Monthly Archives: May 2010

“Do you have any kids?”

As you may be aware, in my life, there are no simple questions.

It seems simple, “Do you have any kids?” but it’s the fact that it’s asked by someone who is just killing time sort of bugs me. They may think it’s a nice, friendly, safe question but, if you really don’t care (and why would they?), why bother? I wouldn’t ask them,

“Do you have any kids that you like?”

But that’s a question I’d really like the answer to.

I think one of the reasons I don’t like it is because it doesn’t stop there. They have to make another innocuous comment and it just continues a downward spiral of, for me, boredom. So, I like to get to the end game before something seriously goes wrong.

“Do you have any kids?”

“One.”

“That’s nice.”

“No big deal. Someone else just fucked my wife.”

With Good Reason

I sure tend to write about the asshole side of life, don’t I? It’s not that nice people don’t inhabit my life, they do. But I guess it’s human nature to dwell on the negative. What do people remember most about you from junior high school? The ‘A’ you got after working very hard on a project? No. They remember the time that kid wiped a booger in your hair.

How come the fact this kid was walking down the hall with a booger at the ready isn’t part of the group psyche? Why doesn’t everyone there remember that? But, for whatever reason, they don’t. They just remember you, Mr. Booger Hair.

I think some of it is self-preservation. They can relax because the flicker finger of fate didn’t deposit it’s load on them. But why do they all remember you but are hard pressed to come up with the name of the carrier? Because it’s easier to think about your snot encrusted scalp than some bug-eyed loon loping down the hall with a fistful of nose goblins.

I think it comes down to comedy: it’s not funny to have a goo slinging goon but get a head full and it’s hilarious!

Then there’s a rumination factor. How that one situation, out of the billion good and bad situations you’ve had, lingers within your very fiber. It’s because people, generally, gravitate toward retaining bad memories. You’ve baked a thousand cakes but the one you remember is the one that fell when you took it out of the oven.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m pretty much like that fallen cake. You may have all kinds of great expectations when you approach me but all it takes is a gravel truck to pass by and you’ve got a jumble of crumble.

A woman, a stern lady, was lecturing me on the correct methods of my industry. I’ve heard it all before. The biggest experts I’ve ever run into are people who’ve never had anything to do with the subject they are pontificating on. The major factor in the expertise of these people is they want whatever they want in the exact manner they prescribe. In other words, selfish fucks.

When they slowly begin to realize that I do not agree with their new work order that’s when we arrive at the crossroad. They are thoroughly distressed with my lack of vision while I am totally bored because, no matter how they express themselves, I know I am going to win.

No matter which path this woman took I was there with a gate and an armed guard. There was nothing she could say or do that would open the gate. She had made her desire crystal clear and it was very one sided. She left me no option but to refuse.

Sensing she was faced with an immovable object she began the last refuse of the lost: berating. But, unlike so many other, she decided to come straight out and insult me. Usually there is some pussyfooting around. Maybe try to get me to side with her in our battle against The Man. Possibly try to get me to subvert the silly, arbitrary rules.

But no. She went right to it.

“You’re a small and spiteful man.”

“And if you were my mother I’d have used the umbilical cord to hang myself in the womb.”

Hey! No one calls me small and spiteful without getting a sample!

I don’t know what it was, the vision of a baby scrawled suicide note left on the uterine wall or maybe a sense that I’d be tough to sway, she decided to lay ruin to the customer service industry,

“You are the reason you don’t hear about good customer service.”

I am? I should get a raise or a poster or something. I smile, sensing closure in our relationship, and decided to leave her with one last thought.

“You know what else you never hear about? A masturbating lobster.”

I don’t think she appreciated it and, by her reaction, she’s still out looking for that elusive good customer service.

Ring Tones

I don’t have a cellphone. Calm down! Don’t take up a collection! I don’t want one. I’m near a phone nine or ten hours a day. My feeling is if you can’t reach me in that amount of time you don’t really need me.

“But what if there’s an emergency, Chris?” I’ve heard many times.

What kind of emergency would you need me for?

“Chris! My appendix burst. Make fun of my pain, stat!”

I’ve come to the conclusion that those who would need to contact me in case of an emergency, girlfriend and kid, are with me most of the time and, if they’re not, they know who I’m with so can call them.

