Halloween Night…Reporting Live From my Mother’s House

This is Mr. Johnson reporting live from my Mother’s home half drunk.

I’m waiting for munchkins to come to my door so that I can eat them. It’s just after 6:30 and so far I have had 14 customers. I’ve been passing the time by eating capocollo sandwiches and drinking red wine. I’m at my last ounce of wine but thankfully there’s stale beer in the fridge from June.

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The doorbell sound gets drowned out by the sound of the television but the dog here acts as back up in case I don’t hear some kid wanting their free chocolate. The dog is probably super confused with all this action going on.

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With the way things are going I will have to give each munchkin 5 chocolates to eradicate the box of chocolates. I think kids these days are being efficient by going to townhouses where they can walk 10 ft to the next door to get their free candy.

I just had a kid at my door who posed as a Pizza Hut delivery boy telling me there’s a pizza for a Hugh. I replied,

Hugh Jass?

I’m not sure if he got the joke. He wasn’t even born yet when Moe picked up that call.

I have this slight feeling that someone is going to try to blow up my pumpkin with firecrackers. I’m hoping the Mike Tyson face will make them think twice.

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A Mike Tyson Halloween

As an upstanding citizen, I am contributing to Halloween for the kids, community and the economy. Also, it gives me something to do. I like doing fun stuff as much as the next person.

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Mike Tyson Pumpkin

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I live in a basement suite around the back of a house so I will be going to my mother’s house to give out chocolate. I haven’t decided yet if I will be biting the ears off of children yet.

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The pumpkin carving commenced yesterday and I think the pumpkin is starting to stink. That’s what I tell myself anyway otherwise I’d have to admit that my place just stinks. Possibly being unemployed and at home too long is making my home smell like me. In the fridge goes Mike Tyson’s head right beside the 2 month old cucumber that looks like a deflated balloon. If you want to lose weight the inside of your fridge has to look more like mine minus the cheesecake.

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I eat a lot of eggs

Some of you might turn off your lights tomorrow and go hide in your room. Fuck the kids. It might rain quite hard tomorrow so all my efforts may go to waste.

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There will be a lot more effort wasted here though

Have a nice night and Happy Halloween!

WTF is the Economy?

You always hear the term, “the economy” being used by everyone but I wonder if anyone even knows what it means.

It’s because the economy is bad…

There’s no jobs because of the economy…

The economy, the economy…

I don’t really know all that much myself but it feels like the economy is largely based on how much money people have to spend or are willing to spend. People like me are bad for the economy because a good portion of my money just sits in my bank. If this city were filled with millions of me then the unemployment rate would be 50%.

The truth is that the powers that be want and need you to spend as much money as possible to keep this thing we call “the economy” rolling. They don’t care if you use your credit card, work 2 jobs or use money that you stole from a kid in another country.

It’s part of Western culture to spend all of your money. They only tell you to save for retirement because the government doesn’t want a bunch of old people on the streets helplessly shitting themselves. It’s also cultural courtesy to kick your kids out as soon as possible, and culturally shameful to move back in with your parents as an adult. I’m not sure if this way of life was meant to be beneficial, appropriate or just an underlying scheme silently propagated by government to benefit the economy.

A good way to get people to work and spend money is to have them be on their own. Once on your own you have to buy a new everything that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t move out from a shared home with family. If you have 5 people living under one roof you only buy 1 spatula, 1 blender and more importantly only 1 roof.

Hey it’s Halloween tomorrow. It’s good for the economy.

My Hockey Card Story

One of the few memories I have from my time as a 5 year old is persuading my mother to take me to the corner store to buy me some hockey cards. I’m not sure what compelled my want for the cards because I really do not remember watching or playing hockey. Perhaps, it was the stick of bubble gum they include in every pack.

Those cards were long gone after a short amount of time. I probably cut them up for fun or wore them out so badly that I just dumped them. A few years later, hockey cards made a revival back into my life as it did for many others. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, sports cards blew up in popularity and in value. Men in their 30’s and 40’s were buying my cards off me for a substantial amount of money, for my age anyway. One guy gave me $80 for one of my complete sets!

Okay, that just made me realize something. My mother throws away my belongings without even consulting me but she has kept my collection of hockey cards in a safe place in her bedroom. She probably has that memory of me as an 11 year old scoring $80 from a $10 investment burned into her head for life.

