Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ninja Pooping

[Note: Yes, this blog post is about pooping and Ninjas. If you are offended by either poop or Ninjas, please discontinue reading. Now you can continue about your horribly boring business and whatever it is you do that makes you think you're somehow "above" feces and/or the deadly arts.]

As you may or may not know, in addition to my Lube duties, I work fairly frequently at BWI Airport. The details of my employment there are rather inconsequential, save for the fact that I have acquired a very interesting and rather brag-able skill: I am AWESOME at pooping at the airport.

I know some of you may be thinking that you, too, have pooped at the airport and thought nothing of it. And there's a reason for that. When YOU poop at the airport, it really is nothing special. When I poop at the airport, I'm a goddamn Ninja.

In order to have a successful airport pooping experience, one must realize that you can't simply waltz into the nearest restroom, cop a squat and drop your load. That simply won't do. There are many factors, both human and environmental, which must be taken into consideration.

First, your choice of bathroom must not be in a well trafficked area. Yes, you just got off a 5 hour flight from Tuscon. No, that does not mean you can drown a Cleveland Brown at the first bathroom on the way to baggage claim and consider it a success. You've done no recon. You have no idea what lies in front of you. You have just violated the first Rule of the Ninja, "Know Your Surroundings."

This means you must be aware of your bathroom options. The first option might seem like the best option, especially in the wake of an airplane dinner of beef stroganov with some nice, minty turbulence for dessert. However, your first option is the worst option, being that so many people are choosing it with you. Even if you found what appears to be clean stall, the likelihood of one or more undesirable things happening to you increases exponentially. This includes (but is not limited to):
1) Sitting on a very warm seat.
2) Having a dad bring loud, unruly, concentration-breaking children into the bathroom and simply ruining your day.
3) Having that friendly businessman you met on the plane choose the stall next to yours and listening to him bury his truffles from 20 inches away.
4) Making someone else trying to choose a stall listen to your one-man dixieland stinky band.
5) HAVING SOMEONE KNOCK ON THE DOOR. Like, what do they expect you to say? "I'm pooping, try again later?" "Come in?" "Why yes, Andre, I'll have the veal picatta?"

So, the first bathroom is out.

"OK, Mr. Smartyninja, at which porcelain bank am I supposed to deposit my check if not the first branch I see?"

I'm glad you asked.

My first suggestion is to turn from whatever direction the masses are headed and go the other way. There are bathrooms everywhere in the airport. You can often find them tucked away in a quiet corner at the end of the pier, with little to no traffic. And here's the beautiful part: ALL of the bathrooms have to be cleaned at the same frequency. This means that the quiet little bathroom down the corridor that doesn't get 1/4 the use that the one by security gets, is cleaned just as often. Like I said, "Know Your Surroundings."

The second Rule of the Ninja is possibly more important than the first, though the principle remains the same. "Know Thine Enemy." Who is your enemy? ALL HUMANS. For a truly successful airport poop, one must have complete privacy. I mean COMPLETE. How can this be accomplished at a busy airport? First, by following the first Rule. Second, by understanding the motivations of the enemies surrounding you. Keep a sharp eye for airport pooping muggles who have wandered into low traffic areas and distract them by dropping a magazine with Zach Effron on the cover, or spilling a drink on the corridor floor and pretend to not notice. This will exasperate the muggle and (more importantly) draw the muggle away from the bathroom to the middle of the corridor, allowing you time to slip into the bathroom undetected and strike.

[There is only one exception to the second Rule of the Ninja, known as the "Hindu Cow Dispensation." The airport janitorial staff are not to be distracted from their work under any circumstances, your bowel movements included. You may be required to practice the Zen art of "Holding It" while said janitorial staff completes their sacred mission, but the reward is worth it. Just remember to focus on your breathing, not the integrity of your sphincter.]

If you can master the first two rules, the third Rule of the Ninja should easily follow: "Be Invisible." Reconnaisance, deception, speed. These are the keys to pooping invisibly at the airport. You do not have time to play games on your cell phone, read your newspaper or contemplate anything but completing the mission beneath you, or you risk ruining all that you have worked for. In an out with lightning effectiveness. This is your task.

