Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

Sometimes I think that New Year's Eve would be the best day to be born and that New Year's Day would be the absolute worst day in terms of partying.

If you were born on New Year's Eve, you're lucky from the start, even giving your parents a nice tax break for an entire year that they didn't have to pay for you.

Also, if you were born on New Year's Eve, you're born on World Party Day as opposed to World Hangover Day for those born on the first day of the year. Bummer for them. Anywhere in the world a New Year's Eve baby goes there is a party going on. ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!

What's my point? My point is that I'm glad I was born in June.

Perfect distance from Christmas.

Happy New Year's Eve everyone!
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Grey's Anatomy

Dr. Shepherd: "Dr. Grey, a man was just admitted with a live grenade embedded in his chest. We need you to hold the grenade so that it doesn't blow up while we operate."

Dr. Grey: "That's ridiculous."

Dr. Shepherd: "Why do you say that?"

Dr. Grey: "First of all, do you realize how unlikely that scenario is? Nothing like that ever happens in real life! Second, I'm not paid enough to take that kind of risk, not to mention that this is a job for the BOMB SQUAD!"

Dr. Shepherd: "But there's no one else available to do it, we need you."

Dr. Grey: "Why isn't there anyone else?"

Dr. Shepherd: "Well a plane with 250 people on it crashed into a passenger ferry just down the block and all the victims are still alive with critical injuries. Also four of the on-scene ambulances crashed into each other at the E.R. entrance and seven of our doctors were killed because they were out there smoking and making out with each other."

Dr. Grey: "In that case we better make it quick, I have plans to fuck at least two interns this afternoon."

Dr. Shepherd: "Well there's some good news for you. All the interns are still alive, but one got a pencil shoved through his eye while he was trying to save a busload of A-typical high school students who were fighting about what clique each one was in."

Dr. Grey: "Maybe you and I could fuck while we're operating on 'grenade guy'."

Dr. Shepherd: "I insist!"
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Monday, December 29, 2008


Quality Inspector: "Well Dr. Weaver, we've completed our inspection of your hospital."

Dr. Weaver: "I trust everything is copacetic."

Quality Inspector: "Actually Doctor, we're a bit concerned about the abnormal number of deaths that take place here."

Dr. Weaver: "Well this is a hospital, people die here."

Quality Inspector: "I'm actually not talking about people who die after treatment, I'm talking about people who die during shootouts in the lobby."
Dr. Weaver: "Well this is Chicago."

Quality Inspector: "Yes Doctor, I understand, but our records indicate that you have had a shootout take place in this hospital once a year, for each of the past 20 years, usually on Christmas. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe you should beef up security, or maybe install a metal detector?"

Dr. Weaver: "No one ever mentioned it before."
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Dr. House: "Well, all the other tests we've performed on this patient have failed, in addition to making him blind and a multiple amputee. I think it's time we put him in for an MRI."

Dr. Foreman: "Um doctor, has it ever occurred to you that the MRI machine might be broken?"

Dr. House: "No, why?"

Dr. Foreman: "Well, every single time we put a patient in the MRI they have a seizure...without fail. Accept for that one time you put an 800 pound man in there and he broke the machine. Lucky for him I guess, otherwise he would have had a seizure too."

Dr. House: "I had no idea."

Dr. Foreman: "Are you really even a doctor? I could get better medical information from the Internet. You realize that you're supposed to diagnose patients right? You're not supposed to just keep guessing until something works."

Dr. House: "You're fired."

Dr. Foreman: "I quit, hopefully I can work for a qualified employer. There's no telling how much damage you've already done to my career."
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Horatio (to tech guy): "Alright, I just shot at the fleeing suspect's car and I hit his gas tank. I need you to plug that information into your computer program and tell me how far he can get before his gas runs out."

Tech Guy: "Wait, why do you have a weapon? You're a CSI. Aren't you supposed to be in a lab somewhere buried knee deep in cases? Do you have any idea how many crimes are committed in this town?"

Horatio: "Never mind that. I need you to plug the information I've given you into your computer."

Tech Guy: "Look buddy, even if a computer program like that did exist, there are an impossible number of variables we are dealing with."

Horatio (sarcastically): "Give me one."

Tech Guy: "First, how do you even know you hit the gas tank? Second, assuming that you did hit it, did you hit the top, middle, or bottom of it? Third, how much gas was in the tank? Was it full or near empty?"
Horatio: "I asked for one, not three. Why do you always have to make me feel stupid?"
Tech Guy: "I'm calling internal affairs on your ass."
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tequila Sunset

Scene: 1997, Bar Tending.

I didn't even know they let 19-year-olds bar tend.

We are slammed and I'm feeling like Tom Cruise on his first night bar tending at TGIF in Cocktail.


I reach into the mug cooler to retrieve a beer mug and drop it back into the cooler as I'm picking it up.
Without looking I stick my hand back into the cooler. Obviously a bad idea.

Do you know how hard it is to permanently remove your fingerprint? I do. You have to cut DEEP.

I tuck my now slightly lighter thumb in my hand and head out of the bar to seek medical attention.

As I leave the bar I hear one of the other bartenders yell:

Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas

All I want for Christmas is for my hangover to go away.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Thoughts

So I planted three Red Maples in my backyard this week.

And I'm thinking to myself:

"I have no idea what I am doing. There is no fuckin way these things survive."

I'm taking bets anyway.

But then as I am thinking about this another thought occurs to me:

Birds shit out seeds that become trees in the middle of an empty field. It can't be that hard.

Bird shits out a seed.
Tree sprouts in an empty field.
My trees should survive.

I think that logic is sound.
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chick Fil-A

I order my meal and hand the cashier my credit card.

"What's your name," he asks me after looking at the card.

"Kevin," I reply.

"Right," he says.

"Is that the new thing?" I ask.

"Well, it's my thing," he says, "I still haven't figured out what I'm gonna do if someone doesn't know their name though."
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Monday, December 22, 2008


A taxi pulls into the gated community at one in the morning and continues down the road for a mile before dropping off his fare in front of a beautiful Florida home. The security guard pulls behind him as he travels back towards the community entrance, orange lights flashing.

“What the fuck,” the taxi driver says. He looks at his speedometer, he is traveling 35 mph. The speed limit is 25.

He pulls the taxi over and gets out angry.

“What the hell do you want?” he yells at the security guard who is still in his car.

The security guard jumps out of his car, gun drawn, shaking wildly. The taxi driver calmly plucks the gun from the security guards grasp.

“If you’re going to point a gun at somebody, you don’t stick it out in the air like that,” the taxi driver instructs the security guard, “you hold it close to your body, like this, with both hands, that way they can’t take it from you.”

The taxi driver gets in his car and drives away. He passes over a small bridge and tosses the gun into the water.

Six months later, the taxi driver is at home with his new girlfriend. She is a manager at a security firm.

They sit and eat jalapeƱos straight from the jar while they watch TV. He tells her the story of the Security Guard and the Taxi Driver. When he is finished, she stares at him.

