Car Alarm

Since Cincinnati Bell keeps altering rates and decreasing the quality of their service to the point where they are bordering on utter uselessness, I’ve gotten rid of my home phone to save some cash. I like saving cash, and I thought I’d never miss having a land line. I’ve only been without it for a few days. I didn’t think it would be a big deal.

About 6 PM yesterday I headed out to hang with a friend and catch up on some Food Network and whatever ridiculously homosexual fashion based competition show he was going to be watching that night. On the way I drove to the phone company to pay my cell phone bill. In person. You know, so there would be no fuckups. I’d forgotten to bring my cell phone with me, but I just assumed that everything was kosher once the receipt was in my hand.

Nope.

After a few relaxing hours at at my friend’s house learning how to cook and how not to dress, I had him call my cell to confirm everything was fine. And he got a message confirming that everything was, in fact, not at all fine, and my service had been fucking suspended.

When I got home, about 12:40 AM, I found a note on my door from my parents saying they could not reach me and I needed to call my cousin who had a job lead for an “immediate interview.” Of course, having only a cell phone which has been suspended, I could not call them to let them know that this was information I already had.

Upon picking up my cell phone to call the customer service line, I found out that not only was the customer service line closed for the day, but also that although my account had been suspended, it was still receiving texts for some reason (I couldn’t send them, only receive). My cousin had sent me three texts saying that my parents had not only called her looking for me, but called her parents as well. This psychotic overreactionism is nothing new on their part, but this was a little much. I checked my email only to find that they’d called my brother too, and he was joining in on the “your phone doesn’t work and you have an interview” circus which was becoming more and more irritating by the minute.

Then, around 1:15, my car alarm went off. Actually, I don’t have a car alarm and it’s not my car, so excepting the timestamp that whole sentence was a lie. Let me start again: the panic alarm on the van I borrowed from my parents went off. That’s only supposed to happen when you press a panic button on a key fob, as I understand it. I didn’t press that because I don’t have one of those. I just have a key. No key fob. No key fob means you have no way to trigger the panic alarm.

It also means you have no way to shut it off.

I ran out to the van and turned it on, and as I suspected the ignition fortunately killed the panic alarm. Chalking it up to a freak intercepted signal, I ignored the hate-drenched glares of my neighbors and headed back upstairs, only to have the same thing happen two minutes later. And two minutes after each time I shut it off. I was getting plenty of exercise, and plenty pissed as well. The owner’s manual gives no info on disabling the panic alarm. I know because I sat there reading the goddamned thing by the dome light, idling the engine so the horn wouldn’t wake up my neighbors. Again.

No help in the owner’s manual, and my phone was shut off so I couldn’t call my parents to see if this is a known issue for them. Desperate, I went inside and got my hex drivers thinking I’d just disconnect the battery. When I popped the hood I found that the terminal clamps were secured to the battery with very long headless bolts, rendering my hex drivers useless. I tried to loosen them by hand and got nowhere but filthy.

Then the engine died.

I don’t know why or how, but the engine just fucking quit. And I couldn’t restart it. With the engine off, I knew it was only a matter of time before the alarm reactivated itself, and it turned out that matter of time was about 1.5 seconds. If you think a car horn is loud when you’re standing in front of a car, try hearing it at 1:30 in the morning when you’re under the hood, 16 inches from the source of the sound that you know you are utterly powerless to stop. That’s a kind of acoustic hell they don’t have a name for.

I hopped in and turned the key on and off, hoping to stave off the alarm any way I could. It was triggering itself more and more quickly by that point, and would go off roughly every 20-40 seconds. As I sat there toggling the key back and forth, I knew the thing I needed to disconnect the clamp from that terminal was a 1/4″ or 5/16″ crescent wrench. Which I do not own. I considered just driving the thing to a Wal-Mart to buy a wrench, but I was afraid it would get towed from the parking lot while I was inside. So I decided on a race against time.

I mentally organized the last known location of my pliers and my flashlight and plotted the fastest route I could take to get them. Turning the key one last time, I took off like a shot. Or as near as a shot as can be achieved by an obese 33 year old sci-fi nerd at 1:30 in the morning. I ran into the house, got my pliers, and looked around frantically for my flashlight, which – and this should come as no surprise at this point – was not at all where I thought it was. Going room to room I finally found it, still in the package. Sealed in thick, untearable plastic. With no batteries in it.

CAR ALARM.

With that honking motherfucking shitbox outside rapidly turning me into the neighborhood pariah, I popped open the end of the flashlight, only to remember that this was one of those new LED flashlights that can use AAA, AA, or C cell batteries. There was this weird little sliding device which I soon figured out was supposed to go between the batteries, so I popped in the two C cells that came with the flashlight. Guess what? They don’t fucking fit.

