Strove to find a way to punch people in the face by using the Internet.


I Sure Do Go to a Lot of Fucking Weddings
So the ceremony is just beginning. We're all sitting outside; most of us looking nice and the rest kind of doing their best. (Jason Black, for example, managed to wear a tie, though it was festooned with a giant skull and paired with his single crutch made him look a little too pirate-y, like Long John Emo or something.) The lovely bride, handsome groom and assembled principals are stationed in this sweet little gazebo thing, and the general setting is wooded and gardenish, real nice with flowers and nature and pastoral shit like that all around. Some chicks with cellos and violins or whatever are putting the finishing touches on the bride's entrance theme and the whole scene just drips class.

Then my cell phone goes off. I'm startled, and mortified, and deal with my transgression by jumping about a foot in the air and flailing my arms around. It's a complicated maneuver to pull off, and results in 3/4ths of my beer getting dumped in the crotch of the girl sitting next to me.

Thankfully, the groom starts crying during his vows. Everyone is soon busy making fun of him and some of the pressure is taken off me.

Later, I go 0 for 2 in attempted hook-ups. I'm not sure what this "I have a boyfriend" business is all about, except that it's an answer to a question I didn't ask. I did get some of this one girl's pee on my leg, an intimate gesture I thought might pan out into something, but no.

Memo to 6-year-old kid: The breakdance routine was cool the first three times you did it, but when you bust that thing out on every song some of the magic wears off. I'm just sayin'.



Things I Heard My Family Say at My Cousin's Wedding Yesterday
"I liked Bob Dole, but I didn't vote for him. I could never vote for a guy with one arm. What if they ask him to throw out the first pitch?"

"I can take any word and make it negative. Go ahead, try me."
"Okay... 'Nice.'"
"'You've got a nice big fat ass.'"

"So we ended up at this bar where a few of the go-go dancers were pregnant. It was disgusting. I wasn't having any fun, so I said we should play a game where we compete to try and steal the most interesting stuff out of the bathroom. One by one we'd go into the bathroom and steal something, and bring it back and put it under the table. Towels, toilet paper, doorknobs... One guy brought out a toilet seat smuggled under his jacket. Anyway, it came around to my turn, and there was nothing left to steal. So I decided to rip the urinal off the wall. I got it about two feet off the wall, but couldn't break the pipes. The owner eventually went into the bathroom and saw all the damage and went nuts and called the cops. We snuck out the back when the state troopers showed up."

"I never mentioned the guy who parachuted into the parking lot?"
"Yeah, I worked with a guy at IBM who was a former Green Beret. One day he parachuted into the IBM parking lot in full frogman gear."
"Holy crap, that's amazing! How did he do that? Where did he get the plane?"
"I dunno, but those guys can land on a dime. He got fired though."
"For the parachuting stunt?"
"That's totally worth getting fired for, though."
"Another time this same guy came into the bar with a deer he had just killed. He threw the deer on the bar, cut out its tongue and ate it raw in front of everybody."
"Oh man! That's incredible! I have to meet this guy!"
"Well, you can't. He went to prison after killing a guy in a bar fight."

"Why did they throw you out?"
"I didn't like the door guy's attitude, and I let him know it. He said something to me that pissed me off."
"What did he say that pissed you off so bad?"
"I don't remember, but it got me pretty mad."
"I remember what he said. He very politely said, 'Sir, you can't take your drink out in the street.'"
"Yeah, that was it. Asshole."

"Go ahead, give me another word. I'll make it negative."
"'I love your big fat disgusting ass.'"
"You're not really making those words negative — you're just using them in a sentence with the word ass! And besides, 'I love your big fat disgusting ass' is positive. I mean, some people really like big fat disgusting asses. They'd really say that and mean it."
"Not if they were being sarcastic."

"Why did you think you were going to fight those guys?"
"They were jerks. They asked me if I was Amish."

"So he was a real cheapskate, and to get some extra money out of him she started giving him blowjobs every night. One night she was drunk and chewing gum and the gum got stuck in his pubic hair. They didn't notice — just went right to sleep. He wakes up in the morning and finds this pink lump near his dick and freaks out — he thought it was some kinda growth. But it was just the dried gum from the night before. They had to cut it out of his pubic hair."
"Tell the sequel to that story."
"The sequel?"
"Yeah, the sequel! With the cigarette."
"Oh, another time she was smoking a cigarette and giving him a blowjob and she dropped an ash and it caught his pubic hair on fire."
"Shit, I think I'd be giving her the extra money NOT to give me blowjobs."

"Look at him go! He's dancing his ass off. Oh man, now he's got a fire helmet on. Where did he get a fire helmet? He's going crazy. Can you imagine him doing this three years ago?"
"It finally happened. We unlocked his inner Hughes."


Still Not Exactly Sure How I've Managed to Not Die. So Far.
November, 1988 — Siphoning gas is a lot harder than it looks on TV. On television shows or in the movies, you just throw that tube in the hole, suck on it real stylish and gentle for a few seconds, and voila — out comes the magic juice everyone loves. In this respect it's a lot like prom night.

