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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Note to self 415: 01/21/2015
This past weekend Carl, Robot Pedro, Chi-Chi, Jimmy Jammer, Cupcake and I went to go see American Sniper (which was an okay movie), and then we took a day trip up to the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Tennessee to see how our favorite "fire water" was made. The main problem with doing these two things in this order is that Carl somehow got post-traumatic stress disorder from American Sniper (and the 140-proof alcohol that was everywhere up there), and started having "flashbacks" to "the war" while we were in the middle of the Jack Daniel's tour. The other (and probably deadlier) problem with this scenario was that Robot Pedro thought it would be funny to give Carl a rifle and shit-tons of ammo when he saw him starting to slip mentally.
So there we were, in the middle of giant vats of fermenting whiskey in warehouse-sized structures filled to the brim with combustible fumes, and Carl was running around, diving for cover, yelling shit like "I've got a turban at 5 o'clock! Whiskey Tango Bravo! I need suppressing fire," and taking shots at anything that moved and startled him. This "anything that moved" turned out to be the rest of us in the tour group, Ben, our tour guide, the trucks and vans driving around outside the windows, and the wild turkeys that run free around the premises.
Chi-Chi, Cupcake, and I made a dash for the Barrel Room and hid behind 4-year-aged Jack while we heard Jimmy Jammer not even making it through the door before catching a bullet to the left testicle... Or was it his right? Whichever testicle Carl didn't shoot off the last time he played Call of Duty for 62-hours straight, that's the one he got blown off this time. Oh, and luckily when Robot Pedro broke out his robo-flame thrower he ignited the fumes and blew himself (and Ben, and 12 of the other people in the tour group) up in a fireball that lifted the roof to the vat room at least 30 feet into the air. It was actually pretty cool to see, if you could ignore the smell of Chi-Chi's then defecated trousers.
Then Carl came for us, but I had a plan. I dressed Chi-Chi up as a girl bunny (just like Bugs Bunny always does in those old cartoons to pull one over on Elmer Fudd), only Carl wasn't quite THAT drunk (in hindsight, nobody in the history of the world has ever been THAT drunk), and Cupcake and I turned away before Carl snapped his neck like a chicken's while laughing in Elmer's speech-impedimented rapid-fire manner, which is totally creepy in real life. And when a grown man's neck cracks in the real world, especially when he's in the middle of saying "What's up, doc," while wearing Cupcake's cherry-red lipstick and two pieces of a Jack Daniel's barrel tied around his head to act as rabbit ears, it is a haunting sound and sight indeed.
Things ended well though when the Feds showed up just minutes later (I think the group of 20 FBI guys was on a tour themselves that day, since they got there so fast and were pretty blotto when they kicked in the door to the storage warehouse and just started shooting while yelling "FBI, bitches! Bang! Bang! Bang! Whoo-hooo!"). Well, things ended well enough for Cupcake and I seeing as we got the fuck out of there without any mortal wounds or handcuffs. Carl got both. I still don't know how that trial will go with half his skull missing. If the prosecutor needs any more evidence though, I have about 10 minutes of video of insane bloodshed and fire and death on my iPhone.
Oh, then afterwards Cupcake and I got some BBQ at this local place that was once on some Food Network television show. It wasn't the best, but it was alright.
Note to self 414: 12/31/2014
2014 is done for all intents and purposes, and what have we learned from it? Well, we learned that if you make a movie about the assassination of an actual, living, communist dictator starring James Franco, your movie studio servers may get hacked, and all your private information and emails may get leaked to the world. Cupcake and I also learned that Obamacare is the goddamn fucking devil... But I don't want to get political (other than by pointing out that I would LOVE for a full-on state-run healthcare system like Sweden, Canada, or England... just NOT this unholy forced signup, featuring high fees and low choices that Obamacare is shoving up our asses).
Other than that, I lost a job in 2014, then I gained a job, I watched a lot of anime, read a lot of books, got a cat, and generally just had a really strange year. Below you will find a list of things that I experienced this year that I haven't previously talked about on the site for one reason or another (usually just laziness and/or uncaringness). I'll let you know what I thought of them in some quick rundowns. So here's my Year-End Wrap Up for 2014:
The Interview: The story behind this movie is definitely a thousand times more entertaining than the movie itself. Not that The Interview is bad or anything (it's quite humorous, if you like lots of potty jokes and graphic violence, which I DO!), but I found the group's Pineapple Express and This is the End to be much more enjoyable movies. Though in the plot to assassinate the living leader of Best Korea I did learn many things that I never knew before, like the terms "honeypotting" and "honey-dicking." James Franco and Seth Rogan are enjoyable enough in this flick, but the real stars are the Korean military girl whom Rogan's character falls in love with, and Kim Jong Un's death scene. Oh, it's no surprise that he dies in this thing (it's been talked about just as much as the actual Sony Hackings that took place supposedly because of this movie's release), and it is a beautiful death scene... Though I want to see Kim's head catch on fire and explode like Rogan and Franco had happen in their original cut. Now it's too covered up by CGI'd fire thanks to Sony's president ordering them to tone that death down. Kim totally went out like a fiiiiiiirework. He went and showed them whaaaaaaaat he's worth.
My Little Monster: Everybody has been bragging about how this anime was the next Toradora. I tried watching it on 2 different occasions and couldn't make it past the 4th episode either time. I simply just hate dumb characters in my entertainment. Scratch that... I love shit like Dumb and Dumber, but I hate crap like My Little Monster where the lead guy is just a personality-less bag of bricks. I found this series to be dull, with dull characters, and the only things that separated it from the dozens of other high school-themed anime shows this past season were that it had a chicken in the cast, and the ugliest school uniforms I've ever seen outside of that time that school in France let a blind woman design their official attire. (No, this last bit never happened, which makes Monster's uniforms the ugliest ever.)
George RR Martin's Short Stories Collection - Dreamsongs: Dreamsongs is a series of 32 short stories written by George RR Martin, and in my opinion, this collection is even better than the whole of A Song of Ice and Fire that he's gotten done at this point in time. These stories are mostly concise, extremely well told, fantastical, and they also cover an assortment of genres (horror, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, superheroes, and mixes of them all). George stays on point with each of these tales, and never wanders off saying shit like "where do whores go?" every third paragraph in order to drag the narrative on beyond what's really needed.
If you've given Ice and Fire a chance, but found the storytelling to be too slow for you, you should give Dreamsongs a whirl. A Song for Lya, The Way of Cross and Dragon, Sandkings, and The Hedge Knight stories are absolutely beautiful and amazing, and they each seem to get more information across in their short tellings than any of Martin's overbloated Ice and Fire novels manage.