Well, actually they do. It’s just that there is a spring up inside the flashlight, which you can’t see, that compresses the differently sized batteries to the leads. It took me about ten seconds to figure that out, which, at 1:30 in the morning is equal to about 111 bajillion panic alarm honks.

I bolted out the door to find that everyone, EVERYONE, on my block was looking at me. Even the crackhead white trash losers across the street who never sleep anyway were looking down on me at this point. I turned the key to shut off the alarm one last time, then, utilizing hitherto unknown and still inexplicable automotive mechanic skills, I raced around to the engine and disconnected the clamp from the terminal in about seven nanoseconds. I didn’t know I could move that fast. I’m not even sure I used the flashlight. I was operating on a bloodstream full of shame and adrenaline rage, and if it had occurred to me I probably could have just chewed the fucking thing off at that point.

Mercifully silent and dark, I locked up the van and went to bed. It was about 2:30 before I calmed back down enough to even feel tired, and as soon as I did, BAM!, massive nosebleed. My sinuses, like the sinuses of most men in my family, are completely fucked up, so nosebleeds are no big deal for me. But this one came on like I had been shot. By the time I made the short jaunt to the bathroom my cupped hand was running over with blood. After stuffing my nose with toilet paper, letting it become completely saturated, then swapping it out for a new wad, it was a good half an hour before it stopped. My bathroom looked like a crime scene out of Dexter. All said, after the nosebleed and second post-excitement comedown, it was about 4 AM before I got to sleep.

Less than four hours of weak sleep later, I was awakened by a horrendous crash against my window. I don’t know what the fuck it was, but it scared the living shit out of me and woke me up with another flood of adrenaline. Then it happened again. Then I heard a frantic pounding and even more shit hitting the side of my house. I immediately jumped out of bed and threw on my sweats. I didn’t know what was happening, but someone was beating the shit out of my house like it was on fire. I just got my shirt over my head, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted by dad’s car across the street. Mother. FUCKER!

FURY. That is the only way to describe my state of mind. Blinding, searing, white hot fury. They had called at least five people to stalk me, they left a note at my house, and now, because all of that was apparently not enough, they came by at a quarter to eight in the morning and woke me up out of a much needed sleep by throwing shit at my house and beating on my door and basically scaring the hell out of me. I’ve seen Godzilla fireblast Tokyo with less passion than I was feeling. I was LIVID.

My dad started pounding on the front door again, and I yelled something. I honestly can’t tell you what I said, although I believe it was two words. At least I think it was words. I remember as they came out, and I’m not joking here in the slightest, I did not recognize my own voice. It was like the voice of a stranger, a psychotic, berserk lunatic stranger, spilling out of my mouth. I opened the door and just started yelling. Again, I couldn’t tell you what I was yelling, but I think it was in English. English is what I was aiming for. It may have been Viking roars and caveman snarls for all I know. I remember ending the “conversation” by yelling “I got it!” at the top of my lungs, but at this point I have no idea what it was I got. Whatever it was, I apparently had got it loudly.

I tried to get back to sleep after slamming the door, but it was pointless. I decided that it would be a real shame to waste all this built up rage, so I vented it in a direction that would do me the most good: at my cell phone company. I think I actually bared my teeth and grinned like Jack Nicholson in Wolf when I realized their lines were open. Again, I really don’t remember everything I said during the conversation, but I can tell you that my cell phone service was restored five minutes after I got on the phone, and there are two underpaid service reps in India who apologized to me more times in those five minutes than everyone else in my entire life has ever apologized to me combined.

So I’m fucked up on less than four hours sleep. I’m still a little residually angry. And I still have to figure out what in the hell is wrong with that panic alarm. I actually may not be fit to be around other human beings today. Normally I love interacting with all of my loyal readers out there, but, seriously, for today, contact me at your own risk. I’m not quite human right now.

A Message To My Penis

FUCK. YOU.

Where were you, man? Huh? I was here. She was here. Where the fuck were you?? Answer me, god damn it! WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU?!

Do you have any idea how fucking humiliating that was for me? Do you?? And it couldn’t have made her feel very good either. You know this was our first time, right? Why now? Why with her? I was nervous enough as it was, then you pulled your disappearing act on me. Thanks for playing possum, you inconsiderate fuck. Did you think that was funny? Was that a big joke to you? I like her so fucking much, you fucking cocksucker. Yeah, I’m aware that you are a cock, but you’re a cocksucker. You are a cock who sucks cock.

