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Why Being Late for a Wedding Can be a Good Thing

There was that air of tension for a brief second where I knew, before she even said it, that we were going to have to turn around.

My wife Ang and I were on our way to my Cousin Jaime’s wedding in Maine this past weekend.  I’d been at a training school for work all week and on Friday after school we took off to Maine.  Everything was fine.

But sometime during the night, when the temperatures in Southern Maine dropped down below zero, Ang’s Prius decided to do what any wild beast would do in those temperatures a have a fucking stroke.  The next morning, the (thankfully) less expensive of the two Prius’s batteries had shit the bed.  We found this out half-way to the wedding.

First off, a compliant:  Who the hell has a late-morning wedding?  When I woke up that morning, obviously not knowing what time the wedding was, I called Jaime’s father Uncle John (she probably refers to him as “dad” but…) to ask what time the wedding was.  I was shocked that at 9 in the morning he told me it was at “eleven, but you might want to get there at 1030ish”.  Damnit!

So we rushed, got showered and dressed at my mom’s house a few towns over and took off.  We were halfway there when I realized I didn’t have any dashboard read out.

If you’ve never piloted a Prius before, it’s all digital read outs on the dash.  No dials.  At first I thought I had the little dimmer switch turned down for some reason, but that wasn’t it.  Then I thought it might’ve been an optical illusion produced by my polarized sunglasses and the sun or something, and when I pulled my shades down, all I saw was black.

The car was still running though, and we pulled over to the side of Main Street to see if it was something we could fix if we just turned the car off and back on again.  I pushed the ignition button and got no response.  Queue panic from my wife.

God bless her, but if anything happens to her car she wigs out.  So now it’s all tense, we need to be at this wedding, very little time to spare and Ang says “turn back to your mother’s.”

Fuck!

We get back and, knowing nothing about cars, let alone Hybrids, I start googling “Prius + Problems + Cold Weather” and get a bunch of Toyota forums about people in high altitude/cold weather areas having significant ignition and battery problems with their Priuses(i?)

Ang takes the more direct approach and calls the dealership from where she bought the car directly.  After a few minutes of on-the-phone diagnostics, we discover that one of the two batteries the Prius runs on is likely dead or close to it.  We need to get to a dealership, stat, to replace said battery.

So about ten minutes going the opposite direction, we get to a dealership and all is taken care of.  By the time we’re back on the road, the ceremony is definitely over.  We can still make the reception, which I guess is at the same place as the wedding.

At this point, I should tell you about the funny feeling I get when I have to deal with my extended family.

Things have always been a little awkward with my dad’s side of the family, even from when I was a kid.  I don’t really understand why this is, and I simply accept it.  The family is large and I hardly know any of my relatives except the “cool ones” who have achieved this status either by showing some signs of kindness towards me or just by giving me butt-loads of cash during the holidays.  Whenever I come around, I feel like I have nothing to say, and things suddenly become very awkward.  Instantly, the tough-talking, ass-kicking, moderately successful man with the swagger of a guy who gets paid to knock people out is diminished to that clumsy, mush-mouthed 13 year old from fifteen years ago any time my Aunt Peggy comes around.  I can’t explain it.

We pull up to the reception hall and I’m instantly relieved that I listened to my wife’s advice and didn’t wear my three piece suit to this thing, and instead opted for a cashmere sweater and slacks: nearly everyone was in denim and sweatshirts, save a few adults who managed to put on some business-casual button-down shirts.  The only ties were being worn by members of the groom’s wedding party; they were dressed in rental black and red three pieces and looked more Ska band than Groomsmen.

Likewise, bridesmaids were dressed in some sort of Katy Perry-like tube dresses and black lace fingerless gloves with red lace accents.  My cousin did look gorgeous in her white wedding gown, complete with a pair of black and white Ray-Ban Wayfarers.

Oh yeah, and everyone was shitfaced.

As soon as we walked in, I was greeted by the bulk of my extended family.  Hugs were had all around, our gift was taken from us, and slowly, like a spreading pool of blood, the awkwardness set in.

First I had to apologize about a million times for being late.  Next I had to explain why I was wearing hiking boots and not decent shoes (I had forgot to pack them) when nearly everyone else was in loafers at best, gym shoes at worst.  To compound things, the inevitably and albeit obligatory questions about my mother and father started to surface:

“Is your mom going to make it?”

“How’s your father?”

“What’s going on with them?”

These weren’t the usual questions asked out of absenteeism.  No, they knew exactly what’s going on with my mother and father and the nasty separation/divorce.  The know all about my father’s self-exile to some remote campground out in NH and my mother’s slipping sanity.  They just wanted the gossip.

“Oh, I see your mother all the time at the Shaw’s” one of my aunt’s said.  “Awesome?”  I say in return.  I mean, what else can I say?   Then Jaime finally made her way over.

Blitzed, she punched me in the chest and with thick tongue said “you missed the wedding, ass.”  I felt about >< this tall.

To make matters worse, her younger brother Josh, whom I haven’t seen in YEARS swings by and gives me a hug.  I don’t recognize him and it’s not until later that Ang points him out to me.  Again, I feel about as tall as my boot laces.

We eventually sit with a pair of watered down beers at a table away from my family.  Joining us is a remote friend of Jaime’s whom she used to work with, and her husband Greg.  The woman (I can’t remember her name) came across like Sarah Palin (she disclosed that she went as Palin for Halloween this past year) only drunk.  Both couples had a lot in common and I could see Ang and I becoming this couple in roughly five years.  I kinda wish now I had gotten their contact info.  They were cool.

After nursing our one beer each (we had no cash for tipping at the open bar, and I felt like a shitheel for not tipping on the two watered down Natty-Ice’s) and eating some finger food, we left, promising we’d see everyone at the “after-party.”  Obviously, we didn’t intend to be at the after party.

The more distance I put us between my family the better I felt.  I knew the night before this wedding wasn’t something I wanted to really be a part of, but out of love for my cousin, who I treat more like a distant sister, I manned up.  For forty minutes.

In the end, being late for the wedding should’ve come across as some sort of omen; being late should’ve told us to phone it in, send out the gift via certified first class mail and send a heart-felt apology letter.  It would’ve been easier on my psyche.

January 31, 2010 Posted by | Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate, People I Love, Shameless Self Promotion, Those Crazy Politicians | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Highway to Hell

If such a crayon existed called “Surprised” you could take it out of the box, stick it into that sharpener on the backside, and then color me with it once I found out that my commute didn’t make the top 75 Worst Commutes in America, according to The Daily Beast

Of course, anyone and everyone who commutes to and from work tends to think theirs is the worst commute imaginable.  That is, unless of course you either A) are flown by private jet everywhere you go, or B) move through a secret tunnel system, utilizing not-yet-known underground tube technology ala Dick Cheney.

It’s relative, is what I’m saying.

But my commute, in all honesty, is balls.  First, if you take a look at the list, there’s some real imaginable nightmares in the top few.  I’ve been on the Hollywood Freeway out in LA and I recognize a total clusterfuck when I see one, as well as the SE X’way just outside of Boston (one of two systems that got mentioned on the list which were from New England, the other being in RI).  Boston, famous for it’s ‘Big Dig’ from the 70s through the 90s, is well known to be a maze of on and off ramps, ever changing exit numbers, and confusing instructions for your exit mounted on overhead signage planted a mere 400 meters from the exit in question.

But the point I want to make here is that RT 6 on Cape Cod should’ve made this list of the top 75.  If you’ve never had the joy (read: bleeding face-feeling) of having to navigate the main artery of Cape Cod let me break it down for you:

There’s only three real ways to get from point A to B on Cape Cod: US RT 6, 6A (which is the old RT 6) and RT 28.  Route 6 is the traditional highway which in places splits into four lanes (two each way) but for the most part is two lanes (one each way) divided by some pithy plastic sticks.  Route 6 is so nicknamed “Suicide Alley” by the people who are forced to use it on a daily basis, because of the high average of fatalities found on it.  Read the local paper and you’ll see that at least once a day there’s a major crash in or around RT 6.

6A and 28 are clogged, serpentine alternatives lined with shops, stores and in the case of Dennisport, a small village along the southern mid-coast of Cape Cod; a dilapidated shantytown of boarded up stores and child molesters.  In the summers, these two routes are largely parking lot death traps as you’ll be cruising at 40 mph and be forced to slam on your breaks as the doofus with Jersey tags in front of you is stopping suddenly to pull into one of the ten thousand fried seafood and soft serve ice cream stands you’ll find littered up and down both routes.

Fall provides a slight reprieve from the summer time buffoonery of the Off-Codders and tourists who flood the main corridor trying to get to beaches and t shirt stores and otherwise clog up your commute.  However, like a stay of execution, the reprieve is short lived because when the foliage starts to change from the lush greens to the brake light red, traffic cone orange and construction worker vest yellow of the Fall season, the cars with the funny license plates return to make a ten minute drive across town into a half hour mind bender where thoughts from homicide to suicide race through a motorists head.

