Monday, December 31, 2007


Too good to resist...

Also, I stole this from Compton.

This was a pleasant surprise. I normally despise Chritsmas music, but it's hard not to like this one...

Happy New Year's, kids. I hope that the holiday season, regardless of what you celebrate, has been a good one for all of you. Thanks for sticking around. I'll try not to disappoint in 2008.

Coming tomorrow? Maybe some resolutions. Definitely a hangover. Perhaps pictures.

Be safe tonight, have a good time, and pull for the Clemson Tigers as they face off against Auburn!

JT out.

Sunday, December 30, 2007



This post kicks off year three here at Spork Nation. I've seen tremendous growth in hits, readers, and comments, here's to hoping that it keeps going that way.

I had hope to have something profound to say here, but I don't. Everyone have a safe, happy New Year's Eve. I'm sure I'll be back on Tuesday or Wednesday with terrible stories.

JT out.

Friday, December 28, 2007


65 Poor Life Decisions: The Review


Some of you may wonder why I am reviewing this book. The reason is simple. No one ever visits my page unless I write about the almighty CDP. He is like a god to me, and I routinely mail him naked pictures of my roommate sleeping to appease his wrath. Sorry, Kyle.

No, in all actuality, it is because he is the first person I know that has written a book, and done a damn fine job of it. He has taken what he considers his best essays from his site, theCDP, and compiled them all into one book for your reading pleasure. This had to be a terribly difficult task, as he had almost four years worth of material to go over, edit, cut, burn, and ritually defile before coming up with this one-pound piece of literary gold.

Since I have read all of his essays, starting from February 2004, for me this was a trip down memory lane. And, like most trips, it had its highs and lows...what, you didn't think I was going to do nothing but verbally fellate theCDP, did you? Hells, no, I'm going to drag my teeth occasionally. I would like to apologize to Jeebus for the previous sentences, but it makes me giggle too much to erase it.

Let's just start out with a swift kick to the CDP's nuts, with my negative remarks, and then we'll give him an ice pack, a Capri-Sun, and turn on MST3K later to make him feel all better, mmmkay? Have no fear, CDPeons, this will be over before you know it (that's what she said.) Now might be a good time to mention that I'm drinking while I wrote this, so it's all downhill from here...

Before I launch into this, I should note that the essays that I dislike are still very well-written. Truth be told, it's not that I actually dislike them, it's just that they don't provide as much interest for re-reading as others do. It's Chapter 6: All Aboard the Rant Train! Choo Choo! It's not even that I don't agree with him on most points (except the vegetarian thing, but I like that he points out he's not trying to sway anyone.) I just feel that the rants are best left as a one-time read. In other words, for those of my loyal readers that haven't read them, you'll probably laugh until you shart.

/end negative comments

Now, let's get to the fun part. Maybe I should have put this first (actually, in the first draft of this, it was first,) but I didn't want to end the review on a negative note. The other 6 chapters are great. They're full of some of my favorite past essays, including my 100% absolute favorite CDP essay ever, Tackling Reggie White. Go read it. Now. I'll wait here patiently until you get back...was I right? Thought so. He also shares past humiliations, triumphs, and just general lessons he has learned the hard way (which is the only way a lot of us seem to know how to do it.) I won't link to anymore full essays, because I really think that this is a book worthy of purchasing. Sure, you could buy something off of Oprah's book list. The books may be quality, I don't know.

What I do know: Oprah came to visit Columbia, and a film crew came into the Village Idiot to film us making pizza for some contest. I was filmed throughout the whole process, and the pie I made was perfection. We were not chosen, so now Oprah and I are mortal enemies. Someone should probably tell her, so she's not surprised when she asks me for my autograph later in life and I instead sign Daffy Duck.

/end Oprah rant.

Part of the appeal of the book, to me at least, is that, by reading this, it really highlights how similar a lot of us are. theCDP is 25 years old, married, vegetarian, from Wisconsin, with somewhat indie musical tastes (for lack of a better least I didn't say "hipster."), he prefers cats over dogs, and he's never had a drop of moonshine in his life (recently my fault. Sorry, CDP.) I'm 28, divorced, from the deep South, 143% carnivore, have two dogs, and have had more moonshine in my life than most (except people who live in Kentucky or Tennessee.) If you put the two of us in a room, you would expect us to have nothing to talk about. We might even engage in a slap fight.

