Author Archive | mattbaker

A teenagers love note (with my commentary)

So, I was performing at a performing arts center in a small town in Arizona. The theatre was located inside a high school. When I was unloading my stuff, I found a love note on the ground. I thought it was very finn, but I wanted to share with you this amazing love note, with some of my commentary. Enjoi!

Letter #1 Gonna be a lot more where this came from

Dear Hayley,

Hey beautiful. Solid start. So we have almost been dating for a week now! I think that is a Tanzanite anniversary. You are a very amazing girl. I know this is very corny, but Jacob and Carry from church do this and they have been together a long time. Two weeks in fact. I think that me and you will last for a long time:) I do too. Well, I hope we can get married! Whoa. Settle down champ. This is only letter #1. Save that for at least #3. You don’t have anywhere to go after that. My parents really like you a lot and so does my sister. And we all know how much of a bitch she is. Yesterday she was telling my mom she liked you more then any of my past relationships. And there have been a lot. My mom said she really likes you and your family so she was happy that we were dating. Damn. One week and the families have already met. This kid moves quick. I really like bracelet you got me “Hers.” Whoa. Red flag #1 dude. She’s a little possessive. It’s awesome. So is her reading your e-mails when your not around. I know you hate when I buy you stuff, but that’s how I show I like you. Well then stop buying her edible underwear. Don’t you know she can’t eat gluten. Not a good sign. Been together a week and she already developed a disliking for your gifts. Although it is A little creepy that buying her stuff is how you show her you like someone. Almost like, the only way I can show you I care is by cutting myself. I have never got any girl anything. Not even an orgasm. Frowny face.  So your kinda special. Because I spend my lunch money on shit you don’t like. I starve for you. Haha 😛 I hope that’s not weird. That’s why I wrote Haha. So the things we talked about that we needed to fix, I’m working on it. Haha 🙂 Red flag #2. Been together a week and she is already giving you stuff to work on. Get out. But I am not promising anything. AKA- I still am going to sleep with hookers. Just kidding. I mean if you thought that was funny then I do too. I am always going to try and make you happy. This kid learns early. I hope you liked your birthday gift 🙂 I thought it was established she didn’t. But I can promise that next time for x-mas will be 1,000 times better. Damn straight girl. I’m gonna get a job, maybe sell my x-box and get you the finest Justin Bieber poster money can buy. I know you like my glasses, but I don’t. Well I guess they are growing on me 🙂 No. They look stupid. I also wanted to tell you that I like your glasses and especially your braces 🙂 That might be the first time that has EVER been said. I like your braces. The way the food get’s caught in them really brings out the color of your eyes. Your gonna have super straight teeth. After braces, they are not going to be attracted to teeth of the same sex. I really want to try a bible challenge with you so we can focus on god because without him we are nothing. Bible challenge? Is that christian dirty talk? I am gonna take you into my room and I am going to whisper john 3:16 in your ear till your body can’t take anymore. We should really go to Africa on a mission. I think we would have fun together. I mean, what a great way to celebrate our love, by converting some natives to Christianity. So, I know this is kinda weird, uh oh if I asked you to marry me after high school would you? Sounds like you just did. And another question, would have stopped before the first one how many kids do you want and what names. Red flag #3. If she knows how many kids she wants and their names, she is bat shit crazy. Get out. Alright, well write me back please 🙂 Umm. Yeah. About that. Your amazing 🙂

 

Sincerely,

Your Boyfriend High five-ing my buddies now.

 

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Meeting My sisters in-laws

With my family, the best damage control is to avoid introducing them to your significant other at all costs.  Although, if I were forced to, I would take it very slow and have my partner meet them one at a time.  Individually they are all mild-mannered people and tolerable to outsiders, but together it can be deadly.  They are a lot like LSD.  You take one hit and it can be fun, but when you take the whole sheet, you might be mentally messed up forever.  In my world, the success of a relationship is the ability to keep my significant other away from the whole family at once.  The same can be said about introducing my family to the future in-laws.

This is the strategy my sister overlooked when she decided to combine family Thanksgiving celebrations.  I always believed if you are going to have the parents meet, it should be in a neutral setting.  A lot like a breakup, it should always be in the middle of the day at public meeting place.  That way, it minimizes the chances of a giant freak-out, and it makes it significantly harder to take hostages.  Combining two families Thanksgivings is a terrible idea alone.  When you add in the fact that those families have never met one another, it was the combination that might rival the top spot on my list of bad ideas.  After four years on top of the list, eating a hot dog at a Chippendale show now had some competition. chippendales

The reason this was such a bad proposal is that people act neurotic around holidays.  I know my family does.  Spend a holiday with my family and you are guaranteed to see someone cry, something large being thrown at another person, or a trip to the hospital. They are very far from white trash, but are extremely close to white recyclables, very middle-class and very dysfunctional.  I was envisioning this Thanksgiving in movie format in my mind.  The first scene was my family walking into my sister’s future in-laws house all wearing smiles.  The next scene is my family walking out of the house in slow motion in Reservoir Dog formation, still smiling, while behind them, the house is engulfed in red and orange flames.

Although, we all knew that my sister’s suggestion was a terrible idea, we also knew why it had to happen.  With a wedding fast approaching, and the parents living in separate states, it would be hard to find a time to meet and discuss the details of the wedding. Avoiding the meeting was pointless and that is why I kept my mouth shut.  However, I knew that the last Thursday in November, would always be remembered as, “the day that should have never been.”  A debacle rivaling only the day JFK was shot and the day Snapple stopped making strawberry/peach.

Luckily for my sister, our two brothers declined the invitation. Their reason they gave was, “the travel was too far.”  I knew this was the nice way of saying, “I would rather be water boarded than to show up.”  Their decision to pass was probably the best thanksgiving gift my sister could have asked for.  It significantly decreased the chances of the house blowing up like a scene out of Die Hard 2, but still the chance existed. Granted, two ingredients of the bomb were missing, but you still had the person my mom refers to as, “the fuse that ignites the whole explosion” which was me!   The reason she calls me that is, I will say anything and do anything regardless of the scenario.  If I feel it, I say it.  I can’t hold anything back.  I am like Michael Moore with Turrets Syndrome.  The rest of my family has a censor switch that they can turn on and off.  I was not made with the same switch.  If I did have a switch, its only function would be to adjust my liberalness.  It has two settings, the normal liberal setting or the crazy liberal setting.  The crazy liberal lever is most often cranked up when I am around conservative people.  It seems as if every time I get around “button-downs” I am playing a character in a play and every major liberal trait is magnified for the stage.

TurkeyWhen the dreaded week arrived, I fielded calls from everyone in my family asking me to be on my best behavior.  Everyone wanted to make sure that the meeting went as smoothly as possible and they knew I held the keys.  The desire to make the meeting a success was magnified by the fact that my sister was the first in my family to get married, and probably the last.  My parent’s especially cautioned me, because to them, this might be their only shot at having a grandkid within wedlock.  To them, my sister was like the Virgin Mary in Star Wars.  She was the one who would bring a balanced child to the force.  My mom pleaded, “Please don’t ruin this.”  I told her and all of my skeptics the same thing, “I promise to do my best not to tarnish the Baker image.”  That all changed when I arrived at my sister’s soon to be in-law’s house.

I only needed one minute to realize that I hated our hosts.  As we pulled up to their giant house, they raced out of their house to meet us.  Their excitement for our visit was so over the top it makes William Shatner’s acting seem quit demure.  We were greeted with smiles as big as Ron Jeremy’s mustache, and hugs that almost made me throw up. Not just individual hugs, but they demanded a group hug.  My family complied and embraced our hosts.  Once we were all awkwardly holding each other, our hosts said, “thank you Lord for bringing these wonderful people to our house.”  I wanted to leave, but the night had just begun.

