Monday, May 30, 2011

I Was Someone's Date From Hell

I should have told this story to my friends 1000 times in the 24 years or so since it happened, but I swear to no God I forgot all about it. This is a true story, every incredibly embarrassing word of it.

When I was 18 I was working, to nobody's surprise, at a Radio Shack at the North Shore Shopping Center in Peabody, Massachusetts. Across the hall and one store over from the Shack there was a record and tape store (yes, records and tapes - kids, googlewiki it) called Musicland. I think they folded into Sam Goody or some similar franchise, but no matter, no matter. More to the point, the girlies at Musicland would come visit us, and we, them. In return for a steady supply of pretty much whatever they needed under $10, they'd copy pretty much any album they had for us. They were cool and for a bunch of Shackies, that was important.

Well I was sweet on one of the girls in there, the assistant manager, whose name I can no longer recall. And I decided that seeing as I was an adult now, all of 18 hormonal years old, that I would no longer admire any damn body from afar; if I wanted something, I would simply ask for it. It was a moderately successful formula that summer. I did better than, say, Bob Ueker but not as well as Ted Williams (in other words, me asking someone for a date, and getting one, happened more often than twice out of ten tries, but less than four out of ten).

Anyway I decided that I wanted a date with this girl (maybe Julie? Julia? Judy? Something like that I think). So I asked.

And got rejected.

So I asked again. And again. And again.

And got rejected, again and again and FUCKING AGAIN. It started getting pathetic, and I did nothing to dispel that perception. The next time I asked, I actually said these words: "Aww, come on, pleeeeeease??" And she finally said yes. I suspect that instead of my slightly goofy, playful charm getting the better of her, she started getting genuinely concerned that I would find her outside of work and chop her into small pieces while muttering, "shoulda said yes...shoulda said yes...shoulda said yes..." Either way, from a strict results standpoint my gambit succeeded; I hate a date with what's-her-face.

We went to the pub three stores down from where we worked (I know: smooth, Gary, really smooth). She was around 22 and I was a freshly-minted 18, relying on a moustache and beard to convince the bartenders that I was of age. I did end up getting busted and banned from that joint, but thankfully not this night. No, this night would end up distastrous all on its own, without having to rely on the Massachusetts Alcholic Beverage Commission to fuck things up.

She didn't really like me much, this girl - let's call her Julie, I think that was her name, or something close to it - and agreed to go on this date on the express condition that this would the the first and last date we two would ever have. In fact, her one condition when I spilled out my "aww, please" line was "Just ONE date?" and she only said yes after I confirmed the non-repetitious nature of the evening.

I've been told that some girls go out on dates with guys they don't much like in the hopes that during the date they'll find something in common, or their pheromones will drive each other crazy and they'll end up fucking like jackrabbits, or something, some potential that they hope for. In this case I'm convinced that she went on this date only because she was sure we'd never go out again and all this nonsense about me begging her for a date would go away permanently.

So we sit at the bar and order drinks. Now, my friends and family know of me that I'm not a drinker, but she didn't know it, and right exactly then I was thinking with the head that didn't know it either. Let's-call-her-Julie was a good and practiced drinker, and thought nothing of knocking a bunch of them back without that much disruption in The Force.

I made the fatal mistake of trying to impress her by keeping up with her.

And 45 minutes in to the date, this date in which I had a .00000375 percent chance of scoring a second date going in, I was sloppy drunk, laughing at my own jokes, nearly falling off my barstool twice, asking her what it was about me that made the thought of bedding down with me so abhorrent, and trying to kiss her, and missing by a good two feet.

The evening was over for me before the mall locked its main doors at 10:30, so that means the date lasted less than 90 minutes before it degenerated so far that she just told me to fucking leave.

If it is any consolation, she probably remembers this date with greater clarity than I do. The fact that I was pretty solidly drunk added to the fact that I didn't remember it until basically now, but mostly it's because it was so damned embarrassing.

