Archive for the ‘True Stories’ Category

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Story Time!

April 23, 2007

Gather ’round kiddies, Papi’s got a tale to tell you. I’m not sure whether I can accurately encapsulate the surrealness of this experience, but you weren’t there, so you can’t tell it any better can you? Let’s get it on.

It’s the end of a relatively normal night, and I’m getting on the subway, ready to mosey on. Now, it’s somewhere in the area of 4 a.m., so I expect the train to take a while. In this interest, I’ve come prepared with a couple newspapers, which I look forward to pretending to read. I forsee no problems finding a comfortable seat, and, unsurprisingly enough, the platform is almost empty.

That “almost” is important.

The only people on the platform were an older mexican gentleman and a blonde about my own age. Nothing to interesting here. Except for the fact that she was half-passed out and he was administering an impromptu mammogram. I wouldn’t have cared if they were filming a sequel to “Debbie Does Dallas” except for two things; one, I wasn’t entirely sure whether it was consensual, and two, I really wanted to sit down and read my papers but didn’t want to interrupt. It was at this point that el rapisto dragged the young lady onto his burly lap, and proceeded to attempt to eat her face. She appeared to be at least a little bit responsive, so I came to the conclusion that they had some previous sexual relationship, and were so enflamed with desire that my presence (and the click click of my camera phone) didn’t bug them. I also came to the conclusion that they were so far gone that they wouldn’t care whether I was standing or sitting, so I discretely took the seat farthest from the young lustbirds, and settled into the paper.

Barely was I into article one, when the blonde woke up. Now I’ve never woken up to find myself hooking up with a 50 year old mexican on a subway platform (well, not in years) but her reaction was pretty reasonable. She tried to put herself back together while avoiding his wanton, raw, sexuality. I couldn’t help imagine her as a cat and him as a cartoon skunk. I thought, “well that was certainly weird” and looked back at the article, something about Elliot Gould.

“Should, shoudlb you hooshk this back up for me please?”

Blondie had sidled up to me and was asking me, in her very special way, to reclasp her bra. I obliged, and went back, once again, to Mr. Gould.

“I’m ssho sorry.”

I assured her it was more than ok. I was a bit curious as to why she had asked me to clasp her bra rather than doing it herself or asking her friend, but I merely assumed that she somehow knew my reputation as someone around whom bras never come off, and was merely using my greatest talent (making sure girls’ bras stay on) to her own selfish ends. Whatever.

“I’ve never met that guy ever before.”

I was somewhat taken aback by this. Granted, I haven’t done any statistically significant research, but something tells me that 20 year olds don’t exactly troll subways looking for unsuspecting middle aged men to accost. I stammered out the somewhat obvious question.

“So…what…why…who…what the fuck is going on?”

“I thought he was someone else I thought he was my boss I didn’t know here I was i’ve neverseen that guy if this is sober this is me.”

On that last point she made a hand gesture, the sober hand quivering above the one that indicated her current mindset. I was curious as to what she thought was happening, but concerned that I would NEVER have a chance to examine the career path of the man who would eventually father Ross and Monica Geller, went back to my paper.

She wasn’t certain I understood, and insisted on drawing me a picture of her drunkenness on my paper, a beautiful one that featured several lines and poorly drawn circles. I assured her once again that I understood.

“I’m shoo sorry!. You saved me! you shaved my life. You’re amazing”

At this point I became interested. Elliot Gould be damned, it had been literally hours since I’d been told how amazing I was and I was all ears. Unfortunately, at this point, two young ladies came onto the platform at this point, and Blondie (whose name, I later found out was Lila), took the chance to tell them of the crazy happenings. She did mention my heroics, but they were unimpressed.

At this point, the train came, and we all got on together. All, that is, except for amorous gentleman. Now, there’s only one train that goes through this station, and there are no carnival rides or smoothie vendors, so I have no idea what he was doing there if not waiting for the train. Perhaps he was waiting for another 20 year old blonde. Maybe he thought he was somewhere else. Maybe he just really liked train platforms. Whatever the case, he was still there when I left.

My very favorite thing about Lila was the religious tattoos she had on her feet, reading, “Strength in Jesus”, and “Walk with God” (or somethign equally inspiring.) It really gives me a newfound respect for Christianity. And blondes. And Mexicans.

