Thursday, November 22, 2012

Check out this cartoon

Follow the link to see Femme Fetal, my cartoon made on Toontatic.  It is sort of like The Incredible Hulk but with a pregnant lady.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Complete Fake Book Reviews

Hello again,

For those of you anxiously awaiting the pdf of all the fake book reviews ever posted on this site, the wait is over!  Click the link below to read send-ups of Animal Farm, Stieg Larrson, the hallowed sport of baseball, and Mitt Romney.  Among other things, you will learn about the idealogical schism that exists among staff members of the Daily Brass, the true story behind the mystery of the Doo Doo Monster, and why the Charlie Sheen Bean is better than the Mean Green Fighting Ma-Bean.  Read in good health. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Open Letters

The link below contains a pdf with the complete collection of silly open letters to famous authors contained on this site.  These include letters to Cormac McCarthy, Philip Roth, Ayn Rand, David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, Thomas Pynchon, Tom Wolfe, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Stephanie Meyer, J.K. Rowling, and Jack Kerouac.  There may be more, I can't remember.

Also, thanks to all the well-wishers and would-be mourners who thought I was dead.  In fact, I've been out of the hospital for a month (I had a bump on the head, nothing serious).  I guess I got busy and forgot I was running this blog.  Thanks to Sally Putterman for all the hard work she put into the Daily Brass while I was away. 

Now, on to the letters:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Zombie Bocephus Chapter Four is the place to go to read the latest updates of this novel.

Normally, I would post some of my own writing here, but I am busy working on my long-awaited follow-up to my  1988 history of tree bark: Bark!  The new book, entitled Bark II: Botanical Boogaloo, is due out in June of 2014. 

As I still haven't heard from former editor Christamar Varicella since he was taken to the hospital, I can only assume that he is dead.  While rooting around in his desk drawer I found the following chapter of his latest novel.  I'm posting it now in lieu of some other space filler.

See also Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3

I was over at Earnestine and Willy’s trailer, pacing their little cubby hole of a living room, debating on what to do next.  I knew I couldn’t go on living with Skwerly.  That bastard had started doing all kinds of nutty shit just to fuck with me, like putting a dead snake head in my cereal box.  I tell ya, that’s one surprise you don’t hope to find in your Cap’n Crunch.  Plus the sum bitch has all these goddamn zombie squirrels running around as pets, and he started letting ‘em in the house.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Message from Sally Putterman

Dear People,

It is with a great deal of regret that I must inform you that our beloved editor-in-chief, Christamar Varicella, has been hospitalized following a recent attack by an unidentified assailant wielding a metal trash can lid.  It is unknown at this time how severe are his injuries (I haven’t made it down to the hospital ), but judging from initial reports from a witness to the assault (“She really bashed the shit out of him,”) he may not survive.   With that in mind, there’s no sense letting a perfectly good book blog go to waste, so from now on this site will be devoted to specific areas of interest to the educated elite.  These areas include, but are not limited to: tree bark, beans, and reviews of the recent off Broadway production of Annie performed by ex-members of the heavy metal ban, Twisted Sister, featuring the song, “It’s a hard rock life for us.”  Also, from now on this blog will no longer be known as the Daily Brass.  From this day forward, we are the Daily Putterman. 

P.S. Also, from now on I’ll be signing off with some variation of the following catch phrase:  “Putter on, Friends.  Putter on.”  Or perhaps, “Keep on puttering.”  I haven’t decided.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

An Open Letter to the Reader(s) of the Daily Brass

Dear Book Lovers,

Hello there.  It’s your old pal Christamar, friendly Editor-in-Chief at the Daily Brass, here to assure you that I am firmly in control of this blog.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back in Brass

by Christamar Varicella

The reign of Al Butterman is over.  Long live the Daily Brass.

Funny story.  When I told my lawyer that a deranged ex-employee had seized control of my book blog, he assured me the fact that I had no money would not be a problem.  Then he found out the person I intended to sue had no money either, and he decided not to take the case.  What was I going to do? 

I asked my lawyer, but he told me he didn’t know. 

“But how could this happen?” I asked as he escorted me to the door. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Blue Whale in the Bathtub: The Blog Post

Those of you who follow this blog know that recently I, Al Butterman, seized control from the pathetic band of losers who turned the site into a den of socialism, and restored it to glory by dedicating all new posts to honoring only conservative books and authors.  But also, and maybe even more importantly, The Daily Butterman has another mission--sticking it to the jerks who fired me. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Daily Dish

Al Butterman Gives the Lowdown on Former Daily Brass Staff Members:

Dear Reader,

Now that this blog has changed identities, and Your Humble Reporter has risen from recently unemployed book blogger to Chairman and CEO of this very book blog (The Comeback Kid!), you might think the time has come to forget the past, forgive and forget the comrades who behaved so badly, and look instead to a bright and productive future.  Well, you’d be wrong!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

An Open Letter to Ronald Reagan

Dear Mr. President Sir,

May I call you Gipper?  Gipper, when you died a part of me died as well, and I’m not talking about the part that believes in supply-side economics.  That part is alive and well!  Any day now, those Bush  and Obama (we got him!) tax cuts for the wealthy are going to trickle down to the masses and life will return to the majesty  and prosperity of the 1980s.  It was a simpler time then, when we knew it was right to hate the Russians, hairspray was our best friend, and gay marriage had an entirely different meaning.

