Friday, January 23, 2015

No One Wants a Car Stall



According to this test on the internet, I'm a feminist.

No, not really.

Because I don’t like labels, that’s why. I mean no one does, right?

Well, every now and then feminism comes up. Someone’s like, ‘Hey, are you a feminist?’ And I’m like, ‘Sure, I dig chicks.’

Easy. Eeeeasy. Just stay with me. I know exactly who I am, ok. I’m equal rights. Period.

Whoa, what? No, I’m not making a joke. C’mon, man, that’s just a part of speech. I’m using it for empha-

Of course you’re not a man. I just said man because that’s what people say.

Yes, like ‘hey guys.’

Because dude’s not right, right? And I can’t say ‘c’mon, woman’ because that’s even worse.

Ok, now where was I? Right. I’m a word guy. Just the other day I was thinking about Chiberia vs Chillinois. I live in Chicago so you’d think Chiberia, but I prefer Chillinois. I think it’s actually more clever. I saw it on a billboard for vodka and I was like, yeah, that totally works.

Anyway, feminist sounds kinda girly. 

What? It does.

No, there’s nothing wrong with girly.

Ok, if I’m looking at two bracelets and one is made of thin gold chains and the other is black steel cable, I tend to go for the black steel cable. Doesn’t mean I’m not girly. I’m comfortable being girly. I like colorful dress socks and umbrella drinks as much as the next guy. I just dig the black steel-.

Girly, I don’t know, it’s got lace. It’s soft…

Yes, boys can like things that are soft. I like things that are soft.

I can’t say girly? Seriously?

Fine. Feminist sounds feminine.

Yes, I know what it means. It just SOUNDS feminine.

No, there’s nothing wrong with feminine. But I’m a guy. I’m a dude. If I’m going to buy myself a jacket I don’t want one that has curves and a bust, ok? I want something kinda boxy that tapers a bit toward the waist, and preferably it has a swing shoulder.

I don’t know, it’s got vents in back, and it gives you a little bit more room when you need to bear hug someone.

Yeah, I hug. What’s wrong with hugging?

Then yes, I guess I’m in touch with my feminine side.

No, I have no problem with feminine. I get it. It’s just a word. And we need certain words to help describe things. It’s so we all understand what we’re talking about. I’m totally on board with that.

Well, I consider myself a humanist. I’m for human beings. It doesn’t matter your gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, social class, height, weight, vertical jump. We should all have equal rights.

I don’t know. I guess I wish feminist was humanist. I think it would be much easier for everyone to get behind.

No, I know. I understand. But it’s like car stall.

Just hear me out. Car stall. It’s totally what it is; a stall in which you park your car. But no one wants to call it that. They want something fancy, a little more all encompassing.

Exactly. People want a garage. I can put my bikes in there. My kid has a Big Wheel. Maybe I have a riding mower. A garage. Feminism should be like a garage where everyone is welcome.

Humanism.

You’re right. No, that doesn’t take into account the centuries upon centuries of unfairness, inequality, and oppression.

Yes, you’re right.

You’re right.

No.

No.

Yes.

Yes.

Then fine, I am a feminist.

Yup. A hundred percent.

No, I don’t need this test to tell me. I am absolutely positively hundred percent a feminist.

I’m a feminist I’m a feminist I’m a feminist.

Can I ask you one thing?

The other day I jumped rope for 30 seconds. Well, it was 30 seconds, rest a minute, jump another 30 seconds, rest-

Thanks, I’m trying to watch my figure, so…

I saw you smile.

Anyway, it was hard. Like my heart was going to explode because apparently I lack the cardiovascular superpowers of a little girl.

Can I say that? Is that funny?

You’re laughing so it was ok, right?

Because it’s not as funny if I say boy instead of girl. It’s just not.

Right, but by making this joke I just want to be clear that I’m not trying to retard the progress of civilization and culture.

Oh, c’mon, I used it like a verb!

Monday, January 5, 2015

I Am A Complete Gun Nut

I'm a gun nut. Been a big fan of guns since I was a kid. Pretty sure my parents gave me my first gun; although, I can't remember as guns have always been part of my life.

Guns are VERY popular in my family and have been since like forever. We break them out big time during the holidays. As soon as someone walks in the door - BOOM! You can hardly get a word in edgewise without someone shoving a gun in your face.

People get all crazy when they talk about kids and guns in schools. I say give 'em to the teachers, too. Same with the lunch people, hall monitors, and janitors. Even the ones in charge of detention. But first and foremost, let's load our youngsters up with all kinds of guns. With the bullying and everything else, kids NEED guns. They need to feel safe and protected, loved. I can't imagine a world where kids didn't have access to guns. Heartbreaking.

