Life, love, hip hop, humor AND instructions on how to cook a bangin'-ass meal... all in one place. I put the words here, make what you want of them.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

1,450 Days

Monday, January 30, 2017

1,451 Days

Thursday, January 26, 2017

1,455 Days

True Story© A Weekend In Guantanamo

True Story©  

                The date was March 20, 2003…

If you’re keeping proper score, you know I this date as the first day of of the fraudulent war in Iraq.  If you know me, you also know I was in school for aviation maintenance at the time as well.  The whole of the 18 months between 9/11 and this date, we had been watching the news in class breaks, as the “airplanes” side of this situation led to a special bit of attention from us.  Also of note is the fact that the aviation campus was on the northwest end of the air strip, so we were often greeted with additional security, especially during the TWO times president Bush came to Greensboro while I was there.

                Anyway…  Me being the asshole I am, decided that I would make a spectacle of the day that began the war with the help of Outkast and their song Bombs Over Baghdad.  From the minute the first strikes took place clear on through the rest of the day – class breaks, lunch, home to walk the dog, on the way to work, home from work – that was the ONLY song blasting from my car on this warmish day.  People in gas stations thought it was funny after asking me about it and getting my explanation.

You know who DIDN’T find that shit funny though?  The feds doing a routine walk-through of the airport who gave me the stink eye when I pulled up for class the following morning, still being an asshole.  I turned it down a little, but kept playing it.  They kept making ill faces in my general direction.  I came out on break from class, we threw my football on the lawn and they were STILL staring me down.  Lunch, same thing.  On the way BACK from lunch, I changed to The Gap Band.  Surely some old-school funk music would be benign enough for them to leave me the fuck alone, no?
Album: Gap Band IV
Track Number 6: You Dropped a Bomb On Me

Seated in my car, minding my business, eating a giant chicken sandwich from Carter Brothers…
“Sir, could you turn that music down?” is apparently what was said, but I didn’t hear him.
At this point, I wish I had, because all of a sudden when I took the keys out to go in and pee before headed back to my physics class, there were 5 black Suburbans and 17 agents around me, all with guns drawn and pointed at me.
I peed in my pants, because I was pretty sure I was about to become a hashtag about 4 years and 4 months before a “hashtag” would become an actual thing.

                They say that when you reach a certain level of terror, you completely black out and have no real recollection of your surroundings, especially when both fight AND flight are futile as responses.  With that in mind, I came to my senses in the back of one of those blacked-out Suburbans, handcuffed and shackled with 4 agents standing over and staring at me.

                “He’s awake,” the one closest to my left says.
                “well see what he knows,” comes from the driver’s seat.

I look and realize that we aren’t DRIVING anywhere, but are in the back of a fucking airplane.  I accurately imagined it at the time to be.  So I asked…

“where are y’all taking me?  I have to work at 2:30”
“we’ll be asking the questions here.  We got some complaints about someone obsessed with bombs in the vicinity of the airport this week and here we find you needling us.”
“look, you made your bed asshole, now you have to lay in it”
“I’m not your dude…  Now just be good and tell us what we need to know and this will be comfortable for all of us”
“Wait…  Bombs?  I think y’all are a bit mistaken, here.”
“We’re the federal fucking government, we’re NEVER mistaken.”
“Funny…  What was the cause of the war that started yesterday?”

And like that, I was silenced and left to only yes/no answers.  I tried to rebel and not nod or anything, but it was just then that the plane descended to our destination, Guantanamo Bay Cuba.

                I don’t care what Obama tells you about Cuba now and its location in the Caribbean, this place is HELL!!!
Three days, these motherfuckers beat on me, shocked me, put me through interectogestion, waterboarded me and at least three other enhanced interrogation techniques that they apparently learned watching South Park.  My answer never changed, I listened to Bombs Over Baghdad because I thought it was funny and HAPPENED upon that Gap Band song.  I saw them in the morning and was just as scared of finding myself in a shitty situation due to being black in America as they were bothered by my perceived teasing of them.
Finally, the big man in charge comes in and looks at me, looks at them and…

