Friday, September 10, 2010

I guess I am lucky...

During one of my summers home, I was working on the farm again and most of my time was spent there. But every so often, I would get a night off early and be able to go out with friends to see a movie. One particular night I was driving a few friends up to Madison to see a movie and we were about 30 minutes early for the movie. We decided to get some ice cream from a Dairy Queen, but that required me to drive a couple minutes from the movie theater. This would be the wonderful drama for the night.

As I crossed a highway with a median dividing four lanes of traffic, there happened to be a pedestrian crossing. I didn't really notice the woman, but my friends did and I easily avoided the woman and was never really in any danger of hitting. We all laughed and then went right on into the DQ to get our ice cream.

As we came walking out to enjoy our frozen treats (it was a beautiful summer day so we sat outside), there was a woman leaning against a car a few feet behind my car. I thought nothing of it, though it was a bit odd to see her just sitting there. As we all finished up our food items, the four of us started to get back in my car. The woman then spoke up:

"I wouldn't go anywhere if I were you, those police cars are coming for you."

At this point, I noticed two squad cars coming through the parking lot towards us and a female officer exited each car. One officer approached me, while the other went to the woman there. I asked the officer what this was about and the office responded, "This woman says you nearly hit her on the road." I nearly hit her.

Take that in for a moment. She was saying that I almost did something illegal, but actually didn't do anything illegal. I understand maybe that woman was mad and I may have been a bit close to her, but to call the police?

In any event, I explained to the officer what happened. At one point I said I may have gotten a bit close, to which the woman replied, "HE ALMOST RAN OVER MY FOOT!" I said to the officer I didn't know what to do, and she rolled her eyes, telling me I should probably apologize.

At this point I got the distinct impression the officers didn't want to be there either. So, I approached the woman, ready to apologize. I said I was sorry if I had scared her, I didn't mean to almost hit her, I will try to be more careful, and all that type of stuff. She then said the words I will never forget:

"You're just lucky I'm a reasonable person."

I very nearly responded to this with some smart ass comment, but the officer made eye contact with me and shook her head. I simply replied, "I am" and turned and walked away.

We made it to the movie on time as this whole exchange only took about 10 minutes. I was livid, but I got to see whatever the hell I was seeing that night. But I will forever remember those words. I guess I am very lucky.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lost in Translation

So this picture was recently brought to my attention (thank you and I just have to give a few pointers to people thinking this might be helpful. First things first, the picture in question.

It is a "translation" for parents to understand what their kids are saying when they say certain key words. Now, I am not necessarily the most up-to-date on most phrases, but I have grown up in the generation mentioned in this article and I need to tell you that most of the shit in this article is horribly fucking wrong. Let's go through some of the words together, shall we?

"Cheddar: Money" - If your children are rich, monocle-wearing British aristocrats, they may say this. Otherwise, pretty sure no one uses this word unless they are talking about the cheese.

"Cheezing: Smiling" - I refer you to this Urban Dictionary article. Has no one seen South Park? The author of this article hasn't.

"Chillax: to relax and chill out" - Ding! Got this one right! Of course no one has said this since The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was airing new episodes, but whatever. A victory is a victory, even if it is at the Special Olympics.

"Chomper: loser" - I've never heard anyone say this. As far as I know, Chomper is this thing.

"Coolth: a state of being cool" - Is this actually slang? Maybe I am out of touch? Maybe I need this article to help me when I thought I didn't.

"Crunk: somewhere between drunk and crazy" - I don't think that's what rappers had in mind when they came up with that word, but if you need to think that in your sheltered, suburbanite world, then fine. To quote Urban Dictionary again: "Everybody here is wrong, it is not getting crazy and drunk. It's smoking chronic (marijuana) and getting drunk."

"Dang: disappointed or surprised" - This is helpful for a person who has never heard words before or grew up raised by wolves. Otherwise, you can probably glean from the context what this word means.

"Defriend: to end a friendship" - You're officially riding the short bus if you didn't know what this meant.

"Dis: to disrespect" - Are the 90s that long ago people don't remember what this word means?

"Durri: a cigarette" - No one says this. Ever.

"E-Class: a really expensive car" - This isn't slang. IT'S AN ACTUAL TYPE OF MERCEDES CARS NUMBNUTS!

