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tonelocwild

The Cost of Doing The Wild Thing

Every time I hear Tone Loc’s ‘Wild Thing’ I get hung up on the part when a “fine young chick” tells Tone that she will need fifty dollars to make him holler, because she gets paid to do the wild thing. I’m not an authority on prostitution pricing, but this has always seemed low to me, even for 1988. Yes, I’m sure you could get some old crack whore to fellate you for fifty dollars or less these days, but a “fine young chick?” No way.

Once the song ends, I’m always left pondering the same questions:

1) Was $50 really the going rate for the Wild Thing in 1988?
2) If Tone Loc only had $50, what could he get for his money in 2012?

Recently I attempted to answer these questions, so ‘Wild Thing’ would start being a fun song for me again, instead of an economic brain puzzler.

To answer the first question, I needed to first find out the average price for the Wild Thing these days. This wasn’t easy to do, since you have high-priced prostitutes, low-rent crack whores and what I like to call the in-betweeners. But, after some quick research on various local sites promising “escort services”, I came away with an average price of $150 an hour. I didn’t do a lot of math to reach this number, but that’s the number I decided to use.

Then it was time for some inflation research. I figured that if I could calculate how much the price of a few standard items have increased since ‘Wild Thing’ was released, I could find out if $50 made sense. Since the single was released in early 1988, I decided to use 1987 as my year, since that’s probably when Tone Loc had his encounter with the fine young chick. Also, you’ll see I used the year 2010, which is the only year I could find.

I did my best to double check the following numbers, but I didn’t feel like spending my entire day doing this shit. Also, something you should probably note about the food prices is that these are average prices. These are not Whole Foods prices. For our purposes this is probably okay, since Tone Loc stopped shopping at Whole Foods when they refused to stock Funky Cold Medina.

1987 – Loaf of Bread 75 cents
2010 – Loaf of Bread $2.23
Increase: 197%

1987 – Average Cost of new house $92,000.00
2010 – Average Cost of new house $232,880.00
Increase: 153%

1987 – US Postage Stamp 25 cents
2010 – US Postage Stamp 44 cents
Increase: 76%

1987 – Cost of a gallon of Gas 95 cents
2010 – Cost of a gallon of Gas $2.73
Increase: 187%

1987 – Dozen Eggs 65 cents
2010 – Dozen Eggs $1.37
Increase: 110%

Since sex is more popular than bread, I decided that the 197% increase in price is what we should apply to the illegal sex trade. Also, since I’m a fan of rounding up, I’m going to just say 200%. $50 increased by 200% = $150.

There you go. Mystery solved. At least I thought so. Then I started thinking more about it and realized that making one holler could be considered a fetish, and those services usually come with an upcharge. For our purposes, however, I think the math is close enough and I am convinced that $50 was probably the going rate for a quickie in 1988.

As for the question of what $50 would get Tone Loc these days, I decided the easiest thing to do was ask. So, I emailed a few local dominatrixes to see what, if anything, Tone Loc could get for his $50. Surprisingly, I wasn’t flooded with responses. I did get two, however, and they were enlightening, if not frightening.

“I would allow him to consume my spit,” said Empress Ming, a self-described lifestyle mistress, fetishist, professional dominatrix, serious model and dungeon owner.

Atlanta-based, professional dominatrix Mistress Ayn said she could also accommodate Mr. Loc.

“For $50, Tone Loc would get exactly 11 minutes of my time,” she said. “It’s quality time though, because I guarantee that he will holler.”

After checking out her site, I realized that not only wasn’t she kidding but Mistress Ayn was even cutting Tone Loc a deal. Her hourly rate is $275, which is roughly $4.58 per minute, meaning eleven minutes would normally be $50.38. Okay, so it’s not much of a deal, but at least Mistress Ayn knows that saying, “I need fifty dollars and thirty-eight cents to make you holler” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Mistress Ayn also wanted to make it clear that dominatrixes are not prostitutes and that there’s no sex, no handjobs, no blowjobs, etc. during sessions. So, while Tone can be made to holler for fifty dollars, if his definition of the wild thing is broader, than he’ll need to keep looking. However, let’s not forget that he responded to the request for money with, “Say what? You must be kidding. Hasta la vista baby.”

Okay. Now that I have all that figured out, I’m off to research whatever happened to ‘Jessie’s Girl.’ Did she break up with Jessie once Rick Springfield hit it big? If so, what happened when Rick stopped producing hit records? Did she go back to Jessie? Did she turn to meth?

