Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Happy Anniversary!

That's right, kids! As of today, good ol' Uncle JT has been divorced for a full year. Have a drink in my honor, I'll write more later when I have time.

JT out.

Thursday, June 21, 2007



On Tuesday, I purchased a Yobo FC Twin gaming system. For those of you unfamiliar with them, they’re a console that can play both Nintendo and Super Nintendo cartridges. In fact, I’ve dubbed it the “Super Jesus Mouth Punch” instead because of the sheer awesomeitude of this system. I can play Street Fighter II: Turbo and Mike Tyson’s Punch Out on the same system. “Yobo FC Twin” just doesn’t have enough oomph in the name to convey how hard it rocks.

My original plans for last night involved my friend Neil coming by with his laptop so I could install PhotoShop, InDesign, Acrobat, and Illustrator for him, and then maybe toss as many episodes of The Office onto his hard drive as would fit. After that, I planned on drinking beer and playing Street Fighter II: Turbo until I passed out drunk or died from exhaustion. Instead, Neil called to tell me there had been a slight change of plans (when you make plans with Neil, there is always a slight change of plans, but this was different.) As he was walking out to his car, he kept hearing an odd noise. It sounded like a cat was down in the sewer. Neil lifted off the manhole cover, climbed down into the sewer, and guess what? It was actually Rick Allen who had gotten stuck down there. With only one arm, he was hard pressed to both climb the ladder and lift the manhole cover, so he resorted to mewing like a kitten so someone would come rescue him. Okay, so I made that up and it was in poor taste.

In all actuality, it was a kitten. Neil took the kitten inside, gave it a bath, and fed and watered it. As much as Neil wanted to keep it, his roommate is allergic to cats, so that wasn’t an option. Luckily, Melissa has wanted a cat for a while now, so it wound up being a good fit. We went over to get it and take it back to her house. On the way there, we started trying to come up with names. Being ever so helpful, I was recommending names such as “Paul,” “Hank,” “Timmy,” and any other name that doesn’t sound appropriate for a kitten. Then I came up with pure kitten-name gold: “Mr. Belvedere.” She hated it. A lot. She finally settled on the name “Smokey.”

Not to be outdone, I insisted on calling the kitten “Mr. Belvedere” all night long. Following is an approximation of our conversation:

Melissa: “Will you stop calling Smokey “Mr. Belvedere?” He’s going to get confused and never learn his name!”

JT: “Mr. Belvedere hates the name “Smokey.””

M: “Ass.”

JT: “You drop-kicked your jacket, when you came through the door. No one cared…”

M: “Ass.”

JT: “Besides, “Smokey” isn’t an appropriate name for a British butler.”

At this point, we were both staring daggers at each other, drinking beers, when suddenly, Melissa had a stroke of genius.

M: “Hey! Let’s call him “Pabst!”

JT: “…I like it. How about “Peeber,” short for “Pabst Blue Ribbon?””

…and that is how Peeber got his name. As a lot of you know, I’m not a “cat person.” In fact, I’m not all that wild about cats, with a few exceptions. Of course, Melissa is taking every opportunity to give me hell about this since I’ve been playing with Peeber and helping take care of him. As I pointed out to her, everything is cute when it’s a baby. I bet even French people are cute as infants…

JT out.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


One Good Year...

Slaid Cleaves, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated and unappreciated singer/songwriters in the United States. As should be expected, he hails from Austin, TX, which is a hotbed of incredible talent. In my humble opinion, Austin is the heart of "real" country music, not that pop-country crap that comes out of Nashville these days. Do yourselves a favor and listen to One Good Year. It's beautifully put together and the lyrics are moving.

Speaking of the lyrics, they do an exceptional job of summarizing my current state of mind. You see, I like to think of this as my "one good year." I've recently bought a house, I work two jobs that I enjoy 90% of the time, and I'm head-over-heels in love with a beautiful girl who has come back into my life after eight years. In fact, I cannot remember a time in my life when I've had this much going for me, especially since this follows a year that included my divorce, losing a job, and having my old house sit empty and on the market for six months while I paid the mortgage plus rent in another city. Yep, for the first time in a long time, everything's coming up Milhouse.

Maybe I'm jinxing myself by putting these thoughts in writing for the universe to see, but I doubt it. I feel like it's finally my turn. Don't get me wrong, I've always had a pretty good life, and I've never truly hit rock bottom. In fact, I'm pretty lucky. But right now, I'm about as close to perfect as I've ever been. That proverbial light at the end of the tunnel? It's not so far away anymore...it's just getting brighter everyday.

