Completely Unrelated to the Subject Matter at Hand


I’ve made Splitsider’s Best Humor Writing of 2011 list, rubbing elbows with McSweeney’s and Onion contributors. And Roger Ebert.

I don’t harbor any fantasies about this leading to me rolling in “writer money,” but I’ll be more than happy to flop around in a few accolades.




Filed under Remixes

20 responses to “Completely Unrelated to the Subject Matter at Hand

  1. elizabeth3hersh

    Congratulations!! Well deserved and long overdue. I’ve long been a fan. Make that loyal fan.

  2. Congrats, man. I see they have an arts section on that site. Can you get us out of this WordPress ghetto?

  3. I am working on a book of rejections letters from McSweeney’s. It’s very, very long. And repetitive. But you, now, you’re practically famous! Can I drop your name at the next big event I attend? It wil probably be the community dump caretakers’ dinner at the ruritan club. I’ve been planning to crash it for years, and this seems like a good opportunity.

    p.s. Intentionally and funny are two things that never seem to work out for me when put together. Godspeed!

    • Hell, McSweeney’s is in the publishing business. Maybe they could publish that book for you. “… But I’m Afraid I’m Going to Pass on this One” as written (mainly) by the apparently sole editor of McSweeney’s. Perhaps you could pen a book of rejection rejections called “Not This Time, You Reluctant Bastard. This is Solid Gold Comedic Shit Right Here.”

      Go ahead and drop my name wherever and whenever you’d like. I do it routinely, especially during family gatherings. “Did you see what internet-famous humorist Tim Cushing recently had rejected by McSweeney’s?” and etc.

  4. Kudos friend, well deserved indeed. Onward!!

  5. Congratulations. This is frottingly good news, and I don’t say that lightly – or as any form of literary affectation. I save my literary affectations for twirling my moustache while reading Edith Sitwell and swinging on my front porch while wearing a dress, but that’s really none of your business.
    Anyway, I’m mostly pleased because of the fortuitously and frottingly good timing on this in the manner of how it affects me. For you see, I have to deliver an important speech at the Elk’s Club for our next quasi pagan Northland solstice celebrating the sacrificial virgins illuminated by the Aurora Borealis… And I need a good gag writer.

    If you could whip me up a funny speech that was peppered with zany anecdotes, side-splitting one-liners, howling wet your pants jokes, spine tingling jocularity, and an almost obscene amount of profanity, I would forever be in your debt and will pay you in hamburgers. Two of them to be contractually specific… I will pay the first one (with no cheese) in advance and the other (also with no cheese) upon delivery of the funny speech.

    Also, if you could include jokes about elks and clubs (specifically beating elks with clubs and nightclubs for elks only), I think that thematically that would really work. So get cracking will ya, joke monkey? Oh, also, as I have given you some killer comedy ideas for said speech, your fee has now been reduced to one hamburger (with no bun).

    I look forward to being dazzled by you in a nonsexual but joke fueled manner.

    • Now, Cap is the expert here, but I think Frank Reynolds is another authority on the matter:

    • elizabeth3hersh

      This comment makes me want to go off ‘frotting’ my concierge or valet or the marble ledge that separates me from the concierge/valet. Whatever. Wait, do I hear Dorothy and the scarecrow singing “We’re off to frot the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. You’ll find he is a jiz of a wiz If ever a wiz there was. If ever oh ever a jiz (I mean wiz!) there was the Wizard of Oz is one because, because, because, because, because, because.” La-la-la. A-frotting-I-shall-go.

    • Mike –

      It is truly an honor to see you in the comment threads of and doubly so considering you’re wearing what you consider to be your finest dress. I would be more than pleased to whip you up some sort of speech to deliver at your next pagan convention despite my stated objections to a.) Elks’ Clubs, b.) Elks’ Club members, c.) quasi-pagan celebrations, d.) 2-for-1 drink specials, and e.) payment in meat products. However, I am partial to exercising my ability to crank out punchlines littered with an obscene amount of profanities or a profane amount of obscenities. I am also partial to un-cheesed hamburgers, because much like Moby and Sir Moz Smith, I believe that meat is involuntary manslaughter but asking the doomed cow to crank out some dairy products pushes past that into premeditation, which of course is murder.

      [Hastily drafted speech follows. May contain spelling errors, gratituous profanities, known logical fallacies, Godwin’s Law abuse, reverse-threaded screws, obscure references to things only I think are funny, broad stereotyping and occasional lapses into the second-person perspective. Needless to say, delivering this speech in the manner intended will require the fourth wall to be down AT ALL TIMES. This last part is essential. As are the rest of the instructions, which will be arriving seperately via bicycle courier riding inside a rented town car.]

