Archive for the ‘zany hijinx’ Category


Big Words Radio Episode 65: ‘Anal Bleaching Changed My Life’

September 8, 2011

While Big Words Radio is winding down for the big farewell in December and I continue to toil away on the autobiography, I find myself more and more nostalgic.  That being said, it was a once in a lifetime treat to have my best friend of over twenty years Ron and our mutual friend and former coworker Mansel on last night for one of the last four or five shows.  Here’s your synopsis:


Episode 65: ‘Anal Bleaching Changed My Life’

Tom and his two friends of over 20 years (Ron and Mansel) reminisce about old girlfriends, great asses, getting stoned out of their tree and how Mansel bagged his trophy substitute teacher before the altar.


To hear the show in all of its audio glory, click on over to:


You can also listen to all 95 shows along with bonus clips and out takes at:


And lest we forget that you can subscribe to the show on ‘the iTunes’ by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ and clicking on the show under the Comedy listing.


Greg Sterlace, Paula Wachowiak and Robb Nesbitt also made a surprise (albeit silent) appearance last night in the studio during the taping, so I’d like to thank them as well for showing up during the tail end of the program.

It’s been decided.  I’ll be holding a Finale show on Friday, December 2nd from 6-8 p.m. and rounding up as many former co-hosts as I can so that we can see the show out in style for a good old fashioned roast.  The site hits and downloads just aren’t what they used to be.  Most of you have tuned out, so it’s time for me to move on to something else.  After four years it depresses me that I have to shut down so soon, but it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore.  Despite this, I’ll be following the year out to its natural conclusion.

I’d like to take a moment to thank my producer Richard Wicka for seeing some sort of promise in me that I haven’t fulfilled.  The show got off on the right foot, but somewhere along the line I took things too far and never regained my composure.

I’d also like to thank Ron and Mansel for coming back into the fold before the show finished up.  It meant a lot to me to link back up with some old friends who have known me for so long.

Back in June of 2008 I tried to come up with a comedy show that was extreme.  Something that pushed the envelope and made people laugh uncomfortably and effortlessly.  I guess I tried to hard and that most of Buffalo didn’t get what I was trying to do or didn’t care.  Whatever the case, it’s over.  Four more months and then the fat lady sings.


Please tell a friend or share the link to the show so that we can end on a positive note.


Have a great week,




February 8, 2011

            A lot of projects are in the planning stages currently and it’s more a matter of juggling and strategy than inspiration and execution.  Book 9 (Mockery) is in the last legs of pre-production and designer Eve Barbour and I are aiming for a hard April launch.  I’ve always been fond of doing book launches on April Fool’s Day (which falls on a Friday this year), so don’t be surprised if you hear about a large public event and bookstore insertion then.  At $15, it’s the lowest launch price of any rant collection I’ve ever released, so I’ll be shooting for volume rather than profit margin. 

            After that, Mark McElligott and I will be going into pre-production on his book, Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind while we schedule appearance dates at the same time.  We’re looking at a summer release date for his book around the same price point.  While Mark’s never published a book before, he’s got a diverse back ground in music, cartooning and stand-up comedy that should translate well on stage once he gets up and running.

            As for the radio show, Eisner and Harvey award winner Dylan Horrocks (Hicksville) will be talking to me and co-host Terry Kimmel on Thursday, February 24th.  Mark McElligott returns as my guest in March and in April I’ll be discussing the hilarious and often controversial books of Mark Kalesniko (Alex, Mail Order Bride). 

            After agonizing over how and when to release the autobiography (Icarus On The Mend), I’m leaning towards publishing a limited print run of 100 hardcover first editions in 2012 for around $29.95 with no complimentary copies for the local or national media included.  Everyone who knows about the book wants to get their hands on it right away, so I might as well give you all what you want.  Once those hundred are gone, I’ll release two volumes of trade paperbacks for $15 each with complementing photo negative covers and possibly an additional chapter. 

            As for the third poetry collection (Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick), I’m not sure how to gauge demand for the book, so don’t be surprised if it’s released alongside one of the autobiography print runs.  While both Breathing Rooms reached (and exceeded) the 100 copy mark, they’re more a labor of love than a concerted business decision.  Poetry is a tough sell in any market, so I was glad to net over $2000 on the first two in the first year.  The third collection will be the last for a long time, so hopefully readers will enjoy the aftermath to Breathing Room by realizing that the content is new and unusual, not just scraps left over from the first two books. 

