But for the most part, I have really enjoyed going to school. Back to school, I mean, like Rodney Dangerfield.
I originally went to college back in nineteen and eighty-three. I went to SIU-Carbondale, majoring in Electrical Engineering. Just so you understand, because there have been some concessions and bullshit since tech schools became popular. Not a 2 year tech degree. Not a vo-tech. Actual, real, engineering. The shit is hard. It’s even harder when you’re high, and I was high alot. You think you understand calculus? Do a bong hit, then do some integration. Test your meddle.
I sure as shit couldn’t do it. Well, yeah, I could. Not that first year, though. I went two semesters at SIU-C, and flunked out. My parents moved out of shame, although they never said as much. Let’s see, my first semester, I took Calc 1, Fortran, Engineering physics, English comp. Maybe something else. Don’t remember. (see above, re: I was high alot.) I could look it up. I do know the only thing I passed was English composition. Finals week, my first finals week, my first semester of college, was the first time I ever took acid. That’s another story entirely. That Christmas break, between semesters, was filled with stony silence from my parents. I remember another guy on my floor in the dorm, though. He didn’t go to a single class that semester. Big surprise when he was didn’t come back in January. Everybody was probably just as surprised to see me back.
Dorm life was a blast.
In January, I was in Calc 2. For about 8 minutes. Two people came to the classroom, said my name, led me away. To a brand-spanking-new Calc 1 class. Also took biology. Nine am lecture, 8am lab on Friday. The only thing that got me through the class, and passing it, was getting to that 8 am lab. The only thing that got me to the 8am lab was the TA that taught the lab. Hot fucking blonde chick. Perhaps I am shallow.
Don’t remember what else I had, Except Technical Report Writing. Somewhere in one of these I had Intro to engineering, a retarded class. Big ass lecture on what it means to be an engineer. I sat in the back and snored alot. But it had a lab, technical sketching, which I tested out of and ended up in a "new," "experimental" lab, a computer lab. Remember, this was nineteen hundred and eighty-three.
We used Apple 2+’s. We called them Apple minuses. If you made a mistake, you couldn’t edit, you could only reboot. The height of technology.
The technical Report writing–jeez. Uh, had several small projects, and one big project. I didn’t turn in my rough draft for the big project, so I got no credit for it. It was practically half of my grade. I still got a C in the class. It was writing, it’s what I do. The one other thing I wanted to say was, there was a girl in this class who ended up being my college girlfriend. Heather. But that is for another day. . .
But the tech writing, and the English Comp, and the fact that I’m writing about it now, really brought home for me the fact that my high school guidance counselor steered me completely wrong. Way wrong. Off the edge of the cliff wrong.
I was interested in doing something creative or artistic. The counselor convinced me that the only jobs in art were teaching art. Well, what about commercial art, graphic design, things like that? That could’ve, should’ve, would’ve been me, if not for my counselor. He saw my grades in math and science, saw my ACT score, steered me right into engineering. It’s for smart people. Brilliant people.
And, while I agree with him about that, I am brilliant (And funny, and good looking, and humble. Don’t forget humble. )– But I think I am creative more than smart. Am I wrong? Do I need to take one of those tests?
Maybe if I had been doing something creative, getting high might not have been the detriment to my education that it had been in engineering. Who knows? But, I still know I can’t get high. Not anymore. I have been clean for about 17 years. You can never go home again, cause if you do, it’s not home anymore. Somebody else lives there, and they threw out all of your shit. (Don’t ask what this means, I’m not sure myself.)
Let’s take a hostage
What do we want?
what are our demands?
I dont follow you.
when you take a hostage, you ask for something.
How about more sand?
We have plenty.
How about less sand?
Uh–They can’t fix that, not really.
How about–pork rinds?
We dont eat pork. Or pork rinds.
We want. . . .cable?
You just dont get it, do you?
Can I get one of Saddam’s gold toilets?
Well, everyone else is taking a hostage, so I figured . . .
If everyone else went on a jihad, would you?
Okay, bad example. If everyone became a suicide bomber, would you?
Would it hurt? Would I have to die?
You’re gonna have to let her go.
Can’t we at least trade her for some Mcdonald’s, or something?
Just go, and drop and her off, and don’t let her see your face.
So they can’t identify us?
Because it’s embarrassing.
I have two conflicting thoughts on this.
One is, who in the world is trying to find me, and why? Bill collectors? Old flame? CIA? New stalker? I mean, "fan"? Reveal yourself unto me!
The other is, ever dial a wrong number, and then hang up, and the clown calls you back, wants to know who you are, and why you are calling them, and doesnt understand what it means to dial a wrong number, and they get all suspicious on you? Caller ID is not meant for some freaks. Paranoid idiot conspiracy fucks. Not you, Karl. Some other conspiracy fucknuts. But watch your back.
