My Sad and Weird and Angry Milkshake Brings All The Boys to The Yard

I was in ninth grade, sitting on a bench with a friend waiting for the first bell to ring.  The usual group of older kids walked past us from the art room over to the 600 Building, like they did every morning.  There were probably a dozen of them, all friends, boys and girls, with one couple who seemed to be attached to each other as if their limbs were going to fall off and die when they got separated from the host-body of their love.

I always took notice of the couple because she was adorable, like a smiling little elf, and her boyfriend wore one of those hats that guys wore in the early 90s, which probably resulted in a lower birth rate in the early 90s, because those hats were sexually repellent.  This one.

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About four months into the school year, Hat Boy walked by one day, poured across the girlfriend as always, and leaned over and handed me an envelope and walked away.  On the outside of the envelope was written, “To the girl with the beutiful eyes”.

You have no idea how many times I just had to type that to get it to stop auto-correcting the spelling of “beautiful”.

As a professional social leper up to that point in my life, in my stretch denim skirt and turquoise mock turtleneck over my much not-sought-after chest of an anemic 10-year old fetus, I assumed he handed this envelope to me as a joke of some kind, and that if I opened it, a can of snakes would shoot into my eyeballs.

Or maybe it was a case of mistaken identity?  Either way, he was just an intermediary passing this card off on behalf of one of his dozen friends.

I opened the envelope and there was a Christmas card inside, with a cute cartoon chipmunk wearing a Santa hat on the front.  Inside the card it said:

You’re too pretty to be so sad.  I’ve never seen you smile, but I hope you will.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

From someone crazy.

Someone you don’t even know.

Okay, no case of mistaken identity there.  In walking past me every day for four months, nobody in that group had ever seen me smile?  That sounded about right.  I was conceived, gestated, born, and raised with Resting Bitch Face.  These are un-retouched progression photos of me from birth to today:

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I know, it seems impossible that a person could look so permanently sad and weird and angry and not be in prison for life or at the bottom of the East River after plunging off the Brooklyn Bridge.  I know this about myself.  Sad and weird and angry is my charm.  If I were a man, you’d call it “brooding”, thereby making male-me irresistible to women with perilously low self-esteem.

And I should know.  I spent most of my dating-years being that woman.

“This guy seems sad and weird and angry!  Let’s date him and then be surprised at how sad and weird and angry he continues to be!”

I spent the rest of the school year trying to figure out which one of those guys had written this card.  It drove me crazy.  At that point in my life, most guys’ opinions of me were, “I guess she’s kinda funny?” and the notion of any of them desiring romance with me was as laughable as I thought my jokes were.  And by “most guys” I mean literally one guy named Mike.

Nothing came of it.  Their big group of friends still walked by every morning, and I had no idea who was behind this.

Four years later, I was seated at a table at Denny’s around 3am with my degenerate friends, and guess who our server was?  Hat Boy!  He took our order as if we had never seen each other before, brought us our food, and eventually the check.

As we went to leave, I found my nerve and said, “You handed me a card from a secret admirer like four years ago.  Who was it from?”

He said, “It was from me.  Why would I give you a card from someone else?”

I said, “Well, you were with your girlfriend when you handed it to me…”

He said, “And?”

Dewds.

Who’s Da Mooch Now, Bay-beeeeee

I wanted to be fancy a couple weekends ago, so Bobby booked us a table at the fancy brunch at Gulfstream Park so we could watch the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby while stuffing our faces with brunch food, the likes of which left me so full that I had to be rolled out of the parking lot afterwards and shot.

Okay, maybe not shot.  I mean, I complained like I had been shot, my abdomen riddled with BBQ brisket and mashed potato buckshot.

We were seated next to a large party of three tables of people who were already drunk when we got there, which is fine, except that they were already drunk and conducting themselves as the entire cast of The Jersey Shore.

In that they were clearly from New Jersey.

In a bad way.