Winter is no picnic either, as Massachusetts as a whole refuses to salt their roadways, and instead use sand which contain fist-sized boulders within.  As you drive thirty or forty feet behind someone, expect to see cracks and pits in your windshield developing as rocks pelt your vehicle like small arms fire in the narrow streets of Baghdad.

Also, they don’t really “plow” on Cape.  They kinda “scrape” the top layer of shit off the roadways, leaving this packed bullshit snow over the roads which are completely impassable in anything less than four wheel drive/tank treads.

When the roads are clear, unless you’re driving really early in the morning (this is me, fortunately, on my way into my office) or really late at night, expect to be caught behind some nutsack holding the throttle steady at exactly five miles under the speed limit for the next twenty miles.  This ballbag will be utterly oblivious to the growing train of cars piloted by pissed off denizens of Cape Cod forming behind him/her, and will refuse to pull over to the side to let people by.  And forget waiting to pass them on a broken yellow line, as every opportunity to do so will be thwarted by on-coming traffic.

This, and the fact that drivers on Cape Cod have a habit of not paying attention to dick, is why I got rid of my motorcycle last Fall.

According to Google, I live 38 minutes from my office.  I suspect Google Maps gets that number assuming I’m doing about 50 mph and sprinkling in the occasional stop sign or red light.  In relation to this information, it’s not entirely inaccurate for this time of year.  Though, come summer time, I can expect my commute, mid-day (when I’d normally be coming home) to be triple to quadruple that amount of time, just based off of the congestion of traffic alone.  If there’s some asinine parade going on in town or the Fourth of July weekend, I can expect to get home faster if I hoof it.

And out of everyone at my office, I live third closest… we’ve got guys who travel from well over 100 miles away who work here.

January 22, 2010 Posted by | Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About | , , , | 1 Comment

TidBits: Media Over-Hype Edition

Gate Crashers:

By now you’ve heard the story about The Salahis, the eager-to-be-famous gate crashers that seemingly waltzed into President Obama’s first “State Dinner” (quotes are for the fact it wasn’t ‘really’ a State Dinner.  State Dinner’s are characterized as being with other heads of state, and this dinner was attended by India’s Prime Minister, who is the head of India’s Government, but not the head of the country) uninvited.

The obvious twist in the panties comes from the (lack of) security that was breached by two witless faux-celebrity wannabes.  Pictures of the couple appeared shortly after the ceremony on their Facebook page, which begs to ask the question: What is a couple roughly my boss’s age doing with a Facebook page?  Do they stalk their high school-aged kids?

But the real head scratcher in all of this is why people, the media and politicians especially, are getting mad at the Salahis’ and not that government entity called THE SECRET SERVICE?

Since writing this, three Secret Service agents have been placed on administrative leave until findings in the lapse in security can be properly investigated, but law makers, who love a good sturdy soap box to stand on and yell into the hills from, want to place blame on both The Salahis and the president’s Social Events Secretary.

That’s like blaming the bank teller for a robbery when the security guard is fast asleep on his stool.

Hey Washington DC, yeah it’s fucked up that these two spray tanners were able to get inside the holy of holies with little more than a clever anecdote and cleavage, but don’t blame them, and don’t call for the head of some la-di-da department secretary whose sole purpose is to plan meet and greets for Mrs. Obama and the kids.  Blame the people responsible, the guys with the ear pieces, guns and black suits, whose job is to ensure fame seeking whack jobs don’t get pictures with the President and post them all over the goddamn Facebook.

Tiger Woods:

Please leave this poor multi-national bastard alone.

I don’t condone what he’s apparently done; I would never cheat on my super model wife.  Men do stupid things and though I could come up with many reasons on why he probably did what he did, I won’t.  It’s just bad voodoo and an inevitable argument with my wife when she reads this.

But let’s not forget that Tiger is a person.  Up until now he was a very private person who wasn’t the type of celebrity athlete that shows up in the pages of People or US magazine.  He’s a winner and he’s human, fucking A.

He did break the boundaries of privacy when he crashed his SUV into a tree in front of their house, obviously fleeing a psychotic wife wielding one of his golf clubs that probably costs more than my yearly salary.  He brought that shit on himself, but damn, can’t you give him a break?

Stop demonizing him, I ask.  Plenty of celebrity athletes have done dumber shit and we’ve all gone on to pretty much forget about it, unless of course you’re Pete Rose (better luck next year, coach!).  Stop playing it up like Tiger will never be the same guy ever again, or his career will suffer.  Gatorade and fucking Nike have both stated they were going to stick by Tiger no matter what, and AT&T (whom I wasn’t aware sponsored him…) has released a ‘no comment’ comment.

I can see GM pulling out under obvious reasons, though.

Adam Lambert:

If you were like the rest of America, you missed the American Music Awards, the also-ran of musical award shows that places somewhere distant behind the VMAs, Grammys, and Country Music Awards.

Though, if you had passed by while flipping from reruns of ‘The Office’ and that shitty sitcom with that guy from ‘Everyone Loves Raymond’ … you know, the guy, the tall guy?  I think he was a cop?  That guy.  Anyway, if you were like most Americans, you had no idea who Adam Lambert was until the morning after the AMAs.

Adam Lambert was a RUNNER UP in American Idol like, last year.  He’s also come out and said he’s real gay, which is not surprising in the least.  He recently released an album which could easily be confused with a Sheila Eastan LP from 1991.

The controversy started when during the AMA’s, Lambert mocked fellatio with a fellow band mate, who happened to be of the same sex (a dude), while making out with another band mate of the same sex (…also a dude) while tromping around the stage like an awesomely flamboyant peacock.  This got him tossed from the next morning’s Good Morning America appearance, where he was scheduled to sing to school kids on an outside stage, while no one wondered why these kids weren’t in school.

Mr. Lambert likes to claim that he’s being ostracized because he’s gay, and as a gay guy he’s not entitled to performing the same lewd semi-sexual acts that straight musicians are afforded while performing.  He’s quick to point out that many famous acts have been allowed to simulate straight (see also: chick-on-dude) fellatio, but as soon as a gay dude does it, it’s ‘disgusting.’

Elton John is rolling over in his still warm grave….

Adam Lambert, you miss the point: People aren’t outraged that you thrust your crotch into another dude’s face in front of a live audience which was broadcasted into dozens of homes, no, that’s not the controversy.  If you want to flaunt how gay you are, and make it seem like it’s cooler than the next Harold and Kumar movie, that’s fine, because gay people have been doing that shit since the early 1980s.

What we’re really pissed about is your lack of talent.  Dude, you suck.  Your voice sucks, your music sucks, your production sucks, you suck, suck, suck.  The irony that you think people are upset at you for ‘sucking’ is enough to make me pop a stitch.

The next time you tour, please bring along that monotone celestial that sings the Ricky Martin songs.  You know the guy, he’s released two more albums than you?

December 7, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, People I Hate, Why Am I Watching This?, World Wide Events | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Driving Doesn’t Suck, You’re Just a Shitty Passenger.

My wife tends to think that my driving is the product of a one night stand where the devil failed to pull out of a 1980 El Camino, which he was slapping while fucking doggystyle.

Now that you’ve surely digested that bit of mental imagery, I’m here to say that my driving doesn’t suck; I’m actually a very good, well-trained coxswain of the highway.

Let’s look past how I barely passed my MCJA EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operators Course) with an 80, the lowest passing score, on my second of only two tries.  If those parking cones had really been children, I’m sure most of them would have jumped out of the way.

The car had sirens for a reason, people.

But no, let’s analyze my driving right now:  The faults I have are numerous; however I make up for it by being attuned to what’s going on around me.  My wife will be quick to point out that I miss things while driving, like apparently a giant rock that hit her windshield while we were driving out to Niagara a short while back.

I didn’t even hear this “rock” hit the windshield.  If it was so big, why didn’t I hear it, huh?

She’ll also be quick to point out that I miss other things, like objects on the side of the road.  Mind you, they’re usually on the passenger’s side of the road, and if I noticed them, I likely would miss the toll booths we’d be racing towards at 80 mph and the dithering toll collector crossing between the booths.

My wife’s driving is terrible, far worse than mine, not for lack of skill, but for lack of concentration.  Often she’s fiddling with something, like the car’s AC,

or her phone,

or her phone charger,

or her Altoids,

or her cup of coffee,

or trying to fill out a bank slip long before we’re even at the bank

or glancing at “interesting” shit on the side of the road, and will miss an exit.  This, and the fear of being killed while I’m asleep, means that I stay bolt upright and awake during all of our travels where she drives.

Hence, why 4/5s the time I’m usually the one in the driver’s seat.

Yes I drive “hard”; I speed, tailgate, get agitated with slower moving traffic, and often cuss under my breath at the unbelievable bullshit I see while operating on a motorway.  I see Barbie texting like crazy, while diddling the radio knob.  I see Ken eating a goddamn cheeseburger and steering with his knee.  I see Old Man Smithers jacking it to a yellowed copy of Hustler from 9 years ago.