My hatred for them grew as I walked through their house.  Everywhere you walked there was some sort of cookie cutter sign to greet you.  Signs perfectly placed above the stove and stairs were reminders about the life we should all strive for.  “Love your brother and you will be loved.”  “A loving family is all you need in the world.”  “A house is built by love.”  My favorite one was the one right over the toilet that said, “Jesus died for you”, in case you forgot while you were taking a shit.  The house possessed everything wrong with America.  Fake, Ignorant and trinkets everywhere.  Dolls, porcelain animals and hand-sewn girls in bonnets and potholders haunted my every step.  I knew one of two things were true as I surveyed the house.  These people were either truly a happy family or, they were a family of serial killers secretly plotting to massacre the entire town.  Either way, I knew I was going to find out one way or another.

It is eerie to be around people who try so hard to be nice.  Their smiles were as awkward as the family portraits peppering the walls.  Their questions were as bland and generic as a John Kerry and Jennifer Anniston lovechild.  “How was your drive?”  “What is the weather like in Seattle?” “ Oh, isn’t this a beautiful day?”  These are all questions they tried pulling on me, in hopes of making me feel comfortable in their home.  To say the least, their attempts to make me feel comfortable made me feel even more uncomfortable and agitated.

One thing I have learned over the years is the more uncomfortable I am, the more sarcastic I become.  I began throwing out some jeering remarks as I strolled through the house.  Stuff like, “I love what you have done with the place.  It’s very Christian Science Reading Room.”  And, “Wow! I have never been inside a Harry and David catalogue.”  I have never seen people deflect my sarcasm as well as they did.  It seemed like our hosts had been briefed on me prior to my arrival.  It was as if they were wearing some sort of invisible condescending proof shield.  Nothing I said affected them.  They swept my remarks under the rug as they laughed and said, “Oh, you are, a funny man.”  They were immune to my comic jabs, and my blood boiled because I knew I had met my match.

My parents were not dealing with our hosts much better.  The expressions on my folks face suggested they were as uncomfortable and agitated as I was.  However, they did a much better job of hiding it.  There were a few moments when I saw my mom having to stop herself from leaping over the counter and slapping the happiness out of them.  My mom leaned over to me and said, “Dinner can’t come soon enough.”  To speed up the process, I offered to help cook.  After they respectfully declined my offer, my eyes met my mom’s gaze.  She put a fake gun to her head and shot herself.

After two hours of awkward conversation, we finally sat down for dinner.  I was not surprised to find out that everyone had assigned seats.  I got the privilege of sitting at the teenager table.  I was wedged in-between their two overly behaved teenage daughters, who were a whopping 28 years old combined.  I was furious, because I was in the middle of a compliancy sandwich.  It was like I was being smothered with a blanket of reverence.  I assumed they had assigned me between two kids who have never done anything wrong in hopes of keeping me quiet.  I thought to myself, “I will show them.”

When the food came out, a feeling of relief rushed over me.  Finally there was a light at the end of the tunnel.  I felt like I had been stranded on a desert island and after three years, I was finally being rescued.  I was so overwhelmed with excitement that I reached for the potatoes and was immediately stopped by Mama Stepford.  She said, “Before we eat, I think everyone should share why you are thankful.”  My excitement quickly dissipated as I watched my rescue helicopter fly by my island without seeing me. I was destined for what felt like another three years of insanity. crazy

As I slowly drew back my arm, I snidely said to her, “I am sorry for my reach. I guess it’s a habit, because in my family, we think it is ridiculous to pause and force ourselves to be sentimental for something so absurd.”  As the words left my mouth, I thought, this was it.  This was the comment that would finally do the damage I had been trying to inflict with my unjustified spiteful assaults.  Surely, this blatant insult would wipe the smile off of her face, but I was wrong.  She was too good to get derailed from my stupid comments.  She just spun right off my quip like a whirling dervish and said, “In our family, it is not ridiculous to be thankful for the life god has given us.  Maybe, it would not hurt you to think about how blessed you are to have the life you have.”  Her glowing red eyes never straying from mine.  I was about to fire back, but my mother had the wherewithal to step in and stop me.  She said, “Matthew, today we are here for your sister and it will be a nice change of pace to try something different.”  I could sense in her tone that she was pleading with me to not ruin this for my sister anymore than I already had.  So I complied, briefly.

My mother and father did their best to play the game of respectfulness.  They put their sarcasm aside to try and salvage an image of decency for my family.  My Dad did the best job of building back the bridge I was trying to burn by saying,  “I am grateful to be able to finally meet our only daughter’s future in-laws.  It is a blessing to know that my daughter will be part of such a loving family.  I am also grateful to spend this holiday with my son Matt for the first time in 7 years.”  He brought down the house.  His acting was superb.  I could see James Lipton asking my dad, “How did you find the strength to pull off such a daring performance?”  It was so good and it should have been the finale of the “what we are grateful for” game, but for some reason I was set to be the last person to speak.

Everyone took their turn at following my dad, but all paled in comparison; until me.  I looked around the table, and I could see the in-laws holding their breath.  I met my mother’s eyes and I could tell they were soliciting peace, but something caught my eye behind her.  My eyes strayed to a sign hanging behind my mothers head that read, “When the Lord speaks the servants listen.”  I was suddenly inspired.  Forgetting about my mother’s plea to act civil, I stood up to address the table.  I knew this was my last stand; my final liberal stronghold and I was determined to go out with a bang.  I said, “I would like to thank the Native American’s who gave their lives so that we could have their land.  I am grateful that they were gullible, and believed the lies our ancestors told them.  Who knows what type of mess our lives would be today, if the natives of this land had not taken the crappy land we designated to them?  Today is a day to celebrate the overtaking of a country and the segregation of an entire people.  If only we had more days to celebrate the eradication of such an amazing and spiritual culture.  Thank you!” Teepee

Silence fell over the table.  I began to relish in my breakthrough, but was interrupted by my parent’s sudden eruption of laughter.  They were laughing because, they also despised this perfect little family and I was showing the spite they were not allowed to show.  They were laughing because they knew I was trying to send a message to these folks.  I was trying to say I would not stand for your cuteness and your perfect little life.

After my family’s laughter subsided, the host mother said, “Thank you Matt, for your reminder of why we are really here.  It is easy to forget the atrocities some of our people committed on the natives of this land.  We should never forget what happened and only strive to be better and make sure things like that do not ever happen again. Thank you for your honesty and thank you for being here.”  A great play.  She was good. As I realized my comments did not affect them, an overwhelming sense of douche bagginess rushed over me.  In my attempts to flex my liberal muscle I just made myself look like Kanye West.

As I ate in silence, I wondered to myself if I was really the “free thinker” I made myself out to be.  From the moment I walked in their flowered pattern door, I judged them and resented their ability to be nice.  I presented myself to them, as they type of person who would throw paint on a fur wearer, light a car on fire and would picket a kids baptism.  I tried to make them believe that I was the type of anti-American person they told their children not to associate with.  The type of person they told their kids not to get rides home from or take candy from.  Every step of the way, my hosts welcomed me, my opinions and absorbed my cutting remarks without batting an eye.  They accepted the differences in my beliefs and still welcomed me without judgment.  I did not understand how someone could be so nice, so I treated our hosts poorly because I feared what I did not understand.

When the wedding day came, it was my turn to speak and I received a great introduction.  My sisters father in-law said, “the next toaster, has a great head on his shoulders and I am grateful for him to be part of this ceremony.”  As I grabbed the microphone, I took my parent’s approach and dulled it down, for my sister.

 

 

 

 

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Caught Masturbating in China

Normally, when you hear stories about getting caught masturbating, it’s pretty horrifying. Stories like, a mom banging on the door to the bathroom screaming, “dinner’s ready,” and the door accidentally opening. Then, the story generally discusses the awkwardness of having to fight through the uncomfortable silence over dinner (which just happened to be meat and potatoes.) My personal experiences, include the time my little sister got up in the middle of the night to get water, and caught me lotiony handed in the living room stroking it to the Golden Girls. Or, the time my dad accidentally walked in on me, and decided it was a good time to tell me about the “birds and the bees” (or what my dad referred to as the “Beaver and the Snake.”)

chinaI am sure you have heard a thousand funny stories of people getting caught Jingling the Jewelry, but none I am sure are as awkward as what I am about to tell you. I was in China to perform on a very large television show.  Along with a nice paycheck, they gave me a swanky hotel; complete with the traditional Chinese breakfast of cheerios mixed with fruit loops. Now based off the breakfast, you might think that the hotel was like any hourly rate place you might see Eliot Spitzer at, but honestly this was ridiculously nice. My room came complete with flat screen TV, computer, candles, and Asian condoms. I always joked the Asian  condoms were smaller than normal condoms, but they fit me just fine.

