Here’s to My Big Opening….

HD

 

If you have been following my blog for any length of time you might know that I have a book coming out.

I may have told you about it once or seventeen times.

I have made some copies available to reviewers and so far the response has been overwhelming. I feel like Sally Field at the Oscars screaming “You like me…..you really like me….”. I have been trying to figure out other ways to get this glorious tome of personal debasement into as many hands as possible but it’s not as easy as you might think.

So I took the plunge and decided that all those non ebook loving people out there should also have the chance to get their hands on my junk the same as everyone else.

Photo_1

 

So in a box perched uncomfortable close to a Guinea pig cage right now are the very first print copies of Cougars, Cookies and Construction. If you look for it on Goodreads there is a give away deal to be the first of my fabulous followers to get their very own copy.

In the very near future (as in as soon as the unreal nature of actually holding the book in my hands becomes not so surreal and I proof the thing all over again for errors), it will be available for order.

On December 8th, the ebook is available on Amazon so get your copy here –

Cougars, Cookies and Construction

Tell your friends, like it on Facebook, and follow it on Goodreads . Most importantly, grab a copy for yourself.

Funny Blog Friday – Halloween Edition

fbf-3

Welcome to the first Funny Blog Friday.

In keeping with the fact that it is October 31st, it seems fitting to talk about the true spirit of Halloween. Not the celebration of trying to scare the shit out of each other or soaping the car windows of that guy stiffed me on that repair I did in a thunderstorm. Halloween is about one thing and one thing only.

Candy.

Candy was my whole life when I was a kid. At least the first ten years of my life,until I found my first issue of Playboy crusting away behind the drain pipe to the sink in the bathroom. That began an entirely different life long obsession with hair teased to the moon and girls whose carpet didn’t match their drapes.  I think the only clear thought I had those first formative years was: “GET CANDY!”

That was it. Family, friends, school, they were just obstacles in they way of the candy. Thats the reason you have to teach kids not to take candy from a stranger. Their brains simply can’t process any other thoughts. If I had been playing at the playground and a guy in a white panel van pulls up with “Free Candy” spray painted on the side I would have run after him like a PMSing teen girl runs after the ice cream truck.

Without a second thought, I would have looked back over my shoulder and yelled  “This man has candy, I’m going with him. Goodbye. Whatever happens to me, just tell my family I died happy.”
My friends would have yelled “Don’t go! He already has the rope his is going to kidnap you with in his hand and that bulge in his pants likely isn’t a Bomb Pop.”
“It doesn’t matter, he has a ‘Snickers Peanut Butter’. I have to take that chance.”

So the first time you hear the concept of Halloween when you’re a kid your brain can’t even process the information. It’s like someone took Christmas and wrapped it in a cheap plastic costume.

I imagine I would have been simply amazed and asking “What did you say? What did you say about giving out candy? Who’s giving out candy? Everyone that we know is just giving out candy? Are you kidding me? When is this happening? Where? Why? Take me with you!
I gotta be a part of this. I’ll do anything that they want. I can wear that. I’ll wear anything I have to wear. Wear Dad’s week old stinking work clothes? Hell yes, I will.”

So, the first couple of years most parents made their kids costumes which of course sucked : the ghost, the hobo, the hockey player out of a jersey that was fifteen sizes too big and you tripped while running from house to house smashing your face into the gravel driveway but simply adding a new level of authenticity to the look.

After a while the home-made costume isn’t going to cut it so with hours of begging and pleading you finally convince your parents to buy you that super hero costume. Superman for me of course. That cheap plastic poncho style from the seventies before parents cared that the plastic cape was a bigger hazard than the razor blades the old guy at the end of the street was kind enough to hide in an apple. At least you could use the razor blade to cut yourself free of that three dollar sweat box. The best part of the entire costume had to be the plastic mask with the eye holes way to small to see oncoming traffic.

Remember the rubber band on the back of that mask? That was a quality item there, wasn’t it? That was good about 10 seconds before it snapped out of that cheap little staple they put it in there with. You go to your first house: “Trick or…” Snap!” So you stand there trying to tie a knot in the elastic while scoping out the candy bowl to see if its even worth the effort to stop.

Mean while your older sibling has already taken of to the next house with you screaming and crying for them to “Wait up!”

Even in the Superman costume already on a sugar buzz from the popcorn ball the old lady on the corner made with eleven pounds of white sugar, you were never fast enough to catch them and still get to the house they had already finished. Simply because you couldn’t move at all. When you did it was an arms out shuffle like the Jawas running across the sands of Tattooine. Let’s be honest, no one tried those costumes on before the night they wore them. No one checked the labels. I do remember that costume distinctly and it did come with a warning label –

“Do not attempt to fly!”

They printed that as a warning because kids would put it on and climb up on rooftops figuring that millimeter thick red plastic cape would at least make an excellent parachute. I love the idea of the kid who’s stupid enough to think he actually is Superman but smart enough to check that warning label before he goes off the roof.

“Let me see if it says anything about me being Superman..Oh, wait a second here, this does say exact replica of Superman’s…”

Not that it mattered anyway because your Mom always bought it in a size big enough to fit over your winter coat. I don’t really recall Superman ever wearing a jacket under his outfit but it certainly did make you look like you had the muscles to fill it out properly. So there you are with a plastic mask whose rubber band keeps breaking and snapping you in the face, so you tie it in a knot that keeps making the mask tighter to the point the plastic starts cutting into your eye while you try to breathe through a keyhole and all you keep swallowing is your own sweat.

All in pursuit of candy.

Finally you just give up and fire the mask in the next driveway you wander up so now its just you looking like a Superman sausage with your hair plastered to the side of your face. Ringing the door bell, the neighbours immediately know its you but you are past the point of caring. You have a pillow case that needs filling.

Bing-bong! “Yeah, it’s me, give me the candy. Yeah, I’m Superman, look at the pants legs, see this fuckin’ plastic cape ? What do you care ?”

Despite the sweat and the blood running down your face from the staple in the plastic mask, it made it all worth it when you found that one house. Not one of the ones giving out handmade bags of those orange plastic bananas that no one ever ate and left to collect in the bottom of the candy bowl. No, the best house to find was the one giving out cans of soda. It didn’t matter that it was knock off brand soda. Or even if it was the most dreaded of all flavors, Root Beer. No, all that mattered was it gave you just enough energy to trudge the long walk home with a pillow case full of candy you knew your Dad was going to pick the best stuff out of.

So this year, do something nice for those kids you see in the plastic costumes. Buy brand name candy for God’s sake.

What would a blog hop be without something to give away. As I really don’t have any sponsors other than myself I can make the rules as to what I am offering and how you can win it. Up for grabs is one of my charcoal pieces of art found here as well as the added bonus of a sneak peek at the bonus story in my soon to be released into the wild first book.

In the comment section below, I want you to tell me about the dirtiest trick you ever pulled on someone be it Halloween or other. It seems to me that the dirtiest trick will get the sweetest treat.

After you are done telling me your sordid tale, spend some time getting to know my fellow Funny Bloggers. Not only are they giving away some seriously killer prizes but they are fantastic writers as well.

You can find them here –

Victoria of Angst Anarchy

Alanna of White Girls Be Like…

Jamie of Fits of Wit

H.E. Ellis of H.E. Ellis 

Jessie of Jessie Reyna

Alice of Alice at Wonderland

Ben of Ben’s Bitter Blog

Jenn of Properly Ridiculous

Lisa of Buddhaful Britt

JC of JCS Bloggery

Sarah of No Cry Babies

Elke of The Pretty Platform

Chicks A & E of Too Funny Chicks

Charly of Crazy Life

Kevin of Trailer Trash Deluxe

Karilin of That Nameless Color

Art of Pouring my Art Out

Be sure you drop by their sites and tell them how awesome I am for sending you their way. They are all great writers and have some seriously cool stuff you can treat yourself with this Halloween.

 

Funny Blog Friday

fbf1

 

There are a lot of days where I consider myself the Clown Prince of the Blogosphere but even I have to admit there are a ton of great writers around that I laugh my back hair off at. Starting Friday, October 31st, I will be joining forces with some of these fantastic people to form the Justice League of Humor.

The Funny Blog Friday blog hop features comedy and prizes from such recockulously hilarious writers as –

Victoria of  AngstAnarchy

H.E. Ellis of H.E. Ellis

Alanna of White Girls Be Like…

Jamie of Fits of Wit

Jessie of Jessie Reyna

Alice of Alice at Wonderland

Ben of Ben’s Bitter Blog

Jenn of Properly Ridiculous

As part of this hop, I will be offering a sneak peek at the artwork for my book and a super secret, never before released story only appearing in the soon to be released book –

The Dildo Factory – Episode 6 – The Return of the Vibrator!!!

Check back Friday for an all new story and a chance to win an exclusive look under my hood.

Best Intentions

bestintention

 

 

When I decided to scale back my blogging after nearly two years of writing daily, I did it with the best intentions.

I knew I needed what small amount of time I actually have to write to focus on getting the text for my book perfect and the cover art crisp.

I set up writing platform accounts and made contacts to get it reviewed.

And then I waited.

Like the worst sort of child holding his breath for some minor thing.

I let my life go on around me.

I still read and commented on other writers daily but was so consumed with my drive to get my book ready for publication that I let the one thing that got me to this point slide.

I forgot how to write.

I put out some longer fiction pieces on my fiction blog but completely let my own story grind down to the barest of essentials.

Eat, work, gym,run,sleep. That was basically the routine I let myself fall into.

I sat staring at a blank page or a half-finished post almost daily with every intention of finishing it.

Tomorrow or the next day, I would tell myself all the while knowing that until I could put the work of publishing behind me.

But every day I focused my time on publishing put me closer to being able to get back here.

Best intentions don’t get things accomplished but plans do.

So my plan is to do everything I can to post something here every week.

It may be short. It might be nonsensical. But it will be here.

 

Burnt Offerings

burnt offerings

 

Writing can be a frustrating task at times.

What happens when nothing is inspiring?

How do you tell a story about your life when your life has become a routine of work, eat, run, sleep?

When the Muse will not descend, you have to look for other ways to keeping putting the pencil to paper.

A few years ago, I lost everything in a house fire including all my sketch pads. When you lose something in that fashion it takes a while to get the urge back. It also set in motion the idea to use the charcoal that my own things had become to come up with new sketches.

Something simple.

Writing has been a chore the last few months as I prepped my book for release so I stuck to fiction writing that can be found on my other blog. Fiction requires inspiration and when that fails, I decided to break out the pencils and try my hand again at drawing.

Charcoal is a great medium for finding the truth in a single bold line.

IMG_2836

 

From a complex pencil sketch with dozens of lines,

IMG_2829

 

To as bold an image with a few simple lines.

But as simple as it seems to find a true image of a simple creature it requires a more deft hand to capture the most complex creature of all.

IMG_2835

 

IMG_2834

 

IMG_2833

 

Bold lines for the boldest of creatures.

So bold that I even framed my favorite piece to hang on an accent wall in my living room.

IMG_2827

Things always seem more easy to understand when you break them down to the basic components of black and white.

So when the urge to write escapes you then just put pen to paper. Or pencil as the case may be.

Milestones

2years

 

Time is such a fleeting thing.

The average writer usually writes for around a year and a half before they realize that they have no more words to say. That the story they set out to tell has finally been told. They move on to different things almost always with the plan to someday start up writing again but few seldom ever do.

So to reach the two-year anniversary of my auspicious beginnings as a writer, for me, it’s a true remarkable thing.

After the failure of my first writing efforts and my inability to get published, I didn’t know if there was much point in continuing. Yet, here we are now, two years later and I am still striving forward. Not as much here for the time being but still writing none the less.

I have always believed that it is the journey that changes you and not the destination. The last two years of my life are proof of that. I have met some amazing people through my writing. Some changed me for the better, some broke my heart more than I thought was humanly possible and some even kept me sane in what had to be some of my darkest hours.

So, to all 1,257 of my followers I say “Thank you”. Even the ones who got suckered into following me by the piece that got Freshly Pressed only to find out I leave dildos in mail boxes and get caught taking a dump behind a garden shed and blaming a defence less dog.

Even though I don’t spend as much time here as I used to, my time is being put to good use and hopefully in the very near future you all will see the results.

 

The Finish Line

writingbook1

 

 

To say my life is busy is an understatement.

Over the last seven days, I have been either directly or indirectly involved with twenty-one baseball games. Mediated disputes over players. Eaten more white bread in the form of hamburger buns than I have in the past year. I have another week of games ahead followed by end of season meetings.

I have finished a job on a house that will forever be known as “Nightmare Mansion” based solely on the fact that the physical effort of finishing it nearly killed my whole team.

I have helped edit a piece of someone elses work when they were struggling to put its pieces together.

I have exercised less than I have in months and eaten worse.

So, I have been forced to make a decision.

Since the first day I started writing here, through the demise of my first blog, to getting featured on Freshly Pressed, I have held on to the goal of publishing a book in some format or another.

