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I'll "Heat Index" You!

2002-07-05 - 10:28 p.m.

Well, I had intended to get this entry done by Wednesday - but it was way too hot (maybe you noticed) so then I settled for the 4th. Nope - too hot and interference from the Gruesome Twosome (see below). So we settle on the 5th. It seems it's better in the long run that the entry got put off until today. Today's Brooke's birthday, but it took us a loooong hoooooooooot week to get here. . .

I should have seen the hot weather coming a mile away. Saturday night was full of bad omens. The least of which, no wait, the WORST of which was none other then GRAMPA MOLEY!! I won't go into the long back-story of ol' Gramps Moley but . . .well, actually, it's not much of a back-story: McKeen's grandfather looks like the Mole from The Wind In The Willows - hence, Grampa Moley. So I was minding my own business behind the counter with Andrea and Carey [INSTEAD OF BEING IN NYC WHOOPING IT UP LIKE A WHOOPING CRANE MIGHT I ADD ("Boo, hiss!" - Monique)] and I looked up and thought I saw McKeen's Crazy Aunt Deb (TM). And then I saw a woman that looked a lot like McKeen's grandmother (who in fact quite closely resembles the Old Lady puppet from Today's Special - and if you think it is easy to find a picture of that online, then friend, you would be wrong). At this point I should have expected that his Moleyness must be lurking about, but I gave it nary a thought. And then, he pounced! (And by "pounced", I mean "slowly, and nervously, shuffled") From behind the Flaphappy Rack he made his presence known. My eyes and Grampa Moley's locked. I was overcome with his Gorgon gaze and I fear it was at that point that the weather started going all wacky. Damn Grampa Moley and his weather bewitching habits!!

= "Heat Index: 115 degrees"

Well then, now that I've alienated all but two possible readers from reading any further, onward! I have absolutely no idea what I did on Sunday. I can't even recall reading the Globe that day. I must have done SOMETHING. ("Drinking Bathtub Gin no doubt!" - Linda) Oh well, it couldn't have been that important. (I apologize to anyone that may be reading this and we did something so wicked awesomely gnarly on Sunday.) I think Fred must have snuck his Swiss Cheese Brain over to me. And then it became so hot. We will all look back to 4th of July Week of 2002 as the hottest motherfucking week in the history of temperature. And we will also look back at it and remember fondly about the time we learned what the fuck a Heat Index was. SO SO SO SO SO HOT. Can you believe how fucking hot it got? Tot. Sot. Cot. (Oh, now I do recall one thing - I helped Monique telephonically prepare for her "coffee date" with Ryan and "blast-from-the-not-TOO-distant past" - Caddie. And after all is said and done and I warn Monique from spilling too many beans, what does she do? She decides to break the ice with Caddie by telling her the "stuffing the ballots down Zach's pants" story. Sigh. I guess it's my own fault. I got the secret-breaking-ball rolling first when I outed the story to everyone a few months back in this very journal [see the entry "Lesbian Canoe Camp" ]. Still, I can't believe she did it. Although, I guess enough beans were spilled that night to last all summer. Oh! - Speaking of LCC's, my Dad's Melissa Etheridge concert is coming up soon. But more on that in an upcoming entry . . .)

Clyde . . . . . . . . Please. I get the vapors and hot flashes just from looking at detailed wallpaper, so all this "humidity", "heat index", "burning alive", and "tete a la flambe" flim-flam was really slinging my hash. I actually LOOKED FORWARD to going to work this last week because the mall is air conditioned. (Except when "Papa Doc" Letch is in charge and wants the heat on in the middle of a god damned brown out because he wants to know "is anybody else as chilly as me?" GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.) I shouldn't joke about brown outs. I was just ranting the other night about how I have never got to experience a good ol' fashioned brown out and then BOOM Hannah and Becca get to have one. I was PISSED. They get ALL the fun. They even got to close the store early. Harumph. But Monday wasn't a total loss - Hannah and I got to break out Kitty (our pet snail) all night and deck him out in the most fashionable of rain gear, feed him shark, and teach him new tricks. Plus, she got to have her belated birthday present in the form of a really cool Kermit figure from the new Muppet Show toyline. I bought one for me too. Very cool.

Sam: "That Debbie Harry is hot." Kermit: "No shit."

