Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Surprisingly, While Playing With Fire, Someone Almost Dies

Growing up in the woods, it was my job to come home from school and build a fire to warm the house in the winter.

Here's some tips for potential parents: 1) don't leave your kid to his/her own devices after school. Studies show that latchkey kids have troubles later in life; and, 2) Don't leave an unsupervised kid in charge of FIRE.

The only other kid in the neighborhood was Mike. Since we were the only boys in the same grade, it was pretty much a given that we had to be best friends. We were able to get into some pretty good trouble together.

Once we stole a bottle of whiskey from his dad's cabinet and took it, along with our friend Jon, out into the woods one afternoon to drink it. Splotchy snow still lay on the early spring ground. Walking along a familiar path and drinking the hooch, we happened upon a small pond still frozen from the winter. Mike and I, being fairly diminutive, ran out onto the ice with the bottle. Jon, who at 11 years old had been 6' tall and close to 200 pounds, was wisely hesitant to follow us onto the weakened ice. Mike and I walked the the far side of the ice and commenced drinking. As soon as Jon circled his way around, we would walk over to the other side, much to his chagrin.

Jon was afraid of falling through the ice. Not that he could have fallen through and drown. It was really more of a large puddle, perhaps four feet deep at the center. He just had enough sense to know that hypothermia was a pretty significant buzz-kill.

As I stood in the middle of the ice, laughing at the silliness of it all, my right leg gave out from under me. Or, more precisely, the ice gave way under my weight. I sank to my knee in freezing, fetid swamp water.

"Oh shit!" I yelled, as I scrambled to pull my leg out. The pressure put down by my left foot trying to free my right was enough to shatter the ice under it, plunging my left leg in over the knee. The harder I fought, the more ice gave way, and the harder Mike and Jon laughed. I was finally able to fish myself out, soaked to the waist and stinking of filthy pond water.

Suddenly very sober, I realized that I had to get warm. Fast. The two miles to my house was a long, long walk. Soon enough, my wet jeans froze solid. Trying to walk without bending my knees must have been an hilarious site. I wasn't laughing though. I was cold like I'd never felt, and scared of hypothermia.

My drunken friends laughing at me didn't help matters much.

I made it home. I stood by the fireplace, but had to cut my shoes off, as the laces had frozen tight. I peeled the stiff jeans off my cold blue legs and left them to defrost where they fell, and quickly made my way to a warm bath to try to get feeling back into my legs.

I survived, even though I missed Jon getting sick and puking int he middle of the street. (Jon always had a weak stomach, and it never failed to get a hearty laugh from me.)

But that's not the story I wanted to tell.

This one involves fire, not ice.

As stated before, my daily chore was to make fire. Since my task involved making and maintaining fire, I figured that playing in the fire was a perk of the job. One day while hanging in unsupervised, albeit cold bliss, Mike and I discovered a way to project lit matches at a pretty good distance.

How to describe this? Hold a book of matches in your left hand, palm down, with the striker facing down as well. Hold the tip of a match on the tip of your right index finger and place it against the striker. In a brisk motion, run your index finger along the striker, sparking the match while simultaneously thrusting it away from the body. It flies a pretty impressive distance.

So, Mike and I discovered the way to project fiery matches at one another. And oh what a laugh we had doing it. Match fights! One match fight was truly epic in scope, and went on for hours in the basement after we had gotten the fire rolling.

My parents arrived home to find the floor littered with a blanket of burnt matches. They were nonplussed. Imagine working so hard to raise a family and buy a house for them to live in only to come home one day and find that one of your progeny, through sheer stupidity, could have burned it all to the ground. It was about this time that Mike remembered he was late for dinner and beat a hasty retreat.

I should have learned a lesson. Scratch that, I should have had a lesson beaten into me. But it was not to be. I'm sure I got the "Not mad, but disappointed" routine. I'm sure I put on my poutiest pout and my most puppy-eyed eyes. I don't think any grounding or corporal punishment came from it.

Which is probably why this next bit came about.

One afternoon while finding ways to entertain ourselves with fire, Mike and I discovered the cabinet under the sink full of aerosol cans. Furniture polish, glass cleaner, bug spray. It was all flammable, and all ours! Oh joy of joys! The mischief in our eyes must have been ablaze! Quickly we scooped up cans into our arms, hustling off to the wood stove like looters.

Imagine if you will our delight as the first can we tried, spraying into the fire, erupted in orange and yellow flames. We would start our improvised flame-throwers in the fire and draw them out, howling as we waved the raging flames in the air.

Perhaps it was the giddy delight of a budding pyromaniac. Perhaps it was inhaling far too many fumes. Eventually it turned disastrous.

Mike grabbed an extra large can of Raid bug spray. In my memory, the can is dark purple, with yellow letters. He holds it toward the fire, his finger on the trigger, his excitement eclipsing his good judgment, he doesn't realize that he had the nozzle pointed backwards. He presses down with destructive glee, and instead of seeing yellow fire blasting from his hands, he sees nothing, because he has sprayed poisonous bug-killer into his face, his mouth, his eyes.

He dropped the can while shrieking in pain and surprise. "Ahh! Oh! Oh shit! Ooooh!!" He howls, spitting, eyes clenched.

