Monday, December 28, 2009

A Letter to the Fat Lady Concerning the Freedom of Redefinition

Dear gigantic, life changing, gas station asteroid,

My day (which is your night) started off pretty typical today. I was at my local gas station getting my customary "enough gas to get me to work and back" fill up, and blaring music through my headphones loud enough to drown out the roar of putrid failure that rolls around this place like a frightening motorcycle gang. I was bored, so to pass the time I was watching an impossibly fat woman demand her children stop running away from her when she was talking to them, threatening, "iffen you t'aint quit haulin' ass 'cross this Loves station, you ain't gettin' Twix bars the rest of the trip!"

I absorbed this in, this Dr. Seuss created human, this obnoxious, tub-bellied hornwaddler, and I wrote her a little letter in my head. It went like this:

Dear horrible fat woman,

A) Your kids aren't running, they're walking at a normal speed. A speed that you've long forgotten as myth and only have psychotic nightmares about. Waking up screaming; rambling wild eyed about a past life where you could go up steps and bought pants with zippers and buttons. And the speed, children! Oh what speed! Like a Cheetah in the jungle you was.

B) Neither you NOR your kids need Twix bars, ever again. Stop by a Country Market instead next time. The last thing those children need is you exposing them to some kind of second hand fat-ass. As if you'd ever let chocolate pass by your face without your jaws snapping down like an Arklatex gator anyway.

C) You might actually look LESS ridiculous if you got one of those scooters designed for people who can't fucking control themselves, instead of attempting to travel under your own natural energy. At this point there is so much ground for your veins to cover I don't even know if blood is MAKING it to your legs so just sit down before you create a giant dead obstruction for traffic to have to get around.

Go Fuck Yourself

A caught myself laughing out loud as I signed the mental signature to this undelivered correspondence in my head. A good clean laugh that seemed to knock loose some of the gloom that's been collecting in my blood over the past year. Like a big cough after a fever, delivering brown phlegm from your bronchial passages and allowing that sweet deep intake of breath. Something started to stir inside my head. Thoughts that have been simmering on low heat for a long time now started to separate and clarify.

You see, I've still been trying to focus on a more Buddhist path in life, and Buddhism says that I shouldn't feel superior to my fellow man. But, frankly, I've had suspicions for a while now that I'm too good for this hillbilly folk magic crap anyway, so, discounting it's teachings at the drop of a hat isn't a big problem for me. And, laughing at that idiot woman felt good. And feeling good, feels pretty good.

My mother says that happiness is something that comes from inside people. That you just have to relax and dial into the right frame of mind and you'll find it. I have been fighting her on it for a while now, telling her that the only thing that comes from inside a person is hate and anger, and happiness is the result of them either ignoring or learning how to deal with that darkness inside all of us.

In these discussions of philosophy and psychology we do tend to agree on one idea, which is the benefit of walking a middle path. The idea that answers lie between extremes. But, it hadn't occurred to me until this night at the gas station that I hadn't been applying that path to the very argument we'd been having. Maybe that's the key to this feeling of split personality. Maybe that's the clouded truth separating the sorrowful thought from the fierce rage. Maybe we're both right, and the darkness inside of me IS my happiness.

Maybe all I do have to do is dial into that channel of churning, molten, despising indignation, AND also learn how to handle the flow when it's on full blast, and then I'll be carried up into heaven on a powerful stream of concentrated rage. I'd finally have that last piece of the puzzle. Pack my bags tonight. Pre-flight.

Of course that all sounds very fine and dramatic, but the practical solution is really just to reassess how I look at my daily life. To start updating definitions until the world makes sense to ME, instead of me making sense to the world. So, I think that's what I'm going to do here, now. Let's redefine some shit up in this bitch.

We'll start with the obvious. From now on, mentally at least (because we still LIVE IN A SOCIETY and saying words out of popular context will just confuse these apes) I will think of Hatred as Happiness. I know I'll still slip up. Say things like, "man, I hate that bitch," and NOT mean that said bitch has just filled me up with joy. But, I'll know, deep down, that the active ongoing hate of anyone will keep the gears oiled and moving. That in the end I'll build up the anger and cast it out onto a page like a cleansing fire and at that point the hatred will make me feel alive. So it WILL be my joy, like grapes turn into my wine.

Next, I have to come up with a way to express pure happiness without associating it with hate, so that things don't get confusing. I'm going to go with Erection for this one. Partly because it's funny to think about how it means "joy that comes from within" and partly because this will have the least impact on my current way of speaking. It's really the perfect word. I didn't come to this decision lightly. It took long, hard thought. I really had to bang away at it, because I didn't want to look like a jerk. Eventually it just came. So, erection for joy.

Of course, now I have to do something with erection, and just the general idea of sexual desire. I've thought about this and I'm going to reallocate Vengeance to this duty. It seems the closest one on the list without being a sexual word in the first place. If you think about it I think most of you will agree. Think of other slang sex words: beat, hit, slam, pound, choke, stab, bury, pissed. They're practically interchangeable with the idea of Vengeance, so that seems like the logical successor. I haven't quite perfected working the Inigo Montoya speech into our foreplay yet, but, I still have pretty big biceps and a deep, sexy voice, so I think all I have to do is nail the "Hello," and I'm In Like Flynn.

The next one is tricky. If Hatred really eventually brings me joy, then it has to be re-categorized into a preferred state of mind, which brings a lot of friends along. A big one of these being humiliation. Humiliation is something we all have to deal with, and the way I've been dealing with it for years is oversaturation. I basically just replay every extremely humiliating event in my life I can remember, in my head, whenever I have some free time. This causes a certain, but not complete, numbness to 90% of future embarrassing moments. It's what allows me to take responsibility for fuck ups at work, it's what allows me to blow a chore off to get more sleep or rest, it's even what allows me to write. But it's not full proof. Well, maybe this little exercise can change that. Instead of numbing myself through overexposure, maybe just redefining wear it fits in the scheme will just erase the negativity. So for humiliation, I'm reallocating it to mean Teaching. Again, like vengeance and sex, vernacularly, they are almost identical. "Teaching" someone a lesson almost ALWAYS involves some sort of humiliation. The embarrassment is what makes it stick, and that's what you have to associate it with. You don't get red faced and want to "just crawl into a hole and die" when you're watching the History channel, right? So, what's the difference?

Love is going to share some of its meaning between hate, erection, and vengeance now, but true love will still remain in a reserved area for spouse, family, and close friends.

That's what I've got so far, and I don't know if I want to force any more out at the moment. I feel like I've gotten the big ones anyway. Now, in classic 5th grade review sheet fashion, I will apply what I've learned to the end of the letter. A little send off courtesy of my new burgeoning philosophy.

