Everyone you know is going to die.

1 09 2008

So I went home to Moulton* today and hung out with the family. My stepdad’s mother was there, and my brother came around later on, so it was kind of small affair. No bouncers, or anything. Very few, if any, strippers.

I also went, as usual, to visit my buddy Rae and talk shop about a few things. While there, he was explaining something to me about how a starter solenoid works, when I noticed he was a little more out of breath than usual. It reminded me of a while back, when I first began to notice that Rae is actually getting old.

It’s not that I can’t understand people who live past thirty, or anything like that, but Rae just turned 64 this past July. When I met him five years ago, he had long, wild blond hair and wore enough Native American jewelry to costume every single back-up dancer at a Cher concert. When I found out that he was about to turn the big Six Oh, I couldn’t for the life of me reconcile those two things in my mind: the wild-eyed Vietnam vet I hung around with, and my own preconceived notion of what a sixty year-old person should look and act like. He just seemed so damned young. Perfect eyesight, quick, clear, modern speech, and a mind like the proverbial steel trap.

I kind of pieced it together today, when I noticed his speech is beginning to slur, and his encyclopedic knowledge of cars is beginning to blend together. It could be his medications–God knows he takes enough–but I think life has caught up to him again**, maybe for the final time. He could very well be at the beginning stage of the inevitable ten or twenty-year downhill slide. Hell, it could be sooner than that. Who really knows?

Anyway, the point is I had one of those moments today where you realize with over-sharp clarity that every single person you have ever known is going to die. Many of them will go before you do, while many more will wait (perhaps spitefully) until you’ve passed. I couldn’t give any less of a damn about who would smile at my funeral, but I absolutely do not want to watch my friends die. And, because I feel so strongly about it, I’ll probably outlive every last one of the lucky sons-of-bitches.

*Why did I make a 140 mile round-trip just so I could hang out for a few hours? Because my mom made meatloaf, that’s why.

**I say life caught up to him “again” because of the sheer insanity of the first fifty years of it. If I get his express permission, I might write about his life, maybe share some of his stories with all of you. Some of them are nigh on poetic.

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How to snag a “good one”

24 06 2008

I’ve said on more than one occasion that my girlfriend kicks ass. It’s still true; she still kicks ass. I’ve had posed to me the question of acquiring such a girlfriend–not the exact one, mind–and each time I’ve drawn a blank. How exactly do you go about hooking up with someone who just all-around rocks? 

Well, after a lot of research, the core of which involved trying to remember colors of shirts, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no fail-safe way to get an awesome girlfriend. It either happens, or it doesn’t. Sometimes, it really doesn’t, and you end up with a nosebleed-crazy knife enthusiast. Maybe it’s safer to just not try a formula, you know? Wouldn’t want anyone to get stabbed.  

Then again, you could always do what I did:

The frightened cry of a trapped The Girlfriend often sounds like \

Remember, it wasn’t easy to trap this one. For one, she was already wearing a helmet, so I couldn’t just give her the ol’ caveman club-and-drag. It took skill, dexterity, and above all, a very safe-looking snare to catch her. 

In the end, though, all that really matters is that my girlfriend is awesome. Not awesome enough to avoid a snare loaded with amazingly lifelike kitten robots (live kittens), but still, pretty damned awesome. 

**Edit**

Also, if you’re going to be leaving your newly snared The Girlfriend alone for any amount of time, be sure to secure all lines and knots. 

Steve Austin and myself in seventh grade would be proud of this Stunner.

They’re crafty creatures, those The Girlfriends.





Seven more words you can’t say on television: “Holy shit, George Carlin died last night.”

23 06 2008

So I’m standing at the pump about 7:45 this morning when the clerk at the Yellow Store pokes his head out of the drive-through window. 

“Hey man, did you hear George Carlin died last night?”

“No shit?”

No, as it turns out–no shit at all. He actually died last night, leading speculators to decide that sometimes bad things happen in the public eye that don’t get blown out of proportion. He just died. A little surprising, perhaps, but certainly nothing to fret about. He was old, had lived a “full” life, and had survived a decades-long struggle with controlled substances. It was time for him to go.

Or was it?

I’m going to try to be the first to say that Carlos Mencia murdered George Carlin. It was a deliberate, calculated move, designed to remove one of the few really original comics from the ring of political humor, where Mencia has stationed himself for God knows what reason. You see the plot covers two key aspects, each enough to kill for for Carlos Mencia. (ED NOTE: By the way, I find this paragraph considerably more suspenseful when voiced in the somber tones of Robert Stack.)

One, it eliminates Carlin from the global arena, thereby freeing up a literal fuck-ton of easily stolen and assimilated jokes. Watch as Mencia swells to several times his original size, fed healthily by Carlin’s hard work.