This has somehow gone horribly awry. Imagine that. I dropped the can of furniture polish in my hand and tried to steady Mike. I led him, blind, through the house to the bathroom upstairs, where I pushed his head under the faucet, splashing water into his face, yelling at him to keep his eyes open under the water.

He survived. We still played with the aerosol cans in the fire, but warily. We made damn sure that the nozzle was facing the right way.

But even that isn't the ultimate story I want to tell.

Not long after the bug-spray-in-the-face incident, Mike got shipped off to Montana to live with his mom. I don't remember the circumstances that led up to his moving, just that I was losing an old friend. This was before the Internet, so keeping in touch was a challenge, and eventually became impossible. Diminishing returns, I suppose. We eventually lost touch.

Until 12 years later.

My parents were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, and I had borrowed my roommates car to attend the celebration. I made a solemn promise to check the oil diligently and add more as needed, which was almost certain. After leaving the party, I rolled into one of two gas stations in town to fill up with gas. After checking the oil, I walked around the back of the car to pay, only to run into Mike, standing there smoking a cigarette. I stopped short and almost fell backwards against the car.

"I thought that was you," he said, "Wish I'd known you'd be stopping by, I woulda saved that joint."

Through some cosmic misstep, he had landed back east, working the late shift at a gas station, and I had happened to come by with a dry tank. What the fuck was this? It was like seeing a ghost. We talked for a while, each of us with a quizzical look on our faces. For my part, I had thought I'd never see him again. And here he was, smoking a butt.

We exchanged numbers. Since he was in the area, and I wasn't too far away, we made a promise to meet up and reacquaint ourselves. I drove away with my head and hands shaking. "That was fucking surreal," I kept saying to myself. In my amazement, I had forgotten to latch the hood of the car, and had to make an emergency pull off when it threatened to flip up at highway speed.

Weeks pass. We lose touch again. I remembered laying in bed with my girlfriend, telling her about how I had lost my dear friend for a second time. He had died twice.

The very next night, she and I were sitting around trying to figure out what we were to do with our Friday night, when the phone rings:

"Hey it's Mike. I'm gonna be passing through town in about an hour. Wanna hang for a bit?"

This guy really has a flair for the dramatic, I thought. Of course I wanted to hang out. I brought my girlfriend out to meet my old friend. We settled in to a table at a local bar. Eventually we started telling Jill stories about growing up, until Mike dropped this little ditty:

"Yeah, we were messing around in the fire one day, and Brandon sprayed bug spray right in his eyes..."

I leaped to my feet, the chair falling behind me, my finger outstretched, pointing right between his eyes.

"YOU SON OF A BITCH!" I bellowed, as heads swiveled to look our way, "That was you! How long have you been telling that story?!"

Mike had gotten it backward. Maybe because it made for a better story. Who wants to relay a tale of one's own misfortunes? I was so angry at him. Even after convincing him that, yes, it really was him and not me who ate bug spray, I stayed agitated and slightly hostile. I made him promise to make it right to me by correcting himself to anyone who had heard that story. Who knows if he ever did it.

Monday, December 27, 2010


The Quintessential _____ Album Is...
September 9, 2010 5:45 PM RSS feed for this thread Subscribe
Name a genre. Name its quintessential album. That's it.

I am a paramedic and I occasionally do long distance patient transfers in an ambulance. I'd like to ask my patients what their musical preferences are for the drive (and, of course, whether or not they care for music at all). But my iPod lacks many genres, so I'd like to fill it with a decent representative album from each. Help me help my patients!


it took a long time to come up with it

the "jon's erotic massage mix" story has had a good deal of mileage round these parts

thank you for sharing

You're welcome.

I almost called you while I was in the store. Figured me telling the story would clear my name.

you coulda put me on w the tech

So you could tell him we shared a "moment"?

a special one

that inspired me to make a list of songs

tender songs

If he wasn't completely uncomfortable before....


i'm saying:

it's his job to stand there

why not craft a good storry for him?

He had plenty of fodder with the disc alone.

[when i initially typed that, i wrote it 3x as " a goo d story" even funnier]


theater of the mind, man

Go rent Gonzo: The Life and Work of HST. Just watched it.

did wee watch this at my place?

That was Breakfast with Hunter. This covers his whole career.

Well, most of it.

check this: thinking about my answers:


have you read/seen the book GONZO


No I haven't.

The album thing is so subjective. Even the "genres" are questionable. How many different kinds of Metal can there really be?

i like how it's free form

like free jazz

but less irritating

might make for a blog post

Is there a football game on?


the 1st of the season

truth be told i'm pretty bored

listening to Abbey Road


Ahhh. Was going to look for the game. Been poking around netflix.


it IS a good game

i just dont care

farve is a definite hall of famer

I haven't really paid attention for years.


a bunch of guys in tight pants

"touching" one another

reggarding rules that make little sense to anyone

for 60 minutes

which translates to 4 hours

of commercials selling


boner drugs

and lipitor

= football

It's fun to

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'd Hate To Be A Blogger In Philly Tonight

It's not always sunny in Philadelphia. Especially if you are a blogger.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Milkshakes Brings All The Gay Boys To The Yard

I don't know what it is about this little web-diary I have here. Somehow it fills a niche for a number of fellas looking for man-love.

