Old School Soda

26 08 2009

Root Beer(Something Random)

 Jones Soda ™


ANNOUNCER: It’s hard being a genius, isn’t it? Your mind never just shuts up. It’s always this and that and the first 32 numbers of Pi. And you’d do just about anything to have a moment of silence, wouldn’t you? You’d even watch a kid show in some futile hope? Hope that the simplisty will overwhelm your mind, and shut-it-up! Only you start analyzing the bright colors and rapid movement and correlate it with childhood ADD. You just CAN’T find silence anywhere!

Well, genius, drink a Jones soda ™  and listen to the world shut up.



ANNOUNCER: The power of being delicious.


Of Nighttime Lawn Mowing and Murders

12 12 2008

This account is of a mysterious affair involving my curious  neighbors who smile too much and find life mottoes in Donnie Darko. (Now the real question is, is this story true? Is my life really this peculiar? )

1:56 am – There’s a dog howling somewhere, and its loud.  I shove my head under my pillow, hating dogs. But the howl is still there, loud and obnoxious. It then takes me a full minute to realize it’s my dog howling. Ah, for crap’s sake! “Shut up!”

2:14 am– Mom’s up. The dog hasn’t shut up and Mom’s furious. She storms out of her room, sheets following from their haphazard grip on her jim-jams. “I’m gonna kill her!” she roars. There’s a crash shortly after and we’ve lost another lamp. Then the back door opens, the dog’s out, and Mom’s swearing.

Just a typical night.

2:36 am – The dog wants in, and she’s letting everyone know. I’m up before Mom is, as we can’t afford any more lamps. Once the dog’s in, I shut the door. But then I open it. And shut it again. Then I open it. My dog goes to Mom’s room – she thinks I’m nuts. But I’m not. Or maybe I am. Because it sounded like someone was mowing their lawn. What the hell?

2:42 am – I finally go outside. It’s dark, it’s cold, and full of nighttime noises – such as lawn mowing. I follow the noise, like a typical idiot in a horror flick. I did, however, grab the hose Mom left out earlier. I’ll just spray whatever it is, so hopefully it’s a alien from Signs. They’re allergic to water, you know.

Turns out, it’s my neighbor. Shame, I love to fight aliens. Probably the closest I’ll ever get to Doctor Who(unless I start stalking David Tennant). Surprisingly, my neighbor (a middle-aged fat man, who looked rather like a carrot with legs) waves and smiles at me (as if this was a common occurrence). I stare in response.

2:48 am – He stops the lawn mower and meanders over to the fence. “Yo, you awake?” Maybe I should spray him with the hose. I nod instead. “Good, good. Shame I’m not a rabbit, eh?” I nod again. “You sure you awake?”

“It’s almost 3,” I say instead. “And you’re mowing.” He shrugs and murmurs about keeping the grass short. I swallow. You know that movie, Disturbia? It has Shia LeBouf and that man (I can never remember his name) who was in The Rock with Sean Connery and was in House, M.D.as Tritter (3rd season). Anyway, the murderer in the movie mowed his grass everyday – so not to ruin is underground graveyard foundation. Well crap.

“You know you sleep walk out here all the time, right?” I knew I slept walk, I didn’t know I left the house. My jim-jams are suddenly hot and sticky on body. “Do you remember what you see?” I swallow. I shake my head. He looks … relieved. “Good, good – well, back inside with you. Bare feet, you’ll catch your death.”

I tighten my hold on the hose. “Sure. Say ‘hey’ to the misses for me.’

“Ah, I would but she’s gone. Dead, you know. Last week.” I can’t help it, my eyes flicker to the large and full tarp spread out in his backyard’s corner. That appeared a week ago.

“Oh, sorry. Really.” He shrugs and says something about her being a ‘nag.’ Oh god, he murdered his wife. “Well, goodnight.”

3:11 am – I can’t sleep. My jim-jams are still hot and stuffy and sticky. My head hurts too. I’m overacting, I know. He couldn’t have murdered his wife. Well, he could’ve, but still, I was assuming. But I was also sleep walk, at night and outside, near him. A murderer – wait, no. Not a murderer. Just a strange neighbor who mows at night.

I’m overacting. I need to sleep.

4:48 am – The dog’s howling again. I’m up in a flash. She only howls when she sees someone. We back up to a alleyway, so we never worry. But I do now. Seeing how my neighbor was creepy. I shush her but she doesn’t stop. She’s not that cool of a dog. So I push her back and slip outside by myself. Yeah, hello first idiotic victim of the horror slasher flick.

But I find something curious for all my stupidity. My neighbor has opened the back gates of his fence, which he couldn’t do with the grass being too high. Uh-oh. And he’s backed up his truck into the backyard. And he’s loading up the tarp, which has fallen around the hidden object – is that the shape of a body or just me? 