I read too much into things sometimes.

shhh

Shhhhh! It’s Stolen.

“Wayne Williams has escaped! Wayne Williams has escaped!”

When I was a teenager, I gleefully yelled this out of a car while riding through downtown Atlanta. I was having such a great time yelling it that I wasn’t bothered at all that no one was reacting to my modern-day, white-trash version of Paul Revere. Maybe everyone had already forgotten about Wayne Williams, a serial killer who had terrorized Atlanta 10 years earlier. Either way, this is what happens when you take a kid from a small town in Middle Georgia, and unleash him on the big city. Brilliance. Pure brilliance.

I’d love to say this was the only instance of me acting like a dipshit while traveling through the city, but I can’t. There was a much worse incident, and it was all caught on video. A video I had to watch while sitting in a roomful of detectives and police officers. A video of myself, driving through Atlanta once again, this time while singing along to the NWA song “Fuck The Police.” Not just the chorus. No, I’m talking about the full five minutes and forty-six seconds.

If you’re the type of person who cringes when you hear a recording of your voice, imagine how it feels to watch yourself on video, rapping lyrics like:

Ice Cube will swarm
On any motherfucker in a blue uniform
Just cuz I’m from the CPT
Punk police are afraid of me

I was sitting in the roomful of “punk police,” because two of them had picked me up from school earlier that day on suspicion of possessing a stolen video camera. Before I was taken to the station, however, they started by asking a few questions in the principal’s office and I immediately knew that I was in for a long day.

“Tony, do you own a video camera?” asked the short detective who had a thick, non-ironic moustache that made him look like a miniature version of Magnum P.I.

“No. I’ve always wanted one, but they’re pretty expensive.”

“So, you don’t have one?”

After all the mafia movies and cop shows I had watched, you would think I would have recognized what was going on and called for a lawyer.  I did not.

“No. Not yet. Hopefully one day.”

“Well, we were just at your house. Your grandmother let us in, we have your camera and we want to know where you got it. We believe it was stolen.”

After all the episodes of Matlock my grandmother had watched, you would think she would have known to ask for a warrant before letting the police into our home. She did not.

After some more of this type of back-and-forth questioning, Mini Magnum put some handcuffs on me and I was taken to the station for the real fun. That video of me singing “Fuck the Police”? That was just the beginning.

I used to have a lot of parties at my house when I was in High School, and for some reason I thought it was a great idea to capture them on video. I guess I never thought that one day I would be sitting in a room full of detectives, reliving night after night of underage drinking. But, there I was, sitting front row for “Tony’s Most Embarrassing Home Movies.”

After my rousing rendition of “Fuck the Police” it was time to watch the first party video.

“Who’s that guy right there?” asked Mini Magnum.

“I don’t know his name.”

Video version of me: “Hey Mike! Are you fuuuuuucked up, or what?”

The video stopped and the questions resumed.

“So, tell us again where you got the camera.”

“Some guy.”

“What was his name?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Do you think it’s stolen?”

“No.”

Mini Magnum hit play again.

“Man, this is a great camera. Where did you get it?” asked the videographer of one of my finest moments.

Then, the video version of me moved in closer and filled the entire frame with my chubby, drunk face, put my finger to my lips and whispered, “Shhhhh! It’s stolen.”

“What did you just say?” Mini Magnum asked.

Silence.

Try as I might, I couldn’t sink far enough into my chair to exit the room.

Rewind.

“Shhhhh! It’s stolen.”

“I thought you said you didn’t think the camera was stolen?”

“It’s not.”

“Shhhhh! It’s stolen.”

“So, you don’t think the camera is stolen?”

“Nope.”

The only thing that kept me from crying like a baby and confessing all my sins was that the person who sold me the camera had, though methods I can’t legally speak of, made sure that it didn’t officially exist. Despite all my fears and embarrassment, I was confident that they couldn’t prove anything and, for the first time since getting myself mixed up with Mini Magnum, I was correct.

A few weeks later, I returned to the police station to pick up my video camera and this visit was a lot different than the first. This time I wasn’t embarrassed or scared, since I wasn’t in handcuffs and I didn’t have to watch videos of myself acting the fool. Instead, I acted the fool by wearing a smug grin on my face as Mini Magnum handed over my video camera.

“I’m going to eventually prove it was stolen,” he said. “You’ll be back here soon.”

