Fat Camp

As we all go about planning our family events for the 4th of July next week, I cant help but think back on a memorable family get-together a few years ago…Typical chaos ensued and of course it ended up with me getting assaulted and embarrassed, but what else would you come to expect from me? Enjoy this and enjoy your planning!


family plaque


It’s funny, because when I used to talk about my aunt owning a fat camp (a weight loss summer camp for kids) and having worked there, people never believed it. It sounded crazy and I was constantly accused of making it up until I actually brought people there. I was in good shape and used to go to the gym every day, so I guess it was a stretch.  But now, whenever I talk about the camp, people believe every word because they look at me (I have probably doubled in size since those days) and nod with that look that says “Of course you were at a fat camp and by the way, you really need to go back. There are many many many Fat Camp stories, most are entirely inappropriate for anyone’s gentle ears – but let’s start with this one:

My friend Weezie (Now talk about a Hooka with a capital “H”…

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For all my homies to get to know mes

hearye hearye


I posted this a few months ago for all the newbies – and it appears the time is ripe for it again. I’ve gotten a ton of new followers since then and I want to make them feel right at home and steer them down the right path. With so many posts on here, it’s hard to know where to start and unless you’re dedicated like Crazy-Annie-Smack-that-Fannie, you might not go back and start at the beginning to read them all…

Click here to start the ride and get caught up!

A higher calling or are the standards falling?

Right, this doesn't seem like an accident waiting to happen...

Right, this doesn’t seem like an accident waiting to happen…

Sort of how Moses was chosen to come down from Mount Sinai with the commandments, my higher calling in life is to deliver unto you crappy stories – literally. I am here to deliver all the poop that’s fit to print!


These things don’t happen to most people – except for lucky me. I’m not sure why I’m a turd magnet, but apparently I am. One of the earliest times was in eighth grade math class when Ms. Dickinson wouldn’t let a classmate named Rob out of the room to use the bathroom because she thought he would go smoke instead. She learned never to doubt again when he proceeded to march into her storage closet and take a shit four feet from her in full view. I bet she never made that mistake again – they suspended him for it, but he did ask her nicely for the pass so I kinda think she got what she deserved on that one…

As you can see, my love for the gym started at an early age...

As you can see, my love for the gym started at an early age…

One time at Fat Camp, there was a camper we all hated and he got one of his counselors in a lot of trouble when he ratted Dave out for being wasted during the day. I felt kinda bad because I was the one that made Dave drive me to the bar for happy hour in the first place but he was wasted and at least he didn’t sell me out too…The kid was only there for three weeks and Dave kept saying he was gonna get back at him, but we didn’t pay it any mind. When the kid’s parents came to pick him up, Dave walked him to the car and loaded his duffle bag personally into the trunk and hugged that kid as if they were brothers – very suspicious mind you. We realized why he was so over the top with them when we heard the blood-curdling screams from the kid’s mother moments later. Apparently, Dave got back at the kid by opening his packed duffle bag and hovering above it after lunch to send him home with a souvenir he’d never forget. Who could predict that the kid’s mother would reach into the bag to get his Walkman out for the car ride home before they left camp and she put her hand right into the duffle of defecation…I know the kid was a bastard, and I felt bad for the mother, but I couldn’t help but smile because I knew there was no way that family would ever set foot in the camp again!

What happened to Jordan Catalano? He ate hibachi...

What happened to Jordan Catalano? Hibachi fire…

My wife and I were meeting another couple out for dinner at a hibachi restaurant and we were running late because I was trying to force her to stop for food on the way. I don’t like a regular ethnic restaurant, nonetheless one where they cook it in front of you – without gloves mind you – and throw it around: They’re all like “Here, let me throw this shrimp in your shirt pocket” and I’m all like “Here, let me throw this shoe at your face.”  Also, doesn’t really seem safe now does it? Get a little too close and your face and eyebrows will melt off like my Aunt Wink. We meet up with the other couple and went to the hostess for seating. Since there would be a short wait, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to hit the little boy’s room and wash my hands.

who throws a show

As I walked in, I was overwhelmed with how bad the room smelled. I couldn’t immediately decipher if it was the odor of the bathroom or the spices being used in the kitchen. I went into the stall to get some toilet paper to blow my nose and stopped dead in my tracks. A dead body would have been less shocking, but right there in the stall was a pair of dirty men’s boxer shorts on the floor right in front of the toilet. When I say that there were dirty boxers on the floor, I don’t mean that they had a sweat stain on them; what I mean by dirty is that someone had shit their pants in a major way and left the boxer shorts in front of the toilet with the eggs still in the crate if you know what I mean.

As a person that has also lost their shit many times as if it was a hobby or my minor in college, I can empathize with the situation. What I cannot understand is how an animal might do that in a restaurant and then step out of the boxers and then leave them on the effing floor. Who does that? Did he go back to his table? Was he on a date? Imagine how lucky that lady is… Was there a patron in the dining room now going post-deuce commando? More importantly, did he seek medical attention, because that guy probably wasn’t OK after that…

After gagging in the sink, I ran out of the bathroom – lest anyone see that explosion in there and think it was my doing. I ran straight over to the hostess and explained. “It was not me! I have underwear on! I have underwear on! (At this point I lifted my shirt and pulled out the elastic of my underwear to show her and prove I wasn’t going commando.) She was looking at me like I was crazy as I tried to explain the disaster I just witnessed – but she glared at me almost mad with half suspicion that I was crazy and half disgust that I was telling her something so nasty. “Call housekeeping, call the police, or call your mother lady, but for God’s sake call someone in there right now!”

At that point, I tried to explain to my wife and the other couple because they thought I was fooling around. Who fools around and makes something like that up I do not know, but the restaurant sent reinforcements in right away. I didn’t want to eat there beforehand, but now that I had been traumatized, less so. Then I couldn’t stop fixating that it might be one of their employees so I was eyeing every waiter, bus boy, and cook up and down to see if anyone was walking strangely or seemed suspicious…Needless to say not a good night to be eating out…

As if that weren’t enough to make me sick, today at the gym it was de ja vu! I went to wash my face off after my workout and walked past the shower stalls when low and behold – there was a deuce in the stall. A deuce in the shower stall! I stopped dead in my tracks because I couldn’t believe that someone would do that not even ten feet from the bathroom stalls. Who shits in the shower? That can’t have possibly happened on accident – who accidentally shits themselves in the shower? I know it’s probably too late for me not to be disgusting, but it was a solid turd – there is no way that slipped out without someone knowing. If you really have no control of something like that happening, please consider a diaper if you run on the treadmill…Now who still doesn’t think they need flip flops in the gym showers?

flip flops in shower

I’m not condoning these actions because some of them are pretty gross – I’m just reporting it.  I am literally, giving you the turd’s eye view of the situation. This is just a sampling, but I think we need to start handing out Imodium on the street like pamphlets- it’s an outright contagion and I have to watch my step – literally.

A Stain by any other name…

buck rogers

As I heard about this crazy story and it randomly made me think of my college friend Weezie and her “guy.” Nothing as tragic, but you’ll see the connection…But first – let me tell you that this is the exact reason I will not commute without my Imodium AD!!!

I know that in college that it’s a different world and you live by crazier standards than you do in real life, but banging someone named “ShitStain” is sort of like watching the Wendy Williams Show sober – it’s never a good idea! He was a great guy and all, but it didn’t matter – his name was “Shit Stain.”

Wendy Williams is a Wonder allright!

Wendy Williams is a Wonder allright!

If you were to ask Weezie, she’d tell you he looked like Brad Pitt, but I think he looked more like Nat from The Peach Pit. I’m not trying to be mean here, but they weren’t even officially dating so it is hard to know what to call them; I’ll just say they were “friends” and leave it at that. I liked him, he was a cool guy. My question was never about him or his looks or anything – it was his name. Hear me out: I am not one to normally pry about anyone’s nighttime fun – but I couldn’t help but ask: What did she say during the sex? Seriously, what do you yell out when you’re having sex with someone named ShitStain?

