Thursday, August 31, 2006

Vanpool Update: Bawls, Skunks and Apologies

You read the previous post. If you haven't, give it a run. Then you will understand my frame of mind. It is about roadkill. It is all about lessons learned.

I used to be a maniac with vermin on the road. Back when I was about 19, I was driving my work truck and I had Scotty Meades rolling shotgun with me. We were coming home from a party. Suddenly, I saw a possum on the side of the road, shambling her way wherever the hell possums go. I remember looking at Scotty and telling him to hang on.

I revved the '67 Chevy pickup in the direction of the possum. I hit her. I rolled forward on her. I hit reverse and rolled back on her to check the kill. It was late, the headlights had to do the explaining. She was still flopping in the road.

"You an evil child!" Scotty kept on saying in his New Orleans accent. He was thoroughly grossed out. I had to roll up on it again. Back and forth, back and forth. Texas farm roads are safe for this kind of behavior.

Then I felt the skull pop under the wheels.

She was done. I pulled back to check the kill with the headlights. She was a bloody pulp in the road. But there was something else...all over the road. It looked like pieces of wet Kleenex. Pieces of wet moving Kleenex...moving. I slapped the thing in park and hopped out. Understand that Scotty was howling now, completely disturbed by my behavior. At this point, I was all about the morbid curiosity. What I saw next will torment me for the rest of my life. I have no respect for possum. I think that they are ugly, vicious creatures that need to stay out of my way. If I have my pellet gun I will shoot one around my house ON SIGHT. I don't need my kids getting mixed up with those disease infested creatures.

That being said, my victim didn't deserve what I did. I keep on saying that the possum was a "she". I know that she was a she because she spontaneously aborted her litter as I had rolled back and forth over her mangy carcass. The possum embryo were all over the road.

I was sick. My lesson learned is that I will never "rush an animal" with a moving vehicle again. Of course, I have been rushed by living animals since that point in time, but those instances were not my fault, nor do they need to be recorded at this time.

So, you have read my previous blog, about the dog that I saw get smoked. I have had roadkill on my mind. So much so that I have been toying with hitting "already smoked" animals in my lane when I am driving the vanpool. There is a skunk that I have driven over about four times in the past week that is in my lane. I tell the riders to brace themselves, and I roll over it. The thing is pretty flat, and I have yet to detect the bump. The thing is merely this black fur with the Pepe lePew stripe. But I have been looking for bigger targets.

A raccoon was on the side of the road last week, but it was bloated to something close to the size of a furry beachball, and I wasn't going to risk the splatter. There was another possum on the side of the road, but he was too far into the shoulder to hit. There were a few kittens on the center line, but for some reason, I can't roll over a cat. I guess I can't tag a cat because they seem intelligent and useful in some way. Have you ever seen a cat after impact? Those things flop like there is no tomorrow.

*digression*
Jim Shaw used to tell this story about a man driving down the road. He hits a cat. He wheels over to the side and gets out, with his tire iron. He sees a cat wheeling around in front of his vehicle and he bashes it to death, putting it out of its misery. Then the man gets back into his car and drives to his destination. When he gets out of his car at his destination, he walks away from his car. He looks back and sees a cat plastered to his car grill.

I love that story. What the hell did that other cat do that made this guy think that he was doing it a favor by finishing it off with a tire iron? It must have just woken up from a nap or something.
*end of digression*

So, this morning, I am driving to work. I have 6 people in the van with me. We are booting through Fort Ord. I haven't had my Steve Bawls persona online of late, but it is there, lemme tell you. Then I saw it. On the center line, there was a dead skunk. The traffic in the oncoming lane was clear. I went over rather violently and hit that skunk again. Oh I was laughing. The stuff was funny to me. It was funny to gauge the reactions of the people in the vanpool. They were all disgusted. I had won the round and it was barely 8 in the morning. Then the smell started.

Apparently, as I lumped my way over that carcass (oh, it was a speedbump alright, think: misshapen football) I musta popped the stinkbag. The thing sprayed its last spray. The van stunk. They were all holding their noses.

"What you did was wrong!" One of the women yelled at me.
"This is NOT a moral issue!" I yelled back, through tears of laughter.

