The Daily Rossman (est. 1975) is the world's oldest web B.L.O.G.G. (Bitchin' Legendary Online Godcomplex Gazette). Not that I live an extraordinary life or anything (the government hit squads and the Ninja Assassins Guild have all cut back on their programs directed at ME lately, mostly thanks to a couple of well-placed letters in Jimmy Jammer's handwriting threatening all of their mothers), but sometimes I do accidentally maim a couple of dozen people, or unwittingly have my robot kill an assload of old folks; and I find that I want to share these happy stories with you, the general public.
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ONIcon 1998: The Con Of The Century!
Note to self 397: 1/30/2013
So, there's a new reality show out there called King of the Nerds, hosted by Revenge of the Nerds' very own Booger and Lewis Skolnick. I normally HATE "reality shows" (one of my very first articles 13 years ago goes into great detail why), except for clever ones like Joe Schmoe and Burning Love (which mock the horrible, scripted-but-passed-off-as-real, shit programs on every single fucking station out there, including the goddamn History Channel!... God I miss all their Nazi programs). This nerd show though, I just had to see it with my own eyes.
See, faux-geek series like Big Bang Theory are just goddamn awful because they never have NERD jokes (jokes that nerds find funny); instead they always have nerd JOKES ("jokes" where the geeky characters say that they like something that's considered nerdy [like, for example, "I saw something similar on Battlestar Galactica last week"] and that's the whole punchline. The audience laughs because, well, NERRRRRRRRRRRRRDS!). So although I was afraid that there would be nothing but "LOL, look at the nerd being nerdy!" "jokes" running through this thing, I was willing to give this King of the Nerds a shot simply because I had been told by the Chief that his friend Yaya Han was going to be on it as a judge or something. Yaya's cool.
So Cupcake and I watched the 2nd episode of King of the Nerds, and surprise beyond all surprises, it was not that bad. Really. Sure, it was geeky, but not bad geeky. Just geeky geeky (meaning they got all the posters on the walls, references, and conversations right, and none of them were bad jokes at the nerd's expenses). The cosplay challenge that the contestants participated in this week (that Yaya, George Takei, and Andrew from Buffy the Vampire Slayer judged) was pretty lame (meaning the costumes that the geeks came up with kind of sucked), but it was entertaining the whole way through. And hell, one of the trivia questions during the "nerd-off" finale even stumped me! Who the fuck knew what the Wookiees' language was called?
The one disturbing aspect of the show though was the fact that I fucking KNEW every single one of the players starring in it! No, not the actual people nerding it up for very tiny amounts of fortune and fame, but I personally knew/know somebody who acts like every single one of the contestants: the cool nerds reminded me of friends from Greenwood, though a few of the scary ones gave me flashbacks all the way back to my days at UGAnime (honestly that annoying fat chick on the show who claimed to be a Batman expert and whose every single monologue interview made her out to look like she really believed she lived in her own fantasy land that completely revolved around her... that crazy, annoying bitch was motherfuckin' D.S. from the club!)! That one asshole who was a self-proclaimed "computer hacker" (I put that in quotes because I don't know one legit computer hacker who fucking calls him/herself a "computer hacker" because that's pathetic) is somebody I used to work with — somebody who has no idea how to function in society and tried his best to please people by attempting to harm others... This show hit home for me...
As a matter of fact, it made me think that creating my own reality series is JUST what the world at large needed! Only I would make one that would feature no shitty scripts, and actually have real blood and possible guts.
So I called up Carl, the MegaPlayboy, Angry Amy, the Chief, Mulder, Megu-chan, Jimmy Jammer, and the Skipper (to keep shit interesting and boozified, since he never goes anywhere without a keg of Guinness), and invited them over to my place to play Yahtzee. Once there I chained them all to chairs and just started asking them geek questions while I blasted "She Blinded Me With Science" over and over again on my stereo. Questions like "What was the name of the green space chick that Kirk banged in episode Whom Gods Destroy of the original Trek? And who did that actress play in the shitty 60s Batman TV show?" and "Who used Luke's severed hand against him in the fan-fucking-tastic Timothy Zahn Star Wars books that were 20,000-times better than Lucas' shitty prequels?"
Every wrong answer got them a branding iron with the words "NOOB," or "LOSER" burned someplace on their bodies (originally I let them choose where the brands went, but Jimmy Jammer ran out of hidden skin very quickly... Seriously, I even started tossing him softballs but he still couldn't answer shit like "What is Superman's Kryptonian name?" He deserved that "FAGGOT" scar on his forehead!).
In the end, after Mulder won the game by 42 whole points (the second highest was Carl, with 15 points and 3 headbutts to my nose), I had to figure out what to do with the players, since they were all blistering from their brandings, pissed off to high hell, and threatening legal action and violence against me (mostly because I didn't really have the punch and pie that I promised I'd serve them if they came over). So I told them that only one of them would be allowed to leave alive, threw a large knife into the middle of the circle that their chairs made in my basement, then ran for the cellar door and locked it behind me after I ordered Robot Pedro to cut their bonds and let them go free. I just KNEW they'd break the rules of the game and turn on me (which would have been against Rule #1 and Rule #10)! Then I poured gasoline all around the outside of the house and lit the sucker up. It was time for me to move anyway.
In hindsight I should have gotten Booger to host The Rossman Nerd Challenge. Maybe I'll get him to host The Rossman Nerd Challenge 2 next Fall. I'm gonna start recruiting next week!
Oh, and here's what my awesome Cupcake gave me for our anniversary this year (see below)! An actual Giant Robo production cel from episode 7, signed by Lord Imagawa himself! I can die happy now... I waited YEARS to get a cel from Robo, ever since I lost out on my bids for a few of them at the premiere Animazement back in '98!
Now I feel bad about that package of dishwasher detergent and can of Pledge I got her.
Note to self 396: 1/2/2013
Well hoooooooly shit. So many things happened in 2012 that I never in a million years would have guessed would occur; Psy's "Gangnam Style" being the least of these surprises.
First of all I met Cupcake, and she actually makes me happy (who knew that was even possible!), but I also ended up getting a puppy, and the first ever therossman.com mascot, Kyoshi (who is the most goddamn adorable female Olde English Bulldogge ever made, who's named after my favorite Earth Kingdom avatar, but whom I always make talk like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog).
Beyond that though, the website is still up and running against all odds, but no big trips or vacations or anything in the past year. Anyway, now it's on to the things that occurred in 2012 that I just never got around to talking about due to me not finishing them (like shitty shows or books or murder-suicide pacts), or them being interesting, but me just not having enough time to cover them due to my job taking up many hours (but paying the billz), and Cupcake actually giving me something better to do rather than write words on my computer thing. So anyway, here's my Year-End Wrap Up for 2012:
PAPA NO IU KOTO WO KIKINASAI (aka "Listen to Me, Girls! I Am Your Father!"): Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat the fuck, Japan?! Oh, and all you fanboys out there who watched this whole thing and LIKED it? I hope you burn in your own special pedo-hell. This is the story of some sad sack college kid who's sister entrusts him to watch her three little girls while she and her hubby go on a trip. Their plane crashes and they die (never finished this series, but I'd be willing to bet that they didn't really die, but that the writers were just shitty hacks), and then the loser college kid has to raise these young children while fighting back the nosebleeds from seeing their panties, or covering up his boners from having them hug him... I... I seriously... Wow. Throw yourself into a volcano, Japan. We're done. You're too creepy to hang out with anymore.
SKYFALL: The newest James Bond movie was a nice change of pace for me. No silly repeat of "we have to get back what the bad guys stole and save the whole bloody world" (well, not after the first 30 minutes), but instead a tale of revenge and obsoletion. James is getting older, and he runs into one of the previous double-oh agents who kind of got the raw end of the deal when he was captured by enemy pirates or somesuch, and then makes it his business to take out the one person he blames for all the shit raining down on him in his life: M. Seriously, fuck M!
