Thursday, April 27, 2006

Open the Asylums!

If somebody can explain politics to me, I'd really like to know why former New York Governor Hugh Carey's endorsement of Eliot Spitzer is being described in the media as "key."

I mean, I 'm likely voting for Spitzer because I like the guy, but I wasn't exactly sitting around on pins and needles waiting to see who Governor Carey was going to support. I highly doubt he's gonna be knocking anyone off the fence. 99% of the state likely couldn't even tell you who he is, and the 1% who could would probably tell you he was a crappy governor.

Is there anyone out there, aside from Mrs. Carey, who actually gives a shit who Hugh Carey is supporting in this race? Please, enlighten me.

Good Job

Blogging While Intoxicated (BWI) should be a damned felony.

Would someone please keep me away from the keyboard when I'm hammered? Thanks.

I'd say someone should have done this.


Truer words have ne'er been spoken than those you'll find here. And I've been guilty -- admittedly so -- of same in the past, in embarassingly overexposed fashion. So go ahead and direct your vitriol at me, you fucking cu...

But what happens when the entire works grinds to a fucking halt on the way to the 1:44? When you've just spent the evening with someone who gets you to thinking you might not have to reinvent the wheel? When you're waiting for the 1:44, but your head's on a train that left a half hour before? When you find yourself tooling around some bullshit newsstand in the middle of the night, looking for a magazine and wishing you weren't riding home alone?

What then?

You keep that shit to yourself, is what you do, because that's the way it works. That's damned well what you do.

Because sometimes, when you're holding pocket aces, it's best to slowplay the fucker.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Names are a big fat fucking deal here on the circuit. Do a guy a favor -- any favor, be it real or some perceived load of shit for which some guido feels compelled to throw you a twenty -- and he'll need to know your name. Show him yours, and he'll show you his, and the two of you can be nightlife butt-buddies forever after.

Of course, releasing one's name to the guido gen-pop can be dangerous business for the bouncer -- namely me -- who's hell bent on keeping his nose out of the almighty favor game. The last thing you want at a club in New York is to have your name bandied about on the floor, especially when you're a veteran and said name has developed some measure of cachet amongst the staff.

Come to my club, approach any bouncer, and drop the "Rob" brand name, and it'll take you where you need to go. It'll open doors that heretofore hadn't existed. Get you those elusive drink tickets you've so dearly craved. Give you access to those bathrooms behind the plants in those little alcoves where all the women seem to disappear. I can do that for you if you ask.

But whom do you ask? You don't know me. Book or no, I'm still down on the floor, doling out favors and running my games on the unsuspecting. And yeah, there's a modicum of risk involved in making a play, because there's always someone watching around here, waiting for some dumbass bouncer to fuck something up and show his cards at just the right time to get himself good and snagged. This I know well, because it's all part of the show when you're angling for a bigger piece than your straight-up take-home.

That's what we're all after, right? There's a difference between me and most, though. A major one. See, I don't tax. I couldn't give two shits what the other guy makes as long as I'm getting mine. I don't need any of yours. You cast out and hook the Italian blowfish on your line, he's yours to keep. You don't need to slip me the tribute, or the vig, or anything else off the top, because you did the work. All I did was stand there and watch you do your thing.

"I can't stand workin' your fuckin' door."

"Why?" I asked. "Because of the money? Because everyone's takin' people through every five fuckin' minutes? Because it all turns into a big fuckin' political hassle, and you don't know how to handle it?"

"Yeah. I dunno how you put up with it all night."

"Live and let live, man."

"Fuck that," he said. "They're comin' through my door, they gotta cut me in. That's bullshit everyone wantin' to come through here and not givin' up any money."

"That," I said, grinning, "is why everyone wants me at this door and not you."

"Why, 'cause you let everyone take fuckin' advantage all night?"

"No, dumbass. It's because I know how to make my own money, and I don't have to stick my hand in anyone else's pocket."

"What the fuck's that s'posed to mean?" he asked. "This is your door. They use it to make money, they owe you."

"That," I replied, "is where you're dead fuckin' wrong. Nobody owes shit to nobody here. What you gotta do is sit back, let everyone through, and wait to see who pays you off. You get your cut, you go outta your way the next time. The guy doesn't throw you a little taste? Time and time again you're gettin' stiffed? You cut that shit off, no questions asked. When they shut the comp list down, fuck 'em. And you know what? They'll know exactly why. You can't just start right in taxin' people, 'cause that creates nothin' but bad feelings."

"But you..."

"Dude, you can't be so obvious about shit. Sometimes you gotta just wait it out. Okay, fine, somebody's abusing the privilege a little too much. Fine. Take him aside and tell him the facts of life. But you can't just come right out and make yourself a target like that."

"A target like what?" he asked.

"Listen. You ever, in the entire time you been workin' here, had somebody come up and say 'Rob sent me'? Anywhere in this entire fuckin' place? You ever hear anyone drop my fuckin' name?"

"Honestly? Never."

"That," I said, "is what I mean by a fuckin' target. You wanna fly here? Then fly under the fuckin' radar, 'cause if you don't, you're only creatin' problems for yourself."

