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It pays to be a Columbus Celebrity.

Love to Hate the Drudge Report

Drudge is awesome. He's awesome because I am talking about him. He's awesome because he can pretty much headline what he wants and it becomes a talking point. He's brilliant. But he's also a douchebag.

For instance his article from 9/25/09:

The article that it links to (sometimes his headlines don't link to anything so this is a bonus) states:

"White House officials said Western intelligence agencies have been tracking the facility for years. Obama said officials from the United States, France and Britain briefed the IAEA in Vienna on Thursday on what they knew about the facility. The three heads of state decided to publicly disclose the existence of the facility after learning that Iran had become aware the site was no longer a secret."

Tracking it for years and somehow it was a surprise? What people will be talking about is how that Bush Obama was surprised by its finding.

Drudge is brilliant. I'll give him that much.

How to Piss Off an Eco-Warrior

A leather coaster with an oil company logo on it. It's a fitting place to put your teak cup filled with seal's blood.

HolyJuan interviews John: The Trip to Pensacola

(Author's note: This is an unedited interview between myself and the first funniest person I know, John, concerning a recent trip and associated conveyances.)

HOLYJUAN: Hello John, I understand you took a trip to Florida recently.

JOHN: Hi, HolyJuan. I did just travel from Ohio to Florida, but nothing about my trip was ordinary.

HJ: I know you are a well seasoned traveler, so you would have purchased a direct flight. Probably first class.

JOHN: Well, that's what made this trip so extraordinary - the sheer mundane nature of my travel attempts. I did, in fact, try to purchase a direct flight from Columbus to Pensacola. But, due to the unavailability of direct flights between those two airports, I was forced to purchase a flight with a layover in Memphis. And, due to a pronounced case of hyperclotholavaphobia (fear of hot towels), it was necessary to fly coach. I was lured into a false sense of security when the first leg of my flight occurred without incident. However, when I arrived in Memphis, things took a turn for the worse.

HJ: Explosive diarrhea?

JOHN: Explosive diarrhea? No, not this time. Do you have any idea how long it takes to get through Customs in Houston when you have two agents sifting through your boxers trying to separate the "flora" from the "fauna"?

No, when my flight arrived in Memphis, I took two trains, rode nine escalators, flew a hang-glider and hitched a ride with 27 Guatemalan immigrants in a '96 Hyundai Excel, all to arrive at my connecting gate just to hear that the second-leg of my flight to Pensacola had been cancelled.

HJ: I'm assuming that the airline paid for a night in a seedy motel / hot tub hotel and you caught not only syphilis, but also the next flight out in the morning?

JOHN: Well, yes. The airline did offer to fly me out the next morning and pay for a room that night at the 1/2-star Memphis Crampton Inn Menses Suites hotel. I declined on reasons of faith. I then spent the next 90 minutes working with airline representatives on finding alternate airport destinations that were reasonably close to Pensacola ("reasonably" being defined as within two time zones or 13 Postal Zip Codes). The closest I could do was Memphis - Pensacola via Bialystok, Poland, which was unacceptable - no duty-free shopping. Just as I was contemplating going to Graceland and committing assisted-suicide over the King's empty grave, something miraculous occurred behind me at the airline ticket counter.

HJ: Your introduction to the Memphis 0 Mile High Club?

JOHN: In hindsight, I would have much rather been inducted into the Memphis 0 Mile High Club, even as an "unwilling / forced-entry" initiate. When I turned around, I witnessed what could best be described as a ruckus. I saw three red-faced men, blustering and gesticulating wildly. I heard them speaking, in what I first thought was a foreign language, and quickly realized was a thickly-accented Southern drawl. The conversation went something like this:
Guy 1: "Whtchall mean, planbecancel?"
Guy 2: "Slap weasel sloop, we'sfukednow. Mysister-wife ain't gonna be none toopleased"
Guy 3: "I gotta takeashit."
I was fascinated. I stepped closer, so that I could hear more. What transpired over the next 30 minutes, as these world-traveling idiot-savants identified, and subsequently rejected, option after option for getting home, was a formulation of a plan so crazy, it just couldn't fail.

HJ: Were these business suit types or coveralls with boots? Would you say they were squeezed into their clothes or did they just step out of the gym fifteen minutes before the flight was canceled?