Here is an abbreviated list of search terms that have led hapless visitors to the blog:

"Huge Dudes"



"smooth sexy puke"

"maine law cases taco neck and shoulder"

"puked on me"

"Dude Does College Roommate"

"boys peeing"

"i just peed my sleeping bag"

"metal retardation stories"

"dude eating corn at dunkin donuts"

"Coin-Op Shower camping condom story"

"greg hawkes hot nerd"

"boys peeing"

"hot dude rubs one"

"duded rubbing dudes"

Let it just be said that I heart the internet more than anything ever forever.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Negligent Blogging At Its Finest

Has it really been over six weeks since I've written anything? Man! I'm the worst blogger ever. And that's not easy. I've got some stories to tell, some updates to make, but there is a delicate matter of some timing on a couple of these... A few things need to pan out, fall into place, and then I can bless you all with the gritty details.

Gritty, sexy, buttery details.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Phony Band Names

One of the best things about trying to form a band is coming up with a name for your new outfit. How can you convey the message, the essence of your band in just a few characters? Sex Pistols. Minor Threat. Abba. These names tell you right up front what is about to be blasted from the speakers. It's an art, really, finding a perfect circle. I mean, match.

I've long since given up on playing music, though I love it dearly. But I still like coming up with band names. So here are some imaginary bands I've played air-drums in:

The Sweaty Bridesmaids

May Babies

The Greasy Pelican

Kung Fu Sally

Black Seagulls

Little Yarmulke

Sturm Und Drang

Vuvuzela Rhapsody

Horndog Waggle


Picture Perfect Cunt

This Is Not A Fugazi Tshirt Band

Captain Organ

Sell Me A Car, Commercial

Desktop Microphone

Coffee Shop Laptop Writer

Honey Suck It

My Phone Says A Lot About Me

Mini Skort

Sex Pistils

Iraq Band (get it?!?)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How To: The Phone And Poop

I was recently on the phone with Kung Fu Sally, babbling away when she interjected.

"Can I call you right back?"

"Sure. Everything OK?"

"Yeah, I gotta use the potty."

I couldn't understand this. I didn't mind if she used the facilities while I was on the phone. Everybody poops, right? I do. I told her she should just do it, but she was too self-conscious. I told her if she hadn't said anything and just went ahead I never would have noticed.

"Have you ever used the can while we were talking?" She asked.

Of course I had. I had used it twice while we were in the midst of our present conversation. She was nonplussed. I didn't understand this.

A little history:

Years ago I had a roommate who shall remain nameless until my legal department clears the permits. For now, let's call him Adam.

Adam had no problem with many things about the phone. He was the only person I've ever met who would hit the bong and THEN call his parents. Astounding. And he had no problem talking away while dropping a deuce.

The One Flaw in his plan was the flushing part. He couldn't do it. His plan was to poop on the phone*, walk away, then return to dispose of the evidence after the call had wrapped up. The swirling waters were just too loud and would expose his guilt and shame to the person on the other end of the line, or so the logic went.

The problem then, was perhaps the chemically-induced short-term memory loss: He would stand up, buckle up, drop the seat and walk away, only to forget to come back later finish the deed.

And here's where I came in. Or rather, later, I would get home and go into the head to make a tinkle only to raise the seat and be clubbed over the head with Adam's Log.


And, guys, it happened a LOT. The sound of me yelling, in guttural tones would become commonplace. "AAddAAAAMMMMM!!!!" He would come running, red-faced and apologizing. I'd make him flush, trying to shame him into remembering, but it was for naught. He would still leave a Bowl Baby. Eventually, a part of me began to wonder if he was doing it on purpose. I would greet a lowered seat with suspicion. I know there's a Brown Trap waiting in there.

As the adage goes, if you can't beat em, join em. I set about to improve the method.

I eventually invented THE PHONE AND POOP.

The Phone and Poop is pretty easy, actually. You just gotta relax. But you gotta sell it, dammit! You gotta be all DeNiro on the can. You have to believe you can pull it off.

Any incriminating noises will be greeted by you with ignorance. When your friend on the other end of the line asks, "What was that?", you act like you didn't hear a damn thing. You are sitting stock-still in an empty room. You don't have biology. What is indoor plumbing? Sell it. Method acting. What was that sound? You're putting a pot back in the cabinet. That's what you are doing. You are simply folding an old newspaper. You dropped a phone book on the carpet.

Whatever you do, do not admit to the deed! Admitting your actions will only cast you in a suspicious light to the other person FOREVER. And word gets around. If you own up, you could soon be known all over town as a phone pooper. It's okay to be a phone pooper, so long as you are stealthy about it. Think about it like being a secret-agent. What spy is going to walk around blabbing that he's a spy? See? Mum is the word.

Now that we have some of the basics down, let's get into The Phone and Poop 201: The logistics. Tidying up is pretty easy. You only need one hand to take care of that, so we'll skip ahead to the next part: The Hoisting the Trousers. (The Phone and Poop is yet another example of how pants are simply a hindrance and a nuisance.) Hoisting the Trousers takes some coordination. You first have to master the hold-the-phone-to-your-head-with-your-shoulder maneuver, also known as Taco Neck.