Chaika - The Coffin Princess: I've seen this on multiple people's "best of 2014" lists, and it makes me not only question their taste, but their sanity. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for it, or maybe I just didn't give it enough time, but the 5 episodes I saw of it were nothing special at all; it just feels like your average/below-average questing shonen anime series. We follow a super-soldier brother and sister team as they help a partially-retarded albino girl (who talks like a baby, whose first language is not Japanese, and I'm guessing it's not her second or third either) locate and gather numerous guarded body parts that used to belong to her immortal father, who was a total douchebag of an eternal ruler of the sword and sorcery realm that they all live in. Bad guys chase them, but they don't seem to be really, really bad (just good guys who aren't our protagonists, which is really cliche already), the action is blah and unexciting, and I didn't even like the op and ed songs enough to download them. Now that's saying something.
Arrow/The Flash: Hoe-lee sheet. Speaking of second chances (well, I did back when I talked about My Little Monster), I had originally tried out DC Comics' Arrow TV series last year, when the first season appeared on Netflix. It was alright at first, but I felt that Oliver Queen's smugness was a bit too much for me, and then came that first episode with the irritating and cunty Huntress; Ollie made some of the stupidest decisions in regards to his secret identity and his holy quest that he possibly could have, and I tuned out. After the second season wrapped up though, I heard people claiming that it was a major step up in plotting and characterization, and that it was well worth marathoning... And so I Netflixed season 1, and then downloaded all of season 2, and blew through them both within 3 weeks.
Yes, Arrow does get better than that shitty Huntress introduction episode, and now — in the middle of season 3 — I can say that it only keeps getting better. The amazing amount of nods to DC heroes and villains is impressive, as is how they manipulate their audience with teases of who is the real Black Canary, what're Malcolm "Harkness" Merlyn's actual goals, and what's Ollie's full backstory of his missing 5 years. It's silly-fun superhero heroics featuring tough as fuck good guys, and really bad heavy-hitting bad guys. It's just a shit-ton of blasts and giggles.
The exact same can be said of The Flash, except that The Flash is much quicker out of the gate and into greatness. The very first episode of that had me hooked, and now — halfway through its freshman season — it truly has me addicted. There's a bit too much "will Barry and the girl he has always loved ever get together?" bullcrap going on, but I'm willing to forgive it due to its ability to give us great characters, really cool special effects, and even MORE cameos of DC villains and heroes than even Arrow has going on in it. Next I guess I'll give Constantine a go, and maybe Gotham.
Stephen King's The Stand: Yeah, it's old. But I finally read it this year. My god, it was beautiful. So much better than that 90s miniseries that everybody's already seen. That's it. That's all you need to know.
Noucome (i.e. My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with my School Romantic Comedy): This was my "I should have known better" anime series of the year. This show is so bizarre, and in the end just all around terrible, but for some reason I watched the whole thing. I think I was just bored that Sunday.
Anyway, Noucome is about a loser high school boy (90% of the population of Japan, if anime is to be judged) who sometimes sees "Absolute Choices" appear out of thin air. Choices that force him to decide whether he should pick up a dirty magazine he found in the park and rub it against his face in front of some kids, or eat it. If he doesn't choose one of the options he's given, then he gets massive migraines. That's pretty much the whole plot to this 10 episode story (and I use the term "story" very loosely). There's of course a weird harem surrounding the guy, and of course one of them's an angel because there simply had to be one.
This show was dumb and bad, didn't even have a real ending, but it was not really interesting enough to spend any more time on it writing a review.
Peter Capaldi's Doctor: Doctor Who is a crazy show where they replace the actor behind the main character every 3-4 seasons, and the most recent change brought us the old and very serious Peter Capaldi to the role of The Doctor. My thoughts after a full season with him are "meh." I like his take on the role, but his interaction with Jenna Coleman's Clara were grating. They should have been able to fix up their bad chemistry and head-butting about 3-4 episodes in, but they only appear to FINALLY come to terms with each other after the 14th ep of the season: the Christmas Special. Jesus... Speaking of the Christmas Special, Nick Frost's Santa Claus is now my favorite version of the man ever! So snarky, yet so in control!
The stories of Capaldi's first season were above average to pretty damn great at times, and I'm just hoping with the Doctor and Clara finally seeing eye-to-eye that the next season will have them working together better too.
So there you go. 2014 had a lot of downs, a few ups, and in general was just a blah year. Honestly, even with the job loss I think that it was better than 2013, so that's something. Anyway, here's to a good 2015, and the 20th Anniversary of me writing shit and putting it online!
Note to self 413: 11/26/2014
The following sentence that I'm about to write is going to make everybody that knows me personally say "I don't believe you, Rossman."
I got a cat.
Even though I haven't had a mammalian pet since I was 3 (when I had a hyper, possibly psychotic, German Shepherd named "Jaws"), I always associated myself as a "Dog Guy," especially when the alternative was being a crazy cat person. It's been two years since Cupcake and I got Kyoshi, the Olde English Bulldog, as a pet, though it only took me about 1 month to realize what a goddamn pain in the ass dogs are. Before we got Kyoshi, I would have told you that I loved the loyalty that dogs represented, and the fact that they wanted nothing more than to be with their masters ("I hid under the porch because I love you..."). I would relay the joke of "Lock your dog and your wife in your car trunk for 2 hours, and see which one is happy to see you when you finally let them out," as a great reason as to why dogs were indeed man's best friend.
That was the theory, but in practice I learned that dogs are fucking retarded, needy, pooping machines. And short-snout dogs are drooly and can't even be put outside for more than 10 minutes at a time during the hottest five months of a Southern summer, nor during the coldest 5 months of a Northern Georgia winter. Kyoshi is so fucking emotionally needy that she has to be CONSTATNLY touching you. If you're on the couch, she has to be on the couch, wet muzzle on your leg. If you're in the kitchen, she's in the kitchen, lying at your feet, ready to trip you up when you have a cutting utensil in your hand. If you're in the bathroom, she will sit outside and whine till you come out. She's like a stalker who NEEDS you so much she would carve your name into her chest if you only asked. Are you asking? She'll do it. Just give her a rusty knife. She'll prove it. Do you want her to?..
Usually, upwards of 99% of the time, the dog is well behaved and just acts all chill all the time... But that 1% of the time when she meets somebody new, or somebody she hasn't seen in a week, the fucking dog goes goddamn nuts! Running around, hopping around the new person, snorting on their legs, trying to jump up on them.... She's annoying as swamp-ass on a warm afternoon of yardwork when you know you can't wipe or clean up for another few hours. I hate her.