Look, I'm not the only one who says happiness is a warm gun. Hello, The Beatles!

And all that open carry stuff - calm down, everyone! Much ado about not too much. I say, let your freak flag fly! Let everyone see that thing! Don't be shy - if you got it, flaunt it. Everyone else can just look out the corner of their eye and admire it, covet it. (Although, really, I'd like to see something where anyone who wants a gun can get one.)

Guns are the answer people. G U N S. Guns!.

Oh, wait. Crap. I meant hugs. Hugs. My bad. Carry on...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Years Eve 2015, Our Epic Rager



My wife and I had a rager New Years Eve. An epic rager.

We had been drinking pretty much ALL day. By the time the sitter got to the house we were like, 'Goodbye, goodnight, and good luck!'

I don't even remember how we got downtown. I think it was actually one of those peddle trolleys with a bunch of Tri-Delts. It was freezing, but when you're playing 'redlight take a shot', you don't really feel the cold.

Anyway, they drop us off at Excalibur because that's where we always start. But there's something wrong at the door. This big brick of a guy says we're NOT on the list. My wife goes zero to a hundred in a nanosecond and gets right in his face.

"We're VIP, dude! We're VEE VIP!" And then she starts throwing gang signs, at least I think they are. The guy keeps his cool and points to the end of the line, which is actually around the corner. I put my arm around my wife and tell her we'll get it straightened out when we get inside.

Anyway, we're there for like a minute when a van pulls up. It's a red Econoline from 1994 - so not quite something you see shuttling the well-heeled at the airport, but not quite something Tommy Bradford would drive. The side door slides open. The interior is white, but it's a white that's 'seen things'. A young woman is sitting by herself in one of the captain chairs. Starting at the floor and cradled between her legs is what appears to be a red four foot bong. She can barely reach the bowl, but she pulls it and inhales. She looks familiar to me as she leans back, but I can't quite place her. She's thin with wisps of blonde hair. Her eyes, which have a lot of liner, are kind of squinched. Bright red lipstick on her lips...

She holds her breath, like really holds it. And then all of sudden coughs out a big plume of smoke. It's either Pineapple Express or Purple Kush. With one hand on the bong, she holds up the other as she's coughing. I totally know who this is.

"Are you Tay-"

"SHUT IT, BITCH! Shut it right fucking now!"

My wife is putting 5 and 6 together as she stares at the woman.

"Ok, ok, ok," says the woman. "Just get in. Get in!"

We climb in and sit on the bench in back.

"Dan!"

The driver hits a button on the dash and the door slides shut.

My wife and I stare at the woman and look around the van. The floor is littered with Burger King bags. Lots and lots of Burger King bags. And unwrapped Twizzlers. It's like someone went to Costco, bought a tub of Twizzlers, and just dumped them out. And despite the Pineapple Kush wafting through the air, it smells a little like pee.

"Where the fuck is Thalia Hall?" asks the woman.

My wife and and I look at each other, shrug our shoulders.

"Seriously? You don't fucking know? You tourists? You from Indiana or something?"

"No," I say. "Chicago. But we don't know Thalia Hall."

She sizes us up.

"Y'all know I'm dating Andrew WK, right?"

I shake my head. My wife, however, as someone who sets her homepage to US Weekly, slowly nods her head. "Yeah," she says. "I think I read that."

"Well, I'm supposed to meet him there and these two don't know where the fuck that is."

The driver waves his hand. And the guy riding shotgun waves his hand. "Hi," he says. "I'm Paul."

"What the fuck do you do anyway, Paul?" asks the woman. "Why are you even here?"

"I'm your guard, ma'am."

"Well, what if these two are trying to kidnap me?"

"You're actually kidnapping them, ma'am."

The woman lets this sink in for a moment and a smile crawls across her mouth.

"Ha! You're right. Y'all want beer or some shit?"

My wife is kind of in shock that this is happening. I'm actually pretty good with it.

"What do you got?" I ask.

"Best goddamn beer there is... Fuckin' Hamm's!"

For the next three hours my wife and I drive around Chicago in a van with Taylor Swift pulling bongs and slamming Hamm's. We are literally partying hard while trying to hook up with Andrew WK.

(No, I don't know why no one didn't just google Thalia Hall on their phone.)

