Thursday, June 14, 2012

How I Narrowly Escaped Death

A few weeks ago, out of the blue, my wife said the following:

“We should do a new thing every week.”

Every married guy reading that sentence is groaning right now.  Single guys probably think it’s just my wife looking to spend more time with me.  For those of you whom don’t speak ‘marriage speak,’ let me save you some trouble and translate what wives actually mean when they say the above:

You’ve been playing video games and guitar, reading, and just generally going about your business.  You’ve been bothering no one, been helpful, doing things around the house, caring for the animals, not arguing with me, and just been a generally pleasant person to be around.  I believe I’ve even heard laughter on more than one occasion.  Clearly, this is not an acceptable state of affairs, and it needs to be remedied.  The solution I’ve chosen is diabolical, because while it appears you are only sacrificing one night a week, I know that you will spend the next six nights dreading whatever shit I come up with for us to do to satisfy the ‘new thing’ requirement each week.  Of course, I’ll initially come up with things to do that don’t really go too far outside your comfort zone, but over the course of several months, I have devised a plan that will end with your soul forever being crushed as you sit watching fat people sing in Italian about the everlasting love you will never know.

Week One?  We went out for a few drinks.  I don’t really drink, so I bring along my own decaf tea (Twinings Lady Grey Earl).  I, of course, am obligated to be the butt of any and all jokes due to my beverage choice, which is fine.  We had a nice time, but I knew going forward things would not be this easy.  This was one of what I thought at the time would be many test runs.  I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

Week Two?  Death.  I did expect a few steps in between Week One and Death, usually my wife is a little more subtle than this.  Naturally, it wasn’t phrased as ‘death,’ but the goal was obviously the same.  How was it phrased, you may ask? 


Pay attention guys, because the following is important:

Your woman will invariably bring up something you said that was completely unlike you at some point in the future, if and when that phrase will benefit her goals.  For instance, let’s say you saw the shower curtain, and for some ungodly reason, said ‘You know, that’s an ugly shower curtain.’  The foregoing phrase will be filed away by your woman until such time as she needs to pull it out.  It will also be slightly modified, of course, but since you maligned the innocent shower curtain anywhere upwards of six years ago, and you can’t remember when your anniversary is, much less what you said in an offhanded fashion about a shower curtain six years ago, you will not be in a position to deny it.  The phrase that comes out of her mouth will be “Hey, you said we needed a new shower curtain, so I went to the store and bought a new one, but it didn’t match the hand towels, soap dispenser, the thingy that holds the shampoo, the rugs, the toilet seat, the mirror, the lights, the fan (that is recessed and you never actually ever have seen), the sink, the faucets or anything in the bathroom, so I picked those up as well.  Like you said.”

Anytime you hear a woman say “Like you said,” leave.  Just go.  I know, your curiosity will get the better of you.  You will think you can save the day, grab victory from the jaws of defeat.  You can’t.  Don’t even try.  You will also notice the phrase ‘Like you said’ is never, ever, ever preceded by ‘I will blow you,’ or ‘I brought that hot chick home from the gym for you to play with,’ or ‘I bought tickets to ‘X-men.’  But in your misguided pride and confidence, you will assume that this means whatever has actually preceded ‘Like I said’ is negotiable.  It is not.  For example, I’m not a history major, but I believe ‘like you said’ was the last thing Eva Braun said to Hitler in the bunker as she handed him the Luger.  Now, in that case, it was a good thing because Hitler was a mass murdering fuck.  And like Hitler, you will equally be screwed.

Anyway, at some time, I believe I inexplicably uttered the phrase “I wouldn’t mind trying Yoga.”  This was guy speak.  My wife knew it was guy speak, but chose to ignore that portion of it.  What is guy speak? 

Another translation:

“I wouldn’t mind trying Yoga” actually meant “If I were thinner, younger, better looking, was independently wealthy, had friends, used a variety of oils during sex, and was just generally a better all around guy, I might try Yoga.  However, that is an idealized me, the one whom I’d like to be, but since the real me is lazy, not very good looking, poor, not motivated, and generally all about the convenient way out of any and all situations, it will forever remain a dream.  I want to be the guy that does yoga, but the guy that I actually am makes this a statistical impossibility.”

