Eagle-eyed Dogs on Drugs readers will have noticed that I have taken some time off from posting recently. To them I say, go fuck yourselves. Seriously, you have eagle-vision? Gah, I am SO jealous. I am at the age where I can’t read the instructions on medication without the use of an electron microscope. Who the fuck came up with the idea for small print for medicine labels anyway, a fucking undertaker? “Hmmm, this medication causes fatal bleeding from the eyeballs when taken in North America… Better put that little nugget of information in one point font.” If you ask me, important health information should not be conveyed via the printed word. Deleterious effects should be demonstrated at the pharmacy with condemned prisoners. That shit would work, too. I mean, no one is going to take too much Viagra, for example, after having watched an inmate’s junk explode.
All right, that train went off the rails right out of the station, didn’t it? I meant to discuss my recent online absence which was due to fantastic weather. Most places in the United States have wonderful weather in the months of May and June. But in Phoenix, it is usually the beginning of the season in which sitting down in a car results in smoking genitals (Smoking Genitals, incidentally, would be an excellent name for a band). It’s fucking hot down here is what I’m saying. Except this year, we’ve gotten very, very lucky. Most of May was spent in the 80’s instead of the low 100’s, and what we’ve seen of June so far has been quite tame.
This is a welcome change. When I first moved to Arizona, I drove a car that had been purchased in the Midwest, and it had those old-style keys that were made entirely of metal. You know the ones I’m talking about. There were two keys, the square key for the ignition, and the round key for locking dead hookers in the trunk. And one afternoon in May, I learned how hot it can get down here when I started the car, drove three blocks, and then burned my fingers on the key when I went to turn the car off. The key had absorbed so much heat during the drive that you could fry a fucking egg on it (which I didn’t really try because people tend to call mental health personnel with large butterfly nets when you try cooking breakfast on your car keys).
So the relatively cool weather has been a treat and it’s hard to get motivated to write a post when I’m spending all of my time enjoying the great outdoors, or at least that’s what I’ve been doing in theory. In reality, I have spent all of my time trimming a single tree because our Homeowner’s Association is run by mental defectives.
For those of you lucky enough to not have to deal with a Homeowner’s Association, here’s how they work: As a homeowner, you want to make sure that your home doesn’t depreciate in value because your neighbor has shrewdly decided to decorate his front yard with a toilet bowl and a million empty beer cans. So you pay money to a Homeowner’s Association which takes your money and then uses it to pay people to send you letters threatening to take your house away because you have a tree.
This spring, I have had a dozen variations of this discussion:
Me: Hi, my name is Greg, and I’m on lot 23 and just got a fine in the mail from you.
HOA: Your tree needs to be trimmed. Please pay us $25.
Me: Ok. And for that $25, you’re going to trim my tree?
HOA: No, you just owe us $25.
Me: And this is above and beyond the money I pay you every month that you use to pay people to write me threatening letters?
Me: Here’s the problem I have: This tree looks no different than it did the last 2 1/2 years. Why is it all of a sudden causing me to be fined?
HOA: It is overgrown.
Me: I just emailed you pictures of the trees in the neighborhood which the HOA is responsible for trimming. They are WAY larger and more “overgrown” than mine.
HOA: Hmmm, I see your point.
Me: Good. That will be $25.
The problem isn’t really the HOA, it’s the HOA appointed narc who is causing problems. He’s this giant tub of barely congealed fat and hatred that walks around the neighborhood taking pictures of anything that offends his delicate sensibilities, only he’s the size of several manatees so he doesn’t really walk, he drives. He’ll drive up to a house, get out, take a picture of a tree that he has taken a dislike to, get back in his car, drive forward 50 feet, get out again, take a picture of a bush, etc. etc.
The guy’s a real prick, too. Last week I went out for a late night bike ride, and found him loudly haranguing a group of teenagers who were caught using the community pool after hours. He was yelling at them and loudly informed them that their family’s pool rights would be revoked for the entire summer because, “THE POOL CLOSES AT 10:00 PM SHARP!” It was 10:04.
So every couple of weeks, this guy takes a dislike to my tree, sends a picture of it to the HOA, who agrees that the tree is ok as-is and waives the fine. I’ll trim the tree a bit, just to try to avoid going through the whole process again, but then a couple of weeks go by and Fats Domino sees that while the tree has been trimmed, it hasn’t been trimmed to his satisfaction, so he reports me again and the circle of suburban life continues.
Me: Hi, my name is Greg, and I’m on lot 23 and just got a fine in the mail from you.
HOA: Your tree needs to be trimmed. That will be $25.
Me: Why do we do this? Every two weeks we have this discussion.
