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When It’s Good, It’s Good, When It’s BAD, It’s Better…

Best of The BAD: NYC 101

Another ‘Best of’ this was originally posted this past summer after reading an article in the NYTs about twin blonde-haired sisters trying to “make it” in NYC as college grads.  The article, aside from making me shake with rage, seemed to be sympathetic towards two white chicks living on the UWS, spending their days baking cookies and hanging out in Starbucks waiting for oppertunity to just waltz right in through the front door.

As a former NYer, who literally had to eat cat food off of crackers for sustenance at one point, I thought I’d inject my feelings on the article, which was originally title “Surviving NYC”.  So here it is, rebroadcast for your enjoyment.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go give my wife the wake up pipe.

Enjoy.

***

It seems that nothing much in the news or in the world has gotten me very fired up lately.  Boston sports is pretty much a numb limb; an arm lifted high for so long that the blood’s drained out of it, and the body proper can no longer tell what the fingers are doing.  Politicians from both sides of the political spectrum have been sniping at each other with the typical deft of an over grown four year old.  A war toils on in a waste land, etc etc etc.

So this morning – Sunday – I was flipping through the Times, when I came across this article.

If you don’t want to wade through three pages of mind numbing and frustrating bullshit, I’ll sum it up for you.  The Barry Twins, Kristie and Katie (aww) have been “struggling” to find long-term work in NYC for the last 18 months, and are starting to get discouraged by their lack of results.

Freshly out of college, the Ohio transplants have degrees in Journalism, which is akin to having a degree in Latin or VCR Repair.  It’s a useless degree in a field that shrinks daily in size like a puddle under the sun.  They aspire to be sports broadcasters, tv talk show hosts, or anything else related in the field.  According to the article they’re “flexible.”

They’ve submitted untold resumes along with freshly baked cookies.  They sit in bars or Starbucks, whining about how ‘tough” getting work in NYC is.

I don’t know where to begin.

I’ve read the article three times now, and each time I get a little more bullshit.  The first time I read through this slapped together feature piece, I thought it was a satire; some fiction to help illustrate the effects of our economy and rising unemployment rates on college kids finally entering the real world.  The Twins share an apartment with their college-attending brother and his artist friend on the Upper West Side to the tune of  nearly 3000 dollars a month.  One of the twins works three nights a week as a bar tender and rakes in 800 bucks.  The other used to bar tend, before getting fired for keeping the music “too loud.”  Now they spend their days browsing job posts on craigslist, sucking down 6 dollar Starbucks coffees, and playing the saxophone on subway platforms not for change, but for business cards.

It’s almost adorable, the naivety.

The second and third times I read through the article, I was just making myself more and more upset and flustered.  I mean, really girls?  You pull in 800 bucks a week, working three nights at a bar, and you’re not even really cute.  You should count your blessings on that alone, where the average 24 year old out-of-towner probably pulls in a fraction of that amount busting his or her ass at three jobs for a total of 60 hours a week.  I should know, because I used to be one of those 24 year olds.

The UWS apartment?  It’s a “cozy, fourth floor walk up.”  I lived in East Bumfuck Queens in a 1000 dollar a month hole in the ground with slits for windows that had a total square footage of a public bathroom, and smelled just as bad.  Starbucks and drinks at the bar?  I ate cat food off of saltines for a period of time, because I had no money.

I actually considered mugging people.

The Twins come up with cutesy ideas to try to get noticed, like sending home-made cookies with resumes, and the aforementioned sax playing for business cards.  Bitches, lesson one about living in NYC:  Cute doesn’t cut it.  NYC is the majors, it’s serious chemistry with all the charm of a dead hooker.  People literally live and die by the decisions they make in that terrible gray piss-soaked metropolis, and you’re sending cookies to HR reps?

Here’s how that’s likely going over:

HR Rep:  Hey, what the fuck are these?  (smells) Cookies?  And what’s this they’re stuck to, a resume?  Huh, not much on here to work with.  Well, I guess I’ll stick these in the break room, maybe someone will eat them.

Girls, don’t whine that in 18 months you’re not getting any bites on that ‘dream job.’  ESPN is not going to come knocking down your door because you’re the next best thing since white bread.  You have to work and earn your place in the pecking order of NYC, you are owed literally nothing.  Yes, you have friends, according to the article, that hook you up in various ways, so utilize that.  It’s called “networking.”  You meet people who know people and you keep adding them to that list.  You don’t sit on your ass all day baking treats and scanning job listings online.  You beat the pavement, you wear second hand clothes and you sure as hell don’t live ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE!

I’m almost willing to bet that they won’t even look for work outside of Manhattan.  I bet they’ve never been to Queens.  They went to Brooklyn to check out a trendy hipster bar, once.  And they probably took a cab.

