It's like: hysterical history, the hunger, this american life

shooting a raccoon in the face at close range with a 12-gauge shotgun

By dusty (January 9, 2009)

This story is a true Athenean tragedy. When I was seven years old, baseball cards were pretty much the only thing that mattered to me — and because The Universe is a dick hoping to break my bank and leave me homeless, it invented the greatest set of cards ever made in that very same year: ’89 Upper Deck.

Upper Deck was the Arabian Prince of baseball cards. Its exotic aura, its unmistakable glamor, was bedazzling. And I bought every single pack that a seven-year-old who didn’t know the inner workings of drug dealing or child prostitution could possibly afford.

That set in ’89, the first ever produced, contained a glorious card. An unbelievably glorious card. A card salivated over by every bike-ridin’, G.I. Joe-collectin’ youngster in the nation: the rookie card of Ken Griffey, Jr.

Here is where the tragedy lies; I NEVER FUCKING GOT THAT ROOKIE CARD.

Not once did I ever open a pack of those deliciously glossier-than-Topps cards to find the much sought after Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie card staring at back at me. The photo was weird — there he was, looking as if he had just been raped at gunpoint, wearing a turtleneck(!) and a strange assortment of gold chains, holding his bat over his left shoulder like an utter pussy — and it was all bordered by a pedestrian designer’s attempt at creating a baseball-field texture running down the right side. The border itself itself was resting atop a simplistic footer containing Upper Deck’s logo and Junior’s own name. Oh, and there was also a big “rookie” stamp plastered somewhere on the bottom right (in case you wanted to know if Junior was: (a) a rookie, or (b) not a rookie).

Yet that card was worth upwards of one hundred dollars, which to my seven-year-old self was enough money to buy slaves who could buy packs of Upper Deck for me.

Once I was at my best friend’s house (he lived about a mile out of town on a farm that wasn’t really a farm but still smelled like a farm and also had tons of cats and flies), and we were opening our freshly purchased baseball cards as usual. We had just biked the mile-and-a-half-on-gravel trip to the town mall and bought several packs of Upper Deck for ourselves (and one for his dad, who despite giving my friend a few bucks for one, did not avidly or even non-avidly — this was the first pack of cards of his adult life I am pretty sure — collect cards).

And my friend’s dad — that asshole — got the Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie card. Have you ever wanted to kill someone? Like, really kill someone? Because that’s the feeling I distinctly remember. The unmistakable feeling of murder. I had spent an entire summer looking for that card — wasting every allowance; dreaming of it; wondering what it would be like to touch, to make love to, to practice kissing on. He was my favorite player! Possibly the greatest baseball player of all time. My friend’s dad didn’t even like Griffey — they were a Frank Thomas family, those bastards. I devised several plans to get the card: plans that ranged from outright murder to arson to poison to trickery involving the likes of a bad Mrs. Doubtfire parody.

But I couldn’t do it. I was not a murderer, not an arsonist, not a con-man. And I couldn’t do it.

I never got that card.

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It's like: the hunger, this american life, unicorns & rainbows

three deaf and soon-to-be-dead astronauts are circling our planet in sun-drenched silence

By dusty (May 2, 2008)

I love a well-manicured lawn more than most things. If I were to compile a list of things I loved, a well-manicured lawn would be very close to the top — sandwiched between the likes of music, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the 2008 Arizona Diamondbacks, myself, neon colors and so on.

Earth’s emerald-green, pantyless pubic region; a beautiful taste of forbidden fruit, such a lawn demands my respect and calls out to me in sun-soaked song. Its short, freshly-trimmed blades glistening in the summer heat, gently waving in the gentle breeze — as if posing for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue or a Creed music video. Its perfection so unmatched in matters of perfection, it quietly makes its way into paintings and photographs and our perceptions of idealistic-utopian beauty.

I want to marry such a lawn — to frolic with it, and eat ice cream sundaes and go to a drive-in movie. (Maybe afterwards we could neck in the backseat of my Chevy at Lookout Point.) And every time I see this lawn — this ravishing slew of bugs and dirt and seeds and grass and dogshit — every time I see it, a pang of lust drives its lusty spear straight through my lusting body, reminding me that no girl will ever be as unequivocally amazing as a fucking lawn.

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It's like: slow cancerous death rattle, the hunger, this american life

categorizing the lives of pandas and snakes in a college-ruled notebook filled with math equations

By dusty (April 9, 2008)

I wish I was a fat person because I like food.

But, typical of the unfairness that is this world we live in, I was born with an unfairly overactive cracked-out metabolism and an appetite that can only stomach a pound’s worth of food in one sitting (at the very most — even in the most extreme conditions). My plight is real, my fortune unfortunate, and my body not able to eat all the food that I like. This is the dire reality that I live in, dear reader.

I have tried everything to overcome my insufferable disability, but it’s all in vain (and by vain I don’t mean my appearance but the fact that I cannot eat a 72 oz. ribeye steak without having a seizure). I have taken SSRI’s (hoping for the gloriously delightful side effect of massive weight gain), I have tried lipo-injection, I have tried laying on the couch for weeks without moving, I have even tried injecting multiple meals straight into my body through an IV. But nothing, nothing whatsoever will cure this horrible affliction. I will never be able to eat more than two plates at a buffet, or eat my family out of house and home (or even eat my family, after a shipwreck or plane crash). I will never fit the American obesity stereotype and also I will never be able to have a gastrointestinal bypass.

Yet despite living this nightmare life of average-sized portions and second-rate leftovers, I will continue to coat my face in grease and cow’s blood and butter and McDonald’s breakfast in the false hopes that one day my stomach will open up and I can eat an entire large animal smothered in gravy in one sitting.

Maybe one day.

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