Adventures in Being Neighborly

August 7th, 2007 / #funny stories, #random

My apologies for not writing as often as I should have for the past few weeks, but I have been a working man. I look after about 15 of Clearwater’s finest children. I use the word “finest” very, very loosely, but in this case, it’s beside the point.

I’d like to tell a little story of a fun excursion I had just the other day. As you know from the Great Dress Fiasco of 2007, my pastor is a woman. As such, she sometimes has to solicit the assistance of other folks as she goes about her papal business. Last Friday was one of these days.

I was so looking forward to shipping the little troublemakers out with their parents at 3:00, but I had no idea about the fun I was about to have. At about 2:45, I was approached by this woman of God. She asked if I would accompany her on a Godly mission to pick up a man and take him to the doctor. Naturally, I said yes because in this day and age it’s never a good idea to send a woman out in a cruel world of vicious predators.

The guy we had to pick up was located at the local Motel 6. He said he had come from LA and called our church because he belongs to Hollywood Christian, a church of the same denomination as mine. He traveled down by train to visit his family in Palm Beach, and hitchhiked to Clearwater from there. He needed a prescription from the doctor to keep him alive on the trek back. Oh, did I mention that he was gay and had AIDS? Yeah, that was sort of awkward.

We went downtown to the only doctor that would see him. The office was a little mobile home shack in the middle of the ghetto, filled with gangstas and whatnot. Anyhow, long story short, our AIDS-ridden friend was addicted to narcotics and wanted some drugs. I guess this makes me an accessory?

Well, how was I supposed to know there were two dresses?

July 16th, 2007 / #funny stories

So, the other day Mother sent me on an errand.

See, the preacher at my church is a woman. Coincidentally, she and my mother had, at one point, owned the exact same dress. Mother thought this was particularly amusing. Anyhow, the dress does not fit Mother anymore. This is actually particularly convenient, because my preacher’s dress was ruined when it was accidentally washed with one of her young son’s crayons. It was the preacher’s birthday last week. Mother wanted to give the preacher her dress to celebrate this momentous occasion and to replace her sullied garment.

Mother insisted that I dry clean the dress, though, as we don’t want to go to Hell for giving a woman of God a dirty dress. So, Mother gave me a three piece ensemble to take to the dry cleaners and then drop off at the church office. I did just that, but the preacher was not there when I dropped it off. No worries, I left it with the secretary.

Yesterday, Mother asked where the second of the two dresses I took to the dry cleaners was. Two dresses? Oh, crap. Now I have to find some tricky way to get the second dress back from the preacher.

Forgive me, Mother, for I have sinned…

Every Freshman’s Worst Nightmare

April 30th, 2007 / #college, #funny stories

Today was a normal day. I got up at 10:30, watched Cold Pizza on ESPN, took my shower, and was beginning to loaf around when I got a text message from my good buddy James: “That was a hard test.” Naturally, I assumed he was talking about the morning version of the Macroeconomics final. I thought this to be rather unfortunate, because I knew I would have to take the nighttime version at 8:20 tonight. But then I thought to myself, “Gee, self: it’s 11:30. If James were to take the morning version of the final, he would have finished around 9:30. His text message is a bit late, unless…”

Oh, God.

Oh, God.

Oh, God.

I quickly looked at the syllabus. There it was: the only version of the final offered today was scheduled to be administered at 10:00. I threw on a shirt, slapped on my flip-flops, and proceeded to find a previously unknown-to-me fifth gear in my little four cylinder Ford Focus as I raced across the city, on my way to beg someone to let me take a test for which I was sorely unprepared. I made it to school by speeding down 13th Street, going over the curb and the wrong way down a one-way street, and parking illegally in a faculty lot outside of Mallory Hall. Angus was walking to his room and greeted me. I just said “Hey!”

I took off my flip flops and ran as fast as a fat guy can run clear across the campus to where the test was being given. I couldn’t really communicate with the TAs in the room at the time – I was out of breath. They told me to go to Professor Dave Denslow’s office and wait. I did this, and as I walked into Matherly Hall, I noticed that I stunk. No, I reeked. No matter. If I didn’t get to take this exam, I fail the class. And I had only taken 12 credits this semester.

I skedaddled up the stairs to good old room 218, where I was pleasantly surprised to see more than one person in my position. I stated my case to the TA on duty, who then told me to wait. Fifteen minutes later, I was taking a rather difficult Macroeconomics final. I am going to be penalized 15 points for my inability to comprehend test times, but I guess that this story will serve as a warning to those inept fools like me who don’t care to read their syllabi.

Why you shouldn't drink soda before bed

March 9th, 2007 / #college, #funny stories, #television

The other night, I had nothing better to do with my nocturnal schedule, so I tuned into the local politics channel. They usually have replays of Alachua County commission meetings, live Florida Senate and House sessions, and the like. I kind of banked on the fact that this channel would be so boring that I would be able to fall asleep like a baby. I was wrong.