Despite all of this, I manage to identify with what he's feeling in 93.721% of all of his essays (if you're going to make up statistics, you may as well be specific.) Truly, didn't we all experience the same things growing up? I don't give a damn if you're from Idaho, Texas, Maine, or California. We've all gone through the same things: heartache, jubilation, grief, angst, being unsure of who we truly are...the whole gamut of growing up, trying on different personas, and finding the one that works best.

Not only that, but he manages to make himself the butt of all of the jokes. The laughs are all at his expense, he throws no one else under the bus. That's the mark of a truly good person in my book. Take a situation, make an ass of yourself, and make others feel better. It's what Mother Teresa did (I'm going to hell for that sentence alone, regardless of my many other transgressions.) Seriously, though. He takes all of the bullshit we went through growing up, using himself as a protagonist, and makes us all laugh along, recalling how much none of it matters now, but how much it all did then.

These are the memoirs of someone who is not famous now...but who may be one day. Especially if his next book is as good, and he puts a picture of my junk on the cover.

Go buy it.

JT out*.

*I would like to nominate this post for excessive comma usage.

Late night edit: For the first time in a year, I was swung on by one of our drunk patrons. He fell off of his bar stool twice, I asked him to leave. He stood up, squared off, and gave it his best shot. I moved to my left, and he missed by a mile. He promptly fell on his face. I offered him my hand to help him up. He stood up, swung again, and missed again. I barely moved. He fell, and his head connected with a table. His friend advised him to stay down. I offered a cab. He ignored both, stood up, and swung for the fences. This time I caught him mid-swing, marched his ass to the stairs, and dropped him rather unceremoniously down them. He did not come back up.

I can fairly claim that this is the first fight I have ever won by just moving slightly to my left twice. Hope his head hurts soundly where he hit it on the table and the stairs on the way down. Hope he's fine. I was just trying to close.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


My Pants are on Fire.

No, not from the chlamydia, silly. I got that all cleared up shortly after I returned from Shanghai. My pants are on fire because I'm a liar. I promised to post my review of CDP's book 19 Phrases to Keep You Out Of Jail, or whatever it's called.

I'm not posting it yet because I'm still editing it, trying to make it as interesting and well-thought out as the actual book. Instead of half-assing it, I'll just post it another time, but I promise it will be by Friday (for those of you still waiting on the video tour of my house as narrated by Burt Reynolds, well, take this one with a grain of salt also.)

Instead, I offer: bizarre Christmas moments from my house.

I should start off by explaining that Melissa and I made the decision to spend the night at my parents' house on Christmas Eve. My dad's side of the family tends to drink a fair amount of booze during our Christmas Eve dinner, and we decided to play it safe and stay put, especially since we had to be back at their house by 10 AM Christmas day.

Melissa was a touch worried about this, being unsure of what my parents would think of us sleeping in the same bed as an unmarried, sinful couple. I assure her it would be fine, that they wouldn't even think twice about it. She was also worried because my sister and Melissa don't always get along.

By some Christmas miracle, my sister and Melissa got along just fine, most likely because everyone was drinking a concoction my sister made called "Allie's Christmas Concoction." We're not the most original family. It consisted of a liberal dosage of vodka, a splash of cranberry juice, and a bit of grenadine. Entirely too sweet for my tastes, and I stuck to beer.

My crazy uncle finally proposed to his girlfriend of twelve years, my dad's blessing of the food took less than five minutes, he didn't bless the Russians like he so famously did one year, and none of the food was under- or over-cooked. We all stumbled the short distance back from my Aunt's place to my parents' house and began wrapping presents.

My mom really like all of the gifts under the tree to match and look pretty. I learned long, long ago that if I start doing a poor job of wrapping something in front of her, and have a garish, clashing bow all set to slap on top, she will take it away from me, fix it, and then wrap all of my remaining presents in fear of what I could do to her fashionably matching Christmas tree. Check and mate. No more wrapping for ol' JT.

When all of this was done, it was time to start what has become a quarterly tradition: my sister hands me her laptop, along with a list of problems it is now having, blames it profusely on a friend of mine who worked on it once (and he's a genius by the way, I know these problems were not caused by him,) then she heads out the door to go to a party. I spent the better part of the next three hours updating, uninstalling, reinstalling, restarting, downloading, debugging, defragging, and cleaning up useless files. I don't know what my sister does to electronics, but she has been through more phones (both cellular and landline,) digital cameras, and computers than anyone I know. She proclaims innocence, but I firmly believe she keeps them all in a room with magnetic wallpaper, an industrial-grade humidifier, and heat lamps of the highest wattage.

