Sunday, October 31, 2004

Panty Pervert

It finally happened. I am officially a dirty old man!

I’m not exactly sure at what exact moment in the Laundromat I suddenly morphed into the world of ‘Letchdom’…but it happened swift enough; I was caught today by some girl across the Laundromat, shamefully staring at her panties as she delicately separated and folded them into her laundry basket. BUSTED!

I feel about as couth as Harvey Kietel in the movie ‘Bad Cop’. Surely the look this girl flashed me was similar to the expression of shock on the girls face in the movie as Harvey flogs off outside the drivers window like he was shaking coconuts from a tree.

What can I say? I was stoned…I was bored…I was lost in thought. Am I not a man after all? My eyes are automatically drawn to things with lacy waistbands…it’s part of my natural DNA makeup! It couldn’t be helped! We men are drawn to these particular women’s garments like dark matter to a collapsing star. Their magnetism cannot be avoided.

What is this strange magnetism that men have to women’s panties? Display any pair of soiled women’s panties and you will inevitably end up having to beat off* the leering old men with a crowbar. There’s just something about them that brings out that primal beast in us males.

However, women don’t seem to share the same intense interest for men’s underpants as we have for their pretty unmentionables. Why is that? You’ll never stumble across some girl in the Laundromat rifling through your laundry to sniff your dirty boxers, will you? But I bet that the reverse is not true. If any woman were to leave her soiled laundry at the neighborhood Laundromat for even a split second to grab a ‘Jersey Milk’ from the vending machine, she would inevitably return to an empty laundry basket. All the local dirty old men, like myself apparently, would have plundered that unprotected panty cache and have made off with our pink lacy plunder like starving coyotes in the night.


* Not that kind of "beat off", Sicko.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Halloween Hiatus

I don’t think it’s possible that anybody hates Halloween more than I do. I enjoy Halloween like Hitler enjoyed a good steaming bowl of Matzah Ball Soup.

I’m not exactly sure what my aversion to this holiday is; all I know is that I detest it. It’s only the 28th, and already on my drive to work I passed by Jason from the ‘Friday the 13th’ series driving a yellow school bus. Some may view this particular happenstance to be humorous and of a healthy Halloween spirit…I think it’s just creepy! I can’t think of a more ominous way to begin my day had I decided to carpool with Paul Bernardo.

Maybe it’s my subconscious that figures that my life is a complete horror story enough that it doesn’t need to experience the needless tricks or treats that present continuous “fight or flight” adrenaline rushes to my heart every 30 nanoseconds or so throughout the regular day. Just going to the local Laundromat is scary enough, thank you! My weak heart and poor deluded mind just doesn’t react too well to these situations that present themselves, evoking me with the sudden uncontrollable impulse to judo kick every vampire, ghost, witch, and zombie square in the crotch before curling up into the fetal position on the ground and crying like a little schoolgirl. Yeah, that’s cool!

I can just picture the gory scenario now: After the required mandatory bong hit, I leave for work in the morning. Only as I round a corner I unsuspectingly happen upon a group of school children dressed for their special class Halloween parties at the bus stop, and my half-baked adrenaline reflect system kicks in and before you know if I’ve snapped and dropkicked the little Frankenstein that lives down the street in the jewels with my steel toe boots and there’s a police squad car already racing to the scene.

That’s certainly something that would be hard to explain to your father when you call begging for bail money.

“Hi, dad? Yeah, I’m in a bit of trouble. I’ve been arrested for assault on a minor. Uh-huh…that’s right. Well…the county prosecutor says that if little Timmy’s testicle retracts safely from his abdomen, then they’ll reduce the charges to kicking a minor in the jewels. So, how money can you get your hands on?”

Besides, if memory serves me correct…everybody goes as a vampire or a witch, or a measly ghost anyways. So what’s the big whoop? It’s regular as clockwork ~ every year. Everybody ends up forgetting at the last minute and hastily throws something together...or they didn't have the creative brainpower to plan out anything beyond throwing on their blackest clothes and drawing bloody dribble marks on their chin in the first place. Perhaps they are the proud billionth generation of a long history of creatively stunted Halloween looser to carry on with the 'ol "Halloween Vampire Costume" tradition that has run in their family for eons.

Imagine life in these households: "My mother's, mother's, MOTHER dressed as Witch, and you will too some day, Deary!”…or, "Eventually son, these plastic novelty fangs will be all YOURS!"

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Teddy Bear Meltdown

I am happy to discover today that a friend of mine has been hired on by the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory and will be working in their lucrative ‘Bear Fulfillment Department’. I don’t know what the fuck it is that she will be fulfilling the Teddy Bears with exactly, but I’m sure it’s cute and involves many stuffed girly Hugfests.

The bottom line is that it makes her happy. She can have naked romps in huge piles of fluffy Teddy Bears in the middle of the warehouse floor on her lunch break, or reenact all her favorite Hollywood scenes from the big screen with all the loveable bears…whatever, if it makes her happy, I’m happy for her.

Personally, I think that working in a Teddy Bear Factory would be about the creepiest place of employment ever apart from working at, oh say…a Transylvanian Mortuary. I can only imagine hundreds of thousands of little glassy beady eyes just staring at me…watching me. Just watching…each second, of each minute, of each hour, of each day….

Fuck, I’d look forward to going to work like a fox looks forward to the hunt!

Eventually I’d snap and go berserk. I'd start tearing through the Teddy Bears with my teeth like George 'the Animal' Steele through a set of padded ring posts so that their stuffing would be flying through the air like fluffy clouds on a summers days. Before you know it, there would be a detailed up-to-the-minute CNN update by an excited, yet stone-faced reporter on the developing condition of a devastating fire that has mysteriously broken out at the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.

“Thanks, Anderson.

Tonight, the hills may be alive with the sound of music, but in Vermont, the skies are filled with the burning bits of Teddy Bears. I’m here on location tonight where a mysterious fire has erupted in the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory directly behind me! Firefighters have so far yet to gain control of the blaze and bits of stuffed bear parts are beginning to rain down on us like the lit embers of a beach bonfire.

Fire Marshal’s and City Investigators have already determined that the fire is the result of arson.