The comment thread has been 50/50 where people are either supportive of the girls, or bleakly realistic.  A lot of would-be NYers, (like myself) have weighed in with their own experiences, detailing how the city eats people alive.

Again, I did three years, one of which I was pretty much on my own.  I started off by staying at a dorm while I was taking classes near Fordham, then moved into a two bedroom apartment in Brooklyn with two other guys I knew from school.  I basically turned the living room into my own room, which sucked because every morning I had to turn it back into a living room again.  When that situation fizzed out about two years later, I got the aforementioned apartment in Queens while picking up work at a generic office building.  I had my own little broom closet sized office and I wore a suit every day to the tune of 11 bucks an hour with no health insurance.

But it all came to an end and I realized I couldn’t do ‘this’ anymore so I packed my shit and went back home.  And here we are today.

I admire these girls for having the balls to at least try, and I don’t necessarily blame them for being so utterly naive.  There’s no class in college that breaks it down for soon-to-be-grads.  No one to stand there and be like “oh hey, by the way, this degree isn’t going to mean jack shit in the real world.  You’re going to be bussing tables til you’re about 29, so try to keep your head up.”

NYC is for self starters and these girls certainly have the potential, however they need to head in the right direction and pay their dues.  There’s doctors and lawyers who have been living in NYC for the better part of twenty years who don’t have an UWS apartment.

My advice to The Twins:  Dye your hair brown, cut out the cutesy self entitled bullshit, stop going to Starbucks (coffee at the diner down the block is like 65 cents, there’s little to no waiting, and you won’t be surrounded by smug assholes.  This is where the real NYC winners tend to gravitate towards.  Starbucks is for tourists and college kids), and start getting guys to buy your drinks for you at bars.  You’re both female; there’s no reason why any woman in New York City should be buying their own drinks, unless she’s an ultra feminist lesbian.

Move to Brooklyn, there’s plenty of nice places for half of what you’re paying in rent, close enough to the city that you’ll be actually forced to take a bus some places.  And for the love of Christ, stop sending out cookies with resumes.

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February 14, 2010 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, People I Hate, Shameless Self Promotion | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best of The BAD: Bullet Shortage

I’m transitioning into a new gig at my job and because of this things have been and will continue to be pretty hectic for me.  So, as a service to you, the readers, I’ve pulled some of what I consider to be my best article from the past year, and I’m re-running them for a little while.

I will be running new content once a week over at IRdC, as soon as my editors send me some topics.

But yeah, in the meantime, enjoy these re-runs.  This 3000 word article ran back last summer;  it was a report on not only a nation-wide ammunition shortage, but the intricacies of a local gun show.  NPR, eat your heart out.

I hope you enjoy it.

***

I think it would be easier to find a red headed virgin in Rosalita, Mexico who wasn’t suffering from Swine Flu before I’ll ever find 9mm bullets in Southern Maine.

At least, this is what I was lead to believe last Sunday morning while traveling over fifty miles on a motorcycle when temperatures hit 83 degrees before I even left the house.

I made the tactical error of putting on a shit-ton of personal protective equipment – more than necessary, which includes UnderArmor, thick gloves, Kevlar jacket liner, etc – before ever walking out the door of my mother’s house.  By the time I got to my bike, one street over at my father’s house, I was pretty much covered in a thin sheen of sweat.

My objective was simple, though pulling it off would be a beast of a completely different temperament:  I had to find bullets for the new Glock pistol I bought the day before at the local Biddeford Gun Show, a gun show that was once the flagship gun collector’s exhibition in Southern Maine, but since the winding down of the Bush Administration, has somewhat become a shell of it’s former glory.  Gone now are the giant booths with tactical webbing-based vests and shoulder harnesses.  Displays of military-grade firepower that only Level Three Licensees can legal own, gone as well.  Even the old guy with the snow-white beard to his belt buckle, pushing a hand truck with an old Browning air-cooled .30 cal mounted machine gun was absent from the proceedings.  No, all that seemed to remain were a few logie-looking booths and venders with various instruments of death and destruction, marked up by at least 15% to as high as 50% depending on whom you were dealing with, and how exotic the piece was.

But what had returned were the crowds.  In recent years the Biddeford Gun Show’s attendance has somewhat fallen off, which in turn, diminished the level of prestige of the participating venders.  The surge in populace this year seems to stem from the current Democratic Presidential Administration, and the fears that a black Democratic President will “any day now” pass legislation abolishing the Second Amendment and send federal law enforcement officers into the homes of every Red Blooded American who owns firearms to forcibly strip the weapons from their owners, and possibly march them to a cattle car to be shipped into the wilderness in the dead of night.

