July 16, 2009

The Gods Hath Spoken…

Well, I did what I swore to myself that I absolutely would not do during the whole fringe week.

I read a review of my show.

By fluke, mind you. I was trying to see if the God awful show I had just paid $9 to suffer through had a review yet. So when mine eventually came out, I’d have something to compare it to. While going down the list of reviews online, I came across a very familiar face…

“Hey…THAT’S ME!!”

And then I saw it. The rating.

See I wanted to stay away from the reviews for both sides of this scale. On one hand, if the review was great, I might get cocky and over-confident for the rest of the run and really leave people with a bad taste for any future work I do. But if it’s a bad review…You know the saying, “Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it?” I can’t take criticism. I’m a closet crier when nobody’s around. And I didn’t want a bad review to make me depressed and want to hang my head in shame for the rest of the performances.

I’m stalling. Here’s the review:

“2 Stars”:

Jason Brasher has the makings of a good storyteller — gift for gab, engaging presence, mischievous streak a mile wide — and he obviously loves being the centre of attention. He’s that life-of-the-party guy who’s always cracking up his friends with those "you shoulda been there" yarns, spun out of mundane situations that always manage to take a bizarre turn.
But that guy needs more than a microphone to turn his party shtick into an hour-long show. Brasher has a knack for physical comedy, but his disjointed anecdotes are all set-up and no punchline. And since there’s never a moral or conclusion — or a point, really — they don’t quite cut it as stories, either.

The Winnipegger, who’s making his stage debut here, was probably a hoot as a bartender. But given the gross tales he tells out of school, I don’t know that I’d want to be one of his massage clients.


I read this in between going from one play to another this evening. I was in a great mood after seeing a magic show in one venue and about to see another play later tonight that discusses the idea of feminism in a world where everyone is obsessing over Britney’s va-jay-jay. Something I’ve thought about a great deal. Not Brit’s nether regions, the feminism idea.

But I read this review in between shows. Needless to say, I was gutted. I always wondered what those guys who write screenplays about their lives feel like when a reviewer gives them a shit review. It’s on par with saying, “Your life is shit.” I now know how they feel.

I walked to the theatre for my “feminism-discussion play” and tried to convince myself that it was the wind that was making my eyes water as I walked across the street. But when I had to duck into a corner to compose myself, I guess I wasn’t fooling anyone. I could barely look at other attendees at the play for fear that they read this review and recognized my grill from the posters. That they would point and mumble to one another, something to the effect of, “Don’t go see his show…he only got 2 stars!”

As I sat through what is one fantastic play, I thought about what exactly was written in that review.

“a good storyteller — gift for gab, engaging presence, mischievous streak a mile wide”

Well that’s pretty cool! The review isn’t dissing me as a person…I’m the part they actually like!

“and he obviously loves being the centre of attention.”

Damn skippy I do! If you were fueled on Pepsi 24/7 and lived the life I live, you’d be crackling with energy, bouncing in your seat, yelping, “LOOK-IT-ME, LOOK-IT-ME!!!”

“He’s that life-of-the-party guy”

Okay…that’s the part that’s actually funny to me. You people reading this are not to know the following, but on any given night, I am in bed by 10 pm, reading one of the 10-20 books stacked by my nightstand, or I am doing an all-nighter playing some epically long video game. I don’t go out to parties; much less socialize more than once a month. I’m a 31 semi-agoraphobic, part-time misanthrope.

Who is ALWAYS the life of the party…but on a monthly basis only. Get yer facts straight there, review person!

“who’s always cracking up his friends with those "you shoulda been there" yarns, spun out of mundane situations that always manage to take a bizarre turn.”

THAT! That right there is the point of my show. I’m not an actor, and I don’t pretend to be one either. All I have are a shit load of stories that take place during my lifetime that are there to make people laugh. I have no message, no pearls of wisdom, no God-like statement to make to the masses. And that’s the point! It all comes out of the everyday stuff that just about anybody can or has lived through. When you get to the end of this rant, you’ll see what I mean.

If the review stopped right there, even with the two star rating, I’d be extremely happy. Somebody gets me. But then it delves into the pit of my deepest fears.

“Brasher has a knack for physical comedy, but his disjointed anecdotes are all set-up and no punchline.”

That’s what they call a back-handed compliment, yes? I do agree my stories don’t have punch-lines…because my life as a whole isn’t a joke, and it’s not done yet. So even I don’t know the punch-line. And I don’t know many people who go through life with a definite conclusion to their everyday events or a rhyme and reason to things they live through.

Oh and “p.s.” review person. My spell check says that “punchline” is a two letter word. So, fuck-you-very-much.

HAH! There’s a “punchline” for ya!

“And since there’s never a moral or conclusion — or a point, really — they don’t quite cut it as stories, either.”

This part, I kinda have to agree with the reviewer. There are no morals to my stories, and granted, there’s no real point. It’s just me telling stories to make people laugh. I’m sorry they don’t “cut it” as a story to the reviewers standards, but I’ll stick with good ol’ Webster’s for that one:

Story - [stawr-ee, stohr-ee] noun, plural -ries, verb, -ried, -ry⋅ing.

A narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale.

I believe I have achieved a “story” by that definition.

The last bit that was written was the real mean part. SO mean that I don’t want it to appear more than once in this “story”. But when I break it down, the review is pretty accurate. What I set out to do is just tell my tales and get some laughs, and maybe, if I’m lucky, a few individuals will get just that much more inspired, and that much less scared to work up the courage to go out and tell the rest of the world their stories, their adventures, their joys and sorrows, that it is possible to do what you thought was impossible.

And even though some may not like it, it’s unique, it’s true, and you have in fact achieved something. One of the biggest influences on doing my show the way I chose to do it is Henry Rollins. A guy who spends most of his life on a stage telling people what he did that day, that week, that month, where he’s been what he thought, and how balls-out funny life really is. He says, very frequently, “I refuse to live my life under a rock,” and I refuse to let one bad critic make me think any less of myself.

Plus, reviewers get paid by the word and I just copy and pasted her entire little review on here. She won’t see a dime for that, so hah hah, plagiarisms a bitch!

July 11, 2009


To everyone who gets around to reading these stories of mine,

I've been a very bad blogger. I have abandoned my frequent rants to you all in preparation of this years Fringe Festival out here in Winnipeg.

That's in Manitoba, in case you forgot.

That's in Canada, in case you're from the United States. (You guys do know that there are other countries out there right?)

Anyhow, if you are in town between July 15-25 you can come see me tell a whole whack load of my "misadventures" live and in person.

Check it out:

Venue 11 (Red River College 160 Princess street)

Wed. July 15 - 6:00pm
Fri. July 17 - 7:15pm
Sat. July 18 - 3:45pm
Sun. July 19 - 8:45pm
Mon. July 20 - 1:45pm
Thu. July 23 - 10:45pm
Sat. July 25 - 3:15pm

Ticket Price: $9.00

And for all those who can't make it out, you'll be happy to know that during the entire festival, EVERY DAY, I will be writing new posts on here. Some might be about the festival, some might be stories I haven't even got around to writing yet, it may even be the long awaited completion of my Thailand trip...you'll have to come back and see!

Hope everyone is having a kick-ass summer!

May 20, 2009

Thailand Adventures (Day 3 / part 2)

The trip down to the school was an experience in itself. If there are any traffic laws in all of Chiang Mai I’d be surprised. We rode in the back of this rickety little truck with a little shanty shack to act as a roof over our heads. The seats were bolted down into the cab with little care, so any time you hit a bump, your seat would shift to a different area of the truck. Above our heads were the “Holy Shit” bars to hold on to, which we used the entire duration of the ride.