I said it was unbelievable bullshit.

So what if I check Google Maps from my phone to ensure we’re going the right way (which is what I was doing in the photo from her article)?  So what if I nudge into traffic with the gentleness of a PCP snorting elephant?  So what if I cut through a DO NOT ENTER and travel a quarter mile down a one way street at night with my lights off while fumbling around with a loaded pistol?

I’m not hurting anyone.

I refuse to admit that I’m a ‘bad driver’ only because I try really hard not to text and drive…. It’s only because with an iPhone it’s next to impossible to text and drive and have anything come out that’s remotely coherent.  It’s just easier to make an actual phone call.

And on farting?  I crack the window an inch to create greater suction.  There’s a scientific name for it, but I can’t remember it.  But keep in mind, I’m not going to crank down the windows to air out my shitty smelling farts; no that would only trap the fart in the back of the car with the dog, beating it senseless (the fart), confusing it, not letting it escape until some sort of cellular dispersion occurred and all the shit crystals spread far enough away from each other so you wouldn’t be overpowered by the stench.  No, a small, one inch crack in the window will sufficiently suck the offensive, strict-protein-diet-fueled gasses out and put them on the street with everything else that smells: Trash, Hookers and The Mets.

And while I’m driving the bus, let me tell you this:  My wife farted on me once.  We were in bed, she thought I was fast asleep, she had her legs up over mine, and she let out a little tooter.  Yes, a quiet little “toot” escaped her rear end.  The thing is, I wasn’t fast asleep, I was wide awake with my eyes closed.  So when I opened them to make her face the shame of her crime, she quickly snapped her eyes shut to pretend that she had been sleeping all along.  So I just stared at her until she tried to crack one of her eyes back open to see if I noticed her little fanny burp.

I was staring directly at her, with a cold expression on my face that was something caught between betrayal and hatred.

Yeah, talk some shit about my driving.  See if I don’t put you on blast for being gassy.  That’s how I do.

November 23, 2009 Posted by | Blogging Couple, Out and About, Shameless Self Promotion, Smells Like Children | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fuck It, Let It Ride (With Edits, However)

A slightly edited version of the earlier article.

Given where I live, I spend about 65% of my time on the road, either commuting or running errands.  Since moving to Cape Cod about two years ago, I’ve learned to hate driving, begun to detest riding my motorcycle, and have found that I have “rage triggers” when I’m stuck in traffic.

So I decided to write this article, breaking down my rage as to better understand it.  Each of the following sections will detail exactly how I feel at that given moment, as this piece was written largely in my head, while behind the wheel of my truck as I operated it like I was maneuvering a one ton black bomb on four wheels.

Section One:  Traffic.

traffic

Until I moved to Cape Cod I had never experienced the level of fucking traffic I’ve witnessed on this miserable tourist trap of an island, and this is someone who lived in NYC for three years.  It seems that during the summer tourist months people will come from all over the country to just sit in traffic from the Bourne Bridge to Provincetown.  “Hey kids, let’s go spend a blistering week this summer in our car, packed tighter than inmate’s shit and stare at NOTHING while we drive from one end of Cape Cod to the other!”  Why else would these people come out here?  It’s can’t be because of the beaches, because they suck and are over crowded when they are in fact open (thanks to a species of endangered bird, beaches on Cape are closed for half the summer).

So all these people come out and clog up the major arteries to get around Cape Cod.  What usually is a ten minute drive to the super market a few towns over takes three times as long because there’s just so much traffic to contend with.  Compounding things is that most of these jag offs want to turn left while driving down our one highway, causing a huge log jam of traffic.  The other tourists in the opposite lane won’t yield to let the turner make his turn because they have places they want to get to and can’t be bothered, leading me to lean out of my truck’s open window and hurl a fruit smoothie at someone’s windshield.

Section Two:  Other Drivers.

102_road_rage

As stated above, the mass of population I tend to deal with are out of staters here on vacation.  Like any vacationing sheep, they pack just about everything except their god given common sense.  Hey asshole, how about looking behind you when you back up, and I mean actually looking over your shoulder and not relying solely on your mirrors?  Or if I’m out for a run (I know I’m not behind the wheel of a car at that moment but it relates, just go with it) how about you don’t just pull out blindly from a side street?  Nearly getting fucking T Boned when I’m out minding my own business and trying to avoid you at all costs kinda puts a damper on my spirits.

Also, thanks for flying that “stay the fuck out of my way” flag on your rear view mirror.  Be it a handicap or camp ground parking placard, seeing something dangling from your rear view mirror tells me that you require wide birth because either you’re actually handicapped and shouldn’t be allowed to operate a motor vehicle but we feel bad for you, so here’s a set of keys, go wild, or you’re a fucking tourist staying at a camp ground and have no clue what you’re doing or where you’re going.  Either way, I know to stay the hell away from you.

One more thing about the camp ground placard:  The camp ground placard is also a swell indicator that the operator of the vehicle will likely slam on their brakes at any moment and try to make an abrupt left handed turn into traffic to take his tourist brood to either an ice cream shop, fried seafood restaurant, some gaudy eye-sore of an inflatable knick-knack/t shirt store, or yard sale.  The placard may as well just read “Caution;  Stay Back 500 Feet.”

Section Three:  Parking

103

If there’s anything on Cape Cod that’s an overpriced commodity, it’s real estate.  And at an even higher premium is a parking space.

To wit:  My wife bought a town parking pass to use for when she has to go to work.  This pass is supposedly designed for the purpose of people who work/live in town to be able to park at a reasonably close distance to their places of employment.  However, in practice, this is not the case at all.

On numerous occasions she’s had to double back to our apartment and have me drive her back out to work and drop her off and pick her up because the lot she’s supposed to park in is full.  Now, either the town sold too many passes (at 135 dollars a piece!) or people are just saying “fuck it” and are taking the 20 dollar hit on a parking ticket for illegally parking in the lot which they’ll never pay because they’re out of state residence.  Regardless, it’s a huge pain in our asses.

Also, again, getting back to the whole tourism thing, tourists out here tend to think they can park where ever they want, whenever they want, regardless of people’s feelings or intentions.  We, Ang and I, were going to do some laundry.  We had parked her car in the lot next to our apartment, all the way at the end, so the car would be out of everyone’s way.  It was mid day, the lot was about a third full.

We’re walking down the lot, carrying laundry baskets, detergent, quarters, etc, and we both get that weird sensation that we’re being followed.  So we both turn and there’s this champagne-colored Mercedes with Florida plates slowly rolling behind us.  Behind the wheel is some middle aged self-righteous She-Bitch in a big hat and sunglasses.

She waits for us to get to our car, load our laundry, get in and start the car.  She then proceeds to block us in by taking the spot next to us, making it impossible for us to pull out smoothly, resulting in me having to “shimmy” out of the spot.

Enraged by this cuntbag tourist’s selfish actions, I put the window down on my wife’s Honda and yell out “there’s like a million other spots you could’ve taken!”

From behind her cell phone she calls back “but none of them were in the shade, thank you!”

Thank you?  Was she thanking me for my comment, this arrogant bitch?  I was livid, to the point of wanting to drive directly to the nearest hardware store, purchase a spade, and proceed to bludgeon and dismember this audacious bitch into pieces to be eaten by seagulls.  I couldn’t believe her.

I should’ve rammed Ang’s shitty little Honda into the rear quarter of this old cock dumpster’s Merc, and shouted “THANK YOU!” over and over again.

I would’ve rammed her cell phone down her throat and kicked in her stomach until I dialed Tokyo.

Section Four:  Pedestrians.

pedestrians

Is it me, or do people generally think they have a magic force field around them as soon as they enter a cross walk?

Shortly after the vaginal swab of a tourist blocked us in, we were driving down our main drag when some beer delivery man decided to step out from behind the front of a parked truck, on a crosswalk, without looking to check for traffic, pushing his dolly in front of him.

I hit the brakes hard and let out an audible “YO!” with our windows down.  The dickbag with the hand cart turns over his shoulder at me and says “state law!” and keeps on pushing.

Yes, it is in fact a state law to stop for pedestrians crossing in a crosswalk, very good sir.  But that same state law will not mend your broken legs and hip when you get struck by a car because you failed to uphold your end of the bargain by stepping out into a busy street without looking.

You can claim “state law” all you like as a matter of fact, because when the state police’s accident reconstruction team arrive and release their findings on the collision, they’ll determine I was driving maybe 20 mph and see that you failed to look both ways when crossing a street, the first lesson we as people learn shortly after managing to tie our own fucking shoes.

Left, right, and left again, dildo-licker.

I have all the respect in the world too, for beer delivery people.  It’s a tough job and they truly are some of America’s unsung heroes.  So it sucks that one of you guys has to be a sandy tampon about crossing a street.

