Monday, May 30, 2011

Steve and Lefty (pt. 3)

This is part three of what I'm anticipating to be a four part series comprised of a self-indulgent short story. I suggest you start from the beginning, and part one is here. Part two, if you are so inclined, can be found here.

Now, you might wonder how two halves of people can work together to drive a car and the answer is, frankly, they can’t. Lefty has never been through driver’s ed. So in order to get us places, I had to trade in my beloved stick shift in order to buy a used automatic. Now I survive by driving with only one had while Lefty does… well whatever he wants, really. Mostly, he tries and retries to pop his knuckles. Watching me drive makes him nervous.
If our by-weekly trips to the grocery store scared him that bad, I was not looking forward to what chasing a leg-thief was going to do to his nerves. Lefty’s arm was stuck out the window, looking to be simply enjoying the breeze, but his charade was revealed for what it was by a clicking of his nails on the car’s body. The nails themselves were getting too long, as it had been awhile since we had both had the open schedules to arrange a time to cut them. I bite mine to keep from bothering him too much.
Oh yes, the chase. You’re probably dying to hear about us weaving in and out of traffic at a high speed, barely beating trains, and maybe even jumping a ramp or two. Unfortunately for you, nothing so exciting happened during our tailing of what we hoped was the correct car. The red sedan had no vanity plate or bumper stickers, which would have made finding it even in the suburbs difficult, but thankfully for Lefty’s curiosity, the leg thief had gotten stuck trying to turn left on a major road. As we approached, the car made no effort to skid out in front of cars dangerously. He didn’t recognize the car behind him, which made my life a whole lot easier.
What didn’t make my life easier was Lefty’s incessant pointing, as if I couldn’t sit behind the sedan without his help. Even while we were still waiting for a break in the traffic, Lefty could hardly keep still. Finally the car pulled out onto the main street, and I followed behind. I mean, I didn’t jet out into traffic any more than he did. There was just naturally a hole in the stream of traffic, as sometimes happens. I’m not going to go into traffic-pattern analysis here, folks. Lefty was happy to be on the move, like a dog in a neighborhood it recognizes.
We trailed the car across a large section of the town, feeling very super-spy-ish. Finally the red sedan pulled into the parking lot of a large warehouse. I kept our car going straight, despite Lefty turning his shoulder in an effort to get me to turn and visually follow the thief we had been trailing this entire time. But I resisted, and pulled in to the very next parking lot. Unfortunately for my reputation, the sign next to the entrance read “Adults Only,” so I was going to have to make it pretty quick, lest I be seen. Then I realized I was one of two men living in the same body, and decided I had bigger problems with my reputation than being a regular customer of this particular shop.
Exiting my car, Lefty and I quickly realized we had very different feelings on how to proceed. He began walking at a hurried pace, in a rush to shove this mystery into the light. I, on the other hand, was more concerned about coming face-to-face with the type of person who would cut off someone’s legs.  
Eventually, we compromised on a pace, although his leg was always taking bigger steps than mine. Walking over the small patch of grass that separated the warehouse’s parking lot, I began to have second thoughts.
“Maybe we should just head on back. This looks suspiciously like a machete factory,” I whispered to Lefty under my breath, “Like the kind of machetes made for leg chopping.”
Bah.
“Fine. But if they cut off your leg, you can’t blame me.”
Swallowing hard, we walked across the lines painted on the concrete as confidently as two men can. We reached the stall where the red sedan was parked, now empty of all passengers, whether living person or estranged leg. Lefty twirled his hand, urging me to continue, and we walked on.
Arriving at the plain concrete wall of the factory, we walked alongside it until we found a door. I hesitated, but unfortunately for my cautiousness, my body had another resident. Lefty opened the metal door and stepped inside.  

Read on, dawg.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Steve and Lefty (pt. 2)

This story is turning out to be a lot longer than I thought it would. So these separate parts are going to be a little long so I'm not on part 340 by the end. Sound good? Well I'm doing it anyway. Find part one of this story here.


