The Book of Despair

  1. In the beginning there was the Uncaring Universe. And the Uncaring Universe did not give a shit about you or your problems
  2. And, behold, the Uncaring Universe did look upon the vastness of space and say “that’s a lot of room. I should put some shit there”. And the Uncaring Universe did shit upon the space.
  3. And when the Uncaring Universe had shat upon space, it gazed upon its shit and it did say “Meh. Good enough”
  4. The Uncaring Universe did gaze upon its shit and it saw that one of the pieces was a little less shitty than the rest.  And it said “I should do something about that.  I will create Man and place him upon the less shitty world that he may cause the world to be more shitty.
  5. And the Uncaring Universe did place man upon the face of the Earth that he may go forward, multiply, and cause The Earth to be shitty.
  6. And shit happened
  7. And one day Ian the Campbell was born.  And behold, that was bullshit, because that was not his real name
  8. And Ian, whose name was bullshit, did grow into a man
  9. And Ian, whose name was bullshit, did wax wise in the sophistry of men.
  10. And behold, Ian, whose name was bullshit, did inflict his sophistry upon willing readers
  11. And thus he spake unto his willing readers
  12. “Willing Readers, this I desirest thou to know:
  13. People Suck
  14. When someone you’re not related to welcomes you to “The Family”, turn and run like a son of a bitch
  15. Whenever a manager uses the word “proactive” in a sentence, you know something is about to suck
  16. If wishes were fishes we’d have some to fry
    1. (Corollary)  Actually, If wishes were fishes, they’d probably all get that disease where the fish literally puke their guts out and die and float to the top and all the other fish would devour the dead fish–or wish–in an orgy of cannibalism.
  17. If someone preemptively assures you that something isn’t going to happen, you can count on it happening
    1. (Corollary) If someone preemptively assures you of anything, then they are full of shit.
    2. (Corollary) If someone preemptively asserts that they are or are not something then they probably are, or are not exactly that thing
  18. The bigger the pickup, the bigger the asshole at the wheel
    1. (Corollary) The bigger the pickup, the smaller the penis on the asshole at the wheel
  19. Suicidal teenagers are fucking annoying
  20. Teenagers who think they are Vampires are fucking annoying
  21. Teenagers are fucking annoying
  22. They have mobile phone coverage on the Summit of Mt. Everest now.  Climbing Mt. Everest has jumped the shark.
    1. (Corollary) The phrase “jumped the shark” has, itself, jumped the shark
  23. The driver’s side windshield wiper will always wear out before the passenger-side
  24. The shitty-ness of the music is directly related to the loudness to which a teenager will feel compelled to turn up the volume
  25. The internet is full of shit
    1. (Corollary) People on the internet tend to be full of shit as well
    2. (Corollary) …and they don’t know when to sit down and shut up
  26. Everyone thinks that no-one loves music as much as they do
  27. When picking up a take-out order from a restaurant, the special order you have to double-check before leaving will be at the very bottom of the bag
  28. In the parking lot, that stupid person meandering aimlessly in front of you will be parked right next to you
    1. (Corollary) They will also drive the way they walk
  29. Whenever someone comes into your office, the most embarrassing song on your your iPod will come up in shuffle.  No matter how many un-embarrassing songs there are to choose from.
  30. Nothing profound has ever been said on Twitter
  31. Nothing profound will ever be said on Twitter
  32. The further away from New York you were on 9/11/2001, the more likely you are to wax rhapsodic with affected pathos about The World Trade center on any given 9/11.
  33. Everybody thinks that they are more like grumpy cat than anybody else
  34. Wikipedia:  A million nerds can’t be wrong
  35. Unless they’re talking about women, in which case a million nerds are always wrong
  36. All internet comments sections are headed to the same destination:  a huge dick-waving contest.
  37. You will hit every light green when you just need 10 more seconds to finish surreptitiously sending that text message from your car.
  38. Everybody thinks the drivers in their town are worse than everybody else’s town.  The truth is everybody is a bad driver everywhere.
  39. Jaywalkers will always run across the two lanes you’re not in, then walk across the lane you are in
  40. Any person who declares that they were educated at “the school of hard knocks” or “the school of life” on Facebook is 99% likely to not only be catastrophically ignorant, but also noisily proud of their own ignorance.

The Sample in the Fridge

The Sample in the Fridge

By on October 12, 2014 in Cereal Stories, Roommate Asylum

When you have Reno in your rear-view mirror, you put your foot on the accelerator and stand on that thing

Rick and I were blasting across the high desert of Northern Nevada.  Rick was at the wheel of his ancient but plucky Toyota pickup. We had Reno solidly framed in our rear-view mirror.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life, it is this: When you have Reno in your rear-view mirror, you put your foot on the accelerator and stand on that thing.  No Matter what direction you’re facing, go that way as fast as you can.  And Rick was.  All four cylinders in that little engine were beating their hearts out to carry us away from the tragic abomination which lay behind us.  As Jeremy Clarkson once said, “Reno: it’s like Las Vegas, but smaller.  And worse.”

We were just outside of Fallon when the problem started. Billows of white steam roiled out from under the hood like fake fog at a bad High School drama production. The spot where we pulled onto the hard shoulder was a little south of the middle of nowhere.

