Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I like food ttttthhhiiiiissssss much

Ever had to choose between favorite foods? I have and it’s a bitch. It’s worse than Chinese water torture, you know, when they tie you down and drop a single drop of water on your forehead and leave you in a dark room until you go whoacrazy*. Yeah, it’s worse than that. Though, what’s even worse is when you’re at a famous bakery and you have limited funds and the line is long and you’re next. Your eyes dart from the Napoleon to the tropical tart. Your eyes bite into the kiwi and the mango and glaze. Oh the glaze. But your heart bites on the Napoleon, savors the crème… the pastry… mmmmm. Your mind, oh your poor mind, is torn between your heart and your vision and it just can’t decide. So it goes akljhfakldjfasd (yes, that is the proper real time spelling of confusion).

And when you walk away empty handed, words ripped from your chest, your day ruined, you think, then text to your best friend:

(864): I feel like a lion cub that has been breast fed for years and mom has left. And now I have to learn how to hunt on my own. And I suck.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kanye, you're off the Island.

Every man should have a watch. Every single male aged 18 years or older. No matter Velcro or gold, silver or plastic, just having a watch tells the world oh so subtly: “Here I am. Look at me. I give enough of a fuck to know the time, which is a lot more than you non-watch-wearing-fools.” Pretty important, eh?

Wearing a watch serves many purposes. Want to look like James Bond? Put on a watch. Want to date a girl two leagues above you? Put on a watch. Want a real people job that pays real people money? Wear a nice fucking watch to the interview. It should be noted that doing so has been scientifically shown to increase the possibility of employment by 145.67283%. Staggering, I know. But science never lies.

The reason behind this mind-boggling statistic is that simple fact that wearing a watch speaks leaps and bounds of potential elitistism. People like potentially elitist people, so long as the individual is not a confirmed elitist. Being a potential elitist says “I’ve got my shit together; I know what time is it.” Being a confirmed elitist says “Hey, I’m a dick. Can I blow my nose on your Oxford, and yes, I know that only pretentious douches call buttondown shirts Oxfords, while you tell me what time my watch says?” What makes one a confirmed elitist? Buying a watch that is two footfields out of one’s spending range and claiming to have a “couple more just like it.” The exception to this rule is the rapper. I don’t why having a watch that is solid gold and the size of three half-dollars encased in precious stones is on the “Must Have to be a Dope Rapper” list but that shit is just ignorant.

Rappers aside, having a watch is enough to prove you know it is there. But merely having any old watch is not enough to get you into the “Association,” a borderless, unstated, hundred million plus member, Fight Club-level-secret cabal. A fucking cabal I tell you. But rappers aren’t allowed in, with the exception of Jay-Z and Diddy, both Eminem and 50 Cent are potential members as well. It’s not a race thing though, it’s a douchey thing. For instance, Kanye West. He was a member, an almost-visionary, but his fall from grace has been far. Not since his little “let’s take the mic away from a scared little blonde girl so that he can show the world the wack job his barber did" has he been heard from. Twitter judged him guilty and then he was gone, banned for life no matter how snazzy a watch he buys. Jackass.

Last I heard, at any one moment, 254,342,986 people are checking their watches. They’re all in the Association. Not enlightened yet? Look at all the famous people in history, they’re all wearing watches. Even Julius Caesar wore a blinged out marble sundial. Rick Ross ain’t got shit on that. Promise. And don’t go saying Jesus was watchless because we all know that just isn’t true.

And so here I am, standing at the watch counter, trying to decide and my phone buzzes. It’s my best friend asking me what happened last night. I sent him back a message that read:

(416): I saved $70 from being too drunk to go out last night so I figured I could buy myself a new watch, but Enterprise is going to have to pick me up because I’m too high for this

Monday, December 7, 2009

This just in Peter Griffin has a U.T.I.

Ever worked in a restaurant? I have. Ever thought you knew someone only to find out that a family friend is actually a flaming asshole? I have. In fact, I found out at the restaurant I work at. Coincidence? Nope. On a similar note, have you ever, in your wildest desires wanted random strangers to rape your ears and penetrate your mind with reckless abandon? No? What about having a ten hour and twenty-two minute soul train on your ear canal? Jonesin for personal anecdotes you really could just give a fuck about? If so, come on in and fill the vacancy that I just left.

I mean really, these motherfuckers are crazy. Fucking crazy. Well, maybe not all of them, but a lot of the time, he or she or it is a self important, know everything, tip-you-a-penny, ungrateful douche. They're not just any douches, they're the stand-atop-the-frat house-beating-their-chests-like-retarded-monkies kind of douches found within the phylum "theirmothershouldhavedrankmorewhenshewaspregnant." And what does the patience of Jobe, that bible guy, get you after you spent ten-motherfucking-minutes of your life trying to help said individual decide which type of diet soda is the healthiest choice? Two years off your life and a sudden desire to punch every old person who walks in the door and tries to order items not on the menu.

You know the old saying, “when it rains, it pours”? Well, that’s the golden rule when you’re working at a restaurant. Especially concerning crazy people. Sometimes it’ll start off light with a wide-eyed flower child who seems to have stepped out of a time machine, sat down at your table, and is struck deeply by the wonderment of the new millennium. A little later in the day, a really cute girl might try to order an uncooked hotdog with only half the bun and a two inch squirt of mayonnaise on the side and it makes you notice that her glasses are crooked just so and her right eye has the faintest twitch. And after that it just gets worse.

Steep crazy curve, I know.

So last Friday I had to go into work extra early. Why extra early? Because our lunch menu, for whatever reason, had become extraordinarily popular the past week. Normally I’d be stoked for this. More hours + more tips = more money. But this kind of early pushed my shift close to twelve solid hours. Ten of which I spent standing in front of a counter and the rest was spent running up and down a set of rickety ass stairs. Oh, and more time in front of the counter means more opportunities for those crazy motherfuckers I was talking about earlier to ravage my ears without my consent.

I blame my eventual prison/asylum stay on whoever went home and got on their little Wisteria Lane listserv. And fuck the guy who invented the listserv too. Fucking listserv.

So, as per the usual, the flower child came in. She was followed much too quickly by the girl who’s cute but fucking crazy. After her, a family straight out of a Tyler Perry movie came in. Only character missing was Medea. I love that crazy bitch. Then Peter Griffin came in. I swear to the Jesus that this person must have been to living incarnation of a one Peter Griffin, father of three.

Only difference was he was a she and she wasn’t funny. And she just wouldn’t shut the fuck up. Yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak. Yeah, that’s ten yaks. It took that lady twenty five minutes and 57 seconds to order a cheese steak without the onions.

After she left, all I could really do was text my girlfriend. It read:

(678): This woman just came in and told me how she bought a clock for her cat so her cat can know when she's coming home... that and now I have an in depth knowledge of the U.T.I.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Biggest. Con. Ever

So, I live at home. I’m twenty-three and the economy sucks. A + B = C. Right? I work part-time at this little place by my house and take the occasional odd job, pretty much anything I can get. I do have a college degree, but that’s not really doing it for me these days. Plus, I’m not good at that whole 9-5 keyword type of thing. Or effort, really. Looking back on it now, I should have been an engineer like my father. I’m good at making things and constructing stuff in my mind. But alas, it is not so, and I have a piece of paper in a nice frame that reads “Humanities.” What is “Humanities”? Fuck if I could tell you. Four years of studying and all I can do is shrug. They really shouldn’t allow anyone who doesn’t plan on becoming a professor into a liberal arts school. It’s just not fair. Ut's the Biggest. Con. Ever.

