Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Eddie Destroys His Brother's Lego House

Jacksonville, North Carolina

My older brother, Joey, pulled a familiar plastic, blue bin towards the carpeted floor at the foot of our shared bunk bed. Joey was an 8 year old kid on a very distinguished mission. A mission that motivated him despite having a powered-on television in the room that was showcasing Fox Kids' Saturday morning cartoons.

My brother was going to build the best damn LEGO house the world had ever seen. And not even our mommy's delicious supper could pull him away from his foreseeable destiny.
Super Mario shapes FTW
Joey was always the architect of the family. He had the blueprints already drawn up in his 8 year old mind before he even sat down to lay down the very first brick.

Every block would be a different color than the one next to it, which is exactly the way a child's dream house had to be. There would be no roof, because the climate of our air conditioned room created a perfect living environment for the little LEGO men inside. He even included a 2nd floor so that the LEGO inhabitants would have a place to rest when they were getting sick of their annoying He-Man and Ghostbuster action figure neighbors.
"I have the power! ... to annoy you with my masculinity"
After the house was built, Joey would play around with the house for a few hours. But his mind was always roaming to the next grand project he could commit to.

Meanwhile, a rambunctious 6 year old watched from the shadows. This kid was previously playing with a SEGA Genesis, but NBA Jam was now paused.
Pippen's going to have to wait for that BOOM-Shakalaka
He clearly had his eyes on something else. Something more.

This child was me. And the moment Joey left his creation alone, I pounced onto his territory to claim it as my own.

While my brother was the creative architect, I was the one with the vivid imagination. I preferred messing with the lives of these little LEGO people so that they would commit to my crazy storylines and rules. All my brother did was create a setting for my mental scripts. This would usually end with immense destruction.

At the time, my young mind did not give the figures much to work with. My stories were usually basic fight scenes where I would mash the toys together until I decided there was a victor. Then I would throw in a simple poop joke and call it a day ...

... in fact I still do this.
"Because poop is funny!"
But this scene should be nothing new to your own interpretation of brothers. If you have an older sibling, then you understand the handy-down system. It was in full effect here. My brother would gain something, then outgrow it, and finally I'd take it away for my own use until I eventually destroyed it. This system worked with clothes, books, and parental attention as well.

Yet there was something else I wanted that my brother had been holding onto for far too long:

The top bunk.

I loved to complain to my mother that it was unfair that I wasn't allowed to sleep on the top bunk. It was common brother jealousy because my older brother, Joey, was sole owner of the untouchable mountain. My brother and I would fight constantly about it, but I just dealt with it because the bottom bunk gave me a place to hide my boogies on the wall parallel to my bed. Little green globs of ectoplasm that were hidden by the shadow of the mythical top bunk. I was a prison inmate etching into his cell the days since he last saw freedom.

Then, it happened. My mom finally felt that I was old enough to experience the top bunk. At the tender age of 6, I had finally grown up. I was ready to become a man.

For the first time since I started waking up for kindergarten, I actually looked forward to bed time. My brother and I use to sneak a video game or two in while we pretended to dose off, but I wasn't having any of that on this monumental night.

I put on my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles footy pajamas and triumphantly climbed to the top of the mountain.
Kinda like Uncle Joey here except way more boss.
I put my flag down onto the bed and finally claimed ownership of what was un-rightfully mine. That flag being my old blankey that use to be white, but due to nightmares and an uncontrollable bladder, had now magically turned yellow ... Well, not really "magically".

I laid upon my new pillaged kingdom with a sense of fulfillment. I put my hands behind my head and Ferris Bueller'd my way into sleepy time.
Day-bow-bow. Chick ... chicka-chick-ahhhhh
I'm pretty sure at this point I was having a pretty awesome dream about Zordon honoring me as the latest member of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Since my favorite color red was taken by that dweeb Billy, I was going to go with Nickelodeon-Orange. I was positive that the Pink Ranger was going to dig my steez when I showed up in my new uniform.

When suddenly I was thrown out of my Megazord. Could this be the doings of that jezebel-wench Rita? Find out in the next episode of ...

I woke up to find my body teeter-tottering on the edge of my new top bunk.
By the way, you jus' got Inception'd
I tried to kick gravity in the face and pulled all my body weight towards the bed to stop myself from Mortal Kombating myself into the pit below.

It wasn't enough.

I plummeted towards the floor as my arms flew violently [and Kermit-the-Frog-ly] through the air.
I tried to grab onto the bed ... the ladder ... my brother's sleeping face ... anything. But I ultimately whiffed.

