Ezra Titus

1966 – 2009


12/26/2004 5:17:08 PM Eastern Standard Time
The Red Phantom 12.26.04
My Personal Greatest Discoveries of 2004 –
 – NRA Xmas cards
 – Stranded at airport
 – Ice Cream Tacos
 – Sedition
– The term “Snarky,” meaning something like “Ornery.”
 – Spinning fiber optic balls. If you don’t have one, you’re nothing.
 – Megadeth Remasters
 – The animatronic Christ in Mel Gibson’s movie
 – Condoleeza Rice’s hairdew and name
 – Janet Jackson’s boob
– This week, the episode of “The Crocodile Hunter” in which his dog dies is on.
 – Intestinal parasites live in 25% of the people on Earth.
 – Vegans won’t wear silk because it subjugates the worm.
The News In A Flash
Ping Pong balls have been randomly selected to determine the positioning of over 100 parties on the upcoming Iraqi ballot, to be referred to the people on January 31st, the same day Michael Jackson’s trial starts.
Yuschenko and Vinakovich face off again in the third Ukranian election this year. Someone poisoned pro-Western candidate Yuschenko with dioxin, and some think Vinakovich, who wanted to strengthen ties with Russia, may have had a hand in it. Dioxin is a very effective pesticide, and the dose Yuschenko took should’ve killed him. He lived, but suffered lesions on his face which ironically made him look a lot like his opponent. Polls predict Yuschenko will win the election.
      Thousands of Continental customers were stranded in airports on Xmas day. When you’re in the airport for 48 hours, it’s sort of like Purgatory. There’s food that tastes like bug repellant, a Starbuck’s, serving coffee that tastes like bug repellant and a sad gift shop. You can sleep in a little chair, but many prefer the floor, propped up against the wall. Thankfully, you can get Excedrin PM. A computer program that organized all the flight information crashed, causing thousands to be delayed on the holiday. Will computers destroy the Earth? Stay tuned.
      Lesson of the southeast Asian tsunami: When you’re on the beach and suddenly, all the water in the ocean recedes, leaving the undersea world magically exposed, DO NOT run out to grab the free fish. The water will be back shortly.
  Subj: Snarky’s Migration 1.1.05
  Date: 1/3/2005 4:09:42 PM Eastern Standard Time
  From: Ezratitus
  To: Vitus7, libby
      Last night’s party had become a blur of loud, annoying music and conversations that made no sense at all. I woke up on a gray couch with a cat on my lap. When I tried to stand up, the cat sank its claws into my jeans and refused to let go. It hung there, looking up at me as though to say, “Sit back down. You’re a heater.” I noticed a brass tag around the cat’s neck with the word “Akbar” engraved in it. I wondered if this was an Islamic cat. (If I’ve learned anything from the global war on terror, it’s the meaning of “Alla Akbar,” even if I can only spell it phonetically.) “Fine,” I said to the calico, “If you want to be that way, it’s OK with me.” With a snarky look, Akbar seemed to say, “Well good. – I will ‘be that way,’ sucker.” Even though his claws were bringing me considerable discomfort, I suspected that this cat was a high-hearted being possessed of stellar intelligence, and decided to let him do as he pleased. Whoever named him Akbar, which translates roughly into English as “the great one” must have had a high opinion of this cat. Admittedly, it appeared to be more intelligent than my Philosophy professor at NYU.
 Akbar continued clinging to me as I walked into the kitchen. He looked as though in ecstasy, hanging there from my black jeans and swinging gently, to and fro with each step I took. Perhaps it was his way of stretching his back in the morning. On the counter, I found two cans of coffee and as I popped the lid from one of them, Akbar leapt and twisted like a karate expert, landing silently beside my hand. He swiped at the can I hadn’t opened three times in quick succession and then made a very unique sound, like a purr, but with a high, oscillating pitch. “Aah,” I said, “You prefer Folger’s.” He nodded his head in the affirmative. Then, in a single vault, flew back to the couch, settling in as I prepared the coffee. “What are you?” I asked, “The reincarnation of Kublai Kahn?” Indifferent to my query, Akbar declined to answer and curled up into a comfortable looking position. As per his request, I used Folger’s. When it was done, I placed a cup on the table in front of the couch and sat back, rubbing my eyes for a second.