There will of course, be a time or two when the Stroganov will not allow a lightning approach to your airport poop. This makes the third Rule of the Ninja all the more important because you then have only one hope for a successful airport plunk: the single-toilet family bathroom. Accessing the family bathroom is easy if you time your entry just right, when no airport employees, parents, or children are in sight. The issue at hand is that if a dirty-diapered family walks by while you're wrestling with a muddy anaconda in a forbidden zone, your cover is blown. Because they'll wait. I've seen this situation start fights. They'll wait for you to exit, at which point I recommend feigning mental illness or possibly sneaking out through the drop ceiling above you. Otherwise, you're into an argument with an angry bear and her cubs, and lets face it, you deserve it. You just violated the third Rule of the Ninja.

Happy pooping, travellers.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Anal Game Entries Pt. 7


The ambassador to Fire Island?


A Great Awakening?


How exactly the dust is removed remains a mystery I still don't want to solve.


Long live the King!!

40) ECHO

Not exactly the kinds of sounds you want repeated.

Anal Game Entries Pt. 6




She's been around the block (and back!) since before you were born.

33) DART



Face it, you're not getting in.


Because it'll give you a devil of a good time!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Anal Game Entries Pt. 5


Bet you didn't know you could get a ticket for it!

27) CITY

If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.


Like Studio 54 on wheels!


He just really liked the feathers and the dancing.


Just like Napoleon... To divide and conquer!

Anal Game Entries Pt. 4


Richard Simmons or Jenna Jameson?


Well that's quite a lot of um... uhh....


"And in THIS corner..."


A rather eager fellow.


Strangely he never took a Squaw.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Anal Game Entries Pt. 3

Thanks for reading. Keep checking back for more.


If you had a Blazer, you'd know it immediately.


This one probably comes with a few air fresheners.


Could be dangerous, could be awesome. Either way you're in for one hell of a ride!


You may need a few buddies for this one.


Oh, thassa SPICY meatball!

Anal Game Entries Pt. 2

Round 2.


Exit Only!


Well this one's a gimmie.


Like a fussy little Inca.


No one needs these.

15) BRAT

Not sure if they meant a petulant child or a German sausage, but I guess either way it works.

Anal Game Entries Pt. 1

Ok, this is just too much fun to leave alone. Here are some entries and my thoughts about them for The Anal Game. I'm taking these from a list of car names I found at


Not a lot; just a splash.


Very highly touted.


Not sure if this is a pact you want to enter into, but to each his own.


Either the worst or best friend you could possibly have.


This would be a good name for a gay professional wrestler.


Like going #2 in reverse.


If you really want to make it in this business, you have a lot to live up to.


This may happen the morning after too much tequilla and too many taquitos. Or even worse, the night of.


Watch your back!


This hot shot always knows where he's going.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Anal Game

Yes, this is pubescent and silly. Yes it's irreverent. Yes, I still have the maturity and wit of an 8th grader. No, I didn't think of this on my own (I give credit to Billy Gordon's bosses at Digital Design Group). But it's still funny.

Here's how to play The Anal Game.

Many automobile manufacturers failed to realize when naming their vehicles that their car names make the word "anal" sound really funny.

Ford is one of the best sources for the Anal Game. Next time your on the road and you notice a Ford vehicle, add Anal to car's model name and you have instant hilarity. See who can find the funniest car names. The most laughs gets the win. Really, everyone wins when playing The Anal Game.

Example: A Ford Ranger becomes an Anal Ranger.
A Chevy Avalanche becomes an Anal Avalanche (pictured above).
A Honda Pilot becomes an Anal Pilot etc.
No points awarded to car names that aren't real words ("Prius") or are just letters and numbers (Q45). Well no points are awarded at all, but those just aren't funny. Keep your eye out for rare ones and if you find a good one, feel free to comment here.

Enjoy, drive safe, and as always...

My lips to yours.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Drunkest Night of My Life

Thanks again, Sarah Perrich, for inadvertently reminding me of something to write about and getting me out of my blog drought.

After reading some of Sarah's travel misadventures at, I was reminded of one of the rowdiest nights I had abroad.

Billy and I went backpacking across Europe in the fall of 2004. We made it from England to Holland to Switzerland to Austria to Hungary to Czech Republic to Germany and back in 3 weeks. We planned the trip so that we could be in Leiden, the town in the Netherlands where I studied abroad (she had D cups! BAZING!) the previous fall during their Independence Day festival.