Anyhoo, self-wallowing aside, Lefty and I had a pretty big mess on our hands. Well, I mean, not literally. I just got done telling you that. But a metaphorical mess. An abstract mess, if you will. Two guys and four legs seems pretty normal but in this instance, it was anything but. It was like, seven times removed from normal. If normal were Earth, then we were Alpha Centauri.
I bent down by the waist and Lefty picked up the paper towels. It was a well rehearsed move with us, as somebody else controlling half of your body has a steep learning curve. Thankfully, Lefty is quite patient, although he does sometimes extend a fist across my chest, knuckles down. To an outside observer, I’m pantomiming looking at a watch, and he expresses awareness about my slow progress this way.
It’s easier than what he used to do, which was start to step away. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to move a leg without first preparing yourself in any way, but let’s just say we went through a couple of pairs of pants before I sat us down and explained just how things were going to start to work.
He sometimes regresses in times of stress, however, and although I keep avoiding this issue of the ever-present dismembered legs in my kitchen, it was a very stressful time, and Lefty was eager to do something. He took a step towards the counter to put the paper towels back and we tumbled to the ground.
Unfortunately my face landed square in the thigh of the strange human drumstick with a sound best represented by the grossest thing you can imagine. I’m sorry, but my imagination for metaphors is about as well developed as my imagination for nicknames. Thanks to this closer inspection, I discovered that the legs had belonged to a man (thanks to all the hair now in my agape mouth), and that this man had lost a bet at one point. At least I hope that’s why he had a tattoo of Yosemite Sam mooning the viewer on his shin. Some people are just odd.
Now, I think I’m pretty justified in saying you all should be proud of me. I thought I just might be a detective on par with Sherlock to realize all of this in the split second of time I spent on that meaty hunk of flesh that used to belong to a living, breathing person. Sorry if I’m getting a little morbid.
But after this flash of discovery, I naturally tried to push myself up off of the floor as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, Lefty thought it a better idea to push the leg away from my face, and we fell again, this time without a hairy flesh pillow to cushion our fall. Morbid again, got it.
The hard linoleum caused a very unappealing crack to reverberate around the room. I had broken my nose on my own floor, thanks to the lack of a safe landing spot for my face after an arm I didn’t control caused me to fall a second time. Now, at least, the paper towels were going to be needed after a pool of blood began spreading across the kitchen floor.
“Up,” I said to Lefty, coordinating our actions. Neither limb reacted. Lefty had apparently fainted at the sight of all this blood. Awesome.
Fortunately, I’ve had situations like this before. For awhile, Lefty was an insomniac at night and instead took naps during the day, so I was practiced in standing up without his help.
Nose still bleeding profusely all across my floor and even staining the bottom of my favorite T-shirt (right out of the laundry, of course), I rolled to my side of my body, and pushed myself into a floppy, unsteady sitting position. From there I stood fully, all of my weight leaning on my own leg. Lefty’s leg dragged through the quite sizable creek of blood I was leaving, staining the bottom of my least favorite jeans (thank goodness) and effectively ruining a sock.
Collapsing into a lightly padded kitchen chair, I surveyed the damage. Two male legs, unclaimed. A large puddle of blood and slightly smaller streak of blood leading to my sock, red as any in Boston. And finally, a man sitting on a chair waiting for half of his own body to wake up.
This was going to be tough to explain to my cleaning lady.

Keep reading!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Steve and Lefty (pt. 1)

     Mick returns to writing short fiction in this much less symbolic yet not any less weird story about a man and his unwilling companion. I don't know why I went third person, and have since abandoned it. I don't know how long this is going to be, as I don't even know what the heck is going on in the story either. Just read it.


