Monthly Archive: December 2007

The Fall of a Masterful Empire

When I was young, I collected Hot Wheels cars. Matchbox too. I remember those John Cleese commercials where he’d slip one into his shirt pocket, and that always made me feel so good. I made my mother buy me a white dress shirt with two breast pockets just so I could stand in front of the mirror and slip into my pockets my two favorite Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars again and again.

I collected them. Like I do guitars, books, Elvis Costello albums, tattoos and Evan bottles, I collected every one of them I could find. They had realistic die-cast metal miniature automobiles with vibrant colors and awesome chrome wheels (and sometimes flake paint). It was magical when my mom would take me to the Wal-Mart and I had a five-dollar bill in my pocket. I could buy five new cars. They were 89 cents apiece. The only problems I ran into back then was which five or six to get. There were so many to choose from, and I knew that at any minute, Matel could go out of business and the Wal-Mart could burn down, and I’d be forever kept from completing my collection. So I had to select the best five.

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Where are the good cats?

This last Monday I took my folks to the airport for their trip to Hawaii. Yeah, I’ve heard it from just about everyone now: “Tell your parents they suck, dude.” Why, because they were smart enough to fly south for the winter? If only a week, at least… Anyway, I loaded them up with memory for their camera and Cheez-Its for their flight and sent them on their way.

That meant I was driving my mother’s Porsche for the last couple of days, because I was too lazy to make the trip back out to their house to pick up my trusty old Wrangler. It’s amazing how lazy one can get about things like that when he is driving a sports car. Either way, I took the wife and kid out to Red Lobster last night for a feast of seafood (OMG those lobster tails and crab legs holy god they were awesome…) and then made the trip out to Silent Hill to swap out the cars. I gassed up the Porsche (I tend to put my foot in it a little too often and turn what should be a one-gallon trip into a five-gallon adventure) and parked it neatly between the lines in the garage. After my wife hopped out and moved all the shit out of the way.

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The Dredge House Chronicles, Vol 5

Volume Five: Old Guy and The Onion Incident

The Dredge House wasn’t always fun. We did more than just party there. If you want specifics or anything, I’ll have to get back to you on that. But what I’m trying to say is that it wasn’t always fun and games. Sometimes we got serious. Sometimes people almost died.

At the time I was seeing a girl called April pretty regularly. Now I’ve told you what the word relationship meant to me back then. It meant that sure, I’ll call you my girlfriend and we won’t date other people. Just remember that the word ‘dating’ and the word ‘sex’ aren’t synonymous. So anyway, April was my girlfriend, and I loved her quite well. I don’t think I ever needed to see anyone else while I was with her. So it was all good. Regardless, that has nothing to do with the story, so I don’t know why I’m even telling you that except that maybe to establish that I wasn’t a complete asshole. But I was, so that point is moot anyway. So, moving on, I mentioned April because she had two friends with whom she lived a lot. These were Cammie and Cody. They had a pretty slick apartment in Dallas but were almost never there. They were pretty regularly not even in town. They stayed mostly in Houston, and just about every weekend, were loading up to go south. April didn’t though. She mostly stayed with me.

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The Coolest Places I’ve Worked

Being an unruly and independent sixteen-year-old means you don’t take shit from anyone. Or in the parlance of the age, you don’t take shit from no one. Ever. You do as you please. You wake when you want. You go to school if you feel like it. You listen to your parents if it suits you – because obviously you know better than they… How the hell should they know what it’s like to be alive in the 80s as a teenager? They were teens in like the 50s and shit. Trust me, Pop. You just don’t understand.

It also means you have to work in as many jobs as you can fit between your sixteenth and your nineteenth birthdays. Seriously. I didn’t quit because I got sick of places. Actually yes, I did. But I was going to say that I quit because I was ready for something new. I wanted to experience it all. And both are true. How long can you work at Skaggs bagging groceries before you begin to believe you could manage the store yourself? It can’t be rocket science, dude. That’s why you, Mister Store Manager, only make like thirty grand a year. When I grow up, I’ll make twice what you make in my spare time. I’m sixteen, all powerful, hear me roar.

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