So anyway, the cat. I have tons of friends who have cats (the Wolfman, Shawn-G, Mick and Min, the Chief and Megu-chan), and slowly but surely I've begun to notice that they don't HATE their pets. Most dog owners I know — even if they don't outright detest their animals — they at least find their furry companions extremely inconvenient. Lots of "Sorry, we can't stay for more than 2 minutes, we have to get home to let the dog out," and "Yeah, we can come for the weekend, but we have to spend $50 to $70 to put the dog up in a kennel first." Cat owners don't have this issue. Last year, my company had a go-live with our warehouse management system in a city around 7 hours away from our hometown. I knew that one of my co-workers had 2 cats at home, and one day during the 7-day-stretch that we were away I asked him if he had to put the cats in a kennel or hire somebody to feed them. He said "No. I just leave out lots of kitty litter trays, lots of water in moving fountains for drinking, and a few food bowls with enough kitty kibble for the week. They never eat more than they should, so they'll be okay." And when he got home, lo and behold there was no poop or puke on the floors or the furniture, nothing was destroyed or shredded, and all he had to do was empty a few extra litter boxes.
This blew my little mind. My retarded dog would (and has been known to) eat CONSTANTLY if she could. Once I fed her breakfast, and ten minutes later Cupcake fed her again thinking I had not done it yet. The dog ate everything, then puked it all up. Then ate the puke, then barfed it up again. We caught her after this so that she didn't continue the "circle of life" again, but she would have. She ate a banana peel this past weekend (I don't know how this happened, or if we need to expect something unusual coming out in the next few days, but honestly I don't care). She ate a squirrel last year, which caused her to be sick, and cost us $350 at the vet. And after she puked the decaying rodent corpse up, she tried to slurp it down again. My only point is that our dog has no self control when it comes to food, is so insecure she needs CONSTANT human companionship, she's slobbery, and if you leave her for too long she will eat the $300 rug at the front door, or knock down expensive electronics, or chew up sweaters. She's a fucking demon beast from hell, and I don't like her one bit. Cupcake LOVES her though.
I have been slightly jealous of Cupcake's and Kyoshi's relationship for a while now, but every-time I start to warm up to the dog she'd either puke in my truck, eat my rug, shit in the kitchen, or wake me up at 3AM because she drank too much water and needs to go out (another issue she has: she doesn't know when to stop drinking, with puking not even being a natural deterrent to that either). This causes me to get frosty to her, and in some instances outright ignore her for fear I will just start yelling at her if she tries to "be friendly" after either destroying one of my possessions, being a nuisance, or just by being a gross, slobbering animal.
So I started reading up on cats. I started researching breeds, reading up on what it takes to keep them, checking out food and kitty litter to see how expensive they are, and by viewing all the cute cat videos on youtube that I could find. I was sold on the idea after a few months. So then I started looking at local newspaper ads for freebies, Craigslist for cheap kittens, and animal shelters for about-to-die cats. I didn't want just a normal-looking American short-hair black cat, or a tabby, or a blah orange kitty, or anything that looked like any of the MILLIONS of boring, bland kittens that already overpopulate the world. I needed a cool-looking cat — or if it was a regular short-hair, it had to have really interesting markings. I swear that I looked long and hard for a Hitler-marked cat, just so I could name him/her "Kitler" and have a great conversation piece when I have company over. ("Oh, him? That's my cat, Kitler. He's grounded for getting outside last week and causing the genocide of 50 non-Aryan neighborhood cats. That's a BAD kitty!") No dice though.
I found a few Siamese-looking kittens, a few Maine Coon half-breeds, and a couple long-hair tortoise-shell kittens that were pretty adorable, but then I found MY cat. They named her Whisper because she had barely survived 2 upper respiratory diseases when she was a month and a half old, and now her "meow" is very faint and absolutely goddamn adorable. Her coat was a slightly off-white, with silver ears, a silver-racoon-tail, silver splotches all around her long fur, and the cutest black-furred, velvety paws. I met with her foster parent two days later, and wrote out a check for her on the spot. She's fluffy, gorgeous, kind of an asshole, not afraid of dogs (she chases the cowardly Kyoshi around the house, ninja-sneaks up on her, and then jumps out of the shadows to spank the dog on her butt all the time), and only infrequently needs direct affection from me (in the form of belly-rubs for 2-3 minutes before charging off after an imaginary noise). She's the most perfect pet for me. Her name is now Stormageddon - Dark Lord of All.
I never would have guessed that I'd turn out to be a crazy cat guy. I'm secretly hoping that Cupcake gets super attached to the cat and decides she wants one instead of the stinky, retarded dog. There is a "2 Pet Policy (one per person)" in affect in the house. This has been the case since we first brought Kyoshi in, in the not-very-real possibility that we decided that Kyoshi needed a playmate. All new pets in the future need both people's stamps of approval. There will never be another dog in our house, but another cat as cute as mine, I don't think I'd mind that.
Note to self 412: 10/29/2014
This past weekend we went to see Keanu Reeves' new movie, John Wick, wherein Sad Keanu plays an ex mafia assassin who just loses his wife, his car, and his puppy, which causes him to go a little ape-shit loco and take down Theon Greyjoy and his crew because they're a bunch of entitled mob-larvae assholes who deserve everything Sad Keanu can dish out. Lots of blood, lots of incredible action, lots of vengeance. Good times!
Then on Sunday we drove into Birmingham (not something I typically like doing) to see the Dalai Lama live, and to listen to him talk about peace and love and unity. I hate to say this, but I couldn't understand half the words coming out of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's mouth. Honestly, if you didn't concentrate with all your might, and you missed more than two of the extremely accented words coming out of the Buddhist man's mouth, you were lost until his next train of thought began. He had a translator up on the stage with him, but he never used the guy except to figure out the English word for "nipple." I shit you not. It was to talk about breast-feeding babies, but the Dalai Lama used the word "nipple" in a sentence. Awesome.
Together the two events (John Wick and the Dalai Lama speech) balanced each other out. But then I let these two things then gestate in my mind for a day and they turned themselves into one of the strangest dreams I've ever had. I shall try to remember everything and recount it to you now.
The dream started off when I woke up in my bed and had the sudden realization that Cupcake had been blown up in a land-mine outside of Costco (don't ask, I just knew). Then 3 ski-masked punks busted into my bedroom demanding that I give them the keys to my truck, Serenity. I told them to go fuck themselves, but that's when one of them dragged in my dog and told me that if I didn't give them my keys that they'd kill my dog.
