Friday, February 24, 2006


Willie! Willie! Willie! Willie!

Walter Cronkite has said that Willie Nelson is the Walt Whitman of his generation. I went to see Willie play at the Township in Columbia this past Wednesday night, and, as expected, it was phenomenal. I have seen Willie live five times now, and it just seems to get better. As usual, my friends Kyle and Brett were in attendance (they have been with me 3 of the 5 times now), and Brett’s girlfriend Jenny, who is now 2 for 5 with me. The first thing I should mention is this – Kyle gave me his extra ticket. He wouldn’t even let me buy him a beer as thanks. If Kyle was a woman, or if we lived in Canada, I would marry him. I would prefer the situation where Kyle is a woman, though, because I don’t understand the metric system, and I don’t like dudes in “that way.”

Now that I’ve gotten almost as far off topic as possible, back to Willie. As usual, he opened with Whiskey River. Willie then played every song we wanted to hear, with the exception of Red Headed Stranger. He even did several Hank Williams songs, and a few traditional gospel numbers, which was really cool. I tried to write down a set list the next day, but then I got distracted and never finished it. I have no idea how Willie does it. He has more talent, energy, and charisma in one of his braids than I do in my entire body, and I’m less than half of his age. I think it has something to do with the bandanna, the braids, and Trigger (his guitar). This is merely speculation on my part, but I think they form some sort of Trinity of Cool.

My biggest complaint about this show was the lack of crowd participation. Other than Captain McDrunky two sections to our left (who was boogying down like the very fate of the galaxy depended on his busting a move), no one wanted to stand up, much less sing along. In fact, the two ladies beside me didn’t smile, move, or blink during the show. It was as if someone was forcing them to be there against their will. I also don’t think they approved of my beer (Kyle must not have, either, because he kicked it over…bastard. Actually, he felt so bad about it, he insisted that I drink half of his beer…seriously, ladies, this kid’s a catch!). In my opinion, if you’re not going to get into the show, and especially if you’re going to yell at anyone who is, stay at home, listen to a CD, and stare at a Willie Nelson poster.

I would like to thank Brett for driving, Ben Tanner for being there (BEN TANNER!!!), and Jenny for playing footsie with me at Stuffy’s before the show (it was hot). Kyle – I wish I could quit you.

Incidentally, I just received word from the Pentagon that, due to his valor and bravery in the face of danger, Captain McDrunky was promoted to Brigadier General at the end of the night. You people have no idea how close our galaxy came to being obliterated, if not for the shaking of his funky ass. Get down with your bad self, my friend, and God bless.


How I Spent My Friday Afternoon

My friend Avril is going to a religious concert event tonight in Columbia, since her friend Aubrey is going to write an article about it. She told me that her friend Adrienne made her a WWAD shirt, which is to stand for “What Would Avril (or Adrienne, or Aubrey, or Anyone) Do? I decided that she needed to come up with a whole list of things it could stand for, so she could tell everyone that asked something different. Since we are both extremely dedicated employees for our respective organizations, we started the list:

Where was Andy's donkey?
Why won't Amy die?
Who was Anthony Dalton?
Western women are dope.
Winnie was a dyke. (This can apply to Pooh or Cooper of The Wonder Years)
Wham! Wham! Angry Dancers!

Where's Waldo's Always Dangerous
Who wakes angry demons?
Why would anyone drink? (HA!)
Watch Walt act dumb
Weird werewolves ate dinner
Wanna wear alligator dentures?

Wild women are dangerous
Walter wears artichoke dip
Where will Andrew dine?
Well, well, another dinosaur!
Whiskey, Women, and Donuts (my breakfast wish list)

Wah, wah Abbi drones
Why walk after dark?
Winos wink at dogs
Walls won't attack, dear.

Walt Whitman Angered Dragons

Woody Woodpecker alters danger
Wooly walruses allow dungeons
Word weary, Avril's done...

I couldn't write a more perfect ending...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Bar reviews and a dire warning

I now have two new favorite bars in Columbia (where I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time lately). They are almost polar opposites, but anyone who knows me also knows that I don’t fit easily into any category (except possibly “dumbass,” which I fit into with extreme prejudice) so this shouldn’t be surprising.