But I digress, let us move on to the more exciting realms of my life. I’m recently back on the market with new packaging and a bow this time. That’s a fun story for a nevertime.* I will say that Ellie was the prettiest, best, most wonderful girl I ever dated. Sadly, every coin has two sides, and Ellie’s was also a two bit-gotta-fuck-the-rainbow-can’t-keep-her-dick-in-her-pants-tramp whore. I think I could have maybe loved her had I not come in with a dozen red roses and a bottle of her favorite wine to find a fucked up version of Four Square where half of a Village People cover band is naked and trying to hold onto my girlfriend with their dicks.

It brought back all kinds of childhood memories, mostly of when I found my 4th grade girlfriend Natalie Rogachesky kissing my best friend Ryan Roberts under the Recess Tree. I promptly pulled her hair and kicked him in the nuts. It took a couple of Yoohoos, but we became soon became friends again. In fact, I still talk to Ryan today. As for Natalie, she can burn in hell for all I care. In any case, it was a memorable sight. I can’t wait to be sixty-five and to think back this moment while I’m on a beach in Florida double fisting a Mojito and a Mai Thai or whatever drinks are popular then.

What happened next could’ve and should’ve been the first and/or last few minutes of a movie. I walked in, looked around, stood right still, and watched for a moment. I was in utter and complete shock. I just couldn’t believe my eyes. I searched the room again and couldn’t find a single camera. Not a single camera. That little fact shot my first hypothesis to hell. Sadly, this wasn’t a porn taping. I don’t know why, but the next thought I had was that Ellie was a church-going-girl and that church-going-girls didn’t do gangbangs. Only pagans and Scandinavians did.

Then I didn’t really think much. Ellie looked me right in the eyes and screamed. She tried to cover herself up, but I’d say it was just a little too late. Then, mid thrust, each of the most-likely-AIDS-having-motherfuckers looked at me. They were just as shocked as I was.

I was about to turn away, let it all go, until I locked eyes with the Asian one. He body said that he lifted weights but his eyes told me he was scared. So what did I do? I closed the door and went all bamf on those assholes. I broke the bottle over one of their heads, kicked the other one in ankle deep, and popped one of the other guy’s testicles.

Oh, and I spit on the flowers and gave them to Ellie. Then I climbed out the window.

When I came home that night, my parents were up. I told them the whole story and that I wasn’t going to work tomorrow. My dad gave me a high five after he heard what I did. My mom just kind of stared at me. Then she hugged me.

I woke up this morning to a kitchen counter full of all my favorite booze with a little note taped to the Captain Morgan. Then I texted my friend.

(501): My mom just bought me $200 worth of booze on the condition that I promise I won't have to go to rehab eventually. Come over?

Nevertime – noun – 1) a time and place that will never happen. 2) a non vitriolic way to tell someone that there really is no chance/possibility that the action in question will occur

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Newsflash: Mortal Kombat 64 < WWE64

Life can be painful. So very painful. One moment you can be on top of the world, running, jumping, kicking, pretending you’re Bruce Lee stuck inside the Matrix with the fate of all humanity resting on your shoulders, kicking everybody’s ass because you are Bruce Lee and you are in the Matrix. And the next you can be sitting in a wheel chair, watching the world go by as you take out all that inner pain on the poor fools who think they can beat you at Mortal Kombat 64. But nuh-uh, no way, no one can beat a bamf* like you.

Let us go back to the summer after eighth grade. Let us reminisce for a moment on July the Fifth, Two Thousand and One. I had just graduated from my tenure at a certain public institution not a full month before, the siren songs of the summer calling to me from well into their crescendo. My closest friends had gone on vacation and the day was empty. No sport practices, no summer camps, no video games. Personally, all I wanted to do was sit inside, watch some cartoons and then play Indiana Jones in the patch of woods by my house.

Why no video games you ask? Because my parents wouldn’t allow it, they told me that they were evil things that would turn me into a “god damned couch-barnacle” who would “suck them dry of their very lives.” Or at least that’s what they told me. I think I saw my mother do the sign of the cross when we passed a see-through orange N64 at Toy ‘R’ Us. Closest thing I had to a real video game back in the day, closest thing to those glitzy 64 bit universes of infinite entertainment, was a 32 bit thing called Gizmos and Gadgets. It was made by TLC, not the channel, it was actually was an acronym that stood for “The Learning Company.” You had to go around collecting parts for vehicles and put them together in any assortment of ways. It was a lot of funny really… unless you stepped on one of those damned banana peels. I digress, no matter the details of that story, I had no real video games, but that was about to change.

So in lieu of virtual amusements, my mother decided that I would accompany her to a friend’s house. Why? Because her friend was going through some motion or other and needed someone to talk to and that someone was, of course, my mother. Also the fact the fact that the lady had an unruly, knuckle-dragging, extremely advanced and undiagnosed case of ADHftgdtD (otherwise known as Attention Deficit Hyper-fucking-take-a-god-damned-tranquilizer Disorder) having, future-fuck-up-of-the-year, pale-as-shit, pizza-skinned, motherfucking ingrate for a son who needed attention has something to do with my presence. In any case, I had never met this wonderful individual before the 5th of July and I wish I never had.

Upon arrival, I looked out upon the split-level, ranch styled house. It was red brick and red-roofed, there was a lengthy and winding sidewalk that made its way up a suburban hill. The wind was a’blowing, a slight whistle sounded, and I swear I saw a bird die as it flew across the yard. I watched it twirl, twirl, twirl until it thudded. Poor thing.
Now, I’ve never been a coward, but something just didn’t feel right. I tried to get my mother to just go home. But no, she just had to be a god damned good Samaritan. So I followed her up to the front door, cautious as Monk is OCD. Knock. Knock. Knock. The door opens. Rebecca’s waify self stood in the towering door frame, her son Svenlin (god only knows why she named him that, I say it was a pre-emptive karmattack*) smiling behind her.

He was a tall, skinny kid, greasy ass hair plastered to his bulbous nose. His teeth were all gnarled, like a badger’s or someone from the Jerry Springer show, and his dopey little eyes are suggestive of familial ties to former President George H.W. “the Missing Link in the Evolution of Humanity” Bush. Rebecca greeted both my mother and I and then instructed us boys to go play in the basement.

Everything was going well at first. He took out his N64 and suddenly he was okay. I was shallow like that, still kind of am. Who can say no to 3-D? Not even you grandmother, that’s who. We played Rayman and Golden Eye. We were having a ball. Then after the eighth time I’d beaten him in 007 he switched the game.

I could already tell that shit wasn’t going to end well. A red sheen came across his eyes, a zealotry true to only wrestling fans twinkled like a nightmare bought at Wal-Mart. I told him I didn’t want to play. He didn’t care. He kicked my ass in that video game so badly that I actually suggested we do something else. That there was the biggest mistake I ever made in the company of a stranger. And I paid a dear, dear lesson.

I was hoping he’d say no so I could just go up the stairs to my mother and ask her to leave. But instead he agreed and out came the Nerf guns. Suddenly, the kid was okay again. Then it happened. After just mere minutes firing off Nerf arrows and plastic tipped foam bullets, he said he wanted to wrestle. Flashes of that craved, Palin-worthy look played before my eyes like I was a character in a movie who was about to die. I told him no and walked towards the stairs.

I didn’t get there…

From out-the-fuck-nowhere, Svenlin tackled me from behind. Now, he was skinny, but he had muscle. He was also a year or so older than I was. He sat on the back of my legs and tried to pull my knees out-their-fucking-sockets. I struggled, tried to get up. But he was too big for me. I heard six, count them, six popping noises from within my own body. Needless to say that the inherent alarm systems in my body went off and I screamed.