Smashing into the floor below was now inevitable. Unlucky for me, there was a structure on the floor to break my fall. Another trophy that I had stolen earlier that day: My brother's multi-colored LEGO house.

I collided with the home, which immediately shattered into hundreds of pieces. The house now resembled a bowl of Fruity Pebbles after a 2 year old has their way with it. My body contorted with the layout of this new bed of nails.

If you've ever stepped on a LEGO, then you understand the volatile destruction that these little mines can create. I had just fallen a good 5 feet onto a whole unevenly built LEGO house.

I laid there motionless as the traumatizing experience slowly settled in. I let out a few silent moans and dieing-animal noises but my body couldn't let out a cry due to the immense shock over what just took place.

I slowly rotated my body, brushed off the multicolored bricks that were now stuck to my Ninja Turtles footy pajamas, and grabbed the first peg of the ladder to pick myself back up to my little toddler feet.

Somehow I was perfectly fine. Minus a few cat-like scratches on my back, I was surprisingly unscathed. All my experience watching Macho Man Randy Savage drop his patented elbow from the top rope onto other WWF wrestlers must have subliminally taught me how to take a decent bump.
"You're welcome Eddie! OHHHH YEAAH! DIG IT?!"
Not many children have lived to tell a tale similar to this, but somehow I survived. This experience shaped me into the man I am today. 
Needless to say, I gave the top bunk back to my older brother and returned to my boogie-covered dungeon.

I learned a valuable lesson that night: Don't grow up too fast. Mo' responsibility and prestige, mo' problems. Bask in life when it's simple. Enjoy what you have now because sooner or later, you're going to be drowning in a sea of LEGO's

... LEGO's being a metaphor for debt ... [See what I did there?]

But that wasn't the only life lesson I gained through this experience. I also learned the ultimate revenge for anyone who disrespected me.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Eddie Gets Luxurious For His 21st Birthday. Vomits in a Limo

June 2010
Boston, Massachusetts

I have a love/hate relationship with the city of Boston. Most of my family is scattered throughout the area so my face is a frequent visitor. Also, it doesn't hurt that the city has a decent film/television community, which gets me a varying amount of work. But there is one thing that has prevented me from relocating to my "roots". Most people who have experienced the city can agree with me on this one: Everything to do with driving in Boston is disgustingly greasy.

I despise the puke layout of the roads;

The traffic is overbearing and nonsensical at times;

In order to drive half-way efficiently in Boston, the Masshole driving style must be adopted but takes years of mastering;

And it seems like most city drivers are petrified of letting anyone pass them or cut into their precious lane. I call this "tiny car penis syndrome". Because the mentality of many Bostonian drivers is that if anyone jumps in front of you, they're humiliating you by proclaiming you as less of a man; thus having a tiny member. So the moment a one spots your blinker, they'll speed up to ensure their manhood remains intact. This creates a frustrating ordeal where you end up playing car roulette with another driver whenever you're trying to crossover to an exit during rush hour. Who's more man enough to get as close to the other as possible without backing off? You better plan your maneuvers a few miles back because otherwise, you'll be the one left with the little vehicular peepee.

But I'm getting carried away with my frustrations. We've established that driving in Boston is a duck-fart. Luckily the human race has figured out ways around this ordeal. That's why when my birthday buddy, Oreo, and I turned 21, we decided to pool our money together to do it big. We were going to rent a luxurious limousine. We'd then drive from Londonderry, NH to Boston, MA like we were a couple of big-time, fancy-pants'd businessmen going to an important arrangement. Thus giving us an hour of pre-gaming before we arrived close to Faneuil Hall. (We were newbie 21 year olds and didn't understand the Boston bar scene so we decided to head to a recognizable busy area and go with the flow.)

I met up with Oreo at his place and soon learned just how interesting this night was going to be. Oreo received an unique birthday gift from one of his friends. It was a bottle of something very, very special.

This is the part where I introduce you to my best friend yet sworn enemy. His name is Jagermeister. He is an evil son-of-a-gun yet somehow knows how and where I hate like it. Jagermeister transforms Eddie into his evil twin brother, Balls Mahoney. Balls Mahoney has no shame and will do anything for the sake of entertainment. He cares for nothing except where the next drink will be, a guaranteed good time, and macaroni & cheese. You'll learn more about his relationship with mac & cheese when Balls Mahoney makes an appearance during Eddie's 22nd birthday in Portland, ME. But that's another story.

