Willy Wanker and the Keto Bread Factory

As Wilford Brimley would say, I have DIE A BEE TUSS. And when you have DIE A BEE TUSS, you can’t eat anything that tastes good. No sweets, no pasta, no rice, no bread, no potatoes, no soda, no ice cream, no candy, no pizza, no hamburgers, no CEREAL!… And the list seems to go on and on toward the end of the universe.

When you have DIE A BEE TUSS, the best kind of diet is low-carb, high protein – just like Dr. Now tells his overweight patients on 600-Pound Life. “Hello. How you all doing? Where you coming from today?”

Eating right has been a struggle for me throughout my nearly 15-year battle with this disease. Is it really a disease, or just poor lifestyle choices? Either way, it sucks not being able to eat whatever you want without suffering deadly consequences.

I love sweets. I love desserts. I love all the things I’m not supposed to have. When I flip through a cookbook for diabetics, I’m just grossed out. Ugh! And it’s especially tough going into a grocery store to buy food. It seems nearly EVERYTHING is bad for you and the stuff that is good for you costs three times as much.

Well, today, I went into our crappy local grocery store with a focus on looking for diabetic-friendly foods. I read a lot of labels, and I think I made some good choices. But sometimes those good choices are not good at all.

If you look at the picture that accompanies this post, you will see a piece of bread with a giant hole in it. That’s from a loaf of keto-friendly bread that cost almost 6 damn dollars. When I first opened the package, I was like: “What the fuck?” It wasn’t just one or two pieces that had this ginormous hole in them, but literally half the entire loaf and then some.

I sent the picture to my wife who was at work, and I told her that this must be the way they reduce the carbs. Is it? Surely not. Did the guy who baked this particular batch have a bread fetish and stick something weird in that loaf that I don’t want to know about? Gross.

But I was so damn hungry, I made myself a summer sausage sandwich. Sausage is fine. No carbs.

Just so you know, keto-friendly bread pretty much sucks… and it’s expensive. This particular bread I ate had ZERO flavor. It was sort of dry, too, and it kind of smelled like wood paneling from the 1970s. Oh, and the giant hole. That, too. So, what will I do with it? I suppose since I paid so much for it, I’ll just suck it up and try to get through the loaf with the help of family members and a jar of peanut butter… Or maybe I can turn the pieces into some sort of sexually frustrated finger puppets. Yeah. Sexually frustrated finger puppets with DIE A BEE TUSS and they complain about keto-friendly bread all day in their weird little village where the government frowns upon any sort of joy.

Thanks for reading about my problems with DIE A BEE TUSS.


Hello, today I would like to talk to you about my favorite new television show

Adult Swim photo

Hello, like the title indicates, today I would like to talk to you about my favorite new television show. But before I tell you what it is, I just read that after three seasons, it’s been canceled. I am pissed!! Why oh why do they always cancel the good stuff and keep the crap going for like 17 seasons. It’s just like that show on Amazon Prime called Night Sky. You know, the one with Sissy Spacek and J.K. Simmons and they discovered the portal to another planet in their backyard. It was great. The story was great. The characters were great, and the finale of the first season was totally primed and pumped for a second season… oh, but no. They fucking cancel it – probably to make way for a show about a bunch of annoying surgically altered social media trendsetters who have drunken orgies on a tropical island followed by over dramatic talk sessions concerning their all-important feelings about shallow relationships. I commence puking.

The name of my favorite new television show that is now being canceled is Joe Pera Talks With You. It’s an Adult Swim product but I watch it on HBO Max because for some reason they have more of the episodes. Go figure. The more I watch the show the better it gets. It evolves perfectly and the addition of familiar, quirky characters throughout makes it fun to watch.

Joe Pera is essentially a nerdy, socially awkward, slow and soft-spoken middle school choir teacher (who can’t really sing for some weird reason) who talks about mundane, everyday topics but somehow makes them interesting in a strangely captivating way. In the first episode I watched, he talked about the importance of iron and other minerals found in the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan. And that’s another reason I love the show – it takes place in Marquette.

“So,” you may say. Well, I say that Marquette is a pretty special place for me because my wife and I spent part of our honeymoon in the UP and we loved it. If you don’t know anything about Marquette, Michigan, it’s way, way up there, situated on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior. It’s a great little town (Marquette is actually the largest city in the UP, population of about 20,000) and I get really excited when they show places I recognize and have been to.

Let’s enjoy this gallery of photos from our trip:

Ahhh shit! The pictures are on my Mac so I will have to come back to that. Sorry.

