Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
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Monday, February 28, 2005

Grimace's Appropriate Name

My phone shift the next morning was frenzied, right from the 6am starting gun. I soothed restaurant managers, quashed the bugs in their rebellious machines, and assuaged their panicky stuttered ramblings.

They imagine they have a new friend in me.

I understand what it's like to have technology revolt when a line of seven AARP members are staring at me, desperate for their senior discount coffees and Saturday Sun-Times. I understand what it's like to have high school age employees turning the fryers up too high, resulting in hot dirty oil splashing out and scalding the Mexican mopping boy, who is now balled up in fetal position in the corner of the women's washroom, crying and muttering about the "pince cucarachas." I understand the frustrated embarrassment when the drink dispenser starts spraying my crotch with Orange Pizzazz.

Wrong. I have no sympathy. I am not your friend. We will not meet up after you count down your drawers and dismiss your apathetic mcnugget pushers. We will not hold hands, skip to the corner store, and share a basket of mozzarella sticks. We will not share a glass of diet soda from the fountain, one straw for each of us.

It is normal for a fast food employee to daydream. Healthy, even. Unfortunately, right now is the wrong time.

So let's stop getting friendly. Let's can the small talk. It isn't working for me. I don't want to hear your idiotic suppositions about the mustachioed woman that drops the fry baskets. I don't care why she won't shave, or that St. Gustavao is the patron saint of female facial hair. I am not impressed that your top perk of employment is the ability to triple your tartar without paying the extra sauce fee.

I want you to do exactly what I ask. No editorializing or guesswork. That just makes this harder. If you shut your dribbling trap and listen, we can fix the goddamn registers. Then you can fuck off back to Ronald and I can fuck off back to sleep.

Okay?
9:55 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Gnats, Rashes, and Malaria

I didn't last very long. I drank several weak vodka tonics during happy hour. I wanted to sit back, relax, and wait for the show. I couldn't because there was nowhere to sit, so I was stuck rocking back and forth on my heels like a heroin fiend. I learned that my friend's performance was not due until 1 am. Three hours away. I can tell you with certitude that an expensive nightclub is no place for a man without money. A poor man will burn with shame as he drinks every sip of alcohol that is pityingly thrown his way. He will feel like a dog licking a deceased homeless man's dried vomit.

Yes, that would be me. There is no point explaining ridiculous car breakdowns and roommate job losses. I'll just sound silly. A true no-win situation. All I can do is sit there, broke and restless. Invariably somebody will notice that Steve, world renowned alcoholic, is standing mute and still during her toast. How exhausting. I must leave before people start giving me beer that's gone warm.

Shortly after 10pm a strange man wandered into the bathroom with his luggage. He set up station on the sink counter. He was selling Newports, Camels, mints, and cologne. He distributed paper towels for club patrons to dry their hands. Tipping a bartender or waitress is customary, a polite thing to do. I have no problem with this. I will not pay a man to count stalls and point me to my designated urination portal. This is obscenity. It is going overboard. I mumbled my way past his beseeching outstretched hands. I know where they've been.

My ride decided to leave early and skip the show. Mercy hallelujah. I seized upon this notion and encouraged fleeing with desperate urgency. We did.

If somebody tells you that money is not needed to have fun, agree and quickly invite them to join you at home. Because it certainly can't be done in public.

I got back to my car and quickly zipped to the nearest gas station. The station was a BP at Kedzie & Elston, and the pumps were little kiosks attached to the four corners of the little building. I had to pull up diagonally against the concrete abutment to refuel my mangy red intrepid. Truly odd. I bought a cheap bag of salted peanuts and drove home along a mostly deserted Irving Park Road. I used my passenger seat for the shells. I got home, opened the car door, and stood up. Shell fibers and dusty salt granuoles flew off me, carried into the night by a silent gust of wind. Very anitclimactic.

Fortunately Saturday night would prove to be far more exciting.
6:34 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Friday, February 25, 2005

Neon Safari

This weekend should be great. I have been personally invited by a performer to attend a nightclub event. Don't give me that look, I remember what I said. Nightclubs are fire code capacity hazards teeming with sweaty dancing yoohoos and vacant eyed lemmings. I stand by that. Tonight I will make an exception and brave the hordes of fire breathing lizards and screeching banshees in the name of friendship.

I've known this guy for a long time and he took personal offense to my previous comments. Or so I heard through the grapevine. He has been gracious enough to seek me out and gently coax me back out into the raucous, poorly lit, barely breathable world of nightclubbing. I expect to flee shortly after 2 am, trembling, gasping, and clutching my windpipe. My only goal is to hear the entirety of his emceeing. They say he talks very fast.

Aside from that I've made no plans for the remainder on the weekend. I intend to luxuriate in bed, where I will eat cheese and watch movies about baseball. Despite my financial turbulence and my resultant inability to purchase Cubs tickets, I look forward to baseball season with throbbing urgency. Hmm, bad choice of phrase. What I meant to convey is that baseball is my religion. The stadium is my church. Beer and peanuts are my sacrament. Flatulence is an expression of piety. Just over a month to go until "Easter."
10:40 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Low Brow Standard Bearers Unite

I joined a book club in Indiana six months ago. Valparasio is only about an hour away in light traffic, and I have friends there. We only had one meeting. We read Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins and there were five of us present. Four had read it, including me. I liked it.

Ever since we've tried to get the club moving again, with no success. Somebody picked a book about the Trail Of Tears. I'm sure it's fascinating and dramatic and historically significant, but I just can't work up any interest over some Indians with limited vocabularies that died brutally over 100 years ago. What? Tecumseh painted his childhood onto a deerskin using blood and mashed pine needles? It's told entirely with images of suns and lightning bolts and rainclouds? Well. That's just peachy. If you made a movie and he got speared through from behind and lifted off the ground by the sheer force of the javelin and pinned to a burning tree then I might pay attention. I'm an American, and if there's no blood, fire, or fucking I'm going home.

I didn't mean that. I got carried away. I actually like dramas and even romantic comedies. I'll even watch the cheesiest ones. There. I said it. Take away my membership card.

I like some escapism in my entertainment. I'm certainly not a highbrow reader. Most of my consumption is trash fiction. My shelf would be sneered upon by college English majors. Hackery. I have a few writers that are deemed to be literary or at least respectable, like Patrick O'Brien and John Irving, but most of it is Stephen King and Dean Koontz and Michael Connelly and comic books. I read nothing but Hardy Boys mysteries until I was in 6th grade, folks. I tend to latch onto an author and read his entire arsenal. I could tie Orson Scott Card books to your limbs and throw you off a pier and you'd have no hope of survival.

