How DOMINO’S 2 for 1 Medium Pizza Deal (limit one topping) Saved My Marriage

dominosnoid

My wife and I, we lead busy lives. Like most modern families, we are a two income household, so you can imagine how stressful our days can be. I am some kind of middle-management something or other and my wife, she um, well, she wears a lady-suit. Gray, usually. With small shoulder pads.

We hustle and bustle through our workday, putting out fires and stuff, so when we both get home after handling all sorts of stressful workday stuff, then deciding who is going to make what for dinner? Well, why don’t you just give us each a loaded gun? That’s how dangerous it is.

The weekday dinner is where everything that is wrong in our marriage comes to a head. The mutual stresses of both our days coalesce as we decide what to do to feed ourselves. My wife and I, we come home at the same time and the house is in a whirlwind of chaos. Both our children, 14 year old Cody and 12 year old Skylar have been running rampant throughout the house, lampshades crooked, shedding uneven light on the living room, our family portraits hanging askew on the walls. Cody goes cruising about the house on his skateboard sipping on a juice box while Skylar jumps rope around the dining room table, knocking over various knick-knacks that my wife collected during our many weekends spent thrift shopping in various cozy towns.

My wife and I, while all this is going on, we’re supposed to not only corral our children, but also supply dinner? Are you crazy? Christ, why don’t you just give us each a loaded gun??

My wife and I, while all this is going on, we just scream at each other back and forth. “Well, what about spaghetti??” one of us would shout at one end of the kitchen.

“Spaghetti?” the other would shout back. “You impotent ass! How can we be expected to make spaghetti?? Spaghetti? Where do you even start with that??”

And so on and so forth.

Usually what ends up happening is that by 7:00 we are holding each other in the middle of the kitchen just crying our eyes out. The family and I go to sleep unfed. That’s most nights.

But now, thanks to DOMINO’S 2 for 1 Medium Pizza Deal (limit one topping)…Wait, hold on, I’m getting ahead of myself. I haven’t reached the word count yet.

Cody was hit by a bus.

It wasn’t something that we were planning on, nor were we expecting it to be the greatest thing to ever happen to our marriage. My wife and I were doing our usual thing about dinner (I think our argument was about fish sticks, not spaghetti), and Cody did his usual thing, streaming through the kitchen on his skateboard, sipping on a juice-box. We could have told him to stop and sit down, but we didn’t.

You can’t stop Cody. He’s a free spirit and we are proud of him for that.
So a moment after Cody cruised through the kitchen we heard a loud screech of an automobile’s brakes followed by a wet smack.

Cody got creamed.

Later, in the hospital, the doctor was telling us that a coma can last anywhere from a day to several years.

We spent many nights in that hospital, waiting, hoping. My wife refused to speak with me, citing that if I had simply made dinner and not put up an argument with her, Cody would have been sitting on the dining room table eating a hastily prepared meal instead of lying like a mangled heap in a hospital bed.

I couldn’t argue with her. I’m a modern man unable to feed my family.
Until that is…

One Wednesday night, two weeks into Cody’s free-spirited coma, I arrived in the hospital room holding two medium DOMINO’S pizzas. The setting sunlight casted a beautiful orange light on the blue and red boxes of pizzas, the grease spots, like a teenager’s face, created a beautifully sexy sheen. My wife looked at me longingly as I held my bounteous feast.

“What—whatcha got there?” she asked, letting go of Cody’s limp hand and walking towards me.
“I have two medium DOMINO’S pizzas.”
“Two,” she asked me. Her voice about to raise, ready for an argument.
“I saw an advertisement on television,” I told her. “Their C.E.O., Patrick Doyle, said that it’s still tough out there financially, and that people are in need of a good deal, so he is offering a medium pizza two for one deal (limit one topping) on Wednesdays after 4:00 p.m.”
She leaned in close and whispered, “Patrick Doyle. Can you trust him?”

I whispered back in her ear, “I trust him more than I trust myself. How would you like a slice of DOMINO’S pizza?”

I barely got the second sentence out before we started kissing. Our passion was so overwhelming, we made love right there on the hospital room floor. I think I heard Skylar’s jump rope hit the floor, but I can’t be sure. Like I said, it was a transcending meal/love-making session.

We used to have a strained marriage, but now, thanks to DOMINO’S 2 for 1 medium pizza deal (limit one topping), we can now feel assured in the fact that even with our busy lives, we can still provide for our family.

Cody is still touch and go or something.

Ms. EBEB

Dear EBEB,
Hello, my name is Mike. I came across your profile and was intrigued to write you. As far as Drunk History goes, I personally had no idea Al Capone lived the rest of his life as a syphilitic moron, casting a fishing rod into a pool, did you? I’m sad they didn’t cover that part of Capone’s life with Robert DeNiro in The Untouchables.

And hey, speaking of museums, have you ever visited the Mutter Museum? I went there a few years ago to check out all the weird medical abnormalities. It really is quite a place and really gets you to thinking. For instance, as I tried to relate to an 18th century French woman who had 9-inch horn drooping down her face, wondering how she lived day to day, I couldn’t help but come to the conclusion that The Mutter Museum itself should smell a lot worse than it does. Don’t get me wrong, EBEB, it does smell a little off, but it should smell like formaldehyde and nightmares, only it doesn’t! I was very surprised by that aspect of the museum, more than the giant colon, even.

