25 Things Dick Cheney Hates

dickDear Tom,
I’m don’t remember having a great-nephew named Van Deusen, but my wife vaguely remembered you.  Your letter said you needed 25 things, I’ll assume you meant 25 things I hate.  Stay in school,

128px-dick_cheney_signaturesvg

25 Things I Hate:
1. Mondays.
2. Computer Internet.
3. My grandchildren.
4. Those who say Norman Rockwell or Thomas Kincaid isn’t real art.
5. Checks and balances.
6. Electric cars, toothbrushes and trollies.
7. Multi-Race Drinking Fountains.
8. People who drink and drive nowadays.  Back when I was a youth, it was a gentleman’s sport.  These kids in their hoot’n’holler-mobiles have no idea what they’re doing.
9. Hitler.  He ruined it for all of us.
10. Secretaries with the clap.
11. Insufficient massages.
12. Gay pride parades.
13. My lesbian daughter.
14. Modern abortions.  Back when I was a kid it was a personal experience between a girl and her coat-hanger.
15. The smell of poor people.
16. That hair pieces are out of style.
17. That guy who yelled at me for stomping on ants outside of the White House.
18. Bikes with wheels that are the same size.
19. The movie “In & Out”, more like DAMNED TO HELL!
20. The Bible.  I wish it was 9,000,000 pages long and written in a language that only rich people could understand.
21. That rape is a crime even if you have a lot of money.
22. People expecting me to dress myself.  That’s what servants are for, dammit!
23. The Emancipation Proclamation.
24. Women’s suffrage.
25. The bullshit Jesus said in the Bible.

Insufficient Funds

 

Last Sunday, I sat alone in my apartment watching a marathon of Intervention and binge drinking.  For every time a family member cried or someone’s dignity was compromised for entertainment, I would chug a beer.  Needless to say, this took too long to get me drunk, so I resorted to taking a shot whenever someone being interviewed would blink.  This worked a little too well.

“Man, I’m drunk Balloon.” I said to my dog Balloon.  When she didn’t answer I threw a beer can at her.  She scurried off with her tail between her legs as I laughed at her fear of having things thrown at her.

propelSneakily, while I was shouting at my dog the TV had swtiched to commercials.  Reaching to the remote to TiVo through them, a commercial came on that caught my eye.

In it, athletes ran and swam and biked and ran again, all the while irredescent-colored sweat poured from their skin.

“Swamp thing.”  I said to myself.

“Propel Fitness Water.”  The television corrected.

“Oh,” I replied, “I need that.”

I looked about my coffee table for my car keys, smacking the beer cans that had accumulated out of the way.  Finally, I found them and was on my way to Fitness.

***

atmBefore going to the 7-11 for the radioactive fitness water, I had to stop by an ATM to replenish my wallet.  I drove up to the ATM, popped my card into the robot, pressed some buttons and held out my hand for it to generously spit out 20’s.  Instead of 20’s, however, it gave me the following message:

INSUFFICIENT FUNDS

Huh? What the hell does that mean? I thought, anxiously shaking my hands as if they were damp.  After trying again three times, I panicked and called someone who has a tendency to remedy the situation.

“Hi, mom,” I said, trying to sound as sober as possible.  “The machine doesn’t spit money at me.  I think it’s mad at me or something.”

“Huh?” She replied

“The MONEY machine.”

“Is there money in your account?”  She asked.

“Why wouldn’t there be?” I smartly retorted.

“Because you must have spent all of it.  I wasn’t able to give you as much this month, Tommy, the economy is in horrible shape and we’re having some difficulty getting by.”  She said.

“Why should that affect me? Look, the TV told me to drink Propel Fitness Water, do you want a fat son?!”

“Maybe you should look for a job, Tom.”  She said.

“MOM I TOLD YOU I’M TOO DELICATE FOR THAT!  I’m a goddamned artist!”  I slammed my phone shut, panicking at the prospect of changing my spending habits.