And there's a damned good reason for it. Because when you're at the door of a Manhattan nightclub -- at least when you're at the head of the general admission line, and it's a different set of Sonic the Hedgehog looking motherfuckers coming at you every night -- what you need to do is keep your head out of the multiple lines of fire streaming just above you. And what that entails is keeping your name out of the lexicon.

So what you do, every night on your way to work, is you come up with a name for the night. Nothing over the top. Nothing they wouldn't believe. Nothing that matches the name of another bouncer on the staff, unless it's someone you'd like to see get fucked. I've been Dave. I've been Jim, Brian, Kevin, Patrick, Liam, Billy, Steve, Danny and Frank. I've been Chris, Tommy, Anthony, Andrew, Brent and Jack. I once called myself Diesel, claimed to be the son of impoverished Slovenian immigrants, and told women that the name Diesel meant "John" in Slovenian.

Saturday night, it was raining. Hard. And I'm an asshole when it rains. I've been told I'm an asshole in the sunshine, too, but it seems to seep through my pores in the rain. Just happens. When it does, the names get creative. They become an extension of my personality, which, like I said, is that of an asshole when it rains so damned hard.

Saturday night, I was Dick. Not a dick, mind you, but Dick. Makes you a better man, being under a certain age and calling yourself Dick. Sort of makes you have to justify being alive. You sprout a personality to compensate.

"Hey, you're cute," she said. "You should smile more."

"Thanks, honey, but there's not a hell of a lot to smile about up here tonight. I'm fuckin' soaked."

She had her arm around my waist, but still wasn't getting in gratis, which was the goal of the operation here. "Can't you just go inside? Won't they let you dry off?"

I shook my head. "I guess they figure having the same three or four guys get wet all night is better than rotating everyone around and having the whole place stand out in the rain."

"You're so cute. What's your name?"


She looked up, incredulous. "No, really. What is it? What's your name?"

"I'm serious. It's Dick. My given name is Richard, but my parents called me Dick. That's the name I was given."

"And people actually call you Dick? I don't think I can call you Dick. Can I call you Rich? Or Ricky? Or Rick?"

"Oh, no," I said. "No. You can't do that. Rick was my dad's name, and Rich was my grandfather. They both died horrible deaths. The only thing that was left for me was Dick, and I don't see what the problem is. There's another guy inside named Dick, too."

"Really?" she asked.

"Yeah, really. He's like six-foot-eight, so everyone calls him 'Big Dick,' and they call me 'Little Dick,' ' cause I'm smaller. Just the way it is, I guess."

"Bullshit. I don't believe you."

I took her arm and removed it from my waist. "I hate when people do this to me. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I've been going through this for my whole life, with this name. It's a family name, and I'm proud of it, and if it's not good enough for you people, then there's nothing I can do. But at least you could have the courtesy to not insult me and ridicule my family."

"I'm sorry! I'm not..."

"What's your name, sweetie?"

"Amanda," she replied.

"Listen, Amanda," I said, gesturing at the guestlist podium. "I'm sorry, too. You've been nice about this whole thing, and I didn't mean to lay all this shit on you and get all emotional like that. Next time you come in, you can ask for me at the front door, but if it bothers you to ask for Little Dick, I go by another name, and you can use that, too."


"Yeah, really. My nickname is 'Cock,' and..."


"...and if you go up to the podium and ask for 'Cock,' I'll bet my life on it that they'll slide you right in."

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ten things I did this weekend

Interesting weekend. The world continues to expand, right? I'm a fascinating guy. Here's a recap.

1. I worked. It sucked. See blog for past two years. I argued with some Guidos, pacified some mob guys, looked at some ass and shared witicisms with my fellow bouncers. I've been drinking some tonight, so if you want ten paragraphs on the subject, either see my archives or wait a day or two. I'm sure I'll get to it eventually.

2. I received a really cool gift.

3. I discovered a new way to get motivated, then found out I had come to the table a bit late.

4. I discovered some music I like, from an unlikely source I hadn't previously appreciated. I'm not a music guy, but Neil Finn is the shit.

5. I found a blog I kind of like.

6. I made tentative plans for a long overdue trip to Las Vegas to see some people I need to see.

7. I ate six bananas and about twenty Muscle Milks.

8. I found a new thing to think about on the Fourth of July.

9. I think I finally figured out how to get to sleep and stay that way.

10. I finished this post wondering why I bothered to write it.

Oh, and that's me up there. The black minimizes my elephantine yoke.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Five more books

Continuing a trend, and since I can't fucking concentrate at the moment...Here are the last five books I've read.

1. Count Zero, by William Gibson: I guess by now everyone's figured out that I've been playing catch-up with Gibson's work, and this is the best writing of his I've read to date. Hypocritically -- considering I'm going to be asking the public to purchase my book -- I've been using the library to get all my reading material lately. I have too many books, and don't want to continue spending money on stuff I have no space for. Because of this, I haven't read Gibson's body of work in any kind of coherent chronological order. This hasn't done anything to lessen my appreciation for his talents, but, as with any author -- and this is how I normally like to do it -- I'd suggest starting from the beginning and working forward. If I had it to do over, I would have avoided the random approach with Gibson.