To that end, I will be taking a break from writing here until I have the book at least in the hands of my editor.

I have no desire to turn this place that I have laboured over for this long into a place where I simply whore out my book when finished. I will still be writing here but on a limited basis until the book comes out.

In the next few days, I will be unveiling the cover and the titles of the two super secret bonus stories I have written exclusively for the book.

Be excellent to each other.

 

Canadian Content Laws

Being based out of Canada, land of Degrassi Junior High and Poutine, I feel compelled to share my culture with those of you not fortunate enough to live here.

Every summer there is a festival of buskers in a nearby city. It may be just a Canadian thing but streets are blocked off for miles while street performers of all types ply their trade to the enthralled masses for a few sheckles.

Here for your entertainment, I present the contortionist and acrobat Al Kazam. Before this ending act he had squeezed his body through a squash racquet and contorted his torso around to get his mouth close enough to his own junk that he would never have to wait around till the end of the night at a Country bar on Ladies Night.

The video is brought to you courtesy of my newly minted Youtube channel in conjunction with my Tumblr account that can be found under the account @jackchaser76. Yes, I will admit I am building a platform from which to launch my book but a bonus feature of my Tumblr account is that is the only place to have pictures of yours truly.

Enjoy some Canada.

Rise and Grind

 

Time is the most fleeting of things.

That’s deeply philosophical for a guy that chemicals his pool naked but it’s intensely true.

In my effort to make a living and put the finishing touches on the long-standing dream of publishing a book based on the hilarity found here my writing time is at the barest of minimums.

But a great man once said “I have a dream”.

Mine is simply to sell one copy of my first book.

I stress the word “first”. It is my goal to publish many books but I believe this is a great start.

But there are still days where it feels like a grind. That every word typed is a weight pressing down.

So every morning I listen to this piece of motivation.

It’s important to remember that while you are pursuing your dream others are too. That they will have no problem letting life beat you to your knees and keep you there simply as a means of getting one step closer to the goal than you are.

Writing can truly be a grind.

Especially when you are writing about events that occur in your life.

I purposefully leave out the mundane or boring. I could whine and bitch with the best of them but if that’s what you are looking for I can point you in the direction of several writers who bounce out those kinds of posts daily.

I will still be grinding out my dream. One word at a time. Because there are hundreds of books published daily.

It’s just my dream to make mine the funniest one people have ever read.

So while time may be slipping away it is at least being put to good use.

A lifelong goal accomplished.

One word at a time.

Taking the Plunge

cannonball

 

One of the greatest motivational speakers of this or any generation, Les Brown, lives by one simple motto.

It’s possible.

A little less than two years ago I never would have thought it was possible that I would be writing.

Never thought I would have my first blog fail beyond the point of redemption.

Never thought it was possible that I would start over.

Never thought it was possible that I would write anything that would cause someone to ruin a laptop by laughing so hard they spit coffee all over it.

Never thought it was possible to make it to the Freshly Pressed page.

Never thought it was possible I would get a piece published.

Never thought I would ever get paid to write something.

Something funny happens though when you allow yourself to think about what’s possible.

The reasons you believed you couldn’t accomplish your goals or live your dreams don’t really seem insurmountable any more.

They just become the reasons you work harder.

They become the reason you go without sleep or food.

They become the reasons why when everyone else is out getting drunk around a bonfire, you are still banging away on the keys.

They become the reasons why you start to believe there isn’t anything you can’t do.

I started this blog as a place to share stories so ridiculous that it shouldn’t be funny but still manages to be.

I had no idea where it would take me.

With the help of two phenomenally talented authors, Wendi and Craig, I am working towards my next goal.

Publishing a book.

I had no idea how much work would be involved but if I have learned one thing here its the fact that if you work hard enough, dedicate yourself to a goal and not give up on it you can accomplish it.

 

Dear Jack…..

dear jack

 

 

Dear Jack,

It’s been a while since we have had some time together. 

I know you have been busy lately what with the running a business, training for the Spartan Race in June, organizing the local softball organization, getting your booth organized for the home show, hiring new employees including the first girl who will have ever worked for you and trying to keep your junk covered up but I will be honest…… I miss you.

Remember all the good times we had?

The long winter days and late summer nights regaling people with our tales of puking, pooping and penising?

Those were some of the best times of my life.

I know its only been a few days but I feel like we are drifting apart.

You have to understand, I literally can’t live without you.

I am not asking for much. Maybe even a few words a day? A new picture or two a few times a week?

All I ask is you not resort to using me to post ridiculous memes or pictures you stole from the Chive just for a couple chuckles. That cheapens us both and just shows what kind of attention whore you can be.

I will be waiting here for you whenever you have a moment to spare. Even if it means I have to share you with your fiction blog.

Love always,

The Things I See Up Here

 

Dear Blog,

Let’s be honest. We’ve been having issues for a long time.

We have been together for just over a year and the good times have been truly great but you can really be a drain on what little spare time I actually have.

Yes, I am exceptionally busy and spend the entire weekend at the home show for business pressing flesh with an arena full of senior citizens that had the odor of a diaper full of moth balls but that is the unfortunate price you pay for being self-employed.

I know I havent spent much time with you lately and my workaholic habits bother you but lets look at some of your more annoying tendencies.

You think Jaws 2 was better than Jaws.

You pronounce it “cousint” not cousin.

You use air quotes when talking about the moon landing.

You know all the words to “Rio” by Duran Duran.

Must you tell everyone you meet about the Dildo Factory?

Your favorite actor is Kirk Cameron.

You rode the plastic car in the kids section of the funeral home at my grandmothers funeral and no it’s not okay because the car was black.

Two words – Leather Pants.

Yet for all your glaring faults, I still spend at least a few minutes with you every day.

Even if it’s just to see what your friends are up to.

Even when I am dead tired from a ten-hour work day because they are calling for four straight days of rain followed by a six kilometer run on a swampy island then sifting through resumes to find new employees and coming to the conclusion that the best one is a ninety pound girl with a neck tattoo.

So even though my time with you is limited please know that it’s usually the only time of the day I can truly be myself.

Your writer,

Jack

 

 

 

Word Fatigue

psychological-effects-of-chronic-fatigue

 

There are times when I put my fingers on the keyboard and the words simply aren’t there.

Writing has become part of my daily routine but like every writer I struggle. What will I write today? How do I continue to feed the machine when inspiration is completely lacking? When my muse doth protest?

It’s a question the plagues me deeply.

There are so many days when the stories I write feel one note. Feel so similar to some other story I have written.

I mean, come on, how many times can I write about being literally caught with my pants down?

I see it more and more with writers not just here but every where I read. Brilliantly talented people who just hit that wall. Where the stories all blur together.

The wall where writing stops being fun.

I won’t lie. There have been times where I seriously contemplated giving up writing entirely. When I was tired of every word I was writing the instant it appeared on the screen. It wasn’t fun any more. I stopped loving it with the passion I needed in order to tell the stories I wanted to tell.

The truth is, many of us use writing as a crutch. As a coping mechanism. As a way to express the one thing that we can’t say to anyone else.

What happens when that thought is fully expressed?

When it seems like you have beaten that horse not only to death but through becoming a zombie and back through death again?

It’s at that point that so many great writers give up writing.

The way over that wall is as simple as it gets. Turn left. Turn right. Turn around. The wall isn’t the end of story telling. It’s just the end of that chapter.

Writing a running narrative like a blog is a lot tougher than it seems at first. The story is constantly being changed by the life you live. When writing becomes the only thing you have to write about it’s really only a matter of time before you stop completely.

For myself when I hit the wall, I took an on-line class in stand up comedy writing.

Was it inspiring? Not really. It did however give me an outlet to try something different.

When you stop living your life and stop trying new things your story will always be the same.

Don’t feel bad or guilty that you didn’t write today. Be glad you were doing something worthy of writing about.

When you get tired of the words you seem to use over and over its time to build a new vocabulary.

It’s your story after all. Use any word you like.

My Eyes Are Up Here….

funny_celebrity_pictures_my_eyes_are_up_here

Men are obsessed with breasts. We are. Accept it.

Part of me thinks it’s a power thing. Breasts hold sway over us. We know they dominate us, and that therefore entices and as frustrates us. Women are the dominant gender for several reasons, and two of them are staring at our chest while our eyes try to steer upwards.

Another part of me thinks this is a dignity issue. Ever notice that when a woman’s naked it’s considered sexy, but male nudity is funny?

You know why? Boobs.

Without them, we just look like deformed Ken dolls.

I think women’s breasts have the attention of most men. Don’t you?

It’s one of those things you really can’t not look at.

Like a sunrise or a newborn baby or a teenage Asian girl on a skateboard wiping out and smacking into a parking meter.

I’ve researched the phenomenon exhaustively and believe that it’s just natural for men to be looking at breasts.

I am forever catching myself glancing at women’s breasts.

It doesn’t matter who they are, my sister, my best friend’s grandmother….

I’ll just be in a conversation about the price of gas and all of a sudden realize ……

“Wow, I just saw boobs.”

 It’s like breasts are trying to get my attention or something.

They just seem to scream “Hey you! Yeah down here! Look at us!”

I think the reason is simple; breasts are sticking out on the body

I mean imagine if men were built with permanent erections.

We’d look at men differently. Our clothes would be different too. Probably a whole lot baggier with some pleated crotch areas.

Some more pleated than others I imagine.

I’m sure most women would try to be discrete but at some point their gazes would drop.

Just cause, well, he’s sticking straight out there.

It’s true though. Parts of the body that stick out get more attention.

We all notice:  breasts, noses, bulging groins and big bums.

And women notice this more than men do.

It’s true, why else would they constantly be asking their husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends…

“Hey, does my butt look big in this?”

So with all these parts sticking out, it’s no surprise people are looking.

The trick for us guys is keeping it to a glance, stay alert, and avoid staring.

Recovering from a stare is tricky. In the same way getting your junk caught in your zipper is tricky.

I find pretending you’re in some deep thought, justifies staring off into space.

Then I come back with some random piece of trivia about comic books or action movies so you think I am a complete nerd.

Anyway I think that’s just the way we’re built.

Even the Bible says  “let her breasts please you always”.

If God made the elbow or knees with that kind of “bodaciousness” and “bouncability”, we’d be staring at them instead.

And men aren’t alone in this. Women have their issues too.

We’re not the only ones looking down when a woman walks into the room. Lots of you women will be looking down with us.

Checking out her shoes. You can’t get your eyes off them.

Now nobody’s saying all you women have some kind of foot fetish.

So you see ladies, we’re not so different.

We’re just admiring the 36C’s while you girls are gawking at the beautiful pair of size 8’s.

You do it to us guys too. Judging us from our beat up work boots all the way up our super tight ripped jeans to our bulging junk sticking straight out.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

My eyes are up here.

 

Thanks to comedian and comedy club owner Don MacDonald for his help and comedy writing tips.

 

69 Flavors

 

dinner-is-served

Despite my humorous real life adventures, in my severely limited spare time I write horror fiction.

I could wallpaper a room with printed rejection emails like every other writer but today I can finally call myself an author.

The incredible chefs at 69 Flavors of Paranoia have selected a piece of my work “Addicted” to be featured in the March/April “Menu”. Menu 26 will be available for your viewing pleasure on March 30.

69 Flavors features some incredible fiction, artwork and short films dedicated to all things horror. Please stop by their site and check out some truly new and intensely scary work by some fantastically talented artists.

Dinner is served so go eat your fill.

Lost In Translation

chinese_signs_that_got_seriously_lost_in_tranlsation_09

When I was in college I toyed with the idea of teaching English as a second language in a foreign country.

The only real issue I had was the fact I would have to learn a different language in order to survive. I likely would have starved to death or ended up sold on the black market as someone’s piece of “white chocolate” before I even realized it happened. I just can’t imagine how difficult it would be for someone to navigate a foreign culture .

As the winter begins to wind down, all the suppliers we have put on massive sales pitches to contractors from all over Southern Ontario. The idea is financially sound for them as it gets new products in our faces so we can add them to our arsenal for the coming season. It’s usually wrapped around a relatively decent buffet but sometimes they go a step further.

I had heard of the Fastest Shingler competition from a few guys that had taken part in it. It was as revered in our industry as the World Hot Dog Eating Championships were at a Weight Watchers meeting. It was scheduled for the same day as our biggest supplier unveiled their new product line. I pride my self on being able to bang product on as fast as anyone else so I figured it was time to put my skills to the test. The prize was one thousand dollars, a trophy and a shot at the Canadian championships. It may sound a bit odd to people but the winner of the whole competition stood to win ten thousand dollars. I like shingling. I like money.

I had to admit I was a bit nervous as I saw the set up for the competition. Eight contractors would face of head to head in timed heats to see who could shingle a small set up that included a toilet stack and a roof vent. I walked by the line of guys waiting for their turns and eyed up the time boards. I snickered a bit as I saw some of the leading times while watching the techniques the group that was hammering away was using. I figured I could make the leader board with a solid effort.

