If you're like me, and I know I am...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Working class? You're soaking in it


You can't soak a chicken drumstick in teriyaki sauce
then cook it up and call it duck a l'orange, can you?
Neither can you grow up working class, go to college,
get a white collar job and call yourself middle class.

The problem with most Americans is that in spite of
living in a country that is supposed to appreciate people
of all classes, no one self identifies their own class correctly.
Everyone wants to be middle class. "My father was cop,
my mother was a teacher, there were 10 kids in my family
\and I had to move out as soon as I was 18 because
there wasn't enough room and my mother was expecting
another kid." Hmmmmm, yeah, that sound middle class
to me, too. Rubes. That's a quote by the way from some
chick I met at a party. We got to talking about class in
America and how no one self-identifies as working class.
She said she was middle class -- MAYBE lower middle
class. All I needed to hear was "my father was a cop."

She thought she was middle class because they lived in
a nice house. Doesn't matter. By what twisted logic does
working class equate with living in a shitty house? Working
class isn't lower class or shit. It means you work for a living.
Answer phones, flip burgers, put out fires, tote bails, haul
buckets of water, recycle scrap metal, type, data entry,
etc. and I hate to tell you this but you are working class --
even if your mom is a teacher. Because, and here's the rub,
most teachers are working class, too. Teachers as a rule have
my respect, but it is the one job a working class kid can easily
aspire to and succeed at. Teachers are in pretty short supply.
I could be a teacher in less than a year if I wanted. And you know
why? No one wants to do the job. Especially if they are of a higher
class. It doesn't pay that well. But to a working class kid, it ain't
too shabby. It looks white collar, but it's work.

My stepfather once told me something quite important one day
by accident. We were going to lunch after a busy morning
pouring a basement (that's pouring the concrete floor of a basement
under a house that's already been built which is suspended above
your head). We were heading to lunch at the 30 Club and I must've
appeared slightly embarrassed to be covered with dirt and drying
concrete. As I attempted to dust myself off -- an act of futility in
and of itself -- he said to me, "Never be ashamed of honest work dirt."
And I walked into that working man's club proud to know that everyone
who looked at me knew I'd been busting my balls all day. A tenderloin
sandwich never tasted so good before or since.

So no matter what I've done or where I've been, I have always
identified myself as working class, God damn it. Though, occasionally,
I tell people I'm leisure class just to throw them off the scent.

Here are some working class traits you might exhibit ... no matter
how much money you make:

Drinking shitty beer in a can.
Touching your junk.
Swearing without extreme cause.
Tire art.
Yard ornaments.
Eating the evening meal before 8 p.m.
Worrying that people might think you are working class.
Thinking Larry the Cable Guy is funny.
Bowling.
Bowling ironically.
Drinking wine because you think it makes you sophisticated.
Owning a big TV and referring to it as "The Big Screen."
Talking about gas mileage.
Knowing your gas mileage.
Camping.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Way to Be, Mr. Al B. Ino


On the way to work today, I passed an albino
driving a red convertible and I thought,
"Good for him."

Or maybe he was just Norwegian.

Rest in peace, Doc (10.31.00)




This is an editorial, but I wrote it. Frankly, no one else even knew the guy who died.
He was my old philosophy prof so I took the lead on this.

Rest in peace, Doc
The Editorial Board (Iowa State Daily)

E.D. "Doc" Klemke, professor emeritus of philosophy and religious studies passed away last Friday and Iowa State will miss him.

He retired in 1997 so not many current students had the privilege of knowing him first-hand. Those who did found him a warm and personable teacher who opened their mind's potential. He had a way of explaining the most difficult philosophical problems for even the most reluctant young minds.

As a teacher of introductory philosophy, Iowa State students across the years learned to think critically under his tutelage. He was not a harsh man and never spoke rudely to anyone, no matter how stubborn they were.

Doc liked to get together with students outside of class just to get to know them.

He used to love talking about his impressive stereo system.

He enjoyed all kinds of music, and would often open his classes with a favorite song that fit the day's lecture.

On the first day of one introductory philosophy class, he played "Superman" by R.E.M. and immediately gained the respect of young philosophers.

Doc would tell students that not all opinions were equally valid, and by way of explanation would say, "If I think you're a jerk and you don't think you're a jerk, we can't both be right."

He was reluctant to tell students there was no rational reason to believe in God, but quick to tell them he admired them for their faith.

Doc would tell students the only way to know for sure if there was a God or not was to die and meet him. No one wanted to believe in God more than Doc.

E.D. Klemke spent his life looking for proof of God and, for better or for worse, he has found it. Rest in peace, Doc.

Mr. Big, Friley's spooky fiend (10.30.00)



The legend of Mr. Big is one that has made the job of every security guard and Food Service employee working in Friley Hall just a little harder -- especially when the sun goes down. Details of the story were gathered from student security officer Marie Chase and an Ethos Magazine story by Lana Gertsen.

The tale goes like this:

One dark night, Friley security guards were doing their rounds in Food Service. It was 1 a.m. -- the witching hour. While checking all the locks, the unsuspecting guards were surprised to see a well-dressed man over 6-feet tall with a cape and top hat standing at the end of a dark corridor. The guards shouted out to the intruder, "Hey, you, stop!"

The man ran and the security guards gave chase. When they got to the end of the corridor, the man was gone. The guards turned to find the man at the opposite end of the corridor they had been standing in when they first saw the man. He could only have gotten there by running past them. The guards never saw him pass them in the narrow corridor. They would have.

Once again, calling out, the man ran. The guards searched all of Friley Hall to find this strange, late night visitor, but to no avail. He was gone.

Later that night, a clue emerged. Finding no trace of the man anywhere else in the building, one of the guards shined his flashlight into a hole in a brick wall that sealed off an old, disused incinerator room. There was no way into or out of the bricked up room.

The flashlight shone against the opposite wall and there, against the dusty brick, over 6-feet off the ground, was the chalk outline of a man's head complete with top hat. Next to the outline was written in the cold red stone, "I am Big."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ode to a Crack Whore (1998, published in Ethos)

You're on the pipe and that's alright,
I think I love you crack whore.
No ordinary hooker you,
Give me some sugar, sweet baboo.
Crabs and scabs and rotten crotch?
The sores on your lips, they bother me not.
At 3 A.M. you're on the street,
Who are you waiting to meet?
Why do I love you, I cannot say?
You are wild, impetuous, free and gay.
You'd do anything for some crack,
Supporting your habit on your back.
I can't change you, no need to try,
You don't care if you die.
Your beauty comes from a different aesthetic.
You smoke and drink and wax prophetic,
About life as you see it, dark and seedy,
Lonely, boring, skanky, and needy.

Spurned and burned, shunned and ignored,
You've left me alone you dirty whore!
What's he have that I don't?
What'll he do that I won't?
He smacks you around and treats you like shit,
I think you deserve whatever you get.
He says he loves you more'n me,
That's not true he's just horny!
And greedy and dirty and stupid, too!
Ulterior motives for wanting you.
When you're on the street, fucked up and desperate,
Don't come to me to get you out of it.
Been down that road, once or twice, yes,
Don't have the patience to support your vices.
You are a slut and a loser,
Perpetual victim and user.
If I could have whatever I wanted,
It would be you, forever haunted,
Knowing what you passed by,
Just to get laid and get high,
With the crap of the planet.
Kiss my ass, I hate you Janet!

waning (1998)

waning like a psychotic moon
the light blinding my eyes
i want a new emotion and a new head a new heart and no more shit
i want to feel like a I have a purpose and a plan a focus
no hitches a brain on good chemicals
no short circuits no faulty wires
and bad hardware and new software
and a life that i can hold in my mind's eye
like the right thing to do the right fucking path
the path of least resistance

Quest for Fire Boy (1998)

My one and only failure
is the sight of your genitalia.
It’s a primary sexual stimulus,
Don’t blame me for gettin’ curious.
I’m just a Neanderthal who can’t say no,
to making love at the water hole!
When you’re drinking, with your friends,
I can see, your rear-ends.
Gets me thinking, “Now’s my chance!
to have some fun and grab some ass!”

Prehistorically, that is
Natural selection
No protection

Australopithecus, Homo Erectus,
Neolithic, Pleistocene,
Evolution is a hell of a scene!

OCD (1998, published in Ethos)

I wash my hands when I think of you,
Do everything else two by two.
Running fours inside my head,
Count my pencils, then to bed.
Are the shoes touching in my closet?
I can't sleep, gotta stop it.
Scratch one hand and then the other,
I'm not nuts, just ask my mother...

She checks the stove...
One, two, three, four...
One, two, three, four...
One, two, three, four...
One, two, three, four...
...now we can go.

Agoraphobia, anxiety attacks,
Fear of dying? You bet your ass!
Oh, why am I pursued by tedious demons?
Compelled to act for obsessive reasons.
Release me from this tortured tedium!
Fucked-up head, defective medium.
Another day of endless wiles,
One more day counting ceiling tiles!

Things going bump in the night (Saturday, October 04, 2003)

I want to just keep on saying this every day until Thanksgiving. You'd think by age, 57 and a half, it wouldn't come as such a surprise any more that the days get shorter and shorter as winter approaches, but every year ... "I can't believe how dark it is already."

I also can't believe how Halloween seems to get started earlier and earlier every year now, too, like it's Christmas. That starts unreasonably early every year as well, but at least with Christmas there are great fat gobs of cash to be made. If there's one thing I know about human beings it's that we will do anything for cash or - as the kids are calling it this month - "cheese" or "cheddar."

