Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Shenanigans Volume VII

The Night Before New Year’s Edition…

Well, New Year’s Eve is upon us again, and just like probably no one else, I’ll be off to my first New Year’s Eve wedding of all things. Believe it or not, I am looking forward to the festivities, mostly because of the couple getting married and it should be a great time. At first it definitely seemed a bit odd having a wedding on New Year's Eve, but, since 2008 has been such a nightmare, I would be happy picking up goat droppings at the local petting zoo, at the strike of midnight, if it means the end of this horrendous year. My peers however? Not quite buying the rationale as the last three weeks it has been a constant barrage - “What are you doing for New Year’s? A wedding? What! Are you serious? On New Years? That’s really weird.” Those were my thoughts as well when I initially received the invite, but then I thought back to last year… After a far-from-stellar evening at a Lake Tahoe restaurant, magically transformed into a twenty-dollar cover cheesy nightclub, I spent the remainder of my inebriated evening in the back of my Tacoma truck in seven-degree weather, packed in snuggly with my roommate Tony awaiting a tram that never arrived. So… ultimately what am I holding onto right? Even more exciting was the last three months of battles I had with my Mother who exclaimed I embarrassed our family when I asked if I could bring a date to the event. (She too will be in attendance). Apparently this is heavily frowned upon in the wedding world, but me being an ex-fraternity member, lowly peon and a sorry excuse for a mature and classy existence, had no idea. “They already have the hall reserved, you can’t bring anyone,” was her rationale. I guess she figured I’d be inviting a 390-pound manatee-like, beast of a female who wouldn’t be able to fit through the door, thus requiring the hall to be expanded to meet my date’s square- footage requirements. Needless to say I’ll be at a wedding alone on New Year’s Eve this year but at least my Mom will be available to take Tony’s place should the tram decide not to show this year…Wow, this just went from bad to worse…

And now to the blog…

As usual…some puns, tally-hoo and other nonsensical gibberish that should put you to sleep faster than a box of Nodoz…

I’m pretty sure I have a symptom that is common among many ex-Fraternity members, or even your average college student. It’s commonly known as PFS (Post Fraternity Syndrome). After a college career of frequent exchanges, parties and gatherings that were always set up with some sort of theme in mind, I am forever scarred for any rendezvous in the outside world and even six years later, I find myself in utter disarray. Symptoms include being unable to casually invite people over for a beer without a specific reason such as an 80’s night, a Wild West theme or a Dress like your favorite Boy Band member event. (I generally chose Lance Bass obviously). Every drinking juncture basically has to have some sort of theme or purpose, otherwise you are unable to enjoy the evening and end up becoming an inhospitable outcast pouting in the corner. If you too are noticing any of the aforementioned symptoms, you may also be suffering from PFS. I’d like to blissfully exclaim that there is a splendiferous elixir for this horrific condition, giving way to a gloriously jovial ending to this blog post, but alas, even with the greatest of scientists working around the clock, they have come up with nothing. Last weekend it got worse when my buddy invited me over for a barbeque…

“What’s the occasion? New Years isn’t for another week, so what are we talking here…?” I asked sheepishly.

“No occasion,” he responded. “Just a couple of burgers, chicken breasts, beers, you know, watch the game.”

“Great,” I replied. “I’ll wear my disco outfit, the same one I wore back in ’02 to winter formal. You have an ice luge right?”

“No, just come over, and why would I have an ice luge?” he responded completely bewildered.

“No reason…no problem, ok Steve, don’t panic, don’t panic, ok, got it - I’ll just wear my toga instead then, no worries, see you in twenty…”

And now to the streets of San Francisco… (Thought I’d throw a transition in these things, since now they feel like you’re trying to follow two teenage girls gossip about last Monday’s “The Hills,” episode, changing the subject faster than Paris Hilton coming out with new sex tapes)

...I drive by a bar every day on my way home from work called "Stud Bar." For some reason there is a giant gay flag on the roof to let people know it is a gay bar just in case the name of the bar (Stud Bar), and freshly painted purple exterior wasn't enough for all of us stupid straight guys out there to it figure out. Maybe a giant statue of a man in leather butt less chaps might be in order just in case the enormous flag and “Stud Bar” aren't enough for people to put two and two together...

...For any tourists visiting San Francisco, the trolley provides riveting excitement, a story to tell your Grandkids and the high percentage potential to lose one of your appendages. These slow moving vessels wind in, out, up, and down San Francisco streets as bewildered tourists hang on for dear life, with arms and legs flailing. For the local San Franciscan however, these insatiable travelers are no more enjoyable than your younger brother sticking his finger a centimeter from your arm while whining; "I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you,” after you told him to stop touching you. These riders, unaware of their surroundings, hop on and off like they are getting on and off “It’s A Small World,” at Disneyland. The only difference is an amiable Donald Duck jubilantly directing you to the exit is replaced by a surly, inebriated mendicant in a mayonnaise and whiskey stained tank top hitting you up for loose change. While some of the same rules as a Disney Land ride may apply (please keep hands and feet inside at all times, or in this case- don’t allow the homeless chap to drop his pants at the same moment your trolley slowly passes by), they are rarely enforced, creating difficulty for drivers trying to pass a trolley which is moving at about 1 mph by the way, without decapitating, maiming or removing a leg of an oblivious rider. Once the passengers actually get off the trolley, (usually about fifty minutes from when they jumped on, but yet just three blocks away due to the Trolley's snail pace), they hurriedly exit onto the street. With no Donald Duck pointing the way, somehow unaware that they are actually on a busy city street and not exiting Peter Pan’s “Never Never Land,” they quickly turn from curious tourists to Grand Theft Auto IV pedestrians, forced to toss their cameras and tour books into the air and dart frantically to the closest sidewalk or jump into the closest beggar’s arms for safety.

And my last observation of the blog…

…I’m really not sure how much longer I can put up with people wearing these Jesus Sandals. I think everyone knows the sandals I’m talking about – we’ve evolved thousands of years with millions of shoe and sandal styles becoming available but yet it there is always some douche bag that feels a pair of leather sandals constructed with seventeen or more straps is the perfect way to compliment his far-from-attractive outfit of khaki shorts and untucked dress shirt? Where are we the Roman Coliseum during a lion vs. man battle or at the last supper with the disciples? Buy some newer looking sandals already! The good news is that these sandals have to have been recycled, reused and resold all for thousands of years, I’m thinking from the same cow, which is great for the cow animal rights activists out there…

Til Next Time… Happy New Years…I’ll be busy dancing with the Mother at the wedding while the rest of you hussies and lads are partying it up at some Vegas nightclub. Pour out a fifteen dollar splash of cranberry and vodka for me…

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Shenanigans Volume VI"

…Christmas is yet upon us once again. In past years I would look forward to basketballs, video games and Matchbox cars, but at some point that all changed. Now my Christmas list is made up of practical, and boring gift ideas, like spatulas, cuisinarts and most importantly boxer shorts. I don’t think I’ve bought a pair of boxers or socks for, well ever. Every year my Mom will ensure my socks and underwear collection gets replenished and if she doesn’t I’m essentially screwed, thus forced to wear the same pairs for another year. I’m not sure if I’m alone on this, since now that I think about it, my Mom buying my underwear is actually pretty disturbing…

…Why is it that I can play seven full court basketball games in the blazing hot sun and not be tired or crippled with aches and pains, but yet fifteen minutes shopping with a girlfriend and I’m ready to check myself into the closest convalescent home due to back pain, aching joints and major fatigue? I might break a decent sweat on the court, but at a mall after just several minutes I’m sweating like an antelope being chased by a cheetah and rashes start forming. I can literally go only ten minutes before fatigue sits in. At thirty minutes my body is a useless piece of jelly and I have no choice but to sit down and rest. I think it is built in men’s DNA to not be able to handle the strenuous act of shopping. In caveman times it was probably the same for men as they dreaded trudging through the forest with their woman stopping at every tree as the female browsed for the right bark for the inside of their cave…

…A few weeks ago I went to eat lobster at a local seafood eatery. There, at the restaurant’s entrance was a tank containing about twenty live lobsters, or as I like to call it - a death row tank housing the swimming dead. For these death row inmates however, there are no chances for appeals, no lobsters picketing outside their tank protesting their impending demise, or pardons from government officials. And unlike the walking dead, found on death row who receive either lethal injection, poisonous gas or death by electrocution, these unfortunate crustaceans receive their death sentence in the form of death by boiling thus creating a hysterical scream bellowing from the unsuspecting recipient upon entrance into the scalding water. I’m no animal rights activist or anything, but would it really ruin our lobster eating experience if we simply killed these lobsters, say five seconds before dipping them in scorching hot water causing an animal that previously makes absolutely no sounds to all of a sudden scream out in agonizing pain? Can’t we maybe slam a cuisinart on them, then throw them in the pot or something first to reduce their suffering? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to notice a difference in taste. I can’t recall a single time I’ve been out in a boat on the ocean and I heard a scream coming from the depths below only to hear my surly fishing buddy explain, “That son, is the sound of the lobster. If you listen closely you can hear their mating call - so beautiful you think you’re listening to Tony Bennett.” These are animals that make absolutely no sounds during their lifetime, then all of a sudden incur such horrific torture, that they grow a pair of vocal chords?

