Friday, November 25, 2011

Publicity!

Guys.

I would like you all to meet my friend Wendel.


"Hello, Wendel."
Wendel is on something of a journey. 

He met a streak of bad luck recently. First he lost his job. Then he lost his house. Then he tried his hand at being an apps developer renting an office in my office suite.

He failed.

So, now he's moving. From Seattle to Arizona. 

In this:


Is that a firetruck at the top of the pile, Wendel?
This is Wendel's ton of crap in the back of his truck. And when I say a ton, I mean a literal ton. (As measured by a certified truck-stop scale in Jeremy, Idaho.)


At the beginning of the week, Wendel called me. He said that his truck fiasco was drawing a lot of attention. People at gas stations and stores were pointing, laughing and even taking pictures. And that's when he proposed a business arrangement: He would advertise for The Weed on his truck for $20.00.

Being the shrewd business man that I am, I asked "will people be able to click on the truck and get through to my website?" Wendel explained to me the ins and outs of "computers".  I was still a little bit uncertain--iPhones are quite powerful. Couldn't they just click on the truck with their iPhone and get to my blog using their iPhone? But "no," said Wendel. "You cannot click on a physical object and have it take you to a website. It will just draw attention to the name of your blog. And then some people might search for it. Nobody can click through to your blog from a physical truck with an ad on the side. Unless the truck happens to also be the world's largest iPad. Which mine is not."

Then he sent me these:




Oh, I get it now. It's like a billboard. A billboard affixed to a literal ton of crap in the back of a pick-up truck driving across the country. 

GENIUS.

Well, if you are one of the many many visitors sure to flood in, then hello!!! Thanks so much for seeing an ad on the side of a pick-up truck and then searching out my blog on a computer later.

Publicity is amazing!!!

Also, Wendel wants to meet you. And I mean you. So if you live in Utah or Arizona and you want a picture with the The Weed pick-up truck, follow my Twitter feed. Later on today, Wendel will be tweeting his locations so you can get a picture with The Weedmobile. (If you send me your picture, I'll definitely post it here on the blog. Because that would be awesome.)

(Nobody will do this.)

In closing, BEST $20 I'VE EVER SPENT!




Tuesday, November 22, 2011

All a Buck & More

This post is about a store.

Back fourteen centuries ago when I was in Utah at the beginning of the month, my sister's car broke down when she came to pick me up from my sex conferenceThen a couple of days later, we were driving the same car which had miraculously begun working again. The plan was to pick up In-N-Out and go to Grandma Weed's so I could see her one last time before she died. (Side note: I did not actually know she would die several days later at this time. I know it now because this is me from the future talking. Which is why blogs are like time machines.)

While sitting in the drive through at In-N-Out, the car died again. And this time, it did not start up again miraculously.

So basically we were stranded at the mall.

Now, I don't know what laws of economics are in play in Salt Lake City, but for whatever reason, Valley Fair Mall is perhaps the strangest mall I've ever seen. Where most malls have a string of predictable common stores selling popular goods (I can't name these stores--I don't really go to malls very much), Valley Fair Mall has really odd wannabe versions of those stores with catchy names like "Bedazzled" and "Eyebrow Miracle". The most awkward of those stores is the lingerie store called "Husband and Wife".

I'm not kidding you.

So, there we were, Jenni, Justin and I (and their two kids Alice and Parley) wandering around, waiting for our ride. We wanted to find a place where we could let Alice roam and we soon found ourselves in a randomly chosen store.

So what you're saying is that everything IN this store is either a dollar or not a dollar. That makes it entirely different than every other store!


Jenni and were standing there talking in an aisle. Suddenly, we became aware of what we were standing next to.

As seen on TV!  In 1987!

We kind of couldn't believe what we were looking at. It was a Waist Trimmer that appeared to be from an infomercial in the 80's. And it was priced at $6.95 and $14.95. (For those unfamiliar with business and sales, that's a little trick to distract you from the fact that the implication of the store title is that everything should be around a dollar.)

It was at this point that Jenni and I realized that this store was amazing.

Our time waiting for a ride suddenly became a contest to see who could find the most ridiculous merchandise. The following is some of the best of what we found, documented by photo because if it wasn't, it would be too ludicrous to believe.
 
Let's start with the underwear section.