But is there really that much cheddar cheese to be made with Halloween? Sure, it's a bump for the economy, but there are only so many costumes, bags of miniature candy bars and plastic skulls one can buy unless one happens to be Rob Zombie.

Even Loan City on 35th and W. Broadway seems to have gotten into the spirit of Halloween, and I must admit I can't wait to see what they do for Christmas that will liven up our city's entrance way.

You can only do so much for Halloween a full month in advance of the actual holiday, because it is a very time-specific holiday. The spirits don't even start THINKING about getting out of the house until after the 5 o'clock news.

Halloween is definitely one of my top three favorite holidays of the year. The other two are Boxing Day and Ascension Sunday.

Halloween is the last of the great pagan brouhahas that still has any notion of "getting a little worked up" left in it. Not that long ago, Christmas was the biggest night to raise hell. I'm not even kidding about that.

Today, all of our holy days are boring. They are just becoming days when we repress our emotions even more than the rest of year. Thank God we can still have a good family argument at Thanksgiving. "Eating and crying ... you're like a crazy person! What's wrong with you? Have some more gravy and stop that!"

Ah gravy, is there nothing you cannot cure?

Halloween is one of those holidays where we do all sorts of stuff for reasons that completely baffle us if we bother to think about it. The answers are pretty interesting, too, I must say.

First off, Halloween is not really a dark or evil custom. It comes from the Celtic feast of Samhain (pronounced SOW-win or SOW-ween and definitely not SAM-hane), according to Peg Aloi, associate editor of Obsidian Magazine and an expert on pagan customs. Oct. 31 is right between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. It is a conceptual, celestial tug o'war. Most of our ancestors really paid attention to astrology because they lived off the land and in compliance with the seasons. Also because indoor plumbing, heated office buildings and TV had not yet been invented.

It was a time to "commune with the dead," a practice that was viewed with particular suspicion by the Church, but was probably no more bizarre than our practice of leaving cookies out for Santa Claus or flowers on graves. In fact, leaving food out for deceased ancestors or inviting them to dinner was just part of the spirit of the holiday.

Because the veil between the worlds was thin, fortune-telling was also big at this time of year. Bobbing for apples is traditionally a way of telling if someone would have good fortune or not. It stands to reason since having a big mouth has always been a pretty good indication of one's BS-ing skills.

And talk about fun ... check out this speed-reasoning:

Squash make for good lanterns. They are plentiful, cheap, last a reasonably long time and taste great baked. Spirits in Irish folklore were often given names such as Jack of the Green, John O'Dreams, Jack in the Pulpit. A flame that flickers on Samhain night is supposedly one that is being touched by a spirit. According to Aloi, "Jack-O-Lantern" or "Jack of the Lantern" is an old Irish folktale about a man who is unable to enter heaven or hell and so is condemned to wander the night with only a candle in a turnip by which to see. So by extension, one might carve a pumpkin and put a candle in it just to see if those ancestors have dropped by or not.

Breathe!

Dressing up like ghosts was seen as a way to lead spirits back out of town once you were done with them, and many cultures have begged for candy and other treats for a variety of reasons. There really isn't any mystery there. Bribing people not to vandalize your house? Same thing, only it used to be much bigger at Christmas time.

This is a fine time of the year, though. Even with all our streetlights and modern, food-storing appliances, it's easy to see how our ancestors could get all riled up and spiritual at this time of year. As the days grow shorter and the nights get longer, the mind - conditioned by eons of instinct - cannot help but offer forth its darkest thoughts.

So, if you've gotten this far, I want you to call or write me with your ghost stories. The good stuff. The real southwest Iowa, swear-to-God-it's-true stories of ghosts and other bizarre happenings of the season. Then, I will write about them. Sound good? You bet it does.

- Greg Jerrett is a Nonpareil staff writer.

Earling site of last sanctioned exorcism (10/28/2003)

Warning: The following story contains references to spiritual matters
of an extremely frightening nature. Readers with heart conditions,
children and those who are otherwise ill-at-ease with detailed
descriptions of demonic possession and its associated behaviors
may not wish to continue reading beyond this point.

In 1928, an exorcism was performed in a convent just north of the peaceful hamlet of Earling. It was one of the last exorcisms officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church. The case was reported in several famous pieces of literature. One is a 48-page booklet called "Begone Satan" by the Rev. Carl Vogl, a witness to the event. The second is a book, "The Devil Rocked Her Cradle," by David St. Clair. The third is a novel inspired at least partly by this exorcism and one other in Washington, D.C. The book is called "The Exorcist" by William Peter Blatty and it inspired a film of the same title, which is considered to be one of the most frightening horror films ever made.

The truth is a difficult thing to preserve after so many years, but Papal records do acknowledge that the exorcism of Emma Schmidt did take place at the Convent of the Franciscan Sisters over a period of 23 days, an unusually long period of time. The convent is gone now, but the controversy remains.

It is said that Emma Schmidt had been possessed most her life, according to "Begone Satan." Born in 1882, Schmidt's Aunt Mina was reputedly a witch "who had placed a spell on some herbs which she placed among the girl's food." A Capuchin priest, Father Theophilus Riesigner, performed the rites of exorcism on her the first time in 1912, but she became possessed again "due to the curses hurled against her by her wicked father." The Earling exorcism was performed in three stages between Aug. 18 and Dec. 22, 1928.

According to Vogl in "Begone Satan," Emma Schmidt was a God-fearing woman who began to experience some very unusual things. Though she wanted to go to church, she felt as though something inside of her was preventing her from going, some "interior hidden power."

"She was conscious of some sinister inner voices that kept on suggesting most disagreeable things to her," according to Vogl's "Begone Satan." "These voices tried their utmost to arouse thoughts of the most shameful type within her, and tried to induce her to do things unmentionable and even to bring her to despair. The poor creature was helpless and secretly was of the opinion that she would become insane. There were times when she felt impelled to shatter her holy water font, when she could have attacked her spiritual adviser and could have suffocated him. Yes, there were suggestions urging her to tear down the very house of God."

By the time Father Riesigner approached his superiors about the Earling exorcism, Schmidt had not known a peaceful night's sleep for 26 years because of the voices inside her.

The modern debate is between those who believe Emma Schmidt to have simply been insane versus those who believe her to be a true example of demonic possession. It is not the position of the Daily Nonpareil to advocate one position over the other. However, the evidence for possession, the evidence that convinced a Capuchin priest and inspired decades of controversy, books and film was that Emma blasphemed whenever holy relics were brought near her. She foamed at the mouth. She made a variety of animal sounds. She was able to detect blessed food and rejected it. She spoke and understood Latin and other ancient languages in which she had no formal training. On at least one occasion, she levitated to the ceiling in front of witnesses.

During the exorcism, nuns were made busy in removing bucket after bucket of unusually foul smelling waste and green vomit from the woman who had eaten nothing in days.

A pea-sized lump moved freely underneath Emma's skin. Voices emanated from inside her chest identifying themselves as various demons, threatening participants with bodily as well as spiritual harm.

"Her body was completely distorted, swollen so badly that the nuns feared she would burst," according to the Web site, "Haunted America." "Emma's head swelled and turned red, her eyes bulged from their sockets and her lips protruded to twice their normal size. Sometimes she seemed to float above the bed, other times, her weight became so great that it bent the bed's iron frame."

According to Rev. Vogl's account, a hideous smell as well as the many loud noises drew the curious from Earling while at the monastery, an "epic battle" was raging.

"It was during this time that the poor woman admitted during her periods of rest that she had visions of horrible battles between the good and evil spirits. Countless numbers of evil spirits continually arrived. Satan tried his utmost not to be outdone this time. The good angels came to assist at the exorcism. Many approached seated on white horses and under the leadership of St. Michael, completely routed the infernal serpents and drove the demons back to the abyss of hell."

As the exorcism continued, the evil spirits appeared to be losing ground although it was noted that they often try to fool the exorcist by pretending to leave the body of their victim.

"Their bold, bitter demeanor gave way to more moaning and despairing tones. They could not bear the tortures of exorcism any longer ... Father Th. demanded in the name of the Most Blessed Trinity that at their departure the devils should give a sign by giving their respective names ... Father Th. shouted, 'Depart, ye fiends of hell! Begone, Satan, the Lion of Juda reigns!' ... (Emma) fell upon the bed ... a piercing sound filled the room ... voices saying, 'Beelzebub, Judas, Jacob, Mina,' could be heard. And this was repeated over and over until they faded far away into the distance. 'Beelzebub, - Judas, - Jacob, - Mina.' To these words were added: 'Hell--hell--hell!' Everyone present was terrified by this gruesome scene. It was the long awaited sign indicating that Satan was forced to leave his victim at last and to return to hell with his associates."

There was much rejoicing and it is said that Emma was able to attend mass and partake of all manner of holy rituals after that time.

Thursday, October 26, 2006




My next tattoo

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Time for Japes and Jests




This friend of mine works at Offutt Air Force Base.
I decided that since it is Halloween, I'd play a little
joke on him. I put this peace magnet on his car.
The one on the far right above, you know, the gayest
looking one in the bunch.

It's funny for two reasons. First is he hates car magnets.
I do too, but mostly because they are usually worn
like Nazi armbands to show conformity. They tend to
be pretty jingoistic.

Second is that he's an Army hump and even if he did
feel all rainbow peace sign inside, he'd never show it at
work in the officer's parking lot. So I'm hoping the other
buzz cuts will see it and give him a hard time before he
even knows it's there.

I myself got the one on the left above with the flag design.
I like that. Shows that I am a patriot and that I believe loving
peace AND ones country aren't opposing positions.

