Thursday, September 29, 2011

"I don't want any..." - By Bill Pryst

"That's not fair," I say, pour beer from the keg spout into a pitcher.  "You can't tell me I'm staying another night and then change your mind and say I have to go home tonight.  If I go home I have a job and a kid and responsibilities.  I don't want any fucking responsibilities, Jim."
My phone rings.  I pick it up and say "I'm on vacation" into it and hang up.
"She also says we have to bring back the keg."
"We're not bringing back the keg until it's empty.  Here, get me something else to put the beer in."
"We're going to put the beer in our bodies, Bill," Jim assures me.  Then into the phone: "No mom, we'll bring it back.  Don't worry."
He's talking to his mom because she put the keg on her credit card because he was on Temporary DuTy and therefore unable to put it on his card.  He got back the night before.  The keg was waiting.  She's threatening to take me home early because I'm stranded in Temecula with no way to get home short of hitchhiking and my son's been at grandma's now far longer than I promised.
"Why were we drinking champagne all day when we knew we had to finish the keg?" I ask no one in particular.
"Because I like champagne."  Into the phone: "No, mom, we don't have any left."
I look through the patio door and see four empty bottles the size of half-gallons on the kitchen table.  The only reason we quit with the champagne is it was making us tired.  I finish filling the pitcher and start drinking it as fast as I can - from the pitcher.  Monika comes out and puts her cup in front of me, I fill it up and hug the pitcher to my chest.  Monika disappears into the apartment.
Beyond the balcony California is sprawled out lazily from two stories down.  The green of plants never designed by nature for the environment clinging tightly to rocks they can't possibly be nourished by.  The labyrinth of irrigation systems set up to feed the plant-life which never existed until we arrived, and would quickly depart should we ever decide to leave.  The entire state in a constant state of being refurbished and becoming new and improved if only on the surface.  A place where if they decided to put the picture of any celebrity with the phrase "Of Course We're Full of Shit" on the flag no one in good conscience could object.
California, the beautiful whore she is.
"Fuck dude I'm tired," I announce.  "We need something to wake us up.  I only slept two hours last night, and your recliner wasn't exactly the Hilton."
Monika appears in the doorway holding a bottle of Sailor Jerry's in one hand, a set of shot glasses pinched elegantly between the fingers of the other.  Her eyes hold the question I need no prompt answering.
"Jim, your girl's got shots."
"That's why I'm so madly in love," he explains as he joins us on the balcony.
We hold our shot glasses together - each is unique in that he bought each of them in Hawaii when he was supposed to be hold up in Pearl Harbor but instead was in Maui in a beach bungalow with Monika.  We salute each other and down the firewater.  It goes down like shit and I have to suppress my gag reflex to keep it from coming back up.
My blackberry rings again.  "Bill doesn't live here," I say into it and hang up.
"I can't get too plastered," Jim says.  "I have to go pick up the Benz."
"Man fuck the Benz.  Oz and Christy and Eric and Nick and his bitch wife are all coming over."
"We'll wait by the pool."
They get dressed, and I stay in my jeans, T-shirt and flip-flops.
"Aren't you going to put on board shorts?" he asks.  "Go swimming?"
"I don't have any.  I was only staying one night, remember?"  Really I don't have any.  And I don't mind because honestly he's been working out the whole time he was gone and now he's all ripped and shit and I don't really like being around him.  Not without my shirt on.
We hit the pool and bring two pitchers - one of them from the blender.  Go back and refill them.  Oz shows up, meets his friend there, and spends an hour forgetting about his cousins and talking to his friend.  I get two more pitchers.  I'm walking through the complex with two pitchers of cold beer, condensation dripping from them, as I pass a mother unloading her two kids.  She eyes me with contempt and scurries her progeny along, trying to shield them from the debauchery that they're sure to experience later in life.
Eric and Christy arrive.  The sun sets.  We order two pizzas, which are not enough.  Nick shows up with his bitch wife - all three hundred pounds of bad attitude of her.  I invite her to join us.
She sneers and says, "I know you all hate me."
I don't say anything and Nick kisses her goodnight and she leaves.  We head to the apartment, where people are now doing beer bongs and even more shots of Sailor Jerry.