We all jumped into the limo and took off. If you've ever been in a limo, then you can guess what happened next. We played with every little gadget we could get our barely legal hands on.

Oreo: "Oh my God! Check these lights out! You can control how bright they are!"

Eddie: "There's even a fridge! We can put things in it and they'll get cold!"

Oreo: "Uh oh! We can change the music! Who's up for a little Wu-Tang Clan?"

Eddie: "Dude, there's a sunroof! We can Teen Wolf this bitch!"

Don't judge us, we're simpletons.

After we extinguished that from our systems, we started pouring the Jager. It began slowly--with Jager Bombs. Then, once the Red Bull ran out, we graduated to straight Jagermeister.

The drive was the quickest drive to Boston I've ever experienced. It was almost like we jumped into a black hole and were spat out into the city. The only problem: The Jager must not have made the jump. Because the bottle was still there, but the black deer blood inside was no where to be found.

Oh well.

As usual, the traffic in Boston was terrible, so we asked the limo driver to drop us off close enough to our destination so that we could walk the rest of the way. The limousine pulled over and we prepared to exit. We soon found where all that Jagermeister went. The moment each of us planted our feet on that Boston pavement and stood up, a feeling of lightheadedness took over. We were shaken and the night hadn't even begun yet.

Another realization; we had no idea where we were. So we did the only thing that confused New Hampshirites do when lost in Boston: Look for old, familiar monuments that you've seen in your 8th grade social studies textbook.

We walked around in circles for about a half hour before we finally found Faneuil Hall.

Now what?

Drink some more, I guess.

We went to a bar called the Purple Shamrock and suddenly alcoholic beverages started materializing right before my eyes. It's a phenomenon that happens to everyone on their birthday. I call it the Boozedini Complex. Close friends show up and suddenly alcoholic drinks magically appear in the hands of the birthday boy/girl, rendering him/her useless.

Our group was slowly accumulating. The best part about this birthday was the amount of characters we were able to muster up. I had friends visiting from all over the northeast for this interesting night. Just so I don't have to introduce every person, I'll go through the ones who play a role in this story:

I mentioned him earlier. My birthday buddy who is also one of the funniest people I know. He has an infectious laugh, especially after someone makes an unconventional fart joke. Both of us had no idea what we were getting ourselves into that night.

This person is actually a male. He told me to use this name when bringing him up in any story, but he will forever be known to me as the Asian Sensation; More grind for ya dime; Stylin' & profilin' snazzy dressing son-of-a-lady-who-does-nails. Some feel uncomfortable around him, but you should know by now that I find uncomfortable situations hilarious. Mary was visiting:

I haven't hung out with Goku as much as his Mary, but I've been around him enough to know that he is a lot of fun to have in your entourage. Also a pharmacist so a warning to the elderly: This man currently has your life in his hands.

We were also with a group of University of New England students who vanished at some point, friends of Oreo's, and a random assortment of others who I can't remember due to later intoxication.

So we're all at the Purple Shamrock, and I was already in that sweet spot. Not quite set to auto-pilot, but certainly on my way. I had great group of people around me, which always puts me in a ravishing mood.

But--Balls Mahoney was starting to take over. I could feel him knocking on my mind's door; ready to burst in and throw common-sense Eddie out into the cold.

Balls Mahoney is convinced that rational thinking is an unneeded, dieing concept. At this point, he might have been right.

Then I heard music start up. LIVE music. One thing about intoxicated Eddie, when he hears live music, he'll shut out everyone and go straight to the source. He will then dance in mediocrity until he tires himself out, needs another drink, or has to piss. 'Needs another drink' came first. Luckily, the Boozedini Complex struck again as a rum & coke hovered my way.

People in our group wanted to relocate so I obliged. Everyone finished their drinks and we went back into the streets of Boston. Sadly, Eddie was not with them. But Balls Mahoney was--and he was ready to blitzkrieg the city.

As we were walking to find the next bar, I started screaming to strangers "reminding" them about my birthday. Like it was some huge event that they should feel privileged to be apart of. I'll have to ask the other individuals with me because I can't remember exactly what I was saying, but I'm confident that I sounded like a defiled prince who was denied as the heir to his father's throne. I was looking for proper recognition, but despite Boston being the home to the bar in Cheers, nobody at these bars knows--or cares about--my name.

