Points in Case https://www.pointsincase.com Enlightening & Irreverent Comedy Fri, 22 Jan 2021 18:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.16 Our Company Is One Big Family, If Families Laid off 30% of Their Family Members https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/our-company-is-one-big-family-if-families-laid-off-30-of-their-familymembers Fri, 22 Jan 2021 18:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=81020 An office should feel like home. That's why, as CEO of Big Company, I've striven to ensure that every employee feels they are part of the Big Company Family. We're a little unconventional and quirky, but we like it that way! That's what makes us who we are and separates us from the other companies. Other places make you feel like a number, but we make you feel loved, supported, and important. We want every employee to be excited to come into work each day. However, I'm going to have to ask you to clean out your desk by the end of the day today.

Just like any other family, we rely on everyone carrying their own weight in order to succeed. If each one of us puts in effort as if this company was their own kin, we will all be the better for it. “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” as my Dad used to say. A Dad, I might add, is a member of a family. Which is what our company is. And that's why it's truly killing me inside to tell you that our family's goals for next year don't seem to include your position and your services will no longer be needed here.

I was heartbroken this past Holiday season when I was unable to make our Big Company Holiday Party, which I had strongly encouraged every employee to attend. It really gave me a bad case of “FOMO” to know that my Big Company Family was all laughing and enjoying each other's company without me. We have precious few hours to relax and unwind with those we cherish the most during the holiday season, and I wish I could've stayed after work for five hours with the rest of you. I feel sick, I really do. But we all make sacrifices for our family. Some of us had to work on Christmas, like Josh from security, who will be helping you take your belongings to your vehicle later on.

I've just been reminded of a vivid memory from my childhood. I remember when I was just a young boy, with my ambitions of one day becoming a CEO a little boy's pipe dream. My family was at the mall, near a toy store. My brother (who is another type of family member) saw an action figure in the window that he really wanted. My father told him: “I'm sorry you cannot have the action figure.” Perhaps our family's shareholders put pressure on my father to tighten the budget. Regardless of my father's reasoning, my brother reacted by having a “meltdown,” right there in the mall. Everyone was looking at my family and silently judging us. It was incredibly embarrassing for me and especially my father, who I considered to be the CEO of my family. Anyways, I sincerely request that you do not “make a scene” as you leave the office this afternoon.

I've always believed that “You Get What You Put In”. You would remember that little mantra from my email signature when I send out company-wide emails. It's a belief that I take to heart, and I work to make sure it's a cornerstone of our organization. In a family, you put in love and respect, and you get it back tenfold. Big Company works the same way. Each day, every member of our family puts in their time, blood, sweat, and tears into the company. And they are handsomely rewarded with a pizza party on the third Friday of every month. That's actually why I waited until today to break the news to you. Before you're escorted out for the final time, you are allowed two (2) slices of your choice of pepperoni or cheese.

Part of what makes a family so powerful is its resiliency. Hardships are endured together, but the collective determination of each member almost always helps a family pull through. Be it the loss of a loved one, or financial hardship, or the board of trustees trying to cut costs to make our shares look more appealing as we prepare to go public… we will always prevail.

And although your position was deemed “redundant” by our outside consulting firm, I just want you to know before you leave: You're not redundant in my heart.

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Quiz: What Can We Expect from the Next Installment of “Sex and the City”? https://www.pointsincase.com/lists/what-can-we-expect-from-the-next-installment-of-sex-and-the-city Fri, 22 Jan 2021 15:30:23 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=80675 The reboot is called “And Just Like That…” because:

  1. After a long hiatus, we are suddenly reunited with the girls at a totally different time in their lives—and ours.
  2. Carrie wakes up one morning after a night out with the girls at Cafeteria and, just like that, finds that she has transformed into a gigantic insect. “I’m going to need more shoes,” she clicks to herself, looking down at her fore-, middle-, and hind-legs.

