Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Friday, August 30, 2002

Hitchcock Revisited

I was delivering a pizza on Washington Blvd. the other day when I drove past a property blanketed in crows. They were on the grass, the trees, the deck, the roof, and the cars in the driveway.

None of the other houses had any birds.

Seeds, or something spookier?
12:02 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Thursday, August 29, 2002

Bad Reception And Wisps Of Wisdom

It has been brought to my attention that you would like to know why crackheads steal antennas.
They do this to smoke crack. The best way to do it, in my experience, is to take a section of antenna and stuff some steel wool into one end. You may want to wrap your crack rock in the wool so that i won't fall out and leave you jonesing. When you smoke the crack, it will liquefy and a wispy steam-like smoke will emerge to coke up your lungs and nerve endings.

Once you stop shaking, you pull the wool out and flip it over. This prevents the liquefied crack from running down the antenna, thereby cutting down on wasted crack. It also helps keep your mouth clean, especially if you're using a really short antenna stick.

I do not recommend or endorse this product or activity.
6:45 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Pickle Me Pickles

I just returned to work from a wonderful chicken chimachanga lunch with my little sister.

Somebody left me a pickle.

There it was, a whole, unsliced pickle, toadbumps and all, on a sheet of Einstein Bros. Bagels paper. My cubicle wreaks of dill.

I don't like pickles. I guess you could say I'm not a pickle person.

I've been offering various office denizens the pickle. They keep giving me funny looks.
4:22 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Alcohol Part One

Since I'm looking backawards lately, I'm going to tell you about my first time getting drunk.

I was at my best friend Teddy's house. I'd been living there for a couple of months, ditching school. I wasn't getting along with my folks or my peers, so Ted's basement bedroom was the perfect place to hide. We'd set up blanket forts and play RPGs on Super Nintendo to pass the time, chainsmoking Newports along the way.

One night, I somehow ended up with a fifth of Southern Comfort. I don't remember a whole lot about what happened, but I do know that while trying to pass out, dizzy and spinning, I'd puked on the carpet and rolled over into it. I woke up with my face in a puddle of rancid sweet SoCo pink mash.

The second time, also at Ted's, I drank my first beers. When I tried to get my bicycle from the garage, I smashed my right index finger between two panels while closing it. My fingernail took about a month to shed. I also crashed my bicycle on the way to my parents' house, and I came home bleeding and hurt all over.

Now I know when to say when. (Yeah, right. Not true. 12/3/04)
11:50 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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When I was 10, my dad took me and the family to the Illinois Railway Museum. There's antique trains to ride, hot dogs to eat, and more antique trains to climb through.

They have these little metal stairs that people use to board the trains once they pull up to a stop. I was playing on one of them and managed to tip it over onto the tracks, with my legs caught between the steps. A train was coming, a silver Zephyr.

I screamed and wailed. Dad heard me and untangled me with over 30 seconds to spare.

To this day, I'm still skittish while waiting for a train. I stand far away from the platform's edge.

It's nice not to be afraid of heights, public speaking, or clowns like everyone else.
1:31 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Smokin' Toothpaste

I started smoking when I was fifteen. I was smarter back then than I am now, if you can believe it. I hadn't yet fried all my brain cells, and my vocabulary was ridiculous.

I let myself be convinced that smoking pot wasn't bad for you like alcohol or cigarettes, and I tried it. Back then, a warm feeling would spread over my body I would would feel delicious all over. Nowadays it just slows me down and makes me anxious.

I got hooked quickly, and I was told that if I didn't have any pot, I could catch a buzz by coating a cigarette with toothpaste and freezing it for 45 minutes before smoking it.

So I did it. I got extremely light-headed and giddy for about 60 seconds, and then my stomach cramped up tighter than a nun's cooch.

I did it again the next day. That's how I started smoking.
6:45 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Tuesday, August 27, 2002


Golf Road has been under major construction all summer long. For a while, it was drilling, pouring, seaming, and smoothing, but now the project has moved on to it's final phase: blacktopping.

As the workers complete one a lane at a time, they block off that lane for a stretch of about 10 miles. During the earlier phases, they used large cylinders, sand-filled pylons, spaced about 5 feet apart. These prevented people from driving into the gaping square holes in the pavement. During the current phase, they're using simple orange rubber cones.

Last night I saw a few people driving in the blocked lane, and I was in a line of about 2 miles in length, and it hadn't moved recently. So I cheated, and as I zoomed past the huge line through the perfectly-good-but-blocked-off lane, and others began to do the same. We reached the end of construction far more quickly than if we'd behaved.

Fast forward to this morning. I tried the same stunt, as did several other cars, but they put cones in the middle of the blocked off lane, 2 right in the middle. I got back into the long line, but I saw people running over the cones, squashing them flat into modern art.

I think that's going a little too far.

I saw construction workers dumping loose blacktop stone into the weeds and grass next to the street. I also noticed that they have women hold the slow/stop signs and have the men do the actual work, shovelling today. I don't know if it's a cushy union thing, a sexist thing, or an appeal to male drivers' basest instincts, but it seems to work. We sure don't obey the cones.
10:53 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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White Castle

One of the most gastrointestinally challenging foods I eat is White Castle jalapano cheesburgers. Those little puppies come in a briefcase of 30 for about 20 dollars. I can eat between 5-10 at one time, but the side effects are humbling. They make gas, and lots of it.

I reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees, and the entire kitchen and part of the hallway smell like them for the rest of the day. When you combine that with the silder poops and the slider farts, my kitchen and bathroom smell exactly the same, except for the tint of mouthwash to the smell of the bathroom.

I think it's the onions.
1:08 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Monday, August 26, 2002

All Aboard

There lies a property on unincoporated land at the edge of town. It's backyard fence is also part of the outfield fence for the local minor league baseball stadium. In the backyard there is a stable and horse, a trampoline, an above-ground pool full of muck, 10 or 11 broken-down cars against the back fence, and a large firepit.

Before the stadium was built, about 3 or 4 years ago, I got drunk on the 4th of July at this fine household. Leo, Bill, and I decided to get up to some mischeif. Armed with 4 or 5 m-80's, we strolled over to the local Metra train station, about a block away through some backyards. After blowing up some potted plants, we wandered over to a port-a-potty. It was on high ground in the parking lot, which was perfect for our intentions.

