Jesse Jackson is Human


At one point in my life, I thought I was going to be a weatherman. I went to Ohio University and applied to the Scripps School of Journalism so that I could get into broadcast news. Due to my pathetic grammar skills, I failed the English exam (twice) and had to transfer to the Telecommunications School to get a degree in Video Production. Who could have ever thought that if I had not failed that English test, that I might have missed out on the opportunity to hear Rev. Jesse Jackson fart.

Part of the Telecommunications experience at OU is the internship program. My internship at Lyon Video in Columbus, Ohio was an awesome experience. I got to smoke, hang out with aspiring local E List actors and pretend like the company was going to hire me on full time after graduation.

In the fall of 1992, the Presidential election was eating up all the network time. Clinton was taking on Bush and SNL was having a ball with Perot. In Columbus, Rev. Jesse Jackson was passing through town, drumming up votes for Bill. The BET network threw together a last minute Town Hall Meeting (they were very popular at the time) and Lyon Video was asked to host the event.

In Studio A, I helped to set up about 200 chairs as a small stage was constructed towards the front of the studio. An aspiring journalist practiced her questions to Mr. Jackson. This was her big chance. This was going to catapult her career through the alphabet from BET to NBC. The stage was staged. The lights were lit. The cameras were camering. People started to enter the studio.

About 40 people that is.

For some reason, Columbus couldn’t scrape together 200 people to see Jesse Jackson. It was a last minute event, but heck, even the Jameson Parker Fan Club could throw together 40 people in four hours. We removed a bunch of chairs from the studio and arranged the rest so that the studio would look full in the eye of the camera. Jesse’s people were yelling at the local Democratic Party members. It was a grand occasion.

It was a really grand occasion because someone decided that I should floor direct. The floor director wears a big headset and gets to yell “Five minutes people!” and “Thirty seconds ‘till air!” You also get to hold up five fingers and decrease them all the way down until two fingers and then you use the last finger to point. Sometimes you even get to hold cue cards. Sadly, we used a teleprompter so I wasn’t able to misspell Clinton on the cards.

Jesse came in and sat down. Jesse is a big dude. He’s tall. He’s a bit thick too.

I used the finger pointy at the host trick and we were off. The interviewer asked questions and Jesse answered them. I can’t remember what was said because I was busy listening to the banter in the booth and pointing at the different cameras. After a break the reporter took questions from audience members. At this point, I was able to saddle up next to camera one and hang out. The reporter was floating in the audience and there was no need for me to whip out my pointy finger. On stage, Jesse was showing some wear. He’d been putting in some long days and he seemed uncomfortable as he was sweating under the lights. The reporter threw a question at Jesse and he began to answer. In mid sentence he uncrossed his legs and began to re-cross them.

Frrrrrt.

Now, I’m not sure how you spell it where you come from, but in Ohio, we spell a ¾ second fart with solid bi-gluteus vibration like this, “Frrrrrt.” You western folk may throw a “V” in there – “Vrrrrrt.” I hear tell southern people don’t spell the word because you can’t see a fart. They just leave empty space, “ .”

Either way, Jesse farted. Over the headset the audio guy said, “What was that?” The camera guy next to me held back 95% of a laugh. Murdock, all the way down at camera three, looked directly at me and mouthed the words, “Did he fart?” The audio guy spoke up again, “I think he just farted.” I answered in the most straight faced of whispers, “Yes he did.” The whole booth cracked up laughing. The camera guys held it together because they could hide their smirks in the viewfinders of the cameras. I was stuck out in the open and had to kneel down in the Floor Director pose #8 to regain my composure. The interview continued.

So, Rev. Jesse Jackson is human. And he’s actually more human than that.

When the event was over, the audio guy went into the green room to fetch the wireless mic off of Jesse. He came out with eyes wide and reported that when he walked into the room, Jesse had a Wendy’s chicken sandwich open in his hands. Jesse was looking down at the mayo and lettuce and tomato side and said, “Who’s been fucking with my sandwich? Somebody’s been fucking with my sandwich.” I couldn’t believe it. No way. Not a Reverend! I didn’t believe it and I’m sure he was lying.

