Awesome Tips From a Really Cool Guy

Awesome Tips from a Really Cool Guy:  The Guide to a Perfect First Date

I don’t know about much.  For example, I know I have a 401(K) but I have no idea where it is, how much it is worth, or how I would even go about finding out this information.   For all I know, Seal Team 6 recovered it in Osama Bin Laden’s compound.  Nor do I know what my bellybutton is.  I know it tickles when I try to untie it, but as far as what it leads to and how cutting it out would affect my life, I’ll leave that to the experts.  One thing I do know about is having successful first dates.   So I present to you, blog #1 of “Awesome Tips from a Really Cool Guy: The Guide to a Perfect First Date.”

1)      LOCATION:  In the kingdom of first dates Applebee’s is Mecca.  Go ahead and grab a “Two for Twenty” deal and listen to Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” subtlety play over the house speakers.   Also, if you are spending more than $40 the first time you go out with a woman, you are putting an unnecessary airs.  You don’t have money; because if you did you wouldn’t be on a first date…you would have a girlfriend.   Don’t be afraid to whip out those Living Social coupons either.  Every girl loves a guy who is conscious about his money. 



2)     ARRIVAL:  Make sure to meet her there and show up 8 minutes late, preferably talking on your phone and laughing like something is really funny.  This makes her think that your life is actually entertaining outside of this date, even though the most exciting thing you probably did all day was eat a blackened chicken salad on your couch while watching “Millionaire Matchmaker.”   Eight minutes late is very important as well.  When she says, “You were ten minutes late.”  You respond, “Actually I was only 8 minutes late.”  This lets her know that you are a guy that pays attention to detail…and you’re kind of an asshole.  Women love that.  You don’t pick her up to go on the date because you want the option to bail at any moment.   Also, your car is more than likely filled with Sonic wrappers and smells like multiple disappointments. 

3)      CONVERSATION:  Don’t talk about anything important on a first date.  Let’s be honest, unless you are Richard Branson or Darth Vader your life is NOT that exciting.  Nobody wants to hear about your job at Yankee Candle or the new trick you just taught your pet hamster.  Stick to compelling subjects like the existence of aliens or whether or not squirrels are to be trusted.  This keeps your real life a mystery and also gives off the impression that you aren’t a narcissistic, self-absorbed ****head who is already thinking about what team he is going to be in “Madden” when he gets home.  Another tip:  always agree with whatever she says.  If she has a cat, you don’t talk about how you sometimes purposely swerve sometimes to hit strays.  If she hates sports, you pretend not to pay attention to the Twitter alerts you’re receiving from marginal players on your favorite Arena football team.   

4)      PHONE ETIQUETTE:  Keep your phone on the bar (always sit at the bar, remember) and make sure it is loudly buzzing throughout the date.  You probably don’t have any friends, so you will have to achieve this by setting multiple alarms.  This will once again fool her into thinking that you are a popular person that has something to offer other than an overwhelming odor of Axe.  Once during the date you should look at your phone as if you have just received a text and smile as if a friend of yours said something mildly amusing.  Do not tell her what it is, instead say, “My friend just sent me something…she’s funny.”  This makes her think that you have female friends, even if the only girl who talks to you happens to be your mother. 

5)       DEPARTURE:  It’s time to leave.  You’ve settled your $28.50 bill with the bartender who’s wearing too little flair, and you’ve left her the 10% tip she deserves.   You’ve boxed up the leftovers from the 7oz. Sirloin because “your dog would really enjoy this” when you get home.  It’s time to say goodbye, so you walk her to the front door…but don’t make a move.  She is expecting you to reach in for a hug or (gasp) to try and kiss her.  These goodbyes are much too cliché.  Instead you give her an exploding fist bump.  This will throw her off and she will wonder what she did to deserve such a ridiculous farewell.  You always want first dates to end in an awkward manner…trust me….I’m a really cool guy.


The Fountain of Idiocy

A few years ago, I was reading a riveting article about the rise of the diabetic polar bear population in the New York Times on a park bench.  It was a long op-ed piece describing the battles he and his team have in teaching these bears to monitor their blood sugar and how, although they were making major strides, the Alaskan government was going to stop matching their 401Ks.  This piece of writing was so riveting that for eight and a half minutes I didn’t even notice that I was sitting on someone’s three year old child.  He left that park that day in an ambulance and I’m not even sure what happened to him and I don’t even care.  To be honest, I was more appalled that none of the people working at the park had the decency to approach me and tell me that I was suffocating a small child and perhaps crushing a handful of his ribs.  I decided to sue the park and eventually won an undisclosed amount in an out of court settlement for my mental anguish.  Now every time I have to sit down to read, I look once, sometimes even twice before sitting down.  It’s a burden I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Did any of this happen?  No, of course not.  Why?  Because I function in everyday life like I’m not a prematurely born gorilla smoking heroin laced cigarettes.