"Fap: Drunk, confused, intoxicated" - "Here's the pulse. And here are your fingers, far away from the pulse, lodged firmly up your ass." Fap isn't an adjective, is a verb/sound. A dirty, dirty verb/sound.

"Fetch: cool or stylish" - Someone watched Mean Girls, but quit paying attention when they explained this was just some wannabe cool girls not cool word.

"Foo: a fool and/or friend" - Mr. T called, he wants his obvious shortening of a word back. And his popularity as something other than a punchline.

"Grommet: a child who surfs, skates, or snowboards" - No, this is Grommet:

"Gronk out: go to bed" - That phrase has never been uttered by a sober human being before someone read this article out loud. Maybe they meant "zonk out", but even then, that's pretty old.

"Holah: Make some noise" - I believe they meant hollah, which is usually used to say something terrible like "Hollah atcha boy!", used by frat boys and other would-be date rapists to mean "call me".

"Jacked: Messed up and destroyed" - I guess if someone said to me that Sylvester Stallone was totally jacked in the new Rambo movie, I could misinterpret it like that. But really, jacked is all roided up. Sorry, probably need a definition for that too: he's taking steroids and looking very cut. Sorry, cut means very muscly and strong. And strong means...

"Loose: a positive word meaning without morals or self-restraint" - Yes, positive. As in, "Look at that loose chick. I love the way she has no inhibitions. This is positive." Sorry, wrong, it means she's a whore, which is almost never positive.

"Moo: bored" - That's the sound a fucking cow makes. Is the person writing this article suddenly playing with a Speak and Say?

"Piece: mobile phone" - Piece means gun or dick. Jesus Christ, are you living on a goddamn religious commune or something? Who wrote this?

"Puff: something very good" - Okay, I hate to tell you this, but if you ask your kid what a "puff" is and they say "something very good", it's most likely going to be followed up with a lot of laughter, bloodshot eyeballs, and a discussion about your kid's room smells like incense. Because it means to smoke pot, you see. If you're reading this article and actually thinking it's correct, then I need to spell this out for you.

"Secks: something desirable" - Say it out loud once. Sound like anything to you? Hmm, maybe it's "something desirable" because SEX IS FUCKING DESIRABLE. I bet the author of the article asked their kids for help translating it. If they did, I also bet they don't know that their kids hate them and are currently laughing at them. Also, SURPRISE BUTT SECKS!

"Uber: Very" - Ehh, close enough. Try super or over (what it actually means in German), but you got close.

Moral of this story: Newspaper writers are as out-of-date and archaic as the form of media they write for.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Make Your Moove

I grew up on a farm and when my dad quit farming, I decided that getting covered in shit and working really long hours was really appealing to me. I opted to get another job at a farm in town and I truly enjoyed working there. It was very hard work, but it was rewarding: waking up at 4:30 AM to be at work by 5:00, working from then until about 6:30 PM, milking cows, driving tractors, and just generally doing what they show on a Wranglers Jeans commercial. That doesn't mean we didn't have fun working there though. I remember one particular morning, a strange thing occurred...

It was morning milking time and we were just getting started, so I would guess it was probably about 5:30 AM. One of the other guys that worked on the farm by the name of Troy was wandering around before going to feed the cows. I was starting the task of milking and he came walking past me. He and I had a fun little game we liked to play in the morning that went a little something like this:

Me: Hey Troy!

Troy: WHAT?!? (Faking anger)

Me: Fuck you.

Troy: Shut. Up.

Me: Shut the fuck up.

Troy: SHUT. UP!


This would go on until we were shouting obscenities at the top of our lungs at each other for no good reason other than it kind of woke us up at that point in the morning. It ended with one of the two of us waving our hand above our heads with a big goofy grin on our faces, saying, "Mornin'!". The other would be forced to do the same and then we went about our days. It always managed to keep us entertained and happy. I don't know what that says about us, but it can't say good things.

In any event, I was in between a couple of cows, putting on a milking machine when Troy went traipsing past my field of vision. I then proceeded to yell at him:

Me: HEY!

Troy: WHAT?!?!



