Elvis Is In The Building!

September 13th, 2013

I have never understood some peoples fascination with Elvis.  Today I saw a guy that was clearly trying to pull off an Elvis.  He held the door for me when I walked into my building.  I said thank you and he replied with a grunt.  Not very Elvis like I thought.

Maybe I am wrong though.  Maybe Elvis was a huge prick and maybe this guy is the only true Elvis impersonator.  Right down to the shitty attitude.  All those tight jumps suits would rub any man the wrong way after a while.  Probably not, but  a guy can dream can’t he.

 

My Place In Life – By Shannon Thompson

March 18th, 2013

My Place In Life

by Shannon Thompson

 

A sliver of real estate for my smelly ass.

A third of a cushion all for me..

Hogged by the horizontal.

Stinginess and fur.

No place for you!

Put your ass on the floor.

Your space is my space and my space is my space.

You’re just a visitor.

Close the blinds.

Fun Comes To Die – by Shannon Thompson

March 4th, 2013

This girl was out of place.  She wasn’t a virgin, but she also wasn’t to the stage of most of the other female patrons.  She seemed like she was looking for something or someone.

“Can I help you?” I asked.
“Can I have a Bud draft please?” She replied.  She isn’t from around here, nobody orders a draft in this place.
“Yeah, I am gonna need to see some ID.”

She handed me a Minnesota drivers license.  She was twenty-four, I had guessed twenty-nine.  That is a little game I like to play on slower nights to pass the time.  When it’s busy I barely look at it, let alone guess.  Tonight was slow.  Which made her appearance here even more bizarre.

Sometimes, when it’s busy the occasional young person or people will wander in.  They hear the jukebox and laughter and mistake it for fun.  This isn’t about fun for most of these people.  It’s about trying to recapture fun.  Some where, for most of these people, fun fled their lives.  It ran away with time, age and money.  Now they spend every day using their fives and tens as bait for fun.  Trying to lure him in.  He peeks his head in sometimes to make  sure no one really wants him there, and then he is gone.

Maybe that is what she is doing here.  Waiting for fun to show up.  I don’t have the heart to tell her he isn’t welcome here anymore.

The Hammer – A Short Story

December 29th, 2012

“He’s got a hammer!”  Jamey yelled.
Which to me seemed like an unnecessary statement, but people say stupid shit all the time under stress.
“Yeah.” Was all I could muster up.

The asshole wielding the hammer is a regular.  He is in here six days a week and rests on Sunday.  Which is fitting, because his drinking binges are biblical.  Tonight is the first time the hammer has come out.  His usual weapon of choice is a pool cue, which means he must have worked today.  Double Bourbon is a construction worker.  That is what we call him.  Bartenders tend to forget names, but rarely do they forget someones drink of choice.  This asshole with the hammer is Double Bourbon.

Double Bourbon liked to drink with Old Fashioned.  Even though they don’t really get along, they considered themselves good friends.  Old Fashioned was a drunk of thirty years or more.  He was educated and in his late fifties. Thin and frail, from a life time of booze.  Physically he was no match for Double Bourbon who was in his late forties but still in relatively good shape from his part-time construction worker occupation.  Their usual arguments were over politics or sports.  This time though, they were arguing about martial arts, or in particular martial artists.  Double Bourbon was a Chuck Norris guy, which seems like something that should go unsaid.  Even if you had never met him you could walk up and say “I bet you’re a big Chuck Norris guy?”  Old Fashioned, well he was more of a “Jean Claude Van Dame fellow”.  This combined with the fact that he drank old fashions was enough to convince Double Bourbon he was queer.

“Come here faggot!” Taunted Double Bourbon.  Swinging his hammer like a drunken carpenter.
“Go and diddle yourself you homophobe.”  Replied Old Fashion.  Only expert bar tending knowledge would diffuse this situation.

“Look, either put the hammer away or never drink here again.” Jamey said.  That should do it I thought.  Simple and right to the point.  Weirdly enough, it worked.  Had Double Bourbon had a moment unclouded with drunken rage?  Probably not.  He just realized the repercussions of his actions were too severe.  Because to a drunk all you have is your watering hole.  If you fuck up in the place where everyone tolerates you for being less than human then you really have nowhere else to go.  Those other drunks are your fucked up family and without family you are alone.  And lonely drunks don’t live long.

The sad reality is they all fuck it up sooner or later.  They just find a new watering hole and a new fucked up family to argue with.  Until there are no more watering holes to be eighty-sixed from.

Be A Dick Later – Enjoy The Holidays Now.

