The absurdly true story of Van Gogh and his severed ear


earme2Legend vaguely has it that Van Gogh got into some kind of squabble with his pal Gauguin in the south of France. Later, after the most artsy pissing match in the history of artists, Van Gogh sliced his ear lobe off with a razor blade in a fit of tortured genius.

Then, like a cat wanting to show off its slain treasure, Van Gogh dashed around the corner with blood gushing out the side of his head and showed the bloody thing to his favorite prostitute at the local bordello. She gagged and fainted.

Van Gogh hobbled back home, feeling a little dizzy, and crawled into bed.

When the prostitute was over her case of the staggering vapors, she alerted Gauguin. Van Gogh was found in his blood-soaked bed babbling incoherently about the rising price of oil paints and was hauled out of his apartment feet first and admitted to the local quackery for medical treatment and supervision. That’s the official myth.

What really happened was a scene right out of countless drunken frat parties. After a serious bout of drowning themselves in absinthe, Van Gogh and Gauguin retreated back to their apartment with a few plump ladies of the night.

crazyfaceGauguin made the mistake of drinking himself into a psychedelic stupor on an empty stomach and passed out on the apartment floor. Much to the delight of the giggling prostitutes, Van Gogh set about painting, in his signature style of impressionism, a one-eyed Jim and the twins (a Dutch expression for male genitalia) covering the expanse of Gauguin’s bare chest.

Van Gogh also painted a colorful, lively and swirling piece on his face which would be the inspiration for one of his most famous painting, A Starry Night.

Van Gogh awoke to a pricking feeling on the end of his nose. He opened his eyes to discover Gauguin, standing above him, his mustachioed face rendered blue, yellow, green and filled with the lamps of the firmament, and a colossal twig and beans on his chest.

The pricking sensation was due to Gauguin pointing a fencing sword straight at Van Gogh’s nose.

“What is the meaning of this?” Gauguin demanded. “Stand and take your punishment, you whoreson.”

“Eat shit,” said Van Gogh, “I’m sleeping.”

Gauguin brought the fencing sword down on Van Gogh so fast it made a whistling noise as it sliced through the air. The deed was done, and Van Gogh’s ear popped off the side of his head and bounced and rolled across the floor.

“You odious prick!” exclaimed Van Gogh. “You sliced off my fbleeping ear!”

Realizing what he had done, Gauguin apologized profusely, bandaged his friend and got him to the local quackery as fast as he could.

“Let’s see here,” said the doctor in a blood stained smock, without looking up from hisclipboard. “A severed ear — no insurance…” The doctor looked up and dropped his clipboard. One man had swirls and stars all over his face and an enormous johnson on his chest, and another was laying on the hacking table holding bloody cloths to the side of his head, his eyes big with pain and shock.

“Absinthe, heh?” said the doctor.

“I brought the ear,” said Gauguin. “Can you sew it back on?”

The doctor shook his head, and clucked his tongue. “If you had insurance, sure.” The doctor quoted him the price to sow the ear back.

“What?” said Van Gogh, “How much? I can’t hear you?” The doctor yelled the price, which was roughly equivalent to $5,000, adjusted for inflation. “That’s out of the fbleeping question,” Van Gogh spit.

“Let me see it,” said the doctor. “We’ll at least get you stitched up. Say, that’s a sword cut. You boys playing with swords? I’ll have to call the constabulary. Sword fighting is illegal in city limits.”

Gauguin looked at Van Gogh with pleading eyes. Van Gogh looked at Gauguin with a diabolical smile. “May I have a moment alone with my best friend in the world?” Gauguin asked the doctor.

“Hurry up,” said the doctor. “Time is money,” he said leaving the room and shutting the door behind him.

Gauguin was able to convince Van Gogh that the true story would ruin both their careers. After all, they were mad geniuses, not slap-stick screw-jobs.


The doctor came back in. “So what happened?” he asked looking at the two artists suspiciously. “I have to put something in my report with your charts,” he said tapping the clipboard impatiently.

“Um,” said Gauguin. “Uh,” said Van Gogh. “Ah!” said Gauguin struck with artisticinspiration. “This is what happened — I swear on all that is holy, good doctor.”

Gauguin explained how Van Gogh and he had argued about who would get which whore that evening, and that Van Gogh went psycho-livid. He swore that if he couldn’t have his favorite whore, then neither could Gauguin. In a fit of tortured genius he cut his ear off to give to the prostitute in question, and thereby ruin her appetite to render services. “Works for me,” said the doctor.


