Saturday, February 28, 2009

Damn PC's are not the Mac

Two years with my awesome computer and no understanding as to how I haven't got a virus on it.. now I have. Some how it gave me a window to type this, but until I get some superior virgin guy to fix it, I can't t ype for a day or five. The nerds own us. Hopefully, he won't take all my money, my real job depends on this here porn machine... not for porn, but for boring newspaper articles I write.

And porn.


(Or C.W.) Whichever you know me as.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Broken Back Part 11 (B.S. tags along for Sewer Day)

So about a week after the wreck, I was finally getting up and staying awake a little longer than I had been. It still wasn't a lot. Other than going to that pool party with Ed, I still hadn't left the house much.

One particular school day, I had made it to the living room to watch the morning game shows. I remember being home alone and thinking it was way too quiet. I know it was a school day, because suddenly, my three Mooresville boys busted through my living room in a party mood yelling "Sewer Day, Bitch! School is canceled! We're hanging with you today, Wriscey!"

I looked over at them in shock. Not because they busted in my house without knocking - at least 100 people had a right to walk in my house without knocking any time they wanted. You wouldn't believe how much of a happy hub of a hangout that house was for people of all ages for so many years. My friends, my big sister's friends, my little sister's friends, and all my dad's employees, and all my mom's coffee drinking friends could just walk in that house whenever they wanted. Hell, people would go straight to our fridge without asking, but many of them would also fill it up from time to time. I never knew what a house key was. The only time we locked the doors was when we went to bed at night. Even when my family would go on vacation for a week to the beach, we wouldn't lock up the house. Every couple of year's a neighbor would get robbed, but we never did - and my mom told me that we never would. (She was right.) She said it was due the fact that she opened her home up to people the way God wanted her to. You wouldn't believe how many down on their luck people would stumble onto our porch telling us they had no idea what sent them there to our poor ass family in their lowest moments. Occasionally, we'd have some recovering addict, or some abuse victim, or some pregnant woman staying with us for a few days here or there, while they got their shit together. And while my Mom would help them, she would also set their sorry asses straight and tell them the truth even if they didn't want to hear it. She wouldn't tell them they weren't at fault just because they wanted to hear that. Don't get me wrong, she never put her kids in obvious danger and let raging crackheads stay with us, but we occasionally we had some character at the house. The crackheads would soon turn out to be two of my friends. And even they never caused a problem... at least not with us.

So why were my little druggie friends, Jason, Blank and B.S running around my house laughing about something they called "Sewer Day?" I didn't know, either. So one of them explained.

"Basically, Dr. Sloop is a dumbass!"

Let me explain who Dr. Sloop was before I recount my friends explaining Sewer Day to me. Dr. Sloop was our principal at Mooresville High School. She was a lady that my Grandmother went to high school with. So that would've put her in her early 70's at that time. Yes, we had an old, naive grandma for a principal. Awesome! She was very nice, but she was very naive. I'll tell you how clueless she was about bastards our age.

One day earlier that year, all of the students were suddenly sequestered in their 4th period classes while a drug sweep was performed by the K-9 unit from the local police department looking for drugs in the lockers. Once it was done, this sweet lady came on the intercom and proudly announced to us that we had a "completely drug free school!" Even my Drafting teacher, Mr. Nail, was laughing his ass off when she said that. It was even more hilarious than you think. You may think the dogs failed at their job and that our little school couldn't possibly be drug free. But actually, on that day our school probably really was drug free. Here's why: The night before, one of our asssistant principal calleds exactly one friend of mine and told him to spread the word that we all needed to keep our drugs out of school the next day. It's not that the assistant principal was involved in drugs. As well as I knew the respectable man, it was probably because he didn't want any of our futures to get derailed by one stupid day of dogs running through the school. I always loved that dude. And believe me, everyone got his memo. I wasn't one to bring drugs to school, and even I knew about it. So that's how naive Dr. Sloop was, she had no idea she had been backdoored by her assistant principal. So let's get back to one of my friends explaining Sewer Day to me.

"Roth Wriscey, you're got gonna believe it. Dr. Sloop got on the intercom in first period and said "Students, we're having a problem with the plumbing. Whatever you do, please don't flush the toilets for the next couple of hours, because if you do that, it will back up the system and we'll have to cancel school for the rest of the day."

I told you she was naive.

"Seriously dude, after she said that shit - during the very next class change, every motherfucker in school was racing to that bathrooms to flush every toilet. What was that lady thinking?"

While I was jealous that I had missed an event like Sewer Day, I was thrilled that my three friends decided to spend it with me. Then I looked at my friends and realized one detail didn't add up, and it fell squarely on my main man, B.S.

I said, "Guys, I'm glad you all thought to come her for Sewer Day. But B.S, what the hell are you doing here? You don't even go to our school!"

He laughed and said, "Well, when the guys found out about Sewer Day, they called me at the payphone in the hall at my school like yall always do at that time, and I decided to ditch class for the rest of the day, so I snuck out of school and ran to the side of the road where they picked me up in the Samurai. I wasn't letting ya'll motherfuckers have a day off without me. Fuck that!,"

Yeah, B.S. went on to be a twice-convicted felon. He also had at least two babies with two women. He's even escaped from jail during a transport to court. I've seen him get in countless jams. I've known him to get his ass kicked multiple times. But I've never seen him start a fight or even through a punch. And he's never screwed me over in 17 years. We have an agreement. He doesn't bring his bullshit world into mine, and I don't try to talk him out of his scams. And he's still he's one of my best friends today. I haven't seen him in four years. And he now lives with other freaks in Oregon. But we're still tight. I'll make it out there soon, or he'll shock me with a surprise visit this year.

Me and B.S. going to different schools was kind of funny because I lived in Mecklenburg County but my parents paid money for me to go to a public school where he lived in Iredell County.

And while B.S. lived in Iredell County, his parents paid money for him to go to a public school where I lived in Mecklenburg County.

Here's the difference: I went to school where I did because they provided a better education than where I was supposed to go.

B.S went to schoo where he did, because he had been banned from the Mooresville School System FOR LIFE for bringing a gun to class in the 8th grade. He didn't even point it at anyone. He was just trying impress a girl by showing it to her in class. She was so impressed she tattled. B.S. later got banned from a second school system for something else, but I can't remember. At his third school system, he didn't get in trouble, even though he was involved in some altercation outside where some people shot some guy he was standing with. His friend wasn't majorly hurt.

My final thought on Sewer Day? "Man, I always miss the good shit!"

Wokka, Wokka, Wokka!

Broke Back Part Ten: New Friend, Start to End

My two days in the hospital were pretty uneventful and pretty quick. Before I knew it, I was back home, under some basic orders from the doctor:

1. One, you can take the back brace off to sleep, but you must always sleep on your side.

2. You can take the back brace off every other day for a shower.

3. No physical activity and no bending.

It was easy, except for the fact that I loved taking at least two hot showers a day, I loved sleeping on my side and I loved being physically active. Other than those three things, it was easy to follow those three orders. Still, I obeyed, because I knew I wanted to retain my ability to walk. One fuck up and I could ruin that.

I was healing slowly. In fact, I still hadn't felt any sign of healing, but I was told that I was lucky to be 16, because a 40 year old would be healing even a lot slower than that. It still took forever to get out of bed and I was getting these awful dull aches in my thighs and balls that I still get today. (I found out that they are related to a nerve in the part of the spine I injured.)

After a couple of days at home, I woke up from my coma routine and saw a guy sitting in the chair across from just staring at me. It wasn't a mean stare, or a creepy stare or an overly sympathetic stare, it was just a neutral stare. I would later learn that this guy just had a habit of staring directly into your eyes whenever he thought deliberately about what he was going to say.

I could tell the guy had probably been sitting there patiently, and for quite some time, until I finally woke up. He could have been there minutes or hours, I'll never know, but he had definitely been waiting until I was ready. Then he spoke in his matter of fact way:

Him: I bet you feel as bad as you look.

Me: That depends. Do I look like shit?

Him: Yeah. Pretty much.

Me: Well, then I'd have to say you're right. You're name's Ed, right?

Him: Yep. I heard you weren't doing so hot.---------------------

OK, so here was the deal on Ed. I had met him one time. He was good friends with my good friend, Blank. We had met weeks before at Blank's house and hung out with a bunch of other people at the house that day. I knew he was a senior two years older than me, and I had heard he was trouble, but I never saw it myself.

It was the early 90's, and Ed looked every bit like a teenager from the early 90's without being one of those cliche grunge kids or one of those silly cross-color wearing wigger kids. He had that somewhat-bowl cut that went around your head kind of high. He was a blond dude with a really round skull kind of like a cabbage patch kid.

What I couldn't figure out was how Ed figured out where I lived or why he came to visit me. He had never been to my house, he lived 10 miles away in Mooresville, he was older than me, and I honestly didn't think he would've remembered me if he had seen me again after that one time we met. I figured my Mom had let him in, but I really wasn't sure. Our conversation continued:

Ed: Have you left the house since you've been back?

Me: No. I've been here the whole time.

Ed: Well, that's no good. Let's get you out of here for a while.

Me: How did you know where I lived?

Ed: Blank told me how to get here. I know where there's a pool party in Bridgeport where a lot of your friends are. You need to get off your ass and out of the house. It'll do you some good. I've already checked with your mom, she said it was OK.

Me: O-kay? I guess I can go. But it's gonna take me a while to get out of bed.

Ed: That's fine. I can wait. I got a new sound system in my Thunderbird. The bass will probably feel good on your back.-------------------------------------------------------

I've never enjoyed rap music so much. I remember Ed had that damn Onyx song that was new at the time playing on a CD on repeat the whole way to the party. He was right, the bass did feel good.

As we rode to the party that night, I could tell this was the first day of this guy becoming a pretty good friend to me. Few people got to see this side of him. I don't think he gave a shit whether they knew he was a nice guy or not. They just believed what they heard. While I knew I had a new friend, I didn't know was how short our friendship would turn out to be. It was May, and Ed was alive while I felt dead. I didn't know then that the following May, we would switch roles. But for the moment, I was riding shotgun. And a year from then, Ed would decide to eat one.

I don't want to go into Ed's death too much for a couple of reasons. First off, it was his death, not mine. I hate people who try to turn someone else's misfortune into their avenue to try to get attention. Still, he turned into a pretty good friend, and I don't want to not mention him like he didn't exist. He did exist. And he was a damn good guy. I joke that he was probably my 8th best friend at the time he decided to leave us. I probably just missed the cut in being mentioned in his homemade will that he left behind. And justifiably so. If I was suicidal, he probably would have just missed the cut in making into my letter, too.

I know he had troubles, and I know his troubles won out. And I know I've had people much closer to me have died whose deaths have affected me less. I don't know why. Yes, I do. It's because he was so nice for no reason. And I knew he would've eventually made something of himself if he didn't feel the need to do what he did to himself.