 When I opened my eyes I was surprised to see Akbar lapping up coffee out of the cup, and purring. I wondered what he’d do next. Would he start balancing his checkbook with a calculator, or turn on the TV to take in a bit of the morning news? No – He curled up around the cup of coffee, encircling it perfectly, then fell asleep instantly despite having slurped up a third of his weight in caffeine. I didn’t want to disturb the monarch, but I like coffee too, so gently, I lifted the cup. Akbar remained motionless. After a minute had passed, I set the cup back down into the perfectly circular space that the cat had surrounded with his body. Without opening his eyes, he meowed, but it was unlike any other cat’s meow. It was more like a half a meow, comingled with a chirp of approbation. I was astounded, and thought that if the first hour of the new year could be so miraculous, I could expect great things in 2005.
 I had a few days to get ready for my journey to Florida, where I planned to start a new life. So I left Akbar curled around his beloved cup of coffee and went back to the hotel that served as my staging area before my departure. I spent the rest of the day in bed watching TV, which is what I’ve been doing for most of my life. So, it didn’t feel luxurious. It was just another day, but there was a charge in the atmosphere. The new year had arrived and it was going to be spectacular; Whether the year would be staggering in a disastrous way like a plane crash, or stunning like the emergence of a positive, meteoric potential unleashed, I had no way of knowing. Nevertheless, I was hoping for the latter. Perhaps Akbar was the omen that would indicate the quality of the year. I hoped that like him, I would perform miraculous feats as though they were everyday commonalities, reach my version of the countertop and drink from the sweetest chalice full of a magical elixir, composed of success and happiness. Perhaps by the end of 2005, I’d be able to say “Ezra Akbar.” Perhaps, by the end of the year, I would be curled around something warm and desirable, and hopefully, that would be a woman as opposed to a cup of Folger’s. I had a good feeling about it; This year would begin of the summer of my existence. But first, I had to get to Florida.
To Be Continued
Let us all thank God that this horrible year is finally almost over. We have suffered the terror of awaiting nothing and the hyper-continence of inaction. We sweat blood for reasons we know we’ll never truly grasp, and spit cerebral fluid for those we know will never really care. We, Earth – “the wretched, warring masses.” – The Phantom will be on a fact finding mission in Reno for the next three weeks. We’ll engage you again in ’05. And remember – You read it, you can’t unread it! – The Twisting Red Phantom
  Subj: Snarky’s Migration 1.2.05
  Date: 1/3/2005 5:12:07 PM Eastern Standard Time
  From: Ezratitus
  To: Vitus7, libby
Snarky’s Migration 1.2.05
      It seems like every time I stay at this hotel, the fire alarm goes off at some point. When it did today, I went outside with my most precious belongings (guitar, computer, cell phone) as has become the routine for me here at the Super 8. The fire department arrived, and I thought that rather than waiting in the cold for them to check the hotel, I’d go to my storage space to straighten out a few things. (I’ve been trying to put all the stuff I plan to bring with me when I move in the front of the space so that on D-day, everything will be smooth as silk.) I didn’t get too far before it started to rain and Dave called to invite me to lunch. We agreed to meet at the Coyote, but he said he wouldn’t be able to get there until an hour later. So, I decided to go back to the hotel  and wait until it was time to set out for the Coyote.
      As I walked in, an angry looking middle aged woman with orange hair asked, “Were you in room 221?” I spun around and said, “No!” (I exclaimed it because I already knew she was going to accuse me of something) – “I’m in 213, the same number as Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment. Why? What happened?” She said, “Well … Jeffrey Dahmer?”
 “Yeah. Dahmer – Apartment 213. Slayer wrote a song about it.”
 There was a long pause. –
      Finally, the orange haired lady said, “They were smoking Marijuana.” Oh! – I thought – And I look like I’d be smoking marijuana too? Is that the game, orange haired lady?
