Archive | May, 2010

Field Trip With the Kids

28 May

“Is everyone here?” Ms. Rodriguez asks the 10th grade class, who have gathered at the bus stop outside Fredricks High School.

Her question is met with scattered nods and murmurs of affirmation.

“Okay, I’m going to start calling role. Once I say your name, you can get on the bus. Erick Ab–” The name is cut off, though, as a black Honda Civic careens over a curb across the parking lot and peels around a turn, screeching and throwing white smoke into the air. It barrels toward the assembled students and slams on its brakes mere inches from the bus. Disheveled, sweaty, and smelling strangely of bar-b-que sauce and sex, I stagger out of the vehicle.

“Don’t leave! I’m here! I’m here!” I say, catching my breath. Ms. Rodriguez seems at the same time disappointed, agitated, and afraid. She’s pretty much got all the bad emotions all over her face. I lick my thumb and try to wipe them off. She swats my hand away.

“Please stand with the other tutors, Kyle. I’m calling role.” I begin to make my way through the crowd of students.

She calls role and one by one the students pile onto the bus.

“Did you bring anything to do on the bus?” Will, another tutor, asks Mort, another tutor.

“I brought my iPod and my PSP, what’d you bring?”

“My phone is really all I need. It has the internet and stuff, so I think I’ll be okay. Did you bring anything, Kyle?”

“Twister,” I say, holding up a battered Twister box. “It’s missing the mat, though, so we’ll just have to put our hands wherever.” I wink suggestively at Mort and nod toward the small group of female tutors. Mort grimaces and turns away. I put the game in the trash can and board the bus.

I sit next to a tiny brown woman named Crystal. She’s so short, that when I sit down, at first I don’t see her there.

“Hi, Kyle!” she says, startling me.

“JESUS A BUS GHOST!” I scream, turning toward her, hands raised in defense. After a moment of recognition, I lower my hands. “Hey, Crystal. I didn’t see you there. You’re very small.”

“I know, Kyle. You smell like something my mom would want me to leave outside.”

“I know, Crystal.” We both turn to face forward in an amicable silence.

I had to wake up for the field trip at 5:30 am, so, in the name of survival, I drank two cups of coffee on the drive to the high school. An hour later, within my bladder, there is much screaming and gnashing of teeth. Chaos.

Hell doesn't look so bad. There's kissing!

Oh, what was I thinking? TWO CUPS OF COFFEE BEFORE A THREE HOUR BUS RIDE?! I fear I have flown much too close to the sun.

A sweat breaks across my hair line and between my shoulder blades.

“Can you uh…” I begin to ask Crystal, but, embarrassed, I turn away, leaving my request unfinished (I was going to ask if I could pee in her purse).

I clinch my wee wee. The dam has reached critical mass. A student calls to me.

“Yes?” I respond, my voice quivering just slightly. It is Pilar, a somewhat surly but lovable girl who kind of reminds me of a younger, more Hispanic Rosanne.

“You want to know what I did last weekend?” A mischievous smile creeps across her face. I absolutely do not want to know what she did last weekend.

“Sure, what did you do last weekend?” NOOOOO! Now invested in the conversation, I must turn and pay attention and even respond, all the while fighting the fight of my life in my Jesus-frowny places. To wet myself on a bus full of sixteen year-olds would be the death of me. Never would I forget. Never would they forget. For me, the world would become a bleak, tearful trap of endless jeers and unoccupied seats adjacent to my own.

“Well, me an’ my frien’, we…” It’s all turned to audible mush now. All of my strength is focused on not pissing the shit out of myself. [Editor’s Note: Surely you see the problem with that statement. Right?]

In time, we reach our oasis: an Exxon gas station with a fully-functional restroom, capable of catching not only my pee, but my poop as well–but I don’t poop in public restrooms. It’s a personal policy. I don’t want to get pregnant from a toilet seat.

I use the restroom. It is pure bliss.

The rest of the trip merits little mention, as I spent almost the entirety of the two-hour trip talking about LOST with Mort.

We reach the school, Sam Houston State University, and slowly file out. I want to be carried out by the students, held high above their heads in a kind of memorial, but when I ask for this, I’m mostly ignored. I garner two dozen dirty looks and one half dozen Spanish cuss words. I shed a baker’s dozen tears in the back of the bus before leaving.

