By R.T. Jordan
, etc.


Good Lord! Not––AGAIN!

The End Times are at hand­­. Yawn. For heaven’s sake bud, just rip the bandage off and get on with the Apocalypse now!

"Saigon... shit; I'm still only in Saigon..."

We at BRUISES THE GIN are endlessly amused by all of the shock and awe predictions of the earth cracking open like a small skull on a vast playground.

Finally giving in to the seeming inevitability of what the “truth-loving” so-called “Christian” groopies have been foreshadowing for a couple thousand years (based, of course, on astute statistical, meteorological, divine and scriptural research), we’ve generously packed a reusable Whole Foods grocery shopping bag with essential survival items (mainly gay porn) for Michele Bachmann and her chubby hubby, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, to take with them on their Ignorance Tour of the Cosmos with Rick Santorum, Pat Buchanan and Donald Wildmon (c’mon Don, you KNOW you want it!). And away they go. PLEASE!

Champagne's on me!


Harold Camping, or Shari Draper

This year, we’re expecting Harold Camping to disappoint us again—twice. Way back in 1994, he promised a September wedding between the Almighty and His faithful. But just in case that didn’t occur, peebrain [sic] Camping made a contingency play-date with Jesus for May 21, 2011 (perhaps expecting to be enjoying his other world reward by now.). Our staff must have all been in post-orgasmic bliss because we totally missed whatever didn’t happen on that day. We now have to hold our collective breaths until October 21. Or not.

We suspect that the December 21, 2012, end of the Mayan calendar/earth spins into oblivion prediction is more inspired for the cancellation of humankind.

Religious zealots have been nattering on about the end of the world for so long it gives us a migraine. Someone at the informative website:, has taken the time to list ALL the end-of-time dates that have been promised since that most famous of crucifixion/resurrections. Alas, the expected golden chariot ride to the Pearly Gates has never once made a pit stop to whisk away the good (e.g., the sanctimonious). Nor, after any of the prognostications, did the earth open up to suck sinners down to our eternal holiday in the molten lake of fire.


The Decider. So when's the big day, Georgie boy?

Check out the website for their complete list of dates from the year 44 to September 14, 2047, for the Second Coming, Armageddon, and Rapture news. Here are a few of the more curious predictions they’ve listed:

  • August, 989: Halley’s Comet appeared and was taken as a sign by the great unwashed that the Earth was about to be destroyed. (It happens every time.)
  • 1000: Worldwide hysteria ensues with the prediction of Jesus’ return after a thousand years.
  •  1033: Slight change in computations. This year was sighted as the real beginning of the millennium because it marked 1000 years since Christ’s crucifixion.
  • 1186: The Toledo Letter warned everyone in Europe to cower in caves and mountains. The world would be destroyed and only a few spared. Hide and seek was invented.
  • 1666: This was the year that indeed things came to a rather inconvenient end for 100,000 Londoners who caught bubonic plague. To add insult to the rats, the Great Fire of London pretty damn near destroyed the city. It didn’t help the collective consciousness that the year had the Beast’s number 666.
  • 1910: Haley’s comet returned (again). Another indication of the coming of the Lord.

    Don't make Jesus, or John Boehner, angry!

  • 1914, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, 1994: These are ALL the years that the Watchtower Society of the Jehovah’s Witnesses predicted Armageddon would occur. We can sort of understand getting the end times dates wrong once or twice or even three times. Who hasn’t’? But SEVEN? To that we can only say, Jesus Henry Christ!
  • 1977: The killer bees scare was supposed to be linked to an end of world prophesy in the Book of Revelations. The bees are still swarming around Texas. Sticking close to Crawford.
  • 1982: A number of planets were in direct alignment with each other and were thus expected to create magnetic forces that would bring on Armageddon or rip Earth apart.
  • 1987: The Harmonic Convergence planned for August 16-17 was supposed to usher in the return of Christ. We got stoned that weekend.
  • 1994: That non compos mentis Harold Camping wrote a book titled “Are You Ready?” and predicted the end of time for September of that year. But, just in case, he offered 2011 as a backup date.
  •  2000: Divide 2000 by 3 and you get the devil’s private text messaging number: 666.6666666666666.7.
  •  2011: May 21 … Most of us are still breathing
  • Mr. Camping. If you’re reading this, WE’RE STILL FUCKING WAIT-ING!!!!