Part two of this section:  GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY.

growling_dog

I understand that this certain street by where I work is a thoroughfare of just.., bizarre shit and that you’re all on vacation from your jobs as doctors and teachers and who knows what else, and you’re all having a gay ol’ time, I get it.  However, you’re walking down the middle of a fucking street, dude, where there’s actual traffic, slow moving I know, but it’s still traffic.  We, in the big objects on four wheels known as “cars” can’t fucking get down the street if you and your Abercrombie and Fitch model friends are blocking it up by walking down the middle of it eight abreast, blowing bubbles, slowly riding a bicycle, walking your poof ball little dog, or doing one handed push ups in tiny briefs (for real, not an embellishment).

I have a job I need to get to, and my office is at the tail end of this street.  It takes me almost half an hour to go one mile some times, from the hardware store to my front gate.  If I tap my horn, and I say “tap” because that’s what it is, a friendly “get out of my way please I’m driving here” and not a long, boorish blast that says “hey fucknuts, get the fuck out of the middle of the road or I’m going to dropkick you off the top rope” do not turn your head over your shoulder and give me some bitchy/sassy fucking look like I’m the one who’s fucking up YOUR day.  Just scamper out of my way, that’s all you have to do.  Do not argue with me, because sir, or ma’am or whatever, I am encased in an air conditioned almost-sound proof chamber and can’t hear your bitchy effeminate whining.

Section Five:  The Radio.

Retro Radio DJ

Here’s a sampling of the songs that were playing on my presets as I was writing this article out in my head:  Station 1: Smashmouth “All Star”, Station 2: that one song by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.  Station 3:  Some generic Led Zeppelin song.  Station 4:  Some generic song by Papa Roach.  Station Five:  NPR’s Fresh Air, but the topic was something obscure and boring, probably to do with some artist I’m unfamiliar with.  Station 6:  WEEI, sports talk radio, which I think is just a cover for their conservative media agenda, so I don’t really listen to it.

I don’t know about where you live, but here on Cape, the radio is fucking trash.  Until my truck was broken into a year ago, I used to listen to my iPod through an FM tuner.  Most mornings on my commute I listen to NPR, unless it’s something boring, as stated, or if it’s The Diane Ream Show, which makes me want to snort a line of chalk and sit down upon the Seattle Space Needle, bare ass.

Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with all the shit I’ve already listed, and then having to fiddle with your pre sets in the car, to find one station out of six that’s playing A) music, and B) something worth listening to.  I love Led Zeppelin, but it doesn’t have to be the only thing the stations around here play, because honestly, I think that’s the only album some of these stations have.  I will guarantee you right now, if I were to flip on the radio in the other room, I could get a Zep song, any Zep song, right now.

YOU’RE RUINING LED ZEPPELIN FOR ME PIXY 102.9!!
I’d shell out for satellite radio, but it seems overly costly for something I can get for free, that’s only really giving me more options.  Instead of 6 channels to choose from, now I have 600, but like that old Bruce Springsteen song goes “150 channels and not a damn thing on” or something like that.

I slam the buttons on the presets so often that I’m actually starting to wear away the numbered decals a little.  And if it isn’t music that’s being played, it’s some god awful local business advertisement, usually a used car lot.

“Come on down to Jeff’s Subaru, where we’ll give you honest prices from honest guys.  Hell, we’ll even throw in a fifty dollar gas card for just taking a test drive!” and so on.  Or the staged interview with the lot’s owner, dispelling some sort of rumor that he has a “private connection” with the factories in Detroit.

Dickhead, Detroit doesn’t make cars anymore, they’re all made in Canada now, get a clue.

I don’t know how to conclude this article, so I’m just going to say this:  People, next summer, just stay the fuck home.  Do me a favor, and don’t come out here, don’t spend your money on an overrated tourist trap, don’t waste your time bullshitting yourself that Cape Cod is a magical place to spend a week or two.  Sell your condo, time share, cottage, and get the fuck out of here.

I’m selling my motorcycle because of you.  Do you know what that means?  Let me put it another way:  I’m 27 years old, and I’m going gray because I get so stressed out behind the wheel.  Just stay home, if not for me, do it for your kids.  Because next summer if I see them lollygagging in the middle of a road I’m trying to transverse, I’ll fucking eat them.  I’ll kick them each in the balls so they can understand the pain I feel.

I fucking promise you.

August 22, 2009 Posted by | Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Buy My Motorcycle

Really, come and buy it.  Here’s the ad I’m currently running on craigslist.org along with some pictures.

I could write long lines of curses about what it’s like to try to sell something on craigslist, and I wouldn’t be charting into unfamiliar waters, as my Hokie has already done an article on the frustrations of dealing with people on a free forum.  Needless to say, I’ve had a lot of fucking tire kickers, and it’s getting to the point where I’m likely to start responding to emails with “stop wasting my fucking time.”

It’s not an easy decision to just up and sell my bike, especially after the huge fuss I made about getting it out of storage in Maine to get it down here on Cape.  I’ve ridden once since I’ve had it down here, and that’s all it took to jog my memory about how much I can’t stand riding a motorcycle down here on this god-forsaken hook-shaped island.

I’ll give you the same analogy that I gave Ang when she asked me why I hadn’t been riding:  It’s like dating someone for about a year, but during that relationship you discover all their problems and are somewhat forced to put up with them.  You spend a little money, hoping to correct those problems, but in the end, you just part ways as winter comes along.

But as time goes by you get to thinking about them again, and as the seasons change, you forget about all the crap you had to put up with and start to miss them.  Next thing you know, you’re anxious to hang out again.  …Until you do, and remember all the bullshit you put up with last year and wonder why you’d get pulled back into this mess again.

See what I’m saying?

I love riding, but just not on Cape Cod and not on that bike in particular.  It’s a great bike, very fast, but it’s heavy and it’s designed to travel over great distances without a lot of hard cornering, since it’s some-what top heavy.  It’s old too, 12 years old, and has a lot of miles on it (the previous owner rode it out to California, twice.), and I’m certain the last time my dad rode it, he filled the tank with regular gas, and not the premium like you’re supposed to, making the bike run like shit.

I love the freedom of riding, the wind beating against you, the weaving around traffic, the higher speeds, everything.  But here on Cape you spend about 95% of your time during riding season (which is from just about May til October, maybe November) sitting in traffic behind a van full of tourists with children clutching foam pool noodles and making obnoxious faces at you.  I basically walk my bike from Point A to Point B.

It’s also a tad more dangerous riding out here, which takes a lot of getting used to.  People who come to Cape Cod have their heads so far planted up their asses because they’re on vacation that they aren’t paying attention to what’s going on around them.  How many times have I nearly been hit at an intersection, run off the road because the guy failed to yield, or nearly run into someone because they slammed on their brakes to make a left handed turn into some fucking road side fried seafood restaurant when there’s another one the next mile down?  Too many times.

It’s bad enough I’m riding a rocket on two wheels with little in the way of protection other than a helmet, kevlar jacket and a gun, but add into the fact that idiots driving SUVs distractedly, tapping away at GPS screens or phones or screaming at their kids, only adds to the chances that I’m going to become a stain in the road.

To compound things, my job is rolling out with a new regulation that all employees are going to be mandated to take a “special class” on riding safety.  The class is like 400 bucks, unless you want to travel down to Connecticut on your own time and money, spend a night in a motel, and take the two day “riding class” for free.

No thanks.  I took my riding class, I got my MSF card, I spent 300 bucks already.  I’m not taking this extra class that’s only going to tell me what I already know and practice.

So yeah, I want to upgrade, even though I love my bike for all of it’s faults and aggravations (being stuck on the side of a road for four hours waiting on a tow last summer, ring any bells?) but I want an upgrade to something made in this century.  For next summer at least.

July 30, 2009 Posted by | Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate, Shameless Self Promotion | , , , | 1 Comment

When There’s No Whiskey in The House, One Writes.

I hate to bury my previous post with something so asinine as this post, which as you read you’ll learn is little more than me bitching about the usual things, which will include, and not be limited to, traffic, other people, and random people’s lack of empathy towards me, unbeknownst to them.

I hate to bury my previous post with this post because my previous post was really good.  Enough to float my numbers back to their regular levels after a lag over the last few days.

But alas, there’s no booze in the house and I just might pop if I don’t release this bullshit that’s sitting heavy on my chest.  My other post will have to suffer for it, but it’s ok; I turn out a stirring, visceral, passion-filled article at least three or four times a month, so… I’ll get over it.

And so will you.

I only get so much time off from work, and since getting back from staycation, it seems that I can’t get enough time away from that dismal, morale-depleting place.  In my previous life, as a cop, when I would take breaks from the job, a few days would go by and I’d be itching to go back and get in the game.  This wasn’t the case over the two and a half weeks I took off from my current job.  I didn’t think about that place one second.  And low and behold, when it was time to go back, I reverted to the 11 year old version of myself and felt as if I was going back to school after a weekend that went by all too quick.

So, with that established, I don’t even remember what I did yesterday at all.  I think I took a nap.  Today, I spent it back in Boston, escorting The Lady to another doctor’s appointment.

