I'm good at a few things. I'm great at watching TV, and I can eat Cheetos and Oreos like a champ. I'm very proud of these accomplishments, and no one can ever take that away from me.
However, I'm not so good at other things. I'm useless with repairing stuff around the house. For example, my garage door wouldn't close last week. My mom knew a shady Russian guy who could take care of it for half the price of a Sears repairman, so he came out that night (whereas Sears gave me a 4-hour window the following day.) The Russian guy jiggled one of the sensors around and simply said, "Iz fix. Pay $40." The sensors were just unaligned, so I essentially wasted $40 because I didn't know any better.
I can't cook whatsoever either. If you recall from my Spaghetti entry, I don't know how to boil water. I've also opened my oven door once in the two years I've owned this house, and that was to help my sister, who had her hands full. The only things I know how to make in the kitchen are sandwiches and cereal. I can also create ghetto grilled cheese, which is where you put two slices of bread in the toaster, and then as soon as they're done, you quickly pick them out of the toaster and place a slice of cheese in between them, so the cheese melts a little bit. It's very tasty.
Speaking of cereal, my friends Body Burner, Glimmer (formerly known as Jess, who requested the name change) and Pat were over my house a couple of weeks ago. When I told them that all I eat for breakfast every day is cereal, they asked if I ever got tired of it. "Not when I have lots of cereals," I answered.
Body Burner and Pat were curious, so they opened my pantry door. They were astonished to find boxes of: Frosted Flakes, Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles, Fruit Loops, Golden Grahams, Lucky Charms and Cocoa Puffs. They didn't even check the back, or they would have found Honey Nut Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios (not a fan) and Corn Pops. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I eat cereal very well too.
Body Burner: You don't know how to make any other type of breakfast food? Like not even scrambled eggs?
Me: Dude, I don't even know where to buy eggs, let alone what to do with them.
Body Burner assumed I was kidding and went on to explain the process of making scrambled eggs. But I was still stuck on Step 1. Eggs baffle me. I have six questions about them:
1. Where do you buy eggs? Now, I'm not completely stupid. I know that supermarkets sell them. I think I saw eggs at Bottom Dollar once. So, I know where to get an egg if I really desperate for one.
My question is, is there a place that specializes in eggs? You know, like you can buy meat and bread in the supermarket, but you're better off going to the butcher and bakery for those wares. Is there some sort of egg store? If so, where is it, and what is it called?
2. What type of egg do I buy? I've seen different colors of eggs. There are white ones. There are brown ones. There are also multi-colored ones like this:
Which eggs are best? See, this is why I need to go to an egg store the first time so the egg expert can explain all of this to me. They can also tell me how many eggs I need to buy to make scrambled eggs. Do I need one egg? Two eggs? Or is it a lot, like 20 eggs? If you're an egg expert, please answer my question!
3. Where do you keep the eggs? OK, so let's say I went to the egg store and bought one green-and-blue egg to make scrambled eggs with. Do I put it in the refrigerator like I would with milk, bread and vodka, or do I leave it out in the open like I do with bananas, cereal and Cheetos?
If eggs belong in the fridge, I think they should build some sort of egg compartment for them so they don't get ruined. Like, what happens if I clumsily open the door and the egg falls on the ground? Eggs obviously don't bounce like basketballs; they crack, for those of you who did not know. Does that mean I have to go back to the egg store? I don't even know where the egg store is, so I imagine I'd have to drive really far and spend a lot on gas money. Eating cereal is so much simpler.
4. What happens if one of the eggs hatches? This would be my worst nightmare. I live by myself, so I can't handle a pet on my own.
Let's say I bought five eggs at the egg store, all different colors. What if the purple one with orange waves hatches, and out comes a baby bird or baby rabbit? Do I keep the baby bird or baby rabbit? Do I give it away to someone else? Do I call the SPCA? What do you feed a baby bird anyway? And I know a rabbit will eat carrots, but where the hell can you buy carrots? I don't think I've ever seen a carrot store.
5. What do you do with the egg parts? OK, so let's say everything's gone smoothly. I've located an egg store, I bought the appropriate amount of eggs, and I didn't have any baby animals come out of them. Phew. But now what?
For those of you who don't know, there is yellow goo that comes out when you crack an egg. So, once you do that, you have yellow goo and white shells. Which one goes in the microwave when you're trying to make scrambled eggs? Do you mix them together with ham and cheese, or is it just one? I can't imagine the yellow goo tasting good, but I don't remember my scrambled eggs ever being crunchy. Perhaps the egg shell pieces melt in the microwave? Hmm... I'll have to experiment.
Now that I had a better idea of how to handle the difficult egg process, I started paying attention to Body Burner again. Unfortunately, he was now discussing how to make chicken parm.
Just one question: Where do you buy the chicken and the parm?
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 2: The Puker and the Scowler
It's summertime, so I've been outside more often. This is important, as it allows me to find more jerks around my neighborhood.
I was sitting on my front steps one Friday evening, texting an awesome girl who loves football, when a white car drove by. I didn't think anything of it, until he made a crazy u-turn in the adjacent cul-de-sac and drove by my house again.
The white vehicle suddenly stopped. The driver, a really skinny guy who looked about 18, opened the door and...
He vomited all over the street. There was a huge orange puddle, and he kept spitting into it. About a minute later, he closed the door and drove off again.
I once puked in the back of my parents' car coming back from my sister's 21st-birthday celebration - we were around the corner from my house, but I unfortunately couldn't hold it anymore - but I've never seen anyone actually stop a car, heave into the middle of the street and continue driving.