I'll leave my memories of my year of being friends with Ed by telling one funny story about him.

A couple of weeks before he died, he was issued a citation that only one other person in North Carolina had ever received: Instructing While Impaired.

North Carolina used to issue some kids a provisional license that would allow them to drive only as long as there was another licensed driver in the front passenger seat with them.

One day Lame-O (who I once justifiably popped in the head with a Pepsi can) was pulled over for speeding by a cop. While Lame-O was totally sober, Ed was in the passenger seat drunk as shit and technically in the role of "instructor." So he basically got charged with the bizarre crime of having a designated driver.

Oh, one other funny thing from his suicide note. (There's a sentence you don't see every day.) Besides leaving lots of my pals lots of his shit in a suicide will that didn't count, he also mentioned Kurt Cobain. He mentioned him to the effect of, "Don't let anyone say that what I did had to do with Kurt Cobain's suicide a few weeks ago at all. I am not one of those copy-cat suicide posers. This has nothing to do with that. It completely has to do with _______."

That guy was funny as hell. I can't believe it's been almost 15 years. It feels like only 10.

Broken Spine - Part Nine

Once they wheeled me across the catwalk and into the hospital, they led me straight to my room and put me in a hospital bed. (Private room - fuck yeah!) I was in so much pain, so I fought it the only way I knew how: I started trying to go to sleep (with the help of drugs of course.) They told me that in a few hours someone would come in to fit me for a back brace.

This was the first time I had ever been a patient in a hospital. As I started falling asleep, I started anticipating exactly how good my nurse would look when I woke up - I thought about this in the exact way you would think a 16 year old would. Hell, let's be real, that's the same way a 60 year old man would, too. Because if sitcoms and movies had taught me anything: my nurse was going to be gorgeous. And she was going to be whatever I wanted. If I wanted a blond, I'd get a blond. If I wanted her to be Chinese, she'd be Chinese. If I wanted a Chinese blond - I could even get that. That had to be the way it worked. Right? I couldn't wait to wake up and get whatever I wanted - which changed every five seconds. Then I fell asleep.

When my nurse woke me up, you know what I got?

A big, muscular, hairy, middle-aged, yankee, dude, with a lisp and a buzzcut.

Here comes the understatement of the year:

Dude, that was totally not what I wanted.

In fact, that may have been the most extreme opposite of what I wanted. I was so pissed! What a buzz-kill! And I was so offended that this dude had the nerve to ask me to roll over so he could do his job and fit me for a back brace that was going help me heal and improve my quality of life.

I hated him. I was such a bastard to him.

He was such a nice guy. He was such a patient guy.

And I was such a motherfucker to him.

He put up with so much of my shit. I wasn't nice to him. I didn't do what he asked without putting up a fight the whole way. And still, this guy never yelled at me or said even the most cross words toward me. He just persistently stuck with me until he got my asshole-self flipped over where he could apply these warm plaster strips to me that would harden into a mold while I bitched the whole time at his competent ass.

And thin when he was done with my back, he flipped me over and went through the same bullshit routine with this little punk that was me, as he layed the plaster on my front and finished fitting me for my brace.

I was such a jerk to this guy. And 100 percent of it had to do with the fact that he wasn't a pretty lady.

Now that I am older I have so much respect for this guy and all other medical professionals. They help people who treat them like crap.

There aren't many people on Earth I owe an apology. Either I'm not sorry, or I've genuinely told them I'm sorry. But this guy, who I've never seen in my life again, is still owed an apology by me.

So wherever you are, Big, Muscular, Hairy, Middle-aged, Yankee, Dude with a Lisp and a Buzzcut, I am so sorry. I hope you forgive me for being such a piece of shit to you.

Broke Back Bitchin Part 8 (Dr. Chew chews out the young doctor)

After those two days in bed, my mom's suspicions were too much. She packed my raggedy body in her car and took me to who she was told was the best back specialist in Charlotte.

Dr. Chew was a little guy with a little mustache and a red bow tie and reddish hair. I could tell I was looking at a genius. Sometimes you just know when you are in the company of brilliance. I could tell that he knew this about himself, too. This man may have been little, and he may have been friendly, and he may have worn an antiquated bow-tie, but I could tell he was still confident to say the least. I always felt like this guy was probably slumming it by being only the best back doctor in the area. He probably could have built rockets out of re-treads if he wanted to.

Dr. Chew had already looked at my records before we met. So after a few minutes of examining me he said in a chipper voice, "All right, you broke your back. And you broke it good. It's a plain as that. You're not passing go, and you're not collecting 200 dollars today. We're gonna fit you for a brace and your gonna stay across the catwalk in the hospital for a couple of days, then you're gonna wear that brace for three months. Then you're gonna do nothing for a year, and then we'll have you healed up as best you can."

I said, "Do nothing?"

And he said, "You're not gonna run. You're not gonna jump. And most of all, you're not going to bend over."

A year of nothing? Have you ever met me? To this day, I'm still the most hyper 31 year old you will ever meet, and that's still with all these problems. (I just retired from doing full-speed fake-falls at 30. And I'm thinking about pulling a Magic Johnson and getting back in the game!) So imagine how hard this was gonna be on me when I was 16! Do nothing? This was gonna be tough.

As they started to wheel me to my hospital room, Dr. Chew asked me a few sarcastic but serious follow up questions.

Dr. Chew: Did you ever have any dreams of being a power-lifter?

Me: No, not really.

Dr. Chew: Good, because that dream would've been killed today. I'm surprised, though, a guy as big as you.

Me: I'm 140. Real funny.

Dr. Chew: Did you ever have any military dreams?

Me: Not really.

Dr. Chew: Good, because that dream is D.O.A today, too. Here' s the bright side: now you can't get drafted! But seriously, if you ever want a desk job in the Air Force, even years from now - you let me know. I can make that happen.

Me: Sure will, Doctor Chew. Now one more thing. How close was I to paralysis?

Dr. Chew: Have you ever heard of a place called "The Edge of Hell and Back?" You've just returned from there. You don't get closer than you did without going in.

Me: How did that other doctor miss this?

Dr. Chew: I don't know. He was young. But I'll tell you this. He received a phone call from me about this. I've never met the guy before, but let me promise you: he will never EVER make this mistake on someone else. We came to an understanding.-------------------------------------

I could tell by Dr. Chew's eyes and tone that he meant that he had given the new doctor a brief lesson in reading X-Rays, and then probably yelled at him a little and maybe even cussed at him for sending me home with a broken spine.

Also, Dr. Chew told me that I would never get to play football like I wanted to the next year. I would've been a great receiver, too. I was skinny, fast, and afraid to get tackled... which would make me even faster. This "no football" order made my mom happy, because it was the only thing in life she had ever sheltered me from. This lady would let me jump off the railroad track bridge as trains passed two feet over my head (seriously), but the thought of me returning a punt from the 30 yard line scared the shit out of her - ironically because as she once said, "You could break your back!" I had finally gotten old enough that she was going to have to let me play football my junior year, but now, thanks to Ginger, Mom got her way.

In part 9, I'll get to my poor nurse. Oh, it's a good one. That poor nurse. Although, I really want to get to part 10. It's a sad tale about such a nice person, who I guess was sad.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Broke Back Story Part 7 (In Bed, But Not Dead!)

The first two hours after being sent home from the Emergency Room with case of "a sore back" were pretty uneventful. I just slept and slept and slept. I only ever got up to go to the bathroom. I never thought going to the bathroom would be the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. No, taking a wiz was still easy. It was getting out of bed that was the hard part. It usually took ten to fifteen minutes to get out of the bed and on my feet. Little did I know that it was because I was trying to get out of a bed with a broken spine! That may have had something to do with it.

Getting out of bed was like trying to limbo through the Labyrinth. (That last sentence at least makes sense to me, and that's all that matters.) I would slither to from the mattress trying to reach my feet, and I'd be able to make an inch or two of progress and then pain would hit and then I knew I would have to find a new route. Once I got the nerve to try to find a new way to slither a little further that wasn't unbearable, I knew that route would also be good for only another inch or two. This would go on for the ten or fifteen minute period until I finally could get myself to my feet to go to the bathroom. It really is amazing I didn't paralayze myself during one of my trips out of my bed to the bathroom. It's just that first off, I trusted that I was only as bad as the doctor thought I was - I didn't know doctor could misdiagnose broken spines. And second off, I really didn't want my mom and sisters to have to handle my jars of wiz and pans of poo, so I was determined to take a leak and crap in the bathroom.

On the second day after the accident someone came to see me: it was the girl who drove me into a tree. (I'm tired of dignifying her existence by saying her real name, let's just call her "The girl who drove me into a tree" for a while. Nah, let's just call her "Cuntree.")

So Cuntree somehow got into my house and sat in a chair across from my bed and woke me up with her obnoxious voice. (Because when you're in terrible pain, the one person you want to wake you up during one of your few moments of pain free peace is the girl made you that way.)

I woke up all high and was looking over at her talking away, and thought to myself, "Man, these drugs are good. I haven't even gotten mad at her, yet." I still wasn't mad at her, yet - even though I knew I should be. But when you're high, and hurt, and just glad to be alive, you really don't give a shit who's sitting in front of you babbling on and on about a bunch of nonsense you couldn't give three shits about.

Do you want to know what she was babbling on and on about?

Was it my condition? No.

In fact, she hadn't asked me one question about how I was feeling. I mean, who asks a guy who can barely walk, who has a softball-sized knot coming out of his forehead, who has all sorts of cuts on him including a seatbelt scar that would last for 10 years how he was feeling?

Was she babbling on and on about how sorry she was about what she had done to us?

She said not a word about that. I should have felt lucky to get the crumb of an apology I got at the scene when she thought that was more important than me getting help. I wasn't surprised, I had known her since I was four, she was always that way. I knew I would never hear one word of culpability come out of her mouth again for the rest of my life. And so far I've been right. Not that I care. Sure it would be nice, but it wouldn't change anything, as far as my physical problems go. Actually, all an apology in 2009 would benefit would be her. And I've already made it clear: I'd accept it. I really have no axe to grind. But as far as it affecting me - it wouldn't. I'm over it. I know it sounds like I'm not, but that's just because I took it upon myself to tell this story and I've kind of had to let all of the anger back in me for the purposes of writing this. Once I'm done, I'll let it go away again. And I guarantee you this: I'm ready to be done writing all this. It has been a haunting writing project. It has consumed me ever since I started it last week. But it's too late to quit. And when I'm done, I'll let every bit of it leave me again. Lord knows, I have to deal with it enough, just because of the physical pain that will haunt me forever whether I want it to or not, so I don't feel like adding to my burden by letting the emotional part of the ordeal consume me. In fact, I'm grateful that all the stars lined up and things didn't turn out even worse than they already did. Now let's get back to what this girl said to me while I was bound to my bed as she babbled away from across the room in a chair. So what exactly was she rambling about?

