Friday, November 28, 2008

Nannarama Part II

When last we left our hero, he was stuck on Cape Cod for a funeral.

Wednesday came and I got up late in the morning. It was strange having the whole house to myself. I live in a smallish apartment in Hollywood that I have to share most of the time with my wife and all of the time with my cat, so having an entire three bedroom house all for me was a bit overwhelming. I shuffled around the house, glad to find that everything was more or less where it was when I moved out a couple years before. The cups and plates were in the top left cabinets, canned goods and dry soup was still in the top right cabinets, the only thing that was missing was the unmistakable odor of a dying dog.

About 12 or so years ago – it could be more, I’m not sure – my family took a trip out to Holyoke, MA to visit my aunt Karen. By the way, this week was ostensibly about my great grandmother, but this post will be mostly about Karen. While we were there, my aunt and mother convinced my dad to buy a Lhasa Apso dog. For those who have never seen a Lhasa, they’re medium-sized dogs with beautiful, long, cream colored hair. This particular dog was no different. That is, until my mother got a hold of it. That summer, the first thing she did was shave it, leaving it looking like – as my wife put it – a fat, wriggling maggot. This was bad enough, but the torture didn’t stop for this poor dog. First it developed rashes all over its body. Then it had some kind of weird armpit eczema. Then it started to smell like rotting death. Then its knees started to deteriorate. Then it went blind. Finally, and about three years too late if you ask me, my family euthanized it. The decision to get rid of this dog probably added about $100,000 to the value of my parents’ home, and in these tough economic times that’s a pretty good deal.

Anyhow, I futzed around the house all day, making myself food and checking my email and everything. My dad came home early in the afternoon with delicious subs and told me that my services would be needed that evening at my brothers’ football game. Tommy and Billy both play for Barnstable Middle School’s football team and they were on the verge of going undefeated for the first time ever. If that wasn’t good enough, they were playing Hated Rival School Falmouth. My job that night was to assist in moving the chains. For those unfamiliar with the intricacies of the game of football, this means I’d be standing on the sideline holding a warning cone orange stick marking how far the team would need to move the ball to get a fresh set of downs. If you don’t know what that means, then go read the NFL rulebook, there’s nothing else I can do for you.

When I packed, I made sure to put some warm clothes in my bag, on the off chance I’d be standing outside in near-freezing weather for two hours. Good thing I did, because God damn was it cold that night. I wore a blue hoodie underneath my brown corduroy jacket and still managed to freeze at least one, if not both, of my balls off. At least I was close to the action. I looked and felt like a stranger in a strange land standing around in clothes purchased at the Gap. Everyone around me was dressed up like they were attending a weekend-long hunting trip rather than a middle school football game. Floppy-eared hunting hats, plaid flannel overcoats, workboots, flasks, the whole nine yards. I felt downright European.

There are really only two types of people who should be attending middle school football games: middle schoolers and the family of middle schoolers. On both sidelines, there were plenty of people who fit neither description. I was on the Falmouth sideline doing my best to remain a neutral party and not cheer for Barnstable. Behind me was a family from the land of 540 Dialers consisting of a 19 year old father, his 17 year old bride and their baby, who was none too pleased to be out in the freezing cold. After Falmouth scored their first points of the game late in the second quarter, the thugnificent father started making fun of Barnstable cornerback. He even threatened to “beat his fucking ass in the parking lot after the game.” He was warned by the referees to stop verbally assaulting an eighth grader, and he quietly said he’d “stomp out your old ass too, zebra.”

Barnstable won the game 50 – 22 or something like that and, classy as ever in defeat, got booed by the Falmouth fans. Great stuff, you 540-dialing motherfuckers. On the way home, we stopped at DJ’s to get some wings to celebrate the victory and the season. That night, my brothers struck a deal with my dad to stay home from school on the condition that they both get haircuts for the funeral. I was charged with the task of taking them down to the mall to get said haircuts and take them out to lunch afterwards. This meant, of course, that I’d be given money to hang out with my brothers, which I am always down for.

The next morning the three of us set off for the mall. First, a little background information about the barber shop at the Cape Cod Mall. First of all, it’s not a Supercuts or a Fantastic Sam’s. It’s an independently owned and operated barber shop, which is rare in malls. Secondively, it was one of the first shops in the mall and has never moved. It’s the same today as it was when I started getting my hair cut there over 20 years ago, so it’s a bit of a landmark. As such, when one of the founding barbers, Howie, retired earlier this year, it was a pretty big deal. Something I had forgotten about Cape Cod is that nothing really happens. When I went inside the shop, there was a framed copy of the Cape Cod Times with Howie on the front page. Not the front page of the local news section, the front page. Like A1. All of A1. The entire front page was devoted to Howie. This was a nice gesture, but I couldn’t help but wonder if a cat had gotten stuck in a tree or something and it was bumped to A2 because of a retiree.