But back to the show. I don’t want to spoil too much for you, but you can kind of get a feel for what the show is about just by some of the titles of the episodes. Here’s a few I found in my research:

Joe Pera talks with you about beans

Joe Pera takes you to the grocery store

Joe Pera shows you his second fridge

Joe Pera takes you to breakfast

Joe Pera shows you how to pack a lunch

I’m still only in the first season, but my favorite episode so far is Joe Pera reads you the church announcements. It basically starts off with Joe at church (Catholic church) and he is tasked with going up to the front and reading the announcements. Well, a short while into it he goes off on this little rant about The Who and his favorite “new” song – Baba O’Riley (You know, the teenage wasteland song). It then flashes back to Joe doing dishes and the first time he hears the song on the radio. How has he not ever heard that song!? That’s funny. After that, he keeps requesting the song because he loves it so much and essentially doesn’t sleep for three days because all he’s doing is jamming out to Baba O’Riley, even with the pizza delivery guy and his sorta girlfriend who’s the school band director. It’s great stuff and prompted me to order (on CD, like Joe, so he can play it in his 2001 Buick, but I don’t have a Buick I have a Mazda 3) The Who’s 1971 classic Who’s Next. I actually had my wife order it because she has Amazon Prime and so I basically utilized the love of my life for free and fast shipping. I have a Who CD, but it’s wrapped up in the basement somewhere like a mummy and I don’t want to be bothered looking for it.

The timing of me watching that particular episode couldn’t be more perfect since I had just finished up my serial fiction piece Child of the Cabbage and made mention of Baba O’Riley in the final episode which you can read HERE if you want. (Shameless plug, I know).

So, yeah, even though I haven’t watched all the episodes, I’m pretty bummed the show has been canceled. But isn’t that life, though. The idiots make all the important decisions. It’s frustrating and heart breaking to say the least. Anyways, give yourself a little treat and check out Joe Pera Talks With You. It’s a nice break from the oftentimes shitty world we live in… And in the meantime, let me see if I can find those vacation photos from our honeymoon in Marquette. I know you’re excited about that.


Bring Back the Ludovico Treatment

There was a beheading in Moore, Oklahoma. That’s all the message said. I questioned if this was becoming a common practice, for just the other night someone down the hall in my shoddy apartment complex was beheaded, and the night before that, right down on my shoddy street, a hot dog vendor was beheaded just as he was slathering someone’s steaming wiener with relish — I don’t like relish. Then there was that incident down at the public library just about a week ago when a circulation clerk was beheaded after telling a patron he owed $1.25 in overdue book fines.

Machetes and firearms line every rubber raincoat now — as does madness in the minds of men.

“Thank God someone had a gun.” Someone said, in the Land of Violence.

And violence stirs violence until the only solution is more violence — more guns, more bombs, more tanks, more jets, more ships, more drones, more senseless destruction.

And the money we spend to kill and maim and rape countless cultures, could cure illness and starvation and homelessness ten million times over and more. We could actually nurture humanity.

On my way back the other day from the ice cream shoppe, I saw a campaign sign for a death cult touting the joys of the Space Force. Why!? Why do we have to militarize space? And to think we would have any chance against them up there. Dimwitted buffoonery.  

And the Annunaki looked down from Orion and wondered what they had done.

Lord Femfatuntin turned to his lead galactic centurion and ordered, “Send down the chariots of fire, these idiots are destroying all my hard work… And Tome, if it’s not too much trouble, would you mind bringing me back a box of Count Chocula? On second thought, you better make it two.”

Tome the galactic centurion bowed with respect. “As you wish, my lord.”


I was sitting alone in my shoddy apartment eating a bowl of cereal and watching COPS when there was a knock at the door. I stuck my eye in the peephole but all I saw was a thick neck, some broad shoulders and a name patch that read TOME across the breast portion of a shiny space uniform.

I pressed my face to the door. “Who’s there? What do you want?”

“It’s Tome. I come to you from the planet Placitas.”

“I don’t know any Tomes and there’s no planet named Placitas. Away with you!”

“Please, Phil Paradise. It’s very important that I speak with you.”

“How did you know my name?”

“You are the spawn of my history — a child of Femfatuntin,” the stranger said.

I looked through the peephole again and shook my head.

“Look,” I said. “I think you may be on drugs, and I don’t want to talk to you. Please go away.”

“I can’t do that, Phil. The future of your very own existence and possibly that of the universe depends entirely on me speaking with you.”

“I don’t open the door to strangers.”

“I’m a lot bigger than you and I can break this door down,” Tome from Placitas threatened.

“Go away or I’ll call the police.”

The aliens in the hallway began to laugh among themselves.