But not Elliot Gould.

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My Medical History

April 10, 2007

Throughout my life, I’ve been a pretty healthy person. However, as is the case with all vigorous young lads, I have had occasion to injure myself, ranging from the mildly inocuous to the nearly deadly. Here is, because I’m sure you care, a mild sampling.

The first surgery that I remember having happened when I was about seven years old. I had consented to race another young lad, but seeing as he was possessed of several more years than I, we deemed it fair that I should be allowed the use of one (1) bicycle, whereas he would only be allowed the use of his two strapping legs. Also, apparently, we had arranged the race to take place using language that lurches unpredictably between the 17th and 21 centuries. Kids do the damndest things.

Anyway, this joker decided cut a corner a little close, and when I tried to follow suit, my front tire hit a tree stump and I was sent sprawling. I landed on my chin, and received a nasty gash just above my chin stap. Thanks Helmet! The cut required a few stiches, the scar from which is hid under my manly, bushy, beard, the accumulation of nearly 20 years of facial hair.

The next scar is relatively minor, but is notable for the reaction of those around me. I had been playing kickball and was running to cover a base, when the guy who was attempting to reach that base safely decided to slide. Seeing as we played on concrete, this was somewhat unexpected, and I wound up being tripped and landing on my hip, resulting in the aforementioned scar on my manly hip. This also resulted in the wild giggling of a gaggle of nearby third grade girls, who apparently were able to experience schadenfreude at a seventh grade level. That’s why these days, I continually torture third grade girls by proving that their favorite male stars are almost certainly homosexuals. Thanks Photoshop!

I managed to spend several years memorable injury-free, until 11th grade, at which point I got a black eye. Normally a pretty forgettable experience, save for two things – the circumstances under which I got it were utterly idiotic, and the day after I got it I supposed to be an extra in a music video (which if I get around to it, probably deserves its own story. Unintentional hilarity like you wouldn’t believe.) I had been playing ping pong, and for whatever reason, my paddle had been across the table, and I bent down to pick up a ball. Now, my opponent, who shall remain nameless, decided at this point to throw my paddle across the table, resulting in it bouncing off of my side and into my eye, just as I came up with the ball. Priceless.*

*If anybody asks, I was defending some old ladies from some thugs. Black thugs, with doo-rags and everything.

Obviously, next is the whole drowning story, which did in fact warrant its own post, which you can find under true stories. A bit of aftermath that I didn’t post then: It turns out that having a bunch of tubing being pushed down and taken out of your throat isn’t very good for it (insert porn star joke here). What wound up happening is that I had these legions of scar tissue, called granulomae (which kind of sounds like a kind of granola, but it apparently not), on my larynx. My voice had been getting progressively raspier and raspier, so after recording a blues album, I decided to see a doctor.

My parents, having done some research, were pretty sure what it was. Nonetheless, the doctor had to check, which makes a lot of medical sense, I suppose. Which means that I got to have a lovely telescope pushed through my nose and into my throat. The doctor told me to say AAAHHH. I got through the first A and part of the second before I had a sensation like I was being punched in the throat by a boxing kangaroo (which doesn’t make much sense, but the thought amused me). With this bit of uncomfortability over, the doctor took the telescope out, confident in his diagnosis.

Or so I thought. For some reason, after taking it out, he decided to have a second look. “Yup, granulomae” he confirmed once more, and I thought I was done. Until he began calling colleagues in to also look at it, without regard for the fact that there was a tube going up my nose and down my throat. He called another doctor. He called a nurse. I think at one point he might have called for other patients to see what was going on in my throat. They all had the same diagnosis, and spent an inordinate amount of time gravely nodding to each other and admiring their spiffy white coats. I was not amused.

Eventually the surgery was scheduled, and went pretty seamlessly. Eating was a bit painful for a while, but more painful was the fact that I wasn’t supposed to talk for several days, during which time I still went out with friends. For reasons that escape me now, my inability to talk apparently meant that I had to give them the finger in incredibly creative ways, of which there were more than you might think possible. I WAS allowed to speak a couple of words every few hours, just to make sure my voice was ok, and to my delight, it was nearly an octave deeper and strangely booming. I used this to my full advantage to startle my hapless friends, whose amusement at this particular trick waned well before my own.

