Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Exciting News!

  Hello everyone,
    I am pleased to say that we have exciting news down here at The Boy With A Beard Headquarters! Remember earlier when I mentioned that I wanted to post at least once a week on this blog? Well now, after many heated discussions it has been decided that I shall post twice a week! BOOM! Does that blow your mind or what? Not only that, but we have decided on the two days that we will post: Tuesday and Friday. Say it with me now: Tuesdays and Fridays!

Tuesday nights, I will be posting short humorous anecdotes that will make you giggle until you drift away into a delightfully dream-filled sleep.

Friday noonish time, I will be posting the usual magnificence that has turned me into a national treasure. I'm pretty excited about this, and I can tell you are too!

Just remember, Tuesdays and Fridays.

In other news, I have received official permission to post my Maxim article on my blog. Hooray! The only problem is, actually doing this has been much more difficult than one would imagine.  Here is the result of my first attempt. And this.

As you can see, the freakin' sweet illustration (which I did not do) is clearly visible; but the genius, and groundbreaking, words (which I did do) are completely illegible. If anyone out there knows of a better way to do this, please let me know!

OK, I think that's all the exciting news that any of us can handle at this point, any more would just be too much... oh, what the heck, one last bit of exciting news. Less than an hour ago I received an email from OKCupid notifying me that some girl chose me (no that's not the exciting part, jerk). The exciting part is when I checked out her profile it read (among other things) that she was 5'10"! I'm 5'7", it says so right on my profile. This breaks the previous OKCupid height record by a solid 5 inches! My God, what a time to be alive (Short guys know what I'm talking about).

Probably not going to contact her though, tall girls are monsters (kidding! That's a mountain I'm totally gonna try to climb.).

OK, that's all I got on my end. But remember: Tuesdays and Fridays! Fridays and Tuesdays! It's gonna be beautiful...

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Desperate Man

Here's a story I've been meaning to share for a while now. It happened a couple years back, in Ed's backyard. Ed is a friend of mine who enjoys buying beer for the both of us. I love him dearly. Anyways, we were in his backyard on a cool summer's night, swapping stories and drinking beer and passing the pipe back and forth. If I recall correctly, we were both a little down in the dumps and trying to cheer each other up.

At some point, I began to hear some kind of rustling noise behind me. It sounded like it was coming from the side yard, like someone was climbing over the creaky wooden fence that separated Ed's place from his neighbors. I looked over my shoulder and caught a blur of a man just as he was running past us. He slowed down for a moment, sniffing the air, then muttered something that I didn't catch, and then continued to flee through the yard.

I looked over to Ed and I saw this weird smile on his face. I figured that meant that this man was a familiar neighbor or someone he knew, so I relaxed and packed a fresh bowl in the pipe.   

It wasn't until I finished packing the bowl and had passed the pipe to Ed that he finally spoke up.  

"That was weird, right?" He asked me as he took the pipe.

"What was weird?" I asked back.

"That guy who just ran through my backyard!"

"Wait, you mean you don't know that guy?!"

"No! I don't know him!"

"But…but I saw you smiling at him!"

"If I was smiling it's because I was freaked out. Not because I knew who he was!"

"Oh shit." I said after a pause. "That is weird then."


"I wondered why he came back here. What did he say?"

"I'm not sure, I think it was Spanish."

"Was he Hispanic?"

"I think so... he went by so fast though, I'm not really sure."

"He was running really fast..."

Why was he running so fast? We both silently wondered.

"What if he did some horrible crime and the police are after him?" Ed finally said, saying what we were both thinking.

"I don't know if we should-" But suddenly my words got trapped in my throat, as I saw a now familiar figure emerging from behind Ed. Ed must have noticed that my eyes had grown twice as big, because he turned around to see what I was staring at.

 Ed jerked back in his seat when he found the man hovering over him, speaking rapidly in Spanish and using a lot of hand gestures. I could see that he was a man of Hispanic descent, medium build, and wearing a white plain T-shirt that was covered in sweat.  Even though neither of us had a clue of what he was trying to tell us, it was clear by his tone and body language that this man was desperate. Very desperate. 

Again, I looked to Ed for guidance. But he didn't seem to have a clue as to what to do. I watched the desperate man as his eyes looked to the backdoor of Ed's house. I realized it was wide open. Before I could say anything though, the man bolted for the open door. Ed bolted too, and managed to get past him and block his entrance into the house. I stood back and watched. I didn't know what else to do.