Instead of acting like a rational human being that had anything like a soul, Svenlin merely switched to the other leg and pulled harder. I heard seven popping noises this time. That was it, time to bamf this bitch. He had his chance to let me go but he was an idiot. So I heeled him in the face and got the fuck out (I wish). Actually, I cried like a bitch.

No matter, I wound up having to go to the hospital. The fucker had broken my right knee, avulsed it to be specific. An avulsion fracture is when a ligament is torn from the bone such that part of the bone goes with it. When the doctor asked what happened, I told him. Apparently, the doctor himself had seen this before and informed me that Svenlin had done the damage with a move called the “knee breaker” as seen in WWE.

I spent the whole of that summer in a wheel chair, unable to walk, day dreaming of taking my favorite baseball bat to a certain douchebag’s knees. I still sit and dream of going back to my old neighborhood, finding him as a homeless man and still snapping his toothpick legs in half with my favorite aluminum bat. The undesirable reality of jail has kept me from fulfilling that dream. Yet the world can be kind, amidst all that pain and Mortal Kombat there is justice.

In the middle of a catch up drink at my favorite bar an acquaintance of mine, who also knew Svenlin, got a text message from him. We had just revisited the 5th of July, 2001, and in the spirit, showed me. It read:

(310): Just got kicked in the balls by a girl in tap shoes. Fuck EVERYTHING

*Bamf – short for bad ass motherfucker

*Karmattack – when Karma comes around and kicks a douchebag in the nuts



The author has no actual prejudice or hatred towards redheads whatsoever. In reality, the author finds redheads extremely attractive.

Man, last night was ridiculous. A no-holds-barred, commit-it-to-memory, shenanigan-filled journey of epic proportions. And it all started with a single text. A single bit of data that only exists in waves and electronics. “What’s happenin’?” That was it, that was all. My best buddy, David, had started an avalanche of awesomeness with only eight letters and two apostrophes. Beat that MacGuyver.

“Nothin.’” I texted back.

“Let’s do something.”


“When works for you?” He texted.

“Now works for me.”


“See you in thirty.” I texted.

“See you in thirty.” He texted.

Thirty minutes is the average time it takes the both of us to slip out the back door at work on a sunny Friday afternoon without being noticed. We call it “fading” and we’re damned good at it. One moment we’re sitting at our desks, the next we’re gone like ninjas, like smoke-bomb-throwing, ninja star-flinging, living-shadow, nunchucking motherfuckers. And yes, Ninjas are better than Pirates, at least when it comes to not getting a lecture on why drinking heavily on one’s lunch break is “offensive” and “illicit” behavior. Apparently, whoever wrote paragraph 6 on page 234 of the company rulebook didn’t truly know what our forefathers meant by “Casual Friday” and/or (most likely and) was a prudish tool of epic proportions and if he/she had gotten laid before the ages of 40 and Ever would have just hit the backspace button and moved on. But no.

In any case, the drunken swaggering, grog and wenches are for the evening. Being a Ninja by day and a Pirate by night is my true calling, is where my heart really is. Now that I think about it, there should be a fucking comic book about me or someone who looks suspiciously like me but has an
8-pack. I’m just saying.

So I faded from work without a hindrance and met David back at our place. Time? 4:47. Fun level? Barely above average sprinkled with a mild dose anticipation. We’re passed that point in our relationship where we say “hi” or “hey.” We still talk about how our days went but neither of us is always listening. You know that period of time way beyond the honeymoon phase of the bromance, years into the “broege?” (pronounced bro-ege). Well, we’ve been there for the better part of our lives. We’re wunbro (pronounced one-bro and refers to a person that typically hangs with a single bro of choice as. This is in opposition to twubroers, or polybroers, who have two or more bros of equal preference at a time) type people.

As I walk through the front door I see him standing there, looking hungrily out at the world. He asks me a question, to which the answer is written on the boards of my memories, woven forever with tales of white mice. “Gee, Lee, what’re we going to do tonight?”

I smile. “Same thing we do every night David. Try to take over the world!” Normal people might be joking. We’re not normal people. When we get together, when we go out, we’re on a mission. And when on missions, there’s always battle. Always.

David turns towards me, points to the counter behind me, smiles. I turn around. On the table are six six-packs of Mike’s, each a different type. “I’ve taken the liberty to enhance our afternoon and evening. Each six-pack contains six unique flavors, hand-picked by yours truly. I call them MREs or Mike’s Righteous Enhancements. They’re so strong that you only need one to two per night. They can be taken with or without food. They do not need to be refrigerated though it is highly suggested. They are both delicious and cost-effective. The side-effects include beergoggles/beerview, fun, dancing, thinking that you’re dancing better than you really are, douchebaggery, emotional overtures, and good times. It should be stated that if too many are consumed in one night, then bodily damage and/or regrettable walks of manshame have a 99.9542% chance of happening, most always together. Also, it should be noted that David LLC claims no responsibility for anything other than fun and good times.”

I swear, six months in the Marine core and nothing was ever the same. I put my fingers together so they looked like a pyramid and said. “Yes, David, these are perfect.”

Now, its time for the pwning. I picked up two of my allotted three MREs, sat in my Lazy Boy and medicated. Before the hour was out, the MREs were starting to work. I wasn’t teabagging the other toons as quick as I should have been. Before long, I wasn’t able to boomheadshot anybody. It was horrible. David wasn’t doing any better. Then, after a full nine drinks, my non-beer drinking-Marine buddy and I hit our stride. God bless the troops, but really man, drink a Guinness

After our ridiculously awesome comeback against what sounded like a chorus of PMSing eleven year old girls, we knew we were done. So we flipped the channel and watched Jeff Dunham and his freaky ass puppets. At first, I was not okay with them. Then Achmed the Terrorist came out and all was well. Nothing makes a man feel more comfortable then seeing a dead terrorist, one who is also coincidentally funny and says “I KEEEEEEL YOU.” I have no idea, but that shit is hilarious. On a related note, I think one of our PMSing rivals had his balls drop during the match. I swear to god. He headshot David and for a second there, just a mere second, his self-congratulatory “fuck you nub” sounded like a man. An awkward Jewish man, but a man nonetheless.
Moving on, it was at this point in time we decided to go “out.” I use quotes around “out” because that’s literally what we do. We never really have a destination. We just go on impulse, instinct, with one thing in mind: good times. It’s kind of like the 21st century’s version of hunting, funting if you will. As day becomes night so we become “young adults.” Dressed in ripped jeans*, a nice black button up, a shiny silver watch, a black cadet hat and black leather boots, I am ready to venture off into the night. I wear boots because they say “Fuck yeah, I’m ready for anything. Bring it on.” And I wear a watch because it says “Yes, in fact, I do know how to read Roman Numerals bitch, I went to grade school.”

So we were on our way. We drank a pitcher of water and a bit of rum and suddenly we were pirates. We pillaged bar after bar after bar. By pillage I mean we ordered Pabst and bottom shelf liquor and tried to hit on girls who were totally out of our league. I got one number, he got two. No matter though, the second girl was a Ginger. Not my thing.

Then he did something he shouldn’t have. He took the only number I got that night, he stole my booty. It would cost me my manhood to let this depravity stand. I asked a nearby woman if I could borrow her scintillating glove, which was not unlike Michael Jackson’s, and backhanded him with it. A dou’duel had been issued. He looked shocked, stunned. To be challenged to a dou’duel is to have offended a man to his very core and must be accepted on penalty of two kicks to the ass and three nights paid at the bar. David took that glove and slapped me back. Then I backhanded him twice and ran out the door. My motto is “More is always better.”

