Monthly Archives: December 2010

*Keyser Söze’d (well, sort of)

Thinking back on that afternoon of two autumns ago, I should have stuck with the wine and the brunette. But, like they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Susan liked to spend one Saturday a month getting up early, going to garage sales and flea markets, then lunch, al fresco, with a drink or two, weather permitting. I always looked forward to being her cohort for the day. Not because she drives a kickass BMW, but because she lets me drive her around all day in her kickass BMW.

Anyway, we’re at Café Ba-Ba-Reba, drinking the best sangria in town, getting a pretty good buzz going (she lives two blocks away, so her car was parked for the day), and who walks up? My old neighbor Joel.

Joel was always the guy that would add a spark to any occasion. This night would be no different.

He sits down and proceeds to mesmerize us with stories of his recent trips to India and Hungary. Within thirty minutes I could close my eyes and imagine myself being 007, dashing through the streets of Budapest or on the back of an elephant, slowly parading down a market street in New Delhi. I knew I didn’t have a chance to hook up with Susan, but I knew I had a very good chance of hooking up with a hottie while carousing with Joel. So, I told Susan that Joel and I were going to hit the bricks and paint the town red. Sorry, but a man’s gotta do, what a man’s gotta do.

We jumped in a cab and headed over to Kelly’s Pub to begin our journey. As we rode other there, Joel was telling me about a beautiful woman he fell in love with in Udaipur. Gandhali loved him too, but her family forbad any interaction between the two. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), he went on to tell me that he had just found out that she had moved to Chicago, right here in Lincoln Park.

So, I had to ask him why in the hell he’s sitting in a cab with me, and he tells me that she refuses to return his calls. I started to suggest that we just go over to her place, but that drum roll started up in the back of my head, and I’ve learned to change directions whenever I hear it.

We ended up spending about two hours drinking shots of something I don’t really remember, and the entire time he’s calling this woman. I’d say he must have called her twenty times. No messages, just calling and hoping she’d pick up. Yeah, I know, but I was waiting for his typical magic to appear. I figured it was just a matter of time before he started in with his J. Peterman stories and a couple of smooth legs appeared.

Well, the magic never appeared and I was now very drunk and very hungry, and when I suggested that we go grab something to eat, Joel stood straight up and said that we should go up to the Udupi Palace. MF’r, I might as well have stayed home today and walked over there. Now this fool wants to take a thirty-minute cab ride to eat curry, when we have a boatload of restaurants within three blocks?! But, I thought about it and decided that going up there might be a good thing, as it wasn’t too far from my place and I could always just go home after eating. Yeah… if life were just that simple.

Once there, we gorged on curry chicken, lamb, rice, some dessert I’d never had before, and two bottles of Riesling. My gut was busting and I thought we were just about done for the evening, when my phone rang. It was Susan. She had locked her keys in her car and needed to me come down with her spare, as she didn’t want to go through the hassle of calling AAA, yada, yada. What else could I do but go back down there? Besides, maybe I’d sober up and light a fire under Joel.

So, we got back down to Lincoln Park, dropped off the key and we’re walking down Sheffield, when I had the great idea to go to Ambrosia. In hindsight, smoking some Code 69 and drinking more booze may not have been the smartest thing to do after all of the boozing and eating we’d already done. But the next thing I know, Joel has captivated two coeds with a romantic tale of sorts of some place called Cinque Terre in Italy. Now I had just started to angle my way into the conversation, when in walks a woman of Indian descent. Her family might have lived in Pittsburgh for the last four generations for all I know, but her dark hair and eyes (plus a lot of booze and a broken heart) made Joel think about his lost love and he immediately stopped talking and called what’s-her-name. At this point, the only thought running through my mind was that she’d better look like a freakin’ goddess, swallow, and make a great Rueben.

Needless to say, I had had enough of his JV approach to seeing the broad, so I grabbed him by the arm and said we’re going straight over to her place and get this over with. The first thing I thought about once the cab started rolling was that it’s been a solid six hours of eating and/or boozing, and I gotta push one out like nobody’s business. That said, I needed to focus on something else and Gandhali’s crib was only ten minutes away, so I coached up Joel on his approach if she answered the door.

So, we get out of the cab, and before I could pay the guy, Joel is racing up the back stairs, like there’s free money being passed out on the roof. I can barely waddle at this point, but I made it up to the fourth floor in about three minutes, which I thought would be enough time for this dumbass to at least knock on the door and see if she was home. Instead, I found him leering into one of the windows. I had taken two steps towards him and was about to tell him to get away from the fuckin’ window, when a woman from three doors down yelled out to us that Joel’s not supposed to be here and she’s already called the police. WTF?!

