The Virgin Prince's War Journal

The grim and gritty side of things. If everyone had a soundtrack to their lives, mine would be the best.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Because Tony Hensley Is A Complete Dumb-Ass and Idiot

My fellow non-invertebrates,

     More than a year ago, back in January of 2005, I wrote a little bit about a scumbag and dumbfuck I’d once known by the name of Tony Hensley. Around October he found my post and left a comment for me (I’m not surprised in the least that he’d use Google to look up his own name, he’d always had a disturbing amount of arrogance and belief in his own self-importance for one with such an obvious lack of anything remotely notable) which I’ve since left up, figuring that I’d much prefer for you all to see him as the dumb-ass that he is. For fun’s sake, let’s put the comment up first, and I swear upon everything most holy, that I haven’t altered it in any way.

The Virgin Prince is a closet homosexually who plays with childrens toys and lives with his mom. He is in his late twenties now and a paranoid schitzophrenic who has to create an arch nemisis for his delusional obsession to become a super hero. I have worked at this theatre and I have never seen anyone so obsessed with his workplace in my entire life as he would repeatedly sleep there and play with his toys in there religiously every night. He was also an alcoholic who's exquisite taste's were only satisfied by cheap malt liqour and marijauna. That's right. He was a profucious pot smoker and habitual loser who lived a fantasy life through his comics. A classic Peter Pan syndrome.I gurantee you this is a work of fiction that he pleasures himself to it every night and as you can tell he writes about it kind of obsessively, huh? These people are psuedo intellectuals who seperate themselves from the people around them they deem incapable of proper thinking. They believe they are elite and that there enlightened thinking will bring them to a higher level of being and solve all of the worlds societal issues. They stay up late many a night debating and fueling there psychological war against society but yet fail to realize they are completely incapable of doing anything at all. The only people they are fooling is themselves. I know this little tribe of people and they are just bitter outcasts who make up fantasies to excite their boring and patheticly meger lives. I know Tony Hensley personaly and he has always been a well trusted friend and would never do harm to anyone. I have personaly seen him capture a spider in his house and set it free outside instead of killing it. He is compassionate and caring and tries to make those around him happy as well. He has never stalked anyone and is only jealous because Tony  kissed the girl he had an obsessive crush on and only believed he was stalking here when he drove by her house one night when they were outside but little did he mention or fail to realize in his pathetic childrens mind that Tonys dad lives on the same street as her and he was driving to his house to drop off a letter to his Dad about a divorce settlement dispute happening between his parents that was really taking it's toll on his feelings. And also to put the record strait since we're goona put the truth on the line: everyone stole from that theatre, everyone, even the prince valiant himself. Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear.

     Well, lets go over the grammar and spelling errors first, because this is no brain-surgeon we’re dealing with.

The Virgin Prince is a closet homosexually (homosexual) who plays with childrens (children’s) toys and lives with his mom. He is in his late twenties now and a paranoid schitzophrenic (schizophrenic) who has to create an arch nemisis (arch-nemesis) for his delusional obsession to become a super hero. I have worked at this theatre and I have never seen anyone so obsessed with his workplace in my entire life as he would repeatedly sleep there and play with his toys in there religiously every night. He was also an alcoholic who's (whose) exquisite taste's (tastes) were only satisfied by cheap malt liqour (liquor) and marijauna (marijuana). That's right. He was a profucious (not a word, though profuse, profusely, and profuseness are) pot smoker and habitual loser who lived a fantasy life through his comics. A classic Peter Pan syndrome.I gurantee (guarantee) you this is a work of fiction that he pleasures himself to it every night (that he pleasures himself to every night) and as you can tell he writes about it kind of obsessively, huh? These people are psuedo (pseudo) intellectuals who seperate (separate) themselves from the people around them they deem incapable of proper thinking. They believe they are elite and that there (their) enlightened thinking will bring them to a higher level of being and solve all of the worlds (world’s) societal issues. They stay up late many a night debating and fueling there (their) psychological war against society but yet fail to realize they are completely incapable of doing anything at all. The only people they are fooling is (are) themselves. I know this little tribe of people and they are just bitter outcasts who make up fantasies to excite their boring and patheticly (pathetically) meger (meager) lives. I know Tony Hensley personaly (personally) and he has always been a well trusted friend and would never do harm to anyone. I have personaly (personally) seen him capture a spider in his house and set it free outside instead of killing it. He is compassionate and caring and tries to make those around him happy as well. He has never stalked anyone and is only jealous (Tony is jealous? Or did he mean to say that I was jealous, in his poorly-written way?) because Tony  kissed the girl he had an obsessive crush on and only believed he was stalking here (her) when he drove by her house one night when they were outside but little did he mention or fail to realize in his pathetic childrens (children’s) mind that Tonys (Tony’s) dad lives on the same street as her and he was driving to his house to drop off a letter to his Dad about a divorce settlement dispute happening between his parents that was really taking it's (its) toll on his feelings. And also to put the record strait (straight) since we're goona (gonna) put the truth on the line: everyone stole from that theatre, everyone, even the prince valiant (proper name: Prince Valiant) himself. Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear.

     Okay, here comes the fun part: this is the part where I dissect what he wrote and respond with the truth of the matter and point out the glaring inaccuracies.

The Virgin Prince is a closet homosexually

     Actually this is wrong in not one, but two ways: One, I absolutely love women, two, I make no secret of it.

who plays with childrens toys and lives with his mom.

     It should be pointed out that Tony alternated between living with his mom and living with his dad, as one would get sick of him and kick him out, and the other would take him in until they got sick of him and the cycle was repeated. This happened many times.

He is in his late twenties now and a paranoid schitzophrenic

     Tony is very well known for being an obsessive liar, to the point where he himself begins to believe the lies he tells.

who has to create an arch nemisis for his delusional obsession to become a super hero. I have worked at this theatre and I have never seen anyone so obsessed with his workplace in my entire life.

     What this really translates to is that Tony had no work-ethic whatsoever, and stealing money and doing nothing was his highest priority. Furthermore, I have never wanted for an arch-nemesis. Tony chose to make himself my enemy, for reasons I’ll never understand.

as he would repeatedly sleep there and play with his toys in there religiously every night. He was also an alcoholic who's exquisite taste's were only satisfied by cheap malt liqour and marijauna. That's right. He was a profucious pot smoker and habitual loser who lived a fantasy life through his comics. A classic Peter Pan syndrome.

     Okay, this one’s a goldmine: Tony loved Budweiser. Shitty, crappy Budweiser. Sometimes Coors. While I enjoy the finer Irish whiskeys… Bushmills, Jameson, Blackbush, Middleton’s, the like… Tony just loved that shitty white-trash piss-water beer. Speaking of fantasies, this guy was a drummer, A DRUMMER (and a crappy one at that) in a crappy band with a crappy name, and he often spoke of all the money he would have when he was rich and famous. Mostly, he was content to rip off Weezer every chance he got.

     I should also point out that Tony was a pot DEALER and smoked a heck of a lot more of the stuff than I ever did. He regularly brought a large duffle bag to work and with which he tried to sell pot to my coworkers. He also hid a bong up in the projection booth.

I gurantee you this is a work of fiction that he pleasures himself to it every night and as you can tell he writes about it kind of obsessively, huh?

     Actually, I generally pleasure myself to pictures of Aria Giovanni (whom I’ve actually met in person) when not finding satisfaction with another female.

These people are psuedo intellectuals who seperate themselves from the people around them they deem incapable of proper thinking. They believe they are elite and that there enlightened thinking will bring them to a higher level of being and solve all of the worlds societal issues. They stay up late many a night debating and fueling there psychological war against society but yet fail to realize they are completely incapable of doing anything at all. The only people they are fooling is themselves. I know this little tribe of people and they are just bitter outcasts who make up fantasies to excite their boring and patheticly meger lives.

     I love how out of nowhere I am suddenly not one, but many people. He’s referring to everyone else who worked at the theatre here, because he had no friends there. Of everyone, I liked him the most and gave him the most chances, and that gives you an idea of just how badly no one could stand him.

I know Tony Hensley personaly and he has always been a well trusted friend and would never do harm to anyone.

     This is my favorite part right here, because Tony wrote it. That lame-ass motherfucker had to lie and pretend he was someone else in order to make himself sound better. But here’s the thing: Tony Hensley had NO friends at the theatre. Everyone hated him. It’s not because of initial prejudices either; it’s because he was a fucking douche-bag and he consistently acted like an ass, with no consideration for anyone else whatsoever. It’s funny however that he chose to portray himself as one of his own friends in this text however, as he clearly has insider information on both the theatre and Tony Hensley’s personal life.

I have personaly seen him capture a spider in his house and set it free outside instead of killing it. He is compassionate and caring and tries to make those around him happy as well. He has never stalked anyone and is only jealous because Tony  kissed the girl he had an obsessive crush on and only believed he was stalking here when he drove by her house one night when they were outside but little did he mention or fail to realize in his pathetic childrens mind that Tonys dad lives on the same street as her and he was driving to his house to drop off a letter to his Dad about a divorce settlement dispute happening between his parents that was really taking it's toll on his feelings.

     Let’s ignore the fact that he just completely contradicted his earlier statement of calling me a “closet homosexually”.

     Actually, the girl in question was going out with one of my best friends, and had been a good friend of mine for several years. In fact, I know quite well that Tony’s dad lived on the same street as her. The thing is, MY BEST FRIEND WAS IN THE CAR WITH TONY WHEN HE CHOSE TO FOLLOW ME IN HIS CAR. Let me give you a word of advice, Tony: next time you’re going to stalk someone, DON’T HAVE HIS BEST FRIEND IN THE PASSENGER SEAT OF YOUR CAR YOU FUCKING DUMB-ASS! Christ, your pathetically false claims have no credibility to them whatsoever, but maybe if you keep lying to yourself, eventually you’ll start believing it. Personally, I think it’s pathetic just how much you have to lie in order to make yourself sound better, because in truth, you’re not capable of living an honest, respectable, admirable life.