This and other mythoi were being exchanged amongst the crowd of surly late-middle-aged panic-mongers in attendance at the gun show.  As I weaved through the crowd examining table after table of weaponry I overheard a number of what some could consider outlandish accusations, rumors and innuendo from those who paid seven dollars to get their hand stamped at the door.

“Any day now, Obama’s going to raid our homes and take our guns away,” grumbled one gun owner in farm-chic clothing.  Another:  “We’re only as safe as we make ourselves, no one’s going to take that away from me!”

The crowd of about one thousand constantly seemed to be teetering on the edge of full blown riot, with tensions flowing with every disgruntled half-truth that was being uttered as (mostly) men fingered cheap Spanish-imports of cloned 1911-A1 .45 ACPs and grease-packed AK47s.  Overall the mood was dark, and if you tried to inject another point of view, shed of optimism if you will, you were seen at best as a simpleton, and at worst, a spy.

I found this out when I stupidly tried to bring to the attention of one show goer who I was 90% convinced was a member of either the Klu Klux Klan or the Hell’s Angels that Mr. Obama has a little too much on his plate to deal with the issue of Second Amendment Rights at the moment, especially concerning the economy, filling out the rest of his cabinet, partisan politics, and that whole “Middle East Thing.”  I tried to assure the barbarian that if the issue was ever going to be approached, that number one, it wouldn’t be at least until the far side of two years from now, and number two, there’s far too much support against anti-firearms legislation in the country to make a significant impact on the individual gun owner.  Similar to anti-abortion, -gay rights, and -marijuana legislation, the laws enacted would be far too controversial, and no elected official would dare disenfranchise at least half of his electoral base.

“What are you?  One of those statistic-spewing faggots?”  Said the Klansman-Biker, who then worked up enough phlegm in his throat to convince me he was going to hock it into my face if I didn’t get enough room between me and him very quickly.

For the rest of the gun show I kept a very low profile.

Purchasing a firearm is still incredibly easy, despite what gun-owners in attendance would like the layperson to think.  Aside from the fact I was standing in the middle of a 100,000 square-foot converted ice arena, surrounded by tables and tables of guns with only one police officer standing duty by the front door, procuring a pistol, rifle, shotgun, authentic Nazi memorabilia from World War 2, or whatever you fancy is a matter of spending a few moments filling out a simple page of generic government paperwork (“no, I’m not a convicted felon,” and “no, I’m not addicted to any controlled substance, including marijuana” are actual questions with YES/NO boxes next to them.), submitting to a Federal Background Check through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and handing over a credit card to the federally licensed gun dealer to whom you’re giving your business to.

After haggling over the price of my Sig Sauer P230 .380 that I wanted to trade up to a Glock 19 9mm, as well as buying a new Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun (my father is moving to a trailer park in Florida later this summer, and asked if he could have my old Mossberg 500 for home defense), I tried to get the dealer to give me a “sweetheart deal” on an DPMS/Panther AR15 that he had listed for 1100 dollars.  I explained to him that being that the DPMS was a “flat top” receiver with no sights, I would have to go out and buy a sighting system at a cost of about 200-300 dollars.  I also brought up the point that I was already buying two guns off of him and if he wanted to move the products, he should cut me a deal.

He gave it some thought and came back with an offer of 950, a considerable mark down, but I figured he could do better.  On average, an AR15, which three years ago would have retailed for about 600 bucks, were going for between 975-1300 dollars at this gun show.  Getting him even below those numbers was a good deal, but I figured I had this guy on the ropes and he could go lower.

And I was right because he came down as low as 850 after a few more minutes of my complaining.  I then told him I didn’t want it and that I’d take just the pistol and shotgun, which seemed to piss him off a little (there were probably a dozen other customers standing right next to me who heard his generous offer of 850, who no doubt would sweep in on that deal after I walked away).  I realized that I had no real practical use for a high powered rifle in a dilapidated apartment complex, and that the likelihood of me shooting through our walls and into the apartment of one of the neighbors, although enticing, could cause greater legal ramifications for me down the line.

So I sat down in a metal folding chair and filled out the proper paper work.  And even though I accidentally omitted my social security number on the federal gun buyers form (I honestly usually put it down, as I’m inclined to believe that by not, if gives the BATF an excuse to deny my background request, even though it’s marked in bold letters that providing that information is completely OPTIONIONAL), less than five minutes after I put ass to chair, I was handing my credit card over to the dealer, and walking away with two highly lethal weapons that I could virtually do anything I wanted.

I just had to load them first.