Tonight, Police are also on the lookout for large male, 32 years of age with brown wavy hair. He was last seen running from the building screaming: ‘The stuffed little fuckers will burn!’

Police suspect at this time Terry Nash, disgruntled and paranoid Teddy Bear Factory worker, of lighting tonight’s blazing inferno. He is considered to be very mentally disturbed and dangerous. Do not approach with a Teddy Bear of any kind!”

Like getting dates isn't hard enough for me these days.

Schmultz in the Night

I recently turned my landlord onto bootleg music recordings. It was an effort to ensure myself that each time he comes home at 3:30AM after work, where he lives in the apartment below me and begins to blast his stereo at volumes that would make even Pete Townsend green with envy, he’s going to be at least playing something fucking cool!

I am convinced that for some people either alcohol kills off, or they just lack altogether, some vital chromosome or strand of DNA that enables them to maintain their good judgement when slipping into DJ-mode after a a joint and about a dozen Mai-Tai's. Suddenly, they're struck with this incredible insight that everybody needs to be reaquainted with their love for Jimmy Buffet's 'Cheeseburger In Paradise'. Why else do you keep your copies of Tone-Loc's 'Greatest Hits' if not to share with your buddies ten years from now and heartlessly keeping them from comfortably passing out at three-fucking-thirty in the morning?

"Hey guys! Remember Harold Faltermeyer's 'Axel F' in 'Beverley Hills Cop'? Man, he really SMOKED that synthesizer shit up on that tune! Doo doo doodoo doo, doo doo doodoo doo, doo doodoo doo doodoo dooooooooo..."

I accept that my landlord is one of these kinds of guys as well, that will forever relive his Golden Years on his couch in the middle of the night in an alcoholic splendor to his blasting power ballads until he passes out in a puddle of drool. That's just the way he is wired. But having to try and get back to sleep while listening to ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ is just pure unadulterated torture. Anything but fucking Wham!

That's crossing the line!

At least by feeding him classic live performances from all the worlds musical genres, chances are that I can now look forward to being awoken at 3:30AM to a crispy David Crosby soundboard of ‘Yes I Can’, instead of ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree’ being played so fucking loud it sounds like Tony Orlando himself is playing at the foot of your fucking bed!

Call it the lesser of two evils. Or maybe it’s taking a high road to somewhere. At the very fucking least, it’s managing to successfully stem me off from committing a ritual homicide at the crack of dawn each morning.


“You put the boom boom into my heart,
You send my soul sky high when your lovin' starts.
Jitterbug into my brain,
Goes bang bang bang till my feet do the same.”

Good God, what man deserves to be woken from his precious slumber with that? It’s enough to stop your heart midverse right there! At the very least, it’s going to instantly leave your poor morning wood limper than Ricky Martin at a Playboy photo shoot. It’s just not humane!

Also, I don't know about you but I wouldn't particularly want either these princesses jitterbugging, tangoing, fox-trotting, or waltzing into my brain, heart, or any other body part for that matter. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't want them having so much as an epilectic fit anywhere within three city blocks near me. Let me also make it perfectly clear that if anyone even so much as tries to box-step their way onto or into any one of my precious organs, that the only "banging" going on will be from the muzzle end of my 12-gauge shotgun!

“But something's bugging me
Something ain't right
My best friend told me
What you did last night.”

I’d rather be forced to listen to my grandmother being gang-raped by a herd of water buffalo than have to even contemplate knowing what kind of uber-kinky perversities these two fagpie’s were up to last night! Fuck, why don’t you just shoot me between the eyes right now!

“Left me sleepingIn my bed.
I was dreaming
But I should've been with you instead.”

Pardon? Well thanks a lot! Now I’ll never be able to sleep peacefully again you fairy motherfuckin’ fruitbars! Christ, now every time I close my eyes and try to fall asleep, all I’m ever going to do is worry about waking up to George Michael’s sweet man love sticking in my back. Christ, give me the horses head any day!

“You get the gray skies outta my way,
You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day.
Turn a bright spark into a flame,
My beats per minute never been the same.”

Fuck, this sounds like something Kermit the Frog would write after popping off two hits of amyl nitrate! I wonder if this was actually stolen from some lost script left on Jim Henson’s editing room floor? Besides the fact that this couldn’t be any more disturbingly gay, but now I’m also going to be picturing Doris Day in my minds eye while I’m trying to sleep as well. Have you seen Doris Day these days? Yeesh!

“Cuddle up baby,
Move in tight.
We'll go dancing tomorrow night.

It's cold out there
But it's warm in bed.
They can dance,
We'll stay home instead.”

Okay, now if at 3:43AM you still haven’t managed to blow your brains out, then you’re probably at least rushing to the bathroom to vomit up the entire contents of your stomach. I’d rather volunteer as a back scrubber at a Turkish prison than either cuddle up or dance with one of these Sally’s. Jesus! I’m trying to SLEEP here!

And then of course there’s the big schmultzy chorus that leaves you wanting to hammer wooden stakes into your eardrums:

”Wake me up before you go go,
Don't leave me hanging on like a yo-yo.
Wake me up before you go go,
I don't wanna miss it when you hit that high
Wake me up before you go go,
'Cause I'm not planning on going solo.
Wake me up before you go go,
Take me dancing tonite.
I wanna hit that high...”

I don’t know about you but I may never sleep again. For the rest of my days, I am going to have sissy dreams of two quaffed men with five o-clock shadows and pink collars getting all giggly on amyl nitrate before going off to "yo-yo" one another at the Disco.

Sweet dreams? Go fuck yourself.

So, before slipping these live bootlegs to my landlord, this was the equivalent of my own personal Hell on Earth. Now, at least I’m going to be rudely awoken in the middle of the night and instead be pleased to be entertained with beautifully articulate masterworks of musical brilliance and things will remain tolerable and my sleep will not be forever damned. Hey, I like loud music in the wee hours as much as the next guy. I just make sure it’s something within ethical musical boundaries. Something that has…taste.

My landlord may be a loud drunken boob; but I’m going to see to it that he’s the most fucking musically cultured loud drunken boob in the whole fucking universe!

Friday, October 22, 2004

From the Files of Police Squad

As part of the terms for my new employment I was required to submit myself this afternoon to a full Police Security Check at the station downtown.