That was until I heard Jesse respond to one of his entourage. The guy was walking Jesse towards the exit and I was following. The entourage guy informed Jesse that the Dems were hosting a party at a local hotel and they wanted him to come over. Jesse replied frankly, “I don’t want to go to any fucking party. I’m tired.” And they left.

As far as I’m concerned, Jesse is all right in my book. Heck, if he can complete the trifecta of farting, cussing and drinking PBR, he could almost be considered a native of Ohio.

So cheers for my crappy grammar. And thanks for the internship Bob Lyon. And here’s to the White Castles that Jesse ate in the car on the way to the studio. Thanks for the story.

Weed

Miss Sally and I looked at houses this weekend. Nothing like looking though other people's underwear drawer, realizing that someone is doing the same thing at your house.



One home we went to is in a great neighborhood. The house needs SOME work.

S- Shingles on the roof
O- Odor throughout with the hint of dog– needs new carpet
M-Musty,wet basement needs patched and vented
E- Every scrap of 60’s era wallpaper needs to come down (which I don’t get because the place was built in the 80s.)

SOME will cost about $25,000. Everything is negotiable.

As we toured the house, I was taken back in time. Not just because of the wallpaper, but there was a smell throughout the house that reminded me of college. A smell of another smell that was trying to cover up the smell of the first smell. An aroma of burnt rope and Patchouli oil.

I immediately thought of the 25ish dude who was still living at home with his mom. He helped to drag the stinky dog out to the “beautiful tree-lined back yard.” His bedroom had a mattress on the floor, a guitar, a fan blowing in the corner and an unused grooming kit on the dresser. I say unused due to the physical appearance of the guy. But I should also say partially unused except for the nail file which had a thick coating of resin on it. Either the dude has a thick tarry resin build-up on his fingernails or he’s smoking a shitload of weed. What the hell is he going to do when mom sells the house and kicks him to the curb?

Ten years from now, my kid is going to be rummaging through the crawlspace and find a long lost zip-lock bag filled with weed and papers and lost dreams of touring with the band. I’ll know for sure when my kid asks me to buy him a guitar.

John's 32nd Birthday Suprise

I was just reminded of John’s 32nd birthday party. Wait. Let me rephrase. John’s 32nd surprise birthday party. No one told me it was a surprise until after I asked John about his party. I was scorned and accused of anti-suprisism. Screw them. No one told me.

The next weekend, something else was planned. This time I wasn’t given any details. Probably a smart move. I was told to go to John’s apartment where a new surprise was going to take place. Miss Sally and I headed over. I decided to wear my orange sweater with a blue stripe. John and his brother Chris were hanging out. We chit chatted for a few minutes, acting casual and waiting for a stripper or a horse or whatever to show up at the door.

There was a ruckus at the back door and in through the kitchen stormed eight chicks dressed in black and wearing masks and bandanas. John was quickly subdued, handcuffed and blindfolded. This was going to be interesting.



Until they did the same to me.



As I was cuffed and blindfolded, I was called a traitor and a sneak. Submerged in total darkness and tightly bound, we were dragged out of the house and put in separate cars.

The rest of the night went like this:

1. The cars would stop (unbeknownst to John and I) at landmark locations around Columbus
2. We would be pulled out
3. Compromising positions were created using John’s and my body
3a. Compromising positions were created using John’s and my and a male stripper’s body
4. There would be several flashes
5. We would be thrown back in the cars

We stopped about five or six times. At the end of the night, we were walked across a busy street, into a crowded bar and unmasked. Many of our friends were there. A cake and gifts for John were spread out along with 30 or so Polaroid photos from the evening.

It was a very memorable night. And I’m sure I was supposed to have learned a lesson from the evening, but I can’t tell you what it was.

Later on I realized that Miss Sally knew what was going to happen that night and she didn’t let on. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

……..

Oh yeah. I changed a few facts in this story.