While I was doing this, my dad sat on my right, frowning, nodding, and making occasional affirmative grunting noises as if he approved of every step I was taking. He wasn't fooling anyone. Email attachments, text messaging, and the oh-so-simple call waiting still baffle him entirely. On my left was my sweet, drunken Melissa. She was just bored, as everyone else had gone to bed.

At one point she decided to steady herself in her chair by placing her hand on my leg. However, she missed my leg. She firmly planted her hand directly on my junk. She didn't notice, however, and left her hand there. Now, I know that my mom and dad strongly suspect that Melissa ans I are doing the nasty, bumping uglies if you will. Hell, they may have even found the sex tape we have floating around on the internet. However, I see no point in rubbing their noses in it. I'm not sure who would have been more embarrased had my dad noticed, but I'm just glad he didn't. Of course, if he reads this, he just found out way more than he wants to know.

We finally finished up and headed upstairs to bed. My old bedroom has been completely redone, eliminating any trace that I once lived there. This confused me greatly when I woke up in the middle of the night. There was a Christmas tree blocking my view of one of the windows, so all I saw was one window in an unfamiliar location, an unusually soft set of sheets, a satiny comforter, and no headboard behind my head. It took me several minutes of freaking out to figure out where I was. Right about the time I settled down and started to close my eyes again, Melissa sat up and started moving around. I assumed she was getting up to use the restroom, and stayed quiet.

Instead, she stood up, turned around, and laid down with her head at the foot of the bed and her feet by my head. Not wanting to disturb her, I decided to just let her sleep...until she started kicking me in the face. After the third or fourth kick, I grabbed her legs and pinned them down. Here is the ensuing conversation:

M: Ouch! That hurts, asshole!
JT: So did it when you kicked me in the face!
M: What are you talking about?
JT: You're sleeping upside down.
M: Oh. Why?

Than she moved back into a normal sleeping position and we went back to sleep.

Christmas Day itself was uneventful. We all enjoyed each others company, I ate 3 solid plates of lunch and one of dessert, and then came home, watched Smokin' Aces and passed out in a ham-induced stupor.

Best Christmas in years, in my opinion!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday...

JT out.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Merry Beermas!

Best. Christmas Card. Ever.

Brought to you courtesy of letseatpaste.

Although this one, courtesy of my good friends the Peckerpackers, comes close. Kyle and I agreed that this is the best Christmas card we've ever received.

Everyone have a safe and happy holiday, be it Christmas, Beermas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or Norwegian New Year!

I'll be back on Wednesday with the CDP book review, and nude pictures of Jim Rome.

JT out.

Friday, December 21, 2007


51 Truths

1. I am a jackass. By this, I don't mean that I push old women into mud puddles. I mean that I laugh when others push old women into mud puddles. The difference is subtle, yet pronounced at the same time. In all actuality, I don't find abuse of the elderly funny. I do however, find abuse of the metric system hilarious. Sometimes I say patently offensive things just to see what kind of reaction I'll get. I'm unnecessarily sarcastic, but I mean no real harm. In fact, if I'm not making fun of you, or I'm being extremely polite, one of two things is happening. I'm either trying to bang your daughter, or I don't like you.

2. I completely ripped off this idea from the CDP, who completely ripped it off from Cargirl. Cargirl received the idea in a vision, where Jeebus spoke to her.

3. I have a lot of friends (both real-life and internet) that are vegetarians. While I admire their resolve, I can't imagine a life without bacon. I've tried fake bacon. It tastes like someone spilled a touch of bacon grease on an old paper bag, let it sit for a day, then microwaved it and put it in my mouth. No thanks. If it didn't used to breathe, I'm not terribly interested.

4. I have an extremely eclectic music collection. My friend Juicy (so named because he was a bartender that always got extremely drunk on the job) used to say that, when riding in my car, you would hear everything from Willie to Wu-Tang. He's right. I wish I had more time for the local music scene, but on the rare occasion that I have a night off, I usually don't go out. The two genres that I have absolutely no use for? Modern "Country" music (I won't launch into a rant right now on that one,) and any kind of techno/trance/house/jungle/electronic noise. I suspect that this is because I'm not an aficionado of all the wacky designer drugs the kids are using these days. Give me a 12 pack of beer and put on Waylon.