I walked around the floor of the gun show a little longer and came to a booth that was selling re-loaded-at-home rounds and hefted a box of 9mms.  When the booth’s vendor told me that the box of 50-count bullets was going to cost me 25 dollars (usually a box – or “square” as it’s called in certain gun-circles – of 9mms goes for about 15-20 bucks, reloads less, obviously) I dropped the box along with my jaw and walked away.  The vender called after me, telling me that he had already sold two cases (roughly twenty boxes per case, and the case I plucked that one box out of was about down to three squares left) and would probably be sold out by tomorrow.

What he didn’t tell me was that there’s virtually no ammunition in Southern Maine at all.

Due to the fear and panic in Southern Maine, which is more “red state” than the rest of the traditionally “blue Maine” people have been buying and stockpiling ammunition in bulk at alarming and albeit, unsettling rates.  I had no clue that the case was so severe until later that afternoon, after leaving the gun show with two firearms and no ammo (making them two of the most expensive paper weights I’ve ever purchased) I headed over to the local Wal Mart, where previously I’ve bought ammo on the cheap, which is exactly what I told the ammo vender at the gun show.

Blinded by ignorance, I walked into the Wal Mart and headed back towards the Sporting Goods section.  The inside of the Wal Mart looked third-world: gutted, stripped of any semblance of that cheery yellow-smiley face conglomerate that once dominated Biddeford Crossing for the last fifteen or so years.  No, the monolith with her ever expanding parking lot seemed frail and decayed, shelving bare, what I imagine a Wal Mart in some remote part of Serbia would look like on a good day.

When I got to the Sporting Goods section I ran into another red-stater, dressed in a typical aggressively patriotic t shirt featuring wording about “colors” and “running” and a picture of a soaring eagle or something to that effect, buying a hunting license of some sort.

I don’t hunt, so I have no idea what game season is in vogue right now, but being that summer’s coming up, and Maine tends to get overpopulated with tourists during this time, something about a bald, big-eared, mouth breathing caveman buying a hunting license didn’t sit well with me.

As the clerk behind the counter diddled the register to print out the hunting license I wandered around the section looking for the display of bullets.  When I found the display, a large locked glass case, I stopped suddenly with confusion.  I turned to see if anyone was watching me, any employee that could help me, but I was alone.  So I went back to the clerk at the register and inquired with him as he finished up the total on the red-stater’s order.

“Excuse me, but are you guys like,” and I trailed off for a second.  The Budweiser-swilling tradesman was barking at his collection of children, aged 6-11, about five or six of them, and his gutturally sharp chunks of words took me off balance for a second.

“That’s strike one!” he snapped at one of his brood, who were horsing around by the register.  “One more strike and you’re not getting ice cream!”

I wanted to clear my throat and correct him, in front of his children, that you technically get three strikes, (based off of baseball or Family Feud rules) but I kept my mouth shut and went back to the clerk.

“Are you guys, like, renovating or something?  Because your ammo case back there is empty and I…” and the clerk cut me off.

“We can’t keep that shit in stock for more than a day.  We put out orders for handgun ammo, rifle ammo, you name it, at least once a week, and by the time it comes in, we have so much of the stuff on back order, that it’s all sold by the time the truck pulls up.”  Jesus, I thought, they’re hording all the goddamn bullets!

The red-stater decided to inject his opinion on the matter as well:

“It’s a real pain in the balls,” he started, his voice phlegmy and choked, as if he was speaking from underneath a boot across his windpipe.  “I’ve been buying online, you can’t get bullets anywhere, not the Wal Mart in Scarborough, the Cabelas, LL Beans, Dicks,” he went on.

I was shell shocked, in utter disbelief.  There had to be someplace I could readily buy bullets today, right now.  What if there was an emergency, and I needed to shoot someone TONIGHT!  Nothing is worse than an unloaded gun sitting by itself at home when you go out to a family restaurant with your wife and mother and spend the entire night alternating your field of view between the Red Sox/Yankees game on the tv over your head and the front door of the establishment, waiting for some barbarian to come barreling in to kill everyone on Margarita Two-fer Night.

The next morning I got up early-ish and took off on my motorcycle, with messenger bag slung around my shoulders, to try every conceivable store that would be selling ammunition.

The thought had occurred to me that I could just go back to the gun show and try my luck there.  I just didn’t want to pay out the nose for cheaply “remanufactured” bullets, given the price of admission is seven dollars, and the mark up on the ammo is about 100%.

So all morning I rode up and down US Rt 1, looking for a place that sold bullets.  I first pulled into the local Cabela’s monstrosity and found that they wouldn’t open until 10 am, which by then would be too late for me, as my mother committed me to helping my tacky aunt and uncle move “unwanted” furniture from my father’s place to their place.  So up the road I traveled still, finding myself at the Scarborough Wal Mart.