JOHN: Here's the recipe - toss Malachi from "Children of the Corn" into a time machine for 20 years and rough him up a bit, add a slightly-larger-than-average "Deliverance" banjo-playing cranium, throw in a hint of Skoal aftershave, season to taste and simmer for 23 hours in the same clothes. Repeat twice.
Drawn as I was to the spectacle unfolding before me, it was only a matter of time before I had to insert myself into the proceedings by way of providing airport information to this motley crew. And just like that (well, after one question was appropriately responded to in the negative - "Yous ain't nokiller, is yuh?"), I was officially part of the Southern Comfort Stranded Travelers' Club. I felt the unwashed hand of fate on the small of my back, carrying me along as the plan was put into action.

HJ: Wait... so you ended up in a hotel with these guys? Did you rent a crop duster?

JOHN: Fortunately, I was sober, so the hotel option was not discussed. A vehicle was rented, however. An eggshell-white Mercury sedan. It was into this conveyance that the four of us newly-formed and tightly-knit friends piled and proceeded to DRIVE, from Memphis all the way down to Pensacola. Let me clarify - I rode, for all intents and purposes, captive, in a car with three complete strangers for 450 miles (travel time required - 9.5 hours, which included stops at eight convenience stores, six fast-food restaurants and one closed-for-the-night petting zoo with really poor security). Along the way, I learned about sales, tractors and the increased need for birth control when sleeping with any relative closer than three-times removed. But, as if that was not enough, there was a kicker.

HJ: A kicker? Do tell! Did these fine gentlemen of the south expound upon the current health care debate or possibly their concern about the unemployment levels?

JOHN: The only topic upon which they expounded in any detail was their marked displeasure at the current state of race relations in the US, which they feel has progressed entirely too much since the "glory days" of 1860. No, the piece of information that they failed to divulge to me earlier in our trip, was that they didn't actually live in Pensacola, but rather "close," which translated to an hour north of the city limits. This required me to, at 4:30 AM CT, have my girlfriend drive 50 minutes to pick me up on the side of the Interstate. I spent those 50 minutes at a gas station restocking the shelves, taking out the trash and fending off the romantic advances of Horatio, the night cashier.
All's well that ends well, I suppose, but in hindsight, I would have been better off cramming myself into an URGENT - OVERNIGHT envelope and FedEx'ing myself to Florida. Or, maybe doing what other, ummm, more rational folks would have done, and simply waited for the next available flight.

HJ: Can you, with your elementary math skills, calculate the number of times, if any, they used the N-word?

JOHN: 3.97351680636005e+28 times (my calculator ran out of digits). What amazed me more than the sheer number of utterances was the inventiveness in which the word was used. Did you know that it can be used as a modifier (both adjective and adverb), a conjunction, a verb, even as the object of a preposition? I remember a sentence where the word was simply repeated seven times, with verbal inflection being the only clue as to what message the speaker was conveying.

HJ: What type of food did these guys eat and did they offer you bites after they had taken the first?

: Does Skoal Wintergreen backwash count? If so, it was an all-you-can-eat tobacco buffet on wheels through the entire state of Mississippi. Aside from that, there were a couple of routine stops at McDonalds and Krystal (White Castle for the South). There WAS something unusual, however. At 3:20 AM, I was awakened from a light doze when we pulled over to the side of the road. Two of the gentleman opened their doors and ran back behind the car with forks and napkins. It was dark, so I couldn't see what happened back there, but they came back to the car five minutes later wiping their mouths and mumbling words like "stil wawm", "shitlicious" and "whoo-hee."

HJ: One last question: given the opportunity, would you have done anything different?

JOHN: Not a thing, n-word…

Erik and Doug go to Stu's 2009

The last time Erik and Doug went to Stu's it was 2006. We had unbelievable amounts of fun. There is something about going to Stu's that is almost magical. I cannot believe that it has taken us three years to go back. I'll illustrate with words and photos.

About six months ago, I asked Erik to go to Stu's with me. He said he was busy. I asked him to check his calendar. He said he would be free in August. So we set a date in September. We left work at 2:17pm on Thursday. Suggested arrival time was 5:17pm. We stopped once for gas and Swedish Fish. After exactly three hours, we arrived at Stu's place at 5:17pm. He met us at the end of his drive with his son, Oscar. Oscar is about 16 months old and a bundle of fun. We grabbed our bags, headed inside and sat down for a few beers.

Ann-Marie on the stairs with Erik and Stu below.