… It is always fun to get a haircut with a buddy because you always try and stick him with the overweight, smelly hairdresser or homosexual guy. Something very strange happened last week for me. I got stuck with a straight guy! I know what you’re thinking – much better than a gay guy right? The answer my friends, is no. I would actually prefer a gay guy than a straight guy. At least with the gay guy you know where he’s shooting from, but with a straight guy it’s like having fifteen minutes of accidentally seeing your straight friend naked in the locker room. Awkward to say the least. It is really awkward having a straight guy shampooing your hair then cutting your hair all the while trying to act cool and talk about how the Colts are going all the way this year. If you don’t believe me have your best straight buddy give you a neck massage for just five minutes then report back to me. Sure he’s not trying to get in your pants, but if he’s not trying to get in your pants why is he shampooing and cutting your hair? Straight guys can now handle getting hit on by gay guys but if there is one thing that is awkward is a gay guy pretending he’s straight and then hitting on you. You know what else is awkward? A straight guy shampooing your hair in case I didn’t mention that yet. If you’re gay pretending to be straight so you can stealthily unsuccessfully flirt with straight guys I’m pretty sure we are onto you. Talking about the last time you had your way with your girlfriend, talking one inch from my face while having one arm around me and one pressed on my left butt cheek does not convince me your straight…At first I was weirded out by gay guys hitting on me, but now I almost get offended when they don’t hit on me. What the hell, I think to myself, what’s wrong with me, why aren’t you hitting on me? I all of a sudden turn into a jealous schoolgirl. Oh yeah because I’m straight…

Monday, December 1, 2008

"You Have Nice Legs!" - A Tale of a Young Boy's Journey on S.F.'s Muni System

If you haven’t had the pleasure, or displeasure rather of taking a San Francisco Muni bus then you are truly missing out. The experience may parallel a trip from the courthouse after a guilty verdict to the local jailhouse, however a paltry entrance fee of $1.50 provides you enough entertainment to make a trip on Muni the best entertainment bargain in America.

The first thing I noticed as I entered the steel loony bin on wheels on Union street one fateful afternoon was the inscrutable stench of BO that seemed to be seeping through seats, metal and fabric creating a surround sound of odor. I think if I had been standing with a box of rotten eggs in a pile of cow manure I would have been able to breathe with more ease. I was one of only two people on the bus so I found it rather perplexing that a smell that would cause a rabid, outraged skunk to hold up the white flag and scamper to safety was still lingering. How bad does someone have to smell to have their stench emanate on a moving vehicle with open windows long after they’ve departed? Is there any sort of equation for the smelly madness? Say, for instance, if you don’t shower for three days, then your smell lingers for twenty minutes? Four days gets you thirty, and so on and so forth?

After a few stops a few more riders sauntered onto the bus with each character more eccentric than the next. I liked to think I was the most normal on the bus, but that was really only because I was the only one with at least thirty percent of my teeth.

Finally a rider got on with not only all of his teeth but he seemed to have an excessive amount of teeth. This guy had absolutely no upper lip and what appeared to be twice as many teeth as the standard human. His teeth had swallowed his upper lip somehow and it basically went from teeth directly to nose. Despite the man’s somewhat deformities I quickly realized it was a toss up between myself and him for most normal rider on the bus and again that was only because we had at least thirty percent of our teeth.

Just as I was planning my next move as lone supremacy on the bus the doors opened and gave way to what seemed like fifty Asian women, all over the age of ninety. I quickly gave up my seat to accommodate the Omaha beach-like surge of ladies, but not before I was lambasted up against the side of the handicap seat rendering my extremities useless for the impending take off. (My seat had been long overtaken like a swarm of ants overtaking a melting Sir Issac Lime Otter Popsicle on the street with not a single thank you from the cult of ladies). The bus took off and I went face first into the bus window as my hands finally were yanked free just not in time to cushion the blow. That was experience number one.

The second time I took Muni I was not only determined to keep my hands in a safe place, but I was actually excited. To most decent individuals the experience above would cause them to not only never take the bus again, but try to run every Muni bus off the road at every chance they got. Not me. I was excited to give it another go. Some might call it sick, others would call it…sick as well, but I thought it was hilarious.

This time the bus smelled a lot better than the first. Don’t take that the wrong way, it still smelled close to a couple of rotting yams left out in the sun, but anything was better than the BO from the first time. I took a seat near the front and instantly the pandemonium ensued. Down the row and across from me a young lad found a dirty battery on the bus floor. Instead of kicking it aside as any normal person would do he proceeded to pick it up, inspect it and then place it directly on his tongue and lick it. From there, apparently the chap felt it was a good score and passed it to his buddy next to him who proceeded to put it in his fanny pack for safe keeping. I knew from that moment this was going to be a monumental trip.

Just then the lady across from me struck up a conversation. Good…a normalton (normal person) I thought to myself, finally! After the normal pleasantries I let her know I was on my way to the Giants’ game and her response was that she doesn’t watch baseball because of the commercials. Here we go I thought, as my mental note taking record button was pressed for later recall. “That’s a new one,” I told her, trying to remain pleasant and not yell out exacerbated what are you talking about?!”

“I prefer watching the guys go play in the park,” she responded referring to the fifty-plus softball league in the marina who could barely hit the ball out of the infield. Lets see…professional baseball or a bunch of old geezers wearing knee braces who forgot that torn ACL comebacks are only for NFL running backs who are actually getting paid to play, and not for guys trying to relive their heroic little league days with dribblers back to the pitcher.

I tried desperately not to burst into insidious laughter being as this was one of the most ludicrous statements I had ever heard, but the lady was really nice and I’m not the type to rip on people to their face. (I choose to write a blog about it and post it all over the Internet instead and then not put my address anywhere on the site…it all checks out…)

“I prefer to shop,” she chimed in.

“Ah, now I see where this is going,” I responded thinking that the conversation was turning back to the side of normalcy.

“I don’t go downtown to shop though, because of the earthquakes,” she responded. (Keep in mind we were on a bus heading downtown).

“Of course,” I concluded. Downtown, earthquakes, 50-yr old softball player obsessions, it was all finally starting to come together – This lady was a nut job…

This time I offered my seat up to another older Asian women but she denied me. She was carrying three bags, a purse and a cane and she just turned away from me in disgust for some reason. I felt like the kid last picked for the fifth grade kickball team. Trust me, I’ve been rejected by plenty of girls and women in my day but when you get turned down by a ninety-year old Asian woman carrying about thirty pounds of groceries, it just downright hurts. Just as I was having my epiphany she motioned to her husband like a baseball manager calling to the bullpen for a pitching change and her groom did an Usain Bolt -sprint to claim my seat like a lion pouncing to claim his hunt in the wild. There was no thank you was sent in my direction. I felt like a street walker on the streets of Reno. I’m not a piece of seat giving meat, I thought to myself…I suddenly felt used and dirty…

The third time I took the bus ready for new adventures certain that they would again come my way and of course they did. I sat in my usual spot in the front where the action seemed to happen most. A woman, who was a city local, had struck up a conversation with a couple from Wisconsin as I struck up a conversation with three girls seating near me. These girls as well as the Wisconsin couple turned out to be the only normal people I’ve ever encountered on the bus and they were both from another state. (The girls ended up being from New York). The lady was giving the Wisconsin couple some ideas on San Francisco tourist spots when I noticed that the guy, not repulsive by any means was wearing the most hideous shorts that accentuated his absolutely pasty, un-athletic, horrid legs. They were also sparsely covered with hair. Good god, I thought to myself, that guy’s legs are absolutely grotesque. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t make it a habit of looking at the legs of over-the-hill tourists who are also male but these appendages stuck out like my Mom at a 50 Cent concert. These legs, with more crooks and twists than a mystery novel were some of the most disgusting things I’d ever seen and they made this perfectly respectable gentlemen look like a feeble hobbledehoy.

