Monday, July 13, 2009

I know a shark who knows some Sharks

Last night my brain waves were crashing relentlessly - and my mind's beach was a pathetically empty shoreline. I had a lot to tell, and today, I tell it:

I knew it was going to be a good weekend based on what happened to me on my walk back from lunch. The cafeteria where everyone congregates is a good 10 minute walk, and as skipped and danced along hypnotized my iPod, I noticed a car far ahead that was stopped in the street with its nose pointed in at the parking lot. It took me at least 30 seconds to get to where it was and cross in front of it. It was a car full of Indians, all smiling at me and gesturing that I cross in front of them. I would literally have to have been racing at an all-out sprint on rollerblades for them to even consider stopping for me. It is with the knowledge that I had just been paid the highest respect – respect that I surely did not deserve – that I completed my workweek.

At dinner before Bruno on Friday, Zhang it! ( a fellow U of M grad) taught me how to use chopsticks, thus completing my earthly education. The one skill that has eluded me through all my years was the ability to manipulate two straight twigs to pick up inanimate pieces of food. With this expertise newly gained, I see no reason why I shouldn’t be considered God’s #1 draft pick in any possible challenge that he becomes involved with. For example, if he ever becomes a former NFL quarterback that looks like the runt of a litter of homeless weasels, and cheats on his wife, and if further his street-maiden pulls a gun on him while he is sleeping post-coitus, I will step in and pick the bullets out of the air with chopsticks. That is the kind of friend I am.

At dinner, I learned from Man U. (Indian friend) and Zhang it! (Michigan engineer) that waitresses are treated with zero deference in other parts of the world. Man U. showed us how you snap your fingers at a waitress and scream “Check please!” with chivalry. Zhang it! talked about how in China waitresses are yelled at, unappreciated, and never tipped. This conversation on the gross mistreatment of lesser humans was a great precursor to a meal of raw fish and a movie with raw footage. For the sake of maintaining some semblance of sanity, I have repressed most parts of Bruno. You should laugh at the image of me weeping and gagging on skittles in the front row of the theater while the man on screen swept humanity one step closer to chaos, and save your money. Movie reviews: 3 and counting.

After the movie we headed downtown Raleigh (note this: each in a separate vehicle) to party like we’d just been assigned a substitute teacher with a “don’t behave, I’m clueless” personality. Energy sparkled from our fingertips as we procured free parking and finished off the last of my fingers (skittles, I meant to type skittles – what is wrong with me?). We sprinted to the door of Ugly Monkey (pronounced “dive bar”) and got in line. Well, everyone else got in like. As we approached the door, I realized I had left my driver’s license at work, because I had to scan it and send it to Wachovia Bank to once again prove that I wasn’t an errorist (or terrorist.) My pending lack of access temporarily confused my line mates, with a few offering to step out of line and hang out(side) with me. I would have none of it; I ordered them to go in and have a good time, saying that if I couldn’t convince the bouncer to let me in then I no longer deserved their respect or concern. I did a quick circle around the block to figure out the bouncer’s foibles, and came up with a plan.

I jogged back to my car, grabbed my ID badge, and opened up Facebook on my phone. I scrolled down the webpage to where my birth date and picture were displayed; I now had both a physical photo ID and digital proof that I was born more than 21 years prior. I practiced holding these two objects up in unison, pretending that I was an agent busting through the caution tape after a Fall Out Boy concert. “Who killed these (a)pathetic creatures, Lieutenant?” It was the music, sir. It was just so awful. Finally able to strangle myself with self-delusional wire, I dragged myself back to the Ugly Monkey, only to find the bouncer trading pleasantries with a cop.