The group is herded to the visitor’s center at SHSU. As seems the case with much of the campus, the building is surrounded by trees and white people. Once inside the center, we watch a brief video and are broken up into two groups for the tour. The two tour guides are of varying degrees of attractiveness. One is attractive and the other one is not. Since God and fate hate me, I end up with the one who is not attractive. I later reflect that she would have been quite pretty if it wasn’t for her below-average face and body and hair.

“All right, everybody, welcome to the fun group!” our guide declares, to scattered laughter. God damn it, I thought. Just enough laughter to encourage her to keep joking. I want to finish the tour as quickly as possible in order to get to Golden Corral and abuse myself. I want some dinner rolls. I want some mac ‘n cheese. I want some punishment.

Our tour group approaches a large, glass and concrete building and stops.

“This is our library,” the tour guide explains. “It’s four stories high and each story is an acre.”

“Excuse me, ma’am?” I raise my hand. “But with all due respect, I got an English degree, and I can safely say that every story is a world unto itself and that you can’t possibly measure it in terms of,” I snicker a bit, “Acres.

“I’m talking about the literal size of the library. Like, floor space.” No one speaks for several seconds. A few birds chirp in the distance but, besides that, we are surrounded in crushing silence.

“Well. I have an English degree, still.” I shift my weight from my left to right foot and look at the ground.

“I doubt even that,” she responds. My testicles tuck themselves neatly into my lower abdomen, afraid.

“Anyway,” she continues, “so in all that space, how many books do you guys think we have?”

“Thirteen thousand,” Roberto says.

“Thirteen thousand? Nope. Come on guys,” the tour guide responds.

“Two hundred thousand,” Sandra says.

“Nope.”

I step forward, determined to redeem myself. “Thirteen!” I declare.

“What?” she sighs, still looking at me. “Why? Why are y– No. No there are many, many more than thirteen books in the library.”

I look at the library and, almost to myself, say “Man, there’s just no way you’re fittin’ more than thirteen books in there.”

“You don’t believe me?” she asks, her voice slightly raised.

“Tell you what. You bring me fourteen books, and I’ll buy it. Deal?”

The students’ eyes dart from the tour guide to me, then back to the tour guide. Ms. Rodriguez is several paces a way, smoking a cigarette and taking several noticeable sips from a flask she’s kept in her purse.

“Deal.” The tour guide walks quickly to the library entrance.

“Let’s go,” I say to the kids as soon as she’s out of earshot. I motion with my hand and begin walking toward the gift shop. All the kids follow. “You know what, guys?” I ask, stopping. “I think there’s something much better we could do. Something much more worthwhile.” I cross my arms, smiling broadly. “Who wants to push a statue over?” I ask. Cheers and adulation.

Sorry, Statue Sam Houston. Your ass is grass.

The End.

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Wedding Showers Bring May Fl…Wait, That Doesn’t Work.

22 May

It’s 11:37 am. My sister-in-law stops by to help decorate for my cousin’s wedding shower, which is being held at my house. I’m just now waking up. Nights are hard for me (Silk, cigar smoke, laughter then silence) [Editor’s Note: What? What was that?].

“Morning, I belch from my still-dry throat.” I say.

“Kyle, you’re doing that thing again.”

“What thing? I ask,” I ask.

“That thing where, when you’re getting ready to blog, you start doing it vocally. Nobody’s writing this down. You’re going to need to go to your computer.

I wave a tired hand at her and sit at the table to eat. “I wave a tired hand at her then sit down at the kitchen table to eat some bacon and gegs,” I say.

“You misspelled ‘eggs’,” she says. “You spelled it ‘gegs’.”

“Oh, so I did. ‘Eggs’ then.” I smile at her, adjust my underwear, and then eat my bacon and eggs.

The guests are arriving in little over an hour. That means I have just under an hour to put off getting ready so that I can look super busy when everybody gets here. I lay back down in my bed for forty-five minutes.

The vegetable and sandwich trays are arranged neatly on a table in the living room. As soon as everyone has their plates, I lift my glass and call attention to myself. Everyone raises their glasses, expecting a toast.