It was like the Chinese version of the Hilton.  Although, at this hotel you could buy Paris Hilton’s porno for $1.99 (thank you black market porn.) The bathroom in the room was top notch also. It came complete with lotions, combs, toothbrushes and a heated toilet seat. Now, I am fully aware that I might not have stayed at the nicest hotels in my career, but in 10 years of travel, I had never seen the feature this bathroom had… It came complete with a phone next to the toilet! I thought to myself what a brilliant idea! Finally a bathroom designed for the person who has to conduct their business, while doing their business.  A bathroom, only a dead Elvis himself would walk into and say, “Hey, where was this when I needed it.”

Writing that joke, I had to look up what other famous people have died on the toilet.  Today, I bring you my top 5 people who have died on the old slam-dunk ring:

  1. Lenny Bruce (A funny man and a sad death)
  2. Elvis (A sad man and a funny death)
  3. Jim Morrison (Not really funny or sad)
  4. Orville Redenbacher (I bet his shits had a lot of corn)

Of course, the most famous of all bringing in the top #5 is; you know him, you love him George the II. Yes, GEORGE the II, king of Great Britain, and Ireland from 1727 all the way to his tragic death in 1760. Rumor has it that he died of a ruptured aneurysm of the aorta, but I think he faked his death, and is still releasing albums today.

Back to the story… Knowledge unknown to me at the time, and pivotal to the story, is apparently the phone does not go to a landline, but to the front desk. It is used only for emergency’s that happen in the bathroom. Kind of like a “help, I’ve shatten, and I can’t get up button.”

bathroom phoneSo, my performance on the TV show went very well, and after a few drinks got back to my hotel pretty late. Feeling good, I cleaned myself up with a shower, and got ready for a celebratory jerk before I went to bed. What can I say; I am kind of a finicky masturbator. The right mood is as important to my masturbation success as much as weed was to Al Gore when he invented the Internet; or heroin, cocaine, ketamine, ecstasy and booze are to an Amy Winehouse overdose.  Nothing weird though, just small things: like the light has to be out, and I like to play R&B music.  I actually never listen to R&B music, unless I am getting sexual.  It’s like, “Where everybody knows your name” to Cheers, whenever it comes on, Shelley Long appears, and there is occasion laughter.

I lit the candles: had my soft R&B playing, had my lotions lined up, and to top it all off invested the $1.99 for the Paris porn; because I love it when girls text during sex (or as my friend the M-Gap calls it Sexting.) This is where the story takes a turn for the worst. Apparently, in my pre-spank shower I must have knocked the “Bathroom emergency phone” off of its hook. The lobby had called the room a few times, but I did not hear it ring because I am like the Michael Jordan of bludgeoning the beefsteak, I can’t be raddled.  If I am launching the hand shuttle, you could tell me aliens just landed; and they were all horny Angelina Jollie look-a-likes, looking for single curly haired comedians named Matt, to have copious amounts of sex with, and that information would never reach my brain.

When a bathroom emergency phone is knocked off the hook, and the guest does not respond to calls, proper protocol; is to inform the police and paramedics.  I don’t know why they have to involve government officials, but I am glad they did because without them, this story would not be nearly as funny. So they knocked profusely on my door, and of course I did not hear them because when R Kelly is bumping I am a pumping. So, I am in the middle of doing some sloppy sign language, when all of a sudden the hotel clerk opens the door. She flashes on the lights, and in runs 2 paramedics wearing white gloves, and 3

china-police

 

policemen with guns drawn. I opened my eyes, and for a second thought it was part of my weird fantasy. Once it dawned on me they were real, I froze. Most people’s natural reaction would be to jump, and cover them selves with whatever was around. As for me, I just lay there staring at them with confusion like I just watched Memento.

Surprising enough, they just stood there staring right back. They were acting like it was the first time this has ever happened (insert awkward laugh.) I guess, I should take that as a compliment though. That at the site of my body, they didn’t run away screaming like Godzilla was attacking. They just stood in marvel (another awkward laugh.) Here we were; the police, with their guns drawn, and me with my gun drawn (so to speak,) at a crossroads, looking at each other like whoever stared the longest won a prize. After about a solid minute of awkward silence, in an attempt to save face, and follow through on his call of duty, one of the policmen said, “Mr. Baker, is everything OK?” I guess it is all anyone could say in that scenario. Once the words came out of his mouth, they all quickly turned around, and ran out of the room. I just sat their shell-shocked (still; disturbingly, with a woody.)

I guess it is not all that bad to get caught lynching the lizard, because the next day I found two extra bottles of lotion in my bathroom. That is my story about getting caught masturbating by the Chinese Government.

 

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Christina Ricci got me kicked out

It’s known amongst my friends, I tend to bet on virtually anything. I don’t know why I do it; it just seems like the best way to solve disagreements; if even the most mundane.

I once lost $50 on one game of Rock Paper Scissors. Another time, I bet $5 that my blood pressure was higher than my buddies; and won (But in the grand scheme of things, really lost.) Probably, my most ridiculous bet to date is I bet $100 (while drunk) that my friend’s favorite color was blue. What’s even more stupid is; I won (he was drunk too.)

Aside from betting, I am also the guy who will often come up with ridiculous ideas that I am too afraid to do myself. Most of the time, to see my crazy ideas in action, I will often pay my friends to do them; then sit back and laugh. Like the time I paid my buddy $15 to walk up to a group of hot girls and say: “Alright Ladies, Who wants herpes?”  I wasn’t laughing when he got one of there numbers, and I still had to pay him (I guess one of them did, really want herpes.) Or the time I convinced my buddy to get “Employees use the back entrance” tattooed on his lower back for $200 + tattoo costs, only to watch him bail at the site of the needle.

slothBoos, Comedy, and betting is pretty much how you can sum up a night with my buddies; and this night was no different. A couple of my buddies, and I decided to go to this cool, hip, punk-rock bar called Shorty’s. This is the kind of bar where if you don’t have 6 tattoos, and at least 2 facial/genitalia piercing’s, you get the “this person does not belong here” look. They look at you like you are Steven Segal in Acting Class. While entering the bar, I noticed a girl sitting at a booth, who looked just like Christina Ricci. I pointed her out to my buddies, and they both agreed that the girl looked like CR. Although, neither of them was convinced it was actually her. They had a decent point. This is a little hole in the wall bar. How would CR even know this place existed? One point; for my friends, team atheist. Then I realized whom we were talking about! This is the girl who was in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas!  Anyone who was in that movie has to have some idea of crazy bars that serve you drinks stiffer than Clay Aiken watching MMA.  One point for me, I am finally on the board. Although, it did not help my case that the people she was sitting with looked dingy. They were so dingy they made New York bums look like runway models. One guy was actually rocking the bald headed mullet with dreads. It looked like his dready mullet was so heavy, it pulled the rest of his hair right off the top of his head.  I am actually the last person to care about people’s looks, but this guy is the reason we got kicked out, so I feel like I can say whatever I want about a guy; who looked like the stunt double for Sloth in Goonies. One more point for my opposition.

