Wednesday, June 8, 2016


(*Maybe this will help?)

Maybelline, I can still remember the first time I saw you.  You were my brother Harold’s dog Maddie’s puppy.  Maddie was pregnant when Harold got her, unbeknownst, to his girlfriend’s weird mason/cop/dog breeder uncle who he got her from.  As soon as we knew there would be one more litter I called dibs!  Maddie had 5 pups (she ate one?) and my brother called me up to invite me over to have my pick of the litter.  As soon as I saw your little white Mohawk stripe I knew you were the one, you were so small when you were born that your eyes and even your ears were closed.  You were so fresh and needed to nurse for a while before I could take you but you were already mine.  5 or 6 weeks later I walked into his apartment and sat down in a chair to wait when he told me you and your brothers and sister were nursing at that moment.  I wasn’t there too long before you came around the corner, by yourself, and came straight over to me to check me out.  I picked you up with 1 hand and looked into your little eyes, I loved the idea of having you while I waited for you to be strong enough to come home with me, but from that moment on, I loved YOU.  Chuck Berry was playing on the CD player and I agreed with him when he said “you’re the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, I think I’ll call you Maybelline.”

Now I had a dog!  This was something I’d never experienced before.  You were a little asshole from the very beginning, and I loved that about you.  One time, when you were still very young, you ate my weed.  You went down to the end of a long hallway and stripped the wall paper for hours.  It was coming down anyway so I just let you go to town until you came down.  You didn’t like weed after that, and you’d leave the room any time somebody was smoking it.  Another time you got into the garbage and ate ALL the bones from the chicken wings we had with our pizza the night before.  I thought you were going to die that night, and so did you I’m sure.  I had to reach right down your throat, a few times, to pull the bones out.  There was the time we arrived in the country to visit friends at their old farm house.  You bolted out of the car and I could see you running across the field until you disappeared down a gopher hole.  I didn’t see you until 2 full days later when you returned covered in dried blood and happy as could be.  Some people you just didn’t like and you would bite them if they didn’t take heed to your warning growl and insisted on getting close to you.  Some people and dogs didn’t take you serious at first because of your small Jack Russell stature, but you always had the last word and would dominate in the end, humping your trophies proudly or biting the hands and/or faces of the non-believers.  You were mouthy, annoying, and would take 1 small shit at every house I ever brought you to, to mark your territory (and to spite me I’m sure).  I knew your soft side too, the Maybelline a lot of people never got to see.  I know your best friend was a cat named Montgomery who you loved to cuddle with every chance you got.  You helped me bury him after he died and I knew you were sad, you were sweet and very good to your friends.  The handful of witnesses will still testify to you growling “I love you” on command, you did some really cool tricks in your prime.  Everybody loved my ‘Beaner’.

Do you remember the time Heather stole you from me and kept you from me and bred you to sell your puppies for drugs?  I do, that sucked.  The first time I went to get you back they phoned the police who wouldn’t let me take you because you were nursing puppies.  I wanted to see your kids and give one to my little sister so we could keep you in our family forever; that was my plan.  I came back in 5 or 6 weeks and knocked on the door.  When they opened the door and asked what I wanted, I laughed!  What did they think I wanted?  You were right to be weary of humans, most of them are stupid and mean.  I yelled “Haaaaaam Saaaaamerge!” (You were always my little Ham Samerge) and you came running and jumped right into my arms and began licking my face like crazy!  It made me so happy that you didn’t forget me and you missed me the same as I missed you.  Right before we took off, one of your pups came to see what the commotion was.  She looked just like you did when you were small and I almost put her in my pocket, I always wished that I did.  I had to go to jail for that little rescue action but I didn’t care, some things are worth more than all the money and time in the world.  I knew you were safe and waiting for me to get home and that’s all that mattered.  I know you remember when that crazy drunk ‘artist’ friend of my roommate let her giant dog get you pregnant when I wasn’t home.  You had to go to the emergency animal hospital on Christmas day and I almost lost you again.  They kept you over night to perform an emergency caesarian section, but not before they threatened to take you away if I couldn’t fork over $1000 for the procedure.  Luckily I had a friend who just got a credit card the night before and got too drunk to go home for the holidays (Some people are good), and she lent me the money.  We didn’t get to keep that puppy either, the vet said it didn’t make it and even if it did she would have had to put it down because there wasn’t enough room in you for it to develop properly.  When I went to pick you up the next day they told me you would be very groggy from the drugs, you were not.  You came running to me and I took you home with your fresh new scar stapled across your belly. 

