Thursday, June 26, 2008

A landmark decision from the bench: Fire at will!

I have two notes regarding yesterday’s post. First, I am really disappointed that I failed to refer to Charlie Crist as “the lovable Messiah with a crush on the red-headed girl.” Second, I would like to say that I respect both of the candidates. Well, let me rephrase that: I respect one of the candidates, and I think the other one is an ass.

But there are other political matters to discuss today. The Supreme Court, in a hotly contested 5-4 decision, struck down a Washington D.C. handgun ban as unconstitutional, finding it in violation of the Second Amendment.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who sided with the majority, had this to say of the landmark decision: “I sure look good today, don’t I? Can’t wait to get the hell out of here and go sip lemonade on my yacht.”

Justice Antonin Scalia, renowned for his quick and acerbic wit, authored the majority opinion, which stated, in part, “to deny the traditional right of the individual citizen to the implements of self-defense is about as American as Osama Bin Laden taking a dump on an apple pie. Furthermore, I would like to point out that I exercise my own right to bear weapons by carrying nunchucks beneath my voluminous robes, with which I will not hesitate to pummel the shit out of reporters who ask me stupid questions.”

The newest member of the court, Justice Samuel Alito, did his best to avoid attention, eventually dressing up as a janitor in an attempt to sneak his way through the press. Indeed, the erstwhile judge had nearly made it home free before he was recognized. As the flash bulbs burst around him, Alito just squinted and looked around nervously and when pressed for comment would only remark, “I just do what John Roberts tells me.”

The two other consenting judges, Justice Anthony Kennedy and Justice Clarence Thomas, were unavailable for comment, but were seen sprinting down the Washington mall firing handguns into the air in celebration. Numerous reports indicated that the pair were referring to themselves as Wyatt Earpp and the Lone Ranger while they brandished their firearms and discharged them wildly.

On the other side of the fence was David Souter, who, on announcement of the decision, reportedly shouted, “read the Constitution, dumbass!” to no one in particular. Much of his time during the trial was spent attending to 93-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens, who was admitted to the courtroom on a hospital bed as the nonagenarian is currently in a coma, diapers and constant state of near death.

Despite his extreme condition, the ancient man was still able to pen a dissenting opinion in which he condemned the use of “muskets [as] detrimental to the stability of the colonies, except in the case of extreme pressure from redcoats or roving Indian bands.”

Stephen Breyer wrote a second dissenting opinion, consisting of only two short sentences, which read, “No, I am not named after fucking ice cream! What the hell is the matter with you people?”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the fourth and final dissenting Justice, gnashed her teeth for some time in her seat at the bench, refusing to leave for more than two hours. Curious reporters were ushered away by security, who warned that she gets hungry this time of day. She is not expected to leave the building until tonight, because direct sunlight will turn her to stone.

Fans of the decision are pleased, although many expressed chagrin that the question had even been raised. One such citizen said, “It’s right fucking there in the Constitution: ‘A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.’ That’s as clear as Waterford if you ask me.”

Opponents feared that the decision might be the first step toward repealing some of the nation’s assault-weapon bans, and open the door for more and larger firearms to move freely through the hands of the people.

“Exactly right,” said Dick Cheney, who the press finally hunted down on the west lawn of the White House, where he was shooting at the ornamental birdbaths with a 12-guage pump action shotgun. “A year from now, I’ll be able to hunt quail with a bazooka.”

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Obama or McCain? Black or Old? The hippie candidate of Change? Or the candidate of Change My Diaper?

The upcoming presidential election is all over the news, and Barack Obama is still a douchebag. A stunning report revealed today that Barack Obama charges $115 for a turkey sandwich. What the hell is that about, huh?! I mean, turkey is pretty good, but at least throw on some roast beef if you’re breaking the century mark, am I right?

I really don’t know what the story is about because I didn’t have time to read the whole thing, but apparently in between campaign stops, Obama runs a deli or something. I’m surprised he’s got the time.

John McCain, meanwhile, is older than ever. Earth-shattering photographs splashed the front pages yesterday, revealing the Arizona senator wearing a band-aid on his wrinkly head. Can you believe it?! Fucking band-aids!

Despite his claims that he just hit his head on a car (what?), it’s pretty clear-cut evidence that his campaign is deceiving the public about the fact that he has head cancer. Some speculate that he’s already dying, and plans to croak after winning the November election but before taking office in January. His “expiration date,” if you will, is set for the week of Christmas.