I never did score a second date with let's-call-her-Julie; in point of fact we two never spoke again. But remembering this story was really good for me. It let me know that which I did not know before, namely this: I was someone's date from hell. When date-from-hell stories are swapped around the table at some Mexican restaurant, around a pitcher of Margaritas and a basket of tortilla chips that they're all ignoring, let's-call-her-Julie will take a big sip of her drink and say, "Oh - I got one for you," and shudder, as she thinks of me.

Hey, at least she's thinking of me, 24 years later. That's not creepy, is it?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Let the Autopsy Report Show He Did it to Himself

My friends, I have not had a healthy few days.

Oh sure - it started off with great promise. The Bruins won game 2 of their series, which meant my game 5 tickets are now in play. Yay! To celebrate my windfall I decided to have some chicken wings delivered to the house from this wing joint I just discovered whose wings are those of the mighty eagle, or the phoenix, or some other, proud noble bird that's bigger and juicier than a run of the mill chicken. And no, before you ask, I have ZERO compunction against eating eagle wings.

Anyway, the delivery guy comes to the door and I deviate from my normal M.O., that being to ask the guy to step in, because as I always say, "we have a cat that likes to go walkabout." Well I guess I didn't want to spook new guy and I had faith in my cat, but it turns out those thoughts were ridiculous and unfounded, respectively. I hold the door open to complete my wingy transaction and out flies Pearl, like a fuzzy phantom, into the afternoon mist.

I pull on the nearest pair of shoes I can find (I swear to God, Toot's fuzzy slippers) and look for her. For a miracle, in about twenty seconds I find her.

Now the thing is about Pearl, she just loves me so much she doesn't even know how to express it most days. She'll nuzzle up against me, curl up next to me, let me pick her up for as long as I feel like, all the while never giving Toots anything but the time of day. Cat people, you know how it is. She picked me, and rather than being my pal, as my previous best kitty buddy, Sarsaparilla was, she is more like in love with me - such is the depth of emotion and respect coming from this cat in my direction.

I tell you this because it informs what happened next: I told her to stay right the fuck there so I could get her into the house. She didn't dare disobey me but she did NOT want to end her adventure out of doors. I picked her up and she screamed, and growled, and scratched me. When I say she scratched me, I don't mean that she gave me a run-of-the-mill ouchy. She gave me this:

Yes, that's chunks of raw meat that used to belong to me on my hand

If you don't think that's gruesome, blame the picture. It looks for all the world like I tried to kill myself, which, Mom, I did NOT FUCKING DO. After she scratched me she stopped fighting and just growled at me like I was the feline equivalent of Hitler. In return I...


Well, look: If you want to have cats understand you, if you want them to pick up what you're putting down, you have to ACT LIKE A CAT. Do what a cat does when he's angry and cats will get that you're angry. Sounds foolish but it works every time. So I put a low growl in the back of my throat and let her know how pissed off (and bleeding) I was. It worked - she stopped bitching immediately.

I got her in the house and, I swear to no god, I snapped. I screamed at the very top of my voice, a voice reserved only for Tootsie when we're in our twice-per-decade blowout fights. What did I scream at her? Simply this: "I WILL KILL YOU! I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU!!" And even though I didn't bother to translate THAT little vignette into cat-speak, she understood and hied herself as fast as her little kitty legs could carry her downstairs and under the pool table. Goddamn right. Now stay there until I decide to make up with you.

So that's the first injury of the day. The second one, indirectly was due to a poker tournament I won some years ago. It was the first one I ever won, and I made the rookie mistake of telling Toots about it. She in turn used EVERY PENNY of the windfall and bought natural wood blinds, like bamboo tubes I guess to cover a gigantic picture window in my living room. Well, I was looking out the window waiting, I think, for Toots to come home so I could tell her that Pearl had been a BAD KITTY, when I turned my head and and end piece of bamboo slashed my forehead right at the hair line. It looked like I received a dueling scar from the most myopic motherfucker ever to hold an epée.