5. Speaking of beer, I love beer. As most of you know, Pabst Blue Ribbon is my standard beer. When people hear this, they assume that I have absolutely terrible taste, and start preaching to me about Fat Tire, Red Hook, and all kinds of other micro- and craft-brews. I know, trust me. I make it a point to try and sample local beers whenever I travel. I love a wide variety of beers, it's just that PBR tastes pretty good to me, and fits very nicely into my budget. My current favorite beer? Lion Stout from Sri Lanka. If you've never had it, and you like stouts, search this one out. It's beyond fantastic.

6. While we're on the subject, I also love wine, which is a good thing, since I sell wine for a living. I love a good Cabernet or Barbera, but I'm not much on white wines. I'm trying, I really am. I sample most of the bottles I taste out with customers, and I have a few Sauvignon Blancs and Vino Verdes that I'll drink, but that's about it. However, I am not a wine snob. I will never, ever, look down my nose at someone for buying an "inferior" wine. Drinking is supposed to be a pleasurable activity, kids. Drink what you enjoy. Just try to buy the wines that I rep so I can make some cash, mmmkay?

7. Also? Scotch. I know, I know...this is such a stuffy old white man drink, but I love it.

8. While I'm on the topic of things I love, I'd better bring up Melissa before I get in trouble. Especially after that "I'm trying to bang your daughter" line from earlier. I'm deeply in love with her. We dated at the beginning of my college career (way back in 1997 and 1998,) broke up, didn't see each other much for about eight years, and randomly ran into each other last St. Patrick's Day. Somehow, despite my green beard, goofy hat, and green pants, she agreed to let me cook dinner for her. We've been pretty much inseparable since that night, and I couldn't be happier with the state of my love life.

9. I'm one of the few people that truly loves what they do for a living. I sell wine by day (we're getting ready to start selling beer and liquor as well,) and work in my favorite bar in Columbia by night. Sometimes the extremely long hours and constant driving get to me, but I'm pretty damn lucky and I know it. Not to mention the discounts I get with both jobs...

10. Making this list is much, much more difficult than I thought it was going to be. I'm just glad I didn't commit to 60 truths like the CDP, or 82 like Cargirl. Sweet Jeebus, I just don't want to make that much of my life public.

11. The older I get, the less television I watch. I don't know if I'm getting more discerning, or if the current line up of shows is just lacking. Other than college football, The Office, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, My Name is Earl, Chuck and Scrubs, there isn't a whole lot I watch. I've been watching Heroes but it's starting to lose its appeal with me, and I gave up Lost at the end of Season Two.

12. I'm at a very weird place in my life right now. At the ripe old age of 28, a lot of my friends are pretty settled down, married, and starting to have kids. Me? I'm divorced, and I work in a bar. I stay out entirely too late at least twice a week. I'm just not ready for kids yet. It's not that I don't like kids. I definitely want to have children one day. My little nieces (well, technically, they're not my nieces, but Tex is pretty damn close to a brother, and Madalyn calls me "Uncle T") are completely adorable, and I will brutally torture anyone who lays a hand on either one of their precious little heads. Make note - I did not say "kill." I said "torture," as in there will not be an end to the pain.

13. Which leads nicely into number 13 on the list. I am fiercely loyal to my friends and loved ones. If one of them needs my help, and it's within my power to get it done, it will be done, no questions asked, as soon as possible. It will not be considered a favor that needs to be paid back, it was done out of love and loyalty. Friends don't keep score that way.

14. I should probably now mention that I'm not a violent person, since numbers 12 and 13 may have started painting that picture. I have never started a fight in my life. I have been a participant, I have lost, and I have "won" if you can ever really call it that. As a general rule, I will try to talk out a situation until you punch me. Then I will punch you back. Eventually, we will both look like assholes, but maybe we can shake hands and be friends afterwards. C'mon, I'll buy you a beer.

15. That being said, let's go back to the subject of friends. I firmly believe that I have the best friends in the world. I have known some of them for longer than I can remember (Compton and Kyle) and some I have known for less than a year. A few I have never met in real life. Still, they have always supported me and been there, through moving three times in a six month period, through the divorce, being laid off, what have you. I don't know what I did to deserve such a great group of people, but I'm hoping they stick around a while longer.

16. Whenever I go camping, someone always almost dies. It's usually Ashley. He seems to be extremely accident-prone, especially when booze and fireworks are involved.