“Give it to me ShitStain”

Me love you long time ShitStain”

“If this stain’s a rockin, don’t come a knockin”

You get the picture and you can understand my curiosity – something just ain’t right about that…


I’m sorry to report that there was no happy ending for the two of them and the relationship didn’t progress to the point of registering for linens monogrammed with ShitStains, but I did I see him once after Graduation. I was up at the Fat Camp when I randomly saw him walking with his mother in the mall.

As I walked over, I yelled out “Hey ShitStain, What’s going on?” to painful looks of confusion on his mother’s face as if she didn’t know who I was talking to. She was looking around side to side as if there might be two ShitStains in the mall at the same time. It was then that I realized that I didn’t actually know his real name and she apparently didn’t know his stage name. OK, so it was his Fraternity name and not a stage name, but does it really matter? His mother was like:

“What did you just call him? That’s not his name!”  

Blank stare back from me – I couldn’t even guess at a real name…

“Do you not know his name” she asked me…“It’s John.”

“Really? I don’t picture you as a John…”          

She turned to ShitStain “Why did he just call you that? How do you know him?”

“What?” I said “Everyone calls him ShitStain…” It’s not as if I would walk up to strangers calling them ShitStain for no reason…

“Who calls you that John? Why do they call you ShitStain?” she questioned as they walked away…Not really much of a question if you ask me…I never actually asked him why, but I always had a pretty good idea of how he got that name…

open mouth

Once again, open mouth and insert foot! I can only imagine that car ride home…

“John, I’m telling your father that people call you ShitStain…”

Don’t you miss college sometimes???

Can I get a side of whoop ass with that toast Jan?

There’s really not anyplace to eat near the fat camp, especially late at night. After closing down the local bar, we were always hungry and looking for someone to take us to the diner. It was the only place to get something to eat 24 hours a day and I could never drive because I was always completely drunk. The food was unbearable if you were sober but, like I said, it was the only thing open late-night and thankfully, we were never sober in there. We went there so much that Jan the waitress became quite fond of me. When I say that she became quite fond of me, I mean that she would put up with my nonsense because I was always drunk and obnoxious…

Jan was very patient with the drunks and she made really good toast. She had a tendency to screw up my order, but I usually attributed that to my pickiness and slurring drunken speech – not her waitressing skills. Jan was in her mid-fifties, had big hair like Flo from Mel’s Diner, had extremely long nails, and had a deep raspy voice from many years of chain smoking. I know exactly what you’re thinking and you’re right; she was hot!

Jan, Is that you?

One night I was out with my cousin Leaky and her friend Diana. She was a nice enough girl, but she was extremely intimidating and she didn’t take shit from anyone. She didn’t appreciate my sarcasm – which she let me know often – and was actually more like a bodyguard than a friend. Let me try to paint a picture and tell you about Diana – she was built just like a FedEx drop-off box, had both her eyebrows, her lips, and ears pierced with all manner of metallic symbols and objects, a razor-thin moustache over that constant frown, and she had really short curly red hair like a certain little orphan whose name rhymes with Fannie. Picture a female Mr. T without the jewelry and you’re not far off. I used to like to refer to her as “the Enforcer” but obviously not to her face since I was afraid of her. I really do say it about a lot of people, but she truly was crazy.

Put a curly wig on top and it’s not that far off from what she actually looks like.

To illustrate her insanity, we were in her car after picking up another friend, when she saw a guy randomly walking down the street. She threw on the brights and gassed it to the floor! The guy saw her veering towards him and bolted off while she was screaming out the window “Why are you running? Why are you hiding behind that car” as she was holding the horn down and swerving at him. Did I mention it was after midnight on a weeknight on a random side street? I was like; “Hello crazy, of course he’s running away like Carl Johnson – You’re chasing him down a dark street”…Needless to say the guy went running scared through someone’s yard towards the next block over to get away from this lunatic.

So back to the diner – Diana agreed to take us because she hadn’t been drinking and I was starving and whining non-stop about going. As we walked in the diner, I could see the look of grave concern on Jan’s face and I just assumed that she was as puzzled about Diana’s hair and clothing choices as we were. Apparently, I was much worse than usual in my level of drunkedness. I thought I was acting all subtle and smooth like jazz but, in hindsight, there was nothing subtle about me stumbling in the door and screaming: “Jan, I will fuck you on this counter RIGHT NOW if you bring me some rye bread toast immediately.” I’m not saying for sure whether she wanted it or not, but that was the quickest toast I have ever gotten in any diner, anywhere before or since.

Everyone in the diner thought it was funny and was laughing: everyone except for Jan. Jan proceeded to scold me and threaten to throw me out…”You can’t act like that in here. You better behave or you’re out again” to which I started giggling uncontrollably. Then she got mad and screamed “Out! You’re not doing this tonight” and had her hand strategically positioned on her hip while the other hand waived me towards the door like an air traffic controller with a flare. I begged her to let me stay since I was starving and anyway I didn’t have the keys to the car – I should have taken her advice and left then- little did I know.

Not one of my shining moments…

I really needed to pee so I took a bite of some of that delicious toast and stumbled off to the bathroom urinal to relieve myself. The next thing I remember was someone grabbing my arm and I went all Wu-Tang. I was swinging like Marky Mark in The Fighter because you do not mess with a guy at a urinal in the Men’s Room. That’s how I remember things going down.

What ACTUALLY happened was that I was peeing at the urinal and leaned against the wall for balance and apparently blacked out/fell asleep in the process. Sensing something was wrong since I obviously don’t shit in public with all this Imodium AD flowing through my veins, my cousin thought I needed someone to check on me. I think you can see where this is leading…

She senses something might be off, yet sends Diana in to see if I’m OK. She came in, saw me passed out and grabbed my arm so as not to startle me when I came to. Needless to say, when she grabbed me it startled me and I immediately went all funky bunch and tried to throw a cuff or two. A normal person in that situation would be a little more understanding when a drunken person with absolutely no coordination is throwing punches – not Diana.

Once I went all Iron Mike, Diana responded like Jackie Chan. She threw an elbow, somehow kicked me in the face as I was falling and then threw me onto the floor. She threw me onto the filthy public bathroom floor! As if that wasn’t enough – she dropped on top of me with the sharpest elbow on the East Coast and started punching the drunk out of me. Homegirl got all out crazy and was giving me a full throttle beat-down right there at the urinal. She seemed heavy before – but with the sheer might and gravity of her torso pummeling me, I really thought that deuce and a half of Diana might literally break me. Remember what Bane did to Batman in The Dark Knight Rises – well He’s got nothing on Diana!

Bane or Diana?

I’d like to tell you that I connected with a few good shots in on her as she was picking up her next title fight belt, but the truth is I didn’t connect with anything but the bathroom floor. She was doing a real number on me, but in my defense, I was mostly just trying to get my pants buttoned up and put my junk away. Not the best visual, but imagine my fear about having my privates hit that very public and filthy bathroom floor! No amount of penicillin is gonna make that go away.

Usually in circumstances like this, there is a savior – someone who sees the wrong in this situation and does what they can to assist because it is the right thing to do – not that night! You know who my savior was? Not my cousin, who was laughing at my screams while she finished eating my toast back at our table. No, my savior was Jan who heard the commotion and screaming (mine) and came running in. She kicked the bathroom door open (almost hitting me in the face with it, by the way), grabbed me by my ear and proceeded to drag me out the bathroom towards the front door like I was a rolling suitcase. Turns out she wasn’t saving me at all – she was throwing me out! I thought she was coming to my rescue and was like “Thank God, she’s kicking the shit out of me! What took you so long?  Wait, why are you throwing me out – she attacked me!!! Hey that hurts – let go of my ear! Can I at least take the toast to go?” Needless to say, the view from my perch on the front steps where she deposited me was not pretty.

As I sat on the front steps beaten and defeated, I tried trying to compose what was left of my tattered pride and shake it off. I had just been the victim of a drive by ass kicking, and there they were eating and having a good laugh at my expense. I’m sure it would have bothered me more if I hadn’t passed out again while I sat there on the steps leaning against the glass door.

