Thursday, April 29, 2010

Frat House Memories, A Cautionary Fable (Part 3 of 3))



Following Eric’s reaction to my newly acquired lodgings I nearly didn’t ask my parents to help me move in for fear of them calling the health board to shut the place down, but their reaction was quite the opposite of disgust: they were downright enthusiastic to help me move. My mother was babbling a mile a minute when I told her of my decision, extolling the virtues of getting out on one’s own.

“Oh Kenny that’s so wonderful!” she exclaimed, taking my clothes out of my drawers and stuffing them haphazardly into brown paper grocery bags. “You’re going to make new friends and have new adventures and have such a wonderful time! I’m so excited for you!”

She had emptied my entire dresser and was eyeing the space it currently occupied (and would conversely free up when I left) with a look that could be easily mistaken for drug induced euphoria. When she moved to my closet and began sliding all my hangers together for quick removal I felt the need to stop her.

“Mom,” I said, hoping the combination of tactile stimulation and verbal address would bring her to the present. “I’m not moving out today.”

Her head snapped around as if she had been rear ended on the highway and the look on her face was what you might expect from someone who had: a mix of anger and confusion tinged with a bit of sickness.

“Oh,” she said, disappointment apparent and unconcealed. “Well, whenever you’re ready, your father and I are ready to help. Sure you don’t wanna move your bed, dresser, and some other small stuff today?” That was encouraging.

Whereas my mother was decidedly catholic and indirect about the situation, my father was straightforward and about as subtle as right hook.

“It ain’t no secret I like to have my “eggs” in the morning,” He said, eyeing me warily as he cracked open his morning Coors-in-the-yellow-can. “and the quicker you get to movin out the quicker I get to be doin what I like. Catch my drift?”

I nodded vigorously although I had absolutely no idea what he meant. I had never seen my father eat anything but Coors Heavy in the morning for as far back as I could recall.

Did I mention my dad is a black man? I can see how the Coors heavy would confuse some readers if they didn’t know that. Did I mention that my mother is a white woman? I figured the reference to Catholicism a few pages back would make white or Mexican the only viable options.

Did I mention that I’m a biracial child? I’m not sure if that’s the proper terminology for my condition, as I’ve heard so many over the years. Let me list some of my favorites.

- Oreo
- Blackinese (because of my squinty eyes)
- Wack (a clever mix of white and black)
- Half-rican

I apologize if I’ve destroyed the notion of the main character you've already formulated in your mind's eye, but you’re going to have to put aside that blonde-haired, blue-eyed, cargo-shorts-wearing, pop-collared, titled-visored, flip-flopped, WWJD-braceleted, jeep-driving, Abercrombie dipshit if you really want to enjoy this story.

This is the tale of a Half-rican named Ken and his experience as a frat boy, er, man. Frat man.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Frat House Memories - A Cautionary Fable (Part 2)



My mind made up, I marched past the still babbling form of Eric Fox and straight to the RA, lighting up what must have been his twelfth cigarette judging by the size of his initial drag. Eric was close behind, desperately trying to talk me down from the ledge that was this frat house dorm room.

“I’ll take it.” I said, handing him the pre-made out check for two hundred and fifty dollars and ignoring Eric. I had decided long before I got here that I was moving in.

He glanced briefly at the check and stuffed it in his pocket, producing a key in the same hand as it came out of said pocket.

“Cool man.” He said with the cigarette dangling from his lips as he handed me the key. “It’s all yours ‘til school starts. Your roommate doesn’t move in ‘til then.”

“Suitemate.” I corrected him. “There’s two of us in the suite conjoined by the bathroom right?”

He looked at me like I had asked him to shave my back.

“There’s two of you in a room. Four of you in a suite. I gotta get out of here. See you next month.”

He turned and walked away so rapidly, he created a vacuum that whisked the cigarette smoke away with him. Two guys in that one little room? There was barely enough room to turn around without smacking into two walls at once. Four men sharing one bathroom? It would be like a Sports Arena restroom, but in my house. I suddenly wasn’t so sure I could go through with this.

I tried to halt him, to ask him if he was serious, but only a string of unintelligible sounds came out. On top of that, he was all but gone. He had managed to cover roughly fifty yards in about two seconds. I dimly wondered how a smoker could be so nimble. It was no use, even if I had managed to make an intelligent query he probably wouldn’t have heard me anyway: My words would’ve been completely drowned out by the maniacal laughter of the suit-clad imbecile behind me.