The reason I bring this obviously overblown, hypothetical story up is because every once in a while a story hits the news that makes me absolutely loathe human beings.  A few days ago, a video hit YouTube…here’s the link:

 Ok, we see people texting and walking all the time.  Sometimes, we even see these people bump into someone or miss a step.  However, it takes a real helmet-needing, amoeba-brained individual to fall into a giant fountain.  Even so, this part doesn’t even make me upset.  The idiot population has been on a steady rise since, well, forever.  The problem now is that our judicial system backs the nitwits.  This woman is actually suing the mall because nobody came to help her.  In my opinion, if someone really want to help her they would throw her down a flight of stairs and hope that it knocked her brain stem back into place.  That sounds harsh, but what kind of a person would try and use their own moronic actions into a highly profitable situation? 

The woman in question is named Cathy Cruz Marrero and wait for this….she WORKS AT THE MALL!  She wouldn’t say what store she works in, but my guess would be that she puts the frosting on the Cinnabons with an extremely dull knife…because god forbid she had something sharp in her hands.  Think very carefully about the place you go to work every day.  I used to work at a college with a pond in the middle of the campus and, although illegal, I would text as I drove into the campus.  Guess how many times I drove into the pond?  Point being is that I could have probably driven into that place blindfolded, recited how the entire plot of the series “Oz” worked out and fought off a swarm of locusts without driving into the pond.  There is no excuse for this woman’s total embrace of idiocy.

In an interview she claimed she was texting her church group friend about her husband’s birthday.  This woman has a husband.  My guess is that he spends his days making rubber-band balls and bouncing them off of her head at night.  If they have a kid I’ll put money down that he or she dies falling off of a cliff while looking through binoculars.  She wants the parties responsible to be held accountable, but I already think they have.  Cathy Cruz Marrero is held responsible for it,  and the entire internet community has punished her by enjoying a thoroughly pleasant, bellyaching laugh at her expense.  Even more so, she is trying to turn this into some sort of “Texting and Walking” PSA to turn this into a positive.

The only positive that is coming out of her wasting our judicial system’s time and suing the mall is that we will get to see this raisin-brain fall into a fountain on our televisions for a few more weeks. 

My advice:  If you do something stupid, laugh at yourself


In Defense of Snooki

One of my hobbies is listening in on people’s conversations and judging their intelligence based on their subject matter and formation of opinions.  More often than not it leads me to believe that nobody talks about anything of worth anymore.  As a matter of fact, we are specifically told to not discuss things such as politics or religion in public.  This is a far cry from the days when intellectuals went TO public places to discuss politics and religion in order to make change.  Then again I think we would all rather talk about Miley Cyrus smoking pot than how the new health care propositions might change our lives.  In any event, during one of these conversations last Sunday I heard this exchange after a promo for the new season of “Jersey Shore”:

Guy 1 :  “Who’s that little fat girl with all the makeup?”

Guy 2:  “Which one?”
Guy 1: “I don’t know…the one who got punched.”

Guy 2: “Oh, Snooki.”

Guy 1: “I hope she dies in a brush fire.”

First of all, who the hell other than Bambi’s mom dies in a brush fire? 

Second of all, these were two deadbeats wearing Mike Vick jerseys.  The same Mike Vick who was stupid enough to try and steal a watch from an airport screener, later hide pot inside a water bottle trying to get it onto an airplane, then lent his Mercedes to two of his friends who were selling pot out of it and arrested, soon after had to settle with women out of court for allegedly purposely giving them genital herpes and to top it all off he snubbed a Capitol Hill awards ceremony where he was supposed to accept an award for his work with kids.  That’s not a typo:  Mike Vick snubbed an invitation from Capitol Hill, twice, yes, TWICE and later sent his mom to pick up the award.  Oh, and then there’s the deliberate canine mass murder operation he was orchestrating out of his backyard. 

It would seem to me that if some tinsel-brained guidette who enjoys to dance and tanning deserves to die in a brushfire than the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles deserves to be castrated, dipped in sulfuric acid and then forced to listen to 30 seconds of Chelsea Handler’s comedy routine.  I’m not saying anyone should have to listen to Chelsea Handler’s comedy, just pushing across the point that in the grand scheme of people we should universally shaking our fists at, Snooki falls somewhere between Michael Cera and whoever created “The Upper Decker.” 

(Sidenote:  Michael Cera can’t act.  At this point in time, Leslie Neilson has more comedic range than this kid.  How many times can we repackage the same awkward, gangly, mumbling virgin?  Michael Cera, you’re nervous and weird…we get it.)