Liberals fear that if this occurs, George Bush intends to declare martial law, suspend all elections and appoint himself dictator-for-life, shortly before expanding the war on terror to include massive attacks against Iran, India, Belgium and Ohio.

In both camps, rumors are circulating in “the great running-mate debate,” which is a pretty gay name for it (John Edwards loves it). The talk of a “dream ticket” featuring Obama and Hillary Clinton seems to have fallen by the wayside. Obama rejected the idea for a couple of reasons: first, he was afraid that Hillary would have him assassinated within the first year of his presidency; and second, he was afraid of having her manwhore of a husband Bill around, since the former president is liable to have sex with most of the White House staff during meetings. Obama of course wants his own fair crack at the “power” hungry insiders, but is also paranoid that his wife Michelle might either fall or leap into Wild Bill’s clutches.

McCain, of course, would not have such problems, since his wife is an android and he hasn’t been able to achieve an erection since 1931. Then again, he thinks Hillary is kind of scary, and wouldn’t pick her anyway.

Instead, according to the buzz, McCain might be leaning toward Charlie Crist, or former Secretary of Kickass Colin Powell. Powell is a favorable choice because of his ability to counteract Obama’s blackness – the dynamic of black factor, or “blacktor.” Except not “blacktor,” because that sounds like “black actor,” and God knows they’re all voting for Obama no matter what you do. McCain could run on a platform of Slavery Reparations, chicken and rap music and still have no chance.

My personal choice is to steer away from Powell, who is 70 years old (more like swollen Colon Powell), and pick up Charlie Crist, who can attract a variety of disillusioned Americans, especially, because of the similarity of his name, fans of the late Charles Shulz of Charlie Brown and fans of the late Jesus Christ.

For Obama, I would recommend anybody except that whore from Kansas whose name I can’t remember. But she’s a total bitch. I heard she was actually the mastermind behind Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring as well as the sinking of the Titanic. Oh yeah, Kathleen Sebelius is her name. Huge slut too, I think. She’s got that vibe – Bill Clinton would love her. Hell, he probably already has.

Then again, Obama’s choice doesn’t matter as much. He could probably choose Will.I.Am or Ronald McDonald or some other fake person and still ride his cultish support to the big win in November.

Remember then, remember that I warned you now: he’s a big tax candidate. You think $4 for a gallon of gas is bad? Try $115 for a turkey sandwich.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Weddings make me hurt so good

Before I even start, just know this: this weekend was crazier than I can possibly explain. Ok.

I was pretty much out of commission yesterday with a hangover that may well have been the worst I’ve ever had in my life. It was so bad I was dizzy, shaking and disoriented for a full twenty-four hours after my last sip of alcohol. My walking was unstable, my head pounded and my stomach churned non-stop, over and over and gurgle and bubble.

Needless to say, it was a hell of a weekend. My cousin Becca, who is super gorgeous and on whom I’ve had an inappropriate crush for about fifteen years, got married on Saturday in Wisconsin.

To make a real weekend of it, my two unmarried brothers and I left work a little early and headed up on Friday to the house of our other cousins who were waiting with a keg. That night, my brother Ed and my cousin Jake told me that my blog sucked. And I couldn’t have agreed more. Basically, they told me I write like a pansy, try to sound like “a blogger,” and generally act like a pussy bitch – when honestly, in real life, I’m more of a prick.

So right now, I’d like to say I hate that kind of writing: about half the blogs I read I find boring and self-centered and begging for compliments. And I’d like to say, to all those who write like that: shut up. Please, for God’s sake, your whining makes me want to kill myself. Turn it off. Shut your mouth. Get a pet goldfish and tell him about your body image issues, because no one else cares.

So we drank keg beer and played polish horseshoes (kickass game), where my cousins John and Broc ran the tables, because John was throwing the Frisbee overhand, and it came out upside-down and wobbly and fucking impossible to catch. After about ten games, I decided to try throwing that way too. I can throw pretty hard, so once I got the hang of it, it was pretty much unstoppable. Conveniently, just then it was “too dark,” and “we need to change the rules to maintain fairness,” and I was feeling a bit “you guys are such duplicitous pussies.” But then I drank some more and the people from the rehearsal dinner showed up (10, 11pm?), so I was distracted.