CODEX ALERA: Jim Butcher, you impress me so. Not only is this guy still cruising along with his most excellent Dresden Files book series, but I read all of his stories about Tavi and his clan in Alera in this past year, and I'm here to say that the man can write! Where as Dresden is all about wizarding in the real world, with real world implications (as opposed to Rowling's unthought-out, completely fantasy world of Harry Poofter), the Codex Alera series is about the Lost Roman Legion mixed with Avatar - The Last Airbender and Pokemon... But it's really cool, trust me. And if not me, trust Jim!
The BBC's SHERLOCK HOLMES: Stephen Moffat is on a fucking roll with British television. First, his take on Doctor Who has been amazing fun for the last 2 and a half seasons (except for the Pond's lame-ass departure in "The Angels Take Manhattan"), but we just got through the first two seasons of his modern-times version of Sherlock Holmes last week, and it's bloody brilliant! His take on Moriarty and the Hound of the Baskervilles, and Irene Adler have all been the works of genius, but then we got to the Reichenbach Fall episode... And I shit my pants over its writing and characterizations and cinematography. Can't wait for season 3 now!
HALF IN THE BAG MOVIE REVIEWS: It's no secret that the hour-plus Plinkett movie reviews of the Star Wars prequels are about 3,000Xs more entertaining than the movies themselves were, but what I wasn't expecting was that the guys behind the Plinkett shows were just as funny without the whole special-needs, homicidal, slurring freak, play acting going on. Hell, they might just be funnier without it! Their reviews of shitty movies (and even of good movies) are fucking spot on every time. Even when they find something thoroughly entertaining they can't help but tear it apart for its flaws. And I love their VCR repairmen personas. I'll just come out and say it: I want to have Mike and Jay's babies..... Oh god that felt good to get off my chest!
PSY'S GANGNAM STYLE: When The Chief first showed me this back in what, August? July? Well, whenever, I thought it was the funniest mockery of American rap videos ever produced (even topping "Weird Al's" White and Nerdy and It's All About the Pentiums for its visual hilarity), but then... Then it just got TOO popular. My parents saw it. I mean, Christ, they only go online and shit for the weather and for CNN.com. Then, when parodies of Gangnam Style (already a parody, which makes those who made a parody of it legally retarded) started hitting the web, well, that's when it became time to put the pony down with a bullet betwix the eyes. Find something new, intarwebs. Please.
CHIHAYAFURU: I was told by many people that this anime series was weird (it's about a trio of kids who like to play a battle-poetry-card game... Yeah), but that the characters were some of the best ever created for a story. Yeah, they built it up HUGE, but I was still sucked in since so many people kept saying the same thing... But, I found that the characters are just the same warmed-over repeated performances we've seen over and over since the beginning of the anime medium. Stupid pretty girl, average guy who loves her, and the guy that the stupid girl likes (who's an outsider, and kind of a douche) just play that really dumb poetry card game that I found to be incredibly boring over and over again. I made it 7 episodes, but that was my limit. That felt like such a waste of time too.
And that's it for 2012. It's now in the past, and, well, fuck it. Happy New Year, mothafuckas! Peace out! Now I'm off to watch the bestest American sitcom ever written, and probably pee my pants a little in the process.
Note to self 395: 9/19/2012
I just finished up Stephen King's newest novel, 11.22.63, and was actually quite impressed that he wrote such a giant, entertaining, character-driven tale whose ending DIDN'T OUTRIGHT SUCK. I was so impressed with the ideas presented in the book (about time travel and the butterfly effect causing changes in history that one could not possibly imagine as being a result of, say, saving a certain president's life from the bullet from a commie-sympathizer's sniper rifle) that I dialed up Bob From the Future and got him to take Carl, Robot Pedro, and I back in time to see if we could avert deaths and assassinations of famous people in order to affect some changes in the future (our present). He was game, so we got started!
First up we wanted to try something relatively recent, so Robot Pedro chose to go to the Parisian tunnels on August 31, 1997, in order to save Princess Diana from dying in that car crash as her drunk driver tried to lose the paparazzi (Robot Pedro has a major robo-boner for Princess Di... I can't explain it).
So Bob From the Future brought us to that fateful, and fairly empty, Pont de l'Alma tunnel under Paris, but then Carl and Robot Pedro started to get into an argument over who's hotter: Princess Di or Kate Middleton (I thought it was a trick question since everybody knows that Pippa Middleton is the hottest)... And then, it happened. Carl pulled out his aluminum baseball bat (he keeps that, some hockey sticks, and a cricket mallet in a backpack like Casey Jones for just such an occasion), cracked Robot Pedro right in his robot melon, which then caused the automaton to stumble backwards, right into an oncoming black Mercedes... The crunch as the princess-carrying automobile slammed into the Quadrænium-wrapped robot must have been heard for miles, but the wails from Robot Pedro as he looked upon what he wrought could be heard half the world away, I'm sure of it.
We chalked that snafu up to just some terrible luck, and left before the 'razzi showed up so that nobody could pin anything on us. Then we went to our second target we planned to save: that would be Carl's choice of Hitler... Just to see what would happen. So we traveled back to that bunker in Berlin in April of 1945, and found the Führer just chilling underground, sipping a martini while his beloved German Shepherd Blondi licked off all the peanut butter he placed on his exposed wang. Seeing this caused dog-lover (but not in THAT way) Carl to go apeshit, punch Hitler out, steal his Walther PPK, and blow his fucking Nazi head off. Then he even shot the poor dog (he said to get the taste of Hitler jizz out of the creature's mouth), and then forced Eva Braun to choke down some cyanide just because. When we heard a commotion in the outside hall from a bunch of higher up Nazi bastards rushing to the sound of a couple of gunshots from their leader's chambers we had Bob From the Future transport us to the final stop in our experiment to deter one of history's greatest assassinations. This time it was my choice, and I chose to go to the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building just before noon on November 22, 1963.
See, at this point I had come to the conclusion that history can't be changed — the way it is is the way it always was — but I still had one small experiment left to try in order to verify my findings. So I snuck up and crouched behind a box of books almost right next to Lee Harvey Oswald as he calmly aimed his rifle at the road lined with presidential well-wishers just outside, and as he was squeezing the trigger for the first time I sneezed. The shot was wide, as I remembered it. Lee looked around in slight confusion, but then quickly refocused himself to the task at hand. I then pulled out a whoopee cushion I had Bob From the Future fill up on the side, and at the instant I saw Oswald's trigger finger start to pull tight again I made the bag of wind fart like an elephant in heat. Throat shot to JFK. Oswald then looked pissed, and I took that opportunity to jump up and start dancing to PSY's "Gangnam Style" while Robot Pedro blasted the Korean pop hit from his built in mono speaker (never had the opportunity to upgrade him to stereo, let alone surround sound) just as Lee was about to fire his 3rd and final bullet at the president. He stumbled in bewilderment at my mad dance moves and crotch-thrusting, but still managed to fire the final head shot that sent Kennedy to meet his Jeebus on schedule. That's when I sighed, yanked the rifle from Lee Harvey Oswald's hands, and slugged him in the face, slamming him into the windowpane.
I high fived Carl, whacked Robot Pedro in his robot junk with a golf-swing of Oswald's rifle, then tossed the gun back to the just coming-to asshole assassin's lap, and had Bob From the Future take us back to our present time as we heard the Secret Service and police storming the building.
