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The Day of Thirty and Five Fifteens

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always a pretty normal holiday at my fambly’s household. Pies would bake, dinner rolls would burn, my dad would spill boiling turkey juice on his bare feet, and I, despite having never gone to a single church service in my life, would force my family to bow their heads in silence as I led a weirdo prayer about God and arrowheads. Nothing too notetwerthy.

In fact, my most memorable Thanksgiving didn’t even happen on Thanksgiving. It happened a few days later, on what I call “The Day of Thirty and Five Fifteens.”

The Day of Thirty and Five Fifteens

In 2008, my cousins Ira and Holly hosted Thanksgiving, and they did a right fine jarb. There were all the makings of a good Thanksgiving: family, babies, turkey, and sturdy crackers. We talked and played and laughed and did all the things you’re supposed to do on a national holiday. It was fun! Everything was great!

And the greatness continued the next day. My cousin Petey and I woke up early Friday morning for our first ski trip of the season. We left the house around 6 a.m. and drove the two hours to Sunday River. We suited up in our suits, chairlifted up the mountain, and skied down one trail. Then we smiled and high-fived each other and clapped. Then we packed up and drove the two hours back home.

Thang was, I wasn’t feeling so hot.

Actually, I felt the opposite of so hot; I felt craptastic. Craptastic enough that on the drive home, we had to pull over at a gas station so I could run in and break my 10-year puke-free streak. You know what’s unfun? Throwing up in a public bathroom. You know that’s especially unfun? Destroying the one thing you’re proud of, like a 10-year no-vomit record.

Shaking his fist at me n mah stank smells

When we finally got back to my house, after a ride of rolled down windows (by that I mean I farted a whole lot), I learned my mom and sister were sick, too. Apparently, we’d all caught the same bug our baby cousins had had a few days earlier. It sucked, but after a day of rest, a few bowls of chicken noodle soup, and some soda on the side, I was fine. Fine, at least, until the Day of Thirty and Five Fifteens, which happened after I’d returned to college.

Since the day I threw up in a gas station bathroom, I’d been perfectly healthy. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday all passed without incident. So, as I’m sure you’d understand, I didn’t expect Wednesday to be any different. And so, as I’m sure you’d also understand, when I burped a burp smelling of sulphur, rotten eggs, and human poop, I blamed it on the Golden Grahams I’d eaten for breakfast and headed to Writing for Mass Media class.

About four burps into class, my friend Owen whispered sweetly in my ear.

Owen: Daaaayummm. Smell dat? Someone keeps farting in this bitch.

Me: I… I think it’s me. Me burps. I think it’s me burps!

Owen: No, fool! Can’t you smell it? It’s a fart. The smelliest fart smell I’ve ever smelled. It smells so bad it’s scary.

Me: Um… I really think it might be me. I feel a burp coming. Here, let me do it straight in your face so you can tell for sure.

(I burp in his face.)

Owen: Oh my God. It is you. Do it again, it’s incredible. P.S. YA SICK.

And Owen was right — I was sick. Really sick. By 5 p.m., my belly had doubled in size with gas and angry stanks. My appetite was fine, though, so for dinner I ate a cheeseburger, fries, chocolate cake, and a Coke. As a result, my belly quadrupled in size by 6 p.m. and I was stankier and more uncomfortable than ever.

Which is unfortunate, because 6 p.m. was also the time of the college radio meeting — my first meeting as promotions director. Know what promotions directors have to do at college radio meetings? Speak. In front of tens of people!

What I did at that meeting doesn’t even count as public speaking. I could tell you about how I was completely hunched over, or how all I did was grunt, or how I couldn’t help but leak a few fartburps. All you really need to know, though, is that my pants were unzipped and unbuttoned. The whole time.

Then, when it was over, I went back to my dorm and pooped 30 times and let out five 15-second farts.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Why you shouldn’t let me watch your cats/your home/anything you care about

My aunt Patsy, who lives in Florida, visited my family in RI a month or two ago. She spent most of her two days with us drinking wine, talking freaky about Tiki Barber and Spongebob, and hinting she’d like me to babysit her cats when she and my uncle Bob traveled to Ireland in November.

Patsy: Oh it’d be great if you’d babysit the kids when we go to Ireland. I’m so worried about my cat children. Niece of mine, I sure would appreciate it, niece.

Me: Aw heeeeeell nah. NEVA DAT!