  Subj: Snarky’s Migration 1.3.05
  Date: 1/4/2005 8:13:11 AM Eastern Standard Time
  From: Ezratitus
  To: Vitus7
Snarky’s Migration 1.3.05
      Today was ‘anger day’ for the Snark. The first thing that enraged me was that the bastards at my cell-phone provider (If I mention their name I’ll get sued) never seem to run out of ways to rip me off. These people must have psychiatrists who used to work for the CIA’s ‘black ops’ psychological warfare division sitting around, discussing weaknesses in the human intellect that make us all vulnerable to sophisticated methods of extortion. (Yes. One can mention the CIA, but just try writing something about a multinational corporation and you’ll end up in a Laotian prison for the rest of your life.) The cell phone companies make it sound like you’re going to save some money if you try their new plan, then the bill comes and your life is virtually destroyed. So, I called customer service and spoke to someone in Malaysia who gave me a biblically lengthy explanation, detailing the intricacies of financial rape and violation. In the end, I understood only that I’d have to pay this ludicrous, astronomical bill, or cancel my service and pay a penalty that would be exponentially larger. These people are up your butt with a pitchfork! Resistance is futile. Submit, consume and pull down your pants – or else you can always send text messages via carrier pigeon. And who do you think owns the carrier pigeons? – The cell phone companies! We’re all slaves to a wireless trilateral commission, and there’s no choice but to choke down a big helping of “whether you like it or not.”
      Secondly, these hotels I live in really know how to expedite the inevitable when it comes to a fool and his money. The only source of nutrition available to me is a vending machine. It’ll give me one package of Twizzlers, but then, when I put another exorbitant amount of money in for a second helping, it starts beeping and gives me a little text message of its own: “Remove Product.” Well, not only have I removed the product by then – I’m already scarfing it down and all I want is more. I press ‘clear.’ I flick the lever that should give me my quarters back. I scream at it (which sometimes works) and I kick the front of the machine, but it’s made of bullet proof glass because the villains who designed it foresaw all this before they even dispatched this thievery box. Finally, I complain to the night shift cretin (who also sits behind bullet proof glass). He laughs and says, “Yeah. That machine really sucks.” I feign a smile and ask, “So, you can open it up and get my Twizzlers?” Shocked that I should even ask, he replies, “Oh – No – No way Dude. Only the technicians can do that, and they won’t be here until next Wednesday.” My pulse quickens and I know it’s pointless, but I try this: “But, you can give me my money back, right?” – “Nope. Hotel policy.” Apparently, the policy is that I always have to lose. “Well how about some extra strength opium then, to stave off my hunger?” – “Opium hasn’t been legal since 1914 sir, when the Harriman act gave the government control over the regulation of psychoactive substances.” — The Harriman act?!? How can this imbecile know so little about vending machines, yet so much about why it’s forbidden to give a brother a little relief after doing battle with one? What a world.
      I’m enraged that I pay a King’s ransom in taxes for a hi-tech military and its silly excursions while the term “Social Welfare” is, in this country, as meaningless as saying, “Droof Panda Honk.” Do-nothing nuclear missiles that are so sophisticated you couldn’t beat one in a game of chess sit eternally in their silos, eating cash by the boatload, while we who toil like drones to maintain them bleed to death in the streets. I swallowed a chicken bone once, and I’m still paying off the hospital bill, years later. Meanwhile, billions are tossed into the Pentagon so that flying an F-16 strike eagle can be easier for illiterate teenagers who see no ethical dilemma in dropping million dollar bombs on the most impoverished people on Earth. Flimshaw! In Canada, you can swallow all the chicken bones you want without ever having to pay a dime. There are those who say that anger is what makes America great. But, is it great? I’ll find out on my way to Florida. If not, Cuba’s not much further south.
      As if things weren’t bad enough, my hard drive crashed today and I lost all my banking records. I’m having a nervous breakdown, again, and this didn’t help. From now on, I’m going back to the old quill and parchment when it comes to my fiduciary matters. I’m convinced that technology is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. In fact, I think it’s the fifth, which God forgot to mention in the Bible. There are Death, Famine, Time and Pestilence, but I think the one that was left out is called Mac OSX, or ‘Frustration.’ Man! You learn to depend on these machines, you fall in love with them and then, Kaplooie! They ruin your life! – Sounds like I’m describing girlfriends, doesn’t it?