December 19th, 2012

I am in a festive mood.  I can’t help it, tis the season.  I have always liked Christmas.  It seems to bring out the best in me.  How could anyone not like receiving presents, drinking with their friends and family and a Christmas ham?  Not everyone feels like that though.  Some people hate Christmas.  Maybe they are still harboring some grudge against Santa Claus for the Flash Gordon action figure they never got as a kid (I asked for it and never got it either).  Move past it.

My family Christmas parties were legendary as a kid.  My brother, sister and myself all trying to convince my parents that 3 AM was late enough and that we needed to get to bed or Santa wouldn’t come.  Dad would always assure us that Santa would come…when he was good and ready.  Not a minute before. As a kid, I watched these adults party like that and never even realized what the important part of Christmas was.  The company you keep, the laughs (and hangover) you share with your people.  I guess that is why some individuals don’t like Christmas, they don’t like their people.

I have a person in my family that I don’t speak to much and I get along with less, but I am going to try, for the one evening to mend a fence.  To be a person without judgement and spite.  For those thoughts will always be with you, but you can put them aside and find a common ground one day of each year.  Unless someone brings whiskey to the party, then all bets are off.  Merry Christmas!

 

A Responisble Adult Chaperone?

November 12th, 2012

I was recently tapped by my girlfriend to chaperone her fifteen year old son’s trip to the Minnesota Zoo, since she had to work.  Since I was not working that week and thought five hours with a bunch of smart ass teenagers would probably prompt some really funny material, I agreed.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Chaperones were to report for duty at 8:30 a.m. for a briefing about the days activities.  I expected a slew of rules and regulations that we would need to follow and force upon the students.  Much to my surprise I was wrong.  They asked for one chaperone to volunteer to take attendance on each bus, and to make sure that we were at the Imax theater by a certain time.  That was the extent of our chaperoning duties.  No watching over a group of kids, no sticking around with the group to answer questions.  Nothing.  Just get on the bus and travel to the zoo.  What a great gig, is there anyway I could do this full-time?

I will admit the ride to the zoo was rather annoying ( I could be on a bus with a group of deaf mutes and still get annoyed).  The annoyance however was more directed at the other chaperones.  Surprisingly the students were extremely well behaved.  It made think of those Stepford movies.  Nobody threw anything, nobody was an asshole to anyone else.  Again, I was surprised and sort of let down.

After getting to the zoo, I saw another chaperone unloading lunches for the students and gave him a hand.  Which, of course, prompted a conversation by Gary (I think that was his name, but I don’t recall).  Gary was an old pro at the chaperone game.  He does it a few times a year.  He asked me which kid was mine and I said “Oh, I don’t have any kids” and I walked away from him without explaining why I was on a high school field trip.  I figured that would spin his wheels enough that he wouldn’t inquire much more about me.

After unloading and the awkward conversation, the rest of the day was excellent.  I have to say it was probably the most relaxing day I have had in years.  I walked around the zoo, ALONE.  Enjoying every minute of silence.  Every wild animal smell.  It was all a blessing.  Occasionally I would get caught up in a heard of students and I would stop and let them pass.  It was a minor inconvenience, that in other circumstances would have probably sent my head into a pounding rage induced headache.  Something about those animals made me feel calm.

Maybe that is where I belong, amongst animals.  Beings with no agenda.  No thought other than self preservation.  Or maybe I am the animal that should be locked in a cage.

The Music Industry.

October 30th, 2012

I love music, always have, always will. However, I feel a bit out of touch with the music industry. I am a self proclaimed lover of hip-hop music, but I am really behind on what is out there now that is worth listening to. So, I went to Itunes to look up their current top 100 downloaded albums and I found some disturbing shit. Most people have terrible taste in music. Or at least they download terrible music off of Itunes. Here are the low lights.

1. Topping off the charts at number one was Taylor Swift’s new album Red. I must be the only person in America that doesn’t like this girl. Her music is soulless and underwhelming. Hard to even imaging someone buying one song, but an entire album….

3. Toby Keith – Hope On The Rocks – I haven’t heard much of this album and what I have heard was accidental and followed a “who the fuck is this?” comment. If country music was a club, he would have been kicked to out.

20. Rod Stewart – Merry Christmas – I realize its Rod Stewart, but more importantly it is a Christmas album. Who buys a Christmas album?

23. – Journey – Journey’s Greatest Hits – These guys weren’t cool even when they were. Yet they still crack the top 25 downloaded albums on Itunes? I know, I bet a lot of people were attending Halloween parties as Steven Perry and needed some music to accompany them. That has to be it, right?

30. Rock of Ages Soundtrack – Who knew there large groups of people out there that want to hear Tom Cruise butcher Bon Jovi. I guess if Bon Jovi can shit on acting, Tom Cruise should be allowed to decimate music.