Smiling, I survey the room, quietly beaming over my family and friends. “Friends,” I look to my friend Kevin. “Family,” I turn and smile lovingly at my mother. “People whom I do not recognize,” I look at some guy in jorts that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. “People whom I don’t think anyone recognizes,” I smile to an unkempt gentleman in a ratty brown jacket and filthy pants who has clearly wandered in off the street. “Please, if you will, do not eat in the living room. It’s classless, and you’re getting crumbs on the hardwood.” The air is let out of the room. “You’re making all the cats uncomfortable with your crumbs.” A cat sitting in the corner of the room, until this point unnoticed, licks itself indifferently. With hardly a murmur of protest, all thirty-five people in attendance shuffle slowly into the kitchen. The newly-filled room looks like a crowded subway car and smells just as bad.

After everyone is done eating, it’s present time. All the presents suck. Nobody gets the couple a Playstation or a hot girl. I try to improve the presents in the same way I improve almost any situation: by closing my eyes, drinking a tremendous amount of whiskey, and then opening them. With my new, whiskey-eyes, all pie pans are born again. Word-of-the-day calendars morph into great monuments to the English language, all made new with the turn of a page. China sets once bland and incapable of stirring much of any reaction become radiant trinkets of timeless worth. I stand still, mouth slightly agape–awestruck and dumb. And drunk as shit.

I reach my hand out to a set of pens which, not surprisingly, is a bad gift whether you’re drunk or sober.

“Who got them these?” I ask, holding up the pens. My eyes are glassy.

Sheepishly, a man at the back of the room stands. “I got them for them.”

“You got them for them?” I ask. “What an ugly sentence. Re-write.”

“Oh no,” my sister in-law whispers to a woman at her side, “He’s fallen into a mental blogging state again.”

“What? What do you want me to change?” The man asks, a thin layer of sweat giving his skin the appearance of wax.

“That sentence. You say ‘them for them’. Say something different. Re-write. Style. Word choice.”

“Um, all right. I uh, I got them the pen set?”

“Incorrect. Delete question mark. Re-write. Consistency of meaning.”

“I got them a pen set.”

“Awesome. Save draft; go back to porn.”

“Oh god,” my sister in-law says, now speaking at full volume.

“Click ‘Guy Hard 2: Guy’s Harder.’ Find out that it’s gay porn. Wince. Ex out.”

“Kyle! Kyle! Snap out of it!” My sister in-law is now inches from my face, clapping and snapping. Her eyes dart throughout the room, mortified and embarrassed. Several members of the party begin to openly express disgust.

“Get confused. Ask self: ‘Was Die Hard 2 gay too?’ Watch Die Hard 2 to make sure.”

My sister in-law gets a cup of water and splashes it in my face to no avail.

“Begin to gain clarity, but then immediately fall back into confusion when a naked terrorist is shown doing exercises in a poorly-lit hotel room.”

“Okay, why don’t we all go outside for a bit? He’s just having a spell.” My sister in-law guides everyone to the back porch.

“Get bored. Put in Die Hard. That’s better.”

I stand there like a statue for the next 90 minutes as the film Die Hard runs in my head. There’s no gay sex in it.

Clued-In: An Introspective Journey With Colonel Mustard

16 May

Like his condiment namesake, the most frustrating thing for Colonel Mustard was that people used him all too often.

A warrior tormented by his peaceful heart.

Colonel Mustard lay in his bed–the soft, mechanical whirring of his fan providing the only sound of the evening except, of course, for the muffled, effeminate weeping of Professor Plum next door, as he watches the 1997 version of Flubber.

“There’s an older version that’s better,” Colonel Mustard mouths, pleading from his bed. “If you’d watch the older version…If you’d watch the older version maybe you wouldn’t cry so much.” He wasn’t quite sure why he believed this. The fact is, Colonel Mustard didn’t know much of anything anymore.

Arriving to the party that night, his expectations had been high. His divorce finally final, Colonel Mustard was single and ready to mingle, but when the big double doors of Mr. Boddy’s luxurious New England mansion swung open, revealing the patrons within, he was aghast and crestfallen.

Surely this isn’t everybody, he thought to himself, once again performing a head count of every one in attendance. His heart sank every time he got to five, then, in desperation, counted “the help,” Mrs. White, and got to just six. Six people?! He thought to himself. Six? He allowed his hand to trace up his jacket’s lapel and then to the hard spot just over his heart where his flask rested, cached from all others. Tonight, old friend. Tonight, I will need thee more than ever. He immediately remembered that time in 2002 when he saw A Walk to Remember with his church’s children’s group. He shuddered to himself and retracted his previous statement.

