Author Archives: Max Hartshorn

MANGASM™

Mangasm™Mangasm™

Mangasm™

Mangasm™

Are you tired of the same old borgasm day in day out? 7 seconds in penis-heaven not quite cuttin’ it? What if I told you that in 5 minutes you could double, triple, quadruple the length and intensity of your orgasm? What if I said that with a few weeks practice, you could be coming for hours, even days?

Got you’re attention huh. Here’s another thing I’ve got: Mangasm™.

Huh? What’s he talking about? Where am I? What?

Mangasm™ is not a drug! It’s not a tube OR pump! What I’ve got here are a few simple techniques (and one ancient secret ;)) that anyone can master. It’s natural, fun and GUARANTEED to lift you to knew heights of manly pleasure.

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Quirky Fourth Grader Writes Confessional First Novel

Christian Glazner“I’m a total dork,” Christian Glazner overeagerly blurts out as we sit down for roast chicken red pepper sandwiches and chocolate milk in the school cafetorium. That much was apparent. With his purple vintage Mario T, mom-meets-dad style fop top, and tie-my-shoe era Chuck Taylors, Glazner is not the type to be picked first in gym class. What you might be surprised to learn however, is that this unassuming youngsturk with a fey (and faux) lyrical swagger reminiscent of a very young Jarvis Cocker is one of our most talked about young authors.

The Lemon Walrus: Assorted Tales from Paper Mountain tells the story of Felix, an awkward young zerosomething, who navigates the perilous waters of elementary school with the help of a host of whimsically deranged imaginary friends. There’s Suki, a double headed dragon who helps him out with his math homework, and Han, a talkative horsefly whose sage advice helps Felix ward of bullies and talk to quiet girls. Though the plot is driven primarily by the titular Luko, a lemon colored (and lemon shaped) walrus, who mysteriously appears throughout the novel to send Felix on bizarre quests about town for seemingly mundane items, such as a mechanical toothbrush, or a biography of Abraham Lincoln. As the purpose of these quests is gradually revealed Felix is cleverly transformed from hapless side-reel into an improbable folk hero.

“What I was aiming for was a cross between my two favorite novels, Hornby’s High Fidelity and Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are,” says Christian between dips of a Dunkaroo. “There’s a strong asian sensibility that you may have noticed, I went through a pretty heavy anime phase when I was younger. I hate to admit it, but it’s had a huge influence on my work.” Glazner has a way of charmingly undercutting himself at every turn, never seeking cover in his own words as so many writers tend to do. There is a remarkable openness with regard to both his work and himself. “I have to be open. This [points to a copy of The Lemon Walrus he just autographed for me], this is my life. Many writers try to hide the fact they’re writing about themselves, I embrace it. It’s therapy for me.” Glazner’s former therapist Dr. Richard Preston, who in the spirit of scientific exchange consented to talk to us, respectfully disagrees.

“Glazner is the most profoundly disturbed individual I have ever met,” says Preston. “He lacks what I have come to term the ‘nerd origin’ (perditus primordium), a period of his life where he was truly a loser lacking any redeemably ‘hip’ qualities. The patient emerged directly into the ‘self-congratulatory’ phase of geekdom, never experiencing that essential period before one embraces their own awkwardness, where the wellspring of righteous self-pity and anger is formed. To what may we attribute this anomaly? Overzealous hipster parents? The internet? You may be interested to know I am conducting an extensive cultural psychoanalysis as we speak to uncover the antecedents. I fear the degradation of the once hallowed lovable loser. We are at the precipice of a new era, a paradigmatic shift, stylistic neuroticism is in danger of becoming wholly severed from its less appealing yet endearing precursor.”

Glazner appears to take criticisms such as these in stride, but his mannerisms reveal a deep insecurity. “Bet he told you about my case study,” he smiles sheepishly. “Guess I’m just one fucked up little boy.” As he hands me a list of reasons why the Stooges are pretty much the best band ever, I am overcome by a desire to hug him, to let him know that everything will be okay, that one day he’ll come into his own and everything he finds discomfiting about himself will just make sense, but professional standards and abuse statutes do not permit it. For now Glazner will have to make do with his Pixies bootlegs, Sex Pistols LPs and proto-punk mixtapes.