Oh my God I was giggling. It was hilarious. All of the women were disgusted and holding their noses at the same time. There was a male on board who was attempting to reprimand me. I just couldn't accept it. Any male should have been able to recognize the humor in what I had done. I placed the argument out there that I was helping with the decomposition of the animal...to no fanfare whatsoever. We rolled the windows down to kill the stink. That wasn't working either. That skunk must have sprayed us good.

When we got to work, everyone was quiet. I choked out a giggly "sorry" but it wasn't good enough. They just went into work and left me, the skunk corpse molester to my own devices.

I went in. I mentioned it to the drivers of the Santa Cruz van. I told them that my riders now hate me. Those guys thought it was funny. They also suggested that we start listening to Bottecelli while we ride. Bottecelli gets no play in the Salinas Vanpool, period. She Wants Revenge is what I have been playing. Mostly because the stuff is smooth, and my riders have no idea what is actually being said, but the lyrics are hard. I tried to bust out with the new Slayer, but that album sucks.

I mentioned it to the Hollister vanpool driver. I asked her if I owed my crew an apology. She told me yes. I stewed on that for a bit. I have a lot of respect for that woman.

I went to my desk and googled a picture of a cute skunk up. I emailed it to a few people on my vanpool with the caption, "Vanpool Issues". When they opened the email, all they would see was the picture. I went to work on my project, half expecting to hear back from them....nothing.

At the end of the day, I formally apologized to my riders. I really did. I didn't want to offend anyone, and I continued profusely apologizing. I said that I thought that the stuff was hilarious, but I really didn't want to offend. Apparently the damage was as follows:

1) A woman who rides with us went into the office and vomited. In my own brain (and here on the blog) I think that is fucking awesome, but I will never verbalize such a thing to her.

2) My co-pilot had half of his day ruined by the incident. He feels that disrespecting a dead body is completely wrong. I went at him on religion. Was this a religious issue with him? NO. I went at him with vegetarianism. Was he offended by my disrespect of a piece of meat on the side of the road? NO. He did slip up and tell me that to torture a dead body is worse than torturing a living body.

YOU KNOW I HAD TO OWN HIM ON THAT ONE.

"So if I pour gasoline on a dead body and light a match, that is worse than if I pour gasoline on a live body and light a match?"

The conversation swerved all over. I left it all at Gloria's feet. I have mentioned Gloria to you before. If there is a woman on that vanpool that I respect, it is Gloria. If I was about 20 years older, I would be ALL OVER THAT WOMAN'S CASE. Gloria is just some old-school class. I told her publicly that if she were to tell me not to run over any roadkill again, I would do it for her.

"Don't drive over anything dead...or alive for that matter." This was what I got out of her. The people in the vanpool laughed, and I took her words to heart.

Case closed. Lesson learned. I will just stay on the road from now on, and get from point A to point B. It took that possum spontaneously aborting her litter for me to learn my first lesson, which is to leave living critters alone when driving. It took a smelly-ass skunk to teach me lesson number two.

I'm good, mang. I'm good.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A piece of daily violence.

An image I saw last week that I have to trascribe:

In the back of the vanpool at about 7:30 AM, the East Indians were arguing with the Hispanics about who had discovered the zero. The Hispanics were swearing it was some old Aztec manuever. One of the East Indians countered with the possibility that an Indian might have crossed an ocean and brought it to them.

Me? I was keeping my eyes on the road. I have a lot to think about these days.

Then I saw it.

In the oncoming traffic lane, there was a big dog. This dog was a German Shepherd or even bigger sized. This dog was rolling in front of a truck. My moment of seeing this happen was obviously after the initial impact. Oncoming traffic was moving at about 50 to 60 MPH (Highway 68, bitches). This dog was rolling in front of the bumper of the van, and sort of being pushed and bounced along. The dog's legs were flailing. Flailing like the limbs of a corpse that has has been disturbed violently. The motions were unnatural. The dog was in no position to control itself. Then I saw the tires bite. The takedown. I saw the dog go under. What I saw next is part 1 of what what haunted me. The dog exploded. Mind you, I am just focusing on something that happened within the space of a second or less. There was a pop. A mist. A thin showerey spray from the Dog's head, and another dash of thin liquid in the air from what I would guess would be the rectum. These dashes of liquid in the air were very much like the spray ou of the nozzle of a Windex bottle...only much more colorful. Understand that this is how my brain computed wtf I was viewing in that fraction of a second. When one is faced with that which they normally don't see, the sight takes on shapes and definitions that would normally be alien.

