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Broken

Most days, I fool myself into believing that I’m above the emotion of it all. Most days, I walk around feeling that I’m psychologically invulnerable. Most days, I repress the horrific stuff that I see.

Some days, I can’t.

Some days, the façade cracks off, and I sit here, alone, not knowing how to deal with it. Some days, I get a glance at how miserable and horrible and motherfucking cruel life can be, and it corrodes my heart.

Goddamn it.

Earlier today, I sat next to a teenaged girl, a pretty girl, a bright girl. You’d look at her, and you’d envy the life she has in front of her. You’d envy what she’ll accomplish. You’d look at her, and you’d fall prey to the illusion of her feigned happiness.

You’d look at her, and you’d have not a fucking clue that, a few days ago, she ate two bottles of pills, hoping that it would crush the life you think you envy.

She’d have eaten more, if she’d had more, but she didn’t. Still, she figured it would be enough. In that moment, the culmination of years of depression and adolescent angst and teenaged cruelty and parental indifference, she figured it would be enough. But it wasn’t.

She woke up the next morning, and it wasn’t enough. And she was surprised. And she was angry.

She was angry, angry because she woke up. Angry, because the pills hadn’t killed her. Angry, because she was still here, a miserable fucking failure. And she felt that way today, as I sat there, three feet away, expressionless.

Because I’m the professional.

Because I have to keep it together when everyone else is falling apart.

And I do. Because I’m professional. And because I can. But goddamn it, some days, this shit destroys me.

I just kept thinking about how broken she was. She sat there, expressionless, both of us expressionless, and told me about how her life had imploded. It hadn’t, really, not from a literal perspective, but really, her perception is the only reality that matters.

Her reality is the only one that mattered, when she ate those pills, and woke up, angry to be alive.

She sat there, calmly, and talked to me about the rumors at school. The unfounded rumors, being known as a whore, as a druggy, as a drunk. She’s never touched a drop of alcohol. She’s never been around drugs. She’s never been sexually active. But who gives a fuck? The kids in her school don’t. That’s what they hear, and that’s what they think, so that’s what they tell her. Because, to her, their perception is the reality. Their perception is the only reality that matters.

And because she lives in a small town, a hick town, a town where some little adolescent cunt can spread rumors about an innocent girl and make the whole school think those rumors are true, she has no hope. She has no future. She has no escape.

Her life is broken. And I saw that, I saw that, carved into her face, as she sat there, expressionless, and talked to me about how badly she wanted to be dead.

Of course, because I’m the professional, I get to be the strong one. Because I can hold it together in the face of absolute and complete misery, I get to be the one to share the news. Because I can sit there, expressionless, I get to be the one to share the news.

I get to be the one to tell the mother of a 15 year old girl, and my daughter will be 15 much quicker than I’ll be able to prevent, I get to be the one to tell the mother of a 15 year old girl that her daughter, with all of her hopes and dreams and desires, wants nothing more than to be dead.

And I sat there, expressionless, and watched as my words sucked the life out of a mother. I watched a mother, who’d previously thought herself a strong woman, stunned. I watched a woman, a mother, destroyed, in front of my eyes. And, because I’m the professional, I’m the one that needed to destroy her. It wasn’t me, really, but for this mother, it was. And, for this mother, her perception is the only reality that matters.

Motherfuck me, I wish I was just writing this as some dramatic exercise. I wish I didn’t see what I saw today, what I see every day. I wish I didn’t have the fear, the soul crushing terror, that my daughter, my beautiful, amazing daughter, might someday have to face this. I wish I didn’t have the fear that my daughter, who has the entire universe at her fingertips, might someday think that her only solution lies in as many pills as she can cram down her throat.

I wish I didn’t fear being that parent, having my heart shredded as someone sits across from me, expressionless, telling me that my daughter wants to be dead. I wish I didn’t have the realization that life is cruel, and that control is a farce, and that after all of our efforts, all we can do is roll the dice and hope for the best.

I wish I didn’t, but I do. And tomorrow, I’ll go to work. At some point, I’ll sit there, expressionless, and keep my shit together, because I have to, and because I can. Please, for fuck’s sake, do not take any of this as a joke. Please, don’t take the time you have with your kids for granted.

Please.

Please.

….all the normal rules apply.”

Trust me: you will learn to love this phrase.

Back in the day, my buddy and I came up with an amusing game to pass the time, an exercise combining psychology, philosophy and straight up immaturity. The concept is simple. You’re locked in a room with two people. You have to have sex with one of them. Which do you pick, and why?

There are a few simple rules, all of which apply, all the time.

1.  Saying “both” or “neither” is not acceptable. Under the rules, which are inflexibly carved into granite, you have to have sex with one of them. If you don’t, you and everyone close to you will be struck by lightning immediately and die grisly, ash filled deaths. While he didn’t invent the game, God is with me on this one, and will not hesitate to smite the motherfucker who attempts to break this rule.

2.  No-disease clause–even if the person in question is known to have ten different STDs and an active case of dysentery, you are fully immune.

3.  Most importantly, you absolutely have to provide the rationale for your choice.

It works much better if you pick non-obvious contestants. Sure, you can pick between George Clooney and Brad Pitt, or maybe Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie, but really, where’s the fun in that? It’s far more interesting to debate the merits of having to pick between two people about whom you likely won’t have masturbatory fantasies.

Example: “RADventures, you’re in a room. All the normal rules apply. Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum?”

An interesting dilemma, as each definitely has their merits. Mitt Romney is ridiculously wealthy and has great hair. He also appeals to my desire to bag me some Mormon tail. However, I have to give the edge to Rick Santorum, primarily because of his rampant homophobia. We all know that the most pronounced homophobes are thinly-veiled, one-step-out-of-the-closet-homosexuals. Since Rick Santorum clearly knows his way around a blow job, I’m picking him. Oh, and won’t it be fun to brag to everyone about how you got an actual sample of Santorum, straight from the source himself? No contest: Santorum all the way.

Men, women, animals, inanimate objects, real folks, cartoon characters, alive, dead….nothing is off limits. Well, except for the one time I started the game with a loved one, only to find her horrified when I asked her to pick between her father and her mother. She never did answer. Rulebreaker.

So that’s the game. I give you the choices. You respond in the comments with the rationale for your choice clearly laid out. And, just to get things started, I’ll give you three sets of choices. Pick from any or all of them.

You’re in a room. All the normal rules apply.

—Madonna or Demi Moore, neither wearing makeup or with recent access to plastic surgery/Botox?

—Tim Tebow or Jesus Christ?

—Snoopy or Garfield?

Happy Monday.

You think you’re a tough guy. You may bench press 500 pounds. Perhaps you’re a ninja, fileting a person with throwing stars while simultaneously firing lightning bolts out of your ass. It doesn’t matter.

Because, really, when it comes to dealing with the pair of determined Mormons knocking at your door, you’re just as much of a coward as I am.

Join our church, sinner.

If you’re being honest, you’ll admit that you handle your biannual Mormon visits the same way I do: you hide, army crawling into the basement and locking yourself in the safe room for 5 or 6 hours until the coast is clear. There is no shame in this, even if you soil yourself as you wait for them to leave. It’s the only logical response.

Unfortunately, as I recently discovered, your avoidance is futile. If they don’t convert you while you’re living, they’ll catch up with you in the afterlife. There is no escape. They will find you. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Mormon Church, proudly baptizing dead people for generations.

I guess there’s some loophole in the Bible that allows Mormons to baptize people post mortem. To a Mormon trying to boost his recruitment numbers, Dead Mormon Baptism (DMB) is a useful discovery. Back in the day, you’d knock on fifty doors, getting a single person to agree to a follow up visit. The next week, you’d return to find that he’s burned his home to the ground and fled the country to avoid detection. Now, you just need to find a willing volunteer over the age of twelve to serve as a proxy for the dead person in question, and BAP! You’ve just been DMB’d!

Let’s say that you really dug the show Diff’rent Strokes as a kid. You think, “That Arnold kid was soooooooooo hilarious. He was sooooooooo cute, always trying to figure out what Willis was talking about. He should totally be Mormon.” You find a volunteer, drive them to the nearest Temple, and baptize them in the name of Arnold. On this planet, the volunteer towels off and goes home. In the afterlife, BAP! Gary Coleman, you’ve just been DMB’d!

Wha'choo talkin' bout, Mitt Romney?

You don’t have to have any previous ties to the Mormon faith to be DMB’d, and in doing my research, I found an eclectic mix of dead Mormons. George Carlin? Replace those seven dirty words with seven divine ones, “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” BAP! You’ve just been DMB’d. Pope John Paul II? Sorry about that eighty years of celibacy, homie, you’ve just been DMB’d. Rapper Eazy-E? He’s spitting rhymes in the afterlife with his new group, M.W.A.: Mormonz Wit Attitudes, courtesy of DMB.

They’ve been particularly enthusiastic about DMB’ing the Jews. After all, what better way to demonstrate your sensitivity to the horrors of the Holocaust than by performing DMBs on thousands of its victims?

Well intentioned Mormon: “Mr. Schindler, do you mind if I make a copy of your list? From where I’m sitting, I see a pretty hefty batch of future DMBs.”

Schindler: “You’re a monster.”

Mormon, smiling widely: “Don’t worry, don’t worry….we’ll get you, too. It’s kind of like Jello: there’s always room for more DMB!”