If you look at where the walls meet on a port-a-potty, you'll notice that the front right corner is rounded, whereas the other 3 corners are right angles. That's because there's a tube running from the septic tank up to the roof, to vent foul odors and improve ventilation. On most port-a-pottys, there's no grill or screen at the top of this tube.

We lit an m-80, and Leo, being 6' 5 or so, dunked it right into the exhaust tube. We ran. After a muffled thud, a green tide washed out from underneath the shithole, in every direction. Amatuer lincoln logs went atumble down into the parking lot, taking spaces and not paying for them. The sludgier wastes moved like melting turtles, causing erosion that split the green rivers into tributaries.

By god that smelled awful.

The parking spaces are all numbered, and there's rows of wooden boxes with little numbered slots in them at either end of the lot. People shove dollars and quarters into the slots to pay for their spots. Leo and I went there after dark with some saws, boltcutters, and screwdrivers. The plan was to either break into one or to take a whole box home. Hey, I was drunk. Don't look at me like that. Please?

After a lot of effort, sweat, and grunting, we sawed one off the shitty metal pole it stood upon. As we were hauling it away to pry it open for spare change, headlights shone upon us. I saw the bar atop the hood, and I knew it was cops. "Cops!" I dropped everything and so did Leo, and we ran. Leo knew the neighborhood well, so he went through all the shortcuts and got home quickly. I, on the other hand, was stuck in open space and I panicked. I hid behind a small pine bush along somebody's front walk. The police circled me many times, and I heard their dogs barking angrily. They couldn't find me. I got bit by a few spiders in that bush. After two hours, when all was quiet, I went back to Leo's. He was glad I didn't get nabbed.

There were about forty animals inside that house. Raccoons, fish, rabbits, weasels, birds, dogs, cats, gerbils, snakes, frogs, and a few others. When the house burned down last year from an electrical fire, most of them died. When rescuers brought the cats out, the cats kept running back in. There was nothing anybody could do about it. Leo and his family still live in that shell of a house to this day.
2:38 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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I have come to a conclusion: People who smoke love gyros sandwiches. Especially weed smokers. In the course of my deliveries for the pizza joint last night, 3 deliveries I made were to apartments with pot smoke drifting out of them. All of these people ordered gyros, the wonderful sliced lamb & beef with tzatziki sauce on pita bread creations of the Greeks, I believe. They have a very strong flavor.

My dad smokes 2 or 3 packs of benson & hedges de luxe ultra lights 100s every day. He orders pizzas with black olives, mushrooms, anchovies, green peppers, and sausage on a regular basis. Garlic sometimes, too. He drinks lots of bourbon. He really has to go overboard with the flavor assault.

My theory is that people who smoke have a layer of tar and resin paste on their tongues, and stronger flavors cut through and dissolve this paste. Like Draino but for your mouth.

I used to put jalapenos on absolutely everything when I smoked Newports. I'm a non-menthol smoker nowadays, and my jalapeno compulsion has reduced drasticly.

Once I run out of White Castles, I'm going to eat lettuce and felafels until my colon recovers.
1:15 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Friday, August 23, 2002


When I still lived with my folks, I always hung out in the garage, which was covered in posters, cigarette butts, broken glass, and old furniture with liquid cheese grafted onto the upholstery. During those years, I had many wild parties in the dingy hole, and I'm going to tell you about one of my favorites right now.

My neighbor at the time, Shane, was a cool guy. He was recently married, had a pool table in his garage, and sold counterfeit watches and glass pipes out of his briefcase. One night he threw a party, and he asked me to DJ it. I brought my turntables, mixer, and record collection next door to his condo and set up the equipment in his living room. I'm not very good at mixing, so I played some techno and industrial records radio-DJ style, one after another, to save myself the embarrassment of one trainwreck mix after another.

Shane had a keg of MGD in his back yard, and a tank of nitrus in the bathtub upstairs. Sometime around 11:30 pm the police came because some teenage girl had told her parents exactly where she was going. She'd been denied permission, so she snuck out. Her parents called the cops, and they showed up the door to flush the girl out and check IDs and make sure everyone drinking was old enough. Of course, many were not.

This led to a bull run of people running out the back door, including my friend Dave. I grabbed him by the sleeve and told him to stay put, which he did. After everything settled down, I hauled my equipment back to my garage and broke out the cocaine. While Dave and I were touching our second or third line, Shane knocked at the garage door and asked if he could bring the tank into my garage. Sure! He'd already given me the keg, and the night looked to last a long time. I don't know if you've ever heard a nitrus cannister before, but they are very loud, like an elephant's mating call. I had about 15 people stuffed in there doing balloons, falling over into piles of nasty garbage full of pizza crusts and iguana shit.

Eventually they all left, sometime around 4 in the morning, right around when my dad wakes up. He drinks a fifth or two a night of Ten High bourbon, so he goes down at 8 or 9 and wakes early. My friend Darren was piss drunk and hitting on a girl named Tanya who had no interest whatsoever, and Darren was getting belligerent. I asked him, ever so kindly, to go inside and sleep on the couch. He went, but he had to urinate first, and he mistook the kitchen for the bathroom. With my dad hungover and watching groggily, Darren tapped his kidney right onto the kitchen floor. My fathert was upset, but I thought it was no big deal since dad himself had peed in the refrigerator a few times in the past, a worse offense in my opinion. Especially when he nails the meatkeeper where all the sandwich stuff is.

I was getting a friendly massage from Tanya when some jackass asked me when I was going to kiss her. My silence condemned me and she got mad and sulked at the other end of the garage for a while before going to sleep on my sister's floor. I was too damn drunk and fucked up, and I didn't like being put on the spot. The fact that I'm a prude doesn't help either.

