- Now, when someone asks what I do, I can say, "I don't like to brag, but I own some land in Illinois" or "Well, Jessica Alba, I'm a mortgagor. And a lover."
- I now have a crawlspace in which to hide, uh, things. (By ", uh, things" I mean "goat fetuses and jars of jam and whores")
- My dream of an IU/Beatles/Bears/Air Bud/George McGovern/abortion themed entryway is finally a possibility.
- In one fell swoop, I have risen from fourth place to first in the most recent AP Number of Bathrooms in Dwellings Owned by My Immediate Family Poll, and I plan to stay there, putting bathrooms in every room in my house and removing showers in my dad's house to ensure my reign at the top continues indefinitely.
- The band can finally get back together and record some new songs. "Abortion Monday" and "Burning Urination" have run their course, at least stateside.
- The other band can finally get back together and record some new songs. "Your Daughter Got Abducted" and "Ding Dong Bitch" have run their course, at least continentally.
- Two words: sex swing.
- Two more words: key parties
- I can finally quote 2 Live Crew's "Get the Fuck Out of My House" without feeling like a phony.
- Punching holes in the ceiling and urinating on the carpet while binging on speedballs will not cost me any security deposit money.
- Multiple bedrooms = multiple wives.
- We finally have room for all those dildos! (By "dildos" I mean "pots and pans and whores")
- When someone asks "what were you up to yesterday?", I can truthfully say, "I was masturbating to What's Happening reruns, at my home."
- A second and third bedroom will allow for a real-life version of "You, Me, and Dupree," although this time it would actually be humorous.
- Jester and I shall use our newfound power as a means to fight for the proletariat, so that we can harness his trust and thereafter exploit him for our personal gain.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
L conductor over loud speaker while at a station, where twentysomthing mother is trying to enter train but her kids are running all over the platform: "Please mind your children."
Mother (yelling while standing in the train, but sticking her head out of the open door): "Please mind your fuckin' biz-ness!"
--Chicago, Clark and Lake L station
A fortysomthing man and woman have a fairly audible conversation in very public hallway of court:
Man: "Are you in Al Anon?"
Man: "So you have a problem."
Woman: "I'm an enabler."
(Conversation continues and turns to man's friend)
Woman: "Does he drive anymore?"
Man: "No, he's dead."
--Wheaton, IL, DuPage County courthouse
At 9 a.m. in a courtroom, two strangers (a twentysomething male and a fiftysomething woman) strike up a conversation:
Man: "The one day I take off work to go to the Cubs game I have to go to court."
Woman: "What time is the game?"
Woman: "I think you should be fine."
Man: "Yeah, but I wanted to be able to drink before the game."
--Wheaton, IL, DuPage County courthouse
Secretary sternly talking on phone at 8:30 in the morning: "Do you know how bad those people were? They hated this country."
--Chicago, Madison & Wacker
One middle-aged business man to another while briskly walking to work: "You gotta help me find this guy and we gotta kill him."
--Chicago, Madison and Franklin
Another submission that isn't technically eavesdropping, but worthy of inclusion:
At 7:45am on a Wednesday, an approximately 45 year old man blasts MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" from his car, with all his windows down.
--Chicago, Kennedy Expressway
Thank me for my submissions, and Trashton too for his. For the other 5,999,999,998 of you, keep those ears open at work, home, in the bedroom, etc., and when you hear something funny, send it to email@example.com for the next installment of Midwestern Eavesdropping.
Also, with regard to the 20-song mixtape, I feel extremely guilty that I will not be in the office tomorrow for Hair Band Friday (and thus unable to share an HBF mixtape with you), so I felt the need to give you something.