My blackberry rings.  I pick it up and say "God hates gay people" into it and hang up.  Set it on the table, and take a shot.
We play beer pong.  I'm on Jim's team.  Which was a better choice for me than for him.  He was a basketball player and he hasn't missed a free throw all night.  I haven't made one, and he's not very impressed.
"Next time I'm leaving you outside," he says, and sinks one.
"Next time I'm fucking Monika and making you pound on the door," I tell him.  He's still not impressed.
Out of nowhere Bitch Wife arrives.  Carrying her child.  Suddenly Nick has forgotten we exist.  He's talking to his line-backer life partner and ignoring his family.  I sit down next to them and strike up a conversation.  Bitch Wife leaves.
"What?" I ask.
"Dude," Nick sighs.
"You just can't say things like that," Michelle explains.  Michelle is Jim's sister.
"Like what?"
No one answers because they all assume I knew exactly what I said.  They are all terribly wrong.
Bitch Wife is back suddenly and ordering Nick to come with her and take care of their new-born.  I remember exactly the problem and explain that Nick has a dick and that means he is not, and never will be, the bitch in the relationship.
Nick leaves with his master.
"What a fucking waste."  I collapse on the couch.  A beer is placed in my hand, a Shock Top.  "What happened to the keg?"
"We threw the keg over the balcony an hour ago," Jim explains.
"How long do you plan on living here?"
"Until the lease is up," Jim nods, "four more months."
"Good luck."
I'm outside and Keith is bumming yet another smoke.  I can't remember who he is or why he's in Jim's apartment - that's right: he's Monika's high-school friend that Jim was convinced she was fucking while he was gone.  Except Keith is very possibly swinging for the other team and very seriously working at Red Lobster as a bus-boy and was totally unprepared when his best-friend told him to come meet her fiance and his cousin - the thirty year old war hero with more petty cash than Chrysler and his cousin, the psychotic author.
So I give him another "Gold" and light it for him.  Because I assume he thinks that's classy.  I'm wearing my top-hat again, which apparently no one thinks is classy.
"Bill," Jim calls, "your ride is here."
I look over my shoulder and there's my two aunts, come to collect, and I'm honestly not upset.  I'm just thankful I can still walk on my own.
I was fully planning on falling asleep on the balcony and having my cigarette burn my fingers until they blistered.  The two parent figures kinda saved me from that.  They drag me out, leaving most of my possessions in Jim's apartment, usher me to the waiting car, and throw me in.  Right next to my grandpa, who is waiting in the car.
"Grandpa," I slur, "grandpa grandpa grandpa.  How's it going?  This is all your fault, you know that?  You did all of this."
"I don't remember doing this," he says.
"Well," I think a moment, "neither do I.  But this all your fault.  You made all us little pain in the asses."  I always say this to my grandpa.  Because he had seven kids.  And of them they had twenty or thirty kids.  And of those they had forty or fifty or sixty more.  And now, because grandpa didn't want to tie it up, there's hundreds of us little bastards running around.
He should repent, but he seems to be proud of it.
I'm rambling about something I don't even know most of the ride.  The only coherent thing I say is "I need more beer.  Can't sleep without it.  Gotta stop and let me buy some more booze."
"No," one says.
"If he'll pass out, give it to him," the other says.
They buy me a forty ounce Bud Ice can.  Heaven never tasted so good.  Not that I would know.  But I always imagine heaven as swimming against the current in a river made of high content alcoholic beverages for all eternity.  It makes me feel better about my health conscience life-style.
They deposit me on the couch, and all sigh.  I can't fall asleep fast enough.  Only I'm not done.  Why should I be?  When there are so many people I need to talk to right now.  So much to say.  So much genius just ready to spill over and they'll never know what they missed if I don't call them right now and explain how incredibly awesome I am, and they are.
"Jim," I say, "Jim... Jim... Jim... Jim... Jim."
"That's my name, and if you don't stop I'll sue you for trademark infringement."
"Jim... Buddy... Man... Like... Fuck you dude."
"Okay, I'm going to fuck my smoking hot fiance right now.  Go to sleep, Bill."
"Everyone else has!"  I don't know why I say it, I just think it'll hurt him.  Why did I call him again?
"I'll choke you!  I'll kill you!  They train us to kill, Bill!  They train us to kill!"
And my phone dies.  Never has it picked such an opportune time.


