Wednesday, May 31, 2006
She's been calling the office for 30 years with complaints. My bosses boss passed her onto my boss after 10 years...my boss had her for about a dozen...and now she's mine. She's a little old lady who complains about everyone and everything...but her main gripe is that they built a park behind her house 25 years ago. While some people might like living behind a park, Mildred " didn't ask for it and doesn't want it".
Two summers ago she had an epic battle with a 12 year old girls softball team that screamed and cheered. That came to a head one evening when Mildred wheeled her snow blower and lawn mower to the edge of the yard and cranked both up to full blast. " They like noise ?" she asked rhetorically, " Then they'll get noise." Despite the girls best efforts to shower the blower and mower with dixie cups the racket drowned out any attempts to hear the umpire or any of the coaches and the game came to a halt. After that it got a lot quieter during softball games. Mildred had made her point.
Over the years I've come to learn that mostly Mildred isn't calling to complain, she's calling because she's lonely. So I've learned to quickly side step any issue that she's calling about and change the conversation to how her son is doing ( " A big executive who's very smart and nearing retirement) to how her garden is coming along ( azalias are blooming nicely thank you) to how my family is doing ( I don't tell her my daughter is playing softball btw).
So I wasn't surprised when she called Tuesday because I hadnt' heard from her in a while and it was a holiday weekend and she gets a little lonely around the holidays.
She opened by asking, " Have you guys been spraying out here, because there a weird odor in my car and I can't figure out what it is "
" No, we haven't...what's the smell ?"
" It smells like rotting cabbage...it's terrible. It's not in the Lincoln, only in this car. And I didn't think you guys did, but I thought I'd ask. I'll tell you what it is....it's those people across the street with their carrying on and their drugs, and their drinking....they did something to my car...I KNOW IT !"
Now I had heard this from Mildred 100 times. Whenever she couldn't find her rake..the druggies across the street did it. When the mail didn't come, the Puerto Ricans down the block stole it. And in every case I get a call a couple days later that the rake was behind the hedge or the mail wasn't delivered because it was election day.
So I tried to calm her down, " Now Mildred, it's probably nothing."
" IT"S NOT NOTHING...IT SMELLS TERRIBLE !"
So I suggestion reasonable possibilities, " Maybe an animal climbed up into your engine block and died ? Maybe you hit something on the road and didn't notice ?"
She was relentless..." That's possible but I looked all over the engine and under the car and can't see anything. I'll tell you it was the DRUGGIES ! I knew they were up to no good this weekend, I had my eye on them."
In the end Mildred decided to take the car to a garage and have them look at it. I asked that for my own curiousity she call me when she found out where the smell came from.
Later in the day the phone rang
" I TOLD YOU !"
" what happened Mildred ?"
" They did it, they did it, they did it !"
" What did they do ?"
" I took the car to the mechanic and he looked under the hood...no dice...
....he looked under the body....no dice....
...he looked in the truck...no dice...but it smelled bad...
...so he lifted up the matt in the trunk where the spare was..
...and do you know what he found...."
( I was sooo tempted to say 'dice?' but I refrained)
" What did he find Mildred ?" I asked really curious.
" A TURD ....in fact a couple of TURDS....big ones !!!!!"
" What ?!?!?!?!"
" That's right ...SOMEONE GOT IN MY TRUNK, LIFTED THE MATT, AND TOOK A CRAP IN MY TRUNK !!!!!"
So Mildred was correct...it was the druggies !
That aint right man, that just aint right.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Trim that shit buddy.
So my son takes Karate which I am pretty sure is a well oiled scam. Every time I get the bill I think about pulling him out, he comes home all excited with a new belt and I don't have the heart. There's a belt-to-bank conspiracy that, while transparent, seems to effectively unstoppable.
So the other day he had a board breaking competition...to which I had to ask, " you can break boards ?"...I mean the kid is only 6. He's a big kid, but still...wtf. So he took out this boxing glove type thing...his board breaking glove...and demostrated for me how he smashes the boards. So I had him hit my hand a few times wearing the padded glove and he has a decent punch. I was impressed.
Now I don't know why I did the following, other than attributing it to the fact that I'm a buffoon, but I said to him, " You gotta good punch....why don't you give me a shot. " and stuck my chin out.
He laughed and tapped me on the chin.
" No, seriously, go ahead. I want you to give me your best shot. Lemme see what you got ?"
And with that the kid wound up and yelled " HI-YA!" and drilled me right on the tip of the chin with the force of a mule kick.
Remember those old TVs that your grandparents had ? The ones where when you turned it off the screen went black from the outter edges until there was a little white do in the center of the screen that went away...and how when you turned it on it did the same thing in reverse with the screen filling up from the center out ? Yeah, that pretty much is what happened to me. I was your grandma's TV.
The only thing that kept me conscious was the thought that if he knocked me totally out that there's no way that I'd ever be able to discipline the kid again. That when he's 15 and I catch him with a beer that any attempt to ground him would result in my ass kicking. For _his_ future I had to stay conscious. I'm that kind of Dad.
Despite my best attempts to look unrattled he knew he stunned me and immediately started apologizing. I think the way my right eye bulged and twitched gave me away. I played it off and told him " no worries...didn't hurt at all...great punch". I put it at 50/50 as to whether or not he bought it.
Anyway the kid stay in karate as long as he wants for now on.
The 3 day weekend went as follows:
Friday night - son knocked the shit out of me
Sat - Triathlon - 62 degree water knocked the wind out of me
Sat night - poker knocked the money out of me
Sun - beer knocked the sobriety out of me
Mon - 2 hours in the van with the kids and no air conditioning knocked the sanity out of me
Isn't life grand.
DOG WATCH UPDATE - dog still alive
Friday, May 26, 2006
I dunno about you, but the bottom one looks tastier.
so let's start with one of the many funny lines I heard last night.....
" I'm not saying the chick is a horse....I just hope she spits out the bit when the minister says you may now kiss the bride."
So no heavy drinking this week, but it's been replaced by the slow burn. One beer on Monday, two on Tuesday, three on Wed, and well you can figure out what I'm dealing with this morning. Actually it's not the drinking as much the lack of sleeping. The catalyst is that I have a friend visiting on vacation and I'm trying to show him a good time. On the drive into work this morning I realized the bastard is still sleeping...no wonder he can hang so tuff.
In any event, I don't feel terrible...but it has taken me like 12 minutes to type to this point because I keeps messing up words and letters. Or as I just typed it....wrods and leeters.
So Saturday I'm doing a triathlon with my wife. While she's been getting up every morning and training for the last 6 months, I've been...well if you read this blog then you know what I've been up to. Mostly I've been up to 205 lbs.
So I haven't swum in 3 months, my riding is ok, and I ran twice in the last month. I figured I'm peaked. Should nothing get posted here ever again, please send flowers or letters of condolences to my widow. And no, you can't date her when I'm dead.
So if you've ever wondered what its like being me...... the following is running in an endless loop in my head....
...and you wonder why I drink ?