The first is The Whig, which I have my friend Avril to thank for introducing me to. It’s hard to find, and I’m not giving out the location because that’s part of the charm. I’m struggling with a way to describe this place. Every term I come up with sounds pretentious (neo-bohemian) or lame (eclectic) or is a word I completely made up (flotarsonbalkish). So let me explain why these terms apply. Neo-bohemian is the first impression I received. Dark, kind of smoky, Miles Davis playing, a bit run down, but in a charming kind of way. I say eclectic, because the crowd ranged from a well dressed couple at the bar to me in my steel-toed boots and jeans. The music ranged from Miles Davis to the Ramones to DJ Shadow. The food was fantastic, and fairly inexpensive for the quality and variety. It’s not your typical bar food, which was a nice change of pace. Don’t get me wrong, I love deep-fried bits of animal with a side of ranch, but it can get old. I had the quail topped with andouille sausage, with a side of gouda macaroni and cheese, paired with an ice cold PBR (because I’m classy that way). The service was great, and the bartender was polite almost to a fault, which is rare in a bartender. Honestly, the next time I start the evening there, I believe I’ll end the evening there.

The second place is The Saloon, which I have my sister to thank for taking us to. The name pretty much speaks for itself. I spent the rest of the evening drinking PBR out of a mason jar (because I’m classy that way), and at one point my sister wound up clogging on the dance floor to an Alabama song. Nice and spacious, cheap, cold PBR, and country music blaring. Can’t ask for much more on a rowdy Friday night. Once again, the service was great. In addition to grabbing a drink at the bar, as the place got more crowded, one of the bartenders came out from behind the bar and started taking drink orders and clearing the empty mason jars from in front of me. I’m sure I’ll find my way back here again soon.

If anyone from these two fine establishments happens across these kind words and wants to sponsor my next visit (unlikely, I know), that would rock.

On another note, I know in my last post I explained how poorly I learn a lesson…I’m going camping again this weekend. If someone could place the McBee Fire Department and EMS on standby, that would be great. Just drive towards the fireworks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Bits ‘n’ Pieces

Consider this a medley (although hodgepodge or mishmash may be a more apt description) of my greatest ideas and some of the best quotes (of mine as well as of others) from my misadventures over the past few weeks. I would love to make this more coherent, but to be honest, it would take too long, and I’d prefer to leave out the ugly parts anyway. Plus, I’m not certain I remember all of it.

Several weeks ago (before the camping trip,) Lato (aka L-Tron, aka Lord of the Thunderflies) and I decided to go out to Backstreets in Clemson. We had both started new jobs since the last time we hung out, and were talking about office politics, benefits, and random other boring things when it hit me: not only were we the two oldest guys in a college bar, but we were talking about dental insurance. Yeah…the chicks were falling all over themselves to get our attention. Nothing is more attractive to sorority girls drinking on fake ID’s than two guys who don’t even get carded at the door anymore talking about a 401k…unless it’s a frat boy in a visor, with a popped collar on his pink shirt, and flip flops in January…or something shiny. The next day I had to help my dad move some furniture, and I kept wondering why all of the furniture smelled like stale beer, and then it hit me…it wasn’t the furniture, it was me.

The following week my buddy Tex came in to visit. Since I don’t learn lessons very easily, we decided to go out in Clemson. Actually, we started out eating wings; he decided he wanted a cigar, so we went to Nick’s in Clemson. (Kev, if you’re reading this, that place has gone downhill since you quit tending bar. They were playing techno, for the love of God…and I’m no techno aficionado, but even I knew that this was worse than the average techno. I suspect it was French, or at least came from a country that uses the metric system.) It turned out the cigar sucked also, so we move on to TD’s. We still knew one of the bartenders there so we hung out for a while, catching up. I think it was somewhere around this point when I realized that one of the biggest mistakes I had ever made in life was graduating from Clemson (followed closely by choosing to see what was behind Door Number Two instead of just taking the money). I should have changed my major 16 times, and then moved on to grad school. For this reason, the phrase “To the Delorean!” was coined. It was then used repeatedly in the morning so that I could go back in time and not drink that much and not eat a smorgasbord of country ham, bacon, eggs, hot sauce, and more beer when we got back to my house. Although I am impressed that we actually cooked.