“Six months ago, we had a security guard show up who said he lost his weapon,” she says, “he didn’t have any explanation. We fired him.”
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What's 20% Of Zero?

Scene: Outdoor Restaurant, Coconut Grove, Florida

Our stoned waiter takes our orders and disappears. Twenty minutes later he places two dishes on the table behind us (which is unoccupied) and leaves.

I think nothing of it. After all, service couldn't be that bad could it?

Another TWENTY minutes go by and I haven't seen our waiter. I flag down the manager and tell him of our predicament.

The manager talks to someone and figures out that the food on the unoccupied table is ours. He goes over to the table, picks up the two plates and:


We were in our car a minute later.

We did not leave a tip.
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Saturday, December 20, 2008

You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

I'm slowly coming to the realization that nobody reads blogs on Saturdays and Sundays. At least, LESS people read MY blog on Saturdays and Sundays. Then again I have a kid, and I'm not out getting wasted on the weekend anymore. Therefore, here are some things on my mind:

There are certain movies that I ALWAYS have to watch if they happen to be on while I am going to bed. Usually there are not two on at the same time. God forbid I would have to make a choice between two favorite movies. I was put to such a choice recently. Both Jaws and Predator were on at the same time. A tiny conflict occurred in my brain, on the one hand, Predator may be the most "timeless" action movie I have ever seen, in that it could literally have come out in the theater this week and you wouldn't say that the effects, story-line, and action sequences looked dated. Plus, I fuckin' love Arnold Schwarzenegger. On the other hand, Jaws is PERFECT, albeit dated. Plus Roy Scheider saying, "Smile you son of a bitch" is probably my favorite scene in a movie EVER.
Jaws won. I did not know that about myself until I was put to the test. Sometimes you must be tested!

Which takes me to my next topic. I DO NOT like the commercial for Direct TV that uses the scene from Poltergeist where the little girl says, "They're here." That girl is dead. She died when she was young. Who pimps out a dead child to sell products? It's just not right.

Third topic. I CONSISTENTLY write "write" when I mean "right" and vice versa.

The End.
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chicks, Man, Chicks

1999. Bourbon Street, New Orleans.

My friend and I are enjoying Bourbon street as much as two 20 year olds can. I'm half in the bag and feeling good as we make our way down the street. It is a good night and I've already told the guy who is holding a ten foot tall cruicifix in the middle of the street and telling everyone they are going to hell that: "I LOVE (improper name for a part of the female anatomy)."

To which he responded, "YOU SIR, ARE THE DEVIL!"

Good night, good night.

As we approach an intersection, we see a man leaning against a post in the middle of the street.

"You guys need some coke?" he asks. It's always funny to me how sometimes they use code and sometimes they don't.

"No thanks," I say and we continue walking past him.

"I don't think you guys want to go down that street any further," he says to us.

"Ok Mr. Drug Dealer, we're gonna listen to you," I think to myself as we continue past him. Me and my friend are looking for chicks and nobody is going to stop us.

Halfway down the block I realize our mistake.

"Hey big fella," I hear from a balcony, "why don't you come up here, I got a surprise for ya."

We look around and realize there is not a single "chick" around.

"I think this must be the gay section," I say quietly to my friend.

"No shit," he responds.

We turn around and start to walk back from where we came. We are looking for "chicks" after all. As we pass by the drug dealer, he turns to us and says:

"I told ya."
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Olive Garden

I know, I know, The Olive Garden isn't real Italian food.

Five words for ya.

Unlimited fuckin' breadsticks and salad.

We sit down place our orders and the food comes out. The waiter comes to check on us.

I didn't notice before, but our waiter is quite obviously stoned out of his mind.

Now I don't care if someone wants to get laced at work. Especially at a restaurant. But come on man, be a functional pot-head.

"Would you all like some more breadsticks and salad?" he asks.

"That would be great." I say.

15 minutes later our waiter shows up again (no breadsticks or salad).

"Would you all like some more breadsticks and salad?" he asks, "what did you have to drink sir?"

"Diet coke," I reply, "also salad and breadsticks."

20 minutes later our waiter shows up again (no breadsticks, no salad, no diet coke).

"Would you all like some more breadsticks and salad? he asks, "oh do you need another drink sir?" At this point, it is just funny, I am imagining that this guy thinks that it is his first time at our table every time he shows up.
It happened THREE more times.
The final time he asked, he was just as sincere as the first time.
"Would you like some more breadsticks and salad?" he asks.

Laughing, I say, "Sure, that and the bill."
"That's Naomi. And she's been working here WAY too long. But she's actually a pretty sweet girl... when she's drunk." -Waiting
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Meeting Noah Wyle

Scene: Baltimore International Airport, 5:30 am

I get in line for security, bleary eyed and tired. I look at the person in front of me and have that "hey I know that guy" feeling. It's Noah Wyle (from ER), but I am tired and my brain is working slowly.

He looks at me and realizes that I recognize him.

"Are you..." I start to ask.

"Yes," he says.

"Oh," I say, "well it's very nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you as well," he says.

I've met movie stars in the past, my basic policy is to leave them alone, satisfied that I now have a story to tell.

We move along through the line and finally get to the security agent who is checking ID's. Noah Wyle hands her his ID and she looks at him.

"Do I know you?" she asks.

"You might," he responds, "I was on TV."

Completely ignoring what he just said, she says, "I know you from somewhere."

Being a huge movie buff, I stand their and laugh in my head thinking about the fact that this woman thinks she knows him personally and doesn't recognize him as being a TV star.

She hands his ID back and he walks towards the x-ray machine, I hand her my ID and she says, "I know that guy from somewhere."

"That's Noah Wyle," I say, "he was on ER for like a decade."

Completely ignoring what I just said, she shakes her head and says, "I don't know where I know that guy from."
"Um... I'm not going to be able to continue this conversation." -Noah Wyle in Donnie Darko
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good Fella

Scene: NYC

Sometimes, when you least expect it, you get to witness something truly amazing occur right in front of you.

Like when Ashley Simpson fucked up on Saturday Night Live. I sat their with my jaw hanging open like I was at a Milli Vanilli concert.

But that isn't what this story is about.

One day in the late 90's I was walking somewhere in NYC when I witnessed something truly amazing. From my vantage point it was almost as if I were the director of a movie and I had just yelled "ACTION".

It was a beautiful summer day and it seemed like everyone I passed was in good spirits. In front of me a wedding was letting out of a church. The bride and groom emerged with giant smiles on their faces and headed towards their limo that was parked at the curb. I slowed down to watch them and to avoid walking right into a giant group of people as they left the church.

I noticed a police officer across the street, leaning against a wall watching the happy couple come out of the church. The police officer had a smile on his face and looked truly happy for the new couple. I paused on the sidewalk to decide how I would get around the large crowd that had amassed and reflected on what a nice day I was having in the greatest city in the world.

