Monday, March 31, 2008

One and Three Quarter Inches

Some health insurance companies cover interesting things, like prescription contraceptives. Sometimes plastic surgery to correct asymmetrical breasts, droopy eyelids and deformed ears is also covered. That all makes perfect sense. Birth control is a necessity for nymphomaniacs, unless they want to be in a constant state of pregnancy. And plastic surgery is a necessity for people with funky looking boobs. Don't even get me started on people with deformed ears—they should have their own schools.

One thing health insurance won't cover: the shoe lift I wear because my femur migrated up due to a lack of hip bone. Insurance would cover the lift if it fit inside the shoe, but not mended to the sole. That was fine when I had a quarter inch insert, but now my lift is one and three quarter inches. That wouldn't even fit inside Shaq's size 23s.

Shoe lift in New Balance sneakerShoe lift in New Balance sneakerShoe lift in New Balance sneaker
The lift costs $175. I purchased my latest New Balance 574s for $20, meaning the lift was over eight times the cost of the sneakers.

That's okay. It's not like walking is a necessity.

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

64: A Collection of Stories

I didn't begin watching college basketball until high school, and even then I was willing to miss a few tournament games to eat dinner with my parents at Bob Evans. Their spaghetti and garlic toast was irresistible.

By my junior year it was a sin to miss March Madness games. I even caught most of the conference tournament games the week before the madness began. I watched teams from the mid-major conferences like the Atlantic 10 and Conference USA—whatever was on TV.

I remember that weekend like it was yesterday. It was my seventh cycle of chemo and I did it outpatient. The clinic was closed on the weekend, so I had to get my two hours of chemo on the gloomy hospital wing. There were very few other patients. It was so quiet and dark. Before leaving it took forever for my nurse to put my leg brace on.

How stupid can you be? Pull the strap and secure. Hurry the fuck up. Get me out of here.

If it wasn't for the soothing sounds of raucous fans and lame announcers, I might've acted on those thoughts and yelled at her. I'm glad I didn't. It's bad enough that I felt the need to think so poorly of her. That woman was spending her Saturday on a depressing hospital floor administering chemotherapy to children. How much worse did I need to make her day?

Zeke, Ho-Train and I hosted a 3-on-3 charity basketball tournament in our school gym in January for our DECA—a marketing club—project. We raised over $1,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The tournament was featured on the front page of our local newspaper, Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger. Thirteen teams entered the tournament, including one with The Stumbler and HollaAtYoBoy called “The Stumbler Sucks,” although HollaAtYoBoy was actually worse. Much to nobody's surprise, they were pitiful.

At the tournament Mr. Spunkmeyer, our DECA advisor, wanted me to meet a friend of his. It was a young boy who had cancer. The boy's mother expected me to give him inspiration. I was hesitant at first, having no clue what to say. I finally found my balls, sat on the bleachers and told the little boy everything would be okay. In a short time his cancer would go away and he'd play basketball again. I felt ridiculous, like a fake ass cheerleader. Mr. Spunkmeyer later told me I had a very positive effect on him. If he's still alive then he's probably in middle school by now. And hopefully still playing basketball.

It was the perfect way to start March Madness—friends, wings, and beer. I should've counted the number of beers we finished. I know it was well over 100.

When the afternoon games ended, we went to the dining hall, drunk and giddy. The girl at the table next to us tripped and dropped her tray, her food flying everywhere. HollaAtYoBoy, already on his way to 20 Budweisers, laughed in her face. I tried to keep from smiling, but the harder I tried the funnier I found it. In the end, our table was laughing so loud that everyone in the room was looking over at the food sprawled over the dirty floor. That poor, poor girl.

Some friends and I continued watching games through the night, throwing empty beer cans at each other when necessary. Others went out to party. Thinking that HollaAtYoBoy didn't want to leave, they came back from the party without him. What they didn't realize was that since HollaAtYoBoy didn't go to UVA, he didn't know where I lived. When my friends went back out to get him, HollaAtYoBoy was just about to leave on a cross-state trip with strangers. His possessions, car, and ability to walk straight were still at UVA.