Part 3 incoming this wednesday

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Frat House Memories- A Cautionary Fable (Part 1)




*The Ides of March got me. I know I've really been slacking on the blog, so I present to you a special treat: The first chapter of my college memoir. The names haven't been changed to protect the innocent or guilty as of yet, so I apologize in advance for throwing you under the bus. Don't worry though, I'll have all the names changed when I get to the bad parts. Enjoy*

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“I’m sorry, but I forgot. How much is it?” I asked.

There were three of us in the room: The Residence Assistant, My best friend Eric Fox, and myself. I turned around a full three-hundred-sixty degrees to look at every wall of the fraternity house room, although a quarter turn of my head each way would have sufficed. This room was the size of a large gym locker and smelled equally ripe. Eric balanced at the threshold, bobbing his head outside for fresh air multiple times per minute. He wasn’t going to risk dirtying his Cole-Haan shoes on the carpet.

“Two hundred and fifty dollars per month,” he said, audibly and visibly put-out by explaining this to me. “That includes utilities. Who do you know here again?”

“Lieberman. Josh Lieberman.”

“That’s right. You’re Lieber-squats buddy.” He produced a cigarette out of seemingly thin air and put it to his lips. “We usually don’t rent rooms to non-brothers, but Lieb said you were thinking about rushin. Anyway, take your time checkin’ it out. I’ll be in the courtyard when you’re done”

He then pulled a lighter out of his pocket and lit the cigarette right where he was standing. He took a long drag and exhaled, kindly pursing his lips to the right so as not to blow the smoke in my face. He then turned and walked out of the room, rubbing his shoulder across Eric’s midsection as he did so. Eric’s jaw dropped in amazement at the audacity. He turned his head to watch the RA amble over to the far edge of the courtyard, puffing his cigarette the whole way. When Eric brought his gaze back to me the look on his face suggested that he had just been asked to hold a fresh turd.

“Dude!” Eric exclaimed, wafting the smoke from his face. “Are you fucking kidding me?”

I ignored this. I was looking at what was soon to be my room and I was in heaven. The room itself measured 10 feet by 10 feet with a 7 foot ceiling. The front window faced out to the courtyard, and the back window presumably faced out to the parking lot, but the combination of tin foil, magazine covers, and duct tape that secured the window- mounted air conditioner in place made it impossible to see out of. This room was a bit smaller than my room at home which I had been living at since grade school, but I wasn’t going to bring everything with me anyway. This would be just perfect.

The room was adjoined to another room by the bathroom, which the RA had informed me earlier that I would have to share with another student. I had shared a bathroom with my brother growing up. He wasn’t terribly messy, but he was freakishly hairy. Every time I used the bathroom after him there was always new pubic hair waiting for me on the toilet seat, or on the sink, and sometimes even in the medicine cabinet. I couldn’t imagine there being multiple sasquatch roaming the earth, so whoever I would share this bathroom with would be way easier to clean up after than my brother. This was going to be perfect.

I was in my own world pondering all this, but Eric was becoming increasingly harder to ignore. He was pointing out the many layers of paint caked on the walls, the abundance of dead insects on the ground beneath the ceiling mounted halogen lights, the hole in the ceiling that was leaking some substance that was substantially more viscous than water. The shrill hysteria of his voice came up to me slowly, as if I was turning up the volume on a Gilbert Godfried talk show broadcasting live, from hell.

“…and, and I think that’s a shit stain on the carpet! I think its human shit! You wanna move in here? You think you’re gonna get girls back here? I wouldn’t hold a dogfight here man!”

I sighed, long and heavy.

“Well, do you wanna get an apartment with me somewhere else instead?”

Eric sighed back. It was a perfect echo of mine.

“I can’t bro. I can’t afford to move out of my parents place ‘til I’m done with real estate school.”

He said this wearing a full Giorgio Armani suit with matching cufflinks. I didn’t think actual cash flow was his problem, but I didn’t have the energy to waste on his problems when I had large ones of my own, namely, moving out of my parents house before I turned 20.

In retrospect, this wasn’t a problem at all, as many successful people live at home into their mid twenties and save money so that when they finally do move out, it’s into a home of their own and not into a shitty apartment like the one I was looking at currently. At the time however, living at home at 20 was anathema to a social life. At least it was in my mind anyway.

