One Egg Shy

The musings of Chris. Writer, humanitarian, hero.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Far and Away

Lately I’ve been doing something that I promised myself I’d never do: I’ve become a compulsive away-message-checker. I didn’t used to stall. I didn’t used to care what other people were doing, or what silly little thing they had in their profiles. But the bug finally got me.

I have some advice for all you out there.

Boys and girls, we all have rough patches in our lives, but I don’t like seeing depressing away messages. Okay, okay, I understand if someone passed away that you may want to put an R.I.P. Juan the Gardener, but this is something that should be buried (no pun intended) in your profile instead of displayed prominently in your awayer. Also, things like, “This can’t keep going, can it?” or just the simple :/ face should be hidden away deep in the profile. That way, if I care enough about you to go digging, I’ll uncover these things and ask you what’s wrong.

Now, I know that I too have been guilty of this. I put in song lyrics that have to do with my current situation like, “There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes/Jesus Christ died for nothin’ I suppose,” but at least I have some interpretation that goes along with this dismal and morbid lyrics. It’s better than one that reads, “I’m sad!” or “My boyfriend left me for a Phillipino turtle.” Come on people! People check those things, so why not insert a little humor?

I suggest that anyone reading this should try, for the next week or so, to insert something painfully embarrassing that has happened to you recently for the rest of your buddies to laugh at. Something like, “My vibrator ran out of juice 15 seconds from climax!” or “My friend stirred my drink with the finger that had just been in his own ass 5 minutes earlier.” I’ll get the ball rolling on here: I tripped going into a Wendy’s the other day. See? It’s easy.

On the topic of AIM, I am also going to start systematically removing those from my list who don’t belong any more. But I don’t want to just do so in some haphazard, seek-and-destroy manner. I’m going to do it in an orderly way. And for this, I’ve devised a mathematical system of points based on different factors. Here’s how it is going to work:

  • For every yearit's been since we talked -100
  • For creative/interesting away messages +3
  • For interesting links/news +3
  • If we hooked up +5
  • If I think we could hook up again or for the first time +500
  • If we dated but there's no chance we'll hook up again -1000
  • If we talk every day +100
  • If we talk every week +50
  • If we talk every month +10
  • If we talk every year +1
  • If I have a secret man-crush on you -50
  • If you read and comment on the brilliance of my writing +100
  • If you put up depressing or lame away messages -50
  • If you have an alternate SN that you haven't used since the new one -1000
I've decided that as long as you are in the positives, you're safe. Anything lower than zero and you are getting removed.

So let's take a look at a typical member of my AIM buddy list. Let's call her Karen.
I wanted to hook up with Karen our sophomore year (+500) but I haven't talked to her in 2 years (-100 x 2) and occassionally she has depressing away messages about the war in Iraq or the death of her pet squid (-50). Karen totals 250, so she stays on.

Here is another person. Let's call him Curtis. Curtis and I lived in the same building freshman year. He puts up interesting away messages (+3) about how hungover he is or who he slept with, but we haven't talked in three years (-300). Curtis is gone.

As you can see, there is some bias for the ladies. That's thinking with my head.

So this is going into effect as of right now. First to go off my list? The roommate of the first girl I slept with at college.

Be afraid. You could be next.

Friday, January 27, 2006

A little short

I fucking hate getting my hair cut.

I hate reading bad magazines while I wait. It’s like high school all over again: the hip guys always grab GQ before I get there, the jocks grab ESPN the Magazine, and I’m left cleaning my retainer while reading Popular Science.

I hate never having a specific person that I want to request. I’ve never developed enough of a rapport with any of the assembly line workers to actually seek their service again. I worry that all the good girls–Brenda, Maryann, Candy–have been snagged up by the waiting patrons, and I’ll be left with Sarah-the-new-girl.

When I do actually sit down, I feel stupid because I never know exactly what I want done to my hair. It’s be easier if I had a hip celebrity to emulate. “I want the Brad Pitt” or the “Johnny Depp” doesn’t really work because 1) they are good-looking enough to pull off any hair style and 2) they could be doing a role where they are a cancer patient that I was unaware of, meaning I come out of the place completely bald. Normally the girl tries to help me out. “How do you wear it?” she’ll ask. “On my head,” I reply. The blowdrier sounds exceptionally loud after a bad joke.

I hate the hair cutting process. Since I can’t wear my glasses, I’m never able to tell exactly what is being done. They could be adding pink highlights and I wouldn’t even know it. I also hate how the women press their genitals against my elbow while they lean in to cut my hair. Why does the arm of the chair have to be exactly crotch-level? Oh, and for some reason the Glassboro Haircuttery gets all the rejects from the other Haircutteries in terms of looks–we get the fatties, the bad complexionies, the pregnanties, and the cockeyedies. I still ask them out, but I do so reluctantly.