Howie’s protégé was a nice enough guy and both of my brothers got their haircuts from him. Tommy and Billy are both of an age when how you look really matters to those around you. This starts around the age of nine and continues until about six seconds before you die. Tommy asked to just get his hair trimmed in the front and cleaned up a bit in the back, and came out of the chair looking like Sandy Duncan, right down to the glass eye. Before getting into the chair Billy looked as if he was wearing a wig that someone had fashioned after the shape of a penis. After he was done getting his haircut, he looked as if he was wearing a wig that had been fashioned after the shape of a slightly smaller penis. They were both perfectly happy with their new ‘dos and we went off to get some lunch.

We left the mall shortly after eating and got home around 1pm. The wake was that evening, and my dad had agreed to give our aunt Karen – remember Karen? It’s a post about Karen – a ride to the event. My dad told her to show up at 3pm because he was leaving work that day at 2:30. She showed up at 1:15 and let herself in. This was at best unwelcome and at worst a huge pain in the ass. Karen is famous for being a huge freeloader. One day we came home to find her doing her laundry in our house because she figured it would be cheaper to drive 45 minutes to our house to do free laundry than to go to the coin-op laundry five minutes away from her house and pay two dollars per load. Savvy. After entering without knocking, she made her way to the kitchen to ransack our family’s supply of Nutrigrain cereal bars and microwaveable popcorn. She held us captive with boring, depressing conversation about nothing until my dad got home and we went up to Carver for the wake. We spent most of the drive asking Tommy if he wanted to look like he had a muffin attached to his shoulders or if that’s just how things turned out. He was not happy, to say the least.

At the wake, Nan’s body was flanked by beautiful bouquets of flowers, all with decorative sashes with various titles on them. “Mother,” “Grandmother” and “Great Grandmother,” all neatly propped up around the casket. My mother, who had arrived some time earlier to help set up, was sitting on a loveseat to the right of the casket and stared at it as though she’d somehow be able to revive her grandmother by sheer force of will. This, I was to find out, was not her intent. When we went to greet her, she demanded that we move out of her way, as we were blocking the view of the flowers she had bought. Even in death, Nan was to be used as a way for my mother to prove that she was the best of her five sisters. Her bouquet had to be on top of the casket, and everyone had to tell her how pretty it was. In front of the casket was a small padded bar on which one could kneel to pay their last respects to the body. At one point my mother and Karen had managed to wedge both of their large frames onto the padded bar – which I’m sure has a proper, churchy name – to admire the details of my mother’s floral arrangement. My dad isn’t exactly great around dead bodies, so he decided it would be best to take his three sons home early, leaving my mom and Karen at the funeral home, which was fine as they could travel back to the Cape in my mom’s car. We drove back to West Barnstable, but not before stopping to eat at Outback Steakhouse. We all shared our Karen horror stories and had a great dinner before heading home.

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While you’ll have to wait for this story to reach its non-epic climax, here’s a Thanksgiving story to warm your heart. My mom used to have a job that involved entering other people’s houses to draw their blood. She figured, and rightly, I might add, that she may encounter some weirdoes in her travels, so she became licensed to carry pepper spray, which is considered a concealed weapon in Massachusetts. She didn’t keep it concealed, however; she kept it on her car keys. This proved to be troublesome one Thanksgiving, as Billy, who was about six at the time, got my mom’s can of mace and sprayed it into an intake vent for our central air unit, spreading burning goodness all over the house early in the morning. Everyone woke up having a hard time breathing and itching like crazy. Now, I don’t know about you but the first thing I do when I wake up is rub my eyes and go to the bathroom. This is not usually a problem, but I don’t usually have pepper spray all over my hands. Mace burns like holy hell when applied directly to the penis. The best part was, everything in the house was covered in mace for a week, which includes TV remotes and telephones, so if you forgot to thoroughly wipe everything down before handling it, you’d get a mouth/hand/ear/eyeful of burning death. At least we didn’t have to go to our Aunt Pat’s house for Thanksgiving dinner that year. She doesn’t have TV, and that’s even worse than a nutsack covered in fiery hate.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Unto Us a mousebed is Born

August 31, 2008

8:28:58 PM Josh: And menthol cigarettes were created to stop the black athletes from breaking Babe Ruth's home run record.
8:29:18 PM John: Hahaha, where'd you hear that?
8:30:03 PM Josh: Which one? The true one or the one I just made up?
8:30:12 PM John: The menthol cigarette one.
8:30:27 PM Josh: Eh, it just makes sense.
8:30:45 PM John: Oh wow. You, sir, have to start writing stuff down.
8:31:06 PM Josh: Goddamn it
8:31:23 PM Josh: You're the third person in the last 24 hours to tell me to start writing. I think I'm duty bound now.
8:31:57 PM John: The internet makes a lot of money. You should try and get some of that internet money.
8:33:03 PM Josh: Gotta get in line for that internet money.