"Don't go in there!" Ed said firmly. "No enter!"

The man muttered again in Spanish and tried to get around Ed. Ed blocked his way again, and then again. Each time he blocked him, I feared the man would turn violent, perhaps shanking my friend with a dull knife or a broken bottle. But this did not happen, as it seemed we were dealing with a peaceful, desperate man.  

 He gave up on trying to get through the door and ran along the back of the house, as if he was trying to find a place to hide. I remember just staring at him while he did this, wondering if this was actually happening.

I continued to watch as the man found a small opening at the bottom of the outside wall. It was just big enough for a grown man to fit in, about one and a half feet wide I’d guess, and it lead to a tight crawl space underneath the house.

 I watched him as he tore off the screen that covered the opening and army crawled his way into the dirty crawl space. I suddenly recalled the time not too long ago, where Ed and I had speculated as to what the purpose of that crawl space was.

Now we knew. It was for hiding desperate men. 

I watched him as he squirmed around down there, in that little pocket in the dark. He was on his stomach, spinning around, trying to find a path to scurry down. But there was no path to be found, so he continued to spin until he came back around to me.

By now Ed had locked the doors to his house, and had returned to the action. I remember the moment when he realized that this strange, crazed man was now hiding underneath his house. He turned to me and gave me a look of utter disappointment. As if to say, “Really? You just stood here and let him scurry under my house.”

The man was looking at me too, with big puppy dog eyes, begging me to help him. He must have figured that since I had not done anything to stop him, and Ed had, that I was his only friend in this backyard.  

And perhaps I was. Because I found myself sympathizing with him, trying to understand where he was coming from. Ed did not have a similar point of view. 

"I'm gonna call the cops."

"No, don't." I found myself saying, although I don't know why. "He's innocent."

"He's innocent?! Innocent?!! Randy, you don't even know what he did. You have no idea who this guy is. Why do you think he's innocent?" 

"I don't know... he could have shanked you before, but he didn't." 

"What the hell are you talking about?"

The desperate man made another long Spanish plea to us. 

"I'm calling the cops." Ed said. He took out his phone from his pocket. 

"Wait Ed, are you sure you want the cops to come here, we've been smoking."

"Shit, you're right. OK, shit. What do we do?"

The man, again, pleaded with us to leave him be.

"Get the fuck out of there!" Ed ordered, losing whatever patience he had left. But the man did not understand, or if he did, he chose not to listen to him. 

"I got an idea!" I said to Ed. I cupped my hands around my mouth.

"Policia! We. Will. Call. Policia!" I shouted down at the man. He did not move.

"That was your plan?" Ed said dryly.

"Policia! Call Policia! Policia!" I continued to shout. Still, the desperate man stayed where he was.

"Policia! Policia! Policia! Policia! Policia!" This time, the desperate man lifted his head up and cocked it to one side.

"Policia?" He asked nervously.

"Policia." I said affirmatively.

"Policia..." He let the word crawl out of his mouth as he sighed. I couldn't help but smile at the way he said this. He said it like the way heartbroken men mutter the word "Women....".

And then the desperate man jumped out of the hole and ran to the creaky wooden fence and climbed into the dark shadows of someone else's backyard.

This time though, we made sure he didn't come back. We stood by the fence and waited until we could no longer hear his rapid movement. Three minutes later we were still standing there, because we could still hear him in the yard diagonal to ours. He was just running back and forth, back and forth, muttering in Spanish frantically. We listened to this in silence, as we passed the bowl back and forth, back and forth, in a surreal moment that I will never forget.

"We should call the cops..." I said, changing my stance. 

"What?! You didn't want to call the cops when he was in my backyard but now that he's finally left you want to call the cops?!"

"Well... I mean, what if he hurts someone."

"He didn't shank me, why would he shank someone else."  

I couldn't disagree, he did seem peaceful.

"But what if this guy did something really horrible, and that's why the cops are after him?" We heard the man let out a quick cry in pain, as if he had banged his leg on something in the dark.

"If he did something really horrible, there would be a police chopper looking for him." Ed argued.

Before I could respond, we heard a new voice, one that came from the same diagonal yard.

"Hey! Who are you! What are you doing here!?" This was followed by now-familiar Spanish pleas.

"Look, I'm gonna call the cops!"

