A Not-Disgusting Story About Urinating, I Promise

I recently got a new job.  Don’t worry: I’m not selling out or anything.  It’s just for two months and I’m only doing it for the money.  That’s not the point.

When I took this job, I had to submit a pre-employment drug screen (as I’m sure most of you have to do as well).  Which I don’t know if I really understand.  Just because someone has drugs in their bloodstream doesn’t mean they can’t perform the duties of their job in a satisfactory fashion.  It just gives you an idea of where most of their paycheck would be going in the first place.  Besides, I think drugs could actually enhance certain jobs.

For instance, waiting tables can get really busy really fast.  You have to be able to keep up with everything happening between you, each table of customers you’re currently waiting on, the food going in and out of the kitchen, drinks coming out of the bar, busboys cleaning off tables for new customers, managers floating around at all times.  You know what would help a person stay on top of all that multitasking?  Cocaine.

Say you have a job that requires your utmost attention and complete uninterrupted focus, such as architecture, or anything in the scientific field: smoke some pot.  Sure, it might have some adverse effects (“Duuuuuude…check out this atom…it’s shaped like Indiana…whoooooooaaa”), but for the most part I think it would still be effective.

On the other hand, I still don’t think alcohol would be very beneficial on the job.  Then again, who knows?  Maybe your boss isn’t really an asshole all the time—maybe he’s just constantly drunk.

But I digress.  Regardless of my feelings about pre-employment drug screens, I still had to submit to one in order to get this new job.  Fine.  It was the ol’ piss-in-a-cup routine.  The day of my appointment, I arrived at the clinic just before 10:00.  A girl who worked at the clinic greeted me:

“Can I help you, sir?”
“Yes, I’m here for the drug screen.”
“Okay, just have a seat and I’ll get you ready in a few minutes.”

They had a small waiting area next to the entrance, so I sat down and waited.  Within a few minutes, a girl roughly my age showed up at the clinic.  Overhearing her conversation with the girl at the clinic, she was also here for a drug screen.  Hers would be taken after mine was completed, so she was also sent to the small waiting area.

A few minutes later, and the clinician called me back for the test.  She gave me the cup and sent me into the restroom.  I unbuttoned my pants and stood over the toilet.

Nothing.  Not a single drop.

I tried conjuring up images that visually represented the act of urinating—sprinkler systems, garden hoses, cascading waterfalls—but none of them seemed to help.  After fifteen minutes, I ultimately accepted that it was just not going to happen, and sheepishly stepped out of the restroom with the empty cup.  The clinician kind of chuckled, but said it was okay.  She then said they had a little water cooler out in the waiting area with some plastic cups, and that I could just hang out and drink a few cups of water until I was ready to try again.

Now, I was embarrassed, because not only did I fail to pee for the clinician, but then I had to take that LONG walk of shame over to the water cooler to drink a few cups of water as the other girl waiting watched.  Then, it was her turn.  She went to the back.  I’m sitting in the waiting area, drinking a dinky little cup of water.  Ten minutes later, the girl returns.

And she takes that LONG walk of shame right over to the water cooler.  Now, I’m not going to lie.  My first thought when I saw this was, “Holy shit, it’s my lucky day!” because I had just gone from being in the hole to breakin’ even.  Not only did I fail to pee, but SHE failed to pee too!  Things were lookin’ up!

After a half-hour of awkwardly sitting there and drinking dinky little cups of water, she jumped up with an air of determination, marched up to the clinician, and stated that she was ready to try again.  The clinician took her back, and I continued to sit there.  After ten more minutes, the girl returned.

And she took ANOTHER long walk of shame back to the water cooler.  Only this time, instead of just drinking a couple of dinky little cups of water, she started shotgunning the shit like it was spring break in Cabo where you wake up realizing that the night before you slept with a 4 and not an 8.  She had a plastic cup in each hand, with a look that said, “I wanna get FUCKED UP, in the healthiest way possible!” It was actually kind of frightening.

So frightening, in fact, that as soon as that happened, I went back and successfully completed my drug screen.  I guess you could say she scared the piss outta me. (WAH-WAH-WAH-WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!)

Until next time,


I’m On A Boat! (Or: Adventures In Alcoholia)

I recently took a cruise in the Caribbean in celebration of my mother’s birthday.  I had gone on another cruise in my early teens, which I enjoyed, so I was really looking forward to this one.  The concept of a cruise is fairly fascinating, especially when you break it down.  A bunch of people pay a lot of money to live on a floating hotel, and that floating hotel goes to different places around the world, all while stuffing you with all the free food you can possibly stomach. “This must have been what it was like to be Columbus,” I actually heard one passenger idiotically say at one point.