I know I wasn’t always the best dad, but to be fair, you weren’t always the best dog either.  We were made for each other.  You were jealous of my wife when she was still my girlfriend but she cared for you and became your loving mother.  We got her dog back from her ex and you two fought like mad until you realized you loved each other, then you both had a sister.  When my daughter was born you got vexed and very jealous of her but stayed out of the way.  She loved you very much too, I don’t know why, you were always a jerk to her.  We got a house and you got your own back yard.  You got old, went blind, deaf, incontinent, and very sleepy.  I made the decision to ‘put you down’ because I believed you were suffering.  I didn’t want you to suffer for even a minute and I didn’t want my daughter or wife to find you dead in our house.  You were my dog and this was my decision to make and my responsibility to take care of.  It’s funny, after the last vet bill I swore I wouldn’t spend another cent on you other than food and now I have another bill for euthanizing and cremation services.  You had the last and final word, until I wrote this!  HA!  

Now you’re gone and I will never forget you, luckily I probably won’t have to because I’m sure you’ll figure out how to haunt my house.  I love you Bean, goodbye my dear friend.  We were together for 16 years (-kidnapping + jail time) and you made me a better person.  I hope you had a good life with me, it will never be the same without you.

Thank you,

(*It didn’t)

 Maybelline Plasticine Gasoline Tantrum
February 9th 2000 - June 13th 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dinner For 5 Million

I'm not a germaphobe or anything, I just have a constant and extreme fear of germs and an obsession with cleanliness.

Has anybody ever asked you for a drag of your cigarette or a sip of your beer?  It's kind of gross if you think about it, how about instead, you go stick your tongue up a homeless guy's dirty old asshole and then come back and give me a big sloppy french kiss.  That's about the same thing, isn't it?

Shaking hands is a strange custom.  Let's all go behind closed doors and pick our noses and our scabs, clean our floors, scrub our toilets, play with ourselves and wipe our asses - then when we see each other we'll just slap that shit together and hold onto it for a second.

"How are ya?! You're looking well!"

Mostly everyone has 'shitty dick hands'.  When I look at a hand I just see a turd ball with 5 dicks poking out of it, because we have to wipe our ass and touch a dick at least once a day.  Our own or someone else's and that goes for the dicks and the asses, that's your business, but that's why I wash my hand before I go to the washroom and I only shake hands with lesbians.  
Homosexual woman with a colostomy bag?  High 5 dude!  My new best friend - you get the nurse to change that crap sack for you and you'll be my only human contact.

Did you ever get invited over to dinner at someone else's house?  That's some cruel and unusual punishment right there.  

"I thought we were friends, what did I ever do to you?"

So, I'm supposed come over to your place and immediately remove one layer of protection: jacket, hat and shoes - right at the front door - so I'm basically naked - completely exposed!  You're going to invite me to sit down on what I can only assume is your 'singer's orgy couch'.  I don't know what you do in your spare time.  You'll probably offer some perverted plate of phallic horderves like pigs in a blanket, or cocktail wieners, or cheese and crackers. This would've been prepared beforehand leaving me to guess how long they've been sitting around collecting dust like this disgusting couch.  Dust, which is predominantly dead skin cells most likely from naked genitals.

"Have another!"

"No, thank you, I'm saving room for dinner."

Oh my god, dinner!  What kind of radiated Fukishima, GMO pesticide, zeka virus have you got in store for us tonight?!

"Oh!  Spaghetti!  My favorite!  Wait, are those green peppers?  You're fucking dead to me, Mom."

Who likes green peppers?  Put up your hand.  Some people even go as far to say that they love them.  Do you think they rub them on their tits, pack them in their lunch and eat them like apples?