We got back just before Doctor Who started up on Saturday night. Nothing had changed. Our world was exactly as we had left it (and I still didn't have anything in my fridge). The past isn't obdurate, Mr. Stephen King, it's unavoidable. It always is and was. Well, except when it's not and I accidentally kill Lincoln before he became our first 6-term president and led the United States into an early technological wonderland by 1882, whereby we land a man on the moon, invent rock and roll and music videos, and create world peace and internet pr0n more than a century before we have it now. Trust me though, what we have now is still better than the Duscrani Invasion that originally occurred when Lincoln's plutonium-laced top hat (that he unintentionally left on the Moon after his second honeymoon there with Tilly [his 3rd supermodel wife]) acted as a beacon for the carnivorous world-devourers to come and enslave us all for about 60 years, until the combined efforts of the global superteam known as The Earthly Saviors (which included Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Emperor Hirohito, and the Most Glorious Leader known as Kim Il-sung) invented death lasers and chased the Duscrani off world, but at the cost of billions of lives. Be grateful.
Note to self 394: 8/01/2012
So 4 years ago the world lost its collective shit over the awesomeness that was the commie Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, and immediately everybody started feeling bad for London, who would be the next summer games host. The people in charge of the London games immediately started claiming to the world press that while the 2012 opening ceremonies in Jolly Ole England would not be as epically HUGE (they couldn't be) as China's show of force (with a population of 1 billion), they'd definitely be more technically amazing, and blow our minds even more than the Chinese did with their 100,000 people banging drums and marching in rhythm while Sarah Brightman sang like an angel on the top of a giant globe with fireworks going off in perfect synchronicity above the world's largest video screen that the final torch bearer actually ran across along the top of the stadium. They swore they would.
"So, did the London games opening gala match the Beijing extravaganza?"... Are you shitting me? No. HELL no. No one will EVER be able to pull that shit off again until China gets the games back in like 40 years or so.
"Well then, did the London opening ceremony at least look nice, and make any kind of sense to an international friendly gathering?" Nope. Quite the opposite in fact. The Londinium Olympic show was a goddamn train wreck the likes of which I've only ever seen whenever Lindsay Lohan and Amy Winehouse and Paris Hilton used to bump into each other and argue over who was the biggest wasted opportunity for an abortion among them. It was dumb, it was senseless, it was incomprehensible, it also took 10 minutes to hype its terribly flawed National Healthcare (seriously, what the fuck, England?), and another 20 minutes forcing us to watch two stupid "hip and happening youths" (I'm using quotes because that's probably just how the retardedly out-of-touch producers and director tried to sell this piece of shit to the Olympic Committee when it was first discussed) try to hook up and fuck (awkwardly) amidst the Disneyfied underground rave scene that they hornily traversed as it were... I wanted these kids to die in an industrial thrasher. I also wanted to have the giant inflatable Voldemort (I'm not making this shit up) kill all the Mary Poppinses that floated down into the stadium; and even though I like Rowan Atkinson in general, his Mr. Bean segment (that's right, Mr. Bean infiltrated the goddamn Olympics... Somebody should be shot) was painfully pathetic.
The one portion of the ceremony that actually made me think that things might be alright for a while was the (now famous) opening movie featuring James Bond and the actual goddamn Queen of England herself, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. That was cheeky, fun, and just plain silly.... Then we had the scouring of the Shire (I shit you not... They had a large pastoral field build in the middle of the arena — hills, grass, stone houses and all — and then the Industrial Revolution came and they flattened the hills, pulled out all the grass, demolished the houses, and had something like 5 giant, 6-8 storied-tall smokestacks appear from beneath the ground to start spewing forth black smoke into the air... And Kenneth Branagh read a poem and looked happy at the devastated landscape... You're weird, England)... The whole show couldn't seem to make up its mind about what it wanted to be or what it wanted to say, except "We're Great Britain, and we're really strange. Bugger off! Oh! And here's a really old and sad looking Paul McCartney singing a really old Beatles song by himself. God, that's... That's just awful, isn't it... And ever so sad."
When it was all over (luckily I recorded it and was able to watch the whole 4-hour disaster in like 1.5 hours thanks to speeding through the commercials and the Parade of Nations), I turned to Cupcake and said "Wwwwwwhat the goddamn fuck was that shit" She just looked at me and said "I never thought that an entire country could shit all over my eyes... But Great Britain just proved me wrong."
I'm ashamed to say (well, not really, but hear me out) that the opening ceremonies kind of soured me to the rest of the games... I'm a total Olympic whore junkie... Or junkie whore, whatever... My point is that an unfun, shitty start to the whole process kind of made me feel "Meh" about the rest of the 17 days of competition and glory to follow. As if somehow the spirit of thousands of athletes out to prove their worth to the entire population of the planet is now diminished and tarnished because of what some limey movie director with a big head and a £60million budget and nobody telling him "No!" did. As if it could extinguish their drive and impressive stories... Fuck you, London, and your Queen's little dogs too!
Honestly, the ONLY thing that could have saved this catastrophe would have been if they actually had the balls to do THIS:
Note to self 393: 6/13/2012
So this past weekend Cupcake and I finished up Doctor Who - Series 5 (the first season with Matt Smith playing the 11th Doctor). Cupcake was immediately totally hooked, and she has stated that besides me, the Doctor is her favorite man ever ever (fictional or real). That statement gave me an idea of what to get her for her birthday! "Holy shit!" I thought to myself. "This will be the greatest surprise of all fucking time!"
I was able to get in touch with Bob From the Future on Sunday night, and told him my plan: "Hey, man!" I said. "Do you happen to know who the Gallifreyan known as 'The Doctor' is? More specifically, the 11th Doctor?"
"Indeed I do!" he replied. "Is this a top secret mission? Do you need me to abduct or assassi--"
"NO KILLING ANY DOCTORS! Timey-wimey ones or otherwise" I cut him off. "Look, all I need is for you to dress up like the fictional Time Lord (put on his jacket, his cool bow tie, suspenders, a fez if you can find one, and try to grow your hair out a bit and just look awesome!), hook your time travel belt up to an old, 1960s, London police call box, and teleport it directly into my living room on her birthday this Tuesday, at precisely 6:35PM EST. Then come out of the call box with a sonic screwdriver in your hand and state 'I KNEW I should have taken a left at Albuquerque in 1978!' Then pull out a Baskin Robbins ice-cream cake (that you'll have to buy, and I swear I'll pay you back for later) and we'll both yell out 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY!' Then you'll leave and we'll enjoy the cake..... Got it?"
Bob From the Future said he understood, and then he got to planning. Then on Tuesday, at 6:30PM I began a conversation with Cupcake about what she'd do if the Doctor actually appeared in front of her. She said that she'd happily freak out a little, squeal with delight, then hug him. I told her I probably would too, then try to steal his rugged tweed jacket.
Then, at precisely 6:35, there was a knock on my front door... I had hoped that Bob From the Future would have gotten my easy to understand plans right, but I knew I'd have to be ready to improvise, so I wasn't too shocked.
"Hey, Cupcake, I think that may be a special birthday surprise at the door for you! Go check it out!"
Cupcake got up with a huge grin on her face, and ran to the door as if she was expecting there to be Brad Pitt on the other side ready to give her a strip tease. When she opened the door though, there stood a man in a trench coat, bit of celery on his lapel, fuzzy hair barely contained by a large fedora, and a giant, 12-foot scarf wrapped around his neck so many times that just his eyes were showing. In his outstretched right hand was a glowy thing that looked slightly weapon-like. Behind him I could see an open phone booth with what looked like the skeleton of an umbrella perched on top of it.
Before Bob From the Future could say anything more than "I knew I should have taken a left at Alb..." and before I could blurt out more than "THAT'S not the 11th Doctor! That's the 4th, except for the celery..." Cupcake had let out a gasp, grabbed Bob From the Future by the wrist that held his old-timey sonic screwdriver, twisted it till the bones snapped and the object he grasped fell to the floor, and then flipped around (still holding the broken wrist) and threw the man over her shoulder — in a beautiful judo move — that landed him half over my living room couch. "Half over" meaning half of his spine was on one side, and the other half on the other side.
