Saturday, December 24, 2011

Inappropriate Xmas Cards


This time of year has always been my favorite.  There are many reasons for this, but I’m not going to go into them now, for everyone’s sake.  What’s important is that I’ve become an atheist comedy writer and I made some inappropriate Christmas cards.  Also, I’m never going to write about my year because those types of people just need to write a blog no one will read instead of a letter no one would read.  CARDS:

For the hardcore Christians:

Cover:
Inside:
 

For Atheists:

Cover:

Inside:
 

For Jews:

Cover:

Inside:

For normal Christians:

Cover:

Inside:

And that's what I have this year.  On a side note, I bet you'll look differently at all the dead trees on the curb a week from now.  I had a meth-related card, but I decided that THAT would be too racy.  Yep.  Happy Holidays everyone, I truly am grateful for all my readers.  All my love, Rob.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Public Transportation and You

Since moving to Denver, I’ve had small culture shocks here and there.  For instance, aluminum cans don’t have deposit here, so there is no point in recycling them.  Except for the fact that Denver is trying to be an uber-green city, and if you throw your cans away in front of anyone, you will be instantly flogged within an inch of your life.

But there is one culture shift in my life I’m pretty damn fond of: I take the bus to and from work.  To be specific, I take the sketchiest bus in Denver to and from work.  Whenever I tell any coworkers, citizens, or neighbors that I ride the East Colfax bus line, the person gets really wide eyed, some gasp, and they simply ask, “and how is that going for you?”


Honestly, there are news articles about the dangers of riding this line.  It makes headlines, guys.  But what Denverites don’t seem to grasp is that I LIVE for this shit.  Do you have any idea how nice meth-heads can be?  How about the time limit that you can hold the gaze of a toothless old man before he starts screaming obscenities at you?  Well, I DO know, and I’m creating a guide for you, so you can feel confident riding the 15 or 15L downtown Denver bus without getting stabbed!

Rob’s Guide to Riding Dangerous Busses:

The best way to safely ride a bus is to identify and stereotype every last person you can.  Most people do this.  This is why, when you get on any public transportation, everyone stares at you while you nervously glance around, desperately searching for an empty seat.  They are simply judging the likelihood of you raping them and burning their body.

Here is my list of bus riders in order of harmless to Ferocious-Predator:


The Disabled/With-child Shrew
This docile creature wouldn’t hurt a fly.  They spend most of their time making the bus driver open the handicap ramp and pissing everyone off by delaying their bus journey by another 30 seconds.  Often seen staring aimlessly into the back 75% of the bus and talking without shame to the people sitting around the handicapped area.

Rob’s Danger Assessment: 1 out of 4 Bus Rape Points


Bus Driver
The Bus Driver rules over their Bus-Kingdom with an iron fist.  They demand their tax of “bus fare” and then allow automatic citizenship of the bus, regardless of meth use or blatant nudism.  However, Bus Driver will not let you pass if you don’t pay taxes.  In fact, I witnessed the Bus Driver’s tactics earlier this fall:  He parks the bus.  Citizen Wannabe complains and argues with some bullshit excuses for not having $2.25.  Bus driver stays firm.  Citizen Wannabe looks into the bus for help.  No one moves, some people start glaring.  Citizen Wannabe gets still more aggravated.  A Crazy black lady screams at Citizen Wannabe.  The bus population nods in agreement.  Citizen Wannabe succumbs to the Bus Army and gets off the bus, though calls Bus Driver a “Fucking Asshole”.  Crazy black lady screams, “it’s not him that’s the asshole, honey!” and turns to the rest of the bus with her arms in the air and yells, “AM I RIGHT?!”  King Bus Driver rules all, and has special powers over the crazy black ladies.

Rob’s Danger Assessment: 1.5 out of 4 Bus Rape Points.