When all was said and done, my front lawn was littered with plastic cups, balloons, bottlecaps, cigarette butts, and footprints. I slept until the afternoon. I think I drank more when I awoke, but I'm not sure. The passage of time makes memory hazy. Okay, the drugs don't help either.
10:53 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Thursday, August 22, 2002

Milwaukee's Best

I was stranded in Milwaukee near Marquette University when the dirty hobo came into the police station. He had some sort of sandwich in his hand, and he was shaking as if a tapeworm was wriggling it's way up his ass. I'm talking electric chair convultions. The sandwich looked like the a pita bread, a mound of ground beef, and a heaping pile of grilled onions. I don't know what it's called. The guy was stuttering and trying to tell us something important. Who's us? Me, Feffie, Matt, and the rookie at the dispatch desk. The rookie was a young fresh faced lad who was too young to carry a firearm and therefore could not ride a squad.

Imagine a sprinkler that sprays grilled onions instead of water. Instead of "chick chicka chicka chicka clack clack clack clack" you hear "g-g-g-gun fo-floor da d-dude c-c-cuh, cuh, cuh, crazy no no bad you gotta g-g-g-g-g-g-g-go hep I-I mean help!" The rookie had onions on his phone. He was upset. I had onions on my shoes. The carpet had more than either of us.

As it happens, the guy was trying to report a crime. He'd gone into some restaurant up the street, and before they had a chance to kick him out, somebody had fired a gun into the ceiling. A party of gangstas was there, and one of them demanded a blowjob from a waitress, and when she refused, he got upset. He pulled his piece and made some noise with it. Assuming that all of this was actually true, I have to assume that everyone inside hit the floor and the drunk hobo grabbed somebody's food from their plate before going to visit the police.

When some real cops came back, they started yelling at him, and one of the cops beat the guy. He slammed him into a bar railing and nearly tipped him over it head first. Not my scene. I went across the street and slept in a parking lot. Feffie and Matt did the same. We'd all been going camping when the car broke down, so we had sleeping bags.

Earlier in the evening, when the car had broken down, we sent Matt to buy oil. He came back an hour later claiming he'd been mugged and knocked unconscious by four gangbangers, one of which had Grape Nehi. He said one clubbed him with a gun and took the money. We knew he was lying, and so did the cops. Feffie's money had all disappeared, and we think Matt stole it. Therefore, no cab money, and no way back to Illinois, the Land Of Lincoln. We had called the cops to report the incident, since Feffie and I hadn't figured out that it was bullshit yet. He woke up from a KO and got back awfully fast, and there were no bruises. That's why we were sitting in the station when the incredible onion man walked in.

Feffie's mommy rescued us and sent us a cab in the morning. We spent the next day looking for weed, with no luck. What losers.
2:51 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Anne Rice Hates Me

My little sister Carolyn and I went to Milwaukee to get some Anne Rice books of hers signed. Anne had a new book out, Memnoch I think it was. Carolyn brought a copy along and so we got in line outside of the bookstore. Before entering, we discovered that we must purchase a copy there, and that there was a 1 autograph limit. Stingy but practical for a popular writer such as Mrs. Rice. I had just enough money to buy a copy, and so I did. After over an hour of waiting, we reached the front of the line where Mrs. Rice sat with her limo driver/security escort. She was a big supporter of Al Gore, and I was wearing a Nader /LaDuke shirt. I think I did that on purpose, just to piss her off. It worked.

I stood there proudly, chest out, shoulders squared, chin up, beaming down at her with a big shiteating grin on my face. Her perfunctory polite smile melted into a blank stare, and the corners of her mouth twitched before forming a scowl.

It was great.

My sister got both of her copies signed anyways. She still has them. I read most of Anne's books when I was in high school, but I don't enjoy them any longer. I tried to reread Interview With A Vampire about two years ago, and I found all the whiny woeful undead angst to be a bit much. Every character spent most of the novel stroking their unique miseries, and every line seemed to be a remix of "Woe is me!" Too many violins, not enough drums.
1:58 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Circus Mice

It's fun to let my imagination run wild. Throughout the Chicago area today, heavy rainfall is fucking up the streets and highways, and all the light has been transformed to a drab blue and gray glow.

I sped through an intersection that was underwater, and a huge spray of murky water waved onto the sidewalk, breaking and crashing there. In my fevered imagination, there was an army of mice surfing off my treads, sqeaking exclamations as they topped the wave, and bouncing and somersaulting off the cement and into the dirt at the base of a tree next to the sidewalk. I wonder what they do during good weather. I may have to set up some miniature bungee cords on the crabapple tree outside to see if these imaginary mice are truly acrobats.
11:30 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Tinfoil and Flashlights

A few years ago Steve and I went to sell a sheet of acid to a guy named Adam, who was a strange character. He was a white guy with big hair, a fro similar to that painting teacher guy, Bob Ross I think, who was always painting landscapes on PBS and talking like James Taylor sings. Adam always wore a knife on his belt, and tried to look menacing, and yet he always listened to the Grateful Dead, which was anything but scary. He had a big jaw and small eyes that were beetle black and just a little bit crosseyed.

The Hoffman Estates police pulled us over at the entrance to his condo complex, and they knew exactly what they were looking for. They took a 40 oz. Mickey's away from Ian (the one in a FL jail right now) and found a little bit of weed, probably not enough to bust us for. They had dogs, 3 squads, and a lot of flashlights and plenty of intimidation.

They were making shit up, too. They tried to convince us that if they found some acid, and nobody admitted to owning it, we'd all get the charge. They also said that if a dog licked the acid and died, we'd all be charged with homicide of a police officer. They had us squeezed into one squad car and kept shining lights into our eyes and swearing loudly. We all stayed quiet, and they were pissed off.

They didn't find the acid, but they made a huge mess of the car, pulling off any panels that were even close to loose and ripping the upholstery. They arrested Steve, the driver and owner of the car, for underage alcohol consumption since he had some empty bottles in the back seat.

The next day, we found the acid sitting on the back dash, a shiny piece of tinfoil sitting right out in the open under the back windshield's defroster stripes. It was obvious in daylight, but somehow their flashlights had missed it.

We later learned that Adam set people up all the time, and he had a CB radio tuned into the police frequency. He was listening to the whole charade on the radio, and probably watching everything with his binoculars from his bedroom window. I think he was probably masturbating.
6:35 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Elizabeth Taylor Redux

There's woman at work, Lynda, who is somewhere between 50-60. She struts. She wears 2 inch heels, wears tight sweaters, and orders something new from the Victoria's Secret Catalog each week. When my shipping clerk is out, I have the dubious honor of delivering these items to her desk. I don't want to know what's inside of them. Maybe it's just more eyeliner. She uses a lot.