     But since he chose to bring up my good buddy and besmirch her good name, I feel I should point out something else. He went out with her on a date with her once. ONCE. He forced an awkward kiss upon her, and became freakishly obsessed with her afterwards. When finally he came to her job to harass her there, she had to make very clear to him how very much she was not interested in him. You know what he did? He covered his face with his hands and he cried. He cried like a little bitch. Stalking and obsessing were soon to follow.

And also to put the record strait since we're goona put the truth on the line: everyone stole from that theatre, everyone, even the prince valiant himself.

     Yes, it’s true, and I’ll be the first to admit it. Everyone at the theatre had their share of shady behavior, and everyone there, at some point, got out with more than they came in with. The difference is: not a single one of us got out with more than twenty bucks, whereas you got out with two hundred (which you miscounted and I told you to just leave in the safe, which, of course, you did not do) and on other occasions you robbed the place outright, taking thousands at a time. We all knew a heck of a lot better than to do that. Perhaps if you’d spent some time reading comics as a youth yourself, maybe you would have learned some concept of morality yourself.

Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear.”

     And we’re supposed to blindly believe the rant that you wrote? I wish I could know the blissfully ignorant state in which you live, completely devoid of any sort of logic.

Be seeing you,
The Virgin Prince
The Virgin Prince, 3:03 AM | link |

Monday, January 24, 2005

To Thine Own Self Be True

Valued allies, hated foes, and curious onlookers,

A curious thing happened. I’d gone to Washington for a late Christmas celebration with my father, the deposed King of Pluto, and lost in the zeal of filling up my family’s stockings, spent a bit more money than I actually had in the bank. I caught the mistake fairly quickly, and knew I would need to stop by the bank swiftly, before all my checks had been cashed, to put some money back in my account by means of my wallet, to avoid any unfortunate overdraft charges.

We managed to stop at the bank on the day I was to fly home. I ran inside and filled out a deposit slip, yanking out my plane tickets in the process to try and figure out what the date was. Not that the ticket for my return trip actually listed the date of my flight, the only useful information it contained was the small code of four “S”s, which meant I’d be going through secondary screening again on my way back home. I pushed aside thoughts of having my baggage searched and my genitals groped once more, and instead divined the date from my pocket-watch, forcing myself to recall whether leap-year had made it one day fast, or one day slow.

After I’d made the deposit, and my mind was clear of concerns of any debt, I returned outside to the car. My father attempted to start it, to which the car responded with a quick death. A second attempt resulted in more of the same. As I began to notice the moments passing away before my flight was to depart, I started to wonder if this was the price for fiscal responsibility.

My dad popped open the hood, and I went out with him to check out the car, because that’s what guys do. The oil level was fine, and we couldn’t figure out why the car wouldn’t start. We were about to start investigating the car’s engine when the teller from the bank stepped outside and started calling my name. While this isn’t totally unheard of behavior for women that have just met me, I was rather puzzled.

She started asking me if I’d left something in the bank. I replied that I didn’t believe so, but followed her inside, as she made me very curious about whatever it was she’d found, as she wouldn’t tell me what it was. Once I stepped inside she showed me my airline tickets, which I could have sworn were firmly tucked in my jacket pocket. She made me show her my ID before she’d give them back, which I thought was funny since I’d just prior accessed my bank account through her, without any ID but a mere mention of my name.

It quickly occurred to me, upon reclaiming my airline tickets, that had I lost them in my local bank, I would never have seen them again. My good fortune was almost certainly due to the fact I was in a small town. As soon as I stepped outside the bank with my tickets in hand, my father started the car up with no difficulty. As to whether or not God was looking out for me that day, I couldn’t say.

We’re still not talking. I still haven’t forgiven the guy for letting Bush get back in office.

Off the topic of my refused personal election-day request to God, I must say Christmas wasn’t bad. I received not one, but both of William Shatner’s albums. I must say, I feel strangely… complete. The sheer brilliance of these albums, the quieting calm I experience as I listen to them… I must say, I’m hooked. I haven’t felt this good since I bought my first copy of the Essential Johnny Cash. And while I’d heard tracks from The Transformed Man before, tracks I’d swiped by means of Napster when the out-of-print-album eluded me, and I appreciated those tracks even then, to hear the whole album together, in order and in proper context, makes the whole thing seem as one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever heard. Elegy For the Brave had already been a particularly moving piece for me, but following quickly on the heels of King Henry the Fifth, the piece is increased in intensity.

I must admit, also, to being quite pleased by Shatner’s delivery of the Theme From Cyrano.

As for his newer album, Has Been, I must admit that it too is quite a success. Although I enjoy greatly the tracks Common People and I Can’t Get Behind That, I believe that I do prefer his slower, softer tracks. Much like Elegy For The Brave, the series of tracks starting with It Hasn’t Happened Yet and ending with Familiar Love are particularly easy on the ears, while in the middle, That’s Me Trying showing particularly well that when Ben Folds and William Shatner set their minds to it, they can create a piece of music so devastatingly beautiful that you’ll be left huddled in a fetal position on your floor for two weeks.

That reminds me of the time my friend the Amazing Sarcasma told me of how a story I’d written had caused her to break into tears over a period of two weeks. It was one of the single most flattering things I’d ever heard, especially so coming from one with such a noted sharp and witty tongue as hers. I wonder what ever happened to her. I’d always been fond of her, she being probably the first female Who enthusiast I’d ever met. Sadly, when she came back into my life I was already involved with Rush Girl, and have lost contact with her since. I do remember those curious glances though, those moments of wondering what it would be like.

I’m off-track, I’ll come back to this.

Apparently Shatner had a concert back in November. I wish I’d known, I would have loved to see it. From the written account of it, it sounds like it was spectacular. Here’s the link to read about it: ROCKIN’ AT THE EL REY

Wow, is there anything Shatner can’t do? He’s already won a Golden Globe and an Emmy, and while his previous album has been discussed endlessly by music scholars for decades now, his current album is widely critically acclaimed and popular. I’ve even got friends asking me to play tracks at parties.

I see that since I’ve come back from Washington my webpage has passed two thousand visits, at least according to Sitemeter. Yay! What an accomplishment is this! Of course, I probably could’ve gotten three thousand hits in a month if this had been a sex-blog. Oh well. I consider it that much more an accomplishment to have received so much traffic on a page as pure and virginal as this, even if the majority of you were looking for the Paris Hilton Sex Tape (or worse).

I have no doubts that wrongful Google-searches aside, my traffic has been helped somewhat by my story-listing on the Steve Perry fansite. The administrator was actually quite polite in his response to my letter of complaint (I did have to join the Steve Perry fansite to access his email address, however), and responded by removing the Journey-approved edited version of my tale which he’d posted without my permission. There is now a proper link to the story on my site, accompanied by complimentary praise, and removed of any negative charges of containing “B.S.” I’m still getting quite a bit of traffic from curious Journey fans everyday.

Due to my recent discovery of my old tale posted on the “Hotel De Perry”, this piece of prose written a year ago and not allowed to be forgotten, I’ve come to realize something: I’ve lost my way. I looked back on the tale I’d written, and read through the others on the archive page, and came to realize I was, at one time, very good. I compared my older tales to the postings I’d done of late, and realized I’d really fallen quite far from grace. No one wants to read about the boring trappings of modern, mundane life, to hear of problems with alcohol or the gripes about my less-than-spectacular ex-girlfriend. These are boring matters all, that every person experiences and by no means unique to me. Any person can come up with complaints of why their former paramour is the scum of the Earth, and weave tales of how badly they’ve had their heart broken, but who else can tell you the story of how they single-handedly saved the magical instruments of rock-band Journey from the likes of the vile Oasis?!

Only me.

I have committed the sin of forgetting what Shakespeare himself once wrote (and the cast of Giligan’s Island once further emphasized in a delightful musical episode), “To thine own self be true.” These are words I used to live by, and I’d completely forgotten.

Months of personal attacks on the quality of my writing by my former love gradually caused me to lose sight of what I’d been writing for. I’d developed such a doubt of my own talents and abilities that I found myself imitating the more common (and socially-accepted) style of her own writing, limiting my words to be used for little more than page-long bitchfests of little entertainment value to anyone other than myself.

Somewhere along the way, her complaints of how no one would like what I wrote, and how my writing ability was lacking, caused me to feel little more than an overwhelming doubt in my own abilities. My confidence crushed by the long-term impact of nightly abuse sessions over the phone, I really did gradually find myself robbed of any confidence in my ability. The repeated attacks, over time, had done their damage. I was so very aware of her own hatred and disappointment at what I’d written, I managed to completely forget the praise I’d received from friends and strangers alike. I’d forgotten how I’d been chosen to open up a performance for a local band, or how I’d performed for a crowd of happy, smiling fans every Thursday night. I’d forgotten of how people used to introduce me as “a great writer” and how complete strangers would come up to me after readings and compliment me and shower me with very flattering praise. I’d forgotten how the guys at work used to read my stuff when I left my desk and how fellow classmates had asked me when I was going to release my first book.

I’d forgotten the time the school paper had used an entire page to print up an angry letter I’d written them over having misquoted me, and not listing my major as “fighting evil” and how later that day my Karate teacher jokingly asked me if I wanted to teach the class. I’d forgotten the aforementioned emotional breakdown of a girl I’d been quite fond of due to a story I’d written.

In short, I’d forgotten every word of praise I’d ever heard and could recall nothing but the disdain of someone that supposedly loved me. Over a matter of months, my own personal Salieri had filled me with all the self-doubt her own neurotic brain had long plagued her with.

With my former love now removed from my life, I’ve been finding myself adjusting quite nicely for the most part. The more time I spend without her in my life, the more I seem to realize what an incredibly negative influence she was on me. No longer shall I write to please someone else, from now on I write only to please myself! I am, quite frankly, disappointed by the bulk of the writing I’ve done the past several months. Now, once more, I shall be completely true to myself.

I hope you all like the change back. If not, it’s your problem, not mine. There is no shame in having my writing un-liked by others, the only real shame comes from not being true to myself, and that is something I’ll no longer allow.

