Monday, November 24, 2008

The Shart Heard Round The World - Repost

***I'm on vacation this week. However, so you'll have something to discuss during Thanksgiving dinner, I've decided to repost one of my most important pieces, The Shart Heard Round The World. Enjoy! -- IM

It happened on Saturday morning. I was driving to Glendale to pick up my mother-in-law's birds (don't ask). The night before, I went to see Lez Zeppelin at The Bluebird. When you're watching four lesbians cover Dazed and Confused, you gotta drink.

So, I drank and then I drank some more. At the end of the night, I got that urge that only a drunken Jew in Denver could have at three in the morning -- I wanted a beef, egg, and chicharon burrito from Chubby's. It's the perfect combination of pig fat, grizzle, cholesterol, and jalapeno peppers. And it tastes oh so good. After finishing my gastronomic nightmare, I went to bed.

The next day, in my car for the bird pick-up, I noticed a familiar grumbling in my belly. In the past, this grumbling had signaled that I had to release some gas. Subsequently, I did what I had always done in that situation - I tightened my stomach muscles, relaxed my sphincter, and flatulated. Unfortunately, this was no normal flatulence. It was one with a partner, a very determined, wet, smelly partner.

I sharted.

As defined by Urban Dictionary, a shart is "a small, unintended defecation that occurs when one passes gas (blend of "shit" and "fart")". It's also known as "Foop" or "Gambling and Losing" or "Gas Followed by Mass" or "Shitting Yourself".

Obviously, I wasn't prepared for this surprise. I knew I had to fix it before I picked up the birds. I couldn't face my mother-in-law literally smelling like shit. Plus, I didn't want to stain my car's interior. So, I pulled over at the first McDonald's I saw

Anonymously zipping past the masses waiting for their McGriddles and Egg McMuffins, I ran to the bathroom. Unfortunately, when I got there, the one stall with a door was occupied by a man teaching his son how to poop (which my father probably should have done). I banged on the door and the father told me to wait. When I frantically told him I couldn't, the son started crying. The father yelled at me. Soon, the manager appeared. At risk of spending more time soaking in my own feces, I jetted before the cops came.

Back in the car, it was like a sewage treatment plant. I made my way to a Taco Bell. With the food they sell there, they were undoubtedly prepared for this kind of incident. I went into the handicapped stall so I would have enough space get the job done right. I first removed my shorts, set my underwear aside, and began wiping like the wind (front to back, of course). For fear of somebody seeing me bottomless at Taco Bell, I used the water in the toilet for a makeshift sponge bath. Then, I was somewhat clean. Unfortunately, my shorts and underwear were not.

I considered stretching my shirt into a very short dress. I considered making a toga-type sarong out of toilet paper. I considered bribing a Taco Bell staffer for her pants. Ultimately, though, I decided to wear my shorts sans underwear. I did love those boxers though, so I rolled them up, shit side in, and walked out. Nothing is worse than walking out of Taco Bell, facing those nice chalupa lovers with your shit covered underwear in your hands.

Eventually, I made it to my mother-in-law's. She had no idea of the hell that I had been through and I wasn't about to blow her image of me as a man who can control his bowels. So, I quietly got the birds and headed back to my house.

After showering vigorously with seven kinds of soap, all remnants of my fooping fiasco had been washed away. I put on new shorts and underwear, although I probably should have put on diapers or at least Depends. Quickly, I realized that whatever caused the initial shart wasn't quite finished with me yet. For the rest of the day, which seemed to be packed with wild and wonderful activities, I had anal leakage, also known as fecal incontinence.

I went to see my buddy's band, Rocky Mountain Jewgrass (yes, it's a Jewish Bluegrass band) play at an outdoor festival. In 100 degree weather, my balloon knot kept dripping. To the sounds of country versions of Shalom Aleichem and Dayenu, I ran to and from the porta-potty in order to wipe. All the wiping and the heat baking my wet anus had some horrible ramifications.

I got taint chafe.

As defined by Wikipedia, the term taint refers to "the perineum, the region of the human body between the testicles or vulva and the anus." Well, my perineum was swollen, burning, raw, and irritated. I wanted to go home, shower again, and put this day of soft stool sickness behind me.

Unfortunately, my wife had other plans for me. She had an engagement party AND a birthday party that we HAD to attend. As time passed, my taint was so chafed that it felt like I had gotten a battery acid enema. At the engagement party, I walked around like a duck, trying to keep my legs, ass cheeks, and balls from rubbing anywhere near my anal region. At the birthday party, I couldn't even stand. I just sat there trying to drink the pain away.