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I knew one sure fire way to find out where he was but put off doing it for a long time. Finally, reluctantly I called the mother of Larks son. When she answered I said, " Good evening LaLonnie....this is Flick", with the friendliest voice I knew. I figured time heals all wounds and it had to be a good dozen years since we had talked.
long pause...long pause... a very disappointed " Oh", was all she offered. I suppose we were dealing with a 15 year wound. In any case she was kind enough to supply me with Larks number and informed me that he " had to move out of town".
Apparently Larks had a bit of an altercation with three of the local university football players and broke one of their legs. There was an investigation the eventually exonerated Larks due to self defense but in the process the DA put Larks through the ringer thinking he finally had something to stick him with ( there's a long history there going back to high school and Larks allegedly banging the dudes sister or something).....but in any case Larks felt he was dealt with unfairly in the process. As a remedy he went to Kinkos and made up 8 1/2 x 11 flyers that said the the DA was Saddam Hussain and put them on all the cars along the main street. Anyway...the point is he felt that it would be in his best interest to move just outside the County limits and that's where I eventually met up with him.
When I did reach him he informed me that his "campain of terror" on the DA had not ended and recounted the following....
" So I knew that this facist ( the DA) had it out for me and I also knew this other dude who never likes me and was a rat and who was looking to get out of some trouble so I hatched this plan to get both of them. I got me three Fosters oil cans and I emptied them most of the way and filled them back up with water so they smelled like beer and if you had a sip might taste like beer, but they were mostly water. Then I went over the rats house and started guzzling the oil cans and yelling about how I was going to go into town and start some trouble. I knew as soon as I left the rat would call the DA. After I finished the last can I jumped in my car, drove into town ( where they were always looking for me anyway), and started driving up and down main street. I didn't do anything illegal, and I stayed in my lane, but I kept driving back and forth with the radio loud kinda speeding up and slowing down and trying to be as visible as possible.....it took a little while but sooner or later they pulled me over."
" The pulled me out of the car and gave me a bunch of those test which I purposely failed. I poked myself in the eye insted of the nose and I messed up the alphabet...I didn't even have to fake that one. So they arrested me for suspicion of drunk driving and took me in for a breathalizer. I took the breathalizer and it came up zero....so they made me take it again....zero....and again ! and finally they took me to the hospital and gave me a blood test.......and I was totally clean.....they had to let me going...ha ha suckas !"
" Did you get a ticket or anything " , I asked ?
" Ha ! NO ! Nothing. I denied being drunk the whole time and told them that they were harassing me for no reason and that I'd beat the breathalizer and that I was going to sue them...it was great. I made a big scene at the jail and the other dudes in there were all cheering when they had to give me my shit back so I could leave."
" So you're like the hero of the jail ?"
" Well it's not really a 'jail' like county lock-up.....but I could have won mayor of the holding tank....for sure."
" Thats awesome" I offered.
" Yeah, so when I got back I wrote this 19 page essay on how to beat the breathalizer. It's all about respiration and enzymes and shit like that. I'm trying to sell it to all the fraternities for $19.95 a copy. I'll send you a copy of it."
" You wrote 19 pages on how to fill up a beer can with water ?"
" No, but that was the first breathalizer I ever took. And when we were waiting for the results of the blood test I had some time to sit there and think about it I came up with a way to beat the test. The test is based on the alcohol in your breath, so if you manipulate your breathing in such a fashion.....well.....it's very complicated...... I'll mail it to you."
I don't have a copy yet, but as soon as I do I'll post it here for your review.
Now the neighbor is selling and they did a survey and the driveway is 18-20 inches off of the property line instead of 36 inches.
She is demanding justice.
She would like me to compell the neighbor to cut 16 inches off of their driveway because "right is right".
I give up. I'm outta idea on how to deal with people anymore. I'll give a prize to whomever comes up with the best way for me to deal with this situation.
Getting fatter and fatter.
Dealt with it all by having three pints last night....then came home and ate a slice a pizza and a cupcake. That make everything better.
Until this morning.
Now I have a bunch of college kids coming in to do some work for me. So I'm going to have to sit here listening to all their goddamn happiness and trying not to look at their gigantic perky boobies.....why had no one studied the phenomenon of every girl between 12 and 25 having enormous boobs ? Fuck global warming....this is some serious shit.
If I hear that "Pass pass pass the cold Coors Light" commercial again I'm going to " Stab stab stab my own ears out".
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The remainder of the summer and a long winter followed and I had just about forgotten about the entire incident when one spring morning my phone rang....
" Hello ?"
" What's up sucka ?" It was Larks.
" Hey, what's new ?"
" I just got back from Q school."
Q School - Every year some 1200 professional golfers try out for the most exclusive golf tour in the world, the PGA. Only 30 will make it through what is called "Q School" .. the grueling qualifying tournaments they must compete in to earn the coveted PGA card. Q School is the "Survivor" of the golf world. It involves three stages of tournaments and at each stage golfers are eliminated. It's tense, nerve-racking, an endurance test like no other.
Oh yeah, it costs like $3000 to enter.
Now there are two important things to note about Larks. #1 - He's broke...all the time. His track record with employment is less than stellar. Work gets in the way of fun. And he has a problem playing well with others. I remember him losing a job at a milking parlor because both a co-worker and the cows kept "eyeballing" him and had to be "dealt with". There were more than a few times where he would have no money to eat and barely enough money for beer. Then again there were periods when he would show up with a giant bankroll leading us to believe that he wasn't adverse to robbing banks or assasinating people. But in any case, it was a bit of a shock that he would come up with 3 grand to play in a golf tournament
#2 - is that Larks was the greatest natural athlete I've ever known. He took up cycling and within a year was beating the elites in the sport. He took up boxing and within one summer had put on 10 lbs of muscle and was giving local boxers the beat down. He walked onto the college cross country team with no experience and at 26 years old. He was a black belt in Judo. He was incredibly gifted phyically and had an immediate proficiency with anything I had seen him attempt. It is perposterous to think that someone could take up golf....start by playing in their living room...and then be good enough to try and qualify for the PGA tour. But if anyone could do it, it would be this guy.
Baffled, I asked the most obvious question, "uh....so how'd it go."
And this is the story that I got.
" Yeah, it went good. I mean I didn't qualify or anything, but it was good experience for the next time I try out. I learned a lot. But the best part was that I got to play three rounds. I got to play a practice round on Tuesday and then got to play in the tournament on Wednesday and Thursday. And my score got better every day."
I had to ask, " Well what score qualified and what did you shoot "
" I didn't keep score the first day cause it was practice, but I didn't do that good. I think the winner shot something like 66-68 and you had to shoot 70-70 or better to qualify. I shot 120 - 112 "
" Pardon me ?"
" What ? Pardon what ?"
" Did you just say you shot One hundred-and-twenty and one-hundred-and-twelve ?"
" Yeah ?"
" Is that what you were expecting to shoot ?"
" I really had no idea. How would I know ? I mean I had been shooting par in my living room, but that's not real golf obviously."
I was astonished at this point, " So what had you been shooting at real golf ?"
" I wasn't shooting anything. I never played real golf. "
" You never played rewal golf....and your first real golf was Q school ?"
