The Finish Line

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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.

 

They Call Them Shorts For A Reason

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The rain was hitting the wind roof so furiously, it sounded like a swarm of drunken hummingbirds. The rain the weather man had been promising for over a week but hadn’t delivered left the area with the worst case of humidity blue balls. Over the course of a single morning it had finally broke loose. It was raining in waves that soaked sun burnt skin but had done little to dissipate the humidity.

Having hastily waterproofed the house we were working on, we cleaned up our tools and packed everything away as the rain-soaked us to our skins. As I packed away the tools in our tool trailer, my brother Dart and Mindy hooked up the garbage trailer to take back to our yard. Rain had plastered Mindy’s blonde locks to her face and she yanked it back into a semblance of a pony tail through her ball cap.

“You want me to take the trailer back?” Dart asked as he shook out his jacket and pulled it over his sodden shirt. The first rumbles of thunder ominously echoed the buzzing of my phone and I answered the phone before I answered the hanging question. My shirt was as soaked as a bar stool on male stripper night and I pulled it over my head before answering.

“It’s just one stop.” My mom said with that tone that meant she was not really giving me an option. Dart threw his hands up in the air in the “It’s raining, what the hell are we doing?” gesture and I watched as rain bounced out of his palms. I waved him off derisively as I got the address from my Mom. I turned to ask who was going with me and saw the truck with the majority of my team already rattling down the road like a vibrator dropped on a hardwood floor.

I looked back over at my truck and saw Mindy pull her sweater over her dripping tank top and retying the drawstring on the basketball pants she wore over her shorts. I realized I was standing in the rain shirtless and while it may have looked good in The Notebook it wasnt going to work on a service call.

What?

Don’t act like you havent seen it.

I rooted through the back seat of my truck for something to cover my nipples with. The only thing I could find was a white wife beater tank top that my brother was fond of. The only issue was I think he may wear a youth extra-large with room for a bag of Skittles between the material and his skin where as I am better suited to a curve hugging men’s large. With a sigh, I pulled it over my head and glanced over to see Mindy snicker at the sight.

“You look like you should be on Jersey Shore.” Mindy giggled.

“Aren’t those guys fairly attractive?” I asked knowing full well that the men on that show were about as attractive as oral sex from a homeless guy.

Mindy continued to stifle her laughs as the rain-soaked through the white cotton making the red of my sun burnt skin show through pink. I avoided eye contact with her completely as I backed out of the driveway and headed towards the address waiting for us. The rain continued to pelt the truck and I turned the heat up to compensate for the rapidly dropping temperature.

The house seemed modest enough if you avoided the concrete slab step that was falling into a hole beside the entry way filled with stagnant water swimming with mosquito larvae. With a sigh I nodded to Mindy that she should stay in the truck until I figured out what was happening. I slogged across the driveway and reached over the Ninth Circle of Hell to rap solidly on the front door.

In no time it was answered by a woman on the borderline between old stripper hot and the club footed crossing guard with the overly muscled right arm. Her lank hair had been pulled into a loose braid that matched the loose-fitting shirt she had scavenged from a case of beer in the early Nineties. The shock of cold water had caused my skin to goose bump and my nipples to stiffen to the point I thought they would tear through the horrible fitting cotton. Her eyes darted over my damp skin and my brain played the refrain from a bad Ginger Lynn porn movie. As a consummate professional, all I could do was ask to be shown where the problem was.

“It’s right over here in the kitchen.” Beer Shirt said as she pointed through a Nascar memorabilia filled living room. I walked past what had to have been a life-size stand up of Jeff Gordon to see a man standing in the kitchen with a flashlight pointed at the water dripping leisurely down onto brand new kitchen cupboards.  Their newness was a stark relief to the rest out the outdated decor so I could see why she had called.

“I know you’re here to help,” the man said from underneath the combination of a matching set of unkempt eyebrows and ponderously huge mustache “But there’s really no need.”

“For shit’s sake, you are the one that screwed up the roof in the first place.” Beer Shirt said as she stomped over to stare at the water dripping the same way everyone in an elevator stares at the numbers. I saw the ceiling beginning to bubble and figured I should venture outside to see if anything could be done to at least slow it down. Mindy already was pulling the ladder off the truck and was walking towards the house as the home owners followed me out.

“It’s likely just on the flashing.” Bushy Brows grumbled as he slogged out after me ” I will fix it first thing in the morning.”

“At least let him look at it.” Beer Shirt scolded him as her eyes roved over my translucent shirt.

“I don’t need any….” Brows trailed off as he looked over to see Mindy pull off her ball cap and shake out her blond locks. As she stood the ladder up, the accumulated rain washed down the front of her and she laughed a girlish giggle. She walked back towards the truck and held the door open with her butt as she peeled off her wind paints to reveal a pair of cut off jeans that barely covered her cheeks.

Bushy Brows stood transfixed. His breath seemed to steam out of him. I felt like Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage at SummerSlam when Miss Elizabeth dropped her skirt allowing the MegaPowers to get the win over Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant. I used Bushy Brows mesmerizing drool to go up on the roof and see that not only was the flashing kitchen vent leaking but the entire roof was a disaster. I headed back down the ladder but not before catching Mindy bending over the back of the truck to get a tape measure and Brows adjusting the crotch of his jeans.

After discussing what had to be done with Beer Shirt, I went back to the truck to see a fully dressed Mindy texting away on her phone and avoiding my pointed gaze. I had left the people my cell number to call me if they decided they wanted the job done.

“You did that on purpose.” I said flatly after a few moments of silence.

“It stopped that guy cold didn’t it?” Mindy asked just as blandly but with a slight smile that slid up to her eyes.

We werent a half a mile down the road when my phone rang.

“Sex sells.” Mindy said as she shook her reapplied blond pony tail at me.

 

 

 

Cloudy With a Chance of Testicles

 

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Technology has come so far in the last couple decades that its hard to imagine life without instant gratification. There are at least four hundred channels alone on satellite television with almost never anything on worth watching.

One thing never fails to amaze me though. One thing never disappoints. The haven of mindless television almost specifically designed for anyone that works outside for a living.

The Weather Channel

When the Weather channel hit TV, I though  “Who in the name of Ziggy Stardust was going to watch a channel about the weather and only the weather reported by people who actually took themselves seriously?”

Next to watching the perpetual fireplace channel, I can’t think of a more boring concept for a TV program.

“Oh no”  they say….”people want to watch the weather”. In fact they want to watch it so much, we’re going to repeat the same stuff every 20 minutes.

Know what scares me most about the Weather channel? I can’t stop watching it. I live and die by that twenty-minute interval of weather every morning when I wake up like a gambling addict clutching a ticket on a two hundred to one long shot that I have wagered my daughter’s virginity against.

The great thing about the weather channel is not having to following a story.Cloudy with sunny periods.  Sixty percent chance of showers.  That’s easy. You can’t get lost in the plot, or confused about who did it, in this story. No need to record the whole season and watch it back but still be confused by the ending in a fashion similar to LOST.

And there’s that catchy tune that starts every time the ‘Local Forecast’ is coming. I dive in front of the TV like a two-year old hearing Thomas the Tank Engine when I hear that playing. They talk about the rest of the country and the world for 20 minutes.

Then that Local Forecast tune hits and you think….. “Hey,  we’re on!”

“Oh my God. That temperature reading was fifteen kilometres from my house. That guy they just interviewed in the freezing rain tried to have sex with my high school girlfriend.”

The fact that the weather network has succeeded, really opens the door too. Previously over looked potential channels are now being considered. Like…

The Benjamin Moore channel. We can finally tune in to watch paint drying.

The Awkward Silence Channel. Conversations that just drop into long stretches of uncomfortable silence as the people on-screen wont make direct eye contact with you.

The Pet Care channel. Don’t miss this weeks special- “Flossing your cats teeth.” Fun for the whole family.

The Angry Stare Channel. Twenty four hours a day of your mother-in-law glaring at you and slipping in comments about your weight every fifteen minutes or roughly every time you look towards the fridge.

But at least these channels have topics that change a little. The Weather channel stories are so limited.

There’s rain, sun, cloudy, snow and some storms; then you’ve seen it all. After that you’re guaranteed to be watching reruns all day unless there is a freak tornado that rips through your town and the only person they can get on camera is your cousin wearing yellow rubber boots, flowered shorts, no shirt and holding an umbrella.

So I imagine them, in the board room, trying to come up with other stuff to fill in the time and make the weather entertaining….

“So how do we make the weather entertaining?”

“I know, I know.Let’s not just talk about our weather because we’ll talk about that every 20 minutes but while they’re waiting to hear the local forecast… again… we could entertain them with…  weather…somewhere else!”

“Yeah…….Other peoples weather! Brilliant Idea, Jim!’

So we’re kept glued to the screen between Local Forecasts watching other people’s weather because we certainly couldn’t just go outside and look for ourselves. No. We sit glued to the screen like testicles to a dried out condom.

As fun as that is, while we’re thinking outside the box here, why not talk about yesterdays weather.

We could do a spot like “… and now for a look at Yesterdays weather in our “How Wrong We Were About The Forecast Recap”

“Hey, yesterday was a bomb wasn’t it? I know we said it wouldn’t rain Saturday but… well, it’s a crap shoot really, and we got caught this time.”

“Still! We nailed it Friday, didn’t we?”

Literally, the only profession where you can be wrong ninety percent of the time and still not only keep your job but do it again just as poorly the next day with a plastic smile plastered on your face from all the Botox you’ve had to hide the fact you worked your way through college as a gay male escort.

At least until the Psychic Network starts again.

 

One of the Boys

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The single line of text stared me in the eye every time I looked back over the file.

“Don’t rule me out just because I am a woman.”

It was a simple phrase that left me rubbing the back of my stubbled scalp and shaking my head.

Construction is as tough a job as any you will find. Add in the height element of roofing and even some of the toughest guys I know mysteriously find their testicles in the icy grip of paranoid fear. I had come back to this particular resume at least a dozen times as I sat pondering the applicants I had gotten them from. A polite and simple cover letter came with this particular one and I had skimmed through the listed experience before I even looked at the name. I was subtly impressed by the credentials and then saw the name.

I had already been through a handful of young men who had done less than stellar work in their brief auditions. One even went so far as to tell me the reason he was quitting on his very first day was the simple fact he couldn’t locate my office even using the GPS in his car.

I looked at the cover letter and its message was simple. Don’t rule me out. It struck me as particularly well-timed and funny at the same time. Why had I never considered hiring a woman before?

To be honest, not many actually ever apply for a job in construction. The ones that do are usually petrified of heights and want to hang around on the ground or are looking for an office job. Neither of those are an option. So I sat staring at a candidate for a job that had all the requirements I had asked for. Except one seemingly unspoken one.

The lack of a penis.

Put down the sexist chant sheets and your over full glasses of wine, ladies.

I have seen the heat and sheer heavy lifting nature of the construction industry break many a muscle-bound meat head so I was naturally concerned. My brother, Dart, had taken her resume when she offered it and he passed it along to me with a wry smile.

“I have no idea what to make of this one.” Dart said as he showed me “She’s literally half your size.”

The idea of a hundred and ten pound girl throwing around bundles of shingles made me snicker a bit as they would represent almost eighty percent of her body weight but then I kept going back to the single simple phrase.

Don’t rule me out.

I didn’t hesitate for a half a heart beat. I sent her an email asking when she could start.

My phone buzzed not long after with her response and a request to pick her up at the end of my street on her first morning as she wasn’t sure where my office was. She was already a step ahead of the last Dildo Factory reject.

I was a bit nervous as I headed out to the truck the following Monday morning. Dozens of thoughts were rolling through my head in regards to my job site handling of a girl employee.

How would my team of foul-mouthed miscreants treat her?

How could I make vagina jokes without offending her?

What if she didn’t like getting dirty? What if she had PMS? What if she had to poop?

I saw a blonde pony tail sticking out of a baseball cap framing a face wrapped around a mug of tea bigger than a mini keg of beer. She waved and I slowed the truck down. I swallowed hard and thought if I had any reservations this was my last chance to turn back. She was shorter and skinnier than my daughter and there was no way she was going to survive her first day.

“Jack?” she asked as she flung the door of my truck open and hopped into my coffee cup strewn front seat.

“Mindy?” I asked in reply as I extended my hand. Mindy smiled and gripped my tanned hand in her slim white fingers. She flipped her sunglasses down and they were large enough that they looked like a child playing dress up. She turned to look out the window and pulled her phone out. She was texting away at a rate my thumbs ached watching.

We got to my office and she hopped out before I even had the truck in park to introduce herself to everyone. My guys were mildly dumb founded but they welcomed her the same way they did all new employees by making her clean out my mess of coffee cups and protein bar wrappers from the floor of my truck.

The job site wasnt far from my office but the thoughts continued to percolate. First and foremost being how long it would be before she sued my company for some form of sexual harassment followed by what I was going to do when it got hot enough out for all my guys to start going shirtless and how I was going to explain to my insurance provider that I had advised her against it but she wouldn’t listen resulting in her having nipples so sun burnt that she could no longer breast feed the child she was planning on having in the near future.

“Are you ready?” I asked her as soon as we pulled up to the house we had started the previous day.

“Are you?” Mindy asked with an almost imperceptible laugh.

“Ready as I will ever be.” I replied with a sigh.