Some time during the prime of sports card collecting I sold the card pictured below to my classmate for $21 so that I could buy my mother a present for Mother’s Day. I would probably get the same amount for it today. I think I hit the pinnacle of my success at age 11.

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And then it ended, just like that. Within a matter of 3 to 4 years no one gave a care about them. That set I sold for $80 might get you $20 today and only because of the vast market the internet provides. If you were trying to sell it locally without the internet you’d might as well wipe your ass with them or use them as coasters. Card shops don’t even carry sports cards anymore. Pokemon and Magic cards rule the world of collectible cards these days. Another reason to believe that nerds rule the world.

I get a little nostalgic sometimes and the internet lures me into its cavern of temptation. 20 years later I can now afford the cards I could never before and they are even cheaper today. But I don’t care for sports no more so not much money will be spent.

$10 Canadian plus shipping. It would cost more like $3 plus shipping if it wasn’t professionally graded. I ordered it because it’s a nice looking card of the most famous hockey player of all time, and it looks all special with the case and grading. It helps that he never came off as an asshole during his career or after. His wife and daughter might be a couple of whores though.

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Pleasuring Yourself

It’s sounds desirable to not have to work and be able to do nothing or anything at your convenience. That’s somewhat the goal in life for many…to retire. You rarely hear of anyone who dreads the years leading up to retirement.

“Ah shit, I’m going to be able to retire soon.”

“Oh man, I wish they would raise the age of retirement so that I could work some more.”

There are some that are happy to retire but end up worse off because they become bored. The purpose of retirement for most is to not have to work so that you can enjoy the rest of your life. Sounds like a great plan no matter what age.

When I was thinking about leaving my job, I knew from past experience that doing nothing was going to get old sooner or later. I also knew that engaging in activities for leisure would not suffice either. The idea of trying to pleasure yourself all day instead of being miserable at work can seem like a no-brainer but it can feel just as miserable.

Even if you do have a full time job, all you think about is how you are going to be able to pleasure yourself after work and on the weekend. You hope to somehow bury your misery with some kind of pleasure, and if unsuccessful you can add a layer of delusion.

In our culture, pleasuring yourself is the main objective whether you are employed or not. Have fun, enjoy yourself, relax. It’s all good except when it’s your main purpose in life. Trying to pleasure yourself to feel fulfilled is as attainable as trying to find happiness through substances.

 

Daily Prompt: Pleasure

Rotary Phone Adventures

This post is being written for you standing up because my back has been getting sore easily from when I’m sitting or hunched over too long. This shit shouldn’t be happening for at least another 15 years. I don’t need anymore reasons to kill myself. I wonder if it has anything to do with my writing station.

I’ve read that it’s considered ghetto to not have your mattress on a bed stand. I really don’t see the benefit of a bed stand.

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I live like a prince

This rotary dial telephone one-man expedition has been giving me something to write about. I went on the hunt this morning with leads that I found off of Craigslist.

1) Two Phones. $20 Each.

Lem lived by the river, not in a van but some sort of boat house. He looked like a jack of all trades kind of guy with his dirty clothes and greased stained sausage fingers that have seen better days. His phones were dirty and have definitely seen way better days. I know these phones are old so I can’t expect them to be stellar but I hope for them to at least appear that they are possibly functional. The dials barely rotated and the things that you press to hang the phone up were stuck. I politely declined.

At least I got a chance to check out an area that I’ve never been to before. It was way more interesting than any residential areas. I kind of had the creeps walking onto his property. It gave off that serial killer aura. I was just waiting for the pit bulls to come out from around the corner to bite my balls off. Hate that feeling. Postman Traumatic Syndrome Disorder.

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2) 1 Phone. $15

It was a 30 minute drive to this next place that was only a short distance away from the American border. I’m starting to think that some white people move closer to the borders of the city to get away from us coloured folk. Joke, joke. Sort of.

They were an old couple and the husband said the classic old person line, “they don’t make them like they used to.” But he was right. The phone looked satisfactory. He was willing to let it go for $15 because the phone cord jack was missing. I thought it was a steal(some other old guy just told me that old phones didn’t used to have plugs). He gave me the quickest directions on how to get home and we said bye. It was a wholesome 1950’s experience.

