The Mouth Breather

When I was in college, back when the Internet was an primarily an IRC and not the place to find free porn by googling, “That ball with spikes on it,” intending to find a description for a Mace, not some guy wearing spikes on his ballbag, I had a group of people I chummed around with. These people, of course, didn’t include my roommate It Means Butterfly, because she spent her days hollering at me for not putting things away properly and sitting by the computer waiting for her boyfriend Dave (not The Daver) to pop up on chat.

One of my friends was a guy that I sorta kinda maybe had a crush on, James, who happened to allow me refuge in his room when It Means Butterfly and Dave made sweet, sweet, monkey love in the bunk above me. At the time, James was still pretty squarely in the closet, which means that my gaydar wasn’t nearly as well-honed as it is now.

My crush subsided, of course, as crushes are wont to do, and we became strictly friends. At least in my book.

One afternoon, It Means Butterfly happened to be out at class or something, so I had a rare moment to myself in my dorm room, which I probably spent pining for my ex-boyfriend because that’s what you do at 18. You pine for old boyfriends rather than actually enjoy your single-dom.

When the phone rang, I’d been hoping it was Pashmina down the hall who’d been trying to score some more rum so we could get properly wasted, but it wasn’t. It was my buddy, Derek.

“Hey Becky,” Derek said when I answered. “Where’s your roommate?”

“Eh,” I replied. “Not sure.”

It was quiet for several seconds, which made me want to blather on – it was an awkward kind of silence, not the sort that happens among two friends who know each other well, but something that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up like a dog.

“So….” I continued, trying to figure why he’d called me to say nothing. “What’s up?”

“Uhhhhh,” he groaned. “Not much.”

The seconds ticked by.

“How’s, um, class?” I asked, trying to begin a conversation.

“It’s (pant, pant), okay,” he said, clearly not interested in this conversation, which, to be frank, neither was I. I liked discussing class as much as I liked discussing those crappy and eerily crude forward emails my dad sent me.

Again with the silence.

“Um, so what are you doing today?” I asked him, not wanting to believe that Derek was an Uncle Pervy. I mean, this is the guy who helped me dress to go to the bar so I appeared to be older than 14. In turn, I looked like a very delightful hooker, but I thought it was hysterical.

Silence. Silence. Silence.

Grunnnnnnnt….

This was getting weird.

I began babbling because that’s what I do best when I’m awkwardly uncomfortable, “So did you hear that my dad sent me this horrible forward about some old lady and her vagina? It was totally WEIRD – I mean, he’s my dad, and Oh Em Gee, did you SEE the way Matthias’s crappy roommate has been stalking me around campus because that’s just creepers, and really I’m so hungry, wanna get some Chinese food from that shitty place that delivers and tastes like it’s probably rat meat and shit, do you think it’s actually rat meat because their beef tastes a little off and shit I wonder if that’s why it tastes like that do you think it’s actually rat meat or cat meat because either way, I feel sick to my guts now and I may need to go hork in the bathroom and did you know that someone left a bloody tampon in there because that’s so fucking gross who would do that?”

Silence.

I stopped blabbering on to see what he’d do next.

All I could hear was “pant, pant, pant, pant YESSSS.”

Fucking shit. Mouth breather. Shit.

mouth-breather

I levitated toward the phone jack, giving some laughable excuse about waxing a cat somewhere, and hung up with him.

I stared at the phone for a second before wandering down the hall to Pashmina’s room. Without knocking, I walked in:

“Dude. You’ll NEVER guess what just happened.”

————–

New post here about what NOT to do at warehouse clubs.

My Sister’s Keeper

I knew something was up from the moment I saw them in the parking lot. We were winding down from a busy Saturday night, I was scheduled to close, but my server friends were waiting for me in the bar so we could all go out together after midnight. We had the bar schedule down pat – we knew where we’d start and where we’d finish. We even had a designated driver.

(PSA: driving drunk is fucking stupid.)

The yawning front windows lot of the restaurant coupled with the halogen lights in the parking afforded us a perfect vantage point with which to watch people come and go. Generally we were too busy to pay attention to the customers, but by 10PM, most everyone had left the building for drunker pastures, which meant that there was an eerie silence where the throngs of the eating masses had once been. I could almost hear ghost forks clinking against long-eaten plates while I walked through the winding mass of now-unoccupied tables.

There were a few stragglers eating, their voices now hushed as the rest of the din had, as though a cork had been popped, suddenly dissipated. Although we were open for a few more hours, the remaining patrons were clearly uncomfortable in the silence, so they began to eat more quickly, suddenly in a hurry to do whatever activity was following dinner.

But there they were, walking through the parking lot. I hoped -in vain – that they’d be picking something up, rather than forcing me to slap on a smile and pretend to give a shit about their wants and needs for an hour.