I saw it as a headline in the paper the day of my 20th. “KEN OVERTON, FORMER HIGH SCOOL ATHELETE/PROM KING STILL LIVES WITH PARENTS & ATTENDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE. PELT WITH FECES ON SIGHT.”

I imagined my friends (who also all lived at home) shunning me for newer, cooler friends who had their own apartments. I envisioned the one girl who had been kind enough to allow me to have sex on top of her to vehemently deny that this had ever happened, but mention that she had heard from guys on the baseball team that I had an extremely small penis that twisted impossibly to the right so that it looked upside down at all times. I pictured my beautiful white jeep splotched brown, soiled from top to bottom with projectile fecal matter.

That last item wasn’t destined to happen for years yet. But I digress…

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sorry for no recent blogs

But I haven't had a f#@&*^'n day off since last Wednesday! I just gotta put another 24 hours in at the prison I call work, then it'll be back to comedy as usual. Bear with me people ;)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Things That Suck: Turning 30


I watched the remnants of my youth fade into the distance as the driver pedaled away from the past, the cacophonous cackling of the harpies of old age echoing all around me.


Hold on, I need to clarify that last statement: when I say “remnants of my youth” I actually mean “contents of my stomach”, and the aforementioned harpies of infirmity are actually just my degenerate friends.


Dammit, I can’t lie to you guys like this.


I was hoping to paint a picture in your mind that would feature me turning around for one last introspective gaze into my past, but the truth is that I was intoxicated beyond words on the back of a pedal-cab looking at the streaks my vomit made on the asphalt.


I had just turned 30, tried to drink like I was 20, and was now throwing up like a sorority girl that needed to lose 10 pounds in 0 minutes. Although fine wines improve with age, my ability to drink them apparently did not.


I’d love to blame my friends for this, but none of them were throwing up off of what amounted to the white-trash version of a homecoming float, and what a float it would have been: The rickshaw driver waving his Guns ‘n’ Roses bandanna from his needle-tracked arm, my friends pointing at me and drawing anyone’s attention within earshot, and then me in the middle, pale as a ghost wearing my crown of jack-assery, showering the crowd with what I think were bits of California roll and whole French-fries.


This wouldn’t have happened if I were 20. Hell, this wouldn’t have happened if I was even still in my 20’s. It seems like a few things just completely leave you when you turn 30, and the ability to drink for hours on end is one of them. I felt like a Hyundai that had just reached the end of its mileage warranty and, the instant the odometer read 10,000 miles, decided to take the vehicular equivalent of a shit on the road and die. Death would’ve been far less painful and far more noble than what was happening to me on that damned bike-cart.


As the edges of the night began to close in around me and my vision dimmed, I had a slim hope that my next birthday would be less painful, and a grim pleasure in knowing that all the laughing bastards around me had a 30th birthday coming for them soon, and when it did, I would be piloting their rickshaw as they were yakking off the back, singing my siren song of satisfaction the whole time.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

4th Annual Canary Open Today!


Very short one today folks. The goal of today's blog is to introduce you to an event we created a few years back that involves light yellow, heavy drinking, and minimal golf watching.

The Phoenix/FBR/Waste Management Open is widely regarded as the biggest party in golf. "Quiet" signs are patently ignored at this event, and this is generally the one time that golf fanatics can scream at their favorite golfer with no fear of repercussion.

What follows is a background description of the event that I sent out in an e-mail to our membership.

***The Canary Open is our yellow-clad takeover of the Phoenix/FBR/Waste Management Open. Founded in 2006, A group of forward thinking MEN decided to purchase the gaudiest golf outfits they could find and wear them to golf's biggest party. 4 years later, we've more than quadrupled our numbers and have been featured on multiple news shows for our antics (Erik Neal, ask Tre about our appearance on the "Art Mann Show"). The only rules are 1.) Your outfit must be primarily Canary yellow in color 2.) Your outfit must be golf related 3.) Your outfit must be primarily CANARY YELLOW in color.***

In a world of ephemeral corporate sponsorships and disposable promises, the Phoenix Canaries provide a measure of stability in the world of leisure. We're expecting a record turnout of 40 Canaries this year, and it all goes down in roughly 5 hours.

The powers that be can name the event whatever they want, as far as we're concerned, it's the Canary Open.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Dog-Walk Fiasco (Part Deuce of 2)


When we last left our hero...

There I stood at the edge of an open field with no port-a-potty, a leash connected to an eager dog in one hand and a plastic bag meant for his poop in the other. I was a mile away from the nearest bathroom and the potential colonic escapees were pounding at the gates. The situation seemed hopeless.