Anyway, my wife decides we are going to go to Yoga on a Monday night.  It is a beginner’s class, which is just fine by me.  As Y-Day approaches, I watch the weather forecast, and believe I see a light at the end of the tunnel, or rather rain.  It’s not that I don’t want to go, it’s just that I don’t want to go.  Even on the morning of Y-Day, my wife had the temerity to say:

“Class is tonight, if you still want to go.”

The unspoken end of the foregoing sentence?  “and if you bail on me you’re a fucking pussy and you will not be forgiven, nor will this transgression be forgotten.  In fact, I will not say anything at the time other than ‘oh, ok, no problem’ but I assure you, this little episode will be thrown in your face at the most inopportune time in the near future, which will include our 50th Wedding Anniversary, if I haven’t killed your ass by then.”

In other words, I’m going.  Shorts, t-shirt, flip-flops and a magically added patchouli smell later, I’m off to my first yoga class. 

Let me be clear about something, when I was 18 I thought yoga was some pussy chanting shit, but since then many of my friends have done it and told me about it.  I knew it was going to be hard.  Which reminds me, my friends totally did not prepare me for it, so once I heal, I’m going to hunt down every one of those sadistic fucks. 

We get to the little yoga place, and as we step inside, I’m immediately reminded of my kindergarten class.  There’s a little cubbyhole thing for your shoes, mats, and some pleasant looking girl to take our information and money.  We wait a couple minutes for the class before us to get out, and as it does, I notice a couple of the people are really sweaty.  But they’re fat, so I figure they’re always sweaty. 

We go into the room and I tell my wife we need to go to the back, because I’m going to suck at this and I’d at least like to have as small an audience as possible. 

The instructor comes in and starts the whole ‘yoga’ spiel, you know inner connectedness, peace, tranquility, blah blah blah.  I do notice some of the girls do wear nice tights, and the instructor has a nice rack.  This is immediately nullified by the bulge in her stomach that I incorrectly assumed was a baby, but is actually Satan’s spawn.  But I’m getting ahead of myself. 

So we begin with the whole sitting cross-legged thing, and closing our eyes. 

7:30 – ‘Ok, on our exhale, let’s go to ‘ohmmmm.’  I so badly wanted to say ‘ammmmmp.’  Haha, I love nerd humor.  Man, is it just me or is it a bit warm in here? 

7:31 – ‘Now, we’ll go to downward dog.’  Looking around to see what this is, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a dog in this position.  Maybe after it got hit by a bus.  Wow, can we open a window in here?

7:32 – ‘Plank position, and slowly exhale to cobra.’  Ok, so far so good, it appears no one is watching me fuck this up.  I am starting to sweat, and not in a good way, more in the ‘I’m engaged in physical activity that I was completely unprepared for’ sort of way.   Is there a fan in here?

7:35 – ‘Use your block, and walk your feet into your hands.’  I’m not sure if that’s what she said, but the heat is starting to affect my cognitive abilities.   Why do the other people look unfazed?  Peaceful even.  Fuckers.

11:34-  I’ve been here for over four hours.  Sweat is pouring out of me like a waterfall.  I can’t breathe.  I think I’m going to die.  I need water.  Jesus, why didn’t I bring water?  It’s like a fucking desert in here.  I can’t tell if I’m hallucinating, but it appears there is a skull of some animal on the floor.  Oh, that’s just my ‘helper’ block.  If I could move I’d pick it up and brain the instructor with it.  I bet she’s related to Nazis.  Bitch.

7:45 – Fuck!?!?!?!?!?!?!  I’ve only been here 15 minutes?  I’m not going to make it.  Did I do a will?  The only thing more embarrassing than a lawyer dying without a will is dying while doing what is essentially stretching.  Maybe I’ll luck out and have a massive heart attack which is a slightly more manly way to die.  I just hope I don’t cry when it happens, that would totally kill the whole manly massive heart attack vibe. 

7:54 – Why is the instructor touching me?  Yes, my form sucks.  Did you not see my hand when you asked if there were any newcomers?  Stop touching me.  If I could move that way, I would.  It’s not that I’m not hearing your instructions, it’s just I’m 6’2”, white, and I don’t fucking bend very well.  I’m also having heart palpitations.  I’m undecided at this point as to how I’m going to kill you.  I may kill my wife as well.  If I can reach her.  I’ll need a gun.  Note to self: buy gun. 