I suppose if there is a secret third reason out there somewhere,
it's that my buddy never reads my blog and many of my other
friends do. This means we will all be in on the joke while he could
have figured this out first thing if he read this. Serves him
right for now frequenting Bloggie Sue.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Old People can be Jackasses Too


Hey, where you live do they act like 38 is
practically a teenager too? I was introduced
at a lecture I was asked to give at this church,
St. John's Lutheran, as a young man. I was 33
at the time. Gave me a good opening joke though.

"I was asked to speak about Council Bluffs today
and why I chose to come back and invest my time
and career here. Where else can you be introduced
as a young man at 33?" big laughs but seriously,
everyone where I live is like 80 and thinks everyone
who isn't 80 is supposed to give a crap.

Venerating the elderly back in the days when being
old was some sort of accomplishment made sense.
But nowadays, everybody lives to be 80. I went to
a 60th high school reunion for the class of '41 a few
years back and they had more people show up alive
and kicking than we did at my 20th this year. It was
a mad house. A MAD HOUSE!

Being old these days is like having quints. It's special
when it's rare, natural and the product of nature not
mad science. I've got two grandmothers who are 80-ish.
One's never worked a day in her life. It's no surprise she's
still kicking around. But she offers nothing in the way of
wisdom, kindness or even homespun advice. She's as
worthless as any 20-year-old I've ever met, maybe more
since she's burnt out her potential. I mean, she doesn't
even have any potential potential. She's a boulder at the
bottom of a lake, man, she ain't goin' anywhere. The other
one's not much better.

Our society today is fast becoming some sort of gerontocracy
of vampires living off the young and not so young. Our
national motto should be "I'm old, can you help me?" not
"In God we trust" because obviously we don't or there
wouldn't be so many old people about.

In my "career," I get these old people calling up all the
time because they sat on their remotes and hit some
button and can't figure out how to get there TV back to
the Golf Channel. I talked to this woman the other night
whose TV was actually just shut off. Screen was black.

"Please hit the power button on your TV," I said.
"I don't see why I should have to do that, I never turned
it off."

Six and a half minutes of this shit just to get her to turn the
TV on. Old is one thing, stupid is quite another. I mean, they
had TVs in many households in the 50s didn't they? And
they came with power buttons or knobs didn't they? The
freakin' light switch has been around since the 19th century
so the concept of turning an appliance on and off should not
be alien to ANY LIVING AMERICAN, should it?

And it's not just stupid that's the problem, it's what I like to
call vicious idiocy. It's like pride of ignorance on steroids.
Vicious idiots are like retarded junkyard dogs. "Rowr! Rowr!
I'm stupid, I'm pissed, and I'd rather bitch, piss and moan than
listen to anyone who thinks they are smarter than me just
because they are indeed smarter than me."

Then if they feel stupid they expect you to make them NOT
feel stupid. I can't make a tree feel like an armoire, can I? I
can't make a pumpkin feel like a pumpkin pie and I can't
make a dullard feel like they have normal intelligence.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Nakey

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

These robots will kill us all



I'm not even kidding, one of these guys is a robot. And I
can't tell which one from this photo. Read about it here.

This leaves me with one certainty: Whenever the hell our
technology catches up with our ability to mimic humanity,
these robots will have our number. For sure.

What would Greg do?


Oh man, check this out. An Erie, Penn. woman has been arrested
for hitting her boyfriend... with HER BABY! Now sure, on the face of
it, this sort of crime is pretty reprehensible. It's easy to despise someone
who does something terrible to her own baby. But sometimes, there
is a deeper darker story behind these crimes. I'm not talking about
setting this woman, Chytoria Graham, free and erecting statues to her,
but there can be room for compassion on all sides. After all, we don't know
her or her baby. This really isn't personal to the vast majority of Americans
who will read this headline, gasp in horror, then scream their outrage to
anyone who will listen.

Trust me, there is a lot of sick shit going on in this world and as nasty
as it might be, one woman snapping and using her baby as a cudgel probably
doesn't even come close to making the top 1000 let alone the top 100 worst
things I've ever heard.

Let's be like Jesus, people, OK? Just a little bit. Jesus knew that having sympathy
for all God's children was the way to get to Heaven. Judge not. Show some
compassion. Reserve your scorn and judgment. Love will set your heart free.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Shouldn't this building have come crashing down by now?


I'm confused. On 9/11, two of the world's sturdiest
buildings came tumbling down within an hour
of having jets crash into them. Now, with everything
scaled down just so, we have a four-alarm blaze at
the Belaire Condominiums, 524 E. 72nd Street in
New York City, but nothing's come tumbling down
as of yet. Is that because this is what really
happens when planes crash into high rises? Do they
just wobble a bit, burn and keep standing? Still, if
I were the residents of this building I wouldn't set
foot inside until I was damn sure the government
wasn't planning a controlled demolition of the building
just to keep things looking on the up and up.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Screaming Red Death Caught on Video

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France is banning smoking?



Smokers beware, your day is coming .. fast and hard!
According to a BBC news story, the French government
is putting the kibosh on public smoking by January of 2008.
This is significant because France is one of those die-hard
smoking countries with a c'est la vie/que sera sera/cool is
the rule attitude where smoking was once king. It's about
impossible to imagine a cool Frenchman without a leather
coat and a smoke sitting at a cafe. But not only is France
making this move, it is doing so with the support of 70
percent of its population. That's a lot of support for anything
in politics.

It's just getting to the point in our history where people and
their governments are realizing that smoking has a very high
cost in terms of public health care. Nicotine is an addictive
drug that has been widely accepted for decades. It isn't less
deadly or less insidious because cute little old people do it. Imagine
if every where you went, people were chewing on coca leaves
or smoking opium in corncob pipes. We'd be screaming, "what
about the children?!"

Objections to smoking bans are becoming more and diaphanous
and nebulous all the time. People aren't sticking to their
guns the way they once did. As the number of ex-smokers grow,
so too does the clamor to outlaw smoking in bars and restaurants.
Ex-smokers know better than anyone that cigarettes are powerfully
addictive and that the more incentive they can give addicts to quit
the better off they will be in the long run.

Now say what you will about freedom of choice and liberty and what
not, but the law has always been on the side of curbing harmful
behavior especially when it is influenced by powerful addiction. It is
precisely because a powerful addiction strips human beings of their
right to choose for themselves that it becomes acceptable for society
to use the law to curb their behavior. We don't tolerate addicts to shoot
junk, snort blow or smoke meth in public places. Should we allow people
addicted to those drugs public rights so long as they don't bother anyone
else? Of course not, though a perfectly well behaved junkie would be
better than sitting next to someone smoking in a Burger King. I am old
enough to remember that pain in the ass behavior.

Addicts always argue that their addictions are really their rights and
legal restrictions on their public behavior equals infringement. It is too
bad they never realize that the real attack on their freedom comes from
their dependency.

Heads up: The End of the Republican Revolution



From this week's Time Magazine article, "The end of a revolution":

"But after controlling both houses of Congress for most of President
Bush's six years in office, the GOP has a governing record that has dismayed
those who fantasized about what Newt Gingrich and his band of rebels might
accomplish. To win votes back home, lawmakers in session have been spending
like sailors on leave, producing the biggest budget deficits in history.
The party's approach to national security has taken the country into a war
that most Americans now believe was a mistake and that the government's own
intelligence experts say has shaped 'a new generation of terrorist leaders
and operatives.'"

Friday, October 06, 2006

One of these freaks is not like the other freaks



This country is nuts

Five years ago in Columbia, S.C., a 12-year-old boy was
sentenced as an adult to 30 years in prison for setting
fire to his grandparents house. Here is the CNN story.

The boy's lawyer is now trying to get him off claiming
that the Zoloft the court made the kid take intoxicated
him rendering him unable to confess legitimately. Now,
I don't know what makes me more sick: that a lawyer
has to reduce himself to arguing a technicality to get a
17-year-old boy off on a sentence that was obviously too
harsh or that most Americans would take this as another
example of a scheister lawyer trying to work the system
thus missing the big picture.

Only a backwards country like ours would try a 12-year-old
as an adult with a straight face and act like that's justice. I'm
sure the grandparents are up in Heaven thankful that their
rotten little grandson is doing hard time to pay for his crime
against them.

My favorite part of this story is how the prosecution used the
fact that the kid initially lied about setting the house on fire
as proof that he knew what he did was wrong and THAT is
why they tried him as an adult. What a tool.

People who say 'proactive' make me ill and angry


"I'm proactive!" -Sloth


I'm so sick of people using the word proactive like it actually adds
meaning to any given sentence that I could spit ... right on them,
seconds after they say it. Proactive is made-up, meaningless,
overused, misused and stupid, stupid, stupid!

The word "proactive" was invented by psychiatrist Victor Frankl
to describe "a person who takes responsibility for his or her life,
rather than looking for causes in outside circumstances or other
people." So it was psychobabble from day one. But it was good
psychobabble so, of course, it was eventually adopted as
managementspeak: the super Orwellian term used to describe
the bullshit that comes out of the mouths of business types to
mean "having an orientation to the future, anticipating problems
and taking affirmative steps to deal positively with them rather
than reacting after a situation has already occurred."

Like I said, bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit!

The word is a pseudo-intellectual adverb that halfwits stick in front
of any given verb to try and make themselves sound professional.
"We need to proactively look for ways to cut down on waste." Wouldn't
that sentences mean exactly the same thing without "proactive" in there?
I think it would. Let's try. "We need to look for ways to cut down on waste."
Hmmmm. Guess so.

