A Patriotic Tribute

They took one look at me in fatigues and changed their mind...

They took one look at me in fatigues and changed their mind…

On this fine day when we stand in tribute to the great men and women of our armed forces who fight each and every day for our freedom to abuse Imodium AD and write a crazy blog like this, I went to the local recruiting station. Writing this blog is providing an essential service to the country, but I started to question whether I was doing enough and considered enlisting in the Marines. After a quick glance at me in the fatigues, the recruiter thanked me for my interest but assured me that my enlistment wouldn’t be fair to my wife and kids, wouldn’t be to my fair to my friends and colleagues, and above all – it wouldn’t be fair to the Marines! He saluted me and asked that I promise to continue my vital work on this site so here is a tribute to the Marines and all the other armed service men and women risking life and limb the only way I know how:


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???

For a smart guy, I’m actually pretty dumb at times…or why I never believe anything

I’m not sure what the major glitch in my twisted skull is, but I always think people are kidding with me. My team of therapists think that it’s obviously a result of my being part of an insane family, but should I blame everything on them? My being fat and my balding scalp – it’s because of my family genes. My being short – you guessed it. But crazy is something I never thought I could attribute to them until recently. I didn’t actually inherit the insanity – it was instilled in me. In any given situation, my go-to response is to assume that people are just kidding around with me. I get that not everyone is asinine like me and jokes around all the time, but I really say and do some dumb things in response to seemingly normal situations. I know, I know, that isn’t a shock to anyone that regularly reads my stuff, but in hindsight – I’m kind of like 92.2% asshole….

When I was younger, I was very gullible and would take everything at face value and believe it 100% only to be fooled time and again which has now twisted my adult mind. My mother would take us out to eat and then pretend she didn’t have any money to pay the check. A reasonable response to a situation is not a big deal, but me at 10 years old was not reasonable. I would sweat profusely and freak out which left me traumatized. She liked to get me and my sister riled up and then laugh at how we would get. She’d literally leave the table and pretend to call someone on a payphone because it would make me so anxious. She’d would come back and tell us to leave the restaurant quickly so they didn’t notice (even though she had already paid the bill) looking over her shoulder to play it up the whole time. My sister fell for it the first time, but got smart to the game quick. One would think after the tenth time of it happening, I might have caught on or stopped going out to eat with her, but no – I wasn’t that quick on the uptake. I didn’t realize that we hadn’t skipped out without paying until we were almost home…This bulb was never shining at 100 watts if you know what I mean.


Leading up to my sixth grade graduation ceremony also was a stressful time for me. In reality, all I had to do was stand there while they called my name, but in my little bubble of the world, it felt like I was playing a major role in the orchestration of this event. I had tried for a solo first and would have been happy to just have been in the chorus as they sang We are the World but the music teacher (dream crusher) and I had differing visions for what talent was and he opted out of having me perform in public…You know it’s bad when the hearing-impaired kid gets a solo and I was shut out of even a chorus role but I didn’t let it get me down.

As if that wasn’t enough drama, my mother toyed with me over the weeks leading up to the ceremony by telling me that she was going to wear a hat made entirely out of fruit. I would have looked back now and thought that it was hysterical, but to an anxious little boy that had just been told dead cats had more rhythm and harmony than him – that was the last thing that I needed. It was another event and another opportunity for me to sweat profusely through my little boy tee and dress shirts – a habit I somehow never outgrew as I got older, although now when I sweat through my shirts it looks like saran wrap around chopped meat. I fidgeted uncomfortably for that whole ceremony and ran out the door to avoid any pictures or chance of seeing my sister sitting with my mother looking like Carmen Miranda. Of course, she didn’t wear that hat and I should have caught on when she wasn’t wearing it on the car ride over, but I was picturing her opening the trunk as we arrived and me passing out right there. I’m not sure if I was just really gullible or just really stupid…


As a result of all these (and more) times I was fooled, I developed a knee-jerk response to never believe things that normal people do. I don’t have the sense or sensory response to tell when I should believe anyone, so now I just don’t believe anything. Here are a couple of examples:


I went to see my spiritual advisors one Sunday morning to seek out the guidance I so obviously need when I realized that Barbara wasn’t there and that Susan was really jammed up and busy. I don’t usually do this, but I decided to see someone other than my regulars. You might think it strange to have not one, but two spiritual advisors – but a twisted mind like this needs more than one. These aren’t your run of the mill psychics like the one on the street who said I had a spiritual parasite and I went back and paid her another $90.00 for research on the off chance that it was true. These are professionals and they’ve been on-point with me many times; if they say jump – I say how high. I never stray from them, but I went against my better judgment and thought maybe a change could be good and tried someone new. I’d never met her before and had no knowledge of her skills so I saw down and thought it would be as comforting as it regularly was.

I wasn’t even seated with her for more than a minute as she shuffled and laid out the tarot cards when she looked at me with a quizzical gaze. The first words out of her mouth were “You think they’re something medically wrong with you, but it’s nothing serious – are you in pain?” I replied “Well, it’s probably just a brain tumor, but I get headaches all the time…” She looked at me like I had two heads and said “That’s not funny to joke about – I have a brain tumor!” Knee-jerk response anyone? I replied as if it was an instinct “You’re such a liar…who has a brain tumor?”


She laid down the deck of cards from her hands, placed each palm slowly on the table, and said calmly “What kind of sick person would joke around about having a brain tumor if they didn’t really have one?” “I would” I said and then leaned over to the psychic seated at the table next to her and inquired “Does this lady really have a brain tumor or is she just messing with me?” Another look of puzzlement mixed with disgust as the other psychic said “Of course she does, who would make that up?” “I would” I repeated to another strange look from her. Needless to say, it was kind of hard to get a good reading after that and apparently it’s rude to fact-check an “alleged” ailment from one’s peers. We started on the wrong foot and I was terrified to say anything else to her so there was no turning back. Maybe she really did have a brain tumor but come on – I may be old-fashioned, but it’s not really considered “nice” to act like that.


When I was in college, I never knew anyone’s last name. Hell, I was lucky to know some of my friends’ first names. I won’t blow her spot by saying who it is, but one of my good friends used to hook up with a fraternity guy named Shit Stain. Take that in for a second. I’m not one to judge, but how exactly does a girl have sex with a guy named Shit Stain? “Give it to me Shit Stain…Me Love you long time Shit Stain…” it just doesn’t flow and imagine what those neighbors think. That’s not the point of this though – the point is that I didn’t know his real name until almost two years after Graduation when I randomly saw him and his mother at the mall by the Fat Camp. I was walking and saw them so I said “Hey Shit Stain” when I realized that I didn’t know his real name and probably shouldn’t have call him Shit Stain in front of his mother. She was like “What did you call my son? His name is John.” “It is? I had no idea” I told her. He was obviously embarrassed and then his mother was like “Why did he call you Shit Stain?” They walked away and I’m sure that car ride home was really fun. When I asked my friend if she knew that Shit Stain’s real name was John, she tried to act like she knew it all along. I’m still not convinced she knew before I told her, but like I said no judgments; some girls will let a guy named Shit Stain hit it and quit it….

So, as you can tell, not knowing people’s names was always a problem with me in college. One day I was on my way to audition for the show that the Theatre Department was putting on when I saw the Dean of the college sitting in the waiting area. “What’s that Fat Fuck Dean Marine doing here?” I said to a bunch of my friends who had shocked looks on their faces when I entered the auditorium. No one said a word; they just kept looking at each other like a deer in headlights. I asked again “No one knows what that Fat Fuck Dean Marine is doing here? Is she auditioning too” Another round of stares until Katie opened her mouth to speak. She looked kind of mad and with a nasty tone infused through her response, said “that’s my mother you’re talking about.” Of course I didn’t believe her. “That Fat Fuck is your mother? She shook her head in response, but I just couldn’t process it. “What are you talking about? That Fat Fuck is your mother? You’re such a liar!” “She is” she replied and I turned towards another friend John and said “Is that Fat Fuck Dean Marine her mother?” When he shook his head yes, not quite sure what to say “I turned back to her “That Fat Fuck is really your mother? I can’t believe it” She was pissed by this point and said “Stop saying that!” “I’m sorry I just cannot believe that Fat Fuck is your mother.” She walked away shaking her head and disgusted as the other people in the circle attacked me “What is wrong with you? You just called her mother a Fat Fuck like six times. She’s never going to forgive you – Why did you keep saying it after she said it was true?” Is that really her mother? I don’t believe it…I thought she was kidding. And she is a Fat Fuck – I can’t stand her…” Needless to say Katie and I weren’t buddies anymore after that – it’s kind of hard to get past calling someone’s mother a Fat Fuck…that cuts deep. And really, how was I supposed to know that Fat Fuck was her mother?