8:02 – I see a guy across the room whom goes to the same gym as I do.  He’s shorter than me, but stronger.  Now I see he’s bendier too.  What an asshole.  Since I’m already going to kill the instructor, her unborn demon spawn, and my wife, what’s another?  I love Game of Thrones, and Arya had that little prayer thing that she said before she went to sleep which was a list of the names of people she wanted to kill.  I’m going to start doing that, it feels more proactive. 

8:03 – ‘Instructor with nice rack, demon spawn not yet hatched, wife, bendy gym guy…’

8:04 – Note to self: buy bullets when I buy gun.  Lots of bullets.  Ones that cause lots of pain, whatever type those are. 

8:05 – People have been telling me for years that my head is up my ass.  I always denied this vehemently.  I stand corrected.  I’ve stopped sweating, finally.  Actually, I haven’t, I just have lost the ability to feel anything except pain.  I also see a pink unicorn in the corner laughing at me.  I always thought heat stroke would be more pleasant.  My skin feels clammy.  Actually, I’ve heard ‘clammy skin’ as a phrase for years, but I really don’t know what it means.  Should I keep using that word if I don’t know what it means?  Fuck it, I’m killing that annoying violin guy that my wife hates.  I’ll kill him first, just to put her in a good mood.  Then I’ll kill her.  It’s more ironic that way.

8:06 – ‘Instructor with nice rack, demon spawn not yet hatched, bendy gym guy, violin playing douchebag, wife… …laughing unicorn in corner.’  He’s got to go.  He’s quickly becoming a problem.

8:14 – ‘And slowly rotate your hips counterclockwise in parallel with the floor and if it’s there, use the hand closest to the ground, while you breathe out and gaze at the opposite wall.’  I’m not sure that she actually said this.  I just start doing jumping jacks.  I’m kidding, my left leg is numb and I think my right hip is dislocated.  I’m just hoping I can stay angry enough while I’m healing to motivate me to go buy the gun, the bullets, and shoot all the people that need shooting.  I should write the list down.  I forgot my glasses, so I can’t see shit.  Ok, remember to remember when you get home to write down list of people to kill and stuff you need to do it.  Who am I kidding, I can’t remember to take my clothes out of the dryer five seconds after the buzzer goes off.  If I ever get some motivation, and a memory, look out.  There will be a lot of people in for a lot of trouble.  Well, right after my nap.  And maybe a snack.

8:21 – I need a nap, some water and a massage.  I’ve never wanted a massage before, but I want one now.  There seems to be quite a few willing people in the City Paper.  But they’re all trannies, right?  That’s what my wife said.  The ads that say ‘100% female’ actually mean they have a dick.  I don’t get that.  Why not just say in the ad ‘hey, got a cock if you’re interested.’  Why the subterfuge?  Wouldn’t that be horribly disappointing, you think you’re getting a female, and bam, twig and berries?  Can you ever come back from that? 

8:22 – Is that sweat or drool?  Good God, this mat smells.  I just fucking know that really fat sweaty guy must have used this like a week ago and it somehow fell through the cracks and didn’t get washed.  I take a whiff of myself.  Oh no, that smell is me.  This is not good.

8:24 – So if I wanted a girl masseuse, do I have to call one of the ads that says ‘100% male?’  That would be awkward.  How does that call go? “Hi, I see your ad you’re your ‘100% male,’ does that mean you actually have boobs.  More importantly, and answer without thinking ‘yes or no: I have a cock? GO.’”  Yeah, I’m not making that call.  

8:25 – I like boobs.  The instructor has nice boobs.  It’s a shame she’s carrying Satan’s child.  Note to self: shoot in stomach.  Use silver bullet.  Are those more expensive?  Where would you get one?  I’m guessing not at Walmart, which gets everything they sell from China.  Those fuckers use lead in everything. 

8:26 – Maybe I’ll go to one of those Asian places.  Everyone says you can get a happy ending there.  Well, they say that on Law and Order and Entourage.  Maybe I better do some research.  I like Asian chicks.  That girl over there has a nice ass.  DON’T GET A BONER!  DON’T GET A BONER!  Oh, in happy news, it appears the blood flow to the lower half of my body has been cut off, so no boners.  In not so happy news, I may never walk again.

