I don’t very often go on what one would consider to be traditional dates. The idea that I should meet a girl for an assessment before we decide to have sex with each other seems horribly inefficient, and more than a little insulting, to me, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Desperate is exactly what we are.
Not only am I here to meet my date, but ‘here’ happens to be a movie theater. Disgusting. Everybody in the lobby looks like they just stepped out of the background of a music video. The far background, mind you, where they keep the ones with slight bellies, or a bit of character to their noses, but no less do I figure I stand out. This is my first official year of constantly feeling like I’m older than everybody else, at 24.
I can feel myself trying to look more hip, and there is no feeling less hip than trying to look more hip. These creatures are only a few years younger than me, but right now I really can’t stop myself from bobbing my head. There is no music playing.
I’ll make my way over to the arcade. I’m good at video games. The youth of today will be forced to bow before my superior skills. Unless, as is likely in this dreadful era, the only games available are of the rhythm and dance variety. I have great rhythm, it should be noted, but jumping up and down, or flailing my arms about like an evolving Oviraptor, will do nothing for my dignity. I’m on a date, you know.
TIME COP! One for the fatties, hidden cleverly from the beautiful children in a row of vending machines. What time is it, you ask? It’s Time Cop Time. The last time I played Time Cop I think phones were still tethered to walls, there were 13.7% more Beatles among us (George Harrison is quantified here by contribution to the band), and I still believed in love.
Oh no, that’s Olivia, over there, standing next to a gumball machine to make my ephebophilia only more apparent. But… but I was gonna play Time Cop! We’re on a date, aren’t we? I should hide.
Say, those are people, standing with her, even apparently talking to her. She’s brought people with her! Why would she do that? It’s obvious that she would do that because I come off as a bit of a rapist, and one has to take precautions. I appreciate her guile, but no less do I detest that she has brought an exploratory committee along with her on our lovely date.
Why are they looking at me? A horrible idea; I probably look ridiculously stupid just now. Is my mouth open? Did I say that out loud? I should probably walk towards them, when I’ve done a little more work on my face.
Gods no, they’re coming to me.
“Matthew?” Olivia asks, stupidly.
“Yes, of course.”
“I’m Olivia!” she says, giddy to have remembered her own name, and offering the revelation with a very well practiced smile and a slight scrunching of her nose.
“I figured,” I say.
“These are my friends,” she says, gesturing broadly to the team of evaluators taking up her rear and flanks. “Anne, Stephanie, and Bradford.”
“I know a Stephanie,” I say.
Olivia’s Stephanie perks up as if actually interested to know that there are others like her. “Oh?”
“She’s a fool. We don’t like her.”
“Oh,” she says, a little confused but no worse for wear. Stephanie is cute; We like her.
I turn back to Olivia, my consort. “Why did you bring people?”
She smiles and says, “…To see a movie?”
I consider this a faulty interpretation of my question. I should be more direct. “You had ‘activity partners’ ticked off on your profile.”
Olivia makes the greatest face of confusion I have maybe ever seen. She looks like The Rock with breasts and a charming naiveté.
“Activity partners,” I elaborate, “means casual sex.”
All four of them make the face at me. They have obviously rehearsed this. It isn’t fair.
“Or…” Olivia says, offering an alternative hypothesis, “it means activities, like watching a movie.”
“If you want that, you tick ‘Just Friends’.”
“If you want casual sex, you should probably tick ‘Casual Sex’.”
“Nobody ticks ‘Casual Sex’.” I don’t think any of these people have used a computer before in their lives. I roll my eyes at them condescendingly.
Stephanie leans towards Olivia and whispers, “We should go.”
Olivia says, “Where?”
“Like, we should run,” Stephanie says, dropping any illusion of being discrete. “This guy is a predator.”
“You should never run from a predator,” I say, helpfully. “You will trigger the instinct to chase.”
Nobody seems to appreciate my wisdom here. They walk away from me at a pace neither fast nor slow, and I am left full of regret for not finding a reason to bump into any of their breasts while they were available to be bumped.
On the other hand, Time Cop and I have a night planned.
I have recently decided to become a master of online poker, so I thought I might begin by teaching the rest of the Internet everything I have learned so far.