Rye Bread Toast, how I love thee…

Jan actually did bring me some toast out on the steps a little while later – which made me laugh because it confirmed what I already knew to be true: she wanted me….she’s lucky the bully beat down took every drop of energy I had in me or I might have tried to make a move on her…Granted, she didn’t apologize for dragging me out by my poor little delicate ear, but the toast was all I needed to know everything would be all right…

This has absolutely nothing to do with this post – I just thought it was funny.


Earlier, I told you about my antics in a college production of Grease and now I’m back with another helping. After getting slimed by Crista like I was on Double Dare, I wasn’t sure it was safe (or sanitary) for me to ever have a part in Grease again. Despite that, I ended up stepping in to direct the official Fat Camp version of Grease with my friend Rhea after the original director hired had an emergency and couldn’t come to camp.

As we were discussing the play over many drinks at lunch, Rhea convinced a more intoxicated version of my regular self that I should be the Teen Angel. Figuring it would be a blast, I forgot for a second that I can’t sing and immediately agreed to it. Who doesn’t love a Beauty School Dropout and, really, does it matter if it sounds good?

After a few rehearsals, the show started coming together nicely but we felt like my entrance was a bit boring and should have a wow factor (or about as wow as you can get at Fat Camp)…We discussed it and were throwing out ideas about how to spice it up, when her face lit up and she said “Oh My God, the Teen Angel appears to Frencie to offer advice and look out for her, so how funny would it be if he was dressed like a Fairy Godmother in a big frilly dress? Sarcastically, I replied “Why don’t you just hang me from the ceiling like Peter Pan while you’re at it” and as soon as it was out loud, we both knew how funny it could be. I had said it more as a joke, but the more we discussed it, the cooler it sounded to lower me from the back balcony over the audience while I entered singing.

Imagine the looks I got as we went from one woman’s store to the next so I could try on dresses and find the “perfect” one. Tell me which part you think is more embarrassing: A) That I was guy in all these women’s stores trying on dresses or B) That when questioned about what we were doing, Rhea said “What’s so weird about it? It’s for Fat Camp” as if that answer provided any sort of clarity.

It’s always so hard to find the right fit…

Back at camp, we spoke to the maintenance guys and they thought it was hysterical and got to work on creating a swing for my entrance. My vision was of a chariot being lowered from the rafters by professional machinery; their vision was a piece of wood with a rope tied to it. Guess what we got? The latter vision. Obvious red flags should have went up – but I was sober very little that summer and you know how I commit to a role!

On the night of the show, I got into costume and went up in the balcony to wait for my sound cue. As I sat there hunched over, so that no one would see me or realize that I was up there, I couldn’t help but have second thoughts about this whole stupid idea and the scenario that was playing out. I had a bad feeling about my entrance and then became horribly aware of just how awful I looked. Sure, I was a guy in a woman’s dress and floppy wig, but it wasn’t even funny-ugly – it was just an ugly sight. I had frills everywhere and realized a little too late that maybe pink wasn’t my color after all. With my albino white skin and that light pink dress, I looked like a deformed porcelain doll…I was in good shape back then with a full head of hair mind you, but dressed as a woman, I looked like Lady Gaga without the ya ya’s. Who lets a guy with a flat chest wear a dress and forgets about the knockers?

I looked like Lady Gaga without the ya ya’s!

As we were coming up on my cue, the guys holding the ropes couldn’t even look at me without laughing. I was seated on the swing waiting for Frenchie to say “If only I had a guardian angel tell me what to do” and I then I would say “You got your wish sister!” and launch into Beauty School Dropout. That’s what’s was supposed to happen – but as I said “You got your wish sister!” everyone in the audience turned and looked up at me and the music started to play. The guys that were supposed to lower me on the swing over the lip of the balcony and then down to the ground pushed my backside instead of pushing the swing, causing me to fall out of it.

No one screamed louder than me because it almost scared the shit out of me as I was pushed off the swing and grabbed at the ropes to hold on. As I fell, one of the guys holding the rope grabbed my hand and I was dangling there like Sylvester Stallone in Cliffhanger. Needless to say, trying to sing the song through the screams (mostly mine) and hysterical laughter (everyone else’s) was to no avail. The music played on and at first, I still tried to keep singing the song as they were trying to pull me back up into the balcony.

As I was dangling there like a pendulum, I couldn’t help but think a) good thing I wore underwear and b) good thing the pair of underwear I chose wasn’t my festive American Flag G-string and then c) fucking let me go already!

I checked afterwards to make sure, but it’s not actually written in the stage directions on the script to scream “Asshole, let me go” at the crew members during the show but sometimes you have to improvise. I also never learned the old tuck and roll trick either because when I got my wish – and they released me – I dropped the rest of the way down and hit the ground like a rock to even louder laughter and clapping. I wasn’t really mad that not even one person in that audience tried to catch me or tried help me before, during, or even after the fall, and I also wasn’t mad at the piano player who didn’t think to stop playing the song at all during it either. I know what you’re thinking “It could have been worse” but that’s not the end of it.

I didn’t get hurt in the fall unless you count my pride – cause that bitch was a-hurtin’ fo Sure! I also didn’t get hurt by the dangling swing that I fell out of repeatedly smacking me in the face and noggin as I dangled there. All of that might not have been so bad or embarrassing if at the exact moment that I was shifted out of the swing and started to plummet, my dress hadn’t gotten caught on the balcony ledge and started to ceremoniously rip off me layer by layer. After they finally let me go and I fell to my descent, the remaining tattered material just gave way around me. Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark let me tell you something: you are not innovative – I was falling out of the rafters during a show years before you!!!

I did my best to try and keep some parcel of my dignity intact as I did what I could with the performance but imagine how difficult it was to try to get up off the ground and make your way to the stage in boxers and a few strands of taffeta around your neck and chest. God only knows when and where I lost the wig, but I was a mess. I held my head up high, tried to keep from laughing and sing the rest of the song and exited stage right.

After bearing witness to one of the best spectacles she said she has ever seen, my sister Marlene came backstage with her arms overflowing with the multiple pieces of material she had recovered from the wall, floor, and along my trail through the auditorium. With tears in her eyes and trying to hold in her laughter, she said (handing me the pile of material) “I think you forgot this out there…Words cannot even describe…Was it supposed to happen like that?…I thought you might have really gotten hurt there for a second there but…” and then we just burst out laughing. We didn’t even wait until the end of the show, we literally left right then and went to the bar. Not the best tactic if you’re the director of said show, but I had enough and needed alcohol immediately.

I must have been out of my mind to think that it would work in the first place – me and coordination go together like asparagus and a golden shower…Even though it didn’t go as smoothly as I had planned – I was more like Frank the Tank than Frankie Avalon – it was really funny and everyone loved it. You know the old saying: It may not be Broadway, but even at Fat Camp – the show must go on!

I was more like Frank the Tank than Frankie Avalon!



Cha Cha from the movie Grease died last week which made me think about when I was younger and still had delusions of grandeur that I was going straight from college to Broadway and then directly to Hollywood. I was in a few productions here and there and (like the ladies said) – I had big parts. More often than not, it was smaller roles and one-liners, but believe it or not – I was also cast in a few musicals. If you know me or have heard my voice on the audio posts  I’ve dropped here, you’re probably just as surprised as I was. I might revisit some of the other productions I was in at another time, but in honor of Annette Charles, this week I’ll tell you about two of my experiences when I was in two dramatically different versions of Grease.

R.I.P. Cha Cha

In my college production I was cast as Vince Fontaine. He’s the smarmy DJ that flirts with Marty at the dance and the director wanted to find me a costume that would be over the top and I knew just where to look. My aunt at the Fat Camp was a little bit of an eccentric when it came to clothing and no one had more “character” or randomly odd pieces in their everyday wardrobe than her. It may seem weird to go through a woman’s closet looking for a man’s costume – but you don’t know my aunt.   


