Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Day I Ended A Hamster's Life

The afternoon started off innocently enough. It was a hot summer afternoon (I actually have no recollection of the time of the year this occurred, but I wanted to provide a setting for the story). It was prior to my first year of kindergarten and I was being held at the local youth penitentiary, also known as preschool. These are some of my first memories, so they are a little vague. However, I will never forget the day my actions led to a hamster being sentenced to death.

I believe this occurred during nap time at the preschool. This when I usually got into the most amount of trouble, because I've always been a restless individual and never was interested in taking naps. Even during the first grade (yes, we still had nap time at my school in the first grade), I was lectured by my teacher because I would use that time to eat my soggy sandwich discretely. I'm not sure why I would hold off on eating my lunch until lunch had actually ended and we were "napping," but that's the kind of strange kid I was during that time.

Back to the topic at hand. As the other children were positioning themselves on the floor to nap, I was plotting a maneuver to taunt the class hamster in its cage. As I noticed children begin to nod off, I checked to see where the teacher was positioned. She was paying no attention to the actions of her students. This was my signal to begin mercilessly flaunting my outstretched finger at the hamster through its cage. As I wagged my finger at the innocent hamster through the cage, I could see its beady eyes tracing my every movement. Eventually it had enough of my taunts, and before I could react it made its retaliatory move. In one swift hamster motion it attacked my finger in an attempt to remove it from my body. I shrieked as it clenched its powerful jaw around my tiny little finger.

This attracted the attention of the teacher. She looked over to see that the hamster had maliciously attacked me. Instantly concern spread across her face. She picked me up and immediately took me to the front of the building. From there, they proceeded to take me to the hospital to be examined. I'm not even certain that blood was drawn by this monster, but I imagine there had to be something there for them to panic to such an extent. As I was hurriedly driven to the hospital the preschool phoned my mother at work. They informed her that I was bitten by an animal and being taken to the hospital where she could meet me. They conveniently left out an important detail that this animal was in fact a freaking hamster!

My mother rushed to the hospital where she was able to find me being examined by the doctor. She quickly noticed that they were placing a tiny bandage over my finger. Her expression turned to relief upon realizing that I had not lost a limb to some carnivorous beast. After they had placed some kind of concoction that reminded me of honey over the wound, they determined I would be just fine. The hamster, however, did not meet a similar fate.

It was learned upon my return to the preschool that the hamster had been received a capital punishment for its crime. Apparently the school was concerned that the animal may have rabies and would begin to attack all of the other students. Multiple observations about this line of thinking strike me as funny. For starters, if it is locked in a cage, how is this hamster going to unleash its fury upon the class? Secondly, how does a domesticated hamster that is constantly locked in a cage contract rabies? Needless to say, I learned that day that my actions did in fact have consequences. An innocent life was lost that day, because I was irresponsible. I vowed never to allow this to happen again.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Celebrating My Birth

As you can tell, the older I become, the more often my stories include alcohol. Most of the poor decisions I make come along with the use of the sauce. This is probably why I don't drink very often. I feel that I'm happy enough as it is without needing the juice which only leads to this poor decision making. That being said, I'm not completely immune to its powers. Even I need to let loose every once in a while.

One of these times involved my previous birthday. Per usual, I did not plan it ahead of time. For starters, I am not one to plan my own party and invite people to it. That simply seems tacky to me, so if someone brings up going out then I'll see if some others would like to join. I believe this happened a day or so prior to this monumental evening, therefore nobody had advanced notice. As it turns out that doesn't allow many people to make it. Apparently other people actually make plans ahead of time. This seems like quite the silly notion to me, but I like to live by the seat of my pants. This night of going out would consist of I believe a group of 6 people.

I have a tradition with a good friend of mine, Donnell, that requires taking a shot of Bacardi 151 each time we meet up outside work. This tradition has continued to this day as it was once more celebrated just a few weeks ago. The reason I bring this up is because it usually stops at only one shot of 151. However, this evening it would not stop at 1, nor would it stop at 5. I believe the count we gathered after the fact put it at 6 or 7 shots of 151 to go along with the other drinks I had consumed that evening. Although I typically have a fairly high tolerance for alcohol, this proved to simply be too much. The rest of the story is based off stories I have heard from other attendees of the gathering.

