I was discussing bad jobs with some people last week and one job is the worst. I was a grocery bagger and had to spend every Sunday picking up cigarette butts in the parking lot (I refused to pick up a dead opossum out back). I had to manually log over 10,000 blueprints from 1920-1933 into a database at a steel mill. I had to breathe in gas from sulfuric acid waste while running a shutoff for waste acid in college. The worst job though? The JUICE.
I had took a job shortly after graduating college. The online description said, “Gen-X Sports Marketing!” I like sports. Marketing is OK, I guess. I had an interview/ride along and realized, despite the title and pictures of sports teams, the job was basically riding around trying to get people to switch their credit card readers from 3rd party to direct. I was told we got reimbursed for mileage and got commission on every sale! I was in need, so I took the job.
First day, I drove an hour to get to the office for our meeting. Suddenly, a middle aged black man burst in the door and had everyone get in a line. He started talking about having the “JUICE” which stood for Join Us In Creating Excitement. I realized everything was related to juice. Instead of saying, “I hear you” or “I agree” it was “JUICE by that!” Something wasn’t cool, it was “JUICY!” He played the Bulls intro music and began slapping hands and yelling, “WHO’S GOT THE JUICE!” The team, minus me, yelled, “WE’VE GOT THE JUICE!” Dread overcame me like a Scottish fog. Anyone that knows me knows I’m as upbeat as Wednesday Adams on downers.
The job was nigh on impossible. The owner, not anyone else, had to sign to switch the reader and we actually didn’t get gas money – you could claim the mileage on your tax return. Just 14 months to get your gas back! The breaking point was working 40 hours in three days, filling my gas tank three times and not getting paid cash as I was promised for getting the first sale. I was supposed to get $100 for selling the first sale of the day, which I did to a bridal shop (my only sale in the three days). It was a downpour and the cult leader/team manager made me sing “I Got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day” to get the money, which he conveniently didn’t have when I got back at day’s end. My direct manager rode around with a screaming baby in the car while she chain smoked and cussed the child for yelling while we drove from Columbus to Cincy – I was next to the baby the whole time.
I went to a bar on day three and drank until 2 am, then got up at seven o’clock, called Mommy Dearest and quit over the phone. Six months later, I got a check for I think $150, handwritten, for the job. So now, when I have a bad day, I remember that some poor bastard is being exposed to the JUICE and suddenly I don’t care as much. JUICE by that!
I constantly see popular shareable articles on what it is like living in Ohio and I was moved to do one of these by one thing.
This is a screenshot from my phone. Yesterday was a high of 60, low of 26. For those not good with math or really dumb, that’s 34 degrees in about 9 hours. That’s short sleeves to freezing to death in a parking lot if you lock your keys in your car. This is Ohio.
What else? Couple things I don’t see anywhere else. Ohio has three accents. 1) Ohio proper – very basic, Midwest, say pop instead of soda, blah blah blah we get it. 2) East coast influenced northeast Ohio. A lot of my Cleveland pals slip an “aaah” in for their “a” sounds. “That’s baaahd. I don’t like thaaaht.” Not very pronounced, but noticeable. Also some in that corner call sleds toboggans and snuff is called chew, which is really dumb since you don’t chew snuff. I know this because I have accent 3 – hillbilly. This is southern Ohio. I grew up with people saying “wursh” not wash, “crik” instead of creek and even a buddy that says “oinge” instead of orange. I myself say “before too long” instead of soon, but that’s probably just my dad.
Distances are measured in hours, not miles. Ohio people will literally drive to the sun and back instead of flying also. This may be true of multiple states, but every stupid town in Ohio with 14 or more people has a sign saying something when you drive into it. Example – “First marble courthouse in Northwest Territory” or “Home of the World’s fifth largest apple orchard in 1833.” I grew up in Zanesville, home of the Y Bridge, the only one in the world until Japan built one. You drove across a bridge, stopped at a light in the middle and went left or right. You could technically cross the bridge and wind up on the same side of the river. That just screams Ohio to me.
