If Tinder Profiles Were More Than 500 Characters: Pt. 3

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Part 1 Part 2

You:

-Hold my hair back when I puke

-Gives honest thoughts on my writing

-Are up to blow off work one Thursday to go to Navy Pier but happen to run into your boss when drunk walking down the boardwalk. You duck behind a Red Eye paper dispenser while I walk over to distract him, kind of like Julia Styles in 10 Things I Hate About You, only I keep my clothes on but would flash as a last resort.

-Thinks swing dancing in New Orleans is one hell of a vacation

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I:

-Can flip eggs without a spatula

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Pretty fair trade if I don’t say so myself.

So I Told This Joke Once…

We should’ve just stayed outside the Irish Pub after last call. It would have made everything easier. I wouldn’t be standing in front of these two girls and their six guy friends, trying to calm down this race war. The tension was like a reverse Native Son situation. Last time I share a joke about a skirt on McKinney ave.

I should’ve seen it coming though. I’m part of the most disposable group of humans. A born Lex Luther everyone loves to hate. According to Rastafarians, I’m the definition of evil. If I was a cop they would riot against me. Apparently I should just accept the societal definition that I’m a raping racist who’s tries to buy his way out of everything. It’s fucked up when you don’t even feel like you fit in where everyone says you should.

But look, I get it. It’s wasn’t the best way to start a conversation, and I should’ve done a better job of reading the room. Lesson learned. It doesn’t matter the original joke I wanted to share was about a privileged BMW princess. This girl just heard what she wanted to hear. She took out all the words of the sentence and just heard “Trash” and flexed her southern muscle.

A couple years back, I would have tried to plead. I’d tell her how my girl is Black, or how I was one of five blonde hair, blue eyed, people living in Miami. But that shit is stupid. The reality is that I’m not arguing with facts. I’m fighting with old memories of high school of thinking you’re not enough. I’m fighting with jealousy of not getting into college you wanted. I’m fighting with the anger of not getting bothered by police officers on a more frequent places. I’m fighting with the constant media stream that reinforces every type of negative stereotype.

Never mind that I grew up in a trailer park and have cigarette scars from my dad. Never mind I grew up in a small town where I had regular run in with the law because my hair was cut in a blue mohawk. Never mind I got picked on for wearing pants that didn’t fit me because they were my brothers. Never mind the media tells me I need to move completely out of the way for everyone else now that I worked hard to barely make the middle class. All that shit is irrelevant.

Trust me, I’m aware. I understand it better than most. The whole world is fucked up. It’s a random chaotic sting of events and most people only care about the shit that directly effects them. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about you, or any of those things that happened to you in your childhood. I just wanted the opportunity to share my humor and try to brighten your day. It’s not just your point of view out there. We’re all scared. We’re all insecure. Everyone is a lot more alike than different. We all feel the same emotions, but justify them differently because the situation is unique to us. It’s kind of funny when you think about it.

All I’m trying to say is, next time hear the whole fucking joke before you crucify me.

The Networking Event

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A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go to a Networking Event with her.

A Networking Event.

I don’t mind meet and greets, nor do I mind conventions. But a Networking Event? These words alone make my testicles shrivel up. Leave it to the Millennial Generation to design some bullshit ritual like this. We’re so busy that we have to designate a time and place for us to ask the simple question “What do you do for a living?” We can’t just be polite at the train stop or airport bar. No.

We have to go to some hotel lounge to brag about what we do for 10 hours of the day and hand out business cards, so they don’t collect dust on the shelf. It’s like a High School reunion for successful people, except you didn’t go to school with any of them. What the hell? One night every ten years isn’t good enough for these people? They chase success like a junkie because the feeling of owning an E class Benz is better than a C class. Fucking Millennials.

This thing sounds awful. I have to pay 15 bucks to get a name tag that has my name and my company on it. I also get a complementary free drink in which I have to wait in a Black Friday sized line for a small Dixie cup of Mohawk Vodka and Cranberry Juice. During the line, Dan Scott from a Pharmaceutical company, will try to impress my friend Erin by telling her he just won the March Salesman contest, while he sneaks mental shots of her cleavage. I guess I can’t blame him, she is quiet endowed in that category.