We could see the oncoming traffic as we traveled down side streets, back alleys and highways. If there are traffic lights, I didn’t notice them, cause we were constantly going in a forward motion with no stops along the way. Only once did the truck sort of slow down, and that was just to make a u-turn…in a lane specifically for that purpose. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in Canada, most streets have sign after sign deterring drivers from any attempt of a u-turn at any time in their lives. Here, they not only encourage it, they have a lane, with a painted u-turn symbol on the pavement, dedicated to it. We are not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Watching the traffic around us was pretty entertaining. The number of scooters driving around the city far outnumbered the cars. And just when we started to marvel at how they could fit three people onto one scooter, along came a family of five bundled onto the smallest scooter I’ve ever seen. To top that, a driver had his dog perched on the handle bars as he zoomed by us. And still, people condemn Britney Spears for bad parenting?! She just drives Thai-style people!?

When you’re not watching all the scooter drivers dive in and out between slivers of space between the larger, crush-your-bike-like-a-toy cars and trucks, you have an amazing view of the city. There is every color of the spectrum on display. Between the clothing the locals wear, the billboards around the cityscape and the natural growth of the trees and plants, it’s very hard to take it all in the first trip down. Someone in the truck said it best, “The jungle seems to be overtaking the city, or they are constructing the city around the existing trees.”

That is something worth mentioning now that I think of it. The trees around the city are mesmerizing. The scale of them is double, if not more, of an average tree in my hometown. And the way they grow, the branches seem to resemble an old mans aching bones. They look broken and fractured, while the leaves that attach to the ends of the crippled branches, bloom leveled with the earth below. Man I sound like a really bad poet when I try to describe pretty things. But, it’s true none the less.

Finally we made it to the school. We were welcomed at the door and were instructed to take our shoes off, come indoors, (where it’s air-conditioned, thank God) and change into the required scrubs for class. I don’t remember giving them any sort of measurements before signing up for this course and it showed when I walked out with my pants tied around my belly-button and my shirt coming down to my knees. Looking around the room, I could see I wasn’t the only fashion victim. Tall people had what looked like skin tight Capri pants on; the tiniest of our group wore the “one size fits all” outfits and tripped over themselves throughout the day. We were pretty sure the school did this for a laugh.

When we finally met our instructors, we were a bit nervous. In the course outline we received, it stated that the course was demanding and that even though the environment is relaxed, our instructors were strict. This was so not the case. We had two tiny little Thai women with a severe case of perma-grin and a light-hearted sense of humor. For example, every morning, we would have to start the day with exercise and Yoga. Of course when I read that in the schedule, I assumed that from 9am-11:30am would be dedicated to JUST exercise and Yoga. Well it pays to read things properly, (like say…flight times?) The yoga and exercises consisted of a few stretches and then these little exercises that I’m pretty sure were designed to make us laugh and act a fool for fifteen minutes, (which I am more than willing to do at any given time.)

But before any of that we had to do a prayer/chant to Buddha, their King, the doctor who implemented Thai massage, and the instructors themselves. They even provided us with the prayers spelled out phonetically so we wouldn’t screw it up. But we did anyhow. This was all followed by 3 minutes of meditation, which I think was the best part of the morning ritual. But then again, I’m a lazy shit.

Before we knew it, we were being escorted out onto a patio to have lunch. Every meal was going to be a vegetarian dish of some sort. Back home, I have a co-worker who is a strict vegan, (whom I constantly tease) as well as a sister who secretly makes desserts with tofu in it just to convince me that there is no difference between that and any other dessert without it. Well if there’s no difference…then why bother?! Regardless, if they ever knew how good these lunches were, I’d have a lot of apologizing to do.

The patio we all sat at over-looked a stream that ran below the school. On the other side of it were a few grass huts with children running around in the yards chasing after some wild chickens. The huts were cloaked with a variety of trees that bowed towards the water below. You’d hear exotic birds calling out all around you. Occasionally, you’d get a hint of a breeze and sit there trying to place the smell that’s in the air. A smell that brings you back to your childhood, playing in the weeds at the family cottage, trying to collect as many crayfish as your little plastic bucket could hold.

Or at least that’s what I smelled. Everyone else smelled sweat apparently.

The rest of the day flew by pretty quickly, but even so, it drained us of every ounce of energy we had. The trip back in our cab-o-death was silent for most of the way back. We were all sweaty and just completely spent. I carried myself up to my room and stepped right into the shower. As soon as I was cleaned up and smelling half decent again, I got my second wind. A few minutes later I was bouncing down the stairs to meet up with a few of the group to decide where we were going to eat that night. Before we headed out, one of the receptionists at the hotel had a message for “Mr. Jason”. That would be me.

The message in short said, “Someone more important than you is checking in. We are kicking you out of the deluxe suite and moving you to a smaller room, immediately!” Maybe not those exact words, but it’s how I felt reading it. So upstairs I go and quickly packed my things up as one of the housekeepers made their way to my room to help me move my luggage to the new room. I had just enough time to raid the newly stocked mini fridge and pack it into my suitcase before the housekeeper arrived. They can take my deluxe room…but they’ll never take…MY FREE PEPSI!!!

The new room is basically the same, except the bed is about a third the size it was in the other room. Not a big deal. Back downstairs I go and off to dinner we all went. Or so I thought.

We made it up to the main drag where the new part of the city met up with the old part of the city. The way I understand it, is that the old city had a wall built around it at one point which eventually they tore down. Now, the rest of the city kind of expands out from that old city and the ruins of the wall which are still there. That’s probably a very over-simplified telling of Thai history, but what can I say…I’m a simple minded guy, who is also easily distracted when people are giving me history lectures.

So there we were standing at the edge of the very narrow sidewalks, watching the endless flow of traffic zoom past us. Now remember how I said there are no visible traffic lights? Well finding a crosswalk is a greater challenge. The only way we were going to get across is by trying to weave in and around the oncoming traffic, or throwing one of our party in front of traffic so they might stop and let the others pass. I was elected to be the crossing guard, (or target practice, however you want to look at it.) I walked out into traffic with my hand held out, as if I was Moses about to part the Red Sea. And to my surprise, I did not die. The girls ran across the street to the other side and I bowed in thanks to all the patient drivers who let me live.

Now I thought we were going to dinner, but apparently the girls wanted to check out the markets first. We made it up to the mouth of the beast as it were, the starting point to a maze of tables and kiosks of goods and wares. There were lanterns hanging from tent poles as far as the eye could see, illumintaing just how far we could trek. We stood there for a moment trying to take it all in. We all agreed before we set foot in the swarm of merchants that we were going to stay together and not get lost. So naturally as soon as we took three steps, we were all off in separate directions. I think that was due to the fact that we all wanted to get away from the starting point as quickly as possible. That’s where they try to sell all the food. So between all the spicy meats on the open grills, the smell of fresh fish coasting in the hot night air and the unmistakable smell of raw sewage from the river running through the city, it was a pretty potent aroma.

The markets are just incredible. It’s a shoppers dream come true. Almost everything was hand made. Every piece of fine fabric in every style imaginable, any color you could think of. Jewelry, bed sheets, shoes, dresses, suits, shirts, toys, knick-knacks, paintings, fruits, vegetables, spices, drinks, perfumes…it just never ended. Until at some point you get deep enough into the whole display and realize it’s all the same stuff over and over, just spaced out and repeated after a few booths.