After a certain point of the night I have no recollection of what occurred. Unfortunately there is documented evidence in the form of photographs however. Although I behaved fairly decently at the bars it was the drive home that finished me. I was in the back seat of a friend's car as she drove me back to my place. There were 3 of us in the car, and there was much discussion to be had. At one point she says she asked me, "Are you alright Chris?" She received no response, but slowly heard the window roll down. This could not be a good sign at all. As we drove down the highway I proceeded to attempt to vomit out of the window of the car. Needless to say, much of it did not make it very far. My shirt outer shirt was completely covered in vomit as was the side of her car and the interior. The car was pulled to the side of the road and I finished what needed to be done.

As we pulled back in to my apartment complex I was at least remorseful enough to offer to get paper towels from the apartment and clean everything up. I'm not sure that would have helped much, but it's the though that counts I suppose. Even in a drunken stupor, I am a proud individual and I hate to act like an embarrassment. I wanted to fix the problem however I could. She insisted it was OK, and that I should head up to apartment and pass out. I went upstairs to attempt to complete that task.

The next afternoon (yes, the afternoon) I awoke to a horrendous scene. I was pantsless lying face down on my bathroom floor. My t-shirt was covered in vomit and the bathroom was destroyed. As I stumbled out the bathroom I noticed that there was a very visible blood stain on my doorway that had not previously been there. I can't even begin to imagine how that occurred, and still don't know to this day. I may have murdered somebody as far as I am aware. If that is the case, I did a damn good job of hiding the body given my condition. I did see that I somehow managed to throw my pants and overshirt in the washer, so I still had some sense about me that evening.

It goes without saying that the next day was not a pleasant day for me. I had even lost my phone which luckily turned out to be in her car. Therefore nobody could contact me. I was unable to move from my couch the entire day. When I arrived at work that Monday I was shown the evidence from that evening. There were photographs taken after my unsuccessful attempt to heave out of the car window. I still cannot explain why I had a gigantic smile on my face and was flashing two thumbs up while being completely covered in my own filth. Thus concludes another sordid tale of drinking gone awry...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Welcome to College!

The day had finally arrived. I was an independent young man, with no rules and restrictions bogging me down. This was the day that I was to arrive at my dorm, just outside the campus of the wonderful University of Oregon. Nothing could bring me down from this exhilarating high that I was experiencing.

Prior to the move west, I had attempted to have a party at a friend's house. As I do not plan anything in advance, I had decided that very night that such a party should occur. I found the resources to purchase the alcohol and proceeded to try to call people to get a party going. Unfortunately, thirty minutes was not an ample amount of warning for people which caused this plan to fail miserably. Now I was left with a heap of beers, and nowhere to place them. Eventually it was decided that another friend of mine, Steve, would smuggle them, as if they were painkillers from Mexico, to college that very next week. This plan was surprisingly successful as the numerous bottles were hidden throughout his boxes and bags of clothes.

Now that the first part of the plan had been executed to perfection, the second part was simple. Our first mission as college students would be to consume all of these drinks that first night. There was no better way to bond with a new roommate than to take him to an oasis of alcohol and down bottle after bottle. My new roommate, we'll call him Ralph, Steve, and I made it our mission to down every last bottle. Once again, the plan was a raging success. However, that did not signify the end of the evening. Ralph and I abandoned Steve at his dorm and proceeded to return to ours off campus.

Upon our arrival back at the dorms, we met a pair of lovely ladies that lived down the hall from us. Coincidentally, they happened to have alcohol at their disposal as well. So, we proceeded to drink more liquor with the ladies and another guy. Much to our disdain, this tap eventually ran dry as well. At this point rational decision making had taken a backseat to the need for more alcohol. Located next door to our dorm was a 7-Eleven. We rationalized that it would be simple to convince someone outside the 7-Eleven to purchase us some more beer. The group discretely approached a dirty, homeless man situated outside the convenience store and supplied him cash in order to make the purchase. He agreed to our offer and bought us our materials.

Apparently we had figured that walking through the main entrance of the dorm with a brown bag consisting of beer bottles peering out the top was a good idea. As we approached the entrance to the stairwell I heard someone in a hushed voice say, "Go, go, go." I had no idea what was going on, but I am not one to question a hushed voice. I hurriedly ran up the stairs towards our floor. Although I still had no idea why I was running I continued to run towards our dorm door. From a distance I heard, "Stop!" At this point I had the inclination to run down the emergency exit that was next to our door room. This probably would have even been successful, but the group had decided to wave the white flag.