17. Somehow, throughout the course of my life, I have acquired entirely too many nicknames for just one man to have: Lil' Boss Man, JT, T, T-Bag, T-Money, J-Tizzle, Hoss, Mark, Caleb, El Dorado, Self-Proclaimed Ruler of Earth, BJ Tennessee Damnit, III, Coach, The Great White Drunk (shortened to tha GWD,) Sloshy Joshy, Joshua R. Higgenbottom, Esq. (shortened to just "Higgenbottom") and probably others that I can't recall right now. Apparently my friends and I are very silly people.

18. Is it odd that at 28, I mentioned that I'm not ready to settle down, but I just bought the second house I've owned? I apparently don't like paying rent.

19. I love guns. I know, I said I'm non-violent. I am. I don't shoot people, or even animals. I shoot insurance agents, Jehovah's Witnesses, and anyone else who comes to my door unannounced and unwelcome. Just kidding...I would never shoot an insurance agent. My gun is for recreational target practice and self-defense only.

20. Also, my roommate loves guns. I would strongly advise against breaking into our house, or being a Jehovah's Witness in the vicinity.

21. When I get drunk, I have the insane desire to change into the silliest, most ridiculous clothes I own. Do not be surprised if you show up late at night on the weekend and I'm wearing work boots, incredibly short, tight shorts, some random t-shirt, and a wig. My roommate has a similar affliction, but luckily for him, it stops at random hats.

22. I love wild game meats. That being said, I don't hunt. It's not because of any particular aversion to the actual activity (note I did not call hunting a "sport.") It's because I don't enjoy the idea of getting up incredibly early just so that I can sit perfectly still and freeze my ass off in a tree. Enough of my friends are avid hunters that I get plenty of venison for free with no effort.

23. I also love trying new and unusual foods. Kangaroo? Delicious. I'm not kidding.

24. I love to cook, be it in the kitchen, or outside. I usually have at least one turkey fry, oyster roast, pig pickin', and low country boil per year. Yes, I'm from South Carolina. To be fair, I have also been known to throw veggie burgers on the grill next to the hog for my friends who are vegetarians.

25. I'm also very good at cheesecakes, although my ex-wife kept the springform pan, so it's been a while since I made one.

26. I love to gamble. I will bet on anything, although my sport of choice is college football. I have bet on little league baseball, high school football, Silver Strike Bowling, dreidel, and even on coin flips. I once won $60 just by screaming "eagle" twelve times in a row and watching the quarter land tails-up. I've also lost $4 on dreidel spins, and who knows how much at blackjack tables.

27. I routinely wake up with unexplained bruises on my body. I don't know if this is from my secret life as a vigilante crime-fighter, Fight Club (oops, wasn't supposed to talk about that...) or the fact that I work in a bar. and am always running into things when we're busy and I'm trying to dodge coworkers and random drunks, but it makes life interesting. I'm very lucky that Melissa is so trusting, or she long ago would have caught on to the fact that they're a direct result of my pole-dancing.

28. I make no bones about it, I am a die-hard Clemson fan. My blood runneth orange. Hell, I'm so hardcore, my semen runneth orange. That being said, as a result of my night job at the Village Idiot, I have become good friends with most of USC's (South Carolina, not Southern Cal) offensive line. They're all good guys. In fact, I am amazed at how grounded and down-to-earth they are. I won't mention names here to keep them out of trouble, but one of the tackles is awesome. I bought him a nice bottle of Prosecco Frizzante as a graduation present. We kid each other gently about our rivalry. I'm somewhat ashamed to admit it, but between Melissa, Kyle, and the anonymous O-line, I have started pulling for USC as long as they don't play Clemson, Penn State, Ohio State, or West Virginia.

29. I miss Danny Ford. A lot. I am less than pleased with Tommy Bowden...and by "less than pleased," I mean I wish he would go away. Now.

30. There is one hobby of mine that I regret giving up more than anything. I used to be an avid kayaker. I sold my boat, paddles, and most of my gear to buy an engagement ring once. That didn't work out so well. Damn.

31. Despite all outward appearances, I am a huge geek. Especially when it comes to ? Star Wars movies and the Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest video games. Final Fantasy fanboys? Suck it.

