Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday: There's No More Room in Hell

Q: What’s the difference between zombies and Wal-Mart shoppers? 
A: Zombies aren’t fat.

I kid.  I don’t mean to seem like I’m knocking capitalism, because capitalism rules.  I just don’t like these people.  My Thanksgiving was great; I ate a lot of tasty food, drank a lot, watched some football and took a solid nap.  I didn’t feel compelled to stand outside all day getting cold like an Indian.
Fuck that noise.

If only.
I guess part of my issue is that when I worked retail I had to work Black Friday, and it was pretty much the worst day of my life.  That’s a bit of an exaggeration but it breaks down like this:

Worst Days of All Time:
  1. Anytime someone I cared about died
  2. The Bears lose the Super Bowl
  3. Working retail on Black Friday

This bear never disappoints
So I started my day at 3AM, which meant that I had to go to bed around 8 o’clock the night before.  You might’ve thought that would get in the way of my drinking, and you’d be damn wrong under normal circumstances.  When I have to go to bed I’m usually more inclined to have a few extra beers so I can sleep easily and wake up early.  Unfortunately I had a goddamned cold on Thanksgiving, so I just had a little whiskey with my Sleepytime tea.

I had to get up and brave the frigid 3AM even though the store opened at 5 because my boss had the idea that he would go outside and ask people if they were due for an upgrade while they were waiting in line, and he’d radio their information to me and I’d check it on the computer.  Well exactly one person submitted himself to this process, so I just sat there being miserable as fuck.

Must have $20 Garmin!
At 5AM the doors opened, and it was like when you see a news report about an American embassy being overrun in some god forsaken shit hole.  People swarmed in with no regard for there own lives or anyone else’s.  All the cops in the world wouldn’t have stood a chance against that mob, which is kind of a funny coincidence because some people got into a fight in the parking lot and the cops did in fact show up.

A black Friday I actually like
The jubilation of the crowd as they ran through the store snatching up deals like a pack of blood-mad wolves really pissed me off.  I didn’t want to be there.  First of all retail sucks.  Second of all I was tired and in ill health.  But the reason I was so pissed off was that these assholes showed up in the first place.  If the line didn’t form until the store opened at 5 I could’ve gotten two extra hours sleep.  Furthermore if they didn’t show up till 8 everybody wins.  Typically these sales only last till 1 o’clock anyway, so why not just start it when it isn’t goddamned dark out?

It’s become fashionable in recent years to blame the stores for the increased incidents of violence and trampling.  I don’t like the 5AM start time, but I know what corporations are and what they want: money.  I don’t begrudge them for it, it’s their nature; it’d be like getting mad at a zombie for trying to eat brains.  I do take issue with people that should have a brain between there ears trampling each other to death like fricking monsters.
Oh shit! Zombies!

Fuck! They've breached the perimeter.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Showdown at the Cinema

Like a TARDIS but full of movies

I still haven’t seen the new Harry Potter movie, and if box office receipts are to be believed apparently I’m the only one.  I’m not one of those anti-theater people.  It’s just that it’s hard to find time to go to the movies, with someone else, who wants to see the same movie I do.  Even if all of those criteria are met there’s still a good chance our schedules won’t match up and I’ll have to Red Box or buy the damn movie.

Two dudes about to get BUSTED!
As a kid I went to the movies all the time and I’d hop from theater to theater till I got bored or kicked out.  The trick to theater hopping was to flash your ticket stub and project confidence.  If you go sneaking around like some kind of ninja you’ll get caught for sure.  The other trick to theater hopping is to not get caught filling up your squirt gun at the water fountain.  They kind of frown on that sort of thing.  

To fuel these theater-hopping-shenanigans we would stop at the gas station on the way to the show and buy some gobstoppers, peach rings, or what have you and an ice cold pop.  It was a few hours of fun for only $6. As I got older I started bringing beer to the movies.  The trick with that is to only bring two beers anymore than that and you’ll be peeing the whole time, and I don’t go to the bathroom when I’m seeing a movie I just paid hard earned money to see.