“Oh no! Are they going to come arrest me for possessing a medicinal herb that comes from the ground?!” one of them said.

“They’ll arrest you for harassment and trespassing! That’s what they’ll do. You can count on it!” I called out.

“Your laws are pathetic and ludicrous,” Tome from Placitas said.

There was more laughter in the hallway and then the door opened, and they just walked in — Tome and his two alien sidekicks.

“How did you do that?”

“I’m an advanced being, Phil. It’s pretty easy.”

“You guys are very tall and shiny, but you look absolutely human,” I said in utter amazement as I looked them over.

“And you are very short and dull. We made you that way so you could never be a threat while you work, work, work.”

“I must be dreaming. Did I eat acid?” I wondered.

“Let’s sit down and talk,” Tome said.

“I thought you might smell bad, but you don’t,” I quickly pointed out.

Tome sighed an alien sigh. “Why is it that you Earth people always consider yourselves as the most superior creatures in the universe? You just assume that surely every other living thing out there must smell worse — I don’t understand where you get this false ego. I mean, you haven’t even mastered intergalactic space travel yet. The truth of the matter is… You’re just an animal who requires the use of hand sanitizer in a world that has gone horribly wrong.”

“Well, if I’m just a filthy animal why did you come to me?”

Tome quickly looked over his shoulder at his comrades and then back at me.

“You’re one of the few reasonable individuals we’ve been able to locate down here.” He put a large hand on my shoulder and awkwardly smiled. “Phil, we’re destroying the planet, and we want you to come back with us before we do.”

 “Why!?” I yelled in defiance. “There’s no need for that! You’re talking about billions of lives!”

“You mean billions of morons, Phil! Absolute dashboard bobbleheads on the road to self annihalation.”

“You can’t do this! I won’t let you!”

“There’s nothing you can do about it Phil Paradise. Nothing,” Tome said to me with authority.

I scratched at my head and looked about my shoddy apartment.

“What about my things?”

“You won’t need any of it.”

“But, I have asthma. What about my asthma medication?”

“You won’t have asthma anymore where we’re going, Phil. Just close the door and come along,” Tome ordered.


There were some nice people on the spaceship, and I was well fed at a mile-long buffet. When the total annihilation of Earth came it was quick and clean, like laser surgery. They let me join them to watch on a huge monitor as Earth was vaporized — one second it was there and then it was not. There was some low-key clapping and some cheers and whistles, and then we all ate some delicious cake and drank the best milk I ever had.

Awhile later, I was sitting on a spaceship bench and was looking out a window as the galaxy rushed by. Tome came over and stood tall beside me and we looked at space together.

“You’re doing pretty well for your first intergalactic flight,” he said.

“How fast are we going?”

“Faster than you can even comprehend.”

I looked up at him. “There are others like me — sensible like you say — what about them? Why did you leave them behind?”

“We didn’t. We already have them, Phil Paradise. We’ve been collecting them for a long time — babies to octogenarians and beyond. I’m sure you have heard of alien abduction?”

“Yes, absolutely. I’ve always enjoyed stuff about aliens and space. I used to be Catholic but once the priests started ass-grabbing kids, I kind of settled on the idea that organized religion was a bunch of bullshit. Now I subscribe to ancient alien theology.”

Tome nodded his head, seemingly satisfied with my personal confession. “That’s good, Phil, and just so you know, you won’t be alone on planet Placitas, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“I was wondering what it will be like,” I said.


Then something shifted in him, and Tome suddenly clamped his big hands to his head and groaned with agitation and stomped a foot.

“Oh shit! I forgot my lord’s Count Chocula!”

“He likes Count Chocula? The cereal?”

“Yes! It’s his favorite thing for breakfast, and lunch, and dinner. Damn it! And Earth is already destroyed. That’s just great! Bad shit like this always happens to me.”

“Calm down, Tome. I’m sure he’ll understand.”

“Oh, but you don’t know Lord Femfatuntin. He has anger issues.”

“But, can’t you just make your own Count Chocula here on the spaceship?” I suggested.

“We’ve tried that, but it just came out tasting like generic Count Chocula and he knew right away it wasn’t the real deal. He’ll only eat real Count Chocula made on Earth.”

“I guess you’re screwed then, Tome.”

“Thanks, Phil.”

“When will I get to meet him?”

“Maybe in about 400 years.”

After that, I didn’t see Tome the Galactic Centurion for a very long time.


They gave me a very nice apartment overlooking a tranquil sea of clouds. Maybe I was dead and there really was a Heaven, but I didn’t know for sure.

I felt alive enough when I went to the market on Tuesdays, and they gave me food. For free. Everyone got as much food as they wanted any time they wanted it. No one on the entire planet ever went hungry.