Ed nudged my shoulder. "See, he's calling the cops, everything's cool." He waited for me to respond, but I didn't know what to say. He put his arm around me. "C'mon, let's go to the bar and talk to some girls."

We walked through the side yard out to the driveway, leaving the new voice to deal with the desperate man. When we made it out to the street, there was a chopper hovering above Ed's neighborhood, with its great searchlight scanning the backyards of the block. 

"That could be for anything." Ed said before taking a hit of the bowl, and then dumping the remaining ash out on the pavement at our feet.

 The End

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine"s Day Post

I hope everyone's having a great Valentine's day! I certainly am, even though I spending it by my lonesome. What's that, you say? It's impossible to enjoy Valentine's Day if you're alone?

Well, usually, you would be right. But not in this case. For while I may not have a warm body to keep me company, I do have two special memories to keep me warm and fuzzy all night long. I'd thought I'd share them with you, so we could all be warm and fuzzy together. So without further ado...

Story One

Titled: The Boy Who Was On His Phone and the Girl Who Didn't Care

I was at a party this past Friday up in Santa Barbara. I was up there visiting my brother because he's still in college and I still don't have a real job. Anyways, it's around ten or eleven when, while enjoying said party, when I receive a phone call from my dear friend John (not his real name). Not wanting to be rude, I promptly go outside to the front yard to talk to dear John.

So there I am, talking with John and being hilarious, when a group of girls enter the front yard and make their way to the front door.

 I don't think much of it at the time, until one of the girls (the cutest one, if I may be so bold) comes up to me and gives me a big smooch, on the lips, for like three seconds. Then she darts back to her group of friends and they dart into the party while I am left standing there in silence with my dear friend John wondering what is going on.

It takes some time for me to regain my composure, but when I do, this is what I say:

 "Dude, this girl totally just kissed me."

John tries to comprehend this.

 "Why did she do that?"

"I don't know, I don't think she had a reason."

John thinks about this for a sec.

"Was she cute?"

"Yeah, she was like the cutest girl there."

 "The cutest girl in Santa Barbara?!" John asks excitedly.

I tried to justify my response in my head before I speak.


John: "Well, if she's cute and she kissed you for no reason, she's probably in love with you."

"Yeah, that's the conclusion I came to, too."

John: "So what are you going to do?"

"I was thinking about kissing her back."

John: "Good plan."

And with that, my phone call ends and my adventure begins. I head back into the party and look for my girl. But she is not to be found. So I drink some more beer and talk with my brother's friends and keep my eyes open.

About a half hour later, I find her again. She's in line for the bathroom, waiting patiently, because that's just the kind of girl she is.

Anyways, I approach her and we talk and it's great, and then I go in to smooch her, but not before I give her the classic look that says: "Hey, I'm only smooching you because you smooched me first for no reason." And that's when things go poorly, because she ends the smooch real quick and gives me a look of bewilderment.

That's when I realize this isn't the same girl from before.

And then the bathroom door opens and someone exits and the girl who wasn't who I thought she was quickly goes in.

Whether she ever found the courage to leave the bathroom that night I'll never know, because I promptly hightail it back to the party and forget my troubles.

The end.

The lesson learned: Just because some girl smooches you for no reason doesn't mean she won't be a completely different girl when you decide to return the favor. 

And now,

Story Two:

Titled: Ryan Gosling's Doppleganger

This happened a while ago,  back when I myself was in college, but its memory is still fresh in my mind.

So there I was at this party, when this really cute chick appears. We start talking and, because we're both in college and drunk as skunks, we end up making out. As we're doing this, this other girl, apparently her friend, grabs her hand and pulls her away from me.

"We have to go, Camilla." Her friend sneers at me when she says this.

"But I don't want to go. I like this guy."

"You've had too much too drink," Her friend insists.

"No I haven't, I want to stay." I watch her as she leans in close to say this next part: "This guy looks like Ryan Gosling."

And that's when my head exploded. Ryan Gosling! the sensitive hearthrob who makes women weak in the knees? Why hasn't anyone noticed this before...

And then I remember, I haven't always had this beard (this was back when Gosling had just made it big with Half Nelson, where he sports grizzly facial hair that's rather similar to yours truly). Who would have thought that after all this time, all it took to make women feel faint was to grow a fantastic beard!

While I'm in the middle of this great moment of realizing what a stud I've become, I watch the girl's friend as she too contemplates what has just been said. She looks at her friend for a moment, then she looks right at me, and, while still looking right at me, she says, matter-of-factly:

"No he doesn't."