I bought a car from Jeff and his wife, Nancy. They work here. Jeff's sister also works here, and her name is Sharon. She goes to lunch everyday with Vince, who just loaned me a book about a Texas A&M football team from the 50's and brought me a shrimp and bacon sandwich from The Cheesecake Factory a couple weeks ago, which was excellent. I wonder if her husband or brother knows that she's cheating on her husband. It's unfathomable to think that she leaves the office with Vince everyday and isn't cheating. Good for them, I think.

One of my bosses, Marilou, just retired. She went to Vegas to gamble, and then she came back and hopped on a Harley, as did her husband, and off to Sturgis they went for a big bike rally. She came back to visit, tan, glowing, and blissful. I wish I was Marilou today.

I just took a capsule. 313 mg ephedrine extract, 150 mg caffeine, 25 mg of combined weirdo shit like Ginko and Bee Pollen. Once it sinks through the heap of pizza, I'll be wired like Johnny 5. I will then walk, walk walk. I have a case of beer in my trunk. I won't be able to sleep without most of it.

People keep leaving food outside my cube. Yesterday, it was a box of doughnuts. Today, bagels and cream cheese. Whoever you are, I want to thank you.
5:46 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Humiliating The Village

I grew up in Schaumburg, Illinois, and I still work there. At one time, Schaumburg could claim to have the largest mall in the world, Woodfield Mall.

During 2001, when the economy was strong, the state of Illinois was handing out landmark budgets to towns and cities with large groupings of commercial zoning. The idea was to increase tourism, I suppose. Towns like Naperville and Schaumburg were alloted large sums of money to build giant signs proclaiming the town's name. Schaumburg bought a giant rock to be engraved with "Welcome To The Village Of Schaumburg" in some fancy font or other. It was installed at Higgins & Route 53.

During the installation, the rock broke into three pieces. They glued it back together, and it broke again. The quarry they bought the rock from was all mined out, so they couldn't get a matching rock to replace or repair the sign. To this day, it looks goofy and Village Of Schaumburg look like chumps who waste money.

Earlier this year, the Village sent a notice to my office building to change our dumpster enclosure from chainlink to wood, or face sizable fines. So we did it.

The next month, they sent us ancient blueprints and charged us with installing 10 or 15 trees, mulching all sorts of spots, and a few other beautification-related demands. Our landlord managed to talk them out of most of it, but we still had to mulch and prune several of the existing trees. We got an incompetent landscaping company to perform these tasks, and now our property looks like a Tim Burton set. The trees were trimmed and branches cut off seemingly at random.

Schaumburg is suing a guy who convinced them to set up two art galleries. One was an indoor gallery inside an old barn, which formerly was a Women's Workout World. The other was an international sculpture garden, full mostly of Picasso knockoffs and substandard bent metal abstracts. Apparently he's commited fraud of some type. Personally, I blame Schaumburg. I've walked through the sculpture garden many times, since it's on one of my walking routes through the Prairie Center, and I like only 3 out of about 20 sculptures.

I was considering making a proposal to Schaumburg. All of the sculptures are by Scandanavian artists, and I thought perhaps they'd like to have one by a local boy. I draw tribal art, lots of animal skeletons and the like. I want to do one cut in wood about 10' tall, and grow ivy on it.

After all this shit going down I doubt they trust artists any more. Besides, they're now hurting for money and trying to induce whiplash in all of their industrial tenants by making outlandish requests, I don't know, to collect fines I guess.

I'll have to ply my trade alsewhere. I don't even know how to cut something 10' tall anyways.
2:09 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Polish Roosevelt

Recently I went to a Bar called the Capitol Sports bar. My first clue was the 21 & up signs, which were all in Polish. My second clue was the neon highlighted Warholian painting of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. My third clue was the cheezy eurotrance with Minnie Mouse singing Richard Marx's "I Will Be Right Here Waiting For You." No sports were on the television despite games in progress for the White Sox and Cubs.

There was a small bar in the front room, and in the side room was a banquet-dancefloor area, which was empty. It was still early, and aside from the smokingly gorgeous women serving drinks, the place was full of males who wear shiny leather jackets, wear polyester, use lots of hairspray, and own much nicer shoes than mine. I noticed this because they kept comparing shoes, that is, when they weren't giving Steve and I the evil eye. Steve's ex-girlfriend had taught him some Polish bed talk, and he'd never learned what any of it meant. He asked a tall, trim blond waitress to translate, which she did.

"I'm a teddy bear."
1:58 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Hold The Peppers

Last Sunday I started delivering pizzas for extra cash. I used to work drive-thru, front register, and delivery drawer at this place during my teenage years, and they were happy to have me back.

During my 1st or 2nd year there, in 1994 or 95, I had a jalapeno eating contest with some of the illegal immigrants who work there. They're all Mexican, so I knew I had quite a challenge before me. There were 5 of us: the italian beef guy, Alejandro, the gyros guy, Jose, the fry guy, Chepe, the grill guy, who's nickname was cayo negro (black rooster in English, he was also a Jose) and myself. I won by eating 37 whole jalalpenos, and after receiving my congratulations I continued to take orders for the dining room. After about a half an hour, I started to hear a percolating and feel a bloating. Those green fuckers sent stabbing pains north and south, and I could no longer stand up straight. I was bent over my register, sweating like an death row inmate with no appeals, and hyperventilating while taking hot dog orders. People felt so bad for me they tipped me. The Mexicans giggled a lot, since they'd known what was coming. I must give them credit, though, as they got me good and drunk later that night while we closed up the restaurant.

That stuff burns far worse on the way out than on the way in, and it comes in little care packages, no big burritos. I had to use the can once every 15 minutes for the next 8 or 9 hours. My ass chapped.

Those were the days.
10:20 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Monday, August 19, 2002

Wait Here And Trust Me

Last Friday I ended up in a crappy bar called Coachhouse instead of helping with the garage project or going to the car demolitions. Coachhouse is a place people go to find a fuck or a fight. The music was typical top 40 garbage and early 90's rap, and I couldn't get into it. I think I'm just an uptight prick who can't loosen up, relax, and have fun, but I can't help it if I find the humpty-hump retarded and refuse to dance to it. My problem is that I still live in the same area that I grew up in, and everybody left are those who went straight into labor or attend the local community college for lack of ambition. Good luck finding a conversation.