Sure, provided Columbus’s vessels had two movie theaters, a casino, 47 full bars, and a constantly playing reggae band.  Then it was EXACTLY like sailing in olden times.

Now, was the cruise fun?  Of course it was.  It was especially fun for me because on the night before we left, I was having a conversation with my mother about various aspects of the cruise, and at one point she said the following:

“Oh, and since we’re all going together, I’ve decided to pay for everything.  Souvenirs, t-shirts, drinks—it’s all gonna go on my tab.”
“Wait, you’re paying for drinks, too?”

Now, what I said in the response to this was, “Oh, cool.” But what I was thinking was, “HOLY FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!” because I’m a new drinker.  I turned 21 just a few months ago, so I’ve only recently begun to work my way around the trenches of Alcoholia.  This revelation was a nice little bonus to the rest of the cruise—all my drinks were covered. (In fact, she even kind of encouraged it, by saying, “And since you don’t have to worry about driving or anything of the like, go crazy!”)

Did you know that, on a boat, if you get so drunk you can’t maintain your balance, the rocking evens it out?  It’s true!  And by the way, before I go any further, if there’s anyone reading this (particularly any of our fine youth of America who identifies in any way with this so-called, “straight-edge” movement) who has a problem with this kind of talk, allow me to state for the record: don’t base your entire opinion of me around whether or not I drink.  I can’t stand people who do that.  There are plenty of fine people who drink just as there are plenty of fine people who do drugs just as there are plenty of degenerate fuckheads who do nothing.  It’s a two-way street.  Besides, I don’t need alcohol to have a good time—I just need it to have a great time.

***Now, I’m not promoting the use of alcohol here, especially for underage readers.  Some boundaries must be kept.  Don’t drink if you’re underage.  Just move to a country where you can drink legally.  Okay, now that that public service announcement is out of the way, we can continue with our regularly scheduled blog post.***

I got super-drunk on this cruise.  Easily the drunkest I’ve ever been (so far).  However, I didn’t just go all crazy; I had a plan.  See, in our travels, sometimes it would take more than one day to get to a particular destination on the cruise, so we had a number of “sea days” in which it was just a day at sea, on the ship.  The nights preceding these sea days were the nights I got DRUUUUNK.  Let’s go through the list, shall we?  One night, I had the following:

Two beers (Dos Equis, because the boat had a shitload of them for some reason), three White Russians, a Long Island Iced Tea, a mojito, an apple martini, and, to top off this array of alcoholic adventure, something called a raspberry fizz.  Because apparently, when I get super-drunk, I develop the tastes of a 40-year-old woman.  I also learned something else about me when I get super-drunk: the drunker I get, the more passionate I am about increasingly mundane things.

After consuming all of those drinks, I was walking around the boat sometime in the early hours of the morning, when I ran into my brother.  He and I started prowling around the boat, killing time and looking for something to do.  We stopped at a deck near the rear of the boat and hung out, when suddenly, out of the corner of my ears, I heard something.  I turned around, and saw a teenage boy and girl standing together—presumably they were a couple—and the boy was singing.

And this pissed me the fuck OFF.  No, I don’t know why.  And to answer your other obvious question, I don’t know what he was singing, because I was: A. drunk; B. too angry about the fact that he was singing to take note of exactly what he was singing.  I turned to my brother, and unleashed a passionately angry drunken tirade:

“What in God’s name is this?  Why is he singing?  Why the FUCK is he singing?  Nobody wants to hear this shithead sing!  Fuck that kid—WHY IS HE STILL SINGING?!  Goddamnit, dude, what in the name of shit is he singing for?  He’s not even singing to the fuckin’ girl next to him!  Jesus fuckin’ Christ, WHY THE FUCK IS HE SINGING?!”

At which point my brother quietly excused himself from the proceedings, and I traveled up to the late-night buffet to eat a giant plate of mashed potatoes at roughly 2AM.  Have you ever had THAT existential nightmare?  When you’re drunk and eating mashed potatoes at two in the morning—for NO REASON WHATSOEVER?  That’s not an aspect of the vacation you envision on the ride over to the airport.

