Dec 18, 2008


Current mood: fermented
Category: Blogging

Have you ever done something so stupid that you make
exponentially worse by lying and, your only hope is that there are no witnesses and if there are, that they don't remember?

I am adjusting the exact time frame of this because of Fear...and mostly embarrassment.

I hadn't been to the local mall in about 4-5 years. My
teenage years behind me, the need to look cool and hip (or
in my case like a glam metal god!!) were a thing of the past.
SO basically I had given up my mall rat status and my teased
hair had been cut (although I was re-growing it, a trend I
would endure for many many many years.)

But it did NOT keep me out of the local shops where,
during the 80's, I was able to make myself look like a
flamboyant pirate. Reminiscing of those glitter days gone
by. But on the other hand about 2 years ago, I walked into
two of my favorite "glam shops." Oddly they were still
open. But one had become an alternative goth/emo kid kind
of place and the other had become a vegan clothing store. I
left heartbroken.

Ahh the joy of memories.

But on this day, on my way to a date, I became a man with a
purpose. I had, what one Wakko Warner (from the
Animaniacs) had so eloquently stated as "a potty

I parked the car, and headed towards the mall. I had stated
that I had been a mall rat in a previous decade I knew the lay
of the land. I knew the secret handshake. I would be
returning to my former hang out as a former ambassador of
the mall and not as a tourist. I knew this all to be true
because I had spent so many afternoons and weekends here.
I would be mistaken.

You know I have realized that most of my 'adventures' begin
with those four words hehehe,,,ooooh boy.

In my absence of the sacred land of retail, I had come to the
hard realization that the mall had gone the way of
"Desperate Housewives" and had some work done. It was
barely recognizable.

The restrooms that were just inside the door had been
removed and relocated. Which sent me into "OH MY GOD,
I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE IT!!!!!" mode.

So after that horrible reality punch to try locate the restrooms.

After a very quick glance at the "You are Here." thingy I was
able to deduce where the bathrooms were.

Anxiety began to rear it's ugly little head. It was now a race
against time. This was a horrible feeling, because I was now
doing that shuffle/butt clench speed walk that is very similar
to the pee pee dance but nowhere near as graceful.

After a trek through 1/3 of the mall I found my Atlantis. I had located my Arc of the Covenant. I had found the bathrooms where I wasted no time in my race for the open hands of the porcelain god.

I have always had a fear of using the stalls and coming out
after a particular, let's just call it an episode and seeing someone I know.

Not to brag, but I was in fine form this day. I believe I was
the top of my game. This was one of those epic moments
that would have sent men, women, and children believing it
was the apocalypse. There were grunts, labored breathing,
pungent aromas, and there was statements ending in OH MY

Like I said it was EPIC.

After my grueling...episode, like a lone warrior who has battled an army, I emerged victorious. I opened the stall door like I OWNED it. I did a slightly satisfied saunter towards the sins to wash my hands, like a warrior washing his hands in the blood of his victims. I was proud and relieved.

I was most happy.

While washing my hands I started to notice a certain things in the reflections of the mirrors...

1. I don't remember the mens rooms being so...PINK
2. Hey where are the urinals?
3. Hey whats hanging on the wall?

The temperature in the room raised a good 20 degrees. "OH SHI..." was the current thought that had started to manifest itself in my now really frightened three young ladies walked into the restroom.

There was a deafening silence as we all just stared at each other.

I still don't know where or how the next few moments ever
occurred but they did. Now boys and girls...I must reiterate
my opening statement just so you know where in the story I am...

Have you ever done something so stupid that you make exponentially worse by lying and, your only hope is that there are no witnesses and if there are, that they don't remember?

OK we on the same page? OK, I'll continue.

I pulled out my wallet and did the flipping open and closed thing like it was a badge and I said "Hello, I'm sorry for the awkwardness of this situation, but there was a complaint that there was a guy in here doing some inappropriate activities and I was just investigating it. It's all clear now, I'm just washing my hands and I'll be out in two seconds."

At that moment, the "scent of evidence" from my activities
became apparent. I wished the young ladies a good day and
walked out of the restroom. At the same time that there was
a small mob of women coming to use the same bathroom I
just exited. With my head down, I walked past them.

Glancing back there were a few confused looks that were directed at me. Then I heard "OH it's OK, there was a
complaint about someone doing stuff in here...I think he's a cop."

I froze in my tracks.

I wanted to go back there and tell them that it was an accident. I just walked into the wrong room, and when I realized what I did I got scared and when the girls came in I became really scared. I wanted to make sure my name was clear.

But I didn't. Later that day I called my cousin, who was a security guard at the same mall, and I told him what happened. He laughed so hard he actually dropped the phone.

Today that cousin is a cop, and to bust my chops and every
now and then, he'll call to me as he's walking out of the
bathroom, pull out his wallet, flash his badge and just laugh at me.

Gotta love them memories.


Currently listening:
Antichrist Superstar
By Marilyn Manson
Release date: 1996-10-08

Dec 16, 2008


"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Albert Einstein

I believe there is some quote or proverb that says something about life and experience being two of the greatest teachers we can learn from.
But when it comes to those particular lessons, I must have either skipped out of class or had a substitute teacher.