Surprisingly, this has generated some controversy. You’ll be tickled to learn that, alongside legions of Jewish folks, a certain evil, closeted homosexual with a tacky mustache has also become a corpse Mormon. Adolf Hitler? I’ve got your master race right here–you’ve just been DMB’d!” I’m no theological expert, but I’m pretty sure if you’re trying to expand your appeal to people of Jewish faith, inviting Hitler to be a part of your polygamous fraternity may not be the best P.R. move. Just sayin’.

I mean, isn’t that a tad awkward? Imagine Anne Frank (another proud DMB’er), having a latte at her local DMBbucks, when in walks Hitler, ordering a Venti Caramel Macchiato with four Splendas and vegan milk. I have to think this has the potential for some animosity.

Anne Frank: “Motherfucker, I spent two years in an attic because of you. The only reason I got caught in the first place was because of those fucking Mormons, knocking on the attic door and leaving their pamphlets on the Welcome mat. I looked out to see who was there, and a few of those Aryan assholes saw me. I should kick your ass right now, DMB or no DMB.”

Hitler: “My bad. Can I get you a biscotti? The almond one is delish.”

Come to think of it, I’m starting to get pissed thinking about this. Twelve years of Catholic education? No longer relevant. Attendance at countless Sunday masses hung over like you read about? Needless suffering. Living my entire life believing that every time I masturbate, God kills a puppy? The guilt I’ve carried about this for decades, all for naught.

On a positive note, fellow sufferers, feel free to indulge in those things you gave up for Lent this year. Drink a keg of beer, eat an entire pig on Friday, and engage in random acts of sodomy. Who cares? Since the DMB is apparently your Get Out of Jail Free card, you may as well get your fill. Cheers.

Future Mormons.

P.S. To any random Mormon who stumbles across this, relax. Take the joke, I’m just fucking around (mostly). Besides, after that shit you pulled with gay marriage in CA, you kind of had it coming, don’tcha think? BAP! You’ve just been RADventured! Peace.

Not long ago, a pleasant gentleman gingerly stepped into my place of business. He announced his presence at the front desk, and then promptly requested assistance removing the bottle he’d accidentally stuffed up his own ass.

Yep, you read that correctly.  This avid environmentalist chugged a beer and then recycled the empty into his holiest-of-holy-holes. He even went for the gusto on this one, as he planted it fat end first. Yowza.

Feel free to take a moment to adjust uncomfortably in your seat while you ponder that image, forever seared into your skull. That’s awesome.

You’ll forgive me if I’ve been a bit distracted. If you walked around every day with that memory, and a thousand others like it, you might have some initial challenges in refocusing, too.

Fuck it, though. Life is good. Life is fucking absurd, but it’s good.

Can you imagine the expression on the dude’s face, a millisecond after he realized he’d lost the bottle up his colon? The thought, “Ohhhhh, dude….this is tragically bad right now.”

How would I explain that to Mary, exactly?

Mary: “Hey, I couldn’t help but notice this hospital bill for emergency rectal surgery. Something you need to share?”

Roy: “Not enough roughage in my diet, apparently.”

Mary: “Wait…this note says you had a bottle jammed up your ass…WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?”

Roy: “I love you, baby. We’ll get through this.”

I’ll be hollering back soon.

It’s time to rip shit up.

 

 

 

Alexander the Great

A few months ago, I attended a Catholic wake.

As is customary at these events, I walked past a line of family members of the deceased. One by one, I offered my sincerest condolences, stopping at the head of the line to hug the parents of the person that died too soon. I wanted to say something, anything, that might provide them some measure of comfort in their time of grief. Of course, the only thing I could offer was, “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

Because, really…what do you say to the couple who have just lost their son after a lengthy, excruciating battle with cancer?

What do you say when you look inside the open casket, and see the body of a 20-month-old boy?

Of course, all you can really say is, “I’m so sorry,” and then shut the fuck up, silently mourning their loss and despairing for the patent lack of fairness when two wonderful people lose their only child.

And then, when the dust settles, you emerge with a determination to do something, anything, to help.

This weekend, my oldest and closest friend, Brian, is riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge. Every year for the last bunch of years, he’s trained for months, riding hundreds and hundreds of miles to prepare himself for the PMC, which raises money to fight cancer. Each rider races for a particular individual or set of individuals who have been stricken down by this plague.

This year, Brian is racing for a number of children, including the 20-month-old boy I last saw a few months ago. This boy’s name is Alexander Whipple, also known by his happy moniker, Alexander the Great.

Alexander’s mom, Nancy, has set up a blog of her own, The Cookie Gal. Check it out, as she has some good ideas how to donate money and/or time for a number of causes, particularly for the eradication of cancer.

I don’t ride a bike, and I’m not adept at fundraising. However, I do have a voice, and I can use that voice to bring attention to those cause which merit your collective efforts. If you have the means, consider donating to the PMC or comparable charities. If money is tight, consider donating blood platelets. Sure, you’re afraid of needles, but get the fuck over it. Maybe it will be my kid that needs these platelets at some point.

Maybe it will be yours.

Most of the time, this blog is my escape. It’s a place where I can focus on life’s absurdities, and more importantly, it’s a place where I can laugh. This is the first time I’ve used it as a bully pulpit to remind people, including myself, that the slightest gesture by many can make an enormous difference for the better. This is the first time I’ve elected to be a cheerleader for a cause like this.

It won’t be the last.

Much love to all, and to Alexander the Great, sleep well, little man.

Recently, my buddy Chris asked me out on a man-date. I graciously accepted. Is Roy celebrating a mid-life crisis by hurtling out of the closet and embracing his inner diva princess?

Sorry to disappoint, but it’s nothing that salacious. We’re going to head out fishing. Aquatic wildlife shall be slain. Beer will be consumed. At some point, flatulence will enter the fray. You call this grunt fest two Neanderthals getting back to their prehistoric roots, before the whole “walking upright” thing came into vogue.

I call it the early stages of a bromance.

Fellas, you may be thinking, “Gosh, I’d like to start me one of these new-fangled bromances, but I have no idea where to begin.” Luckily for you, I have some answers.

STEP ONE: Meet another dude in a non-threatening environment, preferably one in which some of your manly tendencies are on display.

Work is a good starting place for most.  A few well-timed comments about sports, anecdotes about a bachelor party you once attended, or a hushed tone as you implore your male colleague to check out the rack on that hot 22-year-old temp….all of these are effective icebreakers at the onset of your bromance.

If your workplace suffers from a testosterone deficit (as mine did over the past six years), all is not lost. Family activities are equally acceptable, particularly if said activity is something that your average fellow wouldn’t otherwise consider if family wasn’t present.

In my case, this activity was regular attendance at my daughter’s dance class. Imagine, a beautiful Saturday morning. Two dozen little girls (and one little dude) displaying their dancing prowess by jumping up and down on a wooden floor while wearing extraordinarily loud tap shoes. It’s like they have little anvils in the heels of their shoes, each step resulting in shattered windows and ultimately forming the epicenter of a mid-level earthquake.

Not fun, especially if you’ve had a lively Friday evening. Word to the wise: do not attend an early morning dance class if you are ragingly hungover.  However, your problems will dissipate as you look around and realize, “Hey…that dude looks in even worse shape than I am. Perhaps I’ll go over and commiserate.”

Without any real effort, your simple query, “Hey man…rough night, huh?” will result in a slight nod, an even slighter smile, and the thought, “Hey, this guy seems cool enough.”  The seeds of a bromance are planted.

STEP TWO: Attend a group outing with your prospective bromancee.

After some innocuous interactions at the original meeting place, it’s time to see how things go in another environment. It’s too early for a full-fledged man date, because really, you barely know the dude. He seems cool enough, but maybe he’s just sizing you up, contemplating the time when he will brutally slaughter you and your entire family with an axe. Mom didn’t raise a fool, so you want to explore a group outing, preferably in a public place. Safety is maintained, and with a family activity, you always have an out if things suck.

Example One: “Hey dude, we’re having a great time, but I’m pretty sure Olivia is allergic to playground equipment. We need to go before she swells up like an old-style zeppelin. Did you see what happened to the Hindenburg? Not pretty.”

Example Two: “Hey dude, I’m having a great time, but Mary’s in a pissy mood, so we’re going to have to split. Women. Probably a bit of the PMS in action.”

Child health and the wrath of hormonal, tempestuous spouses: two Get Out of Jail Free cards, redeemable at any uncomfortable group setting.

With any luck, you’ll have a few hours to determine the character and motivation of the prospective bromancee. If he’s an obvious douche, you’ll suddenly find yourself unable to attend the next family gathering, either because of “last minute work stuff” or because “I think Olivia may have given me leprosy.” You do that a few times, he’ll get the message.

If he’s cool, then you’re ready for the next step.

STEP THREE: Someone delicately broaches the subject of the man-date.

This is the most difficult part of the process, in my estimation. The man-date must be approached in a precise manner, and certain topics need to be clarified right up front.  If you ask a dude on a man-date, there are three possible outcomes:

1.  He thinks you’re a cool dude, was contemplating asking about the man-date himself, and happily accepts;

2.  He’s homophobic, interprets your request for a man-date as an invitation for a blow job, and immediately runs you down with his truck;

3.  He secretly digs dudes, believes you share his romantic preferences, and suggests watching Brokeback Mountain at his home theater while your respective wives and children are out of town. You’re forced to decline, citing a rare medical condition which renders you unable to watch movies, as the moving pictures cause you to have Grand Mal seizures.