I wake up on the couch.  A dog is looking at me and suddenly, all in one terrible realization, I remember that my aunt has dogs and a cat - all of which I'm terribly allergic to.
I'll spend the next twenty hours sneezing and coughing and wanting to throw up.
We get on the road and the aunt's decide to hit the casino:
"We'll make a few dollars and be on our way," they say.  Halfway in - two hours in - and two hundred down they hand me a water bottle full of wine and say, "Here, it'll make you feel better."
"No thanks," I say, sneeze.  "Just run out the credit cards so I can go home."
My blackberry rings, it says CALL FROM JIM.  I pick it up and say "I don't want any" and hang up.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Introducing: Bill Pryst

I remember the moment I decided I wanted to be a writer.  I was in New Jersey, on my knees, in a basement, with a construction worker, trying to earn some extra money...

No.  No.  I was tiling the floor.
It was a restaurant and I was working on a Sunday, finishing up the job so that it would be ready for the grand opening.  They had this thing where they wanted to be able to hose down the floor.  Just stand there with a hose and clean the whole fucking room.  So we had to pour like a ton of concrete along the walls and slope the whole floor towards the drain, and then tile it, and it was a bitch let me tell you.  Somewhere along the line, we fell behind schedule (I think it was the moment the owner of the restaurant came through with a hammer, hit a bunch of tiles and announced that any that broke where not set properly.  My boss offered to do the same to the owner's head and see if that was set properly, which didn't work out as well as we'd hoped in that we lost the other half of the job - they let us finish the basement).
So there I am, on my knees with this old, crusty bastard - nice guy, don't get me wrong - and he starts talking about his former life.  The one before his wife turned to heroin and he had to take care of his son, his (now) ex-wife's legal issues and the rigors of owning a small construction business (we were subcontracting under this guy BTW).  He started explaining how he was an actor, and how he used to be a quasi-star in Soap Operas.
I tell him to fuck off.
He says, "No, I'm serious, I was on One Life to Live."
I pull out my phone, and call my boss.  They've known each other for years, I figure he can put an end to this.
"What's up Bill?"
"Hey, I got a question to ask you."
"Was Sammy in Soap Operas?"
"Sammy?  Yeah, he was, but why do you care?"
"I'm standing here with him, and he said he was a bit of a star."
"You're with Sammy?"
"Why are you with Sammy?"
"We're finishing up the restaurant job.  Gotta be done by the grand opening."
"I didn't tell you to finish that.  Fuck, Bill, he still owes me three grand!  I'm not finishing it until I get paid.  You just fucked me, Bill, took away my only bargaining chip!  Get your stupid ass out of there right now!"
And I hung up, and started listening again.
"Not only did I act in them," Sammy explained, "but the producer loved me.  She let me sit in in casting sessions.  One time, she mounted me on the table, and told me I could have her right there if I wanted."
"And nothing.  I was married at the time, my wife was sober, I couldn't do it."
"Oh sure, I regretted it later, but at the time I just couldn't.  I ended up quitting acting and concentrating on my business and raising my son.  Especially when my wife had her problems, the divorce, I just couldn't handle the pressure anymore, and the money was shit.  She turned out to be this big time editor in New York.  Never was sure what the connection between producing a soap and editing books was.  But I still talk to her now and then.  She keeps asking me to write a memoir."
"That only matters," I told him, "if you can write."
A gleam came into his old, half-lidded eyes (by this time, Sammy was a full-time drunk.  Like a six-pack before breakfast drunk.  Which is part of what contributed to his owing my boss 3 g's and their eventual falling out, and more than just a part of this story) and he said, "I can write.  There's a lot of things I can't do, but I can write."
"So you're telling me that you have an editor in New York...."
"Who wants to publish your book...."
"And you haven't gotten off your ass and written it yet?"
He thought for a moment.  "Yes."
And suddenly I was flashed back to a car in a small town in Maine.  (Yes, the state.  If you don't know where it is, don't worry, no one else does)  I was in the back of the car and my two friends were in the front.  We were passing the bowl around (if you don't know what that means, we were smoking pot) and discussing what we would do with our lives (no one mentioned curing cancer, strangely) and how we would get the hell out of Maine.  I took the pipe, tamped it down, and took a hard rip.
"I'm going to be a writer," I said.
Snap back to a basement in Jersey.
"If I wrote a book, and gave it to you," I asked, "could you give it to her?"
He thought again.  "I can promise I'll get it to her desk.  I can't promise she'll like it."
And my literary career was born.  That very night, I sat down at my coffee table - in my basement apartment - with a pen and a three ring binder full of notebook paper, and began my first novel.  It took me nine months.  It was short.  It was convoluted.  And it sucked like a Hoover.
But none of that mattered.
Because Sammy was long gone.  Having burned every bridge he had crossed in his long fifty-five years.  He left everyone he knew with debt.  Changed his number, and skirted town.
He only owed me five hundred bucks.  But he owed far more than that to my dreams.  No editor, no chance at stardom.  Just a three ring binder full of hand-scratched dialogue and plot points.  I felt alone, outnumbered, and dying inside.
But life often plays in the long, forth quarter football none of us can see.  Each second of each quarter seems the most important moment in the world.  But you never know when the other team will drop the ball.  And that's exactly what happened, thousands of miles and years down the line.
What happened?
I met someone.
His name is Rick Glacier and I saw him in a dream.  Big and Cold and in control.  He walked into a room and the ladies followed.  Maybe it was the vodka.  Maybe it was the Rockstar Juiced.  Maybe it was fate.  But he walked into my life and onto my word processor and my life hasn't been the same since.  And last month I was able to get his first story published.
Snap to today.
I'm walking through a Starbucks and wondering if I still have the half-pint stuffed under my seat so I can make a good old fashioned Hottie Tottie and I pass a table piled with books.  The girl at it has her nose half-buried. I stop, look at the titles: "Fiction in the Twentieth Century."  "How to Write Fiction."  "The Greats: Stories from the Masters."
"Well," I say, she perks up, "I see someone wants to be a writer."
"No," she snaps, "I am a writer."
"Oh, I see."  I lean against the table.  "What do you write?"
"Fantasy, mostly."
"Got anything published?"
"Not yet, but I'm working on it."
"Good for you," I tell her, wink.  "Never give up."
I turn and walk away.
"Who are you?" she asks my back.
"Oh," I say to myself, "I'm just a guy who wants to be a writer."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