     Hello. My name is Steven, and I have a lot of problems. I’m sure you are thinking “Hey buddy, we’ve all got problems,” and you’re right, but I’m willing to bet that my problems are worse than yours. For example, take legs. Now, I have two firmly attached to my body, and we’ll get to those problems later. However, I also have two extra legs now lying in my kitchen, which, as you can guess, is quite a large problem. The biggest problem is that they aren’t attached to anyone, and I’ll be damned if I know just whose they are.
      Now, your commute might be an hour long or perhaps you only have one dismembered, ownerless leg in your home, but I’m willing to bet my problems are worse than yours.
      A second problem I have about legs is that since I was a boy, my knees have creaked and popped like an old barn that is always threatening to tip over. This is a might less problematic than the situation currently residing in my kitchen.
      The third and final problem about legs I have is that I only control one of mine. Now, the other works just fine, but shortly after I discovered my knee-cracking problem I began slowly losing the ability to command just what Ol’ Lefty was up to. No more carefree runs through the park, and eventually standing for too long became an exercise in concentration. There was nothing wrong with the muscles, and in fact, those in my now-totally-uncontrollable left leg are slightly in more shape. I’m almost jealous of his muscle tone.
       All of these problems with several pairs of legs would be enough to reduce a normal man to hysterics, but fate had elected to dump on me like I was some sort of elementary school urinal. The condition that started in my lower extremities had spread to my left arm about four months after I had graduated high school. I had crossed the stage in a wheelchair, to a roar of applause, mostly because I had told everyone I had lost temporary use of my legs from snowboarding into a large rock.
       I live in Arizona and always have. I don’t know why those people believed me. I’m not surprised, however, as I’m far from smart yet still graduated near the top of my class. Not bragging, or anything, just trying to explain a little more background. I’ll move on from this hole I’m digging.
       My entire left side below the neck is now out of my control. Whatever entity does control the limbs is slowly working its way up my body. I don’t say this to scare you. I do not believe that the owner of half of my body is evil or dangerous in any way, and the connection to the devil inherent in calling him “Ol’ Lefty” is an unfortunate consequence of my own lack of imaginative nick-names. This being said, the pair of legs still currently in my kitchen made me have my doubts.
      Now, I’ve been doing things towards fixing this problem while you’ve been reading, don’t you worry. Of course, until about the time I started blabbering on about my high school, my biggest activity consisted of starting at the legs, mouth agape. Thankfully, Lefty reached up and closed my mouth for me. Although he doesn’t control my mouth or my brain, I have gone deaf in one ear, and he has knowledge about the positioning of the body he shares. Also he sees through my eyes without controlling them. I’m sure it’s very frustrating, like watching somebody else play a first person video game.
      “Thanks,” I said quietly. I talk to Lefty. Don’t look at me like that, he’s quite honestly as close to a separate person as you can get.
       He is a male. I asked him. He pointed at my (our?) junk.
       I’ve since quit certain… habits since he arrived. He seems not to like it. Try to put yourself in his position.
       Of course, thanks to my condition, dating has become quite impossible. ‘Hi, I’m Steven. Pleased to meet you. Oh, and this half of my body is Lefty. Say hi. Give a wave.’ That’s not going to work very well. Not to mention the problems in shaking hands.
       I’m sorry, I’m rambling. I hope you understand. This part takes quite a bit of explanation, and frankly, I’m a little out of sorts thanks to those legs in my kitchen. I hate to beat a dead horse, but they were still there, and I had yet to deal with them. I mean, Lefty did shut my mouth and point to the paper towels, and we did walk over there to get them, but that was about it.
       I looked down to decide which part to clean, and to my surprise, there wasn’t anything. No blood, no mess, no anything staining the floors. It surprised Lefty too. The paper towels fell out of his hand.
            “What the heck is going on?” I uttered to a superficially empty house. Lefty didn’t know, and shrugged his shoulder. This is a question I have asked often, and just as often, Lefty doesn’t have an answer. Even if he did know, he can’t talk, and, hilariously, he is right handed, like me. You should see him try to write, it’s awful. Sometimes he leaves me notes when I’m not looking. Funny guy.
       Funny half a body.
       Funny life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kidz in the Hood

     A couple of days ago, I saw two children in the field behind my yard. Now, after calling the police on them for trespassing on what is undoubtedly some development company’s property, I got sad for reasons I couldn’t quite pinpoint. Then it was made clear to me- those children were playing, and they didn’t care who saw. One of the boys had a large (hopefully) plastic rifle, and the other was carrying a small red pistol. They walked in large circles, seeing a different environment and different challenges to be conquered, not to mention entirely new bad guys to be shot in the face.
     These were the afternoons I remember as a kid- playing inside of my imagination. Now, you might say “Mick you ran around your house pretending to be a mutant because X-Men reruns were on after school and you didn’t have friends to go play basketball with!” and you’d probably be right, if a little creepy. I mean, you’d have to have been watching me a decade ago (that’s right. I did this till I was eight) and remember it all up until now. That’s stalking to an obsessive degree. Well, more obsessive than most stalking, I mean.
     Now, this wasn’t any throw-away pretend time like “Look, I’m Wolverine! Time to go kill those Sentinels!” No. I had a complete, over arching narrative with all my characters that spread multiple mediums. Not only did I have my running-around imagination, but it was exported to the G.I. Joes and Star Wars figures that were assigned specific characters. Side note, the G.I. Joes always hated on the Star Wars guys because they had less movable joints (who needs elbows?). Except Boba Fett. The only person who can talk smack to Boba Fett was Snake Eyes, and he’s a mute.
"Duke said capes are for wussys? Contact Dusty,
he's about to take over G.I. Joe."
     But the cast of characters runs down like this; there was Zeus, who could shoot lightening, Morph, who was a shapeshifting, womanizing (to Princess Leia, my least favorite toy ever) traitor, Pyro, the fire worker, which I thought of before the X-Men movies made him a character, and many more.
    These guys had quite a few adventures in the sandbox, basement, and trampoline, but really, I kept it all in my mind. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m kinda proud of all the imagination I managed to keep around from my childhood and direct to more constructive and slightly less depressing outlets. But there were a couple things I couldn’t bring through to young adulthood, and since I’m in a list-making mood, let’s hit ‘em on up.

