I woke up in a strange place

By Marc Heiden, since 1997.
See also: a novel about a monkey.

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January 23, 2002

There have been some complaints recently that my fighting prowess is scaring white America. I thought that it might be good to use today's entry to talk about some of my faults, calming everyone down a bit. Once I started writing, though, I realized that the list could do with some nice fonts and pictures and samples of dialogue from old science fiction movies, so this webpage isn't really the place for it. Therefore, if white America would like a copy of the list, it should send me a self-addressed stamped envelope, and I will be happy to mail it to them free of charge. Okay. I am very helpful.

Here is the substance of a highly effective anti-drug PSA:

(news) The alpha male in a group of monkeys gets the best banana, doesn't have to fight--and is less likely than subordinate monkeys to use cocaine, scientists have observed. Dr. Michael Nader of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and colleagues found that animals who became dominant after moving from solitary housing to social housing showed changes in brain chesmistry that made them less likely to use drugs.

I am among those who believe that shitty PSAs are the major, hidden culprit in causing drug use among our nation's children. The only person I can speak for is myself, of course, but playing the 'alpha male' card would have totally sold a young, impressionable me on the virtues of a drug-free lifestyle. (I don't use drugs anyway, but that has more to do with the necessities of my fighting prowess than communication received from society on the point.) They could show a weak-ass beta male snorting coke and then getting his ass beat because he couldn't smell the stench of the alpha male's urine on a favored tree, for example. All they have to do is illustrate that something truly valuable, a shot at the alpha male-ship, is at stake. ("Cool" and "your life" are too abstract to have any real sway, but alpha-hood? Shit.) This idea could potentially save millions of lives, and if even half of those lives buy me a milkshake, it will have all been worth it.

Possibly the best part of that study is the fact that the lead researcher's last name was Nader, which allows the reader to imagine the yearly updates at the Nader family reunions. What have you been up to, Ralph? Ran for president, lost, wrote a book. And you, Michael? Got a bunch of monkeys hooked on crack. Well, bravo, kids. Bravo.

I have a problem with some of the graffiti in my neighborhood. On a light pole at the corner of the block that lies between my apartment and the train station, someone wrote - in clear, block letters - WELCOME 2 THE LAND OF THE DOUBLE BONE HARD NIGGAZ. Okay, fine. Good to know where I am. But there is no corresponding boundary marker for the other end of the land. I have looked quite carefully, and I cannot find the opposite border. Look, guys, one marker does not a territory make. I have no idea whether I'm on my way out or on my way into the land of the double bone hard niggaz when I walk past that light pole. For all I know, my apartment could be smack dab in the middle of the land of the double bone hard niggaz, and, as a resident, I think I ought to know that sort of thing. Do we have a national anthem? How do we feel about the cops? I have no idea. I am sick and tired of this lazy map-making. Amerigo Vespucci would never have tolerated such sloppy work. The double bone hard niggaz need to hire a qualified cartographer and set some proper borders. And that's that.

I figure they read my webpage every day, so this is a good way to communicate.

Here is a play for three women:

The WOMEN stand near an author's cubicle, talking as he is trying to work.

WOMAN: I read the sad article about the little boy.
WOMAN: I haven't read it yet.
WOMAN: I left the magazine in California.


I woke up in a strange place is the work of Marc Heiden, born in 1978, author of two books (Chicago, Hiroshima) and some plays, and an occasional photographer.

Often discussed:

Antarctica, Beelzetron, Books, Chicago, College, Communism, Food, Internet, Japan, Manute Bol, Monkeys and Apes, North Korea, Oregon Trail, Outer Space, Panda Porn, Politics, RabbiTech, Shakespeare, Sports, Texas.


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Written by Marc Heiden, 1997-2011.