And now to make your escape. This is the most difficult part. First, the prep work: Close the lid, open the door, and while standing as far away as possible, hit the lever and BOOGIE out the door. Flee the scene.

But there's more to it than that. First, cover the microphone of your phone. On some of today's cell phones, this can be done with a single finger, if you can find the thing at all.

Secondly, and this is the essence of the Phone and Poop: You gotta get the person on the other end of the phone to be doing most of the talking. This might require some time-management on your part. You have to be thinking ahead and plant this seed in advance. The best topics for this are hot-button issues. Is the person a democrat? Tell them Glenn Beck raises some valid points that are not ridiculous at all. Republican? Ask them "So, that Obama, kicking ass, right?" If it is a woman with a small child, ask her what being pregnant was like. Pet owner? Ask them what the cutest thing their dog/cat/ferret/etc ever did. Or, go for shock value. If your partner in conversation is Catholic, offer to tell them how much money you just donated to Planned Parenthood. Tell your girlfriend you'd like a sandwich with your blow job. Tell your boyfriend that a large penis is not that important to you. This is your chance to get creative! Make the Phone and Poop your own. Make it work for YOU.

But be warned! You may get more than you bargained for with this last bit. Don't raise some issue that is going to give you more trouble than it is worth. Make sure you are able to extricate yourself from the conversation with grace and tact. Don't make enemies. Use the Phone and Poop for good, not evil.

You're welcome, America.

*meaning, poop while on the phone, not actually poop ON the phone.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

All My Friends

Below is a metaphor for all my amazing friends. That's me upside down.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Praise And Adulation

After a rather difficult week I am heartened to report that some very generous people have come forward and shown me that there is in fact some good left in this world, and they have convinced me not to turn into the full-fledged curmudgeon that I was well on the way to becoming.

Herein, I would like to say a few words about the folks who have helped to restore my faith in the goodness of humanity. In chronological order:

John Stephens. I met John many years ago when we were both coffee jockeys at a cafe on Newbury street. What I didn't know at first was that he was playing in what would become, in my mind, one of the most amazing live bands to play in Boston. The Vehicle Birth was rather short lived, and could put on some of the most absolutely incendiary performances I have ever witnessed, driven often by the unbelievable bass played by John. I remember once at a show, a mutual friend Tyler nudging me, and, motioning to John, during the opening of the song "Sideshow," shaking his head and saying, "The solid brass Balls on this guy..." He was right. John now lives in Brooklyn with his lovely wife. Thanks, John for your generosity. You really helped to cheer me up when I was pretty far down.

Lisa and Dave Simons. I think I met these guys at about the same time I knew John. I met Lisa through another friend at the cafe, and Dave through Lisa. They were installing a mural at what was once the greatest rock club in Boston, The Rat. Invariably, when we get together now, at some point we will lament how old we are and how much we miss that place. I once dogsat Shelby, Lisa's tiny dog for a weekend, and that dog destroyed everything in its vicinity, howling with rage at the abandonment. For some reason, I didn't tell Lisa about it for years. I still don't understand that. Lisa is now the Creative Director at Health Talker, a word of mouth ad agency. Thanks so much you guys for your kindness.

Becky Birnholz. Becky is easily the sweetest, most giving person I have ever had the pleasure to meet. (Sorry, rest of yous!) Not only are we friends, we're also neighbors, so I often have the serendipitous occasion to run into her randomly around the 'hood. She's an apparel design grad from RISD, and I'm looking forward to some roof deck movie nights at her gorgeous apartment this summer. Thanks Becky! You know how to make a fella feel special.

Jane Eisensmith. I met Jane in college at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. A friend of a friend, I was told "You should meet my friend Jane, you would really like her," which was absolutely true. Jane is one of the good ones, people, and I'm grateful for her friendship. She recently became a mom. I know all babies are at least kinda cute, but James is ridiculously cute. The kid is a cute factory. If cuteness was a river, this kid would be flooding his banks.

See? Thanks Jane! You're the best. And Dan's recent story about the dude eating corn on the cob in line at the Dunkin Donuts has had me laughing for three days now. Pass that along for me, k?

Melody Norton. I've known Melody longer than anyone on this list. We met in sixth grade, and have been good friends since. Growing up together, we had ample opportunity to get into a lot of trouble together. A lot. But it was all of the harmless adolescent type, and we both made it through unscathed. We used to play music together in high school, and she won't hesitate to pull out the video of our performance at a talent show, in which I've got ridiculously long hair and an equally awful outfit. She lives near a zoo in York Beach Maine where she says she can hear the lions in the morning with her husband Rusty, their awesome golden retriever, and one of the biggest horses I have ever seen in my life. Thanks Mel! We've been friends this long for a reason.

Jeremy Majewski. Jeremy and I went to college together but only became friends much later through mutual friends. A renaissance man, Jer continually amazes me with the amount of things he is good at. Baking? Gardening? Cycling? Playing the banjo? Yep. Jer does it. Jeremy also is the anchor to our bowling team The Thunderballs. He's also a very talented illustrator. Check out his website. Thanks Jeremy!