8:30 – ‘Ok, now we’re at peace, flutter your eyes open, and breathe deeply.’  I’m sure my panting has been overheard by everyone.  I collapse face first on this nasty mat, and frankly, the last thing I’m feeling is peaceful.  I’m drenched in sweat that smells so bad that it could not possibly belong to me, I can’t find my penis, and somehow my left leg is twisted around and facing the wrong way.  I really want to pick my head up off this mat, but none of my muscles are cooperating, and from the angry noise they are making, flowers and candy aren’t going to get them talking to me again. 

The instructor thanks us for ‘sharing our practice with her.’  She walks out the door.  Unfortunately, my body still refuses to move, so I was unable to reach down her throat and strangle the demon spawn in her belly, like I was hoping.  I utter ‘good night’ in her general direction, but it comes out ‘gbdbll ninhhhh  owwwwwwww blub.’  The ‘blub’ is because I’ve started to cry.  Thankfully it appears I’m just sweating slightly more profusely instead of crying like a girl who just got uninvited to the prom.  Not sure how to explain the blubbering, something will come to me. 

“So was it too bad, blob?” My wife coyly asks.  She’s just checking to see if I lived, which will inconvenience her greatly as she’ll have to come up with a different way for the coroner to rule my death ‘accidental.’ 

“No, not too bad.” I manage to blurb out between the drool, sweat and tears and whatever other bodily fluids that are supposed to stay inside which have escaped.  Oh fuck, I hope I didn’t pee myself.  I will not give her the satisfaction of knowing how close a thing it was, and may still be.  I mentally calculate how far it is to the door.  I’ll need someone to call 911.  The crafty bitch knew I wouldn’t take my phone. 

“Ok, ready to go?”  She gets up and rolls up her mat.  I slowly, like a blob, shuffle into what one could call an ‘upright’ position.  Assuming one was an optimist. 

“So, think you’ll come again?”  She asks.  I know this game.  I can’t let her see the weakness.  I’m totally going to turn the tables on her.  She wants to yoga?

Oh, we’ll yoga. 

“Sure, maybe we should come twice a week.”

That'll show her. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

What the Hell Are You Doing?

I've received several texts and e-mails regarding my lack of updating this particular site. There is actually a good reason. I'm writing a book. Well, I'm writing two books. I got halfway through one and was taken by a muse to another place. A book that I've had the basic idea for about 5 years. So I started writing that. Anyway, here's the prologue. I think it will be a good story, but who knows, it may suck. The working title is "Fucking Mexicans." Yes, it won't get published under that name, or published at all, but it is a story that drives me. So here you go.


Fucking Mexicans.

I can hear them in the next room, watching the Price is Right.

“Ese, you out of your mind? $300 for a washer/dryer? You loco, hombre.”

“Jinga tu madre, that shit is cheap.”

It’s been going on like this for a week, maybe ten days. I’ve lost track of how long I’ve been sitting in this cell. Part of the problem is that I just keep replaying the last month to figure out where it all went fucking wrong. Really wrong.

Whenever I would see people on the 6 o’ clock news, I always thought, ‘How can you be so fucking stupid?’ You hire a hit man to off your wife. You embezzle $300,000 from your company. You tee off on the noisy upstairs neighbor with a 5 iron. It’s fucking obvious you’re going to get caught.

Yet, somehow, these people keep doing this obvious shit and actually have the audacity to look fucking surprised when the cops show up and they get tazed on the front lawn in front of their wife and kids.

Now I know.

You want to know the secret?

It’s not sexy, but it’s 100% true. Unfortunately, I know exactly how it happens, because it happened to me. It’s hard to believe that a month ago I was graduating law school, had a job, had a girlfriend, had a whole life.

And now it’s all gone. And why?

Little mistake by little mistake. That guy with the 5 iron? What you don’t see is all the shit that happened before he blew up and broke six of his neighbor’s ribs. The act itself is merely the result of dozens of tiny, incremental mistakes that shift your reality to such a degree that the guy that started out is not the guy swinging away without yelling ‘fore.’ No, he’s a changed man. And the really amazing part is after the act, he’s immediately changed back, staring at his neighbor howling in pain, and the 5 iron in his shaking hand thinking ‘how the fuck did I come to this?’

Little mistake by little mistake. That’s almost always the answer. Most people are rational reasonable actors. They tend to do the right thing. But somewhere in the loop of life, you can get stuck with feedback. The sound hearing itself, amplifying itself, and hearing itself again until it reaches a crescendo of mind splitting proportions. And when it’s all over, all you had to do was shut the amp off. But it never occurs to you once you get stuck.