      The Hell-spawned fire alarm went off again today at 4 AM. This time, I didn’t even get out of bed. I’m only on the second floor, so if the hotel bursts into flames, I can always just jump out the window. I’ve fallen off higher things, like the water tower in Woodstock. As teenagers, my friend Scott and I had been drinking up there. We were climbing down the ladder and I thought I was at the bottom, so I let go. I cracked some ribs and broke a toe. I got crutches, but they tore up my underarms so much, I just threw them away. So, to this day, I have a bent toe. I’m sure that someday it will cause me to die, but not before I’ve endured thousands of centuries, suffering in cheeseball America.
 My mom’s like, “You should just move to Copenhagen.” Yeah, I’d really be able to get a job there! Actually, Florida’s the place to find a job. There are so many disasters there, and so many retired people who don’t want to work, it’s the promised land as far as employment is concerned. You can make a fortune doing hurricane cleanup, gator removal or even training panthers. All I’m bringing is a chair and a whip. That covers panther taming, furniture, and even perverted sex. What more could one possibly need?
 Well, I hit the smuggler’s highway (I-95) tomorrow. I’m sure the towns I’ll find myself in during the nights will provide the most entertaining part of this chronicle. Stay tuned, and remember, “It’s all good.” – Just keep the women back! I can only handle four or five a night. Remember, there is no such thing as an orgy; It’s just ten or eleven people in love.
 To Be Continued
Snarky’s Migration 1.4.05
       Well, it’s D-day minus one. The car is packed to the ceiling with stuff and certain items, people and documents have been thrown into the freezing, muddy Wallkill river, never to be seen again. My white stallion (the car) has fresh oil for the ride and I’m full to capacity with Marlboros, Diet Pepsi and various candy treats. I’ve got a photo of my dog, Wotan, who passed away 15 years ago, on the console to protect me on my way. Checking the atlas, I’m amazed to find that this entire journey will only involve three highways. It’s a cakewalk. I even had my best friend, Scott, check my entire plan for faults, and he says that if he didn’t have a family, he’d go with me. (I told him that getting married and having children at age twelve was a mistake, but he just kept saying, “Me so horny.” Then again, who am I to judge?) — Well … I AM Snarky, the poetic hellcat daredevil. Take that as meaning what you will.
      I’ll always have fond memories of my time here in room 213. I’ve made friends (really, really good friends) with one of the cleaning girls. She told me that second fire alarm, at 4AM last night, was the responsibility of those potheads in room 221 – again. This time, they really are in jail. I guess the moral of that story is this: If you know you’re going to be getting high, don’t get a non-smoking room.
      One of my other concerns today is our President’s mispronunciation of the word “Nuclear.” I hate it when people say “Nukyuler.” It indicates a non-understanding of the concept of the nucleus, and anybody who went to Yale should have that down. I appeal to Mr. Bush (who checks our site frequently, I’m sure) – Get it together. I don’t care if you butcher the rest of the English language, but please learn this single word. Do it for Snarky.
      Tomorrow, I’m on my way to Q’s house, with his many beagles in Tampa. How many? Too many for most people – but these dogs nearly overwhelm one with love. Oh, how I long once again to hear the baying of the hounds.
      No dead animals have been found in the tsunami zone. I think it’s high time we learn from these animals (elephants and dogs among others) exactly how they seem to be able to sense oncoming disasters. Some Sri Lankan tribes were saved from the tsunami when they followed animals running toward the hills, hours before the waves came in.
      Until next time, keep your nucleus out of the nukyulon, send a day’s salary to help the victims of the tsunami and be kind to strangers. You’ll feel better about yourself, and that makes it all worth it. It’s good to think about things, but if you think too much, you’re worrying, and that’s when it gets ugly in the mud. Don’t forget to send your loved ones a nice card, even if it’s for no reason at all. It means more to them than you might imagine. Oh, and if you’re one of the 18 to 25 year olds who ‘spaced’ on voting last year, remember, it’s only about 1,400 more days until you get another chance. (Sorry, but a wake up call is in order. That vote would have made all the difference.)
      Snarky appreciates your prayers as he heads South down I-95 to start his new life. I wish each and every one of you happiness in the new year. Stay snarky,
The Snark
To Be Continued