Leiden's Independence Day festival starts on October 2nd and lasts three to four days. They set up carnival rides, there are food vendors and bands on every street corner and in every bar, and as far as the eye can see, there are kegs and kegs and kegs of Heineken. Sweet, delicious Heineken. Walking home early one morning on October 4th, I literally waded the 1 mile walk, shin deep through disposable plastic beer cups. Needless to say, the town goes a little nuts for a few days and everyone seems to have a good time (especially the old man with an immense beard who passed me on that walk home who had either gotten an early start or a really late finish to the festivities for the day, slopping Heineken down his beard at 7:30 in the morning).

The night this story takes place began with Billy and I having dinner with the Greeks at my friend Lizetta's house in Leiden. We met some Finnish girls and I reunited with my Peruvian friend Sergio which was a good thing, because this story should really be called, "The Night Sergio Saved My Life."

We ate good food, drank cheap wine and homemade Ouzo (a Greek liquor which is rarely consumed when not part of a dare) before we hit the town. We met up with friends along the way as hopped from spot to spot around the town. Life was grand, if a little wobbly.

At 1 am in Leiden, bars are not allowed to let more people in. Once you're there you can stay as long as you like, or until they kick you out, but there is no set closing time. So our group decided to camp out at a bar called Odessa. It's a narrow bar but long and they have a deck that sits on a canal. It is at this point that I must discuss canals. Dutch canals are very slow moving rivers. The river in question at this point, is the Rhine River, which in Leiden is a stinky, stagnant canal. Throw in a few hundred thousand people drinking and peeing into the canal... you get the picture.

Odessa had that night decided on a beach theme and put sand on the floor of the entire bar which was fun, at first. Entering the bar, I should have been headed for bed, but my friend Shirley was there and she's a very attractive South African and I was feeling more and more handsome as the night went on so I stayed, not knowing that Shirley could drink me under the table, which she promptly did.

Billy went off to the deck out back to flirt with one of the Finnish girls when I hit my wall. You know that point in the night when you'd been feeling happy-go-lucky and even if you're slurry and stumbly, you're still having a good time? Then all that comes crashing down at once and you feel like you've been beaten with a tire iron for an hour or two? Yeah, that happened. I abandoned my quest for Shirley and went to find Sergio, which was not an easy task in a crowded bar with a gut full of Ouzo and Heineken. Sergio was quite the lothario, and my pleas for help were imposing on his quest, but he took up his "bro's before ho's" duties and decided to help me.

It was at this point in the story that a sopping wet Billy walked up to me at the front of the bar and tried to inform me that he had fallen into the canal (see above). His soaking wet frame was draped over the Finnish gal and everyone was laughing and pointing at him. My mind, however could not see through the alcohol to the meaning of all of this and I immediately turned back to an obviously stunned Sergio and said, "Sergio. Bed." These would be the only two words I would be able to muster for the rest of the evening. "Sergio. Bed."

Billy and the Finnish girl left me in Sergio's capable hands. Sergio was going to stash me in his dorm room and go out again, which was fine by by me, but somehow he had lost his dorm key in the sand that covered the bar floor. "Sergio. Bed." I struggled to stand. I struggled to sit. I knew I couldn't lay on the floor. "Sergio. Bed." I staggered and wavered and bumped into people. "Sergio. Bed."

Sergio was not happy. Not only could he not get into his own room, he had me to deal with and I couldn't understand why he couldn't get into his room without a key. "Sergio. Bed." The last thing I remember was being outside the bar with Sergio on the phone, telling someone he had this guy with him who was about to die. "Sergio. Bed."

I woke up the next morning without opening my eyes. I took a quick inventory and was pretty sure that most of my body parts were still attached. I noted that I was on a mattress and I had a pillow. I peeled one eye open. I was in a room I'd never been in before. About 6 feet away a Dutch girl I'd never seen before was lying on her own mattress. I saw no one I knew. Nothing was familiar. She woke up as if she expected me to be there and said "good morning" in English. My adrenaline started to kick in. I got up and checked for my belongings which were mostly still in my pockets. I had no idea what to say or do, so I simply said, "I'm sorry. I have no idea who you are or how I got here, but thank you, a million times thank you, and I'm sorry," and I bolted for the door.