We had just searched the toy chest for Ann-Marie's missing wallet.

Ann-Marie with Oscar. Stu and Annmarie are expecting again in a few months.

In Indianapolis, you cannot buy beer cold. You have to buy it warm and either drink it warm or wait 45 minutes for it to cool down. Stu mentioned that in high school, his buddies would "roll beers" in a pan over a hot stove to cool them down quicker. It sounded just plausible enough to be bullshit, so we tried it out.

Test materials.

The rolling technique.

Scientific equipment.

We realized that unless we had a control, this experiment would be for naught, so we ended up drinking half cold beers (or half warm beers if you are British).

As we drank, we discussed what opportunities we had for the evening. Basically we were going to head to the Broad Ripple area and drink. That sounded like a plan. Stu mentioned that we would be taking bikes as to avoid drinking and driving. So we went down to his garage, selected three bikes (mine was called "The Mule") and we headed out.

Stu's bike for the evening. Made up of parts from four other bikes.

Three men and three bikes. It's hard to tell from this photo, but Erik's pedals were so close to the ground that they scraped when he turned.

Heading to town.

A photo for the insurance company to prove the bikes were actually there.

We started things off at the Broad Ripple Tavern. We initially pissed off the bartender when I offhandedly said "son of a bitch" until we realized he was fucking with us. We sat at the bar and ate wings and drank cheap beer. We called Shorty to apologize that we forgot to stop by and pick him up.

Stu talks with Shorty.

Doug and Stu. Stu's hat was obtained by trading hats with a prison sanitation worker.

In the back of the bar they had a Golden Tee 2009 on a huge screen. We waited for the two pros to finish up and I solidly beat Stu (who claimed he hadn't played in a while) and Erik (who claimed he had masturbator's wrist).

Cute waitress.

We were now completely loaded with beer and should have walked around the strip, but instead we got on our bikes and circled around for five minutes before Stu had us pull up to the back of some building. He said, "The Bikes are here!" and walked right in the back door. Erik followed. I followed.

That back door belonged (I found out later) to the Vogue Nightclub. A well known concert venue in Indianapolis. As I pulled in, Stu was putting his bike against the wall. Erik and I followed suit. There was a huge crowd of people in the place. It felt like they were in between acts. The guy at the back door politely asked us what the fuck we were doing. Stu said that we were told we could put our bikes back there and that they would be kept safe. The guy asked where our wristbands were. Stu said that we didn't need wristbands because we were with the band. The guy asked us who told us this. Stu turned to Erik and said, "What was the guy's name." Erik replied, "George." We were told that we would have to leave. And we did.

Our bikes in the back door of the Vogue Nightclub.

The bouncer wasn't having any of our bullshit story.

We grabbed our bikes and headed out, realizing that maybe we should have had a better story. Stu suggested that he could have used my HolyJuan business card to say he was a reporter. Because we didn't think we were ever going back, we told Stu that that sounded like a great idea.

Stu took us down some back alleys and we parked our bikes outside a, literally, back alley bar.

Back alley bar insurance photo.

There were a few very nice ladies coming out who took our photo.

Erik, Doug and Stu. I'm bending down so that Erik and Stu don't feel so short.

Inside this bar, we were greeted with an angry mob of people watching the IU game as they barely scraped by Eastern Kentucky. We were also greeted with a girl wearing a bra, so we sat down. There was some promotion going on that night and for some reason this chick had her shirt off to win a shirt. She did win the shirt and put it on, only to remove her pants. We hoped it was going to get very interesting, but that's about where it stopped. Stu bought $20 worth of pull tabs and we won $2.

Note that the girl on the far left barstool is not wearing pants. It was uncomfortable more than it was hot.

Douglas brand addiction.

We left the back alley bar and Stu took us back west again, this time to the front door of the Vogue Nightclub. Stu wanted to try the business card idea. Before he did that, we stopped and got photos of the bratwurst girl on Erik's bike.

Wait... is that a girl's bike?

Stu, once again, rode his bike in the door, this time in front. Erik stood by the door while I rode off in circles waiting for him to get kicked out. For a minute, it seemed like he might have succeeded, but soon he appeared, rejected, but not dejected.

Stu then took us off on a tour of the neighborhood he grew up in. We stopped at some tennis courts and rode around in circles for a few minutes. At one point, Erik and Stu dismounted to pee. A group of people walked by in the distance on one girl yelled, "Go suck dick in some other park!"