So, after dousing my arm in hydrogen peroxide (motto: "sure it hurts."), and my forehead in bactine (motto:"if you use this you're a pussy"), I settle downstairs to watch a great pitcher's duel between the Sox and the Tigers. When, in the eighth inning the Sox break the scoreless tie and score a run, my fist-pump was slightly interrupted by the fact that I had the remote in my head, sticking out of my fist by a good six inches, and with it I whacked myself in the other side of the forehead, but good. I missed giving myself a shiner by about 2 inches.

Then I had a screaming match with my mother and as a "joke" told my brother I tried to kill myself and showed him the wound and he god so upset it was 10 minutes talking him down. So I injured myself three times and alientated two members of my immediate family.

All in all, one hell of a day.

So until next time, please remember I'm not the kitty equivalent of Hitler. That's this guy:

After my nap I think I'll march into Poland

Also, read my other site, Red Sox 101, or you'll get shingles.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Do You Love Me?

Well do ya?

Do you at least like me a lot? Or even a little?

If you do, and fuck, even if you don't, do me a favor: go and check out my new site, Red Sox 101. Part news, part opinion, part ongoing stats, part everything. All delivered in my smartass style and Very Josie's ebullient prose. It's If you like it - and even if you don't, I'm not proud - visit often. Make it your home page. I'd love you to read it but at least click on it four times a day and I'm happy.

Bear in mind it's only been up for a day, so the content is naturally skewed to the last 24 hours. But there should be enough there to hold your interest for a few minutes. There are still a few this-n-thats to be fixed, this is more of a soft launch (read: still buggy as hell but the content is there). But please, consider visiting. This is my baby and a potential way for me to actually make a living. I'd be grateful if you clicked the shit out of it. Register for the site. Start a discussion. Work the poll. If you don't like what you see, fucking fake it. Keep clicking. Follow me on Twitter @RealRedSox101. Just please, ok? I'm obviously not too proud to beg, so I'm hoping a word to the wise will be sufficient.

Thanks in advance. Until next time, please remember that url:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Foxwoods trip, part II: Breakfast, Walk Fast, Lose Fast

So after our evening's pokerry activities, we drove back to my house, a matter of exactly an hour door to door. We got home to find Tootsie just starting to nod off in her chair. God bless her, she jumped right up and got Josie settled on the couch with all the bedding a discerning girl could ever want. I offered to have her sleep under my bed in a box, her arms and legs having been amputated a la Boxing Helena; she demurred however and took the couch.

Before I knew what hit me it was the morning, I was still sleeping, and Josie was awake and unsupervised in my house. Toots had left my door open and I was woken up by the twin sounds of my door being closed and Josie pretending to clear her throat by literally saying "ahem" sotto voce.

After a brief period of waking up whereby apparently I wear a face that "looks like [I] smelled something bad," but was just my disdain for the early hour and my not-yet-fully awake-iosity, we got our collective shit in gear and headed over for some breakfast at my local joint.

I am a regular there; I try to make it three or four times a month. It is a place where, honest-to-His-Noodly-Appendage, all the waitresses know my name and what I want for breakfast (2 poached runny yolk over corned beef hash, home fries well done, white toast please). Anyway after a litlle chitchat with Emily the Triathlete Waitress, who is great at what she does and still as cute as a VERY cute button, Josie ordered her breakfast and to drink, "coffee - milk." A few minutes later Emily was back with my tea and a tall glass of what looked like weak chocolate milk.

Having lived in Rhode Island for the better part of 11 years I knew immediately what it was and why it was there, and a broad grin crossed my face as I told her that while Jos had said "coffee-milk," what Emily heard was, completely logically for Rhode Island, "coffee milk." It's like chocolate milk but instead of a splooge of Hershey's syrup it's a splooge of Autocrat Coffee syrup. It is, with no exaggeration, the state drink of Rhode Island.