My brain went into high-speed mode. I quickly decided that I had only 3 options:

1.) Run up to a random house, pound on the door, beg for use of bathroom.

2.) Find some kind of cover and use Rookie's poop bag for myself.

3.) Give up completely, commence sobbing uncontrollably, and shit myself right there.

As quickly as I came up with the aforementioned options, I rationalized their viability:

1.) A sweaty, shaky brown guy holding a leash attached to a hyperactive dog, pounding on the door of a random home, babbling incoherently and trying to force his way into said home. Not Viable. Most likely result: soiled drawers in back of squad car.

2.) A sweaty, shaky brown guy trying to hide himself behind a fire hydrant, squatting over a Albertson's grocery bag. Not Viable. Most likely result: soiled drawers in back of squad car.

3.) Me lying on the ground crying, drawers soiled, dignity dissolved, yet relieved. Most Viable: drawers soiled in the back of ambulance as opposed to squad car.

This entire brainstorming process lasted roughly 3 seconds from start to finish. I was about to take the path of most viability and least resistance, but right then I saw my dog staring at me with a concerned look on his face and it stopped me dead in the tracks of unloosening my belt.

What kind of message would it send to him if I just gave up in the face of adversity? That it was OK to just roll over and die? That it was alright to take the easy way out and not give it everything you got? That it was OK to just crap wherever you wanted to, even on my expensive living room furniture , just because he didn't feel like going to a proper restroom?

I knew right then that this was about more than me and my sudden onset of IBS, this was about setting an example for those that look up to you. My mind made up, I did the impossible.
I increased the pressure of my buttcheek clench and started walking back home. This was by no means easy or graceful.

In retrospect, I must have looked like a stiff-legged marionette walking down the street, strings being pulled by a malevolent meth addicted puppet master who intermittently sprinkled sweat on me in-between jerks. Neighbors froze in mid-wave at the sight of me, faces wearing a mix of concern and fear. I threw my hand in the air in the approximation of a wave and pressed on.

I rounded the corner of the block and came to my street, sweating like a wildebeest in the mid February cool. A very pale wildebeest I might add. I managed to catch a glimpse of myself in a neighbor's window and it was not a pretty sight: I had lost two full shades of blackness and was approaching a green color not unlike that of over-steamed prison broccoli. The noises coming out of my stomach sounded like someone was strangling a cat with a bath-towel. I felt myself losing consciousness...can't...hold...on...

Rookie sensed the urgency of the situation and began to literally drag me down the street. We had less than five hundred feet to go, and my dog was lending me his strength to make it home. He refused to let his master be reduced to a bawling pile of incontinence in the middle of the street , digging into the ground with his skinny dog legs and pulling me behind him.

I don't remember the walk from the end of the block to the front door, but I do remember that I looked and felt like I had gone through a vision quest at an Indian sweat lodge. With hands shaky enough to put a tweaker to shame I managed to stuff the key in the lock and stumble into my house. I'll spare you the gory details of the bathroom, but let's say it was destroyed worse than downtown Afghanistan.

The moral of this story? Reward your dog for his loyalty and good behavior every chance you get, because one day he might be the one keeping your mess out of a public place.

-K.O.






Friday, February 19, 2010

The Dog-Walk Fiasco (Part 1of 2)




I woke up to two paws on the side of my bed and my dog’s nose inches from my face, his whole head cocked inquisitively to the side. I didn’t bother looking for a clock to see what time it was as I innately knew it was just moments after sunrise. I knew this because the second the sun’s up, the dog’s up, and the second the dog’s up, everyone’s up. He recognized the slow process of me fully waking and his whole body started to shake from the effort of wagging his tail. Damn his cuteness! I couldn’t be grumpy at that. I decided then and there I would reward his loyalty with an early morning walk.

I slowly dressed myself and stumbled into the kitchen where the aroma of freshly brewed coffee struck my nostrils. It appeared that my roommate had brewed a full pot before leaving for work and there was just about a cup left for me. Awesome! As any caffeine junkie can tell you, work-free coffee is twice as good as coffee you have to brew yourself. I deigned this to be my reward for rewarding my mutt, my altruism and awesomeness being recognized by the coffee gods. I took this offering gratefully and added a healthy dose of vanilla creamer. This was starting out to be an awesome day.

If only I knew what lay ahead.