"I was hoping to get some rounds in before I got here, but the winter has been real bad and none of the courses were open. I did hit at the range a few times, but the practice round I played was the first time I had ever been on a golf course. So I'd like to shoot better, but I'm pretty happy with the 112. I mean in one round I got 8 better. "
" How....ahhhhhh......what......ummmmm....so what was it like ? Was it cool ? Did you have fun ?" At this point my head was spinning so bad I had no idea what to ask next.
" Well the last day was great. I played with a really nice guy who was a big help. He was nice enough to explain all the rules and stuff. The practice round was OK too. Well the practice round didn't start well...they started giving my girlfriend shit about her shoes and skirt and they weren't going to let her caddie for me...the starter guy was being a real asshole. He was all worked up about her shoes and I told her that she wasn't going walk on the greens and we were allowed to use a cart, but he was being a dick. If I wasn't so nervous about playing I probably would have shoved his clipboard up his ass...but I had a lot going on that day. So we went in and bought her some shorts and golf shoes and then she was able to be my caddie for the rest of the time."
" Really ? She carried you clubs for 36 holes. That's cool of her."
" She carried them a lot of the time. She'd get tired and I'd carry them too, but it was good to have here there, she kept me head together especially with all the stuff going on in the first round. "
" What happened the first round ?"
" Well, you know, It was my first tournament and I told the guys I was playing with that I was nervous and hadn't played before and to let me know if I was doing anything wrong...and they were pretty cool about things. But this dude in the yellow sweater behind us was being a real asshole. He kept telling us to hurry up and then making all kinds of gesture in the fairway when I was lining up putts. And then he had an official come and talk to our group. Finally on the 14th hole I had to walk back and straighten him out."
Uh-oh..." What do you mean straghten him out. Please don't tell me you beat him up on the golf course"
" No, but I made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that I could not be distracted from my game any further. And he seemed to understood my predicament. More importantly he seemed to understand his perdicament. So, we didn't have any problems after than...... The only other thing bad besides that was that I hit one of the marshall dudes with a ball.
" WHAT !?!?!?"
" Yeah, I couldn't find my ball. I mean I knew where it was, It was right behind the green on this downhill. It was wet and it had plugged back there and I was looking for it forever and couldn't find it. I finally found a ball where mine was, but it wasn't my ball. I was going to keep looking and then I saw the official standing on the green asking the other dudes what they were waiting for and I knew that I was up the creek. He started walking over to the side of the green where I was and I though I better get a move on it or I was going to get a penalty, so I just played the ball I found since it was in the same spot. So lickety-split I hit the ball and 'cause it was half burried it kind shot off at an angle at around the same time that the marshall was coming down the hill.... and it hit him right in the pocket on his chest."
" HOLY SHIT, DID IT HURT HIM?"
" Well it made a pretty good thud, but it wasn't going too fast cause of all the mud and all on it."
" What happened ?"
" He stopped for a second and was wheezing a shit...but just a little bit, not too bad. Then looked at me and said 'pick up your play..we have three groups behind you waiting'...then all pissed off, he turned around walked to his cart and peeled outta there."
" THAT'S INCREDIBLE"
" Yeah, he never even look to see if I was playing the right ball........ So you'll never believe what happened the next day."
" No, I'm sure I wont"
" So the next day, we show up and that have us in our threesomes and guess who they paired me with ?"
" The yellow sweater dude!"
" Oh-no....how did that go ?"
" It didn't. He started screaming and yelling about me shooting a 120 and about me threatening to kill him...which I DID NOT DO....and he refused to play with me...he was making a real ass of himself...so I said ' whatever dude, you shot like 81 and you played golf before so I wouldn't be talking about anyone sucking...I never played before and I'm only like a couple of guys behind you in the standings' and that shut him up pretty good"
" I suppose it would, so what happened."
" Well the yellow dude got put with someone else. But the other dude I was paired with said he'd play with me. I told him that he didn't have to if it was going to fuck him up, but it was cool. He said that he shot an 80 and that there was no way that he'd be able to qualify so he just hung out with me and explained a bunch of the rules and showed me some tips and stuff to practice, so it was cool. And they sent us off last so we could cruise around and take our time."
" That's an absolutely amazing story Larks."
" Thanks !"
After hearing this, I called my bother, who is a professional golfer, and asked him if he had ever heard of such a thing. He said that every once in a while you'd hear of someone entering an open tournament or Q-school who was a high handicapper just to say that they had done it. But he hadn't heard of anyone ever posting a 232. A couple of months later he said that the following notice appreared in one of his PGA journals.....
For Q school, the the PGA has added a Pre Qualifying round. This round is for players who wish to enter Q school but;
a) have not played in the Qualifying Tournament in the last three years and are unable to provide tournament results listing their scores and finish positions from a minimum of two 36 hole tournaments
b) received a noncompetitive letter the last time they competed in the Qualifying Tournament
Cost for the pre-Qualfying round...and additional $4500.
Surprisingly, no one has ever applied for and the PGA Tour has never had to hold one of these pre-qualifying tournaments...or as they're more affectionately known in golfing circles...The L School.
Monday, May 22, 2006
I suppose when you're three or four or whatever she is, that hearing that people die and go to heaven is sort of like trying to comprehend that grandma lives in Philadelphia. Neither carrys any connotation except that you can't possibly understand where the place is until you go there.
All of this leads to conversations that bring moral, ethical, and religous differences between my wife and I to a head. Mainly because my daughter asks all the questions that I'd like to ask. I find some humor in watching adults try to explain concepts like heaven, hell, and the trinty to a little kid who comes to conclussions like, " well that doesn't make any sense at all".
When she comes to me with such questions I do the right thing and answer with something like, " HEY ! Who wants ice cream !?" Problem solved.
Ron's kid is going through the same phase with a little difference. He's only obsessed with how people die. This obsession began with finding out that Elvis died on the crapper. Even since then when he finds out that someone has died it's like finding an extra prize in a Cracker Jack box. He breaks into a beautiful and wholely inappropriate littany of questions...." your Dad died ! How ? Did you see it ?" and equally and entertaining when he finds out that it was a run of the mill heart attack.." oh, that's it ? That's kinda boring".
I promised him that when I die I'll go out in a blaze of glory and I'll let him sit in the front seat. He's the first person who's wishing death on me, and I really don't seem to mind.
And HERE is a video of an interview gone wrong.....so very very wrong.
Instead I usually end up getting some whining middle-aged woman conflicted over the fact that she considers herself a feminist and at the same time enjoys being a mother. They also have into heavy rotation a second generation immigrant conflicted over assimilating into American culture while trying to identify with his parents. They should rename the bit " I believe I need a therapist.."
So out of respect to MLK and as a shining example of a man who really knows what he believe, I bring you Crash Davis mp3 or wav .
" Well I believe in the soul... the cock...the pussy... the small of a woman's back... the hangin' curveball... high fiber... good scotch... that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent overrated crap... I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a Constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve, and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. Goodnight. "
Friday, May 19, 2006
She was giving an anti-drug lecture to a bunch of 6th graders today. In the Q & A session a nerdy kid raised his hand and when called on got real shy and said, " I don't know if it's an appropriate question."
Being used to kinds being nervous and wanting to encourage their participation in the discussion about drug abuse she said, " no, go ahead..."