Be seeing you,
The Virgin Prince
The Virgin Prince, 1:04 PM | link |

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

January Musings

Valued Vikings,

I awoke dehydrated, poured myself water and returned to sleep, only to be continually awoken by a constant cacophony of phone calls. One of the better ones was from my ally Mister Mystere, who called to inquire about when we were to go Festivus caroling, seemingly concerned about the need to rehearse beforehand. I assured him that little more was needed than for us all to have an occasional swig or two of rum and to dress in our finest eye-patches and pirate hats, surely no one would truly expect a group of pirates to sound like the Vienna Boys Choir. Any who did surely deserved a keelhauling anyway. All we’d have to do is remember the lyrics to Sing A Song of Sixpence, the pirates secret song for recruitment (for the myriad numbers of you that didn’t know; therefore the single most important pirate song of them all), What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor, A Pirate's Life For Me, etc. and the rum would do the rest.

Perhaps I should have mentioned to him our high chances of arrest during the course of Festivus caroling before I hung up on him, though. Oh well, I’m sure it’ll come up later.

Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of my lazy Sunday was the not one, but two phone calls I received from Tony Hensley, a.k.a. Tony the Moulin Rouge, my old arch-nemesis. I was groggy when I first answered the phone and the name did not immediately ring a bell; upon introducing himself as “Tony” I responded with the same sort of enthused response I generally use with people I think are potential employers looking to throw work my way. As he told me he was calling me in an attempt to contact the Lusty Lascivian, it occurred to me just who I was talking to. The grogginess returned to my voice as I realized I was not speaking to a strange, potential employer, but rather just an average lowlife I’d once known.

To give you a bit of back-story on my old foe, he first came into my life back in quite possibly the most fun period of my life, back when I managed a run-down old two-screen theatre that was older than the very town it stood in. All of us running the theatre in that backwoods town had put in our time at the crumbling old place, earning our reward in elevated positions of rank, and having gained ourselves control of a crucial part of the town, which we, for the most part, owned. Once we’d taken control of the old ship Seavue, everyday became party city for us. Not only was the theatre a job for us, it’d become a home; a sanctuary as well. We had a fold-out couch upstairs on which to crash, and a fridge downstairs filled with microwaveable food. Seeing as how we were all friends at the theatre anyway, we often came back to it when we were bored or looking to party. I, myself, spent more time at the old theatre than I did at home, something my family didn’t apparently care much for.

Tony just kind of showed up. In the after-hours when we’d all sit around chatting and drinking beer, he just started being there. I didn’t mind terribly, as he seemed nice enough, and was a friend of one of the employees; I was a pretty easy-going boss. In time, when we eventually needed an assistant manager, he was virtually handed the position. This turned out to be the first mistake.

When he’d first started the job, he seemed like a welcome addition to the team, but over time, the problems with Tony the Moulin Rouge became apparent. For one, having never had to rise through the ranks like the rest of us, he’d never started at the simple station of box office attendant or concessions cashier, which meant we had no idea of how capable he was at mathematics. This concern slipped our minds and we all assumed, of course, that he’d be decent with money. That lack of foresight later came to haunt us as we soon realized he was terrible with math and now had access to the safe; furthermore he handled all the money for the entire business every night he worked. Money quickly started disappearing. What was worse, since he’d been handed his position, he’d never developed the sense of humility that the rest of us had earned while working our way up; business ethics escaped him. What money he wasn’t losing, he began stealing.

Of course we asked him to stop (actually, the duty was given to me); we’d all of us been tempted ourselves at one point or another, nevertheless, a hundred or two would occasionally disappear during one of his shifts.

As bad as all that was, it got worse. Where as the rest of us had all worked together for some time before any of us were promoted, he was a virtual stranger, quickly placed in a position of considerable power over the majority of our employees. We soon realized he was a moron and a jerk. At this point he started (literally) grunting at us, hiding in places to overhear our conversations, stalking the sister of one of my coworkers, and following me home from work. Things continued to escalate to the point where he’d turned the theatre into a drug den, stashing a bong upstairs, and occasionally working a drug deal in the parking lot out back with some of Pacifica’s less respectable characters (this later led to a huge incident involving a deal gone bad, one of the aftereffects being that one of my employees had a gun pulled on him by the villain that had stolen the money). By this point we had stopped caring that Tony kept stealing candy.

Though I put up with having to constantly check over my shoulder at night as I walked down dark city streets, to make sure Tony wasn’t following closely behind me in his car again, the environment at work became continually more awkward and uncomfortable; I continued to remain as professional as possible, focusing merely on getting my job done. Still, Tony kept making trouble, guaranteeing things would come to a head. As much as Tony’s presence had already tarnished our work environment, he was making great effort to spoil it further.

As I was second-in-command at the old ship Seavue, and I was specifically placed in charge of concessions (extra duties and responsibilities, same crummy pay), it became apparent that I needed to leave a memo for some of the employees who were doing a less than mediocre job at cleaning up at the end of the night. It was a rather major concern in my opinion: things that touched the food that customers ate weren’t getting cleaned properly, which I thought was rather unsafe, furthermore, I was the one who would be blamed if this matter was brought up, since I’d had this rather undesired responsibility forced upon me. I came in late one night, after-hours, without pay, and put together a list of the employees’ duties, and what needed to be done.

After spending some time at a friend’s house (I was actually hanging out with the girl that Tony the Moulin Rouge had been stalking) I returned to work, to hang out, to say “hey”, to be sociable with my coworkers. The notice, which I’d left in a place to be very noticeable to the employees, whilst out of the sight of customers, was gone. I casually asked what happened to it, not really concerned, and figuring that something had merely been spilled on it, causing it to be discarded. It was important to me, however, that the employees did see this notice as it did address some very major concerns. No one said a thing. Not a complaint was uttered (especially not by Tony, the manager on duty) and the staff acted as if the sheet of paper had never existed. It was fine, I hung out with my friends on duty, and later returned to type out the memo once more, and post it for the next day.

Again, it was quickly removed. This time, I knew now that it was being removed deliberately, though just who would do this eluded me. Not a single staff member had mentioned a complaint. All I knew was that whoever was doing this would not be victorious. I posted the notice again everyday.

As this continued, I asked around with the employees to figure out who was removing the notice. If someone took issue with the notice, I needed to know. This war of anonymous aggression and silent subterfuge wasn’t making for a good or efficient work-environment, and I was the type of boss that actually cared about the concerns of my employees, if they did indeed have concerns. Eventually, one of the employees mentioned to me that it was in fact the Moulin Rouge himself that kept tearing down the notices. As an assistant manager (and he most certainly put the “ass” in “assistant”) he was one of the three employees completely unaffected by this notice, as it had absolutely no relevance to him.

What was worse, I found out at the same time that in addition to his unprofessional behavior, he was further spreading rumors about me. At this point I was very agitated with him, I had already put up with way more crap from him than most people would have, and I remained professional, if not friendly outright. As an employee that had put in a few years and worked harder than anyone else at our particular theatre, I was a bit annoyed that he was vocally undermining my authority which I had most definitely earned with my own blood and sweat. Not only was he ignoring the fact that I was his superior, but he was further contradicting me in front of all our employees, notably our subordinates, which is quite well-known to be bad form among coworkers. The fact that he hadn’t been man enough to just tell me he took issue with something I’d said, or done, or written, annoyed me as well.

The unspoken war continued, escalating to the point where I knew one of us would have to go, and it certainly wasn’t going to be me, as I’d earned my position and remained professional in doing so, not to mention I was skilled where he was inept, I was fair to my employees where he was petty, I worked miracles with the projectors while he constantly burned the film, I was gifted in mathematics where he seemed to have difficulty doing even basic addition and subtraction (the extra money he couldn’t account for ending up in his pockets on those rare days where he didn’t lose a bunch of money instead, though I should point out the safe was never actually even but ALWAYS SHORT, as we never actually had extra money, the money he pocketed was just the profits he’d over-counted), and, I should point out, I was a hell of a better dresser.

In our battle though, I’d always had the advantage over him, as… I was smart. So while he focused everyday on trying to undermine me and piss me off in new ways, I was focusing on getting him fired (for legitimate reasons of course). Where he got worse, more petty, more brazen, more bold, more inappropriate at our place of business, I became as professional as I could be, as clean, and hard, and spotless a worker as possible, no longer drinking with the others in the theatre in the after-hours, making sure any possible drug use happened only in my free time AWAY from the theatre (not that I’d ever been much of marijuana aficionado anyway), and most importantly, keeping a log of every inappropriate thing Tony did and reporting them all, one by one, to the boss.

Our boss, unfortunately, The Thundergod (his chosen name, I assure you), was very, very reluctant to ever fire anyone, understandably so, I suppose, as he was very, very paranoid about getting sued. I quickly realized the only way I was ever going to get rid of Tony was if I could find a witness (other than myself) that had seen him in the act of stealing.

Meanwhile, our little war continued, to the point where Tony started putting up his own notice instead (an insufficient one, only a sentence or two long, consisting essentially of the message, “Clean Up! Good, it’s settled.”), getting on the theatre’s computer in the process to deliberately overwrite my computer file for the employee notice, as he knew I’d taken some time to type it out. But as I’ve said, I’m smart. I had a back-up copy in my pocket which I’d saved, anticipating his actions. I did, however, delete his two-sentence file. Later, he tried deleting my file, but again, I outwitted him, and made numerous back-up files, hidden throughout the computer. He started leaving messages in the screensaver to mess with me as well, but I merely changed them back to proclamations of the greatness of DC Comics.

As I kept outwitting him, he got more obsessive.

He searched through every file on the company computer, searching to delete every last file I’d made as a back-up. The next day I was called down to the theatre by our boss. While in the midst of his search-and-delete-session, Tony had found my very last back-up file, which I’d hidden quite well in the system folder, and, in a moment of rage over his deleting my previous file, had named “Tony Is A Sack Of Shit.doc”. Tony had found this and showed our boss, in an attempt to get me written up (three write-ups were all that was needed to fire an employee, I had none, as I was a good employee). My boss told me how Tony had found this and reported it to him, and was demanding that I be reprimanded for it. The Thundergod was seriously buckling, and was going to write me up. I was mature about it, and was prepared for my punishment, but always being smarter and more calculating than Tony, pointed out that perhaps the boss should check the screensaver first.

You see, I’d stopped changing the screensaver back after Tony had written something terribly inappropriate on it, and, as I’d counted on, Tony hadn’t been smart enough to delete his own work on the computer before trying to get me reprimanded over a poorly-picked filename.

