Monday, September 18, 2006

Confession 2 - The Long Walk Home

I have often joked with my friends about waking up in a dumpster, completely naked, and having no recollection whatsoever about how I got there. Occasionally there are some props involved, such as a pink tutu hazardlessly strewn amongst the putrid rubbish. Nobody really knows just what events may have transpired to cause me to end up in such a state, but it’s the humor of the whole setting that matters most.

Although the actual details vary slightly each time, we come up with some delightfully elaborate descriptions of this scenario. Of course, it is all completely unfounded because I don’t drink alcohol. In fact, I am probably one of the last people to ever be found in such a predicament. In the end, that just adds to the irony.

As often as we joke about it, I generally thought that these kinds of things don’t really happen - well, maybe on Comedy Central, but not in real life. But then reality set in.

While engaged in my routine cabbage, I saw a similar scene manifest itself in real life. And I assure you, this was no hallucination, no matter how tired I may have been. I first saw it between the pages of the newspaper. And no, I wasn’t reading about it. It literally was there, between two pages of a newspaper. Extending out from the bottom of those pages were two very long legs, and from the top a long, bare torso. I couldn’t believe it.

He was just walking down the street. It was about 2am on West Elizabeth. Nobody else was around. Nobody except for this naked guy. My reactions were mixed between pity, laughter, and a slight element of “wow that guy is cool!” He was just trekking along the street, holding one paper to the front of his waist, and the other to the back. His stride was surprisingly confident. He didn’t appear rushed, nervous, or jumpy. His head didn’t hang with shame. Truly this was a man who was a master of the predicaments he faced. If only we all could hold our head so high in our moments of utmost vulnerability, even when we are walking down the streets of life, completely naked except for the newspaper.

I didn’t get to see his face, his expression, or even whether or not he was covered with goose bumps from the chilly night air. Perhaps it is better that way. The mystery of the situation adds to its intrigue. Without a face or identity, he doesn’t have to take upon himself the weakness of a typical person. Instead, he remains an icon – a living reminder to all of us to take what life dishes out to us, or in this case, to surrender what life viciously pries from our fingers or off our bodies.

There is so much we can learn this man.

Think about it.

And next time you go to a party, bring an extra set of clothes. Or else you too might end up walking home naked, covering yourself with newspaper, and the night might not be as warm for you.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Cabbage Confession 1

(This blog entry was written on Sunday, September 10, 2006, approximately one week before I created this blogspot).

I must have one of the most interesting jobs one could possibly have while going to school. I am a cabbie. I live the life of cabbage. (I borrowed this term from a friend). And so, in honor of such an awesome word, I have decided to start blogging my cabbage.

Wow. Just look at that phrase, "Blogging my cabbage". I love the English language. It sounds so naughty (or at least gluttonous), and it is actually quite the opposite.

I first engaged in cabbage about 4 weeks ago. I am still by no means an expert, but I am learning. And I can already tell that I am going to have a hard time remembering all of these stories. So, I figure myspace (and maybe a blogspot if I accumulate enough stories) would be a good way to share the blogging of my cabbage with everyone. So dig in!

Tonight's story is a tale of two middle aged gentlemen. I picked them up at a bar in Old Town. They were trying to decide whether or not they wanted to go to Sundance, and then proceed to the strip club, or if they just wanted to go straight to the strip club.

Hmmm. As odd as it may sound, I honestly can't decide at which of these two places I would most likely be found. Honestly. Strip bars are just retarded, and I can't stand country bars. It's a toss. I think I will be content in never stepping foot in either one.

And with that, they decided to go to the strip club. So, I took them there. They must have had a load of money to burn because I can't imagine that such establishments would be inexpensive. But such carnal indulgence is not satisfied merely with the whims of skanky/sleesy entertainment. No no no. They wanted to drag me into the picture.

No, they didn't literally want to take me into the strip club. But they did want me to remain there, the car idling away in the parking lot, while they did who-knows-what. I told them that I would have to leave the meter running, and it would tick up at a moderate $0.40 per minute. And yet they thought it was a reasonable amount, so they agreed. I was shocked. I was speechless. I was completely unprepared and bored, so after about 10 minutes I pulled out my cell phone and tried calling people to pass the time. That wasn't long lasting, however, So I started writing out a fictitious conversation in Chinese as I put my Mandarin to the test. (What, who wouldn't start writing in Chinese in the parking lot of a strip club?) I suppose I can cross that off of my "to do before I die list". But first I should probably actually *put* it on the list. Meh, minor details.

And so I twiddled my thumbs, listed to music, wrote in Chinese, and killed some aliens on my cell phone. It was the easiest almost $30 I have ever made. Even easier than the $100 I got for doing a Michael Jackson dance routine once.

And I concluded the night by taking these two people to a designated place of residence.

Sadly enough, I think I would have made more money if I would have turned down their offer for me to wait for them and instead gone and engaged in more cabbage.

I guess I will never know.


A wise man, John Rickenbacker, once said:

"The weakest ink is better than the strongest memory."

Okay, truth-be-told, I actually don't know if Mr. Rickenbacker was a wise man. I don't even know who he was, or is. I don't know if he's alive, dead, or frozen (in the hopes of being revived at a future date). I just remembered hearing that quote and I did a google search and came across it. And in the process I found out that it was John Rickenbacker who said that. I at least would like to give credit where credit is due. And I suppose I can feasibly conclude that he was a wise man, at least on the grounds that someone took that quote to heart and wrote it down. As a result, I was able to find that quote and use it as a preface for Cabbage Confessions. Indeed, that "ink" has proven to be better than a strong memory.

Following the same logic (well, whether or not it is actually the same logic I cannot tell for sure, but it does make for a good conjunction), I am going to set about blogging my cabbage stories over the course of the upcoming months that I hold this job. I know myself well, and I thus know that there is no way that I will be able to remember all of these stories. In addition, this is an excellent way to share them with everyone, for their own amusement.

And so, with no further ado, I give you:

CABBAGE CONFESSIONS, a blog by Cabbie Joe.