Thursday, March 24, 2011

Resume of Ridiculousness: Crazy Zoo

When I was about 14 a high school friend of mine hooked me up with a volunteer job at a small Zoo. I know, I know - volunteering is for suckers. However, here was my chance to work at a zoo! Monkeys, man, monkeys!!!

Anyway, I started out busting my ass at the "Domestic Center" where we kept and cared for various barnyard creatures including: llamas and guanacos, an 800 pound Shetland highland cow, several sheep, chickens, goats, and ponies. I worked there every weekend for just about a year, shoveling various substances and man-handling the escape-artist goats.

The Domestic Center was pretty cool, though. The llamas were my favorite, very intelligent and sensitive creatures. The goats loved escaping their enclosure and frequently wandered the zoo grounds as they pleased, and visitors were very keen to say things like "Hey, is that goat supposed to be out?" Sir, there is no goat standing there by the cotton candy vendor. You are halucinating, and are probably experiencing some sort of psychotic breakdown. I have contacted the proper authorities, please try to relax as they restrain and sedate you.
It's all in your mind man. Here comes the thorazine...

Every Saturday morning before the zoo opened, the other volunteers, employees, and I would stage these crazy wrestling matches in the hay loft. I rarely participated for lack of any wrestling ability whatsoever, but I was always up there watching and heckling.

Eventually I worked my way through just about every section of the zoo: the reptile house, the rainforest wing, the commissary, the savannah exhibit, even the small veterinary hospital on the zoo grounds.

I seemed to have a way with animals, which ever part of the zoo I worked in. I managed to "make friends" with some animals, like Suzie the golden eagle who let me hand feed her a rat every day. Please, go crouch with your face inches away from a golden eagle and try not to poop yourself as you watch it rip a large rat to pieces in seconds. She seemed to trust me enough to let me pet her aftewards...craziness. Nice bird though.

I was, on the other hand, attacked by dozens of creatures as well:
  • the baboons loathed me, and the dominant male once even went so far as to hurl a tree stump at me with full force.
  • I was charged by a cuban crocodile, saving myself at the last minute by using a chair as a shield against the beast.
  • I learned the hard way that the leopard does not want his nose scratched, and I still have a small scar on my hand from where he was able to claw me through his enclosure.
  • something called a boat-billed heron bit me really hard on the hand, and then pooped liquid bird poop all over my shoes.
  • owls attacked me on a regular basis for some reason; big owls, little owls, captive owls, wild owls - it didn't matter. They all hated me.
  • all of the chickens hated me as well and attacked me on sight, clinging to my pants with their little chicken talons as I ran screaming from the chicken coop
  • an army of tiny little monkeys insisted on throwing their food at me.
  • a seperate army of little monkeys liked to slap me in the face. No, really.  
This went on like this just about every weekend for over 3 years.

Until one day when I was called into the zoo director's office.

He accused me of being the ring leader of the illegal wrestling matches being held in the Domestic Center barn. Apparently, people were betting on the matches, and moderate sums of cash were being exchanged.

I had very little actual involvement in the wrestling matches aside from just being there. In the end I was asked to turn in my zoo keeper badge and any equipment I had at home. I didn't even try to defend myself I was so heartbroken. I loved that zoo. I still go whenever I'm home, to curse out the evil baboons and stroll the grounds I came to know as my second home.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ten Ridiculously Awesome Creatures

Here's a list of ten animals I think are ridiculously awesome, in no particular order, for no reason other than to amuse myself and my average of 1.3 readers...monthly. For more info on these ridiculous creatures feel free to click on the links o' information I have lovingly included.

1.  The Yak - huge, furry, horned mountain creatures with a name synonomous with puking. This is the animal I would choose to ride into battle, like some sort of ridiculous Mongolian doom-merchant. I like saying Yak. YAK.
Hi-ho Yakkie, away!!!
  Yak - Wikipedia

2. The Coral Snake - Gummy worms! Awesome! Wait a minute...

If I was a child that encountered this snake I would immediately grab for it and try to eat it like a multi-colored Twizzler. Then, I would be bitten, and die very quickly and horribly from the extremely potent neurotoxic venom ravaging my body (this is the most venomous snake in North America).
Lemon, cherry, licorice...the flavors of death.
Gummy worms, er, Coral Snake - Wikipedia

3. The Golden Eagle - The physical embodiment of "Awesome". No lap dog is safe with this monster roaming the skies. Hell, I think your German Sheppherd might not stand a chance either. Better stock up on SAMs. Ka-KAWWW, bitches!!