At least it didn’t occur to me.

No, I listened to that feedback and ignored the consequences. At least I didn’t get tazed. Well, maybe getting tazed would have been better than getting blown to hell and back, but that’s merely a matter of opinion.

And I continue to look back. Where was it that I could have made the decision to avoid sitting in this cell with a bunch of Mexicans laughing at me and saying ‘No Ingles’ motherfucker? Now that I look at it, there were a bunch of exits off of this particular highway. And why didn’t I take them?

Because of a girl. Well, three actually, but as usual I’m getting ahead of myself.

So I’ll go back to the beginning.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Birthday, Of Sorts

I had actually typed out the eulogy I gave at my father's funeral, as today is six years since he passed.

But then I realized, some things are just for me and my dad. Maybe some day I'll post it, but as ok with everything I am right now, this one is a bit too much for me now.

Strangely enough, in my opinion, today is my birthday. Sure, I was born on another day, but as I described to a friend at the time, 'the day my dad died was the first day I felt like I was working without a net.'

And I still feel that way. That's not a good or bad thing, it just is.

I hope you don't understand.

Thank you, Dad, thinking about you.

Regular posts to follow next week.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Year Six

Wheels keep a spinning round and round years keep a spinning round and round
With the passing of your time, though you seldom come to mind
I remember the day
Sure as winter follows fall, sure as maybe I will call, just remember the day.
~ Robert Plant, "Far Post."

Just remembering the day. Six years ago, and sometimes it seems like a lifetime, other times, the wound is still fresh. I guess ultimately that's what you need to do, stitch it up, lament the pain, and move along.

For the first time in six years, I'm going to celebrate Christmas. It was my father's favorite holiday. I can't say I'm 'over it' per se, but I do know that I finally am feeling out from under. And it's good to feel that way.

It's also nice to feel like there were good times. And there were plenty of those.

So why do we remember our dead? They're no longer with us, obviously, but they take up mental and emotional space far greater than their actual presence ever did.

The conclusion I've come to is we remember for our own sake. Hoping against hope that it all means something, that when our predetermined time arrives, others will keep us alive. So that we can matter. So that we can believe. So that we can live on. If only for a second.

So Dad, you can rest easy, you still live on through me, my sisters, and even my mom. Though you may not have gotten everything you could have hoped for, you did get immortality.

It's the only gift I have left that I can give you.

But what else can a son do? All men are sons, and all of us secretly dread and aspire to the same thing: that we too can play it the way you played it.

You didn't play it perfectly, but you played it well.

A week and a half ago, I had a dream about my dad, and I haven't had one of those in years. I was on a couch, watching tv, and inexplicably I looked over and my dad was on a couch as well. He looked at me and said "Son, you've got to sleep more than four hours a night." He then got up, covered me in a blanket, and said "Son, just relax, it's ok."

You know what Dad? You're right as usual. Everything's ok.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Haunting

"Blame me,
Save a prayer for those haunt you.
There now,
I don't mind if you still love me." ~ Jerry Cantrell, "Leave Me Alone."

The world is a lot smaller than I previously thought.

A good friend of mine invited me to a book release party last night. So a hearty 'howdy' to Joe and Brett, who were great company. Oh, and Katie too. I also managed to get talked into cooking again by my boss, but that's another story for another time.

I had a fucking blast. I got to meet the author. I'm sure it's no surprise to any of you how much this meant to me since my one goal in life at this point is to finish my book. I don't even care at this point if it sucks, I just need to get it done. Oh, the book.

"How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide." The author's name is Aaron Goldfarb, and I have to tell you, I don't generally like anyone, but this guy was really nice. He took time out to say hello and say a few encouraging words, which is incredibly cool. His blog is funny as hell too. It's located here. Give the guy some love, anyone who's written a book deserves it, because it's fucking hard as hell.

How do I know this? Well, as I said, I've been writing a book which is responsible for my lack of attention to this blog, among other things.

I started out writing a book with the working title "Fucking Mexicans." I actually had 90 pages finished, then in a fit of rage (which when it comes to my writing, is not rare, for instance, I have about 40 posts for this blog in queue that I will never post because I can't stand to read them. That's right, the shit I put up is actually better than the shit I don't put up, so you can thank me for that later.) I deleted it. All of it. Character sketches. Outline. Treatment. Every last fucking word. Enough self loathing for you?

