I am not a person who is given to complaint — don’t believe anything you might hear from the rumor mill! Vicious lies. In my daily living, I am not about to complain about regular human error. Mostly I am thinking that if I am served the wrong food, because I don’t have any outrageous food allergies or restrictions, I will just eat it because I would rather not waste food. And I guess I would rather not make a big fuss over it. Although I just realized that they probably would let me eat for free so maybe next time, if it ever happens again, I will say something! Witness my character growth in the very first paragraph in real time.

me a lot

However, the point of this article is to tell you the story of this one time when I felt WRONGED. I was misled by packaging. So I went after the Kroger corporation in the only way I could figure out that didn’t involve speaking on the phone or to anyone’s face. I wrote an angry letter, just like an old person.

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Jesus fuck it’s summer already. Well it feels like it has been summer since March, and I’m not entirely sure that there should be a single date declaring that it is indeed Summer. I simply go by the tried and true method of knowing when it gets too hot to function normally, then it’s summer. I don’t care if it’s the middle of December, if the temperature gets high enough to make me lie on the ground and give up on life, then it’s fucking summer. This is where we’re at now, and I damn well barely made it from my car to my front door yesterday before I accepted my fate and just let the sun finish destroying my will to live, which basically means it’s time to never go outside again until Winter blows in around next February.

swelter

As you can tell, I’m not a big fan of summer, though I must admit that I do despise winter a tad bit more, just for the fact that I can walk around outside in my boxers in summertime without a hint of officers threatening to take me down. I suppose that works both ways though, as the rest of the city has no problem doing so as well, along with the random assault of naked babies in grocery stores. It’s just not very appetizing to be getting my three month supply of Ramen noodles, only to see naked baby wang come flying around the corner. You also have the thousands of people who have no air conditioning, thus spending every waking moment of the Summer sitting outside, listening to country music, and hollering.

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There is no love quite like the love of a pet. They’re always there for us, when we’re sick, sad, or lonely. They’ll play with us and keep us company. They are therapists and confidants, best friends and playmates. Unconditional love for a small adoption fee.

When I was about seventeen, my neighbors adopted a kitten for their daughter and named him Samson. Children can be fickle creatures, and it turned out that their daughter wasn’t hugely interested in having a cat, so Samson was pretty much left to his own devices.

He was a longhair, mostly blue-gray, but with a white patch on his chin down to his tummy, and on the tips of his paws. He had beautiful, piercing green eyes.

samson

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There are many kinds of mysteries in this confusing, mixed up world. We often find ourselves trapped in darkness, trying to solve a murder case, maybe, or seeking to understand what on the surface appears to be a supernatural phenomenon. Whole civilizations have been lost and we still don’t know why. Statues may weep tears of blood, drawing crowds of thousands of hopeful people, yearning to see a miracle.

Some mysteries are on a much smaller scale, but are no less perplexing and miraculous. Some mysteries appear on your own body! A mystery appeared on mine.

candiiiice

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1990s Style

The 90’s decade was a glamorous year for any of us in the teenage bracket. Sure, Seventeen Magazine had “new clothes” that you should buy in order to be popular, but truthfully they were just expensive new versions of the attire the rest of us found in thrift stores, the closets or floors of friends and friends’ family, or, occasionally, pretty much just in the actual street.

 

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In 2001, I landed what I consider to be my first “real job.” I say this because this was the first job I ever had that I would willingly tell people about. Instead of hiding my employment status behind mumbles, I would gladly sit down with you and tell you at great length what my job is, where it is, what I do at it, and a million other details that would cause you to want to punch me if you could just stop feeling so damned happy for me long enough. So after I get the call telling me I have the job, I am given instructions on where to go to do a piss test. Now normally they do these pre-employment, but I was told that the facility this takes place in was under construction and had just re-opened to an extent. “To an extent” was an exact quote from the lady talking to me, just so you know.

a man about to pee

I arrive there, wearing some fairly nice clothes. I got the job so I decided I could drop the illusion that I knew how to dress, but I didn’t want to start dressing like a complete scumbag until I was there a few months… so I was in something sorta in between. Like if someone woke you up from a deep sleep and yelled to hurry up because one of your family members just decided to get married on the spot. You wouldn’t have time to put on a suit and tie, but you wouldn’t go in anything that smelled like three days worth of ass. That was the balance I was striving for.