What an extremely unnerving experience it is to wait in the reception area at the Police Station while some anonymous clerk scrutinizes and analyses your criminal past to find out all those naughty, secret, and forgotten indiscretions from your misspent youth committed in states of dedicated inebriation that would make Nick Nolte’s toxicology report look like a primary school report card.

I kept expecting at any moment, a badged goon squad ala-Fahrenheit 451 would appear suddenly out of the shadows and carry me away to a padded cell in the stations remotest out-of-the-way dungeon and throw away the key for some long ago high school prank involving a bottle of Jack Daniels, fireworks and a herd of unsuspecting cattle.

What I got in the end was a lamer Marcus Brody from 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' cleaning his fingernails with the end of a bended paper clip, and reeking of Kenacome *. Not exactly the menacing Defender of the Court Records that I was imagining.

Won’t that be embarrassing to have to explain to your Human Resource officer that just because you were charged with ‘Disturbing the Peace’ back in 1994 by shoving lit firecrackers up the asses of neighborhood alley cats, that it doesn’t also mean that you arn't able to be a positive, productive asset to the company (providing of course, that there aren’t any little four-legged temptations running around the workfloor). After all, we're older and wiser now, right? Or is it simply that we've gotten older and the cows have become a harder to catch?

When you think about it though, what Human Resource officer wouldn’t automatically be a little suspicious and weary of any man who hasn’t committed a single crime or reported disturbance at least once in his life? No public drunkenness, no domestic disputes, not even a single flaming bag of dogshit; if it were me, I would think that the person in question was either a complete fairy with the disposition of a wet mop, or that they were the criminal mastermind of the century who hasn’t managed to get caught yet. Either way, I’m not exactly going to want them sitting and working in the cubicle next to mine am I?

As it turns out, I am an outstanding bondable member of society. And I now have the $40 receipt for the blank rap sheet to prove it. Fucking A! Time to celebrate, tie one on, and then go out and commit me some completely juvenile irresponsible act of wanton debauchery with absolutely no respect or mind for public safety whatsoever. WOO-HOO!

* Yes, sadly and ashamedly I admit that I can easily recognize the distinct smell of three different brands of prescription anti-fungal cream...but that's another story.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Laundromat Lament

I think I have discovered the most depressing, forlorn place in the universe. A place that not only has Time forgot, but wouldn’t get caught dead in in the first place~ the neighborhood Laundromat!

I am sure that the same people I encounter there every weekend have been there since the beginning of time. The same old woman fussing with the coin slot on the Spin & Rinse washer, the same student girl folding her panties in the further corner of the building, and the same lecherous old man unashamedly ogling her panties from across the rows of $1 dryers. I don’t even think he does his laundry here!

Initially when I made the decision to start frequenting the local ‘Lake/Carleton Coin Laundro-Village', I had romantic notions of meeting chic Mia Farrow or Diane Keaton types, or any other foxy I-used-to-date-Woody-trendy-style of intellectually casual beauties, all just itching in their hair bandana’s for witty repartee with some humorous, cultured stranger to pass the lonely Rinse & Spin cycles away with.

What I got instead was “Attack of the Zombie Sasquatches”. The Laundromat is the staging area for every nicotine-stained, frizzy-haired, droopy-boobed, phlegm hacking, She-Beast with the breeding of a carnival barker within a two mile radius. What was I thinking? I've seen more attractive people at Ministry concerts.

My favorite is the guy who is always sitting outside the only bathroom in the Laundromat muttering to himself in what is either a dead Biblical language of some sort, or he is calculating out complex mathematical equations to himself while he listens to somebody peeing through the wafer-thin bathroom door. Whatever the case, he makes even Gary Busey seem well adjusted. I'm sure he' got quite a story though, wouldn't you think? Maybe one day I will see his face on the cover of one the waiting area magazines as the world's newest business success having discovered an alternative form of clean energy by harnessing the power of missing socks. Maybe I should offer to sort his socks next time.

I also now believe that Laundromats worldwide are involved in a global conspiracy to ensure that ‘The Way It Is’ by Bruce Horsnby is played at least once every hour over the in-house stereo systems. This particular tune takes on a whole other realm of depressing while you’re trying to sort and fold out our delicates with mindless indifference.

"That's just the way it is
Some things will never change
That's just the way it is
But don't you believe them"

Fuck! Some things had better change because I’d not going to spend the rest of my weekends washing my personal soilables in a friggin’ laundromat in full view of the public eye! There’s nothing quite like trying to conceal your skid-marked underwear from the prying eyes of all the lonely single mom’s peering out from behind a decade old ‘Home & Garden’ magazine. “He, he, he…I’m a painter”. But then again, maybe if I wasn’t “standing here in line, marking time, and waiting for the welfare dime” then I’d be out working and be able to buy my own fucking washer and dryer and I wouldn’t have to be getting all weepy-eyed over Bruce Hornsby songs in a shithole that reeks of Javex.

Also while I’m on the topic of ambiance, who do you think is responsible for selecting all the reading material available on the end table in the waiting area? Inevitably, such a plethora of outdated periodicals will include ‘Time’, ‘Newsweek’, ‘Forbes’, and maybe even a ‘Fortune 500’ thrown in for good measure. Sure, there’s the preferred reading list of your average Laundromat frequenter. I’m sure all the local homeless and destitute immediately race over after panhandling enough pennies to buy a Grande Caffé Mocha at the Starbucks across the street in order to be the first to leaf through the new May, 1998 issue of ‘Industrial Physicist Monthly’ on the coffee-ringed table at ‘Sammy’s Soak & Suds’.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Tryptophan the Light Fantastique!

So another Thanksgiving Holiday has flown by like an undercooked turkey in a handglider. The tryptophan has run its course through my body and there is a perfectly fitting body shaped cavity embedded into the couch upholstery where my prone and lethargic body rooted itself for the better part of three days. And during this ceremonious holiday weekend one thing became very certain: that we are all going to Hell in a collective hand basket. So grab your UV sunblock and shower flip-flops cause it’s only a matter of time before we’re all checking in at the Hades ‘Misery Inn’.