The absolute worst part is the awkward attempt at small talk. I usually try to give off an air of “Don’t talk to me,” but it doesn’t always work. I’ve entertained the thought of trying to invent new stories every time I go in, but I’m too lazy. “Oh, I’m an astronaut.” “I am a professional wrestler.” “I race ostriches.” I can really be whomever I want, but I usually just tell the lame, boring truth and let my answer hang like a dirty towel in the air. This frigid front I put up also ensures that the girl will rush through the haircut, getting me out of there quicker.

Haircuts are freakin’ expensive too, which is why I try to wait as long as possible until getting one. A good barometer of when one is needed is the first time you are mistaken for a homeless person. On top of the price of the actual haircut is the tip. As Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs laments, how does society decide who is tip worthy and who isn’t? Why do I have to tip some bitch for snapping her scissors a few times? They should know I’m broke by the way I dress and the stink of failure that emanates from my pores.

So what prompted this diatribe was today’s experience. It’s almost the new year, so I thought it was time for a new do. I scrounged together $13 in buffalo nickels and headed to el cuttery de capelli (that sentence was a bastard of like four languages). It was pretty slow for a Thursday at 1:24, so Crystal, the girl at the front desk, took me right on back. She asked what I wanted done. I said, “a 2 on the sides and a half-inch off the top.” Pretty simple, right? Not for Crystal. She talked with other people in store while cutting, sensing my reluctance. Perhaps she was upset that I wasn’t more loquacious, because she definitely cut off most of my hair. Since I wasn’t wearing my glasses and was distracted by the feel of her cootch on my left elbow, I didn’t notice until it was too late. I’ve actually never complained before about a bad haircut; I mean, it’ll always grow back, right? But this time I was combative.

“How does it look?” she asked when her butcher job was completed.

“How, exactly, does this qualify as a half inch?”

“Oh, is it too short?”

“It’d be too short for a lesbian.”

She felt bad and ended up charging me the kid’s price, and for once I didn’t worry about a tip. But here’s a tip for you. Join me in my new crusade to become like the mighty Samson. Don’t get your hair cut again. Ever.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Let's make them drink our expletive deleted

I don't usually watch the news. Call me ignorant, but I usually hear about things 10-15 years after they happen. I just found out that the Berlin Wall collapsed thanks to the rocking music of David Hasselhoff. Flipping through the channels the other night, I happened to land on CNN, which was airing a report on the unsanitary condition of ice. You know, ice? That stuff that water becomes when it gets cold? Apparently it's no longer safe.

The people doing the report wanted to see if the ice that went into drinks was living up to health code standards, so they tested restaurants in four different cities to gauge the quality of their ice. Included in the test were a 7/11, a Dunkin Donuts, a Burger King, a McDonalds and some corporate coffee place I had never heard of (Javascript or Jim Beans or some shit). Out of the five restaurants tested, four out of five had traces of fecal matter on the ice. Fecal matter! As far as I am concerned, the only place that traces of fecal matter should be found is in larger amounts of fecal matter. I want you to think back to some hot summer day when you lazily chewed on ice at your local Stop and Shop or Piggly Wiggly. Remember that slightly odd taste that you ignored? That was shit. Human waste. The stuff that comes out of your ass.

These types of reports are why I don't watch the news. When is the news ever good? For every story about some old coot making it to the century mark, there are 15 murder, rape, murder/rape, or disgusting ice stories. I could have lived my whole life without knowing that someone's poo was flavoring my drink. As if drinks didn't have enough crazy new tastes (lime, lemon, semen), now I have to worry about Diet Cherry Vanilla Cantaloupe Stool Sample Pepsi? Dr. Pooper? Coke Number II? Mountain Doo Doo?

You may be wondering exactly how the fecal matter gets onto the ice. Well, you have to remember that fecal matter is all around us-- on our money, on our dog's tongues as they lick our faces, on the mints in that little bowl at your favorite restaurant, on sweet little Billy Fredericks' fingers as he plunges into our anus. So it can be transferred from surface to surface quite easily.

I knew a guy in college who rarely washed his hands after using the bathroom. I mean, come on, we all know that sometimes with a quick piss the wash is unnecessary. But this guy would come out of taking a shit without the slightest, most cursory dabbing of water on his fudge-covered hands. And according to the report I saw, to make sure the fecal matter is completely neutralized, it takes about a full minute of scrubbing with somewhat hot water. I'm sure many of us out there would shamefully admit that we don't scrub as thoroughly as we should. But just do me a favor, okay? If you are going to eat my pretzels, hold my hand or allow me to lick your fingers in an erotic display of courtship, just wash up, okay? If you are going to hand me my food at a local eatery, could you maybe make sure that it isn't covered in crap?

There are ways to ensure that your ice is pooless. You could boil the ice to get rid of harmful bacteria and then freeze the boiled water again. You could bring your own spiffy microscope set to examine each piece of ice before allowing it to cool your drink. You could just drink your Sierra Mist sans ice: it's still pretty cool and you don't have to worry about what other substances are floating in your drink. You could do like I do: just accompany the ice attendant to the bathroom to make sure that they are washing their hands sufficiently (this is tougher with food service workers of the opposite sex). Or you could just stop watching the fucking news so you don't know any of the disgusting things going on in this world.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Let's Get Physical

I exercised yesterday.