Monday, September 3, 2012

New Details Emerge in Daily Brass Plagiarism Scandal

by Al Butterman

Do you know what I just realized?  Before I was summarily dismissed from the editorial board of the Daily Brass, I was the site’s chief moderator.  Among my responsibilities was coordinating, formatting, and posting each article.  It seems none of the other liberal pansies around here had my technical know-how.  Do you know what else?  I just changed all the passwords, Baby!  I own this blog!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Scandal at the Daily Brass: Plagiarism Exposed

by Al Butterman

Following in the sordid tradition of Jayson Blair, Jonah Leher, and Fareed Zakaria, today Purvis McGrew, the Open Letters Editor for the Daily Brass, was exposed (right here in this article by me, Al Butterman) as a blatant plagiarist.  In another blow to the book blog widely considered (again by me, Al Butterman) to be a bastion of liberal propaganda, the Daily Brass found itself in the strange position of having a member of its editorial staff accused of this serious journalistic infraction by a former member of its editorial staff in the blog’s own front page headline.  That’s what they get for forgetting to freeze my login information!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Clint Eastwood's The Empty Chair

The Empty Chair
by Clint Eastwood
Caramelized Press 435 pages
Reviewed by Sally Putterman

In one of the fastest turnarounds in publishing history, Caramelized Press has turned what was widely considered a rambling, doddering twelve minute speech by actor/director Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention into a book that hit stores a mere thirty six hours after the speech was given.  Perhaps even more amazingly, the book details what Mr. Eastwood was actually thinking when he made the decision to make a fool of himself in front of a nationally televised audience by talking to an empty chair and pretending it was the president.  Even more amazingly, the book also details what the chair was thinking.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Zombie Bocephus Chapter 3 has the latest updates of this novel.

   Chapter 1 Chapter 2

Her name was Lilly Belle, and she was about as beautiful a woman as I have ever seen.  She had tar black hair running down the middle of her back and she had these big bushy eyebrows like Brooke Shields.  She had a mole above her lip that reminded me of Marilyn Monroe.  I ran into her in at The Brass Monkey after about twenty bottles of Dixie beer.  “Hey there, Honey,” I said in my suave voice.  “They call me the Love Zombie.”

Sunday, August 26, 2012

An Open Letter to Ayn Rand

Dear Anne,

I hope you don’t mind if I call you Anne instead of Ayn, which I’m pretty sure isn’t a real name.  I know you’re dead and all, but I didn’t want that to stop me from letting you know how much I enjoyed The Fountainhead--not the philosophy espoused therein, which I found utterly impractical--but I found the story rather compelling.  I may even read Atlas Shrugged someday even though the premise strikes me as downright stupid. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fan Club Rejection Letter

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your interest in joining the Christamar Varicella fan club.  Unfortunately, we aren’t accepting new members at this time.  Please be patient.  A spot may open up in six to eight weeks.  Until then, please accept this form letter in lieu of membership.  Thanks for reading, and keep chasing those rainbows!

Earl Cathcart
Assistant to Christamar Varicella’a Personal Assistant

Popular posts:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Interview with Christamar Varicella

This interview was conducted in the author's plush country home over a snack of coffee and jellybeans. 

TDB: Mr. Varicella, it is said that you pioneered the idea of the blog as novel--your blog features fictional characters and story lines that play out in headlines, stories, and even the comment section.

Varicella: Is there a question in there somewhere, Bubba.

TDB: It's Sally.

Varicella: Whatever.

TDB: What inspired you to attempt to not only publish novels for free on your website, but also to fictionalize the entire blogging process?

Varicella: I was struck by lightening.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Review of Sally Putterman's Review of Alfred Butterman's The Mucus Stain

The Mucus Stain
By Alfred Butterman
Alfred Butterman Publishing, 178 Pages
Review of Sally Putterman's Review by Alfred Butterman

The world of online book reviews hit an all-time low yesterday with the release of Sally Putterman's review of Alfred Butterman's wonderful new novel, The Mucus Stain. (The review can be found
here.)  First among her catalogue of outrageous assertions was the assertion that self publishing hit an all-time low with the release of Al Butterman's The Mucus Stain.  It certainly did not.  Self publishing started at an all-time low and it is now a full two degrees above that line.  Also, What kind of hackneyed opening is that anyway?  I'll tell you what kind it is, it's the same hackneyed opening Ms Putterman uses to begin every review she's ever written.  It seems every time Ms Putterman opens a book, publishing hits an all-time low.  It's lazy writing and it goes with her lazy reading.   The truth is Ms. Putterman didn't even understand Mr. Butterman's novel.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review: The Mucus Stain

