Author Archives: JD

The Picture Radio – Kidz Korner

With sincere apologies to children, the people who make them, Santa Claus, fans of cancelled television shows, the dead, homeless people, and guitar owners.

Vol 1 in HQ is HERE

Vol 2 in HQ is HERE

Dear Body Shop

Word Count – 650

Hello, Body Shop. I am writing to inform you of an idea I had that I am certain will make you guys rich(er).
 
 
The holiday season is fast approaching, which means you fine folks are about to get your yearly influx of confused men buying fancy soap and whathaveyous for their wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, and such. You are widely known as the last resort safe haven for men this time of year, because as every stand up comic from the 1980s will tell you, men don’t know shit about women.

Or at least that is the commonly held belief. The truth of the matter is nobody knows shit about anybody, men and women included. The grand majority of the population are self-centered pricks, and feel obligated to buy our other self-centered pricky friends something at christmas to avoid those awkward, cold stares at new years parties.

I personally have received some of the worst gifts in my life from women, all of whom bought me things from Spencer’s Gifts, the go-to destination for women buying bullshit presents for the men in their lives they barely know and could care less about. Your male-oriented doppelganger, essentially. I have befriended a few women in my life who knew so little about me that they assumed I would be overjoyed at the thought of getting a Scarface throw pillow or a Family Guy beer cozy.

My friends are dicks, I guess is what I’m trying to say. As I’m sure most other peoples are, too. If any of them actually gave a shit about me, they would have asked what I wanted, instead of panicking at the last minute and guessing what I’d like.

Well, let me give you a little news flash, Body Shop. You want to know something I actually like? Baths.

That’s right. I am a man, I am straight, and I like to bathe. Stop the fucking presses.

I don’t know when it suddenly became “gay” to not want to smell like a pile of dead racoons covered in malt vinegar, but I happen to think that good hygiene should transcend gender boundaries. I would gladly accept one of your last minute emergency baskets as a gift, rather than a bottle of boner pills or a blacklite Insane Clown Posse poster. However, not once in my life has a woman ever put bath salts and satsuma hand wash in my stocking. I have never opened a neatly wrapped box from a lady friend to find coconut soap and body butter. I’ve checked your website, and you only have nine products in your “Men’s” bath section. One of them being a unisex toiletry bag (which does not count), and four others being hemp products. Why do you assume the only men who like to be clean are hippies, Body Shop? I am offended at the insinuation.

My idea, therefore, is for you folks to start marketing yourself as the last ditch shopping destination for both men and women alike. Or hey, go balls out and start producing products just for men. Perhaps something like bubble bath that smells like hickory barbeque sauce, and bars of soap shaped like power tools and tits. Call yourselves “The Man Bath Specialists”, and watch as flocks of frustrated last minute female shoppers line up to buy dual-action body wash that comes in Quaker State bottles.

If I have to get gifts with absolutely no thought put into them, I’d appreciate it if they were things I could actually put to use. That has been your business model for years, and I can’t see why you would not want to maximize your profit potential by branching out to both sexes. You provide quality products that everyone can enjoy, so why not expand your horizons a bit and make christmas a little better for guys like me?

We all like to feel clean, but none of us have a use for a plush electric pig that sings “All The Single Ladies” and farts when you punch it.

– J.D. Renaud

 

Writers Meeting – “The Moon, Part 2”

Word Count – 450

J.D. says: So, turns out they found 24 gallons of water on the moon. To put that in perspective, it normally costs $50,000 to bring one pound of ANYTHING to the moon. Now that they have all that money saved, this means irrigation, possible hydrogen fuel, terraforming, the whole bunch. With proper funding, there may be sustainable colonies on the moon by 2100.

Tim says: Shit, and I was seething with schadenfreude when this was going on. Fuck me.

J.D. says: Yeah, turns out that NASA, that institute comprised entirely of rocket scientists, knew what they were doing. Go figure.

