Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Eve, 2011

I am in the bathroom stall of an Applebees, standing over a five year old boy who is seated on the toilet.

My food which I don't even want to eat is getting colder, more congealed.

"Are you done?" I ask him.

He has been chattering on about toilet paper rolls, how the one at the restaurant is substantially bigger than the one at home.

Without pausing for breath, he answers my question.

"Five more-no, ten more poops." Ten fingers held up.

I sigh and lean against the door of the stall, but quickly jerk back upright, recalling to mind the long cavalcade of people I have seen smear feces on stall doors and walls: special education students, homeless people at the library, my own two children.

Most of them don't mean it, it's just details, and none of them are too keen on details.

I hear the bathroom door swing open.

Shuffling footsteps bring an occupant into the stall next to ours.

Beneath the divider I see a large foot stuffed into a white tennis shoe fit with an orthopedic heel.

Trousers hit the floor, and the toilet creaks under what must be substantial girth.

As slow as this stranger entered the bathroom, internally they must have been in considerable hurry, if one were to infer such things from the sounds of instant, violent explosion.

I brace myself for my son to make comment, but he is straining under the impetus of his own mission.

A tiny plop from beneath him and he looks up at me without smiling.

"That's one. I said ten".

"I know."

The next stall over has become an orchestra of the body and its openings; rumblings, squeaks, the unmistakable honk of a one nostril open, one nostril held shut expulsion. 

I think of how a team from the CDC should really go in there to clean it when all is said and done, as opposed to the poorly prepared young man from Mexico who will really get assigned the task.

You can imagine the assault of smells that were now arrayed against me, so I will not belabor it.

Just know that all of them were bad, and none of them seemed like Christmas.

My son releases a trickle of pee and I am hopeful.

"Done?" I ask.

He shakes his head slowly, almost sadly, "No Daddy, that was pee. It doesn't count."

If I could have looked out a window from where I was, I would have seen a dull landscape of grey and brown, utterly devoid of the snow so beloved of the season, barren of any hint of the Yule joy we are all now supposed to feel.

I would have opened that window and frantically windmilled my arms to clear that bathroom of all that was evil in it, and the cold cleansing air that would have rushed in would have been as childishly exciting, as stimulating to the senses, as a light snowfall  on Christmas Eve.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guest Appearances

I did a guestpost. yay.
The dirtycowgirl made me do it like a month ago, and its up today.
Upon rereading it just now, I have to say.....(shrug).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A little about a shoe store

I realized that working at the shoe store twice a week with my students is kind of like special ed whack-a-mole.

You have them all doing their separate little jobs, and they take turns bursting out into weird or disruptive behaviors, prompting you to rush over and restore order.

The developmentally disabled moles rarely telegraph their intentions; they just do it.

I am standing there, sipping coffee, thinking about how much I hate shoes, and the first one goes off.


"Martin, no barking!" I say. 

Martin is absolutely petrified of dogs, so of course he is also obsessed with them and cannot help himself from emulating, loudly,  the very thing he so deeply fears.

 A mother with her little boy tries to discreetly move far away from Martin.

I feel bad for her, because she is forced to leave the children's area and feign interest in men's brown loafers sitting on a nearby display.

"FLIPPY!" comes a squeaky expulsion from across the store.

This one comes from Elsie, who is supposed to be washing mirrors but is now pacing around, chattering happily to the many talkative occupants of her head.

Elsie is very smart, very with it.

When I do not know something going on in the realm of pop culture, I turn to Elsie for my entertainment news.

I never fact check her, though, so I still can't make small talk at parties.

Of course, the Hyde to her streetwise Jekyll is her schizophrenia, which means when you are trying to get her to listen, you are competing with random anime characters and the entire cast of Happy Tree Friends.

"Elsie, you can't talk to yourself here."

She stares blankly.

"They'll hear you," she mumbles back to me. 

"Um...yes, exactly."

She often punctuates her speech with little high-pitched voices and cartoon sound effects.