One would think I’d learn my lesson after all these years, but I am constantly opening my mouth while my foot is being strategically placed into it. Stupid is as stupid does, and I’m not that bright…

Me and some loonies re-enacting The Goonies

I was watching The Goonies the other night for the hundredth time and it reminded me of a CLASSIC moment in my life that could have been a deleted scene from the film – I want to set it correctly so instead of mood music, I’ll start off with a quote from a classic Goonies scene:

Francis: Tell us everything! Everything!

Chunk: Everything. OK! I’ll talk! In third grade, I cheated on my history exam. In fourth grade, I stole my uncle Max’s toupee and I glued it on my face when I was Moses in my Hebrew School play. In fifth grade, I knocked my sister Edie down the stairs and I blamed it on the dog…

Now that we’re sufficiently jazzed up, I’ll proceed…

As I’ve mentioned before, the apartment we lived in was on a really wild street in college. It was a line of one party-house after another, leading down the yellow-brick road to the Promised Land (the bars, obviously). My house was diagonal from Lisa’s and we’d usually alternate where each night’s after-hours would take place based on who had beer in the fridge. That, or if it was one of the days that the pizza place had cut me off from getting a delivery because I passed out after ordering and slept through the delivery guy at the door again – we’d be at Lisa’s.

The two most hated words known to man!

It was just past 2 AM and I was stumbling back to my apartment after the bars closed. As I was ambling down the way in my drunken haze, I saw Lisa’s Roommate Sue puttering around ten times drunker than I was. I thought Sue must be on some really good shit to be that out of control, so of course I went right over when she told me after-hours was at her house. You know that instinct that tells you something is obviously wrong and you shouldn’t do something? I don’t have that! It’s notoriously absent in me sober – nonetheless when I’m drunk.

(To clarify before I go any further – no, this is not the night that Sue was drunk and ran over her and Lisa’s other roommate Kathy with the car when she got out to pee on the ski slope. Read that back: Kathy actually got ran over with HER OWN car when she crouched in back of it to pee. It was late at night, they were wasted, and Sue couldn’t see where Kathy was peeing when she moved the car because she didn’t want to get caught because the car was ACTUALLY on the ski slope. I didn’t believe this story since they came right back to the bar after it happened until Kathy pulled down her jeans to show me the road rash. Those two were like the blind leading the blind-folded.)

Lisa, Sue & Kathy lived in the top half of a two-family house. When you entered the front door, the stairs led up into the living room which connected to the kitchen, then led to a hallway where the three bedrooms and bathroom were located. Sue and I were following through on our promise to drink absolutely every single beer in their house before the rest of our crew arrived since it was only the two if us. I randomly looked up and happened to see something I hadn’t noticed before. Although the living room ceiling was about sixteen feet high, there was a barn door with an X on it about ten feet in the air. I asked her what it was and she replied “probably goes to the roof – what else could it be?” and the very same light bulb appeared over both of our drunken head’s at exactly the same time: DING DING – Obviously, we should go on the roof!

Conventional wisdom should tell you that if you’re only 5’ 7” tall, you’re not going to be able to reach a door that’s ten feet in the air without a boost. Conventional wisdom also forgets to inform you that if said boost doesn’t work and you’re going to start stacking random pieces of furniture to reach said door – there is absolutely no wisdom present: conventional or otherwise. It is actually the opposite of any other word for used to describe or related to wisdom, yet it didn’t hinder us.

The adornments in furnished apartments are usually mismatched, cheap, and rickety but their furnishings were an especially random assortment of hodge-podge. In addition to the usual suspects (beat-up old couch, smelly loveseat, scratched up side-table) there was a weird rocking chair that never really “belonged” in the room. It also never “belonged” sandwiched in the middle of our “furniture ladder,” but that’s not really the point now is it? We let nothing stand in our way as we jammed one item on top of another to get to that door. Common sense obviously wasn’t on the guest list for this after-hours party, but we persevered and got our makeshift Tower of Babel up to the doorway. Being the absolute gentleman that I am, I let her climb up first. Obviously, I truly believed that it would collapse as soon as she mounted it, but also, it was her house so letting her go up first was the respectful thing to do. Like I said, she was much drunker than I was so she didn’t protest…

Sue was a limber little thing and she made her way up the sofa, championed past the cocktail table and over the rocker like it was her job. I had been watching her ascent and thinking to myself “That really doesn’t seem sturdy and there’s no way it will hold her…” when I realized that my beer was empty and went to get another one in the kitchen. She was passing over the second kitchen chair we had stacked on the pile and then got by the ottoman when she reached the barn door. She pried that door off like a cat burglar and tossed it onto the living room floor. The huge crash from the door hitting the ground caused her to look around and realize that I hadn’t been holding the furniture ladder steady for her. Holding it steady? I wasn’t even in the same room! Didn’t I just tell you that my beer was empty?  Did I not say that out loud? Also, she tossed that door over her shoulder to get it out of her way and THEN looked where I was – good thing I ditched her or she would have popped me right in the noggin with that friggin door! She was neither surprised nor mad that I had abandoned her. She told me to take the case of beer out of the fridge so we could take it up to the roof with us; it’s really not saying much, but she was the brains of this operation.

I grabbed the beer and headed back into the living room to see two feet crawling into the entryway the barn door had been covering up. She peeked back out the now open doorway and asked what I was waiting for. In truth, I hadn’t actually considered going on the roof at all because I’m deathly afraid of heights. I just assumed that the furniture would collapse or she’d lose interest or fall and hit her head before she could get the door off, but now I didn’t want to miss seeing what was up there. I thought it could become our new terrace or outdoor lounge but actually, I was just really drunk and didn’t think it through at all. I started my climb and the way it shook and creaked when she went up was a distant memory and I was laser-focused on not dropping the beer and not falling, but mostly I was worried about the beer. It took a bit, but I made my way up and that’s saying a lot for a guy that has no coordination or athletic ability when I’m sober, so forget about my dexterity while intoxicated.

When you looked into the hole – which was really dark; neither of us had thought about a flashlight – but due to the high ceiling lights in the living room, we could make out rows of beams with insulation in between heading to five steps leading up to two bilko doors which opened out onto the roof. We walked across the beams, got the roof door open, and headed up. The storm hadn’t let up at all and it was actually even windier on the roof – which thankfully was flat and didn’t have any peaks on it. We got out there and started dancing around in the rain like fools; she looked like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance and I looked like I got hit by a flash of lightning with my flailing arms and supreme lack of rhythm…

We walked over to the edge of the roof to survey the land and low and behold – we saw Weezie strolling up the street with Spento. They had just come back from the nightly late-night jaunt to the diner and were looking for an after-hours spot. “HOOKA!!!” I screamed down at her and she looked all around before finally realizing that we were up on the roof waving.  A normal person that sees two drunken fools prancing around on the roof like Santa Claus should have an immediate reaction to stop these two fools and get them down – not Weezie. “How do I get up there?” she screamed back. “Go inside and follow the furniture trail.” She went into the house, surveyed the situation, and marched right back out again “come down here and help me up – that’s not sturdy…”

We went down to the living room and Weezie immediately latched onto that Coors Light suitcase of beer like she was going to the chair. Just then, Sue and Lisa’s roommate Kathy came in and said “What the fuck? Come on!!!” “We’ll be quiet – you won’t even know we’re here” we chimed as we started heading back up. We got all four of us up the furniture and through the doorway. Weezie went up first and she sat on the steps leading to the roof like a bird on a perch with the beer as Spento made his way in next, followed by Sue, with me at the rear. As we were making our way through, Kathy was making her way to her bedroom to go to bed as she was in no mood for drunken nonsense and had to be up really early the next morning.

To give you an idea about the beams…

Weezie sat facing the entryway with a vice grip on her Coors Light tighter than Kate Winslet had on that driftwood at the end of Titanic when she looked up. “Spento, you better walk on those beams…”No sooner had the words escaped her mouth than Spento took one misstep and it was like it happened in slow-motion. I thought for sure that I was back on the dust because he hit that insulation in between the beams (which wouldn’t support the weight of a fart, by the way) and he dropped through it in a flash. Not only did he go through the insulation and the floor – but he went feet-first right through the ceiling like an atom bomb; those kicks came shooting through Kathy’s bedroom ceiling just as she was opening the doorway. He brought with him a storm of insulation, sheetrock, and whatever the hell else was in between the ceiling and attic all over her, her bedroom, and all over us in the attic. Weezie screamed like they were bringing back prohibition as the dust storm erupted through the attic and bedroom absolutely covering us in that shit. As the cloud approached, I ducked behind Sue to try and shield me from the caustic material, but it was to no avail – it got us all.