As these thoughts of disgust were emanating in my head, to my utter shock, I heard a “You have nice legs,” shoot out of the locals mouth in the direction of the Wisconsin man. (This was right in front of the man’s wife mind you). I literally almost spit out my coffee onto the floor as myself and the New York girls burst out into laughter. You would have thought the wife would have knocked some sense into that local who was hitting on her man, but quite possibly she was just in shock that those putrid legs were actually attractive to someone. She also probably assumed the woman was high on something they don’t have back in Wisconsin, so she figured it would be best just to let it slide in case the local was psychologically unstable and pugnacious.

On this trip I actually tried to give up my seat three times before anyone actually took it. First an old man crouched over like an NFL lineman getting ready for the snap wouldn’t even sit next to me in an open seat. Then I tried to give up my seat to an older woman who turned away – rejected again! This was really hitting my ego! Finally a third lady ignored me, but then motioned to her kids to take the seat. They did and then they proceeded to sit backwards on the seat and kick me in the knees repeatedly for the rest of the trip.

Once they got off I moved to the back of the bus to make a quick getaway when we hit my stop. To my chagrin at the next stop the bus driver started yelling “Back Door,” Back door!” I later learned it was because people sneak on for free through the back door, but as a straight guy living in San Francisco, hearing back door in any context is always a sign for alarm. There may have been no reason to panic at the moment, but like swimming in shark infested waters and a bloody squid is suddenly dropped in your area, you know trouble is on its way…

This fine looking specimen is not an escapee from a local zoo, former bearded lady in a traveling circus for the legally insane, or Britney Spears' new boyfriend as one might hypothesize, but rather is your average run of the mill Muni rider. This picture was taken shortly after the inebriated chap told my friend Elise she had a "luscious booty." Before any thank yous or pleasantries that you would normally exchange after a plastered and grotesque homeless guy who just made sexual comments about your rear could take place, the bus doors abruptly opened and the drunkard went stumbling out the open doors and onto the sidewalk outside, all the while speaking in a tongue formally known as drunken gibberish.

Unfortunately he could not be reached for comment following the incident, but can be sighted wherever luscious bootys are found.

Comment from Elise Jenkins...

I have to say, Steve, I'm delighted that you posted this blog. It's comforting to know that I'm not the only person being entertained, disgusted, and insulted by the odd and eccentric population of this great city. I have begun to refer to these experiences as my "San Francisco Bum/Muni Follies."

For the women out there reading this comment, I have to add a detail or two to the event corresponding to the picture. I was one of those people trying to get on the bus in the "Back Door! Back Door!" because the bus driver had stopped letting people on in the front - the bus was THAT crowded. Not only did I barely squeeze in past the fellow in the picture, my rear end - in all of its post-workout supa-tight stretch pants glory - was right in his line of sight.

This is when he began to make the scene. "My GOD that is a luscious booty!! Can I touch it? Oh pleeeease baby let me touch it. You know you want me to just grab it, jiggle it. I'd love you baby girl I'd LOOOOVE you!" At this point I'm the center of attention of a bus FULL of the 6:30pm Monday crowd. You know the one I'm referring to. It consists of the good looking suit-and-tie financial district metro-men and the Coach bag carrying, pantsuit wearing marketing girls, all of whom are laughing hysterically at the spectacle. Mind you, I'm the center of attention in a sweat soaked wife beater, my tightest, most unforgiving pair of running pants, no makeup, and dirty hair matted to my forehead. Of course this shit never happens when I'm wearing a sexy pencil skirt, having a great hair day, and my lips are freshly glossed. My only saving grace was when he fell, literally fell, out of the bus at the next stop. Elise 1, Bum 1. It's a draw.

Oddly enough, there were no posts the next day on Craigslist's "Missed Connections" for "dirty girl with luscious booty on the 38." hmm What can you do.

This, of course, all occurs the day after another bum incident. I was at the Safeway on Webster on Sunday night minding my own business, purchasing a delectable 1/2 lb of freshly sliced honey turkey at the deli counter when this homeless person approaches me and asks me for change. My initial reaction was one of bewilderment - how did a bum get into this fine establishment?! My second reaction was the same as my response to his request- "um, no." I went back to waiting on my deli turkey and typing away on my blackberry, thinking nothing more of the interaction.

Instead of saying "thank you" or grunting the typical bum-chatter "hoogly moogly" as they scuttle away to find more generous people to harass, he looks me dead in the eye and says "Why not? You got that nice teley-phone, and you got that meat. Why ain't you gots some change fo' me. Sure you got fiddy cents o sumptin."

Really? Ok. I guess he's allowed to express his opinion. It's a free country and all. So I decided I'd be best off to just ignore him. I had learned my lesson about provoking ghetto people the hard way after Saturday night's events, but that's another story. So I'm thinking "You can do it, Elise! Be the better person!"

It turns out the bum didn't take kindly to being ignored. So he proceeded to yell, yes - yell, the following: "HEY LADY! I'MA TALKIN AT CHOO!! GIMME SOME GODDAMN MONEY!!" Really?! Is this really happening to me? I'm looking around wondering why no one else was being harassed by this guy, and no one would look me in the eye. I was alone. Alone in a sea of delicious delicatessen meats and cheeses - but a storm was a-brewin and there was no turning back now. So I looked him right in the eye and told him to fuck off.

Oops. So that was definitely not the right thing to do. I looked around me - searching desperately for a lifeline. Anything! Anyone! Alas, nothing. Needless to say, this did not sit well with Sir Bum either. He looks back at me and says, and I quote, "No! No, nuh uh. F YOU white lady! F you! And you got a flat ass! Yeah dats right. You heard me b*tch. Flat. Ass."

My response? "I most certainly do NOT have a flat ass. And if I do, it's just because of these jeans. So f you, f your mom, and get the hell out of my way before I call security."

Ding ding! And we have a winner. Elise 2 - Bum 1. I yelled security, he called uncle. B*tch.

Now my only question is about my ass - is it flat or is it luscious? I guess I'll always have to wonder...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Bounce This!"

There is only one profession with more alleged power than the President of the United states and that is a bouncer at a club. These Neanderthals, without any concept of life outside the front door of the club have somehow gotten the impression that they are the most powerful people in the universe. In their world the order of power goes...

1) Bouncer
2) Owner of club
3) DJ playing at the club
4) Bartender at club
5) Barback at club
6) Bathroom attendant at club
7) Janitor at club
8) Alley cat outside of club
9) Mouse in alley cats mouth outside of club
10) God

Standing in a line at a club waiting for a bouncer to get into some lame club is probably my least favorite place in the world. Yet I continue to do it and have no choice but to bend over and take it. (Figure of speech, I'm not actually bending over and taking anything for those literal readers out there...)

There is always one guy in your group that feels it necessary to let the bouncer know they are missing out on his business, like it will make any sort of difference in the bouncer's life. He could care less about the $12 in your pocket you intend to spend on drinks and then stiff the bartender for a tip. There aren't any customer service satisfaction surveys going out to the patrons of the bar asking them to rate their experience or anything so customer service and retaining business or R.O.I. (rate on investment) is not exactly a top priority of the bouncer. He'd just assume kick your ass then to let you into the club.

I have been in lines waiting to get into some bar that I never wanted to go to in the first place, but yet I stand and wait like a buffoon. Then just when I think I might get in, six of the bouncer's lame guy friends pop up to the front of the bar, embrace the bouncer like they are childhood blood brothers, sometimes exchanging butt slaps and the most nonsensical handshakes, and in they go. Once they are through the bouncer regains his tough guy attitude and proceeds to tell us with a straight face that the bar is at capacity. Then of course there is some impatient girl or stupid guy (probably the same one in your group who threatens to not give his business) that will ask why those guys got in when the bar is at capacity thus further pissing off the bouncer and reducing the chances of anyone getting in. Usually the response will be either no response - a complete ignorance of the question or "Oh they were in before." (That's why when they came up they embraced like they hadn't seen each other since the fourth grade). But yet you continue to wait like a moron again bending over and taking it for another twenty minutes or whenever this prehistoric, primitive gate bar keeper lets you enter his realm...