"Kero. Can't do what you want, arigato. FLIPPY!" 

I hover around long enough to ensure she has reassembled herself.

As I move along, she mutters something about someone named Chrono and his decision to use soul power.

"....I'm Marcy", I hear someone say awkwardly.

Kevin the knuckle bumper cannot help himself; he just has to greet every stranger he sees, very, very, closely.

Dear trembling Marcy has been backed into a corner by Kevin's extroversion. 

"Kevin, please get back to work."

He steps back from Marcy and I guess she hadn't found any shoes she just had to have because she leaves the store immediately.

Presiding over it all is the Shoe Lady, the manager of the store.

She is a very nice person.

She is.

But oh my Lord of all that is right and true, she is the most obnoxious salesperson I have ever had the extreme discomfort to have to listen to.

When a customer comes in, she zeroes in on them like a feral dog on adorable little kittens.

She bites down and she shakes them incredibly fast.

Then they are dead, and broken-hearted children are standing nearby, sobbing silently, mouths agape.

Shoe Lady verbally pummels customers:

It is absolutely excruciating to listen to, terrifying to watch.

SHOE LADY! Learn to read people's body language, learn the signs.

If someone keeps moving away from where ever you are, if someone does not respond when you speak to them, or says "just looking" in a bit of a sing-song voice, it means LEAVE THEM ALONE.

She is the fourth mole in my little game, and I wish to whack her down the most.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Quality of the Hermes

According to one of my new followers that may or may not be a robot, the quality of all the Hermes bag is beyond reproach.

I have no idea what a Hermes bag is but it sounds like it might be good I guess.

Because of my recent influx of new readers, I feel compelled to reintroduce myself.

 Though sometimes when I see a Hermes bag my expression is

Actually, that last part is a lie.

As I previously mentioned, I don't know what a Hermes bag is, and frankly, I killed that joke when I titled my post and I should have left it at that.

To avoid anymore stupid jokes, I am going to speak for a moment about drugs.

I wrote before how I messed around with them for a little, but I don't really recommend it.

You might feel good, but there is a high probability that you are actually quite stupid

The first time I ever did LSD, I sat listening to a Sesame Street record for several hours. I was scared by it, and to be scared of Sesame Street at the age of 18 is nothing you can hold on to years down the road when you have given up all faith in yourself.

LSD makes you feel like you are talking about incredible things, and then you remember you are on drugs and it is only drugs talking, and then you laugh at how ridiculous you must have sounded, then you start analyzing it all, and then you realize you have just spent another 15 minutes talking about fake incredible things and you start laughing all over again. 

Or sometimes you sit in a car packed with five other people on drugs, and all of you are mesmerized by the repetitive clicking of the turn signal. 

Occasionally everyone bursts out in a big "WHOAH!WHOAH!HAHAHA!" as if you have just gone down a giant hill on a rollercoaster.

 It's just so amazing to all of you that it keeps clicking.

I challenge you to take acid and then try and ask your parents if you can spend the night at a friend's house without flying around the room like an eagle or wondering if your dad's beard really does stretch on into infinity.

One of the last times I ever did LSD, it was with a few friends out in the woods.

I wandered around for awhile, mostly naked, and then stumbled upon a fellow traveler seated on a hill.

He was giggling to himself.

"Look," he said, and pointed to a lone mushroom growing out of the ground nearby.

I sat next to him, studying the fungus, to really see it as he saw it.

And then it hit me.

We both began to laugh uproariously.

Good call, I told him, using only my mind.

That mushroom really is hilarious.

I think the turning point for me came when I was sitting in class one day, completely sober.

The teacher was pointing to the board with a pointy thing, and I saw

Hallucinations when on drugs = hee-hee, real neat, not for kids though.

Hallucinations sober = oh shit.

Several years of occasional panic attacks later, I'm g-r-r-r-r-r-r-eat!!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bet all your sweet bippies on me

I got blog of note.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A post with feelings

I am an excellent public speaker.

