Monday, May 09, 2005

The misadventures of a misguided youth

As another manic Monday winds down and my stomach heroically begins to digest that five pound chicken burrito I ate at my mom’s & I favorite restaurant for no reason in particular, other than a few hours earlier I watched my beloved matriarch nearly launch her new Sony Vaio lap top into the parking lot, I began contemplating the scariest moments in my life. Now let me preface the following list with the caveat that my mother’s temper is legendary, lethal, and a destructive force of nature. She has the kind of temper where you see her neighbors on the news saying, “She was always so quiet. We had no idea there were bodies covered in lime buried in her crawl space.”

10. When I was five we lived in a run o’ the mill townhouse complex. I had a friend, BJ, who was black and lived just around the corner. BJ and I were supposed to go to the park but he canceled at the last minute. I was pissed and stormed into the house and shouted, “That f***ing nigger!” My mom shot me that gaze that every child comes to fear and told me to never use that word again. That was the first and last time I ever used the “N” word.

9. During the summer of 1990 I got into some legal trouble. I got busted for public drunkenness, disobeying a police officer, DUI, and minor in possession. I had no money and my first court date was fast approaching. There was no way I was going to ask my mom for the money to pay the fine. So I thought my grandparents, particularly my dear sweet granny, would loan me the money. So I and Hop-along went to the grand folks’ house to beg for the money. Much to my dismay my grandpa was the only one around and I knew he wouldn't be as easy of a mark. I told my grandpa about my legal trouble and I knew I was in trouble when he got a glazed look in his eyes that I saw my mom get on a number of occasions. Let's just say at that moment I found out about where my mom got her temper from. With my trusty sidekick Hop-along at my side my grandfather proceeded to lay into me about how kids of my generation did not know how to keep their damn mouth shut and how when he was a kid his father would've beat the living daylights out of him. Here’s the kicker. My grandfather was quite the craftsman and had more power tools in his garage than you’ll find at Ace Hardware. So the whole time he’s berating us about respect for authority and whatnot he was cutting pieces of lumber on a big ass table saw for a project and throwing the discarded kindling out onto the driveway. Needless to say I never asked my grandparents for money again, at least if my grandpa was at home. I also found out where my mom got her propensity for throwing things in frustration.

8. During winter of 1990 I was a man slut. I wasn't looking for Ms. Right I was looking for Ms. Right Now. So predictably being the dumb, 19-year-old male that was I tried to play both ends of a doubleheader. Meaning I tried to date two roommates at the same time. Well needless to say my primary girlfriend found out and was not happy. She also had severe anger management issues. When she found out that I had slept with her roommate she sent me the most unforgettable Valentine's Day gift I ever received. The UPS man delivered a box addressed to me that afternoon. I open up the box to find a pig's heart nailed to a 2 x 4 with barbed wire wrapped around it. A week later I found that two of my tires had been slashed. That was my last attempt to date two roommates at the same.

7. One night I went to a party with my girlfriend at the time. The one thing you have to know about this girl is that she had a big mouth and when she drank it got bigger. So she gets wasted off gin & tonics and starts mouthing off to one of the biggest guys I had ever seen in my life. She apparently said something to him that was so offensive he pushed her back and she tripped and hit her head on the fireplace. Me being the chivalrous guy that I am quickly rushed to her aid, made sure she was okay, and confronted the mountain of a man that had just laid hands on my girl. I hit this guy as hard as I could square in the jaw and he barely flinched. At that moment one of the most valuable lessons I've ever learned in my entire life flashed before my eyes. My high school history teacher, who to this day remains my favorite teacher ever, told me once that if you ever get in a fight and you hit the guy as hard as you can and he doesn't go down run like hell. I was in the middle of the living room and had nowhere to run. The next thing I remember is a fist the size of a bowling ball catching me in the temple. I dropped like I'd been shot and proceeded to get the living hell kicked out of me.

6. I was in history class one day with the afore mentioned teacher Mr. Mac, who was a 6’4”, 230 pound former marine and not a man to be trifled with. We had built up a great rapport and he considered me one of his faves. Until the day I got lippy in class during a debate. I mocked this dipshit across the room from me and called into question his parentage. Well Mr. Mac got so pissed he picked up the stool he was sitting on and threw it up against the blackboard. The room got deathly quiet and I knew I had pushed my luck passed the breaking point. I sheepishly slumped in my chair and didn’t utter a word in Mac’s class for two weeks. I eventually threw myself on my sword and apologized to Mac and the fellow student I had insulted. The day after the stool toss incident I examined the damage done by Mr. Mac. He had bent the stool nearly in half and cracked the chalkboard in two.

5. When I was twelve I was a fledgling wannabe expert skier. My two cousins and I went to Arapahoe Basin one day and I decided to throw myself down Pollovicini, one of the most infamous chutes in Colorado. I went off the edge at the top and I swear to God that sucker curved under. Well I did one of those ass over tea kettle crashes. My cousins refer to it to this day as the hand grenade crash. It took me over an hour to retrieve all of my equipment.

4. It was January 1998 and the Broncos were on their way to another Super Bowl title. I and Captain Herbalife were getting back from the AFC Championship game. I have no idea what was going through my head but I performed a maneuver that broke both bones in my right lower leg. And in case you were wondering, yes I was sober. Stupid but sober.

3. One night I was with my girlfriend (yes the same one that triggered the beating I mentioned earlier) and we were making whoopee and a number of other unsavory things. We had finished our little bout of coitus uninteruptus not thirty minutes before we heard the front door slam. I looked up and there at the top of flight of six stairs leading to the dining room/kitchen area was a Beretta 9mm strapped to a hip. Yes ladies & gentlemen I had just tarnished the golden child of one of Denver’s finest. Had her father arrived home half an hour earlier I have no doubt that he would have tasered, maced, cuffed, and pistol whipped my ass. And then for good measure he would have tattooed his badge number on my forehead with his night stick. He had the same look in his eyes Mad Max did when he rigged that wrecked car to explode, handcuffed that guy to the bumper, tossed him a hacksaw, and said CHOOSE.

2. It was my first day in third grade. I was staying with my Aunty because my mom was out of town on business and I was excited to get to school. Aunty at the time smoked two packs of Camels a day and drank two pots of coffee every morning. Well Aunty was late getting up and she had no breakfast food for me. So I convinced her to take me to the store to grab doughnuts then take me to school. That was the longest car ride of my life. Just a tip for all you out there: never go ANYWHERE with a heavy smoker and coffee drinker before they’ve had their morning ritual. I give thanks everyday that Aunty never had kids because she would have eaten them.

1. When I was fourteen my mother and I fought like cats & dogs. During a particularly heated exchange I made the colossal mistake of calling her an “F’ing bitch”. You remember that look Hannibal Lecter got just before he beat the life out that security guard in Silence of the Lambs? My mom’s eyes glazed over and I knew I had not just crossed the line but pole vaulted over it. Once again that was the first and last time I ever uttered that epithet.