Mindy hopped out of the truck and saw where my guys were setting up. She grabbed a shovel and made her way up the ladder. Her safety boots seemed miles too big for her and clunked with every step.

“Where did you want me to start?” Mindy called down to me as I grabbed my own gear. She had made her way to the ridge of the house and thunked the shovel down like it was made of solid concrete.

“Right there is fine.” I said and turned toward the ladder only to see something I hadn’t quite expected.

Mindy attacked.

She started ripping shingles off like a badger with raging case of pink eye. What she lacked in size, she definitely made up in tenacity. I laughed as I watched her before the realization hit me that while she was small and testicularly challenged she was really just like the rest of us. All she needed was a chance to prove it.

Now all I had to figure out was what to do the first time she asked me to add tampons to the first aid kit.

 

 

 

A Dog Eat Dog World

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The aloofness of cats has always bothered me.

Their snide looks. Their subtle superiority complexes. Their quickness when clawing your arms from fingertips to facial stubble for simply touching them. Every single thing about them.

I have always been a dog person. That may say a lot about who I am but I think it boils down to the simple give and take relationship that you can expect from a dog.

That has always extended to the dogs of people I have done work for. I have had them climb up in my truck. Steal my lunch off the back of my truck. Pee on my tools. It happens. It’s just kind of what you expect from a dog.

I heard the dog before I could see it. The wild maniacal barking all dogs do when someone knocks on the door. The same kind of nervous excitement guys get when they are waiting for a girl to answer her cell phone the first time you call them right up to the excited peeing. Its claws scrabbled at the lower panels of the door so I figured it wasn’t a large dog. As the door swung open the barking became a low throated growl that inched closer to my boots. They were wet from the morning rain that had rolled in and I wiped them off as I stepped inside the door.

I laughed as I saw the dog. It was dachshund that couldn’t have weighed any more than five pounds but every hair on its body was standing straight on end like the back hair on an old man at the beach when he takes his shirt off.  I had to tell the customer that the job was just too intricate and time-consuming to risk it in bad weather so I would be back the next day. The sausage-shaped dog continued to bark and snarl until its owner picked it up.

“He’s never bitten anyone.” The owner said derisively as the dogs insanity calmed down to a level just below needing electro shock therapy. It bared its teeth at me again as I explained the plan for finishing the job around the sun/ snow/ rain mix that was expected in the next few days. As I headed toward the door to help my team pack up our gear, I heard the crab claw clicking of toe nails on the floor as the wiener dog shot across the floor and grabbed the hem of my thick carpenter pants. I looked down to see the wild-eyed glare and the flash of needle teeth before the dog latched on to my calf. It felt like being stung by thirty bees all at once in a piece of skin the size of a dime.

I kicked the dog away from me and reached down to pull up the fabric. I saw six puncture marks and a welt that was already turning a purplish red.

“I thought you said he didn’t bite” I said gruffly as I rubbed the spots of blood off my leg.

“He never has,” The owner said as he scooped up the now blood fuelled engine of hate “Well…..I mean…..he bit my wife’s aunt twice on the leg last week and bit my wife’s hand so hard yesterday that we called the paramedics but he’s really just being protective.”

“Protective of what? Your vast collection of professional wrestling video cassettes?” I growled.

“You’re not going to sue are you?” the owner asked as the dog continued to thrash like a vibrator dropped on a tile floor.

“No.” I said flatly “Are his shots up to date?”

“As far as I know.” The owner said with a sigh that told me it wasn’t the first time the subject had been broached.

“Then I will be fine.” I said as I headed out the door into the drizzly dampness. The throb in my leg didn’t ease at all as I got into my truck and headed to meet a possible customer at their house.

I once again heard dogs as I got out of the truck but this was the low monotonous bark of hounds and I wasnt disappointed as I saw two massive dogs heads up over the five foot retaining fence. Their droopy faces dangling like an octogenarian’s labia and just as wrinkly. I laughed as I saw them and then threw up in my mouth a little at the imagery.

“Don’t worry, they don’t bite.” I heard the home owner say as he walked out of the back yard. It was like he could read my mind as I kept my distance from the braying labia faced animals.

“I wasn’t worried.” I answered with a tremble in my voice echoed in a painful throb where the teeth had gouged into me.

“Come on around back and I will show you what I need done.” The labia dogs owner said as he motioned for me to join him in the backyard.

I opened the gate and felt my first step into the back yard sink up to the ankle of my boot. I looked down and saw I had landed squarely in a pile of dog crap the size, shape and oddly enough the same color as the dog that had bitten me. I couldn’t contain the laugh as the owners face fell when he saw my boot.

He had no idea that while I had no love for cats that my day had gotten a whole lot better by crushing a pile of shit shaped like a wiener dog left there by a dog with a face like a pussy.

 

 

Sometimes You Just Have To Go

 

poop outside

There’s pretty much one way to poop indoors. In a toilet.

No real room for creativity. Or at least functional creativity. Outdoors, though, the world is your canvas.

When you work construction, leaving the job site to poop is always a delicate balance of timing and distance. If the bathroom is too far away to get to on a break then you often end up clenched up trying to avoid launching the butt shuttle. Doing delicate work when you are baking some brownies is nearly impossible so you are often forced to find somewhere to hide and make a Minnesota hand warmer.

If you are exceptionally lucky, the home owner you are working for will have a bathroom they don’t mind strangers using. When construction workers descend on a bathroom after morning coffee and monstrous meat sandwiches for lunch it is literally like walking onto the deck of an oil rig drilling for mud bunnies.

So that leaves you the creative option of finding some place to drop your pants. I have constructed elaborate leaning towers of plywood that fool the eye when you looked at them like magician’s closet people disappear into. These usually take time and that isn’t always on option.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The winter had faded and Spring asserted itself with a day that saw temperatures rise to testicle slow roasting levels. The kind of day where you started out wearing a winter jacket in the morning and stripping down to your underwear to drive home. The house we were working on was in the dead centre of a subdivision whose back yards all faced each other. The home owner was an elderly couple that had just returned from the annual wintering in Florida. They were both easily as tanned as I was after an entire season soaking up rays. They must have been used to hosting people frequently as the lady of the house brought out coffee in the cold morning light and egg salad sandwiches as the sun reached its zenith.

Not long after lunch, I felt the tell-tale gurgle in my stomach that started my internal clock ticking down to the time I would need to deploy my Navy SEAL team for “Operation Tootsie Roll”. It wasn’t long. A bomb was going to go off in my colon that would destroy my ass like Godzilla destroys Tokyo. I bolted for the ladder to head down off the roof but stopped as my stomach clenched up violently. I sucked my butt cheeks in tighter than every duck face selfie ever taken and shimmied down the ladder.

There was no way I could make the nearest coffee shop and I wasn’t going to drop the kids off in this ladies pool.

I scoured the yard quickly before finding a possible spot. There was a garden shed that hid a small space beside the back deck that if I dropped my coveralls and scooted backwards I could wedge my ass into it. I was in that panicked state of not wanting to shit my pants but not wanting to do it in the middle of a subdivision. My stomach made the choice for me at that point by gurgling once and then holding its breath.

I snapped my coverall straps off faster than a big breasted girl snaps off her bra at the end of the work day and frog hopped my ass back into the hole. What happened next does not need a full descriptive narrative other than to say when I straightened up it looked like someone had painted the back of the garden shed with a shotgun full of baby food. I shook my head looking behind me but not as violently as when I saw the fact I had splashed liquid sewage down the inside leg of my coveralls.

I groaned at the idea of having to pull them back up but it was either that or try to sneak across the yard to my truck with only a t-shirt on. With a shudder that must have looked like a dog shaking off from a dip in a septic tank, I pulled my clothes back into place. I stepped in a pool of egg salad and my own tears and heard it lap up the sides of my boots.

I shuffled towards the truck when I heard the front door open and the lady of the house emerge with a tray of coffee and cookies. My stomach rebelled again and I clenched up even tighter. If I was going to make it through the rest of the day I had to somehow get cleaned up.

“How’s everything going?” she asked with a smile as plastered on her face as the garish make up that must have been fashionable in her trailer park in Florida.

“Pretty good.” I lied as I felt something cold slide down my calf.

“Well, I thought you might like some cookies,” she said as she set the tray on a chair she clearly at on while chain-smoking “They should be okay but might be a bit stale. They were what we had before we went south.”

The realization that the eggs she had made the sandwiches with were likely as old as the cookies sent my stomach rolling in new-found panic.

“Ma’am, I believe I may have stepped in dog poop somewhere in your yard and was wondering if you had a hose I could rinse my boots off with.” I continued to lie.

“It’s right around the corner by the deck stairs.” She replied to my implied question and I shuffled in a bow-legged walk towards it. I ripped down my pants and hosed off the horror that was trapped inside. In my shit addled brain I assumed it would be easier to sit in wet pants the rest of the day as opposed to poopy ones.

I heard a lighter flick and a chair creak as the home owner sat in the opposing chair to the one with the coffee. She took a long drag off her cigarette before I heard her voice across the yard.

“If you wouldn’t mind hosing off the back of the shed when you are done I would really appreciate it.”

Lost In Translation

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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 One For The Road Story

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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.

Ordinary Heroes

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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”.

 

 

 

Emergency Broadcast

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This is a test of emergency broadcast system.

In the event you are attending a three-day business seminar to be trained to install a brand new type of steel roofing product and happen to excel in the training demonstration, you may find yourself in the company of the twenty something boy millionaires poised to take over the company someday.

These young men may find your applied knowledge to be just as valuable as your ability to take all their money from them at a charity casino held at your hotel later that night to benefit the brave heroes who fight for our freedom but come home wounded and rather than take some cheap door prize you donate your winnings to a television renovation host that is actually doing the work just for a photo opportunity.

This gesture may further endear you to the company higher-ups who want to thank you for your generosity by buying you as much alcohol as you can ingest for the rest of the evening.

Should you find yourself in this position, a drink called the Four Horsemen is to be avoided at all costs. It is a mix of Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Johnny Walker and Jose Cuervo in volumes that should be saved for poisoning rodents. The first one may seem like a good idea but I assure you it is not. Especially when it is followed by another.

Further, once these fine gentlemen have entered your blood stream you may be tempted to drink things like Irish Car Bombs, Sicilian Kisses and Monkey’s Lunch. This is also a tactical error as some time in the near future you will need to use the bathroom and someone using drunk logic will offer their room as its closer than the one not twenty feet away. At which point you may end up on the floor of a hotel bathroom with your testicles on the wet tile floor wondering how you got down there and why no one is helping you get up.

Waking up naked from the waist down with a strange bruise on the back of your thighs may also happen as well.

In the event that any of these things occur, do not contact your local hospital or poison control centre or the CDC.

You aren’t dying.

You’re just an idiot.

This has been a test of the emergency broadcast system.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

A Matter of Perspective

Working construction in the winter is its own little slice of Hell.

Nothing ever seems to go the way its supposed to and making a single dollar is a fight.

There is more than a passing thought that this way of life is simply not worth the effort.

That there has to be an easier way to make a living.

That maybe those corporate sales yes men have it right with their hundred thousand dollar a year jobs and six weeks of paid holidays.

Then I stumble across something like this.

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I may have a shitty job or I may be having a shitty day.

This guys job is just……….. shit.

Keep your shoulders back and your chest out. Be proud of what you do.

Cause in the end you aren’t getting paid to stick things up your ass.

Worth a Thousand Words

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“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.

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Shit.

Open Mic Night

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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.

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.

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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 Dildo Factory Episode 4 – A New Dildo

Closer and closer we get to the great name unveiling of the glorious product that you can win in the contest found here and we continue the parade of rubber love with the next to most current story in the fucktastic Dildo Factory series.

Don’t forget to get your name in the contest to win your own piece of Things I See Up Here history.

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I truly believe that some people’s fates, lives and stories are inexorably linked to certain geographical places. Mine, I truly believe, is wrapped up in the Dildo Factory.

I had actually given up hope that I would ever have the chance to even step foot in it again when the call came in that the owners would like to meet about the quote I had submitted. The roof had begun to leak quite bad due to the shape it was in and the torrential rains we had been having. It would appear that moisture is bad for silicone.

Not that kind of moisture. Perverts.

The molds had been getting wet and it was preventing them silicone from setting properly. As we toured the floor to inspect the areas in need of immediate work, I notices some strange-looking forms . Things that looked like bad Japanese porn cartoons come to life. I chuckled as Bob, the maintenance man showed me all the scrap they ended up recycling simply from moisture entering the molds. Poor dildos that never had the chance to truly live up to their potential and were discarded simply for being a bit different. Dildos like this malformed nightmare.

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” You would be shocked how many of those double-headed ones go out of here ,” Bob said with a bemused shake of his head. I think I may have actually snorted as Bob looked back over his shoulder and finished his thought by saying ” The black ones are twice that big.”

As we moved through the plant, it became more and more apparent that this contract had the potential to be really big. Row upon row of dildos waited to be recycled. A sigh caught in my throat as I thought of all the wasted orgasms when something caught my eye.

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” New contract,” Bob grunted with a shake of his head,” The moisture is really ruining any casting it touches. The molds just don’t hold the shapes well.”

I actually didn’t think of it at first but the more I looked at it, the concept dawned on me. They don’t make sex toys just for women. It was pointed out to me when I asked someone who this is where your “wanker” goes in. I burst out laughing at that.