As if that wasn’t crazy enough – Spento didn’t go all the way through and he got lodged between the beams. “I’m stuck…I’m stuck” he said, which made us laugh even harder. His stomach was ripped open and bleeding as he was lodged between those beams while Weezie kept drinking, Sue tried to help, and I tried not to piss my pants…Needless to say, Kathy was not amused but actually really pissed off and didn’t see the humor in the situation like we did…She pushed his feet up and Weezie and Sue helped pry him out from the beam’s vice grip, while I tried to stop laughing. Never one to argue with an obvious sign – we took that sign to mean we should head back down and stay off the roof. Granted, the more obvious sign should have been his blood signaling the need for medical attention, but I digress.

We climbed back down without any other incidents and with nothing left to sit on, we were forced to had to dismantle some of the items off the furniture ladder. Kathy yelled at us non-stop because had he fell ten seconds later, she would have gotten a Converse to the cranium – yet we couldn’t stop laughing… I was literally crying from laughing so hard that I felt like I might actually have a stroke.

Weezie was quiet for a long time after and was almost catatonic. “Hey Hooka, What’s wrong with you?” I offered. “I’ve been here for six years, that’s a long time…but…if that was me…I’d transfer…I’d transfer right out of here…I know you’d tell everyone. You’d tell everyone.” Was all she could mutter and I knew she was dead-on-balls accurate because if that had been her that went through the roof, I’d have gotten a megaphone and went up and down the street immediately after the insulation dust settled…

I have never laughed like that in my life – even when my aunt was ejected out of the wheelchair at Disney. The best part of it was that because Lisa, Sue and Kathy were moving out at the end of the semester, the landlord had been showing it to prospective tenants all the time and he came over bright and early the next morning. Besides Kathy, guess who else didn’t find it as funny as we did…Then guess who didn’t get their security deposit back…Lisa was just as pissed off as Kathy was but not for the damage, not for the disturbance, and certainly not for the concern over Spento’s health – she was mad that she missed seeing it. To this day I still break up every time I think about it…if only there were camera phones back then…

For that one quick moment, I got to live out my own Goonies moment, and the only thing that could have made it any better would have been if Spento did the truffle shuffle when they got him out of the floor…I did feel bad a couple of days later as I kept replaying it in my head over and over and laughing because not once did we ask if he was OK – we just laughed…I guess that is selfish, but I never said I was good in a crisis. It has been years since this happened, yet I still just pictured it again and burst out laughing like a fool as if it took place this morning. I almost felt this bad: (cue another great Goonies scene)


Chunk: Then my mom sent me to the summer camp for fat kids and then once during lunch I got nuts and I pigged out and they kicked me out… But the worst thing I ever done — I mixed all this fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then… then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa — and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life.


Me at Parris Island with the Marines? No good can come of this!

When my cousin’s Leaky’s boyfriend graduated from the Marines Boot Camp, he invited our whole family to come down to Parris Island for the ceremony. It’s not the Oscars for Christ’s sake – just because you’re invited, doesn’t mean you have to go. The very idea of an outdoor ceremony (forget that it was in South Carolina with that sweltering heat) was a reason enough for me to RSVP with a big fat No Way Jose, but then they ganged up on me.

I get it that he was doing a service to our country and he’s patriotic and we should support the troops and blah blah blah…I get all that but let me tell you a secret  – I don’t respond well to many things, and the sweltering heat is at the top on my list behind public toilets and apple cider. It just came across like a selfish request. Sure the girlfriend had to go, but why was I being punished? Don’t roll your eyes at me – I’m selfish, I recognize selfish requests when I see them! Also, if Hallmark doesn’t sell a card for the occasion there is absolutely no obligation to attend. I have never seen a “You’re really a Champ because you got through Boot Camp” card, have you? I loved the guy and all, but there was no way I was going. That was until my aunt told me that she wouldn’t hound me about how much I drank, she’d let me sleep late, but most importantly, she would give me money. She knew it would mean a lot to him to have us all there and when I was in college, I was sort of like a Times Square Hooker – I wasn’t afraid to take money for the promise of a “Hot Time” (get it “the heat in South Carolina”– a hot time?) and we made our plans. What could happen, right?

So we make our way down there and get to the hotel to drop our bags off. My aunt and my cousin went to get their nails done and that kind of crap for the ceremony the next day, so I did what any reasonable person would do in that situation: found the closest bar. My aunt’s boyfriend and I hit about six bars close to the hotel over the next few hours and I was tanked. We went back to the hotel and I went to bed without incident. That’s what I thought happened, but apparently I was so drunk and hungry from not eating before we drank, that I was scouring the halls until I found a row of vending machines. In my drunken wisdom, I proceeded to break into one of the vending machines by picking the edge of the door open and forcing my hand and shoulder into the machine so that I could loot it. I’m not sure where the super human strength came from, but I was like Superman ripping the door off of a car and reaching in to get the goodies. This might have been fine had I got the snacks and not dropped my glasses into the vending machine as I connected with a bag of Cheetos. When I peeked in to peruse the selection – my four hundred dollar frames slipped off my nose and in a flash they were gone…That’s what I get for vandalizing shit. It wasn’t like I could go to the Front Desk and say that I lost my glasses while pillaging their vending machine, now could I?

The next morning, I was awoken by my crazy aunt kicking the end of my bed and yelling to get up. I lifted my blinders to give that hooker a piece of my mind for waking me up like that, but I could see that she was already in a state. I was like “What’s wrong with you?” which  cerrtainly didn’t help her miserable mood. “What’s wrong with me? Go look in my room and see if you can tell!” Curious, I went through the connecting door to find the room covered in cheese doodles, sun chips, popcorn, munchos, and all manners of snacks strewn about everywhere. I then proceeded to tell her how disgusting her boyfriend obviously was to make such a mess because I assumed he had done it. It was a mistake to assume that. Apparently, when I came back to the room with the snacks, I told them how I looted the machine and compared myself to Robin Hood. I was in a overly sharing mood with the snacks and jumped bed to bed dancing and singing causing them to explode out of their packages all over the room…At that moment, I knew just how Mumble felt in Happy Feet when they just wouldn’t let him dance…

I didn’t really care about the mess, so I went back to lie down. That’s when then they really started screaming about how we had to go or we’ll be late for the graduation blah, blah, blah…It’s that moment when I was told that just because I went out and got drunk, I was still going and wouldn’t make them late – there was no getting out of it. I slowly got ready, but I was dragging big time and wasn’t feeling all that well. We left a half hour later and I still looked like who did what and ran to me…

There I was, emerging out of the suburban when we got to Parris Island and I knew that I was gonna stand out here. Picture me emerging from my cocoon of self-delusion, rising out and rocking my white linen suit like Puffy at one of his White Parties in the Hamptons. I’m not sure who the hell I thought I was, but with my pasty, albino-like white skin I was like a nightlight in a sea of camouflage everywhere.

Also,  what about those nasty sand fleas that inhabit Parris Island? Don’t the Marines go through enough without having to deal with these disgusting little parasites that you can’t really see that attack you in droves…They must have smelled fresh meat when I walked in and called for reinforcements to attack. I was scratching like a stray dog with fleas and immediately got back in the car. “I’m done here” I exclaimed and went back into the air conditioning. I looked over and my aunt had gotten back into the car too like nothing was wrong. “How are these sand fleas not biting the shit out of you?” I asked. She looked side to side to make sure no one was too close to the car, then threw her seat back almost flat and then ripped her hands up and under her wig to scratch for all she was worth before ripping the wig right off of her head. She went to town scratching those fleas while she shook that wig out for all it was worth. Apparently, the Rachel Welch collection of wigs aren’t insect repellent – who would’ve thunk it? (As a side note, she wears wigs because she has bad hair – don’t feel bad for her it’s not a health issue. It’s about her having bad hair people, not a medical thing)

After we took the tour and then we were supposed to head over to the stands near the field to get seats for the Graduation ceremony. I’m not sure that I was hung over as much as I was actually still drunk and the heat wasn’t playing very nicely with me. Me and my white linen suit were schvitzing up a storm and I knew this couldn’t possibly end well for me. We get to the stands and apparently, these people must have slept there the night before, because the only seats available were like thirty rows up at the top of the bleachers. When I tell you that there was not a stich of shade anywhere on that field, I am not exaggerating. I was like a sprinkler the way the sweat was pouring off of me as we made our way up.  We finally made it up and found seats in the very last tippy-top row and I was already soaked through my T-shirt from sweating. As the ceremony was starting, I started to get nauseous. I wasn’t going to make it through this ceremony and it had only just begun.

