SomethingSoWrong
Funniness Negates Wrongness
Thursday, July 24, 2003
Hey guys, Buffy and I just got back from Guatemala. We had a great time. It was hard to give up tennis at the club for so long but it gave my elbow time to recover.

Let me start by telling you about preparing for the trip. Buffy and I logged on to our high speed internet and went to www.llbean.com where we purchased some excellent hiking gear. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, L.L.Bean, how primitive, but we are just going to Guatemala. Well, when all of our stuff arrived Next Day Air from Fedex, none of it fit. We only had two more weeks until we were leaving, so we were kind of perturbed about this. Well, to make a long story short I actually had to call their distribution office and talk to them to get the order fixed. Can you imagine?

When it came time to sneak across the border, we piled into the Porsche Cayenne. We decided not to take the Boxster, just in case we had to do some offroading. We had to sneak across the Mexican border because they don’t like a lot of Americans migrating and stealing all of their tequila. Like we would even drink that stuff, we brought our own stash of Perrier.

We arrived at our resort in Guatemala after a few days of hard driving (we had to stop at some beach side resorts and spas to rejuvenate), it was grueling. “Why did we not fly?” I kept asking myself, but Buffy was always one for roughing it. After all, she was the one who wanted to fly back from Europe first class on a Boeing rather than taking a Concorde. We knew we were in for a demanding week when we had to unload our own bags from the car. The porter just stood there watching us until we finished. Luckily he had the sense to push the cart, I don’t think I could’ve have made it all the way to the elevator with my Pierre Cardin sweater around my neck. To punish him for his stupidity I only tipped him $100; that will teach him a lesson.

The next day we set out to find what the locals like to do. We found that most have to work for a living, which is very strange. We found a group of young adults playing an ancient game called soccer (pronounced sa-ker) where they kick around a human skull and try to put it in the other teams net without using there hands. How quaint!

Well, after a couple of days we found out that Guatemala is really boring. They don’t even have a Pottery Barn, which I thought was strange. You always hear about them finding ancient cities in this area filled with old pottery. Go figure!

We caught the next jet back to America, eager to leave as fast as we could. We had the Cayenne shipped back so we wouldn’t have to drive all the way back across this God-forsaken land.

Overall, Guatemala was a complete bust. Next time we’re going to think twice about taking vacation advice from somebody we meet over the internet. I think, our next trip will to be to learn about the indigenous people of France or Italy or maybe just visit our summer home in the Hamptons.

Until next time . . .
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Hate Mail

Looks like we got an email from someone who doesn't particularly agree with the SomethingSoWrong philosophy. Oh, and they also have problems with basic grammar. Like I'm going to take someone serious who can't even pluralize "cafe" correctly. Read on...


hmmm...yeah you're right, you guys are intolerant and bigoted and pretentious and probably wealthy and coddled young americans. Your blog was slightly interesting, but only as far as it took me to create an opinion of your roots and personalities. My interest waned as I learned of your woes with your riflemobile and the bad paint job. Sounds like a REAL problem, don't lose heart.
The white trash weekend and the condescension to the titty bar. That frames your bigotry most starkly. I'm sorry for you, but you already know who you are.
Good idea with the collaborative 'novel', it should provide plenty of context for you and your friends lives over the next few months. Maybe you'll be inspired to greater and larger ideas in the interest of real life research for the story than just drunken amusement park rides and titty bars. Why don't you guys try to sneak across the border into Mexico and hitchike to Guatamala to learn to play ancient Mayan ball games together, while updating from greasy Internet cafe's along the way. Then I'd come back to read more than just your links page.
Good luck,

-z


So, what do you say, my wealthy and coddled friends? Should SomethingSoWrong take a field trip to Chichén Itzá to visit the Great Ballcourt? Being that we're rich and coddled, we should easily be able to do this. And while Chichén Itzá isn't quite Guatemala, it is in the Yucatan, which should give us some opportunity to go to the beach and tan. I'll start making the travel arrangements. BTW, we should plan to cut through Mexico City on the way there...they have a Six Flags and since we have season passes, why not? Also, we should stop by La Zona Rosa while we're there...great titty bars from what I understand. Shouldn't be hard to find greasy Internet cafes in Mexico, as I'm assuming the people are a lot like their food. Anyhow, I'll keep you updated.
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
As you may or may not know, some months back, at my previous residence--my stylish and exclusive loft--some charlatan damaged the RiflemanMobile. I had parked it in the parking garage and had gone up to my residence to engage in an activity of some sort. A couple of hours later, when I returned to my car, the driver's side backend was crunched in, damaging the bumper and cracking a light lense. As it was drivable, I reported it to my indemnification provider and continued to drive, not wanting to drop the money on the deductible. When it finally came around for the RiflemanMobile to pass its annual State of Texas Operational & Safety Inspection, it was decided that the vehicle would need to be repaired in order to secure passage. So, I called up Geico and made an appointment to have an adjuster adjust it.