My mind was running, rationalizing every reason CR would be at my favorite bar in Seattle. She might be with people, who think smoking cigarettes, and drinking is a substitute for bathing, but this is the girl who dated a mentally challenged guy in Pumpkin; so the people she was with did not surprise me. 1/2 point; for me, putting the score at 2 points opposition, 1 1/2 points me. Granted, this girl looked a little different than CR, but I just figured it was how she really looked.

ricciSo the bet was on! We set the amount at $50, but could not decide on who was going to ask. For me, there is no way I am going up to someone famous and drawing attention to him or her. Especially, when they might not want it. I was once with my friend in a crowded supermarket, when he saw Keifer Sutherland, and than yelled out to me: “Hey Matt, it’s the guy from 24.” I then watched everyone in the supermarket bombard Keifer and a simple task of buying Canadian bacon turned into a 45-minute autograph session for him. Even when I see celebrities I am very fond of I try to not bother them. I once stood next to Benjamin Gibbard for an entire show and did not say anything to him. I did get close enough to smell him though (in a non-creepy smelling way.) Than three weeks later, saw him at the Heathrow Airport and still kept my yapper zipped. I always toyed with the idea of just filing a restraining order against him, to see what would happen.

My friend Kevin, who took my bet, was confident it was not CR. He had no problem going up to her and just asking. Kevin lives for awkward moments. He is the only guy I know, who has been kicked out of a Halloween party for his costume, two years in a row. What it comes down to is he just does not give a shit. He’s like racecar driver with narcolepsy.

While we were outlining the details of how he was going to approach her, there was a large shriek. We turned our heads to see the perceived Christina Ricci lying on the floor, laughing hysterically at the fact she just fell, and shattered her drink all over the ground. One more check for my opposition, team rising confidence (3 to 1.5.) Kevin, at this point felt sympathy for me, and gave me a chance to back out of the bet. Claiming, that all I had to do was buy him a drink, and then we could all forget about this little Christinagate. I couldn’t back out; I was convinced it was her! I am the type of person that when I have my mind on something, there is nothing you can do to sway me. I am like a non-religious Billy Graham; committed to the truth as long as there are no facts involved.

At any rate, the plan was set. Kevin was to approach her when she went out for a smoke, and he was going to say to her: “Hey have we met before? What’s your name?” Which has got to be the best plan 3 inebriated dudes has ever come up with, in the history of men approaching a woman. The moment came when CR went outside for a smoke, and out followed Kevin. He was locked in on his prey. I felt like I was watching an episode of Planet Earth, but instead of a cheetah speeding after an antelope, it was a drunk comedian following creepily behind a famous girl. He was a man possessed; primarily with alcohol but he was possessed nonetheless. Here is how the dialogue went:

Kevin: “Hey can I bum a smoke?”

Christina: “Sure”

Kevin: “You look really familiar. Do I know you?”

Christina: “Nope”

Kevin: “I think I do, what’s your name”

Christina: “Bitch”

Kevin (sarcastically): “I guess I do know you”

Christina, then flicked her cigarette at Kevin, and got up and went back into the bar. Kevin, shortly after, returned to our table and described the interaction. At this point, we did not know that their conversation was going to be the end of our stay in the bar. However, we were soon to find out.

Kevin was now even more convinced that it was “Not” CR saying, “that it looked nothing like her up close.” So, I called the bet off. I said, “There is not sufficient evidence either way.” Kevin, frustrated with my unwillingness to believe him, said he would “try again.” Drunk at this point, Kevin, and my other drunken friend AG; storm right up to the booth where CR is sitting. She is ricci2sitting in the spot furthest away from the edge of the table, and with her, are 2 huge dudes, and a chick. Kevin walks up, interrupts their conversation, and says, “I realized how I think I know you. You look a lot like Christina Ricci. Has anyone ever told you that?” I admire his straightforwardness, and if this didn’t get an answer nothing would. Christina, visibly annoyed, and looking at him like he just walked through a Christian Bale scene, sarcastically says, “No! No one has ever told me that.”

They all just sat there in awkward silence; staring at Kevin with horrific looks on there faces like they were watching two girls one cup.  Kevin, trying to remedy the awkwardness with a laugh responded: “Well, nice talking to ya, Bitch!” He made what we call in the comedy world a “Callback” (which is a reference to a joke earlier,) and to us comedy aficionado’s, that’s fucking hilarious. Although, the dread headed mullet guy, who looked like he might be the son of the son of Sam; did not think it was so fucking hilarious.  He sprung out of his seat, like he just one a lifetime supply of PBR in an ugly contest, and goes to punch Kevin. When he went to hit Kevin, on his back swing, in all his dread headed mullet glory; he end’s up hitting the girl sitting behind him in the face, and knocks her beer all over CR. Christina shrieks; (like she normally does at bars,) but this time she is trying to stop good ol’ Hipzilla from beating Kevin like he owed him lunch money. CR was yelling, “it was a joke, it was a joke,” but man’s version of a manatee, was not hearing it. He was to busy standing 2 inches from Kevin’s face, explaining how he was going to rip off his neck, and shit into his torso. Looking back, I think it would have been that much funnier if while the guy was yelling at him 2 inches from his face, Kevin just went in and gave him a little peck on the lips.

During all the commotion, the bartender, leaps over the bar, and jumps in between dread headed mullet guy and Kevin. He was yelling at the top of his lungs for them to “break it up.” After things were settled, the bartender, tells us that we “are not welcome here anymore,” and that we “needed to leave” before he beat our ass. WTF? I said to the bartender: “what about this guy? He’s the one who is causing the ruckus.” The bartender just smiled and said, “you need to get out.”

So to date, we still don’t know if it was really the Christina Ricci. However, I still paid Kevin anyways. I don’t know if I paid him because I felt bad for what happened, or if I subconsciously knew one day I would want to write about it, and I could use that as a bribe.  So Christina Ricci if you are reading this, I want my $50 back, BITCH!

 

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Words I have invented

I am sort of a slang connoisseur. I am a student of the slang world. I love making up my own words and seeing other people use them also.

There are a lot of ways to go about making up your own slang. One popular way is to combine two words to make one. Some of my favorite slang words using this concept are:

Multislacking- Doing multiple slacker-esque things concurrently.

Technosexual- A person, male or female, who is so deeply enthralled with technology they discuss it with a level of passion that most people reserve for sex.

Nonversation- The type of conversation held with another person when you really do not wish to talk to them. It consists of short and to the point replies, which do not add to the conversation and make it hard for the other person to continue.

Slacktivist- political activist who has been active in the past, but in the present mostly talks about politics, drinks beer, smoke’s weed, and has sex with other activists.

Sexsuade- To convince someone to agree to, accept, or do something, usually by using the promise of sex

Another teqnique that is popular is adding the word “Man” in front of everything. Like for example:

Manscaping- when a man grooms himself.

Manscara- what you say when you see a guy wearing mascara.

Manswer- is a very manly answer.

Mansectomy- A procedure for removing excess fat (man-boobs) from a male chest.

The great thing about slang is, you can make up words that sound cool, and just integrate them into your everyday dialogue. Then when people hear you say it, they are like man, “I need to get hip on today’s slang.” The cool thing is when you hear someone you know start using word you have invented. When I was 18, I lived in a house with 6 people in there mid 20’s, and one who was 40. Although a huge age difference, Martin was really cool. The only problem was that he was unfamiliar with the slang we all used. He was always asking us to give definitions to the weird words we used so regularly. One day me and the other people in there 20’s decided to come up with a word that we would all use, but use in different ways to mess with Martin. The word we decided on was Crunk. Although now, according to the slang dictionary crunk means crazy and drunk, at the time it was a word that had not been used. So we set off on the crunk prank. We all used the word differently. When he would ask what it meant we would all give him a different answer. For me I told him, “You only use it to describe something that was disgusting.” My friend Terrin told him, “Crunk is someone who is a crusty punk.” And Megan told him, “It is something that is really exciting.” He generally seemed perplexed by this mysterious hybrid word that everyone used, but could be used in so many different ways. A few weeks went by and the use of the word seized and no one told Martin it was a joke. We only realized he didn’t know it was a joke until we had a party and I overheard a drunk Martin trying to fit in with all the younger people by throwing the word Crunk in most of his conversations. I did not want to tell him there because honestly, I was enjoying people look at him like he was Rain Man. It was like a MasterCard commercial because it was priceless. The next day I informed him of the joke and we shared a good laugh.

Here are a few words I have invented:

Hallahdino- A brazialian Hallah

Badonkulars- when you see a badonkadonk butt far away.

Strollonsticate- when you are leaving by way of walking.