That’s an inside Florida joke, by the way.  If you live in Florida, then 97% of the people you encounter from New Jersey are considered to be from New Jersey “in a bad way”.  It’s probably all the screaming, demanding, snatching things off store shelves, ramming into you with their shopping carts, arguing with every cashier, server, valet parking attendant, making store clerks cry and then bragging about it.  It’s a thing they’re kind of known for here.

I had a neighbor from New Jersey for years who threatened to kill me on a weekly basis for any number of reasons he’d invented, and always included “You know I’m from Jersey, honey?!” as part of his threats.  He routinely yelled that he was going to come over to my house with a machine gun if I didn’t cut down literally every 200-year old pine tree in my yard to keep pine needles from getting onto his screened-in pool enclosure.  The pool and enclosure that he had only recently installed directly under my 200-year old pine trees.

So, to summarize, the people we were seated next to were not my type of crowd.  This is not the most remarkable thing about them, as I am a pissy little so-and-so, and most people are not my type of crowd.

We sat next to The Jersey Shore for several hours’ worth of horse races.  The truly remarkable thing about them was how they seemed to pick the winning horse in every single race.  It was bizarre.  Any time a horse would cross the finish line, they would come leaping out of their seats, banging on the windows overlooking the track, screaming at the top of their lungs like they had just won a million dollars.  Every race.  All day.

Nobody’s that lucky – especially with those haircuts.

I took particular notice of a younger gentleman I’ll call “Da Mooch” whose celebratory screaming included him repeatedly yelling across the entire restaurant, “WHO’S DA MOOCH NOW, BAY-BEEEEEEEE!!!!!”

Did I mention this fancy brunch was like $75 a head?  It wasn’t Shoney’s, is what I’m saying.

My personal favorite was when he jumped up from his table, pointed his crotch at the faces of the other men at his table, made a repeated chopping motion at his groin and yelled, “WHO’S DA MOOCH NOW, BAY-BEEEEEEEE!!!!!”

I was so intrigued by this, trying to figure out who Da Mooch currently was, who Da Mooch used to be, when the whole argument over the identity of Da Mooch got started, what Da Mooch’s favorite character is on Game of Thrones, that I nearly missed it when Da Mooch’s own mother said that his wife had “a golden twat” and that she should “sit on his tickets for good luck.”

Good lord I wish I were making that up.  Even I, a filthy-mouthed heathen demon woman, don’t use the “T” word.  If you want explicit content, apparently you have to go hang out with Da Mooch’s mother.

As it turned out, the reason Da Mooch and Company were winning every horse race was because they were betting on every single horse on the field to win.  In every single race.  So while they were actually winning one bet on a race, they were losing anywhere from 10-20 bets on that same race.  Huh???

After watching Da Mooch go completely hog-wild after winning one particular race, running table to table, red-faced yelling, veins practically bursting out of his forehead, and high-fiving his cohorts like he just won the Superbowl, when he cashed in his ticket, he quietly told one of his friends that he had placed $70 worth of bets on that race, to collect only $35 in winnings.  This ludicrous display of celebration was what him losing $35 looked like.

It was at that precise moment that I realized who Da Mooch was now, baby.

I’m just kidding. We’ll never know.  It could even be you for all I know.

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Reasonable approximation of Da Mooch

OCD Gets a Job at The Shoe Store

I worked at the “alternative” shoe store in the mall for one day in the late 90s.

I had to quit the alternative shoe store because of herpes.

Bubblin’, tubblin’ herpes, which I imagine is probably the same reason Rob Thomas left Matchbox 20, but that’s neither here nor there… nor herpes, nor therpes.

Regardless, nobody likes a gossip.  Except for me.

The day started out like any other first day on the job at a shoe store.  First, the manager showed me the various ways to remove a shoe box from a very tall shelf.  Many boxes hit me in the head, and I was told that I would get used to it.

Then I learned that you always put the smallest size shoe on display, because every shoe looks cute when it’s tiny, which explains why I’m so disappointed every time I try on shoes and the size 9 doesn’t look as cute as the size 5 did on the display.