Monday, April 21, 2008
I haven't had enough lethality or immorality in my reading as of late. Sex, blood, hyperkinetic drug use, and the combination of the three have eluded my recent reading. Frankly, I haven't had enough Bret Easton Ellis. Because Jessie never bought me Less Than Zero, even though I swore on my dog's future grave that she did, my next book will be Ellis's The Rules of Attraction, which revolves around the tangled web woven among several students at an overprivileged New England liberal arts college in the mid '80s. In typical Ellis fashion, the book is tangentially related to his other works -- for instance, one of the main characters is Sean Bateman, younger brother of American Psycho darling Patrick Bateman, and another character is Victor Johnson of Glamorama fame. You may remember the underachieving film based on the book that came out in 2002, starring Dawson as Sean Bateman, Jessica Biel and Kate Bosworth as extremely saucy tarts, and that chick from A Knight's Tale as an arty chick who wishes to be deflowered. Maybe it wasn't as underwhelming as I remember it. Nonetheless, I'm assuming the book will be better than the movie.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Many of us have been waiting for over 17 years for the New Madrid Fault to live up to its billing as the second biggest fault line in the U.S. Back in early December 1990, the hallways of Park Junior High were abuzz. Helmut Kohl had just been elected Chancellor in the first all-German free elections since 1932. Macauley Culkin was delighting audiences with his thought-provoking brand of slapstick. And Whitney Houston was everyone's "baby tonight." But bigger than all of that combined was the coming earthquake -- as inevitable as the upward progression of counting from 1 to 10. Except then changing 10 to a 0. Yes, 1234567890 held all the answers. Nostradamus himself couldn't have figured it out, but everyone in Illinois apparently could. It went like this: On December 3, 1990 (123, 90) at 4:56 p.m. (456), an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 (78) on the Richter Scale would strike the New Madrid fault line. It would be a quake the likes of which the New Madrid fault line had not seen since the infamous 1812 quake that temporarily reversed the flow and permanently changed the course of the Mississippi River, or maybe the 1895 quake that was felt as far away as New York, South Carolina, and Louisiana. And the princesses in California get their panties in a bunch when a World Series games gets interrupted.
Much of the student body was gathered at a girl's basketball game in North Gym, anxiously watching the hands of the clock push towards 4:56. The tension was palpable. Students were under the bleachers, fucking like rabbits. Teachers and janitors were engaged in a Roman-esque orgy. The end was so very near. And then it happened. 4:56. Maybe the clock was a couple minutes fast. As the hour hand crossed the 5, the anxiety-ridden sound of rising zippers was deafening. Boys and girls alike sobbed, most committing suicide instantly. Awkward promises of "staying with you even if you don't get an abortion" were insincerely doled out by teachers and students alike. Screams of "Good God, what have I done?!", "I lost my virginity to Jim Gora! And Ali Roopani!," and "Even Mr. Granger's dick smells like a Twinkie!" could be heard as far away as the cafeteria. After the dust cleared, the petting returned from heavy to zero, and the broken condoms were laughed away, it became painfully clear to us what had happened: the earthquake would hit in 2090 -- a concern not for us, but for the children and grandchildren of the lives conceived on December 3, 1990.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
As you may or may not know, the Black Keys recently released a new album, Attack and Release, which was produced by Danger Mouse, of Gnarls Barkley and "Grey Album" fame. The new album is a slight departure from the Black Keys' delightful fuzz-infused garage blues rock that we have come to know and love. Attack and Release is not devoid of fuzz or blues, but there are more melodies and more instruments involved (i.e., not just a guitar and drums). All in all, a highly suggested CD. 5 Handrews.
This leads to this week's poll question: How will Tom Crean do in his first year at IU? Losing record? NIT? NCAA first or second round? Sweet 16? Final Four?
(By the way, in response to the last poll, 70% of you said that you would rather be anonymous in life and famous in death, while 30% of you said that you would rather be famous in life but forgotten about as soon as you die.)
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Well, the deal for the small palace fell through in the last week of March, on account of unreasonable and non-negotiable seller demands. Thus, we were back house hunting. We found another place a little over a week ago, and we are closing before the end of the month. Hence we did not re-sign our lease.
On Friday (April 11 -- the day after our deadline to re-sign), as a courtesy, I emailed Landlord to let him know that we were not re-signing our lease and that we would be moving out by the end of the month. Shortly thereafter, I received an email from him that said, "Please call me today to discuss." I also received a frantic voicemail from him that said, "GMYH, it's Landlord. Please call me as soon as you get this." I was worried that he had accidentally thrown a molotov cocktail into our apartment (since he knows I'm a tsarist), so I called him back, leaving him a voicemail that was something along the lines of, "Look you Bolshevik mothertrucker, that intimidation shit may fly in Petrograd, but here in America, two-bit proletariat hacks like you are a dime a dozen. By the time you receive this message, your entire family will have suffered the same fate as my apartment. Feel free to give me a call at work or on my cell. Tootles!"