Here’s an actual example of the dialogue leading up to my impending man-date, quoted directly from our Facebook messages.

“Now the serious shit – I see you hike or have hiked at one point…. I love hiking with people that do not complain……for some reason (my wife and daughter) feel I have strategically designed the trails and such to fuck with their hiking capabilities thus wearing them out! God I am such a dick for that, right…I am down for a hiking trip! I guess this is my way of asking you out on a non-gay date….huh-huh-huh…..see back to girls they have it easy….going to the movies or some shit is easy and even if it had gay tendencies that is considered “fucking sweet” (most times). So yeah….hangin’ out totally cool. Even if you both want to come over some night and chill that’s fine.  Let me know….”

Let’s highlight some elements of Chris’s message. He references hiking, pitching it as a manly activity that is strenuous but nothing too daunting, like running an Ironman Triathlon. He emphasizes the manliness by noting the challenges of hiking with his wife and daughter. He uses the word “date” but qualifies it as “non-gay” to assuage any homophobic concerns I might have.  He offers the alternative of hanging out at his place, adding that I am free to bring my wife to ensure the non-sexual nature of his request. Either that, or he’s grooming us to join a swinger’s club. Regardless, he’s covered his bases nicely.

My response:

“As far as the man-date, fuck yes, yes let’s make this happen. I’ve run into the same problem with hiking….I’m apparently an inconsiderate fuckwad with the audacity of having a longer stride than Mary. So, even when we’re walking at the same pace, I gradually start to drift ahead, not even knowing. This, of course, is typically perceived by Mary as proof that I don’t love her and have no interest in being with her. One day we’ll chat about the hike I took with Mary at Yosemite National Park, a place of wondrous beauty which I saw less of because we were screaming at each other. I love my wife, Chris, I truly do, but…you understand.”

I voice my approval, and am quick to point out that I, too, have experienced spousal stress while hiking. Bonding over the shared annoyance our spouses display toward us is an effective building block for a bromance. I emphasize my love for my wife, not only to be a good guy, but to affirm my heterosexuality as well. If you’re going to be hiking a remote trail with some dude, he’ll be comforted to know you’re not spending the entire time daydreaming about his junk.

I continue:

What’s cool, too, is that Mary will be so happy I have a friend to hang out, I’ll be able to get away with more than usual. (Our wives) will think it’s both cute and adorable that we’re hanging out, and will view us spending time together the same way they view (our daughters) having a play date. 

His response:

“Woman are great they treat us like little children when we are married.  So I get the comparison to (our daughters playing)! That’s cool it will make the “gay tendencies of a man-date” just that much more easy to swallow! 

In this exchange, we have both regressed further into adolescence. We’re going to hang out, and relish being able to get away with even more boorish behavior than usual because our wives will find it cute.  We also have to reiterate that this is in no way to be considered a romantic date.

And then I fire the big guns with my final, multi-tiered response:

I really dig Freudian slips. Like, when a dude writes, “It will make the gay tendencies of a man-date just that much more easy to swallow.” Typically, my man-dates don’t involve swallowing until the third date. If you’re looking for anything more than some heavy petting on the first date, we’re probably going to have to slow things down.

Gay innuendos aside (and really, what’s gayer than the word “innuendo?” “Hey, where are you trying to stick that thing?” “Well gosh, I was trying to stick in you end, oh?”) I really dig fishing, and have some gear. I don’t go out nearly enough, don’t even have a license for NH, but would be stoked to get out there to drop a line. Fishing is one of best activities in existence…it’s an activity, so you’re doing something, but it’s low key and stress free, so that even if you didn’t catch shit, hey, you can claim you did something that day and feel great about yourself.

First, I have to show off some semblance of intelligence by mentioning Freud. Next, I get crass, which impresses most dudes. I affirm my love for fishing, a manly and primal activity. Finally, I wax poetic with my philosophical ruminations about fishing. I’ve represented myself well in all spheres of importance here.

We wrap things up by exchanging cell phone numbers, primarily so we can say things like, “Hey, hit me up on my cell when you want to hit the dusty trail. We’ll grab some brews, let the broads do their thing and get our chill on.”

Every so often, a blog comment is so stellar, it deserves its own place at the head of the line. Social Assassin, it’s time to be recognized.

A few months ago, on a beer-fueled whim, I wrote a post in which I openly waged lyrical beef against William Shakespeare. Admittedly, it was a preposterous concept, but I had fun with it. I even filmed a video, with my man DJ Randy Boyer providing the original beats.

In the States, making fun of the Bard is just harmless tomfoolery. In the UK, you can slaughter an entire village of orphaned amputees and get off with a stern warning, but mocking William Shakespeare is a capital offense. A few days after the original post, I received a comment from a friend of mine in the Isle of Wight, England.

His name is Kevin Crews. He calls himself the Social Assassin. And his comment is the best of any I’ve received on this blog.

Well sit back, relax, chill out and unwind,
The Assassin is back with an axe to grind,
So step off, you don’t want what’s about to take place here,
Throwing down to defend my homie Will Shakespeare,
Who’s come under attack from some punk-ass player,
Who seems to think that it’s perfectly fair,
To savage his skills and deride his prose,
And mock the way ‘Old Will’ delivers his flows,
A pretty cheap shot from an amateur scribbler,
With the lyrical content of a two-year-old dribbler,
Picking Shakespeare as your target struck me as odd,
That’s like Vanilla Ice trying to hot-box with God,
‘Cause let me make this plain and it’s just how it goes,
Will can fuck up his critics and still chill with the ho’s,
When it comes to scoring poontang Will’s no freakin’ amateur,
Drives the women wild with his Iambic Pentameter,
They line up round the block seeking Big Willy’s pleasure,
And he gives every one of them ‘Measure for Measure’,
He’s most flash with the cash, dressed in svelte finery,
With his quill on the left side to keep his pimp hand free,
Covered in glory and swimming in riches,
Even Queen Elizabeth I used to be one of his bitches,
She singled him out for royal patronage and attention,
And he paid her back in ways that a gent does not mention,
He beat both Wordsworth and Byron at a tavern rap battle,
Firing off rhyming couplets to make the alehouse rattle,
Some playwrights tried to diss him while he was well on it,
But he mowed those playa’s down with a drive-by sonnet,
In ‘The Tempest’ of his lyrics others writers quail in terror,
Your whole attack on Will was ‘A Comedy of Errors’,
You need the witches from Hamlet to come ferry you,
To the lyrical cemetery where ya’ momma gonna bury you,
How are we supposed to take you seriously, I ask,
RADventures and your pansy little fluffy pink mask,
That you borrowed from Puck in Midsummer’s Night Dream,
(The later abridged and edited homosexual scene),
The author of the legendary ‘Julius Caesar’,
Makes your rap sound like Will Smith in the middle of a seizure,
Show my homie Will a target, you know he’s gonna whack it,
Whilst your rhymes sound like they came from a cereal packet,
So next time you walk the block tryin’ to rep’ that you’re hard,
Throwing your weight around and calling out The Bard,
Remember that each challenge can come with a cost,
And be careful you don’t end up with ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’,
So retract your statement that the Bard’s words stank,
For butcher’s of Our language you should check yourself, Yank,
At least our nation remembers just how to pronounce,
Hell, enough with this Radventures fool, homies I’ve gotta bounce,
I’m meeting Shakespeare later, all up in ‘Da Club’,
There’s some bitches getting hot in there looking for the rub,
So peace out to my brethren, time to head outta sight,
We’re going ‘G’s up, Ho’s down’ on Windsor’s Merry Wives tonight……

As Will Ferrell put it in Old School, “That’s the way you do it…that’s the way you debate.” Awesome job, Kevin. For real.

Fellas, fellas, fellas….it’s not nearly as complicated as you think it is.

You want to be a good dad, but you’re not quite sure how to make that happen. Your wife/girlfriend/baby mama picks up a kid, and seems to be such a natural. You pick up a kid, and when you’re not worrying about accidentally mauling them with those meathooks you call hands, you’re curious as to how such a small creature can smell so badly and emit so many gallons of bodily fluids. Ultimately, you believe your best efforts will be futile, and you binge drink to ease the emotional pain.

Dudes, trust me: you’re overthinking this. Sure, you could enhance your parenting by reading books and attending parenting classes until your eyes start hemorrhaging. Or, you can grab yourself a beer, crack it open and take a celebratory swig.  Take another swig, and then read my four foolproof steps to becoming the most ninjatastic dad on the block.

Step One: Acknowledge paternity.

When you take the SATs as part of your college application, you get a few hundred points just for putting your name on the test. Before you’ve responded to a single question, you’re already up four hundred points. How ridiculously simple is that?

At some point in your lady’s pregnancy, acknowledging that the kid is yours gives you the same head start you got by correctly filling in some empty bubbles on a standardized test. Affirming your paternity, no matter the timing or means, will cause women to swoon everywhere as they breathlessly whisper, “He says that he’s the father. What a terrific guy. He’s going to be an amazing dad!” Score one for you.