I learned that if you didn’t sell three pairs of socks for every 1.5 pairs of shoes you sold, you were in some serious trouble at the weekly meeting.  It’s called meeting your “Hosiery Ratio” which was, coincidentally, my nickname that one fateful night years earlier on the Collective Soul tour bus.

I couldn’t help but notice that the manager had a gigantic erupting herpes sore on her mouth.  And by “I couldn’t help but notice,” I mean “I literally could not stop staring at it.”

I realize this is something that was out of her control, and that it totally sucked that she had to deal with having this thing, but as I may have previously mentioned, my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder majors in checking and re-checking things and minors in germophobia, with mouth stuff being by far the worst for me.  Up-close photographs of mouths horrify me.  I have a hard time watching people eat and not gagging.  If someone gets food on their face, I probably will gag.  Eating sounds?  NO THANKS.  If I can feel your breath on me, it takes everything I have to not physically recoil and shudder.

In short, I’m a blast at dinner parties.

This thing was waaaaay beyond your average sore.  It was huge.  It was shiny and red and purple and yellow, glowing like a rainbow across a sky of Vaseline.  This thing was so packed with fluid that I swear I heard it make a sloshing sound when she turned her head.  She could have kept goldfish in there.

Every time she moved her head, that thing threatened me like a spring-loaded volcano, where the slightest movement would have caused its magma to explode with a fury that would paint the walls of the entire universe with its viral anger.  You could have seen this thing throbbing and pulsing from the International Space Station, and the only thing that could have rivaled it would have been the Great Wall of China or James Franco’s ego.

At that moment, my OCD saw this thing as the Heartbeat of America.  It was today’s Chevrolet.

Just in case there’s any confusion here, this thing was large and in charge and, as such, from this moment forward I will be referring to it as Mt. Vesuvius, Destroyer of Worlds.

The manager started to train me on the cash register.  It was at this time she felt an overwhelming desire to touch Mt. Vesuvius, Destroyer of Worlds, every three seconds while sucking air between her teeth and saying, “Oooh.  Oww.  It’s just so tingly.  Oooh.  Oww.  It’s so swollen.  Oooh.  Oww.  Ohh.  I WISH THIS THING WOULD JUST BURST!”

And in between tapping, fondling, and groping Mt. Vesuvius, Destroyer of Worlds, she was touching the buttons on the cash register with the same finger, leaving a greasy Vaseline fingerprint on each key that she touched.

Touch herpes sore, oooh, touch register.

Touch herpes sore, oww, touch register.

Touch herpes sore, I WISH THIS THING WOULD JUST BURST, touch register.

I had to find a focal point on the other side of the room so I didn’t pass out in a cold sweat right there on the Doc Martens display.

Then she said, “Now why don’t you try it?” and stepped back from the register.

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I froze.  It was like she had just given birth to my worst nightmare and I had to eat the placenta.  The screaming from inside my brain sounded like a freight train in my ears.  Everything in the room began to move in slow-motion.  From outside my body I saw my hand rise up to the register buttons and press them, and then a siren went off in my head:  DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE!  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE!

Yes, I feel bad for anyone who has to deal with those sores.  It must be awful.  I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.  All the more reason that a person shouldn’t try to spread it around by being unhygienic as fuck.

I finished the register training and made an excuse to go to the bathroom.  I had already decided that if they didn’t have a satisfactory soap in there that I would just have to chop off the ol’ finger.  I mean, really, what’s one little finger sacrificed to Mt. Vesuvius, Destroyer of Worlds?  I’ve got nine others!

I made a cocoon of liquid soap for my finger and let it soak in while I mentally sang the “Happy Birthday” song twice in my head, which I heard somewhere years before, was the perfect amount of time to adequately kill viruses.  Then I did it again.  And again.  And again.

Then my OCD and I grabbed my purse, got the hell out of there, and never looked back.