A few weeks ago I made a special trip home to change into formal clothes to get into a bar only to have a bouncer that looked like Fabio to tell me I was too casual. Too casual? I was in dress shoes and a dress shirt. What was the guy expecting a three piece suit?

Once inside, you are still not home free as bouncers also have complete Nazi-like reign over you inside as well. Any wrong move at their ignorant discretion and they'll throw you out of the joint. And the best part about it? Laws created by our forefathers, and enforced by the highest power in America somehow don't apply inside bars and clubs. For some reason bouncers have complete authority to beat the living daylights out of any poor chap at no other discretion other than their own!

I always found it funny how bouncers would throw people out of a bar for being too drunk, when it is their bartenders that keep serving the sloshes! They should know the equation by now-serving too much alcohol to one person will most likely result in some sort of irrational behavior. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. The whole premise of the bar business is to serve alcohol. So they serve people alcohol then are surprised when they act like drunken lunatics and then have to throw them out? What did they expect Mary Poppins to all of a sudden show up? It is kind of like leading a six-year old into a candy store, offering them an unlimited supply of sour patch kids and then getting upset at them when they are bouncing like maniacs off the walls.

At a club in a certain San Francisco suburb I finally got my revenge on the ignoramus bouncer community. After ignoring demands from a bouncer on the dance floor because I was dancing in the wrong section apparently, I was manhandled out of the bar like Paris Hilton on a Friday night in a random Hollywood bedroom. I don't even think my feet were touching the ground as this pugnacious brute lifted me and literally threw me out of the club. I felt like Jazz on "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," being tossed out of the Banks household as I went flying out the front door right in front of the bouncers in the front. If I was a football, the bouncer would have been Peyton Manning and the sidewalk Marvin Harrison as I went at least for a chains moving first down. I knew better to fight back since there would be an army of IQ-less bouncers ready to pounce and beat me to a bloody massacre pulp had I done so. Usually they find it necessary to have seven bouncers over three-hundred pounds wail on a one guy fewer than two-hundred pounds so I knew I would be outmatched. I waited outside for about five minutes, and then casually asked the front door bouncer what time the club closed. He nonchalantly said 2am and then asked for my ID. I sheepishly handed it to him, he checked it out and back into the club I went. I was astonished that this guy's short-term memory lasted about five minutes. He had just seen me heatedly been tossed out of the club, like a crab fisherman tossing an undersized catch back into the ocean, and now this idiot was letting me right back in with no questions asked. Once inside I had to keep a low profile to avoid the first bouncer who would truly squash me if noticed.

Steve 1
Bouncers 74

I did have one experience of kindness from a bouncer and it literally changed my whole outlook on life. (Yes I know most of my revelations on life come from times spent at bars...) While entering a bar in Hilton head, South Carolina a bouncer actually apologized to me for checking my ID. "Sir I'm sorry I've got to check your ID," he said, as I still remember clear as day. I literally felt like crying due to his kindness...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Shenanigans Volume V"

...Halloween has come and gone yet again, and with each year female costumes become more scandalous. At one point, many years ago, like 1996, Halloween featured costumes like ghosts, witches and goblins, but today, those have given way to basically just one costume; a slut. The great thing about Halloween is it gives every single girl one night to give it their best shot at slutting (not a word) it up free of dress codes, pre-judgment and dirty looks from other girls (might have to double check on this one but I think you catch the drift). I also think I figured out how girls come up with their costume ideas. First they think of an animal, object, phrase, movie, etc. and then just add slut to the beginning. (Some may try to add Sexy, but they're not fooling us). For example, a police officer becomes slutty police officer; an astronaut becomes slutty astronaut and, Lindsey Lohan...well actually that is already a complete costume. You can even turn a garbage lady into a sexy garbage lady. Peel off a sleeve, pop up some cleavage and there you have it. There is one caveat for guys out there however - this also means that if you meet a girl on Halloween, she is probably putting forth her best possible attractiveness, so you are in for a shock when the cat woman you met is dressed in khaki pants and a long sleeve shirt on your first actual date. Wait a second, where is the outfit, this is bullsh*t...

...While shopping for my metal band costume, I came across a startling realization - there were people actually shopping for the same items as myself; except they were for every day use. These stores sell these items year round, and while their inventory of fishnet shirts were run through faster than normal due to myself, people are actually buying and wearing this stuff the other 364 days of the year. Amazing...

And now to the normal gibberish and far from useful forthcomings in no particular organizational order or relevance...

...Guitar hero is finally taking over our lives. The recent phenomenon which allows every uncoordinated and musically inept person to jam to a variety of rock tunes without causing glass to shatter is taking over the universe. In the past hopeful guys used to be able to entice beautiful woman over to their place with alcohol, views of the ocean, and the new Barry Manilow record, but when I attempted those three items last week I received a "Do you have guitar hero," in return. "No but I do have College Football 2006," I responded helplessly. The girl took her own cab home. Another girl was explaining to me the chords of a Whitesnake song and I was interested because a girl who knows how to play the guitar is always a plus for me. "It goes green, yellow twice and then red," she explained. "Actually I think it's a g-chord," I responded. "What's that?" was her answer, thinking that guitar hero was how real songs are made...

...I thought the best benefit about being homosexual was that you didn't have to do all the lame girlfriend things like watch Sex & The City repeatedly, frequent Bed Bath & Beyond every other Tuesday and most of all hold hands at all hours of the day. But what I've witnessed in San Francisco is nothing short of the complete opposite! There are gay guys holding hands everywhere, and making out! Most straight guys would be repulsed at the sight, but that is not why I'm outraged. I'm upset that after all they've been through, taking the audacious step of being open with their sexuality and then they don't even get to reap the benefits! I thought you didn't have to do all that relationship stuff anymore- make out in public, hold hands, etc...I thought it was just a wham, bam, thank you Man...

...The other night while walking back from getting food a boisterous, drunken gentleman was stumbling down the street yelling loudly into his cell phone. The conversation seemed to be getting very heated as this slosh was yelling expletives repeatedly and calling the recipient on the other end a "F'n Homo." "You're a homo," he un-jovially sputtered into the mouthpiece of the phone. "It must be a bad breakup," I quietly suggested to my friend. She agreed and just as we made an attempt to dodge the inebriated stumbler we heard the root cause of his contempt. "You're a homo, you picked up Brady Quinn you homo" - right...it all made sense now. Even in my fantasy football addicted state I thought this might have been a bit flippant. Calling out your friend, his wife, his mother and his nine sisters, suggesting what twisted sexual acts you'd like them to partake in on the Yahoo Sports message board is one thing, but accusing your friend of being an expletive homo on the streets of San Francisco loud enough for half the city to hear because he was the first to grab Brady Quinn off the waiver wire? That is crossing the line my friend...Or is it? I just checked Quinn's line from last Monday and it was pretty good, I'm not going to lie...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"The Mother's Rolodex"

I think its hard for older people to understand the concept of networking websites such as MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn. Still trapped in the 1960's my Mom has a Rolodex of phone numbers (most of them outdated) the size of the bible. In fact, if Jesus was around today, dealing with the betrayal and religious persecution would be a walk in the park after a plethora of harassing phone calls from my Mom requesting updated addresses, phone numbers, and urine samples from him and each one of the disciples.

Twice a week I get calls from her asking for someone's updated number, address, or messenger pigeon route. I don't think she's caught on that most people no longer have home numbers nor do they use their home address for anything in particular. Handing out your address these days can only result in an annoying relative coming to visit, a rotting array of acorn squash in your mailbox placed there by a fantasy football rival, or a Spanish speaking nine-year old showing up on your doorstep - a result of an inebriated, two-dollar-you-call it one night stand during a road trip to Tijuana back in college.


With PayPal, Cards, Evite, MySpace and unlimited online porn sites there should be no reason for any sort of card, invitation, old unwanted VHS tapes, or check arriving at my door.