Although there was a 3:3 man to woman ratio, the whole thing still had the unmistakable feel of a sausage-fest. Perhaps it was because of Ms. Peacock’s patently clear unavailability that it felt there was one less woman in the room than before. It was her haughty air and great wall of pretension that assured all around her that she would come to you, and not the other way around. Colonel Mustard knew she would never come to him. He wished so badly for her, but he always insisted on wearing a monocle, which forced his face into a constant state of tension–a tension that seemed to push women away. Also pushing them away was his mane-like facial hair that covered roughly seventy percent of his slightly above average face. I bet Ms. Peacock likes well-shaven men–men with smooth, kissable cheeks and mouths you can see when they talk. Dare I shave? He thought, but knew he could not–ever. Shaving would reveal the Tweety Bird tattoo that he had for so many years worked so hard to conceal.

Look closely. Look closely and observe an old man's secret shame.

There was Ms. Scarlett (Scarlett the Harlot as Mustard called her), but Colonel Mustard hated syphilis, had fought a bout with it in Mongolia, and decided that at his age, the doctors and nurses at the free clinic would no longer look at his impropriety as whimsical and a product of youthful exuberance, but rather, would see him as a hairy old man with junk on his wee-wee. Mustard wasn’t one hundred percent certain that Scarlett was afflicted by the disease, but he thought she had a whorish gait and the way she drank her punch was much too suggestive for a “clean” woman.

Finally, he came to Ms. White–the help. Her skin, almost as translucent as wet tissue paper, hung loosely from her body, and revealed a vast network of blue and purple varicose veins. She was a sweet woman, though, and her eyes seemed to be like small windows revealing a still-roaring furnace. Perhaps Ms. White is the one who needs cleaning. Perhaps she’s the dirty girl. Colonel Mustard thought. He threw up in his mouth a little bit, removed his handkerchief from his pocket, dabbed the spot on his mustachebeard where he guessed his lips were, and put the erotic thoughts to rest.

Why must I find a woman to enjoy myself? There is something to be said for a quiet evening among friends! He declared to himself. For a moment, the colonel felt genuinely happy. He felt connected to these sometimes-strangers, these amicable-acquaintances. They sat in a foyer, sipping wine and chatting quietly. The calming serenity the group had cultivated was shattered, however, by Mr. Green. No one was sure who invited Mr. Green.

“And so then I says to my wife, I says, ‘Honey, listen. Let me worry about the money, okay? I got only one kind of job I like you to do.” Mr. Green then mimes fellatio and cackles the dry, wheezing laugh of a lifelong smoker and perpetual windbag.

“Mr. Green,” Colonel Mustard responded, “Do you think that’s an appropriate way to speak to your wife? Or to speak before these ladies in attendance?” Colonel Mustard waved his hand over the two women seated at a couch to his right. Professor Plum was blushing fiercely. “Look, you’ve upset Professor Plum as well.”

“Mustard, I’ll talk to my wife in any way I’d like.”

“Well, if I can’t influence you to speak to your wife with more respect, perhaps I could implore you to keep your vulgarity to the confines of your own home, instead of letting the swill of your personal life spill over onto our pleasant evening.” Colonel Mustard was now speaking with the understated power of an exploding kitten. Mr. Green seemed to sense this, and paused a bit longer than he had previously before he spoke–calculating his words.

“Well, I suppose that’s fair.” His face was red, and Mustard wasn’t sure if it was from the wine, embarrassment, anger, or a dangerous mix of all three. “I’ll watch my tongue.”

Just at that moment, Ms. White burst into the room, her hair askew and a look in her eyes of sheer terror. “Mr. Boddy is dead!” she screamed.

“Is that whose house we’re at?” Ms. Peacock asked. No one really blamed her for not knowing. She usually kept her nose so high that she required an assistant to lead her around and this craned-back position made it almost impossible for her to see name plates or read invitations or make a substantial introduction. Ms. Peacock was pretty much useless. “That Mr. Boddy always was such a stiff,” she said, irreverently. “And we thought this party was dead before!” she jested. Colonel Mustard glared sharply at her, commanding silence. She didn’t see it, though. The craned-neck thing, remember?

“Everyone needs to calm down. There is no need to panic,” Mustard said to the group, but it became clear almost immediately that no calming was necessary. Mr. Green had fallen asleep. Ms. Scarlet was texting someone.