Using foresight, intelligence and skill to address problems before they
get out of hand isn't "proactive," it's just not stupid. Unlike people
who use the word "proactive" with a straight face.

Keeping candy out of the school and other great acts of former presidents

In the tradition of many great former presidents, Bill Clinton is
using his influence to help our nation's children make smarter
choices at the vending machine
by making sure that smart
choices are all there are at the vending machine.

You see, when Republicans retire, it's to play golf or take
their place on the boards of all the corporations they did
the bidding for while in office. Then you get former presidents
like Jimmy Carter and Clinton who use their connections to
build houses, make peace and otherwise help their nation
and world become a better place.

Sometimes, all it takes is for someone with the rocks to get
something done to get off their laurels and ask for a little help
from citizens and corporations.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Roman "War on Terror"


This is an illustration of the ancient port of Ostia ... before it burned.


I didn't write this,
but as a Roman history enthusiast -- OK, I like
gladiator movies -- I found this article by
Robert Harris of The New
York Times
interesting. Sample it below and read the rest here.
Props out to my man Rod the Spammer for the article.


"In the autumn of 68 B.C. the world's only military superpower
was dealt a profound psychological blow by a daring terrorist
attack on its very heart. Rome's port at Ostia was set on fire,
the consular war fleet destroyed, and two prominent senators,
together with their bodyguards and staff, kidnapped.

"The incident, dramatic though it was, has not attracted much
attention from modern historians. But an event that was merely
a footnote five years ago has now, in our post-9/11 world, assumed
a fresh and ominous significance. For in the panicky aftermath of
the attack, the Roman people made decisions that set them on the
path to the destruction of their Constitution, their democracy and their
liberty. One cannot help wondering if history is repeating itself."

Pick it, pack it, fire it up ... to prevent Alzheimer's


In medical news, researchers now believe that among other
benefits, marijuana may prevent the onset of Alzheimer's
disease. Is there anything that wonder drug CAN'T do?

Hero or just another victim ... kid

This is rich. According to a story on CNN, "The family of the congressional
page at the center of the Mark Foley e-sex scandal issued a statement
praising their son as a hero."

Now, I'm not the kind of guy who likes to blame the victim or re-victimize
the victim or curse a victim's darkness when I could bring light instead, but
this whole culture of hero-worship in the United States is getting ridiculous.
Just because you are a sex crime victim doesn't make you a damn hero. And
so far as I can tell, the pages involved in this "e-sex" scandal aren't even
sex crime victims so much as they are recipients of SPAM.

Now granted, dirty old men shouldn't be sending sexually suggestive
e-mails and IMs to Congressional pages, but the receipt of such missives
doesn't make ANYBODY a hero. Maybe, just maybe, if the teenage page
had been chased through the Washington, D.C. sewer system leading a bunch
of much younger pages to safety, putting his own life at risk then MAYBE he'd
be a hero.

If being harassed is the criteria to be a hero then I hate to tell you that I'm
probably one of the greatest American heroes you'll ever meet. People shout
things at me from moving cars, send me nasty e-mails and generally dislike
me for being abrasive and unappealing. I also had a cousin who like to
wrestle just a little too much when I was 12. I'm like Batman by some standards.

The kid is just a victim and not a particularly harmed one at that. So let's get Foley
taken care of, but let's give the hero talk a rest.

These Dr. Scholl's Gel Cushion Inserts ROCK!



I've got these cool Steve Madden shoes. They are like blue leather tennis shoes
with white stripes down the side. Kind of dressy, kind of casual, kind of not
very comfortable any more. They used to be though. Odd that shoes would
get LESS comfortable over time.

So yesterday my feet are killing me, yeah? Felt like my legs were gonna drop
off. So after work, I picked up these gel insoles from Dr. Scholl's and they
are, quite simply, awesome. It's like walking barefoot on a giant wrestling
mat that covers the world in its loving wall-to-wall embrace ... I swear to God.

Take care of your feet and they will take care of you. This has not been a paid
post.

Lucas prepares to screw up "Clone Wars," too



Apparently, the Emmy winning Cartoon Network series
"Clone Wars" wasn't as good as a new animated series
Lucas is working on which will have 3D computer
animated graphics. WOO-HOO! Excuse me, I mean
WHO CARES? Lucas doesn't get it. Special effects don't
make science fiction great, stories do.

Cartoon Network's "Clone Wars" was great if you could
watch them all in one sitting as a movie instead of in the
infuriating 5-minute chapters. That idea was so bad it
HAD to have belonged to Lucas. Seen at once, properly
edited "Clone Wars" was better than all three of the
last "Star Wars" movies combined. It had more stories,
more compelling stories, better acting and superb
direction. Genndy Tartakovsky did more for "Star Wars"
in one year than Lucas has done since the final disappointing
minutes of "Return of the Jedi." God I hate Ewoks.

Borat's Television Programme

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Love is a drug/How to kick the habit


Check it out. Love produces opiates just like jogging or doing smack. Don't tell me it can't mess you up.

Love is like heroin, it's a highly addictive substance that makes you think you are going to die without it (in this analogy anyway, in another it might be like food without which the soul dies, but let's focus). I've been there, of course, but mostly my torments have been due to unrequited love.

Once, it went on for two years. God it sucked. The object (of my "affection") and I would talk on the phone every day like lovers but I was just a placebo boyfriend who listened to her and gave a shit. She got the sex elsewhere, from some greasy drummer she was cheating on her boyfriend with. It was a pain buffet and I sucked it up like a glutton, baby. Like spikin' a vein and riding the white dragon to Nodsville, baby. You keep hangin' on day after day just to hear the sound of Lady Heroin's voice on the phone, to feel the electric rush of sexual attraction you'd get just from sitting in her car. One day you wake up and you've wasted two years of life on something that was killing you. You want to quit, but you don't know how.


Well the cure for heroin addiction is methadone. It's true for love as well as the Chinaman's nightcap. You have to find something close enough to heroin to get your mind off the junk and stop the shakes. In female terms, that means finding another woman. The trick is to not get re-addicted. Running out and finding another woman to get all googly-eyed over is not the right idea. Finding a one-night stand is a fine idea. Strip club is also not too bad, but I've seen any number of suckers get pulled into that sad life. Going back three, four times a week spending hundreds of dollars on their favorite stripper. Buying presents and, yes, even writing really shitty poems.

No the trick is you have to use the stripper in the best possible way. Don't let her use you beyond taking your money. But for God's sake, get your money's worth, man. Get your jimmy rubbed, smell her perfume, feel those tits, rub that ass, let her twist your nipples and if you find one that gives you a happy ending, so much the better. Go back a few times. Sample a few different girls. Your body has all sorts of mechanisms inside it to ramp up the mating instinct. Touch another woman. Get her smell inside your brain. Let her laugh and the loud music create new and pleasing sense memories. This WILL get your mind off Miss Perfect. Even better, it will teach you at the cellular level that Miss Perfect is just another person, nobody so special you can't live without her. Then cut and run. Don't become a regular. Move on with your life and don't get suckered into worshipping another woman again. They don't respect that shit anyway.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lord of the Rings ... how it should have ended

Star Wars ... how it should have ended

Superman the Movie ... how it should have ended

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BBC Iraqi Insurgent Interview

I know how you feel, little guy

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Lloydish Tales: Preamble and Origins

The following stories were scattered or lost for some time.
I wrote them in 1998 for my first Web site, "Songs to Learn
and Sing." I haven't rewritten them, updated any opinions
or recast any relationships. I checked the spelling, capitalized
a few words and that is all. I wanted to leave them nice and raw.



Preamble
Very few people are lucky enough to have friends like Pete and Kirk. We have been through a lot together. Like men in combat, our experiences have created a bond which cannot be easily broken. Over time and distance there is a link which is almost tangible. Months can go by without contact (I'm talking about Pete here mostly) and when it is resumed, it is like no time has passed. Whatever changes occur in our lives, we will always have more in common than not. And now, here is an homage to my two favorite bitches.



Origins of the Principle Players

Mike Kinney
It would be impossible for anyone not directly mentioned in the following stories to understand their humor or relevance without my first speaking briefly about who or what Mike Kinney is. This is a very difficult subject for me to address because so much of it has left me permanently, psychologically scarred. When I refer to Mike Kinney as The Evil One or The Dark One or The Devil, I in no way mean to cast aspersions on the REAL Devil.
Mike Kinney was really just a pud-knocker with severe emotional problems who made everyone around him miserable. The closest analogy for Mike would be if you were living with one of those annoying little dogs that clamor constantly for your attention with a high-pitched bark and then bite you every chance they get while crapping on the carpet and leaving their dirty laundry everywhere. He was the source of all neuroses. An emotionally needy porcupine that was always spouting off like an expert on all topics he knew nothing about and then throwing things at people who corrected his glaring errors. An anchor-assed mongoloid with an attitude problem. A little boy without the ability to wish people into the cornfield. A nuclear physicist wannabe with a thick brow ridge. A rude goat-sniffing, one-liner spouting, no girlfriend-having, dirty-dish making, chair-throwing, cussing-in-his-sleep, towel-stealing, ten-times-a-month-fried-chicken-making, leave-the-paper-on-the-pepperoni-pizza baking, pop-eyed, wire-haired jerk off.
I have nothing more to say about Mike Kinney.


