Consult Your Doctor

Consult Your Doctor

Doctor Cruz: “What seems to be troubling you, Mr. Smith?”

Mr. Smith: “The last few days, I have been having terrible stomach cramps and serious lower back pain.”

Doctor Cruz: “Alright, Mr. Smith, let me take a look at you.”

Mr. Smith: “Okay.”

Doctor Cruz examines Mr. Smith.

Doctor Cruz: “From the outside, you look fine, Mr. Smith.  Have you made any major lifestyle changes lately, such as a new diet or exercise program?”

Mr. Smith: “No, not really. Well, I did start walking on sunshine a few weeks ago.”

Doctor Cruz: “Walking on sunshine, oh my God, no. Mr. Smith, how long have you been doing this?”

Mr. Smith: “I don’t know, maybe three or four weeks, tops. It was a little painful at first, but now it’s starting to feel good.”

Doctor Cruz: “Mr. Smith, I want you to listen to me very carefully walking on sunshine is dangerous. If you keep doing this activity, you’re going to die. In fact, I’m not even sure how you’re even alive now. Every time you walk on a ray of sunshine, you increase your chances of getting melanoma and other fatal skin cancers a million times more than by ordinary walking.”

Mr. Smith: “Okay so walking on sunshine is out. What if I start walking on the moon instead? Do you think that is going to be safer, doctor?”

Doctor Cruz: “No, and could you please stop taking fitness advice from ‘80s pop songs?”

Mr. Smith: “What about Let’s Get Physical?”

Doctor Cruz: “Mr. Smith, nobody likes a smart ass.”

Issue Two Playlist

Issue Two Playlist

1. Beastie Boys “To All the Girls”

2. Radiohead “The National Anthem”

3. Nancy and Sarah “A Whole New World”

4. J Dilla “Time Donut of the Heart”

5. Chance the Rapper “Juice”

6. Honey Cone “Want Ads”

7. The Black Eyed Peas “Pump It”

8. Black Rob “Whoa”

9. Black Moon “I Got Cha Opin (Remix)”

10. Black Sheep “Similak Child”

11. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Can’t Hold Us”

12. Nas “Got Ur Self A Gun”

13. Mark Ronson “Valerie (Version Revisited)”

14. The Clash “Bank Robber”

15. Katrina & The Waves “Walking on Sunshine”

16. The Police “Walking on the Moon”

17. Olivia Newton-John “Physical”

18. Aqua “Barbie Girl”

19. Calvin Harris “Prayers Up”

20. Hiatus Kaiyote “Nakamarra”


Issue Two Updates

Rewrites are done! The script is done! Now just waiting for the artwork to be finished. Hopefully the new issue will be out by the end of September 2017.

The Million Dollar Underwear Zine team will be at the Richmond Zinefest on September 30, 2017 in Richmond.

11/22/63 (Time Travel Romance)

Sally: Oh Joel, you and your wife are just lovely together. How did you two meet?

Valerie: We met at a-

Joel: I was sent back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination. So I got into Dallas a little early to set up and I kept seeing this woman with the most striking brown eyes I had ever seen all around town. A few hours before the assassination, I was sitting on a rooftop setting up my rifle and I looked up to see Valerie across the street on the opposite rooftop setting up her’s. It took me a few minutes, but I worked up the courage to go across the street and introduce myself. I said, “Hi, my name is Joel; are you from the future?” She said, “yes.” At this point I was feeling pretty good and we had an hour to kill, so I invited her out for coffee. She said, “What the heck” and we went out for coffee. We started talking and turned out she’s there to kill Lee Harvey Oswald too! We knew a lot of the same people and didn’t live too far from each other. Funny with all that in common we had to travel to 1963 to meet each other. Anyway, we hit it off and talked for hours. We were so lost in conversation that we completely forgot about our mission. History’s loss is our gain. Come this November we will be together six years.