I know this is a ginourmous departure from the norm, but I was in an exceptional mood today...let me know how you're all doing.

JT out.

It's New Year's Day
Just like the day before
Same old skies of grey
Same empty bottles on the floor
Another year gone by
And I'm thinking once again
How can I take this losing hand
And somehow win?

Just give me one good year
To get my feet back on the ground
I've been chasing grace
But grace ain't so easily found
One bad hand can devil a man
Chase him and carry him down
I gotta get out of here
Just give me one good year

I'm burning oil
Engine's running rough
I drive from job to job
But it's never enough
I can't find the will
To just up and get away
Some kind of chains holding me down
To make me stay.

Just give me one good year.....

It's a bitter wind
In your face every day
It's the little sins
That wear your soul away
When you start giving in
Where do the promises all go
Will your darkest hour
Write a blank check on your soul

Just give me one good year
To get my feet back on the ground
I've been chasing grace
But grace ain't so easily found
One bad hand can devil a man
A good one can turn him around
I gotta get out of here
Just give me one good year
I gotta get out of here
Just give me one good year.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Hell Yes.

Alright kids, go check out this chat transcipt on my pretend internet friend Kenny's Page, Topping from the Bottom. Then, when you're done being amazed at the fact that I'm so awesome that I give random facebook guys raging boners, go to Kenny's main page and scroll down to her stand up. She's hilarious, and I wish I was closer to Madison so I could catch her live. Oh hell, I'll just link to it. Otherwise y'all probably wouldn't do it.

JT out.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I Can Appreciate The Irony…

I love that, less than a week after mentioning that nothing terribly unusual worth writing about happens at The Village Idiot, I am preparing to write about it again. I have some reservations about writing this, because it’s essentially nothing more than me making fun of Kelly, my boss’s wife, but Brian has a hell of a sense of humor, so I’m going to roll with it. Brian and I are both jackasses, which is why we get along so well.

Friday night was just an ordinary night in the kitchen, not too slow, not too busy, the only thing keeping me amused was the USC – UNC baseball game. Being a die-hard Clemson fan, I was staying true to my conference (ACC) and pulling for the Tar Heels. I was the only person in the bar pulling for the Tar Heels, since Columbia is home to USC, and we were full to the hilt with people sporting garnet and black. When USC’s pitching collapsed and they started walking runs in, I started laughing and clapping, which made me immensely popular.

I was supposed to be able to clock out at 10, but a sudden rush kept me in the kitchen until 10:30. My original plan for the evening was to sit down at the bar with the Captain (not Captain Morgan, the rum, but Captain Ben, one of our delivery drivers) have a beer or two, then head over to Melissa’s house to take it easy for the rest of the night, since I had to be back in the kitchen in the morning. I clocked out, brushed as much of the flour off of the front of my shirt as was possible, and headed for the empty barstool between Captain and Kelly. I got Barry’s attention and he brought me over a beer (unfortunately, we do not serve PBR. I’m working on it.)

We all made some small talk, and then Kelly headed off to another bar with two of her friends while Captain and I drank our beers and started a bet to see who would be the most hungover in the morning (he won.) Right as I was paying my tab and getting up to head for the door, Kelly came back in, noticeably drunker. Very noticeably. Being a semi-decent person at heart, and being friends with her husband, I decided to intervene, and asked her how she was getting home (all of us at the Idiot regularly take each other home when we’ve had a few too many. We’re like a slightly dysfunctional inbred family.) Through careful coaxing and coercion, she agreed to let me take her home. I knew it was in the opposite direction from Melissa’s house, but it was the right thing to do.

She said she was ready to go, so I started heading for the door to the back alley, where my car was parked. Allow me to recreate the conversation to the best of my memory:

Kelly: “Where are you going?”

JT: “We’re going to my car so I can take you home.”

K: “I’m hungry. I’m going to tell Maurice to make me something real quick.”

JT: “I’ll make it for you, Maurice is busy, and he’s in the kitchen by himself. What do you want?”

K: “Brian will be hungry too, so make us a pizza.”

Side note: I knew that Brian would not be hungry, as he was asleep. I had called him to tell him I was bringing Kelly home, and had woken him up.

JT: “No problem. What do you want on it?”

K: “I don’t care.”

JT: “Kelly, just tell me what you like. It will be easier. Or tell me what you don’t like, either way.”

K: “It doesn’t matter. I like everything.”

JT: “Fine. Go sit down and it will be ready in about 10 minutes.”

K: “Okay.”

A few minutes later, I walk back out of the kitchen, the pizza is in the oven and cooking.

K: “What did you put on it?”

JT: “Pepperoni and sausage.”

