Don’t Touch the Volume

The automobile is my favorite invention of all time. I would give up airplanes, microwaves, and comfortable seat cushions before I would give up cars. Trying to describe the emotions any gear-head feels tearing up an S-curve is a dangerous walk amongst innumerable clichés.

When you throw other people in the car, however, the automobile atmosphere spawns awkward moments like a Christmas dinner with your grandmother’s new boyfriend.

The music is always a source of conflict in the car, as it is pretty much everywhere else. My car unfortunately does not have an auxiliary input, which limits my musical choices to subpar radio stations or CDs.

Making a CD for the car is far more difficult than you may think. What if Michael Vick ran up to me in full pads one day and asks for a ride? He wouldn’t be very amused if “Who Let the Dogs Out” started playing.

Volume control is a power I grant to only a select few, carefully-chosen passengers every year. If you realize “Born in the USA” is playing and crank the dial to maximum volume, you can kiss that dial goodbye. I will turn the dial back to a very reasonable level immediately. Your little party will be over before it can even begin.

Even worse than the volume extremist is the Concerned Walker. The Concerned Walker takes countless forms, but is most often encountered as parents with a stroller or an elderly couple. When I am driving my car down the street at a very conservative twenty-six miles per hour, the Concerned Walker will often stop in his/her tracks to assault me with a gaze of pure, unadulterated hatred.

Oh, I’m sorry, is the fifteen-foot grass barrier and full lane separating us not adequate for you? I know for a fact that you don’t have a radar gun installed in your head, so cool your Terminator-wannabe stare and keep strolling.

Are the beams of hatred pouring forth from your eyes directed at the “stormy sea blue” color of my Volvo? If so, I’m sorry, but I can’t go get it resprayed a less offensive color and call myself financially responsible.

One last reoccurring moment in the car I would like to bring up is the whole, “Let’s leave Adam on the side of the road and drive off because he’s being too loud.” Thanks very much, mom, but I’m twenty years old now and still do not appreciate it one bit. I dry my tears well, but they were spilled… they were spilled.

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Area Teen’s First Hibachi Experience: “F****n’ Sweet”

Whether he’s knocking over elderly citizens’ recycling bins or tearing up the local 7-11’s parking lot, Kleindale’s favorite amateur Razor scooter rider, Richard Leopard, has a knack for drawing a crowd. Last month, it was that sweet bunny hop over the curb at Kohl’s, but not it appears as though Leopard is getting a taste for fine dining.

scooter-douche-2A recent picture of R. Leopard and his scooter

An anonymous tip from a Kleindale citizen led our reporters to Fud Throhn Atchu, Kleindale’s only hibachi restaurant, where Richard was leaving after his first encounter with the dining novelty. In search of what makes people pay to have their food thrown at them, we asked Leopard what he thought of his experience:

“Yeah, that Tamagotchi s**t was pretty good,” Leopard told reporters at the scene. “Flipping chicken and some fried noodles into peoples’ mouths? That ish was TIGHT. I was a little thrown off by all the Asian dudes, though. They all knew karate with those big-ass knives and that was not chill.”

When asked which main course he ordered, Richard told us he asked for the vegetable dinner, but then took a large portion of his friend’s filet mignon.

“No way I’m paying for the good stuff,” Leopard stated. His friend, a Mr. Stanley Lilbitch, had this to say:

“I don’t usually have a problem with Dick here taking my food,” Stanley explained, “I usually get the leftovers from the girls he gets at the scooter competitions, so I will gladly sacrifice what was an excellent piece of filet mignon.”

When asked what his favorite part of the hibachi experience was, Leopard replied, “Ooh, dude! That flaming onion volcano bull***t fo’ shizzle.”

Our reporters state that the distinct smell of sake lingered in the air for several minutes after Dick Leopard rode the latest Razor scooter into the sunset.

My First Karaoke Left Me Very Confused

I played the real guitar for a couple of years, but when I realized how much effort I had put in and how few screaming female fans I had, I gave up.

Enter Rock Band. A brilliant way to dumb down even the hardest of songs into a far less complicated series of notes to bang on the drums, press on the plastic guitar, or even to sing into the microphone. As someone who has grown up as a big classic rock fan, I usually play classic rock songs, but sometimes I throw in some other genres.