Sean Singletary
I sent this email to the showman himself after he hit a ridiculous go-ahead shot to beat tenth-ranked Duke last February: "I'm sure you get this a lot, but you're fucking awesome. Tomorrow morning when I eat my Cheerios and turn on the TV I expect to see you number one on SportsCenter's Top Ten."

I got all warm and tingly when Sean actually responded with, "Thanks for the love."

Last year, my friend Hamburgers and I drove to Columbus, Ohio to see Virginia play Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It was the first time Virginia made the tournament since 2001. Our sharpshooter, J.R. Reynolds, scored 22 points in the first half alone, but then got injured. Singletary tried to rally the team to victory, but unfortunately came up just short on the final shot.

At the game, Hamburgers got into some shit talking with a Tennessee fan in his fifties. Hamburgers got the final word when he made fun of the man's education with, "At least I didn't go to high school at the University of Tennessee, son!"

Digger Phelps Sucks
Digger Phelps holding yellow highlighter
Digger Phelps holding orange highlighterDigger Phelps holding blue highlighter

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Blame Canada

Niagara Falls at sunsetIt was the summer of 1994 and I was on vacation with my family in Niagara Falls, New York. While out to dinner at Perkins Restaurant, I got up to pee. I pushed the bathroom door open and walked in, searching for the urinals, but there were no urinals. How can a men's bathroom not have urinals? I was the only person in the room, except for one dude taking a shit. I did one more search, scanning my eyes from wall to wall, but still no urinals. I wondered if Canadians pissed in the sink and maybe that rubbed off on these northern New Yorkers. Look what the world has come to, pissing in sinks. That Canada sure is a crazy country.
I was about to pee in one of the numerous empty toilets, when I heard the dude taking a shit make a grunting sound, only it was high-pitched. He made the noise a second time and I realized it wasn't a dude at all, and she may or may not have been taking a shit. There were no urinals because I was in the women's bathroom. Back in middle school I dreamed of being invisible and walking into a girl's locker room, but this wasn't nearly as cool.

I rushed out and fled for my table, forgetting the reason I was there to begin with. The woman on the payphone dropped her jaw and nearly the phone when she saw me. I wasn't trying to peak, I promise. Ever since then, I've triple-checked the sign on bathroom doors. Outback Steakhouse tries to screw me with their fancy "Blokes" sign. Why can't they call it "Men's" like every other restaurant? Those silly Canadians.

That was the only time I entered the wrong bathroom. My old coworker, F4 (office hottie), has done it too many times to count. Our office was small, so all bathrooms were single-person. Since very few men worked there, the women used the men's bathroom at will. One day I forgot to lock the door and F4 walked in on me urinating. Fortunately, I played it cool.

Wait, no I didn't. Not at all. Not even close.

When she opened the door she yelled, "Oh God."

What I should've said: "Would you like to shake for me?"
What I actually said: "SHIT FUCK!"

As I approached her cubicle on the way back to my desk, she said, "Did I terrorize you? Don't worry, I didn't see anything."

What I should've said: "You're not the first female to barge in and try to see my donger."
What I actually said: "It would be best if we never mention this again and pretend like it didn't happen. Alright, good talk, I'll see you out there."

Later in the day F4 followed me to the mailroom, which was across from the men's bathroom. "See, I always use this one, not just when you're in it," she said. F4 opened the door, screamed and then walked right back out because there was a different dude in it. "Why don't you boys lock the door!"

What I should've said: "One look at Benjy donger and you can’t get enough."
What I actually said: Nothing. I couldn't stop laughing.

When I asked F4 what the other dude did when she walked in on him, she said, "He didn't care. I think he wanted me to see him naked."

What I should've said: "I know I want to see you naked."
What I actually said: "You're gross."

Twice in the same day is quite a coincidence. F4 must be Canadian.

Leia Mais…

Monday, March 3, 2008

Office Drama

I recently finished a two-month stint working in the items processing department of a bank, my first office job. I won't get into how boring and tedious it was. The only thing worth mentioning was I saw a personal check for $9 million. When I looked up her phone number and asked if she'd marry me, she said she was in her late 60s with 3 grandchildren. I was strangely okay with that.