This journey starts way back in the first grade. I was rummaging around the pantry for some tasty goodies. I noticed a shiny wrapped object, which warranted further investigation. Upon further investigation, what I discovered was akin to finding a light saber.

I have always been a firm believer in the "if it looks like (fill in the blank) and smells like (fill in the blank), then by all evidence presented it should be (fill in the blank)."

Baking chocolate does not subscribe to this philosophy. As a matter of fact, baking chocolate laughs in the face of that philosophy. It mocks it while wearing monkey pants. But I believe I am digressing.

It smells like a delicious chocolate bar. It looks like one of the biggest chocolate bars I had ever seen. So with my first grade understanding of these simple and basic truths, this was going to be one of the greatest chocolate experiences in my life.

I was mistaken.

I can still remember acrid bitterness after the first three chews. The conflicting moments between my taste buds screaming "THIS IS NOT CHOCOLATE...SPIT IT OUT NOW!!!!" while my brain was pleading in a whiny tone to my taste buds "BUT IT LOOKED AND SMELLED LIKE CHOCOLATE! IT'S NOT MY FAULT."

Luckily I had the wherewithal to trust my taste buds and make a mad dash to the sink where I proceeded to spit the remains out.

You know those moments alarming clarity that seem to sneak up on you? I am about to have two of those moments.
1. I had not yet learned the fine art of spitting.
2. I couldn't reach the sink properly.

As a five, almost six, year old lad, I was a little bit on the pudgy and short side. On a good day and with some planning I could do the infamous run and jump that all young lads and lassies do when there are vertical obstacles.

This would not be one of my good days.

Luckily, the apartment my mom and I lived in had a very tiny kitchen so I was able to take a step, grab a chair, pull it over, climb on it and do that dribble spit thing that children are oft to do, into the sink.

There was a moment of illumination while leaning over the sink and spitting out the bitterness that had overwhelmed my unsuspecting tongue; my mouth had been open during my baking chocolate ordeal.

Allow me to paint by number a picture for you. As I stare at the mess in the sink, on my shirt, shoes, on the chair, and all over the floor I begin to cry, which wakes up my mother. Her first reaction is of course to be quite upset, but settled down pretty quick. There was no parental punishment to be dealt out this time.

My mother believed I had learned from my mistake.

I would prove her wrong.

It happened while I was living in El Paso, Texas when I was 8 years old and I had a hankering for something sweet. So again I explore the pantry. And again I find a chocolate bar. I had this tingly sensation that I had been at this crossroads before.

I chalked it up to guilt.

Until I took that first bite.

My fourth grade mind vividly remembered my first grade experience. BUT this time things would be different.

First I remembered to keep my mouth shut, tight.

Secondly I was finally tall enough to be able to spit out the horrendous reminder into the sink.

Third I had mastered the spitting technique. I had actually won a few spitting contests on the playground during recess.

Of course this would be the exact moment my mom would walk in the door.
With a mixture of horror, wonder, and disappointment she asked me why I didn't learn my lesson the first time I had done this.

I simply said "I just thought the other one was a bad batch of chocolate."

The horror and wonder left her face. The disappointment lingered while she said "I sure hope you learned your lesson this time."

I would prove her wrong.


I was a senior in high school and I was taking a home economics cooking class. The teacher had on some occasion brought in chocolate treats for her students. We had broken up into cooking teams and she starts to hand out some chocolate bars. Ms. Teacher and I were on the same page of the book, although her interpretation was very different than mine.

She begins to say "This is baking chocolate, and not very good to eat."

I heard 'This is..' as I was biting into what is now my third foray into the consumption of this deceptive food product.

Only the look of pain on my face gave any indication that I had done something stupid.

It became felony stupid when I decided to tell my mom about my home economics experience. This time her expression was simply disbelief, mixed with a touch of "he seems so bright, and then he does this".

"Are you ever going to learn?" my mother asked me. I don't know which was more humbling. Her asking me that question or the fact that you could almost hear the last embers of hope quickly growing cold.

"Yes mother. I have learned my lesson."

Seven years later I see it in the pantry.


I walk away.

I know it tastes bad.

I know the disappointment I will suffer if I take a bite.

I remember first grade and the shame.

I remember fourth grade and embarrassment.

I remember 12th grade and the look I got.

Somehow with all this going through my wasted grey matter, I somehow forget that it tastes like absolute shite, I grab it and take a bite. I, of course, proceed to spit it out.

This time I do not tell my mother. I don't want to hear her heart break.

Now what does all of this have to do with today.

Yesterday, I was helping my mom clean out her pantry. Take a guess what was in there.

I am sitting here typing out this story to remind myself that taking a bite of unsweetened baking chocolate is not a good idea.


I wonder...

Editor's note:
I, the wife, just read this. I guess I'd better hide the baking chocolate I bought this afternoon for Christmas cookies. Otherwise, I have a sneaking suspicion it will go missing, and I'll never EVER know where it went.