*Large thump from an indeterminate source*

Troy and I stared at each other for a second, trying to figure out what exactly had made that noise, when all of a sudden Troy got terribly pale and looked to his left at a cow that was laying down. He bolted towards the animal and I did as well. I had no idea what was going on, but judging from the look on Troy's face, something was not going well. I ran over to see the cow on the ground, pulling its collar to an extreme and choking itself. Troy and I leapt into action, Troy going to the front of the animal, grabbing the collar, and tryin to unhook it while I pushed the animal up from the back, allowing the collar to loosen some slack. If you've never tried to move a cow that's dead weight, it's very difficult. A cow can average anywhere from 1200 to 1500 lbs and this was a Brown Swiss cow (one of the larger breeds), so she was probably about 17-1800 lbs. We managed to get enough slack to remove the collar, but the cow just put her head down and laid very still suddenly. Immediately we called for the owner of the farm to come down to help, and he ran to us.

He put his head down and just said she was dead. Now this may seem pretty sad, but it wasn't all that out of the ordinary; farm animals died all the time, it is just a way of life. This cow in particular was old (about 13 yrs old, which is a pretty old cow) and we were pretty sure she had a heart attack. The odd thing was the timing: she literally dropped as Troy finished yelling at me and he just happened to be about 10 feet from her when it happened. We will never know if Troy startled her that much and she died or if he has some super power that allows him to kill bovines by yelling at them to "shut the fuck up", but one thing is for certain...

I am not letting Troy anywhere near my fucking cows. Ever.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire?

It's always good to stay in touch with your friends from High School when you go off to college. Especially if your friends go to the same college! But what happens when you have to come home for the summer to live with your parents? Well, you hope that some of your friends will have to come back home as well, thus allowing you to party with them. The only problem is that you are living with your parents. But then you just wait for a set of parents to leave and you can party at their house. While my parents never went anywhere, luckily for me some of my friends' parents would leave their house in the capable hands of their responsible, college-aged children. This is a story of one of those times...

My friend Kat had a few of us over to her house when her parents weren't there for a weekend and we decided to have a couple of drinks. Now, when I say a few people, I actually mean that this time: there were only about 5 of us total at the house. The problem was that three of us were dumb, 20-something males who grew up in the middle of nowhere. So, when the words "fire pit" and "bonfire" were thrown around, we immediately decided to investigate this further. At this point, our bloodstreams were probably flammable due to consumption, so the last thing we needed to do was play with fire. Thank god we were all rational adults, so we all decided to sober up before we played with fire.

After that fantasy never happened, the three of us (myself, Jake, and Corbin) headed outside to get some serious flames going. Now, unfortunately, Kat was being a major buzzkill (read: more sober than us) and said we couldn't do that and she wasn't going to tell us the location of any fire-starting supplies. Luckily for us, Jake was dating Kat at the time, so he went outside and said, "I know where they keep the gas! And I've got matches!"

The three of us went to a shed near the house and went to find the gas Jake said he knew of. Not only did we find a gas container there, but we found 3 gas containers! We had stumbled straight out of reality and into a Darwin Award! Too bad for the human race, we weren't removed from the gene pool that night, but something pretty damn funny did happen...

All three of us decided to go out and put some wood on the fire pit and some gasoline on that wood. All was going just fine until we light it all on fire. Nothing exploded, but we did notice there was a bit of grass outside of the fire pit that had lit itself on fire. And by a bit, I mean something roughly the size of a football. I am not over-exaggerating anything this time, we were in no imminent danger. We were a good distance from the house, woods, cars, and other people. And that's why what followed is so stupid.

We all agreed in a well thought out, calm conversation ("Dude, the grass is on fire!" "Should put it out?" "Probably should" "I'm drunk as hell right now, stop harshing my buzz with talk about fire") that the grass should be extinguished. So, Jake and I (being slightly more sober than Corbin) looked around for something to put the fire out with. Corbin, being a man of action (drunk), decided to stomp the fire out. This is just fine most of the time, but I think I left out one important detail:

Corbin was barefoot.

Actually, I left out two important details:

Corbin was barefoot and his feet were soaked in gasoline.

It took Jake and I a minute to realize that our friends feet had CAUGHT ON FIRE and we should probably do something about that. You see, we managed to spill everywhere with our gas (probably because we were flinging gas at each other, but that's neither here nor there) so Jake manage to get Corbin to the ground and I patted his feet out. Luckily, Corbin was one of those genetic freaks that didn't really feel pain like normal people (seriously, they made Jackass-style videos of him getting tazed and things like that), so he was no worse for the wear. That and all the booze made him just fine. It was at that point we all realized the grass was still on fire and we still had to do something about it.

