© 1998 Jamie Zawinski <>

1998. 1984.

Jeremy and I were in a used book store in the Mission. We were poking through the pile of recent arrivals, and he was trying very hard to to decide which book to buy, `` Ninja Mind Control,'' or `` Ninja Secrets of Invisibility.''

Then from the front of the store, I overheard the following conversation:

She: I have to write this paper.
He: Yeah, on what?
She: Like, identity?
He: Uh huh?
She: So like remember that girl I was telling you about, the one who gave a blowjob to that guy from that band, Marilyn Manson?
He: Uh huh, yeah, yeah?
She: Well like, they all use different names, right? Because they're like, ``hey, I'm a rock star, that's who I am,'' right?
He: Yeah?
She: So this girl, she was backstage, and like, she signed his name on a mirror.
He: Yeah?
She: So I was thinking, like, I'd write my paper on that. That'd be so cool.
He: Yeah!

I was in the hell that is High School. One of my more fashion-forward classmates was wearing a baggy white t-shirt that said


in huge black letters. Now, we understood what those

frankie say

t-shirts were all about, but aside from the fact that a pair of gay bubblegum pop stars wore these shirts in a video once, what the hell did ``choose life'' mean? One of my friends decided he had to know. I witnessed the following conversation between him and a girl who would never otherwise have spoken to him:

He: So what does your shirt mean?
She: It means, like, ``Choose Life,'' duh. (withering look.)
He: Well yeah, but what does that mean?
She: What do you think I am, a phil-o-soph-er or something?

Philosopher was four words. Fill Loss Oh Fur.

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