There are a few things that really seem to chafe the inside of people’s buttons when it comes to Snooki and the whole “Jersey Shore” series in general, and understandably so.  However, I believe the venom directed in this direction is terribly misguided and overblown.

First of all, Snooki is NOT Italian.  The little gnome was born in Chile, then adopted and raised by Italian Americans.  Italian-Americans are constantly berating the show and its cast for inappropriately casting a shadow over their heritage and lifestyle.  These same people, however, will talk about “The Sopranos”, “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas” as though they are scripture.  That’s an entirely different conversation altogether, but a contradiction of the belief system is definitely in place.   If anyone should be bearing the burden of this moron representing their race, it should be the people of Chile.  They should open re-open that mine and coax Snooki into it with a red bull and vodka and put the lid on it.

Secondly, she isn’t from New Jersey, she’s from Staten Island.  Listen, she actually does represent the Jersey Shore-loving nitwit crowd extremely well.  Bronzed skin, two foot tall hair, dressed to undress, etc….but the hatred thrown towards New Jersey because of the show is a bit unfair.  Only two of the cast members are actually from the glorious Garden State:  Sammi and The Situation.  If you are wondering how I know so much about this, it’s because I have no girlfriend and a very bare essential social life.  Also, for those so quick to take a jab at the realism of the New Jersey-guido stereotype just remember that there’s a flannel wearing pickup driver spitting tobacco in Nebraska, an open-shirted Cuban wearing pinky rings in Miami, a Hooters waitress who can’t read with dreams of becoming an actress in Los Angeles and a shirtless, drunk being arrested for domestic assault in Alabama all ready to play their part as well.  

People are very quick to claim that it is shows like these that are ruining America, as if television isn’t actually an extremely vivid representation of what we really are.  Currently on our airwaves we have reality shows featuring: a Playboy playmate who married a flame-out ex-football player, the woman who married Russell Simmons, a professional wrestler’s daughter, a certain KISS bassist, and a celebuetant who made herself famous by going to parties and making a porno.  This list doesn’t even include the genital rash of shows that revolve around dating marrying D-list celebrities or eating gorilla genitals to win a million dollars.  Do you know there is a show out there right now called “Bridalplasty?”  It’s about women competing to get plastic surgery for their wedding day.  In one episode the women were trying to complete a puzzle in order to win the “golden syringe” that would be injecting botox into their gluttonous skulls.  This is a snapshot of American life: public fawning over and vicarious living through shallow people who are desperately trying to extend their fifteen minutes of fame in order to achieve the outward appearance of a happy, fulfilling, successful lifestyle while spending so much time looking on we fail to achieve their own version of the American dream.  (I’ve re-read that sentence twelve times and it will make no sense to anyone, but it’s staying in there.)

The cast is stupid and the show is nonsensical, points I won’t refute.  On the other hand I would rather watch an hour of these idiots getting drunk and fighting each other than watch twenty seconds of Ellen Degeneres dance around with her audience to the newest Ludacris song. 

Actually, I think we would all be better off reading a book.

My New Year’s Resolution

My New Year’s Resolution

Most people decide to take something up for the New Year; going to the gym, attending church more or taking up a new hobby.  Over the years I’ve found that it’s easier to give something up than adding another activity to fit in the day.  Last year I had decided to give up fast food.  In retrospect I should have resolved to not lose my job on January 8th, not to move to California or to not trust anyone with an eyepatch.  Needless to say that after losing my job and driving cross-country I didn’t manage to stick to my resolution.  After heading out to Home Depot and Lowe’s in the California area I came to the conclusion that Home Depot will no longer be my spot for hardware and accessories.

You'll Miss Me While I'm Gone

Home Depot – Parking Lot/Atmosphere

The Home Depot parking lot is like a Demolition Derby with cars driven by half-blind Asian women midget on Aderall.  I’m not even sure if there are parking spots drawn up.  You need to know trigonometry and some sort of Chinese origami in order to figure out how to even find your car a spot.  During my first fifteen minutes of driving around I saw an old woman dead in her car, with a “Humphrey/Muskie ‘68” bumper sticker on her car which led me to believe that she had been dead there in that parking lot longer than I had actually been alive. 

Now, if it weren’t bad enough, Home Depot has decided now to bus people in.  Although I’m not quite sure who, exactly, gets bussed into a hardware store, from what I could tell it looked like a mixture of elderly incompetents and alcoholics.  The elderly obviously need their daily trips provided by mass transportation and what better place to bring a flock of senile people built out of papier mache than a superstore full of power tools, do-it-yourself projects and products with warning labels on them.  Alcoholics obviously rack up DWIs and need to get to Home Depot in order to make home-made beer bongs and other tools to fill their bloated gullets with as much alcohol as quick as possible.  Add in the Applebee’s and there all day Happy Hour deal and it was an ideal setup for these lushes. 