Valerie: God damn it Joel, why can’t you tell people we met waiting in line at a Best Buy, like how it really happened?


APA Style

This is a true story, the only thing that have been changed are the names of the innocent.

I worked at a Dunkin’ Donuts for six months as a shift lead. I worked the closing shift, Thursday through Monday. On Sunday nights, I usually worked with a high school senior named Thomas. Thomas was a good employee, but he hated working Sunday nights. Like clockwork every Sunday two hours into his shift Thomas would ask me if he could leave early. I would say no and that would be the end of it for the night.

After a month of this, I said yes. There was one condition to Thomas’ early release, he would have to write a one page essay, front and back, on why he should leave early. The essay needed to have at least three paragraphs, supporting evidence that had to be cited in APA style format and most importantly have a strong thesis. If he did all of this, I would have let him leave early and clock him out at the end of his shift so he didn’t lose any money for the night.

Thomas thought over it for a few minutes before returning to work. I told him that the offer stood as long as we worked together. We worked together for another three months before I left Dunkin’ Donuts, he never asked me to leave early ever again.

Zine schedule*

February to the second week of March: writing, rewriting, and rewriting material for the zine.
Second week of March to April: the zine is in God's and the editors pool hands now.
April- May: tag in the art and design teams let the real stars shine.
June: Issue two "Atonement" is finished

*Dates are subject to change

A Year and a Day

This time last year I decided I was going to scrap the book I had been writing for too long and make a zine. I was going to use my tips from Dunkin Donuts as start up money. I didn't have much of a clue what a zine was, I had read one in college. A year later I have a website, I'm going to festivals and selling copies of my first issue. Now I am working on issue two.

It wasn't an easy year. I lost faith in myself in the middle of the project and I almost cancelled the whole thing. I am glad there were people who kept me going in the dark times. This project isn't going to make me a millionaire and at times it can be stressful as hell, but I am happy. I smile now and not that bullshit customer service smile I am forced to do at work.

Seeing people react to it has been a blast. Good or bad, knowing that someone has taken the time and read my jokes is a good feeling. The fact that some of those people gave me money to do so is amazing. I sold a copy to one of the writers that inspired me to write the zine, that would have been enough to make my year, but he messaged me and told that he liked my zine and wants me to make more.

I gave a guy a free copy and he ended up paying me for it. He said it was too good to not to pay for it. I was shocked, that is a big compliment I was speechless.

I don't have a real ending for this, I try not to talk about this too often because I don't want to be annoying or maybe I am scared that this feeling won't last. I don't know, but it has been an interesting year.

Richmond Zinefest recap

I don't know how to describe my experience at the Richmond ZineFest. I walked in feeling like I was just happy to be nominated and I left feeling like I had won the Super Bowl.

The event was on two floors and had 100 tables. I was on the first floor, but in a room that was two lefts and one right away from the entrance. Once I found my table my first thought was, well I am screwed. I am not making my sells goal today. I brought 30 copies with me, with a sells goal of ten and trade five. I was the only person in the room for awhile. I wanted to leave, is it too late to leave.

As I sat there listening to Gucci Man rap about how much money he has, more people started to showed up and they brought supplies. Table cloths, magazine racks and displays stands. Me I just had copies of my zine and a jack-o'-lantern half full of candy. I sat there dumbfounded like I didn't know we could have displays, magazine racks and more importantly why didn't anyone tell me about table cloth. If I was trying to fake it until I make it about my confidence, this killed it.

The more people who came in seem to know all each other. I met a few people the day before at the two panels I attended but they were all downstairs. I signed up to share a table with another zine, I figured it would be a great way to network or at least I would have someone who could watch my stuff while I went to the bathroom. I even brought an extra bottle of water for them and they never showed.

The table to my left, was a student group from William and Mary, I didn't get a full count by there was at least seven of them. All but one* had on matching t-shirts with their group's logo on it, I just shook my head and said, "you got to be kidding me."  