Last but not least, this past weekend. I went out with my little sister and Big Hook to the Knock Knock in Columbia. My sister’s friend Ben was tending bar, and Hook and I were sucking down Yuengling, and our pace only increased when Lato and Buffy showed up. Ben remarked that if we didn’t slow down, we were going to drink him out of Yuengling. Although he didn’t mean it as such, I took it as a direct challenge. Buffy doesn’t normally drink beer, so she made it her mission to drink the bar out of Malibu rum. The gauntlet had been thrown down, and it was on like the proverbial Donkey Kong. I think we both won, although it didn’t feel like a victory in the morning. Although I did make a delicious discovery - pepperoni omelets. Since I hadn’t learned my lesson, I went over to my friend Guy’s house for his birthday party. For whatever reason, the party wound down kind of early, so Abe, Chris and I decided to go out. The last, and best quote of the weekend came from Chris. When we all woke up the next day and Guy asked what we did after he went to bed, Chris replied “Three bars and a Waffle House.” Where it’s at.

Thursday, February 09, 2006



Sometimes the observational skills (or lack thereof) that people possess amaze me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, in fact, the other day I spent the better part of an hour looking for something that was in my left hand the entire time. This is rare, I was tired and doped up on cold medicine, I am usually well aware of the contents of my hands. Mostly because at least one of them is usually holding a beer, unless I am at work, church, or asleep.

I went through the drive-through at McWendyKing’s for lunch today. Not because I like fast food, because I don’t. I just haven’t gone to the grocery store in a while, and don’t have anything easy to bring in for lunch. My total came to four dollars and change, so I handed the lady a five (doesn’t seem too complicated so far, does it?). She proceeded to give me back change for a twenty. Sure, I could have kept it, and donated it to an orphanage (or bought beer with it, whichever came first), but I knew that she would probably be reprimanded for her cash drawer being short at the end of her shift if I did. I explained to her that I had given her a five (which I knew because I only had six bucks in my pocket this morning, and, as usual, the cash fairy had not snuck into my pants. If any of you are getting visuals here, you better be picturing the cash fairy as a chick…a hot one) She thanked me, fixed her error, and I went on my way.

This reminded me of a time a few years ago when something similar had happened. I was at the beach with friends and family, and went to the nearby liquor store. Not because I wanted to buy booze, but because they were having a fundraiser. For every $15.00 I donated, they donated a bottle of booze to the Foundation for Making Josh Taylor Think He Can Dance (FFMJTTHCD). It’s a good cause, and very near and dear to my heart. I don’t remember the exact dollar figures involved, but I remember the cashier gave me back way too much change. I tried to give it back and explain this to her, and she refused to believe me. She actually argued with me and would not let me give her the money back.

It was kind of like an anti-robbery. I wanted to pull out my nine (holding it sideways, of course, ‘cause I’m gangsta), scream “Take all of this money and no one gets hurt!”, throw the cash down on the counter, fire randomly into the air, and then run out, hop into my getaway car, and take off. Instead I decided to buy mixers with it…’cause I’m gangsta.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Camping (Fireworks Part 2: The Revenge)

I’d like to add a disclaimer at the beginning of this, since I know my mom reads this: None of this is true, it is all purely for entertainment. Instead of camping, we actually went and read to blind orphans. Your son is much smarter than this.

Hey mom – don’t read this next sentence. These events are true, to the best of my recollection.