Carrie is now:

  1. A contact tracer, using the skills she gleaned from watching Charlotte figure out how she got crabs in the Hamptons in Season 2.
  2. Unemployed, since she can no longer go on dates to generate material for a column that she cannot type—because she is a huge cockroach with pincers instead of hands.

Carrie’s new side hustle is:

  1. Monetizing her signature monologues! Her TED Talk, “How to Live in a Brownstone on the Upper West Side and Afford to Wear a New Designer Outfit Every Day While Day-Drinking $25 Cocktails on a Freelancer’s Salary” has become the most-watched in the history of TED.
  2. Renting out rooms in her apartment on Airbnb. To do this she must lock herself in her bedroom and remain out of sight, lest she frighten the guests. This is a most unsavory arrangement, but she needs the money to afford purchasing pairs of Manolo Blahnik’s three at a time.

Spoiler: Miranda’s running for governor! She:

  1. Succeeds, because voters believe that if she can make a responsible father figure out of that deadbeat Steve, she can easily rehabilitate New York State.
  2. Fails, because one of the Airbnb guests leaks to the New York Post that Candidate Hobbes smuggled in cosmos to an anonymous arthropod on the Upper West Side. She is accused of indifference towards the squalid housing conditions in the city, effectively sinking her campaign.

When Carrie has a chance run-in with her carpenter ex, Aiden, he:

  1. Is erecting an outdoor seating structure for Eleven Madison Park, imbuing him with an unprecedented sexiness… that is abruptly shattered when he turns around to reveal a 25-year-old man baby strapped to his chest in an Ergo baby carrier (Tate has regressed during these troubled times).
  2. Ever the toxic beta, he proposes marriage again, hoping she’s less likely to cheat on him now that she’s a grotesque mega-insect.

The gay characters on the show:

  1. Have been rewritten to resemble actual human beings, rather than amalgams of harmful stereotypes who exist only to prop up the straight characters.
  2. Lift Carrie’s spirits by bringing her their leftover sushi from SushiSamba, playing show tunes on the piano, and regaling her with tales of their misadventures on Grindr.

Jack Berger makes a cameo to tell Carrie:

  1. He regrets the Post-It note breakup and wishes there had been the technology to ghost her via text instead.
  2. That he always got “cockroach vibes” from her and only wishes he had ended things sooner. To express his rage he bombards Carrie with apples, one of which lodges in her exoskeleton.

Kim Cattrall isn’t returning to the series because:

  1. She’s an overly dramatic diva who refuses to have her character be humiliated through plot lines that focus on justifying her weight gain and signs of aging.
  2. She’s an overly dramatic diva who thinks the presence of an outsize pest with a grave apple-induced injury will overshadow her character’s message of sex positivity.

Mr. Big is cancelled after:

  1. Carrie learns that he used his connections to get early access to the COVID vaccine for himself, but not for her and her friends.
  2. He suggests to Charlotte and Miranda they should all abso-fuckin-lutely leave Carrie to die of her back wound, so that he can find a softer woman to love.

Mostly A’s: Sex and the City remastered for modern times
Mostly B’s: Sex and the City remastered for Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

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It’s an Honor to Be Your Band-Aid on This Momentous Vaccination Day! https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/its-an-honor-to-be-your-band-aid-on-this-momentous-vaccination-day Fri, 22 Jan 2021 13:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=81017 What a day!

After all those dark months in quarantine—you in your apartment, me in a box with 99 other flexible adhesive bandages—the big moment has finally arrived. You’re getting your COVID-19 vaccine, and I’m covering the injection site!

If I may take a moment before we begin, I’d like to say a few words about what a tremendous honor this is. As a young strip, I always dreamed I was destined for big things, like covering a knife cut on Mark Bittman’s finger, or protecting a scrape on Usain Bolt’s leg, or being forgotten in the side pocket of Beyonce’s purse.

This blows those fantasies out of the water.

My mother—that’s what we called the robotic arm that suctioned us one by one into our wrappers—always told us to work hard and keep our heads down, and we’d achieve big things. Look at me now, Mom!