I lean across my cousin and whisper to my aunt “I need the keys to the car – I have to go back to the hotel.” She tried to ignore me as if I wasn’t there. “Hey, I said I need the keys right now – I’m not gonna make it if you know what I mean. I’m gonna be sick.” Nothing back from her and she actually turned her head away from me.” I leaned fully across my cousin and grabbed her mother’s arm and said – not a whisper this time – “GIVE ME THE FUCKING KEYS RIGHT NOW  or I am going to be sick and shit right here in these bleachers!” She couldn’t look away this time because there were about ten people tittering around us and staring at me. She gave me a nasty look and said “why don’t you just take another Imodium” as if I hadn’t already swallowed eight tablets…“If you don’t give me those God damn keys right now I will rip that wig right off your head and throw it – GIVE ME THE KEYS RIGHT NOW – I DON’T HAVE THEW TIME TO ARGUE – I’M IN A WHITE SUIT!” She handed me the keys and gave me another look of disgust…

I tried to be nonchalant and not cause  a distraction as I made my way down the bleachers, but it wasn’t meant to be. I don’t know if you’ve ever been severely drunk/hung over and tried to make your way through a crowd while moving down an incline all the while clenching for all you’re worth. I was falling into people, stepping on them and knocking in to almost everyone I went past because even when I’m not mid-clench, coordination isn’t my strong suit. I thought it was over for me because I wasn’t even at the halfway point of the bleachers and my stomach was rumbling like mad…Time was of the essence and one wrong step meant the end of that white suit… I must have had fifteen comments/dirty looks/people pushing me back as I made my way down, but I finally got to the field. Then I walked partially on the field while trying to find which way to get to the parking lot when I realized that there was no way I would make the fifteen minute drive back to the hotel and, more importantly, I had no idea where the car was parked.  I was panicking and had seconds to spare when I saw the cross on the building across from where I was: God was like a lighthouse leading me through the storm…

This is the actual chapel at Parris Island.

I knew that I had mere moments and bolted off the field, across the parking lot, through some grass and into the Chapel. Sensing my distress and seeing the state I was in, a lady in the Chapel said “the restroom is back there” and pointed down a long hallway. I stormed through the men’s room door and into the first stall and let out a huge sigh of relief that my fragile white suit was still intact and would live to see another day. At least this is over, I remember thinking…but that was before I got nauseous and started to throw up. I was hovering and pivoting back and forth on the toilet as the vomit dictated; when out of nowhere I heard gunshots…I started screaming at the top of my lungs like Meryl Streep when that dingo ate her baby. It was at that moment when three patrol soldiers that had saw me running off the field and followed me to see where I was running. When they heard me screaming like a little girl, they burst into the room and kicked my stall door in as I was thrown back. If I was screaming from the gunshots before – you should have heard me now. They LITERALLY scared the shit out of me and I thought for sure I’d have a heart attack as they just peered into the stall at me guns out and drawn.

Until they kicked the door in, I had been hovering about a foot over the toilet minding my own business. In the commotion and with the force of the stall door being kicked in at me, I was thrust back and came bare cheek to porcelain on that filthy throne. Bare cheek to porcelain!!! I could not stop screaming and the three of them just burst into hysterics as I was writhing in pain half muttering/half screaming “What the fuck, what the fuck?” Who does that? It’s not right? – my skin hit the bowl…my skin hit the bowl…” They backed out of the bathroom to let me collect myself and laughed at how I got scared of the 21 gun salute…Not my shining moment, not by a longshot.

I had been gone for almost two hours as I was being assaulted by the military police, and the ceremony had ended and they were all taking pictures – thinking I had went back to the hotel so they didn’t look for me. I emerged from my worst nightmare and hobbled out the door into the sunlight to find them randomly taking pictures across from the chapel. I was still in a fog as I wandered out to hear people screaming my name and they were laughing at me and asking if I went to pray to God to help me with the hangover – I couldn’t even talk nor did I want to tell them what happened, but the lady that pointed me to the restroom inside was coming out the front door and still laughing at me and she blew my spot…No one can appreciate explosive diarrhea and its many casualties like family does.

I did learn a valuable lesson that day at Parris Island, but it’s not about how my inappropriate drinking or actions cause bad karma…I learned that I should trust my instincts more. My first instinct was not to go on the trip at all and I went against it and look how that turned out for me…


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!   



Hypochondriac or just a High Maniac?


I have been a hypochondriac for as long as I can remember and that behavior never changed as I have gotten older. True story: When I was born, I actually burst out of the womb in a tiny yellow rain slicker and I immediately started questioning whether the birthmark on my right arm wasn’t actually a malignant melanoma? In grade school I wasn’t allowed in the nurse’s office because I would read the symptom posters on the walls and get convinced I had diabetes or whatever poster was up at the time. High School was worse because I had been gifted with a medical dictionary on my birthday, so my maladies weren’t just limited to the common diseases anymore. When I was in college, it was only a matter of time before I wasn’t allowed in the Health Services Office – but not for the usual reasons…This time it was different. 

In college, I refused to take classes on Mondays or Fridays so that I could have a more flexible schedule and so all of my classes were on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I didn’t really need a flexible schedule for a job or really any specific reason other than laziness, but it was the principle of the matter. During my second sophomore year, my 11:3o class on Tuesdays and Thursdays was Geography of something. Throughout the first two months, I only made it there on time twice which I thought was a pretty good start. The professor was from Africa with a very thick accent and she would constantly hold me after class to tell me that in her country they take education very seriously and would think it was disrespectful to show up late. I would say it was not going to happen again, and then continue with my pattern. She didn’t seem to be a big fan of mine and one day she actually attacked me in front of the whole class about the lateness. Granted, I was waltzing into the room over forty-five minutes after the class had started, so she might have had a point; what can I say, when I’m late – I’m late. My theory was that as long as you showed up before the class was over you weren’t really late, right? She apparently didn’t feel the same way.

In her super thick accent she started yelling at me “What are you doing? You cannot keep doing this!” At first, I didn’t realize she was talking to me and then when I did, I tried to ignore her and pretend as if she wasn’t, but that’s really hard to do when twenty other people are smirking and hanging on her every word. Also, she was yelling at me and no one else was talking so it was really awkward…”You think you’re mad – How do you think my 10 o’ clock teacher feels– I never make it to that one…” Before she could even respond to my sarcastic stupidity, I muttered “I’m sorry, it couldn’t be helped” I figured that would be the end of it and tried to take my seat when she came marching over to me. “This is disruptive and you come late to every single class – Why do you bother showing up at all?”

At this point, a normal person would have thrown themselves to the wolves, admitted they were wrong and apologized – but not me. Very softly I muttered “Listen, I’m really sorry – it couldn’t be helped because I’m sick. I’m sure you’ve never heard of it before because you’re from Africa and all, but I have a little something called Mono and that’s really serious. I feel lucky that I can make it out of bed and get here at all.” In my mind, I was celebrating how quickly that I had thought of that and how smart I was, figuring that she would apologize and see the error in her ways.  Of course, I was delusional and should have realized that she, and everyone else in the class for that matter, could see right through me and tell that I was lying. That’s when she really let me have it and for a second I felt like her strong accent fell right to the wayside so she could yell at me in perfectly clear English.

“Are you kidding me? I’ve been teaching for a long time and do you really think that you’re the first person to try and tell me that they have Mono? Of course I know what Mono is, I’m not an idiot – where’s your Doctor’s note?”

Once again, a normal person would have admitted defeat and let it go at that, but not me. “How dare you! What kind of a person do you think I am? I am so insulted, who would make that kind of thing up? I’m a sick person (ironically, this was the only true statement that I had made all morning) Do you think I’m crazy? Go to Health Services and ask them in there! How dare you question me?” Now as a side note, I was as positive as one of Maury‘s paternity tests that I didn’t have Mono and that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me except for laziness, but if I didn’t at least get defensive she would have immediately known that I was lying.

Sure as can be, she was disgusted with me and dropped it and I got the stink eye from half the class. The other half could have cared less about the scene I was making. The girl who sat next to me was just staring with that look of disgust that usually takes people getting to know me for a few months before it develops and I looked at her and then rubbed my stomach to motion to her that I was sick. She rolled her eyes to motion to me that I was an idiot. 

I got the hell out of there after class and ran down to the Health Services Office. I had actually never been down there before because they don’t prescribe anything besides aspirin and I had learned to self-medicate with my prescription for any malady: Imodium AD and beer.  (It worked every time and if it didn’t work I’d add a joint to the mix and be at 100% in no time.) Actually, that’s still my go-to remedy and you know what? It still works. Your stomach hurts? You take Imodium and you’re OK. You have a headache? Take Imodium, you’re OK. You break your ankle? Yep, you guessed it. Works like a charm.

I didn’t have faith in any of the people working in that Health Services office, but I needed to make sure that if my professor ever did check up on my stupid Mono story, there would be a record of me going there. I went in and really milked it for all I was worth. I was leaning on the counter, moaning, and generally trying to look as sick as I could (that was the only time my naturally albino-pale complexion has been a positive thing in my life) so they would think I had Mono.

The numbskull there had me lie down on the cot and tell her my symptoms so of course I laid it on really thick:

ME: I feel like it’s just too much. I have no energy to go to class and it’s just every day…It’s Mono, I just know it

HER: Are you taking any medications? Drugs? Alcohol?