The door led me to some strange courtyard that I had never been in before. I was confused and panicked and my brain was still struggling from what I'd done to it the night before. I began to sweat. I found a very tall gate and opened it to find that I was 3 doors up from Odessa. The street musicians were setting up for the next days festivities, and one guy with an elaborate music box began playing "Send in the Clowns." I dropped to the sidewalk, half out of relief from knowing where I was and half from the irony of hearing THAT song at THAT moment in my life, and began laughing hysterically.

I went to the house where the Finnish girls where staying to find Billy. I knocked on the door and was greeted by an Australian guy. "Is Billy here? American guy?"
"To be honest mate, I haven't got a fucking clue. I don't even know whose house this is." Billy stirred from the back of the living room, got his clothes (now clean) and came back to the place we were staying.

I took a much needed shower and as I was doing so, I slipped, did a faceplant on the front of the tub and broke off half of my front tooth.

My lips to yours.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Drunken Master [Warning: Graphic Scenes Depicted!]

[Originally posted at]

No one is ever completely ready to walk up to a middle aged Korean man and ask him to stop vomiting on himself. It's not something that you ever really prepare for. There are no scenes in movies or books where the protagonist has to summon his/her courage to walk up to another character, regardless of age or nationality, and say, "Sir, please stop throwing up on yourself. This is a public facility, and we don't allow that here." Frodo Baggins didn't have to do it. Neither did Holden Caulfield, the Count of Monte Cristo, Rambo, Anne Whatsherface who ate some Gables, or Mr. Miyagi.

But I did.

I find this extremely unfair. Literature, cinema and country music all teach us that at times, life just doesn't go the way you want it to. But nowhere in the entire annals of human history is the "please stop vomiting on yourself" scenario covered. I mean, I even know how to deal with getting rid of a Sasquatch who has endeared itself to my family (thanks, Harry and the Hendersons!) but nothing, not even college, prepares you for this.

I've mentioned Drunken Master before. He was the guy who'd stumble into the pool area obviously inebriated and couldn't come close to walking a straight line. Usually, he would get into the hot tub and moan as if he were either being tortured or sexually pleasured (it was hard to tell). He'd often lay in a chaise lounge swinging his head left and right somewhat violently, but I just figured that was a Korean thing. The Health Club had a large Korean community and I saw some odd behavior, but I figured it mostly to be cultural differences and so I let the head shaking go without much thought. But the day came when his behavior crossed all cultural lines and went straight to... well, I don't know where people find this acceptable.

One day, there he was in his chaise lounge, but instead of shaking his head, he was putting his fingers in his mouth. Odd, but again I just figured it was a culture thing. Still it was intriguing enough to warrant further observation.

Deeper into his mouth the fingers went. The further back into his throat he put them, the quicker my heart started to beat. There was a situation a-brewing and however it was going to turn out, I knew I didn't want to deal with it. It was going to be worse than that time I had to tell an old lady in the steam room that her boob had fallen out of her shirt, and that was bad enough.

I wanted to look away and pretend I didn't notice (it's an ancient and effective lifeguard trick for dealing with speedos that are too small to adequately cover genitalia) but the other patrons had begun to take notice of Drunken Master's antics and were shooting me glances of shock and horror. This was now officially my responsibility.

Things like this aren't covered in a lifeguard's job description but they should be.
"You will be required to maintain the safety of the patrons, as well as the cleanliness and sanitation of the pool and pool area. In addition, you will monitor the level of clothing on all patrons, keep them from drinking Holy Hot Tub Water, prohibit self-vomiting and indoor expulsions of phlegm onto the floor." But they leave that stuff out.

[Warning: Graphic scene imminent!]
I stood up to get a better view of Drunken Master's unusual conduct and as soon as I did, out came the vomit. It wasn't a lot of vomit, but certainly enough vomit. He directed it right onto his stomach. I guess he felt it looked better on the outside than the inside because he then began smearing the clear-ish sticky fluid all over himself with his hands. Being quite stunned, no one really made a move, least of all me. A patron finally got up to leave the pool area and suggested on his way out that I see if Drunken Master was okay. I was on the hook now so I began to walk over to him when he went back into his mouth for round 2. More vomit, more smearing. I asked him if he was okay and he nodded. I suggested he take a trip up to the shower to clean himself off and he pretended not to understand English. As he put his hand to his mouth again I shouted, "NO! Sir, please stop vomiting on yourself. It's not sanitary and we don't allow it here." He got the picture and though he stayed in his lounge chair for a few more minutes to stew in his own juices, he eventually left and I contemplated setting fire to the health club to avoid having to clean up after him.