I suppose one day I'll read the classics and try to understand literary devices, cultural significance, and the importance of a philosophical monologue, but first I gotta find out who's gonna buy the farm next in The Tommyknockers.

Leaving fiction and rejoining reality for a moment, I think the Pope will croak next. I hope they shoot him off into space in a capsule so he can race L. Ron Hubbard and Gene Roddenberry to Pluto.
2:52 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Atmospheric Devolution

I'm cranky today. My eyes are pickled and my throat is coated in quivering little giblets of phlegm. I ate all my food groups yesterday, stayed sober, and got my requisite 7 hours of shuteye. I must need caffeine. I'm not the only one.

My coworkers are great. They enjoy bathroom jokes, sports, and making fun of customers. Just like me. But they too are are badly off kilter today. They're calling one another cuntface and spitting at each other. This whole office is suffering from a collective hangover, although none of us drank last night. As far as I know.

The fluorescent lights are all turned off, except for the emergency light above my desk. By contrast it's bleaching my hair and ears. The blinds are also shut. The darkness is perfect for soothing lurking temper tantrums and subduing simmering shit fits.

I wonder if there's a mysterious airborne illness affecting us. Perhaps the carbon monoxide detector, if we ever had one, has malfunctioned and the poisonous gas is seeping into our lungs. Eventually it will cause drooling and giggling, no doubt from a massively accelerated evaporation of brain cells, finally to result in our collective convulsive collapse into death on a dirty floor.

Maybe I can narrowly escape death and survive with only moderate damage. Soon after they'll have to buy me a cage, line it with newspaper, and feed me low grade nearly rotten raw beef in a chipped plastic bowl with "Stevie" stencilled in black spraypaint on it's side. My fevered damaged mind may see maggots and scratch my own skin from my face in dangly little wet strips, but that's best left for discussion on another day.
10:07 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Throttled Receptors

My office is aflutter with activity. Apparently everyone spent all day yesterday sitting around jabbering about NASCAR and peeking at internet porn. Among other things, the rotation of the world is contingent upon my presence. When it stopped yesterday they had to tie themselves to earthbound objects to keep from floating off into the stratosphere.

Now that I'm back the meetings have commenced, the phones now ring with urgent frequency, and people earning twice my income are forming lines in front of my desk, armed with pens and notepads. They're grilling me about cable gauging and hardware compatibility and camera focus distances and the frequency and duration of my erections. The whiskey jokes punctuate these pointed inquiries. I just want to slack off and accomplish nothing whatsoever.

Thirty minutes of frenzied activity have passed since the completion of my previous paragraph. I was slacking prematurely.

Shit. I gotta go.
3:25 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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A Glancing Blow

Late Monday afternoon I was struck in the head by a boulder. Actually, it was just a marvelous idea that bowled me over with overwhelming force.

I would hold a funeral party for Hunter S. Thompson. Immediately. I asked my boss for the day off work on Tuesday. "Why, what's up?"

"One of my heroes has died, and in honor of him, I must gather a few likeminded individuals and drink lots of whiskey."

He arched his eyebrow, looked sidelong at my other boss, and said, "Sure. Do what you feel is important. Who died?"

I quickly explained a man that cannot be quickly explained. Nothing seemed to get through until the part about the suicide. I work for good people. People that will give me a vacation day on very short notice for the express purpose of drinking whiskey on a Monday night.

I left the office and procured a modest quantity of cocaine. I told myself it was necessary to consume something illegal for this occasion, and I swore off marijuana consumption over a month ago. It went out the door with the cigarettes. Hallucinogens have been horribly unreliable to me for the past three years, so I wouldn't risk them being bunk or poison. Cocaine was the clear winner.

My small gathering of five proceeded to sniffle and quaff. The case of beer was gone in a little over an hour. The whiskey bottle died a noble death at about 3am. Nobody but me had the constitution or stomach steel for straight up Jim Beam, but I was not deterred. I finished it and belched with pride.

Passages were read from Kingdom Of Fear and from both books of letters. My former roomie even convinced me to record myself reading from this very online journal. I didn't like the results. He did. Blackmail will surely ensue.

Now I'm back at work, bright, chipper, and mumbling through celery and carrots liberally splashed in spicy peanut sauce. Life is good. Adios, Doctor.
9:38 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Monday, February 21, 2005

Rest In Peace, Doctor

The Good Doctor shot himelf in the head yesterday.

That's a damn dirty shame. He was a true original. One Of The Greats.

RIP Hunter S Thompson
1937-2005
10:22 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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How's My Driving?

I consider myself a good citizen. I hold open doors for people following me whether they're men or women. I wouldn't want their anonymous noses smashed by high-tension spring-loaded glass. I throw my litter into gas station garbage cans. I wouldn't want stray cats to choke to death on mustard soaked wax paper. Actually, I would. Hmmm. I never park over two spots on a crowded city street. I buy candy from youth groups to keep cripples on crutches.

I may not hang Christmas decorations or paint my address in yellow stencil on the curb, but I'm a decent citizen. I vote.

This morning I was following a disheveled catering truck. It's bumper was adorned with a green sticker that read "Report Drug Smuggling - Call 1-800-BE-ALERT."

I heard the Supreme Court recently allowed cops to use drug-sniffing dogs at routine traffic stops without probable cause. Experienced, trained, sunglasses wearing patrolmen the nation wide can't seem to identify a smuggler unless he is sweating profusely, shaking like an electrocution victim, or blowing marijuana in the cop's face. So now dogs can be used indiscriminately.

So how am I, citizen Joe Average, supposed to accurately identify and report instances of drug smuggling? I can think of a million criteria that all suggest illegal drugs but are not concrete proof.

Usually people in Illinois do not wear Hawaiian shirts. Is that a beer belly or a kangaroo pouch full of heroin? Either I poke him in the navel with a switchblade or call the feds. What would you do?

What about every Italian in a leather coat who showered in cologne? That's not a swagger, he's weighed down by strings of cocaine vials strung from his thick gnarly armpit hair. I wouldn't dare use my switchblade on this handgun happy fellow, so call the feds it is.

If your wear Grateful Dead or Bob Marley t-shirts, you deserve to be incarcerated whether you're guilty or not. I may punch you first to make sure your frisbee playing stoner buddies don't help you escape in a VW bus. Yes, I am calling the feds. Don't move or I'll strangle you with that hemp bead necklace you red-eyed burrito-scarfing mongrel.

