Thursday, February 02, 2006

A WASHINGTON CHRONICLES SHORT STORY: Lose a job now? Ask me how...

I know some of you have been waiting to read all about my adventures coming out to Washington and what horrid tales I have about the first couple of months out here, but I've been busy. I can't spoil it for you and tell you why I just barely got around to looking for a job, but this is a story to wet your beaks on. This is a story about my fist job in Washington since I moved here. Consider it a side note to the upcoming chapters in the WASHINGTON CHRONICLES.

A few people I know have been asking me lately, "Do you have a job yet?" "Where are you working?" "Do you like it?" and instead of answering all of the interested parties individually, I figured writing my little tale would be better. Here you go boys and girls, enjoy!

The Dark Tower

SO, I get this interview with this really swank company called Symetra ( through this temp agency who had seen my resume online. I had never gone trough a temp agency before, so this was a bit new/odd for me. They seem really excited to work with me and set this interview up for me immediately. They send me an e-mail telling me all the details about the position and the company, all which I print up. I had been in a Mr. Mom mode for the last couple of months and let my hair and beard grow in that time. Knowing this isn't the appearance that is shined upon at interviews, I get a haircut the evening before the interview and wake up extra early to shave that morning. I iron out my "Business" clothes, get dressed, grab my e-mail print out and fly out the door. I follow the directions to the building where I have the interview and they are fairly easy, the only thing was it just didn't seem right once I got there. The only reason I say this is because the building is this really huge glass building, and it is NICE! I'm talking Crystal Cathedral nice. As I mentioned earlier my hair is a little longer since the last time you laid your peepers on me and luckily I combed it real nice (like Clooney in "O Brother, where art thou...) plus I shaved off a beard I had grown for 2 months and looked fresh faced. I was dressed to the nines, even making it a point to put a couple of bandages over my Green Lantern ring tattoo, but still felt intimidated because, although I've worked for some nice companies in my time, this was the nicest building I'd ever been in. The address was a match though, so I pull into the garage.

Only my hair resembled anything in this pic

I start driving around the parking structure looking for a spot and notice they have free valet parking on the 8th floor! WTF?! I park my little rice burner and quickly shuffle off towards a nicer car in case someone I was meeting with might be arriving when I did. Not that I'm ashamed of my little car, but I am ashamed of the 30 days + of rain and dirt splatter on it. As I find my way to the elevators to the lobby I pass by the YMCA gym they have in the building!? This place had EVERYTHING! I swear to god if I walked around a bit more I would have stumbled into munchkin land! Again, I'm glad I shined myself up. When I get to the lobby that leads to another set of elevators they have these huge plasma screened t.v.'s that play weird psychedelic pictures instead of normal pictures of art. Amazing. I take the elevator to the 12th floor and when I get to the receptionist area I am blown away again. This area was HUGE! The decor was art deco with bleached wood, metal and glass structures everywhere. Aside from that the view looked out onto the city and you could see for miles! I seriously could have lived in that reception area and had plenty of room for all my furniture AND my dogs to run around.

They buzz the HR ladies for my interview and I'm a bit bummed because it turns out I have to do a interview with two ladies at the same time. I hate that shit because you have to talk to both of them and it makes you feel like you are watching a tennis math. I pretty much hate interviews anyway, 1) because I'm a t-shirt, shorts and sneakers guy ALWAYS, even in cold weather and when I have to dress up for work I feel like I'm in a costume I can't wait to get out of. No jive, most times after work I run to my car like Clark Kent, ripping off my shirt and tie so I can turn into Slackerman! I hate it. 2) I know I'm a charmer, but when it comes to interviews you have to asses the situation and be as full of shit as you possibly can. I like to consider myself a very "real" and honest person, but I know if I want to get the gig I have to play the part, and it sickens me. It makes me feel like the biggest sell out there is, but you'd never know because I'm just really good at it.

The ladies interviewing me are these two older ladies. One is in her 50's, and the other is in her mid 40's. They start off kind of low key and boring, but since I was in dynamic interview mode, they were chipper by the end of it and giggling up a storm. It was sickening the way these ladies were lapping up my bullshit. Sure, I'm a good worker and all, but I was laying it on pretty thick. I could have told them "Well ladies, The reason I left the last company I worked for was because they were all Werewolves and the night shift was a real drag! No really, Werewolves! You know, fangs, claws, the works! It got to be a pretty hostile environment becuase I wasn't even getting paid see. No, they would make me work these long hours and if I made a mistake or took too long on a project they would threaten to scratch or bite me, thus infecting me with their curse of the damned! What was I to do? I didn't want to become a Werewolf!? I did as they told me! It wasn't until some snot nosed mail clerk they had recently hired straight out of high school got pissed one day for getting written up, not to mention he didn't take kindly to the threat of being turned into a Werewolf, that he came back with a few guns loaded with silver bullets and began shooting up the joint! Luckily for me I was at Kinko's and when I got back the place was in shambles and the kid was peeling out of the parking structure. I ended up losing a weeks pay, considering HR was compiled of Werewolves and pretty much killed in the shoot up, but I'm a worker and I had to get back out there and find a job where I fit in better. Luckily for me I got this interview and here I am!"
"That is too bad mr. Barron! I can guarantee you that is NOT the kind of company we run here!"
"Very good, then this is where I want to be"
Back to reality - When they were done with my interview they told me they would let me know the following week what they decided, for they had other interviews to conduct, and walked me to the elevator to say goodbye.

When I got home my phone rings and it was the agency.
"Hello, is this Damon"
"yes it is?"
"Hi! This is Laura and I was calling to ask you if you would be interested in starting at Symetra next week?"
"Really? They said they had other interviews and they would let me know what they decided next week?"
"Yeah, well they LOVED you! I don't know what you told them, but they really really liked you?!"
"...oh, really. Uh, yeah, next week is great. Thanks!" (insert gagging shudder from guilt of being phoney here) I should have tried the Werewolves story...

So I show up for work on Wednesday of last week and again, I'm dressed for success and ready to meet my co-workers. Not forgetting that it is a new office job, I place a bandage around the tattoo on my finger and walk out of the elevator. I show up to the receptionist and let her know I am there for my first day with the company. She calls the oldest lady I had interviewed with and they walk me to my area. The office is so pristine and quite I felt like I was at some cult? I finally get to my cubicle and it is a very nice sized area. Enough for two people to hang out in comfortably. My new boss then walks me around to meet my department...and my heart sinks. I forget their names, but there were about 6 of them, and all OLD LADIES! Except for one broad who was about my age but looked like Laura Ingalls Wilder if she just got out of a methadone clinic. She even had the pig tails. What a real dove she was too, I felt so lucky that she was able to groan out a meager "hi" to me when I shook her hand. Although I think she only made that noise because she had to shift butt cheeks in her chair to reach my hand and probably shifted her hemmeroids around. I'd say the average age of the other ladies in that dept. was early 50's? Immediatly I thought to myself "oh no...what have I done! This is bad, this is going to be really really bad."

I smile and shake hands as I meet the new crew, but the odd part was, this was just a single department on one floor? There were other departments on the floor with us, but I only met the people in my dept (aside from the mail clerk and one IT guy) so where was everyone? AH! The IT guy! This guy was a gem. This was your stereo typical IT guy. He looked like Chris Katan (of Corky Romano and Mango fame) but only taller and skinnier, yet he was the koo koo crazy, funny IT guy! He was all about lame jokes with the old broads in my department. When it turned out someone had jacked the roller mouse from my area her asked if I used one of them before.
"I'm sorry? Used what?"
"A roller mouse"
"Oh. Yeah, I have one at home. They're pretty nice"
"So you like it?"
"uh...yeah, it's cool"
"hmm...lemme see what I can do about getting you a new one then" (insert cocky head nod here)
"uh...mmm, ok! Thanks"
(insert my uncomfortable eye contact with IT guy and quick gaze to the ceiling tiles here)
Turn and walk away Damon, it's just that easy, turn and walk away...
" know what? I have to get some pens and stuff for my desk in the supply room. Thanks for setting up my system!"
"No problem, my names Steve. Just let me know if you need anything else, I'll hook ya up"
"Yeah, uh, thanks! Will do!"

I start my training after the big walk through and it is BORING! I seriously at one point was doing head dives at my desk. Some of the material I was dealing with was a bit outdated on their systems and i was already familiar with easier ways to do them. I didn't say anything about it though because I didn't want to come off as a know it all. I just acted like it was amazing info. It's near lunch time and my boss comes over and tells me, "Well how are you doing so far? Hope we aren't boring you! hahaha!"
"Um, no. No, I'm doing ok"
"Great. Well Damon, we are a very tight nit department here. About once a month or more we have a pot luck or go out to a nice restaurant and just hang out with each other. At lunch time a few of us eat in the break room or walk around the building for exercise. Your welcome to join us today if you'd like!"
"Oh, really. Well, I appreciate the offer. Thank you!"

Now the break room was awesome! It not only was the biggest break room I'd ever seen, but it had an ice cream machine and the coolest coffee machine ever! The machine had three sections full of diffent flavored beans on the top and once you picked the one you wanted it would grind up enough beans for your cup of coffee and make it fresh! This was all fine and dandy, but it wasn't enough to make me want to sit with people I barely met and have the most uncomfortable lunch ever! I'm also a big fan of eating at my desk and reading a book or some random website. This is what I ended up doing that day. I mean seriously, I don't know these people?! It was bad enough I kept having the lame conversation of "So where in California are you from?"
"Really? I have a niece in Whittier! Do you know where that is?"
"Um...yeah. It's a little bit outside of Orange"
"Do you know where Loma Linda is? She used to live out there"
"Yeah, that's not too close to Orange either..."
This went on for at least a half hour, with almost every lady there. It was similar to when people say stupid shit to Colored folk like, "I had a black neighbor when I was a kid! Her name was Jameeka Johnson! Know her?"
There was no way I could sit through that kind of agony on my first day. I was already feeling drained from hiding all the real torment I was feeling inside by laughing and engaging in horrible conversations with excitement and interest. I just wanted to eat my lunch. Alone. There would be plenty of time to hear about how CiCi and Benny Jr. were making sketti in the kitchen and wouldn't you know it! Those little rascals decided to make their own sketti sauce out of playdough, puppy kibbel and kool aid! Goodtimes to be had on another day indeed.

After lunch my boss comes over and tells me RH is going to help me set up my phones and show me a little about calls that come in. Her name wasn't really RH, it was Marcia, but I called her RH (not to her face, just in my head) because she was old and smelled like a RETIREMENT HOME! I've worked in a corporate office for over 10 years, and I pretty much know how voice-mail works, but they gave me a print out sheet to study regardless. Now RH was there to walk me through the steps. She waddles over and pulls up a chair.
"Hello, I guess I'm gonna show you how to set up your phone?"
"Ok...but I read the sheet and it seems like it's pretty self explanitory?"
"Well, would you like to try it by yourself then?"
Beep, bop, boop, bleep, boop, beep, bleep. DONE!
"There, it's all set up"
"Oh...well...uh...I don't know what we going to do now? Hmm, I guess you can sit with me and watch me filter calls?"

