Archive for June, 2010

The Day of the Strangest Lunch

Posted in horror stories, my gifted life, peepee on June 18, 2010 by Samuel K the Best

The area of town where I work is pretty shady. As a matter of fact, the building that houses my office was at one point the most-robbed bank in the city! Two or three successful robberies a year doesn’t sound like much, but think of how often bank robberies take place. Not many people are dumb enough to try it, let alone smart enough to get away with it. Two or three times a year is pretty significant.

I think it’s been fairly well established by my postings here and my Twitter that I am not a smart man. As such, I like to go out exploring around in the neighborhood and I’ve disovered some really cool places.

Buy one miserable life at regular price and get crippling depression FREE!There’s the Mexican restaurant where none of the staff speaks English. Even ordering Mexican food in what broken Spanish I know is a struggle. There are always ground chunks of bone in the tacos, and big stained tubs of warm pickled vegetables on every table. I’ve never eaten any of them because I don’t know if it’s free or not. Plus there’s nothing in the tub to dip them out with.

There’s the laundromat where I did my laundry for the first year I lived here. There’s no toilet or sink in the bathroom, but there IS a well used five-gallon bucket where the toilet used to be and tons of graffiti. One night I was doing laundry after dark and when I was putting it in my car, some guy took off across the parking lot at me. I grabbed my crowbar out of my back seat and held it up over my head. He stopped running and tried to look casual as he walked away in a different direction.

There’s this gigantic building called the PEDLLERS MALL. Inside are hundreds of little kiosks selling everything from fresh fish to used furniture. From sterio speakers that aren’t in boxes to tattoos(!!!). The whole place is filthy and the people at the kiosks are always so grim, smoking cigarettes and giving you dirty looks.

A weird little oasis in the filth and squalor is the comic book shop I go to. It’s usually pretty clean, if dimly lit, and the staff are all friendly and most know my name. They even know my reading habits and suggest things to me. It’s my Wednesday tradition to stop in on my lunch break, pick up the books I’m reading that week, and then go grab lunch somewhere nearby to read them.

One Wednesday I decided to stop by the nearest buffet to chow down. Buffets are great places for me for a bunch of reasons: I’m a fatty and I like to eat mad amounts of meats. That said, no matter how fat you are, there is always somebody fatter than you at a buffet. You can never feel too self-conscious, even if you’re stuffing a whole pork chop in your mouth, sauerkraut wrapped around the top of your fork like spaghetti. The wait staff pretty much leaves you alone unless your drink is empty, so buffets are great reading places. You don’t even have to tip the the waitresses much because seriously, all they do is fill your drink like once, twice at the most. Some other poor jerk cleans up after you.

Buffets are also great because they act as the perfect people-watching spots. The food is usually pretty cheap, so you get people in from all walks of life. You’ve got families, construction workers, passing tourists, old people, and fat geeks like me who come in to read comic books.

But one fateful day, this fat geek was too distracted to check in on the likes of Frank Castle and Conan the Cimmerian. Deadpool would go ignored. Tony Chu would have to solve the case by himself.

This was the Day of the Strangest Lunch.

Those pouty lips... Too dreamy!

The Golden Corral closest to my office is literally the first thing drivers run into off the Interstate. Under most normal circumstances, you have to fight your way there through highway traffic to get to it. From my comic shop, you just have to make a left turn and you’re in the parking lot. Golden Corral seemed like the natural choice.

I’d paid for my lunch, sat my comics down at a table, put together a salad, and started reading. Everything was going well until I was torn away from my food and comics by none other than Jon Bon Jovi.

“Ooooh-AAOOW! We’re halfway thay-uurrr! OOOOOH-WOAAAOOW! WE’RE LIIVIN ON A PRA–”

“Hello?”

I looked up and to my right was a woman talking on her cell phone. She was in her late 40s, maybe early 50s. I imagine she’s had the same haircut since 1992. The sleeves were rolled up to her shoulders on her t-shirt. I couldn’t quite hear what she was saying into the phone, but I spotted a tattoo on her forearm. It was a heart with wings. In front of the heart was a waving banner. What I found strange was there was no name on the scroll. No “Tony” no “Connor and Hunter” no “MOM”. Just blank.

Was she saving that space for the day she met her one true love, one Mssr. Bon Jovi? I didn’t even have time to be amused by the thought before I heard a child’s voice cry, “You tried to kill the Hulk!”

To my left I saw a boy, no older than seven, confronting a young Marine in his desert cammo. “What’s that, buddy?” the Marine asked. His sugarbowl-handle ears were accentuated by his shaven head. He was holding a plate of fried chicken.

“Guys in clothes like yours tried to kill the Hulk!” the kid roared.

No amount of military training could have prepared the Marine for this. I saw him wilting like a flower. “Maybe that was some other guys?” It came out as a question. The kid was winning.