The Thundergod saw what was written, a statement about Bob Kane far too obscene too be repeated, and told me that rather than writing us both up, he was going to let us both off with a warning. I was rather irritated about this, I was willing to take my punishment, as long as Tony too would fairly receive his. I also pointed out, that due to my extra responsibilities as concession manager, and being the direct representative of the concessions company, I was the only employee authorized to use the computer. No one else, not even the Thundergod himself was technically allowed to touch it. The mere fact that Tony had even been messing around on the computer itself was a punishable offense. The Thundergod responded that even though I did outrank Tony, he was also going to unofficially remove my authority in the matter, and told me to leave Tony’s reprimands solely to himself. I respected his decision, though I could have easily gone over his head and had Tony penalized through the concessions company, and the district manager, directly. I was, however, quite irritated that I was now stuck with the double-edged sword of having extra-responsibilities, without the extra authority that generally (and had) came with it.

What I quickly realized, was that the Thundergod had a serious issue with reprimanding Tony, being very, very reluctant to do so. In fact, this was why Tony had never been written up once, despite all of his incredible money-shortages, as was company policy (he had, in fact, been written up twice under the previous boss, but the Thundergod had removed all write-ups from the employee files when he had assumed power). I was incredibly agitated about this, having come so close myself to a write-up for such an obscenely minor offense (imagine, the audacity of containing a harsh word in the title to a hidden file!).

I later found out from the other employees that the main reason why Tony was getting such preferential treatment from the boss was that he was selling him pot. Tony had actually tried to sell pot to a few of the employees as well, many of whom I could easily count on to stand by me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get Tony busted for pushing, as both our boss was going to be an obstacle, and there was some risk of other employees being reprimanded or fired as well if I were to pursue this charge. I certainly wasn’t going to harm my coworkers in an attempt to bring down Tony the Moulin Rouge. They were mostly good people, and I liked them. I wouldn’t sink to that level.

I’d once even been fired (by a prior boss, as a show of power, for only a brief 30 minutes before he realized he needed me and hired me back) over a bogus charge of smoking marijuana while I’d been off-duty. Of course, I’d actually said it was me for the sole purpose of preventing him from being able to fire the bulk of our employees, who were all implicated. I stood strong, never faltered or blamed another, and as a result, not one of us was fired that day (save for myself, for a brief 30 minutes). What I did get, was the admiration of my employees.

You see, I had a sense of loyalty, of honor and nobility, and of sticking with, and looking out for, my friends and coworkers. It’s a shame Tony never had that same bit of moral character, hadn’t done his part to treat his coworkers nicely and earn their respect and friendship, because it wasn’t long before I found a witness among my employees that had seen Tony stealing and was willing to attest to it.

Tony was gone the next day, the Thundergod having finally had enough evidence to not be worried about a lawsuit, and Tony knowing far too well about the truth of the matter to even bother with a denial.

Unfortunately, the witness, a very dim, portly, and morally-bankrupt character by the name of Travis McDowell, had probably only been allowed to witness the event because he was so enamored with theft as well, and furthermore had been involved with Tony in several drug deals (he was in fact the principal victim of the prior-mentioned drug deal gone bad). All this being said, it wasn’t long before Travis himself was fired.

Of course, before he was fired Travis went over to one of the local Chinese food places (I believe it was Tams), bought a huge meal (he’d already gorged himself on Taco Bell, his favorite food, earlier in the day), and proceeded to devour the entire thing. It wasn’t long before he disappeared. A coworker and myself spent a good hour overworked, being now understaffed, and having to tend with a whole movie crowd on our own. After we’d served almost the entire theatre, I saw Travis sneak down from the projection room. I ran up to yell at him, to ask him where he’d been while my other employee and I had been running around madly trying to serve every customer on our own. As I ran up beside him, and the words “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!” left my mouth, I realized I should have just left him be, for that was when my nose caught the smell.

Travis McDowell had shit himself.

I’m not going to go into unnecessary detail, except to mention that as bad as you could possibly imagine the mess to be, believe me, it was much, MUCH worse, and, that as bad as he reeked, it literally took a good two hours for the smell to leave the parts of the theatre he’d walked through after he left (for the bathroom, it was closer to six). I was, however, very nice about the matter, and took him outside the theatre, where he’d be away from the other (female) employee, so that his embarrassment would be minimized when I told him that I had to send him home for the night, due to reasons of both sanitation, and his most noticeable smell.

How does this play into my story about Tony? It doesn’t, except in that I really wanted to mention in as public a forum as possible that Travis McDowell had publicly shit himself. Why did I want to mention that? I’ll get to that right now.

No one liked Travis. He was annoying, he smelled, he was incredibly lazy, and he used the theatre to score drugs. Furthermore, we all knew he was stealing. No one liked Travis, and most let it show. One of the other assistant managers, Mite O’ the Irish, even delighted in regularly tormenting Travis until he was in tears. I myself didn’t much care for Travis, and was anxious to see him go, however, unlike the Mite, for example, I was strong on principle. I tried to be fair and give everyone the same chances. So, when the Thundergod was finally ready to cut Travis for missing work, I was the one that talked him out of it, believing that this one time, Travis had actually been legitimately sick. For about a week, everyone hated me for keeping Travis around, though I explained my reasons why.

Travis, however, was grateful for what I’d done and actually became a good worker for about a week or two. But he soon returned back to utter sloth, and, before long, “worked” a shift with me where he literally did nothing, didn’t follow orders, left me tired and overworked as I was trying to get everything cleaned up and done, and what’s worse, even made a mess in the theatre for me to clean up after he’d left. I’d been used to long, late nights at the theatre, but this time, it was reason enough for the Thundergod to cut Travis.

The problem is, the Thundergod was supposedly grooming me for leadership. Though he never made good on his promises of stepping aside and letting me take over, he did decide to let me handle the firing of Travis, saying it would be good practice for me. So when I made the phone call to tell Travis he was fired, of course Travis blamed me. Being a dim bulb, it didn’t occur to him that the termination had actually come from above me (I’d never been authorized to fire on my own), or that I’d been the one employee responsible for preventing his termination in the weeks prior. Travis blamed me.

And while Travis was dumb enough that he probably would have let the matter go, as I’ve said, the more I won, the more obsessed Tony became. Being that Tony had been rightfully terminated, and I held firmly my job, it wasn’t much possible for any greater of a victory in the battle between us. So Tony, who’d been unable to move on with his life, spent the next few months stalking the theatre, looking for an opportunity for revenge. With Travis now fired, and the two them both blaming me for their dismissals (as opposed to their own lousy work ethics and tendency towards theft), the two, who had prior hated each other, now teamed up, and embarked upon a mission to get me.

In the meantime, we’d all forgotten about them, and the environment at work had become considerably better. For the first time in a long time, everyone was happy again, and things were being run well once more. Travis, as a professional courtesy, had been allowed to continue coming to the theatre to see movies free of charge. One day, for apparently no reason, and as a matter of some surprise to us, Tony’s car pulled up to the front of the theater, with both Tony and Travis sitting inside, staring at us. Noting that they hadn’t been friends before, we all found it a bit surprising that they were now hanging out together, though we gave little thought to the fact that they were together, or the fact that they were staking out the theater.

Within a month the rumor got around that I was being accused of theft by Travis. I’d never been told directly, but the rumor got leaked to me by the other employees. When I asked the Thundergod about this, he confirmed that the rumor was indeed true, though he’d been keeping this a secret from me since the accusation came up. I admit, I was both hurt, and insulted. I’d always been a good worker, and quite straight with the boss, myself. The Thundergod told me that Tony the Moulin Rouge and Travis had both simultaneously sent letters (this being within the same week, quite some time after they’d both been fired) to the corporate heads of the theatre, in both letters claiming that I’d been, in fact, the one stealing.

Travis’s letter was the basis of comedy, written at a third grade level (no lie) and telling a story of how I’d been reaching my hands directly into the registers and stuffing my pockets with the cash. In the letter, Travis played the hero, proclaiming, “Hey man, don’t do that. That’s not cool.”, to which I responded, “If you tell anyone about this I’ll fire you, but if you blame Tony for this, I’ll give you a raise.” He then claimed he agreed to frame Tony for theft in exchange for a raise, walking into the boss’s office and implicating Tony.

The letter was so incredibly removed from the truth, and funny and wrong on so many levels, that I actually made copies of the letter to show all my coworkers. We’d perform theatre in which we acted out Travis’s dramatic showdown with me. I wish I still had a copy of it, as I would gladly print it for you all to read.

To even the mildly retarded (Travis excluded) it was clear that his story made no sense and was filled with inconsistencies. For one, if I was pulling money directly from the registers during one of my shifts, it would have been impossible to pin the blame on Tony, who wouldn’t have even been there. Secondly, a theft that overt would have been easily traceable, and I wouldn’t have lasted a week without being caught… Tony was stealing by changing the totals on his paperwork at the end of the night (and taking the extra profits which he mistakenly perceived to be greater than we’d actually made), with no witnesses, and when he did steal in front of Travis, he was pocketing cash that was made by reselling tickets that had already been sold. To resell tickets (as Travis had done as well, though we could never catch him in the act) left no traceable trail, and was precisely why we had needed a witness to catch Tony.

I suppose I don’t need to point out the ridiculousness of framing someone else for a 25 cent raise. (Travis never actually did get a raise while at the theatre; his own poor work ethic had guaranteed that.) I should also point out, I never had the authority to give raises, just as I’d never had the authority to fire employees directly.

Tony’s letter contained no evidence of the charge, relying only on Travis’s letter (which he never officially acknowledged, knowing that would indicate that Travis and him had concocted the story together) as evidence of the charge. Tony’s statement was simple, that I had in fact stolen, not himself (again, he gave no explanation of how he would have known this, nor did he say how I’d stolen) and that I had framed him for it. He ended the letter with a threat of a lawsuit to the company if he was not promptly hired back, and, it was implied, that I was not fired.

The irony of the matter being that Tony probably never would have gotten the idea to threaten with a lawsuit if the Thundergod hadn’t consistently spoke of the risk of one.