I walked back to the registration area and filled out the forms necessary to enter. A small Asian woman took my paper work and eyed me up and down over the top of her thick black framed glasses before gesturing for me to take my spot in the line.

As I walked down the line I eyed my competition and while a few of the guys seemed reasonably competent I was quite excited by my chances.

” Excuse me,” I heard a thickly accented voice say to my right ” Is this the line for the gang bang?”

I burst out laughing at the joke only to turn toward the voice. The tallest and duskiest skinned Jamaican I had ever seen looked down at me with an earnest expression.

” If it is,” I answered ” I sure as hell don’t want to go after you.”

I was expecting his expression to break at least a little but he still looked as solemn as ever. He tilted his head a bit as he tried to puzzle out my meaning. I laughed again in spite of myself.

“I was told there was a gang bang at the end of the line and I should bring my tools,” the man continued with earnest eyes. I could barely breathe I was laughing so hard.

” I am sure you swing a mean hammer,” I continued when I could get enough air in my lungs to form words ” But this is for the best in the industry.”

” No one bangs as fast as I do,” the Jamaican responded to my perceived insult and it elicited fresh peals of laughter from me and a couple of others that had been listening in.

The Asian woman who had taken all our registration information at that point sidled up beside him and placed a hand at his lower back. She looked expectantly at him as to what was causing such a dilemma.

“Is this the line for the gang bang?” He asked her with the same puzzled tone he asked me and she smiled as smile usually saved for lottery winners. She nudged him away from us and toward the competition area.

“Right this way,” She said as she gave us the same beatific smile before sashaying away. I stood in stunned silence. Perhaps I was in the wrong line. I am certainly not shy but the idea of dropping my pants in front of a set of bleachers full of people was not exactly what I had in mind today. Not long after, an equally dark-skinned but much shorter man was searching around the line. I knew he was looking for the guy we all would regrettably have to follow.

“Looking for someone,” I asked almost rheotorically.

” Yes,” He answered with a thankful look at me ” I brought a guy with me to compete today.”

” I think he’s at the front of the line,” I responded ” But he is here for a competition I don’t think the rest of us are involved in.”

A wickedly evil grin spread across the man’s face that I was helpless to not reflect in one of my own.

” He’s likely the fastest guy here,” Wicked Grin answered back ” But he speaks about fifteen words of English. We have been telling him for weeks he was coming to a place where gangs of guys bang shingles on for money. He’s been calling it a gang bang ever since.”

The Yes Movement

The simplest of words have always held the most power.

As writers we use a massive vocabulary of verbosity to voice our inner thoughts and convey the message we have to share. Yet all around us is a world of single words and slammed doors. Rejection at every turn.

From the earliest stages of our lives we learn to fear one word answers. From the “No” you get from your parents when asking for something to the “No” you get when you ask that girl you have had a crush on for as long as you can remember if she would go the dance with you there is nothing more crushing than a one word rejection.

We are conditioned to say “no” to anything that makes us feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable. We are taught to say “no” to the things that seem strange to us. We are taught to say “no” to anyone that makes us feel something we aren’t accustomed to.

Saying “no” limits us in every way. It argues for us to limit what we do or think or feel. When we argue for our limitations we get to keep them.

No. That’s too far to travel.

No. That can’t happen.

No. This will never work.

There is a reason that twenty thousand people want to chant a single word over and over at a basketball game. There is a reason people gathered together around the world can easily band together and scream at the top of their lungs. It may have started out as a gimmick for a relatively mid level professional wrestler but its power can’t contained to one venue. On street corners and in high schools. In churches and rooftops. People around the world are chanting a word we don’t hear very often in our lives.

Yes.

The most powerful word in any language is “yes”.

Saying “yes” opens doors to things you didn’t even know existed. Saying “yes” opens you to a world where you have no idea what’s going to happen, often with people and places you have never seen before. You are not in control. So say “yes.” If you’re lucky, you’ll find people who will say “yes” back. Now will saying “yes” get you in over your head at times? Will saying “yes” lead you to doing some foolish and dangerous things?

Yes it will.

But don’t be afraid to be foolish. You cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Cynics don’t learn anything. Cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no.

Saying “yes” begins everything.

Saying “yes” is how things change.

Saying “yes” leads to knowledge.

“Yes” is for young people.

So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes.”

Say “yes” to a day spent in your pyjamas.

Say “yes” to sing a Britney Spears song at karaoke if you are a guy.

Say “yes” to dinner with your mom even though she picks at the waitress like a tag on a pillow.

Say “yes” some help even when you don’t think you need it.

The next time someone asks you to do something just that little bit outside your comfort zone understand that the magic words that make things happen are not hocus pocus or walla walla washington.

It’s just “yes”.

yes-man

 

The Memory Remains

bouncy_castles_by_biggals-d5a6fwd

Fortune, fame, mirror vain, gone insane but the memory remains – Metallica

The tremors started in my hand when I heard the first scream.

It was involuntary and I reached into my pocket to dig my truck keys into my palm. Hoping in vain that the bright pain would stem the dark tide I could feel washing over me. The tingle of every follicle of hair on my body standing on end was as electric as the ozone after image from a thunder-storm. I watched my daughter and her friend run ahead of me screaming that care free screech of the tether being loosed on childhood. That scream that only two young girls can manifest when their feet are flying over solid ground.

Lights flashed in the periphery of my vision like flashbulbs and I briefly looked over my shoulder to see if the predicted storm had finally broke. A waving hand caught my attention and I turned back to see my daughter frantically motioning me closer. I passed booth after booth of garishly colored animals and mirrors reflecting the swirling bodies around me as I weeded my way closer to them.

The call of carnival barkers broken off by a derisive wave of my hand that I was trying to control in vain. Music pulsed at ear drum shattering levels that seemed to be in time with the pounding in my chest. My internal temperature dropped and I shivered despite the oppressive Indian summer humidity. The breeze kicked up long enough to dry the cold sweat that had broken out on every inch of my skin. A low animal growl of thunder in the distance broke my reverie and I made my way over to the impatiently bouncing girls.

My daughter’s smile briefly quelled the wave of anxiety breaking on the shore of my memory as I saw what she was pointing at.

” We are going in here,” She said in the tone she has that leaves no room for argument and had already kicked off her shoes . Her friend followed suit and I watched in near abject fear as they climbed inside the huge dome of the old-fashioned bouncy castle. It’s red and white stripes dulled by some many seasons of travelling from farmers field to farmers field. I reached out tentatively to run my hand over the mesh on the windows and pulled back as the texture of it felt like spider webs.

I felt the motion of the bodies inside it and heard the screams that you can never be sure are fear or laughter. I leaned my head against it and closed my eyes. The dream came back just as vivid as it had been when I woke violently from it the morning before.

The smell was the first thing I remembered. The musty wetness of damp ground as I walked  the stone bridge to the island I ran the trails on. The leafy canopy of the trees as you stepped on to it shielding me from the early morning spring sun. The trail feeling soft under my feet as I walked slowly towards the field where I always began running from. I started for a moment as I saw I wasn’t alone.

I saw her standing in the full light of day with the gossamer fluff of dandelion fronds dancing around her. Her tanned limbs stretched out to kiss the sun back. A smile broke on her face as she turned on her toes with a dancers grace. Her eyes lighted on me and I could feel my heart hold its breath.

“Chase me,” she called out and turned toward the lushly groomed trail.The turned her whirling hair into a blazing comet’s trail as she picked up speed. My heart leaped into my throat and I bolted after her braying for her to wait like a blood hound on a scent. My arms pumped furiously to drive my muscles to the breaking point and yet she seemed to be gaining speed. The ground felt at times insufferably muddy and other times as barren and harsh as the mountain tops. I chased her over vast fields grape vines and oceans of desert sand. Her musical laughter at my plight causing me to let loose the maniacal giggle that lay trapped behind my gasping chest.

The trees enclosed around the path again as the sun rose high over them. The oppressive humidity causing the air to hang heavily laden with moisture. The horizon I could just make out between the thick limbs began to darken as a storm was building drawn at a maddening rate by the thick air. I could see her toned limbs flash around every corner I passed and I redoubled my efforts.

I came up over a small hill to see a vast field spread out in front of me. Endless miles of wild strawberry flowers lay on the canopy floor giving the first hint of early summer. I saw the whisper of a gossamer shift flicker on the edge of my vision just as I felt a hand cup my own damp palm. My heart hammered once before freezing in that way things do when a moment holds its breath. Long fingers wrapped around mine and I turned my face to see a beatific smile. Her lips grazed over my jaw line and up to my ear where I could feel her heart pounding in the tight pants of her breath.

” Let’s go have some fun,” She teased as she used her nose tip to turn my face to see the huge dome of the bouncy house. It’s striped exterior giving a red tinged hue to its shaded interior. I felt the first drop of rain from the storm before the first massive clap of thunder shook the ground around us. Her smile and laughter dragged me towards the relative shelter as much as her tugging of my hand. Rain spattered the ground like crystal tears as the sun dipped over the tree line and the dark clouds enveloped the sky. Lightning arched through the teeming rain and I heard the same laughter that urged my frantic chase draw me inside the air-filled dome.

I felt hands on the side of my face and eyes lock on mine. I could feel my feet sliding on the wet surface but was held fast by a grip as sure as steel. I was pulled into an embrace that was as safe and warm as anything I had ever known despite the rain that continued to chill my soul. I looked out the spider web style windows to see the last of the fall leaves being lashed away by the gale force winds pounding through the clearing. Lips grazed mine on their way to my ear and a voice breathed over my brain.

“Miles don’t matter and time changes nothing,” Her voice echoed in every fibre of me ” But it’s time to wake up.”

I felt the embrace fade like a shadow in the sun and the rain turned to snow crystals on my eyelashes. I rushed to the woven windows to see her walking back up the path towards the trees. My heart exploded in my chest at the same moment the scream tore from my throat calling her back.

” You going in,” A voice gruff from years of smoking said blandly as I blinked the dream away.  I could hear my daughter and her friend laughing and screaming in that way kids do when they think no one is watching. My hands shook violently and I gripped my keys harder as I gulped down a breath. I shook my vision clear to see a young carnival worker gesturing towards the entrance of the bouncy house. The first drops of rain began to fall as the storm finally broke around me.

” No,” I answered in a near whisper ” Once was enough for me in there.”

It was true. Time does change nothing. The pain may fade. The heart does heal.

But the memory?

The memory remains.

The One For The Road Story

bearswrestling

The first warm day we had after a month of blistering cold and damaging snow storms had my phone going off like your dad does at his office work Christmas party after he’s had nine beer and found out the company wasn’t giving out bonus cheques this year. The accumulated snow leads to ice dams along the edge of the roofs which can lead to wide-spread leakage and damage if not attended to. The majority of people just leave the snow and let nature take its course but the best course of action is to at least remove it from the perimeter.

The first call of my morning was an overly long snow removal with a woman who grilled me so hard about what I was doing I began to get a Joan Crawford “Mommy Dearest” kind of vibe. I actually flinched when she went to the closet and pulled her coat off a wire hanger but when she followed me outside grilling me mercilessly about the rationale behind removing snow from a roof I realized she was likely just a lonely old lady who just beat her own kids with coat hangers.

Mile after mile, house after house we pulled literal tons of snow off buildings. The muscles in my upper back and shoulders were burning like a painful bowel movement brought on by a night of dollar store tequila. The temperature continued to drop and I was getting to the point where I just didn’t think I could do much more.

I checked with my office and there was a call for snow removal not that far from where I was so I figured I would do the responsible thing and attend to it. If nothing else it got me one step closer to soaking in my bath tub with my army of plastic sharks and Spider-man bubble bath.

The snow was piled up on the house in giant meringue puffs that likely tasted terrible but I set to work with my snow rake. Great lumps of the stuff fell around me and did nothing to improve my mood that was souring as quickly as milk left on a sidewalk in St. Louis in summer.

I made my way around the back of the house and just started pulling the snow off the low garage when I heard a laugh and a splash.

” Now that looks like hard work,” I heard a voice call out. I turned with a half-smile and a sarcastic retort hanging off my teeth that never made it to my tongue. In the midst of the snow drifts sat a steaming hot tub occupied by two gentlemen who had to easily be in their late seventies. Their white skin and even whiter chest hair stood out against the starkness of the landscape like a polar bear walking across the arctic if he was drunk and horribly lost. There was a litter of empty beer bottles strewn around the base of the tub and a cooler not very far out of reach. Both men beamed smiled as bright as the mis-aimed headlight in an 86 Hyundai.

“It sucks ,” I answered back as the laughter I had forced down bubbled up like a fart in a thong. Both men raised their beer and half saluted me before draining them and tossing the bottles into the snow.

” You really need one of these at home,” One of them called out across the yard and pawed drunkenly at the lid of the cooler. His grizzled mat of chest hair floated like angry sea weed as he splashed his way towards the edge.