Greg Jerrett
This is me, your humble narrator. I am from Council Bluffs, a small city in Pottawattamie County in southwestern Iowa across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska. I went to Kirn Junior High School and then Abraham Lincoln High School with these guys. Absolutely everything is told from my perspective. Most of these things are true to at least some extent but some of them are complete bullshit. The lies have a way of being more accurate somehow, and they also serve to protect us from the truth as well as entertain. If you can't tell which is which, we can all maintain plausible deniability with regards to the really stupid things we did.
The truth is in here.


Peter Church
I first heard his name in grade school though we would not meet for many years. He was like a legend in some ways. Steve Brewer was the "smart kid" in my grade school class and he always competed in the Council Bluffs School District Spelling Bee. Because Steve was a little neurotic prick most days, it was my great pleasure to see him lose every year to some mystery boy named Peter Church. He was like Steve's arch-nemesis. So I was pretty disappointed by the time I actually met him.
I first met Peter Church in seventh grade. He looked like Charlie Brown with a big, round head topped with thin, wispy, blonde hair. People called him Fruit, but that was only to his face. Even at the age of twelve, I could tell he was someone that I really didn't want to have a lot to do with. He was one of those people who make you suspicious. There was something about him you just couldn't trust, but you couldn't quite put your finger on either. He was the kind of person you would not be entirely surprised to find out that he was a cannibal or a sock fetishist or something really out there. Yet at the same time he was so overwhelmingly normal that you just didn't notice him most of the time. Pete and I were in several classes together: reading, gym, math.
Once in gym class, he popped a boner in the shower. Pete's always been the kind of friend who would stand by you come what may. DON'T let him!
I once saw Pete get into a fight with a girl, I swear to God, he kicked her ass, it was pathetic!
In reading class, he made a bookmark which read: Stop overpopulation, masturbate!
He showed it proudly to anyone who would look at it, including the teacher, Mr. White, who was Pete's first sexual partner. Having never heard the word "masturbate" before, I decided to ask my mother what it meant when I got home.
"Mom, what does masturbate mean?" I gently inquired.
"Look it up in the dictionary, that's why we have one! I don't know why I bother having a dictionary if you don't use it! I oughta throw the damn thing out!" she demurred.
So I set out in earnest to find the word I had only seen for a few seconds and heard maybe three times. After much searching I read aloud, "to chew or make a chewing motion." My consternation was obvious and upon seeing my confusion, my mother, in an act of maternal altruism, sat me down on the couch and prepared to lovingly point to the appropriate term.
"There dammit!"
Of course, when I read the correct definition I was so embarrassed that I nearly ran from the room, "a bony prominence behind the ear or an infection of this area."
Needless to say, I have never developed a normal attitude towards sex and I didn't have anything to say to Pete for nearly six years.


Kirk Cryer
I first met Kirk Cryer through the auspices of The Dark One, Mike Kinney (may God preserve us). We were brought together to play Dungeons and Dragons, a game which is interesting on it's own but when combined with certain, less than stable personality types, it becomes a free-for-all destined to end poorly by any standards.
Hoping to play the "big man" and knowing that his father would never notice if only five cans went missing, The Destroyer handed out beer to all of the pubescents in his basement. I think it was Kirk's first whole can of beer (I know it was mine) up until then he had only done weed, crack, crank, smack, peyote and oven cleaner.
The game progressed well for a time, we enjoyed the cool quiet of the basement and listened to Z-92, the Home of Rock and Roll, while outside the temperature topped 100 degrees that bright summer day. Suddenly and without warning, Kirk attacked me with an aluminum tent pole shouting, "Keep your fucking hands off my erector set! You fucker! I will kill you and put your head in a box! You wanna die, maricon? Viva Zapata!"
As Kirk's hands tightened around my throat, my vision began to go black and I could hear Erik Johansen singing Karma Kameleon in the background .
When I came to, Mike and Kirk were laughing. Needless to say, I didn't get the joke. I had rarely hung out with upper-classmen and I found their wry and sophisticated humor was beyond me. After Mike pulled Kirk off of me, we ALL had a good laugh, I was still pretty sure I had missed something though.
The boys were nice enough to take me to the emergency room that day and after my release, I tried to keep a wide berth of Kirk Cryer. But for the next several months I would find threatening notes in my locker, written in what appeared to be human blood or red ink which said "red rum", "I am a chicken hawk", or "stay the same, have a great summer." I have NEVER known such fear.
Once in the eighth grade, Kirk handed Mike his ass, literally! Mike was going out with a young, possibly Amish, girl who always wore bonnets to school. Every one of the five hundred other students at Kirn Junior High School made fun of Mike routinely because this whole thing reeked of desperation. Kirk never made fun of Mike but he was, like everyone else, extremely curious about the bonnet situation. One day at lunch, trying to muster as much tact as he could, Kirk asked Mike, "What exactly is the deal with the bonnets anyway?"
Like the dumb animal he is Mike decked Kirk straight off, no explanation or "by your leave" just BOOM, quick as you please. Needless to say, this did not sit well with Kirk.
Kirk Cryer was the kid in school that you never really noticed at all until he opened fire. In fact, I am sure that if Kirk were growing up today, he would have taken out a school bus by now, but those were gentler times, they really were. We didn't solve our problems like that back in the day. We were clever. Killing a man leaves him no time to suffer or be humiliated.
And with that in mind, Kirk went to the drugstore.
In those days there were two very similar products on the market. One was called Chiclets; small, candy-coated pieces of square gum. The other product was a popular form of highly potent laxative which came in small, candy-coated square pieces. The next day, Kirk offered Mike as much gum as he could chew. Being a glutton, Mike took no less than six pieces and starting chewing just as happy as you please. Chewing and chewing. "Can I have another piece?" asked Mike.
"Sure!" said Kirk enthusiastically.
The next day, Mike was not to be seen. He was absent for a entire week. Apparently, he nearly died from a combination of dehydration and sleep deprivation because he could not leave the toilet for more than five minutes at a time. Oh what a different world it ALMOST was.
If there is a moral to this story, I think it would have to be this: if you are going to go out with a girl who wears bonnets, don't be so sensitive about it.


Iowa State: The Gathering
There is almost nothing to tell of the intervening years. I had no dealings with Pete and Kirk, and unlike me, they continued to be friends with The Evil One. However, it was The Son of Wayne who once again acted to bring us all together at Iowa State in the less than fashionable section of Ames, Iowa known as Schilletter Village.
Mike, Pete and Kirk needed a fourth person for their apartment to help soak up the bills and take turns cooking. I was only eighteen and as excited as Gary Oldman after a double espresso and realizing he still has one smoke left. But it wasn't before long that things began to go awry, horribly, terribly awry!
As I have explained, Mike was a bundle of emotional concerns which is like saying Jack the Ripper had issues with women. It was in his nature to make everyone as miserable as possible through his secret machinations. He could be described as Machiavellian if Machiavellian meant obnoxious, spiteful retard.
Going away to college is a difficult time for anybody and I was no exception. However, to ease the transition, Mike suggested that we spend our first night in Ames in The Foxy Lady Night Club. When I say Night Club I mean dark hole in the wall with strippers. Having been brought up in a modest, Christian home I agreed to go, but only after the strictest assurances from Mike that the cops in Ames never went in there.
Thirty minutes after leaving the apartment, Pete and I were spread-eagled up against an Ames prowler for being minors on premises. My first day at college, things could only get better...right?
Two weeks into our first semester, Mike decided that it would be a good idea to ask out an old girlfriend of mine, Chris. Now I have never had a problem admitting that I have been dumped, but in this instance I was not. I stopped calling Chris because she wouldn't have sex with me, so there. Mike went out with her several months after I did and apparently told her he loved her because that was the one prerequisite she had for sex that I could not comply with. So I'm a pig with a good excuse. Mike popped her cherry (he must have done a shitty job of it because she dumped him). Mike used to love rubbing that in my face, like if only I had been as worthy as he, I could have deflowered this girl under false pretenses. Believe me, it would have been no challenge for me to lie to the girl but I had romantic ideals at the time, too, and I didn't think it would be fair to either one of us. But Mike used to insist that she dumped me because that's what Chris told him, and of course women never lie about these things. I am pretty much riddled with neuroses, but it actually feeds my martyr complex to be dumped, so I would never deny it. Man, I hate being called a liar, especially by some pathetic piece of shit like Mike Kinney.
So Mike must have thought it would be pretty funny to go out with this girl again, maybe bring her to the apartment and make me eat it. Maybe have really loud sex and make me listen to it. That would really feed his ego. So one night after showing off my cooking skills by baking a chicken and serving it with biscuits, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, Mike decides to call this girl while I am still doing all of the dishes within earshot of the phone! I am scrubbing all of these fucking pans and plates and glasses while Mike, belly full from my work, tries to humiliate me. My cheeks burnt red with frustration.
How many times had I told him I didn't care about this girl? How many times would he disagree with my rational explanation of events because it contradicted his own over-compensated sense of self-worth? I didn't like this girl but I sure didn't want to see her in my apartment every day either. But Chris proved she really did like me better anyway by turning Mike down flat. Man, what a rush! Mike hangs up the phone and says to me, "You were right, she is a bitch."
Now, I never said she was a bitch. She really wasn't, even though she lied when she told people she dumped me, I figure that is just standard, no one likes to be dumped. But here Mike was trying to elicit sympathy from me. Me! Of all people, he JUST got done trying to humiliate me in the most pathetic fashion and now he wants me to take part in some fantasy like we are both on the same side because she "rejected" both of us. No sir, I didn't like it!
So I said the words that set events into motion for the year: "That's okay Mike, I know your just desperate."
If there is one thing Mike Kinney was, it was desperate. Remember the girl with the bonnet? Desperate. But the one, sure-fire way to start a fight with Mike every time (besides asking him about the bonnet) was to challenge his esteem in any way. His parents fucked him up so bad, he would do anything to feel loved, to replace his real-life nightmare with a pleasant fantasy world made up of his friends. But so deeply rooted was his personality in his traumas that he couldn't allow himself to enjoy his own fantasy, the new "family" he had created. The demon in control of Mike was his father. He ruled Mike's every action from walking in the door, waiting for us to greet him expectantly to his inability to make a woman love him. He HAD to lash out at me at that moment to complete the vicious circle of abuse he grew up with.
The blood drained from Mike's face for one second. He was shocked at what he perceived to be a terrible insult delivered at his weakest moment. I was right of course, just a little too right. Then rushing to fill the vacuum it had left behind, the blood rushed back to Mike's face as his ire intensified with alarming rapidity. Something Mike must have seen a hundred times with his father, a thousand moments of humiliation crystallizing into one second when the brain misfires, believing that it can avenge everything in an instant, anger rising to the surface, preparing to lash out at the wrong person because the world treated him like shit. So Mike picked up a kitchen chair and threw it at me, striking me hard in the shin.
I was too surprised to get mad about it. I had not seen it coming. In all the years I knew Mike, he was a prick, but he never lashed out like that. All I could think to say was, "Jeez Mike, don't get mad," like some pathetic little kid. I wonder how many times he said something similar to his father?
"Fuck you, don't tell me what to do, I'll get mad if I fucking want to!" he said stomping out of the room, to my relief.
I couldn't feel the pain in my leg yet because I was still too shocked by everything, but it settled in nicely later. What I remember above all else was how alone I felt standing in that kitchen doing the dishes, my leg starting to throb. I felt like I didn't have friend in the world. I've always been a depressive, prone to strange mood swings and I started to get angry; it was frustrating being humiliated like that. This is the cycle of abuse. That is what makes it so vicious. People trying to hurt and humiliate others because they have been hurt and humiliated. Over the course of the year I would come out on top.