Actually, I didn’t said, “NEVA DAT,” but I sure was thinking it. Nothing sounded less fun than going to Florida for more than a week, by myself, to scoop kitty litter and serve gelatinous, fishy stanking food to a couple of cats I’d never met. Still, I didn’t want to be a biz to Patsy, so I just didn’t respond whenever she brought the subject up. She’d ask if I’d watch her cats, I’d distract her with a picture of Tiki. She never got an answer out of me.

I later learned that Patsy named her black cat "Tiki." They have a special relationship.

About a month after Patsy visited, she e-mailed my mom to ask, again, if I’d watch her cats when she and her husband went to Ireland. This time, I gave it a little more thought. While the weather at home was getting shizzy, Florida would still be warm. I’d be kinda close to Miami, maybe I’d run into Rick Ross and he’d explain how to correctly use the phrase “NEVA DAT.” Plus, Patsy spelled my name “Ally” in the e-mail to my mom; she might not know me, but I was going to make damn sure her “kids” did. I accepted.

I got to her house in Fort Lauderdale last Monday. I was greeted with pee on the bed, two litter boxes filled to the brim with cat business, and random nuggets of throw up and poop around the house. After nearly 12 hours of traveling, I spent the next 60 minutes cleaning up cat nasties.

And I’ve since spent the past week cleaning up cat nasties. As I mentioned in my last post, Patsy’s cats, Tiki and Eli, are disgusting assholes. They’re mean, they’re poopy, and they’re demanding. They’re like dumb babies, except evil and barely cute. And they made me miss the birth of a real baby — a smart and nice and super adorable one — my nephew Tyson.

Can't wait to meet this little dude

And Patsy’s not even paying me well for my cat services! Besides the flight, she left me $80 for food/gas for nine days — about $8/day, an opened bag of Whoppers and Milk Duds, and two gifts she described as “crap I’ll throw away if you don’t take 🙂 — keep if you want!”

For a love of America and patriotism

I can tell she put a lot of thought into this gift

One good thing about my trip is my aunt and uncle don’t live together during the week. Patsy lives in Fort Lauderdale, while my uncle has a condo in the Keys. He left me directions and a set of keys to his place, and I decided to go there last Friday. I packed up an overnight bag, left the bastards some extra cat food, grabbed a fluffy white towel out of Patsy’s secret stash (she left out two threadbare ones fa me), and went down to the Keys.

My mood improved as soon as I got there. My uncle’s place was bright and clean and had a bombass ocean view. The beach was a five minute walk away, the pool was right across the parking lot, and there was even a bike I could use! I was deliriously happy.

No, furreal, I was delirious with happiness. At least that’s how I justify the dumbassness of what I did next.

When I walked into the kitchen, I noticed a handwritten note on the counter. On it, there were detailed instructions on how to water the plants. The two big potted plants got 2/3 a large container of water, the small one got 1/2 a large container, and the fern in the sink got a “good soaking” from the faucet. At the bottom of the note, it said “Plants watered Nov. 3 – Bill.”

I assumed that meant my uncle Bill wanted the plants watered on November 3rd. So, when I looked at my watch and saw it was already November 4th, I got to watering right away. As I filled up container after container of water, I thought about the note a little bit more. Bill didn’t even know for sure that I was going to come here — what if I never did, and his plants died of lack of water? Would that be my fault? He’d never mentioned it! Imagine if I’d accidentally killed them!

I didn’t give it any more thought; at least, not until I finished watering, walked to the bathroom to change, and stepped into a huge puddle. When I looked for the source of the water, I saw it was running out from the edge of one of the big potted plants. It was overflowing out the butt.

In fact, it turns out every plant I watered was overflowing out the butt. Water was all over the counter, all over the floor, all over everything. Somehow, the overflowing water from the fern plant even clogged the sink. Within ten minutes of being at my uncle Bill’s, every surface of his perfect little condo was underwater.

Starting with the counter, I grabbed paper towels to soak up what I could. At the same time, I picked up my uncle’s note to re-read the instructions — had I given them too much water? I hadn’t, I’d done all the right amounts… but a day before, so had Bill. If you remember from earlier, my uncle’s name is actually Bob. I realized “Bill” wasn’t my uncle, but someone my uncle Bob had asked to come over to water his plants; the “Hi Bill” at the top confirmed it. So, not only had I dumped a shizload of water all over my uncle’s condo, but I’d overwatered and probably murdered all of his plants, too.