No, let me correct that: So what exactly was she bitching about? (Because yes, she drove to my house to bitch to me about something.) What was it?

Her new car.

Don't reread that. You read that right. The girl already had a new car. And it was less than 48 hours since she destroyed the old one.

And she was bitching about the car!

And she was bitching to me about the car!

What in the fuck was consistently wrong with this girl! I wish I could chalk up such behavior to her having a bad day, or say, a head trauma. But she wasn't just having a bad day - she always like this! And I was the one with the head trauma!

Lucky for me, I was high and disabled, because I had to listen to her go on and on about how much her parents had screwed her over by giving the poor girl a sports car that she didn't like.

Let's dissect how many fucked up things were in that sentence (As if we have to.)

1: The girl nearly kills people when she wrecks a car, so the parents give her another car.

2. The girl nearly kills people when she wrecks a car, so the parents give her a sports car!

3. The girl nearly kills people when she wrecks a car, so the parents give her a sports car and let her out on the roads two days later!

4. The girl nearly kills people when she wrecks a car, the parents giver her a sports car
and let her out on the road two days later and then she has the nerve to bitch about it.

5. And most notably: She had the nerve to come to my house and bitch about it to ME!

Still, I didn't mind one bit. I had other things to worry about, like not dying and crap.

(Maybe I read them wrong, maybe her parents also couldn't stand her, and were trying to insure that she finally finished herself off the next time she wrecked, by giving her a faster and more dangerous car than the first one.)

So while Cuntree was going on and on about her new car, I focused on something different to pass the time. I started looking at her, and I remember she was wearing short jean shorts and a little yellow shirt, as I thought to myself all perplexed, "Try as I may, I just cannot make this vile girl attractive. I could probably see her panties for a second if I wanted to, if I caught a glance of her from here at the right angle, but I think I'd rather not try. I bet if she was cool, she'd be at least semi-attractive, maybe even regular-hot; but she's such a consistently horrible person that I just don't think I could ever bring myself to touch her. That's too bad. Because if she was hotter, and had the slightest feeling of remorse: I bet I could totally guilt her into doing it with me. Then I wouldn't be a virgin anymore and my friends could no longer pick on me. Why, out of all the girls in the world, did this one have to be the one to critically injure me? If it was any other girl, I would totally try to get laid out of this. Dammit! And I'm even high! And I still can't bring myself to try to "turn her lemons into lemonade." I wish she would leave. But I'll let her sit here and babble on if she wants. I'm sure I'll fall asleep again soon."

And babble away, she did! Then Cuntree did more thing that you won't believe. (Unless you know her, then you'd totally believe me.)

She tried to persuade me to get out of bed and walk outside to see her new ride and sympathize with her about "just how ugly" her new car was.

Oh, poor her. Even then, I didn't get mad - no matter how long she argued with me that I really should take the ten to fifteen minutes it took me to get out of bed to go look at the terrible sports car her parents had forced on her.

If I was mad or clever at the time, I would've said, "Yeah, it sucks when people force something on you that you didn't ask for."

Broken Spine Part 6 for sure

I already told you I don't remember anything about the ambulance ride. I also don't even really know what hospital I went to. I think it was Memorial in Charlotte, but it might have been that one in Huntersville. All I know is they put me on a surfboard. I hated that surfboard.

I'm still not sure what the surfboard does. To this day, you could explain to me exactly how that surfboard thing is designed to keep you from further injuring your spine while you wait to see the doctor, and I still won't believe you. That thing I was strapped to was horrible. The ER people imprisoned me on that thing for 9 or 10 hours. I didn't mind having to piss in a cup... which for once I couldn't do because I was so dehydrated. I just minded the surfboard itself. It hurt my back so bad.

And what made me the maddest was that I could not talk the nurses or doctors into letting me get off of it. They would just keep walking and sometimes they might acknowledge me and coldly say, "Just stay there, we can't let you off of that. Please stop asking us that."

This was pissing me off. I could talk my way in or out of anything and these people didn't give a shit. I would say, "Look, this surfboard is hurting me so bad. I just need to lay in a bed. Will you people please just move me into a soft bed?! I promise not to move. I'll lay still on my back just like I am now. I'll do whatever you want. Just let me off of this hard board! It is the most painful thing I've ever felt."

These people were stone cold stones. I still think they could have put me in a bed.

Besides the 9 to 10 hours stuck alone on the surfboard pleading to be let off the surfboard, I don't remember much at the hospital.

I know my mom and dad were there at first. But after an hour or two, just my Mom was there.
She would later tell me that he left because he "Had to work the next day and needed a good night's sleep." She said she argued with him that he "owned the damn company and could call in to work for one day to be with his injured son at the hospital." He left anyway. Sounds like him. Sounds like her. She's right, and he gets his way.

I also know that my mom pleaded with Kira's parents at the ER. She had never met them, but she offered them this advice: "Look, I've been through stuff like this many times. Ginger's insurance company, no doubt, has somebody on the way here this minute to offer you what seems like a great amount of money, while you're here. They want you to sign away your daughter's right to sue them in the future. Don't sign a thing. She may seem fine now, but if you find something wrong with her later, you're screwed. You're name should be signed on nothing tonight. Trust me, I know how this goes."

They didn't trust her. And you will later find out how it goes. The magical insurance guy showed up just like my Mom "amazingly" knew he would. I guess Kira's parents just thought my Mom got lucky? I don't know. If she was right about Step 1 (him showing up), why would she be wrong about Step 2? (You shouldn't sign shit.") Oh well, these people signed a piece of paper for a few thousand dollars and I guess they thought they had hit the jackpot. I shouldn't speculate, I don't know what they were thinking. I'm still not sure even if they were thinking.

After 9 or 10 hours on the surfboard, they took some X-Rays of me and all this other stuff and then they dumped me in a wheel chair. They wheeled me into a room with my Mom and the young doctor came in and saw me in person for what I think was the first time that night.

He handed my Mom a written prescription in my name for a bottle of Hydrocodone. The only phrase I remember him saying was that I was going to be "pretty sore for a couple of days."

There was no mention of a concussion, and not even close to a mention of my back being broken. Even though I HAD JUST HAD A MAJOR CONCUSSION AND MY BACK WAS VERY BROKEN!
In fact, the doctor said that the X-Rays showed "no problems at all." I was diagnosed with a muscle sprain. Just a muscle sprain. NOT A MAJOR FRACTURE OF MY THIRD LUMBAR!

A nurse wheeled me out to the entrance/exit of the ER as my Mom pulled up in her Wood-Paneled Buick Electra Station Wagon 2.25. (Some black people in my town referred to the model as a "Deuce-and-a-Quata.")

After ten or fifteen minutes of trying to get me into the car, they finally succeeded. You would think that would have been a sign, but nobody thought anything. And my mom drove me home to let me rest my sore back for a couple days. It wasn't her fault. She's no doctor. I'm thinking maybe the doctor should have paid attention in X-Ray class when he was in medical school. Oh well, at least I had codeine.

On the way home, my Mom told me how she had spent the day in nearby Long Creek the same time I was in the car wreck. She was sitting outside in the backyard eating with family at her dad's house when they heard the emergency workers driving by. She said when the sirens went off, she said to them, "That's not good. Roth is in this Huntersville today. I think those sirens are for him."

She said she went and sat by the phone and waited for the call to reach her so she would know where to find me. She was right. Then she found me.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Broken Back Story Part 6 is it? Or is it 5?

Do you want to know exactly what waking up from a major concussion feels like? Then watch the scene in Pulp Fiction where Marcellis Wallace is waking up from being hit by a car and Kathy Griffin is all in his face trying to help him wake up. That scene captures exactly how it looked to me and how I felt when I woke up. Whoever directed that scene or did that camera work has been knocked the fuck out before, I promise you.

I woke up in the street laying on my back. Yes, I told you earlier that I fell asleep in a ditch? So how did I wake up in the street? I can't tell you, yet. That's a great story that will probably be best saved for maybe Part 9 or 10. It maybe my favorite story inside this giant story. So let's just get back to me waking up in the street.

I was on my back and there was a girl with curly hair in my face standing over me gently trying to wake me up. She didn't know my name. And she wasn't a medical worker. She was just a 19 year old girl. (Yes, I knew exactly how old she was, just be patient.) When she woke me up, her voice was so soft and so comforting almost like a mother's voice when she wakes you up on a Saturday when you're nine and tells you that there are no chores and breakfast is ready whenever you want it. (Oh my gosh, my face is trying to cry for the first time right now. Holy crap, why is thinking of that girl's voice making a tear rest on my right eyelid right now? I'm not going to wipe it, I'm going to let it live a minute. It's blocking my vision a little, but I don't mind it. There's a little one on the inside of my left eye now, too. It's been almost sixteen years, and that's the first time a tear has come out of my eyes related to this. I just don't cry much. These two dots on my eyes have felt like a sobfest and they didn't even run down my face.) OK, back to the story, this girl was in my face and being very soothing and asking me if knew what happened and if I could just promise to lay still.

I wasn't really listening to her though, because all I could think was, "Man, Shelly DeWese sure did grow up to be a lot prettier than I thought she would." Yes, I knew who the girl was. I hadn't seen her in years, but I knew her. She was my sister's best church-friend for a few years when I was little. Her dad was our choir director at this old-timey Southern Baptist Church that I went to until I was ten. He also owned a head shop called the Oasis. Yes, the man sold bongs, and the man sang songs. I see no conflict there. I know other people do, but I don't. The guy loved weed and the guy loved God. What's the big deal? I doubt God hates weed. He made it. Then again he also made cancer. So what do I know. I know that a lot of people with cancer smoke weed. I also know that they think weed can CAUSE cancer. God gave us a funny world. And God also gave me Shelly.

I could tell Shelly had no idea who I was. So I decided to fuck with her. Yes, I was laying there in the road with what I didn't yet know was a broken spine and a major concussion and I thought it would be a good time to play a little game. Wow! Now I see why my friends had thought I would impulsively fake my death during a tragedy. I have no line. So here's what I did:

When Shelly asked me that question about how I felt and if I would promise to lay still for her, I recognized that she didn't know who I was, and I knew she didn't think I knew who she was, either. So when I answered her I said, "My back hurts a lot. And I think I hit my head. But how are you, SHELLY?."

Oh, man! You'd have thought I said, "Hello, Clairice." She was freaked out. But she tried to stay calm and matter of factly said, "How did you know my name?"

I could see her wondering if maybe my time in another place had returned me to Earth with special powers that enabled me to know everything about people I had never met - because as far as she knew, we HAD never met.

I remember smiling at her and stalling just to let her keep being freaked out for a few long seconds. Then I gave up the trick.