            I’ve never had this much material on the slate before at any one time.  Hopefully by 2013 I can buy back the rights to Born Pissed and Zany Hijinx, relaunch them with better cover designs, tighter editing and a lower price point.  If there’s one single piece of advice I can offer budding writers, it’s this: Don’t publish with America House.  There’s no reason why you should give 90% of your royalties away to a publisher for a manuscript that you put 100% of your effort and inspiration into. 

            It’s a bittersweet situation to be in.  I’ve got three years before I have to write another word.  I’m considering writing a novel, but for the time being I’m going to rest and relax since this is the calm before the promotional storm.  Thank you for reading and supporting my work.  People often ask me ‘Do you make any money off of your books?’ and my answer is always that I wouldn’t keep putting them out if I didn’t.  From a fiscal standpoint, 2011 is going to be a great year to make money while making people laugh at the same time.


Monday Big Words Update! Week 69 on stands/Happy St. Patty’s!

March 17, 2008

Whelp, this year I’m sitting St. Patrick’s day out.  Monday isn’t exactly the best day of the week to get rip roaring drunk and we’re planning on heading back to Desiderio’s tomorrow for a long-awaited return.  After the six-hour marathon last year at the Hidden Shamrock promoting Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish (which you can still buy from the link on this site, hint hint), I could use a quiet St. Patrick’s.  At any rate, the new issue of Night Life is out today with a Big Words installment of ‘The Joy Of Banana Bread’, an ode to food that I wrote a few years back from Zany Hijinx.  Grab a copy while you can! 


Monday Big Words Update! Week 68 on stands, ‘Creationism and The Quick Bang’ up on Acid Logic!

March 11, 2008

Here it is Monday again and a new issue of Night Life is upon us.  This week, I dug up ‘The Formaldehyde Tribe’ (from Zany Hijinx), an essay that questions the notion that it’s better to burn out than fade away and looks at some of the over-rated artists, musicians and writer’s who gained popularity because they died young instead of any degree of talent.

There’s also a new issue of Acid Logic up online for this month featuring ‘Creationism And The Quick Bang’, a foray into the evolution of the creative process.  Right now I don’t have much of any creative process to speak of, but if you want to check it out, click on over to:

I also spent last Thursday reviewing the Blue Lantern Lounge out in Elma for Gusto, so keep an eye out for that in the Buffalo News.  We had a truly unique evening in a swank atmosphere with some top notch rockabilly music from Wild One.  You can read all about it some time early in April.  That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so I’ll talk to you all next Monday.  Thanks,

Tom Waters


Monday Big Words Update! Week 50 on stands/’The Docker Bums’ right here!

November 6, 2007

With just two weeks away from the year anniversary of the column, this week’s issue of Night Life is running with ‘Food Stamp Feuds’ (from Zany Hijinx), a very old favorite from almost ten years ago about the categorical ridiculousness of talk shows.  With the lengthy nature of my blocks, I’m working on keeping the column stocked with fresh material for as long as I can until the muse strikes again.  And in case you missed it, here’s ‘Docker Bums’ (from First Person, Last Straw), a sound-off on the laziness of pre-sliced cheese cubes and other nonsensicals.  Have a great week and I’ll give you all a shout out next Monday,

Tom Waters

The Docker Bums

Now I’m not an American-basher by any means. Unlike Johnny Depp or any other notable celebrity who’s moved out of the country and passed judgment on the bulk of us, I don’t pick Western culture to shreds, but we’re starting to get really, really lazy. I realized this last week while I was in the frozen food section of a super store doing my grocery shopping and pondering the existence of precut cheese cubes. The fact that they were there bothered me greatly. There must be a market for precut cheese cubes. Is it really difficult to slice cheese into geometrically pleasing chunks? Is it time consuming? I don’t think so. And yet there must be a big market out there if the average consumer is willing to pay an extra buck fifty to get their cheese sliced in advance. It was a bit maddening, really. We’re getting lackadaisical here when we can’t cube our own cheese at home. We’re slacking. If this continues, the opposable digits we use to slice our own cheese will be replaced with a machine six or seven hundred years from now and our genetic process will weed said digits out of our DNA chain. I love cheese, I really do. That’s why it troubled me to see it prepackaged in the laziest fashion possible. I’ve even eaten pre-cubed cheese at other people’s houses. You may think that I’m running out of interesting things to write about, but bear with me. Microwave ovens have replaced regular ovens in a day to day cooking regimen. I’m almost completely and symbiotically dependent on my microwave. It was a sign of progress. Recently, I’ve gotten accustomed to my George Forman grill. Why heat up a hamburger on a pan when you’d just have to wash the pan and put it in the dishwasher? Now you can flash fry the thing, dump the grease bin, and move on with your life!