I am not without credentials. I have over $3,000 in play chips on my Poker Stars account, for example.
Granted, I had to reload my play money to the minimum of $1,000 a few times before I randomly won over $3,000 by going all-in with seven-deuce, but if nothing else I am probably better at poker than I was when I did that.
Anyway, the basic trick to poker is to have a lot more money than everybody else, so that when your hand sucks you can go all-in with seven-deuce and frighten everyone into folding, leaving you with over $3,000 in play chips.
If your hand is not quite as strong as seven-deuce, try simply telling the table what cards you have. They will appreciate your honesty and call you a faggot ass, which is a poker term for a very strong player.
[13:50] fancydink: I saw this thread where everyone was uploading pictures of their dicks next to game controllers. Most of them used Xbox 360 controllers. I noted that my penis was almost exactly the same length as the xbox controller, while most of the dicks in the thread were a bit longer.
[13:52] fancydink: Which upsets me because I have a completely average sized penis, just not compared to the average of this particular group. Which got me to thinking, it is probably because only people who have dicks longer than xbox 360 controllers will opt to upload a picture of their dick next to an xbox 360 controller.
[13:52] fancydink: I felt bad, because I knew, also, that there would be people with smaller dicks than mine, people whose dicks are perhaps only half the length of an xbox 360 controller, and they would be looking at these 7-8 inch dicks or cheaters and thinking low of themselves.
[13:53] fancydink: But I couldn’t take a picture of my dick next to my xbox 360 controller because it’s a little awkward to hold in place like that while you take a picture, and I have a kind of erectile dysfunction where I cannot maintain an erection without it being constantly stimulated. When it comes to taking photos and things I just can’t fucking do it, I lose it right away
[13:54] fancydink: And I feel bad about it, I guess
[13:54] BigGulp32 is offline
Everyone crowds around like carrion flies to a kill. Their mouths flapping and noshing like pigs at a trough, smashing their teeth and their tongues together, telling stories of past feedings behind hands which obstruct nothing.
I can’t hold myself comfortably upright with these creatures, so I hang back a while and let myself be known, that they can talk among each other after I’m gone and assure the naysayers that I did, in fact, make my appearance. Good on me.
When I’ve lingered long enough for my corpulence and filth to make the most perceptive of them uncomfortable enough to have the image burned into their pre-frontal cortices, I stash myself away in the garage. It’s better this way for everyone, and especially me.
I gaze off into the corner and imagine all of them nude. I have no interest in any of these people sexually, but it helps to pass the time and is a great exercise for remembering names.
Apparently I listen to music differently than other people do. Or, at least, Kimber and Sammy. They make the bold claim that I am a little bit weird in this way.
I am mildly synaesthetic, but I’ve always figured almost everybody is mildly synaesthetic, and certainly it must be so when it comes to something as powerful as music. I’m not even the cool kind of synaesthete, with savant-like memorization abilities, I just associate shapes and colors with stuff, and apparently I treat the experience of listening to music a little differently.
Typically I will lie down with a pair of good headphones on and just listen, with my eyes closed, away from any distractions. I see the sounds in my mind as shapes and colors, and the music becomes a complete, visceral sensory experience. Some songs have more obvious themes they want me to pick up on, and I can build a whole scene out of them.
I was aware that other people did not do this, but not that they could not do it, which is a fact I refuse to accept. I can’t help but think that a lot of other people can perceive these things if they really want to, as it seems to be an important and intentional aspect of music.
I figure most people are just way too busy for stuff like lying on the floor for an hour listening to music (There are dishes to be done!). If you can shut off your mind and let the sounds do to you what they will, you will get something out of that experience.
It’s really just a kind of meditation. Pick the right music, and you’re going places.
Maybe I’m wrong, so I want to know how other people listen to music. If it really is just a strange thing that I do, I’ll add it to my list of things to impress hipster chicks with.
Did you know that Paul Quarrington died of lung cancer over a year ago? Of course you didn’t, because you have no fucking idea who Paul Quarrington was, but even if you did know who Paul Quarrington was you certainly would not have known that he died of lung cancer over a year ago because if you did you would have told me. Well, imagine the audacity, he went and did it anyway.
