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2006-03-16


I hung out with Lindsay the other night. It had been a long time since we spent some good quality time together. And, this time turned out to be serious quality.

First she made me chicken soup from scratch. It turns out this isn't as hard as I thought it would be. Making chicken soup is as easy as putting stuff in a pot, dropping the pot on the stove, and then walking away for two hours. If I'd known cooking was this easy I might have tried it earlier. Well, ok—probably not. Fuck cooking.

Moving on...

We sucked down (why eat what you can SUCK DOWN?) our soup then headed to the optical store at the ultra ghetto-tastic mall in Concord. Wannabe 8-12 year-old thugs with gold-plated chains and blinding white baseball caps and pants like parachutes roved around in packs. They tried so hard to look imposing and cool—I guess mimicking role models from music, magazines, television, and movies.

Whoa. Was I like this when I was 10?

Yes. You better believe it.

I didn't know who I really was when I was their age. So, I dressed and acted like people I looked up to. [Not that I knew anything about the true character of my role models. I didn't know how they treated people, their dreams and goals, and how they lived their lives.] At the time I was deep into speed metal. So, I would wear absolutely anything that the guys from Metallica or Megadeth wore. And, I would say and do anything I thought—based on my research into mags and the TV—would be "truly metal."

That's why I don't judge the mini-micro-mall-thugs (or the bite sized goth-itas or any of the other ones.) I was like them. I was them. We're the same. But, they make me wonder: why don't we have tangible role models for our youth? Where are the people they can emulate that they can actually touch and interact with and relate to in a personal way?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Lindsay and I power walked like a grandma at 8 AM through the florescent-lit mall-cave. We were in a rush, since the mall closed in ten minutes and I needed to get my glasses adjusted, like pronto. That went off without a hitch. Lenscrafters wasn't terribly exciting, except that the girl that helped us was named Misty Autumn Morning. No joke. For reals. She informed us, "My name is in the dictionary." Lindsay and I were a little confused. The dictionary? What did she mean by that? Was she famous or something? What she meant was that all three words of her name were in the dictionary. Hmm. It made her previous statement seem like false advertising.

I was a little jealous that my name wasn't in the dictionary. Not even one word of it is. Oh well. Next time I'll have to be born to parents that did more acid than mine.

On the way out of the mall we visited Cinnabon. Lindsay noticed how good they smelled. Maybe we should get one? Maybe I might have been able to. But, I could never eat one again after reading their nutritional information many years ago. It's no wonder they don't make that info readily available. If people knew they'd never eat half the things they eat.

I used to eat Cinnabon's fat-injected anti-health missile cinnamon death rolls when I was a preteen mall rat. Until I found out how heart-stoppingly bad they were for me. Even as a metal minded junior high idiot I knew that some levels of bad were just too bad.

The manager informed me that they didn't have their nutritional facts handy—oh, sorry about that! It's a smart move to make sure their customers don't know what's in that stuff. If they knew, people would think twice before buying!

Cinnabon: It's like an instant gym membership!
Or something.


Add another 183 calories, 11 grams of fat (3 grams saturated fat), and 10mg of cholesterol for extra icing! But, no joke, these things are really really good. Or, at least I thought so when I was 12.



So, we continued on to have dessert somewhere even worse for our health. Enter Claim Jumper—aka Clam Humper. It's one of those corporate chain restaurants with a plan, a look, and the same floor layout no matter which one you go to. They slam out Texas-sized portions of food done slightly better than grandma with a two hour wait on Friday nights—while the vastly superior, cheaper, family–owned joint a block away sits empty. Just like all the other American sit-down chains, Clam Humper is basically a restaurant for rotund midwestern Christians and suburban breeders. But, I mean that in the best possible way. I like it.

But, they really have two things going for them:

1) Their food is actually kinda OK, in the same way Cinnabon is. In other words, it tastes incredible and it's just saturated and dripping with all the things that make your taste buds explode—salt, sugar, hydrogenated oils, fat, butter. The downside is those things also make your heart explode. Soon.
2) They're size queens. Everything is big at the Claim Jumper. And, not big in a sort of kinda big way. The piece of cake we got was so big that two people were able to eat from it THREE TIMES and there was still left. That's more than six servings from one piece!

Because we skipped Cinnabon, we decided to destroy ourselves even more. So, we had not one but two enormous desserts. Blorf. Why do I make such idiotic food decisions over and over? Don't I learn from my mistakes? Obviously not.

I felt punished afterwards—bloated and sluggish and nauseated. It's no wonder. The waitress leaned in a told us a little secret: "You know why the cake is so moist? It's a seven layer cake. And, there's an entire jar of mayonnaise that goes into each layer of cake."

Mayonnaise is about the most horrible, vile, and wrong thing I can think of. I was not ok with knowing I just ingested a vat of the Most Vile Condiment. The horror and filth of it all was a little exhilarating, actually. It's nice to know there are still things that can repulse me. HOTT!

So, the Claim Jumper was kinda awesome, actually. As easy as it is to make fun of that sort of place, there's a reason that they—and others like them—are successful. And, the answer is MAYONNAISE.

At this point we went for a drive around town. This is when we came to the high point of the evening. As we drove through a park we passed a community center. There was a sign in the parking lot that said PROM.

So, what do you do when you see a sign that says prom?

YOU PARK THE CAR, WALK INSIDE AS IF YOU OWN THE PLACE, AND START DANCING IN THE CROWD OF DOLLED UP TEENAGERS!

And that's exactly what we did. We cruised in with confidence and nobody even questioned us. We cut a rug to some prommy hip hop silliness, smiling and shaking our asses in a salute to the cute young things with too much hair product. Our Cheshire Cat smiles were big enough to crack our own faces—so much smugness. Two thirty year olds crashing prom!


Lindsay: Professional prom crasher.

I'm no prom novice. Except for the extreme comedy factor, it felt like old hat. This would be the 14th prom I've been to. The only difference was that I was actually invited to the other 13 by someone who was attending high school.

Prom wasn't interesting for long. It got far less interesting when they started to play swing music. Who the hell knows how to swing dance, anyways? Wasn't that only cool 40 years ago, for a few years in the 90s, and then never again?

On the way out I made sure to make eye contact with every single adult authority figure I could find. And I smiled at them—you know, to say goodbye. They smiled back as if we were supposed to be there. Maybe we were?

Lindsay asked some boys in the parking lot, "Hey, what school is this?"

"It's not a school. It's a church." The boys started to walk away.

Lindsay continued, "Oh! What church is it?"

"Latter Day Saints. The Mormons." The boys didn't even pause or look at us as they made a beeline for the dance floor.

Dude. We crashed the Mormon prom. And we didn't even know it at first. That goes beyond lucky. That's downright divine. Maybe the Mormons are right. With a night like that, I just have to think: maybe there is a god.


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