“I think we should call the police,” Professor Plum said, standing.

“I agree,” Colonel Mustard said. “Ms. White, is there a phone here?”

She led the two of them to a phone–the only phone in the house–in the study. The phone was lodged securely beneath the lifeless frame of Mr. Boddy.

“Well, clearly we can’t use this phone, Ms. White,” Mustard said, exasperated. Professor Plum, sickened by the sight of a cadaver, had left the room to vomit.

Ms. White shrugged. “You can still use it. It still works.” She began pushing Mr. Boddy off of the phone and dialing.

“Stop that!” Mustard said, swatting her hand away. “This is evidence you’re fiddling with. Mr. Boddy has clearly been murdered.”

“Murdered?” Ms. White asked. “But by whom?” Her hands, now clenched tightly to one another, were brought to the level of her collar bone. “And with what?”

“Well,” Colonel Mustard said, “It seems this party just got a bit more interesting. Someone at this party killed Mr. Boddy. I’m sure of it. This mansion is practically impenetrable. Plum!” he called to the corner of the room where Plum was orally evacuating his bowels. “Let’s get the rest of our house-mates. There’s a mystery to be solved.”

When they enter the living room, everyone has left. The front door was wide-open. The sound of screeching tires can be heard outside.

“Well, shit,” Mustard said to a visibly shaken Plum. “I suppose we’ll be blamed for this now.”

And so the police arrived and arrested Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum, and Ms. White on suspicion of murder.

Colonel Mustard now lay in his holding cell, awaiting his trial. The only sounds the whirring of a ceiling fan and Professor Plum weeping next door.

I Get LOST

9 May

My editor arranged for me to meet with LOST producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse to talk about the final season of LOST, as well as their personal writing and production strategies.

Damon Lindelof (left), Carlton Cuse

Shortly after passing through security at ABC Studios, I’m greeted by a production assistant from LOST. He’s tall and rail thin with straight, well-groomed red hair and fair skin. The PA’s name is Joel. He shakes my hand with a surprising amount of force and leads me to Cuse and Lindelof’s office area. We enter a crowded elevator, full of people chatting politely.

“We’re going to see The Office?” I ask, smiling.

The elevator goes silent.

“What are you talking about?” Joel asks nervously. Sweat breaks out on his brow and lip.

“The show on NB–” before I can finish, everyone in the elevator is covering their ears and screaming. Startled, I scream myself. One by one, everyone in the elevator calms down. When it’s all done, we look at each other as if none of us are quite sure what just happened. No one speaks for the rest of the ride.

Once again: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. They have this blue screen set up in all the restrooms.

The LOST offices are on the nineteenth floor of the building. The room the elevator opens to–a standard, cubicle-laden office area–is extremely stuffy–humid even. The area is cluttered with dozens of plastic, potted plants. The lights are all turned off. Joel pushes me forward, shuts the elevator doors and vanishes.

“Waaaaow…” I hear someone trying to imitate a some kind of stringed instrument.

“Bum bum bum bum bum…” Someone else imitates a drum beat.

“Hello?” I call, stepping a bit further into the office area. The air is thick and stale. There’s no telling how long the air conditioner has been off. Condensation has accumulated on the large, floor length windows at the opposite end of the room. “Damon? Carlton?” I call out. I hear the sound of scuttling and wheezing. There follows a deep thud, like someones head hitting the underside of a desk.

“Shit!” A muffled voice screams. “Damon!”

“Who’s there? Come out!” I yell.

I run to the end of a row of cubicles and find Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse curled up together. Carlton is rubbing a spot on his head.

“Damon? Carlton? It’s uh…it’s nice to meet you.” I hold out my hand, trying to maintain as much professional composure as possible. Carlton reaches out his hand, grinning widely. Damon slaps his hand away and gives him a knowing look. Carlton quickly wipes the smile away and gets to his feet.

“You weren’t on the plane’s manifesto,” Damon says, eying me with open hostility.

“Yes. You were not,” Carlton says eying me with the vacancy of a motel that has a lot of rooms that you can sleep in [Editor’s Note: This is terrible. Please get rid of this simile].

I offer a weak attempt at laughter and hold my hand out again. “It’s a pleasure to meet both of you.”