HOA: Oh. Yes. Greg, right. Umm, we’ll waive the fine again.
Me: Thank you. Hey, while I have you on the phone, can I lodge a complaint?
Me: There’s this big fat guy who drives around the neighborhood taking pictures of houses. His name is Glenn something.
HOA: Oh yes, I know Glenn.
Me: Well, last week I caught him fucking a jelly donut in the front seat of his car.
Me: Yeah, in broad daylight, too! It was a foul and filthy act of perversion, the kind of thing only a degenerate scumbag would do. Now, of course I suppose it’s possible that maybe I’m mistaken and I didn’t really see that, but I wonder if maybe I shouldn’t just report him to the police every two weeks until he decides that maybe he’d be better off staying at home.
Me: You know, keep reporting him until he gets tired of being reported and changes his behavior to suit me. That seems like the thing to do lately, doesn’t it?
Me: Ok, you have a good day now.
I’ve either taken care of my pesky little HOA problem or ensured that I’m about to become the first person to be fined a million dollars for an non-overgrown tree.
On to semi-related news: Since the temperatures are creeping north of 100, I’ve resumed my summer habit of getting a little exercise by walking in the mall across the street from my office after lunch. And today I once again ran across the Guy Who Walks Without Swinging His Arms. I don’t know what his fucking deal is, but let me just state for the record that if you walk without swinging your arms, you look like a goddamn mental patient.
Only now he has added a very wide brimmed cowboy hat to his look, and I am here to tell you that the only way this guy could appear any weirder in public is if he suddenly gnawed off his pinky at the second knuckle while in line at Orange Julius. The dude is unsettling, and I noticed that he causes a ripple effect in foot traffic, as oncoming people see him coming and give him a wide, wide berth.
Look, I’ve known some freaky people in my day. I knew one guy who had this wacky OCD thing where he couldn’t pass a skinny tree without grabbing it by the trunk and circling it three times. And I knew any number of people who would go out in public while high out of their mind and engage in all sorts of fucked up and odd behavior. But this guy is several orders of magnitude weirder than anyone I’ve seen in public under any circumstances because he seems so normal. It’s not until you notice the thing with his arms that you realize that he’s either an alien sent to observe the denizens of this fair planet, or he’s a serial killer with a drawer full of nostrils at home.
I just spent a few minutes trying to think of the oddest thing I ever did in public (it was the memory-erasing acid rabbit episode), when I remembered a classic. Back in college, my girlfriend and I were walking home from happy hour one Friday afternoon when we ran across a street sign with my name on it, which she thought was so awesome that she decided that she was going to steal it for me on the spot.
Unfortunately for her, her mind for crime was matched only by her extreme intoxication, and her repeated failures to shimmy up the poll made it look as if she was dry humping a street sign. And not just for a second or two either. It was a prolonged and very thorough attempt which was interrupted after a few minutes by a confused woman whose yard this was taking place in who walked out of her house and said, “What in THE world are you doing?!?”
My girlfriend reacted by doubling the speed of her thrusts (I guess she was making one last effort to get the sign), then fell off and lay on the ground for a few seconds, then lit a cigarette and calmly walked off with me trailing behind her, laughing myself stupid. At first she didn’t understand what it was that I found so funny, so I had to explain to her that the woman very likely thought that some stranger was having sex with a street sign in her yard, and capped off her performance by lighting a cigarette, a thought that so horrified my girlfriend that she demanded to go back to the house and explain to the woman that she wasn’t some sort of sexual deviant, just your ordinary, run of the mill, street-sign stealing criminal. She was the stubborn sort, and I’m sure she would have gone back to confront the woman but in the few minutes since her sorry display, she forgot the name of the street which, remember, was my name so she gave up and we decided that the thing to do would be to go and get a few more drinks in us.
She was a real piece of work, that girl. I’m sure she’s a responsible member of society now (and hell, she was more responsible in college than I ever was), but she was prone to doing odd things. One night her roommate called me up and asked me if I had given her any drugs recently.
Me: No, why?
Roommate: Because she just walked out of her room, opened up the dishwasher, pulled out the bottom rack, squatted over it and took a giant leak.
Roommate: Yeah, and then she went back into her room.
Me: HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! THAT’S FUCKING HILARIOUS!
Roommate: My dishes are in there!
That was sleepwalking, as far as we could tell. Or maybe it was a brain tumor. Or maybe nothing at all. She was smart, but always doing odd things. Like deciding that she needed to lose weight, and the only way this could be accomplished would be by eating nothing but iceberg lettuce for the rest of her life. After a week of this, she started getting really nutty in the goddamn head.