We finished the keg, told everyone we were going to go to a bar and then watched them pile into their cars. After about fifteen minutes, they got tired of waiting and took off, which was fine with us, because there was a liquor cabinet to empty before Aunt Jeannie moved to Texas. We broke out the scotch and sat around the fire until it was ready to be urinated and hosed into a pile of wet ash, and then headed to the basement, except for my brother Peter who decided to sleep in the car. The cement floor didn’t bother me much as I slept, but the bottle of vodka that Jake tipped over, soaking my sleeping bag and waking me up in a horror that I had pissed myself wasn’t exactly conducive to a good night’s rest.

Saturday dawned gorgeous. (yes, that is grammatically correct.) Small breakfast, off to Holy Hill for the 1:30 Mass. We stood outside the big church doors waiting for the parents to get there, looking out at the miles of countryside below us, smoking cigarettes in suits and sunglasses and talking about how waiting outside made us look like a receiving line, or maybe like ushers. And then we went in, sat down, prayed and waited.

I am a huge bitch at weddings. I well up usually four or five times and sometimes actually get tears running down my face. What a pussy. On Saturday, I think it was four times: once each during the first reading and the Gospel, once when the groom was saying his vows, and one time randomly later in the Mass, when I was either despairing of getting married myself or thinking about an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

And then it was on to the reception. Holy hell, what a party. I don’t even know where to start.

Put it this way: within one hour of the guests arriving, the bar had sent away for and were bringing in a case full of twelve new handles of gin. This family loves their G&Ts. The hors d’oeuvres, most of them having been created by my mom, were delicious.

The reception was at the home of the bride’s parents, a huge white tent filling up their back yard, which conveniently abuts a golf course. Earlier that day, we had stopped for posterboard, marker and a bottle of Jameson (party essentials), and then right around dinner, had a 32-man closest-to-the-pin tournament. I don’t even remember whether it was before or after dinner. I think it was after. Wow, it was a crazy party.

At dinner, Jake had saved me a seat with a bunch of young good-looking folks that he didn’t know, but I had met before – friends of the bride and of my sister. At that dinner, I remembered why Jake and I had been so popular in college – why our parties were always the ones that everyone talked about. When we’re hanging out together with other people at a party, it’s just a show. We straight-up dominated that meal: girls choking with laughter, guys either toasting and cheering or else looking uncomfortable because Jake was making fun of them. By the time we left the table, I think we’d been invited to three different homes around the country “whenever you feel like dropping in,” we'd appointed a “designated drunk driver,” and Jake had shouted with glee “he has a blog!” before I made fun of him for his inability to grow facial hair.

At each toast, Jake prided himself on bellowing “cheers!” before anyone else. I tried to sneak in a “hear hear!” by basically spending the entire toast muttering it over and over “hear hear hear hear hear hear hearhearhearhear,” at which one girl sprayed champagne between her fingers, which made me laugh. Of course, right then, the toast ended, and Jake sprang in with an enthusiastic “Cheers! Haha! In your face!” which I think confused some of the other tables.

When dusk started to fall (not until late, thank you June 21st), someone started handing out glow-in-the-dark bracelets for the kids, which some of them stuck together to make necklaces and a variety of other jewelry. I grabbed one, of course, filled up my pitcher of beer (yes, pitcher) and started heading out with everyone else to the golf course to see the fireworks. Yes, full-size fireworks, just for the party. Unbelievably gorgeous.

And then, right as the fireworks were finishing, Uncle Mike (the bride’s dad), who had apparently been organizing the whole while, screamed the charge and all the kids went sprinting off down the fairway. This was seriously one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen: seventy, eighty kids, all bedecked in glow-in-the-dark jewelry, screaming in a clustered line into the gloaming. And then when they came running back, it was actually a little bit frightening, like a horde of screeching alien attackers.

And then Uncle Mike yelled for “Everyone! Let’s go!” and we were off, sprinting over the even grass with beer sloshing around the edges of the pitcher in my right hand and the red glow of my bracelet on my left.

The party devolved from there. “The dance floor is now open!” was soon followed by “the dance floor is now open and I am making a fool of myself out there.” I danced feverishly. I danced well, poorly, I danced like Casanova and I danced like an asshole – like no one was watching and like everyone was watching. I grabbed girls from cousins to strangers, from young to old. Actually, not old – I don’t like dancing with old people. I think the oldest person I danced with was like 26.

I love weddings. Obvious, right? No, I fucking love weddings more than life.