I heard back in the 70’s the Grateful Dead got invited to a party at the Playboy Mansion, they didn’t want to go to. Jerry, Phil, and the rest played bartender and spiked the cups with Acid. All the Bunnies were tripping their skimpy skirts off. Even though I hate psychedelics, it still sounds like my kind of party. I want to see how these people act when something they didn’t plan for happens. That’s when you really find out if someone worth being in your network.

Anyways, I’m going to go because she said the place had good burgers, so there’s that.

 

 

The Dead Man

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This is a story about a dead man, although he’s not dead yet. That part happens later.

No, at the beginning he was driving his new Porsche down the Florida Turnpike and I was sitting next to him. We’re really getting after it. I mean we were weaving in and out of cars like Dominic Toretto. We were going so fast, I could barely hear Journey over the sound of the wind. The palm trees dropped out the rear view mirror like Paul Bunyan was working. That fast!

Now, I’m from Idaho. We don’t drive like this. Even when I lived in Miami, I didn’t drive like this. I fit in with all the other snow birds going 65 in the middle lane. So here I am in the passenger’s seat, just clutching the ‘Oh Shit Handle’-begging the Dead Man to slow down. But he laughed and kept on cruising. Hey, that’s the Dead Man for you.

We met years back at a car show when I lived here. I held an unlit cigarette in my hand while I scoped out this GTO. It was a gorgeous machine. The dead man came up to admire and asked me if I have a light. We talk about the car for a few hours, and the next thing I know, we’re meeting up for drinks once a week. I meet his family, and he gets invited to my wedding. Sometimes you just click with people.

Anyways that day in the Porsche, I was just visiting. The dead man really wanted me to come down. He said he had to see in me in person for this one. Needless to say, I was shocked when he showed up in the 911 Porsche at the airport. That was his dream car! I couldn’t believe he bought it! I jumped in and we took off down the Highway.

“So you hungry Jeff?” the Dead Man said.

“Yea, I’m starving,” I said.

We exited the highway and I finally let go of the roof handle. I guess I felt safe with the slower pace of traffic or something. We drove around looking for a good spot when I saw a Halal Guys. I couldn’t wait anymore. We had to stop. At that point, I was way past the stomach growls. The Dead Man just shook his head and we pulled over.

Now at the restaurant he started acting a little funny. It’s like he’s got something to say but there’s a clog going on upstairs. His blue eyes start shifting around and he starts using his hands a lot to talk. Finally I say something.

“You doing okay man?”

“Not really, I got something to tell you.” He took a deep breath.

“I have stage three lung cancer.”

Wow. I mean talk about out of left field. The Dead Man and I talk a couple times a month. This never came up once. It’s like I didn’t even know the man, and he gave the toast at my wedding! I wanted to ask him all the usual worry questions, but what came out wasn’t anything close.

“So, is that why you bought the Porsche?”

He laughed. He had that kind of laugh that made it okay not to answer the question. We finished our lunch but it was quiet. I don’t even think the fans in restaurant were on anymore. We got back in the 911 and took off down the highway. Hauling ass of coarse.

This time on the Turnpike was different . I didn’t grab the overhead handle like before. The speed was just an afterthought. I didn’t even flinch when a little custom Civic tried to play with us. I mean I should’ve. Looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t say anything. It’s completely unlike me. Maybe if I did, the scene would’ve been different. But then again, maybe not.

The Civic pulled up to our left and honked. The driver flipped us off and juiced it.  The dead man just smiled and the 911 chased after him. I flew back in the seat. I’m pretty sure my eyes were glued open. As we caught up to him, the Dead Man started flipping him off. And that’s the last thing I remember before the crash.

After that, I woke up in hospital bed wearing a gown and covered in stitches. My wife was beside me. She grabbed my hand and told me everything. How the semi truck in the left lane next to us blew a tire. How it fishtailed into our lane. How the custom Civic driver saw the whole thing and called 911. And finally, she told me how Jerry was thrown from the driver side window,

and was pronounced dead.