Chicken of Doom - Wikipedia

4. The Man-o-War Nudibranch - WTF?! How is this a real animal? What? it eats jellyfish for breakfast too?!? That's it, I'm moving into the storm cellar.

Fake animal that Wikipedia swears is real - Wikipedia

5. The Horned Lizard - has possibly the most "metal" defense mechanism in nature: when frightened, this little lizard will squirt BLOOD out of its eyes. I also think it's one of the most adorable wittle wizards in the world. I will never say that again, ever, I promise.

This one's name is Ouchy.
Horned Lizard - Wikipedia

6. The Badger - Hands down one of the most ferocious creatures pound-for-pound on the planet. Badgers have been known to chase grizzly bears away from kills, they regularly pick fights with venomous snakes just for fun, and they are also born as certified F-22 pilots! Fuckin' A, he's on my team.

7. Phylobates Terribilis (The Golden Poison Frog) - Another creature that looks like candy, and then kills you horribly and quickly after you try to lick it. In fact, it is the most toxic creature in the world.

It is said that people have died from coming in contact with leaves that this frog has brushed up against. The funny thing is that wild caught frogs raised in captivity eventually lose their toxicity. Something they eat in the wild helps them produce this extraordinarily potent toxin - and no one knows for sure what the hell it is. I've actually worked on a breeding and research project for these things, they make great pets believe it or not. Except when they kill you.

Death, in its most adorable form.
Golden Poison Frog - Wikipedia

8. The Blue Whale - um, over 100 feet long...weighing in at over 200 tons (that's 200,000 pounds people, poop yourselves as needed). In short, the largest living creature EVER. By a lot. That's pretty fucking ridiculously awesome.

A blue whale skull. You thought this was a giant shmeckle, didn't you? Pervert.
Blue Whale - Wikipedia

9. The Giant Pacific Octopus - Great googly moogly, look at this gelatinous tentacled behemoth!

Apparently they still need scuba gear to survive under water. Oh wait, it's that bag of mucus he's wrestling with...
Big Ass Octopus - Wikipedia

10. The Emu - The most hilarious living organism in the world. Look at this thing! It's like a cross between a 6-foot-tall chicken and Groucho Marx.

HILARIOUS TANGENT: When I was in college I saw an ad in the paper for an emu for sale, for $60!!! Who wouldn't want an emu, and for only $60?! That's a must-buy-immediately in my book. I drove down in my Honda Accord with $60 in my hand thinking I could stuff the emu into the back seat and let its head dangle out the window or something. The owner of the emu was very angry that I would suggest transporting an adult emu in the backseat of a Honda Accord, and the mention of housing the fucking thing in my dorm room promptly got me escorted off the premises. At the time I thought this was a perfectly reasonable idea. In fact, I still do.
"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception." - Groucho Marx

Groucho Marx/Chicken (Emu) - Wikipedia

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Single Dude's/Chick's Day

In defiance of this most-hated day of the year, February 14th (aka Valentine's Day) I propose a new holiday to celebrate the wondrous gift to the world that is the Single Man or the Single Woman.

You see, the world all ready has holidays for lovers (Valentines Day, February 14th), Mothers (Mother's Day, 2nd Sunday in May), Fathers (Father's Day, 3rd Sunday in June), grandparents (National Grandparent's Day, first sunday after Labor Day), freaking pirates (Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19th), and so forth. Strangely, us single folks have been omitted from the cavalcade of annual celebrations. I propose to change this by instituting Single Dude's Day and Single Chick's Day.

Single Dude's Day - A national celebration of masculine solitude and of all things associated with the male bachelor. The traditional observance of Single Dude's Day will include the following:
  1. Single Dudes have no use for flowers or chocolate. Gifts of sports memorabilia, weaponry, beef jerky (or venison jerky, an acceptable alternative), and whiskey are more appropriate.
  2. Greeting cards are not necessary, but if used must include at least one image of a half-naked woman.
  3. Phone calls from loved ones and family are mandatory and must be positive in nature. Harassing a single dude because he "hasn't settled down yet" is strictly prohibited and taboo. Acceptable alternatives include telling a single dude "You really look good when you don't shave or comb your hair," or "Yes, I really enjoy your old Thundercats figurines as well."