Sorry, I got carried away again. Even if I could identify smugglers, why would I want to help our government catch them? The last time I checked, they're providing a valuable public service.

The combination of daytime television and marijuana work in tandem to keep snack food companies in business, and by proxy, 7-11s. I love 7-11.

Without cocaine and ecstasy there'd be no reason to go to a nightclub and dance, and without those, all young people would stay home and watch television, reducing our collective intelligence quota at double the current rate.

I'm terrifying myself. Must stop. The nation would be worse off without these smugglers. Without heroin... well, I don't quite have a redeemer for heroin. I'll think about it.

I love drug smugglers. I want a bumper that says "Kiss Me I'm A Smuggler." Wait a minute. No I don't.
9:09 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Friday, February 18, 2005

Now I Can Whistle

Today I had the luck to be sent back to Bridgeview. I ordered a porkchop from a little shack at 79th and Harlem early this afternoon. They make you wait outside in the freezing cold. There is no inside dining, just a moldy picnic bench under a plastic awning out front. I don't wear a jacket, a fact I recall sharing with you previously. I did not shiver despite the arctic gale. The other patrons were four firemen clad in full black rubber suits. They also wore those stupid pointy hats and had pickaxes hanging from their belts. They were scary and so were their walkie-talkies. I don't think they liked me.

My pork chop sandwich came with mustard and grilled onions just like a Maxwell Street polish sausage. A sharp bone in it stabbed through my cheek. Blood trickled out and a homeless guy started licking my face in case any of the pork chop juice seeped through. All he got was some mustard. I kicked him in the left kneecap and he fell to the ground and rolled onto his back, mewling like a baby chimpanzee. I pulled the bone out through my cheek and threw it at him like a dart. He pulled it out of his eye and nibbled on the meager flesh scraps loosely clinging to the bone. That might've been my flesh or the pigs, I don't care.

I looked at the firemen. They stopped chewing. Quickly they averted their collective gaze as if to say "We just spray water and catch babies flung from windows, we don't caulk cheeks, so don't look here for help." Maybe I was putting words in their brain, but I doubt it. The message was pretty clear to me.

I ordered a polish for the road. Hopefully I can seal the hole in my face with some congealed grilled onions. Otherwise everytime I drink sodapop I'm going to have fizzy foam squirting out. That might be fun at family gatherings but it's not very attractive at the library.

I'm sure it will heal eventually. That'll teach me to eat sandwiches with bones in them.
3:25 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Fast Food Means Fast Digestion

Good afternoon. I'm back at my office throne after a relaxing morning tour of Harlem Avenue. I started in Elmwood Park and finished in Bridgeview. This is always a pleasant drive and a fine substitution for office work. I had to accomplish a silly task at yet another south side McDonald's that had lapsed hopelessly into disrepair. Naturally I lollygagged to and fro.

Immediately upon my return I have been assaulted by various office staff. One is trying to slice my ankle tendons with boxcutters. He claims I didn't lash down the satellite dish and Mexican garbage pickers used lassos to remove it from it's perch on the roof. Apparently they were spotted at sunrise bouncing away in a rusty pickup truck, cackling and singing accordion music. I can easily picture the sight of them thrusting their new trophy in the air, triumphant and crazed with joy. It will do them no good without a subscription, so maybe they can put candles on it and convert it into a Catholic altar. Maybe it could be a cooking basin of some sort.

Another shithead is shooting at me with a high powered staple gun. He seems to think I'm responsible for the dead squirrel in his trash. He said it was drowned in gasoline and the fumes are making his voice scratchy. I know who did that, but it wasn't me and I'm no rat, so I can't point the finger at the guy with the box cutters. If I'd been the culprit, I would've thrown the squirrel outside into the flowerpot for cigarette butts in the hope of an accidental ignition.

Finally my boss is blaming me for an angry customer. Apparently I told this indignant store manager that the last time I ate their food I was forced to take a murky, painful crap in a graveyard. During my emergency business a skeletal hand reached up through the soil and goosed me. Now whenever I shit while camping I think the cool breeze caressing my anus is proof positive of a supernatural presence. I told this customer to leave me alone and go call Ghostbusters.

All blatant lies.
1:33 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Newports and Milkbones

I just got back from a voyage to the south side to repair more restaurant hardware. The conversation my boss and I shared on the way back to the office devolved from our best recipes to eating at 7-11.

He never thought of pouring the chili and cheese directly into the empty tray and keeping the chips bagged on the side. You can get a lot more free topping that way.

This brought back memories of high school. More exactly, what I did instead of high school.

My friend Teddy listened to rap music and walked with an intentional limp before it was cool. He was at it instantly when Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dog released their videos with blurred out clothing logos. Teddy was ahead of his time. He wore a baggy Georgetown pullover jacket that should've looked silly. He was skinny as a string bean and the jacket was a puffy tent on him. His perpetual angry expression dared anybody to laugh, and few did. The ones that dared usually got brass knuckles to the lip for their scorn.

While my peers were spending their sophomore year in class, Teddy and I would hang out in his basement bedroom under a blanket fort. We'd play Ogre Battle on Super Nintendo and drink warm Natural Ice Light. Usually he'd turn on booty house mixes by Julian Jumpin' Perez on B96 and scream swear words out the window at bewildered pedestrians.

Occasionally we'd wander out during school hours. Hoffman Estates cops have always hated teenagers so we'd have to move quickly and silently or they'd try to ship us to Conant High. We'd go to the F&M at Roselle & Bode and I'd buy candy to distract the clerk while he shoved 5 or 6 packs of Newports up his sleeves into that Georgetown jacket.

We'd bring plastic solo cups to the 7-11 after that. We'd fill cups of free chili and cheese and use Milk Bone dog biscuits to scoop it out while we walked home. When it was almost gone we'd eat the biscuits, too. Finally we'd smoke menthol cigarettes for dessert and have farting competitions.

I miss being a teenager.
3:38 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Mudflap Welcome Mat

I was only a mile away from work this morning when I stopped behind a pale, banana-yellow, jeep-like vehicle manufactured at least twenty years ago. In the back window was a Git-R-Done decal and another stencilled on the front windshield: Redneck. In red letters, of course.

I was immediately reminded of a field contractor my company employs. This guy attended school with me. He was a shy, geeky guy that had an unhealthy obsession with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I didn't see him for seven years until we hired him and he showed up in the biggest pickup truck I've ever seen. It was black as death and decorated with confederate flags, stickers of angry looking bald eagles, a shotgun rack, and huge muffler pipes aimed to the sky like a big rig's. It was terrifying. What happened to this guy? I know he's not a real redneck. He's a geeky suburban kid.

