Thursday, July 26, 2007


Don’t be a dick.

Seriously, how hard can it be? I sometimes wonder whether people are truly so self-absorbed and unaware, or if they are truly douchebags. Let’s examine two scenarios, but first, some background.

I work in a bar called the Village Idiot. Even before I started working there, I always told people that the Idiot has the best pizza and the second best wings in town. The best wings are at Calloway’s, but you’re a lot less likely to get stabbed at the Idiot, and the difference in the wings is small enough that I recommend the Idiot. We’re nothing fancy, just a college bar with a typical bar menu. I do a bit of everything there: cooking, working the door, barbacking, and bartending on occasion. I don’t wait tables and I don’t do deliveries. Nothing against waiting tables at all, I just do better with that on a fine dining level, not in a bar.

I don’t know how most of you feel about tipping on pick up orders at restaurants. I realize that very little actual “service” appears to be involved, but the kitchen still has to take the time to correctly prepare the order and try to time it so that it is still nice and hot when you get it. In most places (or the places where I’ve worked, at least) the tips on take out orders go straight to the kitchen staff. This is the main reason I’m writing this tonight. I just got home from an unusually busy Wednesday night shift in the kitchen. I was scheduled to close, which I love, because it means I drink for free after midnight (I’m a bit of a whore for free drinks.) Now, back to the scenarios.

Scenario Numero Uno:

It is 12:35 AM. You walk into the bar to place a take-out order. Why didn’t you call ahead and place it so that you would have already had it by now? I don’t know. It is painfully obvious that the kitchen is all but closed. Items are being wrapped up and surfaces are being wiped down. You ignore this completely, and ask for a menu.

The extremely handsome and charming guy behind the counter waits patiently while you change your order three times. He is still smiling, although he is developing a bit of a twitch in his left eye. You finally settle on two of the most complicated specialty pizzas on the menu, are incredibly rude and demand that it be prepared as quickly as possible, since you are in a hurry. Then, when paying, you do not leave even a penny of a tip on this $28.00 order. When told it will be at least fifteen minutes before the food is ready, you mutter something under your breath.

I heard you, asshole. I have incredible hearing.

Scenario Numero Dos:

It is 12:35 AM. You walk into the bar to place a take-out order. Why didn’t you call ahead and place it so that you would have already had it by now? Because you’re drunk, but friendly drunk. It is painfully obvious that the kitchen is all but closed. Items are being wrapped up and surfaces are being wiped down. You apologize for the inconvenience, and say that is okay if the kitchen is closed.

When the extremely handsome and charming guy behind the counter says not to worry about it, he has to make another order anyway, you beam him a huge smile and go buy him a beer at the bar. You also ask what is the most convenient for him to prepare. He tells you “No worries, I’ll make anything you need.” You still order a ridiculously easy pizza and tip him $6.00 on a $12.00 order. You say “No rush, I’ll be at the bar drinking, just yell at me when it’s ready. Do you need another beer?”

Does anyone want to guess which individual received extra toppings, a larger pizza than ordered, and got the order first?

If you guessed the douchebag in Scenario Numero Uno, you are retarded. Go kill yourself now and do the world a favor.

If you guessed Scenario Numero Dos, you are correct. Go eat some ice cream and pat yourself on the back. Unless, of course, you are lactose intolerant. In that case, substitute another tasty treat for the ice cream. Maybe even put a gold star sticker on your shirt. Go nuts with it.

Honestly, even if the jackass in Scenario Numero Uno had tipped me decently, and the nice drunk lady in Scenario Numero Dos had not, I still would have given her preferential treatment, just because she knows how to treat other people like human beings. While I have no aversion to making money, I do have a gigantic aversion to douchebags, assholes, and the music of Michael McDonald.

Seriously, kids. Just don’t be a dick. I know it’s clichéd as hell, but that Golden Rule you grandmother taught you? It holds water. Treat others the way you want to be treated…because karma is a cruel bitch.

JT out.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Red Stick or Bust!