On the tube was, perhaps, the longest City Planning Commission meeting to have ever occurred. The docket was full of issues, but I happened to start watching in the middle of a proposal to rezone some rural residential land into commercial land for some utilities company, complete with a tower so that the business hub could communicate with their utility vehicles out and about in the field. Simple enough, right?

Wrong. I don’t really care to get into the specifics of the debate, since it’s pretty well boring and arguments lasted for (literally) hours. I just want to give a quick once-over of the good folks on the Alachua County City Planning Commission, who are, for all intensive purposes, as varied as the topics they discussed that evening.

First, we had Poor Statute Guy. This poor guy had to rattle off statutes and procedural rules to the otherwise uninformed members of the commission for hours. When his peers didn’t like what he said, they fought with him. But I mean, come on – Dude was just reading the rules.

Then, Hippy Environmental Activist. You know the kind: long hair, no tie, insists that society would be far better if we still traveled by horse and buggy, probably eats Hare Krishna Lunch.

Now, New Age Beatnick almost always agreed with Hippy Environmental Activist, which is convenient in that they sit next to each other. This guy reminded me of a thirty-something kind of guy who tries to be socially aware to impress college students. He probably also likes Matchbox 20.

Then, it got interesting. Presiding over the meeting was Skinny Jewish Conservative. Skinny Jewish Conservative was a curious fellow because not only did he disagree with Hippy Environmental Activist and New Age Beatnick, he fought against everyone (even Joe Redneck, who we will examine next).

Joe Redneck didn’t talk much. But when he did, he would insult Hippy Environmental Acitvist and New Age Beatnick in an effort to support his favorite utilities company; I guess he wasn’t a fan of Gainesville Regional Utilities, I’m not sure. I picture Joe walking out after the meeting to his 1989 Chevy 4×4 painted to look like the General Lee ‘69 Charger of Dukes of Hazzard fame.

Next down the line came Jose “Conflict of Interest” Perez, a Hispanic man who could barely speak English but abstained to vote on the proposal because his law firm had somehow landed the representation of one of the parties involved. Interestingly, this refusal culminated in the failure of a plurality after the voting process. This made me quite mad, as I had devoted almost three hours to watching these folks debate this proposal.

Sitting next to Jose Perez was the only Black Guy on the commission. Incidentally, he was the only cool guy on the commission. He waited until all the squabbling was over with between Hippy Environmental Activist, New Age Beatnick, Skinny Jewish Conservative, Joe Redneck, and Jose “Conflict of Interest” Perez to weigh in with a highly uninformative, unclear position. I say he was cool because he seemed to be above the commission process and it became clear to me that as the meeting proceeded, he ultimately came to the conclusion that becoming a member of this body was a mistake.

…Almost as big of a mistake as my decision to watch this meeting in the first place.

Here, Fishy Fishy

June 5th, 2006 / #friends, #funny stories

Last night, I went fishing with my good buddy Angus.

We loaded up Dad’s old pickup and headed out at 9:00, not leaving the pier until 1:30 in the morning. Now, I am not afraid to admit that I am not a trophy fisherman. In fact, something the television never taught me were the harsh reality of an angler’s life: expensive shrimp, slimy fish, and the pressure of watchful and knowledgeable eyes on the dock.

First off, I didn’t know how many shrimp to get. So I went with three dozen.
“I’d like three dozen medium shrimp, please.”
“We only have jumbo.”
“Okay, I’d like three dozen jumbo shrimp, please.”
“That’ll be $18.00.”
“Ooooooooh. Okay, I guess.”
So, I overshot the amount of jumbo shrimp we would need. Who knew? If those last 15 shrimp had lived through the night in the cramped recesses of my outrageously small bait bucket, they’d be really relieved that I let them go at the end of the night. But they didn’t. So they weren’t. Oh well.

And secondly: why in God’s name did God decide to make these fish so ungodly wet and slimy and icky? I know I sound girly and all, but good golly. These things are so gross! So, I left all the fish touching to my good buddy Angus. I know, he is more of a man than I will ever be. But without the soft, sensitive type of person that I have come to represent, how would Jerry’s Kids ever make any money? You think big, burly lumberjack types would add a dollar to their purchase of maple syrup and whiskey at the local Walgreen’s? I think not.

Coincidentally, one of these big, burly lumberjack types was at the pier last night. And he was quite the fisherman. You could look down the wooden structure to see this fat dude, sitting on his cooler, watching his four fishing poles and smoking his Lucky Stripes. It’s guys like this that make me wary of repeating the fishing experience. Here I am, flinching when grabbing my overpriced jumbo shrimp and trying to catch anything, and there’s this guy eyeing me up who actually knows what he’s doing. I get embarrassed easily, what can I say? I would much rather have been on my own pier, completely devoid of big, fat, burly guys named Phil who probably live in their mothers’ basements.

So, over four hours later and after hooking a baby shark (which, by the way, was ferocious) and what appeared to be a little redfish (which, by the way, was comparably ferocious), Angus and I decided to pack up and go home.