I had no soul-sucking job in the sense of having a job. I was merely allowed to have a satisfying task of my choosing, and that task was to read to wayward dogs and cats at Space Kennel No. 99. They enjoyed it immensely, evidenced by the plethora of wagging tails and gentle purrs every time I cracked open a new book. Dr. Seuss was their absolute favorite. I asked the animal handler, the odd Susan O’Neil, about it one day.

“How did you get Dr. Seuss books?”

She looked at me and smiled a tight-lipped smile and adjusted her spectacles.

“He’s here.”

“He’s here? Dr. Seuss is here?”

“He prefers to be called Theodor.”

“Well, where is he? I’d like to meet him.”

“He’s incredibly reclusive, but I do think he plays squash at the Stellar Sports Open Air Plaza every other Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m., but only if it’s cloudy outside and there’s a chance for rain.”

“He plays squash in the rain?”

“So the story goes.”

“I wonder if he really eats green eggs and ham.”

“I wouldn’t.”

“Hey Susan O’Neil, can I ask you a question?”

“Of course. You can ask me anything, former Earthling.”

“Does anyone ever get beheaded up here?”

“Beheaded? Do you mean like …” And she rolled her eyes and made a hand motion across her throat like it was getting sliced.

“Yes. Exactly.”

“Of course not. We’re not bloody asinine savages like they were!” she wickedly asserted, shakily pointing the tip of her finger toward that spot in the universe where Earth used to be. “This is Shangri-La compared to your own little version of a spinning blue hell. How on — what used to be Earth — could a species allow its own offspring to be cut down by a gutless murder machine, and accept it repeatedly?” She shook her bookish head in disgust. I must admit that Susan O’Neil was quite attractive for a Placitan. That’s what the originals were called — Placitans. And I suddenly was taken over by the desire to ask her out on a date.

But just as I was about to speak, we heard the haunting sound of the great gongs of Placitas reverberate all around us followed by the heavy march of the centurions and their steeds. I rushed out into the path lined by rubber trees and there I saw Tome the galactic centurion leading his troops to whatever trouble there was. I ran beside him as hard and as fast as I could.

“Tome! What on Placitas is happening!?”

He reached his arm down, snatched me up and threw me behind him on the horse.

“I couldn’t hear a word you were saying!”

“I wanted to know what the situation is. What’s with all the menacing war stuff?”

“They’ve come. We didn’t think their ship could make such a long journey. Somehow, they escaped before the annihilation, and now they’ve finally arrived, and we must stop them.”

“Is it something terrible? I don’t want it to be something terrible,” I cried out.

“Of course it’s terrible. Why else would we be going to war?” Tome answered.

“But you hate war. You’ve learned to put it away and live in peace.”

“Some things are worth fighting for when the enemy decides to impose its beliefs. Hold on Phil Paradise.”

“What is it!?”

“They’re trying to open a WalMart here!”

And that’s when the dusts of war raged, and Tome lit a fire beneath his troops, and I could barely hold on.

“But… Tome… Wait!”

“What is it, Phil!? I’m trying to lead the charge.”

“Wouldn’t the WalMart have Count Chocula?”

END

I’ll show you my cereal if you show me yours (With Poll)

I’m someone who eats cereal at night. I’ve never much enjoyed cereal as it was intended – a breakfast food to kickstart one’s day. Not for me. I’m not really into kickstarting my day. For me, cereal is much more of a snack food, a bowl of deliciousness cradled in my lap while watching House Hunters or My 600-Pound Life in bed with my wife.

I have to admit that I’m a sweets guy. I like sugary cereal. That’s unfortunate for me because not unlike the late, great Wilford Brimley, I have DIE-A-BEETUS. The Lucky Charms leprechaun is literally killing me, or rather, I’m letting him kill me. But what a way to go. Maybe more on that struggle later. But it’s the weekend and I thought I would just do something short and simple and fun today.

So, choosing what my favorite cereal is not an easy task for me because there are so many I like. But I’ll narrow it down to my Top 10 – in no particular order:

Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries

Lucky Charms

Corn Pops

Honey-Comb

Sugar Bear’s Golden Crisp

Post Raisin Bran (Has to be Post because IMO it is the best)

Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes

Grape-Nuts

Apple Jacks

Cocoa Pebbles

And there you have it. Now that I have confessed my cereal desires, what about you? What’s your favorite cereal? Check out the poll below and vote for your favorite.

But before that, I guess it’s only fair that I share my worst cereal experience – and that would have to be: Cracklin’ Oat Bran. I’d rather eat avocado smeared atop a piece of tree bark.