Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brace Yourself For All the Sexiness

I often joke that I'm like a boy scout — always prepared. However, I'm also a "yes" woman. I rarely turn down an invitation even if it's something that I'm not even remotely interested in. Curiosity and spontaneity just takes over and I feel the need to have this "experience" whether it's going on the sixth float trip of the summer, painfully transforming body parts into something that resembles a baby seal or naked mud wrestling.

A few weekends ago, it was an MMA fight (Mixed Martial Arts) in Grain Valley, Missouri at a little joint called...Whiskey Tango...and with a name like that, you probably already know where this story is going.

A friend of ours had a bunch of free tickets to this thing and Kate said, "hey, we're all going, wanna go?" and I was all, "Yeah, yeah I do."

And, since we were fully aware that we'd probably never get an opportunity for better people watching except maybe at Rockfest, Dave came up with a little game called "Stick Your Flag In It." We usually play an ongoing game we lovingly call "Your Team." Whenever you come across a hideously awkward person in public, you casually point them out to the person you're with and say, "Your Team." However, with "Stick Your Flag In It," the rule is, you must find the most horrid person you possibly can, let the group know that you "stick your flag in them" and at the end of the night, whoever picked the worst of the worst, wins.

It started before we even got inside the door. We drove about half and hour east of Kansas City to this little podunk town that I frequented when I was younger because my cousins grew up there, however, the sights were much different these days. You would have thought they were giving away free punch and pie at this thing with the massive crowd that showed up. We had to park a mile away and with the giant, pre-manufactured shed of a bar looming in the distance, we skidded over snow and ice covered banks, leaped across drainage ditches and slopped through a gravel-mixed-with-slushy-snow lake of a parking lot while some guy with a mullet in a leather Chiefs jacket loudly exclaimed over and over again:


...stretching the ever popular "bullshit" into a three syllable word with a backwoods twang...impressive...but we all refrained from giving up our flags so soon.

Once inside, we all marveled at the size of the place and the "cage" where the fighters would brawl, but mostly at the sheer disgustingness of the audience - the greasy hair, the ill-fitting clothing and poorly selected fashions, the rotting meth teeth, the general lack of regular hygiene, the horrendous grammar, the raunchy behavior. I mean, I don't consider myself to be high class, but my five friends and I were quite possibly the only people in the entire bar that had bathed within the last three days and found it inappropriate to openly and seriously grope each other's genitalia in public. Needless to say, we didn't exactly fit in.

As we were standing in line for a much needed beer, the announcer came on, the lights dimmed and the speakers began to blare a familiar song, "Oh, oh Black Betty, Ram-a-lam, oh, oh Black Betty..." and I immediately spotted a flag candidate flailing dancing next to bar by her strapping, wanna-be cowboy mate. She was one of those incognito trashy ladies. At first glance, she looked better than most — fairly decently dressed, but with a slightly weathered face when you looked a little closer. I was somewhat envious of her before-8:30 p.m.-completely-shitfaced state since I really needed to be more drunk to handle this situation. As the end of song neared I watched her attempt a major sexy-time dance and gesture that only actually happens in movies.

"Ram-a-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam..." the music blared as she backed up to the bar, slid down, then up slowly in time with the music, then stuck her tongue out to catch her straw and take a drink of her booze. I saw Dave's eyes widen and he nodded yes, when I asked if he just saw what I saw. And, while Dave protested, "she's not that bad," I knew better and placed my flag.

The fights began just like any other ring-type event — with extremely hot, fit and scantily clad ladies jumping up and down in an attempt to pump up the crowd...except you can go ahead and take away the "extremely hot and fit" part for this event. I've never seen a ring girl with a more than sizable muffin top let alone one that was downright rotund. I may sound like an asshole for criticizing, but wearing two strips of fabric as clothing, then jumping around in front of a gigantic crowd is only flattering for a minute percentage of the population.

The chubby trend continued with the fighters. While I knew these guys probably wouldn't be completely ripped, I at least expected most of them to be in fairly decent shape simply from the hours of practice and conditioning. However, not one of them was without a little friend I like to call massive beer gut. Some even gave me the pleasure of some moob sightings. And, if you find that amusing, try picturing all that sexiness jiggling and rolling around on top of each other, all sweaty in tiny spandex shorts...except of course when it's jiggling, while they're punching each other in the face. Mmmm, yeah baby.