To her credit, she tasted it, but was not exactly impressed. But she got her coffee soon enough, and even sooner enough we were on our way back to the scene of the crime. We parked eighty miles away from where we needed to be, and had to walk all of those lonely miles. I will say this for Josie: she has these short little legs but I, a man of six feet in height when I stand up straight (which is never), had real trouble keeping up with her. God bless her, she can rumble along at a furious pace when she needs to.

Aaaaanyway, we played an $80 Bounty tournament, again, she at one table, Josie's friend Lynn at another, and me at yet another. Guess what we all had in common? We all lost early early early.

I'm especially upset because my table was actually pretty soft, and I damn near doubled up in the very first hand. As UTG+1 I looked down at 99, I bet 3x and got two callers. Flop came a third nine. SB bets 400, BB calls, I raise to 1575 and both blinds call. Turn gives 4 to a straight. Check-check-check. I'm scared shitless that I bet myself out of the tournament in the first hand and was asking myself if I had the mettle to fold to a big bet if one of these Jamokes decides to show a little ass...

...when the river puts a fourth god damned fucking suckbag dicksmoking fuckstick club. I am literally kissing my chips goodbye when I hear the two words I least expected to hear: check, check. I turn my cards over and announce "set of nines," and hold my breath.

It's good.

The dealer sends a mountain of chips my way, almost 4,000 chips over my previous position, and we're off to the races.

Except the races ended up beating me; I lost three of them with pocket pairs against two overs. The final insult was when I went all-in with AK, and got two callers, both of whom ended up beating my AK. Bye-bye Jew! Hope you enjoyed 90 minutes of poker.

I had a bowl of noodles at the noodle joint, more out of boredom than hunger, where I was the only man there who hailed from west of, say, Mongolia. I will say this about the Chinese, hopefully without sounding too much like Toots's grandmother, who called them "crafty" (and meant it): They all smoke like fucking chimneys. One fella with his pants up to his nipples had a cigarette going for 45 straight minutes, and would blow his goddamn smoke right into my "what are you doing in the noodle joint, round-eye" face. Damn! What are their lungs made of, shoe leather?

Anyway I wandered back to the tourney to find that Lynn had beat a similarly hasty retreat, and Jos was on life-support. Within 15 minutes of me coming back she was out as well. So we said goodbye to Lynn and ambled off to play some 1-2 no limit.

I was holding my own - I was down $5 - when Josie came up to my chair, despondent: she'd lost all her money and she wanted to get the hell home. So home we went, after stopping for a tuna sandwich (I've never seen a girl's eyes light up more at the sight of a sub shop that sold tuna fish in my life). We got home, beating FDD Spuds by maybe 20 minutes.

And that, my friends, brought our Foxwoodian weekend to a close. It was fun - don't get me wrong, Josie's always a good hang - but it wasn't lucrative. I think we figured out that Josie was $30 ahead of me, but we were both down.

Hope you enjoyed the trip report. Until next time, please remember the word "with," when you are ordering coffee WITH milk in Rhode Island.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Walking on the Double, Flirting with the Bubble, and Punch-Buggy Trouble

I am sitting downstairs on my couch, exhausted from having spent the better part of two days at Foxwoods with Very Josie. She took Monday off and we had grand plans of getting the better of the Mother's Day crowd of amateurs and running roughshod over, you know, everyone.

The field trip started when I had to leave my Mother's house earlier than I normally would to go pick up Josie, who was also at her mother's. Hey, I didn't say that there wasn't a benefit to all this! Jo's sister Cricket just came back from Rome and she was full of stories and little Italian candies and cookies that were ferociously yummy. It's always a pleasure seeing (H)Anna, Jo's mother, who just loves me, despite her obvious disapproval of my ponytail. I greeted her with a kiss and a "you're already staring at my ponytail. Do I have to worry about you sneaking up behind me and cutting it off?" Laughs all around except for her; she just said, "no, of course not" and smiled a Sicilian smile that did not reach her eyes.