The contract was waiting for me when I got back to the office of the factory and the first name that was slashed across it in ink was mine. There truly was no way I was going to turn down work on a factory that now produced Fleshlights.

The Dildo Factory – Episode 3 – Revenge of the Dildo

We continue the march toward the glorious unveiling of the new name of the product found here with the reissuing of the next part of the infamous and much beloved Dildo Factory series.

Don’t forget to put your name in the running by entering the contest in the comment section.

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You didn’t really think the story of the Dildo Factory was over did you?

Come on….. everybody knows the best stories are all trilogies. What would The Two Towers be without The Return of the King? What would The Empire Strikes Back be without The Return of the Jedi? What would Fifty Shades Darker be without Fifty Shades Freed……….?

Yes. I read them. The fact you got the reference means you read them too so who are you to point your finger and laugh at me?

When we last saw the Dildo Factory, I was leaving it behind me as I was speeding away with my pants stuffed with multi colored and textured rubber penises. Let that sink in for a second.

It had been a particularly bad winter and after one last freezing blast of snow and freezing rain had coated the area in an inch thick layer of ice. A healthy dumping of snow after followed by a rapid increase in temperature resulted in not only sloppy roads but roofs carrying way too much weight in sheer water volume alone.

The call came in the morning from the factory and I was hesitant to go back. Would they remember me? Had anyone seen me? I wasn’t sure but if they problems they were having were as bad as the maintenance guy lead me to believe, every second I waited would make it worse. Water was apparently streaming out of the drainage pipes and that could have meant a frozen or cracked pipe. Not exactly my area of expertise but if I could clear the drain it would minimize the damage until they could get a plumber in to fix the pipe.

I met one of the maintenance crew , Jim, an older guy with a beer keg belly and a perfect donut of greying hair outside the building and he was nearly frantic.  I followed him into the building and water was literally streaming from the drainage pipe fittings. Thankfully, it was dripping over an unused area of the plant that we had repaired before and was scheduled to have a new roof installed as soon as the weather allowed.

We made our way through the plant passing by crate after crate of dildos. I noted this time they were not only sorted by color but also by size and shape. I momentarily felt bad for the poor employee that had likely spent endless hours holding fake dick. We climbed up the access hatch and found a veritable lake of ice and water in front of us. An area the size of a football field covered in floating mini icebergs and lumps of rapidly melting snow. I knew right away that there was a blockage in the drain and froze. There was no way. Just no way what I was thinking was possible.

” We gotta get this water off here some how,” Jim intoned with a sigh ” I have some pumps that we can use.”

” That’s a great place to start.” I said looking around. I knew approximately where the drains were and headed there as Jim descended.  Most drains are like toilet drains so you can almost always unblock them with a toilet snake. I fed the wire down inside and as soon as it met resistance, I began cranking it to free it up. I felt the blockage shift and I began to pull the wire back up. Emerging from the depths of the drain pipe like a leviathan rising from the deep was a translucent, pink, nubby tipped dildo at least ten inches long. The dildo plopped out of the drain hole with a loud suctioning sound and the water began instantly draining like a flushed toilet.

” I’ll be damned,” Jim said from over my shoulder. I hadn’t heard him approach and I stood stock straight up gripping the offending giant rubber penis.

” Not sure what to tell you Jim,” I said. I knew it had to be from the dildo war we had raged only months before.

” I do,” Jim said with rage flashing in his eyes ” Those assholes on the floor won’t leave the damn things alone.” He tromped off down the access hatch and I followed close behind. Over the next fifteen minutes I watched as he berated his floor staff while shaking a drain slime encrusted pink dildo at all of them. There was no way I was going to tell him it might have been up there because of me.

” That should do it,” Jim said as he turned to me, ” Thanks for fishing this out.”

” Not a problem,” I answered.

” I caught them outside the other day tossing the damn things around like frisbees so it’s not really a shock,” Jim said with a sag of his shoulders.  We shook hands and I headed for home. A couple of weeks later I headed back to get the contract for the new roof installation and I stopped in my tracks when I walked through the main doors. Right in front of me on the employee peg board beside the sign up sheets for the company softball team and forms for a trip to Canada’s Wonderland was a notice that read:

To all employees,

Please refrain from tossing the silicone dildos outside the factory floor or on the roof area.  The product is a sex toy, not a work toy.

The Dildo Factory – Episode Two – The Dildo Wars

Continuing our march towards the great unveiling of the name for the mind blowing giveaway contest, we proudly reissue the story that made many a lonely military wife happy. Don’t forget to enter the contest by entering your name in the comment section of the contest page.

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Now you might think simply telling people that we had worked on a building that housed crate upon crate of not quite but very close to good enough dildos would be enough but much like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, with no proof it was simply just a myth.

So standing outside the office describing the days events to my mom’s next door neighbour, a foul-mouthed but giant hearted military wife whose Newfoundland accent was so bad at times you could barely understand her, she simply brushed it off as a bullshit story.

Challenge accepted.

I knew we would eventually have to be back at the building but that wasnt soon enough for me.  When it was time to deliver the invoice to the factory, I jumped in immediately to deliver it. If nothing else, I was at least going to get a picture of the crates full of the multi hued penises.

After delivering the invoice, I hung around the outside of the building waiting for an opening to sneak back in. What I had never noticed before was that while there were tons of moving pieces of equipment the place was staffed by only a few people. So I simply walked back in.  I headed directly for where I knew they stored the stock to be recycled and I wasnt disappointed. There were hundreds if not thousands of the things.  Some so deformed that I laughed thinking that some poor woman may have ended up with a reject dildo.

There was no way a mere picture would do this justice so I did the only thing I could think of. I stuffed dildos down my pants as fast as I could. I grabbed every size and shape I could find. One in particular struck me as funny. It was a purple dildo with a massive penis head, a corkscrew like shaft and a huge set of balls. It was so odd that I had to take it. This one took a spot of honor. I stuffed it right in my underwear. If I was gonna get caught it would at least look like I had a great big penis.

It was surprisingly difficult to walk back to my truck with upwards of thirty rubber dicks rubbing on my legs and I was afraid one would fall out the bottom of my pants. It might make for an interesting story and maybe even more impressive looks should a woman spy a dick long enough to dangle down by my boots but I really just wanted to get out of there as fast as I could.  The purple one I had stuffed in my pantaloons was a particular pain so I pulled it out and sat it on the seat beside me. I had never had a dildo ride shotgun before but it somehow seemed right.

As I drove home I began to laugh at the thought of getting pulled over and frisked by the cops. I might end up being that way too popular inmate very quickly. Without incident, I pulled into the driveway and hopped out of the truck already unzipping my pants.  I pulled every dildo out I could and walked them down to the neighbour’s house.  I left one in her mailbox, one in her car, one on her step, anywhere you might not expect to find a fake penis, I left one.  The impressive purple one I suction cupped to the hood of her car and walked away.

It was less than an hour later that she phoned me at home laughing so hard she could barely talk and given her ability to mangle the english language in the first place, it was really funny. She had found most of them but knew there were more around just waiting to pop out like a Dick-in-the-Box.

The next morning , I pulled into work to find her waiting on her front porch with a stupid looking grin on her face.  As much as I didn’t want to, I knew I had to ask.

” Have some fun with the stuff I left?” I asked, dreading the answer.

” Definitely,” she answered, ” But I am not the only one.”

My stomach caught a bit. I knew she was married and the thought of her and her husband doing anything together was enough to give me an instant de-rection but there was no way to turn back.

” I don’t want to know what you stuffed into each other last night,” I stated flatly and started to walk away.

” Not me, you dumb ass,” She laughed back,” I took all the dildos and gave them to every military wife whose husband is overseas right now.”  I didn’t know if I should be proud or embarrassed.

” But not that purple one,” she continued, ” That one I kept for myself.”

Now it might be another urban myth but apparently those dildos have been sent out as either a gag gift or an actual gift to any military wife whose husband has been sent overseas.  Call me crude if you like but I like the idea of starting an urban legend that gives orgasms instead of nightmares.

The Dildo Factory Story

In honor of the contest running here to name my newly endorsed and revolutionary product and the company who’s product have inspired so much factory rejected joy, over the next week I will be reissuing the Dildo Factory series as a lead up to the unveiling of the product name and its winner.

Don’t forget to get your own chance to win by entering a name in the comment section.

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As obvious as it sounds, every building has a roof on it. Eventually all of these roofs will need some kind of maintenance. Quite frankly, if they didn’t my business would be just me driving around in my truck looking wistfully at buildings and sighing a lot.

Fortunately for me I am excellent at what I do so we end up on buildings housing every different type of manufacturing and warehousing you can imagine. One of my personal favorites was a factory that recycled all things made from rubber. It’s a pretty ingenious process actually. They grind almost all types of plastic up and they are then molded into little plastic balls to be reused somewhere else. It’s not the most lucrative business but it lead into a maintenance contract that had us at the building about once a month.

I had a couple of questions for the building manager but had to wait for a scrap truck to finish unloading before I could go inside.  As I stood at the edge of the building I watched crate after crate of multi hued rubber being hauled out of trucks and carted into the building. It was after about the tenth crate something funny caught my eye. It was the shape of the products in the crates.

Dildos. Hundreds and hundreds of dildos. Every color of the rainbow. Every size, shape and texture you could think of. Ribbed, rippled and bumped. It was quite mesmerizing actually.

There was no way I could let an opportunity like this slip away.

After I met the building manager to go over our plan for the day, I watched as he left the warehouse floor and I ran as fast as I could to where the crates were stacked.  I grabbed two giant handfuls of rubber cock and headed outside. With a maniacal grin, I heaved them up on the roof.

” What the fuck is that?,” my Dad asked as I sprinted back into the building and grabbed more. One in particular caught my eye. It was an actual rubber fist dildo. Molded in the shape of a gigantic black fist, I giggled like a school girl before running outside with my new trophy raised high.

” Who wants to get fisted?,” I yelled as I climbed the ladder only to find a sight I hadn’t expected. My whole team was throwing dildos at each other. It was like a kaleidoscope of flying rubber cocks.

” Knock that shit off and get the fuck back to work,” my dad bellowed from across the building. Sheepishly, we all went back to work sweeping and shovelling gravel but the dildofest didn’t get any better. Any second my dads back was turned, a dildo was lobbed at someone or something. Every broom and shovel had a giant rubber cock stuck to the end of it.  My brother Matt used bonding adhesive and some duct tape to actually make a dildo-man that is still on the building to this day.

” Can we please get some work done around here?” my Dad asked, his voice bordering on that fine line between anger and laughter.

” Ummm, Dad?,” I asked as I nodded toward his hand. He had his hand wrapped around the end of a broom that had been topped with a semi translucent, green dildo complete with a set of dangling testicles.

He looked over at his hand and burst of laughter ripped out of him.

” I have no idea who they molded this off but he should get that set of nuts checked out,” my Dad chuckled ” That’s just not right.”

The building manager came up the ladder then and saw the mounds of dildos everywhere. He eyed us suspiciously and then let out a laugh.

” Can you believe what they send me to work with?,” he asked. ” They say its the highest grade silicone produced in Canada but these are all the ones that don’t pass quality control.”

” How exactly do they test that?,” I asked trying to hold in a laugh.

” I guess they test them the same way I do,” he laughed, ” My wife loves that black fist one.”

The Gravity of the Situation Story

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” Look, I’m not saying it’s the stupidest thing we’ve every done,” Dart started ” But it’s gotta be up there.”

” It really should go smoothly, gravity should do most of the work,” I answered back flippantly as we stood looking at the task ahead of us.

Winter had started to show its teeth and dumped a massive pile of snow on the area. It was whiter outside than a gated community in Florida. We stood looking at the metal stairwell that would lead us up to a covered walkway that would serve as the platform for our ladders. The task was simple. Shovel the snow off a low-pitched flat roof that had just been built over an existing store front. Simple.

What we hadn’t counted on was the building owner getting worried about the plywood deck he had built and covering it with a plastic vapour barrier. Or the fact he had added a sloped piece at the end of the building that was at a near perfect angle to shoot us off the edge into the snow bank in the parking lot. It was an almost ideal ramp to start at the top of the building and slide from the top and down off the end into the mountains of powdery white snow had it not been covering multiple cars in the parking lot. Or not been over forty feet off the ground. I mean it was great in theory.

We began to slip and slide on the snow-covered plastic the instant our boots hit the surface. I felt like a someone had put skates on a baby goat and shoved it out onto a frozen pond just to watch it flop around. The roof still had to get shoveled off if we ever planned on actually completing the project so we gingerly made our way to the upper edge of the building and clumsily began to move the snow down to the drastic change in slope.

The more the plastic became exposed, the more we began to slide around. It almost became an enjoyable time of sliding a mountain of snow down to the lower edge until the inevitable happened. The snow became too heavy and was hanging up on the slope change. We could only get so close to the edge before it really became dangerous and we flirted with that line to the point we both knew we had gone far enough. The last straw was when my boot slipped and I hit the mountainous pile of snow and felt it shift towards the tipping point.

” Okay,” Dart admonished ” That’s really far enough.”

” I think you may be right,” I replied as my heart stopped pounding and my testicles crawled out of the spot behind my rectum the had shot up into when my ass puckered up like an old Aunt’s lips looking for a kiss on her birthday.