The kid shook his head vigorously, “Noooo!” he cried, waggling an admonishing finger at the Marine. He was having NONE OF IT. “They were dressed just like you! The Hulk’s a good guy!”

As the Marine insisted that he was also a good guy, I began scanning the area for the kid’s parents. A young couple a few tables away was watching the exchange pretty closely, so I figured I’d found the boy’s parents. The woman had a little smile on her face. The man was just eating, but keeping his eyes on the boy. They showed no sign of intervening.

When Captain America Throws His Mighty Shield...

I’d have said something, except I didn’t know who to root for, really. I mean, the Marines are an integral part of protecting our country, but the Hulk was an Avenger. The Avengers have saved the world a thousand times over. Tough call. What Would Captain America Do (WWCAD?)? Steve would probably hear both sides of the argument, being both a military man and an Avenger. I decided to let it go and let Cap sort it out. The Marine said something politely dismissive and went to sit with another bunch of Marines on the other side of the restaurant. I went back to reading.

I was seated next to the bathroom and once in a while somebody would go in or come out. I’d glance up and watch them go by. Every time I’d turn a page, I’d take a couple bites of food and go back to reading. I’d gone about three pages before somebody on the way to the bathroom stopped immediately in front of me, inches from my table.

I’m a reclusive type of person. My gut instinct told me this was trouble, so I pretended not to notice, but I kept shooting fearful glances up from my comic. All I saw were legs dressed in khaki pants. I was reading the same lines over and over again. The legs started shuffling in place, each foot coming off the floor only an inch or so. I became aware of a sound. “Oooooh… Hhhoooooohhhh… Hhhooooaawwwhhhh…”

I bit the bullet and looked up.

The man I saw was very old. He was using a walker – complete with tennis balls stuck to the legs – to get around. The walker even had a little seat built into it so he could sit when he was too tired to walk. The man wasn’t looking at me. He was facing away, shuffling from foot to foot and moaning. Well what the fuck is going on here, I thought.

Well, I found out what the fuck was going on there when I noticed the dark stain spreading down the inside leg of his khakis. I was watching an old man piss himself.

WWCAD?

I took a quick inventory: Keys, Blackberry, iPod, Wizard’s Purse, wallet. I didn’t have a shield to throw at anybody. Even if I did, I doubt it would be very helpful. I decided that WWCAD? would not help in this situation. I needed help from an outside source. What about the old man’s wife? I’d made note of him earlier, shakily holding a fork, eating with the help of his wife a few minutes earlier. I could go find her and tell her what was going on. Was that the proper social protocol? What if she told me to mind my own business? I’d look like a jerk. I looked around at the people sitting near me. Nobody else seemed to notice his predicament. I could offer to help him, but that would just call attention to him. I’d just add to his humiliation. Aside from that, I’m to squeamish to deal with a pissy old man.

Pictured left to right: Not me, the old man that pissed himself at Golden Corral.

The social responsibilities began to build up and conflict with one another. I spent two years after high school as an ambulance worker. My training told me to help those in need, but I had no clue how to help without making things worse. My altruism was completely at odds with my vow to keep patients’ needs private.

Ultimately, I decided to cut my losses and run. This was too much for me. Possibly too big of a job for Captain America and the Avengers. I could do nothing. It’s best to just let sleeping dogs piss themselves in public. I collected my things, dropped a couple bucks on the table as a tip, and headed for the door.

On my way out, something caught my eye. It was a Hispanic family sitting at a table near the cash register. The mother and father were sitting on one side of the table, the kids on the other, strapped into booster seats. One boy and one girl. They couldn’t have been much older than 3 or 4, possibly twins. The girl distracted me. She was laughing like a maniac, waving her arms in the air. I was trying to see what she was laughing at when the father of the family locked eyes with me.

He smiled and winked.

That was all it took to convince me that this scene wasn’t for me. I’d never been winked at by a stranger before. A wink says “You’re in on the secret. Just play along,” and I wanted no part in this conspiracy. I got to my car in the parking lot and drove back to the office.

I’ve told this story to everyone I know. I’ve gone back to that restaurant a few times, but I’ve never gone back alone. I just wish I could share a similar experience with another person. More and more I’ve come to realize the spectacles I witnessed there were subject to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Hear me now, friends, and believe.

Believe that buffets are full of weird-ass people.

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The Funniest Video I’ve Ever Seen

Posted in animals, dogs, happy birthday on June 16, 2010 by Samuel K the Best

I discovered this video a couple years ago. I will share it here.

A bored looking dog wearing a party hat is harassed by a rooster while a lady with a funny accent joyously screams at him and a MIDI of “Happy Birthday” blares in the background.

I think that’s probably what Heaven is like.