Mind you, I’m on a motorcycle, dressed in a black Kevlar jacket, black “murder” bandana around my neck, black messenger bag, black boots, black Oakley Flak Jacket HJXs, and my throat is all weird from the ride.  I stride into the Wal Mart and try to find the Sporting Goods section, but if you’ve ever been into a different Wal Mart than what you’re used to, you know that their store is SLIGHTLY laid out differently.

So after walking around a bit, I find the section and come across similar results.  I’m pretty dejected, but on my way out I find a stock girl- young, petite, blonde – with a clipboard, doing some sort of inventory.  I walk up to her and get her attention.  Immediately she’s intimidated by me; it’s all but written on her face in magic marker, so I lift my shades to my forehead so she can see I’m no threat.

“Hey, you got any ammunition out back?”  I ask.  Unbeknownst to me ahead of time, my voice comes out as if I’m Dirty Harry and I just found out my dog has rabies.  Her eyes develop a sheen of wetness and her lip trembles.  Her voice small, tinny:

“No, we’re all out,” I figured for this based on the evidence and snarl a little to myself.

“Mm, what about the Dick’s up the road?  Know anything about them?”  I unintentionally growl.

“No…” it’s like a stalking lion talking to a church mouse.

“Don’t worry,” I try to ease her obvious fear of this big biker looming over her, asking about affordable munitions.  “I’m not mad, I’m not going to kill anyone,” she lets a nervous smile slip out.  “…because I don’t have any bullets.”  Her smile fades quickly and I leave the store, watching my back on the road for the next few miles for police cars looking for a homicide-crazed lunatic on a motorbike.

I have similar results at the next few places I try, either they’re sold out or not open this early on a Sunday, and after running out of time, I head back to my mother’s house to help move furniture, which is like eating a big plate of glass shards for breakfast.

Later in the day I called what was going to be my “last resort” before being forced to pay for rounds at the gun show.  I used to work for the Kittery Trading Post, an Outdoor Outfitter in Southern Maine that I’m somewhat persona-non-grata with due to an incident in their parking lot that involved myself, a stalker, and the Kittery Police Department over two years ago.  They have a huge firearms selection, dedicating their entire second floor to just guns.  If they didn’t have ammunition I could buy, no one in Southern Maine would.

I called and after being batted around from associate to associate for ten minutes, I finally got a hold of someone on the gun floor.

“Hey, I’m trying to find 9mms, you guys got any in stock?”

“No, all we got on hand right now are .41 magnums and .22s, we can’t keep anything in stock for more than a day,” the associate said into the phone.  “Once word gets out, we get nailed.  We had a shipment of ammo on Friday and we were just about sold out last night.  You’re best bet is online,”

In the end, I went back to the gun show and bought an overpriced box of 9mms, but only because I didn’t want to travel without a loaded gun.  And to add another element of horror to my story, I thought the ammo-epidemic was contained in Maine and other-like minded ignorant locales.  No.  It’s not.

When I we finally got back to The Hook, I logged on to a few different sites that specialize in “hunting accessories” to see if I could purchase ammunition in bulk, only falling into my fellow statesmen’s hysteria half way, more concerned that the ammo crunch will continue to make getting rounds in the future difficult.  Three of the four sites I visited had handgun ammo on backorder, and another had some available, but it wasn’t anything special, just Full Metal Jacketed bullets at 115 grain.

So in the end, what does this mean?  It means I’m going to call Charles Schwab later today and buy stock in Winchester, American Federal, and UCM.

February 11, 2010 Posted by | Around The Office, Living in an Insane Asylum, Those Crazy Politicians, World Wide Events | , , | Leave a comment

In His Prime

An oldie but a goodie, I bring you back to 1982, when Michael Jackson literally was the King of Pop.  ….Sigh, if only he had cut this album (or maybe Bad too) and died in a fiery plane crash along with Lionel Richie, which would have cemented their fates as Pop Music Gods…

Anyway, here’s “Thriller”, directed by John Landis and featuring a voice over by the late Vincent Price.  Epic video, especially by today’s standards.  Enjoy.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, People I Love, The Great Indoors, Why Am I Watching This? | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Case for Small Weddings/How We Got Here

wedding-cake-topper-pullen-778972(In case you didn’t know, Jim and Ang are getting married this afternoon, so naturally we gave Jim the day off, with explicit instructions to provide a post about the events tomorrow at some point, when he sober’s up.  Below you can find two prepared posts, first, his case for small weddings, which he’s taking part in, and the original post that brought both Jim and Ang together back earlier this year.  Enjoy.  -ed)


***

It was roughly five or eight or something years ago, and I remember being 20ish and sitting in a giant church, dressed roughly all in black, with sunglasses on, getting weird stares from an assortment of people I was soon to be loosely related to, watching my cousin get married.