2. Burning Chrome, by William Gibson: Not a big fan of anthologies, but this one's worth it if you're as into Gibson's sense of atmosphere as I am. I don't even read Gibson for the narratives anymore. I just want to lurk in the places he creates.

3. Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds is a Fat Fucking Juicehead, by Mark Williams and Lance Fainaru-Wada: Fine. That's not the title of the book, but it should be. Barry Bonds is an asshole. Three hundred fifty-two pages about what an asshole Barry Bonds is. I already knew Barry Bonds was an asshole, but this pretty much puts it in a neat little package in case you get into an argument with a Barry Bonds fan. Which is about as likely as me getting a good night's sleep.

4. Marley and Me, by John Grogan: Hey, we have the same editor! And I have an autographed copy! And dogs are phat.

5. Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak: Because I hadn't yet read it, and I found a copy at my parents' house. I was more interested in what the book was actually doing there than in the book itself, which should tell you something. In case you're wondering, we still haven't figured this out.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I watched a documentary the other night about a gym teacher who made a pilgrimage to Iceland to carry a stone in a circle. The stone is called the Kviahellan Pen Slab, and it weighs four hundred eighteen awkwardly shaped pounds. The object of the game is to pick up the stone to chest level, walk it fifty yards around the perimeter of an ancient goat pen, then set it back down where you found it. The ability to do so, according to Icelandic saga, grants one the coveted "Full Strong" designation.

"Dude," I said to Clint, "if this guy can't get that thing around the pen in one trip, how the fuck did people do it a thousand years ago? I mean, they didn't have this kind of training back then. They didn't have gyms, and supplements, and steroids. That guy's a fucking monster, and he trained for a long time to carry that thing around, and he still could barely even lift it up."

"The Vikings did it because they had to," he replied. "They didn't need weights. Whoever needed to pen the goats in was able to fit that stone into the wall because he did it all the time. It was part of life back then. You think lifting weights in a gym three days a week compares to that?"


"When you think about it," he continued, "the guy who set up that goat pen would take a look at where society is today, and he'd wonder how we even have the strength to get out of bed in the morning the way everything's done for us. Look around, man. You see anyone around here carrying rocks around? Building their own houses? Hauling their own loads? Growing their own food?"

"Fuck no. I mean, you've got builders, and contractors, and all that other Ayn Rand 'engine that moves the world' shit, but it's hardly the same thing. It's not nearly as immediate."

"Being a man isn't the same thing nowadays. Those guys fought because they had to, otherwise they died. The Romans fought all kinds of Barbarians because they wanted to keep their society going. You didn't have a choice. You went to war with a sword and some armor, and you had to go at it with some dude, because if you didn't he was gonna rape your wife, kill your kids, and steal your way of life. Putting yourself on the line like that, practically every day, was a job for those guys, and trust me dude, creatine wouldn't have salvaged the Roman Empire."

"You know I say the same thing all the time," I said, "when you compare the shit people do in New York to what's going on at the same time in, say, Iraq, you know? I mean, what the fuck kinds of problems do people really have that they have to try and act tough when the country's involved in a war?"

"It's a fucking joke, but that's now, and that's New York."

"I write about it on the blog all the time. About how pointless it all is, but they still fucking do it, every day, everywhere you go, and I always want to tell them, 'Let's take your ass over to Baghdad and see how tough you really are.'"

"And that," he said, "is gonna fall on deaf ears until the end of time, because everyone's stuck in their own reality, which for most people is delusion, especially in a shithole like New York."

"What I hate about it is that it's all so artificial. All these motherfuckers strutting around like the cock-of-the-fucking-walk. What's the point? First off, there's no reason for it, because it's not like they're defending anything except their own misguided measure of how tough they actually are. And the thing of it is, as you and I both know perfectly well, is that no matter what you do, there's always some guy out there who can beat your ass like a drum, so why bother trying to broadcast that crap?"


"And it's all a load of shit, because it's so unnecessary. What I want to do, when I see these people acting like cocksuckers, is to tell them how good they have it. I wouldn't have the fucking nerve, dude. I wouldn't have the fucking audacity to stand up in public and say some dude's wronged me by stepping on my foot, or some such bullshit, when people my age are dying in a war."

"They don't care," he said.

"I know they don't care, because that's not a part of their reality. It's not a part of anyone's reality around here. I mean, I get mad sometimes..."


"Haha...right. Fine. All the time. But the thing you have to do, if you're someone who's actually seen a little bit of violence in your life, is you have to step back and figure out if there's a point to what you're doing. Am I protecting myself? Am I protecting my family? My home? My friends? Because if you're not, you're just being a self-serving prick who needs attention, and you're making a goddamned mess that someone else is gonna be obligated to clean up after you. And it's bullshit."

"Yeah," said Clint, "but you're never gonna be able to get away from that shit. Those people will always be out there. The only way to do it is to remove yourself as much as possible from situations where you have to deal with them."

"And how the fuck am I supposed to do that?" I asked.

"With money."