3 calls. 3 motherfucking calls! I sat with her for about a half an hour and she only had 3 calls come in. One was a hang up. Who the fuck are these people? I tried to envision myself years from that moment, reflecting on this very day. Would I chuckle to myself thinking about how I was WAAY off the mark in my judgement? No, no I don't think I would. What I can tell you for sure is, if I think real hard I can drum up her phantom aroma and I start to miss my grandma.

Finally 4pm comes around and I say goodbye to everyone and make my way to my car. Once I get in my car I just shudder and drive home.

The next day I take the park and ride. Park and ride is like a shuttle that took me across the street from my office and only cost 75 cents to ride. I took this becasue Washington makes a mighty coin off parking garage rates. To park in the garage would cost me up to 70 dollars a month, even if I'm an employee. Park and ride is a better deal. Turns out it's also a pleasant ride and not filled with hooligans and hobo's, but instead, other corporate folks. On the way to the office I look at the tattoo on my finger and tell myself "fuck it! I'm not going to wear that damn bandage anymore" and put the cover up bandage back into my bag. Of all the carnies I work with, I doubt I would be the odd bird of the bunch because I had a fucking Green Lantern ring tattoo'd on my middle finger! They would never know about the other tattoo's covering my arms because I was dressed like a fucking ivy league student in court standing trial for that little mishap where he accidentally drugged that freshman girl and touched pee pee's with her! Silly college girls and their "no means no" banter!

It's a pleasant trip on the transit and I mozy into the office spreading "good mornings" around to my co-workers. The day is filled with more training and I get clearance to gain access to all the computer programs in the company. I start to train with another older lady in the department and she is also one of the lunch crew that eats in the break room. We train for a while and out of the blue as I was typing She asks, "So, what did you end up doing for lunch yesterday?"
"Wha? Oh, uh, I ate at my desk and looked up the park and ride schedule?"
"Hmm. Ok"
What the hell was that all about? I shrug it off and go back to the computer training I was doing. I notice out of the corner of my eye that she is staring at my finger. I expect her to comment on the tattoo, but she never says a word. She does make some minor small talk, but that's about it. Again, I let it go and proceed to work. When I'm finished I'm given a test on the policies I just learned about and ace it! Feeling pretty proud of myself I go back to my desk. My boss comes by my cube and tells me it's lunch time. Then it hits me? What the hell should I do?! Do I go into the lunch room today? One of the ladies already brought it up in an odd fashion today, so maybe I should just go eat with them?! It won't be so bad right? But didn't I see RH walk with them towards the break room? Who cares...I should just go eat with them. Like my good friend Wilford Brimley says, "it's the right thing to do." He also says, "I got the diabetes," but that doesn't apply to my dilemma.

So I'm eating my sandwich by myself at my desk and taking a drink of my juice (fuckit, I don't really know Wilford Brimley anyhow!) when I get an e-mail telling me I have to go have my picture taken for my security badge. I finish up my chips and when all the ladies get back from their little suare in the break room I tell them I have to get to the receptionist at some point in the day to get my badge made. They tell me ok, but I just had some minor filing I needed to help them with first. I'm directed to Crackhead Ingalls Wilders desk to retrieve some files and she barely acknowledges my presence. Great, ugly and rude, we'll get along just splendidly! Once I have the files I am given training on reading the policy forms and getting info in the system before they are set to be filed. Again, I had done most of this stuff before and making it act like I was just learning it was more work than it actually took to do it. This lasted till about 3pm, and then I went to have my badge photo taken.

I hate having my picture taken. I'm about as photogenic as a Poltergeist! Really, if a good picture is taken of me it's usually a rare occasion and most of the times it's from across the street. I wasn't very keen on having my mexican pie face on a badge I would have to wear around everyday either! The receptionist is in charge of all pictures and when I get there she grabs this digiatal camera and leads me to this empty cubicle with a blue backdrop in it. She sits me in front of the back drop and looks through the camera at me.
"Hmm...your glasses are giving off a glare? Could you tilt your head down a bit?"
"Uh...that's good enough" CLICK!
She then walks me back to her area and tells me to wait a few mins. After about 15 minutes she is all chipper and hands me my badge. SONOFABITCH! The only thing good about the picture was that my hair looked fucking awesome in it! It was Dapper Dan-esque! Other than that I looked like I had old man jowls from moving my head down and then looking up due to the receptionist instruction, and it also appeared I had a lazy fucking eye becasue the glare from my glasses made it look weird! The only thing missing was a banner behind me saying "JERRY'S KIDS SAY 'THANKS A MILLION' TO IT'S SPONSORS" while I waved to the camera! I was pretty pissed.

I walk back to my desk and after searching on the intranet find out I can replace the badge if lost or stolen, but at a charge of $10. I was ready to blow hundreds of dollars for one decent bagde, trust me. For the rest of the hour I do a bit more computer work and filing before I call it another day. I say goodbye to the Golden Girls and make tracks for the transit center.

I'm almost home when I get a call on my cell phone.
"Hello, Damon?"
"Yes, this is him?"
"Hi. This is Laura"
"Oh, HI!"
"uh...Hello. Uh, I got a call from Symetra and they said they want to cancel your assignment?" "WHAT?! Are you kidding me?"
"No. They said it wasn't a good fit after all?"
"What are they talking about?! I passed all the tests and just got clearance for all the systems today? I even got my security badge with a crappy picture on it? And that was about an hour before the end of the day?!"
"I don't know, it's weird? That's just what they told us the reason was when they called? I'm really sorry?"
"I don't get it? Why did they make me a badge then? Why didn't they just say I could get it tomorrow and then let me go?"
"I don't know, but we are going to find something else for you Damon. I'm really sorry..."
"Well, ok. Thanks..." CLICK!

What a fucking kick to the chiclets! I was baffled and didn't know what to make of it? I didn't do anyting different than the day before...EXCEPT NOT COVER MY TATTOO'D FINGER?! No, that couldn't be it? No one even said anything? FUCK! THE SANDWICH! I didn't eat my sandwich with them for the second day in a row!? Are they that petty?! It couldn't be, that's just too bizarre? Or was it...

Consider yourself lucky you can't make out the full details of the badge!

The End


Saturday, December 17, 2005

"Stay alive...I will find you!" - Last of the Mohicans...

Hello Kids!

I just wanted to drop a little "how do you do" to all of you and let you know that I am well aware of the fact that it's been quite some time since I've posted some new jive here for you. I apologize, but this was all due to the fact that I was preparing for my big move to Washington. Well...I'M HERE NOW!!!

Actually, I've been here for about two months but that's a long story. Which is why I have this site. I started this blog site so I can document some of the bizzare shit that I've been privy to in my past and in the present. Well, I think this move has been up there with one of the most fucked up experiences I've ever had! So surreal in fact that it will have be broken down in chapters! So be patient my babies, I will write it up as soon as I can. Until then...

COMING SOON!: THE WASHINGTON CHRONICLES: Chapter 1 - Packing my shit...


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A-hole in one...

A few years ago I was told by my doctor to find ways to relax. I have a tendency to easily get stressed out and it was giving me hypertension, or so the good doctor claimed. When trying to find different ways to relax I tried many-o things, jogging, bike riding, acupuncture, smoking vast amounts of cigarettes (which was relaxing, but as I found out later, not good for hypertension. Who knew?), etc.

Acupuncture was actually the most interesting of them all. It’s not like they portray in movies when they basically make you look like a human pin cushion, no. Granted the acupuncturist was Asian, like in the movies, but it’s all very much like a visit to the doctor. They put me in this little room and had me lie down on your typical doctor’s office bench thingy. I was instructed to lay one leg flat and bend the other with my foot down. One of my arms was rested along side of me and the other arm was bent and rested on my chest. I guess there different poses and placements of needles for different ailments. Seeing as how I was there to prevent myself from grabbing a baby by the ankles and swinging them into an old person’s brittle hip, this was the position for stress. A couple of needles are placed in my brow, wrist, shin and arms. The needles are really thin with larger top half’s and rest in these little tubes that the acupuncturist taps, making the needle drop to the pressure point and sticking in your skin. This is all painless and the only feeling you really get from it is a bit of tension in the nerve at the pressure point the needle hits. After all needles were set the little Asian man tells me, “Ho’k meestah Ballon, you can go head and take a rittoe nap”
“Well, I’m not really tired?”
“Ritz ho’k, most peepoe rike to take a rittoe nap foll laxation”
“I go head and tuln off right fo you”

He steps out of the office, all while facing me, then proceeds to hit the light switch and close the door almost all the way shut. The only thing missing was him saying “night, night” when he did all this. I stared at the ceiling for a while wondering how all this shit worked. Would I feel the relaxation instantly working? What exactly does instant relaxation feel like? What if it doesn’t’ work? I ponder all these questions and while thinking about all those things I take a long blink. As soon as my blink is over the acupuncturist opens the door and turns on the light.
“Ho’k meestah Ballon, did you sreep?”
“No, I just stared at the ceiling, thinking?”
“Hmm…and you didanot go to sreep?”
“Ho’k. Rhye donta you seet up and I take out yo needo’s”

As I start to sit up I look at my watch and to my surprise I see that an hour as passed? What the fuck?! I was only lying down for a few minutes! Wasn’t I? Did I go to sleep? I guess I did? When I sit straight up I feel a little light headed, but not in an inebriated kind of way, but in the way you do when you just wake up from a nap. Sonofabitch?! I had fallen asleep and didn’t even notice it. The little Asian guy sees the look of surprise on my face and smiles as he pulls out the needles. When he was finished I stood up and felt…relaxed! It almost felt like I was walking on air! He gave me some herbal pills and told me to try and take it easy for the rest of the day. Seriously folks, on my way home I was caught in rush hour traffic and didn’t even give a shit! I felt so easy going I could have gotten in a big fiery wreck and not have known it. This lasted for a couple of days, and after that I went back to the same stressed routine. I was so bummed out that it didn’t last longer that I never went back because it was just a big tease.

My next big experiment in relaxation was golf. According to my doctor, golf was a nice way to get outdoors and relax. The only golfing I had done in the past was miniature golf and a semester of golf intro in P.E. senior year in high school. All that class consisted of was hitting little whiffle balls into rings set out in the football field. I didn’t even get to do that for very long because the teacher made the mistake of giving us real golf balls to try chipping into the rings. My ball ended up getting launched out of the football field and into a Jack in the Box parking lot across the street. Needless to say I spent the rest of the semester running laps around the school for an hour.

