Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I've never lost a parent, much less anyone to cancer. But Pokey Pants lost her Mom at 2 a.m. on Tuesday. A 3 year battle turned into a four step process over the last 2 weeks. Here's what the doctor's said.

10 days ago: "We'll let you know tomorrow if you can give chemo one last shot."
9 days ago: "Sorry. Tell your mom she has a month or two."
5 days ago: "Let's make that a week or two."
3 days ago: "Any minute."
2 days ago: ____________________

If it sounds like I'm bitching about the doctors, I'm not. Pokey says they were great, and she's a medical worker. I'm just showing how I watched a daughter who had 3 years to plan for her mom's death, still have it her her like a sudden load of bricks. But it was nice to hear her admit the truth in a confident way she usually doesn't express; because two days before it happened, as we sat there while her young mom was struggling to sleep with an oxygen machine, albeit with a cute buzzcut, she said, "At least when she leaves, I'm not gonna live with regrets. I took damn good care of her! A lot of other people will have to live with how they neglected her - but not me! I loved her like I was supposed to."

Thank God, I didn't have to explain that truth to her. Everything she said was exactly right.

For the last two days, every TV show, whether a drama, comedy, reality show, documentary or news program we have tried to escape into has been about cancer. I told her: "You know it's gonna be this way." She understood that if her Mom was attacked by an alligator with mittens on - every show she saw for the next month would be about exactly that, it's just the way it goes.

And of course, I couldn't be with her last night. Why? Because I had to write a newspaper article. A newspaper article about The Pender County Relay For Life Cancer Walk. Naturally.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Life As Jack Tripper

I've had 7 girls live in this house over the last 3 years. If they are indicative of all girls (and they aren't), here's what I've learned about the smell-goods (girls).

Buy in Bulk?: Never! Why do that when you can buy all your food in very tiny individually packed and outrageously priced containers. Just because you're a hippie environmentalist, that doesn't mean you shouldn't purchase six tiny plastic yogurts instead of one big one!

Pregnancy tests?: Always leave them in the top of the garbage can in the common bathroom! That way the boy here can wonder a few things! Things like: "Is she pregnant or not?" "Did she luck out?" "Did she have an abortion?" "Is she about to tell me and the other girl here that she's having a baby?" "Oooh, which guy did it?" "Does he know?" "Did I have sex with her and forget that I did? Man, I hope not." "Why did she leave this where we'd surely see it?"

Charity?: Always sign up to be on the mailing list of every local co-op. It's empowering! (Whatever that means.) But under no circumstances are you supposed to ever give them money! Or even open up the mail from them! But don't ever throw it away! Keep it on the dining room table; that way you can kid yourself into thinking you will donate soon! It's empowering! And it's the thought that counts! Even if your thoughts are fucking crazy!

Having a bad day?: Then walk in front of the boy in a towel! Act like there is an urgent reason to get something from the living room immediately after your shower! And pretend you have no idea how much you're affecting him and his weiner! Sure the boy will try not to look - but he's a boy! He has to look. And you'll feel better! You still got it, Miss Thang!

Feel free to laugh and the boy and ridicule him about all the delightful sluts he sneaks in and out of the house. But if he so much as acknowledges the existence of that drummer you snuck in the other night, then give him that glare that says, "Hey, asshole. We're pretending that didn't happen. There is a double-standard - deal with it! A guy like you whoring around is hilarious. A girl like me slutting around is not a conversation topic. Did your parents not teach you this when you were a kid?"

Showers: The girls always say, "We'll be sweet and let the boy go first, since ours take so long. But seriously, dude, we are judging you. I mean, how clean can you really get in two minutes, you little stinker!"

Leftovers!: Bring them home everytime you go out to eat! But under no circumstances are you supposed to eat them. Especially salads. Salads are only brought home to take up precious fridge space and to die a painfully slow and bitterly cold wilting death. At least it will die side-by-side with it's best friend: A rotten plastic container of bleu cheese dressing.

Parents visiting?: Bongs get hidden in the boy's room. Vibrators get hidden in the other girl's room.

Cigarettes?: Look shocked and offended that the boy would ever offer you a cigarette if your mom is in the room. YOU HAVE NEVER SMOKED ONE CAMEL IN YOUR LIFE!

Do you eat fondu? Do you drink a lot of wine?: No and no. But don't let that stop you from buying 80 wine glasses and 40 dollar fondu set! It's fun just to know you can.