Some people deal with an element of fear before a massive experience like a cruise.  As we were driving to the ship on the morning that we were to embark, my mom was talking to everyone in the car and giving us all The Mom Rundown: Cruise Edition.  This is meant to be a conversation warning us of any potential hazards related to health/crime/etc. that, while highly unlikely, are not completely out of the realm of possibility on the cruise ship.  Which is a perfectly fine conversation to have, but not when we are DRIVING TO THE SHIP BOARDING LOCATION.

“Oh, wow, look, there’s the ship right over there!  Okay, you guys, we are gonna have a lot of fun and—HOLY FUCK WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE AND GET DEATH-RAPED BY PEOPLE WITH PUPPY AIDS!”
“Hey, Mom, uh…not the best time to bring this up.”

Not that it mattered, because unbeknownst to all of us, we ended up choosing a cruise week that was completely dominated by senior citizens.  I’d wager that less that 20% of the passengers on the cruise were under 40.  We weren’t gonna get raped by anyone—after all, they’d get worn out just from trying to hold us down on the bed.  The abundance of old folks was disappointing, but it did lead to the creation of my new favorite game: Man or Woman?  Many times, it was nearly impossible to tell.

And I wasn’t even drunk.

Until next time,


Intelligence Is A Pre-Existing Condition

History was made this week with the passage of the major healthcare reform bill in Congress, which was then signed into law by President Obama.  It’s final.  It’s done.  It’s over.  There.  Can we stop fucking talking about it?  Apparently not.

Since the House of Representatives passed the bill Sunday night, my Facebook page has been bombarded with people either praising the bill as a wondrous step forward in progressive ideals, or lambasting it as a complete socialist takeover and a precursor to the ultimate destruction of everything happy.  I’m tired of reading all these people’s reactions.  I’m a young guy in my early 20s.  Most of my Facebook friends chiming in on the issue are also young people in their early 20s or younger.  If you happen to be one of those people reading this, please take to heart the following sentence:


This isn’t just my opinion, either.  I’ve had to deal with it in my stand-up (which really sucks because the stuff I wrote about in this blog entry is the stuff I REALLY want to talk about onstage and be taken seriously about it).  People just don’t care what young people think because young people don’t know hardly anything.  In fact, if you’re under 25, your opinion in general simply doesn’t matter.  Gee, healthcare reform passed?  Let’s go to the Facebook feed to find out what 19-year-old TJ in Nashville thinks: “Dude, healthcare reform is bullshit—socialist takeover BADURPADURPADURP!”

First of all, any political opinion that begins with the word, “dude,” is shorthand for, “I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about.” Secondly, again, no one cares what you think.  That’s why you never see young people on the news.  Wolf Blitzer is never going to say, “And now for some insight from our youth correspondent, please welcome to The Situation Room: Snooki!” C’mon.  Besides, who could honestly know more about healthcare reform than a bunch of teenagers who haven’t even started drinking yet?  Shut up.  Especially if you’re one of those teenage girls who is complaining that the healthcare bill is causing a 10% tax hike for indoor tanning salons.  Think about it: by the time you have full-blown skin cancer, you’ll have the health insurance to cover for it, so pay the extra $5 a session, you plastic carrots.

Now, that said, I’m gonna completely undermine everything I just wrote by offering my own opinion.  Hey, it’s my blog—I’ll break my own rules if I want.  If you don’t like it, go start your own blog.

I’m glad the healthcare reform bill passed.  I personally wish they still kept in the public option, but that’s beside the point—I’m glad it passed for one major reason: to help keep the private insurance companies from screwing us even more than they already are.  Because that’s all they do at this point.  They’re not interested in helping people.  They just want to make as much profit as possible, and they will go to whatever means necessary to NOT do what they are actually there to do.  Case in point: pre-existing conditions.

If you have a pre-existing condition, the insurance companies can deny you coverage.  Which is amazing to me.  These are the people who need it most, and thankfully the new healthcare bill will put an end to this (at least in children).  This problem had been getting completely out of control.  Insurance companies were denying people for having pre-existing conditions, which isn’t fair to begin with, but what made it worse was that the insurance companies then started stretching their definitions of pre-existing conditions to the point of absurdity.  Pregnant women could be denied coverage because they were pregnant.  People could be denied coverage because they were intending to adopt. (For the record, I’m not making either of those examples up.  Look it up, it’s out there.)

It’s amazing to me.  The insurance industry is the only industry I can think of that would actively think of ridiculous excuses to NOT do what they’re supposed to do.  It’s like if your house was on fire, and you called the fire department, and the guy on the other line said, “I dunno if we can come out there.  Did you own a cat?”