” I wish,” I laughed as I thought about my sad little bath tub. I took a longing look at the hot tub and cooler. Maybe someday.

“Well, we are moving out tomorrow so at least stop over for a beer before you leave,” Chest Hair yelled as I moved further down the roof edge. I turned to answer him when I heard a splash and water sloshing onto the ground. My eyes stopped on a pale set of wrinkled ass cheeks bobbing up out of the water as Chest Hair stood to open the just distant cooler. He turned to hand his companion a beer and his junk flopped against his opposite leg like a dog shaking a sock with an orange in it. It was almost at perfect eye level with his tub buddy and it didn’t phase him at all.

They sank back down into the water and had an arm over each other as they each took a long draught from the newly opened bottles. I had now seen it all. I had tangled with a sunbathing cougar and now had run across two hot tubbing bears. Lions and tigers and bears my ass.

” Sure you don’t want one,” Chest Hair chided again waving a beer bottle in a manner far too close to the motion his old junk had just conjured up.

I stopped and in a brief flash I realized my day had essentially been filled with the same kind of people. From Joan Crawford chasing me through snow drifts too deep to beat me to death in to the drunken Grizzly bears. They were just lonely. Seeking the companionship that even a few simple words from a stranger or a hot tub reach around can give.

That brief moment of connection to someone else that lets them know that they are not completely alone. Hell, I was guilty enough of it but anthropomorphizing plastic sharks in my bath tub. No one really likes to be alone. If these people found comfort in each other then who was I too judge them and quite frankly the beer looked really good.

” I have time for a quick one,” I replied as I tossed the snow rake aside and reached for the still junk dangling bottle.

A Matter of Faith

IMG_1648

 

I don’t believe in a lot of things.

I don’t believe that the electric car isn’t a viable option but the big oil companies keep it suppressed.

I don’t believe that most people know how to properly use the word “awesome” because most of the things they use it to describe hardly inspire awe. “Awesome” describes seeing your first child born not the new sandwich at Wendy’s.

I don’t believe being older makes you any smarter. I know far too many older people who are still just as dumb as they were when they were younger but are now just more ignorant about it.

I don’t believe that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are training our kids for anything other than data entry jobs.

I don’t believe your friends should always tell you the truth because if you have to ask their opinion of what you are wearing you already know you look ridiculous.

Mired deep into the third month of what has to be the longest winter I can possible imagine, I don’t believe it will ever end.

Yet when I find myself frozen driving down a back road to another place hopeful to make enough money to make it through the week and doubting spring will ever arrive I happen upon something truly awe-inspiring.

IMG_1650

IMG_1649

IMG_1644

IMG_1645

 

I don’t believe Mother Nature and I will ever see eye to eye but I will be damned if sometimes she doesn’t do something truly awesome.

Standing there watching them watching me I believe we both had the same thoughts. We were all waiting for Spring.

As much as I have struggled through the depths of winter I will always believe that things are going to get better.

It’s really just a matter of faith.

 

You don’t have to call it God or Jesus. That’s religious humbug to a lot of people, but you’ve gotta believe that nature and spiritual things surround us. That is what put us here! I thank the universe for that every day of my life.” Jack Lalanne

Ordinary Heroes

batmanquote

 

The small face pressed up against the glass greeted me with a wan smile before vanishing.

I knocked on the door and was almost taken by surprise as the door almost imploded inward. A young woman held the door open and I could tell by the pallor of her skin and the blush on her cheeks that the temperature was dropping rapidly in her house. The same ghostly little face appeared from behind her and smiled a little before bolting to a low couch across the room and submerging in an ocean of blankets. The slow creeping frost on the interiors of the windows was as thick as the frost on the outside.

” I guess I don’t need to ask if its cold in here,” I started jovially but instantly regretted it as the woman pushed a strand of her hair back behind her ear. The almost imperceptible flash of indignation that crossed her chilled skin told me that my usual humorous banter was unnecessary.

” The wind last night knocked our chimney over and the wood stove is our only source of heat,” She said ” I called a chimney company but they said if I needed any new parts to fix it that it would take over two weeks for them to get them and get here.”

” That seems a bit long to go without heat ,” I answered her unspoken question ” Let me see what I can do.”

The strong wind gusts and a mountain of falling snow had ripped the steel chimney out of its housing and crushed the top of it. I sighed and rubbed my scalp as I looked at it. I wasn’t confident it would go back together but as I stood there looking at the crumpled remain I felt a gaze falling on me. I looked at the window again and saw the same pallor and flushed cheeks on the boy whose image greeted me. He waved quickly and disappeared in a whoosh of blankets not unlike a cape unfurling.

I stared at the chimney and felt the cold wind blow around me fluffing the fine dusting of snow that was falling into my eyelashes. As far as I was concerned, I didn’t really have a choice.

I ask myself every day ” What makes someone a hero?”

I look at the men and women who rush into burning buildings to rescue something as relatively trivial as a set of glasses for an elderly woman or the people brave enough to take up arms for our freedom when others just as easily turn a blind eye. These are the people we know to be heroes.

But what about the ordinary heroes?

The moms who work a double shift at a factory then finds time to make a Halloween costume the morning of the a theme party.

A dad who sits on a frozen bench in a sub-zero arena watching his daughter fall over and over trying to figure skate.

The people who volunteer their time at no kill pet shelters cleaning up dog poop.

To me, a hero is anyone who goes out of their way to make a difference to even a single person and asks for nothing in return.

It took four trips to the hardware store and a second ladder borrowed from a neighbouring farm-house over the course of four hours in arctic level winds but I fixed the chimney. After putting all my gear away and trying in vain to shake the cold from my limbs I knocked on the door.

” Can I use the stove now ?’ the woman said as soon as the door opened. I could hear her teeth clicking as she turned and looked over her shoulder at the blanket wrapped boy. I nodded and smiled. She practically ran across the room and started stuffing huge hunks of wood in the black monster as fast as her hands could move. I stood with the bill I had written out in my hand watching her and I cleared my throat as the first sparks caught fire to the kindling she had laid across the logs.

” My son thinks you’re like Superman,” she said with a warming smile as she turned and reached out for the invoice I had in my hand. I burst out laughing. I think I actually had my Superman underwear on underneath my Superman thermal pants. I saw a wide smile peek out from beneath the pile of blankets and I laughed even harder. The little boy popped up from the couch and put his hands on his hips to proudly show me his Superman t-shirt. I handed the young woman the bill and told her she could just drop the money in the mail. Warmth had already started to spread through the room as I stepped outside into the cold.

I would have loved to have seen her face when she opened a bill that read ” No Charge”.

 

 

 

It’s The End of The World As We Know It ( And I Feel Fine)

drevil1

I almost punched an elderly woman in the face while waiting in line at the grocery store.

Normally, I don’t pay attention to a lot of the boring blathering babble most people are streaming as I stand in line with my basket full of kale, green apples and almond milk covering the box of cinnamon rolls I say are for my kids but her statement caught me so off guard I clenched up.

” It’s nice to see us having a good old-fashioned winter again,” She spouted with a smile on her weathered face and my hand immediately curled into a fist I knew would likely shatter any hopes she had of being in the seniors edition of “Modern Bride” magazine and me in jail with a small Latino cell mate named “Pepe” who continually offers me his pudding in exchange for protection from the skin heads.

The fact its been a brutal winter has so many people on edge that I think it’s really only a matter of time before someone snaps. More than likely that person will be me. So I figure if I am going to unleash months of pent-up cabin fever and aggression on the unsuspecting masses I should likely have a plan.

Jack Chaser’s Fool Proof Plan For Destroying the Planet

Step 1

Ok, first we have to prepare. Know some yoga, or relaxation techniques? Use them. Calm yourself down. Inhale scented incense. Deep breaths, now. Ok. Ready? Are you calm? Really? Good. Now we begin.

Now that we’ve prepared, we will think up a plan. We need a good plan, now, otherwise a super hero or someone like James Bond will stop us. Or even worse, your mom will find you in her basement and send you to your room without dinner right before she checks your browser history.

We’re most likely to blow it up, but there are many more possible ways to destroy our planet. Below we have described in detail some of the most popular ones. Once you have chosen your particular method, proceed to step 2.

There are a few basic safety guidelines we need to follow though to ensure
  • DON’T tell any governments, organizations or ANYONE AT ALL about your plan. It’s a surprise after all.
  • DO use your weapons of mass destruction safely and always read the instruction manual. NO ONE is above reading the instruction manual. There are not always extra screws when you put something together no matter how many times your dad tells you there are
  • DO carefully plan your alliances. After they have completed their end of the deal make sure you kill them. Even your best friend because we both know he will say it was his idea all along
  • DO make sure you have a suitable  or mothership to live in after you’ve destroyed your home.
  • DON’T put your elbows on the table when eating dinner. Youre destroying the planet not basic civility
  • Remember to chew each mouthful 20 full times during dinner as it helps strengthen your jaws for all the military rations you are going to have to gnaw through when all the real food is burned to ash or mutates into weird animal/fruit hybrids like in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”

Simple Strategies That Will Almost Always Fail But We Can Try Anyway

The Dr. Evil Bomb

Although this seems obvious, dull and unoriginal, there’s more to blowing up and entire planet then you think. First you must collect the suitable explosives or super-weapons, and then deviously detonate them below the surface of the planet . This will make the earth explode, sending pieces spinning wildly in all directions. Everyone will die, whether from being disintegrated from the explosion, or, if they are not killed, their section of earth will either spin towards the sun, where they we will melt slowly, or plummet into the outer rim of our Solar System, killing them from the cold.

As you see this is a very effective way to destroy the world, and is a recommended strategy.

Magic

African Witch Doctors are a great help in a world destruction. Simply make a cotton model of Earth and let the Witch Doctor blow it up with dynamite. If they insist to stabbing it with pins instead, do not argue. You may suggest they takeout all the Gingers first but they may give you that weird stink eye that freezes mens hearts in their chests. Witch Doctors are creepy. However, if you would like one, feel free to kidnap one from Africa or purchase one on Craigslist. I hear they go for a few hundred bucks.

Apocalypse

Creating the next Day After Tomorrow is a fun and easy way to destroy the earth. Simply find your nearest wizard and make them unleash a fury of hurricanes, hailstorms, maelstroms and other natural disaster. Be creative! Mix different disasters at different places to create a unique blend of destruction and death! This method is not only effective and impossible to be stopped by mere human powers, but it’s fun too! Personally, I am hoping for a Sharknado cause that was just too great a movie to not wish it was real.

Ask God for a Favour

I mean, seriously! God IS just sitting up all the time in the clouds, why should He care about the earth? Just ask Him to destroy it for you. If He doesn’t, He will probably destroy you instead for interrupting His peace, so this method can be risky, but if you succeed you will have very satisfactory results! You can also bet God that he can’t blow up the world.

Befriend an Alien Army

If science fiction has taught us nothing its the fact that all aliens races have two goals. One is to probe our rectal cavities and the second is to destroy the planet.

Unleash a Plague

This is a particularly nasty but relatively effective way to destroy the world and everything in it. Simply hire a scientist to create some super bacteria and then unleash it into the water systems of all the cities in the world, just like in ‘Batman Begins’. The people with suffer horrible deaths as the only thing left to drink will be beer leading to some drunken politician finally pushing “the button” as his frat buddies egg him on.

Send all the rubbish on earth to space

If you are tired of recycling and composting, this is the best one. Create billions of 510-ton missiles filled with shit and launch them into space, on low earth orbit. Wait for several decades and its orbit will decay, therefore creating a storm of raining refuse. Once the earth is completely covered with soda cans and used condoms I doubt anyone would be able to live in this planet.

Invent cars that are powered by rocks

Yeah, that’s right. Rock-powered cars. Once the earth is depleted of rocks there will be no more land, no more ground, no more Green Peace hipsters in their tweed jackets and shoulder satchels carrying manuscripts no one will ever read, no more annoying kids taking a dump on your lawn, no more anything! Since rocks are the most fundamental part of life existing on Earth, separating life from rocks would lead to the destruction of the world.

Step 2

So, you’ve picked your strategy? Now it’s time to apply it to your situation. Destroying the earth can be an enjoyable experience, you just have to know how to do it properly.

There are many things that may stop you from completing your task. Budget, governments and super heroes in spandex are the three biggest problems the earth-destroying newbie will encounter, and even experienced evil-doers will have to fight hard to destroy these problems.

  • Budget: Compared to destroying the world, robbing a bank is a simple activity and can easily be achieved. Mowing the lawn for your parents and neighbours could help too. If you’re really desperate, and have a thin or athletic build but have an irrational phobia of guns and mowers, try prostitution. If you have a heavy build, try sumo wrestling or stand-up comedy.
  • Governments: If you have solved the budget problem, taking care of governments should be no problem. Bribe them to leave you alone, or hire spies and infiltration agents to keep everything quiet. Better yet,use your prostitution skills and take selfies of you and government officials in group sex with midgets, farm animals and clown. No one like clowns.
  • Superheroes: The hardest problem. Seemingly the easiest way to solve them is to hire a super villain. However, no villain has ever beaten a superhero, so you may have to resort to fighting these pesky guys (or hot chicks) yourself.