” Besides, when the sun comes out tomorrow it will melt enough to slide the whole mess of it off,” Dart said as we made our way back up to the start to give one more push to get as much off as we could.

” Excuse me,” we heard someone call from the walkway as we did the same thing every body does when they are standing on a slip and bleed made out of lumber forty feet up. Ignored it.

” Excuse me, is Mike up there ?,” we heard and I shuffled over to the edge of the building and saw a well dressed young woman standing peering up the ladder. She was clearly under dressed for the weather in only a black cable knit sweater and no hat over her pony tailed chestnut hair.

” No, he’s not,” I yelled down to her as I shook my head. The building owner, Mike, had informed us that he wouldn’t be around at all that day so I was hopeful it wasn’t something to do with us being on the building.

” Shit,” she responded,”I locked myself out of the store.”

“What ?” I laughed as she stood there shivering.

” I came out the front door and  was supposed to meet a delivery truck but he parked out back,” she explained ” But I locked the door and left the keys on the counter.”

” I can call him if you like,” I offered as the hero complex kicked in and took over.

” Thanks, I am freezing,” she replied as she began to rub her cold hands over hero shoulders. I would have offered her one of my extra pairs of gloves but I was cold too and thought this was an excellent teaching moment.

I called the building owner and had to hold the phone away from my ear as he yelled loud enough that the girl in the stairwell could hear him.

” He says to just put the code in the pad at the back and pull hard on the door,” I called down to her as Dart continued to pile snow on the hanging ledge. The mound of it now was at least three to four feet deep of marshmallowy  fluff and it was beyond our ability to move it any further. We heard the clanging ring of the girl’s boots sound down the metal stairs and the snap of the frozen panel open as she rapidly punched in the numbers. An echoing beep resounded off the close walls and we could hear her frustration as she shook the door hard to no avail. A grunt followed by the thump of a boot against a metal door and we decided to finish shoveling and give her a hand.

” Just try to pull it harder,” I yelled down at her as we laid the ladder down and cleaned off the shovels ” It may just be stuck.”

” Thanks, I never thought of that ,” She responded sarcastically in frozen frustration. With a growling scream, she pulled with a gigantic effort on the door and it popped open hard enough to bang off the back wall of the building. The ringing metal echoed briefly followed by a rumble of sliding snow that dropped a massive avalanche of snow down on top of her. It rapidly covered her squawking cries and buried her to over her waist. She tried rolling back under the over hang only to pull more snow down on top of her.

Dart and I ran over as fast as we could with a hand over our mouths to stifle the laughter that would have only made her indignation worse. I reached a hand to help her up only to have it rebuffed by cold fingers.

” Are you alright?,” I asked as a giggle crept into my voice.

” That’s what I get for trying to take something in the backdoor,” She replied.

 

The Homemade Waxing Story

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I don’t think there is a single wall in my house that does not have either a hand print or smear of a hand print on it. It’s a simple occupational hazard. Construction of any kind is generally a dirty job and I leave a trail of marks and smears complimented by a disaster of shed clothes as I head towards my daily Spider-man bubble bath. Some of these marks wipe off with soap and water and others require sandblasting. Still others need a bit more force.

Sometimes we are asked to do things that require us to be under the roof rather than be on top of it. Certain types of ventilation have to have the pipes leading to them insulated to stop moisture from rotting them as condensation gets trapped in them. Usually these can be just wrapped in any type of pipe insulation but that’s just not my style. I like fast and dirty work like a scabby kneed , middle-aged hooker.

In order to do this job, we would be stuck in an attic space that was hotter than the television I bought from two college kids who apparently didn’t need it. No air movement and temperatures in the upper echelon of volcanic meant we needed to move quickly. So, I came up with the brilliant plan to spray foam them. The first attempt we made at it resulted in me losing twelve pounds in just change over four hours and nearly passing out on the way home driving so the decision was made by the building owner to wait until the temperature wouldn’t result in someones corpse rotting away in his ceiling.

As Fall turned into Winter, I got the call from the building owner asking if we were still interested in finishing the job. I replied that of course we were as I had an entire tank of insulation left from when we started the job.

Dart, Steve-O and I made our way up into the blessedly cool attic space and set up the insulation pack as we crawled through the rafters. The concept is pretty simple. Two different liquids in compressed air tanks are forced to combine in a gun resembling the proton accelerator packs the Ghostbusters wear and can rapidly cover and area in yellow sticky insulation that hardens almost instantly. I was marveling at my own genius as Dart wormed his way toward the first pipe and waited for Steve-O to pass him the gun.

Steve-O had just turned the tanks on to full and we heard the hiss of the liquid rushing through the lines. I started doing the money dance that is pretty much me rubbing my hands together and twerking my ass in a fashion that would get me arrested in public. with the first squeeze of the trigger, something seemed off. The insulation shot out but wasn’t sticking to anything.

” Try another nozzle,” I said to Dart as he sat back and watched the yellow popcorn drip off the pipe like an oozing case of diarrhea. The liquids clearly werent mixing properly but I could figure out why.

” Is it frozen ?” Dart asked Steve-O as he tried all different levels of openness on the tanks.

” I don’t think so ,” Steve-O answered shaking his head. He had been trying to clean out the nozzles and it didn’t look like they were plugged. I was watching the profit margin shrink rapidly as time ticked away. In a frustrated growl, I grabbed the gun and pulled the lines out of the end and squeezed the liquids out to see if anything was stuck only to be met with more frustration as it was totally clear.

” Lets’ try this again,” I said as I reattached the lines and pulled the trigger ” Full power please.”

I pulled the trigger and watched as the gun literally exploded in my hands covering me in quick drying yellow foam. I let go of the trigger to look around at Dart and Steve-O as they broke out in hysterical laughter. Yellow liquid was still seeping out of the nozzle like an excited puppy with no bladder control and running down my bare arms. I tried in vain to wipe it off only to spread it even further and ensure every hair under the rapidly congealing liquid was embedded.

” I guess it wasn’t frozen,” Dart laughed as we listened to all the compressed air hiss out of the tanks making the remaining liquid effectively useless. I stood with my mouth open and watched any money we were going to make leak out around my feet.

” Let’s just pack it up,” I said as I began to feel the crust of the insulation hardening even further. I began to pick at it only to feel it pulling the hairs on my arm with it. I pulled a little harder and felt the nerve endings in my arm scream. I was dumb founded. It couldn’t hurt that bad. I fingered I should give it the Band-Aid treatment and just get it over with. With one swift yank, I pulled the eight inch patch of yellow rubber off and screamed as it took every hair with it.

I pride myself on having an exceptionally high pain tolerance but this was recockulous. I was standing in an attic space holding a chunk of rubber-covered in my arm hair with tears streaming down my face and thinking it couldn’t get any worse until I looked down and saw the patch left behind.

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I will be honest. I have no idea how women get a bikini wax. That should be punishment for shoplifting anything larger than a pack of gum. It was the most astonishingly painful thing I have ever felt and that’s saying a lot considering I have been hit in the head with a three-inch thick piece of frozen shingle and dropped a hammer off the top of an extension ladder only to have it nearly rip my ear off. The skin was as smooth a patch of skin I think existed on my body matched only closely by my scalp when freshly shaven.

I find myself watching the hair to see how quickly it grows back and thinking whether or not I could go for a Guyzillian cause it sure beats the hell out of trying not to nick a testicle shaving.

Interlude – The Wisdom of Age

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Based on my family history and genetic predisposition to having every type of ailment from heart disease to athletes foot, the chances of me living to what most people refer to as the golden years are fairly slim.

That’s not to say I won’t be trying hard. I eat well aside from a crippling addiction to Diet Pepsi in a can. Exercise fairly regularly around the schedule of two very active children and a pair of dogs that think that me in the down dog position during yoga equates to my wanting either their face in mine or up my ass. I seldom drink as I have a tendency to go from showing off to loving everyone in the room to sappy mushy tears in a very short time frame.

The truth is I hope I reach the age where I can do or say whatever I want and people will chalk it up to the eccentricity of old age. I see it all the time in customers of mine that have reached the point in their lives that the filters aren’t just shut off but nonexistent anymore.

The first blast of winter rolled into our area and stuck around like a fat aunt at a buffet that someone else is paying for. The first snow had turned into a layer of ice but that doesn’t ever seem to stop houses from developing roof leaks. It slows down the process of getting work done as we have to shovel everything off and let it dry before we can start working.

As the rest of the team worked on removing the ice and snow, I knocked on the door and waited. After a few minutes, I knocked again only to hear shuffling steps towards the door. Slowly, the door opened and I was greeted by the wizened yet still smiling face of the shrunken elderly home owner. We had met a few weeks previous but at the time she wasn’t wearing a house coat left over from the morning Canada officially became a country.

” Good morning,” I said as she recognized me ” We are going to get started in a bit but I just wondered if you needed your car out of the garage.”

” What are the roads like?” She asked me in quick response.

” Not great,” I replied ” There are some spots of black ice and some drifting snow.”

” Then no,” She stated flatly ” I guess I won’t”

” Alright then, but if you change your mind it’s really no issue to move our equipment,” I said as I pulled my gloves and hat back on before returning to my team.

” May I ask you something?” the home owner called out before I could cross the driveway.

” Of course,” I answered as I turned back to face her.

” I am eighty-six years old. I am partially deaf in one ear and wear trifocals all day. I wobble from side to side when I walk. It takes four seconds for the thought to travel from my brain to my feet to tell them to move or stop which means I shouldn’t be driving in the first place. I just got the fireplace going and have a pot of tea brewing. The roads are obviously terrible and I am a hazard on them anyway. Why the fuck would I want to go anywhere?” She asked with a serene smile.

As I barked out a laugh all I could think was I hope I get to the age where I can swear and people think its cute rather than swear and people tell me I am making a scene.

The Power of the Dark Side – Episode 2

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There comes a time in every man’s life when the circle becomes complete. Where he stops being the learner and becomes the master.

A storm had been forecast for the last few days as the temperature rose and drove the humidity into unhealthy levels. The kind of humidity where you feel like you are a giant dildo stuffed into the sloppiest vagina imaginable. Just gooey right from the get go. You can’t take in as much fluids as you are secreting no matter how hard you try. With in a couple of hours of being outside in the blazing heat and vagina humidity, you are so soaked in sweat it looks like you have peed your pants on purpose just to cool yourself off. It also makes for an uncomfortable job site as tempers tend to be shorter than midget stripper with club feet.

As we still need to make money no matter when Mother Nature decides to ride us like a Sybian, I had agreed to do a new construction job. New builds are a pain in the ass as the builder generally expect miracles on these architectural monstrosities they come up with in the shortest time imaginable and a bare minimum of cost. That being said, they are quick money if they weather isn’t great.

We arrived just as the delivery truck was dropping off the shingles and took care of the most important part of the day. We turned the radio on. The monotony and echo of air nailers pounding the roof deck accompanied by the endless stream of movie quotes we throw at each other tends to wear a bit thin after a while so the radio is the only thing that prevents someone from actually dying some days. The static electricity in the air limited reception to the local stations but they were fine as long as you enjoyed listening to a Neil Young song at least six times an hour.

Dart and J-bone had just began to install the vapour barrier when Macklemore decided now was the most appropriate time to inform us of his secondary career.

” If the radio doesn’t work we can always plug my phone in,” Macklemore offered ” I have some of my own songs on there.”

” What kind of music?” Steve-O asked with half a smile on his face.

” My own songs,” Macklemore continued ” Didn’t I tell you guys I was a rapper?”

I have no idea who started laughing first but it may very well have been me. There was no way I could pass this chance up. I grabbed the cord for the radio and practically threw the entire set up like a shot put to get it plugged in as fast as humanly possible. In a very serious fashion that borderlined on reverence, Macklemore proceeded to play what he deemed would be the title track to his first album.

I won’t lie to you, at that moment I wanted to publicly flog Eminem with a double ended dildo for every putting the notion in any caucasian youth that getting multiple tattoos and freestyling was the same as actually having musical talent. Ten thousand hour rule my left nut. This kid could have practiced his rhymes for ten thousand years and still have sounded like a pedophile being castrated while trying to sing “Funky Cold Medina”.

” Not bad,” I said with my hand over my mouth to hide the maniacal laugh I was holding back. Thankfully, the rising humidity masked the tears of laughter streaming down my face as drops of sweat.

” Thanks,” Macklemore said with genuine appreciation. Clearly, sarcasm was as foreign to him as dentistry is to the British.

” I have been known to make some music from time to time,” I said as I motioned for Steve-O to unplug Macklemore’s hopes and dreams from the radio.

” Like what?,” Macklemore asked with a bit of amusement. I was in no way going to tell him that a video of me shirtless singing Kid Rock’s ” Cowboy” actually exists but I am not without my talents. The humidity had hit new levels of vaginal hell by now and was drawing the impending storm in. Static electricity filled the air and was causing the radio to fade in and out.

” I can make music out of thin air,” I replied as I turned to Steve-O and held my hands up like a concert conductor. ” My Generation” by The Who had just started playing and I began drumming the roof along with the beat. At what couldn’t have been a more precise moment, I pointed at Steve-O who put his hands on the radio. The song immediately switched to ” Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant. Macklemore’s eyes lit up like a teen prostitute at an Asian businessman’s conference. Over the next four and a half minutes, I waved my hand slightly at Steve-O several times to get him to either take his hands off or put his hands on the radio to switch songs ending with a staccato beat of Eddy Grant’s wails and Roger Daltry’s stutters.