You really had to have a keen eye, (or be a girl) to pick out something totally unique amongst all the items on display. It’s harder for me I guess, because, well nothing here really interests me. Like, I don’t want to come back from this trip all decked out in Thailand garb just to prove that I’ve actually been somewhere. Cause you know as soon as that week is up of wearing the Thailand style, you really have no other time that you can wear it out in public without everyone thinking you’re a mad man. Then again, I’m a typical white t-shirt and jeans kinda guy, so convincing me even to wear a suit is going to give you some trouble.

Eventually we all ran into each other again. The girls had their shopping fix for one night and now, it was off to dinner. On the walk back towards the hotel, we came across this nice little patio restaurant that seemed to be engulfed by bamboo trees, so of course we had to go there! Surrounded by trees that are completely foreign to me, in a country I’ve never been, about to eat food that may or may not agree with me, and the only thing that is going through my mind is, “Why the fuck is Celine Dion playing on the sound system?” I can’t get away from that skinny bitch.

But the food…oh Holy Gods!

I played it safe for tonight with a chicken and cashew dish, (making sure there was no garlic in the menus description) which was so so good! In front of me was a small dish that looked like soy sauce with tiny little peppers floating in it. The girls warned me that on the previous night, Crystal, (the only member of our group who looks even remotely like a happy-hippy) had tried a dash of it on her food and immediately turned from pale white, to sweaty red, saying “Yep, that’s got some hot to it,” as she downed her water. So…of course I have to try it. One tiny pepper later and I wanted to “make the bad man stop!”

I thought I’d be a little exotic by getting a watermelon smoothie to drink. My exotic order just made the rest of the group question my sexuality. And I was nowhere near exotic after a couple of the other girls ordered dessert, which came served in hollowed out coconuts and pineapples. Ah well, two more weeks to order me up some of that.

May 15, 2009

Thailand Adventures (Day 3 / part 1)

It’s 5 am right now and I’ve just woken up. All of my own free will too, which is impressive for me. Is this a sign of maturity? After what seemed like an endless runaround through airports and falling asleep in uncomfortable positions in the airplane seats the stiff bed in my room was a welcome. I touched the mattress and was out like a light.

I briefly met the rest of the group before coming upstairs and passing out. I had asked the front desk staff if they had checked in yet. He pointed over to the dinning area where I could see 10 women all seated having dinner. I walked up to them cautiously and asked if they were by any chance a group of massage therapists. One of the girls looked at me quizzically and said, “Are you Jason?”

I sheepishly grinned and waved back, croaking a little “Hi!” as I stood there uncomfortably. I gave them all a quick run down of the adventures getting here and finished off by saying I smelled like ass crack. Nice way to introduce myself I must say. So today is the day I get to put faces with the names.

Like I said, it’s a about 5 am right now and I don’t have to be up for at least another 2 hours. So I’m just sitting out here in the hallway to my hotel room. It’s still nighttime and raining. Big fat drops of water keep splashing off the surface of the bamboo leaves that my floor is level with. Looking out over the edge I can see the street lined with pubs and little specialty shops. When the lightning strikes it illuminates the whole sky in a purple flash. Nothing is cooler than seeing a lightening bolt touch down somewhere behind a mountain top, silhouetting the massive structure. From the far end of the street a little scooter comes wheezing down the rain-slicked tarmac. There are three Thai’s hanging onto the bike as the driver tries to keep it upright. Their laughter drowns out the motor as they pass by me.

That’s something that I will never get used to here. The good natured attitude of almost everyone I meet here. In the city, its common place to keep your head down and avoid eye-contact with everyone surrounding you. If you happen to look up into the face of a stranger, they immediately turn away as if they didn’t see you. But here, if someone catches your eye, they immediately smile, bow and say hello, (in Thai of course, which is “sa-wat-dee”). All around the hotel, the bellboys and housekeepers treat you like the owner of the place, bowing and moving out of the way for you. It’s nice, but a little uncomfortable. I’m not really accustomed to being waited on like this.

There area definitely some characters that work here. A bellboy in particular is all smiles and cracks little jokes every time I see him. When he noticed that I spotted a Gecko making his way up the wall in the lobby, the bellboy pointed to it as if to say, “You see that lizard?” he then made a gesture suggesting he would eat it. The main dude behind the desk was just a sight to behold as well. He was a bigger guy, both in height and width, sporting a Bruce Lee hairdo from the 70’s, a mustard colored power suit, thick black and white retro granny glasses, two pimp rings on each hand and he spoke in a gentle falsetto. I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the staff here.

Something tells me that beauty goes a long way here. I noticed it mostly on the way down here. All the employees at the airport were drop dead gorgeous. All the advertisements for the multiple Asian airlines were adorned with Asian girls in tight little suits and skirts, giggling and twirling their hair. They were like ‘Hooters’ ads, without the ‘hoots’. The hotel as well, all the women are beautiful here. Kinda makes you wonder. And I know I sound like a misogynistic prick for noticing it in the first place, but I’m just telling you like it is.

So now I’m downstairs and having the first of many breakfasts. When the tour stated that the hotel would be providing all breakfasts and the school was providing lunches and snacks throughout the day, I expected little to nothing that would fill me up like back home. Man, was I wrong. The breakfast is not a typical continental deal you find back home, but a full-on buffet like the kind you’d get at ‘Bonanza’ back in the day. Ham/bacon/sausage, pancakes/toast/waffle/cereal, eggs/omelets/stir-fry, fruits/juices/milk/water. Oh my God…I can’t eat anymore.

I joined a couple of the girls that were already downstairs. I wish to God I could remember all their names but only Adena’s sticks out. Already they are talking about what they plan to do after school. Some want to head into the markets right away to do shopping. Some want to do a boat tour along the river running through the city so we can take it all in at once. Someone also mentioned the idea of going to one of the local zoo’s to pet the tigers. I respect the laws of the jungle a little too much to go around and fuck with tigers. A tiger is and should not be a domesticated animal. They can and will eat your ass with little regard to the laws of the petting zoo. “The Jungle Book” was a lie kiddies.

I’ve pounded back my first Thai breakfast. Rice with Squid, cuscus with pineapple chunks, boiled broccoli with oysters and a side of fish mixed in with spicy peppers. One of the girls across from me opted for a soup with fish balls. Whether or not that’s hunks of fish rolled into a ball…or fish testes I do not know. I’ll probably try that tomorrow.

Before I leave for my first day of school, I totally ransack the mini fridge. I want to see if they restock the fridge everyday or if it’s a once only thing. There are six bottles of water, two cans of Pepsi, an orange Fanta, and two cans of Thai beer, (which I left behind). So we’ll see when I get back. Oh yeah, and as of this morning I have my luggage back. Now it’s off to school!

May 13, 2009

Worst Jobs in the World

I was talking to a buddy of mine the other day and he got onto the subject of the worst job he’s ever had to do. This is a guy who is providing for a family of four and works mainly for the city. So if there is any opportunity to get a better paying job, he’ll jump at the chance no matter what the gig is. But before I tell you about his, sure-fire, worst job in the history of man, I thought I’d soften you up a bit first by telling you a couple of my own.