My Mom also still balances her checkbook which is a concept I've never fully understood. In my opinion if someone wants to embezzle $40 a month from my account, I'm completely fine with that if that means I don't have to go through each miniscule transaction, carry the one, add the six and calculate where every penny is going.

Last week my Mom somehow compared the online business networking site LinkedIn with AIDS. (Yes the Auto Immune Deficiency one). The same disease that has killed thousands world wide all of a sudden is no different than logging onto your LinkedIn account to find other investment bankers in your area...

At first I tried to explain the concept - such as you create an account and then connect with other people who have similar jobs or maybe for looking for a new job and then you gain access so you can search their connections and so on and so forth. First she was confused because I had a connection with my cousin Debbie. "Debbie isn't looking for a job," my Mom interrogated. Once we got past the fact that you can just have an account and don't have to be job seeking I explained the networking part of the site, where you connect to others and then gain access to their connections.

"That sounds a lot like AIDs", she responded.

"No Mom, that actually is nothing like AIDs!" I responded shell-shocked.

"Well you sleep with one person, and then they sleep with another, and it's like you are sleeping with everyone," she responded.

"Mom I just don't think you are getting it."

"You should add your friend Joey, he has a good job," she suggested, starting to grasp the concept.

"Mom, I'm sorry Joey doesn't have AIDs, so I don't think I'll be adding him, sorry..." All these sites serve one general purpose and that is keeping in touch with people that you normally wouldn't have. And there is a reason you normally wouldn't keep in touch with them and that is because you don't want to! MySpace is probably the most dangerous for any sort of relationship because it allows any girl from your friend's list, most of whom you have never met to leave whatever seductive, outlandish, and suggestive comment on your page for the whole world to see before you even you. There is no judge and jury of your peers to determine the validity of the message left, just the interpretation of every visitor of your page to decipher the message to their discretion.

Maybe my Mom has it figured out actually. To this day I haven't heard of one incriminating message resulting from the retro-60's Rolodex...Hmm...I might have to cancel my MySpace account and pick up a fancy dex from my local antique store after all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Shenanigans Volume IV"

Throughout this blog I'll be posting frivolous bits of observations that will most likely cause you to scratch your head and thank god the loved ones in your life aren't as wickedly eccentric as myself. With that said, please read on and don't forget to visit the comment page should you choose to add your own shenanigan stories or just need a place to voice your useless tidbits of information as well.

...Is there any sort of time period that a waitress will ignore you before both the patron and waitress just have a mutual agreement that there is going to be no service rendered? At a restaurant/bar last week I asked a waitress for some help who responded she would be back over shortly. She walked by three more times, each time making full eye contact with me while mentioning she would be over soon. Finally the fifth time she just stopped acknowledging me altogether, thus reaching me to the point of no return. (Or no service rather). She never offered and I guess since she had denied me four times that was just the end of it as she kept passing by without stopping, or even looking in my direction for the next hour. It would have been much easier if she just let me know she wasn't going to help ever or at least... "Hello sir, I'm going to walk by you repeatedly, promising service, never actually grant you service, and then finally ignore you all together, how does that sound?" "Wow that sounds great, do I just stand here and look like a moron, for what...say twenty, thirty minutes?"

...Why do people always have to ask what you do for a living? I'll be out at a bar and some random guy or girl I've just met always has to press that question. Why can't they just ask me something less personal, like how many people I've slept with or something? Since I've been unemployed on and off for the past year I usually try to dodge the question by making a joke and say I'm a stripper on Tuesdays. Or I'll try to change the subject like I knew I shouldn't have eaten that raw jackrabbit earlier and hold my stomach in pain. Let's be honest here, if a girl meets a guy in a bar, what are the chances they get to the point where the guy's profession actually matters anyway? I can't remember the last girl I've run across that met her husband, a molecular chemical engineer at a dive bar on a Friday night. "Meet my husband Rob; he is a NASA engineer and volunteer marine biologist on his nights and weekends. Isn't he lovely? We met when we were wasted, playing beer pong down at the Bub's pool hall..." I mean, if you meet me, I'm a living human being surviving in San Francisco, so I have to be doing something right, does it matter if I work for Google or not? The thing is anyone who asks that question obviously is just dying to tell you what they do, like they are making this huge difference in the world or something. Not many proctologists or janitors are asking you that question so chances are when you hear it you are going up against a financial analyst, a third grade teacher or some sort of fancy title that no one has ever heard of but sounds cool to say like a senior quantitative analyst or something. I love the guys who say yes I'm an Executive Account Quantifier at Charles Schwab. At first you are impressed, but then when you actually start questioning them..."So let me guess this straight, you refill the toilet paper in the men's room so the janitor doesn't have to..." "Well not exactly, I uh..." "So, you're a janitor..."Well not exac-ok yes." So next time a girl asks you what you do for a living just say "I'm a garbage man and I pick up rotting raccoon carcasses every morning...So are we going to sleep together or what?"

...Has anyone out there figured out how vicious, diabolic locked-up inmates get out of jail on good behavior? What does that mean exactly? Isn't that the whole reason they were in jail in the first place; bad behavior? Now all of a sudden these criminal thugs are transformed into Mary Poppins and let out on the street, because they happened not to maim or sodomize anyone while behind bars?

"Well yes Jim does go by the nickname of "Knife Stabber," and yes he did murder a family of twelve in cold blood using only his hands, a staple remover and a Teddy Ruxpin doll causing each of them to die a slow and painful death in broad daylight, but he did plant a lovely row of daisies next to the latrines on the south lawn so he's out on good behavior." Good behavior? Good behavior? He's murdered someone!

Inside the joint it seems like cutthroat losers who are absolute morons on the outside, suddenly morph into Albert Einstein in jail. You always hear about these atrocious weapons being created on the inside out of absolutely nothing. A guy who couldn't even figure out how to work a microwave on the outside all of a sudden miraculously can turn his underwear into a pitchfork on the inside.

"Damndest thing, Rick, One eyed Russell couldn't even spell his name when he came in here. An IQ of negative twelve they said, but last week we gave him a tube sock, a quisinart and three muskrats and the guy came up with this self-generating desalination purifier which can generate four-hundred gallons of drinking water from once ounce of salt water. Brilliant...Did I mention it also converts into a rocket launcher?"

"What is he in for?"

"He murdered seven tourists, but he'll be out on good behavior next week."

"Because of the water purifier?"

"Nope, it is because he cooks a lovely brisket, he sure is a swell guy..."

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Shenanigans Volume III"

As usual random tidbits of useless information….

…It happens every single time I’m out at a bar, restaurant, “The Hills Season 3 Premier,” or wherever there is a bathroom and a drunk idiot nearby. Why is it that every time I’m standing in a bathroom line some doofas has to ask me if I’m standing in the line for the bathroom? Here are some responses you can tell the ignoramus next time you are asked this ridiculous question as you are lined up directly outside the door with the large bathroom logo on it.

- “No I’m just standing here so I can watchh the chick I came with get hit on in her bathroom line while I stand here with seven guys I’ve never met, each of us enjoying the lovely stench emanating from that room with a bathroom logo on the door”

- “Wow thanks for asking. Not at all, actuually that is Weird Al Yankovic’s dressing room and all of us are waiting for him to come out so we can get our chests signed”

- “Great question! Actually Penelope Cruz iis doing a strip show inside and all of us are just trying to get a look. You should totally disregard those giant letters that spell, what is it? Oh yeah ‘Gentlemen’ ”

- “No, were standing in line to get into thhe Red Sox-Yankees game, where are your seats?”

- “This is the line, but I’m not in it. I just enjoy smelling the horrendous odor. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I used to swim in a pool of raw sewage and horse manure.”

- “Common mistake! I know the big sign thatt states ‘Men’s Restroom’ can really throw you off. This is actually the line to get a rectal exam. Myself and the seven other derelicts in line often enjoy doing one whenever we enter a bar, since good proctologists are hard to find these days.”

- “Really great guess, actually they are paassing out free lobster to everyone coincidentally in the same room that has a door with a large man logo on the outside and says ‘Bathroom’.”

- “Really glad you asked, when the owners oof the bar built this room they were afraid the large ‘Gents’ writing with the picture of a toilet would confuse people. Actually this is the line for a sex change operation, what are you going in for?”