I said, "Shelly, I've known you since as long as I can remember. I just haven't seen you in a few years. You were my sister's friend. Her name is Hannah.

"Oh my gosh. You're Roth Wriscey, aren't you?"

"Yes, I am. And I hurt really bad. But I can wiggle my feet. That's a good thing, right. I can wiggle my feet. That's means I'm gonna be able to walk right? I'm not gonna be paralyzed am I? Can you move your feet when your first hurt and the become paralyzed later in the day? Do you know? Why aren't you answering me, Shelly? Do you know if I'm gonna be able to walk? Am I gonna be paralyzed forever?"

"I don't know, Cory. I think it's probably a good sign that you can wiggle your feet. But how 'bout not wiggling your feet? I'm glad you can do it, but you need to be still for me, OK, buddy."

I tried to follow her sweet directions, but every few moments, I had to wiggle those feet, they were the only think telling me I wasn't going to live in a wheelchair.

Once my conversation with Shelly concluded, I looked over my body towards my feet as I was still laying on my back in the road and I saw about thirty people. There was an ambulance and paramedics and people I had never seen before. And I heard Ginger trying to get over to me and say she was sorry. (I don't count this as an apology. It was just words at the scene. The last sixteen years, I haven't heard shit. And you'll hear more on that cunt later. Yeah, I called her a cunt. And I'm not sorry. Oh, don't worry. She's forgiven. She's been forgiven. She just doesn't know she's forgiven, because she never bothered to ask. She's not just forgiven for the wreck, she and her whole family are forgiven for what they were going to soon do to me. They are forgiven for what they are not sorry about.)

As Ginger screamed her "I'm sorrys" at me while I was laying in the road, she was pulled away by people who were trying to explain to her that my medical treatment was the top priority at the time, not her agressive "apologies."

Then I heard Holton talking to me while I had my eyes closed, he was talking to me like a man. We were men. We weren't boys. At least not when the situation called for us to be men. That's why I liked Holton, he could flip his switch from "retard" to "maturity" in the same way I always could. I remember him talking rationally to me about how we were gonna deal with this, and how we were gonna get me healed, and how he was there for me.

The paramedics must have just arrived when I woke up to Shelly because they were on the scene but they still weren't on to me. As I looked at all these dozens of people that were there, I thought to myself, "All these people on the scene sure are making a big fuss over me, some guy they don't know. I know it's necessary, but I don't like all this attention. Wow! When have I ever not wanted attention. I just wish they would leave, or at least throw me in an ambulance and get me out of here."

Then I looked over towards the ambulance and thought, "Hey, I didn't know my old assistant soccer coach was also a paramedic. Man, I hated that guy. He was a dick. I remember begging Coach Lacy to fire him and he wouldn't. But everytime he told me he wouldn't, his eyes looked like they were saying that the real reason was that he "couldn't." But why? Had the mob told Coach Lacy that the only way they'd forgive a gambling debt was if he hired that douche-bag as his assistant soccer coach? That doesn't seem plausible - even for the mob! And I don't think Coach Lacy even gambles. Man I don't like that dude. I really don't want him treating me. What if he knows I tried to get him fired? What if he now gets his revenge? What if he kills me?"

Then I realized he didn't fucking recognize me. It had only been three years, how did this little pencil neck motherfucker forget me? Me! The guy who hated him! I thought about playing a trick on Shelly again, by calling this guy by his name in front of her and doing the whole bullshit clairvouyant routine again, but I was kind of sore.

As they loaded me into the ambulance to be taken to the hospital in Charlotte, I heard screaming from about 30 feet away. I knew who it was. And I could hear what she was screaming but I really didn't care.


I later found out that Holton lost control and tried to punch her for yelling all of that crap out of her mouth right then and there, but he couldn't get to her fast enough, because his ankle was twisted from the car wreck and as he tried to hop on his one good foot down the street to hit her, a group of people easily restrained him from doing what everybody wished he would do. There were men and women there who didn't even know Ginger except for the last half hour who were telling Holton that they completely understood why he was trying to punch her, but that they unfortunately had to stop him. She better thank her vagina every day for the fact that she still has a face, because if she had a dick, that mob of people would have let Holton destroy her. They did the right thing, for a girl who was always so determined not to.

I don't remember one second of that ambulance ride to the hospital. Maybe I was drugged, maybe I was just knocked silly, maybe I slept. I have no idea. I do know that Part 6 begins at the Emergency Room.

I broke my back or something (Part 4)

This installment of the "I broke my back" story is being told the best I can. I am only telling you what people around me told me. Ny body was there and I was awake, but for the rest of my life I will never remember the first 15 minutes of my life after the car wreck, due to the fact that I was in the initial stages of a major, major concussion. Here's what Kira and Holton told me happened after the wreck:

When the car we were in flew down into the woods, it hit a tree head on and just stopped. The car tree was lined up with the hood of the car directly in front of the passenger side that me and Holton were both sitting on. (We were later told that the tire had a role in saving us from the tree.)

When the Accord came to a stop (by way of a very hard collision) everybody sat there stunned. Then they started asking each other if they were OK and crap like that. Then they looked at me.

I was sitting in my chair with my seatbelt still on and I looked fine... except I was knocked the fuck out. Holton saw me sleeping and thought I was fucking with them. (Yes, that's what happens when you're a joker like me: people truly believed that I had it in my to use a near-fatal car wreck to pretend I was dead. They actually thought I was capable of saying to myself: "Wow, we're about to hit a tree, I should use this occasion to trick my friends into thinking I've been killed! I'm so funny! They're gonna love this gag!") But I wasn't faking. I was out.

After the three people in the car screamed at me to wake up and shook me with no success, they came to the next obvious conclusion: I must be dead. They were sure I was dead. I knew I wasn't dead, but I was in the black, so I couldn't tell them. I didn't hear them and I didn't feel them, but some part of me knew I was just knocked out and disabled at that moment.

Just when my friends and Ginger had given up on me waking up and being alive, I jolted awake and was on some sort of supersonic speed. I scared the shit out of them, not by being dead, but by being alive! They said I was in some sort of panic and rescue mode. I undid my seatbelt and I undid Kira's seatbelt, and screamed shit like "Oh no! We were just in a wreck!" Then, gosh I can't remember which way it went: they told me that either I coughed a giant load of blood into Kira's hand or she coughed a giant load of blood into mine. I tend to think they said she coughed in my hand, but I don't know. They said I was really intent on making sure she was OK. Then I ran out of the car and opened all the doors and told everyone they had to get out of the car, and then I just started running back and forth like a crazy person. Oh man, I bet this was some sight to see. They tell me that after a bit of this goofy running act I had going on, I stopped and calmly said, "Oh man, my back hurts. I need to lay down." And I promptly laid down in a ditch and fell back asleep.

That is all I know about the period where I was awake but not there. They say Troy Aikmen once got knocked out in a Dallas Cowboys game and didn't know it, got up, huddled his men together and flawlessly executed a running play. A week later, he said, "I always told the coach I could run that play in my sleep. And last week, I got to prove it." I don't know what that has to do with me, I just thought it was funny. I am going straight to part five. That is where my memory starts up again for the first time at the crash sight. It possibly the most amusing and bizarre part of the story. It's a lot better than part 4. Still, I had to tell you about this part I wasn't there for. Is it me, or is this true story starting to sound somewhat like a work of fiction written by that guy that wrote Fight Club? (Not the quality of the writing, just the "small town coincidence scheme.") BTW, I give "Rant" mixed reviews. His hick accents were so contrived that they ruined a good story, and it got a little to sci-fi at the end, I thought. On to part five.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Busy as a Bee-Yotch

Sorry to be a tease, but there will be no part 4 today. Ironically, I'm busy here at the radio station writing and reading news stories that are mostly about this weekend's fatal car wrecks.

They were funny, too. I'm working all three of my jobs this weekend and I really just want to sit home and write for fun.

I promise to get back to this fun adventure on Sunday.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The I broke my back story (Part 3 of a million)

We were on our way to pick up Kira at her house in Huntersville. It was a five mile ride. It was the first time I had ridden with Ginger driving. And it was already being scary. She was speeding without controlling the car that well, and she was acting like the whole world needed to yield to her and her Honda Accord.

Never shy, but still polite, I said, "Ginger, do you mind slowing it down, you're scaring me just a little?" She said, "I think I know what I'm doing."

After another minute of her still driving uneccasarily aggressive, Holton got in her face from the passenger seat and screamed, "LOOK, YOU STUPID BITCH! YOU HAVE GOT TO SLOW DOWN! YOU AREN'T A GOOD ENOUGH DRIVER TO BE DOING ALL THIS CRAZY SHIT. SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!"


We wanted to go play volleball. Even if it meant riding with that bitch, Ginger. Man, nobody liked her! And we weren't exactly the most popular guys on Earth ourselves. I guess we somewhat deserved what we got for using her for a ride. Then again, not really. It was supposed to be a fair transaction: we got a ride, and she got to be in the company of Holton, who she obviously had a crush on. (Hey, I wonder if he was fooling around with her nasty ass and not telling people. They were alone a lot. Ooooohh! Grossss! He ended up being married twice by 21, but at least not to her.)

So the next five scary minutes passed with no injuries as he headed to Kira's. It was not fun though, because we had to put up with Ginger's attitude the whole way. Where did Ginger think she had such a right to that attitude? She wasn't cute. She wasn't charming. Her voice sounded like a man's. She would suck up to the devil. She even made me hate two things I normally love: curly hair and freckles. But she did have a license. The sad part is that me and Brian were better drivers than her, but we only had learner's permits.

So we get to Kira's and she was waiting outside her house. I loved me some her! I had only known her a few months since she moved down from West Virginia, but she was already my second favorite girl. That's why she loved and hated me. She loved that I adored her, but she hated knowing there was even one girl out there I liked better. Looking back, it was kind of rude of me to make that so obvious - I should've made both girls think they were number one.

I remember Kira having those really pretty squished together lips that made it look like she always wanted to make out. (She didn't always want to make out. She only let me do that once, while we were watching The Excorcist. WTF?) Those kind of lips can makes some girls look stupid and some girls look smart. Her lips made her look smart and snobby, even though she wasn't snobby at all, she was sweet

For some reason I was really attracted to her. Maybe it's because this smart/snooty looking girl came from West Virginia; the one place even us Southerners get to call backwoods. I would always look at her and think, "How did THAT come from THERE?" Kira was also the thickest and shortest little ballerina girl I had ever seen. She acted tall, but she was really little, even though she wore these little dresses that made me think she had these nice long legs that I was always trying to put my hand on. (She was lucky if she was really 5'1".)

While the girls were in the house looking for the volleyball, Holton turned around to me from the passenger seat and said, "This bitch is going to kill us."

I said, "Well, we're only going a mile. I'm sure we'll be fine."