Lowes – Parking Lot/Atmosphere

Home Depot makes this place look like a paradise of tools co-managed by nuns and Tim Tebow, owned by God himself.  The parking lot was orderly and from what I saw there was no looting going on anywhere.  The big sign lit up the sky like a lighthouse for the tool-hungry masses.  They had those guys with the airport lights leading cars into spots and through the light amount of controlled traffic.  When I was finally led into my spot by a cherubic old man, I was greeted with a smile and a wave.  I waved back and exited the car, feeling as though I was just valeted at the Venetian.  Walking in I felt so comfortable, I didn’t even lock my car to protect the half-eaten Cold Cut Trio Subway sub in the passenger seat.  The doors swung open for me and I was finally inside.  The smell of freshly baked cookies and hope ran through my nostrils and into my blood stream.   I had entered the mythical, pearly gates of stress-free hardware shopping.

Home Depot – The Help

Once inside, things did not get any better.  Why does every Home Depot look like it houses drug infested raves during afterhours.  Around every corner lies a new smell and the organization is atrocious.   RainMan wouldn’t be able to figure this place out. It’s like the first time you ever grabbed a Nintendo controller and played Zelda.  Except someone slipped you acid and spun you around in a chair for six hours before starting the game up.  Why wouldn’t the plants be in the same section as the trash cans?  Oh, the light fixtures?  They’re obviously over by the concrete.  I managed to grab and a worker hopeful that his knowledge of his place of place of employment would be of some service. 

God Bless this employee, Derrick, the type of kid who struck me as the type of kid who would poop in the urinals in elementary school.   He couldn’t be more than 19 years old, but within a moment of discussion you could tell he had done at least three decades of hard drugs.  He had either slept in the parking lot outside or in a stable the night before because his shirt was beaten and dirty, not to mention two sizes too big.  Apparently, he was at the rave held at the Home Depot the night before and forgot to wipe the coke, painkillers, caulk or whatever else he was inhaling from the tip of his nose.  The entire time I was asking him questions it seemed that at any point he was going to ask me for a few dollars.  Meanwhile, all I wanted to ask him was what the capital of California was, just to watch him bleed from his ears as he tried to squirt a thought out of his brain.  I made a brief quip about the present state of the economy in California after he mentioned the sales. He made a face like I had pulled a rabbit out of a hat, stuck it in his face and had it fart on him. 

He answered the phone during the 30 second conversation we were having and immediately I could tell it was his girlfriend.  The conversation started nice enough but took a turn for the worse and he said something about striking her with a curling iron, again which caught me off guard.  Him striking a woman didn’t put me off because his uneasiness, apparent love of drugs and bruise ridden arms and body had already led me to believe that he had either just fought off a group of gorillas on an African safari, or he was in an abusive relationship.  The real surprising part was that he had just suggested that once before he had struck her with a curling iron…odd weapon of choice, but to each his own.  He hung up the phone, sniffled a bit and after about 35 seconds remembered that he was in a previous conversation with me.  “We’re having a baby,” he half-heartedly mentioned. 

Lowe’s – The Help

Upon entering, I was immediately greeted by a short, pleasant young man, named Tim, who was sharply dressed in the uniforms provided by the store.  He asked how my day was going, and without mentioning my Home Depot experience, said I was doing just fine.  After telling me what I needed he immediately began walking to the aisle we needed to be in.  He pointed others into their respective destinations and seemed like the type of genuine person who would give you the shirt off his back.  On the way to our area, I couldn’t help but notice the store setup.  It made much more sense here to put the plants in the outdoor section with the patio furniture.  Someone had obviously shopped on one occasion and organized the store accordingly.  On the walk, I explained to Tim that I was trying to create a banner stand for the company I had just started.  He then told me that he had been let go from a sales position a few months ago and was still looking for a more steady form of employment.  We exchanged email addresses and after he left me in the right section he made a joke about unemployment rates throughout the country and wished me a good day. 


I will not be going to Home Depot in 2011 and I might be investing into Lowes stock.

Post Dedicated to Derrick….

I Hate My Toothbrush

I never knew how or when it made its first irritating appearance into my bathroom cabinet, but I hope the imp who delivered it to my doorstep is now suffering in the deepest bowels of the lowest ring of hell.  For those of you who have decent, well-to do toothbrushes will never know the torment one goes through each morning while enduring a daily face to face meeting with a tool of anguish.  Each human soul has its breaking point and the passionate disgust I felt for my toothbrush had finally reached its final point of exasperation. 