” That was just luck,” Macklemore sighed in that indignant way young people do that make me want to smack their parents.

” In my experience, there is no such thing as luck,” I replied as I stood up and wiped as much of the percussion driven sweat from my scalp as I could. I had no desire to try to explain the dynamics of radio wave interference and the grounding effects of the human body to a kid who believed the tattoo on his face gave him a more balanced center to his universe. Thunderheads had just broken the horizon and the storm was bearing down on us in a ferocious manner. It only served to drive the temperature higher and the humidity into that level above squirting orgasm. At that point, it was simply getting dangerous to be outside anymore so we decided to pack up the job site and head for cooler pastures.

I was headed down the ladder when Macklemore started gathering up the assorted clothes he had shed over the course of the morning when Steve-O popped his head over the ridge.

” Those aren’t the clothes you’re looking for,” Steve-O said with a wave of his hand. Macklemore looked at the shirts and pants he was holding before dropping them back where he had found them.

” I guess they aren’t the clothes I was looking for,” he replied with that glazed look of someone who had either been out in the heat too long or was easily swayed by the Jedi mind trick.

I believed I had finally passed on enough of near obsessive need to make fun of the tragically stupid with pop culture references that the next generation would be paying that particular good deed forward long after I was gone. The ability to do so even being stuffed in Mother Nature’s snatch proved it wasn’t all simple tricks and nonsense.

Interlude – Primary School Programing

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I believe that the formative years of public school shape not only our minds but our bodies as well.

I will take that statements a step further by saying I think it shapes our body chemistry as well.

Need proof?

Why is it that most people need to take a dump at exactly the same time every morning? Roughly in that 10 to 10:30 a.m. range?

Diet you say? Nope.

Too much coffee perhaps? Not even close.

The next time you see someone heading for the can around that time just remember that’s the exact same time recess was.

Need even more proof?

How many times have you seen someone put up their hand to tell you they were going to the bathroom?

Trust me, you will be watching for people to do it from now on.

No, I did not put my hand up today to tell my team I was going to the bathroom around ten this morning.

Shut up.

The One Point Twenty-One Gigawatt Story

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The saying ” Youth is wasted on the young” couldn’t be more wrong.

Youth is wasted on the stupid for the amusement of the rest of us.

As with most construction companies, our turn over rate is quite high on laborers. The truth is the job is physically demanding and most young men these days have a very quick time realizing they don’t want to do it for very long. The problem with that is that we end up with a new crop of high school drop-outs each season. Every once in a while we find one with some intelligence but they realize the job sucks and just as I get them trained they take off for greener pastures. That leaves us with our choice of tattooed juvenile delinquents that don’t know the difference between a reciprocating saw and a vibrator. Both make a lot of noise and confuse the shit out of them.

As fate would have it, this year I hired two new guys at pretty much the same time.

The first guy, Steve-O had been in business for himself for a while but with the economy being what it is had struggled for a couple of years and decided to look for something steady. An experienced guy with a decent sense of humor always helps especially around a job site as conducive to insanity as ours generally is. Aside from his habit of whistling the same annoying tune for hours on end, he fit in pretty well right away.

The second young man is literally a stereotype bordering on cliche for an entire generation of kids today. A body covered in tattoos ranging from bad catch phrases to an anchor beside his left eye supposedly symbolising his solid foundation ( yes, you read that right) and crowned by a blonde faux hawk that was likely on the first page of the hair style book inside the hair salon. Add this all up with a burgeoning rap career that can be found on Youtube that is basically him freestyling in his bedroom to what has to be an old eight key Casio keyboard and you have a fine young man we affectionately call Macklemore.

We had been working on a job just over half an hour north of our office and we hadbeen trying to leave earlier in the day to make up the time. Steve-O lived closer than all of us so he drove his beat up Toyota truck to the job and met us there. Macklemore had shown up that morning and seemed a bit on edge but I didn’t have the chance to talk to him about it before we set off.

We hadn’t been on the job site twenty minutes before Macklemore’s phone went off and he stepped away to answer it. When he came back to where we were working I asked him what was going on and he just shook his head.

” Car trouble,” Macklemore sighed and set back to work.

As the day wore on, his phone went off a handful more times and we could tell based on the pitch in his voice he was getting frustrated with whomever was on the other end.

” Something wrong?” Steve-O asked.

” Actually, yeah,” Macklemore answered ” My girlfriends car wont start and she is likely going to be stuck at school until I can get there.”

” Is it something major ?” I asked in follow-up thinking maybe it was something she could be talked through on the phone.

” It just won’t start.” Macklemore replied with a shake of his head ” We just bought it and had it safetied. All that it needed was a new battery”

” It’s a Toyota isn’t it?” Steve-O asked as he turned away and moved some metal flashing toward the wall we were finishing.

” Yes, but it’s an older one,” Macklemore explained.

” Huh,” Steve-O grunted in response” Did you have them check the flux capacitor?”

I couldn’t even look at him. I turned my back on both of them and tried to hold back the laugh I knew would explode at any second. I held my breath waiting to hear the response.

” No,” Macklemore answered almost apologetically ” I don’t even know what that is.”

I knew there was only one way to deal with this situation and as the owner of the company I had to set an example.

” You really should call them right now and have them tow it over to the garage you had it inspected at . I can’t believe they missed something like that. It basically controls all the electrical components in your car,” I said as straight-faced as I could.

” Absolutely,” Steve-O jumped right in after ” I have a Toyota as well and just had it replaced. It was almost three hundred dollars but its better than your car lighting on fire.”

” Can that really happen?” Macklemore asked incredulously.

” Fuck yeah it can,” I answered ” Especially if you drive it really fast. Anything between eighty-five and ninety miles an hour and the tires will literally light on fire.”

I had to look away at this point as I really was going to crack soon but like any good team-mate Steve-O picked the ball up and ran with it.

” Mine actually did that once when I hit eighty-eight miles an hour.” Steve-O explained as a chuckle bubbled up behind the dead panned explanation.

Macklemore scrambled his phone out of his pocket at that point and frantically dialed his girlfriend who then arranged to have the car towed. He told her at least six times during the conversation to have them check the ” flux capacitor ” as soon as they could.

The next morning we met up at the job site again and I couldn’t wait to see what had actually happened with the car.

” So,” I started as soon as Macklemore crested the ladder ” What happened with your car?”

” It was just a battery terminal ,” Macklemore answered before a stupid smile spread on his face ” You guys are fucking assholes.”

We all broke at that point and I laughed so hard tears rolled down my cheeks.

” You guys could have told me it was the car from ” Back to the Future”,” Macklemore scolded as we started working.

” Everything work out though ?” I asked sheepishly.

” I think so,” Macklemore sighed ” The mechanic says the car is putting out a perfect one point twenty-one gigawatts.”

The Long Arm of the Law Story

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” Bird, are you still fighting that arrest warrant?,” I asked quizzically as I walked across the roof.

The early morning frost had just begun to burn off and mist rose from the shingles we were in the process of stripping off. The unfortunate side effect was that everything we were working with was soaked and if all of us sat down we would have looked like a kindergarten class on a long bus ride following all you can drink chocolate milk day.

From where he was sitting, Bird looked back over his shoulder and saw the two police cars that had just pulled in disgorge their contents. Four of the largest, thickest, doughnut stuffed agents of justice we had ever seen rolled out of the vehicles with enough body armor and weapons on to ward off the zombie apocalypse. They looked each other over and nodded before circling the building we were working on. I don’t think they had really noticed us but Bird had certainly noticed them.

With a flip of his hands, Bird grabbed the sides of his Scooby-Doo balaclava and pulled the cartoon dog face down to hide his pale expression. Faster than you can say ” Ruh roh, Raggy,”, he dove over the other side of the building away from the non-existent stares of the police. I can’t really blame him. If I had been arrested for getting drunk and grinding up on a female police officer who was working security at an outdoor festival, I guess I wouldn’t really want to be on the end of her male counterparts batons.

The officers tracked around the building with military precision. They called out vehicle colors and license plate numbers from all sides. They questioned some of the maintenance staff that was doing some yard work and getting the grass cut about a particular vehicle. At that point , I realized they weren’t looking for us and decided to see what exactly was happening. I made my way over to the edge of the building so my shadow fell in front of the officer.

I won’t lie. I kind of felt like Batman just then.

” Can I help you find something, sir,” I called down to the startled officer.

” Maybe,” the officer called up ” We have had reports of a drunk driver in the building and we need to verify if he is inside.”

I actually snorted at that point. I looked around at my team who had come over to see what the fuss was about and I relayed what the police were looking for. To a man they all laughed or shook their heads and headed back to work. Please don’t misunderstand. I don’t condone driving while intoxicated an any capacity but you have to understand where we were working.

The police were searching for a drunk driver at a retirement home.

We all headed down off the roof to grab a coffee when we heard a whirring noise and watched the police form up ranks like spartan warriors defending ancient Greece. They stomp stepped around the edge of the building and we watched as the suspect rolled down the street. I could lie and say I didn’t bust out laughing when I saw him but I couldn’t stop myself.

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The octogenarian pulled his scooter in line with all the other electric vehicles at a bank of outdoor outlets. He stepped off the ledge gingerly and pulled his paper bag full of sloshing cans after him. A wide smile creased his face as he saw the police descend on him. His speech was kind of slurred but I couldn’t be sure if it was the pale ale or palsy talking but his eyes sparkled deviously as boldly strode toward the officers. His body swayed a bit as he tried to straighten up to his full shrunken height.

” Help you?,” the old guy slurred as he tried to peer around the cop at the distance to the door.

” We have had a report that you have been driving under the influence sir,” the officer barked glowering down at the man.

” Not really a crime to have a couple of beer is it?” the old man shot back.

” Sir, it’s 9:30 in the morning,” the officer sighed.

” I don’t ask what you have for breakfast,” the old man countered.

” Sir, I really don’t want to have to arrest you but if you continue to operate your vehicle while drinking, I will,” the now frustrated cop said with a visible grinding of his teeth.

” I may need a snack later,” the old man haughtily replied ” Who knows what I may want. I may have to go get a pizza.”

The officers assembled were now bristling at the old guys attitude and I just continued to smile wider. One had moved toward his vehicle and pulled up to block the old man’s exit if he decided to make “run” for it.

” Sir, if you could just give me your keys to the scooter I will give them to the staff here and you can have them when they are certain you are safe to drive,” the officer said with some finality in his voice.

The old guy shifted his beer filled bag from one arm pit to the other and stiffly handed his keys before shuffling around the officers and heading for the door. He banged the door shut behind him for emphasis. We headed back to work and watched the officers move toward their vehicles. The sound of a very loud lawn tractor revved up behind the maintenance shed and we watched in disbelief as the old guy roared out in a cloud of burning oil and gas fumes. He had his hat pulled down over his eyes as apparently that’s an effective disguise. He rocketed across the road and towards the decommissioned rail roadbed that was now used as a walking trail.

As the police officers watched as he puttered up the trail, the old guy raised a beer to his lips and took a very long sip. Shaking their heads, the officers started off towards the trail and the fleeing, drunken rebel.

” You know that’s you in like fifty years right?’ I asked Bird as he nodded his admiration at the old man.

” Fuck that,” Bird said with a wistful look in his eyes ” I just figured out how I am getting home Friday night.”

 

 

 

The Elton John Story

Mansion1

I believe that celebrities are people just like you and I.

I mean aside from the fact they have millions of dollars and their faces on billboards and people fawning over them at every turn. They eat , they sleep, they poop, they get caught with their junk hanging out when they rip the ass out of their pants and bend over to pick up their tool belts.

I am also always fascinated by stories of celebrity sightings and the way people react to someone of minor person of note buying a package of beef jerky or a disposable enema. The one thing that really drives me insane though is the stories of celebrities either buying or building homes in one of the local neighborhoods. The bigger the celebrity, the better the story in my experience.

An architect I do work for from time to time called me with an interesting offer. He was building a massive house that required some rather intricate water proofing. He was interested in trying a system that I had been working on getting him to use for months and figured this was the perfect place to try it.

As I drove out to find the job, I noted that the directions I had been given didn’t make sense with the location I was given. I saw an older gentleman standing beside an equally ancient dog trying to squeeze out a poop that had likely been inside him since the Millenium based on the strain expression on his face.

What?

The dog was trying to poop, you sickos. Now that I think about it, it would have been funnier if the old guy was squatting and using the dog for a shield. I wonder, who gets to scoop that?

I waited politely for the dog to finish and the gentleman to scold him for having taken that long to take a dump in front of some millionaires house before asking about the property in question.

” You mean Elton John’s house?,” The gentleman asked.

” Pardon?” I asked back with a very raised single eyebrow.

” Oh yeah, it’s just up on the right,” He motioned with the dogs leash and not even a batted eye.

Disbelief washed over me in an instant but really was it that hard to believe? Elton John’s husband was Canadian and I had heard they were looking for a piece of property in Canada to buy. The homes leading to the security booth gated driveway grew in grandeur and opulence with each manicured lawn I passed. Turning past the wrought iron fence, I circled around concrete molds that would eventually form a massive fountain. The three-story house was as massive as it was beautiful. The entry way doors were at least ten feet tall and sculpted to look like a castle drawbridge. Sculpted archways and exposed beams the size of handicapped buses were on every gable end. The sheer size of the work was very daunting.