Knowing I’d effed up pretty seriously, I wanted to fix it as quick as I could. I started looking in the closets for something to sop up the water on the floor with — dish towels, regular towels, whatever — but I couldn’t find anything. Other than a few hotel-style-folded, fancy towels in the bathroom, there was nothing. I grabbed the white towel I’d brought from my aunt’s and threw it down to soak up the floor water. Then, I got to ladling the water out of the clogged sink and into one of Bob’s frozen beer mugs. When I was done with that, I grabbed the soaking towel and draped it over the porch railing to dry.

Apparently, the air in the Keys is made out of pure dirt. When I took Patsy’s towel off the railing, it was filthy, and not from the floor. I meant to take a picture of it before I washed it, but I forgot. It’s okay though, cause this is what it came out of the washer looking like:

A little dirty

A lot dirty. I ain't care -- you can tell by my cute face

Now I need some advice — throw the towel away or try to explain?

Also, pee in the kitty litter box before I leave so my aunt has to clean it out, or not?



I used to like cats

I’m in Florida until Tuesday babysitting my aunt’s cats. Did you know cats are disgusting creatures? They pee on beds and track poop around the house and smell just awful. They steal turkey sandwiches and hiss at ladies when ladies do nice things for them. They make ladies miss the birth of their first nephew, too — an extra bastardly move.

They also rape arms.

They sometimes trip mothers, too. 

These are my picture-taking pants

My favorite part of my job is photographing concerts. Sometimes it’s scary, like when Waka Flocka’s 7-foot security guard shoves me like I murdered his mom; or when bald Method Man-lovers chuck beer bottles at my head; or when Al Jardine’s creepy old man fans ask me if it hurt when I fell from heaven. Usually, though, shooting shows is just super fun. I’m really into it, too — I even bought a pair of pajama jeans for extra picture-taking mobility! In fact, I tried them out for the first time at a J. Cole concert last week. Here is how that night went.

I got to the venue about 3 hours before J. Cole was set to perform. Within the first 10 minutes of being there, I realized I hadn’t eaten dinner. Knowing my belly juices would start eating my insides if I didn’t get food quick, I ran over to 7-Eleven for some shnacks. Unfortunately, something about 7-Eleven food creeps me the eff out, so I only bought a pack of gum and a couple of waters. After offering pieces of Trident to my cashier and to the dude begging for change outside the store (both accepted!), I made my way back to the concert.

The gum held me over for about five minutes before I started needing some real food. I knew my friend Amanda was going to Cheesecake Factory and then coming to the show, so I asked her if she could grab me a side salad. Being the nice lady she is, she did. When she got to the venue she handed over a delicious salad of tomatoes and Mesclun greens and ranch dressing. The only thing she didn’t hand over was a fork. Them Cheesecake fools forgot to give her one.

Still, me was hungry, and I figured my nimble fingies could handle a salad just fine. I found a seat in the corner, opened up the container, and got to chomping. I got a few strange looks, I guess for eating a salad with my fingers in the middle of a sold-out show, but I was glad to get some food up in me. By the time I finished, J. Cole was supposed to start in about an hour. I wiped my greasy ranch hands on my pajama pants, checked to see if my cute cold sore still looked like a flesh-eating disease, and made my way toward the stage to wait. (I get to stand in the pit between the stage and the crowd, which is bomb.)

I only had to wait about 40 minutes before J. Cole’s DJ came out. Here’s a song that he played, that I love, to break up this long azz story.

Camp Lo my boys

J. Cole came out a little while later and I started snapping away. Apparently I was only supposed to shoot for three songs, but since I’m kinda homies with J. Cole’s videographer (we met a couple years ago at another show and sometimes like each other’s ish on Facebook) he let me shoot a while longer. Then, when my time was up, my way-too-helpful venue security friend dragged me onto the side of the 3-foot-high stage like a prized tuna, and I scooted off to enjoy the rest of the show.

Every one of these people saw me get reeled in

Like I already mentioned, J. Cole’s video guy, Adam, and I are friends. We’d texted earlier in the day about meeting up, but I didn’t have time before the show and he didn’t really have time after. Howeva, we were able to meet up outside and chizat for a minute.