The ceremony was long and drawn out with about half a dozen readings from the bible, a song or two, and all around piss poor acoustics, which made hearing everything that was being said a laborious task to say the least. You really had to sit, or stand (depending on where we were in the service) and almost lean forward to be able to hear what was being said. The cavernous church, which was located in some remote part of Massachusetts for some goddamn reason, seemed to swallow up sounds. The only thing that seemed to come out pitch perfect was the overbearing sound of the gigantic pipe organ that was situated behind and above us, that when the organist started to play a song, it boomed and rattled the fillings in my teeth.

Oh, did I mention I was hung over/drunk? That would explain the sunglasses indoors.

I remember thinking two things this entire time: 1) all of this was wholly unnecessary. This was my cousin whom I didn’t like very much, who was marrying some chick I never met. The place was packed with people I hardly knew, and I was sandwiched between both my parents, my mother stalwartly representing our slice of the clan while my father and I passed my whiskey flask back and forth and poured loathing out of our eye sockets the entire time. The second thing I thought of was that this was an excellent case for an abridged ceremony.

The only people who possibly get off on long drawn out weddings are the Bride and the mother of the Bride, because of all the hard work that goes into planning the goddamn thing. From the moment the proposal is muttered, the man is completely taken out of the equation, it is now the duty of the bride-to-be and her mother to meticulously plan the shit out of a Sunday or Thursday or Tuesday afternoon, from where guests are going to sit, to what music is going to be played.

In a traditional sense, all of this planning comes together over the course of like six months. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must be like, given that I’ve been watching Ang tear her hair out after only about five weeks of half-assed planning.

We opted for a small, short-and-sweet ceremony because we’re broke, for one, and for two, we both don’t believe in all of that pomp and circumstance. We believe in the holy vows, the commitment of the bond of marriage, and the fact we want to get everyone to the after party as quickly as possible.

And isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? It’s about the party, that’s why people come out. It’s about free booze and bullshitting. It’s about all the girls sitting in the living room gossiping, while all the fellas smoke outside on the porch. It’s not about sitting in a giant church making your guest strain to hear what the hell is going on. It’s about connecting.

I remember the reception too; a stuffy dinner with an open bar for which we were all thankful. We had to drive forty-five minutes further out into no where, and with my supply of whiskey depleted I was left only with two unfiltered American Spirit or Lucky Strike cigarettes in my cigarette case. I knew it was going to be a lean night, especially since my father was growing increasingly cranky with my mother and my mother holding on to her sanity by only the thinnest strands.

And that brings up another point: I was depressed because I was the only adult-aged cousin who showed up with his parents aside from my closeted homosexual cousin Steve, who had just returned home from attempting to live in Kentucky with a cuckold couple he met on the internet. His ashen face turned down signaling defeat and solitude that made everyone else who looked at him feel embarrassed and uneasy. So comparing myself to him all night is the reason why I couldn’t make it to the reception without exhausting my supply of personal libations.

But back to the reception: The reception was completely over the top and rude to the senses. We were seated along with my Cool Cousin Jaime, her brother Josh, both their dates (I was also dateless, which drove me to order three Maker’s with ice. When the bartender repeated back my order with skepticism, I howled at her and slammed my fist on the bar top, which prompted some stranger to tell me to take it easy. I instantly accused him of being a closeted homosexual cuckold and maced him.), my rich Uncle Bobby, his Serbian wife and their children, mom and dad and me.

Our table was way out back, and it took forever for the bride and groom to come by and pay their respects to us, which would’ve allowed us to skip out on the over cooked pheasant or quail or whatever tiny rat-like, choke-hazard fowl they were serving us.

In the mean time, I spent the evening flicking tiny mints that were left in bowls at our table across at Jaime, until my mother reached over and took both the bowl of mints and my fourth or fifth Maker’s from in front of me.

The whole time I sat there, in an alcoholic and cheap cigarette stupor wondering what the bluddy point to all of this was. Were we all supposed to marvel at how pretty the bride looked (sure, she looked nice in a conventional sense, but nothing out of the ordinary in what you’d see at any other wedding) or sit around and bullshit with our extended family, both old and now new? These are not people I freely associate with sober, let alone after consuming half a bottle of top shelf whiskey to stymie my self consciousness.

I think I vowed on that day, probably while puking into a bush outside of this ritzy hotel ball room, that if and when I get married I’d keep it simple, more to the roots of the act of marriage and not go way out of my way to try to impress people I don’t like very much in the first place. And I understand it’s not about me, it’s about my bride, but I wouldn’t want to marry someone whose soul focus was going to be on how ostentatious the whole ceremony is going to be. No, we’re not going to ride in on elephants in gilded jewels and robes. No, we’re not going to have giant ice sculptures of our likenesses,  and no we’re not going to have a live band dressed up like the cantina band from Mos Eisley. It’s going to be simple but still elegant, and most importantly, EVERYONE will have fun.

