Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Archives

Talking with a guy in a restaurant the other day, I was reminded of a few stories/exchanges from the last several years...

Randomness -

Snotty NYU bitch: "I'm never coming back to this bar. It stinks like vomit!!!"

As she turned away, the source of the odor she was complaining of was evident. The back of her skirt was covered in barf. I'm guessing someone lost their Chicken a la King on her. Oh, well.

St. Patricks Day -

A young lady staggered from the bar, leaned over the A-frame sign, and blew chunks in front of God and everyone. After her purge, she lurched over to the wall of the next building and proceeded to dry heave for several minutes. During this time, her dutiful boyfriend exited the bar to be supportive, hold her hair and do the "good boyfriend shit".

When she finished expunging the devil liquor from her system, she rewarded him in classic style. With a a hug and a kiss. He tried to pull away, but wasn't quick enough. When they separated, he had a nice racing stripe of barf running from the middle of his chest to his belt. Ah, young love.

Randomness II -

As I was escorting a young gent to the door for acting like an asshat, he stopped abruptly and announced "I don't wanna be here anyway! This bar SUCKS!!!"

Me: "You know, you're right. Let me fix that"

I took him by the shoulders and moved him out the door onto the sidewalk.

"There, now the bar doesn't suck anymore. Thanks for pointing out the problem, douche."

You're Parents Must Be Proud -

I entered the bar from a smoke break and saw one of the regulars flagging me relentlessly.

Ed: "That guy...PEE!"

Me: (looking at a guy at a table by the door sitting with his back to the wall) "That guy? What? When?"

Ed: "Now!!!"

(leaning over, I saw the monkey-fuck was, in fact peeing on the floor at that exact moment in time)

I casually walked towards the door. As I approached the failure in Darwinism, I grabbed the table and jerked it away. He was like a deer caught in the headlights...with his johnson hanging out. He tried to run by me, but I grabbed him by the arm and shoulder.

I presume he was fearful of catching a beating, so he collapsed on the floor and curled up in a ball. I quickly made an executive decision. Since he couldn't have weighed more than 150, I decided to allow him live, but endure a different kind of "walk of shame".

I grabbed one leg and his hair and began sliding him back and forth on the floor. I was, in fact, mopping up the pee with the little douchebag.

He screamed, and protested that I was "getting pee" on him. Well no shit, rocket scientist.

After several swipes through the puddle, I let him go. He was drenched on his back and side from his hair to his shoes in his own urine. Ah, sweet satisfaction. He left, crying, never to return.

He never bothered to put his tool away, even as he left. What a butt-munch.

Words of advice for when you go to the bar -

Have an idea of what you want. If you say "Oh, just make me something good." I'll respond "Oh, I'm sorry, I only know how to make drinks that taste like flop sweat."

It's more than a little silly to complain that a bar is crowded on a weekend night. If a bar isn't busy on a weekend night, they'll soon be out of business. Find something else to bitch about.

If you really think it's acceptable to recycle random drinks (ie pick up discarded drinks and consume them as if they were your own), please find the nearest national park, cover yourself in a blanket of raw meat and wait for wild animals to come consume you. You're too dumb to live in my world.

Friday, September 11, 2009

My 9/11

My day, 09/11/01

Shortly before 9:00 a.m., my roommate entered my room. She said "they blew up one of the twin towers". As I had been in the bar until 4:00 a.m. throwing darts the night before, I was not in the mood for her "stupid shit" and told her as much. "How could anyone blow up the whole building? You're overreacting". Several minutes later, she came back and told me the other tower was now ablaze. Infuriated at the interruption of my sweet slumber, I went upstairs and looked out the window, as our view of lower Manhattan was excellent. The towers were, in fact, burning.

I grabbed my phone and turned on the television. They were talking about terrorists. They were talking about possible attacks in the subways. They were talking about some seriously scary shit. About 9:20, all bridges and tunnels to Manhattan were closed.

About 9:45 a plane hit the pentagon.

I was trying hard not to freak out. Not only did I have friends working in and near the WTC, many of my co-workers at the bar worked as flight attendants for American Airlines. I had no idea where anyone was, and with the phone lines overloaded, no way to find where they were.

10:05 - the south tower collapses. A few minutes later, still another plane goes down in Pennsylvania
I'm able to get signal on my cel phone sporadically, and get through to my cousin in Atlanta, and tell her to let the family know I'm ok.

10:28 - the north tower comes down.

I kept trying desperately to reach friends. My boss and friend Gina was traveling to the Bahamas that day (on American) and I had no idea at that point where she was. I was bordering on frantic, but trying hard to keep it together. I knew, with limited phone service, staff and friends would eventually go to, or call, the bar to check in. No trains were running, though, so I was boned. The point was moot. Mayor Rudy told everyone to stay out of lower Manhattan about 30 minutes later.

I finally got ahold of Gina, and she had checked on the girls from the bar. To her knowledge, no one had been in the air. Now I just had to worry about where everyone was that morning. Partially relieved, I still felt I needed to get into the city. A few minutes before 3:00 p.m., Mayor Rudy said the trains would be back up shortly. If nothing else, I knew to take it to the bank that the trains would be up...Rudy said so.

I threw some things in a bag and hauled ass to the "L" train. I got there a few minutes after 3, and damned if there wasn't a train waiting on me. Providence. I was in the city 12 minutes later.

I came out of the subway to a surreal sight. No traffic. Just people. Dirty people. Crying people. People so obviously in shock I have no idea how they kept going. There was smoke and debris in the air...and a stench I can't describe. People were walking, running, doing whatever they could to get as far away as possible from what is now called Ground Zero. The Mayor had closed the city below Canal St, about 13 blocks away. The only way these people were getting out was on foot.

I went to the bar and found a regular sitting on the steps. He was, apparently, well into his 2nd 40 oz. "I'm sorry Matty, but I didn't know where else to go." Then he wept. I comforted him the best I could, then let him inside. We were followed shortly by my friend and coworker Ryan, who heard the same news about the trains and came running.

Throughout the day, regulars, neighbors, friends, and coworkers stopped in or called to check in and check on each other. I had been right. The bar was a second home to these people. We were family. Today, we were one.
Fortunately, the staff was accounted for and all were safe. A few regulars were not so lucky, and perished in the buildings near Broadway, though I wouldn't know it for a few days. As night approached, the horrors continued, however.
One of the guys from Ladder 3/Recon 3 (3 house of the FDNY serves the East Village and is located around the corner from the bar) was passing on his way to the house and I stopped him. He told me the attack had come at shift change. This meant 12 guys from our company had responded. None survived. A dozen friends, regulars, heroes had fallen from our block.

I wanted to break down, but I couldn't. My people needed me. The people in the bar weren't there to drink. They were there for comfort. I did my best to accommodate. I'd have to mourn my friends a little later on my own time.

The streets were deserted, except for locals, by 9:00 p.m. (no traffic was being allowed below 14th st. at this point). As the regulars began filing out, headed for their homes, Ryan and I closed up shop around 11:00 p.m. and went for a drink at another bar. We talked about what had happened with friends and tried to absorb what had happened. I thought of the boys from 3 house.
We didn't stay late. Ryan went north towards Queens, I went east towards Brooklyn. I stopped for a smoke before getting on the train. The streets were littered with debris. Assorted garbage, tons of soot and grime, random papers and debris from the towers were everywhere. That damned smell wouldn't leave for weeks. I saw a cane, the kind a blind person uses, in the street. "That's odd" I thought to myself. "How could a blind guy lose his cane on a day like this?" Ah. Question answered. A little further up the street, I saw a shoe. A little girl's shoe. One of those patent leather jobbies w/ the buckle.
That was it. I was done. It was my turn. I sat down on the sidewalk by the subway and cried. I had had enough.