The Mucus Stain
By Alfred Butterman
Alfred Butterman Publishing, 178 pages
Reviewed by Sally Putterman

The world of self publishing hit a new low with the release of Al Butterman’s science fiction novel, The Mucus Stain. Possibly the most disgusting book ever written, the story begins when a mysterious stranger deposits a glob of spit into a toilet and flushes his DNA into the sewer where it combines with some radioactive waste--it seems a newly built nuclear power plant has been diverting its own waste product into the sewer--and somehow--it is never properly explained--the spit merges with the waste and  evolves into to what will henceforth be known as--and these are the author’s words, I’m not making this up--the Doo Doo Monster. I told you it was disgusting.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Meet the Staff of the Daily Brass

This year, in lieu of raises, the management of the Daily Brass has agreed to post a brief bio of each staff member, thus acknowledging their existence and introducing them to their audience.  The views of the staff do not in any way represent the views of the Daily Brass, which is against pretty much everything.
Purvis McGrew (Open Letters) - Purvis is our entertainment editor.   He earned his degree in Entertainment News from Leeza Gibbons University in Stockdale, MD and is a former writer for the periodical Celebrity Stalker.  A childhood affliction of worms inspired him to write an episode of the animated children’s series, Pound Puppies which never aired.  According to Purvis, the episode was scratched for political reasons.  “They said my piece wasn’t ‘kid friendly’ just because, in one scene, the pound puppies mauled a kid.”  He is the author of the novel, Meet the Tootersons and contributed to Christamar Varicella’s novel Dinosaur Ghost.  Someday he hopes to work for TMZ.  In his spare time, he enjoys rooting through dumpsters looking for discarded pornography.  He lives in a barn.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: Dinosaur Ghost

The following review refers to a book that can be found through the following links:
Dinosaur Ghost is now available for free as a pdf!

Dinosaur Ghost
By JK Beatman
Published by The Daily Brass
Reviewed by Al Butterman

Never before have I observed such an overt display of liberal propaganda as I did in JK Beatman’s so-called Sci-Fi parody, Dinosaur Ghost.  The plot is completely preposterous.  If you haven't read it, it goes like this:  dinosaurs come back from extinction to eat republicans for their skepticism of global warming and their lack of tolerance of gay marriage.  Seriously?  Is this what liberals are reduced to writing about these days?  If so, you'll forgive me if I stick to Ayn Rand. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

An Open Letter to Thomas Pynchon

Dear Tom,

I just finished reading (the first three pages of) Gravity’s Rainbow, and I have to say, I think you were grossly misinformed about the outcome of World War II.  I believe the allies, not the Germans, won.  I am now turning on the History Channel to confirm this fact.  I’m watching... I’m watching... Yes, the allies definitely won.  Also, Nostradamus predicted they would win several hundred years ago.  Also, Hitler may have descended from an ancient race of space aliens and Barack Obama is descended from Satan.  Now that's good history!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dinosaur Ghost Chapter 7: Why Dinosaur Ghosts Run Amok

This story has been revised.  
Dinosaur Ghost is now available for free as a pdf!

Steve loped down the hall of his Soho apartment, his tail sweeping the hallway as he moved from room to room, straightening things up with his head while his back end knocked over lamps, tables, and poked gaping holes in the walls with his spikes.  Steve was anxious that everything be perfect for his and Rex’s anniversary dinner.  Things just hadn’t been the same since “the incident” and this would be an opportunity to put it behind them and give the relationship a fresh start.  Steve wouldn’t have admitted it to himself right then, but a part of him wondered if he could ever trust Rex again.  The image of Rex and that woman had become seared in his mind.  The woman’s expression of abject passion contrasted with Rex’s anger as he tossed her around like a rag doll.  It was a side of Rex he had never seen before, and it frightened him--the fact that Rex could go against his own natural instincts simply to inflict pain on Steve was one thing, but the intensity of that anger bordered on hatred--that was the truly frightening part.  A part of Steve had gone extinct that night, and he wondered if he’d ever be whole again.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Oiliest Secret Chapter 8 And Dinosaur Ghost Chapter 6: The Oiliest Ending

Dinosaur Ghost has been updated.  
Dinosaur Ghost is now available for free as a pdf!

He stood seven feet tall with a protruding forehead and a chest like a bearskin rug.  In all her life, Jenna Strumpet had never  seen such a beautiful specimen.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Review: This Land is My Land

For an alternate take on this book, see Review: This Land is My Land by Al Butterman.