In the spirit of “God’s will be done …” and the earth going to hell in handbasket, we’ve asked a few celebs and/or pop culture know-it-all’s to tell us what material things they wouldn’t want to be without if Jesus or Muhammad or Voldemort overlooked their names on the End Times Rapture Roster, and they were accidentally left behind with the ubiquitous cockroaches.

The very cool Jackie Joseph

JACKIE JOSEPH is more than a film, television and B’way star, she is a humanitarian, writer, activist, and champion for animals. Especially doggies. Among her most notable feature film credits is the original The Little Shop of Horrors in which she stared for Roger Corman as Audrey. She appeared with James Stewart in The Cheyenne Social Club, and played Sheila Futterman in both Gremlins films. On television, Joseph was a series regular on The Doris Day Show and provided the voice of Melody in the classic animated television series Josie and the Pussycats and Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space. She has a ton o’ other creds, so Google Jackie Joseph to learn more.

Jackie says, “Ten things I cannot live without? I’m so adaptable. But in no particular order”:

1. I must say my husband David, if I don’t mention him he might kill me.
2. My dog Skye. A forgiving machine is invaluable.
3. My computer, it’s hard to admit, but the tech age has been such a pleasure for me and life is easier. Contact!
4. OK, the iPhone. So handy for whiling away the time and also finding lost husband.
5. Car, my nine-year-old Prius, I still feel as proud to have it as I was when there were few on the road.
6. Of course, my friends. Being of an age, they are scattered all over the place and it’s very dear to find them.
7. My garden. Very blessed with tomatoes this season. The garden calms me and is a gift to the neighborhood.
8. Memorabilia. I’m spending the rest of my life filing myself. And it’s so good for boosting the memory!
9. A quiet place. Peace and calm … to get my thoughts in focus and order.
10. My kids. They were assigned to me by the powers that be. Although they are adults, I still have that mommy feeling.

✜ Ξ Φ

*Receive an AUTOGRAPHED copy. See details below for this MUST READ!

Bestselling mystery writer LAURA LEVINE says she “Grew up in Brooklyn, New York, back when mastodons (and Edsels) still roamed the earth.” (Ed. note: Great example of her laugh-out-loud humor!) Her critically acclaimed Jaine Austen mysteries includes this month’s publication of PAMPERED TO DEATH*, as well the favorites: Death of a Trophy Wife, Killer Cruise, Killing Bridezilla, Death by Pantyhose, The PMS Murder, Shoes to Die For, Killer Blonde, Last Writes, and This Pen For HirePublishers Weekly raved, “Levine’s slick wit and sure pacing makes another hit in this entertaining series.” (Ed. note: Side effects of reading Levine’s hilarious books include shortness of breath and lack of bladder control.) When Levine worked in television she wrote for The Bob Newhart Show, Three’s Company, Laverne & Shirley, The Love Boat, The Jeffersons and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

Levine would  miss a world without …

1. My Kindle. (Loaded with books by Agatha Christie, P.G. Wodehouse, Joe Keenan. And Richard Tyler Jordan, of course.)
2. My glasses. (See My Kindle above.)
3. My Malibu beach house. (Okay, so I don’t really have a Malibu beach house, but there’ll be plenty available if I’m the only one left on the planet, right?)
4. The New York Times crossword puzzle.
5. My dictionary. (So I can cheat on the New York Times crossword puzzle.)
6. The UCLA swimming pool. (For the first time in thirty-five years, I’ll have a lane to myself!)
7. DVDs of Sunset Boulevard, Rosemary’s Baby, Rear Window, Roman Holiday, and The Bachelor & the Bobbysoxer.
8. Reruns of I Love Lucy, Colombo, and Project Runway.
9. My car. (So I can get from the UCLA pool to my Malibu beach house. For the first time in thirty-five years, I’ll have the 405 freeway all to myself!)
10. My husband. (I couldn’t face life on the planet without him. And besides, I need him to help me find my glasses.)