That is when the trouble started.

Directly across from church was a construction crew working on a small building. Some of them started the usual hooting and hollering but one worker who was standing on the sidewalk started yelling and making crude jokes loud enough for the newly wed couple to hear.

"I hope they get in the limo soon," I thought to myself, but the bride had stopped at the limo door and was adjusting her dress before she could get in. Both the bride and groom were pretending not to hear the construction worker, determined not to let him ruin their moment.

I looked over at where the police officer was standing only to find that he was on the move, and headed straight for the unruly construction worker at a brisk walk. As the police man walked I watched as he pulled his nightstick from his belt and placed it up against his arm so that it ran parallel from his wrist to his elbow.

I couldn't believe what I was about to see.

The construction worker, unaware of the approaching police man, continued his verbal assault.


A split second after he finished yelling this the cop intercepted him and without breaking stride brought his forearm and the nightstick to the construction workers face. The construction worker was caught completely off guard and fell to the floor clutching his head. The police officer continued walking, turned the corner, and disappeared. A few seconds later, the construction worker got back up and shook his head. He looked embarrassed and ashamed. He turned, walked into the construction site and was gone.

Nobody on the street said a fucking word.
"Now you's can't leave." -A Bronx Tale
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cow Thoughts

Sometimes my memories include situations that are extremely unique. Situations that I have never heard another person talk about.

For example:

One time I threw a dead cow off a ship in the middle of the Pacific ocean.

Bet you never heard anyone say that before.

How I came upon this situation was: I was on-board a cargo ship. One of the things we were transporting from Hawaii was cows.

Hawaii has more cows than they can handle.

The cows were located at the back of the ship, that way the handlers could easily get rid of their shit with fire hoses. Just spray and whoosh over the side. As you can imagine it smelled pretty bad on the stern.

Another thing we carried was molasses. That was at the front of the ship. Somehow the bow actually smelled worse. Yes, thousands of gallons of molasses actually smelled worse than lots and lots of cow shit.

One day, I walked onto the stern and happened upon a "cowboy" who was having a hard time dragging a dead calf. I was not aware of this, but since cows are packed like "cattle" in transit, some of them die on the way. It is not a pleasant existence for a cow. People talk about feeling sorry for the stuff we eat. I've seen it first hand. Not good. And we're not even talking about veal. However, on that same note, at least these cowboys weren't doing anything bad to these cows. They were packed like sardines, yes, but the conditions on some of these "farms" are a hundred times worse....Let me get off my animal cruelty is bad tangent.

Anyway this cowboy asked me for a hand, I asked him where we were going with this dead cow, and he said, "Over da side bro."

As I watched the floating cow head towards the horizon I imagined a shark happening upon it. The shark has never had steak, only seafood.

"Holy shit!" says the shark.
"I'll catch you on the flip side." -The Boondock Saints
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald



Why must you torture us with your spam? Please go away. You are like a Mall Kiosk Lady, and as I have stated I do not like Mall Kiosk Ladies.

I do not want a helping of the shit you are serving.

Are you a real person or merely a computer program? One will never know.

Will anyone else who reads this understand what I am talking about? I think I will find out in the comments section. More than likely I will even get a comment from you.


"Colonel, take us to DEFCON five." -War Games
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Tree Ate My Cat

Scene: Brooklyn, New York

A firefighter arrives on scene only to be confronted by an old woman with a worried look on her face.

"What's the problem ma'am?" the firefighter asks.

"My cat, it's up in that tree, I need you to get it," she replies.

The firefighter looks up at the tree and the cat, thinks for a minute and then looks at the old woman.

"Lady, have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?" he asks.

"No, I haven't," she replies.

"It'll come down," he says.
"The funny thing about firemen is... Night and day they are always firemen." -Backdraft
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I'll Take It!

It's good to know that during this recession, some Realtors are willing to go the extra mile.

This was on a sign near my house. I was laughing hysterically, even more than when those crazy kids rearranged the sign to spell "Come in for free ASSES".

Since it is near my house and I am not interested in my property value going down, after I had laughed my fill, I turned into the realty parking lot to inform them about their sign.

"What does it say now?" the real estate agent asked when she saw my face. She could tell I had been laughing.

"It says 'clit,'" I said to her, "I also called a couple months ago when it said 'asses.'"

"Well at least the kids in this neighborhood have something to do," she said.
"Fight Club was the beginning, now it's moved out of the basement, it's called Project Mayhem." -Fight Club
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Friday, December 12, 2008

EZ-Pass And Etc.

I overheard this while getting coffee this morning:

"I don't remember what the question was, but the answer was 'boobies'".

But that is besides the point.

I got a letter in the mail from EZ-Pass.

Dear Sucker,

During a recent EZ-Pass transaction you were clocked as going 40 mph above the posted speed limit. Blah blah blah. If you continue to do this, you may lose your EZ-Pass privileges.



Are you fucking kidding me?

I am doing YOU a favor. YOU get to hire LESS people because I CHOSE to BUY an EZ-Pass and then make PAYMENTS on it that YOU don't have to then pay part of to a cashier.

Go ahead, take it away.

On that note: I knew a guy in Florida (SUNPASS in Florida) who never bought a SUNPASS. Every single day he would go through the toll and not pay. Every couple of months he would get a ticket from SUNPASS and he would go to court instead of just paying it. No represenative from SUNPASS would show up (because they probably don't pay anyone to do that job) and the ticket would be dropped. Every time. He's been doing this for years. I'd be willing to bet that the same thing would be true for EZ-Pass.
"Then I have no choice but to remand you to the Palace of Justice for processing." -Equilibrium
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Taxi Story

June of 1977. It was three in the morning and the Miami air was thick with heat and humidity. Brian was a 27 year old University of Miami law student. He had a wife and baby at home. To pay the bills, along with going to school, he also drove a taxi full time. He would sleep for about 4 hours a day and do his school work on the taxi's steering wheel between calls. At the end of his shift he would drive to U.M.’s parking lot and sleep for 45 minutes before classes started.

Brian was particularly drained tonight, having completed a final exam earlier that day. He finished the last of his Cuban coffee and tossed the empty cup into the trash can sitting next to his parked cab. Next he pulled a pack of Kool’s from his shirt pocket and lit a cigarette.

As he was seated in his cab on a quiet street studying, the dispatcher came on the radio.

“Number 47,” she said, “I need you to head on over to 900 West avenue in Miami Beach, single passenger.”

Ten minutes later he was pulling up in front of a non-descript bar at the corner of 9th street and West avenue. A man that was half slumped over a bus bench suddenly sat up and drunkenly trotted over to the cab.

“You for me?” the man asked.

“I guess I am,” Brian said.

The man got into the cab and slumped against the back seat.

“Where to?” Brian said to his fare.

“Corner of 36th street and 49th avenue,” he said. “Hey you mind if I borrow a cigarette.”