While my boss, and the corporate heads of the company all knew that the letters were clearly fictitious, the corporate heads were also deathly afraid of lawsuits. And while the letters provided no actual proof of any wrongdoing, Travis’s letter had also caused a new problem: as he had now implicated both Tony, and myself, we no longer had a reliable witness, an airtight reason for firing Tony. To avoid any chance of legal action, there were only two options. Either I had to be fired as well, to remove any possibility of being sued for prejudice, as we’d both been implicated of the same crime by the same person, or Tony had to be hired back.

Meanwhile, Travis showed up once more to view a free film. The fat bastard, who to my face still pretended to be my buddy during every visit, had angered me greatly, trying to get me fired over a bogus charge after I had fought to keep this little bastard, whom no one else liked, employed. I now knew of his treachery.

“Hey. What’s up Big John?” was his greeting to me as I came down from the projection room. He was preparing to enter the theatre.

“Well,” I told the worthless bastard, “what’s up is that I’m kicking you out.”

“Why?” he asked, not knowing that I now knew about the letter he sent to the corporate office.

“Well, either you lied about Tony or you lied about me, but either way, you can’t be here.” I said, still being fair. I knew full-well which of us he’d lied about.

Travis, now realizing the consequences of his actions, left the theatre and walked home, crying all the way (a fact I later found out from one of my coworkers, who schooled with Travis's sister, a fact which continued to bring a smile to my face thereafter). We never saw that fat, immoral, stupid bastard ever again.

My boss wasn’t about to fire me. With a groan from all of us, Tony was hired back. Since we no longer had room for him, this also meant that the Lusty Lascivian was sent packing.

There’s no question in my mind (or in the minds of my former coworkers) that the only reason that Travis had helped Tony was because Tony had promised to get Travis his job back once he himself was rehired. Travis, who’d spent the previous months being abused at Tony’s hands while they’d both been employed, should have realized he was being used, and would quickly be forgotten once Tony got what he wanted. Surely enough, we never saw Travis with Tony ever again.

Once Tony was back, he was twice as cocky, feeling he was now completely untouchable. He was twice as unpleasant to the employees, stole twice as much as before (his paperwork never even came close to adding up at this point, and the safe was short every night after his shift), and did very little in terms of actual work. He started bringing his friends in with him to hang out in the employees-only areas, and brazenly let them respell the letters on the sign to the theatre, even spelling out(and leaving up) swear words for the town to see. At this point, not a single employee could stomach him and he was being blatantly disrespectful to everyone (myself especially, he even tried to inflict bodily harm on me by trying to kick a heavy door into me, fortunately I avoided it). The problem was, while he was now far, far worse than he’d ever been, the Thundergod was twice as lenient with him now, as the Moulin Rouge had become the boss’s chief marijuana supplier, Tony bringing with him everyday a large duffel bag which he kept generous amounts of weed in.

Things really couldn’t get much worse. Then the real thefts began.

Being that my boss, the Thundergod, had no real experience in the theatre business, and wasn’t terribly good at it, most of the work fell to me. I was never able to sleep in on weekends (and I was quite, quite exhausted always, due to all the time I put in at work) because always, the Thundergod would call me, freaking out, because he couldn’t get the projectors running, or he’d wrapped or destroyed the film. So when I got a call that fateful Saturday, I figured for more of the same.

The police were down at the theatre, investigating, as was most of the staff, being questioned. The building was trashed, but only in superficial ways, not enough to actually grant access to any part of the building; just enough to look like the building had been vandalized. There were marks from crowbars prying on the doors, though it was clear the locks had held, and there was a hole to the wall in the office, though nowhere near big enough to facilitate anyone getting through. The safe was empty, though clearly accessed with the key and combination, and completely undamaged. A miniscule dent on the safe’s top made clear that someone had tried to do some damage to it with a hammer, and failed. The tools left scattered about as evidence were all instantly recognizable as the tools we’d kept locked in the office at the theatre. The concessions area, which had been left unlocked, was undisturbed, not a single candy missing or out of place. The posters, and the Lord of the Rings wall-scroll hanging from two nails on the wall (which easily would have brought in a few hundred dollars to any who would’ve taken the 3 seconds to remove it) were undisturbed.

The robbery was obviously an inside job, and the perpetrators had done a terrible job to disguise it. That bastard Tony had finally robbed the theatre outright.

We all knew he did it, and he was being fairly obvious in his over-reaction to the crime scene, screaming loudly about how someone had broken through the wall into the office when it was obvious to all of us that no one had. The cops interrogated him, and he was in tears pretty quickly, not able to keep his composure. They were ready to take Tony to the station and get a confession out of him, but the Thundergod stopped them, which will always, always bother me. Obvious as it all was, the police in Pacifica aren’t terribly competent, and Tony got away with it.

We were all put through questioning (I was falling asleep through mine, I really needed my sleep) and fingerprinting, and the cops didn’t really do much. Nothing happened after that. We repaired what we needed to, and got back to work.

The theatre got robbed again. This time, they didn’t even bother trashing the place, the thief just used his keys (and combination) to open the safe, take out every last dime, and then lock everything back up. It was ridiculous just how obvious an inside job this was, and I couldn’t believe Tony wasn’t in a jail cell. Tony really wasn’t trying anymore.

Still, Tony remained free, the rest of the employees were harassed some more, and the police continued their half-hearted interrogations of Tony. In time, Tony confessed, though not before all the rest of us had been put through a ton of crap, and his accomplice, a local scumbag that went by the name of Angel, blew town. Tony, to my knowledge, has never been prosecuted or done jail time, though his confession did get him fired for a second time from the theatre. Sadly, all the drama and the robberies had cost the theatre dearly, and the old ship Seavue only stayed open for business for another year or less.

When I’d later moved on to a new job, and had finally acquired my car, Hondabot, I didn’t have it parked in front of my house long before I found the window smashed. It was a peculiar crime, my car deliberately singled out, and the whole thing made weirder still by the fact vandalisms just don’t happen on my street, I live in a pretty good neighborhood. Though I’ve never determined for certain who did the deed, I narrowed the list of suspects down to about three, with Tony high on my list. Whatever the case, there hasn’t been an act of vandalism on my block since.

Back to recent days, this is the scumbag that called me on Sunday, the jerk that woke me from my slumber to ask for a phone number. He’s always had a bizarre tendency to act as if nothing’s ever happened whenever it’s suited him, a trait that I suppose comes fairly easily to one as inherently conscienceless and psychotic as himself. Of course I gave him a fake number, I’m not about to give anyone’s phone number to Tony, especially considering all the stalking he’d pulled on me. I must say, I’m rather disturbed to find out he still has my phone number all these years later. The number isn’t listed.

So, I’d like to make sure that you all know him for who he is, should any of you ever have the misfortune of meeting him, particularly those of you in California.

Tony Hensley: Moron. Tony Hensley: Jerk. Tony Hensley: Stalker. Tony Hensley: Criminal. Tony Hensley: Psycho.

There’s a great many of us around as witnesses to his actions, be warned. He's trouble, and if I hadn't been considerably smarter than him, he may very well might have been a threat.

Be seeing you,
The Virgin Prince
The Virgin Prince, 11:17 PM | link |

Monday, January 10, 2005

January Has Hit

Valiant visitors,

Terribly sorry for the lateness of this post, but I’ve been a bit busy, as I’ve been attending a great many parties of late. I don’t care what they say; Hall and Oates still rock.

But that’s not what I’m here to write about. I’m here to write about the annoyance of neighbors, among other things I’ve considered over this holiday season. You shall all be pleased to know that I did manage to get Mohammed Ali the Reindeer (the poorly constructed light-up reindeer in my backyard) working properly in the final few hours before my nephew and niece showed up to celebrate Christmas with all of us. After countless hours spent tinkering with this beast of metal and wicker and cheap plastic lights in my backyard to no avail, I finally returned outside, once more, in one final attempt to get this clearance-priced monstrosity to work as it should. Outside I returned, armed only with two pairs of pliers, a paperclip or two, and a thin dress-shirt that could not prevent my poor nipples from attaining a diamond-like density, out in the December cold, but I was victorious! With minimum effort, I finally had the reindeer raising and lowering his head fully, not with the jerky, minimum-movement bobbing motion that the beast had been producing since it’d first been assembled (to exact specifications).

My niece arrived and instantly was in awe of these light-up beasts glancing around and eating the plants in my backyard. Of course, I had to repair Mohammed once or twice more during the course of our Christmas festivities; each time he got worse in his debilitation, being so clearly designed to fail, but I had him working clear past Christmas, up until a heavy rain proceeded to flood my backyard. By that point, the deer had served my purposes and I was more than content to let the crummy things jerk their heads up and down and side to side in the manner of mental patients, outside in the heavy chilling rain.

But the rain brought other problems.

The last night of our family’s time together had us sitting at the table playing dominos. I ran outside to unplug the reindeer, burning brightly in the drenching downpour. I returned inside to find my older sister bawling, apparently upset at my prior risk of electrocution. I swiftly thereafter returned to trouncing my family at The Mexican Train Game, a game at which I was apparently very good. I continued dealing out defeat by means of dominos up until there was a knock at the door. Neither of my sisters wanted to answer it, both apparently worried at the prospect of greeting a stranger. I finally went over and answered the door myself.

The man introduced himself as our neighbor from the house on the hill behind ours, and told us that he had come down to let us know there was a lake forming on the roof. I groaned at this news; there’s constantly something wrong on or in our house. It seems it hasn’t been a month since I’d last been up on a ladder hammering paneling back onto the side of the house, reattaching some piece of the roof that the wind had blown off. The prospect of cleaning our rain gutters was not appealing at all to me, partially as I realized that most of our cheaply-assembled gutters had fallen apart around the house anyway, leaving direct downpours of water flowing freely from our rooftop.

As my family and I considered what to do about the problem at hand, I assumed I would be waiting until it stopped raining, then scaling the roof to stop the blockage. The matter seemed to pass quickly and I was asked to help my young niece use the bathroom. I was barely done helping her wash her hands when I realized that my older sister was on the rooftop. I was immediately filled with fear, understanding very well just how wet, slanted, and slick the roof was (my own reasons for wanting to wait for a break in the rain) and not wanting to see my niece and nephew orphaned at an obscenely young age.