You get bonus points if you acknowledge this as soon as you hear the news, especially if you project enthusiasm. Ideally, you’ll resist any temptation to respond with statements like, “You’re pregnant? That’s terrific! Any idea who the dad is?” or “Would you mind if I got a DNA test just to make sure the kid is mine? I mean, it’s not like you were a virgin when we met or anything. I’ll even pay for the test, my treat.”

That said, if you slipped up and offered a comparable response, you’ll still be okay. Women believe us to have the emotional capacity and sensitivity of rabid six-month-old pit bulls.  They may be right, but you can use this perceived weakness to your advantage. If your baby mama gets huffy because you questioned her virtue, don’t get defensive. Get creative. This is relationship judo at its finest.

You’ll want to start by working up some tears. If you’re like most fellows who think that crying is for pussies, grab a fistful of diced onions and rub them in your eyes before you start talking. I can tell you from experience this works. As you maniacally rub your blistered eyes, say something like, “I’m sorry, baby. I don’t even know why I said that before. Of course the baby’s mine, and I’m thrilled. I guess I’m just scared. I want to be the best father I can be, but you know it’s tough for me to express my emotions. I love you.”

This cannot fail. Do you know how many women are in relationships with convicts, including rapists and murderers? Right now, somewhere in the world, a woman is writing a letter to her fiancee in prison, joyfully accepting his marriage proposal even though he’s on death row for killing 47 prostitutes with a homemade chainsaw. If this dude can get laid and convince a woman to marry him, you can recover from your minor faux pas.

Step Two: Be present when your child is born.

Fellas, it’s in your best interest to be at the hospital when your kid is born. Sure, it’s the proper thing to do, and if you’re not there, the bullshit you’ll have to endure from everyone will cause you considerable grief. That said, there’s more at stake.

I’ve heard scads of women talk about their birth stories, and there is a certain oneupsmanship that exists among women when telling these stories. The more dramatic and dangerous the circumstances, the better.

Woman A will somberly state that she agreed to an epidural only after spending the final two weeks of her pregnancy in labor, fully dilated and having just completed the Ironman Triathlon.

Woman B will smile and nod, and then explain that she’d have gladly used an epidural, except that she was leading a humanitarian expedition in Tibet when she went into labor, her child delivered by two Sherpas and a well-trained mountain yak.

Woman C will smirk as she describes delivering triplets, each weighing ten pounds, as she gave birth in the comfort of a wading pool in the backyard filled with organic holy water.

Someone’s talking bullshit, right? How do I really know what goes on behind closed doors? Sure, I’ve heard the horror stories, but maybe it’s no more complicated or painful than popping a mammoth back zit. Maybe all women have a secret zipper, and childbirth consists of a mechanic opening this zipper, pulling the kid out, and then zipping it back up. Maybe I have trust issues. If you’re not there to verify, you’ll never be able to separate truth from fiction as your wife shares her tale.

You also have to consider legal ramifications. After all, you already know your lady puts out. She’s pregnant. Although you professed your belief in her, are you sure the kid is yours? In my case, a quick glance shortly after birth confirmed my own paternal status, as you can see.

I saw my daughter, and I was delighted to put my name on that birth certificate. If you’re not there to verify, you’re taking your chances.

Finally, the simple act of attending your child’s birth will enhance your standing. You will be viewed in the same heroic terms as the woman who has actually given birth. Is this fair? Of course not. Will this irritate your wife? Of course it will. Is this funny? Of course it is.  The double standard is there, fellas. Use it to your advantage, and get some amusement in the process.

Step Three: Every so often, do something that your father never had to do.

Guys, your fathers set the bar ridiculously low to guarantee our future success. Take advantage of this. Your dad didn’t change diapers, he didn’t cook or clean for you, and he sure as shit didn’t do anything as girlie as “talking about your feelings.” He didn’t do this for you, but guess what? Your wife’s father didn’t have to do this stuff, either. Translation: she doesn’t expect you to do jackshit.

Absorb that for a minute. Both you and your lady grew up in an environment where the parenting duties of men were limited to working eighty hours a week as the sole breadwinner and teaching you the virtues of farting. Anything you do in excess of this makes you a fucking rock star.

Someday I’ll work out the math, but generally speaking, performing a task that your father wouldn’t have considered buys you two weeks of freedom from that task. Change a dirty diaper on the first of the month? Your wife won’t have the temerity to ask you to change another until the fifteenth. Cook your kid a meal that includes both a grain and a vegetable? BAM!!!, you’ve just become Emeril. Encourage your kid to discuss their feelings and emotions? Dear God, man, that’s more of an aphrodisiac for women than a fistful of Ecstasy.

Your dads grew up in a simpler time, fellas. Don’t whine, just make it work for you.

Step Four: Spend quality time with your kid.

I know, I know….you work a 40 hour work week, 15 hours of which is dedicated to checking out the latest sports stories on ESPN.com. You have seven minutes a day of conversation with your wife (two minutes to describe the great shit you took this morning, three minutes to talk about your backbreaking work day, and two minutes to feign interest in anything your wife says that doesn’t have to do with you). You have 3,497 hours of television programming saved on TiVo that needs to be watched. Where do you find the extra time?

Take another sip of beer and breathe easy, my friends. It’s all about efficiency. You want to spend time with your kid, and you want to feel better about yourself. How do you kill these two birds with one paternal stone?

I have found the Holy Grail of fatherhood. I call it…sports.

Let’s face it: the vast majority of us are failed athletes. We’ve daydreamed about hitting the winning home run, catching the last second touchdown pass, and nailing seventeen consecutive hole-in-ones at the Masters golf tournament. The unfortunate reality is that, even when we were in peak physical condition, we were lucky to successfully complete a one-mile run. By the time you hit parenting age, you’re pretty fucking far from being at your peak.

However, compared to your kid, you’re an Olympic-level athlete. Kick a soccer ball with your kid, and she thinks you’re Pele. Toss a football with your young’un, and she views you as a bionic hybrid of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Play a simple game of catch with a baseball in that .001 acre lot you call a backyard, and she sees you as the athletic and emotional team leader of your soon-to-be World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.

One hour a day of quality time where you are compelled to say nothing more than, “Good job, kiddo!” or “Nice try, baby girl…you almost had it!” Your kid thinks you’re the sports equivalent of Zeus. You get to drink beer while you’re interacting. And, because you’re playing such a vital role in your child’s development, you feel great about not doing any housework. Who cares about that sink filled with dirty dishes? You have paternal bonds to create and self-esteem to build in your child. You’re a winner.

Pretty simple, isn’t it, guys? You’re welcome.

Photo Credits:

Have you ever driven in an ice storm with a dead pug rolling around in your back seat? If not, you should add that to the proverbial bucket list. Trust me.

A few years back, I acquired a roommate on short notice. I needed a place to live, and she needed a roommate to split the bills. We’d never met, but she seemed harmless enough during our phone conversation. Our initial phone conversation was unremarkable, and since she didn’t state any desire to bludgeon me with an axe while I slept, I decided to go for it.

The day I moved in, I knocked on the door and heard a loud series of barks. I knew she had two dogs, so this wasn’t surprising. I also heard some wheezy rasp that I couldn’t identify, as it sounded like Darth Vader growling while having an asthma attack. I didn’t recall my new roommate telling me that she was an evil, horribly disfigured Jedi master, so I was curious.

She opened the door, and I was nearly tackled by a large German Shepherd that charged outside. My roomie looked excited as I did my best to casually avoid being devoured.

Her: “Hi! That’s Bear! And this…this is Muggsy.”

Muggsy was a pug, and she was cradling him in her arms. He was the source of the mystery sound from before.

Me: “Hey, Muggsy! What a great couple of dogs you have!” I went to pet Muggsy, and he let loose with an enthusiastic hacking sound. The sound alone was disturbing enough, but as he gasped, he spewed out a fine mist of pug saliva. It would have been okay if there had been a salad bar-style sneeze shield between us, but no such luck.

The early days were interesting as I learned Muggsy’s quirks. Twelve years old, Muggsy’s best days were behind him, and he had some health issues. While he may have been an Olympic sprinter in a previous life, modern-day Muggsy badly needed some plastic hip replacements. When he needed to get from Point A to Point B, he made a day of it. My roomie fed him a special nutritional supplement designed to soothe even the sorest of dog hips. Regrettably, this didn’t seem to increase his speed or agility.

Muggsy’s mobility was further compromised by the thick cataracts in his eyes. Moving at the pace of an arthritic mollusk, he habitually bumped headfirst into walls because of his inability to see them. It was pretty sad to witness, actually: he’d hobble unsteadily for a few steps, accidentally walk face first into the wall, and then start moving in the direction of his rebound. He resembled an unfortunate, unbalanced pug-shaped pinball.

But Muggsy’s most endearing trait was that epic cough. Imagine your great-grandpappy, who’s managed to survive into his nineties despite chain smoking Marlboro Reds for six decades. He’s recently contracted tuberculosis, and is now energetically trying to cough up a decaying chunk of petrified phlegm. Imagine that sound. Replaying it in my head, I’ve considered puncturing my ear drums with ice picks to ease my pain.

Life was uneventful when my roomie was home. Overprotective mother that she was, she spent hours preparing special soups for Muggsy, organic carrot blends designed to treat his cataracts. A student, she spent hours in her room with Muggsy, reading and burning incense. The incense always smelled suspiciously like some of Dr. Dre’s finest Chronic. Whatever. When she was around, Muggsy was out of my hair.