They’re just the ideal party. The perfect balance of old friends and new, attractive ones. Family that you see every day with family you haven’t seen in forever. Families are joined! You have new relatives! Some of them are probably cute girls! I’m sorry, could it get any better? Oh yeah! It could – everyone’s drinking champagne!

The next day, Sunday, we made it out to the 12:30 Mass back at Holy Hill and then stopped at Asiankp’s house, where we met her lovely short parents and took advantage of their hospitality, drinking a beer or three and playing bags in the backyard. When the thunderstorms started up, we said goodbye and thank you to Wisconsin and Wisconsonians, and headed back toward Chicago. But not home. Not yet.

Instead, we went out to my sister and brother-in-law’s house in Lombard to have dinner with Grammy and another uncle and two aunts. That was a pretty uproarious dinner too. Everyone was still winding down from the weekend, and the wine was good and copious. Highlights included my mom calling my sister “you bitch!” to the horrified gasps of my aunt and I think my dad, and my overenthusiastic use of the phrase “elbow-deep in blood!” to describe my experience gutting a deer.

I got home Sunday night exhausted and dehydrated to the point of pissing caramel. My legs and ass were sore from dancing, my forearms were extremely sore from I don’t know what. My sunglasses are gone, as is one pair of my shoes. It was a hell of a Monday. But worth it, 100% worth it. Hoo-boy.

Not in this issue:
My cousin Jake plays wingman for me on a girl that is married.
The fucking Cubbies
I don't wash my hands in the port-a-potty, then handle hors d'oeuvres.
My mom is called out to the dance as "my favorite aunt" to dance to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Malfunction. Except with no lion or witch.

Margarita once asked me what kind of underpants I was wearing – or something like that – and I said boxer-briefs. As a matter of fact, I generally wear boxer-briefs. I’m wearing boxer-briefs right now.

But this past weekend, I had an experience that brought home a glaring and heinous flaw in the design of men’s underwear with staggering force. That flaw? The inexplicable open fly. Why? Why does every pair of underpants, from tighty-whities to silk boxers to my favorite boxer-briefs, have the expandable hole directly in the crotch?

Don’t tell me for a minute that it’s to make bathroom functions a step easier; that’s crap. That’s like saying you never unbutton your pants, just crank down the fly. Maybe at a picnic when you only have one free hand because you’re holding a beer, but that’s about it. Every man knows in 95 cases out of a hundred, you just pull the whole kit and caboodle down and out of the way.

Yet the hole remains.

On a well-worn pair of undies, the seams can stretch a little bit. There might be a little flap in the ass-fabric, the waistband might have lost some elasticity. When the crotch-portal starts flapping open uncontrollably, then you have a problem.

I pitched the second game of a double-header on Saturday, and after the a shitty game, I was getting into some shorts because I was sweating like Michael Jackson at a boy scout Jamboree. I don’t know if it was the friction of the snug-fitting baseball pants, or the one-footed, spread-eagle jouncing as I peeled the high socks down that did it, but suffice it to say that one moment I was looking up to hear the coach remind us to clear the dugout and the next I was staring down at my own crotch with dismay, surprised to see that a new teammate had joined the post-game meeting.

You know how embarrassing it is when you find your fly open – with underwear on underneath. Imagine how you’d feel with your genitals on full display in front of sixteen disgruntled teammates and six hundred-some fans in the stands.

I had two options: go the baseball-jokey-jokemaker route and start dancing and describing eerie pelvic figure eights; or tuck the offending party out of sight and pretend nothing had happened.

I tucked, pulled my shorts on, and tried to act casual (should I whistle? Shit, these shorts don’t have pockets!), but the looks I got from a few unfortunate teammates assured me that no matter what I pretended, like the fox and his sour grapes, like a rape victim who suppresses her memories until they eat away at her very soul, I couldn’t change the truth.

And the truth is that I think I’m going to start wearing speedos instead of underwear. Because even a bright lime-green banana-hammock could not have been more inappropriate than that.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Part Five: A Tale of Too Shitty

My Uncle Joe and Aunt Sue (the parents of Rory, in case you were wondering) hosted their share of family parties when I was a kid – heck, even now: two years ago they had the reception for their daughter’s wedding right in the back yard… just like old times.

Uncle Joe and Aunt Sue are the oldest couple of their generation (at least on my dad’s side of the family) and also have the distinction of being double-cousins with my family. Uncle Joe is my dad’s brother and Aunt Sue is my mom’s sister. No, look it up, it’s not illegal.