One of the earliest jobs I ever had was working at a KFC/Taco Bell. I don’t know who the genius was that decided Kentucky Fried Chicken should go hand in hand with Mexican food, but what can you do? Some of the people that worked there were pretty fun I have to admit. One of the cooks in the back part of the kitchen would come in with a feather pillow once every so often. He’d wait till he thought the crowd was really backed up at the front counter and then he would grab a handful of feathers and throw them in the air. He’d come storming out from the back with a huge meat cleaver in hand, a trail of feathers clinging to him like static, while he’d scream, “Damn it! Catch that chicken! Don’t let him get away! Damn feathers every where…There he goes! Don’t let him get away!” And he’d run into the back again. The silence was deafening.

But one thing sticks out in my mind as clear as day. A customer who came into the restaurant every Friday like clockwork. The glass double doors would swing open like a western saloon, giving the customer just enough room to squeeze inside. A roped off maze leading up to the cashier would be knocked over in her wake. And before I knew it, I would be face to face with the behemoth that was this woman, gasping for breath as she mopped her sweaty brow over top of the register. Finally she would place her order;

“I’ll have a 20 piece meal with 2 gravies 2 coleslaws, 2 family fries, a dozen rolls and…(this is the kicker) a large DIET Pepsi.”

I am required to ask her every time, even though I know the answer, “Is that for inside or to go?”

“For inside please.”

And there she would sit. In a booth all by herself, consuming an entire family of poultry. This happened every week.

Finally the day came where I was moving on to a different place of employment. It was my last day at KFC/T.B. and who should come through the door with a ‘Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum’? The behemoth! And sure enough, she gets the usual with the large DIET Pepsi. Now once every so often, you find yourself compelled to do something absolutely rude and out of character. Whether it’s just you being a cocky young teenager at the time or just being fed up with the daily monotony of life as an adult. Regardless, once in a while you do something that brings you into the fold of Assholes United™.

When she added on the DIET Pepsi at the end of her order, I finally cracked. I leaned in to her and whispered, “Honey, live a little. The ‘DIET’ ain’t helping anything. Go crazy this one time and get yourself the REAL Pepsi!”

Needless to say I was given the rest of the day off. So I look at it as a win/win situation.

The next place I found myself employed at was a video store which had the bonus of being open 24 hours a day. Me being the night owl in my youth took every late night shift I could get my hands on. Not a bad deal. Mop the floors serve a handful of customers and have an unlimited supply of videos to watch.

One particular night I was working with another guy named Steve who had been there for at least 2 years or so. For the most part we sat at the front and popped in horror movies to watch as we did absolutely dick all for the rest of the night. We had a security camera in and around most of the store and one or two in the back room. The back room was the adults-only section. Anytime someone went in there we locked the cameras on it, in case someone tried to steal some porn. While we were at the front shooting the shit about movies and girls and what not, Steve happened to look over at the security monitor over my shoulder.

“Jesus Fuck!” were his exact words as he bounded over the counter top and leapt over two racks of cassettes. I had no idea that Steve had such ninja-like reflexes. A couple of customers were just coming up to the front with their selections when the guy bounded past them into the back room. I tried to pretend that this was a common occurrence and might have said something like, “When you gotta go, you gotta go.”

No sooner did these people leave, Steve came out of the back room slamming the door wide open. He was dragging something across the floor with him. Actually it wasn’t some ‘thing’ it was some ‘guy’. Steve didn’t even look at me, just kept dragging this human carcass across the floor and to the exit. He literally tossed this guy into the parking lot and screamed, “You ever come back here, I’ll kick your fucking head in!”

Steve walked back inside in a huff, came behind the counter again, sat down on his stool and didn’t say a word.

“Uhhh…” was all I could say.

“Fucking guy was jerking off back there.”

“Dude…that’s gross!”


“Does that kinda shit happen all the time here?!”

“No it’s been a while now. Fucking freak.”

“No shit.”

“Well…I hate to tell ya, but since you’re the new guy here, you’re gonna have to do the clean up.”

“No that’s cool man. I mean, I’d be pretty shaken up too after that. You want to just do the cleaning for me another night?”

“No I mean the “clean-up”. Back there.”


After a few ballsy statements saying no way was I being paid enough money to do that, I snapped on the rubber gloves and filled up a soapy bucket. I walked into the back room, gently nudging the door open to peer inside. The door creaked ominously. My eyes darted back and forth, trying to asses the situation. I couldn’t see anything that resembled, “a mess”. Was he pulling my leg about this or something? There was nothing here, nothing to clean up. Maybe he got the guy just in time?

Nope. As soon as I turned around to leave, I saw it. The rack on the other side of the door was the victim. I’m willing to bet that this guy was saving himself for weeks in preparation for this night. Cause I’m telling you, the guy did a freaking Picasso on the back of the door. I mean it was across the boxes, from the top of the rack right to the bottom, on the wall behind the rack…as if an elephant just sneezed onto the door only to have a spider make its web with the contents. It took me 20 minutes and a loss of my lunch to get it all cleaned up.

That had to be one of the worst things I have ever done in my employment history.

But it comes nowhere near the recent job description my friend had told me about.

He had just finished up a two month stint working for the city’s water and waste management plant. After three weeks on the job he was tasked with unclogging, “The Digester”.

It’s pretty much what you would imagine. If you know your human anatomy well enough, you know that there are parts that move your food through out your body, keeping what’s needed and eventually discarding the leftovers. Well, every so often, you’ll do something like swallow your gum or a piece of hair. That stuff takes a little while longer to get through the system. Well “The Digester” is the end result of the city’s digestive system. And to put it delicately, the city has swallowed up a lot of gum and hair.

This thing only gets cleaned out once every two years I’m told. And as my buddy got himself suited up in a Haz-Mat suit and flipped on the oxygen, I’m sure he was a little nervous about seeing the 2 year supply of what cannot be processed by a huge waste management plant. Into the tunnels he goes and after 20 minutes of walking through raw sewage, he comes to a great, big, sphere-shaped boiler. They crack the door open…and there before him is the worlds biggest, nastiest hairball in history. On closer inspection he realized it wasn’t just hair, oh no. It was long hair from people’s heads, short hairs from their bodies, used tampons that people flushed away, used condoms that have made there way down. All stuck together with the worst of what the human body can dispose itself of.

To give you a bit more of a visual, the mound stood about 25 feet high and was at least 100 feet in length. He had to hack at it with a weed whacker and when that didn’t work, he’d use his hands to pull it apart. Every time he shredded a piece off, a condom, (most definitely ‘used’) or a tampon, (ditto) would slap against his mask. All the while they were doing this they were awakening the gnats that had nested in this heap. So many would fly out from it that they would barely be able to see exactly what they were doing.

I don’t care who you are, where you are in life, or how shitty things can get. After hearing about that, I look at my life and I am so very very thankful for where I am and what I get to do.

May 12, 2009

Thailand Adventures (Day 2)

I am officially the biggest douche in the world.

I arrived here in B.C. around 6 pm. I was going to be meeting the rest of the group I’m with at midnight in front of the international departures gate. Or so I thought. Come midnight there I was, standing by the gate waiting for everyone or anyone to show up. The airport is very big and from where I am I can see down two very long hallways which almost runs the length of the airport. So I know for a fact that aside from me and the people behind the airline counters, there are only a handful of people in the airport right now. None of whom are heading in my direction.

After five minutes I break open the little map of the airport I was given. “X” marked the spot where I was, no doubt about that. But it’s right on the line between indoors and outdoors. Was I supposed to meet them outside?

I ran down to the main floor from the second floor and headed outside. There was no group out there either. Back inside I go, heading straight for the information booth. “S’cuse me, where exactly is this spot?”