      Ladies [pause for riotous laughter and a dirty look from the bartendress] and gentlemen:

      It has been altogether too many months since our last winter’s solstice, perhaps as many as 12, and during that time I couldn’t help but notice that many of us have strayed from our Elkan lineage, taking up such activities as Tivo-ing and blog writing. There is little doubt in my mind that our ancestors would be deeply saddened by this turn of events were they not so totally dead and laying in an unmarked mass grave somewhere outside of Trenton.

      If we are to return this Lodge to its former greatness, we need to return to the words of our founders. This is easier said than done, however, as most of our records are now unreadable thanks to large amounts of water damage. The same goes for our record keeper, who suffered the ultimate water damage over the summer, drowning in a pool of his own PH-balanced water after mistaking the koi pond for a mirror. Not all of our old ways are good and we can be glad that, knock on imported Brazilian mahogany, these superstitions and cries of “Witchcraft!” are a thing of the past.

      As much as it behooves us to stay abreast of current belief systems and advancements in boutique liqueurs, we should also remain true to our Elkish traditions. It wasn’t too long ago that we were able to hoist the fattened pig above 57th street during the winter solstice in celebration of our forefathers’ perserverance and religious promiscuity, dancing joyously in the spray of fresh blood, most of which belonged to the sacrificial pig.

      But these times have changed. The relentless progress of gentrification has turned our city streets into safe, well-lit No Parking zones and has made a majority of our celebratory acts illegal. Less than a generation ago, we were free to slaughter the fatted pig whereever and whenever we saw fit and for an additional $10 could hire a prostitute to help hoist the beast by its ankles and mop up afterwards. These days will never return but we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent. The Lodge was built on slaughter and heavy drinking and both of these fine traditions are under attack, both from outside political forces and from within, via many alcohol-related deaths.

      I propose a new tradition, to be celebrated during each winter’s solstice, full moon, alternating Tuesday, bank holidays, pre-Lent fish frys, post-Lent fish frys, and the 5th of every month to coincide with the arrival of Social Security checks. My plan is simple: a return to the slaughter of the fatted pig. [pause for gasps of OMG!, etc.]

      I am well aware that metropolitan life will make finding a pig, fattened or no, nearly impossible. Therefore, I am reaching out to our non-urban chapters and inviting them to our next event, the semi-annual Cooking of the Books, in order to help source a reliable pig dealer from within our ranks. I am also registering the Elks as a religion in order to protect this ceremony from legal attacks as well as allowing us to write off a great majority of our alcohol purchases. This new religious status should also allow us to shoehorn our cobbled-together dogma into a variety of Midwestern textbooks, helping us grow our ranks by “securing our future.” I am also hoping to “grandfather in” legalized prostitution and feel that operating as a religion will allow this clause to push through unnoticed or at least, undebated.

      We may not be long for this world [pause for shouts of disagreement and 2-3 strokes] but we can bring the Elks back to its former position as the “Drinkingest Place on Earth.” Slaughtered pigs are only the beginning. Our proud spirit will continue to blaze a drunken path into the future and, with the help of our loose confederation of gods, we will be able to rise victorious again, tearing the complacent world a new one with our glorious might!

      The Elks: A Glory Hole to a Better Tomorrow!

      [Pause to crank hearing aid up to 11; exit to now-thunderous appplause.]

  6. Many humble and sincerely frottingly swankadelic thanks CLT for a riotous speech that is sure to riot up a riotous assembly in the way only a herd of rioting elks from the riot squad carrying frotting clubs on their way to Oz can. You really got down and jiggy (or jizzy, as elizabeth would say) with this and I suspect a Noble Peace Prize in speech writing will soon be coming your way.

    Until then, your hamburger is in the mail.

    I should let you know that in the not-so-fine and wildly ignoble tradition of speech writing, I handed off your speech for a few tweaks to some Hollywood TV writer hacks who, for a plateful of turnips, gave it another pass. Being Hollywood writers, they, naturally, completely ruined it. But it is comforting to know they’ll be eating this winter.