In my mind, pretty standard pizza toppings for a drunk pizza

K: “Yuck. I hate sausage.”

JT: “You can pick it off.”

K: “Where is it?”

JT: “In the oven. It will be ready soon.”

K: “Oh.”

JT: “When it comes out, I’m going to box it up, and then we’ll hit the road, okay?”

K: “Okay.”

At this pointing the night, it was becoming increasingly clear to me that I was in for the long haul. I called Melissa and explained the situation, asking if she would come up and keep me company until I could herd Kelly down to my car and then home.

Melissa showed up at about the same time I brought Kelly out her pizza. Kelly decided she wanted to eat there, and opened up the box. I was glad I had called Melissa.

K: “This pizza is burnt. I can’t believe Maurice made this! A pizza like this should never be served here!”

JT: “Actually, I made it, and there’s nothing wrong with it.”

K: “It’s burnt! Look!”

At this point, Liz, my favorite waitress to work with, comes over.

Liz: “Kelly, that pizza is not burnt. It’s fine.”

K: “No it’s not. I’m not eating it!”

Liz: “Well, then can Melissa and I have some?”

Liz and Melissa both ate a couple of pieces, agreeing that it was fine. Also, some random drunk blonde girl took a piece and ate it. Clearly, it was fine. No one has ever accused me of being a smart man, but making a pizza isn’t rocket science, and this one was pretty close to perfect.

At this point I was tired and quickly getting fed up with the fact that I was still at the bar three hours after my shift ended. We finally got Kelly to agree it was time to leave.

K: “Where are we going??? My car isn’t this way!”

JT: “No, but my car is. The car that is giving you a ride home.”

K: “Where are the wings?”

JT: “What?”

K: “The wings that I’m taking home. I’m having a baby shower at my house tomorrow.”

JT: “You never mentioned that. Are they in the cooler?”

K: “Probably.”

When I went to get the wings, I discovered that, in addition to the wings, I had a box full of tequila and mushrooms and a box of shrimp to carry. Down a rickety flight of stairs into a dark alley. An alley that is littered in broken beer bottles, and my car is at the end of it. I was pleased. Melissa and I made a few trips, and we were finally ready to go.

After about five minutes of driving…

K: “Where are the flowers?”

JT: “What flowers?!?

K: “The flowers from my car.”

JT: “Probably in your car. You can get them in the morning.”

K: “But they’ll die if I don’t plant them immediately!”

JT: “Tonight? Right now?!?”

K: “In the morning.”

JT: “They’ll be fine”

At this point, Kelly entered her “repeat nonsensical questions and partial sentences phase” of drunkeness. Those of us who have taken her home before know that the best way to deal with this is to nod and say things like “Really?”, “Huh.” and “Yep.” at regular intervals. It’s a lot like the conversations I used to have with my ex-wife. Then I heard her open her cell phone and start dialing. I found out the other half of the conversation with Liz the next morning.

K: “Liz? Are you taking me home?.”

Liz: “Kelly, aren’t you in Josh’s car right now?”

K: “Yes.”

Liz: “Kelly, Josh is taking you home. In fact, you should be home very soon.”

K: “Oh.”

We finally got Kelly home and into the house, but not before she insisted on laying down outside in the carport for a while. I brought in the food, opened up the refrigerator and rearranged it so that everything fit. Kelly offered Melissa a warm Miller Lite from a sixer that had been sitting out on the counter all day, which Melissa graciously accepted as if it were an ice-cold beer on a blazing summer day (she’s amazing, I tell ya!) and Kelly attempted to give us a tour of her house. I only let it go for a couple of rooms, because I knew Brian was sleeping somewhere and didn’t feel like waking him.

We left and went home, glad that ordeal was over with. When I walked into the kitchen the next morning, I asked Brian how Kelly felt. He just laughed. A lot. Then he thanked me for taking care of Kelly and putting the food away. He said that Kelly told him I had insisted on it, while she had told me just to leave it out in the carport and she would get it. In fact, she had requested that I bring it inside and then stared blankly at the mostly-full refrigerator until I finally made the move to rearrange, take shelves out, and get it all in place. It just seemed easier that way.

The rest of the day was spent with Liz, Captain, Eric and I filling in the gaps in each other’s stories for when Kelly had been out of earshot, on the phone, or in my car. I realize that I have spent an entire day in the bar, as well as written an extremely lengthy post at her expense, but if you do the crime, you gotta pay the time, unless your daddy owns hotels all over the world.

Feel free to share any drunken babysitting stories you have in the comments section...

JT out.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Chicklet Girl and the Purse Attack!