   ➽ ➢ ↕

KEVIN HOWELL is the marketing manager at Tarcher-Penguin—and since he’s been working in book retail and book publishing since he was 16, he’s now buying lottery tickets in the hope of getting through the second half of his life. He’ll never admit it (he’s way too modest), but he’s also (at least partially) responsible for the commercial success of many fine novels. (Ed. note: The Polly Pepper Mysteries and all of author Ben Tyler’s titles).

The stuff that Kevin wouldn’t want to be on this planet without:

1. My DVR. The best invention ever created and one that brings us one step closer to short-term memory loss. Before cell phones stored our phone numbers, we used to have to remember them. Now, we don’t even have to remember when our favorite TV shows are on, because the DVR remembers for us! With the added bonus of being able to speed through all commercials.

2. Internet porn. Actually, I should amend that to “FREE internet porn” because as soon as a site wants payment, it’s dead to me. There’s too much out there to actually have to pay for it! (Which reminds me, I need to clear my computer’s history…too bad my DVR can’t do that for me!)
3. Facebook. I’ve totally drunk the Kool Aid on this social network that’s as addictive as crack. It’s not only the source for 90% of news for me (although I’m more prone to passing along “Guess who died?” reports more than breaking political news) but it has completely swallowed up all other forms of communication I use to connect with friends and family. (“What do you mean you didn’t know? I posted it on Facebook!”)
4. Ice. Everything I drink has to be ice-cold. I got that Diet Coke monkey off my back more than a year ago and have moved to drinking green tea and water at work and home, but if my ice melts, I stop drinking.
5. Ebay. A glorious site filled with irresistible things that just minutes before you didn’t know you couldn’t live without! Cheaply acquired treasures include a stuffed ALF doll, a signed copy of Jacqueline Susann’s The Love Machine and a movie poster of Thelma Ritter’s The Mating Season.
6. Netflix Streaming. Did you know you can now watch all seven seasons of Cagney & Lacey through Netflix’s Instant View (even though only one season was ever released on DVD) or 160 episodes of Dark Shadows? Heaven!
7. My iPod. Now you can walk around with your own theme song, just like a character in a movie! (Mine is “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” from the Kill Bill soundtrack.) I have 3,395 essential songs on mine (355 are Dusty Springfield).
8. A book in my backpack. I don’t plan vacations, I plan what books I’m going to read when on vacation. (And if I’m ever between books, it’s an excuse to re-read one of my two favorite comic novels–both written in diary form: Fannie Flagg’s Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man or Al Franken’s I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough and Doggone It, People Like Me: Daily Affirmations by Stuart Smalley.)
9. Pizza. Nature’s most perfect food
10. Fran Drescher’s TV series The Nanny. How did I completely miss this hilarious series during its six season run from 1993 to 1999? Now I can’t get enough of it. Sony’s DVD release schedule stalled several years ago after season three, so I’ve been FORCED to buy inexpensive bootlegged DVDs from an addictive web site that would have been #11 on my list.

∑ √ ±


From Publishers Weekly: "Beierle weaves a fascinating story ..."

is the Lambda Literary Award-winning author of The Winter of Our Discothèque (which was a September 2007 Main Selection of the Insight Out Book Club), and the Lambda Award short-listed masterpiece First Person Plural. Beierle is a graduate of the School of Communications at Pennsylvania State University. He was an editor at Brown and Emory universities and has studied at the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, Napa Valley, Kenyon Review and Tinker Mountain writers’ workshops.  As if all that were not enough, he’s also an amazing photographer, has a big green thumb for gardening and designs amazing web sites.