            “the fuck did y’all DO to him”
“he won’t break, sir”
“Of course he won’t break, he hasn’t done anything”
“but sir…”
“you can’t beat information out of someone when said information does not exist, dumbass”
“has ANYONE checked his background file?”
“but sir--…”
*looks down and away* “… no sir”
“This man is a great many things, but not a terrorist.”
“Sir, the music…  The beard--…”
“You’re done speaking, but I wasn't.  Shut up.”
“This man is an asshole, true indeed.  He might even be an alcoholic, we have him on surveillance cameras buying the same two beers every night for years.  He is, however, an American with no criminal record or even suspected involvement in even any MINOR disturbances.  Take this man home, contact his employer and OWN this mistake, you dumb fuck.”

Back in the Suburban, this time without the shackles and cuffs.

                “Is anyone going to feed me through my mouth and not my asshole today?”
                “shut the fuck up, Evans…  we’ll feed you when we feel like it”

Back onto the C130, a couple of hours later, we were at Piedmont Triad again, my car still (or perhaps back) in the GTCC Aviation parking lot.

                “Hey, Agent…  um, what was your name again?”
                “Agent fuck you, pal”
                “Aight, agent fuck you pal.  Do I get to discuss this with my lawyer?”
                “Discuss what?  Nothing happened here”
                “Oh, but something absolutely did--…  shit…  I will just get in that blue car over there and try to explain this off to my family.  No one’s gonn--…”
                “No one’s gonna believe you, that’s right.  Here’s 8 bucks, go get you some lunch.”

And with that, I was out of the Suburban and walking toward my car with a story that I am still convinced now almost 14 years later that none of you would actually believe.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

True Story©... I am going to open a luxury vape lounge!

True Story©…  A Luxury Vaping Lounge

                One of these days I will come up with one of these schemes and make enough money to not have to work with people who actually hate my guts and talk behind my back.
There are a great many things I happen to dislike intensely, one of them is the smell of smoke and the fervor for the acquisition of such in those who consume it.  It is not enough that smoke is one of my worst asthma triggers as it is, but the smell of stale smoke in the car or house of someone who smokes often in closed areas.
Never mind that, there is a worse version of smoker, even with the smell abated a bit.

I call them “vape douches” or “vape bros.”

                One of my theories is that the LAST thing I want to have to do to someone is to EVER have to pay them, even worse to pay them on my own volition.  Something about having to contribute to something I DETEST irks me to my very soul, not terribly dissimilar to my tax dollars having to contribute to housing and feeding the Trump family for the next 4 years.
With that in mind, though, I have an idea.  That idea is to (legally) TAKE money from these fucking douche missiles.
That idea?  A luxury vaping lounge!

                Stick with me, here.  One thing I have noticed about these assholes is that they will spend a fuck ton of money on a vaping pen/box setup – I’m taking a couple hundred bucks for supplies and modifications – then (ironically) spend about as much on supplies and flavoring agents as they would have on a pack of cigarettes every day.  Somehow, they justify this as their path to “quitting smoking cigs,” but they blow through just as much money in the process.  En route, though, they treat their new hobby as a status symbol…  I live in Tobacco Country, as in the east side of my city literally smells of it, but there are areas of the city where there are actually SIX vapor lounge/supply places within 5-1500 feet of one another.
That said, it is no huge reach to see someone hop out of a lifted truck who says “bro” a lot who will inevitably query you “do you vape, bro?” and try to convince you that it is NOTHING like smoking when you respond “nah, I don’t smoke.”

                But I am after the “status symbol” aspect of this and will use this as my means of coining these motherfuckers.  With an inundation of vape lounges already, I need to make someone think they’re actually GETTING something for their premium on pricing.  See, in the others, it seems that you just walk in and buy some supplies and are then free to have a seat and suck on your robot dildo--…  err, vape pen.

                1 - $10 cover charge…  A placard at the door will justify this with the explanation that it is to “only attract real vapers, bro”
$100 buys you a month membership with daily access.
2 – Members in lifted trucks can get a 20% discount on daily admission or 25% off of monthly.
3 – Once inside, nothing is free and we do not allow outside supplies.  You can bring your own devices, but not flavors and other stuff from outside.
4 – Once-weekly vape parties, with EDM music and lightshows and shit.
5 – VIP seating section where you and your friends can sit back and vape in absolute style while others look on.