So what have I been writing? You may ask. You may not care. I wouldn't blame you.

The haunting. It never leaves me. There's always a look, a place, a name, a girl. It all factors in.

And with no further ado, or any at all for that matter, the current project is called "Old City Stories." It's a collection of short stories about the places I live and love. A bit of back story is necessary at this point.

As you all know, I used to practice law. "Practice" being the key word. After much soul searching and discussion with my wife, it became apparent that I couldn't do it anymore. I've lived too much of my life for others, and at 38, for the second time, it is time for me to live for me. Typing those words is weird. Anyway, back to the book and my life.

I've been holding out on you all. I'm actually training to be a bartender. And I love it. It's so nice to actually have people come in and be happy to see me. For ten years, I would pick up the phone and the person on the other end of the line was dismayed. Now, when people see me, they're happy. What a change. I'm sure it's the booze, but I'm ok with a little self delusion.

Anyway, one day I was sitting in the bar, waiting for my first customer, and I thought "Hey, fuck it, I should write a story about this." I don't know what inspired me to think that, but there it was. So I started writing notes. A Conflict arose. Characters entered next. The scenery was already there. And so it goes.

It gets really difficult to write. Some days I stare at the computer screen and I want to scream. Nothing comes. It's all around me, the inches I need, but they don't cooperate. Why anyone would choose this life is beyond me, but that's a continuing theme in my life. The choices just seem to happen without any regard for my tastes. So I slog through the best that I can.

That's what haunts me. The knowledge that it's all around me, and I just can't seem to find it. It's like being blind in the spring. The beauty is all around you, but you can't see it. Torture. Degradation. The half an inch you need, just out of reach.

And isn't that really the basis of failure? Reaching for something that is just a half an inch out of reach? You strain, you feel the arm muscles tighten, you look at the raised fingers, but at some point, you just know.

It's not enough. Your best just isn't good enough. And that's what writing is for me every single fucking day. So why do I do it? I don't know. Compulsion? Perhaps. Crashing by design? Most definitely.

So I've promised my wife that I wouldn't delete anything anymore. Hopefully, I'll come out with something cohesive and serviceable, but even if I don't, at least I'm trying.

And isn't that really what you can do? Try? It's all I've got left, and who knows, maybe I'll actually be successful.

More to come.

Oh, why is the world smaller than I previously thought? The editor of the book by Aaron Goldfarb is a girl named Amy whom used to be a waitress at a lunch place I used to go to back when I was an 'important person.' It was good to see her again, and I'm glad she seems to be heading in her dream direction.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

3:00 A.M. Redux.

Upon further review, I've decided my opening song in my dream would be:

Can't You Hear Me Knockin' by The Rolling Stones.

Holy Mother of God, this song is unbelievable. I just busted out Sticky Fingers and once again have to bow to the genius that is the guitar playing of Mick Taylor and Keith Richards. They dance around one another like a couple of belly dancers and it's hypnotic and beautiful.

Yup. This is the one.

That's all.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Takin' What They're Givin...

...Because I'm Working for a Living. ~ Huey Lewis and the News, "Working for a Living"

I'm pissed off. Yes, yes, I'm sure you're shocked. So I'm contemplating sending the following e-mail to the City of Philadelphia, budget crises be damned.

Dear City of Philadelphia,

While I'm cognizant that you're currently facing a massive budget shortfall, despite the fact that you manage to tax everything, and I mean everything, to such a draconian amount that Satan wonders how the fuck he can blow all that money on hookers and coke. However, I have enclosed an invoice for services rendered and I do expect that I should get paid. You may be asking yourselves 'who the fuck is this guy?' It's a fair question, so I'll deign to give you as thorough a response as possible.

I'm the guy that stands on Second Street, having a cigarette. Now I understand cigarette breaks are normally noncompensible, however, while I'm taking these breaks, I have to endure the following:

-Someone, usually staying at the Hostel located nearby, will stop and ask me questions. I understand that I'm incredibly sexy and intelligent looking, but despite this, I do not speak Dutch, German, Swahili or whatever the fuck language these people speak from a country I couldn't find on a map with a GPS, both my hands and a fucking flashlight. I do not understand you, this is why I tilt my head to the side like my dog does when I ask her to complete a math problem. No, I don't know why the United States hates you, but I do know why I hate you. While I appreciate the fact that your country's history probably includes goat rape, all we have here in Philadelphia is the birthplace of Democracy. So fucking shove it, and we can even vote on the foregoing should you so choose.