Tim says: There’s the new answer to why I don’t drink too much. When you were out getting drunk this weekend, NASA found water on the fucking moon and now we can look at terraforming inside of the century. So yeah, maybe that extra Jager-bomb isn’t going to help anything.

J.D. says: While you were throwing up black Jager vomit, some guy in a lab coat was figuring out a way for you to live, and perhaps even get drunk and throw up on the moon someday. I suppose them finding water means we are one step closer to the possibility of moon booze.

Tim says: MOON BOOZE! Finally! What kind of hops do you think they’ll brew it with? Astral-Hops?

J.D. says: Dirt? Dirty moon booze? Mooze?

Tim says: That’s another thing that’s always good to think about. Somewhere in the world, some dude is going to drop a few million dollars for a bottle of Moon Water. Just the same as the US Flag currently on the moon has a good chance of ending up in a Beijing Museum some day. Hum… hold up, story idea… crime drama, the future, China steals the Moon Flag, and a rag tag band of American ex-cons are forced to steal it back.

J.D. says: “Old Glory”, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Kanye West.

Tim says: You can post this on The Placeholder if you want, but only if you correctly spelled “Jake Gyllenhaal”. If you didn’t, just say Tom Cruise. And if you do post it, sweet Jesus, clean it up first. I feel it makes us both look overweight. I don’t have a neck beard. I can’t even grow a normal beard.

J.D. says: I’ll write it up again to make it seem less like we’re having this conversation in our underwear.

Tim says: Though now you also have to include this bit where we announce the self-awareness of how pathetic this sounds.

J.D says: It will be this odd mobius strip of stupidity, the piece itself commenting on how nerdy it is.

Tim says: Like a self-loathing MC Escher painting.

Dear Guy Who Tried To Mug Me Last Weekend

Word Count – 500

I doubt very highly that you are a regular reader of this site. We don’t really target our material to the semi-homeless “imma’ keel yous” drug addict crowd (though it is never too late to start expanding our horizons, I suppose). However, in the off chance that you are reading, thank you so much for not stabbing me.

Really, that was super nice of you. You had many opportunities to do it, but you didn’t, and that showed tremendous restraint. Maybe you were just not into it. Maybe you didn’t think you saw the right opening to do it. Hell, maybe you assumed I would have fought back. Whatever your reasoning, thanks all the same.

If you are curious, I most likely would not have. Anyone who knows me could have probably told you that. I have not been stabbed much in my life, but I can imagine that the experience would be met with great discomfort and the desire for as few stabs to be inflicted on me as possible. Fighting back would have exponentially increased the chances of that, so there you go.

I’d also like to thank you for showing me what kind of person I am in dealing with this kind of altercation. Most people will never truly know how they would react to this kind of situation, although I’m sure a grand majority assume they fall into one of two camps. Either the “knock the fucker out” camp, or the “crawl into a ball and cry” camp. If you do not recall our encounter, (call me presumptuous, but something tells me your memory is not incredibly keen), I’ll transcribe it for you.

EXT – NIGHT – 3am ON A DESERTED STREET

YOU: Hey man, you got any money?
ME: No, sorry.
YOU: Give me your fucking wallet.
ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.
YOU: Come on, fucker!
ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.
YOU: I’ll fucking take you back there and kill you!
ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.
YOU: Fuck you!
ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.

Long, awkward pause

YOU: Alright, get out of here. You were lucky, fucker.

Exit YOU. ME stands still, staring forward, one eye twitching.

ME: No, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me.

SCENE

Turns out, I am the wild card third camp, that being the way of the Shell Shocked Jedi Master.

I am now curious to see if my powers will work in normal every day situations, or if I can only pull them out in a crisis. It was a very “these are not the droids you are looking for” kind of moment, but apparently I can only channel my suppressed powers of psychic persuasion while I’m also fighting back the urge to unload a stream of terrified urine down my leg.

So, in closing, thank you for the not-stabbing, the revelation of my magical transcendence, and for the reassurance that my decision to continue showering regularly was a very wise move on my part.