At one point, I cursed my beer filled bladder and made the mistake of venturing, along with Kate, across the bar to the bathroom during an intermission. The crowd was loud, rude, pushy, crushing and SMELLY. Along the way, while I was at a standstill smashed between Kate and a mass of toothless miscreants, some guy with a heavy hillbilly accent leaning against a second bar on the outskirts of the slowly milling crowd asked me if I was heading towards the bathroom and I was all, holy shit! No more talkie!, since his breath smelled as though a raccoon with gangrene had crawled into his mouth and died six months ago.

As we got closer to the bathroom, the crowd suddenly became unruly and I saw my life flash before my eyes as I was crushed to point where I could no longer breathe. Since I refused to die by way of trampling by a crowd of body odor ridden white trash, I bailed out to the left and waited until a path to the bathroom cleared, then made a run for it. I found Kate in the bathroom just as traumatized from the near death experience as I was. She told me that at one point, her feet were no longer touching the ground because the crowd was so squishy and she made it into the bathroom by clinging to the back of a linebacker sized woman with a greasy ponytail who threw bows through the mass with brute force while yelling, "Comin' through!" Ah, yes, I remembered that woman. Right before I almost died, her greasy ponytail smacked me in the eye then slithered down my cheek.

Other highlights of the night: Witnessing a guy taking a piss behind the change machine and watching various groups of trainwrecky men and women grind on each other while screaming 'whaaaaaaaaaaaat!'

We had to leave before the fights were over for obvious reasons and as we got closer to the parking lot we accidently interrupted a couple that would have surely banged it out against their pick-up truck if we hadn't walked up. The guy looked extremely pissed off by the disruption and immediately shoved the drunk ass girl into the passenger side of the truck while she exclaimed, "Oh HIIIIIIIII! If I had to walk all that way I would be on my aaaaaaaaaass! and he hurried to the driver's side.

When we got closer, we realized the girl was none other than my sexy time, "Stick Your Flag In It" lady and, as we walked past the truck, sexy time slurred, "If any of you are interested in girls, I have a phone number and I'm right heeeeeeeeere."

"Thanks, but I'd rather die," I called over my shoulder.

And that, my friends, is how I won the first installment of "Stick Your Flag In It."

(I still won even though I might have illegally switched my flag to a man with a wicked face tat and a salt and pepper ponytail later in the night, then switched it back to sexy time. I make my own rules, dammit. Although Dave's head to toe, sparkly, marijuana leaf-clad douchebag was probably a close second.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Welcome Home, Here's Some Death

So, I came home from interviewing a client today for my freelance job and saw two police cars parked in front of the adjacent apartment building with a police officer pacing back and forth between the cars while staring at the building.

At first I thought, OK, who punched their baby mama in the face for mouthing off? but then I remembered that I don't so much live in the ghetto, but more like in an unofficial retirement community, so that's probably not the explanation for all the coppers. As I went to pull into my garage, which is underneath my apartment and on the opposite side of the entrance to my building, I slammed on my brakes when I realized my garage was blocked by another cop car, an ambulance and a fire truck.

Now my heart crawled up into my throat and I thought, Oh holy shit! My apartment is a blaze! You know, because that would just be my luck right now. I'm starting to wonder what horrid thing I did in my past life.

Then I snapped out of my narcissistic mood and realized all the attention was aimed towards the building behind mine. Being the nosy journalist that I am, I parked my car in front and ran upstairs to open my blinds slightly and spy with my perfect view of the action. A police officer stood inside the front doorway of the apartment directly behind me, leaning against the clear storm door and opening it every once and a while to allow a gloved paramedic to run to his vehicle for more equipment. A flimsy looking gurney with a beige blanket sat empty outside the front door.

I looked down the row of garages and noticed that the other entrance to the garages was also blocked off by another police car and a fire truck. Did terrorists attack my apartment complex? What the hell is going on?