I just returned from the longest road trip of my life. My close friends Burt and Jennie B got married in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Saturday. From Columbia, SC, Google says that the trip should take eleven hours. The plan was to leave at 4:00 PM on Thursday, but anytime you have several people involved, it usually delays departure a bit. There were four of us: Melissa, me, Neil, and Joy. We still wound up leaving fairly quickly. We left at just past 4:30 PM on Thursday afternoon, arriving at our hotel in Baton Rouge at approximately 2:30 AM Friday morning (for the sake of ease, I’m leaving everything in Eastern time, although Baton Rouge runs on Central.) That’s just shy of 10 hours, plus we made several stops for gas, food, drinks, and restroom breaks. As hard as I try to orchestrate the stop so that everyone uses the restroom and grabs food while I’m filling the gas tank up, it never quite works out that way, although this trip was exceptionally simple.

Did I mention that I drove the entire way? As Neil put it; I’m a “driving machine.” He has also called me a “drinking machine.” That brings the current count of activities I’m a “machine” at up to three: drinking, driving…and crossword puzzles. What did you sick puppies think the third one was going to be? Get your minds out of the gutters. I should also probably point out that while I am a drinking and driving machine, the two are mutually exclusive. I am a drinking machine, and I am a driving machine, but I try not to be a drinking and driving machine at the same time. My parole officer discourages it. Drinking and crossword puzzles? Oh, hell yes. Bring it.

Anyway, I’m sure many of you out there in interweb land are wondering “How did he drive that far all in one sitting? Is he a god among men? Some type of driving robot sent back in time from the future?” While the answer to both of those questions is “yes,” there are other factors to consider. For one, I had a great support team: my lovely girlfriend, Melissa, my wacky partner-in-crime, Neil, and his friend Joy, whom I don’t have a great description for because this was only the third time we had hung out. Also, I was sucking down energy drinks like it was Arbor Day and I just wanted to get drunk and plant a tree (an awkward simile, but I think it works.)

I have a theory on energy drinks: the sweet tasting ones such as Rockstar, Vault, etc. do not work. Or perhaps they do, but they do not affect me. Keep in mind I used to drink at least two pots of coffee a day, so it takes a lot to kickstart me. Also, did I mention that I have a problem doing things in moderation? Regardless, I try to find the worst tasting energy drinks and guzzle them as quickly as possible. If it tastes like there’s some kerosene in it, I know it’s going to do the trick. The last one I bought in Mississippi had an image of Cerberus on the can, so I had a good feeling about it. Not only did it taste like a mixture of kerosene and mangos, but it also left an unpleasant burning sensation in my mouth. To top it all off, my head, neck, and shoulders soon started to itch fiercely. Not exactly what I was going for, but who the hell can fall asleep with a burning mouth and an itchy upper body?

We arrived safely, all in one piece, although I was itchy and somewhat jittery. Nothing a few cold beers didn’t fix, though. Kind of like lupus. On Friday morning, we got up and headed to New Orleans. Since we were only an hour away, and none of us had been, we decided it would be a shame to waste the chance. Although New Orleans is called “The Big Easy,” don’t let that fool you. Parking is a bitch. Other than that, it is extremely easy…although somewhat expensive. You can buy beers at to-go windows walking down the street! Also, the Abita Gator is 10% alcohol by volume, so a 22 ounce pilsner glass puts a bit of a grin on your face. We had a great lunch of gumbo, fried alligator tail, and crawdad cakes, and then hit Bourbon Street to start drinking…I mean sightseeing.

Our first stop was a place called the Krazy Korner, where we saw a band called “Old Number Seven Brand” play. If that sounds familiar, it’s because they got their name from a Jack Daniels sign. The lead guitar player was awesome, and I’m going to copy his look for the next white trash party. Plus, they had buy-one-get-one-free beers, so I was pleased.