We think that the Rapture would suit Andrew, however he does have a last man standing list:

  1. My sister, Maggie. We have stuck together through thick and thin all our lives. Why let the Rapture change that?
  2. My dog, Bandit. Just don’t let him know he was second on the list.
  3. My house in the San Bernardino National Forest. No, make that my home in the San Bernardino National Forest. That includes my panoramic view of the mountains and the valley a mile below (and that’s about as close as I want to get to the flatlanders). And my gardens.
  4. My landlord. He’s more than that—much, much more. My dearest friend. My hero. Suffice it to say that my life changed the day we met, although I couldn’t know it at the time. (Ed. note: Landlord feels the same way about tenant.)
  5. My solitude. Presumably the most annoying people on earth will be swept up in the Rapture. That notwithstanding, I probably won’t want to have anything to do with those who are left behind, since they largely will be of questionable character.
  6. My sense of humor. Obviously the Rapture is going to cause some inconveniences that will be better borne with a laugh.
  7. My books—and enough advance warning that I can download oodles and oodles more to my Kindle before the Rapture takes place, just in case everyone who works at Amazon ascends into heaven. But no more than 28 days advance warning. That’s one billing cycle.
  8. Electricity. (See #7.)
  9. A lifetime supply of Oil of Olay Regenerist products. Moisturizing will be as important post-Rapture as ante-Rapture, perhaps even more so.
  10. Daniel Radcliffe. Not the Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe, the Equus Daniel Radcliffe. (See #9.)

† # §

Ed. Comment: Karen Carpenter may be swilling syrup of ipecac in a celestial recording studio, and playing a harp instead of a drum kit, but she’s on my list of the voices I wouldn’t want to be on this planet without. At least for a few days following the ever after. “Rainy Days and Mondays,” indeed!

Here at BRUISES THE GIN, it appears that we think about death and dying a lot: murder, suicide, uric poisoning. It’s mother’s milk to a mystery writer. The truth is, we have just as much fun with politics, psychosexual fixations, religion (see above), and trashing a Kardashian. That’s how we get our jollies.

*Tell us how you get your giggles. What, save for John Boehner’s sissy tears, gets your blood pumped? We’ll post the more lascivious and/or hillarious and select a WINNER to receive an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Laura Levine’s PAMPERED TO DEATH. Don’t be shy. We’re not! Spill it, baby!

Now, Breathe deeply and slowly. Have that third martini. And watch The Middle on Wednesday nights at 8:00 on ABC. When Armageddon finally occurs, let’s all sing along with Peggy Lee:
“Is that all there is … to a fire?”

"Jordan's zany, name-dropping tale is laugh-out-loud funny" --Library Journal


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"I told you I was sick!"

By R.T. Jordan

“I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather… Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.”

—Will Shriner

Heh, heh. You’ll need a sense of humor when you find the lovely parting gift your loved one has left when said loved one’s earthly remains need to be ditched. What could be so difficult about getting rid of Grandma Sally’s body after she leaves to meet up with Grandpa Larry at the Decay Buffet? It’s not that hard, but it sure can be expensive-o! Don’t be surprised by surprises.

E.T. BONE HOME (Some Stuff About “Cremains”)

C'mon baby, light my fire.

This edition of BRUISES THE GIN is a bit o’ macabre fun that’s mostly about “mortal remains,” or more accurately, “cremains.” There’s a lot to be said for the cost effectiveness of lighting a flame under the dearly departed’s rigor mortised butt, rather than spending $10,000 on a full-on funeral home burial that includes a casket, vault, flowers, obituary notices, acknowledgment cards, perhaps a celebratory party if the goner was Shari Draper (read Ben Tyler’s too-hot-to-handle novel TRICKS OF THE TRADE to understand this Hollywood insider’s joke).

Cremains—or ashes to you and me­­—but not really.

When Grandma Sally comes out of the oven and is swept into a plastic bag and delivered to you in a cardboard box roughly the dimensions of a “Harry Potter” novel, what you’re actually receiving is her pulverized skeleton. Shocked? Dear Grandma Sally’s body and organs vaporized while she was busy baking her buns for an hour and a half—at 1400o–2100o F. If you’ve been paying attention to “NCIS” you know that bones don’t burn. So it’s off to the cremulator, which is a fancy name for a big ol’ pulverizer­—think stone grinder that mills wheat or corn into meal. Twenty minutes later, voila! The process is complete and the powder is ready to be scooped up, poured into a Ziploc bag, then transferred to an urn or buried in the ground, or scattered hither and thither. Or not.