I was tired – we’d just started clinicals in nursing school, which made me miserable, and my young son was beginning to start various therapies for his autism. I wasn’t able to attend these therapies most of the time, as they conflicted with my school schedule, which only compounded my guilt.

I studied them through the glass window, standing behind the counter of the restaurant, lost in thought. He appeared to be mid-to-late thirties, a sort of gruff blonde guy, with a warm face, the sort who you might expect to see on a cattle ranch in Montana, not a deep dish pizza joint in Chicago. Alone, he’d have been under my radar. But he wasn’t.

Next to him, curled up in his arm, was a small waif of a girl, no bigger than five feet, topping the scales at maybe ninety-pounds, soaking wet with a backpack on. Her normally brown hair was dyed into three segments – black, white, and red, and fell somewhere around her scrawny shoulders. He was holding onto her, not quite daughter-like, but not entirely sexually, either.

I guessed at her age. Thirteen? Fourteen? She’d clearly not gone through puberty, her concave chest told me that.

I continued assessing her as they entered the restaurant, asked for a seat close to the door, and were seated by my manager. Once a student nurse, always a student nurse. I’d been assessing people from the moment I crawled from my mother’s womb – reading people was how I could make fat stacks of cash as a bartender and waitress.

“Becky, it’s yours,” my manager and good friend Rosanne grinned and winked as she told me. “What a bunch of fucking weirdos. Oh, and CARD THEM.”

I went over to the table and said my hellos, studying them as I took their drink order. The girl had to be closer to twelve, although she was surly as hell. She grumbled loudly and finally settled on a water. He ordered a Mike’s Hard Lemonade. “Fucking girl drinks,” I said to myself as I carded him. “Who the fuck drinks that garbage – it tastes like carbonated piss.”

I never made a habit of checking the photos on ID’s. The one I currently had made me look like an overweight Hispanic male, who was possibly taking a shit, so I never got too into the photos. I’d check the date, do the math, and move the hell on. NO ONE looks like their driver’s license photo.

This one said the guy was 47.

“Damn,” I said to him. “You look GREAT for your age.”

He laughed a little and smiled as she glowered at me. Was that…jealousy? I couldn’t tell. I certainly wasn’t going after him – he was my patron in a crappy pizza place. Nothing more.

Besides, I ruminated as I walked behind the bar to grab his Froofy Girl Drink, she’s like twelve and he’s clearly over forty, they can’t possibly be…

No, I decided firmly as I slammed the beer cooler shut. He is NOT an Uncle Pervy. See? He’d chosen a MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE, and NOT a Zima. We ALL know that Zima is the choice of drink of Uncle Pervies (and stupid high school kids) everywhere.

Except, that annoying little voice in the back of my head, no one makes Zima. Mike’s Hard Lemonade is the New Zima. (kinda how Pink is the New Black, but alas I digress)

I placed the water and the Mike’s Hard Lemonade in front of them, studying them as they put in their pizza order. She’d barely speak. He did all the talking. If I were out with my Dad, I thought, I’d probably let him…oh yeah right. I talk paint off walls. But that’s me, this is her.

“What’s up with those weirdos?” Rosanne giggled conspiratorially as she found me at the computer, putting their order into the system. “I don’t know,” I replied. “Is it a full moon?”

A half dozen of my good friends and coworkers yelled, “YES.” Apparently they were having the night I was having.

I went back to the kitchen to start on my side work to the lilting sounds of a Mariachi Band – the kitchen staff always ignored my requests for “disco” and “Ricky Martin,” instead pumping the volume of the chortling horns to 11 whenever I walked in. Assholes.

No sense in leaving it until midnight – even if I got ten more tables, most of this shit could be done between ’em. I wiped down salad dressing containers, shuddering as I got to the thousand island. Just LOOKING at it made me nauseous. Let’s not even DISCUSS the time I accidentally dropped a gigantic tub of the shit on the floor in the middle of the summer, when it practically melted in the 100+ degree kitchen.

No sooner had I finished with the salad dressings and was moving onto marrying ketchup bottles, when my friend Nikki thundered into the kitchen. Nikki’s teeny – been a friend of mine since we were in diapers, but in this case, she, and about three other servers plus the busboy raised quite the cacophony, even over the gentle, soothing sounds of the Mariachi band.

“Oh fucks, Becky, the girl at your table, she’s DRINKING the Hard Lemonade,” she spat out. “Go do something!”

I found Rosanne, who was in the back counting bags of flour, and told her what was going on. I wasn’t about to call the cops – but that feeling of something being not right rose to a fever pitch, thudding loudly in my ears. “Something’s not right, Rosanne. I can feel it.”

Rosanne nodded as we walked to the front of the restaurant. We watched them interacting, the feeling in my gut rising, as the girl continued to try and sneak sips of Mike’s Hard Lemonade from her water glass. Eventually, I had the busboy, Eddie, fill up her water glass with water, thereby removing any hope of drinking it.