After a quick scan through her closest, I immediately honed in on her green, leopard print (almost snakeskin looking) business suit. I know exactly what you’re thinking and I was thinking it too – would it be too hot to wear wool under those bright stage lights? I figured it was better to show her than ask her, so I slipped it on and headed towards the kitchen to find her. Her response was a mixture of two parts disgust and one part confusion that I had chosen a black shoe and not the “appropriately matching brown shoes” because she felt like a brown would work better on me. Other women might be concerned if their nephew came home from college for the weekend and started trying on her clothing, but the only thing my aunt was concerned with was the proper pants-shoes coordination.


It’s odd that she would only mention the shoes as her concern because when you remove her big heels and hairpieces, I look like Wilt Chamberlain standing next to her. To say that the suit was a little ill-fitting was an understatement. By ill-fitting, I mean that because of our height difference, her pants were so short on me that they made me look like a lederhosen-clad Hummel figurine.  The short pants were quickly kicked to the curb, but oddly enough the jacket was an almost perfect fit which was strange since my aunt had about forty pounds on me. In my opinion, the jacket’s shoulder pads really did give my build a little definition and needless to say, one look and the director loved it.



This is about how short her pants were on me...


During the school dance scene, the stage directions were for me and Crista (the girl that played Marty) to stand off to the side, towards the edge of the stage, and pretend to make out. Of course, me being the immature ass that I am, I kept lifting the red ruffles on the back of her dress while grabbing for a seat at the same time. She is a really cool girl and didn’t care about it during rehearsals, but come opening night, she said that I couldn’t grab her ass or lift her dress because her parents, grandparents, and whole family would be sitting there in the front row not even three feet from us. She stressed this to let me know that she was serious and I am a gentleman and totally understood where she was coming from, and told her that I wouldn’t do it.


I often joke around, but this is actually me from that version of Grease.


To me, being a dedicated thespian means truly being “in” the scene, so on opening night, I was “in” the scene. I told her I wouldn’t do it, but I felt like that might be cheating the audience in some way so when it came time, I lifted her dress, grabbed her ass, and then didn’t fake it – I slipped her the tongue! This was not how the rehearsals went, but I thought it might make her reaction to it more authentic if I surprised her and basically, I was immature. I was thinking that I was so funny and that she’d get a kick out of it, but when I slipped her the tongue (And just in case I never said it to you back then: You’re welcome Crista) a not so funny thing happened. Karma!




Her surprised response to my uninvited cat-burglarish tongue being thrust upon her: She gasped and exhaled out through her nose thrusting a disgusting snot loogie right out of her nostril and onto my cheek with the force of a small Jedi Knight. Talk about ruining a moment…I was violated. I mean, call me crazy, but here I was committing to the scene and my character and look what happens; in no version of Grease that you’ve ever seen was there Snot-ilogical warfare…Obviously, I deserved it in some way and was lucky she didn’t pop me right in the chops, but after the assault I missed a part of another scene because I was in the bathroom scrubbing the skin off my face leaving my cheek red as a smacked ass to get that boogie off me. She told me afterwards that she didn’t do it on purpose and I’d like to hope that it wasn’t intentional – I mean what kind of sick individual has boogers locked and loaded as an alarm system in case someone tries to break in, but who knows?


I see a bright future on the stage for you my dear...



The point of this isn’t that I got what I deserved or that justice was served or even that when you do stupid things stupid things happen back to you – The point of this is that Thank God I had a lot of stage makeup on or I’d still be scrubbing that booger off my face. Stage makeup saves lives people!!! Embrace the Theatre!!!

As hard as it is to believe that my stupidity would almost disrupt one production of Grease, read later this week about how I ruined another production of Grease outright. A little hint to tide you over until then: No, there’s not a boogie in sight but it does involve stunt work, partial nudity, and yes, of course – Fat Camp!   



Say it ain’t so! You don’t know UFO Joe?

Throughout my life, I have been very fortunate to have come into contact with a ton of really crazy people. I don’t mean crazy like Wow, she has two different socks on, I mean crazy like Oh my God, she just took off her prosthetic leg and is screaming at me to help find her cigarettes!!! Some might call it a curse, but I have always considered it a gift and I am more than willing to share it with you. I have talked about life at the Fat Camp before here and here, but the absolute best part of living there year-round was that there was always an assorted bunch of lunatics running around to keep me entertained. I will give in and admit that I wasn’t sober for more than eighty percent of the time that I lived there, but still – there were some really crazy peeps out there in the woods.

The whole family went out for my aunt’s birthday dinner and it wasn’t long at all before she actually threw me out of the restaurant. We hadn’t even gotten our appetizers served before the Camp Chef, Joe, started to describe his very first alien abduction. I was obviously caught off-guard by this and immediately started hysterical laughing because it was the first time I was hearing any of this. You would think someone would have prepared me for it because they had already heard these stories multiple times. Naturally I thought he was kidding or, more likely, mentally ill. After a menacing glance, my aunt told me that in case I didn’t know it, it’s very rude to laugh in someone’s face and then she kicked me under the table. That kick really hurt which was misleading because she’s a short and stubby little one but those hooker clogs she was wearing really did a number on my ankle.

I tried to stop laughing, but he kept going on…And on…And on. I know that I’m immature, but come on I thought for one split-second that I might have actually been the one abducted and was sitting with the alien pods because they were hanging on his every word. It was right at that moment when the nickname “UFO Joe” was born and solidified. Maybe it was the alcohol or my natural smart-ass nature that made me do it, but when he was done I proceeded (as serious as I could) to tell him about how my friend Fallon was also abducted by aliens (and not the illegal kind by the way) when she was living in Los Angeles. I was explaining how hard it was for her because her husband Jeff and her father Blake didn’t believe her…when my Aunt hauled off and kicked me under the table again. That bitch could really work a clog if you know what I mean.

The Colby’s

Apparently, she could tell that I was talking about Season Two of the underrated classic The Colby’s but UFO Joe was empathizing and saying how hard it must have been for Fallon…Then (catching on) UFO Joe looked at me like I was the crazy one and said “You don’t believe me? You want to see proof?” Before I could even answer like Whitney Houston and say “Hell to the No”, he unbuttoned his shirt and thrust it open to reveal a huge bloody gash where he had ripped open his skin and dug through it with a paper clip. Right there at the table! Waitress, please cancel the Nachos!

As I was trying not to throw up from the site of it, he was going on about how he was positive that they left a tracing probe implanted in his chest and he wasn’t going to stop looking until he found it and removed it. That gash was so deep and disgusting and gooey that it actually looked like there was a vegetable lasagna platter sitting on his chest; it was obviously infected but he was convinced that the aliens had planted the infection as well. I innocently asked if he thought that using a dirty paper clip to bore through layers of human skin while searching for a tracing probe could possibly cause an unrelated infection to the original alien infection that was placed there – but I got the evil eye. My Aunt threw me out before I could get an answer from him, but at least it wasn’t another kick under the table!

Come on Joe, button your shirt back up!

I am not the type to suffer fools gladly and I am also not a mature person in the presence of crazy people. I couldn’t help but laugh as I sat alone on a stool at the bar next door. I did make a few new friends at the bar and then sang karaoke, but it kind of loses a little something when you’re throwing out an Eric Carmen remix with no one there to see it. All by Myself was my signature song, but it was never truer than that night at the bar. This was the first time that I got a dose of UFO Joe and his insanity, but not the last time.

UFO Joe lived at the local bar that we used to go to every day. There was a barn on the side of the bar and he lived in an apartment above it. He had a small porch and a view of cows in a field that always smelled like shit – but he wouldn’t change it for the world. That is until he moved into the house right next to ours at the camp. The camp had almost 250 acres of open space but where do they put the craziest person in three states: fifty feet from where I sleep naturally.