It may seem hard to the casual observer to imagine something as small as a toothbrush tearing at the fabric of what an individual’s soul is sewed out of, but it happened to me.  This wasn’t just an ordinary toothbrush, mind you.  This toothbrush was designed to anger and inject daily resentment into the person unlucky enough to inherit it.  It was handcrafted in some dark place of my psyche and placed by some demon to tear apart my inner being.  Any trait a bad toothbrush could have, this toothbrush embodied to the tenth degree.  First of all, the bristles were entirely too soft.  There should be a certain amount of resistance in the actual brush of the tool in order to inspire the mind into thinking that there is a cleaning process underway.  Nobody wants to feel as though they are brushing their gums with a small sponge or a pinchful of human hair, but apparently the manufacturers of this brush had no intention of paying attention to this crucial aspect of the design process.  Secondly, it was entirely too small.  This is the kind of brush the “Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe” made her children use.  It was the size of a gorilla’s toothpick.  Starting my day with this smurfish device left me devoid the masculinity that one requires to even urinate standing up.  Finally, this toothbrush had no way of actually being handled.  There were no grooves or ridges for a steady grip and I firmly believe that this toothbrush was made in a factory long before rubber handles were even considered a remote possibility.  Every three days or so I would be forced to make the shameful crawl across my bathroom floor in order to retrieve this brush after fumbling away my initial attempt.  How does someone even function in day to day life after such a dreadful start to the day?  Crawling on your bathroom floor in the A.M sets up a disappointing day.

I Hate You


On this fateful morning my life was at an unexpected crossroads.  I stared blankly into the bathroom cabinet, eyeing my future and my past all taking form inside of my small plastic nemesis.  Not another day was going to go by like this…I was breaking out of this prison.  My first order of business was to call my job and relay to them the sobering news that I would not be there to surf the internet and send out snarky emails to the very small circle of friends I possessed.  My boss was not happy as he explained to me that I still wasn’t off the hook for stealing Katie Rivers’ lunch from the company refrigerator.  Trying to explain to him my current situation proved most difficult and the severity of my mental situation didn’t seem to register with him.   Apparently in between my sick days and vacation days there were no days to just simply change your life.  If I were to follow through with this toothbrush breakup I was going to have to give up my employment.  Easy decision.

With no work to report to and a passion for slugging down pints of whiskey whenever controversy popped up in my life, a liquor store run was clearly on the agenda.  Plus, a little bit of a buzz could give me the courage to finally throw out, burn or smash to pieces the toothbrush that was now playing the lead role in the theatre of dark comedy my life had become.  The next dozen hours were a hazy combination of Jameson slugs, slips in and out of consciousness and John Mayer playlists all centered around walks to the bathroom to verbally berate this toothbrush.  Around midnight I opened up my front door and said goodbye to my dog.  I was ecstatic as I watched him sprint into the park across the street.  He had finally been released from the grips of the toothbrush dictatorship our household had somehow been thrown into.   As for the next day, I’m not really sure what happened but when I woke up the front of my car was wrapped around a fire hydrant and smoke was pouring out of my radiator.  I thought it wise to find refuge from the upcoming police presence that was undoubtedly on the way thanks to the horde of horrified grade-schoolers that must have seen me plow onto the sidewalk.  I’m sure the bleeding head wound did nothing to calm their fears.  I snarled at them and fled the scene.

I decided to hide out in the back of a neighborhood shopping mall.  I had seen an old homeless man shoot a cat with a pellet gun there one time and figured that it probably lacked a proper police patrol.  My wallet was still in my by now impounded car, so I had no money and for some reason I was wearing my old high school basketball jersey and a pair of suit pants.  Things could have hit rock bottom here, but low and behold, in the pants I found my Staples company card.  As fate would have it there was a Staples in the shopping center.  It seemed as though my luck was finally turning around.  I had also managed to find an abandoned sock in a trash can that I used to stop the bleeding from the front of my head. 

The woman at the checkout counter eyed me up and was obviously weary as I approached her with a dozen cans of keyboard cleaner.  She rang each of them up individually for some odd reason and had the nerve to ask me if I really wanted the Staples “That was Easy” button.  Explaining to her how I got where I was and why I needed it would have been like explaining the imagery in “Paradise Lost” to half deaf squirrel.  Instead I mumbled something about an evil toothbrush, she rang me up and had security watch me leave the store.  It only took me a little over twenty hours to inhale the entire contents of the Duster cans and to hit the Staples “That was Easy” button over 36,123 times according to my count.  I could have sworn the entire time I had an in depth conversation about locomotives with a man who once worked with Denzel Washington on the set of “Training Day”, but it turns out it was all in my head…which was slightly disappointing.   In a moment of clarity I spotted the blue Victorian house across the street and knew how to rectify the entire situation. 