I just wanted to say, that, I hate you all, SO much. You have no idea. I give and I give, and for what? For what? Just so you can hate me too? Well if that's all there is then I'm fine with that. Yeah, I'm fine with it. Don't worry about me. You just keep on living your fucking lives, and if you can find some time in the day to pay attention to little old me than that's great. Yeah, because I know, and don't you dare deny it, because I KNOW that when a handful of you read my letters, you get erections. Oh that's right you get HUGE erections from these letters, and you know what? Knowing that I give YOU erections, well that just gives ME erections too. Because that's what it's all about in the end; giving each other as many erections as we can, in the short time we're on this earth. And my time spent here, doing this thing that I HATE on this site, well that just gives me the biggest erection of all. Honestly, it's all been really humiliating.

I'll write back when I can, assholes. It's getting hard to concentrate. I can't stop thinking about how I'm going to get revenge against my wife tonight.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
Space Cowboy/Gangster of Love/Maurice

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Letter to my Past Self Concerning His Future

I wanted to say a few things before this one gets going. It might seem a little weird halfway through, but, keep in mind I never stopped writing these letters, I just stopped posting them for a little while because I really wasn't happy with any of them, which just goes against the whole idea in the first place. I'm trying to get the habit back of putting them out when I write them, before I can think about them, to get that rhythm back and get them doing their job again.

I was worried that this might be a little too "woe is me." I played with the idea of making it funny or angry, or splitting it into two different letters, but, in the end I thought it had a decent flow so I'm just throwing it up as is.

It's a long one, and it's more thoughtful than outrageous, so, if you make it to the end I hope you get something out of it. I'd love to know if you did.

Dear hopeful, dedicated, focused version of myself that probably never even existed half my lifetime ago,

When I was younger, I wanted to be today’s Tom Sawyer. Now, more and more, it feels like I ended up today’s Holden Caufield. So fearful, for so long, of all the phonies after me in my day to day life, that I’ve inevitably turned that McCarthy brand magnifying glass permanently on myself. Inviting all who cross my path to gaze into it so they can see how good I am at being the genuine article. I’m Year One, I’m first print, come all ye and be amazed. But, I’m not, so they don’t.

In reality I’m a fair weather rebel. An HST wannabe with either too much sense or not enough balls to try and follow in that exciting, albeit bizarre, legacy of total freedom in the face of true American Fear. Instead I sit on my couch and drink alone, reading of his adventures. And, even that I don’t do that often anymore. I can’t, you see. I have to retain my energy, and more importantly my sobriety, so that I can face the maddening monotony of the modern economy, and workplace.

Ugh, the workplace. MY workplace, like working inside of a giant florescent bee hive. Constantly buzzing with the background drone of its many server fans, and many employees. A drone so deafening and ever-present that I couldn’t have even imagined it in younger times. Better times, when the biggest thing in my life was my own ego, and that’s exactly the way I thought it should be. Even now, as I write this, there’s the droning. To my left a human voice slurs and mumbles, never ending in its need to be expressed, keeping me from doing the same, quietly, and on paper.

A voice weaving a web of tales and ignorant opinion about honor and integrity, all in a desperate attempt to bullshit me so I won’t pay attention to the TONE of the voice speaking. The tone used when making an excuse. The tone of voice that both tries to justify actions while at the same time begging forgiveness. A tone that has come out of my lips so much in the past that I never want to hear it again. I can’t stand how thick the air is getting and now all I want to do is take a piss. I just want a quiet place to urinate and get away for a time out. But this, like most things lately, will be denied.

When I walk into the bathroom I’m greeted by the always smiling, barely-speaks-English Asian security guard that has recently come on the night shift. I walk past him to the urinal and I hear the quick and pleasant, “hello sir. Have a nice day, sir. Very good, sir.” Goddamnit, man! This is America. You don’t have to “yessuh” me when I’m standing dick in hand in front of porcelain. Where you used to live did you address your fellow pissers as “sir”? You’re free now. Run!

He looks nearly twice my age and, as he nods and salutes his way back to his post, I wonder what he did a lifetime ago. I wonder if he lived in a village. I wonder if he lived near the ocean, and rowed out to fish in that ocean every day. I wonder if he, fit and bare-chested, cast his nets out into the water and drew his family’s livelihood right out of the dark surf with his bare hands by the light of a rising sun; hand delivering the birth of each new day.

I wonder if he hated it. I wonder if he dreaded gathering his nets and going out to the boat. I wonder if he thought that was a phony way to live. I bet he did. Because he’s a god damn idiot.

I’m getting too far inside my own head so I decide to go out onto the floor of the boat. I pass him as he waves the swollen glutton of zombies though the ID check stand. “Hello, sir. Very good, sir. Good luck, sir.” I look away from him as I pass and tell myself he deserves this for abandoning what must have been a good life, over greed. Then I am swallowed by the Twin Peaks ambience that is the place I work.

A casino river boat is what airplanes would be today if the in-flight trends of airlines in the sixties had been carried on into the 21st century: a three level orgy of bad carpet patterns, lights, stale smoke, and booze. Tiny, beautiful women, stuffed into tight corsets carrying trays of cigarettes and offering drinks to dull the bright glare and loud sirens of the slot machines. A room full of drunks settling into bent chairs with old cushions, ignoring the ghosts of Christmas past and future on either side of them, pulling the levers that power this blasphemous engine, this floating house of worship, demanding constant sacrifice to every shiny calf on the face of every one armed bandit.

And of course there’s black jack on the lower decks.

My fellow employees roam the decks having private conversations that they have to shout at each other in order to be heard over the chaos. I notice the customers’ faces as they catch halves of sentences that ought to be whispered in closed offices. Things like, “I’ll come up here and shove my shotgun up his ass,” or “sometimes I like to crawl on top of the dresser while she whips me with my own belt,” or “if only I wasn’t married to her mom, you know what I mean?” Yeah, man, we all know what you mean. You said it at the top of your lungs.

But, the customers are the lucky ones. They can pretend they didn’t hear what was just yelled practically in their face and move on to the next glittering distraction. For the rest of us, meaning me, I’m left to continue these conversations. Asked to participate in these diatribes that swing so wildly between Fox News headlines, pop psychology, episodes of Heroes I’ve never seen, and then on to what borders on brutal rape fantasies, that I almost feel physically exhausted. The pent up violence and secret carnal desires hidden from the daylight are almost palpable among the workers of the night shift.

The night shift. The grave shift. The dead shift.

Where sometimes the only thing to do is talk about who you want to kill or who you want to fuck. And, the only way to escape it is to change the subject to a bad joke, or some office gossip, or the speaker’s family. The amount of times I’ve heard conversations turn on a dime from beatings and rape to daughters’ birthdays is mind boggling. And, if that fails there’s always locking myself in my office. Cleanly separating myself from ALL contact is an absolute solution, but to do it all night is sometimes frowned upon. They say it makes IT look like weirdo loners. Well, Jesus Christ! That’s like saying you shouldn’t stay on your side of the bars at the zoo because the fucking lions will think you’re antisocial.