As I grew drunker, I began to tell everybody about my plight. It turned out that nearly every person I spoke to, both male and female, had been in my situation at one point or another in their life. They just never spoke about it. It was as if there were some heavily guarded "Secret of the Shart".

Throughout the night, I heard fantastic tales of wet sensations, soaked skirts, and sock drips. I heard from a fund raiser who once sharted on a hike. I heard from a crime reporter who once sharted during sex. I heard from a chiropractor who once sharted on a patient. I learned that married people are more likely to discuss sharting than single people. I learned that pregnant woman uncontrollably shart without even knowing it. I learned that the older you are, the more likely you are to shart.

It suddenly occurred to me - sharting is what unites us as humans.

We could be Republicans or Democrats or Muslims or Jews or Gays or Straights. We all have been in the horrible situation where our gastrointestinal functions got the most of us. Why do we allow ourselves to be divided by beliefs or backgrounds or orientations when we should be united by embarrassment? I say let's come together as one, let's come together as one and shit our pants!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No Boarding

With the the fall of the first snow in Colorado, most of my fellow Denverites are preparing for a long winter of mountain sports. They're waxing their skis and sharpening their edges and tightening their boots to ready themselves for what they assume will be an "epic season". I, on the other hand, am doing nothing. That's because this year, I will not be snowboarding.

Growing up in Miami, my idea of a winter sport was sailing, windsurfing, or carjacking German tourists. When I moved to Colorado 14 years ago, I had barely seen snow, let alone rode 40 mph on it. Still, I tried to fit in. Living in Boulder, my only role models were bobos that drove Subarus and shopped at REI. They told me that, to be a Coloradan, I had to pick a mountain sport to pursue. Because I didn't want to look like a cast member of Hot Dog...The Movie, I settled on snowboarding.

Working on the mountain as a janitor, I mastered my craft. Soon, I was doing ollies and grabs and switches and spins. I affected the snowboarder drawl (lots of "dudes" and "bros" and "right ons"). I stopped showering and shaving and wearing deodorant. I became a nuisance to skiers. And in time, I was a full-fledged knuckle dragger. As the years passed, I went snowboarding each time the winter winds would blow. Eventually though, snowboarding started to blow.

It's not the sport, per se. It's everything that comes along with it - the traffic, the people, the cold, the altitude sickness, the sore muscles, the long underwear, the dripping mucous, the anal chafe, the bathroom inaccessibility, the long lines to get on the lifts, the high prices for sub-par food at the lodge, the unbearable crowds at the apres ski bar, etc. Essentially, snowboarding became more of a hassle than it's worth.

Still, for some reason, every year I continued to buy my season pass. I continued to sit in traffic for five hours to be cold for five hours to be tired as I sit in traffic again for five hours. I continued to stand in line with obnoxious kids and jeans-wearing Texans and those goddamn handicapped skiers and their goddamn handicapped ski chairs to go for a run where I fight with the same aforementioned assholes for space on the trails. I continued to subject my aging body to strains and sprains and bruises and pulls when I should be at home like the rest of the sane people in my demographic. Well, that's over now since, as I said, this year, I will not be snowboarding.

It feels great to say that. In July, I won't get anxious that I haven't purchased my overpriced Colorado Pass in time to get the early bird "discount". In September, I won't be pissed that I didn't get to Sniagrab in time to get the good gear so I won't look like a tool four months later. In November, I won't dread the fact that I haven't had my first day on the mountain despite the fact that early season runs are wrought with bare trails, rocks, and jerks that think they have to take advantage of early season runs.

In January, I won't have to wait with the herds of lemmings to get to and from The Eisenhower Tunnel. If I don't want to deal with traffic, I won't have to spend the highest prices of the year to stay in shitty accommodations that only out-of-towners should stay in during high season. In March, I won't have to question whether I should wear winter gear or summer gear and sweat or freeze depending upon which choice I make. In April, I won't have to be sad that it's 6 months until I can snowboard again.

Hey, snowboarding has been good to me. It gave me a reason to go to Aspen to harass Hunter S. Thompson and to hit on foreign au pairs and nannys. Ah, but now Hunter's dead and I'm married. It gave me a reason to go to Breckenridge to smoke weed with hippies and to watch third tier jam bands jam. Ah, but now I no longer get high and I've lost any of my remaining tolerance for cacophonous noodling. It gave me a reason to get out of Denver to avoid the chores my wife assigned me and to get away from the tedium of home. Ah, but now my wife is wise to my avoidance tactics and snowboarding has become even more tedious than being at home.