I immediately ran up the ladder after my sister, but she was already well established and managed to clear each gutter-hole on top of the roof, one by one. What did she find causing the blockage? A tennis ball, a golf ball, another tennis ball, and another golf ball. I cursed again at our other neighbors from up the hill; I had put up with their occasional ventures into my backyard, and been understanding about the many soccer balls they’d kicked into the yard, I even (with some annoyance) ignored their litter of my yard with tin cans and other random junk, but the fact that they had very nearly collapsed the roof of my house with an assortment of poorly-placed refuse from their own yard irritated me to no end. I knew then well in my heart that I would shake-and-bake the mongrels with a dose of my atomic vision at my nearest possible convenience.

My relatives left the next day and things quickly settled back to normal, my usual routines of diet and exercise returned, and my body slowly purged itself of all the ham and eggnog it had taken in over the course of Christmas. By midweek, I’d spent the evening playing dominos with my chum, Foxy Hernandez, and by New Years Eve I was out partying down amongst many friends, many of which I’d worked with at the theatre, and had not seen in a very long time. It was fun seeing them again, though several had become even more distant, bizarre, and bearded in the time since I’d seen them. As usual, my old foe, the Crackbrained Columbian was there, and she forced us all to suffer through an unreasonable amount of Prince “music” until she shortly thereafter had a mental breakdown on the couch (as she does at literally every party we have). However, the day was saved, and her crying fit ignored, thanks to a well-timed playing of Tom JonesSexbomb by myself.

The next day I attempted to recover from both a lack of sleep, and a rather uncomfortable hangover. It would seem that my newfound physique can not handle alcohol as well as my old one could, my newer, trimmer form being made to feel ill by merely a fraction of what I used to be able to drink. After a few hours worth of recovery, my old chum Foxy Valentino flew by and we took off to another party.

The New Year’s Day party was tucked deep inside the belly of South City, not at all far from the lair of the Green Mike and Red Raven. I knew virtually no one at this party, though, as it was a largely Latino party crowd, I did get to dance some merengue. I jokingly mentioned to some friends of mine, prior to hitting the dance floor, how it was about time for me to “white boy it up”. They chuckled and said it was fine for white boys to dance poorly, cute even, as it’s just a natural thing.

After being pushed to the center of the dance circle, I came back from the dance floor to two very disappointed friends, whom both begrudgingly admitted I was a better dancer than they expected. They hadn’t realized that I’d picked up a bit of the Latin flavor in my childhood, having spent most of my youth listening to Oscar DeLeon and every weekend at a soccer field where few spoke English (and I soiled my face in the grease of pupusas), and I looked decidedly pale by comparison. Quite possibly the only positive aspect of my years spent with the thrice-nippled Peruvian. When the Macarena came around years later, and the rest of the American public was getting hip to the new dance craze, I was ready; I’d been waiting.

We played Foosball and I knocked back vodka, whisky, and rum. I chatted up a lady or two and made buddies with whom I discussed upon large bottles of tequila, the finer points of traveling abroad for the sake of importing liquor, and Bush’s destruction of the American economy, along with the saddening decline of the American people. As I got ready to break out the Panjabi MC for my newfound friends, the people I’d arrived with became tired and we all returned home. Again, arriving home very late in the morning, I settled in for another bit of recovery rest.

Not that I ever seem to get a chance to actually sleep undisturbed.

To be continued...

Be seeing you,
The Virgin Prince
The Virgin Prince, 5:03 AM | link |

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


To those of you with an aesthetic sense,

When I was young there was one thing I particularly wanted. It wasn’t the complete line-up of the Super Powers action toy line, nor was it a full compliment of He-Man figures, though those were a close second and third. No, my one desire was a tuxedo. My one recessive British gene somehow survived my plucky ancestors’ fateful voyage across the Atlantic in their mighty Mayflower, and manifested itself in a desire to dress myself in a black top hat and tails. You see, from a young age I had a pretty decent sense for what looks good. Not that I ever got that tuxedo, though I have made great efforts towards building myself up a fine selection of suits, and even wore a top hat for the majority of high school.

It was a classy gray hat, handed down from a relative, who himself had received it from a strange motorist while hitchhiking; not one of those tacky, generic black ones that dumb kids without a sense of individuality pick up at Hot Topic to look cool, or the kind of “beaver-skin” topper that vapid chicks buy to further fit in with their swinger friends. The hat served me well through the years and earned me a lot of nicknames (notably, “the Penguin”) until I finally retired it, after years of consistent use in all manners of weather had caused it to warp and lose shape. I’ve since misplaced it, though how a top hat disappears, I have no idea. I’m sure, however, that should I ever follow up on every man’s dream of becoming a hobo, the Lady of the Lake shall appear in a water fountain, public urinal, or bottle of Guiness to return the singular top hat with unmistakable character to me.

Other items of note within my wardrobe are my black double-breasted suit which I once used during daring spy missions (I’m amazed at the quality of the suit in how well it was able to withstand the stress of being worn as I scaled up onto rooftops, furthermore, its bulletproof weave seemingly also made it impervious to vomit), the powder-blue bellbottomed suit I used to wear when I felt like imitating Karl Kolchak (complete with ancient camera and straw hat), and a red and black checkered tuxedo jacket which allows me to channel Alan Freed every time I wear it.

As it works out, I’ve been spending a lot of time with old flings of late, and every reunion merely seems to remind me of why I never stuck around in the first place. Every girl I link up with seems to be too self-absorbed, thoughtless of others, and generally has at least one psychological condition. Furthermore, I rarely feel any sort of spark. The cynical, overly picky person I tend to be quickly finds flaws with nearly everyone. Now I seem to be comparing everyone I see with the standard I set for my ex; not the person she was necessarily, but more-so the person I thought she was. Whether she existed or not, I know how happy I was capable of being at one point, which I’m never sure whether it’s a help or a hindrance. I’ve hooked up with far too many a harpy in my time, damaging emotional vampires that I’m really not quite sure how I keep attracting. This leaves me often wondering which I’m more frustrated by: the lack of women in my life, or the quality thereof. It’d be swell to get a nice girl for a change, but I suppose the perverse logic of the universe seems to dictate that just as I keep somehow finding myself stuck with these loveless gorgons, the nice women on the other side of the coin seem to keep finding themselves attracted to men that gift them with black eyes, or knock them up to then leave them for the arms (or spread legs) of other women. I’ve certainly flirted with enough unhappy, married women to get this impression fairly well.

I’m off point. The point is, yesterday I was hanging out with a female friend with whom at one time I’d spend the mornings making out before work. It was the first time I’d seen her in a few years and, assuming that she had grown and changed a bit in that time, I’d asked her to come Christmas shopping with me, as I was interested to hang out with her and see the sort of person she’d become.

The same. Boring.

But despite the fact she hadn’t grown much of a personality, I really attempted to make the best of our situation. I tried, despite the fact it was difficult to even talk with her, her ability to converse, nil, and even stringing simple sentences together as a response seemed a bit beyond her. She tended merely to restate my statements, back in my direction. No wonder all we ever used to talk about was sex. I could barely even look her in the eye as the awkwardness was overwhelming, trying desperately to talk with this girl that just couldn’t talk. When she did speak, it was to make, far too often, a comment of how she still needed to lose 7 more pounds at least from her already frail frame. Her anorexia aside (which has become disturbingly obsessive) her only other topic of conversation was of how she thought she may very well be pregnant, as she’s gone back to sleeping with the 6’7 Armenian alcoholic jock she doesn’t actually like (she’s got the hots for another, but he’s too shy, and hasn’t yet made a move on her), and his condoms keep slipping off as he drunkenly has his way with her (an apartment’s-worth of his buddies all sitting in the other room, hearing quite well the whole show), and how he was unwilling to take her out to get the morning-after pill.

Needless to say, I was quite happy to get away from the evening on my own once more, the knowledge fairly firmly planted in my head that it would most likely be a few more years before I saw her again.

There was one break in the awkwardness, however, and this brings me to the subject. As we wandered through the shops, it was quickly apparent that she was more interested in browsing the clothing stores for herself than she was in actually looking for presents. This brought us to the topic of modern apparel, a topic on which we argued greatly.

I feel that ever since the introduction of the powdered wig, at which time fashion unquestionably peaked, the state of fashion has been in decline, losing prestige with every decade. People simply just don’t have an idea for what looks good anymore.

Back in the twenties, kids wore dress-shirts and slacks just to play stick-ball in the streets, and that was the working class! I shake uncontrollably in sheer envy of the finery that must have belonged to the children of the wealthy, those truly fortunate, personified examples of just what a dandy could be. Can you imagine how well most people looked, even in the midst of the American depression? Jeans were reserved for the workers, and for crusty old prospectors and dirt-encrusted cowboys out west. Back in the civilized world, in the modernized, mature America that was slowly stretching towards the west coast from its established home off the Atlantic, it was a time of trousers, of suspenders, of white button-up shirts, and respectable coats. It was the time of the fedora, the bowler, the flat cap, the pork pie hat, the boater, the straw hat, the Gatsby cap, and even the top-hat.

I look now at the sorry state of clothing and feel both a sensation of disdain for my fellow homo-sapien, and a pang of regret for having been born in this late period of time. I fail to see the lasting appeal of a girl’s pink t-shirt decorated in the sentence “my boyfriend’s out of town” or the allure of a black t-shirt with a star drawn upon it and the statement “porn star”. Why wear t-shirts that only serve to expose the stomach, one of the key areas that it is a shirt’s very job to cover? What is the appeal of wearing clothing that is specifically designed to largely advertise a brand-name or clothing company logo? Is there some sadomasochistic enjoyment to be had from treating oneself as a whored-out billboard, not paid for one’s efforts but rather paying extravagant amounts to the very company advertised on the item of clothing? I just don’t get it. Modern clothing sucks.

You can all stick to your big puffy FUBU jackets, and your gaudy items of Tommy Hillfiger clothing (which really just resemble the apparel of a Safeway employee anyway). I’ll stick to suits. Suits never go out of style and have existed, with gradual changes, over several centuries now. Compare this, by contrast, with, say, the failed Cross-Colours clothing line of the early 90’s.