All in all, it was an exhausting day, and we pretty much crashed as soon as we got back to the hotel. Saturday was a pool party at the hotel with all of us who had traveled from South Carolina to Baton Rouge for the wedding. I got a sunburn and a hell of a buzz. We went back up to the room, cleaned up, sobered up, and went to the wedding. I’m sure the wedding was very nice, moving, etc., but I’m not much of a wedding guy. I’m more of a reception guy. Especially when the open bar includes Abita Amber, and lots of it. Abita is my new favorite micro-brew, so I made it my mission to drink as many as possible while I was still in Louisiana. Burt, the groom, is a hell of a drummer, so Kyle, Neil, Shawn and I convinced the band to let him sit in on a few songs. I know he did the Rolling Stones' Satisfaction and a blues number. It was great, and I had a blast at the reception overall. In fact, we had such a blast at the reception and after-party in Kyle’s hotel room, that it really, really hurt to drive back yesterday. Especially since we hit stop-and-go traffic in Montgomery, AL and Atlanta, GA. The drive home too 14 hours, with Neil and I trading off behing the wheel. My sunburn and hangover prevented me from being legendary and driving all the way both ways.

We got home at 2:30, having left at 11:30, and I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. This week promises to be a good week. My copy of the new Harry Potter should be here soon from, and my 10 year high school reunion is Saturday. I’m not going…I’ve planned a counter-reunion. I’m such an ass. Hope everyone had a great weekend, I’m going back to bed.

JT out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


White Trash Party

This past weekend, my friends Ashley and Anna hosted a White Trash party as their housewarming party. Just to let everyone know that my circle of friends are deadly serious when it comes to theme parties, here is an excerpt from the email invitation:

Ashley has said if you DO NOT come dressed, you will have to drink Boone's Farm and Colt 45 cocktails all night. So have some fun--dress up!

And by "cocktails", he truly meant a mixture of the two drinks. Luckily (or unluckily, since I wanted to see someone choke one down,) everyone showed up in their white trash finest, as evidenced in the picture above (note the guy peeing in the bushes in the background. Classy, HL. Classy.) Here is the truly scary part: very few of us had to go out and buy anything to create this look. Sure, we cut sleeves off and maybe shortened some shorts, but most of it was already in our possessions. Frightening, huh? Welcome to the South. Now go home.

An additional rule that I requested was no beer that costs more than $7.00 per twelve pack. The coolers were full of PBR, Old Milwaukee, Milwaukee's Best, Natural Light, Budweiser, and Busch. For the ladies, we had an assortment of boxed wines, Mad Dog 20/20, Wild Irish Rose, and Boone's Farm. The menu included vienna sausages, pigs in blankets, pork rinds, moon pies, and pickled eggs. Needless to say, everyone was in rough shape the following day. I felt like there were several angry midgets trying to tunnel out of my skull through my eyeballs, and my heartburn burned with the fury of a thousand suns.

I really wish I could have overheard conversations that the neighbors were having about what kind of people moved in next door and what it was going to do to their property values. Especially once we all started drinking and throwing out empties into the yard (my idea, and I'm very proud of it) and having staged domestic disputes between the couples. We even came up with alternate personas and jobs. Believe it or not, I thickened my Southern drawl (CDP, I know you think this to be an impossible feat.) And finally, the bobbing for vienna sausages in a pot of beer game that Ashley and Anna created. It was supposed to be a joke, surely no one would do something so disgusting, right? Wrong. You've never been around my friends when we've been drinking.

Me and the little lady, all fixed up to go out drinkin'. We couldn't find no one to sit with the young'un, so we took him along.

JT out.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Bomb Pop!

Bomb Pop is the devil. More on that later.

I had every intention of writing a clever, original post today on the White Trash party from this weekend. However, this video took the wind out of my sails. Go watch it. Now.

Now, damnit!

The CDP is my hero.

JT out.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Playing Catch Up

Let me see…where to start. It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything real or original, and I have a lot of material to cover, but I think I’ll spread it out over a few days. Otherwise it would get confusing and long.

A few weekends ago, Melissa and I went to her Uncle and Aunt’s lake house on Lake Sinclair in Georgia. I had been warned of two things: the house is in the middle of nowhere, and her family is not known for their ability to give directions. I figured there was no way it could be that bad...I was mistaken. I knew we were probably in trouble when I got off of I-20, then crossed it twice during the course of following her aunt’s directions. At this point, I decided to follow Google’s directions, as they had not yet let me down. Note I said “had.” Google, why hast thou forsaken me? The directions were pure crap. Roads were mentioned that did not exist, and I wound up doing a lrage loop around the small town of Sparta, GA. Luckily, my cell phone is equipped with GPS software, so I keyed in the address, and off we went...down a twisting, turning maze of dirt roads until we arrived. What should have been a right around a two and a half hour drive took almost three and a half by the time Aunt Judy and Google were done with us. Luckily, Melissa’s cousin Haley mixed me a nice gin and tonic upon arrival, so I felt better immediately.