Lloydish Tales: Songs to Lloyd and Sing Part I

The Rat and the Dingle
For two years I had a lovely pet rat named Matilda. We did everything together. We ate together and took our baths together. At night, we would crawl around the Ames sewer system fighting crimes.
Contrary to popular belief, rats are extremely clean creatures and they make excellent pets. They are friendly and loyal. They bond like dogs and play like most other mammals. The only drawback with having a rat for a pet is that they are always wanting to chew on stuff and they love salty, tangy foods. Which leads me to the time I as sitting on the couch at century not doing much of anything, just watching a little afternoon TV with my lovely lady ratgirl on my lap. Kirk was sitting in the great purple lounger turned away from me...that would be his undoing.
I was oblivious, relaxed. Not a care in the world. When suddenly I felt a sharp sting right on the very tip of penis, I mean right on the meatus. Well like any macho stud my first reaction was to scream like I had been pole-axed. Loud and primal. AAAAUUGGGHH!!!!!!
I stood bolt upright, fast as hell because it had not occurred to me that my trusting pet would violate me in such a violent fashion. Kirk spun around so fast I thought he would need a chiropractor to untwist his spinal column. His fingers were dug into the arms of the grungy purple chair, his knuckles white with fear. His face was contorted with terror. His eyes were bulging in dread of the unknown. The poor bastard thought I had snapped. He always knew it could happen and now he was sure. He must have though I was going to stick the coffee table through his head.
"She bit me! Right on the DICK!" Kirk lost it. He was so relieved to know I wasn't going crazy that the nervous tension bled straight into a laughing fit. Especially when it was revealed that Matilda had vanished. I thought that maybe I had jumped up so fast that in my anguish I had thrown her across the room and that we would find her smashed between the fridge and the stove. Then I saw two little black eyes over a pointy nose peaking out from between two of the couch cushions. I never saw anything move that fast in my life. I scared her more than she scared me. I am sure that she had no idea that her salty treat was going to react that way.

Breaking and Entering
Pete, high on poon tang, strutting around with balls the size of Church bells after a long, hot summer of statutory debauchery, decided that if my mother couldn't psychically intuit the need to be home a full day before the arranged time to load my stuff in Pete's grandad's truck then she deserved to have her house broken into. It just makes good sense. Why call ahead when you can surprise someone?

Letters Home
I have never known a bigger bunch of sissy-Marys as the boys in #1. The lights out to hide our shame. The sweet smell of chip and dip fading in the air around us. The plaintive wail of the elusive North American pussy as it cries in the night, "bahoo! bahoo!"

Let He Who Is Without Sin, Throw the First Pizza Bone
I don't know why this pisses me off but Pete never ate the crust on his pizza, especially when he was splitting it with someone else. I think this is why I refused to eat a pie with him without splitting it first. I mean, how fucking fair is it to split a pizza with someone who tosses the crust aside like a frat boy with a fat chick? You're sitting there crunching on a hard-ass piece of bread while some choad-smoker is going in for the kill on a juicy, cheesy, meaty slice. By the time you're done, you've had two pieces and he has sucked down seven like he's the fucking ace of pizza moochers. It's a lot easier to eat cheese and sausage than it is to eat crust. Pizza is a sacred trust, you don't disregard the crust. It isn't a damned bone! The crust makes the pizza possible. Respect the crust. That's all I have to say about that.

The Circle Jerks
Some things are best left alone.

There's Something Else About That Mary Bitch
Sometimes when you think you are being funny you are, in fact, just being a cruel piece of shit. One night, I thought it would be funny to call KUSR and request songs which I dedicated to Kirk from Mary the Unattainable One, Kirk's primary love interest in college. Kirk, heard his name and he was thrilled. I was encouraged. I talked Kirk into dedicating something back to her and then I called in and dedicated something back to him. This went on for WAY too long. I couldn't believe that Kirk didn't find this whole thing suspicious. Soon the humor turned as sour as Pete's laundry. I could not allow Kirk to go on believing that his paramour was serenading him with Smith's songs. I crushed that boy's heart and learned an important lesson. Never tell the truth to anyone no matter how guilty you feel.

The Politically Correct Way to Lose Your Shirt
During the summer of 1988, Pete and Kirk decided that rather than live in the apartment they rented they would go home for the summer like a couple of right old nancy boys. I was happy to stay in Ames and work at Taco John's (and how!). But we needed a roommate or two cover their expenses. Enter Otis. Otis told us he was a student much like us and we believed his lying ass. I did. I HAD to didn't I? I mean, I was the one who had to live with him in fear all summer as his behavior became more and more suspicious. Pete and Kirk didn't know what real fear was. I remember the day I found out that Otis came to us straight from the halfway house.
"Hey, Pete, this is Greg, I just found out that Otis isn't a student at all, he is a fucking criminal. I want to kick him out."
"Well, okay," said Pete with his usual concern, "but you can pay his share of the rent."
So there I was, living each day in fear. Not knowing if each would be my last but knowing for certain that Pete wouldn't give a shit. When one dark and stormy night, Otis fucked off and left me with a $200 phone bill. I was still relieved. His PO called soon after and I told him he was gone and gave him the phone numbers from the bill, teach his ass to screw with me. How you like it in the joint? Mother fucker.
But the best part came when I had to call Pete and tell him that our special welfare case had fucked off and he was still going to have to pay the rent.
"Pete, that asshole Otis left in the middle of the night and he didn't pay his share of the $200 phone bill so we need to split this thing."
"Oh shit," said Pete, "all right."
"But that isn't all, Pete," I said, going for the coup de gras, "you know all that stuff you left in your closet? Well, he stole it. All of it. Your bike, the porno, it's all gone."
"NOOOOOOOOOOO! My sweet, sweet porn!"
"Well, Pete, none of this might have happened if you had let me kick his ass out when I wanted to."
"I know."
"Maybe next time you'll listen to me."
The sweet part is that Pete's stuff was still in his closet. I was just fucking with him ... big time! I wish he had bought a new bike, that would have served his ass right for leaving a brother hanging. Otis actually left some stuff. It didn't make up for the phone bill but at least he didn't kill me. I even broke some shit and blamed it on him, it was quite liberating.
"Oh no, my bed! MY DESK! How the fuck did he manage to break my desk AND my bed," Pete asked? For he so loved his bed that he gave his only life for it.
"Hmmmm, I hadn't noticed that. I guess Otis must have done it deliberately, you can never tell what is going through the mind of a criminal, I bet you feel violated, huh? Well, what can you expect? Live and learn."

How Pete's bed and desk were broken in the same incident: A true story
After Otis snuck away like a thief in the night ('cause that is exactly what he was, a thief, A THIEF I TELLS YA!) I decided to close the air conditioning vent in his room to cut down on costs. The vent was over Pete's rickety-ass desk. This thing was made of really high quality cardboard and fastened with the world's strongest wood glue and penny nails. The only way to close that vent was to stand on Pete's desk.
Now, I have what doctors call a little bit of a weight problem and deep down inside I think I knew this was a bad idea. But then again, so is leaving your roommate alone in a house with a vicious psychopath. I have abandonment issues for the love of GOD! I had just closed the vent when I heard a creaking sound as if the hull of a ship were being ruptured. I felt the desk beneath me move mysteriously and my only chance was to make a mad leap for the safety of Pete's bed. I landed on the foot board and nearly punctured a lung, but nearly doesn't kill a vampire or a guy from Council Bluffs. There was a loud SNAP! which I thought for sure was one of my ribs. Luckily for me it was just Pete's foot board. Nothing a few 6" ring shank nails couldn't solve. To this day I consider myself lucky to be alive after a stunt like that and I know that deep down inside, Pete was wishing that it had been me and not his precious bed that had been snapped asunder like kindling, the bastard.