At this point I had passed the scene and I was now watching it in my side view mirror. I saw the dog somehow bounce to the side of the road. It was the corpse throw. A limp, sloppy skidding to the shoulder. The dog was meaty and intact. The second part that haunts me still is that whoever hit that sucker did not even tap their brake lights. They just kept it rolling.

You know, we ponder violence all the time. To see something that violent and heartless go down first thing in the morning really got to me.

"Who gives a damn about a zero? I just saw a dog get smoked!" I said, wide-eyed.


FUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Snakes...yeah, I saw that trash

Alex stood on the corner last night at about midnight, after we got out of the 10PM premiere showing of Snakes on a Plane and said to me, "Peter, now you can actually say that you saw that trash."

Matt was looking pretty grim about the whole thing. I had to remind him that it wasn't supposed to be Citizen Kane. It wasn't supposed to be his damn Superman Returns either, which he had this love/hate wood for.

I can say I saw that trash.

And it was fakking DOPE.

What the hell is a movie supposed to do for you these days? I have been caught up in this thought for some time now. I used to think that it was about escape. My friend Ian hit me with the counter, "Escape from what?" and I have been lost ever since. Is my life so horrible that I need to escape? No it is not. Escape is not the right word.

Movies are about something else. I used to think that it was about truth. My father hit me with the counter that, "If you are looking for truth in the movies you are going to be disappointed." or something to that effect. He is right. Every now and then, there is a facet of truth that hits you. Every now and then, you bear witness to what is going on onscreen. But the truth of the matter is that film isn't there to get didactic with you...it is there for something else. Sure, take it seriously, but it is a consumer sport. We pay money to see these things. Sure, every now and then, there is a societal undertone in the film you are watching...but is this truly art? Is Woody Allen taking himself too seriously? I would say yes. So seriously in fact, that I will rush that little four-eyed pedophile if I ever see him on the street, but that is a different conversation that I am having with a different person.

My conclusion of late has been that movies are about entertainment. Why put some sort of intellectual fanfare on the stuff? I want a story, and I want to be entertained, dammit. I can't lie in bed and have my mother read me a story anymore. I don't have cable. Sometimes a book is too much work. I want to go somewhere, drop 8+ dollars and be ENTERTAINED. Not so much an escape from the world around me...but I feel great that there is someone out there who is saying, "Peter, I just took your 8 bucks, and I am going to show you things you didn't consider. I am going to make you laugh. I am going to make you wince. I am going to ENTERTAIN YOU, and you will like it. I can do this, because my name is David Ellis and I know you loved Final Destination part 2. I can do this because when you look on my syllabus on IMDB, you will see that I was in movies with Kurt Russell back when he was with Disney. Furthermore, I put in time with the homie when he did that movie Soldier which I know you like. These are movies you have seen, Peter. Peter, I am associated with all of your favorites throughout the history of your movieviewing. I have got my fingers in Scarface. I have got my fingers in Fast Times. I have got my fingers in To Live and Die in LA. Buddy, I was second director on The Matrix Reloaded, specifically, the highway scene. Gimme your 8 dollars and let me show you something."

Not only did I hand my 8+ dollars over to the man, but I sent Alex a phone message from Samuel Jackson (courtesy of the official website) and I dragged Matt and Gabby along as well. I was down for the cause. David Ellis hadn't failed me yet, and I didn't see how he could miss.

I was right.

Look people, I have put in my time. I have seen more campy film than I would dare to calculate. I have a Troma chip in my brain. I dug on the movie Virus. I watch horror films on the regular. I am up to my adam's apple in campy, trashy film. I am the man who needed to see this Snakes on a Plane thing right out of the gate.

The thing is that Snakes on a Plane is high-end camp. They aren't hiding anything. The title alone says "don't take me seriously". Once you understand this, then you can go in and expect the camp. Expect that it will be crap, because it is. But realize that this is the kinda crap that makes me the cinematic coprophiliac that I am. You want to gulp this stuff down. You know it is going to be smooth. IT IS THAT GOOD.