“Anyways I’m not really the kind of guy who like cares what other people think about me you know?” I sit silent for a few moments, then a few more, not sure how to respond. “Well,” Glazner finally interjects, hunching over and fixing his hair, “this is awkward.” He’s right, I think, it is awkward, and briefly I am thrust into his world.

“Sooo I’m thinking about starting this zine, nothing big, just everyday thoughts, musings. I’ve got someone to help out with illustrations and photographs, she’s this freak girl with like a world of poetry inside her. If things go well I might start experimenting with some manga forms.” I asked if there was any chance we might get to see Felix again. “I—I can’t say just yet. I’m not going to rule anything out it’s just—I just want to keep my options open.” Glazner leans in conspiratorially. “See I have this theory that everybody in the world just wants to fuck each other, and that’s like the driving force behind all of this shit. That’s really the theme I want to explore in my upcoming works.” Another silence follows but it’s not as awkward this time. “Man, I could sure go for a tea right about now,” he eventually declares. Me too guy, me too.

MAX HARTSHORN

Comedian Turned Father Finds Comfort in a “Different Kind of Laughter”

by Max Hartshorn

 

A Different Kind of LaughterFunny how life works eh? A decade ago I’m headlining shows across the greater Moncton metropolitan area, doing sets far west as East Fredericton and as far south as Halifax North. Remember me Hubcap Comedy Festival ’95 ’96 ’97? No? Best regional comedian three years in a row ring any bells? Thought it might. They say our country is rich in natural resources and my hometown is no exception. For years I mined Moncton’s vast reserves of comedy gold, coloring my skewed observations with a unique, semi-urban, small-to-mid-sized city flair.

 

Becoming the youngest partial manager ever of the downtown the Yuk Yuk’s and purchasing beer for the Don Rickles were just two of my many accomplishments (Oh Donny boy, the pints, the pints are calling…HA…just kidding). I had plans to hit the big time, Halifax? Toronto? New York City? but vowed I’d always remain true to my roots. Weekends spent piling miles onto my ’87 Taurus, two, sometimes three meals a day on the road, pen and notepad always at the ready like some sort of a modern cowboy. It wasn’t always easy, in fact it was often very lonely, but I loved every second. It’s hard to explain but this kind of life made me feel, well, free.

 

Then something wonderful happened, several things in fact. I call the first Nikki. I was finishing up a set at Tapps in St. Johns when I saw her, and god damn if she wasn’t just the cutest little thing I’d ever laid eyes on. Those just-came-out-of-the-cold flushed cheeks and cherry red nose literally screamed to be held close, warmed by a hand, by a kiss. Her eye’s were glued to the stage, was she checking me out? It’s impossible to tell while your performing but I couldn’t shake the feeling she was staring a little more seductively than the average audience member, so I met her stare. “Today’s oil prices are slipperier thanoil itself!” A demure smile breaking into a light chuckle. They say if you can make a woman laugh…

 

I bought her a drink afterwards and well, I think you all see where this is going. Dating, marriage, before I know it we’re makin’ babies left and right. Each its own blessing. Each one filling my heart with joy and laughter.

 

I remember when I first heard the laughter, a piercing trill penetrating deep inside my soul. At first I thought one of the kids had woken up, Jeremy? Courtney? But they were fast asleep. Perhaps I left the T.V. on? No. The pipes? I plugged my fingers into my ears, imagine my surprise when the precious giggle remained. What delight! What a blessing! A child’s laughter just for me!

 

They say life’s a comedy and for me as a comedian that’s doubly true. My laughter was like the audience I’d always dreamed of having, in fact it was even better. It did more than snicker critical approval at my jokes, this was an all encompassing laughter that took me as a whole, smiled and said, “you’re alright kiddo.” A rich appraisal, it was a validation of my being.

 

I often seek solitude to let the laughter wash over me. It speaks to me through its many variations. What is mostly a solitary cackle erupts at times into a chorus of whimsy. On other occasions the laughter becomes hauntingly hollow and I am forced to come to grips with the fact that it may have no animus of its own. These times I wish it would stop. Attempting to block it out only makes it louder, faster, yet I keep at it. Like a man being chased by a car I fear that if I pause, give just a moments reflection, the laughter will overtake me, devouring me in its incessant shrillness.