But are you getting your elegant Aunt Cora’s cremains or those of Agatha Dee, some anonymous ne’er-do-well whom Auntie would never have invited to her famous candlelight suppers (tip o’ the chapeau to Hyacinth Bucket!). Aunt Cora was a bird of a thing compared to fatso Agatha, whose midnight runs from her bed under the freeway overpass to the corner trash can for snacks contributed to her demise. (Homeless but fat. Only in America.) Do the math. Cora’s cremains should weigh a lot less than Agatha’s. Check the weight. It’s been said that loved ones have a sixth sense about the right/wrong cremains they’re given by funeral homes or crematoriums. Could be a mix up or …

According to an article published in USA Today (April 28, 2006), there’s a huge demand for body parts on the black market. Things such as bones and tendons as well as organs are prized by tissue banks. According to the article the price of a brain is $600.00 (with or without a Ph.D), and $850 for a hand.  An analysis of market prices for fresh or Green Giant frozen body parts used for research and education was compiled by Annie Cheney, author of Body Brokers: Inside America’s Underground Trade in Human Remains. Buy this fascinating book, which every mystery writer in America should own, and every one who knows a dead person will find fascinating.

The same article explains, “[Some] Funeral home employees, crematorium operators and others with access to the recently deceased have secretly dismembered corpses, taking non-organ body parts such as knees, spines, bone and skin without the knowledge or consent of family members.”

Alistair Cooke, the famed British/American journalist and renowned host of Masterpiece Theater for 22 years, was a victim of body snatching. For the grisly stuff click here.

Neat and complete. Well maybe not so much. Here are a few anecdotes from people who thought, as many of us do, that arguing over the division of the estate is the biggest problem when mums or da-da or your SO’s passport to planet Earth expires.

Jorge worked in the “death care” biz, in a retail casket store. He says that funeral homes are a money-grubbing, hit-you-up-for-all-you’re-worth racket. “Funeral homes don’t like to have bereaved families buying caskets and urns from retailers [see the below referenced list for a few special places to buy cheaper burial/cremation stuff] because they make so much money selling coffins at insanely marked up prices.”

While strong-arming emotionally numb survivors interested in buying less expensive caskets from retailers (or even the funeral home: “Tsk tsk. You want the welfare casket?”), many funeral homes will go out of their way to make the burial or cremation process as difficult as possible.

Recalling one particular incident, Jorge says, “You’ve heard of ‘dead weight’. This one funeral home I dealt with intentionally damaged a casket from our store out of spite, so we had to personally take the body from the ruined casket and place it in a new one. The funeral home people just stood back and wouldn’t lift a finger to help. So my boss picked up the dead man’s feet, and I took the upper body and together we desperately struggled to get this dead weight over to the next casket. All I could think of is that I hoped it wouldn’t rip.”

Was he wearing clean socks?


Exactly what you’re picturing. Yeah, it happens.  “There are two occasions where this could easily occur,” Jorge continues. “In drowning, the body is bloated and limbs start to disjoint from the muscles because they’re all fluid. The same sort of thing happens with embalming fluid. They take out all the blood and replace it with formaldehyde and methanol and stuff to preserve the body. That means there are a lot of hollow spaces filled with these fluids. So we’re lifting the body, but there wasn’t any support in the middle and I thought it was going to literally rip apart. There was some fluid leakage coming out through the ears and nose, but the guy remained intact.”

[Ed note: A dressed corpse in a casket could be hiding all sorts of stuff the family wouldn’t want to know about. But you’re probably better off not thinking about this, or checking. Sorry I brought it up.]

Camille wanted to have her pet cremated. Yeah, pet cremation is big business. She had a frog. Seriously. But it was a special prince of an exotic frog so we’ll give her the benefit of the sanity doubt.

“It was the size of a dime,” she says of the frog.  “After a year and a half he suddenly passed away. I had him picked up to be cremated and his remains were to be delivered back to me in a few days. Instead, I got a phone call saying that there was nothing to deliver because he just went up in a puff of smoke and disappeared into thin air­­—just like the $75.00 I paid for this ‘service.’”