***

I paced back and forth in my apartment, my brain concocting a plan to get money.  “Rainbow Sherbet, what should I do?” I asked my pet goldfish Rainbow Sherbet.

“Blub blub.”  Rainbow Sherbet replied.

“THAT DOESN’T HELP ME AT ALL!  NOW YOU’RE NOT GETTING FED FOR THREE DAYS.”  I yelled at the goldfish.

jeezyWhile I was brainstorming, the television was on Mute so as not to disturb me while I was thinking.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a music video by Young Jeezy.

Man, that guy’s got it made.  He’s probably bringin’ in truckloads of tail. I thought to myself.  Then, as if someone had flicked a light switch in my brain to turn on a lightbulb above my head, I thought HE PROBABLY DOESN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MONEY!

I knew what I had to do:  Write a #1 hit song.

***

My hit song-writing desk was surrounded by wadded up pieces of paper and the surface was covered with eraser shavings, but I had done it.  I had covered every subject, and had written a song that could appeal to anyone.  I picked up the paper and read it aloud to nobody in particular:

“Navajo woman
When I kiss you
I hear drums beating in the distance
Your Indian spirit
The spirit of your ancestors
Lifts my spirits
and tightens my trousers
Navajoooooooo, yo yo
Ay yuh-yuh-yuh A yuh-yuh-yuh (repeat)

I knew I had a hit on my hands.  Now all I had to do was get it on the radio.

***

“Operator.”  The woman on the phone answered.

“Hi, yes, can you please connect me with Beck?”  I asked sweetly.

“Yes, hold please.”  She said shortly before I was forced to listen to hold music.  My music is so much better than this! I thought to myself excitedly.

“Becks brewing company. How can I help you?”  A woman asked after I was transferred.

“Beck, as in the Beck.”  I inquired.

“…… Yes.”  She said.

“OK, good, so listen….” I said before launching into a diatribe on everything from my goldfish to my mom to Young Jeezy.  Finally, I got to perform my song for the woman on the line.  There was an awkward silence that followed before she said:

“I like it.”

yay“You do, you reallyreallyreally do?”

“Sure.”  She said.  I snapped my phone shut and jumped up in the air in glee.  I was in.

***

Weeks went by before I finally received a piece of mail from Beck.  I excitedly opened it, careful not to tear the check that it would be holding.  Instead of a check, however, there was a 20%-off coupon for Beck’s beer and a letter that said:

Dear Loyal Customer,

Thank you for your interest in Becks beer.

Sincerely,

Alison

Becks Brewing Company

So it sort of paid off but sort of didn’t.  I would be saving money on beer that month, but not nearly enough to support my opulent lifestyle.  So when it came down to brass tacks, I knew it.

I would have to get a job.


Dealing with Criticism

 

My name is Tom Van Deusen.

I’m an artist and adored personality on the internet.  I created this website to fill the world in on my goings-on in my frantic life.  Through the words I present on this website, the viewer can touch, smell and taste what it’s like to be me through the power of imagination and delusional, jealous fantasy.   However, having a website isn’t just fame and Google Ad payola.  My previous website came to a screeching halt when someone wrote me the following email:

whyDear Tom:

Youre website sukcs.  Youre drawings don’t look real at all and youre writing isn’t funny.  Its gay and ur a fagot.  Cease and decist!

-Anonymous

Tears welling up in my eyes, I called my internet hosting service to tell them to shut the whole internet down.  When they told me they didn’t have the capability to do so regardless of my insisting, I hung up the phone and stormed about my apartment.  I went over to the wall to punch it in a fit of rage, but stalled in fear mid-swing and the punch connected in an unsatisfying tap.  Still fumig, I walked over to my computer and disconnected the internet line, which I’m pretty sure at least took my website down.  If the internet wasn’t going to appreciate my genius, I wasn’t going to have anything to do with it.

The ensuing weeks I didn’t bother changing my attitude or clothes.  I did stir up the courage, however, to leave my house daily to go to the liquor store.