The gal behind the counter dusted off her copy of the airport map and looked back and forth between my photo copy and her full color map. “I have no idea,” was her helpful reply. Back to the departure gate I go. A half an hour later, my best guess was that they went through the gate already, checked their bags and were impatiently waiting for me to show up on the other side. Worst case scenario, they go through the freak out that I just went through and find me waiting impatiently on the other side for them. Did I say that was the worst case scenario?

I hand my passport to the attendant behind the desk for my airline. He types my information into his computer and tries to bring up my itinerary. Because this was all booked with a group, my flight info was with the group coordinator. So all his questions for me were answered with a very helpful, “I dunno?” But I’m sure they have my name and everything registered for the flight, I mean you have to do that sort of thing, right?

“Uh, you don’t seem to have a flight booked for today.”

“Well that can’t be right. I’m supposed to be meeting like 10 other people here for a flight to Hong Kong at 2:00 am.”

“…Oh wait a minute. I see the problem here. Your flight left already.” My heart stopped. “Yeah they left exactly 24 hours ago.”

I felt nauseous. I booked my flight a day late. How the hell did I screw that up? My mind was just reeling. I can’t afford to pay for another return flight to Hong Kong and Thailand, I just can’t. But I need to take this course for my continuing education credits, otherwise I have to shell out another $700-$1000 for a different course that I’m pretty sure I’ll hate. This was supposed to be a vacation for me as well, a vacation 5 years overdue. What else can I do? I have to go back home I guess? Fuck. Me.

But…after a half hour of some amazing wheeling and dealing with the airline, they got me a flight out of Vancouver to Hong Kong, a day late, no charge. They even worked it out to get me to Bangkok to meet up with the group in time, but from there to Chiang Mai depended entirely on getting back with the group when I landed. Otherwise, I’d have to buy another ticket. The return flight would be “waitlisted” until I was ready to go home. This meant I would be spending some time hanging out in airports until I get an available flight home. I’ll deal with that later, right now, I’m running for the gates like a mother fucker.

Running so fast and so hard that a big burly security guard decides to stop me and do a baggage check. COME ON!? So there I was the one and only guy on a late night flight to Hong Kong, being searched for weapons or narcotics or whatever the hell makes airports go nucking futs these days. As soon as he saw my collection of baggies filled with random objects like cash, cameras and soap…he got a little more suspicious and decided to flip through all the pages in each one of the three books I brought along as well as this journal. The entire time he’s asking me questions about where I’m going, business or pleasure, my occupation, blah blah blah. The whole time I’m trying to be very polite and accommodating while in my head I’m screaming, “GET OUT OF MY WAY YOU STUPID HIGH SCHOOL REJECT!! I’M NOT A FUCKING TERRORIST!!”

After he has searched everything, including a pat-down, with all my carry on contents spread out across a table top, he allows me to leave. He and the three other security dicks, (THREE!) just stood back and watched me carefully as I packed everything back into my carry on. It kinda felt like I was just violated and they were watching me gather my tattered clothes off the ground. Have I mentioned I hate airport security?

Running like a mad man, I make the flight time with 15 min. to spare. I had a few minutes to spare so I quickly sent out an email to the group coordinator;

“This is Jason Brasher writing. So sorry for the screw up, I am in Vancouver right now and they've got me on a flight out this evening to Hong Kong and then to Bangkok. I should arrive in time to make the flight to Chiang Mai. They have me arriving in Bangkok flight 77A at 10:35 am on Saturday at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. I really hope this is where you are all taking off as well. I have to check to make sure all my return information is still good as well, but I'm a little frazzled right now and can't figure it all out. I'll try to check this email once I land in Hong Kong, if you get this can you please confirm one way or another what the plan is. I also sent word to the hotel in Bangkok as well so you might already know this. Again so sorry for the incredible inconvenience, but I will see you all soon. Jason”

I’m in my seat, on my way. All I want to do is pass out. I’m so wired and freaked out that I don’t know if I can. I had to get this all out on the page before I forgot all the little details, so there it is. A good start to the trip, and here I thought I’d have nothing to write about from Vancouver!?

- Bangkok.

It gets worse.

When I landed in Hong Kong, I ran to the next terminal to make the flight to Bangkok. I could not miss this flight. If I do, I’m semi-screwed. Luckily I didn’t have to worry about getting my checked in luggage as they worked it out to have it transferred onto my connecting flight. So I just ran like the devil. This time, no security stopped me in the hallways, I cleared all the metal detectors and before I knew it, I was in my seat and being served an orange juice. Life was good.


I get to Bangkok international. I wait in line for 20 min. waiting to get through the immigration counter. Which seemed kind of odd since I’m not staying here for more than two weeks. So what’s the point of being in the immigration line? Every second that I stood there was a second keeping me from connecting with the rest of the group. Plus I had to get my bags here as well. Finally, I walked up to the immigration counter, smiled for the little camera they have, got the passport stamped and away to the luggage claim I go. 1 hour left to meet with the group.

Under extreme stress, I am not a patient guy. I stood in front of the baggage claim for what seemed like an eternity waiting for my luggage to pop out. 20 min. later it became clear…my luggage was not coming. As if he could read my mind, one of the airport workers came over to me and asked if I had claimed my luggage yet. When I told him I hadn’t he called down to make sure that the last of the bags had been put on the belt. Nope, no more bags were coming. This cannot be happening.

The attendant pointed me to the baggage claim assistance area, where people who lose their luggage get to go and cry about it to someone else. At the far end of the airport is this little room. In it, you sit down and fill out a few pages of information to find and retrieve your luggage. As soon as it was all filled out I asked to borrow the phone to call the hotel the group was staying at. The group had checked out and were probably already in the airport. I had 30 min. to find them.

I ran out of the baggage complaint department and headed out to the departure gates. I wasted no time and sprinted to the information booth. I begged them to send out a message over the P.A. to have my coordinator meet me at the info booth. I waited for 10 min. and no one came. I panicked and thought that the smartest thing to do would be just to see if they have my info at the airline booth to Chiang Mai. If so, screw it, I’ll hop on the flight and figure out where the rest of the group is when I touch down. I’m not missing this flight.

I get to the departure gate for Chiang Mai. I ask if they could check my flight status and see if any of the rest of the group had checked in. “Absolutely. If we could just see your passport.”

I reach into my bag. Grab the Ziploc Bag with my money and my passport. My passport was not there. I looked inside the bag. Not there either. I sat in the middle of a busy Bangkok airport and just like back in Vancouver, I dumped everything onto the floor and searched through every piece of paper, every pocket, every page of every book I brought with me. My passport was gone.

The lady behind the desk came out from behind to assist me, or to see if I was okay. “Sir…,” was the only thing she said before I looked at her with bloodshot eyes of rage and pointed at her with contempt. She jumped back a bit and scurried back behind her counter. That was the biggest, “dick-head” thing I’ve ever done to another person. It’s not her fault that I was stupid enough to misplace my passport in one of the largest airports I’ve ever seen.

I felt hollow. I felt weak. What the hell was I going to do? I’m stranded in a foreign country with no passport. Even if I wanted to, how could I get home? I stumbled back the way I came retracing every step through the airport. Finally I realized, the last place I know I had to use my passport was at the baggage lost and found office. But that was on the “arrivals” side of the terminal. I had passed through the gate already. Maybe security would let me through again just to get my passport?

I don’t know why, but it seems that everywhere I go in Asian airports, the people who are the for information, or to help you, speak next to no foreign languages. Pilots and flight attendants? Fluent English and an array of Asian languages. So why the hell does the head of security request me to write out exactly what I’m saying so he can take it down the hall to some pencil pusher in front of a computer screen to have him call his cousin to translate it for him? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?