                                                                                                                                                            That Was Easy

Living in the suburbs certainly has its advantages.  For one, people rarely lock their second story windows, and if you are high on Nitrogen Dioxide scaling up gutters is not only easy but also fun.  Once in the house, I bee-lined to the bathroom and found what I was looking for.  It was marvelous.  A sturdy, rubber handled, beautifully bristled Colgate masterpiece of a toothbrush.  I picked it up and marveled at it for what I thought was only a few seconds but with half of my brain cells frozen it was more than likely closer to an hour.  In any event, it was long enough for the family of four that was home to flee the house and call the police.  If it weren’t for the sounds of blaring police sirens and police screaming through the front door, I could have stayed in that heavenly mental state of toothbrush bliss for eternity.

Whenever you are caught in a police standoff, it is very important to either have a weapon or a hostage…preferably both.  Holding a toothbrush and a can of Lysol in a locked bathroom is no match for pepper spray and a flurry of police batons.  The broken clavicle, shattered elbow and concussion came nowhere near hurting me as much as the pain of losing that toothbrush did.  I sobbed all the way to jail and begged for the police to at least let me pick up my Staples button from the shopping mall parking lot.  They declinded and I am convinced that the old man who shoots cats back there currrently has it.  By the time I was out of central booking, shoved into my new humble jail based abode and introduced to my cell mate, I was starting to think that perhaps I took the entire toothbrush situation a bit too far. 

Larry didn’t like me from the day he met me.  I’m pretty sure he had either burned down a children’s hospital or punted a litter of puppies off of a tall office building, because looking into his eyes it was apparent that he had no soul.  The real breaking point in our relationship occurred on Day 2, when I attempted to have a conversation about whether time travel was actually attainable.  It was somewhere between my explanation of zero gravity and time dilation that I felt the surging pain in my abdomen.  The prison guards arrived and were just in time to catch Larry’s fourteenth kick to my head.  My mouth turned warm and according to my last count at least five of my teeth were lying in the puddle of blood beneath me.  I couldn’t help but think about how this whole thing could have been avoided if Larry had knocked my teeth out a week ago…I wouldn’t have needed a toothbrush.  When I finally came to the prison paramedics were working on removing the object from the side of my stomach.  My eyes began to flutter and my brain was starting to lose a little bit of function.  If there is a “light” at the end of the tunnel of life, I was headed in the wrong direction because all I could see or hear was New Jersey Nets highlights and Usher songs, which is probably hell.  Just when I thought that I could be taking my last painful breath, I turned down to see the head paramedic removing the home-made prison shank that more than likely pierced my liver and almost took my life.

 It was a toothbrush…with a  rubber handle.  I was hoping they would ldet me keep it.

I’m A Biter

From Chapter: I’m a Biter

 My first suicide attempt took place when I was eight years old.  I’m pretty sure I was eight, but very well could have been anywhere from the ages of seven to ten.  There are certain sections of your life that you just so happen to group together because you basically were the same person and did the same things during that age.  During the ages of two to six you concentrate on controlling your bladder while your pants are on and you start to develop a sense of when its not OK to cry and hit people.  For me, the same thing could be said of my eighteen to twenty-one age phase and I must admit I had much less success during that period.  When I was in that seven to ten year old age span my summers days were spent at the town swimming pool.  My mom, a teacher who also had her days off, would either drop me off or stay with me at the pool from around 10 am to 3pm, normally buying me an ice pop here or there and watching me perfect my belly flops off of the diving board.  At an early age there was absolutely no promise that I would participate in any portion of the Summer Olympics.  I swam like a three legged dog and jumped off of the diving board like I had the aerial control of a penny.

     I knew I sucked at anything in the pool other than relieving myself, so I normally stuck myself over near the basketball courts and the stickball area.  Surprisingly, as a young kid I was a good athlete.  While all of the other kids were busy growing and getting used to their longer limbs and gangly running styles, I had become accustomed to my tiny frame and would utilize to its fullest potential.  In Little League I was the leadoff hitter and starting second baseman for back to back undefeated championship teams and I attended basketball camps for three weeks out of the summer and managed to hold my own against the “inner city” youths.  Things were going well for me, but if I knew that I would end up to be the size of a baby hibiscus tree I would have spent more time in the classroom and less trying to be an athlete.

            My major problem with sports, video games, and general human interactions at that time was my temper.  I’m not sure whether it was an early Napoleon Complex or simply a short circuited brain wiring issue, but whatever it was, it caused a good amount of strife in my life.  Getting through gym class without taking a swing at someone or playing video games without throwing a juice glass were everyday struggles for me.  This was a time before alcohol was introduced to me and its probably a good thing.  Had I grown up in Ireland and been allowed to consume bourbon at that age, I probably would have a lengthy criminal record. 