All Mr. Miyagi ever did was give karate lessons.


Friday, April 30, 2010

The Most Beautiful Thing I've Ever Seen

This was a reply to Sarah Perrich's most recent blog. It was too long to post as a reply so I posted it here as I thought I should

I should probably post this on my own blog, but reading this made me re-realize something.
Probably the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life was a boxing match.
In 2002, I was lucky enough to witness firsthand (on HBO) "Irish" Micky Ward fight Arturo "Thunder" Gatti. After Ward's "Fight of the Year" with Emmanuel Burton in 2001 and Gatti's "Fight of the Year" with Ivan Robinson in 1998, this was a fight boxing fans were waiting for.
They met in Uncasville, Connecticut in 2002 with neither fighter having a title on the line. But HBO knew this bout's potential for greatness and made it their "Boxing After Dark" main event.
Both fighters had brawler instincts. Gatti was a better boxer and his left hook and his late-round, come from behind capacity was widely discussed, but Ward was also well known for his left hook to the body which knocked out more than a few opponents. Neither was a highly touted candidate for junior welterweight champion, but neither cared.
The drama took place in the ring.
Gatti started strong, out-boxing Ward, sticking and moving at his will beating Ward until Ward began to close the distance in the 3rd round, catching Gatti with a few of his renowned body shots.
After being awarded a point for a Gatti low blow in the 4th, assaulted Gatti in the 5th with devastating combinations at the end of the round. It was a nearly 10 punch combination that made you wonder where Ward came up with that kind of a combination, and how in the hell did Gatti not fall down. This was one of the many times in the fight this thought crossed my mind.
Gatti miraculously came back in the 6th and 7th to re-assert himself as the consummate boxer, but at the end of the 8th round, Ward nearly knocked Gatti out as a result of a body punch and a brutal combination that the Hoover Dam would have had a difficult time withstanding.
Gatti had trouble shaking that combination off. The announcers were having trouble describing what had just happened in the 8th when the bell for the 9th round began.
Both men were battered and bruised. But each showed the true meaning of "heart." Ward smelled blood and assaulted Gatti, putting him to the canvas with one of his wicked body shots. Gatti narrowly beat the count, and clamping his right arm to his ribcage, for the next 60 seconds absorbed Ward's artillary bombs to his face and refused to go down. Midway through the round, Ward had grown so weary of punching that Gatti began to throw punches back, rocking Ward and stunning the audience with his tenacity and granite chin. By the end of the round, however, Ward regained himself, forced Gatti into the corner, held him at arms length and blasted him to the chin with one of the hardest punches I've ever seen from a 140 pound man.
This punch prompted the announcers to yell to the referee, Frank Cappucino, to stop the fight. But as Gatti refused to fall, the ref refused to stop the fight. God bless Frank Cappucino.
Gatti came back and swung, like a drunken cuckold at Ward's midsection and connected several times. Ward swung back like a man who couldn't believe he'd lost a fight with a brick wall and missed. The bell rang. Both men were still, beyond all belief, standing.
Ward's right eye was gushing blood and had been since the first round. Both of Gatti's eyes were swollen so bad he could hardly see out of either of them. Gatti's corner tried to throw in the towel, but was too late, and referee, Frank Cappucino made the two men fight the 10th and final round.
Gatti assaulted Ward. He boxed like a man who had just begun the fight, not like one who nearly quit. Punished with combinations from Gatti, Ward had no choice to abandon all defense and launch his own animalistic, yet inefficient barrage. Gatti clearly won the round, though the fight ended with both men throwing hay-makers and allowing the other to land punches at will.
The score was essentially meaningless, but Ward won a majority decision. They would go on to finish one of the greatest boxing trilogies in history, with Gatti winning the next two fights, even though he broke his right hand in each.
But the will, the determination and every other sports cliche worth repeating was on display that night and it would be a fool who found otherwise in Uncasville, Connecticut that night.
Color me a barbarian, but that was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