The Guy Who Thinks He Knows You
            This is what I call the person who gets on the bus and pretends to (or somehow does) know you.  It happened to me yesterday.  I had been waiting at the bus stop for at least 15 minutes, and I wearily took my seat next to a small girl.  All of the sudden, someone taps my shoulder.  A bearded man was standing in the aisle, looking down at me.  He says hi, and I return the greeting.  And then he took a seat right behind me, just so 15 minutes later, he can tap my shoulder again and ask, “so did you activate your number yet?”  What number?  Who is this guy?  I have all my numbers activated!  I have one of the most unique faces on the planet, so I know there’s not another me running around.  I quickly answer, “Nope!  It’s taking me forever!  It’s so hard not to have that number activated!”  And I quickly throw in my iPod headphones.
            This is more common among black people, WHO ALL SEEM TO KNOW EACH OTHER.  It’s an anomaly to me.  HOW?!  All I know is, every time any two black people see each other on the bus, they’re asking about Thanksgiving, welfare, what sons have recently procreated, and I’m just at a loss.  Do these people just ride the bus all day and know one another from bus conversations?  Impossible.  I’ve chalked them up to be “Guy’s that think they know each other” and neither ever realize it.

Rob’s Danger Assessment: 2.0 out of 4 Bus Rape Points. (they could follow you home!)


The Friendly Meth Head
This creature of the bus is charming in their own way with the genuine should-be-tooth-filled smile, their easygoing personality, and their odd assortment of clothing.  Meth has voided their body of most necessary nutrients, but has provided them with uncanny strength and perseverance.  Therein lies their danger.  If they suddenly stand up abruptly, and scream that the giant spiders from next door are attacking them, the best thing to do for your own self defense is to stare out the window until they come back to consciousness.  It would be terrible to tangle with your new meth-addicted friend and his imaginary spiders.  (This happened to a guy on my bus and he literally started throwing everything in his possession at the wall.  His phone shattered.  It was shocking, sad, and adorable all at the same time.)

Rob’s Danger Assessment: 2.3 out of 4 Bus Rape Points.


The Crazy Black Lady/Man
The specimen of the Crazy Black Person is one of my favorites, and yet, one I fear talking to the most.  It may seem racist, singling out black people as the source of the craziest, but I don’t mean it in a bad way in the slightest.  On their best day, a crazy white person could never match the insanity that a Crazy Black Person achieves.  I have always been jealous of black people’s natural charisma and ability to capture the attention of those around them.  The best way white people know how to be crazy is to constantly void their bowels.  The Crazy Black person is another species altogether.  On my bus tonight, a HUGE black man in a bright red coat, dreadlocks down to his waist, and a brilliant blue beard spent 30 minutes berating a defiant ugly white girl who was about my age.  Uglywhitegirl refused to move out of the handicapped seats for a Disabled/With-child Shrew stating that she “DOES NOT SIT IN THE BACK OF THE BUS.”  I immediately pressed pause on my iPod so I could listen to the rest of the conversation.  Crazy Black Man LET LOOSE.  If there was a fault about this girl anywhere on her body or her attitude, he commented on it. (There were plenty).  I realize I’m really going on about the description of the Crazy Black People, so here’s the best summary I have:  They are like the Knights of the bus.  They aren’t afraid to call you out if you are defying the Bus King, or if you are being a menace.  And you can bet they aren’t afraid to fight you over it.

Rob’s Danger Assessment:  3.1 out of 4 Bus Rape Points.


Cocaine & Heroin Addict Ranting Idiot, Zoned And Reeling-towards Death (CHARIZARD)
Hell yes, I used the holographic Charizard card for inspiration of this drawing.
This almighty and frightening creature offers almost no escape.  They usually smell like every drug under the sun.  They’re usually in an enraged state.  Maybe their mom just cut them off.  Maybe their dealer just got arrested.  And maybe they just got done with a homeless drug rumble and didn’t come out on top.  The latter is what happened to the CHARIZARD who accosted me on the bus.  The guy was in his 20s and bleeding from the lip.  His eye pupils were different sizes, and he smelled like socks that I’ve worn for 3 years dipped in marijuana-laced-vodka.
            “YOU,” he said, “You gotta help me.  This guy just punched the shit outta me!  Let’s go beat him up!”
            “Ah…. Well…. I’m not sure… I can?” I stammered.
            “Nah, come’on, we can take’em!” he responded.