Some time goes by and I make eye contact with the woman who has the table across from me. She's a punk rock art school type. She comes over to my table and checks out my zine. First thing she mentions is the glossy paper and how she likes it. Glossy costs a bit more, but it looks legit and it grabs people's attention. She reads my zine and laughs a few times. I can tell she she wants a copy so I offer a trade. We trade zines and she tells me that her name is Zoe. She wishes me good luck in selling my zine.

Some time goes by and I say screw it. I'm making contact with the table to the left of me. I tell them that their shirts make them seem like the real deal, I am a little nervous to sit next to you guys. They respond back to me with "your glossy paper is the real deal, we barely made our zine two weeks ago on regular paper. How did you do that?" After hearing that I didn't feel so bad for not having table cloth or matching t-shirts.

I don't think I made a sell the first hour, if I did it was near the end of the first hour. I had a lot of people tell me that they liked the glossy paper, most that looked through the zine laughed. People talked about "Hobo Cop", "Morning Announcements" and my Clint Eastwood joke "Dirty Harry Vaginas". I did sell a copy just on the strength of my Shakespeare joke "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are baking bread". One copy I sold to a lady at a very low price because she looked like a woman I had a crush on in college**. I traded with a guy a half a table down me from me, who read it between customers and would notify me through the hour on which jokes he liked.

Mostly it was a lot of people who looked, laughed and didn't buy. All my years in retail were preparing me to deal with this kind of rejection. I lost a couple of sells because I forgot my damn Venmo name. I did direct a few people to this websitewho wanted to do digital payment. Nothing so far, next time I will be ready.

Sells started to pick up closer it got to 2 pm. It would come in waves, I get a bunch of lookers then a sell or two. I think around 2 pm I hit my sells goal, it felt good but since I sold a couple of copies at a discount I knew I had to keep selling. Some point I changed my pitch up, not because it wasn't working I just got tired of hearing me saying it . I borrowed a line from my friend Cassy B description of my zine, "absurd humor". I started describing it as "absurd comedy meets a more adult Mad Magazine". I know I made at least one sell off of that pitch.

Somewhere during this time, I start talking with one of members of the student group from William and Mary, named David. David like myself grew up overseas, we talk about how weird it is to explain where we are from. I asked David if he can watch my table while I go to the bathroom. The only working men bathroom is downstairs. I go downstairs for the first time and get a real sense of how big this event is. I get a little disappointed that I won't get to experience the fest as a customer if I stay at my table all day. I get back to table, David tells me he had a few lookers but no buyers.

Around 3 pm, some random lady, takes a look at my zine, doesn't buy but says that they need more humor zines at the fest and that she really liked the glossy paper. After that I decided that I am done for the day, I want to hit the sells floor. I say goodbye to David and try to give him a copy, he offers to buy a copy instead. Sure why not, less stuff for me to carry. I try to sell a copy to a married copy and the husband doesn't bite, but the wife does. She stops her husband and tells him to come back to the table and asks me a bunch of questions like if I did the illustrations and the layout. I got that question a lot, I wanted to tell people it's on the first page, I did the writing and Jessica did the rest. My buddy Jake Blas did the cover.

After all her questions the wife buys a copy. I start packing up my stuff when two women from student group on my left show up, they told me that they had read "Knife Fight" and they want to read more. I quickly sold them copies, packed up my stuff and went home. I didn't realize how I had sold until I started packing up to leave.

I sold 19 copies, traded 7 copies, and donated two copies. I can't wait for next year,  where I will bring a friend and table cloth.

*She had her own personal poetry zine that she was selling about sunflowers and what I believe she said was sexuality or gender. She was also selling mystery poems for 50 cents. Which I now that I think about it, I really wish she was selling a set of poems about rapper 50 Cents solving mysteries.

**From the look on her face, I could my zine was her jam and the low price made her day, don't judge me.