Tag Archives: Wikipedia


Comedy writer and producer Mark Ganek (The Wil Wheaton Project, Pop Up Video) is obsessed with author David Foster Wallace. Thrill to such topics as how to endnote your own thoughts, the existential dread edition of Galaga, solo DnD play, and a He-Man spec script written by David Foster Wallace!

Thanks as always to Molly Lewis for our theme song!

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.

If you enjoy the podcast, you can help make it happen by supporting me on Patreon!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Obsessed, Podcast

DISNEYLAND: Obsessed Ep 72

Writer, producer, and Disney expert Kristen Rutherford (Attack of the Show, The Nerdist on BBC America) is obsessed with Disneyland. Find out the exciting truth of the hidden mickeys, dapper days, how to best defend the park from zombies, why falling in an elevator is relaxing, and how to blue card Mary Poppins for lying to a child.

Thanks as always to Molly Lewis for our theme song!

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Obsessed, Podcast

The Crumbsucker Curse


I love swearing.

When I was in 2nd grade, I attended a small Catholic school. Some kids had been swearing at one another on the playground. In response, the nuns came into our classroom and asked us to list all the words we shouldn’t say.

Again, for clarity, when I was in 2nd grade at a catholic school NUNS ASKED ME TO RAISE MY HAND AND SHOUT FILTHY CURSE WORDS AT THEM.

I raised my hand and tried out every combination my little brain could think of. I even tried out a few fun conjugations. I bleep. She bleeps. They bleeped. They have bleeped. They will have bleeped. They will have been bleeping.

Except I didn’t say “bleep” and thus a great fucking love affair with swearing was born.

Not only do I love swearing, I truly think it’s vital to the human civilization. The delicate balance of society depends on our ability to break the rules every once in a while. Some days, the only thing standing between order and chaos is a good “shithead.”

But even though I’m a fan of the f-bomb and all of our linguistic artillery, I’m troubled by more swear words than I used to be. Many of the classics are fundamentally rooted in sexism, phobia, and general assholery.

I have no intention of giving up swearing. But I want to strive to swear BETTER.

I find myself going to asshole a lot. It’s gender neutral. We all have butts. Asshole is the Batman of swear words. Brutal, efficient, and loved by all.

But sometimes even insults with ass don’t work. If I ever did a TED Talk, it would be called “Kiss My Ass and Other Problematic Insults.”

When you say “kiss my ass,” you’re basically saying, “I don’t like you. I find you untrustworthy. Therefore, I want to expose the most vulnerable, sensitive parts of my body and put them close to your teeth. That will show you.

I also have concerns about douchebag.

Because a lot of the douchebags who say douchebag don’t know what a douchebag is. They’re basically yelling, “You know what you are? I think you’re some kind of hygiene device with water and a hose thing and–I’m going to look you up on Wikipedia!”

I really did look up douchebags on Wikipedia and it was a fascinating read. As always happens when you look at Wikipedia when you should be doing something else, I clicked through to related articles.

I spent some quality time with the long article about bidets.

Let me tell you: Bidets are an overlooked fount of swear word potential.

Wikipedia told me “bidet” is a French word that originally meant “pony.”

My mind filled with the possibilities. I pictured myself back in 2nd grade, on the playground, dodging kickballs and screaming at other kids, “You’re a bidet, Chad! You’re a french toilet pony!”

“Son of a bidet” is also a pretty satisfying thing to shout at say, your iPhone, when it autocorrects “sweat pants” to “swear pants.” (I like the idea of special, magic pants you need to put on before you can swear, but that seems like a lot of fucking work.)

But even with bidet, we can get rid of the gender bias of “Son of.”

We can call people a daughter of a bidet, cousin of a toilet, or, my personal favorite, a child of a butt.

It’s ridiculous, but strangely cathartic. If you can, turn to someone near you and call them a child of a butt. It will improve your mood in no time AND you might make a new friend!

Along the fun lines of child of a butt, I think we can be far more creative and abstract in our cursing.

In 7th grade, I kept having a war of four letter words with one particular kid. One day, I strapped on my swear pants and called him something colorful yet stupid like a “big shit-tool.”