Lung cancer is my least favorite cause of death, as it would happen. Not just because most of the people who die from it could have simply chosen not to do so (If only they were better informed, man! Surely there is somebody out there who is willing to start a letter writing campaign to inform the smokers and the miners that these are, as science has termed them, very bad ideas), but because when you find out that you have lung cancer the doctor usually tells you how long you’ve got left in terms of months and makes a very big deal about how you should not have any kind of hope. It seems to me that this would be an inexcusably awkward conversation. Other diseases may cause similarly off-putting talks, but lung cancer is easily the most prolific of them all.
I think I would kill myself. Not to be a downer, or more of a downer than I am in my standard state of gloom, but evidence suggests that I would kill myself. When I used to play hide-and-go-seek as a kid I would always step out of my hiding spot to confront the seeker as they got close, which goes well with my motto for living: You can’t fail if you don’t try! I think it’s a goodun. I may be a mite-bit passive-aggressive, as I truly hate competition and, especially, defeat. Death is a slightly more final defeat than is being found crouching in a coat rack, so you can count me out.
My uncle recently died from lung cancer, and I hear he was tempted to take matters into his own hands. I think he was in his 60s. My family isn’t all that close and we really only get together when somebody dies, which brings to mind Paul’s Song of Congregation, in turn making me picture my family as whales passing each other off the coast of Japan once a decade or so. We took a day-long boat ride out into the Pacific to drop his ashes (not Paul’s) near an island (not Japan) where my grandparents are buried. No whales in sight.
I have decided that Paul Quarrington would not have killed himself. As I understand it, he was uncharacteristically religious for a man who wrote a lot of stories with the word fuck in them, and I don’t think religios are allowed to be that proactive about death. As I’ve been told, he died sitting up in a chair in his home, drinking wine and chit-chatting with his friends. I don’t really know how to picture that scene, as lung cancer isn’t really a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of ending. To die from lung cancer sitting up in a chair and holding, even drinking, a glass of wine in a room with your friends, seems to imply planning to die sitting up in a chair and holding a glass of wine in a room with your friends. I imagine one would have to list Oh, and then I’m going to die on the itinerary for such a get-together. What an inexcusably awkward moment that would be. But I don’t think he would have killed himself.
This is all very sad for me on an entirely selfish level, because Paul Quarrington was a rare beacon of hope (or of proof, I guess, but all metaphorical beacons are beacons of hope in the way that all dogs are boys and all hot dogs are delicious and what were we talking about oh right) and showed me, as a supposed writer, that a person can write very interesting stories in very interesting ways, break all of the rules, and maybe get away with it. Even win awards.
I never really related to Paul though, perhaps because I knew fuck-all about him, and still know fuck-only-a-few about him. I related very closely however with a character of his, Desmond Howell, who I often channel in my more self-deprecating writings (Paul can’t accuse me of plagiarism now that he is dead and everything). Des Howell was, to flatter him, a fat lonely hermit man who hated to be around people and oh no I’m revealing way too much about myself but basically he was a real winner. If I were to list his positive character traits I’d come off as a narcissist (which I am, it’s just that as a narcissist I can’t allow myself to come off as a narcissist) but you’ll have to take my word that he had a few less deplorable facets. He was a bona-fide musical genius, for one example which applies to me in no way whatsoever, though I suppose that didn’t end well for him. Des thought the Beatles were his downfall.
The book of Desmond Howell, Whale Music, won at least one award and was made into a motion-picture-film also of some regard in the kingdom of Canada. I related startlingly much to Maury Chaykin’s portrayal of Des, even though I think the first time I saw it I was only around eleven or twelve years old. Let’s have a look-see at–
Oh, Maury died last year, too. From complications of a heart valve infection, which just blows all of my plans out of the water. I quit smoking a few years back, but I’m having less success quitting bacon, so bypass surgery was totally going to be my saving grace until Maury went and apparently died from the procedure. He died on his birthday no less, as if to challenge my insistence that the cosmos are going to be on my side come what is sure to be a raging torrent of plausible death scenarios. The way things are coming together here I’ll be lucky to make it to my own birthday in October (All the cool kids die at 27 anyway; Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison, etc).