            “No… There are many things in life that I’m confident I can tackle, but that guy across the street that I can’t see is something I'm not confident I can handle.”
            “No, you can!  I promise! C’mon, let’s go!  Look at my lip!  I can’t let this go!”
            I started to think desperately.  This was trouble.  I took a look at him again.  He was wearing Ed Hardy, was bleeding avidly from his face, and the stench of drugs was just weeping out of his skin.  Idea!
            “Hey, new friend, I’m gay and I’m pretty sure if…” but the rest of my on-the-spot-excuse didn’t come out.
            He turned away and cranked his neck and threw a look of disgust just for me.  I relished it.  It was my last surefire way to cement my safety from a drug-addled rumble.  Thank god for bigotry.
            This was the biggest and scariest of all the Bus-Riding creatures I’ve already encountered.  If it wasn’t for my savage impulses for same-sex relations, I’m sure I would have been subject to far worse treatment by the bottom 10% of Denver.
            I have no idea what happened to my new friend, The Non-Friendly Most-Likely-Homeless Drug Addict.  I hope he found a utopia among the other CHARIZARD and they created some sort of Fight Club that no one knows about.  You know, because of rules 1 & 2.  (I’ve never seen Fight Club, but I think I’m quoting it correctly)

Rob’s Danger Assessment: 4 out of 4 Bus Rape Points




And that about wraps up the guide!  I wish all of you the best in all of your future endeavors.  And if you guys didn't get my obscure pokémon card references, you are sad and I pity you.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm Terrible at Receiving Gifts


When I was little, I spent Christmas with my family at my Grandma’s house.  My aunt and uncle were also there, and we were having a large family gathering.  To me, all this meant was I was about to receive a shit load of presents, and that’s something that I could really get behind.


On Christmas Eve, while the adults all got hammered by the fireplace, my brother and I sat in the corner, playing with army men and a giant black plastic mountain.  Soon enough, we started punching each other and needed to be separated.  I chose to join my sister at the dollhouse and played some good old fashioned barbies.


The increasingly drunken adults started to call to me from afar to play with boy toys.  Because playing with over-muscled action figures in tight colorful suits was sure to make me more manly.


Later, the adults started doing whatever adults did when they were drunk in the early 90’s: make their kids watch Mrs. Doubtfire for the millionth time while they start an ultimate dance party with large shape decorations, denim outfits, and a giant bowl of spiked Surge.


After Mrs. Doubtfire, my siblings and I went to bed, staring out the window in our grandmother’s spare room, because we were sure that the red blinking light in the distance was not a guide for nighttime fliers, but Rudolph having trouble keeping a steady beam going.

Because on Christmas, kids will believe ANYTHING.

We woke up the next morning and forced our relatives out of bed for our pure unadulterated greedy present-less selves.  Everyone but our uncle had found a way out of their bedazzled denim suits and, nursing their hangovers, grudgingly joined us in front of the tree.

I started off opening everything I had asked for and then some.  We actually have this part on home video, and I would do anything to find a way to throw that video up here for you but I can’t, so I’m going to draw you pretty much the whole thing.

I got really excited when my Aunt and Uncle gave me this giant heavy box.  And I mean, this box was my height and half of my scrawny 63 pound weight.





 


Apparently, no one had updated my relatives that I’d rather be watching Jungle Book for the millionth time than watch an iota of sports.  What was an obviously expensive gift (it was full football gear, pads, helmet, jersey, the works, all with personalized BARGER printed on everything) fell on deaf ears, because it was the most boring gift I’d received that morning.