32. Pushing 30? Yep...but poop jokes still make me laugh. They always will.

33. I am secretly very scared of growing up. I know that I'm supposed to, and I'm at the best place I ever have been, loving my job and Melissa, but I still try to hold back. Yes, I own a house. Yes, I pay my bills on time. Yes, others depend on me. it too late for me to just drink a lot of beer and watch MST3K until I pass out at 5 AM? It is? Fuck.

34. On the flipside, I also feel a touch creepy working with, and hanging out with, college kids at the bar. Other than my boss, I am the oldest employee at the Village Idiot. No one ever goes out of their way to make me feel old, but when I keep asking them to play Panama by Van Halen while everyone else wants to hear something by some hippity-hop's painfully obvious.

35. The reason I started Spork Nation? I was attempting to write a book, it was too disjointed, and I needed a way to refine my writing. Instead, this is what happened. I wouldn't have it any other way.

36. I know I make fun of Canadians and the metric system a lot. I would like to apologize. I don't mean it. No, wait...yes I do. Suck it, Canucks. You and your kilometers can lick my sack. What's that aboot, eh?

37. Did I mention that I'm a jackass? 36 was a primary example.

38. If I hear a banjo or fiddle start to play, I can't help dancing. The sweet sounds of a steel guitar can bring a tear to my eye. The deep, sensual bass notes of a tuba give me a raging erection. It can cut glass.

39. When Spork Nation started, I had no idea that it would reach as far as it does now. I can only hope that it keeps spreading. I have no illusions of making money off of it, I just dig it the most, and couldn't be more pleased.

40. As much of a hardass as I like to pretend I am, I'm a sucker for animals. I have two dogs of my own, and I love Melissa's husky and Peeber Anne, the Maine Coon cat that we share. Seeing a dead animal on the roadside can reduce me to a sobbing baby and ruin my day. I like to think this redeems me somewhat for eating kangaroo.

41. Since my mom is a librarian, I have always been an avid reader. I will read anything, but I prefer sci-fi and fantasy novels. Yes, I am a raging geek. I also devour cookbooks and hardcore Asian pornography. Just kidding, I use my own recipes.

42. I truly, truly hate the fact that Americans are more concerned with websites such as Perez Hilton, TMZ, and an assortment of poorly produced "celebreality" shows than they are with the fate of our nation. Seriously, I know that Kim Kardashian has a killer rack, but it it more important than Ron Paul's stance on NAFTA? Mitt Romney's plan for ending the United States' dependence on foreign oil? Hilary Clinton's plan for humliating Bill as a first husband and going nutso with a hot young male intern who is hung like a donkey? I think not.

43. I would willingly convert to the Mormon religion if it meant that I could marry Melissa, Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman. I would jealously protect my hilarious and beautiful harem with multiple handguns, assault rifles, and dinosaurs armed with laser cannons.

44. I don't like pancakes or waffles nearly as much as most people do. I do, however, love butter and boysenberry syrup.

45. I created the pepperoni omelet during a hungover stupor. It was awesome. I also created the SPAM omelet during a separate hungover stupor. Let's just say it was not as successful.

46. Nine out of ten times that I get in the ocean, I get stung by a jellyfish. I don't know why. If you don't want to get stung, get in the ocean the same time that I do, and stay about five feet away. Also, I have heard that someone peeing on the sting will make it hurt less. Luckily, I have a fairly high pain threshold. Keep it in your pants there, Zippy.

47. Mitch Hedberg passed away way before his prime. No one makes me laugh as hard as he did. There are other comics that I love, but he was the best that I ever heard. Drugs are bad, kids. Seriously.

48. Ric Flair is the greatest wrestler that ever lived. Period. Woo! Whether you like it or not, you better learn to love it, because he's the best thing going today, baby! Woo!

49. Dave Grohl has never been involved in a project that was less than excellent. Seriously. I challenge you to prove me wrong. He is a musical genius. If he and Willie Nelson ever collaborated on anything, I think I would...well, perhaps spontaneously combust.

50. I know that fuel efficiency is important. However, I miss my truck more than anything. This little 4-banger Mitsubishi just doesn't cut it.

51. For all of my vices, I like to think that I'm a pretty good person at heart. I try to be honest, keep my promises, treat others kindly, am entirely too nice to homeless people and those in need, and never welch on my bets. I'm no saint, but I'm not such a bad guy.

52. I'm actually a woman. (I said 51 truths...)

Wowee wow wow wow....that was harder than I thought. Have a great weekend, kids, and let me know what you think of my I a terrible person? Do you now find me dead sexy?