However, just as Paul’s work gives me hope as a writer, he also had some good advice for people such as myself who have a limited time left on the planet: “Everyone’s dying right? I think in fact everyone should get a piece of paper saying, ‘Dear Sir: you’re going to die in a year.’ Then you’d go, ‘Better get on that then.’ ”
Maybe I’ll fry up some bacon for dinner tonight.
My new breakfast routine, now that I sometimes wake up in the mornings, is to eat a snack bar and wait for Kim to whisk me away to IHOP.
This is actually marginally better for my figure than my previous breakfast ritual of waking up and eating dinner. It is also, I think, to my credit that I choose IHOP over Denny’s. At least, I think IHOP is supposed to be better for you, or more accurately, IHOP is somewhat less likely to kill you (they will both kill you).
Even just by the names of the dishes available, it seems pretty clear. IHOP’s headliner is called the Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity breakfast. Even just the Rooty Tooty part makes me feel safer, because it seems like a very old person came up with it (it is always worth considering that old people have lived to be old people). I think Fresh may be a bit of an exaggeration, and Fruity may actually be spelled Frooty, for several demerits. Either way it does seem to imply that it is less than completely murderous to consume this meal.
By contrast, at Denny’s you get things like the Lumberjack Slam. They also considered naming it, “Whammo, you fat, neckbeard motherfucker!” Like everything at Denny’s it comes with a complimentary side of fingernails and hepatitis. Moons Over My Hammy comes across as quite a lot more innocent, but nobody will ever say those words aloud to order it anyway.
My only real alternative (aside from cooking, which, just no) is a local franchise called De Dutch Pannekoek house, which actually has some decent food. Not good, but decent. It’s hard to roll my increasingly bulbous ass through their doors though under the slogan of “Simply De Best” because I want to punch it in the face.
Here are some of the many great reasons to go to the rodeo:
1. Perhaps you really love cows.
2. Perhaps you really hate cows.
As I am fairly indifferent towards cows, I rarely partake. I guess I thought it would be a great place to watch the rapture, because cows and Jesus go hand in hand as personal interests, but when that didn’t pan out I had to find something else to do.
My first instinct was to find me some drunk country bitches and invite them to the Longhorn Saloon for drinks and daterape, but taking a quick inventory of nearby prospects just made me feel old and creepy. I would have been okay with that too, but there were real adults nearby and we can’t have people figuring out how old and creepy I am.
So, as should be expected, I spent most of my time along the midway eating wiggle chips. I tried to avoid games which would require that I talk to the carnies a lot, after a bad experience with the breath of the guy at the darts booth. I made like I was hard of hearing and defensively turned my ear to him, but I was only able to mitigate so much of the damage.
An updated list of reasons to visit the rodeo:
1. Wiggle Chips
Sammy: Christoph, whatever has happened to your internets?
Christoph: Apparently I broke Gordon.
Sammy: 1. Who or what the fuck is Gordon?
Christoph: It was (RIP) the name of the server my sites were hosted on.
Sammy: Aww, poor thing.
Christoph: The new server’s name is “s5-dallas”
Christoph: It’s way less cool.
Sammy: I’m going to pretend it’s the name of your new robotic dog.
I have decided to convert to a standing desk, for several reasons. First, because I am so much better than you at everything — including standing. Second, because I intend to live forever and there is a chance that this will help me reach Aubrey de Grey’s human longevity escape velocity.
Consider that Winston Churchill used a standing desk, and he was a big fat asshole who lived to be 90 goddamn years old. Donald Rumsfeld apparently still uses one, and for some reason he’s not dead yet. Ernest Hemingway only made it to 61, but I can go back to ignoring Hemingway now that I have my awesome standing desk to impress hipster chicks.
I even have science on my side, for once, according to this:
A new study from American Cancer Society researchers finds it’s not just how much physical activity you get, but how much time you spend sitting that can affect your risk of death. Researchers say time spent sitting was independently associated with total mortality, regardless of physical activity level. They conclude that public health messages should promote both being physically active and reducing time spent sitting.
In the unlikely even that you lived long enough to read that, I think I’ve made my point. I really can’t see a single downside to switching to a standing desk.
Now if you don’t mind, my feet are fucking killing me.