I went camping last weekend with a group of guys that I don’t hang out with nearly enough. Although, to be honest, every time we hang out there is at least one brilliant idea that has the potential to maim, and/or, kill us, so maybe that’s a good thing. Ashley, Stan, HL, Lindsey and I went to the small town of McBee, SC (official motto: We would prefer it if Josh Taylor would stay the hell out of our town). We were fully prepared for the trip, having two four-wheelers, a cooler full of beer, a jug of moonshine, a chainsaw, and an enormous box of fireworks. Unfortunately for Hook and Lato, they backed out of the trip at the last minute, so they missed all of our death-defying stunts and shenanigans, and assorted tomfoolery. I use the term camping a bit loosely here, since we forgot our tents and wound up sleeping inside of a small blockhouse.

Anyway, we spent most of the afternoon and night riding around on the four-wheelers, which was a blast. However, as the night went on, and there started to be more empty beer bottles than full ones, we got smarter. The moonshine helped. (side note here – never put a stick of cinnamon in a bottle of moonshine. It ruins perfectly good moonshine). We decided to start shooting the fireworks. At each other. I found this out as Lindsey and I were coming back to the campsite after riding around the farm a bit. When we started getting close, we noticed that bright balls of colorful fire were coming in our direction at high rates of speed. Lindsey, being significantly smarter than me, and stone cold sober, decided to stop out of range and wait for them to run out of firepower. Me, being a candidate for a Nobel Prize in Astrophysics by this point in the evening, arrived at another idea: kick it up into fifth gear, full throttle, and ride straight at them, while doing my best Indian warcry (which Stan later informed me sounded more like the “yiyiyiyiyi” thing from Xena: Warrior Princess). Miraculously, I was not hit a single time (mostly because fireworks are hard to aim at a specific target while sober, which none of us but Lindsey was). So I took off up the hill to go get more firewood, because as most of us know: fires are never big enough and always need more wood. The size requirements for fires are directly linked to the collective blood/alcohol content of the group. Which is to say, ours needed to be able to be seen from space.

As I was roaring off up the hill, I decided to look over my shoulder to make sure that no one was lighting more fireworks. Right about the time I did this, the front tires of the four wheeler caught in some deep sand, and since I was looking behind me, caught me by surprise and off balance. I flew off of the four-wheeler, managing to land so that the back tires ran over my leg. No serious damage, but I was sore as hell the next day. Of course, I stood up, took a bow, and went to get more wood. The guys said that, one second I was in the seat, the next second they saw me flying across the beam of the headlight. Right about then I decided that maybe I should stick to non-motorized means of moving about until I was more sober.

This was when it really started to get interesting. You see, we all really love fireworks. Almost to the point where the relationship is not purely platonic. However, we don’t like to just shoot fireworks in the traditional “Make sure it’s a safe distance away from anything flammable, light it, step back, and watch the pretties” kind of way. We have more of a “Hey watch this!” approach. Sure, it’s not terribly safe, but really, the last safe thing that was fun was Men Without Hats “Safety Dance.”

We started putting the fireworks in barrels, but were met with disappointing results. At this point, Ashley had a spectacular idea: put fireworks in the grill, light them, and put the lid on. I’m a bit fuzzy on exactly why, but shortly after it started to go off (and it wasrad) he tackled the grill, sending sparks flying. Right about then, one of the hay bales caught fire, which had potential to be bad, seeing how it was lined up in a row with roughly eight billion other bales of hay. Luckily, we put it out by kicking it and pouring beer on it. Then the grass caught on fire (or maybe it was already on fire and we were just noticing…semantics, really.) So we all ran around like morons stomping until it all went out. I didn’t think it had gotten that out of control until the next morning. By the light of day, it looked like we had been exchanging small arms fire with heavy artillery.

I think Stan and HL put it best when Stan said “Well, despite our best efforts, none of us died.” And HL followed up with “Those weren’t really our best efforts.” As if to prove HL right, Ashley picked up a tall deer stand to carry it around to behind the building. The problem was that the stand he was carrying was probably about twelve feet tall and made of metal, and he was trying to go under a power line that was about ten feet tall, and filled with electricity. I’m no scientist, but metal + electricity + person = bad. Luckily, we all noticed and started yelling, so he missed.

I’m trying to put together a trip in the near future, so anyone interested should start stocking up on good ideas and moonshine now.