Some of my best New Years moments ever have taken place in cars - looking at you David, Ab, Bill, Ed, and Laura. Anyway, we're on LSD (Lake Shore Drive) heading back downtown (we were EVERYWHERE) when we see the fireworks at Navy Pier. They're beautiful! It's like Fourth of July. Only much much colder.

My wife and Taylor are pretty much BFFs now. They're laughing and singing. But I'm beat. I didn't sleep well the night before and it's catching up with me.
The van pulls into the Hotel Raphael. Andrew WK is waiting there. He's wearing a light blue cardigan, khakis, and light blue flip flops. He's under the heat lamps so I guess he's not too cold.

"TayTay," he says as Taylor stumbles out of the van. "I was so worried about you." They hug and Taylor points to us.
"This are my new friends."

We give him a small smile and wave.

"Hi," he says as he shakes our hands with a firm grip. "I'm Andy. So nice to meet you."

"Uh, I like your advice column," I say.

"Oh, that's so sweet. Thanks. Would you like to come up to our room and have some water or something."

My wife is totally up for it, but I pull her back.

"We have to get up early. We have kids, so..."

"Totally understand. I have nieces and nephews. I get it."

Taylor points to the van.

"These guys will take you wherever you want to go." Dan and Paul wave from inside the van. Taylor turns back to us with the sweetest kindest smile. "Thanks for hanging out you guys." And she puts her hands to her chest and makes a heart shape. I didn't think I was that kind of guy, but I totally did the heart shape thing back.

And that was our night. Maybe not a full on epic rager, but it was pretty cool.

Full disclosure: I don't really know any Taylor Swift songs other than that one about shaking.

Fuller disclosure: I probably should have asked if WK is a family name.

Fullest disclosure: My wife does not know any gang signs.





Monday, October 13, 2014

#Proof

I do the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. What follows is my assignment/story.

Group 9
Genre: Drama
Location: A bank vault
Object: A drop of blood
612 words

(Yes, this story is all told in tweets.)

Synopsis: @EasyBake1977 and @Lucifer666 pull off a heist, but there are unwanted guests along for the ride.



Easybake1977 16m
@Lucifer666 How’s it look?

Lucifer666 16m
@EasyBake1977 Quiet. Not too many people.

Easybake1977 16m
@Lucifer666 To confirm, you’re cool witht his?

Lucifer666 16m
@EasyBake1977 Yes. In and out. #NoBig

Easybake1977 16m
@Lucifer666 And you have the key?

Lucifer666 16m
@EasyBake1977 In m pocket.

Easybake1977 15m
@Lucifer666 Last chance to back out.

Lucifer666 15m
@EasyBake1977 No, I’m in,! Let’s do this!!!

Easybake1977 14m
@Lucifer666 OK. I’m in the mainframe. Just give me a sec. One m]ore security wall…

Lucifer666 14m
@EasyBake1977 Standing by…

Easybake1977 13m
@Lucifer666 ALL SYSTEMS DOWN! YOU ARE GOOD TO GO!

Lucifer666 13m
@EasyBake1977 Fuck! There’s a gourd!

Easybake1977 13m
@Lucifer666 Gourd?

Lucifer666 23m
@EasyBake1977 #Spellcheck.

Lucifer666 13m
@EasyBake1977 Going!!!

Lucifer666 11m
@EasyBake1977 I’M IN! I’m in the back. Right at the vaulet. Need code!

Lucifer666 11m
@EasyBake1977 Code! CODE CODOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lucifer666 11m
@EasyBake1977 CODE!!!!!!!

Easybake1977 11m
@Lucifer666 16 25 75 6 88 9 12 45

Easybake1977 11m
@Lucifer666 Sorry. Bathroom.

Lucifer666 10m
@EasyBake1977 BATHROOM?! WTF!

Easybake1977 10m
@Lucifer666 This is STRESSFUL. You kno3 anbout my #IBS!

Lucifer666 10m
@EasyBake1977 Keep your shit together! #seewhatididthere I’m in.

Easybake1977 10m
@Lucifer666 Seriously?

Lucifer666 10m
@EasyBake1977 WHAT??! YES! I’M IN THE FUCKING VAULT!

Easybake1977 10m
@Lucifer666 LOL but don’t make fun of #IBS.

Lucifer666 10m
@EasyBake1977 FUCK!!!

Easybake1977 10m
@Lucifer666 What?

Easybake1977 9m
@Lucifer666 What’s going on?

Easybake1977 9m
@Lucifer666 ????????????

Lucifer666 9m
@EasyBake1977 We’re good. Had to take out a bank employee.