First off, we have these:

I don't know about you, but when I buy over-sized granny panties, I definitely favor the ones that have little green bears on the back. It makes taking a dump WAY cuter!


Fittingly, I think the middle bear is actually squatting to defecate (while the other two watch?).

Oh, and one more in the front. Plus a little green bow. SEXY.

But if you think those bear panties were a dream, wait till you get a load of this G-string!

 It's possible somebody needs a lesson in what "G-string" means. 

Soon, we were done looking at intimates and we moved on to other things. 

Jenni found a purse. Made of glass.

"The thing I'm most interested in in a hand bag is finding one that will literally shatter to pieces at the slightest jostle."

I stumbled upon a a "dog collar".



Where when I say "dog" I actually mean "T-rex"

Soon, Justin was helping too. The hits just kept coming.

We found a double glue pack!

Yes, on the left you have your glue, and on the right you have your glue stick. Strangely I had always thought of a glue stick as a stick of glue. Silly me!

Candles!!!
Somebody made a mistake here. 

I just don't understand why these aren't selling like hot cakes? Who DOESN'T need exterior palm support?

Some masterpieces go totally unappreciated.

What's that? You want to read the back flap of "Growing Pains?" Sure!

  I'm biting my nails just THINKING about how Sandra might have learned her big lesson about popularity not being everything! (I think it might have something to do with her broken foot.)
 

 Hey, girl with the Neck Rest. 1988 called and they want their feathered hair back. Oh, and they also want their Neck Rest back. Oh screw it. Does anybody have a time machine so we can take this thing back home? (Also, what better place to read a magazine than in the driver's seat of your vehicle. While wearing a neck brace.)

We were winding down because Allison and Spencer, our ride, were about to get there. However, before we left, we found one more awesome gem... perhaps my favorite find of the evening.

 Wow, this hardware set sounds really fancy! I can't wait to utilize their variety, credible, quality broad purpose. Let's turn it over and see what hardware we get in thi...



 Wait. I don't understand. These are... glue sticks. Not hardware.


"Caution: Extremely Sharp Blades--Handle With Care."

Yes. One should always be careful when handling room-temperature hot glue. Because of the sharp blades.

At about this point, Alli and Spencer arrived, and it was time to go.

But I will always remember. I'll always, always remember that if I need an infomercial product from the 80's, or if I need a glue stick that's actually a bottle, or a glass purse, or a g-string, I can find it at All a Buck & More!

It might be my favorite store ever.

Also HEADS UP! my friend Wendel is planning to do a publicity stunt for me this weekend. It's probably going to knock your socks off. (Hint: it involves his truck and his move to Arizona.) So, get ready for that! There may or may not be live-tweeting involved.

And finally, Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Grandma Weed

I've tried to write a few posts, but it hasn't felt right.

I found out last Friday that my Grandma Weed died. Today was the funeral. Her death was expected (in fact, my entire family got together last summer to make sure we could have some final days together with her), but it still hasn't felt quite right to publish my post about visiting the most hilarious store in the world when I was in Utah two weeks ago not having mentioned that I am back in Utah for a funeral.

I'm really particular like that, I guess.

The funeral went really well. It was well attended, and the program was nice. I ended up speaking, playing the violin, and singing (I did the ol' sing-and-play-during-the-same-song trick). It was all really nice.

And then, afterward, I went to the bathroom and noticed that my fly had been down the entire time I spoke, played the violin and sang.

Not joking. Even a little bit.

Quote from my brother as I read this to him. "I'm horrified right now. I'm just glad your willie didn't flop out."

Me too, Chad. Meee too.

I'll be back Monday posting about the store.



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

And that's why I'm a sex worker and not an auto-mechanic

I wrote most of this last Thursday during my trip to Utahr, but then I got distracted by something really important, probably either a movie or a meal or the variegated color of my arm hair.


I'm in Utah right now attending a conference about sex addiction.  Because I'm going to specialize in that. Which means that I'm a sex worker.

While here, my sister Jenni and her husband Justin were nice enough to volunteer to shuttle me around and allow me to stay at their house. This means that I didn't have to pay to stay at the hotel where the conference is being held, which as it turns out is also the hotel I lost my virginity aka spent my wedding night in so really it's very fitting that I would spend three days talking about sex there, right? Except we're talking about sex addiction. Not ending 22 solid years of virginity to consummate a marriage. But let's not sweat the details here, folks.