People from Ohio are typically very friendly, which is weird because it’s a swing state and politics are pretty nasty. Even most political arguments will fairly civil, but less so now with the internet giving people balls beyond their sense, but that’s everywhere. I guess the last part of being from Ohio is everyone says, “If you don’t like the weather, then wait five minutes!” which makes me want to move to San Diego just so I don’t have to hear that phrase ever again. Then again, San Diego probably wasn’t founded by Joseph Deerfield, the founder of the first brick kiln built west of the Ohio river or whatever, so maybe I’ll stay here after all. Actually, one more – being from Ohio means loving sports and all the pro teams not only suck, but have sucked for years. Ohio sports fans have Stockholm Syndrome.
I was never big on New Year’s Resolutions. For example, I was motivated to lose more weight and I started in November this year. Of course, the flu helped jump start those plans into third gear and the holiday glutton fest I had hurt, so maybe I should have waited. Oh well. I thought about realistic resolutions and here goes.
Read more. Aka put more books in the bathrooms at home. I have two kids under four, let’s face it, I’m not reading nothing no how unless I can grab the flu again and have squirreled away some books.
Eat less sugar. In other words, let my kids eat their treats or toss them in the trash. If there was a calorie tracker for “food eaten because your kid didn’t finish that” my 2018 would have been off the charts. Waste not, want not, buy new belts.
Quit being nice to other comedians and barely Facebook friends who constantly trash aspects of who I am. Whoa, Chris, that took a turn! Yep. Been sitting on this one for a while. One more shithead posts about how awful people from small towns are and 2019 is the year I make sure they know the comments aren’t appreciated, in my own, sweet and caring way. I’ll leave it at that without getting into more, but getting real tired of the do-gooders trashing anyone and everyone who isn’t in their category and acting tolerant. Oh, and I’m not Jewish, but one more bigot puts something up remotely anti-Semitic, I’m calling them out. I used to stay out of the muck, but it’s getting real tedious. I bring that up because I saw a “comic” posting about tolerance then smash Jews for controlling all the money. Made my stomach turn and won’t slide next time. There’s an old saying “Don’t wrestle with a pig in the mud, after a while you realize the pig loves it.” Oink, oink, scumbags.
Well, that got more serious than expected! Maybe a few more for laughs. Watch an entire movie or football game without stopping. This one is up to my children. Clean my car more (once) in 2019. Throw out old socks for once. My wife just peed a little with excitement reading that (she probably isn’t reading this).
Well, that’s it. Happy New Year, except to the ones I’m going to kick in the nuts online. Santa Chris knows if you’ve been good or bad because you post every stupid thought that goes through your head on my feed six times a day.
Young child Chris: “Boy, Christmas will never come!” Adult Chris: “How the f@#! is it December already!”
Kid Chris: “I want new toys!” Old grump Chris: “I want five minutes where no one needs something. FIVE MINUTES.”
Whippersnapper Chris: “Hey! Great grandpa took all my money playing cards!” Midlife crisis Chris: “Do we have any money for food? I just finished buying presents and I think all my cards are maxed.”
Tiny Tim Chris: “God bless us, everyone!” Scrooge Chris: “If this scumbag thinks he’s stealing my parking spot, I’m going to split his lips in front of his wife.”*
*this is all year, in fairness
Whoville kid Chris: “Christmas music is pretty!” Grinch Chris: “Does Megadeth have a Christmas album yet?”
Bright eyed young Chris: “Clothes? Ah man, I hate getting clothes.” Dull eyed old Chris: “Did I get any boxer briefs? My entire crotch is gone from all my underwear except the one where the waistband has no elastic.”
Cherub Chris: “I hope there is candy at Grandma’s!” Fat, not sober fallen angel Chris: “NO MORE COOKIES, I’M A FAT LUMP. Ooh! Scotch!”
Kid Chris: “This a magical time of year.” Has kids Chris: “The kids better enjoy this magical shit!”
Christmas is almost upon us and my wife and I have different attitudes about it. My wife had to set aside decorations by priority and do them in waves over three weeks. She had to choose between which Santa cookie plate to set out with a matching cup – we have two sets. There was talk of putting up a third tree, but thankfully, only two this year. She got my daughter, not one, not two, but three advent calendars and the dog even has one now. I woke up this morning thinking about how long it’s going to take to put all this crap away.