I'm still taking donations here, so if you're feeling generous, have a look. You can also be enshrined in the pantheon of the kind friends of mine here at ThatDude. Thanks again everybody, and be good to one another.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hat In Hand

I suppose I should be grateful. I've lived in the city almost 18 years, and this is the first time something truly bad has happened to me. Every time I would hear about a friend or even a stranger getting mugged, robbed, car broken into, I'd think about my good luck. But the pessimist in me would be thinking that my time was coming.

Well, that time has arrived.

My apartment was broken into on Friday while I was at work being a productive member of society. He/they stole my laptop, my digital camera, and some prescription drugs that I was really looking forward to using in a recreational manner this weekend. He/they destroyed some stuff that has huge emotional weight with me and zero financial meaning to anyone.

I'm sad. Hurt. Bewildered and paranoid. Last night involved a weird kind of nesting involving throwing things away that is a little disconcerting and confusing to me.

There are some humorous bits, like me buying new locks and promptly locking myself out. That's a story for another time though. It's easy for me to write about something that I find amusing, in which I usually do something stupid. The painful stuff is very, very difficult to write about.

I don't earn a ton of money, so replacing the stuff is going to be a burden. My friend Amy suggested Chipin.com to me, and that's the ultimate push of this post.

Didn't think there would be a sales pitch, didja?

Begging doesn't come easy to me, and this is all a little embarrassing to me. But if you find yourself with a dollar or two to spare, I hope you'd consider sliding them my way. I will replace my laptop, and I'll even write a post in which I praise your virtue and general awesomeness if you would like.

I'll fill in details about the incident when I'm able to sort them out properly in my head. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and take care of one another.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Future Is Now!

Ladies and gentlemen, the future is now here at ThatDude! I have in my hands a shiny new toy that has held my undivided attention since Friday afternoon. My new smartphone will allow for mobile posts and up-to-the-minute news of the pointless minutiae of my existence. Look forward to many poorly spelled additions in the coming days!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Smooth Move, Polyester Slacks

Spring of 1982. The big All-School Rollerskating Day was coming up. Once a year my elementary school would rent out the local skating rink and have a Saturday afternoon of wholesome family fun wheeling round, listening to the pop hits of the day. Of course I was going. This was Roller Skating we were talking about. Like sticker albums and Michael Jackson, roller skating was a BIG DEAL.

I was in Ms. Greglein's class, and I had had my eyes on Nicolette for some time. Unlike most kids, who, when they get a crush, punch and kick the objects of their affections, I knew Nicolette was special. She didn't deserve such treatment. She was classy.

I was going to ask her to go roller skating with me. We'd hold hands during the couple's skate, the light from the disco ball bathing us in magic and transporting us to Loveland.

It was to be the first time I asked a girl out.

It's difficult to plan a date when you depend on your parents for rides around. And money. But I was going to find a way to make it work. Nicolette's destiny was to fall in love with and get married to me. We would live in a tree with our 26 dogs and eat cinnamon toast everyday for breakfast. I had it all planned out. I even had names for the dogs.

But first, I had to get her to see how bold I was, how suave and determined I was. Just wait until she got to see my mad skating skills.

Two days before the big event, I spotted Nicolette walking with Francesca to their bus after school. I hurried to catch up, then, acting nonchalant was all, "Hey Nicolette, what's happening?"

She and Francesca said hi. We walked along.

"So... Really looking forward to roller skating this weekend. I was thinking, do you want to go with me to the rink?" I asked.

"Well, I'm going, so I guess I'll see you there?" She replied. I didn't let this deter me. Just play it cool, I thought to myself, you're doing fine. It's probably just a logistics thing. I'll just wow her with my ability to skate backwards, and she'll fall head over heels. Figuratively, hopefully. A concussion probably wouldn't help my cause.

"So, that's cool, I'll see you there," I said as we walked along. Thinking: SWISH! "It's gonna be great."

Then as I turned to go,


I walked face-first into a metal pole.

I bounced back and fell on my ass in the lot. I don't even remember if Nicolette or Francesca reacted at all. Perhaps they simply continued on to the buses. As a gangly teenager, or even an adult who could laugh at this stuff, this may have been a huge setback from which recovery might not be possible. I imagine if this scene were to play out now, in the midst of my adultivity, I would hope for the CERN Large Hadron Collider to successfully open a black hole into which I would promptly step, preferring to be ripped asunder by the forces of nature than to ever be seen by the girl in this life again.

In the end it didn't matter. What the hell does a seven year old need with romance? And truth be told, I could never skate backwards. Maybe that pole was saving me from further embarrassment and a possible coma when I split my skull open trying to impress the girl. I still don't understand how all those dogs were to get up into the tree, so perhaps it's all for the best.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In Which Money Falls From My Ass

Bleary eyed and still half asleep, I'm standing in the shower enjoying the warm water falling on my head. Wakefulness is slow in coming this morning.

I'm pushing what's left of my hair back when I hear a metallic clink on the floor of the tub. Brow furrowed, I look down to see Roosevelt's wet silhouette looking sidelong at me.

That's weird, I think, as I nudge him to the back of the tub with my toe. What's a dime doing in the shower? I get on with my day and give the matter no more thought.

Two days later, it happens again. Clink! Lincoln this time. What's happening here? I look down and around. Another clink! Did a nickel just fall out of my ass? Nearly twisting my neck off, I strain round and see more money. Stuck to my ass.