Now, let me say right now that I do not mind taking her into the wretched, stinking, ball-sweat factory that makes up inner Boston.  I’d rather go with her than her go alone.  I don’t mind making the trip into Boston via car without a GPS and only crudely vague Google Maps print offs in it’s place.  I don’t mind sitting in the waiting rooms mindlessly flipping through weeks old copies of Entertainment Weekly.  These are minor sacrifices that I CHOOSE to make out of the love, real love, I have for the woman that’s currently snoozing in our bedroom, wrapped up like a mummy in all the covers, because I’m too cheap to even THINK about snapping on the thermostat on this cold, wet New England night.

But the shit does stress me out.

I try really hard not to complain, even when it was close to three in the afternoon before I had a bite to eat.  I smiled and made good conversation, but things were eating away at me all day.  I prayed to god that I would make it out of Boston without killing someone out of their sheer stupidity, even if it was because they stepped off of a fucking sidewalk directly in front of Ang’s little red Accord.

The first few ticks of rage I was able to swallow came while I was patiently waiting for Ang to come out of the doctor’s office.  It was an appointment for her RA, so it was very important that she take as long as she needed in there.  But from about five minutes after she disappeared behind the door into the back where the doctor’s do their exams, to about five minutes before she would walk out (total elapsed time:  forty-five minutes) this rambling psychopath was babbling on and on about personal stories that no one gave a rats ass about.

I’m not talking “personal” like her menstruation’s are purple and there’s bugs in her ears, I’m talking about stories involving people we, the fellow waiters in the waiting room, knew nothing about, nor cared about.  Her brother who apparently works for the New York Yankees as an usher (this is where I tell you she was adorned, head to toe, in Boston Red Sox gear, probably her only saving grace from me beating her over the head with a full water jug), or how she gave the Cardinal of Boston a pair of red socks to wear to Yankee Stadium that one time, or her cousin who knew Johnny Damon before he left Boston to play for the Evil Empire, or how she accidentally bumped into Bill Lee outside of a bar back in 1998, or the time…

You get the picture.

I don’t consider myself outwardly rude.  I have my moments where I inadvertently come across as pompous and rude, but I don’t meaningfully do it.  But this was one of those times where I wanted to lean out from around the little wall I was tucked behind, and tell this woman to shut the fuck up, no one cares.

But then she was seen by someone, and shortly there after Ang resurfaced, and we boogied.

Aside from Ang’s driving, which my asshole has yet to unclench itself from, the trip wasn’t that bad.  We didn’t get lost, I didn’t kill or bludgeon anyone and aside from near starvation, we were no worse for wear.

When we got back into town, I decided I’d get an errand out of the way and stop off at the mall.  I had to pick up a drug test form to bring with me to some shitty little clinic a few towns over on Monday, in order to get a retail job.  I’m kinda offended that I have to be made to take (and of course pass) a drug test in order to sell fucking sunglasses to the masses, but with the economy the way it is, I’ll play ball.

So we pull into the mall parking lot, find a decent spot and I run in.  The store is fucking closed.

To whomever’s defense, it’s a one man operation and you’re in charge of thousands of dollars of merchandise in a small closest of a space next to an American Eagle and across from a fucking Chico’s (whatever that is).  So when you want to do something as simple as take a ten minute piss and stretch break, you have to close down shop.  Drop the metal gate, lock up and bounce.  I couldn’t wait for whenever this person was going to come back, so I had to walk back out of the mall and get back into the car.

“That was quick,” remarked The Lady.

“I know, they were closed,” I grumble and we take off.

Now that I spend the rest of the afternoon reading a book, whittling the rest of my free time down to nothing, I decide to head back out again.  It’s raining, dark out, and for some idiotic reason I decide to leave when everyone’s getting out of work, making traffic a fucking nightmare.

So what would normally take me ten minutes to get to the mall, takes twenty since there’s a nasty accident at a near by intersection that I had to drive around.  I get to the mall, pick up the paper work, and head off to the local super market.

Ang mentioned something about wanting to make some sausage omelets for dinner tonight, and I thought we needed milk, because we were out.  I figured why not make the omelets extra fancy by adding some diced peppers and onions too?  So to Shaw’s I went.

Traffic’s still being a bitch and I’m squirming in my seat, grinding my palms against the steering wheeling, twisting it back and forth as if I’m going to give it an Indian Sunburn, honking like an asshole at every slow-moving, or blinker-not-using dickhead with MA plates.  I finally get down to the Shaw’s (which is RIGHT down the road from the mall, yet took me ten minutes, fucking lights!), find a space up close, get out and walk towards the front door.  In my subconscious I always run my hand over the back of my ass towards the pocket I carry my wallet in to make sure I have it.

I didn’t have it.

My mind flashes to when we got home from the trip, I’m standing in front of our dresser, taking everything out of my pockets:  Wallet, phone, knife, gun, etc.  I yell out a short, cutting “FUCK” right by the door in front of a small troupe of girl scouts and march back to my truck in the rain.

Now I’m pissed.  I just drove all the way across town, in the rain, tired, wasted all that gas, for nothing.  FUCK FUCK FUCK me.  I can only be mad at myself.

And it sucks.

I pull in to our apartment, leave the truck running, use The Lady’s keys to get into our building (don’t ask why I had her keys too) march into our bedroom, grab my billfold off the dresser and jump the entire set of stairs back to my truck.

Fuck a fancy omelet, I’m just getting milk at the little corner packie.  I drive over, get the milk and Snickers to help calm me down a little and drive back home.

Exhausted, angry, frustrated with everyone, I hang up my leather jacket, unzip my hoodie and walk into the kitchen to put the milk away.  I open up the door and stare down at a half litre of fucking milk tucked in the door shelf.

I bend down and look at the expiration date on it.  It doesn’t expire til the 18th.

Goddamnit.

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Not Enough Time, Out and About, People I Hate, Shameless Self Promotion | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crosswalk/Sidewalk Etiquette

So the other night, me and The Lady were coming back from her mother’s house.  I was behind the wheel of her Accord and we were stopped at the lit intersection near by our apartment when we had a red light.  This isn’t too uncommon, because I seem to always get caught at this intersection, no matter what time of day.  This goes doubly so if I need to piss really bad.

Anyway, while sitting waiting for the light, I observed two middle aged white guys in ski parkas standing on the corner.  Just standing there.  And before it even happened, I knew exactly what scenario was going to unfold before us.  I even called it as we sat waiting for the light to change.

“I bet,” I start from the side of my mouth, “these two assholes step off the curb to cross in front of us just as soon we get the green light.”

I’ve never been so mad for being so right before.

Sure enough as soon as we got the green to go, these two idiot assholes step off the curb and meander in front of us, causing us to sit even longer.  Oh my god I was SO MAD!  It’s like, you had all this time to cross the street, why didn’t you do it then!  Why now?!  Are you high!?

It took every ounce of strength I had to not mash the gas pedal down to the floor and run them over in my girlfriend’s cherry coloured little economic sedan.

But this is not an isolate incident, no sir.  It seems no matter where I go, people have forgotten how to cross streets and walk on sidewalks.

People, sidewalks are not parks, where you can stroll and look up at the shapes of clouds.  They are a public way of transportation, where people not in automobiles travel to get from point A to point B.  All too often I’m seeing people just do about everything other than use the sidewalk for it’s intended purpose.

The sidewalk is not for your bicycle, skateboard, rollerblades, lemonade stand/other small business, Halal Meat Grill,  flyer distribution, kid’s playground, yard sale, or bootleg DVD market.  It’s the tiny bit of concrete that allows people to walk without running the risk of being run over by a Taurine snorting son of a bitch.

I don’t want to come across snooty by any means.  It’s just that from living in NYC, where the art of walking down a sidewalk is a survival skill set, has made me high strung in regards to bipedal travel.  In NYC, if you’re slow on the sidewalk, you’ll get stabbed and left for dead on the curb.  You’ll literally be run over by a pack of fast paced, A-Type assholes rushing to a business meeting.  It’s running of the bulls, only the bulls are wearing Thomas Ford suits and carrying Louis Vuitton suitcases.

So I’m doing this as a service to you, the dawdler, the shuffler, the window shopper.  Let me help you avoid getting a brick in the back of the skull from someone like me, who heedlessly rushes from place to place.

First off, just like on the road, the sidewalk has a traffic scheme.  Everyone travels to the right.  This means you don’t waddle around in the middle of the sidewalk like a big slow obstruction.  You stick to a side so that faster moving people can move around you.  Nothing drives me wilder than when some two-ton idiot is eating ice cream and ping-ponging across the width of the sidewalk, making it impossible for me to pass them.  It makes me want to slap your neck rolls.

Next, if it’s a narrower sidewalk and you’re with a group of friends, nothing says you HAVE to walk five abreast, in effect, creating a flesh barrier that no one can get around.  I know you and your gaggle love to pretend you’re all living in Sex and The City, but for the rest of us, you represent five bowling pins that are soon going to be knocked over.  Hard.