I downed my coffee in two quick gulps, leashed my mutt, and trotted out of the house in high spirits. My dog, Rookie, picked up on my good mood in that instinctive way that animals do and set a high-stepping fast jog for us. Jogging down the block, I did my best presidential-type wave to my neighbors as I passed them. They smiled and waved back enthusiastically. What's more wholesome & endearing than a 20-something guy taking his dog for a run?

Well yeah, a 20-something guy would be incredibly endearing, but this half-black 30-something was all these people were gonna get so they made the best of it.

Rookie and I loped through the neighborhood and across the intersection on our way to the dog park. All told, the dog park is one mile away from my house, making it 2 miles round trip. Doesn't sound so bad, right? Nothin to it, right?

Right. Usually.

But then it happened.

The second my Nike's hit the turf of the dog park and my pedometer read one mile exactly, it felt like the contents of my stomach were attempting a gravity-aided jailbreak through my colon. I came to a a grinding halt and clenched my buttcheeks with a pressure comparable to an industrial strength bear trap. I broke into a cold sweat and instantly began shaking worse than Michael J. Fox. This was bad.

There I stood at the edge of an open field with no port-a-potty, a leash connected to an eager dog in one hand and a plastic bag meant for his poop in the other. I was a mile away from the nearest bathroom and the potential colonic escapees were pounding at the gates.

How was I gonna get myself out of this one??

To be continued...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Home Office Fiasco



I am now the mildly concerned owner of a home office.

Do I have a business? In a word, no. Do I have a business idea? In two words, ummmm no.

So now you're wondering why I have a home office. Well, I'll tell you why: because Quicken said I did.

I'm not a businessman nor do I have any aspiration of being one: I wear a helmet to work, pull cats out of trees, and my biggest concern of the workday is what I'm going to make the crew for dinner. It just so happened that as I was doing my taxes this year, Quicken gave me the virtual equivalent of a raised eyebrow and asked me if I would like to "set up my home office?".

I know it's just a computer program and there wasn't a flesh and blood person on the other end of the screen reading my responses, but it felt like someone was asking me if I wanted some help in the same tone one would ask their invalid grandfather if he'd like to go poop in the bathroom instead of on the couch.

I clicked yes, and it went ferociously downhill from there. Quicken started in with it's prying, invasive, no-consideration-for-your-struggles-inquisition that they obviously modeled after the actual Inquisition. A brief excerpt follows:

Q: What is the size of your home office?
A: Medium sized closet. Sliding door style.

Q: ERROR- please give your answer in square footage.
A: 50?

Q: ERROR- "50?" is too small for human habitation
A: Sorry, my bad. 100?

Q: ERROR- "Sorry, my bad" is not acceptable.
A: I know. I'm sorry Quicken. I'm so so sorry...

Ad nauseam. In case you were wondering, the "Q" and "A" stands for "Quicken" and "Asshole", or at least that how I felt after the hour and a half it took me to complete the home office section.

After what seemed like an interminable interrogation period, Quicken relented in it's judgment of my humble Paramedical Consulting business and gave me my deserved deduction for having a home office. However, in much the same way there is no free drink without the purchase of a medium french-fry, Quicken slapped me across the face with it's caveat: the IRS has the final say on whether or not your home office truly is a home office and they have the right to inspect it.

I instantly felt the same way a 16 year-old boy feels when his 15 year-old girlfriend shows him the pink plus sign on a pregnancy test: cold sweat, rectal clench, random thought of what's for dinner later.

The IRS coming to check out my home office? Not only did this mean I would have to clean up my bedroom, but I would also have to have something that amounted to an office in said bedroom and not just a desktop pornography terminal attached to a printer.

It was time for action.

In a whirlwind of moving furniture mumbled curses, I turned my upstairs man-cave into what I hope the IRS will find to be an acceptable home office. The computer in the office has been renamed "OFFCDSKTP"( a sad departure from it's previous name of "NinjaPirateFlagship"), I have a filing box in the corner, and I even bought a plastic floormat for my manager-style rolling chair. To top it all off I purchased a paper shredder and started shredding coupon mailers. I mean, what says "home office" more than a half-full paper shredder?

So now, with my immediate fears allayed, I figured I might as well enjoy my new home office and get started on the only business I've ever really known: the business of writing. That way, when the IRS shows up here to check out my home office I can be justified in my Quicken-like righteous indignation when I start shouting "CAN'T YOU PEOPLE SEE I'M WORKING?!? IN MY NEW HOME OFFICE?!?"