The bizarreness isn’t necessarily all bad. There can be a fascinating intrigue in walking around a spiritual relic of the 1970’s, the smoking being chief among the adopted traditions. And, I don’t mean a few outcasts shivering and puffing by the dumpsters. No, walking around this property is like strolling through an old ad from a Life magazine. Sinewy streamers of smoke rising from every occupied seat at a poker table, like tiny, green felt industrial districts all around the floor. An octogenarian, oxygen tank turned up as high as it will go, leaning over in his scooter to accept a lit match from a pair of breasts stuffed in a black and gold one piece with a security badge clipped to the front. His eyes hungrily staring into the cleavage of someone who could be his granddaughter.

The other day at breakfast in the cafeteria I nosily looked over at the tray of a fellow employee, an older thin woman, and saw only a plate of bacon, a pack of Dorals, and a V-8. Later I went down to the floor and noticed another woman unwittingly flicking her long ash into her own open purse. I see this and wonder if this is what it used to be like everywhere, when smoking was more common than chewing Trident. A vice taken to the extreme point of complete, abandoned ridiculousness. The picture in my head strains to recreate a time before I was born, and I wish I had been there to see it in person.

After I lose interest in the wild life there are a few things I can do to pass the time, but not many. Read, write, draw, solitaire, and, sometimes when it rains I go out on the top deck and huddle under an awning to watch the rain turn the Red River into a wide, soft band of silk being dragged across the ground. It’s surface warmly lit by the adjacent Bass Pro Shop and Hooters on the Bossier side of the river. But, even that gets old pretty fast and with my distractions exhausted, I eventually succumb to the crushing anxiety that comes with any job where you, for the most part, do nothing.

If you had told me eight years ago that I would be working here, I would have solemnly considered it, and then completely agreed with you, and for one reason. Everything about this place is the epitome of the path of least resistance, which, anyone who knows me could tell you, is my Dharma of choice. Proven, even now, with the writing of this letter.

When I was unemployed at the beginning of this year, I got it in my head that I could write a book by the time I was 26. The magnitude of that set in pretty quick so I settled on writing a book of short stories instead, as I have at least finished short stories in the past. For the time I was at home after making that decision, I endeavored with a feverish passion. Every day was writing. I’d write in the morning, write at lunch time, or even write in the parking lot of a Sonic if I felt the urge, as I often did back then.

Now, with 5 days to go until my birthday (as of the time I posted this) I have five unfinished short stories, two poems, and a big rambling screenplay, all filed away in a black box with a handle on it. And, what am I working on instead? Another letter. A self indulgent, stream of consciousness essay, thinly veiled as some kind of correspondence. Because, you see, letters are fast, and essays are easy. They are bolts of thought that leap from the mind without need for plot or spin or continuity. They are the literary path of least resistance, and the only things this pathetic Bodhisattva of “get the easy stuff done first” can bring himself to pen down anymore.

I tell myself it’s this place. This job where the false hope and too-little-too-late desperation spreads onto me so thick that sometimes I just have to walk outside and shake it out of my hair, like a dog shaking off a heavy rain. I’ll tell myself that it’s the stress, when a day comes a long where everything goes wrong at once. Or, I’ll tell myself it’s the monotony when it’s so quiet at night for ten hours straight that the job feels like one big detention hall. But it’s not. “It’s my job,” was the excuse I used to use at the last place I worked when I couldn’t get anything done, but that was the most productive I had been since college, and the most successful I’d been, well, ever. As far as writing was concerned, that is. I WAS eventually let go from the actual, you know, JOB part of it.

No, more than the job, it feels like my mind is starting to cave in on itself. Whatever that means. And, that these letters, although nor “real” writing, are the only motivated expression I can produce anymore. Scratched wildly into Moleskins between all the ridiculous drama and unprecedented tragedy and extraneous for hyperbole. They are the squeaks of a bat in a dark cave, sent out in hopes of a return echo to let me know I’m still going in the right direction.

They’ve become an odd chronicle of an ongoing quarter-life crisis. And I feel like I have to keep writing them, even if more make it into the trash than the public like lately, because if I stop then I’m agreeing to be completely swallowed up by the rushing rapids of responsible life. I’d be deciding to stop hovering above the boat, stop peering into the windows and recording my observations of the natives, and admitting that I’ve become just as much a part of the machinery as they have. As much a part of this place as the light and the air conditioning, and worth about as much attention.

The letters are expression, but they are also a stall. With each one completed I feel like I’ve reset a death clock. But more and more it feels like time’s running out. I’ve got my ankles locked around the cot in my cell, licking the plate my last meal came on, protesting that there’s still a little gravy left as they drag me down the hall to the gas chamber. Fuck you, pigs! What do you have against gravy? Call the governor! Tell him about the gravy! Listen to me you GOD damn Gestapo meat heads!

The flagrant arrogance of what I’m doing isn’t lost on me either. Posting two thousand word essays in the forums of a site that already has a full writing staff is the equivalent of standing next to a newsstand and handing out free multi-colored, Kinko-copied newsletters to the passersby. Shoving the single canary yellow or salmon pink sheet into their hands and making sure they hear the rattle of my cup before they walk off.

Maniacal Monthly! (Now in print!!! Donations welcome!!!)

It’s, at best, juvenile, and, at worst, delusional, but right now I think it’s the best I can do. After I got my new job everything inside just seemed to shut down, except this. This, right here, right now, seems to be the only thing that made it through with all the moving parts. For better or worse.

Maybe this still works because in some way writing what I want, when I want, for free, still feels rebellious. Maybe it still feels like art. Or, maybe, it just doesn’t carry that flash of a car payment or mortgage note going out the window when an editor frowns at my print. Or, that WOULD happen if I sent anything to anyone anymore. The last time I was even rejected for something I was cursing the obnoxious summer heat.

It’s probably simpler than all of that. It’s probably just easier to say “fuck you, forum guy,” than it is to say “fuck you, Tin House.” And, in a time in my life when easy is a rare, precious commodity, I can see the appeal.

If you’ve made it this far and are reaching for a point to all this rambling, I’ll bring it home for you. Think of this letter as an apology. An apology to a thirteen year old version of me that expected to be working for Image comics when he was my age. A note sent back in time, to apologize in advance, after it’s already way too late.

I’m sorry, Stephen. Maybe in another 13 years we’ll be better at this. But, we’re probably just fucked.

But, of course.

You always suspected anyway, right?

Oh, and happy birthday, shit for brains. Kiss your girlfriend for me next year.