What a way to spend three perfectly good days off passing farts and repeatedly working my overused bowels like the bellows at a blacksmith shop: watching CNN! To listen to Anderson Cooper is like having front row tickets to global Armageddon. In the spirit of Thanksgiving I was trying to stay positive and gracious; but what I’m really secretly thankful about this year is a bit more selfish. I am in fact most thankful that I am on my couch, safe in my little apartment, and not out among the other zombies running amok in the streets.

It was already with a strange twist of fate that we began this Holiday week with the deporting of pop singer Cat Stevens from US territory and finally having domestic diva Martha Stewart thrown behind bars at ‘Camp Cupcake’. Well, there’s an enormous leap towards homeland security if ever there was one! If we can now only manage to subvert Courtney Love from public spectacles and figure out a way to assassinate Carrot Top, I’ll consider myself one-fucking-hundred percent secure from terrorist attack!

Most tragic, was the dual bombings of the Hilton Resort in Taba, Egypt and a bungalow campground to the north by terrorists, resulting in the killing 34 people ~ not exactly happy digestive viewing, is it? Egyptian investigators are linking these particular bombings to suspected al-Qaeda members based on similar Modus Operandi’s from past al-Qaeda attacks. Pardon? What exactly was the tip off that clued them in? First you plant the bomb, then you light the fuse, then you run, and BOOM! Start releasing press releases to Anderson Cooper. Am I missing something here? Isn’t that the same fucking Modus Operandi for all terrorist bombings worldwide? I’m quite sure it’s even included in the ‘Anarchists Handbook’ adopted by al-Qaeda, Brigades of the Martyr Abdullah Azzam, Jamaa Al-Islamiya Al-Alamiya, Joe Schmo’s Crusade for Extra Cheese, and every other halfwit activist organization as the official guide to terrorist bombing. What kind of fucking rocket scientist put that profile together? “They used explosives, they targeted innocent civilians, must be al-Qaeda!” Absolute genius strategist there alright.

On another sad note, Superman has passed away. Christopher Reeve died from heart failure at the age of 52 from complications deriving from an infected pressure wound. How shitty is that? He’s been paralyzed in a wheelchair for the past nine years, and the most he’s moved since 2000 was to briefly wiggle his index finger *, and he meets his end at the hands of a bedsore. Drag.

The first democratic elections are being held in Afghanistan this weekend as well. Of course, it’s certain that it will take approximately an eternity by the time the ballots have all been delivered, chiseled out on stone tablets by all the eligible citizens and tribe’s members, and then transported back across the rugged landscape again by donkey before being tabulated for an ultimate result. Final election results are predicted to be available by the year 2063, and of the 14 Presidential candidates, only 4 are expected to still be alive. Onward and upward! I can’t wait to see how this plays out over the next quarter millennia.

Even my own humble homeland of Canada was not spared by the current influx of bad Thanksgiving mojo being experienced all around the globe this particular weekend. Canadian submarine HMCS Chicoutime was crippled while on maneuvers in the North Atlantic off the coast of Ireland after a fire broke out killing one sailor and injuring eight others. Not only was the Chicoutime left dead in the water, it had to be towed back to the nearest base in southwestern Scotland at 3 knots **. Similar fires aboard the HMCS Corner Brook have forced Canadian military to withdraw from service the rest of her submarine fleet to dock as well.

Firstly, let me say on behalf of Canadians everywhere: “Oops. How embarrassing.” Secondly, we have fucking SUBMARINES? We can barely manage to keep our own national airline operating flights normally, and our military has fucking submarines? What the hell do we need submarines for anyways; especially old rickety-ass second hand British submarines that probably still reek of Churchill’s cigar smoke?

Beyond that, what the hell were they doing off the coast of Ireland? It is that our brilliant military strategists have come upon the shocking conclusion that the real future threat of terror is going to be waged with the ‘War on Leprechauns’? I can practically hear the call to arms aboard the Chicoutime echoing on the decks and out across the mean waters of the Irish Sea:

“Cap’n, our sonar is picking up an unknown shamrock-shaped vessel 400 yards off our starboard bow!”
“Very well! Sound the alarm, seal the hatches, extinguish the wienie roast bonfire, and prepare to DIVE!
“Ay Cap’n!”

Mind you, this is the Canadian military we are talking about here. So maybe like Air Canada, nobody on the world stage will be really much surprised. They’ll just think that we were celebrating a televised curling bonspiel with one too many brewskies and bacon sandwiches and got a wee bit careless in our used dinghies. Those crazy Canucks!

Most interestingly however, and which was not all together unbearable to see unfold on the CNN updates, was the Presidential Debate scandal. Now this is about as juicy as the Butterball that I’m still working through my bowels! Rumors are running rampant about George Bush’s peculiar bulge in the back of his suit jacket during the Presidential Debate. Was it merely just a pucker along the back seam accentuated when he crossed his arms, or was it a secretly concealed radio transmitter wired up underneath his $3000 Savile Row suit jacket? Was George receiving killer lines from his political advisor Karl Rove in his ear, or what he just a victim of fashion faux pas? See what I mean? Juicy!

A spokesperson for Bush even went so far to collect a statement from George’s tailor Georges de Paris, stating the common tailoring defect in that particular style of jacket. Now, you better fucking believe that if I ever spent 3000 dollars on some fancy-ass suit that there had better not be any fucking “puckers” of any sort in any of the seams or heads will fucking roll! And besides, like I’d ever believe what a Bush spokesperson said to me anyway. I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘ol Georges statement was actually extracted in the basement of his tailor shop at gunpoint by two large men in dark sunglasses.

But honestly, of course George Bush was wired. How could he not be? The man hasn’t got the two cents necessary to bend over to tie his own shoelaces let alone debate national political strategy. In fact, I’ll even go one further and suggest that this mysterious pucker in the back of George Bush’s jacket was actually an entire homing beacon so that the answers to his debate questions could be beamed directly into his brainpan from a secret CIA satellite orbiting above in outer space.

Maybe it was the tryptophan in my system, but it sure was a weird weekend in front of the tube for sure. Come Tuesday morning I was waiting for some strange guy dressed all in black to try and convince me to take a red pill. “C’mon Terry, do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead…only try to realise the truth. There is no spoon. Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself”.

Turkey and CNN may just be my new recreational drug of choice!