ME: Not me. No way that I would ever do that. I’m here to study and I just wish that I could get out of bed and make it to class. Can you give me something? I just know it’s Mono

HER: We can’t be sure what’s going on until we run some blood and urine samples, but it’s probably not Mono…

ME: (interrupting) Of course it’s Mono. I know my body.

HER: OK, let’s run the blood and urine and see what’s going on and you can come back in a day or two for the results. It’s too soon to say what it could be or if there’s anything wrong with you at all.

ME: Oh, I know there’s something wrong with me (The only other true statement I uttered that day!)

After the urine sample, she tried to take blood and I got light-headed and had to lie down to recover while she got me a cookie and soda. That was the only real symptom I had the whole time I was in that office and it had nothing to do with Mono – it was because I am a major pussy and I pass out from needles! I left there feeling mighty victorious and went home to celebrate how smart I was.

I went back a couple of days later and as I was waiting for her to go over the results with me, I was laying it on thick again and had her go and fetch me some water just to make it look good. I knew that there was a better chance of her telling me that I was going to be Valedictorian than there was of her telling me that I had Mono, but I had to make it look real. She came in with her associate, shut the door, and pulled their chairs right next to where I was laying on the cot. They didn’t say anything and looked at each other and then finally:

HER: “It’s not Mono…” before she could get any further, I grabbed my chest and said “Oh my God, its Hepatitis isn’t it?” knowing full well that there was no way it was.

HER: “Why would you think you have Hepatitis? Have you been in contact with someone who has it?”

ME: “You never know…”

HER: We know what’s going on here and you know that you don’t have Mono. I think you’re a very depressed person and it’s very serious. We’ve seen it before and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

ME: (Hysterical laughing) Whoa sister, I’m not depressed. I may not have Mono, but I’m not depressed.

HER: Really, then how do you explain the tiredness, achiness, not going to class, the excessive sleeping, we ran your blood and urine remember? Your triglyceride count was through the roof which means you are drinking so excessively that it’s triple the count of what it should be. And the imaginary symptoms and thinking you have major illnesses is another sign. How do you explain the drugs in your system? This is depression, plain and simple. I know it when I see it.

ME: OK, seriously…I knew that I didn’t have Mono and joking around about Hepatitis is not funny.  I get that, but here’s what happened: I always come late and so I lied to my Geography Professor and told her that I had Mono so I needed a record of me coming here to be treated for it in case she checked because she didn’t believe me. I didn’t think she even knew what Mono was; she’s from Africa for God’s sake. There’s nothing wrong with me – I’m just lazy. I realize just how stupid this sounds as I hear myself say it out loud, but it’s really true.

HER: Really? Do you think we believe that? That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. What kind of person would do something like that? You’re depressed and you need to talk to someone. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I already called your father and…

ME: WHAT!!!! YOU DID WHAT??? ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? My father is a lunatic and that is the last thing you should have done. What about my privacy? I’m not fucking depressed, I’m pissed off. You’re nuts lady – I’m outta here!!!

Of course she called my father and he is a fucking crazy person to put it mildly: I have already expressed my wishes that he never be near me in a medical crisis and that is especially true when it is a fake medical crisis that I have just made up!!! This is how the call went after she asked for him and introduced herself:

HER: Sir, I’m calling about your son. I think he’s depressed. He came to the Health Services Office pretending to have Mono and we…

HIM: Lady, we’re all depressed, what do you want from me? The Mets are on – and then he hung up on her! Yep, that’s my Father! Good thing I wasn’t on a ledge somewhere…

I tried to go on my merry way and forget any of this had happened, but then I got a call from the Dean’s secretary a few days later to come to her office immediately. I had run-ins with the Dean on numerous occasions and had accidentally told her daughter that I thought she (the Dean, not her daughter) was a Fat Fuck just a few days earlier so I wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted from me.  (I didn’t realize it was her mother until I said “What is that Fat Fuck doing here?” and she said “What Fat Fuck?” And I said “What Fat Fuck? The Dean, who else” and she said “That Fat Fuck happens to be my mother!” and I said “That Fat Fuck is your mother?” and she said “Yes” and I repeated “That Fat Fuck is your mother?” which just made it worse. I don’t know why I thought she would be kidding, but I didn’t believe her. Needless to say, she did not think any part of it was funny. Also, it was in front of about ten people in the lounge, so she really didn’t think it was funny but it wasn’t like I could take it back at that point.
Needless to say, I had to explain the whole situation to the Dean because the hookers from the Health Services Office had gone running to her after my father hung up on her. Those bitches actually tried to block me from being able to register for classes until I went and saw a counselor so she wanted to talk to me and hear my side of the story. Talk about eating humble pie – thank God she knew I was an idiot. She knew that I was telling her the truth and she did threaten to make me go to the counselor out of spite, but did chuckle a little bit at the situation and said “Only you, anyone else and I would never have believed that kind of stupidity…and then we both laughed.

I ended up sweet talking that little African princess and she passed me but it was close. I had to lay on my charm and actually had to show up on time a few times…The lesson we learn here: The problem with health care is not the idiots faking illnesses to get out of something, but the crazy bitches that need to learn how to keep their traps shut!!!

As a postscript to this, a few months later they thought my aunt had Tuberculosis (seriously this time) and I needed a TB test immediately. Obviously I couldn’t go back into that Health Services Office after faking Mono and Hepatitis and tell those nitwits that I needed a TB test so I had to go to the local hospital for it. If you’re thinking of writing in the comments below about the boy who cried wolf – don’t! No one like a smart ass!

I Hate Birds Part Three – Are Chickens Birds? If not, then I hate them too!

After we graduated from college, my wife and I went on an amazing bus tour through Europe to celebrate. There were two different tour options: A Superior Tour which went through Europe for almost two weeks and you stayed in amazing Four Star properties or the second option (the one that we chose) was almost 6 weeks long and you stayed in “economy” facilities.

We really tried not to mind since it enabled us to go away for much longer, but in some cities – my OCD was really put to the test. I will circle back and reminisce about some of the other acts of chaos that ensued at another time, but this is about another instance of fowl fouls attacking me yet again.

When we got to Rome, it was nighttime and pitch black. You couldn’t tell exactly where we were staying as the bus pulled up, but we were met with the unmistakable aroma of shit circling in the air upon arrival. As we were unloaded from the bus, we quickly found out that the place we were about to sleep at was in the middle of a combination campground/animal sanctuary. When I say that we quickly found out, it was because there were loose peacocks strutting around offering people directions and refreshments as we received our rooming assignments. I was freaked out big time and it was like being at The Bronx Zoo, but I was really trying to be a good sport and not make it miserable for my girlfriend.

This is the Welcome Ambasador?


As I was trying to get over the sight of the stray peacock and hoping that it wouldn’t charge at me like in one of those When Animals Attack videos, my wife told me to turn around quickly. As I turned, I came face to face with a wire fence and a GIGANTIC ostrich-like bird poking through the fence and making eyes at me literally inches from my face. It gave me a wink and then it whispered at me “the pigeons in London tipped me off that you were coming.” Of course, I freaked out and it started making these guttural, obscene noises at me: UGHHHHHH MUGHHHHHH UGHHHHH and decided that I would sleep on the bus and I was quickly told to grow up (by my girlfriend, not the emu!) I ran away like I had just stolen a television and my heart was racing.

As we were shown to our space, I froze in my tracks and started to have another panic attack. We were, literally, going to be sleeping in a wooden shed. A fucking wooden shed! It wasn’t even like it was a nicely appointed wooden shed either – it was an eight by eight bare room with a door, two single cots, and a window. I knew going into the tour that I would have to suck it up, but this was too much. I may be high-maintenance, but it was all the more shocking because the livestock actually had better appointed accommodations than we did!

That shed was hot as balls so I opened the shutters immediately upon entering and it didn’t help. I started complaining as soon as the first bead of sweat started trickling down my forehead, but my wife hung out the window to look around and said that we made out better than some of the others did. She was trying to see the bright side and noticed that our shed had trees surrounding it thinking that would offer some shade to make it cooler.

As I hung out the window (there were no screens on the windows) to look, I noticed that there were trees along the path to our shed and in those trees were chickens. Lots of chickens! Those crazy birds were hanging out as if they were in a downtown Barber Shop just chillin’ with their Homies. That was an immediate red alert for me, but it was getting late, and they refused to let me sleep on the bus so I really had no choice in the matter and solved it the only way I knew how – I got wasted and collapsed into bed.