Chiggie von Richthofen
The sun is the same in a relative way, but I’m older

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Letter to Fellows Concerning The Restroom

Yes, it's been a while. Yes, this is one big dick and fart rant. Yes, it felt SO good to write it.

Dear whoever the hell was just in here,

Ok, everybody, I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but, we have to talk about the bathroom situation. Seriously, everyone, pull up a folding chair, get some cold coffee and stale donuts, and let’s hash this out. Let’s start with a question, ok? Ok. What the fuck is up with you people and the bathrooms?

What choices upon choices have played out in your individual lives to lead up to this unnatural horror I step into on a nigh weekly basis? What feral beings have been hired to work here are coming in here at some seemingly anonymous, but surely previously agreed upon, time to wreak havoc on these facilities that are so important to every living human in the building?

I’ll give you a few examples of what I’m talking about. If you could form your response in the order that these are presented it would do a lot to stave of the insanity that is growing nightly as a result of viewing this crazy ass nonsense.

Number 1, a simple one to start with: Why do you insist on pissing all over everything that your powerful bladder can reach? Honestly, I walked in the other night and gagged a little. I had to stop walking to gag. And, when I say “walked in”, I of course mean I walked in to the FLOOR that the bathrooms are on.

I caught a hint of it in the stairwell. Not such an uncommon area to detect the faint odor of urine. But, this was the stairwell inside the building. The one you have to pass another outdoor stairwell to get to. And, we all know that outdoor stairwells are the next best thing to a urinal, so why would someone bypass it for this one? Oh but they didn’t.

No, this whiff was only an impish foreshadowing of the horrible stench, a stenchible if you will, that was to punch me full force in the forehead as soon as I swung the door open to my desired floor. A force that was unavoidable as I have to pass by these bathrooms on my way to my office each night.

Then, an added horror came from the realization that the smell was most potent, like the venom of a king cobra, next to the ladies room. Color me old-fashioned but I was still shocked at the mental image of a group of women, cackling like witches, free from their gender bound timidity, freely showering everything in the room with their tinkle makers.

So, ok, there’s that. Now number 2. A more specific inquiry: What in the fuck did you eat? This bathroom is the closest thing I have to going to church, because just about every time I walk in, I scream out Jesus Christ’s name, and, usually follow that with a little prayer.

This is too much. When confronted by this kind of thick haze in the air I wish I had the ability to call some kind of “timeout” for life. That or call the fire department, since some kind of walking shit zombie has obviously just been defeated by burning it to death.

Do we have a CSI in this city? I know Grissom retired but he needs to get down here right now and give us some input. Measure the age of some bugs or something because we have to know what did this, and we have to know now. Honestly, if I walked past a hospital that smelled like this, I would burn it to the ground immediately so the rest of us wouldn’t get infected. Think “And The Band Played On” but all based around someone’s horrible dump.

Number 3: Do you not understand what the things in the bathroom are for? I know it can be confusing but let’s go over a few of them as a refresher. A little, “do’s and dont’s” action so you can be prepared next time.

Ok, toilet paper. Toilet paper is for cleaning your body after you do your restroom business. And by restroom business I mean urinating and defecating. Not describing what kind of universal remote to buy off Ebay to your wife over your cell phone while you’re taking a shit. Toilet paper has nothing to do with online auctions. It has everything to do with making sure that the parts of your body that things come out of are free of the stuff that just came out of them. And, after you use it to clean yourself, you put it in the toilet, per the name of the fucking item. It’s toilet paper; it goes in the toilet. It’s in the family of products referred to as TOILETRIES. So, unless society is ok with the idea of changing the name to the restroom to Toilet Place, and the building to Toilet Box, I don’t really know how to make it any clearer for you.

Next are paper towels. These are for drying your hands after you wash them, which you should always do. They can be used for other things but we’re going to stick to basics right now. Ok? Drying your hands. They are for drying your hands. What they are NOT for is flushing in the toilet. What they are especially NOT for is flushing 33 of them in the toilet at the same time. You see you can make that distinction with the name again. Paper TOWELS. Towels dry things. So, maybe you were trying to dry the toilet bowl, I don’t know. If that was the case, a noble effort, but a little misplaced.

Oh, they are also NOT for making paper machete wasp’s nests with the entire roll from the thing, so that none of us can have any clean ones for when we use the facility correctly. You fucking assholes.

This next item might surprise you. Are you ready for it? Ok, it’s water. Yeah, that’s right, water. Water is a very universally useful material, but, in the bathroom it is really only for one thing, and that is cleaning yourself. Put it on your hands, put it on your face, put it wherever you just got shit all over you from your bizarre pooping rituals. What you do NOT do with it, if flip the holy hell out and fling it all over the goddamn bathroom. I get that you are de-evolving Star Trek: TNG style into some kind of amphibious creature and want to make every surface available to you wet and slippery, but chill out. The urinators have already been here. Everything is already wet and slippery. Ok?

Ok, the last product I want to talk about is the preformed paper seat covers. I call them PPSC’s, or “pipsqueaks”, for short. These are what we in the bathroom community call an “advanced toiletry.” Probably something you haven’t seen in your own home before, but they really are quite extraordinary. See, what they do, is they keep your bare ass from making direct contact with the “used junky’s needle” like surface that is the toilet seat. They are quick, easy to use, and degrade in water much like toilet paper, so there’s no clean up. They even go down when you flush.

But, what they are NOT for, ok, is pulling out five in a row and tearing them different ways because you can’t figure out that your shit is supposed to go through the GIANT HOLE in them, only to give up, defeated, leaving the tattered remains on the floor like you’ve just torn up an old treasure map. Or you left your huge rolling papers lying around. Or you just “Wolverined” your way through an entire fresh deli sandwich.

Or course, going back to number 2 on this list (wait for that to hit), these covers aren’t going to really serve a purpose if you feel that you’re about to completely disintegrate from the waste down. So, if that’s the case just leave them tidy in their box for the rest of us please.

Well, I thought I might add some more, but, we’ve covered a lot of ground here for a first time, so, let me just let that soak in. Maybe give you an opportunity to send me some follow up questions if you are confused about any thing.

I’ll just leave you with some quick parting tips for bathroom etiquette. A little crib sheet you can feel free to print out and carry with you the next time you decide to rape the closest bathroom to my office.

1: I kind of covered this, but, don’t talk on the phone in the bathroom.
2: If you do talk on the phone, don’t fart, and then laugh, and say “yeah, I just farted.” It makes me cry.
3: If you’re on the toilet and you hear someone burst into the bathroom, screech to a stop, and then politely wash their hands for three seconds then leave, that’s probably an indicator that you’ve broken one of the cardinal rules of bathroom etiquette. And also that person has just willingly fled the scene of a murder suicide. (Come on, like you’ve never walked into a bathroom about to pee on yourself and decided to use the old “I’m washing my hands” routine to cover the sound of you fleeing at top speed.)
4: Don’t eat things that kill your internal organs and then violently expel them out of you with the force of a tsunami.
5: Stop. Pissing. On. EVERYTHING!