We both take off for the stairs, Joel trips me up, I fall face down, right on my stomach, get back up and make it down the rest of the stairs and across the parking lot, the best I could. Then I got between a dumpster and a gangway, squatting down so I wouldn’t be seen by anybody. Holy cow, this dumpster smells like shit. Anyway, I gave myself maybe ten seconds to collect my thoughts and to calm down, and then it’s off to catch a cab. I guessed that the neighbor didn’t get a good look at me, so it should be safe to catch one on Fullerton. So, I casually walk through the gangway (my knees, back and wrists killing me from the fall) and I’m standing there on the curb waiting for the cab and people are walking past and looking at me like I’m from another planet. Before that thought could completely register with me, I hear a siren.

Well, I’m thoroughly committed to running this one out if need be, so I take off back down the gangway, where I now see Joel standing by my dumpster. At this point I wanted to knock him out, but that would only make matters worse if a cop was about to pounce on us, and I also didn’t want him to get caught and subsequently drop a dime on me.

With that in mind, I called an audible. I grabbed him and said that the sirens are coming from that direction and we’d better go one block down and.. then Joel took off like a scared rabbit and I had to make sure he didn’t get pinched. So, I took off behind him and we made it maybe four blocks, when we realized that we had been running in the same direction as the siren, which was attached to an ambulance that was now turning the corner towards us.

Whew, I figured that we were safe as long as we got a cab. So, I’m standing there bent over, panting, with sweat running down my face and back, thinking that I’m gonna have a coronary any second, while counting my blessings, when I notice tears rolling down Joel’s face. He says that he’s gotta be honest with me and proceeds to tell me that he actually never went to India, etc. He had moved to Dallas because he had a restraining order out against him from Gandhali, whom he went to Downers Grove South High School and Butler University with. He’s been seeing a therapist, yada, yada. I then said that as long as we’re being honest, I have to tell him that if he ever mentions my name to her, her family or the police, I’m gonna make him wish that he was never born.

This is where things get sticky, literally. I didn’t expect him to do or say anything that would decisively prove that he’s nuts, but he very calmly looked at me, pointed to my backside and said “Oh, you shit your pants”, then walked away. He said it like someone would say “Oh, your shoe’s untied”  or “Oh, something fell out your pocket”.

Remember the fall I took on the stairs? Although, it’s a great story in itself too, going into detail about how I got home with a shred of dignity would take another thousand words, so I’ll leave it to your imagination.

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*Little Red Corvette

My cousin Michael gets out on prison next week. He’s spent the last three and a half years locked-up at a minimum-security place in Wisconsin a for a white-collar crime, basically for something someone connected would have received a slap on the wrist. So, the first thing to do when he gets back home is to take him out and show him a good time, including getting him laid.

Before he reported to prison I took him out for a few drinks, in what turned out to be a night to remember if you were a recent hair transplant recipient or a midget.

We started off drinking Tequila at The Pumping Co. We’d been sitting at a table for maybe thirty minutes, when Michael decided that he wanted to sit at the bar. OK, fine with me.  Well, Michael being Michael, he starts up a conversation with the guy (Cubs Fan) next to him, and after ten minutes of talking about pussy-this and pussy-that, buys him a drink. This guy looked like any other schmo in the place: jeans, Cubs hat, short hair and he looked like he might have pumped some iron back in the day, maybe even played football in high school.

So, in walks this hot piece of white trash (WT), who looks like she wants to spend a some time “entertaining” one of us. Unfortunately, for Michael, it was his new buddy. WT proceeds to walk straight up to Cubs Fan and plant a slow, deep, wet kiss that would have made the Pope get a hard-on. It lasted about thirty seconds, which was just enough time for Michael to mentally tear off her clothes and have sex with her three times. You have to keep in mind that its gonna be over a thousand days and nights before Michael can get some, so he’s sorta out of his mind at this point.