And then she whisks her away into the night and I never see her again.

The end.

Lesson learned: Just because you happen to look exactly like heart throb Ryan Gosling, doesn't mean that you won't be cockblocked hard by some girl's friend who clearly suffers from blindness.  

...And In case any of you out there are having doubts, I have provided two pictures below. I defy you to accurately identify who is who. Seriously, if you get it right, I'll be your Valentine's Date.  But trust me, it's not as easy as you may think.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chico Freako

Oh good, we're at the beginning of the story. This is my favorite part of the story, because it is neither horrifying nor embarrassing. Not like the ending, which is both of those things, and more. Well, not really more, just horrifying and embarrassing. I shouldn't really even write about it, but the beginning is so peaceful and relaxing, I feel like I have no choice but to share all of it with you. But if I were you, I would stay here as long as I could, because this is the part you'll want to remember, and definitely not the ending, which is coming. Slowly but surely, like the slow current of a peaceful river... which, coincidentally, is where this story begins (see what I did there?).

Yes, a nice peaceful river, in a nice but not-so-peaceful California town known as Chico. That's where I was floating.
Of course, I don't mean floating the way most people mean it, where some pud is just bobbing up and down in water like a real idiot. No, I mean it in the way that the great people of Chico State mean it, which is far far better. You see, to float in Chico means to be drinking heavily while safe and snug on top of a cozy inner-tube, as it makes it's way down the river. You can spend hours just floating, surrounded by friends who are doing the same. It's beautiful, man.

And the best part is, when you come to the end of the float, you reach a place called Beer Can Beach, a magical place where everyone parties and plays together.

I'm getting weepy just thinking about it.

But things can't stay magical forever, as I learned that day during the ride back to my friend's apartment.

For it was on the ride back from Beer Can Beach when things took a turn for the worst. That was when I realized that I really, really had to poop. This was both alarming and confusing, because while I did drink a lot that day (I was beyond drunk by that point), I didn't eat anything, at least I couldn't remember eating anything. This injustice really angered me, and I screamed as much to my friends in the car.

"This is bullshit! I didn't eat anything!"

"What?" They responded.

"I said I didn't eat anything!"

"OK, so what?"

"So... why do I have to poop!"

"What?! You have to poop? Randy, you're not making any sense."

"I know it doesn't make any sense. Why should I have to poop if I didn't eat anything? Tell me."

But of course, they couldn't. For it was a question that had no answer. Actually no, it had an answer, and I could feel that answer pressing down harder and harder on my stomach with every mile we drove. I could feel that answer seeping out of my pants in little clouds of gas which then polluted the car. That answer, of course, was that I had to poop, and I had to poop soon, and nothing else mattered.

By the time we made it back to the apartment I had ruined some friendships. No, I didn't poop in the car, but I did stink it up to an unforgivable point. But I didn't care, I didn't care about anything except pooping. So I ran out of the car, ran up the apartment building stairwell, barged through the door, found the bathroom, slammed the bathroom door, got into position, and let 'er rip.

Then there was great battle between good and evil. It was a very unfair battle. Like evil-is-a-hurricane-and-good-is-the-small-rural-town-in-its-path kind of unfair. Suffice to say, there were noises made in that bathroom that can never be made again, that should never be made again.

It was a long battle, too. So long there was even a break in the middle. Think of it as the eye-of-the-storm, where half the hurricane has gone through, and now all is very peaceful, but everyone in town knows what's about to come next.

It was during the eye of the storm that I received a text. It was text from one of my former friends. It simply read: where did you go?

And that's when I heard a voice outside the bathroom door, a voice that I did not recognize, a voice that sounded like it belonged to a nice, young female. A voice that asked: "Is someone in our bathroom?" This voice was followed by another voice, also young and female: "Yeah, I think so. I heard...noises in there."

And then I left the eye of the storm, and braced myself for the last half of the Hurricane. And this time it was going to be worse, because now I had an audience to deal with. An audience that demanded answers,  but there was only one answer to give. And it was a dark, dark answer.

Now, I may have muttered something from the bathroom at this point, I don't really remember. All I remember is a lot of painful straining of the muscles, followed by desperate groans and pleas for mercy.

Once it was finally done, I debated as what to do next. I looked for any windows that could offer escape, but there were none. I toyed with the idea of wrapping one of the bath towels around my head and then running out of the bathroom as fast as I could so they could never know the face of the monster that desecrated their apartment.