– J.D. Renaud

PS – When you came up to me, I had yet to pay my rent, and had over $300 in my wallet. You picked the perfect guy, at the perfect time, and you didn’t fucking do it. Enjoy your DT’s, sucker.

Dear Creators of Dudley-Do Right

Word Count – 650

I’m sure its been a long time since you guys have received any letters, and I know I’m a little late to the game here, but I have a pressing issue regarding your program that I need some clarification on.

I decided to go out for Halloween this year as Snidely Whiplash, mainly due to the fact that I always like finding the excuse to wear a top hat and a curly black moustache in public. After the festivities were over, I was in the mood to travel back in time a bit and re-watch some old Dudley-Do Right cartoons. After watching a handful of them, I noticed a very alarming trend. There is a running gag in many of the cartoons I watched that center around Dudley’s love interest, Nell Fenwick. Many times in the show, she appears disinterested in Dudley’s advances, and the reason given is because she is more romantically interested in his horse (aptly named Horse).

I’m going to say that again, because I think it is worth repeating… Nell Fenwick, a human female in a cartoon show set in the late 19th century, made in the 1960s, is in the middle of a love triangle involving a FUCKING HORSE. You used BESTIALITY as a MAIN PLOT POINT in your CHILDREN’S CARTOON SHOW.

I’m not sure if this makes you progressives or perverts, but god damn if that didn’t slip under my radar when I watched these as a child.

My issue here is not with Nell. Zoophilia, like most dangerous deviant sexual behaviours, usually stems from a traumatic upbringing or a maligned mental condition from youth. In her time and place, a condition like that was unlikely to be treated clinically as it properly should have been. Also, even though he seems totally cool with the whole situation, I’m not directing my anger towards Horse, either. He’s a horse, I doubt he has any idea whats actually going on. I’m sure Nell truly loves Horse (in her own demented little way), but I highly doubt that her love is, or could ever be fully reciprocated. I’m sure most zoophiles out there would disagree with me, but in my opinion, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t expect it to cuddle you after you fuck it.

What bothers me most is the fact that nobody else in the show seemed to give a fuck, suggesting that you people don’t give a fuck about these kinds of shenanigans, either. Whenever it is brought up, it is never met with a reaction from any of the other characters in the appropriate “What the fuck is wrong with you, woman?” kind of way. Dudley often just shrugs it off, as if it was perfectly normal behaviour, essentially saying “Oh that Nell, always trying to fuck my horse”. I understand that he is supposed to be a bit of an idiot for comedic purposes, but I’m pretty sure that even certifiably retarded people know that romantic involvement with quadrupeds is generally frowned upon in most cultures. I have to imagine that the turn of the century RCMP would have some kind of provision regarding this sort of thing.

I am aware that cartoons are usually way ahead of the curve on taboo cultural issues (Bugs Bunny’s cross dressing, Snagglepuss’s very evident homosexuality, Woody Woodpecker’s battle with meth addiction, ect.), but I’m sorry, sex with horses is where this fellow draws the line. It’s also where I’m fairly sure a vast majority of the rest of the world draws the line, too. Now, you might be saying to yourself, ‘who is this guy to to say that someone isn’t allowed to love whomever or whatever they want?’

Well, I’ll tell you. A rational, non-horse fucking human being, that’s who.

You people should be ashamed of yourselves. I expect a full formal apology, or for you to write an episode where Nell and Horse are forced to marry. If they must do what they do, they should at least have the decency not to do it out of wedlock.

It’s not the Canadian way.

– J.D. Renaud

Writers Meeting – “Movie Conflict Resolution”

Word Count – 300
 
Tim says: I don’t know, it was a good movie, but I could not help thinking that if someone had just picked up the phone and called the cops that everything could have been avoided.
 
J.D. says: Name one movie that would not have ended 45 minutes in if someone had just called the police instead of just letting things go.
 

Tim says: “Some crazy bastard in a car just ran us off the road! His car? It’s black and has a large skull painted on the front.”