During this chizat, he told me there was pizza on the tour bus and asked if I wanted to go on it. I didn’t, really, because I knew I’d not only meet strangers, but a famous stranger, and I’m not real good at that — especially with a huge scabby cold sore on my face. Still, I said sure. After all, I love motorhomes, and Adam wanted pizza, and, mostly, I felt cool to have been invited.

As soon as I stepped on the bus I no longer felt cool. J. Cole was sitting on the black-crocodile-leather-looking couch playing a video game. I nodded at him, you know, because I’m really comfortable in these situations, and took a seat at the other end of the fancy couch.

Adam grabbed a beer and asked if I wanted one.

“No! I mean, no, thank you. Driving home, can’t be one 5% alcohol beer in.”

He asked about my sisters, I told him they good, having babies n shiz. I asked about his 10-year-old brother, he told me he was having a birthday party in Florida next week.

“Oh! I’m going to be in Florida then, too. I’ll go to his party! LOL J/K J/K! Wait… it’s at Disney though?”

This continued for five minutes until, have mercy, the tour manager announced the bus was about to leave. Relieved to get out of this situation, I told Adam SEEZ YA. Then, I jumped up in the middle of the bus, squatted down, said “These mah picture-taking pants!” and left. It was totally my “I carried a watermelon” moment, and even I can admit it was weird.

I feel for you, girl from Dirty Dancing

When I was walking down the bus stairs, where no one could see me, I also yelled up “GREAT SHOW BY THE WAY!”

P.S. Here’s my favorite picture of the night. As you can see in the right hand corner, I got a photography website. I’m not that good, but I’mma try my damndest to get better!

He's signed to Jay-Z's label, hence dat diamond in the sky

A classy Halloween

After Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July, Halloween is my favorite holiday of all time. It’s the one day of the year it’s okay for little kids to knock on strangers’ doors. And it’s the one day of the year for strangers to innocently hand out delicious candy to little kids. It’s awesome!

Needless to say, it really skinned the skin off my mole-ridden back when I surpassed the maximum trick-or-treating age. It happened in 7th grade — my armpits sprouted hair, my chin sprouted pimples, and my body sprouted a milk gut (actually this all happened a few years earlier, I just didn’t acknowledge it until 7th grade). It was time to hang up my double-layered Shaw’s bags and retire the Beavis mask I’d rocked for the past five Halloweens.

  I am cornholio

So am I, but a sluttier version

I was 13-years-old and instead of sorting through my candy collection, I was sitting at home with my parents watching Halloweentown (one of the best DCOMs of all time). My dad had probably just cooked spaghetti with meat sauce, I’d probably just eaten three servings of it, and the torn, yellow pit stained T-shirt I was wearing was probably covered in red tomato stains. On any other day, it would have been a normal, down azz evening. But on Halloween, it sucked big ol’ biggity balls.

My dad could tell I was bumming. So, being the supportive father that he is, he told me to go trick-or-treating anyway. If he swore, he would’ve said something like: “You like candy and shit, and shit! Me too! We rollin, bitch.”

But since he doesn’t, all he said was, “Come on, Al, let’s go.”

Because it was such short notice, I didn’t have a costume. Well, I still had the Beavis mask, just no time to write “Metallica” on a fresh blue tee. Once again, my dad came to the rescue. He handed me his leafy camouflage hunting suit.

It is cute

The only hunting my dad did was sitting in a tree stand reading, napping, and using binoculars to watch deer as they passed by. As a result, he didn’t really need to use the camo suit, and he hadn’t stored all the pieces together. He had the pants and the top, but the hood was missing. I came up with a solution.

I looked good

I was 13 — an age when most kids exchange trick-or-treating for parties with friends — wearing a camo leaf suit and a huge, rubber Beavis head. I was approaching neighbors’ doors by myself, my dad trailing close behind in the family mini-van.

I must have recognized how strange the situation was because I did my best to avoid other trick-or-treaters. I was embarrassed because of 1) my age, 2) my solitude, and 3) my big, leafy, Beavis costume.

So I was pretty pumped when my branches rustled into an 8th grader from my field hockey team (apparently if you go with friends, it’s okay to trick-or-treat when you’re old).

Her name was Savannah; she was semi-popular — certainly more popular than me — and was working hard to blow up my spot. She, her group of friends, and I happened to walk up to the same house at the same time. She started yabbing something about Halloween to me and, in fear that she might recognize my weirdo foreign-sounding voice, I played dumb. I didn’t say a word.