Alright, that’s as much as I can say for now. Happy shitting, you disgusting dogmen.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
As Wichita Falls, So Falls Wichita Falls

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Letter to the Nation Concerning Belonging

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this will be my third letter having to do with my unemployment. What can I say? It’s on my mind. If it’s any consolation, I’m trying to keep it varied within the subject.

Dear America,

It’s been a while since I’ve considered myself to be a patriotic American. We’ll ignore, for the time being, the reasons for this that include my heritage. Let’s just say that as bloodlines go, I’ve got enough in me to be pissed that this country both marched my people off their land into Oklahoma, and, declared its independence from the empire. Add to that being raised in Louisiana, a state so rich with customs and traditions wholly separate from any other passed down and celebrated in the other 49 states, it still wouldn’t be that weird if we seceded. I tried to include those things in more detail into an early draft, and it just took over the letter.

So, I’m just going to focus on the political reasons I don’t considered myself patriotic.

For the last, oh I don’t know, eight years, I’ve tried to shy away from attaching blind allegiance to any group that has the possibility of labeling me with descriptors that I don’t think apply to me. Descriptors like hate or greed or ignorance. I’ve tried to itemize my politics as much as possible so if and when someone asks me if I’m pro or anti-American, I can throw a list of yay or nays back at them without ever actually answering the initial question. Douse their accusatory flame, if you will.

I was comfortable with that responsibility. The responsibility of educating myself on the important issues and how my views differ from the decisions of my government. It was the only logical course of action to take in anticipation of having to defend myself against a generalizing international community. I needed arrows so I became a fletcher.

So, I separated myself, mentally, from the club house of the Americas and instead decided that I was a “citizen of the world” who happened to have a blue passport and paid taxed to the United States. Technicalities that I couldn’t overcome due to certain legal obligations outside of my control.

And then something happened. I got fired. Not exactly an Earth shattering shock to anyone familiar with my previous place of employment and my disdain for everything that they encompassed, but, still something bad at the worst possible time for something bad to happen. Anyway, I was laid off, but that’s not what got me thinking about America. It’s what happened after I got laid off: absolutely nothing.

I still haven’t found a job. I look every day. I apply every day. I seek out a new role in my community every day, and still, I am unemployed. I am unemployed.

Well, I don’t need to explain what an American thing that is becoming. And I think it’s me being unemployed that has gotten me thinking about America again. I think it’s what’s gotten me feeling better about being an American again.

I don’t mean to make a ridiculous statement like Americans are the first ever to be unemployed, or that we’re the first ever to have a large number of our citizens be unemployed. What I mean is that this is the first time our, my, your generation of Americans has experienced a drop in our worth as a nation to this extent.

The unemployed American population is a group that has collectively, and metaphorically, been kicked in the balls and is now rolling around on the ground waiting for the stars in their vision to go away. And it’s a group I am now a part of.

The President, our President, whom I voted for, has a way with words. He has a calming and informed manner of speaking that before, for me, always felt relevant, but now feels critical. He’s the man that is going to make the decisions that determine maybe not how easy it is to get my next job, but how easy it will be to get a better one after that. The real one. He’s the one that is going to be the face of the push to help me run again after I’ve pulled myself back onto my feet.

So, how does that translate into me suddenly feeling that unmistakable, and previously avoided, feeling of pride swell ever so slightly in my chest?

Well, I’ll tell you.

The reason I chose to think of myself as a citizen of the world, as I stated before, was one of protection. I was protecting myself from the association with our nation and its attitudes and policies. Because they were not my attitudes and policies. They weren’t a lot of people’s. The government in the recent years has been the obnoxious drunken uncle at the wedding, toasting these “done up sumbitches” on this, their special day. And I, we, are the red faced nephews slouching in our chairs wishing we could will ourselves invisible.

But unemployment is different. The economy is different. It’s not a brown bearded foe we can attempt to bomb back into the stone age or a tiny slant-eye we can tariff into poverty. It’s not something we can drill into at the cost of our Mother Gaia or a phone conversation we can subpoena at the cost of our humanity. It’s a situation where the problem makes us suffer and the solution allows us to use our minds creatively, instead of our government creatively coming up with ways to make us suffer due to a problem situation.

It’s a problem America is going to have to think her way through. Oh, I get chills just typing it. A puzzle to solve. Imagine that. We are the midnight IT man whose computer has gotten a virus. We are the mechanic whose truck has broken down. We are the Iron Chef whose secret ingredient is chocolate.

We are all in an amazing position to finally kick ass in the most internationally accepted way possible. We get to figure our way out of a problem that we are supposed to be the experts on.

You know who figures their way out of problems? Macguyver does. You know the one thing that MacGuyver never felt like to me? An insufferable fucktard.

Lame? Maybe. Hokey? Sure. Cheesy? Absolutely. Complete, foaming at the mouth, guns-blazing, beer guzzling ass hat? No, never.

And that’s why I’m feeling this little bit of pride. We might actually solve a problem here, ladies and gentlemen. And we actually might do it without coming off like complete ass hats. Two firsts at once after almost a decade of neither. It’s like there’s electricity in the air.

And for right now, ring side to the big event, for as long as I can afford it, an unemployed American is something I’ll wear as proud as I used to wear the American Flag on my Boy Scout uniform, before I started making a list of yays and nays, and before I decided that America was something to be denounced as quickly as possible, before I could be counted among them.

I am a cynic, and I am a realist, and I always plan for rain on a sunny day. But for right now, now in this time when the statistics on CNN directly include me and my family and my friends, let me hang on to this small glimmer of hope and pride for the government that is in charge of the land I have come to love and belong to. Let my pride in becoming one of the millions of Americans that are being threatened by a national problem make sense. Let me hold on to the hope that being born an American citizen when I was just means that I had an opportunity to be onboard at the ground floor for this nation’s next rise to greatness through intelligent and peaceful socioeconomic success.

Let me quietly consider having an American flag hanging off of my home for the first time in 12 years, if only because I’m going through the worst low I’ve ever gone through, professionally, in my young adult life. Because it feels like the most appropriate time to feel good about your country is when it’s in the toilet.

Thanks for indulging the soapbox,
Chiggie Von Richthofen
Canada's still up there, don't fuck this up

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Letter to Gamers Concerning Gaming

Dear fellow gamers,

Since I lost my job nearly a month ago, I’ve noticed a few changes in my life. Specifically, what I’ve chosen to do with all the new free time during the day, alone. Had you asked me a week before I was laid off what I would do with my day if it was all up to me, I probably would have said, sleep, watch TV, and play videogames. And for a little while that was the case. Along with the chores I had set out for myself, there were pockets of the day devoted to laziness and gaming in that order. But that changed.

