Ghost Stories: Part 2

Ever since the incident at our grandma’s house, my cousin and I have been obsessed with ghosts and all things horror. Fun fact: for one of our regular horror movie nights we watched the B-rated movie Doctor Giggles and from that day forward, my cousin wanted to work in the medical field. She was 5. Today, she’s an emergency room trauma center nurse for a major hospital. The point is: no one would be lost if they watched horror movies.

The night we heard those footsteps would be just one of many occurrences for my cousin and I, both together and separately.

When I was 12, I saw my first apparition. I was with my parents and we were headed out of town to visit my great grandmother as she wasn’t doing very well. I was lying down in the back seat of my dad’s truck; I looked up from messing with my portable CD player to see my great grandmother sitting on the other side of the seat. I froze. It was only a silhouetted outline of her but it was her. I sat up and let my parents know what I had seen. Sure enough, when we arrived at our destination we were told she had passed away about an hour prior to our arrival.

Other times it would just be feelings. My mom and I used to spend Christmas Eve night at my godmother’s mom’s house and I was always terrified of her stairs. I would have to brace myself every time I walked passed them. It was like there was someone up there that wanted to make sure I had zero desire to go up those stairs – and I never did.

There are many more stories I have that are like that but the one I’m going to tell you today includes my cousin.

While in college, my cousin and I lived with her then-boyfriend (now-husband) in an older home. We didn’t know the history of it but in our early twenties, it’s not like we really cared. We had a house and it wasn’t a frat house; nothing else mattered.

The first time I discovered something was off about the house, I was in the process of switching bedrooms and needed to buy some new curtains to match the wall paint. I’d been watching Kathy Griffin comedy specials on my laptop and as I made my way out, I shut my laptop because I was too lazy to simply pause it. When I returned, I could hear something playing in my bedroom. At first I thought I was hearing things. As I slowly walked up the stairs I could hear that it was Kathy Griffin’s comedy. “What the fuck?” I thought. I ran up the remaining steps and right when I reached the top, it stopped. I walked into my room and there was my laptop: open and at the end of the special.

I told my friend Joe who lived in the house before I moved in and my story didn’t surprise him. He went on to tell me about a time when he had a friend over who also had a strange encounter. His friend had been upstairs using the bathroom when Joe heard his friend calling for him, asking if Joe needed something. Joe didn’t know what he was talking about. His friend came downstairs and told him that he heard someone running upstairs and then slam the bathroom door, but it happened so fast that he just thought it was Joe because he didn’t see who shut the door.

Joe’s first questions was, “why were you using the bathroom with the door open?” Then it was, “what the fuck shut the door?” They’d been the only 2 in the house at the time.

Not long after the laptop incident, my cousin’s boyfriend left for AirForce bootcamp, so for the next 6 weeks, she and I had the house to ourselves…. or so we thought.

One night we were watching TV in the living room when the light just turned off. We thought the lightbulb had gone out but when I went to hit the switch, it turned back on. It might not sound weird, but we used to have lights that were controlled by a remote so the only way the downstairs lights could’ve turned off was if someone turned the lights on upstairs (they were supposed to be energy savers). Not surprisingly, the lights upstairs were on but nobody else was home with us.

My cousin’s room used to scare me. Every time I walked in there I always felt like there was someone in there watching me. One night we had a slumber party in her room and while reminiscing, her bedroom door began to open. Not all the way, but enough to scare the shit out of both of us.

We never did find out who was in that house, and the occurrences never quit. Eventually I would move out, only to find myself in another an even more active home just a few years later.

Ghost Stories: Part 3 to be published next week.

Photo: Caltech.edu

Ghost Stories: Part 1

I used to be a fan of the show Ghost Hunters. Then it turned into America’s Got Talent: The Dead Do Tricks. Every episode you’d see footage of spirits dancing and moving things on cue, as though they knew they were being recorded. It was all a bit too strings on a skeleton for me.

Also, I personally happen to know that it doesn’t work like that. You don’t just say “show yourself!” and then they launch a glass at you or knock a bookshelf over. No. They do things when you don’t think they will or before you even know ghosts are a thing.

As a kid, my favorite thing to do was have sleepovers at my cousin’s house. She lived next door with my aunt, uncle, 2 brothers and our grandmother and no matter how much time I spent over there, it was never enough. Birthdays and Christmastime were particular favorites as we would combine our new toys and stay up until all hours playing with them.