Holton said, "No. I'm pretty sure she might wreck this damn car. I've been riding around with her for a few weeks. This bitch is nuts! We gotta quit riding around with her. We're gonna fucking die!"

I said, "Well, you never told me all this. This is my first time riding with her. How bout this? Once we get to the volleyball court, when we're done, we'll go to a payphone and call someone to pick us up. It's only a mile."

"All right, but I say we make sure we put our seatbelts on."

Now I was scared. Holton never wore his seatbelt.

Then the girls came out to the car and Kira jumped in the driver's side of the back seat and tossed a volleyball in my lap and smiled at me.

Ginger started the car. Holton put on his seatbelt. I put on my seatbelt. Ginger did not put on her seatbelt. Kira was trying to put on her seatbelt, but it was not cooperating.

After about 30 seconds of her trying to put her belt on, Kira said, "Oh well, it's only a mile."

I looked at her and said, "You don't know what a mile is anymore. You're riding with Ginger. We're GETTING your fucking seatbelt to work." And I worked with that belt and the belt receptacle around Kira's waist until if finally forced itself in and clicked. Kira didn't yet know how scared she should be, so she just smiled at me and said, "Thanks, that was sweet."

Neither one of us knew that I had just saved her life and, as a result, Ginger's life, too. Guess which one would later thank me and which one wouldn't. Hey Ginger, you're welcome, bitch! Have you enjoyed the last 16 years being alive?? I did that for you. I didn't mean to. But I still did. You're welcome, you vile person.

Only about thirty seconds passed since I had gotten Kira's seatbelt fastened, and we were now only about 30 seconds away from the volleyball court. All we had to do was go down the hill, and take the 90 degree curve to the left.

All we had to do was go down the hill and take the 90 degree curve to the left????


Oh, shit! We were riding with Ginger! Not one of us had factored in that we would be going down this dangerous road with her as the driver. I have almost no doubt that if we had known we'd be going down this particular road, we'd have all gotten out of the car at Kira's house and told Ginger to suck it.

The left turn at the bottom of the hill was so sharp that normal driver would slow down to 10 or 15 miles an hour while taking it. The only reason there wasn't a stop sign there was because it wasn't an intersection - the road just turned left and headed towards the playground and the elementary school. We weren't going to make it to the playground and the elementary school.

We were heading down the hill and approaching the left turn at a rate of about 55 miles per hour. I didn't know a lot back then, but I was pretty sure that the odds were now against us.

Here's where everything slows down. We made the first part of the turn, but that was the easy part. Then I heard the tires on the Accord start squeaking like horses that had just been shot. They were squealing because Ginger was trying to make them go left, but gravity and physics were trying to make them go straight. That's how self-centered Ginger was, she thought her commands trumped that of gravity and physics.

Actually Ginger gave up pretty fast. Rather than try to hit the brakes or keep trying to correct the turn, Ginger threw her hands up in the air and and screamed "Ahhhhhh!" Yeah, that's how you handle a crisis. So now the four of us were headed down a hill at 55 or 60 miles an hour into the woods. This couldn't be good.

At the same time, Ginger was yelling "Ahhhh," Holton was yelling something else. It is seared in me:


Not "Oh, shit."

Not "Oh crap."

I remember the exact two words he said and how he said them. He said "Holy Shit" in a quick and surprised way, the same way you said it when Brad Pitt got hit by that car in "Meet Joe Black."

When I heard Holton say "Holy Shit," I could hear him being scared, surprised, curious, and relieved all at once. Let me explain:

Scared: "Are we about to fucking die?"

Surprised: "I told this bitch she'd do this to us, but even I didn't totally believe me!"

Curious: "I wonder how what's about to go down is gonna really go down."

Relieved: "I told her so. She didn't listen. I was right. What's about to happen is still worth being right."

You wanna know what I thought about?

I didn't think about death. I didn't think about impact. I didn't think about my Mom, or God or the welfare of those in the car with me. I didn't think about any of that. I thought about crash test dummies.

Yes, crash test dummies.

I was about to die, and all I could do was be a curious little nerd. I remember exactly what I was thinking as we were headed towards all those trees. Here's what happened:

I was in the back passenger seat, so I couldn't see up front that well. So what I did was lean up to look over Holton's front passenger seat so I could see the wreck that was about to happen to us out the front windshield.

Here's what I thought as I looked out the windshield of the car I was in as it headed towards the trees:

"I wonder what impact will be like? I wonder if our bodies will fly around like those mannequins do on those crash test dummy videos? I've never been in serious impact before. I have a hard time believing our bodies are about to fly around in all those contorted positions just like the crash test dummies. But then again, maybe they will. I wonder if crash test dummies are an accurate representation of what is about to happen to us right now. I'm just not sure."

Then we rammed the tree head on and everything went black.

Going black is the craziest normalist feeling. Let me start by saying, I don't think I ever temporarily died or saw angels or anything like that. But I went black. And the first second of going into the black is a strange place.

When we hit the tree, I hit my head on the side window and maybe the back of Holton's chair,too and that sent me into the black. It was like, one second, I was thinking about the validity of crash test dummies, and the next second, my TV got turned off. But when your TV goes out, it doesn't really go out. It's like it's on but it's off. When you're in the black, you're not blind, but there's nothing to see except black. When you're in the black, you're not deaf, but there's nothing for you to hear. When you're in the black, you're not paralyzed but you aren't moving either. I know this sounds like the same description of sleep, but it's not. It's the black. If you've been there, you know. If you haven't, then I'm sorry if I can't describe it for you. It doesn't hurt when you're in it, but you still don't want to go there.

(In Part 4, we'll describe the wreck scene. It's funny. I wish I was there for the first half of it. I have to go on what people told me I did. I was still in the black, but I was awake and doing shit. I guess I'd have to call that the grey or the clear or the white or something.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The broken back story (Part 2 of probably 9)

I forgot that earlier that morning, I had gone to the Davidson College Presbyterian Church to see my birth-friend, Carlton, receive his Eagle Scout recognition. I went while my three Mooresville boys had slept in at my house. Then I came back to wait for our rides in the driveway.

I call Eagle Scout Carlton my birth friend because we had known each other since we were infants. His mom and my mom were two completely different women who were best friends. As a result, his mom also paid my Mom to take care of him while she worked in Charlotte as an architect for Harvey Gantt. (Harvey Gantt was the black dude that lost to Jesse Helms in a 1990 Senate run. She loved Harvey. My mom loved Jesse. Still, they were best friends.) As a result of my mom's job as Carlton's nanny, he was sort of like a brother since he was always around and wasn't immune from the same spankings as me. While he was a brother, when I was younger, he was still a brother I hated. I hated him until we were 12 or 13, then I realized that weirdo was actually the most awesome guy. He played guitar and loved dinosaurs. That guy was born not giving a fuck what people thought about him. I admired him, because; while we were both two guys who didn't care what people thought of us, Carlton was better at it than me because he never even consciously thought about the fact that he didn't give a fuck - he just didn't. Whereas, I had to make sure everyone knew I didn't care about their opinion of me. While I truly didn't give a fuck, I was still less of a rogue than Carlton, because I obviously cared enough to make sure people knew how I felt. Carlton didn't even give a fuck about that. I guess you could say, he didn't even give a fuck about giving a fuck. He wins.

I remember this trip to see him get his Eagle Scout honors, for two reasons. One: It was the last time I went to church besides holidays, funerals, and weddings. And two: Carlton never once told me he was still a boy scout all those years! And we hung out all the time! I told you he didn't care.

You may be asking yourself, "Why did Roth Wriscey quit going to church after that day?"

The answer is boring.

It has nothing to do with a lack of faith. Or some sort of anger towards God. If you want to know, I have a really strong belief in God. I just don't like church, or large groups of behaved people. Once I broke my back, I couldn't go to church for a few months, and I kind of just kept it that way after that. I think God has different plans for me other than being a church goer, but what do I know?

Anyway, back to the driveway. I was waiting for my ride to play volleyball, while my three Mooresville boys waited on their ride to take them to a renaissance festival.

I still don't know who got picked up first and it doesn't matter.

I do know that when my ride arrived, my friend Holton was in the passenger seat, and the driver was Ginger Stell. (Ginger Stell is her real name. Oh, it's her real name.)

Ginger was the only person with a license. Holton was 16, but his dad wouldn't let him have one, yet. And I was still 23 days away from my sweet day of automobile freedom. (BTW, note to parents like Holton's: Yeah, that's real smart. Don't let your boy get a license, but let him ride as the passenger with a spoiled 16 year old professor's daughters who has no regard for others.

Let's give some back story on these two. Holton was my pal from the 7th grade up through that day and a little while beyond.

He was my first friend who shared my vision that Earth is a stupid, stupid place full of stupid, stupid people and that the only thing you can do is have the best time you can ridiculing the hell out of it. This guy got it! We were clowns. Awful, awful clowns.

I also found him at the perfect time in life for a boy: the bastard years. The bastard years happen when a boy turns 13 and they don't end until he is 17. Sure, boys also act bad before and after and eternally, but those four years are special. Let me tell you this: if you have a son in that age range, he may be a geniunely nice kid with a good heart, still I guarantee you he has a part-time gig as a son of a bitch! Holton was my partner during these years. We weren't thieves, but we stole. We weren't vandals, but we destroyed. We weren't anarchists, but we could not be governed. The only thing that pulls a boy outof his bastard years is when he starts getting laid. One day you say, "Hey, dude. Why are we stealing baseball cars and setting fields on fire, when we could be out doing something productive like searching for blowjobs.

Holton was a little harsher than me, still a little more laid back. How could he be these two incompatible things? Easy. Here's your example:

Holton once said this to me when we were 15. "Wriscey, let me tell you something. A bitch of mine is a bitch of yours! I won't share my pussy with just any guy. But you man, whatever ass is mine, is also yours." Yes, my buddy was a 9th grade virgin swinger with commitment issues. Was he a little sexist? Sure. But you would be too, if your mom abandoned her only son at 13 and left him with just his dad, so she could go live the party life in a sweet condo in Charlotte with some slut roommate. (And note to moms: don't let your son find your vibrator. It will mess him up big time. Just ask Holton.)

Still, this was the only guy I knew who invited me to a make out party, where I went in one room and he went in the other, each with a girl, he would ring the "switch bell" and the two girls would then crawl across the carpet towards the other bedroom, while each of us waited as they made the switch on us. This guy was good. This guy was bad. This guy was hilarious.

Ginger was another story. I had known her since preschool. She was a spoiled brat and an apple polisher. For example, she once became a vegetarian in the 6th grade to impress our teacher and his unpaid mistress... who were also vegetarians. (I'll tell the story about how I had a teacher try to indoctrinate us with communism another time. It's definitely a five parter.)

Ginger was entitled. Ginger was the only person in the world. Ginger got everything she wanted (except looks.) Ginger was a bitch. Why in the fuck were we hanging out with Ginger?

