Kiser and the jar of pee.

In 11th grade, I took what was supposed to be my last year of high school math. It was a total blowoff class, a very basic math class that was essentially free credits for me. I didn't do any of my homework and never studied, but I was able to pass it just by taking the tests. Unfortunately, it turned out that my guidance counselor, who was working his last year at the school, didn't know what he was doing, and I would end up having to take another math class the next year.

My teacher was a dude named Kiser, a first year teacher with a very young face and incredibly timid demeanor. His first year of teaching would also be his last, and in retrospect I feel terrible about the role I played in helping drive him away from the profession. I'm convinced, though, that even if I hadn't contributed to the shit he had to deal with, he still would never have made it as a high school teacher. Students walked all over him all day long.

My friend Jason and I used to cause trouble for him on a daily basis. We'd do things like turn a desk sideways, and then stand in front of it pretending that we were too utterly confused by the sideways desk to do any work or listen to him. I would sometimes sneak out of class and wander the halls, something I didn't dare do in any other class. Jason used to smoke pot in his class and blow the smoke into a cabinet near his desk, which did next to nothing to mask the odor. Afterwards, he'd go talk to Kiser with his eyes glazed over and his breath reeking of ganja, and Kiser would never do anything about it. We weren't the only ones in my class who gave him shit, though, it was pretty much a team effort, with nearly the entire class contributing. Within a month of teaching, he had already been in trouble twice for things that we had collectively convinced him were OK to let us do: going to lunch five minutes before anybody else was let out of class, and walking around outside on the cross country track (half the class came back completely stoned). As a general rule, nobody listened to Kiser, and everybody did whatever the hell they wanted.

Kiser used to let us get into groups to do our homework, but nobody ever did their homework, instead opting to talk and goof off. One day, the group I was in was snacking on a jar of pickles that one of our classmates had stolen from the home economics room. When the pickles were gone, somebody remarked on the similarity between the color of pickle brine and that of urine.

"Let me see that," I said, taking the jar. I put in under my desk and unzipped my pants. Everybody in my group started laughing, and even though I hadn't been serious to begin with, I decided it might be a good idea to actually pee into the jar. My group convinced me that it was, indeed, a terrific idea. I couldn't pee in front of people, so I stuck the jar in my pocket and asked Kiser if I could go to the bathroom. Generally, students were never allowed to go to the bathroom in any class, except in the case of a dire emergency, but Kiser had a policy of letting people get one bathroom pass per grading period. In actual practice, though, some of just got up and peed whenever we damn well felt like it.

I walked to the bathroom with the jar bulging from my pants, worried that some teacher might see it and ask what was in my pocket. I was even more scared on the way back, because there was no way I was going to be able to explain why I was carrying a jar of warm pee. Fortunately, nobody saw me.

When I got back to class, everybody in my group was silent as I sat down. They looked at me, and I looked at them. When I took the jar of pee from my pocket and set it on the desk, they erupted into riotous laughter. Pee is almost always hilarious.

The bell for lunch rang a couple minutes after I had set the jar of pee on my desk. My classmates encouraged me to bring it with me, or at the very least leave it on my desk, since we were coming back to that class after lunch, anyway. I was too scared, though, so I threw it in the trash on the way out.

About a month later, I asked Kiser if I could go to the bathroom.

"No," he said, "You already used your bathroom pass for this grading period."

"What?" I asked, feigning incredulousness, "When? I never went to the bathroom this grading period!"

"Yes, you did," he said, "Do you remember the pickle jar incident?"

"Are you trying to imply something?" Jason asked.

"Yeah, what are you implying?" I asked, doing my best to sound completely offended.

"Nothing," he said, "I'm just saying you guys were eating pickles that day."

The last thing I heard about Kiser was that he had grown a huge beard and become a missionary. Poor guy. High school kids are such dicks.


"That's a nice shirt!"

I sometimes wear my internet nerdism on my chest in the form of a shirt with the word GOATSE printed on it, with little hands on each side of the word stretching it across the shirt. For any readers fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with the term, goatse was one of the original internet shock sites. I first experienced goatse in high school, when one of my friends sent me a link and told me it was completely awesome. Unaware of what I was in for, I clicked the link and was confronted with an image of a man bending over and stretching his anus to legendary proportions. Shocking, indeed.

I was visiting my mom and brother not too long ago, and I was wearing the shirt.

"Ooh, that's a nice shirt!" my mom said when I came downstairs after taking a shower in the morning. My brother looked at the shirt and shook his head, and I just started laughing.

"That's gross," my brother said.

"What? What is it?" my mom asked.

I kept laughing as my brother explained to her what goatse was.

"That is gross!" she said.


The rats in the walls.

I've been living in my new place for less than two weeks now, and I think I might slowly be adjusting to more of a normal human schedule. Ideally, I'd like to wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night. I've been waking up at two in the afternoon and going to bed at five or six in the morning for a few years now, but now that I'm living with people who are awake during the day and asleep when I get home, I figure it would probably be best if I was able to adjust to a somewhat similar schedule. I've been trying to go to bed much earlier, and when it works I can wake up at around noon, but usually it doesn't work and I just lay there for most of the night. Last night was one of those laying awake nights, but I think I may have gotten to sleep earlier were it not for some animal, possibly living within my walls, making a lot of noise.

I was laying in bed at around 2:30, when I heard a noise coming from the other side of the room. It sounded like it was coming from behind my dresser, or somewhere in that general area.


