It’s already been in effect for a week or so, but I took a little vacation which means there won’t be many new posts until mid-May, if any at all. Although, I’ve been checking in periodically to read comments, so you might see some new responses there. Other than that, posting will resume when I get back and I’ll “see” you all then.
I’m usually not the biggest fan of using profanity to express my writing. Maybe in speech, but for some reason it just seems weird to cuss when you write, at least in most scenarios. By the end of this little story, you’ll understand the motivation to violate that rule in this title.
Last time I was down south we decided to go to a public storage auction for no better reason than sheer curiosity. The idea came from a few friends of ours named Robin, Frank and Kentucky. I could never figure out why we call Kentucky Kentucky, because after all he’s from Nashville. Tennessee might be a more fitting nickname.
The type of crowd this event attracted was interesting to me. There were elements of carnie-ism; there was an older guy who the tour guide was particularly rude to; there was a couple that looked like they listened to Korn and went to every Lollapalooza tour since its inception; there was our mostly hungover (and some still drinking) crew of five; and about fifteen others of all age, race, body type and ethnicity. I think there was even an alternative sexual preference or two in there, as well. Oh, and most important of all, there was a baked-looking guy with a less-than-one-year-old Golden Retriever or Labrador-type dog, very hyper, overly friendly and on a short leash. But more about him in a minute.
When you think about it, the whole gig is a rather strange concept. People show up to bid on other people’s lives essentially, their lost belongings…I mean think of some of the stories behind this stuff; why people’s things are in storage in the first place, why they couldn’t pay the bill, how they feel about some random people bidding on their life in ten-dollar increments, how they feel about some schmoe ending up with their stuff for who knows how many times less than they themselves would have accepted for it.
At any rate, by the time we were about a half-an-hour into the auction, the air was getting heavy and thick. You see, the storage facility bore a strange resemblance to Vegas, prison and middle school, and where we were at this point rarely saw the light of day. You can easily imagine the silence and stale air of anticipation present as the moderator opened the stall, and you can easily imagine the reaction of the crowd to the not-yet-housebroken dog’s decision to leave warm, steamy coil directly adjacent to the roll-up door. This thing had radiance; in fact, when I stepped over the offending matter to escape its fumes, I did notice a vortex of latent heat from the dog’s bodily function.
Which is why the ultra-disgusted responses that were unilateral amongst the crowd can only be described as, "the funniest shit I ever saw."
It was summer 2002. Only eights months after the September 11th fiasco and the country was still reeling in the aftermath. That summer I somehow conned my hippie dad into going on a road trip up the California coast. Our ultimate destination was Canada, and I had a friend who was living in Medford, Oregon. We took our sweet time meandering up the 101. Plenty of rest stops for smoke and an occasional tall can. Had the video camera to document it all…couldn't of been better. The trip got cut short due to one of those "family emergency" situations that I'll spare the details of. Long story short, we had to turn around and get to LAX – fast. So fast in fact, that I didn't even get to change clothes or get a new bag together – I simply went with what I had on me.