You ever have one of those moments where everything happens in slow motion, you know it's all going to end badly, but you still can't react fast enough? This was one of those moments. I am sure it had something to do with all the alcohol, but for whatever reason, I just sat back and watch what happened next. It was like seeing the unveiling of the PT Cruiser: you knew it was a bad idea and it could do a lot of damage, but you kinda wanted to see it go up in flames.

Corbin proceeded to notice the grass was still on fire and sprang into action again. That's right: after we had just stopped his feet from being on fire, he tried to stomp out more flames. This, unsurprisingly, lit his feet the fuck back up and we had to put him out once again. I then got up and stomped the fire out with my shoe-covered feet and everything was fine. Jake and I asked Corbin if he was okay and he seemed to be. After a strange conversation about bacon (probably brought on by the smell of burning flesh), we all decided to let the fire burn out and go back inside to drink more.

I wonder if they ever covered that scenario in D.A.R.E.?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

D.A.R.E. to be Different

As many of you may be aware, D.A.R.E. stands for "Drug Abuse Resistance Education". This was a program where officers would come to your classroom and tell you the dangers of drugs. It was a way for kids to learn about how drugs turn you into a loser and get you tossed in jail for just thinking about them. If you smoked or drank, then you were heading down a slippery slope towards harder drugs, prostitution, jail time, awesome sunglasses, anal rape (receiving, not giving), and probably death. It was a lot like being a celebrity, but more private and a lot less money involved.

What D.A.R.E. really did was teach you about all kinds of awesome drugs and what their effects were. As a 10-year-old kid, I had no idea what LSD or Ecstacy was, but a cop was suddenly coming to my class to tell me about hallucinations and tripping balls (probably not in those words). All I know is that when they started talking about how you could see dragons and shit while on drugs, my 5th grade mind suddenly found drugs incredibly intriguing. It was like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" come to life, only you just had to drop acid, sit back, and enjoy the ride! How could that not be awesome?

Oh yeah, the jail time and such. Come on, I was 10! Like I actually listened to everything. I heard hallucination and was immediately daydreaming I was Lancelot, riding my trusty steed to slay the dragon Yawgmoff, saving the princess Amgala and getting lucky (which at the time I assumed was like kissing but way grosser). D.A.R.E. pretty much held kids' attention right up until they started talking about the bad things drugs do, which is exactly what it shouldn't have done. In short, it was a disgusting failure as a preventative measure.

But, nonetheless, once you got done with it, you were able to go through a graduation ceremony. Which meant a certificate, pizza, cake, and (if you were lucky) a chance to write a speech to say in front of a crowd. Well, take a wild stab at who got chosen to speak? This guy. So I got pretty excited about being able to show off my awesome speech and let everyone know what kind of a great, drug-free kid I was going to be (read my previous posts to show how awesomely drug-free I ended up being).

Well, 3 years prior to this, my sister had gone through D.A.R.E. and never went to her graduation. Not because she didn't want to, but because my mom thought it was a waste of time and told her not to go. When it came time to go to my graduation, Mom still didn't want to go. Considering I had to give a speech, she decided to do what any good mother would do: she offered me five bucks not to go. Of course, being the avid drug resistance person I was, I refused the money and insisted on going regardless.

Nah, I'm just fucking with you. I took the $5. It's five dollars! When I was 10, that could buy an X-Men figure! I was gonna get Gambit instead of going to my stupid D.A.R.E. graduation! Ho-lee shit!

Years later, I would get to be president of Red Ribbon council (our high school's anti-drug program) and even participate in a mock accident scene we put on to show the horrors of driving drunk. I was such a role model for younger kids, it was actually kind of scary. All that in spite of the fact I never went to my D.A.R.E. graduation. Sure, I still got my certificate the next day, but it wasn't quite the same because I wasn't at the actual ceremony. But hey, it all worked out just fine.

That is, until I was arrested.