I had seen pain and the worst humanity can offer. The days that followed would show me some of the best. New Yorkers were standing by each other as I had never seen them. It was "us" against "them".
Then I started seeing fire and rescue trucks from other cities and states. Then I started seeing benefits and relief efforts from other cities and states and even countries. "Us" had just gotten a whole lot bigger. People offered support, love and hope from every corner of the country and around the world. It was reaffirming.

Mike Moran gave a speech at the Concert for New York City the following month you might have seen. It went a little something like this...

...our friends, our brothers, our fathers are not gone, because they are not forgotten...

and Osama Bin Laden, you can kiss my royal Irish ass.
Mike was off the day of the attack. His father and brother, weren't. He lost them both. He never missed a day of work after the attack, and he spent every off day for months down in the pit. He never missed a beat and he never stopped being a stand up guy. He's a hero, too.

The Parting Shots:
For the record, I only thought I knew what hate was until that day. It grew several days later when they pulled the 3 rig from the rubble. This is what they found.

I still hate Bin Laden and his thugs...and I can't forget and won't ever forgive what they did to my city, and my friends. The rest of the country, and New Yorkers in particular, gave me hope for the future, though. That hope is what lets me carry on.
And one more thing I learned...never wait until it's too late to tell people you love how you feel. You never really know when you'll be out of chances.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Exile in Kennesaw

It's not quite how it sounds. I've intentionally stayed in/near the house for two weeks, now. The reason? I put down the cigarettes.

Now before you start being congratulatory and supportive, and all that crap, let me be perfectly straight...I would feed you into a woodchipper for a Marlboro Light right now.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not jonesing so bad I'd smoke a menthol, but I see that day in the not too distant future.

I'm pretty annoyed about the whole thing, actually. For years, every do-gooder and "concerned" friend and family member has been riding my ass to quit. Finally, I gave in, due to my current domestic situation. A couple things I have found to be true...non-smokers generally have no clue what quitting smoking is all about, and I now want to punch the majority of everyone that told me to quit right square in his/her junk.

Allow me to elaborate. While no one ever said quitting would be easy, not one of my "quit buddies" ever told me about the following reactions that, evidently, come with putting down the smokes:

1) Insane headaches - not just headaches, these super-gripping ultra mau-mau numbers that grab you by the back of the head and treat you like a prison bitch on OZ.

2) Rolling pain in the legs - I don't even know what to do with this one. From my upper thighs down to the middle of my shins, I've had twitches, tremors, convulsions and general muscular revolutions for about a week, now. I had to Google this symptom, because I was convinced I had scurvy or SARS or some such delightful malady. It turned out, of course, it's just one of those side effects no one told me might happen...fuckers.

3) Sense of Smell - totally misleading. Everyone told me my sense of taste and smell would improve and I'd experience old sensations for the first time in years. Kiss my big country ass. The only new smell I've encountered is this sickly, moldy stink that I smell everywhere I go. Nothing good, just the rough equivalent of a bums foot that is suffering from rot. Oh, joy!!!

4) Blood Sugar - huh? I don't know too much about this, other than apparently, I'm compelled to eat more frequently due to it taking longer for sugar to be delivered to my system, or some such crap. Or I have an oral fixation. Or I'm just a hog. It depends on what pseudo-scientific monkey-fuck you ask. The vast majority of them, apparently, have never smoked so they're really just guessing. Bite me. As a result, my weight shot up quickly. Yay.

5) Just taking a break here to thank all the "quit buddies" that pushed for this over the years. I feel so much better now that my weight is up, my patience (which was never really strong) is gone, and of course there's the whole woodchipper thing. sigh

6) Bleeding gums - WTF? I'm told that my improved circulation is the culprit here. Huh??? I quit smoking, now I'm gonna bleed to death as a result? At least my breath will be minty fresh, right? Geez.

7) Chest pains - yep, chest pains. I'm 41 years old, my blood pressure pre-quit was so low, people were actually envious of my big ass. Now, I'm having chest pains and shortness of breath because I'm "getting healthier"...WHAT THE FUCK??? How in the hell is that supposed to work?

To summarize: Evil cigarettes are out of the picture, but now I'll most likely have a brain aneurysm while running for help for my scurvy/SARS affliction, assuming I don't pass out from low blood-sugar while smelling the unwashed ass that seems to be following me around and bleed to death via my gums just a little before my heart attack finishes me off.

At least my clothes will smell fresh. Bite me, you do-gooder asshats.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The State of the Union

I'm a little over a month into my suburban relocation experience and I thought it time for my "State of the Union Address...Asshat edition".

For those of you that missed it, I recently took the State of Georgia Driving Exam. As a result, the rules mentioned in the Drivers Manual are pretty fresh in my mind. I even researched questions that might not have been listed in the Manual. I discovered the following:

1) There is no state requirement for you to leave your turn signal on for three miles after you turn/change lanes...pull your head out of your ass, moron.

2) Similarly, there is no rule or law that I can find that forbids you from actually using the turn signal to announce a turn and/or lane change...I know it's tough to walk and chew gum at the same time, but a little effort might help those around you.

3) It's not mandated that you change lanes to the left and immediately slow down. It's actually encouraged to maintain speed (or actually increase speed) if you enter the "fast" or "passing" lane. Travelling in aforementioned lanes at or near the speed limit while traffic in the lanes to your right speed by you does, in fact, make you a motorized asshat.


I pulled in to meet a friend at a local watering hole the other day and parked next to a guy in an older Jeep Cherokee. His doors were missing, as was his tailgate.

Me: "Aw, that happened to a couple of buddies of mine up in Brooklyn. Sorry about that, bro."

Kentucky Fried Motorist: "Whuu-uutt?"

Me: "Your doors. I'm assuming they were stolen."

KFM: "Hell no, I took 'em off. It's summer!!!"

Me: "Ummmm, you realize it's been raining off and on all day, right? That's why the inside is wet."

KFM: (looking amazed that I didn't understand) "You ain't from around here, are you?"

Me: "Actually, born and raised. I did something like that when I was about 17. I stopped when I realized how tough it was to get everything reattached properly and I got tired of being wet." (translation - I stopped being a dumbass)

I was told later by my dear betrothed that this was not an uncommon occurrence among the denizens of North Cobb near the lake. To this phenomenon and the participants, I have but a single question... "What the hell is wrong with you people?"

General Rants

1) If you are truly confused by the drive-thru menu at any fast food establishment, and can't order your burger and two happy meals in less than 7 may be too dumb to breathe the air I might otherwise destroy with a cigarette.

2) I'm a fan of maximizing your consumption of "the good stuff" at the Golden Corral. I absolutely understand the theory of not filling up on bread, or salad, or other items of less expense so you can cram as much meat, desert, and more expensive items so you get the most for your $9. That being said...Really? Dude, you have gravy on the side of your head by your friggin' ear. Really?? Hmmm, you have pizza on your plate,,,topped w/ a slab of roast beef,,,partially concealed by two pieces of chicken,,,complemented by a dousing of white gravy,,,w/ a mountain of ice cream w/ chocolate sauce on the side,,,all on the same friggin' plate. Did you think they were going to run out of anything, or were you just too lazy to use multiple plates, or were you afraid carrying two plates might make you look like a pig? News Flash...If you have gravy and chocolate sauce on the same plate, it's time to consider stepping away from the trough...Really.

3) If you really can't manage to turn your phone off while dining in a nice restaurant, can you at least take the earpiece out of your ear? It's not a status symbol anymore. On a similar note, if you absolutely must take a call in said restaurant, or on a crowded bus, or other crowded public area, please let me know ahead of time. I'd like to meet you there to punch you in the neck as a bit of relief to the people around you.

3a) If you're using your phone as mentioned above in an elevator...YOU'RE GOING TO LOSE RECEPTION YOU FRIGGIN' MOUTHBREATHER!!! SHOUTING WON'T HELP!!!! Please exit the building, drive up into the hills and allow yourself to be dragged away by the first mountain lion available. Sometimes even Darwinism needs a kickstart, and there's no reason an asshat like yourself can't do his/her part.

