Saturday, May 25, 2013

On My Way (Back) To The Forums

It's been a long while since I've rolled up my sleeves and trolled the treasure trove of forums and chat rooms that Al Gore's® Internet invention has to offer; I actually forgot how addictive web surfing can be.

For instance, recently I found myself enjoying an iced tea (pronounced: Jameson and self regret) with a couple of buddies and the topic of conversation turned to the following:

"How old is Kenny Rogers?"

I'm not sure, exactly, how or why Kenny Rogers came up in conversation between me and the guys but I feel that it's a clear indication that I need to find new and more exciting friends.

When I returned home later that evening, I pulled out the laptop and visited the most reliable research engine on the Internet (Wikipedia) in order to confirm Kenny's age.

The Internet is a lot like Walmart, in that there's no such thing as a "quick visit" and there's usually a pedophile or two lurking somewhere. 

Upon learning more than I needed to know about "The Gambler", one click led to another until I eventually found myself online for approximately 6-hours.  My, seemingly, simple web session transported me to fascinating places...such as:

The Internet Movie Database
Home Depot

E-How: "How to convince your ex-girlfriend that you're NOT an asshole"

E-Lyrics: Keith Urban "You'll Think Of Me"
Profiles of notorious mass murderers in the United States

Paula Deen's Chicken & Wild Rice made simple
How to not be an ass-hat

Facebook (stalking)
E-How "How to convince your ex-girlfriend to have sex with you"

and, finally, a porn site titled:

"Indiana Bones And The Temple Of Bootie"

By the way, Kenny Rogers is 122 years-old. His face is only fourteen.

After an endless web surfing session, I felt that it might be time to continue with a long overdue project that I documented a couple of years ago. The piece was titled:

                                                 "On My Way To The Forums"

So, once again, I've spent the past seven weeks getting to know many wonderful people around the planet via forums, boards, chat rooms and social sites.

First up...


I have absolutely NO problem with owning a rodent and I have a larger appreciation for those who inherit these lovable creatures after their 12-year old child becomes so bored, apathetic and lazy to the point where the kid nearly starves these defenseless creatures to death.

If you ask me, ferret lovers are TRUE humanitarians and it's high time that they receive the respect they deserve. After all, ferrets ARE one of God's creatures, otherwise Noah wouldn't have placed two of them on the ark. Here's my entry into the (short lived) world of ferret chat:

Slimshady: Anyone know of a good recipe for grilled ferret?  I have some snow peas and water chestnut to go with it...I need to use the veggies before the expiration date.

Angel: WTF?

Slimshady: Since you asked, he's right here with me.

Angel: I didn't ASK anything dick...other than WTF???

Slimshady: No need for unpleasantness.  You wrote: WTF..."Where's The Ferret?"

Angel: That's not wat I meant, and you know it.  I'm not sure if you know much about our community but much of wat we promote ctrs round rescuing abandoned and unwanted ferrets and we're sanctioned by the SPCA.

Slimshady: You do love abbreviations don't U?  Or, RU missing keys on your keyboard.  I am...but that's a long story which primarily centers around an urgent situation where I had to drop my computer bag from a balcony ledge.  It was a fun evening though. 

Angel: You probably don't even KNOW what SPCA stands for...jerk.

Slimshady:  I know what SPCA, GMAC, FreddieMac, ACLU, GDP. SDI, STD and DMV stand for...pretty impressive huh?  (Well, except for STD.)  I didn't know what DP stood for until my friend, Darrell, explained it to me.  He likes to watch a lot of pornographic videos.  BTW, earlier, you misspelled "what." WTF?

Angel: You are ignorrant. We're trying to serve a humane cause by giving homes to thousands of abandoned and unwanted ferrets. Do you know why????

Slimshady: Because they were initially an "impulse purchase" at Pet Smart?  BTW, you misspelled ignorant.

Angel: You must have a lot of time on your hands!

Slimshady: Given my current relationship status, yes. The ferret actually belonged to my girlfriend and she offered to move it to her sister's house because I have a cat and a dog..I also accidentally stepped on it one evening after staying out all night with my buddies. 
I actually just wanted my girlfriend to move out now that I think about it. BTW, I noticed that there's an icon on your site titled "Modern Ferret." Does your ferret use the Internet or play X-box? If so, I'd love to chat with him/her sometime.  How can you tell a male from a female ferret anyway? 

Angel: I'm done with this convo.