To me that’s full coverage.

That said, I’ve spent quite a bit of time programming cellphones for others. Don’t ask me why. Maybe they feel my tiny hands are perfect for such delicate procedures. Whatever the reason, I can usually figure my way around a phone.

Which can come in handy. For me more than others most of the time.

I was with a very large, hard, intimidating friend. He’s not one you’d try to pull any crap on. There’s just something about him that signals caution.

But I’ve never been good at reading signals.

While we’re talking his cellphone goes off and it’s just a horrendous sound. Something akin to blending a Chevy in a Multi-Mixer.

“Damn, I didn’t expect you to be a techno fan.” I stated. He grumbled something about trying to change the ring tone, getting stuck with that one and not being able to change it.

Then we moved on to other subjects.

Until he excused himself leaving his cellphone behind.

So I thought I’d do him a solid. You know, give him a more pleasing tone to mark an incoming call.

Let me explain a little about myself. I have all great and good intentions when I start out on any endeavor. But then there’s that irksome part.

Most people have an angel and devil on their shoulders. And, I guess, I have that. But mine’s more a boy scout and court jester.

I pick up his phone, good citizen merit badge straight ahead. I scan down the seemingly limitless choices, many fitting others not, and, just before I’m about to make a fitting choice I hear the jester shake his bauble in my ear.

I made my choice, placed the phone down and, when he came back we bid each other adieu. I chuckled knowing the next time his phone rang this bear of a man, someone I witnessed crush a phone when he wasn’t happy with the conversation, was going to be serenaded by the haunting lyrics to “I Enjoy Being A Girl.”

In My Defense. . .

. . .I must say that, and many people who’ve had personal interaction with me would probably agree, I can be pretty patient and reasonable in conversation. Downright helpful some people may say.

But then there are these other times. The times you mostly read about here. It’s when the conversation of others builds and builds until the pressure gets too much and I, for lack of a better phrase, flip the fuck out.

Part of the problem is I’d rather be in silence than have inane words float through the ear. I’m not a suspension of belief sort of guy. It’s most likely the reason I’m not a big fan of science fiction.

No, you won’t change my mind. Yes, friends have locked me in rooms and played Trouble With Tribbles. Explained why some far out concept is plausible. But the best that’s ever happened to me while watching scifi was, in the theater at the first Star Trek, I fell asleep right after the space ship hit hyperspace.

After the movie, when my incredibly pissed off (soon to be ex) friend woke me, I said,

“Cut me some slack! Do you know how hard it was to sleep through all the hooping and hollering you people were doing?”

It’s just me, I know, but it’s difficult for me to bend the laws of reality just to fit a story.

The same is for hypothetical situations. One of the classics is the time machine. As in what would you do if. . .

I’m sitting there while these people tell what they’d do to better the world if they could use a time machine.

I think the only time machine use that works for me is when Biff used it to get a sport almanac from the future to make a fortune betting.

But no one ever does that. They go back in time. They’d kill Hilter. Keep Booth out of Lincoln’s box. Make sure all the book depositories windows were closed.

You know, something humanitarian. Always something selfless. Never selfish like go back in time and not fuck that person who gave you chlamydia.

I guess time machines bring out the best in people.

So there I am listening to this claptrap wishing I could go back in time and decline this invitation when someone asks me what I’d do.

“I’d go back in time and kill Adam and Eve so there would be no possibility of conversations like this ever taking place.”

I figure if you’re going to change history be sure of the consequences.

I Have To Grow Up

I know, as I’ve said before, it’s just one of my many flaws. A quirk if you are inclined to like me and give me the benefit of the doubt. But it seems to rear it’s ugly head at odd times. Maybe it’s because I’m not very good at small talk. Maybe it’s because the social mores of our times are so confining in their protocol. But then again, it could just be that I’m a gigantic ass.

I was with some people and one of them had been talking my ear off. Which makes me remember the time I ran into a guy with one ear. It was quite surprising because, to the best of my knowledge, the last time I was him he was duo eared. But this time he was hanging only a lefty. It was easily explained that it was torn off in an accident. We’re talking about it and I had to ask him a question. By this facial expression I could tell he was tired of the question he was preparing for. I had to assume it was something along the lines of,

“Does it effect your hearing?”