“Yes,” you say.
“Sorry, that falls under our list of pre-existing conditions.”
“What?!  How does owning a cat prevent you guys from putting out my fire?!”
“Well, cats are highly flammable.  We can’t help you.  Sorry.”

Regardless, that problem should hopefully start to become less severe in the coming years.  At the same time, other problems seem to be getting worse as the days go by.  Since the bill passed, many on the crazy fringe section of the folks opposed to healthcare are going BERSERK.  Death threats, acts of vandalism, rhetoric that gets more and more violent by the sentence—it’s become pandemonium.  I keep seeing more and more talk about revolution and the use of brute force including that of firearms.  There are even a few random psychos on the internet talking about assassinating President Obama—it is INSANE.

All of this stuff actually got me thinking about the gun laws in this country.  I’m not a fan of guns in the first place and I definitely think, given the way some people on the right are acting, it’s time to consider taking measures for increased gun control.  Of course, pro-gun people sometimes defend their stance by saying things like, “Guns don’t kill people.  People do.”

I know.  Especially if those people HAVE FUCKING GUNS.

In the end, though, I don’t know why everyone even goes out of their way to react to the issue.  From the uninformed teenagers to the wackaloons, they’re all wasting their time.  I wasted my time writing this, and you wasted your time reading it.  I’m sick of people talking about healthcare reform.  I’m sick of people talking about mostly anything regarding politics.  Our current political system is bullshit anyway.  It’s ruled by two parties who are wholly unintelligent, while trying to solve unbelievably complex problems.  It’s like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift playing chess:

It doesn’t matter whose side you’re on, or whose moves you think are better for America, because in the end: they’re both fucking retarded.

Until next time,


The Day I (Almost) Became A Man

Most people who know me personally are aware of the fact that I’m not a typical manly-man kind of guy.  I really don’t fit any of the traditional “guy” stereotypes.  I don’t follow sports, I’m not a big workout person, and I once got lost in a Home Depot (which is, in and of itself, a story for another time).

Perhaps most damning of all in this screed of self-emasculation is the fact that I know virtually nothing about cars.  However, if I tried, I can certainly fake masculinity from a distance.  That seems like something most guys would do.  As a guy, you’d like to be seen as manlier than you really are.  I can be standing in front of my car with the hood raised, talking to myself, and you might pass by thinking, “Oh, he looks like he’s trying to figure out how to fix his radiator.” But if you were get closer, you would realize that all I was doing was reciting the lyrics to “Red Barchetta” by Rush because that pretty much encompasses everything I know about cars.

So, with all that in mind, I am proud to say that this week, I became a man.  Because I replaced a burnt-out headlight in my car.  I was working down there, had the hood up and everything, and by the time it was all said and done, my nuts were about 10% hairier. (Which now brings up the total number of nuthairs to 5 1/2, in case you’re keeping score. And I don’t know why you would be.)

Now, I realize that replacing a headlight is hardly the most difficult thing to do in regards to auto repair, but it’s a huge milestone for me.  It’s the manliest thing I’ve ever done.  I honestly haven’t done anything at this magnitude of manliness since spilling barbecue sauce on my blue jeans about ten months ago…

…okay, okay, I confess: I didn’t actually replace the headlight all by myself.  In fact, I wasn’t even the one who actually physically switched the bulbs.  Since I possess a prog-rock song’s worth of car knowledge, I enlisted the assistance of my father to complete this task of replacing the headlight.  I’ve never written about my father before—I’ve never even talked about him in my stand-up material—so I do want to preface the next part of this story with a little background about him.

My dad has a history of being a bit stubborn at times.  I’m can be hard-headed sometimes as well, and his genes are the reason.  Here is a very apt summary of my dad within the context of this story: my father, when faced with a task, has a compulsive need to complete the task entirely by himself.  He has to do it—no one else can.  And if there IS someone else involved, he will take care of the bulk of what needs to be done and relegate the other person to some mundane aspect of the task.

Therefore, in the case of this headlight replacement, he decides to take over the entire operation, and then give me a small job to at least make me feel like I’m contributing something.  While he is down there, trying to figure out how to replace the bulb, my job is to hold up the hood of my car to keep it from falling and snapping his neck in two. (And for the record, I’m not one to brag much, but I was holding up the SHIT out of that hood.  It was fuckin’ beautiful.  A gorgeous display, if I may say so myself.)

