Fiction: How Brutus The Farting Dog Saved The McNallys

Except for Brutus, the McNallys were a pretty normal family.

They lived in a big house that was still more pretty than it was old, set back from the street on a large, shady yard. There was Mister McNally, who wore a tie but not a jacket to his job, and Missus McNally, who worked part-time for the local school board and made excellent spaghetti and meatballs. There was Calliope, who was eleven and could beat up most of the boys in her class. There was Asher, who was eight and loved books and action figures more than anything.

And then there was Brutus.

Brutus didn’t look like a Brutus. When you think Brutus, you think of a big dog, a powerful dog, maybe a nasty dog, definitely an ugly dog. But Brutus was little, and cuddly, and cute. Brutus never barked at nothing, or jumped up on the guests, or peed on the linoleum, or chewed the family’s shoes, or chased Missus McNally’s cat Russell around, or ate Russell’s poop out of the litter box.

What Brutus did, was fart.
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Life As We Blow It #90: The outrage factory


Everything is outrageous. Outrage has become our default setting.

It’s exhausting, really, being outraged all the time. What’s worse, it blunts the impact of outrage. These days, that shit’s like the dollar in 1930: barely valuable enough to be worth churning out.

Of course, there are things by which we should rightly be outraged. Many of them, in fact.

Shark Week? Not so much.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing

Life As We Blow It #89: Straight man’s party



(This one was written for CL’s Pride Issue, which comes out every year the week of St. Pete Pride, the largest annual LGBT celebration in the southeast.)

It’s hot. It’s humid. There’s an 80 percent chance of weekend thunderstorms, and a 100 percent chance of uninhibited 
weekend revelry.

St. Pete Pride must be upon us.

Longtime CL readers might recognize this as the time and space in which I traditionally wax rhapsodic about how fun, exciting and inspiring is the ’Burg’s LGBT pride festival, before going on to entreat straight people everywhere to take part in this annual celebration of both unity and self.

Meh. Not this year, thanks.

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In which I review Joe Dante’s Burying The Ex


Yeah, more movie reviews than average just now. I really enjoy doing them when I have the time.

If you don’t know who Joe Dante is, he’s a director who cut his teeth working for cult-iconic ’50s & ’60s B-movie director and producer Roger Corman before becoming a horror hero himself by making flicks like Piranha and The Howling. Dante went on to do great, successful Big Hollywood flicks (Gremlins, Twilight Zone: The Movie, and many more). Now he’s returned to his roots with a cheaper horror-comedy that retains his penchant for fun and cute romance amid the chaos. It’s definitely a better-than-average flick, especially if you’re a horror-flick omnivore who likes Return of the Living Dead as much as you like old Hammer films and Shaun of the Dead.

The review is here.

In which I review Jurassic World

Jurassic World

My first time in a movie theater in probably two years, and I go to an advance screening full of contest winners, screener junkies and, like, five press people.

But I really enjoyed Jurassic World, and not just because I’m a Crichton fan and still have the remains of that dino-crazy kid in my old bones. It’s good, fun, exciting stuff. The review is here.