Carlton now resists the temptation to shake my hand. He looks to Damon then averts his gaze to his feet.

“What’s your name?” Damon gets out a clipboard. At first, I don’t know what to say. “What’s your name?” he repeats.

“Kyle. Kyle Irion. I write for IronKyle.com. I was supposed to get an interview with you guys today.”

Damon scans the list. “You’re not on this list. You’re one of them.”

Them? Like the media? I’m a member of the media?”

“Don’t you know what a plane’s manifesto is?” Damon asks, leaning close to me.

“Yea, haven’t you ever seen LOST?” Carlton asks in a gravelly voice. Damon straightens out and turns to him. Carlton continues. “It’s the best.” He cracks his knuckles menacingly.

“Carlton,” Damon says.

“What?” Carlton asks.

“Are you kidding me, man?” Damon half mutters. “You j–that’s the show we’re…” He pinches the bridge of his nose. “Hello, I’m Damon Lindelof. This is Carlton Cuse. We were just having a bit of fun with you. We’re so happy for you to be here.”

“No questions,” Carlton says sternly. Damon and I both stop and look at him.

“This is an interview,” I said. “I’m supposed to ask questions.”

“Yea, but not about LOST,” Carlton goes on, smiling wryly, the tips of three fingers covering his mouth. I begin to wonder if there’s something wrong with Carlton.

“Carlton, it’s a fucking interview.” Damon says. “It’s an interview about LOST. He’s allowed to ask questions.” Damon motions me toward a work room. “Follow me, please.”

In the work room, they show me the script notes for several of LOST’s hallmark episodes.

This used to be my favorite episode.

“So…this is…this is like a rough draft?” I ask.

“Yea,” Carlton says. “Isn’t it awesome?” A bit of saliva sits in the corner of his mouth. “There’s a bear in it.”

“Yes,” I say, distant, reading the page over again. “So this is serious, then?”

Damon snatches it from my hand. “Of course it’s serious. LOST is nothing BUT serious. Serious all the time. This is before the editors and writing staff shreds our work and makes it edible for the piddling masses.”

“Of course,” I say. “Shall we continue the interview, then?”

“Yes. We can do the rest in Carlton’s and my office.” I follow Damon and Carlton down the hall.

After about half an hour of Cuse and Lindelof playing “punch buggy” while watching Volkswagen commercials on YouTube, we get started with the interview.

“So,” I begin, “LOST has probably been one of the most sprawling narratives in television history. With so many plot lines, how do you keep them all straight?”

“You want to see where we keep Hurley?” Carlton asks. Damon elbows Carlton sharply. Carlton twists at the force of the blow and becomes silent.

Damon speaks up. “The writing process for LOST has been…demanding…to say the least. The thing about LOST that’s the most challenging is the sheer number of characters our story holds. Even our side characters have back stories that are integral to the story. I suppose the uniting of all these characters is the real bedrock of what makes LOST, LOST. The best way we’ve found as far as keeping track is notes, notes, notes.” He chuckles a bit.

“Write it all down,” Carlton says, struggling for breath, rocking in his seat. Damon looks directly at him as he speaks. “Write it all down. Keep it secret–keep it safe.”

The only sound in the room is the sound of a computer’s cooling fan whirring on a nearby desk. Carlton spits out something that looks like blood.

“Listen, why don’t I come back some other time?” I ask, getting up from my stool. “Carlton doesn’t seem to be doing so well.”

“He’s fine,” Damon says, his hand on the back of Carlton’s neck, first gently rubbing it, then tightening his grip until Damon sits up straight. “Ask us something else.”

“All right,” I say to Damon, my eyes staying with Carlton, concerned. “Most of the show is shot in Hawaii. How much would you say is shot here–in the studios?”

“Yea,” Damon begins. “A lot of it, actually. It’s all shot out there in that office space you were just in.”

I sigh a bit and look out the window in Carlton and Damon’s office. “Damon, I just don’t believe that for a second.”

“You don’t?”

“I don’t.”

There’s several seconds of tension where I’m not exactly sure if Damon is going to attack me or not. Carlton’s eyes dart from Damon, then to me, then back to Damon. Carlton is clearly afraid. After some time, Damon asks “Wanna see where we keep Hurley?”

“Absolutely,” I reply. “Absolutely.”

Can You Help Me?