    I know I don’t approve or am in any way thrilled with their changes (or “re-imaginings” as they call it) but I felt you’d want a final copy for your own personal records – and to bear witness to the act of having your fine work peed on by a roomful of hopeless comedic and dateless schlubs…

    Ladies [pause for riotous laughter and a dirty look from the bartendress] and gentlemen:

    So… Have I mentioned my cock yet? No? Oh well, I will soon. And often. Yes, I’ll beat the subject of beating my meat to death (pause for hysterical laughter to subside).

    Wow, another winter’s solstice; where does the time go? It kinds shrivels up, much like a penis out of the swimming pool. I couldn’t help but notice that many of us have strayed from our Elkan lineage, taking up such activities as non-cock talking and, what the hell, blog writing. There is little doubt in my coconut that our ancestors would be mighty pissed that we’re not out there beating elks with our clubs. And when I say clubs, I don’t mean my schlong. Hahaha!

    If we are to return this Lodge to its former greatness, we need to return to the words of our dong headed and rug lapping founders – may they rest in peace in a bed of jism. This is easier said than done, however, as most of our records are now unreadable thanks to large amounts of jism damage. The same goes for our record keeper, Ernie, who suffered the ultimate jism damage over the summer, drowning in a pool of the stuff. Where he got all the jism, lord only knows. But that was Ernie for ya! I sure miss the little weirdo.

    As much as it behooves us to stay abreast (pause as the audience titters) of current belief systems and advancements in boutique liqueurs and, of course, cock talk, we should also remain true to our Elkish traditions. I say if you want to bugger one, well, why not? Sometimes it’s fun to experiment.

    (Funny and fresh Hollywood Writer’s note: Here we suggest you shove a seltzer bottle down your pants and then your index finger up your left nostril. Elk’s guys love physical humour.)

    Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, the relentless progress of gentrification has turned our city streets into safe, well-lit No Parking zones and has made a majority of our celebratory acts illegal. So if you’re going to bugger an elk make sure you find some poorly lit street. And good luck finding one.

    Okay, let’s bring in the virgins!!!!

    [Pause to crank hearing aid up to 11; exit to now-thunderous applause.]

    • Had I known you were going to turn the speech over to Showtime’s finest scriptwriters (who’ve never met a “cock” they didn’t like enough to insert randomly into a script), I would have worn a more presentable dress, perhaps something clingy but easily removed.

      I can’t thank you enough for attempting to shove a little more fame in my directions. I’m sure whenever this is greenlit, I’ll receive a credit somewhere near the 2-minute mark of the roll. That would be about the time that they shrink it up into one-quarter of the screen in order to advertise what you’ll be seeing next should you be unable to locate a remote or power button within the next 7-10 minutes.

      To quote Dorothy Parker, “I haven’t seen so much cock in one place since my visit to that place with all the cocks. Yale, perhaps.”

      • A dress with a floral pattern of cocks probably would be nice. And fitting. If it fit, that is. I can lend you mine for the Nobel Peace Prize awards. I’m sure you’re a shoe-in for that puppy. Oh, and by the way, that event is a blast. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much blow snorted in one room. Last year, Tomas Tranströmer chugged back a fifth of rye in 30 seconds and then nearly choked to death on his vomit. Oh wait; it was actually some other guy’s vomit he nearly choked to death on… Legend has it he traveled over 50 miles to get the vomit… My point is it was an awesome award’s ceremony! (And, take that, Academy Awards!)

        I’m always happy to shove fame in your direction, although I like to think of it as a friendly nudge. Down a steep flight of stairs. I also like to think that payment in burgers validates everything we do. I know it does for me. In fact wherever I go I always have my sandwich board wrapped around me proudly stating, “Will work for hot meat.” Obviously there’s been more than a few amusing misunderstandings.

        Good old Dorothy Parker! She really was the Queen of cock quotes, wasn’t she? My favourite was “I was cocked like a cock in a cock.” So witty and droll.

  7. elizabeth3hersh

    Brilliant, both of you.

  8. While I can’t speak for MR. CLT, I will anyway and say thank you elizabeth,

    I was worried there might not have been enough mentioning of penises – and then, but seconds later, I became concerned that perhaps there was too much cock talk. After that I began to fret about the general state of the nation which, naturally, lead me to worry about the state of my mind, and, inevitably, the state of zombie pop culture: Specifically, has the subject been done to death? If so, is this ironic or just a fact of life? Or zombie life, which isn’t much of a life at all. Especially considering they’re dead. Anyway, that’s when I realized I was rambling like a madman and standing at my neighbour’s door holding a cup of sugar and dressed in a scrotum floral patterned nightgown. Things kinda went downhill after that…


    And well deserved, I might add.