* Which I like to think was the result of Christopher trying to give the universal one-fingered response to George Bush’s conservative views on stem-cell research during the 2000 televised Presidential Debate.

** Which is about the same equivalent speed as an 87 yr old grandmother rowing a washing machine.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Easing on Down the Corporate Ladder

Today is officially my last day working at this current Corporate Hellhole. Yep, after my shift today they will all be dancing in the aisles and singing songs of my tragic parting. Something like: “Follow the Yellow Brick Road! Follow the Yellow Brick Road! Follow, follow, follow…”

In fact, I’m not leaving here today until I get a munchkin with a lollipop! Then I’ll be skipping out of here in my ruby slippers gayer than Richard Simmons at a Judas Priest reunion concert. The only difference is that the road I’ll be jaunting down will not be paved with yellow bricks so much as it will be paved with pink slips and all my broken hopes and dreams. But don’t get me wrong; I’m still going to be skipping down that motherfucker to the bitter end if it kills me!

Before I leave today I will have to bequeath away all my worldly office place possessions. “And to Snuffeluffagus, who always kept me awake at my desk with his loud phlegmy rasping and deep resounding smokers cough; I leave you my remaining half pack of cherry-flavored Halls. And to Sally Bumbletits, who whined, bitched, and moaned about how she was getting fucked over every day of her life; I leave my manky unwashed spill-proof travel mug because “the dregs” is what you have come to represent to me. To the right-wing conspiracist who endlessly entertained me with his fantastic crackpot notions that the world is out to get him; I leave my precious cat calendar; may it bring you as much happiness as it has brought me. Lastly, to my 'Quality Assurance' manager who rode my ass my like a $3 donkey for the past two years: BLOW ME!

I think the hard part will be to hold back the tears. Tears of extended suppressed laughter of overwhelming joy as opposed to tears of sadness, but tears nonetheless. I cannot deny however that there is an indescribably urge in the back of my unconscious mind to run amok with a flamethrower to purge all my leftover corporate frustrations. I can see tomarrow’s headlines in the newspaper: “LOCAL FLAMER TAKES OUT CALL CENTER!” Now that’s a heading worthy of a tombstone epithet; something to inspire even future made-for-television docudramas!

In all honesty though, this whole layoff-transfer ordeal wasn’t really the big deal that I had made it out to be in my mind. It was no “Glengarry Glenross” I can tell you that! There were no stolen leads and no colorful superlatives being exchanged back-and-forth between management and myself. All in all, it was pretty smooth. Too smooth!

I was expecting more shed tears and hollow broken promises than there actually were. At the very least, I was expecting a scene out the movie ‘Say Anything’. John Cusak dressed in a trenchcoat and holding up a ghettoblaster over his head in effigy at his work cubicle and playing Johnny Paycheck’s ‘Take This Job and Shove It’ across the workfloor as I triumphantly make my way out the front doors. I would have even settled for any scene out of Dolly Parton's '9 to 5'.

Albeit, this didn’t really happen. I left through the back doors as normal since I wanted to see the setting sun reflecting off the discarded Burger King wrappers heaped in the dumpsters just one more time, to gaze upon the forest of snuffed out cigarette butts standing upright in the sandbox outside the entranceway, and to breathe in the stench of diesel fumes from the idling delivery trucks in the Brick loading bay.


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Notes From the Ground Zero at Corporate Hell (Part IV)

(Dedicated to X-Nem for the blatant ripoff of his good idea.)

So today begins the next chapter in my employment at Corporate Hell. Today I interview for another position with our twin Corporate Hell site that occupies the entire West Wing of our building; "same horseshit, different horse" if you ask me. At least they are potentially willing to rescue me from the looming Pogie Line and rehire me on a fulltime basis to continue working the shovel end of their shitty business.

The real exciting part is that I get to come and go through the front doors (for the first time since that initial fateful day I first lumbered into this ‘Pit of Despair’ two years ago) like any other normal, dignified, self-respecting individual instead of having to walk around the building and use the back door by the dumpsters. What a treat! I haven’t felt so empowered since Steven Segal’s big pro-environment, anti-industry spiel at the end of ‘On Deadly Ground’; that is to say: "Whoopee-fucking-doo". Only this time, instead of a whole rogue squadron of evil flunkies, I’m the only one getting judo-chopped square in the schiznits.

It was fun to see the looks of shock from my corporate compadres as they witness me passing through those front doors; they are much like those same anxious looks you see on the faces of the prisoners during the prison break scene at the beginning of ‘The Running Man’ as that one, lone, desperate prisoner makes his premature break for the camp's perimeter with that armed explosive still around his neck: “Terry! Don’t do it! The perimeter is still ACTIVATED! Hopefully, my head won't explode like an overripe melon. I can also feel the sudden sucking on the back of my neck from the collective intake of air from my gasping co-workers as I make my way through those front double glass doors like I entering a cowboy entering a cyber-saloon after a long ride.

However, there still remains a part of me that feels like the old cur dog whose master has taken him for a long drive to the country with his gun. I can’t help but slightly feel as if I’m being intentionally misled here somehow, like there are two beefy guys in balaclavas and power ties on either side of those doors laying in wait to jump me as I pass through.

After touring the neighboring call center that I am transferring to, I realize exactly how sterile and stunted my current work environment really is. In fact, it would be like comparing the warmth and ambiance of something like Disneyland to that of a Polish salt mine. It’s ‘Shangri-fucking-La’ over there! It’s true what they say: “Go West, young man!”

They have movie posters on the walls, hip advertisements in the bathrooms, colorful banners and tapestries hanging from the ceiling, electric heaters in the Smoker’s Pit, red upholstered swivel chairs, and even a ‘Gallery of Stars’ decorating the hallway entranceway to the work floor. Wow, it’s like taking a tour in high school of a college campus during Homecoming. I’m waiting for lingerie clad beauties to come shrieking out from behind closed doors wildly swinging feather pillows with pure delicious abandon and guys doing bucket bongs on the cafeteria floor. There are even people working here with dreadlocks! How cool is that? The seats look plusher, the cubicles look less constricting, the walls seem brighter, the vending machine cuisine looks fresher, the office memos look more chipper, and I will even wager that the kettle boils faster too.