The truth is, it’s been hard to believe that this moment would arrive. Band-Aid usage is down 36%, which experts attribute to people avoiding risky behaviors like having fun. I’ve had to keep reminding myself: AJ (my name’s AJ), you are not an ordinary Band-Aid. You are a Tru-Stay Sheer BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandage, and that ain’t nothing.

Sure, I may not be waterproof or racially inclusive or printed with Marshall from Paw Patrol, but dammit I offer lightweight breathable protection. And if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that breathing should never, ever be taken for granted.

Which brings us to this magnificent, improbable moment, and—whoops, there goes my outer wrapping! Give a guy a little warning next time? Ha ha. Of course, there won’t be a next time.

Wow, it is cold in this clinic.

Where was I? Right. As we approach the moment of vaccination, we give humble thanks to Our Fathers, who art Johnson & Johnson, for giving us life and—oh hi! You must be the needle. Looking sharp! Ha ha. Get it?

But in all seriousness, it’s a pleasure to meet you, sir. I wish you a precise and productive poking today. We all have our part to play in this little drama.

What’s my part? Oh nothing too important, nothing too important. Well yes, I suppose you could call me a “first responder.” At the first sight of blood, I’ll be there. Ready and willing to throw my non-adhesive absorbent pad into the line of fire, to sacrifice my own body to live out my ultimate destiny: keeping this lady’s clothes from getting stained.

You’re leaving already? Goodbye! Good luck up there!

Here we go! Deltoid's coming into focus. Steady, steady. Whoa, almost got my sticky bits stuck together. Can’t have that. Ha ha. Ooh yes, there we go. Easy now, easy now. And…we have placement. Yes! AJ is in position!

We doing a selfie? Hell yeah, girl! Now a silly one.

Goodbye, 99 brothers and sisters still waiting for your time in the sun! I’m off to see the world! Can you believe it? Me, an essential worker’s bandaid! A selfie star! Gosh, I wonder how many likes I’ve gotten. Not that I'm only in this for the—hey, what are you…?

Wait, no. What the hell, lady, I just got here!

Whoa. WHOA.

Help!

No no no no no. Not a trash can. Not a hospital trash can. This can't be real.

Of course, you hear rumors in the variety pack, but I never thought that I…dear god, is that a toe?!

Man. Fuck 2021.

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So You Just Realized You Have Commitment Issues https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/so-you-just-realized-you-have-commitment-issues Thu, 21 Jan 2021 18:00:35 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=81012 Before I started dating my boyfriend, I didn’t think that I was one of those children of divorce who would be afraid of commitment. In fact, I didn’t think my parents’ divorce affected me in any significant way—I just saw it as a nuisance that nearly 50% of children have to deal with and eventually everyone just gets over it. As it turns out, traumatic things that happened to you in childhood apparently affect you when you’re older. Who knew?

All I knew was that my boyfriend seemed a little upset that I wasn’t reciprocating his vulnerability in the same ways, and I wished that there was some way I could travel back in time to rid myself of the problems I faced that might have contributed to my fear of intimacy. I’ve come up with the names of guides that could have helped me navigate my teen years as my parents were divorcing, and perhaps they can help other kids through these times, too.

I want to make it clear that this guide is not for the kids whose parents are still friends and kiss on the cheek every time they see each other. Those kids can go to hell. This is for the people whose parents will never ever be in the same room ever again; the people whose parents’ relationship was essentially a piece of literal shit that exploded all over you and no matter what you do, there will be small flecks of poop stuck on you for the rest of your life. Though every divorce is different, the messy ones really suck. Here’s to the kids that have to live through them.

Pomp and Shit Circumstance: How to Choose Which Parent to Invite to Graduation

When your parents are divorced, every milestone in your life flips from exciting to dreadful. Instead of worrying about what shoes look good with a boxy graduation gown, you’re mentally making a pros and cons list of each parent. My mom will probably criticize my hair and makeup all night, but my dad is terrible at talking to other parents. Let’s go with mom.