In addition to being the oldest, or maybe on account of being the oldest, Uncle Joe and Aunt Sue are the most serious of all my aunts and uncles. Their house is usually dark, and always quiet except for the squeak of the old wood floorboards and sometimes Irish music. You walk carefully in their house, afraid of breaking something, like ancient dusty vases that always seem to sit too close to the edge of the piano.

When there were parties at this house, the kids were gently encouraged to get [and stay] the hell out of the house. Weather didn’t matter – that’s why you have snowpants.

But writing your name in the snow doesn’t fly in mixed company, and when nature calls, even at Uncle Joe and Aunt Sue’s house, you had to go inside. The bathroom was located on the north side of the house, through the library (yeah, exactly – it’s the kind of house that has a library). This room was usually occupied by older teenage cousins, who are basically the most frightening people in the world when you’re six years old.

The worst part about a trip to the bathroom, though, was the doorknob on the inside of the bathroom door. It was a miniature knob, which was unfortunately missing some crucial screws. Opening the door required a jiggle left, pushing in while twisting, and then pulling out sharply while applying strong pressure upwards. Or something. No one knew, really. You just jiggled and jerked and twisted and sometimes it would open.

Fortunately, the door also had a lock, a simple deadbolt, and what you could do, if you were really careful, is just barely close the door so that the knob didn’t engage, and secure it using only the deadbolt. Then, when you were ready to go, you just unlock the door and push it open – no knob-fiddling necessary.

I had set it up just so one night, had finished at the toilet, and was washing my hands, lathering up with white foam, when someone knocked on the door. I was already nervous enough, and my gurgled response died in my throat.

So whoever it was tried to open the door, shook it twice, and horror! The hasp clicked into place. Immediately, without thinking, I sprang to the door and grabbed the knob with soap-covered hands, crying “wait, wait wait!” and twisting furiously in vain.

And there I was, scrabbling with a slick knob, scared and alone and trapped. I unlocked the door, and tried every combination I could think of. I rinsed the knob, dried it, tried the knob, cursed it. I considered using the shower-curtain rod to pole-vault out the window, but it wasn’t flexible enough.

Eventually, I just started beating on the door and, I think, crying. I’ve blotted out most of the memory successfully, thank God, but I think they had to take the hinges off the door, and for about twenty minutes, everyone thought I was too stupid to unlock the door and kept yelling at me through the inch of wood to “unlock it! UNLOCK IT!”

“Fuck you!” I should have yelled, but I didn’t know that word. I think instead I went with “Mommm!” And that damn bathroom still makes me nervous.

And just to let you know, right when I thought going over all these bathroom adventures would get it out of my system (ha!), this past weekend, I did the following, in this order:

Exposed myself to strangers while intoxicated
Shit my pants while napping
Exposed myself to strangers while sober
Ate a snack
Got drunk of high-end liquor at the downtown Hilton
Nearly had a coronary watching the US Open
Found more shit in the work garbage cans first thing Monday morning

Aahh. Bet you can't wait to hear about it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Part Four: Actually this is more about Dean Koontz

I meant to write yesterday, but I was pretty hungover. This whole week, I’ve been working in a backed-up licensing department trying to help them “get back up to speed.” This consists of filing and… and that’s all.

Fortunately, the woman who was describing the filing tasks to me was not what you’d call an A-Plus Explainer. After asking her to repeat herself three or four times, I just pretended like I understood and then sat there at the desk doing nothing, poking every once in a while at the stack of papers like an animal that you’re not sure is dead.

Speaking of which, have you ever done that? It’s actually really fucking intense, especially with a big animal like a deer…. You creep up to it slowly… make some noise at it… poke it in the but with a stick… and then finally, your last step to make sure it’s dead is to whap it in the eyeball. Then you slice it open to remove the intestines. Eviscerating Bambi sound gross? Whatever, don’t kill the messenger.

Ok, before I forget, the bathroom story. Disclaimer: the story is not funny or interesting, and this post is going to be super disjointed, so keep that in mind.

When my cousin Jake used to come over almost every day in the summer, we’d play all day outside. Sunup to sundown. When we had to go to the bathroom, going all the way inside seemed like such a bother, so we used to just jump into the garage, which was unfinished and full of lumber, and save ourselves some time.

One day, it was time for Jake to leave, and my mom was coming out the back door with her purse and keys to drive him home. “Jake, if you have to go to the bathroom, do it now!” she called. So Jake turned, ran into the garage and unloaded. Right in front of my mom. I don’t know, he’s a dumbass.