Cleaning the house? When you're gonna do it, do it all! Clean everything, even things that are already clean. Hell, you should even clean your bottles of cleaner! But don't ever clean because the house needs cleaning - that would be sane! You need to clean because of some other mood-altering aspect of your life that has nothing to with cleaning! After you've spent hours cleaning a house that maybe four of five people will ever see, you should remind yourself to never clean your car or maintain your lawn - since those are the things that the entire world gets to see. That would be crazy!

News: What's that? Don't watch the local news, it's boring! Don't watch the national news, it's also boring! Newspapers? C'mon! You're a grad student, you're smart enough, what could you possibly learn from a daily? But don't let your lack of news absorption ever stop you from expressing a silly opinion on political subject you know nothing about! It just "feels right" to feel the way you do about domestic issues, so let everyone know it, no matter how illogical your views are - you're a grad student, dammit! So you're right! Is there a new Gossip Girl on tonight?

This is only part one. I hope it was clear that I absolutely have loved living with girls. I just notice that they are amusingly absurd. I'm not pretending to know why. I don't even want to know why. I just want them to know that I notice. And I bet that in weirdass "girl world" that's more than enough. Freaks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Broken Back Finale (I'll fix the spelling later)

I guess I'll finish up this broken back story I started two or three months ago. I have been reluctant to finish it because I'm not sure how to end it. I'm not sure where it really does end. I guess I'll cover the litigation part of the thing.

It took five years and month to resolve the financial issues with with Ginger's insurance company. Apparently, someone can visibly break your spine and dent your head and an insurance company will look at you and say, "You're faking."

They know you're not faking, but they go on record saying you are.

I remember my Mom told me at 16 to go about my business as usual after the accident, but to not be shocked if people were following me around that were hired by the insurance company to film me. She said I'd probably never see them, since that was what what they did for a living. I never saw them once. But I sure spent five years looking for these invisible people.

We had one day of forced mediation with the insurance companies before taking it to a new level of dispute.

Apparently, these lawyers had never met a guy like me. I sat in one room and they say in another. They wrote a financial offer on a piece of paper and handed it to an official who brought it to me, my parents, and my lawyer. I wrote them an offer back. It basically said, "I would like X sort of a deal. Either, this or let's call it a day and meet in court."

They thought that was a negotiating ploy on my part. They sent me another piece of paper with a better offer than their first, but it still wasn't up to my demands. I sent them back the same offer I had made earlier. And I wrote again, "I really mean, this amount or let's go home and wait for court."

The raised their offer... but not enough.

I sent them my original offer again.

This went on for 8 fucking hours!

I never budged and they never caved. I told them! (And they were trying to say I wasn't a man of my word? Wasn't that proof enough? I kept my promise that my demand wouldn't change.)

Finally, we had a court date. It took place on my 21st birthday in 1998. I really hated Ginger now. She ruined my 16th birthday by nearly killing me, and she indirectly ruined my coveted 21st birthday by having my day in court set for then. It forced me to stay sober the night before and drive 4 hours from my home in Wilmington to Charlotte early in the morning.

I saw my lawyer for the first time in a couple of years in the parking lot. I said, "Hey, Jim. My mom says the insurance company has P.I'.s stalk me all the time. What do you think?"

He said, "I used to work for them. I have no doubt they do. If we don't see video of you in court, they didn't get anything good to misrepresent your injury. But never for a second think they don't know everything about you. They do."

They did. The trial was hilarious. I had no idea that real-life trials could be as over-the-top as Matlock. This one was.

These people summoned every piece of school work I had ever done. The showed me my elementary school report cards! They asked me about friends I had forgotten existed! They tried to trick me into lies. For example, here's how me and Opie interacted in court. ("Opie" was the name I secretly had for one of the THREE or FOUR opposing attorney who was questioning me.

Opie: Would you describe your tenth grade year as a wild and crazy year?

Roth Wriscey: Looking back five years? No. I'd say it was a normal year for a kid that age.

Opie: So you're on record saying your tenth grade year WASN'T a wild and crazy year. Do you recognize this school assignment I'm handing you.

RW: No? I don't remember this.

Opie: Does that look like your handwriting?

RW: Oh, I definitely wrote it, I just don't remember it.

Opie: Please read the top line out loud.

RW: "Assignment: Describe each year of high school in one sentence."

Opie: Now read the line describing tenth grade.

RW: "Tenth-grade-was-a-wild-and-crazy-year."

Opie: So do you want to change your statement on your tenth grade year being a wild and crazy year?

RW: No. I thought that when I did this assignment at the end of twelfth grade. But I don't think that now.