The architect met me at the door is his requisite baby blue golf shirt with white sweater tied around his waist over knee-length plaid shorts. I snickered a little when I thought ” If Elton John was looking for the right man for the job, he sure found it”.

We walked around the property and he showed me all three levels including a very nearly hidden staircase that led to an office. It had a walkout balcony and its own bathroom complete with shower and a soaker tub that would comfortably fit nine midget wrestlers. I was in awe of the sheer scale of it. His idea was simple as it would likely be effective. He wanted to use rubber roofing to line the showers and tub linings before the actual fixtures were put in. In theory, if they were never exposed to the elements, they would last basically forever.

” Only the best for a celebrity,” I nodded as we walked back toward the main entrance.

” Elton John,” He stated flatly with a grimace.

” That’s an amazing feather to have in your cap ,” I said with an incredulous tone.

” It’s not Elton John’s fucking house,” he replied with a sigh, ” It’s mine. I have no fucking idea how that rumor got started.

I didn’t want to point out the fountain in the front with what I could only assume would be two strapping young men entwined in an embrace that would get you burned at the stake in the Southern states or the fact he could pass for Elton John’s husband’s older, gayer, more hair product using brother. I really just wanted the job. This was a multi-million dollar property. I didn’t realize he was that wealthy and seriously contemplated going back to school to get my degree in architecture.

We agreed on a plan and a few days later we brought our whole team in to get as much done as possible in a single day. We split up to set up each piece of rubber in each shower and applied the bonding adhesives. This particular system requires the glues to be dry like contact cement before they will adhere and after what seemed like a ridiculous amount of time we checked them. They were still nearly as wet as when we applied them.

I had to come up with something. I needed to recreate at least one element from the outdoors so I grabbed a large fan used for drying drywall mud. I angled it to dry the adhesive but not shift the rubber and it worked like a charm. Within minutes, the adhesive dried and the rubber rolled on like an extra large condom on a very small erection.

I showed the rest of my team how it worked and sent my brother, Matt to the hidden stairway office bathroom. The rest of the team was concentrating on a shower on the main floor that was the size of a high school cheerleader locker room.

Mmmmmm . Cheerleaders.

Huh? Oh yeah. i was telling a story.

After adhesives had been applied, we stood admiring our own marvelous work when Matt came barreling down the stairs screaming.

” There’s a fire upstairs !!!’ Matt screamed as he ran for the door. I stood in disbelief for what felt like an eternity but was likely about a half a heart beat before tearing upstairs. I ran head first into the office where I saw a bowl of flames where our rubber had been laid out. The fire was licking up the walls and the smoke was coating everything in black soot. I did the only thing I could think of.

I grab a sheet of drywall and jumped on top of the flames. I was stamping them out as fast as I could only to hear someone stomping up the stairs.

” Hold on,” J-Bone yelled as he threw an entire cooler full of ice and water right on me. The flames were still creeping towards my hands as I ripped the rubber up and ran for the balcony. I hurled it out the doorway like a meteor falling from the heavens and stood panting as the adrenaline washed over me. The rest of the team joined us upstairs and gazed at us in our blackened state. Matt came up last looking with wide eyes at the spectacle.

” What the fuck happened?,” I yelled as I spun a circle trying to figure out where the fire had started.

” The extension cord for the fan,” Matt said quietly ” It sparked and set the adhesive on fire.”

I saw where his eyes slowly led. The extension cord to the fan was plugged into a receptacle that had just been put in. All it took was likely an undetectable arch of electricity to start the vapor from the glue into a minor inferno. A black line traced a path across the wall from the box to the floor where the glue had been applied. I am no scientist but I will say this, I never take my cell phone out of my pocket when I pump gas anymore.

A thought occurred to me then. I turned to Matt with a raised eyebrow.

” Hey, aren’t you a volunteer fireman?” I asked staring plainly at the cleanest guy amongst the whole team.

” Not yet,” Matt answered sheepishly, ” I just drive the truck.”

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.

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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.

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.

The Power of the Dark Side Story

vader2

I am, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the product of eighties pop culture.

My youth was shaped much like every pre-internet youth , in movie theatres and a never-ending supply of VHS cassettes. Before we all had the capability of downloading any movie that has ever existed  and watching it on an endless loop on a tablet or smart phone , it was possible to actually watch a video tape enough times to melt it and then have to scrounge up enough glass soda bottles to take back to the convenience store or convince your dad to let you have his beer bottle empties so you could then plead with your mom to take you to the video store where some balding guy with a stained cardigan sold video tapes out of the front and weed out of the back just so you could replace the copy of Star Wars you had watched forty-two times that week.

Needless to say, I try and work movie lines into almost every conversation I have just to see who picks up on it and runs with it. At work, we have actually gone whole days where anything anyone said was a direct quote from a movie. It’s quite the sight to see grown men singing ” Afternoon Delight” from Anchorman as they are perched forty feet in the air.

In order to combat the monotony that sometimes comes from a job where you are basically doing the same thing over and over combined with my need to sing along with any song I know will annoy someone, we have a construction grade radio on the rooftop with us. It’s usually tuned to a local radio station that has a propensity for playing a Neil Young song every third song which is akin to having your grandmother sing Patsy Cline songs with a mouthful of bathtub gin. Needless to say, it is instantly turned to a different station as soon as I hear ” Heart of Gold”.

Strong storms had been moving through our area the previous two days and the air still held that ozone feel of static electricity.  After the fourth crappy song in a row which I believe the final straw was something by the Headstones before I yelled at Moose to change the station.

” Anything but country,” I yelled again from across the building after he asked me for a preference. I really should have known better as an evil grin spread out over his man-child face and he immediately switched it to some whiny , caterwauling  redneck girl belting out some tune about how she could chew tobacco if she wanted to. I stood up with murderous intent in my eye and took a step toward him before I stopped and closed my eyes.

I held my hand out, reaching towards the radio and clutched my hand in a Darth Vader like death choke. The radio hissed and squealed before changing to a different radio station. Moose’s eyes bugged out of his head and he sputtered as he looked from the radio to me then back to the radio. I lowered my hand and stepped back only to have the radio go right back to the redneck girl who was trying to hit a note that was somewhere between a guinea pig being raped by a dinosaur and dump truck running over a homeless person.

” HOW THE FUCK DID YOU DO THAT!,”  Moose screamed in that child like way people have when they see a magician saw someone in half.

” I find your lack of faith disturbing,” I replied, lowering the timbre of my voice to a gravely rumble. I am one of a very few people that actually believe Darth Vader was the hero in the Star Wars movies.

” You didn’t really do that………do it again,” Moose asked as he stepped away from the radio like it had grown eight spider legs and was trying to bite his junk off.

With a sigh, I stood back up and stepping forward, reached out towards the radio again. I reached both my hands out this time and yet again the radio hissed and crackled before changing stations again.

” HOLY SHIT!,” Moose screamed as he rubbed his forehead as if the simple act would push the knowledge deeper into his brain.

” Don’t be so impressed by the radio,” I growled,” The power to change the station is insignificant compared to the power of the Force.”

I turned my back and found myself giggling as Moose stood looking at the radio in a numb kind of glaze. He would look up every so often and catch me giggling so I would immediately adopt a fierce look and stalk away. About twenty minutes later, he walked over and in an almost reverent whisper asked ” Can you teach me how to do that?”

” You will never understand the power of the Dark Side,” I said as I clapped him on the shoulder and headed over to where my brother Dart was working.

Dart gave me an amused look and laughed as I wiggled my fingers at him.

” When are you going to tell him?,” Dart asked as we both watched Moose staring at the radio. His eyes intent and his face a mask of concentration.

” You mean when am I going to tell him you had the remote control?,” I asked ” Likely never.”

The Slip of the Tongue Story

Tongue

Choosing a contractor to work on your house is always a gamble. It never fails when you go looking through the phone book or even on the recommendation of a friend that at least two or three of the companies you call will send out some sketchy looking guy that avoids looking you in the eye or seems to be trying to figure out what time you will be leaving for work so he can sneak into your house and lick all your produce.

After a local trade show, I had met a landscaper whose house was very much in need of a new roof so I agreed to stop by and give him a price. He and his wife had recently purchased the house and despite having a home inspection were finding a multitude of problems. From wiring to drywall to a very badly leaking roof that had been apparently patched by a team of diseased research monkeys suffering from a combination of gonorrhea and improperly installed penile implants from the way caulk had been splashed around the roof top.

Caulk,cock,caulk,cock…….. oh fuck off, that was a great pun.

Needless to say the badly done repairs had caused most of the issues in the house so the only option was a complete restoration. Strip everything down bare and start with a completely smooth surface. So, after agreeing on a price, we set a tentative date to get started.

The morning we showed up on the job site, Mike, the landscaper wasn’t there but his wife Angie was home and she seemed a bit tentative when she saw the scale of the project we were undertaking. It really was a mess and it required a lot of attention to the little details. I walked her around the project and pointed out where the major issues we were facing were. I couldn’t help but notice the meticulous detail in his flower beds and the perfectly straight lines of his garden edges. The spacing and placement of colors were quite excellent and I was more than a little impressed. I made note to make sure I got a bunch of his business cards in case I came across any one needing great landscaping work.

The job went pretty much the way I thought it would. Lots of profanity about the research monkeys caulk and the lack of security in the lab they escaped from.

The next morning as we got back to the job site, Angie met us at the door with a list of questions. I was a bit taken aback at the depth of thought put into the questions but when I noticed the chicken scratch handwriting I knew they were coming directly from the brain of her husband.

I did what I could to quell the concern she had over the questions by walking her around the job site and explaining in detail the answers to all her questions. I could see her visibly relax after we crossed the last question off her list.

” I really am sorry for all the questions ,” Angie said with a slight shake of her head ” But Mike has a particular way he likes things done.”

” It’s really okay ,” I said with a laugh ” If you don’t ask questions you don’t get answers.”

” Well, you seem to have everything under control,” Angie said with a smile ” I like my contractors the same way I like all the men in my life. Anal.”

” I am just here to shingle ,” I said without missing a beat ” If you are looking for anything else we may have to talk about the price.”

Completely red-faced, Angie turned and headed for the front door of the house but it did make me wonder if she was embarrassed because I had found out a dirty secret or if I had found the reason Mike spent so much time outside avoiding his own bedroom.

The Top of the Food Chain Story

piranha

” I had the weirdest dream last night”

The voice over my shoulder had that sad refrain of the sleepless.  The morning fog had just begun to lift off the roads and as we rolled out of the mist towards the job site , everyone paused in their own quiet way to wait for the inevitable follow-up to statement now hanging in the air.

When you hire young guys, fresh out of high school, you generally expect some level of naiveté but sometimes it surpasses even my expectations.  I had hired Moose on the recommendation of another employee and the kid showed up just as advertised. Big. Strong. Young. Quite literally Moose right out of Riverdale in an “Archie’s” comic book. A huge grin never seemed to leave his face no matter how rough the job or what I asked him to do.  His only real issue was how gullible he is.

I could throw my stern boss voice on at any point in time and convince him that they actually sold orange and black striped paint or that I had jumped off a three-story building and survived when really I had simply climbed down a television tower when he wasn’t looking.  Needless to say, I was having fun proving that youth was not wasted on the young. The young simply exist for the amusement of those of us seasoned enough to recognize their stupidity.

” Must have been pretty bad if you are still shaken up,” I said in that I’m not really listening but you are literally over my shoulder speaking so close to my ear it entered my brain before I actually understood it way I have when I just want to get my coffee into me as quickly as I possibly can without scalding my throat.

” It was terrible,” Moose said, a haunted tone in his voice actually causing the skin on my neck to prickle a little but it may also have been the fact he was practically breathing down my neck.

” You might think this is weird but I dreamed that a massive tidal wave was rising out off the coast and was going to cover the entire country in water,” Moose continued ” And all I wanted was to get my sisters from school so they didn’t drown.”

A normal human being would have seen this as a shaken kid who had a nightmare and take pity on him.

” How tall was that wave then?,” I asked ” If it was off the coast of Canada it would have had to been over a thousand miles tall to reach us.”

” Can waves get that high?,” Moose responded tremulously, his voice actually wavering.

” Absolutely,” I replied ” Did you see that movie ” The Perfect Storm”? That wave was like ten miles high and all it did was sink a boat. Imagine if it had been higher.”

” I want to be able to sleep tonite ,” Moose said with a chuckle that he was using to brush off what seemed like genuine concern ” The worst part of the dream was the fact that the closer I got to the school, the deeper the puddles got until the streets were full of water and I couldn’t get there.”

I am no dream analyst but clearly the fact his family lived over two hours away and he was basically just a child was effecting him in ways his brain wasn’t coping with. I should have just let it drop but if you know anything about me you know that wasnt going to happen.

” If the wave hadn’t hit yet, why were the puddles so deep?” I asked just to see the puzzlement wash over his face. It was like an artist looking at a blank canvas.

” I don’t really know ,” Moose replied as he ran a hand over his sleep deprived face,” I was just worried about the fish.”

I actually think I hit the brakes on the truck as my feet involuntarily kicked out while I nearly doubled over in laughter.

” There were fish in the puddles?,” I asked between coughing fits of laughter.