The Crystal Inn. Where I lost my virginity, and then went to a sex addiction workshop a decade later.

Tonight when I got done with eight hours of intensive training, Jenni called me as she approached the hotel. Her car had died, and she was at the side of the road.

I don't know about you, but like most guys I know who write poetry and play the violin, I don't know the first thing about cars. Yet, at the same time, because I'm a guy I feel an unspoken responsibility to not only know about cars, but to help women who are broken down in them. Most especially when those women are my sister. And also my ride home.

Miraculously Unfortunately, she was too far away for me to walk over and meet her, so I tried my best to give her advice over the phone. "I think you should... check the gas gauge. Do you have gas?" I asked. She did. She had filled up the tank the day before. At about that time, I heard a guy talking to her asking "Do you need any help?" and so I panicked and yelled "Hang up with me so you look more damsel in distressy so they help you!" and then hung up on her.

Because I'm a hero.

When she called back she reported that he helped her push the car into a parking space nearby and then left. So she was officially stranded with two kids in the car.

Awesome.

Justin, who was busy riding his motorcycle/dirtbike/crotchrocket/motorcade/bike thingamajig--you know one of those things with two wheels that can go on jumps and stuff--after a long day of being a lawyer, eventually came to the rescue. He picked me up and we drove over to Jenni and the kids. They were stranded by a restaurant called Scaddy's (which is probably the worst choice in names for a restaurant ever selected because it sounds similar to an incredibly large number of repulsive words. Scabbies, Scabies, scab, crab, cabbies, cat, scat... shall I continue???). We got out, said hello to the car's occupants, and then we men went over to the car to diagnose the problem

Imagine this scenario. Justin is decked out in his biking gear. He's covered in mud. He just got back from jumping life-endangering jumps on a track. He casually shows us his injuries from where he wrecked earlier that day. There was blood involved. He didn't give a crap.

I, on the other hand, am shivering cold in a button-up shirt and hoodie jacket thing. I just got back from a conference where I saw grown men weeping openly, and where there was more talk about feelings than a book club filled with pregnant women discussing The Notebook

One of these things is not like the other. Nonetheless, we went around to the hood so that "we" could fix the car.


Justin: Hey man, will you hold the hood up.

Me: Sure. Did you know in England they call this the bonnet?

Justin: *ignores me as he messes with some plugs and stuff*

Me: I bet I could make a good joke about it being the bonnet...

Justin (to Jenni): Go ahead and start it up!

*whir, whir, whir, whir* *whir, whir, whir, whir*

Me: Sounds like this car got its bonnet strings in a knot! *stifles laughter* *looks around to see if anyone heard the joke*

Justin: This just doesn't make any sense. (to Jenni): start it again!

*whir, whir, whir, whir*

Me: Well, I for one think it might be..

Justin (to himself): I wonder if it's the spark plug.

Me: I was literally about to say spark plug! And I'm actually totally serious. Because that's the only engine part I can name. Besides "engine." Oh, and alternator. That's in the engine, right?

Justin (to Jenni): One more time please!

*whir, whir, whir, whir*

Justin: (shakes head solemnly) 

Me: (resists the urge to give Justin a hug of comfort)

Justin: Hey, Josh can you...

Me: Continue writing a poem about this dead car in my brain right now? Sure.

Justin: No, not that. Could you lift the hood off my head, please.

Me: Oh. Yes, of course. I forgot I was holding it for you!

Justin: ...Could you also stop hugging me.

Me: But you need a warm hug! You just lost a friend! *sniffles*

Justin: You are making me uncomfortable.

Me: Hug it out, Justin. Shhhhh. Just hug it out. *starts rubbing his back tenderly*

Justin: Please stop touching me. You're not making things better.

Me: Or am I?

Justin: No.

Me: Just a little bit?

Justin: *walks away to call a buddy to come pick us up, shuddering violently*

Me: ...I think he really needed that. (decided head nod)

See, I could never make it as an auto-mechanic because I just feel too deeply.

Which is why I became a sex worker.

Stay tuned for part II of the car breakdown story where we break down again two days later at the mall and while we're waiting for our ride we enter the coolest most hilarious store I've ever seen.  There are pictures!