Opie: So first it was a wild and crazy year? Then it WASN'T a wild and crazy year? And now it's both? Which is it? Nevermind. Let's address any drug use you may have participated in that year and see how this might relate to any possible "head injury."-------------------------------

I went through this shit like this for several hours. My family went through this shit for several hours, as well. And Ginger's family sat there and let it all happen.

They had hired an attorney to be there and sort of work with their insurance company. Why? Because they were trying to cozy up to the insurance company and gang up on me, so the insurance company wouldn't turn around and sue them for any money they had to pay me. And that's the part I could never - I actually I've already forgiven them - they've just never asked for it. The reasong I find the way they sat back and let me be treated was because what I saw when I looked down the table at my parents and saw how different they were from Ginger's.

My parents were two hard working people who didn't have shit for possession. But if I had broken Ginger's back, and our insurance company was treating Ginger like a fraud when it was obvious she wasn't. My parents wouldn't have allowed it. No matter how certainly it would make them lose the few things they had, no matter how certainly it would have made them broke for life, my parent would have never for once second let an insurance company treat Ginger or anyone the way that company had treated me. They wouldn't have tolerated it that day. And they wouldn't have tolerated it those five year. They would've caused a scene fighting for that girl to be treated right. I know this. I don't have to have seen it actually happen to know this. That's just the kind of people they were.

And yes, I sort of got screwed in the end when the judge's decision was made. I don't like to talk numbers. But let's just say I'm still renting at 31, so I'm no millionairre. But the little bit of money I did get did help me out in some ways. I never had to borrow any significant amount of money from my parents again. I got to pay for my own college. I got to buy my own car. And I got to stick with a couple of careers that I was passionate about a little longer than if I didn't have that money. It's mostly gone now, but it did allow me to pursue some things I couldn't have without it.

But that money didn't take away that I've hurt every day for 16 years. It didn't take away that there are some things I just can't do. It didn't take away that I never even got to consider military service. It didn't take away that I will one day have to live on painkillers forever. (I could already, but I'm holding off.) It didn't take away that my thighs and balls hurt all the time. It didn't take away that I fall to the floor with hilarious back spasms that I don't have time to see coming. It didn't take away that I will have to have surgeries later in life. And it didn't take away that I bitch about it all the time. And it didn't take away that people mistake my forgetfullness for stupidity or rudeness. It didn't take away shit. It didn't take away that my dad would soon become resentful and mistreat me because of the money. It didn't take away that people treated me different - for the worse - due to the fact that they assumed I had more money than I did. (When say "It's private" they hear "A MILLION.")

Sometimes I wonder: "If I had a magic wand that would give me the option to give back the money and all that came from it in return for no injuries from that car wreck, would I do it?"

And then I remind myself that magic wands don't exist and that their is no point in trying to answer that hypothetical. It happened they way it did and it always will have happened the way it did.

Part of you might be saying, "In a way, shouldn't you be thanking Ginger for what she did to you, since you had some good come out of the insurance settlement?"

No, no I shouldn't be thanking her. For one, what she did was still wrong. Two, hurting me was not her right. Three, she didn't hurt me to help me, it just happened that way. In fact, her and her family tried to impede my progress from injuries caused by her every step of the way. Those people are tacky. And they were willing to bankrupt my parents with their bills just to save their own culpable asses. So no, I'm not thanking them. But if they ever want to ask, I will forgive. I already have, they just never bothered to find out that I did.

I missed an accidental dirty joke? I 8 when I do that.

I went bowling with some co-workers and their girlfriends the other night. We had two lanes, which meant we all shared one ball returner.

Me and Frisoli's girlfriend were both going to the ball returner to grab our balls and get bowling. She was a step ahead of me, so I motioned for her to get her ball first, while I would wait to get mine next. Mind you, I had just met this girl five minutes earlier.

She tried to pull a small ball with a big "8" on it out of the returner. It slipped off her fingers before she had a grip on it and it fell back on the rack. Then it slipped out the same way a second and a third time.

She looked up at me, while she was still trying to pull the ball out, and apologized for holding me up by saying this:

"I'm sorry, man. I am trying really hard to get 8 out!"

Then she fell on the floor laughing at herself.

I didn't get it.

She said, "Dude, I just looked at you and told you I was trying really hard to get ate out!"

Now I got it. That was hilarious.

I hope Frisoli 8 her out later. She deserved it for being so funny.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Might Whitey, please quit saving the day, you pompous prick.

I hate people trying to prove how not racist they are. Boooring.