Please for the love of Christ, don’t suddenly decide you need to go back to your apartment or job and pull a fucking 180, because you’re going to nose plant directly into my chest or face and honestly, I probably won’t be paying attention enough to stop my forward momentum, causing us to headbutt and your teeth to be knocked out.

I have a very hard head.

When it comes to crossing streets, please, for the love of god and all his holy… things, use a crosswalk.  That’s what they’re there for.  Nothing makes me want to slit the throat of kittens faster than being in traffic and your making some other asshole stop because you’re running out from between two parked cars to cross the street.  And to the guy who’s stopping to let you jay walk?  If I don’t rear end you for your sudden brake mashing, I’ll probably get out of my car, tap on your driver’s side window, and then punch your jaw bone into dust.  If you see a motherfucker trying to cross the street, not on a crosswalk, and you stop?  I’m coming for your entire family.

So feel free to run that fucker over.

Also, if you’re deciding to cross the street ILLEGALLY, please, by all means, do so while wearing ear buds and text messaging someone, because even though the laws tell motorists that no matter what, the pedestrian has the right of way, this does not include the pedestrian lacking complete situational awareness.  The next time I see you crossing in front of the monster-like grille of my truck while you’re looking down into your phone and listening to the latest Miley Cyrus single, I’m probably going to bring you back to Earth by nudging the shit out of you with my front bumper.

And for the love of Pete, why the hell are you waiting to cross when you have the cross signal in your favor.  Take the two guys I mentioned earlier.  Why would you sit there, waiting, when you have the ability to cross, only to then realize you should be crossing after the signals have changed.  You’re an inconsiderate infected distended asshole, that’s why.  Maybe your mother should’ve stopped breast feeding you when you turned nine?  I don’t know, but it’s enough for me to want to burn down your house in the middle of the night.

I have no problem stopping for someone on a crosswalk.  I actually encourage it.  But when you take the rules into your own hand, then you take your life into it as well.  And honestly, with all the bullshit I put up with on a day to day basis, I have no problem alleviating the burden in your hands when you decide to step out in front of me because you’re too lazy to walk the fourteen feet to the corner to cross.

I’m just sayin…

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate | , , , | 1 Comment

Update Num. 2: The Greek Weighs In…

So I finally get back home from the office and I have a shit-ton of shit to do.  Can you tell I’m somewhat fatigued by this point?  I’ve absolutely stopped trying to use actual words to describe things, and instead have just used shit patois.

Great.

So, first order of business as soon as I got done running some menial errands for The Lady on the way home (stop at her moms, pick up her eye glasses, stop at her sisters across the street, pick up her Mac) I stop off at the house, say hello, climb half naked into bed, become the Grocery Store Owl (‘Who’ told you to make me a list?), get dressed into dry clothes (might I mention it’s a fucking monsoon outdoors today?), drive around the block, drop The Lady off at work, drive around the block again, pick her up smokie-treats and a Dunks coffee for both of us, drive around the block again (fucking goddamn one-way Main St…) drop off items (except my coffee, of course), drive around the block FOR FUCKS SAKE AGAIN, to get to the post office to mail out some packages.

I’ve finally found a buyer for my crippled bike.  If you’re just joining us, the bike tends to just … die… after riding it for two or so miles.  I brought it to a local bike shop, where I was promptly put over a barrel and roughly fucked from behind with maybe just a smiggen of spit as lube.  In short, I was told that with parts and labour, the bike would be up and running ‘like new’ at the price of 1500 dollars, half of what I originally paid for it.

Mind you, these were the same guys who said they “couldn’t find anything wrong” with the bike a few weeks earlier, which ended up leaving me stranded for three hours on the side of a road.

So, just to wrap up this whole side story, I brought the bike back up to Maine one weekend (same weekend I bought my new truck) for dad to deal with.  He couldn’t make heads or tails of the problem either, and we both decided just to cut our loses and sell the bike.  I put a randomly placed ad on craigslist.org (I’d post a link, but it has my parent’s phone number so….) and Creeping Jesus if someone didn’t respond.

This would be the first time CL has ever worked for me, except for that one time I used it as a social experiment.  I need to find that article and repost it on here…

Anyway, this rube… I mean, guy… fell in love with DAFT (name of my bike) and despite the electrical “death” problem, he wants to give me the full 3K I’m asking for the bike.  The deal is, he’ll give me the 3K, but he’s going to take out whatever it costs to fix the bike.

At worst, I’m looking at 1500 bucks…

So my dad and this guy take the bike to this other shop in North Hampton, NH, where they quote me at 400 dollars to fix the bike, parts and labour.  Holy shit, that is awesome, I say to no one, because I’m in my office, listening to iTunes right now.

So, ok, the whole point of this is that I had to mail out my old helmet because it matches the bike, and in the CL ad I mentioned that I’d throw the helmet in as part of the deal (a 250 dollar value, yours free!).  So I have the helmet, the reg, insurance cards, inspection sticker, blah blah blah, all boxed up, ready to go.  And I wouldn’t have had a box had The Lady not gone dumpster diving for me behind her store.

So thank you luvy, I love you.

So along with this box with my helmet, I also have to ship off this tea set that The Lady got for my mom for her birthday on Sunday.  I also needed a book of stamps.

Well I get to the Post Office, get a box for the tea stuff and wait in line.  I’m called forward by a postal employee who looks like a bee-stung Benjamin Franklin, with the attitude and wit of Cosmo Kramer’s buddy Newman.

“Ok, what’ve we got here, man” He says to me.  I let the “man” slide and explain to him the contents of the boxes.  “Ok ok ok, he’s what we’re going to do,” starts the obviously thrilled with his life choices asshole.  “You’re going to make the box uniform, ok?  Here, take this,” and he hands me a tape roller with packing tape on it, despite my befuddled expression.

“Uniform?”

“Yeah yeah, see, ok, here, see,” and he takes apart the folds I made in the tops and bottoms of the box and lays everything flat.  “Uniform, see?”

“Ok,”  He then goes on to explain how to fill out the slips, all while being a total jerk off.  Look, postal guy, I’m not going to start a beef with you, because for all I know you probably have a .357 loaded with +P rounds, where you cut into the ball to make them dum-dums, under your desk.  In the very least you’ll probably mace me with that dog mace you guys carry on your bags, you fucking bureaucratic Nazi.  You’re acting like you just crushed up some No Doz and snorted it out back in the lav, so calm the fuck down, I just want to pay for this shit, have the birthday stuff get to Maine by tomorrow afternoon, and a book of stamps, thanks.

After all of this (it takes at least 20 minutes, but I don’t want to take up this whole article dealing with this douchington) I send the shit out and now make my way over to the local constables, to file my car burglary report.

Queue the ‘Law and Order’ Dun-Dun!

Barnstable Police Dept, 1200 Phinny’s Ln, Hyannis, MA

Sept. 26, 2008, 11:35am.

I’m cooling my heels in their lobby, feeling every much a total scumbag because for one of the few times in my life, I’m not on the other side of the glassed off area where all the officers are sitting around bullshitting and drinking coffee.  I’ve been waiting for about fifteen minutes and I know the drill:  They’re pawning me off on some low level patrolman, who in his opinion, has got better things to do than to take my miserable car break-in report.  I know this, because I was once that low level patrolman who’s sole purpose was to get the duty sergeants’ coffee order, and take bullshit reports that just ate up my day until 1800 when I would cut loose.

I would make these guys sit and wait, so why should this dick with a badge be any different.

He finally comes out of the little door with a note pad and a pen.  He has a groomed mustache and a look on his face like this is the umpteenth thousandth time he’s done this dance.  I stand up and extend my hand and he takes it quickly, giving a quick practiced squeeze and one pump.  We let go and he doesn’t bother to look up from his pad.  I quickly observe he has a light dusting of white powdered sugar on the corner of his mouth and left lapel/breast pocket area of his uniform blouse.

“What’s your name?”  I give it to him and he writes it down.  “Social?”  I’m never comfortable giving this out, because I know they use it to run NCIC checks on persons, but since I have nothing to hide, I spit out my nine digits.

“Ok, so what kind of vehicle do you have?”  I describe my truck, give him my plates and when he asks if there’s any damage, I say:

“No, no damage, this guy was a pro, probably been doing it for a while.  Left nothing amiss, no vandalism- shit strewn, nothing.  He saw what he wanted and took it.  He then left the door slightly closed, just enough to get the dome light to go out, so there wouldn’t be a loud bang as the door closed, alerting his presence to anyone who could be around.”  The cop stops writing for a second, doesn’t look up, and to my disbelief says:

“You know, people watch enough ‘CSI’ on television, and they think they’re experts,” my jaw drops.

“Excuse me?”  He back pedals.

“You know, just, you sound like you know what you’re talking about is all,” he tries to look up at me, but the expression of my face probably tells him I think he’s a massive dick who took this job because he was picked on a lot in high school.  The guy’s roughly my age, and I knew plenty like him when I worked the beat.