As I turned around, I saw a man in a uniform rapidly approaching us with a couple of RA's from the dorm. I soon discovered that the campus actually had a rag tag team of "officers" known as the DPS. These were not real cops, but they walked around with a badge and issued tickets. We were seemingly a very threatening bunch, because he proceeded to radio backup. Perhaps this was only because it made him feel more like a real police officer. Of this I cannot be sure.

We were each issued MIP's though they were apparently only warnings. The consequences of our actions led to meeting with an extremely obese head of the dorms. Ralph and I had to meet with him separately, so we made sure to get our stories straight beforehand. If he didn't hear what he deemed a proper answer there was always a chance that our reign in the dorms would end just as soon as they had started. We passed the exam, however, and were sentenced to the BUSTED class. This class simply consisted of former alcoholics informing us how we could become inebriated in a more efficient manner. I don't believe that I went into the class with an open mind considering that I was hungover from the night prior to the class. All in all it was quite the eventful first night of college for me. If anything, it certainly started out with a bang.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Where's that gift? - Oops, it's her birthday!

One major flaw that I have always had when it comes to relationships has always involved the act of giving gifts. Now, this doesn't only pertain to relationships. Christmas gifts, wedding gifts, other's birthday gifts. I have always been a procrastinator by nature, and in the case of gift giving I am no different. This has led to some interesting situations that I have gotten myself while attempting to secure gifts at the last moment. Thus I have decided to make a series of posts labeled, "Where's that gift?"

The first installment of the series takes place in the summer following my sophomore year of college. I had stayed in Eugene to take summer classes while my lady friend had gone home to work for the State of Oregon. We would see each other every couple weekends or so during that summer. It was a very carefree lifestyle that I was living. I was only attending school a couple days a week, and mostly was spending the summer relaxing.

This debacle took place one evening in early July. It began innocently enough, as most days had that summer. I was working an 8 hour day at the dreary mall that I had mentioned once before, pretending to sell sports jerseys and hats. Suddenly, my lady friend strolled into the store. I had known that she was coming down for the weekend, but hadn't thought much of it. We spoke for a bit, and she proceeded to head to my apartment until my evening at work was through. Shortly after she left, I suddenly was struck with a frightening realization. I had just realized that it was already her birthday. This event had completely escaped my mind.

The situation was looking bleak. As I had mentioned before, this mall was a wasteland. I had already taken my lunch and break that evening. Target was all the way down the mall, and I didn't want to cause a ruckus by disappearing from work for 20 minutes. This left me only one option. Yes, it had indeed come to this. I would have to jaunt on over to the FYE next door and try to make something special happen. I scoured all 3 aisles of the store in hopes of finding the perfect gift. Desperation had set in, and anything I could piece together would have to work. The final solution consisted of a card, The Notebook DVD (easy way to a girl's heart) and a Tim McGraw CD. Yes, this was a patchwork gift to be sure.

I arrived at my abode that evening prepared to douse her with my lavish gifts. She proceeded to open them excitedly. A look of disappointment immediately spread across her face as she realized the gifts I had provided her. The Notebook was a movie we had seen in theaters. Therefore, I was giving her a gift that she had already seen. She also happened to own the Tim McGraw CD I had purchased her. This was disastrous, but she still played cool and pretended to be happy to see me.

The night went on, and we were hanging out. Suddenly she reached in my pocket for some reason. No, this was not in fact that kind of reach into the pocket. I could not possibly be that lucky. Instead, she pulled out the receipt from my purchase earlier in the evening. Cleverly, I had not thrown out the receipt or hidden it. She instantly noticed that the date of the purchase was marked for that very day, and the time of the purchase was shortly before I had left work. I was in fact nabbed red-handed. Needless to say, the night did not end well and this would be an incident that I would be able to learn from for the future. Only I did not...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Running for Office

This next story takes place in the fall of my 6th grade year. The leaves were falling from the trees, and the weather had begun to cool. The elementary school that I was attending at the time had only opened 2 years earlier. Therefore they had never held school elections, or had any class representatives. However, this year they had decided to open up the polls to the children in the 6th grade classes.

This seemed like quite the exciting opportunity for me. I had bold aspirations of being president, and what better start than to represent the 6th grade class in the school Congress. That weekend I sat down at my desk to hammer out the most amazing speech imaginable. I had a vision. I would change the face of the school altogether. As you recall, I took school and life far too seriously at this point in my life. This speech would be no different. I had never been a part of a class election, so I was uncertain of what to include in my proposal to the class. I spent the entire weekend working diligently on this eloquent speech that would blow the minds of my fellow classmates. There would be no possible scenario in which they would see my as unfit to represent the class. I made bold claims of making numerous donations to charities, doing volunteer work around the community, and making important changes around the school. These changes would forever revolutionize the way schools were run in our beautiful country. Along the way I made the mistake of taking input from my mother on items I should include in the speech. Needless to say, this speech was more fit for someone running for city mayor than it was for some kid in the 6th grade.

