There’s this thing called “sledding” that people sometimes do when it gets cold enough to freeze your dog solid and a few inches of snow happens to be covering the ground. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. I’m sure many of you have even participated in it at some point in your life. Nothing beats memories of your parents dragging you to a large hill when you’re barely old enough to walk, and then pushing you off of it on a small plastic board at fantastic speeds. It’s where every good childhood scar starts.
I, personally, haven’t really gone sledding much in my life which is why I am informing you on the topic. And the only reason I’d consider going now is to simply try and hurt myself and the other people I’m with as much as humanly possible — which is exactly the mindset I was in the other day when my friend, Ronnie, asked me if I felt like dying. I replied with a swift “god yes” and the deal was done.
Gather ’round, children, and I will tell you a tale. Way back in the year 2004, I thought it would be a great idea to fall off a shelf that was about fifteen feet off the ground and land directly on my ass. I immediately felt the effects of my little incident, because it seemed that I had broken every part of my ass ten times over, and thrown it in a wood-chipper for good measure. I was pretty sure most of my tail bone was located in my neck. For those of you unable to understand just what happened, here’s a quick diagram of what it felt like:
Somewhat recently, fellow resident of the Sneer House, Lisa, and I took a trip to the Midwestern United States’ Largest Flea Market, which is conveniently located just north of Cincinnati. For those of you unfamiliar with the large scale flea market, let me just describe it as an expansive building filled with booths that are full of an array of garbage that is for sale. Some of the booths actually sell quality items, and you wonder what they are doing there, but mostly it seems to be junk that fell off of the back of a truck and these people scavenged it and put low, low price tags on it — or absurdly high price tags. For those of you who ARE familiar with flea markets, you know that the “bottom” in my title means a butt.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.