But giving that shit a try in real life turns out to be problematic. You mouth that thing all awkward for a minute or two and nothing happens. Everyone stands around watching. Someone's keeping a lookout in case you get caught, a possibility which makes you nervous. You suck harder and harder. Then all of a sudden you’re choking on a snootful of the worst, most toxic shit you can imagine while kneeling on the ground and coughing, eyes watering and trying to keep from barfing or crying. Your pals make fun of you and you want to die. In this respect it's a lot like... Shit, I don't know. Prison. Look, I already made one blowjob joke; cut me some slack.

Oh, one important difference — unlike prison or prom night, being drunk off your ass doesn't make it any easier.

Sometimes, though, like fellatio, an emergency makes siphoning gas necessary. Like, for example, maybe you've run out of beer, and need to drive to Melrose to pick up some more before you sober up.

Melrose? It's a little rural place about 45 minutes or so west of Gainesville. Snide college students and other uppity rich pricks think of it as a hick town. But it has one important cultural advantage over Gainesville (which is admittedly not a hard thing to accomplish). Melrose sells beer after 2 a.m.

I don't know if Gainesville punk rockers still make the late-night Melrose, or "hell-rose," beer run anymore. I go to bed early, lead a quiet life. And I'm wise enough to know that if I'm going to be greeting the dawn with a refreshing cocktail I need to stock up way before the nannies, party-poopers and Bible-thumpers start locking up the booze.

In years past, of course, I've made that trip plenty often. Too often. It's ghastly. Invariably the spirit of adventure wanes 15 minutes into the trip. The mouth dries, the eyes turn bloodshot and the brain begins the crushing slide toward sobriety. You get sleepy without a drink or two to prop you up, and become a menace on the road. Also, there’s invariably a cop sitting in front of the only open convenience store, and you have to park next to him and act all normal and try not to make eye contact and wonder if he can smell the alcohol on your breath or read your drunken thoughts. It's stressful. And by the time you score and make it back to town everybody's asleep and the beer is warm. Fuck! The Melrose trip is terrible, IT'S TERRIBLE! Why the hell did I do it all those hundreds of times?!

God, and it's even worse when the gas fumes from your attempt at siphoning are making you sick. But, you know, it had to be done. Who wants to spend money on gas when you could be spending it on beer? There's plenty of gas in that frat boy's car, and I don't see any fuckin' beers handy, you know?

We had a full car on this particular run. Me, three or genial four skinheads, and this weirdo named Bill. At least I think his name was Bill. Anyway, Bill was an odd guy. I'm not sure how he got involved with our little group of miscreants. I think you tend to be less discerning about company when you’re a dirtbag, and back then I, at least, was a total dirtbag. This Bill character had just sort of attached himself to us for a few weeks, hanging around, and nobody objected. Despite the fact he was clearly nuts.

Bill looked like a cartoon hillbilly. He was small and scrawny and always wore denim overalls and a ratty straw farmer's hat. His face and head were covered in matted, black hair, and he had some kind of strange metal shit going on in his mouth, braces or wires or something. He rarely talked or blinked, but occasionally laughed at random or inappropriate times. And he told us that he got kicked out of the Army because he went apeshit in Grenada. Apparently, the combat was too much for him.

Now, I'm the last guy to belittle the services of America's armed forces, really. But Grenada?! I'm sorry if this offends any veterans that might be reading, because I have so much respect for you, but going nuts from the traumatic experiences of Grenada is like going nuts because you really hated an episode of Love Boat.

Anyway, there we were, a car full of hoods coming back from Melrose at 3:30 a.m. The spirit of adventure had word off long ago. We were all tired, and mostly silent. I sat in the front passenger seat, high and nauseous from the gasoline and drink, nodding in and out of consciousness.

At some point we stopped and pulled off to the shoulder. I woke up a bit and looked around. It was a dark stretch of country road, no street lights or traffic. Life was painful.

"Hey Pat, we're going to get out and pee. Do you need to pee?" one of the skinheads asked.

"Fuhhh... Ehhh... Naw," I said.

This answer wasn’t good enough. They tried again: "Umm, hey, Pat... DO YOU NEED TO PEE?"

"Fuck off." I went back to sleep.

Everyone got out of the car. I could hear them whispering outside. Then I felt a pressure from something metallic on the side of my neck. What the fuck?



"Get in the driver's seat and drive! Now!" It was Bill. He was leaning forward from the back seat and holding something against the left side of my neck. Oh, a knife. How nice.

"Bill, I can't drive."

"Do it! Do it or I'll fuckin’ kill you!"

"Bill! I can't drive!" I was getting exasperated.

"Do it! Do it! They’re going to kill me!" He sounded desperate.

"Bill, I can't. I don't have a driver's license. I don't even really know how." All of a sudden it got very quiet.