Let me tell you of two brothers I know, Joe and Rich. Joe is the older of the two, 27, and right now he's doing well, working in construction with his father. Joe spent about a year in jail for retail theft. Joe had a big heroin problem. For a while it was just a bad habit, but once he got a needle it became a cliffjumper of a problem. After his folks kicked him out he borrowed a tent from me and lived in the forest strip along the highway which was opposite my front door at the time. Joe would have his girlfriend pull up at the dock doors of a Best Buy, Circuit City, or the like, and he'd run through grabbing the most valuable electronics he could carry and dash out the back exit with it before the employees or security could catch up. When you need a fix, you can run really fast. He got to the point where he'd go score and shoot up on the way home, and one day he nodded out and crashed his Z-28 into the median. (I think it's Z-28, I know fuck all about cars) The cops took him away.

Joe is a much kinder, friendlier human being than his little brother. Rich is a violent person who loves to cause major injuries to people, especially his 'friends.' He's built and stacked, like Paul Bunyan, except without the ox. I always gave him a cigarette when he asked. I like having teeth. Rich has gone to jail for assault, possesion of a firearm, auto theft, possesion of an illegal substance, and possibly other charges as well.

A few years ago I asked my buddy D to hook up some coke for a weekend bender. (although with coke we all know it's a one-night bender, you do that shit until it's gone, believe you me) D came with Rich to pick me up and we went to this woman Anna's condo. Anna's fuckpal went to go score with my $100, and while he was gone D told me that he ordered crack. I was a little bit upset, since I wanted cocaine, but what's done is done so what-the-fuck-ever. When the goods came back, Rich got mad. He's a cracksmoking virtuoso, and he knew that what I had before me was about a $40 bag. He saw that Anna had hooked up, and based on the raccoon bags under her eyes, she'd used my money to do it. She looked like she was jonesing bad and probably broke. He grabbed the crack from her, violently, and she attacked him with her fingernails. He reached out with his arm and pushed her back, and she fell over the table and knocked her head on the tv set. As we left, she stood at the door, screaming obscenities into her neighborhood at 2 in the morning. D, Rich and I went and got rocked.

This was after the Union station hobo experience, and it was equally unnerving. That put me off crack forever, although I knew better all along. What can I say, the suburbs are boring.

Nowadays Rich is rail-thin and not nearly as formidable. He caught the same heroin bug his older brother did, except he has no consience or guilt and does not care whether his parents are happy or not. That's too bad, because they're both very nice people who feed me well whenever I visit. I don't know how they can handle all this crap from their sons.

Here's another good one: When Joe was doing horse, one night he decided to make a bomb. I cannot venture a guess regarding his purpose, but he made the front page of the newspaper the next day. He was packing sulphur match heads into a lead pipe with a screwdriver, and it sparked and ignited and almost blew his thumb off. His hand is still fucked up. He put a hole through his bedroom floor and the ceiling of the den below. Fortunately this was before 9/11, or he'd have been in deep shit and labelled as a terrorist. I'm glad Joe is behaving these days.
6:58 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Diplomas Only

The Great Lakes Manager Of Finance for Services must be a degree holder with a title like that. He's a big guy who waddles. One day about three years ago he spilled coffee on a spiral notebook.

So he microwaved it. As you know, spiral notebooks have spirals, made of metal. He walked out of the cafeteria as I walked in, and halfway past the candy machine I hear flying buzzsaw blades straight out of megaman combined with Earnheardt's last crash.

Okay, that's an exaggeration. It was an electrical storm in a bottle, though, and I had the prudence to press stop instead of rashly opening the microwave door. I wrote DO NOT MICROWAVE - RINGS ARE METAL on it and set it atop the microwave.

I think he was just expressing his creativity.
5:00 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Wrong Indian

I think I eat Indian food the wrong way. At the local lunch buffet, you receive 4 pieces of Tandoori chicken and some naan bread aside from whatever you'd like from the buffet.

I peel the chicken into strips, douse it with lemon, put it on the naan bread with onion and a strange, tangy green sauce, and I roll it up and eat it like a burrito. This seems to alternately amuse and horrify the Indian staff.

It's really good though. So is the curry chicken on the pea rice. The only Indian dish I've disliked is the lentil one, since it's too gritty.

Free salted fennel seeds on the way out. I saved a few extra in my cigarette cellophane. I think they use these things for black licorice. They being manufacutures, that is to say, confectioners, or maybe purveyors of black licorice.

I managed not to spill any vindaloo on the Cold Six Thousand, the Ellroy book I've just started. It's very choppy and static, and I'm enjoying it so far.

I have an avatar now. That's me at the top of this page, watching you watching me. Hooray for Neal Stephenson buzzwords. (no avatar here at blogger yet)
4:11 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Courtesy Flush

The men's washroom has 4 stalls, 2 urinals, 5 sinks, 1 shoe polish machine, and poor ventilation. Employees bring newspapers, magazines, books, and cellphones into the stalls. I always wonder how one conducts an important conversation while loudly defecating, or contracting one last wet lump from the bowels. Sometimes I go there to take a nap. I usually wake from my daze sweating, shocked by the sounds of grunts and splashes. I have to endure another's stench for a few extra moments before I exit, as I usually have a big red mark on my forehead from sleepeing on my arm. Usually it looks like Tennessee.

I have a spot where the highway passes over train tracks. I go there on bad days, usually to cool off, relax, and vent some steam before reentering society. It's a filthy place, with discarded bottles, broken glass, children's clothing, dirty matresses, dead animals, cigarette butts, bits of tin foil, and lots of graffiti. I stand between giant concrete supports and practice my pitching arm with empty bottles. (I usually bring or sixer or twelver there, and lots of cigarettes.) The trains echo mountains of sound that shake the air, and the lights are giant fireflys with outboard motors. Lovely. The tracks are laid atop colorful limestone shards, some laced with granite, and I usually bring a pretty one back to my apartment after each visit. The tracks are an ugly place, but I love it there.
1:32 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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1 and 2 and 3 and 4

This is a Monday started in the dark, with drizzle and mist choking the light away.