Now he wears camoulflage and carries the Skoal Points catalog in his ass pocket. His voice is too low and mumbly for me to discern whether there's a fake southern drawl thing going on. I have to assume he suffered brain damage from huffing too much paint thinner with his toothless grain alcohol chugging buddies.

I want to hang out with them one day. I've always wondered if it would be fun to hold squirrels in a bucket of gasoline until they reach the near drowning point, let them go, and then throw matches at the sopping little critters.

I've also never had the opportunity to laugh more loudly than necessary at things like "Dang I kint seem ta git mah hand around ta mah mud slope deez daze!"

I like cheap beer and farting so I'm sure we'll have something in common.

I got to work and the yellow obscenity pulled in behind me. It had turned away 3 minutes before. As it turns out he'd been taking a short cut that saved no time. It was the very same pseudo-hick that works for us. I didn't ask what happened to the black truck.
9:10 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

From The Museum





I made this back in 1997. I was looking at a little monkey skeleton diagram in an encyclopedia. I drew it in my most jagged and threatening style. It's still one of my favorite drawings to this day. I'm posting it here because a friend of mine has taken a few of my favorites and he's designing a template for me. I've seen the work in progress and it looks fantastic. I'm using this moment to call him out. Now he has to finish, since it's no longer a secret.

My brain is still a bit groggy from drinking last night, so I'm not going to write much of anything right now. I'll get back to it soon, I promise. I woke bright and fresh but I started feeling groggy and washed up at about noon today and no amount of crackers and cheese will fix me. Sleep is mandatory.

I really should clean up the scans a bit but I can't be bothered right now. Here's another one I'm not using as part of the template:

9:50 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Monday, February 14, 2005

From Me To You With Gut-Wrenching Terror

Just because I'm single doesn't mean I should be left out of the Valentine's Day festivites. I took it upon myself to conduct a research project to better inform my contemporaries about the inside secrets of the so-called Hallmark Holiday.

Yes, that's right, I went to a Hallmark store. My intention was to interview the staff and to learn just what they thought about the whole business. Of course, today is the worst possible day to attempt such a stunt. When I arrived on the scene, about 30 minutes ago, there were long lines of guys wearing defeated facial expressions. They stood there, shoulders slumped, abjectly clutching ceramic figurines and boxes of raspberry chocolates.

I decided a tour of the store would be in order. I used to visit this particular location often as a child. There was a Flipside Records next door where I'd buy Yo MTV Raps trading cards and B-52s cassingles for my imitation brand walkman. I'd frequently venture into the Hallmark to see if any new jigsaw puzzles were in stock that I could add to my list. You know, the "please daddy buy this for 10 bucks and you'll get at least 30 hours of shut-the-fuck-up time" list.

I don't know if Hallmark changed or I did. The puzzles are still there. But the card section seems larger. Once I passed the soon to be inflated pastel holiday section (that's Easter to you) I discovered that you can buy a Valentine for more people than just your sweetheart. You can send one to every person you've ever shared oxygen with, and some you haven't.

I was tempted to buy a box of valentines that were pre-printed "To Little Johnny, I wish you were born. It is deeply saddenning to me that my Godless daughter took your life a mere week after conception. She will burn in a lake of eternal fire, but I will join you when they turn this respirator off. Stand true with St. Peter at the gate, and I will join you soon. There I will sing you the lullabies that Jesus told me you long for so keenly." I would send these out anonymously, all marked with a return address from the Bethel Baptist Church on Roselle Road. The only thing that held me back is that I would never see a return on my investment. I would not have the opportunity to witness the facial expressions of the recipients or the looks of consternation the church staff would express upon reading the angry repsonses.

I learned something else. There is a secret war going on in this country that all men and most pre-menopausal women know nothing about. It involves ceramic figurines and candles. I am dimly aware that many enterprising women have graduated from Mary Kay and Tupperware to hosting house parties to hawk scented candles and Hummel figurine variety bric-a-brac. How are they to succeed when corporate behemoths like Hallmark are hiring twinkly eyed matrons in turtlenecks to sell these items from storefronts, complete with homespun wisdom and soup recipes?

I'm not even going to touch the Christmas ornament issue. That's enough for today.
2:45 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Hot Shot Jet Set Weekend

Friday night did not end as I previously suggested. I graciously donated that heaping serving of onions with chili to the greater Chicagoland sewer system at about 5 am. Not only did it help destroy my appetite for the entire weekend, but it also immolated my esophagus. After an intense toothbrush and mouthwash session, I finally got some sleep.

What came next was a tad humiliating. I've spent the last several weeks flaunting my invulnerability to the afflictions of mere mortals. Friends, relatives, and assorted lurking deviants have all been struck by influenza, while I've gleefully paraded about town in t-shirts. That's right. Ten degrees? Fuck a jacket. Blizzard? Okay, maybe a long-sleeve t-shirt. When I awoke on Saturday I was running a 100.5 fever and I was shivering. I even had the gall to feel sorry for myself.

So I didn't go out on Saturday night. It was the 2nd week in a row I blew off the jail visit. I've tried to write about that but I'm ambivalent about it. A longtime on/off sorta friend drank and drove. He crashed into another car. His girlfriend broke both of her arms. The driver of the vehicle he struck is dead. He was arrested while he was in a coma. He woke in the hospital ward of Cook County Jail. That could've easily been a lot of people I know, so I have some sympathy, but damn. He killed a person.

I also missed a visit to another nightclub. They really aren't my scene, but I wanted to go for a friend's birthday. From what I hear she had a great time without me and my friends consumed enough alcohol and ecstasy to sterilize an elephant. Good job you guys.

I'm getting by today on ibuprofen and caffeine. Maybe I can eat today. I hope my digestive tract resurrects itself. I'll have a special Easter for pizza instead of Jesus.
10:39 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Saturday, February 12, 2005

Past My Bedtime

It's Friday night at 12:43am as I begin. I really shouldn't be up this late without drugs. I'm sitting at home with some Jolly Rancher watermelon sodapop and a bowl of chili. It has no beans in it. I was told that beans were added to take up space. Only poor people deign to eat chili with beans in it. I call bullshit. I love the beans. Always have. I diced up a whole onion to take the place of the beans and my chili is very acrid because of it. I've already spilled some on my London Calling t-shirt.