- “Close, but no we’re all standing in linee to get N’Sync tickets. They disguise the ticket offices as bathrooms per a request from Lance Bass.

…Have we gotten to the point with the invention of Evite invitations that we can’t even invite someone over anymore without one? No longer can you just invite some people over to watch the game, but now you need to send them an Evite. I tried to invite my friend Karen over to watch “The Hills,” episode (oops did I say that out loud) and she wanted me to send her an Evite. I was like actually I’m just inviting you over the phone, so see you Monday? Nope still need an Evite, sorry. What’s next, you meet a girl at a bar, then have to scramble home to conjure up a quick Evite for an invite over to your place?

Monday, September 1, 2008

"That's My Wife"

I’d like first off start this blog to let everyone know that I love homosexuals. Wait, I mean I approve-ok I’m not gay – “not that there’s anything wrong with it,” to quote my far-from-admirable hero George Constanza.

While I don’t engage in the same activity, I have nothing but respect for what homosexuals go through; the discrimination, harassment, and constant jokes they constantly endure. (Some even from my website unfortunately). In my defense my jokes are merely an attempt to show what it is like as a straight guy to live in San Francisco and mean no harm, nor any disdain.

In any case, now that is out of the closet, I would now like to call mercy to every homosexual male out there. Us straight guys know we are no match should they choose to actually hit on a girl. Gay guys possess three talents that no straight guy on the planet has managed to master, and many have been ridiculed, ostracized, or outright banished for even suggesting trying such a feat. Gay guys can actually listen and understand everything a girl is saying, they have great fashion taste and best of all, (or worst of all for us straights); they can dance. I’m not talking about the Charleston, Macarena, or the Drunken Elaine that Jim in accounting does every year at the company Christmas party. These supposed uninterested lady stealers are no more than wolves dressed in Justin Timberlake clothing, primed and ready to summon our woman to the dance floor as soon as the latest Usher, Chris Brown or Beyonce song comes blaring through the speakers.

I’m not asking for a one-way green light to certain success – I’m just asking for a fair chance. Please? Right now it feels like we are a bowlegged, pimply cub scout with freckles, and headgear going up against Brad Pitt.

At this point, we get it. You win. Were throwing in the towel. We can’t compete. We are losers.

If you want me to sacrifice for the rest of the uncoordinated non-dancing straight guys out there by growing out a four-day shadow, dawning a pair of pink shorts and aviators like George Michael in his “Wake Me Up,” Eighties video and take my new fashion game out on the town, to change your ways I will. I’ve got spare time and some really white unattractive legs. In the meantime for the sake of all straight guys out there, will you please stay off the dance floor and at least give us a fighting chance?

With that said…

Obviously judging by my seven paragraph statements above I know where I may have success at a bar and where I might not. Unfortunately the list of not is currently winning forty to one over the places of success. At the table, telling jokes, working the crowd, is where I feel most comfortable. The dance floor is not quite where I feel I’m best, and if the night ever moves to that level I’m essentially a fish out of water, squirming, flipping upside down and trying to breathe out of my gills (not an analogy, those are actually my uncoordinated dance moves).

Things could be going great; girls are falling out of their seats laughing, and then right on cue I hear those frightful words, “I love this song!” Like a deer caught in the headlights, my arm is yanked and I’m tossed up onto the stage like a fish flung between two butchers at a Seattle fish market. Why do girls put us through this nightmare and automatically assume that since we tell a few jokes and make them laugh we can hold our own on the dance floor? My un-rhythmic undulating movements on the dance floor making me look like a bobble head doll shaken by a roguish two-year old hopped up on Red Vines don’t do much to fend off the two dozen drooling guys, each one ready to pounce on my chick like lions hiding in the tall grass ready to yank a freshly killed antelope from my cat-like grasps. To recreate this feeling, if you’re not familiar, just go out to your local harbor and sit on a buoy of rotting tuna carcasses in shark-infested water. You may not see any sharks lurking right away but you know darn well they will be on their way as soon as they glance up from their Budweiser.

After a few uncoordinated gyrations it becomes painstakingly obvious my perfectly played night is headed for disaster. It is sort of like a UFC fighter who fights well standing up, but once the fight goes to the floor, he can’t grapple. In my case I can’t dance. Sometimes I can buy some time by making fun of some idiot crip walking on the dance floor. Every club, bar or even bar mitzvah has one of those morons who thinks its cool to crip walk on the dance floor so if you do some funny impressions of him without getting jumped, maimed, or stabbed by the cripwalker and his cronies you can often buy yourself some time and hope the girl tires herself out.

Then of course there is the NGGTCD (Non-gay guy that can dance) that you have to look out for. A girl will instantly forget that you just made her laugh for two hours if some straight Usher look-alike comes over and can actually dance. At this point your night is seconds from being over and you need to make a miraculous recovery or watch your girl go “Nice & Slow,” with Usher for the rest of your lonely evening. So what do you do next, one might ask?

It is only when there are no other options, you’ve pulled your goalie and the clock is running out that you can attempt to throw up one last Hail Mary pass. Go up to the marauder and let him know that he is dancing with your wife. I know sounds distasteful, and absolutely odd, which by the way it is, but this is a guaranteed successful plan of attack. Even a drunk sleezeball like David Hasselhoff will respect that he is dancing with your old lady and back off. I think it’s the fact that guys respect that you’ve probably put up with a bunch of her crap and the least they can do is not feel your bride up right in front of you, but instead wait until you’ve headed to the bathroom, pulled a hammy or just left the club and left her to the vultures before they perform their act of rapine. The best part is you don’t have to have any answers prepared. No guy is going to ask you when your anniversary is, where you spent your honeymoon or even what the girl’s name is. They are going to hightail it off that dance floor faster Rosie O’Donnell heading for at an all you can eat buffet.

Don’t worry about feeling bad about this. Girls use the husband, fiancé, or boyfriend line all the time to avoid obnoxious guys, so there is no reason we can’t use the same idealogy and make guys they are interested in disappear. A few weeks ago I was at a bar roaming to the back like cattle in a box car trying to catch some fresh air when the girl ahead of me started to attempt to deflect some catcalls from some lunatics off to the side. Before I even knew what was going on she pointed back to me and mentioned that I was her fiancé. Fiance? Boyfriend ok, but fiancé? What was I supposed to do with this one, I thought. Without thinking I just ran with it. I spouted off about six fake facts about the girl, when the wedding was, who was attending, where it would be, etc. I couldn’t believe what I was saying. And the worst part was I think I did it because I thought the guy was a sleezeball and thought he was wrong for harassing the young lassie. How quickly you jump sides when you are the one called to put out the fire not the one starting it. Afterwards the guy profusely apologized and later even bought me a shot to earn my forgiveness. Any honest person would have come clean at that point, but of course I didn’t. I told him it would take two shots to make up for his flippant behavior.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"The Unexceptional Athlete"

Last week while finishing off a pint down at a local bar the Beijing Olympic games came on the TV. An inebriated chap next to me slammed down his beer abruptly, while simultaneously throwing a few kernels of popcorn in the direction of the screen to signify his excitement. He looked like a baboon at the zoo who was seeing a naked female baboon for the first time.

“What amazing athletes they are yeah,” the lush exclaimed, motioning in my direction.

I glanced back up at the TV just in time to see a pimply-faced, one-hundred pound, gangly Kyrgyzstanian archer pull back a crossbow, getting ready to send his arrow spiraling into the Beijing sky.

“Yeah,” was all I could muster to shoot back at the intoxicated primate, as I noticed one of his tossed popcorn kernels had made my pint of Sierra Nevada its final resting place.

The archer had released his arrow and at no point during the entire process did this out-of-shape archer (yes this is a word, I looked it up) break a sweat or seem to put duress on a single muscle in his body. I truly believe the guy could have been high on LSD and obtained the same score.

Amazing athlete or just one step removed from a game of darts at a local dive bar? No offense to the archer community out there, but I’m pretty sure I can steal a few bar darts, find a sturdy rubber band and shoot to my heart’s content with just about as much success. And what is the off-season training regiment that these archers are participating in? I’m pretty sure they aren’t doing two-a-days and running up flights of stairs to gain that competitive edge. And are there famous archers that these “athletes” aspire to live up to?