Just because you know my blog, doesnt mean you know where I am. Unless you can figure out my IP address.
And then from there figure out where I am. And then from there, come and visit me in the middle of the night.
And stab me in the eye with a butterknife.
I tried to calculate how many miles I have. I did it several different ways. I am 41, been driving for 25 years. Been through many cars. Used up many cars. Used up? Yeah, if you drive it to the junk yard, or leave it on the side of the road, you have used it up. Let’s run down the list of cars I have had:
70 GMC pickup
74 Ford Galaxy
74 Ford Maverick–the original stump-jumper
77 Chevy Chevette–puke green, no less
83 Ford Escort–changed the clutch more than I changed the oil (twice)
85 Chevy Celebrity -didn’t every body have one of these?
79 Toyota Celica
80 Chevy Citation–a real POS
86 Pontiac Cutlass Cierra
88 Pontiac Cutlass the sportier one
86 Jeep Cherokee –When the Cierra caught on fire
89 Dodge Caravan
90 Ford Ranger
94 Grand Caravan
97 Pontiac Grand Prix
01 Ford Ranger
The last two are the ones I have right now. Some of these cars only lasted a year. To the month, in fact. I bought the Celica for 400 bucks, used it to deliver in, lasted form November to November. Any way I calculate it, I have about 1.5 million miles. In the last twenty years in the restaurant business, about half of I spent as a manager, the other half as a driver, or as an assistant that drove also.
I have more miles in the snow and rain than most people have total. I have driven in everything. Blizzards. Rain you couldnt see through. Tornados. (Not on purpose–God, that was stupid.) Ice, and other conditions where people were told to stay off the road, I was out there, delivering pizza to fuckers. I mean customers. I have worked in over 2 dozen locations, some of which arent even open anymore. As a result, I know parts of the Metro east, all of north County (north of 70), and all of St Charles–like th back of my goddamn hand. Really, the only part I dont know that well is the city proper, and the south county area. I still know my way around them, and I can learn what I need to know.
And this is a skill that I have, that I have developed. I describe myself as a "geographic savant." I still know where everything is, even though I havent worked in some of those areas in a decade. Even the store I work in now, I haven’t driven in several years. And it is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation, by the way. We are constantly updating our maps.
And still–drivers that have been here for over a year, driving every day, look at their next run, and invariably ask, "Where is this?" Every time–EVERY TIME–I can go right to the map and point to the street JUST LIKE THAT. WHy do I know this and the drivers dont? It’s just one of those things that I dont understand why other people cant do it. I remember the geometry of a map, in my head. I’m like Rainman, with a map.
I am the reason why men don’t ask for directions. Because they all think they are me. I don’t ask for directions because I don’t get lost.
As I explained to my friend, the Dude, I am on my (hopefully) last semester of school. One class is slightly hard, the other is an intro class that I had accidently passed up a year or two ago, so now I have to take it to graduate.
It’s an intro class, program design and development, which you normally take BEFORE you take any programming language classes, like Visual Basic, or C++, or Java. I’ve had VB, plus a little bit of the other languages as well, enought to be familiar with them. The new concept in college is "groups." You need to be in a group in college. Especially as an adult, scared, out-of-place, needing someone to hold your hand, you need to be in a group of other lost adults for support and guidance. Whatever. I didn’t really want to be in a group, but I found myself in one anyway. Two guys, both of whom have computer experience. One has a consulting company with his wife, I think. The other works for Mastercard in the computer networking department.
So these two clowns, who have experience with computers, totally don’t get programming. They have difficulty finding their asses with both hands and a flowchart.
The one guy, the guy who works for Mastercard, asks a lot of questions in class. But his questions dont make any sense. Since I don’t expect the reader to automatically know anything about computers, I shall explain using this analogy:
The instructor owns a grape orchard. he hires all of us to pick grapes. Some of us ask questions like: How full do you want these bags? You want them to go straight on the truck? When is our break? how much do we get paid?
All questions that make sense.
Jeff is shaking his head, this is going way to fast for him. He doesnt understand. The boss says, "you have a question, Jeff?"
"Yeah, I do." He has his arms up and out, because he wants EVERYTHING to stop so he can catch up. "Let me make sure I understand this properly. Are these grapes always going to be round?"
Yeah, that guy is in my group. He’s worked the orange grove, the apple orchard, the blueberry farm. We get to the grapes, and he’s completely fucking lost. Every day, somebody (usually me) has to wander into the grape orchard and find him, hold out some beef jerkey, and lure him out. He’s six feet tall, the grape vines are four feet high, but he can’t look up to see over them to find his way out. I am working two jobs, have a house and a rental property to look after, not to mention a family, and wife with a broken foot that I now have to care for, and I don’t need the added burden of babysitting a fucking adult who should know better. Call me elitist, I don’t care. I have no patience for stupidity. I sit next to him in class, and my whole body convulses with a groan as he brings the entire class’ progress to a screeching halt to ask a ridiculously obvious question, and then he doesnt even believe the instructor when he gets an answer. How the HELL can you doubt what you DONT EVEN understand?? AARRRGGHH!!!