We left this park and during the next part of the ride, Stu's pant leg got caught in his chain. In trying to pull it out, he managed to tear the pants all the way up the seam.


Underwear or nutsack?

The bike that I was riding, The Mule, had 15 gears but only one of them worked. I'm assuming it was 11th, because I had to pedal 170 times to Erik's 1. This meant that I was great on hills, but slow on the straight away. After the pant rippage, Stu and Erik took off and I was left in the dust. I actually lost them for a few minutes and caught up with them only after hearing their laughing in the distance. I followed their voices and suddenly I was entering a stadium with a track which was currently being raced around by Stu and Erik. Erik won.

Stu showed us some places he had graffiti-ed as a kid and then took us back to the bars. We stopped in a very popular place called the Mine Shaft, but there were way too many hipsters, so we went to Average Joe's, the bar next door.

Whole lot of hipsters with a whole lot of keys that don't open shit.

Average Joe's had an open front so we parked out bikes in front of the open front and ended up sitting in the open air portion right on the street. We planned on watching the bikes get stolen.

The next two hours were spent with Stu greeting and saying hello to everyone walking by us.


How are you doing?

Looking good!

Hey pal!


And oddly enough, everyone either ignored us or were very pleasant in their response back.

Also in the bar were two ladies who did not run off as soon as we entered. We chatted them up a bit and we actually able to get them on Erik's bike for a photo op.

Lady friends.

Ladies with Erik on the bike. They feel special!

At some point, two of the people Stu said hello two walked by again and were very chatty. They were your run of the mill homeless punk teenagers who were having the time of their lives. Earlier when we saw them, they were carrying a stack of pizza boxes and said they had got them for free out of the dumpster. When they stopped by again, they were pizza-less, but Stu inquired about the pizzas. The homeless guys were a bit put off by the current status of the pizza as they left them lying in the street. Stu said he would give them $5 if they would get a box. They reiterated that the pizza was on the street. Stu reiterated that he didn't care and would give them $5 for pizza that even homeless people wouldn't eat.

They ran off.

They returned a few minutes later with a box, filled with a lot of pizza.

Homeless Pizza Delivery Service

Before the homeless guys took off with thier cash, we made sure to get a photo of them on the bike with Erik. While the homeless guys thought this was awesome, the chicks sitting behind us were put off that they were about as special as the two homeless dudes.

Oh my f'ing god that's disgusting!


Lucky for all of us, the bouncer told Erik that outside food was not allowed and Erik took the box away.


Happiest dudes in the world.

We ended up pawning our girls off to two other guys who had been standing in line for the Mine Shaft. I said, "Why stand in line when there are two ladies right here?" And the two dudes checked them out, shrugged, came in our bar and swept these girls off their feet.

Our job done, we headed home back to Stu's. By now the beers were actually cold and we sat on his porch and re-lived the the nights events and past nights long gone.

In the end, this trip matched all the others. Drunkenness. Spontaneity. Laughs. Random shit. I'm not sure if you have a Stu in your life, but I highly suggest you get one.

I hope that we do not wait three years to do this again.

Thanks, Stu.

Josh is a big winner

Josh and Sarah invited us out to Scioto Downs for some local ponies racing entertainment.

I lost $40.

Josh walked off with $200+ by the end of the night. Here was his big $166 winner on a $4 bet:

The big winner himself:

Tire Change

A few weeks ago, I was leaving work to go fight a parking ticket (I won) when I noticed my rear, driver's side tire was flat. In a panic, I borrowed Erik's car and drove over to my hearing.

As I was filled with "beat the system" bravado back at the office, I mentioned to Josh that I was a pretty good tire changer. He did not doubt me. I said that I could change a tire in about three minutes. Now he doubted me. He said seven minutes, six on a good day. Erik agreed. Sopressata agreed to take photos.

We set about to finding out if it was a good day or not.

The rules were that the clock started when I stuck my key in the trunk and it would stop when everything was in the trunk and the lid was shut.

On my mark:

By the way, that is a sucker stick and not a Virginia Slim.

And he's off...

Remember to loosen the bolts while the tire is still on the ground.

Luckily the bald spot is on the back of my head where I don't notice it.

Hand tighten the nuts.


I finished in 2 minutes and 47 seconds. It was a good day.

Greg and the Crocodile: Then and Now