 

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All of this could have been avoided. This entire article wouldn’t have even been necessary if my parents had followed a fairly logical rule. As a parent myself, I know this rule inside and out. If you have kids, you know it too. But for those of you without children, I am about to drop a real gem on you. A piece of advice that will make your parenting days a lot easier and lessen the chances of your home experiencing a murder/suicide. You ready? Okay.

Don’t tell a child that they can’t see/do something because it is “for adults.” 

There you go. I just saved you a lot of yelling and a handful of awkward visits from Child Services. Now don’t go thinking I’m one of those people who doesn’t believe in telling a kid they can’t have something or do something. I’m not saying that you should let a child get away with whatever. By all means, tell them “no” when you want them to keep their snot and dirt-encrusted hands off of something. When they ask you why, just don’t make the mistake of telling them it is for “big folks,” “adults,” “mommy and daddy,” or whatever other stupid shit you say instead of just looking them in the eye and saying, “Shut the fuck up.”

A good solid “shut the fuck up” from my folks sure would have saved me a whole lot of grief.

Young Billy

 

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My first memory of befriending an outdoor cat was a long time ago, but I’m not sure how old I was. Age twelve maybe? This was probably the only one in this story that was likely someone’s cat, just living outside. It was Florida and we were moving into a new house. I think we met a realtor at one house, in some sort of gated community. There was a cat outside and I wanted to touch it, so I tried to make friends with it.

The cat seemed friendly enough, it walked toward me and we seemed pretty okay with each other. After some calm and successful petting, I made a mistake I have not repeated to this day. I picked her up.

I have a lot of reasons or excuses for why I picked her up. She was being friendly and calm. She may have been a pet. I wanted to. But those reasons did not prevent the torso-length scratch from the cat trying to escape over the back of my body after hearing a loud noise. Somehow she ran up the front of me and down my back.

It stung a whole lot, of course. If you have never been scratched by a cat, imagine a paper cut that someone pissed in. But I forgive you, cat whose permission I did not have to lift and hold tightly against my body like a newborn baby or a taco box. Scratches heal.

don't pick up

 

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Like many people at one or more points in their lives, I too worked in the retail space. I managed to do it for what seemed like decades, but was actually probably closer to just a few years in my twenties (retail has a weird way of making some days feel like years I suppose). Most of those retail jobs were about what you could imagine such as working for low wages while doing menial tasks, like stocking aisles or helping customers. It was never really too bad, I guess. I mean I obviously hated it with a passion while I was doing it, but looking back… eeeehhhh, it wasn’t so terrible. I at least ended up making some decent friends over the years, and have some fairly fond memories from some of those jobs. Obviously there are exceptions though, and today you good people get the honor of reading about the worst retail job experience in my entire life: Working at a big box electronics store.

I originally got the job in a time when my previous job had shit the bed with the Government over back taxes, as I found out when I showed up for work and was locked out of the building. Unemployment is never fun, so I threw out a ton of applications to see if anyone would bite, and the first that called was none other than everyone’s favorite [unnamed] electronics store. I went in for the interview, basically got hired on the spot, and so began my new life as that guy that hangs around the store floor and asks if you need help with whatever. Hey, it’s a job so I didn’t really care, and it seemed easy enough for what I was getting paid. Or at least it was in the beginning.

jeremys alcoholism

 

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Though I have been personally asked to speak on golf legend Arnold Palmer, it may come as a shock that I know very little of his golf career. He won a lot of trophies and green jackets and the other things they give away to people that win big golf gatherings. Essentially, in the world of golf, he was pretty good.

I would come to know this man by other means. As a child one of my favorite games (and still an occasional one I play) was Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf on the Sega Genesis. This is where I first encountered this man. He graced the cover and even had a big ol’ sorta-likeness in the game. I would learn years later this was a pre-existing golf game overseas that just got a U.S. big-name golfer tacked on, but in my mind this was and always will be HIS golf game. I’m serious, even in the face of countless evidence that says otherwise, I’m basically giving him full credit for every aspect of this game.

Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf for Sega

 

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