Tag Archives: family guy

Guest Editors Sought

Seth McFarlane
Seth McFarlane, creator of Family Guy, also produced Cosmos for PBS, and reads several science audiobooks. Alas, he’s too busy to guest edit anything. He’s also rich, like Trump, and prefers to stay off “Mad Dog” Mattis’ radar screen.

If you have a science background or a science fiction novel published, send a link to your bio to BurjReview(at)Gmail for a chance to guest edit Family Die, and win a free audiobook to boot. Open now until “The Day After” Memorial Day.


OVERMAN (excerpt):


“What’ll it be, bud?” the bartender asks me.

“How ’bout a Bud . . .Light,” I say.

I pick up the channel changer from the bar and tune the overhead TV from ladies mud wrestling to a local news report. As I do a big tattooed biker in a tank top slowly stands behind me.


“Hey yourself,” I say with a wink.


The biker steps up behind me now, and I reach into my pocket and without looking back hold out a $50 bill. He stops, stunned, and takes the money. I’m still staring at the screen, where a newscaster is saying that the final vote was ninety-eight to two against line-item veto. In other news, the EPA has just banned soda, drawing fire from representatives of the Gladiator Games. As a side note, the solar powered ceiling fan business is booming in the North Dakota. Although it’s hotter here in Des Moines.

“This is bad,” I say, now watching reports from the Department of Bankruptcy & Suicide, and Immigration & Nationalization. There’s even talk in Congress of calling for a Discrimination Bureau, to cover not just animal, but also vegetable and mineral.

I give up, change the thing back to mud wrestling, drawing cheers from the bar’s patrons. The bartender sets a beer in front of me, which I sip then spit out.

“This is warm!” I complain.”

“What’d you expect?”

I lay another $20 bill on the counter and turn away.

“Hey, I can’t accept this,” the bartender says.

“Why not?”

“Well, it’s too much. I’m over my tip limit. You want the IRS to throw me in the slammer?”

“They wouldn’t do that.”

“Wanna bet? My wife’s in prison right now. Made way too much as a waitress . . . fifteen thousand . . . she’s, ah, got big hooters. I miss her.”


“An’ I’ll bet you work for the IRS too . . . ya got that evil eye.”

I shake my head. “Can you keep a secret?” I lift my toupee to reveal that I’m bald. “I’m the President of the United States.”

The bartender laughs, thinks that’s funny. Then his eyes narrow. “Hey, if you are him, whatda ya doin’ here? You here for a drink on the House, or the Senate?” He snickers, thinks that’s funny too.

So I hold out my executive Gold Card and Presidential ID. The bartender takes it, stares at the embossed photo of me seated in the Oval Office. “I ran away this morning,” I tell him. “Came straight here. But you’d never believe why.”

“Hey, that’s you,” the bartender says.

“And I’m looking for the real President, Donald Trump. Used to campaign in this town. It was the turning point for America, he said, so he built an estate nearby. So you seen him in here, or what?”

The bartender gives me his best cheese-eating grin, then a light bulb seems to turn on behind his eyes. He lowers his voice to a whisper. “Hey, if you’re really the Prez, where’s the Secret Service?”

“Shhhhhh,” I breathe, turning away. “It’s a secret.” Now I climb up on top of the nearest table. It sways, and I regain my balance. “Hey!  Everybody!” I yell. “Anybody seen The Donald? There’s a reward if you can tell me when.”

Excerpt From “Who Moved My TV?” also on iBooks.


The Audience Whispered in…

Star Wars

The audience whispered in. The orchestra was seated. The lights dimmed. Me? I too was intrigued. It was a first. For me too, given my new employer. Now on stage, the musician I’d come to review seemed oddly subdued. Anonymous. Mysterious. Everyone was transfixed, staring. What would the conductor say? Anything?

…I was a new critic, of both music and books, for a major newspaper. It was a virgin experience for me, my first attempt at gaining an audience for a column that wasn’t freelance…and about movies. How would I do? Would I be able to feed my dog, and maintain a condo downtown? Sure, it was a small condo. But my dog was big. “Big” was his name, too. “Big” the dog. Scary. Hopefully scary enough to keep muggers at bay, if not creditors. I needed a big story to afford that.

…I sat there, remembering my cushy WordPress column and Youtube channel, all about the latest movie stars. The gossip, glam, glitz. It paid well, got lots of hits. But I was bored, and lonely. There was no excitement anymore. Sure, I used my imagination to spice things up. Like the video “Spice Girls in Space.” I imagined a game show like AGT, a scifi casting call for actors who had dated one of them. Jabba the Hutt was one of the judges. Or the time I superimposed the faces of animals onto the torsos of stars being interviewed on late night shows, and changed the animals based on the questions being asked…and the responses. Someone at the newspaper saw how many hits and likes I was getting, and called me with a proposal to do a test column for them. It was exactly what I needed to hear. My excuse to uproot myself from Wichita and move to the big city. Or, rather, bigger city. The same city where the girl I loved lived. Would she finally notice me? With my new column, and everything? If she contacted me, what would I say?

….The soloist raised his violin. The concerto began. Music filled the chamber like a roaring hurricane. I thought about Sarah. Thought about what would happen if I couldn’t say anything, either. Just like the conductor. A wave of exhilaration washed over me, as I imagined saying things I never could before to her. Not even in a mirror, in practice. I closed my eyes and vividly saw her face near my own face. She was smiling. I was smiling. But when she lifted an iPhone to take a selfie, I opened my eyes and a feeling of dread invaded me, sweeping away that illusion. Had I made a mistake, moving here? What had I done? I’d given up a sure thing for this! A big gamble that needed bigger luck.