Also, I know a lot of people are getting ready to start travelling for the holidays, so be careful out there, and Merry Beermas! Also, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and to all my Pastafarian brethren: Happy Holiday from one pirate to another.

JT out.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Idiots Speak

Not sure if Idiots Speak is the title I'm going to use forever, but I like it for now. I haven't done one of these in a while but it's been mostly due to a lack of material. Now that I spend 90% of my time in the kitchen and we've finally trained the new drivers to work the phones and computers correctly, I just don't overhear as much as I used to.

Fortunately for y'all (unfortunately for those of us that actually deal with them,) we've had significant turnover in the wait staff. The new servers are, to be polite, some of the worst servers I have ever worked with. To be not-so-polite, I firmly believe that a schizophrenic midget with no arms and a severe speech impediment could do a better job.

A lady (well, lady isn't the correct term. In all actuality, she was kind of a bitch) came to the kitchen window, wanting to know how many pieces we could cut a pizza into.

Mike: Well, we usually cut the pizzas into eight pieces, but we can do whatever you would like.
Bitchy Lady: I don't think you understand what I'm asking you. I want to know the maximum number of pieces you can cut a pizza into.
Mike: Well, what size pizza are you going to order?
Bitchy Lady: Does it matter?
Mike: Yes. For instance, if we cut a 12 inch pizza into more than eight pieces, the pieces will be incredibly small.
Bitchy Lady: All I want to know the maximum number of pieces you can cut a pizza into. How hard is that?
Mike looked to me for help at this point
JT: Ma'am, in theory, we could cut the pizza into two thousand slices. However, they would be so small, it would be pointless. How many people are you trying to feed?
Bitchy Lady: About 12.
JT: Well, since it's still happy hour, I recommend that you just get eight cheese slices and cut them in half. That should be more than enough for everyone, and they're only $1.00 each right now.
This worked out for her. After we explained to her waitress what she wanted, this was the ensuing conversation:
Amy: I don't see why that was so complicated.
JT: It wasn't once I explained that cheese slices are only $1.00 during happy hour.
Amy: Well, why didn't someone tell her that in the first place?
Mo: You're her waitress! Who do you think was supposed to tell her?!

One night, we were out of chicken. This caused no small amount of confusion.

Drew: Randi, we can't make that Rajun Cajun pizza.
Randi: Why not?
Drew: We're out of chicken.
Randi: But that has blackened chicken on it.
Drew: What exactly do you think blackened chicken is made out of?

Lindsey: Hey Josh, I know we're out of chicken - can we still make the chicken parmesan sandwich?
JT: Please tell me you're not serious.
Lindsey: (blank stare)
JT: Oh sweet Jeebus. No, we cannot, as one of the primary ingredients is chicken. For the record, we also cannot make the grilled chicken sandwich, the chicken jersey, the chicken philly, the barbeque chicken sandwich, or add grilled chicken to any of the salads.

However, tonight was one of my favorites. We were all but closed down. Last call had been called, the kitchen was closed, and I was taking out the trash. Out of nowhere, a guy walked in the back door. This is no small feat, as our back door is at the end of a very poorly lit alley, and up a flight of death-defyingly rickety stairs. There is absolutely no reason for anyone but employees to be back there.

Random Drunk Guy: Hey...where am I?
JT: You're at the Willage Idiot, but we're closing down.
RDG: How the hell did I get here?
JT: Your guess is as good as mine. Where did you come from?
RDG: I'm not sure.

At this point, he walked through the bar, down the front steps, and out the front door. Brian told me I should have said he was in Alberta, Canada.

Well, that's it for now. It's almost 3:00 AM, and I'm going to bed.

JT out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Pong On!

Yes, I know I said no updates this week. However, BluStaCon made me feel guilty, and I found myself with a few hours on my hands between day job and night job, so I decided to finish up the post on the construction of the Beer Pong Table.

Kyle and I had been threatening to build one of these for a while, and with the Annual Turkey Fry close at hand, we decided to go for it. The basic materials are simple. Two sawbucks and a piece of plywood (we used 3/4 inch for added sturdiness.)

Not content with that, we decided to go the extra mile. My buddy Lato is a graphic artist and supplied us with a large PBR logo. We decided to cut it out and use polyurethane to coat it and the table for added protection. But first things first. Join me for a photo essay as I walk you through the basic steps we took.