Golf sounded like a good time though so I decided to give it a go. The only problem was I had no clubs. My boss at the time was a golf fanatic! No joke, this guy had like 4 sets of clubs or some shit like that and always snuck out of the office to go to some golf shop where they had wall to wall golf shit! He would talk about golf clubs all the time and even spent most of the day on E-bay looking for golf club deals. Seeing as how he was so obsessed with the sport I knew he was the man to see about getting some clubs. I ask him if he could help me get a set without having to spend stacks of cash and a tear welled up in his eyes. Excitedly he tells me he would LOVE too and started mumbling about golf shit that I had no clue about. He tells me to give him $300 bucks and he would take care of the rest. About a week later he calls me to his cubicle and laid out in his work station is a set of clubs, a golf bag, a PING golf hat, a golf glove, golf balls, golf markers, club head covers, golf tees, and a few pieces of paper with diagrams and charts on them. I was taken aback a bit by the amount of crap he put together, but pretty stoked too…until he busted out the charts. Turns out the graphs and shit were a breakdown of how each club should perform. I feigned interest and then he pulls out this putter like it was fucking Excalibur or something. He explains it was a PING putter and a classic at that? It just looked like a putter to me, but I’ve heard from other people that it’s a really good putter so that goes to show you what little I know?

For the rest of the year we would go to the driving range on our lunch and I even played some courses a couple of times. It was kind of relaxing, but not fully. My hang up was all the old people that would be at the courses every time I went! These were your snobby retired old fuckers and I don’t think they liked young folk treading on their territory. It got to the point where all their sour puss’s took the fun out of smacking balls far into the driving range because every once in a while I’d get some old fucker telling me how to stand or how to swing the club. What did I care, I wasn’t out to go pro or anything, I just wanted to hit some balls and relax! NOOO! I had to have some bitter fucker get all riled up because I was shanking balls to the right and not making the proper “whack” noise when my club hit a ball?! I came close numerous times to treating some old bastards head like a piñata with my club. After a couple of years I hung up my clubs for good…until recently!

My mom and step-dad are retired and for a month or so during the summer they get my niece to stay with them and enjoy retired life. My mother is only in her mid 50’s, but my step-dad is in his 60’s and old school! When I was a kid I clashed with him all the time because he grew up in Arkansas and had this old southern logic to everything. He grew up with guns and other macho shit that didn’t really interest me. He played basketball and I played basketball so every once in a while we would play together. I attribute this to my reason for hating to play basketball with people now. He is a pretty competitive cat and knows everything about everything. Or so he would like to believe. Now that I am older I decided to let bygones be bygones and try to establish some sort of relationship with the old bugger. After all, he’s been around since I was a kid and I don’t foresee him going anywhere? Now that HE’S older he also is a bit more laxed and loves hanging out with my niece. The new form of entertainment and exercise in the house of retirement is golf, and now they have my niece hitting the links with them! They pretty much go every day during the week and sometimes on weekends. My step-dad found out I had some golf clubs and took that as a way to hang out with me on the links. He’d mentioned golfing with him a few times and although I didn’t really want to, I decided since he was making the gesture to hang out what harm would a round of golf do?

I make plans this last Friday to meet up with the golf trio for a round of morning golf. I have been having a pretty shitty, unlucky last couple of months and thought it would be a nice way to get outdoors and relax. As luck would have it, Friday was Africa hot and I had to have a wisdom tooth removed days before the big game. Luckily I had my vicodin…mmm. When I finally get to the house it’s about 10am and I could already feel the sweat beads on my back. I open the front door and step inside to see my step-dad (whose name is Jerry by the way) dressed in one of the worst white trash outfits I’ve ever seen. He’s wearing a pair of nylon P.E. style shorts with a t-shirt tucked into the waistband, white tube socks and sandals, shooting range style prescription glasses (with yellow tint to boot), a baby blue head band and a straw Mr. Howell style hat. It's a bit to take in and I turn to look at my mother and she just shrugs her shoulders in a “what can you do” motion. At this moment my niece comes booking out of the bedroom and I almost piss myself when I see her! She doesn’t have a care in the world as she prances in the room wearing hiking boots, short denim shorts, a Flash Dance style shirt, straw cowboy hat with a ribbon around it, and some tacky ass wrap around blue sunglasses. WHO THE HELL DRESSES A KID LIKE THAT?! The worst part about the outfit was that she has long hair and it was pulled into a pony tail that hung out the back of the hat making her look like hair stylist extraordinaire Jose Eber! Again I look to my mom for answers, but she has nothing. Like a kid ready to go to Disneyland, Jerry is happily getting the golf gear together in the trunk of his G-ride. I just shake my head in horror and get in the car. The day would be interesting indeed.

Can you guess which one isnt' Jose Eber?

Like I mentioned earlier, the day was hotter than a hemorrhoid on a fryer and I was not looking forward to being in the scorching heat all day! Since I’d just had a wisdom tooth taken out a few day earlier I was going to be on some druggins and didn’t know how they would play out when I was dehydrated. Then I remebered Jerry, ever so prepared, had packed some Gatorade. God bless him. We get to the range and I’m pretty stoked because there is an abundance of trees which makes plenty of shaded areas through out the course. We all get out of the car and my mom tells me “if you need to use the bathroom go ahead and do it now, Jerry takes forever to get the shit out of the car.” A bit puzzled I look over her shoulder and sure enough Jerry is delicately pulling all his gear out of the trunk and switching around clubs and stetting up his clubs cart. I do an about face and head off to the little golfers room. After shaking a monkey tail I head out to the driving range area and Jerry has set all of our clubs in our designated spots with a portion of practice balls set in the tray. I get placed in between Jerry and Jose’ Eber. I was a bit nervous considering I hadn’t played golf in a couple of years, where as Jerry and my niece play daily. Remembering all the little stances and positions you have to be in before hitting the ball I feel a bit nervous and take my first swing. WHACK! I MAKE CONTACT WITH THE BALL! Better yet, I launch it out into the range! I hit another ball, then another, and another! After this I am feeling pretty good about myself and look around with pride. I watch my niece pull out a driver from her mini set of clubs, which Jerry has purchased for her since he is hoping she will be the new Tiger Woods – or as my sister calls her “Pussy Gardens”, then she steps up to the ball and WHACK! She doesn’t hit shit. She takes another power swing and knocks the ball a couple of feet in front of her. I notice that when she gets her club in the air she turns her head back and doesn’t look at the ball when she finally swings at it…wildly.
“You should keep your eye on the ball. That’s why you’re missing it”
“I KNOOOW! I AM!”, she whines to me.

I watch her murder a couple more balls and then she starts making this little noise after every swing. “ow” she whines softly at first, but after a couple more swings the “ow’s” get a little louder. After we are all done hitting our balls she places her club in the bag and looking as if she was just shived in a prison riot says to no one in particular “oww, my back! My back hurts…” and lets out a mild sniffle. I give my mom another “what the fuck” look and she just rolls her eyes. Jerry seems to know this whole scenario too because he is making fast strides to the first hole on the course.
“What the hell is her problem? Her back wasn’t hurting earlier?”
“She always does that shit!” my mom informs me, “she’s just nervous”
“What the fuck is she nervous about?!”
“Me?! What the hell did I do? Is it the ball thing? I didn’t even scold her; I was just observing and told her to keep her eye on the ball?”
“Yes but she has to do well or she throws a fit! She always does this crap when we go places though. I just ignore it now”
“Where do you go that her back almost breaks?”
“ANYWHERE! Disneyland, the mall, GOLFING! Anywhere!”
“Shit. That’s pretty annoying?”

As we wrap up our profound conversation Pussy Gardens walks past us with her golf bag over her shoulders and looks like Jesus carrying his cross, except she wasn’t bloody and whipped. I just smirk and my mom gives me a “DON’T” look.

At the first hole the order is Pussy Gardens, Me Mum, Me and Jerry. Pussy Gardens shuffles to the tee off and hits the ball poorly. As soon as she sees it’s a bad hit she succumbs to the terrible pain in her spine and lets out a weak “owww” as she walks to her golf bag. “IF YOUR BACK HURTS THAN DON’T PLAY! Just sit down!” my mom finally barks at her. For some reason this makes me giggle inside and I watch my niece sit down on a bench and cross her arms…while forced tears run down her cheeks. My mom hits a decent hit and her ball goes sailing, then it’s my turn. I get up to the tee, do my little positioning ritual and then smack the hell out of the ball. It’s a powerful hit and Jerry let’s out a little “niiice” while my mom follows it up with a “WOW! Good hit!” I’m pretty stoked at first…then I see my niece wince with terrible spinal injuries as everyone gives me kudos’. I whisper to my mom not to comment on my dope ass swings anymore because it was like a verbal spinal tap to Pussy Gardens.

Pussy sits out a couple more holes but we are all getting into the game. I wasn’t the best golfer out there, but I was holding my own and that was more than enough fun for me. The good thing about me and the old lady is neither of us is very competitive so we really didn’t give a shit about scoring. Jerry is competitive, but he decided to put away the score card and just have fun. Pussy must have seen that we really didn’t care who hit what and just wanted to play because she started watching us with amusement. That’s when the miracle on hole 4 happened. As we walk up to get ready to hit, Pussy Gardens rises from her bench, twists around from side to side and exclaims she could probably play now because she cracked her back! THANK YOU JESUS AND BABY JESUS!!! SHE WAS HEALED! With a touch of cockiness in her step she places her ball on the tee, takes her position and show’s the golf ball what happens when a miracle occurs! The ball goes flying fairly far and Jerry gives her the ole “Thata girl!” She prances off the green with satisfaction and starts off towards her ball, even though none of us have hit ours yet? We yell to her to wait and she runs out of the line of fire. From then on her back was fully healed and she was able to relax, kind of. The other thing about this kid is she gets hyper and she isn’t supposed to drink red drinks. For some reason the red dye is like crack to her and makes her SUPER hyper with a sprinkle of obnoxious. It’s a good thing Jerry packed some fruit punch Gatorade to drink in the jungle heat! I notice Pussy Gardens drinking from the Gatorade bottle like a pirate drinking from a whiskey jug and it makes me cringe. It was going to be on now.

The heat is dry, but it isn’t unbearable and I’m actually having a good time, so Pussy Gardens running around from hole to hole doesn’t work my nerves too bad. Jerry is actually pretty pleasant also and I was glad to have taken him up on his offer to golf. He didn’t play too well though and I finally pulled my mom aside to see what the deal was?
“I thought you said he plays everyday? He doesn’t seem so good for someone who plays all the time?”
“He usually does play good, but his back IS giving him some trouble so I’m sure that has something to do with it also”
“WHAT?! His back is messed up too! Just like Pussy Gardens back!”
“No, he really pulled his back out”
“Is this from his injury years ago?”
“YES!” She laughs.

See, this is why it was funny. Years ago Jerry had to go the hospital because he slipped in the tub when he was washing his gnads! I told my mom he must have wanted those things to shine if he was washing them so vigorously that he slipped in the tub!? It wasn’t until recently that he claimed he made that story up. I say BULLSHIT! If you make a story like that up you usually fess up to it within the day, a few days at the latest. If you try to say it was a joke years later though, you just trying to squash the story because everyone is laughing at you.