I’m just saying….

***

(And now the article that started it all:   Orignally the article appeared on PSH and was titled “What Pissed Me Off This Weekend, and ran on the weekend of March 14th.  How it came about was that Jim wrote this, and randomly, Angela stumbled upon it by clicking “next blog.”  She read the piece and then commented, prompting Jim to try to figure out who she was.  The rest is history.  Enjoy.  -ed)

I dunno man, for some reason or another, there’s been this avalanche of collective societal behavior that’s really gotten under my skin over the last few days. So I figured I’d run it down for you, the readers, in somewhat of a list-and-explain-type article. Sit down, open up that pack of crackers and enjoy, bitch.

What: Screaming, crying children.
The Scene: The mall.
How it went down: So I’m in Olympia Sports trying on new running shoes when from about ten miles away I hear this blood-curdling, back of the lungs screaming that could only be produced by one of two creatures: A wounded animal or a small attention-starved child. I’ve never liked children, and though maybe one day I might have a hand in one’s production, I’m sure as hell not going to be one of these despondent parents that simply drag their screaming hell spawn by the wrist through public as if it’s a wayward police siren.

So back to me sitting on this bench and trying on shoes… this family of overweight McDonald’s-for-dinner-everynight, egg-shaped simians herd their screaming 6 year old into the store, and not only just stand at the entrance way so that everyone’s attention is drawn to them, they then drag the little bastard over to where I’m sitting and sit his ass down right next to me.

Um, hello-o-o-o? Excuse me, apparently you didn’t really earn that holey, stained and stretched “mom of the year” t shirt, huh? When the hell do you think it’s appropriate to plant a fucking… screaming sound bomb next to someone? And I mean, this kid was fucking loud, man.

Now granted, it wasn’t like I was at the Four Seasons or anything where that type of behavior would’ve been unheard of. No, I was in Olympia Sports trying to buy sneakers on the cheap. But still, the lack of consideration for everyone else in the world drove me to the point of near murder. I mean, the thing that really gets me is that these parents weren’t even lifting a finger to silence this kid. And the dad! The dad, how spineless can one get? Fucking take charge of that little runt man! Grab him by the throat and say something like “listen here you little piece of shit: I made you and I can break you and no one will ever know what happened, you understand me? So shut the fuck up.”

But here’s the rub, America, what’s lead to the degeneration of good parenting has been the trigger-happiness of organizations such as the Department of Human/Health Services, where with a simple phone call placed by the child, a SWAT team of care takers swam in on the house and shut down the whole operation. The parents get taken to court, custody of the children is awarded to the state, so on. And kids know this from talking to other kids at school.

Johnny: Jeez guys, my dad is a real ball breaker about me mowing the lawn this weekend…
Billy: Yeah, well if he gives you a hard time, call this number and tell whoever picks up that your dad hits you and gets drunk and makes you slave around the house. You’ll be in Disney World by Friday.

And it’s true! …Well all but the Disney World part. It happened to friends of my parents a few years ago. They have a rebellious daughter with a love of drugs, booze and black guys. So one day, her dad, my dad’s friend, decided he’d had enough with all the bullshit from his 16 year old, and told her that there were going to be some changes. She was going to get her car taken away, she was going to have a curfew, and she wasn’t going out on school nights anymore. To this, the daughter called DHS, and in 24 hours she was getting put up in a motel room, free to do whatever she wanted, unattended by any adults, while her parents were looking down the barrel of insurmountable fines and possibly jail time for being “abusive.”

Bullshit.

And the case is still pending, I think.

So yeah, anyway, don’t bring your screaming kid around me. I’ll break it’s fucking neck like I would that of a small bird.

What: Bouncers/Doormen
The Scene: The British Brewing Company, Hyannis
How it went down: So me and a few of my [co-workers] wanted to go out the other night. We hit pretty much every bar in town. And we were doing it the right way, with a DD, which came in the form of my 19 year old roommate.

So we bop on over to the BBC (I now refer to it as the Big Black Cock) and go in to have some more drinks. The only problem is the fat fuck sitting on a stool by the door.

He’s barely checking IDs, putting bracelets on people, basically marinating in his own fat juices. We all present our [REDACTED] IDs and he starts putting the bracelets on everyone, when he takes a second look at my roommate’s ID.

“Hey, you’re not 21,” he says.

“Yeah, I know, I’m 19…” my roommate says truthfully. And I gotta give it up to my roomie, he easily could’ve just said nothing and gotten in and drank, but he’s a stand up guy and knows the rules.