"Right. With money. And that brings up even more complicated cockfights with even bigger pricks."

"Sure, but what you're complaining about is people acting on a completely banal level. If you step on some rich guy's foot, things are bound to get a lot more interesting. He's not gonna rip off his shirt, yell at you to come into the street, and tell you all about all the guns he has in his trunk. If I know you, and I think I do, I think you want things to be a little more complex than all that, and that's what you find objectionable. Make yourself a little money, and the unwashed won't get to you like they do."

"Sure," I said, "and then the first time some rich dude calls in a team of lawyers, I'm gonna be pining away for the days when I could solve my problems by flipping over the table and choking somebody."

"Is that before or after you 'step back' and figure out whether those problems are real or not?"

"It's usually well before, as you know better than anyone, but I get what you're saying. It's the visceral nature of all this shit that gets to me the most, as if these people have something to protect in the fucking twenty-first century. All they have is their own bullshit, because we're at a point where nobody cares a lick what the fuck you do. When you think about it, those rich guys you're talking about have more to protect than anyone else."

"Yeah," he said. "And you know why they're rich?"


"Because they're better equipped to protect what's theirs than the Guido ripping his shirt off out in the street. That guy just doesn't want to get embarrassed, but what he doesn't realize, when he's all fucked up, is what you said. That nobody cares. That if he backs down, and realizes he's being a dick and goes home, that it's not gonna matter to his life, his family, or his bottom line, because he doesn't need to do what he's trying to do. We've all got our pride, but there's no need to go down swinging in modern society. When you're dealing in artifice like that, there's always a tomorrow."

Monday, April 17, 2006

On being tough

Exhibit A has multiple tattoos -- several on his forearms, in fact -- rides a Harley and breeds Rottweilers. He's tough, and he'll make a point of telling you just how tough he is just about every time he opens his mouth. You don't want to fuck with Exhibit A, or so he says. Break into his house, and he's taking you down, because the place is like an armory. He's a badass, is Exhibit A.

Exhibit B wears glasses. His sartorial style tends toward the conservative end, because Exhibit B generally likes to avoid attracting attention. All he really wants out of life is to pursue his own interests. To earn a living. To be comfortable in his home. To get some high quality ass. To have a shitload of friends on whom he can rely. Exhibit B accomplishes all these things because he's not an asshole like Exhibit A.

And sometimes, when the two collide with extreme prejudice, Exhibit B beats the piss out of Exhibit A.

Why is this? Why does this happen? Why do some guys insist upon acting like Exhibit A, while others are fortunate enough to resemble Exhibit B?

I've given a lot of thought to this lately, and I want to spend some time exploring why some people feel compelled to show the world how hardcore they are, and some -- especially those who actually can deliver the mail, so to speak -- don't. Throughout this week, I'm going to examine this "New York Badass" phenomenon -- with apologies to Phil Baroni, of course -- in an attempt to figure out why the world is so fucking stupid. More on this later today.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Believe it or not, I'm still sifting through responses to yesterday's post. Nothing new to report today.

I still have a book to finish.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Duke Lacrosse

You probably won't like this one, but here goes...

They way I see things, where we're at in Durham, NC is the point where, if a Duke lacrosse player isn't charged with rape, sodomy and assault, there'll likely be rioting in the streets.

Because, you know, somebody had to have done this, and since all the evidence -- or at least the hearsay -- points to them, well, one or more of these guys has to go down, right?

Because, according to Alexander Wolff in the April 10th issue of Sports Illustrated, fifteen current players had previously been charged with "underage drinking, violations of open container laws or noise regulations or public urination." And nobody was ever convicted of a damned thing, so although we know these stick-wielding bastards are evil personified, we also know they're flouting laws and ordinances like it's going out of style down there at Duke.

By the way, anyone here -- especially anyone with a penis -- who went to college and a) didn't drink until their twenty-first birthday, b) never walked around with an open container or made excessive noise, and c) never took a leak in the free to leave the room. As a journalist, you simply can't take shit that every college student in the history of mankind has done at one time or another and act as if you're horrified by the fact that such behavior exists. That's dirty pool, and if you're attempting to indicate in your writings that such things shock you, I'll readily question your integrity because I think you're completely full of shit.

A "Duke graduate," in a rather public email that has "made the rounds of the internet" told the coach of the lacrosse team about players "breaking bones, trying to urinate on furniture, and shattering a window with a keg during his time at the school."

They tried to urinate on furniture? What exactly does this mean? Were they successful? If not, why not? Did a particularly nimble sofa somehow manage to dodge the stream? Hell, if they'd succeeded, wouldn't it read differently? "They urinated on furniture," perhaps? And someone threw a keg through a window once in this guy's four years at the school? I mean, shit, a keg through a window? What's next? Rape?

There's also the guy next door who says he heard a racial comment come from the house, so I guess we have to accept that as gospel. And twenty members of the team went out drinking two weeks later, so you know, there's also the horrific nature of that.