My lips to yours.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Heavyweight (yawn) Boxing

I recently watched a heavyweight boxing match on HBO featuring IBF International champion, Tomasz Adamek from Poland, and U.S. challenger, Chris Arreola. A quick look at these "fighters" made me yearn for the days when names like Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield were names to be feared and respected. And it's not just that Adamek and Arreola are relative unknowns. Adamek doesn't fit the part of a heavyweight boxer. He's small. He's essentially a beefed-up super middleweight. He sticks and moves pretty well (he's quick, though his footwork is awkward and he often crosses his feet in range of his opponent) but has zero power in his punches. He's in no danger of knocking out a heavyweight opponent, but here he is, an IBF heavyweight champion. Granted, it's not THE heavyweight title, but still...

Arreola, on the other hand, is a big guy, but he's totally out of shape. He's the IBF's number one international contender, yet comes into a title fight with rolls of fat on his sides, and where he should have menacing pectoral muscles, he instead sports drooping breasts. Yes, he has power in his punches, but that power is meaningless being that he can't catch an opponent who is light on his feet (as a boxer should be) and can't throw punches in combinations. On the occasions where he was able to catch Adamek and actually hurt him, Adamek was able to easly slip away or duck in and clinch him and give himself enough time to clear his head. Arreola looked like a clumsy bear who couldn't catch a wounded rabbit.

I know that the Klitschko brothers are the real champions. They are huge (Vitali is 6'7" and Wlad 6'5"), they are smart (both have a Ph.D.) and they are talented. Wladimir Klitschko holds both the IBF and WBO world titles and Vitaly holds the WBC title. But neither of these guys have ever really defeated a decent opponent. Wladimir's record sports wins over guys like Eddie Chambers, Tony Thompson and Ray Austin. Who the hell are these guys?

The "big name" fighters he's faced have been Hassim "The Lucky Punch" Rahman, Ruslan Chagaev, Sultan Ibragimov and Lamon Brewster. Not exactly the kind of fighters who have made a name for themselves in the sport and not exactly names to be feared. Well perhaps Klitschko should have been afraid of Brewster after Brewster knocked him out in 2004. But the fact remains that Klitschko hasn't had any stiff competition.

Vitali boasts victories over Arreola, Kevin Johnson, and a stubborn Corrie Sanders who knocked out Wladimir in 2003. Sanders had a tough chin and a wicked left hook, but by the time he fought Vitali he was 38 years old and had more gray hair than my father. Again these are not guys who ever really established themselves in the sport of boxing.

The only big name fighter that Vitali faced was the last great heavyweight boxing had to offer, Lennox Lewis. Both men are humongous and very skilled. Vitali nearly pulled out the win, rocking Lewis with some viscious right hands, but Lewis had opened up a cut above Klitschko's eye and was able to aggravate it to the point where the doctors stepped in and ruled Klitschko unable to continue, so Klitschko's best validation for being a supreme heavyweight champion comes from a loss. Not exactly convincing.

Boxing needs a great heavyweight rivalry once again. It needs Ali-Foreman, Ali-Frazier, Frazier-Foreman, Holyfield-Tyson. The best boxing fans could hope for these days is a Klitschko-Klitschko bout that will never take place. The brothers have promised that they'll never fight one another as it would put their mother through too much strain.

So it seems as though boxing fans will have to pretend to get excited to see one of the Klitschko brothers fight WBA champ David Haye who recently retired one of the biggest disgraces to heavyweight boxing, John Ruiz. And we will yawn as another non-champion gives up his belt to a Klitschko.

To whomever steps up and gives the Klitschkos a decent fight...

My lips to yours.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hot Tub-ites

[Originally posted at]

Though the Health Club was technically a secular institution, there were many regulars who were fairly religious when it came to their routines. The Intense How Do You Do probably feared Hell in the face of not entering the pool area at blistering pace at 6:45 am sharp, staring and pointing at the lifeguard and shouting with utmost vigor, “How are YOU doing this morning?” at which point, he could not break eye contact until he received an obligatory response. Then and only then could he “relax” in the hot tub. Neither of the Bald Foot Dippers (there were two, and we'll get into both of them later) ever deviated from their course from the door to the 3.5 foot section of the pool to dip their toes in the water, only to ignore the temperature report from their respective tootsies and get into the hot tub instead. Hat Man, despite repeated warnings and reprimands, always and without fail would shave his face (with his hat on) in the hot tub.