Thankfully, he was wrong on both counts and I never returned. Instead, much like Ice Cube, who traded his A.K. 47 for starring roles in family-friendly movies, I eventually grew up. No longer am I a menace to society who yells things out of his car and possesses stolen goods. Hell, I don’t even mind the police these days, although I still get tense whenever they are driving behind me. But, I still like to daydream of Mini Magnum, years later, drinking in a bar and talking about the one who got away, while I drive by in a car, leaning out the window yelling, “Tony Jenkins has escaped! Tony Jenkins has escaped!”

Destruction_casino-7

The Delights of Destruction


This essay was originally written and performed for Write Club Atlanta, a monthly competitive writing event.

With the possible exception of demolition experts, terrorists and rock stars sitting around in their hotel rooms, no one ever says, “I wish I were more destructive.” But why not? Why has “destruction” become such a dirty word?

I understand that nobody likes to see trees cut down to make room for a retail center in their neighborhood. But many of us, even if we’re too ashamed to admit it, have a little man living inside our head who can’t wait to use his 20 percent off coupons from Bed Bath & Beyond without having to travel far from home.

Now, before you start thinking that I’m a right-wing, destroy-the-environment kind of guy, I should mention that I’m so liberal that when someone asks “how’s it hanging?” I always tell them “to the left,” EVEN if it’s hanging to the right. Of course, it usually isn’t hanging at all. It just kind of cowers away like a scared little turtle. Which, I suppose, is probably more indicative of the Democratic party than anything else.

I’m not trying to be political. I’m just saying that we need to stop ignoring or denying the good things that can come from destruction. Or even worse, denying that sometimes destruction is necessary.

Whenever I see news reports about an old Las Vegas casino being imploded, they always include interviews with people who are sad about its demise and proclaim that no one cares about the past anymore. But what those people never seem to mention is how outdated the rooms were or how the stale smell of broken dreams and cigarette smoke permeated the place. Or how the buffet really sucked.

That’s what my first marriage felt like.

Sure, there were good times in the beginning, and there were even moments when I felt like I was continually hitting blackjack, while the sounds of bells went off all around me. (By the way, I’m just continuing the casino metaphor here. I’m not saying sex with me is so great that you’ll hear bells.)

But, after coming down from the high of the grand opening festivities, I started seeing imperfections in my domestic casino. And at first I tried to cover them up. New carpet here, new perks there. Double player points all weekend!! But I knew in my heart that time was up. What used to be the hot spot in town had become a dark, sad shell of itself and the only clientele was little old ladies, chain smoking at the nickel slots.

It’s times like this when you gotta have a cutthroat, bottom-line executive. Someone who has the guts to say, “This place just isn’t profitable anymore. Let’s blow the fucker up and start over.”

Luckily, my ex-wife was that kind of executive.

And yes, at first I was distraught over the destruction of my casino, but out of all the rubble I was able to build a brand new, much nicer complex. And I have to say that, so far, the buffet is top notch.

So, you see, good things can come from destruction, and when that happens, we need to embrace those things. But we also have to realize that sometimes WE need to be the ones causing the destruction. And I’m not just talking about the kind of destruction you see proposed via bumper stickers. You know, shit like “Destroy Your Television!” (Whenever I see that sentiment on someone’s car I always think, “They obviously haven’t seen The Wire.”)

Not that I always disagree with bumper sticker messages. We SHOULD “Question Authority,” and as strange as it may sound I do care to know that you “Brake For Yard Sales,” since that’s a good warning not to be texting while driving behind you. I love myself a little too much to die just because you have a weakness for old clothes and Beanie Babies.

But slapping bumper stickers on your car is a lazy response to real issues. It’s like sitting in your house, listening to NPR and cataloging your Food & Wine recipes, while a War is Not the Answer sign sits on your perfectly-manicured lawn, advertising your pacifism to the world. Besides, sometimes war IS the answer! For instance, if someone rearranges my recipes and files the goat cheese parfait with the entrees instead of the deserts, there is going to be war. And it will be justified.

Okay, so maybe that would be an exaggerated reaction. Although, World War II was started after Hitler stole Churchill’s recipe for eggplant risotto. Either way, we do need to wage war on the things that are holding us back and revel in their destruction, whether it’s bad marriages, the two-party system or our tendency to be blinded by nostalgia. Sorry, but “Footloose” was a shitty movie to begin with, so Hollywood remaking it is not a travesty. It’s just a good reminder that you’re getting old.

But, the good news is that you’re never too old to be destructive. So get off your ass and destroy something. Destroy your nostalgia. Destroy your bad relationship. Destroy your porn. Hell, you can even destroy your television if you really want to.

Just don’t destroy your Bed Bath & Beyond coupons. I know a little guy who would love to have them.