That following Monday the much anticipated elections were held in our classrooms. The teacher asked the classroom if anyone would like to present first. I eagerly raised my hand with the intention of blowing away the competition. I proceeded to give my five minute long speech about bettering the world around us. I did have a punch line at the end that I was certain would entertain the crowd. Afterall, it did involve a clever rhyme. "Vote for me, I'm Mr. Lee!" Oh yes, the audience was in tears at the end of riveting speech. Unfortunately, I believe these may have been tears of boredom.

As I took my seat, my opponent calmly raised his hand. This foe was actually a close friend of mine at the time. I was unaware that he had actually formulated such a brilliant speech that I had no chance to beat. This was a 30 second rant about how he would make sure the cafeteria would serve mashed potatoes and recesses would be extended. He may in fact have created the speech as the rest of the class slept through my monologue. I was no match for these guerilla warfare tactics. He would go on to win in a landslide victory. In fact, I am quite certain I received 0 votes. After this decisive loss, I decided politics were far too cutthroat. I proceeded to retire from the political scene altogether.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What's that on your shirt?

This next story takes place during my college years. At the time I was working for a retailer of licensed sports apparel. This was located in an extremely unsuccessful mall in the town adjacent to where I attended school. I lived approximately 5 minutes away from this place of employment, so I was always waiting until the last possible moment to leave my abode. This day would be no different. I do not recall what caused me to run behind that day, but I hurriedly found some clothes to throw on, ran out the door, and scampered to work. Upon arriving at work, I was greeted by my manager. This fellow was quite the goofy character. The first thing he asked, as I stood there on the floor ready to approach the 3 customers that would be in that day, was, "Did you have an accident on your shirt?" I looked down and noticed a large stain on my shirt. "Oh heavens," I thought to myself. What was this stain you ask? Well for that we will have to skip back a few days.

A couple days prior I had come home from classes and was greeted by my lady friend. She must have had a splendid day, because she was very eager to meet me. Apparently she had chosen to reward me for having been a wonderful individual. I will spare everyone the gritty details, but an important part of the story is that she had chosen not to consume the nectars of the gods. I could respect the decision, but this did end up causing some a fair amount to be splattered onto my T-shirt. "No big deal," I thought to myself. I proceeded to remove the shirt and place it in the washer where it would soon be joined by other clothes in need of cleaning.

A couple days passed, and the day had arrived in which I was hurriedly heading out the door for work. As I hurried around the house I was looking for a T-shirt to throw on and head out the door. Often when we removed clean clothes from the dryer, we would simply place the pile atop it. Thus, this was the first place I checked for a shirt. Luckily I was able to spot one resting innocently alone on top of the dryer. I quickly picked it up, placed it to my nose to smell it. This was necessary to determine that it was in fact clean. It passed my scientific sniff test, and I threw it on and ran out the door.

Once I had arrived at work, my manager had pointed out the stain on my shirt. Upon looking down, I noticed firmly entrenched below my shoulder sat a giant white splatter on this dark blue shirt. Instantly I knew what it was, and it was fairly obvious to everyone else as well. Apparently my lady friend had decided to complete a load of laundry. However, she had decided that my shirt would only get in the way. She had removed my shirt from the washer and placed it on top of the dryer. I'm not sure why my shirt was not qualified for a washing, but I feel I was sabotaged.

This was not good news whatsoever. I did not have a backup shirt lying around. It was the middle of the summer, so I hadn't brought a sweater or anything else to throw over the top of the shirt. I was stuck. I was aware that Foot Locker sold their blank T-shirts at 5 for $20. However, the Foot Locker was located on the other end of the mall. I decided that this was necessary rather than awkwardly approach customers the entire evening with this gigantic stain on my shoulder. One could imagine the stain talking to the customer as I approached them, much like a Tide commercial. So I chose to venture out to the Foot Locker.