The New Family

For those of you entering into new living arrangements with members of the opposite sex, this is for you. There are also a few points dealing with the instances of moving into a home with pre-existing children.

Day 1:

Me: "Honey, I'm gonna grab a shower. Where's the soap?"

Her: "In the shower." (pointing) "Right there."

Me: "Ummm, this isn't soap. It appears to be a bottle of rejuvenating body wash w/ moisture beads and ancient sea widgets to exfoliate, cleanse and propagate the degeneration of testosterone within the species."

Her: (rolling her eyes) "It's soap."

Me: "Does that mean we don't have any soap?"

Her: (reaching into the closet and producing a bar of Irish Spring - Yay) "Here you go, sweety. I wouldn't want you to feel emasculated by the soap."

Me: "It's not soap. Where are the wash cloths?"

Her: "There's a couple in the shower."

Me: "There's a couple of things on strings that look kind of like a cross between a flower and a tumbleweed."

Her: "There you go."

Me: "So, we have no wash cloths?"

Lesson learned? Men have men stuff, women have women stuff. Never the two shall meet


In an effort to maintain fair reporting and the integrity of this blog, I do hereby offer the following:

Many years ago, a roomie extolled the virtues of babywipes for that extra little oomph of freshness, particularly after dropping a particularly gnarly deuce. The other day I chose to partake in this refreshing practice, as the deposit I had just made would, if made in a combat zone, been classified a war crime.

Only after removing the wipe and drawing it perilously close to the soiled area (the tainted taint, if you will) did I glance again at the box.

Authors note: Though they look similar, baby wipes are NOT interchangeable with Clorox Sani-wipes. Unless you're looking for a scented bleach enema, read the label. Here endeth the lesson.

Question of the day:

Bigger loser/stalker/manipulator/douchebag...Peyton Wellesly or Lanier Thames?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fear and Loathing at the DMV

Upon my recent return to the land of my birth, I found myself venturing into that 7th circle of hell that all suburbanites must deal with...the DMV.

Having lived in the City for a decade, and therefore having no need of the use of an automobile, I had let my license lapse several years earlier. Now living in suburbia, I girded up my loins and trudged into the new and improved Division of Driver Services (known as the DDS). Evidently, they were seeking to avoid the negative connotations of the previous name - the dreaded DMV, and changed it.

Upon arrival, I was surprised to find an open, well lit expanse with 21 windows for service, most of which were manned. This was a far cry from the tiny, dimly lit DMV I had previously dealt with in my previous suburban life. Might they have actually improved things?

I entered shortly after 4 p.m. and presented myself to the Gatekeeper (the old gal at the reception desk) and explained what I was there for. She promptly issued me a numbered ticket and paperwork to fill out. I took a seat and began filling out said paperwork. Before I could complete the line marked "address" my number had been called. I was a tad dumbfounded.

Approaching the assigned window with great trepidation, I spoke with a friendly older gent. After explaining my situation, he directed me to finish filling out the form and wait for my number to be called for the written test (since my license had expired, I would need to take both the written and road tests). As I was walking back to my previous seat, my number was called at a different window. Wha?????

I scurried to the next window, scribbling furiously. Another kindly old gent spoke with me while I completed my paperwork. After punching information into his terminal, he assigned me to a terminal where I took the written test for the next 20 minutes or so. Once the test was completed, I returned to the window. He told me it was too late to get a road test in, but if I came early the next day, they could have me taken care of in short order.

Total time in DDS approximately 40 minutes. Total time waiting approximately 20 seconds. Could this be?

The next morning, I was third in line at the door when they opened the office. I waited about 15 minutes and was called to take the road test. After completing the test, I waited a little less than 10 minutes to be called to another window, ostensibly to pay my fee and have my picture taken. Once my number was called, however, things took a decidedly DMVish turn.

The lady at this window told me my license had a "hold" on it for unpaid tickets in Atlanta. I was stunned that it was even possible for tickets to stay in the system for over a decade. I'd have to contact the City of Atlanta and straighten things out with them and get a letter of clearance before receiving my license. After that, they would hook me right up, I was assured. Fine.

As it was Saturday, I had to wait til Monday to begin the next leg of my Odyssey. After spending the better part of an hour on hold, the gent helping me told me I didn't exist. After further explaining when these tickets were issued (11 and 12 years earlier), he transferred me to another office. I then spoke with a nice lady that said I did, indeed, have tickets on my license. She told me the tickets had been dismissed years earlier, though. *sigh*

Me: "So, what do I need to do?"
Nice Lady: "Just come down and I'll give you a clearance letter."
Me: "Oh, so no fines?"
NL: "No, just come get the letter."
Me: "Oh, well can you fax it to the DDS, by any chance?"
NL: "No, we don't do that, sorry."
Me: "No problem"

The next day, I went down to the Atlanta Municipal Building w/ a spring in my step. Sure, it was inconvenient to go all the way downtown, but it could be worse...right??? Oh, yes. It could surely be worse...and it would be.

I approached the window, explained the situation to the man working. After being met with a blank stare for several moments, he pushed a form through the slot in the window.
Lazy City Employee: "Fill this out and bring it back to me. You can pick up the letter in four days or so."
Me:"Ummmm, four days?"
LCE: "Yep. We'll call if it's earlier."
Me: "Are you fucking insane? How can it possibly take that long? The lady I spoke with yesterday said it was basically walk in and walk out."
LCE: He shrugged "Don't know what to tell you."
Me: "You can tell me it's not gonna take a week to get this done. That's absurd. I'm gonna need to talk to a supervisor, this is totally unacceptable."
Sighing deeply, he removed his ass from the vinyl of his chair and trudged out of sight for several minutes. Upon returning, I was told I could pick it up after lunch. Recognizing it would do me no good to attempt a neck punch through the security window, I retreated.

After killing several hours with the friend that had driven me downtown, I returned and retrieved the letter. Armed with the document, I hauled my butt back to the DDS to spend some more time with my new cadre of friends.

Upon arrival, I explained everything that was going on to the lady at the reception desk, who assigned me another number. Things didn't move as quickly as the previous two trips. An hour later, my number was called. The guy at this window told me I would now have to pay reinstatement fees for each individual ticket.
Me: "But I didn't even owe fines."
Surprise Guy: "Still have to be paid."
Me: "You guys can't even tell me what the tickets are for. How could they all have resulted in suspensions, simultaneously?"
SG: "Can't say."
Me: "Ummm, if you can't say, how can you charge?"
SG: "It's how it works."

THIS is the DMV I remember. All rules, no logic or interpretation.

I stopped trying to rationalize and handed over my credit card. After running it, the guy looked at me and asked "What about South Carolina?"

"What about South Carolina?" I returned.

"You've got a hold in South Carolina."

"One - I haven't been in South Carolina in 20 years. Two - It's after 5, couldn't someone have told me I had a problem earlier today, or the last time I was here? I could have it squared away, by now."

"Don't know what to tell you."


The next morning, I called the SC DMV and got things squared away. They were looking for a shakedown from literally 20 years earlier that I had no idea was even on my record. Ugh.

The following morning, I was back at the DDS (the artists formerly known as the DMV).

"Please. Please don't hit me with any more surprises" I said to the guy at the window.

"Well Mr. Martin, I have good news and bad news."

I began scanning the immediate vicinity for blunt objects.

"The bad news is you won't have to come back anymore."

Were they banning me from the office, now that they had extracted all the money they had asked for?

"The good news is, you can go to the window and get your picture taken and get your license."

Oh, Happy Fricken' Day!!!!

Total time spent - 6 days
Total time spent on the phone with various agencies - 3 hours
Money spent - Don't ask

Old DMV slogan - "Don't know what to tell you."
New DDS slogan - "Don't know what to tell you...but open your wallet and bend over."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Let Me Smack One More Asshat...

It's been a month since the last blog. Quite a bit has been transpired. For those of you not in the know, I packed up the circus tents and left the city that used to never sleep. My last week or so in the City went a little something like this...