My latest injury happened on the gridiron. That’s right. I was playing football. This wasn’t any pussy tackle football though, with all the pads, and the referees, and the goalposts. This was flag football, the sport of kings (who are far too light or out of shape to play regular football). When going up for an interception, I managed to smash into a player going back for a reception, leading my top lip to be caught between my teeth and his head. Needless to say, my lip frenched out and gave way to my teeth, leaving tooth-sized holes in my upper lip. I honestly wanted to finish the game, but apparently the gushing blood was distracting to the other players. So I got on my horse and high-tailed it to Student Health, where I got to sit and fill out forms. During this time, people were served on a first-come, first-served basis, so I had to wait for girls to get their birth control, guys to ask if it really was true that they could get Herpes just by walking on Scripps, and a couple of people who I think were just there to see if they could score lollipops. All the while gushing blood from a hole in my lip.

Eventually I saw the doctor, who informed me that I needed immediate stitching, which he JUST SO HAPPENED to be able to provide FOR A LOW LOW FEE. I’d like to say that I sauntered out of his office and fixed it myself with thumbtacks and duct tape, but I pussied out and got the minor surgery. Delightfully, the painful shots of anaesthetic wore off because of the heavy blood flow, so I got the downright orgasmic sensation of sharp needle pentrating fresh wound. MMMM.

Eventually, the stitches went in and came out, and the swelling went down. If you look closely, there’s still a small scar, which I have just affectionately nicknamed “The Lady Tickler”. Oh yeah. That feels right.

I feel assured that I will find another way to hurt myself soon. If you’re keeping score at home, I’ve been injured: By a tree stump, while being laughed at by third grade girls, by a ping pong paddle, in the shallow end of a pool, and playing FLAG football. In short, I’m pretty awesome.

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Probably Overdue

March 15, 2007

It’s pretty interesting that I’ve never written about this, considering it’s almost certainly the most interesting thing to ever happen to me; Part of me thinks that’s why. Anyway, this piece will probably have a pretty light tone (in case you couldn’t tell, I don’t really plan out my posts before I make them). That being said, I want to let it be known that pretty much everybody around me was everything I could have hoped for an more.

It was a dark and stormy night. But it was the rarest type of dark and stormy night, the kind that’s actually a clear morning. And I was running late to the airport. Fuck.

Sure, enough, I got to the airport after the plane had taken off, and despite the wad of greasy ones I waved in front of the ticket agents face, they wouldn’t turn it around. Which meant that I would have to wait an hour at JFK, and another 5 hours at the airport in Denver. Double Fuck.

It was an exciting time for me, and I was anxious to get started. I was visiting Pomona, which wasn’t my first choice, but Columbia and I decided to remain friends. Apparently, they thought I was totally a nice guy and everything, but weren’t really looking for anything serious. Anyway, no matter what school I decided to go to, a weekend at a college, in Southern California, in late spring, is about everything a high school senior could want. Plane issues aside, it looked like it was going to be a good time.

Sometime around 10 p.m., I made it to campus, found my host and got myself settled. There was a party going on on the floor I was staying at, as soon as I got there. Don Juan that I was (and still am, ladies), I did what I always did at parties – grabbed half of a drink that I would hold and pretend to sip for the rest of the night, and stood around decently large conversations and laughed at what I hoped were the appropriate times. I’ve always been an excellent poser, and using my chameleon-like adaptation skills, I blended seamlessly into the crowd. Four different girls propositioned me for sex, in the way girls usually do – by conspicuously avoiding eye contact and pretending to talk to any and everybody around them. College girls are coy.

The next couple days alternated between Good, Boring, and Ugly. The good was visits to various places in Southern California, the boring was a vast array of meetings that each offered a new set of papers to be carefully filed and then forgotten about, and the ugly was, well, all of the ugly people that I saw. The last day was a more open tour day, with class visits and whatnot. I couldn’t really find the building I was looking for, since the map was kind of an awkward shade of green.