It took a couple days and a few more lost coins, but I soon solved the mystery. I was coming home from work every afternoon exhausted. I would kick off my shoes as soon as I walked in and lay down for a much needed nap. In the process of turning over, all my change would fall out of my pockets and lay in wait for me.

At night, when I was going to bed for real, I would sleep in my boxer shorts, climbing into my cash-rich mattress. In the process of sleeping on top of the coins, they would adhere to my upper legs, back and ass, and reveal themselves in the shower in the morning.

Not long after this revelation I took to taking my naps on the living room couch instead. Poor Roosevelt...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Poetry From My Spam Box

Hallo my love, i' from Moskow, 'you?

I Olga.
I beautiful.

Here my photo.

You wish to be on friendly terms with me?? And above the altar made of gold!?

Your long awaited desire will be achieved within 2 to 4 working days of your application.

Permit us to be of service to you: It is very sweet.

My sweet kitty - do you completely forgot about my Russian pussy?

"Come to my site - I have there new photos as well as VIDE0 from my H0ME web camera - and you have a web camera now?"

I want to talk to you almost.

I've got a whole.

Site or its contents.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Ocho!

Today is my cat Ocho's 10th birthday. Here are some pictures of Fuzzbutt herself:

Here we are at my last birthday. She's not a fan of the mask. I was pretty drunk by this point.

We both love naps on the couch.

Rambo cat sez "They drew first blood."

As you can see, having a stroke makes Ocho grumpy.

Snuggle buddies. I was sure I'd have to put her to sleep this day. Thanks to the good folks at Angell Memorial Hospital, that was 2 1/2 years ago.

Close up.

Xtreme(tm) Close up.

Mouse guts are hard to get out.

Iz on yr comptr, disapproving yr pr0nz.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Readers! Have Your Say!

Occasionally I get questions from my readers (Hi Mom!) asking about this or that thing I post here. I thought rather than sending off several exculpatory emails, I would address some common themes in a single post and put all these wild rumors to rest.

Q: What's with the name?

A: What's with your face? (Heh. Burn.)Well, in thinking up a title for the blog, I though to myself: Self, what's the best way to convey our post modern condition in a sentence fragment? And then it hit me: I'm a dude, and stuff happens. The truth probably lies in a Simpsons reference, to be honest. I just rattled off the first prattle that came to mind, and kinda liked it. Plus, it's got that extra, marketable kick of being easy to spell and really has that zing of sticking in the mind. Like a really catchy commercial for a local furniture store.

HisHolinessTheDL writes:
Q: How true are these stories? I mean, really.... Running over a Little Person on your bicycle?

A: 100% true. All of these posts are things which happened to me, perhaps tarted up a bit for the funnier parts. Names have been changed (or not) to protect the innocent, but the rest is hands-on-a-bible true. (No offense, Your Holiness.)

Q: What's the best way to get oil stains out of a shirt?

A: Cover the stain with baby powder and let rest for several hours, as much as 24, then wash as usual. You'll thank me!

Q: What does your Significant Other feel about the Condom Story?

A: The fact of that matter is, my girlfriend is more awesome than your girlfriend. She is unbelievably supportive and encouraging, not just of my writing, but pretty much everything I do, and I love her to pieces. She understands that this happened in the past, years before we ever met, and has no bearing on how awesome we are as a couple.

I guess I should take this opportunity to let the world know that she and I are expecting a special joyful delivery very soon. Yes, it's true! We just ordered a pizza!

Q: Dear recipient,
Avangar Technologies announces the beginning of a new unprecendented global employment campaign.
reviser yeller winers butchery twenties
Due to company's exploding growth Avangar is expanding business to the European region.
During last employment campaign over 1500 people worldwide took part in Avangar's business
and more than half of them are currently employed by the company. And now we are offering you
one more opportunity to earn extra money working with Avangar Technologies.
druggists blame classy gentry Aladdin

We are looking for honest, responsible, hard-working people that can dedicate 2-4 hours of their
time per day and earn extra £300-500 weekly. All offered positions are currently part-timejavascript:void(0)
and give you a chance to work mainly from home.
lovelies hockey Malton meager reordered

Please visit Avangar's corporate web site (http://www.avangar.com/sta/home/0077.htm) for more details regarding these vacancies.

A: Hell YES. I am very interested regarding these vacancies and have gone ahead and emailed you my mailing address along with my Social Security Number, my bank card pin number, my blood type, three copies of my house keys, and fresh DNA sample.

Q:What does the future hold for ThatDude?

A: Jet packs and unicorns, mostly. I'd like to be even more open with the things I'm writing. My friend Sada writes an incredibly funny blog wherein she publishes things she wrote as a teenager, presented and deconstructed with the snark and wit of her older self. First, I wish I saved more of the things I had written as an angsty teenager. Second, I do have a bunch of poetry I wrote in high school. (Isn't that cute? I wanted to be a poet when I was growing up). I have a huge notebook full of them. Huge. And, as the premise would suggest, they're Terrible. I've been trying for over a year to get myself to publish at least one of them here, simply for the Lulz but I just can't bring myself to do it. I can feel my face burning with embarrassment any time I endeavor to read some of it. Sad, really, that the world is being denied my gift.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

(Names have been changed to protect the Sexy)

Some guys are ashamed to buy condoms. The puritanical stigma, the hesitation they feel is so overwhelming, that they must go to extraordinary lengths to hide the fact that they are purchasing items related to sexy activities.