Because this is awesome.

Single Chick's Day - A national day of mourning for feminine solitude, observance includes:
  1. Constant bombardment with flowers and chocolate, possibly via air drop, in a desparate attempt to let the Single Chick know that "someone cares out there."
  2. Greeting cards are mandatory and must be oversized, dripping with glitter, and scented of fresh Tunisian jasmine and apricots. Cards should feature images of kittens, naked firefighters, or of happy couples being eaten by velociraptors.
  3. Phone calls from loved ones are mandatory as well and should be overly cheerful in nature. Loved ones and family should compliment the Single Chick's every endeavor however foolhardy or naive/manipulative. Also, calls should contain several overly positive references to the Single Chick's hairstyle, current physical appearance, and/or shoe collection.

What, no black pumps?!
Now, all we need is to set a date for these holidays. August doesn't have too much going on, lets do it then.

P.S. - I all ready have a set of shuriken, so if you buy me weaponry please send something besides ninja throwing stars.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Nuisance Log Part 4 - Photographic Uselessness

I am often irritated by people. Sometimes I find myself in public when I get irritated, and as I've previously stated I am prone to fits of spectacular, explosive anger - so I really need to control myself when I'm pissed off AND in public. One thing that really infuriates me beyond-and-to-a-whole-new-extreme is when people have no sense of how to take a decent photograph.

Taking a good photo is not an abstract art form, nor is it something that requires any unreasonable expenditure of brain energy. I'm not talking about professional-quality photography with profound composition, striking contrast, and tantalizing subject matter. I'm talking about every-day, tourist snapshots. Taking a photo should be as easy as looking through the little window or viewing screen and pushing the little button. It seems the world is lousy with mongoloids and drooling mouth-breathers that are not capable of doing this effectively.

No. Bad. No touch camera.
Nowadays most people (if not all people) own a decent digital camera. It's actually pretty hard to find a shitty digital camera. If you spent more than $50.00 you probably have a half-way decent digital camera. If you bought your digital camera from the dollar store in the "bad" part of town you probably have a shitty digital camera.

The great thing about digital cameras is that they can do all the work for you! Like magic! Strange lighting conditions or low light? No worries, the camera will automatically adjust the aperature, shutter speed, and even release the flash if need be. Moving target? No problemo, the camera once again recognizes the subject and adjusts as needed. It's almost impossible to take a bad photograph. My dog has accidentally sat on my camera and produced high-quality images of seat cushions, the kitchen floor, and the ceiling.

Why then, when I recently asked someone to take a picture of me in front of a landmark, did they take a picture of my left ear in the far right of the frame, placing full emphasis on the taxi cab parked in front of the landmark, most of the building cut off with only the main entrance visible, and everything blurred because of sudden hand movement? SUDDEN HAND MOVEMENT????!?!? Do you know how violent a hand movement you have to make to create blurs in broad daylight on a digital camera set to automatic?! You can be in the midsts of an epileptic fit and still fire off a few steady frames. You can literally throw your camera across a street and capture several crisp images of oncoming traffic. This person was obviously a functional retard.

It's like he just randomly pressed the shutter release at an arbitrary point in the arc that his arm made on it's way up to his face to take a normal picture, like a normal human being. He didn't even care enough to make sure I was completely in the frame, I guess just my left ear, half a nostril, and an eyebrow was enough to identify me. The maddening thing was that this creten inspected the image before handing back the camera and decided that it was an adequate interpretation of what I asked him to do: take a picture of me in front of this building.

Yes. That is in fact my ear, my half-nostril, my eyebrow, and a few whiffs of my hair in front of what vaguely appears to be some sort of significant building. Good job, sir, you have served me well. Now crawl back under the detritous from which you came, you snail, you pond scum, you evolutionary leap backwards.

Unfortunately, I cannot post this miracle of modern photography in this blog for reasons that defy any sort of rational logic. Here, then, is my own artistic recreation of the photo:

Photography: capturing memories to last a life time.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resume of Ridiculousness: The Beer Store

One day when I was 13 my stepdad "surprised" me with a job offer to go work at a local beverage center where he often stopped to get coffee in the mornings. I jumped at the opportunity to earn cash off the books, after school mostly and on weekend mornings.