My friend Ian moved to Lakeland, Florida about 6 months ago. He cut his hair into a mohawk, dyed it electric blue, joined a punk band as a drummer, and lived on the beach.

Now he's in jail, again.

For a while, he lived as a leech off underage tourist girls. He would hang around the Hyatt and invite girls to come to his punk shows, and he'd get them to buy alcohol and once they were drunk, he'd have sex with them. He's in jail for grand theft auto. He took his brother's truck while extremely drunk and crashed and totalled it. They never got along anyways.

I started delivering pizzas yesterday. It was a slow day, but I made $50 in just over 4 hours. So far I haven't been molested by any lonely housewives with husbands travelling in Europe. That's better than any $3 tip, I would say. I'll just have to be patient.

I went to a Powerhouse gym on Saturday as a guest. Why do these places have so many mirrors? Is that so it's easier to check somebody out without overtly staring?

Reasons to check somebody out at the gym using the mirrors:
1. Damn, he/she is sexy.
2. I wonder how long it took him to get that strong.
3. How in the hell does she bend herself like that? Does it hurt?
4. How the hell does this machine work? I'll go use that one until somebody hops on this one so I can see what to do.
5. I wish I could read lips, cause she's really enjoying that song and I'd sure like to know what it is.
6. I could do that. Easy.
7. Damn, I'm sexy.

I really enjoyed it, and I'm going to save up for a membership. 45 minutes there beat a 90 minute home workout, and the range of muscles I can work is far greater. I just need to make sure I don't get too big, because I don't want to be a spinach-fed looking guy with a crewcut.

On Friday night I had a few guests at my apartment, and somebody asked me for something to eat. My answer: "popcorn and carrots." That's all I had. Laughter erupted. I'll bet they were stoned. Go to White Castle you freaks.
11:37 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Sunday, August 18, 2002

Not Quite Astroturf

I need to tell you about the goddamn geese.

For 4 years, the stench of summer was an earthy not so delightful gooseshit eau de toilette. Gaggles here, there, everywhere. All around the office nests were hidden, and hundreds of the little bastards would sprout in June, threading single file goose marches in circles around the property.

Naturally, this meant a lot of shit. Gooseshit comes in three varieties. wet splashy green, moist spongy green, and dry brown pellets. Everywhere.

Until finally, this year, I discovered a nonviolent method of preventing this horrible scourge. The fine for a dead or injured goose is $500 if I'm caught, by the way. They shouldn't be listed as endangered anymore, in my opnion.

I shoot bottle rockets, whistle and pop, squak and flap. It only took about three weeks before they stopped coming to feast on our dry, heat-harshed grass. Our parking lots suffer only from dead leaves, used condoms, and mysterious garbage bags full of cantalope shells now.

That makes me feel good about myself.
3:25 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Saturday, August 17, 2002

I Heard A Ruckus

40 minutes until 5pm, perfect for a cute little criminal enterprise story.

I left off with big Mike on house arrest at the telemarketing office. From what I understand, it's 3 story building and his office is on the 3rd floor. From there he and his coworkers would call businesses to solicit donations for the Chicago Fraternal Order Of Police, a large portion of which would be paid to the caller as commision. The FOP charity attributes these payouts to the solicitors under "administrative costs". Donating businesses get advertisements in the quarterly officers' newspaper.

You heard me right. He was on house arrest at a police charity office.

I'm not sure what led him to it, but he decided one night when he was feeling restless to climb up into the ceiling. Mike's a lardass, and I happen to know that no fabricated ceiling tile is going to hold him. He must have stayed on top edges of the walls or something, in the plentim between the ceiling and the roof. Eventually he found his way to an office with goodies in it. The office was for a real esate investor who also owns that building. Mike grabbed some Mercedes keys hanging on a rack, a few credit cards, and about 20 pieces of computer equipment: monitors, printers, computers, etc.

He loaded as much as he can into the Mercedes Benz and hightailed it over to a friend's apartment to stash it. When he went back, cops were swarming so he abandoned the rest of it. He drove that car around for a week, buying jerseys at Sports Authority with the credit cards and eating expensive meals. The cops found him in his old neighborhood eventually. He had gone through a tollbooth, not realizing he had an I-Pass, and the booth operator thought it was strange, especially when he said "I don't think it's working". They always work, you see. Combine that red flag with the tollbooth cameras and you have yourself a suspect profile, previous offenses and all. Good luck Mike, I hope you stay out of trouble in the big lockup.

The buddy who had the stashed equipment did the right thing and brought it back to the office, and made an anonymous call to look out back. Good for you bud.
3:20 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Two Lunches Are Better Than One

This journal is one hell of a great way to pass the day at work. I only have 90 minutes left now, and then I get to go either A) clean out a garage for painting, or B) go to the Speedway in Sycamore, IL, and watch old cars race and demolish one another. I love it when they flip over. I hate cars. Even mine.

I just finished with two round trips to Home Depot, where I picked up about 80 acoustic ceiling tiles that my office's landlord bought for me. I gotta cover up all the water stains by way of tile swapping before the VP comes in for a big seminar at the end of the month. We just merged a couple months ago and my company is an IT juggernaut now. Watch the fuck out. I have to get some LAN lines activated too.

Whoops, I'm boring you. Sorry about that. I had two lunches today. A nice, healthy, tasty turkey sub from Cousins, and some sloppy, greasy, sludgy jalapeno cheesebugers from White Castle. As a teenager, we would always eat at the White castle in Hoffman since it's right outside the police station. The Hoffman cops are overzealous and we'd contantly be picking someody up there.

I need to check on the game. Don't worry, Mike's arrest will be forthcoming shortly.
3:18 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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I know a guy named Mike who just got sent to 26th and California, site of the luxurious world-renowned Cook County Jail. Eveybody who comes out of there always talks about getting their dicks q-tipped for the health check when they go in there. That sounds rough.