As best man at a friend of mine's wedding, I was given the chance to speak publicly.

I am a pretty confidant guy, so I really didn't need to prepare anything.

Though, unfortunately, when they handed me the microphone, I began to sob incoherently.

I did not feel the least bit emotional.

It was the result of the same upsurge in adrenalin that other people would use to kick incredible amounts of ass or lift horse-drawn carts off of French peasants.

We are all superhuman in our own way.

My crying has held a very predictable pattern throughout my life.

It begins as spastic shocks to the jaw, which I try to control by tightly closing my mouth.

This makes my jowls wiggle furiously in a dance of sadness.

The commotion pops my mouth back open enough to let out sounds long buried inside me since the dawn of my puberty.

Imagine a small, fat child being shown The Exorcist repeatedly. What would that sound like?

Gheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee(enormous tortured inhalation)Gheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.(the slappy lapping away of snot and tears) gheeeeee.

Now that sound is amplified via microphone in front of a hundred and fifty people, and you are wearing a tuxedo that lifts your breasts up high as if on a platter.

And damn you, you still try to give the speech.

Gheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee I'VE slapsob slapsob KNOWN gheeeeeeeeeeeeee BERT gheeeeeeeeee
F-F-F-F-OR awwwwwgheeeeeeeeeeeeee awgee agwee murfle

And the faces of the people around you! 

So luminous with sympathy, so endeared to you now that you have tipped your hand and proven that behind your skinhead exterior you are just a big blubbering dumbass after all.

But I wasn't sad, really.

Though on another occasion of public speaking, I guess I was a little sad.

I took a group of students to a performance being put on by a local college drama class.

It was one of those things where the teacher would say stuff like, "BE SADNESS!" and all the actors would have to freeze into statues of sadness. Then, "BE SHAME!", and the statues would fluidly shift into shame.

The whole thing was, to the untrained eye, really bad and awkward.

Towards the end, the players opened it up to the audience of about 100 people.

"Give us your story," they called,"give us your story and we will perform it here before you, a magical act of theatership for your delight!"

One college girl raised her hand.

She told some family anecdote which sounded suspiciously like The Gift of the Magi.

The actors took to their roles with gusto, the audience laughed, and the girl shook her head as if to say, 'yes, that is exactly how it was.'

When they were finished with that performance, they went to the audience again for another tale.

What was it that day, what emotion was it that lay so within my subsurface I never knew it would make me speak out until I already had?

 I stood up and said, "I have something you could do."

All those young, aspiring actors fixed on me, their faces eager and encouraging.

The crowd of 100 leaned closer as well, curious as to what this man with a troupe of developmentally disabled next to him would have to say.

gheeeeeeeeeee gheeeeeeeeeeeeee awgee murfle SEVERAL Y-Y-Y-YEARS AGO gheeeeeeeee

Through the most incredible fit of jowl seizure I have ever experienced, I told the story of how I had a client drown on a summer trip to the lake.

There were four of us staff, all eyes on the lake, but somehow the little boy slipped under the water, became tangled in the muck, and never came back up.

It was one of my most spectacular failures as a human being.

I managed to tell this story, through the most ridiculous sobs you can imagine, to that team of young thespians.

When I was finished, their faces were slack, mouths open. Some of them looked ill.

It's strange that a grief I had carried with me for several years without ever speaking of, came out so suddenly, so randomly, and was now going to be made into a play in front of my eyes.

Well, they tried anyways..

It was excruciating; horribly acted, and thick with every after-school special cliche you could imagine.

The crowd clapped and cheered, but not me.

All I could think of was how fast I could get my students out of there before any sympathetic faces approached me and wanted to pat me on any part of my body.

I know some day I will run for public office, and I cannot wait for that moment when I first step in front of the microphone, open my mouth, and blow the hell out of everyone's eardrums with my random fit of grief.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I want to make Kelly understand me

Kelly, from Southern Fried Children, once wrote "Oh, right, I totally got it. Totally. Maybe next time you could put a j/k at the end or something?"