I’m not going to lie, I was a bit nervous. I’ve spent plenty of time with her dad, Tim, and we get along, but I had never met most of the relatives, and we were there for the whole weekend. Also, I was sleeping in the same bed with his baby girl, and I wasn’t 100% sure how he was going to feel about it. Not to worry, we all got along fabulously, drank beer, played games, and just generally hung around in the lake. I actually look forward to going back down there on Labor Day weekend. I had a great time, and her Uncle Ingram’s ribs were beyond outstanding. I think I came close to eating my own body weight in ribs. Unfortunately, we had to leave early Sunday morning, because Sunday was demolition day at the Village Idiot. We were closing down for the week so that we could redo the bar and the floors, making more room and a smoother workflow for the staff.

The drive home was uneventful, I had the GPS up and running from the get-go, so we made it home quickly. I changed into work clothes, and we went to the Idiot (Melissa went with me to see what was going to happen.) We had a pretty decent turnout of employees, but most of the morning was spent moving things instead of smashing things. Luckily, Kelly quickly picked up on my love of destrutcion, and she put Feldman (who hates his nickname) and me in charge of pulling down the wooden railing that separates the bar from the dining area. When we finally got most everything moved, I pulled a Homer Simpson, put my head under one of the taps, pulled the handle, and started drinking. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. That, and when the sledgehammers came out and we started demolishing the bar…while we were drinking. Feldman put all of hi hatred for his nickname behind that sledgehammer, and wood started flying. We all took a turn, and by then the bartop was in pieces. It was nothing short of pure mayhem. I’m kind of amazed that no one was hurt, since we were drinking, and not wearing any type of protective gear. Brian, the owner, did receive some shrapnel in the leg, and Feldman, one of the drivers, hit himself in the foot on the follow through, but neither was very serious.

Then, when we were all done, Brian took all of us out for lunch and more drinking. All in all, a fantastic weekend.

Coming up next: Why Bomb Pop is the devil, Allendale bachelor party recap, and very soon, a video tour of the house (we’re repainting this weekend.)

Until then, here are a two videos from demolishing the bar:

Moses, the bar manager, takes out some pent up frustration

Brian, the owner, takes over where Moses left off.

JT out.

Monday, July 09, 2007



I know I've been terrible about actually updating regularly for the past few weeks. I have many, many half-written articles, but nothing I'm completely happy with.

I'll post something minty-fresh tomorrow, I promise.

Until then, check this out. Compton and I grew up together, to the point where I don't think we knocked on the doors of each other's houses before walking in.

In several of the photos and news clipppings he scanned, you can see some of the buildings of the family farm I grew up on, and one of the peach orchards. Of course, now the highway is four lanes, the buildings are gone, and the peach trees were pushed up years ago when I didn't take over the farm...

JT out.

Friday, July 06, 2007


Swords at Dawn II

Wow....I copied a news story back in March about a sword fight along the coast of SC, thinking it was an anomaly. Surely no one settles fights with swords anymore, right? Apparently not...

Man killed in North Charleston sword attack
The Associated Press

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. --A man attacked three people in a mobile home park with a sword, killing one man and severely injuring the other two, police said.

Danny Earl Broughton III, 35, brandished the sword briefly at a police officer trying to arrest him after the rampage around 5:30 a.m. Thursday, but dropped it when the officer challenged him, North Charleston Police Lt. Melvin Cumbee said.

Neighborhood handyman Heyward Carrigg, 63, was stabbed to death, while Broughton's 54-year-old father and his 26-year-old roommate Trujillo Mendieta suffered serious stab wounds, authorities said.

The sword was at least two feet long, police said.

Neighbors and friends said Broughton, who has been charged with murder, had a history of mental problems, but investigators are still trying to determine a motive.

"We really don't know what set this guy off," Cumbee said.

Information from: The Post and Courier,

Hope everyone had a good 4th. I've got a lot of stuff to write about, but I'm running short on time...more later.

JT out.

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