For the next hour or so, Michael orders round after round of beer, knowing that Cubs Fan will have to use the restroom, thus giving Michael a chance to seduce WT, bolt out the door, catch a cab, get back to her place and… Again, keep in mind that he’s sorta out of his mind. I could tell by now that Cubs Fan was onto Michael’s plan and had been holding off, so that Michael would have to go first, because WT was flirting right back a Michael, big time. She was behaving like she hadn’t been boned in months. But now, after about ninety minutes, Cubs Fan had to abandon his defense and say he’s gotta take a leak. Hmph, Michael looks at me with a smirk as we both watch Cubs Fan walk to the restrooms. But, we both just about fall off our bar stools when we watch Cubs Fan go inside the women’s restroom.

Ohhhhhhhhh, we get it now! Michael wasted no time in telling WT that he was going to be locked up for a while and really wanted to have some wonton sex before he went away and that he could tell that she could really use a high, hard one to boot. It was a win-win situation! She bit, but Cubs Fan must have sensed something was awry, because she was double-timing it back to our spot before we could pay the tab. So, I was pulling money out of my pocket and stepping to the bar…

I guess I shoulda known, By the way u parked your car sideways, That it wouldn’t last
See you’re the kinda person, That believes in makin’ out once, Love em and leave em fast
I guess I must be dumb, cuz u had a pocket full of horses,Trojan and some of them used
It it was saturday night, I guess that makes it all right, And u say what have I…

Oh yeah, baby. You like sucking my toes? Oh yeah…

Heh? What? I woke up on the floor to see Michael laying face down, on top of two broken chairs, with a Cubs hat and hand full of hair. Evidently, I took a step towards Cubs Fan, which she took as an act of aggression, thus planting her left elbow squarely on my right temple. I later found out this strike is called Empi Uchi, in the Japanese art of Shotokan Karate, of which Cubs Fan holds a Third Degree Black Belt. Michael was introduced to the Shuto yoko ganmen uchi (knife-hand strike to head), and from what we later heard, a very pretty Ushiro mawashi geri (reverse roundhouse kick), followed by a Yoko tettsui (sideways hammer-fist strike). I guess I got off lucky. Evidently, the hair in Michael’s hand was from Cub Fan’s recent hair transplant. He has no recollection of grabbing her head and to be honest, I think she might have allowed him a free shot, but got pissed that he went for the hair instead of a kick to the nuts or something. I can’t blame Michael though, our high school wrestling coach always told us “Control the head, control the beast”.

Oh, yeah, the midget. To make a long story short, we ended up at the 7-Eleven, near Western and Lawrence, when Michael spotted a hot (remember…) midget getting into a cab, we hopped in a cab and followed her to Grafton’s Pub, where she simply disappeared into the crowd inside (imagine that). We looked for her for thirty minutes (or five beers, whichever came first) before we found her sitting at a table full of Grafton softball players. Michael looked like a mess with a swollen eye and lip, dried blood on his beard, and a bloody and torn shirt. He assumed that with her being a “little person” (notice how I used small caps to write that?) that she would take anything that she could get, but this gal had some class. He tried every conceivable approach, Jedi mind tricks and even cash, to no avail. Overall, getting your ass kicked by a dyke and being shot down by a midget is not the way to spend one of your last nights as a free man.

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Hmmmm, she seems nice

I just found out that a buddy of mine has fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the world. We had plans to grab a bite to eat and go see a sneak preview of True Grit last weekend, but he wanted to bug out at the last minute, saying he was tapped out. Tapped out? Morry throws nickels around like manhole covers.

I told him not to worry about it, it’s on me, just don’t try to kiss me at the end of the night.  It was Saturday and 99% of the time that meant a late night ending with breakfast at some greasy spoon. Well, Morry suggested that we hit the Admiral Theatre (strip club) after the movie, but I didn’t want to pay the $$ cover. Besides, I went a couple of months ago with my brother and the talent that night was, while hot, sort of goofy. These girls couldn’t dance to save their lives. But, none of this mattered because Morry insisted on going and that meant I had to go.

Real quick FYI for the ladies: We (guys) do go to strip joints once or twice a year. It doesn’t matter if we’re single, engaged, married or happily married. It doesn’t matter if we’re getting laid every night or once a year, or if our significant other still blows us four times a week.

To be honest, by the time we’re 30, most of us only go because some other guy insists. It’s not about seeing some TnA, not wanting to come home or maybe getting lucky. It’s about Guy Code. Guy Code specifically states that you have to go to a titty bar if your buddy insists. Maybe it’s been a while since he’s seen a live one and he doesn’t mind paying to see it. It also stipulates that the guy covers all costs for the guy he’s badgering to go. It also stipulates that one never discuss the outing with any female, never, ever. This rule makes “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” look like a joke. Once you break this rule, you are never invited to another outing and you can never recover the required level of trust.