I smiled at that and I think I said "Thank Christ!" out loud (I fucking hate that dog), but that was apparently the wrong answer. The first masked man then threw my dog through a giant window that hadn't been there before, and came over to start pistol-whipping me. I rolled out of bed, punched the assailant in the dick, used his gun to plug the second guy, but just as I was about to smash the gun into the third's nose he took off his ski-mask and I saw that it was Chi-Chi.
I still almost smashed his face in for helping the other two dill-weeds to ruin my giant window, but Chi-Chi stopped me by telling me that "we have to get the knife before Numsy gets it," and that "the child must be rescued!" That made perfect sense to me, so we ran down to my truck, but we couldn't start it because there was a banana in the tailpipe, so instead we just ran to this cave in my backyard where we followed this little bird to a bunch of old monks living in the very back of the cavern.
Before I could perform a little rap asking for the knife, Chi-Chi stopped me by telling me that they really fucking hate that shit. So I just told them that if they gave me the knife I'd kill Numsy with it and try to save the child. They were cool with that, but then before I knew it I was in some church shooting the shit out of everyone in it (relax, they were all bad guys, and they all had semi-autos that they started shooting at me with first. Self defense!), and then I found an alter boy hiding serenely behind the alter and I knew it was the child I was looking for (he was a shaved-headed Tibetan kid wearing orange and red robes under his alter boy uniform).
I got the child out of the church, but that's when Tywin Lannister approached me and told me that he always repays his debts, but before he could bring his sword down upon my head Joan of Arc appeared from out of nowhere and blocked his blow! That's when I heard Ted Theodore Logan, Esq. say "Excellent!" from inside a nearby telephone booth, and I shoved the child inside and told (a strangely bearded) Ted that we had to get the kid to the monks before yesterday. Ted then dialed a number into the phone, but then he said "Bogus! Sorry, dude, but I think I dialed it for 2 days from now! Heinous!" and when the child and I got out of the phonebooth we were in a dark and dreary city at night, and some Russian mobster was arm-wrestling with Deadwood's Al Swearengen on a picnic table nearby. I was fascinated by this, but because I watched the arm-battle too intently the child just wandered away, but I didn't seem to care at this point anymore.
After this things got crazy with Clara "Oswin" Oswald telling me that I had to follow her because the trees had gone nuts (and I did, mostly because she was wearing a really tight mini-skirt), then Navi the fairy started spinning around my head yelling "Hey! Hey! Hey, asshole! Hey!!" every 2 seconds, and then finally I found myself on a stage in a ballpark, in front of thousands of people and Tibetan monks (not that Tibetan monks aren't people too, just wanted to emphasize that they were prominent in the crowd with their bright robes and large hats) where I had to explain that the child was probably safe, I had killed Numsy (which was a lie, but I was too scared to tell them otherwise), and that the world was safe... But that's when I noticed that the me on the jumbo-tron had glowing red eyes, and was smiling much more than I really was.
That's when I woke up with a start because the goddamn dog was licking my face. I fucking hate that dog.
I was surprised by the actual unity of plot in this dream. That rarely happens. Typically when the narrative goes off on a giant tangent I lose the main thread and simply wander into new stories as the dream progresses, never to return to a previous plot point. Any dream interpreters out there? Oh, and I forgot to mention the giant hot dogs and donuts flying everywhere in the trampoline room with Anna Paquin, several Victoria's Secret models, and that cute girl who works at Best Buy bouncing up and down while I watched behind that two-way mirror. What does it all mean!?
Note to self 412: 09/10/2014
Last week was one of those weeks that was just so jam-packed with great shit that the immediate aftermath made me a tad depressed because I knew it'd be a while before anything even close to as awesome would happen again.
It started with Cupcake giving me lots of gifts and cooking me lots of good food for my birthweek. I got a Ghostbusters 2 noisemaker from Hardees that I had stolen from me at summer camp back in 1989 (I don't know how in the hell she found me one still in its plastic wrapper), video games, and some very cool t-shirts. But despite all that I was still more excited about the meals from my top of the line, schooled, trained, world-class, pastry (and regular) chef.
Then on Thursday night we hung out with Mehve and Chef Jax, and then Mehve said something like, "Hey, you know, there's this really fucking awesome super-great Korean restaurant down the street. We should go." And we did, and that Korean BBQ had some of the most amazing dishes I ever did eat... Outside of Cupcake's own kitchen, of course.
Then on Friday, Cupcake and I got up early and ran down to Dragon Con 2014, where we saw the Karl Urban panel (he fucking IS the LAW!), Patrick Stewart and Beverly Crusher in a panel, hung out with Mick and Min as we all cosplayed in the most cut-ass rugged mothafuckin' Avatar group you ever did see (I was Ember Island Toph because I refused to shave my beard for any other character, and because he's fucking awesome), did some dealers room shopping, and then did a whole lot of people watching. There were some great original costumes this year (like Sparky Sparky Boom Man, Granny Weatherwax, a Rule 63 Space Dandy, Evil from Time Bandits, Boltie, and Perry the Platypus), but for THE LOVE OF FUCKING GOD, PEOPLE, stop dressing up as Deadpool. Or Lady Deadpool. Or The Doctor/Deadpool. Or Superman/Deadpool. Or Marvel Girl/Deadpool. ALL Deadpool cosplaying should absolutely fucking die. It's long past it's initial cute novelty point. And fuck all you unimaginative fuckers.
Anyway, on Sunday, Cupcake pulled off the biggest surprise of my life (outside of that time I found out that it wasn't really... You know what, story for another time) by gathering up some of Team Rossman and a lot of Team Greenwood and having a birthday party for me in the middle of downtown Atlanta during fucking Dragon Con. You know how hard it is to get a table for 16 people in a restaurant in Atlanta on a Sunday when it's NOT Dragon Con weekend? And there was a Braves game that day, and a football game, and a black pride parade. Yet she pulled it off, and even got a birthday cake to show up too. Pretty fucking amazing, as are all my friends.
Other than that all I want to say is that Dragon Con is one of the worst run gatherings that I have ever been a part of. I was totally surprised to see that only 50,000 people (at MOST) showed up for it this year, seeing as every other weekend in Athens, GA in the Fall brings over 140,000 football fans, and there are no lines, there's plenty to eat, and when game day is over in Athens the people can clear out in like an hour! Dragon Con has lines out the fucking wazoo! Some lines (like the ones to get into the big panels for people like Terry Gilliam, Patrick Stewart, or Jim Butcher) form 2+ hours before the panels begin, meander aimlessly outside the hotel that they're in, and sometimes overlap themselves, leading to massive line-cutting and other epic assholery. The Patrick Stewart panel that we ended up going to only started moving 10 minutes AFTER the panel began. By the time we got into the large panel room the Q&A with Cap'n Picard had been going on for 20 minutes already... They didn't wait until everybody who had been waiting had even gotten in!