Thinking about this now, I wonder exactly what was going on behind closed doors. She obviously enjoyed her weed, but was my roommate also trying to relieve her dog’s cataracts by smoking him out? She was an intriguing chick, so this is entirely plausible. That would explain Muggsy’s perpetual smoker’s cough, now wouldn’t it?

Dogs smoke bongs

Muggsy smoked for medicinal purposes

When my roomie was gone, however, Muggsy was a tad more challenging. Back in the day, I enjoyed the nightlife, and occasionally came home after work to take a siesta before heading out. I’d head upstairs to my bedroom, close the door and lay my head down. Minutes later, the cacophony of sounds would begin.

Muggsy would start by leaving his spot in the living room to climb the stairs. Think about your great-grandfather again. Picture him on all fours, attempting to scale Mt. Everest with no supplemental oxygen and no Sherpa. The hacking, the wheezing, the occasional bumps as he walked face first into a stair…I fully expected to open the door and find that Muggsy had coughed out his entire respiratory system.

After a torturous climb, Muggsy would eventually reach the second floor, where he would ricochet from wall to wall until he reached my bedroom door. He would park himself there, and then start hacking. And hacking. And hacking. It would pause for a few moments, and I’d think, “Excellent! His larynx finally exploded—now, I can get some sleep!” But then, invariably, it would start again. No matter what I stuffed in my ears—cotton balls, pillow cases, hot candle wax—nothing drowned out that sound.

And then one day, things changed.

I came home early from work, and as I parked, my next door neighbor was leaving my place. I walked over to him.

Him: “Hey man…it’s a bad scene in there.”

Me: “Why? What’s going on?”

Him: “Muggsy.”

Me: “Muggsy…what about him?”

He didn’t respond verbally. Instead, he made a slashing gesture with his fingers across his throat.

Me: “Muggsy’s dead? Fuck.”

I opened the door, and my roommate was sobbing. She was holding Muggsy, who had passed to the next life. I originally thought that he died of old age, but it’s possible that he overdosed after doing too many bong rips with my roommate. Regardless, he was deceased, and my roomie was understandably busted up.

I did my best to be empathic for the next fifteen minutes, and she eventually calmed down. The initial shock fading, she started talking.

Her: “We need to bury him.”

This was problematic. Did I mention that this went down in the middle of winter? Even better, most of the city was shut down due to an ice storm. I suppose I could have knocked on my neighbor’s door and asked, “Hey, dude….by any chance, do you have either a jackhammer or a backhoe I can use to dig Muggsy’s grave in the parking lot?” This didn’t seem likely to help, and I refrained.

Me: “Ummmm….we’re not really going to be able to do that. We should think of something else.”

She was silent as I mentally sifted through the options. I wasn’t really sure what proper etiquette dictated for this situation. Keeping him in the house was out of the question, as his ghost would have haunted both of us as we attempted to sleep. Tossing him in the dumpster would have been simple and effective, but a tad insensitive. It was below freezing outside, so we could have stored him in the garage temporarily, but I’m squeamish about storing animal corpses next to my camping equipment.

She decided to call the vet’s office about having Muggsy cremated. They suggested bringing him in the next day because of the bad weather, but my roomie freaked out. I got on the phone and asked if we could bring Muggsy in today. Begrudgingly, they said they’d take care of us if they were still there when we arrived.

Having arranged this, I was now forced to contend with transportation. My roomie drove a lovely two seat vehicle that navigated snow and ice only slightly better than a Vespa Scooter. I drove a Jeep. The only way we’re getting this pug to the vet is with me driving. It’s fairly close to us, typically a ten-minute drive away. Be a good guy, Roy.

Me: “Come on…get Muggsy ready, and I’ll drive you.”

We packed up and started driving. The trek would have been smooth if we’d been driving something appropriate for the weather, like a Zamboni or a Sno-Cat. The Jeep handled better than her car, but not by much. Ten minutes turned to twenty and then to thirty, and soon we had been driving for well over an hour.

The high point of the trip occurred at the 1:15 mark. I hit a ferocious patch of ice and started to skid. After the Jeep jerked back and forth, I managed to come to a full stop.  As the Jeep ground to a halt, I heard a loud thump behind me, and then a second one. Not sure what had happened, I turned slowly around to find out.

Boo.

When my roomie prepared Muggsy for the ride, she wrapped him in a towel and placed him in an unsealed cardboard box. I set this box in the back passenger seat, directly behind my roomie. Apparently, the first thump had been the cardboard box hitting the passenger seat when I stopped quickly. The second thump had been Muggsy falling out of the box onto the metal floor of my Jeep. Whenever I moved the Jeep, he rolled back and forth on the floor behind my roommate. Thankfully, she couldn’t see this.

Her: “What was that noise?”

Me: “Oh…I think that’s my jumper cables. Must’ve fallen on the floor when I skidded back there.”

Have you ever dropped a bottle or can under your seat, and everytime you move, it rolls? Yeah, it was pretty much like that the rest of the way. Thankfully, Muggsy no longer needed to worry about concussions. Fifteen minutes later, we finally arrived at the vet’s office. I got out of the Jeep, walked to the front door, pulled….

It’s locked.

No lights on inside.

Sign on the door that says something like, “Gone fishin’.”

Dead pug rolling around on the floor of my Jeep in an ice storm.

Fuck this.

Me, on my cell phone with the on-call vet for the office, ten seconds after I realized everyone has left: “Hey, we called earlier. We have a dead pug.”

Vet: “That was almost two hours ago.”

Me: “Yep. Little icy out. Been a shitty day. Someone needs to get over here, or I’m going to have to leave him for you guys.”

Vet, long pause: “We’ll have someone there in ten minutes.”

And so they did. Thank God for that. What would I have told my roommate?

“Oh, yeah…they told me to bring him around the back and stick him in the night deposit box. You know, like when you drop off a video after the store is closed.”

I’d have done it, but I’d have felt badly about it. Rest in peace, Muggsy. You were the puggest of all pugs.

Photo credits:

Photos from Creative Commons:

Bong picture by Luis Montepeque “skater24us”

Pug picture by inajeep

Photo illustration by Larry Mukas

Quick post today, but important.

I’m not particularly patriotic.

I don’t regularly wave Old Glory around, screaming “U.S.A.!!!!”

I’m far more of a pacifist than I care to reveal to most people.

And right now, on this day marked by barbecues and family excursions and throngs of folks taking advantage of the long weekend, I’d like to say, “Thank you.”

Thank you, to everyone willing to put themselves in harm’s way to protect your people, your family, your loved ones…your country.

Thank you, to everyone willing to risk being blasted into pieces, even while the folks back home can’t possibly comprehend what you’re going through, all to protect our precious freedoms.

Thank you, to everyone willing to place themselves in the position of ultimate sacrifice, while so many of us, comfortable on our cozy porches while gazing at our perfectly manicured lawns, lazily disregard your efforts.

Thank you, for having the balls to undertake a challenge most of us won’t have to face.

I’ll never be known as a patriot.

I’ll never be considered a war hawk.

I’ll never be a guy that pushes my kid toward the military.

And I will always appreciate all of you that put yourselves in harm’s way to protect people like me.

So, today, on this day when most of us forget what the fuck we’re celebrating about, I say, “Thank you.”

To my old man, and all of his buddies, for the shit you guys endured back in the day, thank you.

To all of you that have made the most ultimate of sacrifices, even if that sacrifice was unknown, unrecognized, unappreciated…you guys are fucking heroes. Here’s to you.

Money may not be everything, but let’s be honest: it’d be outrageously cool to be filthy rich, wouldn’t it? If you’re a stereotypical fellow, the following video typifies your priorities if you had a sudden financial windfall:

We all have our dreams of how we’d spend our money if we had a massive influx of cash. Maybe you’ve pondered how you’d divvy up the spoils if you won the local Powerball drawing. Perhaps you’ve seethed in envy after watching a friend get struck by a bus, only to see that lucky bastard receive a handsome settlement after recruiting a personal injury lawyer.

Some guys even fantasize about marrying into money, being the kept man to a wealthy older woman. During the day, you count your loot. At night, you devote hours to the care of her considerable bunions. God, I dream of this.

But let’s take it deeper. A few days ago, my man from across the pond, Jody Ruth, put together an extensive list of expenditures if he hit the £113 million jackpot (roughly equivalent to $182 million). It was a quality list, prominently featuring sports, real estate, and lots and lots o’ strippers. Click here to get the complete list, you’ll be glad that you did.

Now, if you suddenly had more disposable income than you’d ever dreamed, your decisions on how to spend this cash are broken down into two categories:

1. The sensible approach, called What I Should Do;

2. The drunken sailor approach, called What I Will Do.

If I suddenly acquired wealth beyond my wildest dreams, what would be the likely outcomes? Let’s find out.

Money Management:

What I Should Do: I’m not all that financially astute, so the best option is to identify a financial advisor, one with impeccable references, irrefutable ethics and strong attention to details. He/she can guide me through the complex financial landscape, and will assist me in diversifying my assets to ensure future stability for our family wealth. This is the thinking man’s approach.

What I Will Do: contact a friend/colleague to borrow a laptop computer with wireless capabilities. I’ll travel to the nearest bookstore offering free Wi-Fi access. After ordering a large latte, I’ll log on to my friend’s computer and Google several key phrases, including “Top ten methods for successful money laundering” and “Tax evasion for dummies.” I busted my hump for this cash, and I’ll be damned if I’ll give it to the government.