Brian reached between the front seat to hand the man a cigarette. There was no barrier of separation between the driver and the fare in those days.

“Thanks,” he man said as he blew smoke against his closed window.

Brian didn’t really pay much attention to his fare or even to the rest of the drive. Mostly he thought of the final exam that he was to take at 7:00 am after he got off work. As he approached the intersection of 36th street and 49th avenue he turned to his fare.

“Any corner in particular?” he asked.

Like a flash the man had his body halfway through the two front seats waving a gun in Brian’s face.

“Give me the money,” the man screamed. He was sweating profusely and as he spoke spit flew from his lips.

This was not the first time Brian had had a gun pointed at him. He had been robbed before. Twice.

Brian's body was in motion before his brain could fully understand the implications of what he was doing. He grabbed the gun from the man in a single motion. Later, he would reflect on what a stupid decision this was since he could have easily been shot.

Gun in hand, Brian reached backwards over the seat as the man was pulling back apparently still trying to fathom how he no longer had the gun in his hands. Brian grabbed a fist full of hair on the back of the man’s head and pulled. He pulled the man through the middle of the two front seats and proceeded to smash the man’s face as hard as he could into the meter. The man’s nose exploded spraying blood all over the dashboard and meter. Brian pulled him back by his hair again and again, repeatedly smashing the man’s face into the taxi’s meter, two, three, four times. On the fourth time the attempted robber’s mouth must have hit the meter because there was a crunch and several fragments of what appeared to be teeth started to fall from the man’s mouth along with a torrent of blood.

Finally, Brian stopped. The would-be robber's face was red and drenched with sweat and blood. His eyes were wide with fear that he had finally found someone who would kill him for his actions. Brian took the gun and rammed the barrel into the man’s mouth. More splinters of teeth fell as the gun broke them. He cocked the gun, and then he spoke seven words, although his breath was labored from the sudden physical exertion and the surge of adrenaline he spoke calmly and was very to the point.

“No,” Brian said, “You’re gonna pay the fuckin’ fare.”
Movie Line of the Day:
"I'm standing here; you make the move. You make the move. It's your move..." -Taxi Driver
Copyright (c) 2008 by Kevin McDonald

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Blackberry Is Out To Get Me

Damn you Blackberry Scrabble game!

You had me so excited after you randomly picked me to go first before the computer. "I will TROUNCE the computer," I thought to myself.

Then you gave me my letters, I, E, I, E, X, Z, E.

Are you fucking with me? What the fuck am I supposed to spell with that?

You sir, are in cahoots with the computer. You are a bastard.

I know what you're thinking computer, "F, U, C, K, Y, O, U."

Nice Triple Word Score!
"You've lost, you just don't know it yet." -Searching for Bobby Fischer

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Am I Being Robbed?

Forward: I was reminded of this story after a recent post by

Scene: NYC Subway

I had just started college and was on the subway headed to whatever bar served $5 all you could drink from 8-11. The Zoo or The Blue Moose or something, can't remember, they all blend together. Funny how the cheapest bars were also the ones that let you in when you were underage. Hmmmm.

Anyway, I'm sitting there minding my own business when a black guy in an oversized trenchcoat walks onto the train and stands in the center of the car. This is not trenchcoat weather. He waits till the doors close and the train starts moving to yell:


"Fuck," I think to myself as I calmly reach for my wallet. "I've been in this city for three months and I'm already getting robbed? This sucks. Where the hell am I gonna get another $5 so I can drink all night?"


"You gotta be fucking kidding me," I think, "a sermon?"

I'd rather've been robbed.
"All right, everybody be cool, this is a robbery!" -Pulp Fiction

Monday, December 8, 2008

Meeting John Malkovich

Scene: 57th & 6th, Manhattan

I'm walking toward my wife's job when I spot a man in the distance.

"I know that guy," I think to myself, "why do I know that guy?"

The man in question is an older guy with a very thick beard. I can hear him speaking on his cell phone loudly in Russian. I don't know anyone who speaks Russian, how the hell do I know this guy?

Suddenly it hits me, that's John Malkovich. One of my all time favorite actors, I just didn't notice right away because he doesn't look very "Hollywood" at the moment.

I don't want to bother him while he's on his cell phone, so as we approach each other I take a momentary pause in his conversation to say to him:

"Hi, I just wanted to say that I love ALL of your movies."

I know pretty stupid, right? But what the fuck do you want from me? I had like three seconds to think.

I keep walking and turn my head to look back at the man who has provided me and my friends with quote after quote at every poker game I've ever played.

John Malkovich turns to me, smiles, and in the most genuine voice says, "Thank you, very much."

To me, that's much better than a stupid autograph.
"That Ace could not have helped you." -Rounders

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Parental Consent

Scene: The Grocery Store Check-Out Line

"See Daddy, that baby has earrings," says the little girl pointing at my daughter, "and those aren't even clip-ons, those are real."

I turn and smile at the man. A father to father moment I am thinking. I have no problem with him not wanting his daughter to have earrings. He should have no problem with my decision, right?

"First its earrings," he says to his daughter and me, "then boys, then tattoos, then who knows what..."

"I know what you mean," I reply, "we're waiting till she turns two to get her belly button pierced."
"As if things weren't bad enough, now I've been abducted by aliens." -Earth Girls Are Easy

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What the Fuck Are You Randomly Talking About?

I see you standin there.

You think you're so cool with your I-phone.

I got news for you.

You are. I'm jealous.

I'm one of those people that gets the newest phone when it becomes the "free with a two year contract and your soul". My wife made a mistake and got me a Blackberry. Now I will never be able to have a "lesser" phone. The free phones are OUT!

I was a first generation TIVO person. When I bought one for my parents, they were like "what do we need this for?" now they can't live without it. Now I think TIVO sucks, DVR's are the bomb!

Remember "the bomb" slang? Ahhh, 1996, those were the days. "Yo, that shit is THE BOMB!"

If I could take anyone's fictional life it would be the 4th bank robber (John Philbin) in Point Break. The one with the goatee. Unbelievably cool mo-fo! (Picture at the beginning of the post)

Speaking of Point Break, I have skydived, many times. You know how people talk to each other while they are skydiving in the movies? Not possible. It is so fucking loud you can't hear yourself THINK. Helmets help.

I remember when I would stay up late at night to wait for the new GnR or Metallica Video that was gonna play at 11pm. Then they would play it non stop until everyone was so fucking sick of it.

I reference time periods in my life by songs that were popular at the time.

Ron Bennington's Got His Own Cupcake and it is AWESOME!

God I love Point Break. It is so fucking stupid and great!

"Don't tell me to relax Bodhi! He's a fuckin' federal agent!" -Nathanial in Point Break

Running Numbers: The Canal Locks

Lowell, Massachusetts. 1958.
Business is good. The boy brings money to his mother every week. His mother doesn’t ask questions.