On the tape, my mom is watching this unravel and gives a vain attempt to sway my interest back to the gift.  I say something way beyond my years like, “no momma, that holds nothing of interest to me and my life,” and I start hugging my brand new stuffed dog.  Then she laughed nervously and looks at the camera and shrugs.

My family was really surprised when I came out of the closet.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Compassion is for the Weak.


There is a reason why I’m happy that stores and TV channels like to skip a holiday altogether and decorate for Christmas 3 months early.  My parents have a really bad habit of trying to ruin every Thanksgiving.  Every year, we go through the same ol’ song and dance.  Dad, who doesn’t lift a finger to cook Thanksgiving dinner, always wants to “skip the hassle of making a turkey dinner, and begs the family to go to the ‘Community Thanksgiving Dinner.’”  We all rebuff him, because “community thanksgiving dinner” sounds suspiciously like “public school thanksgiving lunch”.


Mom on the other hand, does her best to throw a dinner together.  She usually tries at least three new recipes, one of which inevitably fails.  But her heart is in the right place, so I have no real problem with Mom’s thanksgiving spirit.  Except for one year.

About seven years ago, in a fit of compassion, my parents invited an elderly couple over for Thanksgiving.  I am not a fan of old people.  My siblings were equally put out.  So we earned ourselves quite a few lectures about being better, more compassionate people.


To be completely honest, I don’t “hate” old people.  I hate the stereotypes of old people: the grumpiness, the confusion, the blatant racism/judgment, the gasses, and the screaming of the soon-to-be-deaf.  With any luck, our guests Harriet and Dale (names were NOT changed to protect the guilty) would not be like that.  I wasn’t hopeful.


Thanksgiving morning, I woke up and began to help my mom make dinner.  I’m usually pretty good at making desserts, so mom had me working on pies.  Dad was sitting in the living room, being annoying, and telling us how much work we were doing.


Soon, Harriet and Dale arrived, with lengthy boring complaints about how long their 2.5 block walk was to our house.  Harriet then declared that she was sitting in a chair and was not going to move until it was time for her to go.  Dale went in the living room and talked to my dad about his latest hernia/gout/old-people-sclerosis-outbreak.


We then started the same old process of keeping small talk while cooking.  Harriet would only grunt in reply whenever any of us asked her questions, and when she had something to say, it usually was about as interesting (and gross) as steamed broccoli stems.


Dale had disappeared for a time, and we eventually found him sitting on the porch, most of the way through the apple pie I had just finished.


Eventually, we all sat down for dinner.  Harriet and Dale both misunderstood the concept of passing the food around, so we had to pass back and forth around them.  Harriet loaded her plate up with corn and then complained that her digestive system wasn’t able to handle such an abrasive vegetable.  Dale farted at least three times.


What felt like hours later, dinner had ended.  Harriet and Dale were obviously full and tired because Harriet’s complaints had disintegrated into drool-filled mumbles, and Dale flat out fell asleep at the table.  Harriet jabbed Dale in the ribs and announced that it was time to go.  As they were leaving Harriet turned back to us and said, “Well, that was interesting,” and shut the door.

THIS was the straw that broke my mother’s back.  She turned to us and yelled, “That was INTERESTING?!  How about a THANK YOU?!”



It seems like my mother learned a valuable lesson about old people and the dangers of compassion, because we have never invited another elder over again.  Thanksgivings have been marginally better ever since.  I still avoid them, and it’s been three years since I’ve had a down home Thanksgiving with my family.  This year will be four.  I regret nothing.

Dedication:
This post is dedicated to the late Harriet.  May her memory never be tarnished by some asshole with a blog and a chip on his shoulder.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween! AKA I Hate Horror Movies

I hate horror movies.  I have hated them since the first one I’d ever seen as a kid, and I haven’t seen a lot of them.  My parents are firm believers in the movie rating system, and my mom detests scary films.  It doesn’t make sense to me in the slightest that someone would pay money to have their wits blasted out of their brains in fright.  Nowadays, I watch about 3 scary movies a year, and I only watch them in the month of October.