I could only imagine myself going up to the two and requesting entrance. The cop glancing at me, automatically sensing my fear and feeding off it: This fresh looking young man wants into a club, not to drink but to play pool (according to him,) because he is driving his friends home later. Without a license. And look at him, flaunting his fancy Smartphone. I’ll show you smart, you bastard. And thus the senseless beatings would begin. I wasn’t about to give the man a chance to show off his nightstick or tasing skills, so I did a two mile loop and came back. He was still there. Two more miles, and he was finally gone. There now remained only 25 minutes before the bar turned on the lights and turned off the glamour; I thought I would try anyway. I pushed play on my rehearsed act, and swiftly got shut down. The man asked me if he looked like an idiot, and I briefly entertained the thought of pretending this wasn’t a rhetorical question, and answering him. Instead I just turned and walked, sashaying my hips so that he would know just what he was missing out on.

It seemed only a few short miles later that my friend called, requesting my presence. I jogged back, and listened to Zhang it!’s story about how his heart was crushed when I wasn’t allowed in. He demonstrated this painful process by pretending his fist was his heart, and showed how it was crushed under the weight of a thousand oceans by my absence. It was, quite frankly, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. It was agreed upon that I would be driving everyone to Chris Candlewick’s apartment, in his car. Mr. Candlewick had blessed us by joining us for the movie, and bringing his girlfriend along as well. 6 people, one car. We had hoped to meet up with Summertime Susan, but events unfolded in such a way that only one outcome was possible: bed and sock tricks. It was as if sock tricks worked as a black hole, and once this idea entered our heads, the “event horizon” had been reached, and our fate was sealed.

Candlewick’s astounding girlfriend, Laura, has sock tricks. She promised that we could see them at Chris’s apartment, but only after we stopped at her parent’s house to tend to the “dogs.” Said dogs turned out to be pugs, which, as some of you may know, aren’t actually classified with any such dignified title as “dogs.” They have been called the Rats of Society, False Friends, and Flat-Faced Viruses… and this is by their owners. One of the creatures turned out to be blind and considerably demented, and the other anomalous to a grease fire – intent on getting one’s attention by whatever means necessary.

When we got to Chris’s place, I claimed the couch, two others claimed the recliners, and Zhang it! got stuck with a Wii yoga-mat on the floor. None of us got blankets, but we all got a pick of Chris’s fleece jacket stash. We found solace from our sparse surroundings through entertainment – Laura started with the sock tricks. She did the figure 8, and the figure 8 with “extra.” Adjectives used to describe sock tricks: beautiful, crazy, rapid, are you a cheerleader?, MJ would have loved this, extravagant, and zzzzzz… (Man U.).


A gentle poke from Man U. woke me up on Saturday. “Wes, it’s 9 AM. Wes, 9 AM.” He said these things as if it was my idea to get up at 9, or as if he was doing me a favor. He poked everyone else in the same way, which brought me no comfort. We all took sips of Chris’s reverse osmosis-ized water, and then it was time to fetch cars. As Chris would now be driving his car, not me, and everyone was sober, 6 people in one car was now at issue. To fjord the river before rainstorm, I walked straight to the trunk and told Chris to pop it. He did, and I climbed in. No matter that I was the biggest of the group by 4 inches and 30 pounds, when you call the backseat and get a busy signal, you know what you have to do. I guess growing up with wolves and being baptized a Chameleon sometimes has its benefits.

Fetched my car and headed home for a three hour break before heading out for Wilmington for the beach trip. I looked for two-room houses/apartments, and read a letter from a friend telling me how awesome I am. While I am by no means egotistical – the opposite in fact (as any egoist would say) – it never hurts to roll around in compliments like a piglet in a fresh mudhole every once in awhile. I tried to schedule a last minute eye appointment, nope, nip, nein. Packed the tent, and packed my bags, and I was off to Wilmington for the evening. Attendees for a Saturday night on the coast: Wisconsin and his girl, Michigan Mike, and Lily Pad. Lily Pad has been here for a year, and is a talkative man of indiscriminate age. He is a lovely conversationalist, and a great addition to the Saturday night festivities. On the trip down we played a game where you have to pick out what the theme of the picnic is based on the items that are being brought. My items: battery, human brain, peach pit, tampon, etc. The theme of my items: Things that are meant to work best when inserted. It is things such as these that makes car trips fly (I just invented flying cars! Or at least car trips.)