Two, it ensures that George Carlin himself cannot step forward to declaim, or maybe sue, the shit out of Mencia’s plagiarism. The single person with a righteous complaint is now dead, so Carlos can go ahead and steal the jokes he was going to steal anyway, only this time with George Carlin very much a dead person who can’t sue.

I know, it’s complicated.

Anyway, I’m going to make the hesitant assumption that I’m not the first dumbass to think such a thing about the death of George Carlin. Instead, I just want to say thanks, Mr. Carlin, for teaching us what words you can’t say on television, the bulk of which are still prohibited from most kinds of prime-time television. 





I’m sorry, you’re going to have to run that one by me again.

11 06 2008

You know, as a smoker, I can say I’ve never really been bothered by those anti-smoking ads on television. Some of them are pretty funny, while others are honestly unsettling. Did you see the one with the thousand-plus people falling flat on their faces in the street around a tobacco company’s corporate headquarters? Holy shit. That one still bugs me even after having not seen it in a while. 

On the other hand, this new one is probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen put out in protest of anything. Even worse than some of those Iraq war protests–which are often frighteningly stupid–the one with the dancing animated emaciated babies takes the fucking cake. I get what the message is supposed to be, I think, but I can’t put that together with the whole anti-smoking theme and see anything that’s supposed to make sense.

Usually, the moral is “smoking is bad and will kill you”, which is fine with me. I know smoking will kill me. I know that. I’ve seen the facts and actual evidence. But this exciting new twist in the commercials, this “anyone related to smoking is evil and wants to kill you and your animated babies” is a bit too much.

Not only that, but someone said recently that the commercial had racist elements. Apparently the stork is supposed to be a caricature of a lazy black man, one who agrees that smaller babies are a good thing, and the guy most obviously against smoking is the nice white kid playing a Country & Western tune. Something about a subtle “don’t be like the lazy niggers” is supposed to be the underlying message, and since the whole commercial is offensive to black people, they’re less likely to be given the message is bad. Which obviously means that White America wants Black America to die from smoking.

Okay. Right.

Put into an enjoyably simple bullet list, whoever scripted this message wants to convince you that: 

  • Big Tobacco is really our version of the Great Satan
  • black people are lazy
  • black people support cigarette companies’ decision to harm your baby
  • black people kill white babies
  • black people are the Great Satan
  • “don’t be like the lazy niggers”

So… everybody get all that? Yeah. 





Craigslist is the internet’s Babylon

6 06 2008

Lo, Babylon the great has fallen. Where once there was a site dedicated to the free exchange of goods and services, there is now (and probably has been since about five seconds after Craigslist’s launch) a mire of dedicated debauchery. Not only has Craigslist made itself look bad, it’s also done a fine job of fucking up my conception of the town I live in. Go ahead, I dare you. If you’re in a city of any size, chances are your town has a Craigslist section. Look under “Casual Encounters” and tell me if your entire perception just shifted a little bit.

Okay, maybe I’m making too big a deal about this. Maybe all college campuses have glory holes. Maybe there really are legions of post- and preop trannies out there ready and willing to… do whatever it is that they do to whoever answers their posts. God only knows.

 Then again, and not to sound too paranoid, what if it’s the cops? What if all these sad people are just being set up to get fucked in a way that access to Craigslist does not provide? Ouch. The really tragic thing is that it’s fairly probable that that’s the case. What’s even worse is that it’s probably legal now to set up entrapping posts on the internet. Who knows?

Anyway, I may have freaked out a little when I saw that post. I was just trolling through the personals–the women’s were mostly (with a few major exceptions) boring; the men’s, on the other hand, were compelling in the way that Rotten was compelling–when lo and behold…

“An open invitation to an on-campus glory hole! Holy shit, that means that–” 

Then I realized that I actually know very little about glory holes. I get the basic penis-through-the-hole thing, but who decides who does what? It’s supposed to be anonymous, so it’s not like the dudes should talk to each other all that much, right? Then again, I’d hate to be the one guy in the whole place who just stands there for three hours with his dick poking through a roughly drilled hole in the side of a bathroom stall.

That would be embarrassing.

Not to mention that Dammit. I got away from my point here with all this talk about dicks and walls and public indecency laws and shit. The point, ladies and gentlemen, the point is that Craigslist is a dirty place to visit. Never mind the hours of schadenfreude I get from poring over all those sad lonely people’s personal ads. Never mind the possibility that many people have found actual contentment through the personal ads. The point is that some of them make me uncomfortable.

As to why they make me uncomfortable, well…

YOU CAN’T PROVE ANYTHING! 

I HAVE A GIRLFRIEND WHO HAS A VAGINA!





