Monday, 13 June 2016

The hotline experience

Thinking back to my teenage years, I often wonder if anyone's raging hormones were quite as strong as mine. Keeping them under check in order to appear to be a normal functioning human being was damn near impossible.

When a girl bent over in front of me in the school yard, I seldom missed the opportunity to see the top of the mountain. It took everything in me to not scream BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBS with jaw dropped, tongue out, and drool dropping onto the floor in heavy rivulets. 

I recall channel flipping through the analog channels that partially came in, one of them being the adult movies channel.  If you watched it long enough you sometimes chanced upon 2-3 seconds of sub par reception, enough to store in the spank bank for later.  

I regularly stayed up late watching television, because that's when the good stuff would come on the infomercial channel.
I'm talking about the call girl ads.
These girls left barely anything to the imagination and they wanted me to call them. 
Unfortunately the price on the screen always read something ridiculous like $3.99 a minute, and I didn't have a credit card, nor did I want to suffer the wrath of my father if I were to use his credit card for such a transaction.

One of the times I was watching the call girl infomercials, the ad suggested that the first 5 minutes are free, through a toll free 1-800 number, TREMENDOUS!  I was so excited, this was my in!
Right now, I want you to imagine how excited I was as a 16 year old to be able to talk to a hot babe for free for FIVE MINUTES!!!
The most I ever talked to a hot girl in high school was five seconds, when one turned around to ask me if they can copy my math homework.

I immediately called the number, the machine advised they needed a credit card in the event your call exceeded five minutes.
Sounds harmless enough I thought, while sneaking upstairs to grab my father's credit card.
After calling the number back, I entered the digits and I was on the line talking to a hot babe.
I must have sounded 10, but I told the woman I was 19 and she believed me.
After three minutes I hung up in a panic, ensuring the credit card doesn't get charged.

Two weeks later a bill came in the mail.
It wasn't for zero dollars.
It wasn't for five dollars.
It wasn't for twenty dollars.
I can probably keep going, but I'll just save the suspense and tell you right now that it was for $300 dollars!!!

There was quite obviously something in the fine print my hormone induced excitement didn't think to to take notice of.

My dad knew exactly what this was.
He asked me if I had called a 1-900 number.  I told him I called a 1-800 number (which I did), but I guess through pressing some of the options in the phone menu, I had been forwarded to a 1-900 number and it sure wasn't free for the first five minutes!

This is one of the very  few times my dad didn't break a wooden spoon on my back over something I probably deserved to for once.


I got my first comment from a reader last week, I know it's super exciting for absolutely nobody, but me.  I was asked what wine I was drinking while writing my last blog entry, what a great question!
Being that I write these while sipping on wine, why not share the label with  you?
So going forward I'll either start or end every post with that tidbit of information.

Today's not sponsored post is presented to you by a red wine, "The Industrialist"
She's a red blend with dark fruits, vanilla and a dash of spice.
It's medium bodied and pairs well with hamburgers and pizza!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Professional Wrestling, or family videos?

I can't remember how it came to fruition, but by the time I was 6 years old I had arguably become the greatest fan of (at the time) WWF Wrestling there ever was!  If my parents could afford every action figure, toy, card game, Pay Per View event, live event, I would HAVE IT ALL.
I often fantasized about being a WWF wrestler, I started doing push ups, sit-ups and squats in hopes that I would one day grow to have steroid induced shoulders like the ultimate warrior!
Sadly it never happened, but you should see my ass now, it's quite amazing.

The biggest problem with it all is once my dad found out that I was watching WWF wrestling, he immediately banned me from watching it. It's too violent.  I was so enamored with professional wrestling, I wouldn't give up on it so easily.  My dad knew when it was on, and he would check up on me to see if I'm watching it.
There was no escape, nor was there limits to my perseverance. 
In a world where internet wasn't even a thought process yet, I managed to figure out on my own how to setup a timed VHS recording for WWF, which I would later watch when my dad would be expecting me to watch morning cartoons.

The plan worked, for months my dad had no idea I was watching professional wrestling.  I had taken a used VHS tape of old family videos, when the tape ran out I would start from the beginning, and continue to record over it. 
I was on top of the world, I fooled my parents yet again, I can do what I want, nobody can stop me!!!

Until one day, my parents had some friends over who they hadn't seen in some time.  My dad wanted to share a precious family moment with them.  He walked over to the shelf with all the family VHS tapes and grabbed the one labeled "Annie's first steps".   I was excited to see the video too, I haven't seen this one yet!  As he grabbed it off the shelf my stomach sank.  I recognized it, because out of all the VHS tapes it was the one I recognize the most. It was the one I recorded WWF maple leaf wrestling on OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again.