And he responded with this sentence:

“Oh yeah? Well, your mom lives in a Doritos bag.”

To this day, I have no idea what that means, but I still remember it.

“Your mom lives in a Doritos bag.”

It’s sad, absurd, and whimsical all at the same time. It’s like being insulted by a Wes Anderson film.

The Doritos bag memory has encouraged me to be more creative in my cursing.

Swear words should be easy to come by. They don’t need to be based on gender, sexuality, or horrible stereotypes to be potent.

You only need two things for a good expletive:

One: It needs to feel visceral coming out of your mouth. Curse words need a good damn mouthfeel.

Two: It needs to feel a little verboten. It needs to feel like something you maybe shouldn’t yell at a nun in 2nd grade.

I don’t have any nuns in my life right now, but I wanted to test out some words with an authority figure who would give me an honest response. So I made a list of visceral yet meaningless words. I called my mother and said them to her.

I worked my way down the list until one of them finally made her go, “Oh, geez.”

And I knew that was one.

The made-up word that made my kind, intelligent, Anderson-Cooper-loving mother go “Oh, geez!” was this:


One who sucks crumbs? Maybe? I have no idea what it means, but it sounds nasty as shit.

If the person you called a child of a butt is still talking to you, try calling them a CRUMBSUCKER right now.

The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, let that crumbsucker know how you feel about it.

When your phone changes “carpe diem” to “carpet denim” seize the moment with a big bellowing crumbsucker.

If you follow me on twitter, feel free to send me a tweet right now calling me a #crumbsucker. I will feel loved and the rest of twitter will be frightened and confused.

Go forth and crumbsuck!

And if in your travels, someone tries to make fun of you for shifting the swearing paradigm, for putting some thought into what you want future generations to shout at nuns in 2nd grade, then just zip up your swear pants and tell that child of a butt:

“Hey, you French toilet pony, your Dad lives in Wes Anderson’s crumbsucking Dorito’s bag!”

And once again, order will be preserved amidst the fucking chaos of being humans.

Thanks, crumbsuckers.

If you enjoy my work, you can check out all the comedy words and things I’m making via Patreon.

P.S. Here’s a video of the stand-up version of this blog post. Multiple platform synergy, crumbsuckers!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Comedy Real Life, Uncategorized

FEAR: Obsessed Ep 56

Producer, writer, and comedy person Kim Evey, producer of The Guild and Geek & Sundry, has an obsession with FEAR. In particular, thinking about how people overcome it. Dig deep into such fun phobias as public speaking, snake touching, falling rocks, spousal gas, social rejection, scary head projections, and talking about fear on podcasts! PLUS Joseph compares Adam Sandler to Hitler then feels bad about it.

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Obsessed, Podcast

SEX WORKERS: Obsessed Ep 44

Joseph’s guest–performer and wordsmith Katherine Glover–shares her obsession with the complicated topic of Sex Workers. Because as Katherine says, “Sex Work includes a ton of fun!” Join us for a discussion about the modern realities of this very old profession with such probing questions as: How is Sex Work similar to being a greeter at Wal-Mart? What are poor Sex Worker customer service skills? Is there a website for the Canadian Guild of Erotic Labour? What can dick jokes tell us about the human condition? Which one of us can say more stupid things on the topic? Hint: It’s not Katherine.

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.

1 Comment

Filed under Obsessed, Podcast

ROLE-PLAYING: Obsessed Ep 33

On his birthday, Joseph indulges his obsession with Role-Playing Games by playing “Wizards & Whatever” with funny, charming people who mostly know nothing about RPGs! Join special guests comedian Shanan Custer (who previously appeared on our Jane Austen episode), comedian Jim Robinson (who previously appeared on our Existential Dread episode), singer/actor Dennis Curley, and co-producer of the podcast Sara Stevenson Scrimshaw on an adventure called “The Time Scooper of Bat-Raven Tavern.” Monsters are killed, dice are rolled off the table, the sexual appeal of plumbers is called into question, hilarity/adventure/swearing/senseless violence ensues! Enjoy!

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.