J.D. says: “Police! Help! Two mad men have destroyed our hotel room with knives and grapefruits! I think they might be on drugs!”

Tim says: “Yes, there’s a man who has threatened to kill me. His name is Porter. I don’t know his last name.”

J.D. says: “Yes, officer. My friend Mr. Beale has been acting very strange. Thanks for keeping him from coming back to the studio.”

Tim says: “Hello, I just woke up in a suitcase after being locked in a room for fifteen years. Please, send help.”

J.D. says: “What’s that? You say you didn’t kill her? Oh, well, sorry for the confusion, Marv. Have a nice day.”

Tim says: “Yeah, he keeps talking about burning the building down. I don’t know, he’s always pretty quiet. He did say something about a stapler.”

J.D. says: “Hey there, I just found 6 dead mexicans in the desert. Did I find anything else? Well, I did find a, uh, empty satchel.”

Tim says: Alright, I think we’ve milked this premise for pretty much all its worth.

J.D. says: One more for the road, “Hey, I’d like to do a background check on a friend of mine. Last name Durden, first name Tyler. Huh, no listing, you say…” 

Writers Meeting – “The Right Mask”

Tim says: I’m really glad I didn’t put the energy into ordering a Nixon mask all the way out here. Especially if I do end up doing fuck all for Halloween.

J.D. says: Hey, you never know when a Nixon mask might come in handy around the house.

Tim says: The right guests might just come over.

J.D. says: “Hum, I really do want to fuck her, but I ALSO want to give her bone-chilling nightmares.”

Dear Homosexuals, RE: Halloween

Word Count – 650

I really think you guys should sit this holiday out for like a decade or two.

Hold up, hear me out.

I am not prejudiced, I truly think gay people should have all the rights and privileges that straight people have. However, I think this is really a productive and efficient way for you guys to win a lot of the battles you’re currently fighting.

The first rule of war is to know your enemy, and your opposition to things like equal rights and civil unions stems from people with a highly irrational sense of tradition. These are people who don’t like letting new people enter their club because… well, because new people aren’t allowed in the club, so there. In many ways, it’s not that you want something that they already have, its that you want it without giving something up in return. It’s one of those “mommy, I broke my toy, could you break one of my little sisters toys to make it fair?” scenarios.

Straight people love halloween because it permits us the freedom to cross dress in public for one day a year and not be ridiculed. Quite frankly, we need this day a lot more than you do. That’s not to say I don’t think you all enjoy a good costume ball. Hell, who doesn’t? But you have to understand what this day means to people with bland, vanilla sexual habits. It’s the one day a year where a guy who masturbates to La Senza flyers can pretend he’s something better than what he is. It’s the day when women who have never experienced any sexual positions beyond missionary can cram their bodies into skin tight cat suits and still retain their dignity. In short, it’s the day when all the people who hate you pretend to be you.

If you take a bold stand and agree not to participate in halloween as a sign of solidarity, it will be seen in the eyes of the bigoted right as a decent compromise. You know, like how they let you have your own parade, but you’re not allowed to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade? It’s not for any fundamental or religious reasons, they just don’t want you hogging all the parades.

In their eyes, you guys are greedy. For many of them, they think that since they are not having gay sex all year long that they have earned the right to be Batman for a day. The lives of straight people revolve around shame and penance. Halloween, a day devoted to horror, violence, paganism and sex, is their reward to themselves for being upright citizens. Once you get that, this all makes a lot more sense.

You have to understand that most straight people think that every day is halloween for you. You’re kind of like goths in their eyes, they don’t really see the need for you to dress up when you’re already dressed up the other 364 days of the year anyway. Yes, they are wrong to assume this, I know, but that’s not the point. Where you may think you have to fight fire with fire, in this situation, you actually need to fight stupid with humble.

If you sit out halloween until around 2025, in that time it will be likely you can negotiate your way into being allowed to marry, join the military, and adopt white children. Let them think they won this round while you scoop up all the important things right under their noses. Meanwhile, the homophobic opposition will still have a heightened sense of superiority, because they are allowed to go outside dressed as Captain Planet and you are not. Then, when you’ve got everything you want and the time is right, you can fight for your right to take part in the festivities again.