Mike was on house arrest, except that he was confined to his place of employment rather than his home. He had to wear one of those ankle bracelets that keep you within the judicially defined perimeter. He would frequently take this off and put it on the coffeemaker, since if the anklet gets below 90 degrees the alarm goes off and the hounds are unleashed.

Anyways, before all this he was visiting and trying to recruit a driver to take him to some dodgy south side crackspot. He's dealt with a certain house before, and they knew him well because he'd always run down there to get heroin for a friend who had silly money.

Mike was getting low on money, so he wanted to take my kitchen knives there to steal their crack and cash. He promised something like $2000 in liquid funds and a comparable amount of crack. He already had two of my knives wrapped up in a Ralph Nader t-shirt of mine from the 2000 elections.

Personally, I don't like crack. It makes me sweat like a hog, my heart races faster than cheetah on rollerblades, and I'm scared of absolutely everything. I smoked some in an alley behind Union Station with a homeless guy, and he put me on the Red line to get to a concert, but all the signs were blue. It fucked my head up, but I got to the show okay. He smelled bad too, but I paid his train fare and he came half the way there with me. He said things like "little whiteboy ain't cut out for the big city life, oh no oh boy my goodness heh yeah."

So obviously I'm not interested in helping Mike. His bigass van, which I think he stole from some Hispanics, had fresh bulletholes in it that still had paint flakes floating off of them when a strong breeze gusted. I did not ask about the holes. I don't want to be an accesory to murder either, I don't approve of murder, it's wrong in my opinion. He kept saying that all I had to do was drive and wait on the corner down the street, but whites can't just sit still around there. I'd really be asking for it. Eventually me and his friend talked him out of it, at least for the day.

When the fidgety gleam finally left his eyes, we went to get some weed from one of his buddy's ex-girlfriends. I didn't know they intended to steal it from her car until we got there, but fortunately it was too late to buy a slimjim and we couldn't find an appropriate metal stick, so we gave up. I think stealing is wrong, too, and she's a nice girl who should know better that to date one of these guys.

I'll tell you how Mike landed in jail next time.
3:16 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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I Could Be A Winner


When I was on prodigy, a dial-up service pre-internet, there was a group of people that entered sweepstakes in mass quantities. They would buy index cards in bulk, as well as stamps. They would win lawnmowers, grills, bicycles, money, and even vacuums. Vacations, candy, and museum passes. You name it, they would try to win it.

I think these people are the cause of the "one entry per person per day or per household" restriction that so many contests now have.

I am considering becoming a sweepstaker. After a few years, I'd be able to throw the best fucking garage sale ever held in Cook County, IL.
3:13 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Baseball and Pocketknives

I finally found Friday.

As a Monday through Friday 8-5 person, Friday is the longest workday of the week. Clocks tick more loudly than usual, and twice as many cigarettes are sucked down. Today I'll be changing ceiling tiles and wiping chalk dust out of my eyes.

Curt Schilling is pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks today at Wrigley Field. My favorite team is the Cubs, but I loved watching the D'backs beat the Braves and the Yankees last year. Mark Grace, back at Wrigley for three days. Schilling, my favorite pitcher, mowing down my favorite team. I'll be listening to the radio today, and Pat Hughes and Ron Santo will help me pass my afternoon. Hopefully they'll stray from the game and start insulting one another's wardrobe, and discuss skeletal structures and current musicians they've never heard before.

I want to carve a Christmas Tree. I think I'll find some good wood tonight, and carve while I listen to the Bears game on the radio. Maybe I'll even head out and do something social. I'm not in the mood for booze or greens, so I'll have to try having fun sober. I'm not very good at having fun with other people. I'm at my best alone, volume cranked.
3:11 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Friday, August 16, 2002

The Batcave

I am trying to beat my shyness into submission. I am lonely, and time is passing.

I went to a sports bar to watch the Bears and Cubs last Saturday. I see a girl who went to the same elementary school as myself, and I was trying to figure out what to say, and how to approach her. My amigo is egging me on, and it's not helping. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I know.

I saw a guy go talk to her and her friend, and then go sit down. Hmm. Shot down? I see the girls getting up to leave, or so I thought, so I quickly scrambled over there. She remembered me, and I got her name right. Danielle. Her friend is Alice.They weren't leaving. They were going over to that guy's table for a drink. Danielle invites me to join them, and I do. The guy is not pleased. "Dudes! I didn't ask for dudes! Where'd the dudes come from?" His hame is Dave, and his buddy, I shit you not, was Jethro. Jethro never once spoke, but he laughed and giggled a lot.

Alice was very embarrassed. She's got competing males on both ends of the table. She verbalizes her discomfort. I don't know what to say, so I asked Danielle about her photo album, which for some strange reason she brought into the bar.

Best I can figure, Danielle was stuck as Alice's wingman and didn't like those guys, so I provided a convenient distraction. Alice sure wasn't pleased. Either that or Danielle is too nice to say no and avoid an awkward situation. I don't know. I asked for her number, but she's seeing somebody. I wonder if that's true or a nicer way of saying no way jose. I told her that it was nice to see her, and I went back to sit with the church cult guys who'd been keeping me updated on the Cubs game. They belong to the Willow Creek compound. It's huge, and I think Walter Payton's family goes there. That's what I heard.
11:08 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Full Stroll

I like to walk. Once or twice a week, preferrably when the weather is unbearably hot, I'll go walking when work ends at 5 pm. Sometimes I'll go to my folks' house, which is about 7 miles, and sometimes, if I'm really jacked, I'll turn around instead of begging a lift back to work. That brings it closer to 15 miles.

I see lots of things while walking the suburban streets.
A sexy asian woman in a red convertible, picking her nose.
A discarded winter glove, which changed from grey to black until a gutter finally swallowed it.
A patch of sidewalk, stained a dark purple, from bicycle tires crushing mulberries.
A rose bush, growing through chain links.
A two-story deep hole in the street, blocked off by pylons.
I wonder what they're doing down there?
One spot where crows hang out on the telephone wires.
I always smell lilac, but I never see purple.
A small hole under a bush, always filled with black water. Wounded animals splash in there to die, and the smell is always putrescent.
Fat redheaded twins.
An old man from Pakistan, standing on the corner, asking for directions to the library. Sure, I'll look at your passport. Very nice picture. Go that way, and that way. Bye now.
8:00 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Crack Canal

One of my good friends has the same name as mine, Steve. The two of us decided three weeks ago, on a Saturday night, to go score some weed on the west side. We drove around Augusta and Cicero, which is basically a poor black neighborhood. I should feel guilty for supporting drug dealers in this community, but they provide a valuable service to lowdown degenerates like me. It's cheap, too, which is something the folks with the good stuff downtown cannot claim. I am poor, so my decision is easy.