Where is a goddamn grenade launcher when you need one?
She called me on the phone the other day, while I’m at work. I see it on the caller ID, and I know. I know it’s coming. I don’t remember how it started, but I remember when she cried. She said, when I said what I did, it sounded like–I didn’t love her. And that’s when she said what she said, and I left.
I didn’t mean it like that, I really didn’t. I don’t think I did. She plays such a hard ass all the time. But then she was vulnerable, and she actually needed me. She doesn’t need me much. She said she was sorry, but of course I apologized first.
Aarrggh. Fine. I turn around and head back. I’m already almost 15 minutes away. I turn around, I get home, and she is outside, on the bench. The snow is practically all melted. There is no ice anywhere, except one little patch on the driveway that looks mostly like water. How the hell did she find it? Christ!
She says, "I need to go to the hospital. I think I broke my ankle."
I say, "Well, Goddamm. Okay–"
She immediately jumps all over me because, I guess, my reaction wasn’t right away full of concern and compassion. Mostly, I wonder how the hell it happened. Pretty stupid, if you ask me. It’s right there.
But she yells at me. "You know what? Never mind! GO! Leave! GO to work! Just go! Fuck you! If people would take care of things the way they were supposed to, the ice wouldn’t have been there. I’ll have Melissa (our older daughter) take me to the hospital! Go to work! Leave!"
I a) didn’t react the way she wanted, and b) am to blame for the ice being there.
So I left. Turned my back, and walked away. I don’t know if she’s still there, in the goddamn yard, or what. I have to work my second job tonight, too. So, I left at 630 am. When I get home tonight, around 11 pm, if she is still in the yard, then I’ll fuckin take her to the fucking hospital. Fuck.
I’m not going to get into the question as to whether it is society, or if it’s society’s reflection of how women are. They are self-conscious and self-defaming when it comes to their body and body parts. Tits are too big, too small, too round, too flat, too perky, not perky. Ass too round, sticks out, sticks in, shaped funny. Every possible part, a woman is going to be pathetically self-absorbed and obsessed with the imperfection that lies with that part.
Luckily for them, men dont see them that way. No matter how unattractive a woman feels, a man is going to like them, or that part that the woman doesnt like. the problem is, the man can’t vocalize that, which is exactly what the woman needs to hear.
So I just want to tell all of you woman out there: You look very nice today. Especially you. You know who I mean.
Having said that, how women feel about their whole body, take that to men and focus it on one part. One part. THE part.
Guys could give a shit less how their ass looks. Or their abs. Balding? Yeah, so? Hairy back? Damn straight. Fat? You betcha. Look at your–
DONT SAY IT!
Its the only part we’re sensitive about. In many ways. So, when I heard yet another story about a woman who cut off her husband’s wa-who, it occurred to me–
And by the way, when it started with Lorena Bobbitt–did it start with her? That’s when it first made the news, that’s for sure. SInce then, other stories, you’ve seen them, of other woman doing it, and in some instances, men doing it to themselves. What the hell is going on in this world? Yikes!
But I heard yet another story, this time in Russia somewhere, the woman cuts off the main guy and the two sidekicks, and then tosses them out. Who knows if this is actually "justified" or not, not going to get into that question. My entire point is this: when I look at the profile of the type of woman likely to do this, I see my wife, and I get a little scared. I could wake up dickless and bloody one day, and not really know why, or what I did.
But I do know one thing.
From now on, I am not "forcing" myself on her anymore–
, or even making a suggestion, or any sexual overtures of any sort, anymore. She doesnt want it, not near as much as I do, and I feel all the time like I’m making her do something she doesnt want to do. Besides being really good for my fucking ego, I am getting tired of the hurt feelings (mine) and disgusted looks (hers). And it is only a matter of time before she takes matters (or a knife) in hand.
Fuck it. I’m done. I may not use it any more, but I want to keep it. Poor little guy.. ..
I have a long drive to work, and this morning was longer than usual. This is what I thought about for an hour and a half.
So there I was. And then they gave me some “help.” This chick named Marie, and her husband Oscar. They were a dirty, scraggly pair. I think the guy had at one time been normal, but the woman, she brought him down. She was not real bright, and it showed when she talked. Slowly. Methodically, to make her stupid points. Arrgh. To think back to what I endured.
I was the manager, with all this experience, I’ve been around, husband and father myself. She still felt she could be the mature, knowledgeable mother figure. Faah! Ever listen to someone stupid give advice on life?