Filed under Obsessed, Podcast


Trace Beaulieu, of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Cinematic Titanic fame, is obsessed with Frankenstein’s Monster. Barb Abney, DJ from The Current loves The Afghan Whigs. Random audience volunteer Noah has severe issues with bathroom door etiquette. As do we all.

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Obsessed, Podcast

SONIC BIRDS: Obsessed Ep 12

John Moe, host of Wits, is obsessed with The Seattle Sonics, Sharon Stiteler aka BirdChick claims she is NOT obsessed with birds, and random audience volunteer Lee is obsessed with virtual pet-site Subeta. Joseph uses his sensitive voice, his high-pitched voice, and his Jack Bauer impression to interview all three.

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.


Filed under Obsessed, Podcast

Blink Blink Blank

The first Kurt Vonnegut novel I read was Breakfast of Champions when I was in 8th grade. After I read it, I developed this opinion: if you accept that the world is a stupid illogical place, then the world suddenly makes a lot more sense. This has always given me a strange comfort. I wrote this story for a group I perform with in the Twin Cities called The Rockstar Storytellers. Our assignment was to write in the style of our favorite author. Thanks, Mr. Vonnegut. Poo-tee-twoot?

Here is what I know:

Algernon Grimshank was a human being on the planet earth. Like most human beings on the planet earth he had the following problem:

He was very smart and yet most of the time he behaved like an absolute idiot. He knew for a fact that most people behaved like idiots, too, and he suspected most of them were smart enough to know he behaved like an idiot. And yet, he tried to pretend he didn’t, which was of course a very idiotic thing to do.

Algernon Grimshank’s personal idiocy manifested itself like this:
He told people he was a writer.

He would go to cocktail parties and high school reunions and say things like:
“Yes, writing is who I am!”
“Yes, writing isn’t about deadlines!”
“Yes, writing is about truth!”
“Yes, yes!”

Here was the truth:
On any given moment, on any given day Algernon would have vastly preferred to sit on his couch, eat pizza, and stare at a television than lift one finger to do anything even remotely productive.

Many of the idiots on planet earth felt this way. But they all thought it was very important to lie to one another about it.

And so Algernon Grimshank spent a ridiculous amount of his short life staring at things that were blank: pieces of paper, his computer screen, his friends’ faces when he told them his story ideas.

Blink blink blank.

Over the years, older wiser idiots had taught Algernon many glib, cliché catchphrases that would help him become a truthful writer.

One of those phrases was this:
Write what you know.

Here is what Algernon Grimshank knew:
Laziness. Horrible soul-crushing sloth. So, one day he decided to write about that. He did research on his subject by looking up sloth on a website called wikipedia.org.

Wikipedia was an online encyclopedia that any yahoo could edit. Many well-educated idiots doubted its truthfulness when compared to a real encyclopedia that could only be edited by a handful of highly trained yahoos.

This is what the ambiguously educated collective of yahoos knew about sloth:
It is a cardinal sin. Like murder, it merits damnation in hell without the possibility of forgiveness. Algernon found it odd that if you plan on killing another human being but don’t really get around to it—you are just as likely to go to hell as if you actually slit someone’s throat.

Blink blink blank.

Next the website told him sloth was sometimes associated with goats and the color light blue. He noted that a citation was needed.

Then the website told Algernon something so idiotic he doubted its truthfulness.

It said:
Each of the seven sins is paired with a patron demon. The patron demon of Sloth was Belphegor. A demon who was sent from Hell by Lucifer to find out if there really was such a thing on earth as married happiness.

The website also told Algernon that Belphegor was Hell’s ambassador to France.

Furthermore, the website told him that Belphegor tempted humans to be slothful by creating ingenious bits of technology which would waste their time.

Like all demons, Belphegor could only be summoned to earth by throwing a sacrifice of some kind on the floor of your home. The sacrifice required by Belphegor was this: shit.

This caused the following sentence to pop into Algernon’s brain against his will:
The mystical portal between Hell and France is poop.

Finally, the website told Algernon that Belphegor was traditionally pictured as an old man sitting on a toilet. Algernon Grimshank never knew that traditional Judeo-Christian demonological iconography could be this low-brow.