I'd never actually stepped foot inside this place and learned on my first day that, holy crap, they sold a crazy assortment of beers!! Beers from all over the world!!!! And, Kegs! Kegs of beer!!!! Here I was, 13, staring at a wall of beers, most of which I'd never heard of before: Grolsch, Red Stripe, Lowenbrau, St. Pauli Girl (honk honk), etc, etc.
Honk honk!
I also ran a redemption center - various bag ladies and vagrants would turn in empties for cash, at 5 cents a pop. The smell was magnificent. Like hot, sweet vomit.

After a few weeks I worked up the courage to start stealing beer to bring out with me and friends. I basically would come in after school with an empty backpack, and then leave with a six pack or two, or several 40s. Delicious and nutritious!

The owners were an older couple, total weirdos. The man had ridiculously long hair that he kept pinned up in various styles - like a woman. He also had boobs, and wore a mustache. The woman was some new-age freakshow, smelled like patchouli and kept crystals all over the place. They creeped me out at first, but they were good people more or less.

One day I didn't feel like working there any more for some reason. I stopped showing up, never called Mustache Man-Boobs or the Hippie Lady. I never heard from them about it either. My parents never asked me about it.

Randomly quitting a job with out any sort of justification or without letting anyone know became a tradition of mine. Haha.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Resume of Ridiculousness

When I tell people I've had over 50 different jobs they often look at me like I have a goiter. They're kind of disgusted, but intrigued, and would probably poke me with a stick if they had a stick. So, here's a stick, poke away you fiends.

Like I said, I've had a lot of different jobs, all of which were hilarious/humiliating in some way. It might take me a while to list them all here. Look for updates randomly...

The Paperboy

When I was about 12 years old I moved from Brooklyn to Staten Island for some reason. I was totally heartbroken - I lost all my friends, and access to good pizza. Soon enough though, I got accustomed to this new life in Staten Island, this life in "suburbia". I made new friends. One of these new friends offered me a job helping him with a paper route. My first job ever. Huzzah.

Initially I only helped him on Sundays. The Sunday edition would be thrown from the back of a moving truck either directly at us while we stood there waiting, or at some immovable object somewhere in the neighborhood. Every Sunday we would go looking for this secret stash of newspapers if we missed the delivery.

The giant stacks of papers were never in the same spot. One day they would be gently stacked against a particular tree. Another day they would be hurled halfway to the shoreline or positioned strategically in the middle of mud puddles for some reason. Where ever they were, it was our job at 5am every Sunday morning to find them, haul them back to the garage, put them together, and deliver them to the loyal Staten Island Advance subscribers on our route.

Somehow my buddy commandeered a shopping cart to aid us in this endeavour. I still, to this day, have no idea where or how he got this thing,  he refuses to tell me even after almost twenty years later. I have no idea why he is so secretive about the origin of this shopping cart. Did he pry it from the cold, dead fingers of some vagrant he found decomposing in the marsh? Did he trade his virginity to the local supermarket manager in exchange for a shiny new shopping cart?! Frankly, after so long, I'm growing bored of this mystery.

Anyway, hauling these gigantic stacks of newspapers back to our garage was a chore in and of itself even with the shopping cart. Those bitches were heavy as hell, and usually covered in plastic, which was inturn covered in one or more of the following: mud, water, dog/animal urine, unidentified liquids.

We had about 200 houses on our route, all within the confines of the Captain's Quarter's townhome community. We'd finish around 10am, after which he would hand me a twenty dollar bill, and we would immediately ride our bikes to the shopping center, and spend all our money on comics and chicken parm heros.

Eventually my buddy, who was two years older than me, got a real job and I took over the route alone. Now I had to deliver papers 7 days a week. On days I couldn't deliver the papers, one of the other kids in the neighborhood would do it for ten bucks a day.

I never really made any money after my friend gave me the route. I'm not sure how he made money doing this. Most people would "tip" at the end of the week when I would come around to collect their subscription payments. The tip would often be words of encouragement or warnings to keep the newspaper out of the rain. Rarely would it actually be money. Cheap bastards. I think I made two dollars one week.

Finally I had enough, and one day I just stopped delivering the papers. I didn't call the regional manager to let him know. I left huge piles of newspapers to rot on the street corners for weeks. I remember watching the piles grow as I commuted to school. 

No, really.
I never heard anything about it, never got a call. I have no idea what happened to all of those papers or who took over the route and after literally a few days, I forgot I ever had this job in the first place.