While you drive slowly down a dimly lit oneway, you'll see hypes trying to get in your car, swaggering gangbangers in tank tops yelling "Smoke! Rocks! Blows!", and huge swarms of teenagers standing in the streets, vying for their peers' attentions and trying to talk louder than the next.

We bought a couple dimebags, and then decided to get some blows to top that off. We went from gas station to station, trying to find a cash machine. At night, these places are locked up tight, and nobody gets inside. All the cigarettes and Pepsi have to go through the sliding bin under the thick, bulletproof glass. Invariably there's a few old men and hobos outside, asking for smokes and change.

When the cops pulled us over, the other Steve put the bags where the sun doesn't shine. The cops didn't like me lying to them. "You're lost? Bullshit. Hands on the hood. Now." After a pat down they put me in the squad car's back seat. My enterprising friend, however, took a more direct approach, telling the officers that the north side is dry, and that we're trying to score. He also fed them a line about his uncle dying in the line of duty, and dropped a name he picked up off the news last year. It worked. They pulled me out, and the cop said "Get your weed and get out of here without getting shot, alright?"

Okay. You got it, officer.

We finally found heroin dealer, which took a little while since the cops were thick. We went back to Steve's place, listening to the oldies on the way. Smokey Robinson provided the soudtrack for Steve's finger-spelunking. The car smelled like shit when he fished out the dimebags. Thankfully I had napkins. Tears Of A Clown indeed.

Steve has no air conditioning, and it was very hot and humid that night. We had bottled water in the fridge, and we drank lots of it. We stayed up until 5 or 6 in the morning, snorting heroin and smoking weed. Once I couldn't discern the difference between a joint and one of Steve's Top brand menthol homerolleds, I went outside to catch some breeze. Steve was nodding out and breathing raggedly, so I shook him out of it and brought him some water.

I felt very clean the next day. All that sweating had detoxified me. I went home and curled up with a book. The Cubs lost, too.
7:00 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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About three years ago this kid named Raoul was hired from a temp agency as a site technician. He was supposed to stop here at the office, grab a couple parts and be on his merry way. Raoul, however, wouldn't leave once he got his parts. He'd wander around the building, standing at various cubicle entrances, talking to people about the weather, or aliens, or guns. Raoul was a typical computer nerd stereotype. He never bathed, wore the clothes of a 50 year old man, and was covered in unpopped zits with greasy white knobs poking out of them. He had glasses a half an inch thick that magnified his black beetle eyes, enhancing their hapless, swirling, watery gaze.
He frequently would tell people, including me, about his progress in setting up a LAN network at his house. He had at least two computers in each room to hold gaming tournaments, he just couldn't find anybody to come over and play. Many mornings I'd get to my desk to find an empty software box on my desk, back up, with a screenshot circled and a post-it with a note like "this one's exactly like WWII!" stuck to it. (Raoul in about my age, born in the seventies sometime) Nothing he could say or do would entice me to make buddies with him, however. After a while he gave up, although he still would come tell me about his new frictionless power source, which created electricity from nothing, or about the evidence he had that aliens had invented the microchip, in hopes that humanity would mature and the aliens would have some peers to relax and chat with. During the last week of his employment, Raoul came in to work bragging about an assault rifle. The next day, he was bragging about his new armor-piercing bullets that would shred kevlar.

The crowning moment came on a Friday morning, when he came in, raccoon eyed and sad looking, and asked me if I was his friend. Naturally, I said "Of course! What's wrong? You look down." He replied that nothing was wrong, everything was just fine.I had him fired. I reported the guns, the ammo, and the troubling questions. While he was walking out that evening he was stopped, his keys and badge taken, and he was thanked for his work. He tried to come back on Monday morning to chat with his so called friends, but we didn't let him in. We were as kind as possible about it.

Alan works here in contract renewals, which is a desk job involving lots of paper, mail, and phone calls. Alan is an albino fellow with bloodshot eyes and a bride of Frankenstein harido. He looks like he stuck his hand in an outlet. Alan never uses the urinal, but pees standing up in one of the stalls. He collects cereal boxes and his cubicle is full of them. He keeps asking me about shampoo brands. He keeps a wide selection of natural foods in his trunk and brings in various types of oats and grains every day at 1:00 for lunch. I think From Kashi To Good Friends is manufactured for Alan and others like him.
6:55 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Thursday, August 15, 2002


My name is Steve, and I work for a large computer company, doing office maintenance. I live in the suburbs of Chicago, my home my whole life. I'm 23.

I'll start with some profiles of former and current coworkers.

A woman named Carol is quite the character. From what I understand, Carol used to be absolutely gorgeous and sexy. When I met her, she was skinny as a toothpick, no figure, and looked like she'd spent 5 times too long at the tanning salon. She was burned and frequently had a facial rash. When I started here, 5 years ago, I always knew when Carol was in the office because her floral perfumes emanated into the environment, penetrating every nook and cranny of the building. Carol wore bright pink suitjackets, slacks, and accesorized those with green and brown paisley scarfs. She had a thick New York/Jersey/Bronx accent (I'm not sure which, but the same as the Nanny's) and she wore huge sunglasses that seemed to have animal print frames. I never looked too closely. She never ate food, but instead drank carrot blends from her little pink thermos. I think her husband was trying to feed her, and she was hiding the food in the back of her freezer. As a thank you for a task perfomed, she would bring me a McDonald's burger that had long ago been frozen and freezerburned. I think she took them out of old styrofoam containers and wrapped them in paper towels to erase the evidence of their age. Many times the task I completed for her was plugging in her computer, or flipping the power switch on the monitor. I don't understand how she actually sold computer related items, as she probably didn't have much technical knowledge beyond her beloved blender.

She left the company two years ago. I miss Carol.
5:51 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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