S-s-s-s A-a-a-a F-f-f-f E-e-e-e T-t-t-t Y-y-y-y
Safe, dance!

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine
I say, we can go where we want to
A place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind
And we can dance

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine
I say, we can go where we want to
A place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind
And we can dance

We can go when we want to
The night is young and so am I
And we can dress real neat from our hats to our feet
And surprise 'em with the victory cry
Say, we can act if want to
If we don't nobody will
And you can act real rude and totally removed
And I can act like an imbecile

I say, we can dance, we can dance
Everything out of control
We can dance, we can dance
We're doing it from wall to wall
We can dance, we can dance
Everybody look at your hands
We can dance, we can dance
Everybody takin' the cha-a-a-ance

Safety dance
Is it safe to dance
Is it safe to dance

S-s-s-s A-a-a-a F-f-f-f E-e-e-e T-t-t-t Y-y-y-y
Safe, dance!

We can dance if we want to
We've got all your life and mine
As long as we abuse it, never gonna lose it
Everything'll work out right
I say, we can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine


Is it safe to dance, oh is it safe to dance [6x]
Is it safe to dance

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Another Haircut Story

I went to visit my parents Friday night, on my way to go camping on Saturday (which I’ll write about later). I was desperately in need of a haircut (again), not because I waited too long like last time, but because, apparently, I have been shampooing with Miracle Gro and the lights in my house have been functioning as grow lights (note: if any law enforcement officers are reading this, I’m speaking figuratively. There are no grow lights in my house, I am not a pot farmer. There may or may not be a moonshine still in the backyard, I’m pleading the fifth.) Man, do I get off of the subject easily. I have the attention span of a mentally challenged four-year-old girl in a field full of ponies and ice cream.

Anyway, I made some sort of comment about needing a haircut, and my dad’s eyes lit up. Now, when this happens, there are only two results. The first option? He has a great idea. My dad is an extremely smart man, and his great ideas are truly great. The second option is that he has a terrible idea that he thinks is great, in fact, it may rival the invention of the cotton gin in its sheer greatitude (I made that word up, and I really like it. Maybe it’s not as “hip” as teenage slang like “funky-fresh,” “dope,” or “erectile dysfunction,” but I’m no teenager). Unfortunately, since he is used to having his real great ideas work out so well, he has a hard time seeing the bad ones. Let me add, as a disclaimer, that about 85% of his ideas are great, and the other 15% aren’t nearly as bad as my “good” ideas.

I am going to get to the point eventually, I promise. Dad told me that I should go to the guy who cuts his hair since I was in town. I told him I was leaving the house around 8 in the morning since we had some work to do where we were camping, so that wasn’t an option. When he informed me that the guy was open for business at 7 AM, and that he had a coupon so the haircut would be half price, I was all ready to go ahead with it and go get a quick haircut in the morning. Until Dad dropped the bomb… “Try not to stare at his glass eye.” Right. Now, I know a little about a whole lot of stuff, and a whole lot about nothing useful (play me the first few bars of almost any rock song made between 1960 and 1995 and I can name the artist, song title, and sometimes the album, which is only useful never) but I do know that merely closing one eye severely affects depth perception. I’m guessing losing one entirely has a similar effect. Merely conjecture, I’m no medical professional (but I do play one on TV).

Even if Dad had a coupon where the guy actually paid me $50 to get my hair cut, I’m not letting anyone with poor depth perception near my head with sharp cutting objects and razors near my head, especially early in the morning, when he may still be a bit sleepy. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with human anatomy, but my head is where I keep my brain, eyeballs, ears, and other useful organs. Sure, occasionally I like to wear an eyepatch and pretend I’m a pirate (Aaaarrrggghhh! Surrender yer booty!), but I don’t want to really lose my eye for when I’m in one of my many non-pirate moods. I explained all of this to dad (well, I may have left out the pirate part. It didn’t seem relevant.), and he understood my concern, but I think he’s going to keep going back to the guy. So for those of you who know my dad, keep your eye out (sorry…bad pun) for some designer eyepatches.

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