65. Taylor Swift – Speak Now – See number one.

100. Styx – Styx Greatest Hits – It should just be named Mr. Roboto.

On the upside there were appearances on the chart from Neil Young (twice), Pink Floyd, Kendrick Lamar, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, The Black Keys, CCR and GNR. That at least gives me a glimmering of hope that all is not lost. It is just diluted, watered down, tainted and smelly.

How Many Is Too Many?

September 28th, 2012

As a proud step parent of two used kids ( I like to call them used just to make sure they know I am not their real father) I have begun facing the challenges that come along with parenthood.  Getting them to school in the mornings, making dinner for them, helping them with their home and so on.  I do this all while trying to run a small business (comedy) an even smaller business (comedy record label) and maintain relationships with friends and families.  To put it bluntly, I am one small crisis away from being institutionalized.  Yet, I see people with five and six children and I wonder why hasn’t someone told these people about not being sexual gluttons?  Do you really need five children?  Here are reasons why you shouldn’t have that many children.

1. The world is over populated as it is.  Every time you pump a hot one into your wife, think about the $4.00 gallon of gas you are gonna have to pump on the way to work.  We are over populated, which means we use more resources.  Now because you have five kids you need a larger vehicle to haul them all around.  Gas prices should be the condom industries battle cry.

2.  Self gratification.  Do you remember what that is?  It is doing something for yourself that doesn’t involve your little demon seeds.  When was the last time you read a book that didn’t have a stupid fucking animal wearing pajamas or some dumb shit.  And no, Harry Potter books don’t count.

3.  You have tempted fate too many times.  One of those little shits is gonna end up a career criminal, pill popper or miscreant of society.  If you have three kids and none of them are felons you are lucky.  If you have five kids, you are playing with fire.  Get ready to start hiding prescriptions for the next 30 years.  You can’t be everything to everyone.  One of them is gonna slip through the cracks.  See the Kennedy’s.

These are not facts mind you.  These are merely ramblings of a man on a Friday afternoon.  So take what you like out of them.  But remember, when your youngest eventually is jailed on a burglary charge I won’t be any where near you to say I told you so.  So do what you like.

Why So Many Assholes At The Shoe Store?

August 7th, 2012

Last week I was at Har Mar “Mall” in Roseville looking to buy some new tennis shoes.  I entered Famous Footwear and began my search.  It was semi crowded in there.  Which surprised me because it was Monday afternoon, but I guess shoe shopping on summer break is the in thing to do.

While I was in the back of the store I heard a commotion and began to walk toward it.  Whatever was going on I missed the initial spark but, what I did see was two women in their early twenties and one guy (not sure how old he was as I didn’t get a good look at him) were ripping shoes from the shelves and throwing them.  I found out later during a conversation I had with the clerk  that the two women thought the store clerks were following them around because they were suspicious that they were going to steal.

I hate crowds, so I wasn’t paying attention to anything other than finding shoes I liked and getting out of the store.  So it is hard to say whether or not the clerks were following them around, but the women’s reaction tends to make me think the clerks were not far off on their assessment of the situation.  Or maybe that type of thing has happened before and they were fed up with being stereotyped.  Or maybe they were going to steal some shoes and were put off by the fact their plan had been foiled by those meddling store clerks.  Whatever their reason for the reaction, it was a bit over the top to say the least.

While I was purchasing my new shoes the clerk was giving me the details, and she added that she had just recently moved to the area from Flint, MI.

“I thought Flint was bad.” She said.

Lady, people are assholes everywhere, no specific geographical location require.

The Mall of America Experience.

July 24th, 2012

The Mall of America is a marvel of modern commerce, and a fish bowl for the curious.

You can spend your time shopping, eating and playing in a number of ways. Or you can find a bench, sit down and watch. The speed walkers and the waddlers, the hot moms and the single dads, the veteran shopper and the loiterers. They all have a story, you just have to watch and let your mind wander.

Some of them are shopping to fill a void, some are shopping because they can and a few are shopping out of need. I know when I come to the mall, I am constantly battling the logical part of my brain.  The need vs. want argument is constantly in my head while at the mall.   I am no different than anyone else, I like nice things. Hats, watches, shoes, these are things I desire. However, I can say with some satisfaction, that I can and usually do refrain from making impulse buys.  That is until I get to the fourth floor of the mall.

The fourth floor contains all the bars and restaurants at The Mall of America. And even though I am there during daytime hours, I am still drawn to a bar stool over shopping.   On the fourth floor, there is no time to argue need vs. want.  There is cold beer to pacify both sides of the brain.  I guess the Mall of America has something for everyone.  After all, I want to do my part to stimulate the economy.