I can’t imagine how this will MISS!
I create an air of superiority in a community that already has one that it has not yet earned, create a system under which people who already can’t stand to be around them hate them even more and most importantly, I get to take money from them to do it!  All my bases are covered, I can close myself in an office in the corner of the building and not actually interact with these fuckboys and I keep a couple of large people on security detail to quell the inevitable fight that will happen when douchebags are trying to impress each other for the attention of women they have not noticed are nowhere around anyway.  All in the name of something that is inexplicably WILDLY popular for no good reason other than successful marketing to people too dumb to realize it is no better or safer than what it replaces.  Nurture an unearned elitism in the existing space in the market and I should be basically PRINTING money, right?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Special Coverage... True Story©: The Process

True Story©, The process…

                I have been asked – well, once – just where in the hell I come up with my story-a-week presentation.

It is REALLY quite funny, actually.
Well first thing's first, it was never actually supposed to become a "thing," so much as me being silly in a FB post back in September, which grew to "Phlip, you should do this every week!" which grew to "Phlip you need a blog," which became "wait, I have a blog!"  and voila, I was out of retirement.
Now that we have established how this became a thing, back to business...
I generally go about my every day just looking at the world as only I can see it and wait for SOMETHING that happens that I can wrap a story around.  Then it becomes a multi-part process.

1 – Wait for something interesting, funny, bombastic or otherwise outstanding to happen.  It doesn’t even have to happen to ME, it just has to happen for me to see or hear.  This is where being a people watcher comes in handy.  I don't need to know someone's story, I don't even really care since I am about to make some shit up for my own amusement.

2 – Relate said item to something I HAVE done, seen, said or experienced.  This is the important part, since it is a requirement to lend plausibility to the story, the best stories are the ones where it is pretty hard to tell where I stop talking about what happened and start bullshitting.

3 (this should probably be 2a) – Remembering the item that actually did take place and thinking “damn, what would I have done or said if I knew then what I know now to make that funny?”

4 – ^^^ ADD THAT ELEMENT!!!  This is where I am allowed to live vicariously through my imagination.  I can have sex with who I want, I can commit whatever crime I want, I have only the passive agreement to be bound by what I am able to think at the time I sit down at the keyboard.

…  now this is where it gets interesting.  Everything above took place before I am seated at a computer.  If anything to this point, I MIGHT have pulled my phone and drafted an email with a blurb to remind me to work on it when I am sitting down, but not a word has been typed yet.

5 – I will spend a period of time of 2 to 6 hours directly daydreaming the story and how I will set up, develop and resolve it within 1500 words.  This time frame is the time between my morning shower and my lunch break.  The most intense development is on lunch, normally in the last 20 minutes of such.  If I spend more than an hour typing then I have probably overcooked the stew and scrap it.

6 – I hate, hate, HATE to not be able to go from start to finish on a story in one sitting.  At/near the end of my lunch break (sometimes on the day before a post is to be up), I sit down and rain man the post.  No notes, no plans, no blueprint.  I just start typing.  I introduce the story with a concept and then dig right into the telling of the story.  Not a one to this point have I approached with a fully developed plan, not even the two that were actually (mostly) all the way true.

7 – I post a paragraph or two of the post to my FB wall, enough to get my friends interested enough to click the link and come to the blog and read the rest of the story.  Then they hate me for feeling a little dirty for laughing at my immature humor and share with their friends to not be alone in that feeling.  Then we do it all again the following Thursday morning between 7:30 and 8:12am.

With all that said, know that anything you say, do, post or even think could find its way into one of my humorous stories.