Guilt-ridden white Hollywood actors are always trying to prove they aren't racist by doing one of two things. They either play a super-racist character, so when they hit the talk show tour promoting the movie, they can tell everyone in the crowd how it was "so hard for them to play such a vile person, that was nothing like themself- really a stretch." Boooring.

Or these same white actors play some character who was the only white person in the film who would stand up for the poor helpless black characters in the film. Also boooring.

Look, Hollywood actors, we get it! You're not racist. Or at least that's what you want us to say. But aren't those films those guys make where Mighty Whitey comes in and saves the brothas' kind of racist in a patronizing way. It's like they are saying, "I love black people. But they'd be nothing without my heroics!" No? No one else gets that vibe. Well, I'm right and you're wrong.

You know who else I hate? Politicians who have debates with each other on the campaign trail about who grew up poorer. They think this is a noble characteristic. Wrong! I don't want poor people running this country. Look, most of us have been poor at some point in our lives. That's the beauty of our society: economic mobility. In other words, keep working and you'll pull yourself up. But if you come from a long line of poor people for generations on end - especially in AMERICA, the land of opportunity!- then that means you come from a long line of stupid people! And I don't want these people who come from a long line of royal stupidity running my country.

I also hate people who falsely claim they weren't popular in high school. It's as if nobody over 25 ever remembers being popular. You know who you're really majorly pissing off? Guys like me who really weren't popular in high school. We don't want you stealing our victimhood. We earned that shit... that we didn't deserve! And besides, don't you know that there are public records out there called yearbooks? I know if you were Prom Queen - there's a photo of you with a caption! And you're wearing a sash that says "PROM QUEEN!" Don't lie about it now.

In my case, sure, there were some kids who were more isolated than me. But no one else can claim that a hot Senior girl once came up to them with the intention of being sweet and said, "Hey, Roth Wriscey. You know that column I write every week in the school paper about 'The Adventures of Poor Freddy Freshman?' He's you! I just wanted to say thank you. But I'm sure you already knew you were him anyway!"

No! No I didn't. I thought that guy in those stories was a real dork. But I didn't think he was me!I thought this fictitious character was the one guy who was lamer than me!

I know you're wondering, "How did she get all this inspiration from you?" Here's how:

I had no friends my freshman year. No one would sit with me at lunch. These two senior girls that went to my church had the same lunch and they felt sorry for me and did the Christian thing and let me sit with them every day. I knew it was pity, but for once I didn't care. I took it. The senior girl columnist was also friends with these girls and sometimes they would tell her about my plight, not because they were gossipy, but because they felt for me. So the only popularity I had was in the form of some fictitious guy with a different name who was a loser.

I'm glad I was never popular. Honestly, I never wanted to be. I never liked those dudes in that crowd. I did finally make some friends with some awesome dudes in the 10th grade. They were like me: themselves. Not long after that, the popular crowd came calling just like some cheesy 80's teen movie. They made it clear that I could join there side if I would just ditch my boys. Ditch Garlic Boy? Ditch Bravo? Ditch Cadillac? Hell, no! Those were my real friends and I was smart enough to realize it. Ironically, Cadillac's big sister was one of the two church girls who sheltered me at her lunch table the year before when I was a lonely new guy. And I was gonna bail on him? Not a fucking chance! I'm so glad to look back on one aspect of being a teenager and realize how mature I was for a moment. You don't get to do that a lot.

So, in conclusion, I hate Hollywood actors? (That was no conclusion at all. I need to go to writing college. Do they even have those?)

My perverted bowling alley!

I don't know why I'm not richer. I was bowling last night and thought to myself, "If I owned the bowling alley, I would do my best to strategically place groups of men (or mostly men) in odd lanes and groups with mostly women in even numbered lanes. That way everyone would have more fun and want to come back to my bowling alley. This would probably make people stay longer - which means they would bowl more games and drink more booze, thus making me a rich son of a bitch with an awesome bowling alley.

I would even try to place people of similar attractiveness beside each other. Because science has shown that people generally fuck the level of attractiveness that they are themselves. So I'd put the ugly peole on the left, the normal people on the right, and the hot people in the center. I'd even try to group the lesbians, the yankees, and the rednecks together. Everyone gets laid! And I get paid! And lots of people get knocked up because of me... except the lesbians.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Note: This story starts out boring, but as always, it ends in me being a perv.

So I had some time to kill the other day. I had 45 minutes before I was going to go to a radio station event. Not for my company, but for my old company. I tried to explain to Pokey Pants that I needed to go there for a specific reason because two years had passed since I was "choired" and I needed to let them know something. (Definition? Choired: prounounced "kwy-ered" - I say I quit, they say I was fired. So I was choired.) Feel free to use my term.