I remember, in the days of my youth, seeing the kids of my school dressed in the gaudy, gaudy colors of this line of clothing. I believe the idea was to make a line of clothing that represented the historical and symbolic colors of Africa, yellows, and reds, and browns, and greens. It was a nice concept perhaps, but niceness doesn’t do a thing to make up for being hard on the eyes. It was particularly funny to see the numerous Caucasian males of my town dressed in the eye-torturing colors of African heritage, particularly, the image of a fat bully I knew, fully decked-out, comes to mind. Boy, did he look ridiculous; by the start of the next school year, I never saw him dressed in that particular set of gaudy wardrobe ever again.

Of course, I knew at the very first time I saw this very briefly existing collection of clothes that they were god-awful. It’s entirely possible that I’m wrong, though I’ve not found anyone to challenge my opinion on this yet, and perhaps I should also point out that I was quite aware of the inherent lameness of M.C. Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Snow, and the New Kids On the Block while the rest of young America was quite willing to offer up themselves in sweet surrender. Do I even need to point out that I was hip to William Shatner and his musical stylings long before Boston Legal was a hit show, and the release of his current critically-acclaimed album (and re-release of his classic album) or his current SERIOUS airplay on public radio stations? Do I need to bring up that I was vocally all for the resurgence of the classic kiddie-treat The Transformers when it was uncool to do so, long before Steven Spielberg decided to make a live-action movie out of the franchise?

I’ve taken a lot of crap from people in my time for not going along with the crowd, not attempting to fit in with their narrow concepts of normal society, but to me it’s clear as day. I know what’s cool.

And I beat everyone else to it by about 3 years. Give me time; Tim Curry is going to hit a huge resurgence in popularity.

For now, I’ll let you all have your doubts; I’ll let you stick to your concepts of cool and uncool. As for myself, I’ve got it all figured out. The key, if you haven’t figured it out already by looking at the very coloring scheme of my webpage, is to stick to the lessons taught by Batman’s rogues gallery. Rule number one: always wear a suit, and rule number two: stick to green and purple, and sometimes black. It is a keen sense of fashion that has contributed greatly to the lasting popularity of these vile characters. It is a talent for style (in addition, I suppose, to good character development) that has kept characters like the Joker, the Penguin, Catwoman, Two-Face, and (my favorite) the Riddler, well-known names, while, for example, Spiderman’s group of foes is memorable for being little more than a group of boring guys in animal costumes.

Honestly, Earth, Wind, and Fire have more flair.

Of course, you can all protest if you want to, but the truth of the matter is that the suit will still be alive and well when we’re all dead and buried. I just hope it won’t be made of sparkly metallic material at any time within the next few centuries. Well, I’m off to dream of Gilbert & Sullivan inspired bliss.

Be seeing you,
The Virgin Prince
The Virgin Prince, 4:07 PM | link |

Monday, December 20, 2004

Lessons From Sci-Fi or Hi-Fi

“Mr. Spock, on your planet, women are logical. That’s the only planet in this galaxy that has that distinction.”
-Captain Kirk

To all you vertebrates on Valium, Vicadin, Viox, and Viagra,

It’s been one of those days where I just can’t stop singing “The Edison Museum” to myself, though I know virtually none of the lyrics , thus, I hum most of it. I’ve been humming this fugue of which I’ve heard the music’s din afore, because my mind is afflicted with the condition of having far too much thought going towards Brian Dewan. Perhaps it’s the entirely unique sound of his self-built zither that has me so entranced, or perhaps merely his mastery of lyrics in terms of folklore and originality, or perhaps still it’s his distinctive singing voice, I couldn’t say. What I do know is that I’ve been getting 3:00 a.m. urges to hear “Rumplestiltskin”, and when I wake up in the morning, a listening of “99 Cops” is my first thought, and, seemingly, a requirement if I’m to be stirred from rest. It’s like a strong cup of joe, 15 See’s sugar-sticks, a Jolt Cola mint, and an act of physical appreciation as performed by a lithe young Brazilian female dressed in a sailor outfit, all rolled into one.

I used to like Brian Dewan, but these past few days, his musical works have affected me like the second coming of Johnny Cash. Maybe there’s just something to guys that build their own experimental instruments. It certainly worked for Queen’s Brian May, and Devo, for that matter. That short little student film with the prototype electronic drum set gained viewings spanning the world, gaining many a Japanese imitator in the process, and stopping along the way in Germany to further apply an impression on Kraftwerk.

Whatever the case, I blame my old pal Super-Crowl, for turning me on to this bizarre, classically-trained innovator of modern music.

Old Super-Crowl would swagger into the coffee shop where we used to all hang out between classes, slump back in one of the couches, open-legged, and immediately figure out a way to bring up a frank discussion of what usually turned out to be sexual experiences and histories. Somehow, he was the one guy that could pull this off without seeming at all like a lecherous old pervert, though certainly, he was a small bit lascivian, this was unavoidable, but his sense of humor, that ever-present slight-grin, and that small bit of feigned innocence he always used in his defense, always kept him in our good graces. Sooner or later, there’d be the inevitable command, “Cut your hair!” spewing from his mouth whenever my hair got a little too shaggy, or I went a few days too many without shaving.

This, of course, was a line from one of his favorite Brian Dewan songs, whom, in time, he would educate us about.

Of course, back in those days I went by the name of “Big Beard”, a name Super-Crowl himself had picked for me, due to my lack of any real ability to grow facial hair, and based on the name of a beardless soldier, crudely drawn on the back of the cardboard packaging for some cheap $1 G.I.Joe knock-off, that came with a helmet that didn’t fit (the head already had a hat sculpted on to it), a TNT (or moonshine) barrel he couldn’t hold, and an arm that was already snapped off when the toy was still mint in package. Of all of us in the core group of male friends that loitered around that coffee shop, we all took names from the poorly-drawn group of soldiers pictured on that brown cardboard. The Lusty Lascivian, who had bought the toy, as I recall, became “Sea-Hank”, which we all assumed had to be a misprint. Super-Crowl became “Captain J.B.”, though I often called him “Captain B.J.”, as there was no question he was easily the seasoned commander of our small squad. Neither of his names really stuck, however, both lacking the inherent machismo and grandeur of names such as “Big Beard” and “Sea Hank”.

The day I first met my tall pal, we were both sitting on opposite sides of the same coffee table, around which all of us young slackers would center ourselves. We’d never spoken before, but we knew the same people, and it was he that spoke first. As I recall, at the time I was manhandling a Transformer, a scarab I’d bought for $5, and was transforming as a matter of curiosity. It was at this point the big guy randomly asked me a question about what I recall to be the topic of cunnilingus. I didn’t know how to respond, having no knowledge of the subject, I, being very much a virgin prince. There were two or three others of pure virtue amongst our number of friends, though I was singularly noticed, being the only virginal male of the pack; Mr. Mystere, the prude from New England, having left our number for his journey to Fresno.

Being surprised that he had stumbled upon one with such purity and naiveté as myself, old Super-Crowl downplayed the revelation with the simple statement which would soon become a commonly-stated catchphrase used only between him and I.

“Someday, you will be a passionate man!”

It wasn’t long after that “Big Beard” preceded the statement, and Super-Crowl and I were good pals. By then, I had developed the “evil eye of Big Beard” and had my own trademarked catchphrase I used in response to my tall pal. Those were fun days, when we were care-free wild-men, our biggest concern the songs of sock puppets, and the occasional boxing match. We were all so young then, myself, Cap’n B.J., Sea Hank, Immoral B, Foxy Valentino, and Mr. Mystere. Those were the days of Hawaiian shirts and bell-bottom jeans, and barely a hair graced my chest.

As the time has passed, we’ve all seen less of each other, the Cap’n having become a virtual phantom, rarely heard from and even more scarcely seen. He calls about three times a year, whenever a notable holiday occurs. Foxy Valentino left us for the warmer climate of Southern California, and now only pops up for brief periods of time, most of which are spent by him, the Lusty Lascivian, and I, drinking whiskey, running, and eating pizza. Mr. Mystere has become a bit of a hermit, or at the very least, doesn’t like going outside when it’s dark. Immoral B and the Lascivian have become less sociable as well, either for reasons of rarely seen girlfriends, or for an over-commitment towards work.

As for all the other friends of mine from the days before or directly following the time of coffee table conversation, I’ve nearly completely lost touch with all. My buddy The Castle occasionally calls from Florida with tales of leaving freshly-baked pies on the porch-steps of females he’s attempting to woo, and he notably has much less success than he did when he was on the western coast of the country. I hear from him probably only about once a month, and of all my friends with whom I was once very close, either before, or following the time of B.J., Big Beard, and Sea Hank, he’s the only one I hear from at all.

It amazes me just how many friendships have slipped through my fingers. I suppose this is why I’ve been incredibly impressed by my good pals the Red Rightwing, and the Caroling Canuck. Where the rest of my friends are slowly losing contact, and enabling our friendships to slowly dissipate, the two-fisted two from Santa Cruz have been remarkably consistent in calling me and in joining me in hijinks. The three of us even walked away from a car crash together. Their good friendship hasn’t gone unnoticed by me, and I was more than happy to petition the government on their behalf to ensure the risk of deportation wouldn’t remove them from American soil.

I must say I continue to be surprised at the way things turned out, considering the Red Rightwing and I had never been particularly close in our earlier days, he seemingly feeling much more comfortable in the company of Immoral B or Mr. Mystere when we were in, and fresh out of, high school. We were initially just casual acquaintances, meeting through them. Likewise, the Caroling Canuck was a complete stranger to me, up until the day she wed ol’ Red, which was the first time I met her. I think we shared a “Hello”, and that was all I knew of her until we hung out again, which must have been months later. The amount of times we’ve hung out since could still probably be counted on my fingers and toes. Yet these people, who both started out as perfect strangers, still call me for every party, and always leave a futon or tent free for me at every carousal.

All said, I’m glad to have people like them as friends.

I’ve traveled terribly off-subject haven’t I, starting with Brian Dewan and meandering over to my friends Red Rightwing and the Caroling Canuck? Not at all! For you see, just this past Friday night I engaged in a loud and boisterous rendition of “The Edison Museum” while at their abode. When I was done singing about the “oldest, greatest, and most famous haunted mansion in New Jersey”, the room had cleared, but I suppose there’s no accounting for taste.