As if sound hits the antihelical, rolls up the fossa, down the concha and into the ear hole. Stupid question. But, obviously, one he’s received often enough to become bothersome.

But I had a different question,

“When it’s windy, does your head snap to the left?”

I’m thinking of that much more enjoyable time as this guys voice skitters along.

“So,” he says. “What do you do?”

I could, as we’ve discussed in the past, tell him. I usually do. But every once in a while something in my head turns to ass and I say something like,

“I’m in a Ramone’s tribute band that ages the songs.”

I’m WHAT?

I could tell the guy was, ah, interested may not be the correct term. Nor would intrigued. Ah, frightened, that’s what his expression was.

“Yeah,” I lied peddling down improv highway as quickly as I could. “We’re called The Nursing Home Ramone’s. We change the lyrics to reflect the aging of their fans.”

“Oh.” He says taking a not subtle step back. Silly man, retreat just inspires me.

“Yeah, for example. Animal Boy becomes Enema Boy. That one gets a good reaction. Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio turns into Did You Remember To Call The HMO? I Can’t Control Myself, I Can’t Control My Bowels. I Just Want To Have Something To Do becomes the crowd pleaser I Just Want To Have A Healthy Poo and, the tune we always close with Sheena Is A Grandmother.”

I really have to start acting my age.

Mother’s Day

Because I needed a moment to get the week behind me, I stopped into a bar for a beer after work on Mother’s Day. I wasn’t going to miss anything or have anyone angry with me because my Mother’s dead.

I’m sitting there sipping a beer reading a book a friend lent me by Doug Stanhope, Fun With Pedophiles. I figured some lighthearted reading was in order.

A guy sits next to me and says, interrupting my reading I’ll have you know,

“So, I hope you’re doing something nice for your mother?”

I’ve seen the guy, a neighborhood fixture. Like a hood ornament on a junk heaped shit box. I doubt I’ve said twenty words to him. Ever. But today, even though there was a dozen or so others in the bar, he felt the need to speak to me.

I know I could just say she’s dead. But, whenever I’ve done that in the past, it opens up an entirely new can of corpse worms. So I answered that it was all taken care of.

You’d think that would end it. He’d give me the all clear for being a dutiful son and move on to remind someone else of their duty. But no. He wanted to know what I did. Flowers, I said, I got her flowers.

“What kind?”

The kind that hurt when both jammed up and pulled out on ones ass. But, damnit, I couldn’t remember it’s scientific name. Don’t you hate when that happens.

Then he starts telling me I should be doing more. Dinner, dancing, rec room remodeling. He reminds me how important she is. How if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be here right now. Aw, fuck! Gee, Ma, thanks for this one!

I’m not indifferent to the need for people to talk and give advice. There’s a word for them. What is it? What is it? Oh yeah, bothersome bastards. But I also feel they should know when to fold ’em.

Sadly, they rarely do.

I close my book and put it face up on the bar. I have to end this. I have to end this abruptly. I have to end this with such a staggering end not only will he never look at me again, his mother’s uterus will quiver.

All right, you got me, I don’t HAVE to.

I want to.

I want to be left alone for what is left of my beer before I have to wander out into the street to the safety of my home.

“Well,” I begin to explain our Mother/Son relationship to this seeker of knowledge. “You see, my Mother doesn’t really like it when I spend money on her. Over the years she’d received everything she wants. She’d rather, because I’m a professional writer, that I spend some quality time and use my skills to honor her.”

“That’s very nice,” said the man wiping away a single tear. “What did you write for her?”

“A song. I had some friends record it so I have to go pick it up after I leave here.”

“What it called?”

“My Mother’s Cunt.”

If, from this moment on, you look in a dictionary for the word rattled you will see this man’s image. But I calm him, sooth him, try to stable him by saying,

“Don’t worry, it’s a tribute.”

You think you know Elvis?

You don’t know Elvis!

According to his autopsy, Elvis’ colon was 5 to 6 inches in diameter, nearly twice the size of the average person. It was also 8 to 9 feet long, compared with the normal 4 to 5 feet.

What the hell did he say as he flushed the toilet, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Little Elvis has left the building.”

Read the story here.