Archive | Matt Baker

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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