I didn't mean to let out a cheer and a "Whoooa! Awesome!" but I did... I was able to pull the now paraplegic Bob From the Future down off my sofa's back so that he could wish Cupcake a "Merry Halloweeny, ooooouuuuch" before setting his Time Belt to take him to his favorite hospital 50 centuries into the future (He's got a "frequent user" punch card with them). Then I gave Cupcake her ice-cream cake that was left in the phone booth (a coffee-flavored ice-cream cake... Seriously, fuck you, Bob From the Future... Ugh), and then we watched Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure... I mean we watched it actually being filmed since I programmed Bob From the Future's Time Belt to return to me after it delivered him to the ER of The Holy Iron Maiden Hospital and Juice Bar. I have no idea what I'll do for her for Christmas to top this... Fuck.
Note to self 392: 5/30/2012
The Georgia RenFest was closing up for the season, and Team Greenwood thought that Memorial Day weekend would be a great time for a last medieval "hurrah!" before summer (and the Southern heat) began in earnest. I wasn't particularly too eager about the idea of going back to the Fest (honestly, how would I top my longshoreman outfit and attitude from my first and last time at the out-doorsy, muddy, smelly, Dark Ages party half a decade previous; and I was afraid I'd run into my old lover, the Travelocity Gnome), but I'll do anything for Cupcake (who really, really wanted to go), and plus tickets were half off.
So we drove on over after Cupcake got off work, and arrived at around 1:45 in the afternoon. Chef Jax and Good Lenin weren't there (having already eaten and drunk the weight of a tossed dwarf before we got there, and were on the way to the emergency room by that time), but Psycho Weasel and his girfriend l Dare met us just inside the front gate. Psycho Weasel took one look at us and said "Okay, so she's a hot, busty, dark ages wench — that I get. But you, Rossman, you're a pirate in shorts and a pair of Nikes? Did you even try? Is that hat and puffy shirt just part of your normal wardrobe?" That's when I produced my 11th Doctor sonic screwdriver, pointed it at him while I pressed the button and made it whirble and light up, looked at a make-believe read-out on its side, and then just nodded and smiled. Psycho Weasel just looked at me as if I had just punched a non-crying baby in the back of his annoying head (not a CRYING baby, they always fucking deserve it). Then after two minutes of silence Dare said we should probably get moving as she then quickly walked away from us.
Psycho Weasel and Dare had been there for a little while already and had walked around the whole outdoor complex once before we arrived, but they said they were happy to have our company as we looked at shops for crap Cupcake needed for her sexy DragonCon outfit, or just for recreational sultry cosplay. But soon it was time for the 2:30 Ded Bob Show. Ugh, I was not really up for this, but Cupcake was apparently intrigued, so off we went to the Ded Bob Show Theater.
The Ded Bob Show — for those of you who don't know — is a live show performed by a talking skeleton puppet being held by some dude in shit-covered medieval duds with an executioner's mask completely covering his own face because (and this is only really conjecture) he is a terrible, terrible ventriloquist. So this masked man (called Drudge, or Dreck, or Fuckface, or whatever) carries Ded Bob (the skeleton puppet) around and lets him talk to the audience, wherein Ded Bob tells ribald jokes and mocks certain people in the stands by calling them ugly and stupid and sluts. He's living my dream, I tell you.
Anyway, on the way over I was told by Dare that Psycho Weasel had been called up on stage by Ded Bob the previous year, and things did not go too well for my friend (Ded Bob called him ugly, stupid, and a slut to the chortles of the rest of the audience who only laughed because they were super seriously glad that they were not selected instead). This got my boxer-briefs in a bunch up my ass, and I just whispered in a low breath, "Oh no you fucking didn't, Ded Bob... It's go time now..." and marched with purpose and poise to the theater.
All four of us sat down and waited, and soon Drudge, or Dulge, or Tiny Penis, or whatever ran out onto the stage with his hood on and Ded Bob in his arms, and the "entertainment" began. Psycho Weasel was a little nervous, but I was just annoyed. Ded Bob was kind of wussing out this year — no major soul-crushing insults to anybody after the first 10 minutes of his act... Then he came down into the audience to look for a volunteer for his next bit. That's when Ded Bob saw Psycho Weasel and started straight for us. I don't know if he actually remembered Psycho Weasel from the previous year or my friend just looked like a baby deer in the headlights of a farm thrasher coming right at him, but just before Ded Bob got to us I stood up and made him pause. Then before he could start trying to mock me in my half pirate garb I slowly removed my tricorn hat and sunglasses, and then put on my longshoreman skullcap (that I brought with me just in case)... If a puppet could shit his pants I'm sure Ded Bob did just then. It seemed he remembered me.
"W-wait! No! N-not YOU!" Ded Bob stuttered like a special needs kid who just strangled his puppy but didn't understand why Spot wouldn't fetch his ball anymore. "You're banned! I had you banned after 5 years ago! NnnnoooooooooooOOOO!" But before Ded Bob could turn around and run like a sissy I yelled out, "Hey, Ded Bob," as loud as I could to get him to stop, but also to get everybody else's attention, "What's the difference between you and a mallard with a cold? One's a sick duck and I can't remember how it ends, but your mother's a whore."
Ded Bob and Pulge, or Puke, or Anal McLovin' just stood stock still, except for some of Ded Bob's Plastic bones clacking together. That's when I took a step to them and said, "Hey Ded Boooooooooob! I heard you were fired from the sperm bank for drinking on the job..." One more step forward for me, one more back for Ded Bob. "Hey Ded Boooooooooooob! You know how you're like a squirrel? You always have two nuts in your mouth!"
That's when Ded Bob finally got himself together and shot back with "You, you ugly, stupid, dickless--" but I cut him off with "I'm dickless only because you SUCKED it too hard! Goddammit, Ded Bob, you are the cum your mother should have swallowed. Of all the billions of sperm your daddy shot up your mom when he broke out of prison that night, I can't believe YOU won..."
A child in the audience then cried (I'm guessing that last one hit a little too close to home for him), and Ded Bob and his friend with his hand up his ass turned to run while they began yelling for security. I then tackled them.
By the time security pulled me off Ded Bob and Droog, Dradge, Marge, whatever, Ded Bob no longer had any more teeth in his skull, Drudge's right shoulder was hideously dislocated, and one of Ded Bob's skeletal arms was jammed up Drudge's ass like a battering ram through a paper door. The two out of shape guys dressed up in cheap medieval security costumes just looked at me, looked at Ded Bob and Dredge on the ground, both shuddering and trying their best to hug themselves (even sans arm), and then gave me high fives and let me go.
After that Cupcake, Psycho Weasel, Dare, and I got drunk on "mead" (aka a Blue Moon ale), and proceeded to joust each other on the dusty street with stolen wooden swords and children, or stalk the kissing wenches (FYI, if you do corner one, make sure she's wearing the same color lipstick as your woman, or it could cause trouble). In the end only 5 people died (not including the puppet), which strangely included Chi-Chi who wasn't even in attendance.
Note to self 391: 4/04/2012
So this past week my whole family took a mini vacation down at the very, very nice Sandestin Resort in the panhandle of Florida. My parents, my brother and his whole family, my sister and her entire brood, and I met and partied for a few days, and I brought Cupcake down to meet everybody whom she hadn't already been introduced to. Everybody had a fantastic old time (except for one grandstanding individual who went out of their way to ruin special moments that others were trying to set up), but on our last day there, Sunday, the 1st of April, Cupcake and I were planning to dress beach-formally, meet some of her good friends on the sand (Cupcake used to live there herself, so this was a homecoming for her as well), get them to take some staged shots of us in our getup, and then just spend the day sunbathing and chilling with the girls.