When splitting two beds between five people, it is imperative that one person volunteer to bring, and consequently set up, a small tent. For this trip, I played that role. When asked why I didn’t just sleep on the floor, I responded that the floor didn’t come with privacy or a rain flap. And, as it turns out, the rain flap would come in handy. Wisconsin and I napped while the others when to a local sicker store to grab drinks. When they got back, we pulled the blinds over the window and proceeded to come up with inventive ways to torture our livers. When we opened the blinds after two hours, it was still light out. This twisted our brains more cruelly than looking into God’s diary or trying to divide a stitch in time by nine. By the time the cab got there, the sun was starting to set. And it was at this point we found out that Lily Pad will flirt with anything that moves or has a heat signature.

Lily Pad flirted with Dan the cab driver, waxing poetic about life in North Carolina, and asking him at least three times for his phone number and telling him that we would call later for a ride back. When we stepped out onto the street, Lily Pad flirted with a 14 year old skater and told him he would buy him a drink if he told us a good place to eat dinner. More flirting later; for now, the fireworks. The skater told us to eat at Vito’s, a fine pizza place on Wilmington’s main drag. Little skater kids were scared of Lily Pad, but we were getting along just fine until Wisconsin’s eyes happened to cross the wrong sector of the wrong part of a certain young female’s anatomy. Wisconsin’s woman stormed out, I went to calm her down, and Wisconsin just smiled his charming smile (that apparently won him some cutest baby contest, I’m hoping when he was a baby.) When I came back in the 16 year old girls said they would talk to us if we bought them pizza; I just gave them a stanky face and made some comment about them being born in the same decade as the Jurrasic Park movie. We moved on to other places, but the mood was no longer romantic and the energy was dying, dying, dead. Wisconsin and she headed back to the hotel, so Michigan Mike, Lily Pad, and I went to the beach and explored the dark shoreline.

Lily Pad flirting with an old guy playing an arcade game (“I LOVE YOU, what’s your name? LARRY!”) and then we caught a cab back to Waffle House, across the street from our hotel. I told the cab driver a joke I had heard about Michael Jackson – “Did you hear MJ died of food poisoning? No? He had 13-year-old nuts in his mouth” – and then stepped out to get some late night biscuits and gravy. Someone asked us why our shorts were wet, and I declared “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and that little boys have the right to the pursuit of happiness and to splash around in the sea with floaty toys.” I didn’t actually say this to them, but to myself, as I went to bed that night in my tent, after Wisconsin made up with his woman, and she poured water over my tent to test the rain flap.


We all woke up at 9, and then went back to sleep for an hour. We went to eat and meet friends at Flaming Amy’s. Insomuch as I expected something to be aflame, or at least that our waitress would have a dyke spike, I was disappointed. Instead, the place offered an array of tasty burritos, and I partook of a healthy meal. It was at lunch that I found out that shark attacks were non-existent in this particular locale, but jellyfish kisses cost only 10 cents per dozen. I put away my shark knife, and thought about possible protection from the floating puss-bags, and came up with two ideas. First, I designated Catie, Wisconsin’s woman, as official Urinary Relief Coordinator. She was disallowed from peeing until a jellyfish attacked a member of our group. Second, for my own personal protection, I bought a jar of peanut butter while everyone else was getting beer. Unbeknownst to them, I smeared a small dab on the bottom of each of their boogie boards, ensuring that the jellyfish would attack them while I splashed safely beyond their reach. As a last resort, I burned myself mercilessly in the sun so that I would have my own personal “firewall” against any attacks. Take that jellyfish. Sorry, skin. Hello, cancer.

While most people were busy being surrounded by horny jellyfish, I was tossing around the ol’ waterlogged Nerf ball. At some point during this process, a charismatic tween boy worked his way into the circle and started demanding the ball. His friends were calling him back, but he just kept confiscating our ball whenever possible and then submerging it so it would be heavier. He might have had Tourettes, because whenever a big wave came he would chest-bump it and scream unintelligible curses. After several minutes, when he didn’t calm down, I tackled him when he got the ball, and then swam away. When he came after me to the ball back, I turned back to him and said “Boy, I know sharks who know Sharks. You might not want to mess with me.” He continued to play after that, but had lost several pints of enth-ooze-iasm, and he must have fallen victim to a horde of whorish jellyfish, because we didn’t hear much else from his direction.