Step 3

You may be tempted to flee as the world is being destroyed but make sure you give yourself enough time to watch the inevitable CNN special report as they find the dumbest backwoods rednecks to put on television as all the rational people are spending time with their wives or girlfriends or trying to convince their wives to have a three-way with their girlfriend.

Saying goodbye to all the things you will never have again is an important step but a better thing is doing all the stuff you will never get the chance to do again like throwing eggs at crying Goth teenagers or eating a box of Hostess pies.

Last but not least I highly recommend finding that elderly lady that started this whole process and punching her as hard as possible. When she stares bewildered up at you and asks why, you simply answer ” You know why”.

Blast From The Past

fruitpie1

I couldn’t believe it when I saw them in the racks beside the coffee.

I usually took a long wistful look at the prepackaged foods as I grab a mug of morning motivation. I remind myself that while sweet and tempting, I will regret it later. It may have only been a knock off of the greatest dessert food ever made but a wave of nostalgia ran through me and I grabbed one off the rack and put it on the counter. There was no way I was going to resist even an imitation of a Hostess Fruit Pie. I hadn’t seen anything even close to it in years and as I ripped open the package standing there at the counter. I was transported back to a world of twenty-five cent comic books and Spokey-Dokes destroying the rims of my bicycle tires.

In our organic, gluten-free, farm to table world I believe we have lost an ability we once had to enjoy the perfect moment of pleasure brought on by something as simple as the foods of our youth. There was no thought as to whether the things we were stuffing into ourselves were good for us. I don’t even know if there was ever any thought as to whether the flavors sometimes worked together but the late seventies through the early nineties were a magical time in the chemically diverse world of food.

Some of the greatest concepts were the simplest ones. Like multi colored ketchup.

food1

Ketchup is one of those foods that you either love or hate but who could resist the chance to buy a tomato flavored gloop that was green or blue or that God awfully sick purple that looked like someone had vomited grape Kool-Aid all over a perfectly unassuming pile of greasy French Fries.

Drinks werent exempt from chemical gastronomy of the time either resulting in the disaster that was Orbitz.

food3

Another simple concept that could have been magical. A liquid of one flavor with floating balls of a contrasting taste. The result was a nightmarish concoction that couldn’t be sipped but had to be gulped down to muscle past the gag reflex. It was like trying to swallow a live gold-fish on a dare at some party when you were too drunk to care but everyone else was sober enough to remember and tell you all about it the next day. I also think it taught an entire generation of cheerleaders to swallow without thinking so it is a loss that high school will never recover from.

Sometimes the greatest foods were the ones that exist now only in legend. Whispered about in hushed reverence like the Mc D.L.T or Crystal Pepsi. The greatest of all had to be the P.B. Max.

food4

The P.B. Max was the bastard child of the Cadbury family trying to destroy Reese peanut butter cups. It was a whole grain cookie draped in creamy peanut butter topped with crunchy rolled oats and them cocooned in Cadbury milk chocolate. It was a virtuoso creation of flavors that had money in your hand to buy another one before the taste had left your mouth. Washed down with a Dr Pepper, it was a bubbling tingly symphony of brain melting pleasure. Eating a Reese peanut butter cup was like give oral to a homeless guy that had sat out in forty degree heat all day by comparison. They were discontinued in the early nineties because the Cadbury family simply didn’t like peanut butter.

My love for Hostess fruit pies was likely rooted in those twenty-five cent comic books. The advertising was beyond brilliant back then. What kid could resist wanting one after being sold a story where Spider-man foils a bank robbery powered by a cherry pie than made some ridiculous pun about the villains getting there “just desserts”. It was like subliminal messaging designed specifically to destroy my impressionable brain.

food5

A bit of research has led to me finding out they still produce the original Hostess fruit pies in a factory in Kansas. They also make a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle one with green pie crust and vanilla pudding filling. I sure hope my mom kept my old BMX bike cause its gonna be a long ride down memory lane to get there. Hopefully I can find some New Coke and Jell-O pudding pops along the way to keep me going.

The Last Man Standing Story

what-body-women-want-in-a-man

Cross fit must be the anti Fight Club because the first rule of Cross Fit is you never shut up about Cross Fit. I don’t know anyone that has taken even a single class that cannot bring it up in every conversation they have with absolutely everyone.

Last summer, I had trained for and competed in a Zombie Run that was essentially a five kilometer uphill climb of three lengths up and around a ski hill. I turned in what I figured was a respectable time for my first timed race and was standing at the finish line panting like a dog in heat watching lesbian poodle porn when I say a group of high fiving young men who could have been on the cover of any issue of Modern Fitness Modeling For Douches. Each of them were wearing a black form-fitting t-shirt emblazoned with the name of the newest Cross Fit gym in the area. They had absolutely crushed the course and looked like they had barely broken a sweat. I was utterly exhausted from cross-country sprint but promised myself that my next race would be a much better result.

I was leafing through the program book at my gym when I saw they were now offering a “Cross Fit” style course. Apparently Cross Fit is a copy righted name so unless you have express written consent to use it they send a group of compression shirt wearing thugs in day glow green shoes to your house where they beat you half to death, impregnate your daughter and steal all the change off your dresser unless you promise never to utter the word again. I knew if I wanted to close the gap between cross-country running on my island and the ridiculous fitness level I saw that day I was going to have to find a way to push myself.

The night of the first class, I geared up and popped my headphones in. Pounding drum beats filled my ears courtesy of Avenged Sevenfold and I shook my testicles into a more comfortable position. I was ready for anything the class had to throw at me. I stalked down the hallway like a wolf hunting prey and rounded the corner towards the doors already open awaiting my arrival.

I was greeted by a tall, smiling woman in the shortest yoga shorts money could buy. Her bright and cheery demeanor completely disarmed me but not as much as the other people already waiting for the class to start. I entered the room to see a group of young women clad in matching yoga pants and tank tops. It took less than half a heart beat to notice a very distinct lack of penis in the room. I shrugged and hoped at least one other guy would show up albeit fashionably late but realizing that a guy who showed up fashionably late on purpose was likely going to be wearing yoga pants and wishing his outie was an innie.

” Okay everybody,” the instructor called out as she adjusted her headset ” My name is Kim and welcome to instability training.”

A chorus of clapping and woos responded to her and I chuckled a bit. Woo girls. Just my luck.

” If you will all grab a BOSU and a set of weights we will get warmed up,” Kim said as she motioned to the blue mushroom-shaped half balls. Before I could make an ill-timed joke about blue balls, I looked at the stack of small hand weights. The heaviest they had been ten pounds and there was no way I was going to get much out of that.

” I am gonna grab some weights from the gym,” I said in a tone that must have channeled Chris Farley in “Tommyboy” looking for the weight room because Kim gave me a look normally reserved for three-legged kittens with a hair lip.

” I will be right here,” Kim replied enunciating each word and nodding after each syllable to be sure I understood. I could tell she was looking for an excuse to pat me on the forehead.

I walked down the hall wondering which of the Little Rascals was her favorite and grabbed a couple of heavy dumb bells. If I was going to do a girls workout I was at least going to look like a guy doing it. I had just made it back to the place I had picked out in time to join the gyno Canadians in the warm up. I snickered as the beads on sweat started to show on everyone else and I hadn’t even taken a deep breath yet. Then my worst fear was realized.

I can’t dance. I have about as much rhythm as lava lamp and am just as wobbly. Watching me was like watching someone dry heave. Kim led the group through a series of steps that left me gasping to keep up. I was bouncing on the hall ball in what I figured was perfect timing only to have my feet tangle up with the girl beside me resulting in some unintentional butt touching.

” Okay,” Kim called out, ” Let’s grab the heavy weights.”

Finally, I thought. Something I could handle.

What followed was a disaster of recockulous proportions. Ten reps into a combination move that involved balancing on a giant rubber ball doing shoulder presses while at the same time executing what must have been the crane kick from “The Karate Kid” with a yoga pose that could only be described as “Crotchal Nightmare”, I was a sweaty mess. I looked at the clock. Twenty minutes into an hour class. I looked like I had run the New York City marathon pushing a wheel barrow full of pickled pig’s feet. My muscles were screaming from the weight but there was no way I was going to let a bunch of jazzercising girls see me go down.

” Everybody ready to take it to the next level ?” Kim laughed into her mic while eyeing me in the mirror. A round of “woo”s that would have done Ric Flair proud covered the sound of my tears hitting the floor. We all dropped our weights and sat down on the floor. I resisted the urge to vomit into my water bottle so no one saw.

” Feet up on the ball,” Kim called out and I laid back on the floor.

“Thrust up,” I heard and turned my head to see yoga clad crotches sky-high. I burst out laughing. I was Robinson Crusoe trapped on Camel Toe Island. A series of moves followed after the thrusting that brought my eye line to Gina Town with nowhere else to look. I couldn’t help but continue to laugh. I decided I only had one safe place to look. Right at my groin. I figured if nothing else all the girls in the class would think I was a typical guy and fascinated with my junk.

Mercifully the class ended quickly there after. Apparently time flies when you are laughing at floating vulva. The girls were continuing to woo it up and I just sat on my giant blue balls staring at the floor. I wiped the sweat running from my bald head and saw Kim giving me a look I was unprepared for.

It was almost pity. She had kicked my ass with a class I had never seen a single guy take and likely with good reason. Especially those of us that can’t do the Running Man while holding a weighted bar in our butt cheeks.

” You okay ?” Kim asked as I gracelessly stood up.

” I think so,” I replied with a shake of my head that indicated the opposite.

” Well I hope you come back next week,” Kim said with a smile ” It’s yoga boot camp. You should consider getting some yoga pants so you can keep up with the rest of the girls.”

Worth a Thousand Words

onethousand1

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is thereby a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” 
― Ansel Adams

There are some images we see that move us so much we have no choice but to put pen to paper. Document those emotions with prose just to stop the bottled up emotions from spilling over. Images of such beauty and intensity that we wax poetic just to share the vision with others. A thousand words could easily become ten thousand from a single photo of a child’s first smile or a loved one’s last.

Some images burn their way into our soul that we are left with no choice but to write to purge the feelings that cause our hearts to swell and our nerve endings to tingle. That rush that brings blood to your cheeks and that warmth to your fingertips. Tongues dance with verbiage and raise voice to spread truth.

Yet some images evoke such power we are left with but one word to describe them. A single utterance so fitting that it is a moment of perfection. The moment where vision and language meld together in such symbiotic harmony that they will forever be linked. A single etching of time that will be spoken of among peers until the end of days.

IMG_1500

Shit.

Open Mic Night

openmiccomedy1

There is always a moment when I have finished writing a piece that I find myself hesitating to publish it. The same hesitation every performer feels the instant before they begin. Be it a stripper or stand up comic. That moment is always there.

That brief flash of indecision. Is this all I am? Is this the piece where someone finally notices I am not just a collection of dick and fart jokes? Is this the piece that finally tells a story worthy of getting me Freshly Pressed? Is this the piece the one where the laughs end and it all disappears?

It’s that brief moment of holding my breath where the possibilities seem endless. Like the brief moment of “What if?” that we all tell ourselves is possible when we buy a lottery ticket. Dreams of a better life because someone eventually has to win it and the half a heartbeat of malaise that follows when you see the first number is nowhere to be found on your ticket.

Writing is a performance art like any other. It subject to taste and preference as much as painting or singing. Anyone can write in a journal or a diary and keep it to themselves. It takes guts to put a piece of your soul into something and then put it on display.It’s like open mic night at any poetry reading or music show or comedy club.

It’s also scary as hell.

Metaphorically standing in front of all of you with the spotlight on for the select few that read my stuff on a regular basis is like holding a microphone. I can only imagine that a stand-up comic having a set fall flat is the same as having a post bomb. It can be a grind trying to come up with something funny to say every day. To put something down that make people laugh just as hard or harder than they did last time. Comedians take one set on the road and work it over and over but as writers we have to continually produce to keep the interest in our prose at the level it’s at or even higher.

It’s a very frustrating thing and there have been times I have been tempted to take a different tack. I made a conscious choice in my writing to write humorous tales sprinkled in with some drama and real emotion. The reason was always quite simple.

It keeps me sane.

If I didn’t laugh at the things that have happened in my life, I would likely shut down mentally and become a recluse trapped in my house wearing a hand-woven teal poncho and trying to teach myself to play the mandolin.

I could just as easily write endless stories about how hard it is in this economy to be self-employed. Or how hard it is juggling a business and two active kids who play every sport under the sun. I could whine. I could mope. I could end up painting a mental picture of myself that looks like Tom Hanks in “Sleepless in Seattle”.