The longer I went without work, the less and less I even thought about playing something. The last few days I have only turned my XBOX on to watch movies from my laptop on the TV and talk to my friends. I just don’t want it anymore. The very idea of playing a game, a modern game actually, just kind of makes me wrinkle my nose.

Maybe it’s a phase, maybe it will pass, but there is a big part of me that hopes it won’t. A part of me that is whispering in the back of my head, “Finally, now we can really get something done.”

I wrote an article for Gamers With Jobs a little while back called “A Fundamentals Flaw.” In it I played devil’s advocate a little bit and compared gaming to alcoholism and substance abuse. Trying to point out that the line between those categories is so thin it’s practically transparent. Now, as my day is laid before me and I am the one who chooses the agenda, I think of gaming, and I can’t help coming back to the comparison.

I’m not sure exactly when I started using gaming as distraction and escape from reality. Maybe from the very start. But, that is what I’ve been using it for. Yes, it’s fun. Yes, it’s challenging. Yes, it’s satisfying. But so are a thousand other things I could be doing. A thousand other things that wouldn’t allow me to so easily and totally forget where the hell I am or what the hell I have to go through on a daily basis.

I was literally living a lie. Purposely, with full understanding, and for pure pleasure. Letting myself become so immersed and hoping that when my brain records the experience it would forget the HUD and the controller and the subtitles and it would be a real life memory. I wanted the experiences from the box to be real for me, so I just kept pushing in deeper and deeper hoping to wedge myself into the rabbit hole permanently.

The first sign that I might be coming out of a decade’s long haze was the guilt. The horrendous nagging in the back of my throat when I’d look at the box plugged into my TV and think, “I really should be gaming.” It’s not the first time I’ve had thoughts like that, but, it was the first time I’d ever had a repulsive reaction to them. I SHOULD be gaming? No, no I shouldn’t. I SHOULD be doing something I want to do. If that’s gaming, so be it, but right now it’s not. And I shouldn’t make myself feel guilty about that.

It’s stupid. It makes me feel like a stupid person, and that directly flies in the face of all the things I do on a daily basis specifically done to trick myself into thinking I’m NOT a stupid person.

This idea that I was somehow falling down on the job infuriated me like it never had before, and it forced and ultimatum into my brain. I can either have one real life that I live, or, hundreds of fake ones that I play. Dramatic, yes, but I’m a dramatic person, and that’s the way it has to be.

I’m not completely oblivious to the correlation between my lack of gaming going along with my new lack of a hell hole job, but, if I don’t feel like playing because I don’t have to go back to that place again, that just seems all the more damning for gaming as a past time. Forgive the replacement, but, if I had just written a letter about how I had finally quit drinking after losing my shitty job you’d be congratulating me.

“That’s fantastic! I’m so happy for you! Your wife must be thrilled! Keep it up!” Hoping the entire time that a new job won’t see the relapse of my dirty old habit. And I’m right there with you.

Of course, I can only speak for myself on this one. People are different, so they can handle things in different ways, but, speaking for myself, I have had other vices. One I can control and another I’ve had to quit. And as far as the results of quitting go, gaming has had almost an identical result as when I cut down on drinking and quit smoking. I feel better, there’s less strain on relationships, more time for my own projects. Life just gets a little easier.

There is one big difference between those vices and gaming, though, and I think it’s very important to point out, because it could be the distinction that disqualifies games from this entire argument. I quit smoking, but I didn’t quit gaming. It just became unappealing to me. Suddenly and for perfectly reasonable reasons. Anyone reading this who has ever quit cigarettes knows that the act of becoming a non-smoker is anything BUT sudden and perfectly reasonable. They would also know that there isn’t ONE day you quit smoking. You quit smoking every day of your life after the first day you succeed. Each sunrise is a new opportunity and refusal. It gets routine after a while, but, it’s still there. Always. Tugging at your shirt tale.

The lack of gaming hasn’t been anything like that. I just had a change of heart. I don’t want to do it anymore. It just seems silly to me lately. Like someone handing me a hula hoop and thinking I will be perfectly entertained for hours with this device.

Another difference is that I haven’t had to find something to take the place of gaming. I chew gum like a spokesman for Wrigley’s when I want a cigarette. But when the gaming stopped my other interests rushed in like the Red Sea collapsing around Yul Brynner.

I’m watching TV shows that I’ve wanted to catch up on or start. I’m watching movies from 2007 and 8 that I missed. I’m reading again, like actual books, with paper and everything. And I’m writing all the time.

I made this goal for myself a couple years back that I was to try and write at least 500 words a day of anything I felt like jotting down. Absolutely anything. 500 words. Less than half a page most of the time. And it was lucky if I hit that in a week sometimes. I would have bursts of inspiration and take down a big chunk of something. But my graph of work was one of great peaks and valleys.

Lately, it’s been an ever rising plateau of carpel tunnel inducing compulsion. Multiple projects at once, writing for no person or entity in particular, entertaining the slightest brainstorm with at least a full page of notes. I’m writing like I did back in middle school only now it’s a little less kindling and a little more passable as human speech.

But, of course, I’ve had these kinds of epiphanies before, about lots of different things. And in the end I just end up doing whatever feels right. A feeling that WILL change constantly through my lifetime. So hopefully in a week or a month when I have a new job and a new set of ridiculous responsibilities, I won’t have a new set of games to play. But I probably will. Actually I fully expect to be right back into it by the time I put this letter out on the internet.

I understand that right now I’m in a transitory period, and that state of being usually creates new perceptions of life. I also know that “new” perceptions aren’t the same thing as “correct” perceptions.

I guess I just want this on record for the period of time I still feel like this. To state that since I’ve stopped playing videogames, the feeling that I’m wasting my potentially short life isn’t gone, but it’s substantially lessened. I want you all to know, especially myself when I read this in the future, that while I don’t demand that you throw out your games and start laying out venison on the highway while wearing leather clothes, I do implore that you examine how they fit into your life. They are fun, and sometimes they take away the pain, but so does Oxycodone. And you wouldn’t make time each night for that, would you?

Just food for thought intended for a group of people that pride themselves on their obsession with removing themselves from reality, posed to them by a card carrying member of their group. It’s not enough for me anymore to just like something. I need to know WHY I like it, and if I don’t know those reasons, or don’t like those reasons, then change should be a priority. Whether it will be, whether I even still want it to be now that I’ve written all these words down, hell I don’t even know.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
Can’t ever remember if it’s better to be on a wagon or off of it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Letter to My Former Employer Concerning My Unemployment

This one probably won't come across too funny or very angry. But, it hopefully won't come across too serious either. I just wanted to talk through some stuff and get it out there where I could see it. More of a casual, introspective observation that I wanted to share.