            My parents must have known about this sort of behavior very early on.  I was moved into two different pre-school classes because of oral attack incidents.  Pretty much, if I had a problem with you, I saw no way out of it other than to bite any part of you I could get my teeth on.  I drew blood both times and the word ‘tetanus shot’ was thrown around in my household quite a bit.  The worst part is, I showed very little remorse after any of these assaults.  In all honesty, as a preschool teacher I would have made a hard push to introduce tiny tazer guns into the classroom if there were twenty more kids like me in the room.  One of my biggest fears is having an army of little, teethy humans munching at feet and legs as I scream for help and try to beat them off with coloring books and letter shaped balloons. 

            My first incident happened on Day 2 of preschool.  I guess during Day One we were going through orientation and there wasn’t much time for me to find a dispute and tear a chunk out of someone.  On Day 2, however, they released us into the indoor play area and apparently I headed over to the blocks.  Now, most of what follows is an eyewitness account from my preschool teacher at the time.  These are “alleged” incidents and if a judge were to ask me I would have to plead the fifth because I could not argue for or against them.  For all I know, this was a giant conspiracy to have me removed from her classroom and start the giant, rolling, downhill snowball that became my life. 

            According to the “source” about ten minutes into the play session, a group of 5 or 6 of us were playing with the foam/plastic building blocks and building a fort.  These are toys that no longer exist today, and probably for good reason.  They had very sharp corners and were shaped like actual bricks.  When one was thrown at a child you could hear an audible “clunk” and said child would drop and cry for ten to fifteen minutes.  So this cohesive, block building team eventually evaporates and it becomes a close range dodgeball game.  By the time the teacher gets her head around to see what is happening myself and another boy, who we will call “Thief” from here on out, are arguing over a brick.  I suppose that she was taught to walk over to the situation calmly to settle the dispute, but if she had any idea that she was dealing with a tenacious, cannibalistic four year old I’m sure she would have quickened her pace.  By the time she had gotten over to us I was latched on this child’s upper shoulder and I wasn’t letting go.  In my defense, he stole that brick from me and this was my problem solving technique.

            Apparently biting gets you removed from a classroom.  As a matter of fact, I think biting might be one of the few things that can get you kicked out of someplace no matter how old you are or where you are.  I don’t quite remember how they broke the news to me, but I’m pretty sure I still had the brick in my hand and flesh in my teeth.  So it was on to classroom number two which was basically a Romper Room.  The thinking must have been that if I couldn’t control myself in a normal classroom perhaps I would be better suited in a less civilized environment with the rest of the little lunatics.  The plan backfired.

            Back in the 80s I feel like things were a little less stringent as far as child safety was concerned.  Even at four years old I remember thinking to myself, “Jesus Christ this place is out of control.”  Post-biting, I was placed in what must have been an environment for children who weren’t quite ready for pre-school but were much too rambunctious to have at home for a full day.  We got picked up at 11am so the day was basically three hours long and in my opinion that was about two hours and thirty minutes overboard.  It was a giant gymnasium with what appeared to be no rules.  There were little peddle vehicles and tricycles flying around at high speeds.  Basketballs, waffle balls, tennis balls, soccer balls, giant bouncing balls and tiny rubber balls bouncing everywhere.  The girls were occupying themselves with patty cakes and hula hoops, occasionally being tripped or smashed in the face with an errant object.  For a tiny, biting anarchist I felt right at home and looked to settle in immediately.

            At age four, you don’t really go up to someone and introduce yourself.  You pretty much both look at an object, find it as a common denominator and entertain yourselves for however long you both can pay attention.  Normally this kind of an interaction ends in a fight, or just one party losing interest and walking away without an explanation.  Things come full circle in about eighteen years when you begin having relationships with the opposite sex.  The scary thing about creating a ten minute friendship over an object is that eventually there will be some dissension over how that object should be shared.  It took me approximately eleven seconds for me to decide that I wanted a peddling machine.

            The peddling machine I settled on was one of those yellow topped, orange bodied vehicles that had two sets of peddles but only one steering wheel.  There was another child already driving the one I decided to hop into.  I don’t think we really talked much as we took a lap around the gymnasium, we more or less were just watching the mayhem around us unfold as the “teachers” sat on the stage to make sure nobody lit the place on fire or brandished a small sword.  It was somewhere around lap two that I must have decided peddling really sucked and I needed to drive.  My way of telling the driver that I wanted to switch positions was to quit my peddling job and make a grab at the steering wheel.  Again, when you are older and someone decides to vehemently reach for something you have with a crazed look, unless it is your child you will more or less give it up.  This brave, oblivious child though fought back control of the wheel and demanded that I step out of his vehicle.  Like an angry cab driver telling me to get out and walk, he grabbed the wheel with both hands and put a cease to our ten minute friendship.  The only way to get his hands off of that wheel was to chomp at his little fingers….and so I did, tearing at his tiny digits like terikyaki wings.