Oreo was the only one on my level. He was plastered and stumbling. I'm pretty sure at some point Oreo altered his voice to resemble a large, African-American woman on the daytime television show Maury as she defiantly yells at Maury Povich's angry, rambunctious audience before she finds out that 'He is NOT the father'.

Oreo: "Yooooou don't know meeeee!!! You might think you know me, but you don't know me! Keep hating 'cause you wish you looked like this!"

We continued walking through the crowded streets when we suddenly ended up passing some of Boston's finest. Several police officers were standing in a line, talking amongst themselves. Each cop was straight-faced but you could tell that all of them were eager to tackle any drunken idiot who decided that this night was a good night to 'layeth the smackdown' because they failed at getting laid.

Suddenly, I became uncontrollably nervous. I went straight into 'Time to win an Oscar for Best Sober Performance by an Alcoholic Actor' mode. But then, I remembered a little tidbit of information: I was 21 years old now. I was not doing anything illegal.

My overbearing confidence returned to my body. I hitched up my pants and strutted through that line of intimidating lawmen. I tipped my cap to them to display that I had absolutely no shame for my own actions.

... yet.

We passed the officers and jumped into the line for a nearby club because some of the group wanted to put their dancing shoes on. Sadly, there was a $10 cover charge. Since a lot of our group, including myself, were poor college students and could not afford the expensive ways of Boston bar-hopping, factions of our group split up. Luckily, the Boozedini Complex occasionally took care of cover charges, so I ventured inside.

Mary, Goku, and I walked over to the bar to grab a drink. Mary looked at me, pushed me back, and delivered a devious stare into Balls Mahoney's soul. Oh no, this is what I was afraid of. You never let Mary buy you a drink, because Mary will find a way to mix your current state of mind with that one drink that will take it to the final level. And I don't say "final level" like it is an accomplishment. The final level is a sloppy, broken, incoherent, and mucky mindset where you don't return from until the following morning. And even then, your body, mind, and soul will still desire multiple days of water intake and tears outtake in order to return to your former human state.
Mary turned to the bartender. Normal Eddie would have developed an excuse to get out of this situation because he has common sense and knows that whatever Mary places in front of him will be the end of his night. Sadly, Balls Mahoney would have none of that.

Mary turned back around with a glass of water.

Holy schnikes! My friends actually cared about my well-being! I took the glass of water from Mary and took a big gulp from it.

I stopped.

I then slowly moved the glass away from my face, which was now displaying that look you get when you step into a fresh, steaming pile of dog shit.

My wincing eyes looked up and connected with Mary's. He had that same devious stare that was now paired with an evil ear-to-ear smirk.

This was a glass of straight Grey Goose vodka. I usually would never use a raunchy comparison like stepping in dog shit to describe Grey Goose, but in this moment I was not having it. My body and taste buds were not ready for this tomfoolery. Balls Mahoney would have chugged the whole thing if someone was so inclined to challenge him, but he also respects a fine beverage. There was too much money placed into this drink (especially being in the pricey drinking city of Boston) to mix it into a filthy toilet bowl within the next 5 minutes. So Balls Mahoney did something he has never done before: He passed up a drink.

Goku then snatched the glass from my hand and dominated it. This man might be a smaller man of Asian-New Jersey descent, but in that moment he proved to me that he had the liver of a Soviet fisherman.

Sadly, the denial of tasty beverage wasn't enough to save me from the abyss. Auto-pilot had finally kicked in. At this point, I was no longer a human being who could conduct himself in what society would define as "the normal way". I was now being operated by a horribly programmed machine who was only interested in completing simple tasks such as stumble, dance poorly, and of course continue drinking despite the obvious lines that have been crossed. Also, for some reason my face was stuck in a Guido duck face:
This picture shows what would happen if Pauly D from the Jersey Shore impregnated the runt of a lion's batch of cubs. The runt lion would produce this offspring. Must be my heritage catching up to me. Off-topic: I never order Corona. Boozedini strikes again.

This is the part where I started to black out. Before this night, I had never blacked out in my life. I was pretty proud of my brain's ability to retain information despite the ignorant things I've put it through. Every bad decision caught up with a vengeance.

I have no clue how long we stayed at that club. Luckily, I had a gaggle of loving friends with me who get off on posting embarrassing pictures of my unpromising dance maneuvers to Facebook. So I have digital evidence that I looked like a total jackass that night.

We finally left for the limo, but my dignity would remain in Boston.