Mr. Wolff goes on to tell us about a 1995 study which "found that while athletes made up 3.3% of the male students (at ten Division I institutions examined), they accounted for 19% of reported sexual assaults." I hardly mean to make light of the situation, but did Mr. Wolff ever stop to consider the fact that athletes simply "pull more ass" than anyone on campus? It certainly doesn't make sexual assault something we should find acceptable, but this, to me, is simply a matter of skewed statistical sampling. It stands to reason, from my collegiate experience, that there will always be more sexual liaisons between women and male athletes than between women and, say, the biomedical engineering club. In other words, exponentially more opportunities for something to go horribly wrong.

Here's my point, and here's what I'm sick of in all the coverage of this case: Whether one or more of these pricks did this or not -- and, believe me, if they did I'll be the first to call for the maximum allowable sentence -- the holier-than-thou bullshit of journalists like Alexander Wolff, who pile on anyone accused of a crime by listing every fucking traffic ticket they've gotten in the past twenty years is blatant hypocrisy, pure and simple.

What you really have to do, unless you have no idea what it means to be unjustly accused of something, or you haven't the capacity to empathize with those who potentially have been, is wait until you have all the facts of the case before you start throwing fistfuls of shit on the principals involved. Because when someone fingers you for something, and the journalistic profession sanctimoniously brings every single one of your foibles -- relevant or no -- to the surface, it certainly seems unfair from my vantage point.

I'm not choosing a side here, and neither should you. All I'm asking is: what if? What if the Duke players' version of events is the truth? Again, any guy over the age of twenty who has never been in the presence of strippers can leave the room. What if the woman in question really did show up to their party in that condition, as they're claiming? What if that's true? Can Alexander Wolff, and all the rest of the journalists who've been kicking the accused in the teeth for the past month possibly know if it is or isn't?

So why polarize the entire fucking world so we arrive at this stage? Where if the police tell us someone other than a Duke lacrosse player did this, nobody's going to believe it, and people are going to riot. Where we excoriate asshole college males for doing shit that asshole college males do at every asshole college in the world, stunned -- stunned -- at their sense of entitlement, when the reality of the situation is that the people writing the fucking stories likely acted in the same asinine manner at the same age, albeit sans rape in most cases.

And so people in Durham march. They protest. They hold rallies. They bang pots and pans together in front of the house where the assault allegedly occurred. And for what? Because they know something? Fuck, no. It's because they want these people to be guilty because they don't like them, or what it is they supposedly stand for. That's not the way it works. You simply can't do that. You have to wait and see if they actually did it first.

Listen, I have no great love for Duke University. In all likelihood, I wouldn't get along with most of the players on the Duke lacrosse team. Guys they went to high school with are dying in obscurity in Iraq while they're on the phone ordering strippers to the keg party. They're probably assholes. I don't know, and I don't care, and I have no desire to ever meet any of them. But people who weren't there and don't know what transpired that night need to stop what they're doing until the legal system finally tells us what happened.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


In my vacation city, there's a guy who walks around downtown playing the sax. He looks like Urkel, and stares directly at you while he's playing, as if he's looking for a reaction. Challenging you with his song selection.

When we left the baseball game, he was across the street, playing themes from classic TV shows. As we passed, he segued seamlessly from "Gilligan's Island" into "Sanford and Son."

When we walked out of the bar, he was there, on the corner, playing the theme from "Sanford and Son" once more.

We made a right at the corner and walked down the block, but the lounge we wanted was dead. So we swung all the way around the square and approached him again.

And he ended "When the Saints Go Marching In" to give us another go 'round of "Sanford and Son" as we went by.

Should I be concerned?

Monday, April 10, 2006

RSS Solution

When I was on vacation, I wrote a handful of blog posts on Word, then transferred them to Blogger when I had internet access. Did the same thing last night on the plane home. The common wisdom seems to indicate a mismatch in fonts -- or some shit like that -- which led to HTML errors.

Thanks for your help, everyone.


1. What is my "RSS feed"?

2. Why did it stop working?

3. Should it matter to me that it stopped working? (I don't obsessively check blog stats anymore, so I'm not entirely sure what an RSS feed means to my volume.)

4. If it is important, how can I fix it?

From the plane...

I’m about to tell you how to construct the most productive vacation you can possibly have. What you’ll be learning here will revolutionize the way you make travel plans. You’ll never schedule a trip again, for as long as you live, without the advice I’m about to give you running around your head. It’s just that important.

See, what you have to do is book every vacation you take so that you stay about a day-and-a-half too long. Thirty-six hours is just about right for the purpose. What you want to do is to wait until you cross over the line of demarcation between the period where you’re having fun, and the time when the entire thing becomes tedium, stay for another day-and-a-half, and then bolt for home as fast as your sorry ass can move.

Why do this? Because for each day you spend away, once you’ve crossed into the tedium zone, you’re gaining at least a month of productivity. That’s “Clint’s” theory, and it’s a damned good one as far as I’m concerned. If you leave on Monday, and come home the following Sunday, what you want is to start getting antsy by Friday night. What you want to think is, “One more day of this, and I can get home and start working.”

Because if you were to leave on Thursday, you wouldn’t yet want to go home, and you’d be defeating the purpose of going away in the first place. You’d pine away for your vacation spot, instead of getting motivated by being sick of it.