            For a short while, life was fantastic.  I was driving my own little cart and could not believe my good fortune.  I started to believe that with biting, I could take control of anything I wanted.   Perhaps when Santa visited this year I would bite him and take his sack of toys,  This didn’t last very long once the stage monitors got wind of what happened and without even knowing my name they ousted me out of the cart and called my mother to pick me up.

I’m An Adult

I Shop at Pier One

You know how I know I’m adult.  Look over there.  That’s my microwave.   Do you notice anything about it?  It has the right time on it…isn’t that such an adult thing to do?  When I was at your place I couldn’t help but notice that you still had those infantile, green, blinking lights that just read all zeros.  That’s dangerous dude.  See, I live by myself and if I were to fall down in my kitchen and suffered a spine injury, I wouldn’t be able to crawl to my cell phone, my TV or even read the clock that I have in the living room.  And what if I wasn’t wearing my watch?  That’s right, I would be able to look at the microwave and know how long I’ve been lying there in a puddle of my own blood and broken bones.  If no help came I would know exactly when I would have to start eating my own hands.  You, on the other hand, would be stuck just guessing about how long you’ve been lying there, looking at those stupid zeros and you would probably would start eating your hands too soon.  Then not only would you be would be paralyzed, you would have no hands too.  I would have a much better wheelchair than you because I could still use my hands…I’d look like much more of an adult after getting out of the hospital.

Hey, come over here and look at my closet.  I have all of my clothes separated by shirts, pants and jackets.  Oh, and look down towards the ground.  That’s called a shoe rack and it helps organize all of my very professional looking shoes.  When I was still a kid I would sometimes have to look all over my room looking for a missing shoe.  At my last job I once showed up with two different shoes on…isn’t that just ridiculous.  I give PowerPoint presentations now in board rooms, there’s no way I can do that now.  Do you give presentations at your non-executive job?  Probably not.  You’re lucky though, it must be nice to not worry about where your shoes are all the time.  Really, it’s not all bad being an adult.  Just the other day a guy on the subway in New York City, or as its otherwise known, “The Big Apple”, said to me “Hey, nice shoes.”  I looked down and there was gum all over them.  But the great thing was that I came home and knew exactly where another pair was for work the next day.  I had to give a really big presentation so I really needed nice, matching shoes on.

Oh, you notice some of my wall pieces, huh?  Yea, I think they add a lot of character to the place.  I got most of them at Pier One.  There was a time in my life when I went to Ikea, but now I don’t go to places like that.  What kind of a place sells furniture and food…how tacky is that?  Do you still have that dresser from Ikea, with the broken drawer?  In a few years I might be able to give you my dresser because I read in a magazine the other day that you should really change your furniture up every 2 or 3 years because it helps your positive psyche.  Don’t worry, it’s  really complicated, man. Speaking of, I’ve been reading a lot of New Wave literature about soy based foods, positive thinking and contraction isometric exercising.  Do you still work out with dumbbells?  Dude, you can really hurt yourself like that, it’s all in that magazine on that accent table.  Oh, I’m sorry, the end table over there.  I didn’t want you to think that I was talking about a table that talked with an accent, because that’s what I thought at first a few years back before I really knew about furniture like I do now.

You should join my co-ed kickball team sometime, it’s a blast!  It’s a really good way to just get together and blow off some steam after work.  With all the pressures of life these days it’s nice to reach back to my childhood and get some clean R&R afterhours.  Sometimes we even head out to the local bar afterwards and indulge in some half price appetizers and imported beers.  Those domestics are so low brow and they give me the worst chest pains the next day…that’s when you know you’re getting old right?  Haha, hilarious.

 Remember when we were kids and you wanted to be a big time movie writer?  Are you still following that old pipe dream? That was probably the biggest part of growing up for me, well, other than cutting out caffeine.  My girlfriend and I had a really long talk at the local bistro about life, it was great.  I know she’s not the best looking girl, but she’s a really good cook and her credit score is flawless.  It was tiring having a different girl every night and even though my girlfriend now doesn’t really like me touching her, at least we always have things to talk about.  Anyways, so we were talking about how silly I was to think that at 28 I could still try and chase down these childhood dreams.  At some point it’s important to realize that working a 9-5 and renting a one bedroom apartment isn’t really so bad.   

 Right?   Oh, I almost forgot to show you my “Wipe Your Paws” doormat…