15 min later, I’m still sitting in the airport security office, waiting for someone to come back and tell me if they found my passport or not. I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to throw up. I want to punch security in the face. If I can do all of that at the same time, I just might feel a little bit better. I’ve missed the flight yet again. So now, I’ll have to pay for a new ticket. Please God…I don’t want to turn tricks on the streets of Bangkok to get home again.

A lady no bigger than 4”10 walks in and hands me my passport. I leapt up and scooped this midget woman in my arms. She squawked as she was lifted in the air, at which point all the security guards came to life and put their hands on their guns. I dropped her on the couch and ran out the doors to the airline counter again. I bought a one way flight to Chiang Mai, which only cost me about $47 Canadian. Woo Hoo! I’m on my way!

- Chiang Mai.

I’m here. I’m at the hotel. I’m sitting on the bed in my deluxe suite. I found out the hard way that beds in Thailand are not like the bed I have at home. I fell onto the mattress with a “thunk”. It’s stiff as a board, but at this point I really don’t care. The complimentary mini fridge is stocked with Pepsi and bottles of water. There’s a fresh plate of fruit waiting to be consumed. The shower is all tiled, open spaced and inviting. Which is good cause in my airport panic, I finally developed a ripe funk of sweat and threw up in my mouth a little bit. But before that, I have to run across the street to a 7-11 and pick up all new toiletries.

Now you’re not supposed to know this, but I have crazy dry skin at the best of times. So the first item to purchase is moisturizer. But that really doesn’t exist in Thailand. What they do have in abundance is “whitening cream”. Apparently the Asian culture views white skin as a thing of beauty, where as we view tanned skin as beautiful. So I opted for hand cream and hoped for the best. Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and luckily the hotel had shampoo and soap provided for me. Done…now to eat.

My first Thai meal. I thought after all the stress of getting here I’d start off a little less adventurous than I had planned. Last thing I need to cap off the night is to have a bad reaction to Thai food. So I ordered something safe like Chicken mixed with garlic. It tasted great, and it came with these crunchy little peanut things mixed into it. After my fifth bite I realized what the crunchy things were. It said Chicken and Garlic in the menu. And that’s what it was, Chicken…and cloves of garlic. Whole cloves, enough so that garlic was a side dish at this point. I could hear the distinct sound of my sister gagging in disapproval at this revelation.

But who cares. I’m here, I made it, I’m in Thailand. Can’t wait to meet the group tomorrow.

May 11, 2009

Thailand Adventures (Day 1)

Here I am. Waiting for the first of many trips to get to Thailand. I was hoping to hold off on writing till I got to at least Vancouver, but they always tell you to get to the airport at least 2 hours early, so you can wait and shop at the duty free I guess?

Got through security without a hitch which is a nice change of pace for me. Anyone who knows me well, knows that me and airport security were never a match made in heaven. Luckily my Dad has become a really paranoid dude when it comes to traveling. He was the guy who informed me that not more than a week ago, Thailand was in a great big upheaval between protestors wanting their current Prime Minister out, which turned into a big ordeal with the military getting involved and a few civilians dying. Little did my Dad know, that just made me want to go even more!

I mean how often in our sheltered little boxed-city-life do we get to say we were there when history was being made? I’m not one for violence, but something like this just gets my blood going. I hate being on the other end of the media and not getting a full understanding of what is really going on in the world. But I’m getting off topic.

Like I said, my Dad is a paranoid kinda guy, and he is also aware of my past dealings with airport security. So, he informs me that I might want to pack any and all liquids in plastic sealable bags before getting on the plane. Well, $2.00 later from a Safeway and all my shit that could fit in a Ziploc Bag was sealed up shut. My camera? Check. My passport and money? Check. All my headache/sinus/cold/flu meds? Check. My PSP, my pens, my shampoo and toiletries, all sealed up. I was a hermetically sealed up dork.

When I said goodbye to my friends and family before this trip, I thought for sure I was going to get a little misty-eyed at the thought of leaving everyone. Not a drop was shed. That is until I closed the door on my room at work, and locked the door to my apartment. The hell is that all about? Maybe there’s something about saying goodbye to freedom or my home that hit me, maybe it was the idea of leaving behind my comfort zones, who knows? But yeah, I could feel a frog in my throat at those two points.

Before going on any trip, there is always something unknown that I freak out about. Not like panic attacks or anything, but just something that gets me a little anxious about a flight. Sometimes it’s the take-off, I just don’t like the feeling of a plane lifting off the ground. Sometimes it’s this moment of dread like I’m never coming back. But on this trip, the one thing I was so extremely self-aware, or self-conscious about, was the potential ass sweat that I would have sitting in a plane for an extended period of time. Come on, you never want to be the guy someone sits next to who reeks like a Scottish toilet. Or be sitting in a pair of jeans that feel…musty. So yeah, bring on the terrorists, I could care less. Just don’t give me crotch rot on this trip.

This sounds like a joke but I’m being very serious. I even went out of my way to ask friends and family what I should wear on the plane to avoid this plague. So as I sit here writing the first few words of this journal, I am clothed in jeans, a wife-beater T-shirt, my zip-up hoodie, runners and my ball cap. I figure the trip from here to Vancouver is going to be the trial run for wetness. If I think I can’t handle it for the connecting flight, I can easily change into something else. Shorts, long-sleeve shirt, and maybe underwear might be a good idea?

The night before this, I was taken out for a last night on the town with all of my co-workers. When we got to the bar, a co-worker informed me that she had a surprise for me. She had brought a friend. A friend…who had an “interest” in me. Somehow between seeing me on a tape of my co-workers wedding and seeing my little Facebook write up, she decided I was a half-decent looking guy and was heading out to meet the real deal tonight. So naturally I go from good-time, crazy ass Jason that we all know and love…to babbling idiot who realizes he looks like shit.

Luckily I got over the whole rush of being on a “set-up” and saw the girl for the first time across the room. You know how they say, you can always judge the way your friends view you by the people they set you up with? My friends…think I am the bomb! This girl was beautiful! Tall, blonde, thin, wicked smile, great sense of humor…and what a nice bum! Yes, I Jason Brasher have become an ass man. Don’t get me wrong, the butt comes second to the face, cause if you’re not attracted to the face, it makes waking up next to that person really awkward. But yeah, the whole night I kept having to work it out in my head, this girl was interested in me!? By the end of the night, she had my phone number and by the time I got home after the trip, we were going to get together. Not a bad start to a much needed vacation.

Okay, so I’m finally on the plane now and heading out to Vancouver. I am seated next to a hippy who must be going back to the homelands he came from. My worries about crotch stench are given the back seat for now. Cause if anyone can smell something coming off of me over the reek of this dude next to me, they must have super-smell. Dry as a bone down there right now. So far, so good.

Looking out over Canada is something to behold. You can just make out the lines of the dirt roads that separate all the farmlands from one crop to the next. It makes the whole province look like a great big patch-work quilt. Now that we are finally seeing the end of winter, all the snow has pooled up in spots across the land. Connecting to rivers or floodways that move south, making the land look like the skin on a senior with liver spots and veins rising to the surface. Some of the larger rivers are half frozen over still, and other parts seem to have dried up, leaving a pathway where water once ran through. The wrinkles of seasons past I guess? And after spending countless months blanketed in an overcast cloud of grey, it’s nice to have the plane rise up out of the clouds and have the chance to see blue skies again.