Hi, I'm John. As you can see, I'm the one who got Josh to start mousebed. You're welcome.

Loyal mousebed readers already know me as the guy who invented the term “getting Kedzied” and as the possessor of a Canadian cousin who apparently drove this blog's proprietor/protagonist wild. I also have an American cousin that's done the same to all my other friends, but that's not why I'm here today.

I'm here because in addition to my multinational coalition of reportedly hot cousins, I also possess more knowledge of the life and times of Josh Grimmer than anyone else in the world. Now, his wife would probably disagree with that assessment, and rightfully so. But was she there the day that Josh rationalized Al Qaeda's 9/11 attacks to Courtney Edwards in Physics class by saying “If you get pushed down the stairs, then I'm going to laugh at you, because I. Don't. Like. You.?” Fuck no. Only I was.

Simply put, nobody else has more eyewitness accounts of ridiculous things that have happened in Josh's life than yours truly. I've been watching or hearing about these events for a solid seven years now; I'm responsible for over 50% of the comments here for a reason. Some people have wealth, companionship, or a career path. I, on the other hand, have stories about Josh that he either forgot or fucked up when he wrote about them here. And – good thing for you – I plan to share them.

Indeed, thanks to the departure of Josh's great grandmother, I have strong armed my way into this space. That was a factual statement, you see; Josh is back here on his native Cape Cod to attend funeral services. He will not be writing today. Yes, I know I should've told you that in the first paragraph. But you wouldn't still be reading then, would you Mr. Santa Monica Internet Stranger? Today's post makes me an official mousebed contributor, and contribute I shall. Look for more of me in the near future.

In the meantime, you probably wanted to read Josh today. Fear not, mass text message recipient! I have a large repository of Josh Grimmer's writing, all of which is in the form of instant messages sent to me by the one and only FruMoogle. Below are some of the greatest instant messages I received from him since I got this laptop for Christmas. Not to worry, I've got a whole 'nother hard drive full of these babies in the other room. The mousebed well shalln't go dry. Not now, not ever.

January 14, 2008

10:07:08 PM FruMoogle: Listen, I want you to know that I made a joke about the California Black Caucus today.
10:07:23 PM FruMoogle: And let's just say they have a lot of fun.
10:07:31 PM FruMoogle: They're the Big Swingin' Black Caucus.
10:07:56 PM FruMoogle: I don't know why you needed to know that, but I was so proud of myself.

February 4, 2008

10:25:31 PM John: Steve Spagnuolo man
10:25:44 PM John: I've been in awe of what he's been able to accomplish
10:25:52 PM Josh Grimmer: No shit. Have fun watching him get a ludicruous coaching contract from another team.
10:26:43 PM John: :(
10:27:05 PM John: Yeah, he's got an interview with the Redskins this week. They'd be insane not to hire him at this point.
10:27:13 PM FruMoogle: No kidding.
10:27:22 PM FruMoogle: I was about to say he'd revive their secondary
10:27:27 PM FruMoogle: But that would be in poor taste.

(Ed. Note: Link mine)

August 10, 2008

3:16:02 PM FruMoogle: Well this is shitty.
3:19:54 PM John: If "Clay Buchholz" is the noun you were replacing with "this," then I agree.
3:22:37 PM FruMoogle: Yeah he needs to stop being a faggot.
3:22:41 PM FruMoogle: Who threw a no hitter.
3:22:46 PM FruMoogle: BUT HE DIDN'T BEAT CANCER
3:22:51 PM FruMoogle: So he's dead to me.
3:22:54 PM FruMoogle: Ironic

August 31, 2008

8:05:32 PM FruMoogle: These videos are so bad. It's in alphabetical order and we're at the Pet Shop Boys and man they are worse than I remember.
8:05:37 PM FruMoogle: I remember them being terrible.
8:06:15 PM FruMoogle: 80s Nite at Club Hell in Providence was a lot of fun because nobody dressed the part.
8:06:34 PM FruMoogle: And the girls were a lot less scary than Punk Rock High School Nite
8:19:44 PM John: Right, 80's night always got that young crowd that couldn't remember the 80's.
8:21:19 PM FruMoogle: What's worse is the retarded 80s pride people have. I was born in 1989! I'M A CHILD OF THE 80S! VALLEY GIRL WHOO
8:22:06 PM John: BILLY IDOL!!!!!!!1!!!!11!
8:22:32 PM FruMoogle: HOORAY IRAN CONTRA SCANDAL
8:22:33 PM FruMoogle: Wait

September 28, 2008

2:42:03 PM FruMoogle: Facebook is telling me to give UCLA my sperm.
2:42:29 PM FruMoogle: UCLA is a sperm school with an Asian student problem

October 26, 2008

7:23:57 PM FruMoogle: Sorry Harrison, longsnapping is a white man's game.