Slimshady: OK. Nice chattin' with you Angel. I'd love to come by and meet you sometime and maybe we can enjoy a test tube of water and five or six Cheerios with the little guy. 

I'd also love to learn  some tips as to how to remove the putrid smell that ferrets emit in the house. If there's time for a sexual encounter, that'd be great also...between me and you, NOT the ferret.  LOL.  Anyhoo...Take care. TTYL.

Next up, I decided to get to the bottom of the trials and woes facing seniors by educating myself via the AARP website.

Jim: I'm soooo sick of dog food. Any ideas?

Moderator: Are you serious? Do you need assistance through a local outreach facility?  I noticed that your profile indicates that you live in New Orleans.  We work closely with a Catholic Charities facility in your community.

Jim: No, I'm afraid of Catholics.  Actually, I'm really afraid of the Pope.  
I live in an assisted living apartment complex, so I have shelter...I'm simply not able to stretch my social security through the month so I run a little short on or about the 20th of each month, so I eat dog food. 

Moderator: Goodness! We have outreach availability through our membership program if you need it.

Jim: Is it covered via Obama Care? Because according to the Tea Party and Fox News, it's not.  I have limited government funds since I'm not Canadian, a U.S. politician or a Cuban refugee. How much is membership?

Moderator: $16.00 and it covers spouses too.

Jim: Whoa!  $16.00 would buy a lot of dog food at the Save a Center!

Moderator: It covers you AND your spouse...and there are numerous programs that can help with food and housing needs.

Jim: Thankfully, my wife is dead. She was such a bitch...I also suspect that she slept with Mike Ford back in 1973...he was our next door neighbor...he's dead now.  

The wife and I stayed together for the kids sake...and for the incredible sex, until she turned 49. That's around the time when I began "staying at the office late" working on "projects" with my secretary.

Moderator: Hmm. Out of curiosity, how old are the kids?

Jim: 58 and 66. They're absolutely adorable!

Moderator: I see. And how did your wife die?

Jim: She "fell" from a 4-story balcony one night while I was trying to watch the new Hawaii Five-O program on the CBS television network. 

Moderator: I think it's time for you to move along Jim.

Jim: Yeah, that's what my kids tell me after Sarah died. Sarah was my secretary.

Moderator: No...I mean to another website.

Jim: Ok.

I'm always on the prowl for the next BIG business opportunity. If I could find one which allows me to watch ESPN all day, WHILE I earn a living, I'd be in HEAVEN! 

After stumbling upon an advertisement for Career and their professional online counselling program, I figured it to be a potentially enlightening prospect to confirm my top career options.  After all, we all want to make sure that we're chasing the "best suited" employment path.


Steve: I'm Stephen and I'm here to guide and
help you today. We match the right talent with the right opportunity and do so more often than any other site.

Weezer69: Thank you Stephen.  Is your name pronounced Steph-aahn (short "A"), or Steeeven)?

Steve: Long "E."  How may I assist you with your path to the future today? 

Weezer69: Are you a computer? Judging by the way that you write, you sound a little rigid. Are you having a rough day or do you just feel a little backed up in the doo doo department? 

BTW, my name, Weezer, is pronounced with a long "E."  It's least that's what SHE says.  LOL!

Steve: I'm going to have to insist that we keep the chat engine application professional.  I'm a real person...I assure you. How can we begin building a gateway to your future today?

Weezer69: Steeeeeeve...first of are NEVER going to get laid if you speak the way you write. Not that I get laid either, but I don't get laid for numerous reasons.  Neither I, nor my therapist, can explain how this came to be my lot in adult life. 

I suspect that my ex-girlfriend, likely, has a few ideas on the subject...none of which still make any sense to me.

Steve: Did you need legitimate assistance with our site or counselling resources today?

Weezer69: Actually, yes. I'm completely satisfied with my career and the company but I absolutely HATE my manager. 

Hate is a really strong and unprofessional word now that I think about it...let's change that to abhor. 

Fact of the matter is that I really wish that the company owner would wise up and fire, I mean, terminate, him...or simply explain to me why he makes 5-times more than I for doing nothing but screw around on Twitter all day long and engage in intercourse with several of our interns.  He even has a company GAS CARD!

Steve: I'm not sure that our site can assist, unless you're looking for another place of employment or a career change.