It’s also important to note that you’re going to piss off one parent either way, so you might as well piss off the one that’s worse at arguing. Regardless of what happens, you will feel terrible about your decision because both of your parents love you even though they might not be good at showing it. This feeling will pass, but it’s important to remember: It’s not your fault that your circumstances are shitty.

Don’t You Have Some Phones to Answer? And Other Disses for Your Dad’s Secretary-Turned-Wife

Ah, the stepmother. Young girls have been conditioned to believe every stepmother is evil before we even know what the word “divorce” means (prime example: Cinderella). Stepmothers can be terrible, but the real blame should be on the dad for being an asshole and choosing someone that his kids hate. Nevertheless, if your stepmother is a former employee of your dad’s, it’s your lucky day. There is an endless supply of shady jabs to make towards a woman who sleeps with her boss, and as their stepchild, it’s important to have one ready at all times.

Hits include: “Congrats on your promotion,” referring to Monica Lewinsky as her hero, and asking if she got to keep her benefits when she married your dad. If you really hate her, ask her if she was technically a prostitute.

So Your Boyfriend’s Parents Are Happily Married: How to Explain You’re Scared of Commitment Without Sounding Messed Up

You will eventually encounter a time when you’re in your first serious relationship. It can be really scary, especially since you’re still covered in the poop-flecks of someone else’s. But you have to remember that you’re wiser and more emotionally intelligent because of it; you know exactly what not to do.

That doesn’t mean it can’t be weird when you’re in a relationship- especially when your partner’s parents aren’t divorced. More often than not, people whose parents are married still see love as a purely positive thing, and finding a life partner to have a home and kids with is a goal of theirs. Imagine thinking that legally binding yourselves to each other doesn’t sound like you’re doomed?

Ultimately, if you take anything away from these guides, I want it to be this: Let yourself get hurt. And I don’t mean let your partner treat you like shit. Don’t be afraid to let yourself fall in love and feel every single emotion that comes with it. You’re human, and even though you can’t control what happened to your parents, you can control how you act in your own relationships. Treat others how you’d like to be treated, know your worth, and enjoy the ride.

If it goes poorly, John Mayer’s entire discography is available on virtually all streaming platforms.

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List: What Your Favorite Cactus Says About You https://www.pointsincase.com/lists/what-your-favorite-cactus-says-about-you Thu, 21 Jan 2021 15:30:33 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=80945 Lava Cactus (Brachycereus nesioticus) – You hold yourself to higher standards than anyone else you know, and strictly enforce your own life rules. You refer to your recycle bin as “El Chapo.”

Bird’s Nest Cactus (Mammillaria Camptotricha) – You can always be counted on to make the tough decisions with a perfect balance of practicality and common decency. Your choice of weaponry in armed combat is the rubber garden hose.

Branched Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli) – You don’t take part in societal constructs, and see them all as excuses for the elite to feel more elite. You’re convinced that international cuisine peaked with the onion ring.

Prickly Pear Cactus (O. ficus-indica) – You’re a self-starter, and believe that there’s no point giving to someone else what you can do yourself. You wrote your senior thesis about how the true Emperor of Japan is Hugh Grant.

Fishbone Cactus (Epiphyllum anguliger) – You make it a point to be your own brand and are a source of inspiration that your friends turn to when they need a boost. When cornered by a mountain lion, you always lead with, “Do your worst, for I will do mine.”

Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi) – You dream the impossible and will settle for nothing less. You are actively and aggressively pursuing a monopoly in the goat-herding market of Northern Scotland. It’s going well, thanks for asking.

Beaver Tail Cactus (Opuntia basilaris) – You act a lot tougher than you are, and long for someone to see through your faux exterior. You have a permanent pillow fortress in the middle of your studio apartment that you’ve named Helm’s Deep.

Turk’s Cap Cactus (Melocactus azureus) – You’re known for your ingenuity and resourcefulness both at home and around the office. You pride yourself on knowing the exact setting on your KitchenAid KMT4115ER toaster with which to perfectly brown a bagel.