Wash your hands.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015



Whenever I run into people from my past, they’re always doing terrible.  If I happen to bump into ANY girl I went to high school with , she has four or five kids (with different fathers), has been to rehab and/or jail at some point, has bad tattoos of corporate logos or sports teams and strange scarring on her face.  ALL of them!  Even the hottest girl in the whole school that everybody wanted to have sex with looks like everybody did, last night.   All the dudes are either working on their “rap careers” or “entrepreneurs” of some other kind.  They always try to sell me their self-published CDs or want my number to send me a link to their latest business venture.  I’m not on Linked In, and if I was, I wouldn’t want a bunch of lame, wanna-be captains of industry in cheap suits all attached to my profile representing my social and professional circles.  What the hell happened to my generation?  We all hated school and took a lot of drugs, sure, but what generation didn’t?  I’d like to know how life managed to kick the asses of everybody I ever knew.  What schools were the young doctors and lawyers of today going to?  Certainly not mine, the kids from my school are all being stitched up or represented by these other kids now. 

Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s something I said or did.  What if I’m the one common denominator that sent all these poor bastards down the wrong path?  Could I have ruined the futures of a school full of kids?  Perhaps I made partying look like too much fun or managed to breeze through my classes with little to no studying and set a bad example as a result.  If I had anything to do with what happened to all of my non-graduating class then please allow me to apologize here and now.  I thought you knew if you dropped out of school that you were destined for low-paying, dead-end, medial jobs and social assistance.  I figured everyone was aware that crime and addiction issues were directly related to poverty.  I assumed you were simply as reckless and care-free as me and content on a crash course of self-destruction.  Obviously you do care, or all of you wouldn’t be so miserable today.  It makes me sad when I see them dragging their funky asses around complaining and blaming all their shit on someone else.  They’re not even good at self-destruction; the ones who were are dead. 

If there are any of you out there that managed to escape this fate, please stay where you are.  Don’t come around for a trip down memory lane because it’s filled with mind blowing reminders and survival guilt.  Congratulations, you escaped and should remain nameless.  For the rest of you, hang in there, there is hope and you can pull it together.  I’ve made plenty of comforting tunes with my independent band for you to listen to during the hard times, check us out at: I think we’re going to blow up this year, yo!

If you ever need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to give me a call (the first thing I’m going to do is get a pay-as-you-go phone, after I catch up on child support, once I’m done doing weekends for armed robbery).


Your friend,


Monday, June 29, 2015



By Joe Amero

Do you know that dream that everybody always has?  You know the one where you suddenly find yourself in an unfamiliar grocery store and you are completely naked except for all the colored ribbons in support of various different causes safety pinned to your bare chest.  It’s late into the night but the store is surprisingly busy and buzzing with activity while the loud speaker plays muzak versions of game show theme songs from the 70’s.  Even though nobody seems to care, or even notice you are nude, you still panic and run up and down the aisles looking for cover to hide your shame.  In panicked desperation you build a little make shift display fort from different brands of colourful children’s cereal boxes where you can hide.  You try to calm yourself but you keep wheezing and it sounds like a tiny yappy dog trapped in your chest cavity.  You sit in there for what seems like hours, nervous and sweating, until other shoppers start to notice you and make kissing noises as they smile on their way past.  They start bringing you little snacks and rubbing your head like at a petting zoo.  Every time you try to ask a shopper to get you some clothes they just laugh and think it’s cute when you speak and feed you another handful selected from the bulk section.  You start to get full from all the offerings and you’re frustrated because nobody will listen to you and you’re sweating and you start to cry.

You know the one.  You keep trying to wake up at first to escape the humiliation but then you think it’s real when the cramps and gas start.  You’re trapped in your little breakfast cereal cell and now your stomach starts expanding with gas from the force-fed treats and you start to run a fever from all the viruses you’ve contracted from the shoppers’ hands.  You can feel yourself getting weaker by the minute as your body tries to fight the infection but, at the same time, keeps expanding with gas.  You start to leak and fart out the gas but it sounds like a rock drum kit and everybody cheers each time a new sound squeaks or dumps out in perfect 4/4 rhythm like bass, snares and hi-hat cymbals.  People start to gather around in a crowd like at a concert and you slowly begin to split at the sides.  With rushes of hot air, a steady stream of guitar chords begin to seep from the openings in your rib cage, lead guitar on the left and bass on the right.  The shoppers all start grooving and nodding their heads at each other in silent agreement that you are pretty good.  Then to everyone’s but your own amusement, an unbelievably small Cuban band leader rises out of your belly button on a circular hydraulic stage and starts blowing a tenner saxophone like a miniature sexy explosion highlighted by little helium balloons shaped like music notes drifting from his horn. 