For some reason, my mom still loves me, a fact which I rediscovered last night, when she left a new hardcover copy of Odd Hours standing on the stairs where she knew I would find it on my way to bed. Any of you read Dean Koontz at all? Because Odd Thomas is one of the greatest characters ever created, and the books are a total joy to read. Plus, they make me want to write stuff like this:

‘Walking down the road, I lost track of time. It took deliberate effort to put one foot in front of the other, and then the other, and the other. The muted squeaks of my sneakers on the cobblestone street were washed away and lost in the groan of the wind – only in the late over-ripeness of August can the wind groan like that, not a howl, not a whisper, but a throaty, painful creaking like the ragged breath of a long-dead lover, returned, wasted by the grave, to lament his lost sweetheart.

The hair on the back of my neck, no – on my whole body, stood straight. I was awash in a fervor, fever of terror. I’ve seen dead men before, but never like this. The scene was a gruesome work of art, the masterpiece of a demented mind. Around the body bluebells were scattered, drizzled with blood. A stake stood in the center, rising straight from the victim’s sternum, the blood-caramel-brown rays stretching across his chest in sharp contrast to the white of his naked body. His arms were splayed neatly, evenly, shining clean in the moonlight, but his excised eyelids left him staring blindly skyward, a mutilation to voice the killer’s silent cry, “notice me!”

We noticed the crime, but God help us, we were ignorant that the murderer was one of us.’

Ok, except that started sort of sounding like a detective novel or something, plus I didn’t use the word “susurration,” which Dean always does. Anyway, read Odd Thomas, it’s a really kickass book.

To wrap things up, I would like to make note of the following: someone in my office shit in the garbage can again. Is this a fetish, a practical joke, a cry for attention? I don’t know. Is it fucking disgusting? Yes.

The End

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Part Three, I guess: Is runny-dump-pass a football term?

Holy crap, oh my goodness. I was a little tired/hungover coming into work today, so I ran out to the gas station to grab a little pick me up. Then I couldn’t decide whether I wanted the blue or green jumbo Monster, so I got them both. Then I drank them.

That’s 3000 mg of caffeine. The average cup of coffee has 100 mg. For those of you who aren’t good at mathing, that’s the equivalent of 30 cups of coffee. Now my hands are shaking like the dickens (what are the dickens?), and I feel like I’m going to throw up. No, seriously, I’m getting very nauseous. Also, I’ve smoke four cigarettes this morning.

Guess where my brother was on Thursday. At the R. Kelly trial. That’s right. For any of you who might have been there, he was the one who came out with the judge, sat in the second row, and was called up during the recess before the defense was even dismissed. That means R. Kelly sat in his place while my brother clicked across the floor to chat with the jumbo-judge. Man, being a downtown lawyer has its perks, even if you’re only a clerk.

I guess I should tell you the Octoberfest story now, even though I’m kind of tired of the Tales of the Fewmets.

Every year we have a family party (this stories all start that way, don’t they?) in October, titled, ingeniously, Octoberfest. The whole family gets together for – wait for it… drinking and hanging out outside. We always play football or soccer. Little kids get run over, cry. Old people get cramps, moan. I score touchdowns, rejoice.

Except the year when I was a freshman in high school and had a little bit of a stomach flu. We played soccer that year, and I was just getting old enough that I thought I could play with the big guys – namely, my six-four cousin Matt. I was battling for the loose balls, spreading the field and holding my own… until.

I was running for a ball that had squirted out of a scrum near midfield, and Matt had a full head of steam toward it from the other direction. He got there first, squared it, and stopped short. I tried to pull up, jumped to avoid him, and got his hip square into my stomach.

It was a full-on knock-the-wind-out-of-you shot, and I went down, gasping for breath. People gathered round while I squirmed on the ground with my mouth open, struggling for that first breath. And then, after I made it to the sideline for a break, I felt a warm sensation between my buttcheeks.

Head to the outhouse, and wouldn’t you know it, I’ve got a full diaper – a nice runny little squirt, straight into the soccer shorts. So I stripped off my undies and chunked them into the blue port-a-potty water and went to get sweatpants from my mom.

And that, I’m fairly certain, is an original experience. Has anyone else ever had poop squeezed out of them by someone’s hip? During a soccer game? Yeah, didn’t think so. Go me.