The group we started with entered the limousine and we were on our way home. Sadly, the ride home was a lot different than the ride to the bars. The tag-team birthday boys were quieter than ever as they slowly realized where the night had taken their young, innocent minds. I was trying to recollect myself but was unable to establish clear thoughts as the loud music from the radio bounced my weakened brain from ear-to-ear. I believe it was still the Wu-Tang Clan.

Have you ever made an attempt to sit quietly and will yourself into being sober? You try to put mind over matter and prove to the gods of alcohol that you don't follow their so-called rules. Yeah, that's exactly what I was doing in this moment. And I was failing miserably.

The positive side of the situation was that I was not feeling physically ill.

*sniff sniff*

Suddenly, a putrid stench infiltrated my nose-buds. Something so diabolical, that Balls Mahoney himself instantly released the control that he previously had on Eddie's mind. A smell that was so dank, my alcohol-danger-meter instantly went from a 'serious yet controllable' 8 to a 'dangerous and prepare for evacuation' 10.

I looked up and squinted. I could barely make out a shadowy figure who was sitting across from me on the other side of the limo. His body was convulsing so violently that it made the girl from the Exorcist look more docile than a breast-feeding pug. He was shaking so much that even Michael J. Fox would have told him to "settle down". [And the award for most offensive joke of this blog post goes to ...]

It was my birthday buddy, Oreo. He was the one who suddenly decided to place his night's birthday presents right there in front of our guests. But I was the only one seeing this situation unfold. No one else in the limousine even acknowledged what was going on. It was a surreal Twilight Zone moment--until I joined the cast.

The nauseating smell was getting me uncomfortably sick at a very fast rate. I could feel the written bond I had with my stomach slowly deteriorate. I've always been proud of myself for maintaining an iron stomach that was capable of holding down items that had no business being held down, but in this moment, my body wanted to teach my mind a lesson. I still tried to clutch onto everything as I convinced myself that I was perfectly fine.

Eddie's mind: "Eddie, you're perfectly fine. Sure, it smells like a dead camel's butthole in the desert, but you've been through worse, right? C'mon, just think happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts ... Remember when you got a toy batmobile for Christmas when you were like 9 years old? Man, that was awesome. You pushed that little thing throughout the whole house and stopped The Joker from taking control of the living room. See Eddie, there's no way you're going to pu----"

Eddie: "Eeeeeeuuuuugggghhh."

I decided to join the party. I convulsed as I tainted everything that's great about riding in a limo. I had just silently puked on myself and the floor of the limousine.

A limousine has an image of class, wealth, and luxury. I turned one into my own personal in-flight puke bag.

The peculiar thing is, no one noticed that I puked either. And two individuals were sitting right next to me. The birthday duo was able to get all the way to New Hampshire without being called out for our dastardly deeds.

We pulled into Oreo's mom's house. The limousine driver opened the door to let some of the passengers out. The inside lights turned on as he completed this task. Time for the moment of truth.

Everyone quickly realized what had happened to Oreo because his puddle was right next to the door leading to our precious freedom.

"Ewwww! Oreo puked!"

Oreo took the blame like a man. He wasn't capable of saying much, but he knew he was the culprit and owned up to the mess. Suddenly, the group noticed another pile. I tensed up.

"Look! Over there! Oreo must have crawled over near Eddie and puked next to him too! Poor Eddie!"

I dodged a bullet. Oreo was going to take the blame for both of our slippery mistakes. I was in the clear.

"Wait a second! That pile is Eddie's! Eddie puked too! You can see it on his shirt!"

Dammit. They got me. The birthday boys were caught red-handed. And we would have gotten away with it too. If it wasn't for those drunken kids... and that Jager too.

And to make matters worse, I was the last one to get dropped off. This meant that I was stuck to endure the drive of shame alone. The climax of which was when the driver finally opened the door just for me to stumble back into the world covered in my own filth. I couldn't even lift my head up to look him in the eye. Partially because I felt so guilty. Also, because I still had vomit residue on the side of my face.

It was after 2:30AM, and his precious work vehicle was Nickelodeon slime'd.

Despite this whole situation being a very embarrassing one for myself, I still wanted to share it. Because you should find positive in any situation you've put yourself into. If my mistakes have the ability to entertain even just a dozen people, then I see value in them, as long as no one but myself was hurt in the process.

My 21st birthday was a memorable one, and it started a tradition that I've followed ever since: Always start your birthday with a bottle of Jagermeister. Regrets are for tomorrow. My 22nd birthday would follow with that tradition ...