I needed to let my old GM know this: that I was doing great and I loved my new job and had no current intention of leaving. I also needed to politely let him know that I didn't respect him one bit, but if the day came that he needed to hire me, I would consider it - but only on the grounds that it would be because I am talented and we would need each other to make money, and that I no doubt still thought zero of him as a man.

This confused Pokey Pants. It makes perfect sense to me. That is why she takes care of gunshot victims for a living, while I turn on a microphone and announce the gunshot victims for a living. She said she could never do what I do for a living, that it was too stressful. I said, "You save lives every day, and you would be scared of some job where they pay you to talk? You're crazy."

I couldn't make it clear to her that I was going to this event so I could run into my old boss so we could talk with each other, not as friends, but as two guys who don't care for each other, but still needed to re-break the ice, so it wouldn't be awkward when the day comes that he holds his nose and calls me and makes me an offer, and I hold my nose back and consider it. What's weird about that? He likes beer and country girls and so do I, so this stupid event his station was throwing at a bar in a hick town was perfect for us to run into each other and loathe each other.

But like I said, I had an hour to kill and I was too far from my house to go home. So I decided I would drive through my old college campus and go look at all the new buildings I had heard they just built. I planned on doing a driving tour to look at all the new parking deck and the new dormitories at the east end of the campus.

When I got to the new section of buildings and slowed down to about ten miles an hour, I saw this really cute girl walking by. I started thinking, "Mmmmmmm. Damn! Oh yeah. She's just mmmmm! I'd sure like to- mmmmm!"

Then I got distracted by another girl walking by and thought, "Whooooo boy! Hay-elll Yah! I'd just love to - MMmmm! Pffeww damn she's -!"

And this went on about ten more times. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Fuck New York, fuck Brazil, fuck Paris. Wilmington is the per capita hot chick capitol of Earth! It's hard to get stuff done here, I swear. I wish they'd just kick the girls out of town for two days every week so the rest of us guys could get on with our lives and be productive.

So after like the 13th round of me seeing a girl walking in front of a car that made me think, "Hubba Hubba Hell Yeah, Gimme Gimme, You are just, Mmmm," I suddenly had come to the end of the new section of buildings. That's when the sarcastic asshole that lives in my brain decided to belittle me with questions. Here's the conversation we had. He set me up good:

Sarcastic Asshole That Lives In My Brain: Man, those were some cute girls, weren't they?

Roth Wriscey: Yes they were! I want them all. I'm glad you were there to witness all the prettiness I just saw, too.

SATLIMB: Yeah, they were nice. So what'd you think about the new buildings?

RW: Huh?

SATLIMB: You know -he new architecture that you drove out here to look at?

RW: Oh - uh, yeah. Those buildings were, uh really cool.

SATLIMB: You didn't notice a single one did you?

RW: Not a one.

SATLIMB: You couldn't even tell me if they were brick or vinyl siding, could you?

RW: Nnnnope!

SATLIMB: What color they were?

RW: Not a chance!

SATLIMB: Private entrances or public entrances?

RW: Look, I have a problem! I know it! You know it! I never get tired of looking at girls! And when there are girls around, I can't not look at them. It is so much fun. They never get boring. I'm never like, "Man, I sure don't wanna check out some hot chicks today!" It is the only thing in life that is fun absolutely 100 percent of the time. Every girl I look at is a new one, and I'm never happier. So why don't you quit being a sarcastic asshole and just say what you want to say? Do I waste too much time looking at girls? Yes! Am I ever gonna stop? NO! So just shut up and enjoy them with me, or at least get out of my head, you sarcastic asshole! I know I didn't see any buildings. And I know if I drove through there again right now, I still wouldn't see any buildings! But you would! So why don't you climb out of my skull and go live in one of them since you love architecture so damn much, and leave me alone so I can look at girls!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Frat That Ass Up

So on day three of the baby trip, me and Pokey Pants decided to walk from my Mom's house to the other side of Davidson for 2 hours of late night drinking at the only bar in town: The Brickhouse. Even on Saturday nights when there are young people in there, that place has the nerve to constantly play 1970's light rock. I'm talking Dan Fogelburg and shit like that. It's so weird.

I did notice one funny thing on the men's room wall. There was an advertisement above the urinal for a local gym. It had a sweet looking girl-model in the add reluctantly shrugging her shoulders and smiling with a caption that said, "I don't have time to work out!"