I choose the opposite.

I choose to hold the microphone day after day and launch the filthy stories I know people laugh at to the point they spit coffee on laptops.

Will it ever make me the darling, bouncing baby boy around here? Never.

Does it limit my overall audience? Definitely.

All it means to me is that when I get frustrated with my musings or get pigeon holed as The Dildo Guy, I will just have to write twice as hard.

Every performer I have ever met gave up the dream when they stopped believing in what’s possible. When you stop telling yourself it’s possible to get to the next stop on the tour or page in the book, then the dream dies.

I chose the opposite.

I choose to believe it’s possible to get my work into a literary magazine. I choose to believe its possible to publish a book. I choose to believe that I can turn a collection of my stories here into a script worthy of being filmed by Kevin Smith if he wasn’t such a narcissist.

Is any of that going to happen? I don’t know. But it’s possible.

All I have to do is keep picking up the mic.

Dildos in Everyday Life

news_6acv02-adam-eve-zapp-leela_futurama-season-6

I was lounging in the tub early one evening when the email alert went off on my phone prompting yet another fumbling attempt to not drop my phone in the tub. My heart and testicles jumped into my throat as I saw an email from a marketing company. Seems that I had caught the attention of a company that is near and dear to not only my readers but also my penis.

The wonderful purveyors of the finest adult products in the world and I collaborated on a piece of writing and I am happy to present to you the following .

Applications For A Dildo In Everyday Life

In early January, while mired in the miserable frosts of the shifting Polar Vortex — a planet-sized vapor monster hell-bent on cloaking humanity in a new Ice Age—I did something very foolish: I took a stroll through Denver. The reality is that I was stranded overnight in a hotel and had to trudge through the snow to pick up Ruby Tuesday’s . The food was a disappointment, but the journey proved fruitful for another, entirely unpredictable reason: I saw a dildo used in a fashion I’d never seen before. And, I thought, where better to post about the incident than a blog with a running story about a foray into a dildo factory?

The thing is, we all know the carrot-and-coal dick-and-balls trick on a snowman. It’s probably been in about 500 movies and we’ve all either seen it or done it ourselves. But this was the first time I’d seen an actual dildo used in the construction of a snowman, right down there where the carrot-dick usually resides. That’s right: a full-on, lifelike 8-inch whopper straight out of the Adam and Eve catalogue raging defiantly at me through the blizzard, evidently immune to the shrinking properties of severe cold.

Blue sex toy isolated

Well then. With my mind desperately trying to distract itself from the nerve endings that kept insisting it was about -10 degrees, I did the only natural thing to do after seeing a fiendishly erect snowman on my way through town: I began to wonder what other decorative or functional properties such a tool might have. So, to save anyone else who might be so inclined the trouble, here are what I have determined to be the five best uses for a giant dildo in everyday life.

Bird Perch – Birds will sit (and shit) on anything oblong, so why not make it a raging rubber cock? Fasten one of these in the garden or alongside a bird feeder to make nature a bit more amusing.

Target Practice – I imagine this is particularly satisfying for a woman looking to get over a relationship, but either way shooting golf balls (or whatever else) at dicks sounds kind of funny. Try out your new pitching wedge with an all-new form of “closest to the tee.”

Signage – If you really want to have yourself an everyday life dildo-festival, make a sign in which the letters are formed out of dildos. You may just make someone’s day on a miserable, cold evening when he needs a distraction

Bathroom Prank – Building an actual glory hole in a public bathroom is pretty sick stuff, but pasting a realistic-looking dildo to the indoor stall wall can be good for a quick, harmless laugh.

Beach Prank – I can’t help imagining walking down the beach and seeing that snowman’s rager jolting up from the sand. The only explanation would be a nudist who really  likes the feel of sand enveloping his bare body. Or, you know, a childish and dildo-leaden prankster having a boring day.

This is a guest post by Aidan Cole. Aidan is a fiction and poetry writer with an affinity for all things weird or humorous. He contributes to every blog and website that will allow his words.

Myself, I plan on using dildos to get out of speeding tickets from female police officers, using double ended dongs to make young children reenact the fight scene at the end of “Return of the Jedi” and for chasing burglars out of my house because if you think a gun scares off a robber I assure you that nothing scares a home invader away faster than a naked, bald guy running at them in the dark full tilt with a ten inch black rubber cock. When you get shot during a break in, you get street cred. You get knocked out by a giant cock and arrested, you get prison raped. No courtesy spit either.

So stop on over at your local sex shop and buy all your recreational and home security needs. As Roger the Dildo Security Bunny says –

” Be smarter than a rock, protect your family with a rubber cock”

The Mystery of What’s In Your Lap

funny-pics-hold-on-officer-texting-while-driving

I shook my head hard to clear the cobwebs and ran my hands over my face. Nothing felt out-of-place so I knew I must have still been as beautiful as I was when I walked out the door that morning. The ringing in my left ear sounded like late summer cicadas which actually made me giggle a little when I looked out the truck windshield. I bet there were thousands of them in the swamp I had landed in.

I shoved my door open with a groan and stepped out. A river of coffee washed out around my feet and I groaned again. I had literally taken one sip out of it and the monster mug gently floated out exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t. The cold rain that had been falling all morning washed over my head and with the warmth running down the back of my legs it felt like I was peeing on my feet in a cold shower.

I reached back in through the door and shut off the engine. I felt a slight tickle down my left ear and ran a finger tip over the top of my ear to feel the razor edged sting of pain from losing the top chunk of it. I looked at the ruined front end of my truck sunk nose down beside and realized I was at an angle not really conducive to getting myself out of the mud let alone my truck. I remember seeing the small car drifting towards my lane and reaching for my coffee then a sickening crunch. The car and I must have collided like  two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

I gingerly pulled myself up the slope and saw how deep I was buried. The embankment was at least thirty feet below the edge of the road and I actually laughed at the fact I had survived. I looked down the road and saw a young girl standing beside a small car being comforted by an older woman who had pulled her minivan up behind her. She was as unhappy as when someone puts your cake out in the rain, and all the sweet green icing flows down and then you lose the recipe, and on top of that you can’t sing worth a damn.

I walked towards them and asked if they were alright. They assured me they both were and that the police had been called. I saw the flashing lights of an armada of fire and rescue trucks and was impressed that the display was likely for my corpse that they weren’t going to find.

The first police officer to arrive came over and gave me a stare as the paramedics were checking me for a hernia before the prostate exam. I kept telling them I had only banged my head and the testing was unnecessary but they were quite persistent. The misty rain mixed with the coffee drops that had caught in his regulation mustache and I was contemplating kissing him to get the caffeine fix I had been robbed of when I ended up in the ditch.

” What happened ?” Officer Coffee asked with the bored tone of one too many car accident reports in his past.

” She drifted into my lane and clipped my tire,” I started ” Blew the tire off and when the rim hit the ground it destroyed my steering. I just rode it out. What did she say?”

” She says she just looked up and saw head lights,” Officer Coffee answered.

” Looked up from what?,” I immediately shot back to watch him snort almost derisively and turn away.

It didn’t take a particularly wise person to know what she was doing. Not like the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it. No, there was only one answer.

Texting and driving.

Now ladies, I know your crotches are quite fascinating . I myself am a complete fan of them but you can stop looking at them at least while you are driving.

Due to the new laws it is also illegal to text and drive and proven to cause more accidents than drinking and driving. Just imagine if they had texting and driving spot checks the way they do for drunk drivers. Just imagine what one of those would be like.

Excuse me sir, been doing any texting tonight?

Ummmm, no officer, well I sent one text with dinner but that was like three hours ago.

They ask you to step out of the car and a pile of emoticons spill out around your feet. They give you a thumb flexibility test by making you text the alphabet backwards. You end up getting convicted of texting and driving and they install an app on your phone that you have to blow into so that the phone knows you haven’t been driving and allows you to text safely.

Most people think they can’t be seen texting and driving like most people don’t notice the period is missing in Dr. on a Dr Pepper can but rest assured I am looking for you. I see you staring at your junk and I know you aren’t looking for genital warts.

So the next time you are fiddling with your phone in your lap and driving just remember that statistically its actually safer for you to be driving while masturbating.

The Dawn of a New Age

and-the-winner-is

 

After an outpouring of entries both in the comment section and in emails, a winner has been chosen.

The judges have deliberated long and hard. There has been some screaming. One shoving match. Someone may have had a dildo slapped across their lips for their ridiculous reasoning but in the end a consensus was reached.

The winning entry and the name that will forever be associated with the first ever fully endorsed Things I See Up Here product is……….

IMG_1430

 

The Big Bang Belt !!!

Congratulations to Winter in NYC for this recockulously fucktastistic name for this new product that will change many a life and stretch open many a ……. door to more products.

This is just the beginning. In the next few weeks, I will be offering up a few of these lovely little gifts for “testing” to various individuals before we move to the next step.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest and offered their input on the Big Bang Belt.

I had no idea that a strap on dildo tool belt would be this popular. Makes me wonder if I could build a sex swing out of a safety harness.

I guess the adage is correct : Sex sells.

The Dildo Factory – Episode 5 – The Dildo Strikes Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, today is the big day. The last big thrust towards the great reveal.

So, we end with the last story ( so far) in the Dildo Factory series.

Don’t forget to enter the contest by posting your suggestion for the fabulous product we are endorsing.

rainingdildos1

 

It’s a sad indictment of the state of our economy when a factory that fabricates rubber penises isn’t making money.

After all the work and effort I had put into getting the job to put a brand new roof system on the entire building, I got that call that all contractors dread. The job was going to be put on hold. The volume of work that the factory needed simply wasn’t in the budget and there was no Fairy God-Dildo with a magic penis wand that shot out hundred dollars bills to make up the gap in what they had in the bank and what I needed to even start the job.

It was a long , almost heartfelt conversation between the maintenance man, Bob and I over a four-foot deep crate of deformed anal beads that kind of left a lump in my throat. We agreed to try to do some repairs to get them through the winter and see where the budget was when the ice and snow melted off the building in the spring. The biggest issue was a massive hole that had fallen in above one of the offices that allowed a gaping, squirting flood of rain water to fall on the desk of one of the plant managers.

Dart and I pulled into the fenced yard and took a sad look at the place. It could quite easily be our last time ever working on it and I made the mental choice to at least have fun with it. It had rained a torrential amount the night before with more scheduled for that evening so the window of time we had to actually get anything done was fairly tight and obviously moist. As I set up the massive step-ladder we would use to fill the gap on the underside with plywood, Dart grabbed our drill kit and the fasteners I would need. The instant he shut the large metal door to the factory behind him I bolted for the nearest vat of malformed cocks I could find and stuffed as many of them as I could into the pouch of my hooded sweat shirt I could. Rubber dicks of every color were spilling out of my pocket like the worlds worst trail of bread crumbs as I scaled the ladder as dumped them out on top of the small platform on the last step of the ladder.

I headed back down just as Dart had finished cutting the piece of wood into the size we needed and I almost giggled as I took the plywood and drill from him.

” Just be careful when I am getting this in place,” I cautioned ” I don’t want anything falling on you.”

” Just hurry up will you. That shit dripping down on me smells gross.” dart replied as I scaled the ladder.

I quickly put the piece of plywood in place and screwed two long bolts into the one side and looked down to see Dart staring in the opposite direction. Fluids still cascaded down over me as I looked over my shoulder and began dumping dildos on Dart as fast as I could. Cocks over every shapes and size spilled down over him and he shoved himself away from the ladder hard enough to nearly knock me off the top step.

” What the fuck !,” Dart yelled up at me with a scowl that indicated his displeasure at having fake cocks dropped on his forehead as he looked up at me.

I burst out laughing just as I heard a fresh downpour of rain begin to fall on the roof surface just above my head. I turned my attention back to fixing the sagging wood as Dart kicked a large purple dildo off his foot. Just as I placed the next screw in position, the entire surface of the roof mat caved in above my head coating me in gravel, soaked insulation and sticky asphalt. I tried to wipe it away the black goo sticking to my face but only succeeded on spreading it out in a bad imitation of Al Jolson.

” Nice facial,” Dart barked out followed by a snickering laugh. I could only imagine how difficult it was going to be to clean the crap off my face and I set back to work with a half a laugh at how karma really was a miserable bitch.

I finished the interior work quickly and we took the ladder down before putting it back where we found it. Bob had walked through the  factory at that point to inspect the work we had done. He smirked a little as he looked at my soaked shirt and the state of my features.

” Got a little something on you there,” Bob chuckled as he pointed to my face.

” Lucky it’s not worse,” I said with a laughed that tried vainly to match his general good humor ” But I can take care of it with some hand cleaner.”

” Bad enough,” Bob said with a smile that creased his entire face and a blush that reached the roots of his tousled, snow-white hair.,” And you might want to try hand lotion instead”. He flicked the hood of my sweater and plopped out the thick, pink and white marbled dildo I had stuck in it when I was filling my pouch. I had completely forgotten about it but the impact of the chunk of roof must have dislodged it from the sack of my hoodie.