Besides, 80% of you only dress up like angels or butterflies anyway.

– J.D. Renaud

The Placeholder Salutes – Marshall Ledbetter

Word Count – 950

Anyone who’s first sentence of their wikipedia article describes them as a “psychedelics enthusiast” is salute worthy in our books.

On June 14th, 1991, Marshall Ledbetter Jr. broke into the Florida state capitol building in Tallahassee. He barricaded himself inside the office of Wayne Todd, the Sergeant At Arms of the Florida Senate. Once inside, he made a number of phone calls to the local police, explaining the situation, and demanding that “society wake up and stop being automaton clones of one another”. A standoff situation ensued, as police were unaware if Ledbetter was armed or had taken hostages.

When asked what his demands were, Ledbetter faxed a note detailing his demands to local rock radio station Gulf 104…

Notable inclusions on the list were…

– 1 Gumby’s 20 incher veggie pizza with extra jalapenos

– 1 case of Asahi Dry

– 1 carton of Lucky Strikes (filtered)

– 1 CNN news crew (within an hour)

– 666 Dunkin Donuts for my fine friends in the Tallahassee Police Department, Florida State University Police Department, and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office

– $100 worth of Chinese Food

As his demands were being processed and analyzed by police, snipers and SWAT team members formed a phalanx around the capitol building. While on the phone with the police, Ledbetter also demanded that he be put on the phone and allowed to speak with Timothy Leary, Lemmy Kilmister, Ice Cube, and Jello Biafra.

The standoff ended peacefully after several hours of negotiation between Ledbetter and local police. He calmly walked out of the building wearing nothing but a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt and his underwear, holding a bottle of Jack Daniels and smoking a cigar. He was arrested on B&E charges, and forced to undergo psychiatric counselling. There were no hostages in the building, and he was completely unarmed the entire time.

Marshall Ledbetter died in 2003, which is a shame, because the world has always had a dangerous shortage of people like him. Any jackass with dreadlocks and a heightened sense of moral turpitude can chain himself to a tree and talk about how the man is keeping him down, but Ledbetter was the kind of revolutionary that spoke to a way more universal pandemic. That being the horrible internal oppression that man foists upon himself, keeping him from being the glorious bastard he knows he very well could be. All of us have dreamed at one point or another of doing exactly what he did, but he has thus far been the only one crazy, brilliant, and stupid enough to do it.

Jello Biafra himself became a huge fan of the man, and was very humbled to hear that he was one of the four people Ledbetter demanded to speak to. While he never personally met Ledbetter, he was quoted as saying…

“I have spoken with him. He was lucky to get out of there alive. If it had happened now, I’m sure they would have just gone in there and blown the place up, or just done it in Waco-style. He was institutionalized, and now he’s back out again walking the straight and narrow. But he sends me some odd anecdotes in the mail now and then. He was somebody who had had enough of the injustice in our world and chose to do something about it in very colourful fashion. I’ve been a long time fan of creative crime. The best part about this one is, it made a statement, it was a work of art, and not a single person got hurt.”

Years went by after that incident in 1991, and Ledbetter was never able to fully explain why he did what he did or what his exact motivations were. All he knew was he was pissed off, thought society needed a swift kick in the ass, and wanted to bring some whimsy to the idea of political protesting. He got peoples attention, and did so without killing anyone or writing a horrible whiny acoustic Ani Difranco-esque protest song.

I would never dare call him a hippie, but if caring about the state of the world and doing something about it makes you one, then Marshall Ledbetter was the greatest hippie to walk the face of the earth. For his legacy of dynamic confusion and clever disobedience, we at The Placeholder salute Marshall Ledbetter. Climb The Highest Mountain, and Punch The Face Of God.

And now, for your listening pleasure, we present ‘The Ballad Of Marshall Ledbetter’, performed by Jello Biafra’s metal side project, Lard.