I woke up in a hospital. “Alright, this makes sense,” I thought to myself, “I’m in a hospital.” That sense of calm lasted eight seconds. The realization that I was in a hospital made me a panicked, kind of like a squirrel who suddenly wakes up in a hospital. I had no idea what day it was, why I was there, or who had brought me here. All I knew was that I had the overwhelming desire to get up and use the bathroom. I tried to do so, but people kept pushing me down and forbidding it. It was somewhat how I imagine Catholic potty training to be. Ultimately they realized that I wasn’t trying to escape, and calmly told me that I couldn’t leave.

I suppose, if you’ve read this far, that you have a few questions. First and foremost, what exactly is postmodernism? Also, who were these people around you, and why were you in the hospital? All fair questions, and I’ll answer all of them. “Postmodernism” is actually short for “Postmodernism is a vague term that doesn’t really man anything and is really only used by pretentious douchebags”, the people were my parents, and the reason I was in the hospital was because I had nearly drowned, a fact that I was apparently told several times before I remembered.

I’d like to say that I nearly drowned surfing giant waves in hawaii, or saving orphan children from sure doom (actually, I do say this, but that’s not the point), or even that I was just incredibly drunk, but none of those things are true. It was the middle of the day, I was sober, and I was amidst a crowd of people in the shallow end of the pool. So all of the wild rumors about my reckless behavior are sadly false. The long and short of it is that nobody really knows and all the theories are basically speculation.

I guess this is the best time to thrust in the link to one of the articles about it: http://www.tsl.pomona.edu/author.php?article=701&issue=25

I have a gap in my memory of about four days, during which time I apparently flat-lined, and when I finally began remembering things again, I realized several things; I was hooked up to a bunch of machines, I had a tube in my penis, and I was thirsty.

Incredibly thirsty.

You can’t appreciate how thirsty I was. You know that saltine challenge, where you have to eat a whole bunch of crackers in a given time, but you can’t do it, because all the saliva in your mouth dries out? I was like that, only for about four days. The first of those days, I wasn’t allowed to drink anything, but I was allowed to swab my mouth with these lemon things, which basically consisted of q-tips (brand cotton swabs) dipped in pledge. That being said, I teased myself with those things relentlessly, until I graduated to ice cubes. Now, because of all the machines, I couldn’t reach my mouth properly, so somebody else had to feed me ice cubes. This, I’m sure, could not have been more annoying, but bless their hearts, they willingly complied (ultimately my parents, sister, brother, great aunt and grandmother wound up coming out).

At that point though, I wasn’t thinking about their sacrifice. I wasn’t thinking about going to college. I wasn’t thinking about sex, or cars, or Pokemon, or whatever it is teenage boys are rumored to be thinking about. I was thinking about the fact that my mouth was dryer than Rosie O’ Donnell spooning with The Donald. Sweet jesus, those ice cubes were sweet temptation. They would inevitably melt before satisfying, leaving me aching for more like the heroine in some romance novel, only I didn’t want some stud on horseback to take me from my dreary life as a stewardess/vampire/cliche. I wanted something to goddamn drink.

You might be wondering why I’m spending so long describing how thirsty I was. The answer is fuck you. If you’ve ever gone several days without drinking anything, you would understand too. An IV does nothing for a dry mouth.

Eventually, they deemed me fit to drink liquids. Now, I’ve had sex. I’ve caught touchdown passes as time expired. I’ve been to Disneyland, and I’ve had pocket Aces. None of these things is even close to the feeling of that first sip. I finally understood what crack was like. The nurse made me control my breathing (I had a tendency to hyperventilate, for various boring medical reasons) before I would be allowed a sip of juice. I’m sorry I can’t think of a less prurient analogy, but this is like Adrianna Lima standing naked in front of you and telling you could only come forward once you’d stopped sprouting wood. I did not like this nurse.

Eventually I went from intermittent juices to an all liquid diet. Then, suddenly and for medical reasons that escape me, I was given a huge cheeseburger. I threw it up. Another cheeseburger was summoned. Again, my esophagus hit the rewind button. A third cheeseburger was summoned, but before I gave the room a double feature on this one, they thought to wonder why I was throwing up. Turns out one of my breathing apparatuses was pushing air down my throat, which made it hard for food to get down. With that switched, I finally was able to keep some of it down, even though I wasn’t really hungry.