So Cupcake and I checked out of our hotel late and drove over to the condo that the rest of my family was staying in, in order to pick up my beach towels and bathing suit that I left there to dry the previous day. As we stopped at a traffic light, Cupcake let out a gasp and said, "Ohmygod! Do you know what your mother's going to think when she sees us? When we rush in and out of there dressed like this?!"
I thought for a minute, looked at Cupcake in her white sundress, hair all done up, perfect makeup and all, and then I looked at myself in my white shirt and nice khakis. Then I laughed my ass off.
"Holy goddamn shit!" I chuckled. "Oh, this will be so fucking glorious!" Then I laughed maniacally for the remaining 2 miles. Cupcake knew better than to interrupt.
We soon pulled up to the rented condo and I ran inside past my parents, grabbed my blue beach towel, and the new Donut Hole coffee mug I bought for Cupcake the previous day. Then I turned to my perplexed parents, and out of breath said, "Okay, something blue, something new... Mom, do you have anything I can borrow, and something old?"
Both my mom and dad chuckled like "Hmmmm, I guess that was a joke... Maybe..." until Cupcake ran into the house in her white dress and said "We need to get going! The deposit is only good until noon! Where are those flowers that were on the dinner table last night? Oh! Here they are! Perfect! See you out in the car, sweetie!" And she was gone, back out to the truck just as fast as she appeared.
I then looked at my watch, said "Shoot! No time to waste! Gotta go! See you all later!" Then I winked at them like a retard trying to hide something, and rushed out the front door myself.
We had a good time at the beach taking pictures, and then playing in the surf with Cupcake's Florida friends for a few hours. Then we went to the Hard Rock Cafe in town that Megatron and Cupcake used to work at, and ate, drank, and kept yelling out out "Fuck you, asshole!" super loud because the bartender that worked there remembered our crew, and apparently really juiced up all our drinks. Before I knew it the sun was setting though, and Cupcake and I still had a 6+ hour drive ahead of us (and she had to get to work by 3AM, and I by 7:30). We grabbed a couple of quick photos of a giant shark eating Cupcake and getting punched in the face by yours truly, and then we hit the road.
It must have been around 8 that night when I first looked at my phone and saw 10 missed calls, 5 voice mails, and 23 texts from my family (mostly my mother). "If you're going to do something this big, you'd better invite us, your own family!", "Tell us which beach you're at!", and "You've only known each other for a short while, but more importantly, DON'T NOT INVITE US!" were pretty much all my mother had to say, but my brother congratulated me and my father just texted "Funny..... Now tell your mother you were only kidding."
So far it was the best April Fool's Day prank I've ever pulled. Oh, and it reminds me that I'd better call my mom back and assure her that we didn't have a wedding and not invite her.
Note to self 390: 3/28/2012
It all started innocently enough... Cupcake was going in for a new tattoo and I volunteered to sit with her while the needlework was going on. She thought it wouldn't take that long (her tattoo artist claimed the 12-inch by 9-inch, fully colored and shaded piece would only be about 3-4 hours in the chair. I said "no prob, I've got an iPhone, Angry Birds Space, and Words With Friends. I'm good." And so it began. The pain I mean. For both of us.
See, Cupcake's tattoo artist seemed to misjudge the amount of time it would take to outline, color, then shade something the size of a complete half sleeve, and after we hit hour two, and he was still working on the lines I knew we were in for some trouble. Not to mention that about 1/3rd of the work was being directly needled into my honey's side and pelvis... A very nerve-filled area of the human body. She took it like a trooper though, but I was kind of getting bored (it's not like somebody getting repeatedly stabbed by a group of needles in a very sensitive place is going to be too chatty, let alone chatty and in a good mood), so I started talking to another tattooist in the joint who didn't have any customers at the time.
I learned sooooo much about the world of body inking that afternoon (mostly that they don't ever refer to it as "body inking"), thanks to my new friend Artist Robb. Artist Robb assured me that getting a tat was totally painless (despite me constantly hearing Cupcake trying her best to hide her gurgles of misery and torture), and most excellently AWESOME... but only if I chose something new and exciting. He told me that anybody who just picks something from the design books and "idea posters" at the front of the shop is a (and I quote) "fucking panty-waisted faggot who has no idea what a tattoo is all about, and they deserve to have their balls removed since they're really not men, and they deserve to have rabid honey badgers tear all their skin off, since they OBVIOUSLY have nothing better to do with it!"
Artist Robb then laughed at me when I told him that I didn't like the idea of permanently drawing on my skin something that might seem cool to me now, but just not in 10 or 40 years time. He told me to come up with what I thought would be the ULTIMATE drawing, and he'd sketch it out free of charge, and if after seeing it I still believed that it wasn't worth permanently etching on my epidermis he'd call me a poofter, but then he'd never bother me about it again. Challenge accepted.
So I thought and thought about it for 30 minutes (Cupcake's tattooist had just started the coloring on her skin picture by this time), and came up with my design. It was epic... It was new... It was an idea so awesome that it totally dwarfed my original thoughts of either the Triforce on my shoulder or the Fullmetal Alchemist homunculi's ouroboros hidden somewhere on my body...
I told Artist Robb of my idea, and he agreed that it would be 100% original, and about 5000% awesome. So he got working on it and I went back to comforting Cupcake as best I could.
About 20 minutes later (Artist Robb was quick as fuck!) I was shown what my dream tattoo would look like by my new best friend... It was so beautiful. I just couldn't help myself at that point. All I could do was rub the drawing and say "I want that inside me." Luckily Artist Robb understood what I meant and led me over to his workstation, sat me down on his chair, put an imprint of the drawing on my right arm, and got to work making that ultimate work of art a permanent fixture on my body.
Artist Robb finished the whole thing in less than 3 hours (Cupcake still wasn't done with hers by then) — drawing, coloring, and shading... Everything was complete, and everything was perfect, and I declare that NOTHING will ever top this tattoo ever in the history of the universe and time. Behold its glory below...
In the end, after a grand total of 7 hours in the chair getting repeatedly poked by sharp needles, and being forced to watch The Boondock Saints over 3 times in a row (thanks to nobody changing out the store's DVD player since St. Patrick's Day apparently), Cupcake's tat STILL wasn't done, and she still has to go back in for the whites and some touch ups in a few weeks after it all heals up. My poor bunny-wunny.
Note to self 389: 1/04/2012
Welcome to 2012... Now what the fuck?
Don't worry, I can GUARANTEE you that it will suck as badly as 2011 did. Don't fret, snowflake. Well, I guess 2011 wasn't all that bad a year for me. I did get a week off of work (still paid!) when the tornados blew through the South in late April and fucked up numerous power stations and power lines; I saw Nobuo Uematsu direct an orchestra playing Final Fantasy music from the front row; I got to hang out with a bunch of friends at DragonCon for the first time in years, and Mehve and I rocked the shit out of Japan in October (and I think Mehve's forgiven me for being me for most of the trip)... All in all not bad, especially since the Feds never found those two Ukrainian whores' bodies that the MegaPlayboy and I had to get rid of after last New Year's Eve. That was just the cherry on top.
Anyway, now it's on to the things that occurred in 2011 that I just never got around to talking about due to me not finishing them (like shitty shows or books or women), or them being interesting, but me just not having enough time to cover them due to my life sucking while working 14 hour days and having my soul drained by the forces of the universe that HATE me. So anyway, here's my Year-End Wrap Up for 2011:
DOCTOR WHO: Jesus Christ, call me late to the party on this one! I had grown up with my older cousins trying to push the 70s and 80s Doctor(s) on me all the time, and it always looked so weird and British that I never gave it a chance. Then the MegaPlayboy tried again in the late 90s/early 2000s, but I just laughed at his really weird 12-foot long scarf... But back in November of '11 I found I had a shit-ton of Amazon gift cards in my hands and went for broke with the Complete 5th Series Blu-Ray set, sight unseen and on a total leap of faith... I am kicking myself so hard now for waiting so long to try this show. I've finished all of the 11th Doctor's (Matt Smith's) current series, and am now jumping back to the 9th Doctor before finishing up with the 10th Doctor's tales. If those pan out as fantabulous as series 5 and 6, then I might start looking up some Tom Baker eps for shits and giggles, and hell, maybe Torchwood too (and yeah, I've already been warned away from the "Children of Earth" mini-series). It's just so great, sweetie!