I can still smell her perfume on my skin. Dude, do you have any idea HOW MUCH I FUCKING LIKE HER? How well we click? Everything she was doing was absolutely PERFECT, you fucking piece of shit! Why the fuck did you bail on me? Why in front of her? You have NEVER let me down with a woman before. Never. Why now? You were certainly wide awake looking for attention this morning. I was exhausted from cleaning this fucking house all night, and I still woke up for you an hour earlier than I wanted to and I came through. I got like three hours of shitty, broken sleep, tops, and still I was fucking there. So where were you when I needed you? You were fucking nowhere, you loser douchebag piece of shit. You just left me hanging, so to speak. I guess that’s why they call you a dick. I swear to the dark lord Lucifer and all the fiery minions of Hell, if you have fucked this up for me I WILL KICK YOU IN THE FUCKING BALLS. Square. In. The. Nuts.

We’re only 34, dude. THIRTY-FUCKING-FOUR. I should have a good 20 years before I have to start worrying about that kind of shit. Why did you pull that on me now, of all times? And she went down on you. I know you fucking love that. You’re a god damn liar if you say that it’s not your favorite thing in the world. And she was GOOD. So when she was doing it, what was with the half-mast bullshit? You know she thinks I’m hung like a thumb now, right? What the fuck, man? We’ve known each other all of our lives. How the hell could you do that to me?

I don’t know if I have to spell this out or not, but you and I are not friends anymore. From now on we have a working relationship, and that is it. You want a mid-day readjustment? You’re on your own. Jean zippers? Hope you’ve got a helmet, ’cause the days of my watching your back and tucking you safely in are fucking OVER. Also, the next time I jack off you’d better god damn well believe that there will be no lotion. I’m going to hold you nice and tight and crank you for a good 45 minutes. I’m going to work up a good six roper, no matter how long it takes, I don’t care if the friction sets you on fucking fire. You’re gonna be sore for a month. Better change your name to Sparerib, you motherfucker, ’cause from now on you’re getting the dry rub. Also, no more trimming. Hope you like being tangled up in my man thicket, because from this moment forward I’m going to do less crotch grooming than an armless hippy. From now on you can mow your own lawn. Welcome to the jungle, baby.

I mean it, if this freaks her out and costs me a shot with her, YOU ARE FUCKING DEAD. I’ll wrap your base in little rubber bands until you turn black and fall off like an umbilical cord. I’ll turn you into a crotch navel. I will masturbate with an orange zester then stick you in a condom full of kosher salt. I am so god damned pissed off right now. And don’t think that I don’t realize that you’re good and hard now. Too fucking bad. It’s too late. She left. She tried to be nice to you; she WANTED to be nice to you. And you just fucking ignored her. Well, you missed your chance. You’re on your own, pal. Good luck getting yourself off with no fucking arms. The hands belong to me and they both say “Fuck you.”

I’ll see you in the bathroom. Besides that, don’t contact me. This friendship is over.

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The Boobies Story

Once upon a time, in the magical land called The 1980s, I was in Ms. Harris’s class at Project ASCENT, which was a gifted student nerd ghetto, where all the geekiest and most socially awkward children in the region were bussed every Monday in order to hide them away from polite society. It was a time of innocence and wonder, a time of Optimus Prime and Stormshadow, where every boy wanted to be Snake Eyes, and every girl dressed like Punky Brewster. It was a time of men without hats, and girls who just wanted to have fun.

In those hallowed times, when the hot side was kept hot, and the Cold War kept cold, I was a lad happily unaware of the complications of sexual dynamics or sexual activity beyond kissing. I did not require such information; such information would not help me figure out how the kids from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon were going to get back home, nor would it enable me to transform from a sleek jet fighter into a 30 foot tall robot bristling with weapons, so it was irrelevant. I simply did not care. However, in Project ASCENT, there came a thing into my life which would lead me to care. This thing was a concept called the “Venn diagram.”

I cannot overstate how important Venn diagrams were to the teaching staff of Project ASCENT. They saw fit to reteach us everything they could about Venn diagrams approximately every other week. It was insane, I didn’t understand the point of Venn diagrams, and, as will any child with a severe enough case of ADHD, I immediately rejected all information which could not be instantaneously assimilated. But it bothered me deeply that I didn’t grasp what was clearly so important to these people, and so obviously simple for my classmates to comprehend. So I went to Ms. Harris for help.

This is where the boobies come in.

It should be noted at this point that I have absolutely no recollection of Ms. Harris’s face. I only saw her once a week, for only part of the school year. I do not know what she looked like; I can only assume she was neither incredibly attractive, nor hideously malformed, because her appearance has made no lasting impression on me. However, on that day I went to her, I remember exactly what she was wearing.

