Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lawn Darts and Land Rants

For my visit to Ann Arbor, I drew up an entire maize and blueprint of plans. Like a childless aviary activist, I wanted to take a generation beneath my wing and leave my imprint, all but guaranteeing their ejection from family circles and membership into my exclusive club. All my plans were vacuumed into an alternate reality, where vacuum bags are full of unmet potential, when we instead ended up “floating” down a pile of rocks - rocks with only the faintest trace of water flowing over them. These few droplets of moisture were enough, however, to convince someone adept at being incompetent to label the bastardized gash in the earth a “river.”

Ike (previously referred to as Kent) convinced us that during Spring term he took a lazy float down the Huron River, and that the float was relaxing and life-altering. With this simple story he convinced nine others to join him, myself included. After ten minutes of seeking bright lights at the end of dark tunnels, I had no skin on my hands, and Ben had been nearly impaled by an underwater logknife. Forty minutes later, no less relaxed, we emerged from the sludge and ordered an ambulance home. Forty-two minutes later, whether from the myriad moss injections or the garish stress and cold our bodies were subjected to, we all had The Sickness.

While in the Acceptance stage of recovery, I had a brilliant plan to get all of my sicknesses out of the way at once, so I posted the following on Craigslist:

Wanted: Swine Flu - Let's get this out of the way (for $3)

I figure that everyone is going to have to deal with this eventually. As I consider myself a go-getter, a Casanova of initiative, I would like to be an "early adopter" of the latest virus that Piglet technology has to offer. Pigs have had such a misunderstood image since Animal Farm, and I feel like things are finally turning around for them. I tote an "I support Porcine" reusable grocery bag, and this has garnered me the support of many in the community. If you even have to ask "what community?" then I'm not interested in further communication with you.

Now the logistics: I have been sleeping poorly and not drinking sufficient fluids for weeks in an attempt to lower the effectiveness of my immuno defenses, but to no avail. I am seeking someone who definitely has H1N1, but I don't really care if you have been “officially” diagnosed. I have always been told that the Proof is in the Pudding, so to start things off with forensick foreplay, I would like you to eat half a bowl of pudding. I will then take your spoon and finish the bowl. We don't need to kiss, probably shouldn't actually, so I will settle for a hug-and-sneeze combo. To finish, I will ask you to take a few drinks out of my water bottle. I should be able to take it from there.

Serious responses will receive serious consideration. Feel free to attach photos depicting various levels of your physical disarray.


Location: Chapel Hill

The post was deleted after twenty minutes. This highlights all that is right with America: you have a higher chance of contracting an unwanted STD from a 17-year-old online than a consensually downloaded illness. I was simply practicing my viral marketing skills.

To make up for my failed attempt at drinking piggy “cough syrup,” and for the group’s mishap with the Huron River, we bought pink floaties at a gas station and went to a lake deep in the Washtenaw County woods.

Conversation (while performing a real float):

Snack Snake: “Pyramid schemes are the lawn darts of our generation.”

Myself: “Who gave you the right to speak for our generation?”

Snack Snake: “I am the generation. I am the voice of our generation.”

Myself: “I don’t want you as my spokesperson. I’d rather have this floatie speak for me.”

Ike: “If Snack Snake is our voice, if he is right, then we are all drowned.”

Myself: “But if we drown the Snack Snake, we’re alright.”

At this point the Snack Snake thrashed around in such fear and was performing such advanced avoidance maneuvers that he almost drowned himself. Whether it is driving snakes at him through waist-high weeds, or driving fear into him in waist-high water, there is no better entertainment than a cornered Snack Snake.

When I returned home to the Triangle – wearing my Burmuda shorts and a plaid skirt as a shirt – my dad was waiting for me. He was here for my birthday, or at least this was his cover story. Really, he was here to help my murder the Intrepid. I went to work as normal, barely suppressing a smile, knowing what my dad and I were planning. The plan was flawless; not only were going to get away with murder, the endeavor was to act as a catalyst for father-son bonding.

Our molecular bond began its rift when a third element entered the equation: such is the physics of mechanics. In order to officially declare the car dead, we needed to get it checked out by a grease monkey. Grease monkeys cost money. I wanted to hire a patsy… some pansy who would look the other way while I pulled out the vehicle’s Roveries, rendering it sterile. Instead, my dad wanted to take it to a licensed mechanic who was actually going to look under the hood. I said no. My dad said nothing. I should have looked him in the eyes. People say when you are lying, your eyes point a certain way. I’ve never understood this; when I lie, it is always on my back. My eyes always point at the ceiling. So does my nose, mouth, and sense of entitlement.

So while I was at work, smirking like a bondsman, my dad was out trading fiat for false securities; he was bankrupting our mutual fun and breaking my heart. After all the hard work I put in to poisoning the car – neglecting its maintenance, never locking it, telling it it was adopted – my dad was going to fix it so I could keep it. He called me in the early afternoon and said, “Pick me up at the shop. I’m just down the road.” I got in his car, a minivan, and drove to him, almost in tears. I had never wanted to see the Intrepid again.

When I pulled into the address he had given me, I was surprised at the amount of cars the mechanic had endeavored to work on. An entire field full of shifty excuses. Impressive. I pulled up to my dad, noticing as I put the van in park that he was holding a knife. I left the van on and motioned that he get in without ever meeting his gaze. I wanted him to feel my blazing scorn. I wanted his conscience to burn like discount popcorn.

Still standing, holding out the knife, he assumed nothing and thusly pushed all my buttons. I flung open the door, telling him he could drive. He turned the blade inward, presenting me the handle, and said “Do the honors.” It suddenly all made sense. The field of broken dreams. The knife. The forklift operator dragging cars into a huge pile and in turn dragging an entire pack of cigarettes into her. I was at a junkyard. I made my bed, and now I was to lie in it. I couldn’t bring myself to stab the beast; I wouldn’t do that to an old friend. I had no problem, however, leaving that same old friend at the mercy of the forklift driver, and treating the only father this kid’s got to a pork chop and pasta dinner.

Next time: my dad forces ice cream down everyone’s throat between tequila shots, and I try to play guide dog, but instead end up spraining my sarcasm on a misplaced and dangling modifier.


  1. I like the viral marketing. I think it will be contagious once it gets going.

  2. Goodbye dear Intrepid...thanks for getting Wesley through so many miles safely!! May you rest in peace!

  3. hahaha i distictely remember someone else in the lake doing the trashing, because their noodles weren't noodlie enough AND THEN fetching a free ride on my half deflated raft.

    also, who's car did you snag with your rock bottom price tag?


  4. Hi Wes! Nice vamped up look for your blog. Will you be watching the game on Saturday? Missing you...and Go Blue!!

  5. Hello son,

    You got me laughing again-the ice cream between shots. Don't think I ever tried that..
    That intepid took us half way to Abq., and thru the snow storm of the year in Michigan. It served us well. And that rushing river you all went down,sounded excited. Maybe you all should take a trip, you know where..Colorado-get the rush of your life..