Ok, this caffeine buzz is getting to be more than I can handle. I’m starting to hum now and jouncing my legs viciously under my desk. What is this song I’m humming, even? Is this the Russian national anthem? You know the one… it goes hmmm-hmm-hmmmmmm, budummm…. Hmm hmm hmmmmm-hm-hmmmmmmm, bummm hmmmm, dnt dnt dnnnnnnnnnn!

No? Okay. I’ll ask someone smarter.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Funny shit. This post has nothing to do with shit (foreshadowing!)

Okay, we’ve got to take a quick break from the Chronicles of Bathroomia. If I ever even get back to that… the next three episodes tell the story of how 1. I got body-slammed and shit my pants 2. my friend pissed in my garage right in front of my mom and 3. I got trapped in my aunt’s bathroom.

See that? That’s called foreshadowing.

I am leaving work in half an hour to go to Michigan, for which I am excited. (More foreshadowing, you dig?)

Did I tell you I bought a car? No? I did. Black Chevy Impala LTZ – leather, sunroof, Bose stereo, the whole deal. I am even more fly than before, if that’s possible.

But the most important reason I needed to take this little break was to refer you to a post that I found on a fucking hilarious blog. Foreshadowing: it’s this blog.

The post: For real, like, for real. It’s funny. If you don’t like it, no offense, but you’re a retard. Have a good weekend, dudes.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Part Two: This is why bathroom doors should have locks

In a conservative family with lots of kids, there are more than the usual “where do babies come from?” questions to make parents and other bigger people feel awkward. There are questions of “do I need to have a groom at my wedding?” (answer: “In this day and age… I mean, yes, you do.”) There’s “what’s divorce?” (answer: “we don’t talk about that in this house.”) And there’s “why don’t Uncle Bob and Aunt Carol have any kids?” I actually still don’t know the answer to this one. Impotence? Their kids are all off at boarding school? Unfortunate cheese-grating accident?

But whatever the reason was, I had an aunt and uncle who were childless – an aberration in my family. And of course, that aunt and uncle were the coolest ones. First of all, the relentless grind of parenthood hadn’t driven them to the appropriate bitterness toward children, and secondably, they wanted kids to like them – they bribed kids with cookies and cigarettes, just like grandparents, only they didn’t pinch your cheeks or smell funny.

This cool couple, the only members of the upper generation that you really felt like you could “hang out with” as a ten-year-old, had a party for Memorial Day every year. That was their thing. They’d bring out the flag and the Frisbee, the cooler and grill and let the kids play bocce in the big back yard until one of the cousins got the inevitable ball to the head and the blood-soaked field was declared unplayable.

When I was seven years old, I made a fatal mistake at this party and overindulged in that special barbecue party ingredient. No, not Corona… baked beans. For an hour I was as happy as a pig in shit, dunking hot dogs in the beans, topping my burger with beans, mixing beans with cole slaw, and spooning them down straight.

But those beans mixed with the five Pepsis, and an unfortunate chemical reaction began bubbling inside me. At first I tried to sweat it out, running extra hard for freeze tag. I went to the bathroom to pee and wash my hands, trying to psyche myself that if I drained the bladder, there’d be enough room for my other insides to relax. But when I got back outside, I couldn’t even run; the best I could muster was an awkward canter.

I knew I had to do it. So I waited for something exciting to happen outside that would keep everyone distracted. I prayed for a plane crash, I considered swatting little Jack in the face with a badminton racquet. I was ready to burst when Aunt Mary finally chimed “has anyone seen Annie’s shoes?”

That was good enough for me. I was up the stairs and through the kitchen in a flash, down the hallway and into the bathroom, where I slammed the door behind me and reached for the lock.

There was no lock.

Of course it made sense – with no kids in the house, only adults who come factory-installed with common sense, they didn’t need a lock.

I bit my lip. I needed this door to have a lock. I scooched the stool under the sink over in front of the door and even put the soap dispenser on top for extra weight, but I knew it was an insufficient barricade.

Now I was frantic. I had the choice to either shit in my pants or poop in the toilet with the door unlocked, vulnerable. Both seemed equally horrible. I danced at the door, doing that hop-hop-rub-the-crotch-furiously that little kids do when they really have to go.

And finally, out of options, I ran the ten feet to the toilet, sprang aboard like the Lone Ranger onto Silver and tried to speed through the task at hand. All was well for a minute. That minute stretched into two, and I was almost clear, almost free. I was getting excited. I had pulled it off! Within two minutes I would be back outside, blending in with the rest of the kids looking for Annie’s shoes.