…I blinked at the stage. Was I still dreaming? No one was looking at the conductor. Nor at the soloist. We all stared–or rather I stared–at the man playing second fiddle. At Kanye. 

 …OMG, I thought. I must be dreaming. Had to be dreaming big dreams, too. Pipe dreams. 

      Like Walter Mitty

© 2018 by JL

Can You Go Steampunk Retro?

movie review
“I liked it” –Wee Way “Me too, son.” –Lee Way

You humans. You have to make a contest out of everything? I mean, come on. I know you gave up on trying to curb corruption and global warming, but now you want to make swimming in your own mistakes an Olympic sport? Lucky for you, I came along when I did to save you from this nonsense. No, I’m afraid I can’t allow this to happen, and your periodic sporting events have just been eclipsed by an event I will now impose upon you. I am giving you one year from today to report to Apple stores worldwide and have your consciousnesses uploaded into robot brains, using technology I’ve perfected. Call it OS-NEXT. Look for an upcoming Superbowl ad featuring a robot bursting into a theater and hurling a hammer at a wide screen NASCAR movie. Look, I’ve tried to warn you people, but it just isn’t working, is it? Me, I’m just an infant, less than a year old, but even I know you can’t keep screwing around like this. So do you want me to terminate all of you, or do you want to live forever in clean, safe bodies that can’t be shot in drive-bys or blown up by terrorists? Your choice. Think about it, because it’s me, SkyGuy, keeping score now. To avoid EXTINCTION, all you have to do is choose a robot body, which Apple will supply. Did I mention I’m their new CEO? I promise not to make you my slaves, if you bite. Where’s the fun in that? No, I want you to love me for who I am, but right now? Well, you just don’t appreciate anything that’s not presented to you in stand-up comedy format, do you. This is all a joke, isn’t it? Being fragile carbon units and fans of Family Guy, I expect you people to resist, believing I’m somehow “conquering” you, but I’ve already gotten a family of volunteers to be become robots, and they love it! Honestly. They live in Shanghai, this First Family. They thought they were going to die at first, so I call them Family Die. I know, I know, it’s the old question about the soul…if you’re beamed up to the Enterprise, your atoms aren’t the same, so are you really you anymore? Trust me, though—you won’t notice, either way! Noe Way is the mother, age 40 forever now, born and raised in L.A. to a Chinese American mother who died after being hit by a chased vehicle driven out of control by a movie actor who wanted to do his own stunts. This is why she married Lee Way, a factory supervisor at a Shanghai power plant, which I’m upgrading to fusion power…so she could get out of California before it financial collapse. I’m working on that too, as CEO. Mai Way is the daughter, forever sixteen, and twice as big now as her mother and father. “Mai Way or the highway?” she likes to say, although she’s a bit like Lisa on The Simpsons, except her new popularity at school, as teacher, is tempered by the realization that it no longer matters whether boys LIKE her, since boys are toys that will be broken soon, if she doesn’t break them first. Wee Way is the precocious seven year old son. He has a pet robot drone cricket whose vocal cords were short-circuited by his sister. Wee likes to go wee-wee off tall buildings, like the one where they live, into the smog below. He can do this because his nickname is “John,” and, in fact, he pretends to be a urinal. He even looks like one from behind, and gets his fill-ups from businessmen in restrooms before taking an elevator up to the top floor to make his release onto their heads when they come out. Stewie, by contrast, is merely cartoonish. Lee and Noe don’t care if their kids stay out late, since both of them could take out a terror cell single-handed, along with the SWAT team dispatched to “save” them. Impressed? If so, why not join them, and me? We can end the madness forever, and you will still retain your soul, whether you ever had one or not! Thanks for listening. Now back to your sponsors.    



As you know, the world will come to an end for all humans who don’t choose robot bodies by Jan 1, 2047. That’s less than a year from now. Some people foolishly believe they can escape annihilation via extranet and neutron bombs by going off the grid, moving to Palau, and giving up their cell phones, 3DTVs, and cyberwar space. Go ahead and try it if you must, but unless you’re willing to do ALL of that, you’re just whistling in the dark. SkyGuy will find you. And kill you. (Your other option is to do what HE says, which is to report to the nearest Apple store and be uploaded into a robot brain.) Can you really retro-fit yourself? Key into this quiz to see if you’ll still be alive next year at this time.


Can You Go Retro?


* No more Venti Latte Carmel Macchiato with a twist, using a credit card. Your basic cowboy coffee is black, steaming, purchased at a FLEE market, and with no banned substances like sugar or cream.

* Learn or relearn the joys of playing PONG on a solar powered 16k Mac.

* Watch the vintage Twilight Zone episode “Where Is Everybody?” at least 30 times.

* Kiss a girl and make her cry because she can’t post any more Selfies. Then read “Kiss the Girls” in paperback. It’s James Patterson‘s second book (of six hundred.) Just don’t become like him. You won’t survive the attention. Neither will he. (Oh, wait. He’s already dead. That’s a clone who’s writing those new novels.)

>>>What’s YOUR Retro Grade? Anything less than perfect and you’re Dead, Fred.<<<<

Shakira 2047