lionel shriver and willy wonka have a chat


“it’s very dark in this alleyway, lionel, but i’m glad you showed it to me.”

“let’s not pussyfoot it willy, you know what i’m here for.”

“you know the last time i made it out of the factory edward heath was milling about. the queen presumably still had great legs.”

“certainly she did not. you can’t be queen and have those legs trolling about.”

“’71…then it was all ‘mungo jerry’ and ‘the osmunds,’ shagging and ‘mug-o-lunch’…”


“aye m’lady. mug-o-lunch.”


“such a great year for flavors…”

“you had quite a bit of paperwork in ’71 too, didn’t you, willy?”


“aye, paperwork.”

“how do you mean.”

“what from all of the accidents. the transitive properties of your so called SWEETS, willy, your demon sweets.”

“those children were all bad eggs.”

“don’t be a brash willy. those triglycerides have corroded your head.”

“say do you smell that? something smells foul. this alleyway gives me the creeps, lionel, i’d like to leave now.”

“hand it over willy.”

“lionel, you know very well i–”

“we have an agreement, willy.”

“lionel you know agreements are not really my forte, slugworth, ipso facto”

“the gshshgoppptrrzz willy.”

“i’m sorry lionel i don’t quite understand, what is it that you want?”


“grasshoppers? certainly! right away, lionel! at once!”


“lionel you must annunciate better. we aren’t czech for god sakes, we have vowels. british vowels! vowels are the kernels of english omnipotence, lionel. the british have made them global phenomena, lionel, like tea, so you must use them! they demand your allegiance!”


“have a better try, lionel, let’s have the very best of shoreditch hear you. the editors. the critics–”



“certainly, lionel.”


piñata wednesdays!


the bar i would open would be piñata-themed, but not overtly – just full of little destructible tanks of goodies. the piñatas would come in all forms. there would be the classic donkey, yes, but there would also be naturally occurring piñatas like beehives stuffed with honeycomb and fake blowfish stuffed with milk taffies and ruby gum balls. there would also be disco-balls stuffed with funfetti (crowd pleaser, kid friendly). the floor would be bubble-wrap quality, producing little poofs of pixie sugar with each step. upon entering, patrons would be given little bats so they could order a donkey “on tap,” thenceforth striking the closest donkey with goodies to spare. for decor, there would be pictures of the great pinateers on the walls: conquistadors and Ecuadors and commodores all tipping their hats to their papery foes before striking them empty of their indigenous spoils. the darkest kept secret of the bar would be that ONE piñata could NEVER be bashed and bore the immortal fruit of a thousand imperial colonies: ancient earth gummies, mother of pearl gumballs, unicorn teeth, dead sun chocolate, and berries from a million hills. this immortal piñata’s strategic location was in the back of the bar, next to the toilets, where no one ever went because they’d be preoccupied by the maze of other dangly piñatas. the chalkboard out front would lure passersby with “$4 margs + a million tootsies! free when you bash the donkey!” it’s not really a good idea for a bar really, nor are there many puns to draw upon, but i guarantee having piñata carcasses strewn about would create that plush post-party, dystopian chaos that’s this summer’s (and last+next summer’s) biggest hit (i.e. kanye’s scariest album yet, baz luhrmann’s gatsby on crack, the bling ring, etc. etc.). at best, the bar would be so great that ken burns would make a movie out of it so that all my little piñatas could have the sepia-toned afterlife they deserved. i hear heaven keeps piñatas fully stocked with mayan chocolates and life-giving pomegranate seeds, so have you any concerns, don’t– i will retire the piñatas when they are due, and they will live happily ever after in piñata heaven. 

secondly, i want to go to ibiza! eyyyy miercoles! 


modern teeth

I. seventeen flushes elapsed before I finished my project in the plum-colored ladies room: replacing each one of my teeth with a new, “upgraded” tooth. I’d purchased them – “FIREFOX ENAMEL 4.7” – on a whim in Duane Reade. it’s summertime and I, like every woman in the app biz, faced the seismic pressure to GLEAM. as an innovator (a sort of “CSS cowgirl” if you will), I don’t balk at modern technology. especially if it purports the seductive grin of a snow-toothed woman. on the box she looks so happy and bright. like her, I too am poised at the apex of evolution– but I admit–  my teeth are two generations behind. though the model’s teeth seem slightly too large for her mouth, I take it for some “fresh architecture,” the dental avant garde, and ran my finger comparatively over my own humbly-sized grin. jocular walrus begone! i thought with box in hand.

II. the box read:

Purpose: Look better than ever is easy with totally new teeth. Simply replace old teeth with new teeth in FIREFOX’S Three Easy Steps.

Directions: Arrange FIREFOX teeth in correct order prior to replacement. Extract old teeth with FIREFOX-PLIER one at a time, starting with top front teeth, then bottom front teeth, then remaining teeth. Insert new FIREFOX teeth one by one. Make sure alignment is correct by slipping root into preexisting root canals. For best results, upgrade FIREFOX teeth yearly and brush with FIREFOX ALBATRON TOOTH PASTE. 

III. & so, two weeks later on business in Berlin, I found a warped version of myself cowered in front of the bathroom mirror attempting to “align my roots with current root canals.” I had replaced all but my two front teeth before the convention, but the pain was wild. I realized shamefully how closely I resembled Edward Munch’s the scream– such an outdated relic! after the seventeenth flush I heard the speaker announce the winner of this year’s tech grammy. I thought of all the hard work my Germanic ancestors had put into hoisting me into the peak of intellectual and aesthetic evolution, and how my double helix of personal fortitude was Jack’s Beanstalk compared to your average street-person. how i was to prevail. how now was the time to make good of my dentifrices. I jammed the final tooth into place and ran into the auditorium to accept my award.

I have no regrets about my purchase even though  my mouth remains so inflamed that I can no longer speak. fortunately I communicate entirely through tweets, hashberries and ##soundclouds. my children, now four and seven, are poised to become the next tech-innovators of lower manhattan and will soon be the lawful patrons of FIREFOX 6.8 teeth. smile, bratz 😀