1. Taking baths
     What? You’re saying I can sit in a tub of warm water for 10 minutes, zone out, and come out clean? That’s the best deal I can think of. Ever. But as everything else when we’re kids, we resist the most delightful things in the world solely because our parents are telling us to do them, and without cars or the power to get our own haircuts, it’s our only way to rebel. Now, tragically, I’m above 6 foot, and my tub at home is approximately 20 inches long. So unless my knees are to remain dryer than your mom’s underparts (BURN), I’ll have to stick to showers.

2. Accepting things at face value
     In movies, bad guys are bad because we’re told they are. The tan army guys are the enemy AND THAT’S THAT. Kids don’t have to worry about motives or realistic portrayals of evil, we just want Buff American to beat the crap out of Vaguely Ethnic Villain and maybe see some explosions. There’s a car flying through the air! Who cares why it’s up there, it just is. Enjoy it. That’s why I’ve always said Michael Bay is the child of Hollywood.
    And even though within thirty seconds of meeting a four year old you want to punch them in the face for why asking “Why?” so much, they’ve already accepted what you’ve said as a fact, and they’re being little dumb pieces of redundancy.

3. The opposite sex is separated
     Man, girls are tough to figure out. If they’re not yelling, they’re crying. After puberty, men are willing to put up with this for boner-related unknown reasons. However, as boys, we look at these behaviors and are like “Pfff screw that, I’ma go play more football with mah bros, holmes.” What, you didn’t talk like a combination frat boy/ early 90’s gangster when you were little? Being a little kid means that you really don’t have to watch what you say around women, or even around your friends. Your friends are your friends either because your parents are friends, or they just live less than a bike ride away. Which brings me to…

4. Bike rides
     I’m not talking “Man-bulge spandex shorts” bike rides. I’m talking no helmets, sidewalk, friend on the pegs behind you bike rides. To a kid, riding a bike doesn’t mean plain transportation, it’s all about freedom. I can ride to school and back, look at me, I’m the big man on elementary-school-campus. Bikes could also be used to create childhood gangs. I was in the Beckett Brawlers or some such.
In a pinch, bikes could even be used to find a dead body.
5. Enjoying, and having a low standard for, profanity
     Now, although I keep this blog relatively cuss-free, it’s admittedly because my mother has the internet and as a college student, I’m deathly afraid of angering her. But in real life, I do swear. I’m quite a big fan of it, even. However, nothing compares to the joy I used to get as a young child when I deemed anything obscene, like some sort of elementary school Potter Stewart. Yeah, that’s right. Supreme Court reference ALL UP IN HURR. My standards for naughty words were almost insultingly low. I once giggled for three straight minutes because I read the words “ticked off” in a book, and thought I was pretty B.A. for saying the word bitch to a 5th grader. To be fair, I was pretty B.A.

6. No sense of responsibility
     Let me just put this out here: the most money I spent as a child was 15 dollars for Pokemon cards. In those booster packs I got a Blastoise, so in my mind it was a brilliant investment. Childhood responsibility consists of eating your vegetables, learning how to spell the word “sphere”, and giggling at the word “vagina”. Heh. Vagina. Since you lacked responsibility, you just automatically assumed because adults were trusted with it, that they knew everything necessary. Now, I still have no idea what a deductible does in terms of insurance, so I’m still quite confident my parents have it together more than I do. But, unfortunately, I know can put a Band-Aid on my own skinned knee and even kiss it, so my mother has lost a little bit of her “magical mystery healer” credibility.
Have we tried curing cancer with these things?
     Once I had a dream that I was playing basketball with Conan O’Brein, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the kid from Home Improvement. That has nothing to do with anything, but I just didn’t know how to end this post.

Yosky Wosky, Peesky Weesky

Mick Dickinson 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Q, T, and A

     Well, it’s summer. College has come and gone quicker than Santa in a low-income neighborhood. I can’t say I’m happy for it to be over (much like kids in said low-income neighborhood) because I’ll be leaving basically 75-90% of the people I now consider my friends behind. Yes, yes, all of you whom I’ve met, give yourself a big pat on the back, you’ve earned it by selecting the same residence hall or classes as I did. But another major reason I’m not quite sure if I’m happy to be home is the fact that now I’m also required to look for a job to support this high maintenance life style I’ve enjoyed over the past couple of years (see Arizona Arnold Palmers, Pancheros). And, depending on how belatedly this post goes up, I still don’t have a job, which raises a couple questions in my mind. So, in the spirit of lazily constructed excuses for a post I was planning to write anyway, here are some questions each man must ask himself.