Blue Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus glaucescens) – You’re a hopeless romantic, and know that the right person is out there for you, you need only find them. You snort ground-up Apple Jacks biweekly as a recurring act of war against your natural-born dullness.

Barbary Fig Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) – You surround yourself with those you trust, and see nothing of greater value than a true friend. Except for the 99¢ margaritas that Applebee's used to have, those were definitely of greater value.

Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) – When you’re in, you’re all in; you won’t quit until you’ve crossed the finish line because you know that the reward is worth the work it took to get there. You don’t believe in coupons.

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Mom, I Would Like to Watch the Cartoon Movie about Death Again https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/mom-i-would-like-to-watch-the-cartoon-movie-about-death-again Thu, 21 Jan 2021 13:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=80979 Hi Mom,

I know that you’re busy working at a job you hate in the living room, but can I please watch the new Pixar movie about finding meaning in our short, brutal lives? I promise I’ll keep the volume down.

Dad let me watch it three times this weekend! 30 minutes into the last viewing, he dug a dusty guitar case out of the closet and then openly wept when he realized he had forgotten the chords to even the simplest song.

As a kid, I think that the first viewing of a movie is OK. But I really can’t appreciate a movie until I can recite it verbatim. I’ve got the goofy comic relief characters down, but with four or five more viewings, I think that I could recite the monologues about dealing with a death in the family.

I love when a movie just blends into the natural sounds of the house: birds chirping, traffic humming outside, a man realizing that he did not make the most of his time on Earth and now it’s too late.

Please! My friends really love this movie and their parents are letting them watch it all the time! Just look across the street, Mr. Smith is outside having a cigarette for the first time in five years! That can only mean he started his morning with a secondhand existential crisis!

If I don’t watch it at least three times today, then my friends will think I can’t embrace the constant presence of death. They’ll make fun of me! They’ll say that I’m taking tomorrow for granted and that I live in fear of the great unknown!

Ugh! Why won’t you let me watch it? It’s not like it’s violent or anything! All of the characters are cute, innocent-looking bubbles, which makes it all the more jarring when the realization that every single one is long dead surfaces.

Are you worried I’ll sing along to the songs and annoy you? The only music in this movie is post-bop instrumental jazz and ambient music written by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. I can’t rip a Charlie Parker-esque sax solo, so I’ll just hum an eerie, meandering tune on loop for several hours.

No, I don’t want to “hang out and just chat,” Mom. I want to watch the same movie over and over again and center my entire fledgling identity around it.

Maybe watching it again could give us new good conversation pieces? You’re pretty well equipped to answer questions about whether I could be an astronaut (yes) or if I could eat dessert before dinner (no), but I figure now I can pitch some curveballs like, “do you think that Grandma found her purpose before she died?”

Whether you let me watch it today or not, this movie is my whole thing now, OK? Remember when I watched Frozen two dozen times in a week? It’s the same idea; you know the drill. Instead of a toy castle, get me a scale replica of the Village Vanguard. Instead of a princess doll with combable hair, I need a Charles Mingus action figure with a smashable upright bass. Instead of a pretty dress, I need a black fedora and a snifter for my apple juice!

I’m sorry, but I can’t “just play with my old toys” anymore. I am now exclusively into jazz and death. If I cannot watch this animated masterpiece about jazz and death, then I choose to spend my time silently listening to Miles Davis. I will sit on the enclosed porch and write little poems about dying, emerging only to pose queries about the meaning of life.

You can keep me from watching it all you want, but I will be expecting a death-themed birthday party next month. Dad already said yes over the weekend between his panic attacks.

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Drive-Into Experience: “12 Angry Men” Circa 1957 https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/drive-into-experience-12-angry-men-circa-1957 Wed, 20 Jan 2021 18:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=80976 THE DRIVE-INTO Drive into a “hot, smoke-filled room with a table and 12 chairs” from the safety of your own car.