Oh, and holy shitsnax! After the Patrick Stewart panel ended, they would only let the 3,000+ people in the Marriott ballroom leave out of the front two doors. The front two doors out of TWELVE available doors. It took us 20 minutes to get to the doors (and we cut and pushed to do so), all the while getting yelled at by a mentally deficient D*C staffer who kept screaming over the speakers "YOU MUST LEAVE OUT OF THE TWO FRONT DOORS. KEEP MOVING. DON'T BE SLOW. THE FIRE MARSHALL SAID YOU HAVE TO MOVE TO THE TWO FRONT DOORS... WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE SO SLOW?!" Seriously, he wouldn't shut the fuck up.
The kicker to the whole Patrick Stewart experience was that THEY STARTED THE NEXT PANEL WHILE OUR GROUP WAS STILL TRYING TO GET OUT OF THE ROOM. I hope you're reading these capitalized sentences in Lewis Black's voice, 'cause that's how they sound to me... They seriously started the next uber-panel while NOBODY who was waiting for it had even gotten in the room yet! Whoever is in charge of this shit needs to be shot. Seriously, guy, call up Disney and have them send some Imagineers over to give you advice on how to run something like this. Please. The fans beg you!
So there you go, and below you can see some of the most epic photos from the weekend. Just click on them to embiggen then to greatness!
Note to self 411: 08/13/2014
Cupcake and I are only just now catching up on a lot of our TV backlog on Netflix, but that means that we're getting to watch amazing things like American Horror Story and An Idiot Abroad (which if you haven't seen either, do so. Just be prepared to marathon them and to have nightmares. Nightmares no matter which one you start with).
Anyway, I've already traveled the world like Karl Pilkington, so when I got inspired after what we just watched I decided that I needed to visit a real haunted house to see if they're more or less scary than the Murder House as seen in AHS. So I got the MegaPlayboy, Jimmy Jammer, and Robot Pedro together and we drove over to Shelbyville late last Saturday night in order to check out the old, deserted Malevolent Mansion, "the most haunted hotspot in the entire tri-county area." They have T-shirts.
So we got there at 1AM parked like a quarter mile away, snuck into the backyard, and then broke into the back door of the creepy landmark mansion all without even flashlights for the "full effect," as Robot Pedro put it. The MegaPlayboy and I decided to explore the upstairs looking for specters, poltergeists, spirits, or midgets, and we made Jimmy Jammer and Robot Pedro search the basement. The MegaPlayboy and I checked out a few empty rooms before we heard a piano playing in the dark. We cautiously tip-toed to the doorway of the room that it sounded like the music was coming from (a haunting piece that felt slightly like the "Tragedy of Barshtarle" music from Giant Robo), and inside we saw a totally naked woman sitting at a shiny baby grand, tickling the ivories in some flickering candle light, all the while some dude in a full-body rubber Pulp Fiction gimp suit was flailing around on a kinky sex swing in the corner.
We slowly backed away from the room (the MegaPlayboy cursing the fact that he didn't bring his smart phone/video recorder with him) and continued to explore, now both more concerned and slightly more freaked out about our environment.
The next room we peered into was almost all dark except for shapeless shadow in the far corner moving closer to us, then slowly away from us, then closer again... and it seemed to be cursing in Latin under its breath (the MegaPlayboy swore he heard it say "Penis your poop" at one time). We moved on, now even more confused and freaked out than ever. Then we came upon one bedroom that still had a bed in the middle of it. It was a giant four-poster with partly see-through drapes and shit hanging all around it, so much so that we couldn't see what, if anything, was laying in it. It did look like something was under the sheets....
So I bet the MegaPlayboy two dollars to check it out. Then I pulled his shirt over his head and kicked him towards the creepy-as-fuck haunted bed when he tried to run. As he untucked his head from his shirt he approached the hanging drapes with great trepidation... Then he slowly reached out and parted them... Then he haltingly moved his hand to the lump in the center of the bed, but then he froze. Then he muttered "Awwwwww shit no..." Then I think he peed his pants. That's when all hell broke loose.
I can't remember which happened first... I think the little girl in the bed started screaming bloody murder right in the MegaPlayboy's face just before Robot Pedro yelled out in a booming, earth-shattering bellow "Holy fuckin' shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!" Both of those things happened right before the lights came on and that guy in the rubber gimp outfit came barging into the room with a shotgun and the angriest look on a rubber zipped-up face that I've ever seen (and lord knows I've seen plenty)!
Mr. Gimp took a wild shot at the MegaPlayboy, but the MegaPlayboy was too quick and had already jumped back ten feet from the still screaming little girl, but the little girl ended up getting a new skylight in her room anyway. That's when I kicked Mr. Gimp in his giblets, grabbed the MegaPlayboy by his silky-smooth hair (I have got to find out what conditioner that bastard uses!) and we ran back down the hall to the main staircase (where we got a look in the room with the shadow beast from before, and in the light found that it was actually some gnarly-looking old lady in a rocking chair with wild hair and a one-toothed smile, still muttering shit in a ghostly language seemingly to herself).
We raced down the stairs, found Robot Pedro with blood covering his metallic body from antenna to robot cleats but no Jimmy Jammer, and then kicked out the front door and ran for the Rossmobile as if the hounds of Hell were nibbling at our fannies!
It wasn't until two days later that I read in the paper that somebody had broken into the Mannix Manor, home of billionaire philanthropist (and lousy shot) Jonothan Piotr Mannix and his family: his lovely pianist wife with a penchant for a little S&M on the side, their 7 year-old daughter who "likes to sleep in a Harry Potter-like bed," his wife's elderly grand mother from someplace in Eastern Europe, and their 4 Rottweilers that sleep in the basement. That at least explained what happened to Jimmy Jammer... That or Robot Pedro just outright murdered him with his own cold robot pincers when Jimmy Jammer realized that we weren't breaking into an abandoned haunted house, but instead robo-looting the mansion of the richest guy in town. I now owe Robot Pedro TWO. Two. Yeah, you still remember what ONE was, don't you robo-buddy...
Anyway, what the haunted trek into madness taught me was that I just don't care for the supernatural in real life. Not even not-real-real supernatural shit. So instead of trying to find the REAL Malevolent Mansion after that terrible night, I went out and rented a super fucking hot and sexy red-head maid and kept spilling stuff on the floor for her to pick up for an afternoon.