Literally. I didn’t respond to anything she said, even when she directly asked me who I was. I kept my Beavis head on straight and worked that leaf suit like I ain’t never worked a leaf suit before. By the time she gave up, I was more than ready to jump in the van and tally up my haul.

I did. It was worth it.

Montse, the woman I thought would kill me

I studied abroad in Spain two years ago, and it was an incredible, amazing, life-changing, super amazing, eye-opening experience. I learned things about myself I never knew before. For instance, I now know that I rock sag pants well and extra body meat poorly. I also learned what genuine hatred and fear feels like, and its name is Montse.

Saggy and meaty and fearful

Montse was my señora, or home stay mother (from now on I’ll only call her Lady, she don’t even deserve a name. Plus, hers is dumb and I bet you’re already sick of reading “Montse”).

I first met Lady at the hotel where my study abroad program had its orientation. When I walked down to the lobby I saw three ladies  — 1) a program coordinator named Ana, 2) a squat smiley lady, and 3) a greasy blonde headed lady with bad roots, a shrunken apple face, demon eyes, yellow fang fingernails, and robot legs. Ana introduced me to my to-be home stay mother: lady number 3, the demon.

I was already disappointed I didn’t get the smiley squat one, but I figured mine couldn’t be as bitchtastic as she looked. I went to shake her hand and when I did, she grabbed my hand, violently pulled me towards her, slammed her bony face into each of my cheeks, and screamed “DOS VECES” in my ear (“TWO TIMES”). Turns out she was, indeed, a mega trick.

Yet as with everyone I dislike, I still wanted her to like me. On the cab ride from the hotel to her apartment, I tried hard to chat her up. I told her how snowy Maine was, and how excited I was to be in Spain, and how nervous I was that I wouldn’t stay regular. Lady only ever responded with dirty looks, grunts, or silence. She yelled at me once, too. (I accidentally said her son was 17 instead of 7… like I was tryna mack him or some shiiat).

When we got to her house things got even worse. Her apartment stank like cigarettes. Her bastard son mocked my accent. She fed me soggy chicken tenders, chicken broth, and stale bread. When I lay in my bed, my head and feet both touched the walls. I used a sweatshirt for a pillow.

The next few days confirmed what I’d already feared was true. Lady ripped butts inside. Lady’s son was a d-bag. Lady cooked craptastic food.

I noticed something else, too. Lady brought men — young men, crippled men, all types o’ men — to the apartment and made me kiss their cheeks while they made out with mine.

It soon became clear. Trick was turning tricks, for real. She was a certified ho. I could’ve dealt with that. When I realized she was trying to murder me, though, I no longer could.

In her apartment, I kind of had my own hallway — there was really no reason anyone should pass my door unless they were going out. So, when I heard someone walking by my room around 3:00 one morning, and I called out “Hola?” to no response, I figured someone was plotting murder.

I’d already requested a new home stay mother — having said I couldn’t deal with tha shmoke — and I was sure Lady was right pissed she was going to lose my room and board. When I consulted my ma, she reassured me by saying, “Yeah you probably right. I bet one of those gentleman callers will do it. They got nothing to lose.”

Now convinced I was going to die, I did my best to take precautions. My bedroom door didn’t have a lock, so I wrapped the long strap of a purse around the doorknob and tied it to a hook on the wall. I put the electric heater in front of the door, so I’d hear it crash when someone came in. I strategically placed bottles of perfume and uncapped pens around my tiny room so, when one of Lady’s boos dragged me out for butchering, weapons would be in reach.

I did that for a couple nights and then moved out to the squat smiley lady’s apartment. No one ever tried to attack me.

Cool story, huh? I’ll tell you again later!

The only hand I ever broke was my third grade teacher’s

In third grade, my elbow accidentally broke my 60ish-year-old teacher’s hand. Her name Mrs. Stuart, and even though it was an accident, she deserved it. Let me explain.

Mrs. Stuart wore slippers to class, had super spit-filled mouth corners, and looked exactly like Mrs. Doubtfire, except maybe with grayer skin.

I found a picture of her!

She was the first teacher who ever punished me. And the biz did it three times! She yelled at me/made me write my name on the board for the following:

1. Catching a fly in mid-air and gasping too loudly. (It was awesome and surprising, who wouldn’t gasp at that?)

2. Raising my hand during a math lesson to ask if she ever used umbrellas when it was sunny out. (I deserved punishment for that one).