Near the middle of the course my game starts to hit a little snag and I’m shanking balls left and right. This seems to amuse Pussy Gardens. As I get ready to swing on the 11th hole I have a bit of sweat drip into my eye and smack the ball right into the fence next to me. I hear a cackle to my left and Pussy Gardens is laughing her ass off. “You like that huh?” I say, as I give her a bit of the fire eyes. I go to chip my ball onto the green and use too much power, over shooting the putting green by a foot. Again, Pussy Gardens is having the time of her life. When I finally get the ball in the hole I turn towards Pussy and collapse while holding my back yelling “ow, ow, ow, owww! My back hurts!” The weird part was I only heard two others besides myself laughing after that? Weird. We finish up all 18 holes and even though my shirt was soaking with sweat (due to my big hairy chest) it was good clean fun for the whole family and full of miracles! The two big ass vicodin pills didn’t hurt either. Golf turned out to be pretty damn relaxing after all? I knew the day was meant to be when I snapped this picture on the 18th hole. Good times.



Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"The Greatest" love of all, a week-day review...

I had seen this tasty morsel in the movie “Spanglish” and just had to make one of these tasty looking motherfuckers for myself. Luckily on the DVD part of the special features was a recipe on how to make “The Worlds Greatest Sandwich,” and here’s my review on it. Oh yeah, the movie is pretty good too, I just chose not to review it. Anywhore, read on.


“The Worlds Greatest Sandwich”

In the movie Adam Sandler makes this unbelievable looking sandwich and I swear to god if the damn thing had tits I would have married it on looks alone! It’s pretty much a glorified BLT, but I think a BLT costs around
$4-$5 in any given restaurant. When you buy all the ingredients for “The Worlds Greatest Sandwich” it comes out to be around $20! If they threw in a hand job or something with this then it would be a deal, but then satisfying my curiosity on how delicious this sandwich might actually be was well worth it. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty dope in the kitchen! Maybe its from all those years as a latch key kid in my youth, or just natural talent? I dunno, but I do know I can whip shit up like a Mexican Iron Chef! I’ve cooked for friends and family on numerous occasions and always leave them satisfied! If you hear different perhaps I fucked up their meals on purpose, the ungrateful bastards! Anyway, whipping up this sandwich was no challenge to me. If you’re not too good in the kitchen I’ll try and make the instructions as easy as possible for you.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to buy if you choose to make this damn thing:

1 pack of thick sliced bacon (don’t be a cheap ass and buy generic regular bacon either! Trust me; the thick bacon is required for a reason)

1 loaf of rustic rye bread (you have a better chance of finding the Baby Jesus next to the virgin Mary Mexican candles than you do finding this bread in your average supermarket. I went with Ciabatta bread, it’s fancy and easier to find)

1 Fresh Tomato

1 Head of Fresh lettuce (Iceberg works nice, but I suppose other kinds work to?)

1 jar of mayonnaise (not that Miracle Whip shit!)

1 serving of sliced Monterey Jack cheese (Deli sliced is best)

1 Large or Jumbo egg (a small egg just won’t do)

Now I had been on a beer bender the night before and didn’t shake the hang over until well into the latter part of the day. Around 5pm I think? I wasn’t in the mood to drink beer 1) because I was hung over and the smell of beer would have made me puke on my shoes 2) I drank it all the night before. I only mention this because in the movie Monsieur Sandler pours himself a nice frosty pilsner of brewha to accompany the sandwich. The sandwich is supposed to be somewhat salty to the palette and the beer compliments the sandwich, or so they say in the movie. I found that Arnold Palmers were just as good as beer so I recommend those for all drunks and non-drinkers. (Arnold Palmers are a tall glass of half Iced Tea and half Lemonade. Frozen Lemonade or pulpy Lemonade is best)

Here are the steps to making “The Worlds Greatest Sandwich”:

Fry up the thick ass expensive bacon in a pan and set napkins to absorb the grease. Don’t over cook the bacon; let it be a bit meaty, but not raw! If you over cook it your just going to cut up the roof of your mouth and that doesn’t go good with Lemonade!

Take your bread and cut out two big slices (now remember, your are supposed to have a loaf! Don’t buy that pre-sliced lazy fucker bread!) I had Ciabatta bread so I just cut off 1/3 of the loaf, then sliced it down the middle. It worked fine and dandy that way.

Take the tomato and slice it into medium slices. You don’t want them too thick because, well…it’s just gross that way. Medium slices are perfect. Don’t argue with me.

Next take your head of lettuce and peel off some nice green leafs and rinse them off.

Now put the two pieces of sliced bread into a toaster over and let it toast until lightly browned. You don’t want to put this in a regular toaster because it will toast too much on both sides, and again, you’ll just end up cutting up the roof of your mouth when biting into this big ass sandwich! If you use a toaster oven it’ll toast the top of the bread, but only lightly toast the bottom, thus making the bread easier to eat and not as crunchy.

While the bread is toasting heat up a pan/griddle/skillet and put a small about of oil in it (I prefer olive oil, its muy tasty. Trust me). Move the warm oil around in the pan and crack one egg into it. Try and crack the egg so it doesn’t spread out like an octopus, you are going to put the egg in the sandwich with the yolk in the center and it’s not really supposed to be crunchy. The egg is supposed to be cooked over easy, but just barely. You don’t want to cook the yolk too much! If you aren’t so good with cooking eggs, here’s a good way to cook the top. Heat the oven to about 350 degrees and once the egg is cooked on the bottom pop the pan in the oven for a couple of mins until the runny top of the egg is no longer runny. DO NOT OVER COOK!

Take one piece of the toasted bread and place two slices of the jack cheese on it and pop in the toaster oven and toast until the cheese melts. This should only take a minute so keep your eye on it!

Once the bread and egg are ready place the bread on a plate and assemble your goods like so:

Place the bacon on top of the slice of bread with the cheese. It’s best to do this while the cheese is still warm and melted. This makes the bacon stick to the bread so it doesn’t fall out with the first bite.

After you put the bacon on the bread carefully place the egg on top of the bacon with the yolk at the center of the bread.

Now put the lettuce on top of the egg, followed by the slices of tomato on top of the lettuce. After this put some mayo on the remaining piece of bread and place on top of the sandwich.

The final step is to slice the sandwich down the middle so the yolk runs down the sandwich. This is a delicate process so don’t rush it!

Now take a couple of steps back and look at the sandwich with the satisfaction of knowing it was YOU who made such a pretty plate of food! Pour you drink and devour the little bastard!

Ain't she purty?!

I felt kind of bad eating my big ass sandwich because while I took my first bite I was watching Live 8 and felt guilty looking at starving, scrawny people while I sat home eating my gluttonous sammich! This was quickly resolved by changing the channel until I was done eating.

So, was it “The Worlds Greatest Sandwich”? I wouldn’t go that far! It really is just a souped up BLT, but don’t get me wrong it was THE GOODS! I don’t think I was hungry for the rest of the day after eating this monstrosity! I think it was more along the lines of “The O.C.’s Really Delicious Sandwich”! Try it for yourself though, we all have our own opinions!

“The Worlds Greatest Sandwich” - ***1/2 Stars (damn fine eating I’ll tell you what!)

Motherfucking delicious yo!


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hussein in the membrane...

Seeing as how I now know how to post pictures I will share another quick tidbit in which my trusty camera phone and my ninja like skills came in handy.

A couple of weeks ago I was at my local Mexican take out joint (yes, I'm Mexican AND I eat Mexican food too! Weird huh?) After placing my order for taco's I take a seat and eagerly await my feast. Since I knew it would be a while I start to scan the joint and visually take in the clientel. The normal patrons were stuffing their faces with greasy Mexican food when one bastard in particular catches my eye! At first I thougt it was just my imagination, but after giving him the Buckwheat double take I realize it was him! As cocky as can be I see this fucker drinking and chatting away as free as can be and I feel my patriotic anger rise! I look around to see if anyone else see's what I see, but everyone seems oblivious to the mofo and this irritates me more. I decide that just telling this story wouldn't be enough and I would need proof! Luckily i had my camera phone so i pull it out of my pocket and flip it open. With stealth only taught to Shao Lin monks I slide closer to his table and while looking in my phone I act like I'm checking a missed call. I knew I had to be quick so I smoothly angle my phone towards him and take a quick photo. I turn away suddenly and like it was all planned ahead of time my order is ready. When I get out of my seat and run up to snatch my tastey morsels I notice he is looking at me and I get nervous! Did he see me? Surely he would retaliate before I left the restaurant with my photographic evidence? I do a quick power walk to my car and with cat like reflexes I start up the engine and drive away. On the way home I get out my phone to check the fruits of my labor. BULLSEYE! Given the situation, I was now staring at my reward! A nice picture of the Butcher of Baghdad! That's right! It was Saddam Hussein himself! Scarfing a burrito and not giving a shit about America or it's citizens! As long as he had plenty of fresh salsa and homemade tortilla chips, he could care less! Damn you Saddam, damn you to Hades!


Monday, June 27, 2005

When asking your friends for help comes to a grinding halt...

Cars. Cars I could care less about because I don't see the use in them other than getting me where I need to go. To be honest, the only thing I really take note of in every car i've owned is the stereo. It's been my experience that you can't drive anywhere without music! I've had my stereo stolen a couple of times (another thing I hate about cars...and the fucking thieves who break into them) and if I don't have music to listen to, then I just sing the chorus of songs I can remember. And there aren't too many I remember so there's just a lot of humming and words I do remember thrown in at certain points. Earlier this year my car was broken into and not only did they take my stereo, but the compilation cd's I kept in the car? This pissed me off because I know I had good shit on these cd's and some fucker was probably at home listening to them thinking, "Man, this CD is pretty fucking good! I wonder what's on the other ones?.." I was so bored when driving to work that I would play the ringtones in my phone when I drove! Really. I eventually picked up a stereo that played MP3 cd's so I would only have to keep one CD in my car. It works like a gem.

Now I like some cars, but not enough to check out when new brands or styles come out. I recall a conversation I had with someone where they asked me "Damon, if you could have any car you wanted, what would you get?"
"I could have any car?
"Yes, anything"
"Hmm... I would get a Previa van! With a nice stereo!"
"WHAT?! A Previa van?! C'mon! Don't be stupid, what car would you want!"
"...I'm serious. I like Previa vans and I've always wanted one?"
"What ever..."
For some reason I like geeky cars. My current g-ride is a Honda hatchback and I had always wanted one since I was in High School, and my only desire to get this car was because it looks like the shuttle cars on "STAR TOURS" at Disneyland! When I finally got one I drove it to my mothers house and my older sister walked out, looked at it, then turned to me and said "Isn't that the car you wanted when you were in High School?" "YUP!" and that was the end of that conversation. I was so proud of it I called my girlfriend at the time and raved on about how I got a new car. She was excited about it until she came over to my apartment and I walked her down to the garage. "That's it?"
"Oh...why did you get this kind? You could have bought an explorer or something?"
"I didn't want one of those, i like this. It looks like the Star Tours shuttle!"
"Hmm... I don't know if I want to ride with you in this?!" Which she tried to make sound like a joke but wasn't. I know this because I rarely drove us anywhere after that day. As long as the car doesn't have more colors than the Partridge Family bus or if it isn't covered in primer than I don't see the problem?