***

“Fuck you couch, you’re an artist’s couch” I said to my couch as I sat on the floor drinking scotch.

fire1“Fuck you, bed, only good writers get to sleep in you.” I said to my bed as I tried to sleep on a pile of old newspapers.

“Nuts to you, kitchen, only funny writers get to cook in you.” I shouted as I roasted an old boot over a fire I had set in the middle of my living room.  When the boot looked fully cooked, I let it cool then took a big bite out of it.

“Yuck, this tastes disgusting!” I shouted before tossing the boot across the room and crying my eyes out.

Finally, this painful period in my life ended with a phone call from my mother.phone

“Tommy sitting around moping in your apartment because someone on the internet made fun of you isn’t going to solve anything.  You’re 23 years old, it’s time to act like it.”

Looking down at the soiled rags I had donned that morning, I thought she may be right.  So I said “Hey, can I have some money?”  When she said no, I then admitted “I suppose I should start acting like an adult.”

***

“I need your biggest gun.”  I said to the gun store owner, my arms akimbo as I looked up at the selection behind him.

“Um, for hunting or personal protection?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Revenge.” I answered curtly.

“You got it.”  he said, “I just need you to fill out this form for the background check.”

He handed me a pack of Xeroxed papers littered with bald eagles and Roman numeraled lines.  Sweat began to run down my face when I saw the first question:

Social Security #: _____________

How was I supposed to know that off the top of my head?  I panicked and put: 123-45-6789

***

“Okay, Tom, I can’t sell you a gun today.  Your social security number didn’t clear, it’s going to take a week to get the paperwork back.”  The gun store owner said after returning from the computer.

“WHAT?” I shouted, slamming my hands down on the counter.  “I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF I’LL BE MAD BY THEN!”

“Sorry, kid, it’s out of my hands.”  he said, putting his bare hands up to demonstrate.

“I thought this was AMERICA.  What about my third amendment rights?”

“No soldier shall be quartered in private homes without the owner’s consent?”

“NO!  The awesome gun one.”  I whined, stomping my feet.  I then turned around and stormed out.  If I couldn’t murder the anonymous internet bully, I would have to contract the job out.

***

I cracked my knuckles and sat down at my Underwood typewriter:

Dear Mr. Vin Diesel:typewriter

My name is Tom Van Deusen. You may know me as the creator of the second-most popular Facebook group in your honor.  The time has come to call in a favor from you.  A few weeks ago, someone dishonored me and my artwork through a slanderous critique posted on my website.  I’m sure you’re familiar with the hurt and anger I am filled with after the critical reception from “Man on Fire.”  Basically, what I need you to do is use your sizable munitions collection to “take care” of this slanderer.  I don’t have his/her name or address, but their IP  is 192.4.7.1.  I’m sure you will do the right thing.

Anxiously,

Thomas Calvin Van Deusen.

Later that day I dropped the envelope in the mailbox, anxious already for a reply that the deed had been done.

***

Three months went by without a reply when suddenly I found a large package from Mr. Diesel himself in my mailbox.  Had he sent me a personal item from the victim?  A photo from the scene of the crime?

Inside my apartment, I ripped open the package.  Inside was wadded up pages from the October 1998 issue of Maxim magazine.  Amongst this was a letter written on wide-ruled paper with crayon.

deer terry:

sorry about your problems.  it filled my hart with sad.  but keep reeching for tomorow and youl get it!

i love you,

vin diesel.

By this point, however, I was mostly calmed down from the incident.  Vin Diesel had obvoiusly tried his hardest and was going on with his life.  I thought I’d take a similar route.  So, instead of seeking revenge, I made this website.  I am promising you, dear reader, that I will update at least weekly.  Illustrations aren’t a guarantee, but I will do the best I can.  Eventually I’m going to make a podcast so you don’t have to sit and read text all day like some Ivy-Leauge snob.

I’m back and the world won’t keep me down.

Copyright Tom Van Deusen 2014.