Going down the stairs for the 3rd ave "L" train to head for Brooklyn, a young lady was blocking the stairs with herself and several bags, chatting on her cel phone. People were walking up on the other side of the stairwell, so obviously I was unable to proceed w/out a little help from her, and a log jam of several people quickly formed behind me.

Me: Excuse me, hon.

Phone Skank: (looking at me like I'd stuck something slimy on her face) Ummm, I'm on the phone!

Me: I can see that, hon, I'm just trying to get by.

PS: (finger comes up telling me to wait a second as she turns her back to me and continues with her call) I don't know, some guy. I know! He can see I'm on the phone!

Me: (tapping her on the shoulder) Your shit will be at the top of the stairs. (Two bags are picked up and tossed to the top of the stairs)

PS: OMG!!! What are you doing!?!?!

Me: Getting to the train, thanks. (proceeding down the stairs as she rushed up the half-flight to gather her crap). And on behalf of the people behind me that you were slowing down with your phone call...kiss my big sweaty ass, you phone skank.

Getting on the train, a hipster couple that had been behind me on the stairs approached me.

Him: Dude, I've always wanted to do that.

Her: I wanted to clap...what a bitch.

I know, it wasn't poetic. It was simply the culmination of a decade of douche-baggery.

I'm not really complaining, mind you. I've had a great run in the City.
I've met a lot of truly wonderful people.
I've seen the sublime and the ridiculous.
I've seen the absolute best and the worst humanity can offer.

I'd say I wouldn't have traded the times for anything, but that wouldn't be quite true. While I greatly appreciate my experiences, I'd gladly trade them all for an extra decade with Rita.

Since that kind of trade isn't going to happen, I'll gladly pack the memories into boxes and move the show back to the ATL. There are plenty of Asshats down south, after all. They're just a little more polite.

With my departure, I would like to single out a few people...

Erik: My childhood friend that made my early existence in the city possible. He took me in when I was dead broke and just off the train.

Gina: Gave me a job when I needed it and became a dear friend.

Autumn, Dieter, Marisa and Cameron: and the rest of the staff from the old Finnerty's that made it a joy to go to work every day and proved what friendship and loyalty are all about.

Garcia-ville and Mr. & Mrs. Ish: Showed me you can have fun with "grown ups". Well, sorta grown ups.

Ricky: One of my best friends in the city, I could always count on him to come with me to each new bar I took a gig at...and take coffee/smoke breaks that could make Teamsters say "Damn, you take long breaks".

Nick K: The Poet Laureate of 14th st and the Ambassador of Keeping it Real. Quite possibly possessing the dirtiest mind in the western hemisphere, Nick showed me you can be a caring father, still be filthy, and keep your kids from being asshats all at the same time. Kudos Nicky.

Frank: for keeping me on board after turbulent head-butting with his partners and giving me the opportunity to succeed, especially at Boss Tweed's.

Renee: I can't say a whole lot. Probably my best friend in the world besides my fiancee.

I'll miss you all.

Departing the city (for the last time?), I took the same car service I had used dozens of time before. The new driver tried to gouge me on the price, however. I explained to him I had been using the service for years and knew the price as I handed the correct amount over the seat. He attempted to argue. I suggested he call his dispatcher to verify the price, if he truly felt he was being underpaid, which of course he refused. I explained to him that I was leaving town for good. I told him to think about it for a moment, and that if he really wanted the extra $10 I would wait on the sidewalk to pay him in shoe leather delivered to the fleshy part of his ass. I suggested if he reconsidered his position, I would bear him no ill will and wish him a good day and a happy life.

He drove away, and I got on my plane.

I'll save the anti-Bloomberg rant for another day, as it would easily fill multiple blogs. I'll also save the rant of the softening up and dumbing down of what was formerly my island. The City long ago traded the seedy movie houses and dirty underbelly for Disney and Applebee's. I'm not saying it's better or worse (actually, it's a travesty), but it's definitely different. Similarly, the Community Boards are trying their damnedest to turn the best urban area in the world into a giant suburb. All rant-worthy, so stay tuned.

Good, bad, or indifferent, I'll miss a lot.

Goodbye, New York.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gabba Gabba WTF?

Random Scenes of Asshattery and Douchiness...


During a conversation outside the bar w/ a friend, recently, we were approached by a random young lady...

Asshat Chick: Hey guys, I hate to interrupt, but...

Me: ...but you will anyway, because anything we might be discussing obviously pales in comparison to what you have to say.

AC: Wha?

Me: Never mind. What can I do for you, hon? (knowing full well what was coming).

AC: (batting eyes) Do either of you have a spare cigarette?

Friend: I don't smoke.

Me: Sorry, this pack didn't come with any spares.

AC: (confused look)

Me: Seriously, I'm stuck here for a couple of hours, and don't have enough to share...but there's a store right down the block.

AC: (pouty) I'd go buy a pack, but they're so expensive here.

Me: (annoyed) So it makes more sense for me to subsidize your habit. I'll pass, thanks.

AC: (amazed) You're really not going to give me one?

Me: No, hon, I've only got a few left, and they are, as you said, really expensive here.

AC: (in a huff) I can't believe you won't give me one. You're such a dick.

Me: Well, opinions vary. For example, my opinion of you is that you're a selfish, self-entitled brat whose parents didn't use the word "no" nearly enough.

AC: (furious) What a dick! Fuck You!!!

Me: (walking towards the door) You said that already. Good luck w/ grubbing smokes from people that don't owe you a thing, though.

I stopped and spoke with the doorman before heading back inside, where I took a table near the window and front door. A few minutes later, after successfully grubbing a smoke from someone else, the Asshat Chick attempted to enter the bar, only to be refused by the doorman. She looked positively amazed. After pleading her case, he motioned to me at my table. I waved, removed a cigarette from the pack and broke it open on the table, mouthing the words "I'm a dick, remember?" and blowing her a kiss. She stalked off into the night.


1) It's rude to interrupt people

2) It's dumb to use "I'm cheap" as a reason to bum anything off people, especially when the person you're bumming from has actually paid for the item(s) you're trying to get for free.

3) It's even dumber to insult people that choose not to acquiesce and give you something just because you think you're cute/hot/smart/charming/blah, blah, blah. Please believe me when I tell you you're not/not/not/not.

Additionally, any combination of these three points not only make you an asshat, it can get you 86'ed from the bar if you do it to the wrong this case, me.


Wearing sunglasses at night does NOT make you look cool. It gives you the appearance of a complete asshat. Combine it w/ a polo shirt w/ a popped collar, and you start looking douchey.

(secret tip) The previously mentioned dark glasses are NOT camouflage for the fact that you are higher than the national debt. If you seriously think you're fooling anyone with the shades, you're dreaming.

(to the tune of Billy Ocean's "Get Out of My Dreams")

"...Get out of your dreams,

Get out of my bar..."

Also, get out of the 80's. The 80's died a horribly painful death 2 1/2 decades ago...friggin' douchebags.


If you have a drunken compulsion to pet every dog you see without checking with the dogs owner, you run a high risk of being growled at, snapped at or bitten.

If, after a dog shies from you and turns away, you smack him/her on the hind quarter, grab the tail, or do some other rough shit, you not only deserve the growl/snap/bite, I'm hoping it actually happens.

Not so long ago, Darwinism would have claimed you for trying to pet a mountain lion and subsequently being dragged into the woods, you fucktard.


My friend Jennifer took her daughter to the matinee performance given by the Broadway road company of Annie in Ontario, recently. Needless to say, there were hundreds of kids and their parents. Jennifer and Maia were fortunate to be seated behind the only two ladies slamming beers at the 3 o'clock show. The two Miss Hannigan wannabe's proceeded to get shit-boxed and bellow along with the songs. Oh, it's a hard knock life, indeed!

I'm a barman. My job is to sell people booze. Tha being said, if you're getting soused by mid-day and going to a show like this, a ballet, a museum, or anything along these lines, I have three words for you: IT's NOT NASCAR!!!