To compensate my friend for the use of his computer, when he is arrested for financial impropriety based on my Googling, I will gladly pay up to 5% of his bail. I’ll be loaded, but I’ll always maintain my strong sense of ethics and compassion.

Housing:

What I Should Do: We live in a decent home, nothing terribly extravagant. Perhaps we’ll invest in a few simple upgrades (some new paint, newer kitchen cabinetry, and maybe even a second bathroom, if we can get a good deal). We’ll modify the home with eco-friendly adjustments, and when the housing market recovers, we’ll be able to sell for a modest profit. You can’t go wrong.

What I Will Do: I’m rich, and my efforts in selecting the winning lottery ticket deserve to be recognized. I will purchase every home on my street and immediately raze them. I’ve always dreamed about having myself shot out of a cannon into a safety net hundreds of yards away, and now I’ll have the property to do it.

The old Roy was happy with a two-story home, but the nouveau riche Roy will turn his home into a towering skyscraper by adding seventy floors, complete with penthouse and observatory. PETA be damned, insulation for my home will consist entirely of otter skin and polar bear fur. Rain, sleet and snow, I scoff at your attempts to penetrate my fortress of animal pelts.

I’ll add 37 bathrooms, each with a toilet constructed from stones pilfered from the Egyptian pyramids. The custom bidets will provide fresh bursts of the world’s finest mineral and sparkling waters. Tap water for your bum? Not for this guy. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a zesty blast of San Pellegrino in your nether regions.

Transportation:

What I Should Do: currently, I drive a sensible sedan. It gets excellent gas mileage, and with proper maintenance, should last at least another decade. A financial no-brainer, the car stays.

What I Will Do: When you’re rich like I am, the cost of gasoline is insignificant. My first call will be to the defense contractors of the U.S. Military, because my suburban assault vehicle won’t just build itself. Upon delivery, I’ll then customize it with the normal upgrades: movie theater, heat seeking missiles, 16 person jacuzzi,  and the capacity to transform into a 450-foot yacht with the press of a button. Oh, and it will also have some extra cup holders. Everyone loves extra cup holders.

My daughter’s education:

What I Should Do: Naturally, it makes most sense to establish a 529 College Fund. Three words: tax deferred earnings. Mama didn’t raise this guy to be a financial fool. A healthy nest egg, combined with Pell Grants and work study income, will provide a solid foundation for my daughter to attend a mid-level state university.

What I Will Do: As my daughter starts to prepare her college applications, I’ll purchase a regulation-size dart board. I’ll cover the face of the dart board with a round piece of paper, divided up into eight sections. Each section will have the name of one Ivy League school written on top. I’ll instruct my daughter to grab one dart and hurl it at the board. Wherever it lands will determine her academic future. I’ll then write the name of this Ivy League school on a certified check for $10 million, to be used in the construction of the school’s cutting edge RADventures Institute of Awesomeness. Shortly thereafter, she’ll receive a handwritten letter of acceptance, signed personally by the university’s president.

Clothing:

What I Should Do: I’m a thrift store guy at heart. Why spend top dollar on clothes when you can purchase gently used versions of the same attire for a fraction of the cost? I see no need to change these habits, nor do I feel compelled to purchase expensive clothing simply because it has a designer label. I shall remain loyal to my jeans, flannel and decade old Tevas.

What I Will Do: Using the swimming pool formerly used by next-door neighbor, I’ll create my own alligator breeding farm. Each alligator will live a healthy, peaceful existence until their fifth birthday, at which point they will be killed and skinned. I’ll then have a custom wardrobe created entirely from alligator flesh. Sure, some bleeding heart animal lovers will probably complain, but if you think about it, do alligators really have a good quality of life? I mean, they spend their lives partially submerged in swamps, subsisting on old frogs and drowned rabbits. Trust me: my alligators will be immersed in luxury, and my clothing will be a thing of legend.

Women:

What I Should Do: I love my wife. She’s my life partner, best friend and goddess. To stray would be the act of an unthinking cad. Keep on walking, groupies–there’s nothing for you here.

What I Will Do: I love my wife. She’s my life partner, best friend and goddess. To stray would be the act of an unthinking cad. Keep on walking, groupies–there’s nothing for you here.

Seriously, how fucking stupid do you think I am? Making any comment about cheating on your wife, even in jest, will never be perceived by any woman as funny. If I start bragging about the harem of college girls I’ll gather with my wealth, three things will happen in rapid fashion:

1.  My wife will put on her heaviest Doc Martens Boots;

2.  She will savagely kick me in the groin;

3.  She will print out the pages of my nonsensical blog, which will then be used as Exhibit A after she initiates divorce hearings. I’ll be thrown out of my home, and contact with my daughter will occur via one supervised visit per month.

Let’s play this one straight, shall we?

Hobbies and Leisure:

What I Should Do: of course, I’ll do some traveling. I’ll spend time writing, and perhaps learn some basic carpentry skills. I’ve always yearned to be better at woodworking. Seriously.

What I Will Do: Forget about traveling or writing or building bookshelves. I now have the finances to fund my life dream. Some guys build models in their spare time; in my spare time, I’ll be building my very own Death Star, complete with a fleet of Stormtroopers. Mess with me at your peril. Rich Roy won’t spend his Sundays taking pleasant country drives. Rich Roy will spend his Sundays in his Death Star, destroying Saturn. Fuck Saturn and its flamboyant rings. Time for you to go, big boy.

That’s about it for now. Feel free to share your own reality-based dreams, if you feel that they’re worthy…

Saturdays are good days, nice days to ponder the more significant topics of the day. Today, let’s weigh the pros and cons of something that can potentially impact everyone. Today, let’s have a heart-to-heart conversation about…scrotazzling.

Whenever I have free time, I check out a handful of other blogs. One such blog is Day to Day Woman, written by Carrie Dahle. Carrie’s blog frequently targets women, and because of my epic inability to understand women, I try to get insight about the female perspective whenever possible.

A few months back, Carrie wrote about vajazzling, a nifty trend where women decorate their love nests with jewels, rhinestones and other fancy baubles. Apparently, the female need to accessorize has traveled below the belt line. Intrigued, I asked Carrie the following question:

“Dear Carrie,
After reading your post, I am envious. As a male, I have no female parts to playfully and attractively decorate. If I decided to come up with my own line of accessories, called Scrotazzling, would this make me less of a man? Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Sincerely,
A regular guy that just wants to spice up his nether regions”

Weeks passed by with no response, and I figured I had alienated yet another person with my child-like curiosity about such matters. Apparently, I figured wrong. A few days ago, Carrie’s most recent post provided a vigorous response to my original question. For her full response, read here.

Since she was kind enough to put such effort into discouraging me from accessorizing my junk, I feel like I have to address her points, one by one. Carrie has come up with ten reasons why scrotazzling is a bad idea. Will they stand up to the RADventures test? Let’s find out. Her questions are italicized, my responses are not.

10. Do you really want to draw more attention to your penis/scrotum?

Unequivocally, yes. Based on my wife’s estimation, I have spent approximately 10,000 hours on the couch and in bed with my hand resting comfortably inside of my pants. I don’t do this to be gross. I do it to say, “You’re damn right I’m holding my junk. You better recognize!” Anything I can do to reinforce this message seems like a no-brainer.

9. Who wants to be that aesthetician?

Granted, attaching fancy jewels to a never-ending stream of balls probably wouldn’t be my first career option. Still, everyone has their own unique, inherent talents. As I write this, someone, somewhere, has just been born. In two decades, that kid will grow up thinking, “Using a glue gun to fasten glow-in-the-dark stars to some dude’s nutsack just feels right.” We all have our passions to pursue, Carrie.

8. Were you trying to be a Twilight Groupie?

Absolutely. You may have seen one of my recent bumper stickers, which reads, “Team Edward? Team Jacob? Fuck that. I’m with Team RADventures: his balls are sparkly!”

7. It is quite possible that you will be compared to “Liberace’s rhinestone-studded dildo.”

Who wouldn’t brag about this comparison? I can just see my next job interview:

Employer: “So, Roy, tell me why we should hire you. Why are you the best man for the job?”

Roy: (Stands up. Unzips pants during group interview. Displays freshly scrotazzled man piece).

Employer: “Dear God, man. The resemblance to Liberace’s rhinestone studded dildo is uncanny. You’re hired!”

6. Retro is in but disco dick is out.

I have to challenge you on this. Last week, I was at a social function. Prior to my arrival, I had coated the exterior of both testicles with glimmering paint so they looked like two shiny disco balls. We turned out the lights, I broke out the disco balls, and we danced all night. At one point, we even had a limbo contest directly under the disco balls. Based on my recent experience, disco dick is very much in.

5. Do you really want to be called “Sparkle Dick?”

How did you know about my wife’s pet name for me? Did she tell you? I promise, she and I will have words later.

For the record…hell, yes.

4. Studded is NOT for her pleasure.

This is a valid point, but I’ve already addressed your concern. All of my testicular jewelry is custom made. All the edges have been sanded down to a silky smooth sheen. After touching my jewels, many have commented on their velvety softness.