After several minutes, more paramedics emerged from the apartment carrying backboards and other equipment and began packing their vehicles to head out. Eventually I heard the big engines rev and they all drove away. I thought maybe somebody was having chest pains or something and it was probably just a false alarm since nobody was ever carried out of the apartment and carted away in the ambulance with sirens blaring.

Then, about an hour later, I heard more voices and furious knocking outside my window and I looked out to see a white mini van and two men wheeling a sturdier looking gurney into the same apartment. No fucking way.

A few minutes later, here they come with gloves on, their gurney now with a noticeable human body shaped bulge on it, all zipped up in a black bag with a single red rose laying on the chest of whoever was inside.

Dude, my neighbor totally DIED today and I pretty much witnessed it along with the aftermath. Seriously? How many dead bodies can one person who does not work in the medical field or the morgue see in a month's time? I'm kinda disturbed by this.

Of course, I drive right past that very doorway every day and I have no idea who the hell lived there — man, woman, old, young — hell if I know. Also, my neighbor below me moved out weeks ago and I didn't even notice until the handy men were re-carpeting her empty apartment the other day. Neighbor of Year right here. They should probably make me the head of the neighborhood watch as well.

Man, my life has been really fucking depressing lately, huh? Plus, I'm pretty sure the sun and warmth don't exist anymore since I haven't experienced either in months. Boo. I need a nice, sunny vaca. Shit, even a tanning bed would do wonders right now...if I wasn't so afraid my pasty ass would disintegrate at the first glimmer of UV rays.

I did have quite the experience on Friday night...MMA fight...skeezy bar...nearly witnessing a public sex act against a giant pickup truck...are you intrigued? If you're not, I'm severely disappointed in you. Stay tuned for all the sexiness.

The Wee Hours

Masked intruders, ghosts, monstrous bugs and dreams about talking black cats were just some of the neurotic bumps in the night that kept me awake as a child. When I'd finally gather the courage to roll over and slide out of bed, I'd scamper out into the hallway and down the stairs as fast as I could so as to breeze past the Hulk sized tarantula that was surely wandering around the house as the trained pet of the chainsaw wielding man that was also lurking in the unfamiliar shadows created by night.

I'd sit in the lamp lit living room and watch infomercials about food dehydrating devices and knives so sharp they could slice through rope just waiting for the glowing green numbers on the VCR to read 4:15 a.m. That magical time made ghouls and goblins vanish because I knew Uncle Pete was waking up across town to begin his morning pre-work ritual. Just knowing that my strong and protective Uncle Pete was awake brought so much comfort to my little worrisome mind that I was able to banish the bumps in the night, get back into bed and drift back to sleep.

I remember my Mom telling him about this little childhood quirk of mine once and he just laughed softly with a wry smile. Even when I was older and the uncertainties of the night kept me from sleep, Uncle Pete's 4:15 a.m. wake up call still provided the same comfort.

Now, 20 plus years later, I find myself sitting up in my bed in the wee hours of the morning, wracked with precarious insomnia from the seemingly never ending worries of this particularly troubled young adult and when 4:15 a.m. glowed green from the cable box, this temporarily forgotten memory of a beloved, gentle man surfaced. The numbers then blurred together, the childhood comfort now replaced with emotion and a happy recollection.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In The Doghouse

Ten o'clock on a Saturday morning — I usually don't see this...at least not voluntarily and I often wonder if anybody is as anti-morning as I am.

I crankily shield the bucking bronco-ing Jack Russell from jabbing my eyes out with his stick legs of death with my left elbow as I slide wearily out of bed and begin my shuffle into the world. Not unlike a newly potty trained toddler doing the pee pee dance, my murderously excited terrier is repeatedly flinging himself four feet vertically into the air, knocking into my right hip at every step and sometimes, when that particular step is lucky, my right foot also gets to be included in the abuse as 23 pounds of insanity slams down upon it in perfectly timed intervals.

The soft *thump thump* of dog acrobatics turns into *scratch, thud, clack, clack* when carpet blends into linoleum and finally into a fading and frantic *taptaptaptaptaptap* when I set the beast free into the wilderness of wooden staircases and cookie cutter shuttered living units.