A few minutes later, my dad stands up and says, “Hold on a second, I’ll be right back,” and walks away.  When he does this, I’m thinking that perhaps he’s going to retrieve a tool or instrument of some kind to help him complete the task of replacing the headlight.  A fair presumption, right?  Instead, he walks out of the garage—I shit you not—with a 4-foot-long piece of lumber.  Then he goes, “Check this out,” and wedges it between the front bumper and the hood of my car, thus propping the hood up.

At that point, I realized my dad just outsourced my job to a FUCKING PIECE OF LUMBER.  I had gotten replaced by a completely inanimate object.  Do you have any idea how worthless that makes you feel as a human being?  I realize that I’m a skinny, frail, feeble human being—hell, I’m so skinny that I can’t go outside on a windy day unless I want to end up in Omaha—but I thought I was holding the hood up just fine.  Apparently, my dad saw a different story.  For him to have gone out of his way to replace his primary assistant like that means he must have been watching me hold up the hood of the car and thinking to himself, “Oh my God, this is absolutely pathetic.  Look at him struggle; he is about to buckle under that fuckin’ hood.  One-thirty in the afternoon isn’t too early to break out the George Dickel, is it?  I better get something between him and that thing or I’m gonna goddamn DIE.”

I’ve never felt more betrayed in my life.  My father hath forsaken me for a piece of lumber.  I would have loved to hit him in the face with said piece of lumber, but I didn’t.  Not because I’m a considerate human being.

But because I’m so small I probably wouldn’t have been able to LIFT the fucking thing.

Until next time,


The Gayest Thing I’ve Ever Written

I’m a big fan of equal rights.  Always have been.  It’s never made sense to me for any group of people to not have rights equal to any other group of people for any reason.  Every single person in this country should have every single right that every single other person has.  Period.  Doesn’t that seem reasonable to you?  Yeah?  Okay, then answer me this:

Why don’t homosexuals have the right to marry in this country?  Seriously, why?  It’s ridiculous.  I am so sick of all these tired, poorly-thought-out excuses for why gays shouldn’t be allowed to get married.  They are all bullshit.  Sometimes they don’t even follow any kind of reasonable logic.  I wish the people who say these things could see what the hell they are saying, because when you read those excuses in print, you realize how stupid they really are.  Like this one, for instance:

“We shouldn’t allow gays to get married because if we let gay people get married, then people are gonna wanna marry animals!”

First of all, no.  They’re not.  I live in the South, okay?  I know A LOT of stupid people.  But I don’t know anyone who would marry an animal.  They might marry their own cousin, sure, but they wouldn’t marry an animal.  I don’t even see how that would be an option for anyone.  Besides, marrying an animal is like marrying your grandma: they’re both smelly, they both do weird things with no explanation behind them, and they’ll both die within a few years.

However, let’s suppose for the sake of argument that there ARE people out there who want to marry animals.  That’s only going to be an extremely small segment of the population.  Probably not more than 1,000 people.  But millions of people get married each year, and that number would rise if we allowed gay marriage.  So what’s the big deal if we were to add on a thousand animal marriages?  Is the institution of marriage so fragile that factoring them into the equation would ultimately destroy the entire fabric of society?  Is it so fragile that it can be heavily influenced by the minority despite an overwhelming majority on the other side?  This is marriage, people, not the United States Senate.  Do these people honestly think animal marriage would catch on and become some kind of weird trend?  Would celebrities start marrying animals to seem hip and in vogue? (I predict Lady Gaga to be the first to take that plunge.)

I mean, I realize that in many marriages, the goal is to find a companion that you love, want to spend the rest of your life with, and whom you could consider your best friend.  But there’s a HUGE difference between marrying your best friend, and marrying man’s best friend.  Granted, it might be the most adorable wedding ceremony ever—imagine little Rover donning a slick tuxedo with a bone-tie to match—but animal marriage would never become popular, and I can explain precisely why it won’t.  Take this simple hypothetical:

What if you married your dog, and then it doesn’t work out?  The relationship goes sour.  Would there be any situation more embarrassing than making that long walk of shame into an attorney’s office and declaring, “I just can’t take this anymore.  We don’t see eye-to-eye on anything.  And she’s so high-strung: every time we go out I have to keep her on a leash…I want to divorce my dog.” Then you have to go to divorce court against your dog—irreconcilable differences, blah blah blah—and at the end of it all, that bitch gets half of your stuff.  And you know what she’s gonna do with it?  Chew it to hell.  How could you go on with your life knowing you’ve got an ex-dog now?  Good luck trying to play that off as you head back into the dating scene, you miserable piece of shit.  You couldn’t make a marriage last with a goddamn dog—how do you expect to do it with another actual human?  You are FUCKED. (Plus, you know what they say: once you go dog, you never have friends again.)