In the end I decided that I had to face the music. I had to go out to those girls, look them in the eyes and say "Look, I made a mistake and pooped a lot in the wrong apartment. I am terribly sorry."

It wasn't going to be easy, but after the hell I just went through... it still was going to be pretty awful experience.

But I bite my lip, opened the door, and saw two very cute coeds staring right at me with horror in their eyes.

Suddenly, as I looked at them, and they looked right back at me, I remembered that I had not washed my hands. What the hell is wrong wtih me? I thought. What kind of sick person doesn't remember to wash their hands in this kind of situation? But then I calmed myself down. At least I remembered to flush...didn't I? My inebriated brain was having trouble remembering. I must have flushed, right? Yes... I think. Did I flush? I don't fucking remember. Come on brain, you have to remember. 

But my brain was not on my side that day, and neither were the two coeds.

I didn't give my prepared speech, I couldn't, not when there was a strong possibility that there was still a mountain of ungodliness still floating in the room behind me.

So instead, I made a break for it. I don't know if they said anything as I left, but I remember hearing the words you bastard, you unimaginable bastard. I'm not sure if it was the girls who said that though, or just my brain, letting me know what a terrible person I was.

And now you all know the real me, and that's too bad. But if there is anything else you should take away from this story it's this: Go floating in Chico. It's amazing. Just remember that it might make you have to poop, even if you didn't eat anything. (I'm still kinda mad about that...)

The end


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Interesting Response

I was in the courthouse in Van Nuys yesterday, waiting in a room with 70 other people. We were all waiting for the same thing, to find out whether we would be needed on a jury panel. We waited in that windowless room for hours and hours. I had prepared for this though, which is why I had my book in one hand and my laptop in the other. If I had to wait for the wheels of justice to slowly turn, I was at least going to be moderately entertained, dammit.

But around the third hour, I had grown tired of my book, and tired of trying, and failing, to write something that wasn't useless. That's when I decided that what I should really be doing is using this time to spread my work to others outside of my very small blog world. So after a little digging around on the internet, I found a writing forum where writers could share their work and have it critiqued. The site seemed like it focused on the kind of writing that was more high end than my silly blog, but I thought that if I just warned them what the piece was beforehand everything would be chill.

So I created my own post with the title: I WROTE THIS SILLY SHORT, AND TRUE, HUMOR PIECE, SEEKING FEEDBACK. And then I posted a link to my census story.

Then one of the courthouse workers walked into the Jury Waiting Room and dismissed us for lunch and I headed to the cafeteria.

An hour later, I returned to the room and eagerly checked my computer to see if I had any responses to my post. I was disheartened to see that only one person had bothered to click on my post. But he, or she, did leave a message for me. And this is it, word for word:

It's not funny because there's nothing to interest the reader. The jogging part is just an obvious set-up for the part about how you failed the census test.

The prose style is awkward (not in a funny way). I'm going to put brackets around all of the unnecessary words in the first bit:

    "I was [out] jogging around my neighborhood [earlier today], when I came upon a [certain] house that caused me to stop [for a moment]. The house itself wasn’t anything special, it looked like any other house on the block. If someone else had come upon it whilst jogging, they would have undoubtedly kept [right on] going without giving it a single thought."

The whole piece is sloppy and ungrammatical. "Whilst" should be "while."

It's annoying when the story jumps to the site training to introduce the weak hook ("the certain house") and then skips to the test. All the clues are that this is a story about a guy who failed an easy test.

Is it possible to be "humbled greatly?" No, probably not.

I think with practice and hard work, you could work on the 2020 census.

I used to think that there was nothing worse than jury duty, but now I know that there is. And that's sitting in a windowless room for hours on end, waiting to know if you going to become a juror, and finding out in the meantime that you suck at writing, the one passion in your life. 

But I'm not seeking pity here. That critique was harsh but fair. I mean, I did write the thing in under an hour and I should have expected that kind of response from a serious writing forum. Really, I'm just sharing this with you because I wanted you to know that I have made an important life decision. I have decided that somehow, someway, I am going to work really hard, as hard as I possibly can, to find out who this son of a bitch is and then I am going to run him over with my car.

Maybe I'll blog about it afterwards in a sloppy, unfunny way. 

Also, I didn't end up getting jury duty, so yay for me.

-Boy with a Beard