3. You will be laughed at.

Finally, something I do will make people laugh! God knows my writing doesn’t serve that same function: recently, someone compared the tone of my writing to that seen in your average obituary. I am an attention-seeking only child, Carrie: there are no limits to what I’ll do for laughter.

2. It won’t look the same after applied.

I tend to stay away from my light saber when scrotazzling. Typically, I reserve the jewels for the surrounding areas. For my main man south of the border, I’ll usually use some custom body paints or scratch and sniff stickers. Last week, my designer applied the paint in such a way that I looked exactly like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It felt like a little slice of Italy, right here in New Hampshire.

1. It is a choking hazard. All I am going to say is the Heimlich really ruins the moment. 😉

Again, an excellent and valid concern, but thankfully, one with a simple solution. As I said before, my jewels are custom-designed. In the case of inadvertent slippage, they are coated in a fruity chemical compound which causes them to burst like pop rocks. Choking is not cool, but a mouthful of strawberry pop rocks dancing on your tongue is sure to enhance any romantic occasion.

To anyone with the question, “Why would you scrotazzle?” my simple response is, “Why wouldn’t you?” I think I’ve made my case here. Wouldn’t you agree?

Happy scrotazzling to you all, my friends.

This month marks the second anniversary of my friend and companion’s demise.  I write this letter to honor his memory.

Dear Royota,

I wasn’t with you when you were born, and truthfully, I’m not sure where you were created. Your ancestry suggested Japanese lineage, but in recent years, more and more of your kind have been born in the heartland of America. It’s one of many questions that I wish I’d asked when I had the chance.

You spent your early childhood and adolescence with my parents. Although my old man had always fiercely resisted those of your ilk, loudly favoring your American counterparts, your loyalty and performance chipped away at his icy veneer. Year after year, you lived up to the exemplary standards established by your forebears, serving tirelessly while accompanying my parents virtually everywhere.

Ultimately, you converted the heart of my old man, and he often stated that he’d “stay with the Japanese for the rest of my days…these Americans aren’t worth a shit.” I stood by and watched proudly, as I knew that if you were given the chance, you could transform the soul of this crusty war veteran. All the while, I thought, “You will be mine. Someday, you’ll be with me.”

And then, in 2007, it happened. We were united, and we would never be apart for the rest of your life.

In 2007, I asked my parents if you could accompany me on a road trip to Tennessee. My friend and I needed a traveling companion to visit Bonnaroo, and I knew you’d want to go. My parents agreed, but did so with heavy hearts. I think they knew that once we were together, it would be difficult to separate us. Sure enough, this trip brought us closer, and upon our return, everyone could see the look in our eyes. We were meant to be together, and nobody would stand between us.

Seeing my determination, my parents decided to let you come home with me. For the next eighteen months, we were inseparable. We traveled all over the country, sharing laughs and love and confidences. I asked for your companionship and you provided it, immediately and selflessly. You asked for nothing except the most basic of foods, never complaining if your shoes were worn thin, or if you were thirsty. You took some bumps and bruises for me, and did so nobly. You protected me, provided me comfort, and always ensured that I got where I needed.

Late in 2008, you started to get sick, and I didn’t know how to cure you. I can picture the day as if it were yesterday. I had just dropped Olivia off at daycare, put you in reverse, pressed on your gas pedal….and nothing. I pressed and pressed and pressed, but your wheels wouldn’t turn. In the blink of an eye, your transmission had betrayed you, and you no longer had the capacity to move in reverse. Life is both cruel and fickle, and like a proud race horse whose leg has been hobbled by injury, your mobility was similarly impaired.

During those early days, I refused to accept your condition as debilitating, and we learned to adjust to your limitations. That first day, I struggled to figure out how to back you out of a parking spot. Luckily, with the door open, my left leg, my blessedly strong left leg, helped to push you backwards out of the spot as I turned your steering wheel. Once your transmission was placed in drive, you eagerly move forward, anxious to prove your vitality. As the mystified parents and teachers watched, we raced ahead, knowing that we would not be defeated by this minor condition.

And oh, how we adapted. We encountered no obstacles that couldn’t be overcome, with the exception of parallel parking, since parallel parking without reverse is like a limbless man attempting to climb a ladder. The other cars sneered at your physical limitations, but we laughed at them. They called you handicapped; I called you handicapable.

At home, our driveway was tailor-made for your condition. As this driveway was set on an incline, I only needed to shift you into neutral, and gravity itself would back us out of the driveway. At the grocery store, we learned to identify those parking spots which would allow us to drive straight through without having to reverse. On the occasion when we were forced to back out of a spot, my left leg, my blessedly strong left leg, provided the strength and force that had deserted your reverse gear. How many times did drivers glare angrily at us, waiting for a parking spot as I slowly pulled you out into the lot with nothing but my legs and arms? We ignored them, we laughed at our ingenuity, we were comforted by our mutually beneficial relationship.

We defeated all challenges, the worst of which occurred on that icy night when I accidentally drove you down a dead end street. Lined on both sides by three foot high snow drifts, I was forced to do a three-point-turn to turn you around. This was the only time I wavered, the only time when I cursed and mourned your loss of reverse. One foot in the car, one foot on the icy ground, I struggled and pulled and tugged. You moved back several feet, hitting the snow bank with your still-toned rear end. You shifted into drive, and as I turned your wheel sharply, you slowly moved ahead and turned. Again and again we repeated this, and our three-point-turn became a fifteen-point-turn. But, we persevered, and the fact that I was thirty minutes late for my meeting couldn’t dampen our spirits.

Others questioned why I never fixed your reverse gear. They didn’t understand that we both recognized your inevitable end, and rather than seek treatment, we decided on palliative measures so that you could live your remaining days in comfort. I gave you the best oil, the finest fuel, the greatest all-weather tires I could locate at the Econo-House-o’-Wheels.  We were happy, and we grew to forget your condition. You weren’t disabled, you were differently abled.

In April 2009, you became ill with fever. We were driving across the state, and I noticed you were running a temperature. We stopped, and I observed that you were dehydrated. The coolant I provided replenished your electrolytes, and for a time, your fever subsided. This was not to last. Your fever soon returned, and no amount of coolant could sustain your comfort.

As your engine started smoking with increasing frequency, we both realized that I’d need to replace you. A proud vehicle, you handled this news in stride, and although we never discussed it, I know you supported me. Soon, I located a relative of yours, a much younger family member who was eager to continue the family tradition. You would soon have a new home, where you would spend the remainder of your days until you expired. Even in death, you would continue to serve, as your parts would be mined for healthy organs to help other cars in need.

Our last day together is the most difficult for me to discuss. You woke up with the ever-present fever. I needed to drive you to the bank to secure financing for your replacement, and you seemed out of sorts. After the bank, we would drive to the dealership, and then we would say our goodbyes. Several hours before my trip to the bank, your emotions boiled over, and the steam literally billowed from under the hood.

I opened you up, and immediately saw that one of your hoses was cracked, with steam seeping through this crack. Having no formal training in resolving the medical issues of cars, I did the only thing I could: I wrapped your hose in black Gorilla Tape. I hoped that this tape could seal your wound, much like the super glue they now use to seal human wounds instead of stitches. Layer after layer, I dressed your wound, praying that this would give you the relief and strength to complete our journey.

We entered the highway to travel to the bank, and I quickly realized that my auto medical intervention had been for naught. Your fever spiked and would not recede. Although I pressed your pedal to the floor, you would go no faster than 40 mph. Your sutures burst, and thick plumes of smoke wafted from under your hood, enveloping the cars behind us. One angry driver, thinking our damage to the environment was intentional, glared and flipped us off as he raced by. So much anger in the world, so little compassion.

I begged you, “Please…just get me to the bank.” You tried…God, you tried. Alas, the strain overwhelmed you, and you finally seized. You gasped and sputtered and spewed hot streams of water vapor, and as we hit the off-ramp, you slowed and then stopped completely. Less than a mile from our destination, you succumbed to your fever, and on that fateful day, you died.

Heartbroken, I called a tow truck to carry your remains to the dealership, where I’d be picking up your replacement. Shaken, I called my wife, who picked me up and brought me to the bank. I read the loan agreement through a veil of tears, signing with a heavy heart.

Later that night, as I drove your replacement, I thought of you. Yes, it would now be easier to park, since Royota Junior had a healthy transmission with a particularly vibrant capacity to reverse. Yes, RJ would be able to hold his water much better than your leaky gaskets had allowed. But, RJ would never have your wit, your compassion, your ability to make my flag-carrying old man pledge allegiance to your merit.

I thought all this and laughed, even as a solitary tear of sadness rolled down my cheek. Farewell, Royota, a.k.a. 1996 Toyota Camry. Your memory will never be forgotten.

Much love,

Roy

Why are rap artists cooler than writers? Two words: lyrical beef.

Back in the day, Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. were at the top of the hip hop game. Both were inherently talented, but once they started their rhyme-infused verbal attacks on one another, their reputations soared into the stratosphere.

Tupac talked about banging Biggie’s wife. Biggie hinted that he was responsible for Tupac being shot. East Coast and West Coast rap aficionados were transfixed. Biggie and Tupac sold a gazillion records. Would they have sold as many if they had been polite and cordial with one another?

Probably not. We are a culture that enjoys our professional wrestling, after all. We like spectacle, and reward it with our attention, our love, and our money.