The kids then asked, " Ummm, what do they mean when they say you shouldn't drop the soap when you're in jail."
and the hell with it...while we're out it let's link swarm you.
Bad Ass Crutch Break Dancing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zjfpdRlbbA
the Bush and Chimp Thing http://www.bushorchimp.com/pics2.html
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
In 1996 I saw a similar ad and hooked my buddy Dave up with a team for Italian rider Fabio Biasiolo who was the Italian endurance champ or something. So Dave got in touch with the people and after some negotiation, they flew his ass to California for the event.
As soon as he got there, things started going wrong. Fabio brought two of his crew over from Italy, a boyfriend and girlfriend couple Antonio and Leeza. Stateside, the operation was being run by a father and son team who were recruited by the race organizers. The night before the race was to begin, there were some beers drank, words exchanged, and a big argument in broken english and Italian almost saw the whole thing scrubbed.
Finally order was restored to some degree and the team set out for Day 1. It was agreed that the father and son would go in the motor home, while Dave, Antonio and Leeza would ride behind Fabio in the van.
Day 1 saw the crew head out across the desert and the tempatures reached over 100 degrees which presented two problems. The first, obviously, was the the rider was dying. The second was that it was boiling in the van. Leeza dealt with the heat by taking her clothes off. Not all of them completely off. But most of them most of the way off. This of course, had the effect of Dave driving around with a boner, trying to act as naturally as possible while looking at and not looking at Lezza the entire time. The first problem was solved with an ingenius idea. They purchased a hand held gadening sprayer. Leeza took over the driving and she'd pull up along side Fabio, while Antonio would spray him down.
All of that was going really well.....right up until Lezza got a little too close to Fabio...and swerved quickly to avoid him...which caused Antonio to fall out of the side of the van at 30 mph clinging to his garden sprayer.
Screaming and skidding and swearing ensued and they all ran back to find Antonio laying on the side of the road a total mess. Dave called ahead to the motor home for help and Lezza went into full on Italian freak-out mode....running around in circles screaming, throwing her hands in the air and her braless tittles flying all over the place.
When the father and son arrived they put Antonio into the air conditioned motor home to assess his injuries. When they all stepped outside to discuss what to do next, the impassioned Lezza jumped into the drivers seat. Before anyone could react, she fired up the motor home peeled out.
So there they were. In the middle of the desert. The rider, the father, the son, Dave, and the van. And there went the motor home off into the distance.
Fabio, didn't speak any english and they didn't speak any Italian, but through gestures they decided to plod on for a little while and hope that Lezza and Antonio would return. They continued on until they got to the first sign of civilization then Fabio had to stop.
The plan had been to have Fabioride 20 hours and rest 4 hours a day for the first three days. This would give him sleep in the air conditioning, give him a chance to recover with some IV fluids, and give the crew some down time. Instead there weren't even half way through the first day and they found themselve parked next to a convenience store, in some desert town, feeding Fabio soft drinks and tastycakes, and having him try to sleep in the sweltering heat of the back of the non-air conditioned van.
When the father and son went inside, Fabio opened up one of the coolers and pulled out an IV bag. He looked at Dave, the only one he trusted at this point, and gestured to him as if to say, " please stick this needle in my arm". Apparently " no fucking way!" is the same in Italian as in English. Fabio asked again and got the same answer. Finally Fabio started jabbing himself with the needle....and after a while they both threw up.
Eventually that night Antonio and Lezza showed up, having come from a hospital. But by then it was too late. They had fallen too far behind pace, and more importantly too much mental and physical damage had been done to even consider going another week and another 2600 miles.
Two days later Dave was sitting back on my couch recounting the entire story to me.
For the 2,905 mile race, here is a snippit from DNF section of the official results page:
Did not finish (with miles):
Seana Hogan-2,010 miles
Lane & Rose Smith-1,717 miles
Paul Solo-1,588 miles
Aldo Calandro-1,468 miles
Reed Finfrock-1,283 miles
Beny Furrer-1,283 miles
Paul Carter-1,114 miles
Jodi Groesbeck-842 miles
Emmy Klassen-390 miles
Fabio Biasiolo-134 miles
epiloge: To his credit Fabio Biasiolo evenutally returned to the RAAM and finished as high as third in 2005. His bio can be found HERE . Dave also has a website, but its all about DJ'ing so I'm not putting it up here.
That scene from Pulp Fiction always reminds me of the Tuesday night training races, or any of the weekly worlds cycling races held everywhere on the planet.
Everyone likes to pretend that they don't count....but they do.
Everyone out there is trying as hard as they can, they all want to win desperately, but they all act as if it doesn't really matter. I mean people will ride so hard that they'll literally shit in their chamois, ....or in our case I've seen people without hesitation blow through a stop sign and out in front of a truck...and then stand in the parking lot afterwards and say shit like, " it's no big deal....the results don't count....it's only a training race"
So for once and all I'm offically calling bullshit on all of you. It does matter. It does count. And last night, you did get lit up by The Fury.
Good job Sez. Congrats.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
If for some reason the link doesn't work, just to to entensity.net and click on the image there.
So I was up most of last night. This morning I find myself tired...but also the proud ownder of some wrinkle cream, the Little Giant, and some land off the coast of Texas. Infomercials rule !
I had my first slate of interviews for summer help yesterday. For those of you seeking employment, here are some tips from yesterdays experience.
- Don't show up 10 minutes late...everyone knows that one...but showing up 3 hours early isnt' great either
- Being stoned isn't a good excuse for not knowing that it's 10am ...not 1 pm
- Don't show up for an interview stoned.
- Cargo shorts, a t-shirt and a baseball cap aren't proper interview attire.
- Your perspective employer probably isn't "man", "my-man", nor "buddy"
- The use of the word "Whatever"....probably not recommended
- Don't use previously employed and subseqently fired for insubordination employees as your reference.
- The right answer to the question " Do you have any experience working with kids ?" isn't " I used to be one."
Monday, May 15, 2006
Since I had a poker game on Saturday, I figured I'd load up the fridge with beer and water....and since I enjoy a little nip now and again I decided to get a couple of bottles of booze. I mean, what the heck, a smooth sip of bourbon or a jack and coke now and again breaks up the monotony of beer.
Thus started the Knob Creek experiment.
Somehow or another over the course of the evening, I accidently drank the whole bottle.
I mean, Ron helped out with a couple of glasses but for the most part...and somehow mysteriously, the rest of the bottle...along with a couple of Yungling Lager Lights and a bag of nachos ended up in my belly.
You may have heard of the phrase 10 year flood plain or 50 year flood plain, where areas near streams and rivers are declared unbuildable because the area floods once every x number of years.
Sunday morning was broached the 5 year hangover plain. It was the worst one since the time I vomit 5 times on the way in to work, which was about 5 years ago. Although I have to say that it wasn't as bad as the time I 'sleepwalked' into the closet and urinated on my wifes shoes, which was about 10 years ago. In any case Sunday morning was terrible.
My only hope was to try and replace all my nutrients and minerals and flood my body with fluids. By noon Sunday here is what I ate:
- a meatball hogie
- a donut
- a bacon egg and cheese biscut
- a number one ( Big Mac) value meal ...but not supersized
- a gallon of gatorade
- 6 ibuprofin and 2 womens mega vitamins
- a bowl of raisin bran
I figured that my hangover would go away or I'd explode.