There was something magical about that hot tub. It wasn't attractive (the bromine sanitizer it used oxidized the copper pipes, giving the water a puke green hue), often stunk of too many bodies sweating in it at once, and had paint chips and chunks of plaster missing from it in rather uncomfortable places for one's feet and derrier. Yet for whatever reason, the hot tub brought out the zealots at the Health Club.

Twice a week, we were required to drain and re-fill the hot tub in order to maintain basic sanitation. The hot tub-ites, however, prevented us from doing so, insisting that we drain it only once a week, preferably when they weren't there. We decided that since Sundays were our slowest days we'd drain it then. The only safe days to use the hot tub were Mondays and Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, the hot tub would start to get slightly more than questionably cloudy. Thursdays and Fridays, you couldn't see the bottom of it and the acrid, chemical and body fluid smell would begin to permeate the Health Club. On Saturdays, the thing looked like a bubbling cauldron of vomit with 5 morons pretending not to notice while sitting in its hideous belly.

On Sundays it was closed to be drained, cleaned and re-filled. Naturally, our Sunday hot tub fanatics were up in arms. They'd refuse to believe that their precious hot tub could possibly be closed. They'd see their deity half-empty, surrounded by orange cones and believe that it was a test of their enduring faith. They'd rush to its side, move the orange cones and climb in, the water barely covering their kneecaps.

“The Hot Tub is closed.”

This statement was always followed by a look of bewilderment.

“I don't see no sign saying it's closed!”

“The hot tub is green and half-empty. The murky water your feet are dangling in isn't even hot. There are orange cones all around it to alert you to its closure.”

“It don't say nowhere in the rules that I can't be in here.” The rules did say just that.

“It's closed. I work here and I'm telling you it's closed. Please exit the hot tub. It will be open tomorrow. Come back and enjoy it when it's clean.”

“Man, your mother never taught you manners. You need some home training, that's what you need.”

The above was a loose transcript of an actual conversation I had with an actual hot tub-ite. I distinctly remember him talking about my mother and the “home training” remark. I'd have a similar conversation once a week, though they usually did not insult Mom's ability to raise me.

The hot tub's supernatural powers attracted some wacky ones. When Drunken Master wasn't doing the Evan Williams two-step (question: who the hell comes to a Health Club plastered?) he'd be in the hot tub, loudly moaning. I could never tell if he really enjoyed it or if he was in pain. Either way, I was pretty sure he could have used some intravenous fluids.

One of the most memorable hot tub-ites was Jamaican Hot Lady Who Does the Jets. A crude name, yes, but befitting. She had a terrific, curvy figure and loved to show it off. She'd wear something skimpy and lay on a chaise lounge, adopting inappropriate position after inappropriate position. Spreading her legs, arching her back, she'd draw the attention of the male Health Club patrons. When they came by to chat her up, though, she never responded. She was only there for the hot tub, and apparently put on that ridiculous show just for him. She just kept on going with her routine until the call of her lover was to great to bear.

With the hot tub singing her favorite love song, she would come to him. She'd enter the water slowly, standing for a few minutes, basking in his warm embrace until eventually she would find one of the stronger jets and sit down. There she would silently and sensuously gyrate until the hot tub fulfilled her needs. She would then return to her chaise lounge and gratuitously run through her poses for him again.
I wonder if the hot tub ever took pictures?


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another Old One

This is another piece I wrote in 2005 and it made me giggle five years later so I thought I'd share it. When I have a new, original thought, I'll post it, but for now you can deal with my Golden Oldies.

My Israeli friend recently referenced a girl she met
at a Tribunal that the two of them had taken part in
in The Hague.

Tribunal? At first I found this a bit strange, but
she's Israeli and it seems to me that if anyone should
go to Tribunals it's the Israelis. I'm not sure why
think this is. I must confess a certain level of
ignorance as to the exact function of a Tribunal,
however, what with the wars and bombings and genocides
and sling-shot fights with giants that those people
have been through, it seems like they'd be valuable
assets to any Tribunal.