True Story© Love at First Sight

True Story©…

                Do y’all believe in love at first sight?
I used to.
Like with about any situation one finds themselves soured on, my story begins with me in an unhealthy set of circumstances that didn’t end pretty and birthed a lack of trust in the process that would happen to endure through to the remainder of my adulthood.
I might be so inclined to be angry at what happened, but I am largely to blame for it and I learned a lesson from it, so there is not a lot for me to be angered about…  I’m alive to tell the story, so at least there’s that.
Enough of the setup, let’s talk about what happened…

Back when I first got home from Vietnam, before I found myself in Guantanamo later in life, I happened to see this young lady waiting for the GTA one day on my way to work.
Wait, I have something else to explain…  The way my situation at the time was, I had a license but not a car yet so I caught the bus to work and either got a ride or a car dropped off to me to get home from work.  So I am on the bus stop and I see the girl drive by me, pretty face and all.  She looks at me and smiles, so I wave and smile back to have her smile harder.  That evening, my brother brought the car to the mall, gave me the key and went on about his merry way for the evening.  I stopped at the store just a half-block from the bus stop (three blocks itself from the house) and guess who I saw?  That’s right, the same girl from the morning.  She had a nice pretty caramel complexion, dark brown hair and couldn’t have been a millimeter taller than 5’3”.  I tried to speak, but I was dumbstruck.  I couldn’t muster more than a “hi” and a goofy-fuck smile.  She flashed the same brilliant smile from the morning and returned my “hi.”  I bought my beer from the clerk who never bothered to confirm that I was only 19, got in the car and went home.

This SAME dance repeated itself for THREE WEEKS until I noticed one off day her car parked in front of some apartments two more blocks past the store…  Nothing to this fact other than now I know where she lives.  Never asked her name or age, approached to know if she has a dude and I should back off, if she even likes men or anything else really to gauge whether or not I even had a chance with this girl.
… and THAT was the problem…  I needed not perform ANY of these check-downs before arriving at the station I had arrived to at that point.  She saw me riding the city bus in the mornings and driving home in the evenings, smiled and spoke at me regularly and was not (outwardly) mean to me in any way.  She was beautiful, apparently gainfully employed to be leaving about the same times daily and had a place of her own (so it seemed).  She was everything my underexperienced brain could have WANTED at the moment.  I was MADLY in love.

Still not ACTUALLY speaking to her, I started driving past her apartment to happen to catch her eye as she might be coming or going.  This was mostly ineffective as I didn’t know her to even know her name, let alone have an inkling of what her schedule might be like.  If I saw her, I waved and smiled and she would return the same.  Totally innocent on the outside, sure…  In my head, however, this solidified our situation and justified my having been MADLY in love with her ever since that first time she saw me standing on that bus stop on Julian street.

A short while later, I got a little car and I was no longer on that bus stop five times a week, just a couple times a month when that piece of shit car broke and I had to get to work while it was in the shop…  I still saw her in the evenings at the store, still never had a conversation with her or even gleaned her name.  I mean, I TRIED to script what I would say when I see her in the evenings but when the rehearsal was over and it was time for the show, shyness shit on me every time.
Then my stupid luck comes in…
Mid 1999 (around my birthday or so?), I first hatched my plans to grow my dreadlocks, I swore off haircuts and the beard I am now basically known finished filling in.  In that in-between period, I went to this lady named Pamela in a salon to do my cornrows and she would come up with a different design every Tuesday morning.  I would then walk to my barber Deon and she would trim my beard to match the design.
[Phlip note: looking back on this at 37, this was some SILLY shit that was apparently cool when I was 19/20]
One Wednesday after work, I am in the store with my customary two 22s in hand, she is there buying a Mountain Dew.  She looks at my hair and beard, grins slowly and says “I like that,” we finish our purchases and go outside to talk.  Ten minutes pass and ALL I have allowed myself to be steered into conversation about were the two ladies responsible for my hair, STILL only learning that this woman I have been in some kind of relationship with for like 8 months now is named Tiffany.  Still no details, no phone number, NOTHING.  I had choked again.  Knowing I would see her again soon, I let it be and went home.