Trashy? Oh hell yeah. Think of any body part that is sensitive. That you would not want struck by a poisonous snake. Thin about that part hard. Then realize that a snake is going to OWN that bodypart on the big screen.

Formulaic? Hell double yeah. Think about the rules of horror films that are broken down so well by Jamie Kennedy in SCREAM (which was a slutty film, period). Think about the rules of engagement in an R-Rated film. Thin about who is supposed to get killed and think about who is supposed top live. Think about what is fair to the audience and what is not. This film walks that line. It isn't an ugly film. It is a film with a conscience. Sure, innocents are getting tagged by snakes. They are getting tagged HARD. Look people, the wise man Solomon said "The rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous alike". That is what is going down in this film. Of course, there are some people so damn righteous that a snake is going to have a hard time getting its strike on based on the RULES OF HORROR FILMS and the PATTERNS OF R-RATED ENGAGEMENT.

You'll laugh out loud.

You will laugh hard.

You will wince.

You will groan and say "Oh, no...is that snake's head actually being pissed on? Is that CG? How did they...OMG!!!"

You will laugh at the ridiculousness of some of the dialogue. An example of this is the sleazy pilot mentioning that the plane will go down faster than a Thai hooker if something isn't done soon.

But the bottom line? You will be entertained. Sam Jackson delivers, as you knew he would. The CG FX are pretty damn good. The plot is palatable. Furthermore, there is a cornucopia of various stereotyped personalities on this fabled Pacific American Flight 121, and we have all seen them before. This is entertaining folks. I honestly can't think of a better way to spend money at the theatre RIGHT NOW.

Yeah, I'm gonna say it: THIS IS THE MOVIE OF THE SUMMER.

In the future, I am not going to say, "Rememeber the summer when Superman Returns came out?"
Hell no. Superman sucked. Don't even get me started. I had an anti-Superman Returns blog that I had written called "Superman is a little bitch" that was so mean spirited that I decided not to publish it. The only good thing about that movie was the fact that Lois Lane got her ass beat on the regular in that movie. And she needed to have her ass beat, because she was no Margot Kidder.

In the future, I am not going to say, "Remember the summer that Cars came out?"
Hell no I will not. Cars was a good family movie. But face it, it wasn't as good as The Incredibles. I remember the summer when The Incredibles came out.

In the future I won't be using any of these movies either:
Miami Vice
Pirates of the Caribbean
Scanner Darkly
World Trade Center
The Descent
Ant Bully
Clerks II
Da Vinci Code
My Ex-Girlfriend is a Superhero
Nacho Libre
The Poseidon Adventure
or the motherfucking X-Men.

This is the summer that Snakes on Plane came out and entertained me. I always go into a movie and I have expectations. I expect it to do this or to do that. I should have these expectations because I am paying my own hard-earned money, and I have been sold a bill of goods. I have seen the trailer. I have read the reviews. I have guaged word of mouth. I have invested a lot of free time and conversation in the endeavor. So perhaps now gentle reader, you will see why suddenly my bowels are groaning and I need to defecate on a copy of Superman Returns. I was sold a line that simply wan't true. Bryan Singer currently has no idea who the hell he is or what the hell he is doing. Superman Returns made this clear. Just as Panic Room showed us all that David Fincher has run out of steam too. I was sold a line by Sam Jackson and David Ellis. The line was that they were not going to show the movie to the critics beforehand because they wanted to save it for the fans. The line was that the critics would say that the film was bad.

"The people that love it know what they are going to get when they come to the film. There's no need for someone to see it and say, 'Ooooh, its just people getting bit by snakes on a plane.' But that is what it is. It doesn't need to be reviewed. It doesn't need 'It's great,''It's horrible,''The snakes look cheesy.' Who cares? It is a 2006 Roger Corman movie." - Sam Jackson

The line that they sold was not only correct, but top tier.

This is the summer where I had a lot of hope for a movie (as I have hope for every movie that I go to see in the damn theatre) and I got PAID IN FULL.

Yeah, Snakes? I saw that trash, and it was the most fun I have had in the theatre in a LOOONNNGGG TIME.