This Land is My Land: the Mitt Romney Story
By Mitt Romney
Diamond Publishing, 275 Pages
Reviewed by Sally Putterman

Unlike some other reviewers at the Daily Brass I could and will name, Al Butterman, this reviewer was less than enthralled with Mitt Romney’s self-serving autobiography released this past month by the Diamond Publishing Group.  Now, some people will naturally I assume that I am one of those so-called “liberals,” just because I recently made a blanket statement about conservatives in Spill the Beans Magazine, the world’s largest circulated periodical devoted to bean-related interviews, and that I prejudged this book before ever reading it, but this is not true--for one thing, that quote in which I said, “All conservatives these days are a bunch of deranged nitwits,” was taken largely out of context, and for another thing, I read a full three pages of This Land is My Land before I bothered to prejudge it!  Now that I’ve read the book, I think I can safely say, without fear of accused bias, that Mitt Romney is a deranged nitwit.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Zombie Bocephus Chapter 2

Chapter 1 Chapter 3 has the latest updates.

Now if you’ve never seen Skwerly before you’re missing one crazy looking dude.  His hair is frizzy and stands straight up by the individual strand and he has a scruffy little beard that doesn’t seem to know how to stop looking like five o’clock shadow.  His eyes are just as wild as the rest of him and seem to stare in two different directions at once.  Whenever he’s about to snap, and believe me, he’s likely to snap at any moment, one of those eyes (the left one usually) will bounce over to the side reflexively and then shoot back into alignment, like his brain ain’t making all the necessary connections, and his neurons aren't all firing in the same direction. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Trolls Wanted

The Daily Brass is giving away free Trolls... Wanted, the children's picture book by Christiana Helgeson and David Brasfield for the next few hours.  To get your copy of the ebook just scroll down until you see the cover and click on the image.

Your Welcome

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An Open Letter to Philip Roth

Dear Philip,

I haven't read much of your work, but I hear you're a pretty fine writer.  I finally got around to reading Portnoy’s Complaint (It only took me forty five years), and I'm not so sure.  To your credit, you wrote some seriously beautiful sentences about splooge, but other than you jerking off, not much happened.  What was the point of that book?  To show people how much you like to jerk off?   They say to write what you know, so I guess you don't get out much. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Oiliest Secret Chapter 7 And Dinonsaur Ghost Chapter 5: the Secret is Revealed

Dinosaur Ghost has been revised.  
Dinosaur Ghost is now available for free as a pdf!

Warning!  Human beings and other animals with higher order thinking skills WILL find this chapter extremely offensive.  If the acts described were possible they would almost certainly be illegal. 

Oh and for this to make sense, you should probably read Dinosaur Ghost Chapter 4.   More links to previous chapters can be found at the bottom of this page.   

The parade of nitwits stopped the van outside of the museum of natural history.  Billy thought the museum might have a map they could use to find Jenna.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: This Land is My Land, the Mitt Romney Story

This Land is My Land: The Mitt Romney Story
by Mitt Romney
Diamond Publishing, 275 pages
Reviewed by Al Butterman

“I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.  My mother thought silver was pedestrian.  Gold was considered gauche.  Finally, she settled on plain old platinum.”

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Zombie Bocephus Chapter 1

Chapters now being posted at

They never should’ve killed me.  I never was a saint, but I had my good qualities--I can’t think what they are right now, but I know I didn’t deserve a bullet to the brain.  Sure, I harbored a few indecent thoughts in my time—I coveted my fair share of asses, that’s for sure, and I did a lot of drugs. I chased a few dragons in back alleys, and smoked crack behind more than a few dumpsters.  Who hasn’t?  But that's all behind me now.  I’ve been clean for almost six months—ever since they dug my ass out of a shallow grave.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dinosaur Ghost Chapter Four:The Oiliest Dinosaur Ghost

Dinosaur Ghost has been revised.  
Dinosaur Ghost is now available for free as a pdf!
“Gentlemen,” the professor said.  “The information you will receive here today is not to leave this room.” His eyes slowly panned across a small sea of white faces wearing constipated expressions.  He scratched his chin through a layer of Santa-white beard.  “It is a secret that has spanned millions...” he coughed, cleared his throat, “I mean six thousand years.” 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

An Open Letter to Stephanie Meyer

Dear Stephanie,

Have I got an idea for you!  But before I get to that, let me just tell you how much your books have inspired me.  Before I read Twilight, I was planning to like totally have sex and everything, but the book changed my life.  I now plan to wait until I meet the perfect 104-year-old high school student .  If Bella can do it, so can I.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: The Oiliest Secret

The Oiliest Secret
By Christamar Varicella
Greasy Bottom Press in conjunction with the Daily Brass
31 pages so far
Reviewed by Sally Putterman

The world of self-publishing reached a new low recently when Christamar Varicella (if that is his real name, and it isn’t) self-published his so-called romance novel parody, The Oiliest Secret.  Mr. Chickenpox, as I call him, no doubt provided himself with a great deal of amusement with his latest venture, but I, for one, am not amused.  I am not amused at all.  Do you see me laughing?  Of course you don’t.  You can’t.  And you won’t.  And you’ll continue to not see me laugh until I get my hands on the Comics section of the Sunday paper and I can feast my eyes on The Family Circus and put this dreaded disease of a man and his pathetic fake novel behind me forever.  Also, I hate him.  There.  I said it.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Oiliest Secret Chapter Six: Unfettered Boobs

They financed their quest with Alec Baldwin’s credit card. Bi-Ju-Ju had swiped it on the last day of his stay in Uncle Alec's Malibu guest house as a kind of parting shot to the man who had let him live rent free for more than three months. If not for the fact that he’d also devoured the famous actor’s flower garden, he might still be living in the lap of luxury rather than tooling around America with an angry Postmaster General.