About 26 minutes later, he called me at work. At this point I was covered from head to toe in strawberry-kiwi-flavored massage oil and doves' blood, wearing a black latex mask, and in the middle of receiving a rusty trombone in my office from some Irish-Cuban chick with a tongue ring named Sadie while listening to Danger Danger, as it was Hair Band Friday. Regardless, I answered the phone.
Me: "Ground Leaf Leaf Removal. You rake 'em, we take 'em. This is GMYH. How can I help you?"
Landlord: "This is Landlord."
Me: "Hey, how's it going?"
Landlord (confused by my question): "Um, uh, okay."
Me: "So, uh, what did you want?"
Landlord (on the verge of tears): "I just want to know what happened."
Me: "Well, we were under contract on a place that was supposed to close in June, but that deal fell through and we found another condo where we can close by the end of April, so we don't need to sign another lease."
(several seconds of silence)
Landlord: "Well, I guess I'm just a little taken aback."
(pause for several seconds as I simulatenously reach climax and try to digest why he would be "taken aback")
Me: "Uh, okay. I don't know what to tell you. You guys emailed us the lease renewal and said we had until April 10 to re-sign our lease. We didn't need to re-sign, so we didn't."
Landlord: "So you didn't sign another lease?"
Me (confused, since I assumed he could comprehend English): "Right."
Landlord: "I guess I'm just a little confused."
Landlord (speaking as if he hadn't given me until the day before to sign a new lease): "Well, we're going to be scrambling to find someone to lease the apartment, and we're probably going to be in and out of there several times on Saturday and Sunday showing it."
Me: "Yeah, Woman from your office already emailed me and said you would be showing it tomorrow at 1."
Landlord: "We'll try to give you as much notice as possible about showing it, but sometimes people just walk up to it and call us and we have to show it to them. We're really going to be scrambling."
Me: "Okay, well, as I told you in the email, give us as much notice as possible because our dog is a shelter dog who was abused, so she gets skittish around strangers. For everyone's sake it's best if she's gated off when you show the place."
(silence for 7 or 8 seconds while I assume he stared blankly at the phone, given the obvious gravity of the whole situation)
Me: "Landlord? You still there?"
(pause for another several seconds as I expect him to react in some manner)
Me: "Uh, okay, well, just give us as much notice as possible."
Landlord: "Okay. Thanks."
(he then hangs up)
What the hell just happened? "Taken aback?" Are you kidding me? If anyone should be taken aback, it should be me at the fact that he was so absolutely dumbfounded by the fact that we didn't re-sign a lease by the deadline he gave us. And then the man has the balls to put up a sign that says our apartment has central air. Technically, there is air in the center of our apartment, but it is not conditioned in any manner. He knows this because he told us that there was central air. When we called him after we moved in to ask him how to turn our central air on, he nonchalantly said, "You guys don't have central air." I'm no lawyer, but I'm sure there's an Illinois Consumer Fraud Act violation in there somewhere. The tsar will have his revenge.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Twentysomething special ed teacher: "You know, the fire stuff that comes out of a volcano, what is it called? Fire? Magma? Lava? Liquid fire?"
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Two women on the L discuss how easy their job is:
Woman 1: "It's not like rocket scientist."
Woman 2: "Yeah, definitely not."
--Chicago, Brown Line train
Bathroom attendant at a bar, just before Tigers opening day: "The jack-off lotion is right there....I use it."
--Detroit, Cheli's Chili
Excited twentysomething female on crowded train: "I looked in the mirror, and my entire face was covered in ink."
Friend: "Did someone put ink on your face?"
Female: "I don't know."
--Chicago, Brown line train
50 something US Marshal: "I could use a decent meal, I should say."
60 something US Marshal: "Would you like half a bagel, sir?" [tears with both hands, offers]
50 something US Marshal: "I would. But yours, sir, is not an option."