So anyways, it looks now like I will be abdicating my position here at my current Corporate Hell as I move on to greener pastures at another similar Corporate Hell. Well at best, I’m moving from one dried up patch of scorched earth to another ~ WOO-HA! All that will be left of my two year employ here in this wasteland will be the little notched marks on my cubicle wall that I etched out each day to keep track of my time served.

I wonder what Dr. Leaky would think if he were ever to unearth this old work space of mine as part of some future archaeological dig a thousand years from now? What kind of a photograph of Corporate History will be recreated from the remaining kitty calendar and dog-eared work manuals at my work desk?

“Here we have uncovered an exceptionally preserved specimen of an early office hominid; or ‘Lackey” as we’ve nicknamed him. Note the predominantly hunched spinal column, pronounced forehead, and sunken eye sockets. You can easily tell he met his end due to a severely crushed spirit by examining the large tracks down the sides of his face where he probably cried to himself for eight hours a day.”

Soon, I expect a huge black obelisk to come and plant itself in the middle of my work aisle so that I can poke it inquisitively with the remains of yesterday’s lunch.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Notes From the Ground Zero at Corporate Hell (Part III)

Well, ‘Corporate Hell’ has a new face of evil; the dreaded “Layoff”. I am now faced with the possibility at work that I may in fact be laid off soon. Uh-oh. The Corporate Bell tolls for thee…

But what will become of the grandiose lifestyle that I have become accustomed to? I’ll be reduced to dancing outside Tim Horton’s for spare change, my cat will be eating run-of-the-mill kitty kibble, my precious waistline will diminish away *. It will be a real shame if I can no longer afford the entire Boston Philharmonic to perform Beethoven’s ‘5th Symphony’ with me in the bathroom each time I take a dump (the acoustics are incredible!). What an enormous cultural leap backwards that will be for me. Oh, woe is me!

The writing was on the wall all but we never noticed. There were signs all around us for those that were observant enough to pick up on the dastardly omens. Surely the fact that that there are both Coke and Pepsi products for sale in the same cafeteria vending machine, and an Aquafina Water vending machine at that, was a sure definite sign that Corporate Armageddon was upon us. The dreaded ‘Four Managers of Apocalypse’ are riding down on our wretched blue-collar asses and you can actually hear the gulps of realization resound in the throats of the lowly office terminal monkeys slaving away in their cubicles. The locusts are just around the corner!

Soon, vultures will be picking at our bones as we stand withering from exposure in line outside the Unemployment Office. The very air permeating the building smells like the entire call center has taken a collective shit in their business casual khakis.

Motivating yourself to come to work now is like trying to psyche yourself up to go on vacation into the Cambodian ‘Killing Fields’. It does not help that the person working across from me today looks like Dith Pran sitting there with his headset on, unexcitedly making Courtesy Calls with all the lively enthusiasm of an old man pissing in a public urinal. If anybody were to actually wear a red headscarf into work today I would probably perform the ‘Five-Point-Palm-Exploding-Heart-Technique’ on myself then and there and get it over with! I have an easier time motivating myself to eat dogshit these days.

I can’t believe that after two years of productive employ with my company that I’m back competing with the disgruntled single mom’s, the sociopaths, the right-wing conspiracists, the born-again religious wackos; as well as every other nutbar, wackjob and jagoff that happens to walk in off the street looking for directions.

We should have observed the signs. The vending machine ceasing to be restocked regularly, the ice-cream machine arriving in September, the crotchety old biddy across the aisle from me who bitches endlessly about the settings on her desk swivel chair has being in an uncharacteristically good mood lately. Shit, when are frogs going to begin raining from the sky?

It always amazes me the reactions of people when faced with financial uncertainty. It’s kind of looks like a cross between a constipated McCaully Culkin and Rodney Dangerfield.

I am astounded when I am told that: “it is in my best interests to get laid off”. Huh? I guess I can understand the rationale to a certain standpoint; getting paid %55 of your average yearly income to sit at home on the couch, woofing down mini-breakfast donuts and watching Ellen DeGeneres ride livestock around the studio audience. Well that’s all fine and fucking dandy; but I can’t even live on %100 of my yearly income so that’s probably not in my best interests.

Shit, before you know it I’ll be using my newly acquired Tupperware containers to house and raise chinchillas in my apartment for their furs, or I’ll be collecting bottles and cans out of the garbage bins at bus stops. Maybe I can pimp out my cat as a sex slave to the other neighborhood felines. “Time to earn your keep, Furball! And don’t forget: NO KISSING!”

Basically this whole corporate downsizing horseshit at work has me as anxious as an unarmed Ted Nugent at a Greenpeace Rally; and judging by the moods of everybody around me, it’s going to be a hell of race to the nearest Clock Tower at the end of our last shift. Perhaps the rooftops were all booked up in advance already with anticipation of these pending layoffs and inevitable pent-up urges to begin picking off your co-workers with a deer rifle as if you were on a weekend turkey shoot.

Whatever. So long as I don’t end up selling circus tickets over the phone on behalf of local Fire Fighters or attempting to collect donations for the ‘March of Dimes’; raking in just enough income on my weekly paychecks to be considered as my very own ‘March of Nickels’.

I wonder if I qualify for special “Cat Support” or something?

* Although, maybe a forced “You-Can’t-Eat-What-You-Can’t-Afford” diet based on current financial restrictions may actually not be at all a bad thing.

Ultimate Coronary

I have begun playing in a recreational Ultimate Frisbee League on the weekends. I joined as part of a personal pact i made with myself to get more exercise on the weekend and to get in better shape before I managed to turn all 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape?".

"I am man. Hear me gasp for air!"

Little did I know that this was going to entail having a 47 year old single mother-of-three run my fat ass up and down the entire length of the playing field a zillion times until my peripheral vision exploded with bright flashes of light that probably played along in sync with my racing heart rate in my very own 'Coronary Symphony in D-minor'. This mother was fit! I bet she came straight from the gym where she spars with Leon Spinks. By the time the hour and a half Frisbee match was finished, she almost had to carry my unconscious lifeless body back to my car over her shoulder and then push it all the way home for me while my heart and lung rates returned to normal in the front seat.