The table ate in near-silence, the two of them not interacting very much. I guess it COULD be a father/daughter thing, right? That was, until he squeezed her hand lovingly, passionately. CREEPILY.

I brought them their bill, which they promptly paid, and left me a 20% gratuity. I looked down at the signature as they pulled out of the parking lot. It read, “Dr. So and So.” The signature’s lines were both forced and clearly faked.

Clearly, the man was not a doctor, nor was this his credit card, but they’d long since left. I stood there, staring down at the signature, my coworkers loudly celebrating at the bar over shift drinks yelling at me to join them, my stomach churning and unhappy, my heart somewhere on the floor. Something was up with those two. Something. And I?

I hadn’t done anything.

I hadn’t stopped them.

I hadn’t called the police.

I hadn’t even suggested calling the police.

I clocked out and balled up my apron, the thrill of going bar-hopping with my friends long-since passed.

As I sadly poured myself a vodka/diet, I thought to myself, “sometimes I am not my sister’s keeper.”

I’ve regretted it ever since.

Go Ask Aunt Becky

Dear Aunt Becky,

There is a burning question I think we all want, no NEED, to know that answer to.

Of the Uncrustables, (which I think we can agree are all awesome) – what’s your fav?  I personally can’t get enough of the PB/Honey….

Inquiring minds want to know.

As far as I am concerned, Prankster, there IS no other flavor than the Peanut Butter/Honey Uncrustables. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that all other flavors of Uncrustables are BULLSHIT.

Knowing that you’re a fellow Uncrustable lover makes my heart happy. And hungry.

(no, this blog is not sponsored by Uncrustables, just powered by it)

Dear Aunt Becky,

I was divorced a couple of years ago when my son was 2. Since then, he has been diagnosed with a (ultimately) terminal illness that will make him progressively mentally and physically impaired.

He is unable to report abuse (or even pain – he had an undiagnosed small bone in his foot for three weeks before we figured out what was going on because he never complained or even limped) because his vocabulary is approximately 50 words, all nouns like “apple”, “water” and “chicken” to let us know he is thirsty or hungry.

I am so fearful to get out into the dating world because I am afraid of predators who would love to get into a relationship with a woman whose 5 year old is unable to tell mommy about being molested. How many dates is appropriate before tell you tell a guy you have a kid, get to know that they like you for yourself and not for your luscious little boy? Yes, I have issues.

Signed,

MPS Mom

Dear Prankster, Living with a child with such an illness must be a tremendous stress and I’m very sorry. I’d love it if you wrote about it for Band Back Together.

When I met The Daver, my son – who is autistic and, at the time, had a very limited vocabulary – was two years old. The Daver knew from Moment One that I was “Becky, the girl with a kid” because that’s the way we were introduced. Ben has always been a part of my vocabulary and I’d never once considered that he might be after me for my kid.

If and when you’re ready to date, there’s no reason you have to introduce your kid to your dates until you trust them. That’s TOTALLY up to you!

However, I believe any future relationship may run into issues if your boyfriend learns way down the line that you have a kid. Might be a little off-putting and awkward.

I’d say tread lightly into the dating world if it worries you. Good luck, Prankster.

Dear Aunt Becky;

After reading almost all of your blog posts in a week (yes ma’am I have) I have determined: a) you’re the smartest person in the universe or b) slightly off key, and either way, I am seeking your advice, because I find I am not receiving good advice from my fam.

I’m a single mom, 2 years divorced, and trying one of the oft advertised “dating” websites, and wondering: WHY THE F**K ARE MEN SUCH F**KTARDS?

Why, after speaking to me for approximately two seconds, would anyone feel is it appropriate or appreciated to tell me the how’s and why’ of their sex life and what they prefer?

I clearly stated in my profile I want to know someone longer than a minute before divulging my preferences about having the sex, so why does anyone think that is appropriate? UGH.

I am destined to be single forever.

DOUBLE UGH.

I might prefer to be single.

Thank you, Aunt Becky (btw, you’re far cooler than any of my real aunts, even though I think you may be younger than me in real life, which would be very strange.)

-Aggravated at Dating in General.

Aw, Aggravated, I’d be happy to be your Aunt. Adopting The Internet RULES, especially because I don’t have to buy it all Christmas gifts. Although since you said I might be the smartest person ever, I’ll buy you LOTS of presents. LOTS.

I’m going to make the assumption that you’re not using Match.com (read: hook-up.com) or Craig’s List to find dates.

Do you remember Penis Gate? Are you on The Twitter? If you were, you probably would.

Basically, word got out that a certain well-known daddy blogger had been sending naked weenie pictures of himself to others (people tend to email me pictures of a) three wolf moon paraphernalia or b) orchids). Like a lot.

So I made a joke about it. And it comes to my attention that THIS IS A COMMONISH THING. Which makes me wonder a) why I don’t get naked weenie pictures and b) why the fuck anyone would WANT a naked penis picture. #blech.