He was curious. He looked around his home for something akin to a big piece of shit.

He picked up a copy of his latest half-finished story and threw it on the floor.

POOF! A puff of acrid smoke filled the room and Algernon found himself in the company of an old man on a toilet.

The toilet-man said:
“Hey Buddy! I’m Belephegor! What can Belphegor get for you? Don’t just stare at Belphegor! Belpehgor is here to help you. You got any questions for Belphegor?”

Algernon threw open the wardrobe of his mind and desperately searched for a few words that might go well together. He said:
“Why are you sitting on a toilet?”

Belephegor responded: “It’s like sitting on the truth!”

Blink blink blank.

“Look, Belphegor made something for you, buddy!”

The demon reached a wrinkled hand into the toilet and threw something to Algernon.

It was this:
A light blue Nintendo 3DS portable video game system. Belpehgor pulled one out for himself. The game loaded in both devices was Tetris. They both began to play.

This is how you play Tetris:
You stare at a blank screen. Eventually different geometric shapes fall from the sky. You use your thumbs to jostle buttons so you can make the shapes connect with one another. Once the connected shapes form a complete line they disappear.

You can’t win at Tetris. It’s just a question of how long until you fail.

Hours passed. Belphegor yelled out things like:
“Yes, I just flipped the l-shape!”
“Yes, I just made six hundred and sixty-six lines disappear!”
“Yes! Yes!”

Algernon was enjoying himself. His eyes burned and his thumbs ached. Pieces of half-digested pizza fell in his gut, piling up into a mass of twisted geometric spires. He felt like an idiot. He should be writing, creating. He wanted to make all his words connect and form lines so he could win his next high school reunion.

He was all conflict and no resolution. His story really should end there. Instead, I am going to do something glib and cliché. I am going to insert myself, as the author, into the story. It’s a lousy trick that reeks of post-modernism.

Here is what I know about post-modernism:
It’s an ambiguous term that educated idiots like to bicker about at cocktails parties. We are currently trying to look smart by debating whether or not post-modernism is dead. It’s difficult to decide since none of us can agree on what post-modern meant in the first place. Personally, I think it means to have the creator comment in a knowing way on his or her own narrative.

So with a poof of light blue smoke I enter the room with Algernon Grimshank and say this:
“Hey buddy, I’m your creator! How can I help you? What can I get for you? I’d like to resolve your problems as neatly and quickly as possible.”

Algernon stares. Blink blink blank.

Belphegor tries to throw me my very own Nintendo 3DS, but I’m ready for him. Wikipedia told me the secret to defeat the demon sloth: zeal.

Each of the seven deadly sins is opposed by one of the seven virtues: chastity, moderation, generosity, charity, humility, meekness, and zeal. Putting them all together, they don’t make a lot of sense. I would not want to be in a room with a generous, humble moderate zealot meekly offering to give their chastity to charity.

Eager to save my protagonist from himself, I launch into a zealous tirade! I say things like:
“Yes, you’ve got to write for yourself, not for anyone else!”
“Yes! Writing is like a fire in your soul and you must release it or you will get burned!”
“Yes! Writing isn’t about coming up with answers it’s about asking questions!”
“Yes! Yes! YES!”

A huge flushing sound fills the room and Belpehgor swirls into thin air–sucked back to Hell. Or France. Yes, let’s go with France. Yes.

Finally, Algernon and I are alone together.

He asks the question we idiots rarely ask one another.

He says:
“Did you mean all that or did you just say that because you thought it would impress me?”

Eventually, these words fall out of my mouth and form lines:
“I want to say whatever I have to to win this story.”

Algernon asks:
“But why?”

I answer:
“So I can tell myself that I’ve done something today. Once I’ve done something I can go home. I can sit on my couch, drink whiskey, and watch hours of television while complaining about how shitty the writing is.”

Algernon asks:
“Will that really make you happy?”

I do my best to answer him truthfully.

I say:
Here is what I know.
Here is what I know.
Here is what I know.

A version of this story is also available in my book COMEDY OF DOOM.
Thanks for reading.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Comedy Story