I actually knew her first, or at least previous, husband. His name was Jim Parsons (I have no problem using people’s real names. Like I give a shit. Yeah, I’m like that.) and he had worked at the previous franchise with me before. We worked together on occasion, but usually at different stores. I remember seeing him if I had to got to the store he worked at (we were both assistant managers at the time–late 80’s) to borrow some dough or something. He had just gotten there typically, but looked as though he slept there. Dirty clothes, dirty uniform, unkempt hair sticking through dirty hat. Dirty wrinkled jacket. Smelled of smoke and flour. I remember he used to always say that if he got a day off he would go look for another job. He wanted us to think he worked harder than anyone.
Eventually we were working at the same store, with Steve Woods as manager. Parsons liked to go out with strippers. Or maybe that’s all that would go out with him? Especially the cut-rate, cheap, whorish, green-teeth-and-stretch-mark-having, needle-marks-in-the-arm bearing, fifty-cent strippers. He stopped by work one day with his latest *girlfriend*, your standard green-toothed stripper from the cut-rate strip club on the east side (in this instance, the east side means East St Louis, the outskirts of which is a haven for strip clubs. Not allowed in the actual city of St Louis, or the ‘burbs thereof. If you come to St Louis, and someone mentions the east side, they mean the strip clubs) for us to meet.
She is standing slightly behind him while we are chatting from behind the counter, and she is winking at us, sticking her tongue out seductively (?) at us, just in general doing a little dance for me and Steve, while Jim faced us, talking. Finally they leave. Me and Steve turn to each other at the same time after they leave, and at the same time say, “She’s a whore!” So several years later, Marie is working for me. She said, “You remember Jim Parsons?”
I say, “Yeah, I knew him.”
She explained that they had been married, but had since divorced.
“Hmmn.” I don’t want to engage her, but she is unrelenting in her desire to share.
“Because he’s went prison.”
“Because he molested my daughter.”
“He killed himself a few months ago.”
At this point I’m wondering if she is just making shit up? But it turned out to be true. I mean, some people live on misery and pain. Some people thrive on it. She is that type exactly. Just so she would have something interesting to say, never understanding how she got into a given situation. I mean, she really didn’t understand things. Chances are good that she was complicit at least by neglect in the molestation of her daughter.
Like I said, she was dirty. When she was working there for me, my eight-year old son got lice. This is a normal thing to happen. My wife freaked out, and checked out everyone, looked us all over. I had it worse. That means it came from me. So my wife checked out the dozen some-odd employees I had at the store.
Generally, you take the nit comb, and comb through the hair and look real hard, and you find them. Nobody, nobody, nobody. She got to Marie. Marie said, “I’m pretty sure I don’t have them, I don’t have any of the signs.” She did have scraggly red hair.
My wife turned the comb once in Marie’s hair and backed away. Utter and complete infestation. Not the kind you had to search for, the kind that was obvious from a distance. Shit, my head is itching just telling this. Oscar had them too, not quite as bad. I told our supervisor, and she approved for me to get the necessary supplies and charge them to the store. My wife went into high gear, sanitizing and spraying everything, putting clothes and things into plastic bags and putting them in the dryer, doing the sheets, the clothes, I sprayed the cloth seats in my car, we did everything. I had been at this store for three months, and had just put in my notice to leave.
I had to wait three months, to make sure I got all of the good bonus checks from my last store, because there is an unexplained 3-month hold-back on bonuses. But I got the last one, and had given my supervisor one last shot to get me out of there–and she didn’t–so I told her I was quitting, and she accepted it like she knew. She probably did. Fuck it. So I had two weeks left.
I did tell her this: “Look, we took care of it–The lice. I probably got it from hanging my jacket over hers on the back of the chair in the office. But we took care of it, and it’s gone. *We* won’t get it again. But they will. She’s still in denial about having it, which means she didn’t do anything at home to get rid of it. I’m sure…they have a lovely home. But this is not my problem, not any more. I’m outta here.” Of course I came back to Domino’s about a year later, but I never saw Marie again. Never saw Oscar again either, because he died. She had a way of using people up. Her daughter, the one that had been molested, was now 14 and about to get married. Marie condoned this. The boyfriend was a stupid, tragic, inbred clown perfectly suited for their family. The molestation, as I heard about it, sounded like it happened as a result of Marie’s poor decision making, and continued longer than it should have because of the same. I heard more about her story and her life and her problems than I ever care to hear. It was the first time I really felt elitist. I’m not a high class snob my any means, but it wasn’t just the lice; that was a mere indicator.
These were dirty, stupid people, living dirty stupid lives, making dirty, stupid decisions that kept them in their dirty stupid hole.
And I am better than they are. God help me, I am.