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|Khakis: Soul-gouging uniform of office workers.|
Is there anything more nausea inducing than khaki pants? I feel such a morbid disdain for their vapid, muted earth-toned cotton-blended fibers. Paired with the uberly© bland Polo shirt, they create the uniform of oppressed conformity.
Men need to rise up and flex some of their atrophying business casual muscles. Please, for the love of Mike, wear cargo pants.
When I was a young lad, a couple of my older brothers, lets call them Al and Chris, made a nice little sadistic hobby out of trying to scare me. This was the era of The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror and The Omen, three of my favs. Even catching a glimpse of any of them on TV would send me into cardiac arrest. So as you all can imagine, the Two Brothers Grimm would invent elaborate scare-fests for me.
|The walking doll, kind of|
I grew up in that delusional Christian mode of thinking, i.e., Satan is real and you'll burn in Hell for doing bad things. Keeping this in mind, any movie or story that had some sort of demonic being as the central antagonist, scared the living shit out of me.
One of the more heinous tricks played on me involved a certain doll of my sister's. This doll was one of those walking-types, if you held its hands, it would walk with you. It stood about three feet in height. My sister, let's call her Jen, had long since abandoned the doll and it was relegated to living a life of solitude in the junk closet. Or so we thought. Al had plans for the walking doll. He was the evil leader of the brothers. Think of him as Moe from The Three Stooges, only he graduated from a Gestapo-run grade school. By this time the doll had lost her clothes and her long curly blonde hair was knotted.
If I was scared at night, which was every night, I would sleep with all of the covers over my head and I had the blankets tucked into the mattress tight so nothing could get in. This scene was repeated even on hot summer nights. I would wake up sweating to death. Even though The Old Man installed central air for a living, he made all of us suffer by never putting it in our house. So basically, the upstairs was sweltering.
So one brutal summer night, and I'm sure Rosemary's Baby or The Shining was on TV that day, Al and Chris struck. There I lay, covered and sweating, when I awoke to something lying in the bed next to me. I yanked the blankets down and there she was staring at me; her naked vinyl body and mussed hair shimmering by the orange light of my alarm clock. Al had shoved the walking doll under the covers while I was sleeping! Now I remember screaming and I think I blacked out because I don't recall much after that.
The next day I threw the walking doll out into the garbage, hoping to never lay eyes on her again. That would have been nice. But that wasn't the doll's final act. I would say that it was a few days later and things were great. Nothing scary on TV, no one hiding in the closet and jumping out, and no friggin' dolls. In the afternoon I went to the backyard to get my bike out. No biggie right? Well, when I opened the door to the patio, the walking doll swung down from the ceiling on a rope and grabbed me. As I ran away yelling, I heard Al and Chris laughing in the distance.
That was my childhood in a nutshell. Terrorized and sweaty.
--As a supplement, Al has informed me, I'm sure my mind blocked this out, that he also hung the walking doll on the bed slats from the bunk bed above me. The walking doll also received lighted eyes and was positioned in the junk closet like a scene from The Amityville Horror. Thanks Al! You are a class act.
|Don't care 'bout nothin'|
A very long time ago, in a mystical land filled with big hair, sluts and spritz, lived an awesome high school kid named Eric. One of Eric's main goals in life was to have massive and well designed hair. In his quest for this daily goal, one horrible thing would always get in the way. Gym class. Gym, the bane of a student's high school life.
As everyone knows, the population of gym teachers are sadistic malcontents, whose only joy in life is to torture hapless students. It's also a known fact that gym teachers aren't the sharpest hammers in the tool belt. It's no surprise that the lesson plans in gym were less than brilliant. For example, the swimming section consisted of titles like, "Make the kids do laps until they puke."
Since I grew up with a pool at home, swimming per se wasn't an issue. If I was your average bowl-haircut dork, fine. Let me swim until I die, master. But I wasn't. The crafting of my hair in the morning bordered on D-Day invasion-type planning and execution. For some reason, gym class always seemed to happen first thing in the morning. Fuckers.
The Olympic-sized pool smelled like a combination of chlorine, janitor piss and period blood. Speaking of period blood, the girls were always getting out of swimming by claiming that their aunt was in town. Skanks.
At any rate, depending on how much mousse and hairspray I had going that day was how I'd determine how far underwater I'd go. To go full-bore on the hair in the locker room was not something to be relished. Although, I do remember having a hair dryer with me at one point.
Adding sand to the Vaseline in this was the fact that we had to wear used Speedo-type bathing suits. The old suits were all various shades of green — bordering on tie-dye. I don’t know if the gym teacher was just a perv or he thought that we would steal these wonderful things, but he'd make us take them off before we slithered back to the locker room. He didn't do that with the girls, hmm.
After gym, and for the rest of the day, that rancid pool-smell would follow you. All fellow disheveled pool-kids would give you that sad, knowing look in their eyes as you pass by in the hallway.
Now and then, I'll have a swim class-themed night terror. It goes will with all of my other ones.