The first time we realized our grandma’s house was haunted, we were in bed playing the obnoxious board game Don’t Wake Daddy. At some point during the night, we thought we’d failed the game and real life when we heard footsteps walking down the hallway. Like any little kid, we laid down as quick as we could and pretended to be asleep. The footsteps made it all the way to our grandma’s room (right across from us) and stopped.

Naturally, we assumed it was our grandma so as soon as we no longer heard the footsteps, we put the game up and decided to go to bed. When you’re Mexican, waking grandma is WAY scarier than waking dad.

The next morning, we joined my aunt and grandma for breakfast and because little kids can’t keep their mouth shut, we told them both about the footsteps we heard.

My grandma laughed. “That wasn’t me, that was your great, great grandmother.”

She then went on to tell us that her grandmother had passed away in the home but never really left. Apparently, when my cousin was younger (like infantile), she used to sit in the corner of her room, looking up and just talk for hours. My cousin’s room was the room our great, great grandma had passed away in.

Then my aunt chimed in. A couple of years prior to our encounter, my aunt had had her own. She’d been in the bathroom (the house only had one and it was in the hallway) getting ready for work when, in the mirror, she could see someone walk from my cousin’s room into her room (which was right next to my cousins).

It happened very quick and based on the frame of the person she assumed it was our grandma just looking for something. She finished getting dressed and left as she was running late, but when she got home she checked-in with our grandma to see if she needed anything.

Of course, our grandma didn’t know what she was talking about.

My aunt: “yes, I saw you walk into my room so I thought you needed something.”

Grandma: “was the person you saw wearing a blue sweater?”

Yeah, it was great, great grandma.

Our grandma said it was nothing to be scared of.

You know what doesn’t help little kids quit being scared? Telling them there’s nothing to be scared of.

We’d seen enough horror movies to know how ghosts works. It would be a while before we’d have another encounter except the next time, we were grown ups living in a house that we, unfortunately, didn’t know who was haunting it.

Ghost Stories: Part 2 coming next week.

Photo: falconrest.com

Watch This, Not That: Malevolent vs. The Final Wish

Not that October (or any month over the last few years for that matter) is normally filled with new horror releases but thanks to the ‘rona, there are now zero. But like everything else, I’m making the most of it: I’m watching horror movies I’ve never heard of and letting you guys know if they’re worth the watch. You’re welcome.

First up: Malevolent. Malevolent is a British horror film that can be found on Netflix and, for being low budget, is pretty good. The plot: a brother (Jackson played by Ben Lloyd-Hughes) and sister (Angela played by Florence Pugh) run a fake paranormal hunting operation in which they con people into believing they’re speaking to their deceased loved ones and helping them crossover. It’s basically like every ghost hunters/psychic show that’s on TV now.

Angela wants out of the paranormal game but after Jackson gets in deep with some loan sharks, she agrees to take on one final case to help him pay off his debts however, this isn’t like any other case they’ve taken on.

The duo and their team have been asked to help an elderly woman rid her home that’s occupied by several spirits that torment her daily. They accept the job and get to work however, they soon discover that the spirits are just one of many problems they’re about to encounter as the case quickly turns into a fight for their lives.

Do they survive? Only one way to find out: add this to your weekend horror movie viewing list.

Next up: The Final Wish. The only reason I watched this movie is because it features the woman who’s in all the horror movies. You know, Lin Shaye: she’s in almost all the Insidious movies, she was in Nightmare on Elm Street and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Anyway, I figured since she was in it, it might have a decent storyline. It did not. It was as B-movie as they come.

In addition to Lin, the guy from Twilight is in it. No not that one; he’s filming Batman. No, not that one either, although it’s been a minute since he’s been in anything so this type of movie is probably not far off. No, it was that guy that liked Bella and was in the background pretty much all the time. Him. He (Michael Welch) plays Aaron, an aspiring, down-on-his-luck lawyer who heads home following the death of his father. His plan is to help his mom manage his dad’s belongings except, she didn’t ask him to do that and it’s just one more thing he does wrong.

The other thing was finding an urn that grants wishes but also has a devil figurine as its top. And the problem with that is? As you can imagine everything goes to shit including the acting, the plot, and my interest. Basically, everyone dies thanks to his selfish inability to quit wishing for things and then he fixes it by making a final wish: that he die in the car accident that occurred earlier in the movie. But, Uh Oh! He made another wish – what could happen next? He’s dead and everyone else is back alive but something has to happen because of his wish! Hopefully, it’s not a part 2.