Download song from the Alternative Tentacles site.

lyrics:

Six-hundred, sixty-six Dunkin’ Donuts
A twenty inch veggie pizza from Gumby’s
Extra jalapenos on the side
And a case of Asahi Dry

I wish to speak with Timothy Leary
Lemmy, jello, and Ice Cube Too
Carton of Lucky’s with filters
And bring a CNN news crew

Talahasse, Florida
Four AM, June 14, ’91
Capitol Building’s occupied
Broke the glass, walked right inside

Wouldn’t be advisable to enter
You don’t know the number of hostiles
Of if anyone’s got guns
Or if there’s hostages

I just want to speak my mind
More for you than just one sound bite

Mushroom Cop and Info Man have something to say
This whole world is disturbing me
I wanna cut a rap record each month
And mail my little pinkie to George Bush

Agh, agh
Where are my friends
Where are you
Where are you
I can’t believe it’s come to this

Sharpshooters on surrounding roofs
Traffic blocked off by SWAT troops
Evacuate the people inside
Pretend we’re CNN, say Leary’s died

I just want to speak my mind
More for you than just one sound bite

Twelve forty five, he emerged unharmed
J.D. in one hand, in the other, cigars
Hendrix t-shirt and his underwear on
Guess what, he never had no gun

I only broadcast my freakout to the world
I was a prisoner for twenty two years
When I broke through that door, I was free
Not to mention pretty damn lucky

Nowadays, boy, you’d just get shot

Dear People I Have Met Several Times In My Life Whose Names I Can Never Remember

Word Count – 575

To all of you, I’m truly sorry. I can’t blame this on any kind of mental problem or drug dependency, I just legitimately can not remember the names of… well, frankly anyone, most of the time.

Interestingly, I discovered this condition actually has a name, ‘jamais vu’. It is actually the exact opposite of déjà vu, in that I could hear your name over and over and over again, yet convince myself that I’ve never heard it before in my entire life.

Again, this is totally not your fault, but I feel like I owe it to you to explain my dilemma. I owe each and every one of you an apology, but am far too embarrassed to say so to your faces. Also, I do not know how to contact any of you, because I can’t remember your names. You see my problem. Instead, I have decided to address you here individually in this letter, using the nicknames I have created for you based on the vague bits of knowledge I have gleaned about you.

Sleepy McHeadWound – You spent the night on my couch once and had a large gash on your head. You have been over several times since then, and we have talked about many things beyond sleeping and head injuries. I do not recall any of these conversations, yet I am led to believe you think you are my friend. You are not. I’m sorry.

Lady Jim – You were a friend of a friend who reminded me of a guy I knew named Jim. I mentioned this to you, and you seemed confused and a tiny bit offended. You should consider it a compliment. I liked Jim. Now that I think about it, I should get in touch with him. As for you, I know absolutely nothing else about you. I’m sorry.

The Brick – You were a large man I used to work with who barely talked to me. I was pretty sure you hated me, but I never asked you, out of fear that you might hurt me. Nobody else at work seemed to know your name, either. Part of me today still wonders if you were actually an employee of the store, or just a large crazy man who stole a uniform and began lifting things and moving them around. Regardless, I’m sorry.

Cowboy Manchild – You were another former co-worker who always wore a cowboy hat. You were a prick, and I’m only sorry in theory.

Short Stack – A name I have given to at least two dozen people in the course of my life, many of whom were actually taller than me. To all of you, I’m sorry.

There are many more out there who deserve apologies, but most of whom I have not given proper nicknames to. There are many “Whosits” and “That guy’s” out there who are also entitled to their just dues, and to all of them I give my sincerest apologies, as well.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, can everyone please promise to stop naming their children Matt or Sarah and at least try to be interesting in social situations when you meet me for the first time? Perhaps this ‘jamais vu’ bullshit has something to do with the fact that none of you have names, or stories that go along with said names, that are worth remembering. Help me out a little bit and work on that.

– J.D. Renaud