 

Image via Wikimedia Commons by user Symac

sick

Hi. I’m The Classless Chap, and I’m a Flake

Since they say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, I recently admitted I was a flake. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but I was sick and tired of faking being sick and tired just so I could get out of doing something.

You know how an alcoholic never intends to get shitfaced and piss on your kitchen floor after making a pass at your wife? Well, I never intend to be a flake, although that doesn’t mean there’s not a stale smell of excuses wafting through the air whenever I back out of plans with someone.

When a friend asks me to do something and I say yes, I usually say it because I sincerely want to do whatever is being proposed: get dinner, have drinks, or go over to their house for a Dabney Coleman movie marathon. But while I may be really excited about something early in the morning — or in the afternoon, or a week before — when the time comes to do it, well… there’s a good chance I will flake.

Admitting my problem was cathartic, and I feel like I’m on the road to recovery. I’m not sure if there are 12 steps involved, but I’ve taken at least one step: learning to say no when asked to do things I know I’ll flake on.

Like exercising. Recently a friend asked me to go with her to boot camp. This is one of those group exercise programs where middle-aged women meet in the park and daydream about fucking the muscular instructor, even though they think he’s a complete tool.

When she asked me to go, my friend subtly looked at my belly. It’s a classic move amongst the “wanna exercise with me?” contingent, and she’s mastered it. The old me would have fallen prey to the unspoken pressure and said, “Let’s do this!” However, the class she wanted me to attend is at 6:30PM. So, if I said yes, my day would likely go something like this:

Morning – “I love the morning! I’m ready for another great day! I am so focused! Creative! Energized!”

Afternoon – “This day is okay, I guess. Did I really use that many exclamation points this morning?”

6PM – “Fuck. I can’t wait to get home. All I want to do right now is put on my pajamas, light my Anthropologie volcano candle and open a bottle of wine.”

6:01PM – “Do I tell her I’m sick? No. I should just go. What about telling her I have to stay late at work? No, no. I’ll feel good if I go. Do I tell her I pulled my groin muscle in an extraordinarily active brainstorm?”

6:10PM – I decide on the most believable excuse, then flake via text or email. Then I feel guilty. At least until I’ve had my first glass of wine.

The new me, the recovering flake, told my friend, “No thanks. As much as I’d love to go, I know that when six-o-clock comes around I’ll probably flake out. Now stop looking at my belly.”

Saying no felt much better than I expected and it made me realize something. One of the reasons I flake is guilt, or perceived guilt. When my flakery was at its peak, I would say yes to things I didn’t really want to do as a way to defer the guilt I THOUGHT I would feel if I said no. Learning this didn’t surprise me, though, since inner guilt is something that has always plagued me. So much so that I once spent $19.95 on ancestry.com to confirm I wasn’t Jewish or Catholic.

Throughout my struggles with flakerism, a lot of my friends have given up on me and I can’t say I blame them. I can’t imagine it would be easy to remain friends with that drunk dude who pissed on your kitchen floor. But those friends who have stuck with me and continued to ask me to do things are the reason I will continue the struggle to be a better person. Of course, I should admit I’m writing this in the morning, while feeling focused! Creative! Energized! So, who knows? By the end of the day I could be at home drinking wine in my pajamas while my friends are out having a good time and having a conversation something like this:

“Where is Tony? I thought he was coming tonight.”

“He texted me a few minutes ago. He can’t come.”

“Really? Why not?”

“He pulled a groin muscle at work.”

nothing

To Do or Not To Do

In my closet I have a box of old journals and once in a while I like to grab one and thumb though it. One thing I’ve noticed while doing this, other than I have the handwriting (and possibly the thoughts) of a schizophrenic, is that I really love making to-do lists.

No matter what notebook I open up, every few pages I’ll find another to-do list. What’s discouraging is finding lists where almost none of the items have been marked off. Whenever I find these, which is more often than not, I wake up the optimist in my head, which comes to my rescue by saying, “It’s an old notebook. You’ve probably done all those things but were too busy being productive to go back and mark them off.” Then I’ll go down the list and confirm what I’ve always suspected. My optimist is a compulsive liar.

Here is the most recent to-do list I found (For the record, none of these items have been completed.)

- Come up w/ wine/alcohol budget
- Clean out office closet
- Learn Pina Colada Song on guitar

For all the music snobs out there, yes, I do know it’s actually called ‘Escape (The Piña Colada Song)’, so go fuck yourself with a seven inch. (Import only, of course.) For those of you who think I included the song as a cheap joke you’d normally be correct, but not this time. It’s really there and I really do want to learn how to play it. That’s the frustrating part: I put off stuff I actually want to do.