“I used to be on the Job,” I seeth.  He then finally looks up at me, his groomed mustache black like an ink smudge across his lip.

“Oh, where at?”

“Maine.”

“Where in Maine?”

“Southern.”

He gets the hint that I don’t want to talk about it.

“What do you do now?”

“Something more lucrative.”  He gets that hint too, and gets back to the crime.

“So…” long pause, he goes back over his notes, “what’d they take?”

I go down the list, explaining everything.  I notice his pen not writing as much as I’m telling him.  I just go through the motions knowing that this is all going to be just stat reporting in the end.

“And uh, do you have any serial numbers for any of this property, sir?”

“No, just like everyone else, I’m sure.”

“Yeah, that’s tough.  You know those GPSs are targeted big time.  We’ve had a string of these lately, and uh, that’s the one thing everyone’s been mentioning.  You’re lucky they didn’t smash out your window.  So you left the vehicle unlocked?”

“Well, I thought it was locked.  I think the battery in my fob is low or something, I dunno.”  He nods along and scribbles more on his note pad.  He takes my contact information and gives me the cursory:

“If we need anything else from you Mr. N we’ll give a call, ok?  Have a nice day,” and I watch him suck himself back inside the warm womb of his fellow dick bags.

I leave, another items scratched off the to-do list.  I head over to the barber shop because I’ve been getting that look from everyone I work with that my hair’s getting poofy again.  I park, take my coffee inside, insult the barber who’s reading a book in his chair when I tell him I’m going to wait for Greek.  Greek waves a hello from his station and I sit and flip through one of the tabloids out of NYC, sipping my coffee.

Greek finishes up with his customer and I get up, shake hands and he asks me why the long face-type questions.  I catch him up to speed on what’s been going on, and he looks like I just punched him in his last good lung.

“You’re kidding me!”  He exclaims as he wraps me in a barber’s bib and tucks a napkin into the neck.  I nod and he shakes his head.

“You know what,” he starts and he leans in closer to my ear, looking around, “it’s those goddamn Brazilians.”

Good ol’ Greek, never lets you down for a racist scapegoat.

He goes on, in detail to tell me how he himself, his son, and his grandson’s cars have all been ripped off thricely, and he largely suspects that if the multitude of Brazilians that live across the street didn’t do it, they certainly know who did.  He snips my hair, laying into them left and right.

“Animals,” I mutter in agreement, fearing that he might snip off the tip of my ear in anger any second now.

“And now, they want the police department to start learning Portuguese, so they can better interact with the cops!  I was thirteen years old when I came to this country, didn’t speak a fucking word of English, and no one was expected to learn Greek!  I had to learn English, with everyone calling me a greasy dumb bastard to my face!  Now if you call one of these… goddamn Puerto Ricans or whatever they want to be called, a dumb greasy bastard, then oh no, all of a sudden the ACLU and the fucking weeping Marys and everyone comes out to call you an asshole!  What the fuck!”  And the other old man barber next to him nods in agreement from behind a newspaper.

“But Greek,” I start as he lowers me back to shave my face, “I saw a white kid lurking near the cars in the parking lot that night, and I think he might have something to do with it,”

“That’s nonsense!  They caught fifty of those goddamn banana-eaters last year for breaking into cars, and you know what the judge does!?  He lets them all go!  He says ‘no restitution, no community service,’ nothing!  They all got off scott free to go do this stupid shit again!  And now they know they can get away with it, nothing’s stopping them!

…And they want the police to start learning Portuguese… HA!”

He then goes on to tell me about the apartment across the street:

“There’s this apartment across the street, full of the little shits.  Any given time, there’s like, ten cars parked out front and it’s a shitty two bedroom, one bathroom joint.  You mean to tell me that place can accommodate that many people?  I’ve been over there, before these new Brazilians took it over a few years ago, when… what was his name, Bill?”

“Dantangelo, Frank Dantangelo,” says Bill from behind his newspaper.

“When Frankie lived there.  And it’s small, real small.  No matter what they say, there’s no way they can fit that many people over there.  And you know what they’re doing, right?”

“No….” I say as he props me back up.  I check my face in the mirror to make sure I’m not bleeding.

“It’s a safehouse!  When the heat from Immigration gets too hot in Boston, they ship out to here!  For a couple hundred bucks they get three hots and a cot, and they get hooked up with a gig at some fucking Bodega where NO ONE SPEAKS ENGLISH!”

“Easy, Greek,” I say.

“I’m just sayin….”

September 26, 2008 Posted by | Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ok, Let’s Try That Again: Fear and Loathing at KMart

Yesterday I was a wreck.  If The Lady gets around to it, she’ll post the embarrassing Gchat that proves it.

I had come to the office from the other office at about 1030 in the morning, and after considerably taxing errands and slamming my already bruised and scabbed knee cap into a heavy piece of wooden furniture, I decided I wanted a drink.  A “drink” being three quarters of a litre of Canadian Mist whiskey, straight, when I usually have it with at least half a dozen ice cubes.

In a matter of minutes I went from stone sober James, to past Slightly Buzzed James, Flirty James, Drunk James, to Dark and Brooding James all while sitting at my office desk, glowering at the computer screen like the sole black guy at a Hank Williams Jr. concert with the ominous task of putting out an article about how I’m going to take out my roommate with a garden spade.

This all started around 0630 in the  morning when I was pulling the early morning shift at the office, mixing Rockstar energy drink with Gatorade AM, while reading an article in the local paper online about a woman who robbed another woman at gunpoint in a Wendy’s parking lot, and wondering why I let The Lady talk me into locking up all my guns.  A few listless hours passed by as I wrote a few cursory articles about the music industry and Sarah Palin when my roommate came into work and stuck his head into my office.

He’d been warned as of late not to bother me, especially at work.  We haven’t been getting along and it seems that we can’t talk to each other without either one of us exploding.  I was tired of this, of course, so I told someone to tell him not to come knocking on my door anymore.  Any need to talk to me about the apartment or whatever should be done through an intermediary or in writing like email or notes.

But he stuck his head in my office, and it was early and no one else was around.  He wanted to talk and being that my heart isn’t completely made of stone like I wish it was, I invited him in.

Out the gate he starts off with the fact that he threw out the shower curtain.  When I asked him if he replaced it, he said “no.”

I sat behind my desk looking up at him.

“So what’s going to happen when Ang wants to take a shower this morning before she goes into work?”  I ask him, trying to hold down my rage.  I seethed and clicked some random shit on my screen so I wouldn’t have to look at him.

“She can just point the nozzle at the wall, or something” he came back with.  There were some more words exchange, but it basically came down to this:

“You must’ve known what you were doing when you did that.  There’s no way you would’ve not been able to see that by taking down the shower curtain you’d prevent someone else from taking a fucking shower.  Admit it, you did it out of malice towards Ang.”

“No, I didn’t,” he says, and we’re both getting heated.

“No, that’s not how it works.  Either you intentionally threw out that curtain so she couldn’t shower this morning, or you’re a fucking idiot.  And I find the latter hard to believe,” I shouted.

“Call me a fucking idiot again,” he spits back, oblivious to the fact I just said that was hard to believe, “and Ang can move the fuck out!”  At this point I was half way out of my chair, leaning towards him.  The only thing between him and I was a bank of computer screens and telephones.

My entire life, I can count how many times I’ve been moved towards physical violence on one hand.  This was one of those times.

Luckily, Rog walked in and told the RM to get out, after hanging outside my office door for a few minutes to see where the argument would go.  In a huff, the RM walked out and I sat back down.

“You ok?”  Rog asks.

“Yeah,” I was shaking, and all I wanted to do was run or exert myself somehow.  What I wanted to do was pound that little fucker’s head in until it turned into a pink mush.

“Just calm down, he’s not worth it,” Rog added, as if reading my thoughts.  I got up and paced around my office in a donut, wringing my hands, flexing my calf muscles, cracking my knuckles and neck vertebrae.  God, I wanted to kill him.

A few hours later, I had calmed down a bit.  I know that when I first tried writing this piece I mentioned something about a presentation about cultural heritage or something.  Forget I said that, it never happened.

Fast forward and I’m driving my truck home from the office.  It’s roughly 1000 in the morning and I can’t decide which exit to take that’s going to put me closer to the KMart side of town.  Exit 9 is closest, but I’ll have to drive into town and then back out, and I hate backtracking.  Exit 10 is further away, but it’ll put me at a straight shot into town, where I can just swoop into the parking lot at the KMart and then back out to the apartments.

I opt for the latter, not knowing that there was going to be a three mile long snarl of stop and go traffic; not just regular, garden variety traffic, but head pulsing, construction equipment laden, dickwad, oblivious Massholes behind the wheel, don’t turn their signals on until they’ve pretty much already stopped and are holding up traffic because they want to turn against the on coming lane, asshole traffic.