“I smell roses,” C Everett Koop Jr. announced as he steered the van into the parking lot of a Circle K. “Damn it, Billy. Did you expel gas?”

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Highly Offensive Open Letter to David Foster Wallace Featuring a Daniel Tosh Rape Joke*

An Open Letter to Jack Kerouac, An Open Letter to Tom Wolfe, An Open Letter to Dave Eggers, An Open Letter to JK Rowling, An Open Letter to Cormac McCarthy, A Recent Interview with Jack Kerouac, An Open Letter to Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Dear David,

Before I start comparing depression to herpes, I feel I should mention the recent controversy involving the comedian Daniel Tosh.  It seems he thought it was funny to say a woman in his audience should be raped.  Now, I’m not one take any subject off the table when it comes to making jokes--in fact I came up with a rape joke of my own, and here it is: What’s the least funny thing about rape?  Answer: Daniel Tosh--but the whole controversy raises an interesting question: what subjects are OK to makes jokes about and which subjects are taboo? 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Oiliest Secret Chapter Five The Oiliest Death Match: Postmaster Koop J. VS Billy Baldwin Jr. Jr.

Postmaster General C. Everett Koop Jr., a.k.a. The Postmaster., was more than just the postmaster general. In his long illustrious career, he had also been a chess grandmaster, a ringmaster for Barnum and Baily’s Circus, a master of ceremonies at various public and private events, a karate master, a rapper known as Jam Master Koopy Doop in the rap group, The Masters, and he’d been named both Grand Bass Master and Master Baiter at the World Bass Fishing Championship in Springfield, Maryland. Pretty much anything attached to the term master had been mastered by The Postmaster. There was only one thing left for The Postmaster to master, or more correctly, to re-master, and that was his former lover, Jenna Strumpet.

Friday, July 13, 2012

An Open Letter to Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A number of troubling reports have come out lately regarding Gabo's health.  The Daily Brass sends its best wishes to the master and his family.  Here's a post from a few years ago.

Hey old man!  You did it!  I can’t believe it!  I bet you are walking tall down in Macondo, my friend!  When I picked up a copy of your book while thumbing through the used book section down at my local Amazon book store and I saw that little round sticker on the cover of One Hundred Years of Solitude announcing your incorporation into the world’s biggest book club, my grin could not be contained.  Seriously, my lips and pearly whites extended past my ears and swelled my head like a big ‘ole balloon. At that moment my happiness turned to helium and lifted my body up to the ceiling. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dinosaur Ghost Chapter Three: Dinosaur Ghost VS the Monkey Man Monster

This story has been revised.  For the latest version, see below.
Dinosaur Ghost is now available for free as a pdf!
“Let me get this straight,” Ellen Bellevue said condescendingly to the young man trembling before her desk. “You think prehistoric monsters are eating conservatives.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: A Bug Story

Review: The Supreme Bean, Review: Politics Shmolitics, Review: Blood Bites

A Bug Story: The True Story of a Man and his Love of Insects
Eight-legged Press
754 Pages
Reviewed by Sally Putterman

Warning. Reading A Bug Story is like being struck by a cataclysm: the earth shakes, your worldview changes, and nothing in your life will ever be the same.  It’s more startling than the first time you read the Bible, or Catch 22, or when that crate of Encyclopedias fell off a truck and landed on your grandmother.  It’s one of those books where, after you finish reading it, you turn back to the first page and start it again, and then when you finish reading it a second time... you go get something to eat... but after that, you read the book a third time, and you keep reading it over and over until one day you look up and find out three months have gone by and your husband has moved out and you no longer have a job and everyone thinks you're crazy.  So what do you do? It doesn’t matter because you still have the book, so you read it again and again and then after about the seventeenth reading, the narrative becomes so ingrained in your mind, you run out and join a cult espousing the views and virtues expressed within the book.  It’s sort of like Ayn Rand, but less self-centered, and with cockroaches.

The Oiliest Secret: Chapter Four - Desert Heat

When Jenna walked out of the gas station restroom, she found herself in a terrible predicament. “Where’s my bus?” she asked no one in particular, though, as it happened, an old man was sitting in a nearby rocking chair smoking a pipe.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Too Weird

A jealous young man plots to kill his grandfather's dachshund. A pair of conjoined twins have differing opinions on whether or not to separate. A hypochondriac writer is faced with the decision of either finishing his magnum opus or going to the hospital to treat a spider bite. A young man suffering through a mental breakdown takes refuge with the blue whale in his bathtub. Too Weird is a collection of seven short, darkly humorous stories by Christamar Varicella. 