- I don't know if you can park there. I'm sorry, have you ever seen 'Parking Wars?' Yeah, it's about the Philadelphia Parking Authority. From what I can tell, they are the most powerful agency in the city, surpassing even the Mayor's office. Yes, I know parking is a bitch. Yes, I know you're from Jersey. Yes, I may even feel a little (and I do mean little) sympathy for you. That being said, I do not control the parking authority. I've even got tickets from them, and I'm a fucking douchebag when it comes to signs. Let me make this clear, I went down to parking court with my wife (my attorney as well) and yelled at people. This is what I like to do and this is what makes me feel that my life is worthwhile. So while I do commiserate with you, I do not like being yelled at, so fuck yourselves. Your parking, despite your commitment to the contrary ideal, is not my fucking problem. Figure it the fuck out.

- Yes, I did probably hit on you ten years ago. While I understand you're now married, have three kids, and unhappy about it all, it's not my fault. I assure you, you were only one of a million I hit on, and extremely unsuccessfully I might add. Again, it bears repeating, it's not my fault. And to further make you feel shitty about this, I will affirmatively state that when I was younger, I fished in the 'dumb, drunk, and slutty pool.' Of which you were an inhabitant. If you actually did sleep with me (which is highly unlikely) then you have something to bitch about. Just ask my wife.

- Yes, I do understand you're homeless. No, I don't want to buy the shit you just took out of the dumpster behind Pharmacia. While I appreciate a good deal as much as the next guy, a half drank bottle of Miller Lite at $1 seems just a bit too risky, considering the cap is off and the bottle appears to be steaming. While I also appreciate the fact that your urine has a higher alcohol content than Everclear, and it is well known that I'm such a huge risk taker, some risks are just not worth the payoff.

- Do not look so fucking helpless and clueless when you wear a Nazi SS Uniform at the Khyber Pass because 'you're making a statement' and you get your brains beat in on Second Street. I do love the law, and yes, I will agree that assault is illegal, I will also have to state that some people have it coming to them. And you're one of them. Oh, and stop bleeding on the sidewalk, show some fucking courtesy.

- I apologize, I'm not in the business of giving you a credible alibi in case you committed a crime. If you steal a purse, I'm going to yell and point. At you. I once had my wallet stolen, and let me tell you, replacing the money is easy. The ID's and credit cards are hellish. I contemplated changing my name to Juan Valdez so I could get free coffee, but the DMV didn't seem to have a sense of humor. Oh, and fuck them.

- I am not the Cruise Director for Old City. I know, I know, this may come as a shock to many of you. In an effort to continue to be helpful, I've decided I'm going to answer all requests with 'On my cock.' Hopefully this will let the person know just how much contempt I have for them, as I do not like to veil my sarcasm and distaste, as like whiskey, they are much better straight.

"Where can we go dancing?" - 'On my cock.'
"Where can we eat around here?" - 'On my cock.'
"Do you have a cigarette?" - 'On my cock.'
"Do you have any change?" - 'On my cock.'
"Where can I park?" - 'On my cock.'
"Where is Independence Hall?" - 'On my cock.'

So, City of Philadelphia, as you can see, my newest 'On my cock' policy will yield the appropriate response to pretty much any question. If this policy does not meet with your approval, feel free to suck my cock.

Taking all the foregoing into consideration, including time, labor and materials, I estimate the following outstanding balance for services rendered:


I will not accept any checks, especially third party out of state checks as you are hobo ass broke. I prefer cash, although I will accept the deed to City Hall in lieu of cash.

Please deliver to Night and Day, P.O. Box 666, First Bank of America, Philadelphia, PA, 19106.

NOTE: If people comment that they want me to send the above e-mail, and come up with an amusing reason to do so, I will consider creating a new e-mail address and invoice the city for my time. Let me know, it could be funny if they actually respond. It could be even funnier if they actually pay me. Hey, fuck it, if the head of the Philadelphia Housing Authority can get a pension after running up millions in sexual harassment settlements, I can certainly get paid for 'helping tourism flourish.'