The Bummer Blog.

September 27, 2008

When I was growing up, there were only a few kids of similar age on the block that I played with. Two of which I consider family since I spent as much time with them as I did at home. But they were the only constant playmates of my young life. The rest either fell out of favor with my parents, we grew apart, or they moved. However, I’ve been thinking about the old block quite a bit lately, and one particular childhood friend keeps punctuating my thoughts. His name was…well…we’ll call him John.

Now, John floated in and out of my life for about five years–lets say, from the ages of 6 to 11. He was a couple of years older and as such, was always just a little bigger and smarter. So, any games that we would play, he dominated. At some point, he outgrew my company, and I only saw him in passing. John didn’t have a large effect on my life. In fact, I wouldn’t think of him much at all except that, at the age of 16, John committed suicide.

The story goes that John had just gotten over a bad case of mono, which had kept him bedridden for months. Feeling the taste of freedom again, he stayed out all night with his girlfriend, presumably without telling his parents. When he got home–I suppose he must have had some excuse, staying over at a friend’s place maybe?–his parents promptly confronted him. They had somehow found out his whereabouts and had grounded him. He went upstairs and…that was it.

I remember watching the ambulance from my pantry window. It stayed in front of his house for a long while. A list of scenarios went through my mind at first–someone had a heart attack, an accident, etc. But the longer it stayed there, the clearer it was that this was far more serious. I turned to my mother, and, I don’t know why this particular scenario had stuck in my head, maybe I had fed off subliminal clues, but I mused aloud, “I wonder if John committed suicide.” Later that day, of course, we found out that he had.

I was really disappointed in myself because I didn’t feel a whole lot. I supposed that I should feel something–that it was appropriate in these situations to feel deeply and darkly. I thought something must be wrong with me. I know now that, that isn’t the case. John and I weren’t close. Still, I think, there must have been good times right? But to be completely honest, I can’t remember any. Maybe that says something about the way memory is formed. Maybe we remember the terrible better than the good? Or maybe he was just a dick. I don’t know. But here are a list of my distinct memories.

1 – He stole my Micromachines. I remember, when I was a child, I didn’t quite grasp the concept of the word “trade.” I thought it was something comparable to “borrow.” So, one time, John came over with his beat up Micromachines and offered to trade me some of his. I made clear that this was for a limited time, but he kept using the word trade. I’m sure that, to him, that word was binding somehow . So, even if he knew that I wasn’t intentionally giving him my toys, he was going to take them anyways. Trying to impress him, I offered up my finest Micromachines for his worst. Several months later, when I tried to get my Micromachines back, he pretended not to remember “trading” anything at all. So, I was left in my driveway, my Micromachines in a McDonald’s Halloween pumpkin bucket, crying–my mother standing in disbelief. But, to her credit, she didn’t interfere, and I learned quite a bit from that encounter.

2 – I ruined his magic trick. On a bus ride to school, John was trying to impress some of the lower grade kids with a card trick. He put a card in a box, shook it up, and voila, it was gone. I figured that if the back of the card was white, it could still be in the box, unnoticed. I asked him to show us the back of the card. He blew up and told me I ruined his trick.

3 – He never let me borrow Nintendo games. I don’t know if you grew up in the ’80s or not, but Nintendo games were something that you passed around. You put your name on that bitch and swapped Zelda for Megaman, then you eventually returned it. Hell, my Nintendo collection is STILL mixed with my friends games and theirs with mine. John had one game that I coveted-Karnov. Karnov was about a fucking genie or some shit who looked like he shot fireballs from his armpits. It was a poor mans Mario. But it was still pretty fun. I kept asking him what in my collection he would like, so that I could borrow his game. He kept telling me to bring stuff over and he would decide. After weeks of this, I decided that my only chance was to bring over my three best games to swap. He still refused. It was at that point that I realized that he had no intention of lending my game. Was it out of spite, or a genuine fear that I would steal his game?

All of my memories of John are like this. He forced me to watch a scary movie. He wouldn’t tell me what happened on a television show until I could ask in proper English. I just think, that can’t be all, can it? There HAS to be something more. We were just kids. I’m sure that my memories don’t paint a proper picture of John. I didn’t think of him as a bully then, or now for that matter. There has to be something else… I wish I knew more about him. Now I can only look back, ten years older than he was when he died.

Your undivided attention.

September 26, 2008

Just to be straight–this blog is not a “theme blog,” nor is it a blog where I write quirky reviews about pop culture goings on. I’m not here to write emo poetry to the 13 to 15 year old sad-kid demographic. I am only blogging to entertain myself. That means that you will be subjected to the whims of my tangential psyche–thoughts, memories, failures, lolcats, weekend wrap-ups, shenanigans, things I find hilarious, things I find marginally funny, things that aren’t amusing but I find amusing because I made you look at them, things that disgust me, and perhaps the occasional recipe.

Let’s get this thing started, shall we?

Why is it that every small town church I drive by feels the need to preach at me from a roadside sign? Your sign should give information to your congregation, not try and save my immortal soul in passing. I mean yes, it’s better than you knocking on my door during dinner time when I’m watching the fuckinggameGOAWAY! But still. If I wanted to buy into your way of life, I would buy a button down shirt and pretend to pray for an hour in the back pew while checking out all the “unattainable” hotties in the front rows whilst trying to send them psychic messages of passion with my frontal cortex.

Ok. Now let’s pretend that these roadside signs are something that I view with an open mind (I don’t, but we’re pretending remember?). Please get better writers. Seriously. “Soul have cavities? Brush with God!” Really…? I understand that it is extremely difficult to distill an entire philosophy into a single sentence…but uh…maybe you should rethink your approach.

This is called a Kentucky beatdown where I'm from!

This is called a Kentucky beat down where I'm from! (not Kentucky)

I mean, technically the sign doesn’t lie. If one person is not quarrelling it’s generally called “assault” or “an ass kicking.” I get it–turn the other cheek and all that. But surely if attacked, Jesus would have laid the assailant out with a right cross (see what I did there? <— high five?). This same sign, on my way home from work, encouraged me to “Bark less, wag more (translation: less talking, more shaking that ass!)”

I mean, I’ve been called a dog in many different contexts before, but it seems more appropriate to have oh… I don’t know…quotes from the Bible on a sign? It’s been supplying religious zealots with indefensible logic for 2000 years!

USC Fan: Man, I don’t know if USC is going to pull this one out.

Religious Zealot: “And Jesus said unto them…, “‘If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.'”

USC Fan: Yeah…wait, what? AH DAMMIT! WE LOST!

Religious Zealot: Apparently they didn’t have the faith of a mustard seed!

USC Fan: I hate you so fucking much.

If not Bible quotes, I have another idea for a sign that might draw people to services on Sunday.

FAAAALCOOOOR!!!

YEEEAAAH!!!

OR

Actual Photo

Eat it evolution!

Now that’s the way to get your point accross.

I am the most interesting guy you know.