In an attempt to downplay the fact that they are buying condoms, they'll also pick up vitamins, a newspaper, beef jerky, sunscreen, reading glasses, candy bars, decongestant, paper towels, cat food, more vitamins, a soda, batteries, shaving cream, vitamins (with added riboflavin), fishing line, shoelaces, potato chips, and condoms, thinking that the clerk, utterly overwhelmed by the onslaught of incongruous items, will be oblivious to the fact that condoms are a part of the purchase and therefore not think about the sexual activity of the already embarrassed customer.

Not me.

I have never been ashamed to buy condoms. Not once.* I make it my singular purchase. I walk around holding the box over my head, saying it loud, and saying it proud:
"Hey. Check me out. Look at these. Guess where I'm going to put them. Totally! And then guess where I'm going to put them? Right! In a vagina! Yeah, I know, the 12-pack. I got a good feeling about this one... Yup. Hey you, look at my purchase..."
Nowhere was this nonchalant attitude more pronounced than with my time with Stacy. (All names have been changed to protect the Sexy. My name in this story is Jacques. Just because.)

Stacy and I had been dating for a while. We had definitely passed the physical barrier that new relationships always need to hurdle. We had seen each other naked, maybe even a bunch of times. But it was still young, this relationship, still a little flirty. The end-of-date conversation was still probably going as such:
Jacques: So, what do you wanna do?[coy look]

Stacy: I dunno, what do you wanna do?[coy look]

Jacques: I dunno... we could... [super coy look]

This type of conversation can often go on for a good two hours or so, the coyness of the looks increasing exponentially to nearly nauseating proportions. This is usually at the point before which the relationship gets to this stage of routine blandness:
Jacques: So... you wanna?

Stacy: Yeah alright.

Jacques: Let's get this thing over with.

Don't act like you've never been there.

So Stacy and I have just spent the last two hours out-coying one another, and we've made a decision: Her place, naked antics. There's just one problem: we're out of condoms. No sweat, I say, there is a pharmacy two blocks from here, and we walk to the pharmacy hand in hand, full of pre-coital giddiness. We peruse the aisles of the family planning section. I joke about buying the Magnums. She is sweet but realistic, and we settle on the blue box. We walk to the check-out, and miracle of miracles, there is no line. I toss the box on the counter, the clerk rings up the purchase.

I pay. After all, I'm a gentleman.
Clerk: "Do you want a bag for that?"
Jacques: "No, that's okay, I'll just wear them out."

Clerk laughs. Jacques laughs. Stacy doesn't laugh.

Stacy turns crimson, and without a word, does an about-face and walks straight out of the pharmacy.

I find her on the sidewalk, holding her stomach, still flushed. "I can't believe you!"

Foolishly, I had thought that Stacy and I were on the same page about such transactions. As a fool, I was wrong.

It is not long after this that Jacques is single again, and only buys condoms every two weeks so people think he is getting laid on occasion. He's been asked not to return to two different pharmacies, but that is another story.

Next: Buying Pornography For The Single Man.

But seriously, folks: Think twice or maybe thirty times before having kids, OK?

(originally published 1/21/2008)

*since the original publication of this post, it has been impossible to buy condoms without overly self-referential embarrassment, for some reason.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Knock it off, Facebook.

Stupid Facebook, with your endless distraction. Why do I hate to love you so much? Prolly the same reason I love to hate you. What drives me crazy is these stupid ads in the margins. Who the hell are they aiming these things at? I mean, seriously. For real. Knock it off.

"36 Years Old? Become A Cop!"

Whoa. I'm 36 years old. Maybe I should become a cop! Makes perfect sense. Maybe I can become a cop while growing corn to feed to my mafia. These ads are insidious. Like the mythical Hydra, you click away and another springs up in its place. Insanity inducing.

But the ad that sent me off the rails was this one:

New Recession Relief

Americans with over $10k in credit card debt are now eligible to legally remove up to 60% of it thanks to a new relief program.

What the hell is that, Facebook?


Look at it, Facebook! Look at it!

It's incongruous. That picture and those words make no sense together. Is that the Debt Relief Troll? If I answer his Questions Three, will my debt magically disappear as he gambols off into the forest with my student loan under his arm, giggling and grunting under the weight of it? This image is now seared into my brain, Facebook, and I'm mad at you for that.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Little Off The Top

Man... I finally got a haircut today, something I've meant to do for the last six weeks or so. When I sat down in the chair, I explained what I like, with the guideline that I was about two months overdue for a haircut. I think something got lost in translation, because she cut it longer than I like. I try to get some mileage out of a cut, and when I said I was two months over due, that meant that Two months had gone by since I first said to myself "I need to get this situation under control."

The other day I took a nap and woke up with some wild-ass fro. I took this pic, because it seemed monumental and document worthy:

Maybe it seemed worse than it was. I dunno. But I was reminded of this little adventure from a few years ago:

I was again in dire need of a haircut. It was serious. I made a plan to go to the local chain cuttery after work. Let's call it Kwik Kuts, if only because that sounds amusing to me. Also, it was cheap as hell. This part is very important to me: a cheap, fast haircut that allows me to pop in, get a cut, and proceed with my plans of napping on the couch with my cat.