Seeing as how my interest in cars is non-existent, my knowledge about car up keep is just as equal. I don't know shit about cars! I don't even know how to change my oil. I had this Volkswagen square back when I was younger (and I did like that car) which was pretty cherried out, but one time I had to put oil in it and almost put it in the radiator because I didn't know where it went. I can change a tire and installed speakers one time, but other than that, I'm pretty useless... The only talent I've had with cars is driving myself or my friends home after a few drinks. I'm not advocating drunk driving in the least, I just know sometimes you just got to get home. I even try to kid myself when something goes wrong with my car. For some stupid reason I always find myself popping the hood and looking under it like the problem is going to wave at me and shout out "RIGHT HERE DAMON! I'M WHAT'S NOT WORKING RIGHT! WANT TO KNOW HOW TO FIX ME?" This is why I have a triple A card. I constantly have people ask me about what I do with my car because they all know I'm automotively retarded! "Damon, have you changed your oil lately?" "Dude, your tires look like they need air?" "Your alignment seems off?" and other little tidbits that keep me aware of the fact I'm a terrible car owner. I don't mean to be, and I really wish I could work on cars, but I also know I have a thing about getting filthy and having dirty hands. This is enough to let me know that I will never learn shit about cars other than who to call to fix them.

Last thursday was one of those random times where my lack of knowledge would fuck me in the ass so good that whenever I sat in a chair I'd be able to pick it up like a suction cup! For almost two years I've been car pooling with a co-worker that lives on the way to the Casa De Barron. I don't really mind, because as I said it's on my way home, but she is also cool and will kick in for gas or pick up a dinner tab. We also get to ride in the carpool lane so that gets me home pretty quick. Yesterday was the same routine after work. We chat it up on the freeway and as I pull off the exit of the freeway we get stuck at a red light before I can make a left turn. As we're talking I hear an odd sound and lift my finger to halt the conversation. I roll my window all the way down and listen... then I hear it. "FFFSHHH" can be heard loud and clear and I don't know if it's a sprinkler or a tire? "Can you hear that?" I ask my carpool buddy (who's name is Pepper). Pepper gets a inquisitive look on her face and from the change in her expression I know she finally hears it. "What is that? Is that your tire?" "I don't know? I guess we'll find out right now?" I say as I point to the green light. I start to pull forward and the car runs jerky while making a loud "WHUP WHUP WHUP" sound as my front tire rolls. "Well, I guess it is my tire?" I tell her and we drive on it a bit to get to a gas station that is on the corner. Luckily for us it didn't get flat on the freeway, and even luckier for her we were just across the street from where her husband was going to pick her up. I pull into a parking slot and get out to see what was up with my tire. What was up with my tire was was bald and flat! The reason it was leaking air might have had something to do with the fact that the wires were sticking out of the smooth rubber where treads should be! It was at this time I cursed myself for not checking it, or even thinking to check it! Now I was in a parking lot and would have to call triple A when all I wanted to do was pick up a macho burrito and go home to watch Dance 360! Shit!

Pepper reminds me how lucky we are that the tire went flat somewhere where we were able to get out of traffic and I agree. I get my cell phone out and look in my wallet for my triple A card. As I finally pull it out of my wallet Pepper says something along the lines of "I hope it's not expired" and this instantly pulls my eyes to the expiration date on the card, which reads "EXP. 12/04"! FUCK! I tell her it says 12/04 but then remember that I have it on my credit card so they just deduct the renewal fee when it's time. As I dial the phone Pepper asks if I have everything under control, I tell her I do and she goes across the street to meet her husband, but not before letting me know I could call her if I have any problems. What an angel.

I get through to triple A and get some automated message giving me a list of options to choose from to assist me. I hate these fucking automated message because you always have to jump around a few menu's before you get where you want to go. I end up being on hold for over 10 mins before I get a live person to talk to. "Hello! Thank you calling triple A, how can I help you today?"
"Hi. I have a flat tire and was calling for some assistance"
"Ok, can you give me the card number please?"
"Sure" and I start reading off all the digits to her
"Ok sir, just give me a minute here...ok...and is this Damon?"
"Yes it is..."
"Ok...well, it looks like your accounts been canceled as of March of this year?"
"HUH?! Are you sure? I didn't cancel it?"
"Yes sir it is canceled. It says her it is because of a credit card decline?"
"Declined?! Can you tell me the number?" I say as I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. I had a feeling I knew what the deal was and it SUCKED! She reads the number to me and it's not the number I had on my current credit card. No, the number she had was for the credit card that was stolen when some fuckers broke into my car and stole my messenger bag! When I canceled all my cards I had forgotten to call AAA and give them the new number! To be honest, I don't know who else I should have called? I hope I don't have to get fucked over to find out? I explain this deal to her and she's really nice about it. "Ok sir, no problem. If you like we can start it up again and then send a driver out to help you"
"Sure, that'd be great. Thank you"
"Ok, let me transfer you to that extension" SHIT! I would have to wait on the phone again!

I end up speaking to two other people before I get to the renewal guy, and by this times it's been over 45 mins! The guy seems pretty helpful and even though he tells me it's going to run me a smooth 60 bones to renew my membership I agree. He runs my card numbers sets me up and then says can you hold on a moment and the line gets quiet. I notice that there wasn't any music playing or anything like there was for the last 45 mins so I pull my phone away from my ear and look at the display. "CALL ENDED" is staring right back at me and I get livid! FUCK! I'm not sure if the call got dropped or if he hung up on me but I did know that i would have to wait another hour before I would get through to someone and I was starving, tired and just wanted to get home. Enter the Redman. The Redman, of "V the final battle and "Chuck"ing the ex-boyfriend fame", lives a few blocks away from the gas station I was at. After checking my car earlier I noticed I only had my spare tire, jack and NO CRANK! Since I didn't want to wait forever on the phone again and the Redman just lived a bit aways, I decided to call him to help me out. I dial him up on the old celophone and he's pretty chipper about doing me a solid and tells me to hold tight because the Redman was on his way. I only sat in my car for a couple of songs on the trusty MP3 stereo before the Redman pulls up. He gets out of the car with that cocky "Ok, the Redman's here to save the day" swagger he is so well known for and I notice he brought along little Ting-ting, who is chomping on a bag of candy... for a change. I pat her on the head and say hello, then I follow the Redman over to the flat tire where he is diligently studying the situation. After a few seconds of breaking down the situation he coolly tells me "Yup! That tire is flat!" He's just THAT good people! I just nod in agreement and the doctor goes to get his tools.

He tells me he'll handle it and starts to loosen the nuts on the rim. Now I knew how to change a tire, but he takes charge of the situation and I don't want to get in his way. He cranks up the car, pulls off the flat and puts on the spare within a few minutes. While he's doing this Ting-ting is telling me some story, but since her english isn't so clear to me and she's eating candy I just nod after every other sentence. By the time she's done chatting away the Redman stands up and he's done! I'm impressed because he had gunk all over his hands, yet didn't' complain about it and he was pretty quick. It feels nice to know you have friends you can count on is these situations and I thank him a few times. We go to a near by eatery to wash our hands and then we get ready to part ways. I give the spare a good look and notice something seemed off? but I just couldn't put my finger on it? "Is that spare ok?"
"YEAH! It's fine!"
"Really? doesn't look like it's a little low or something? Should I put some air in it?"
"Naw, your alright! That's how spare tires look!"
"Um, ok? If you say so?" I say feeling unsure. We shake hands and I promise him a round of beers on me for his help and I get in my car. I watch him pull out and feeling uneasy about the spare I decide I should just get home and get the new tire put on the next day. The shops were closed by this times and I didn't want to drive around town with that funky looking spare tire.

I decide the back way would be wisest since I was only going to cruise at about 10-15 miles per hour so I head up some residential street. The steering wheel is feeling really jerky and I still hear a noise like the tire is flat? I only get a few blocks away from where I was when I finally pull over to check on the spare tire and the noise it was making. I get out of the car and look at my nifty spare, no problem from what I can see? The tire looked fine and I even gave it a little squeeze and it seemed to have a decent amount of air? I give a little head scratch and finally walk back to the drivers seat before any of the neighborhood folks call the cops on the weird mexican guy and his little tired car. I start out towards home and get only a couple of blocks further before the noise starts to get louder? WHAT THE FUCK?! Now I'm starting to get annoyed, and worried? I pull over one more time and quickly look at the fucking tire again. NOTHING?! As soon as I get back behind the wheel I get an uneasy feeling in my stomach and figure I'd better just get home and forget about my Macho burrito, which pissed me off because I was starving and craving that damn thing! I turn left and by this time I'm only going about 10 miles an hour because the noise is embarrassingly loud and I could see people passing me with that "what the fuck is that noise" look on their faces. As I'm going down the street a new sound of grinding metal rings through the air and I feel my stomach drop with each inch my car rolls. I notice I'm driving right behind some friends of mines house and right when I pass it I hear "CREE-ANK!" and shoot my eyes forward as I feel the car jerk suddenly. In slow motion I see bolts shoot out into the air and while they travel upwards I notice my spare tire rolling down the street, yet I'm sitting still and my car isn't keeping up with the tire. "RRRRT!" is the sound my car makes as it grinds the rotor into the asphalt, stopping my car immediately. When I feel the grinding halt happen I am still staring forward watching my tire roll about a block and into the intersection. When it gets near the crosswalk it starts to wobble a bit and them WHAM! a car turns the corner and runs right over it! The lady driving the car just kind of casually looks out her side view mirror with an expression that says "Hmm, wonder what that was" and just keeps on driving? By this time I'm in a mix of shock and rage. I sat at the wheel just staring for about 3 mins before I'm snapped out of it by a voice yelling "DUUUDE?! WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR TIRE BRO?!" I look to my left and see some crackhead looking guy on the sidewalk standing with his huge ass big gulp and looking right at me. "BRO! THAT LADY JUST RAN RIGHT OVER YOUR TIRE!" he informs me, because I obviously wasn't aware of this?! I grimace and finally step out of the car to look at where my tire used to be. There is a good foot of grinded asphalt behind the left front rotor, where the tire used to be, and the front of the car in leaning to the left. After staring at this for a few seconds I take a deep breath and look towards my spare tire, which is down the street. "WHAT HAPPENED BRO?" the crackhead shouts out.
"NO DOUBT BRO!" CH replies with and I just throw him a wincing stare. I can feel the heat and rage rise in my body as I stand motionless thinking about how I wanted to smash every fucking bone in the Redman's body. What the fuck did he do to my fucking tire! Not to mention my fucking car too! I start walking with furious strides toward my spare tire and the crackhead is walking along side of me. "How did your tire fall off like that bro? I was walking by and saw the thing just snap off and fly down the street! I don't think that bitch knew what hit her! She just ran over it and kept on going!"
"Fuck, I don't know?! My buddy just put that tire on my car a few minutes ago! NOW IT FUCKING FLEW OFF!!! SHIT!"
"Damn bro! I don't think he did a very good job!"
"..." I just throw him a look that should have knocked his skeleton out of his skin and keep on walking towards my car. At this point I honestly don't know what to do? I've only seen wheels fly off cars in movies? Not to mention my rotor? Was it broken? Did the axel snap? How much was this going to cost?! THAT FUCKING REDMAN! This all started with a simple flat tire and now it was some big fucking fiasco!