There are certain men (and women) out there, I suppose Prankster, that are just morons. And the availability of Internet hook-ups makes enough of them think it’s perfectly normal to be all Uncle Pervy.

Just think of it like your Pervy Uncle who goes out to weddings and tries to grind with everyone from the cocktail waitress to the wall because he thinks you want to rub up against his sweaty wang. There’s those guys out there. And the guys who kindly ask you to dance.

They’re there. Just not as….prominently.

And should you decide to remain single together, you can move on in with me. I have cats AND orchids. We can be two freaks in a house. Maybe we should learn to KNIT!

This is gonna be EPIC.

damn hippies (etc)

It’s Tuesday, Internet, which means that my column over at Toy With Me is up. Today, I’m talking about the possibility of friendship between men and women. It’s weirdly safe for work, yo.

Click the smiling beaver to be whisked away, or stick around for a rewritten blast from the mother-humping past:

—————————-

The summer after Alex was born, I decided to sort through the Tupperware coffin of loose pictures in my parents basement and take the ones that I wanted. I was tired of not having any pictures of me as a baby around and imagined huge battles between my brother and I over who got to keep the picture of our stupid dog Silas.

So, I dug in one day, and gathered a bag up.

I had lofty goals, Internet, you see. I was going to:

a) sort the pictures chronologically

b) throw out repeats/crappy pictures and

niner) place them all neatly in a book or thirty.

I got to about age 6 in my life before I threw in the towel and shoved the whole lot into a far smaller Rubbermaid bin and shoved it into a corner. My father and grandfather took pictures the way I collect orchids: obsessively. I was, apparently, a favorite target.

Years later, it’s still sitting there, collecting dust and mocking me quietly.

I shudder when I think about having to sort through the amount of things that my in-laws have saved. To call my mother-in-law a pack rat would be a grave disservice to pack rats everywhere. She is a pack rat times approximately 6,879. I don’t pretend to understand, so I just smile and nod, which seems easier to all parties involved and wins me more Daughter-In-Law Of The Year* trophies.

So I go through our house about every 3-4 months and purge the fuck out of everything, while, of course, Dave and Ben are away so that they cannot protest when I get rid of their collection of ancient reciepts and old moldering socks. It’s great for my soul.

When Alex was born, I badgered my mother-in-law in the patented Becky-Drip-Drip Method, which I liken to being pecked to death by an overly large chicken, for baby pictures of The Daver. I love baby pictures of people that I know, and I was dying to see them.

Each and every time I was met with an excuse. Turns out that in the vast multitude of boxes, she has lost them somewhere. But during a visit, she’d brought up a handful that she’d had lying around and whipped them out to show me. Turns out that Alex looked very little like The Daver. Who knew?

Having recently given up on the task of placing my pictures in an album I pulled out a stack from my own babyhood to show her.

So we flipped on and on through the pictures of Baby Becky, while I commented on my fathers’ Iranian Taxi Driver glasses and his David Crosby mustache. She’d laugh uncomfortably, obviously trying to get away from me, but having nowhere to really go, she was stuck.

Eventually, it dawned on me that I was showing my EXTREMELY CONSERVATIVE mother-in-law naked pictures of daughter-in-law. As a dimpled baby. Occasionally being nursed. But nearly always naked.

Including the bear skin rug set.

“Heh, heh, heh,” I sputtered, trying to recover from the situation and perhaps mend the ever-widening chasm between us.

“What’s up with kids in the eighties? Heh-heh-heh.”

I couldn’t stop myself.

“It’s like they were never wearing clothes. Heh-heh-heh.” Trying to salvage the situation.

“WELL,” she replied, her irritation seeping though her tightly clipped words, “Maybe not in YOUR house.”

Great, I thought to myself, just fucking GREAT, barely suppressing the laughter. Now she thinks you come from a NAKED Family. I snickered into my cupped hand.

Oh well, I thought to myself as she got up in a huff and walked away, leaving me stranded on a couch, in a pool of naked baby pictures. That’s better than thinking you came from The Jello Mold Family.

*I am the only daughter-in-law. Therefore, I have to be the best.

When “He’s My Father” Makes Everyone Feel Awkward

My family is big on traditions. Probably not the same ones that your family practices because, well, unless they make Shwetty Balls* for Christmas, it’s likely that ours may be unique to our twisted family. One of the more innocuous ones happens to be the Chicago Auto show, which comes to town every February like clockwork, and like a well oiled machine, some members of my family always go.

It’s mandatory for some, optional for others.

Members of my family have braved blizzards, ice storms and power outages to make it out for the auto show. It’s just that important. I’m surprised that Mr. (Dr.?) Darwin doesn’t have something to say about that, but let’s just leave it at stupidity clearly being genetic a genetic trait and move on.

As for me, like my parents’ anniversary, which has always ended in disaster one way or another, I tend to keep it OFF my calendar because Something always comes up. That Something changes year to year, but it’s safe to say that I’ll probably never get to go again. And not, like you may imagine, because I want to avoid it.