Note to self 410: 07/02/2014
It all started out last Friday night when Cupcake and I had Mick and Min over for dinner, and then watched The Five-ish Doctors afterward. If you haven't seen it — and you should have already— The Five-ish Doctors is a 30 minute mini-movie made by the 5th Doctor Who Doctor, Peter Davison, who is also the father of the woman who played the Doctor's clone once who then went on to marry and have a baby with the 10th Doctor. Anyway, The Five-ish Doctors is quite hilarious and features Davison, Sylvester McCoy (the 7th Doctor), and Colin Baker (the 6th Doctor) as they first learn that they won't be a part of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary celebration, and their plans to break into the BBC Studios and somehow get in on the big special.
After watching it, Mick and Min told us about Con Kasterobous that was taking place in Huntsville, AL the following day, which would be guested by the venerable 7th Doctor, Sylvester "Radagast the Brrrrrrown" McCoy himself! So we all said "Holy shit!" packed up the Rossmobile and headed for the Rocket City Doctor Who convention!
I gotta say, for a series-specific convention in a town in Alabama this thing had it going on! It was much bigger than I thought it would be, and damn! They had an actual Doctor as the Guest of Honor! McCoy's panel was right after the opening ceremonies, and even though the MC was nowhere to be found the 7th Doctor took it upon himself to walk around the fairly large conference room, march up to anybody who had their hand raised, and then pretty much dance around animatedly whilst answering the just asked question. He did this for 65 minutes non-stop!
McCoy never stopped moving, and the audience never stopped asking him things about outfits he'd rather have worn (he said anything but that silly question-mark sweater, but he was very partial to the 9th's leather jacket and jeans), if he really knew how to do slight of hand tricks and play the spoons (he proceeded to take two spoons and play them off of audience members' heads for a full minute), and what it was like to be a Scottish Doctor (he reminded everybody that there are now 3 Scottish Doctors, and the way that it happens is that there is an actual, real, totally legit Police Public Call Box still on the streets in Glasgow, and every night Glaswegians get faced and some eventually make it to the blue box, and they start banging on it, pulling on the door exclaiming "I wanna be the next Doctor!" and then, every so often, the door opens and a hand reaches out and pulls that man in and POOF, he becomes the next Doctor on Doctor Who).
The best question of the day though came from my Cupcake (dressed up in her TARDIS poodle skirt like a champion nerdette!). She got McCoy's attention by waving excitedly at him from across the room, and when he came over she asked about how he got involved in The Five-ish Doctors, and what it was like to film that little flick. McCoy lit up like a drunk Scottish Christmas tree and he went on and on about how great the experience was, how awesome everybody involved was, and how they went about getting all those amazing cameos (including Peter Jackson, Ian McKellen, Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Barrowman, and even Russel T. Davies). He seemed to love making it, and if I remember correctly he even hinted that Peter Davison wanted to make another mini-movie in the future. We all cheered like retarded monkeys, and I took the opportunity to elbow the annoying "I have to comment on EVERYTHING" twit next to me directly in the nose, and then karate chop the back of her neck to get her to stop saying shit like "No, I don't care if he's the Doctor, he's wrong... Peter Capaldi will not be the oldest starting Doctor. I don't think he even looked it up..."
Anywhoozals, after the panel was over we went on to see other Whovian things, check out the dealer's room, and grab some lunch. It was at that time that Cupcake told me of her master plan. "You know how everybody likes cake?" she started with. "Well, since it's my birthday I brought a mini cake and I plan to feed it to the wee-little man [McCoy is no taller than 4'10"... He's legally Hobbit-sized], and then we can hide him in my purse and steal him, I mean borrow him away!"
I asked him who the 7th Doctor would live with, and just got a look of pure "Duh!" from Cupcake and just resigned myself to the fact that we'd have a new midget roommate very soon. But then I thought about what she said and asked "Hey, babe, what if he doesn't WANT to get in your purse?" which got the response of "That's why I drugged the cake. Keep up with me here." Then I just went along with it.
Things went well at first, Cupcake bought her ticket for the photo session with the Doctor, waited till everyone else was done, and then jumped up with her cake and told the wee man "Okay, so like it's my birthday, and all I wanted to do was to eat cake with the Doctor! Would you do me the honor of having some birthday cake with me? It's awesome, and see, it's sealed, so it's not like poisoned or anything. I'm not crazy." I was glad she told him that. I'm sure it washed away all doubts.
The Doctor had a small bite from the slice Cupcake cut for him, and then his eyes went all wacky and he smashed his face into the pastry and started gobbling it up while mumbling "Nom nom nom nom NOM!" His publicist looked embarrassed, Cupcake looked shocked, and I just looked like the guards just found the hacksaw I put in the pie I was delivering to Chi-Chi in prison.
McCoy ran from the room shouting "I am a Dalek! Delete! Delete! Wubba wubba wubba!" and I turned to Cupcake and asked if the horse tranqs she put in the cake were added before or after baking. She said she added them before, to which I sighed. I've made that mistake before, I told her. Always add that shit AFTER. Basic Chemistry 101. Keeps it pure, doesn't turn Hobbit-sized men into hyper Gollums on crack.
Anyway, we quickly left with our pictures and memories, but not before McCoy caught up to us in the hotel lobby and asked if we'd like to join him in his TARDIS as he traveled through space and time (just not at the same time, 'cause that was too confusing for him at the moment). We cordially declined, and the luggage girl then wheeled him away. That's when we just KNEW we'd be back the following year when Paul McGann, the 8th Doctor was going to be there!
Note to self 409: 06/11/2014
So Bob From the Future and I saw Tom Cruise's newest flick
All You Need Is Kill Edge of Tomorrow, and it gave me an awesome idea. By "it gave me an awesome idea" I really mean that it gave Bob From the Future an awesome idea. And by that I mean it gave Bob From the Future a really terrible idea. By that I mean it made Bob From the Future think that trapping me in a real world video game with a "one-hit life meter" and no way out was a fun thing to do.
For those who don't know, Edge of Tomorrow is about Tom Cruise having a Groundhog Day-like reset occur every time he dies (horribly), and he's stuck in the first wave of a very, very violent Normandy-like amphibious invasion against an army of shitty asshole squiddy alien creatures from Hell.
Anyway, so Bob From the Future trapped me in a "temporal independent tide tracking yaw" (which he wouldn't stop referring to as a "TITTY") which was just a glorified time loop that kept resetting to midnight every time I got hurt. "Getting hurt" apparently means just "stubbing my toe" or "scratching an itch" in Bob From the Future's vocabulary, which sucks because a day doesn't go by when I get attacked by a phone-throwing Angry Amy, almost eaten by one of Doctor Dave's artificial life forms, or hit in the head by a PS3 controller when I beat Carl in a fighting game (which happened with MvC2 over 3,930 times during my TITTY day).