The book is free today at the kindle store. Trolls Wanted, the new children's picture book by David Brasfield and Christiana Helgeson hits the kindle store today and will be free tomorrow. As of tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future, all books linked to on the right of this page will be 99 cents!

Monday, July 9, 2012

An Open Letter to Tom Wolfe

Dear Tom,
How are you?  I am fine.  I must say, though, I’m a little miffed you haven’t answered my letter of the 25th in which I inquired about apparent inconsistencies between the “gangbang” scene in your book, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and the one in Hunter S. Thompson’s, Hells Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga.  Something tells me (and it’s the Hells Angels book) that the rape scene didn’t take place at Ken Kesey’s ranch in La Honda as your book maintained, but at another party attended by the Hell’s Angels and not the Merry Pranksters.  I’m not upset though.  It was rude of you not to return my letter, but I understand why you would shy away from such a sensitive topic.  You probably assumed that after forty years no one would catch your mistake, or perhaps you thought no one would waste valuable time on so trivial a matter.  Well, you were wrong! 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dinosaur Ghost Chapter 2: Dangerous Emissions

This story has been revised.  For the latest version, see below.
Dinosaur Ghost is now available for free as a pdf!
As Rock Benson travelled home from work in the back of his 28-foot stretch Hummer, he swirled his martini and smiled. He eased down into the relaxing cauldron that constituted his Hummer’s hot tub. Thirteen months had passed since his successor, the network’s number one rated pundit, Herman Bainbridge, had been annihilated in a tragic accident, but since that time, Rock’s career had soared. Tonight’s episode of his show perfectly illustrated the reason for this upward trajectory. He closed his eyes and the show appeared against the backdrop of his eyelids in transcript form.

Rock: Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m Rock Benson, and you’ve hit Rock Bottom. Tonight we have two special guests, each representing an opposing view on the existence of a controversial topic. Is Global Warming real or is it liberal bunk? We’ll present both opinions and then let you decide. First up is Professor Jeffrey Silvermeyer, head of the climate science department at Harvard University. He thinks global warming is real. Thanks for being here, Mr. Nerdelmeyer. Tell us your opinion.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

You Think You Know Tough?

Frank McCrackin was the toughest S.O.B. I've ever known. He was the only person to serve in the Army Rangers, the Navy Seals, and the Marine Corp Show Choir all at the same time. He served two tours of duty in Korea, three tours in Vietnam, and four tours in Disney on Ice. He played Goofy, the toughest S.O.B. in the magic kingdom.        

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Oiliest Secret Chapter 3: Greyhound to Sexville

Jenna knew riding the bus would be unpleasant, but she was totally unprepared for the pungent aroma that now pummeled her senses. With furrowed brows and wriggling nose, she turned her head from side to side, searching out the offending odor that seemed to be all around her at once. That’s when she noticed the scruffy gentleman sitting next to her. He wore a beat-up olive-green army jacket and a navy blue toboggan pulled down to his ears. His face was black with a combination of dirt and five o’clock shadow. Jenna leaned in close and sniffed.

“You stink,” she said.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

An Open Letter to Dave Eggers

I know you think you’re great because you wrote A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, but I wrote an episode of Pound Puppies, and you don’t see me bragging.  And it was an awesome episode!  You may have seen it.  It was the one in which a stray hound gave all the other dogs worms.  I called it “A Heartbreaking Case of Staggering Worms.” 

Dinosaur Ghost Chapter One: They're Real!

This story has been revised.  For the latest version, see below.
Dinosaur Ghost is now available for free as a pdf!
“Aigggh!” Herman screamed. He sat bolt upright before his eyes had time to open. His pajamas were drenched in sweat.
Lita leaned over, put a hand against his chest. “What is it, Honey?” she asked.

“Aigggh!” Herman Bainbridge screamed again.

“It’s OK, Sweetie. It was just another dream.”

“It wasn’t. It was real. I saw it.”

“It wasn’t real.” Lita’s voice was soft and soothing. “There are no such things as dinosaurs.”

Monday, July 2, 2012

An Open Letter to J.K. Rowling

Dear Ms. Rowling,

First of all, let me say how much I loved your books, and not just the Harry Potter books, but also the new one--I forget what it’s called, but whatever it is, I loved it!  You are the greatest writer who ever lived, and I’m not just saying that because I have a favor to ask you; I really mean it.

A Recent Interview with Jack Kerouac

An Open Letter to Jack Kerouac

Dinosaur Ghost Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3

TDB: Jack Kerouac. Wow. Thanks for joining us live via the internet. It’s great to have you here.
JK: No problemo.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

An Open Letter to Jack Kerouac

Previously apppeared at Pig in a Poke
See also A Recent Interview with Jack Kerouac, An Open Letter to Tom Wolfe, An Open Letter to Dave Eggers, An Open Letter to JK Rowling, An Open Letter to Cormac McCarthy

Dear Jack,

Thanks for responding to my ad on Craigslist. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to trade work with a fellow wordsmith of your caliber. We writers are often left to our own devices, locked in our little holes, typing away, and too often we lose touch with the great wide world around us. It's so wonderful to exchange ideas with a talent near to my own.  It is my sincere hope that we might both use this opportunity to improve our skills.  You may be new to this game, but as a veteran of writers' workshops, I promise to offer only the most constructive criticism that I know you will be able to absorb and use to your benefit.  And don't you worry about criticizing my work.  I've developed a pretty thick skin in the year or two that I've been writing. My work is pretty advanced, but if you do think of any criticisms, don't hesitate to spell them out.