It is particularly cold this morning as the boy walks to work. He tucks his head down further in his coat and scans the ground for black ice. He is concentrating so hard on the ground that at first he doesn’t notice the five police cars that are parked outside the shop. He looks up and sees a group of police standing near the back of the store. They are looking down at the canal.

The boy knows immediately, his boss is dead.

He walks past the store and continues along the canal. A half-mile away the boy pulls the revolver that his boss gave him from his coat pocket. He casually tosses the gun into the canal as if it were a stone.

The boy’s boss has been found at the bottom of the canal, 30 feet down, wedged between the canal locks.

The police rule it a suicide.

"They whacked him. They fucking whacked him. I can't fucking believe it." -Goodfellas

Friday, December 5, 2008

Running Numbers

Lowell, Massachusetts. 1958.

The eight year old boy looks around the store. Coffee, Milk, Bread, and Cigarettes. That’s what this store has to sell. Coffee, Milk, Bread, and Cigarettes. Only it’s not for sale. This store never sells anything. This is where the boy works now.

A couple of months from now, the boy’s mother will stop by the store to see where her son works. Her son has several jobs to help support the family. She brings coffee, milk, bread, and cigarettes to the cash register. The store owner has no idea what to charge her. This store never sells anything. He charges her 10 cents for the lot. The boy’s mother shops there for the next several months. It’s a steal.

Here’s the bag you’ll carry, the store owner tells the boy. These are the places you’ll go. This is how the operation works.

He hands the boy a revolver.

“If anyone ever tries to take this bag from you,” the store owner says, “shoot them. Don’t worry about killing them. Just make sure you hit them, so that we know who they are.”

“Then what?” the boy asks.

“Then we’ll kill them,” the store owner says, “and their entire family.”

In case someone doesn't know what Running Numbers is:

"Charlie...where's my cheesecake?" -Carlito's Way

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Morocco: Coming to America

He had a bottle of water. He was about to leave his country for the rest of his life and he had one bottle of water in a dirty backpack.

The Moroccan "police" drag him down the car ramp to the dock. They claimed they were police but who the fuck knows. Everybody's police. I had to bribe two sets of "police" just to be able to go into town. My smart ass "sea-partner" refused to bribe the police, he also gave them dirty looks and cursed at them, he hates cops. Here, and in America. He's a rebel.

This is not America, I have no interest in shitting in the same place I shower, while I spend the rest of my life in a Moroccan prison, my mother sitting at home crying every night. No thanks.

I digress.

The "police" drag the would-be stowaway down the car ramp to the dock. I am on "ramp duty", I have no choice but to watch what is about to happen. They don't use their sub-machine guns. Thank God. I wouldn't have been suprised if they had. They opt instead for their night-sticks. I watch as they beat this man bloody. This man, who only wanted to come to America. That was his crime. Two of the police drag him to their car and drive away. The third police officer who is on security duty comes over to talk to me.

"What is going to happen to him," I ask.

"He will go to jail, maybe one month..." says the cop, then, after a long pause, "listen my friend, you want to buy some hashish, very cheap."

Always with the hashish.

I look at the cop and then I look up the at the gangway, the Bosun, a big Harley-Davidson looking mother-fucker is coming towards me, probably to make sure there isn't any trouble. I'm glad, I may need him.

"Go fuck yourself," I say to the cop.

"I haven't felt this good since I overthrew the government of Chile." -The Man With One Red Shoe

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Morocco: Stowaway Search

Ah stowaway searches...not quite as romantic as it might sound.

I like to say that I didn't know what being American truly was until I went abroad. They don't do stowaway searches in America. There's no need. Nobody is trying to escape. Of course, since 9/11 they do other kinds of searches on ships. But nobody is worried that someone is going to sneak on board to start anew in...Haiti.

So there I am, in the forward hold, alone, a flashlight in one hand, in the other my knife. Most ships, they send their crew in teams to go through each hold. Not my ship, the Captain likes to cut corners.

I look around, there are plenty of fucking places to hide. If I wanted to hide, I could definitely stay hidden. No problem. The shadows play tricks on your eyes, you see movement where there is none.

I stick my flashlight in a giant exhaust fan.

"If you're there," I think to myself, "just don't let me see you, I don't care, really, I just don't want to get knifed because you see me as a threat."

"Hey Cadet," the radio on my belt crackles, it's the Bosun calling, "get up here when your done, the Chief found a stowaway."

"I'm gonna go take a celebration piss." -Rain Man

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Morocco: Cargo Operations

Morocco. 1998.

It's 3am. I've been up for over 48 hours. I enter the galley of the ship and pour myself a large cup of coffee, no sugar, no milk, a couple of ice cubes and down the hatch in two swallows. I'm starting to hallucinate, I've been up so long.

I go out on the spar deck, it's supposed to be clear of cargo by now but nobody seems to be working. In between two containers I spot the problem. Three locals sitting and shooting the shit, hashish juice dribbling off their chins.

"Hello my friend," one says when they see me, "you are from America yes?"

"Yeah," I say, "you guys taking a break?"

"Where in America you from my friend," one of them asks, ignoring the fact that they aren't working.

"New York City," I say, knowing that this is the only acceptable answer. They would no more know Miami, Florida than I would know Jorf Lasfar, Morocco. The fact that I am from NYC excites them very much. They offer snipits of things they know about NYC. Times Square, Empire State Building, Twin Towers, Mickey Mouse.

"You want some hashish my friend?" one asks me. Always with the fucking hashish.

"No, thank you," I say, in my mind images from the movie Midnight Express flash by.

Riddle: How does a 19 year old cadet get three stoned Moroccans to get back to work at 3am?

I pull out a pack of Marlboro Reds. They cost a dollar a pack on board the ship but to these men I might as well be holding gold. I give them the pack and light their cigarettes.

"How about we finish off this deck, huh?" I ask.

"No problem my friend, no problem, thank you, thank you," they say.
I hear a crash down below, sounds like a forklift hit the hull.

"Fuck," I think to myself, "this is college."
"Well, you call those useless, yerk-toting, frisbee-chucking cheeba-monkeys and you tell them you're gonna be an hour late." -P.C.U.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kiosk Lady

Oh please God stay away from me Kiosk lady!

No, I am not interested in a neck warmer that I can put in the microwave. I do not want an herbal face wash made from the mystical salts of the middle east. After I have told you that I don't want your product, I don't want to then "answer a question for you".

I have been all over the world and the people running the shops in the bazaars pushing illegal DVD rip-offs weren't as annoying you. At least their products actually worked! I know that fucking "steam gun" won't work for my wrinkled shirt! That's why there are no returns.

Also, when you see me walk past you pushing a baby stroller for the seventh time, that doesn't mean I want to buy your shit. I'm just going in circles, I know you know, because we've made eye contact every time I've passed you.

On second thought, maybe I do need a toy airplane that comes right back to me as long as I am a trained "Kiosk Representative", does it come with a free fake pony tail that matches my hair exactly?

I don't need a fuckin phone Verizon. I have a phone. If I need something, I'll come to you.