Ron aptly stated, " What ever doesn't kill you will only make you fatter."
Then again he also claimed that, " the end of slavery world wide put a real dent in quality architecture " so I'm not sure his judgement can be trusted totally.
Anyway, that didn't cure my hangover, so after lunch I added:
- a meat and potato burritto
- a cinnamon roll and glass of milk
and was starting to regain my balance when I finally found the cure
- A thing that was sort of a pizza, wrapped in taco, wrapped in a burritto thing from Taco Bell.
I washed that thing down with, of course, a Diet Pepsi, and the clouds began to lift.
At around 7:24 pm I started to feel 'normal'.
By 9:00 pm my ass went to defcon 4.
I won't go as far as to say that the cure is worse than the illness, but if anyone knows where I can get some asbestos toilet paper...I'm all ears.
Someday, maybe someday, I'll grow up....or maybe I'll just die trying.
Friday, May 12, 2006
The three room place was, as had all his places previously, filled to the brim with an ecclectic gathering of all things unexpected. Within arms reach you could find the Wall Street Journal, bullets, a book on flower arranging, a small vial of arsenic, boxing gloves, and a pair of perfectly pressed green plain golf pants.
What was new to his usual set up was that the eastern wall of the 25x15 main room was covered with a army suplus cargo net that had an old blanket zip-tied to it.
"OK..", Larks said looking at me, " I know you're a good golfer and I've been looking forward to seeing you so that you can check out my swing."
He then walked over to an old fisherman's hip wader and pulled it out of a pile of stuff. Shoved in the hip wader/ make shift golf bag were an assortment of mismatched and rusted clubs.
That's when I noticed a few things. First of all there was a torn up piece of astro turf in the middle of the room. Secondly, sitting next to me was a pile of handdrawn scorecards complete with yardages and scores written in. Lastly, and most startling were the big holes ripped into the ceiling and wall directly behind Larks.
" OK, so check this out " as he started with a couple of practice swings, " now I've had to modify my swing a little because there's not a lot of room in here. But just watch it and imagine that I could swing the whole way around and tell me what you think. "
He then fished around in his pocket, threw a ball onto the astro turf, and with a compact and incredibly powerful swing that somehow missed the walls, the TV, and his two guests, smashed the ball with a deafening CRACK.
"AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!" Ron and I screamed as we dove for cover.
" What are you guys doing ?" Larks asked as the ball gentle rolled off the cargo net and back onto the turf. " It's fine. I almost never miss the net. It only really get's tricky with the wedges." as he pointed to a number of dents in the ceiling around the top of the netting.
For the next 15 minutes we watched him smash ball after ball into the net with great force and accurracy as he explained to us his routine. He'd get up every morning and play 18 holes. He'd write up a course, imagine where the ball might go depending on how he felt he hit it, and he'd mark down his score.
To eliminate the wedge situation he recreated a exact replica of a golf ball out of aluminum foil wrappers and he'd use that to chip around the 'green'.
Putting had it's own system. He had another piece of turf and a putting ball. At the end of the turf he had three dumbells of varying size. For short putts he putted at the big dumbell and for long putts he's have to hit the small one.
It was quite the set up.
He demonstrated by playing the first two holes of his Blue Course......SMASH ! " Bah, I sliced that one....not bad though...240...right rough.....SMASH.....nice save.....a little short but I should have a good pitch to the green..." out came the aluminum ball. A chip and a two putts later he was in with bogey.
Ron asked, " So how has this improved your game ?"
" Well when I started I shot around a 104 for the Blue course, but lately I've been breaking 90 regularly." he said gesturing to the stack of scorecards.
" That's great", I offered, " has it help with your...errrr....outside game ?"
" Dunno. I've never played real golf."
( on Monday....Larks tries out for the PGA tour)
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Larks: Yeah, I'm wasted
Flick: I'm hungry, let's go to Wendys
Larks: You have any money ?
Flick: Uh, no.
Larks: I have four dollars....and......lemme see...37 cents.
Flick: Cool. Dollar menu.
off to wendys
Larks: I can' deal with people. You have to order. And remember we only have $4.37
Me, errrrr I mean Flick: Cool. OK
Wendys Lady: Can I help you ?
Flick: Uh...yeah....a single
Lady (into Mic): single !
guy at grill: single !
Flick: another single
Guy: another single !
Larks (whispering and frantic) : (hey man...not so much food...we only have $4.37)
Flick ( ignoring Larks) : Ahhh, a Frosty
Guy: frosty !
Flick: One more frosty
guy: frosty, check!
Larks : STOP ORDERING ALL THAT FOOD THATS LIKE 6 BURGERS AND SIX FROSTYS AND WE ONLY HAVE FOUR DOLLARS AND YOU'RE FREAKING ME OUT !!!!! BAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!
Flick ( terrorized) : AHHHHHHHHH !
Lady( also terrorized) : AHHHHHHHHH !
Guy at grill ( grinning knowingly) : You guys are sooooo high !
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
If a blind guy shows up at my doorstep looking to play a little 1 on 1, I'm just going to give him $10 admit defeat and save us both the embarassment.
Ah shit, I just remembered I have to go to the urologist tomorrow morning...oh gawd I'm doomed.
That reminds me of the time I got my vasectomy. That process in and of itself is somewhat odd and it was made even a little more interesting by the fact that my urologist is a buddy of mine. We ride together and we go out to dinner with our wives. But in the end I got over most of the awkwardness and was actually appreciative of the fact that I had someone that I knew and trusted working on me.
About five weeks after the operation things were fine but I did have a little nodule where the suture was in one of my nut sacks. I didn't think anything of it but since we were out to dinner I thought I'd ask the doc about it some time when the opportunity presented itself. No opportunity arose during dinner but we did stop back at his house and while the women were in the kitchen and we were at the bar I casually mentioned it;
" so, ehhh, is it normal to have a little lump where the suture was ?"
somewhat alarmed, " what do yo mean lump ?"
" well not a lump, but just a little bump."
" well, listen a lump is bad. Is it a lump ?"
" no no no I shouldn't have said lump. It's like the size of a bb pellet....right where the stiches were."
he thought for a couple of seconds, " well sometimes there are small deposits where the stiches disolve and they're absolutely no big deal...but I am a little nervous when you start talking lumps...you do have a family history of testicular cancer. Why don't I take a look at it ?"
" ok, should I just call in and schedule an appointment ?"
" Whatever, sure." then added seriously, " Or if you want I can take a look at it right now."
Now I'm a 90's guy and all. And I'm not the type of guy who's shy to get changed in the locker room. And I understand that the dude is a doctor and all but this was definately wigging me out
" Listen Doc....don't take this the wrong way...but we just had a bunch of drinks, we're sitting in your den...and you just asked my to drop my pants so that you can fondle me testicles. Now I'm no prude but #1 - that's some freaky shit.....and #2 - when out wives walk in and see that shit going down we're either swingin or dead...adn frankly I'm not down with either"
and that ended that
So a few weeks go by and I keep finding excused not to go in and see the Doc. Not because of his suggestion, just to a general aversion to going to any doctor.