It’s usually not a big deal sneaking pop or beer into the movie.  They never check for that sort of thing and even if you get caught they just confiscate your beer.  Still, you want to be discreet.  What if everyone started sneaking in beer?  In a word: anarchy.  In two words: crazy anarchy.  When I was younger I always pretended to sneeze when I’d open my pop to cover the noise.  This almost led to disaster on one occasion when my pop can had become shaken in my pants pocket from walking around.  So when I opened my Mountain Dew it sprayed the back of the biggest black dude in the world.
No caption necessary

Apparently he thought that the spray from my tasty beverage was a wave of snot.  He said, “if you sneeze on me again I’m gonna kick your ass.”  So I reacted like any suburban white teenager; I apologized profusely and changed seats.  Crisis averted.  Race relations improved.  I guess that’s why they call me “a Dan for all seasons.”
All thanks to me

Note:  I guess I should tag this post “beer” but it seems kind of redundant seeing as how most of my stories involve drinking beer, and I write all blog posts while drinking a beer naked.           

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Outhouse Blues

Few things in the world are quite as disgusting as being forced to use a port-o-john or an outhouse.  It smells bad…really bad, this much is obvious if someone even explains what an outhouse is.  The toilet paper is even worse.  Years ago you couldn’t just go down to the corner store and get a roll of the good stuff.  People had to use their Sears Roebuck catalog, not to order toilet paper but to actually wipe their ass with.  If a Sears Roebuck ad for a new tractor is an F and Cotenelle is an A the toilet paper supplied in a modern outhouse is roughly an F+.  

Old timey toilet paper
This isn’t an issue when peeing in the outhouse, because as a man I don’t pee in the outhouse.  The world is my outhouse.  I’ll find an alley, a Gatorade bottle, or even pop the hood of my car and piss on the tires before I piss in an outhouse.  The only thing I don’t like about peeing outside is when it’s cold outside.  I hate uncoiling the snake with ice-cold hands.  It’s like getting a hernia check from the guy that gives hernia checks (why the fuck are his hands so goddamn cold?  Did he just get in from a snowball fight or an igloo making competition?)  Plus if it’s cold outside there will be shrinkage and it would be embarrassing for anyone to see me like that.
The doctor getting ready to give me a hernia check
Like a TARDIS but smelly
 I’ve bitched about outhouses, but when you need them you’re glad they’re there.  Until you get done and decide you could’ve held it a little longer.  Let me explain, one time at summer camp I had to use a port-o-john.  It was an emergency, life or death situation.  No sooner had I sat down that I noticed that there wasn’t any toilet paper.  Oh shit.

So I sat there for a little while when I heard a knock at the door and some chubby kid said, “hey are you gonna be in there much longer?”
“Oh thank God!  Hey man there’s no toilet paper.  Could you do me a favor and go get some?”
“Dude I gotta go.”  He panted (dude was fat.)

So I sat there a little longer not knowing what to do, when a line started to form behind the backne scarred fat kid.  “Cmon!” He said with increased anxiety.
“I need toilet paper!”  I said with equal anxiety.
“Just use your hand.”
“I’m not using my fucking hand.”
“Just don’t wipe, that’s what I do sometimes.”

Let's knock the outhouse over!
Did I mention that I was in Wisconsin, because that last line makes a lot more sense when you take that into consideration.  Not wanting to walk around with an ass full of shit or use my fucking hand the situation had reached a stalemate.  He wasn’t going anywhere and neither was I, but then he made a power move and tipped the scales in his favor.  He and his cheesehead buddies started rocking the outhouse back and forth.  About the worst thing in the world I could ever imagine happening is being knocked over in a full outhouse door side down.

I had to act fast, lest my most horrible nightmares come true.  So I found a tiny piece of toilet paper on the ground and used it to the best of my ability.  It didn’t do much so I grabbed the actual roll the paper was on and MacGyvered it into a piece of toilet paper.  Though I wasn’t completely clean, I was clean enough to make my escape.  I opened the door and bolted past the hillbillies to the next outhouse down the road, where I cleaned up.  Then I hope I took a shower but I don’t remember.
I wipe my ass with you

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Renovating Wrigley

I am a diehard White Sox fan.  And as such I don’t really have a dog in this race.  Sure I watch a dozen or so Cubs games a year, but 6 of them are when they play my beloved White Sox and the rest happen inadvertently when I go to the bar.  The Cubs could play in Schaumburg IL or Sydney Australia and it would affect me about the same.