Made it to Vancouver. My pants are dry, I don’t smell too terrible, and I’m eating a decent meal at some swanky airport restaurant. I don’t know why but I’ve always had a love for Vancouver. I mean I have no reason to. Every time I come here it’s either raining or overcast, today being no exception. But I guess despite the weather I’ve collected more than a few childhood memories here to look past that.

I remember staying here with my family at the Granville Hotel on Granville Street. My Mom had heard that visiting Granville Island was a must-do in the B.C. travel itinerary. Little did she know that there is a huge difference between Granville Island, which is full of musicians, crafts, theater, festivals, and all around good-natured hippy stuff, and staying on Granville Street, which is in the downtown area of Vancouver. We found out just how different the first night when from our balcony, my sister and I watched a drug bust at 11:00 pm across the street. Shoot out and all. The next morning, taking a walk down the streets, we found almost as many McDonalds and Coffee shops as there were Porn shops. 2-1 was the going rate.

As cool as that was, the best thing about going to B.C. was the getting there. We used to always travel by train, helps when you have a Dad who works for the railways. This is the only way to travel as far as I’m concerned. Sure the airways have faster travel times and are less expensive, but traveling by train is leaps and bounds from air travel. The difference is the experience, the journey not the destination.

For one thing; Leg room. C’mon airplanes, enough with the teeny tiny living spaces. Make bigger planes and space us out a bit for Christ’s sake.

For two; Maneuverability. If you want to get up and stretch your legs a bit, you have train after train after train to explore. And I have to admit, crossing the joints of a train when it’s in motion makes you feel like you’re in some sort of Alfred Hitchcock thriller, trying to get through to the dinning cart and escape the Russian spy hot on your tail who wants to take back the secret documents that are hidden within the porcelain doll that you’ve somehow obtained. I should mention that I have to wait in this airport for 5 hours before my connecting flight and my mind tends to go off topic. Bare with me.

And the third and final reason why traveling by train is awesome; The Observation Deck.

I remember as soon as we were all settled in our spots on a train, I would take off and head down to the observation cart. I’d grab the seat closest to the front and right beside the window. I’d have my little walkman with me playing the now classic album, “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” by Van Halen, I’d consume multiple packages of these little pink and white tick tack candies that they provide for you with the odd box of Cracker Jacks and suck back a can or two of “C Plus”. I’d sit there for hours rocking and bouncing in my chair watching the prairies blur past me. See the skies reflected in the lakes and look above my head to see the enormity of the Rocky Mountains before going through a tunnel and being consumed by them.

It was even better at nighttime because you’d get to see the night sky lit up in its brightest glory. Enough to illuminate the entire car. Every so often the train would slow down and pull into a small town. Through the late night haze, you could see passengers getting on and off the train. People struggling down the ramp at the station with their luggage in tow. It seemed very haunting, even as a kid, seeing all the houses in the distance. All the lights out except for the street lights bouncing off the rooftops letting you know that they exist. All the towns people asleep in their beds while you crept in and out of their little hamlet. Before you knew it, the train wheels would squeal back to life as you'd slowly leave the town in the dust.

One thing about this trip that I wish I had planned ahead for, was the amount of time I’m staying here waiting for a flight. I have a friend who lives here that I could have hung out with till my flight time came. A good friend who I haven’t seen since high school. How does one sum up a friend like Fiona?

I met her one day in high school when I came cart-wheeling into the lunch room on a fresh Pepsi caffeine-high. Dressed in my usual grunge grab and with longer hair than most of the girls in the school, I leapt up onto the table Fiona happened to be seated at. I was basically straddling her face before I realized there was someone seated there. I looked down at her and said, “Hi! I don’t know you!? I’m Jason!”

“Hi there, sparky! I’m Fiona, and you just totally cracked my back.”

After that day, a friendship so very unique was born.

She went to a different high school than I did, how she ended up at mine that day I have no idea. We never became the kind of friends that hung out every day or every weekend even. We would see each other maybe a few times in a year if we were lucky and just be totally over the top happy when we were together. She was one of those people who listened to music unknown to you, dressed in a fashion that no one else would dare to at the time. An old soul with an unrivaled vocabulary. But the real friendship came from some the late night phone calls we shared.

Every so often, in the middle of the night my phone would ring. The conversations would start with her either having a problem she needed to confide in someone with, or there was a boy she liked who was not falling head over heels for her, (which seemed completely impossible to me). But from there, we would talk into the late hours of the morning. She was the first person, well I guess girl-wise, that I could confide all my deep and meaningful thoughts to. Nothing that crossed my mind was silly or unimportant when I talked to her. My passions, my problems, my ideas, notions and everyday thoughts just spilling out to her.

She is the girlfriend I never dated and one of the few who knew the real, uninhibited “me” back then. If I had never known this girl I don’t think I would have been as open as I am today. I don’t think I would be as comfortable or as confidant about myself as I feel I am.
I hope everyone in life gets to know someone like her. Or at the very least have a friend who comes into your life and leaves as mysteriously as they appeared, leaving behind something special.

Well, it’s almost time to meet the rest of the group on this trip, so for now my pen is being put away.

Nice Parking, Asshole

On a Friday morning, I woke up to find that outside my apartment, where once a city was in the beginning stages of spring, was now covered in a fresh blanket of snow, yet again. It was late March and usually by this time of year, we have that wonderful sloppy wet mess around town that let’s us know, it’s not too long till summer is here. The grass is still very damp and can’t perk up enough to look like its once great green color. There’s still a lot of sand and salt on the street corners and all the cars are half covered in mud and filth. Half of which are driving around with the old, “Wash Me!” etched on their back windshields.

Slowly but surely I got dressed and headed down to my car. I finally have a parking space in my building. Before that, I was parking down in the Forks Market and had to trek every morning down there and back again when I got home from work. It’s great in the summer time, but it sucked ass in the first few weeks of winter. Digging your car out of a thick blanket of snow is no ones idea of a good morning. And nothing is worse than getting frost bite across your semi-large nose.

But no more. Now I park in my own little parking stall away from the cold and snow. And today, I couldn’t wait to get out of the garage and head into work. It was a co-workers birthday today and I had promised to get her a birthday cake. But not just any cake, I got a strawberry cheesecake, (as per her specific request). She wanted strawberries on top of the cake and not the mixed-in type. Unfortunately, there was no such thing when I went shopping. Instead I bought extra strawberries to scoop out and add to the cake. I think that’s gonna win some brownie points. Can’t wait to see her face!

As the garage door opened up, I realized on this day that I, like many others in the city, hate Winnipeg drivers. Right in front of my garage door was a black SUV. Parked so perfectly in my way that I couldn’t even attempt to maybe drive over the sidewalk to get around it. I just stared at it for the longest time in disbelief. Who the fuck does that?! A man with a cigarette half hanging out of his mouth passed in front of my car. He looked at the SUV and then looked at me. Instinctively, I looked at him and mouthed the words, “Is that your car?”

I quickly realized that my face still showed just how pissed off I was at the moment. And as soon as I mouthed the last syllable, I tried to quickly turn on the charm and give the guy one of my biggest and sheepish grins. Thankfully he shook his head and walked on. I jumped out of my car, and walked up to the behemoth that was in my way. On his windshield was a piece of paper with a note on it. “Stuck in snow. Just waiting for tow truck.”

Are you shitting me? This thing was a 4x4 tank. And it was somehow stuck in a snowdrift that barely came past my shins? Fucking Winnipeg drivers! So back in the garage I go, close the door and head back upstairs. I called work first to let them know the situation. Luckily I tend to get to work an hour ahead of schedule, so at least I had enough time to come up with a back up plan.

