ACD Copywriter

Humor Essays

Things to consider before crossing Matt Polston

On the outside you might see me, Matt Polston, as a 40-something, affable man with an average build and neatly trimmed goatee. But don’t let my mild-mannered exterior fool you. While I may be easygoing and quick to laugh at myself and the world around me, I am not the sort of person you want to mess with.

Say, for example, you see me standing in the checkout line down at the Home Depot and think, “I can cut in front of the man buying a state of the art, 4-burner Broil King.” Well, you’ve got another thing coming, because I, Matt Polston, won’t turn a blind eye to your disrespectful actions. Mark my words: We will get into a verbal altercation.

But before you jump head first into an argument with me, Matt Polston, ask yourself, “Are you ready to test the newly-minted wiles of someone who just completed a 4-hour improv workshop as part of a mandatory, company wide, team building exercise?”

During the course of a singular afternoon, I literally played the games “Pass the Clap” and “Zip, Zap, Zop” several times. Through dozens of minutes spent maintaining strong eye contact, clapping synchronously, and taking turns reciting the words “zip,” “zap,” and “zop” in sequential order at ever-increasing speeds, I’ve drastically improved my active listening skills and focus, which in turn have sharpened my wits to rapier proportions. Essentially, my mind is now as swift and clever as Stephen Colbert’s.

Still wanna try something? If so, then read on.

My extremely brief introduction into the improvisational art form didn’t stop with enhancing my mental acuity. For the better part of a half-hour, my fellow employees and I also played the Beastie Boys rap game, where we learned to free associate and rhyme one-syllable words at a breakneck pace. Busting out rap lyrics off the top of my head is second nature to me now. So when our argument inevitably dissolves into a rap battle in the Home Depot parking lot, watch out!

My fresh rhymes will be so sick, they’ll make you ill, because you won’t just be going up against Matt Polston, Neighborhood Watch block captain. You’ll be going tongue-to-tongue with Matt Polston, lyrical wizard and owner of “8 Mile” on Blue-ray and DVD. In one fell swoop, I will humiliate you and steal your girl, to whom I will make sweet love in my brand new Dodge Caravan once we’ve set the parking brake and folded the second- and third-row seats into the floor, thanks to its innovative Stow ‘n Go Seating and Storage System.

Of course this will upset you, and I could see how you’d want to fight the man who rocked your significant other’s world on a bed of premium upholstery, still ripe with new car smell. But before you step into the ring of hurt with my deft brain and hip hop genius, here’s more food for thought, “Are you mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared to find yourself on the business end of my white belt for which I recently earned a golden gold stripe, as evidenced by the ring of electrical tape affixed to one end?”

Since I began my Taekwondo training two months ago at the dojo next to Dunkin’ Donuts in the 2nd street strip mall, I have transformed my body into a living weapon. Think of me as a Ronda Rousey-Jet Li hybrid who can deflect anything you throw my way, assuming it falls within the parameters of the four basic blocks I’ve spent no more than a handful of hours perfecting.  

Ideally this would be the point where you realize you’re no match for the likes of a trained martial artist such as myself and yield. But those mental images of me gently caressing your girl’s supple skin on a bed of automotive carpet would only fuel the rage, and you would continue your assault, while underestimating the amount of stretch in my business casual Dockers. Not only will these affordable pants from a Khol’s Labor Day Sale aid me in delivering a sidekick squarely to your mid-thigh region, they will also assist in my ongoing battle against dirt and wrinkles with their Stain Defender and Never-Iron technologies. So when all’s said and done, the only thing I’ll have to wipe away is the smile of satisfaction from teaching you a thing or two about the basics of Home Depot line etiquette.

So, I’ll leave you with one final question, “Are you prepared to open the Pandora’s box known as Matt Polston?” If not, kindly take your place in line behind me, where the only thing I’ll be hitting you with is some friendly chitchat about this 4-burner Broil King I’m about to buy.

Michael Williams
Form Letters For Every Occassion

Sorry For Removing The Wrong Body Part

Dear [insert patient’s name],

It has come to my recent attention that I amputated your [wrong body part], when in fact I was supposed to amputate [correct body part]. For that, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies for the oversight that caused this error, as I know how important your [wrong body part] was to you. Rest assured the appropriate actions have been taken to ensure a mistake like this won’t happen again.

