mr. grant’s rant: 23:59 — where the hell is eisenhower?

I’m not holding the presses, rather, waiting for the last second scoop from another of our fine reporters who got too baked on Sloe-gin fizzes and mescaline while tucking his hard earned tips into the g-strings of partially clothed women. Such is the life of a visionary iconoclast such as Eisenhower…”



You probably thought there was nothing to this web publishing stuff. Just get a few friends and artists together, combine forces and presto: a sparkly new web-zine. Well, let me be the first to tell you it just ain’t all that. This is issue number six of Smokebox. That’s right, SIX. And you know what they say about the number six. Six is evil, six is the number of the BEAST! Uhhh, anyway let’s just say this issue of Smokebox presented many unique challenges and included the high drama of heroic last minute contributions from near and afar and a bona fide twelfth hour meltdown amongst high ranking Smokebox officials. Upon the news that the much anticipated SIX was delayed as a particular writer worked feverishly to verify source information used in his article bedlam broke out in the Smokebox star chamber. Said writer’s premise that further research was called for was met with derision and ill-will, particularly with regards to the use of a Smokebox Executive Credit Card for additional “investigative funds”. There was probably good reason for this degree of suspicion, but credibility in a story is important even if it is about strip clubs. Anyway, all hell broke loose. The whole mess can be deconstructed in the frenzied e-mail exchange below. Talk about a dollop of gritty realism! Just remember, Six is the number of the beast. That’ll explain Smokebox Six better than I could ever hope to.



February 1, 2001. 9:08 a.m:

I wanted to push a note your way to let you know that the new issue is ready to go except I had a request from Eisenhower yesterday afternoon to hold the presses for one more day for his newest column. As today is the 1st, and I took a blood oath that we would be up on the 1st this month Smokebox six will be posted by midnight tonight (barring server difficulties) with or without the last two features.

mr. grant

Hey – what up with this?!? I been writing a column for every single issue, I break my balls to get my stuff in before the deadline, I get low-priority position on the page, and now I find that we’re holding the presses! No fair! If we were in an editorial meeting right now, I’d crumple up my coffee cup and threaten to resign!


No shit!! And remember, Mr. Pointy always drinks his coffee from one of those stainless-steel monstrosities!! I can just see his big, bulging, manly muscles rolling now, glistening in the golden glow of dappled midmorning sunlight…crushing his coffee vessel into a hardened, carbonium wad, deftly flicking it forth, and bouncing it off the noggin of our hapless smokebox publisher. *shudder*


Whaderya talking about Pointy? “Low-priority position” on the page — what the fuck is that? You have you own damn page. That’s right, a whole page to yourself. You don’t have to share it with anyone, do you now?

Stop yer snivelling…I said we’d be up on the 1st, and we’ll be up on the 1st. I’m not holding the presses, rather, waiting for the last second scoop from another of our fine reporters who got too baked on Sloe-gin fizzes and mescaline while tucking his hard earned tips into the g-strings of partially clothed women. Such is the life of a visionary iconoclast such as Eaglebauer. Er, Eisenhower, aww fuckit.  Anyway, you can have some compassion considering the mitigating circumstances involved here?

Also, your petty jealousy and anger management issues are noted. I am now instructing the Choad to walk you through the 76 page Smokebox sensitivity training manual and expect no further outbursts of this nature.

mr. grant

Hey, I’m always baked on Sloe-gin fizzes and mescaline, but I’m still on time! Geez, you’d think the guy has a great new book out or something…

Oh, and I also want the title of “Assistant Editor in charge of New York Affairs”. It’s the least you could do for all the time I spend in smokey bars trying to cajole antiquated floppy discs of material out of drunk Lurch writers.


Yes, I suppose you have a point there. But you see, the difference is that you, being a reviewer of crucial vinyl have the distinct advantage of being able to recline in your posh Brooklyn Loft while sipping fine bourbon and tapping away at your typewriter. Pondering your prose, scratching your turtle-waxed dome…

Eisenhower, on the other hand, writes his articles in blood after crawling the mean streets on his hands and knees for 77 hours straight. He presents the final composition on crumpled napkins and old fast food wrappers. Like his mentor, Bukowski, his every word is pulled, retching and screaming from his dark inner reaches. Flesh, sin, depravity and chocolate milk — Eisenhower lives in a world none of us 9-5 stiffs can begin to comprehend.

So you see, there is a difference.

mr. grant

Hey listen, you whiners, relax — what difference does a day make? And what’s this shit about Bukowski? My mentor?  Shit — what about Fitzgerald? Faulkner? Kerouac? What about my Uncle Dick? Drunks, all! Uncle Dick didn’t write, and I merely attempt to write, but you see my point…well to hell with ya all. I have drinking to do and the dancers are waiting.

K. Eisenlohr

Please accept my humblest apologies for my outburst earlier today. I in no way was questioning our beloved editor’s abilities or authority, and I deeply appreciate his efforts to make the fine and respected web magazine it is. As for my allusions to Mr. Eisenhower’s “oh I’m better than the rest of you and I can write you under the table even when I’m completely inebriated and people only look at the damn website because I’m on it and I am one of the most notable writers on the scene and that stupid Pinamonti guy should just shut his fuckin’ mouth and let me get my piece turned in because if I don’t no one will read this month’s issue and certainly not that pile of dung called Pointy’s Root Cellar” which is so fuckin’ lame because the guy doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about and nobody really cares anyway” attitude, let it be known that I was way out of line, and I in no way meant to imply that we should publish without a contribution from our esteemed colleague. Clearly, we are all in this together, and, as the man said, united we stand, divided we fall. I have fallen but I’m not yet out. I’m just down here in the cellar going a little crazy from the lack of light.




Originally published:
Issue Six
February 2001


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