And is it me or is every event in the Olympics always resulting in a new world record? Michael Phelps is on pace to break eight world records this Olympics. You’re actually telling me that throughout the entire history of the Olympics there hasn’t been a single guy better than Michael Phelps in every single event, or is the official guy in charge of the stopwatch just losing a step each Olympiad?

Lets take archery for example, since were on the subject…

“Next we have Svetlana Kohsivich from Russia…She pulls back the bow, wow, look at that amazing muscular structure – Svetlana has been training 19 hour days for competition…and she shoots – Bulls eye – new world record, amazing!”

“Now Chips Magee stands up, a 7-11 store clerk from North Dakota. Lets see… reading his profile, Chip’s training regiment consisted of twelve PBR’s a day and a heavy dose of illegal narcotics… lets see how he does - Chips reaches back, grabs a Mickey’s 40, pounds it, shoots the arrow-bulls eye! New world record…! What an exceptional athlete he is...”

Chips relaxing after an exhilarating archery match

Of course…

So the question is, what really determines a sport? I feel that any sport I can do while intoxicated and achieve the exact same success rate if I was sober should not be a sport. This eliminates about half of the summer and winter sports.

We’ve already covered Archery, but there are additional sports that really don’t have a place. Badminton? Canoeing? Kayaking? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved a game of badminton and often have enjoyed a day of leisure drinking and paddling a kayak, but I just can’t support them as Olympic sports. Maybe if there was just one kayaking event, I would be ok with that, but is it necessary to have both flat-water kayaking and slalom kayaking as events? Are these really spectator sports anyway? I apologize if I’m upsetting any slalom kayaking enthusiasts, but really? Other than a few lost hikers and a couple of moose having a leisurely drink at the river’s edge, who is watching these events? Can’t we just send a few archers in kayaks out on the open water with a few tall cans and see who can stay upright on their kayak the longest without accidentally submerging themselves in the water or taking an arrow in the jugular? That would take care of three unnecessary sports right there.

Badminton is a sport that I thought previously only existed during my middle school P.E. classes. Before these Olympic games, I thought finding people that play badminton on a competitive level would be about as hard as convincing my Mom to crowd surf at an Alice in Chains concert, but I guess you live and learn. Are these badminton players training year round at underground badminton communities, surfacing only to compete for Olympic glory? I can’t recall a single time I met someone and asked him or her what they do and they respond with, “I play badminton for a living.” Some may find badminton exciting, whereas I on the other hand find it rather uninspiring. However, I do find it comical watching grown men dressed up in full pajama looking outfits like the ones four-year old kids wear with the attached slippers stabbing each other with swords. Since fencing rules make absolute no sense, we could eliminate both badminton and fencing in one fell swoop and introduce Fencemitton to the world. This game of skill would combine the riveting excitement of badminton with the ferocious stabbing of fencing. Rules would be simple: a player hits the shuttlecock over the fence and the partner on his team will run to the other side and can maim, stab, bite, or eye gauge the opponent on the other end until the shuttlecock is returned to the other side. The team with the most points, or the most flesh wounds would be deemed the winner. You could also combine this with Taekwando. (You haven’t really watched a sport until you’ve seen someone jump kicked while trying to return a shuttlecock).

Now were getting somewhere!

I finally had the pleasure of watching a real water polo game for the first time and to my surprise, I’ve actually been playing water polo for years! The rules are fairly simple; you throw a ball around the pool while attacking, strangling, groin kicking, or drowning your opponent. Ultimately you’ll have to throw the ball into the net, but that is not exactly an arduous task; the goalie covers about 10% of the actual goal and since he or she is treading water, they have the same vertical jump as a cow on rollerblades. (The team with the most goals or players remaining that still have full use of their family jewels are deemed the winners). How does this differ from you and your buddies drinking a few cold ones, jumping in the pool and attacking each other for an hour and a half while attempting to get the ball between your Mom’s petunia’s and your dog Scrap’s water bowl?

I think if we all band together to support the change in Olympic sports we can bring the Olympics back to the way they were when the Olympic forefathers started them in Greece. Of course, back then they did compete naked and while that may not work for the new archery games, since I’ve heard taking an arrow in the groin can be slightly painful, I think we’ll be on the right track…

Some future sports to consider?

Ro sham bo
Pillow fighting
Pin the Tail on The Donkey
Chutes & Ladders
Duck Duck Goose

Monday, August 11, 2008

"My Fantasy Football Addiction"

“Its not even real life, it’s a fantasy,” my girlfriend used to argue.

“Not to me it’s not,” I would shoot back, ignoring warning signs triggered by my insatiable urge to check statistics each waking moment. I would even sleep walk to check a box score if necessary in case I accidentally induced myself into a football watching, wings and seven-layer-dip-coma on the couch.

This past fantasy football off-season as I was mounting (or sticking rather), my 2007 award in the place of my now ex-girlfriend’s picture I took a moment to reflect and look back. “Was it all worth it?” I thought as I admired my 9th place ribbon barely affixed to the mantle, secured by just a lone piece of scotch tape. Like a rock climber suspended in mid air with a carabineer attached to his crotch, my ribbon was holding on for dear life. My sacred prize looked like a creation done by a kindergartner who ate too much glue, but that didn’t stop an amiable smile from appearing on my face. I had developed a strong connection with my fantasy players during the past season – a strong connection with their statistics that is. Just as I started to think that maybe my fantasy statistical crushes had started going a bit too far, a gust of wind dislodged my ribbon sending it spiraling out the window and into the awaiting grasps of a strategically positioned ribbon-stealing pigeon perched in a nearby tree. While I can’t lay direct blame to the pigeon for rapaciously burglarizing me of my prized ribbon, he didn’t exactly move out of the way and let it fall peacefully to its demise in the trash heap awaiting below either.

My ribbon is now probably the finishing piece on a nest somewhere to be admired only by roaming gangs of jealous pigeon thieves.

In a league comprised of just ten teams, a ninth place finish is nothing to get excited about anyway so I suppose that blasted pigeon did me a favor. I probably should have thrown in the towel at that very moment, but my addiction had been building for years…

Two seasons ago after trying to reason with my family that Saturday was a much better day for a ceremony, I found myself at my Great Uncle’s funeral on a Sunday in early December. Locked in a tight race for the fourth and final playoff spot in my fantasy league I tried to sit calmly in my church pew as the ceremony commenced.

Shortly after kickoff, or as the Priest liked to call it – “Friends, today we gather to celebrate the life of…” the anxiety started to kick in. I felt a drop of sweat trickle down my forehead, travel past my nose, and then free fall onto the pew making a sound loud enough for a menacing glance from my Mother to shoot in my direction. Unfortunately that drop was just the beginning and soon I felt like San Francisco quarterbackAlex Smith trying to elude an ominous pass rush with the third string center as his only line of defense. To my chagrin, I didn’t have the luxury of even an eighth string center, but I did have my eight-year-old cousin Milo. Unfortunately, he was more interested in picking his nose and depositing it in the church hymn book than to be concerned with my desperate perspiration.

Would Roethlisberger go to the air against Cincinnati or stick to the running game? Was Brian Westbrook, a game-time decision, even in the game? I was miles from a computer or active Internet connection and even if I were to locate one, a brigade of defensive lineman in the form of my immediate family members would certainly stand my path of any possible first down; or escape rather.

I was screwed.

Just then the amazing happened. I started breaking out in a rash and the sweating became uncontrollable. My Mom’s menacing gaze became enraged and she motioned to the door for me to excuse myself. Seizing what I thought was my only chance, I climbed backwards over the pew crashing down on the floor behind me with one leg still caught on the back of the pew above. During the post game interviews, or reception rather, some said the ceremony stopped for a whole minute as people exchanged perplexed glances, but I wasn’t around to check it out. I was already half way to the reception hall in a Reggie Bush-like sprint searching desperately for any portable device I could find. Ten yards from the door of the hall, a cook held a Palm Treo in his hands. He never saw me coming from the weak side and didn’t have time to defend himself as I latched onto his arm and begged him to see the Philadelphia-New York box score. He nervously agreed and brought up the game. My rash began to recede and my sweating slowed as I felt the warm feeling of my addiction taking over once again. With the box score up and Philadelphia inside the ten I waited anxiously for Westbrook, (represented on the game cast as a blinking green football) to get the call. I watched the blinking football with the focus and determination of a cat stalking a mouse that was doused with catnip.