So what you do, is you get right up to that line, cross it, and then wait it out. Even though where you are is comfortable, and the person you’ve been staying with has gone well out of his way to accommodate you, you want to come to that singular moment when you simply need your own bed. Your own shower. Your own food. When the next dump you take just has to be on your own throne.

And thirty-six hours seems to be the right figure, timewise. It’s long enough to have you chomping at the bit to get to the airport, but not quite long enough to alienate you from your friends. You haven’t begun grating on one another just yet. Anything over that magic thirty-six, however, and you will, and it’s bound to get ugly. Cap the thing at thirty-six, and you’re good to go.

Things Not To Do On Planes:

Don’t be the asswipe who takes too long to pull your carry-on bag(s) out of the overhead compartment. You know exactly who you are, and you did this on the first leg of my return trip, and we were all packed in uncomfortably behind you while you dicked around with the bag you didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting down by yourself. If it’s going to take you any more than, say, fifteen seconds to get your shit together and get moving, do us all a favor and check the bag.

Don’t be a loud laugher. It seems wherever I go – no matter what airline I choose, or how much I pay for a ticket – there’s always some dick who has to sit there cackling at the top of his lungs for the entirety of the flight. Nothing could possibly be that funny, with the possible exception of you suddenly finding yourself toothless.

be a loud talker, either. This should go without saying. If anyone other than the person with whom you’re speaking can hear your stupid story – especially if your voice can be heard over my headphones, for chrissakes – you’re simply too loud, and you need to be shut down. Violently, if possible. And, umm, not to show off my xenophobia or anything, but the validity of this concept increases exponentially if you’re not shouting in English.

When getting up out of your seat – assuming you’re an able-bodied man here – use the pull down armrests in your own row. Don’t grab the back of my seat, pull my head six inches back, then snap me forward and wake me up.

Keep your fucking kids quiet. There’s no reason why, by the time your little fuckers have turned three, they can’t have been trained to shut the fuck up in public. You let your kids rampage on a plane, you’re a detriment to my orderly society and I want to end your life.

Okay, yeah, so this was the first plane flight I’ve ever taken with my new Dell notebook, so I didn’t know you’re supposed to take it out of the bag at the TSA checkpoint. But you know what? I’m fast. And I had the thing out of the bag and in the tray within ten seconds – bonus time I had more than earned because of the speed with which I had kicked off my shoes, and the efficiency with which I’d packed my carry-on. So, asshole, you didn’t need to try to get past me so aggressively, and it’s your own fault you took that shot. I’m a big strong guy. You’re not, so that didn’t really work out too well for you, did it? Next time have a tad more patience and we’ll all be happier.

Don’t read my laptop over my shoulder. That’s bullshit.

If our flight is overbooked, and we end up thrown together in the back of the plane, and you happen to be the obese woman seated next to me, please sit fucking still. Unless you’re physically handicapped – in which case you’d be boarding first and wouldn’t be sitting anywhere near me – there shouldn’t be any reason for you to be in perpetual motion of the duration of a four hour plane flight. Did you see me doing that? No, you didn’t. And do you know why you didn’t see me doing that? Because I know it irritates the shit out of the person sitting next to me. Thanks for reciprocating, asshole.

People shouldn’t be permitted to purchase cell phones unless they use them for speaking exclusively in English. American English. This is because people who don’t speak American English tend to yell into their phones, making me want to stab them in the Adam’s apple. This happens often at the airport. You know, me wanting to stab people in the throat.

Look at you. I want to wear your ass as a hat. That should not be allowed.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

On the road III

The only thing I have to say about being out of the northeast is that it's rather nice to be able to walk into a bar, or to go to a baseball game, or down the street, without having packs of jerkoffs staring me down and sizing me up. When you leave New York, you leave all that noise behind. There's no more posturing, at least not on the levels we're subjected to daily back home, and you're free to just do your thing and be left alone.

It's not like that in New York, especially when you're a tad larger than the average person. Everyone's constantly eyeing you up. Assessing the threat. It's bullshit, and it's a horrible way to go through life, but it's reality back there. Ask anyone. Some form of palpable hostility is always in the air there wherever you go, and it's just not fun, and that's why everyone in New York looks like they're walking around with a stick up their ass.

Where I am right now, it's live and let live. Nobody's up your ass. Nobody cares what you're doing. I walked into a gym and paid the daily rate yesterday, and instead of squaring off with me, the "trainer" behind the desk -- who was appreciably larger than me -- pleasantly asked what had brought me to the area, and whether I was enjoying my stay thus far. No posturing, no bullshit, and no staredown -- and if you're familiar with gym "culture" in NY, you'll know how refreshing that must've been.

Would I ever move here? Probably not, but I sure as hell wish I could bring some of this relaxation back with me.

On the road II

Everyone knows I love receiving email on the gmail address dedicated to this blog. Most times, I’ll respond, usually in the form of threats, insults or solicitations for sex. Many of these have been unsuccessful. I’ve made some good friends as a result of responding to my email, though, and I’ll continue to do so as long as they keep rolling in.