In a squinty eyed and crackhead haired state, I take one step outside the door and stand, monitoring the now three legged dog below me, my arms wrapped around my shivering and all things disheveled frame. The sneaky terrier takes advantage of my drowsiness and slinks off out of sight behind the neighbor's fence. I call softly at first, then louder and finally unleash my best gravely, deep, serious voice. I'm no soprano anyway, but my serious voice is solely intimidating to a psychotic terrier — and that's only about 80 percent of the time. I feared this was one of those 20 percent times.

In summer months, I could easily bound down the stairs and stomp authoritatively down the sidewalk in my current state —barefoot, braless and generally resembling a homeless person — while yelling "Aaaaaaaaaaaaannnn-dddddddddyyyy! An-DAY!" Because I'm high class like that. Eventually I would give up and resort to the car to look for my escapee.

With frigid temps and snow on the ground, I decided to forgo the bag lady parade and head straight for my keys this time. I pulled some boots on over my jammy pants to make a fashion statement and began my hunt via vehicle. My gas light was already glaring at me from the dash as I completed my first lap around the complex.

I stopped briefly to strategize and glanced at myself in the rearview mirror. Why is it that in the morning, I always look as though somebody tried to kill me the night before regardless of my beverage choices the evening prior? Do I lay on my face weird? Do I thrash around violently in my sleep? At this point I'm just lucky I don't still have traces of white, Plaster of Paris-like zit cream dotting my mug since I've suddenly morphed back into the 13-year-old, bee stung version of myself, only worse. The unbearable stress of perpetual joblessness and the domino effect is has on every other aspect of your life causes some people to become fat. It causes me to be zitty...HATE. (Stop while all the men reading this clutch their chest and fall backwards out of their chairs in a fit of swoony bliss...You know you want me.)

One lap turns into four, a spin around the block and a peek at both sides of the nearby park. No little white flashes between apartment buildings. No phone calls. No Andy. After 20 minutes, morbid thoughts inevitably creep in. What if this is the time I never find him? Or, what if I turn the corner and he's all twitchy and bloody in the middle of the street run over by some cowboy in a diesel dually? I begin to imagine a morning wake up call that doesn't involve a Jack Russell Terrier pouncing on my head and panic sets in.

I can't handle this. Where is that little shit? My little buddy. Oh god, what if I can't find him and he freezes to death? That sweet boy keeps me sane. I seriously can't deal with anything else — I bust out of a hideous relationship, then lose my job only to find out that I'm in another crappy relationship and bust out of that one, then I can't find a job and I'm teetering on the edge of straightjacketville and dating is absolutely deplorable and I STILL can't find a job and I'm all zitty and people are douchey for no reason, then my uncle, one of the best guys in the world, just freaking dies all of a sudden and now my dog runs away for the bijillionth time and he's probably dying and rotting in a ditch somewhere and I'm NEVER GOING TO FIND HIM.



God Dammit!

I'm so tired of this! FML. No...no...shortening the phrase to letters only deflates the passion and conviction behind it's meaning. Spell it out. Say it loud and proud:



The sound of a happy melody and a vibration against my leg breaks my panicked state.


"Hi, I think I have your dog." A lady's voice says.

"OK (lets out deep sigh, pulse rate drops down from nearly 200 to 88) I've been driving around looking for him. Where are you?"

"I'm at the CVS Pharmacy. He just jumped right into my car. He's VERY friendly."

"OK, thank you, I'll be there soon."

I change course and drive the half block to the pharmacy since Andy apparently desperately needed a pack of gum and some Advil. Perfect solution for being a dumbass and running away from your nice, warm apartment when it's 30 degrees outside — just jump in some stranger's car. Any stranger will do. Great.

He flees around his rescuer's car and flies gleefully into my open door and safely into the backseat. The usual "thank you so much-s" are expressed and the "hahas" of Jack Russell Terrier jokes are exchanged before we head back to the apparent doggie prison we call home. A disheveled, feisty, slightly insane 26-year-old woman and her Jack Russell Terror — the embodiment of a love/hate relationship.

Sorry I was such a douche, Mom:

It's cool Boo Boo, Mama loves you...you little asswipe.

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