When I was 12, I saw my first horror movie ever: I Know What You Did Last Summer.  I know some of you guys are like, “ugh, what a boring movie, with stupid effects, and dumb looking bloody bodies, and fake fake fake blah blah blah.”  Take this moment to (forgive the extensive swearing and) go fuck yourself, because that movie scared the motherliving shit out of me.

I was 12, and my mind was innocent.  My family and I were doing our usual Catholic family things on a Friday night.  My aunt and cousins were visiting us for the weekend, and all of us kids got to rent a movie for the night.  My sister and cousins really wanted to get I Know What You Did Last Summer.  My mother conceded after a few tantrums thrown by most of us.


The older members of our family are smart, and do not enjoy scary movies.  I was young and naïve.  I had no idea what a scary movie entailed.  My closest encounter had been Ernest Saves Halloween, which DID give me nightmares, and THAT even had a happy ending… I think consisting of defeating the monster with milk.  I don’t know, google it.


So the young trusting kids were shepherded into a room all our own, to take delight in one of horror movie’s finest.  I sat on the ground in my usual fashion, feeling the invigorating blood rush that accompanies doing something bad for the first time.  Like stealing cookies or using a racial slur for the first time (neither recommended).

To be honest, I don’t remember much of the plot of the movies, but what I do remember goes in this sequence:

Initial scene: Beautiful teenagers hit a terrible man with a hook.  Life is going good for me.
First 3 murders

Second 3 Killin's

The finale

After the movie I was paralyzed.  I wanted my cousins to think I was cool.  I hadn’t screamed at all.  This was because my liver had imploded and my kidneys had fused out of sheer terror.
But then life was supposed to just “go on”.  I was supposed to forget about the fact that I had just witnessed 18 bazillion murders, by a serial killer who was STILL ALIVE at the end.

He was in my house.

He was sitting behind the couch.

He was staring straight at me.

I sat there, staring at the TV screen, pretending to laugh while desperately trying to remember all of my yellow-belt tae-kwon-do moves.  Fuck!  I was trying to remember what my master had told me about giant fish-hook stabbing attacks and pulling up nothing!  Tae-Kwon-Do failed me again!

Flying Fish Attack of Doom: Very effective against fish hook stabbings
I was aware I had to pee.  Slowly, by twisting my appendages free of my own vice like grips, I went into the bathroom, about 10 feet away.  I turned on every fixture as I went, and made it securely inside the bathroom.  What had I done?

The serial killer could have easily concealed himself ANYWHERE.  I grabbed a box of tissues as a safety shield and sneaked along the wall of the bathroom.


I realized that if I were on a murderous rampage, the shower curtain was exactly where I would hide.


Finally, I made it to the toilet.  There was just one problem.  I am pee shy, and I can’t go if someone was looking at me.  I found this to be definitive proof that HE was standing right outside the bathroom window staring at me trying to pee!


I was eventually able to relieve myself, but the whole time I was internally screaming.

It took months for me to get over my fear of giant fish hook wielding mad men.  Every time I had to be somewhere alone, I had to have all the lights on.  I needed to be armed with at least a box of tissues, though I preferred the family encyclopedia or my even more naïve younger brother*.

My nightmares had dulled down.

I could look in my cousins’ eyes and not feel shame.

And I could finally pee again, without feeling a 40 year old crazed villain’s eyes on the back of my skull.



*My brother was annoyingly cavalier about this movie.  I remember him being allowed to watch the movie, but I’m not positive he had watched it.  If he had, he’s a sick little bastard, because he slept soundly every night as I laid up at night, staring under his bed, positive the serial killer was lurking.  If you want a bonus read about almost this exact situation, visit Allie's Blog


He slept like this ALL NIGHT.