First of all....

This annoys the shit out of me.  It's a story about Jersey Shore being awarded a shit load of tax payer money to shoot their stupid, mind numbing show.  Now, listen, I have absolutely no problem with people being drunk and stupid, if I did the guy in the mirror and I would be constantly at war.  What I have a problem with is people who have no business being famous from the get-go.
"The Situation" is a seriously over-blown situation in-and-of-himself.  First off, what the fuck is wrong with his chest?  Apparently, there's something constantly on fire right there, because he can't ever have a shirt covering it.  Every single shot has him holding the clothing away from him.  I'm not exactly sure who told him to take his shirt off, I just know that the invisible person seems to be everywhere he is, since I can't find a single shot of him without him grinning like he has down syndrome with his shirt hiked up like anyone gives half a fuck who the hell he is, or what he has under his wife beater (and in his case, yes, it is a wife beater.  I lived in Jersey long enough, and knew enough Italians to say - Mike Mr Situation will smack the shit out of his women, because he doesn't have the manly organs to keep them without violence).
But that's beside the point.
Who the hell is Snooki?  And why do I know who she is?
Furthermore, who the fuck is Kim Kardashian, and why in the name of the sweet little innocent baby Jesus should I give one shit in twenty million who, how, or what she's fucking?
These are not real people, they're caricatures of people.  They're manikins.  They exist solely for our sick, twisted fascination with them.  They are not real, like the Barbie Doll is not real.  They fornicate like people, they marry like people, they even walk and talk like human beings, but they are not people.  They are brands, and they cultivate this.
I say this, partly because of a new recognition of what it should mean to be "famous."  But partly because I'm sick of seeing no talent fucks all over the tabloids.
Remember when Music TeleVision played music?  Remember when Disney was for kids?  Remember when sex was an adult pastime, and not a Nickelodeon selling point?  Remember when having eight ten-year-old's sing for sixty hours a week was slave labor?
I do.
But today it's just good television. 
It's just good marketing.
It's just good business.
It's the whole shitty business.  I've turned on my TV for three weeks in the last six months.  Seriously, I just turned it back on, and in three weeks I have had six years worth of Christmas requests.  Every single commercial is a must have.  My boy has no idea anymore what to do with himself with the TV turned off.
"Well, until I can watch TV, what do I do?"
"What did you do before we had TV?"
"There ya go."
"But, am I allowed to watch TV yet?"
"I'm calling the police."
"Thankfully, they haven't legislated television rights yet, so I'm totally within my legal rights to not let you watch TV."
I wonder what the Situation would have to say on the subject.
First, he'd probably take off his shirt (if he was wearing one in the first place).  Then he'd drink all my liquor.  Then he'd explain that New Jersey has the greatest beaches in the world.  And then I'd kick his faggot ass out, and go to the bar, and hang with real people, in Havasu, a place that can and will piss all over the Jersey Shore every chance it gets.
Because we're real.  We work.  We have kids.  We (in our case) are fighting to get recognized.  And we're not real sympathetic to a bunch of over-privileged cunts who don't deserve a free drink, let alone twenty-four hour news coverage....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