I drove to the 16-story Geico complex in Far North Dallas and met with my adjuster. He came out the RiflemanMobile, looked at it, took some pictures and whatnot. He also examined for internal damage to teh actual body of the vehicle. I insisted that there was some damage, as I could feel a dent through the access panel for the light in the trunk area. He said there was none. This was the first point of contention. I made an appointment to bring my car into Service King on last Monday for what was determined to be a three-day job.

On Wednesday, eager to regain my car, as the rented Ford Taurus was, in my opinion, sub-par, I called to inquire as to when I could pick up the RiflemanMobile. It was then that they informed me that further damage--damage I knew about and had pointed out to my adjuster--existed. They were going to have to keep it an extra day. Fuck. Okay, I said, and hung up the phone, disheartened. On Thursday, I called to again inquire as to when I should be by to collect it. At this point, the person on the phone said, they hadn't had a chance to paint the new bumper, so it wouldn't be ready until Friday. Double fuck. I called back Friday, only to find that they'd ordered the wrong part and it wouldn't be ready until Monday. Triple God-damned fuck shit cunt asshole Tourette's. I slammed the phone down, cursing their very souls.

Come Monday, I called the service advisor as Service King. He assured me that my car would be ready that night and to be there at 5:45. I left work at 5:00, excited that I would finally be reunited with my car. Yay. I got there and was told they were putting the final touches on it and it would be ready around 6:20. I turned in my rental car, paid the bill and sat in the stifling waiting room, barely able to bear the lack of A/C, as apparently it was out of commision. At 6:15, the be-mulleted service manager came up to me and uttered the most horrible words I've ever heard: "Rifleman, I'm sorry, but it looks like the paint was messed up, so we're going to have to repaint it. We'll have it ready tomorrow." Stunned, I could only say "Okay...". Disheartened yet again, I stumbled back to the rental car place and re-secured the Taurus. Leaving the site of destruction, I called CheeriosMonster, hoping that some of her Cheerios-ness would rub off on me. She answered the phone and all I could say is "People are going to die and I am going to eat their firstborn children." I think I scared her, as she got off the phone as quick as possible. Not that I blame her, but it was nice to get some of my frustration out.

So, supposedly, I'm supposed to get my car back today. I'll believe it when I'm sitting in traffic on the Airport Freeway in a black Mitsubishi Eclipse GT and not a black Ford Taurus. I am extremely frustrated at Service King and wouldn't recommend them to anyone. While they might call themselves the King of Service, in my opinion this seems to be a self-annointed title, much like Napoleon calling himself "Emperor" of France or Howard Stern going by the "King of All Media" (which is actually Rupert Murdoch). I'll let you know if I get the car back tonight or not...

Update

6:30 PM 7/23/2003

Got it back, finally...yay
Monday, July 21, 2003
If you can’t laugh at vagrants, who can you laugh at? (Vol. 1)

One of the best things about things about Houston is the wide selection of bums decorating the feeder road stop lights. Even better are some of the signs that these bums use to try and get you to support their vices. Here are some of my favorites (with commentary of course):

Just today I saw the most pathetic looking guy holding a sign that said, “Vets never give up.” While this may be true, this guy had obviously given up on lots of things including: showers, his dignity, getting a job and keeping his teeth.


My next favorite sign wasn’t exactly funny itself, it was the way I read it that made me laugh. I pulled up to a stop light and looked at this guy’s sign. I had reread it several times before I realized that the guy was staring back at me. I quickly turned away so he wouldn’t think I was about to give him booze money. After I drove off I repeated the sign out loud and finally understood this guy’s plea for sympathy was not was not a new form of street art, a Homeless Haiku, if you will. I inserted punctuation to convey how I read the sign.

“Homeless vet.
Hungry kidneys.
Failing God.
Will bless you.”

-Dirty guy by the side of the road

The "Failing God" line, which I took for some sort of self criticism, almost had me in tears.



I think this next one is my all time favorite. I almost considered giving this guy some cash.

“Why lie? I need some beer.”

You can’t argue with that.

More to come . . . .
Sunday, July 20, 2003
I woke up Saturday morning around 9:30 eager to begin what was surely to be a great day. As One o’clock rolled around, so did my sister, Laure and we began our trek toward the Musical Mecca that is Selma, Texas to attend the Dave Matthews Concert. I decided to look the part and wear khakis and sandals (no socks) to the concert.