Off we went, into the halogen lit darkness in search of the closest Dunkin Doughnuts. We found one three blocks away. It was quarter after midnight. Perfect. We went to the dumpster and looked through the bags. You may raise your eyes brows at this, but do not be so judgmental. At midnight, each night, Dunkin Doughnuts throws away perfectly good product. Bear claws! Poppy seed bagels! Boston Crèmes! Muffins! They pitch it all because everything is baked fresh daily. God bless America. So when that hour hand rolls over they through it all away, often in sterile trash bags. Every once in a while some jerk mindlessly throws in coffee or milk and ruins the whole thing. Good bags are referred to as “loot” and soiled bags are called “greys” and met with disappointment.

What follows the looting is the search for a desolate or abandoned parking lot or roof, or other public space that people would not frequent in the late hours of the night and would take the cops a few minutes to get to. Once found the dou’duel can commence. Such an event goes as follows:

The loot is opened and scoured. The participants eat as many doughnuts/éclairs/holes/etc as they want. Some may also be put aside for later (it is highly recommended that this be done with apple fritters as they are quite awesome). After the Feeding concludes, the remaining items are poured into one giant pile. Each duelist stands on opposite sides of the pile, facing opposite directions. On the count of three, each takes up to fifteen steps from the loot, turns around and runs as quick as he can to the pile. Whoever gets to the pile first picks up his weapons and opens fire. The next minutes are filled with utter chaos. Jellies and crèmes stain the ground red, blue, brown, and yellow. Frosting mauls faces. Bagels leave welts but muffins bruise

David and my duel was one for the ages. Four bags of doughnuts and doughnut related products. A bagel actually split my eyebrow. I may have cracked one of his ribs with lemon poppy seed muffin. I don’t remember who won or who lost.

All I know is that when we were done we knew the horrors of war.

The rest of the night is lost to me. My phone buzzes, a text message. It’s from David.

(843): When I came home you were watching infomercials, eating croutons out of the box and salsa from a funnel. Well done.

*Meaning jeans that are not bought ripped and/or acid washed in light of fashion. Instead, the * refers to a pair of jeans that have been ripped because they’ve been worn forever, or on one drunken night you fell and ripped them and it’s a badge of honor. See also, wornjeans.

-This story is dedicated to Grant Turner III, 8th Comm BN 2nd MHG Camp Lejeune NC-

Congrats man!

Dessert a la Crisco

I got a call from my buddy Greg a couple of days ago. Our estranged mutual best friend, David, passed away the day before. He was calling to tell me the news. At first, I didn’t know what to say then I asked him if it was suicide. David had been acting weird lately, turning down bars and movies. Even video games. No one could get through to him no matter how hard they tried. Greg informed that his death had nothing to do with his own hand and I breathed a sigh of relief. Then we lapsed into a soft silence for a minute or two.

“So how did it happen then?” I asked, breaking the quiet. He told me that no one had completely put it all together yet, but it involved David’s favorite thing: food. I had to chuckle at the irony. Then more silence. Now it was Greg’s turn to ebb the quiet’s flow. “Just so you know, the funeral’s tomorrow.”

“So soon?” I asked.

“Yeah. I guess his parents are of the get-him-in-the-ground-before-he-starts-smelling frame of mind. Or maybe they just suck at grieving. In any case, it’s time to come back home buddy. I told him I’d take the first flight I could. He told me that he’d meet me at the airport, but before we hung up, he told me to watch a couple of episodes of the good CSI, the Vegas one, in preparation to solve the mystery at hand.

The funeral came and went. I held my corner of the casket, Greg held his. I gave my epilogue, Greg gave his. Everybody watched him lowered into the ground. Afterwards, there was a celebration of life ceremony, or as we call it around here, a colmony, with lots of food and booze and food and booze. And music. There were many tears, some of sorrow some of joy. It was during this whole thing that Greg gave me all the details he could that dealt with the fatal night. “They found him, sitting in his favorite chair, a giant smile on his face. Turns out, David died in a cooking accident. He had made himself a prime cut, a Texas sirloin, and went to town. I say “made” and not “cooked” because it wasn’t. The thing was almost completely rare. The paramedic told his parents that if they had gotten there any later, the piece of meat would have walked away. You know how he liked it. Anyways, there was something in the meat that did him in. Some toxin or something.” He paused a moment, letting me chew on and digest all of the information, before letting me know that he and I are apparently the executors of his will. He then informed me that we were to go to his apartment and get everything ready to be dolled out.

Later that night, we were going through the material entirety of our fallen friend when I stumbled upon it. At first, I didn’t know what to do, I just stared. I kind of smiled, kind of laughed, kind of threw up a bit in my mouth. I tried to keep it all in. But I couldn’t so I called Greg over to me and pointed. His reacted the same way I did. We just lost it, fell on the floor laughing. Then my girlfriend texted me, asked me how it was going. I texted her back.

(850): So when we opened his headboard we found a bottle of Crisco sitting on top of his porn magazines.

(850): I guess we all know what he was cooking for dessert.

Of Pongcases and Victory

The night started off like any other night, double-fisting a nice pair of Buds. They were bottles, not cans, because I’m classy. They were in cozies because I care. In any case, the night looked normal. But I was wrong, so very wrong. It was all going well, so very well, until… I swallowed that worm. That, my friends, is not a good idea, a mistake if you will. And on top of violating Tijuana logic and common sense, I broke the cardinal rule of drinking: Liquor before for beer, you’re in the clear. Beer before liquor, makes you sicker.” And this is how I learned my lesson.

We played many a game of beer pong. In fact, we were the reigning champions. Undefeated for nine games and counting. It was unbelievable. It was fucking epic. Love beer pong. Then came Jana and Mary. Freshman. Girls. The easiest cap on pongcase* in history. I thought the game was over before it began. I was wrong then too. In just a few turns time, Ryan and mine’s empire was crumbling before us, our legacy, our Mongolian dynasty, mortally threatened. It was like a shot to the balls. We had two cups left, they had five. It was our turn. Ryan went first. Thunk. Sunk. In. My turn. The pressure was on, it was the eleventh hour. I called Hero and shut my eyes. I focused my senses. I was a fucking samurai. Four moves and this game was done.

I opened my eyes slowly. The world breathed in when I breathed in. The world breathed out when I breathed out. I felt like Neo at the end of the Matrix. I was that into it. I pulled my arm back. Bent my knees. Paused for the count of “One Mis-si-ssi-ppi,” then launched, arcing my arm, spinning the pong. Bullet-time. Then contact. Round and round it went. It almost rimmed out once, twice, thrice, in. It went in! Our turn again. We had pushed back that sword. Ryan readies, fires, misses. Some cheer, some scorn. The crowd has turned against us like the Senate on Julius Caesar. I stood defiant. It was me against the world. In the midst of all the jeering, I fired. Thunk. I sniped that fucking cup.

Now it’s their turn. The crowd cheers Jana on. Little Miss. Too-Much-Makeup shoots. Missies. Mary’s turn. Mary shuts her eyes, couches. The Pong is strong with this one, I can tell. She has much potential. She perks herself up, thinking she can fell the Pong God’s champions. I look upwards, passed the halogen lights, and pray. ‘Let this is day not be our last day oh Hoppy One. If you grant us victory over these infidels, these debutants, I will sacrifice a family of six cans in your honor.’ Primitive I know, but the Hoppy One loves sacrifice. I return my gaze back to the game.

Mary shoots. Rims it. Once, twice, thrice, four times, gravity has an error, the ball flies away. I looked skyward and mouth ‘thank you.’