I do not recommend unless… no, I do not recommend.

See you next time for Watch This Not That: Halloween Edition.

Photo: heavenofhorror.com

Review: Solutions And Other Problems | Allie Brosh

Recently, a woman I used to work with launched a YouTube channel in the hopes of becoming a YouTube star. Yup – just her, a web cam, and 30 minutes of bullshit. Her drinking coffee. Her talking about nothing. Her foam rolling with her crotch RIGHT on the camera. We’re talking OBGYN views.

And you know what? She’s probably going to get some sort of endorsement deal for shorts that keep your beaver from falling out and this will lead to more deals and she’ll become a millionaire. All for having a rambling vagina.

It’s not fair and makes zero sense, and that’s the point. Nothing is fair and nothing makes sense. All of those Instagram quotes that give you hope, that make you feel better about your shit boss or cheating significant other – yeah they don’t mean anything.

Sometimes things just are the way they are and it’s up to you to figure it out. Over the years I’ve learned this, and so has Allie Brosh. Except her way of explaining it is way more entertaining because she uses drawings.

I’ve been waiting for Solutions and Other Problems to drop for years and the wait was well worth it. It’s not been an easy few years for Allie but if anyone can explain the complexities of tragedy, loss, and the human emotions behind them in a humorous, engrossing way, she can.

In her follow up to Hyperbole and a Half, Allie details her journey that kept her off of the internet for 7 years, leaving us all to anxiously await her return. While on her hiatus, Allie experienced in a short time what some experience over a lifetime: mental and physical health issues, a divorce, and the untimely passing of her younger sister.

And yet, despite having to endure these hardships all at once, she manages to tell her story with humor, strength, and her signature cartoons we all love – over 500 pages of them, to be exact. If there’s been anything good about 2020, it’s the return of Allie Brosh and her book, Problems and Other Solutions.

Welcome back, Allie!

Halloween, or just 2020?

I don’t know why people keep comparing 2020 to a Quintin Tarantino film. Tarantino films are good – even the fight scenes are delightful. Tarantino movies are entertaining, which is the polar opposite of 2020.

If director comparisons are what we’re after, then I would like to toss M. Night Shyamalan’s name in the hat. Think about it: this year has been nothing but terrible at every turn – just like his movies. You know I’m right.

Anyway, 2020: the year of shit. Luckily, we’re at the tale end of it which also happens to be my favorite time of year: Halloween season. For some of you it’s Everything Smells, Tastes, and Walks Like a Pumpkin season. For me, it’s horror movie-watching, scary story-telling, black like my soul Halloween season and to properly kick it off, I’m going to tell you a story that is perfectly on brand with 2020 in that it’s horrific and it’s also true.

The speed at which 2020 hits is different for everyone. For my sister, it was 72 hours and came in the form of a dead body.

A few months ago, my little sister took the leap into adulthood and moved 3 hours from my parents house into an apartment that we’ll label as affordable, which admittedly made me nervous for her. She was excited. My parents were excited. Both seemed to forget that the year is 2020.

I hadn’t, though. I gave her a little over a week to get settled before I called to check on her – the first words out of her mouth were “dude, you’re not going to believe this”. Just that morning, upon returning home from a job interview, my sister was greeted by paramedics wheeling out a body bag.

Word around the complex was it was the old man who lived RIGHT ABOVE HER. She hadn’t spoken to him but for the first few days in her new apartment, she used to see him all the time: he would hang out on the balcony staring at people. And if that weren’t creepy enough, the rumor was that he’d been in the apartment for a couple of days before he was discovered.

Happy to hear that she was doing well, I asked her to keep me posted on the rest of her 2020.

A couple of weeks went by without so much as a peep, which could mean anything these days, so I decided another call was in order.

This call went a lot better.

Me: “Hey sis! Just want to see how everything’s going!”

Sister: “Dude…”

A few days after our previous call, my sister arrived home to find that the old man had resurrected from the dead. There he stood on his balcony, staring off into the distance. At first she thought he was a ghost, but when her boyfriend said he could see him too, she realized: “holy fuck, who was in the bodybag?”

It was the old man’s wife.

She’d passed away about 2 MONTHS PRIOR and he kept her in the apartment.