I do happen to have a vagina and I do happen to like both power tools and cars (lest you think me a closeted lesbian, I also like Chanel bags), and the auto show is always a blast. But many years ago now when I was 16 or 17, I went with my father and my uncle out to McCormick place and oogled cars.

Nothing like looking at cars can make a person work up an appetite, so afterwards, we traditionally go to China Town for lunch/dinner (linner?). It’s been awhile since I’ve gone with (for the aforementioned sinister-sounding Something has kept me apart) but I’d bet you that there’s a traditional restaurant they eat at every year as well.

The year I’m talking about, though, it was just my uncle, my father and I that went. My brother was off being Continental and/or Worldly and I was just pumped to be able to take a day off from high school where I didn’t have to have one of my friends call me in. And going to china town had a specific mission for me: I wanted a Kimono top.

(don’t judge)

(stop judging)

(seriously, knock that judgey shit OFF, I was COOL)

(shut UP)

My uncle had begged off, perhaps to go meet up with one of his motor head buddies–he’s an AVID Corvette Guy, which should mean something if you know any other Corvette People–so it was just my dad and I together in the store.

My father, I must explain, is one of the most modest people about the human body that I’ve ever met. I was an OOPS baby, I have an MUCH older brother, and I’d be willing to bet that my father had never imagined having a daughter, much less have to deal with her when she grew boobs. As a teenager, whenever I’d pop back downstairs on the way back to bed in an oversized shirt (nothing, I should add was hanging out), he’d scream, “ACK, PUT SOME CLOTHES ON, REBECCA!” Then he would cover his eyes dramatically and refuse to open them again until I went upstairs.

And they say drama doesn’t run in families. (don’t they?)

He’d carry on whenever I was nursing one of the babies like I was flagrantly prancing about the room in pasties and a g-string trying to give my relatives a lap dance, and it’s grown to be sort of a joke. Aren’t you glad that YOUR family is so normal now?

But the fact that I had boobies now made him uncomfortable, and while I certainly didn’t really worry about my dad seeing me in my bra since he had, at one point (although, I should mention, not for many years) changed my poopy drawers, I respected that.

So he stood very uncomfortably at the front of the woman’s clothing boutique in China Town while the owner, a very nice lady, was trying to fit my decidedly Western shaped frame (which, doesn’t Western-shaped give you the mental picture of a cowboy boot or the state of Texas? Because it does me) into a Kimono top. I probably tried on 10 or 15 until I found one that didn’t make me look stupid.

(shut UP)

I told her I’d take it, the beautiful dark blue silk shirt with those crazy-cool clasps at the neck, and she took it up front to the register to ring it up. I finished piling my layers of winter clothes back on and carefully made my way back to the front of the store. I had to contort myself into all kinds of odd angles to get past the wall-to-wall racks of clothes, but finally there I was, at the front of the store. My dad looked relieved and somewhat red-eyed from the incense that was filling the room with sweet smelling acrid smoke and he whipped out his wallet and handed me some bills.

I went up to the register, where the lady had packed my new shirt into a plastic bag adorned with the store’s logo on it and looked at my total. As I was combining bills to pay her, she leaned forward, conspiratorially about to tell me something. Wondering if she was going to mention that she had an excellent supply of either opium or switchblades, I leaned it too.

“So,” she began, quietly but excited. “Is that your boyfriend?” Hand to God, she gave me a wink as she said boyfriend. She said it with unabashed glee, like a gossipy girlfriend who is about to tell you HOW FUCKING LUCKY YOU ARE to be dating the quarterback, because, like, he’s SO hot.

My mouth flopped open like a carp and I gaped openly at her. My BOYFRIEND?

“No,” I caught my tongue. “He’s NOT my boyfriend. He’s my father.”

She stared at me, I stared back and quickly paid. I guess there’s nothing like finding out that someone thinks that you’re

a) 20 years older than you are

b) that your father is 20 years younger than he was

3) People my age could actually manage to date guys my dad’s age.

I’m pretty sure when I told him this in a furtive whisper as we left the store, that the remaining half of his hair just went made a FUUUMP sound and all popped out of their follicles in one big bang. Had I been in the process of balding myself, I have a feeling my follicles would have let ’em go too.

I was thinking of reminding him of this story until I remembered that he’d probably forgotten this one on purpose and am leaving it at telling The Internet. Because obviously.

Now YOUR turn, Internet, come sit next to Aunt Becky here on the couch *pats seat.* I want to hear some crazy awkward stories as I address these envelopes for all of you. If you haven’t heard from me at all or sent me your address, shoot me an email to aunt.becky.sucks@gmail.com. I am on the edge of my seat here, itching to know what you are going to come up with.

Well, I’m not technically ITCHING but, you know.