I again, do my best to remain calm and not murder anyone, though at this point I feel given my legal expertize that a defense of insanity would pretty much cover any felony I decided to commit while sitting and listening to Michael Jackson’s “Pretty Young Thing” in time with a fucking jackhammer two feet from my truck’s door.

I manage to snail my way to the KMart and park.  I realize then, or maybe it was one of the last times I was here, that KMart is one of those places where the old and/or morbidly obese go to die.

Like the great Elephant Graveyards of lore, ancient giant beasts slowly roam this parking lot, waddling in small packs, their neck fat jiggling with each mammoth like step they take.  There are other places like this, where the elderly congregate in great numbers:

Hearth and Kettle…

Christmas Tree Shoppe

Old Country Buffet

Middle Afternoons at any Cluckies.

Wait no, I’m getting my field notes confused.  You see, I have terrible penmanship, and if given an ink rollerball pen, I tend to smudge and smear my hack scribe.  The middle afternoons at Cluckies is for unemployed mid twenty black males with baby strollers.

Regardless, I was in the KMart, the bastard older cousin to Wal Mart, and the tragically uncool step daughter to Target.  I wandered inside and saw depression of the highest ranks behind carriages lined with Alpo dog food and jeans with expanding elastic waists.

I scurried over to the Home Decor (En Casa Decarado) section, noticing how everything was written in both English and in Spanish or Portuguese, it’s hard to tell since the languages are so close together.  I know where I live there’s a mass of Portuguese, however, this trend is expanding in all regions.  For instance, in Maine, you can’t walk into a Lowe’s and find lumbar without learning that it’s also called Lumbar in Spanish.  Half of me sees this as a way that English speaking landscapers and construction foreman can learn another language based primarily on building material vocabulary, and the other half feels that Home Depot is acquiescing to the multitudes of huddled masses outside their automatic sliding doors, screaming !Trabajo! at anyone driving by in a pick up truck.

I find the bathroom section and mull over the lack of choices in front of me.  I know this should be a quick fix, I should be able to just grab anything off the rack, and pay for it, but all the choices are.. well.. just…

Gay.

I finally settle on one I like and start looking at bath mats, but after five minutes of only finding those soon-to-be soggy-with-piss furry mats that go around the base of the toilet, I leave a stack of them haphazardly in the middle of the aisle and storm off towards the registers.

Of course I’m greeted with only one in a hundred fucking registers open, with a malcontent black woman behind it, slowly scanning products purchased by an army of AARP card holders.  The line is snaking around the main aisle of the store and I stare up at the ceiling, hoping that god will drop one of those steel girders on my face and put me out of my fucking misery.

But before that comes close to happening, over the frail and fragile shoulder of who I would be fooled into thinking is Cindy McCain’s mafia-linked father, I see the customer service desk being manned by two horse-faced losers in red vests, with one customer between the two.  With my two items, shower curtain and plastic bath mat, I race over.

The fatter of the two losers is looking at me and I step up without being asked.  Under my breath I tell her:

“I’d just like to pay for these real quick,” and look around to see if I’m drawing any attention to myself.

“Sir, this is customer service,” she tries to sound nice and polite, but it’s coming out forced and exasperated.  “If you have an exchange or return, we can-”

I cut her off with a death stare, the same stare a starving African child would give a missionary as he clicked over in his mind that he’d sooner kill the patronizing bitch with the bowl of rice than take it from her and survive.

“You have a cash register, and I have two items I would like to purchase.  You are customer service.  I am a customer.  Service me.”  I sound like a robot set to kill, and the blubber around this woman’s neck bobbles up and down as she swallows hard.  I’m inches away from swooping down on her like a hawk and ripping her eyes out with my razor sharp talons.  I start to get that frustrated shake in my shoulders, but just then I sense that a member of the undead is approaching behind me, and when I turn over my shoulder I see that John McCain’s gin-soaked father in law has shuffled over, obviously taking my queue that waiting in that other, solitary line is for the birds.

Early birds.  Special.  Get it?

Jabba the Slut reluctantly takes my items and scans them, and I swipe my plastic and she bags them and I leave hurriedly.  Before I know it, I’m home just in time to catch The Lady walking out the door to her job.  I walk with her down the street to her shop, taking notice that she doesn’t let funny, unnecessary things like traffic lights and crosswalks get in her way, as like a Russian tank, she rolls right through crowds and oncoming traffic.

“I think, when I get home, I’m gonna get shitfaced,” I tell her.

“Yeah, you need a drink,” she says back.  I catch her up on all the horrible goings-on, the bad trip, the shakes, the near homicidal rages I’ve been having.  She pats me on the head and tells me to run along to my bottle.

(Note:  We contact The Lady and she disputes that this happened.  Her recollection was something to the effect of “I wouldn’t drink if I were you,” and “make me some damn buttered bagels and bring them back here when you get home, or you can sleep on the couch tonight.” -ed)

I get back home and pace around for a few minutes.  I want to write this article at that point and thought I’d better at least start writing it while sober.  The other half of me reminds me that when I was in college, I wrote some of my best papers absolutely blasted to the nines, and three years later (really six, since I wrote a college thesis shlabbergahsted) I should be able to still do this.

What compounds that decision is walking into my office, sitting down, and slamming my knee into a bit of furniture so hard that I yelp out “FUCK!” and jump up and down, much to my neighbors chagrin, I’m sure.

My knee, my right knee, is a total mess right now.  It’s cut up and bruised and covered in blackening scabs.  Slamming it into whatever the hell I slammed it into did not feel very good.

“That’s it!”  I proclaimed loudly, amongst my screams of agony.  “I’m having a drink!”

I stormed out to the kitchen and grabbed the bottle from above the fridge and an 8 oz glass.  Normally I put ice in with my whiskey, but not this morning, no.  I wanted to feel not feeling.  I sloppily poured the glass full and took a long hard chug and drank half of what I poured.  I then topped off the glass, and brought it and the bottle back with me to the office.

I sat down in front of the computer and edited some of my own articles, blowing off my editors.  Soon, luckily, the editing was done and I was starting to feel calm and warm again.  The Lady was talking to me over the Gchat and I was slowly and loosely falling down into a dark pit of alcohol.

Somewhere in there the idea to call the RM surfaced and I dialed up work.  A few minutes later, he picked up and was cold towards me.  I couldn’t tell you what was said, only that I thanked him for making the apartment look nice and congratulated him about something.  He had a lot of “yeahs” for me, his lack of compassion and obvious loathing was apparent and I closed the call.

I kept drinking, and if you drink heavily, you know that drinking is a lot like driving an 18 wheeler.  It takes a little while to get up to speed, and it takes even longer to stop where you want to be at.  You tend to over-shoot things.  At least I do.  And before I knew it, I completely overshot being “just short of full blown drunk” and landed on “holy shit, I can’t feel my legs anymore” wasted.

I panicked.  I called Rog and blubbered into the phone to him about my whole RM situation.  I only get depressed-drunk when I’m well past the light and hearty buzzed.  Normally, I’m a flirty drunk.  But now I was simply just a wreck.

My pants were half off, tangled around my thighs as I sat on the floor with the phone pressed to my head and told Rog how much I loved him.  I told him I was sorry for the shitty state I was in, and how I wanted to work things out with the RM.

“Nigga, you gay?” he said back to me.  He said he was kidding, and he knew that the RM wanted to work things out too.  He was stressed as well.

I parted ways with Rog, but as soon as I set down the phone I felt compelled to call someone else.  I instantly dialed dad.

I don’t remember much of this conversation either, only that I was in full on panic mode, red alert, spinning, literally out of control, because I was fully aware that I was falling further and further into a mean, disgusting drunkness.  The room was spinning and I was crying.  Dad did his best to talk me down off the ledge I was inching out on, but soon he too was growing tired of my insanity and gave me this big hint:

“Jim, hey, listen honey, why don’t you take a little nap, eat something, ok, and uh, call me later tonight when you dry out a little and we’ll talk about all of this, ok?”  I realized then that I had drank nearly an entire litre of whiskey on an empty stomach and was going off of four hours of sleep the night before.  I was losing my mind.

I took his hint and got off the phone.  I flopped across the hallway to the bathroom, hung my head over the bowl and rammed a finger down my throat and puked up orange bile.  I did this three or four times, cursing the fact that my gag reflex was half a centimeter to my trachea.  I then wiped my mouth, left my jeans on the floor, and crawled on my hands and knees back to bed, like a pathetic mess.

I passed out, and I vaguely remember The Lady coming home at some point to get something to eat and then it being 1800.  I slept the entire day away.

I accomplished nothing, only managed to give myself a throbbing headache and upset stomach.

I called dad back and checked in, mom talked to me and was noticeably upset by my shabby appearance on the phone.  Mistakenly I told her that I had “caught something” which must’ve been a bite from the Horseshit Fly, because she saw right through that line of pure bull.

The Lady doesn’t want the RM to be apart of our lives anymore, if this is what he’s going to do to me, and I’m inclined to agree.  This weekend, I’m putting that wheel into motion.

September 18, 2008 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Fear and Loathing, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments