You lean on one cheek and it feels like you’ve got the push just right. Next thing you know, it sounds like the carpet’s getting torn off the floor.
Biting Off More than I Could Chew — No, Seriously
How do you get a whole hot dog out of your mouth, but without chewing because you’ve got a whole hot dog in your mouth and your jaw is too stretched out to shut? It’s a classic conundrum … if you’re a self-control-devoid, disgusting glutton.
It should come as little surprise, then, to find out I had this conundrum twice in one night.
I had the ingenious idea to race against Nathan Beck of Natedogs: A three-hot-dog duel to settle rulership of the universe. He approached it with experience and a sound strategy; I swung madly at it with a blunt object, figuratively. As it turns out, your mouth doesn’t quite work like the wood chipper in Fargo (least mine doesn’t) and Nathan won by less than a second. I know for a fact I spent more than a second freaking out with an overstuffed mouth. Watch for yourself and see.
It was my first on-air defeat. Nate and I have already agreed to a rematch. In the meantime, let’s get a little closer on that photo, shall we:
Why yes, that is an impassioned consumption of wiener … but good luck making a sexy joke out of that. In fact, if I did show this to someone and pair it with innuendo, they’d probably puke off nine or ten pounds.
So, if you’re looking to drop some weight before Christmas, I’ve got a weird trick that’ll help you do that. Doctors are getting pretty upset about it.
Taking My Tugs at No-Shave November
My wife beeped that mechanically every time she caught me pulling at it —
— or using my lower lip to play with my mustache —
— or using my upper lip to play with my soul patch —
I scratched at my neck hair, I straightened my sideburns, I fluffed out my beard, I unfluffed my beard, I stroked whiskers luxuriously all through November, I reached my tongue out and made it dance with my soul patch. It occurred without cue or intention, but not without “Beard.”
My wild growth crept onward as November crept onward, with my twitchy fingers and lips fidgeting rampantly. A whisker patch on my jawline got yanked so far out of alignment, it made my head look misshapen. I repeatedly passed people, with my top lip sucked into my bottom one, looking like I’d just had my Legos taken away.
By the time December 1 rolled ’round, I was circling the ends of my mustache like a poor man’s Dick Dastardly. I had whiskers with split ends. I also probably had the crumbs of four or five bagels in my beard. The final straw was applied when I was photographed during one of my little fits.
Two blades and the better part of an hour later, my face was burning but clean and a hairball the size of a baseball had clumped together in a corner of the sink. My wife saw me afterward and said I looked scary. At least I’m consistent, right?
Can You Still Call it Creeping if She Knows About it?
Within Black Diet’s ranks is a red-haired angel a.k.a. Mugsy. I hear her voice and just melt. It isn’t the same as my crush on, say, Lana Del Rey. I say things like “I’d leave my wife and marry Lana Del Rey TONIGHT!” because I’ve got a better chance of being vaporized Independence Day-style than I do of even meeting Lana Del Rey. Black Diet is a local band, and Prince isn’t in it. These folks are accessible, so much that I could find the Facebook event for Mugsy’s birthday bash and hit “Going.”
It’s the Internet. Everyone’s invited!
What about your wife, Frank? What does she think? She gets it. She’s got a rock star crush of her own. (third from left)
The plan was simple: I walk up, say hello, happy birthday, maybe buy her a drink, and fade back into the night like a pleasant mystery. Easy.
Now, you need to know that any plan I call simple is sure to go up in the rancid smoke of a dumpster fire. I left a large meal early, paid a cover charge to get into the bar, and used a fee-charging ATM, things I’d normally NEVER do.
Use of “normally never” is also an ominous omen. Here, let’s throw a session IPA on top of all this and see how aggressive the flames get.
The last beer I drank in November: It was Atrocious and I Dearly Regret it
Listen, if I can’t bring your session beer into the shower, I don’t want it. I only drink sessions when I NEED to hold a beer and I NEED it low-alcohol. Green Flash Session IPA: Nothing in that sequence of words correlates a good drinking experience. I ordered it anyhow. It was $7.
SURPRISE! It tasted like crap.
No, I have not tasted literal feces. “Crap” is subjective; for instance, I think the idea to liquefy sandpaper is crap, and that’s precisely what this beer tasted like.
Back to …
OMG Mugsy is coming! Fix up, look sharp!
She approached. Her beauty was like nothing of this world. She was perfect. I tried to play it cool, but … hey, STOP LAUGHING!
“Mug-zeee!” I said with a Robert DeNiro-type familial holler. “Hey, happy birthday!” We shook hands. “We’ve never met, but--”
“Are you Frank?”
Douglas Adams would have called what ensued, “a terrible and ghastly silence.”
I think we’re safe assuming she doesn’t listen to beer shows or read about cheeseburgers. That she recognized me could have meant one of one thing: She noticed a creep on her attendance list, whom nobody invited, whose name was Frank, and recalled him to look a lot like this creep in front of her.
Just like that, this pleasant mystery degenerated into a gibbering idiot with no idea how to proceed in this conversation. I clumsily offered a drink. She politely declined. I wished her well and oozed back into the shadows.I played Angry Birds until I felt comfortable leaving.
As for that sinister prank of a beer, I tasted it well into the next day.
In the end, November was quite a revealing month for me. Now that I don’t have perfection to worry about on the air, I can take greater risks with my guests. Now that I know what I look like with a beard, I know for sure if and when I may want one. Now that I’ll never feel comfortable standing near any member of Black Diet ever again (Oh God, oh God, what if she comes up and remembers me), I won’t try to budge my way to the front of any more mosh pits.
I don’t think they’re actually mosh pits. It’s just, I’m old and any crowd at a concert is automatically a mosh pit to me.