They're like fuckin zombies.

"They're coming to get you, Barbara, there's one of them now!" -Night of the Living Dead

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Those Damn Kids

Here is a defining moment in my life. If my parents didn't want me to be as "nutty" as I am they might have wanted to nip it in the bud the second I stuck my butt in a fake alligator's mouth.

Instead they took a picture. Thank you parents...for letting me be me.

Furthermore, what the hell were people thinking in the 80's? What is that dude all the way on the left wearing? I would say he has absolutely no fashion sense but there was probably no alternatives at the store.

Nice hot pants me!
"Dammit man, the Doobie Brothers broke up! Shit! When did that happen?" -Romancing the Stone

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Last Supper


I request the following for my last meal:

One cheesy Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell with lots of hot sauce, a corn-dog with mustard (one of those giant carnival corn-dogs is what I'm talkin about), a vanilla shake from Micky-D's, a gyro with green tabasco sauce from Miami Subs, beef wellington just cause I ain't never had it, an italian sub with a shitload of mayonnaise, a shrimp tempura roll (didn't think I was cultured did ya warden?), and a pint of ben and jerry's cookie dough ice cream.


Prisoner #479313974

"I'm the first to admit we took this country from the indians but what were they doing with it anyway; shooting off bows and arrows and using seashells for money." -The Last Supper

Friday, November 28, 2008

Camaro Story


My dad and three friends used to drive from Connecticut to Miami on 72 hour passes (academy speak) in his 1969 Camaro Super Sport. They would drive for 24 hours, party in Miami for 24 hours, and then drive back. Don't ask me why. Miami is "the shit" after all.

This was back when I-95 was only two lanes, one coming and one going. On one occasion they were passing through a very small town in Georgia about 40 miles from the Florida border. It was 1 a.m., and as they passed through the town my dad noticed that the speed limit had been reduced to 30 mph.

He was traveling at 95 mph.

Of course a police car pulled out behind him with lights flashing. Now this is the part of the story that my dad waited till after I graduated from college to tell me.

"I don't know why," my dad said, "but I hit the gas."

For the next 15 minutes my dad led this cop on a chase through the Georgia country side. Finally, he saw the sign for the Florida border in the distance. On the other side of the border sat a Florida State Trooper. Just before he hit the border my dad hit the brakes and skidded into Florida at a "legal" 55 miles per hour. He pulled his car over to the shoulder, turned it off, and waited to see what would happen.

The Georgia Trooper came across the border and parked behind the Florida Trooper. He got out of his car and walked over to the Florida Trooper's car and spoke to him for about a minute. When he was finished the Florida State trooper pulled out and drove away.

"Shit," my dad was thinking, "what the hell was that about?"

The Georgia trooper walked over to my dad's car and with the thickest southern accent you could possibly imagine had the following conversation:

"Son," the trooper said, "do you have any idea how fast you was goin?"

"Well sir, my speedometer only goes up to 120," my dad said.

"Yeah, well, my speedometer only goes up to 120 too," said the trooper, "but I clocked you with the radar while we was drivin and you was drivin at 140 miles per hour."

My dad stared at the trooper as he continued to speak.

"I've never been 140 miles per hour before," said the trooper, "and since you have provided me with an experience that I never had before.......I'm gonna let you go.......but if you ever come through this part of Georgia're going to jail."
"That's thirty minutes away. I'll be there in ten." -Pulp Fiction

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Merry Turkey Day!

Things I am thankful for on Thanksgiving:

1. That I did not burn my house down while frying my turkey.
2. That I wasn't born in America in the 1600's, because that would have totally sucked. Plus I'm pretty sure they were burning those witches because they were the best looking women in the town. This is totally not cool.
3. Preservatives.
4. Shaving utensils.
5. Two showers a day.
6. The Office.
7. Bendy straws.
8. Penicillin.
9. Sporks.
"Those aren't pillows!" -Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Moments In My Life That Ended At The Pisser

1. I ask the person assigned to watch me urinate into a cup (who is standing way too close) during a random drug test if they would like to in fact "hold it for me".

2. After receiving an email that states: "If your last name begins with 'Mc', please report for random drug urinalysis," I informed the collector that they had racially profiled the Irish.

3. Being stared at by a Custom's Officer as I attempt to use the head on a merchant ship while more Custom's Officers and their dogs rip apart my room and leave dog hair everywhere.

4. After 19 days at sea and with our fresh water supply dwindling, the Chief Engineer puts up a sign in the lunch room that says: "If it's brown, flush it down. If it's yellow, let it mellow."
"I meant, are you in here for drugs?" -Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Needless To Say

Yesterday, a man who needed to come into my office to sign paperwork left me a message on my voicemail. He said he was extremely sorry and that he was going to be late. He was having his wife drive him to the doctor.

"I have a boil," he said, "in a very unmentionable place."

"Needless to say," he said, "I am having a very hard time sitting right now."

Three Things:

1. I had absolutely no need to know any of this.
2. Saying "unmentionable place" makes the listener assume the very worst.
3. Why must we insist on saying "needless to say" if we are going to just say the thing anyway?

Needless to say, I told everyone...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WTF Blockbuster?

You couldn't take the time to give me a decent membership card?

"Here you go sir, half a fucking card, now go fuck yourself, oh by the way we don't have the movies you want to rent and we are going to change our policies about anything and everything at a moments notice...have a nice day!"

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fraternal Order of Police

Me (picking up phone): "Hello......hello........hello?"

Telemarketer with gruff voice: "Hello Kevin, this is the Fraternal Order of Police calling. We are a bit concerned that we have not received your pledge of $20 that you made a couple of months ago."

Me (trying to get off the phone): "Uhhh...I think that must have been the last owner of this house, he also happened to be named Kevin."

Mr. Gruff (semi-angrily): "His name was Kevin McJoseph???"

Me: "Are you a cop or are you just a telemarketer?"

Mr. Gruff: "Uhhhhhhhh..."

Me: -Dial Tone-

Taxicab Confessions

This is one reason why I love my friends, their willingness to share these kinds of stories:

Last night in Manhattan:

Guy gives a cab driver a 5 dollar tip on a $4.60 cab ride........As they get out of the cab:

Girl: "Do you realize you just gave that guy like a 110% tip?"

Guy: "Oh, shit, I did? Oh, wait, yeah I did! Oh shit, damn it!"

Girl: "That's ok. It'll make up for the huge fart I just left in his cab."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Frank Caliendo

Why is this guy funny? I understand that impressions are funny. But he sucks at impressions. Unless you call doing John Madden an impression. I'm pretty sure any fat guy can do an impression of John Madden.

Speaking of fat, all I can think of when he is doing his show is: "Wait, Al Pacino's not fat. Jack Nicholson's not fat. George Bush is not fat. Robert -fucking- Deniro is not fucking fat."