Adventures of Low Testosterone Man in space-space-space

Tower of Pisa

“Are you a male, forty years or older? Are you cranky? Can your libido be visually depicted as a bowl of cold mash potatoes or a sad, and flaccid ancient monument? Are you growing tits? Are you looking more and more like your grandma? Are you too cheap to upgrade your Pandora account to enjoy commercial-free listening? You may suffer from Low Testosterone, or LT.”

Chris, Team Absurdum’s graphic-design savant-genius, quietly answered yes to all the above questions each time he heard the ad on his B-52′s Pandora station. He completely convinced himself that it was time to make the call to the local Low T Center. He booked an appointment and they shot him up with enough testosterone to kill a bull.

Chris kept it a secret from the rest of us, but we noticed a difference in his temperament and demeanor. Over night, he transformed from a relaxed and amiable introvert into a hyper-aggressive extrovert. He began to call everyone demeaning names like, pumpkin-buns, pussy-willow, jelly-roll, and butter-butt. He kept offering to wrestle everyone, Greco-Roman style to the point that it was getting annoying.

One day, the same week he had begun treatment for LT, he didn’t show up for work. Repeated texts and calls to his phone went unanswered. Sure enough, he wasn’t at his home. Chris had gone missing.

His neighbor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, “The last I saw him, he said he was going to go get him a bear to wrestle. He went running into those hills yonder, howling like a dog. He barked and growled way off in that direction, until I couldn’t hear him no more.”

It wasn’t long before I got an encrypted message from Chris, on my Inter-dimensional, Time-space Cheerio Timepiece (patent pending). “SOS [stop] Abducted by aliens [stop] Aboard alien craft [stop] With Neil deGrasse Tyson [stop] And Tinkerbell [stop] I’m hungry and want to come home [stop] Uncomfortably close to event horizon of black hole at center of galaxy [stop] Get me the bleep out of here [stop].”

Inter-dimensional, Time-space Cheerio Timepiece. Patent pending.

Inter-dimensional, Time-space Cheerio Timepiece. Patent pending.

It was time to fire up the decommissioned space shuttle that we had purchased from NASA for $18,995. The USS Absurdum blasted off at dawn the next day, and was hurtling towards the center of the Milky Way.

space-shipp2.jpgWith the aid of my trusty Inter-dimensional, Time-space Cheerio Timepiece, for which there is a patent pending, I bent space and time, folding it just right to put me in the vicinity of the center of the Milky Way. There I saw, uncomfortably close to the black hole at the center of our galaxy, a space craft. I approached the vessel and attempted to communicate with it.

“To whomever is command: I hail from the planet earth, home to the proud and absurd. On good information, I have reason to suspect that you have a humanoid aboard who barks and growls, and answers to the name ‘Chris’. If you have such a passenger, I demand he be –”

“Silence!” boomed a scratchy and gargled voice through the com system.


Chris and Neil deGrasse Tyson aboard alien ship.

I took heed, and waited, in silence, for a long time. Impatient, I opened my mouth to speak to the alien craft again. Before I could utter a word, the same alien voice spoke. “Silence! We have this Chris you speak of. He won’t stop trying to wrestle with all the crew members, and we are fed up with his behavior. You can have him back, under one condition. You must also take the human who calls himself, Neil deGrasse Tyson. He won’t shut up, and frankly, he makes us all feel very stupid. If you refuse, this Chris thing will be jettisoned into the black hole.”

I replied that I would take them both. In seconds, Chris and Neil materialized in the cockpit of the USS Absurdum, transported atom by atom.

Neil, Chris and I had a great time on our way back to earth, even if Chris and I felt a little stupid hanging out with Neil. With Neil on board, we decided to take the scenic route home, and let the astrophysicist give us a guided tour. Almost out of breath, from speaking non-stop, Neil thought to ask how Chris had come aboard the alien craft. Chris explained his whole experience with Low T therapy.

“Have you tried coconut oil?” asked Neil.

“No,” said Chris, puzzled.

“You should,” said Neil.  “Regular consumption — approximately 1 tablespoon per day — results in a rise in metabolism, a higher rate of calorie-burning, and a reduced body fat mass and overall body weight. Medium-chain triglycerides — as opposed to the long-chain kind found in butter — are absorbed directly by the liver and are used more like carbohydrate than fat. This makes coconut oil an excellent source of energy for endurance exercise, and because it’s low in cholesterol, it is safe for your heart. Most importantly, it will improve your sex drive, and boost your libido. I happen to have some here.”

“Would you like to try some?” asked Neil, pulling out a big tub of unprocessed 100% virgin coconut oil and two spoons from inside his jacket.