Still beats the Black Eyed Peas.

Or Sublime.

Be seeing you,
The Virgin Prince
The Virgin Prince, 3:36 AM | link |

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Cocoon Cracked… And Out Popped An Even Bigger Caterpillar

To all of you, be you bipedal or bipolar,

Ah, they just don’t build them like they used to. I’ve spent the last few hours assembling artificial light-up reindeer, so that we might make the Virginlair that much more festive and enjoyable for when my young niece visits this Christmas. She’s a precocious thing, and smart enough that she’ll know a string of lights when she sees one, but perhaps the deer-shapes will be pleasing enough to her eyes, she being at the perfect age for the peak of imagination. As for myself, it seems rather silly that I’m assembling reindeer out of Christmas lights and metal wire, for the sake of having simulated deer in my front yard. It wasn’t that long ago that we had real deer in the neighborhood, even after there were million-dollar mansions built on the hill across the street from us. When those went up, all we lost was the lone wolf that used to trot peacefully down the sidewalk across the street from my house.

But even after I lost my late-night drinking buddy, they kept building. Every place for blocks all around us that hadn’t yet been completely claimed by man, every place where there were still trees and brush, every place where you could still see deer, skunk, foxes, and garter snakes, every place we’d played and hiked and hid and ran in our youth, every place we’d smoked a joint in high school, or snuck a drink of our parents’ booze (or urinated that same booze) or some weird person kept dumping their trash (which frequently included car parts, old copies of Penthouse and other nasty pornography, and the discarded packaging for a penis enlarger pump), all of it, it was all bulldozed. Fences went up, cutting us off from the paths between the trees looming large over our heads that we’d once walked freely through, and every shelter filled with trees that once had seemed so massive and magical, became just a small city-block’s worth of cold, sterile dirt, on which sat nothing but a few yellow earth-moving machines.

I admit I tried to sabotage the machines once or twice.

There was a condo here, a townhouse there, some apartments to the left, and to the right, the large houses to suit the yuppies moving into my neighborhood. But not a single speck of dirt left to play in, it’s either been built over by now, or has a fence around it to keep us off, meaning they will be building soon. The deer, which we once saw so frequently, have retreated onto the grounds of the college, which still has some unpaved hill left behind it, stretching all the way back to the prison. The skunks wander through the streets of the neighborhood behind me. Funny, that the creature otherwise known as the wood pussy has taken to wandering city streets, though its current close proximity towards streetlamps and stop-signs would explain its other name of polecat.

The short end is, I’m putting deer made of metal wire and plastic lights in my yard to replace all the deer that used to actually be in the neighborhood. My neighbors are too, especially back there in skunk-territory. I’d rather have a bush trimmed to look like a condominium.

So I built these monstrosities, these messes of wires ready to catch fire and motors waiting to burn out. Though the instructions brought new definition to the term “lacking”, and the pieces fit poorly, and other pieces weren’t included entirely, and the materials themselves were flimsy and tended to fall apart at the slightest touch, I probably could have finished the deer in under an hour. But I found things to fix.

The first reindeer was weighted wrong, and tended to fall face-forward and to the left, and came straight out of the box with an already busted light bulb, but it was of heartier construction, and the motor worked well and the beast’s neck swung properly to the left and right, as might a proper old-school rapper (particularly, Run DMC, in moments of shaking their heads in disdain at Penn & Teller, come to mind), so I quickly finished, knowing I would simply fasten the thing to the ground with stakes. The second deer fooled me. I initially thought this would be the better of the two as it was weighted better and the parts fit properly, and it being considerably easier to assemble. But as I attached the pole to the headpiece which caused the motor to bring the neck and head up and down, I found that I was not given the clip the instructions told me use to fasten the wire. Shoddy work! So I bent a paperclip and used that in its place. This would have been fine, except then as I tested the motor, the piece into which the pole slid broke off entirely, having snapped off due to poor design and cheap soldering. This sort of thing happened to me once before with a pair of Laser Tag guns.

As I had fixed (and had made better) the Laser Tag guns in my garage in the latter days of my youth, so did I attempt to fix the deer. I attached the rod to several other pieces of the neck, attempting to bypass the rod-holder entirely, and being successful in achieving movement, though the range of movement for the neck was quite disappointing. Thus, I detached the rod and reattached it to other parts of the neck, trying each time for better movement. Still, the motion was lacking, so I figured out where the rod-holder had been and reattached it even better than it had been originally with the help of two paper clips and a pair of needle-nose pliers. It was now ready once again to be assembled as the builders had intended.

However, by this point both the rod and the rod-arm had detached themselves, thanks to the movement of the motor and, again, shoddy craftsmanship. Again, I reattached these both better then before with a paperclip and a little motivation. The beast was assembled as the manufacturers had intended. The neck movement still sucked. During all this time, the cheap plastic material of the body had continued to crumble and fall off with each time I touched it, causing me to want to finish repairs as quickly as possible.

I dug through the garage until I found a bolt, which I attached to the end of the rod, thus reducing the slack and causing the head to lift higher. Of course, the actual mechanics of the rod, rod-arm, and motor were so poor that they tended to catch on them selves, again, reducing the movement of the neck. On and on I continued, bending the rod arm one way, then the other, then trying to keep the rod straight with a washer (which I couldn’t find, so I then customized one out of something I found in the garage). The results stayed the same with everything I tried, undid, and tried a different way. I assembled and reassembled the thing in every possible combination and configuration until I finally realized that some things are simply crappy.

I’ve even gone over and checked on the damn thing a few times while writing this, just looking for some possible way to fix it.

Poor design is poor design, and I have it assembled now as intended. This deer is the Ford of Christmas decorations, having a motor too weak to move the counter-balance, a counter-balance that drags along and catches on the body’s interior, being too large, placed too low, and too far back, and a rod and rod-arm that are built too close to the counter-balance and are insecure and unstable (sounds like my ex), making worse the problem of the counter-balance, and worst of all, shoddy parts that come apart on their own. Forgiving that this deer doesn’t even have antlers, I’m left to accept that the best this thing can do is a slight, arrhythmic nodding, similar to a boxer past his prime. Perhaps if I had the time, money, and materials, I could get the thing running perfect, but I doubt it. I think this is a case of junk simply being capable of being junk.

That said, old Darryl “DMC” and Mohammed Ali are ready for being tied down in my front yard. Furthermore, my carpet needs a good vacuuming, as it is now covered in golden-plastic bits and metal shavings. Ah, but my niece will be excited!

I wish all things could be as simple as plastic reindeer. Certainly women are not, and my most recent ex-girlfriend is certainly no exception, though I doubt half the time even she can make sense of herself. Whatever the case, unlike the screws on my shoddy decoration, she simply won’t let go.

I had hoped that she would give me some space for myself, I, having developed quite a taste for it during the two months she decided to ignore all the efforts I’d made to keep a friendship alive between us, and stubbornly decided to stick to insults rather than apologies, and silence rather than compassion. I haven’t forgiven her, and don’t rightly think I have an obligation to. This is my right. I have put up with nonstop pettiness and cruelty on her part during the length of time I have known her and I think have a right to act perhaps a bit small myself for a change. If she hadn’t wanted me to come to this realization, she probably shouldn’t have stopped calling even before I last called her, and further compounded the problem by stubbornly and selfishly giving me two months of silence in which I had plenty of time to contemplate many things, our entire relationship and personal history included.

But unlike her, I’ve made no claims of a huge metamorphosis, in which I’ve completely turned my back on my bad ways, and now am so forgiving and far from petty. Furthermore, I’ve shown more compassion to her than any, short of a holy man, ever would, having comforted her when she freaked out because her boob-job didn’t quite take initially, stayed up talking to her when she broke down in the middle of the night, due to a lack of alcohol in her system, and, with tears in my reddened eyes, called her best friend so that she might make sure my former amour was safe and not going to do something dangerous in the aftermath of my own conversations with her in which she’d confessed to taking pills again, then proceeded to say the worst, cruelest things to me I have ever heard. I did all this because I cared. I was there whenever she needed comfort or to be cheered up, and I put great effort in that direction.

So I say, without any shame or feeling at all that I am being less than truthful, that I have known forgiveness and compassion. While she is trying to find it, I’ve already had it. And having made no claims about a great personal change, I feel I have a right to be petty. There it is. If she’s really so changed, then she should prove it. I, myself, have made no such claims. As was always the case in our relationship, I, for one, have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. I am being petty.

I simply don’t care. This is part of the healing process, and if she doesn’t give a damn about my need to feel better, and my well-being, then she’s simply proving herself to further be the incredibly selfish person I currently view her as. I had told her, in my last letter, in as civil a manner as possible, that this was how I felt. She acted as if she could deal with this maturely in her response.

So I find it funny that this person who claims to be experiencing a great chrysalis, a change in which she is becoming an entirely positive person and shedding the negativity which she once contained in spades, chooses to continue to write snide remarks consistently on her website (this being prior to any mention of her on mine, but actually starting immediately after my email response, effectively contradicting all she had written, hence my doubts of her sincerity) and continuing to do so in increasing intensity, and obsessively reading my own site and posting more of her own criticisms, negativity, and immaturity in my comments.

I certainly didn’t ask her to read my webpage, and certainly did not expect her to, she always complaining of how lacking my writing is. But I find it funny that while she gripes and complains and makes petty comments within the safety of her own webpage (and has been doing so for sometime) she fails to see my own right to express my own honest feelings within my own webpage. It’s the type of hypocrisy I’ve come to expect from her, and I’m further not surprised she’s already chosen to ignore my request of personal space, filling my comments box.

But I have a great emotional strength and feel moral righteousness on this matter for two reasons. One, I feel completely right in my heart. Two, unlike her, I can be honest with myself, with her, and everyone else. I AM being petty.

And if she does give a damn about my friendship, then she’d better learn to let me have that for right now, because I’m not yet ready to forgive, though I know I’m willing to eventually.

It’s still better than she deserves.

So let’s see if there’s any truth to these claims of personal growth.

Be seeing you,
The Virgin Prince
The Virgin Prince, 4:37 AM | link |