3. Wrassling my homie Jake at an outside-o-school party and needing stitches as a result (I didn’t really get in trouble for this, she just called me dumb).

Another terrible thing Mrs. Stuart did to not just me, but the entire class, was harass us with her sicko obsession with the 1800s. She made us watch Little House on the Prairie every Friday and gave us lessons on contra dancing. For the biggest project of the year — the Academic Fair — she forced us to choose an 1800s-related topic (I chose Rhode Island and girly Roger Williams). Worst of all, she brought us on a field trip to Norlands.

Norlands is a living history center in Maine and if it weren’t for Mrs. Stuart and her evil teacher friend, Mrs. Hicks, it’d probably be really fun. They made me dress like this, though, so it wasn’t fun at all:

Feeling womanly

Don’t let that charming picture fool you; Mrs. Stuart, Mrs. Hicks, and the Norlands peeps made me do a lot more than fluff pillows. I emptied chamber pots, went into angry chicken coops, collected eggs, broke some eggs, and got yelled at for breaking some eggs. I swept the kitchen, got yelled at for sweeping poorly, baked cornbread, got yelled at for thinking the cornmeal was chicken scratch, and served lunch to my daughter for the day, the field trip bus driver.

Did you know plumbing didn’t exist in the 1800s? The creators of Norlands did, which is why they had a weird room with several holes instead of a bathroom with a working toilet. Not wanting to waste a room with more than one poopin hole, Mrs. Stuart had us go to the bathroom two at a time. Ain’t that effed?

And ain’t it effed that they had corn cobs for wiping? (To be fair, they also had toilet paper, but my bathroommate Kayla and I wanted to be authentic — we were the only ones to go the corn cob route).

This 1800s bidnass was pretty bad, but the most effed thing Mrs. Stuart did to us students was physically abuse us. She didn’t actually hurt us, she just thought it was real cute to slap us around a bit. I ain’t agree with that.

One day after lunch, when we were all walking into the classroom in a single file line, Mrs. Stuart bopped each one of us on the head. Like everyone else, I ignored it and sat down at my desk. Then, I saw her dumb Mrs. Doubtfire face at the front of the class, so smugly, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I stood and went right up to that lady.

In front of the entire class, I asked why she always hit us. She giggled, spat some spit in my face, told me it was a reflex, and lifted her hand to smack my head again. Before I knew what I was doing, I yelled “SO IS THIS!” and brought my elbow down on her hand. I didn’t mean to actually hurt her, but I elbowed the shiz out of that hand. I could tell because she started crying old lady tears down that old lady face of hers.

I swear I didn’t mean to do any harm — I just didn’t know my own strength. I had gone from being little and adorable and gentle in second grade:

Ladies is pimps too gone brush your shoulders off - Christmas '97

To straight Rick Ross in third:

Beast mode - Christmas '98

Mrs. Stuart knew I didn’t mean anything by it, though. She cried but she laughed too, and she never sent me to the guidance counselor or called home or nuffin. Her hand turned purple and blew up huge, and all was fine. And that asshole learned her lesson, I’ll tell ya.


Pitbull says he’s too Latin for hip hop and too hip hop for Latins, and I feel dat. I’m too Maine for RI and too RI for Maine.

THAT'S WHY I GOT HIS NAMESAKE TATTOOED ON MAH BOOB (please excuse the dumb face and semi-see-through sweater)

I’ve lived in Rhode Island for the past four years and I still feel like some trick ass tourist. I’ve been trying to change that; I’ve been trying to become part of the community. And, thanks to red light chitterchat, I’m doing a damn fine jarb.

Whenever I’m driving on a two-lane road (or is it a four-lane road if there are two lanes on either side?), and I’m stopped at a red light, and my window is down and so is the driver’s next to me, I try to make conversation.

My first attempt was with a USPS mail lady about a week ago. I’d found a set of official looking keys earlier in the day, and I wanted to ask if they were hers. I didn’t pick them up or anything, but I figured my description — “silver and very fancy” — would be all she needed.

Sadly, I never got to tell her. We had two red lights together, and she never even looked my way.