If there was ever a time I thought about running out the front door and into head on traffic, it was right at this moment. Do I hide in my room? Do I hide behind the couch? Do I hide under the bed? Do I try to convince them to watch another family tape?  I don't.  I sit there and pretend like I know nothing.  Anyone could have recorded WWF wrestling, it could have been my Mom, or my older brother for all my father knows.  I just need to not look guilty right?

My dad sticks the VHS in, and immediately Hulk Hogan is yelling about how he's going to take Andre The Giant out at the next pay per view BROTHEERRR!!!

Don't look guilty.
Don't look guilty.
Don't look guilty.
My dad looks directly at me.
I looked guilty.

There was a lot of times my dad yelled at me, but I think this particular time was the loudest.  I still picture him with red eyes and a city burning behind him, that's how angry he looked.  The only thing stopping him from strangling me I'm sure, was the fact that they had friends over.

My dad promised me that we would talk about this later. Something definitely happened after our guests had left, but I don't remember very much talking.

You'd think that would be enough to turn me off from wrestling, but it wasn't.
I simply waited until the next time my dad purchased empty tapes, and I took one for my own.
In the end I had my way, I always had my way.

Monday, 28 December 2015

The suitcase trick

I've always been a poor sport, losing was never my thing. Being constantly in competition with my older brother, I always had to be on the winning side of a face-off.  If I lost, I would throw a temper tantrum, or call him names.  Cheater, asshole, idiot, etc.  It was his fault somehow if he won, I'm supposed to win!

For as long as I can remember we always competed on things like:
  • Who can hold their head under the water the longest. - This one particularly got to me the most, I swear my older brother would slowly pull his head out of the water so I wouldn't hear him come up, and then dive back in slowly to get an extra breath on me.  
  • Short distance running competitions.  - He always ran faster than me, so I always had an excuse for my loss.  Like "I sprained my ankle on a rock", or "my knees randomly buckled".  Sometimes I'd even walk around "injured" for days just to play it up.
  • Handball - Dad bought us two kid size hockey goalie nets and a rubber ball to throw across the room. This was a game we were equally good at.  I legitimately won at least half the time,  When I didn't win, I caused a scene.  There was always a reason why I lost. My brother's pants or socks were too thick, or he only won because he's a head taller than myself.  It was never because I sucked, and always because he had some kind of unfair advantage on me.
One day I decided, instead of holding our breath under water, we would take turns zipping each other up in a large suitcase.   As soon as you beg to come out because you're about to pass out from a lack of oxygen, you stop the timer, and then let the other person out. Finally something he can't cheat at!

I'm ashamed to say, this did not go as planned.  I thought it would be funny to just walk away and go watch some TV.  I figured there must be enough oxygen seeping through the zipper holes that he'd be in there for hours. Now on second thought, this would just be a stupid boring competition that he'll win because I wouldn't have the patience to just lay there for hours, but he would.
Off I went to watch some Saturday morning cartoons. I have no idea how much time passed, enough for me to completely forget about him when he finally came up the stairs.

I was shocked to see him standing before my eyes, I thought that suitcase was impossible to get out of without assistance. 
"How did you get out of there on your own?" - I asked.
Adrian, very calmly persuaded me that it was nothing really, and that it was now my turn.
There was an eerie tone to his voice and sinister look on his face, but I thought nothing of it.  If he could get out of the suitcase, so could I!  After all, I'm better at everything than him, why should I be worried?

I followed him downstairs and curled my body into the suitcase.  After being zipped up it was maybe 30 seconds before I couldn't breath.  I was hyperventilating, begging, screaming for my brother to let me out.  I felt like I was about to pass out, I wanted to figure out how to unzip the suitcase from the inside, but I couldn't think, I was panic stricken, I couldn't move.  All I could do is scream and beg and plead like a mouse caught in a trap half dead, begging for their life to be ended or saved. One of the two has to happen NOW because this limbo phase between life and death is just unbearable. 

Fortunately, Adrian didn't run upstairs to watch TV, instead he let me out a few seconds into my panic.
He could have left me for dead if he wanted, but he didn't.  

You'd think I'd be grateful for that, especially considering I basically left him for dead in retrospect. Now experiencing what he must have went through, I still wasn't grateful, I was ANGRY.  
Why was I angry?
He won, but only because he must have sneaked an oxygen tank in when I wasn't looking.  It's the only explanation!