Now its one to one and our turn. I look to Ryan and nod, we fist bump like terrorists. It’s Serious time. Ryan squares his shoulders, readies. He launches. The crowd goes quiet. I hear a drip of water fall from the kitchen faucet. Chink. Ryan’s shot glances off the front of the cup. He hangs his head low. I tell him ‘It’s okay, next turn.’ He doesn’t raise his head, won’t look me in the eyes, and responds. “What if there isn’t a next turn?” The self-loathing is thick in his tone. I shake my head and clasp him on the back. “Don’t worry, I won’t let it end this way.”

I cradle the pong, feel its essence, imbue it with hope and love. I quiet the crowd with my mind. I am a samurai Neo again. I must make it. I have no choice. My reputation, my dignity, is in at hand. Jana and Emily are smiling at me, trying to distract me. I see right through them, I look into their eyes. But I do not see victory. I see fear. They have just realized who I am. They know that I can make it. I smile back. Then launch.

Bullet-time again. The pong spirals every forward, ever onward. I can see it cut a path in the air. The whole crow watches. Chink. It bounces off the front of the cup. People begin to celebrate our downfall. But it is not to be so! The ball rolls back to me, guided by the Hoppy One. I retrieve, reload, and shoot from behind my back. I don’t even look.

Thunk. From what I’ve been told, the pong hit nothing but water. The crowd went wild. It was like a fucking jungle. Many of them cheered. Others couldn’t even speak. They had just seen the most epic beerpong comeback in a thousand millennia. Ryan picked me up, a couple others helped to carry me to the other room. Jana and Mary cried. Everyone else shouted, in a most righteous manner. “PONGCASE! PONGCASE! PONGCASE!” ‘We are the Champions,’ by Queen, started playing in the background. I clenched my fist and thrust it in the air, screaming with pure adrenaline. As I passed by Mary I put a hand on her shoulder and told her. “You have much potential young one. One day, you may ride on the backs of men screaming your name too. Maybe, just maybe, you will stand on the shoulders of giants.

Then I was taken upstairs and handed a bottle of tequila. The last thing I remember was waving at the worm as it came down the bottle.

I woke up this morning to the scent of kiwi-strawberry lip balm. I was not in my house and surrounded by my clothes. I have a bad case of rug burn and no memories. My stomach lurched and I ran to the balcony. Apparently, the pizza from the box I had used as a pillow, had been, in its entirety, in my digestive system. Funny thing is, I don’t remember having a ton of pizza.

I found my pants, took out my cellphone and texted Ryan, my bip, my Brother in Pong.

(831): I puked last night's pizza off a balcony...
(1-831): That’s not so horrible.
(831): Into a hottub with six people in it...
(1-831): =(
(831): It was their pizza.

*Pongcase – when an individual, pair, or team of individuals wins ten games of beerpong in a row. Considered a feat of epic proportions, it is not uncommon for a celebration involving more alcohol of conscience-altering substances to ensure after the proclamation of victory.

Of Bikes and Broken Rides

Last night was mine, my time to shine, my time to stand atop a soap box and say a proper “Fuck you” to all those girls who said they were too pretty for me. Too pretty? I’m pretty sure they all have Chlamydic crabs. Anyways, after months of longingly staring at Laura, the classiest, most beautiful creature to ever walk this green Earth, I decided to pretend there was hair on my chest.

I stood behind my desk and got my self ready. It was go time. With my hair freshly touched up and what is left of my college beergut hidden behind my belt. I approached her desk with confidence. I opened my mouth to speak, hoping my testicles wouldn’t rescind and inconveniently make me sound thirteen all over again. “Hi.” I said, not a stammer. “Hi.” She said back, so softly. It was here that I paused for a bit too long. “Did you want something?” She asked, filling my silence. How sweet she was! How understanding and concerned! “I, uh, was wondering- I mean- I’m sure you get asked this often- but I was wondering if you would want to get a drink with me after work this evening.”

She smiled and I couldn’t tell who was blushing more. I probably won that little contest because I’m so much paler than she is. In any case she smiled, which I took as a good sign. Then she told me to meet her in the lobby at 5:45 and I may or may not have blown the night by suddenly becoming Erkel goofy and I tripping over her trash can on my way out. I didn’t say anything at the time, but I think I may have sprained my ankle.

I doodled and Google Earthed my elementary school until 5:30 came and it was time to punch out. I then went to the bathroom with the specific purpose of making sure I looked my best and consequently felt like a sixteen year old girl about to meet the quarter back. Self-deprecating examples aside, everything was going well.

I was waiting in the lobby at 5:43 exactly, acting casual, when the elevator opened and she stepped out. Time slowed and a sudden breeze tossed her hair about like one of those blow up balls at the beach. Or a pool party, whatever. It was like a movie until the biting winter chill of that suddenly not-so-playful wind ripped through my suddenly useless blazer and I grimaced.

Once again, so kind and caring, she asked me what was wrong. I didn’t have the wit to cover for my own shortcomings so I blurted out “I have poor circulation.” I guess my face was still all contorted because she started to laugh and stopped abruptly. Ever seen a champ like me? Didn’t think so, PBS wouldn’t even tell my story.

So we went to this little place I frequent called The Couch and had dinner and a couple of drinks. Suddenly, everything was on an upswing. I was funny, witty, charming. Even dapper. Thank you my dear Captain, thank you for guiding me from disaster on you boat of good times. When the time seemed right, I asked her if she wanted coffee and to blog about her ideals. Just kidding, I asked her if she wanted to watch Notebook. She said yes with both her eyes and her words and we were off.

I brewed the coffee, added a splash of ethnicity, and after half an hour we were both completely Irish. After that one scene in the Notebook, that one that everyone talks about, things got sensual, hot and heavy.

I picked her up and she wrapped her legs around my waist. She kissed my neck again and again. And again. I tried to navigate to my bedroom. Needless to say, I was distracted. So very distracted. When I finally made it to my room I scoped out my route, planned out my actions, and silently prayed that five was not my unlucky number tonight.

Little did I know that marathon I had wanted to run was the least of my concerns, taking its place behind apologizing, a trip to the hospital, more apologizing, separate taxis home, and a text to my best friend that read:

(419): I went to throw her on my bed and threw her straight in to my bike.

Water Cooler Talk

You know the saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?” Well it’s true. Here’s how I found out.

My girlfriend and I have been together for the better part of five years. One could say it’s been a while. I say it’s an eternity. Nevertheless, minus the $100,000 dollar wedding she wants, we’re pretty much at the “til death” part of our love. You know the kind where you know your bond can withstand anything? That everything’s better in the morning… or some morning long after kind of love? The one where you feel like two boxers in a caged ring cause ain’t no one getting out? Yeah, that’s the kind of love we have. Its wonderful getting up next to her because for the two minutes I’m awake and she’s not, I’m in heaven and she’s my angel. She’s so serene, freckles and all. Then approximately two minutes after said harmony my day, without exception, gets thrown into Purgatory and I never know where I’ll be by lunch or by dinner or by the end of one breath and the beginning of another. I try to think about it in a positive manner, try to make it anything else but a life and death slots game.

So Yesterday, I wake up, stretch, look over at my dear Shawna and smile. I rub her back oh so gently and kiss up her shoulder until I get to her cute, soft lips. I kiss her again. Her eye lashes flutter like butterflies. She looks at me and smiles. Today is going to be a good day. See you tomorrow Purgatory.

We get up and have a nice, calm breakfast. We make pleasant conversation. We kiss each other goodbye and it’s off to work I go. She calls me at 10:30 and asks if we can have lunch, she’ll be in the area. I tell her sure, that I’d love to. We agree on 12:45 at a little place a few blocks from my office. Things are set.