Weezer69: No...I don't want a new place of employment at all...I haven't had to purchase green tea, toilet paper or salt and pepper in years...thanks to our employee break room.  Plus, there are sooooo many hot girls who work here, one of which just lost her children to Child Protective Services in a nasty divorce proceeding.  You know what that means?  She has the apartment ALL to herself!. Sure, she might be an unfit mom or a total nut job, but there are certain acceptable flaws that I'm able to live with.  In manager lingo, that's the old baggage not outweighing the benefits rule Steve.   

What I need advice from you for pertains to an entirely different area. I want to know how that one might be able to kill their manager and get away with it...kind of like O.J.  Only not with a knife and a small glove...I gag at the sight of blood.  And, I don't own a pair of gloves.

There MUST be some sort of pill available to the public that might make it appear as though he had a heart attack or something...sort of like the stuff that the CIA uses on foreign despots that we simply wish to "go away" after we're finished aiding their own warfare efforts with a mutual enemy...unless you ask George W. Bush.

System Admin: account suspended pending review

Steve seemed like a nice guy,  but I'm somewhat irritated that he called the "System Admin" police out on me.

One of my fondest childhood memories centers around the motion picture release of Star Wars.  My father took me to see it on opening night and that evening will forever hold a special place in my heart. 

With that, I decided to surf over to one of the (too many) Star Wars chatrooms where I made a few new friends.  I adopted the name of Jabba The Hut's little pet, Salacious Crumb.

When these Star wars guys aren't talking all things Star Wars, I'm sure they're doing important things, such as raising a family, constructing a home made light saber or fantasizing about Princess Leia chained to a fat, menacing blob in her sexy slave outfit. 

Salacious Crumb wrote: Does anyone else feel a little let down by the fact that Carrie Fisher looks like a bloated saddle bag and sounds as though she's smoked 800-million packs of cigarettes?

Boba Fett47: She's still hot to me.

Salacious Crumb wrote: Gross. 

Boba Fett47: What's gross about it??

Salacious Crumb wrote: I would rather see Skywalker's Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen engaged in a full-blown "69" position over seeing Carrie Fisher naked today!  Of course Luke's family is dead now...with the exception of Leia.  How creepy is it that George Lucas wrote a scene that nearly brought about incest between Luke and Leia???  I'll bet that he was molested at a young age.

Anyway, I'd rather see the emperor naked in a 3-way with auntie and uncle.  I actually cried when I first viewed that scene of their charred remains.

Boba Fett47: Seriously?

Salacious Crumb wrote: Yup.  It reminded me of my own deceased aunt and uncle.  Only they didn't burn to death at the hands of the evil Empire (not Clear Channel Radio) in order to quench Lord Vader's quest for galactic control.  They burned to death because of a lit cigarette in bed.

Jabba Wabba: LOL!  That's effed up dude.

Salacious Crumb wrote: Which part?  Hey...did anyone else in this room ever wonder why Chewbacca's penis wasn't visible?  I mean, you can plainly see the package on all other animals...even those little yappy fur ball dogs, which are typically owned by a high-maintenance girlfriend who likes to shop and yell at you all the time.

Force-Full: You cant see his dick because of the fur.

Salacious Crumb wrote: I'm, oddly, aroused now.  Most importantly, I cant even believe that you actually KNOW why Chewie's penis isn't on display!  Have you EVER had sex?  Hookers don't count.

Boba Fett47: LOL! 

Salacious Crumb wrote: Now that I think about it, I'm a little disturbed that there are, apparently, 46 other Boba Fetts on this board Boba47.

Aretoooo-Deeeetoooo:  Aunt Beru was hot!

Salacious Crumb wrote: These are not the droids you're looking for.

Leave it to the geeks, living in a basement somewhere in a fly-over state, to NOT toss me off the chatroom.  Let that be a lesson to you before making fun of a geek.  They, obviously, have mediocre judgement in character...and for that, I applaud them.

Although I spent my childhood summers in the country, I've lived in the inner city for a better portion of my life.  As opposed to farm girls, inner city girls don't seem to understand simple things...Such as how to milk a cow, gather eggs, not be psychotic, not to have sex with your room mate, etc.

I felt it to be an excellent idea that I return to the roots of yesteryear in the dating department with the assistance of Farmers** 

**Not the actual website name.  It seems that the farmers "web massah" don't have no sense of humor...and Pontchartrain Press cant afford a lawsuit right now. 

I found a lovely young farm girl who I feel is the perfect match for me.  Yee-Haw!