Sloshy Slosh- when someone is having sex while you are in the room and can hear it.

Rollonsticate- when you are leaving by way of driving

Spliggity Splow- A sound affect you make when presenting or receiving something

Mahallah- A Hawaiian hallah.

Frontedonupon- when someone front’s on you, and gets away with it.

Won Ton Bon Cron- when a food is exceptionally good. It can also be broken up into Won Ton or Bon Cron.

What are some of your favorite slang words?

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Tear Away Underwear

Sex has made so many technologic advances over the last decade. Inventing things from Viagra to Vagina flavored Bolognese; the technology seems to be endless.  Although these inventions have helped to liberate people’s sexuality, sexventors have failed to cure one of the most awkward scenarios that arise in bed, taking your clothes off. How many times has the mood of the foreplay been ruined by the un-sexiness which is getting naked? Hell, I have even turned myself off trying to get my drawers off while juggling. Many say, that keeping a person turned on, while getting your underwear off, is impossible. You have read about it being possible in history books, and on episodes of Ripley’s Believe it Or Not, but no one has ever truly encountered such thing.

People have tried to solve this sexually catastrophic event by inventing things like the crotch less panties, edible underwear and underwear1the hole in the front of boxers. These were all noble attempts, but all fell short. For generations this problem has plagued the great sex minds of our times, until today. Today, I present a product that gives those plagued minds the reacharound it deserves. Today I present to you, Tear Away Underwear.

Underwear, that by the powers of Velcro allows you to rip them off and be ready to go like a donkey in Tijuana. Imagine foreplay, with no fumbling, grumbling or stumbling. Drive your partner wild when you rip off your undies like a basketball player coming off the bench. You will be prepared to defend, dunk and if you are lucky, lead your team to a come from behind victory. Finally a product, that presents people with the option of a better life. Not only will this amazing product revolutionize intimacy it will also advance many other fields; like the medical profession. Think if you happened to be at the hospital unconscious; the tear away underwear allows people to get your clothes off faster. This helps the work of so many including doctors, nurses and birthday clowns.

Soon, the sound of Velcro, will be something everyone associates with hot fornication. Just the sound of Velcro ripping, will turn people on just like when they hear creaking beds, water slapping, or when I see a bottle of Mrs. Butterworth. Velcro will Underwearforever be linked to sex culture and be mentioned in the same breath with Jenna Jamison, Ron Jeremy and baby albino lamas. Equipped with a full access Velcro connection in the front, allowing you to take them off without even removing your pants. Think of those days where you just need a little more air down there, but you got those pesky tighty-whities on. Or the days you need to masturbate during a work meeting, but you can’t because you decided to wear that underwear your grandma stuffed your stalking with. The Tear Away Underwear makes all those fantasies a reality.

Tear Away Underwear; it will change how you fondle yourself under a newspaper in the park. Buy today, and get a pair of free tear away business socks.

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Drunk Dial Phone

Today’s MDI might not only be the best, but certainly is the most practical. It came to me while I was as drunk. I was as drunk as that Jewish person caught on tape making anti-Mel Gibson remarks. Many great inventions have been created while under the influence of alcohol. Without booze, things like Motorized bar stools, beer pong and high school musical on ice would seize to exist. Even, 2 of Brittany Spears’s 3 kids have all been invented while drunk (3rdbrittney you can blame that on coke.)

Many people have used alcohol to advance their own creativity. Think of where Johnny Cash would be today if he did not drink: probably dead! Do you think Johnny Cash would have been any good if he weren’t beating up his liver like it was a scene out of a Tina Turner documentary? My gut feeling tells me the same thing my magic eight ball app on my Iphone does, “Outlook not so good.” My point is; it should come as no shock to hear that alcohol is the catalyst for this MDI.

Here is the pitch:

There is a global epidemic sweeping the world and it affects all of us. This pandemic is so dangerous, it makes Malaria shrivel up and cough. It chops the limbs off of leprosy.

drunkphoneIt even makes swine flu look like a made up disease by the government to stimulate the economy so we don’t spend our money on spring break in Mexico. Yes my friends, I am talking about Drunk Dialing.

You might have heard of it, but might not be aware how it affects you. Have you ever had a few drinks and decided it was a good time to call your boss, your spouse, or your boss’s spouse and tell them something you should not tell them sober, let alone drunk? If you answered, “Yes;” Drunk Dialing might affect you. Have you ever been tanked and decided to call your ex to tell them you are sorry and want them back? Instead you get their machine and instead leave a 15-minute awkward message of non-cohesive blabber like you are Mike from swingers. If this has happened to you, then you might have the disease and not even know it. Aside from not being good for each other, and I found someone better, Madeupfacts.com credits Drunk Dialing as the #3 reason for breakups not given a second chance.

This disease not only infects humans daily, it has mutated into another deadly disease, Drunk Texting. Drunken Texting is the SARS of the telephone. It is spreading rapidly, and everyone blames it on the Chinese.

Today, this disease runs so ramped, the first thing people do when they wake up after a long night of drinking, is check their outgoing texts and calls from the night before.  In the medical profession, this morning after activity is often referred to as Booze Clues. Here are some of my own drunken texts, I have found the next morning.

  1. To my friend, “Six seconds ago I was confused and now I am here”
  2. To a girl I was interested in: “If you wer here, that wood make me shit”
  3. Meant for Molly, “I want to be inside you.” Sent to my mom
  4. One I received, “I am not sure, but I think a stripper squirted breast milk in my beer”
  5. To my cousin, “I think wyr all gunna dy”
  6. From my friend (female,) “I think Darth Vader is stalking me.”

breathometer-2-250x300I am such a notorious drunk dialer that once my friends took the phone from me, deeming me to drunk to be making phone calls. The funny thing is, they still made me drive them home.  Thanks to my friend’s; I realized I had a problem. I thought to myself that there had to be other people who shared this disease. I started searching for other people online and found that there is a whole website dedicated to drunk texters. Here is one of the best one from their site: “noo wooreez bout me. i am drancking sakee and i am goin to danse on a pole with my cab deriver jeezus. he sed i can deverginifry him. sexsexsex. loving you, barbie”

So today I present to you, a product that is the cure for this growing life ruinous; The Drunk Dial Phone. Utilizing today’s breathalyzing technology the Drunk Dial phone comes complete with a built in Breathalyzer that prevents you from using your phone if your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit.  We at the Institute for People After Beer Shouldn’t Telephone (PABST,) are committed to the philosophy; when you breathe everyone’s at ease. We want to make sure; when you see double, there’s no trouble. The Drunk Dial phone will save millions from what we at PABST call the, “Day after regret.” Think of a world cured of 4:00 a.m. booty calls from someone you have not talked to in 3 years. Or, phone calls where the drunken caller treats the phone like the louder they shout into it, the better you will understand them. Imagine a world free of having to explain to your mom why you texted her the night before, calling her a stupid swamp donkey. Or being fired for calling your boss and telling them you want to staple a burning spreadsheet to their face.

Listen to what others are saying about the Drunk Dial Phone:

“The drunk dial phone has saved me from embarrassing phone calls. If only this was invented 3 years ago, we would all be able to talk to our kids. ” Alec Baldwin

“This is probably the greatest invention since the telephone itself” Alexander Graham Bell

We at PABST  are dedicated to a brighter tomorrow or at least one you don’t have to waste apologizing. Don’t wait, Get the DD phone today and put your worries away. Now available on the I-Phone.

 

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Cruising

Planning your next vacation can be hard. With so many places to see in the world, and such little time, it can be stressful to try and make the best decision. If you haven’t already considered cruising as an option for your next furlough, let me tell you some of the benefits of a cruise you might not be aware of.