The SONG OF ICE AND FIRE: If you're a total goob who hates reading anything deeper than the most recent insipid James Patterson or Judy Blume book then you have no idea what this is. If you have HBO then you'd probably recognize the title "Game of Thrones." Well, GoT is just the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, and it is good. Nothing but kick ass politics, murder, wars, whores, betrayals, midgets, and bad-ass little girls with daggers throughout. I'm currently only on book 4 in the series (book 5 just came out in 2011, and there are still two more planned after that.... Though I have no idea how, considering pretty much every main character is dead by book 4), but George R. R. Martin's story has me firmly by the nuts, and it will not let me go. Goddamn it I hope he finishes up this series before his fat fingers pop one too many Twinkies into his gullet and he dies of 27 kinds of Dia-bee-tus.
NATSUME YUUJINCHOU SAN: Holy shit, the third season is just as good as the first two... Only with less Reiko than I'd like.
ROBOPOCALYPSE: What the fuck? Supposedly Steven Spielberg fell in love with this Michael Crichton-wannabe tale of computers going all Skynet on mankind and almost destroying civilization before humans unified and rebelled. It's just a really sad World War Z rip-off that doesn't understand what made WWZ so fucking great in the first place! No, not "zombies," but a realism and viewpoints that were engaging. Robopocalypse is just a bunch of really awful coincidences shared by 3 or 4 people who save the world from the machines almost single-handedly, and it's written as if by a social outcast Sophomore in a third rate high school literary club who thought he was writing the next Terminator. It's not even the next Terminator: Salvation. It's just trash, and I'm so sorry I wasted any time on it.
TIGER AND BUNNY: Just could not get into it. I tried, and I may try again if I run out of stuff to watch (hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiighly unlikely), but it just seemed to be too much like the aimed-at-retarded-toddlers Heroman that Stan Lee worked on with Studio Bones a while back. The characters were all dumb or annoying, and it's only "catch" was "superheroes have corporate sponsors in this universe"... Which Mystery Men did over a decade earlier and 100Xs funnier. Meh, fuck it.
C: The MONEY OF SOUL AND POSSIBILITY CONTROL: Did ANYBODY involved in this clusterfuck understand real-world economics? Did the writers, directors, hell, even the seiyuu ever ask themselves "Hey, what is this 'money' thing, and how for does it work?" No. No they didn't ever. This show was more retarded than Shangri-La. Think about that.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL, HARRY POTTER and the DEATHLY HALLOWS 2, HUGO: ..... Much better than I had expected. Hugo especially.
KORE WA ZOMBIE DES KA (aka IS THIS A ZOMBIE?): The same old recycled harem anime shit you've seen twice warmed over 500 times before. Lame jokes, boring characters, no drama. Way to keep us riveted, Japan.
HYPERION: Ho-lee-shee-it. I gave the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons a try thanks to a friend's insistence, and it blew my fucking mind. What's even more mind blowing is that I now totally get why Nagato gave Hyperion to Kyon to read in the original Haruhi Suzumiya book and anime. Wow. Pure awesome.
K-ON the MOVIE: Seriously, people, please, for the love of all the Shinto gods and spirits and all that is holy in the Land of the Rising Sun... PLEASE STOP WATCHING THIS CRAP so Studio Kyoto will stop wasting time and money on it that could instead be spent on giving us more Haruhi or Full Metal Panic!
See you all flip side! Now I'm off to buy some suspenders and a bow tie. Bow ties are coo'.
Note to self 388: 12/21/2011
Okay, yeah, Christmas is supposed to be about goodwill towards men and peace and joy and blah blah blah, but FUCK the goddamn 12 Stone Church in Lawrenceville, GA! Fuck them to HELL where they can BURN.
See, it all started out this past Saturday when I tried to get a group together to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol at the IMAX theater at the Mall of Georgia, which was like the only place that movie was playing this weekend before it opens wide this upcoming Friday. Everybody was either hungover, sick, visiting parents, or couldn't get a babysitter, except for Kiff. In fact, when I called him, Kiff was already at the Mall of Georgia, and he ran down and got two tickets for the 3:45PM show for us. I thought that was most excellent, and so I jumped in my car at 2:15 (in Athens, about 55 minutes away from the mall), and started driving.
At about 3, I got to the exit of highway 316 for 20/Buford Drive, and hit dead-stopped traffic. At 3:15, after moving 100 feet (at MOST) I called up Kiff and explained the situation.
"Ummmmm," I said. "I don't think I'll be able to make it to the 3:45 show. Traffic is stopped. I don't mean that it's bumper to bumper but it's moving at like 10 - 20 MPH, I mean it's STOPPED. It's not moving. Nothing is moving. I want to die."
Kiff said that for the past few weekends traffic had been bad if he tried to get to the mall in the late afternoon, but that things eventually opened up after he made it past the 2nd traffic light on Buford Drive, and that I had plenty of time, so no worries. Granted I was still 5.5 miles away at this point, but if traffic did indeed free itself up after the next few lights, I'd still be okay, I thought.
At 3:40 I called him back. "Ummmmm, no. I won't make it," I said with finality. "I just passed a marker that said that 85 is 5 miles from here. We maybe moved half a mile in the last half hour. No, looking at my odometer it shows it's only been .4 miles. I won't make it, man. Refund the tickets. Want to try for the 7PM show?"
He said no thanks, that would be WAY too much time for him to be at the mall, and I didn't blame him. I then tore across the big, grassy median, and zipped back towards 316, which I then took South to head on over to Mehve's house (where I had to drop something off, which I had originally planned to do after the movie). I then got stuck in almost the SAME damn traffic blockade just a mile from Mehve's house (which is right across 85, but like 3 - 4 miles South of the Mall of Georgia). I managed to take a back road (without an entrance to 85 on it) across the main highway and to his house, where I could see that highway 85 was bumper to bumper heading North, but completely free heading South... Ugh... After a quick visit at Mehve's I then went to Marksy's place and dropped off something for him before trying to find a way around the whole mess. That's when I got a call from Kiff (who took some back roads home easily enough) who told me what was going on.
"You're not going to believe this," he said. "All that traffic, ALL those roads blocked the fuck up, that's all because of a church, man. The 12 Stone Church just off of 20, just down from the Mall of Georgia is doing some sort of really retarded promotion for itself where they're giving away 5-goddamn-thousand honey-baked hams. All of the Atlanta area is racing there to get one. They say they're like $40 - $50 each normally! Anyway, the news had to helicopter reporters to the church to report on the huge fucking clusterfuck because they couldn't drive to it. ALL THE ROADS ARE BLOCKED UP, man! The mall parking lot was empty when I was leaving there... I thought that was weird."
Anyway, I then spent around 2 hours getting lost in all the many backwoods/back roads of Georgia before I finally made it to the mall, and even though the promotion of the hams was over and the sun was setting, the mall was relatively empty. All the news reports that day warned people to STAY HOME. "Don't bother trying to reach the mall (the biggest in the Southeast) because this fucking retarded church fucked up it's ridiculous advertisement campaign for itself." This was the busiest shopping day of the year (the Saturday before Christmas), and this church killed the local economy. Mission accomplished, fuckwads.