I was supposed to go over to a friend's house tonight. I'd gone to dinner with my dad earlier this evening. He bought me pork chops at the Village Tavern in Schaumburg. When I finished I realized that I was eating pork chops in the middle of a fish fry. Another wasted opportunity. I think it was a Catholic secret. A lent thing. Now I know why I got all those dirty looks from the cute Irish waitresses. They think I'm a Protestant. One way ticket to hell and all that. It is lent right now. Right? If it isn't maybe I had a dangly booger. I hope not. Usually they tickle and I detect and obliterate immediately. Don't look at me like that. It happens to you once in a blue moon, too. I got home eventually and began my laundry. After 11pm rolled past on the clock I realized I wasn't going anywhere tonight.

I'm sitting at the roomie's desk. He actually went out tonight. Role reversal. To my right sit two plates stacked atop one another. Each have bones encrusted to them. One from Wednesday's porkchop. He took the bigger one and didn't finish it. Such waste. I dessicated mine until I could floss with the bone. The other is a t-bone from his steak. I fried one in butter for him when I was drunk. His mother had returned it to the pan after I was done with it. She added mushrooms to soak up my excessive butter and to finish cooking it. Apparently medium rare will give people cancer or something. I like them a bit bloody. In front of me there's some apple juice in a Pappadeaux glass. My glass. It's foggy enough that it's probably been sitting here for a week. Pappadeaux is my favorite place to eat. All you can eat lobster holocaust on Thursday nights. It has dueling lobsters on the front. That's class folks.

Time to wrap up this waste of keyboard usage. Anybody who reads this site for the first time and comes across this post is going to think I'm another mundane twit that needs his keyboard confiscated and his brain lobotomized. On that note, I'm going to sleep.
1:06 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Friday, February 11, 2005

Polished And Waxed

I saw something about dead skin cells and gallons of sweat. I think it was a detergent advertisement during the Superbowl. I haven't done my laundry in two weeks now. This is made possible by the large quantities of socks and underwear I received for Christmas. I may be out of fresh pants and shirts, but the really important garments are still in stock. They fill a whole load by themselves. When I put them in the washer they scream "No, No! We can't breathe underwater, we'll bleed and shrink, this isn't fair! You step on us and sit on us and this is our reward? Fuck you buddy! Prepare to be itchy next time you need something from me!" It's a whole chorus of voices in unison, high and twangy. (They are strings after all)

Back to my shirts and pants. I have one big pile, but its sorted mentally into three groups.

Clean, not worn since the previous wash. These are available for usage. Today the only items left here either don't fit or I hate them.

Dirty. Worn and slathered in sweat, mud, pizza sauce, or whiskey. These cannot be worn under any circumstances until they are washed.

In-between. These have been worn but no exertion or accidents occurred while they were worn. Therefore there is no offending odor or rorshacht blots on them. These are important. These are the clothes that I can wear a second time.

According to my new knowledge, these clothes have a gallon of sweat and quarter of a sandwich baggy full of dead skin in them. Invisible. Did they really need to tell me this? No, I'm not grossed out or disturbed by this. I'm not the kind of person that freaks out because there might be some germs on a door handle. When people cough or sneeze in my face I don't care about the sickness. What bothers me is that I have to wipe mist or mucus off my eyelids, or that the offender has tuna breath. As George Carlin said, my immune system needs germs to practice on so it can be strong.

I am bothered by the sharing of this information for a different reason. It is leading our society down the wrong path. People already use too much hand sanitizer and soap and so forth. I'm not against cleanliness. I shower every morning. I'm against these obsessive compulsions to unnaturally dehumanize everything. I brush my teeth every day, but if I floss daily, my gums will bleed. So there might be some plaque between them sometimes. Big deal. I use deodorizer, because I sweat profusely when exerting myself and I don't want to smell like blue cheese dressing. But I don't understand anti-persperant. That's taking the notion too far. Some things were just meant to be.

I expect that soon they'll show us graphic displays of the poo slime that gets caught in our sphincter wrinkles. They'll have a very special, very expensive flossing machine for people to attach to their exits that will spread and wipe each little crevice.

Those dead skin cells? I'm sure they'll be able to add some chemical to your showerhead that will melt off your top skin layer once a week. You'll look rosy, too! No mention that the flush is because your blood is that much closer to the surface of your epidermis. You know somebody will find a way to use this as a murder weapon. Just picture that.

And sweat? Buy your own body thermostat! It'll keep you cool or warm so your nervous system doesn't get so stressed all the time. You won't need sweat glands, so have them removed. If the stat breaks down, just fork over some more cash for repair or we'll boil you alive with your own blood. Free pacemaker if you buy a maintenance contract.

Nope, I don't like where this personal hygiene trend is going. It almost makes me want to become an unwashed hippie scumfuck. Almost. The truth is, there's nothing horrible enough to make me listen to reggae or wear tye-dye.
10:31 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Troubleshooting The Messenger

I was recently sent to a store on Diversey to replace a bad flatscreen monitor. We didn't schedule the job so the owner had not informed his staff that somebody would be waltzing in to remove expensive equipment from the premesis. Somebody wearing a grinning skull axe murderer "listen to WZON in Bangor, Maine" t-shirt. Fortunately some namechecks got me through. The fact that I was replacing what I took with newer, fresher editions of the same probably helped.

The old monitor got crazy with rainbow distorion and you couldn't read the license plates on the vehicles in the drive-thru. Nor could you make out the difference between Virgina Slims and Misty cigarettes in the mouths of mole-faced, neckscarf-wearing, dead-eyed women in light purple spandex leggings and fake leopardskin vests. Who want extra croutons. This simply would not do. The solution?

"Tell Steve to get us another monitor. Have him deliver and install it."

It was embarrassing when the new equipment failed to work at all. My new monitor just blinked "no signal." So I took them both out of the store. The manager was nervous. I told him the owner couldn't call to okay it right now because he had a family emergency. Which was true! So out I went, leaving him with an unsightly hole in the wall next to his french fry warming tray.

I spent a week yelling at my vendors and manufacturers. The model I needed was out of production and out of stock. Finally today I received the equivalent, plugged it in here at the office, and got "No Signal." Fuck. A coworker strolled up and tapped the INPUT button on the side and bingo, a picture. I realized that I had made a horribly embarrassing rookie mistake when I'd been at the store the week before.

So I prompty emailed this information to everybody in the company. I like working in the office, you see. To me, this email is the equivalent of breaking plates. (Honey, will you do the dishes? Sure hon! Crash shatter clang bam boom! He is never asked again.) This will let me work indoors and keep me out of the field. This also ensures that everybody shares their idiot moments with me directly instead of whispering and giggling behind my back.