Seriously, not much can get you out of a shitty mood quicker than The State site that I was talking about a few entries back. It's better than bad - it's good. Actually, it's great. Warning, if you don't already have Quicktime, you will have to download it first (which is quick, easy and free: www.quicktime.com ) You'd have to be a moron not to be able to figure out how to download it ("Not Cool." - B-Slop) I must have watched "Little Brown Dog Food" 20 times the other night. It is so so so low brow and yet I swear it is funnier every time I see it. And I poisoned Andrea and Hannah's brains by making them watch it. In fact - I just stopped writing this and went and watched it again. "Little Brown Dog Food . . . It works for feedin' dogs." Ahhhhhh. . .

So Tuesday I saw my dad for a bit in the morning and this time I remembered to show him my nails (which I haven't bit or cut in 21 DAYS TODAY - man, 3 weeks. Don't look behind this curtain. . .) He was quite impressed, and of course, doesn't think I'll be able to hold out much longer, and I agree with him wholeheartedly. My mother and Brittany came down later in the day. I should take this opportunity to say that Monday night I started to get a sore throat and my ears were bothering me. With me, if I get a sore throat at night - fine, but if it's still there when I wake up - it's all over. And it was still there Tuesday morning and it really fucking hurt. So I wasn't in the best of moods, especially adding in the fact that it was 302 degrees outside. So my mother and Brittany came down and my mom surprised me by having my NewsRadio Emmy Poster that I bought of eBay a ways back framed. It looks way nicer that I would have been able to afford and I was extremely pleased about this. We haven't decided where to hang it up yet, but I think we'll hang it by the clock, since he's lonely and the other side already has Simpsons, Beatles, and is near the Talking Heads framed picture and the other NewsRadio one. I hope my Scotland, PA poster gets here soon. I want to have it up before the BBBQ. So yeah - did I mention? My Mom and Brit came down. And needless to say - I wasn't in the best of good moods. Yes, the NewsRadio framed picture pleased me beyond pleasing, but my mother and I can find ANYTHING to fight about. From colors to numbers to language to "the way I sigh". And I'm sure we fought about all of those and more on Tuesday. I called my dad from my mother's cell phone to tell him a long story about our long-lost cookie sheet (long thought in the family to have been lost by "Zach and his friends doing God knows what with it out in the woods" - no seriously, I want to know, what the FUCK could we have been doing with a COOKIE SHEET in THE WOODS?!?!?), some baby turtles and Mr. Bliss. He didn't answer so I hung up. Or I THOUGHT I hung up. Luckily I didn't say anything TOO bad, but my dad did manage to hear my mother and I fight for the next 15 minutes on his voicemail. I'm sure it made him REAL nostalgic. We ate at Friendly Toast and I got to go to Bull Moose for a while (just looky, no buy). Then of course, we got to the Mall o' Fun and Fox Running. On my Day Off. MY ONLY ONE UNTIL SUNDAY. Hoo-Ray. So I went and heckled the wild Wallakers and they shopped at Macy's. The mall has been simply agog with the news that Abercrombie is moving in. It's taking the place of Lechters, which went out of business in the Spring. I'm sure Millie the Model, ahem, I mean B-SLOP will be the first one in line. ("What-ever. Not like the Manchester and Salem one aren't close to me anyway." - B-Slop) So anyway, moral of the story is, even though I was really happy to see Brit (especially since it's been less than a year since I had last seen her - a rarity), I was in a craptacular mood, even for me, and I hope she didn't think it was her. It was my being sick, my mother and I doing our best impression of oil and water, and the blinding, eye-stinging heat. (Score One for Grampa Moley.)

So that night, as I'm in bed, trying not to sweat so much that I will have to take my 5th shower in as many minutes, and re-reading To Kill A Mockingbird for like the 8th time, I hear a rustle at the window curtain. Before I can look up to see what it is I see this black streak go across the ceiling and bang into the wall on the opposite side of my room. Ok. So there's like this 8 pound ganormous bat beast flying around my room and it is WAY TOO HOT to try to deal with his "wanting to eat my brain and nest/lay eggs in my hollow noggin" shenanigans. So then the evil creature (to use Culkin parlance) DIVE BOMBS MY FUCKING BED. At this point I realize it is a moth, but no ordinary moth - it's like a moth that got crossbred with a fucking horse. He looks at me and starts spitting at me and is getting up on his hind legs and making "left, right, left, right"/"the ol' 1-2" motions with his arms. I was unaware with what was going on at his thoraxial region at this point. I hate him. And I wish I had a guitar to smash him with. But I didn't. So I did the next best thing. I yelled at him. A lot. And tried to whip him with a towel I found. This only served to make him more indignant and mean-spirited. He landed on the Dream Machine Alarm Clock and I whapped him good but it only served to make him a little dizzy. He dumbly walked off my bedside table and fell down behind it. I took the towel and used it to line the entire foundation of the table in an effort to suffocate Mothra. ("That doesn't sound like the most secure of foundations to me . . ." - McLaughlin) That was three nights ago and I haven't touched the towel. I'm not taking any fucking chances.