The Kid From Brooklyn

This guy I'm about to turn you onto is funny. I guess he just videos his rants whenever he feels like it. The barrage of profanity that you must endure will give you one of two reactions.

1. You will embrace it. The reason why is that you have probably been down this road before. If you have been down the "extreme usage of the f-word for comedic purposes" road, you will probably embrace it. You have heard this kind of comedic discharge in the past and you understand the logic behind it all. You recognize that some people indeed talk this way, and you recognize the fact that the presentation is a caricature as well as a true representation of the speaker at the same damn time.

2. You will cower away from it in disgust. This is a natural reaction BTW. I remember when I first listened to the Jerky Boys back in the 90s. That stuff was RAW. It was a blistering potpourri of profanity and strange sexual allegations coupled with street violence and pathetic racial stereotypes. Initially, I cowered. Initially, I was slightly disturbed. But the thing about it was that it was DAMN FUNNY. I also remember stepping out of the first showing of the movie "CLERKS" back in Victoria BC. Adrian, the guy I was rolling with at the time, was merely wrapping his brain around the plot of the film. We were standing outside the theatre and one of the many women who wanted to bed Adrian down walked up and talked nonstop about how offended she was by all of the profanity in the film. She couldn't believe how bad the language was. For her it had been a mindblowing experience. Her eyes were lit up with the frenzy of a person who had just escaped death. She was cowering in disgust.

The kid from Brooklyn is this old opinionated man. This old opinionated man delivers. Furthermore, there is an underlying message of truth.

Here is his rant on Starbucks, which IMHO is the cream of the crop.

http://www.thekidfrombrooklyn.com/video_disp.asp?videoid=1049

If you found that one worthwhile, then you need to see the one where he discusses his use of profanity and the value of the f-word.

http://www.thekidfrombrooklyn.com/video_disp.asp?videoid=1052


This stuff is genius.

Check out his bio. This man needs to be in some movie as a foul-mouthed grandfather or something. I am sure that is what he always wanted.

http://www.thekidfrombrooklyn.com/about.asp

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Sluttiest Breakfast EVAR.

ZOMG. I am halfway through the second season of RESCUE ME. There is too much truth in this shit. It hurts.

Oh yeah, slutty breakfasts...read on.

I have a homeboy named Matt. The dude is alright. He reminds me of back when I was his age, only about 300X cooler.

So Matt has been hassling me to bag offa work in the morning and go out to breakfast with him. The place that he has said we should go to is called TOMMY'S. TOMMY'S keeps it real. There is no double stepping half truths about the place. You get what you pay for. Actually, as you read on, you will see that I got a lot more out of that place than my cheap breakfast. I got an experience that won't die anytime soon.

TOMMY'S is an American/Chinese joint off of Reindollar in Marina CA. TOMMY'S claim to fame is the WORKINGMAN'S SPECIAL. This consists of eggs, toast and hashbrowns for 99 cents. I thought that it sounded ridiculous, but my curiosity was piqued. So I bagged offa work yesterday morning and went out for breakfast with the homie.

Back in the high school days, I used to meet up with my group of misfits at the McDonald's in Pacific Grove at 6 AM every morning to drink coffee until school started. I wasn't above an Egg McMuffin or hash browns back then, and I used to blow my Jack-In-The-Box cheque on a lot of breakfast food. I also blew the cheque on video games, coffee, movies and beer. The way I spend my cheques these days aren't that different. Food, games, films and liquor. Of course, now I eat better food, I play better games, I buy DVDs and I drink americanos and scotch. There isn't much of a difference. But what I need to point out is that I haven't gone back to the fast food breakfast in close to 20 years. Oh sure, I have had fast food paroxysms in my time. I ate a McDonald's breakfast three years ago in Fresno, and I still remember it. My system simply can't handle it anymore. Five mornings a week, I eat a bowl of oatmeal with raisins, coconut, cinnamon and honey. I wash this back with some orange juice and ultimately, I find a big-ass cup of coffee and commence to sipping until lunchtime. Just ask the fools in the vanpool, 'coz they marvel at my steering with my knees at 70mph as I work the spoon and the bowl.