Now, the arrest itself wasn't anything remarkable. I was arrested for possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, and underage possession of alcohol. Yep, when I go, I go all out. Now I should point out it was found in the same car that I happened to be riding in and it wasn't actually mine (I swear officer). I did get charged because no one in the car fessed up (thus they charged all of us). Eventually I went to court, they "lost my case file", and all charges were dropped. No lie. Thank you, ineptitude of small town court systems!

The point of this meandering story is to tell the tale of my mother picking me up from the sheriff's station that fateful night. It was 1:00 AM and she came to get me. She said nothing to me the entire ride home, sitting in irate silence for a good 20 minutes or so. I was reeling at the verbal lashing I was going to get, wondering just exactly what was going to happen. I couldn't bear the thought of a lecture on this from my mother considering if I got a "B" on my report card, that warranted a 15-minute lecture itself. We pulled into the driveway of our house, and Mom stopped the car. She looked at me with that "I'm so disappointed I don't know what to say" look that all mothers have and my heart sank. She said only one thing:

"I just want to know why."

These words hit me pretty hard and it was almost worse than a huge lecture. I had to come up with something to respond with and it had better be good. I replied with the best thing I could think to say:

"I think it's because you made me skip my D.A.R.E. graduation."

Mom sat in stunned silence for a minute and I thought, for a brief second, she might actually slap me. Instead, she chuckled a tiny bit, and merely said, "Go to your room." I bolted up the stairs, heart racing, finally realizing what my brain had failed to filter out. How did I get away with it? I have no idea. I was asked to step down as Red Ribbon president (shocking), but the joke was on our school because it lost funding the next year and Red Ribbon was laid to rest. I had to go to court and, as I said before, charges were dropped. I had to go through some bad experiences, but hey, everything sort of worked out.

Years later, Mom asked me how I had worked up the nerve to say such a thing at a time like that. I said I figured I was already screwed, so I might as well try to make some humor of the situation. Because the charges were dropped, she was okay with everything that happened and I never got arrested again.

So in a way, skipping my D.A.R.E. graduation was probably the right thing to do. At least it made for a great snappy comeback.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fake IDs I've Seen, Part 2

As you may remember, I was a bouncer for a while in college. I have seen some pretty stellar fake IDs, but a few stories really stick out in my mind as being particularly ridiculous, and I am here to tell you of another brief encounter I had with an awesomely dense patron...

I was working one night at the bar and it wasn't all that busy. I would have been extraordinarily bored were it not for a group of my friends joining me for some fun. I was on the verge of being cut due to the lack of crowd, but we got a mini rush of about 15 people, and it was just enough to keep me on for a while longer. I languished at the idea of staying on, but my compatriots kept me entertained.

The door swung open and a rather young looking gentleman entered the establishment. My friends turned away briefly, knowing that I had to put my "bouncer face" on (sort of like a "poker face", but with less Lady Gaga). I wish they hadn't turned away though, for what happened next was something you couldn't have scripted better.

The fellow handed me "his" ID and I took a look at it. I immediately giggled, handed the card back to him, and said I wasn't going to let him in.

At this point, I should say (as I said in the previous article), that the bar I worked at was not known for its strict carding policy. If it looked remotely like you, we were going to let you in on most nights. I was good at spotting fakes, but it was mostly because I saw so many on any given night. It was a lot of fun getting to refuse people if we didn't need the patronage, but it was an infrequent joy.

The young chap stared at me blankly for a sec, looking bewildered. He seemed to be absolutely flabbergasted I didn't let him in, especially considering the crowd was small and I was looking to get cut soon (not that he knew that). He looked at me, asked me why I wasn't going to let him in. I responded simply, "Because that's not you on the ID."

This is the point where every person puts forth their best, "Yes, that is actually me!" argument, but it rarely works. He was no different, telling me it was him on the ID. I reiterated that it wasn't, he insisted it was. I then put a rest to the altercation with this:

"No, you're not Jim Spencer, this is!"

I proceeded to turn my friend around who was standing next to me (the same friend from the fishbowl race). Confronted with the person on the ID he did not legally procure, the young man bolted from the bar with almost cartoonish quickness, leaving a veritable dust cloud behind. My friend shrugged, stating he had lost his ID a couple weeks prior and obviously it had been found. We all laughed pretty heartily, as not only did I know the person on the kid's fake ID, but he was standing next to me. Sometimes Madison just isn't big enough.