I watch, expecting an arm or leg to flop out. Nothing does. But clearly the object was heavy, judging from his labored breathing. And his wife had been pretty heavy – she’d looked rather like a peach in a too tight corset.

“Yo, dude, you up again?” Shit, he’s seen me. And I didn’t have my hose. I merely nod. “Your dog, right? ‘Eard her out here. You ought to nuzzle her at night.” I nod again. “Well, what’s up?”

Did you murder your wife? “Nuttin’, everything OK?” He smiles and nods. He says he doesn’t need help and I need to go back to bed. He literally flaps his hands, shooing me away. That’s cool, he clearly doesn’t want to kill me. I’m OK with that.

“Night.” We say in near unison.

6:46 am – I wake up in the kitchen, sprawled rather unbecomingly. Mom’s standing over me, frowning. “You’re sleep walking again.” No, I just like sleeping on cold tile floor. “I’ll have to gate the back door and front door then.” Yeah, because I’m just another dog. “Go to bed.” Why does everyone send me to bed like I’m 3 again?

“Yeah, right – hey, the neighbor’s wife – you know she died?” Mom nods, looking tired and mildly nuts (she takes a shitload of medicine at night for her M.S. and Lupus, so she’s never really sane to begin with). “How’d she died?”

“Dunno, a blow to the head or something. I think she fell in the shower.” Yeah, because that happens everyday.

Crap, my neighbor’s a murderer! I retire to bed, but I can’t sleep. If my neighbor’s a murderer, do I say something? I mean, he’ll probably just kill me but he was so nice to not do so earlier. Uggh, I just don’t know!

Whatever, Mom will put up the gates tomorrow and hopefully that’ll keep me away. If his wife comes back dressed like a rabbit though, I’m calling the police. I don’t want to mess with any jets or whatever Donnie deals with.

The Grim Reaper’s Neighbor

20 10 2008

Growing up, I had a myriad of strange neighbors. From the angry magician with the shotgun (he’d do a magic trick for you then run you off his property),to the family that didn’t speak English (I almost blew my hand off with a firecracker at their house), and to the typical recluse with too many cats (he’d only venture out to spook children that would ding-dong-ditch him), we had everyone in our neighborhood.

We even had the Grim Reaper.

He wasn’t the recluse with too many cats and he wasn’t the angry magician, he was just my next-door neighbor. A man fun to ding-dong-ditch and the one who always gave out the best candy on Halloween. He was nice, in an aloof sort of way, but he was odd. Almost in a creepy way, when I think back on it.

 He was always there whenever something happened. My mom can tell dozens of stories of him walking me home when I was hurt or just after I’d gotten into trouble.

And that’s the creepy part about him and everything else. Whenever I was hurt, no matter where I was in the neighborhood, he was there. For no reason at all; he was just there.

It wasn’t until I was older and I had moved away that I began to refer to my neighbor as the Grim Reaper. Or rather, my friend suggested the idea when I told her about him.

See, there was this one time when I was out in the woods (behind my friend’s house) by myself. I had gone to work on our tree-house, which hadn’t taken the last thunderstorm too well. It was wet and humid and no one knew were I was exactly. Mom thought I was with my friend, and my friend thought I was with my Mom. No big deal. I was 8, I could handle myself.

That is, until one of the floorboards (which had rotted out over the years) gave out on me and I fell. Now, I’d fallen millions of times – that was part of being a kid. But I’d never fallen out of our tree-house, which was pretty high up, through a dozen little branches (which all snapped when I hit them) and landed on my shoulder (nearly my neck/head).

It hurt. I mean, it hurt bad. I couldn’t even breath it’d hurt so much. I couldn’t move either, which will freak anyone out (especially an 8-year-old kid).

This is where the story gets strange. The fall had dislocated my shoulder and my position was jamming it back up into my neck. There’s a couple of more technical things which had happened but I don’t remember them. The point is, the way I was laying and because of the state and position of my shoulder, I was strangling myself. (Or something to that effect.)

I don’t remember much, just a lot of burning pain in my throat, shoulder, and hungs. My head was wozzy too, and my nose felt like water had gone up it.

And then he, my neighbor, the Grim Reaper, was there. Out of nowhere, for no reason, he was just there. I hadn’t screamed, remember I couldn’t even breath, and no one knew I was out there…but he was there. He rolled me around, jostled my shoulder rather painfully, and then picked me up. (Obviously Death wasn’t a Medic, or he wouldn’t’ve done that).

I obviously hadn’t died but the doctor, at the ER, said I had come damn close to. But why was my neighbor there? The treehouse was in the woods behind my friends house, which is clear across the neighborhood from his house. And I wasn’t on the edge of the woods but a good ways in – you couldn’t see the house from the treehouse. I hadn’t screamed, because I couldn’t. And he’s wasn’t exactly out hiking in my friend’s backyard…

I hadn’t thought about it until my friend brought it up, but it was creepy. Who was this neighbor? Why did he find me that night? How did he find me? And why was he always there, just watching me? I can’t remember a time when I didn’t get hurt outside that he wasn’t there.