Then one day when I'm watching the kids the doorbell rang and there was El Doc-tor.
" Why haven't you been in to see me ?", and he wasn't kidding around
" well you know..."
" listen man, I can't having you get cancer and drop over dead because you're too embarassed to come in and have me look at you."
" I know doc, I know. It's not you or anything I've just been busy and it seems silly to come in over nothing" I answered sincerely.
" We'll that's a bunch of bullshit. I'm checking you out."
" Now ?!"
" Yeah now. You want me to go out to the car and get a white coat and stethascope ?"
" No man...it's just a little weird "
" You know what's weird...having your balls cut off and getting lung cancer from the tumors metasticie"
"hmm, you make a good point"
So I threw in a movie for the kids and then slunked into the back bathroom for my examination. So I had a man fondle me while I hid from my kids in the other room.
It turns out that my balls are fine. I, however, might be gay.
And if I haven't mentioned it again recently, I really really really really really really hope my dog dies. I'm not a religous man, but I'd like you all to take a moment tonight, wherever you might be, and get down on your knees to ask your creator for the small favor of having this be the last night that the piece of shit, fungus infected, yapping, pissing, scratching, shitting mogrel spends on this planet.
Monday, May 08, 2006
This is from the show Texas Ranch House which is a PBS reality TV show where they recreate the experience of folks living as cattle rachers in the mid-1800's. This is a sequal to a similar show they did on people living in Puritanical times. In that show half the cast walked out...the PBS/NPR women on the show couldn't handle playing a subserviant roles nor having to live with God, and the men were too much a bunch of pussies to get a grip on the women.
This new show is picking up where the last one left off.
But the episode that I quoted above is the best. The shows producers thought it would be cool to include some native americans as part of the production. What they failed to calculate was the fact that while white people are over the whole conquiering the country thing...Native American's are still a little pissed off. I suppose having your race slaughtered and smallpox shoved in your blankets will leave a sour taste in your mouth. Who'd a thunk it ?
So it's a riot. These Comanches are all like, "sure well do your show" and then immediately set about extracting just a little bit of payback. They stole some horses...and then they kidnapped a dude. To PBS's credit...or maybe not....they did not intevene. The white people on the show were wondering..." Is this staged ? Is this still part of the show ?" but the Comanches were NOT exactly fucking around.
Their response was, " well let's put it this way..... If this was 1860, we wouldn't be talking about trading your cattle for your cowboy....mostly we'd be talking about which one of us got each of your daughters after we killed you all " and then everyone turned around and took a good long look at the chicks.
Then after some laughter...where the whiteys weren't laughing too much, the chief added, " come to think of it, it's a good thing that these cameras are around !" AHAHHAHAHHAHA.
I don't think anyone slept too well at the Ranch house that night.
I see that the Comanches are not included in any future episodes. I think that people can only handle so much reality in their reality TV.
Then I woke up this morning and all I could remember is waking up laughing. For the life of me I cannot remember what it was about. Ahh, I'm so friggen pissed.
I came in this morning suffering from a post Turkey Hill letdown. I still have a number of clean up things to do, letters to write, and the dreaded running results to compile, but the bulk of the worrying is done and I go go about my usual business.
"Usual business" opened this morning at 9 am when an elderly lady, complete with oxygen tank in tow, came walking through the door.
" The geese had chicks" she opened with.
We have a pond in the Township and a flock of geese are squating there. As is the case in this part of the country, the winters never get cold enough and the summers hot enough for these fat bastards to migrate. I suspect, after sitting there eating all the available grain, and people feeding them, even if they wanted to migrate that they couldn't fly more than a few hundred yards anyway. Fat, lazy and lethargic...I suppose they're no longer Canadian geese..they're American geese. Anyway, around this time of year we get a lot of lonley old ladies who come in looking for solutions to save the geese. This lady hit most of them...
- " Can you put up a sign that says geese crossing ?"
- " How about a sign that says duck crossing between 8 am and 10 am".....um ma'am they are geese and I think they cross more often then that...." well that's when I go past there" she replied.
- " Can we fence them in ?" .....we can try, but they _are_ birds and it would have to be a really really high fence
- "How about a bridge or a walkway for them to walk over". That one got a blank stare
In the end she walked away pissed because we're a bunch of uncaring, terrible people.
And I suspect she went home and sat there angry all during lunch, eating her turkey sandwich and missing the irony completely.
Hopefully, I'll remember that story. Maybe when I nod off later in the day.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Usually the reading say something like..... 66.765.45.xx, Phila, PA, comcast.net, no referral
But the last couple of weeks I've seen some stuff that's sort of freaking me out.
If the site clicks over from a google search, you can see which keywords were searched. Yesterday someone came to the site searching the words, " get out of going to the prom ".....uhh, good luck dude....if she's already bought her dress you're screwed. If this ends up being a lesson to you about getting engaged, then it will have all been worth in. Just go to the prom...at the very least you'll get to see a lot of boobies on display.
There's someone from Durham, NC that checks in a few times each day, every day. I don't know anyone from Durham. If you're a hot chick..."how ya doin' ? Drop me an email.". If you're some sort of axe murderer, my name last name is Haverstick I think you're a pussy.
But the one that's really creeped me out is that a few weeks ago I wrote about a ficticious website www.hobosexual.com well they're a real website. I aint clicking on it and I wouldn't encourage you to. I think we can all pretty much guess what might be over there. But those folks must check for links to their site and have found me. If any of you people are reading this...go away.....I mean I'm all for helping the homeless...but you guys are some sick bastards.
And now a little story.
When I was 15 years old I contracted pneumonia and had to be taken to the hospital when my fever got to 105 and would not come down.
When they were weighing me in I passed out and they threw me in a bed and hooked me up to an IV and hit me with some ice packs.
As some point during the episode I shit myself.
Now this was in the middle of the night and either no one noticed...or more likely...the night shift nurse figured she'd ignore the obvious and hope that she could leave me for the morning crew. Either way i woke up the next morning with my pants completly filled with shit.
I went to get up to clean myself but between the IVs and the fact that I was completely exhausted and weak, I could not get out of bed. I figured I'd just have to tell the nurse when she came in.
Sure enough the shifts changed and instead of the 60 year old hag that checked him in the night before, my new nurse was totally hot and around 23 years old.
Fuck it. I just resigned myself to having to the fact that I'd just sit in my own shit until the old bag came back. How long could it be ? Eight...maybe twelve hours ?
Unfortunately despite my denials and explanations, the smell finally gave me away. This beautiful angel of mercy was force to clean me up like a 6 month old.
I found the entire experience to be absolutely humiliating......
.... but at the same time oddly stimulating.
Hey man....I WAS 15.
I suppose that goes a long way to explaining a few things.
Chief Sitting Bull
H.H. Kramer used to always play his first game of the night with Charles. Charles was like playing a computer. He never took any risks or did anything fancy. He always kept his pawns connected and if he could trade you pieces, he'd do it in a heartbeat. His style was simple, moderately effective, and methodical to the point of approaching boring.