As I'm standing there in a haze of violent anger and bafflement cars are starting to drive around the right side of my car and the drivers are giving me looks like I was fucking up their days by having my car broken down in the middle of their lane. One old lady drives by and with shaky old lady voice asks, "Ddd-do you nnn-need some help?"
"No thanks, I'm alright"
"ooo-oh k!" and she drives off. I hadn't called anyone yet, but I was really just in shock to be honest. I still couldn't believe this just happened. On top of that, I was feeling like a huge asshole standing there in the middle of the street with people just driving by and staring. Some were annoyed, some were just being nosy, some laughed and some zoomed by like I was going to carjack them if they slowed down next to me. It was during this humiliation that I realized the reason I felt like such a huge asshole and pull out my cell phone. I look up the number and dial the Redman.
"Hey! So did you make it home?!"
"WHA?! Haha, are you serious?!"
"OH SHIT! Ok, I'll be right there! Sorry about that?!"
"OK! I'm on my way..." and then I hang up on him. I'm shaking with anger when I hear "Dude, here comes the CHP" and I realize that fucking crackhead is still standing right next to me?! Jesus! That's the problem with crackheads! They never have anywhere to go! The CHP car pulls in front of my car and this jarhead cocky cop get outs and walks towards me. This guy is the stereotypical dickhead cop, he has the jarhead haircut, the big dark aviator glasses, he's chewing a piece of gum the way a cow chomps grass and he has that swagger that starts off with him adjusting his utility belt as he walks. He doesn't say anything to me at first and just walks up to the front of my car, looks at the rotor and says, "so are you going to need to be towed or what?" "no, I have a friend coming down to help me get the tire on and move it." Now this was all that needed to be said, but my new bestest friend chimes in with "YEAH! His tire just flew right off bro! It rolled all the way down the street!" and the copper just gives him a "is that so" look. I look at the cop and just shrug my shoulders while trying to give a look that says "I don't know this fucker!" The cops grunts out a "uh huh" and tells me while chomping his gum, "Well, I'm just going to set down a couple of flares so people will drive around you. I'd stay and help you but I've got to be somewhere" then he walks off, grabs some flares from his trunk, throws them down behind my car and tears off down the street without saying a word? While I'm standing in the dust shot up by his car the crackhead turns to me and says, "Hey bro, you don't have a smoke do you?"
"Aw, that sucks. I bet you wish you had one now though huh?! HAHAHA!"
"Yeah, sure" Seriously? Who the fuck is this guy?!
"Anyway bro, I got to head out. Good luck with that! If my buddy did this shit I'd fucking kick his ass! haha!"
"Yeah, I intend to. Thank you" and I just turn my back to him as he walks off. I call the Redman again because quite some time has passed now and I'm about to lose it. I mean REALLY lose it. As the phone rings I walk up and down the street looking for my lugnuts. I find one and right when I pick it up he answers his phone.
"Hey, I'm on my way"
"Where the hell are you?!"
"I had to wait for Ewok to watch Ting ting. You know, a changing of the guards"
"Calm down, I'm pulling up right behind you" he says casually as I turn and see him park behind my car.

He gets out of his car and walks over to the front left rotor of mine and shakes his head, "Oh man! I don't know what happened?"
"Oh, you don't?"
"Well obviously the wheel fell off. Y'know, I must have just finger tightened the lugnuts?"
"Are you kidding me?" I don't even feel pissed anymore, I just feel exhausted. Don't get me wrong! That last part pissed me off good, I just didn't have it in me to get raged anymore. Even though I was livid at this last remark, I didn't have the power of rage and hate on my side anymore. I had envisioned myself pummeling him with a flurry of punches when he got out of his cars, but it just kind of vanished and I just felt really tired.
"You just finger tightened them? Your joking? How could you not have tightened them the right way?"
"I don't' know?! I must have been distracted!"
"Well, think about it this way, at least you weren't on the freeway! Then I'd feel even worse if you got killed"
(Insert long awkward angry stare here)
"Let's just get the fucking tire on and my car out of the street" I say flatly. What was amusing was while he was putting the tire on this time around he tried to get me all riled up about the cop who just ditched me. He was going on and on about what a asshole the guy was and how his tax dollars are just being wasted. I don't know if he really felt this way, or if he was just trying to take some of the heat off of himself? I think both actually. We finally get the tire on and I nervously climb into my car to drive it to the parking lot on the corner. I was nervous that the car wouldn't run or that the steering would be so whacked that I would only do more damage to it. Either way, I had to get it out of the street...along with myself. I was pretty sick of people driving by and looking at me. I think the clincher was when a car full of cute girls drove by and pointed and giggled as I stood there with greasy hands and a sweat "V" on my shirt. Curse them broads! Curse them to hell! The Redman follows me into the parking lot and when we both pull in she gets out and shouts to me, "Well? How'd it feel?" I just shrugged and told him it seemed alright, but I was still nervous about driving it and if he would follow me to apartment so I could at least park it there instead of leaving it in some parking lot. He agrees and we make the drive which is less than a mile from where we were. After I park my car in my slot the Redman tells me that we should get the other tire and then put it on. I agree and we get in the car and continue our quest to fuck up my car as much as we possibly could in one day.

Keep in mind that this whole situation started at 5:30pm and it was now past 7pm! We are sitting in the car on our way to Costco to get a new tire and almost the whole way there, even though we made idle chit chat, I just kept thinking "I can't believe that my fucking tire just rolled off of my car? Did this really happen? It's too bizarre to be real?" Sadly I know it's real, that's just the kind of luck I have. I'm not trying to sound all "whoa's me" about it, this is just fact! I'm the kind of person that could go camping for the first time ever in my life and get abducted and raped by hillbilly's, and that wouldn't even be the worst part! The worst part would be after I was found and nursed back to health they would break the news to me that while I was away in the mountains, my apartment burned down and everything I owned had perished in the fire! THAT'S how shitty my luck is. So during this reflection and pointless banter with the Redman I hear him blurt out, "man, this is the second time I've done this!"
"This is the second time I've done this! Well, at least last time the tire didn't fall off, I found out before hand." After hearing this last statement it was like Gatorade for my anger and I start going off on my livid banter again.
"Boy, your really not going to ever let me forget about this are you?"
(insert angry stare here)

It takes over an hour to get the tire placed on my rim and I don't even want to get into the guy working the counter who looked like a chubby young Rick Moranis, but I will tell you this, he's about as bright as a blackout! Even the Redman wanted to pummel him! As we get back in the car we start to head back to my place when I remind him that we have to buy replacement lugnuts. "MAN! Your killing me here! How many errands do we have to run?!"
"I'm sorry, am I wasting your time? Perhaps you'll remember this next time you decide to finger tighten lugnuts and then let your buddy drive away!? Jesus! You got a lot of nerve man!"
"Alright, you got me! I think we can use some beers before we get back..." We finish getting everything we need and actually stop to get a beer at some crappy dive bar before we get down and dirty finishing up the fucking fiasco that had been dragged out for almost 5 hrs now.

When we finally get to my apartment we grab all our goods and head straight for my car. The Redman can't find the metal bars under the car that are used to support the jack and ends up using the front of the car. It worked before so I didn't see a problem with it? As the car is jacked up he takes off the spare and tells me, "we might as well see if the brake shoe is working alright? go step on the pedal..."
"Really? Ok" I say, forgetting that Mr. Goodwrench was the reason I was there in the first place. So I open the door, get in and tap the brake pedal a couple of times. He then tells me to "release the brake." Now this seemed like an odd request, but I didn't even think twice about it and pull the lever down. Within seconds I hear a loud "CREEEAK" and the car just rolls forward and slams down on the concrete! "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"
It's at this point the Redman decides it's his turn to freak out and proceeds to do so by jumping around yelling "FUUUUUHCK!" When he's done we pull my jack out from under the car and it is just mangled. I don't say a word and just walk to the dumpster and throw it away in disgust. The Redman goes to his car to get his jack and starts the whole process over again. When the car is jacked up I start to close the door to the car when the Redman yells, "WAIT WAIT WAIT! It's not safe, it's not safe!" We both stand there silently frozen like we were playing freeze tag with the car when all of the sudden "creeEEEEAK!" BOOM! The fucking car falls again and tweaks the Redman's jack! I don't even have it in me to get pissed and let the Redman take care of it. "FUCK FUCK FUUUHCK! FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT JACK! FUCK!", he yells while running around in circles, "This is really starting to piss me off now!" I just smile at him with amusement and he sternly says, "Let's go to my parents house. My dad has a jack that can carry 3 tons!" "How come we didn't just use that before?"
"It doesn't really matter when the parking brake is off does it"
(Insert the Redman's angry stare here)

We go to his parents house and grab the hydraulic jack. Luckily his parents only lived down the street from where I lived. Actually, his parent lived a couple of blocks from where my tire had flown off the car and came to a grinding halt. As we pass by the scene of the crime I say in a tired burnt out tone "It was just hours ago that my tire flew off right there (as I point to the spot) and I wanted to kill you"
"C'mon! Later on we're going to tell this story and it's going to be hilarious!"
"Oh yeah? Then how come it's now a tad bit funny now?"
"Boy, you like to think of the negative!" and at this point he pulls up to his parents house. I look at my watch and it's 10:45pm. This was the longest night EVER! And it all started with a simple flat tire and my lack of patience for automated service from AAA!

After driving back to my carport and spending a good 10-15 mins trying to figure out how the hydraulic jack worked we get the tire on in no time! Seriously, it took less time than it did to figure out how to use the jack! A wave of accomplishment and relief passes through both of us and we can't help but be all smiles. There was one thing though? Would it be drivable? We decide to drive around a few secluded neighborhood blocks and try it out. It was a little sketchy considering the back tires technically only had three bolts because we put four old bolts up front and each back tire had one new lugnut in it. The problem with the new nuts was they were too long to fit in the wrench. Nervously I pull out of the carport and down the street and we don't' say a word for a couple of blocks, we both just sit with looks of concentration on our faces as we listen for odd noises. Nothing. We drive a little fast up this long stretch of road and still nothing. The brakes seem to be working just fine and the rotor seems to be working as good as before, plus there are no funky noises coming from it. I gas it up and do about 50 down this stretch of road, then I apply the brakes, easy at first then harder. Nothing, we stop just fine. I feel a little relief and the Redman says, "are we going to go on the freeway?"
"NO! The new bolts aren't even on tight! I'm not fucking with that shit tonight! I'll get them tightened in the morning before I drive to work"
"Ok, I was just asking."