I can totally understand putting off creating a budget, but learning the Piña Colada Song?!? As helpful as having a budget would be, it’s never going to help get me laid in a beach-side bar.

In between all the random to-do lists, I’ll also find journal entries in which I’m berating myself for not being more productive. “What the fuck motherfucker?!? Stop fucking around and write! Don’t be such a lazy, unfocused fuckface.” I guess that means I can mark, “Look into becoming a motivational speaker” off all to-do lists.

I suppose I like making lists so much because it’s a way to procrastinate while still feeling like I’m accomplishing something. Sometimes, however, it’s a way of keeping up with my ADD-addled brain, which is no easy task.

A couple of times a month I’ll read a new self-help article about how to be better organized, or how to stay focused. These articles always get me excited. I think, “Finally, I’m going to get my shit together. Productivity, I’m about to make you my bitch!”

But before I can get to making productivity my bitch, I spend a good ten to fifteen minutes thinking about the statement, “make you my bitch.” I get caught up in an internal debate about whether I should say such a thing. First I wonder if it’s sexist and misogynistic. But then I decide that the saying isn’t meant to reference the act of making a woman do something against her will, but about being a good dog owner. Boundaries are important, you understand.

Then the dog lover in me feels horrible for having said something so harsh. So, I stop what I was doing and go hug my dogs. I don’t walk them, though, because I have to get back to my notebook and write “walk dogs more” on my to-do list.

By this time I’ve usually forgotten how I was going to make productivity my bitch. By the way, even if I had made that statement as a derogatory reference to women, you can rest peacefully knowing that even if I had “stalk women” on my to-do list I’d never get around to it.

I’ll give you another example of my list-making, easily distracted tendencies. As I’m writing this I have a notebook open, in which I’ve created yet another to-do list, to which I just added, “Come up with a good ending for Chap post about list making.” Sadly, I’m probably going to find this list one day and think, “Oh, damn, I really should have done that.”

REOspeed

I Can’t Fight this Feeling that I Want to Fight You

I woke up singing REO Speedwagon’s ‘Take it on the Run’ this morning and it reminded my of something that happened to me when I was nine years old.

It was a Saturday afternoon and I was walking to the Kwickie to buy a pack of candy cigarettes. The Kwickie was the convenience store at the end of my block, which I guess was owned by a disgruntled former spelling bee champion with a penchant for sexual innuendo.

As I got closer to the Kwickie I could see that Doug Dixon, a high school kid and local badass, was hanging out beside the store, smoking cigarettes with his henchman, whose name I never knew. I contemplated turning around and going home, but I knew that if I didn’t get my candy cigarettes I would regret it later that day when I was working on my one-man show; a ‘Grease’ spinoff I called ‘Kenickie goes to the Kwickie’.

So, I kept walking.

“Hey, you!” said the henchman. “Come over here!”

Fuck. Why couldn’t I have just stayed home and drank apple juice out of a beer mug while telling an imaginary bartender my troubles? Sure, candy cigarettes don’t cause cancer, but it appeared they were about to cause me to get my ass kicked.

“Me?” I said, hoping he was talking to himself.

“Who the fuck do you think I’m talking to, myself? Come over here.”

As I approached the two hoods, I couldn’t stop wondering what was about to happen. Were they going to beat me up? Get me high? Cut holes in my jeans and make me start skipping school? The possibilities were as endless as their future prospects were limited.

“Do you know who I am?” the henchman asked, as Doug Dixon just giggled and kept smoking.

“I’ve seen you around,” I said, hoping to stroke his ego as some kind of local legend.

“No, you don’t know me. And you don’t want to fuck with me.”

Fuck. This was turning out to be a shitty day.

“You want to know why you don’t want to fuck with me?”

I stood there silent. I had only said five words so far and things were not working out so well, so I wanted to hold off as long as possible before uttering my sixth word.

“Do you know who this is?” he asked, while pointing to his T-shirt — a white rock jersey with black sleeves that clearly said REO Speedwagon.

Finally, I thought. A question I can answer intelligently.

“Yeah, it’s a band.”

“No, it’s not a band. It’s a fucking gang. You understand that? I’m in a fucking gang.”

While I stood there confused, waiting for him to punch me because I didn’t realize REO Speedwagon was “a fucking gang,” the henchman turned around and started talking to Doug Dixon. It was like I ceased to exist. This was fine by me, so I slowly walked away.