The Night Pete Went Ballistic
207 S. 5th #1 Century Apartments had the distinction of having the smallest parking lot int he known universe. It was not actually able to hold more than one car per apartment which led to many hard feelings on the part of Pete who was usually very sane and tolerant and rarely prone to fits of rage and/or violence. However, one night we were sitting around the domicile with Rob "Ob" Theobald. Pete was going to give him a ride home when, much to Pete's dismay, there was a car blocking him in. Pete flew into a rage! He drove over the sidewalk next to the building and around behind the car that had been blocking him in. He then proceeded with utter disregard for human life to rear-end the car mercilessly, forcing it forward into the spot he had previously occupied for no apparent reason other than ... HE WAS ... INSANE!
Not five seconds after he goes on this rampage, the owner of the car comes out. Thank god for Pete there were five of us or he would have gotten his ass kicked. The girl who owned the car was a tiny thing, but she was wiry. "What the fuck are you doing?" she enquired.
"Well you had me blocked in," said Pete.
"So you were ramming my car from the rear?" she asked, an excellent point. "You're lucky I don't call the cops." she noted, with great generosity.
"I'm sorry," whined Pete in a most unmanly fashion, ready to burst into tears. I think this was the first time I ever saw Pete do something for which he could have been totally screwed. We all learned an important lesson that night. When Pete goes ballistic, stay put because you will see the funniest shit in your life!

The Snap Dance
Pete, having grown up in a repressive, religious home, was not accustomed to walking about in his underpants. He was like a naked innocent youth just before bedtime, often exhibiting the kind of glee children demonstrate when they get that diaper off. Pete would do this little dance where he snapped his fingers and then shook his package around like Denny Tario on crack. He would perform this dance for anyone who happened to be in the apartment at the time, male or female, he didn't care. I think Pete was usually so high on caffeine, chip dip and blue movies that he couldn't stop himself. It was just sad.

Mary, the Unattainable One
Kirk was not always the devil with the ladies that he is now. Once upon a time, he was actually quite shy and reserved. That is a real bitch when you fall in love and although Kirk could have had the wench Mary six ways from Sunday, he just couldn't bring himself to ask her out. Now like the prick I am, I thought I would give Kirk a hand. I thought that maybe dialing the phone was the big issue. So I dialed up Mary's number and handed the phone to Kirk. He was so mortified that he clutched the phone to his chest tightly and sat real quiet so no one would hear anything. I then left the room to give the man some privacy. I think I honestly believed that I was doing him a favor. When I came back into the room, maybe ten minutes later, Kirk was still clutching the phone to his chest, afraid that someone might still be on the other end of the line, waiting for the slightest noise to identify this pervert by. It was at that moment that I realized that kirk was deeply lonely and socially awkward man-child.

Tradition?...Fuck you Tevye!
People often invoke tradition to excuse their behavior. We could argue about the validity of specific examples involving equality between the sexes and races, hazing, men's clubs. All have their merits but the one aspect which is NOT a tradition is when you use the term to describe your every little oddity. Going to Burger King because you did well on a test is NOT a tradition. Filling a 72 ounce glass with ice and water to the very top and taking one sip out of it before leaving it next to your bed for everyone to trip over(if not actually drown in)is not a tradition. Leaving dirty tissues all over the house because you are too lazy to dig them out of the couch cushions is not tradition.

The Towel That Ate Ames
Some things just honestly do not occur to you. You can do them over and over and not realize that they affect others. Such was "the towel". My "the towel". I had, correction, have this big purple towel. Purple is my comfort color, I guess. I used to use this towel for everything. The whole drying myself off after bathing thing was only part of it's many perverse functions. Let me state up front that I did NOT use it as a spoo rag. That rumor was started by Kirk after I borrowed his sour cream once without asking. I did however use it as a napkin which, believe me, is more than enough to make a piece of cloth stanky. And boy did this towel get stanky! A person can get used to his own stinkiness pretty readily while others around him titter quietly to themselves. As paranoid as I have been in my life, I never even had a clue about that towel and it's affect on others. So I only realized about two years ago that Pete and Kirk used to talk about this towel like it was an entity or force, possibly evil, living among us. There was definitely a lot of life in that towel, that's for sure.

The Sin of Onan the Barbarian
Sometimes, it was like living in a summer camp for fourteen year old boys. Mike was always getting caught jerking off by somebody or advertising his auto erotic tendencies. God knows Pete had no shame . "Kirk, I need to "use" the room for about ten minutes."
Four guys and one bathroom with no lock, we had to have an arrangement. We could expect total privacy when that door was closed unless the shower was on and then we figured no one should have to wait to take a piss when a grown man was behind a solid curtain of lime green plastic. Except for pud-tugger Mike.
There was a fold out closet door just inside the bathroom door which could act as an impromptu lock or at least an early warning device. It wouldn't keep anyone out but in case they didn't realize someone was in there, this would tip them off. We never used it, it was more for guests who wanted the extra safety. Of course, Mike used it when he wanted everyone to know he was "relieving stress".
One time, Pete came back from doing laundry and tried to put his detergent back in the bathroom closet while Mike was showering. He opened the bathroom door and it banged into the closet door.
"God damn it! Don't you have any common courtesy!" Mike whined churlishly.
That monkey-spank should have just hired a publicist.

The Mousse is Lousse!
Now, as I have stated previously, I never developed a healthy attitude towards sex while growing up and the subject of masturbation used to almost give me an aneurysm, so intense was my embarrassment.
So one night, shortly before bed, when spirits were high and we were all running around joyfully like naked innocents, Kirk tried to kill me...again.
From my perspective, I walked into Kirk's room just as a big river of white effluvium flew up from behind his covers while he was convulsing wildly. I completely lost it. I don't know what I thought I witnessed...actually I know what I thought I saw, I just don't remember why I thought it could have been real for one second. He totally caught me off guard, I had no excuse. Kirk hurt himself laughing at me so we were even.

Kirk and His Amazing Invisible Underwear
Three guys living together can get pretty informal. nobody wants to wear pants around the house after 8 PM and who is to say that that is wrong? Kirk had a magic pair of invisible underpants he liked to wear. They were amazing...from a purely technical point of view. They looked like they were out of phase with this plane of reality. Half here and half in another dimension. They were so thin they could be used to separate water into it's component molecules.
I think the primary purpose for underwear is to keep your dirty asshole from contaminating your clothes. But the second purpose is to hide your shit when you are wearing nothing else. Not to advertise your religion.

Pete and HIS Amazing Invisible Underwear
Throughout the entire time I have known Pete he was like a person in transition from a skinny little geek to a slightly fatter geek whose personality kept becoming more and more bizarre in an attempt to find it's place in the world.
Pete started thinking of himself as sexy after he finally got laid. He started wearing this funky marble bag underwear which were like Speedos. In fact hey were so much like Speedos that Pete would lay out in them, figuring what was difference, they covered the same stuff. A reasonable argument.
Then largely by accident and because they were the subject for discussion I took a look at these "Speedos" and I said, "Man, you can see right through those damn things! No wonder that woman was staring at you, you freak. My god the children! Have you no care for the children?
Personally, I think Pete liked that even more. He was always a gutless exhibitionist. This time he stumbled into it so he could take pleasure from his perversion without guilt.

The Time Kirk Fucked a Cheerleader
Kirk was always bringing home some skank from the bars. He had been to a seminar on how to hypnotize women and after that he never looked back. One night at Welch he bagged hisself a cheerleader and brung her home. The high-pitched shrieks of pleasure produced by their love-making were so intense...I thought she was killing him!
Then suddenly an argument ensued. A shot was fired! Kirk had killed the cheerleader in a drunken rage! Pete helped Kirk dismember the body and bury it in a corn field north of Schilletter Village. They threatened to do the same to me if I ever told anyone. I have lived in fear for nearly ten years but the truth has to be told. Finally, I can rest easy.

How I Started Smoking
In my joy to be going to college, I purchased a Swisher Sweet cigar from the grocery store. This was a habit I had gotten into in high school when my friends and I would get together to play poker. Harmless enough, we didn't inhale and these things smelled like cherries anyway.
So I come home after buying the household groceries for four guys and as usual Mike had an opinion about every little detail. He told me to get rid of it because he didn't want anyone smoking in HIS apartment.
Fine with me, I figured, I wasn't a smoker and had no intention of starting and some people, even in '86 were very sensitive to this sort of thing.
Fast forward not one damn week. I come home to the entire apartment looking like it was on fire, filled with smoke like you would not fucking believe. Hanging in the air like fog. Some greasy piece of shit sitting at the kitchen table was chain-smoking and Mike had even provided the fucker with an ashtray! I said to Mike "I thought you didn't want anybody smoking in here?" He just shrugged me off.
So in order to teach him a lesson, I went out and bought a pack of Marlboro reds. And every time he left the house I sat there puffing away just so whenhe came home the house would be filled with smoke and I just dared that cocksucker to say something about it. As a consequence, I became addicted and smoked for over ten years before I was able to quit for any length of time. Boy, I sure showed him!