‘Hand off to Westbrook,’ was the last text I remember seeing before I blacked out.

‘Touchdown New York,’ apparently came next, without any explanation of what had happened. There was no warm touch from a friend telling me to sit down and warn me before the news broke. There was no one assuring me everything would be ok. There was no announcer warning me of gruesome graphics and to look away if I had any Eagle players on my fantasy team. There was just ‘Touchdown New York.’ That was it. Was it a fumble returned for a touchdown? Did a trick play go awry? Did Westbrook get confused and run the wrong way? Did a raging, drunken David Hasselhoff stumble into the press box causing statisticians to make an error? What in God’s name happened? Damn these online game casts…don’t they know people’s each awaiting gasp of life is hinging on these text updates?

When I came to, the cook mentioned something about me trying to strangle him to get more information from the Treo, and me telling him to call someone named Berman and he’d know what had happened, but everything is still kind of hazy…

“So let me get this straight, you’re not actually watching the game, you’re watching stats calculate?” my ex would inquire, mystified. “How often do you need to check that thing?” In my head I was thinking every minute, every second, and every moment of my existence! “A few times a day,” I would answer sheepishly, assuring her that it was just to make sure my stats were calculating correctly. In actuality the stat programs are probably created by MIT software geniuses and rarely miss anything. (This also didn’t explain why I was checking the stats at 11am on a Wednesday during a tour of the wine country when most games are played only on Sundays).

Luckily I had heard that there was help out there so I went online to research a good therapist. Instead I ended up re-ordering my projected 2009 running backs for my upcoming draft and ultimately concluded that there is no cure. I am tied for life to my addiction and I now have set my sights on at least a sixth-place ribbon this upcoming season and wonder if it’s worth risking any more relationships. Ultimately I figure girlfriends come and go, but Fantasy Football ribbons last a lifetime. Well, they last at least until the cheap clothe wears out, a pigeon steals it, or your dog chews it up which happens more often than you would think...

For the record no Great Uncles, catnip covered mice, or cooks holding Treo’s were hurt during the writing of this blog, nor were any girlfriends lost. If you actually believed this story was true I appreciate your credulous attitude…

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Housekeeping - You Want Towels"

Given the pink slip about two weeks ago, I have been left to survive on my salary from stevemcdevitt.com alone, which according to my last calculations was a cool negative twelve dollars per month. Even with the help of unemployment pay the harsh reality has already set it – I can no longer go out every night of the week and blow my money at top notch drinking huts formally known as bars. It is a complete and utter disappointment. I don’t support anyone (other than myself) abusing our government’s unemployment system, however I think I speak for everyone down at the unemployment office when I say they would be happy to know that I’ve now resorted to spending their money only during the hours of 4 to 7pm, Monday thru Friday at local happy hours. I feel they would be rather jovial to hear this. It has been a tough adjustment and several local bars have recently contemplated shutting their doors due to an unexplained recent downturn in business.

At the point of dismissal from my lucrative software job, I figured that job opportunities would be rolling in as I casually took some time off to frequent my favorite golf courses, watch Seinfeld reruns and wake up drooling from afternoon naps. Once my resume was posted however, instead my e-mail inbox was invaded by pyramid schemes, porn site advertisements, Backstreet Boys concert updates and male sex enhancement spam. (Ok…so three of the four I got before the resume was posted…)

The first day I walked out of my place to grab a coffee and some breakfast when I was confronted by a solicitor. Usually I pass by these eccentric characters in a huge rush to get to the fake place or lie that I’ve told them, but today was different. I was unemployed and I had all the time in the world for Green Peace, Jerry’s kids, or whatever other crazy cause some whacko was peddling in San Francisco. The last time I stopped for one of those things, some lunatic was trying to get a waste facility renamed as George W. Bush sewage facility. (This is what people will picket for hours for in San Francisco). This girl, who wasn’t a day over seventeen, was very nice and was concerned about pollution in the Bay affecting the sea lions and I was all ears. Then it came – “would you like to join our mailing list for $50?” I knew it was coming and for once I had the perfect alibi and it wasn’t even a lie. “I’d love to but I was just laid off, so I can’t help you out,” I responded sheepishly, expecting us to then part ways. “Oh I’m sorry, I can probably get you a job if you want, this gig isn’t too bad, I can call my…” I didn’t even hear the end as I stepped into the street narrowly avoiding a swerving taxi. It hit me like a ton of bricks and all I could think of was myself with my arms wrapped lovingly around some amiable sea lion…great software job to slanging sea lion preservation…this was going to be harder than I thought…

Just when I was starting to get discouraged and was one Cialis e-mail advertisement away from becoming a mendicant, begging for leftover Jumbo Jacks on the street, THE e-mail came through. I had just finished slopping up the last few gulps of my 29 cent Beef Top Ramen, when it hit.

“Starbucks Barista Opening!” $8-$10 per hour.

First and foremost I have let it be known that a Starbucks barista is probably the hardest job in the world. How they memorize every possible combination of drinks and make these concoctions at the same time out of their minds on free caffeine is totally beyond me. I could probably perform brain surgery on a cricket with more of a success rate than whip up a double half-calf-decaf-nocaf-extracaf with soy, no cream, with room, extra cream like the baristas do. It is like another language when you walk into a Starbucks. Long story short…my job search continued, but it was encouraging to see that a college education and five years of professional experience made me eligible for the same job as a six-teen year old with lemonade stand and lawn mowing experience.

Then it got worse. I started receiving janitorial jobs, a pet store clerk, and a most recently a shoe shiner gig, not to mention twenty e-mails per day from different Farmer’s Insurance reps. If I didn’t know any better I could swear that Farmer’s Insurance is actually some sort of cult sending out kool-aid-like virus e-mails, pre-programmed to release a deadly insurance selling bacteria turning you into a cold-calling insurance salesman the instant you click the mouse.

Even with all these discouraging job offers I kept a positive outlook, which was mostly aided by the happy hours. The final straw however came just the other day. What started out as the promise of a new day quickly ended when my G-mail alerted me of an incoming e-mail.

The title read “Be my housekeeper.”

Starbuck’s jobs, cleaning up rat poop at a pet store, and selling oranges down by the off-ramp of the expressway are not glamorous jobs, but at least I need two forms of identification to get hired. I first tried not to stereotype, but let’s not beat around the whisk broom – most housekeepers are woman and illegal aliens, two identifiers I was not willing to become to obtain work. (I would be willing to do one, but that is my final offer).

“Housekeeping…you want towels…?”

I could just see myself now…

Unfortunately my happy hour money was running low and I was getting just desperate enough to housekeep my way back to the top. I would have resorted to picking up trash on the side of the road, had a pugnacious group of surly thugs in orange jump suits not ran me off of the 280 freeway. That coupled with the fact that homeless guys had now started offering me change on the streets when I walked by them, instead of asking me so I read on...

A thirty-six year old Swiss man somehow found my resume as a dead on match for someone to stay in his house free of charge while he runs his jewelry ring through me at the house. Totally normal, I thought to myself while popping a Lemonhead into my mouth I had unearthed from underneath the deep confines of my truck seat during a recent search for loose change.

According to the Swiss chap’s posting, all I would have to do is maintain the house and sell jewelry to his U.S. clients when he is not in town. While he is in town I would still be able to stay at the house for free (most likely as long as I dress up in a sailor outfit and tight leather chaps). Makes perfect sense…

I am writing this blog jobless and from the porch of a friendly gang member named Blockhead Joe in Oakland. After hearing my tales of non-grandeur he was nice enough to shoplift me a 40 of Old English, once I explained how I had now out-priced myself of happy hour pricing once the housekeeping gig went down in flames…I have to sign off for now, since Blockhead, or just Block J, as his homies address him, has just informed me he needs the porch to sell some rock or something, but tomorrow is a new day. If I’m lucky I’ll receive a job offer for cleaning bird poop off of the pier at Fisherman’s Wharf, an invitation to participate in a case study involving anthrax injected anally or a promising lead for a job as assistant manure cleaner at a local petting zoo. I know these are lofty expectations, but a kid can dream can’t he?