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Kurt Strahm

Kurt Strahm lives in Greenpoint.

Buried in Cups

I eat a lot of yogurt, and the plastic-cup containers keep piling up. A while ago I decided it was time to get rid of them, and thought of a few ways I could put them to use: I could stage a demonstration to shame the yogurt industry into doing something about the billions of throwaway cups they crank out each year. I’d ship the cups to France and unload them on the dock, then pour (biodegradable) corn syrup over the pile and roll it into a huge ball.

The Accidental Oracle

First, let me state that I do NOT referee drunken trivia contests (especially when I’m not invited to the party), so you should direct your George Jefferson scholar-Playmate questions elsewhere.

The Accidental Oracle

Tensions between the West and the Muslim world remain high. (If you wanted more oil, why not just ask? We have so much here it’s a nuisance, bubbling up on tennis courts and in the servants’ quarters, dirtying the maids’ uniforms. I am so happy Halliburton is moving to the UAE—as faithful viziers to the Bush and Cheney clans, I am sure they have experience with such problems.)

The Accidental Oracle

My dear young wife Fatima and I had our hearts broken when our little dog Fester (like Lester, but with an F) died. We break down crying every time we see his hairs stuck to the sofa or look in his bedroom, where he “lies in state” in a beer cooler full of ice with his stumpy little legs shot up in the air.

The Accidental Oracle

What should I do when an insolent stranger with a cellphone talks at me and acts like I’m not there? I want to kill them, but understand that is “taboo” here in America, even if the insolent stranger deserves it!

The Accidental Oracle

I keep hearing how “sun dried tomatoes” is a high class thing to eat, so I bought some. They were not only as chewy as shoe leather, but they smelled like day old socks smothered in catsup. What’s up with that smell?

The Accidental Oracle

Ms. Munch

To: Cynthia Munch, Comptroller, Grants Division From: Mitch Kakuski Ronald McDonald Foundation Helmsley/AMC Gitford Hotel

The Accidental Oracle

Dear Oracle: We let a drifter do some yard work and sleep in the metal shed out back for a few nights – and now we can’t get rid of him! If we give him money, he spends it all on alcohol, and the nicer we are to him, the worse he gets.

Dear Ms. Munch

To: Cynthia Munch, Comptroller, Grants Division From: Mitch Kakuski Ronald McDonald Foundation Helmsley/AMC Gitford Hotel 22278 Ronald Reagan Pacific Coast Highway 737 Seventh Avenue Newport Beach, California 92663 New York, New York 10019 Dear Ms. Munch, This is in reply to your response to my EMERGENCY request for more money. Let me remind you, in case you missed the messages I left on your machine over the weekend, that I am down to my last few thousand dollars, which won’t even cover the bill for last week here at the hotel. I know that by Third World (or even terrorized New York) standards, I’m not that bad off yet, but it makes me sick to think about having to go back to my old life. It would be like a genie giving you a magic carpet and flight lessons, then pulling the rug out when you got airborne. Anyway, you asked me to "give a thorough accounting" of the money already sent to me. Of course I’ve been too busy to keep track of every little thing, but here is what happened, from the beginning:

The Accidental Oracle

Dear Oracle: I’m afraid my PC has turned into one of those “zombie computers” I read about. It’s always up to something, beeping and grinding and popping up “windows” all over the screen with weird alphabets and the filthiest pictures you can imagine.

The Accidental Oracle

Despondent at the state of the world, I beseeched God for answers but got nothing. Since I kept hearing how “God is in the White House” nowadays, I made a pilgrimage to Washington, D.C.

NOISE

The ability to hear is a blessing and a curse: few things dominate space like noise and, thanks to technology, it gets harder every day to escape other people’s noise. I hate the way technology gives idiots superhuman strength so they can hammer my brain with 600 watt subwoofers throbbing like poisoned blood, then take a chainsaw to my nervous system with their car alarms. We have the right to defend ourselves from other people’s noise. Some suggestions follow.

The World You Wanted

I went to Sunday School as a child. As an unhappy and sensitive youth, I should have been easy prey for an alternate reality, but it didn’t take; I spent most of my time in class reading the maps at the end of my bright green New Testament.

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The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2020

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