We played a little sand futbol after that, and I did my best bicycle, and fell haphazardly onto my burned back. Such is the curse of the talented though, and afterward I never acknowledged that I had fallen to anyone. All I would admit to was having done the coolest thing they’d never seen.

I was quite popular on the car ride back; I remembered the aloe. Everybody looked so sexy with a thin layer of gel on every visible inch of skin, and we were flagged down several times by tourists who wanted pictures of local seamen. If this offends you, then enjoy a milder child.


Today I was slated to take calls, but tomorrow, Tuesday, has been announced D-day. I will try to be cordial as I am escorted from the premises sometime tomorrow afternoon. I also blew a perfect chance to show my charm today. After I got a fair amount of groceries, I went up to the Redbox to grab a video for the night: Valkarie. As I walked up to the machine, a fine looking young woman backed away and said I could go; she didn’t have a credit card with her, and had to wait for her friend to get there with one. I was so focused on finding the movie that I didn’t even think about just getting her movie and having her give me the dollar in her hand. Only when I had made my selection did this cross my mind, and I tried to jam the buttons so I could reset my transaction. It wouldn’t let me, and after I snagged my DVD I asked her if she just wanted me to put it on my card. At this point, however, her friend was only minutes away and she politely declined. How much easier could it get? “Ok, well just make sure to return the movie on time so I don’t get a late fee on my card. I should probably just get your number in case you don’t return it…” Gods above, bless me with the ability to rewire my synapses; I need some fresh soil to plant some new dendrite bushes. I guess I’ll be hanging out by the Redbox machine in Harris Teeter at 7 PM every night, ladies.

In other news: Jake and Kent, friends from the dirty north, will be making their way down to visit in early August. I will be riding back with them from Michigan; maybe I can introduce them to some fun car games. This ties into my second piece of news – I no longer will have two roommates, but only one. The eldest among us has decided to return to Michigan to try his hand at tearing through the bloody waters of some other corporate cesspool. Michigan Mike and I had brief hopes of getting a house with Summertime Susan, but those plans never got clearance from the control tower. To top it off with a cheery cherry, I found out today that my tiniest sibling laid low the AP Spanish test by shredding through its toughest questions and earning 4 out of 5. At this level, he basically is granted citizenship to Spain and gets a complimentary key to Mexico City. This test is so rough that it is uncommon for a native Spanish speaker to get 5/5. Think about it… I sure am.


  1. I really want to know how Lily Pad got his name - expect this question tomorrow.

    And I still laugh EVERYTIME I read the quote "Kid, I know sharks that know sharks..." Seriously, that was the best quote of the trip. Hands down.

  2. I laughed out loud more than 5 times reading this. I'm sure you will do well on the calls tomorrow. :)

  3. Dirty North??--I reside in that remark. Keep on the good side of the U.R.C!!

    And, hey...Why did the chicken cross the playground?

    Give up?

    To get to the other slide...get it?? Huh? Huh? Huh? I liked your joke the way, tell Lily Pad to ck. his shorts for MJ's other white glove!

    *You need to be quicker with your camera...I would have liked to have seen Larry's disdain for Lily Pad.

  4. Nice shot of the three of yuhz!! Didn't know it existed.

  5. Hahaha! What a weekend! Trying to get into the club with work ID and Facebook.....classic Wesley King! I love it!

  6. please tell me you made that cat picture, i almost cried when i saw it!! hahaha


  7. I thought Bruno was pretty good, though it wasn't really a movie and I'll probably never see it again.

    I agree with Jake in regards to the cat picture.

    Hopefuly are 12 hour car ride south with mervin goes smoothly.

    - your former house mate