Everybody remembers this old classic, right?  You just roll back and forth on the cold tile floor while the virus grows and multiplies inside you until finally escaping contained in fat painful beads of sweat, each holding an identical back-up singer with a tambourine made of dried plasma like hard red plastic and shiny white blood cell cymbals, popping from your pours and dancing in place to the infectious beat.  You’re so embarrassed because your entire immediate family shows up with backstage passes and joins you inside the fort.  Your mom flashes you her tits and your dead step father forces you to take hold of a black Sharpie marker and sign your autograph on one of them.  Then your little sister immediately begins to tattoo your name on your mother’s breast with a machine made of Lego bricks and a mixture of crushed Oreo cookies and chocolate milk for ink.  Then just when you absolutely cannot take it for another second, the song reaches its’ peak and you finally burst into a million Lucky Charms marshmallows and the crowd scurries to devour them like as many Mexican children after the successful contact with a birthday piñata.  Except nobody is happy about the marshmallows because they’ve become immediately addicted and desperately search them out like crack heads looking for imaginary crumbs, purposely scratching each other’s hands with long yellowish fingernails made of corn chips as they crawl around on all fours.  Then it fades to black and there are two straight hours of credits written in a language you don’t understand.

You know; that dream.  What is that supposed to mean again?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015



By: Joe Amero

Talking with a friend last night before a show we somehow got onto the topic of bugs.  Later I thought about how much I must have grossed her out, and how much more I could have if she knew the whole story.

When I was a little boy I woke one morning to discover I had an itchy bum.  I couldn’t stop scratching even after my mother noticed and insisted that I did.  We went to the doctor who gave me medicine that tasted like chemicals and bananas and the very next day there were worms in my poop!  Actual living worms poking out and squirming around in my poop!  This blew my little mind and must have been mildly traumatic as the image has been burned into my brain like a Seinfeld rerun.  I don’t know how the pin worms came to be inside my body or where one contracts whatever causes them.  Could it be from consuming undercooked meat or doing regular kid stuff like maybe licking a dirty rock in the park that a dog pooped on?  Who cares, it was gross and scary and it was my first experience with parasites.  Unfortunately, it was not to be my last.

A couple years later there was a letter sent home with all the kids in my school notifying parents about cases of head lice that had been detected.  My mom literally checked my head with a fine tooth comb and I was clean.  She warned me to stay the hell away from everybody, signed the letter and sent me back to class.  The next day, I could feel them crawling on my scalp as we made our way home on the bus.  I told my mom when she got home from work and she was so pissed off when she discovered the little eggs in my hair that she shaved my head right there on the spot.  She then bagged up every last item of cloth in the entire house; dirty clothes, clean clothes, blankets, sheets, pillows, pillow cases, tea towels, even the curtains, and we drove to the laundry mat like we were fleeing from the police in a high speed chase.  After she got all of our worldly possessions into the machines she sent me to the pharmacy to buy the lice shampoo, by myself!  I thought I knew what embarrassment was when I had to ask the pharmacist for the treatment until I brought it back to my mom and she washed my head right there in the sink at the laundry mat.  As soon as I went back to school with my short hair, everybody knew I had lice, even though I got it from someone else, the whole thing became my fault and even the teachers shook their heads and looked at me with disgust.  I don’t know who gave it to me in the first place and escaped the blame and ridicule, but you’re welcome.

We stayed with friends of my mom during my parents’ separation/divorce to hide from my father, who was threatening to kidnap me.  My mom’s friend sent me into the kitchen one evening to grab a big bag of cheddar popcorn out of the cupboard to enjoy with a late great movie we were about to watch.  I ran through her apartment like a flash to the kitchen cupboards and stopped when I realized that I didn’t know which one held the treat.  I whipped open the first door and sent a gang of strange bugs that lived inside scurrying out of sight, seemingly as surprised as me.  I opened another and another, each time discovering new batches of these weird critters until I found the popcorn in its already opened bag.  I retrieved it and walked back to join mom and her friend on the couch.  They started throwing back fistfuls of the cheesy treat and licking their fingers clean but all I could think about was the fast little bugs that must’ve enjoyed this feast before us.  This was the first time I saw cockroaches and the last time I ate cheddar popcorn.  Later that night I felt one run across my face as I lay awake in the dark on that couch. 

