Friday, December 26, 2008

An Awkward Christmas Week

-I can't handle this weather anymore. First it gets unbelievably cold, then it gets horribly windy, then the snow starts, then the snow freezes, then the streets and roads are full of ice. Now I have a horrible cold, my nose is running like Niagara Falls and I'm coughing up a lung, while I'm slipping around on the sidewalks like a fat kid on roller skates. Why do we even put up with this?

-My parents adopted a new dog a few months ago. My wonderful dog Barney, passed away last year. The new dog is very cute. He's a 12 pound, terrier/lapsa apsa mix named Pepper. He's very playful, loving and already obsessed with my parents. One night I was over at the house, playing with Pepper. He enjoys playing with his stuff animal Froggie. Basically the concept of the game is that you throw Froggie, Pepper chases after it, and then you have to try and wrangle Froggie away from his mouth. So we are playing the game and Pepper runs over to my parents who are lying on the couch. He drops Froggie onto the ground and sits right by it. I slowly walk towards him, like I'm going to take away Froggie. He stares at me, like he knows we're just playing a game. Out of nowhere, he lunges at me like a speeding bullet and attacks me. This dog lunged at me so fast, I had no time to dodge him. This little shit, bites me on my right leg. It was right on the top of my leg, parallel to my crocth area. So in other words, he was about a few centimeters from biting me in the family jewels. Pepper, if you're reading this, you better look over your shoulder the next time you're walking down a dark alley. Word!

-Speaking of dogs, I saw the movie "Marley and Me" recently... The movie was so-so, a little too slow for my liking. I'll admit it was a bit of a tear jerker. I did not cry, but I came close a few times. I think the last time I cried during a movie was when I was six and saw the "Karate Kid" Jennifer Anniston is amazingly hot, but boy she a boring actress. Okay, she was decent in "Office Space" because of brilliant writing, but otherwise she has pretty much been brutal in everything else. If there is one movie to see right now, it's "Slumdog Millionaire." I wasn't looking forward to seeing it, but all I can say is wow! That's one heck of a film.

-This past Saturday night I was going to my GF's friend birthday party at some trendy club. So when we gave our names to the pompous doorman, he asked us which party are we here for. The girl's name was Liz Hurley. To brighten the doorman's mood, I decided to make a little funny and say "But not the actress unfortunately." After I made the joke, the doorman looked at me with a blank expression and replied, "Did it take you all day to come up with that one?" I'm not saying it was a hilarious joke, where he should of been rolling on the ground laughing, but the A-Hole, didn't have to make me a feel like stupid douche. I mean where are the effort points? That's all I'm saying.

-I had this temp job the other day where I worked as a greeter for a real estate company. They where showing a condo and needed me there in case two different people came to look at the place the same time. Because of the weather and the holiday week, nobody unfortunately came to look at the condo. And I brought nothing to read or do for the whole day. They had a few random books on the shelf and so I started reading the Regis Philbin Biography written in 1995. And that's what I did for seven full hours. Mr. Obama, for the love of God, please help this economy!

I went to a Sister Hazel concert recently. I think they're a great underrated band. But why do other people have to ruin the concert for me? Who started the whole pump your arm in the air and almost hit the person in the face behind you? I could see if we were at a Metallica concert, but this Sister Hazel. People don't need to be waving their arms around like a psychotic Orangutan. And this older couple, is standing right next to me. During one of my favorite ballads "Champagne High," this gray hair, 50 year-old guy decides to yell out the whole song word for word in my ear. It totally hampered my ability to hear the real song. People, next time you go to a concert, enough with the spastic arm movements and the karaoke. There's a reason why there on that stage singing that song and your in the audience watching them next to me.

I'm Out!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Come On Ride, the CTA Train... Woo! Woo!

Chicago is a wonderful city and has a lot to offer. It's affordable, great food, fun night life, corrupt Governors and it's accessible. Between the "L" Trains, Buses, and Taxis it is very easy to get around the city. At the same time the convenient transportation has its negatives.

On a Saturday evening, my GF and I were traveling up north to Lincoln Park to meet some friends for dinner. You would think a few stops on the red line and then a transfer to the brown line would be an easy 25 minute task. But as we've learned throughout the years, nothing in the awkward chronicles world is easy. The first step was to walk from our condo to the red line. This usually is a short walk that takes five minutes. With the blustery winds, spitting ice rain drops, and overall cold temperature the walk felt like it was an hour. It was so nasty out, I almost felt like I was about to throw up. When I saw the sign for the red line, I thought I was walking towards heaven. (Which in reality would consist of rainbow sprinkles, muppets, and breasts.)