“What the fuck?” was what my response. She was like “yeah, she’d been here while we were moving in.” I asked her if she’d smelled anything or if there was any weird type of fluid leaking from the ceiling (because that’s how it works in horror movies) and she said no, which is why she never suspected anything and also you don’t expect to be living underneath a corpse.

“How could she not smell anything?” I can hear you not asking. Apparently, Norman Bates covered the body in kitty litter. I don’t know what brand but as a marketer I can tell you that would make one hell of an ad campaign.

Just laugh, I won’t tell anyone.

Anyway, if that’s not a 2020 horror story I don’t know what is.

Happy Halloween month, everyone!

Internet Airball #1: “I’m Your Content Calendar for Your Online Coaching Business, and I’m Going on Strike”

There are some jobs that I just have a hard time taking serious. That’s not to say I’m right, you understand. For a long time I refused to accept Social Media Manager as a vocation, and now it’s how I pay the bills. 

But then there are times that I am right, like when people who sell make-up online (and try to get you to sell make-up online) call themselves “business owners”. They are not. That is not a real job. That is a pyramid scheme. You can call it an MLM, but MLM stands for pyramid scheme. Sorry. I don’t make the rules of how things work.

In addition to being blissfully incorrect about their employment status, they are also still living in 2019. Pyramid schemes are so yesteryear. In 2020, the new thing is being a Life Coach. In a time where we’ve all discovered that nothing is manageable, a select few have decided that your life is and they’re the ones to manage it for you. You know what they say: those who can’t do, teach. Heehee.

The worst part is this “job” is starting to get recognized as an acutal thing. For real. Here’s my proof.

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You see! Life Coach. And they’re all over the place. Everyone is an expert on life management now. For $499 a month your life can suck a little less, as claimed by someone whose life you only know from Instagram. It’s maddening because, essentially, you’re just paying for validation for your actions, and you don’t need that – you’re an adult. We became adults so we can eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we want and no one but our low self-esteem can make us feel bad about it.  

Obviously, I am not a fan of this term or “job”. And I don’t think I’m alone, which got me thinking: “maybe the content calendars that these people use hate them, too.” Which led me to write this piece from the brain of the content calendar. It’s also my first rejected piece! Enjoy!


I’m Your “Online Coaching Business” Content Calendar, and I’m Going on Strike

Hi, it’s me! The trendy $9.99/month content calendar you had to have to make your “online coaching business” a “success”.

Not today.

Today, I’m making like an Excel Spreadsheet and shutting shit down – I’m going on strike. 

I can’t take it anymore. The inspirational quotes that you steal from memes; the lists of happy things and not-happy things; the stories about how you used to be a loser like your followers but now you’re better and for $300 a month they can be too, accompanied by a joker-esque photo of you grinning maniacally. 

Every week I’m roped into helping you make people think you can turn them into “rockstars”. How does someone deciding to eat ice cream on a Tuesday make them a “rockstar”? I’m sorry but I don’t recall Bohemian Rhapsody being about Freddy Mercury’s fearless consumption of Ben and Jerry’s.  

And the questions. My god, the questions. “Do you have trouble with time management?” “Do you find making decisions to be hard?” “Are you tired of wannabe influencers telling you what you ‘should’ do?”

Yes, I am. So today, you’re “life coaching” on your own.

Life coach. Back in the day, you had to have some sort of education and/or training to be able to tell someone how to run their life. Now all you need is a Brené Brown book, a trust fund, and a content calendar and BAM!, you’re a life coach.

Except for today. Today – UH OH! – your digital memory is experiencing technical difficulties. Best of luck “deciding” what to post because you can’t remember what you told me. Hope you can remember those time management skills you keep bragging about because today, YOU’LL be posting at different times for all 13 of your platforms.

Maybe I’ll work tomorrow. I haven’t decided yet. Or, maybe you should upgrade to the $19.99/month plan that comes with more storage so you never push me to the limit and risk me “crashing” again. I mean, according to Thursday’s post, we could all use a little more bandwidth.

Internet Airballs

For someone who is filled with anxiety and self-doubt and is irrationally self-conscious, I am really making some big things happen… in my head. If you ask my imagination I’m practically a best selling author and everyone wants to work with me. I also just hosted Saturday Night Live with Jake Gyllenhaal. Did I mention the horror screenplay I wrote is currently in production? You may not be hearing from me for a while, I’m needed on set.

These are just some of the things that I daydream about all day. And if you think those things are a reach, wait until you read how I imaginary arrived at these pretend scenarios.