When I was a teenager I hung around dirty places with dirty people for a dirty period of time.  We would sometimes break into abandoned houses and live there, rent free!  One day I was hanging out in one of these squats with some friends sitting around and partaking in some libations.  One guy was telling a detailed story and casually took off his shoe, then his sock and began scratching around what can only be described as the hole in the top of his foot.  I was shocked by the sight of it and more so by the lack of reaction from the others.  I had to ask him what in the name of Christ was wrong with him.  This was the day I discovered what scabies are, and that I was infested with them along with all the other dirty people in this dirty place.  These things live under your skin and weave in and out forming lines of dots on the surface.  They are itchy as all get out and the more you scratch the worse they get until, eventually, you get nice big craters like the one in buddy’s foot.  You have to wash everything, a skill I was lucky enough to learn early in life from my mother.  You also have to treat your body with an extremely toxic shampoo that is so strong and bad for you it can only be used a maximum of twice a year.  I left this squat immediately and ran into my little brother and his friend on my way to the laundry mat.  They were living in a bank machine and picking body lice off of themselves and forcing them to fight to the death in a bottle cap on the floor like some sick and twisted miniature prize fight of filth.  I never had body lice, thankfully I didn’t hang around my brother too much at the time; his friend was weird.  Scabies are horrifying; they infest your entire body except your face and genitalia.  I think they’re from outer space. 

Years later I got my life together and used my lived experience to become a Social Worker.  My job title is Community Mental Health Worker and I work with consumer survivors living with mental health issues, on the street they call these people “bugs”.  One day when I got to work my boss handed me a haz-mat suit and told me to go and clean out a tenants’ room in our supportive housing unit.  I went up and bagged all of his clothes and bedding to once again do the old marathon laundry service.  When I got to his mattress, which I was asked to put on the curb with the garbage, I was introduced to the infamous bed beg.  These suckers are nocturnal, they’re attracted to the carbon dioxide you exhale and feed on your blood while you sleep.  Bed bugs are a nasty bit of business and difficult to get rid of with steam treatments and extreme heat.  I put my own mattress at home in a protective cover and lived in fear of bringing these pests home with me for the last 5 years.  I never have, but I see them all the time crawling on people and in peoples’ units.  The next time you see a mattress on the curb look for black stains made of tiny spots and blood markings, that’s the evidence of this epidemic.  It’s not only poor and dirty people who get them either, these things don’t know prejudice and even public movie theatres have had to be closed down and treated.  The dogs that are specially trained to detect them are in such high demand they get paid more than you and I.  ‘Night, night, don’t let the bed bugs bite’?  It’s more like ‘you won’t sleep because of the anxiety and they will feed from you like hundreds of tiny babies drinking their mother’s milk and life force’.

Fast forward a bit and I’m doing pretty good thinking the bugs were all behind me.  My girlfriend was very pregnant so I put a new air conditioner in our bedroom window to battle that summers’ brutal heat wave. The next morning my girlfriend wakes up and has some strange tiny bites on her arms.  I didn’t have any evidence on me so I assumed it was mosquitos or a spider and didn’t give it a second thought.  A couple days later and she awakens to fresh bites, still I have none and she is convinced I had brought bed bugs home from work.  I checked and had not.  She was uncomfortable already and now she was going insane from these mysterious bites.  We were lying in bed googling images of different bug bites and not having any luck matching her tiny, pin prick markings.  Just as we came to bird mites, a tiny grain of salt walked across the glowing screen of her iPhone.  Once we knew what we were looking for, closer examination of the window sill revealed millions of almost microscopic white mites, everywhere!  We quickly checked the bed and it was covered!  The walls, the floor, everything was crawling with barely visible bird mites.  Bird mites go into your eyeballs and eat your brain, that’s where the expression ‘bird brain’ comes from.  I knew the drill, first thing was bag and wash everything cloth.  Next it was showers, I removed the brand new air conditioner, threw it away and sealed the bedroom window with thick plastic and duct tape while my girlfriend scrubbed up.  When I put the unit in it scared away the infested pigeons roosting there and the mites went straight through the a.c. and onto my girlfriend.  I was bypassed in favour of her delicious pregnant pheromone and blood-filled body.  Next it was my turn in the shower then we leashed up the dogs and were out of there.  We called our landlord from the park while we washed the dogs with a hose.  The cheap prick tried to bargain basement some DDT and said we could be home in 4 hours.  I had already talked to the tele-health professionals and knew what pregnancy-safe pesticide to request and there was no way we were going back in less than 48 hours from extermination.  I made him show me the stuff and read the label but he refused to clean the front of the building and the eavestroughs which was the source so we moved out.  I left a secret note for the new tenants not to open the windows and the address to a disturbing site called