I'm not knocking drinking or NASCAR. I'm a fan of both. I won't wear my beer helmet to the theatre, however, because...well, because I'm not a douche.


Earlier in the week, I got sucked in to a conversation with a young lady that insisted Avril Lavigne was not only "punk", but "hardcore". WTF?

I tried to explain, that while I didn't feel the need to shove an icepick in my ear when her music started playing, she was in no way, shape, manner or form, punk or hardcore. She didn't get it.

Shifting gears, I attempted to give a punk rock history lesson. I gave up when she couldn't name any of the Ramones...more accurately, she couldn't name them by first OR last name. (sigh - I feel old).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Raise your children well...

In honor of Graduation season (High School and College), I offer the following:

I'm told it takes a village to raise a child. Evidently, there are villages across this nation screaming for me to go on a rampage and burn them all down, because they are producing a new breed of douchebags of a stunning magnitude at an alarming rate. As a resident of the global village, and since I can't find my lighter fluid at the moment, I submit the following for your graduating children. Clean it up, if you feel they are too sensitive or frail, but share it with them. Their status as douchebag hangs in the balance. Be advised, though, if you really do feel you have to clean it up for a person of graduating age, they're probably already spoiled douchebags rapidly winding down the road to being an uber-douchebag...and that blame rests predominately on the parent.

1) You don't know the law:

"What do you mean I can't come in? My i.d.'s good, you have to let me in/serve me! This is a public place, you have no right to keep me out!! I know the law!!!" If any of these words ever come (or have come) from your mouth, you're a douche. And you obviously don't, in fact, know anything about the law as it pertains to establishments that serve alcohol.

Establishments have the right to refuse you for virtually anything, save race, sex, religion, etc. If your i.d. has been questioned, throwing a tantrum really will not help. Similarly, if a bar/club has rules re. hats, sneakers, or argyle sweaters, you have nothing to say about it. Your recourse is to take your business elsewhere

When/if you use the old "public place" argument, you show true ignorance. I've worked in bars over half my life. Never has one nickel of taxpayer money gone into opening or running one of them. A public place is a park, or a library, or any other place provided for the public good by your community. A bar ain't one of those...douche.

If you try to pass yourself off as an attorney knowledgeable in liquor law, it makes it worse. If you say your daddy is an attorney, walk away from this blog. It's much too late for're an uber-douche.

2) Short and sweet, your parents lied to you. You're not the smartest/prettiest/most charming person in the world. You're just another in an endless parade of youthful dumbasses that think they can get over because their parents told them they're special.

2a) Men - All women do not find you desirable. Don't be a douche when you get shot down in a bar. Yes, I know, your mother says you're the most handsome guy in blah, blah, blah. Get over it and move on.

2b) Ladies - You're not hot enough to act bitchy and men with an iota of experience will know when you're trying to get over by flirting. The only guys that fall for, or are attracted to that are the douchebags mentioned above. If you procreate with them, you'll get what you deserve...asshat babies.

3) Also short and sweet. No one cares who your daddy is. If name dropping is your thing, save it for the other douchebags. If your daddy is the most impressive name you know, though, even douchebags will think you're douche-y. Nuff said.

4) If you regularly think you're the smartest/funniest/richest person in the room, odds are you really aren't. In fact, odds are you're just a monumentally pretentious douche in need of a neck punch. Additionally, even if you are the smartest/funniest/richest, the fact that you even take time to consider such things makes you an asshat.

5) When you show up to pick up a friend/date/whatever at their house, go to the friggin' door. Sitting outside honking the horn is disrespectful to the party you're picking up and the neighbors don't want to hear it. Yes, your Mama told you anyone would be lucky to have a boyfriend/girlfriend/friend like you, but it's another lie.

5a) If a neighbor asks you to stop honking and go to the door in an even remotely polite way, especially due to the early or late hour, do it. If you yell or curse at, or berate the neighbor, you deserve a neck punch. If I'm the neighbor, I'll beat you til your Mama cries.

6) If you're smoking outside an open door or window of a non-smoking establishment and are asked to step away from said opening to prevent your smoke from blowing in, just do it. It's generally called being considerate, or "getting along". The "you can't make me" crap may have worked with your parents, but I promise, it won't work with others...certainly not me.

6a) If you're outside, or in an area where smoking is permitted, and someones smoke is bothering you, ask them politely to put it out or change hands, etc. to alter the flow of the smoke. Making demands, being bitchy, getting preachy or citing shady statistics only make me want to chain smoke and/or shove my cigarette butt up your butt.

7) If someone gets up from the bar, but leaves his/her jacket on the chair and/or has a drink in front of the chair, he/she is NOT leaving. Only a mouth-breathing moron would make that assumption. Only a complete douchebag would argue when the person returns from the bathroom/smoking/whatever to reclaim his/her spot.

8) Pull up your pants!!! You look like a jackass!!! If you're over 21, the phase is over. Buy pants that fit and invest in a belt. Nobody wants to see your boxers or, God forbid, your plumbers crack.

9) If you BYOB to a bar and are caught with it, it will be confiscated, you will be charged a corking fee, or you will be asked to leave. At my place, I'll take the booze AND run your cheap ass out. I'm one of the most frugal guys I know, but give me a friggin' break with this. Call Daddy and have him put some money in the account...dumbass.

10) This is a big one, kiddies. No one owes you respect. No one owes me respect. Respect is earned. Courtesy should be a fact of life in a civilized society, but you can't act like an idiot and expect respect. I want to pimp slap every 21 year old douche that tries to demand respect.

Example: After finding an uber-douche trashing the bathroom at the bar (literally dumping trash from the can on the floor), I took him by the arm and escorted him to the door. There was no incident until we got to the door and I released him. His friends saw he was getting tossed, so they went outside to wait for him. He jerked away, now that he had an audience.

Uber-Douche: You better respect me!

Me: What?

UD: You better show me some respect!!!

Me: I should respect you for dumping trash on the floor? Dude, you're an idiot.

UD: (glancing over his shoulder at his pals, then back to me) You better respect me!!! You don't know who I am!!!

ME: (taking out a small note pad and pen, writing a quick note) Why don't you just interpret not getting smacked as a sign of respect, then? (handing him note) Here. Give this to your parents.

UD: (glances at the note, then looks up to say something, but I'm already back inside)

the note:

Dear Parent,

Your son is an idiot. Please don't have any more children. Consider sterilization, if necessary.



Please don't make me send a note home to your parents.
The only people that love you unconditionally are your parents and Jesus. If you're an asshat (or worse), believe me, I'll tell you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

and now for something completely different...

The asshat/douchebag documentation was on hiatus this week. It'll be back soon, but this needed to be said...

I've spent the last several days knocking around the city and county of my youth. Those of you that know me best know I spent most of the first twenty-odd years of my life plotting my escape from the suburbs. I couldn't fathom the desire of people to grow up, get married, raise a family and settle down in the same town/area they grew up in. I couldn't get out fast enough. I moved to downtown Atlanta and various points around town. When that wasn't enough, I packed up and ran away and joined the circus...I moved to NYC. I loved it.

The City was where I belonged. The nightlife, the arts, the food, the people, the general excess filled me with an indescribable energy. Everyday brought something new. Though I had been dealing w/ asshats and their ilk for years, I found steady entertainment (and annoyance) by the increased numbers of aforementioned failures in Darwinism.

I began to write in earnest, and began acting. I found new ways to express myself and new people to share with. I witnessed the devastation and heartbreak of the 9/11 attacks. The pulling together of the entire city (and country) in the aftermath showed me that love and kindness were still possible in my fellow man. It was inconceivable that I belonged anywhere else.

Then my life changed. I met her. She showed me love I didn't believe existed. My heart filled with love for her and her children. This beautiful family was willing to open their doors and their hearts to an aging Peter Pan, previously convinced that he couldn't live anywhere w/out 24 hour food delivery. Could this cynical boy have been wrong, all this time?