I listened to it for a few seconds, wondering if it might be one of my roommates doing something outside of my room. I wasn't entirely awake, so it took me a few moments to realize that it was definitely coming from the other side of the room, and it was probably some kind of animal. I figured there was no way it was something as small as a mouse, because it was fairly loud. I tried to figure out what it could be doing to make that noise, and the only thing I could think of was that it might be trying to chew through the wall, or through my dresser. I turned on the lamp next to my bed and the noise stopped. I walked over to the the dresser and looked behind it, and under it, but couldn't see anything in the dark. I moved around the guitar cases next to the dresser, but couldn't find anything there, either. I turned off the light and tried to sleep again.


The noise started up again a few minutes after I had turned off the light. I turned the light back on and once again the noise stopped. I walked back over to the dresser and moved my guitar cases around. I thought I heard something inside of one, but figured it was probably just the sound of the case rubbing against the wall. In truth, my fear of a bigass rat jumping out at me probably contributed to my unwillingness to open the case. I got back in bed and turned off the light.


When I turned on the light the third time, the noise didn't stop. I walked back to the dresser and started moving the guitar cases again, and this time I heard something scurry up the wall. I jumped at the noise heading towards my head, but it was obviously on the other side of the wall. The sound of tiny footsteps disappeared into the ceiling above my head, which is arched to match the top of the house.

I'm really hoping that the mystery creature was actually outside of the house, and not inside of the walls. I'm hopeful that this is the case, because there is already a hole in the wall that the last guy who lived there made so he could run speakers into the next room. If the animal wanted to get into my room, it could just use that hole instead of chewing a new one. As for the sound stopping when I turn on the lights, hopefully it's because the window is only a few feet from where the sound originated, and the light emanating from it frightened the thing into silence.

I guess time may tell what the mystery creature is, and where it is, and what it's doing. I may never hear from the thing again, or I may end up devoured by vermin.


Jacked at gunpoint.

I was in Nashville, Tennessee, about a week after being kidnapped and taken there by the girl I was dating at the time. The two of us were sitting on the top of a hill where a cellphone tower stood, looking down at the city lights as the sun was setting. We had been sitting there for about ten minutes when three large black men jogged up to where we were sitting. They were dressed casually in shorts and t-shirts, breathing heavily from their run, and were friendly as hell.

"How you guys doing?" one of them asked, shaking our hands.


"What are you guys up to tonight?" he asked.

"Just hanging out."

The three men walked away for a few moments and talked amongst themselves. I was almost positive they were going to offer us weed. When they walked back over to where we were sitting, the one who had spoken to us before crouched down beside us.

"Now here's the deal," he said, showing us a gun he was holding, "I need money."

My immediate thought was, Godfuckingdamnit, motherfucking cocksuckers! I knew the chances of us actually getting shot were incredibly low, so I wasn't scared, but I also knew I was going to have to give them what little money I had, and that was just annoying as hell. I looked at the girl, and she was obviously completely terrified, but I hoped my casual demeanor would convince her that we weren't really in much danger.

I sighed and pulled my wallet out. As I handed it to the guy with the gun, I asked if I could at least keep my ID. I knew that would be the hardest thing to replace.

"How much is in here?" he asked, not answering my question.

"About forty bucks," I said. I was jobless and bummy at the time, and carried absolutely all of my money with me, but luckily I had stashed most of it in my backpack, which was still in the car. He took the money out and threw the wallet back on the ground where I was sitting. I was relieved that I would get to keep my drivers license, but moments after throwing it down, another one of those douchebags picked it back up.

My girl had money in a couple of her pockets, and they searched her, saying, "Don't play no games, we don't want anybody to have to get killed." I had a brief, horrifying thought that they might try to get other forms of gratification out of her, but fortunately nothing of the sort transpired. They were smart enough to know they needed to get what they were after and leave as quickly as possible. They took her money, cellphone, and cigarettes, and then asked me if I had anything else.

"I have some chapstick and a yo-yo," I told them. Unlike the next time I got robbed, they let me keep my chapstick.

"None of ya'll move until we say so!" one of them said as they ran off. We waited a few minutes and left. She called her dad, who said we'd have to file a report with the police, even though both of us were convinced that it would be completely useless. On the way to his place, where we were going to meet the cops, I called one of my friends.

"Dude," I told him, "You'll never believe what happened. We got fucking jacked at gunpoint! It was such a fucking thrill!"
Coolmongous - Precious

Another installment of my brother's Coolmongous cartoon. Dig it.


"Why don't you draw me a picture?"

One day in fifth grade music class, we had to take some sort of written test. I was the first one done, and raised my hand to ask what I should do with my test.

"Why don't you turn it over and draw me a picture?" the teacher said. She was an old, kind lady who made us sing songs about the glory of the Lord. It was a public school, but in rural Indiana, they just assume that absolutely everybody is a Christian, or at least should be, and nobody ever complained about their kids having to sing religious songs.

Being a Dungeons and Dragons nerd, I turned over my test and drew an Orc. He was holding a sword, dripping with blood, and his face was slashed and bleeding, because he had just been involved in a battle with some other ferocious monster.

A few minutes later, the teacher started walking around collecting tests from the kids who had finished.

"Let's see what you drew me," she said with a big smile stretched across her face. As soon as she saw what I had drawn, though, her smile instantly disappeared, replaced by what could only be described as a look of shock or horror. She didn't say anything as she walked away, collecting tests from other students, her upbeat mood shaken.

I'm not really sure what she expected a fifth grade boy to draw. I'm pretty everything my friends and I drew at that age had some element of violence to it.