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Archives: Oct 2011

A very serious column

It’s been eight years. Time is supposed to fly by, but for those of us with a dark secret, the clocks move a little slower. I’ve spent years with it. The madness, the fear, the cowardice. It crept up the walls and stretched thin from the ceilings to gaze into my bloodshot eyes. It has never blinked. Not once.

Sometimes I can’t go home. I pace the streets manically, unable to stand another second in my dark little apartment. Every tick of the clock echoes, pulsing energy break through the room, and I hold my breath so I can listen. Was the last tick a little louder? Was the sound more than just the clock? Are they here?

Other times I can’t leave the house at all. Can I control it this time, the power of it, deciding for myself when it should surface? Or will it just burrow deeper again, returning when I least expect it? By the time I realize what’s happening, it will already be over. History is instant and forever. Lives are changed most by things people don’t desire.

Trick or treating tips

– If you’ve ever admitted to anyone that you read this column, don’t even bother buying candy for trick or treaters. They won’t visit your house. They all think you’re a sex offender, alcoholic, drug dealer, murderer, rapist, pyramid scheme operator, sperm bank thief, horse fellator, or someone who posts legitimate ads in the “casual encounters” section of Craigslist.

– Don’t ever dress up as Larry David for Halloween. It’s really difficult to pull off, and even if you spend a lot of time on it and execute it well – which I did not – you’ll spend the entire night explaining who you are to people. By the time you get done with the barrage of questions people ask you, the girl you were hoping to bang will be across the room talking to the guy dressed in the weird “shirtless Batman” costume.

– Don’t give out rolls of pennies. They’re heavy enough where they might break a window when kids throw them back at your house.

The Mighty Storeroom Fort

When I was in high school, I worked at a Toys “R” Us. It was a great place to work, mainly because the massive store in Bloomington, MN was the size of a football field and the entire second floor was a storeroom where wily employees could hide, often remaining undetected for their entire eight-hour shift.

I learned this method of work avoidance from a 35-year-old man-child named Glen, who had worked at the store for nearly a decade but shockingly never been promoted. I met Glen on my first day of work. I was asked to get a box of Hot Wheels cars from the storeroom and put them out on the sales floor. On my way downstairs, Glen stopped me.

“Oh, hey there buddy! I’m the inspection committee,” said Glen, winking creepily at me. “What do we have here? Let me take a look at these before you put them out.”

Glen proceeded to open the case, take all the rare and valuable Hot Wheels cars from it, and hide them behind some boxes in a corner so he could buy them later. Once he was assured I wasn’t going to tattle on him, he suggested I come upstairs and help him carry some boxes.

I lurve dating on teh interwebz

Internet dating is like running over a raccoon with your lawnmower. You didn’t want to do it, but a tiny part of you kinda wanted to know what it felt like, so you went for it. Now you’re thoroughly grossed out by the results. Every internet date you’ve had was about as appealing as that raccoon carcass splatting against your neighbor’s seldom used patio furniture.

Social slow periods happen to all of us. You’re taking some time off from relationships, having a little “me time”, and suddenly it’s been six months without a significant other, then a year. You’ve lost your rhythm, and no longer remember how to spend a Saturday night other than catching up on bland TV shows you barely care about, or reading half-baked internet articles about whether or not owls have a labia. This constant waste of a weekend is not the social life you planned for yourself. It’s the social life that happens when you’re lazy and out of practice.

You tried to get back on track. Your friends offered blind dates with every incompatible weirdo they know, wrongfully assuming two people being single is enough in common to cause a spark. You’ve gone to bars and clubs, but realized people just go there to get drunk, not to meet others. Then you heard a friend of a friend had some success with an online dating site, so you said, “Why not me?” Alas, the good person your friend found was one bag of donuts in a dumpster full of AIDS, and each of your dates quickly became a float in a failure parade held just for you.

I will not video chat with you

There are only three things in this world that are more unsettling than webcam chatting, and they are as follows: 1) Waking up hungover at noon and realizing you were supposed to be at work at 9am, 2) Going through the security line at the airport and suddenly remembering there’s weed in the extra zipper pocket of your backpack, and 3) Walking in on your grandmother eating out your girlfriend.

I cannot, under any circumstances, understand why a person would want to video chat with another person. The thought of using Facebook, Google+, or IM services in general makes me a little queasy, but ask me to use them while being watched on a webcam by others and the ensuing anxiety will be so crushing that I may give myself a root canal in my bathtub just so I’ll have something less awkward to do with my evening.

I’m not a prudish man. I’ve done things. Why, back when I was a young scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, I did all sorts of things. Crazy things! The sort of things that would make your mom and dad weep in horror if they weren’t such degenerates themselves. However, vomiting into a thermos outside Stargate Nightclub while a rogue sex offender tries to get payment for a gyro I purchased from his mobile vending cart is not nearly as horrendous as the thought of watching myself on a webcam, completely ignoring the other person’s video feed and silently freaking out about whether or not I always look this stupid, and why none of my friends have informed me of how ugly I am.