“We’d better look at the engine,” I said.

“What for?” Rick asked.

“I dunno,” I shrugged, “See if the damned thing is still in there?”

“Well it must still be in there, other wise what’s making all the steam?”

“Well, I don’t know Rick,” I said growing exasperated. That’s what always happens when people are stranded. First they cling to each other, then they turn on each other. I adopted a reasonable face and continued “It seems to me that people who are stranded in the middle of nowhere always get out and check the engine. Why should we question the established order of things? Why should we fly in the face of convention?”

Rick knew he was beaten by my unassailable logic. He popped open the hood on the treasonous Toyota and jumped out and peered into the engine compartment. He shut the hood and looked at me, shrugged his shoulders, and climbed back into the cab.

“Engine’s still there.”

“Well, you’d better raise some help on that CB radio,” I said vaguely gesturing toward the unit. My attention was distracted by what appeared to be a large warehouse that, like Rick’s truck was pouring steam into the dry desert air. The rising sun cast a rainbow as it refracted through the billowing clouds. The sound of static filled the cab of the pickup. I decided it was late enough in the morning to breakfast on a Ding Dong.

“Breaker, breaker,” Rick chanted into the microphone. Only static answered our distress call.

“You know who might have a telephone? That building over there.” Rick pointed at the steaming post-apocalyptic nightmare I had been watching earlier.

“Do you think it’s safe?” I said. It looked a bit sketchy to me.

Juliot and Sons

The tow truck dropped us off in a town I had never heard of.  It is called Fernley.  It’s the sort of town that you may miss on a map, assuming that it’s actually a tiny pile of fly shit rather than a small town.  The establishment that was entrusted with Rick’s Toyota was called “Juliot & Sons” and their business card proudly declared “We repair anything but a broken heart.”   It’s a good thing they choose to not offer heart surgery because we would surely have bled-out before Juliot, or his son attended to our issue.

Armed only with a blow-torch, Juliot (or Son) confidently waded into Rick’s engine.  A bit of the radiator had become detached, so with the radiator cap off he started welding or soldering it back on.  He was, for a bit, hindered by some foam rubber which was nestled between the radiator and the front grill on the truck and was prone to catching fire.  Juliot (or Son) found a way around the problem by placing the still burning torch on the carburetor, tearing the foam rubber out, and carefully flinging it away.

“Goddam engineers,” he explained.

Recovering the torch he proceeded with the job at hand.  Rick and I watched in fascinated horror as blobs of solder dripped into the radiator sizzling as the descended to the shadowy depts.  Now, I only needed a few hundred miles out of the traitorous pickup truck but Rick had a vested interest in keeping it alive.

“Is–is that ok for that solder to drip down there like that?” Rick asked with trepidation.

Juliot (or Son) grumbled something indistinguishable under his breath.  We only knew this because we saw the feathers of his massive beard rustled against his denim over-alls.

It was very late when we rolled out of Fernley heading East.  It had been a long day.

The Sample in the Fridge

The apartment building was typical off-campus student housing–it was low and squat and looked like it had seen better days.  Much could be said of my new roommate as well.  He was much older than I by a couple decades, a bit shabby, and from time to time flashed out a flickering nervous smile that might’ve presaged a question like “hey, wanna guess how many bodies I have buried in the courtyard?”.  Roommates had been pre-assigned and I’d never met mine.  I had adopted one of those idiot smiles you strap onto your face when you’re about to suffer through something deeply unpleasant.

The Fridge of Doom

“Oh, by the way, I have to keep a sample in the fridge for 24 hours.  But it’s OK, it’s all sealed shut and stuff”, my new roommate said, with that nervous fuckin’ smile flitting across his face.

The idiot grin on my face flickered and Jerry–his name was Jerry–turned and wandered down the hall tittering to himself.  I turned my idiot grin to face Rick’s horrified grin and I said through gritted teeth, “did he say ‘sample’?”

Rick scratched his chin for a minute and then replied, “Yes.”

“Like.  Urine?”

“Could be sperm.”

“Shut the fuck up Rick.”

Rick shrugged and we both looked toward the fridge of horrors.  I imagined the fridge dancing at the end of a Hitchcock Zoom, but sometimes you’ve just got to look.  On the top shelf, where more mundane refrigerators might have a gallon jug of milk, my new apartment had an orange gallon jug of whiz.  The best part was the bio-hazard symbol emblazoned on the side.  A team of production designers could not have made this any more comical.

Rick decided to hit the road the next day, continuing on to his more conventional college experience, the coward.

Read Part 2 –>

“Biohazard door” image ©Artyfree/

About the Author

About the Author: Ian is a 3rd generation native of Southern Nevada, where he lives today in a quiet suburban neighborhood with his wife of twenty years and their two sons. Ian has earned his bread in a variety of occupations including stocking a beer freezer, mixing and pouring concrete, being a roadie for a synth punk band in San Francisco in the early 90's, being a not-very-well-known hard rock DJ, scenic carpentry, theatrical lighting design, theatrical sound design, playing Ku Klux Klan Member #5 in a professional production of "Grover", and writing for an virtually unknown, subversive, underground blog called Radio Free Las Vegas. .

Tagged With:

Comments are closed.