*beats “no cowbell” for best SNL skit by a mile

She Said I Can’t Take The Way He Sings, But I Love To Hear Him Talk

2009 BlogLuxe Awards

Part I is here and Number B is here.

I’d tried to explain to Matt, after the initial upset, that I really just wasn’t that into him. But after he’d simply call me and breathe into the phone heavily, I gave up and stopped answering the phone altogether. I had a roommate who never left the room and an answering machine to catch any other calls, so I turned into sort of a telephone-a-phobe.

Which angered me greatly. Known for talking paint off walls, the forced exile of my phoneness made me feel trapped. Feeling trapped by some creepy guy with lips like two pieces of fleshy liver made me irate.

Working in my favor after awhile was my new boyfriend. Not because he had done or said anything to Matt, but because I now had one.

Matt got the hint. Matt also got angry.

Soon enough, I was back to my telephone-o-philic ways and felt free enough to call Matthias again without fear that Matt was going to burn down my dorm. It was concrete anyway, I reasoned, but I did try and make sure to call when Matt was at class.

One night, the lot of us were sitting around plotting a trip with our new fake ID’s to the local college bar, and we decided to see if Matthias wanted to come along with us. I picked up the phone, dialed and was dismayed when Matt answered. Never one to back down even when I should, I asked to speak to Matthias.

“He’s not here,” Matt spat and slammed the phone down.

“Fucker hung up on me!” I said angrily, depressing the off button while my face flushed scarlet. “What a fucking dill-bag!” I’d been prepared to let the whole I’m-stalking-you-creepily-thing go and let bygones be fucking bygones, but now? All bets were off.

“Let me try,” Pashmina Stimpy (her name is STIMPY. I was Ren, she was STIMPY on our old blog.) took the phone forcibly out of my clenched fist. She dialed the number.

“Hi, this is Stimpy, can I please speak to Matthias?” She used her most professional sounding voice which made me crack up. She listened for a moment and then hung up. “Dude. He hung up on me, too!”

Oh hell no.

The phone was passed to Stimpy’s roommate who called. “Hi, this is Stimpy’s roommate,” she said cheerfully, “Is Matthias available?” I was beet-red, trying to stop the laughter. “Oh FUCK no,” she said as she hung up. “Dickhole hung up on me too!”

James, an RA from the guys floor below was next. “Hi Matt,” he chirped, cheerful as a clam. “This is James!!! Is Matthias there??” He practically bubbled the last sentence through the phone managing, I noticed jealously, to sound entirely sincere while doing so.

After Matt hung up on him too, we all were roaring with laughter. They’d all kept me away from Matt’s creepiness for months before and were suitably freaked out by him. But not, obviously, freaked out enough to have some fun.

The lot of us ran down the hall to my room where we persuaded Vanessa, my roommate, who was also well aware of the antics of Matt’s weirdness, to call. Like everyone before her, she was hung up on. My sides ached from laughing and the tears had wet the front of my shirt completely.

But now we’d run out of people to call him, so we headed back to Stimpy’s room to have a smoke and decide what to do next after James did my makeup so that I could pass as a 28 year old Greek chick (I was 19 and not even close to Greek). I ended up looking somewhat like a transvestite, but it was only appropriate. Calling Matt had left us all in a punchy mood, so we giggled like schoolgirls at everything.

It was Stimpy, I think, who had the next brilliant idea. And it was a brilliant one.

“Hand me the phone,” she commanded to James, who handed it over, mystified. She grabbed it and dialed while we stared at her. What the hell was she doing now?

“Hey Matt, this is Stimpy,” she cheerfully reintroduced herself. “Hey, I’d just called, and I know I asked if Matthias could call me back but, you know, I’m going out to the library now, so you don’t have to tell him I called.”

I told you it was brilliant.

One by one, we called back, asking Matt to ignore our previous request to have Matthias call us as we were all going out somewhere or another. By the time it was my turn, he’d taken the phone sadly off the hook.

The best part of the entire situation was that Matt now avoided each and every one of us like we were diseased plague-ridden rats. We’d see him walk past The Ashtray–which we were trying to fill with butts–and wave wildly, and he’d turn the other way, pretending not to see us or answer our frantic “HI MATT’s!!”

He never bothered me again.

Mature? No. Highly entertaining? Abso-fucking-lutely.

———

Stalker stories? College stories? BRING IT.

Abra-abra-cadabra, I Wanna Reach Out And Grab Ya

Back when I was in high school, I lived far enough away from the campus that I had two lone options to get to school. I could:

a) Take the bus, which was amusing mainly because people were always smoking hitters of Mary-J. This was a shining example of the coveted Wake -n- Bake.

b) Con my way into getting rides from other people as my parents refused to buy me a car of my own. Something about polluting the environment or something. I don’t know, I wasn’t listening. Damn hippies.

Since St. Charles is sprawling enough that although I didn’t live by school, I had many friends who REALLY didn’t live by school, and since, I convinced them, I was pretty much on the way, why didn’t they just stop by and pick me up?