This is where a toilet would have been as good as any other means of disposal. Camille was naturally disappointed but agrees that they could have brought her cigarette ashes as a ruse. Instead, they chose to be honest. However, she also agrees that they should have known in advance that it was possible there would be no remains due to the small size, which would have allowed her to make other arrangements. (I’m seeing that toilet again!)

Jim’s story gives new meaning to the phrase, “From ashes to ashes …” When his dad died, Jim agreed to take the cremains to his home in Alaska, where dear ol’  wanted to be scattered. Procrastinator that he is, Jim stashed the box under his bed—where it stayed until the house burned down.

Tim (a real dufus) was selected to spread the ashes of his friend and neighbor Don from the balcony of the deceased’s home in the Hollywood Hills.  It was a lovely spring evening.  The invited guests were sufficiently inebriated. Timmy indicated that it was time to do the deed. Gathering on the deck, Sunset Boulevard in the distance below, Tim said a few words in praise of Don’s long life and accomplishments, then opened the cardboard box, and … instead of the powder wafting away like the Old South in Gone With the Wind, the Ziploc bag fell out of the box and into the impossible-to-reach canyon 100 feet below. Tim has a history of grotesque failures. He once caught his own manhood in the zipper of his jeans. [Ed. note: Always wear your BVDs!)

Suggestions from a “USA Today” Article that appeared on April 28, 2006

  • Home
The chance is slim (but this tragedy actually happened to a friend of this writer)
that a loved one’s body or body parts will be stolen for personal profit after
he or she dies, but the following are some suggested tips to help prevent theft:

• Witness the cremation. If the loved one is to be cremated, more crematoriums today have set up viewing rooms where family members can watch the body be put into the cremation furnace.
• When a loved one dies, family members may agree to donate some or all of the body for research or transplant. The family should ask for and keep a copy of the consent form that was signed. It should include information on what the family agreed to donate.
• Research the funeral home that is chosen, who the owner may be, what his or her affiliations are. While the request may be legitimate, family members should be cautious if a funeral operator also approaches to ask about donating the body. (Source: Annie Cheney, Body Brokers: Inside America’s Underground Trade in Human Remains.)

TRIVIA (Or, stuff I didn’t know)

“I’d love to slit my mother-in-law’s corsets and watch her spread to death.” Phyllis Diller

• The so-called “Death Care” industry rakes in $11 billion a year.
• There are 22,000 funeral homes in America.
• Cemeteries number approximately 115,000
• Over eleven hundred crematories are “scattered” about the country.
• Enough embalming fluid is used each year to fill eight Olympic-size swimming pools.

* * *

Here at BRUSES THE GIN we’re not short on offering seemingly screwy info that also enlightens our readers. Hence we provide the ammo to help you make up your inquiring minds about all sorts of alternatives to exploring aspects of life–and death. E.g.:

Wine in a bottle vs. vino in a box?
Squeeze the Charmin or the dingle berries brand of paper that those animated bears in the television commercials use?
Praise Allah, or Oprah?

‘Sup to you, dear readers.

So, here’s the promised list of some cool places where you can save a bundle as you prep to send your stiff off to the Bone Zone.

“It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Woody Allen.


Simple instructions for the do-it-yourself types.

Kent Casket Industries

Assembly kits! Fun for the whole family. These folks provide low cost biodegradable caskets for natural “green” burials and cremations and are perfect for orthodox Jewish burials.  Easy assembly, too!

A simple cardboard casket offers the opportunity for personalization since you can draw or paint on them. Kid’s (ages 10 and under) love this!

Cremation Products Inc.
Gilroy, CA 95020

Says it all!

10 Indiana Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806

Cremation Urns by Legacy Inc.
Fido and Frisky will love these!
4285 Express Lane, #H7978
Sarasota, FL 34238

Eternity International Inc.
210 San Antonio Circle, Suite 141
Mountain View, CA 94040
(650) 559-7755

If you’re repulsed by the above, you’ll love R.T. Jordan’s series of Polly Pepper murder mysteries. However, R.T. tends to pulverize celebrities, rather than every day folk.  Charlie Sheen is ready for his close-up!

"Jordan's zany, name-dropping tale is laugh-out-loud funny." --LIBRARY JOURNAL