Easybake1977 9m
@Lucifer666 Take out? WTF? That;s not what we agreed on! NOOOOO! You werent supopsed to kill anyone!!! You have a gun? NO GUNS! What? I ca

Lucifer666 9m
@EasyBake1977 FAKE. Fake out. We’re fine. #DeepBreaths Which box?

Easybake1977 8m
@Lucifer666 23301

Bonerdude12 8m
@Lucifer666 @EasyBake1977 I’m late to the party here, but is this a robbery? R u live tweeting a robbery?

Lucifer666 8m
@EasyBake1977 Need to get a chair. It’s up high.

Easybake1977 8m
@Lucifer666 Not much time!

Lucifer666 8m
@EasyBake1977 Got it. Ther’s a bunch of stuff in here? What am I looking for?

Bonerdude12 8m
@HottieHotHot R u seeing this… @Lucifer666 @EasyBake1977

Easybake1977 7m
@Lucifer666 It’s a slide. A microscope slide. There will be a red dot right in the center.

Lucifer666 7m
@EasyBake1977 Got it.

HottieHotHot 7m
OMG! I’m totally seeing this! RT”@Bonerdude12: @HottieHotHot R u seeing this… @Lucifer666 @EasyBake1977

Easybake1977 7m
@Lucifer666 20 seconds and security comes back online.

Lucifer666 6m
@EasyBake1977 I have to put the box. Back/

Easybake1977 6m
@Lucifer666 JUST LEAVE IT IT DOESNT MATTER!

Bonerdude12 6m
@Lucifer666 @EasyBake1977 I’m no #Columbo, but r u stealing a #dropofblood because #DUH!

HottieHotHot 6m
#ROTFL @Bonerdude12! You should be on @LawAndOrder!!!

Bonerdude12 6m
In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.

HottieHotHot 5m
@Bonerdude12 #MindBlown Totally favoriting! And I’m thinking YOU’RE hottiehothot! LOL! ;-)

Lucifer666 5m
@EasyBake1977 I’m out! #PIECEOFCAKE! Adrenelin!

Easybake1977 5m
@HottieHotHot Not @Bonerdude12’s line. Hunter S THompson.

Easybake1977 5m
@Lucifer666 AWESOME! YOU THE MAN! Thank you!

Bonerdude12 5m
@Easybake1977 WTF? Don’t be #cockblocking me! I’ll fuck ypou up and screengrabd your tweets! FUCK OFF DUDE!!!

Easybake1977 4m
@Bonerdude Screengrab all you want. Tweets are fleeting. They’re fiction. There is no #DNA in a tweet. #NoEvidence

Lucifer666 3m
@Easybake1977 Who are Boner and Hottie? I thought we were in PRIVATE MODE!!!

Easybake1977 3m
@Lucifer666 I forgot to switch the thing.

Lucifer666 3m
@Easybake1977 So are we fucked or what??????

Easybake1977 3m
@Lucifer666 No.

Easybake1977 2m
@Lucifer666 We should be fine. #NoBig

MetroPolice 1m
Actually @Lucifer666 @EasyBake1977 you might be in a little trouble.

Bonerdude12 6s
Last laugh right here, bitches! RT”@metropolice: Actually @Lucifer666 @EasyBake1977 you might be in a little trouble.”

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Socks with Sandals

I do the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. What follows is my assignment/story.

Group 9
Genre: Comedy
Location: An upscale restaurant
Object: A photo album
1000 words

Synopsis: During dinner, Gary is forced to come to terms with his girlfriend and sense of fashion.



Gary Lemon never took off his hat. It was a red beanie, the kind that was in fashion among hipsters; the kind worn with mustaches, ironic t-shirts, and skinny jeans. But Gary wasn’t a hipster. And he didn’t wear skinny jeans. If it was up to Gary he’d wear shorts all the time.

“Shorts let my legs breathe.”

Much to the dismay of his girlfriend (and most people), it became high fashion to wear socks with sandals.

“Please, Gary. You look like a German.”

“Bah. I’m ahead of my time. Besides, socks keep my feet from sweating.”

People’s real dismay came from the fact that Gary had a girlfriend. Her name was Aurora.

“I think I’ll just call you Dawn,” said Gary upon first meeting Aurora while posting a flyer for his band.

“Why would you do that, Dick?”

“I like you.”

Aurora looked at the flyer. “Fleshlump?”

“Yeah. The name was my idea.”

“Lump is better.”

Since then they’d been dating for a year. To celebrate they decided to go out for dinner somewhere fancy.