” I always knew you were a dickhead ,” Dart snickered as he headed outside into the rain that did nothing to tone down his laughter.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

milton-keynes-9262-christmas-game-show-party-night

I love the holidays as it gives me a chance to give back to the people who have given me so much during the past year.

You, my faithful readers, have seen quite the year and what better way to celebrate it than by giving you the chance to win, yes I said win, the first ever officially licensed product from the brand new Things I See Up Here line of products. All you have to do is help me name it.

That’s right all you have to do is help me name my first ever fully endorsed product and you can win the prototype.

The lucky reader who comes up with the best name for the product I have created will have the product forever be known by the name they have chosen and win one of their very own to use and abuse as they see fit. This product is so revolutionary you will think that I have suffered brain damage. That may possibly be from the truck accident that I was in a month ago but it didn’t stop me from creating a product so fantastic if I were to take it on Dragon’s Den money and underwear would be thrown at me in equal volume.

The time has come to unveil a product that will change lives around the world……..

IMG_1430

From the brilliant brain that resides inside my demented skull I present the strap-on tool apron.

Its marvelous features include six different pockets to fill with lube, condoms and snacks for those during sex moments that you really want a peanut butter Snickers. Its belt is completely adjustable to fit all waist sizes and shapes. Its dildo hole can be resized to fit the thickest fake penis and its one hundred percent leather construction can take even the most ardent pounding.

Best of all, it comes complete with the very last factory rejected dildo that I have procured from the legendary Dildo Factory. You can own a piece of Things I See Up Here history by simply helping me come up with a name to market my new patent pending product.

In the comment section below please leave your most creative names and our panel of experts will select a winner.

The contest runs from Christmas Eve until the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve. A winner will be selected on January first as I kick off the second year of making people laugh with dick and fart stories. The winner will receive the dildo apron and an official cleaning towel to wipe down your…….tools mailed right to their front door.

Contest open to anyone worldwide as I really like the idea of my…..tools ending up in someone in the land down under.

Merry Christmas everyone and good luck.

The True North Strong and Strange

I am ashamed of how accurate the song and video portray Canadian culture. Well, part of it anyway. I defy anyone and I mean anyone that lives in Canada to tell me they do not have a single family member or friend that this video does not perfectly encapsulate. The first time I saw it my brain picked out conversations that I had taken part in with people I know that those exact phrases were as common to them as breathing.

It got me thinking about how people outside Canada might view us if this was all they ever saw of our culture. As a society, we have created some of the greatest works of art and towering wonders of construction. We have cured diseases and stopped wars. Yet here for the world to view is the apex of our culture.

So like most others Canadians, I will do what we have been raised to do. Apologize.

To any of you seeing this video, I am sorry you will never be Canadian. That you might never know the joys of driving a truck off-road up a rock strewn hill just to impress a girl with the fact you didn’t kill yourselves doing it. That you might never hate the Toronto Maple Leafs enough to start a bar fight over someones hat. That you might never take your pool cover off and convince yourself the water is warm enough to get into before June

But there is hope. We are a very accepting people. So I have compiled a list of traits that most Canadians have that should you possess any of them we would be proud to have you.

If you’ve worn shorts and a parka at the same time,you may live in Canada

If you’ve had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Canada.

If ‘Vacation’ means going anywhere south of Detroit for the weekend, you may live in Canada.

If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Canada.

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Canada.

If you have switched from ‘heat’ to ‘A/C’ in the same day and back again, you may live in Canada.

If you can drive 90 km/hr through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you may live in Canada.

If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both unlocked, you may live in Canada.

If you carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Canada.

If you design your kid’s Halloween costume to fit over a snow suit, you may live in Canada.

If the speed limit on the highway is 80 km –you’re going 90 and everybody is passing you, you may live in Canada.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you may live in Canada.

If you know all 4 seasons: Almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you may live in Canada.

So bring your plaid and your chainsaw. Bring your blaze orange vests and shotgun shells. We have enough poutine and Beaver tails to feed your tired masses.

The Bump in the Night Story

monsterturtle1

” Dad, there’s a monster in the garage !”

Every parent at some point in time has dealt with the monster in the closet, hiding in the shadows or under the bed scenario more than once. Personally, I wanted to scream ” DON’T TELL HIM I AM IN MY ROOM!!!” but eventually you man up and deal with it. I think I slept in a chair outside my daughter’s room for a couple of months straight at one point just to be ready for whatever scared her in the night but I had thought those days were long behind me.

We had just gotten home from a late evening gym visit and as usual the front yard was littered with bicycles, sidewalk chalk and busted water balloons. Garage door wide open and the contents of the recycle bins looking like Godzilla had just anal raped a Chef Boyardee factory.

” For God’s sake, you guys,” I groaned ” Have I not ran over enough crap in the yard already?”

” I just had my bike,” my nine-year old daughter, Fred, replied with the rising pitch in her voice that immediately indicated she was being less than honest. It was the same tone she had in her voice when I drove over the bicycle she left laying down in front of my truck that was pulling about three tons of waste from a previous job.

” She had my bike out too,” my teenage son, The Captain, continued with a finger-pointing at his sister as we exited the truck. Never mind the fact I had run over a dozen golf balls he had chipped in the front yard with the lawn mower the previous week, all that mattered was blaming his sister for anything that got him out of four seconds of work.

” Please just put the bikes away,” I said with a sigh as I opened the front door and dumped my gym bag on the floor just as I heard Fred scream. I bolted back out the door to see her and The Captain standing near the edge of what little light was cast from the flickering orange street light on the corner.

” Dad, there’s a monster in the garage !” I heard Fred cry as I heard the first hissing shuffle of something from behind a couple of sheets of plywood leaning up against the inside wall of the garage. I actually jumped back as whatever it was scuttled quickly from one end of the short span and back towards me.

” Go grab me a flashlight, Fred,” I said in a voice I hoped conveyed parental strength rather than the actual truth that I think I actually pooped a little when the scuttling stopped and the hissing started all over again.

Fred bolted across the driveway and into the house leaving The Captain and I to face whatever beast had taken up residence in the sports equipment strewn bowels of my garage. The scuttling increased in speed as the monster shot from one end of the garage to the other in a few hissing seconds that left me fearful of what we were up against but also a bit confused as to what exactly it might be. I heard the front door slam and saw Fred emerge from the house.

Click.

BADOOPADOOPBADOOOOOO!!!!

I turned to see her holding a small cow flashlight she had been given a few years ago the made a ridiculous sing-song noise every time you turned it on. It also shut off after about three seconds. The pale yellow glow only illuminated a small circle of the ground but it was going to have to do. I grabbed a baseball bat from just inside the door and handed it to The Captain. He clutched it like Arthur wielding Excalibur and nodded that he was, if nothing else, ready to defend himself.

” Just smash whatever the hell it is when I flush it out,” I said as I grabbed the cowlight from Fred. The scuttling grew louder and the hissing had increased in intensity as I stepped into the garage. The strange cacophony of sounds was like the background music of the dumbest slasher movie ever conceived.

HISS, HISS, HISS. Click. BADOOPADOOPBADOOOOOO!!!!

I reached for the sheet of plywood that seemed to be the only place that a beast this monstrous could hide behind. I smashed my foot against the end of it and the hissing and scuttling only increased but nothing emerged. I jammed the end of the sheet against the wall as the light clicked off leaving me in the dark with a plastic cowlight in one hand and some form of monster inched from me. I clicked the light back on and heard that cheerful tune that only further irritated me. The Captain had crept in close to the open end of the tunnel I had created for the creature and stood poised to rain aluminum death down.

The hissing ceased and with a rush of frantically pumping feet, the beast emerged from the dark. The three of us stood in disbelief as the biggest painted turtle I had ever seen scurried forward and peered at us. Fred laughed and clapped her hands to her chest and The Captain looked mildly dismayed that his wrath had been subverted. I reached down and picked the “monster” up and took him out in the light for a better look. I really had no idea how he had gotten into the garage but it was better than finding the Chupacabra I thought he actually was.

” We should keep him,” Fred said gleefully.

” Why exactly would we do that?” I asked as I turned the turtle over in my hands.

” Well, for protection I think,” Fred replied in a very serious tone.

” A guard turtle?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.

” It would certainly keep people away,” Fred countered ” You’re a big guy Dad and he scared the shit out of you.”

Interlude – Warning Labels

warning1

 

Have you ever actually wondered why there are obscure warning labels on certain items?

Like the garbage can with the baby falling into it and drowning? Or the one actually on every iron advising you not to iron your clothes when they are on your body?

What about the one on every squeeze bottle of crazy glue? The one that says bonds skin instantly? Do not ingest?

All those labels exist for the simple fact that someone at some point in time was dumb enough to actually try every single thing you see on a warning label.

Do not hold moving end of chainsaw? You know someone did that.

Slime Tire Patch – Not Approved for Rectal Use? How the hell did that become an option?

I was doing some research and found out that getting pissed off at a super glue container and biting the top off results in the glue shooting into your mouth and coating your tongue which then bonds almost immediately to the back of your teeth. Generally this is followed by mild panic during which you pull at your mouth to pry your jaws open resulting in the skin from your tongue ripping off and sticking to the back of your teeth. No matter how hard you pull or swear, super glue does not come off your teeth and flossing it out from between your teeth results in much bleeding and more swearing.  Generous spitting and crying does nothing to alleviate the pain of exposed taste buds subjected to anything warmer than a frozen Snickers bar. Hours of time will pass before you feel anything other than your teeth aching from being effectively welded together.

It really is no wonder there are labels on some products warning of sheer stupidity. Some people out there really need them.

We all want to change the world – The REVOLUTION Award

I don’t normally reblog things but this one has a very special place for me. My Shadow has decided to honor someone with an award that some of you may recall I created.

It is my privilege to share with you the next soldier in my war against chain mail mediocrity.

The Bloody Book Blogger

“A great revolution in just one single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a society and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of humankind.”
― Daisaku Ikeda

By it’s very definition, a revolution is simply a desire for change.
— Jack Chaser

“Revolution”

You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know you can count me out

You say you got a real solution
Well you know
We don’t love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We’re doing what we can
But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

You say…

View original post 1,210 more words

The Ants In Pants Story

antsinpants1

If I didn’t have to, I would likely never wear underwear.

I know I am not the only person to take this point of view as I have seen more than my share of ladies in sundresses during a strong wind and old men in Adidas track shorts from the late seventies that let their plums dangle a bit too freely. That being said, I do tend to wear them to work as I have a tendency to perpetuate the stereotype of the construction guy with pants hanging from his hips. I do tend to show a bit of butt cheek from time to time but only when I am working on my tan. To be honest, my skin gets that dark in the summer that when I take my pants off in the dark it simply looks like I am wearing white pants.

A call had come in from a family I had known for quite some time and had actually put the roof on an addition to their home. They ran a small daycare out of the new section and there was a constant stream of children running to and fro. A massive windstorm had ripped through the area and tore a tremendous willow tree from the ground. Consequently enough, the tree had fallen through the new addition leaving smashed trusses and shattered decking. A restoration company had removed the majority of the limbs but left the largest portion of the limb still inside the building. A fact that had the homeowners living in a constant state of fear that the tree could fall through their ceiling at any second crushing them or any of the children they took care of .

I made all the arrangements to have new trussing brought in and was very afraid of what we would find under the large tarps that had been used to keep the area at least mildly waterproof. It was worse than we thought. The limb had crushed everything it touched and had only stopped when it laid across both main walls of the house. It didn’t stop us from having some fun with it though as we ended up with a great picture of Dart that freaked our mom out to no end.

IMG_0221

 

The damage was extensive and the deeper we dug into it the worse it got. Cracked trusses combined with tract lighting attached to a ceiling we were trying to save weren’t anywhere near as daunting as dragging a log the size of a small moose carcass out of the attic space. The homeowners had taken the small children out earlier looking like a prison chain gang to be safe if anything happened to break through the ceiling as we worked. We lifted and strained and with some serious grunting of profanity , the log slid out past the edge of the building but not before a lump of moss plopped off it into the middle of the insulation.

I reached down and picked it up, feeling the oddly rough texture of it. I turned to ask the rest of the team what they thought it was when I felt it shift in my hand. I dropped it only to watch it explode at my feet and spill forth a squirming mountain of ants. They crawled over my legs and up into my pants with military precision as if my penis was a weapon of mass destruction. Stupidly, my first thought was to scoop the ants out of the ceiling as I didn’t really want one of my customers infested if I could help it. This only spread the bugs who had now begun to voice their displeasure by trying to peel my skin of my body with their teeth. The ones on my legs had made their way up to my crotchal zone and I had the uncomfortable realization that having crabs likely felt better.