So yeah, not like it was any kind of a special day or anything that I was trapped in (no invading alien hoards, nor any rampaging groundhogs), it was just an ordinary Rossman day... That happened over and over and over and over again. I got scratched by trees, shit on by birds (this apparently hurt my pride which still counted), accidentally had my dog step on my barefoot with untrimmed claws, got papercut, burned my tongue on hot pizza, had explosive diarrhea, sneezed too hard, got head-butted by an angry goat in the nads (don't ask), had Robot Pedro squeeze my hand in a handshake just a bit too much, got a static shock kissing Cupcake, and got my leg chopped off by my lawnmower... well over a millions times combined. Hell, I wrote this Daily entry (or started to) at least 40,000 times when I thought the end was in sight. This time I waited until after I officially beat Bob From the Future's game.
It was by far the most frustrating thing I've ever lived through, and I was once trapped in amber for 60,000 years. Do you know how hard it is to live a day without scratching an itch that you might agitate just a bit too much? It's maddening! Several hundred times I just tried to stay in bed all day, but once my dog nipped my toe because I didn't feed her that morning, another time a spider landed on my face and I smacked it on my forehead, and another time a satellite crashed through my roof and blew up my house. In the end I defeated the TITTY by just slowly walking for 24 hours straight. At a steady pace I made it over 90 miles (avoiding stumbling, slipping, getting a stitch in my side, getting hit by cars, or just straight up exploding) after the 9,520th time I walked. The only problem with this was that after I made it out of the TITTY I was 90+ miles away from home at midnight, and I had to hitchhike to my house in a rusty pickup truck driven by one of the Duck Dynasty guy's even more retarded cousin whom I named "Peter Jameson Randolf III" since I couldn't understand a goddamn thing he was saying with his 3 teeth and super deep Louisiana accent. And he touched me a few times while pretending to only try and pet his 25 year-old hound that sat next to me, but I was too tired to care.
When I got back home I immediately left a time-capsule message for Bob From the Future's superiors, which ended up getting him executed. Which after my day, I may have actually smiled at.
Note to self 408: 05/12/2014
The following true event is the kind of story that I just can't make up. My imagination is nowhere near large enough to actually conceive of this kind of shit, but it's also a good example of how fucked up my life really is.
So, to start things off I'm recently unemployed and looking for a jeorb in the Atlanta or Athens, GA area. This morning I went to a local staffing agency that specializes in finding long term employment in tech jobs (web and graphics stuff too). I was told to show up in clothes that I would interview in, and so I put on my only suit, my power (Mickey Mouse) tie, and my recently polished shoes.
The staffing agency is located in a fairly old and run-down two story building near downtown, but I didn't hold it against the company. Times are tough. As soon as I checked in at the front desk I had the agent assigned to me approach me with a solid handshake, and she introduced me to her boss (the owner of the business). Then she guided me to a back conference room that was just an abandoned office (two chairs, a desk, and an un-plugged-in Gateway computer from 1996 in the corner). I went with it and didn't say anything about how shitty the place looked because, hell, they're helping me and it's not costing me anything but my time.
This woman (early 60s, permanent smile stitched into her face, and way too much perfume) started talking to me about my resume (which she thinks is amazing, because it is), job experience, and where I want to be looking (industry-wise and location). Throughout this portion of our meeting she lightly peppered in comments like "That's why I'm a woman of faith," "Only God knows, but he has a plan," and "a little prayer can only help," but this is the deep South, and I thought nothing of it. Then, 20 minutes into our chit chat things changed.
I forget how it all went wrong, but I think she started talking about how the job market never recovered from the collapse of the housing market of 2008. This woman told me that her husband knew about the fall of the market before it happened (he's blue collared worker, but he knows how to read these things, because he reads the Bible, and it's all in the Bible), just like he knows that even though they (meaning that evil Anti-Christ Obama) say it's recovering, he knows we're still in the shit-house, and we won't fully recover for decades.... if EVER. Because Obama.
Then she started talking about Noah, and how we need another great flood just like that "well documented" one in the Book of Genesis, and that it was coming because it's written in the Bible... I swear to all the pr0n I find holy in the world, I searched her eyes to see if she was serious about any of this, and she was. My god she was.
I at first tried to ask her some legit questions like "Didn't God tell Noah and his family that he would never flood the world or just straight up murder everybody ever again after that there great flood was over?" but she just pshaw'd that ignorant question away and told me that the reason that Noah and his family were spared the flood was not because he was the only good person left on Earth, but because of their blood... Which had Angel blood in it. I wanted to say that according to Christian mythology Angels don't have genitalia and therefore can't breed with humans, but she shut me up by telling me that she could find all these clues and secrets in the Bible because she learned to decipher its secret code. It's all in the code. But she wouldn't share this code with me because I'm apparently fucking sane.
Then it got better.
She told me about how technology is everywhere in the Bible — futuristic tech — "but once you recognize it, then you know." "Know what?" I stupidly asked. "Know that the Angels use technology... But not the good Angels, only the FALLEN Angels...... Lucifer's minions" she added in case I was lost as to her meaning.
I only sat there with a look of "you have got to be shitting me" on my face. I don't know how I kept from not pointing at her and giving her a Nelson "HA ha!" laugh. But before I could even say anything like "what are you smoking?" or "do you have a gun on you?" she went on.
"There is a line about a wheel within a wheel on fire in the sky in the Book of Ezekiel," she said, "and it comes down to Ezekiel and he gets taken up into it! Do you know what that truly means?" I stared at her for 10 full seconds before tentatively replying with ".....Aliens?" I was wrong. "Fallen angels" was the correct answer. But she didn't let me linger on that because she jumped into her time as a young girl out in Arizona and how she and her brothers would see strange lights in the sky at night.
"Ah," I said. "The sky was so clear you could see shooting stars." That was not correct apparently. She informed me that they were near an Air Force base and her brothers thought that the lights were top secret aircraft (I began to nod in agreement), but she knew better because the Bible.... I almost said "Aliens?" again, but caught myself and said "Fallen angels?" That got me a smile and a crazy nod of her head. At least I was learning.
The rest of my hour-long meeting with Loony Tunes was her telling me that there are highly realistic holograms out there today. Holograms that are so life-like that you cannot tell them apart from real objects. I almost said "You mean like Jem's friend Synergy?" but didn't because I was honestly terrified at this point. These holograms she spoke of are the work of "The Beast™!" For realsies! Because "he shall cometh in a false skin and take the weak-willed" or somesuch shit like that. Oh, and they're putting chips in our heads now, and this is the work of the beastly one as well, for if we ever alter the body that God gave us in any way we lose our souls, and the Beast wins. These chips may help us think faster, but we lose our souls. OUR FUCKING SOULS, people! Is it worth it? IS IT WORTH IT!? My answer was "Um, no?" even though I was thinking about Ghost in the Shell and The Matrix at the time and how cool it would be to live in a computer like that.