Mr. GreenJeans:  Greetings!  My real name is Jim, but I thought Green Jeans was a cool name since I always wondered if he was a REAL farmer when I watched Capt. Kangaroo as a kid.  Judging by his demeanor, I suspect that he grew marijuana...given the era and all.

Anyway, I'm 5' 11'' blonde hair, blue eyes and I weigh 160lbs.  Although, I've put on a little weight lately since I've been making poor life decisions.

Kassie: LOL!  What kind of life decisions?

Mr. GreenJeans: A new Taco Bell opened down the street from my house.  It's the first one in Orleans Parish since Hurricane Katrina, which I think serves as a true testament that this city is SERIOUS about rebuilding!

Kassie: You're funny.  So, have you ever farmed or lived on a farm?

Mr. GreenJeans: I have indeed. 

Kassie:  What did you do on the farm?

Mr. GreenJeans: As I recall, I cried a lot because my parents dumped me there each summer for three months.  Other than that, I split a lot of logs and baled hay with my uncle and his farm-hand, Mr. Billy.  That is, until Mr. Billy touched me in an area that my mother described to the authorities as "inappropriate." 

Which is funny, because when my first real girlfriend, Andrea Pearson, touched me there, it was nothing short of spectacular.

BTW...When I say "short" I don't mean "IT" if you know what I mean.

Kassie: So, why did you and Andrea break up?

Mr. GreenJeans: She was, tragically, killed in a car accident.  Her dad drank a lot and he ran over a mule and buggy...they lived near an Amish farm.

Kassie:  Well, Mr. GJ, it's been nice chatting with ya.' If you're ever near Western Kentucky, stop by for a visit.

Mr. GreenJeans: I can be there by 9am tomorrow.

Kassie:  Um, seriously? 

Mr. GreenJeans: Yeah, I don't see any need to waste time.  I'm a good judge of character just by talking with someone. I can already tell that YOU are the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.

Mr. GreenJeans: ????

Kassie: Member has logged off

So much for blue skies and fresh air.  Sigh.

I finished my session with the fine folks at a Turrets Syndrome support group.  Please forgive me for, what I will call, a bit of gratuitous nonsense.

Community Member Jim: FUCK MY BALL SACK!

Admin: User Account Suspended

You got to know when to fold em'

copyright Pontchartrain Press, 2013
Author's Note: This is a piece which is presented as a belated birthday gift to a talented comedy mind, Eric frrom Philly.  It also represents two important aspects which comprise my character...I hold total disregard where dates and time are concerned, and I'm a cheap bastard.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ya' Baby Momma

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.
                                                -Oscar Wilde
While guys, typically, become one with their fathers, and girls to their mother, there remains an inexplicably silent and special bond between mother and son.  If you require proof, ask Oedipus.

I knew at an early age that my mom was more than a sympathetic ear during difficult situations and much more than an ombudsman by keeping my foolish antics from my father so that I wouldn't be beaten within an inch of my life.

My mom also served as protectorate general of the houshold when dad was away, as evidenced by her almost shooting me with a 12-guage shotgun when I tried to slip back in at 3am after leaving an overnight sleepover at a friend's house.

As I recall, I even immortalized her heroic actions in a hand written Mother's Day card that my 6th grade teacher assigned as a classroom activity that year. It read:

"Dear Mom,

Thanks for your love and support and for not shooting and killing me in the foyer two months ago.



This is the precise moment in time when I KNEW that I had been blessed with the gift of effective writing skills because two social workers took particular interest in this card.

My mom was special indeed. She always encouraged me to chase my dreams, she taught me how to cook, she bailed me and my friends, Raul and Keith, out of jail when we thought it to be a good idea to Xerox our bare asses on a grocery store copy machine at age 18 at 2 o' clock in the morning. (I'm sure that she never shared THOSE pictures with her lady friends at the tea party).

Recently, my writer friend, Marie, asked if I might take some bullet-point notes from her and construct a special Mother's Day message that she planned on including in a gift basket for her mom.

Since Marie works closely with me and knows me well, I was absolutely shocked that she asked me to write such a special note, but, because she is a friend, I felt that I was equal to the task.

Here are the bullet-points, as dictated by Marie:

  • Wherever you are, you're in my heart
  • We've had our differences
  • I know you had hopes and dreams for me
  • I remember sitting on your lap when you read to me
  • You cared for me when I got hurt
  • You were there for me on my first day of school
  • My first prom
  • Graduating college
  • My first real job

With bullet-points in hand, and personal knowledge of Marie and her life (outside the confines of her bullet-points) I quietly sat at a pub with computer in tow. I gazed out the window on a peaceful afternoon and crafted a letter that I felt appropriate for her to submit to mom on her special day.