But before I read it, I noticed some dude had scratched through one of the words with an ink pen. I figured, as usual, it would be some unclever and probably misogynistic vandalism. However, upon further inspection, I realized that whatever guy did this had actually scratched out the word "time." Aww, some guy had a crush on the girl in the add. Because the word he crossed out left the sweet model now smiley-shrugging while saying, "I don't have to work out!"

I bet if that model ever found out about that bathroom prank, she would come to town and spend her life on a quest to find that unknown man that she now loves back.

So back to our night at the bar. It was boring. A lesbian tried to dig at me for making her job easier. When she realized it, she felt like shit and was super nice to me the rest of the night. Not only was I not being a dick, I was being extra-cool, and her dumbass initially misunderstood. I guess it's not her fault. Most people in Davidson suck, she probably just assumed.

What happened was, I ordered two bourbon and cokes for me and Pokey when we got there - but Pokey, who is 29, was in the bathroom. The lezbo asked for two I.D's., so I nicely said, "She (Pokey) will have her I.D. when she gets back. Here's mine."

She started to just make one drink. I said, "If you just want to make two at the same time and keep one behind the bar until Pokey gets here, that's fine. I know that's what she wanted."

She got snippy and said, "Do you have any more orders to give me?"

I said, "Whoa. I've worked behind that side of the bar. I was trying to assure you that a second valid I.D. was coming your way, so I was trying to save you the time and the trouble of making one drink two different times, and instead making two drinks at once. I was not ordering you. I was trying to be a non-problem for you."

After that she was nice. Don't call me a dick when I'm not, because then I will be.

So after our night at the bar, we headed to the street for our mile walk home through the Davidson ghost town.

"What's that noise coming from that way?," said Pokey.

"Oh, I'm sure it's a party at a frat house on the Davidson College Campus," I said.

I then told her how we used to go to sneak into the parties when we were 15 and 16 and try to flirt with the college girls, since the college guys would always steal our high school girls. We never did succeed. The older college girls would humor us and think we were cute, and then the Davidson guys would beat us up and/or throw us out.

I told Pokey how it was funny how I used to go to those college frat parties when I was too young, but I never went when I was the right age. And now that I'm in my thirties, I'm once again too old.

She said, "That's all the more reason for us to do it." Let's get thrown out of a frat party full of people we don't know for being too old.

I said, "You forgot one thing. We both look young as shit. We just had a bartender think we were pulling the "underage girl go to the bathroom trip while I order" trick. And you're about to turn thirty. We can probably fool young kids into thinking we're one of them."

So the challenge was on.

We walked down frat row, and Pokey pointed towards a small house with loud music. It had about 75 people dancing on the open floor while a couple of DJ's played hip-hop songs we didn't recognize.

Now, I'm more of an extrovert than Pokey. She's retardedly shy to strangers. But she ran this show. As we entered the house, Pokey decided to blend into this party by being really loud. She walked in the door to the main floor and started going "Whoooohoooohooooo! Yeaaeaaeeah!" Then she started shaking her butt. So I started shaking mine. And we started dancing as crazy as all these kids around us. Even if they were 10 to 12 years younger than us, on a campus where all 1700 students know each other. Everyone saw us, but nobody suspected us.

I remember one time saying, "Hey Pokey, everybody's making out. We have to do it too, or they'll know we're not one of them." So we made out nastier than any of those tykes.

And everytime a new song came on, Pokey would scream at the same time as the other girls acting like the DJ had just turned on her favorite tune. During the third of fourth song, I said in her ear, "You don't know any of these songs do you?" She giggled and said, "Not a one. I hate this shit." And then we kept dancing like we loved it. And for the moment, we did.

Then after five songs, we decided to quit tempting fate. As the old saying goes, it was time to walk before they made us run. And walk home we did.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Spooky Graveyard

So I went back to Davidson to be an uncle. But that's not what I want to talk about. Don't get me wrong - I love my little new niece Fiona, and I'm glad the little five pounder and my sister are healthy so far. But everyone has lived a story like that, so let me tell you the more entertaining shit that happened during my stay in the place I spent my first 18 years. Graveyard or frat house, graveyard or frat house. Let's start with the grave yard story.

During some downtime out of the hospital on Saturday afternoon, I decided to take Pokey Pants on a driving tour through the Davidson College campus, since she had never seen it before. That town looks like a beautiful twilight zone Pleasantville kind of place - provided you don't talk to any of the people from there. As we drove through north part of the college campus, Pokey Pants pointed at a poorly kept graveyard that was just beyond the 3-hole golf course. (Yes, the campus has links with just 3 holes. That's Davidson.) She said, "Do you have any family there?"