Well, how’s that for an introductory email? Syphilitic morons and genetic deformities that are surprisingly not offensive to the nose. Would you get an email like this on Tinder? It is doubtful. At any rate, I should probably wrap this up before I say something that one might find gross or tactless. Have a great day, EBEB! I hope to hear from you.

Respectfully,

Mike.

Ms. Matchme

Dear Matchme,

My name is Mike. I came across your profile and found it very refreshing. I too do not take life too seriously and think that an ideal evening is not about the activity itself, but about the company you keep. Sure, I could sit in a fancy, stuffy restaurant, tug on my chin and say incredibly insightful things like, “Yes, things are quite tumultuous in the Middle East,” but I think you and I both know that it’s more fun to do anything except that. And if it involves puns, well, we’ll puntificate until the sun comes up.

Don’t let this overwhelming confidence of mine intimidate you, Ms. Matchme. I also have modesty in spades. If I don’t know something, I’m not going to sit on a high horse and pretend that I do. For instance, the moon: I just don’t get it. I don’t know how it works, I don’t why the whole world only sees one side of it… it baffles me. Maybe it’s shaped like a banana and we only see the bottom of it, I don’t know.

I went to Temple University, by the way.

Sorry to…space out on you like that. Have yourself a wonderful day, Ms. Matchme! I hope to hear from you.

Respectfully,
Mike J

Ms. LoriMichelle

Dear LoriMichelle,

My name is Mike. I came across your profile and thought I would write you a letter. I too am sick of the creeepers at the bar scene. I know it’s more common for women to be the victim creeping, but it also happens to guys at the bar. Female creepers tend not to blink and have a Cheshire Cat-type smile about them. They are quite easy to spot and avoid, but sometimes they can ninja-up behind you and ask in that way too excited tone of theirs, “You wanna go on a picnic??”

You ever picnic at 10:30 at night, Lori? It’s unsettling, I’m not going to lie.

So, that’s how women creep. What exactly do men do as creepers? For their opening line do they ask for your blood type or something? I imagine if they did, there is probably no wrong answer. It’s not like you would say, “B positive,” and he’d go, “Oh, yuck! Nevermind!”

Thanks for taking the time to read this, Lori. Also, on a side note, I play softball as well. In fact, I just played yesterday and got me a handful of singles. I also hurt my back; like a boss!

Signed,
Mike.

Ms. ZibbyB

ZibbyB, hi!

My name is Mike. I came across your profile and thought I would write you a letter on here. I am also a fan of WXPN. There’s a whole lot of bands and artists that I’ve discovered that other radio stations would never think of playing and that’s why I call them every time they do a fund drive.

I love it when they do a fund drive. Most people make a pledge online, but not me, Zibby. I like to make a phone call because I get such a rush when I hear the phone ring on the radio and people start to clap and praise me. It’s really quite exhilarating!

And they pick up the phone and go, “Thank you for supporting XPN! How much would you like to pledge?”
And I say, “Oh, there won’t be any money today. But I fully support your radio station emotionally.”

This sometimes throws them off-guard so I really have to sell them on this idea. “I don’t say this half-heartedly. I mean I am giving you all of my support; every morsel. In fact, if you would like to announce on the air that I am willing to match any caller’s emotional pledge for the next two hours, we can double the amount—‘’

It’s at that point where they hang up on me, but they do it politely, because they’re nice folks over there at XPN. What bands did you discover and like on there? I’m a Dawes fan myself, as well as the Alabama Shakes.

Have yourself a Funky Friday, Zibby!

Sincerely,

—Mike J

Ms. Rockout13

Hello, Ms. Rockout13, I’m Mike2614231. I live in Glenside now, but I used to live in Green Lane. It’s true! I lived there for about 5 years, in a tiny apartment on the corner of 63 and route 29, by the Sunoco gas station. Have you ever been? It’s a nice gas station; they sell ice cream for kids as well as minnows for fishermen. And they also sell pornographic magazines sealed in plastic bags, which… well, look, I just know that they SELL them. That’s all I know about it, honest.

Honest.

At any rate, the apartment I lived in was an old house from the early 1900’s that was converted into 5 small apartments. Everything was slanted: the floor, the windows, the door frame… Hey, you remember in the movie Beetlejuice when Beetlejuice was going to marry Lydia and he created that crooked door in the wall for that old priest to come out and wed them in marital bliss? My door frame looked like that. When people came over I told them to enter on the right side of the door frame, lest they hit their heads on the short side.

Are the door frames where you dwell crooked as well? I didn’t know if I was living in some kind of architectural oddity or if that’s just the way things are up there. I am sorry to say that I don’t have a single piece of plaid in my whole wardrobe; not a stitch. You probably read that sentence and wondered how I get by, but somehow I do. Somehow.

I am envious of your wide array of photos. I especially like the professional photographer’s shots of you in the felled cornfield. I guess you could say the photographer was…”stalk”ing you? Ha, you’re welcome; feel free to use that and take it as your own, I won’t mind.

Have yourself a wonderful day!

Signed,

Mike (The guy with the Beetlejuice door frames and puns about corn, which are a-MAIZE-ing!)