Putting on Red Sunglasses does not in itself make Jack Nicholson. Dressing in a black suit and speaking loudly does not make you an Al Pacino impersonator. Doing the "I smell something bad and I'm squinting my eyes" face is not all it takes to "do" Rober Deniro.

How the hell does someone sit there and tell this guy he can have his own fucking show and all he has to do is put on a gruff voice and sort of dress like the person is known to dress in order to impersonate them? Meanwhile good fucking shows get cancelled constantly.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ensign Ricky

Captain Kirk: "We're going down to the planet. Spock, Jim, Ensign Ricky let's go."

Ensign Ricky: "With all due respect Captain, I'm not going."

Kirk: "What do you mean your not going, what is this insubordination?"

Ricky: "Sir, I can't believe you haven't been fired. You've lost over 300 Ensigns since you were promoted to Captain of the Enterprise. Do you have any idea how expensive it is to train a new officer? Have you ever heard of the enlisted?"

Kirk: "But Ricky, our mission is to go where no man has gone before..."

Ricky: "Sir, seriously go fuck yourself. I'm not going to get myself killed by a randomly shot laser just so you can get your dick wet fucking whatever humanoid female alien you happen to come across. Who the fuck pays for all this shit anyway?"

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tina Yothers

Nicole: "I remember right after Tina Yothers committed suicide…"

Me: "Wait…Tina Yothers committed suicide??? I think you mean Dana Plato from Different Strokes."

Nicole (to Doug): "No...didn’t Tina Yothers commit suicide?"

Doug: "Who’s Tina Yothers?"


Me: "Doug, did you make the coffee today?"

Doug: "Yeah, why?"

Me: "You made it too light."

Doug: "Light?"

Me: "I can see right through it."

Jermaine: "Doug doesn’t even drink coffee."

Me: "Dude, Doug drinks coffee like a fiend."

Jermaine: "Why’d you have to fuck up the coffee Doug?"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dearest Television

Dear Television,

You lost me at "high fructose corn syrup."



Random Conversations: Squirrels

Me: "Hey."

Jermaine (with a bag of almonds): "Want some?"

Me (taking a handful): "You know, you shouldn't eat too many almonds at once."

Jermaine: "Why's that?"

Me: "Fucks you up. Fucks with your stomach."

Jermaine: "Well we're not squirrels."

Wikipedia: The Sarcastic Encyclopedia

House centipedes are nature's horror film. These things are in the building I work in and they are scary as shit. Before I met the house centipede I thought silverfish were the worst insect imaginable. I was wrong. These things eat silverfish. Seriously. I know because I looked
them up on wikipedia. While doing so I found my favorite wiki entry thus far:
"Because they eat household pests, house centipedes are considered among the most beneficial creatures that inhabit human dwellings. Benefits aside, because of their alarming appearance, frightening speed, and worries about their bite, few homeowners are willing to share a home with these creatures.[citation needed]"
Trust me wikipedia, there is no citation needed.
Frightening speed? People can't run that fast.
Alarming appearance? If there is a hell, these thing came from there.
Also I like the one wiki picture (above) that features a house centipede in relation to a house pube.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Mooning of Nicholas Cage

It's 1999 and I'm a cadet on a merchant ship bound from Los Angeles to Hawaii. We have just left and our ship is approaching the Vincent Thomas Bridge which is used a lot in movies because closing it down is very convenient since there is not a lot of traffic on it.

Outside the wheelhouse the Captain of the ship and the harbor pilot are talking excitedly and pointing up at the bridge. I look up and see hundreds of people, lots of equipment, and a crane that is holding up what looks like a green cardboard cutout of a car suspended in the air. Suddenly I hear someone on a bullhorn yell “Action!” and the people on the bridge start doing stuff. From the right side of the bridge, a helicopter with a camera attached to it swoops down and focuses on the green car cutout. The pilot comes into the wheelhouse and pushes the ships horn button for three long deafening blasts.

“CUT CUT CUT! SON OF A BITCH!”, I hear coming from the bridge.

The helicopter goes away.

The Captain and the Harbor Pilot think this is hilarious. They go back outside the wheelhouse laughing because they have just ruined the shot.

Since they are not going to attempt this shot again until our ship is gone, all of the people on the bridge take a break and go to the side of the bridge to watch the giant ship that ruined their movie pass beneath them.

“Hey Cadet,” I hear the Captain call to me from outside the wheelhouse, “Come out here and moon this movie crew.”

“No problem!” I say and walk outside.

I am wearing coveralls, which is the same thing as overalls with sleeves. Underneath I am only wearing boxers, which means that when I moon these people I will have to take down my coveralls and boxers at the same time and I will be practically naked.

So that’s what I did.

I pull down my coveralls and boxers. I bend over and show my ass to the people on the bridge.

A great cheer rises from the bridge! I hear people exclaiming “Whoo-hoo!” from the bridge, whistles and catcalls adorn over the mass applause.

One of my finer moments I must say.

I pull my clothes back on, turn around and wave to the crowd.


I aim to please. I repeat my offense and the crowd cheers again.

I pull my clothes on once again as the ship goes under the bridge. An hour later we are slipping over the horizon towards Hawaii.

Two weeks later, we are returning to Los Angeles. At the sea buoy the same harbor pilot gets on the ship. He sees me upon entering the wheelhouse.

“Hey, you’re the kid that mooned that movie crew!” he says.

“You remembered,” I say, pleased to have made such an impression on a member of the professional community that I plan to one day enter.

“My daughter was on that movie crew,” he says.

“Oh……sorry…” I say.

“No, no, no, that’s not what I mean,” he says, “do you have any idea who you mooned?”

“Ummm, no,” I say, not knowing what he is implying.

“Well the movie is called ’60 seconds’ or something,” he says, “You mooned Nicholas Cage!”

What the Fuck is That?

Dear God! Get it off me, get it off me, get it off me!

Just when I thought the state of the world couldn't possible get worse, scientists have to go and find something that you can't feed after midnight.

Androids: We're This Close

Excerpt from Forward Army Division 479, Colonel McDonald's personal log circa 2017:

"....that's when I saw the first of them. We thought we were safe, being so far North and at least 100 miles from the nearest power source. It was inevitable that they would design their own Motorized Power Units or MPU's as we later came to call them. This allowed them to charge up at night back before they designed their hybrid solar/nuclear batteries. The droid I saw emerging from the woods was carrying a 9mm Beretta. Of course that didn't worry me. They hadn't yet written code in order to learn how to aim. The most they knew about shooting guns, they had learned from downloading scenes from movies on the internet. They didn't understand yet, that these movies were fiction. Their favorite movie, understandably, was The Matrix and when they shot at you they never hit you. Their attempts at gun play would almost be laughable if they weren't able to just crush your skull in their bare hands. This droid was a Paris Hilton Foodservice Model or as the kids called them a "PH10". I assume the "10" referred to its striking features. It made sense that they would use this model droid to scout us in the woods since its extremely thin frame was useful for hiding behind trees. Fortunately for me, they were stealthy but extremely stupid which is what allowed me to get the jump on it..."