It surprised me to no end that I wrote this letter, concerning this subject, to this person, and wasn't igniting with pure rage the entire time. Maybe I'm starting to deal with things a little better. Or maybe I've already killed three people and buried them in my sleep.

Dear former boss,

I have to admit that hearing the words “we have to let you go” come out of your mouth almost sounded comical at first. They were so confident and decisive. It sounded like you were concisely expressing a decision you had made, you know like a big boy, so obviously, I was skeptical. But then I remembered that it was the day before Valentine’s Day, and knowing you and the depths of your compassion, that’s what really drove it home for me that you were serious. So I set my bag down in my chair and had a two minute conversation with you which consisted of me truthfully telling you that I absolutely hated working here anyway. You asked me if I would like to bow out gracefully and “resign” and I reminded you that prideful “resigned” employees don’t collect unemployment. You flustered a little, I picked up my bag, and I left.

Chiggie Von Richthofen. Hired 2005. Fired 2009. He leaves behind two bowls and a coffee cup.

Shit! My coffee cup! That’s on the to-do list to get back. I love that cup. Completely forgot about that damn thing.

I’ll just briefly skim over what happened next. My wife’s tearful face, my mother-in-law’s vengeful attitude towards you, my own mother’s reassuring shrug (not a jab at her, I actually to like it when she shrugs off problems; it gives perspective). I’ll also leave out the bit where I spent most of that afternoon cleaning my kitchen and dancing with myself to Harry Belafonte in a subconscious attempt to recreate multiple scenes from the movie Beetlejuice .

Rock your body, child.

But the giddiness wore off and the reality and responsibility set in. And so began the searching and the waiting.

Something else as well. Something unexpected. Suddenly being put into a situation where I have to make decisions about how I will make a living really reveals just how NOT an option my current outlets of artistic expression are for that role. If I were to choose how to spend an eight hour day, it would be creative philosophical and entertainment works. Expression, hands down. Winnah and still Champeen. But, as an employment option expression ranks right above “hobo who can’t afford pen and paper.”

So I have to go into the job placement agency and tell them all about how I can use Excel, and how I can answer a telephone, and in a desperate attempt to mix it up, I then tell them I don’t mind doing physical labor. I mean, I can take boxes off of shelves, I can put boxes ONTO shelves. I’ve really got it all. But, of course, this almost guarantees that I’ll get a job just like my last one, which was pretty much like the one before it, because that’s what the skill sets on my resume fit.

And I know there will be some that roll out the “follow your dream speech” which at this point, in this economy, is like telling a seven year old that they can fly if they jump off the roof. And they want it enough. You gotta WANT IT kid! Do you WANT it? You want it?! Then go, kid, go! Fly! Fly boy!

Woops. Aw.

He didn’t want it.

It’s not that I don’t think that writing is a valid vocation. I’d love to create for a living. But, the fact is that right now it’s not a stable enough option to fully commit to. Our situation requires guaranteed stability, and right now I just don’t think I’m consistent enough, or proficient enough, or comfortable enough to make it work. Frankly, I’m just not good enough at this, all of this, to succeed at it. And I have to face the reality that I may never be good enough. The only thing losing one job only to immediately start looking for that same job does is shine a great big spotlight on how NOT ready I am to do what I really want to do with my life. And for making me realize that, I won’t lie, I do hate you.

But it hasn’t been all bad. I do have a little bit of severance so I have let myself relax a little while I spend the majority of my days at home. Of course, I don’t want to feel like a complete waste of space after I drop my still employed wife off at her work every day so I have found a new passion for house chores.

That’s not a joke. I’m just as surprised as anyone. I really, genuinely love being a housewife. It’s amazing. The laundry, the dishes, the vacuuming, the sweeping, the cooking, the shopping. My world has been transformed into a giant Zen garden for me to rake all day. The chores have given me an everyday routine that has real palpable, positive results. I love putting on some music and getting my arms in some soapy water or filling empty hangars with clean folded clothes. Getting fired has turned my house into my own personal Andy Durfresne library.

Huh, you know after the last four years feeling like I’ve been swimming down a pipe full of shit, it’s not until I get canned that I make a Shawshank reference. Weird.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that this week, again, the first week of my unemployment (allow me to add an aside that this is the first time in my entire life I’ve ever BEEN unemployed since I was 17), I’ve noticed that this week has felt longer than any week I can remember in my recent years. And not in a “when will this week ever end, Lord??” kind of way. It just seems that when the day is filled with a combination of importance and genuine interest, I’m not as apt to consciously break down my own sense of time. There’s no zoning out or clock games or activities solely based around distraction. No plea that daylight has come and how, because of that daylight, me “wan” go home. There’s just the normal passage of time and what I feel like using it for. A true internal clock that I’m sure will be immediately destroyed my first day of whatever new job I’ll get.

It makes me sad. A week devoid of purposely wasting my time is something I’m really going to miss.

So, as you can see, first week past me and there have been ups and downs. I’ve had about as much depression as I’ve had elation, but, so far I’m staying positive. Mostly because I can’t imagine a reason not to.

Yeah, I’ll probably end up at another desk with another phone and another set of problems, but, that’s life. Big dreams aren’t enough to risk my wife’s future, and I’m ok with being the kind of person that would make that decision.

And as far as the writing career, I’ll just have to stick to plan B. Write into my will that I am to be buried in the deepest and most remote place I can find with a selection of my notes and manuscripts hermetically sealed in with me. That way, after the “Great Human War” results in the destruction of all art and literature, future archeologists will find me and my collection intact sparking another renaissance. They will call it a “Chiggiesance.” Or, no, that’s weird. Maybe a “Von Richthenstance.”

Or maybe future scribes will be able to name their own age of reason without making it sound like a dessert at the Waffle House.

Of course now that I’ve written that into the letter that pretty much disqualifies this letter from being part of the collection. I can’t let the future know I planned this. It will make me look like a douche.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
I drink gin, Monkey drink gin too

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Letter to Tostitos Concerning Condiments

Dear Frito-Lay North America, Inc.,

Recently I’ve been trying to watch what I eat. Not so much sugar, not so much salt, not so much red meat, not so much bread and pasta. You know how that goes. And as a result of this change I’ve been looking for ways to keep my diet from becoming boring. That’s where you come in.

Salsa has fast become a favorite of mine and your chips are the tiny makeshift rafts that bring that zesty Latin flavor to my unprotected borders. Your chips are a good thickness, a good taste. Nothing about them has been done to excess because you know that they are at best an edible delivery service. And for that I thank you.

So, being that I'm so delighted with your chips I decided to take a cue from the front of the chip bag and try out some of your salsa too. The “All Natural Tostitos Chunky Salsa” to be exact. Medium. And, I’ve got to say that, where I enjoy the light, flakey, and salty taste of your delicious tortilla chips, I’m not so sold on your prescribed salsa counterpart.