So let’s go back to gay marriage, which now seems like a more reasonable idea.

Some people are afraid of allowing gays to marry because it would violate the sanctity of marriage.  Whatever the hell that means.  Yet one out of every two marriages end in divorce.  How can anything with a roughly 50% failure rate be considered sacred?  Fuck kissing the bride: weddings in this country might as well just end with a coin flip.

Marriage in and of itself is an interesting topic to me anyway, even beyond the whole gay marriage issue.  It’s something I’ve written about in the past, and it still intrigues me.  The fact that we let people as young as 18 get married—they are kids, mind you.  Yes, they are legally adults, but they are still wired like kids.  Yet they can get married.  That is another thing I’ve never understood in the face of this sanctity argument.  This kind of thing happens fairly frequently in the South, too.  Kids getting married at young ages: it weirds me out.  Some kids REALLY rush it, and get married right out of high school.  Eighteen years old—they just graduated from high school, they don’t even know what the word, “sanctity” even MEANS, but they’re going to enter into that great fantastical sanctity of marriage thing ANYWAY!

It’s cases like these that further feed my belief that marriage doesn’t really mean much of anything in this society anymore.  I know there are plenty of people who do take it seriously, and that’s fine.  But that’s because this scenario doesn’t necessarily apply to those people—after all, they’re fully-grown adults, whereas these 18-year-olds who get married right out of high school: more than likely, they both still live with their parents.  Kinda puts a damper on the whole, “married life,” thing, doesn’t it?

“Hey, Dad, I’m gonna go catch a movie with my wife.”
“Fine, but you got a midnight curfew.”

We let all that stuff happen: young kids getting married, 50% divorce rate, and the perpetuation of that weird animal marriage idea.  But, despite all those things, homosexuals can’t get married.

That’s fuckin’ GAY.

Until next time,


Fuck Winter

I hate winter.  It’s too goddamn cold.  It’s ridiculous.  All it does is cause problems.  You know that sort of riddle-type question people sometimes ask, “Would you rather be really sweaty hot or really freezing cold?” I hate it when people say, “Oh, freezing cold because I can always wear more layers to stay warm.” That’s just a backwards way of saying you’d rather be hot.  Besides, I’d rather be hot because at least then I’d be able to move my fuckin’ limbs.

Winter was the cause of my trip from hell roughly a month or so ago.  I went to Johnson City, Tennessee for my sister’s college graduation ceremony.  Now, granted, a trip to Johnson City for any reason is hellish enough to begin with, but when you add wintery weather into the mix, it only heightens the agony.  Under normal conditions, a drive from Nashville to Johnson City is roughly four-and-a-half to five hours.

Mine took twelve.  TWELVE.

And here’s where our saga begins:

It’s mid-December.  Late afternoon.  I’m on I-40 en route to I-81.  I’ve been on the road for about four hours.  It starts to snow a bit, but it’s the home stretch, so I’m not concerned about it.  I’m about 30 miles from my exit onto I-81.  As I get about 10 miles closer, I begin to see some red glows off in the distance.  You know that moment when you see a traffic jam up ahead, and you wanna pretend it’s not really there even though you’re heading RIGHT FOR IT?  You’re sitting there thinking to yourself, “Ah, I think we’ll be fine.” Then you get a little closer, and you have that painful moment of concession where you’re like, “OHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOO!”

That’s a nice moment, isn’t it?  That feeling of impending doom, and you can’t do anything to stop it.  I look around: it’s snowing HARD, and it’s starting to accumulate on the road pretty heavily.  I slow down to a crawl, and then…to a complete stop.  And all you can think is…


So I’m sitting there.  And I’m waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting.  Soon enough, my mind began to wander.  I don’t know if you know this, but traffic jams are, honest to God, the keys to your subconscious.  You will never have stranger thoughts than when you’re in a situation like that.  Your mind will go to all kinds of weird places.  You’ll sit there sifting through your brain like a radio dial:

“If I dropped a basketball from the Empire State Building, how high would it bounce back up?…What if you had an addiction to support groups for addiction?…When mimes have sex, do they use real condoms or just mime it?”