The next day I was driving home from work at 9:00 p.m. or so. There weren’t many people on the road, so when I saw a sweet old school buggy, I sped up right next to it to get the conversation started. Since the steering wheel was on the weirdo side (the right) I planned out something real clever to say to the driver. Like, “Hey! Your steering wheel’s effed up, buddy,” or whateva.

Again, my chat attempt failed; green lights all the way home.

Then, last Sunday, it finally happened. A driver man chatted with me on the road! Actually, he kind of sassed me on the road, BUT STILL!

When I pulled out of the grocery store parking lot on Sunday afternoon (after buying a 24-inch sub for $7.99 — did you know that existed?), a flashing cop car ripped by me right away. Behind him were a couple of motorcyclists. At first I thought “Whoa doggy! Them fools should back up off that cop.” Then I saw about a million motorcycles behind the first few, realized it was a convoy, and thought “Whoa doggy! I do not know what to do.”

I had already pulled into the breakdown lane for the cop, but once he passed I didn’t know if I could go back into the right lane. The convoy was totally in the left lane, and it wasn’t like they was in a rush or nothing. Still, I decided to stay in the breakdown lane and continue moseying along.

I drove for five minutes before the car behind me took a turn down another road. I kept on driving and the motorcycles kept on coming. I felt very unsure of what I was doing, but I had my window down and Pitbull pumping so I was doing alright. Then a man on a motorcycle yelled at me through the window and I no longer felt so alright.


Me: Whaddat?

Man: Stop your vehicle! YOU MUST STOP!

Me: Yes, of course, of course! By the way, how are you? What’s this convoy for? Do you like motorcycles? What make is that? Harley, is it? Cool. I call it “H-Dizzle.” Nice helmet, does it hurt to wear? Do you have a strong core? Do you have a strong heart? Do you like roast beef sandwiches? I got a couple of feet of sub I could share with you!

I don’t think he heard my questions, cause he kept on driving and all, but I still felt real good about having engaged in red light chat. So good that it almost overshadowed how bad I felt about being an idiot driver! So good that, after the convoy had passed, I tried to talk to the car that pulled up beside me at the next red light.

Didn’t work.

I like poop stories. If you don’t, maybe don’t read this

Whenever I travel outside of New England, my body forgets how to poop. It sucks, of course, but it wouldn’t suck nearly as much if — when I finally do remember  — my body didn’t then forget to do this other thing, too. This way more important other thing.

Two summers ago my cousin Petey and I visited our friend Will and his family at their condo in a resort in Puerto Rico. There are a few things you should know.

1. I’d never met Will’s parents before.

2. Will’s parents were adults.

3. I’d only met Will’s girlfriend once.

4. Will’s girlfriend was a real hip art student.

5. Other than meeting strangers, the things that make me most nervous/weird/mute are adults and hip art students and my obvious inferiority t0 them.

The resort this group of superior humans and I stayed at was redinky donky. It had the amenities you’d expect, like beaches and restaurants and pools, and the amenities you might not expect, like a casino and a golf course and a water park. The only thing missing was a pooping conducive crapper.

Actually, dat ain’t true. The condo had three perfectly functioning toilets; one for Will’s parents, one for Will and Petey, and one for Will’s boo and me. I, on the other hand, didn’t even have one perfectly functioning shiz system. In fact, my shiz system wouldn’t function at all.

That charming belly is 50% chub and 50% constipation (that's me in the gray wife beater sitting on the left, by the way)

I went three days with no number twos. On the fourth day, I knew I had to take action. Although I’d never really had issues with pooping before, I was familiar with the latest crap-coaxing technologies. I needed to drink water, eat fruits and vegetables, exercise, and stay away from binding foods like cheese. I got to it (secretly — I didn’t want all those cool strangers to know I had a backed-up booty).

After five days of babying my bowels, I finally managed a turd or two. I don’t know if I got distracted by my success or I was too physically exhausted to be bothered or I was subconsciously showing off. I just know I forgot to flush.

My turd or two sat in that toilet for a couple of hours.

Now, I already mentioned that Will’s lady and I shared our own bathroom. What I didn’t mention, though, was that ours was the only one that wasn’t totally private; it was connected to the rest of the house, too. I like to believe no one else saw it — mostly because when I went back later for a run-of-the-mill pee, it was still bobbing around like dook do. I also like to believe no one smelled it, but since the bathroom was right next to the kitchen, someone probably did.

At least they didn’t think I had a backed-up booty.