 We live in a nice little house far away from all of this now.  We got married and our baby is doing great, sometimes there is a moth that flies against the light on the back porch.  We never worry about any infestations, or dirty people and we sleep soundly in our brand new bed.  It took some time to recall all of these incidents as they now seem like a bad dream.  I never worry about bugs anymore, not the organic type anyways.  Sometimes I do get the sneaking suspicion that some unknown government agency has somehow managed to implant a small microchip transmitter/recording device in my brain; but that’s a different story.

Monday, April 27, 2015




By: Joe Amero

Dear stranger,

I am your boyfriend’s grown adult son.  I don’t know you, and more importantly, you do not know me.  If, by chance, I happen to call your house when you are home and you answer the phone, when I ask if my dad is there please do us both a favour and just put him on.  Don’t make small talk with me or act like we are friends.  We have never met and probably never will, so skip the pleasantries and allow me to get this already awkward exchange over with.  Don’t make this more weird and uncomfortable for me than it has to be.  Memorizing my number would be helpful to avoid answering in the first place.  When you see that it is me calling you could just let him get it or avoid it all together, you and I could then manage to bypass any conversation and this would be greatly appreciated.

For the past decade I have been making an effort to maintain some semblance of a relationship with my estranged father.  You, and those who came before you, have only served as annoying obstacles in the way of that goal.  I do not want to know about you and your kids and their kids or your brothers and sisters and their kids or their kids’ kids.  The lineage and offspring in your family tree does not interest me and I would rather not become privy to any of it.  I have my own kids and my own brothers and sisters, all of whom are none of your business.  I don’t care what you do for a living, please do not try to relate with me about things or share workplace stories and anecdotes.  These attempts at conversation will only turn my indifference into hate and this is a waste of my time and energy so just don’t.

You know me only from the old school picture my dad keeps in a frame on his dresser.  I am not that sweet little boy in the photograph; I am a grown ass man who is jaded and bitter toward all things concerning his father, and for good reason.   He may have even shared some stories with you about me but I assure you they have been embellished in his favour.  I barely even like him so I’m sure you can imagine how I feel about you.  He is a liar and a deadbeat, congratulations on a nice catch.  Your taste in men says a lot to me about your character.

You are in a relationship with my father and live in his house so I have to assume you like/love him and think that he is a swell guy.  You are wrong; he is a piece of living shit.  I have plenty of proof and reasons for believing this to be true, the fact that he is now with you is a result of him leaving his original family in the first place.  I was a part of said original family broken up by this man you now call boyfriend/husband so I hope you don’t feel too special because it could happen to you too.  There were others before you and will probably be more after you so I think your time there would be better spent pretending I do not exist.  If you need help with this exercise, I am quite sure my father could give you some pointers having been such an expert at it himself for many years.

I have asked my father to post this letter on your refrigerator for reference and reminder; I doubt that he will so I have forwarded you this copy, a faded and weak copy of the strong original version, a cheap facsimile of the pure and true version that came first.  I hope this letter finds you well and I wish you no harm.  I simply do not want to hear your voice, see your face or learn/know anything about you.  It’s nothing personal.  If you happen to be the one my father is with at the time of his passing then we will have the opportunity meet in person and have a few short words at the contesting of his last will and testament.  Barring that situation, please just let it go straight to message.


Not Yours,