“Well, you can’t come in then,” and mind you, the BBC is a restaurant-SLASH-bar. And the fact that they’re putting bracelets on people 21 and over… he didn’t have to put a bracelet on my roommate, he could’ve just been like “ok well, you can go in, but you’re not getting a bracelet for the bar.”

“But he’s our designated driver, you have to let him in,” says another member of our party.

“No I don’t,” and now a crowd is starting to form behind us from the log jam we’re creating.

“This is bullshit,” I start. “You’re going to turn away four paying customers because he’s 19? He’s getting us home safe tonight. Wow, I guess I know where the BBC stands on drunk driving…”

“Hey, don’t give me a hard time, the door’s over there,” he says and points his fat finger backwards.

“There isn’t even a sign here that says ’21 plus tonight’ so what the fuck dude?” The other member of our party says. Ryan just stands there, the obvious pawn in this chess game of inebriation.

“Listen, do I gotta call the cops here or what?” The fat pricks says through his sweat.

“No, no, we wouldn’t want you to exert yourself anymore than you have to, tubs,” I say and we leave. My roommate got really bummed out and it kinda killed our night altogether.

But what is it about doorman feeling like their god? Like would it have killed this guy (like the supposed blood clot he’s bound to suffer) to let our driver in? I mean, me and my fellow of-age members were clearly shit faced, whereas our under aged driver was sober, polite and above all else, honest. So that’s what you get for being a stand up guy? It’s like getting AIDS from Abstinence.

So since then, we’ve decided that we’re no longer going to be patrons of the BBC, because they’re pricks, but also because they obviously want to see their customer’s die in a fiery auto wreck because they don’t believe in enslaving an under-aged person to chauffeur drunken hooligans.

Fuck’em.


December 30, 2008 Posted by | Blogging Couple, Corporate America Hates You, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Best Of: October 2007

In honor of Jim’s recent purchase of an F-150, we here on his editorial staff decided to re-run this article from back in October of 07. At that time Ford was running these pro-consumer, testimonial-like ads which featured retarded mid westerners and left coasties gushing about how much they loved the test-ownership of a tricked out brand new Ford, oppose to driving their rusting shit box to work every day.

The original piece was complimented by a youtube.com video of the offending commercial, but the fact checkers and the editorial staff couldn’t find it at press time. Instead, use your memory and/or imagination.

Congrats on the truck Jim. -ed.

The Ford Motor Company thinks you’re an idiot.

I take notice when I see a brand new Ford F-150, in black, rolling up behind me at a stop sign or on the highway or whatever. It’s a mean looking truck with a big grille. I’m actually kinda surprised that Michael Bay didn’t use one in his Transformers film.

Oh that’s right, GM footed the bill.

Anyway, Ford is kicking a whole lot of ass in the automobile manufacturing thing. Granted, they don’t make their vehicles in the United States anymore, and well, there was that whole “Explorer Roll Over” thing from a few years ago but for the most part, their product design and marketing is smoking the competition.

That was, until I saw their latest series of television ads.

Instead of explaining the ads to you, let me break down the meeting between the ad exec and the CEO of Ford Motor Company:

“Ok, we got this whole new approach to our advertisements in the first quarter,” says the ad exec.

“I’d love to hear it.” Says the CEO.

“Ok, what’s better than a customer testimonial?”

“I don’t know, customer testimonials are pretty solid,”

“I know, but what if we could get non-Ford owners to say how much they love our cars, without them actually buying one?”

“My god, how could we pull off such a feat?”

“Well, we’ll track down some ‘average Americans’, the shittier their car the better. If they drive a GM or a Toyota, even better! We’ll lend them one of our brand new, top of the line automobiles for a week. I’m talking the best editions, with the in-dash video screens and leather interiors. You know, the 60K models.”

“I think I see where you’re going with this, but go on…”

“We’ll lend them these cars, then take them back and then have them look into a camera and say how much they enjoyed the ‘Ford Experience.’ It’s fool proof.”

“You’re right, American buyers will eat it up, because they’re idiots. They’ll never realize that we’ve taken someone’s shitty, horrible, takes-three-good-hard-turns-of-the-key-to-start cars, with the paint peeling off of them, and replaced it with a brand new 2008 model of one of our pricier models. This is genius!”

So there, Ford thinks Americans are idiots. I mean, who else could possibly be hypnotized by some ‘average Americans’ thinking that a brand-new Ford is vastly superior to a GM that’s 15 years older?

I enjoy the ride in a Ford, and I’ve had far too many bad experiences with GM vehicles to have much faith in them much longer. But still, if the Ford Motor Company really wants to sell more cars, I would recommend to them that they starting treating their perspective customers as more than complete imbeciles.

August 13, 2008 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You | , , , , | Leave a comment