So we end up at the Admiral around ten thirty, order a juice (dry bar) and start watching the girls shake it.  Morry finally tells me that he’s after a dancer who goes by the name “Cherry”, but her real name is Diane. Yeah, right. Fucking dumbass. I tell Morry that until you get your ** wet a couple of times, she’s not gonna tell you her real name and she might not even then. Look, I “dated” (if you know what I mean) a stripper for a couple of months back in ’94. Her stage names were “Dallas” and “Star”, and she told me (after the nasty) her real name was Michelle. However, the mail on her kitchen counter said otherwise, but I couldn’t care less.

Well, Marty insisted that there was a mutual attraction and they hadn’t gone out yet because he’s a 9am-5pm and she’s a 9pm-5am. Yeah, and she’s in church all day Sunday too. Marty said it would be hot to date a stripper, the sex must be great judging by the way they move.  “Besides, didn’t you date one?” Sort of a touché, but then I laid out some guidelines to successfully “dating” a stripper.

  1. 75% of strippers are either lesbians or bi. I’ve dated two Bi chicks, one a stripper. You have no chance with the lesbian, but you can hook up with the Bi if she’s had enough twat and is looking to switch sides of the plate for a few at-bats. Then, trust me, she’s gonna tear your wanker out by its roots. You might as well be sleeping with a freshly ex-communicated nun. The other 25% are honestly trying to make a living or a buck or two for their own reason. (yes, I’m saying I would do it for a year on the weekends to pay off some debt or save for a deposit on a mortgage if I looked like Natalie Portman or Eva Mendez)
  2. Don’t initially meet her at the club. You’re just another wad of ones and fives. I met “Star/Dallas” in the laundry room in my apt bldg.
  3. Don’t visit her at work. Enough said.
  4. Don’t become too emotionally invested in her. Strippers are as volatile as roofers and Marines. One false move and you may end up on page three of the Sun Times.
  5. Don’t think for a second that this is destiny. Destiny is backstage counting her tips.

OK, I’m rambling on a bit here. Yeah, I got a look at her, she was hot. Yeah, Morry heard every word I said, but I think it went in one ear and out the other. I guess we all learn our lessons at our own pace.  I am Morry’s friend, so I will keep apprised of the “situation” and offer advice when it warrants.

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I was at Meetup group the other night, when I spotted Brodie over in the corner by the snacks. Knowing him, he was probably stuffing his pockets with free food. Not to save a buck, that I could understand. No, Brodie would steal something just to steal something. I know this firsthand because Brodie has stolen a fair share of my stuff on two occasions. But there was never enough proof to press charges against him, so there was nothing I could do. See, he knows enough of the right people (fences, thieves, bookies, dealers, cops, etc) to get away with a lot of shit. But at the same time, I knew he had two strikes against him and was on parole.

Anyway, last year I had heard through the grapevine that he had gone straight and was trying to make an honest living. Of course, I knew better than that. Now I’m not saying people can’t change. People can and do every day, but we all know of people like Brodie, and we all know they can’t change. They were little motherfuckers with they were kids and they would be the same when their number was called.

Unfortunately, Brodie had two other strikes against him tonight that he didn’t even know about. Number one was that I had already downed about five Jack and Cokes. Number Two was that I’m really stressed out about my job and am ready to beat the shit out of the first motherfucker who deserves it. So, I slipped out the side door of the place and waited across the street for him to leave. I hadn’t seen if he came with a friend or friends, but it didn’t matter any. I was more than willing to drop anybody he may have with him.

He came out about twenty minutes later, alone and looking sober. I hadn’t seen his car anywhere, so I figured that he must have taken the bus down there, which is what I did. The bus stop was three blocks north of the direction he was walking, so I double-timed it, crossed the street, and waited at the edge of the alley for him.

All I could think about while I waited was the look in his eyes when I stepped out from the shadows and called out his name. Would he yell for help? Would he take it like a man? Would he run? No, I wouldn’t give him the time or the opportunity for that.

So, he walks up, and I said in my Jack-vengeance-laced voice “Time to pay-up Brodie” (Yeah, it sounds a little too dramatic now to me too). I stepped out and sure enough, he put his hands up, palms towards me and said, “Hey man, I’ve changed”. Of course, me being me, my conscience told me to stand down and let him have his say. However, the Jack wasn’t sure where this conversation was going to go, so to be safe, my fist hauled off and punched him in the mouth.