It is so important to me, Kelly, and all of you who thought I was being in anyway serious yesterday, that you know how very rarely I am ever, ever, serious.

Introducing my Turtleneck of Seriousness. 

In the rare event that I do anything serious on this blog, I will preface it with the above image.

This will be shorthand for my readers, so they, and you, Kelly, will know to put away your chuckles and haul out your introspective frowning.

But I think I know what went wrong.

My words are always serious in tone, deadly serious, really, but my pictures clue the reader in to the absolute absurdity of what is really going on.

Let me demonstrate with oh god yes, another poem.

In skies above, did bird make fly.

Born of the egg, he and I.

Free of the earth, he grew to be.

Pausing only, to make poopy on me.

That poem would have destroyed you emotionally if I hadn't softened it with hilarious pictures.

I especially like the cat angrily waving his paw.

I had to look at my own hand waving angrily to figure out how to draw that.

That's how seriously I take this stuff.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A bounty of awards on me hath piddled

My brain is not cooperating with me at all lately. 

I had to write a cover letter for yet another job I won't get, and I could not get it together.

"Dear Bloopy bloopy,
I haben fur to work, at schmerny werny.
Plink tu?

I made my wife write it, while I laid on the couch and thought about what is wrong with me.

I closed my eyes to look inside my head.

Nothing was too good in there.
Oh, Brain,
Why won't you do the things I want you to do?
Why didn't you let me laugh when Jeffrey said
 And brain won't let me shave like I need to, because my beard only grows out; gravity never steps in and brushes all the hair down.

However, on a bright side, I received two blog awards.

 The first came from Dani at deathbycupcakes01  or facebookingfromtheedge. I'm not sure what the right name is there.

Anyways, Dani is a beuuuutiful tattooed lady like the kind you could ogle for a nickel back in the days of the traveling carnivals.

Her blog is dark stuff, not for the weak-stomached. NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

Thanks Dani! I am glad you like my blog enough to give it something. And I am glad you left the smut at home.

The second is from Kristy at
I don't know what this means exactly, but it sounds like you give the award to blogs that have less than 200 followers.

Kristy mostly blogs about her work as a zoo dentist, and she has some awesome pics of tiger cavities and hippo root canals. Be warned, though, very graphic.

Thanks Kristy! I have a hilarious joke to add right here, in invisible ink.                                .

So blog awards always come with rules and stuff, but I feel weak and possibly am in fugue state.

I owe cynthia something, after the whole butt paddles incident (like I said, I flog dead horses).

So I'll give her BOTH awards.

Here, Cynthia, take them.

And thanks to everyone who reads this blog, comments, follows, and all the rest. It is the most attention I have ever gotten for anything, and I am very grateful for it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I flog dead horses

I was surprised to see Julio return to our classroom after an absence of many days.

I decided to take him out with me for awhile, to bond a little.

He told me stories about being in jail, and I farted when trying to retrieve a stack of library books from the back seat.

In hindsight, I should have shared with him my own experiences with the penal system.

When I was much younger, my church youth group had a little play we would perform called "El Shaddai".

It was kind of like the "Turn around,bright eyes" performance that used to make the rounds on the church youth circuit.

El Shaddai had no dialogue; it was all pantomime and emoting, set to a soundtrack of Pink Floyd and car crashes.

Yes; we blew minds while winning hearts for Jesus.

My part was the Drunk Punk Rocker.

 I wore make-up and stumbled around stage, waving a root beer bottle and trying to tempt the Christ/Ziggy Stardust character to abandon his virtue and come join me in an endless debauch of headbanging and awkward, party-so-hard facial expressions.

We performed this play all over the place, including at a maximum security juvenile detention center.

The audience was stoic.

During my performance, I heard someone yell "You don't know nothing! You don't know shit!"

The youth group leader told us to sit in the audience when our parts were over and try to "make a connection" with the young men around us.