A whole band of kids would pile into someone or another’s small ass two-door car, and off we would go to school. We’d purposefully leave even earlier than we needed to so that we could drive in concentric circles around the school, getting closer and closer until we finally arrived. This may have been the only time in my life that I’ve willingly gotten up earlier than necessary.

Why the hell did we do this? In retelling this, I don’t really know.

We’d listen to Sublime’s Sublime, or Led Zeppelin’s Houses Of The Holy, or even a sweet ass mix tape, we’d smoke as many cigarettes as we possibly could, clam-baking the car. Sometimes we’d play Student Driver and overreact like hell to random things like a Fire Hydrant, and drive slowly in the middle of the road, hands at 10 and 2, feigning intense concentration.

I guess we did it because we could. And why not?

In my senior year, due to some intense over-crowding, the school system had built a second campus, called, for lack of anything smarter The North Building. I’m certain you can guess why.

My first class happened to be in the North Building, so the Band of Merry Pranksters would gallantly drop me off there first before eking out a parking spot. Before I’d emerge from the car in a cloud of smoke and classic rock, we’d often spot one of our classmates trudging dutifully to the North Building, his monogrammed backpack slung jauntily across his back.

And without fail, we’d slip in Steve Miller Band’s Greatest Hits Album and crank it as loud as the speakers would allow, roll down the windows and scream, “STEEVVVEEE MILLLLLERR!” Half of us would hang our bodies out the window as we screamed this at him, waving frantically and exaggeratedly to him.

He’d look up at us, obviously stunned, as he was a really quiet kind of guy, and wave back at us tentatively. Almost shy.

I can only assume that the kid was named by parents who had lived under a rock for years, because seriously? Neither name is bad, by itself or together, but you hear the name “Steve Miller” and you can’t help but start to whistle “The Joker.”

Again, the obvious question here is why the hell did we do this? And the only answer I can give you is that I don’t know.

We certainly weren’t being mean or malicious or anything resembling that. None of us were like that then nor are we like that now.

I guess we did it because we could.

And as for good old Steve, who was always such a good sport? He got the last laugh: I think he went to Harvard or something.

Steve Miller, indeed.

In A Quest For Encased Meats…

We have gone to Chicago. Where, according to such reliable sources as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Abe Froman, the Sausage King Of The World lives.

And there’s nothing not awesome about the quest for encased meat. Nothing.

Back later with more reports of food porn. Or indigestion (the bacon is, sadly, still a-brewing in my guts. I might need someone to send me some TNT).

P.S. Alex is on Top Mommy. Go check him out.

Old Balls And Loose Skin

While I would have expected to find myself in a tin foil hat, hiding in the bathtub under the mattress I’d lugged in there after this second bout of spotting (third?), I’ve been pretty calm. THIS is my new normal, and until it’s been proved otherwise, I’m going to have to assume that all is as well as it can be.

As quickly as the dreaded spotting began, it stopped. And for once, well, EVER, the nurse at my doctor’s office made me feel better as she was as fairly unconcerned about the state of What Is Up Down There. I took this as a good sign.

All is well for now.

—————

I will now bring you another one from the vaults:

When I was 16 years old, I decided that I wanted a job (foolish, foolish girl), so I went ahead and got myself a job at a fairly upscale restaurant as a hostess, where my brother had at one time been the head chef (can you believe that *I* am related to SOMEONE WHO CAN COOK? Me, either). I worked dilligently as a hostess, until I turned 18, when I moved up in the restaurant industry to be a waitress. This is not, unfortunately, a rant about the Industry, but rest assured, one is in the works.

While working in the Gazebo, I met some interesting people: the biker who pulled out one of my hairs from my head because ‘œIt was bugging him;’ the old man who ordered a scotch, neat and a soda on the rocks and was angered that I charged him for the soda; and various German visitors who didn’t know to tip.

But my all time, most favoritist customer had to be Old Balls.

He came in and sat in my section with a small girl, no older than 3 or 4 who happened to be dressed in her kiddie swimsuit. Finding this a bit odd, I served them without any particular notice. They were as significant as the least significant of my tables ever had been. No compliments, no complaints, no nothing.

Until they left. On a $12 check, I had been left a whopping $2, no big deal. 18 % ain’t bad to me. Along with the credit card slip, however, I had a nasty shock.

HE HAD LEFT ME A NOTE.

Now, it happens now and again, especially with young waitstaff. Some overzealous customer mistakes your attention as a server for sexual attention, and thus I have gotten my fair share of phone numbers. Nothing too striking there. Anyone who has ever served knows to just ignore it, unless, of course you’re in the mood for a booty call. Other than the booty calls, people who leave you their phone numbers are not good for much.