It was like playing some sinister Steven King game of endurance or something. In the heat of battle, I was tempted to deliver a good 'ol dirty old-school chopblock to the back of this woman's knees in order to reestablish my dashed machismo. Bitch don't know how lucky she was to be not sidelined permantently.

Needless to say that I have a ways to go before I’m fit enough to run the entire length of the playing field without a Mars Bar dangling in front of my face on a string. As it is now, I’m requesting that league organizers set up an oxygen tent in the end zones so that I can reinflate my lungs after every point, and to have an Iron Lung available in the First Aid kit for emergency medical purposes if one of my lungs should ever happen to suddenly explode mid-field as I am chasing down a frisbee and huffing and wheezing like Dom DeLuise after a vigorous Taibo workout.

In the meantime, this lack of athleticism on my part does little for my struggling masculinity and ego. Especially since I could barely even manage to summon up enough brainpower to properly open my spill-proof bottle of Gatorade. Right off the bat; my opponents have the upper hand on me!

But I’ll show ‘em. I’ll get so fit that I’ll nbe chasing down frisbees and shagging them out of the air with my teeth like a happy schnauzer and racking up more scored points than a high school dropout at Donkey Kong. They’ll be able to crack walnuts on my abs by the time I’m finished and my ass will be so perfectly sculpted that it will bring artists to tears.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Out of Mind, Out of Pocket

What’s with the developing trend in young women’s fashions to no longer include hip or rear pockets in their jeans and slacks? Where the fuck do they put their stuff? Do they just throw away their spare change? Sure it’s a nice unobstructed view of the chick’s cooch and derriere; but that’s gotta be about as inconvenient as fuck.

I will also note the obvious in that the “that’s why we carry a purse” argument is very true; but only to a certain degree. The size and volume of any woman’s purse or handbag is directly proportional to the amount of limited pocket space she has in her jeans. That means, depending on what she has chosen to wear out that day, she may be swinging a 50 lb duffle bag from her shoulder. And THAT’S still pretty in-fucking-convenient if you ask me!

Imagine if men were to adopt this current fashion phenomenon of “pocketless” pants; it’d be sheer and utter chaos! Along with the fact that we’d all have our own fashion television program, we’d all inevitably look like carbon copies of Kojo from ‘Entertainment Weekly’. With nowhere to put our wallet and keys, it’d be a quick downward nasal skid to the bottom of Nature’s food chain again. It would be instant anarchy: plague, rivers of blood, frogs falling from the sky, cats making out with dogs, the whole nine yards. It would seem like something you’d dream about after a quart of Jack Daniels and a couple of bad sausages.

The simple fact of the matter is that males need our pants pockets like we need our buddy-dog cop flicks. The most tortured animal on this planet must be the poor male kangaroo; the poor beast. Maybe it’d just be best if we allowed the poachers to pick them off one at a time and help snuff out their wretched existence. In fact, I’m surprised that the male kangaroos don’t already hop their pussy-whipped asses directly into the line of fire for anybody who happens to be wandering the Outback with a rifle. Imagine allowing the wife to own the sole responsibility of carrying all your personal effects in her pouch for you. How emasculating!

One minute we're the dominant kings of all we purvey, yodeling from the very top of the Evolutionary ladder, and the next minute we're banging out ‘Those Endearing Little Charms’ on small rocks in the entranceway of our cave down at the abandoned quarry.

I don't know about you fella's; but I'll keep the "pocket look", thank you very much.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Mount St. Cocktease

I once again spent another weekend inside on the couch shamefully absorbed into the many Weather Channel broadcasts. This time is wasn’t a surprise killer tornado or an immense crippling hurricane wrecking havoc, but Mount St. Helens threatening to erupt once again.

I will say this though: if the television networks were to preempt any more of my programs in order to bring me another “Volcano Update” on Mount St. Helens, complete with all the current video footage available on the large clouds of steam and dust being burped out by this famous hillside into the sky, then there inevitably going to be another similar violent eruption in my own living room that may have also resulted in sudden deaths of another 57 innocent onlookers!

I wish somebody got that excited whenever I emit gaseous eruptions of my own. I want a team of scientists in lab coats and laminated ID tags, working feverishly and excitedly around me on clipboards each time I launch noxious emissions into the atmosphere. I’d love to see the pie charts from that scientific study!

The obvious feature word of the weekend was “magma” *. Each broadcasted ‘CNN Report’ included the mandatory in depth discussions about magma, lava flow, cone density (which more sounds like a required personal statistic on the medical form at a Fertility Clinic), seismic activity, geological tremors, and asthenospheric analyses (whatever the fuck they are!). Whatever, dude. It’s rock! Call it whatever you want but it’s still fucking ROCK to me! There may be glowing hot rivers of molten lava rolling down a mountainside; but it’s fucking rock nevertheless!

It’s not very interesting if you ask me. Well, not interesting unless they are going to begin hurling supple virgins in grass skirts into the volcano’s fiery gaping maw in an effort to appease the angry gods. Now, THAT will pique my interest for sure!

If there's anything I learned this weekend it's that Mount St. Helens is basically, a geologist’s “cocktease”. It’s always on the verge of total eruption and then suddenly withdrawing back again into another dormant state of activity.

OH LOOK! Mount St. Helens is about to blow! No wait, it’s not. Just more steam again.”

Nothing anyways like the major blowjob it gave us back in 1980 that still has seismologist’s spasming with post-orgasmic giddiness like Pete Rose sitting on the winning tri-factor ticket at the Royal Ascot.

Frigid bitch.

* Apparently, "Magma" is not the name of a large Bolivian woman goatherder who has but only a single tooth with which to nibble on her bunulos.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Austin City Schlimits

(Written @ the Austin City Limits Music Festival; Zilker Park ~ Austin Texas. Friday, September 18th, 7:15pm. Listening to the ‘Rebirth Brass Band’ at the Capital Metro stage)

They have a theme in Austin, Texas: “KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD”. And from an outsiders perspective, their motto couldn’t be more aper paux.

Festivals in Texas are like any other that I have attended, except that it was about twice as hot. Averaging about 98 degrees in the shade *, you could practically hear the melanoma popping up on the shoulders, backs, and necks of the 75,000 festivals goers in attendance like sprouting mushrooms. I half expect to see a white rabbit go racing by through the sweaty crowd bitching about the time.