Review: The Girl Who Smelled Like Cheese

The Girl Who Smelled Like Cheese
By Björn Jörgensörn
Umlaut Press 562 pages
Reviewed by Christamar Varicella

Once again, the Swedish novelist Björn Jörgensörn has produced a compelling thriller destined to top the best seller lists for many months to come.  Like his first two novels, The Girl Who Played in Traffic and The Girl Who Picked Her Nose, the story centers on Günter Pflefferkvisktshhheek, a dumpy middle-aged reporter who finds himself embroiled in a constitutional crisis that could bring down the government.  It seems a former prime minister has been manipulating the secret police into helping him molest a thirteen-year-old autistic computer hacker named Elizabeth Salamander, and only Pflefferkvisktshhheek, his part-time lover and former boss, Tersa Bloomgärten, his police detective sister, a half a dozen members of the justice department, another (nicer) former prime minister, a Brazilian wrestler named Räul Tomlinson, and the cast of Swedish Happy Days, can help bring the villains to justice.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Oiliest Secret Chapter 2: Trouble in Malibu

After three weeks of interrupted mail service, Jenna finally realized it was no accident. Someone she knew was getting his revenge.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Review: The Supreme Bean

By Sally Putterman
Gonzo Publishing, 445 pages
Reviewed by Christamar Varicella 

While perusing Sally Putterman’s exhausting countdown to the world’s most perfect bean, I was reminded of all those random lists generated by the entertainment industry.  You know the ones I’m talking about: Hollywood’s Fifty Sexiest People, Twenty One Hot New Stars, One Hundred Stars from the 1980s that You Forgot Existed, One Hundred and Twenty Two Botched Nose Jobs, Thirty Seven Grizzly Celebrity Auto-Erotic Asphyxiations.  The lists go on and on.  And now, unfortunately, they stretch into book form and onto the subject of beans.  Why?  I read the whole book—all four hundred and fifty pages of it—and I still don’t know the answer to that question.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Think Vampires are Sexy? Try Rat Boy!

I keep wondering why everyone in the world isn't sick of vampire stories yet. We’ve gone from Bram Stoker’s Dracula to the Anne Rice books of the '80s and '90s to Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Series to the tween sensation, Twilight, to about a zillion other crappy books and movies, and yet for some reason the genre refuses to die. Isn't that just like a vampire?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: Blood Bites

Blood Bites
By Charlotte Bromide
Deuteronomy Press, 569 pages 
Reviewed by Sally Putterman

I’m beginning to think vampire novelists aren’t even trying anymore.  If you don’t believe me, look no further than the latest installment of Charlotte Bromide’s thirty seven part “Sexy Vampires Series” to see what I mean.  Originally intended as a trilogy, Miss Bromide’s vamps turned into such a cash cow she hasn’t been able to stop herself from churning out a seemingly never-ending stream of tasteless drivel.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

An Open Letter to Cormac McCarthy

Dear Cormac,

I know you’re a busy man, what with your endless self-promotion and all, so let’s just get down to business.  I need you to do a job for me.  Some too-bit redneck ran off with my briefcase full of money, and the psychopath I hired to find him has turned out to be unstable.  I need you to find the redneck and the psychopath and kill them for me.  I believe the standard fee in a case like this is five thousand dollars. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Politics Shmolitics

Politics Shmolitics: Why Everyone is Wrong but Me
By Burt Stinglick
Imaginary Press 372 pages
Reviewed by Purvis McGrew

“People think politics is a game.  I have my team.  You have yours.  My team is made up of the good guys.  Your team is made up of the bad guys.  My team is smart.  Your team is dumb.  If my team doesn’t win it’s because there are more stupid people voting than smart people.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Reverend (Paper edition)

The paperback edition of my thriller novel is now available at  Loosely based on a true story, The Reverend is centered around a string of murders committed in the '60s and '70s in a southern mill town (my home town in fact), allegedly by a former Baptist preacher with ties to voodoo. I was interested in the story from a historical standpoint.  From a writing standpoint I was interested in combining different genres: mystery, suspense, true crime, courtroom drama--they're all in there.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Foxes and Chickens, An Allegory

Foxes and Chickens: An Allegory
by Purvis McGrew
Make Believe Books, 147 pages
Reviewed by Sally Putterman

 Purvis McGrew’s new book, Foxes and Chickens: an Allegory, may be the most ridiculous story this reviewer has ever reviewed.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Curious Incident at the Monkey House

Not long ago in a town close to you,
A boy and his mother went to the zoo.
As they walked, the boy snacked from a bag of marshmallows
and tossed them at crocodiles bathing in shallows.

