Cracker Barrel secret #62

January 30, 2005

When I’m forced to bus tables and I find the waitresses’ tips encased in church pamphlets reading “Your salvation within,” I take the tip money out of the pamphlets, throw the pamphlets into the bus tub with the grits and trash, and scoot the money to the end of the table as usual. We are the damned at Cracker Barrel, and it shall stay that way.

This Cracker Barrel tip brought to you by your local angry dishwasher.

Nice outfit, Dick.
Thanks to Justin Hornkohl for the idea…

Dishroom Dialogue

January 28, 2005

Jerry is not intimidating in the slightest, despite what he’d like you to think. He actually comes off as a completely normal person at first. Then he opens his mouth and you are treated to some of the most amazing bullshit, ever.

Jerry washes some pots and pans occasionally and then wanders around the kitchen talking to whoever will listen. Jerry claims that Roy Jones Jr. used to come to Laurel Hill, Florida every year for a $1,000 competition to see who could knock him out, and he claims that he could beat Roy Jones Jr. if he would come again, because he knows how to put his weight behind his punches.

Jerry talks really loud and in such a tone that you can tell he wants you to inquire further with “Oh my god, no fuckin’ way, man! Are you SERIOUS?!,” but no one ever does, because if you do, he won’t stop.

Today, he decided to target a fellow dishwasher named Phillip. Phillip either doesn’t catch his bullshit or is simply indifferent. Phillip is a white hippy-looking kid who likes to rap to himself while sorting silverwear. He uses the word “dog” a lot. “Hey, dog, hand me that spatula.”

“Yeah, but why do you like violence?” Phillip asked after a lengthy rant by Jerry on incapacitating someone in one move.
“I don’t like violence. But if I have to use violence, then I will. It’s called the small dog technique. I don’t wanna fight, but if you back me into a corner, I’m going to hurt you. One punch and I can have anyone on their knees. Cause I know how to use my weight. I don’t hit in the head either, I hit in the stomach so there’s internal bleeding, but no visible damage.” [Jerry has previously mentioned that he was involved in some sort of child abuse case]
“See, but that’s not right, dog. Why would you want to do that?”
“I don’t want to do that, but if someone backs me into a corner, I will.”
“Isn’t walking away better than trying to hurt someone though?”
“I wouldn’t try to hurt someone, I would kick their ass! I used to fight with my cousins when I was young. I’ve been in one hundred and fifteen fights, never lost one.”
“What about the biggest guy in the dishroom? What about Bill?”
“I could beat Bill, he just won’t fight me.”
“He said you’re out of his weight class.”
“Not any more! I’m getting a weight set, and once I get this fat off of me, I’ll be in his weight class.”
[Jerry has previously talked about how he could beat up Mohammad Ali’s daughter because she hasn’t fought anyone taller than 5’11]
“Yeah, but–,” Phillip managed to sneak in.
“One punch,” Jerry interrupted. My step-dad was in the Special Forces. He taught me a lot of tricks. There are 154 pressure points on the human body. I could grab a hold of your pinky and make you do anything I want you to.”
“Not if I could withstand the pain!” Phillip argued.
“But you couldn’t. Do you know what I had to do to be able to handle that? I had to put my pinky in a vicegrip. It hurt at first, but now I could do it for days!”

I pictured Jerry in a garage somewhere, standing with his pinky in a vicegrip for several hours. It’s quite possible this actually happened, and it makes me sad.

That particular conversation went on for some time today. When I first got the job I was extremely frightened because it seemed like the ex-crack/methamphetamine addict and I were the only ones based in reality. I guess I’m just used to it now. At least I know Phillip is rapping and not talking to himself, like I once thought he was. He has apparently created a cd, too. I’m going to see if he’ll let me borrow it some day and publish some of his mp3s. That would be awesome.

There are a lot of people on this earth who shouldn’t have any extra time to just sit and think. To contemplate. I am one of them.

Keeping busy is a necessity for someone like me. That’s what jobs are for, I guess. I suppose I can thank Uncle Herschel for that much. If there weren’t jobs we’d lie around drunk all day watching pirate movies like I do on my days off. Our minds would wander and jump from thought to useless-thought so quickly and so needlessly they’d get tangled up in their own shoelaces and fall face first onto the ground. We’d murder and rape and steal and then cry ourselves to sleep. Idle hands make the devil’s work.

Boredom means you have to think. You have time to think about your current emotional state, your place in life, the universe, what you’re doing at this moment and how it is unimportant in the great expanse that is time, so on, so forth. It’s painful. I’m sure the hatred of boredom was imprinted into us like all of the other instincts. Man sat in a cave somewhere listening to the cavewoman make incredibly whiney noises and he stared at his cave walls. He stared and he listened until he could no more. He started jerking off and drinking fermented grapes and scrawling horrible stick figure horses on his walls and then, then he went out to collect rocks and dirt. He piled them into mounds until it was dark and he went home to pass out. A good days work and he was ready to sleep. That was it. It was enough.

That was probably the start of statues as well.

Good night.

Product of a 4 day bender

January 3, 2005

I got new headphones today. My Sennheiser HD500’s broke and I got Grado SR-60’s.

I bet that means so much to everyone. Somewhere in China right now, there is a small village rejoicing over the fact that I got my new headphones. Fireworks are gracing the sky, and the people are singing songs in their native tongue.

My headphones sound good. Not so bassy as the Sennheisers, but nice. Everything is clear and crisp and they look really lame. They have a leather headband and these bars that go over each earpad that stick up like antennae. I think it’s just to let the headphones swivel, but it doesn’t matter. They look like they’re from the 70’s, and I like them.

I listened to Elliott Smith, my favorite singer or songwriter or artist, whatever you want to call him, and then I listened to Blind Melon (who I truly learned about courtesy of that loser Michael from Auburn). They were the first to grace my new headphones, and damn it, that’s an honor. That’s like being the lady who breaks the bottle of champagne on the bow of the ship. It’s like being the flag bearer in a company or something. It’s me showing respect in my own misguided way. Shannon Hoon and Elliott Smith won’t know I listened to them with my new headphones. They won’t know I sat there drinking beer on my front porch, with my headphones just out of the box, smelling of factory plastics, but it doesn’t matter. It’s the principle.

I played Frank Black too, and I think my plan here was to write about one of his songs all along. I obviously haven’t done a very good job. My favorite song of his, currently, is The Swimmer. It’s probably about Elian Gonzales or something stupid, but when I first heard it, it meant something different to me. It was about ME. I’d put on my swimming trunks and swim away from Florida. I’d swim as far as I could from shore and just keep going. Maybe someone would see me and they’d bring out a crew to try and rescue me, but I’d just keep swimming. They’d be too late. I’d keep swimming until I’d sunk to the bottom with the tritons and the “ballyhoos,” and god damn it, I’d die well. Few could top that shit.

I don’t know if anyone else feels that way about certain songs… Some times it seems like you can relate to it so well that you feel like you wrote it, you know? If you could say what’s on your mind at that very moment, that song would be it, and you wonder how you could connect so well with someone you’ve never even met. I think that’s amazing.

That’s the power of art, I guess. I’m done rambling. Keep partying, China.