It is so hot that I must have purchased the quivalent to the Gross National Product of Albania in bottled water (which for those working at the stands, trying to keep the water “Ice Cold” is like trying to fight a forest fire with a water gun) and yet I have not had to take a single piss so far this weekend. Since my sweat glands are all working overtime like thousands of little coal ovens working on keeping this one large human steam train working, my bladder has been able to have something of a vacation as well.

Apart from the Rolling Stones ‘SARS-stock’ concert at the Downsview Park in Toronto last summer, 75,000 people in one National Park is quite a staggering spectacle: part Woodstock; part Fall of Saigon. As far as the eye can see, it’s a huge sea of music fans in beige Texas-style straw hats, all waving cardboard fans so that they give you the impression of an entire field of butterflies all laxly exercising their wings in preparation for take-off and the upcoming frantic flight to the next stage to catch the next performance.

The festivals goers themselves are diverse in styles, trends, and personalities as one can imagine. From the 80 year old couple watching Doyle Bramhall wail on his guitar in the Capital Metro stage from the comforts of their NASA-designed lawn chairs, to 18 year old Billy-Bob Hicknuts dressed in only a pair of patchy shorts weeble-wobble his way through the scorching heat with a beer in each hand. One common trend among ACL festival attendees besides the Texas hats seems to be over-sized mirrored sunglasses which gives me the impression that the wearers are either all Eric Estrada wannabe’s or they’ve just all stepped off a location shoot for the new ‘Smokey & the Bandit’ movie. It seems like everybody is wearing large novelty carnival sunglasses that they won at the ‘Ring Toss’. At least I have somewhere to see my reflection and check my makeup.

Huge dragonflies, big as model planes **, zig-zag the vast expanse of grassy field in and amongst the forests of sweaty bodies like Apache attack helicopters. If they do in fact only live for 24 hours, they sure have been born into one hell of a good party to enjoy their measly lives.

From the ground perspective while sitting on a lawn blanket, the moving, circulating crowd washes around you like breaking surf. Each human wave a prime embodiment of exhaustion and determination as they endlessly plod their way through the islands of beach blankets and lawn chairs. On large scale, it’s like being in the middle of the organized chaos surrounding a marching ant colony moving over the landscape.

Flags navigate around the concert grounds and are then pitched to claim particular plots of easily recognizable land and sole bastions of individual weirdness in this sea of madness. Such strange totems that one can see dotting the Zilker Park horizon include: a skeleton in a loud pink Hawaiian shirt, and evil looking Sponge Bob Squarepants, the Texan flag coupled with the Jolly Roger (definitely NOT the party I want to stumble into after dark), Elmo, Japanese lanterns, multi-colored windsocks and inflatable pool toys of all varieties, tree branches and flower bouquets, a provocative green ‘Jolly Green Ho’, crafted sculptures that would be more likely hanging from someone’s cottage deck, and simply a handkerchief with “We’re Over Here, Bitch!” written across it in magic marker. It’s like the United Nations of weirdo’s, or the Austin equivalent of the Olympic ‘Parade of Freaks’ ceremony.

I wonder what kind of mind concocted the idea that they would identify and distinguish themselves for the weekend from everyone else by skewering a Curious George plush toy atop a fishing pole? It is highly amusing to overhear festival goers attempting to call in their locations in the crowd on their cell phones to other lost members of their clan still wandering in the sweaty masses, with all the anxious concentrated and detailed urgency of a combat marine calling in for a Medevac while under heavy fire.

“Come in Falcon Leader, this is Freakshow…over. My location is east of the floating neon pig and directly behind the ‘Veggie Fart Machine’ sign. Copy that. Over!”

* Which, what little there was, was either booked up months in advance or you had to seek shelter from the sunlight along the numerous thin shade lines found on the lee side of the porto-potties.

** Or the DC-10 that I flew down to Texas on.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Challenged at Birth

One of my work peers today jokingly suggested to me today that I must have been “challenged at birth”. Well, yeah. So? Who wasn’t?

Regardless of that fact that I in no way dispute the fact that I am inevitably so challenged that Jerry Lewis probably wouldn’t flip me a nickel, but isn’t that a completely redundant question? Nobody doubts for a second that I am any sharper than your average soup spoon, but who was ever not vulnerable and challenged from the moment that they were plopped into this world from the warm, secure, mushy comforts of their mothers womb? Particularly when the first sight your newborn eyes probably sees is a group of idiots huddled around you cooing and babbling mindlessly like Margo Kidder without her meds. Imagine your first impression of this existence if your first view of it is something out of a David Lynch movie. Wouldn’t you automatically feel “challenged”?

As our divine creator and Mother Nature intended, we are introduced into this world helpless and naked and left to feel our way around like a blind man at an orgy. It is our challenge then to seek out and perfect our niche in our existence; whether it be snow crab fishing in the Berring Strait, sculpting works of art out of earwax, or sitting at home on our ass shopping for ornamental 17th century glass dildo’s on the Home Shopping Channel.

And no matter how it turns out, life is still going to be tough! It will inevitably be as frustrating as wearing a catcher’s mitt to a circle jerk and leave you feeling like a fingerless man who has dropped his last quarter in the street. Life has more changes than Rupaul at an Erasure concert and it's as annoying as fuck! Even more annoying than another Kurt Russell 'Overboard' movie rerun.

Is this co-worker of mine from Krypton or something that he doesn’t feel the weight of all the obstacles and pitfalls laid out before him on the battleground of his life that he doesn’t feel the slightest bit inclined to feel “challenged” in any way? “Well, BULLY for fucking you, Superman!” It must be nice to be in such control and be the master of all you purvey. Maybe I should just give up entirely then and just become the floor sweat towel boy for the Olympic Special Needs basketball team…or something more befitting of my limited mental abilities.

The amazing thing is, is that even in the continuing face of complete overwhelming diversity and challenge we still yearn to continue forth. We hunger for life so badly that our stomachs suck up back against our spines, but that doesn’t mean that we are any less challenged in any way. We are just gluttons for mental and emotional punishment.

“Yes, I was challenged at birth. Thanks for pointing out the obvious, Clark!”