We pull back into the parking spot and it's almost 11:30 and we are both greasy, sweaty and our clothes look like we were running around in boot camp. I wanted to take a long hot shower and go to bed and the Redman looked like he wanted to do the same. I would get to sleep in late because I had to take my car to the shop (which I did and everything seems to be A-ok with my g-ride! I got VERY lucky! Or so I think, the tire could fall off as I go over an overpass that turns left and skid over the edge.) I help the Redman gather up his tools and load them into his car.
"Sorry about your tire, but hey! It all worked out alright! I knew it would!"
"Yeah, hopefully they don't tell me some expensive shit about my car tomorrow! I've already spent over 100 bucks for a simple flat! But thanks for almost killing me and helping me try and fix what you fucked up..."
"Ha! No problem! I look forward to reading about this on your blog site! It'll be a good one!"
"Fuck you!"


Thursday, June 23, 2005

When the Sith hits the fan, I see III PO'd!...

Before I get to the nitty gritty about what I thought about Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, I think I should share with you a tale that may or may not have impacted my viewing pleasure.

When first I heard that Episode III was trucking right along in the entertainment rags I was less than enthusiastic. Truth be told, I thought Episode I was an alright movie and I just plain out loathed Episode II (except for the lightsaber duels, any Star Wars geek loves lightsaber duels. If movies like Ishtar, Shanghai Surprise and anything starring actors from The WB and UPN had lightsaber duels they’d probably have more credibility to them). I am an old school SW fan, which is why I can refer to Star Wars as SW – so don’t think you can do it too, and grew up on the old films. The only reason I probably tolerated Episode I is because I waited over two decades for it to come out. It could have been two hours of Yoda taking a shit and swatting gnats with his lightsaber and I would have paid to see it over and over again, gladly at that! But there was just no excuse for Ep. II! That was just flat out bullshit and except for about 2 people I know, everyone seems to be in agreement. After years of less than stellar follow-ups to the classics I had lost my steam when it came to waiting for the final installment of the prequel trilogies. Luckily Lord of the Rings came out and showed me that I hadn’t grown old and jaded, allowing that to be the reason I hated the SW prequels. LOTR (as us geeks refer to it) restored some of the child like awe I remember having when I sat in the theater as a kid watching the SW movies of my youth. That was how movies should have been made, and Lucas should have taken notes!

To us nerds, Episode III’s plot was like The Passion of the Christ and Titanic. We knew how it was going to end, and we even knew some of the plot details. The only thing we didn’t know was how George Lucas was going to fuck it up. Like I’ve already stated, we had Ep. I & II to give us a pretty good idea. Every now and then I would catch an article or photo on how the plot was coming along or what the characters were going to look like this time around. Some of it peaked my interest, but not enough to make me excited for its big release. For over a year there seemed to be a serious buzz about how great this movie was going to be and I just couldn’t understand it? Were people starting to forget about the other films? Were all the underground internet film rags on the Lucas payroll? What was everyone talking about? Sure some of the ships and aliens looked cool, but shit rolled in sugar may look sweet, that doesn’t mean its candy now does it? Big deal, Chewbacca was going to be in this one! Ooh, Vader makes an appearance! Big deal! This movie was going to stink worse than a bag lady's moose knuckle! It HAD to! Then I saw the much awaited teaser trailer…

When I heard it was going to be online I scoffed and avoided it, then I heard it was going to be on t.v. and I finally caved in. I had to confirm how shitty it was going to be for myself. It was only going to be a two minute trailer and I would to have to endure an hour of the O.C. before I could even see it, but I just had to know. Finally the day comes and I take my O.C. lumps when the big announcement that the trailer was up next fills my ears. I sit forward and watch with studying eyes in complete silence for the next couple of minutes.

I had been to many a funeral in my day, I’ve also seen many of my friends get married and have kids, I’ve seen my sisters have kids and have felt different realms of emotions for each occasion. After seeing this teaser trailer though, I was left in a state of emotional shock! I didn’t know if I wanted to yell, cry or sit alone in the dark? Which ever it was it would be done with nothing but excitement! Did my eyes deceive me or did I just see the best fucking thing I have ever seen in my life?! There was no way what I just saw was for a new SW movie! It couldn’t be! It looked too damn good! It was too much of what I had waited my whole life for! It had to be a sham, a sick perverted joke to raise my hope and dreams, only to smack them down like a spiked volleyball and humiliate me! But it looked like what I was waiting for and it was too good to fool me, I was too smart for that this time around.

From that moment on I absorbed every story, picture and spoiler I could find. If the news said they had a sneak peek at a booger left on the lot where they were filming Episode III, I would watch an hour of news to see it. I was in deep and when they announced the release date I made sure to check the local theaters for the availability of midnight show tickets. It was like the past experiences and disappointments never happened. I ended up buying my tickets weeks ahead of time and even secured a buddy to drag along with me for the midnight geek showing. All my buddies were on the same page, the only difference was they either had kids or a spouse to see it with and I couldn’t invite myself to their special day. They had to do it their own way and I had to do it mine. Luckily my friend Nicole was willing to be my co-pilot and knowing she loved the movies as much as I did it was a guarantee the ticket wouldn’t be wasted on her.

The big day had finally arrived and I couldn’t believe it was finally here. All those years of waiting had arrived, all those weeks of anticipation were about to pay off, all those hours of anxiously watching the clock were finally passing by. The time had come and there was a buzz in the air that let it be known midnight on May 19th wasn’t just any day, it was Star Wars day and I was going to be part of it.

All that week people would ask me things like “are you ready?” “did you get your tickets already?” and on the day of the same questions were being asked. I down played my excitement because just because I know I’m a total tard didn’t mean I wanted to confirm it for everyone else? “Yeah, I’m gonna check out the midnight show, but only because I did it for the other movies…” I think I blew my cover when some sly individuals asked, “did you take the day off?” and I would blurt out “YEAH! It’s Star Wars day! I’m just going to load up my backpack with a big sandwich and some juice boxes and hang out in the theatre all day!” Oh well, I wasn’t ashamed. I’m a grown ass man and I could do what I wanted.

Work flew by that day and I was finalizing all my preparations for the evening show when it hit me! SHIT! I lost the card I had bought my tickets online with?! The prior week I had taken my sister to dinner and on the way to meet her I had left it in an ATM machine! I had ordered a new one but it had different numbers on it?! Aww, it shouldn’t be a big deal I said to myself. I’ll just gather up all basic information needed to claim my tickets. I found my confirmation sheet from FANDANGO and printed it up. I also printed up my card statement which showed my purchase was already paid for and that the account did indeed belong to me. With my new card and driver’s license I should have had more than I needed to solve my missing card problem. It would be fine.

I call Nicole after work to remind her that she was to meet me at my apartment at around 10:30 so we could get to the show about an hour before show time because we would surely have to wait in line. When I talk to her she sounds pissy. This wasn’t a good sign? I ask her what the deal is and whatever it was to lighten up, it was Star Wars day! It didn’t seem to work, but she assured me she was excited to go and she was just burnt out on work. Fair enough, who likes work? Around 10:00pm she calls me up to tell me she’s on her way, but she still sounds pissy? What the hell! It’s fucking Star Wars day?! Get over it already! I sarcastically tell her to leave the tude at her crib because there was no room for bitterness at the theater and to think of all the carnies we’d be laughing at before the movie. She just placates me with some humorous banter and tells me she is on her way. This was not a good start to a night I had been eagerly awaiting, not good at all.

When she shows up she just looks tired and angry. I get in the car and just look at her.
“You don’t have to go if you don’t want to you know?”
“I know I don’t, but I want to”
“Well, you seem kind of pissy, you better not ruin Star Wars day!”
She just throws me a “you’re such a dick” look, but lightens up a bit on the ride to the theater. By the time we pull in the parking lot both of us are in pretty good spirits and start to giggle as we talk about the different kinds of tards we were bound to see. I notice the line is LONG and there are two lines at that! I assume the longest line was the one we were going to stand in but it was still at a length where we’d still get good seats. Nicole pulls into a parking spot and we give each other the “let's do this” look and get out of the car and head towards what would turn out to be the most annoying situation and group of the stupidest mother fuckers I’ve dealt with in a long time.

Knowing we had gotten to the movies a little over an hour from when the movie was to start I didn’t really sweat having to go to the ticket booth to claim my tickets I’d bought on line. Sure they might be a minute or two of explaining my card situation, but I had all my papers with me so I would be good to go. I walk to the window and get greeted by this skinny cracked out looking lady with eyes like that run away bride chick and hair like Harpo Marx, except brown. I smile, return the greeting and start explaining my situation to her. As I start to get into the detail of my story I notice she is just staring at me with this far off look in her eyes?
“I’m sorry? Is any of this making sense to you? Here, I have a copy of the receipt and my statement. Here is the new card that I just got in the mail today and here’s my drivers license”
“Ok…um? So you don’t have the card you bought the tickets with? Because I need that card to get your tickets?”
“No, that’s what I’m trying to explain to you? It was lost and I have a new card, but the numbers are different. The paper work I just gave you has all the information needed on it”
“Um…(insert puzzled look here)…but we have the information in the computer with the old card?”
“Yeah…can’t you manually punch in the number if I give it to you?”
“…um…Yeah? Uh…can I see your new card?”
“What? Yeah you can see it, but it’s not the same number?”
“Oh…yeah. Um…y’know…uh, let me get a manager…”
She then bolts out the little door while Nicole and I look at each other in confusion. Neither of us could understand why it was such a big deal and were even chuckling a bit about how absurd the whole thing seemed. I was annoyed, but no where near upset…yet.

A couple of minutes later Miss Crackhead walks in with the Manger and gestures towards me. The manager is about the same height as me and looked to be a couple of years younger. He’s dressed in this really bad suit that has these abnormally looking shoulder pads and seems a bit of a dork. He gives me a nice mellow “hello sir” and starts looking at the paper work.
“So you don’t have the card you purchased the tickets with?”
“No! I just went through this with the lady who went to get you” Who's standing next to the manager and has an expression like I tried to pull one over on her.
“Look, I lost the card and I know the last set of numbers on it. Why don’t I give you those numbers and usually the first set of numbers always remain the same so you can use the first set off of my new card and punch in the last set of numbers from my old card?”
“Well sir, we usually use the card for reference and that information is stored in the computer. We can’t get access to your tickets without that information”
“Can’t you enter the information manually? I have every piece of information you can possibly need right here, I just don’t have the actual card! If you can’t get that information you can still see that they were paid for by me, so can’t you give me a set of tickets and just leave the tickets unclaimed?”
“Sir, the problem is this is a sold out show…”
“YES! I know! That’s why I bought my tickets ahead of time!” I say loudly as I feel my hands make fists.
“Let me see something…” The crackhead is standing next to him, silently, and the Manager starts typing away on the computer.