Vanpool: Under My Breath

Mike’s driving. Again, I’m wearing my headphones.

It’s raining…hard. It’s very windy. It’s the middle of the winter, bordering on freezing temperatures and it is very dark.

We are traveling at 85 mph.

Like some insane circus clown, he is driving a van with 11 people in it through the icy rain at 85 mph because we have to get to work…now.

We approach the Severn River Bridge.

“Warning,” the sign next to the bridge would read if the visibility was more than 5 feet, “Bridge Ices Before Road.”

At the moment that the road finishes its curve and begins the bridge our driver decides to fuck with the radio. I say “fuck with” because that is all he is doing, he turns it up he turns it down, he turns it off, he turns the station, all while driving and drinking a large coffee at the same time.

He takes his eyes off the road to turn the radio up as we approach the bridge. I have been watching him this whole time. As if watching him can save my life. We immediately go into a skid. A twelve person passenger van in a skid is, I’m sure, quite a sight.

I calmly put my hand up against the seat in front of me to brace myself. I accept my death. I make my peace with God. I wonder how cold the water will be. I wonder who will be the “sole” survivor. I wonder if we will take any other motorists with us.

By forces unknown, we pull out of the skid, avoid hitting anyone else, and straighten out. Once again I get a little adrenaline shot.

“Fucking bastard,” I say under my breath so no one can hear, “I am never riding in this fucking vanpool again.” I continue to listen to Ron & Fez’s therapeutic voices in my headphones. They calm me down again.

We almost rear-end someone five minutes later. Mike locks up the brakes and the tensile strength of our seatbelts is tested.

Under my breath I say, “Learn how to fucking drive.”

I say, “Slow down.”

I say, “Jesus Christ.”

Under my breath.

We arrive at work and I go for coffee in the cafeteria. Tom (a fellow vanpooler) is there.

“We survived!” he breathes.I laugh and say, “Yeah, you should of heard the comments I was making under my breath.”

Tom smiles and looks at me.

“You weren’t saying them under your breath,” he says.

Vanpool: The Hard Yield

Mike is driving. I’m wearing my headphones.

When Jim drives, we talk. We have nice conversations and make fun of people on the road and in the vanpool.

When Mike drives, I wear my headphones and listen to Ron and Fez. Ron and Fez take me to a place outside of the vanpool where I can think of things other than death.

Every now and then at certain points in our travels I will pay attention because these are the points of possible death. These points of death are the Severn River Bridge, the six lane dash to the HOV lane, the forced merge at the end of the HOV lane, and the HARD YIELD.

The hard yield is easily the most frightening portion of our trip. This is an exit, which leads to an on ramp, which leads to the highway. When the exit hits the on ramp there is a yield but if there are cars coming you must stop. Since this yield is not perpendicular to the road, it confuses some drivers into thinking they don’t have to stop. Let me repeat this is not a merge lane. It is basically a stop sign unless nobody is coming.

We enter the exit lane and I immediately snap to attention. Luckily it is winter and I can clearly see through the forest to where the exit lane meets up with the on ramp. I see not one car, but dozens of cars on this on ramp, destined to meet up with us at the same time at the yield sign. I am not worried. Any sane person will softly push the brake at this time. I have nothing to worry about.

Mike guns the gas. Does Mike know something I don’t? Has he calculated this transaction in a different way using alien physics? In the next three seconds I think of dozens of things, starting with the structural integrity of the van, the fact that I am in the front passenger seat, who will die first, where will the van end up. I decide that if I don’t get killed in the collision (which will happen on the opposite end of the van then I am) we will more than likely end up on our side after crashing through the guardrail and down a few feet into a forest. Will the van blow up? How long will it take? Will I have to pull people from the wreckage? Can I lift 300 pounds?

As we approach the yield at (I shit you not) 60 miles per hour. I say in a perfectly calm voice,

“Watch out.”

Mike hits the brakes as we hit the yield line. As I predicted using rudimentary physics, the car on the on ramp is approximately 1 foot from our driver’s door, simultaneously honking his horn and hitting the gas and jerking his wheel to the left. In a split second (because of our slowing down from 60 to 50mph) our van’s front grill is about half a foot from the cars rear bumper. Luckily there are no more cars after that one.

“What an asshole!” Mike says, indicating the law abiding citizen immediately in front of us.

“Yeah,” I say as a small amount of adrenaline washes over me.

I turn my head to look out the back windows in order to help navigate to the HOV lane. As I turn, the owner of the van catches my eye. He looks scared. After all he has just seen the face of death.

“Thank you,” he says.

As we pull into the parking lot at the end of the trip, Mike says, “Well at least I got us here alive.”

Like lemmings, we leap from the vehicle.

Vanpool: The Mike Situation

Usually, Jim drives. Jim drives well. Jim drives responsibly. Jim knows that it is his job to keep the other twelve passengers in the van alive. When Jim isn't in, Mike drives. Mike drives the twelve person van as if it is a Miata. Mike also has ADHD.

Today...Jim is out.

Usually, when I know Jim is going to be out, I make up an excuse of why I am going to drive myself the 80 miles round trip to work and I skip the vanpool all together. On occasion, I don't realize that Jim is out and I end up having to ride to work with Mike driving.

I arrive at the van at 5:35 am and open the sliding door and immediately notice that Mike is driving. I roll my eyes in the dark and proceed to the last row of benches. I sit down and see that Mike has a GPS mapping device suction cupped to the windshield.

There is only one way from Annapolis to Washington, D.C.

We take the same route every single day. It's...the...route.

I immediately start having what I like to call a "Final Destination" moment. You know the movie where the kid foresees his own death down to the last detail.

I often wonder about how many times people have had the thought that they were going to die in a situation. Maybe sitting on a plane for example a passenger who otherwise doesn't have irrational fears might suddenly feel impending doom. Maybe even visualize the plane crashing. Embarrassment or fear takes over, the passenger says nothing, plane takes off, plane crashes, passenger dies.

I am feeling this now. Kind of like a dull panic. If I don’t say something within the next minute, we will leave, and then what?

“Excuse me, you’re driving like an asshole, please let me out on the side of the highway, lest I perish.”

Suddenly it comes to me. I slap my forehead with the palm of my hand and say,

“I must not be getting enough sleep, I forgot that I have to drive to a doctor’s appointment after work and I won’t be able to take the van, I’m sorry.” Even in the dark I can see the envious looks from my fellow passengers. They know now that I have escaped death and that they are powerless to do anything about their own fate.

I get up and open the door to the van and step out. Safe.“You’ll need an extra person with you if you want to travel in the HOV lane,” Joe (a fellow pooler) says as he literally leaps from his seat and out the door without even waiting for a response from me.

He closes the door and the van leaves.

As we sit in my car and I turn the ignition, Joe turns to me and says,

“What the fuck does he need a GPS for?”