Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's the Jazz that haunts me

I own 3 AC window units. About a month ago I put the first one in. Every year I try and wait out the summer as long as possible, but like the law beating down John Cougar or John Melloncamp or whatever he goes by nowadays, the summer always wins. However it was not a hand’s down victory as I only put 1 of the 3 units in…at first any way.

I store the two lighter AC units (translation: the ones that way slightly less that 200 pounds) in the attic during the off season. I store the heavy bastard, which goes in the window in the living room, in the basement. It was the heavy bastard that was put in first. He’s a juggernaut that makes a lot of noise to let you know he’s working. The cats love it.

I thought we’d be fine with just the 1 unit, until last week.

The temperature soared to a less than quaint 90 plus throughout the night. I couldn’t take it anymore so I decided to wave the white flag and hope that waving action would bring a cool breeze my way. It didn’t. But at least the house was comfortable. That is, until 2 nights ago.

The temperature dropped and we were able to turn off the noise making coolers for the first time in a week. We opened the windows and went to sleep. That’s when the sounds started coming from the attic. “Oh no,” I thought. This happened last year too, but we were able to ignore it. This year was different. Louder. Just a real pain in the ass.

Sorry. Let me fill you in…

Last year, about this same time, we were lucky enough to turn the units off for a few days. We noticed music coming from the attic. Music and moaning. Now I know what you’re thinking, music and moaning often go together. Two things. One, you’re right. Two, you’re a pervert. So after about 3 nights of music and moaning, I went into the attic with my 2008 Philadelphia Phillies Commemorative World Series bat. And a flashlight. Now I have a light in the attic, so I’m not sure what inspired me to take the flashlight. But I’m glad I did.

I flipped on the attic light, pulled down the retractable stairs and slowly climbed upward. The whole while the music grew, yet the moaning seemed to stop. I took a deep breath and broke the plane from the hallway to the basement. Just then ALL sound stopped. And the attic light went out. I flicked the flash light on and dropped it to the floor below me seconds after seeing something, or someone move. I too dropped to the floor below and let the stairs slam shut.

That was the end of sleeping that night.

The next morning Julie and I were greeted by a local ghost hunter, Tig Sillbourne, who seemed willing to entertain our little problem. I explained what happened to Tig as he drank the coffee we brewed for him. He shook his head in agreement as if he knew exactly what I was going to say next. I was hopeful under Tig asked what the music sounded like.

“Jazz,” I said.

“With a tonal bebop harmony,” Julie added.

Tig’s eyes grew wide, but only slightly. It could have been from the strong brew beneath his lips.

“Can you hum it?” He asked.

“I can’t,” I explained. “I had an accident as a child, that keeps me from being able to hum, whistle or roll my tongue.”

Julie whistled. It was a sweet song. Not as haunting as it had been the night before. Tig’s face went white and the coffee mug went smashing to the floor.

“Sell the house.” It wasn’t a suggestion. He was commanding us what to do next.

We sat stunned in silence. Then the music and moaning started again. At 7:23 in the morning.

“What is it?” Julie said looking toward our guest for some information.

“It’s not a what. It’s a who. I’m afraid your attic is haunted by Eric Allan Dolphy.”

I was appalled. “Who is that? A biker? A killer?

“A jazz musician.”



“How do we get rid of him?”

“You can’t.”

“We have to be able to do something.”



“Jazz musicians are impervious to almost everything on Earth…save one thing.”


“Heroin.” Julie guessed right. She had just watched a documentary on Chet Baker.

Luckily for us Tig provided many services and happened to have some “china white” on him. We climbed into the attic and left a spoon, a needle and the white powder. We waited an hour and the music stopped. The beast had been sated…for a little while. For you see, ghost can not overdose on heroin.

That brings us to the other night.

I grabbed the bat and immediately became reminded that there is no 2009 Philadelphia Phillies Commemorative World Series bat. This pissed me off and made me ready to face a jonesing Jazz musician.

“Dolphy!” I yelled as I ascended the stairs. “We will not have this crap again this summer.”

There he sat amongst my comics, with his base clarinet pressed against his lips.

“I never understood how they brought Superman back from the dead.” He said as he lowered is instrument.

I noticed Action Comics & Superman issues everywhere. I lowered the bat.

“It was the ‘Eradicator’.” I said.

“Yeah. But I still don’t get how.”

“I know. It’s a bit messy.”

“And that Red & Blue bullshit. What was that supposed to be man?”

We sat in silence for a few moments.

“I think it’s jazz,” I said.

He nodded, and hasn’t made a sounds since.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Holiday Warning

Holiday Warning

The Warning

My company is Gung-Ho to keep you safe this and presumably every holiday. Or as I call it, the “If it’s a regular Monday you can go fuck yourself, but when cake is being served, please be careful” policy.

“The 4th of July means picnics, barbecues, pools, parades and fireworks.”

Being the patriot that I am and the son of a Vietnam Vet, I believe the 4th of July means a bit more than the list above. Such as hustling handjobs from the ladies…or dudes if that’s your thing.

Picnics. I honestly can’t think of the last time I was on a picnic, aka = got a handjob in the park. I do have a picnic basket however my cat has destroyed it. Thus proving the old adage, “Ants may ruin a picnic, but a cat can fuck up a picnic basket beyond ALL recognition.” I can’t tell you how many times my grandmother said that to me.