We were late with getting Christmas cards this year. She told me, “We really have to get these out soon.” My wife found time and texted me three screen shots – “Which one would you pick?” I picked the last one and said “Order this one.” Two more screen shots came over. “Either of these?” Yes, also good. Order the last one. More screen shots. “Kids individual pictures or together?” This was my face when the ninth ones came over after telling her three times to order previous ones.
The cards were finally ordered. I saw what all she bought the kids and said, “We are going to have to getting rid of some of these toys. We have too damn many in the house.” This was her face when I said that.
I only shudder when I realize if my wife didn’t work a lot during the holiday season for her job, I would probably be decorated in lights and tinsel by now. In the words of Alvin the Chipmunk, please Christmas don’t be late.
I’m wrapping up these “Oh God, I’m old and dying” blogs, but one that hit me this weekend was that half my life ago, I was in college. When you turn 30 and think this, it doesn’t matter because being 15 sucks all the eggs. You can’t drive, you’re awkward as a loud fart in public, and you generally have no idea about anything. College, though? WTF TIME, GET OFF MY NUTS.
Twenty years ago, I was a sophomore who had “retired” from football living with a “retired” soccer player. By “retired”, I mean we found out we liked Busch Light and Marlboros more than concussions and running drills. That guy, Camp, would eventually be the one that got me into stand-up comedy in 2007. I lived in a house with 33 other guys and we had theme parties about every 2.5 days. The one below was “Pimps and Prostitutes” hosted by the XAN sorority.
I had to reevaluate my entire diet thanks to beer having calories and a house cook that soaked everything in 4 pounds of buttery cooking grease called Whorl. I was obnoxious, arrogant and opinionated about things that probably no one on earth cared about – more even than now! Clinton was president and being investigated for the Lewinsky affair. Horrible blow job jokes were all the rage on late night TV. The internet was taking off and we were sharing music on Napster. Music sucked then, so thanks for nothing, and the biggest movies were There’s Something About Mary and Armageddon. That was the age of my life, that if I see someone from then, I could probably talk to them for an hour (average otherwise, about 14 seconds).
My room was the size of a walk in closet and I was directly across from a community bathroom with no locks or stalls and two 55 gallon trash cans that smelled like vomit and old yeast. My room smelled like Febreeze on a good day and smoke the other six days. I had a Pantera flag and Jenny McCarthy poster (non-vaccinated, of course) and a haphazard arrangement of old furniture in various states of decline. I had a Playstation that only worked when you turned it upside down I bought for $50 and a Nintendo that worked on a good day. Our room was usually blaring Corey Hart or John Denver (Camp’s choice), Down or Anthrax (my choice) or Iron Maiden (mutual).
I shot pool a lot and was on the back deck almost every day overlooking the volleyball court and woods unless it was raining or snowing. Everyone I knew had a nickname, usually mean, and sometimes so mean they didn’t know what it was. Mine was Booger or Bear, in case you were wondering. Not that kind of bear, by the way. I had to walk uphill both ways everywhere I went (thanks Muskingum). I remember way more than I thought I would from classes. I finally threw away my beer bong several years ago and I wish I hadn’t. At any point back then, I had two parties to go to, if not more and the rare times I didn’t, I would start one.
I sometimes hear people say they wish they could go back, but if I did I would probably die, so I’m cool with just remembering what I can from then. It’s a time that sometimes feels like 20 years and when I run into someone from then feels like 20 days ago. It’s a time that makes me realize I am a cockroach of a human, because if I could survive that house (I had glass in my feet from broken bottles for years after college), I cannot be killed by external environmental factors. It was a time when I was maybe the most unlikeable I’ll ever be and had more friends than at any other time. Maybe this upcoming weekend, I’ll grab a 30 pack and warm up my heel toe and donkey kicks for old times sake. Then again, I’ll probably throw my back out. OK, maybe just a shot of Whorl and I’ll smell an old trash can outside a bar on campus.