This girl tried to attack me in gym class with another girl in the seventh grade. They were both taller than me at the time. When she clawed my wrist (I still have the scar) and made me bleed, I punched her in the face. She was so embarrassed, she wouldn't let them send me to the office. Actually, she wasn't embarrassed. She knew I could argue my way out of punishment and get her charged with the rightful offenses.

So I got in the backseat and the three of us were on our way to pick up Kira. (Kira is not her real name.) Kira lived in Huntersville. And Kira had the volleyball. And Kira was the whole reason I was going on this stupid volleyball trip. What? You thought I liked volleyball? Ha! I like girls. That's about it.
More on Kira in Part 3.

The time I broke my back. (Part 1 of who knows how many.)

OK. Let's give the broken back story a try. I hope it doesn't make me cry or break things in anger as I write it. I doubt it will, but you never know. Here goes:

It was May 2nd, 1993. It was a Sunday morning. We were in my hometown: the elitist, liberal, snooty, left-wing, ashamed to be Southern town of Davidson, North Carolina. (20 miles north of Charlotte.)

I remember hanging out in my driveway by the basketball goal with my friends Blank and Jason. (By the way, people who were assholes get their real names used in this writing. People who are cool, or even just questionable, get the courtesy of me changing their names. Jason's name is really Jason.) Jason was a little blond skater drug addict who was two years older than me. Last I heard, he alternates between being a Russian missionary and being a junkie. He never does both at once. It's been ten years since I've seen him. The last time I saw him was at my friends' shotgun wedding party at Ocean Isle and he was a junkie and not very nice to me. The time before that, he was a missionary and confessed to me that he always had hated me and that the bad haircut he accidentally gave me 6 years earlier was no accident. He apologized and I accepted. That haircut was so bad that I once had to throw a can of Pepsi at Darryl Lameo's head for picking on me about it. (Darryl Lameo is his real name. And Darryl Lameo got smacked in the forehead by a twelve ounce metal fastball for trying to ridicule me after school before I got my hair fixed.) I'm still waiting for Darryl to come back "with all his black friends" to kick my ass like he said he would. That's so racist to assume that the few black people you know are just a bunch of violent animals waiting to be asked to start a fight. If you think like that, then you're not their friend. And I've never seen a group of black guys actually show up and fight on behalf of some wigger from the suburbs.

Now on to the other guy in my driveway. I'm calling him Blank. Blank is still my friend today. Blank is also a revolving junkie. I saw him at a Cure concert last year. He's clean and enrolling at Cornell as a 31 year old Ivy League Freshman. I don't keep up with him, but he's forever my pal. He alternated for many years between going to rehab and working as a shock therapist at a mental institution in the mountains of North Carolina. He also once had a job as the cum-cleaner at a porno shop in Charlotte. He would put on two pairs of gloves and clean up the mess the men left after jacking off in private boothes at the store. Blank also once almost got arrested for an obscure charge of drunkenly directing traffic on a busy highway for no reason. Blank and his brother "Nuthin" once almost got arrested for driving construction equipment that they found left on the side of a highway. (Little known secret: the men often leave the key in the ignition at the end of the night, so the next guy that shows up for work in the morning can drive it, too.) Blank and Nuthin were the sons of a concretee man - they knew this. Blank also once did a testimonial on the news from rehab about how he was addicted to everything. Then hours later, he was arrested for breaking out of that same rehab and buying lighter fluid and huffing the shit out of it behind the gas station. I could go on about those brothers, Blank and Nuthin, but we're eventually going to get to the story about me breaking my back. So let's get back to who was in the driveway.

Oh, I forgot, my best friend B.S. was also in the driveway with Blank and Jason. (B.S. is not quite his real name, but it is his real game. I love that criminal so much that I even took a trip to Ohio four years ago to help him and his family as his father slowly died in the hospice bed in the living room from brain cancer. (Let's just say, when a dad tells his son that his only dying wish is for his son to fuck the smoking hot black hospice nurse on his behalf, because he "never got to bang a hot black chick himself," the son complies and fucks her upstairs while dad slowly erodes downstairs in the bed. And then the son tells him all about it. You think I'm kidding. I don't joke about shit like that.) I can even overlook that in the last five years, B.S has banged both my big sister and my little sister. You know why? Because when I said something to him about hit, he said, "Well, if you want to get me back, you can fuck my sister if you want. But I doubt you'll want to... she's ugly as hell!"

She WAS ugly as hell. And B.S was funny as hell. And I'm sure my sisters enjoyed fucking him anyway, so what the hell can I do about it. Not fuck his sister, that's for sure.

So anyway, these three guys in my driveway were from Mooresville: The center of the NASCAR world. It was a much nicer town than Davidson, even if it was (then) sort of a hick town. I like hicks. A lot of them are the most tolerant, generous people on Earth. They just don't give a fuck if everyone knows it or not. However, my three friends weren't hicks. They were all three Midwestern transplants from blue collar families. Maybe that's how I got to be friends with them: because I too was the new guy in Mooresville since my parents decided to transfer me to Mooresville High School (away from the crappy Charlotte-run school system) just a year before.

All four of us in the driveway should've been hungover from drinking and greening the night before out at the lake at the YMCA, but we weren't. You know why? Because we were fucking teenagers! Teenagers don't get hangovers. The bastards. I wish I was one.

Anyway, these guys in my driveway were waiting on B.S.'s dad (he was alive then) to pick them up and take them to a Renaissance Festival. The asked me to come with them, but I told them I had already agreed to go play volleyball with three of my friends from my old high school (2 were girls. 1 was gorgeous. The other was my other best pal, Holden.) So while my three Mooresville guys waited on their ride, I waited on mine.

The End of Part One

Story Teaser (Or "back atcha!")

I have been writing for about three years now. The one story I've never taken a dive into was the one about when I broke my spine. It's not because I have some issue, with the story. It's because I feel like I bitch about it all the time, so it's not worth telling. But you know what? I think I'll start writing it today. And I'll even make it funny. As in "I broke my back! Isn't that hilarious!"

It might be an 8 to 15 part story. That's probably why I never tell it. It starts today. Who knows when it will end? Damn, that shit still hurts. Once you've broken you're back you live in two modes: Pain and Lots More Pain. I have days where people ask me how my back is doing and I seriously answer: "It's doing great! I only feel like regular shit today."

The story begins later today.

Pubics or Publix?

Have you ever seen those commercials for "Guys Gone Wild." I don't know if it's made by the same company that makes Girls Gone Wild, but I've thought of something that will make you laugh at those commercials just a little bit harder.

OK, think about this. Those commercials are of supposedly straight young men dancing around and showing there dicks to the camera. (Because we all know that all straight guys love to show off their physical form through dance and sensuality?)

Now think about this. How many video camera operators have you known? What are almost all video camera operators?


So that means that when they film these Guys Gone Wild videos, these young muscly frat boys are putting their arms behind their head and gyrating their wankers at a dude holding a camera!

Oooooooooooh, gross!

And, Ooooooohh, no fun for anyone involved!

You know that if these homos showing their dicks are actually straight, they're all like, "Do you really expect me to get a boner shaking this thing at people named Ted and Jeff?"

And you know Ted and Jeff are sitting there thinking, "How fucked up did I handle my career to end up with this gig getting fresh wangs held out towards me by really horny drunk boys? Somewhere, I took the wrong career path. If this guy so much as blows a load in my direction, I'm going to drop this gigantic camera and beat more than this guy's meat. Why is this happening? How come I didn't get to be on the GIRLS Gone Wild crew? Lord, why do you torture me so?!"

Oh. Could you imagine having to be the boom mic guy following these naked guys around? You'd be so scared of touching their dicks with the long pole you're holding. You'd be all like, "Man, if this thing even grazes that guy's pubes, I'm dropping that thing and walking out and going back to my job at Publix.

You're welcome. I just enabled you to enjoy those commercials just an extra bit more.

P.S. I noticed that I said the hilariously minimal "If that guy SO MUCH AS blows a load in my direction-" like shooting a wad at the camera guy would be just a minor offense. I laughed so hard when I noticed that, that I had to leave it. But I just did want you to know I was also aware.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Alone With Others (Part 3 of 3)

So I continued down the "high"way, which was really just one of our historical old streets on the Cape Fear River headed towards my friends that were at Odessa.

As I was about to head into the building to ride the elevator up to the bar, (Don't ask me why we have so many bars that are on the 4th and 5th floors of buildings that people live in. Seriously, my friend Caroline lived below a 5th floor bar called "Level 5" so we called her place "Level 4." She had a bar with hundreds of people in it every nights directly above her apartment ceiling. Sometimes she would sneak up there in her pajamas and buy cigarettes from the machine at the bar. On two unrelated side-notes, Caroline's first kiss was in a TV movie with Elijah Wood, and that Level 5 building was owned by Dennis Hopper. You can see his name on the elevator inspection certificate. Oh, one other television note, and I'll get back to the story. Caroline's sister was on some soap opera. And then she ended up playing the snoopy reporter on "Women's Murder Club." I think it got cancelled. I never met that girl. Caroline is funny, though. She once fought with me over a flower pot, because I was going to bash a hippy over the head with it for walking in my house in the middle of the night, making a mixed drink out of my fridge and cussing me out. He was drunk and thought he was a party at his friend's house. I'll tell that story another time.)

Back to the story of my night. As I was about to head into Odessa, I saw my friend Gay Jay walking towards me. I wonder if the name "Jay" sounded too much like "gay" and subliminally led him into that life. Anyway, I looked him dead in the eye and yelled, "Ja-----, nevermind. Sorry."

It wasn't Jay. It sure looked like him.

Then I rode the elevator up to Odessa. When the door opened to the dance floor, the first person I saw was Jay. I said, "Weird, I just yelled at a guy I thought was you not one minute ago, and then I run into you." He was too drunk to know how odd that was. Then again, in Wilmington, it's really not.

Then the second person I ran into was Jeff. I hadn't seen him in a year. Then I remembered that I had just invited his girlfriend to come meet everyone at the bar. I started hoping she wouldn't show up, so they wouldn't run into each other and fight. (She never came. See, that would've been a better story if she had showed up.)

Then, finally. FINALLY! I got to my friends I was meeting.

The reason we were all hanging out together that night was to celebrate and mourn. We were celebrating that my friend Anch was alive, but we were mourning that he burned down his entire condo with a cigarette that caught his ashtray on fire.

I hugged him. I never hug him. And I've lived with him twice. Then after we all told Anch how glad we were that he didn't die, we all immediately started making jokes about him losing everything.

He was finally in a laughing mood, but still said with a smile: "Thanks, guys! I lose everything but my car and one pair of underwear and you guys are laughing. Yall are my best friends? Wow?"