Kwik Kuts! The place to get a Kut. And Kwik!

I found a Kwik Kuts that wasn't far from my work-to-home commute. I diverted and found my way to a parking spot not far from the front door of Kwik Kuts. I looked at the signage, which said "Tow Zone: No Parking 5pm - 8am". A quick check of the watch revealed that present time was 4:25 pm. If I was lucky, I could easily beat the curfew. Kwik Kuts was fast, and if I didn't have to wait too long, I could easily be in and out with time to spare. I fed a few extra quarters into the meter, hoping to get a few brownie points with he parking gods. The sun was blazing that day, my friend. The mercury was surprisingly spry for an early spring day in New England. The temp topped out at an unusual 94 degrees when I opened the door.

I walked into Kwik Kuts, signed in and was quickly hustled into a chair. My plan was working flawlessly. The woman who had seated me was talking to a young woman. She pointed in my direction, and the young lady headed my way. She was plainly dressed, average height, of Asian descent, and had a VERY PRONOUNCED lazy eye.

I try to be as PC as possible. I refer to Asian people as Asians, unlike my father and some of my coworkers, who refer to "Orientals".

I'd like to think that this woman's heritage had little to do with my thought process.

But there is something that is SERIOUSLY disconcerting about being set upon by someone wielding scissors with profoundly crossed eyes. All I could look at was the pointy edge of those tiny scissors, knowing that soon they would be slicing and dicing very close to my eyes and ears.

I froze. Part of my brain was screaming at me "OMG! GTFO! No WAY! Scary Scary Scary!"

And yet another part was, somewhat more calmly, yet certainly alarmed saying "There is nothing wrong with her. She is different than you in some very minor ways, Don't be an ass. Surely she couldn't rise to such a high position without the proper credentials."

But the errant eyeball was not this young woman's only affliction. She was also slow. Well, maybe that's wrong. She was diligent. Attentive to details. Ah hell. Who am I kidding? She was slow. I've never experienced a haircut that took this long. Except the time in college when I let my girlfriend cut my hair. I had long, heavy-metal hair, and she just couldn't get it even, and by the time I was done I was the not-so proud owner of a bowl cut.

Time passes. A lot of time passes. I glanced at the clock in the mirror. It was approaching 5pm. More time passes. A lot more time passes. In my mind I began to see the scenario playing out outside: A tow truck backing up to take my car. The car being towed to god-knows-where in the wastelands of Allston. That half-eaten tuna salad sandwich I hadn't finished at lunch baking away in the heat inside. The bill for getting my car back. That tuna smell baked into every fiber forever. Tuna. Tow lot.

More time passes. Is she cutting each individual hair? Good lord! By this time, however, I'm so committed to this thing that I just have to wait it out. I should have gone with my initial instinct and not let that cross-eyed bitch near me. To hell with political correctness. She should wear sunglasses, then I never would have noticed.

Mercifully, she finally got done. I paid my tab and ran out with a completely unoffensive haircut to find my car plastered with orange parking tickets. Not only had I over-stayed my welcome, apparently I had been lax in getting my inspection sticker updated. All told, this fast, cheap haircut ended up costing me an hour and a half and ninety-five dollars.

Thanks Kwik Kuts!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Laundry Hitlist

Yesterday, while rooting through some old papers, I ran across this piece of paper that I had written for myself some time ago. How long ago is a matter of debate. This document was written in order to help "thin the herd" as I call it, and reduce the copious amounts of clothes that I own, and therefore the amount of laundry I would need to do. Throwing out old clothes rather than washing them is similar yet diametrically opposed to my other habit of buying new socks or underpants rather than haul the dirty ones to the laundromat. Cracking myself up from the past, I now present:


-Any shirt turned pink due to laundry mishap

-Socks with the following attributes:
*Owns holes
*Having not maintained true love [no match]

-Pants no longer able to be comfortably buttoned
(Get over it. They're not coming back.)

-Worn out workpants.
(Let them retire with a modicum of dignity)

-Ill-fitting suit/sport jackets

-Lame and/or ill-fitting shirts

-Anything not utilized in 8 months or more
(exemption: exclusively seasonal clothes, to be filed accordingly)

-Anything that is fashionably unconscionable
(exemption: the "Male Chauvinist Pig" and "Beaver" ties)

I should note that the "Male Chauvinist Pig" tie features a pattern of pig's asses with the letters "MCP" on it as well. The "Beaver" tie is somewhat more subtle, but at the same time, kind of not. I've saved these two items, even though I've not worn them once since this list was implemented.

On the back of this list, perhaps seizing on "less-is-more" fever, is written this:


-Lame ass books

-Studio trash

-Living room clutter

-Old porno

-Outdated (Tchotchkes)


-Empty boxes

-Used envelopes/folders

-Magazine offers (except Playboy)

I've tried to wrap my head around what, exactly, was meant by "Outdated (Tchotchkes)". Obviously, Tchotchkes refers to random trinkets I have laying around. What makes them "outdated," though is beyond me. It seems that by definition these things are outdated, regardless of how old they are.

I'm also amused by my desire to replace Old Porno with New Playboys.