Enjoy your weekend, everybody. Josh says he'll post on Tuesday or Wednesday, but he's probably full of shit.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chapel of blugh.

Every family has traditions. Usually these have to do with Advent Calendars, Thanksgiving dinner or camping trips. My family is famous for ruining things at weddings. As far back as I can remember, every blessed event has been marred by the actions of one or more members of my family. Luckily for me and my wife, we decided to get married far away from the horrible influence of my parents and their extended families. Unfortunately, we decided to take our honeymoon back in my hometown of West Barnstable and they saw their opening. Their only recourse was to ruin the reception and honeymoon.

After an uneventful wedding we got on a plane to Providence, and eight hours later we were greeted by my mom at the airport. For the past five or six years there has been millions of dollars worth of construction hindering progress around the airport and the highways have been, at best, difficult to navigate. It took my mother less than two minutes to miss her exit, get off on the wrong exit and drive us two hours in the wrong direction. It was an epic failure in every possible way. She managed to talk for the entire three and a half hour drive without pausing to listen to a single word anyone else had to say, even as I was screaming at her to stop. No better way to kick off your marriage than calling your mom a miserable cunt in front of your new bride. The nice thing is, my wife agrees. The only person who hates my mom more than me is Aurora.

Once we finally made it to the Cape, we stayed a night at my parents’ house while the cottage we were going to stay in was being prepared for us. We slept in two beds that were pushed together. Not great, but it was a lot better than being on the plane or in the car with my mom. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the end of our time with her. Every few minutes after we went to bed she would pop her head into the room under the guise of offering us drinks or bathrobes or something, but we all knew she was trying to catch us having sex.

Our reception was decorated by my mother, which meant it was classless and horrible. She made it a point to tell everyone within earshot that the cake she had supplied for us was called an “Electra Cake” because it was the same design as the cake used at Carmen Electra’s wedding. If only I had come dressed like Dennis Rodman. After boring the family and alienating my friends, she decided the party needed music. But what to play? Janet Jackson’s greatest hits, of course. She pressed play and turned the volume all the way to 11, filling the hall with horrible music. That’s not all, though. She put the CD on track repeat, so we got to hear the same song three times before everyone yelled at her to shut it off. Also, my now 100-year-old great grandmother asked my wife if she was “Ethnic.”

This wasn’t the first retarded wedding my family would have to endure. My grandfather, who is by all accounts a very cool guy, was going to remarry about fifteen years ago. I don’t remember what the name of his fiancée was, but she was a bit of a joke among his children. She liked to yell at kids, and since I was the only kid in the family I got yelled at a lot. The day of his wedding we drove up to Middleboro, MA and found our way to the church. We were greeted with an empty parking lot. This was before easy communication via cell phone, and after about an hour of asking the people at the church we found out that, while we had been driving, they had cancelled the wedding and just decided to have a celebratory lunch instead. We went to the banquet hall and since we were the last to get there, we no longer had the option of chicken or fish. When I found this out I was hoping they were out of fish. Unfortunately this was not the case. I very unhappily choked down my fish, but was happy that my grandfather hadn’t married this unpleasant woman. She smelled like perfume and old stink. Blugh.

About ten years after that incident, one of my cousins was getting married. I had no idea which, and to this day cannot tell them apart. One is named Jimmy, one is named David. They’re not even twins. They were born like five years apart. It’s sad. Jimmy or David was getting married in a nice little town outside of Atlanta. My mom snuck a joint through security and got high at the reception, and was the butt of many jokes. Not to be outdone, my dad got pretty blitzed himself and decided to drop his pants on the dance floor, to riotous applause. We have not heard from that part of the family since.

When I got married, I thought I had finally escaped the realm of horrible weddings. I was sad to find I was mistaken, as earlier this month my sister in law got married. The bride is a sociopath, but luckily her family has realized this. Naturally, she had to find another family to leech off of. Luckily, she found a horny stooge to sweep her off her feet. She managed to play the “Wicked Stepsisters” card on her groom’s family and made herself out to be a victim of every injustice known to man. At the end of the Snow White-themed reception, the photographer started to pack up his gear and headed towards the exit. She stopped him and demanded he take a picture of her and her new husband in a pose resembling their cake-topper. Hope he signed a prenuptial.

After all of this bullshit, I plan to only get married the one time. I suggest to anyone who doesn’t believe in God, don’t get married. It’s not worth the hassle if you don’t believe in an eternal covenant.