We walk down the steps to get on the train. Right before we hit the turn-styles to swipe our CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) cards, there is a homeless guy arguing with one of the CTA workers. Not a big deal, seen it before, but its nothing you like to see. We wait for the train... I'm always a big fan of walking way down the concourse, that way the train won't be as crowded when you get on it since the majority of people are lazy. The train comes and we get on a car that is not too crowded. We sit down and enjoy the ride. Not so fast... The train has a horrid, dispicalbe vomit smell. Not just a standard vomit smell, that I can tolerate. I'm talking about a mega nastry, vile, stench smell so bad, that would make horse manure seem like a perfume. People are on the train had to literally cover up their noses. I'm not trying to point figures, but there was a homeless man sitting a few seats in front of us. After an extensive investigation, we came to the conclustion that his feet were the source of the vomit smell. My GF could not tolerate the smell any longer, so we had to change cars at the next stop.

We change cars and get away from the heinous stench. Now we can comfortably enjoy the rest of the ride. Not so fast... A different homeless guy walks in and gives his 20 second plea for money. I do feel bad for the situation he is in, but given that I've been unemployed for the last few months I unfortunately have nothing to spare. The homeless man moves on to the next car. The train stops, a man gets on, and sits behind us while he talks on his cell phone. He is carrying a large garbage bag with lots of crap in it. I don't intend to be nosey, but when somebody talks really loud I have trouble blocking it out. So it appears this individual is talking to an ex-convict, who just got out of jail and is now homeless. The individual says, "I know your homeless, but I can't help you unless you got your papers in order. Do you have your Social Security Card? Your Birth Certificate? You gotz to have your papers."

So apparently what we have going on is a guy who has a ex-convict, homeless friend and the friend needs his help. The conversation takes a bit of a peculiar direction when the individual on the train starts asking more about his friend's background. "When you call, just ask for Allsion and tell her that I sent you. But they're not going to help you out, if you got shit on your background." I picture the ex-convict/homeless guy on the phone saying "What do you mean by shit?" The individual on the train replies, "Like have you ever killed anybody, raped anybody? Minor defenses are okay, but if you killed or raped anybody then you're in trouble.

As this very pleasant conversation is going on, all of the sudden there is an unbearable screeching sound going on that almost made my ears bleed. It was one of the worst sounds I've ever heard in my life. It was like the combination of fingernails on a chalkboard, going to the dentist, Fran Drescher Karaoke, and my parents making sweet love. (Okay, maybe I went a little far with the last one.) Apparently, the sound was from the train scraping against the tracks during one of its turns. After 30 seconds of this, the screeching sound died down, and it was time to pick-up from our delightful phone conversation.

The individual on the phone then says, "What about any sexual molestation? Because you might have to be around kids or something. Oh sorry man, I can't help you out then." So apparently this ex/convict/homeless friend on the phone, was able to pass the test with murder and rape. But when it came to sexual molestation, he surrendered in defeat. I don't know about you, but molesting always gets me too. As the conversation came to a close, it was finally time to get off and transfer trains. Fortunately, nothing else of importance occurred on the second train and we made it to Lincoln Park safely.

So the next time you want to complain about the CTA and the increase in rates, think twice about it. Make sure you enjoy the free amenities that come with it. Such as, the crazy guy arguing with the CTA worker, the smell of horrid vomit, pan-handlers asking for money, lovely phone conversations about murder, rape, and molestation, and random screeching sounds that will make you go deaf. I love the CTA!

I'm Out!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Jerry Springer Show

Since there is nothing of great importance for me to talk about this week, I've decided to go into the Awkward vault and share with you a story that happened about five years ago...

I had just graduated college with all the hopes, aspirations, and dreams in the world. I've always been very fond of the entertainment industry and knew that I wanted to write for TV/Film. To avoid moving to LA or New York, I thought why not and work for the "Jerry Springer Show." And that's what I did for about five months of my life. My position title was Production Intern. I thought this internship would open numerous doors for me in the industry. Even though the show had no writers, my naive self thought maybe I could be the first one. I can't say my five months at Springer were an enjoyable experience, but I can say that many interesting stories resulted from it.