 

The laughter is my forever vehicle. It is my pathway to new, untrammeled dimensions of consciousness. I know that when I finally transcend my mortal casing to join the great mystery of the sky, my laughter will be there, for it is much a part of me as anything. While at times greatly unsettling, my laughter has always been a light in the darkness of the Void. I count myself among the lucky few who have received such a magnanimous gift, even if I do not understand it fully. Perhaps this treasure will have further revealings. Perhaps I have been intended to transmit a message. I await! Gaia! What else have you in store?

Object Oriented Comedy

by Max Hartshorn

Call me crazy, but I recall a time when the steady, exponential progress of hard drive capacity had yet to reach its current position within the curvilinear trend. This observation may also be applied to the advancement of working memory capabilities, processor speeds and to a lesser extent, SRAM caches. What’s next, even greater volumes / speeds / throughput? Likely!

Were you aware that the web programming specification PHP stands for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor. The initial PHP in that acronym also stands for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor, and so on and so forth in recursive fashion. The process can be captured procedurally in any basic programming paradigm, yet lacks a base case with which to terminate. The process will go on forever!

Database Management Systems (DBMSs) have far ranging applications, from everyday software, to highly specialized industry packages. They are utilized extensively across the world wide web, forming the essential component of most content management platforms. Did you ever notice this one facet however? Sometimes it’s as if the data is managing you!

Does anyone else find the syntax of Python hard to comprehend? Anybody?

A comprehensive requirements analysis is an important component of virtually any software development model. It’s a challenge to the audience to identify an engineering resource that overlooks this necessity. But often this step is not given the proper rigor and attention it deserves, mostly to the detriment of the final product itself. It’s just common sense people!

I just rendered a sphere and boy are my arms tired!

Is this thing on? No? It’s broken? Can I fix it? I’ll try, it’s not really my area of expertise but we’ll have a look at it after my set, I’m almost done. Speaking of sets I was watching a colleague of mine do a set in over in Akron a while back. Towards the end he started rehashing some of the jokes he already told. I reminded him that the mathematical definition of a set is a collection of distinct objects, no repeats. Get some new material jackass!

File photo of Max Hartshorn, the Object Oriented Comic enjoying a 'sipper' on a sunny afternoon

File photo of Max Hartshorn, the Object Oriented Comic, enjoying a 'sipper' on a sunny afternoon

Excerpt from: The Barked at and the Bitten

selection prepared by Max Hartshorn

Every once and a while Terminal Laughter likes to take a break from its constant stream of silliness and hahas to showcase the work of some emerging animal authors from our creatures publishing division: Animalia Extant. This week it is our honor to present our readers with an excerpt from promising young writer Rex Woofington’s upcoming novel: The Barked at and the Bitten. Due out in hardcover next spring, this tale of lust, passion, hurt and ultimately dignity is poised to assert Woofington as a major presence in the highly competitive canine market.

A member of our editorial staff first became aware of Woofington while dog sitting for a friend over a long weekend. He, along with the rest of the staff, were deeply impressed with the samples shown, and immediately forwarded chapters to Animalia. On first encounter, Woofington comes across as something of a good boy, with a kind, sensitive demeanor that belies his gruff, mutt appearance. His work veers away from the typical MBF (mixed-breed fiction) themes of mutt identity and pedigree prejudice, in favor of a more personal approach. As one staff member noted, Woofington combines the nuanced characterization of a Schnauzer with an emotional directness more commonly found in large Border Collies. We are certain you’ll be hearing much more of Rex Woofington in the dog months and dog years to come.

Young novelist Rex Woofington at his Park Slope workspace

Young novelist Rex Woofington at his Park Slope den and workspace

…………………….

“I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

Cranberry wished she could believe him. She wished she could chalk it up to some sort of accident, the clumsy jerk of atrophied muscles, unaware of their remaining strength.

“If only it didn’t happen so often,” she thought. The routine was familiar. At first a mild mannered “here girl,” followed by her placid denial. Just a few more seconds to smell the flowers, how could he deny me my greatest pleasure? Then the demand, “come on girl, now!” The wrenching of the chain coinciding with the accent on the final word, almost preempted by her defenseless howl.