The Night Ames Burned...Just a Little
I remember the night of the riots in 1988. Pete and I were out for an evening of revelry. When the bars closed and everyone poured out onto the streets, the trouble began. The crowd seemed to grow out of almost nothing until there were over a thousand people hanging out, starting fires and climbing light poles in the nude.
Of course, Pete wanted to go home because he was afraid that the police would arrest all of us suddenly and he wanted to go home. I convinced Pete that he was in no condition to drive andhe gave me his keys. Then I told him to go ahead and go if he wanted to and he did. Five minutes later he came back looking for his keys because he thought he might have lost them. He asked if I had seen them anywhere and would I help him look on the ground. I probably did.
So Pete started walking home to our apartment on South 5th about 45 mintues away.
I stayed and did some "rioting" nothing big. Stopped traffic in the middle of Lincoln Way and then I got in Pete's car and drove home just in time to see him knocking on his bedroom window trying to wake up Kirk, to no avail.
Pete was so relieved to see that he hadn't lost his keys, it didn't even dawn on him that he had never lost them. They were in my pocket the whole time. He was like a retarded dog when he got drunk. The most obvious sleight of hand could fool him.
We went and bought some steaks at four A.M. because nothing tastes better than char-broil after a night of debauchery, and then passed out for ten hours.
According to Kirk,"I knew damn good and well Pete was outside the window, but the fact that we had our windows covered with cardboard so we could live like Elvis made it easy to ignore that drunken fucker and let him rot outside until he could find his keys. It was 4 am after all and he did proceed to nearly burn the house down cooking steaks."
Pete's response goes here:
All in all it was a pretty good night...except for the rioting.

The Distant Sound of Chunder
Pete was so anal retentive that he could spend $14/week on groceries and be more than satisfied. I never really knew what the phrase "more than satisfied" meant until I saw this. Pete would buy Kraft spaghetti dinners for four. He would prepare the entire contents with the sauce all mixed in and then pour everything on one huge plate (I think it was a serving platter) and then he would proceed to systematically consume it making these gulping breath sounds like he was drowning in tomato sauce. He might have been able to spend even less on groceries than he did if he had made pasta and sauce separately or even saved half of the Kraft for another meal. But Pete liked the completeness of one box, one pan, one plate...
One night, Pete was busy consuming this huge quantity of spaghetti. Gulp, gulp, slurp, slurp...when he stood up and moved to the bathroon after finishing off 75% of the plate. From the bathroom came the distant sound of chunder! RAAAALLLLPPPHHH!! Followed by a second less enthusiastic hurl. RAALPH!?
The toilet flushed, water splashed in the sink, and Pete comes out, looks at me looking at him and says,"must've been the beer."
I nearly wet 'em, I nearly did. The man was like a damn dog, but even a dog will stop eating when it is so full it will puke. To top it all off, Pete sits back down and finishes the last 25% of his plate without even blinking. Sweat and tears on his face, straining with the effort, he soaked up the last hint of sauce with a piece of bread and just to complete the cycle of obsessive comulsion, he waddled over to the sink and dropped his plate under the faucet before passing out. God I admired that man's dedication to third rate Italian fare.

Panty Police
Few people have as rich a fantasy life as Peter Church. All of the seconds of the day usually spent idle by the masses are filled with fun and games by Pete. One of Pete's favorite games was called Panty Police.
Iowa State in the springtime is a magical place filled with wonder, mystery and short-skirted co-eds who liked to innocently sun themselves on the library steps. Unbeknownst to them, a new cop was on the beat.
The game was played like this: Pete would pretend to be Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry. He would then go "on patrol" in front of the library on sunny days looking for women who were in danger of serious violations. In the mid to late eighties, short skirts were very popular, especially with Pete. However, many young girls were not properly trained in how to sit in them. That is where Pete came in. It was his job to find women who weren't sitting the way they were supposed to and then "give them a citation." The seriousness of the crime depended on the color of the suspects underpants. White underpants got you a ticket for jaywalking, not too serious. Pink underpants, speeding or something. Black underpants got you arrested for prostitution. I think red meant they were communists, I'm not sure.
Now the fact that Pete played this game is not so unusual. We all have our oddities. But the fact that he liked to tell me about his daily results, and I do mean DAILY, was surely a sign of a deeper problem. Of course Pete was eventually caught and tried for being a pig. He was denied the right to have sex with any woman on campus for nearly four years. He got off too easy.

Why Stuff yourself? Why?
Few people know this about Kirk Cryer, but he possesses the ability to alienate anyone from 20 yards using only the sound of his voice. By repeating the same damn thing over and over and over and over again, Kirk can really piss people off.
One night, at a Pi Kappa Phi party, Kirk single-handedly used his powers to make sure that I would never be allowed to join that group by repeating the Gilbert Gottfried phrase "why stuff yourself?" over 3,572 times within two hours. I remember my fellow pledges asking me, "Dude, what's wrong with your friend? Is he retarded or something?"
"Yes, I said."
Thus was I branded an untouchable. I never did thank Kirk for that...hmmmm.

The Night of the Iguana
During the fall of '87, Pete was experimenting with alcohol like Linus Pauling at a bachelor party trying to get with the stripper. Each night he would purchase a fifth of hard alcohol and consume the entire quantity just to see how he liked it. On this particular night it was Beefeater Gin, I believe, I can't REALLY remember anything from that night. Most of what I am about to tell you comes from the eyewitness accounts of local farmers and only recently declassified government documents.
I guess it completely slipped my mind that I had just given blood that day when I asked Pete for the first shot. He reluctantly agreed to part with an ounce, he was a tight mother fucker if ever I knew one. After that there was no stopping me...literally. Apparently I ran around Schilletter Village in my underwear because someone dared me to. I went on about faggoty swans and for some time, believed myself to be Lt. Montgomery Scott of the Starship Enterprise. And that is about it! Believe it...or not!

How to get blood from the stoned
Being a good citizen and an inexperienced drinker is a bad combo. One day, I gave blood and came home to find Pete with a bottle of gin. This was during his experimental phase where he downed a fifth of hooch a night without managing to offer any to anyone else. Well, I managed to squeak a shot out of Pete, without giving much thought to the fact that I was a pint low.
We were somewhere out by Schilletter Village when the gin kicked in.
I can't remember a god damn thing from first hand accounts that isn't totaly blurry. But, apparently, I ran around Schilletter Village in my underwear, probably because someone dared me to. It was probably that fucker Church. I remember I was talking like Lieutenant Montgomery Scott of the Starship Enterprise about "faggoty swans" on our phone book or something. Then I passed out in the top bunk with Pete but I think he made me blow him or something.
The next day, I did not make it to class, I probaby didn't make it to dinner which would have consisted only of an onion anyway so no harm done there.

Star Trek: The Lame Generation
Over Christmas break '86, I bought a copy of FASA's Star Trek role playing game. A neat little item which was probably very playable. wouldn't know since I never played it, nor did i run it but no one seemed to mind. Almost eeryone we knew came over at some point to create their own character. One Saturday, we even checked out a group study room from the library in order to capture the feeling of having our own ready room, just like in Star Trek! It was another form of exhibitionism, reallly. We could look out and see real people in the library studying their asses off while we could sit and talk about Star Trek and our charcters just feet away from them in soundproofed security. We wouldn't have closed the curtains if we had had them. We wrote the stardate on the chalkboard and rolled our dice and filled out our character sheets and fantasized like a bunch of grade-schoolers about flying through space and having adventures like the goonies or some shit.
No wonder we never got laid.

Do you feel lucky, Punk?
Any story about punks is likely to be taken wrong as it is generally assumed that Pete and Kirk were lovers by most outsiders. That is categorically not entirely true.
One night in the kitchen, I saw something scurry between the fridge and the counter. I could ahve sworn it was a rat and the fact that I had a rat did not lessen my fear. I am a pussy. Upon further inspection, we noticed that we had been invaded by a tiny orange hamster with a broken leg. Pete adopted this little bugger and named it Punk after his favorite line from a Dirty Harry move:"Do you feel lucky, punk?" That is only natural since Pete said that line about fifty fucking times a day, rain or shine.
Punk was like something out of science fiction. A tiny little tribble character whose only function in life was to be cuter than shit. His spirit was infectious. This little rodent had a hind leg that was literally bent at a 90 degree angle and he still got on his damn wheel and ran all night long. I wouldn't even run for a bus.

Dan, Dan the marathon man
Once in every generation, there comes a man with true grit, passion and an unparalleled ability to watch television. Such a man, was Dan Rubner.
After we got rid of Mike, who decided thankfully not to return to Ames, we had to find a fourth roommate to occupy our lovely townhome at 50A Schilletter Village. Peter F. Maldanado was there when we moved in but he was a prick with a plan to move out so we didn't have to ut up with his as too long which was nice because he was EXACTLY like Mike Kinney, military bullheaded prick. Dan Rubner was mostly just some quiet hayseed who chewed and smoked at the same time while watching TV for no less than 12 hours a day and that's verified. Dan never did seem to like us much and I couldn't figure out why. Except there was the time when he ate an onion which was all I had for dinner that night. Hunger drove me to eat half of a small ham he had sliced for sandwiches. I did this with pure malice in my heart but it was damn good.
Dan's favorite show was "ALF." Sometimes, Dan could be heard to say, "That ALF, what a kill."
That Dan, what a piece of shit.

Digit dart the rose bud
Sigmund Freud detailed several stages of human development but the only Pete was familiar with was the anal stage. I have never met a man more obsessed with his own asshole. Which is fine. As long as no one else is involved, obsess away, pal. But Pete had this thing about poking other people in the ass which really started to wear thin after awhile. You could turn your back on him without feeling the indignant finger of injustice shoved up your butt while the falsetto cry of "didg-IT!" rang in your ears. No object was too sacred to be used either. Brooms, pencils, notebooks ... all were useful to Pete and his obsession to leave no hole unfilled.