12:30 rolls around and I leave to meet her. She loves it when I’m in my business clothes and I’m looking pretty sharp today. Power tie and all, it’s like her 1950’s era James Bond fetish come to life. When I arrive at the restaurant, she’s not there. Thirty minutes later, she’s not there. Much to my good fortune, she arrives after my second glass of wine has gone dry. She rushes to sit down, all flustered. I can tell that she left the apartment fifteen minutes ago and drove twice the legal limit to get here. I can’t help but crack a smile because she always has the most ridiculous look on her face, like a fat kid caught eating a cookie under his covers after story time. We say hello and kiss. After a bit of conversation, I proceed to ask her what time she actually left. She hangs her head a bit and mumbles something closer to Chinese than English.

I razz her a bit more then let it go, I’ve had my fun. The lunch itself is quick and pleasant. Everything was going well until that third glass of wine kicked in. I’m not sure about anybody else, but when my alcohol intake goes up, the control I have over my mouth goes down. I tell people it’s a condition but no one takes me seriously. As we walk outside, hand in hand, she asks me if I notice anything different. I look her up and down and tell her that she’s looking stunning as always. She smiles then asks again, this time a little more pointedly. Holding my chin like a professor, I say to her. “Hmm… you do look taller…” I look to her. She nods, I’m getting warmer. I look down at her shoes and stare, studying them. Have I seen them before? What color are they? Are they Dark blue? Or Navy blue? I learned the importance of this distinction a couple of years ago during the Easter Hue Event of ‘05. It was a bloodbath.

I still shudder at the thought of it.

Moving on. I didn’t recognize the shoes, though I noted they were stilettos. Now, it should be known that my girlfriend has never worn stilettos in the entirety of our time together and has proclaimed them as “whorish” and things that only “hookers” wear. The words she used to describe this certain style of shoes lie somewhat in a gray area to me as I do not personally believe that an overpriced pair of name brand “foot accessories” makes one a moral pariah. Upon my realization that my girlfriend was, indeed, wearing “hooker” shoes, I humored the buzz I had been having and said, word for word. “If you’re only taking cash tonight, I can pick up some cash on my way home, if ya’know what I mean?” Then I continued to wink at her in an overly hyperbolic way, like a cartoon character.

The air hung still and she caught my eyes. I could see the Lady Justice weighing my fate. Anger, just a flash though. Then the wind blew again and all was well. Lindsey was smiling, smiling dirty. A miracle? Maybe I should start going to church again.

When I came home that night, dinner was hot and on the table. It smelled wonderful! All of my favorite things! Collard greens, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese! Home cooked from scratch! When the dinner was finished, she grabbed me by my tie and lead me to the bedroom.

When I woke up the next morning, I looked lovingly over at my freckled angel. So peaceful, so serene. I kissed her good bye and went to work. Call after call of urgent business kept finding its way to my desk. By noon I had had enough and sent my girlfriend a text in the middle of an incident. She responded.

(205): Damn it woman. I’ve been shitting all morning because of that damn bacon grease.
(1-205): That’s what you get for calling me a hooker.

Moneyshot the Stars

When I was younger, my father used to wake my whole family up at some ungodly hour on some random ass day. By day I mean morning, by morning I mean three-the-fuck thirty a.m. Trauma-wise, waking a kid that early is definitely within in the range of telling them that Santa Claus isn’t real and ignorantly not locking the door so they can have a nightmare, need a hug, come to you and witness that moment, that horrible, horrible moment… that money shot moment.

In any case, in the end, it was kind of worth it to see those streaks in the sky. And it was because of those Downy soft greens, those o’ so brilliant oranges, and those regally royal blues that for the next few years of my life I wanted to be an astronaut. From the 3rd grade on, all I could ever do was stare out into the night, imagining, playing on fields without gravity. From there my tiny lids would dip, dip, dip close and I would truly live and be amongst the stars.

I had many, many dreams, all on distant planets, all within in that beautiful void. They were never the same, there was always so much to discover. Like Planet G-antz, a world so close to Earth they’re almost conjoined, a globe covered in mounds so high they can be seen from outer space, the home of one of the most insidious forces of evil EVER: the GIANT ANT MEN of G-antz! Those bastards were so crafty…

It is as this time that I would like to explain my irrational fear of those freaky-little-swarm-over-a-human-baby-and-eat-its-flesh abominations of all that is Good and Holy. Somewhere, at some distant point in my life, I was playing in my sandbox, a four-by-four realm of wonder and phenomenon, when it happened. It is like the first rule of Fight Club: you don’t talk about it. The most I can reveal is that it was preceded by a same day, double feature of “A Bug’s Life” and “Antz” and ends in tears, eventual emohair*, and the hospital. And a therapist bill.

Moving on, I spent the whole of my shining public school career preparing my self for my journey to the stars. It wasn’t until that one fateful day that I learned that my GPA, that all important, life-giving, piece-of-shit, bureaucratic-circle-jerk tool of judgment was just wasn’t going to cut it.

Looking back now, everything worked out just fine. I just sent my father a text message even though it’s three-the-fuck thirty in the morning. It said:

(518): Wasted. Watching meteors. Most awesome idea I ever had. I can see 2 for every 1 with mah double vision. Beat that childhood memories.

Emohair – that gelly thing perched atop emochildren and emotards, most are unsure if it is hair or some hair accessorie akin to that bump thing you can get off TV.

Emochild – a person within the ages of 7 and 18 who dresses in dark clothes that are adorned with obnoxious band logos, spikes, and potentially Ed hardy. If another individual is dresses like an emochild but, is in fact, above the age of 18, then he or she is known as an “emotard.”

Emotard – 1. a person who writes My Chemical Romance fan fiction and wears wristbands even though they don’t cut themselves. 2. any person over the age of 18 that has hair dyed “shadow black” or any derivation of and for whatever-the-fuck reason has a My Chemical Romance*

My Chemical Romance – 1. a band whose diehard fans are all pre-pubescent emotards (see above) who should be sossed* 2. A guilty pleasure

Soss – the act of scoffing on sight as in “I sossed that emotard the other day” or “I just go to the mall to soss emotards, that’s what a college diploma is for.”

New York! New York!

I had never been to New York City, that place where even the trees give children the middle finger. It was always that faraway place, that concrete jungle. Then, last Monday, the phone purrs, Ring… Ring… Ring. My cousin Gracie is on the other line. After a bit of catch up and customary questioning, she offers me a couch and a three days in the Big Apple. I thought on it rather hard and came to the conclusion: “Hmmmmm... okay.” She told me that she “couldn’t wait” and that it’d “been too long.” Two proclamations I was rather ambivalent to at the time. I told her that I’d be up Friday.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday came and went like wedgies in gym class and Friday morning, 6 a.m., announced its unholy birth. Merp. Merp. Merp. I stumbled to my pre-made coffee and in three sips its gone. Chinatown bus, here I come. Now, I’m not saying that the Chinatown bus system is illegitimate, but I am saying that not having any decal or other identifying marks is a little sketchy. I couldn’t get a good look before I got on, but the license plate may or may not have been paper written on by black Sharpie.

By some small miracle, I arrived in one piece, safe and sound minus a bit of my own drool. Then I had to get on the subway. Oh, New York subway, how I will not miss thee. I got pushed once, bumped at least twice, and had my ass slapped three times. I’m a guy. Not that I’m complaining, one of the girls was kind of cute, but that was only the first ten minutes. I’m just saying. After an action-packed forty eight minutes I met Gracie and away we went, cityside.