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I thought it was a steal until I got home and opened it up to find that the bell was missing. I got ripped off by old people! Nah, they seemed like nice people. Did someone take the bell for a science fair experiment?

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I cleaned up the rotary dial because it was kind of sluggish. I’m getting my kicks now from turning the dial to get that mechanical sound. Anyone have an extra telephone bell laying around?

3) 1 Phone. $40

In the evening I went to pick up this rotary advertised on Craigslist. She advertised it as ‘excellent’ condition and that it was fully functional. I wouldn’t say it’s excellent but it’s satisfactory. Whether or not it works…we’ll see. The color is a rare find, I think, so I figure it’s a decent buy. I see them online going for the same price or more.

I’m going to test these buggers out tomorrow where there’s a landline connection. For the sake of the previous phone owners, these phones better work. I have their phone numbers and I can be very immature.

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Is there anything else you would rather do on a Saturday night than read about rotary dial telephones?

Bad eBay Experiences

The world of eBay offers you a great selection of items not available to you locally but the biggest drawback is that you have to trust some stranger won’t rip you off. When I say “trust” I really mean “hope.” I’ve been ripped off enough on eBay that I will never purchase anything that is expensive from there again.

Camera Battery

I used to be a serious amateur photographer back in the day. Having back up equipment was prudent so I decided to get an extra battery for my digital slr. When I received this “brand new” battery, I put it in my camera…nothing. I charged it…nothing. Refund? “You need to ship it to Hong Kong and we will send you another one.” I would have to pay for shipping, of course.

Canon Manual Film SLR Camera

I like old cameras. When I got this one it stopped working just after a month. Refund? “It’s passed the 30 day refund policy.”

It’s hard to believe that someone you don’t know and will never see won’t rip you off when there are plenty of people who will rip you off right in front of your face.

There’s a few more unsatisfactory eBay transactions such as the time I was sent women’s jeans or a motorcycle part for my friend that was incomplete. It’s patheticism at its finest. I’m no novice when it comes to eBay. I worked there for 2 years at the call centre they had here before they used the employees to train people overseas who then ended up taking all their jobs when they laid everyone off and shut down the centre.

Recently, I’ve been hunting down rotary dial telephones and I haven’t been having much luck. I’m only looking within Canada because I don’t want to deal with high shipping costs, long shipping times and customs charges. I found a couple but just like anyone who is trying to sell anything, if they don’t lie then they at least withhold the truth.

Has dial tone when plugged in and sounds really clear. (no static)

It seemed odd to me that he would brag about how clear the dial tone was but not how clear another voice sounded on the other end. My question was if the phone could make and receive calls. His answer?

“Everything works fine except for dialing out.”

Okay, so that means it’s fucking broken. It’s like saying a car works fine except that you just can’t seem to get it to accelerate.

One rare vintage 1979 rotary dial black and white telephone , wall mounted

Q: Is it fully functional and is it cheaper to ship to Vancouver? Thanks.
A: Hello , Thank you for your e-mail . Shipping to your area would be $ 10.00 US ( +/-13.00 CDN ). The phone is untested as it needs a little re-wiring on the back to replace the actual mount .
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So it’s broken? And you can’t test it because the wiring is all messed up. From the looks of it you can test it but you would need an adapter piece for this Frankenstein telephone. It’s advertised that it’s a wall mountable phone but you won’t be able to properly mount it on the wall with that thing sticking out of it.

The way they hope for it to play out is that once you receive the item, you will complain but they will just say, “I never said it worked.” It’s like marrying someone only to find out that they have 10 days to live but it’s not their fault that they didn’t tell you because you didn’t ask.

So I only order certain items from eBay. Items that have only a small chance of disappointing me like DVDs, books and anything else that is fairly inexpensive. eBay is almost dead to me since the popularization of Craigslist. I’m going to the flea market this weekend.

