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March 1, 2002 - Hell's Smells

I used to work with this ex-marine named Chris.  He had a lot of great stories.

I guess during training, they put all the marines in a room, wearing gasmasks.  Then they filled the room with CS gas.

Then the marines had to take off their gasmasks.

Chris told me that before taking off his gasmask, he could feel the tear gas all over his neck, his hands, anywhere his skin was exposed.  He said the gas felt like thousands of needles pressing into his flesh.  And they have to take off their masks and breathe this stuff.  Wild.

Today, at work, I experienced something like this.  A homeless woman came into the office with the worst, and I mean worst, and I really mean worst, just most awful, most offensive, sour, over-powering body odor.

This was body odor I didn't just smell.  This was body odor I felt.  I experienced it.  I lived it.  It will always be with me.  Post-traumatic stink disorder.

It hit me the way the shockwave hits those buildings in the footage of atomic blasts you see in those movies about atomic blasts.  It was brutal.  It was unforgiving.  Somehow, it was high-pitched. 

It had color.  A color that cannot be adequately described, or seen, or reproduced. It was greenish-blackish-old.  It was yellowish-sharp.  It was bright, bright, bludgeon.  I couldn't look directly at it, I had to squint.

Not that I'm judging, mind you.  You live on the streets, you're gonna smell.  Hell, I didn't smell so great this morning either.  But man.

I also had the pleasure of working with an interim staff member today, someone filling in from another office.  If you were to ask me to describe her in one word, it'd have to be: "sssSSSNNNRRRRGGGGKKKT".

This is the sound she makes.  This sound is created by her trying to clear her sinuses, which are apparently a) incredibly deep, b) incredibly bothersome, and c) filled with a mixture of peanut butter and gravel.

She makes this sound, I'd guess, every six or seven seconds.

I spent, approximately, one hour in close proximity with her today.  I don't mean throughout the day.  I mean, I spent a solid hour with her.  Sixty minutes, in a row.


Again, I feel words fail me here.  To me, it sounded like someone had taken a malfunctioning bilge pump and crammed it into the esophageal passage of someone with acute sleep apnea, then given them a few sleeping pills.

I swear, I never say things like this, ever, but thank God it's Friday.


February 26, 2002 - Words.  Words.  Words.

You know how you type some words into a search engine like Yahoo! or Google, and it brings up a site that has nothing to do with what you're looking for?  Well, it happens here all the time!

Most of the time, they aren't looking for a site like this one, but in an effort to keep these web-surfers here, I've provided what information I have that may be of interest to them.  

Take a look at some recent keyword searches that led people here:

how to make a kid thing for free

It's easy!  Find a member of the opposite sex, hop into bed, get pumping, and nine months later, you've got your very own 'kid-thing' (also sometimes called a 'baby-dealie' or 'screamy-doodle')!

a creature for my amusement

See above.  Note:  At this point, it will no longer be free.

very annoying self important secretary

Hmmm... I think I could probably refer one to you.  When she surfaces again.

transvestite marines

Don't ask, don't tell, and PLEASE don't wear those pumps with those fatigues!

so i am naked

(To the tune of John Lennon's Happy Christmas)

"And so I am naked...

Got nothing to wear...

And everyone's staring...

at my derrière..."

pictures of women which give a kick to the testicles

They don't allow themselves to be photographed, silly.  Otherwise, everyone would recognize them, and bang goes the element of surprise.

pee phone

Take your pick of the jokes below:

1)  And you thought Carrot Top's 1-800-COLLECT commercials were already disgusting enough!

2)  Why not?  The public phones all smell that way anyhow!

3)  For the next ten minutes, please deposit... ah, never mind.

mary suddenly much taller than little tommy

I don't know what you mean by that, but damn if it doesn't sound kinda dirty.

how do spiders stick to walls

Well, forever, if you swing the rolled-up magazine hard enough.

women rubbing poo all over themselves

Hey, you can always walk up to a woman on the street and ask if she rubs poo all over herself.  Just cover your testicles, in case she's one of them.

this is such a big waste of my time dammit

Don't worry, we're almost done!

wife swapping jog

"Hi, will you sponsor me for the wife swapping jog?  It's a good cause, and you get to wear a ribbon to show your support!"

how to write humor

Just put up a website and go through the keyword referrals.  It writes itself!


February 25, 2002 - Gates of Hell

So, the youth outreach center I've been working at has had a few problems with windows being broken recently.  Twice last week, we arrived to work in the morning to find one of the tall plate-glass windows of the storefront shattered.

There are bars on the inside of the windows, so no one had gotten in, or even tried to get in, probably.  Basically, it just looks like someone was pissed off, and smashed the windows with a rock or who knows what.  It's been speculated that it may have been one of the youths, annoyed about something.  No way to really tell.

Whatever the reason, this recurring problem of broken windows has become, quite plainly, the biggest pain in the ass.  Specifically, my ass.  The thing is, whatever mental or emotional problems the window-breaker has are nothing compared to the people I've met in the process of getting the windows fixed.

First, a homeless guy walks into the office, the morning after the second window was broken.  He comes in every so often trying to get food, but this time, he says he knows who broke the windows.

"I know who broke the windows," he says (as previously indicated).

"Who?" I ask.

"Well, I dunno.  But--"

Sigh.  I've said it once, I'll say it again:  There's nothing worse than what comes after a homeless guy's but.