I think I would be a good actor.

Like when I start doing a funny voice, I just don't stop. I lose myself in it.

I was making lunch for Julio and the others and I created this character, on the spot, that was just hilarious.

He had this loud, constantly cracking southern accent and prattled on about polecats and people who compulsively sniff their fingers.

At one point  I peeked at Julio to see if he was loving the show, but he had headphones on.

Kids these days and their stupid tiny white head phones.

You could do an entire tap routine behind them, and they would sit there, a worthless, plugged-in and wired generation of vegetables, no clue that the joke was on them.

Except Jeffrey, he often has his head phones on, but they are not really plugged into anything, just wrapped around his belt loop.

You do your routine behind that fella and he'll be on you the second the breeze from your jazz hands tickles his neck hairs.

"What are you doing?" he asks me with a big toothy smile.

I am breathing pretty hard because I am quite fat these days.

In fact I put on some pants the other day and I could no longer button them.

"Don't wear them," my wife said, "You'll just be uncomfortable".

"Whatever. I can still rock these thrift shop brown khakis with the disgustingly deep front pleats."

 But secretly I know the truth.

Each day is fraught with these moments of terrific clarity: I WILL NEVER BE ATTRACTIVE TO ANYONE EVER AGAIN!! OPA!!

It's over. In a few days I will be 36, and they will say of me, "He had a go of it." "Well at the very least you could say he was a living organism."

They will awkwardly shuffle their feet because, in truth, there is nothing more to say, and they all want the conversation to be over so they can mob the Triscuit and Swiss Cheese platter.

The slide from the fit and youthful days, into the haggard, flappy middle years, and on into drooling incoherence is so terribly sad.

I used to be able to smoke, and now even that is gone.

Several years have passed since I was a smoker, but the other day I caved and bummed one from someone.

It was like going to bed on Christmas Eve as a child, and waking in the morning as an old man. You dreamt of G.I. Joe and Nintendo, only to open your presents of sweaters and gray wool socks.

Sometime in the night, you had aged horribly and the Marlboro Light of your youth was now the Flaming Stick of Coughing and Vomit that will haunt you through all your final days.

I got about a quarter of the way through and knew I must bring up.

Luckily, lots of homeless guys get drunk and puke behind our classroom building, so not only did I have a designated area nearby in which to vomit, but I in no way lacked for companionship.

 Anyways, the pants.

A half hour later, and I have so much gas.

Tight pants gas has no where to go, no method of disbursement; you swim in it, baste in it.

You hate it because you know that when there is a bad smell, people always assume it is the chubby white guy, unless there is a disabled person nearby.

The chubby white guy just looks like he had salami and nitrates for breakfast, that he never wipes with 100% success because he gets too winded from bending forward all that time.

He looks like what all bad smells would look like, if they were to take on human form.

Jeffrey busts me tap dancing behind him, as I was saying.

He checks his watch and asks me, "Were you dancing like a bro?"

I believe I was.

"You know who likes me in this classroom?" he asks. "Me! Because I'm a Me kind of guy."

I wish I had his self-confidence, his unabashed love of himself.

I just don't.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The evil that men do when they are little

If you were to graph the amount of wickedness in a child:

 However, I did have a few moments of mild evil.

Like when my friend Philip came to visit me.

We played hide and seek.

While I was seeking him, I took a moment to tell my mom how much I did not want Philip to be there, and inquire as to when he was going home.

Philip was really good at hiding.

I told my neighborhood friends I was getting a Nintendo.

We all counted down the days together.

When it finally came, they came rushing over to my house with huge smiles on their faces.

When my dad got a new Audi for work, my friend and I decided to wash it squeaky clean using abrasive mud and gravel.

When I was younger, I would always try to offer my dad some comfort by saying:

Of course, children being evil, this inevitably lead to:

Of course, now that I have children of my own, the Karmic Wheel has revolved around to kick me quite soundly in the ass.