In fact, the only emails I don’t respond to are ones which tell me things I already know. For example, people are still sending me links to the LeeHotti and “Gino the Ginny” sites, despite the fact that I posted about both several weeks ago. It’s not like I expect everyone on the planet to read the damned blog every day of the week, but if you simply have to play Captain Obvious, don’t be insulted if what you’ve written doesn’t compel me to respond.

My new favorite form of email started floating in about a month ago: letters from a whole slew of “freelance writers” who want to contribute to the blog. They offer to “write content,” and to “increase my readership” by appealing to a “broader cross-section of the blogosphere.”

What kills me is that some of these aren’t even mass mailings. You’d expect them to be, but they’re not. They’re personalized. People will write, point out how they’ve been reading the blog for quite a while, say something ingratiating to prove it, then ask if they can write for me.

Are you people fucking kidding me? I’m flattered, and I know it’s just a blog, but it’s mine. Not yours, or HarperCollins’, or anyone else’s. I started this shit, I made it good, I worked hard – relatively speaking - to teach myself how to do this, and I’m damned proud of myself for having done so. I’ve been doing this for nearly two years now on a consistent basis, and it’s just about the only damned thing in my life that I’ve ever stuck to, so no, I’ll not be enlisting you to “provide content” for me.

Why would anyone want to write for me, other than to get a little exposure for themselves? I guess it’s understandable if that’s your angle, but believe me, you’ve nothing to gain from me. This isn’t a pay site. I don’t have one of those cheesy PayPal logos soliciting donations, nor do I want to clutter up the site with all manner of advertising and crap. This isn’t a for-profit venture – unless you consider the book deal, in which case it probably is – so what’s the point?

If you’re a “freelance writer,” and you want your exposure, just do what I did. Start from the very bottom, with your own damned blog, and write to your heart’s content, because you’re not getting on this one, my friend.

And now I’m on vacation, and drunk, so go fuck yourself

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

On the road

So dedicated to you am I, that I’m writing this post on a motherfucking plane, somewhere over the west coast. Or the Midwest. Or the Atlantic. Who the fuck knows? A plane that’s nearly four hours late to where it’s supposed to be going – parts unknown, of course – because of some nasty thunderstorm action going on in the southern United States. Hailstones as big as softballs, I heard. The skies opened up and night descended sometime around five in the afternoon, I heard.

I heard a lot things today and tonight, but mostly, just now, what I heard - all I heard - were the two coked-up, cocksucking sons-of-bitches sitting two rows ahead of me. And they were talking how I’m writing, f-bombs and all, and it’s the middle of the fucking night. Evidently, they made good use of O’Hare’s bathrooms during the layover, because they were quiet as churchmice on the initial leg.

What do you do on a plane, when someone’s making a nuisance of themselves, and everyone’s looking around, but nobody wants to be the one to say anything? What happens then? Who speaks up? Who advocates for you?

What you want to do, is you want to choke the motherfucking life out of them. You want to reach around, without saying anything, mind you, and choke the life out of these two pricks until they turn blue, but you don’t, because with your luck, there’s an air marshal on the plane, and he’s gonna put a bullet in you for instigating a riot.

So you sit. And you stew. And you throw on your headphones and try to work on the book for a spell, but you still hear these two drug addicts over the music. So you turn it up, as high as it’ll go, and still there’s a din. And now you’re pissed.

What you do then, is you glare at them. Stare at the backs of their heads and hope something pierces there. You’ve already made your displeasure felt. You’ve shushed them repeatedly, you’ve made eye contact – hellacious eye contact – a half dozen times, and nothing’s gotten through. At one point I sat here and stared at the guy for a good couple of minutes, my hand on the back of the seat in front of me, planning on giving him the finger. Baiting him into something. But he never turned around.

So what do you do when you’re The Bouncer? When you’re the biggest, baddest dude on the plane – or so it seems - and your blood pressure’s about to go through the roof, and everyone’s probably waiting on you to be the one to say something? You ask the crew to do their job, is what you do.

Oh, stewardess?

“Can I help you, sir?”

“Listen. Those two people up there haven’t shut up since they got on the plane, and everyone in here’s trying to sleep. I don’t want to sound like a jerk or anything, but if you don’t tell them too keep it down, I’m going to.”

“Would you like to switch your seat?” she asked, eyeing my laptop, my double trayed paperwork and drink setup, and the elaborate nest of pillows I’d lovingly placed about myself an hour before. “I think we have some room up front.”

“Not really. I’d simply like some peace and quiet, and I think everyone else on the plane would agree with me. Enough is enough already.”

And, yeah, maybe I’m a pussy, but it’s been quiet enough for me to have written this, and I haven’t taken a bullet. So I guess I’ve won.


Monday, April 03, 2006


As expected, enough readers bought my April Fools joke that I figured I'd leave it up so the (much larger) weekday readership could have a look. I now understand why you eventually have to put disclaimers on the fucking things. Thank you for playing, though. It's been real. On to Monday's post...