Why is it that owners abuse their pets? Cranberry had developed a theory. She believes the act of hurting a pet is an attempt to repress one’s love for it. Not sexual love, of course, but the true expression of caring, the kind we reserve for our mothers, and perhaps our favorite nephews and nieces. Man cannot admit he extends this grace to animals, indeed he cringes at the thought. Thus they reach for what is in their minds the complete negation of love, violence. What’s more is owners expect their pets to be grateful for it. They expect unrelenting love in return. Loyalty they call it, what farce! As if all love is is an act of loyalty.

This is what went on in Cranberry’s head: “Jeremy loves me, yet he refuses to admit it to himself. I must therefor make a show of my suffering.” No, he would not receive the benefit of her capitulation. He would not woo her with delicious treats. She would be strong and wounded. She would make him heel to her. But then again, Pupperoni was her favorite. Perhaps just a tiny bite, just a nibble, just a—grumph.

Jeremy scratched gently behind her ear. He could be so sweet, there was no doubt of that. He knew just how—as if by some sorcery—never had the lifting of pain felt so cruel. Yet she had no room for self-pity. “A dog must not be ruled by her emotions,” Cranberry was oft to state. Though more accurately she believed a dog must choose the emotions that rule her. Happiness for Cranberry was as much her choice as it was the outcome of certain daily events. So too of course, was sadness.

…………………….

Cranberry imagined that if she could speak, she would have a distinct southern drawl. She wasn’t from the south, and neither was Jeremy, her mother, or anyone else in her life for that matter. Yet the idea was firmly entrenched in her self-concept since childhood. Perhaps she felt it gave her a certain dignity, a grace she believed was lacking in her manners and body.

On lazy summer afternoons, while Jeremy was out, Cranberry would strut around the house with, she imagined, a great piece of colored ribbon affixed to her neck. She would enter the living room, blush, trot gracefully to the sofa and twirl around, imagining the whole room full of guests. Suddenly she was a hostess, standing at the head of a grand parlor. Colonial legs of ash wood would grow under the sofa and armchair, now upholstered in a fine burgundy brocade. The cocktail table was a Davenport original, full of exotic teas, crumpetted delights, barkening back to a forgotten age. She would survey the room with a hazy sense of satisfaction, breathing it all in before she addressed her audience.

“Hi there. I’d like to thank all y’all for comin today. ‘Specially with the weather bein’ as hot and humid as it is.” Her piercing eye’s would survey the gathering, various members of the social register, taking careful note of who was not there. “This is what we as children used to call lemonade weather, as opposed to gin weather.” She’d pause for polite laughter, perhaps a golf clap or two. During the mild reverie she would lock eyes with a dark pedigree standing in the corner, hold it for a socially determined two seconds, and chuckle knowingly. “And now I’d like to direct your attention to the Whistler over in the corner, we just got it framed last week.”

The same scene had been repeated hundreds of times until the key components more or less solidified into ritual. Often she left out words entirely and would simply pace across the room intoning outlines of phrases. These were the best because she could go on for hours. She didn’t know what she was saying but the audience would always respond beautifully. They’d laugh, cheer, awe in amazement, and always with the strict modesty their caste dictated.

Bonus Readership Question: It has been said that all dogs go to heaven, yet to what does one attribute their universal salvation? Historically dogs have no particular religious affiliation that we are aware of. In the Greek mythos it is Cerberus, the three headed dog, who is even found guarding the gates of hell. Perhaps the slave mentality surrounding their relationship with humans holds as its corollary the redemptive element.

Ill-Informed Astronaut Surprised to Learn that Weightlessness in Space is Not Metaphorical

by Max Hartshorn

“Shock” and “Amazement” are two words astronaut Frank Maynard used to describe his experience on the space shuttle Atlantis last month, where he learned that the so-called weightlessness his colleagues spoke of experiencing in orbit was in fact physical.

“Now don’t get me wrong I know about gravity and all that, I just didn’t make the connection. I assumed that it was more of a figurative weightlessness, a letting go of one’s earthly concerns. Honestly I don’t see why that’s so far fetched,” Maynard told us over the phone from his newly minted cubicle at NASA’s HR services facility in Tampa.

“He seemed as prepared as everybody else during launch. But then when we got up there he was all like, ‘Woah! what’s this now?'” said fellow crew member Michael Scott, who was on the same mission as Maynard. “Somebody’s gotta rent this dude Apollo 13 or something, heh heh. But seriously this is fucked.”