Enter my cousin, Eric. This dashing young gentleman you see below is the one who so kindly introduced me to the instantly classic “Rick-roll.” For those of you who do not know, a Rick-roll occurs when you sit down to watch the latest hilarious cat video or something of the sort, and partway through the video, your viewing pleasure is interrupted by the one and only Rick Astley singing “Never Gonna Give You Up.” While I do apologize for getting this tune stuck in your heads for the next few weeks, I think you will forgive me in just a few paragraphs.

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The original Rick-roller.

It is Wednesday night at around 9:45 PM, and I am absolutely exhausted from working, and the thought of waking up early again the next day to go have another piece of my soul sucked out my body by corporate America. I have my mom make me a nice bowl of angel-hair pasta, with some red sauce and a salad. A tall glass of pretty good water rounds off this delectable meal.

My phone lights up. Ahhhh! Perhaps one of my highly-underrated Tweets or Facebook comments has received a Like, I think to myself. Alas, it is just a few of my friends inviting me out to go to a sushi bar that does karaoke. Ugh, people and activities. Just a few of my least favorite things.

I make this abundantly clear in my text messages back, but nobody cares about my life/happiness/lack of sleep, so, as usual, I am peer-pressured into going. Isn’t it funny how the nights when you don’t want to do anything at all and end up doing stuff anyway usually make the best stories?

So I’m cruising in my Volvo with no one but a few dead bees for company. I spend the car ride thinking about how badly I need to vacuum my car and what song I could possibly sing at this karaoke bar. I immediately decide against going with something gangster because I am very much aware of just how white I am. I consider singing a little classic rock, but realize that no one would enjoy listening to me fail to replicate the glory of Eddie Van Halen’s voice.

I enter the restaurant and head to the back room where the bar is. I say hello to my friends, sit down, and am told that no one from our group has gone up to sing in the past hour they have been sitting there. Wonderful. Just fucking magnificent. Now, the pressure’s on me, the “new guy” to get up there and entertain all of these drunken fools like some sort of gladiator with a way-too-bright-green t-shirt instead of armor and a microphone instead of a trident and that cool net gladiators used.

I grab the song book and begin to peruse the bar’s selection. I wish I was 21, because there’s nothing like a little liquid confidence to make yourself oblivious to the fact that you’re embarrassing yourself and your entire family lineage.

After dozens of pages, and hundreds of songs, I find it. The perfect song. The ideal blend of humor and straight-up sexiness. A smile spreads across my face as I realize what a unicorn of a karaoke song I have found.

The song, of course, is by our good friend, Rick Astley. “Never Gonna Give You Up” has foiled so many of my YouTube video-watching sprees, I have the entire song memorized. On a side-note, I was also required to serenade a particular young woman with this song as part of a particular process that I will say nothing more about.

I write down the song’s name and my own on a little slip of paper, and place it in front of the DJ’s. He looks down, reads it, and smiles.This man has obviously either been Rick-rolled several times before, or was just reminded of a romantic evening with a lady friend, a few wine coolers, low standards, and Rick Astley on the radio. This is a good sign.

After a few minutes of waiting, I hear my name called. “Yaaaayyyyy, Adam!” A few of my friends cry as we all stand up to move to the front. I feel like some sort of celebrity. Maybe the requisite sex scandal and ridiculously large contract would follow immediately after my Rick Astley impersonation in a sushi bar with eighteen people in it.

I usually don’t brag unless I want to feel good about making someone feel awful about themselves, but I need to say that I fucking murdered that song. I was on an Olympic team from the country of Adam, and I won every single goddamn medal there was to win in exactly three minutes and thirty-three seconds.

As I lowered my voice to match that of Rick’s, I couldn’t help but notice two ladies who appeared to be in their mid-thirties miming dance moves for me while they laughed. Being the good-natured, fun-loving person I am, I obliged their incessant requests to “Grab [my] crotch!” among other things that I do not remember as well as the crotch-grab. They ate that shit right up.

My friends congratulated me on a job well done, but I was saddened by the fact that this was the best thing to happen to me since I found a heads-up penny weeks before. As I was headed back to our table, I felt someone kind of tap my back, and saw a woman turn around right as I did the same. I thought nothing of it.

Later on in the night, one of our other friends got up to go sing some Miley Cyrus with some of her friends. I was in the back of the group, and as I was walking, a friend of the “Tapper” as I will call the previously-mentioned girl said something to me.

“What?” I asked, unsure of what she had just said. She had kind of a mean face, and I thought she might have been making fun of me. I quickly prepared a verbal assault in retaliation.

“You were really good up there,” She said. Oh. Guess I better save that soul-crushing retort, then.