End of story: I did eventually get to see Ghost Protocol (really fucking awesome movie, and I shit my pants when Tom Cruise started climbing the tower), I got to order my authentic Captain America shield at the Museum Replicas store, and that night on the news I saw them reporting on the church's stupidity. It was awesome! Because the church is in a well-to-do neighborhood, only rich white locals were able to get the hams, and that 5-hour traffic jam that brought Northeast Georgia to a standstill also kept all the poor people (who could have actually USED a free ham) away until the hams were all gone. Oh, and it made them waste about $30 - $40 in gas just getting there and then back home. So to recap: Local economy destroyed on what should have been the best retail event of the year; poor people who needed hams didn't get one; and rich, white people who lived across the street from the church got all 5,000 of them. And the 12 Stone Church was ridiculed for being run by retards on national news.
I think Chi-Chi put it best when he said "If God had wanted those people to get free hams, he would have made it rain ham." Meh, whatever. Fuck them all. Anyway, here's my new and awesome Nightmare Before Christmas tree this year! And yes, that's Optimus giving a Nazi "Sieg heil!" salute to its incredibleness.
Note to self 387: 11/30/2011
Four years ago I had the worst Thanksgiving ever (where nobody died). It all started when my dear, dear mother suggested that we (everybody in the immediate family) all gather together in a rented cabin near Gatlinburg, TN for 3 to 4 days over the holiday weekend to eat, drink and be merry. Unfortunately, I had already spent a month at those very cabins one weekend back in 2002/2003. Not that the cabin itself was really all that bad (it was okay, but cold and breezy), but I was mainly pissed off at the time because there was NOTHING to do there except drink and play board games or poker with a bunch of drunk (but nice) frat guys. Yeah, we could have gone to Dollywood, but I didn't want to have to kill myself.
Okay, so my family chose to go to almost the very same cabin for our Thanksgiving that year, but I put my foot down. "No," I told them (well, mostly my mother). "I've already been there. The cabins are freezing and shoddily constructed, they're all up on a mountain, accessible only through awful mountain passes and gravel roads, and it's much colder, damper, and icier than anything we'll ever experience if we just stay here in Athens, GA. Trust me, it's not a good idea."
But once my mother (egged on by my sister and sister-in-law) gets something in her head it's stuck there. So the whole family got prepared to descend into the Mountains of Hell (me under duress) for Turkey Day '07... But then my siblings had the idea of making this my parents' anniversary present, and wanted us three to pay for everything (including food) and cook the meal ourselves. That's when I said "No. Fuck it. Ain't happening" and planned to spend the holiday with either Tammi with an "i"'s family, or Chef Jax's crew, where they were having something like roast pork, Texas brisket, and Chicken Marsala. I was NOT going to make a weekend-of-suffering my parents' gift. Instead I went out and bought them a 4 day Caribbean Cruise. Because I'm awesome.
Anyway, long story short, I was talked into (by my patient father) just coming up to the cabin (a 4 hour drive) Thanksgiving morning, and then having an early dinner with everybody before heading out again before it got dark. The drive up was fucking treacherous (google map that trip, you'll see that the second half is nothing but the shittiest and most hair-pinned roads winding through the Southern Appalachians), what with the shitty drivers, the twists and turns that would have even made Takumi Fujiwara piss his pants in fear, oh, and the snow and sleet that started as soon as I reached 2000 feet.
My knuckles were white with anger, fear, and cold when I arrived at the cabin, but I did my best not to open my mouth for the whole day (I would have just bitched and moaned, especially over the lumpy potatoes, the so-wet-it-puddled stuffing, and cold half-turkey bits [that we each only got two mouthfuls of because the people doing the cooking didn't bother to ask my mother how big a bird they should get to feed 7 adults and 5 children]). The cabin we ate in was so chilly and damp that we might have done better had we just left the windows and doors open, but I didn't say a word. That evening, right before sunset, somebody had the super idea to drive down to downtown Gatlinburg in the freezing rain to see all the Christmas lights... I simply got up, said my good-byes and got back into my Explorer to drive back to Athens and my nice warm bed with flannel sheets. My dad walked me out to my car and whispered to me as I got in, "I wish I was going with you...." I told him he was free to join me, but he muttered something about my mother castrating him or some such thing if he tried. I then drove away and thanked Buddha above that I was not married.
From the top of the mountain, in the twilight of Thanksgiving Day, I could see that all streets leading into and out of Gatlinburg proper were backed up like a toilet in a house of obese people, so I took some back roads (most were just trails) to get around to the highway I needed to head back South, and found that they were even more dangerous with sleet and ice after the sun went down (though half the fucking insane drivers were still riding people's asses and swerving around them even with double yellow lines and 5 feet of visibility).
I made it home after 9 that night, and was so exhausted that I passed out for 13 hours. The rest of my family had the most miserable holiday weekend ever (even more so than that one where people died) — stuck in 2-hour long traffic the couple of times they tried to go out anywhere, and wishing the cabin had even the most basic of TV reception (even if it was just PBS) — and we had an unspoken agreement to never speak of it again... Until my sister altered her own memories and brought up the cabin-in-the-woods Thanksgiving idea again this year.
"It was soooo much fun! We should totally do it again!" she said in July of this year.
"What the goddamn hell are you smoking?!" I politely asked, not caring that small children and my parents were present. "Do you not remember the shitty accommodations? The awful food cooked on crappy stoves and ovens that nobody knew how to use? The cold? The miserable, bone-chilling cold? The killer mountain roads? The hell that was Gatlinburg and Dollywood, and all the traffic they brought forth with them? Did you hit your head? Are you suffering from early dementia? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!"
But apparently the rest of my family starts blocking me out when I begin to rant, and soon my mother and sister-in-law all chimed in that the first cabin Thanksgiving was indeed quite awesome in retrospect, and we truly needed to recreate its majesty and magic all over again this year. I looked to my brother and father, and they were just frozen in self pity and resignation. Fuck!
By early September, my sister-in-law had booked a new cabin in North-North Georgia (Blue Ridge, GA), and she found a Santa's Train Ride for everybody to take on the day after Thanksgiving too. I tried to weasel out of this one as well, but my mother invited my uncle and aunt (whom I hadn't seen in years), and I was kind of forced into it.
Everybody else in my clan had taken the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off this year, except for me (thanks to the Japan trip sapping my vacation time to nil... Not complaining at all, just explaining), so I had to take off for the cabin directly after work. It was only supposed to be a 3 hour drive, but Google Maps kind of sucks when it comes to directions in tiny, rural, Southern, bumpkin, redneck, hicksville towns. This was no exception. At about 3 and a half hours into my drive (and stopping for directions once, and getting lost 3 times) I got a call from my older brother who tried to help me find the last 4 roads I needed to take.
"Hey, we're all waiting for you? Did you get lost any? We all got lost coming up here ourselves, and that was in daylight, so I can only imagine what it's like for you. So, where are you now?" he said.
"....I AM SO PISSED THE FUCK OFF RIGHT NOW! I'M LOST, AND I'M SUPER FUCKING ANGRY.... You do NOT want to BE ON THE GODDAMN PHONE WITH ME NOW!" I replied.
"Well we all understand, like I said, we each got lost ourselves coming up here earlier, so if you have any--" And then I hung up on him while I banged my head against the steering wheel and screamed while shooting down a dirty farm road at 70 miles per hour, praying Roscoe P. Coltrane wasn't out with a radar gun that night. He called twice more, but I didn't feel like picking up the phone any after that.
After a few more wrong, then right turns, I came across something I didn't expect. "Holy fuck my red ass!" I shouted out loud to myself. "That's the Rolling Thunder White Water Rafting place Team Greenwood and I went to two years ago!" It was true, and that revelation let me know where I was in relation to where I needed to be. I turned the truck around and found the last few turns I had to make.