The information began to process, I guess, and, confused, Bill relaxed the pressure. I jerked my head away and grabbed his wrist, then reached around the headrest and tried to punch him. I noticed that his knife was one of those dullish, serrated steak knives like they give you at Sizzler. Seeing the commotion, the skinheads ran over to the car, pulled Bill out and beat on him for a few minutes. Then everybody but Bill piled back in, noticeably agitated and disturbed. We sat there for a few seconds.

"Thanks guys. That was fucked up," I said.

"Why do you think we were trying to get you to come pee with us, asshole? He pulled out that knife 10 minutes ago and had been sitting there, gripping it and muttering and acting all crazy," someone said.

The car started, and we swung around onto the road. Bill stood there, about 15 feet away in the grass, staring at us. We were a good 40 miles from where he lived. There was nothing around but woods for miles.

"Hey man, do you want a beer for the road?" someone in the back seat asked Bill. He looked a little sad.

"Sure, I guess so," he answered.

An unopened can of beer fired out of the car and hit Bill square in the chest. He looked startled, and took a step back. We drove off.

We never saw him again.



Somehow I mananaged to poop out nine whole paragraphs trying to make fun of four lousy sentences I read yesterday at Pitchfork.com. Watch me wade even deeper into the cold waters of bitter, petty loserdom over at Bad News Reviews.


Bachelor Parties Suck
I can't say I've never had a good time with strippers. Because, frankly, I have. A really good time.

But for the most part, strippers kind of depress me. Something about the hollow, saccharine tone of voice strippers use while feigning interest in you and trying to separate you from your money... Brrrr. That, and the fact that utilizing their services is pretty much inherently an admission of failure... Combine this with the traditional bachelor-party setting, i.e. 12 gnarly dudes sitting around watching porno, and you've got a recipe for the kind of overwhelming black-hole soul-destruction I usually only associate with records by the band Jethro Tull.

Jay Kogar's bachelor party, which took place Tuesday night, wasn't so bad. Well, in some respects, at least. It was fun watching Jay endure the ritual humiliations these things entail. The strippers were legitimately attractive, and the one with the boob job wasn't sporting hideous Frankenstein scars and immobile, alien beach balls. So all that was a plus.

In one other respect, though, it was the worst bachelor party ever.

You see, after the novelty of nudity wore off, I was mostly ignoring the strippers and planning my next move (going to a bar where you don't have to pay girls to talk to you). Somehow, though, I got goaded into considering a lap dance.

"Was it fun?" I asked a few recipients.

I've had lap dances before, of course. They've noticeably varied in quality. So I was reluctant to part with my dough unless this was going to be a good buy.

The responses were encouraging: "Dude! You gotta! It's tradition!" Etc.

Alright, I thought. It's the end of the party, things are winding down... What the fuck. I will succumb to peer pressure. I will be one of the dudes. I will purchase a lap dance. I take these things too seriously... The lap dance won't kill my soul. It will be fun!

Psyched up, I started looking around for the girls. Where the fuck did they go? Oh, here they are — they were in the bathroom. I waited for them to pose for a few pictures and approached them, clutching my shiny, coveted $10 bill.

"Ahem. Excuse me, um, 'Jasmine,' but I'd like a lap dance. Please."

The girls looked at me, then looked at their chaperone. Jasmine crinkled her nose and shrugged.

"Sorry," the chaperone said. "We've really gotta be going."

Well. Fantastic. A new low, even for me. Turned down by a stripper. Money in hand, for a goddamn lap dance I didn't even want. But denied.

The girls left, and I stood there with mixed feelings; specifically, shittiness, loserdom and an all-pervasive gloom. These feelings mingled up and swirled around in the charred husk of my self-esteem, kind of like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup where somebody accidentally got a glacier of chilling despair mingled up in there instead of the chocolate.

I've never, ever heard of a stripper turning down ANYONE for a lap dance. Fuck.

All was better soon, though, when I saw this picture, taken earlier that evening:

That's me in the front, and the happy groom on the throne. Clearly, this is the greatest, and most gay, photograph in the history of mankind. In fact, it might be so gay that it laps homosexuality and comes all the way back around again, turning straight. Totally straight. You know what I mean, right? ...Right?




I spent the last few days wandering around Chicago all gap-mouthed, an awestruck hick overwhelmed by a big, crazy city and its douchebag hipsters, terrifying sports fans and the lethal, Ditka-sized portions of meat and cheese they force you to eat everywhere. The occasion was Jon and Melissa's wedding, an unbelievably kick-ass affair featuring an all-star cast of weirdos and hoodlums as well as lots of booze and mayhem. I wanted to document all the hijinx, but unfortunately my hurricane-battered camera managed to poop out exactly one photo before seizing up on me once and for all... And, uh... Well, here it is:

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Todd Campisi in all of his glory. Truly, this is the sparkly cosmic good-vibes that cherished memories are made of... What do you reckon, the powerful erotic imagery here was just too much for the fragile circuitry to withstand? Yeah... That was my guess too.


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