I go one step further. I decide to test the rainbow spasm monitor that started this whole retarded fiasco. The original was diagnosed by no less than the president of the company. He's also the founder and owner. And of course it works fine here at the office. The monitors never were the problem. It's likely a cable.

How much more pathetic will this become?
3:11 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Try This At Home

I often skip lunch to save money. To curb my appetite I take some weird pills. The former worker monkey that occupied my desk left two large bottles behind. They're full of all sorts of natural stuff but that's all just a front for the ephedrine. They make me hyper like a little kid that chugged a 3 liter of Jolt Cola. Except that I don't foam at the mouth or yip like a poodle. The end result is that I save no money because the gritty pills give me an insatiable appetite for alcohol, which usually costs as much or more that the food I would've eaten.

So that's what I did yesterday. I got home around six and had most of the twelve pack knocked off by eight. Empty stomach, fast drinking... you can see where this is leading. I did what any normal person in that situation would do. That's right, I fried a steak in butter. I didn't bother with garlic or onions or A1 or any fancy crap like that. Nope, just a half a stick of butter, a blanket of salt, and maybe some black pepper, I don't remember. It was a nice, thick cut. It wasn't long before I gave up on the utensils and starting ripping the flesh from the T-bone with my teeth. I sucked on the fat and licked my plate. Afterwards I even wiped my face with some dirty laundry. Mom would be proud.

I slept well for the first night in a week.
10:28 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

To Spite My Face

I was ticked off last night. I had nothing exciting to accomplish so I flipped on the television to see if any movies were playing. (Shut up, I know.) So there I am watching The Animal starring Rob Schneider (Shut up, I know.) when I'm offered a pork chop by one of my roomates. Shit yeah.

As I'm accepting my chop she berates me for my poor dedication to dishwashing. I was not having this. I wash my dishes with stunning regularity and rarely have more than one pan and one plate in our chipped yellow double basin. I am certainly the only one who washes the utensils when I do all the dishes, which is twice a month on average. She likes to marinate them in Comet so they'll be pure for the rapture.

I know I'm right because I'm the only employed member of the household and I often don't eat at home for days at a stretch. The other roomie keeps his dishes in his room for science. When he escorts them out to the kitchen shortly before they evolve into skin-melting bacterias, he leaves them on the counter, not in the sink.

That leaves her. After some verbal combat she backed off. I'll spare you the mundane drama. I decided to do all the dishes and to go buy plastic for myself. Let them choke on mold spores and try to blame me. I'll show them. There will be no way to blame me for the garlic mushroom sludge thickening into goopy little puddles, attaching fork to saucer like superglue.

So I'm almost finished when a whispered moaning emits from the right drain. Then comes a soft gurgle like an ebola victim's last wet breath. My nose twitches. The signals reach my brain. I realize that my nose is under assault. Somehow the contents of the dumpster at the abortion clinic got mashed into jelly and pumped down my sink. Two weeks ago. That ain't fresh dead baby. I choke.

Time for action. I look under the sink. We have plastic pipes, so Draino and bleach are not options. These pipes are leaking into a plastic tray full of candlesticks, cupboard handles, cardboard, and empty freeze-dried coffee jars.

I let the water in the sink go down. This takes a while. I unscrew the threaded gaskets and take the pipes down. Thick black and grey sludge (chopped eel?) spews forth with a Heimlich maneuver POP! and splashes clumsily onto everything under the sink, which naturally I'd neglected to remove before I started this ill-advised exploration. Now it smells like a full port-a-potty on a very hot, humid summer day.

It was so ugly I almost found religion to get me through the cleanup and pipe flushing. Just kidding. Jesus wouldn't go near that crud. I spent the better part of an hour cleaning up the mess while the dish berater asked me to save things that were covered in black filth she thought might be battery acid. I often refused and chucked the item anyways. She thanked me at the end and we're cool now.

My brain was so badly damaged through my nose that I watched basketball and ate carrots before going to sleep.

10:02 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Monday, February 07, 2005

Carbomb Derby

Have you ever slammed your finger in a door because it felt good when you stopped?

I watch television occasionally. Usually just movies and sporting events. Invariably my brain is slow cooked like those nasty looking burger stix on rollers at 7-11. The ones that look like poop rolled in corn flour. This pollution of my synapses is caused by the demon named Advertising.

It's time for a message from our sponsors. Fuck, I hate commercials.

Do I want a tempur-pedic mattress or a sleep number bed? Will my decision impact my life? Maybe I should get a mattress that motors into a chair so that I can live on it forever and have that Peapod service deliver my groceries. I'll get a clapper for the lights. I'll hire a nurse to empty my bedpan. I could skip the bedpan idea and get a vacuum instead and poop into the tube. I'll finance it all by inviting cameras into my bedroom to watch me bloat. Reality! I'll watch myself on TV. The series finale will show some mischievous soul pop me with a tent stake. Guts will drip onto the light bulbs and sizzle there while the credits roll.

Whew, the matress commerical is over. Everything is back to normal now and I am a sane man. What's this? Why, it's a commercial inviting me to feed a third world child and teach him that Jesus loves him.

These small brown children have large eyes with flies crawling in them. Nibbling on the salty mucoid material welling up at the tear ducts. I can buy a child for 17 cents a day, the same as a cup of coffee. Wait, where can I get coffee for 17 cents? Did they say sponsor a child or buy a child? My kid will arrive in two weeks? Oh, my kit. Not kid. Enunciate your words, asshole spokesman. I thought I was seeing an honest to christ tsunami sex ring for pedophiles advertising on A&E. It's already bad enough that you're trying to grab me by the heartstrings and tug violently enough to leave me with a gaping chest cavity, but you're also insinuating that these withered little bags of flesh are for sale. It's disturbing and it's ruining my dinner.

Thankfully that one ended. I've never seen bigger shinier eyes in my whole life and I found it creepy. Eyes that said "If you don't send me $5 and a box of crayons I'm going to get plowed into this latrine ditch by a bulldozer tomorrow." So what's the next ad? I really just want to watch the ending of Chocolat so I can go to bed. Is that Frodo on a pirate ship? He sure has gotten taller. Oh, it's Jeff Gordon from Pepsi and the North American Stock Car Asshole Racers. What's with the scimitar?