Some of you may not believe this story, but I have proof. Here's a picture:
I went back to texting as one of my neighbors pulled up. Facing my house, he's two to the right, and he's the only one in my group of six houses whose name I don't know.
The man stepped out of his car. He was a bald, Russian guy in his 50s. He was carrying a pizza box and a brown bag, with what I assumed continued tasty goodies like cheese fries, mozzarella sticks and cheesy breadddd NOM NOM NOM NOM. I began drooling, and my saliva nearly ruined my precious phone.
My neighbor saw that I was staring down his pizza box and brown bag. Attempting to introduce myself so he would offer me some of his dinner, I waved and said "hi." Instead of responding, he scowled and walked inside his house.
Well played, neighbor, well played. I guess he knew that I didn't care about meeting or befriending him; he saw right through my ruse and realized that I just wanted the food.
I really wonder what gave it away. Hmm... now that I think about it, I may not have done anything too obvious. Yes... I just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Scowler must have seen the vomit and assumed that like a prostitot hanging out at the mall, I puked so I could eat more food.
Ugh. I have terrible luck. Here's how things would have gone down in a non-vomit situation:
Me: Howdy, neighbor!
Scowler: Vhat you vant?
Me: I just want your friendship! We've been living two houses away from each other for two years now. It's time that we got to know each other.
Scowler: Vhat you vant talk about?
Me: Anything. The weather, sports, girls, you name it.
Scowler: OK, come to my house. I have pizza I buy. You vant pizza and cheese fry and mozzarella stick and cheesy bread?
Me: Well, as long as I'm not imposing...
Scowler: You not propose. Come qvickly before gypsy come and steal pizza.
Ugh. Puker just had to go and ruin my night. What a selfish jerk.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 3: Deck People
All I've been hearing lately is how we live in a tough economy. No one can find work, businesses are failing, people are vomiting so I can't steal my neighbor's pizza, yadda, yadda, yadda. Tough times.
It's hard to believe that though when companies turn down easy business. I've wanted to build a deck since early February. My neighbor (to the right, facing my house) gave me the phone number of a guy who did a great job with his deck. I called the deck person, but no one answered. I left a message.
A few weeks later, I realized that they hadn't reached me. I called again and left another message. Nothing. I did the same thing two weeks later - still nothing.
I finally received a call in early April. The guy came by and measured everything. He said he'd call me back with the price and specs that he would pass along to the builder, since it had to be approved by the townhouse association.
A week passed by, and nothing. I called three times, but I just got his voice mail after about four rings. I got a sneaking suspicion that they were screening my calls, so I asked my mom to give it a try. Coincidentally enough, they picked up right away and told her that they would e-mail me. Of course, they didn't send it right away, so my mom badgered them again. They finally e-mailed me on April 30 - nearly three months after I left them my first message.
The association approved it. I agreed I'd pay them the amount they were asking for. So, we were good to go, right?
Well, the deck people said they had to send paperwork to the township to have it approved. They said it would take 4-6 weeks for the township to get back to me. I waited and waited, and finally, on June 4, I thought I'd ask the township for the status. I wanted to call the township, but I inadvertently reached out to the association instead. I thought the association employee would help me contact the township. Instead...
Association Employee: You have to call the township.
Me: I know, sorry. How can I reach them?
Association Employee: I'm not sure.
Me: What do you mean?
Association Employee: We don't deal with them.
Me: Well, I'm just asking for a phone number to call. Do you at least have that?
Association Employee: No.
Me: You don't have their phone number? How is that possible?
Association Employee: We don't deal with them.
Me: But isn't the association in the township? I don't understand.
Association Employee: We don't have the information you're looking for.
Me: Ugh! So how do I get their number?
Association Employee: I'm not sure.
Seriously, how inept is that? I had to Google the township office's number, which is something the Association Employee could have done if he wasn't too busy whacking off to animal porn while on the phone with me.
I called the township office and was greeted by a machine. I punched in the correct directory and was asked to leave a message. I did so and received a phone call the next day:
Township Guy: Hi, you called about your deck information?
Me: Yes! I was wondering what the status of the process was because I was told the paperwork would take 4-6 weeks, and it's been that long already.
Township Guy: Hmm... I'm looking through your file, and I see nothing about a deck.
Me: What? The deck guy said he sent you the deck proposal back in late April.
Township Guy: No, we don't have anything.
Me: Are you sure? Are you looking at the right file?
Township Guy: Yes. Walter Cherepinsky. You have no deck license proposal.
I called the deck guy again and got no answer. What a f***ing surprise. My mom tried, and they decided to pick up the phone again. Here's what was said:
Mom: Hi, my son called the township and the guy said they got no deck proposal.
Deck Guy: I sent one over.
Mom: They said they don't have it.
Deck Guy: Well, I sent it. It's not my problem anymore.
Well, now it's your problem because you've lost my business, idiot.
Seriously, how can a business owner be so inept? Doesn't he want to make money? Why would he screw up free business like that?
You might be thinking, "Walt, why don't you go with another deck company?" Well, my association is strict - keep in mind, they made the rules while watching animal porn - so I'm limited to a certain group of deck companies, and I don't know anyone else's number.
So, instead of chilling on a deck in my backyard, I'm going to have to keep texting on my front steps. There is one good thing to potentially come out of this - I'll be seeing Scowler more often, so there's a chance he will finally fall for my pizza-theft ploy.