“Thanks,” I replied, “I appreciate it!” A very normal, very nice compliment for one Rick Astley enthusiast to hand out to another, right? That’s what I thought too. Until she said this:

“Yeah, you made me absolutely sopping wet with that performance.”

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK DID SHE JUST SAY? DID I JUST HEAR ANOTHER PERSON USE ‘SOPPING’ IN A SENTENCE?

I couldn’t believe my now bright-red ears. “Um, haha, thanks,” I stammered, looking for an exit. I can honestly say that I have never been left more confused in my entire life. She was not my type- especially now that I knew that she was apparently SOPPING WET. I turned to go tell all of my friends exactly what just happened, when I was blocked by Ms. Sopping’s friend, the Tapper.

“HEY, YEAH,” Tapper screamed over the music. “I HAD TO HOLD A BUCKET AND COLLECT IT ALL.”

Then, and I shit you not, the Tapper proceeded to mime holding a bucket under her friend’s vagina and collecting all of the sopping. She even pretended like it was splashing up out of the bucket and into her face.

If you are very queasy right now, I know exactly how you feel. I almost puked all over the two sopping creatures in front of me, but was too shocked for my stomach to properly transform my angel-hair pasta into a vomit projectile.

I looked around for Ashton Kutcher to pop out from behind the bar and tell me I had just been Punk!d, but this was apparently real life, and not a fucked-up dream or show on MTV.

I said absolutely nothing to the Tapper and Ms. Sopping, and rejoined my friends, utterly speechless. I felt as though I had witnessed a brutal triple homicide involving a family of raccoons and a rage-fueled moose. If someone had asked me what my name was, I honestly don’t think I would have been able to answer them.

In any case, I spent the rest of the night with my friends, trying to forget all about how I was almost just drowned in a sushi bar by some sopping girl with no shame.

At one point, I went up to the bartender and told him to put down one of those “CAUTION: WET FLOOR” signs next to her, but he didn’t get my joke. Nobody ever does.

God bless you all, and have yourselves a sopping-wet day.  

The Time I Got My School Bus Pulled Over By the Police

One of the saddest nights of my life occurred on Halloween when I was in the third grade. I was a sassy individual at the time, clad in some sweet running pants from Old Navy that made the uber-cool “skkrrrscchhh skkrrrscchhh” sound when I rubbed my legs together while I walked. This was to alert all of the third-grade girls to both my presence as well as my commanding ability to get whatever pants I wanted when shopping with my mom.*

*I had absolutely no say in the remainder of my wardrobe for the next fourteen years or so. In fact, I still don’t

All throughout elementary and middle school, I was what we cultured, mature adults call a, “little fucker.” I had absolutely zero respect for authority, and caused disruption after disruption during class time. I also had a very short fuse, and would freak out at the lunch table on a regular basis as I obliterated Go-Gurt after Go-Gurt all over the clothes my mom bought me.

On this Halloween in third grade, I was particularly pissed off on the bus home from school because my old, crabby teacher had confiscated my digital Connect Four game. Mrs. Linker, I promise your old, flabby ass that the only reason I was playing it during English was because I already knew how to spell “apartment.” There’s a reason I won that in-class spelling bee, and I probably would have gone on to be a professional Connect Four player had my career not been cut so short.

Sitting at the back of the bus (because all of the fifth graders had already gotten off) fuming at my inability to play Connect Four, I expressed my anger to my fellow third-grade bus buddies in the form of a long series of incoherent swear words and seat punches.

“That blows, man,” were the comforting words of one friend. “Hey, check it out! There’s a cop behind us!”

As a third-grader, I had (luckily) not had a great deal of exposure to the police. My past experiences up until that point had been an early-morning phone call to 9-1-1 just for the fun of it, and a D.A.R.E. officer passing one of his armor-piercing rounds to each kid in the class. How this moment holding a bullet was supposed to convince me not to do drugs, I still cannot comprehend. It did, however, make me want to get a gun and find some armor to pierce.

“Yo, you should totally flip off the cop, dude!” One of my brilliant cohorts exclaimed.

An interesting prospect to be sure, I thought to myself. Perhaps the police officer at the tail-end of a long shift will enjoy the sight of a small middle finger pressed up against a dirty bus window. Maybe he’ll think it’s funny and will let me shoot something with those armor-piercing rounds I know he has.

This is the thought process of an eight year-old whose thought process does not extend to the possible negatives resulting from a certain action.

In any case, I know extended that finger so goddamn well, I thought some sort of medal was going to instantly appear around it. I also know that I have never run to the front of a bus so goddamn quickly in my life as I did the second I saw him light up his cruiser.