A few minutes pass and he’s still typing away on the keyboard like he was trying to hack into the fucking Pentagon or something! Nicole can sense I’m about to flip out and shakes here head with a smirk on her face. “DUDE! What is their problem,” she asks me with a scowl. I just shrug my shoulders and shake my head, I was already feeling dizzy with anger. More time passes and the Manager and I exchange a few more pointless Q&A’s when I notice some movement out of the corner of my eye. I turn my head and notice that the movement was all the people who were lined up were now shuffling into the movie theater! I look at Nicole in disbelief and she just looks dazed. “Excuse me? That wouldn’t happen to be the line I was supposed to be in going in the theater to be seated would it?”
“Uh, I think it is”
“WHAT?! What is the problem here? Why is this taking so long? Now people are already going into the theater! What more information could you possibly need!”
At this point a little Mexican guy pokes his head into the box office and asks Shoulder Pads if everything was going alright. Shoulder Pads nods and the guy disappears. Crackhead is still just standing there looking like she was trying to figure out how many cocks she would have to suck before she got her next fix. Now I’m just imagining myself reaching in the little hole they hand you your tickets through and grabbing Shoulder Pads by the tie and smashing his face into the plexi glass! My hands are starting to twitch and Shoulder Pads asks, “Sir, do you know the number of the original card?”
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I’VE GIVEN IT TO YOU NUMEROUS TIMES ALREADY! WHAT ARE…NEVERMIND! HERE’S THE NUMBER…” I start to recite the number again and he’s just gazing into the monitor of his computer and typing like he just learned how.
“Okay, I’m sorry. That last set of numbers again?”
“Yeah, can you do that?” he says as he slides me a pen through the small hole in the plexiglass. I write the numbers down with such furious anger that I almost engraved them into the counter top. I slide the paper back to him and continue to stare him down just waiting for him to provoke me to go inside and fuck him up. He refuses to make eye contact with me and grabs the paper and starts typing in hacker fashion again. Nicole is quietly leaning on the counter with her back to Shoulder Pads, but is almost as pissed as I was. Crackhead was just nibbling on her nails and watching in awe as Shoulder Pads types away.

After a couple MORE minutes I see two tickets pop up from the counter near the computer. Shoulder Pads has a look of satisfaction on his face and grabs the tickets from the machine.
“Ok, what I did was I took the last set of numbers from your old card and then typed the first set of numbers from your new card and after I did that it released the tickets!”
“…” I just stare at him for a sec “So you just went ahead and did what I told you to do when I first walked up to this window and it worked huh? Wow! Your and effing genius! Can I just have my tickets!”
“Sure, just go ahead and go inside the theater. Sorry it took so long”
I throw him the hardest “FUCK YOU” look I could muster and snatch my tickets from his hand. “What fucking retards,” Nicole exclaims, “what the hell was the problem”
I didn’t answer her and I just hand her her ticket and we walk in.

At this point there are no more people waiting to get into our theater and I knew finding a good seat was not going to happen. When we get in the theater we don’t really hear anything but once we get around the wall and look up at the stadium seats the whole place is packed! Packed with the biggest freak show this side of the O.C.! I saw about 5 guys with lap top computer open and typing with a creepy frenzy as the glow from their screens shimmered in their glasses. There was another batch of folks in costumes and some even had girlfriends. I saw two Darth Vaders, about 4 Jedi, 1 stormtrooper and 1 Jabba the Hutt (which just turned out to be this really gross fat guy.) With Nicole by my side we walk up the aisle scanning the theater for 2 seats. After a few failed attempts at securing some seating we deal with the fact that we were destined to sit in the front section. Already livid from the ticket situation I get another jolt of anger at this realization and blurt out “how the fuck do you even watch a movie when you sit that close to the fucking screen?” I hear a voice that isn’t Nicole’s answer “LIKE THIS!” I turn my head to see who was talking to me and its some chubby nerd fuck and once I turn to look at him he raises his chin and stares up at the ceiling while repeating “LIKE THIS!” Thinking I could probably sock him in the chin and snap his neck in one swift move I decide to walk away. I guess he wasn’t going to be satisfied until he got a laugh because when Nicole walks past him he follows her with his eyes and yells out “LIKE THIS!” one last time, hoping to tap her funny bone. Asshole.

We get to the front and notice there are two seats next to each other… in the handicapped section. We figure we were fucked anyway so we might as well snatch them up while we had the chance. Once we sit down we both look like we could go on a killing spree. We are sitting in the right hand corner of the front section and are SO far off to the right that we have to look at the movie from the corners of our eyes like it’s going to sneak up on us! I am so filled with rage by this point that I can’t sit still. “I want to go wait in the lobby for that fucking Manager so I can beat the shit out of him!” I tell Nicole. With a touch of amusement in her expression she comes back at me with “I have some vicadin? Do you want one?” “YES! You KNOW I want one!” She then smiles and reaches in her purse like a grandparent would if they were getting you a stick of gum. Why she had a bottle of vicadins I don’t know, but she had them and that’s all I did care about. I gather up a little saliva and dry gulp the pill like it was the antidote to rage. It wasn’t until after I realized I hadn’t eaten dinner that night and I’d probably make myself sick by taking drugs on an empty stomach so I offer to get her a refreshment, which she declines, and make my way to the snack bar. All I got was a large lemonade and some nacho’s and it came out to cost close to $10!? I could have had two orders of macho nachos for that price? Seeing as how I was already seething with anger I don’t even sweat it and hand the kid behind the counter a 10 spot and make my way back to my seat.

When I sit down Nicole is all excited and grabs my arm. “Oooh! You missed it!” she tells me with her eyes wide with excitement.
“Missed what?”
“Man! When you left these teenagers walk up to the front of the theater and they are all dressed in Star Trek outfits!”
“Star Trek?! How many were there?”
“Yeah Star Trek! There were three of them and they get up to the front and yell out “LIVE LONG AND PROSPER” while making the Mr. Spock sign with their hands, then they yell “STAR TREK RULES!!!” and run out of the theater!”
“Are you kidding me?! And I missed it!?”
“Yeah! After they yelled that the nerds started getting crazy and were yelling “FUCKING NERDS! STAR TREK SUCKS!”
“Damn! What a jip! I can’t believe I missed that shit!”
“It was suh-weet dude!’

I start eating my nachos just waiting for my little white friend to kick in when I notice the weird little Mexican guy who had popped his head into the box office to check on things. Having had a little bit of banter on the bullshit that went on that evening and how we got fucked over Nicole suggests I go talk to the little Mexican Manager (who I will refer to as M&M). I think about it for a minute and agree with her. I get out of my seat and walk up behind him, because he was talking to some employee, and lightly tap him on the shoulder. He turns around with a bit smile on his face and tells me “Jess!” It was at this point I knew this scenario was going to suck!
“Hi. Can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Chure! Wass can I do fo ju?”
“Yeah, I just dealt with one of your managers and some ticket booth girl moments ago and I’m not very happy with the situation that just took place.”
“Ho, do ju knows the mana-hers name?”
“No, but he’s the chubby blond guy in the bad suit. You had looked into the ticket booth when he was working on trying to get me my tickets?”
“JESS! Ho k, I knows who jor talkin bout”
“Ok, well here’s what happened…” and I proceed to tell all the drama to him. He seems very attentive, giving me head nods, cupping his chin and such.
“Well now we get into the theater and there is no place to sit and we’re stuck in the handicapped section,” after making that statement I point towards Nicole and she smiles back, “I’m not a fool, I know we weren’t going to get the best seat in the house, but we would have gotten a good seat at least?”
“Uh-huh, well I can sees a couple seas opens steel?” he says as he point to a few single seats with his big ass walkie talkie. This sets me off for some reason because I felt like he wasn’t getting my point.
“Yes, I see a couple of single seats, but we planned on sitting next to each other to watch this movie!” (it’s fucking star wars guy! C’mon! Why would I want to share that special moment with a stranger?!)
“Ho, jess, ho k”
“Well, I’m pretty livid about all this and I think you should at least comp our tickets or do something? This is unacceptable! I bought my tickets weeks ahead of time, I get here early and it was all for nothing! Now I have shitty seats so what was the point of even paying extra for my tickets?!”
“Uh-huh. Sore, I ‘ms so surry bud ee’s not hower monies? It’s meester Yorge Yucas’s monies?”
I just stare at him because I’m not sure I was hearing him right. When I realize this conversation was actually happening I let out a hearty “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!”
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN THIS ISN’T YOUR MONEY? THAT IT’S GEORGE LUCAS’S MONEY?!” at this point I’m on the verge of snapping and I get in his face.
“Sore, dus studios dusn’t pays us for chowing dis movies. The monies ghost to meester Yucas! Der ee’s nuting I can do’s?” and he shrugs his shoulders and throws his hand up.
I get closer to him, close enough to where I’m almost looking down on the top of his head.
I feel a bit better having got it all out and I take a step back, but never take my eyes off the little bastard.
“…Ho K. Lesme seas what I can do’s ho k? Eyes be right back”
“Fine, thank you. And if you need me I’ll be in the handicapped section…”

I get back to my seat and Nicole just laughs and says, “Dude! What did you tell him?” I explained the whole George Lucas bullshit and she just laughs and laughs. The movies trailers are starting and so are the effects of the vicadin. They haven’t turned the lights down yet and I’m starting to wonder where the hell M&M is? After a couple of trailers I see M&M charging into the theater and goes to the very front of the screen, looks at me, snaps his finger and gives me the c’mere gesture after he points at me. I tap Nicole on the arm and tell her “I think he wants us to follow him?” When we got up out of our seats to walk to the front of the theater it felt like we were getting called to the principals office and I was just waiting for the audience to yell out “OOOOH! Your buuusted!” but they never did. He walks us over to the hallway and tells me “Ho k, der ee’s huhnother movies sturting rhyes now in the de uther theaters. Eef you wants to go in theres to watched the movies thans you can. Deys havents lets all the peeples in jet.”
I was pretty blown away by this, not to mention the druggins were taking effect and I was feeling pretty mellow. “Really?! That’s…that’s pretty cool. I appreciate that, thank you very much”
“Ee’s no problems. Less go to the theater and ju can seet down.”

As M&M takes us to the theater, me and Nicole are looking at each other with giddy excitement. “I wonder how many people are in there” I say with drug riddled excitement. I walk around the wall where the seats are and I can’t believe my eyes! Not only is the theater almost empty, but the crowd is a bit older and there isn’t ONE jedi in sight! We grab a couple of seats in the middle of the theater and just laugh at the surrealness of the whole night. All I could think was “this better be some kind of fucking great flick!” I was still a bit unnerved about everything that happened and tried to relax so I could enjoy the flick, but the euphoria of seeing the last of the Star Wars saga had been all but eliminated by a slew of dipshits and even though M&M came through for a brutha, I couldn’t get into the movie. My advice to you is, DON’T USE FANDANGO! Using it almost resulted in me pissing blood!

Now you can go on to read about how Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was. Enjoy!