Attention all 12 Angry Men circa 1957 fans! It’s time to travel back to the 1950s and become a member of an all-white, old-man jury in real life. Monotony calls, so gather your friends and an elderly acquaintance to provide context and “drive to the courthouse.” Immerse yourself in the tedious world of 12 Angry Men, where you will take part in a “drive-into” experience like no other.

You are Juror #13! Experience the drudgery of trying a case, the tedium of listening to facts, and the exhaustion of watching old men wipe their brows. This isn’t any old case, but a capital murder case (WOW!) where you decide a kid’s fate from the slums. Of course, you assume he’s guilty. He’s poor! Still, the troubled, guilty-looking kid could be innocent. Watch as the story unfolds, and this time you are part of the action!

Relive some of the film’s best moments:

  • Juror #8 wants to discuss the case before convicting. Interesting!
  • Juror #7 is anxious to “get to the big game.” Stressful!
  • Juror #8 questions Juror #4’s memory. Dementia?

Also, feel free to roll down your window and shout your thoughts to the characters. This is an interactive experience! Do you want to ask Juror #2 if he’s thought out his vote? Go ahead! Do you have a burning desire to question Juror #5 and his ties to the “violent slum?” Absolutely! How about telling Juror #10 he’s a dick? Sure! We want you to feel a part of the room!

After 2 ½ hours of watching and deliberating from your car, you are asked to cast your vote! So exciting!*

*Please note that your vote has no impact either way on the outcome of the case. The ending is predetermined from the Reginald Rose screenplay.


THE FULL EXPERIENCE

The year is 1957, and the courthouse is full of cigarettes and handkerchiefs! We recommend turning your car heaters up to 93 degrees and chain-smoking to truly embrace the moment. Starting to feel claustrophobic? Great! That’s precisely how you should feel as you fake deliberate the fate of a human being. Don’t forget your decorative, semi-damp handkerchief! After all, it’s 1957, and it’s hot in there! You can’t let a sweaty face ruin your time with the jury.

Expect real-life scenarios like:

  • A juror’s pencil breaks!
  • A hankie is missing!
  • Someone coughs!

All this and so much more awaits you in the jury room!


VIP EXPERIENCE

For just a little bit more, you can become the Bailiff on the case! That’s right! If a character needs a glass of water or a potty break, they ask YOU! ALSO, YOU are the one to retrieve the knife from the evidence box!*

*For safety reasons, the box will be brought to you. From there, you will hand the knife to Juror #1.


FAQ

What can I expect from the 12 Angry Men Circa 1957 Drive Into Experience?

Expect to lose yourself in the 12 Angry Men jury room where the conversation is plentiful and the action non-existent.

How long is the whole experience?

You can expect to be at the event for anywhere between 4-5 hours. The time does vary depending on your willingness to participate and your tolerance for repetitive, slow-moving dialogue.

Do I need to have seen 12 Angry Men circa 1957?

Nah, not really. Although most of the references will go over your head, you can still experience a jury room with 12 sweaty white guys. Plus, there is the element of surprise since you don’t know the ending! Fun!

Is alcohol permitted?

The experience is enjoyed in a moving vehicle, so an “open container of liquor” is strictly prohibited.*

*We don’t check thermoses or flasks. To be fair, booze would help.

Are there any last-minute things I should know before I head to the event?

Hunker down and get ready to listen, listen, listen! Never before has a jury room been so palpable and so fatiguing! You will never look at your jury summons the same way again.

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Quiz: Subway Restaurant or Subway Transportation? https://www.pointsincase.com/lists/subway-the-restaurant-or-subway-the-system-of-public-transportation Wed, 20 Jan 2021 15:30:21 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=80950
  • Absolutely no one in the vicinity is even remotely happy.
  • The air smells like processed meat and disappointment.
  • There is a half-eaten sub sandwich on the ground. It looks like it has been there for some time.
  • You're shocked at how crowded it is, partially because people are supposed to be social-distancing and partially because you didn’t think anyone went into these things.
  • There are advertisements for Subway restaurants on the walls.
  • You have a generally low opinion of everyone here, despite being there yourself.
  • You're here because you wanted to go “green.”
  • The first person that comes to your mind when you think of this place is a sexual predator.
  • You're pretty sure you’ve contracted some kind of pathogen during your time here. You don’t have any symptoms, you just feel diseased.
  • After leaving you Google “public indecency laws,” because you don’t think that guy is allowed to do what he was doing.
  • You make a mental list in your head of ways this operation could be improved.
  • You decide that, although they aren’t the prettiest, you're thankful these places exist because they’re convenient and they don’t judge.