I know this news must be unpleasant for you. You may even be feeling a sense of shock, just like I experienced while holding your [wrong body part] in my hands, realizing the gravity of my inexcusable actions. I was so upset that I shouted “[expletive]!!!” I was horrified, as I’ve always prided myself in being a person who never uses foul language.

Scared and unsure of what to do next, I made the decision to put you in a medically-induced coma for an open-ended amount of time, which explains why it’s [season] now and the incisions from your amputation have completely healed. It was the right thing to do. During the [number] months you were unconscious, I took some time off and did some traveling to clear my head—even lived with [spiritual group in foreign country], where I had some of the most remarkable food in my life. I’d give up my [body part] to have a taste of it again!

Apart from self-discovery and unlocking parts of my palate I never knew existed, I was able to gain the clarity I needed to properly see the consequences of my actions. Thanks to the recklessness of my surgical practices, I realize that your life will be forever altered and friends, family members, and coworkers will always assume you’re dressing up as a [limbless costume trope] for Halloween.

The biggest epiphany I had, however, is I still need to remove [correct body part], and we need to do so immediately! If we don’t, I fear your life may be in danger. It should have been removed well before I left for [foreign country] to practice [spiritual practice] for [number] months, but I was in such a panicked state I forgot, maybe even suppressed it like people do with trauma. To be honest, I’m amazed that you haven’t succumbed to [life-threatening illness] from a [equally life-threatening medical complication].

I know what you’re thinking. And yes, after the operation you won’t have a [correct body part] nor a [wrong body part], but before you head down Depression Avenue, think of the silver lining to your situation! This time around there’s a 100% chance for the successful amputation of your [right body part], because it’s the only one you have left! For now.

This must stir up feelings of [words of anger]. However, let’s not focus on where I went wrong, because we’re all well aware of where things went south already. And we can’t change that. We all know living in the past will do you about as much good as leaving your [right body part] attached. Instead, let’s move forward and focus on what we can change, like removing that [right body part].

I would also like to take this time to inform you that this amputation is on the house. It’s the least we could do. As an added bonus, everyone at [medical facility] chipped in to get you the enclosed [monetary amount] gift certificate to [chain restaurant]. It’s no [spiritual group] cuisine, but they have a great family atmosphere, unlimited refills on [food/beverage item] and an outstanding reputation for accommodating people without [wrong body part].

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at [phone number].

Regards,

[name & signature]

 

Michael Williams
Moses the Ghostwriter

Speaking to Moses in the form of a burning bush atop Mount Horeb, the Lord asked Moses to chisel out a set of stone tablets that would become the second set of Ten Commandments.

Moses asked, “You want stone tablets... again? You're certain of this, stone?”

The Lord said to Moses, “It must be stone tablets."

Weak and weary, Moses bowed down to the ground and wept loudly before the Lord, “Why must it always be tablets?”

The Lord said, “Tablets are made of stone. Stone is strong. They will last long enough for the third and fourth generations of your children to see.”
Moses thought about this and concluded that in the grand scheme of things a handful of generations wasn’t really that long. "But Lord, that's only 100 years, tops. What happens after that?"

The Lord replied, “Okay, you got me. I wasn’t going to say anything, but the cat’s out of the bag. I was thinking of a do-over with this whole Earth/humanity thing, depending upon how the next few generations shake out.”

This news upset Moses greatly, and for the second time in three minutes he began to weep loudly.

“That was supposed to be a joke.” the Lord said. “I love you. You guys are my favorite humanity! I’m not going to wipe you out. Besides, that whole thing with Noah was so much work. Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have done it. That, and I’ve kinda grown tired of the whole smiting thing—pretty big image killer. No pun intended.”

Moses wiped the tears from his eyes with the backs of his hands.

“Anyway,” the Lord continued. “Stone is about as far as I can hit with durable, inscribable materials. Look around you. Do you see anything that could work as a substitute?”

“But you’re the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” Moses said. “You have the ability to transcend time and space. You can literally do anything Lord, like turn my hands into piranhas if you wanted.