Some inventions are time savers and others just go to far, like peanut butter and jelly in one jar. That’s disgusting. Is it overly tedious to grab two jars out of a cupboard and mix it’s contents? Are people the world over collectively groaning because they can’t bear to grab a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly during one meal preparation? What’s become of us?

Maybe I never noticed it until I made steps to become self-reliant. Following this wheel of logic, we arrive at dishwasher cubes. I have little pumice sized stones that I drop into the reservoir for my washer. I used to use the powder stuff, but why bother now? It makes me weep to think about how much time it took to open the box, tilt the box of detergent towards the washer, and have to decide how much powder to put in. Now for a couple dollars more, I have a cube that I open up and drop in the washer. This is patently ridiculous.

Margarita mixes, bagged salads, and three step boxed casseroles. Making a drink is so time consuming, so why not just spend the extra five dollars and pour the whole thing out of one bottle? Who wants to go through the trouble of buying lettuce, carrots, and radishes when you can get it all in one bag with five hundred percent of your daily preservatives thrown in at no extra cost? Tired of going through the motions with your sheperd’s pie? We’ll do it for you! Dump the mix into a pan, add water and pre-cubed beef and you’ve got your very own beef stew! And it’s microwave friendly! I think we’re all sick of taking a can of soup out of the pantry, having to walk over to the can opener, open the damned thing, pour it into a bowl, and heat it. Now you just put a soup pod into the microwave, heat, eat, and throw it out! In another year, we’ll have soup pods that self destruct after they’re empty! It’ll save you the long trip to the garbage can.

I don’t think it’s all food either. Clip-on ties. Stain-guarded pants. The fashion disaster of skorts. If you don’t know how to tie a tie, ask someone to stick your head in a dishwasher and have them set it on “imbecile” for you. Tying a tie is not rocket science. Washing stains out of your khakis might be difficult, but is it that difficult? And skorts. At the risk of sounding like Jerry Seinfeild, it’s not a skirt, it’s not shorts! Don’t wear them, ever. I’m glad that fanny packs aren’t enjoying a heyday anywhere other than in Canada, so I’m hoping that skorts are over with as well.

It’s bad enough that people are too lazy to read book-sized books on a regular basis. We’d rather power-scan fifteen different running banners on a cable channel with a cute anchor woman feeding us factoids in a happy, non-threatening manner. We’d rather hop onto and catch up on world events in 2.5 minutes and sign off. Or read a blurb-filled magazine with happy looking pull quotes and pretty pictures. Enough is enough! How much lazier can we get?! This is out of control!

Western culture is turning into a Kubrick science fiction film. Maybe I like going through the routines and less time-saving motions of doing things for myself, but it’s good exercise. If we keep this shit up, people will be going terminally senile in their mid-30s because their minds are too goddamned idle. My grandfather used to wash his dishes by hand, if you can imagine such a thing. It was the one time out of the day that he had to think and turn the day’s events over in his head. There’s a Buddhist term for finding spiritual harmony in everyday functions and activities. I’m no Buddhist, but I like the concept. There are a million useless chores and tasks we go through everyday, but by injecting a little bit of joy into them, we elevate them to something more than mechanical boredom. Siddhana. That’s it. You’re not going to get that from Auto-opening your Pre-Sliced Monterey Jack Cubes and Insta-Melting them into your Turbo Soup and spilling them onto your stain guarded pants. For chrissakes.

this sign off powered by EssayWorks 7.1,

Tom “Generic Nickname” Waters


‘deja misconstrued’ on The Sidewalk’s End e-zine

December 8, 2006

I was noodling around yesterday doing a search and ran across either a very old or a very new print online of my essay ‘deja misconstrued’ (from Zany Hijinx), which argues that the death of original thought isn’t as dead as scholars would have us believe.  I read it once for one of the Just Buffalo open readings and the UB students lining the back of the room ate it up.  Check it out at:

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