Maybe he was a guardian angel or maybe he was Death. But guardian angels aren’t supposed to be creepy and look like skeletons (he was really tall and skinny). But Death’s not supposed to protect you from dying…

Or maybe I just have nine lives. Whatever the reason, my neighbor looked like the Grim Reaper and, according to my friends (and me, I guess), acted oddly (almost like a confused Grim Reaper). Maybe he just liked me, he did always give me candy corn and none of my friend…

I don’t know though but I do know I had some odd neighbors. Everyone does, right?

The Chaos

6 09 2008

ATTENTION! We’ve breaking news – the year has gone and gotten lost! Yes, lost. And now, having lost structure, time is collapsing; years are bombarding each other, months are going rapid, weeks are smutty, and days are off floundering around.

Europe has lost the night, Brazil claims to be selling saviors that look suspiciously like mongooses, Coach believes that purses can talk, New York has turned to the left of Vermont, and Hawaii is swimming away.

Superman lost the ability to fly, mid-flight, and his body hasn’t been found. Sherlock Holmes has been kidnapped by Auguste Duplin. King Arthur fell through the White Rabbit’s hole, colliding into a bemused William Shakespeare. Together they trotted off, in search of the golden ticket, and haven’t been seen since.

Other people have gone missing, ones not worthy enough to be mentioned, and others, non-existent before, have appeared. Yet, impossibly, all those from the lost year have somehow faded in and out of existence, speaking but not speaking, warning but joking.

Captain Nemo is caught under the sea, covered by thousands of octopuses that are dying for his autograph. Don Quixote is trying to gather up protégés while insisting that a decree is pursued to put all windmills under house arrest.

Days are awkwardly missing at times. Wednesday is fascinated with Norway and usually Friday has to bring it back. Tuesday and Thursday are often caught dancing in wishing wells, and Monday talks non-stop. Sunday and Saturday have run off together and a search party organized by March is pricking and prodding through Iron Man’s liar.

September freed Professor Plum and Miss Scarlett from Clue and Christmas keeps chasing them off from Monopoly.

Doctor Who has come and gone, seeing the situation as unsalvageable. Harry Potter joined with Bella from Twilight to find Mr. Darcy, who ran away with August.

And January has decided to run off the world’s edge – a suicide that brings the world skidding to a halt.


And so the world ended, not with a bang but a whimper (just as T.S. Eliot predicted).



Waking Up Ridiculously Early…(redone)

28 08 2008

Suppose it was peeps (the marshmallow, sugary delights you get around Easter, notyour friends) that caused it all. Might’ve been the head cold too, but those are really meant for whinging and thinking on things better not thought about. But, well, suppose it was the peeps and only the peeps.

And, unfortunately, life’s kicked in too. You’ve got a job now, might not be one you wanted or particularly care for, but you’re making money (and sometimes that’s all that matters). And you have to get up early, really early. Not 10 or 9, or even 8, but 7 and 6, sometimes 5:30 (if the moon’s full or Doctor Who’s back on air) Which has led to the gruesome discovery of repetitive hours in the day and that’s bloody horrible.

Well, all’s fair in slumber and jobs (or reality, depending on how old you’ve gotten – or jaded), and now you’ve an annoying alarm, a new towel (as Douglas Adams always recommends) that’s meant for longer days, and a job, with money. And that’s the crime there, the money.

Supposing you had no money, well, then you couldn’t buy things. You wouldn’t be waking up ridiculously early either and that’s a key fact too (but something better pondered when you’ve a head cold). And if you can’t buy things then you wouldn’t have bought the peeps (in all their yellowly, sugary goodness) – unless, of course, you stole then but again, that’s better pondered with a head cold.

But, sad as it is, you’ve got money, you bought the peeps, and you have to wake up ridiculously early to go to work for something you may or may not care about.

So, it the first 6 o’clock of the day, the real first problem, and you’ve not quite had your morning drink yet – coffee, tea, soda, alcohol – meaning you’re half asleep, and those peeps were bright, and yellow, and stale (seeing how you opened them last night and they never keep for more than a few hours) and, well, it pissed you off.

Best to melt them, you think. It’ll teach them, being so chipper in the morning when its too bloody early. And you put them in the microwave…


There goes the microwave, murdered into pieces and covered in sweet stuff. Part of the counter is gone too. And a part of the floor’s caught on fire. Oh, and no more drapes, there nice and crisp now (they were a gift anyway, so no worries). Whoops, there’s the fire alarm – that’ll wake the neighbors. And you’ve lost your eyebrows.

But, tell you what, those peeps are bloody gone and that’s all that matters, what with it being so ridiculously early and all.