She was dressed very sharply in a very dark suitcoat, a cream colored faux silk shirt with white opalescent buttons, and a plain but attractive gold necklace. The top two buttons of her shirt were undone. While the class was engaged in a project on the other side of the room, we went to a table by ourselves. All the chairs had been taken away by the other kids, so we had to stand. She stood opposite of me, with her back to the class. Then she got some paper, bent over the low table, and started to draw Venn diagrams. I watched intently while she drew, determined that I would understand these damn things once and for all, and when she explained what she was doing, I decided to look her right in the face to let her know I was serious about learning.

My eyes never made it that far.

As I looked up, I was stunned to see that her billowy silken shirt, which was much larger than it needed for a woman of her build, was hanging wonderfully agape, like an upside-down parachute, as she was bent over the table.

And there they were.

I don’t know if she just liked loose clothing, or what the deal was, but she was wearing a plain white bra, sort of a Sears catalogue number. Like her shirt, her bra was far too large, and it hung there, not even touching her breasts. And what breasts they were!

They weren’t the oversized breasts of some silicone pinup; they were natural, perfectly round, and very pert. Ms. Harris had freckles, and what made the experience so vivid and so real was to discover that she had freckles all over. It had never occurred to me that breasts could be freckled, but hers were. Not too dense, not too sparse, just perfect little freckles to highlight her perfect breasts. These were no airbrushed model’s breasts from a magazine; there were incredibly, warmly, fantastically REAL. Her skin had a richness of color to it, but she was not so dark as to be tan. And even though I had never touched her, it was plain that her skin was, very, very soft. Visibly so. It had also never occurred to me that it would be pleasurable to touch someone else’s skin just for the sensation, but looking there at her breasts it became crystal clear to me that if I were to touch those breasts, the feel of her smooth skin under my fingers would be simply wonderful.

Something deep within the core of me was awoken, and stirred. As a man, I have made it my business to look at breasts whenever possible. Hers remain two of the best breasts I have ever seen in my entire life. But the best part is yet to come.

It was at this point that she spoke again. I couldn’t possibly tell you what it was that she said because 99.9986% of my mental resources had been allocated to visual processing. Whatever remained somehow let me know that a sound had been made toward me. I remember a pause, and then hearing her say “Do you understand?” and I nodded, not quite ready or able to speak. That’s when I had my first truly male thought in my life. It was this:

“If I just nod and keep staring right at her boobs while she’s bent over like this, she might think I’m looking at her face, and I can keep getting away with this.” So I didn’t shift my eyes. I just nodded when it felt appropriate and every once in a while glanced at the Venn diagram paper for about 1/16th of a second. You know, to keep it from being so obvious.

This went on for what seemed like a glorious, heavenly month or two. I swear to god, it was like Disneyland, summer vacation, Christmas, and Halloween all rolled into one. I have no idea how long I studied those beautiful, perfect breasts. Time had no meaning there. But then I had my second truly male thought in my entire life: “I wonder if she notices me doing this?” So I looked up at her.

BUSTED! She had been looking directly in my eyes the entire time. When she saw me glance up to look her in the face, it was clear where my attention had been. She looked a little confused for a second, then glanced down and saw her shirt hanging off of her body, and looked back up at me. I don’t know what I expected to happen next; this was my first trip to The Land of the Soft Mountains, and I think it was probably pretty clear I was a first time tourist. I remember vaguely expecting to get in trouble. But instead, something absolutely magical happened.

She didn’t move.

She smiled at me out of the corner of her mouth, one of those grins that you ladies give us that says “I know what you’re up to… but I don’t mind.” At that point in my life, I didn’t know what to make of that smile, so my 4th grade brain thought, “She’s not mad or moving. I can’t believe that she doesn’t realize I’m doing this. Awesome!” I just kept looking, and she just stayed there, bent over the table, exposed for me and only me, until she had explained all she knew about Mr. Venn and his little diagrams. And I didn’t hear a word.

I never mentioned it. She never mentioned it. I saw my first breasts that day, and she knew it, I think. But I was also introduced to the world of sexual interaction and politics. Something unspoken, perhaps even residing in my own mind, told me that as long as I didn’t ruin it with too much talking or analysis, this was mine to treasure for as long as I wanted. So I never said a word about it to anyone, not for twenty years.

Looking back now, its clear that she DID know what I was doing, and was in some way okay with it. I have known many women since then, and I am familiar with the unfortunately common feminine lack of esteem that would lead an attractive woman to take flattery in having her body admired by a boy who hasn’t yet even come near to puberty. But my memory of this event remains unfettered by these more worldly interpretations; what remains is that I was there, she was there, and in that one brief shining moment, it was Camelot.

And I still don’t know what the hell a Venn diagram is.