I'm more scared of these guys than most street gangs


I actually came to find out later that chickens are able to lift themselves off the ground and can get over fences and up into trees, thus the peanut gallery glaring down at me from their branches. The next morning, we were scheduled to go on a walking tour at the crack of dawn, but I knew that unless I was drunk and passed out, there was no way that I was going to be able to sleep there. The ruckus from those animals moaning and doing God only knows what to each other or the stray people that wandered close to their gate was unnerving. I was huddled under my sheet like that little kid in The Sixth Sense that saw dead people. The only thing was that I didn’t have Bruce Willis to protect me. If you are ever outnumbered by chickens twenty to one, you want Bruno on your side in case it gets ugly. Yippee Ki-Yay Mother Clucker!!!   

The next morning rolled around and I was spent! We had gone to bed less than four hours earlier, we were two weeks into the tour, drank every night and most of the every day and I was just exhausted. I had been to Rome multiple times before this trip and although I LOVE Rome to pieces, I had to skip out of the walking-tour for fear that my body would just collapse if I attempted it. My girlfriend left with group to go on the tour and I slipped back into my coma.

If I can, let me try to illustrate the next series of events that unfolded: I was still partially drunk, slipping in and out of consciousness while I was recovering, and just all around minding my business. There I was trying to get over the fact that they mail coffee beans in more elaborate shipping crates than the one that I was currently sleeping in, when I remember dozing off for the last time. When I’m asleep, I don’t move at all – I’m like a dead body after rigamortis has set in. I look like a corpse with my arms crossed across my chest and I absolutely cannot sleep without my blue tempur blinders.

These blinders are so soft it's like sticking your head up a sheep's ass!!! Now that's Soft!


I cannot pinpoint the exact cause, but something woke me up abruptly. My face and forehead really hurt and my blinders were off my head completely and strewn across the shed on the floor, which had never happened to me before. Assuming I had been tossing and turning in my drunken slumber, I chalked it up to a hangover and got out of bed. As I grabbed my robe and headed over to the bathroom area, people were staring at me as I walked by and for a split-second I thought I might be accidentally streaking another one of the tour rest stops.

In Nice, I was heading from the showers back towards our room (coincidentally we were once again staying in a shed, but that one was a much nicer shed– it was French after all) and people were whistling, calling to me in foreign tongues and chatting up a storm. I felt like a celebrity for a second and didn’t realize until one of the tour buses actually honked at me and all the passengers were pointing down what they were seeing. I was walking around and my bathrobe was open and trailing behind me like a cape leaving the whole front of my body exposed and showing off my bits and bobs to everyone. The tie for the bathrobe was still in place knotted around my waist, but because it was made of thin red silk, it blew open as I was walking and I didn’t realize it. Needless to say I was pretty popular that night at the bar.

Although I wasn’t streaking this time, a lot of people were staring at me again and I didn’t realize why until I got into the bathroom. I looked into the mirror and almost shit my pants because my whole face was covered in red marks. My forehead, cheeks, nose and chin all had crazy scratches and I thought for sure that I was still drunk or hallucinating so I walked back to the shed to wait for my girlfriend to come back from the tour. I have OCD and my finger and toe nails never even reach the tip of my skin, so there was no way it was me scratching myself. My wife has even shorter finger nails than I do, and then I checked her toe nails just to make sure it wasn’t her. Due to the sheer amount of scratches on my face, it was baffling and then it hit like a tornado as I came back up the path to the shed and saw a chicken on the end of the branch about a foot away from the shutter window to my shed: It was a fucking chicken that scratched my face! No wonder my blinders were off my head and on the floor – I never move when I sleep and they have never come off my head before. And I am such a heavy sleeper that I didn’t even feel it as the chicken was most-likely tea bagging me in my sleep!

As my wife returned she looked at me with shock and a little twinge of disgust mixed in as if to say “what did you do now?” I am clumsy and uncoordinated and consistently hurt myself but even she couldn’t have blamed me for a chicken would have gone all Siegfried and Roy on my face while I was sleeping. Who saw that coming? The lesson I learned that day: Don’t skip the walking tour or a chicken will kick the shed out of you!

More on our European adventures at another time when I revisit our tour and explain about how my wife tried to drug our tour guide while we were in Amsterdam…

Like I’ve heard so many times before “Wow, That’s a long one!”

“Are you ready?…” I could hear her as she stomped into the building and headed up the front staircase to our second floor apartment like Godzilla rolling through Tokyo. “Why is this door locked?…Let me in!…I know you’re in there…Can you hear me?…Come on,  we need to leave – Oh my God – are you still sleeping? Get up; we’re going to be late! Don’t do this to me. Open this door right now!!…Do I need to kick it in again!!! Don’t piss me off…”

That’s exactly how I was rudely woken up by my friend Weezie screaming and kicking at the front door of my apartment. Both of my roommates went to Albany for the weekend so there was no one else to let her in. I tried my best to ignore her, but she was relentless. “Get up, its 4:45 and you know it starts at 5 O’ Clock!” she implored.

I slowly peeled off my Navy Blue Tempur blinders and tried to steady myself. (Don’t you dare roll your eyes at me – those blinders are so comfortable and so soft that it’s actually as if you took your head and shoved it right up a sheep’s ass – seriously, they’re that soft!) As I tried to get my bearings, I knew that I should be in my own bedroom and should be sleeping in my own bed, but nothing seemed familiar at all. It felt like I had been turned upside down and was looking straight into a hall of mirrors. I knew that I should just lie back down and ignore her, but the truth is that she really would have kicked that door in again if I didn’t get up. Ignoring her would only lead to an assault!

“I’m coming” I groaned as I slowly lifted myself out of bed “Stop screaming before I smack you again.”

“Try it Bitch, and you’ll see what happens” she growled through the door.

I don’t think I can accurately describe my friend Weezie. She’s the type of person who feels that it’s more important to scream every word as opposed to speaking like a normal human being. I thought I had gotten used to it after five years, but when you’re hung over and the equilibrium is far from steady, being anywhere near Weezie is never the right choice. She was one of the toughest players on the girls Rugby team, but she was freaking hysterical and one minute with her would have you laughing your ass off. She’s a lot of fun and one of my closest friends, but that girl is legitimately crazy. When she says she’ll kick in a door – she means it.

As I opened the door, her glance told me that she wasn’t amused. There she was: one arm strategically placed on the left hip of her sparkly black formal dress and on her face a look of disgust that I can’t even begin to describe. She was ready to go out for her big night and here I was screwing that up. For some unknown reason, I had thought it was a good idea to stay out the night before until 7 AM and then sleep the day away. This would normally be her routine as well on a Saturday, but offer up free booze and she’d scale a wall for it.

Her Formal for the Girl’s Rugby Team started in less than fifteen minutes and she was not amused that I had just opened the door in grey Calvin Klein boxer briefs and a ripped T-shirt – obviously not dressed and ready to go unless by the word Formal they meant that trailer park chic was the dress code. I didn’t even want to go because I was hung over and felt like crap, but the prospect of a top-shelf open bar for five hours really enticed me. My girlfriend didn’t mind me going with Weezie and most of our friends were going, and did I mention that it was open bar so, I thought, why not.

Weezie pushed past me and went straight for a Coors Light as she started playing with my dog. When I say that, I don’t mean to beat around the bush and try to sneak in a sexual innuendo – I mean that she was actually playing with my dog, Smokey. I tried to sit on the couch and make small talk by saying that she looked nice and that I would like a beer too, but it did no good. She gave me a look and then offered me ten minutes before it was going to start getting physical, so I got moving. Once again, when I say that I don’t mean to beat around the bush and try to sneak in a sexual innuendo – I mean that she would literally smack the shit out of me! I tried to pull myself together because I knew she wasn’t above using a slap or an elbow to the gut to motivate. She said she’d walk Smokey, to speed things along, and I asked if she would make me a sandwich since I was starving.  

“Are you kidding me? Did you just ask me to make you a sandwich?”

“You make it like I asked you to clean the toilet – it’ll keep you busy while I get ready. Come on, I’m starving.”

“You can eat when we get there – We’re gonna be late.” 

“Weezie, when you’re worth it they’ll wait.” Picture her unamused.

About fifteen minutes later, I was ready. Anyone who knows anything about me knows I was under duress to be ready in fifteen minutes. I locked the front door behind us as we headed down the steps. (This is important – I normally never carried keys or bothered to lock the door but my roommates made me swear to do it before they left for the weekend because of people coming in and taking stuff. It was a safe town and they didn’t think twice about anyone stealing the TV or DVD Player – the crime they were talking about was beer theft. Lisa used to sneak in (sometimes through the keyhole and sometimes through the front window – she is a small girl) and take the beer. She’d then blame Weezie who my roommates would scream at and accuse of lying when she tried to deny it. I knew it was Lisa but didn’t care because it was hysterical how crazy Unibrow would get. Unibrow was one of my roommates and we called him that because he was from New Jersey. I’m kidding, we called him that because he had the bushiest strip of felt impersonating two eyebrows that I have ever seen on a man’s forehead. It was as if Bert on Sesame Street had a baby with Peter Gallagher.    