I turned over the 3 X 5 card to read what he had written. Imagine my shock and horror when I realized that it was a pre-printed note, ala Penthouse stats, you know the kind on the centerfold. Now I don’t have the exact card anymore (but I wish like hell that I did; I’d have framed it and put it over our bed), but I’m going to try to reconstruct it from memory:

Hi, you’re an attractive woman who has caught my attention. My name is Richard, and I’m 56 years old. I’m 6’1′, 220, with grey hair and hazel eyes. I like to take long romantic walks on the beach, I love to play chess, and I like to read the Classics. I also like Mom’s Five Alarm Chili and spending quality time with the person I care about. If any of this appeals to you, call me anytime at (630)232-6578.

Hope to hear from you soon!

There are several things that bother me about this ‘œlove note:’

* It’s preprinted, and absolutely no thought has gone into personalizing this, not my name, no description, no nothing

* How can you feel special when you’re reading something Xeroxed?

* How many other random women have recieved one of these notes?

* I am 18 YEARS OLD. THIS GUY WAS OLDER THAN MY FATHER

* Wouldn’t you have tipped better (over 20%) if you were trying to pick someone up?

*The least the man could have done was to print this on nicer quality paper without the jagged ‘œI just cut this with scissors’ edges.

Needless to say, as I’m sure you all are shocked, I am totally the WRONG person to hand notes like this to. Not only am I 18, I’m also vindictive (some things will never change). I think poor, poor, pathetic Richard probably got about 459,005 phone calls to his private voicemail from both myself and my friends.

We’d all get in on the action, calling over and over and over night after night after night. Sometimes we’d be seductive, urging him to call us for a romantic rendezvous, sometimes we’d call and pretend to be scored women, hurt by our tempestuous love affair. I’d even get my guy friends to call and be threatening, ‘œHow could you proposition my girlfriend?’.

I hope that the oldest of the Uncle Pervy’s finally got the hint that picking up women with a shitty love note printed on crappy quality paper was just a poor idea.

Especially to 18 year old female waitresses named Becky.

The Original Uncle Pervy

After I begged you lot to help me, oh LORD help me to figure out what to write about I was asked a couple of times as to why the hell I blog. And the answer is deceptively simple.

I started blogging with my friend Chris back in 2004 after we’d come into contact with a number of, for lack of a better word, Lame Blogs. I won’t bother trying to track them down or anything just to illustrate my point, but let’s just say they committed various blogging sins:

1) They were too deep and/or meaningful

2) They took themselves too seriously (Aunt Becky’s Cardinal Sin)

3) Instead of real content, they substituted recipes, naked self portraits (yes, really), or links. Once in awhile, fine. As a substitute for content? No way.

4) Plus blogging itself seemed to me so incredibly self-indulgent, I mean, pages upon pages about YOURSELF? C’MON NOW. Who CARES what I ate for lunch (pot-stickers. Verdict? Just what the Doctor ordered).

But back in 2004, I had a stalker. Yes I did. And some of the things that he would do made Dave tell me that I needed to get a blog to chronicle the hilarity. I never did say much about it. UNTIL NOW.

I will take you back to January 2004 and fill you in on what was going on, it wasn’t anywhere near as boring as my life now. I was midway through my nursing education, shlepping my ass back and forth from school to the hospital and eventually home (my parents house) to occasionally see the Fruit of my Loins. Ben must have been…2 and I didn’t get to see much of him. My schedule was grueling.

At night and on weekends, I waitressed at a pizza joint to pay for such things as insurance for my son (Nat had been laid off and was too lazy to find real work) and diapers! Oh the diapers!

Anyway.

So, I met The Daver in 2003 via a friend (also: Chris) but we didn’t meet face to face until 2004. Pretty much instantly we started dating (a story for another day), which meant that every Tom, Dick and Harry who’d been nursing a secret candle for me began to flip out. In my relationship experiences, I’d always have a number of guys to choose from AFTER a dry spell.

I guess that when it rains, it pours, right?

So back to the Original Uncle Pervy. He was a manager at the pizza place that I worked at and he and I always got along famously. We joked around all of the time, we enjoyed our shifts together and I considered him a friend. I’ll call him Milan (a gross misspelling of his actual name).

Well, the moment he saw that I had another guy who might possibly be interested in stuffing his sausage in nasty places, he got super-territorial. Like, if I didn’t answer a text message, he’d call me 100 times leaving me increasingly desperate voicemails:

“Hello, Rebecca, this is Milan, YOUR FRIEND. Call me back!”

“Hi Rebecca, Milan again, you haven’t returned my phone call YET. Where are you?”

“Okay, I see how it is! You don’t have time for your old friend Milan. This is my last attempt at calling you.”

“Rebecca, CALL ME BACK.”

It would have been scary if he wasn’t the least threatening guy on the planet. He seriously was like an Eastern European fag hag. I would never have worried about being alone with him or anything, he was harmless and let’s be honest: I could totally take him in a fight.

He was turning out to be quite the hilariously possessive freak, tho.

Part II will air tomorrow.