He was crazy, but harmless for the most part. At least, that’s what I kept telling myself. It took them a while, but they finally did convince me that it wasn’t weird to see UFO Joe barbecuing chicken on his outdoor grill while wearing ONLY an apron. I was obviously disgusted by the sight of it, but actually more concerned that there might be a sudden fireball from the barbecue. (Don’t laugh – It actually happened to me; why do you think I won’t barbecue anymore? There was a huge WHOOSH followed by a big ball of flames shooting upwards from the grill, up my body and face, and then up the side of the townhouse and my wife went inside and shut the sliding glass door! Granted I was screaming like a nine year old girl and my arms were flailing around, but I was lit up like a roman candle and not even an “Are you ok?)

It was truly disgusting, but my real concern was that if UFO Joe’s back hair were to spontaneously ignite, he might spread into a literal wildfire and burn the entire camp down. As unbelievable as that thought was, when I told my aunt she said I was crazy. If that doesn’t give you a clear picture of my aunt’s oddball mindset – nothing will. There’s a naked, middle-aged, alien abducted man grilling chicken clad only in a red and white checkered apron steps away from us and I’m the crazy one.

As if UFO Joe being shishka-bare while cooking wasn’t enough, he’d blast his music as loud as his speakers would go and play opera or 70’s Classic Rock all night long. You did kind of get used to the noise after a while and I could never get him to admit it, but after a while, I actually started to think that maybe he was implanted and that through the the music was sending signals back to the mother ship…That’s when I knew that it was time to get out of the woods and leave the Fat Camp for good.

E.T. Phone Joe?

Needless to say, the Fat Camp was a fun place to be if you needed a good laugh and there were always plenty of crazy people around to break up even the darkest days. At least it was never boring…

Dog Day Afternoon

I will share something here that I bore witness to that shocked even me – and I’m not one that’s easily shocked – so, as Sophia Petrillo said “Picture it: Fat Camp – Winter Season.

Besides the Fat Camp, my aunt also owned a diner and the Manager she had working there was this bumbling Frenchman George (Think Inspector Clouseau in a nicer suit) that made even my mostly good-intentioned, but half-retarded cousin, Lon, seem like a scientist. George and his wife, Maddie, used to come to the Fat Camp to torture (or visit, depending on who you ask) with us. I’m not sure how or why this was started, but it didn’t take long to realize that it wasn’t a good idea.

One day as we were hard at work (sitting by the pool drinking of course) they arrived. We had started out with intentions of painting the fence, but that quickly turned south when I brought out the alcohol. Truth be told, I never had any intentions of painting that fence and was drinking by the pool when they came up to paint it. One drink led to another and another and then they realized the fence could wait. As George and Maddie pulled into the driveway along with my aunt, they opened the car door and their two mini-Dobermans got out and followed my aunt and Maddie over to the pool while George went into the house.

As a pet owner, I’m always interested to see how other dogs act with their owners. My Shih-Tzu Smokey likes to be held on your lap and to have you pet him while driving in the car, but once you arrive wherever you’re going he can’t wait to see who else is around to play with and get away from me. One night when I was in college and Smokey was still a puppy, I got all up in his grill when we came back from the bar and was raising him into the air like Simba in The Lion King and then bring him face to face and I would slur “SSSS SSSS Smokey, SSSS SSSS Smokey, SSSS SSSS Smokey” until he finally had enough of my nonsense and bit down on the tip of my nose in retaliation. It might not have been so bad if he had just nipped and released to prove his point, but his pincers got caught in my nostrils. Every time I screamed out in pain he got scared and bit down harder and clamped onto my nose like it was a rawhide. I was running around screaming with this five pound dog biting down harder as he was glued to my face and it looked like he was T-bagging my nostril, but not one person helped me. Everyone just laughed their asses off. He could have bitten the tip of my nose off and swallowed it for all they cared. Smokey finally released but he left indentations in my nose on both sides where he chomped down – talk about a conversation starter, “When Shih-Tzu’s Attack!” (Not like the time when my father actually did get attacked by Marlene’s killer Shih-Tzu (Brutus) and had to get stitches in his face – at least I can blame my bite on drunken stupidity; He was sober. My father I mean – not Brutus).

So, as we made small talk with Maddie and offered them a drink, those two dogs fought for affection on her lap. As we were talking and I was just starting to really enjoy my Vodka, those dogs started pushing each other to try and get better placement. They’re very cute dogs, but it was odd because they never left Maddie’s side. Literally never. (Foreshadowing alert)

Next thing I know, here comes George strutting out of the house like a peacock in a bright blue Speedo. A fucking, bright blue Speedo. He was calling out in his little French accent “Allo, Allo” to everyone and then came over and full-body hugged my cousin, and then full-body hugged her boyfriend, and then came right at me arms outstretched. It was like slow motion and Thank God I have reflexes like a cat. I almost jumped over the fence as he tried to hug me and everyone looked at me like I was the crazy one when I put the bottle of Vodka as a buffer between us and offered him a drink. I jammed a cup into his open hand – anything to avoid contact with him and the little blue teacup he was wearing. He looked at me for a second, confused, and then proceeded to make his way around the table shaking everyone else’s hands. My aunt gave me a quizzical look that said “What’s wrong with you?”as if she couldn’t tell or didn’t see anything odd here. Right, I’m the crazy one – George just bump and grinded his bright blue Speedo against my teen-age cousin and then against her boyfriend and I’m the bad guy because I refuse to let him dry hump me next.

That situation wouldn’t have been OK even if George was in shape, if George wasn’t over fifty, or if George wasn’t wearing his knee length black dress socks and slip on black loafers with that Speedo, but for God sakes none of us were even swimming or wearing bathing suits. Who walks up to a group of fully clothed people wearing a bathing suit smaller than a do-rag and starts hugging them? It was a Fat Camp, not a swingers colony!

I gathered my friends and headed out to the local bar for the rest of the afternoon to try and burn that image out of my memory forever, and my aunt said to make sure I was back for our “Family Dinner” and then gave me a dirty looked when I asked her if there was going to be a dress code. George never did go swimming – he just hung out (literally) all day by the pool.  (As a side note, whenever questioned about George and Maddie saying or doing something weird, my aunt would always shrug and say “He’s French” or “She’s French, that’s what they do” as if that explained it.)

There were so many lunatics that I will tell you about at another time, but in the center of the assorted arsenal of players that worked at that camp was UFO Joe. We called him that because, obviously, his name was Joe. What wasn’t as obvious about him at first glance was that he had been abducted more than once. I’m not talking Liam Neeson’s daughter in Taken kind of abduction, I’m talking full-blown, alien poking, possibly impregnating, but definitely fucking-with abduction! (Please re-read that last sentence again and really see what I have had to overcome in my life. I am a neurotic putz with a host of my very own issues which I heartily admit, but I am constantly faced with fucking crazy people that make me seem like the normal one.) There is not enough room on the internet to capture all of UFO Joe’s exploits, but I promise to revisit them another time.

Dinner went without incident and while her two dogs sat on Maddie’s lap the whole time – my dog, Smokey, and my aunt’s two Yorkies were suspiciously avoiding her like the plague. I thought it odd that they weren’t begging, but didn’t think too much about it because at that moment, our maid Happy (The African/Crazy/slothlike/sexy in a certain leather yellow moomoo-wearing kind of way) hit me with her breast as she leaned over me and started to clear the table. George went to smoke cigars with the “Men” so I went to smoke a fattie with the “Real Men” and try to burn the thought of Happy’s middle-aged, bra-less breast swinging against me (like a pendulum on a grandfather clock) out of my mind.

As I headed back to the Dining Room for cake to satisfy my munchies, my aunt and Happy were in the kitchen getting the coffee and dessert together. As I walked back into the Dining Room, only UFO Joe and Maddie (and of course the two dogs) were sitting at the table as everyone hadn’t come back in yet. I walked in on their conversation and sat down as I opened a fresh beer:

Maddie (in her French accent): It must be beautiful here in zee fall when Zee trees drop Zee leaves…

UFO Joe: It is – Do you think you’ll come back when the weather changes?