Then an hour goes by, and nothing has changed.  You haven’t moved.  The snow keeps piling up.  The road begins to freeze over.  And then, just as the night falls and you are left to your own inner dementia beneath the frigid moonlight, your brain starts going to darker places:

“I think for my funeral, I’m not gonna be buried or cremated.  I’m just gonna have an envelope filled with money stuffed inside my body and then have my friends and relatives dig around for it…The best way to commit a murder has to be stabbing someone to death with an icicle.  Because then when the icicle melts, you’d have no fingerprints, no murder weapon, and a dead motherfucker.  It’s perfect!”

And when you’re sitting there, you eventually realize how trapped you really are.  You know that, right?  You’re helpless, and there’s nothing you can do.  Nothing.  NOTHING.  You look ahead: cars behind cars.  You look behind: cars behind cars.  You are stuck.  It’s a truly one-of-a-kind existential crisis.  There are ways to fight back, though, or at least relieve yourself of the pent-up rage that has accumulated faster than the piles of snow along the road.  After a few hours, I got out of the car and made a snowman on the side of the road.  Then I stood it down, yelled, “FUCK YOU, FROSTY!  AHHHHHH!” and kicked its fuckin’ head off.  It wasn’t much but it was a nice revenge fantasy that paid off, if only in the short term.

Then, at one point, after being stuck for about three or four hours, I saw a car with some decals on it promoting some business called the Video Game Hospital: All Systems Repaired.  And in my slowly devolving primitive state, I just kept repeating it.  I don’t know why I did this—I was already far enough into the deep end to not give a shit.  Video Game Hospital: All Systems Repaired.  And then I had an epiphany: humanity is really not that far along the evolutionary scale.  Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying I DON’T believe in evolution.  I completely and unequivocally DO, but I realized that humans are not as highly evolved as we sometimes like to think we are.  In fact, in my hazy diversions, I inadvertently determined that we’re really only about four sentences away from becoming Neanderthals again, because I was sitting there repeating that phrase—Video Game Hospital: All Systems Repaired—but each time I repeated the phrase, the more primitive I became.  The pattern went like this:

“Video Game Hospital: All Systems Repaired.”
“Vidja Gaym Hawspitale: All Sisstims Ruhpayred.”
“Viya Gaye Hasitle: Aw Sissmz Rapurred.”

Finally, it just went all the way from, “Video Game Hospital: All Systems Repaired,” down to:


Cars next to me are watching me have this crazy primal breakdown, like a gorilla that can’t crack open the coconut.

The total scale of the traffic jam was this: it took me six hours to go twenty miles.  That is the absolute truth.  It took longer to get through those last twenty miles than the entire trip would have taken under normal conditions.  By the way, if you’ve never been in a six-hour traffic jam during a snowstorm, here’s what it’s like: go into your kitchen, open your refrigerator, and take everything out.  Empty the whole thing.  Then, get inside, close the door, and wait to die.  It’s roughly the same experience, but you don’t have to shell out money for gas.

The worst part of the whole trip was telling people about it after the fact, and their pathetic attempts to empathize with what happened.  You ever have that one guy who tries to empathize with you, but it comes off as sounding insulting?  I was talking to a friend of mine about the trip and after I tell the story, he goes, “Yeah, man, I had a thing like that happen to me once in Arkansas, except I was only stopped for about an hour.  I know how that is, man.” No, you fuckin’ don’t.  That’s like saying, “Oh, man, you’ve got cancer?  Dude, yeah, I once had a mole that the doctor wanted to get tested but then it turned out it wasn’t cancerous.  Fuckin’ scary, dude!  I can TOTALLY relate!”

At which point, you should relate your fist to his face.

Until next time,


Whose Special Day Is It, Anyway?

I just celebrated my 21st birthday.  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  USA!  USA!  USA!  USA!  USA!

Okay, it wasn’t that wild and crazy.  I just went out to dinner with my family and had a couple of drinks.  What did I decide for my first legal drinks to be?  The White Russian.  Now, before I go any further, let me clarify that I ABSOLUTELY, COMPLETELY  made that choice based on the drink of choice of The Dude in The Big Lebowski.  I’m not gonna pretend like I was a fan of the beverage before the release of that movie, because otherwise that would mean that I would have been drinking White Russians since about the age of nine.  However, I highly enjoyed the drink, and I will continue to drink it when the opportunity arises, but not just because it was The Dude’s drink.  I actually believe that the White Russian is one of the best alcoholic drinks for you.

How?  Very simple: the White Russian can be made with milk.  That way, if you drink so many of them that you are falling down drunk, the calcium from the milk will keep your bones strong.  Some have argued that the alcoholic drinks with fruit or vegetable juice are better because you can receive vital vitamins and minerals that way, and quite simply: THEY’RE WRONG.  Milk equals calcium, which equals strong bones, which means if you pass out, you won’t crack your skull.  CASE FUCKING CLOSED.