Oct 22nd, Turdsday

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My interests seem to gravitate towards items that don’t really have much use in our present world…rotary telephones, manual 35mm film cameras and this world globe that I picked up today off of some guy from Craigslist. Lyle listed it for $29 probably hoping someone would offer him $25 but would probably accept $20. I offered him $25 like an unaggressive bastard that I am. I hate low-balling people. I’m happy with the globe except it’s not current. It displays USSR and Yugoslavia. Oh well, it’s still pretty rad. I hate it when people low-ball me. It enrages me, makes me want to destroy their possessions and eat their family.

There’s a city garbage dump that you are supposed to go to when you have items you want to dispose of that are too large to fit in your garbage bin. It costs money to dump your items there so many people just dump their shit at the most convenient and inconspicuous location.

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If you have recyclable items it’s free to get rid of so I brought my portable barbecue grill, disposable propane tanks and other metal items there. There’s a disconnect when you dump your garbage. You throw it away so it’s out of your hands but where does it go to? Apparently it’s floating somewhere on the ocean like a big piece of stinkin shit in a toilet. It’s almost the equivalent of cleaning your room by shoving every thing in your closet or under your bed.

In the afternoon, I ended up at the McDonald’s by my home for a $2 Double Cheeseburger and small coffee. While sitting in my car listening to my usual podcast, this older Asian guy came back to his vehicle that was parked beside me. I was backed in and he was parked frontwards so we were side to side. I was bored so I said, “hi.” He reciprocated. He seemed interested so I continued to harass him. “On your lunch break?”

It turned into a conversation of me being unemployed and my philosophy behind it. He seemed amused and intrigued. We talked for a bit and then he gave me his card. He was a real estate agent. It kind of turned me off because it made me think that his intentions were to solicit potential business. Of course, it partly was.

He gave me some stock tips and the salesperson also came out of him, “when you make a million dollars, you will remember me when you buy a home, right?” He went on to tell me how in his whole life he has never met someone who told him that they quit their job with such a big smile on their face.

With 22 years in the industry, he’s developed some strategies. Giving stock tips costs him nothing regardless if they pan out or not. I’m not sure how much of what he had to say was honest or just a premeditated strategy to attain potential business but it was at least somewhat entertaining and possibly beneficial.  Just like every thing else going on in my life right now, we’ll see what happens.

New Love for Rotary Phones

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Last night I saw something on a show that triggered a new slight addiction for rotary telephones. I never had one in my household nor do I have a phone line connected now but I’ve become nostalgic for its rugged construction, mechanical sound and good reception. Perhaps I also miss that old annoying ringing sound that does not seem to exist anymore. The phrase, “your phone is ringing” should no longer be used since phones only beep or sing now. It’s funny though, because when these phones were still found in homes, I hated them. My grandmother had one and I cursed it for its primitiveness.

There’s a few on Craigslist and quite a few more on eBay but after every thing is said and done they will want $40 or more. It’s become a bit of a collector’s item especially the ones that are less boring in colour such as the red and pink ones. The one pictured above is local and they want $40. There’s some on eBay asking for at least $30 for shipping on top of the selling price. The one thing that sucks about living in Canada is that the selection available to you is limited and less desirable.

Today I became more interested in a rotary phone that is wall mountable. I found one on Kijiji for $30 but she lives over on the island next to me. I emailed her to ask if she would be open to the idea of shipping it to me. I think it would be a good decorative piece on my wall.

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When or if I do get one of these phones, I may bring it over to someone’s place just so that I can use it. If I ever do get a landline connected, when people call me on my cellular phone, I’ll tell them to call me back on my immobile landline which will be my version of time travelling.

If you have one, maybe we can work something out.

While you are at Work

It’s just after 2pm and I’m buzzed from the red wine that took its time to aerate. I let it mingle with the oxygen last night but it wasn’t enough for this high maintenance lady in red. It needed another 12 hours back in the bottle to marinate. I’m savoring this last glass like a junkie with their last rock while massaging out the bits of T-bone steak stuck between my teeth. I’m a hedonistic son of a bitch today but I did my good deed earlier by donating lightly worn clothes and footwear to at risk youths. They don’t accept used underwear.

Everyone else is at work counting down the time before the first part of their miserable day is over while I’m in my underwear writing for you good people. I’m sure my landlord is in panic mode hoping that I’m on an extended vacation and not unemployed and unable to pay his rent. I’ve pretty much paid for his new Mercedes.

Jim Jefferies is my current favourite standup comedian.