I only had one option. I stripped my shirt off and pulled my pants down to my knees and began to furiously shake my underwear out. Ants flew everywhere and I must have looked like I was doing a grown up version of the Hokey Pokey as at that exact moment the chain gang of children came around the corner and watched me shaking my junk. At no point during the Hokey Pokey was there a line about putting your ant bitten penis in and taking your ant bitten penis out but if there was ever anything to shake all about, it would be that.

All I can say is thankfully I had underwear on that day as I truly believe watching a grown man standing naked on a roof slapping insects of his naked crotch while several other half-dressed men laughed and pointed would have scarred any child who saw it.

It certainly did me. I can’t even hum the Hokey Pokey anymore without scratching my balls.

Motivation

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me, 
Black as the Pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
For my unconquerable soul. 

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years 
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. 

It matters not how strait the gate, 
How charged with punishments the scroll. 
I am the master of my fate: 
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley
I have stood in the blazing sun and had the heat bake my will into ash.
I have stood crying in the freezing rain at the loss of a dream.
I have stood in the darkness with literally nothing left to lose.
And yet, I still stand.
Bloody but unbowed.
Unbreakable.

A Letter About New Projects

Hey Everyone,

No. I haven’t forgotten about you and I sure hope you haven’t forgotten about me. My summer schedule is murder on my writing routine as I coach my son’s baseball team and we are in the last few weeks of the season.

That being said I have been working on some new things. Yes, very soon you will see the return of the Dildo Factory and a story about scarring an entire day care center but that’s not what I am working on.

The good people over at The Write Practice have been providing me with some help to make myself a better writer and the exercises I have been working on with them I have posted on a brand new blog. It’s all fiction based and I am in no way telling you that you should check it out but if you wanted to you can find it here –

Literary Exercises

By all means, if you read it and have any comments , please feel free to leave them. This body of work is to make me a better writer so if you love it, hate it, think I am out of my mind I welcome the input.

Don’t worry, I will be back throwing dildos and stripping in public before you know it cause, well, those are the kinda things I do.

Thank you for being patient with me.

Jack

Interlude – Sometimes Words Aren’t Enough

Every so often someone will comment on one of my stories simply saying they can’t believe one person can have this much happen to them and to be honest I often don’t believe it myself.

So when the opportunity to actually get a picture of something we see arises I assure you from now on, I am going to take it.

IMG_0011Don’t believe me?

How many people see and Amish school bus on a regular basis?

Even funnier is we saw the police pull up behind these kids to see if the cart had seat belts.

 

 

The Leap of Faith Story

dumpster

The rain had been teeming down for hours and we had been caught out in it. The shingle job we had been working on was closed in literally seconds before the first fat drops of rain hit the roof around us in a drum beat staccato. In no time, our clothes were all soaked through to the skin. The wind began to lash at us like an overly aggressive dominatrix and the resulting chill set into our bones quickly.

I stop at the top of the ladder and felt every drop of the violent torrent run down my chilled skin. I pulled my sodden shirt over my head and made a half-hearted attempt at ringing some of the water. As the rest of the team was hurriedly putting the equipment and tools away, I heard my phone buzz like a vibrator in a bath tub and realized it was in my very wet pocket.

” Jack!!!,” the panicked voice screamed in my ear,” We have a huge problem over here!!!”

I looked at my phone and realized that it was the maintenance man from a large factory we were scheduled to do some repairs on in a few days. The building hadn’t had any work done on it since my mom’s womb had a closed for repairs sign on it after expelling me.

” What the hell is going on over there, Tim,” I yelled back as most people usually do when someone is yelling in their ear.

” There’s water running down the wall faster than the buckets can keep up,” Tim was practically bellowing in my ear.

I assured him I would be there as quickly as I could be and threw my soaked shirt back on before looking around the job site for a warm body to go with me. It just happened that Moose was loading gear in my truck. I gave him a quick run down of what was happening and we took off at a dangerously rapid rate of speed. The rain continued to pelt down on the wind shield of the truck making visibility nearly impossible.

We slid into the parking lot and pounced out into a seemingly endless wall of water. Well, I pounced, Moose just kind of rolled. The wind whipped the door of the truck shut behind me in a yank that felt like an atomic wedgie. Thankfully, the factory had roof top access through a walkout door so we didn’t have to risk putting up the ladder and have it blow down. I have been on the wrong end of that more times than you can possibly imagine.

We rushed through the building past huge steaming machines grinding out fabric at an alarming rate. Middle aged women stood stock still staring at us as we rushed by before I looked at Moose and realized he hadn’t put a shirt on before following me in. I giggled a bit as a woman old enough to be his grandmother stared at him like package of jumbo hot dogs.

It didn’t take long to find the problem as water was sloshing down a concrete wall reminiscent of Niagara Falls. It was dangerously close to an electrical panel so I knew we had to figure something out. I bolted from the factory and ran to the truck as inspiration hit me like a sucker punch in the dark. I left Moose standing goggle eyed as the older woman put a hand on his freckled back and directed him to the door way that would lead to the roof.

I laughed in almost hysterical fashion as I sped down the road to the building supply store and laughed even louder when I told them what I needed. It was your typical request from a contractor especially in my business.

The instant I was back at the factory, I leapt from the truck and slung the bags I had just bought over my shoulder. I met Moose at the door and his eyes looked incredulously at what I was carrying.

” Here,” I yelled just a split second before throwing a thirty pound bag of kitty litter at him.

” What the fuck are we gonna do with this'”  Moose yelled ” I know I took a dump behind the shed at that last house but I buried it with leaves.”

” It’s either going to work or make a big mess but we gotta try something,” I called back over my shoulder as I hurried out the door and back into the storm. It didn’t take long to find the source of the problem as the entire edge of the building had begun to collapse in under the flashings. I ripped a bag open with my teeth and filled in the holes as Moose followed right behind me and did the same. Within seconds, the grey sandy mixture turned into a gelatin that spread into the cracks and to both of our wonderment slowed the water from its entry into the building.

We stood looking at each other in amazement as the rain poured down and the wind began to really howl. We started cleaning up the mess we made and make our way towards the door as a massive gust of wind hammered around us and heard a metallic slam. I looked up just in time to see the access door close. It was great that we hadn’t had to put up the ladder but the door had a slight issue. It didn’t have a handle on our side.

We pounded on the door for a couple of minutes before it became apparent that no one was coming to get us. We began to look around the outside edge of the building to see if anyone was in the parking lot. It was full of cars but no people but one thing did catch my eye. A garbage dumpster was wide open and appeared to be full of cardboard boxes. It was only about six feet down off the edge and right up against the building so it seemed like I would have no problem easing my way down on to it.

” I’ll run through and open the door ,” I said over my shoulder, shouting to be heard over pounding rain. Moose nodded his head and the rain came off him like a dog shaking excess bath water off. I hung my feet over the side and with a push dropped down onto the wet boxes. As soon as I touched them, they disintegrated under my weight and I slid further into the dumpster up to my chest. I laughed at the absurdity of it until something cold and slimy shifted against my stomach. As thrashed trying to get myself free, more small orbs slid across my clammy skin. A shock of fear rolled through my stomach as I sank deeper and deeper . I reached down beside me and felt one of the slime crusted objects squish under my fingers. I struggled against the slow decent and pulled myself over to the side of the dumpster.

I looked back and saw what I had been trapped in. Under the cardboard was hundreds and hundreds of fake boobs. The kind girls stick in their bras to give them a more shapely appearance. I had just nearly drowned in rubber tits. Some of them even had nipples on them. I dragged myself over the side and climbed out hearing several dozen of the wet boobs slap the pavement in a sound reminiscent of motor boating a stripper. As I would later find out, the factory we were working on not only made the fake boobs but also the bras to stuff them in so I was lucky not to be tangled in a spider’s web of bra straps as well. Unhooking those things has always been an issue for me. I looked back up to the roof and saw Moose with a smile on his face and I laughed as the single thought crossed my mind.

At least it wasn’t dildos this time.

The Darkest Day Story

crime-scene-police-lights

The noise from the road construction below us was steadily rising to an eardrum shattering level. A crew of workers had been slowly digging up a large section of an intersection and had just begun moving truck after truck of gravel in. Over the course of the morning they had removed and refilled the massive hole they had dug at least twice. Traffic had been moving at that grinding sputter that always seems to compliment the already inconvenient rerouting of so many vehicles.

The medical clinic we had been working on had steady traffic going through it for most of the day. Mostly senior citizens that were locked in that perpetual cycle of doctors visits and prescriptions but a few young parents as well. Each group seemed equally fascinated by the small group of half-dressed sweaty guys trying their best to not have every other word be a curse word.

The heat and humidity had risen just as quickly as the noise. Each person that crossed the parking seemed to almost sigh in relief as they entered the climate controlled building and would wilt a little as they emerged into the oppressive air. My dad had made the decision earlier in the day that even in the heat we had to get as much done as we possibly could before the threatening thunderstorms that were to buffer the area later that evening could roll in. The skin on my back practically sizzled from the blazing sun. Every drop of my sweat had dried into a salt crust that felt like fine grain sand paper being run over my body.

From across the street, a lanky, elderly gentleman clad in slacks and a burgundy buttoned cardigan was eyeing us and an almost wistful smile crinkled the corners of his mouth. Straight grey hair with an almost yellowish cast hung down over his forehead. His thick black framed glasses gave him an almost owlish appearance. He passed through the increasingly crowded intersection despite the objections of the road crew working there. He barely even seemed to notice the large machines moving earth and slabs of broken asphalt.

” I used to be in the roofing business,” He called out as he got closer to us. It’s a pretty common refrain for almost everyone we have ever met of his age. Everyone seems to have tried it at some point and realized that there are easier and more temperate ways to make a living.

” Yeah?,” My dad replied as he leaned over the edge ” You looking for a job?”

” Good God , no,” The gentleman replied with a dismissive wave of his hand and a short laugh. He brushed his sweat matted hair away from his eyes so he could look up at us once more before he made his way inside.

As the road crew began to close in one completed section of work, they started ripping up another area of the intersection. Traffic had now ground to a complete halt and cars began driving over curbs just to avoid the haphazard mess. Commuters began openly screaming at the road crew. From our perch above it all, we laughed at the interplay of hand gestures that almost always ended up with someone giving someone else the finger.

The gentleman exited the building and looked back over his shoulder at us before turning to face us fully. That wistful look was back on his face that screamed of stories to be told. An entire generation of tales waiting for the right audience.

” If you change your mind about the job, we will be here tomorrow,” my dad yelled out as the gentleman began his shuffling walk towards the intersection. This brought an abrupt halt to the man’s cantor and he turned his face up towards us.

” Gotta get my tickets at the store over there,” He responded, ” When I win the big one tonight, I wont ever have to think about money ever again.” He cackled out a laugh at his own joke and headed directly through the signs stating ” Do Not Enter” and made his way into the corner store. Several large gravel trucks had become snarled up in the now deadlocked traffic. Drivers were turning their heads in whiplash inducing frequency to see if even a single moment would afford them a means of escape.

The heat had risen up to a level just below volcanic and we started to close the job site up for the day. I looked up to see the older gentleman emerge from the store with his sweater draped over his arm. His light blue button down shirt was plastered to his back. He walked at an unhurried pace to the corner and waited for the light to change. With a snarling growl, a gravel truck accelerated into the intersection around a stopped bus and hopped the curb. I looked back a half a heartbeat later to catch the last flash of light blue as the gentleman that had been just seconds before standing on the corner was dragged under the truck.

” Jesus,” I heard me dad whisper behind me as time stood still. The sounds of the traffic muted completely as my vision began to darken around the edges. I held my breath hoping it was simply a trick of the hazy afternoon light. The truck bumped over the curb completely before grinding to a noisy halt. The driver jumped out of the door and immediately laid down on the road to look under the truck.

I bolted for the ladder as fast as I could and slid down the rungs hitting the ground in full stride. Weaving around the cars in the parking lot with my dad hot on my heels, I made it about ten feet into the intersection before I noticed the blood. A wide smear followed the tire marks over the corner. At least a dozen people were now running towards the truck and its driver who simply sat on the road beside his truck. The truck had traveled less than a dozen yards up the road but based on the sheer volume of blood it had done so with the gentleman crushed beneath it.

” Don’t look,” My dad pleaded from beside me ” Jesus Christ, don’t look.”

The driver of the truck was now openly weeping, his hands numbly folded in his lap. The wail of emergency vehicles broke the hollow echo of silence and sound crashed back around us like a wave. Road crew workers were screaming at each other to try to find some way to lift the truck but it was an empty promise of salvation. I stood frozen as if watching it play out from a distance. Two lives ruined in the blink of an eye. The older gentleman never to see if he had won the lottery and the driver never to be the same again.

You might be wondering why I chose to share this story. The truth is I see as much bad as I do good from up here. I have seen street fights and drug deals. I have seen parents slapping kids and kids kicking parents. I have seen buildings flooded and homes burned. I have even seen life ended.

The existence of such darkness makes you seek the warmth of life.

It makes me want to tell the stories I know people will laugh at.