I said, "Honestly, I thought I knew every square foot of this one square mile town; but I've never in my life seen that graveyard. Let's get out and walk it."

It was a mix of old and new graves that was probably 100 feet by 50 feet. The first tombstone we walked up on was arguably the biggest one in all the cemetary. I immediately said, "Oh, CJ Oh, no."

CJ was a guy who was my age. He was very big, and now had a big tombstone. Then I realized he had a wife whose name was on the grave, too. Then I realized that only their birthdates were on the tombstone. Hooray! Cedric was alive! And he apparently married a Latino girl. Who knew? I hadn't seen him since high school.

Then me and the Pokester started walking deeper into the graveyard when I turned around to see what was on the back side of CJ's tombstone.

"Oh, no. CJ! You poor guy," I said. I wasn't trying to be melodramatic. It just came out.

His daughter's name was on the backside of that tombstone. She lived a year. Last year.

As we proceeded through the graveyard, I noticed a lot of last names on the stones that were very common in Northern Meckelenburg County. There were Stinsons and Sloans and Kerns, and Houstons and Carrs and McCains and Burtons everywhere.

"Pokey Pants, I guarantee you I don't have any family in this graveyard. This is a black grave yard! These names are names that belong almost exclusively to black people from Davidson."

Some McCains run for president. Our McCains run from the cops. I've never met a white person with any of these last names I just mentioned until I left Davidson. I never knew, or never thought about, the existence of black graveyards, but once I found myself in one, I knew it was going to be an adventure.

I guaranteed Pokey that I would know a handful of people in this graveyard I had never heard of, and that I would have great stories for her about them.

The first dead person's tombstone I found that I knew was Arteze McCain. He was found murdered in Charlotte in 1993 at the age of 19. Me and my big sister were watching the news the night his body was fished out of the forest. Here were the first words out of our mouthes when hearing the news that night:

Big Sister: He showed me his weiner in kindergarten.
Me: He licked my slurpee and made me give him money outside of the 7-11 when I was 8.

Arteze's grave had a picture of him ground into it. He looked like such the nice guy that no one ever once knew him to be.

Then we saw Wyatt's grave. I hadn't seen him since elementary school. He was nice. He was a little guy two years younger than me. He was dead since '05. I still don't know what happened. His picture was also ground into his grave and he looked as nice as I remember him being. I hope he didn't die being an asshole.

Then we saw Trent's grave. He died back in the early 90's at the YMCA. He was a nice guy who stopped the basketball game to sit down on the court and catch his breath. He never did. He was in his early 20's. I remember hearing about his death from this 50 year old guy named James at a Lollapalooza concert during the Rage Against the Machine set. I remember thinking how Trent was too young to die on a basketball court and James was too old to be at Lollapalooza. Apparently, I was wrong about both.

Then we saw Damon Kern's grave. I hadn't seen him since elementary school. I remember him being OK. Not as nice as Wyatt (they were friends), but nice enough. Even though I hadn't seen him since the late 80's, I remember the night he died. It was Christmas night in 1997. Even though I was speding Christmas with my family in Davidson that day, and what he did happened in Davidson, I only heard about it from the television. What happened? Two police were called to his house. He shot them. They shot him. All three died.

I went to the Burton section, of the graveyard and couldn't find James' stone. I don't know why he wasn't buried there. His dad was buried there. James was murdered in front of Cornelius Elementary school buy some white guy. James was sweet and harmless and very gay. He rode a riding lawnmower everywhere. And he would bring my dad rotten apples in a bag that he grew himself. He once brought them over in a thunderstorm.

I looked over to where the Houston graves were and got said. I didn't want to see Lisa's name over there. She was my age and we always liked each other way too much. She had pretty green eyes and made me melt. I thought she had two kids now and was fine. Oh wait, she was fine! I was reading it wrong. It said "Lola Houston" not "Lisa Houston." (Later on when we got back to my house, I stumbled onto my sister's elementary school yearbook. I did go to school with Lola, but I swear as small as our school was, I don't remember her.) Either way, I'm glad Lisa is okay. She had green eyes and her mom had red hair, the were some genetically interesting black folks, that's for sure.

Then, I told Pokey. "I liked some of these people, and I didn't like some of these people. And I know it's been funny hearing me talk shit about these people as we stand over their dead bodies, but what I'm about to say is going to even make you question my heartlessness. Here's what I want to say. I need to go over to where the Carr family is buried. I want to see if "N---m" is buried there. I hope he is. I hope that fucker is dead as hell. I will be so happy to see his name on a tombstone."