--Allentown, PA, Federal Courthouse
Twentysomething guy smoking outside bar, talking to friends, apparently about a girl: "Yeah, but she's always got them titties!"
--Chicago, Rocks, Schubert & Lakewood
Eavesdropper: Wee Wee
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
- When a baby boomer trips going down the stairs at the Diversey L stop, such that he blocks the left side of the stairs while he lies on the landing with his head resting in a pool of his own blood. Some dickhead did this to me as recently as today. What an ass!
- When people back into parking spots. What the fuck is wrong with you people? You are pissing everyone off behind you who has to wait while it takes you 2 minutes to do something that could be done in 2 seconds. There is absolutely nothing to explain why this is reasonable or necessary, except that you're an idiot, because no matter what, you're going to have to go forward once and reverse the other time. I hate you. Stop it.
- When people older than me (or anyone, for that matter) call me "sir." Do I look like a "sir"? Absolutely not. I'm wearing a t-shirt. I look like an asshole. You wouldn't call an asshole "sir," would you?
- People who talk at urinals. If I wanted to talk to you right now, I wouldn't be pissing.
- Talking on cell phone on crowded and/or silent train. Boy do people love the sound of their own voice against an otherwise quiet public captive audience. What's even worse is when someone gets a call and says "No, I'm not busy. I'm just on the train," recognizing his or her whereabouts, but failing to conform his or her actions to the environment. And why is it that some women are incapable of riding mass transit without calling at least three people to discuss wedding planning? That grates on my soul.
- When people try to rationalize their kid's or pet's behavior with "oh, that's just how he is" or something similar, as if unruly behavior is cute or acceptable. I could care less if your little Madison "always knocks strangers' drinks out of their hands because she's our little ninja." It's not cute. It's not funny. You should smack her. And you know what, when your dog is mauling my dog, I'm not satisfied with the excuse, "Oh, sorry about that. Bruno just gets a little aggressive around other dogs." No shit? Then he belongs in the cadaver lab at a vet school, not at the dog park.
- "Excuse me, bro." I am not your bro, and even if I was your bro, I would smack you in the mouth for calling me "bro." You have been warned, Reed.
- Watching a movie with someone who feels the need to say every line. Did you know that, in Tommy Boy, when Richard knocks on Tommy's hotel door that one time, he says, "Housekeeping. You want me jerk you off?" Yes, of course you do. And so does everyone. Because you just said the line right before Richard said it. You're ruining things.
- Driving with someone who sings along to whatever music might be playing, when no one else is singing. This applies whether or not the person knows the lyrics, although it's much more annoying when he or she doesn't know the lyrics or has a vague notion of words that might rhyme with other words in the song. And I actually find it more maddening when the person sings in a barely audible whisper. In these situations, it is always appropriate to ask the person singing, "Who sings this song?" When he or she replies, "The Bee Gees," you must reply, "Let's keep it that way." Zing!
- When parents don't discipline their unruly kids. Good God, if I was four and started acting up at a restaurant, my dad would have explained in so many words (or without saying anything at all) that my continued antics would result in the reintroduction of his hand or belt to my ass. His threats were not idle. But apparently if I was a child now, I would get a Heath bar and a PSP every time I threw a salt shaker at a bus boy.
- Bad tippers. I've never worked in anything that can be considered a service industry, but I get pissed off when someone I'm with tips poorly or I hear of someone who tipped poorly. I recently heard a story from a waitress about a yuppie family who left $57 on a $56.50 bill. This isn't Russia, is it?
- When a superior asks for an assignment by a certain date, and you give it to him or her by that date, but then he or she fails to review said assignment for another week, then gives it back to you with less than 24 hours before it has to be to the client or filed with the court, thus causing you to work late. You see, boss, this is the exact reason I gave it to you a week ago. Say hi to your family for me. I'll be here at the office.
- Sunglasses in bars. Hey Corey Hart, take those sunglasses of your head. It's 11:30 p.m. You may not be an asshole, but you sure as hell look like one.
- When bars say they're open until 2, but they have last call at 1:30 and kick you out at 1:40. I'm finishing my beer. I don't care if it's "time to go" or you're trying to "get out of here." It's 1:45, and the sign on the door says I have another 15 minutes to drink the beer for which I just gave you $4. Do you not feel? Do you not bleed?