However, despite what you may think from the above paragraphs, I’ve never been much of a big drinker.  I didn’t have my first beer until about nine months ago, and my only prior drinking experience involved a couple of rum & Cokes, which did teach me something about drinking.

Because of my typical nature (which is that of the generally quiet observer), when I drink I become much more talkative.  That’s probably not a big surprise.  But I get really talkative, like to the point that I like to perform what I call autobiographical magic shows.  By that, I mean I will approach the first person I see and say:

“I’m gonna tell you my life story and make the next three hours of your life DISAPPEAR!  But first, let me take off my hat—holy shit, there’s a rabbit in there!  I’ll be damned…I gotta let Cody know I found Mr. Wiggles…”

As I said, I didn’t get that crazy on my birthday, but it was good enough.  I’m glad I had a good birthday this year.  I’ve always had a bit of a problem with my birthday personally.  Why?  Because my birthday falls on December 20th, a mere five days from Christmas.  Do you have any idea how tough that can be on a kid?  To have his or her special day forever overshadowed by a much bigger holiday?

Having a birthday around Christmas was always difficult for me as a kid.  One reason was because, although I am not a very religious person (and satisfied enough about that—don’t bother me about it, Christians), many of my childhood friends were.  Therefore, every year was like a constant tug of war with the institution of religion.  And, of course, I’d never win.  I’d call my friends up:

“Hey, man, you gonna come to my birthday party next week?  It’s gonna be a lot of fun!”
“Aww, man, we’re going to somebody else’s party that night.  We’re not gonna be able to make it.  Sorry, dude.”
“Somebody else is having a party that night?  Oh, Jesus Christ…”
“Oh, how’d you know?”
“Ah, got a Facebook invite.  Put myself down for maybe.  Y’know, ’cause I didn’t wanna outright DENY the guy, but I’m still not going anyway.”

I can’t compete with Jesus.  It’s like putting Michael Jordan up against the entire US Special Olympics basketball team.  And Jesus obviously has the better parties.  Why?  Because he’s fuckin’ JESUS!  He can feed his whole party with one Snickers bar.  Meanwhile, I’m stuck with a melted pile of ice cream cake—there’s no resurrecting that!

Another reason having my birthday around Christmas was tough as a kid was because my parents didn’t always have a lot of money growing up.  But to their credit, they always did their best.  For instance, one year I wanted a bike.  But my parents couldn’t afford one.  Now, a lot of parents, in instances like these, will buy the bike anyway, and then say that it counts for both birthday and Christmas combined.  Not mine.  They got the bike, but they still insisted on differentiating between the two holidays.  So for my birthday, I got a unicycle.  Then for Christmas, I got handlebars, a tire, and heavy welding equipment.

I’m nine.  Surely that can’t be safe.  Imagine some little nine-year-old kid wearing an oversized safety helmet with a giant welding machine in the garage.  Besides, if my parents could afford the welding equipment, why not just spring for the fuckin’ bike?  My dad said, “Well, son, this year you are receiving the gift that keeps on giving: self-reliance…and possibly some third-degree burns.”

By the way, I hate when people give presents that “count” for both holidays.  I’m not a big materialistic person (or at least I try not to be), and I understand if you’re really struggling financially, but, otherwise, at least be fair and differentiate between the two holidays.  Whenever somebody gives me a gift and says, “This counts for both birthday and Christmas,” I like to stick up my two middle fingers and say, “Well, this counts for both, ‘fuck,’ and, ‘you.'”

Besides, that’s just cheap.  And it’s the only holiday where people will try to cheat you out of another gift.  Ridiculous.  You never see that with kids who share birthdays with other holidays.  Like Groundhog Day:

“Hey, Dad, what’d ya get me for my birthday?”
“Uh, how’s the weather outside?”
“It’s sunny!”
“Then you get six more weeks of winter, boy.  Happy fuckin’ Birthday.  Now go outside and play…Daddy’s drinkin’…”

Or the 4th of July:

“Hey, Dad, you gave me this box, but there’s nothing in it.  What gives?”
“Nothin’ in it?  Boy, that’s Uncle Sam’s Box O’ Freedom right there.  You realize your great-grandfather’s blood paid for that box?  I’m serious, it’s on the receipt here.  Three pints.  That’s how they do business down in Alabama.”

Until next time,