“Say no more,” said Chris.

Strangely, coconut oil tastes exactly like coconuts.

Feeling plenty energetic, but not so energetic that we felt an uncontrollable urge to wrestle a bear, we landed back on earth.

“No one will ever believe this shit,” I said.

“Oh, you’d be surprised,” said Neil. “People will believe anything. The crazier and more ridiculous an idea — like the earth only being 6,000 years old — the better.”

“True enough,” said Chris with a mouth full of coconut oil. We shook hands with Neil and parted ways, but not before Neil took his half-eaten tub of coconut oil back.


Global internet usage in a connected world


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With that orange upside-down “U” representing daylight hours, and a color spectrum spanning from red to blue (red indicating usage increase above average, blue indicating a usage decrease), this gif-map is visually stunning, but perhaps not terribly surprising. One thing … Continue reading

Karma with a side of humility served up in Florida road rage incident — Sample letter of apology


There is a video posted to Youtube that has gone viral entitled, “Redneck Road Rage/Instant Karma.” In the video, a woman is being tailgated by a very big pickup. The driver of the pickup speeds up and gets even with the woman, and flips her the bird. What happens after that is, well, very karmic.

The pickup driver speeds ahead, moves into the left lane, ahead of the woman, loses control of the pick up, and wipes out in a ditch, taking down a light pole in the process.

The woman reported that she was stuck in the fast lane by vehicles to her right, and that she was not going to speed. The road was wet and slick, she earlier reported at Youtube.

The video was posted to Youtube just a few days ago as of the writing of this post and has already been viewed more than 6 million times. There is a certain reason for that. Most people detest aggressive drivers and tailgaters. As much as folks detest tailgaters, they enjoy seeing a jerk-wad driver getting dished out a truck-size serving of instant karma.

The Florida woman who shot the video is being contacted by national media, including Good Morning America, according to her statements at her Youtube post. It is only a matter of time before the nation knows the identity of the pickup driver.

Dear pickup driver, if you are reading this, understand — a lot of people out there really f-ing don’t like you. When you screw up really bad after showing your ass, the best thing to do is get out in front of it, and humbly apologize — show the world that there is a human face behind the middle finger, so to speak.

Worry ye not, our hot-headed friend. We here at Carpe Absurdum have drafted a letter of apology for you to use.

Dear woman who I terrorized on the road the other day,

Please accept this letter as my most sincerest apology for what happened.

As you may, or may not know, after the incident I was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident. Talk about adding insult to injury.

While in the county lockup waiting for my bond to be set, I had some time to reflect. Tailgating and aggressive driving is truly an act of immaturity and stupidity. It is a blatant disregard for the emotional and physical wellbeing of others. It shows a complete lack of patience, empathy and wisdom. I could have just hung back and waited for the road to clear out in front of me, and I wouldn’t be writing this letter today, fearing that a large segment of the United States of America hates my ever-loving guts.

You and the six million, or so, other people who have watched your video, bemused at my misfortune, will be happy to know, I have enrolled in a defensive driving course, and am scheduled to attend my first class tomorrow. Wish me luck. I hope I don’t flunk.

Maybe we could meet at a nearby coffee shop sometime in the near future, so I can show you that I am just a normal guy and not a two year old trapped in a man’s body. If we are going to meet, don’t take Highway 59 — way too many slow-pokes that way.

Yours verily,

Pick up dude

Just copy, paste and sign your name. You are welcome.

Here’s another video that has been watched more than 6 million times.

The Cult of the Coney — Only Tulsans need apply


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Situated smack in the middle of the northeast quadrant of Oklahoma, the greater Tulsa metropolitan area is most famously home to a lot of Tulsans. “Wow,” you may say, but that’s not all. Tulsa is also home to a chain … Continue reading

Clown face scandal rocks Horndog Flats


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What began as a police investigation into a possible homicide, turned into the biggest scandal to ever rock the sleepy, little town of Horndog Flats. Longtime resident, Hank Shinbone, was found dead in his living room about a year ago. … Continue reading

President Obama’s intergalactic timepiece conspiracy revealed


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It is more than obvious to anyone who has studied the life, career and meteoric rise of Barack Hussein Obama II to the oval office as the 44th president of the United States of America that something just isn’t right. … Continue reading

A call to all introverts — Time to take back the world


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We are all too aware that we live in a world built for extroverts. Guess what. That shit’s about to change. Consider this a call to all introverts (also known as inherently superior human beings) to rise up and take … Continue reading