We arrived three hours later in the nearby, sleepy hollow of New Braunfels, whose economy is based primarily on the teeming mass of people that come to float down, bathe in, and deposit all kinds of a bodily fluids in the Guadalupe River, Ganges River style. After picking up Laure’s friend, Michael, we headed on to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater for some Dave Matthews Bliss. In the parking lot we met up with PennyLane, ReginaFalangie and Daniel, who could be PennyLane’s brother (mainly due to the red hair). After being accosted at the front gate by the security guy, I quickly made my way to the restroom urged on by 60 ounces of water, a double Latte, and the bush . . . er . . . Busch that I slammed on the way from Daniel’s car to the front gate. Now, if urine were a desired commodity this restroom would be best described as a “urine sweatshop”. It had to be about 120 degrees inside, the air and ground both were very damp and I am pretty sure that neither was saturated with water. After making my way out of the urine fog, we found an acceptable piece of grass on which to set up base camp. A short time later we were basking in the warm, glowing, warming glow that is The Dave Matthews Band.

I will refrain from trying to describe the concert, as any effort on my part to do so would probably end up akin to a Muslim describing the Hajj as “that box.” Some highlights include: the guy near us that got busted during the concert for smoking pot, the Tori Amos look-alike that I met in the beer line, Dave’s dancing, and the spectacular 20 minute encore.

After the concert, we hung around the merchandise booth while t-shirts, stickers, and flip-flops were purchased. This was a good chance to make a last trip the Urine Factory, a chance that I passed up. I soon regretted this decision as my bladder felt like it was about to burst as we slowly exited the parking lot. Luckily, Laure pulled into somebody’s nearby driveway and I proceeded to water their plants for them as other concert-goers drove by giving me assorted thumbs-up, “Wooo-Hooos,” and one “If you gotta go, you gotta go!” Making our way to Michael’s house where we would be spending the night, we stopped by a Taco Cabana drive-thru for some grub. The following conversation took place:

Stupid Cashier: “Hold on a minute.”

Laure: “Ok.” (Turns to Custardstyle and Michael) “What do you guys want?”

Custardstyle: (Thinking of Whataburger taquitos) “Breakfast taco combo with a water”

Michael: (Apparently thinking of four crispy tacos) “Four crispy tacos.”

Stupid Cashier: (Several minutes later) “Go ahead.”

Laure: (Shouting into the receiver as she always does) “I need a breakfast taco combo with a wat-“

Stupid Cashier: (Rudely) “I can’t hear you.”

Laure: (Leaning out window a foot from the receiver, again shouting) “I need a Breakfast Taco Combo with a water, four crispy tacos, two soft tacos, and a bean burrito.”

Stupid Cashier: (Stupidly) “What kind of breakfast tacos would you like?”

Custardstyle: (Perplexed by this question since no options were offered on the menu and again thinking of Whataburger taquitos) “Bacon? I guess.”

Laure: (to Stupid Cashier) “Bacon”

Stupid Cashier: (Obviously only able to concentrate on one thing at time and using all available brain power to form the previous question) “What came after the combo?”

Custardstyle: (Yelling) “Fuck!”

Laure: (Screaming) “Should we pull up to the window so we can actually order?”

Stupid Cashier: (No Answer, obviously confused by such a notion)

Laure: (Throwing up hands in disgust repeats the order)

Stupid Cashier: (Verifies the order leaving off the two soft tacos)

Laure: “And two soft tacos”

Stupid Cashier: (After several minutes spent typing order and comprehending the number up on the screen) “$9.41”

We pulled around to the window and examined the contents of the bag closely because we knew we were about to get fucked. Sure enough, the two soft tacos and burrito were missing. Laure waves at guy inside to attract his attention; this goes on for about a minute. He finally sees her and slides the window back with excessive force.

Laure: “We’re missing two soft tacos and a bean burrito. And can we get some hot sauce?”

Stupid Cashier: (Looking stupid, glares back at Laure then slams window shut, returns later with one small tub of hot sauce)

Laure: (Shifts into bitch mode, and rightly so) “We’re going to need more than that!”

Stupid Cashier: (Slams window again, returns minutes later with rest of order and one more tub of hot sauce) “Here”

Laure: (Sarcastically) “Thank you.”

We then proceeded to Michael’s to eat; I anxiously await my breakfast burritos. After we arrived we sat down and began to eat. As I opened my breakfast tacos I quickly noticed that these were nothing like Whataburger taquitos. When you order bacon breakfast tacos at Taco Cabana this apparently means that you want a few pieces of undercooked pig meat wrapped in a flour tortilla. Since I was starving and sufficiently drunk on $6.75 beers, it didn’t really matter. However, if any employees of late night fast food joints are reading this: If the word “breakfast” is in the name of any of your products, it damn well better have some scrambled chicken period in it.