Saturday, September 30, 2006

Can't Come Soon Enough

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Ones That Got Away

I was hanging out with some of the fellas from work Friday night, and as usual when you get a bunch of guys together and throw in 3-4 beers, the topics turn to sports and/or sex.

The conversation turned to the people you could have slept with, but never made the move. This was a conversation about true regret, because all of us are in varying stages of relationships (from having girlfriends to being married with a small child). These were the hook-ups that will probably never be consummated.

I have not slept with tons of people in my life, but I have slept with enough to be able to say this: I remember the ones that got away more than some of the ones who didn't. Maybe that is because there are a few I'd like to forget. I won't forget the cute Israeli girl who wanted to sleep with me while we were at a party in law school (I demurred because I thought she was "too drunk." The only reason I was so stupid in coming up with that is I was probably too drunk to realize what I was doing.)

The lost ones were an exotic group. Bolivian exchange students. Potential menages that ended with the girls laughing and passing out. All vivid and gone.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Never Again

Sister K and Future Brother-in-Law K concede to doing religious counseling before their upcoming marriage. Eight sessions with this wannabe charismatic deacon at the parents' church.

Sister K: Never again.
Joseph K: What do you mean?
Sister K: I am done. I am never going to church again.
Joseph K: Oh, you too. How bad could the counseling have been.
Sister K: You have no idea.
Joseph K: What do you mean? Was it that bad?
Sister K: Not until the deacon started this 45 minute schpiel about sexual orgasms.
Joseph K: Enough.

Girlfriend K, who'd been listening to all this, rolled her eyes.

Joseph K: What?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Banality Fair Goes To Vegas, Fin

We arrived at the helicopter tour place, and there were way too many people wearing epaulettes. Two stripes, Three stripes. Four stripes!

The place offered all passengers a free glass of champagne. We partook Banality Fair style. Which means, we went back for seconds. We would have gone back for thirds, but they called us out to the landing area. We were driven out there by a guy with three stripes. Clearly, he was a high ranking van driver who deserved to be taken seriously.

The flight was short, but Vegas by air is stunning. It is truly and beautifully ridiculous. Odd, unnecessary lights and structures made all the more fascinating with a decent buzz. Our pilot provided possibly the most inane commentary, but the good thing was that none was necessary.

Things had turned. We spent the rest of the night gambling. I won back most of the money I lost. A couple of hundred dollars here from a quick blackjack run. A couple more from a longer spell at a roulette table. M. Fresh took my bad gambling mojo like a good sport.

We must have gone to bed around 6AM. I woke up a few hours later. I had a plane to catch around noon, and my body was anxious about catching it. I stared out onto part of the strip.

Thinking, this just might be the last time I do that.

Until the next time.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Banality Fair Goes To Vegas, Part 2.5

M. Fresh was flipping through one of those thick weekly "to-do" booklets they issue in Vegas.

M. Fresh: A helicopter ride.

Absolutely. Something completely different. We'd been to sin city so many times. We'd gambled. We'd drank. We'd seen pissing elephants. We needed something different.

Joseph K: Brilliant. That is it. That. Is. It.

The bright lights from above. What seemed like the perfect night cap to an evening with Carrot Top (before we knew he was abjectly stiff.

Joseph K: The only way to make this all work is to start off at the right casino. The right place to characterize the rest of the trip.

I looked out the window of the room at the Luxor. And, there it was. The perfect starting off point.

Joseph K: To the Hooters casino.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Banality Fair Goes To Vegas, Part 4

The key to enjoying a bad show is to be super buzzed. Not drunk, because that would be too much. When Sigfried & Roy take on the Ice Queen when you are super buzzed, you laugh. When they do that when you are drunk, you want to punch Roy in the cod piece and save her. Its a matter of degrees.

M. Fresh spent Carrot Top day drinking mildly and gambling. I'd scraped back by $150 at the blackjack tables at the Wynn. We got back to the hotel with an hour to spare. We invested in two 24 ounce Fosters and got prepped for the evening. We split one, then headed to the bar.

Joseph K: A double vodka tonic
M: Fresh: A regular vodka tonic

The bartender said he recognized us from "before." Could be real. I don't have a familiar face, unless you are familiar with me. I slurped down the last sip. There it was, the sweet buzz. We were ready. Amped.