She was like, "Damn! If you feel that way, there must be a reason."

I said, "There are a few reasons. Besides him being a murderer. We got into it a lot when we were kids. Long story short, N---m killed some white guy on just about the same spot where some other white guy killed James -over by the school. That murder had nothing to do with James. It was just a coincidence. And it had nothing to do with me. I was just relieved when he got a lengthy murder sentence, because he and I had gotten into a lot of fights growing up. (He started each one. I was meek when I was young. But I always fought back hard.) Sometimes I have dreams that he comes to kill me. That might be a little far fetched, but I bet if I ran into him even today, he might try to do something. I'd rather that worthless son of a bitch just not be here on Earth while I am.)

Dammit! If he's dead, he sure isn't in that graveyard! (BTW, I spelled his name wrong on purpose, so I don't recieve death from a google search - if you know what I mean.

So that was our day in the black graveyard. And if that graveyard is indicative of other graveyards, then I would draw these conclusion. Black people take more trips to leave flowers and trinkets on the tombstones of their loved ones than white people. However, they take less time maintaining the yard. It had grass where it shouldn't, no grass where it should, it looked like the people were covered in baseball dirt, and I swear they were placed in the ground so shoddily that it looked like some of them were trying to climb out. It also told me that black people, especially black males have a higher rate of premature death. Some by their own doing and the rest by someone else's doing - often one of their own. With all that said, I also learned this. Black graveyards are way more fun than white graveyards. All my families tombstones come along with boring heart disease, alzheimers or old age stories. At least these guys shot each other up and made it interesting. The End

Side Note: After I wrote this I looked up the info on my murderer friend. He's not dead. They don't make it clear if he got paroled or not - but he was up for parole last October. Here's what I found (with some editing by me)

N---m S***d Carr
Conviction: Second-Degree MurderDOC# 00-700-Parole Review Date: 10-3-08Sentence: 42 yearsHas Served: 14 yrs 7 months to date

Crime StoryAccording to a witness who was riding around Cornelius with Carr on February 6, 1994, they approached the victim who was walking in the 19*** block of School Street. N***m stopped the vehicle and the victim walked up to the passenger side. N***m motioned for him to come over to the driver's side. The victim walked around the vehicle to the driver's side and when he leaned down to talk to Carr, N***m shot him in the head for no apparent reason.
The victim fell backward into the street and Carr drove away. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident.
Carr was charged with first degree murder but pled to second degree and received 42 years in prison.
Return to Inmates for Parole in 2008
Man, that dude was not fun to grow up in a small town with.

Screw UNC

I hate the Tar Heels. Most people outside of this state assume we all love them. Hell no. Only about half the state loves them. That consists of the people who attended there, and a bunch of well-meaning rednecks from this state who have never actually made a trip to Chapel Hill to be loathed by those snobby communist assholes.

So who do the rest of us here in North Carolina like? Duke. The other snobby school in our state. Don't ask me why we all pick between those two prick-ass places, but we do. I fall on the Duke side, but if that wasn't snobby enough - I'm actually a Davidson fan. And that is our third snobbiest school! What the hell is wrong with us here? I'm from Davidson. I know Davidson. And I hate the people of Davidson. But when they actually make it to the tournament, I'm screaming "Go Wildcats" along with a bunch of faggots who were too good for me my whole life.

Oh, and another North Carolina team that is a bunch of pricks is Wake Forest. My optometrist, who is a Winston Salem native, was telling me that everyone from that town that doesn't have any direct involvement with the Wake Forest actually pulls for the Tar Heels just because they don't want to be associated with anything Demon Deacon, and just to prove it, they pull for a different snobby ACC rival.

I love that outsiders think Southerners are simple. We are the most complicated people on earth. I'm not saying what we do makes sense. It doesn't. (Actually, to us it does. We just don't have time to explain it. I really could explain to you how if you pull for Duke or UNC, you most likely come from a family that at one time was a bunch segregationists or desegregationists, respectively. It's true. But it's boring.) Just let me say this. North Carolineans are some of the most laid back go-with-the-flow people on earth - except for the assholes at the colleges that have good basketball teams that the rest of us reluctantly support for a variety of reasons. Got it? Yeah, me either. Actually, I do. But I don't have time. Go Michigan State! (And don't you outsiders dare ever call me a Tar Heel. It might be our state nickname. But it only applies to those wine and cheese fags that wear baby blue. Damn you UNC, you're so terrible you're making me pull for Yankees! Midwesterners, whatever.