I’ll pause here while people gather themselves: murmur excitedly, shoot surprised glances, put your dentures back in.

I’ve been trying to play racquetball since the beginning of last semester, but every time I’d have it planned, something would come up, like the plants needed to be taken to their soccer games or the kids needed watering. Well yesterday, I finally made it to the courts and played.

There’s nothing like a competitive sport to make me feel like a man. There was running, grunting, heaving and sweating, much like most of my sexual experiences (especially the running). After an hour of less than intense play, I was a little tired. I had to catch my breath and take a couple extra drinks of water. But overall, I felt okay considering I hadn’t really exercised since the fall of the Berlin wall. We grabbed our things and headed for the stairs. And that’s where it happened.

With my first step, my right thigh felt like it was going to explode. I paused, surprised. I stepped with my left foot next. It too felt like it was on the verge of exploding. Well, it turns out that my legs, who had grown used to the life of an academic (sitting, thinking, occasionally peeing without stopping the sitting) and were revolting against their new role.

I’m going to try to keep exercising, not as a lame resolution but because I have fun doing it and I could use a kickin’ bod to attract da ladies. And as long as there are no stairs to climb, I should be fine. Otherwise, I’ll just wander buildings looking for elevators.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Car Inspection

I had to get my car inspected the other day. Normally I wouldn’t be concerned, but in the last year my usually reliable ride has been giving me some trouble.

In the summer my battery died while I was going through a tollbooth on the PA turnpike. After the line of cars behind me realized that honking their horns wasn’t helping me go anywhere, some wonderful, anonymous hero jumped out of his car and helped me push through the toll and onto the shoulder. It was a Sunday, so there were no repair shops. I was somehow five miles away from my family’s mountain cabin, so I figured I could stay there for the night. After a tow truck ride in which the driver pitched movie ideas to me when he learned that I was an aspiring writer, a night spent in a surreal, inter-racial family sitcom with my dad’s friend, his kids, his African American girlfriend and her daughter who were using the cabin for the weekend, and a new, $220 car battery, I sped home as quick as my new battery would allow.

The next problem was a few months later when my car started leaking coolant. For a while, I didn’t even know something was wrong; I thought that the smell of burnt vagina that I kept catching after driving for any distance more than five minutes was maybe the mating scent of the human female college student. It wasn’t. It was a collection of car troubles that dropped me $900.

So as I pulled up to the car inspection station, I was a little nervous. What could be wrong this time? Perhaps the tires would fall off. Could the gas tank explode? Maybe the flux capacitor would break, stranding me in 2005 forever (or at least until 12:00 AM on January 1st). I almost didn’t want to get out of my car when it was my turn.

They make you wait in that little booth. It’s one of those social situations, like getting a hair cut or waiting in line at a peep show, where you are forced to have an awkward social interaction whether you want to or not. You get two shots with two different people. I usually use the mistakes from the first try to really nail the second.

“So, you’re getting your car inspected, huh?” I ask, as if the person could possibly be there for an enema. “What are the odds that she’ll pass?” I don’t usually think of my car as female, what with its being a stick, but it seems to be the standard way of referring to one’s whip.

What I first take as rudeness is replaced by embarrassment when I realize that the elderly, Hispanic gentleman doesn’t speak any English. This is further revealed when he says, “No Englass,” and smiles a toothless grin. He knows enough of our language to know that when the attendant yells “Ford!” that it’s his car. Maybe he was just pretending to not know the language. Lord knows I’ve done it countless times while getting my hair cut.

I get a second chance with the person after me. She was a blonde, probably around 40, with a license plate that read “Steph R.” We made awkward eye contact and I said, “Hello.” She nodded back to me and the silence started. Thinking about my failure with Ramon (yes, I gave him a name), I wondered whether I should even chance it.

“I almost feel like it’s me that they are inspecting, not just my car,” I said, throwing out the feelers.

“I know what you mean,” Stephanie replied. Success!

“It’s like, if my tires don’t have enough pressure, then I’m too fat,” I said.

“Yeah,” she replied with a slight smile. It was all the encouragement I needed.

“Or if my turn signal isn’t working, I have no direction in life.” I was going strong, but I guess my brakes were faulty, because I didn’t know when to stop.”Or, or or,” I started, getting into it now. “If my exhaust system is messed up, it’s like I’ve got bad gas!”


I cleared my throat. She crossed her legs. I contemplated my fingernails. She fingered her mace.
“Saturn!”yelled the attendant. That was me. I thought better than to try an awkward goodbye. Steph and I left how we started–strangers.

“It’s good for another two years,” the attendant told me.

I was relieved. I now couldn’t get pulled over for anything other than my erratic driving, and I had two years to contemplate better conversation starters for that little room. I’m thinking of starting next time with, “You know, getting my car inspected is kind of like having sex.” What do you think?