If you played Charles in a game a chess you could count on two things; the game would take at least an hour, and in the end the only pieces on the board would be kings and pawns. And at face value, that's pretty much how Charles lived his life. Charles would walk over to club, say a few pleasant simple words, play his games, and go home. We knew he had survived pancreatic cancer, we knew he was married, and we knew, by the occasional t-shirt logo of simple piece of jewelry, that he had an interest in American Indians. Other than that, there wasn't really much more to know....or so we thought.
One night we were out having a couple of beers and ran into a guy. " You guys play chess ? My wife's ex-husband plays chess. His name is Charles, do you know him ?"
Then we heard the story:
Charles was living a normal life... get up, go to work, come home, hang out with his wife, watch a little TV, etc. etc. Then one night he saw a television program on American Indians. Intrigued, he went to the library and got a couple of books. Months later, the local university had a demonstration of local Native American dance. Charles and his wife went and Charles found the dance and dress of the native Americans to be as interesting as their history. At the event they received information about some gatherings ( pow-wows I suppose) on the east coast. Excited, Charles made reservations ( no pun intended) and scheduled their next vacation to attend one of the pow-wows.
Now Charles' wife was being supportive of his new found interest and attended this pow-wow, but frankly she really wasn't interested. After the trip to the University and to the pow-wow, she felt that she had put her obligatory time in. She told Charles that she supported his interest, but that she really wasn't that interested in American Indians...but that if he wanted to go to the weekend events, he could go on ahead without her.
A month later there was a big gathering in Maine and with the blessing of his wife, Charles went off to pursue his hobby. Sunday night, the door opened and Charles returned home. Accompanying him and his overnight bag was a short middle aged woman.
" Honey," he announced, " I have someone I'd like you to meet........ This is my Indian wife, Marta, she'll be living with us for now on."
Somehow, Charles had convinced himself that it was perfectly appropriate for him to go up to Maine, to meet a woman, to marry her in a Native American ceremony, to bring her home, and that his wife would understand.
She did not.
I suppose the moral of the story is that people do not always appear to be what they seem. That the mild mannered man sitting across the board from you boring you into a draw very well might be a mild mannered dellusional bigamist.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Actually not "in" the neighborhood because the only thing that I have "in" my neighborhood are cookie cutter houses with manicured lawns on half acre lots...filled with undersexed/overstressed women laying in bed worrying about shit like will the rest of the mothers approve of the cookies that she baked for the 2nd grade class party since they have imitation m&m's or should she have gone with the real thing....and men hiding in the basement with their flys undone, waiting for porn clips to get done buffering while at the same time listening for any footsteps from upstairs. But I digress.....
The point is the previously mention bar in the center of town has gone to shit. They overcharge, they underdeliver, the waitstaff is nasty, and the place is to loud and smokey. Worst of all they make a shitty manhatten....too much vermouth.
So anther two miles down the road there's another place that I haven't been to in years. Last night I gave them a test spin.
I walked in and the place was filled with Red Son fans - nice.... 1 point
Everyone in there was under 25 years old...and although rooting for the Sox, they were acting like Yankee fans - minus 1 point.
The had blackened chicken sandwiches - yum ! 1 point
One side TV had the hockey game on - alright ! another 1 point
The TV on the other side has some show about a some dude who's face caught on fire and had melted off ....... considering I was eating a blackened chicken sandwich - MINUS 1 giant point.
and no one could find a remote control to switch the channel - minus 2 more points.
It wasn't looking good.
I was considering walking out of the place right there and then, but the bartender chick climbed up on a stool, risking life and limb, and turned of "weekend at burn-ies" or whatever the hell was freaking me out. - so that earns however many points to get us to even.
So the tie breaker was going to have to be the true test of a bar's worth.
" I'll take a manhatten."
" A what ?" she asked/answered.
" A manhatten"
" ummm, I think I heard of those. We usually don't serve and fancy drinks. Let me get my drink book out and look that one up."
Now I'm no foo-foo fancy drink drinker. I mean, I figure that a manhatten is as common of a drink as you can get. Am I off the mark there ? The hierachy is beer, then shots, then your common mixers like rum and coke or 7 and 7, then it's manhattens and martinis....right ?
It's not like I asked her for a 'dusty bucket' or a 'flaming durango'....( I just made both of those names up btw).
Anyway, she had no idea. She said that beside the owner and one of the cooks I was probably the oldest person to come in the bar since she started working there two years ago...and that pretty much she serves beer, shots, red bull and vodka, and every once in a while...if someone brings in their girlfriend...a sea breeze.
After informing her that despite my great age I could still get errections.... and that there was no chance of her ever getting a tip.... I offered to teach her how to tend bar.
Oddly enough, she accepted.
So surprisingly I spent part of last night tending bar. I had em all drinking rob roys, martinis, and manhattens. When I left Big Poppy had hit a home run to put the Sox up in the bottom of the 8th, and everyone was solidly pickled, and I had found me a new home.
And in case you were wondering, I did leave her a tip.
Monday, May 01, 2006
To make matters worse, modern dance was held at 8 am on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. I put off taking the class for as long as possible. My hope was that they would change the degree requirements by the time I eventually graduated, or that I could somehow talk myself out of it or fake a serious injury. Unfortunately none of that played out to my advantage and in my final semester I was forced to take the class.
Now the good thing was that pretty much all you had to do was show up. Interestingly, that happened to be the only bad thing about the class as well. Every morning I'd stumble in, go through out the lead series of stretches...Usually praying to god I didn't fart or shart myself. Then we'd have a series of ballet dance positions that we'd go through. Lastly we'd learn various dances. The class we composed of 12 people....9 women, most of whom had some experience dance...then there was some guy who could actually dance somewhat...then me and the 300 pound starting left guard for the university football team.
Two weeks into the class, the instructor informed the us that because of a conflict, the university dance team would not be able to represent the university at a state conference that we were all going to and she asked if anyone in the class would like to serve as our representative.
One girl in the class jumped at the chance. She was an experienced dancer and somewhat skilled....she was also very hot. As soon as she raised her hand, the one guy in our class who could dance raised his hand. He had been angling at getting together with this chick for a while and he obviously saw his opening.
So three days a week, about half way through class, when the rest of us were leanring the tango and crap like that...these two would be allowed to squirrel off together and practice their dance. I actually have to give the guy props for a smart move in getting the girl alone...and it appeared to be working to his favor.
About a month into the class and with about a week to go before the convention the teacher walked into the class in the morning with a very solemn look on her face. Instead of having us do our stretches, she had us sit in the chairs and made an announcement. " Brian ( the dancing dude in our class)....Brian was arrested last night. Apparently, he's been sneaking into women's bedrooms in the middle of the night and masturbating over girls while they slept. Last night a woman woke up while he was in the middle of his....well...you know...and he tripped over the pants around his ankles...and.....well.....the bad news is that it looks like he won't be dancing at the convention."
I suppose that's one wayt of looking at it.
She continued, now looking at me and the football player, " We need to carry on. The dance is all set. Will either of you gentlemen fill in the spot."
" No way.", there was no hesitation from either of us.
" If you do this, I'll give you an A.", she offered.
I countered with, " I'm already getting an A"
Then there was a long pause while all of us considered our impasse.