I have a newfound respect for the good people of Long John Silver’s.

The Sexiest Driveway in Clearwater

February 24th, 2006 / #funny stories, #highschool

Getting up at 5 A.M. daily can take its toll.

Take for example when I walked out to my car this morning. I thought it was a bit drafty. I looked down. I had forgotten to put on a shirt. I said to myself, “Self, you should probably go put on a shirt.”

I sat in my car for three minutes trying to regain the energy to walk back inside.

The one that got away

August 9th, 2005 / #funny stories, #girls

The other night, there was no milk in the house. This does not bode well for a certain pair of parents I know, as they enjoy a few cups of milked-up coffee every morning. So, they sent me out to the store with three dollars to pick up a quick gallon before I went to bed.

I traveled two blocks to the local Walgreen’s, whereupon I was able to find a gallon of whole milk on sale for less than two dollars. I took it from the freezer and made my way to the cashier.

She was a nice looking girl of about twenty two. Not too tall, and certainly not worthy of such a menial position as a cashier at a twenty four hour drugstore. Either way, I gave her my milk and proceeded to pay her. Thus began one of the sadder confrontations of my life.

She asked, “Do you want your milk in a bag?”

“No, it’s already…”

I was stumped. I didn’t want a bag. But I needed to justify my intentions somehow. So I ended my sentence in just about the stupidest way possible, hoping that she would either ignore my musings or be fooled into mistaking them for humor.

“No, it’s already in a carrying… uh… container.”

I knew it was over for me. My cover was blown, and it was obvious that I had been one quip short of success that night. She immediately and quite sarcastically shot back, “That was a really funny joke. No, really.”

Hoping that we could put the past behind us, I attempted to speed up and move on with the transaction, but to no avail. “No, really. That was _really_ good. You’re a funny guy. Really.”

I thanked her and then left, knowing well that there was yet another woman that would never take me seriously, all thanks to an ill-contrived one-liner.

It's how you play the game

July 9th, 2005 / #family, #funny stories

If you’ve never played The Penis Game, you are either above the age of 20 or a total loser. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the sport, here’s a quick 411:

One person says the word “penis” in a public place. Another person, having accepted Player One’s challenge, then says “penis” at a higher decibel. In variations of the game, another person is generally the unofficial judge and confirms whether or not Player Two’s exclamation was louder. The two players each repeat their turns and the loser is the person who lacks the confidence to continue shouting the sullied word.

Now, my family is a unique bunch. We’ve been playing for years, and my mother is almost always our competition. She never misses a good round of The Penis Game.

Yesterday, the family was in the state capitol, and when we entered the solemn sanctuary known as the Florida Supreme Court, I couldn’t help myself. I nudged my mom and the contest was on.

Though the game was very short lived (as my mother was far too embarrassed to play in such a setting), it was very exciting. Needless to say, after all was said and done, I was the champion. Yes, folks, that’s right – I was the victor in the highest court in the State of Florida.

That’s one down, 49 to go.

Swingtown

June 18th, 2005 / #friends, #funny stories

Yesterday, I spent a good deal of time carting my great friend Ying around town because she needed a chauffeur whilst her car was being repaired at the Honda dealership in Pinellas Park. Because we were in South County already, we decided to make a stop at her “favorite fast food restaurant”:http://www.evos.com/home.cfm and then, because we are a couple of crazy kids, we found a nifty park wherein we could play on the swings.

I swear, these swings were like rocking death seats. With every glide back and forth, these things would let out a piercing sound that, from what I could guess, resembled the mating call of a blue whale. The seats were so low and awkwardly bent just enough to make the pain in our butts noticeable without actually causing them to go numb after a few minutes of swinging.

Other than that, though, the overall swinging experience was fun. That is, of course, until it tuckered us out – an occurrence that didn’t take ten minutes to become a reality. At the end of our swing session, my biceps were strained from grabbing, by legs were dead from kicking, and my ambition was ripped at the seams. I just wanted to sit on a bench somewhere.

Seriously, how do little kids do it? They can tackle monkey bars, teeter-totters, slides, and swings like they claim the local playground as the primary residence on their 1040 form in May. They must be little balls of insane amounts of energy. Either that or they constantly snort cocaine.

The pain means it's working

June 9th, 2005 / #funny stories, #pictures

Today, I was just minding my own business and sitting at my computer when all of a sudden I leaned back and my computer chair broke in half. Literally. My head hit the tile floor, my legs and feet kicked up and slammed against the bottom of the table upon which my PC sits, and a slew of extra computer chair parts began digging into my body.

!http://www.sociallyconsciousbird.com/storage/images/chair01.jpg!

Perhaps this is God’s way of telling me that I spend too much time using the computer.

  • Who I Am

    I'm a nobody from Florida with things to say (sometimes).

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    This is a not-so-detailed account of my adolescence over the course of almost a decade. Here, I shared my thoughts about things of no real consequence while at the same time being reckless with semicolons and flowery language.

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