I don't believe for one second that a racecar driver is a gladiator stabbing pirates on the deck of a boat. Bad metaphor, bad cliche, bad advertisement for the Daytona 500. Here's my ad, and my insight into gearhead culture. They should have the driver stick his finger in the electrical outlet and shudder until he comes in his overalls and then collapses, dead and steaming.

That's not a swagger when those car drivers get out after the victory lap. That's exhaustion. They can barely stand up. You see, they sweat a lot sitting in those bucket seats. Their asscracks get swampy and greasy. With all that vibration, they're probably friction burning the asscrack skin right off. I'll bet they can't shit without a turkey baster full of baby oil. That southern drawl in their voice is actually slurring from prescription painkillers. They probably have to go to the pit stop just to fart.

Baseball season is starting soon. All the ads will be for airplanes, beer, and car insurance and the world might seem normal again. I need to stay away from the idiot box until then.
4:30 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Come And Get Me Neil, I Dare You

3:34 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Evidence

Ah, the marvels of modern technology. Last Saturday night:



My one true love.


What?


Look the other way, idiot!


Neil Young.
1:51 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Tin Soldiers / Four Dead

I went to a birthday party on the south side on Saturday night and got nicely saucy. I took it slow and managed to avoid combining vodka and keg beer, my surefire downfall of late. There was a big unwashed crankypants wearing a black and green Ohio hoodie trudging about the party looking like somebody had shat on his waffles that morning. When we met by chance at the keg, I asked him if he'd attended a school in that state.

"No, this was five dollars."

Even though I had the answer, I decided it would be clever to ask him if he listens to Neil Young. I should've assumed that he'd be a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan that took "Southern Man" personally. As it turns out he had no idea who Neil Young is and had never heard "Ohio." So naturally I took to calling him Neil Young for the rest of the evening. I wasn't trying to be an asshole, but I was a little too pleased by my inside joke. He scowled and eventually began calling me inaccurate racial slurs. I apologized and asked his name. His response was to knock my beer from my hands.

I really wanted to violently assault him, but the host yanked me from Neil's sight. I managed to stay away from the fat fuck for almost an hour. At this point my buzz had begun to overcome logic and reason. My compadres all asked me to kindly restrain myself and be the bigger man, not to fight, and not to provoke. I did manage that but I was not willing to banish myself to one room to avoid Neil. I roamed freely and glared at the shitball whenever he came into radar range. He continued to avoid my gaze and kept his lumpy potato ass in motion. He never stood still.

Strangly enough his brother shares my name, Steve. He said that "Neil" usually isn't such a bastard. I thanked him for being cool about the situation and said that I hoped we wouldn't end up on opposite sides of a rumble. He agreed.

On the way home I had bad gas. I almost euthanized my fellow passengers. I couldn't hold those beauties in. To my credit, I rolled down my window and invited them to do the same. Sorry you guys. MGD can do that.

We were going to have a nice little morning bender at the former roomie's house, but I couldn't breathe the air due to the ferret musk. Usually it's just a bad smell for me endure, but this time my windpipe clenched tight and I felt as if I were breathing through a straw. I went outside and was told to stop being a baby. It was a fair comment, since my disdain for his pets is well known. In this case I wasn't having a drunken hissyfit, I was experiencing a genuine allergic reaction. Oh well. Finally I left and got home to crash. Merciful sleep.
9:16 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Friday, February 04, 2005

Napalm Breakfast

I drank too much last night. On an empty stomach. Now I want to kill people. Starting with every single driver on the road this morning. A special heartfelt FUCK YOU goes out to the fuckstain next to the Pace bus going ten under the limit. Between you and the bus you wasted at least ten minutes of my time. Next comes the fuckdiddle on Schaumburg road driving in two lanes. One per person. Next time you do that I will run you off the road into that unemployed schoolteacher letting her poodle crap at the bus stop. I hate everything. I wanna go back to sleep.

Also, to you fiber starved restaurant owners: Stop complaining to me about things your managers broke. You still have to pay for it. If you don't cut it out I'll pour gatorade in your electrical outlets and choke you with microwave pork rinds.
10:11 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Thursday, February 03, 2005

Chemlawn For The Soul

My favorite internet writer has returned after a lengthy hiatus. You can go read at:

http://blindwino.com/driver.html

More recent stuff is on the blindwino front page, but you should start there, in his gargantuan archive. I bought his book and it kicked my ass into a square. He even wrote "Steve, Crucify The Retarded!" on the title page for me.

Thanks to people posting links to me. All this attention is making my eyes bleed, but in a good way. Kae Williams, ManNMotion, Anastacia, Wyatt Junker, TBlue, thanks you guys. I don't blogroll on my sidebar (I'll figure that out later) so this is the best I can do in return.

http://fishgrease.blogspot.com (Kae)
http://mannmotion.blogspot.com
http://cancer69.blogspot.com (Anastacia)
http://wyattjunker.blogspot.com
http://www.superbadass.net/blog (TBlue)

I read a shitload of blogs to help me slack off all day. I find them by using the next blog button, clicking on items in my profile to see who else chose them, or through http://www.chicagoblogmap.com

http://atomicblueblog.blogspot.com
http://bitterwithbaggage.blogspot.com
http://bookfraud.blogspot.com
http://normallysober.blogspot.com
http://humanwrites.blogspot.com
http://iswutitis.blogspot.com
http://nobcentral.blogspot.com
http://mikepascoe.blogspot.com
http://urbanroadkill.blogspot.com
http://whitehelmet.diaryland.com
http://monstersarcasmrally.blogspot.com
http://tenthousanddays.blogspot.com
http://angryjohnsellers.blogspot.com
http://anduttermadness.blogspot.com
http://69.36.7.217/blog/cab.html
http://brycew.blogspot.com
http://whyrureadingthis.blogspot.com
http://anewwordforfast.blogspot.com
http://jpchunderbutt.blogspot.com
http://bugsbutt.blogspot.com
http://tillzero.blogspot.com
http://serialkillersandpornos.blogspot.com
http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter
http://smartypants.diaryland.com
http://sevenseventhree.blogspot.com
http://profiq.blogspot.com
http://hellomuffincakes.blogspot.com


Chicago photoblogs I like:
http://www.jamas.org
http://www.exposingmyself.net

Do me a favor and post your favorites, or even your writing, in my comments here. I need more entertainment. When work is slow I find myself visitng the same sites two and three times a day hoping desperately for new entries.