  • Always to tired to go to the after party? You don’t have to feel left out anymore, because on a cruise the after hours party begins at 8:00 p.m and ends at 8:32 pm. Be in your bed in time to watch that re-run of Hogans Heroes.
  • Tired of getting nickel and dimed on your trips? On a ship, everything is free (except for a small fee on everything.)
  • Want to feel youthful? Cruises are the only place where being under 70 makes you look like Justin Bieber.
  • You get to go to places that no one else in the world even thinks about visiting.  Skagway Alaska, Costa Maya Mexico, Sydney Nova Scotia, see for yourself why no one has heard of these places.
  • Love to have clean hands? Then cruising is for you. We have 5,072 hand sanitizing stations (one every 5 yards,) so you can keep those hands as clean as a baby’s bottom.
  • Hate buying expensive drinks? Just add water to the hand sanitizer and you get Moonshine. Add a little Ketchup and you get a nice Merlot. Never spend a dime when you are drinking cruise booze.
  • All cruises have a minimum of 4 funeral directors to choose from.
  • Every bathroom has an adult diaper changing station.
  • Don’t run around town trying to find the one thing you need. All the buffets on a cruise serve Metamucil.
  • Hate holding that beer while you pee guys? All the bathrooms have Beer holders next to the urinal.
  • Love eating? It’s the only place you can have dessert for breakfast, booze for brunch and have Adult Onset Diabetes before dinner.
  • Tired of going to the gym and not being able to find a machine to work out on? All the exercise facilities on your ship will be completely empty and the machines untouched.
  • Since cruises normally sail in international waters there are no penalties for driving drunk on your mobility scooters.
  • Are you claustrophobic and want to overcome your phobia? What better way than having a bathroom in your cabin, no bigger than a mini cooper; specifically designed to help you conquer your fear. Enjoy the sensation of being able to shower while you poop.
  • Having a hard time gaining weight? If so, you should know the average cruiser gains on average 8 pounds.

We hope that you take this information to heart and really think about what you read today when you are planning your next vacation. Remember, cruise ships are not just where old people go to be bored anymore.

This bulletin was brought to you by, the association to prevent people from cruising.

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Missing my Cruise Ship

JewelA lot of times missing a flight is completely of one’s control. It’s out of your power if your connecting flight was late, the people on the moving sidewalk were standing in your way, or the person in front of you happens to be the color that the terrorist alert was set to. I once missed a flight because the security guard had to check what exactly I was packing in my pants; which was 228.6 mm of heat. So many times you are not to blame for missing your transportation. I wish I shared that sentiment when I missed my cruise ship. The reason I could not share it is because it is incredibly hard to miss a cruise ship. Nothing was preventing me from missing my ship; I plainly lost track of time.

JunoI imagine most people, when pulling up in their taxi to see their ship sailing away without them, would freak out like a cocaine-less Andy Dick. Instead, my reaction was to burst into laughter. I guess I responded that way because I had not fully realized that I was just abandoned. I kept waiting for the cruise director to tap me on the shoulder and say, “Surprise!” Like it was some joke they played on a passenger every trip. Like, I won a prize for being the most un-organized person on the ship. Of course there was no tap, but there was a prize. The prize was one night of freedom from my 2,000 all white, all old, and mostly fat cruising counterparts.  Of course I say that in a pro; old-fat-white person way (can’t upset the fan base.) I relished in the idea of a night free of constant picture taking and loud boisterous arguments on if that was a whale or just a shadow. “What do you think cast the shadow?” One man said, not realizing how dumb of a statement that was. You get a lot of those dumb statements on a cruise ship. I heard one women refer to the natives of Alaska as, “Alaskamo’s.” My favorite is what her husband called them. I believe the term was, “Snow Mexicans.”

This is not the way I would choose to get freedom from my fellow cruisers. Much like the Iraqi’s, freedom was being forced upon me. However, I do enjoy the idea of being stranded, because it forces me to have to accomplish a mission.  I imagined getting back on the boat and having a news conference to explain what happened, with a banner behind me that said, “A Mission Accomplished.” Then after the conference, everyone says, “I think the boat was better without that guy.” This newfound independence made me feel like I was watching a Laura Croft movie; at first it sounds great, but after, you wonder what the hell you were thinking.

So my fate was decided. I was stay in Juneau for the night. As I still stood at the dock admiring my own stupidity, I thought about all the other times I had been abandoned. There was the time my mom abandoned me at a K-mart. Not in the literal sense, I just felt like she was abandoning good mothering when she actually took me to a K-mart. Or the time when I was 13, my oldest brother Kevin abandoned me at the Salt Lake City Airport. I wanted a cigarette and he said, “If you go and smoke I am leaving without you.” When I ignored his threat and went to smoke he just disappeared with my ticket. I got the last laugh, when I went to security and had them announce over the airport PA, “Kevin Baker, we have found your brother please report to airport security.” So to say the least, I had been groomed for the occasion.

Here are three things to do if you are ever stranded:

Step One: Figure out when you can leave, and do it!

Step Two: Find a place to stay, and rent it!

Step Three: Find a bar and Get drunk. However, make sure that does not cause you to forget about step one.

Step one was no problem. For $119 I was on the first flight to Skagway; where the cruise ship was stopping next. I don’t want to say the particular cruise line, but let’s just say it rhymes with Borewegian. Step two was a little harder. I had to walk around the town in search for an available hotel. It was really interesting seeing the town after all the cruise ships had left. All the characters came out. I kept waiting to see Sarah Palin and Todd stumble out of a bar and invite me over for a game of name that country. To my disappointment there were no celebrity sightings, and it saddened me that I had not seen any of these infamous Alaskamo’s.

JuneauI checked a few hotels and none were cheaper than $150. I have money, but I find something fundamentally wrong with paying so much money for a bed. For some people it makes sense. They need comfort and a sense of security, to be able to get a decent nights rest. As for me, all I need is a blanket. I can pretty much sleep anywhere. To save money in London, I took the subway to the airport every night, and slept at the baggage claim. In Maui, instead of the hostels, I simply slept on the beach. I can sleep pretty much anywhere. Along with identifying celebrity voices, and seeing midgets at far distances, it is one of my X-men abilities. Shelling out $150 for a place to lay my head for a few hours, even Jean Grey would laugh at. I needed to find something cheaper. So, I asked a guy who was trying to sell me a lighter for a dollar, if there was a hostel in town? He didn’t say a word and just pointed up the hill.

Up the hill I went. As I was walking, I passed a house that a woman had just walked out of. She was holding a Yoga mat and dressed like she was headed to work out. Our eyes met and she commented on my Descendents t-shirt.  She said, “nice shirt. The Descendant’s are like the best punk band ever.” I laughed and awkwardly said, “They are one of them.” Without hearing a word I said, she walked right by me brushing my right shoulder. In a very demanding voice she said, “My name’s Laurie, walk me to yoga.” I stood there absorbing the strange request. As I was sorting out the randomness of this occurrence, she continued to walk up the hill.  Without stopping she shouted, “Come on man. I am not trying to fuck you. I have a boyfriend. Hurry up, let’s go.” Her tone made it seem like I was inconveniencing her with my lack of sudden action. Whatever it was, it worked, because I moved like I was Kristie Alley chasing a Snickers bar.  However, it was less of me accompanying her, as it was more of, me awkwardly following her as she raced ahead. Even though she held a distance of five body lengths, she still managed to make conversation. She told me about her bar-tending job and her love for punk music. Fortunately the awkwardness was cut short, when we reached her yoga studio. I asked, “Is this it?” Surprisingly out of breath considering we had only walked two blocks. Ignoring my words and more luckily my sarcasm, she went on to invite me to her house later. “Stop by anytime. You can go there now and hang if you want. My boyfriend is there, but don’t worry he is cool.” She said as she disappeared into the yoga studio. As I walked away, I wondered all sorts of things about my new friend Laurie. I wondered; does she just not like walking alone? Does she do this to every person she passes on her way to yoga? Does she just wait in her window waiting for someone to walk by? I knew my questions would go unanswered and I continued on my quest for the holy hostel. I continued to walk up the hill until the street came to a dead end.  I stopped and asked a guy who was trying to sell me a barbecue skewer for $3.77 and he pointed (with the skewer) down this little path that led through some trees. I followed the path, which led me to a large house. It had a large porch in the front where a gutter punk couple was sitting.