In the rap music industry, verbally eviscerating another rapper is not only expected, but actively encouraged. I see no reason why the same example can’t be applied to the world of writing. With that, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to come out of my shell. It’s time for me to write some rhymes that will destroy some of the most popular writers around.

It’s time to wage some literary beef. First stop: England. Word on the street is that this Shakespeare fellow thinks he’s the cat’s ass, the bee’s knees, the best of all the rest, no jest. Watch as I set the record straight.

I met a little playwright

‘Bout four hundred years ago

I tried to watch his Twelfth Night

Got bored, so I had to go

He followed me out and said,

“Good sir, I’m William Shakespeare”

“Hey homie, I’m RADventures

and I need me a case of beer.”

And then he started bragging,

“Hey, I’ve written thirty-eight plays.”

His breath was like a dragon’s

Had that Old English tooth decay.

“RADventures please allow me to

compare thee to a summer’s day.”

I said, “I beg your pardon

but don’t that sound a little gay?”

“Why are you so angry, Roy?

Ain’t my fault I’m prolific.”

“You’re overcompensating

Bill, you have a little dick.

You stand there in your bedroom

and decide to drop some trou.

Looking for your junk you think,

‘Oh penis, wherefore art thou?’

Bill said, “To be or not to be

that is the only question.”

I said, “You’re fucking kidding me,

now sit and learn your lesson.

Your tragedies and comedies

and even all your sonnets

Your writing’s rudimentary.

Where’d you learn this, Hooked on Phonics?

You’ve had your chance to be the best

Now RADventures takes his shot.

It’s time for you to leave, you pest.

Get out out, damned spot, get out.

Put that in thine pipe and smoketh, Shakespeare. You just got served, literary-style.

I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Roy…that is some straight, gangsta-ass stuff you’ve written. Tell me: when do you plan on releasing the video?”

Funny you should ask. Most people don’t know this about me, but I am a renowned lyrical assassin. When folks are talking about the best MCs in the game, they talk about Biggie, Pac, Jay-Z, Eminem, Rakim, and a few others. Starting today, RADventures joins this elite group of rap artists. My lyrics? Can’t be beat. My performance? Won’t be beat. My status as a legitimate rap artist, honed after years of street battles in the most competitive environments. When you think “Straight Up G.,” you should think, “RADventures.”  Enjoy my debut video.







Last Wednesday, my wife and I flew to New Orleans for Jazz Fest. Our first night there, the table was set for an evening of love and affection. The atmosphere was festive, the drinks were flowing liberally, and for the first time in months, it was just the two of us.

Walking through the French Quarter has always fascinated me, more so when I’m with someone who hasn’t experienced it before. The Quarter  attracts a range of personalities and behaviors that are always entertaining. The best part is never quite knowing what to expect around the next corner.

For instance, you may be walking down the street, drink in hand while sharing a tender moment with your loved one, when you see this guy:

And really, you can’t call it a party until you’ve seen a grown man, covered with silver body paint, sitting motionless on a trash can as a yellow dong-shaped balloon sticks out of his pants. You call that “unusual.” I call that “just another Tuesday afternoon.”

Keep walking, and you see this gentleman’s illegitimate son and figure, “May as well grab a photo with this silver man-child.” So you walk over to the side, smile and say “cheese,” and here’s what you get:

Eventually, you’ll get tired of seeing dudes who will inevitably die from mercury poisoning caused by extensive contact with toxic paint. Luckily, you’ve got your shades on, and you can covertly check out that hot black chick walking down the street without getting busted. You’ll think, “Great ass,” and you’ll be right. Then, she’ll turn around, and you’ll question if your admiration of her ass makes you gay when you see:

I suppose if my appreciation of that man-ass makes me gay, I don’t want to be straight. Admit it: if you saw her from behind, you’d have thought she was hot too, right?

Walking up and down the streets of the Quarter for hours on end, your senses start to blur around the edges. Day flows into dusk flows into night, and you’re caught up in the same cosmic motion everyone in the Quarter feels. You drift from place to place, person to person, experience to experience, and time becomes irrelevant.

Still, we all have basic needs to fulfill, such as eating and bathroom functions. As these needs intersect, the potential increases for unique adventures. For us, on our first night in New Orleans, this is when things became fun.

It’s midnight, and I suddenly realize that I’m hungry enough to gnaw off a limb. While I doubt anyone down here would notice a grown man literally chewing his own arm off, I decide I’d rather take a more traditional approach to dinner. We hit a corner grocery known for having outstanding po’ boys, and we stop in to order.

After I order my fried catfish sandwich, fully dressed, I now realize that I’m perilously close to pissing myself. I ask my wife to wait for the sandwiches while I run down the street to the first open place with a restroom. One block up, I turn left into a cozy little establishment. As I walk in, I notice a marked lack of women. And, because there are only seven or eight dudes in a bar the size of my living room, they immediately notice me.

Although my popularity in the GLBT community is well-documented, I actually don’t spend a great deal of time at gay bars. That, in conjunction with this clearly being a small place for locals, makes me feel a bit conspicuous. As I’m trying to figure out what to do, a gentleman whose name I later find is Frank asks, “What can we do for you, honey?” I reply, “Oh, I just ordered a sandwich. Thought I’d order a drink while I waited.”

Everyone in the bar continues to look at me with slightly amused facial expressions. Even without the wedding band, I’m oafish enough to be made as a straight guy, and they’re curious about how I’ll handle this. I think, “Fuck it,” and order the first thing I see.

Me: “I’ll take a shot of Jager, please.”

Bartender, whose name is Michael: “No problem, honey.”

Frank: “Sweetie, if you like Jagermeister, I’ve got a great joke for you.”

Frank is an interesting dude: in his fifties, pretty drunk, affable enough, and a profound need for attention. I later find out that he prefers men with lots o’ body hair, when he disparages another gay bar because “there are too many hairless twinks over there.” I’m not entirely sure, but he may be referring to this place:

In any case, dude wants to tell a joke, so let him tell a joke. I tell him to go ahead.

Frank: “Okay, sweetie. A guy walks into a bar, orders six shots of Jager, and drinks all of them down immediately, one after the other. The bartender says, ‘Wow, you just drank six shots of Jager. What’s the occasion?’ Guy goes, ‘Well, I just had my first blow job.’ Bartender says, ‘Your first blow job—congratulations! Let me buy you another shot, on the house!’ Guy says, ‘No thanks—if the first six didn’t get that taste out of my mouth, there’s no point in having another one!”

I’m pretty sure dude was telling me this joke for shock value, just to gauge my reaction. I imagine he thought I’d freak out, either leaving or hurling a string of homophobic slurs. Instead, I laughed and chugged my shot, because truth be told, I find that joke amusing.

Dammit, I wish I had had the presence of mind to immediately come back with, “You know, that’s funny…I was just about to order six shots of Jager myself.” That would have killed. In any case, I hung out chatting, telling them at one point that I had viewed gay porn years ago to see what it was like. My direct quote: “Yeah, I figured I’d check it out to take the Pepsi challenge, see if it had any interest for me. Sorry, guys.”

They didn’t seem at all offended. While all of this is going on, I’ve completely forgotten about Mary, who’s been waiting for the past fifteen minutes. She calls to ask where I am–oops. I tell the guys at the bar, “Hey fellas…been good talking, my wife is waiting for me. I’ve gotta take off.”

A few of them make some good-natured comments about me ditching them for my wife, and then I split. Ironically, I realize that I never got around to using the bathroom. I walk down the street to fetch my wife, standing on the corner with sandwiches in hand. I realize we have no place to sit down and eat our sandwiches. I’ve just left a pleasant bar with plenty of room and a whole lot of character. My light bulb goes on.

Mary: “What happened?  Where did you go?”

Me: “Come with me.  This is going to be good.”

Of course, I don’t tell her where we’re going. One block later, we walk back into the bar. This time, we’re greeted with a chorus of cheers as they recognize me, and I yell, “You see? I told you I had a wife! You thought I was making that shit up, didn’t you?”

Here’s the cool thing about my wife: she may not be quite as crazy as me, but she’s always open to different experiences. So, when I suggest we eat our late-night dinner in a friendly gay bar, she sits down immediately and starts talking.

Michael explains that when he isn’t tending bar, he spends a considerable amount of time in drag. He showed us pictures, and as far as dudes in drag go, he was well put together. He lip synched a whole song and dance routine for us, most of which focused on a black woman making repeated references to “dicks” and “pussies.” He told us about coming out to his parents at age fourteen, scared to death because his dad was a Marine. Cool dude. Mary and I agree that he probably gets a lot of ass.

Frank…Frank was a character. He’s married to a dude who looks twenty years younger than him. Later in the evening, they got into a bit of a tiff. Frank has been asked to participate in a porn film, for which he’ll receive the princely sum of $1,000. Frank’s husband doesn’t dig this, and says, “There is no way you’re sticking your dick in that man—he’s a fucking pig.” I advised Frank to shut the fuck up, but he wouldn’t listen. Five minutes later, hubby pulled him out of there.

We talked to a few other regulars, and the rest of the night slipped away from us. I apologized at one point to Michael, as I honestly didn’t know if the straight couple eating fried food in the center of his bar was messing with their business. He didn’t seem to mind. It ended up getting busy, and so after a few hours we said our goodbyes and hit the road.

Not a bad start to the trip, as I think about it. I love New Orleans.

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