” Oh God yeah, but imagine what it would be like if the whole world was just covered in water….,” Moose continued.

” For one thing, we certainly wouldn’t be the top of the food chain,” I replied back trying to get myself under control.

” Imagine how many people would get eaten by sharks then,” Moose said trying to now make light of the whole scenario as grave look set even deeper into his eyes.

” Oh, it wouldn’t just be sharks at that point,” I countered,” Pretty much any fish in the water would become predatory if the whole world was covered in water.”

” Really?,” Moose asked , his voice nearly a whisper. I wasn’t about to try to explain ecology or natural selection or the balance of species to a kid who had spent a generous portion of the previous day trying to figure out why the three pulled pork sandwiches he had powered down for breakfast resulted in explosive diarrhea but I couldn’t let this go.

” We would be the bottom of the food chain, I mean based on the size of you I bet you swim like a sumo wrestler in water wings. Every fish in the sea would take a bite out of you,” I said in as grave a tone I could manage without actually peeing my pants laughing.

” Have you ever eaten at the Mandarin restaurant?,” Moose asked. The sudden shift caught me off guard and I tried to figure out where he was headed with this quick left turn.

” No,” I answered” Is it any good?”

” They have these giant aquariums full of fish in there and I mostly only eat sushi when I go,” Moose replied ” I don’t think I will ever be able to eat there again in case the fish saw me and decided that they wanted revenge when my dream comes true.”

The Vagina Dentata Story

yawning_big_cat

When you live in a small rural community, encounters with wildlife are as common place as first cousins being each others first kisses and people putting ketchup on steak.  I have personally hit more birds, squirrels, raccoons and deer than should be possible so to have a customer call with the sounds of a wild animal scratching around in their attic, it isn’t really shocking.

A short distance down the road from our office is a large dairy farm that has long, low storage barns. Based on the sounds coming out of there at night I actually think that the place is the site Noah’s Ark crashed and the animals are still trapped inside it. The howling groans and fits of barking are enough to keep most people at a safe distance. Its nothing to see one of the farm dogs chewing on something long dead but then again I saw one of them dragging around a truck tire like a tennis ball.

As soon as I pulled into the driveway, the farmer’s wife Daisy, waved from the front porch and motioned that the problem was in the house. I hopped from the truck only to be met be her two massive German Shepard’s. They were lovable in the same way a bear cub is but I really didn’t want to take the chance of having them chew off one of my limbs so I patted them both politely and headed up to the door.

Daisy looked just like you would expect a farmer’s wife to look if that farmer married a biker chick that he had found sitting on the side of the road after she had been dumped there by what ever truck driver she had been blowing for a ride kicked her out of the truck for using too much teeth. Her blonde hair was pulled back into an orange bandana that matched her midriff baring ,Harley Davidson black and orange t-shirt. She smiled when she saw me, that predatory, take a bite out of you smile that some women have that usually means you are about to be ridden like the Octopus at the fair and I laughed. It may have been charming had she had all her teeth in.

” What’s going on, Daisy?”, I asked as I mounted the handful of stairs up to the long low front porch. The handrail looked as if the dogs had used it to see which one of them could sink their teeth deeper into a mans testicles so I looked away quickly and instinctively lowered a hand to cover my crotch.

” I can’t be sure but I think something is scratching around in the attic,” Daisy answered as she tossed her head towards the stairway that lead up to the attic access door. The unfinished wood floor squeaked with every step as we made our way across the large country kitchen. The decor always made me laugh as it could only be classified as renegade farmer. Harley Davidson mixed with John Deere with a dash of Wiser’s Deluxe on every surface imaginable.

” I’ve got a flashlight,” Daisy said as I set up the small step-ladder her husband had left just below the trap door. I reached for the door just as a small set of feet scurried across the ceiling.

” Why the fuck am I even contemplating this?,” I thought to myself as the sound continued furtively around the space above us.

” Whatever it is , we gotta get it out of there,” Daisy said resignedly as she gently pushed me back up the ladder. I didn’t think there was any ” we” involved in this scenario but I continued on. Hero complex. Unavoidable as gravity.

I gently pushed the hatch up into the space only to have a shower of dust and what may have been the hair from the Sasquatch I was sure was living up there coat my head and arms. I poked my head up into the hole and reached down for the flashlight. As I stood waist-high in the attic space, I shone the light in a wide arc over the insulation and cobweb coated beams. Dust motes hung in the still air like snow flakes on a black wool glove.

” Maybe whatever it was went back out the way it got in,” I said as I turned to Daisy. The flashlight beam traced across the darkness to illuminate a set of blazing eyes that covered the distance between the far wall and the hatch in the time it took my balls to jump up into my throat making me feel like a bullfrog about to croak. Claws latched into my arm as teeth slashed at my outstretched hand. With a lurching heave, I tried to dislodge the teeth only to have them sink deeper into my wrist.

I dropped down off the ladder only to have a large orange and white tabby cat instantly release my shredded skin from its jaws. Blood dripped down my hand in haphazard spatters and I pulled off my shirt to wrap my oozing wounds. Daisy watched as the cat bolted down the stairs and out the wide swing front door.

” Fuckin barn cats,” Daisy muttered as I headed down the stairs to wash the blood off in the kitchen. She leaned over my shoulder to check on me and we both stared at some very superficial scratches that were already beginning to stop bleeding.

” Afraid of a little pussy?” Daisy laughed as I finally started to catch my breath.

Before I could stop myself I jumped in with both feet.

” If pussy had teeth like that I would be getting a rainbow flag tramp stamp on my lower back and sucking dick by the end of the day ,” I said as I headed back outside.

Interlude – Teaser

Generally, I don’t or wouldn’t post a teaser trailer for a post but I got a phone call yesterday that not only perked up a single eyebrow and then clap my hands while stamping my feet like a school girl.

This, I simply couldn’t keep to myself.

Photo (1)

Photo (3)

Photo (2)

IT’S BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK !!!!!!!!!!

Get ready.

The Last Square Story

toiletpaper01

Anyone who has ever worked construction or had a door to door sales job or been on a long road trip knows, finding someplace half decent to poop is a nightmare. Not every customer is happy to let you into their home to drop a Big Crunch in their only toilet after filling up on Gatorade and Red Bull all day. That unfortunately leaves most of us with public bathrooms. Shudder.

The spring had been dragging on and the cool days gave way to a massive heat wave. The temperature had been steadily rising and culminated in a skin blistering day of sun that stung any exposed flesh in seconds of exposure. We were working on a large roof and the black surface only seemed to amplify the waves of shimmering heat rippling off its surface. I was sucking down fluids as fast as my esophagus would allow to stave of dehydration when my stomach inevitably revolted. In the wrong direction.

With a groaning blurble, I felt my insides drop and settle directly in my lower intestines. My ass cheeks clamped shut like a reverse chastity belt and I stood straight up with my legs locked together. With a groan, I shuffle stepped like a speed walker with a met addiction towards the ladder. It’s next to impossible to climb down a ladder with your legs welded together and your ass threatening to prolapse your intestines like the world’s smelliest jump rope but by simply using your hands and sliding your feet off each rung of the ladder, gravity does most of the work.

I drove my truck as fast as it would possibly go towards the only place I could think of that might have a bathroom, a convenience store that doubled as the areas tourism office. Yes, you read that right. Mercifully, its one of the few places I know of that has a portapotty outside that is at least mildly clean. As I pulled into the parking lot, my stomach let out a rumble that sounded like the space shuttle launch. As I lurked from the truck vainly holding my cupped hand over my clenched ass I noticed in horror a family racing me and beating me to the turquoise blue shed that was the only salvation for my underwear.  A young father raced ahead of me holding a young boy away from him like the world’s shittiest pinata and slammed the door shut literally in my face.

I hopped from foot to foot as I listened to the boy unleash a stream of urine that would have put out a forest fire. Had I not been fighting to keep my guts from exploding down my legs I would have been impressed. The door opened shortly there after and I shoved my way inside only to see urine dripping off every surface imaginable in there. My brain caught up with me for a second and I found myself wondering what magic trick the dad had pulled as both he and the kid had not a drop on them when they exited.

I have put my ass on a lot of bad spots but there was no way I was sitting in some kids pee so I bolted for the door like Usain Bolt if he was about to shit his pants. I crashed through the door and frantically looked around for any door that might be the bathroom. Not seeing it, I dashed for the counter and asked the clerk.

” Bathrooms for customers only,” was the reply from a snide older woman with dark tinted glasses and a voice that sounded like she had gargled semen while chain-smoking cigars. I grabbed the first chocolate bar I found in front of the counter and threw  a five dollar bill at her as she directed me to a door between the coolers and porn movies. I flew across the store faster than I would have thought possible and jumped out of my pants in mid-flight towards the toilet. I exploded in a fashion that would have done Jeff Daniels from Dumb and Dumber proud. I couldn’t believe it when I looked to my right and saw a roll of toilet paper with one measly square of toilet paper left on it.

” You gotta be kidding me,” I groaned as I looked around in fright. I hitched up my pants and pulled the seat of my pants away from my ass before hobble walking bow-legged out of the bathroom to ask the store clerk if they had anymore toilet paper. With a cackle she said there was lots on the shelf in front of me. I grabbed a package and headed back towards the bathroom when she yelled –

” You gotta pay for that!!!”

Turning bruskly, I stomped over to the cash register and laid another five dollar bill on the counter before heading back to the bathroom. I took my pants completely off and proceeded to clean myself up. I ended up with a leg up on the sink inspecting my ass in a yoga position that could likely be called the ” loose meat leafblower”. Satisfied, I headed back out to scream at the clerk when I stopped. There was no reason that anyone else should suffer in the store the way I did. I grabbed every package of toilet paper they had and walked to the counter. With a laugh, I paid for every roll of toilet paper in the store and walked outside. Now, I could cover the entire potapotty in an inch thick layer of paper before ever even touching the seat and the clerk would have to wipe her ass with old chip bags or rainbow licorice.

I laughed the whole way back to my truck when I stopped and turned to look back at the store. I doubled over in laughter when I realized what I had done.

I forgot to flush.

The Down With The Ship Story

sinking_boat

Every once in a while I get requests for jobs that might seem a bit unusual.

No, they do not involve me installing skylights in shorts so my junk dangles over the new window like the worlds longest teabagging. Its more the difficulty of the job, like the guy that figured he needed industrial parking fence installed around the perimeter of his roof to prevent his cat from getting trapped in his eaves trough. Like the woman who wanted two different shingle colors in three-foot wide lines across a long ranch style bungalow.

The difficulty becomes even more prevalent when you factor in the job being on an island.  As fun as it may seem to some people to have a home or cottage on an island, someone had to build the damn thing and I am willing to bet the echo of screamed profanity still echoes around the waters it sits in.

The job we were looking at was a huge six family cottage laid out in a wheel pattern of six small cottages joined in the middle by a giant hexagonal great room, It was impressive to see in the first place but what was more impressive was the fact it was built on the top of a rocky outcropping of an island that overlooked the water. There was a wooden staircase of over seventy steps that rose from the boat dock to a landing that presented the first look of the job as a castle atop a hill.

The oooooing and awwwwing can stop right now. The first thing we had to figure out was how we were not only going to get material up to the house but how we were going to get the garbage out.  We looked at several ideas but the only one that really worked was renting a barge and literally hauling every ounce of new and old material up and down the stairs.  Once the details of that were worked out with a local boat rental facility, we submitted a price to the cottage owner. I could literally feel my shoulders sag as he happily accepted the price without so much as a batted eye. He told me that of all the contractors he had called we were the only ones crazy enough to submit a bid on the job.  Looking back,   I should have charged him double.

We met the boat rental proprietor on the dock the first day of the job where he presented us with the chariot that would ferry us to the island. A barge that likely should have been retired before it took the cast of Gilligan’s Island on their three-hour tour sat listing in the shallow water. I felt like Luke Skywalker the first time he saw the Millenium Falcon. What a hunk of junk. The owner was all smiles as he started the engine and motioned we should start loading our gear on board.  After we were loaded, my brother Dart and I hopped down into a little aluminum boat that would get us to the island before our dad and the rest of the team.

As we motored off we decided to have a bit of fun. We accelerated away from the barge and  spun an ever increasingly tight spiral around the slow-moving vessel. In no time we were throwing massive waves at the team and soaking them and all their gear. We laughed our asses off as they began throwing nails and anything else at us they could. I think at one point a chunk of bologna from someones sandwich stuck to the side of the boat like a vagina colored barnacle.

The day was as miserable as you could imagine.  We shuttled bundle upon bundle of shingles up the stairs and wheelbarrowed load after load of garbage and waste material down the stairs to be loaded on the boat.  By midday, the barge was sitting ridiculously low in the water and we all eyed it speculatively hoping partially that it would sink right there and then.

As the day was winding down we realized we still had to unload the barge when we got back to the other shore. It caused almost all of our shoulders to sag as we looked at the small mountain of garbage awaiting us. Once again, the team loaded up with my dad piloting the barge as Dart and I sped ahead to get the truck down to the dock to unload into.  We decided that soaking a boatload of guys that were headed home was a great way to end our day so we yet again began to slosh waves up onto the barge.

As we sped off, we looked back and noticed the guys on the barge were frantically throwing garbage at us and then when that failed to reach us they started throwing tools at us. It struck me as odd but I had no desire to have a hammer embedded in my skull so we quickly motored away only to hear….