Dear mom,

Wherever you are this Mother' Day, I hope you know that you're in my heart. That I don't know where you are makes me less of a person than my older sister...I want you to know that I'm still trying really hard to live up to failed expectations.

I know that we've had our differences over the years, but you've been there for me from the beginning...even though my brother regularly informed me that I was an accident, borne from an evening of indiscretion after a Whitesnake concert, you were STILL there for me!

When I was born and you looked down into my baby blue eyes, marveling at the miracle that is new life; I'm sure you had hopes and dreams for me, as any mother would. Have I lived up to them? I've certainly tried and my therapist tells me that this is an important step.

As you sat me on your lap and read to me, did you daydream about all the places I would go? Even though my brother, William, and my sister, Kristen, studied abroad and now live in West Los Angeles and Paris, France, respectively, I have been to some fantastic places throughout the Mid and Deep south. (By the way, I've enclosed a personalized airbrushed t-shirt that I purchased in Destin, Florida...I hope it's the correct size).

I know you wanted the best for me and I couldn't ask for anything more. With the exception that I wish that you and dad would have taken me seriously about Uncle Robert when I came to you.

When I fell and scraped my knees and elbows, you wiped away my Dad and William called me a pathetic p*ssy. I hope you didn't blame yourself when I got hurt. I blame dad. My therapist calls this transferrence and I'm working really hard on it.

What was it like when you sent me off to preschool? And what about the first day you dropped me off at kindergarten? Did you tear up as you sat in the car, thinking about how quickly the years (which included numerous school-yard beatings and an inappropriate moment between me and Ms. Campbell, the gym teacher) had passed? Or did you worry about whether I would make friends and/or become a lesbian?

I made friends, mom, but no one could take the place of you...even though dad feels differently on the matter.

Were you proud at the parent-teacher conference when I had straight A's? My teachers said you were; my classmates called me an ass-kisser, but that NEVER deterred me from pushing upward.

When I went to sleepovers at friends' houses, were you worried that I would get into trouble? I promise I never did, because, thanks to my friend, Angel Harbsmier, I used condoms. I didn't want to let you down. (By the way, Angel is back in the battered women's sad.)

Did it break your heart to see me cry when I was hurting? Thank you for letting me crawl into your lap and for chastising William and dad for calling me a pathetic P*ssy. Thank you so much for telling me that everything would be, relatively, OK.

You were, somewhat, right.

When I found the dress for my first dance, was it magical for you like it was for me? Did you marvel at how quickly I was growing up? I know that my date, Chad Griffith, certainly did. But, that's a long story.

When I graduated from high school, did you wonder where the time had gone? In retrospect, I now fully appreciate that you and dad pushed me out of the house and changed the locks.

Did I resemble the kind of person you had hoped to raise? I hope I did, no matter what my brother, Billy, says. You know why?  Because he's a dick!!  Ooops...that's the transference thing again.

Were you excited for me when I called you to tell you about my new job? Was it everything you had hoped for me? I think it was. Where else can you make $1,000 per night?  Those were the most exciting moments of my life.

Did it make you proud to see me walking across the stage in my dark blue robe, and to hear my name called out in front of thousands of people as I graduated from college? I did it for you...even though it took eight and a half years, I'm glad that I stuck with the Art History degree.

When I have a daughter of my own one day, I will likely pull a Susan Smith and kill her...but, in case I don't, what will I want for her? Will the world be enough? Was it enough for you? According to dad, it wasn't. I visited with him at the apartment where he stays above that grocery store the other day..but I don't want to bum you out.

To you, then, mom, on Mother's Day. Thank you and I love you...even if dad doesn't.

Love, always,


Marie didn't think much of my scribbles but she thanked me for my time anyway, and I asked if I might be able to see her naked.  She politely declined.

On this special day for mothers everywhere...including my own, who is no longer with us, I wish you a happy day.  Please know that you hold a special place and the debt that is owed to you can never be fully repaid (especially the tuition loans).  What we CAN, and must, offer is to never, ever, miss an opportunity to utter three simple words...

I love you.


James Patrick

copyright Pontchartrain Press, 2013

Author's Note: This piece is dedicated to one of the hardest working moms in the biz...Michelle.