Friday Five

1. Checkmate: Anti-semitic ex-pat chess-playing nerd Bobby Fischer was arrested in Japan this week, under the grand charges of attending a chess match in Yugoslavia against the U.S. government’s wishes. If you were to discard your patriot status, where would you go, and what board game would you play when you got there?

I’m going to France. Half of the United States hates our friendly cheese-eating friends anyway, so I need to keep up my reputation as a rebel. What board game would I play there? Honey, I’d go ride Johnny Depp up and down the Cote d’Azur like a parade float — the only games I’ll be playing are hide-the-salami or stick-your-pole-in-my-Swiss-cheese-hole!

2. Dear Santa: In addition to loving McSweeney’s because it’s brilliant, the Writers of the Friday Five especially love their open letters to things or people who will not likely respond. The Friday Five challenge today is to fashion your own open letter, or at least tell us to whom or what you would write it.

Oh, now that’s some funny shit there in those letters! We all dream about whom we would tell off (I’m sure we can all come up with “an open letter to that motherfucker who screwed up our lives”), but it’s way more creative to come up with something positive. And while I cannot match the ode to a Playboy poster, I certainly owe a thank-you to my favorite vibrator.

Dear Purple People Eater,

In the day and age of safe sex, you’ve been there for me so that I don’t get cooties from strange bedfellows, whose dangly bits I just can’t sterilize by dipping in boiling hot water the way I can with you.

I can take you anywhere, and I have. From California to Missouri to the good old District of Columbia, you have traveled safely tucked in my cosmetic organizer, coming out only when asked, helping me through a hot, steamy bath or coaxing me into a sleepy state during nights when I’m too wired to close my eyes.

I’m sorry I stepped on you when you rolled off the couch last month; you wear your double layer of duct tape like a badge of honor, a purple heart for your bravery and battle scars.

You ask for nothing but a brand-new battery every now and again, after I exhaust you with my relentless craving for your loud purring, even louder now because of your recent injury. But still you’re a trouper, little solder, doing battle with the man in the boat when the tide is high.

Forever yours,

Goddess Dawn

3. Sending the Wolf: California ex-surfer, high school dropout achieves success by starting his own business, which is cleaning up dead people. At what job that nobody else wants would you most excel? And what job could not possibly pay enough money for you to ever consider?

Man, that story creeps me the fuck out. Reminds me of something Angie was telling me about earlier today, how some military installation collects dead bodies and trains its people on how to tell how long someone has been dead — if the flies start laying eggs and shit in a body, you know how long it’s been since they croaked, etc. Gory shit. I was turning green, just listening to it.

I can’t really name a job I’d want to do just because nobody else would want it. I’m prissy, damn it. Don’t wanna ruin my manicure unless I’m scratching up someone’s back in the throes of passion.

I would hate to be the cleaning lady who takes care of the restrooms at the Veggie Patch, where I work. At any given time, there is either shit or someone shitting in one of the three ladies’ room stalls, and I don’t think even a gas mask can prevent us from getting some kind of carcinogens in our lungs from the funk our colleagues emanate.

4. You gotta fight for your right: This ballsy 15-year-old went to his state’s Supreme Court to protect his outstanding mullet without being expelled from school. First rate his mullet, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being highest. Then, look back fondly on your high school days. If you could do it again, what right would you work so passionately to protect in your younger, more rebellious years?

Asking me to look back fondly on my high school days is about as likely to happen as me dropping to a size zero in the next two minutes. But alas, I’ll play along and pretend I didn’t dream of gutting my then-friends (especially my gay boyfriend at the time) with an X-acto knife.

But since we’re talking about mullets and high school, OK. I can relate to that — I went to high school in the Pittsburgh area, where some still consider mullets to be all the rage. And that kid’s about a 9 on the mullet — or skullet — scale.

In my high school years, my mom got a stern talking-to from my newspaper adviser, who was annoyed with how much swearing I did. Mom, of course, told her that it’s not like I’m smoking crack; I was an honors student who said “fuck” and “shit” when I was under pressure. I found it hilarious that journalists are the ultimate watchdogs of free speech, yet my own adviser was trying to censor me. I know it’s not a huge deal now that I’m 30 (fuck!) to be swearing, but back then, it was a tremendous release as well as a shock to uptight assholes when a “good” kid like me would start cursing up a shitstorm. Pleased the hell outta me to make people’s eyebrows shoot to the sky and make them uncomfortable. I shoulda bitch-slapped that nasty cunt when I had the chance!

5. T.C.B.: The Writers of the Friday Five love Bubba Ho-Tep and recommend you see it immediately if you have not. If you could fight a mummy with two supposedly dead celebrities, who are actually not dead and living in a retirement home, who would you choose and why?

Never saw “Bubba Ho-Tep.” Sounds like a dance number, a la “Achy Breaky Heart” or something (sorry, I’ve been watching VH1’s “I Love the 90s” a little too intensely!).

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