I find myself in new, uncharted waters. Peter Pan doesn't have doubts...right? Perhaps it's time to put the shadow in a box. Tell Tinkerbell it was a blast, and the lost boys to find their own way for a bit. I'll be in the burbs if they need me...but I still don't/won't do out of state bail.

I've found more love here in a week than I have in the previous 20 years.

Maybe, the burbs ain't so bad after all?

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's only Thursday, for the love of God

As the crowd began to thin, around 2:30 a.m., I took a seat at a booth near the door. I was checking my emails from my phone when my new friend joined me. He was a gent of Spanish origin, though I can't specify his nationality. He plopped down next to me while staring intently into his beer. His head abruptly popped up and turned to me with the old "stink eye". Evidently he was under the impression I had encroached on his space, even though I was in the booth close to the wall, while he was on the same bench at the other end, obviously there first.

Drunk Guy: Homina placenta mowli fee.

Me: I'm sorry, bro, I don't understand.

DG: Homina dooby goo placenta mowli fee!

Me: Sorry, bro, but I really can't understand you.

DG: Dooby goo coochella sibby mo quesadilla...Texas!

Me: I think I got Texas and maybe quesadilla, but I have no idea what you're talking about.

Obviously disgruntled, he turned back to his beer. He shifted his body so his back was to me and he was facing the bar. It appeared, from my vantage point, that he was contemplating his beverage. After several moments, I grew bored and restless and attempted to excuse myself. He would need to let me out of the booth, of course.

I nudged his shoulder and asked him to let me out. He grunted and nodded. After waiting a few seconds, I repeated my request and tapped more firmly. He just nodded. I leaned on the table to make sure he was conscious, and lo and behold he was in a state of perma-drool. The drunken asshat was in the early stage of full-blown dry heaves. Great.

Flagging one of the bouncers to assist, my new amigo was escorted to the door. The air seemed to do him some good, as he appeared to become more coherent and wandered off into the night. A few minutes later, however, my new friend returned. Now sitting on a chair at the door, I engaged Senor Sloppy.

Me: No more tonight, my friend. Call it a night.

DG: Mumbo dogface banana patch.

Me: (sigh) No more tonight. Go home.

DG: (in a clear and remarkably articulate voice) It's OK, I'm cool.

Me: No more tonight. Go home.

DG: Homina rondlestat moo shoo pork.

He stumbled over to the parking meter and leaned against it...or attempted to lean. He bounced off the meter, double-shuffled his feet, then executed a pirouette...before crumpling off the curb, into the street, right on his drunken ass. He remained there for several moments, looking quite confused that gravity had betrayed him. Eventually, a good Samaritan helped him up. As Mr. Helper was trying to check on the walking mess, he jumped back and exclaimed "Dude, you're pissing all over!"

Yes, gentle reader, he was dousing his dungarees...pissing in his pocket...urinating his underoos...making onesies in his big boy pants. Mr. Helper had received a liberal piss-rub as thanks for his help, and was not happy about it as he stormed away.

My new buddy pulled himself together long enough to wave goodbye as he shuffled off into the night again.

Another satisfied customer.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Random Episode in Rock and Roll

The Road Recovery Benefit Concert 2009 was this weekend. In addition to Perry Farrell, Tom Morello, Gilby Clarke and others, there was a particularly delicious episode that should go into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Godfather of Punk, Iggy Pop, was in the middle of song, when he was joined by "surprise guest" and shameless television asshat... former Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille.

Ummmm, WTF?

Apparently, Iggy still don't take too much crap. C.C. evidently didn't get the memo not to step on Iggy's groove. As Iggy was singing/dancing/doing his thing, C.C. began dancing around him, restricting his moves. The agitated Godfather reacted as only a true rock and roll icon could when a human cartoon tries to steal the spotlight...he kicked the big haired hack in the stomach. When that didn't achieve the desired result, damned if he didn't kick him again, bringing the escapee from Dr. Drew's freak show to his knees.

As C.C. drug his sorry ass off stage, crying, Iggy could be heard issuing the edict to the rest of the band "Stop playing for that freak and I'll kill you."

As my buddy Scott was quoted after the show "...awesome". Awesome indeed, Scott. Iggy still lives the dream and drops the hammer on an asshat in front of thousands of people. It gives me hope for tomorrow.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Asshats Beget Asshats

I was on the L train the other day, headed into the city. It was mid-afternoon, so it wasn't very crowded. Besides myself, there were probably a dozen people, including a relatively young couple and their child (I'm guessing around 5 years of age). The little boy was obviously bored...wandering a few steps from his parents, then running back, vying for a little attention. The "adults" kept yammering between themselves.

After the next stop, the little boy became a little more restless, singing/screaming to himself and wandering halfway down the car, then back to his starting point. I had settled in and was leafing through the Daily News. A glance towards the parents confirmed that they were, in fact, paying the lad no attention whatsoever. He was getting louder, and more rambunctious as the train progressed. He stopped momentarily at the next stop, as he inspected the passengers boarding, but resumed as soon as we were underway.

Now running the full length of the car and back, the boy began squealing/screaming every step of the way. He repeated this process 3 or 4 times. On the last pass, he slapped the newspaper from my hand, tearing it.

Me: (holding the torn paper up) Hey! You think you can handle your kid, guys?

"Male Parent": Eh, he's a kid, what can I do?

Me: Really? You can't handle a 5 year old for a 15 minute train ride? How are you gonna handle him for the next 15 years?

"Male Parent": Hey, don't you worry about me raising my kid. You mind your own business.

Me: You're kidding, right? (holding up my paper a little higher) When your kid runs wild and tears up my stuff, it becomes my business, don't you think? Look, I'm not trying to break your balls, bro, but if you don't lay down some rules now, he's headed for a rude awakening when he gets older.

"Male Parent": Don't worry about my kid. You just read your paper and mind your business.

Me: (once again, holding my torn paper up for him to see) Dude, if your kid's running wild, banging into people and messing up their stuff, it becomes other peoples business. Take a little responsibility before you turn him loose into the world. If he doesn't learn about rules and consequences early, he's gonna wind up beat down or in jail later. If you're OK with that, shame on you.

After pulling in to the 1st ave stop the couple gathered up the child and exited, Both "parents" flashed dirty looks, the woman scolding me "We never spank our child."

WTF? I never said a word about spanking, only bringing the kid under control...

FLASHBACK - circa 1974

While shopping with my Grandmother back in the "old country "(the old country, of course, being Smyrna). We ventured into Zayre. Being 5 or 6 years of age at the time, I began doing what any red-blooded child would do...I ran amok. After teaming with a random child in the store, we began a spirited game of tag, or some such nonsense.

Granny called to me to behave. Phhhhfffttt. Good luck with that Granny. I continued dodging in and out of the racks, laughing and cavorting without a care in the world.

Granny called me by my full name, signifying she was getting serious. My pursuer, my unknown playmate, was closing in on me. I grabbed a double-handful of clothing from a bargain-bin and threw the garments at him to facilitate my escape. In the back of my mind, I heard my Grandmother clapping her hands and making this "hoot" sound she used to do when she was trying to get the attention of the children in the family without screaming/losing her mind. Phhhfffttt. Whatever, I was having fun!!!!

I never saw the hand reach for my shoulder. I only felt the vise-like pressure from her fingers and knuckles, as she clamped down with the kind of grip that would have sent Mr. Spock screaming from the room. I knew I was in trouble.

Leaning in, she spoke, not with the loving kindness of that nice old lady that bought me ice cream on weekends, but with the authority of an adult that was absolutely in charge. Gasp! How did this transformation take place??? And where the hell was I when it happened???

She told me, in a voice barely more than a whisper, "Go outside and get me a switch".

"What?" I thought to myself. She couldn't possibly want to "switch me", and certainly not in the store...right?

Granny: Go out to the parking lot and pick me a switch, NOW!