Barbecues. I always think of them as the Mennonite version of the Amish picnic. Sure there’s butter churning at both (again…handjobs), but the Mennonites have cooler means of cooking their food, like using a George Foreman grill.

Pools. They rock. I’ll be in one, will you? Aquatic handies are all the rage with the kids these days. Which makes sense since semen smells like chlorine, right? One bit of warning from a fellow who has a pool (a possible medical condition based on the chlorine thing), discourage glass bottles in the pool area. Glass is clear. Water is clear. Emergency rooms smell like urine. Which reminds me, when peeing in the pool don’t be a sneaky bastard. Add a little flair and do it from the diving board. Preferably not while doing a “can opener.” As “parts” have a tendency of ripping open when “can openers” are involved.

I can definitely get behind the idea of a parade to celebrate veterans on the 4th of July. Not literally, like I’m driving a float. But I definitely believe in the idea. However I think people now have parades for the dumbest reasons. Like NYC’s parade last week to raise “Handjob Awareness.” Seriously? We weren’t aware before? Although some of those floats were pretty bad ass! And Belinda Carlisle sang which is nice.

Finally. The best part. Fireworks. I don’t mean packing the family in a car and driving to see things blow up over head. Hell, if that excites you might I suggest joining the military (we are already making preparations for your parade). I have NEVER been a fan of craning my neck and watching pretty color in the sky. Although I am also not a dirty hippie! The fireworks I like are the ones that you perform at a self level. The ones that have the potential of turning a 15 year old righty into a lefty for their remaining years, and lead to awkward moments during attempted handshakes…as well as other “hand” activities (handjobs if you’re not paying attention).

“In 2006, an estimated 9,200 people were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries, 36 percent of whom were under 15 years old.” What does that tell us? That these fucking 15 year olds have access to some kick ass explosives. Where are they getting this shit? The ice cream man? When I was 15 I had no idea where to get fireworks. So here I am a miserable 34 year old…with two hands. I feel I missed out.

My office offers the following advice because apparently, we are all retarded. My comments are in (parenthesis).

Please follow these safety tips to help ensure that you are safe during the 4th of July weekend:

•Never allow children to handle fireworks – keep kids a safe distance away. (This is terrible advice. Children are curious, like cats. That coupled with the need to destroy things, such as picnic baskets, kids need the valuable lesson of blowing shit up. They can’t do that from the safety of the mini van. Let them get up close to the guy lighting the fireworks with his cigar. Hey, the kid might even pick up a nice sociable habit like smoking – bonus!)

•Never leave a child alone near water: on the beach, at a pool, or in the bathtub. If you must leave, take your child with you. (Buzz kill! Take your kid with you? Please. If you’re on the beach and a couple of hot, albeit drunk, nympho college girls wanna bestow handies upon you, you can’t have this pint size cockblocker ruining your holiday weekend. Especially if he threatens to tell you wife. Besides, in this post Michael Phelps world, it wouldn’t hurt the kid to learn to upgrade that doggy paddling a bit)

•Never consume alcohol when operating a boat and always wear a life vest. (This is what I call a twofer rule. Double whammy. First the life vest bit. Dumb. If the boat is fast enough your buddies will be able to swing back around once you fall overboard before you sink. If the boat isn’t fast enough, well that’s your fault for going out in the aquatic pussymobile isn’t it? Also, and more importantly, life vests block the good parts on your female passengers. You worked all morning to get them topless. You can’t have them put a vest over them things. As for the alcohol, how do you think you got them topless in the first place? This twofer rule sucks)

•Never drink and drive. More than half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related, when attending a picnic drink in moderation and use designated drivers (They never tell you want causes the other half of the accidents, ill timed handjobs? Likely its shoddily chosen designated drivers. I am confused by the line “drink in moderation and use designated drivers.” Which one is it Hoss? And what happens if your DD blew his hand off playing with fireworks-he was over 15. Now you have to sober up in the ER while the genius you picked learns how to sign his HMO forms with his left hand. IN the end, you should have gone out on the speed boat you were thinking of renting)

•When driving, obey speed limits, maintain safe following distances, and stay out of other driver’s blind spots. Allow extra travel time due to increased traffic. (OK. But only on the 4th of July. Christmas I’m flooring it!)

•If outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat, apply sun screen, and drink plenty of water. (What if my wide brimmed hat doesn’t match my life vest? I’ll let you in on a secret that the government doesn’t want you to know. Wide brimmed hats are what is causing global warming, and keeping you from getting handjobs)

•When grilling, make sure the grill is used outside (Are you kidding me? I have one set up next to the toilet) and at least 10 feet away from your house or any building. (Nice add on. I was gonna put it up against my neighbor’s house) Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under a surface that can catch fire. (All fine locales for a festive 4th of July Handy)

Have a fun 4th of July, leave safety to the other guy.

And someone should delve deeper into the obvious conspiracy theory stated above. Based on the statistical evidence listed, 15 year olds have the highest percentage of missing appendages yet are the ones clamoring most for handjobs. This might lead to the recent craze that is all the rage with the kids these days…blowjobs from the ladies…or dudes if that’s your thing.