  • Subway Restaurant: 1-12
    Subway Transportation: 1-12

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    Whatever Happened to That Kid Who Jumped Over the Candlestick? https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/whatever-happened-to-that-kid-who-jumped-over-the-candlestick Wed, 20 Jan 2021 13:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=80973 It was my first childhood memory.

    “Jack be nimble,” they said.
    “Jack be quick!”

    But they didn’t tell me what life would be like on the other side of that candlestick.

    They didn’t tell me that I would become the Macaulay Culkin of nursery rhymes: a cautionary tale of too much flame too soon.

    They didn’t tell me that I would be writing on my deathbed, in a body filled with scars from third-degree burns and saggy tattoos of flames.

    No.
    They just told me to jump.
    And jump I did.

    I jumped into a life of pyromania. A sweaty inferno of sore calf muscles and greed. I’ve spent my entire life hopping from one flame to the next, and wondering where I’d be if I hadn’t been so nimble and so quick.

    My parents whisked me into showbiz after the nursery rhyme was published. Birthday candles, campfires, firecrackers on the 4th of July… I jumped over it all. An agent spotted me leaping over a box of ashes at an Irish funeral and my flame grew bigger from there.

    I became a traveling minstrel of candlestick fame. To me, burning rubber wasn’t just a figure of speech. It was a way of life. I performed outside of 4-alarm fires in Brooklyn, I leapt over dead pigs at Hawaiian Luaus, and I swam in puddles of candle wax just to stay fit. I won an elementary school jump rope contest by using an extension cord instead of regulation rope, and dutifully hopped over a feverish baby at a Norwegian hospital. Some said that I saved her life.

    I was a media darling. Everyone wanted to see Little Jack, all grown up. I leapt through rings of fire at New Jersey Devils hockey games. My Off-Broadway show, Wax on This, sold out in minutes, and I had the distinct honor of leaping over the Olympic Flame at the '92 Games. Mick Jagger started calling me the real “Jumpin Jack Flash,” and it got to my head.

    It was no longer about the fans anymore. It was about me, and it was about merch. T-shirts, candlestick holders, sunburn-scented candles… I was a sellout. I fired my agent just because it was on-brand, and my new agent convinced me to get botox to maintain my boyish charm.

    By middle age, I was a corporate dog, paying the bills by performing hot coal walks at company retreats and keynote speeches about “the fire within.” I was set for life, but I wanted to stay hot so I started pawning zippo lighters at Burning Man and saying things like “yo, that’s fire” to sound hip.

    I’d lost my way, and my personal rock bottom came from the fisticuffs of Smokey The Bear at a forest fire prevention seminar. The Denver Post labeled me the “Candle Boy Burnout” and they weren’t wrong.

    I became a sad, crumbly piece of burnt toast, and I've been rehabbing in the Russian tundra ever since. The flames can’t get to me here. I get my warmth from a sheepskin robe and Bombas socks, and spend my time thinking about that boy who was so nimble and so quick.

    If I could go back, would I do it all over again? Would I sidestep the candlestick? Would I berate the adults in the room for letting a toddler jump over an open flame? I’m not sure. I’m still finding myself. I’ve spent the last 306 years jumping over various flammable objects, but self-reflective, Jack? He’s just heating up.

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    You Are Entirely to Blame https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/you-are-entirely-to-blame Tue, 19 Jan 2021 18:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=80911 For the fact that there are 33.89% less porpoises this year than ten years ago. It is your blueberry Pop-Tarts that are killing the porpoises. Not your neighbor’s Pop-Tarts or that guy in Idaho’s Pop-Tarts. Your Pop-Tarts, you idiot scumbag.