Our poor bus driver, Ed, probably thought he was speeding and was about to get his license/job taken away. Nope. Instead, the officer came onto the bus and talked to the entire bus for roughly ten minutes about respecting officers of the law and not being “little fuckers” in general. I, of course, was too busy wondering whether I had gotten away with my badassery or not. When the police officer finally bid our driver a good day and stepped off the bus, I thought I had gotten away with the greatest heist the world had ever seen.

I had no idea at the time that I was wearing my New York Giants bright (and I mean fucking BRIGHT) red and blue jacket on the bus. This had most certainly identified myself to the cop as the little fucker with the finger of steel, but to his credit, he didn’t single me out. If he had, I absolutely would have shit my pants in that bus seat, which probably wouldn’t have made the bus smell any worse.

Getting away without a direct confrontation had me on a serious high. If I could flip off a policeman, what else could I get away with in plain sight? Could I start pantsing people left and right in the cafeteria? Would I dare waltzing straight into the principal’s office (with whom I was on a first-name basis) and giving her a taste of the ol’ “middle diddle*” as I like to call it?

The answer to both of these ridiculous questions is, of course, a resounding “no.” While I could not go around like some sort of Genghis “Middle Finger/Name” Khan, I was still pretty excited that I had gotten away with the third-grade equivalent of murder, or at least vehicular homicide.

That all changed the second I stepped off the bus to say hi to my mom. Of course, I was not stupid enough to brag of my after-school activities (i.e. flipping off a police officer) to my mom, but my little brother didn’t even have two feet on the pavement before spilling the beans.

Oh, balls. I had completely forgotten about the one tiny whistleblower who could bring my evil, successful plan crashing down in an instant. If I had been as forward-thinking as I am today, I would have bought him off while still on the bus with a couple of quarters or let him use my Xbox for an hour. If I was as forward-thinking as I was today, I also would not have been such a fucking idiot as to flip off a police officer.

In addition to a stern scolding and possibly a few spankings (I’m not 100% sure, I kind of blacked out for the whole disciplining process; a recurring childhood theme of mine), I was also not allowed to go trick-or-treating that night. What’s that? You forgot that this story occurred on Halloween? Well, apparently Obi-Wan Kenobi did, too, because instead of roaming the streets of Connecticut hunting down candy, he was at home playing Pokemon monopoly.

In the words of every bad guy brought down by Scooby Doo and his gang, “I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for you damn kids and your dog.”

In this case, I was brought down by a single child two years my junior. And he didn’t even have a dog.

Excessive Squirrel Fornication Wreaks Havoc on Campus

Gregory Campbell, a sophomore communications major at Gettysburg College, has suffered a great deal of anxiety over this past semester at school. While midterm exams and what he describes as a, “Pretty tough schedule; I have a 9 A.M. on Wednesdays,” bring to Gregory the same stress as most college students, he says there’s a different terror on campus that stresses him out to the max:

Squirrels. That’s right folks, those furry rodents you’ve been watching dig for forgotten nuts in piles of snow for the last few months have turned to a new hobby: fornicating. They say springtime is the best time, but Gregory Campbell is not having the best time.

“I’m really tired of seeing these squirrels make passionate love on the grounds of Gettysburg. I pay $50,000 a year to go to this school, and I think that should buy some sort of mass squirrel genocide,” Campbell stated angrily. After some fact-checking, this reporter discovered that Gregory, does not, in fact, pay $50,000 a year to go to Gettysburg College. His parents do.

To Gregory Campbell’s credit, however, he has taken action, forming a club that meets every Tuesday to discuss the issue and try to come up with a concrete solution. One of their solutions, in fact, involved pouring concrete over every inch of the college campus to take away any potential hiding places for a particularly tasty nut. When this idea was rejected by the president of the college, the club went out, bought a club for every member, and began chasing and trying to bash every squirrel in sight.

All but one squirrel declined to comment on the situation and their recent fornications. Many, in fact, were too busy fornicating. The one that did choose to add to the discussion, one Mr. Nut Tea, had this to say:

“I think we squirrels are getting a bad rap,” he began, “I mean, everyone’s doing it. I saw two humans doing it in the fountain the other night. Good thing I had my Go-Pro strapped on. Caught the whole thing. I’m saving it for when Maureen gets back from visiting her aunt and wants to take things in the grass to a new level,” Mr. Nut Tea told reporters.

Indeed.

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