There was a time when I didn't care what the hell I ate. I was working out six days a week. Every muscle was joined to every tendon and it all showed when I took my shirt off because I was FAKKING RIPPED. I could eat whatever I wanted...and it was a situation where I couldn't eat enough. I would roll with my friend Robby and we would eat those 10 taco packs from Taco Bell for dinner several nights a week. Hell, it was all repped in there. Cheese for dairy. Shredded iceberg lettuce for veggies. Some sorta meat product for protein and a crispy, deep-fried taco shell for carbohydrates. I was on it.

If I wasn't doing the taco thing, I was doing the pizza. It is all in a pizza. Especially if you have tomato sauce on the thing, because then you get your vegetable intake.

Shoot, I used to get away with a bowl of ice cream for dinner...or a mah-fakkin Blizzard at Dairy Queen.

Don't get me started on the beer. I used to drink pitchers of the stuff and blow dinner off, because I was a student. Then something happened. It was my senior year in college. I was living this shoddy eating lifestyle to the hilt and smoking to boot. Problem was that I wasn't working out because I was on the job for 30 plus hours a week and trying to bust out my essays. Suddenly I felt a roll of the pudge. Suddenly, I was told that I was starting to get loose around the belly.

The shock of it all caused me to re-evaluate myself and what I was doing with my health. I cut beer out point blank. I started to eat a decent breakfast. No more half a dozen donuts on Saturday morning at the lumberyard where I worked. I started to look into what I was doing with myself. The days of skipping breakfast came to an end as well. I got back into a workout routine. I started to eat carrots like they were going out of style. I upped my coffee intake. I stopped eating after 8pm in the evening. I stopped eating when I came close to feeling full, and not when I was totally lethargic from an overload. Bottom line? I got control over myself. I am happy to say that I have been getting through my thirties without the roll that everyone else that I know in their thirties seems to have.

Yesterday I was down for the slipup though. Yesterday, I went to TOMMY'S for breakfast.

So, I got to Matt's and after a profanity-laced pushing and pulling, I convinced the bastard to take a walk with me to the place, rather than driving.

TOMMY'S looks like a one-bedroom apartment that has been converted into a diner. I placed my empty americano cup in the ashtray outside and stepped in. The first thing that I noticed was that the place was bustling. Women, kids and fathers. The place looked dirty. The tables and chairs were nondescript. Matt and I sat at the bar and waited. There was no bar at the base of the bar for me to rest my foot. There was no ledge under my chair to rest my foot on either. This because a source of my fidgeting. It also gave me an excuse to look around perpetually. There was a guy sitting to my left that looked like one of those 50 year-old power lifters. He was big. He was sweaty. He also had his eyes closed and he was lolling his head around using his neck like some sort of meat swivel. I kept on stealing looks at him. He made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

The spoon on the napkin where I sat was greasy. Literally greasy. I wiped my thumb on my pants in awe.

The kitchen had one guy back there. There was a monumental stack of dishes in the sink that was visible from my vantage point. The regulars would step into the kitchen and shoot the breeze with the guy back there, who I am sure was Tommy himself. There was noise in all directions. The men who sat at the bar were older, and single. Well, they didn't have wedding rings on. These guys looked like (and I mean no offense by this, you alcoholics) the burnt out coffee-swilling, chain-smoking older men that permeate AA meetings. I saw this one guy tear through a pile of hotcakes and eat a heavily salted and peppered plate of eggs and hashbrowns in five minutes flat. No manners were employed, save the use of a fork.

We ordered. We both went up a notch from the 99 cent special to the 2.79 special which consisted of eggs, sausage, pancakes and hashbrowns. I swear, for ten bucks, you are a king at TOMMY'S. Matt was the king. The breakfasts and his coke and my iced tea (which cost as much as the breakfasts) wound out just underneath the ten-spot. AMAZING.

"HOW YOU WANT YOUR EGGS?" Tommy's wife yelled at us. I had mine over hard, Matt had his over easy.