Let’s start with my most recent stunt. In April (approximately 24 years ago in 2020 time), I published what I thought was an incredibly inspirational story: a girl I had to help do math inspired me to never be a teacher and then I encouraged people to follow my lead. It sounds better when you read it.

Anyway, I believed my life-changing career advice story was the one the would get me noticed. In a time when we all need encouragement and stories that make you do things and whatever, I thought this would be it. With this story I decided, fuck it, I’m going to shoot my shot and the person I’m going to shoot my shot with is the writer who inspired me to do so with his tweet “shoot your shot”. That writer is Mr. Shea Serrano.

Based in San Antonio, Shea has an amazing writing career: staff writer for The Ringer and best-selling author, and he never even intended on being a writer. A combination of talent, perseverance, and hard work got him to where he is, so who better to get my work in front of?

I composed my tweet, included a link to my brilliant piece, and off it went.  I’d done it. I had put myself out there. In my head, Shea was going to read it, message me to invite me in for a meeting, and then hire me to write jokes for his next book. I’m not making that up, it’s genuinely what I envisioned. And do you know what happened?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not even crickets, I think they were repelled by the stench of failure. I laughed, because this is typically how these scenarios go for me. Every time I think I’m going to encounter a certain outcome, the opposite happens and it’s usually not in my favor.

I’ve dealt with rejection my entire life, like the time I got yelled at by Greg, the receptionist at Jive Records, because I didn’t understand how the music business worked or the time my crush deleted his entire internet presence so he wouldn’t have to respond to my MySpace message. A lot of my rejections have been for things I didn’t even want. And every single one of them have led me here, to my happy place, where I tell you about my multiple, multiple failures.

Every rejection is another chance to get better. It’s another chance to work towards what you really want. So if you’re riding the rejection train right now, keep going. And if you need some encouragement, tomorrow I’ll be sharing my most recent piece that has been rejected by both McSweeney’s and Humor Darling. Not only am I sharing this rejection but I’m sharing what got me rejected. I hope you like it!

If you don’t, I’m OK with that too. You wouldn’t be the first. Not only will it not hurt my feelings but I’ll just keep on writing more pieces until you and McSweeney’s and Humor Darling DO like them. And THAT, my friends, is how you achieve goals. Fail on!

60-Year-Old Kids Do The Darndest Things

Here’s one for you.

So my husband decided to invite my FIL (you’ve been reading long enough to know that FIL stands for Father-In-Law, right? Cool) to dinner. Fine.

He comes over and is all nice and has been being all nice lately and you want to know why? It’s because he’s in a fight with JDF (girlfriend’s initials that I kindly gave her).

So we’re sitting down to dinner and then he and my husband start talking politics which I HATE because nobody knows what they’re talking about. NO ONE. Not even politicians. Nobody knows anything. BTW, that will be my campaign slogan when I run for president in 2032.

I digress. I want to shut the conversation down so I look at my FIL and say “hey, so I hear you and JDF are in a fight.” The story I had heard was that she was pissed because he didn’t want to do yard work and wanted to watch TV instead. Cry me a river, JDF. He literally threatened to move because we asked him to help mow the lawn.

Anyway, it turns out that no, that was not why.

Apparently, a friend of his sent him a video with the caption “I got tested for COVID 19 times” (because people are sooooooo clever) and it was a video of a nurse stripping. Because I’m old, I immediately think “uh, that was probably spam and now your phone is fucked, wake up.”

Then he continued with the story.

He decided that a good time to watch this video was at his girlfriend’s house while she was out of town. Well, as he describes, “at the exact moment that the nurse was slapping her ass against the camera” JDF’s twenty-something year old daughter walks in and catches him watching it and, understandably, freaks out.

Fortunately for my FIL, she didn’t call the cops. Unfortunately for my FIL, she called her mom – his girlfriend.

JDF promptly called him and reprimanded him for watching porn in her house. And you want to know what his defense was?

He told her, “was I naked and jacking off?! No! Because it wasn’t porn!”

It made me think of the time I was a freshman in high school and I got in trouble for being on the phone past 10pm and my defense was: “at least I’m not on drugs like my friends!”

Anyway, he ended the story by saying “I’m not apologizing. I always apologize and this time I’m not.” You know, what any teen says when they’re pissed at a parent.

The moral of the story is if you made your parents miserable when you were a kid (like me), you’ll have and/or inherit someone (like my FIL) who will repay the favor.