Maddie (in her French accent):  It depends on Zese babies and what Zhey want to do…(she directed this comment at Zee dogs as she started nuzzling their noses against hers)

UFO Joe: Maddie, I meant to mention earlier that I can’t help but notice that you keep masturbating the dogs…

It was like slow motion as I started to choke and spit my beer out all over the table covering everything while they looked at me as if I were the crazy one. After I picked my jaw up off the floor I looked at him, speechless, waiting for her to either slap his face or, God forbid, answer him…

Maddie (in her French accent): Oh, Zhat. (Like it was nothing!!!)  It’s all about ZEE pleasure Joe…I love Zee dogs and I want them to be happy…Zhey like it…

UFO Joe: I would too…

With that, I jumped up and ran out of the room like the mature adult that I am…I was first off looking for Smokey to keep him off her lap and the hell away from her (now I understood why he and my aunt’s two dogs were staying away from Maddie the Masturbator) and then I burst into the kitchen to find my aunt.

“Oh my God – Maddie is masturbating the dogs! Hello, she’s fucking masturbating the dogs!”

To which Happy responded (in her heavy African accent) – “At the table?”

My aunt put the stack of dessert plates she was carrying down on the counter and slowly turned glaring at me and growled at me: “You know what? You’re a very sick person – something is really very wrong with you? Why would a sixty year old woman masturbate her dogs?

“Because she’s French? Remember, that’s what they do” I replied with the only answer that would possibly make sense. I thought it was a very clever comeback as it was her goto line about anything odd they did, but she found it as humorous as her last pap smear.


Before she could slap me or worse, UFO Joe entered the kitchen with some dirty plates and as he passed by, he matter-of-factly said “I knew she was jerking those dogs off. These eyes don’t lie. Lucky dogs, huh” he said as he bumped my shoulder and then headed back into the Dining Room. I then proceeded to help my aunt lift her jaw off the kitchen floor as Happy walked out of the room shaking her head and muttering to herself (in her heavy African accent) “At the table? I don’t understand.” A woman right off the boat from Africa understands what masturbating means, understands what masturbating dogs means, but the part that she found disturbing about that whole situation is that Maddie did it at the table? At the table! There must be some crazy shit going on in Africa!


Needless to say I was not allowed to go back to the Dining Room table for dessert because the general consensus was that I wouldn’t be able to control myself (probably a good guess.) Forget about how I was gonna act – I was afraid to walk back into that room and see UFO Joe jump up on Maddie’s lap next!”  I went and locked Smokey in the back bedroom – at that point it was every dog for himself!!! Suspiciously enough, they never visited us again and I, for one, didn’t miss them. UFO Joe on the other hand was constantly hoping that they’d drop by again as that was the only party he’s ever attended when he wasn’t the craziest person on the guest list.


As a postscript, I am really disturbed. That statement could obviously describe my mental state most times, but it’s so odd.  That is the second instance where a person has admitted to me that they had masturbated their pet. Also, they both offered it up to me without provocation or instigation. I don’t know why they’re doing it or what it is about me that invokes feelings in these lunatics to share it with me, but if one more person tells me they’re getting their pets off – I’m making a citizen’s arrest right there! I see myself as a fun-loving guy with all sorts of crazy shit going on but people are getting a little too comfortable around me for my liking. This shit’s gotta stop.

Pretzel Boy sent back to the minors

It was the middle of July, and it was hot as balls. Of course, Fat Camp was in full swing and to illustrate just how hot it actually was, I’m borrowing a Facebook Post from earlier today from my Rabbi Kodi – “Fock its hot! At the rate my balls are sweating I’m going to wake up in the morning dehydrated!” Needless to say, I needed the Air Conditioning as desperately as I need oxygen to breathe or alcohol to make it through the day, so it was off to only peaceful oasis that I knew of in the area: the mall.

I was actually pretty well-known in that mall, but not for very good reasons. I used to go there frequently with my cousin Leaky and her boyfriend, Dim, but nothing good ever came of it. Security was usually involved, sobriety was never involved, and immaturity was always involved. I loved her, but Leaky was always, always, always in a bad mood and being the absolute biggest bitch possible. I would try to embarrass her or make her laugh to get her out of those moods, but it didn’t always work.

That day she was especially bitchy and I couldn’t even ditch her because she had driven us and wouldn’t let me hold the keys to the car. As we were walking on the second level, I noticed that there was a guy giving out pretzel bites samples on the level below. I stopped and leaned over the railing, looked down at him and then started yelling: “Pretzel Boy!…Hey!…Pretzel Boy!” He tried his best to ignore me, so I repeated myself. “Pretzel Boy…I know you can hear me!…Throw me one!” He looked up at me (more annoyed than he should have been) and shook his head while saying softly – “No…You’ll get me in trouble…Get out of here”



Not getting the point, I got much, much louder and started screaming “PRETZEL BOY!…PRETZEL BOY!…I SAID I WANT A PRETZEL!…THROW ME ONE…NOW!…DON’T MAKE ME COME DOWN THERE!” to which he responded by picking a sample off the platter that he was serving from and proceeded to throw it at me. At this point, not only were my cousin and her boyfriend watching, but there were about ten other randoms watching as well. Pretzel Boy had obviously never played professional  baseball before because it was an awful throw. It went high and to the left and all of a sudden Leaky reached out her hand and caught that out of control pretzel bite. 

I thought for sure it might fly through the front entrance of Claire’s and land in the pile of headbands by the cash register but, I just couldn’t believe she caught it. She was far off from being an athlete and even further off from being coordinated – it was a shock to see her moving so deftly. And if you know her, you know it’s a shock to see her moving at all unless you have a box of Entemann’s cookies in your hands. (Funny enough she once ate a whole box of Entemann’s chocolate chip cookies in one sitting while we were talking and then looked down at the empty box and back at me and then down at the empty box again and then spat at me defensively “I didn’t eat all those cookies!” and then stormed off when I started to laugh and called her out on it. Listen, I say if you’re gonna eat a full box of Entemann’s chocolate chip cookies yourself – and who hasn’t? – then you have to own it Honey!)

Anyway, she tried to hand that pretzel bite to me after she caught it but, of course now that whoever made it and put it on the tray, Pretzel Boy, and Leaky had all touched it with their sweaty bare hands – there was absolutely no way that was I going to put that pretzel bite anywhere near my mouth. Pretzel Boy’s boss came out to talk with him (about what I couldn’t exactly hear, but I had a pretty good idea) so I yelled down at them “Throw me some cheese to dip it in!” Neither of them thought it was as funny as I did and they went back into the store. It was like the baseball coach coming out of the dugout to pull the pitcher from the mound after he just let another batter hit one into the stands…

I didn’t get a pretzel bite that day, but I did get that bitch out of her bad mood. Still a win in my book and then we were able to get down to business and get drinks in the sports bar that we always went to in the mall. I promptly forgot about the heat and quickly moved onto something else to complain about…

If you don’t expect that much from me, I might not let you down

In case you haven’t guessed it yet from these ramblings, I wasn’t always a very responsible person. I never really minded it though, because no one relied on me and no one ever asked me to do anything because they knew that I would find some way to screw it up. It was actually really liberating because there was never any expectations or pressure and Fat Camp was no exception.

There was a guy that worked there that looked just like the Boar’s Head Pig on the label of the cold cuts. I know that might possibly come across as mean or insulting, but I’m not even kidding. I’m not ready to walk down any runways and no one would put this face on a magazine cover either, but he really does look just like that. He’s also six-foot four and extremely overweight, which didn’t help his image in any way. I guess there are worse things you can look like…O.K. there really aren’t that many things that you can look like that are worse than the Boar’s Head Pig, but that’s really not the point. Anyway, he was considered more responsible than me, so they sent him and I to get bread because the Chef’s delivery got delayed and the kitchen needed it for lunch and they didn’t trust me to go by myself. It was a twenty-minute drive that should have taken us no longer than an hour to get there and back, but they were about to find out that I wasn’t the only irresponsible one.  