A. It was actually seven girls and one gay guy that kidnapped us
B. I wore a blue sweater with an orange stripe
C. The handcuffs were the really cheap plastic variety and the blindfolds were the type Mrs. Howell would have worn. I had to re-snap my cuffs on every three minutes. We were very willing participants.

See the photos of the night here:
  • John's 32nd Birthday Photos on Flickr
  • Note to Self: Idiot

    My job is an unhappy place. There is no joy in the work. The only happiness is derived from the interaction with the people in my office. It has its moments, but compared to some of the exciting stuff I’ve done in the past… this job is purgatory.

    What really stinks is that I’ve known this for over a year, but every morning I get out of my car and walk into that rotten building. (Morning is being generous. I’ve taken to rolling in at noon some days. At least the job has that going for it.) I know that I’ve known this for a while because I just received an e-mail from myself telling me just that.

    Explaining…

    There is a website called FutureMe.org. From this site you can write an e-mail to yourself that is delivered at some point in the future specified by you. On the site, you can see what other people have written to themselves. Letters of Happy Birthday or Are You Married Yet are not uncommon. Every so often you get Am I Dead? Last Thursday morning, I was greeted by this e-mail as I strolled into the office (very close to noon.)

    From: FutureMe.org [mailto:pastme@futureme.org]
    Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2006 5:00 AM
    To: Doug
    Subject: Do you still work here?


    (The following is an e-mail from the past, composed on Sunday, December 18, 2005, and sent via FutureMe.org)

    Dear FutureMe,

    If you are reading this, it means you still work at (INSERT MY CURRENT JOB HERE) and that you are a TOTAL FUCKING LOSER!

    Quit now.

    Then kill yourself.

    You (me)

    Last December, I was applying for a job where I thought I was a shoe-in. In my mind, I shouldn’t have been interviewing for the job, they should have been recruiting me. Little do (did) I know (knowed.) When the phone call came, I thought it was for the last of the interviews with VPs and the P. Instead it was the FU; “We’ve gone with someone else. Thanks!” I about shit my pants. The best part must have been listening to me reply back, “Hey, thanks for letting me interview. I totally understand your decision.” Boo fucking hoo.

    So, six months later is now five days ago. I still haven’t quit the job and killing myself just isn’t in the plans (unless it’s through drinking.) So I guess I have two choices… move on or shut up. I guess the third scenario would be that my boss reads this and fires my sorry ass.

    It could be worse.

    1995 Honda Civic

    I am waiting for the car repair guy to call. My breaks broke, so I guess they are working perfectly.

    They’ve simplified their pricing:

    Nothing wrong (which means they didn’t have a chance to look at it.) = $50.00
    Something Wrong = 1 credit card
    Holy Shit = 2 credit cards plus a free oil change (thanks!)

    He called. Holy Shit.

    Kid Rituals

    I have a kid. Other people do too. Seems to be a trend.

    My ex-co-worker, Steve, has a little girl. As a special gift of love, he would write a small note that would go with her everyday to preschool. The note would say things like “Daddy loves you” or “Have a great day.” Cute. That is until the day they forgot to give her a note and she had a, now predictable, meltdown for several hours.

    Solution: They started hoarding old notes and recycling them. They also started giving the teachers at pre-school a stockpile of notes in case they forget again.

    My warning to you: Do not interact with your child in any special, out of the ordinary way. Keep it basic. Keep it mundane. Keep your sanity. Currently with our kid, the bedtime ritual includes: read two books, ensure all stuffed animals are in bed, blanket number one, blanket number two, hug, kiss, I kiss you, high five, double high five, thumbs up, secret sign, I have to pee, repeat. If any step is missed, he’ll tack it on the end and then want to do all the others that come after it. If you miss blanket number two and he decides to do an inventory on the stuffed animals, you could be there all night.

    I’m sure someday we’ll look back and reflect on how cute it was.

    Actually, I’m lying. I’m totally into creating an elaborate combination of moves, signs and dance steps before bed. I’m hoping to get up to 25 steps before my wife figures out what I’m doing. This is the only time I’ll be able to get away with this before my kid figures it out and starts thinking I’m gay.