"Don't make me cut you, Senor!"

Wednesday should be noted as the only day of the last NINE that I have not had a bloody nose. I am crusing dangerously close to breaking the Ben of 1990's record. People - don't lend me your pillow cases - you'd only be asking for trouble. Wednesday should also be known for the day that I found out about the evil that is the Snakehead Fish. An excerpt from Yahoo News: " . . . a northern snakehead - a fish with big teeth that can survive out of water - has been found in a Maryland pond . . . "HAVE YOU SEEN THIS FISH?" reads a wanted poster placed around the pond . . . Beneath a picture of the suspect fish, and a list of its distinguishing features - 'long dorsal fin, small head, large mouth, big teeth' - is a warning and a death warrant . . . 40 inches long and weighing up to 15 pounds . . . THEY CAN WALK ON LAND (my caps) . . . if you come across this fish, PLEASE DO NOT RELEASE. Please KILL this fish by cutting/bleeding as it can survive out of water . . ." Ok. So that's not scary. AT ALL. EXCEPT it is. I'd really want to be in the woods, hiking along and then, oh, whoops, excuse me little land shark that is WALKING TOWARDS ME. Man, I wish Mr. Bliss has taught us about these babies.

And then came the 4th. And laaawwwddddyyy was it hot. Of course, for the third year in a row, while friends of every shape and size went off to get sunburned and loaded, I went to go join H-Dawg at the Wallakers to celebrate our the 226th birthday of the U.S. of A. Even Little Debbie got in on the action. We bought some "Stars and Stripes Cakes" and Little Debbie says that eating them helps our country. "Celebrating 226 years of freedom with Stars and Stripes Cakes" is actually what it said. Which I think is rather misleading by insinuating that the frosted treat (which is merely the Christmas Tree Cakes dressed up in red, white, and blue) has been around since the Declaration of Independence. Anyway, I guess when I left for work, I just missed Kristen's phone call. I had checked the machine from work and her message didn't sound like much, and she said to call back. I figured it was about the BBBQ. I was wrong. I got home from work that night only to find all the trashies and trashettes in our apartment complex lighting all their illegal fireworks off in order to "show those bastards in Afghanistan that these motherfucking colors don't run!" Sigh. So I took another shower (at this point I think we were starting to run out of cold water). Of course, right after I started writing an entry, Ben came lummoxing in through the back door. He grunted at me and went into the bathroom. Jimbo came in the front door a bit later. It didn't take me long to see that Ben was as drunk as a particularly drunk skunk. He was yelling a lot and was swearing a lot and not making much sense. [Pick-A-Joke: Joke 1 - "Then how did you know he was drunk?" Joke 2 - "Are you sure he wasn't just doing his 'Zach impression'?"] Anyway, OF COURSE, at this time Ben decides it is the most perfect time to make pasta in the history of pasta making. Be warned. EVERYONE AND ANYONE. If Ben Walden EVER, and I mean EVER, offers to make you pasta when he is drunk, DO NOT ACCEPT. Unless you like tobasco sauce, salsa, pepper, kalamata olives, and oregeno with your pasta. If you DO LIKE THAT . . .well, then by all means, accept - accept! I begged him not to make the pasta as our little apartment was alread SO HOT and boiling water was only going to make things worse. No dice. Jimbo said he didn't even really want any. Nothing. So, Ben whipped up some of his Pasta a la' Puke specials and I washed my hands of all of it. Literally. Jimbo kept complaining that he didn't like olives in his pasta, to which Ben would respond EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME, "But Jimmy, they're KALAMATAS!" Over all the kalamata posturing, I mentioned that Kristen had called. Ben says "Oh yeah, I meant to tell you, she's getting married." Gah? So yup, looks like another super wedding fun time package at some point. But no date is set, so not for a long while. The best part - ok, not the BEST part, but the part that *I* like - is that since she is marrying Mike Pietro, she can still be called KP. I'm so easily pleased. So we watched some Mr. Show, but Ben and Jimbo soon passed out on the couch. I knew it was gonna be another impossible night to try to sleep, because, ignoring the moth carcass, now Ben had been hotting up the place with all his hot and spicy food so the apartment was now going to feel as close to hellacious hell as it was gonna get (excluding a visit from Sarah).