We would normally fly the guests in the day before the show. The show paid for all the airfare, hotels, and food. The guests are not paid at all to come on the show. So when the guests fly in, the producers want them to be entertained and have a fun-filled day in Chicago. Because the happier the guests are, the more responsive they'll be to the producer, and the better the show will be. Many of these guests have never been to a big city like Chicago and to avoid them staying out of trouble, they need a chaperon. Any guesses of who that chaperon would be? It's not Jerry... It's not that Bald-Headed A-Hole, Steve Wilko.... It was me! Yes, I was given the great responsibility of entertaining these freaks for a whole day. We would take a lovely waltz down to Navy Pier, stroll down the Magnificent Mile, play at ESPN Sports Zone, or stop in at the House of the Blues. Now don't get me wrong, some of the guests I worked with were decent human beings; others, well, they were probably the worst human beings you have ever met in your life.

One day before the taping, I waddled over to the associate producer to find out what guests would be flying in. Her response to me was that the guests were transvestites and are "awesome!" I realize some you might enjoy transvestites and have friends or family that are ones, or even have fetishes about them. Me on the other hand, I'm kind of scared of them. When I found out the news about the transvestite guests, I was worried, devastated, frightened, and nauseous all at the same time. I thought of ways to get out of it, but there weren't anyway. The only possible way out, was probably to hold Jerry Springer hostage. And we all know that would not be good for business.

The transvestites fly-in to meet me and the rest of the staff. I had no idea what to expect as far as their looks. I'm not saying I have a tranny fetish, but I've seen some decent looking ones in my day. One's where if you were in a dimly lit night club and intoxicated, you could be easily fooled. The two transvestites enter and they are the ugliest creatures I have ever seen in my life. Not because they were ugly transvestites, they were just downright ugly men. One looked like Cookie the Clown from the Bozo Show and the other one had a beard. Ironically, the one with the beard's real name was Jason Biggs. Strangely enough the he/she kind of looked like the actor a little bit. I thought about bringing out an apple pie and seeing how this bearded creature would react. But I did not want to risk Jason Biggs getting anymore sexually riled up. I realize these transvestites were obviously pre-op, but if you are going to dedicate yourself to looking like a woman, I think you would at least shave off your facial hair. But what the hell do I know?

It was time for me to take Cookie the Clown and Jason Biggs to their hotel and check them in. I remember walking them to their room and being a little nervous. Here are theoretically two men who could easily have their way and gang-bang me if they chose to. I'm not sayin I'm some hot young piece of ass, but I'm do-able for an ugly tranny. I open the door to their room, because we have pratically do everything for these people. They follow me in and the door shuts. The room is pinched dark and I can't see a friggin thing. I start to panic to find a light switch before I get tossed on the bed like a rag doll. I swipe my hands across the wall furiously, hoping that I'll come across a light switch or even a fire alarm. Fortunately, I find the light switch and my clothes were still on. Even though it only took me a minute to find the switch, it felt like an eternity. I quickly ask if they are okay, they reply yes, and then I get the hell out of there.

I get back to the Springer office, hoping and praying that I'm done with them. But no, there's more. The associate producer tells me that I would be accompanying them to the House of Blues because they want to go out on the town. I gave a second thought to seriously holding Jerry hostage, but again I wussed out, so I go back to the hotel to meet with my buds Cookie and Jason. They are now all dolled and ready to party. They wear the tightest, sluttiest dresses, that I don't even think prostitutes would wear. And of course, they have piled on tons of perfume. We head over in a cab to the House of Blues. I walk in with the two scantily, ugly transvestites, and here I am wearing an Indiana gray hoodie. Can you tell which person doesn't belong? The whole place is literally silent. It was almost everything stopped at once. Every single person in the joint, is staring at us when their jaws dropped. And there had to be a good 50 people in there. I prayed to God, hoping that there was not one single person there that knew of my existence. I could just picture, somebody I grew up with having dinner at the HOB, wondering, "Hmmm, I wonder what that Jonno (Me) is up to these days." And then boom, here I walk in with the trannies. I could not handle the humiliation and awkwardness any longer. I knew I was suppose to stay with the trannies for a little bit and hang out with them. But I couldn't do it. I got them a table, made sure they were situated, and got the hell out of there.

I don't remember how the show went the next day, nor do I give a crap. All I know is that I will never forget Cookie the Clown and Jason Biggs. Their existence will forever be embedded into my brain. And I don't think I have ever been more scared in my life, than the one minute I was locked into that dark hotel room with them. I hope they are doing okay and maybe have shaved a little bit. Heck, maybe I can even reach out to them on facebook or something and we can reminisce about the Good Old Springer Days. If any of you or know anybody that have a desire to work for the Jerry Springer Show, my advice would be pretty simple... May God Bless You.

I'm Out!