"--I was outside, last night, and I was in my van, readin', 'cos I usually watch TV only my little TV, the batteries run out, so I was readin' instead, parked over there, where I usually am at night, over there, in my van, readin', or watchin' TV, but my batteries ran out, and I gotta get some new batteries for my little TV, 'cos my batteries ran out, and I heard this smash!  This smash!  And I was peekin' out of my van, over there, and I heard this smash, and I see the window break, well, no, I didn't see it break, but I heard it break, like this smash!  And I was over in my van over there, and I heard the window smash, and then this car pulls away, this gray car, just drives away, and they did it, it was this guy in a gray car, and he smashed the window, and I saw it, so I got out of my van, and I start sneaking out, you know, like creepin', so I could see the license plate, and this korean guy is there, in the car, and he threw a bottle at the window, and I saw it while I was creepin', and then, uh, oh, well I didn't see it or nuthin', but I was sneaking up to see the car, this gray car, and this guy throws a brick--"

After about ten minutes of this rambling and re-rambling, with the culprit being one man or several men or a man and a woman in various cars of different colors wielding rocks, bricks, or bottles, the homeless guy promises he will be watching the building from his van, at all times from now on, which just makes me more nervous than I already am, and then he finally leaves.

Meanwhile, my boss, who feels the windows may be broken again, has me call up some security companies to get estimates for a night patrol.

Later that afternoon, a security guy swaggers in.  Big, burly, shaved head, and literally spraying the room with macho confidence.

"Well, we can patrol this area for you, no problem, we'll do drive-by's, check the doors, make sure they're locked, check the gates, check around back, if there's anyone hanging around out front, we'll arrest them.  See, like, see those guys out there?  Those kids standing around outside there?  We wouldn't allow that.  We'd arrest them.  If you're under our protection, we have no problems arresting anyone outside your establishment.  Even in the daytime.  Those guys out there, I'd arrest 'em right now.  Even kids.  I got no problem if they're kids.  I'll still arrest them.  Those kids standing out there right now?  I'd arrest them."

"Those are our clients," I say.  "Those kids come here for help.  This is a youth outreach center."

He looks at me.  "Well, I'd arrest 'em, if they're just standing out there.  Why are they standing there?  Why just hanging around?  I'd arrest 'em.  Kids just hanging around, that means they're up to no good.  You think they're just waiting for a bus or something?"

"Well, it is a bus stop," I point out.

He looks at me again, and luckily the phone rings before he shoots me or the deviants loitering at the bus stop.

If that wasn't bad enough, I pick up the loony hat-trick with a guy I called to come give us an estimate on installing a folding or sliding gate to put over the windows.  This guys shows up, and I can tell just by looking at him that he's a few buckets short of a fire brigade.

"So, you've had some broken windows?" he asks, his crazy eyes boring into my skull as he leans waaaaay too far over the reception desk and grins waaaay to widely.  This is a grin, I feel, that many, many unsuspecting people have seen through a blurry haze of tears while being chloroformed.  I suddenly wish Officer Arrestem was still here.

"Yeah, so we wanted to get some prices on gates--"

"Any idea who broke the windows?"

"No, we don't know.  But it might happen again, so we're looking into--"

"This is a place for needy kids?"


"Well, and this is only my opinion, but do you suppose it might be possible that a kid, maybe a kid with problems, and maybe he comes here for help, maybe he doesn't feel like he's quite gotten all the help he needs, or has other frustrations--"

"Right, sure, we've considered it might be one of the kids--"

"Who knows what the reason?" he continues.  "Troubles at home, troubles at school, troubles with friends, troubles with gangs, troubles with drugs, troubles with siblings..."

"Sure, uh, but like I said, we just need to get some gates up so it doesn't happen again--"

"Maybe, and I'm not saying anything here, but it could be mental troubles, you know, maybe the kid isn't all right in the head, you know, like something is wrong with him.  Maybe he has a chemical imbalance, maybe it's some sort of psychosis--"

"Y-yes, but the real point is, I just need an estimate on how much a gate costs, so if you could--"

"See, the best way, and I may be overstepping my bounds here, but if I could just get on my pulpit for a moment, but maybe what you need to do, what you really need to do, is talk to these kids.  Just talk to them.  And more importantly, listen to them.  Maybe what they need, really, is for someone to listen to them."

I give up and sit back and half-listen to the gate-installer-cum-therapist, while he suggests we talk to kids about their problems, and listen to them as well, which is a good idea, and which has probably never occurred to our STAFF WHICH IS ENTIRELY FUCKING COMPRISED OF SOCIAL WORKERS.

"Oh, gee," the social workers will no doubt say when I tell them of this wild, original plan thought up by a guy who installs gates, "We never thought of listening to the kids!  We just sit them in a chair for eight hours and hush them if they try to speak.  And talk to them?  Brilliant!  Why, we've been flicking lit matches at their heads!"

He goes on and on and on, and can I just tell you he went on?  I hope he doesn't do security gates for banks, because he'd probably have the bank tellers trying to discern the roots of the robber's monetary problems while they've got guns stuck in their faces.

Need some bars put on your prison?  Surely not!  Just talk to the multiple-murderers, I'm sure an understanding can be reached!

We've all heard of the Gates of Hell, but I hope, for Satan's sake, that he doesn't have this guy install them.


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