While we were telling Tommy's wife what we wanted, the meat swivel neck guy mumbled that he wanted more tea. I barely understood him my damn self, and I was sitting next to him. Mrs. Tommy finished taking our order and then promptly slid a cup of tea in the direction of the meditating man. This sort of thing happened a couple of times. A man whose fingers were strung with melted cheddar cheese as he worked a piece of toast over, said, "I need another one of these" and held up a small jam packet. He spoke this to Mrs. Tommy's back. She did something at the register, and then slid a jam packet to the man. If I had been thinking, I would have realized that this woman hears EVERYTHING. I wasn't thinking. I was drinking in the strange zone I was in, and commenting on it to Matt and not censoring much. I am sure that she heard every last dark word we said. I really don't think that she cared one bit.

There were about five orders before ours, so we had to wait about a half hour before our grub showed up. We took this opportunity to talk about Snakes on a Plane, Clerks2 the Lady in the Water and other such topics. The underlying factor of our conversation was a constant shit-talking about the decor in this place. There was a framed review of TOMMY'S from the Coast Weekly on the wall. I walked over to it and read it. It was not a glowing review actually. The sub-text basically said that TOMMY'S is a slutty little restaurant where your money goes a long way. It also made the comparison to the fact that if one was going to eat at McDonald's or Burger King, then one might as well throw their lot in with TOMMY. The article mentioned the fact that the restaurant has a faded yellow interior. I don't know about a faded yellow, but I do know that there were random statues in various corners of the place. There was a buddha. There was a bucking bronco looking thing. There were abstract calandars on the walls. Tacky is the first word that comes to mind. But I would say that it was an undetermined tackiness. These people are about serving you your meal asap. They aren't about atmosphere. You want atmosphere? Get the hell out of TOMMY'S, because you aren't paying 99 cents to feel like you are eating in a comfotable place. You are paying 99 cents to get that belly full by any means necessary. That is what the vibe was.

Our food showed up. Three pancakes to begin with, with three slabs of margarine on them. I slid the butter substitute wo the side with my knife. I looked at my fork and actually had to take my napkin to wipe off the grime.

The eggs were alright. Tapatio covers a multitude of sins. The sausages were standard restaurant breakfast sausages. The small little pinky ones. The hash browns were in need of a little ketchup. The review on the wall from the Coast Weekly had suggested a change of the hash browns for fried rice. I hadn't made such a move. I needed to take down the hash browns like a champ and make my own decision. The hash browns weren't bad either, I must say. If I had an issue with anything on my plate, it would have to be the pancakes. I just couldn't do them. I took one of the three down, because I needed to be able to say that I had eaten one; dear Lord, that was one rubbery flapjack.

I didn't drink the coffee there because I had tanked up on my way in with the americano. I must say that people were drinking that coffee like it was the best stuff brewed on this side of the peninsula however.

Matt paid the bill and we wandered back to his apartment. I passed my americano cup in the ashstray on the way out with the revelation that no one in TOMMY'S probably knew what the hell an americano was, or even cared. They were on some other shit. We discussed the bachelor party that I had been to the other night, and how I had left before the strippers showed. Apparently anal ring-toss was one of the games that the strippers were offering. Matt and I have discussed the dirty sanchez and the rusty trombone ad nauseum, but we were both stumped by the mechanics of the anal ring toss. Sounds simple, but it probably isn't. This was also part of our running discussion regarding the donkey show and the strange twist in regards to such a show at the end of Clerks2.

What can I say? The breakfast was slutty. Matt hooked it up and I am eternally grateful for the experience. My stomach was queasy for the bulk of the day afterward. I ate a bag of carrots later in the afternoon to balance out the greasy intake on the AM.

TOMMY'S is a food joint that caters to the belly. There wasn't a skinny person in that place. The truth that hit me like a bag of frozen neckbones was the fact that I was surrounded by people who eat this stuff every day. They have their breakfast at TOMMY'S every freaking day. I suppose it is a step up from McDonald's or Burger King, but it is frightening to me. There are people out there doing the solid crap intake and thinking that it is alright. WTF is wrong with America? Matt himself said America is the land of the obese while hurling expletives at me for why we shouldn't walk to the diner in the first place.

I used to live to spend little cash and fill the belly. I just can't do it anymore. The post-breakfast hangover was one of the sluttiest I have had in years. Food is finally at a point in my life where it actually matters what I take down. If the food isn't good, my belly and my head start to hurt.

The 99 cent special will kick your ass people. I have got to hand it to TOMMY'S though, those people are keeping it real.