Oh, and The Matrix is what made her realize that the answers to everything needed for salvation were written in the Bible. I didn't catch how this was, just that Neo only learned kung-fu because of the Beast or something. Or maybe his mission to free people from technology is what allows us to recover our souls from the Beast and then we can party in a dirty, dirty, sweaty rave in Heaven with the Jesus. I was busy looking at my watch at the time and wasn't paying too much attention anymore.
Remember, this woman was one of the main IT staffing agents in this agency, and she truly believes that technology is the fruit of the devil and his minions. Let that sink in. Real grown up people believe this. The only reason that I can think of that she actually started talking to me about this stuff was because I was initially agreeing with her about everything because, fuck, I want a job. I was like "Yeah, you're right! The shitty economy is totally Obama's fault! Yes, the Bible is the greatest story, I mean the greatest documentary ever made. Oh yeah, technology can be used for evil." But that just opened up the flood-gates to pure crazy. It was absolutely amazing to witness, my friends.
In hindsight I seriously can't believe it really happened… It's like that James Thurber story "The Catbird Seat" (a great short story that you can read here). The main character acts so insane so that the person he's with won't be believed if she ever tells anybody about their encounter.
After a full hour, I got out of there relatively mentally in-tact, and immediately called up the competing staffing agency that this woman said was their biggest rival in town. I have a meeting with them tomorrow.
Note to self 407: 04/30/2014
Bunnies and ducks and tornados, goddamn!
All the madness started out this past weekend when I was mowing the backyard for the first time this season. The grass was very high, and I was a little worried about snakes or some shit all up in there. Then I hit one particularly thick patch of green and all of a sudden a shit-ton of fur came shooting out of the sides of the mower! I flung the mower aside and looked around for chunks of any ex-raccoons or rabbits in its path, but only found more fur. There was a concentration of grey and white fluff in what appeared to be a small hole. When I looked closer I found a small burrow filled with 6 baby naked mole rats or newborn bunnies. They were fine, and I convinced myself that they were Little Fucker's kids that she was showing off to me since I saved her life and all 5 years ago. Then Cupcake came out to see them with the dog and the dog almost ate them.
I tried to put the bunny nest back the way I found it, but I was disappointed to find that the mama bunny moved her family sometime in the night. Call me a little bitch, but I wanted to see the little baby bunnies grow up in my backyard. Whatever, I just hope whereever Little Fucker moved her brood they won't get run over by somebody whose lawn mower is at a lower setting than mine.
THEN, on Monday, I saw something I never thought I'd witness before: a duck-napping. There's this park downtown with green space and ponds on both sides of one of the main streets near city hall. I was walking through the park from the gym to my office when I saw this early 20s redheaded guy in jeans and a baseball cap scuttling from one little pond on the left side of the road to the street, and he was carrying two young ducklings in his arms... He didn't look much like a city employee, but I figured he was just moving the ducks from one pond to another on the other side of the street because of reasons... But he was really just approaching his SUV that was parked on the other side of the two-lane street. Then he opened the hatchback and he placed the two ducks inside. With about 20 people watching. In broad daylight.
I looked around, absolutely amazed that nobody was saying anything to this guy, and so I decided it was up to me. I pulled out my camera phone and yelled out "Hey! What the hell are you doing with those ducks there, champ?!"
The guy almost shat himself when he saw me (a 6'4" man in a tie holding up a camera at him), but he managed to blurt out "I'm not stealing these ducks! I swear to GOD!" That did not make me believe him as he must have thought it would.
"Well then, amigo, what ARE ye doin' with them? 'Cause it looks like you just threw two ducks into your truck," I said. "That's fucked."
Champ then ran back across the street towards me, mumbling stuff like "Oh no, oh man, oh shit, this is cra... I'm not stealing the ducks... Oh man," not to me but to himself. He then approached me cautiously when he noticed that I was at least a foot taller than his ginger-self and told me "These, those ducks, they're like mine. My ducks, man. I swear to all that is holy they're my ducks." I asked why he was scooping them out of the public pond and putting them in his truck if they were his to begin with, and he told me that he lived about 30 miles away and the ducks' mother abandoned them, and there were no other ducks around, and so he remembered this park and how there were lots of ducks here, so he brought them here, but he told himself that he'd come back the next day and check on them and if they were like all alone and stuff, or being picked on by the city ducks he'd just take them home so they wouldn't get picked on no more, and when he came back today he saw that the city ducks WERE picking on his two ducks, so he just had to take them back home.... Then he looked at me and saw my expression of "You've got to be shitting me..." and he got out his phone.
"Look, man," he said. "I can prove that they're my ducks." Champ then called a number on speed-dial and told the man who answered "Joe? Listen, I'm at the park and this big dude thinks that I'm stealing the ducks.... I KNOW, right! I told him! Look, can you send me the pictures of Ron and Dewey that you have to prove that they're mine? Thanks, man! Like super quick. Like NOW, man!"
As we waited I just started at him with my patented "Crazy Gaijin Stare" (who knew it was useful outside of Japan?) and made him even more nervous. He was bouncing up and down, doing a very hilarious bathroom jig the whole time. Finally Joe sent him the pictures of what appeared to be duckling versions of the two juvenile ducks I saw this guy toss in his truck just minutes before. I said, "Okay, I guess. Let me know if they taste good!" And I walked away as the ginger-man looked appalled at my suggestion.
The kicker to this story is that the ducks in the city ponds are wild ducks and don't belong to anyone anyway, so who really gives a shit. But I was just amazed that in front of almost two dozen witnesses, in broad daylight even, nobody other than me was willing to say jack shit to the scrawny ginger running around chucking two young, very vocally quacking ducks into his Explorer. It seemed obvious to me after talking to the guy that he had.... issues (who the fuck drives 60 miles round trip TWICE to drop off and then "rescue" two wild ducks because it looked like the local water fowl were picking on them?). So I just kept walking and wondering if he was going to charge at me with a pair of scissors in a stabbing motion yelling "Don't take my ducks from meeeeee! They're all I have left!!!!"
Oh, and finally, Monday night the region got pounded by a major storm line that led to 7 hours of almost constant thunderstorms (lighting every 3-5 seconds), two tornado touchdowns within 10 miles of my house, and debris flying everywhere. And I died. On top of that I forgot to put the trash out for Tuesday garbage pickup too. It was terrible.