5 May

Did you know that even “Iron” Kyle Irion loves to eat food? It’s true! He does!

I'm composed of Carbon!

I also love to do fun things. It’s fun to do fun things. I think writing these blogs is fun too.

Unfortunately, this is a free service that you people only pay for through laughter I’ll never hear and anonymous clicks on my hit counter that only sometimes make my nether-regions grin.

Those laughs and hits are greatly appreciated, but they can’t pay for food or rent. When I tried to use these things as bargaining ships when haggling with a leasing agent, things didn’t work out so well:

“Yes, rent is $750 a month, including utilities,” the agent says.

“All right, well, that sounds great, Rita, b–”

“–My name is Charlene.”

“That’s right. How rude of me. Anyway, Charlie, $750 sounds great, but I’d like to pay you in something better. Do you like laughter?”

“We just take cash or check, Mr. Irion.”

“Call me Rita,” I respond. “If you don’t like that name, I’ll take it. Call me Rita, Charlotte.”

“Yes sir. Like I said, rent is $750 a month.”

“Okay. Before we continue our negotiations, let me ask you a simple question: Have you ever heard of the internet?”

“Rent is $750 a month.”

Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you for money (feel free, though). I’m just going to say that if any of you beautiful, beautiful people know of a channel through which I could garner pay or greater recognition for this kind of thing, please let me know. I know it’s a pretty wild dream to want do comedy writing for money, but I think it’s possible. So, if you know anybody who needs a comedy writer or a grateful beneficiary on whom to pour their vast wealth, please e-mail me at ri0026@gmail.com

Partying on the Other Side of the World

3 May

First of all, in full disclosure, I’m not sure what the title means. Other than the fact that this blog is about various parties and that those parties happened on the world, the title has little to do with the events to be depicted here. The title just sounded cool. That’s it.

I went to two parties on Saturday night–both consisting of wildly different social groups. SCROLL DOWN TO READ MORE!

It’s Saturday night. I’m doing my usual: sleeping on the couch as my friend and sometimes roommate but always life-mate, Derek, repeatedly wakes me, saying that the movie we’re watching is important and absolutely not porn.

“If it’s so important,” I respond, groggily, “it’ll have Cliffs notes. I’ll read those.”

“Kyle, it’s a mo–”

“–Or you can read them to me. I don’t care. I don’t care about any of this. I’m going back to sleep.” I put my head down and approach the cusp of sleep when my phone vibrates. It has fallen between the cushions of the couch.

“Derek, did the couch just get a text?”

“What?”

“Did you set the couch on silent?”

Derek stares at me–completely silent. He reaches down into the gap between the cushions and removes my phone.

“Here.”

“Thanks. Hey, I got a text too. Derek, check the couch’s inbox.” My text was from my other, more bearded friend, Chris Brown.

Here’s a picture of Chris Brown.

He's the bearded one. That's Derek in the front. I'm doing my Top Gun impression in the background.

The text conversation reads like this:

“Hey man, you guys [Derek and me] wanna gonna go to some parties with me?”

“Any hot chicks gonna be there?”

“Absolutely. Smoking hot chicks.”

“I’m talking like, so hot it kind of stings to stand so close.”

“Lol. I guess. Yea, that hot.”

“I’m talking like I want girls so hot that I feel like I’m in Hell when I’m next to them.”

“What?”

“I want to go to Hell. I want to hang out with Timothy McVeigh tonight.”

“I have to go back to work. I’ll call you when I get off.”

“Or we could do some body shots with Lincoln and JFK. They mostly know about head shots, but we can teach them.

“Stop texting me.”

Around 10 o’clock, Chris tells me that he’s off work and at a house show and that that house show would be the launching ground for the rest of our night.

“An open house!” I squeal to myself, clutching my phone. I love open houses.

“An open house?” Derek asks.

“Chris is inviting us to an open house!”

Derek cocks his head slightly to the side and squints one eye at me. “I…don’t think that’s what Chris meant. Did he say ‘open house’?”

“No. He called it a “house show.'”

“Okay, he isn’t showing you a house. It’s a music show in a house.”

“That sounds terrible.”

“It probably will be.”

Derek and I reach the house. We get out of the car and are immediately received by Chris Brown.

Derek, Chris, and I approach the front door. The muffled sound of sheepish alterna-folk can be heard from the porch. I allow Chris, our emissary, to open the door and to lead us in. All the men look like hobos and all the women look like extras from The Little House on the Prairie.