Me: (HOLY CRAP! - or whatever the 5 year old equivalent was)

I trudged slowly out of the store. Looking over the lot, I was elated to see not a single bush anywhere. Turning, there was Granny, right behind me, pointing. "There's a bush in the planter over there."

After examining the bush, I picked a branch that I knew was suitable to bring my impending demise. Surely this insane impostor posing as my beloved Granny would attempt to kill me by means of an ass-whoopin'. After presenting the branch to her for inspection, she had me go to the curb and strip the leaves and nubs from it. I was positively bugging out.

We walked back into the store together, me carrying the instrument of my destruction. As we passed the checkout area, I felt the gaze of all the cashiers turn to us (specifically me and my switch). One gave a look of pity. Another flashed a smug look that said I was getting what I deserved. I'm fairly certain, in retrospect, that I heard the last call out "DEAD MAN WALKING".

We went back to my former play area. Until a few minutes earlier, it had been the site of unbridled childhood it was to be the place where I would be sacrificed to the retail Gods for my crimes against humanity and American consumerism. Granny proceeded to pick up the mess I had made and place the garments back on their respective racks and in their proper bins. When she was done, she continued with her shopping. I thought I could be slick and leave the switch on a table. Needless to say, this evil woman was all over it like a fat kid on a cupcake. "Oh, don't you dare put that switch down. I'll deal with you later, and you better have that switch ready when I'm ready for it." Gulp.

Having finished her shopping, we returned to the front of the store. While completing her transaction with the cashier, she asked if there was something I wanted to say to the cashier.

I apologized without making eye contact. I was totally focused on this unholy stick now clutched in two hands in front of me.

Cashier: It's OK, sweety. You know you're not supposed to act like that in public, though, right?

Me: Yes, ma'am.

Cashier: And you're not gonna make any more trouble for your Grandmama, are you?

Me - (thinking to myself - "You fool! This isn't my Granny! She's obviously a pod-person!!! Or an escaped lunatic waiting to get me alone to beat me!!!! Can't you see?!!??!?) What came out of my mouth, of course, was "Oh, no ma'am!"

We left the store without further incident. Continuing on with Granny's errands, we went to 84 Lumber. I'm not sure that she even purchased anything. I get the impression, looking back, it may have been just to drive me around town with the switch.

84 Lumber Guy: You misbehavin' boy?

Me: I was, sir.

84: Why'd you do that?

Me: (shrug) I don't know.

84: Your family's good people, you know. They don't deserve you to be acting dumb in public, ya know.

Me: Yes sir.

Back into the car and on to the next stop, Dairy Cream for a chili dog to take back to my Grandfather (yes, I mean the Dairy Queen, of course, but for some reason, Granny always did, and still does call it by the wrong name...bless her heart). In the drive-thru, I declined anything for myself. I realized at that moment that a condemned man can take no joy in his last meal. Needless to say, Granny had to explain to the lady at the drive-thru window my misdeeds, which drew clucking and tsk-tsks from her.

On to the church of my youth to drop off or pick something up. Upon arrival, the Pastor and his family were working in the parking lot and lawn with the handyman. Granny had me exit the car. The Rev. looked very disappointed. The children looked horrified.

Back in the car and back to Granny's house. Why hadn't she done the deed, yet? It made no sense, in my mind. Then, as we pulled into the driveway and I saw my Grandfather at the door, it hit me. She was bringing me back to let the old man do it. IT'S A CONSPIRACY!!! She hopped out of the car while I slowly drug my soon to be mutilated carcass from the passenger side. I slowly plod behind her, vaguely hearing my Grandfather grouse about her taking so long with his lunch and the fact it was cold from our stop at the church. "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WOMAN, DON'T ANTAGONIZE HIM!!! DO YOU WANT HIM TO KILL ME IN HIS COLD CHILI DOG RAGE????" I thought to myself. I was sweating like Patty Hearst in a closet.

Papa took the bag and returned inside. Granny turned and gently took the switch from me. I had absolutely no idea what was going on.

Granny - "I'll take this, shug, before your Papa sees it and I have to explain."

Me - (face consumed by confusion)

Granny - (breaking the switch into pieces) "I love you, shug, and I don't want to see you grow into the wrong kind of man. It'll hurt me awful to have to spank you, but I will if you ever act like that out in public again."


She never laid a hand on me, I never again acted like a jackass in public as a child (though I did some monumentally stupid things later in life), and I learned that there are, in fact, repercussions for my actions. I've never been kicked out of or asked to leave a restaurant, bar, or place of public gathering. I've never been accused of being disrespectful of my elders or authority figures. I've never been the cause of my Mother or Grandmother being talked about for raising a shitty kid, to my knowledge. When I did the aforementioned stupid things later in life, I didn't cry, blame society, or look for a scapegoat. I owned it. That's what men do, I was taught.

I owe my Grandmother a debt I can't ever repay for that day. That was the day she started building a man from a little boy.

That's all I was saying on the train...make the boy a man, not just another asshat.

Just saying.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Only Need a Dollar!!!

Working at a bar on the Lower East Side, I grew accustomed to encountering the new breed of urban street entrepreneur (translation: bum). There was one gent, in particular, that stands out in my memory.
He was generally pretty straight forwarded. "I'm a hungry, bro, can you help me out?", "I need to get lit, my man. Help a brother out?", "I wanna check out the peep show next door. Can you spare a buck?" are prime examples. I never gave him money, but he frequently entertained me with his rap. Or at least what I thought was his rap.

One pleasant fall evening, I had gone outside for a smoke. Two doors down, was a "video store". I list it as such because they sell just enough regular videos to be able to sell adult videos and toys, as well as operate video booths under NY law. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the video booth, it basically works like go into a room w/ a chair, a coin or token operated tv and a box of Kleenex. You feed the coin box and watch a porno for a fixed amount of time or until you're...done. Yes, you're initial reaction is/was correct - ewwwwww.

So I was enjoying the fall weather, when the "honest bum" came bursting out of the store, drawing the attention of myself, other bar patrons that were outside smoking and random passers by.

"Can somebody PLEASE give me a dollar!" cried the obviously frustrated, financially challenged, chicken choker.

"Please, I ONLY need a dollar...I'm almost done!!!"

He turned towards the bar and I realized his hand was inside his sweat pants, apparently attempting to keep his boner going.

"I'll be done in like a minute! I'll come back and tell you all about the movie!!! I ONLY need a DOLLAR!!!"

A random chick gave him a dollar to go away. He sprinted back in to the store to finish his business.

He emerged approximately 3 minutes later, seeming much more relaxed.

"I need a cigarette! Can somebody please help me with a cigarette!!!"

You can't make this shit up.

Random Thoughts

Dear Charles,

I need your help. Your theories are being sorely tested, and possibly proven. In fact, I fear the next stage of evolution is happening as I write this. Homosapiens are being replaced by Asshats, Douches and Uber-Douches. Allow me to point a few of these new breeds of "men" out to you:

Excuse me, can I please get off the train before you try to cram into the car? If that's too much to ask, how about stepping on the train sliding out of the doorway so I can still get off without having to squeeze by you? (Asshat)

When you sit on the train, do you think you could not sit with your legs spread ridiculously far apart? You're not fooling anyone. Your junk AIN'T that big. You're just trying to take up as much room as possible so the poor old lady getting on at the next stop doesn't try to sit next to you. (Douche)

If you've picked up take-out for dinner, in the name of all that is holy, do NOT dine on the train. I don't want to smell your meal, watch the grease accumulate on your chin and shirt, or see the food being ground down in your open mouth because Mommy and Daddy never taught you how to chew with your mouth closed. I also don't want to see you throw the refuse (wrappers, chicken bones, etc.) on the floor of the subway. (Douche)

If you've ever been denied entry to a bar because you were too intoxicated, it's OK. People get drunk. It's not a big deal. If you proceeded to argue with the bouncer/bartender/whatever, you're a Douche.