One night we walked outside and I remarked that it was getting chilly out. “No it’s, not,” she said. “If it was chili, I would eat it. OH MY GOD, CHILI!” And then she started gnawing on my shoulder.
Me: Ow! Hey, what the fuck?
Girlfriend: Greg, I am SO hungry!
Me: Then eat some goddamn food for fuck’s sake!
Girlfriend: I can’t! How else am I suppose to lose weight?
Me: First of all, you don’t need to lose weight. Second of all, we each drink about 30,000 calories worth of beer a week. If you want to count calories, I’d say that’d be the logical place to start.
Girlfriend: Well, now you’re just talking crazy.
And I was talking crazy, because humping street signs, pissing on dishes, and engaging in cannibalism might be kind of out there, but cutting back on the booze was just fucking nuts. What did drinking have to do with anything else?
Wow, I’m really running off at the keyboard, aren’t I? Oh, well. In my experience it’s better to get out the psychic sludge that accumulates in my brain when I don’t write for a while, lest it come out at work.
Boss: Ok, as I was saying before Greg asked if we’d like to hear another story about furious, public dry humping when he was in college, the 4th quarter numbers are in…
So who wants to hear another story about furious, public dry humping when I was in college?
There was a mall in the town where I went to college, and in their wisdom the planners placed it about as far from the campus as possible, the thinking being that they didn’t want to have everything in the mall stolen before 9:00 AM. Seriously, there are few, if any, demographics as larcenous at heart as college students. They’re poor, they feel entitled, and they’re relatively smart. So I rarely went to the mall when I was in college because it was far away, and anyway, all of my money was earmarked for beer and drugs.
I did go once, with a college friend I’ve written about before named Bullshit Bob. I forget why he needed to go to the mall, possibly because we got monumentally high before we got there, but go to the mall we did and spent a lot of time doing shit at the mall that stoners have been doing at the mall since being stoned at the mall was invented: We went to the music store, ate giant novelty pretzels, and giggled at anything that caught our fancy, which was pretty much everything.
One of the things I had been giggling at was the fact that the center of the mall had this large exhibit of some sort involving a lot of mannequins, and what’s more, these mannequins were attracting a lot of attention. People were getting up close to them, having their pictures taken with them, and all kinds of other stuff that should have signaled to us that Something Was Going On, but we were high, so we didn’t think about it too much at first.
Finally, when my brain did register that something different was going on, I focused on the wrong thing. “Bob, have you noticed how fucking gorgeous these mannequins are?”
Bob looked a little confused and said, “Yeah… What the…?”
We walked around the display, looking at the mannequins, and I said to him, “Seriously, man, what the fuck? These mannequins are GODDAMN HOT! In fact, I think I’m going to…” and then in order to get a cheap laugh out of Bullshit Bob, I wrapped a leg around the nearest mannequin, grabbed its ass and made as if to suck on its neck…
Now, at this point of the story at least some of you have figured out that the mannequins weren’t mannequins at all. They were young women who were dressed up in various costumes (the object of my affection was dressed as a softball player) and stood there AMAZINGLY still until some stoned asshole came along and flagrantly violated their personal space.
I had a good hold of the softball player’s ass when she jumped, let out a tiny squeak, and took a quick step away from me. I, in turn, had a goddamn heart attack. It took about ten seconds before I recovered enough to say anything, which was something along the lines of “OHMYGODIAMSOOOOOOOOSORRY!”
Everything made sense now: The people were interested in the mannequins because they weren’t mannequins even though they sure as shit looked the part. An elderly gentleman who witnessed the whole sordid affair said to me with a chuckle, “When I first got here I thought they were dummies too! Then again, I didn’t feel one up.” And some of the people were trying to make the “mannequins” laugh, much like tourists visiting the Royal Guard at Buckingham Palace.
The softball player took it quite well, to tell you the truth, as did most of the people nearby. She immediately got back into her pose, but struggled to keep from laughing. Thank God no one took it very seriously, because I screwed up the courage to say to her, “You know, I usually grab a girl’s ass after I ask her out, but what the hell… You want to go out for a drink some time?”
“I can’t!” she whispered. “I’m 17. And my dad is here.”
I was 19 at the time, so that’s way less perverted a pick-up attempt than it sounds, but still… Grabbing a 17 year old’s ass at the mall: No es bueno.
All right, that’s all I have today. It’s summer, and in the words of Messrs. Jagger and Bowie (in what is easily the worst music video of all time (non-Christmas carol division)), summer’s here and the time is right, for dancing in the street. Unless there’s a fat guy named Glenn already in the street, fucking a jelly donut, in which case your best bet is to stand still until he goes away. Unless you’re dressed like a hot softball player.