When I was in high school, I was a Catholic. Not that I'm not Catholic now, but I don't get to mass much these days. Actually, the only times I've set foot in a church over the past decade or so have been for weddings and funerals. I haven't been in a confessional probably since I was confirmed, nor am I a registered member of any parish. Not that I'm aware of, anyway.

Back in high school, though, I was still sort of into it. Not into the whole religion thing, but into the whole identifying-myself-with-the-group thing. Where I grew up, most people were either Irish or Italian. We wore uniforms to school until eighth grade, at which point some of our parents decided that tuition payments would be wasted on us and sent us to public school. We played CYO basketball. We pulled for Notre Dame. We were mediocre altar boys. The full nine yards.

Until the tour.

There was a priest in my parish -- an adjunct priest, if there is such a thing -- who was only there a few days a week. "Father Frank," as we'll call him, was a native Italian Jesuit who taught philosophy at a fairly prestigious local college. And what you'd do, if you had a brain in your head, was you'd go to the appropriately named Father Frank and you'd tell him you were thinking about applying to Prestigious University.

And so he'd arrange a tour, given personally by him, for you and your parents. In my case, "parents" would always indicate Mother Only, because Dad couldn't be bothered. He didn't want me going there. So we went, my mother and I, and toured the campus. Saw the sights. Spent time on "the quad." Walked the halls of academia with Father Frank.

And then what you'd do, is you'd arrange a meeting with Father Frank at his office in the rectory. Father Frank wanted to talk to you. He needed to know some things about you, what you wanted to do with your life and what your accomplishments were, so he could write you a spiffy letter of recommendation guaranteeing admission to Prestigious U. And you went, because you didn't want to piss off Father Frank, even if you were just going through the motions here to make your mother happy. Because if you didn't get in anywhere else, you'd still have the Father Frank card to play.

It wouldn't be so bad at first, your little talk with Father Frank. Yeah, yeah, school's going well. Sure, right, yeah, football. Yeah, I'd play at Prestigious U. They've got a decent team. What do I wanna study? Dunno, really. Was thinking about math, maybe. Maybe pre-law. Not sure yet.

"Do you have a girlfriend?"

"Ummm...yeah," I replied.

"Do you think about your girlfriend a lot?"

"Ummm...I guess."

"Do you masturbate?" he asked.

"Do I what?"

"Do you masturbate? Do you, you know, have to take care of yourself?"

"," I replied, thinking this was still a legitimate conversation pertaining to my academic future. "I used to, but...ah...I grew out of that." At seventeen.

"Well, then. Are you having sexual relations with your girlfriend?"

"," I bullshitted, wondering if he could somehow sense the blowjob I'd received earlier that afternoon in my car. "I...ah...want to wait 'til...ah...I get married."

"So, when you did masturbate, what did you think about while you were masturbating?"

" dunno. It long ago, I don't remember."

"Did you think of girls when you masturbated?" he asked.


"Always girls?"

"Ummm...yeah?" What the fuck?

Now, I don't recall precisely how we managed to segue back into college talk. And no, I'm not repressing anything, although I occasionally wish I were. Thing is, when I eventually went away to college, I ran into a guy from my town at a party. He'd gone to a different high school, but we sort of drifted back together as friends in college, in a different state, far from home.

"Hey man," he asked, "did you apply to Prestigious?"

"Nah. I was thinkin' about it, but I decided not to."


"You remember Father Frank from St. Imelda of the Burning Shoe? The old dude that's a professor there?"

"Lemme guess," he replied. "You went on the tour?"


"And then you went back to the rectory and he asked if you were gay?"

"Well, not in so many words," I replied, "but yeah. He seemed kinda fixated on how I jerked off. That happen to you, too?"

"Happened to everyone."

Last I heard, Father Frank was priesting in Italy, and asking God-knows-what of God-knows-whose little Guido children somewhere over there. The Church sent him back. I'm pretty certain I know why, too.

"I've had it," said my Mother today, making her first appearance on the blog. Applause, please.

"What now?" I asked.

"Look at this," she demanded, throwing a church bulletin on the kitchen table. "Read that part."

And there it was. Regards from Father Frank. "Greetings from Italy!"

"He's writing a column in the bulletin now! I've had it with that church. Don't they know what that man probably did?"

"Yeah," I replied. "They know what he did. That's why the guy's back in Italy. He was a college professor. Why the hell else would he just up and move to Italy? They sent him back there to keep that stuff quiet."

"That's wrong. They've got a lot to answer for, this Catholic Church. I'll never forgive myself for not going down there and telling those people what I thought of them for having that man around my children."

"Gimme a break. Nothin' was gonna happen. I was laughing at the guy."

"It doesn't matter," she said. "It wouldn't have been you, but what if he got his hooks into someone who wasn't as smart as you boys were? That's just disgraceful. It makes me mad all over again just to think about it now."

And you know what? It kind of pisses me off, too.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My Real Name Is Andy!

And I'm an unemployed advertising professional living in a condo on Long Island! My wife cuts my hair, and my sole income is derived from playing multi-table online poker!

You've all been hoodwinked!


Happy Saturday!

I love Saturdays! Anyone want to join me for church tomorrow!