I finally got my candy cigarettes and when I left the store, I took the much longer way home so I could avoid being told how Styx was the fucking mafia.

Almost thirty years later, I still have no idea what the hell that guy was talking about. It’s not like he was wearing a Motorhead T-shirt. At least then I could get behind the idea that he was in a gang of pissed off and mean Motorhead fans. But REO Speedwagon? As much as I enjoy their cheese-encrusted arena rock ballads, I can’t imagine a group of teenagers sitting around getting pumped up while listening to ‘Keep on Loving You.’ Who could take their taunts seriously? “I’m gonna kick your ass foreverrrrrrrrrr.”

I don’t know what ever happened to the henchman, but I like to imagine he became a roadie for REO Speedwagon and is traveling the country, still insisting that they are a fucking gang.

As for Doug Dixon, he ended up dropping out of high school, knocking up the town slut and getting a job at the Kwickie. At least that’s what I heard from a friend who, heard it from a friend who, heard it from another…

Image courtesy of Ebay.

likethewolf

Horny Like the Wolf

I went to a Duran Duran concert earlier this year, and when they started playing ‘Girls on Film’ I was overcome by a wave of nostalgia. The throbbing beat, heavily-chorused staccato guitar and sounds of clicking cameras brought back memories of my childhood.

As I watched Simon LeBon trying to recreate his 80′s groove, I thought about the 80′s me trying to find one. I thought about my Duran Duran scrapbook and how I wished wearing lipstick would make me look as cool as Nick Rhodes. I also thought about how I used to think I was so clever when I would write the band’s name on my notebook by holding two pencils together, which meant I only had to write “Duran” once. Then I thought about masturbation.

What made me think of masturbation was the uncensored version of the ‘Girls on Film’ video. I first saw it in 1983, after my grandmother rented it for me at the local Curtis Mathes, along with a top-loading VCR that had to be at least fifty pounds. I’m not sure what’s more shocking; that my grandmother rented a video for me that was clearly marked “Uncensored,” or that a Curtis Mathes in a small, Southern town was renting it in the first place.

If you’ve never seen it, the video is filled with sexy scenes of women in various stages of undress. At least it is once you suffer through more than a minute of watching the set being built and the guys in Duran Duran doing their hair and makeup. At 11-years-old, the video was as good as gold to me. My favorite band AND nudity? At the same time?!? What more could a kid ask for?

My favorite part of the video was a close up of a woman rubbing an ice cube over her nipple. For some reason I thought this was incredibly sexy. It took quite a few years and a few wasted ice trays before I finally realized that rubbing ice cubes on their nipples wasn’t common practice among women. I’ve been met with few bigger disappointments in life.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, masturbation.

As Duran Duran continued to play, I thought about how much masturbation has changed. Or at least how the materials used for masturbation have changed. For instance, these days I can see nipples whenever I want. Hell, I can even see full breasts on my phone if I so desire. Breasts! On my phone! Can you imagine what the eleven-year-old me would be doing had he had access to this kind of technology? OK, I guess you can…

But back then my choices were limited to, “Do I pause on the iced nipple, or do I pause on the scantily-clad girls sliding on the whip-cream-covered candy cane pole as they prepare to have a pillow fight?” Proper pausing was crucial, since both scenes were way too short to be of any use in real time. Before I could even get my pants down, I’d be looking at Simon LeBon doing his sexy pout again and I just didn’t think of Simon in those terms.

There was something great about not having a plethora of pornographic possibilities, though, because once you did find something you liked, you did your business and moved on. Hell, sometimes you even used nothing but your imagination, a concept that feels as dated as the bag phone.

These days the choices are endless, which is bad for a guy like me. I’ll walk into a book store or a record store knowing exactly what I want but become so overwhelmed by all the choices that I forget what I’m there for. With Internet porn it becomes a long-and-winding road of vagina and corrupted morals and before I know it I’ve wasted an hour of my life. Whereas, say, the 13-year-old me – by then a certified master of the pause button – would have been satisfied looking at Paula Abdul’s underwear as she slid across the floor in the ‘Cold-Hearted’ video.