That weekend, me and the team are planning to go out after the last of us (me) got off of work and I skipped the store to rush home to shower and change.  I grab two of the homies on the way to meet everyone else.  We hit a couple of our favorite spots and have the normal blast we always do and then called it a night about 1:30ish.  I drop my friends off and think “well shit, it is only 1:50, I can still grab a beer while I am on the way home.
I pull to the store and see Tiffany’s car…  With a dude in the front seat...
“what in the actual fuck is this and who is this nigroe in my woman’s car?” is the first thought to my mind and before I can properly process and dismiss my NEXT thought, I am out of my driver’s seat and dragging this man from the seat and beating on him with one of the squeegees they leave between the gas pumps.  Naturally, there is dirty-ass window cleaner water all over the place.  I don’t know if someone called the cops or if it was my lucky day, but I got to spend the night on Sycamore Street for the assault charge.

Needless to say, my “girlfriend” started to dodge me, I stopped seeing her at the store after work most days.  If I was passing by her apartment (for now-valid reasons), she would look the other way.  In court, I would learn that it was her older brother I had beaten up who had stopped to visit with her on his way home from reserve duty.  Thank God he was a good enough person to leave me to my own stupidity and didn’t press charges and I was only required to pay a small fine.

So yeah…  My experience with love at first sight is another in the long line of unhealthy things that have manifest themselves into my life that I live my day-to-day forcing out.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

True Story©... Sometimes the World Must Suffer

True Story©…

Sometimes it is solely my decision that the world needs to suffer.

                I’m sure a great many of the two of you are inclined to want to ask “how, Phillip?” and I am here to tell you just how in somewhere between 4 and 700 words.
As my woman continues to try to starve me to health I get a full slate of things like green vegetables, various forms of yogurt and very little in the way of junk food these days.  With that said, I am regular as they come and quite often gassy.  I try to be mindful of small spaces that I will have to stay in without ventilation, but anywhere else is up to the limits of my imagination and mood as it relates to public safety.

                One time in Wal Mart with Mimi, I went to the bathroom to pee and there were these four kids waiting on their mother at Online Pickup.  Anyone who walked by them, they made a fart noise and giggled.  Well, when I came back out of the bathroom, I had saved a silent-but-deadly to slowly leave with them as I walked back to the grocery section.  I couldn’t hang out for their response to it, but I imagine it smelled like death.

                One time in Costco with my mom, she was taking a long time and a friend of mine and I were getting restless and silly (which tends to happen when we have to stick to something more than a couple of minutes.
“Hey mama, wanna hear something funny?”
*loud fart*
I swear I heard someone three aisles over heard it and chuckled.  Mom, on the other hand, turned beet red even though it was only me her and John on the aisle we were on.

                When mom was in the hospital summer before last, I got on the elevator on the first floor, didn’t press any buttons, farted and got off and took the stairs up.  Unfortunately this left me unable to wait and witness the aftermath, but this was right in the middle of my birthday celebration month, so I KNOW it had to have been heinous.  I think they roped that end of Wake Forest Baptist off for a week.

                One time I was trying to park at Wal Mart, this woman in a beat-to-shit minivan stole my space despite my signal being on.  Rather than road rage and curse her out on the spot, I found another space and went on into the store.  I proceeded to wait for her to be in an aisle that I would need to be on, got about 10 feet ahead of her and left her a rancid bouquet.  I then looked RIGHT at her and dared her to say something.

                One time in Toys R Us, there was this little boy who couldn’t have been older than three, had on a pullup and was GOING OFF in the store, just screaming away.  Apparently he had not gotten what he wanted from his mother and was not having that.  I positioned myself at the end of the aisle they were coming down and fiddled with a couple of things on a shelf to give me time to squeeze out an SBD and moved to where I could hear the aftermath.  When she arrived to the spot, she SWORE her son had shit his pants and anyone within AT LEAST 50 feet had to have heard her anger to tell the story about it.  I wish I could have hung around after she took him to the bathroom and DIDN’T find anything and eventually then made eye contact with me again, but I left.

I think y’all get it by now.
Revenge situations, annoying teenagers, crowded dancefloors, bad-ass kids, fits of boredom…  ALL of these can be rectified with the application of a little flatulence.  When around equally immature people, it becomes an unspoken competition on who can do it louder than anyone else.  Hell, at that point it is more of a “jumping” to the intended victim when you can get another person or two in on it.

                But why…  Why do I do this?
Hell, I don’t know.  I guess some people just want to see the world burn.

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