Sam and Jeanie were from Denver, and welcomed me to the hostel. They took to me instantly, because I was wearing a Descendents t-shirt. Never before had this shirt gotten me so much attention. Was there some sort of Alaska-Descendents connection? We chatted on the porch for a while. They had only been in Juneau for 3 days and were giving me the 3 worthwhile spots to see in my 14 hours of furlough. They were staying here for the summer to find work and enjoy the 24 hours of sunshine. They told me about there horrid experience of sailing to Juneau from Seattle. They took a boat that transported vehicles to Alaska for people who were relocating there. 6 days of shaky seas and the disdain for their trip, made me decide not to tell them about the giant cruise ship I sailed in on. I didn’t want to ruin the first people I had met who weren’t selling me something or asking me to walk them somewhere. Finally someone who liked me for the clothes I wore.

The hostel was even cheaper than I was expecting. When the lady at the counter told me that it was $10, I stared at her in awkward silence like it was the first time I saw a women’s breasts. After getting the brief introduction to the hostel I realized why is was so cheap. To cut down on the cost of paying employees, everyone staying at the hostel had to leave from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On top of the 9 hours you were not allowed to be there, you had to be back by 12 a.m. Or you were locked out. Not that being locked out in the warm sun is really that bad? They say that from June 21 to Dec 21st Alaska loses 5 minutes of sunlight a day. So in reality Alaskan’s loose 5 minutes of happiness a day. Not only did they dictate the hours you could be there, they also had the guests do all the chores. My allotted task was to vacuum the stairs and mop the dining room.

krygistanIn my book there is only one downfall about hostels, it is the people who do weird things in there sleep. You are always rolling the dice when you are sharing a room with 4-8 people. Sometimes, you get people who snore; some who talk in there sleep, and once in the middle of the night I even heard people having sex. I love waking up to sex, but only when I am having it. I don’t want to hear the sound of a hand slapping water unless I am the one slapping. My roommate for the evening was Rustam from Kyrgyzstan. Rustam was an extremely nice guy, who would soon be added to my list of people I would never share a room with again. I actually really liked him, until about 6:30 a.m. That was the time he decided to set his alarm for. I don’t get people who set their alarm an hour before they want to get up. I have no problem with people who get up early. Or, people who are making noise as they leave, but I do have a problem for someone hitting there snooze 8 times when they are sharing a room with strangers.

The main problem is not how many times he hit the snooze; it was how long the alarm lasted before he hit it. The alarm was not loud enough to wake him up, but was loud enough to wake up me, and the people in the room down the hall. Also, the alarm sound he chose was the most annoying thing I have heard since the first time I heard Celine Dion’s voice. I can deal with birds chirping or, a cool song, but his alarm made the sound of babies crying sound like ocean waves. It was one of those alarms that the longer it went, the louder it got. Before Rustam hit the snooze, the alarm would be going off for a good minute (which in official sleep time is the equivalent of 32 minutes.) Not only did it begin to get loud, after 30 seconds it added a voice saying something in some strange language. I imagined it was Kyrgyz and the voice was saying, “Get the fuck up you inconsiderate asshole.” Finally I sat up and in my politest voice said, “Hey dude, you got to turn that fucking thing off. Fuck…” He obliged, but not in the way I was hoping. I assumed after an hour of hitting the snooze button, and waking me up every 5 minutes, he would turn the alarm off. Instead he switched the alarm to what he thought was a more pleasant wake up call, a rooster crowing. The moment I heard the first cockadoodldoo I jumped from my bed and headed across the room. My intention was to take his phone and throwing it out the cracked window. Instead, Rustam rolled out of bed and apologized for waking me. Since I was standing there in my underwear looking as pissed as if I was Tom Cruise finding out scientology was just a ploy to get my money. I accepted his apology and went back to bed.

My sleep did not last long, because again I was woken up prematurely. This time however, it was the lady who checked me in inflicting the punishment. As she was shaking me she said, “Mr. Baker, you have not done your chores yet and you have to get out by 9.” I rolled my eyes and told her I would get right on it, which I did. I got out of bed, got my things together and when the lady wasn’t looking, slipped out the door and got right on getting the fuck out of there. I caught the first cab I saw, and instructed him to head to the airport. When we arrived at the Juneau International Airport, I had to ask the driver if this was the right place. I had to check because we were sitting in front of a building no bigger than a Radio Shack, and there were no planes in site. There was a long strip of land that resembled what an abstract artist might paint as a runway, but nothing that would hint to future archeologist that planes actually landed there.

skagwayThe inside of the airport didn’t inspire much hope in me either. I felt like I was on the set of Wings, which ironically was the name of my airline. I walked up to the counter and told them I had a reservation and they handed me a ticket. No asking for a name, no looking at ID, no asking if my bag had hazardous material, I guess they just give ticket to anyone who claims they made a reservation. The security was just as lackadaisical as the check in. Apparently, metal detector technology has not made it’s way to Alaska yet. To be honest it was quite nice to not have to take my shoes off and put everything in a baggie. When I heard you were not allowed to bring 3 oz of liquid on a plane, I wondered what next? I thought, let’s just hope the terrorist’s don’t figure out a way to make urine dangerous. The frustrating thing about security screening is that every airport is different. There is no unified system to what they allow and don’t allow. For example, The Seattle airport allows me to have shaving cream, but when I go through Spokane; an airport the size of my middle nut, they freak out like I am secretly plotting to lather up the plane and shave it. Another time in Lisbon, they pulled my bag aside because I had some liquid that exceeded the amount allowed. When they opened the bag and found my axe body spray, they laughed and let me go. It was strange, like I was secretly shooting a commercial for axe.  Regardless, of if other people were bringing on bombs that would crash and kill everyone on the plane it was nice for once to not have to throw out my toiletries.

When the flight was ready, the counter lady went around; from memory, and got all the passengers who were flying to Skagway. All 9 of us huddled up around the grey bearded pilot, like he was going to give us some sort of strategy we needed to stick to if we all wanted to survive. No real strategic maneuvers, all he said was, “Alright, we got a full flight. Be careful walking out on the runway there are a lot of holes and I don’t want you to twist an ankle.” I laughed out loud because he reminded of me of Santa Clause preparing his reindeer for the tough flight. We all got on the plane, and I was the last to board. As I was about to get on, Santa say’s to me, “I like you. I want you to be my co-pilot.” Shocked; I replied, “Really?” The thought flashed through my head of having to land the plane on a glacier because someone took out the pilot with their nail clippers. The same ones that normally get confiscated because of metal detectors. I was excited. When I got on the plane, I realized that the only seat available was the one sitting next to the pilot. Even though Santa was being nice in making me think I would actually assist him in the flight, I did not let that stop me from thinking I was the Neo of this flights matrix.

I have flown on a lot of small planes. I think this was the first plane I had been on where you can flick the pilot’s ear from the back seat. The co-pilot’s seat was comfy. So comfy, I fell right asleep when my ass hit it. Finally a sleep not interrupted from annoying alarms that make you want to punch nuns, or people shaking you trying to get you to do some mundane choir. I awoke to the sound of wheels hitting the gravel that paved the Skagway airport. My eyes opened to see my cruise ship sitting there, beckoning to me to come aboard. It was a nice way to wake up. Even though I had been gone less than 24 hours, I kind of missed the little things on the cruise you take for granted; like the drink holders next to the urinals and the people on carts driving around while drinking Franzia.  The moment I walked on the ship I was greeted in the elevator by two middle aged folks who took the elevator up one floor and it made me glad to be back.

 

 

 

 

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Underground Room

Written by Jon Baker and Matt Baker (no relation)

In my life, I have met so many unique people. From a world record holding chainsaw juggler, to the inventor of the deep-fried Twinkie, to the man who inspired the song “Spoonman.” I’m not just talking about people who show up on my Facebook and Twitter pages, but people who have actually played a role in my life, people I have been honored to call my friends, the type of people that I would help on the drop of a dime.  This is a story about the legend of Jon Baker.