- Bathroom attendants. I am fully capable of grabbing my own paper towel, thank you. I am not going to give you a dollar, so you can put the Coolwater down.
- When people pronounce mature "ma-toor." I almost punched myself just for making myself think of that.
- People who are clicking away on their Blackberries while taking a dump. That is just foul.
- When people end their sentences with "so." "I went to Notre Dame, so . . ." Yes? So what? So you're an asshole? So you've never felt the touch of an attractive woman? So you cry a lot? What?! Finish your fucking sentence!
- One-uppers. You know who I'm talking about. Those people who can never let anyone else outdo them. If you call yourself a Big Lebowski fan, then "oh yeah, I've seen that movie like 612 times." If you've been to 15 Bears games in your life, then "oh yeah, well I've been to like thirty or forty, mostly front row or in the owner's box." If your mom just died from cancer, then "oh yeah, I know what that's like. My entire family died from stomach cancer -- that's pretty much the most painful kind -- all on the same day -- my wedding day -- after all suffering for like five years, so I had to postpone my wedding to go to twelve funerals in twelve different states, all on the same day. It wouldn't have been such a big deal, but, you know, I didn't have any groomsmen or flower girls -- oh yeah, I forgot to mention, one of the deceased was my six-year-old niece -- and then, when the wedding day actually came, my fiancé was maimed into an unwakable coma on the way to the church by a rabid dog named Bruno. And she doesn't have a living will, so she will remain on life support in a vegetative state for up to 20 years while I fight with her family about whether she would have wanted to be taken off life support. I will never love again, and, even if I find someone else, I will always be known as the guy with the vegetable fiancé. No woman will want to deal with that. So yeah, cancer can be a tough pill to swallow. Speaking of which, I can swallow fourteen pills at a time. I can also grab a quarter off the top of a backboard without getting a running start."
- That look on Tyler Hansbrough's face. Just take a dump already!
- When people in the left lane go less than 5 mph over the speed limit. I'm not flashing my brights as part of some sort of gang initiation. Get out of my way, however, or else you may be murdered.
- When someone (especially a boss) says "I need [insert meaningless assignment] done by [insert meaningless deadline]." Fuck you. You don't need anything, except maybe to go back to finishing school. Ask nicely, motherfucker. It goes a long way.
- When people mispronounce certain words. I've written about this before, and it still creases me to hear "supposably" or "acrossed" (also potentially misspelled and misspoken as "acrosst"). These are not words, nor have they ever been. Regional dialectical differences I can deal with. The brutal and repeated rape of the English language, I cannot.
- When someone takes the elevator to the second floor, or worse, DOWN from the second floor. It can't possibly be that bad to walk up or down one flight of stairs, you rat-fucking-lazy-bastard. Your sloth angers me. And you wonder why America is the fattest nation on Earth.
- Abuse of vanity license plates. At what point do you think to yourself, "I know the perfect way to let the world know that the car they are driving behind is a BMW and that I am in possession of that very same BMW: 'MY BMW'"? Certain things should never appear on your license plate: your name, your initials, the make or model of car you drive, or what kind of degree you have. Those who have stuff like "JIMS TOY," "4RNR," "IM A JD," "SAM IS 16," "GREG RN," "IM DRVNG," or "THIS IS A CAR," deserve to be shot in the brain with an elephant musket. If you need a license plate to tell the world what kind of car you're driving, what your name is, or the degree you hold, then you need to get over whatever inferiority complex you have, preferably by driving your car into the Chicago River or a barn engulfed in flames.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
So I'm obviously pumped about this Mixwit thing. Below is my first attempt. It's called Hump Day, and it will allow you to enjoy your Wednesday by listening to various songs about doin' it. If you're at work, you may want to keep the volume down, as all songs contain adult material, some songs may be construed as misogynistic (such as the ones that contain references to ball licking or imploring a woman to roll over so as to allow a man to "stick it in" her), some songs contain unabashed use of double entendre, and some songs contain words that some consider offensive, such as "sex" or "balls" or "ass" or "fuck you like an animal."