But the reptiles just sat there, doing nothing at all,
and the giraffes chewed their cud while ignoring his call.
The zebras were boring, the tigers were yawning.
The birds in their cages sang none of their songings.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

In Charlotte, Cars Drive Fast in Circles

The Coca Cola 600 was under way this week with many automobiles--this reporter counted at least seven of them--driving at high speeds along a circular track. 

For some reason a crowd of spectators gathered to watch the cars traveling in circles.  This reporter counted 117 people in the crowd, although it was difficult to keep count as many of the people were moving.  Official estimates put the number of attendees at closer to one hundred thousand.  Again, only 117 could be confirmed.

The cars were driven by people.  After the people drove in circles, they continued to  drive around in more circles.  Track officials listed the number of circles or "laps" driven as 200, although this reporter lost track after three.  He then wandered off to find out what Skoal Bandit is.

Skoal Bandit, it turns out, is loose grains of tobacco wrapped up in a pouch, which is then placed between the lip and gum.  People then suck the pouch and spit out the juice.  People are not supposed to swallow the juice, as this reporter found out the hard way.  It made him very sick and caused him to miss the end of the race.  If you know who won the Coca Cola 600, please give him a call.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pope Takes Leak, Seriously

A series of damaging leaks has swirled around Vatican City in recent weeks, much to the consternation of Pope Benedict XVI.

"The older the Pope gets, the harder it is for him to take leaks," a Vatican spokesman said today. "It really gets to him. He wants to hold it in, but one way or another it gets out, and then it's all over the place." He shook his head and sighed. "It's a real mess."

Last month a special committee was established to investigate the leaks, and today the Pope's private butler was detained in "The Holy Sea" for failure to ensure his primary function. The man is said to be one of a handful of people with access to his Holiness.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Obama Waves Magic Wand: Liberal Dreams Come True

In a move that stunned Washington insiders, today  President Obama granted the wishes of the most disaffected members of his base.  With one wave of his newly acquired magic wand, the president boosted domestic spending, raised taxes on the richest one percent, and closed the base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  

“It’s about time,” said Juliette Harrington, a professional latte sipper from Portland, Oregon.  “He made some big promises at the convention in 2008.  I remember distinctly, he rode in on a winged horse and then slid down a rainbow to the stage.  That’s when he said everything would change the moment he took office.”

Prior to his acquisition of the wand, the president faced fierce congressional opposition to every proposed initiative, but today all resistance magically vanished.

“I wonder why he waited so long,” said Doug Ellington, who makes his living conducting gay wedding ceremonies and performing unwanted abortions.  He added, “I’m still mad at him for not instituting the single payer health care system  that he never endorsed and wouldn’t have been elected if he had.”   

Ironically, the dreams of conservatives also came true  when the president waved his wand.  That’s when an army of bureaucrats appeared from nowhere and took away their guns.  “See,” shouted Peter Dinklebaum of Huntsville, Alabama.  “It’s like we’ve been saying all along, only this time it’s true!”

When pressed for comment, a spokesman for the White House said, “The President would have acted sooner, but it took a long time for the wand to be delivered from Liberal Heaven.”

At the time of this reporting, it was unclear if or how the wand waving would affect  the president’s reelection bid.

GOP Changes Stance, Life Begins at Birth Certificate

In a staggering reversal of a long-held belief, today the Grand Old Party ruled that life begins not at conception, but upon the release of the long form birth certificate. And even then, not really. Moved by republican hatred of the president, the ruling came after long deliberations high atop Mount Rushmore, inside the hollowed-out head of Teddy Roosevelt, where leaders and strategists meet to issue talking points. The decision came after an election official in Arizona suggested that Barack Obama may not be placed on the ballot in November unless evidence emerged that included a video of the future president emerging from his mother's womb wearing a sash emblazoned with the phrase, Made in the USA. According to sources familiar with the proceedings, republicans then decided to "go all in." The move caused an existential crisis within the party. Many leaders worried it would cause a backlash from the pro life majority, however the crisis quickly passed when it was decided that birth certificates would now be released at conception.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Horse Wins Race

The 137th Preakness Stakes was run today, and for the 137th consecutive time the race was won by a small man riding a horse. I'll Have Another kept alive its hopes for a triple crown, or rather, kept alive the triple crown hopes of the people around it, while the horse itself continues to hope for oats.

As is customary in these kinds of races, small men on horses rode around in circles while people watched. This reporter missed the actual race, his first, when he went off to find out what a Mint Julep is. It turns out it's some kind of alcoholic beverage mixed with mint leaves and sugar. It's disgusting. When he came back from the bar, the race was over.

Following I'll Have Another in second place was No Thanks, I'm Good. Can't Find the Bar came in third. Other funny horse names include Happy Pappy, Kiss Me Clown, and P.S. You Smell Bad. None of these horses raced Saturday.