Carrot Top is easily, and unquestionably the worst stand up comic I've ever seen in person. He is a special kind of badness that should be kept locked up in a safe. I honestly cannot recall one joke or bit. His screechy personality sliced through my brain, and bled the buzz out of me. There was no amount I could have drank that would have cushioned the blow of his ineptitude. His principal error was eschewing the prop comic shtick and trying to do jokes. His jokes were dead smelly fish. He was rotting. Inside. And the funk wafted over and clung to us.

Every two minutes I turned to M. Fresh and said, "Enough?" She had more guts than me. She kept wating for it to get better. It never did. We merely suffered.

Until it came time for the helicopter ride. It was time for something completely different.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Vegas Trip, Musical Interlude

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Banality Fair Goes To Vegas, Prologue

M. Fresh and I have been to Vegas several times. Our livers can attest to that fact.

In recent years, when we've gone to Vegas, we've made a point of picking a truly terrible show, getting drunk and taking in the absurdity. This idea led to us being pissed on by elephants at the Sigfried & Roy show and taking in a drunk Rick Springfield hit on a 16 year-old girl. In other words, it was brilliant.

So, before the Vegas trip, I was perusing the shows, and it was a revelation. Of course, that was it.

I emailed M. Fresh seconds later.

"Subject: Vegas Show

Two words: Carrot Top."

Her response: "Yes!"

And thus began -- to borrow a phrase from David Foster Wallace -- our path towards a supposedly fun thing we'll never do again. More later.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Banality Fair Goes To Vegas, Part 3

We got ourselves a couple more Newcastles. Our guests ordered a Corona and a Jack and Coke. They were also slurping down one of those enormous $15 slushy drinks you see people lugging around Vegas every so often.

Joseph K: Joseph (sticking out hand)
M. Fresh: M.
Guy 1: (whatever, I don't remember)
"Guy" 2: Rene.

Rene was overweight. Covered in tattoos. Short hair. Wearing a cap like me. He had boobs. Although he had a masculine physique (sort of, for an overweight person), his boobs were not man boobs. He was clearly not a he. He was a butch she.

Rene spent most of his/her time talking to M. Fresh. Which is understandable, because she's attractive and far more interesting than me. Which mattered to Rene.

But, here is something I didn't know about M. Fresh. She has unbelievable ability to put not only her foot, but her whole leg in her mouth.

It started off right off the bat, when we toasted Rene's 21st birthday.

M. Fresh: Cheers to you finally becoming a man.

I had to bite my bottom lip to not explode into laughter. But, Rene was cool about it. Guy 1 seemed to pick up on M. Fresh's confusion and a couple of times made a point of referencing "her" and "she."

M. Fresh was undeterred. I am pretty sure I heard right after one such reference, "You seem like a cool guy." Rene didn't react, though. I think Guy 1 spit out a randon "she" in a vain attempt to steer M. Fresh right.

Rene and Guy 1 were from Seattle. Rene is apparently an ex con, who went into great detail about her career as an extasy dealer, as well as her current drug use habits.

Rene had no idea what Joseph K does for a living. You have no idea what Joseph K does for a living. Let's just say, if they had any inkling, they would gotten up quickly and hustled away. Instead, I pretended I was a corporate lawyer.

Guy 1: Could I get some legal advice.
Joseph K: Another beer please (speaking to waitress)
Guy 1: You see, I am getting sexually harrassed at work.
Joseph K: (just thinking, oh for Christ's sake)
Guy 1: Yeah, she's this sixty year old cashier, who is always feeling me up in the break room.
Joseph K: Really?
Guy 1: Yeah. I went to my union, but they can't do shit.
Joseph K: Mmm-hmm (drinking beer)
Guy 1: It's fucked up, you know. She's done it to a bunch of guys. And they quit. But, you know, I am not about to give up my $17 an hour. $17 an hour, you know what I am saying?
Joseph K: Yep.
Guy 1: Blah, blah, blah, blah...

I finished off my beer and turned to M. Fresh.

Joseph K: I am still too sober and need to blow some cash.
M. Fresh: Sounds good. (Turning to Rene) -- it was nice meeting you dude.

Next up: The all time worst comedian ever. Ever.