As we were leaving the front porch I said “Weezie, will you put my keys in your bag? My pants are tight and I don’t want to have two distracting bulges.” She put my keys in her bag and cracked a smile so I could tell that she was loosening up a bit.

“I’m really hungry – what are they having for dinner?” I gently asked.
“Hooka, I told you they’re not having dinner – it’s passed food” She rudely responded back with.
“What? Who doesn’t serve dinner? It’s five hours long.”

“It was cheaper this way so the planning committee thought people would eat first to keep costs down”

When she said cost-effective, she really meant it. Their idea of offering something to nosh on was nachos, potato chips, and pretzels. I thought they might be putting the real food out later since this must obviously be a joke, so I started drinking to fill my stomach with something. I was going through my vodka phase and just took a tiny bit of orange juice to gently color the vodka a bit. Little did I know what a dangerous game that would be to play on an empty stomach…
“Weezie, when are they putting out the other food?”

“They have nachos right there – eat those.”

“Are you kidding me? I don’t eat with my hands remember…”

“You and that OCD bullshit again…”

“They don’t have any silverware or napkins either, how am I supposed to eat anything here?”

By seven, I was drinking heavily and dancing violently. I apparently thought it was my job when Michael Jackson’s Beat It came on, to get in the center of the dance floor screaming the words and busting out a few karate kicks. I looked good, but I’m clumsy normally so a kickin’ beat and all that alcohol did nothing to stop me from bumping into almost everyone on the dance floor.

That’s actually the last thing I remember of the Formal. I don’t have any recollection of the events for the rest of the night following that dance. My recollection is that I had a lot of rhythm and looked really hot, but some pictures have surfaced that drastically contradict that idea.

I have heard many stories of my activities from those missing hours, but since I can only hope that they are exaggerated, I refuse to accept them as fact. What I do recall is being surprised that a December night with so much snow could feel so hot. I was sweating like rice pudding left out in the sun all day.

The next thing I remember is walking down Main Street towards my apartment. It was just about five AM on the Savings Bank digital clock. I had absolutely no idea where I had been since the bars closed at two or where Weezie was. I also had no idea where my shirt and tie were for that matter as I was now only wearing my white undershirt. For some reason it also wasn’t as warm as it had been earlier. Did I mention that it was December in Upstate NY?  

When I got to my building, I tried to open the front door but it was locked and I didn’t have the key – Weezie did. Right about then having two distracting bulges didn’t seem like such a big deal after all.  

That’s when I remembered about the back fire escape that led into my bedroom. I had never actually used the fire escape before, mostly because I’m terrified of heights and partly because the slumlord that rented it to us actually said never to use the fire escape. It wasn’t really attached to the house and actually banged into the house on windy days. (The building was being torn down after the Spring Semester and was actually condemned). There was also a lip in the doorway leading into my bedroom from the fire escape about five inches high where a plate had been laid down, leaving an opening under the door so snow came into the room. It didn’t just come into my room, it accumulated. The gap was so big I was always afraid Smokey would crawl out through it.

As I mounted that frozen monstrosity that they were calling a fire escape, I somehow knew in the back of my mind that this wasn’t such a good idea but there was no other way for me to get in. It was snowing lightly, my hands were frozen, and as I forged ahead, I just couldn’t look down. As I got to the top of the ladder, I tried to steady myself and climb onto the landing but it was very slippery. Just as I thought I was on steady footing and stepped towards the door, I slipped on a patch of ice and fell off the back of the fire escape toward the snow-covered ground two stories below. Everything went black.

I have no idea how long I was out for, but there I was in the snow looking up at the fire escape and my first thought was that this was exactly the reason why the slumlord had told me never to go on that fire escape.

My second thought was that my head was pounding and something was wrong with my left shoulder. Every part of my body was fighting to let me know who was in the most pain. I think the back of my head won out, but then came the worst pain of all: I realized that I was still locked out.

Believe it or not, that second climb up the fire escape was a lot easier than the first. In addition to being drunk, now I was dizzy and in horrendous pain, but I made it up there. Slowly, I found my footing on the landing. I held onto the railing very tightly as I opened the door and rushed into the room.

Remember that lip on the door I told you about? Yep, it got me. I tripped on the lip of the door and fell forward with no time to react. I closed my eyes as the desk got closer to my face because I just couldn’t do anything else. The corner of my desk ripped through my forehead like a knife through cheese and I forgot all about the pain in my shoulder or the back of my head. Blood was gushing everywhere and Smokey was going nuts.

I couldn’t get myself off the floor partly because the pain was too intense and partly because of all the blood that was now in my eyes. I tried but I just couldn’t lift myself and Smokey’s barking and jumping around like a lunatic were not helping the situation. It was barely light outside, and I had to squint to see anything at all. I knew I should call my girlfriend because I needed to go to the hospital, but the phone was all the way through the bedroom, through the long hallway past the bathroom and then in the corner of the living room. I dragged myself through the house leaving blood everywhere as I crept to the phone and finally dialed her number.  

“You’re not gonna believe this, I’m bleeding. I fell off the fire escape, and..”

(Cutting me off) “Oh my God Is Smokey OK?”
“I’m fucking bleeding, he’s jumping all over me, HE’S FINE – I’m not OK!”

“Are you drunk?”

“Of course I’m drunk, what would I be doing on that fire escape if I was sober? It’s not even attached to the house! I need help over here. I can’t get off the floor”

“Go to bed and call me tomorrow – you’re so dramatic” and she hung up.

I think that’s the exact moment I knew that I would marry that girl.

I got Weezie’s answering machine next (she told me later that she was in bed hysterical laughing listening to me leave the message because all she could understand was me slurring “Hooka…Hooka…it’s not right…I fell off the fire escape…you have my keys…”

I finally got a friend to come over and take me to the hospital and a few hours later I was back in my bed with torn ligaments and a slight concussion after a good “talking to” from the doctor in the Emergency Room about drinking. I was so out of it that I was agreeing to his points and nodding to everything he said and didn’t realize that he was talking about me. I stupidly thought he was just making small talk about the way people drink when they’re in college.

I had just fallen asleep when I woke up to Weezie hysterical laughing as she stood above me dangling my keys. I tried to explain what happened, but she just kept laughing. She thought it was poetic justice for me leaving her alone at the Formal last night.

When my girlfriend came over, she couldn’t believe how seriously I was hurt. She thought I was just drunk and rambling on when I called her. I immediately forgave her because I was in love with her. I also immediately forgave her because no one else would take care of me and clean up my apartment and I was starving. I was heavily medicated that day but still made it out to the bars two nights later.

I wish I could say that night was a wakeup call for me and that I never got that drunk again, but that would be a lie. I had to leave school early and get an incomplete in all my classes and I looked like Mikhail Gorbachev with that big gash that went from my hairline to the top of my nose. I made scars trendy way before Harry Potter did but it didn’t go away for over two months and I had trouble with my left shoulder for much longer than that. I was in a sling and it was impossible to do anything for myself. I wish I could also say that was the last time that I got hurt while I was drunk (see broken ankle number one, broken ankle number two, St. Patrick’s Day 2009 when I fell face first into a brick wall and looked like Rhianna, etc.) As the saying goes: if you fall off the horse, you get right back on and I‘m pretty sure that applies to fire escapes too.

It’s A Dog’s Life

A friend of mine just randomly told me a crazy story about when they masturbated their male cat. Please take that in for a moment before we go on. I know exactly what you’re thinking – how does that come up during a casual conversation? I don’t know either. Now, I’m not usually prone to speechlessness, but I gotta say that one got me. They said it only happened one time, to which I say that’s all it takes: One time and the cat’s hooked. I promised I would not put that on this website, so I will not reveal their name or gender, but it made me think of treating animals bad and of course my thoughts drifted back to college…

I’m not going to get graphic and tell you about the female roommate that I had on Clayton Street who had sex with her boyfriend’s American Terrier on his coffee table in front of his friends – I want to talk about that dog. (By the way, she’s now a school teacher and one day when my son is older, knowing my luck, I’m sure that I will walk into a Back-to-School night and come face to face with her) That dog was as big as a small show pony: he was over a hundred pounds, had huge teeth and paws, and his head was the size of a barbecue grill. I use the barbecue grill as a point of reference because he was always tied to that grill out on their porch. One day, he took off after someone and proceeded to drag that barbecue down those porch steps and then right up Clayton Street. The sparks were flying as that barbecue bounced around like a tennis ball and they had to go chasing after him. They didn’t think he’d run away, they were just chasing after him because they were afraid of the propane tank still attached to that barbecue he was dribbling up the street like a basketball. We thought for sure it would explode and take out the whole block, but they were pretty fast and caught up to him about twelve houses down. Most amazing of all though, is that the barbecue still worked after that – those things are really solid.