Snowboarding has also not been good to me. It's been the cause of broken ribs, busted discs, and squished balls. It's been the cause of wind burn, athlete's foot, and mildewy body odor. It's forced me to schedule my life around I-70's traffic trends. It's gotten me close to frost bite. It's given me the worst gas of my life (open mouth snowboarding and high altitude are not a good gastric combination). It's ruined hangovers by forcing me to get out of bed to partake in an activity that should never be partaken in hungover. And, It's kept me from doing important shit like gambling online, surfing porn, and stealing groceries.

Snowboarding is sort of like Guitar Hero. It' pretty cool at first, but after a while, it becomes lame and boring. Look, there's a reason Blacks and Asians and Mexicans don't partake in mountain sports. They're smart. I'm no white man. So, this year, I'm going to act like it. Gladly, I won't see you on the mountain!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stealing from Grocery Stores

I'll say it loud and I'll say it proud - I steal from grocery stores!

It's not that I have 7 starving children at home that I have to provide for and welfare doesn't give me enough aid to do so. It's not that I have a debilitating illness that keeps me from holding a steady job and my disability checks aren't large enough to put dinner on the table. It's not that I lost all my money in the economy that George W. Bush built.

No, I steal from grocery stores because I can.

Right after college, I had this roommate that worked at a Whole Foods precursor in Miami. While getting his master's degree, he earned extra cash ringing up overpriced gourmet meals, organic vegetables, vitamins, soaps, and other crap upscale health food stores charge insane amounts of money for. He and I made a deal. Every day or so, I would go in there and fill up a shopping cart with the most expensive shit in the place. Then, when I went to checkout, he would ring up $10.43 or some other sub-fifteen dollar sum. No questions asked.

In return, I would share the spoils with him when he got home. We'd barbecue Maine lobster and Kobe beef, we'd dip Beluga caviar and goose liver pate, we'd drink French wine and Belgian ale. It was glorious. Eventually, my roommate quit his job and he's now a high school principal. The store we robbed was acquired by Fresh Market for some crazy sum. I didn't get caught, my roommate didn't lose his job, and the store didn't go out of business. Truly, a victimless crime.

Later, when I moved out to Colorado, I got a job as a janitor at Eldora. At that time, I actually was hungry and I didn't have food (I spent my whole salary on weed and booze). One of my fellow janitors used to work at King Soopers. He told me that they had a policy - they would never prosecute anybody for eating inside the store. It was like this unspoken rule - anything consumed under their roof was free. For the rest of my tenure as a janitor, I spent most of my off time at King Soopers eating. Shit, I brought dates there. I hosted business lunches there. When my parents were in town, I took them out to dinner there. Not once did I get in trouble.

From those two experiences, I learned a few valuable lessons. First, for the most part, nobody notices when you steal from grocery stores. Second, except in extreme cases, nobody will punish you for stealing from grocery stores. Third, stealing from grocery stores hurts no one. And fourth, food stolen from grocery stores tastes really, really good.

So now, even though I no longer need to steal from grocery stores, I do it as much as I possibly can. And why not?

With my limited knowledge of economics and accounting, here's how I see it: Grocery stores know that people are going to steal from them. Subsequently, they mark up their prices to account for the presumed theft. That means that the people that don't steal pay for the people that do steal. Doesn't seem fair to me! I'm not going to let bums and indigents benefit from these one-sided policies at my expense. I want my piece of the pie -- if that pie is made by Safeway, even better.

When I go shopping, I immediately order some prosciutto and imported cheese from the deli. I make my way to the bakery where I grab that fancy bread, the stuff Mitch Hedberg talks about. I get the non-Kraft mustard from the condiment aisle and the organic lettuce and tomatoes from the produce section. I then consume a free delicious sandwich as I shop. That's just the beginning. Soon, I'm devouring eggs and donuts and Jello and pizza and meat, sort of like Belushi in Animal House. I eat everything I can. Hey, it's not like I'm gonna be arrested.

Next, I stuff small, but expensive items like olive oil, chopped garlic, macadamia nuts, and filet mignon inside potato chip snack packs, cereal samplers, fabric softener boxes, or anything with a little excess room in the packaging. Chances are, nobody will expect me to hide these products (macadamia nut theft is not yet a major epidemic). So, I pile them away. I also slide non-perishable items like razors, deodorant, early pregnancy tests, and Magnum XL Condoms into my jacket pockets. I don't really look like a thief (no mask, no striped shirt, no large sack over my shoulder), so nobody imagines that I have the Fort Knox of toiletries on my person.

Then, I throw large products like kitty litter, Gatorade, and toilet paper on to the bottom rack of the shopping cart. Upon checking out, no one ever looks at the bottom rack. They think you'll be honest and alert the checker to what's there. Honesty's for suckers. I just pretend that whatever's beneath eye level doesn't exist and I walk out of the store saving forty or fifty bucks. I rarely get caught doing this, but when I do, I claim ignorance. It's an obvious oversight because I, much like most checkers, don't look that low. Anyway, they got some fucking nerve charging twelve bucks for a 16-pack of toilet paper. It goes in your ass. It shouldn't cost that much.