He Was Alive...

So I just stumbled onto this article about a weatherman who woke up next to a dead man. According to the article, the weatherman showed up at a friend's house with another friend, proceeded to ingest large amounts of alcohol and illegal narcotics (the witness says he doesn't know exactly what they were taking, but they were snorting it, which isn't a good sign) and then got in the hot tub. Everyone had a grand old time, and passed out, the weatherman and his friend in the hot tub (in the bathroom) and the homeowner on the couch. When the homeowner awoke Tuesday morning, he found the two men still asleep in the hot tub. Correction: the weatherman was asleep, but when they tried to wake up the friend they noticed his face was blue (also not a good sign) and he was wearing a dog collar. The weatherman, now totally fucking freaked, decided to leave the bathroom and vomit in the living room (not very considerate). He then left (for no apparent reason) and came back later to give his statement to police.
 Now, let's all be honest here: Haven't we all had a night like this at least once? You know, you pick up a friend, go over to someone's house, snort a few rails, hit the hot tub, have a few drinks, pass out, and wake up next to a dead body.
 This shit happens.
 It doesn't happen to you?
 Not even in college?
 Oh, shit, you're not very adventurous are you?
 Anyway, I feel for the guy. Not the dead one, but the weatherman. I don't feel for the dead guy because he passed out in a hot tub with a dog collar on. Did he really expect that to end well? I'm not a psychiatrist, but if you've read our previous posts you'll see I'm not a big apologist for people who are asking for it. And if you pass out next to a fucking weatherman with a dog collar on you don't have a great deal of self-esteem, in fact, if you're fucking a weatherman at all you don't, so this guy probably isn't all that sad about getting himself axed. But the weatherman, I mean, shit, poor fucking guy. He's been outed to the whole world in like the worst possible way. Imagine going to work the next day:
 "Hey Bill."
 "How was your Monday night?"
 "Guy's, check out this article about a guy that died this morning. They found him in a hot tub with a dog collar on!"
 "About that..."
 "And he was fucking a weatherman!"
 "Who fucks a weatherman?"
 Then they both get to the same part at the same time. The part where they identify the weatherman. And their eyes slowly settle on this doomed weatherman, standing in front of them. And he looks at the floor and just says "I guess I'll just go clean out my desk."
 I mean, that's not something you bounce back from. I read an article last night about how Monica Lewinsky still isn't able to go to a decent restaurant without being made fun of. And all she did was give the President head, which, honestly, isn't that big of a deal. She was young, he was the leader of the free world, it sounds like the set-up to a bad joke...
 Oh yeah, sorry Monica. 
So this guy is forever the gay weatherman that killed his lover with a dog collar. You might as well tattoo that shit on his forehead. He won't be working for CNN any time soon. I doubt Fox is interested. Hell, even MSNBC has standards. No, this guy is just as dead as the dude with the dog collar. The only difference is the dead guy's name hasn't been released.
So here's my forecast for this weatherman: 100% chance of it raining shit on you for the next twenty years...