For the second time in ten days, we’ve got a hurricane blowing through town. In Phoenix. In the middle of the desert. What the fuck? Not that I’m complaining, mind you. It’s September, and while the rest of the country has moved on from summer, our daily temperatures are still in the “ball-searing” range, so an overcast day in the low 90’s is a welcome change. We walk around outside, remark on the weather to friends and coworkers, and then we take advantage of the lull to apply another layer of ablative material to our underwear, because by the time the week is over we’ll be back to burning our genitalia on car seats again.
But seriously, what the fuck is with this hurricane shit? It’s strange, and it throws me off my normal routine. Now I know what some of you may be thinking. Some of you may be thinking, “Routine? If there’s a routine that results in whatever the fuck it is that you think you’re doing over there, maybe you do need to change things up a bit.” Although that’s a good point, some of you definitely need to shut the fuck up. I’m calling the shots over here, and if I say that two hurricanes in ten days is a good excuse for a random, disconnected post, then you can just sit there and like it. Or more likely, you can go back to watching Italian mustache porn or whatever it is that rocks your boat. Your sick and demented boat.
Hey! Speaking of sick and demented, let’s talk about strip clubs! There’s a strip club near my office, which is notable for the fact that they share a sign with two other establishments: a hotel and Waffle House. So it’s strip club, hotel, Waffle House right there on one sign, which is a great way to tell your on-the-go deviant that as far as one-stop shopping is concerned, you’ve got his smutty needs covered. You start at the strip club, pick up a stripper with wild promises of money and drugs (or failing that, roofies), bang her senseless in your hotel room, and then when she wants breakfast in the morning, you kick her out and send her to Waffle House while you stare at your groin and wonder whether or not that is a chancre in the making (it is).
Not that I would know.
Honestly, how fucking handy is that? If you added a meth lab, a conference room dedicated to AA meetings, a cemetery, and maybe an Arby’s, no one would ever have to leave.
Arby’s. Ok, lately I’ve been on a weird Arby’s kick. For some reason I can’t escape Arby’s, which is weird because I never eat there. It just keeps popping up left and right lately, a cosmic sign, a way for the universe to tell me, “The cosmos loves Arby’s Horsey Sauce”. Or maybe the universe is trying to tell me to burn them all to the ground. I don’t know. Fucking cosmos. Never telling you exactly what it wants. It’s like dealing with a disgruntled, passive-aggressive wife.
Someone: What’s wrong?
Disgruntled, Passive Aggressive Wife: Nothing. (throws frying pan)
Except in this case it’s…
Someone: What’s wrong?
Cosmos: Nothing (two hurricanes)
Anyway: Arby’s. All over the fucking place lately. First of all, let me just say this: What is up with the giant novelty cowboy hat logo? If some random asshole approached you and offered you a roast beef sandwich while wearing a twenty foot cowboy hat, what would you do? If you have the sense that God gave dryer lint, you wouldn’t eat the sandwich, that’s for fucking sure. Giant, novelty clothing is a sign that the person wearing it means to touch you in a very personal place. This explains clowns and also Elton John.
Also, in a recent post (in which I name dropped Arby’s three times) I engaged a long time reader in the comments section in a short discussion about Arby’s, which I mention mainly as an excuse to relate the following anecdote:
One weekend this summer, my kids and I went camping. We go way, way, WAY out in the woods to camp because packing all of your shit up, including your TV, a radio, a laptop, etc. only to unpack it in an established campground so you can sit there 20 feet away from some other random asshole watching TV is fucking retarded. I mean, stay home, save the gas, and if you feel like getting your nature on, take a dump in the goddamn azalea bushes, ok Grizzly Adams?
That’s not for me and my family. We go way the fuck out there to GET AWAY FROM IT ALL, which is another way of saying HAVE RANDOM ENCOUNTERS WITH BEARS IN A PLACE WITH VIRTUALLY NO HOPE OF MEDICAL ATTENTION SHOULD THE BEARS BECOME ATTRACTED TO THE FOOD THE CHILDREN HAVE SHREWDLY THROWN ALL OVER THE FOREST FLOOR AND THEN BECOME ENRAGED WHEN THE CHILDREN THEN ATTEMPT TO RIDE THE BEARS LIKE PONIES. It’s an old, American tradition, living off the land, much beloved of well known outdoorsman Teddy Roosevelt, who, I must admit, also happens to be dead.