[Our living room on 4th of July - Now add the HEAT INDEX and we're talking a . . . hmmmmmm, ball park figure. . .6,037 degrees.]

Yeah, so I finished To Kill A Mockingbird (again) today. God do I love that book. I swear it gets better every time I read it. It is by FAR my favorite book. No contest. And, it's no secret, I read quite a bit. ("I don't go much for this book readin' myself" - B-Slop / "Hey, me neithers! I started to read this 'Mockingbird' book he be speakin' about but I'll be damned if I could finish it!" - Monique / "Really?!" - B-Slop / "Yup, this here journal, mac & cheese boxes, and a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure back in 1988 is all I done read!" - Monique / "Aw hell, you done read a WHOLE book? Way I looks at it, if it t'ain't been made inta a movin' picture show yet, it must not be worth a readin'." - B-Slop / "Wow. I think we're soulmates." - Monique / "I'm a model." - B-Slop / "Let's ditch these parentheticals and hit the Cheeseburger Buffet down yonder!" - Monique / "Now that's my style!" - B-Slop) Ok, I'm back. As I was saying, there's nothing I can say that will do this book justice. I have the entire map of Maycomb sketched out in my head because I've read it so much, and the book has some of the best dialogue and characterization I have EVER read. I have to go buy the movie on DVD soon. I can't believe I don't already own it. It's one of those few movies that comes close to being as good as the book. But some of the smaller, more inconsequential scenes in the book are my favorites, so they had to be inevitably cut from a 2 hour movie, which sucks, but oh well. Movies that old don't have too many deleted scenes either. Sigh. Doesn't matter though. And I'm still using my copy fom 9th Grade English. I have the illustrious Peter Pinckney to thank for all this! I know I'll read it again next summer. . . but did I mention that I love this book more than anything else I've ever read? Including Ramen Noodle Packages.

"For you Zach, I'll shoot any rabid dog."

And then came the 5th. Like I said, it's Brooke's birthday. And on this day commemorating the birth of Brooke 24 years ago on the back of a dingo in the Australian Outback, the great Ted Williams ceased to be. And Tim Curtis rose up from his moss-filled cave on the wrong side of the tracks in Brighton, MA and let out a laugh. A long, cold, evil, spiteful, revengeful laugh. One of his long-time arch-enemies was no more. Williams, also known as the "Splendid Splinter", had once, under the wintry chill of the giant Wooden Indian Head at Opeeche Park, refused to give an autograph to a young, and QUITE impressionable Tim Curtis because he'd "have to take" his "gloves off" in order to give the autograph the little red-headed pixie so desperately wanted. And Curtis, after spitting on Williams and yelling ".400 this bitch!" (which admittedly, doesn't make much sense) swore that he'd outlive the aging slugger if it was the last thing he did (which admittedly, wasn't the boldest of challenges). Yet, Tim Curtis stands on this Earth alive and well as I type this on the night of July 5th, and Ted Williams, also known as "That Black Hearted Devil" (so Tim tells me) is on to a better place. And I surely don't mean Wyatt Park.

Man, I hate having to get up so fucking early for work. And my throat still hurts. And I think earwigs are tunneling out of my toe. Argh. Anyway. BBBQ - July 20th. Unless your name is Paul Burton, come on down! (note: I had the misfortune to run into a shirtless P. E. Burton in Durham the other day. I'm still cleaning out my retinas)

It's been real,

Dolphus Raymond

ps - God contacted me after my last entry had already gone to press and wanted me to make a correction. He not only "hates Fred", but he thinks he "dresses funny" as well. And he wanted me to stress that he didn't mean "funny ha ha", but "funny gag gag".

pps - I *really* have to stop this going to bed at 1:30 and getting up at 6:30 thing. It's swiss cheesing my brain - moreso.

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