For a while, the other employees pretty much ignored me. They'd been working together for years and didn't need some young punk entering their gossip loop. But after a few weeks I became friends with a girl there, F1 (office gossip queen), and she spilled the beans. I realized what I'd been missing by never having an office job, especially one with mostly women—the drama. I couldn't get enough of it.

F1 had immense knowledge of the office. She worked there for four years, then went off to college and came back to work part-time during her breaks. She was faster than me at every task, except using the stamp machine in the mailroom. I rubbed it in, with struts and several “In yo face!” comments.

F1 told me everything about everyone, including people who no longer worked there. My mom's People subscription had been preparing me for this for years. Nothing in life beats high quality gossip.

F2 (office joker) and F3 (office pessimist) appeared to be good friends, but it was all a show. Years ago, F3 invited F1 and F2 over for drinks, and F2 left early, leaving F3 with a bitter taste in her mouth. Never one to let go of grudges, F3 has been angry ever since.

By the end of my gig, F2 was my favorite coworker. My first impression of F2 was that she was extremely kind, but once she became comfortable with me she showed her sarcastic side. She wasn't shy about her dislike of F3—behind her back, of course. When F3 talked, F2 rolled her eyes. When F3 left the room, F2 would ask me, "Don't you hate her?" I didn’t know how to respond so I just laughed—behind F3’s back, of course.

F3 complained about everything, including her job which she constantly threatened to quit. She complained about the diet she was voluntarily on. She complained when F4 (office hottie) got a haircut—not about her hair, but that everyone wouldn't stop talking about it. I think she was jealous of F4’s attention, and possibly her good looks.

I worked in a small room outside of a larger room, where F4 was. In order for me to go anywhere I had to pass F4’s cubicle. That was way too much pressure. I had something funny to say 1-2 times a day, but I was speechless the other 10 times. I either tried to sneak around her cubicle so she didn’t see me, or pretend like I was in a hurry and had really important mail to stamp.

M1 (office sleazeball) came down from a different floor just to talk to F4, even though F4 wanted nothing to do with him. My gossiping friend, F1, thought M1 was a jerk. I think F1 was just jealous of F4, and I actually admired M1 for his persistence. F4 used to date a different guy from the office, M2 (office genius). He had a long-term gym membership, but bought a membership to a second gym just because F4 used it. M2 never told F4 of his other gym, though. F1 thought M2 was even creepier than M1, but I just say he was more persistent. I was impressed he was willing to pay two large gym fees just for F4. That's a lot of money, especially for a girl who may not deliver on the investment. F4 dumped M2 for a personal trainer. Go figure.

F1 thought that M3 (office pedophile) was having an affair with F5 (office perk). This is because F5 doesn't work directly for M3, but she was always in his office, even at his desk. According to F1, there was no reason for her to be there at all. Sometimes they even closed the door. F1 expressed her dislike of F5. "She's such a bitch," F1 told me several times. "She seemed nice to me," I responded. F1 got mad at me for disagreeing, and temporarily cut me off from the gossip. I learned my lesson. Never disagree with your office drama gossiping ally.

F1 went on a couple dates with M4 (office gum-chewer), who got married to a different woman a year after they split. F1 thought M4 still liked her, and that M4's wife was jealous. She claimed M4 got awkward when the two of them were in the same room together. I didn't see it, but I knew better than to disagree. "He's still so in love with you," I told her. I couldn't afford to lose my gossiping privileges, again.

F1 and F2 talked shit about F6 (office 'look at the baby, you gotta see the baby'), when she was on maternity leave my first month. They said she and her husband fought too much. They said she didn't know shit about parenting.

F1, F2, F3 and F6 all talked shit about M4. They said he was too bossy. For one thing he was their boss. And from what I saw he was pretty chill. M4 was cool to me from the start, unlike the Fs, so I felt the need to share my disapproval of their M4-bashing.

New lesson: never take the boss’ side. F1 thought I was a traitor and stopped feeding me gossip. In retaliation, I stamped one envelope on the wrong side. In yo face, F1!

The sweet smell of redemption.

Leia Mais…