But all this thinking about tribunals made me realize
something. There will NEVER in my life be a time when
I can refer to anyone that I was "friends with at the
Tribunal." This is sad. Why don't I get to go to
Tribunals? I don't even know what a Tribunal
is! Who's fault is this? The Catholic education
system? My utter fear of encyclopedias? I think I
should write a very strongly-worded letter to Funk and
Wagnal and the Archbishop of Baltimore.

At this point I don't even want to know what they DO
at Tribunals, I just know it sounds important,
OR... I don't care, just let me in.

Then I think I could feel like I've done something
with my life. Just to be able to casually drop into
conversation "Oh, yes my friend from the Tribunal
makes the worlds greatest cous cous!" would make me a
happy man. Not to mention the fact that I would have,
by now, made some sort of local or international
decision far beyond my capacity to understand. There
would be repercussions and I'm a man who loves

I imagine a Tribunal being a large semi-circular room,
with multiple tiers, filled with very somber looking
people in dark robes and sashes that tell everyone
which country they're from. And they sit around and
talk about "nation-building" and "fragile
infrastructures" and other things I could pretend to
understand and frown at, knowingly. Then, when whoever
was leading the Tribunal said something that all the
other people liked, I could join in with hearty shouts
of "here, here" or "by all means" or something else
affirming the majority opinion. Whatever it is, I'd
say it with utter conviction and feel extremely

I think I've taken a good first step to taking part in
a Tribunal. I've grown a beard. Now I know, women and
the clean-shaven are perfectly capable of taking part
in Tribunals, but in my own imagination, a beard would
go wonderfully well with the long robes and
the sashes, almost harkening back to the Roman Empire,
with the Senate meeting in togas with long, flowing
beards, deciding the fate of the world right before
they went to the midnight orgy.

So why not me? Why can't I have a say in the fate of
the world? Dammit, I should be there, at the Fate of
the World Tribunal, deciding who's a criminal and who's
a saint and not really caring about either. I'm not
very politcal, after all. I just want to feel like my
opinion counts more than yours.

And by the way, what the hell is a Hague?

My lips to yours.

Monday, April 19, 2010

More Ghosts

[Originally posted at]

I also feel the need to weigh in on ghosts.

My favorite part of the ghosting experience was the sound it made. You didn't have to actually see it happen to enjoy it (though it certainly helped. It wasn't uncommon for us to watch someone head outside and start leaning to one side, hoping that patron would hit the glass, like a bowler praying he picks up a spare). It sounded like a quick drum fill on a deep tom tom, and you could hear three parts of the ghost hitting the glass in rapid succession: foot, knee, face. You'd turn around and there would be the ghost who met her match, rubbing her forehead and trying to look like it never really happened as she scurried through the actual door.

One of the great things about ghosting was how humbling it was for the Health Club types. You know the kind of people I'm talking about. Type-A personality, go-getters... these are the people who speedwalk wherever they go, who take life by the HORNS, goddammit, and when they want to relax, they WILL RELAX, and they'll FINISH the book they brought because they DO what they set out to do and nothing, NOTHING will get in their way (bumpbumpthud!) except a nice thick sheet of freshly cleaned glass. Ahh... it'll make your day.

My award for Top Ghost goes to a prospective member touring the facility with one of the Health Club's salesmen. This added a wonderful new twist to the inelegant hilarity of the situation, because there were two rather stunned reactions to enjoy when she foot-knee-faced the glass wall. She was dressed to the nines, too. She had a nice skirt and blouse, high heeled shoes, lots of jewlery and LOADS of makeup. I hope you can see where this is going.

The salesmen led her through the indoor pool area to the outdoor pool, where he stepped through the open door and the ghost attempted to engage her superpowers and tried to walk through the glass door. Bumpbumpthud!

Damon unfortunately wasn't there that day, but my co-worker, Mario, instantly jumped up and left the pool area at a full sprint so he could laugh at her as whole-heartedly as the situation deserved. The salesman was obviously more than a tad bit befuddled, and tried to see if she was okay. She was, and it didn't take long for her to collect herself and for the salesman to awkwardly finish his tour.

She left a monument, however, and a warning to all would-be ghosts from then on. There was a four inch streak of light brown foundation running horizontally on the glass about 5'7" from the floor. Directly underneath was a vertical strip, about nose width, followed by a perfect kiss print in light pink.