First, we stained the plywood (we actually put three coats on, but I thought just one picture would do the trick,) so it would look more classy. Remember: when you're playing Beer Pong, you need to stay classy.

Classy like Kyle staining his pits...

...and Mason.

Then we had to measure for the triangles where you place the beer cups.

Then, I had to act like a jackass. I'm a giant eight year old, I swear.

After careful measuring, it was time to draw the triangles onto the board. We opted for a ten-cup triangle, because more is always better.

Once drawn, it was time to spray them white. Note the use of items from our recycling bin. Thrifty, and somewhat environmentally friendly (probably not really.)

Finally, it was time for the placement of the giant PBR logo, and three coats of polyurethane. Not too shabby, huh?

Kyle and I played, and won, as a team in the inaugural match. It was my only win of the night. So far, everything is holding up well. Our friend Neil came by last night and we played a match.

Initially, I was going to post the rules and regulations of Beer Pong, but Wikipedia did such a good job with it, I'm not going to bother. We do have a few house rules that differ slightly, but I'll fill y'all in on them when you drop by to play.

JT out.



No updates this week. Last night was the only night off I had from the Idiot, so I don't have the time to put anything together, and I don't want to throw up a half-assed post (not that that has stopped me in the past.)

Enjoy your week, kids.

JT out.

Friday, December 07, 2007



This just in...Spork Nation is getting more traffic than ever, mostly thanks to my interview with theCDP. Not to toot my own horn (I do that in the privacy of my bedroom, thankyouverymuch,) but I must have done a bang-up job on the interview, because it has been quoted and linked to by two different sites, and the Wisconsin Star ripped a quote straight from the interview, although yours truly got no credit.

Instead of putting the links up here, I'm going to send some more traffic to theCDP as a thank you. You can find the two site links and a scan of the newspaper article here.

JT out.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Happy End of Prohibition!

December 5, 1933 officially ended Prohibition here in the United States. In celebration, I would like to unveil our new Beer Pong table. I'll put up a post later about the construction and opening night of play.

Freshly completed

In action

JT out.

Monday, December 03, 2007


"Go back to bed, honey, it's just JT."

Recent conversations in the comments section over at the CDP brought this story to mind, and I'm a bit surprised that I never shared it with y'all. It has all of the critical parts of a well-written story: words, punctuation, and suggested wine pairings.

When I first moved back to Columbia, I was going through a divorce. I was newly single, back in my home town, and surrounded by old friends. I had a new job that paid me well, and minimal responsibilities. In short, it was like I was starting over, and I didn't want to miss a single minute of it. I worked hard, played harder, and almost never slept. As I'm writing this, I'm actually wondering how on earth I kept the schedule I did without dying from exhaustion or syphilis.

It didn't matter what night of the week it was, I was going out. Most of my friends kept fairly responsible schedules during the week due to jobs, so the only people left in the bars that I knew were my little sister's friends. Don't get me wrong, surrounding myself with hot young twenty-two and twenty-three-year-olds was fun at first, but two things happened: 1. I started realizing that I couldn't keep up. These girls stayed out all night long. 2. I started feeling like a creepy old man. I mean, I was 27, divorced, and temporarily back in residence at my parents house. Given, I was house-sitting for the summer, and they weren't home, but was clearly not my house.

Luckily, this is where my friend Guy came into play. Guy was unemployed and slept all day, so he stayed up all night. Also, I knew that he never locked his back door. I started heading to his house at around midnight or 1 AM like clockwork. It never surprised him to see me come walking through the back door with a 12 pack of beer, and he was always glad to help drink it. I slept on his couch a lot in those days.

One night, Guy was telling me about a girl he had met the previous weekend and how awesome she was. A few nights later, I walked in through the back door, put the beers in the fridge, cracked one open, and went and turned on the stereo. Guy wasn't in sight, but I knew he would come out into the living room when he heard the music. Instead, a cute brunette walked out, looked slightly puzzled, then asked me for a beer, sat down and asked me what we were listening to. I had just met Angie. Angie had absolutely no problem with me wandering through the back door with beer in my hand, and she still doesn't. Guy was right, she was awesome, and they are now engaged to be married.

These days, I don't walk through the back door at Guy's that much anymore. We've both settled down. He's gainfully employed and still with Angie. For an added twist, her two kids have moved in, so they stay busy. I'm deeply in love with Melissa, and we stay in a good bit, especially during the week. Still, it's a good thing. I wouldn't trade it for anything else.

JT out.

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