I told him to stay on the ground or he was going to get more of the same, so he did. At the same time, a couple of guys across the street looked like they were calling the cops, so I stepped to the street and luckily got a cab on the spot (it is the Northside, you know). Something I didn’t think about before I laid him out was that I was on the northern edge of Boys Town and those boys don’t put up with dudes coming into their neighborhood and gay bashing, which is what they might have thought. That said, I could have gotten a much worse ass-whoopin’ than Brodie got, no doubt. Next time I’ll wait outside his apartment.

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You pay first, yes?

My cousin Bobby has always been known as being very thrifty, so it was a surprise when asked me to give him a ride to and from the dentist office. It wasn’t him asking me for the ride that surprised me, it was the fact that he was actually going to pay to see a real dentist. You have to drop $200 just to walk in the door nowadays and I’ve never seen him spend $200 in one month. See, Bobby is a firm believer in paying as little as possible for anything and everything. If he needs a haircut, he gets a free one at the beauty college (or whatever they’re calling them these days). If he needs to be checked for diabetes, he’ll wait until spring to come around, when the ADA has free screenings. If he needs stitches, he’ll go buy some superglue and Rambo it.

Anyway, I hadn’t seen him for a while, maybe six or seven months, and he sounded terrible on the phone when he called me last Thursday night, like he was in real pain. He had already gone to a couple of dentists-in-training, but his condition was too advanced for them to properly treat it. Evidently, he had all four of his wisdom teeth halfway grown out, with the bottom two growing in at a ninety-degree angle, and another one being impacted or whatever they call it. The poor asshole could barely talk, much less eat.

Once he told me how bad it was, I told him I’d be right over, because I assumed he needed to go right now, like it was an emergency. But, he said that he was waiting until Tuesday to go. Heh? Apparently, he found a Serb who just opened shop on Montrose and who gives a 10% discount for off-peak time appointments. OK, I can see that being a good deal, if you’re having your teeth cleaned, but not if you’re in need of having four teeth pulled and maybe some more stuff done. But, Bobby’s a grown man and I didn’t say anything. Besides, I could run over to La Sierra for some grub after I drop him off.

So this morning rolls around, I drive over, pick him up and he tells me that he needs to stop off by Six Corners first to buy some guys Link card. He says that the guy will only hold it until 11:00 a.m. and then he’ll sell it to someone else. Aw, come on, man! With my luck, this is the same asshole Chuck Goudie ‘s been following around for two months, waiting to catch him selling a fucking Link card, and I’m the asshole getaway driver, who’s made out to be part of some elaborate criminal enterprise or something. Hey, we’ve all seen Chuck do it. He’s a bad motherfucker.

Against my best judgement, I went ahead and took him to buy the card, then we’re driving down Montrose, and Bobby tells me to look for an old gas station, like the ones in the movies. Heh? If it were anybody else, I would have thought they were kidding. Yeah, ok, so the Serb opened up shop in an old gas station, what’s next? Can I get a deal on some radials or something? Picture an old gas station with the Amoco sign ripped of the facade and replaced with “Dentist”.  No fresh paint, no tinted windows, weeds growing all over, like a scene from Omega Man, and the canopy for the pumps is still there, à la 1958.

Once inside, we’re greeted by an old woman who looks like she died three years ago. Bobby looks around for a sign-in sheet or something, and the old woman says “You pay first, yes?” Of course, Bobby being Bobby, says no way, and thus begins a five minute diatribe in Northside and Serbian. I’m thinking he’s wasting his time, ‘cause she died three years ago and ain’t got nothing but time to burn. So, the next thing we know the “Dentist” walks in and he looks like a fat Freddy Mercury.  I would not want to bump into this big queer in the shower, that’s for sure. Anyway, he pacifies the old broad and starts telling Bobby that it’s customary back home to pre-pay. Whatever. Bobby’s not buying it and reminds Freddy that this ain’t “Kosomo”.  Yada, yada, yada. Bobby ends up in the chair and decides on using gas. Which I thought was a bad idea, considering there’s no telling exactly what type of gas was in the canister. So, I  decided to skip lunch and make sure my cousin wasn’t violated like a trumpet player at bandcamp.

To make a long story short, Bobby got all four teeth pulled for $125/cash. I guess he could have gotten a better deal, but he’d probably have to travel to Columbia.

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