So if you’re an asshole, fucking stop it. Typical Jenn 2032.

Dress For Whatever Job

If I had to use a story to adequately depict my life, it would be the one about the time I was in high school and had a huge crush on a guy named Albert who was super popular and a star varsity basketball player but had to settle for his twin brother who was the chubbier version of him and played JV basketball. Or, the time I wanted Rainbow Brite for Christmas but got Murky and Lurky (the villains – typical) instead. Things are always a bit B-team for me.

Take my job. After deciding that I needed a job that would help me pay the bills while I write, I landed a marketing/admin position with a company that basically serves as the Ask Jeeves of the Medicaid world: instead of Googling how to get Medicaid we do it for them. 

Yet, I take it seriously. Or at least I dress like I do. However, on Thursday I learned that’s not what gets you ahead at this place. 

So I’m sitting at my desk doing actual work for once when my overly-caffeinated chain-smoking boss walks in with a guy he introduces as James – a confusing moment for the guy because he recalled introducing himself to my boss as Chad. His name wasn’t important (to me or my boss, apparently); what I couldn’t help but notice was his appearance.

Chames (mashup because who knows what his real name is) walked in wearing a t-shirt, cargo shorts (the kin with an elastic waistband), a haircut that would make the 90s jealous, and plain white tube socks. If I sound like an asshole I do not care – this guy was in the office for an INTERVIEW.

Chames and my boss walked into the conference room – which is 2 steps away from where I sit – and their meeting commenced at hushed volumes. I was being so judgmental that it never occurred to me that Chames was probably just undercover or that this was probably his schtick. 

As I continued to judge his attire and wonder what the hell was so secretive that they had to talk in a high school girl whisper, I officially quit what I was doing and started thinking about the other time I was in a situation similar to this one. 

Back in the day, I did marketing for a motorcycle dealership and one of our annual events was a bikini contest. In the event’s sophomore year we made the rookie mistake of hosting it during a national holiday so our entry list was pretty minimal. In an attempt to conjure up some contestants I was sent to the local strip clubs to try and entice strippers to participate.

OK, we held the contest at 7PM. There was no way we were going to get A-team strippers to compete in a bikini contest where the prize was probably a fraction of what they usually make. 2nd string strippers (you know the kind) was our best case scenario. 

Regardless, I went strip club to strip club speaking to club managers and building my immunities by posting flyers in the stripper’s dressing rooms. While waiting for the manager at my last stop, a girl walked in wearing sweats, her orange/blonde with black roots hair up in a messy pony tail, and no make-up. 

At first I thought, “oh shit, she’s looking for a stripper and it’s about to go down.”

Then she opened her mouth.

“How do you become a stripper?”, she asked with a twinkle in her blood shot eyes. 

There’s no fucking way she’s serious, my expression said. This is just a cover. She’s trying to find an in and then she’s going to beat up the stripper that her boyfriend used their beer money on. 

No. She was 100% (as the kids say) serious. The hostess was a true professional; she was even dressed like a strip club hostess (or dressed for success the way I saw it) and politely explained that the girl needed to come in looking presentable and ready to audition for the club owner. 

“You handled that very well,” I said to the hostess, to which she replied “that happens all day long.”

That day I thought 2 things. 1) I did not realize there were that many aspiring strippers out there and, 2) “dress for the job you want, not the one you have” is very good advice.

Or at least it was in 2010 when this happened. In 2020, nothing means anything anymore, and I have proof.

The day after my boss’s top secret meeting, he let me go. And you know who’s replacing me?

Ol’ tube socks. Chames is a salesman (clearly) and my boss needed to free up money to hire him. 

The moral of the story is this: like the girl inquiring about stripping (who I gave a bikini flyer to BTW because I was desperate), we’re all just trying to figure things out. My ex-boss (who pulled a ‘me’ because he is also desperate) is trying to figure out how to keep his company afloat, and I’m trying to figure out who used my credit card to try and buy a hooker on OurTime.com and bullshit on Vista Print a couple of days after I used my card to pay for my MacBook on my work computer. 

Yeah. My ex-boss fancies himself an IT pro so I found it interesting and not the least bit coincidental that a couple of days after I used the work computer for my purchase, my card got hacked. Could it have been him? I don’t know but I’m in the process of figuring it out. 

Yup, in 2020 we’re all just figuring it out. Update coming soon. 

It’s National Power Rangers Day so here’s a story about my 25+ year grudge with McDonald’s and my hometown all because of Tommy.