All the kids were asleep when I eventually got to the cabin, but everybody else was still up and talking. I put my stuff into my room, took the two 12-packs of Yuengling I brought with me to the kitchen, downed 2 in a couple of gigantic gulps, popped a third, and then joined my family with an intoxicated grin on my face (I'm not a heavy drinker for just such an occasion... When I NEED to get plastered QUICKLY!). That night wasn't too bad after that, and we all just ignored my verbally violent behavior towards my brother on the phone earlier that evening.
Thursday morning I woke up at around 8 (well, truth be told I was originally woken up at 5:30 when little ones started waking and making a goddamn racket... Honestly, bro and sis, it can't take much to either train your chillun to stay in bed [or at least stay QUIET] till at least 8AM with a system of rewards or harsh, harsh punishments), and then got my first real view of the cabin and the area it resided on. All in all, not bad. Yeah, the mountain it was on was really fucking steep, and no football could be played anywhere on its premises, true, it didn't have cable, satellite, or receive any TV signals, and yeah, it was kind of cold, but it was about 1425% better than any of the ones I'd spent time in previous (including the female counselor cabins I snuck into at that summer camp I went to when I was a kid, and those cabins were HEAVEN!). It was a fancy-schmancy cabin, we overstocked it with already prepared Thanksgiving foods, and I brought tons of board games and card games for adults and kids so that we never wanted to start writing "All work and no play make Homer something something..." all over the walls. And most importantly, thanks to our (well, mostly MY) preparations, nobody died this time. Even when that Sasquatch came tearing around the property that third night, looking for whoever shaved its young the previous day. Man, those fuckers can howl like crocobears in heat when they're ticked! And their shaved babies look like Winston Churchill.
We had a decent Thanksgiving meal (not anything epic or grand, just infinitely better than the last Cabin-giving), took all the kids on the "Santa Train," and we watched Christmas Vacation and Raiders of the Lost Ark (well, at least my mom and I watched that last flick one night). I still think the whole idea behind Cabin-giving sucks Dave Lister's unwashed taint, but this was as harmless as I can ever imagine one being. Still, if we have another one before 4 years are up I will turn off my cell phone and fly to Hawai'i for a week instead. Oh, and if we still do this when all my siblings' kids are teenagers, I will get up at 5:30AM (after they've all been up talking and playing games amongst themselves all night) and go stomping around the place while banging pots and pans until at least 8. Then when they come out to complain I'll flip them the bird and shit in their cereal boxes. Goddammit, that's just such bullshit.
Note to self 386: 10/05/2011
Do you have a food allergy? If so, it sucks, doesn't it — always having to be super-extra careful about the food at parties, restaurants, and what's placed upon the perfect breast of a gorgeous woman at an orgy... If you don't have a food allergy, well then you don't understand the constant fear, the almost overboard questions we have to ask waitresses and party hosts that make us look like stupid pussies because we either don't want to vomit in public or die. Fuck you.
For me it's shellfish. I remember eating shrimp for the first time when I was like 5 or 6 and puking in the back seat of my parents' station wagon on the way back from the restaurant. Then a few years after that tasting some fancy crab dip at my uncle's house and puking in the bed just an hour or so later. Then finally having shrimp one more time when I was 10 and puking and shitting my guts out all night. That was when my parents finally put 2 and 2 together and got "allergy." At least it was nothing fatal, sure, but I actually LIKED the taste of shellfish, and as I got older I started hanging out with lots of people who loved it too, and loved cooking it, and ordering it at restaurants, and serving it at gatherings. I felt like an unpopular goomba who had to explain to everybody whenever people kept trying to get me to try the tasty finger foods at the hip party I was at, "No, thank you. Yes, that shrimp cocktail looks very, very good, but I would puke all over you if I ate it. Yes. I'm allergic. Yes, yes, I know, it sucks. Thank you for your sympa--.... Yeah, you just leave and go over there while I'm still talking to you...... Oh, Bob, yeah. Yeah, that shrimp looks good, but I'll dies if I eats it. Then they'd have to call an ambulance, and the party would be ruined. Yeah, not worth it, I know."
Anyway, after a few close calls in college with crustaceans, I started dating this hot dietician, and as a topic of conversation I brought up my shellfish allergy, and I wondered aloud if there was a chance I could have outgrown it, considering how mild an allergy it really was.
She told me "There are really three possibilities. One: you could be completely over it after your body changed during puberty. There's about a 33% chance for that. Two: it could have stayed the same and you will still puke the next time you eat any. There's a 33% chance for that as well. Three: the allergy could have actually gotten worse and could cause you some major life-threatening problems if you eat it now — your throat could close up, your heart could stop, hives could cover your body... Around a 33% chance for that as well... Do you still want to try it?"
I declined, and we eventually broke up because she just wouldn't stop pushing me try some shrimp for a paper she was writing or something. I was always afraid that the next meal she cooked would mysteriously have some bits of crab or lobster in it.
Anyway, things proceeded with me staying ever vigilant with my shellfish-free diet, until a friend and I decided to finally take a trip to Japan. We've been planning for months now, but my biggest (and really only) fear was going into a restaurant where they don't speak English (or even worse, just a little tiny bit of English) and trying to explain to the moe waitress in a maid outfit that shellfish would kill me. "No shellfish. No lobster, no crab, no shrimp," I would say loudly in over-exaggerated English. She would then nod and smile happily and report back to the chef in Japanese, "That tall, handsome gaijin man said he want LOTS of shrimp, lobster, and crab in his sushi. Banzai!" Then I would die.
So, a few weeks ago I decided that I HAD to know if my allergy was still fully armed and operational, so one Friday I went to a fancy Chinese restaurant in town and ordered a whole helping of Sweet and Sour Shrimp. I then took it home, placed a triple-lined 13-gallon trash can next to me, put 911 on speed-dial, and I ate 4 giant pieces of shrimp. It tasted different than what I had remembered, and the texture was really strange as I moved it around in my mouth and chewed it very slowly. The fear that I had in my brain was much more potent than the flavor of the shrimp though. It is the strangest feeling to force yourself to eat something that you've been absolutely TERRIFIED of for over 20 goddamn years... Every bite was like a click from an empty chamber of a revolver at my head in a fucked up game of Russian roulette.
Then I waited. I watched some TV. I worked on my website. I waited some more. I even went to bed about 6 hours later with the trash can next to my head. Nothing. I woke up excited, but wary, yet I still spent no time jumping on Facebook and declaring my freedom from my lifetime's Achilles heel!
The next Friday I drove directly over to my closest supermarket after work and had the guy in the seafood section steam me up a half-pound of snow crab legs, with "California herbs & spices." I took that home and ate the shit out of every last bit of crab meat there. I cracked and then ripped apart every last shell and sucked it all dry. Again, nothing. Then the following Friday I went balls out and took a friend to a local seafood place, ordered fried calamari, crab cakes, and lobster, and ate it all. No puke at all. Not even an upset stomach. Not even any gas... Well, no more than normal.
So, I seem to be free of the curse, but in the end I don't think I'll ever intentionally order any Shrimp Scampi, or Lobster Thermidor, or any crab dip on my own... The stigma of "avoidance at all cost" is still lodged in my brain. Seriously, 20 years of constant conditioning and fear is very difficult to just toss aside after three lucky meals. And for all I know, those three meals were all my system could take. Maybe the next one would make me heave my ho all over the bathroom before I could reach a toilet... I doubt it, but still, it's like living in the Soviet Union for my entire life, then fleeing to the U.S. and winning the lottery... I'd be soooooo apprehensive to buy anything big, or even live the good life after barely surviving communism for so long. I'd constantly be thinking "Is this a trap? Is this really okay? What if they change their minds and I have to give it all back? I better just take it easy and not spend much... Maybe buy two-ply at the market... Maybe."
Anyway, my point is that I seem to be safe in case I eat some ramen with shrimp in it, or some sushi with crab when I'm in Japan. So I have that going for me. Wait... Oh man! I probably could have partook of the crawfish boil at Captain Rugged's wedding! GODDAMMIT!