Me not caring about the Cubs
 So now Tom Ricketts wants government money to rehab Wrigley?  This shouldn’t surprise anyone.  It’s now standard practice for teams to bend the tax payers over a barrel and threaten to move unless they get a rehab.  As Ricketts himself pointed out the Bears and the Sox both got theirs, so why not the Cubs?  Well unfortunately for him he’s missing the first half or that statement: they threatened to move.  The Bears talked about going to Hoffman Estates and Gary IN among other places.  The Sox WERE going to St. Petersburg.  And as many have already pointed out the Cubs couldn’t move across the street if they wanted to.  They’re tied to that neighborhood.  It’s a landmark remember?  Tourists aren’t going to go to Schaumburg, and there’s no bars worth a damn that far west (unless you count Medieval Times, which I do.)
Cool guys drinking some cool beers
 That’s not to say that threats to move are a good thing.  As a fan it makes you feel like a chump.  Being a fan is a reciprocal relationship.  I get drunk, cheer and spend money on my team and all I expect them to do is act like they give a shit that we’re out in the stands.  In the late 80s the votes were in and counted and the Sox were going to Florida.  My whole family would’ve become Brewers fans.  Seriously, fucking Brewers fans.  Do you have any idea how much that would’ve sucked?  It all shaked out okay in the end, but I take it kind of personally.  I’d still be pissed but Reinsdorf brought 7 Championships to this town (8 if you count that he’s a part owner of the Blackhawks.)

“I think it's a crime for our elected officials to borrow money today, to spend money today and push the repayment of that loan out into the future on people…”  Good point.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  We’re in the worst recession of my lifetime and Illinois is bankrupt.  Joe Ricketts, the head of the Ricketts clan is the genius behind the Ricketts’ fortune and the genius behind the quotation.  I don’t beguile the family too much for their hypocrisy, after all this is America.  We want to have our cake and eat it too.  I’ve said lots of things about free speech in my life, but I think most people need to shut the fuck up. 
Can't have it and eat it too, the cake is a lie
  What I do take issue with is the smugness of this prick.  The Cubs sucked last year.  Wire to wire they were a shitty team, from crazy Carlos Zambrano’s opening day meltdown to the “who gives a shit” period at the end of the year, they sucked.  And all through this Ricketts said he wasn’t talking to the media or spending money.  Now that this guy wants my money he’s on Chicago Tonight and anywhere else he can get a little face time. 

But the real fuck you is his bullshit plan to raise money.  It basically breaks down like this:  The Cubs will borrow money from the state and then they’ll pay the state back with the taxes they were already going to pay.  Don’t suck my finger and call it a dick.  I’m a few credits shy of my econ degree, but there’s a little thing called opportunity cost.  That means if I spend all my money on beer I won’t have money to by food.  Big deal right? Ramen is cheap.  But on a state level if we take the money we’re going to use to pay teachers and use it to add a shopping mall to a ballpark we can’t just get drunk and halfass our way through econ.

All this is after they raise ticket prices. Say what you want about Reisndorf, but I’d rather fall ass first into a dildo factory than have Tom Ricketts as my team’s owner. If I was a Cub fan I’d be pissed, I guess I am anyway.  It won’t affect me that much; I just don’t like all the bullshit.  At least he said he’ll use union labor.   

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Showering in America

Few things in life are as refreshing as a nice shower at the end of a long day.  When your fingernails are all stuffed under with nameless black shit and the little lines in your fingerprints are all full of brown dust, a good soak in the shower cleans all that shit off and it relaxes the muscles.  
This dude needs a shower

Showers are not only a place to get clean at the end of the workday.  They can be a spot of great adventure.  One time in college I got home drunk and went the bathroom to relieve myself.  When I walked in I heard someone in the shower and I said, “who’s showering?” thinking it one of the guys on my floor.  Had that been the case I would’ve said something like, “ hey…ugh..whadidyoudotonight?”  And they’d have told me about some crazy party.  Instead I heard some girl say she was staying in one of the dorm rooms with some guy. 

I then hatched my brilliant scheme: If I went and took a shower in the other stall I could see her naked when she got out and reached for her towel. Genius right?  Well I know what some of you people are thinking but honestly she was showering in the men’s bathroom.  The women’s room was about 20 feet away, and if she was in there I agree that it would be pervy and weird to sneak in there.

So I grab my towel and get in the shower, and no sooner do I get in when I hear a pretty girl ask, “are you that guy that asked who was in the shower?”

That was pretty much the end of the conversation, but then she got out and I totally saw her naked.  Then I threw up all the whiskey I drank in the shower drain.  Then I watched Training Day and ate popcorn.  It was the kind of night the Black Eyed Peas sing about.
A similar scenario from the 1982 classic Porky's