“How about Le Grande?” asked Aurora.

“Is that the place where the d and e are both silent?”

“I think so.”

“Ok.”

“You have to wear pants.”

Le Grande was downtown in the old Dale Granderson Box factory. The inside was modern and sleek, but the outside was worn and weathered. The front door was original to the factory.

“Hello,” said the maître d as they entered. “Welcome to Le Grande. Do you have a reservation?”

“Yes,” said Gary. “Two for Lemon.”

“Ah, yes. If you’ll follow me I’ll bring you to your table. Sir, may I ask you to remove your hat?”

“Excuse me?”

“Your beanie. We don’t allow hats in the dining area.”

Gary looked at Aurora, then back at the maître d.

“I’m already wearing pants, man.”

A teen and his parents were leaving. The boy was wearing a cardigan, but his t-shirt was clearly visible. The opposite of wrinkly - #irony.

“Dude,” said the teen when he saw Gary. “Are you in Lump?”

Gary nodded.

“You guys are awesome. I love Lump.”

Gary smiled as he watched the boy and his parents exit the factory door. He turned back to the maître d. As Gary opened his mouth, words came out, but they weren’t his.

“It’s a medical condition,” said Aurora. “He has something call curd scalp. It makes the top of his head look like cottage cheese. It’s sort of embarrassing so…”

“Oh my god, that’s awful,” said the maître d. “I’m so sorry. Please keep that on and follow me.” He led them to a table and gave them menus. “Your waiter will be with you shortly. Again, I’m so sorry.”

Gary looked at Aurora.

“Curd scalp?”

“I’ve had that in my back pocket for awhile.”

“Well played.”

Aurora pretended to look at the menu. Gary studied his.

“I’m not sure if I want the Steak Diane or the Steak Florentine. They both sound so deliciously feminine and formal.”

“Gar?”

“Ror?”

“Why do you wear that hat all the time?”

Gary put his menu down.

“Seriously? Are we going to do this? Now? Here?”

Aurora widened her eyes. Gary narrowed his.

“I just do,” Gary and Aurora said at the same time.

“I know,” said Aurora touching his arm. “Can I show you something?”

Aurora took out her phone. After a series of taps and swipes, she handed it to Gary.

“Go ahead,” she said. “There are about three hundred pictures in that album. In every single one of them is that hat. Every single one. Even when we went to the lake.”

Gary thumbed through the photos. Every now and then a smile would float across his face. He laughed and turned the phone to Aurora. “Remember how bad that smelled?”

“Gary,” said Aurora. “I’ve never seen you without your hat. You sleep with it. It’s me, you, and your hat when we’re in bed. I’m just going to go ahead and say it - it’s weird.”

“It’s not that weird.”

“It’s pretty weird.”

“What if it was a wig?”

“Exactly. Because it’s not.”

Gary took a sip of water.

“Do you know what you want?” asked the waiter who suddenly appeared behind Gary.

“No,” said Gary almost doing a spit take. “We need another minute.”

Aurora put her phone back in her purse and looked at Gary.

“I know it’s crazy because what are the odds,” she said. “But is it curd scalp?”

Gary smiled and shook his head.

“No.”

“Well then what?”

Gary leaned forward in his chair, took a deep breath.

“Ok,” he whispered. “It’s my skull. I don’t like the shape of my skull. It’s flat in back.”

Gary sat back and waved his hand as if to say, ta dah!

“That’s it?”

“Yes,” said Gary. “That’s it.”

The maître d came over to the table.

“Excuse me, we’re pretty busy tonight. Tony said he tried to take your-“

“We need another minute,” interrupted Gary.

“I’m sure it’s not that bad,” said Aurora.

“It is. It’s like a board. It’s like a kitchen counter. It’s like earth pre-Columbus.”

“Prove it!”

“Fine!”

Gary pulled off his hat.

The maître d screamed and fell into the table behind him. Plates and glasses flew up in the air, then shattered on the floor. The restaurant fell silent. All eyes went from Gary to the maître d.

“Are you okay, man?” asked Gary.

“I’m fine. I’m sorry. I just, I thought...” The maître d stared at Gary’s head and then glowered at him. “I do not appreciate being made the fool.”

“I’m sorry,” said Gary. “My head is flat in back. Like I was dropped on my head as a baby. I’m very self-conscious. In fact, this is the first time my girlfriend has ever seen me without my hat.”

“Oh,” said the maître d wiping potatoes from his jacket. “It’s not that bad.”

“It’s a little flat,” said Aurora. “But no worse than socks with sandals.”