We didn’t even make it out the front gate before we lit up. Although in my defense, you had to be stoned in order to drive that van. It was a huge, fifteen passenger, white monstrosity and when behind the wheel in there, it always felt like you were driving a big rig. It took every bump and pothole like a gunshot and that thing rocked back and forth while driving. Granted, it was soothing if you just smoked up and were a passenger in the back of it, but while piloting it felt like you were playing a video game and the windshield was the screen.

So we get down to the corner and just as I’m daydreaming about what goodies I’ll get at the supermarket to snack on, Boar’s Head announces that we aren’t going to the supermarket – we’re going to the Hostess Outlet instead. Now I’m certainly not one to argue with logic like that and the very thought of all those Twinkies brought a huge smile to my face instantly.  

We got to the Hostess Outlet and I was like a kid on Christmas morning. I literally got out of the van and started running into the store like I was on The Amazing Race. We got two shopping carts and starting putting as much in our mouth as we were putting into each of the carts. It was a fat kid’s wet dream: There were Twinkies and Suzy-Q‘s and what seemed like hundreds of flavors of Fruit Pies (which I don’t even like, but I started opening and eating them anyway) and Snoballs and Ding Dongs and everything. All the people we passed in the store were staring at us sort of like we were celebrities that they just couldn’t quite recognize. It seemed to make the most sense to me at the time that it was because of his obvious, spitting-image, resemblance to the Boar’s Head Pig logo – but then I quickly realized it wasn’t looks of curiosity – they were actually looks of disgust! The site of me and Boar’s Head strolling up and down each of those aisles with overflowing carts (they were overflowing with just our snacks that we were eating – we hadn’t even started to get what we actually came for) was apparently repulsive to some people. Each of our faces and shirts were covered in chocolate and crumbs and a little bit of the soda that I spilled from the liter bottle of Diet Pepsi that I had brought in with me; We were not doing anything to dispel the stereotype against fat people in a Hostess Outlet by any means – but those were the best Suzy-Q’s I have ever tasted before or since.

We literally filled that enormous, fifteen passenger, empty van with bread, rolls, buns, all of our Suzy-Q’s, Fruit Pies and assorted junk foods and I carved out a nice little spot between the fresh italian breads stacked neatly on the second to last seat for a tiny little nap. I awoke to Boar’s Head slamming on the brakes forcing the breads and me to go flying off the seat. Cupcakes were everywhere and ended up getting smushed when I landed on them. I made my way up to the passenger seat to find Boar’s Head chugging a half-gallon of skim milk (he actually told me later with a straight face and he was dead serious, that skim milk has fewer calories in it which I took to mean that he thought it evened out the four thousand and counting Hostess calories he had just consumed…) and asking if I wanted a sip. “No, thanks! Where did you even get that?” He apparently stopped off for gas and got it at the Mobil Mart. “Where are we?” I asked looking around at the houses on this random street in who knows where.

 “Timmy’s house” as if I should have known what that meant.

“Timmy who?”

“I Can’t tell you his last name – come on and Don’t say anything!”

What happened next was like something out of a bad 70’s Cheech and Chong movie. A normal person that wasn’t coming down off the drugs and sugar high would have stayed put, but I was getting a little nauseous from all that chocolate and needed to get out of that van. We walked around the corner and down the block because apparently, we weren’t allowed to park in front of Timmy’s house.

We went around the block and came up to a random house and walked up to a side door and Boar’s Head knocked softly. Timmy, late thirties, long hair, very dirty looking opens the door and looks around searching the area and whispering about who I am before he’ll let us in. “He’s with me; He talks a lot, but he’s O.K.” Boar’s Head said. It wasn’t really wrong, certainly it was a rude comment, but not wrong – so I didn’t say anything. Besides, I had no idea why everyone was whispering. We entered a normal looking house with his mother in the kitchen – an older lady almost sixty cooking something. We passed through the Living Room and went down the hallway toward the back of the house. This Bedroom – or what I thought was a bedroom – had a huge padlock on it. Who put’s a padlock on a door inside their house when they live with their mother? Was she a klepto?

When he opened the door, it was far from a bedroom – it was more like an Arboretum in there. This huge room and walk-in closet had been converted into a greenhouse and there were tons of lights hanging from the ceiling over lots of plants, what looked like a bathroom exhaust fan on the ceiling, and there were tables of plants and scales everywhere with small clear plastic bags strewn about. It didn’t smell offensive, just overpowering. Some people would have gotten it right away because it should have been obvious, but I was like “What’s with all the plants – do you like gardening or something?” before it clicked in my head that Timmy was obviously a drug dealer. That’s who puts a padlock on the inside door of a house he lives in with his mother! Boar’s Head made a fist at me and told me to shut the fuck up so I didn’t piss Timmy off. Of course my curiosity got the best of me and as they were “conducting business” – I couldn’t help but touch the scales and walk around to check everything out, I had gotten drugs before, but never actually seen the operation like this.

‘Timmy, does your Mom live with you? That’s nice to have company, isn’t it?” I innocently asked to which he replied “It’s obviously her house – why the fuck else would she be in the kitchen cooking?” I replied  “Why do you live with your mother?” to which he replied to Boar’s Head “What’s with him  – my mother gets lonely when she’s by herself and it helps me save money on rent.” I had never heard a drug dealer cry poverty before, I guess I just always thought they were rolling in it like in the movies and could afford any type of place they wanted – shows me how wrong it is to assume. From the looks of his clothes and this dump,  they weren’t making anything. There really wasn’t much in the way of conversation after that…we stayed for about an hour or two (I started to lose track of the time again) and tested out all his bongs and I gotta tell you – that was some good shit! Timmy’s not much for friendly conversation, but he has a real green thumb.

As we stumbled back to the van for more Hostess delights – Boar’s Head proceeded to rip me a new asshole about asking Timmy if he liked gardening…”Are you a fucking moron, you wanna get your ass kicked?” “By who, Timmy’s hot mother?” I maturely replied which set us both into hysterics…Needless to say, Timmy told Boar’s Head never to bring me back to his house again. After a trip to McDonald’s and Burger King (because we couldn’t stop arguing over which of them had better french fries) and another tiny nap with the smushed cupcakes for me, we headed back to the camp.

We pulled into the entrance about 6:30 PM (Keep in mind that we left at 10:00 AM that morning and that we were only supposed to be gone for an hour) and headed over to the kitchen. The Chef came running out from serving dinner and started screaming (which I didn’t appreciate at all) that he needed that bread for the lunch AT NOON and we come back hours later and didn’t even get the bread he wanted – just a truck full of shit! Also, why did we bring all that junk food back to a WEIGHT LOSS CAMP? Talk about an ungrateful person; Two people do you a favor and go to the store for you, and that’s how you respond? You think that he didn’t get it, imagine how the bookkeeper felt when we gave her the receipt for almost six hundred dollars worth of junk food and stuff that couldn’t even be used. Some people just don’t understand the munchies.

Needless to say, in addition to them not trusting me already, they never sent him on an errand again after that and Boar’s Head never did let me go back to Timmy’s house.  Timmy actually told Boar’s Head that if he ever found out that I was talking about his “set-up” and where it was (as if I had any idea where the hell we were) he would find me and beat the shit out of me; so if you ever run into a dirty looking guy in jeans and a sweatshirt with really good shit, and his mother’s in the kitchen cooking – don’t mention me.

Fat Camp

It’s funny, because when I used to talk about my aunt owning a fat camp (a weight loss summer camp for kids) and having worked there, people never believed it. It sounded crazy and I was constantly accused of making it up until I actually brought people there. I was in good shape and used to go to the gym every day, so I guess it was a stretch.  But now, whenever I talk about the camp, people believe every word because they look at me (I have probably doubled in size since those days) and nod with that look that says “Of course you were at a fat camp and by the way, you really need to go back. There are many many many Fat Camp stories, most are entirely inappropriate for anyone’s gentle ears – but let’s start with this one:

My friend Weezie (Now talk about a Hooka with a capital “H” and I say that as a very high compliment) used to come to the camp with me all the time (and she actually worked there with me one summer – to almost criminal results) because I lived there and for her it was the half-way point while driving home from college. Our routine was simple, stop and drop our bags, get the crew together, go to Cronin’s, tear it up and stay there until we closed the place and were about to pass out, beg someone to take us to the only place open late night out there in the middle of nowhere, the famous Quickway Diner, engorged ourselves, and then she’d drive home the next day.