This is also the same dog that another day, dove through the screen of one of their front windows and made a run for it. He came straight across the street and up the stairs right into our apartment. He broke through our front door causing my two roommates to panic and jump onto the furniture trying to get away from him before they got bitten. One of them did get bit in the ass, but he didn’t break the skin. I, of course, happened to be taking a shit during all of this and when I heard the commotion and screaming, I thought the house was on fire. I didn’t even get a chance to react, because right then he broke through the bathroom door and I was literally, face to face with a monster and the bathroom door shut behind him. Picture it if you will, because I was sitting there thinking “Oh My God, I’m going to get mauled on the toilet by this killer.” I was trapped inside that small bathroom with him and I couldn’t even try to get up or move in any way. I thought that I could take it like a man if he bit me anywhere above the waist, but I was terrified that he would go for my sack if I stood up. If he got me there, I would have had to call it a day because my life would have been over! I could have lived with scars on my face or body, but you mess with the Goods and you’re screwed in a way that won’t leave a smile on anyone’s face!

He then sat down and proceeded to lick his lips while giving me the stare down (like a certain grandmother I know) mere inches from my face. I was sweating profusely and on the verge of tears when his owner and three or four other people on the street heard the commotion and screaming so they came running to find the dog. They peeked in the front door and said “you guys seen my dog?” and then started hysterical laughing when my roommates directed them to me and they opened the bathroom door.  The crowd all thought it was hysterical seeing me pinned on the toilet like that by this beast and they just kept laughing. All I can say is thank God they didn’t have camera phones like everyone does now or I would be a YouTube sensation with the way I was screaming bloody murder. They finally got that monster out of our place and I learned a valuable lesson about shitting in college: Go as fast as possible because you never know what’s outside the door!

They finally had to put that dog to sleep after he bit a few more people, but his memory lived on every time they used that barbecue. Even though he was like a wild boar, no one was happy that they had to put the dog down because it was a sad situation. Well, I shouldn’t say that because our mailman was very happy about the dog being gone. In the mailmen’s defense, he did get chased and bit quite a few times so you could understand him being happy. We never thought he minded because it was pretty funny to watch the dog attack him and then after it he always used to stick his head through the front window and smoke a joint with us. I would say he had a radar to know when we were smoking, but it was a safe  bet that if it was light outside, we were smoking.

So, my friend says they will leave the cat alone, and was just curious that one time. I say that a cat’s private parts are a gateway drug and that the next stop is a trip to the Nature Center and a meeting with an Alpaca with a golden smile…

The upsides to living in a condemned building…

Off-campus housing in college is always a challenge.  For some reason, I always seemed to wait until the last-minute to finalize and during my second senior year, I mistakenly let my friend Weezie handle everything. I should have known something was up when we got a prime spot on Clayton Street across from the bars, but who thinks like that?

School was starting in two days and Weezie called to tell me that we had somehow “lost” our apartment because other tenants were showing up and moving in and we now had nowhere to live for the school year. Apparently, the two landlords that owned the building had a parting of the ways and both of them had rented our apartment out to separate tenants. They both took the money and ran, so they were suing each other – which forced the court to appoint a Trustee to handle everything relating to their properties. Here it is two days before school starts and it was like musical chairs – the music stopped and there were not enough rooms for every one of us that was still dancing. 

It is probably my fault for planning on living with a lunatic, but Weezie was a close friend and we were together almost daily – so who better to live with?  She called and explained to me how people kept showing up and claiming rooms, but no one could find either one of the landlords. The Trustee finally showed up to help settle the situation, wanting to keep the peace and he offered to find us other housing since the other roommates had already shown up and were getting settled. Not gonna work buddy – we had to live there.

That apartment was a wreck; It had only one heating vent in the living room for the whole apartment, so no other room had any sort of heat and the winters in upstate NY are brutal. There were four bedrooms and my tiny little bedroom had a door leading out to a metal fire escape that wasn’t fully attached to the building – it actually used to bang against the building during storms. That wouldn’t have been so bad if there also wasn’t a ten-inch gap between the bottom of the fire escape door and the door frame which allowed the wind, rain, and snow to come in if there weren’t towels and blankets jammed in there. The furniture was old, mismatched, wobbly, and disgusting (even before my roommate that we liked to affectionately call “Unibrow” (for obvious reasons)  pissed all over the couch like a stray cat one night when he was drunk), the windows were broken or wouldn’t stay open unless propped up with books, and the stove didn’t always work.

The apartment was on the second floor in a condemned building that was scheduled to be torn down after the semester to make a parking lot for the YWCA next door, but it was on the bottom of Clayton Street steps from the bars and my friends were living in the houses next door, so I never gave it a second thought. Clayton Street is a long steep hill with the college campus at the top of the hill and the bars at the bottom of the hill and the apartment was in the last house at the bottom of the street across from the bars which more than made up for not having heat, working appliances, or a sanitary environment. You know what they say – location, location, location (so you can understand the importance of us not losing that apartment).

So the Trustee “worked everything out” with Weezie  as the two of them had now become friends. She was to live out in the back building, which was literally an old garage that was crudely converted into separate upstairs and downstairs apartments. Another feature of the apartment was that it was actually on an incline; if you put a basketball on the floor and let it go, it would roll towards the corner. It was so dingy in there that the Trustee gave us a case of beer if Weezie and I agreed to paint the inside of the garage (I mean apartment) so you can just imagine what it looked like. A case of beer is hard to pass up and I wasn’t that invested since I didn’t have to sleep out there, so we painted it.  Also, keep in mind that she was living with two strangers in there and didn’t have a door on her room. These apartments were also illegal so Weezie couldn’t get a phone out there, couldn’t get cable, and couldn’t even get mail delivered back there; but as I said the location more than made up for any negatives the place might have had.  

The window to her “living room” was about twenty-five feet from my bedroom fire escape door, so she would throw things at my door or scream HOOKA!!! out her window to get my attention and see if I wanted to go get lunch at the Grill Room or watch a movie. Since she didn’t have cable, she’d have to come over to watch anything or borrow a movie. One day I came home to find Smokey missing and a screwdriver rammed into my front door with a note saying “Walter, I have your dog!” which is a quote from The Burbs. 

I thought she was crazy to live out there, but I didn’t really argue with her because I still got to live in the apartment that we were originally supposed to, although with two strangers. It was awkward – they didn’t like that I had a dog that kept shitting in Unibrow’s bedroom and used to chew his books and piss on his bed, but like I said – location made up for a lot. I also didn’t like that Evan would order food and then go have sex with his girlfriend and of course when the food was delivered – they were still going at it. It actually isn’t as awkward as you might think to answer the door to a pizza delivery guy to the sounds of Evan’s bed banging against the wall, him moaning and his girlfriend screaming as you might think.  You might imagine that Evan’s girlfriend would be embarrassed when she dismounted and came out scrounging for food when they were done, but you would be mistaken for thinking that. She’d come strolling out of his room with him following shortly after like they just got back from running an errand, making small talk as if he hadn’t just pounded the shit out of her and everyone in the building had heard it. 

Here I was thinking I made out better than Weezie and then she started getting hand-written notes from the Trustee with cute stickers on the envelope. Now, ponder that for a second because what man in his mid fifties sends hand-written notes with stickers on the envelopes to a random girl he just met? My thoughts exactly. I only knew she was getting hand-written notes because she had to use my address as she couldn’t get mail out back. I also came to find out that Weezie was paying hundreds of dollars less than me for the rent. When I questioned the Trustee, he told me that Weezie had been through a lot. As if I hadn’t? Unless by being through a lot, he meant him hitting that…To this day, Weezie denies that there was anything between her and the Trustee besides friendship, but I am still not convinced. It could have all been innocent, but all those visits from him and the stickers and notes were pretty odd if you ask me…Also, this is the same girl who still denies that there was almost a fist fight in her sorority house because someone ate one of her frozen eggos, but I digress…In her defense, I must say that Weezie will admit to coming home to her sorority house one night and  finding a bowl that she had made in Ceramics class that had been used as an ashtray and went to Sara‘s room pounding on the door (Sara was being pounded by her boyfriend at the time, but it didn’t stop Weezie’s pounding at the door) and when Sara answered the door in just a towel, Weezie attacked her and almost beat the shit out of her too…

So over winter break, the pipes out in Weezie’s apartment/garage burst and she couldn’t live there anymore. A studio apartment opened up in the main house on the second floor, so the Trustee brought Weezie over to see it. She took one look at the rickety loft bed with desk under it and told the Trustee “I can’t have sex on that thing – it’ll fall apart and will never hold me.” Who says that? She still denies that she said that, but like I said these stories are all made up…She ended up moving into the studio and the chaos just kept on going…

More on that apartment and that glorious street later…