Part 1 – The Jon Con

My old friend Jon Baker (no relation) and I were in a band together called the Interstate Hikers. Not the worst of names for a band, but it certainly illustrates the fact that we had no idea what we were doing. Interstate Hikers? Sounds like a special on 60 Minutes. “Tonight on 60 Minutes: Interstate Hikers—green transportation or a band of homeless vagabonds looking to rob you?” Although our name was not great, it was certainly better then the music we played.

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Since the four of us liked drugs, starting a band seemed natural. What we lacked in music ability we made up for in aptitude for conjuring up ways of getting money to spend on drugs. From pooling our lunch allowances and picking up recyclable cans on the roadside to hawking our parents’ stuff, nothing was sacred in our quest for eternal hallucination.

During one such hallucination, it became perfectly clear that we needed to spend less time making money to get high and more time actually getting high. That’s when Jon came up with the idea of a perfect con.

Usually, our ideas for the infamous get-rich-quick scheme involved an old lady, pantyhose and a potato gun, but Jon’s plan had what all of our previous ideas lacked: brains behind it. Here’s how it worked: Jon printed out a pieces of paper with future dates on them. A person would give Jon any amount of money they desired, and they would receive the dated piece of paper with his signature guarantee. If that person presented the signed note to Jon on the date indicated, he would give them four times the amount they originally invested. He called this con the Back of the Alley Banker.

Since we had been stuck in low-end cons that would produce maybe $20 at a time, naturally we were beaming with excitement when Jon showed the band his giant wad of cash. He held it in his hands like it was some sort of a fragile magic lamp; one that would grant him the wish he had always dreamed of. We stood in silence, eyes wide and staring, like it was the first boobs we had ever seen, dreaming of a future filled with hallucinations and enough drugs to kill a small horse. However, Jon ignored his bandmates’ pleading cries to spend the money on beer, drugs and giant crates of Costco muffins; instead, he elected to spend it on something he had always dreamed of doing: building an underground room.

Unbeknownst to me, this plan was 3 years in the waiting.  Jon had been charting, drawing schematics, and crafting his plan since he was 14. His mom never gave him permission to build the underground room, and so, at the age of 17, Jon’s defiance level was at an all-time high. With his mom leaving for a month on a work retreat, Jon attempted to seize his dream, which in Latin is called carpe dreamin. If given a month home alone, most 17-year-olds would spend that time watching re-runs of Looney Tunes naked and trying to figure out how to get laid. That is what made Jon so unique; he was to spend the next 4 weeks of freedom digging a giant hole in his mom’s backyard.

We all doubted his bizarre plan, but in the summer of ’99, the construction began. Operations were running as smooth as a sanded-down baby’s bottom, and by the end of the first week, Jon had dug a hole the size of a midget standing on top of a MINI Cooper. Word of his project reached the kids in the neighborhood and they quickly gave him the nickname, “The Ground General.”

At the end of the first week, Jon ran into his first setback. He realized one small detail of his master plan for an underground matrix had been glossed over: where to put the dirt he had unearthed? Not one to panick, he decided to put it where most people would put the dirt from their underground rooms: in between his and his neighbor’s fences.  Operations were back on, as Jon began piling mounds of dirt in the empty space between the fences. A second problem quickly arose and that was that the solution to the first problem was not that great. The mound of dirt had begun to cause the fences to bulge like Kirstie Alley eating an Oreo. His neighbors noticed and threatened to call the police if Jon did not do something about it.

Jon was at now at a crossroads. He had nowhere to put the soil, and there was no way he was going to give up on his dream due to some small logistic. So he kept digging. Soon, what looked like two side-by-side models of Mt. Vesuvius were visible over the top of the fence. And still he kept digging. The plan was to tell his mom that the dirt was from some landscaping he had done while she was away. Not the best plan, but knowing Jon, we all knew he would somehow make it work.

Seriously behind schedule, Jon began to work day in and day out, busting his ass to finish the room before his mom got home. With only a week left before her return, the project was only half finished and new problems kept arising; the biggest being that the dirt walls kept caving in, forcing Jon to dig out wheelbarrows full of dirt on a daily basis. Jon was working harder then a Mexican donkey to dig his hole, which far surpassed his careful renderings and had grown to the size of a short yellow school bus. In this gaping hole, with only 2 days until his mom’s inevitable return, Jon began to build the room. Using the money he conned (about $200), he bought the wood and went to work on framing an enclosed box.

The night before his mother was scheduled to return, Jon finished his pièce de résistance, a structure that would change the meaning of the term man cave forever and would cement his name in the neighborhood folklore. Jon deserved it. This was not just your run-of-the-mill underground room. It had everything you would want in a bedroom, let alone an underground bedroom. Jon had dug a trench from the house to his new hideout, which allowed him to run extension cords to power his TV, phone and lights. He threw in a bench, a bookshelf, a futon and a Plexiglas window that looked out into the soil. 9035_180471555475_554235475_4169344_7010837_n

From the outside, there was no way to tell there was a room below the surface. Jon had neatly re-laid the original sod.  The only way to enter the room was through a flat hatch door that was covered with some dead shrubs. It was like a pot grower’s wet dream. A hideout that would make Anne Frank say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” The only thing that indicated something remotely suspicious were the gargantuan piles of dirt that looked like an unfinished dirt sculpture of Dolly Parton. Surely his mom would buy the landscaping story. Right?

I asked Jon to explain to me what happened when his mom came home and he wrote this:

“At first it was my intention to keep the underground room a secret. That plan briefly worked. When my mom came home, she immediately noticed the comically sized primitive pyramids of dirt that were once the intestines of the underground room. She asked, “Where in the world did all the dirt come from?” I replied, “Well, I’ve been doing some weeding.” For whatever reason she left it at that. However, the next day she brought it up again, pointing out the absurdity in my reply. “Well, Ma,” I said, “Do you really want to know?”  “Yes,” she replied, “Ok, follow me,” I said and I led her to where the trap door to the room was. I asked her if she noticed anything strange. “Well, it looks as if you’ve Rototilled the ground or something.” I kicked aside the brush, revealing to her for the first time the door that would lead her into a new understanding of her only child. “Now do you notice anything strange?” This was met by only silence. “Here lift the handle,” I suggested. It wasn’t until 3 days 9035_180471325475_554235475_4169343_1967265_nlater that she approached me and said, “You know, Jonathan, it’s actually quite impressive what you did. I wish you hadn’t done it behind my back, but I’m impressed.”

Jon lived in the underground room for 3 months, until the winter rains arrived and the room’s only structural flaw was revealed: the flat roof necessitated an interior gutter system to allow the inhabitants to live comfortably. But by then, Jon, now 18, could finally move out without a co-sign on a lease, rendering the underground room’s main purpose obsolete. Water filling the room daily, Jon decided to abandon his baby to live in something more conventional: something above ground.

Jon’s room remained in his mom’s backyard and the contentious dirt piles remained lodged between the two fences. Over the next 2 ½ years, neglected, the underground room accumulated a horror film’s worth of snakes, slugs and spiders, eventually deteriorating into a miniature swimming pool of cess, until the day Jon’s mother unilaterally condemned it. Jon returned and, over a couple of visits, refilled the hole with the same dirt he had dug out so many summers before. Why, I wondered, didn’t he just spend the money on drugs?

When I think about Jon’s room now, I imagine a scene 200 years in the future. I visualize the face of a man as he accidentally digs up this underground fortress. I envision the excitement he will encounter as he uncovers the treasure that will make him rich and give historians of his day crucial information about the people who inhabited the land so many years before. Camera crews arrive, speculating about what could be inside: aliens, a king’s tomb, maybe artifacts of the ’90s. The whole world watches on live TV in anticipation. Then, I picture the disappointment on everyone’s faces as they open the hatch and begin the gridded excavation, only to find an abandoned 9x9x9 room with nothing in it but a High Times 9035_180471700475_554235475_4169345_2101968_nmagazine and a Plexiglas window looking out into the dirt.

The scene will cause the kind of laugh that happens only years after a joke’s inception, like an Andy Kaufman skit.

Now I understand why Jon didn’t spend the $200 from his con on drugs that would wear off in 300 hours and instead spent it on something he knew would be hilarious for centuries: the underground room

 

 

 

 

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