1. Do I really expect to succeed?
      This is a big one. Over the past 8 months or so, I had started a blog, a whittling project, a novel, the quest to find a girlfriend, and my freshman year of college. Now, although I failed at the one thing I actually saw myself carrying through on, I did indeed finish that chess set and that novel, and as I have written, am now done with freshman year. My blog is also getting more views thanks to Latvians and Russians looking for an obscene amount of pictures of fixie bikes, and, really, aren’t bulk page views all that matter?
Here you go, damn Rooskies.
     I find that not expecting yourself to actually accomplish most goals is quite pleasurable. Now, maybe not on day-to-day self-esteem basis, (which sets a hyphenated words in a row record for the blog) but it certainly does make for a lot more pleasant surprises!
     The question itself reveals a lot about life. One, I doubt myself in my talents and totally disregard all of my flaws, causing me to view ol’ Mick Dickinson as one entirely moderate individual. Two, we never really are any good at figuring out what is going to happen next. When I picked up my first branch and said, “I’m going to make something out of this,” I, in all honesty, expected to shave it into a wooden phallus, giggling all the while. Frankly, I’m still surprised I didn’t. So it is always important to keep this question, and its answer of “If I don’t, there’s a good chance I will”, in your mind at all times.

2. Am I really sober enough to text this person?
    Although I’m rarely on the receiving end of these texts personally, I have been around them often enough to tell you- they’re absolutely hilarious. Yes, you are always sober enough to text. Even if you’re typing gibberish, you’re totally winning him/her over by confessing your innermost thoughts and feelings. Keep it up. No apologies needed.

3. Does this belt go with this shirt?
    Ask yourself that every morning in the mirror. So important.

4. How loud is this fart going to be?
     You know, I started the entry with this question in mind, except I was thinking it more as the one sentence joke I always do at least twice whenever I make a list of this sort. But it honestly got me to realize- farting is at the same time the great equalizer and the utmost social faux pas.
     Nothing is funnier than seeing someone in a position of authority or respect suddenly fart. Microsoft has suggested I change that phrase to “suddenly respect farts” which I now admit, is funnier than what I had previously suggested was the funniest thing ever. But if you saw Obama sitting down with some news anchor, ready to talk about the economy, or what have you, and he let out any sort of fart, especially a squeaker, you can’t honestly tell me you wouldn't instantly buy DVR from your cable company to make sure you will never miss a moment like that again.
     So if we, as a culture, can laugh about these events so freely and without remorse, why is it that if I were to be in a job interview (bringing this topic around full circle) and fart, I would walk out 98% sure I was not getting that job? Does directing old people to the light bulbs or hipsters to a fedora section really require the ability to totally control your sphincter at all… Never mind I pretty much answered my own question.
    Since I refuse to end a topic on a defeat like that, I’m going to direct this to the ladies. Now, ladies, I’m not sure if you all do this, but I’m going to let you in on a secret. The moment you leave the car, the room, or our place of residence, guys immediately fart. We’ve been holding them back out of respect for your femininity, and now that you’re gone, there’s some pressure to be relieved. The pleasure that follows such a built-up fart is much like the pee shivers, in that it is hard to describe the feeling that can accompany a simple body function. NOTE- This only works for new or relatively new couples. Guarantee void in Tennessee.

If you get why included a picture of Paul Anka,
 I love you. You know, biblically.
5. Why am I reading this?
    This is another vital question each modern American must ask themselves. Is it because you enjoy my Simpsons jokes, hastily made lists typed while I should be asleep, often unrelated pictures (not to mention unnecessary asides in parentheses), too-long lists, or occasional short story? Yes. You love all those things.
    But this goes beyond just my awesome website. Every day I say to myself, “I am going to get something done today.” And as I said up in #1, I usually don’t. It’s most often because I decide that a few Stumbles around the web couldn’t hurt, and end up six hours later still reading a website dedicated to awful things awful people say or do, despite the absolute surety I’ll never meet any of these people, and even if I did, I wouldn’t say anything. So instead of procrastinating working on that second story I’ve been meaning to start, I should really begin asking myself “Just how many present tense nouns can I fit into one statement” “Is this actually interesting or am I really just this bored?”
   Saying that, this website IS that interesting. Check out the archives, and why don’t you hop on Twitter for a sec to check me out? It won’t take long, those TPS reports can wait.

He Sleeps 18 Hours But He Always Parties 24,

Mick Dickinson