Mostly because it tastes like crap.

Now before you say anything, let me expand a little on the subject. Tell you why I think your salsa might underperform against the local flavor. Or dirt.

There’s a local Mexican diner just 2 or 3 miles down the road from me that makes a pretty great salsa. Now, I’ll admit it can be a little runny at times, but the flavor is always intact. I think this might be because they use a base consisting of tomatoes and peppers and maybe a little jalapeƱo. They buy fresh vegetables, maybe a lemon or a lime, and take all that back to the restaurant. Then they cook these ingredients together according to a recipe, in a pot, probably on a low heat to let that flavor soak in. After that I imagine they refrigerate it so it can be as fresh as possible for their customers.

Now, I’m guessing that you’ve already picked up on some slight differences between that scenario and the way that you’re probably used to making salsa. Because when I taste yours I’m thinking that it’s less the market and kitchen and fridge kinds of steps, and more that you captured one of the last remaining goblins from folklore, tied him upside down, cut his throat, and then caught all of his putrid, rotting blood in an ancient and evil black cauldron, and then stoked the fires of Hell under that cursed pot to boil his life force away. Then more than likely just decided to throw the goblin’s corpse in there for thickness.

Maybe the Fires of Hell aren’t involved, I don’t know, I’m not an expert. But I’m not sure what else would give you that, “baby shit and dead grandmothers” flavor you seem to be going for. A flavor, I am sorry to tell you, is not as popular as your research team had led you to believe.

Regular people tend to like spice and texture, but not so much spices that taste shitty and have the texture of shit. I think getting away from shit and shit based cooking, and moving towards actual food, would be a good first step on the road to not poisoning people.

Because that’s kind of what it feels like you’re doing. You’re delicious chips proudly told me to go purchase this salsa because they would be “perfect” together. So either your chips are a bunch of goddamn liars, or they were purposely misinformed by you to trick me into buying an inferior and possibly dangerous product.

I mean, god knows what’s in this crap. Strychnine and batwings as far as the fucking taste test goes, right? It's kind of hard to pin down. So many things come to mind when I consume your salsa: dirty dish water, the inside of a small animal, starving children in India and how they wouldn’t eat this.

How can you fuck salsa up? I bet I could take random cans of things from my cupboard without looking at them, some pepper and taco seasoning, and make something that would get closer to salsa than this. Actually, when I think about YOUR shit, I bet I could take random cans and bottles from under the sinks in my house and get something closer to salsa than this.

And it’s not just compared to the local illegals. You are the worst of the STORE BOUGHT salsas. You came in last at the Special Olympics. What gives?

The chips are good, your queso isn’t horrible, what happened with the salsa? It almost feels intentional. I look at the bag now and see that suggestion of perfect companionship between chip and dip and it seems like a big “fuck you” printed right there in yellow, red, and green.

I’ll forgive the subterfuge for the chips’ sake. No sense in having to go through some kind of baked tortilla layoff just because some corporate fat cat wants to put a pretty label on a mason jar full of things he found around the office and sell it as dip. It's really more my fault from listening to an ad on a label. It never works out how you hoped it would.

Well, that's the last time I let a bag of food tell ME what to do, I’ll tell you that much.

Ok, that was a lie.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
Hates your goddamned salsa.
Really? Yeah, really.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Letter to my Neighbor Concerning his Hobby

So I was trying to think of another meaningful letter to write. Something that really dug down at the core of what I wanted to express to the world. Or maybe to dig out some lost part of myself to revive into my personality.

Then my neighbor started some shit up and all that went out the window.

Happy New Year everybody!

Dear fucking Spike TV reject that lives next door,

Why, oh God, why must I live next to these fucking people? People who think working on their cars means revving the engine over and over and over again after the sun has gone down. People who are spending all their time "fixing up" real classics like a four cylinder 1987 Mustang hatchback or 199-generic year model Camaro. You know those Camaros right? The ones that look like someone started to design a new sports car, made a Corvette on accident, and then decided to change it just enough not to get sued?

Well, you got my attention, asshole. Let’s have a little walk outside and see why this teenager’s parents haven’t gotten annoyed by all the racket.

Oh, I see! It’s because you’re a forty year old man! Yeah, you got that cool shaved head but that grey goatee really kind of blows your cover. But at least now I see the reason for the car. What with that pot belly, Harley Davidson t-shirt, and looping Rush mix tape not getting you quite as much ass as you’d hoped for. Well good thing all these ladies are around to watch you get your "man on" by fixing your car up.

Oh yeah. That’s right. They’re not!

It’s just you, fucktard. You’re the only one in your back yard! So, why do you keep revving that goddamn engine over and over and over again? I’ll tell you why, it’s because you’re a moron. You’re a fucking moron. I’ve helped people fix cars. Big word there, fixed. And all we had to do was turn it on, rev it up slowly, and see if something gave out.

We didn’t push the pedal to the beat of “Highway to Hell” at 10 o clock at night. “Highway to Hell”, by the way, being the most overplayed and overrated AC/DC song EVER heard on a classic rock station! Get a fucking stereo with a CD player in it and play "Satellite Blues" before I jump over the fence, grab your ridiculous chin hair, and use it to pull your face into the cooling fan.

I mean, honestly. Do you have nothing else you could amuse yourself with?

You do? Oh, so, you will actually do something else that you wouldn’t mind doing while some of us are trying to lead lives that don’t make loud buzzing noises in other people’s houses? Well, ok, cool. I wasn’t expecting that. Thank you.

So, what is it exactly you’ll be—a four wheeler? A four wheeler.


Four wheeler.

I’m going to murder you. I’m going to murder you so the stupid doesn’t decide to cast you off as a dead shell one day and possess my house like some Special Olympics version of Poltergeist.

Old Redneck skeletons trying to get their GED for that fry cook position, all floating up through the ground when we try to put our new pool in.

Fucking oak tree crashing through the window because his haunted ass is too drunk to stay up after a night of beating his saplings in his big mud doublewide.

I won’t have it. I have to kill you.

I’m going to string a steel cable across the road to clothesline you in half. I’m even going to hang bacon off of it, so, even in the event that you see it in time to stop; you will have already smelled the grease and won’t be able to keep yourself from driving towards it at full speed.

Just to be safe I'll probably also have to poison the ham. By the looks of you, you've probably taken a few beatings in your life. Wouldn't want the cable to fail and not have a back up.

Or you could just save me the trouble by turning off that ball of chipped paint you have in that adorable tin lean to you made back there, and go watch TV. Wait until the Sun, and your neighbors, are up before you start back into your failed American Chopper audition tape.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
MRRRR MRRRR MRRRR!!!! That's what you sound like, you piece of shit! I will set your babies on fire!