“Maybe there’s something from the future to write upon? People are inventing things left and right these days. It’s a pretty low bar. Perhaps you could peek ahead a few thousand years down the road and bring something cool back to us, and I could write the Ten Commandments upon these futuristic materials instead? I would even tee it up to the people with a rousing speech. Something like like...” Moses loudly cleared his throat for effect before bellowing, “‘Behold! The Lord has bestowed His good graces upon us, giving us lightweight materials we can write upon and transport via small, discreet pockets.”

Moses turned around, producing a smile that solicited approval from the Lord.

While the Lord liked the thought of being adorned with such praises, He decided against it. “I get the impression that you’re trying to get out of chiseling the Ten Commandments again?” the Lord responded. “Remember, you broke the first set. You brought this upon yourself.”

Moses replied, “Look Lord, I need to level with you. I was at a really low point in my life then, and in a moment of weakness I lost control and broke the first set of Ten Commandments. Again, my bad. But I’m an old man. I’m around, what 80, 90? To be honest, I’ve lost count, as it's really hard with the whole calendar system being up in the air—maybe we can workshop that after we get the whole writing materials thing figured out—But lugging the stone tablets up and down the mountain isn’t easy on my joints, not to mention my sciatica. Do you know what it's like to have sciatica, lightening bolts shooting out of your butt cheeks and down your leg? Of course you don't. You're the goddamn Lord..."

Moses stopped abruptly, chastising himself for lacking restraint with his words, but the Lord hadn’t noticed, as He’d dozed off momentarily. The sound of Moses’s self-scolding had jolted the Lord awake, causing Him to ask, “Huh? What happened? Where am I?”

This annoyed Moses, but he was okay with it, because the Lord hadn’t heard him take His name in vain.

"Remember the first set of Ten Commandments?” Moses asked. “Not the final product, but the first rough draft when you were spitballing commandments, and I had to chisel out all of them? Do you know how many commandments we started with? 104, God. 104 commandments! And some of them were real doozies. At a few points, I thought you were drunk, but seeing how you're the Lord, I had to pretend they were great. 'Yes, Lord, smiting anyone for looking at bees after sundown is a great idea.' Then you whittled 104 commandments to 83. 83 to 67. 67 to 66. 66 to 43. 43 to 23. 23 to 11. And from 11 to 10. The only reason we landed on 10 was because you said 10 was such a solid, memorable number. Otherwise rape would have made the cut. Which I still think you’re making a huge mistake for leaving that one out, but who am I to judge the ‘Almighty Creator of our Universe’? What I’m saying is that during each round of whittling, I had to CHISEL OUT EACH SET OF COMMANDMENTS! And then you went out and claimed authorship.”

And then Moses knelt down and bowed at the feet of the Lord. “Lord, forgive me for what I'm about to say, but... I’m tired of chiseling.”

And the Lord said, “So what do you want me to do?”

“I sort of liked the thought of you grabbing some technology from the future and bringing it back for us to use was pretty good.” Moses said, excitedly. “Or maybe you could just write them on the tablets yourself? That whole speaking the world into existence was a pretty incredible move. Maybe you could just speak the commandments into existence in one quick breathe? Then I go back to my family, get a nice massage, eat some lamb. And if you’re not digging any of those, then let’s get a good riff session going on, Lord, and figure this out.”

Moses grew excited at the prospect of collaborating with the Creator of Heaven and Earth on such a history-altering invention.

The Lord contemplated Moses's proposal for a few minutes before concluding that the work of men was for men, not for an all-powerful God such as Himself. And so Moses let out a heavy sigh and began to weep loudly, for the third time in a ten-minute time frame. This made the Creator of the Universe feel awkward. So he avoided making eye contact and pretended not to notice.

Through tears and a heavy, convulsing chest Moses asked the Lord once more, "Why must it always be stone tablets?"

But the Lord thought this was a rhetorical question and did not answer Moses. He decided that if He remained silent, Moses would think he had left and get to the task at hand.

Moses broke the silence, "I can hear you breathing, Lord. That and the giant burning bush form you’ve taken isn’t as inconspicuous as you thhink. I know you're there and are ignoring me. Why must you ignore me so?”

Moses’s comment gave the Lord a stroke of genius. He conjured up a mighty wind gust, which blew through the mountain top, smothering the fire that had consumed the bush. And as the last flame went out, the Lord feigned, “Oh no. The fire has gone out. I have to go. Good luck Moses...”

And for the fourth time within a 15-minute time frame Moses wept loudly.

Michael Williams