    Additionally, because you cook your dinner using your gas oven, you are to blame for the fracking problems making Swiss cheese out of That One Beautiful National Park—you know, the one in all the pictures. It is your fault because your residence uses five percent more natural gas than other residences on your street. Because you are too blasting cheap to upgrade. Because you have other frivolous expenses. If you could just patronize the greasy Chinese restaurant in the older strip mall that you think is ugly more often instead of the slightly less greasy Chinese restaurant in the slightly newer strip mall That One Beautiful National Park would still appear pristine and the Rainbow Owl That Everyone Loves would still be plentiful and not subject to maudlin folk songs by washed-up Birkenstock wearing '70s folk-rock groups.

    Let us also proffer the notion that your annoying daily habit of drinking a single Bud Light is destroying what is left of the Great Coral Reef. It is just that a can was found which suspiciously looks as though it could have fallen specifically from your recycling bin and then been washed into the storm drain and then into the bay and then into the ocean and then circulated for thousands of miles into the Monster Swirlie in the Pacific Ocean and then subsequently into Australia where your specific idiotic Bud Light can kills twenty fish and then gets lodged into the coral reef itself precipitating the demise of two square miles of natural beauty. Way to go, moron.

    The fact that you forgot to vote in the local county run-off for the board of education last year also destroyed civilization, thank you for your lazy ignorance. Yes, you had a dental appointment that day and then a hectic day at work and then you drove through thirty miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic back to the elementary school where you vote (peering up at the basketball rims in the musty and nostalgia-inducing gym) but it was too late—the polls had closed by the time you got there. As a result of your inept laziness, society imploded, the economy collapsed and thousands of innocent civilians died in the war that began under the new administration. Awesome, asshole.

    Lest you believe that we failed to notice the baseball hat you bought which was made in China by the eleven-year-old children of one-armed peasants, we so did. That single hat might seem innocent and good ole American, but its existence is brought to you by starvation and malnutrition as a result of the pittance paid to the starving eleven-year-old peasant children, who also now have a rare intestinal parasite, thank you very much. As a result of such negligence, the eleven-year-old children of peasants will grow up believing that America is the devil and will someday help initiate a violent works strike that overthrows the leadership of a large multi-national company which results in economic collapse, which results in World War Three, which results in mass nuclear carnage. We hope you enjoy your cap.

    The fact that you had to have a hard copy of the morning newspaper at the café that one Sunday May morning–that was not okay. As a result of your excess, the most precious tree in the state of Georgia was cut down. They were going to allow that tree to stand, but since you had to have a physical copy of the morning paper, the governor decided that the economy was more important than some tree that has been standing since 1689. The next morning it was buzzed to the ground and turned into toilet paper, paper towels, and newspaper. Good thing you tossed yours into the trash can after ten minutes.

    Speaking of coffee, your coffee addiction is causing drug wars in Central America, we hope you know. We may not hear much of such things, but it is all-too-real and this particular war has orphaned many young children, sponsored by you. It is a horrible failing, this coffee dependence of yours. If you’d like we can just give you a gun and you can shoot young Mary (age six) in the head yourself—much more humane that way.

    Lastly, let’s talk about your goldfish. It’s true that a goldfish is “low impact,” but still you do have a goldfish and this goldfish is a water hog. You change the water for this single, moronic, goldfish once a week and as a result of this action there is a little girl in Ethiopia who is starving to death. How do we make the connection from your tap water to the lack of water in Ethiopia, on the other side of the world? It is all connected, of course, and the water that you gave to the goldfish does not have the chance to evaporate into the atmosphere and involve itself in the water cycle and as a result of this bypass there is less rain and as a result of less rain, there is less rain for Ethiopia. And as a result of less rain for Ethiopia, you are killing this little girl. Well, not you exactly—the one inch by two-inch goldfish that you like to call “Boris,” tongue in cheek. Fantastic job!

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