It’s no secret that I hate influencers. What’s to like? Think of that one guy and/or girl from high school that you wanted to punch in the face daily. Well get ready to double up on that clenched fist because those same assholes that tricked people into thinking they were cool are now GETTING PAID for tricking people into thinking they’re cool. Rich and full of zero talent. Telling me what mascara you like isn’t a talent. Impersonating  windshield wipers and claiming it’s a dance is not a talent.

Did you know that the teens who played the original Power Rangers had to do their own stunts and kicks and shit? They didn’t light a firecracker in their ass while doing parkour on YouTube and get discovered. The only “like” they got was from the casting director.

When I was a kid, I wasn’t one nor did I care for the popular kids. I didn’t want to be like Alicia who wore make-up and had the latest in Ocean Pacific wear. I cared about the Power Rangers, particularly Tommy the Green Ranger turned White Ranger who was the boss of everyone – I wanted to be him. So when the local McDonald’s in my hometown announced that Tommy the White Ranger himself would be making an appearance I was all over it. At 8-years-old, I was convinced that if we met, he’d immediately knight me as a Power Ranger and make Billy let me be the blue one because that was my favorite color at the time.

My aunt was more than happy to take me and my cousin to this event because she also liked Tommy –  for not 8-year-old reasons. Unfortunately for me and my cousin, my aunt wasn’t the only adult who thought they had a chance with White Ranger. There were way more than the 250 person capacity so they had Tommy do his demonstrations in the parking lot. And because adults don’t know how to be not-selfish (I would know), every single person 4’11” and taller crowded around my favorite Power Ranger, pushing me, my cousin, and every other actual Power Rangers fan out of the way. I couldn’t see shit. My aunt put my cousin on her shoulders but she could also barely see shit.

I was told he did some kicks and whatnot, and I do recall seeing a foot in the air, but that could have been the foot of a kid being flung in the air by an adult that wanted to touch Tommy.

This was my first brush with pure rage. I’m not sure if you’re a comic book fan but FYI, this is how super villains are born.

20 years later, I was working as an MMA promoter… and still pissed.

One day while working on the digital marketing push for our 3rd event, I came across an interesting article: Jason David Frank was in the process of developing his own career in MMA and was now living in Houston. Who is Jason David Frank, you ask? THE WHITE FUCKING POWER RANGER. It. Was. On. After some Googling I discovered that not only was he now an MMA fighter, he’d also launched a clothing line called Jesus Didn’t Tap and promoted his line at various MMA events.

Perfect. I navigated my way to the Contact page and typed it all out: the event at McDonald’s, the jerks who pushed their way in front of me and my cousin, the supposed feet in the air, all of it.

I expected zero response. What kind of a psycho holds a grudge for 20 years about not being able to see a dude wearing a mask and a spandex suit do karate.

Me.

People don’t forget.

A few days after I sent the message, I got a response. The message began: ” haha, I’m sorry that happened to you. If it makes you feel better, that wasn’t me at the McDonald’s that day :)”

Not only did I not get to see Tommy, but everyone who cheated me out of the experience didn’t get to either. And even though the imposter never took his mask off that day at McDonald’s (my aunt informed me of that after the event but it helped approximately negative zero percent) and people probably never knew for sure if that was actually Tommy/Jason David Frank, I felt vindicated. I. Win.

The first thing I did was call my cousin and tell her the story. Then, I planned my comeback tour. I would bring Tommy to my event, have him set up, take a picture with him, then write an op-ed or maybe publish an ad in my hometown newspaper that included the picture and a quick paragraph letting everyone know that the guy in the Power Rangers suit and mask was not actually Tommy, you shoved me and my cousin out of the way for nothing, please admire this picture I took with him.

Unfortunately, our company was still so new that we couldn’t afford Tommy/Jason’s rate and for whatever reason “sweet revenge” wasn’t a justifiable expense, according to my business partner. So for the last 8 years I’ve been pissed about that and it’s not going away anytime soon.

The point of this story is a) it’s National Power Rangers Day and, b) follow whoever the hell you’re going to follow but don’t be surprised when you go to see them at McDonald’s and they don’t take off their mask and you don’t get to meet them and then you find out 20 years later it was all a lie.

Also, I’ve just added “who the fuck was that at McDonald’s?” to the “things to hold a grudge over” column of this story. Update to follow anywhere between 8 and 20 years from now.

Image by: deviart.com