If I don't have anything in the bottom rack, I head to the self-service checkout line. They expect us to ring up our food ourselves and not steal? Crazy! I pretend to run things over the scanner and make that little beep sound with my mouth. I'm the Larvelle Jones of shopping. When I "accidentally" miss some items, nobody knows any different. I love exploiting trust!

Over the years, I've stolen tens of thousands of dollars worth of food. I make a good living and, for all intents and purposes, I shouldn't steal anything. Well, I steal from grocery stores for reasons that go beyond frugality and avarice. I like to stick it to The Man. Yes, as the owner of a business, I could be perceived as The Man, but not The Man that owns grocery store chains. There's a Man hierarchy and I fall lower on that totem pole. Plus, in my business, I get it stuck to me all the time. I have clients that won't pay and employees that take advantage of my generous PTO policies. It's time for some payback! Stealing from grocery stores is my way to get paid, biatch!

On another note, in the grocery store parking lot, I don't appropriately put away my shopping cart. I just leave it dangling in the middle of the road and go on my merry way. You might think I do this to be an asshole. However, I actually do it out of benevolence. That's right! If I put my shopping cart in the designated shopping cart depository, the retards and the Mexicans and the old people whose job it is to collect carts won't have a job. I just can't have that on my conscience. See, I'm not all that bad.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Glad It's Over

In case you haven't heard, Barack Obama won the presidential election last night (I pride myself on reporting obscure news). It's a very good thing he didn't lose. Given his overriding lead in the polls, there would have been major riots if he would have lost. Shit, I would have rioted, not because I was angry that Obama was robbed, but because I need a new flat screen TV.

Interestingly enough though, there were some riots. At retirement communities and assisted living facilities throughout the Midwest, decrepit white men felt that the election was wrongfully snatched from one of their brothers. They refused to take their medications, they rammed their wheelchairs through windows, and they defecated in the streets. It was scary!

Like many Obama supporters, I was shooting off celebratory bullets from my illegally purchased handgun. It wasn't because I was ecstatic over Barack's victory. It was because I was relieved that this fucking election is finally over. It's been a long, draining race and it's time for things to get back to normal.

It's time to remove the election signs from our front lawns and put back our gnomes and flamingos and old sofas. It's time to peel off our political stickers and once again adorn our cars with witty slogans like, "If this van's a rockin', don't come a knockin'!" and "Honk if you're horny!" and "Jesus is coming, look busy!". It's time end to our donations to campaigns and return to spending money on important things like illicit drugs and prostitution and child support.

Remember what it was like before the election season went into full swing? Nobody gave a shit about politics. Nobody cared about poll results. Nobody knew the difference between Borat and Barack. Nobody watched Saturday Night Live. Nobody lusted after Campbell Brown or Arianna Huffington. Nobody wore rimless eyeglasses. Well, those days are back, baby!

Musicians, actors, and other retards who have no idea about national affairs, but think it's cool to support Obama, can return to being apathetic. D-list Republicans like Stephen Baldwin, John Ratzenberger, Robert Davi, and Andrew Shue can return to to irrelevance. Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright can return to domestic terrorism and America hating.

Extra, Entertainment Tonight, and every other entertainment news show can stop interviewing political figures and get back to reporting on important shit like the results of Paris Hilton's herpes test and The New Kids on the Block's historical reunion. Uninterrupted by weekly debates, we won't miss a single episode of titillating programs like Wife Swap, Are You Smarter Than a Fetus, and Law and Order: WTF. Without the endless barrage of political ads, we'll see more of those horrible Microsoft commercials that try to be as clever as Apple's, but fail miserably and make us all feel very uncomfortable.

For my part, after today, I will never mention anybody with the last name Palin ever again in my blog. Same goes for Joe the Plumber and every other obviously ineffective Republican pawn. Like in the old days, I'll write about significant issues like sharting, urinating, drinking, and being angry.

While I'm happy my candidate won, I'm going to miss having a foil to make fun of. I loved complaining about Bush. He was one funny fucking redneck. McCain and Palin would have given me that same joy.

Ah, but that's a small price to pay.

Now, Republicans will see what it feels like to be helpless, with the fate of their country resting in the hands of a president they didn't vote for. We won't have to be reminded of our inevitable mortality by McCain's corpse-like being. And, we won't have to hear Christian people talk about how refreshing Sarah Palin is. That's change we can believe in!