The Fat of the Land

22 05 2008

I know I spend a lot of our–yours and mine–time on here talking about fat people. At some point, I’m sure a lot of you have probably wondered just why the hell fatties bother me so much. Is it that ever-present odor of sweaty ass and belly-wrinkle goo? Is it the wheezing and panting after charging up a massive three-step flight of six-inch stairs? Is it something more personal?

No, it’s not personal. It’s just that I don’t appreciate being lumped in with all of my country’s grossly overweight citizenry. I don’t work hard to keep slender or anything, but I also haven’t been blessed with the metabolism of a tomcat, either. I just don’t eat as much as I could, and it helps me to not be a total fatty. I rarely exercise anymore–in fact, I seriously lifted weights for the first time in about ten years the other day, and I’m still ridiculously sore–and I’m still a bit leery of going for one of my midnight runs in this strange town. I’m not afraid of running into coyotes or rednecks in the middle of the night, which was a danger more present than it probably seems since I moved from the country, but I am kind of worried about being hit by some drunken fraternity assbag in his daddy’s Beamer.

What spurred all of this was a combination of three television shows, all of which are on the same channel. No, I’m not talking about Celebrity Fit Club. 

G4, the channel for gaming nerds and their ilk, has brought to us from Japan two of the most grueling and heartbreaking–and yes, entertaining–shows I have ever seen. The first was, obviously, Ninja Warrior. Holy fucking cats, what an awesome show. If you haven’t seen it, the basic idea is that some Japanese engineers put together one of the hardest damned obstacle courses ever built, for hundreds of their countrymen to risk life and limb to beat. Well, they risk limb, anyway. 

Also, there’s this to consider:

Ayako Miyake, three-time Women of Ninja Warrior champion. Yowza.

The second show is called Unbeatable Banzuke, and fuck if that’s not an apt title. When you combine the three ludicrous pastimes of pogo-sticking, unicycling, and hand-walking, then put all of those skills to work on an obstacle course that looks like something out of HR Giger’s worst LSD nightmares, then allow ten-year-old kids to compete right alongside the adults, you have a recipe for some fantastic television.

Then, as if to bring a sense of balance to the awesomeness that is Ninja Warrior and Unbeatable Banzuke, G4 also gives us another show:

 

Yes, just puke it up guys! That's it! Nobody will judge you!

 

 

As you can probably imagine, the competitors are not forced to fight their way through rough, unyielding obstacles in search of total glory. Instead, they’re asked to force-feed themselves until nearly bursting, after which they will go through a battery of “endurance tests”. Inevitably, someone will vomit. Hence the name–“Hurl!”.

So, to recap:

Awesome:

 

Fat and gross:





Goddamned right I didn’t run you over!

21 05 2008

I’m drunk. Perhaps I should make that clear before we go any further: I am drunk, and don’t quite know how to contain myself at the moment. As to whatever else might be wrong with me, well, it gives me a certain kind of peace to know that–whatever else actually happens to me, personally–you readers don’t really know fact from fiction as this point. I could have swallowed seven forty-mil oxycontin after an eight-ball of some 98% Bolivian Superblow and a solid liter of Jose Cuervo, and none of you would know the difference unless I told you so.

What does that feel like, I wonder? What if I am sinking into one of the best China White jabs of my life, and not just swaying slightly in my dumpster-chair, the victim of too much tequila and something called an Irish Car Bomb. And another something–this time incredibly sweet, even cloying–called a… fuck. Water Moccasin? Whatever the facts, the point is that I’m pretty fucking drunk. 

I’m looking up at the title of this entry and freaking out, right now. I have no clue as to what the fuck it’s supposed to mean. Who did I run over recently? Did I run anyone over tonight? No, impossible. I walked to the bar–a wise choice, if you ever have the option–and managed to make it to someone’s house before the brunt of the liquor even hit me. And then… Well.

Anyway, I can’t help but relate to you the event of my emailing a fairly vicious letter to the editor of the San Marcos Daily Record. Now, I wasn’t doing anything immature–like counting off spelling/grammar errors like I did in 3rd grade–I just sent them a strangely poignant letter-essay about my job at Essay Writers and the work we perform there. It wasn’t a pleasant letter, by any means. I wrote it, so it could only conceivably involve forced sodomy and Mind of Mencia marathons.

Actually, it involves the probability that a good portion of the students here in San Marcos have actually bought their essays from sites like mine. It’s kind of addressed to the parents of such individuals, but not in a joking or ragging way. It actually does a decent job of paint the world of professional essay writing as a grim, grimy place inhabited by drug-runners and pimps. Which, for better of worse, is total bullshit. I’m pretty proud of it, actually, which sets it apart from pretty much everything I’ve ever written (except for a couple of poems), and really sets a high bar for something that is actually not that spectacular. Fuck it–I like it. Piss on you whores. 

Okay. So, hopefully that letter doesn’t actually get published (yes, I was actually sober when I wrote the fucking thing), and if it does… God save us all.