I wasn’t really ever that hungry, and I have no really interesting food stories, except that I ate a bunch of salad, and once tried to eat a hot wing with a bunch of little cuts in my mouth. This was not a smart idea.

I didn’t really have a huge interest in food, but I was certainly willing to pretend for the sake of the nutritionist. I’m not sure it’s because everybody else in the hospital was either a guy or a 50 year old nurse, but hot damn. The nutritionist was smoking. Which I thought was medically irresponsible in a hospital around somebody who had just suffered two collapsed lungs, but I forgave her because she was incredibly hot.

Bed-ridden though I was, I still had my wits about me. So next time she came to talk to me about a food plan, I suavely laid my game down.

“Y-y-ou are pret-ty…” I croaked.

“Oh, would that you could leap from that bed, pull that long snakey tube from your penis, and ravish me among these almost-certainly disease-ridden sheets!!” she cried out passionately.

You must understand, however, that I’m inferring here. Her actual words were “Aw, thank you”, but I think you and I are both more than capable of reading between the lines. However, professionalism eventually won out and our romance was held off, at least temporarily. I did, however, score several sponge baths from nurses who were about half a century older than I. But hey, they didn’t complain, and neither am I.

They weren’t the only ones that got a front row seat to my glory. The hospital I was admitted to was a teaching hospital, and a class had been studying my case. Which means that several times, groups of med students came by and prodded me. I had a bunch of tiny air pockets under my skin, which meant that touching me was very much like touching a bean bag chair. The students were in awe of this, as apparently some had never felt it before, and asked if they could touch it. I obliged, and poke they did. Now I kind of know how the animals in the zoo feel, except nobody was trying to get me to reproduce.

Not that I could have. You know how I said there were a bunch of air pockets? Well, there was also a bunch of air in my, uh, pocket. That’s right. My scrotum had inflated like a balloon for some reason, to quite comical effect. When I wore sweatpants, it looked like I was trying to steal a softball. Which meant that sex was pretty much the furthest thing from my mind. And this particularly lovely side effect didn’t go away until some time after I had left the hospital, and then only in stages. For a while, it was impossible for me to tell whether or not I was a eunuch. To add more happy times, when it was time for me to leave the ICU my decatheterization was done without warning, unless you count “what’s that over there?” as a warning.

Apart from that fun, though, being in a hospital sucks. I had tubes in my chest, which hurt and made it hard to sleep; the bed was small and uncomfortable; the fact that I was hooked up to a bunch of machines meant that I couldn’t ever really get comfortable; and every so often a lovely attendant would make me get up so he could shove a cold board up the back of my gown and introduce me to a bunch of radiation. Hospitals feel profoundly lonely at night. All of the sounds are cold and mechanical, and they are institutions devoted not to life, but to the avoidance of death. Depressing.

Eventually it got somewhat better, as I got a cd player and a few cds to keep me company. Actually, the list is pretty varied, and I think a pretty good one: Modest Mouse’s Good News For People who Love Bad News, Jay-Z’s The Black Album, Kanye West’s The College Dropout, John Mayer’s Room for Squares, Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP and Maroon 5’s Songs about Jane. What this list says about me could very well be it’s own post sometime, so I won’t go into it.

After I moved from the ICU, the story gets pretty boring. Most of the medical work was done, and it was just a matter of recovering to the point where I could recover at home. I did, however, receive several lovely flower arrangements, a care basket, fifty mylar balloons, cards and letters, and a graded essay. I’m sure all of you Sesame Street fans are playing the “one of these things is not like the others” game. If you guessed the graded essay, you were correct. My Dostoevsky and Tolstoy teacher had thought it relevant to send me the latest paper he had graded. I know what you might be thinking; had it been a terrific A + to boost my spirits? No, it was an A/A-. Which was my average in the class, so it wasn’t exactly news. I could have waited for that. And if he was going to send it, he couldn’t have bumped it up to an A? Furthermore, why the hell would I want to read a relatively straightforward paper THAT I WROTE about a book I didn’t even really like? Seriously? It’s the thought that counts, and that showed that he wasn’t thinking.