My brother Angelo thought it would be a great idea to have a family reunion one weekend and get the whole family together at the Fat Camp but I could smell something brewing from the onset. He was so worried about who would fight with each other that it was only a matter of time before trouble dropped by. With my family coming en masse, I needed reinforcements and invited Weezie and a couple of her sorority sisters to come and visit me. Of course, I “forgot” to tell them there was a reunion going on until they got there but they were real troopers.

My brother Anthony arrived late and the gates were closed and locked. The gates were closed and locked because when I say he arrived late, I mean hours and hours and hours late. Now upon coming up to a locked gate, a normal person would have just left his pickup truck (which was oddly reminiscent of the one Lamont used to drive on Sanford and Son) outside the gate until morning since the camp is located on a side street right in the middle of absolutely nowhere. I mean, there was no worry of vandalism – unless a local deer wanted his stereo or Metallica cassettes – but no, he had to get in that gate. The gate in question is a ten-foot high wooden stockade fence around the whole camp (over 200 acres) with the only openings in it being one small part by the main entrance he was trying to enter through.

So instead of driving up the road a little bit to go into the entrance by the house we lived in where there is no gate, Anthony did the logical thing and proceeded to try and drive around the main gate through the little opening to get in. His truck was about ten feet wide and the path he was trying to drive on to get around the fence was about three feet wide, so of course his truck ended up going front first down the incline and into the ravine on the side of the gate. Not a steep ravine, but there is a small stream flowing gently there.

Now, Anthony was not one to believe that this could, in any way, be his fault, so he proceeded to start screaming and cursing and went to find the person he held responsible for this – whoever locked the gate. Needless to say that when the female police officer showed up and told Anthony that he had five minutes to move the truck after he called her sir (once again, not his fault) my Uncle Raymond immediately took charge and instructed all of the overweight female cousins with a “little back” to them to get into the bed of the pickup truck to weigh it down and then they could put it into reverse…needless to say, he’s not one to take no for an answer so he pulled out the big guns (and by big guns I mean my cousins) and those girls got the truck out of the ravine. Who needs AAA or a tow truck? Also, just a word of advice; if you ever have a big stash of weed in the glove compartment of your truck that you just drove into a ravine and a female police officer shows up – Don’t call her sir!

When my sister Marlene used to work at the fat camp, she used to date this guy Dan that lived around the corner from the camp. He and I were good friends and when he heard that Marlene was coming to the reunion he, of course,  thought she might be coming to see him. I explained that she was dating a new guy(who was a muscle head with no neck and was about as smart as a can of turpentine, but I digress) and bringing him to the reunion, but he came over anyway in case she wanted to see him.

So, to give you a visual about the layout of the camp, it’s set on over 200 acres with a huge lake in the center of the property, and there are golf carts to get you everywhere because of how spread out everything is. The swimming pool is up by the house we lived in, the lake is in the center of the camp, and the main buildings and bunks are down by the main entrance.

So, as the day went on, I was drinking at the pool with Dan, Weezie and her two sorority sisters, and Anthony – my pickup driving brother. The more Dan drank, the more convinced he was that my sister was actually attending the reunion to see him. I say that he was convinced because Anthony was convincing him. In his infinite widsom, my brother thought the best thing to do in this situation was to give Dan a joint to settle him down and keep him drinking. This probably would have worked if my brother didn’t start peppering him with his take on the “situation” and keep offering up his advice. Keep in mind that  this is the same man who drove his truck into a ravine less than 24 hours earlier and now he is giving love advice to Dan about how messed up it was that my sister was here on his “turf” with a new guy and that it wasn’t right. He thought Dan should go down to the bunks where everybody was and speak with my sister to settle this. I thought that he should go home before he got himself killed by No-neck, and with that we (me, Weezie, and her sorority sisters) went down to the bunks because I thought I should let Marlene know that Dan was there and already drunk.

During the camp season, the golf carts didn’t go any faster than a senior citizen at Ponderosa, but the maintenance guy rigged them up so we could really move in them during the off-season so we drove down by where everyone else was in a flash.

So picture this: I’m standing in a circle next to the golf cart that we just drove down there with my sister, Weezie and the two girls, and my cousin Beverly talking about Dan and around us there are about forty-five people milling about. Some were playing cards, some were sitting at picnic tables talking, some were playing lawn darts, but all in all everyone was just hanging out. All of a sudden up by the infirmary hill we see my brother and Dan (who at this point was absolutely wasted) and Dan is staggering towards us blowing kisses to No-neck, my sister’s new boyfriend.

In a literal flash: Dan is blowing kisses at No-neck, No-neck goes running and screaming up the infirmary hill after Dan, Dan goes running toward the back fence leading to the cemetary next door to the camp, Everyone abandons what they’re doing to watch this new drama unfold, my brother Anthony lights another joint as he’s watching the show from the infirmary hill, and then all of a sudden my sister jumps into my golf cart and takes off up the hill to stop No-Neck from killing Dan.

I tried to get into the golf cart too, but I was in flip-flops and she was just too damn fast. I fell because I was trying to enter the golf cart as she was speeding away and I lost my footing. I thought for sure that since I was her brother and we were close and SHE JUST SAW ME FALL, that perhaps she would stop the golf cart to let me get on – but I was wrong. As I lost my balance and fell, I grabbed onto the sideboard of the golf cart to avoid hitting my face and getting my head ran over by the tire and then she took off like a tornado. She just didn’t stop. In a split-second, I went from trying to be a good person and avoid a situation, to literally being dragged up a steep hill by an out of control golf cart piloted by a madwoman.

She flew through dirt, grass, mud and didn’t miss one bump. She was leaving a cloud of dust and I was a mess. I was screaming for bloody murder and begging for some help and I was afraid to let go because I knew that she would most certainly run my body over. I mean she had no problem dragging me up a hill so running me over wouldn’t stop her either. I finally lost my grip and was thrown after about two hundred feet up the hill because she slowed down for a split second when my dislodged flip-flop was thrown from my mangled foot and flew over her head and distracted her. That crazy bitch didn’t flutter or even turn around to see if I was still in one piece as she took off up the hill leaving me a mangled heap in the dirt.

As I tried to stand up and regain my composure (for I knew the dignity was lost fifty feet ago) I turned to face my family and, of course, my three friends from college. As I stumbled back over to them, my cousin Beverly goes “Oh God, she’s so upset, I just can’t believe it – I hope she’s O.K.” to which I responded – “Fuck her – that crazy bitch just dragged me up a fucking hill and almost killed me – literally…almost killed me! What about me?” It was like when Alexis shot her rifle to spook Krystle’s horse and it took off dragging her across the field and caused her to lose her baby in Season Two of Dynasty. (Of course, a Dynasty reference to help those of you who weren’t raised right – Yes I’m talking to you Bemish!)

For a quick second, I thought Weezie was crying but then I realized it was laughter (they were all laughing hysterically) and she helped me find my other flip-flop and when she regained her composure she said “I want you to know that every time you tell me one of your crazy stories I always thought – come on, who do these things happen to? After seeing that just now, I can picture every single one of them – that was unbelievable. I will never doubt you again and I am going to tell this story to everyone we know.”

As for Dan, because he lived around the corner and knew the area, he made it over the cemetery fence and safely home, eluding No-neck. As for my sister, her official “story” (which to this day I still don’t believe a word of) about the golf cart is that she didn’t hear me screaming bloody murder or see me until the flip-flop flew into her frame of view. As for me, it took three showers to feel clean again and then we went straight to Cronin’s where I drank until I couldn’t taste that dirt in my mouth anymore.

Moral of the story and the lesson I learned – Family reunions are not for me! Interestingly enough, that happened in 1999 and we haven’t actually had another reunion since! Or if they are having them- they’re just not inviting us which I truly cannot blame them for…