Look at these ass holes.

The scene we enter upon is this: there is a small living room with three couches. All couches are full. There are several hairy, poorly-dressed individuals sitting on the ground. In an adjacent room, there is a dim, blue light and a man playing music. All those in attendance seem to be absolutely furious at our presence there, as if we walked in on all of them in the shower. I instinctively duck down to avoid a thrown loofah. This unnecessary, jerky movement (that also puts my incredible agility on display) only serves to alienate me more. My wholesome appearance and tight, well-toned ass do the rest.

Everybody loves Chris. He’s a big hit–and so am I, after I tell everybody that I’ve got fifty dollars in my pocket that and that I’ll give it to whoever’s nicest to me.

Everybody loves fifty dollars.

“Who’re you here to see?” A small, cherubic hipster asks me.

“Whatah you, like, da receptionist ah somethin?!” I ask her in my best Jersey accent. I’m trying to make jokes and failing miserably.

“I just wanted to connect with you.”

“I’m sorry,” I say. She stands there a bit longer, her eyes seeming to want more.

“I don’t really have fifty dollars,” I say. The fairy in the paisley dress walks away. I don’t see her again for the rest of the night.

I think at one point, somebody makes fun of me for being clean.

After some time, we leave to go to another party–one that’s touted by our friend Courtney as “really good.” I’m excited. We all are. The car is filled with the lightness of shared joy. We all talk a lot on the drive, the kind of giddy, fluttering talk that seems to flow endlessly from the mouths of the jubilantly expectant.

We approach the party. The garage door of the house is open. Against the darkness of the night, its florescent lights and white walls stand as a beacon–a beacon that we soon learn is screaming “Beware, weary traveler. Ye have stumbled upon a sausage fest.”

Inside the garage, there is one girl watching four men play beer pong.

“Oh god,” I whisper.

“No,” Derek says, putting his hand on the window.

Chris Brown turns around and looks to me. There are tears in his eyes.

A black, abysmal sadness creeps into the car, strangling the euphoria that was once so strong.

“Sausage fest,” I say. From the back seat, I see Derek shiver.

All is quiet as we park.

“This is going to be fun!” Courtney says from my left.

We go inside and are greeted by thirty or forty kids who two or three years ago couldn’t see an R-rated film without a legal guardian. So many halter tops. So many sideways baseball caps. Where did I go wrong, Lord? How have I offended you? Chris and I play a game of flip cup. After the game, Chris drinks his Bud Ice with little of the same exuberance he had earlier in the night. Perhaps because his beer now holds a distinctly different taste. Perhaps because his beer is now tinged by the salty taste of tears.

We find out that two of the gentlemen at the party are from Waxahachie–the home town of Derek and me. In spite of the fact that it’s one o’ clock in the morning, one of the gentlemen is wearing sunglasses. I feel so sad for him.

“Be nice to him,” I whisper to Courtney. “He’s blind.”

But this guy wasn’t the nice kind of Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder blind. He was the kind of blind that can actually see but wears stupid shitty sunglasses on his head because he wants everyone in the room to know that his future is so bright he needs shades but you know what I bet his future isn’t so bright I bet it’s pretty dim so he should just take those sunglasses off or make with the blindness because he’s pissing everybody the hell off and I’m tired of looking at him.

The two dudes engage Courtney and I (just Courtney) in conversation. These are the kind of guys who have a problem confusing sexual harassment with flirtation. The blind man reaches out and unties a bow at the front of Courtney’s blouse. I make a comment as to the inappropriateness of this action, but, after giving me a brief physical in which I am found to lack a vagina and breasts, the blind man and his friend decide that I don’t merit a response. Their hands are very gentle, though. And warm. So warm.

Some asshole claims he’s Riley Dodge (Star quarterback from Southlake Carrol). He is not.

“If you’re Riley Dodge,” I say to him, “then I’m Todd Dodge (Riley Dodge’s father) and I’m going to whip your ass for not being out drinking instead of at home studying your playbook.”

“Excuse me?” fake Riley says, stepping forward.

“Go take out the trash, you little shit. Then go outside and throw a football or something.”

He does exactly as I tell him. Because I’m his father.

We leave soon thereafter and go to a bar. Lou’s. Everything is much better after that.

The End.

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