The buildings were so tall! There were so many people! Everyone was power walking like my grandma. It was amazing. The rhythm was so intense. Gracie was walking like a normal person one second and a moment later she’d fallen into sync with the crowds. I struggled to keep up. I broke a sweat. I felt like last year’s R/C car. It was all a blur. I was completely sober. At some point we got into a cab drive and were driven around by Apu from the Simpsons. I swear. When we got out we had to walk another eighteen blocks. We were right there, almost to the sanctuary or Gracie studio apartment. It was getting dark out and I felt like an atrophied Tarzan after a day in the jungle. Gracie was pulling farther away from me. We got to her building.

Then it happened. Something was coming down the sidewalk. A car! A Honda Civic was barreling towards us! I pushed Gracie away from the danger and dove in the other direction. When all was said and done, I picked myself up and stared down the sidewalk, my jaw to the gum-infested concrete, my phone open. Then I selected my best friend from my contact list and told him what had happened.

(240): Dude, I almost got run over on the sidewalk by a car but, turns out, when it got closer it was just a crackhead walking with the whole front of a car... bumper, lights and all... I havenI had never been to New York City, that place where even the trees give children the middle finger. It was always that faraway place, that concrete jungle. Then, last Monday, the phone purrs, Ring… Ring… Ring. My cousin Gracie is on the other line. After a bit of catch up and customary questioning, she offers me a couch and a three days in the Big Apple. I thought on it rather hard and came to the conclusion: “Hmmmmm... okay.” She told me that she “couldn’t wait” and that it’d “been too long.” Two proclamations I was rather ambivalent to at the time. I told her that I’d be up Friday.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday came and went like wedgies in gym class and Friday morning, 6 a.m., announced its unholy birth. Merp. Merp. Merp. I stumbled to my pre-made coffee and in three sips its gone. Chinatown bus, here I come. Now, I’m not saying that the Chinatown bus system is illegitimate, but I am saying that not having any decal or other identifying marks is a little sketchy. I couldn’t get a good look before I got on, but the license plate may or may not have been paper written on by black Sharpie.

By some small miracle, I arrived in one piece, safe and sound minus a bit of my own drool. Then I had to get on the subway. Oh, New York subway, how I will not miss thee. I got pushed once, bumped at least twice, and had my ass slapped three times. I’m a guy. Not that I’m complaining, one of the girls was kind of cute, but that was only the first ten minutes. I’m just saying. After an action-packed forty eight minutes I met Gracie and away we went, cityside.

The buildings were so tall! There were so many people! Everyone was power walking like my grandma. It was amazing. The rhythm was so intense. Gracie was walking like a normal person one second and a moment later she’d fallen into sync with the crowds. I struggled to keep up. I broke a sweat. I felt like last year’s R/C car. It was all a blur. I was completely sober. At some point we got into a cab drive and were driven around by Apu from the Simpsons. I swear. When we got out we had to walk another eighteen blocks. We were right there, almost to the sanctuary or Gracie studio apartment. It was getting dark out and I felt like an atrophied Tarzan after a day in the jungle. Gracie was pulling farther away from me. We got to her building.

Then it happened. Something was coming down the sidewalk. A car! A Honda Civic was barreling towards us! I pushed Gracie away from the danger and dove in the other direction. When all was said and done, I picked myself up and stared down the sidewalk, my jaw to the gum-infested concrete, my phone open. Then I selected my best friend from my contact list and told him what had happened.

(240): Dude, I almost got run over on the sidewalk by a car but, turns out, when it got closer it was just a crackhead walking with the whole front of a car... bumper, lights and all... I haven't even been here one day... I love New York!

Classfied Operation: Cockblocking Robot

She’s there. She’s just there. I don’t understand it. Five foot one inch tall and every-fucking-where. She breaks physics. At a party, at a bar, on the sidewalk, it doesn’t matter, she’s there. In the morning, at night, at 3 a.m. She’s there. I don’t know how she does it. The only legitimate explanation is that she’s a fun-sucking, bitter-hearted vampire-robot sent by her future self to ruin my life. That’s the only reason that makes sense to me.

I was talking to a girl at a party on Saturday night. Her name was Angela. She was gorgeous. Nice smile, very smart, great teeth, long chestnut hair, pretty face. The whole package. Everything was going well. So well. We talked about our ambitions in life. Her wanting to better people’s lives, my wanting to live to see the third Star Wars trilogy, everything was peachy keen. As I was about to ask her for her number, the vampbot climbs onto the nearest table. ‘This cannot be good.’ I think. Everyone starts to mumble and point, mostly at her but a bit at me, as she struggles to maintain her balance. Her body starts jolting back and forth, awkwardly jutting about. I thought she was having a seizure standing up. I took out my phone and dialed a nine and a one before she started humping the air and I realized she wasn’t dying, she was dancing.

Then, to my horror, she found me in the crowd, locked devil eyes with me. She leaned towards me, absent cleavage leaving everything to be desired, and beckoned me to her. I looked away, pretended that the giant-fucking-elephant was not in the room. Angela looked at me, judgment one wrong answer away. I shrugged and mouthed ‘psycho.’ She laughed, I passed. Then my chances with Ms. Perfect were tarred, feathered and shot. The gyrating mess miraculously got down off the table, managed to shuffle over to me and planted a big, sloppy, nasty, vodka-scented kiss right on my lips. Then she yelled “I still love you. We aren’t over yet.” Conversation ceased to exist. All eyes on us. Awkward.

I was too stunned to even move. I just couldn’t comprehend what was going on. I checked my mental calendar of legal and illegal trips I’ve taken recently and came up with nothing that could produce such a horrible hallucination. When I came back to my senses Angela was gone and I was being held hostage in what can only be described as standup-reverse-spooning. I tore away from my captor and ran out the door. “Angela! Angela!!” I called and called. She didn’t answer.

I sat down on a cold bench, cheeks still rosy from embarrassment, and took out my phone. I thought and thought. Then inspiration! Words from the bottom of my heart flowed from my thumbs and onto the screen. I was like William fucking Wallace. I scrolled down my contact list until I got to “Megabitch,” hit send, and yelled “Freedom!!” at the top of my lungs.

(850): You are like a giant, cock-blocking robot developed in some kind of secret fucking government lab.

Thank God for Taxis

She was supposed to be the dream, my pin-up dream. She was cute. She was gorgeous. She had great posture and naturally thick eyelashes. Legs from here to Heaven. I was in Heaven. She was just perfect. It was Friday night, 10 p.m. Time to get moving. I called up my best friend James. He's the best wingman out there, at least the best wingman I know.

"What's up? He says. "Bout to get my drink on." I say. "Cool." He says. "Cool." I say. "See you in a bit?" He asks. "Yeah, see you in a bit." I told him. As you can probably tell, we are awesome conversationalists, champions at the craft.

A bit passes by and we're at the club, readying ourselves to get our groove on. Yeah, we're thorough like that. We enter the club, we get all up in it. I'm sipping on a mojito. Not because I like them, but because girls like guys who drink mojitos and that guy on that one commercial looks badass. It's 2009's dry martini, shaken not stirred. I'm bobbing my head calmly, keep the beat like a lounge singer. James is over talking to some girl. She looks like Julia Roberts. It looks like its going well. What a pretty mouth. He touches her arm.
She touches his arm back. Houston, we may have lift off. It looks like I might be going home alone tonight. And since I have D. S. S., or dry streak syndrome, I can't go home alone. I scope the rest of the bar. There's a couple of cute blonde chicks over to the left. There's a pretty redhead a bit to the right. Right in front of me is a goddess. She's dark-haired, thick lipped, almond-eyed. It's like the pin-up that my grandfather gave me the day he told me it was time to be a man, came alive. She was my destiny.