Everytime Anch would put a cigarette out in the ashtray, one of us assholes would think we were the first one to jokingly go behind him and smoosh it out harder while saying, "Careful now, Anch. Those things can cause a fire."

After a while, the jokes ran out.

Then the fire alarm went off.

"Everyone quit looking at me. That's not funny! OK, it is. Laugh away."

Yeah, of all the bars we could've picked in town, we picked the one that had a false fire alarm go off for ten straight minutes. And for ten straight minutes we pretended that the guy who had just set his own home on fire was the one that did it.

We're dicks. We're funny. I'm glad my friend's alive. I'm glad all my friends are alive. Without them, I'd be alone, and we see what happens when I'm left all alone.

The End

Alone With Others (Part 2 of 3)

As I headed into a two-block walk into the cold night of this old town, I ran into my friend Jen. I hadn't seen her in a year, but I barely had enough time to even greet her with an arm-touch. I said, "Hey, I'm going to Odessa. You're friends with everyone there. If you get tired of whatever you're doing, bring Jeff and whoever else you're here with and come see us."

She said, "I hate Odessa. And I hate Jeff. We broke up and I never talk to him. Maybe I'll come." I said "sorry" and started walking downtown towards the bar among all the drunk strangers standing outside of all the bars in the street. But really, there are no strangers in this town of 100,000.

As I turned the corner in front of "16 Taps" a man came up from I don't know where and buried his arms around my thighs and pushed me like a football-sled into a brick wall. As he rammed me into the wall, he said in a low redneck voice, "Hey, Boy! You wan' faaaght?"

I didn't want to fight. But I was about to. Who in the fuck was this guy pinning me up against bricks? No, really, who was he? I couldn't see his face because his head was wrapped around my hip. If I was younger, I would've punched without questions. But since I'm older, I thought, "Maybe it's a joke. I never had brothers, but I hear that guys like to play-fight. Maybe it's that. I can never tell."

Well, it was a joke. It was my friend "Kuhn." (Pronounced the same way as the word that black people don't like you calling them.) Kuhn is a young TV producer who tends bar around here, as well. (We all have 2 or 3 jobs in this town.) We only had a second after he let me go to start laughing before some other guy I had never seen in my life interrupted us.

The guy I had never seen before interrupted us by holding a "cigarette" in my face and saying "Your turn, brother!"

Let's recap: I had never seen this guy in my life.

We were on a busy public street in front of a bar.

There were tons of cops within our view.

And this guy doesn't even say hi to me, a complete stranger, - he just smiles holding a "cigarette" out at me after a fake attack from a friend and says "Your turn brother?"

What do you think I did?

Before I tell you what I did, let me tell you why I do a lot of what I do:

I do it for the story. So no, I may not be a particularly regular "cigarette" smoker. And I sure as hell knew it was quite risky to "smoke cigarettes" on the street. And I really didn't feel like smoking on that particular night. But dammit! What kind of story would that be? It would be a lame story like this:

"One time, some guy offered me a smoke on the street and I said no. The end."

How lame!

So I shit you not, when moments like that come, I tell myself, "Which decision makes the better story? Are the consequences worth the true tale I will get to tell." Usually they are. And I go with it from there.

The only part of this way of approaching things that I don't like is that it does take me outside of the moment to a degree. Sure, I was smoking on the street with strangers. And sure I was making girls I didn't know join in as they walked by. And sure, I spotted my Evironmental Scientist/Door Guy friend, Ozzy, working the door (we all have two jobs, I told you.) and I made him smoke on the street, on the job, too. But if I hadn't told myself I was doing it for the story - I may not have done it. I may have. But now I'll never know. Either way, I did what I did, and I now felt how I felt... good!

Ozzy the door guy/scientist, and Kuhn the bartender/producer asked me if I wanted to come in with them and the strange guy that had just smoked us up. (By the way, I later found out he wasn't just the dude on the street "Cheeching" everybody, he was also the lead singer of whatever band was playing that night. I declined their invite and headed on my way alone to meet my friends at Odessa.

Will I ever make it to Odessa? Find out in Part 3.


I just wrote "Alone With Others Part 1." But don't you think for a second I'm stopping. I am going to write part 2 right now. Let the suspense begin. And check back in. Wow, I think I'm experiencing mania today. I've always wondered what that was like. Am I becoming every woman I'm related to. Man, they are crazy. Fun, but crazy.

Alone With Others (Part 1 of 3)

I get into adventures when I'm left by myself. I was at a bar one time on 2nd Street. Let's just say it was four years ago and not last week. All my friends I was with wanted to bail on the place and go to this prickish dance club. I said, "Guys, I just bought an L.I.T., ya'll go ahead, and I'll chill here with strangers for about 20 minutes, then I'll meet you at that stupid dance club you like. I promise I'll show up."

Then I spent the next 20 minutes drinking my Knockout Punch and chatting up girls I didn't know. The fun thing about my mild attempts at charming strange girls, is that when I'm alone and fun it confuses them. I can see them thinking, "On one hand, he seems cool. On the other hand, he's alone. If he's so cool, then why is he alone?"

They're missing the point. I am cool because I DON'T MIND being alone. But they never figure that out. And I don't care. I don't have time to explain this to these drunk girls that smell so good. I'm busy sniffing.

One story of note while I was at this bar: There was a line of girls waiting for the girls' bathroom, and a line of just me waiting on the guy's bathroom. The guy I was waiting behind must've been taking a diarrheaa doo doo, because he took so long that had time to make every girl in the girl line almost fall in love with me... until they realized I was some weird guy who was way too happy to be by himself.

There was one particular girl who was standing closest to me who was eyeing the men's room. I told her she could have it once I was done. Finally, the guy in front of me finished and I got to go in to the bathroom and crank out a wiz. When I came out, the girl was still waiting for the bathroom. BTW, I forgot to mention she was really pretty. When you live in Wilmington, you forget to mention that detail because, well, every girl in this town is pretty. It has to have the prettiest girl per capita rating of any city on Earth. I've seen me some places, and I've never seen anything like this little Eden I've had for 13 years. Ugly girls must be allergic to this town. I mean, seriously, when I hear a guy bitching about how he can't get any action in this town, I laugh at him and tell him he must be retarded. There are so many cute girls here that the only thing a man can' t do is settle the fuck down and behave. I know so many guys in this town trying NOT to get as much loving as they would really like to get. The only people that can't get laid in this town are a lot of THE HOT GIRLS! There are too many of them, compared to us loser guys and we don't have time to get to them all. And they know we're trying to get to them all and they get sad and go cellobate. (Wow! I don't even know how to spell it. Is it "cellibate?") The girls get a raw deal here. You could be a beauty queen in some towns and come here and just blend in. Then again, hot girls never blend in, men notice every single one of you. Why do you think we're so dumb, we're not dumb, we're simple. And easily distracted by shiny things like girls in lipstick and clothes and stuff that jingles.

So what the hell was my point. Oh! The girl waiting on the men's room. I told her, "You don't want it. Some guy clogged it with shit and even shit on the back of the seat. And some other guy made a seat cover out of toilet paper and some other guy matted it down to the seat with piss. And the entire floor is covered in wiz. You really don't wanna even see it."

She said, "I can take anything. I just have to pee really bad. I'll take my chances."

And sure enough, that nasty cute girl went in there and showed that nasty shitter who was boss.

I payed my tab, tipped too much, chugged the last two ounces of my L.I.T. like the real man I was, and got the fuck out of there alone. It was time to head to the stupid dance bar to meet my couple-friends.

The End of Part 1

The rain is always shiner

I bet you have to be crazy to work at a car wash. If you're not crazy when you go in, then it at least has to make you crazy after a while. Think about it:

What do people hate doing?


And what closes down a car wash for the day?

Bad weather!

So if you are working at a car wash, you have to always be saying to yourself, "Man, I wish the weather would suck, so I could take the rest of the day off."

But then, when you get your wish and the bad weather comes. You'd end up saying. "Man, I've got nothing fun I can do with all this free time... because the weather sucks. And even if it was good, I don't have any money to spend because I didn't work today. This sucks! This sucks, so bad that I wish the weather would get nice again, so I could at least be outside working in the sunshine and a making money!"

But then when the sun came back out, and you went back to work, you'd turn into the same stupid brat-punk wishing for bad weather.

I'm glad I never worked at a car wash.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Random Thoughts

My brain has been sore inside my head for two days. Let's just do random thought. I don't promise they will be good thoughts.

1. Who are Heidi and Spencer? I always hear their names being said in commercials for those stupid entertainment show promos. I think they are a young reality show couple, and I'm certain I loathe them.

2. Why do people like reality shows? I hate them all. Here are the only ones that don't make me vomit: That one where nerds date models, and that one where Mexicans repossess cars from other Mexicans. And that's it. I would like that one where the midget family lives in a house somewhere in middle America, but the producers of that show never degrade them enough for my liking, so it's boring.

3. How come I'm the only person that thinks it's funny to insult someone by calling them a tampon?

4. If I had to live on a diet of just one animal, it would have to be pig. Think about it. You get more variety from a pig than any other animal. You get sausage, bacon, ham, pepperoni, and barbecue. (I'm obviously Southern as shit.) With a cow, you just get steak and burgers. They're both good, but that's it. And with chicken, you only get chicken and eggs. Who cares which one came first, I'm big on the pig.

5. Has anybody else looked up "woman driver" on Youtube? Call it sexist or don't, I don't give a shit, I'm just promising you this: You will laugh your ass off at some of the clips you see in that subcategory. My favorite is the lady who goes from a dead stop to driving up a wall and flipping her car over in the matter of 10 feet at a rate of about 8 miles per hour, in a matter of about 4 seconds.

6. Have you ever looked at a stranger in public and thought: "Man, I'm pretty sure me and that fat ass made out at a party about 15 years ago. I'm sure glad I didn't end up having a baby with that beast."

7. You ever called a Guatemalan a Mexican? I have. Hector didn't get too mad. He did key my boss' car for something else, though. I hated my boss, so that made me love Hector.

8. Speaking of racism. One time, I had one of those olive-skinned bosses that I could tell was mostly white, but definitely not all white. After a few weeks of waiting for him to mention his own ethnicity, I got impatient and said to him: "Hey, Mike. I need to know what you are so I can know what people I can't talk shit about in front of you." Mike said, "I'm Half-Puerto Rican. You can talk shit about anyone else and we're cool." I said, "Thanks, you Lazy Puerto Rican!"

He laughed and then said, "Wait, why did you ask me what I was? If I find out you thought I was a fucking nigger, I'll shoot you."

9. I hate all shows on ABC. All the men talk way too much in a girly way that men never do. And the writers of those shows always try to slide in some liberal preachy message. Whenever Boston Legal, Private Parts, Men In Trees, or That Medical Show with Patrick McDuffy comes on, I want to burn my television. And don't get me started on how fugly Sandra Oh is. She looks like diahrrea had a butt. (Yeah, that doesn't make a damn lick of sense. And neither does how ugly she is.)