You know, if “choice” were a man, he would be a cold-hearted snake not unlike the one Paula was singing about. Once you took the time to look into his eyes you’d say, “Uh-ohhh, he’s been telling lies!” The biggest lie being that choice is always good. Yes, choice is nice to have, but so is food, yet that doesn’t mean all-you-can eat buffets are ever a good idea. Although, a buffet is likely to have an ice machine, which means there would be an unlimited supply of ice cubes to rub on your nipples in between gluttonous helpings of fried chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese. Hmmm. Now I may have to rethink my position on choice. I’ll be sure to do that as soon as I’m finished looking at all these breasts, on my phone!

classlesschapcommemorativeplate

In Loving Memory of The Classless Chap

On a recent, sunny Sunday afternoon, I was enjoying a relaxing drive when I started thinking about death. However, it wasn’t my excessive speed, or Billy Joel’s ‘Only the Good Die Young’ playing on the radio that got me thinking about death. Instead, it was a large green sticker affixed to the car in front of me. It was a silhouette of a man on a tractor and in large type it read, “In Loving Memory of Horace.”

My initial thought was that Horace must have been a pretty good guy. I mean, at least one person loved him enough to obscure their view in order to pay tribute to him. That’s is a good sign, right? And Horace obviously loved his tractor, although I guess you can drive around on a tractor and still be a real son-of-a-bitch. For all I know, Horace died in a freak tractor accident while attempting to run over a group of high school kids who had jumped his fence looking for mushrooms. But, the optimist in me chooses to believe that Horace was good people. I just wonder if Horace would have wanted to be remembered by a green vinyl sticker on the back of a Chrysler LeBaron.

Being the narcissist that I am, this got me thinking about my own imminent departure and how I would want to be remembered. After a few grand visions of my friends holding candlelight vigils with candle holders that had been custom-made to look like me, and my band playing a sold-out show while a spotlight shined on my empty drum throne, I realized it doesn’t matter how I want to be remembered.

Just like you can’t pick a nickname for yourself and expect people to start calling you by it, you can’t tell people how to remember you once you die. So, instead I started thinking about how I do NOT want to be remembered, which I think is something more reasonable to ask of others. So friends, family, colleagues and random people who love me, I created a guide for you. Please print it out and refer to it whenever I die.

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How Not to Honor The Classless Chap When He Dies

No “In Loving Memory Of” Stickers – I’m not a heartless guy. I think it’s genuinely sweet when people feel so strongly about someone that they create a sticker for their motor vehicle. I just don’t want to be honored that way because then someone may use my tragic death as a subject for a blog post, and that’s just tacky.

No Facebook Wall Posts – I know that when I die you’ll be destroyed inside and will want to let the world know it. And what better place than social media, right? Well, I can’t tell you not to post things like, “I’ll miss The Classless Chap and his staggering genius” on your own Facebook wall, but I do ask that you not to post it on mine. I ask you this not because I’ll never be able to read all your high praise, but because I don’t want you to provide fodder for the weirdos who like to read the walls of recently deceased people they didn’t even know. Have you ever done that? I always find it morbidly fascinating.

No T-Shirts – As much as I’ve always wanted to see my face air-brushed on a T-shirt, I’d rather not be remembered via a medium best suited for teenagers wanting to commemorate their wild spring break in Panama City Beach, or adults who still chuckle when they see the words “Big” and “Johnson” next to each other. Liquor me in the front, poker me in the rear, but please no t-shirts.

No Tattoos – I didn’t make this rule because I don’t want my image to be on your body the rest of your life. I do. I just can’t trust that the tattoo artist you choose is going to properly capture my handsomeness. So, it would be like getting tagged in a unflattering photo on Facebook that I can’t untag. Even if the tattoo artist is amazing, how can I be certain that you’ll stay in shape? I’m way too vain to have a pock-marked face just because your ass starts sagging and cellulite sets in.

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Please note that you are exempt from these rules if you become President of the United States. In that case you may put Classless Chap commemorative stickers on the back of the Presidential Limo and on the side of Air Force One. Actually, the word commemorative makes me want a plate too. So please, Mr. or Mrs. President, create a Classless Chap commemorative plate. I would prefer fine porcelain with a 24-carat gold rim, but engraved pewter will do in a pinch.

On the off chance that you are elected President, here is a sticker style guide: The image may be one of the following: My face, a wine glass, or a silhouette of a guy looking up porn on his iPad. Also, my name must be in a clear, legible font that is no smaller than 125 pt. (No comic sans, please.)

escalatorblocker

You Lazy. Me Crazy. Now MOVE!

Some people like to judge others based on things such as whether they prefer the Beatles or the Stones, love cats more than dogs or like The Godfather more than Goodfellas. Me? I think that’s shallow and ridiculous. There is only one question I use to make my irrational judgment of you. Do you walk when you’re on an escalator or do you just stand there?