6:39 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Tract Pull

Last night I navigated a gauntlet of pickle sucking hobos to reach a fast food joint at Western & Milwaukee. They each wanted a miniscule chunk of my meager income so that they, too, could bask in the glory of .49/.59 burger day. I hate McD's food, but those prices are cheap enough that I cheerfully discard my moral outrage and highbrow disdain for their soggy food product. Actually I still avoid them but I had to go there to install security cameras anyways, so I ate some cheeseburgers. I insisted upon my condiments. They tried to charge me .50 for lettuce. As a contractor I was able to namecheck the owner and the flustered immigrant quickly acquiesced.

Later that evening I got to stand on the roof. That's my favorite thing about this job, standing on roofs and watching the flurries of human activity on the snowy city streets below.

It was just past midnight. I was watching people walk down stairs from the El platform when my phone rang loudly. I was startled and nearly slipped on a patch of ice. That would've resulted in me getting a bloody ride down the sloped red roof and down into the back seat of some hapless drive-thru customer. I steadied myself.

It was the third call of the day from the former roomie. No mentions of airplane tickets or corpses this time. Not exactly. He wanted me to help him carry somebody up three flights of stairs.

"If he's dead, just put him in the van."

"Ha ha, Steve. He's drunk, he puked in my car and on my sidewalk. It's too cold outside to leave him in my car."

I wasn't done working so he had to loiter for a while. By the time I arrived I needed to shit very badly. He was drunk, although not so severely as his snoring friend. He couldn't understand that I'd be unable to help carry a 200 pound person if I had ploppy splashes of diarrhea cascading down my legs, eternally staining my white pants. I yelled until he finally let me in.

"I shit here on the stoop or up there, but either way Shawn is not getting carried up until I vacate my bowels! Urrggh! Now!"

That'll teach me to eat at McD's. I made it to the toilet in time. The cats were unable to exit the bathroom fast enough and were trapped in there when I closed the door. They left scratch marks on the door.
1:55 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Corpse Putrefaction Calculations

My former roomie called twice today. He wanted some free plane tickets the first time. I won them almost a year ago from WMVP ESPN 1000 AM here in Chicago. I have to use both round trip tickets by the beginning of March, and I have no money for vacation. So I've been offering them around to family members, friends, and other assorted malcontents. People are shocked when I tell them that I will send them and a friend anywhere in the continental 48 states for free. Round trip. They twitch their heads like aliens have just failed to broadcast backwards Latin limericks into their heads. They gaze, empty and dreamy, until the flint sparks and their headlights resume shining. They wake and ask me "Did you just try to give me plane tickets?"

"Why yes, I did."

"Oh." Back they go to the faraway place, dreaming of sunny beaches and drunken spring break college girls. I go find alcohol and the strange offering is quickly forgotten. This has been going on for two weeks now. Finally I might have a taker.

He called me again two hours later to tell me to look for his street on the news tonight. It was my turn to go zombie. "Wait, what the fuck did you say, and why?"

"They found a dead body in a van outside my apartment. It's been there for two weeks. I guess some lady called the cops."

"Cool! Did you talk to reporters? Did you tell them he seemed normal, kept to himself, was friendly, you know, the usual garbage that attention whores spew out for the chance to see their mugs on TV? How did that neighbor lady know there was a corpse in there? Did she just call it in for a parking violation, and the body tumbled out when the tow truck tipped the van? Or did she smell it? Did YOU smell it? Was there a cascading waterfall of tiny maggots splashing out of the undercarriage and flowing in a bubbly twitching stream towards the nearest sewer grate? Tell me tell me tell me!"

He couldn't answer any of the questions. I was disappointed. He even avoided the cops because he loathes being questioned by them. I wanted all the gory details.

Everybody at work is disgusted with me because I think this is cool. They think I'm supposed to feel sorry and behave with suitable solemnity in respect for the dead.
3:34 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Plastic Saturns vs. Dashboard Daisies

So where is this elusive J.D. Power, and who are his associates?

I've always wanted a position of authority from which I could nobly proclaim authoritative declarations into echoing chambers. My word would be gold. I could say that your pizza shop makes the best midsize luxury pepperoni panzerotti in five counties, and people would order them freeze-dried to preserve for future generations.

I'm not talking about a position as a quote whore. I won't be spewing out movie review crap for box covers. I won't be Joel Siegel from Good Morning America. It's apparent to me that all you have to do with him is pop a quarter in, turn the crank, and instantly receive a "Stunning dramatic intensity!" or "Sheer comedic genius!" I don't watch morning shows because I work and generally hate television programming anyways, but I know Mr. Siegel because his defecation is splattered on the packaging of every DVD I've ever bought. Something like 100. That goes for Peter Travers from Rolling Stone, too.

So. Back to J.D Power. I know what his awards looks like. They're regularly featured in car commericals, and they're shown over a white background, as if they are magical awards that can only be viewed in an alternate reality void. I know that J.D. doesn't just hand out awards, he goes so far as to rank the cars on lists. He is always mentioned with reverence and pride, as if he's the automotive Jesus.

I don't buy it. I think Power is a jittery cokehead with a messiah complex. There's no way he was born with that name. He picked it out of a pro wresting merchandise catalog. J.D. probably stands for Jack Daniels and he thought this up one night after peeing his pants.

Since the car companies will do anything to sell cars, they'd probably take an award if I sent it to them. Watch your screens. Coming soon: car ads boasting that their vehicle won the "Rocket Fire Nader Award for Best Funeral Economy."
10:17 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Pants On Fire

I decided to share my creative writing project with a couple friends. About a week ago I started posting my recent rambles onto our mutual mailing list.

Now they are all chasing me with rope, pitchforks, and torches. If you see any spelling errors, blame them on me for typing while running. (TWR) I'm a big fan of hyperbole, while they're big fans of peace, love, unity, and respect. (PLUR) It seems I've peed on the disco ball and pooped on the turntables. I have committed a grave sin by declaring dancers to be epileptics. They are, in fact, people "expressing themselves" and "getting down and having a time, yo." So I'm a big asshole for failing to do the whole ritalin victim thing and having the gall to mention it in public.

Hold it, wait a second. I thought I was the uptight guy. Reflecting back, it's not I. It is they that are taking themselves too seriously. In fact, I'm quick to skewer myself. I'll douse myself in gasoline and let people throw matches if I think they'll enjoy it. That's one way to get me dancing.

So, ravers and clubbers, I call upon you to thicken your hides. Don't be so sensitive about the ways you have fun. I'm not attacking you. I'm just having fun in my own sarcastic way. Keep up the do-si-dos and the pirouettes and I'll keep making ridiculous pronouncements.

Get mad at the government, not me. I can't hurt you.
4:24 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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stg-shark