And then I heard the worst sound in the world. The knob turned with a tiny squeak. I was frozen, horrified, my heart in my mouth.

The door swung open, pushing the footstool with a grating whine across the tile floor. I looked over, peeking around the sink as I leaned forward, a wad of toilet paper in my hand, halfway to the wiping zone. My bigger, older, scary cousin Rory looked at me. Square in the eyes.

“Hhhaagghhaaa…” I said, desperately.

He closed the door. I closed my eyes and wished God would just let me die.

I made it back outside in two more minutes, and was called over by my cousins, my friends – the people who thought they knew me. “Come on,” they said, “we’re playing whiffle ball! Paul and Rory are picking teams!”

I said “I don’t feel like playing whiffle ball right now.” And I didn’t.

Next up: I get more than the wind knocked out of me

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Part One: In introduction - I am different

I come from a big family – big immediate family, big extended family, overall large-ass family (yes, large-ass). I’m one of seven siblings, with about forty cousins on my mom’s side and sixty-and-counting on my dad’s. Also have a brother-in-law, two sisters-in-law, three nephews and six nieces (with another bambino on the way).

We’re also really close, the whole family, which means that on multiple occasions throughout the year, we all get together for big family parties: Christmas parties, New Year’s Eve parties, big barbecues for Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor day, etc, etc ad infinitum.

Quick note to anyone out there who thinks this post is not about the bathroom: hold your horses, of course it’s about the bathroom. That’s what I do.

The parties are a blast. Rain or shine, hell or high water, the family gets together and has a good time. Drinks are drunk. Drunks are drunk. Drunkards are drunker. And with all the good-hearted socialization and all the liquid being ingested, the bathroom is a popular destination.

Thinking about it now, I’m realizing I won’t be able to fit all this into one post. So consider it my introduction, the first of the five-part series: the bathrooms at family parties.

As a method of introduction, let me describe to you now what a trip to the bathroom at a party is like for me. Perhaps then you can begin to understand the real power of my childhood experiences in this department.

You know what it’s like when you go to the bathroom at a party: your laugh and smile stay glued to your face for the first few seconds, inexplicably, while you close the door behind you and muffle the sounds of conversation and music to a hum. Then, right about midstream, you sigh, shake your head and feel how buzzed you are and then maybe you giggle. Anyway, I do. “Ahh, I love parties,” you think, and then you try to hurry up so you can get back out there sooner and probably jet blast a little too hard and splatter a couple tiny droplets out of the toilet bowl.

And you go to the sink, look in the mirror, suck in your cheeks like a fish and say “ahkkowakkha!” in a fishy voice and then giggle again.

But here’s where I’m a little different (you were with me up until then, right?). Here’s where I’m unique. Here’s where my usual self-assuredness goes right out the window, and my calmness under pressure is forgotten.

I have a paralyzing fear that when I come out of the bathroom, someone (probably one of my aunts) is going to ask me skeptically, “did you wash your hands?”

And worse, I’m afraid that when I respond “of course I did,” NO ONE WILL BELIEVE ME. They’ll all start gathering around me, moving slowly like hygiene-obsessed zombies, and asking “Really? You did? Really? Prove it. Uhh, what color is the soap? What color is the towel? Did you dry your hands? Let me smell them.”

Has this ever happened to me? No. In all the years at all the parties, I’ve never experienced that particular adventure. Is there a Freudian explanation? I don’t know.

All I know is that I can’t get rid of this phobia. All I know is that every time I’m in the bathroom, I obsessively check the brand of the soap, I smell the scent, I check for monograms on the towels, I crack the medicine cabinet to see if they use Listerine or Scope. I’m frantic, trying to memorize every detail, leaving the sink run so it sounds like I’m still washing my hands, and hoping to God that Aunt Alice isn’t waiting outside to ask me, staring into my soul with a sideways tilt of her head, “which direction do the stripes on the wallpaper run?”

“Damn it! Shit! I didn’t check, Aunt Alice! You got me! Balls noooooo!” and everyone will laugh and laugh, and send me out to the back yard to play with the dog.

Never mind that this has never happened. Never mind that I don’t have an Aunt Alice. Never mind that remembering the stripes on the wallpaper has nothing to do with washing your hands. Rationality has no place in the desperate compulsive’s mind.

I’m not like the rest of you.

Coming next: This is why bathroom doors should have locks.