No one that has ever been denied entry to a drinking establishment, or asked to leave an establishment, has ever been able to successfully fight their way into being allowed to enter/stay. No one, in the history of drinking, has ever gotten a free bar tab for "whoopin' the bouncers ass". If you've ever suffered this delusion, you're a dill-hole and a Douche.

If, after you've picked a fight for the above mentioned reasons and gotten your ass handed to you, you subsequently called the cops to file a complaint, you're an Uber-Douche. You're also probably gonna spend the night in jail (if you drop the soap, let it go).

Urinating on a subway/bus, in a bar (in a place other than the restroom), on the door of an apartment or anywhere near a church or school...earns you the status, without reservation or exception, of Uber-Douche.

If you're 40-plus years old, and instantly fall in love with a 24 year old girl on facebook or myspace after seeing her picture, you're sad. If, after a few online chats, you get jealous because she works late, you're a loser. If, after being advised to let it go and get on with your life, you continue to inundate the girl with dozens of emails, fb or myspace messages, AIM messages, etc over the next 72 hours, you're instantly elevated to Uber-Douche.

"what do you mean my id is no good", "do you know who I am/my father is", "you can't keep me out, I know the law/it's a public place"...Asshat, Douche, Douche.

The following institutions deserve a little attention...

The MTA - After getting caught cooking the books just a few years ago, they've subsequently demanded fare increases EVERY YEAR SINCE. Institutional Douchebaggery

*honorable mention* - the citizens of NYC that haven't demanded to see the books every single year since the year of the cooked books. I love this city, but there are too many absolute fucking mouth-breathers.

ConEd and the NY Water Authority - Conservation is working. Usage of both electricity and water has been greatly reduced. The reward? Rate increases of 14% and 7% respectively. The logic? They've still got to meet their budget, so they're gonna get the money one way or another. WTF??? When I finally leave NY, I'm leaving all the lights on, turning on all the faucets, and nailing the front door shut. Institutional Uber-Douche.

All utilities mentioned can kiss my big country ass.

Civilian group mention...

The Critical Mass group - If you're not familiar with these fucktards, they meet up, ride through the streets of Manhattan, blocking traffic and breaking traffic laws to promote the need for mass transit. WTF??? These asshats are protesting too many cars in the city with the most extensive train system in the friggin' hemisphere, if not the world. Every month, these dipshits use the transportation ruse to interfere with life just because they're douchebags. When the NYPD attempted to organize them, so at least emergency vehicles could travel without interference, they sued on "freedom of speech" grounds. Still in the courts, this group has been elevated to hippie-wannabe Uber-Douche.

Please, Charles, I need you now more than ever. Tell me it's gonna be OK before I run amok and start punching these ass-clowns in the neck.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

K-mart, where America shops for...WTF???

On the way to the bar from the cellular store, I noticed an oddity. There was a man, virtually upside down on the sidewalk up against the wall outside K-mart, with a small crowd gathering nearby. As I crossed the street, the gent was being helped to his feet. Once righted, he shook off his assistance and launched into a tirade worthy of authentic frontier gibberish, waving his arms wildly and repeatedly extending his middle fingers towards the building. This closer investigation showed me that the gent was, in fact, a wino.

As I passed, I noticed several men standing just inside the revolving door. As they were all dressed the same, I came to the conclusion they were K-mart employees...or the nerdiest street gang ever. My curiosity piqued, I stopped to enjoy the street theater next to a guy in a suit.

Me: Did he get thrown out?

Suit: Looks that way.

Me: What the hell do you have to do to get bounced from K-mart?
Suit: No idea. I bet he knows, though. (gestures towards the bum)

The crusty hobo continued his rant for several moments. When he ran out of breath, he charged back into the revolving door. The employees grabbed the door and held fast to prevent his re-entry into the store. I pointed out to my new friend, the suit, that their formation resembled the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima.

As the K-martians were determinedly preventing the bum's entry, they were approached by what I assume was a store manager (he was wearing a slightly nicer crappy shirt). He spoke to them quickly. The looked at him like he was as crazy as the would-be invader. Simultaneously, however, they released the door, allowing the door to spin freely. When the now quickly spinning door opened for the bum to enter the store, the manager simply pushed him back into the revolving door (with a noticeable amount of force) and allowed the door to keep spinning until the correct opening was back on the street side. At this point, the employees grabbed the door again, effectively putting the brakes on the demented merry-go-round. The abrupt stop caused the bum to rattle off the panes of the door, then spill back out onto the sidewalk. Brilliance.

After gathering himself, the now twice ejected asshat launched into another tirade for about a minute. He stopped rather suddenly, when he realized something that everyone watching already knew. He was cold. The reason for this apparent chill? His pants had fallen down. To add insult to injury...he was going commando.

Thoroughly defeated, he drew his pants back up, and drifted off into the now considerable crowd. I learned a few things from this slice of New York life.

1) If you fuck up bad enough, the good people of K-mart will put a whole different kind of Blue Light Special on your ass.

2) The manager at the place where America Shops for Value might just be smarter than I ever gave him/her credit for.

3) If you're not gonna wear a belt, never, EVER go commando.

4) If you should be both beltless and commando, at least make sure you're clean. It's just plain embarrassing to have everyone see your junk when it's that kinda dirty. Much worse than getting in an accident with dirty underwear. Go to Starbucks and wash it in the sink if you have to (enjoy your latte tomorrow).

and lastly
5) I seem to be a magnet for half-naked and/0r crazed bums, for some the hell did that happen?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Self-love on the A train

After moving to the city many years ago, I found myself waiting on a crowded 14th street subway platform waiting for the uptown A train. My destination was Hell's Kitchen, and I was looking for work. I was flipping through the Daily News when the train pulled in. I was still flipping through the paper when I stepped into the subway car. When I looked up, I was confused. Everyone that had entered before me was crammed to the the front of the car, leaving the rear virtually for one guy.

Sitting in the small seat by the door, was an urban outdoorsman (translation: bum). Ordinarily, I maintain a "live and let live" philosophy. That tenet was sorely test, however, as the crusty gent had made himself comfortable...VERY comfortable. His pants were down to his knees, and he was, to put it delicately, rubbing one out (stroking the bishop, flogging the log, spanking the monkey, choking the chicken, etc). Amazingly, the other occupants of the car were trying hard to pretend not to notice. I, on the other hand, lost my friggin' mind.

"Are you people fucking kidding? " (I started handing parts of the paper out to people to shield themselves from any possible release of bum seed) "Jeez, at least protect yourselves!" No one refused this small offering of protection. In fact, it seemed to both ease their fears and stimulate their disgust at the same time. "Dude, you're a fucking animal!" said one strap hanger. "That's gross, man. Get off the train!!!" said another. A small, elderly woman, apparently of Eastern European descent (complete with babushka) stepped forward and, using the soothing tones of a grandmother offered, "I hope you die, you bastard!!!" before spitting on the floor at his feet.

The guy was now trying diligently to ignore the crowd as we travelled through the underbelly of the city. He had kicked it into overdrive and was pumping his fist like a man possessed, but to no avail. The car was on the verge of riot. Something metallic flew over the crowd and hit the wall by his head. It was quickly followed by coins, keys, pens, batteries and what I believe was a half-eaten slice of cheese pizza. It was like "bat day" at Yankee stadium in the 70's.

This broke the mood of self-gratification as the train rumbled into the station, apparently. When we came to a stop, he stood up and shuffled off onto the platform, shocking the riders waiting there. And no, he didn't even bother to pull his pants up. He merely held the waist band and went off in search of a quieter place...with his junk still dangling. "This city sucks" said the unsatisfied gent, "ya can't get any privacy."

True dat, my friend, you can never find a quiet subway train on which to beat your meat anymore. The city ain't what it used to be...WTF???

epilogue: I didn't realize it til I got off the train at the next stop, but I never got any of my newspaper back from the people on the train. I learned a lesson that day. From now on, I'll save the 50 cents and let the rest of the train get Hep C...bunch of ungrateful ass-clowns.