“WOULD YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES GET BACK HERE!!!! WE’RE SINKING!!!”

Dart and I looked at each other briefly knowing we had likely slogged enough water up onto the boat to cause their current predicament. We pulled up beside them and grabbed as much gear as we could and pulled a couple of the guys and hauled them on board with us too. I have no Idea how many tools they had jettisoned to lessen the weight on the barge but from the look on my dad’s face it was likely a ton.  The boat was barely out of the water as it was and our now overloaded boat wasn’t in much better shape.

Slowly we made our way to the dock thinking at any point we would sink but it was almost a blessing as we wouldn’t have to unload the barge. Yes, I know that’s not environmentally friendly but at that point I wouldn’t have cared if we sunk a Titanic made out of old McDonald’s styrofoam containers to avoid unloading that garbage and my fathers likely murderous wrath.

As we pulled up to the dock, my dad was just about to blast into me as he stepped towards the dock and missed completely. He dropped with a splash into knee-deep water and I couldn’t help it as I burst out in laughter.

” Fuck that captain goes down with the ship crap,” Dad growled at us from the water ” You two can take the barge tomorrow and swim home if you have to.”

The Scales of Justice Story

” Is the prosecution ready to begin its summation?”

I ran a hand down the side of my face to cover the fact my mouth had fallen open. I had been sitting in the court room for nearly two and a half hours at this point listening to the droning voices of two sets of lawyers detailing the points of law in regards to a kidnapping and entrapment case. As the prosecution began to lay out its case, I looked around the room in amazement as the assembled host of lawyers stared dead eyed at their brief cases and cell phones. Was kidnapping that common place that it deserved this kind of disrespect?

I had left my team on the job site to head to the courthouse to fight an absolutely ludicrous fine I had incurred. The ice storm that had rocked our area over the weekend had left a swath of destruction in its path and we were in the midst of cleaning up a tree branch damaged roof as a new rain storm bore down on us. Time was of the essence in getting out of court as quickly as possible. As I watched the sky beginning to darken, I took in the details of the case.

The three defendants Mr. Black, Mr. Nicholas and Mr. White had on three separate occasions been found breaking and entering garages in the neighborhood they had lived in but it was widely accepted by all but the newest of people in the neighborhood that they were harmless. I watched as the woman who identified herself as their foster-mother broke down in tears as the prosecution detailed how the defendants had broken into the newest garage only to have themselves locked in the small space. Law enforcement was called and the three of them were taken away to a detention center until they could be released into the care of their foster care. The prosecutor was seeking damages to the garage on behalf of the plaintiff and the prevention of the defendants from living in the neighborhood.

As the first few drops of rain began to fall, the defense began to lay out case after case after case outlining the precedent set in which the charges against defendants should be lowered from six counts of breaking and entering and being ” at large” down to one as there was only one incident in which they could even be proven to being doing anything illegal. Further, as one of the defendants had passed away since the incident had occurred he couldn’t be prosecuted anyway.

” Is that Mr. Black, identified as “Blacky” in all documentation?” the judge asked with a raised eyebrow.

The foster-mother broke down into a sobbing mess at the mention of the deceased and all I could think is ” Isn’t someone even remotely concerned for this poor woman?” The prosecution and defense attorneys batted court documents back and forth at each other citing points of law and even the judge at this point was getting tired of it. The rain was now teeming outside and my concern for my team had reached a critical point.

Finally the judge called for it to come to an end.

” After six months of litigation and ninety-six hours in this court room I believe we have exhausted all the legal points available to us,” the judge said with an audible sigh at which point the foster-mother exclaimed

” Please, your worship! Don’t let them take my cats!!!”

Wait. What? Cats? Did I hear that right?

At this point, I swear to God even I can’t make this up, a gentleman sits down beside her and identifies himself as the cats actual owner and all he wants is Nicky and Whitey back.

I think the court reporter facepalmed herself at this point and I hung my head. Ninety-six hours to prosecute three cats who had broken into a woman’s garage and ate a bag of garbage.  The homeowner had trapped them, taken them to the Humane Society and then called the police to inform them she had dealt with the ” animal at large” problem in the area. This set off a chain of events culminating in poor Blacky’s demise and a court case spanning months of wasted time.

The rain was really teeming down at this point and the wind was lashing huge streaks of it across the window. I stood up and made my way over to the attorney handling my case. She turned her nose up at me as soon as I sat beside her.

” I have to go,” I explained ” I have employees in the rain trying to extract a tree branch that has gone through a customers roof and its pouring out.”

” That’s up to you,” She countered ” I will try to get a continuance.” She was an icy blonde that looked like she probably enjoyed watching insects fight each other to the death while she masturbated.

” If that’s the best you can do, you can go fuck yourself.” I said calmly. The shocked look on her face was more than worth it.

” Charge me with whatever you need, I will just pay the fine,” I shot at her as I sprinted from the courtroom and tore across the parking lot to my truck. There were no less than sixty people in the court room and all of them sat around all day listening to cases like this and I realized that paying any amount of money to avoid being there was worth it. I would rather have my balls cut off with a kite string than be subjected to that kind of insanity on a regular basis.

 

The It’s Raining Men Story

The heat does really strange things to people. Especially early spring heat. Maybe its a combination of the stowing away of too longly worn winter clothes and the humming buzz of freshly hatched insects that remind me of a truck full of vibrators that smashed into a trailer full of batteries but the first warm rays if sunshine that hits after a long wait for them effects peoples brain chemistry.

It seemed like the last of the snow had just melted when the temperature began to steadily rise. Over the course of a handful of days, the heat and humidity had ramped up producing a mini heat wave that had us removing as much clothing as possible the instant we reached the job site. Not beyond the point of decency mind you but dry humping the line of good taste for sure. By the time we got to the job the humidity was already so intense the air was like trying to breath soup through a scarf.

The homeowners were a married couple who were both retired teachers. They were a cute older couple. Cute in the way puppy kisses and vagina farts are. They had the Norman Rockwell feel with him in a collared shirt and slacks and her in a sun dress with pearls. They were walking around the yard as we worked, holding hands and commenting on the heat and wondering how we were surviving let alone getting any work done.  By the end of the first day, the entire team was already exhausted and drained from the constant oppressive heat and the volume of fluids we had lost and let dry on our skin like a dusty salt crust.

As we loaded up the truck that day, we stood beside the house downing bottles of water as fast as we could swallow them. We quickly realized that we would need at least twice as much as we had brought that day.  Seeing us sweltering in the heat, the lady of the house made her way over and clucked her tongue in that way that only former teachers can when she realized we had rapidly ran out of any source of hydration. She told us not to worry about the next day as she would make sure we had more than enough water to keep us wet.

The next morning dawned impossibly hotter than the previous.  You could almost feel the moisture rising from the ground and crawling over your skin like a horrible teenage kiss. You know the kind. Those kisses where you simply endeavored to get as much of your saliva in, on, or around the mouth and face of who ever you were kissing.

What? Was that just me? Huh. Guess that explains that grade nine to grade eleven dry spell. I always attributed it to my horribly bad mullet and teen Tom Selleck mustache.

As soon as we ascended the ladders and got to work, the entire team stood looking at each other as we watched a pile of shingles literally melt and fuse themselves together. We had to be mildly insane to even be attempting to work in this heat but the job had to get done. By the time the heat really began to intensify, the lady of the house appeared with a cooler full of ice and more bottles of water than you could count. We attacked the frigid liquid like a pack of hyenas and took much delight in spraying each other with handfuls of ice-cold water.  As hot as it was, the water raised instant goosebumps on any patch of skin it touched.

It also served to let us know exactly how hot we really were so we decided to call our day to an early end.  We persevered through the heat despite the heat coming off the shingles sizzling the skin on our hips and ass cheeks through our thick denim pants.  We were dirty, sweaty and almost delirious from the heat as we stood in the driveway watching the rippling waves of heat shine off the surfaces we had just finished.

The lady of the house walked out from under the awning she had been shading herself under and walked towards us.

” It’s a little warm isn’t it?”, She asked as we packed away our gear.

” Yes,” I replied ” It really is just too hot to try to get much more done.”

” Well, I can cool you all off,” She said with a flirtatious look from behind her horn rim librarian glasses ” All of you line up and I will hose you off with the garden hose.”

I was stunned. I wasn’t sure if she was joking and my team looked nervously at me to see what my reaction would be.

” Honestly, I think the cold water will stop my heart,” I replied only to see her smile falter. I didn’t want to disappoint her and quite frankly I was being paid to be there I did the only thing I could. I tore off my shirt and took the hose from her. I then proceeded to wash the dirt and sweat from my body as she stepped back to watch. I mean this lady was so old that she was likely a student in Shakespeare’s drama class but that didn’t mean she was too old to want to see virile young men hosed down like a personal wet t-shirt contest. So I turned the hose towards my guys only to see them scramble away from the bitterly cold water.

I chased a few of them around much to her delight and even managed to get a couple of them with the hose before returning it to her. She laughed and clapped her hands a little as she wound up the hose. I mean to her,my whole team likely looked like this –

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But in my mind we likely looked a bit more like this –

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It’s rainin’ men. Hallelujah.

The Man of Steel Story

As a child, we all idolize our parents in some form or another. Be it mannerisms, speech patterns or behaviors, for good or for bad we learn most of what we will ever learn from the environment we grow up in.

My dad was and always will be my hero and mentor. The fact he has been gone for over eight years doesn’t diminish the impact he had in my formative years. In fact, if I had to blame anyone, I would say the steady diet of Rambo movies we watched together and the fact he shared my love of comic books but secretly would never tell anyone despite the fact I knew he read them especially when he would put them back in the wrong order or subtly try to influence what I would pick up on new comic day were the largest contributing factor into my not so minimal hero complex. He too was a run to the rescue kind of guy.

As much as I often dreaded the Saturday mornings he would ask me to go to work with him when I was growing up, as I got older I began to understand it was just as much as excuse to spend time with me as it was anything else. A reason I myself would use later on as my kids got older. Once they realized they actually got paid to spend time with me they asked much more frequently to come to work with me.

I relented the one weekend and let them both come with me. My son, who by now was as big as any of my guys yet ten years younger, went with my brother and the rest of the team to finish up a small job and clean up a job site and I took my daughter with me to set up a very small cottage job. On the way there, the material delivery driver called to say he would be late showing up. I figured that gave me plenty of time to get the job started before the rest of the team showed up. I got my ladder set up and started removing the shingles before I saw my daughters head poke up over the edge of the roof.

Now, I know what you’re thinking and yes I am a terrible parent. I let her up on the roof with me. You have to understand she wasn’t going to be denied in that arms crossed over her chest, head tilted down, looking just over the top of her glasses, scowling kind of way and I really can’t say no to her. She was even more mad that I wouldn’t let her use a nail gun and actually put shingles on but I had to draw the line somewhere. I would have rather let her try to juggle flaming chain saws than have her shoot herself with one of those.

The rest of the team had shown up by this point and we were still waiting for the delivery driver. The sun had come out and turned what was once a hard packed driveway into a soupy mess and I was worried about getting my trailer stuck on the way out with it loaded down. A couple of phone calls later and we heard the crane truck rumbling down the small road. With a shake of my head at the lateness of the delivery, I watched as the five ton truck pulled into the driveway, swerved around my truck and promptly slid off the edge of the driveway and sunk up to the top of the tires into the swampy ground.

” You have got to be fucking kidding me!,” I exclaimed as I flew down the ladder to survey the damage. The truck was way overloaded with weight as not only did it have my material  but over three tons of concrete for another delivery.  My daughter was on the ground and I   walked over sure she wasn’t anywhere near the truck when they tried to move it. As I walked her away from the driveway, she looked back over her shoulder and summed the situation up quite nicely.

” Yep, they’re fucked,” She said as she reached out and took my hand. I stopped dead in my tracks and did the only thing I could. I laughed my ass off and high-fived her. Hey, its my job site not Sunday School.

I backed my large truck up and attached a couple of tow ropes to the nose of the slowly sinking truck. Using some boards I had from another job and slid them as far as we could under the tires to help with traction. With a deep sigh, I slid behind the wheel of my truck as my daughter climbed into the passenger’s seat. Her eyes were expectant and I wasnt sure I could pull this one off. We had unloaded as much of the material as we could but the truck was still massive and very stuck. With a rumble of the engine behind me and I howl of my own engine, I snapped my truck into four-wheel drive and buried the pedal.

With a squeal of smoking tires and a groan of the tow rope, the truck shifted slightly. It wasn’t working. I turned and looked at my daughter and told her to roll down her window.

” If they would give it some fucking gas it might come out,” I sighed as I rubbed my palm on my face. Without missing a beat my daughter stuck her head out the window.

” My dad says give it some fucking gas!” she yelled.

The delivery driver busted out laughing and waved at her. I just shook my head and floored the gas again. The truck shifted and with a shuddering heave and clods of flying muck we pulled it free and out to the main road.  My daughter laughed and we high-fived again.  She called my wife at that point to come pick her up. She had enough for one day and the real excitement was over. She was bursting to tell the story and over a few tellings like all stories it became bigger. By the time she made it to school on Monday I actually think she was telling people I pulled the truck out with my bare hands. I didn’t do anything to discourage her because it’s not like many kids have dads that pull trucks out of the mud bare handed or dressed like this –

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