Finally the teacher broke the silence, " OK, here's the deal. If you do this for me, you never have to come to this class again. You show up the week, you dance at the convention, then you're done for the year. Stay home, sleep in, and you get an A."
" I'll take it !", I said.
So the hot chick and I squirreled off the the side studio and she bagan to teach me the dance. No big deal...waltz to the left, waltz to the right, this was going to be easy. I'm pretty sure that she was unimpressed with my foot work, but she was doing her best to tolerate me under the circumstances and being as encouraging as possible. I'm sure the fact that finding out that the dude who she had been dancing with...and who was trying to ( or maybe had) bone her, was now being held in county lock-up for being a freaky pervert was contributing to her agitated mood.
Then after getting down the first 30 second she told me, " here's where we do the lifts." and put my hands on her waist and hopped into the air. Now this girl couldn't have weighed more than 100 lbs....but I was a skinny ass cyclist...so I found lifting a brush up to comb my hair in the morning to be a struggle. I'm sure I looked like one of those Russian Olympic weightlifters with my eyes bulging and veins popped and I struggled to get this chick into the air. I got her about two feet off the ground, grunting and straining the whole time, before I finally collapsed with a groan and dropped her to the ground.
She stopped. Turned around. And stared me down with a disgusted, incredulous looked. " LIIIIIIIIIFT ME ! DON'T THROW ME ! LIFT ME INTO THE AIR !"
With great annoyance, she went through the dance steps again, turn away. put my hands on her waist again, hopped up and URGGGGGGGHHHHHHH....we both hit the deck with a thud.
I sat on the stage humiliated and watched as she walked over to the other studio. For the next 10 minutes I watched as a detached observer as the teacher and the dancer threw their arms in the air and argued red faced. Then I saw them both talking to the football player as she shook his head to the negative over and over. Finally the entire experience became too much for the poor chick and she walked out of the building in tears.
I found out later that the chick had even resorted to going to the dean and asking for a special dispensation to let the rapist come back, just for the convention, rather than have to dance with me.
We all showed up on Wednesday to find out that some sort of compromised had been reached. The football player was now in....but he was willing to ONLY do the lifts....he would not dance. I, obviously, was in for the dance but couldn't do the lifts. And the girls would modify the dance so that we could both be included. We had 3 days to work it all out.
The end result was some sort of scene where ( OH GAWD THIS IS STILL TRAUMATIC TO WRITE ABOUT 15 YEARS LATER)...so the deal was going to be that I would dance with the girls.....then the football player was to come out onto the stage, he and I were to have some sort of duel....he'd kill me....and he'd do the lifts with the chick ( the lifts were some sort of pre-requisite)...and we'd be out of there. It was all pretty contrived and hasty, but at this point all I was worried about was getting the thing over with and then never having to dance again.
Plus, I had been to the convention before. Everyone was really there for the drinking. I had never been to a dance session, but all the other sessions were thinly attended. I figured we'd be in there with a handful of other people in a similar situation as us, we'd do our little thing, then we'd be outer there home free.
To dress the thing up a bit, we borrowed some epees from the fencing team. I wasn't going to wear any dancing tights, but I did borrow a top from the theatre department and I figured I'd wear a pair of my cycling tights. All I had for tights were an old pair of black tights with a red stripe down the side and a hold in the knee, but at this point, what the hell.
Eventually the big day came. We got to the convention, checked in, then went over to the dance hall. Walking through the dance hall doors was a shock. The place was enormous. There was a huge stage. And worse than all of that was the fact that the pace was PACKED.....PACKED. Everywhere you looked there were dance troupes....like REAL dance teams, jazz dance ensembles, basketball half-time dance teams, real ballerina....and with all of them were their families, their friends, and a hell of a lot of video cameras.
" THIS is not what I signed on for" I thought to myself.
The football player immediately went for the door.
" NO FUCKING WAY ! You're not going anywhere " I shouted.
" Listen man, I'm gone. It aint happening." he told me.
The guy had me by 120 lbs and could have crushed my like a bug, but I wasn't going this alone, " Dude, you're staying. It's no big deal. Some of these people are obviously good and serious...but I'm sure that there are plenty of people just like us. Come on, we've come this far. In 10 minutes it will all be over and we're done"
I coaxed him back into the hall just as the first group of dancers hit the stage. 35 people filling the stage in perfect harmony, hitting back handsprings, and effectively recreating with great perfection every dance step in each of the videos from MTV's top 10 countdown.
In short, we were fucked.
Shortly, thank goodness, we were called to the stage.
Instead of this big production of up-tempo music...two figures walked out to the center of the enormous stage. This contrast caught the attention of the crowd and a hush fell over the auditorium. Quietly the classical music played throught the sound system and this brave young lady and myself began our waltz. 1...2....3.....1.....2.....3......I concentrated on my steps as the music began to build the tension.
Now the plan, back in our tiny studio, was for the football player to step out behind the curtain...the two of us would then ' duel' and then he would sort of stab me as I fell away behind the curtain. The trouble now was stepping out from behind the curtain left the football player a good 30 yards from the center of the stage.
We may have also overestimated how easily it would be for the crowd to understand the story line behind our little production.
So if you would be one of the lucky people who filmed what came next you'd be able to go back and watch the following (mind you that most of the audience is viewing this with the eyes of trained dancers who have probably been going to recitals since they were 5 years old).
The tapes starts and you see two people slowly dancing on the stage. Then when the music builds to a crescendo, some enormous monster of a man, with a pained and angry look on his face, comes lumbering across the stage from left to right. When he eventually gets to the center of the stage the male dancer...the one curiously wearing cycling tights with a hole in the knee, pulls out a epee, and the two men awkwardly recreated the knife fight scene from Michael Jackson's Beat It. Eventually, after the big one knocks the sword out of the little one's hands, the big one stabs the little one....or rather do a 3rd grade imitation of stabbing the little one. The little guy stumbles back.....falls to the ground....looks up and notices that he's still 20 yards away from the edge of the stage....he then improvises a death crawl/roll .....which gets him about another 10 yards away....then, defeated, he finally gives up and collapses still on the stage in a heap. The two other dancers, after watching to make sure that the fool is really dead and not going to try and crawl the last 10 yards begins a series of lifts. The big guy squats her, he deal lifts her, and then finally he clean-and-jerks her.
I watched the football player do the lifts from my spot on the right edge of the stage. When they were done, I popped up and trotted over to the other two so that we could do our little bow and courtesy. Despite it all I thought to myself....'hey that wasn't as bad as I thought it would go ! We might have pulled that off !".
As I started my bow, and for the first time since the music started, I dared to look out into the crowd. The place was gigantic....a sea of faces. And everywhere you looked was the same stunned expression of shocked disbelief. For what seemed like an eternity there wasn't a sound. The people just stared..... mouths agape.....in stunned silence. If someone had walked out onto the stage, dropped trousers and shit out a bowling ball and a pineapple I don't think they would have looked as disgusted and surprised.
Begrudgingly I heard a sympathetic clap or two which seemed to bring the crowd out of their trance. There was a fair amount of mumbling and as we existed the stage I heard a small, soft round of mercy applause. I think the silence was better.