I know that I’ve mentioned my second job at the Village Idiot in passing many times. However, I have never truly gone into any further detail. Really, there isn’t usually much to tell, just your standard night at the bar. Occasionally we have to kick people out for being obnoxiously drunk , and every now and then break up a heated situation (I’ve never seen an actual punch thrown, much less a real fight, just idiots mouthing off) but nothing truly interesting had happened until last night.

As usual for a Tuesday night, I was barbacking for Moses and Brian. I have to say, other than the long hours (I usually don’t leave until 12:30 or 1:00 AM) Tuesday night is my easiest night. I bust my ass for about an hour hustling beer up the stairs three cases at a time, stocking the bar, and icing down the reserves for our Dollar Beer night (Budweiser and Bud Light are just a buck on Tuesdays.) Then, I just hang out for two or three hours, refilling ice and restocking cold beers as necessary until about 10:30 or 11:00. Then it’s show time. For some bizarre reason, people start streaming in the door at 10:30, and we get filled to capacity, if not more (just kidding, Mr. Fire Marshal! We never let more than 97 people in at once!) Frat boys are standing three and four deep at the bar, waving dollar bills in the air and trying desperately to look cool. On a side note: the best way to get us to serve you faster? Actually tip us, you douchebags. The beer is a dollar. If you buy six, and don’t leave a tip, we remember that kind of thing. And sweetheart, your ID says you’re 32? Why are you still wearing a sorority t-shirt? I agree, your breasts are perky. Now let me show you where the door is.

Anyway, back to my original story. Like I said, nothing too terribly unusual most nights. Last night was a bit of an exception. It was probably a bit past 9:00, and we were steady, but not busy yet. I was at my usual post, leaning against the Chicklet machine, talking to the cooks and waitresses and in plain view where Moses could catch my eye if he needed something before I noticed it was low. Suddenly, a random girl walked over to me and asked if it was my job to guard the Chicklet machine. By this time of the night, I wasn’t in the mood for people who think they’re cute. I had put in nine hours at my day job, and was into hour number three of my night job. I just stared at her and replied “Yes.” She walked off, only to return a few minutes later.

Chicklet girl: “You know, I wasn’t trying to be some smart-ass random bar girl. I was only kidding. I love Chicklets, and this is the only bar that has them. I always buy several and put them in the side pocket of my purse.”

JT: “Don’t worry about it. Trust me, you’ve got nothing on half of the crap I hear in here every night. Besides, I now know two people who use this thing. You and Brian, the owner. In fact, I’m convinced that Brian keeps it here for two reasons: so he can eat the Chicklets, and so I have something to lean on when I’m not busy.”

CG: “Well, I just didn’t want you to think I’m a bitch. I used to bartend in Austin before I moved here, and I realized I probably came across badly earlier. I know what you all have to put up with.”

We then talked about Austin for a while. I have been out there once, and want to go again, because the music scene is right up my alley, and she was recommending places to go. Then, the conversation returned to Chicklets.

CG: “So, does Brian pick out the yellow ones?”

JT: “I honestly have no idea.”

CG: “I bet he does. They taste like banana. Everyone picks them out and throws them away. They’re awful.”

JT: “Well, I’ll pay closer attention next time… “

At this point, Moses informed me we were low on ice, so I went to the back to get some more, assuming this would be the end of Chicklet Girl’s dissertation on the Merit of the Yellow Chicklet and its Influence on Western Culture. I was mistaken.

I resumed my post, and Chicklet Girl walked over, two whole yellow Chicklets in her hand, and one that had been bitten into.

CG: “See? I made my friend taste one and she hated it too.”

JT: “Well, point proven, I suppose.”

She then laid the 2.5 Chicklets on top of the vending machine and wandered off. I waited until she was out of sight and tossed them in the trash, not wanting to accidentally plant my elbow in them later.

After that, we were slammed and I was running back and forth stocking beer, ice and mixers until I left.

As I was walking towards my car, I saw a blur out of the corner of my eye, and suddenly, a girl was hitting me with her purse. I just turned, looked at her and said:

JT: “Well, hi there.”

Purse Girl: “Oh My God! I don’t know you!”

JT: “Nope.”

PG: “I am so sorry. I thought you were someone else.”

JT “I’m not.”

PG: “Will you pose for a picture with me?”

JT: “Sure. Why not?”

I figured it couldn’t get any stranger. I offered to call her a cab, since she was obviously drunk, but she had a friend waiting in her car to drive her home. I finally climbed in my car and headed home, glad to have another Dollar Beer night behind me. I just can’t wait to see what happens next…

JT out.

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