So we were out in the middle of nowhere, camping, fending off bears, and whatnot, and after a couple of days of this we were tired and looked like large, mobile clumps of dirt only somehow dirtier. We were also in a mood for food that wasn’t incinerated or ice cold, as is the usual for campfire food, and perhaps most pressing of all, the boys had decided that pooping in the woods wasn’t really for them, a decision that led to an emergency stop at the first place we ran across on our way home: Arby’s.
Now if there is one thing to be said for Arby’s, it is that it is not Taco Bell. But if it had been a Taco Bell that we stopped at, the facilities would have fared a lot better as Taco Bell is no stranger to DEFCON 1 BATHROOM EMERGENCIES. My boys fucking wrecked that bathroom. It will never be the same, even after the EPA labels it a Superfund site and cleans it up via bulldozer and nuclear sterilization.
We got through that whole scene, and since we were hungry, we walked up to the front counter where we had this exchange:
Family: (walks up to front counter)
Family: (looks at menu)
8 Year Old Son: Oh.
Family: (looks at each other)
Family: (leaves Arby’s)
Arby’s: Better than starving, but just barely.
Speaking of sandwich joints, let’s talk about Jimmy John’s. I cannot come within 12 nautical miles of a Jimmy John’s without telling people that I grew up down the street from the actual Jimmy John. Why I do this, I do not know. It’s not like anyone has ever thrown me a parade after hearing about this. Hell, I can tell it to people who work at Jimmy John’s, and they won’t even give me a free sandwich. In fact, they often tell me to “put on some goddamn pants!”
The information that I grew up down the street from Jimmy John is absolutely worthless, but that doesn’t keep me from telling it to people. Maybe I should tell them about the time that I got really high in the chapel in which Jimmy John’s sister got married a few hours before the ceremony. That’s still useless information, but at least it’s funny.
Jimmy John’s family lived in a large house on a pond in a far, Northwestern suburb of Chicago. Across the small, one lane road from that house was a large hill called The Bluff which was known as a fantastic place to get high by myself and a few of my friends. Why we thought it was a fantastic place to get high was because we were high. It was, in reality, a very stupid place to do drugs because it was elevated so that everyone could see the near constant flicker of our lighters and hear the ceaseless giggling of our stoned teenage asses, rolling across the pond.
But the local police weren’t allowed in this small area of town, and so the worst that happened was that an adult would take it upon himself to inform us that his five year old was having trouble sleeping due to the fact that we were shouting “BONG HITS!” at the tops of our lungs. We’d see or hear him approach only after he’d gotten within 20 yards of us, and then we’d react by running like hell. You know, just like innocent people.
It’s hard to get across exactly how stupid we were back then. We’d roll down the hill, spilling beers on ourselves, fling each other into the pond, giggling and acting like we’d taken up nitrous oxide and glue-huffing as if it were a new Olympic event we were training for.
And then one night we looked down from The Bluff into Jimmy John’s front yard and saw that a HUGE, chapel shaped tent had been erected in white under a set of stately oak trees. I remember thinking two things as I looked down upon that tent:
1. That is beautiful! What a wonderful place to get married!
2. Hey! Let’s go get high in there!
And so we did. We even held a little ceremony at the altar, with me officiating and my friends filling in for the bride and groom.
Me: Do you, Curt, take this weed to be mind-blowing and fucking awesome?
Curt: I do.
Me: And do you, Dan, take this weed to be righteous, to have and to hold, to smoke and to cherish so long as you both shall live?
Dan: I do.
Me: Then by the power vested in me as the guy standing behind this altar, I do declare you ready to rock. You may smoke the bowl.
I only wish that digital cameras existed back then, because it would have been a real hoot to slip a couple pictures of that ceremony into the official wedding album.
My life is devoid of that kind of excitement these days. Tonight, for instance, I’m working out and then doing some laundry. On the other hand, I no longer have to randomly hightail it through the woods which I guess you could say is a good thing. Maybe. I’m not 100% sold on that.
Then again, if this hurricane hits us harder than expected, I might just have to hightail it after all. And with my luck, I’d probably end up taking shelter in an Arby’s, emerging days later emaciated from lack of food.