More importantly thought, the deluge of love from people who if pressed, probably wouldn’t even consent to liking me, made me look really popular. The nurses and doctors were all shocked at how much stuff people sent, and eventually it got to be almost too much for the room. When I could walk, I began walking around giving most of the stuff away.

Eventually, I was well enough to head home. I wound up spending a couple nights in the guest house at Pomona before beginning my trek back. One of the delightful side effects of the accident was that I couldn’t fly, lest I blow up to Michelin Man proportions. My only option was to take a train some 4000 miles across the country with my mother which is not as sexy and exciting as it sounds. There are a couple interesting tidbits from that experience, but that’s fodder for another post.

That’s basically the extent of my hospital visit. There are definitely things that I left out, and some things that could be fleshed out. But I think this is far more than enough to satisfy the curiosity of even my most hardcore fans.

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What ruined gay bars for me.

February 22, 2007

This will be the closest I get to a legitamate blog post in a while, so soak it in reader. Or am I up to two now? Only time, and a site meter (if i ever get one going), will tell.

So last night I went to a gay bar. Only this time, it wasn’t for fun, fornication, or fashion tips. It was for realsies. I was going to hone my craft – standup comedy. Now I had seen this listing online, and it had assured me that although it took place in a gay bar, there wasn’t a gay element, and it was merely a space to use. It further assured me that it wouldn’t just be gay comedians. The listing made me feel welcome. The listing lied.

Several factors conspired against me, pretty much from the beginning. One, the name of the bar had changed, from a vaguely homoerotic Boots and Saddles to a flaming Climaxx (aside: wouldn’t flaming climaxx be a good name for a band or sex position?). That’s no typo. There were indeed two x’s. But beyond this strange grammatical construction, the new name meant that my friend and I had quite the time finding it, finally resorting to asking the bouncer at a restaclub that served something called “gays a la carte.” I wish I could make this up.

So we get in, and it’s clearly a situation where there are a lot of regulars. Which sometimes helps, but in this case did not. These particular regulars didn’t seem especially eager for two fresh-faced randoms to mosey in and steal the show. We also were the last comedians to get there, because of the whole Climaxx situation, so we had to go last. So by the time we went on, the crowd was not only sparse and bored, but drunk. And not the medium happy giggly drunk that is the impetus for the two drink minimum. This was an angry, belligerent drunk. I was scared.

It also bears repeating that the entire crowd was gay, save for the female host, my friend, me, and one uproariously drunk woman who teetered on the edge of her stool the entire night, but sadly never took a dive. It might have infused some comedy into the night, but once again, gravity was uncooperative. To paraphrase the late, great Marion Barry, “the law of gravity, like all other laws, is racist.” The crowd was also older, ranging from 25-45. They were uninterested in my razor sharp musings on the sluttiness of girls on Myspace. They were uninterested in hearing about my masturbation patterns. They were uninterested in hearing about how white people and black people totally walk differently. There was no pleasing these people.

By the time I went on, they hadn’t laughed all night, save for a knowing giggle when one female comedian said “big penis”. I knew it was a mistake to follow the girl who said “big penis” several times, but just as Icarus before me, I let my arrogance dominate (but not in a gay leather daddy way) my prudence. As I was going on stage, the host commented that she liked my outfit. It was by far the highlight of the entire experience. It was steeply downhill from there.

I tried to tell a “girlfriend” joke. It didn’t go over well. First, I had to explain what it was. I tried various tactics; “it’s like a fag-hag, only you sleep with her.” They didn’t get it. Finally, in the interest of time, I replaced the word girlfriend with boyfriend. This did not work. I told some pedophilia jokes. When this didn’t work either, I implied that these jokes might hit a little to close to home. The audience did not take well to this. Finally, I ended with a stupid joke that got a bit of a titter for its sheer stupidity. I accepted it gratefully, and slunk off the stage.

Some highlights from the evening: One gay comedian who took his stage time and just used it to hit on guys in the crowd…another who described one of his bowel movements in great detail…a comedian who asked for requests, despite the fact that we had never heard any of his material…and a neophyte who ended, curiously, by doing a Sarah Silverman joke in a Bill Cosby voice. It was a weird night.

I really wish I had some video for the evening, but unfortunately, the only cameras were in the men’s room. And it was full all evening.