As I walked down the corridor I attempted to cross my arms in a fashion that would potentially cover up this stain. It was in a place that this wasn't particularly successful. I went into the Foot Locker and chose 5 shirts in a variety of colors. I walked to the register and attempted to rest on my elbow in a manner that might hide the stain. Awkwardly I kept shifting around and looking down to see if I might be able to disguise this stain. The man working behind the counter was a middle-aged Foot Locker employee that took his job very seriously. He decided to ask me if I would like to purchase socks, shoe cleaner, the works. I just wanted to head out of there to place on my new t-shirt. This gentleman was having none of that however. He continued to probe me on all of their exciting products. Finally, he handed me the receipt, and I was able to escape from this man's rant.

I scurried back to the store and went into the back room to change. Quickly, I proceeded to place on the new shirt and bag up the stained shirt. I seemingly do not embarrass easily enough, because I actually forgot to take the shirt home that evening. I've been told that my manager proceeded to pull it out of the bag and show it to all the other employees at the store over the next day or so. I hadn't realized that my shirt would be turned into a Smithsonian exhibit. He seemed to have no qualms holding up my encrusted shirt. I told you he was an oddball. Thus concludes the story of how I wore a semen stained shirt to my place of employment.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ouch, My Eyes!

Let's turn back the clock to my 8th grade year. During the Christmas Break I had moved from Kansas City to a small town in Central Oregon. I had become acclimated in the culture, and was participating in my usual activities. One of these activities happened to be Little League Baseball. Yes, this does become somewhat relevant in this story.

I underwent LASIK treatment a couple of years ago. Prior to that I did not wear any type of corrective lenses. Part of the reason was due to this incident that occurred in the 8th grade. The other part was because I wasn't a fan of glasses, so I simply chose not to wear them. Not terribly smart thinking, but I preferred to squint throughout the day and not see half of what was being discussed in classes. During the 7th and 8th grades I experimented with using contact lenses. It wasn't terribly successful as the contacts and I never got along well. Some days they would go in effortlessly, but others it would be a struggle. It may have had something to do with the fact that I was later diagnosed with astigmatism. Then again, that could not have been a factor at all. Perhaps I was just inept with contacts. The night before the incident I had worn the contact lenses to play in a baseball game. Supposedly this was a contributing factor to what was to happen the next day. The contacts were the type that were worn for 2 weeks, and removed each evening.

When I first put in my contact lenses that morning it felt a little strange, but that was a typical occurrence. I didn't think much of it, and continued on to school. However, once I reached school my eyes started to become irritated, and my vision was becoming cloudy. It appeared that I was walking in a constant mist. I couldn't see more than a couple feet ahead of me, and everything was incredibly blurry. I actually went through the entire school day not being able to see anything clearly. Honestly, I could not make out the faces of the people a couple feet in front of me.

On the bus ride home, despite the fact that my eyes were still in pain and my vision was not improving, I decided to go over to a friend's house. We exited the bus at his bus stop and proceeded to walk to his abode. Once reaching there it was apparently decided that porn would be viewed on his computer. Looking back, I don't understand why young boys like to get together and watch porn. Now that I think about it, it makes for quite the awkward situation. One cannot comfortably have an erection with another male sitting inches away looking at the same stuff. It all seems pointless. Yet, it happened. However, since I couldn't see very far I was even placing my face right next to the monitor. I was apparently hellbent on viewing this porn regardless of my condition. Eventually, I figured that if I took out the contact lenses perhaps I would have a more clear viewing of this cinematic production. Upon removing the lenses, a stinging pain shot from my eyes. When I shut them, it felt better, but each time I tried to open my eyes this shooting pain would radiate from them. At that point, I decided it might be time to return my home and inform my parents of the situation. I left my friend alone with these videos to do whatever it was he had to do.

Once I returned to my home, I informed my mother of the situation at hand. At this point I had decided to discontinue attempting to open my eyes. It had simply become too painful to continually do. As we went to the doctor's office and entered it, I looked like a young Ray Charles whom had his cane taken away. I held my hands out in front of me with my eyes closed and felt around for door handles and objects that might be in my way. Finally, the doctor was ready to see us. After some tests that involved me actually opening my eyes it was determined that both of my corneas had been scratched by my contact lenses. His theory was the contacts had gotten dirt in them from playing baseball in them the night prior. Then upon placing them back in my eyes the next day that had rubbed against my corneas and scratched them. I suppose that's not an entirely preposterous theory, and I don't have a better idea so I'll stick with that. All that was required was that I place a few eye drops in that evening and keep my eyes rested. Luckily, I was given drops to numb my eyes as well, and I simply went home and slept the night away. By daybreak everything felt normal again, but I don't believe I ever wore contacts again after that day. Thus ended the day in which I watched the cloudiest porn I have ever seen.