10. I hate Ben Roethlisberger. He seems like such a phony wigger. I hate when people talk in an accent that obviously isn't their natural sound. I'm gonna become a Frigger. That's an American who is a wannabe Frenchman. Zhssshea, Bouyeeee!

11. Rick Reilly has started sprinkling his ESPN articles with political references. Two things have happened as a result. 1. He has shown the he knows nothing about politics. 2. His sportswriting has suffered with these forced analogies.

12. I have a good story coming tomorrow called Plot and Plans for Pots and Pans.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


What Would Woman Do?

I need a woman’s advice. Oh, don’t worry. This isn’t one of those bullshit ploys where I try to trick you into having sex with me by making you feel sorry for me because I’m having some “relationship problem” and I “don’t know what to do,” and I could “really use your opinion” and a hug and all that crap. No, I may talk like a sailor and sound like a jerk, but at least I'm not phony like those guys.

So here's the deal: I need a woman’s advice because I want to be evil. And let’s all be frank here, Shirley - women are way better at being evil than dudes. Men use fists, while women use mind-fuck flattery. Men say “screw you.” While women make you screw yourself. And you never even know they did it.

So here’s the way it’s going to be: I’m going to tell you the back story on why I want to be evil to this man I know. And then you girls each leave me a comment telling me how you would go about getting revenge on the guy if you were me. I will pick a winner and mail you a bag of Hershey’s kisses, a 66 cent check, and then go out and do my evil the way you told me to. There’s only one stipulation: I won’t declare a winner until at least ten girls enter my contest (so you might have to recruit a friend to read this.) Now let’s get on to the story. (Names have been changed, but hell, I write under a fake name, so you knew that already.

The Story

In 2007, I was working at a cluster of radio stations in Wilmington, North Carolina. We had five radio stations in the company, and this metal-head here worked at the stupid country station. Lucky me! One day, a memo went up on the wall at the station announcing a chance to interview for an on-air position at our rock station down the hall. I was like “Fuck, yeah! I’ve paid my dues, I’m going for that job! Hell or highwater, that bitch is mine!” I knew other people were going for it from inside and outside the company, but I thought I deserved my break. I had been getting fucked for too long, this was my time!

A few minutes later, my protégé, Sammy, called me. He said, “Hey are you still quitting, like you said you were?” I said, “Not now. Just when I was gonna bail, they announced this new afternoon gig on the rock station, I’m going for it.”

Sammy got quiet and obviously deflated and said, “Oh. I mean, that’s cool. I hope you get it.”

I said, “What’s wrong? Don’t hold back, dude. Something’s up.”

Sammy said, “Well. I was gonna go for that job if you weren’t. But since you're sticking around you should get it. I mean, you taught me everything I learned for the last year. You’ve trusted me more than people who you’ve worked with longer. You deserve your break, man. I can wait.”

Not to make myself sound like a selfless hero, but well, I sounded like a selfless hero when I said, “Listen, motherfucker. I will kick your fucking ass if you don’t interview that job. I didn’t teach you to be scared and not go for shit. This may be your only chance at a break, too, Sammy. Look, I’ll be honest with you: If I don’t get the job, and you do: I will quit. I do think I deserve it over you. But that’s not for me to decide. If I quit because you get it, it’s just on principle, not because I’m mad at you. Besides, what if you didn’t interview and they still don’t pick me for the job and go with some third guy? Then you’ll never know what could have been. Here are the ground rules: you and I are going to go for the same job - but we are going to play nice. You have become one of my best friends. And I swear on my life I won’t stab you in the back or trash you or sabotage you to get this job. And I know you’re just as legit right back at me. So whatever happens, we’re friends. Even if I quit because you get the job. Best of luck my man, even if you get it - I still win… because I taught you a lot and my ego loves seeing how talented you’ve become. Good luck, my brother. And not another word about you not interviewing - you ARE interviewing.”

My man agreed (like he had a choice) and we both spent the next week or two preparing for the job interview. Although, we were being extremely cool to each other, it still was tense. There’s no way it couldn’t be. The two of us hung out at work and outside of work all the time - it was always the elephant/monkey in the room.

Finally. Finally! The day of the interview came. Me and Sammy both waited in the tiny office we shared to be called into our separate interviews with Terry, our Operations Manager. (To make it sound easier, let’s just say an OM is about the same as a company Vice President.)

Now let me give you a back story on VP Terry. He was about 50 years old, and he was a former shock-jock from the 1980’s. He loved to drop the he once had a show with now famous liberal talk show host Randi Rhoads. He also liked to act like he wasn’t bragging when he would tell us stories about all the crazy shit he had done when he had morning shows in bigger cities. (I could tell some of them, but I don’t want to dignify this guy by telling his tales, even though they were mostly true.)

So somehow Terry had gotten out of the morning show business ten years earlier and landed in our tiny town as a member of management. He hadn’t cracked a mic in years. He was now just one of the suits.

After our interviews with Terry, me and Sammy both felt like when presented our case fairly well. Then a long week went by. A long week went by.

Then the memo was posted. Do you remember when you were a kid and the list for the soccer team or the school play went up and you ran up to see who made the cut? That is what is was like.

Here is what the memo said (And remember, it’s been two years, so my wording isn’t exact, and while the tone of what you read is true, don’t think for a second I’m exaggerating what it said. It was as shameless and vain as I’m making it sound.)


ATTN: Employees of ________ Broadcasting, Inc.
From: Terry Rock, VP

“After a lengthy and exhaustive interview process, I, Terry Rock am pleased to announce our new afternoon air-talent that we’ve hired for our Rock Station

Before I tell you who he is, I want to let you know a little bit about this person. He is known nationwide for his abilities on the air. He has worked in radio markets such as Milwaukee, NYC, and San Jose, and will be a great addition to our team.

On behalf of the entire company, I would like to be the first to welcome the newest member of the air staff. So ladies and gentleman, without further ado, I, Terry Rock, present our new afternoon personality: TERRY ROCK!!!!!


Terry Rock

Yes, the fucker hired himself.

And to add insult to injury, I found out minutes later (because there are no secrets in radio) that this asshole had known all along he was going to hire himself. He let me and my assistant/friend put a strain on our personal and professional relationship for no fucking reason.

Actually, there was a reason. Because we were a publicly owned company, this guy was bound by law to interview people for the job and send paperwork to the federal government proving it. So instead of just being on the level with his loyal employees and telling us this from the get-go, this guy used us. He let us sweat and prepare our asses off for a job we were never being considered for in the first place. He lied to us. He even did fake interviews with us! And we thought they were real.

I stuck around for about two more months and tried to see how bad of a job I could do until they would fire me. I would walk around with an ipod in my ears and ignore people. I would show up when I felt like. I would lie about the amount of hours I worked. I would eat food in the studio at the country station. I even walked up to the face of our evil human resources witch and giggled at her and said “Just so you know: you’re a God Damned liar! Hahahahahahah!” (She was. The most vile woman I have ever known. Five years in a row, she lost my annual company insurance paperwork - and only mine. She blamed me for messes that were made in the company kitchen when I was away on vacation in Florida.) And I walked away still laughing like Dracula as I heard her sixty year old Yankee ass say “Oh, I’m REALLY going to fuck you up now, boy!” I was unhinged. But not really. It was all completely calculated. I was in control. I chose not to care. I just wanted to see what it would take to get them to fire me. I would even get drunk at station events and drive the radio van everywhere. I would drink gin on the air. It was fun. I’m talking “have sex in the studio fun.” Am I serious? What do you think?

Anyway, after two months, I realized nothing would get me fired. So one Sunday, I took down my favorite painting, “Bunnyflower” and cleaned out my desk. I didn’t tell anyone. I just did it. It was time to go. I decided I would officially resign on Monday when everyone was their. Well, our VP must’ve noticed I took all my stuff home, (My skateboard, my autographed POTUSA poster, and my wooden turtle.) So that faggot Terry Rock beat me to the punch and decided to fire me. But he didn’t do it like a man face to face. He made a young girl do it. When she fired me, I said, “Can’t you tell I already quit?” She said, “No, we want the record to show we fired you.” Whatever. At least I got to create a new term: “Choired.” (Pronounced “Cwy-ered.”) Getting choired is what happens when there is a dispute with people over whether you quit or got fired: choired.

Oh well. I was gone. And that pussy Terry Rock didn’t have the balls to face me. He hid from me. I thought he was some fearless shock jock. Where was this guy he postured as? Even at that time, I would’ve been a real man and shaken his hand as I left. But that dick couldn’t even thank me for 5 years of doing whatever he asked me to do. And he of course never apologized for putting me through a fake interview. I hope his karma is a bitch.

Actually, his karma was a bitch. Yesterday.

That fucker got fired. He got his ass handed to him by the big bosses in Atlanta. I’m sure he didn’t see it coming. Not only did he lose his on-air job, he lost his VP job at the same time. Sweeeeeeet. But that’s not enough for me. I don’t hold many grudges on people. But this one is still unresolved in my mind. I never got my satisfaction on this guy. And I demand my satisfaction.

And now I’m back in the business at a competing station while he's on his ass. And I love it. While everyone else in this town is getting fired from the business this month, I’ve been the one guy lucky enough to get a mild promotion. It wasn’t much, but I thank God for it. I really love radio. Just not the Terry Rock’s of radio. You saw how the difference between how he treated his help, compared with how I treated my help. I will never mislead a kid who wants to learn. Because I was the kid who wanted to learn when no one would teach me. Hell, I'm still a kid trying to learn. You don’t forget that burn when people won't meet you halfway… unless your Terry Rock. He lost his way, if he ever even had it to begin with.

So here’s where I need your help being evil:

I haven’t talked to Terry since I left the building that day two years ago. And I want to be evil to him now and rub in his misfortune. But the simple boy in me thinks that a good revenge would be to call him and go “Ha, ha. You got fired.”

But then I think how a girl would react if I told her of my simple plan. She would say, “You’re wasting a great opportunity. Don’t be so direct. Don't be so honest in your communication. You want him to feel stupid for getting fired, but you don’t want him to let you know you’re still bitter at him. Go with the passive aggressive! Make him feel small without looking like you mean to make him feel small. Degrade him while looking like you’re so happy in your new job that you don’t even care about the past or his current scenario!”

OK, girls. I’m hearing you - but I need specifics. WWWD? (What Would Woman Do?) Should I send him flowers of condolence? Should I tell him I’ll keep an ear out for any minimum wage part-time positions for him once our hiring freeze ends? (I'm sure he was making six figures.)

I know you girls have way better ideas than me. Once ten girls have given suggestions, I will mail the winner the prize. Thanks for reading this long, long piece. I'm too nice, help me with my evil.