Discretion being the better part of valor, we made our exit and headed south. A quick stop at my house to drop off Tootsie, who was not coming with us, and we were on our way. We took Toots's car because it had less squalor in it than mine. Not for long! Driving down the road, Jos did me the "favor" of re-closing my soda bottle and proceeded to spill it all over the car. It was one of those weird new Mountain Dew flavors, the blue one, and it smelled (and tasted) like "a melted popsicle" (VJ). After some frenzied clean-up she was paranoid that Toots would say something about the sticky and the smelly, but she did neither. But it provided us with a lot of laughs on the way down.

Something that provided less laughter was Josie's curious habit of yelling "Punch-Buggy" and whacking me one good in the arm whenever she saw a Volkswagen Beetle. I'll tell you what: you gain an appreciation for how many VW bugs there are in the world when you get punched in the arm every time one rolls the fuck by.

Anyway, despite some mild bruising we made it to Foxwoods more or less without incident. We had to be there in time for an 8:00 "turbo" tournament that we especially wanted to play. A non-present employee at the make-a-card station made it a close thing but we were there with a few minutes to spare, she at one table and I at another, and started playing.

I'll let Josie tell you what happened with her, but she was out before me. As for me, I have to say, I played fucking awesome. The combination of solid, conservative play, coupled with the fact that both times when I looked down to find AA, someone shoved in front of me, chipped me up right proper and it carried me to the final table.

The normal payout was 6 people. When it got down to 8 we all decided to split it 8 ways and everybody quite reasonably walked away with 3rd place money, some 400 bucks. No, wait: that DIDN'T happen because one fucking asshat in seat 7 decides that he doesn't want to chop. No amount of cajoling would change his mind. So on we played.

And the blinds went up.

And the blinds went up again.

And the antes were huge and before I knew it I found myself with less than 4 big blinds and a lot of deep frigging stacks around me. It was time to gamble. Fortunately (or otherwise) the next hand out of the chute was 77. I shoved, got called with AJ to my right (so I sweated out the whole table folding to me until this guy calls), gets his ace, and that was the story of me. Le bulle. Die lufltblase. La bolla. The fucking god damned bubble. I'm still so mad I could spit.

Part 2 tomorrow. It's 2AM and Sue Jacobs' little boy is out of steam.

Until next time, please remember that if you see a convertible Beetle, you have to say "punch buggy rag-top-style" and slap someone three times in addition to the punch.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm talking to YOU, Habs fans...

Before I begin I want it to be known that this is NOT a confrontational post, nor is it sore winning or gloating over the rotting, flyblown corpses of the vanquished as the victors drink wine and dance. I have some actual questions and I can't get any straight answers from people in my circle, for reasons which will soon be obvious.

My question regards the Montreal Canadiens and their style of play. The impression that Bruins fans and media have regarding les bleu blanc rouge's style of play is that they are fast, nimble, agile skaters who avoid physical confrontation at all costs, and who dive and stay down to earn a penalty.

It is this last trait that my question comes from, and it's a simple one: do you agree? if you look into your soul, strip away all pretense and rooting interest, choose to remove self-applied blinders, do you see that? Do you see the diving and (to use an unkind term) dishonorable play that the rest of us see?

Or do you honestly see things otherwise? And can you back that up with facts? I'm happy to hear them with an open mind. And look, if the argument is compelling enough, I will allow myself to be convinced - although to be honest, I just don't see it happening.

And for you Francophonic Québecois: Je voudrais vous demander une question: Les tricouleur, sont-ils vraiment des plongeurs et lâches entièrement sans honneur?

Alors, jusqu'au prochain fois, rappelez-vous les Boston Bruins!!