If you just stand there, then you get six bonus questions, so please take a moment to answer the following:

1) Are you physically unable to walk?
2) Are you elderly?
3) Are you an infant?
4) Are you carrying a large item?
5) Do you stand to one side, giving ample room for a person to pass you?
6) Are you at the airport, returning from a trip and depressed about having to get back to your unfulfilled life?

If you did not answer yes to one or more of these questions, then I count you among my nemeses.

Of all the things that irritate me, being stuck on an escalator behind lazy fucks who just stand there, two abreast, without a care in the world, may top the list. They are followed closely by the single standers. The ones who look at me like they just caught me finger-banging their wives whenever I say, “Excuse me” and want to pass. (Even if I had done that to their wives, you would think they would at least appreciate my courteous “excuse me,” and move to the side.)

It’s not always the laziness of these people that bothers me as much as their disregard for my time as they drag me into their laziness.  Wouldn’t you be pissed off if I decided I was going to spend my entire Saturday lying on the couch and that meant you had to do it too?  It’s like the assholes who drive 55-miles-per-hour in the left lane, ignoring the long line of cars behind them. It’s fine with me if you want to be the anti-Sammy Hagar; just do that shit in the far right lane, would ya?!

I’ve always thought that escalators are similar to the welfare system. Both are were created to help you reach your destination faster and more efficiently, but each work best if you do your part.

Let’s take welfare, for instance. Just because you’re getting a government check doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be trying to better yourself. Ideally you would be using those checks to help keep your head above water as you continue to search for dry land.

The same holds true for escalators. Just because you CAN stand there and do nothing doesn’t mean you should. With just a little effort you’ll not only get where you’re going quicker, you’ll get a little exercise too. It’s a classic win-win situation. And we all want to win, right? So, I say fuck the Gipper. Next time you’re on an escalator how about you move your lazy ass and win one for The Chap?

You Can’t Spell Manicure Without MAN

I’ve never been what you would call a man’s man. Yes, I know there’s no official definition for “man’s man,” but if there was one I’m positive it wouldn’t include examples such as, “Enjoys manicures, pedicures, long bubble baths and cries like a baby while watching YouTube videos of lions returning to their original owners.” If that were the case I’d be the manliest bastard you ever had the pleasure of sharing Sunday mimosas with.

My coworker Jenna and I often discuss my manly qualities, or lack thereof. Since she’s an old-school Jersey girl, she just shakes her head and gives me a look of disapproval when she hears me talk about amuse-bouches, my love of knee-high socks and how my wife is the griller in the family. This usually leads to me pointing out that there are many things I do which are traditionally attributed to being a man. Here is just a short list:

  • I watch football. I also drink beer and yell obscenities like “sack that motherfucker!” while doing so.
  • I drive during long trips and am severely directionally challenged.
  • I think about sex 90% of the time.
  • I take out the trash. (I forgot to do it last night, but I’m usually good about it.)
  • I carry my wife’s luggage through the airport. I also open doors for women and let them enter elevators before me. (I don’t let them have my seat on the train unless they’re old, though. I gotta be hard on the hoes once in a while, right?)
  • I get out of bed and investigate any suspicious noises during the night. (Does it really matter that my first reaction to my wife telling me she just heard something is to pretend I’m still asleep? I think not. )
  • I get overly upset when someone cuts me off in traffic and threaten to “kick their fucking ass!”
  • I kill insects that happen to make their way into our house. (OK, I usually just shoo them out the door, but still…)

Impressive list, huh? Regardless, I’ve never subscribed to all the antiquated ideas about what is manly. That John Wayne shit is for uncivilized bores. By eschewing all the stereotypes I’m able to be better than a “man’s man.” I can, and am, versatile!

For instance, I can spend Friday afternoon watching violent action movies, and then go see a chick flick with you that night and actually enjoy it. Saturday morning I can go with you to the spa for a 90-minute couple’s massage, and then have the guys over for poker night, during which I’ll drink straight scotch while discussing my sexual attraction to Lady Gaga. Sunday I can go have a testosterone freak-out at the football game, and then come home and thoughtfully look through your sewing patterns and help you pick out the one that best fits your personality.

All these things more than make up for the fact that I’m not necessarily good at fixing things, that I don’t like “roughing it” and that I use a wide assortment of Kiehl’s products. If not, what else would you have me do? Am I expected to start the fireplace by rubbing two sticks together while yelling “Fire! Fire!?” That sounds like a terrible waste of time. Besides, my wife makes a much better fire than I do.

just another silly blog about silly things, though sometimes it’s a silly blog about serious things.