“The great irony,” Maynard notes, “was that in space I actually had a hard time letting go of my problems. In fact the extreme isolation seemed to bring them into sharper focus.”

The goof is being hailed as a major public relations blow for NASA, coming on the heels of several highly fictionalized failed attempts at sending a manned spacecraft to Mars, most of which resulted in dismal box-office returns. NASA is planning on implementing a “Simple Steps” program for all astronauts in training, to make sure they have the basic world knowledge necessary to anticipate the nature of outer space.

After all this you might expect Maynard to be reeling. The higher they climb…not quite. The apoopriately nicknamed “ass-tronot” appears to be taking things in stride. “I mean how many people have seen the sun and the moon at the same time, gazed upon the many rings of Mercury, or flown, much in the way that a bird flies, across the midnight sky?”

Impressively optimistic, and do we detect a hint of lyricism in there? We do! Maynard has reportedly begun work on a book of impressionistic poetry chronicling his experiences. “We take so many things for granted, and then all of a sudden there’s this thing everybody calls ‘space’, and it’s super deep and like sooo empty. I mean where does it come from man, where’s it going?”

In Space, No One Can Hear You Dream is still in its early stages, but he hopes it will hit store shelves by next Autumn. For those who cannot wait, and want to hear more of Maynard’s “refresh…ingly…unique” outlook, you can check out his blog at babybeanz.blogspot.com. Or friend him on Facebook, I think he’d like that.

Internal Memo-festo From Ikea’s Renegade CEO / Liberator of the Peoples

by Max Hartshorn

Greetings respected employees. As our quarter inches ever closer to its inevitable close we must prepare ourselves to endure yet another meaningless cycle of capitalist frenzy. Let our earnings per share growth rate ratio shine as a beacon to the great unwashed, and, more pointedly, stand as an ever heightening spire reaching upwards to the heavens we wish to recreate on Earth.

We hope that our increase in profit will enable you to afford some of the niceties of existence, such as salt on one’s bread and proper antiseptics. Yet at the same time we caution you not to lose sight of our basic principles and fall victim to the great moral decay that appears to define our age.

The following notes were taken on a Lenova IdeaPad tablet PC, at the hour of 11:30pm, April 24th 2008. May they remind you of your purpose, and help to get the ball rolling at the next marketing powwow:

  • Simple minds have written off our furniture as ‘mediocre.’ This is an offensive designation, not only towards our furniture, but to all mankind. It suggests that the collective efforts of the masses are at best hollow and implicitly asserts the necessity of an elite. We mean our furniture to be average in the best sense of the term, to celebrate, rather than denigrate, the collective spirit that binds us together.
  • We do not endorse world peace, for it is only in war that Man truly discovers his worth. However we recognize that it is on furniture, not battlefields, that most of Man’s life is lived. Humanity has been rendered weak by plush mattresses and the soft caress of the swivel chair. We must embrace our inner strength and erect ourselves once again.
  • Luxury begets comfort, comfort begets decrepitude, and decrepitude begets luxury. Thus is the cycle of ignorance that represents all false poetry. In contrast, our chairs occur at the intersection of function and style. They reject weakness and elevate the mind out of its torpor. Do not be fooled! We do not seek to provide comfort, we seek to awaken your soul!
  • Be weary of our competitors and their attempts to manipulate your desires. All desire is by its nature false, and the act of feeding desire only leads to its perpetuation. You do not desire our furniture. You do not enjoy our furniture the way you have been conditioned to experience joy. The joy you will experience will be that of being brought face to face with the brutal nature of the universe.
  • Our low prices are a triumph of the human spirit!
  • Our items are sold in parts. We believe all men should assemble their own furniture, if only to glimpse the primordial chaos that exists before the introduction of proper authority. The success of a customer’s purchase ultimately depends on the customer themselves, and their ability to follow the instructions provided. We all must physically enact the creation of our own destinies.
  • Did you know that most humans will die reclined on a piece of furniture? Did you wish you did not know that? We assert that it is the ultimate actualization of human potential to die standing up, preferably impaled on a piece of rough metal (and not only once but again and again and again). Our new line of furniture, formally magnificent in its use of space, functionally optimal, will provide adequate chamber until this day arrives.

Act accordingly,
James Barrington
CEO Ikea Furniture Enterprises