I had to make my move soon. I shot a quick glance over at James. He wasn't there. Gone. What? Where could he have gone so fast? I searched the bar again, this time with a completely different intent. It's like he just vaporized. 'Well, good for him' I thought. Houston, we have lift off.

I turned back to the business at hand, my Miss. America, and there was James. What the hell? But how... why? It was like the Universe was playing a trick on me. Why God, why? I stood and watched in slow motion horror as my best fried was talking his way into the bed of my Aphrodite. I couldn't let this happen. I intervened. I had to.

I walked up to James and the Goddess of Love. "Hey man." I turned from him to her. I said. "My name's Dan." I offered my hand. She took it. A chill went right down my spine if you know what I mean. "I'm Becky." She said. Her voice was honeysuckles and roses. I smiled, a little too dreamily perhaps, but it wasn't anything I could control.

James eyed me, gave me the cut off signal. He was claiming rights. I shot him a look right back. It said "fuck no, I'm in this." That was it, the game was on.

Shameless flirting ensued. Innuendo was made. The war was being waged. It was an even fight; he just had a little more ground on me because he struck first, the bastard. We were at the tipping point. Then the Nagasaki moment. James turned to Becky, smiling a-wicked,
"Dan, over here," he nudges me, "has one and a half testicles... and sleep apnea." Becky looks at me in horror and pity. I look at James, betrayed to my very core. Becky tells him she's just going to tell her friends that she's going to another club and that she'll be right back. The silence is violently awkward. It feels like he's standing over me, unsheathed dagger plunged in into my heart, a laughing maniac.

By the time Becky comes back, I've lost my anger and fallen into self-pity, righteously so I might add. I shuffle over to the bar and order. My good friend Johnny comes to cheer me up, followed by a bit of the Captain as he navigates his way through my Coke. I watched Judas escort my Mary Magdalene out the door. Neither of them even looked back.

Someone pats me on the back. "Don't worry about it. She always does that." The voice is kind, understanding. "You can have your friend back tomorrow morning." I turn. A girl with reddish-brown hair and freckles smiles and holds out her hand. "I'm Annie." She says. "I'm
Dan." I say. "Nice to meet you." We say, at the same time. We started talking. On our second beer, her phone played that Vegas song by the chick who kissed a girl. "Do you mind? It's just a text message." She asks. "Not in the least bit." I answer. “It’s from Becky.” She says. She flips open her phone and puts her hand up to her mouth. She can't hold back the laughter. She holds the phone up so I can see.

(505): That's the great thing about NY, if you pee your dress you have an entire cab ride to air dry your panties before the next club.

Silent Cocoa Nighcap

I just wanted a bit of chocolate, a coco nightcap if you will. That’s it, that’s all. I looked over at Dan. He was lying on his back, arms above his head, chest hair like a tiger’s, kind of regal if you thought about it the right way, and most importantly: asleep. He was snoring so loudly the echoes had echoes. I watched him closely, like a mama hawk. Not a stir; I was in the clear. So I got up, like a ninja, slipped on my fuzzy bunny slippers, and tiptoed to my stash. It was like I was walking on air, I didn’t even know I was moving. That’s before I stepped on something soft and boney. Squiggles, our cat, screeched like there was no tomorrow. I turned around, fast as lightening. Dan didn’t wake. ‘Phew’ I thought and continued. I got to my stash, unraveled it, opened it, smelled it. So good! Milk chocolate! Dark chocolate! White Chocolate! All kinds of chocolate!

What to have, what to have? I couldn’t decide. So I took everything back to bed with me. Softly, I opened my bedside drawer, watching Dan once again like a hawk, and putting everything in the back of the drawer. I slipped off my fuzzy bunnies, got back in the bed, and pretended to sleep. Then inspiration! Dark chocolate M & M’s with almonds! That’s what I want. I listened to Dan snore. Then I peeked over at him with one eye to make sure. The mission was a go. I reached into the drawer, pulled out the bag of M&M’s, a huge smile on my face, and then… the snoring stopped. Caught, I turned around sheepishly and there was Dan. Eyes open, hand open. A huge smile on his face. “I’d love some. Thank you.”

I poured away, then texted my best friend. Why did I text her at 2:47 in the morning? Because I had to.

(416): I don't understand how he can't hear himself snoring but he'll wake up to me sneaking M&M's from my junk food stash beside the bed...

Never 21 Again

Today. It’s today. It’s finally here! The day I drink to be merry until my eyes tear! My name is Brian and I’m turning 21 today. I’ve been looking forward to this since last May. I’ve got it all planned out, down to the very last beer. Finally, finally today is here.

Or so went the resounding cheer inside my head, before the day began, before my coffee, before 3:24 in the morning the next day. Its 10:34 Friday morning and my best friend Billy is standing over me, smiling ridiculously. “Happy birthday motherfucker!” I know that tone. I will not be responsible for the next 24 hours of my life. He hands me a doughnut and a beer. “Breakfast of champions.” He says as he pops open a Guinness and chomps on a devil’s food crumb doughnut, our mutual favorite.

I look from the doughnut to the Sam Adams Oktoberfest, then back again. “Trust me.” He says, smile still on his face. I shrug and take a bite. Then a sip. Not too bad actually. “Thanks.” I say. I take another bite-sip combo. Not too bad at all. I finish. “I’ll be down in two.”

He hands me a hot pocket. “Hurry, we have a full day.”

I put the somewhat-hot-pocket in my mouth, roll out of bed, and search for the cleanest clothes. I find my favorite pair of jeans under my favorite hoodie and zip the both them up. I love the feeling of ripped, worn jeans and time-thinned, thumb-hole hoodies in the fall. It’s like the coating of a Klondike. Fucking delicious. I look out my window at the all the autumn colors and can’t help but think, ‘It’s going to be a good day.’

And so it was, so it was. There was alcohol and good times in everything. Cups, glasses, kegs, watermelons, everything. The world was my drunken oyster so I sang the national anthem to it. At noon. I climbed a bell tower and apparently played the theme song to the ‘Lion King’ on it. It sounded horrible in a wonderful kind of way. Who knew I had a thing for music?

It was the watermelon that really got me. We had just gotten back from ninja-fighting when the drunkmunchy monkey climbed aboard my back. I told Billy that I was hungry. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was eating what he told me to. My third mistake was washing down the watermelon with the vodka leftover from spiking said watermelon. Those are the only three mistakes I can currently remember.

The day was turning out to be quite the memorable occasion. I can’t say the same for the night; I lost a few too many hours. After sobering up just enough to regain the ability to walk a straight line, Billy and I stumbled to the local pizza joint and woofed down an anchovy-feta cheese-banana pepper-extra pineapple-white sauce pizza. Then we settled our stomachs with Tums and beer.

I have a vague recollection of watching a Jennifer Aniston movie with guns and giant explosions and aliens, which is impossible. And I also have a brand new appreciation for the fine people at Pixar. They’re really very talented. Finding Nemo is my new hero. Not only can he lead his people to freedom but his name has an E and an O in it in just like the word “hero.”

It made sense at the time.

The last thing I can recall from that night was the sudden realization that whatever I was eating was dry, tasted like tuna, and was unnecessarily crunchy. I looked down, shook my head and tried to figure out where I was. Then I realized the receipt in my right hand. It was from CVS. I turned around and lo and behold, in the distance, was a flickering 24 Hour pharmacy sign. I looked at the time. It was 3:24 in the morning. I facepalmed then flipped open my phone, selected ‘Dad’ on my contact list, and hit the send button.

(412): I’m walking the streets of B-Ville with a bag of cat food… looking for my car. I don’t ever want to turn 21 again.