Skip to content

Author: brian


An Uncomfortable Haircut

I’ve always hated getting my hair cut. I blame this on every guy in 1996 that decided they would look good with hair that was faded on the sides and had spikes on top. When you have a long face with a large forehead, you want something that hides these features, not showcases them. This fashion phenomenon seemed to spawn a new breed of incompetent barbers that were essentially one trick ponies. “Keep it fairly even all the way around, just a light trim,” I would instruct before I sat in the padded swivel chair. They would smile and nod as I could hear the ominous sound of the electric razor buzzing next to my ear. I eventually learned it was a pointless argument which I was sure to lose. They seemed to know no other way to cut hair, kind of like in that episode of The Simpsons where the family visits the land down under and Marge tries to order a non-alcoholic beverage from an Australian pub.

The Time I Made Out With my Friend’s Ex-Girlfriend

He wasn’t taking the break up well and we were all suffering the consequences. “No Black!”  He shouted over everyone’s conversation at the table, referring to the beans in the burrito he had just ordered, obviously. My face turned bright red. If it wasn’t already colorful from the day of sun and drinking I had just had, the waiter might have noticed how embarrassed I was.  I quickly realized I wasn’t alone when I caught eyes with everyone sitting near me. Everyone but Scott, of course, who continued to casually look through the drink menu, oblivious to what had just happened. He flipped through the pages and muttered inaudible thoughts to himself.  “You might want to be a little more careful with your choice of words, especially around the only black waiter in the restaurant,” Chris whispered as soon as the man was out of sight. Scott turned another page in the drink menu and ignored his friend’s advice by using a defense only drunk people and children practice known as “selective hearing”. I made a mental note to tip our server extra.

My 4th Grade Valentine

It has to be sweet and sincere. Something that says “I like you” but not in a creepy, looked-up-your-address-on-the-teacher’s-class-roll-list-and-stalk-you-on-the-weekends, kind of way. Trying to sum up your feelings over the past 3 years on a tiny candy heart is not an easy task. I grabbed another handful and laid them out on the table, attempting to find the best ones to put in K.H.’s card.


Her name was Kelly Hensler, but we called her K.H. My progress over the years with her could be described as dismal at best. In first grade, I threw powdered chalk in her best friend’s eyes. K.H. turned to me and shouted “What did you do that for!?” then followed her friend into the bathroom. In second grade, I asked her if she wanted to see me make my face turn red. I breathed heavily for a minute, then let out all the air in my lungs. I put my arms around my neck and strained all the muscles in my body as hard as I could. I think this made me pass out because when I got up from the floor, she was in a casual conversation with a friend and it seemed like a considerable amount of time had passed. In 3rd grade, I stood right behind her in the ragtag choir our class had assembled for the annual school play. In rehearsal I thought it was funny to sing not just the boys part, but also the girls, with a much higher pitch voice. She turned around and glared at me when I did this.

No Man Left Behind

“Do you want anything to eat?” my dad asked as I walked into the kitchen at 7:30 a.m., still half asleep. “No thanks,” I answered as I took off my Dodgers hat. I decided not to wear it since it might be a conversation starter. “No Man Left Behind” was the name of the mens Christian conference I had agreed to go to with my dad. He had shown me the flyer a few weeks before and asked me if I wanted to go with him. “I would really appreciate it if you could come,” he said in a way that sounded like it had been rehearsed a few times. I thought about it for a week and then said yes.

My Gothic Girlfriend

She wore black high heels with rainbow striped socks that went up to her knees. She had a plaid skirt that was almost fully covered by an oversized Marilyn Manson t-shirt. Also hidden under this shirt was a pretty damn good sized rack for an 8th grader. Her eye liner was black and her eye shadow was a blue-ish purple. She had a pale complexion that contrasted with her dark hair, which was tied back tightly in a pony tail. Her large nose hooked like an eagles and commanded most of the attention on her face.


By the age of 19 I had already acquired a long list of previous employers. There was McDonald’s, where I grilled burgers in the back with all the illegal immigrants. Management must have thought I was not presentable enough to work the front with all the other English speaking teenagers. There was the telecommunications center where I answered phones calls and placed catalog orders. This proved to be an embarrassing task for a 16-year-old whose voiced had yet to change. At the end of every phone call the customer would politely say, “Thanks Ma’am you’ve been very helpful.” After about the 6th or 7th time I stopped correcting them. There was Home Depot, where I stole enough lumber to build a quarter pipe in my friend Peters backyard. There was Hollywood Video where my co-worker set up a fake account using the name of Smokey McPot, under which we rented many a dvd with no intention of returning. There was the frame shop that fired me for being too slow. There was the hair salon that fired me for not being friendly enough. And then, finally, there was Vincenzo’s.

Why You Should Never Listen to Luke Ollett

It was 12 p.m. and I regrettably commented to Luke, “Man I wish we could’ve gone snowboarding today.” He raised an eyebrow and responded “Who says we can’t?” Our mutual friend Dustin called us earlier, raving about the freshly fallen snow, saying it was one of the best boarding days of the season. Real snow at Mountain High, the local resort that normally pumped the fake stuff, was a big deal. It was one of those gloomy winter days that made it hard to distinguish when the sun was up or down. “Freshly fallen snow” was a nice way of stating it’s a fucking blizzard up on the mountain. Not acknowledging this, we grabbed our boards and headed east on the 118 freeway to Pearblossom Highway.

Over the River and Through the Woods

Seriously. If you are heading east on Interstate 70 you’ll cross the Missouri River in Boonville. If you make a left at Slaton Blvd just past the forest, then a left on Rodgers and a quick right you will end up at 3571 Lakeview Dr. It’s a beautiful two story house laid in brick and surrounded by grass. This is the residence of Margret Pratt, my grandmother. She’s lived by herself in this Missouri home for the past 40 years. The first thing you will notice when you pull into the driveway is a mailbox with the name Glen Pratt on it (my grandfather). He died about 10 years before I was born. We were there for the funeral of his son Steven Pratt (my uncle), who shared the same fate as his father; a lifetime of smoking kept them both from seeing their 60th birthday.