My first thought was to ask a co-worker to come on down to pick me up if they could. People were willing but no one had the time. “Couldn’t you take a cab,” asked our receptionist. Well yeah I could, but see I have this thing where I like to save up all my cash tips and try to see how long I can go without spending it. I was just about to break an even one hundred dollars that week and really didn’t want to have to dip into the pool before I hit the mark. But hey, I needed to get to work.

I called two cab companies and was put on hold for ten minutes each. As I hung up the phone and was prepared to head back down to check the situation one last time, the phone rang in my hand. It was my Dad.

I gave him the whole run down of the jack ass who was parked out in front of my garage and how I was going to be late for work and no one could come down and pick me up and wah wah wah. I didn’t even get to finish my bitching before he said, “I’m on it!” and hung up. So back downstairs I went and waited for my pops to show up to my rescue.

While waiting in the front lobby I could still see the big ass 4x4 in the front. Across the street at the local restaurant, a guy in a black suit and coat walked out into the street. Under his dark sunglasses he looked at the SUV, looked up the street and down the street, heaved a great big sigh and started to dial away on his blackberry. It was HIM! I resisted the urge to run out in the street and knock him on his ass. Ten minutes rolled by and the guy popped in and out of the restaurant. Looking one way then the other down the street, heaving his great big sigh of displeasure and then typing his sorrows away on his little friend, the blackberry.

Another five minutes later and the tow truck arrived. The tow truck driver jumped out and the suit with the phone carefully bounced over to him, (can’t get any of that icky snow on his nicely polished shoes). He pointed to the SUV and sulked. The tow truck driver looked at the vehicle, looked back at the suit and asked him if he tried going in “reverse”? I liked the tow truck driver immediately. So the suit goes bounding into his mobile tank and tries to drive it. “Try reverse” screamed the tow truck driver. The SUV did a half assed lurch forwards and backwards, as if the guy had no idea that cars can move in a backwards motion. After one second of trying to move, the suit bounces back out again and sulks again.

The tow truck driver, (who was really trying to save this guy a few bucks by not having to do anything that he’d have to charge him for) grabbed a shovel out of the back of his cab and swept the snow out from under each of the tires. “Try it now,” he said. You’ve got to be kidding me. This douche in black didn’t even clear the snow from his tires? My right eye started to twitch uncontrollably. Back into the 4x4 the suit goes. Same thing as before, he goes a little forward, stops, goes a little backwards, stops and gets out of the car…and sulks.

Just in case some of you are reading this and are saying to yourselves, “What’s wrong with that?” I’m gonna educate you on getting your ass out of a snow drift. It’s called; “Rocking the car.” What you do, (and what the tow truck driver was trying to get across to this guy) is you drive forwards for a second and then slap it into reverse. Forwards, reverse, forwards, reverse. This causes the car to rock back and forth giving it some momentum to help you move past whatever is getting you stuck. I’ve driven to Brandon and back through snow that came over the front end of my car. Through blinding snow storms across the Trans-Canada highway, where even semi-trucks were turned over on their sides. If I can do that, how the fuck can an asshole in the city not get a fucking 4x4 off of a goddamn sidewalk!?

Regardless, the tow truck guy eventually gave up trying to help this guy help himself and hooked up the old tow line. Within a minute, the guy was out of the way and I could drive my car out of the garage. At the same time, my Dad had just pulled up in front of my building. As I came out of the front entrance with my arms raised above me in disbelief, he cackled in his truck.

“You’ve got great timing, dude”

He chuckled, “I’d say so!”

He waited to see if I could get my car out and past the snow drift in front of my garage. When I got into my car and started the engine, still pissed at this douche bags incompetence, the radio turned on. Playing on the station was that really lame song, “Hell Yeah” by some Nickleback wannabe band. I never gave the song the time of day before now. But as that garage door went up, and I was lined up perfectly with the exit. The line in the song stated, “Are you ready for the best damn time of your life?”


“Give me a ‘HELL’, Give me a ‘YEAAAAHH’,” is the exact moment when my car exploded thorough the snow bank out onto the street. The tow truck guy turned and whispered a Keanu-like, “Whoah”, the douche bag in black dived out of the way as my car hit the ground and swerved to a halt. I immediately popped out of the driver’s seat and stared him down.

“Now that’s how you do that shit!”

My Dad had his chest puffed out exclaiming, “That’s my son!” I made it to work on time, enjoyed some birthday pizza, and got a great big hug for keeping my promise of a birthday cheesecake. Not a bad way to start the week.

My Worst Day Ever


Do not continue reading if you are of faint heart, have circulatory problems, nerve damage, are prone to seizures or suffer from epilepsy. If you are on any medication please remove yourself away from the monitor and do not continue. Also if bodily functions really really frickin’ gross you out, you might want to go do something else with your time. Oh yeah, if you are under 18, piss off, this ain’t for your eyes!

Now that the ground rules are established, boy oh boy do I have a story for all y’all!

Today started off like any other day. I woke up in my apartment (which I will never get tired of saying!) and pried my eyes open to see the sun coming in through the window. A beautiful blue sky was out there waiting for me to get my ass outta bed. Which was completely different from the typhoon we experienced just the night…wait no…THE ENTIRE DAY yesterday!

So there I am, flicking my tongue around trying to get rid of the pasties, when I happen to glance at my alarm clock. It didn’t wake me up this day. I woke up all by myself! I’m feeling the grown-up in me clawing it’s way up in me. But what caught my attention was the time.


Wait a minute…what day is it today? Sunday.

I work at…………oh…… fuck.

On Sundays, I am usually at work at the unnatural hour of 9 a.m. My first client was scheduled at 10 a.m. on the nose.

I am screwed!

I began running around the entire apartment, (my apartment, heh) screaming “Aww Fuck!!!!” and stubbing my toe multiple times on this new piece of exercise equipment I just HAD to get! I picked up the phone and called work. I don’t leave my home phone number at work because, quite frankly, I don’t want to be bothered by them on my days off. This of course, is probably one of those times it would have been a good idea for them to have it.

All I remember is calling and as soon as someone picked up….

“Good morning Academy Massa…..”


Yup….there is only one Jason that works there, and I felt it necessary to tell them my whole name, like I was speaking to my commanding officer or something. I grabbed whatever clothes were lying around, (in MY apartment) and bolted out of the building, laughing inside at the fact that the bar “The Pink Taco” is right across the street from me.

“Pink Taco…grand opening!” “Pink Taco…now open!”“Pink Taco…coming soon!”
I think of a new one everyday! But that’s a whole nuther story.

So I am just booking it down the river walk to the forks where I have to park my car these days. I think I mowed down some guys asking for change. They sent a few choice words my way, which I certainly deserved. But finally I made it to my car. Totally out of breath, I gunned it out of the parking lot and in Five Minutes FLAT….from the Forks to Academy…I was at work. I ran in, being 40 minutes late now, and looked for my client.

No one there.

The receptionist tells me, a co-worker offered to massage him in my absence, (thank god) but couldn’t after all because someone else booked in at 9:50, (son of a bitch) so now my client was in my room waiting for me to come in and work on them. Shit!

Okay, so here I am 40 minutes late, a very patient and REGULAR client waiting for me, all I have to do is get changed into our very popular all black uniform and I’m good to go. Problem is, my uniform is nowhere to be found. And that’s when I realized what I was wearing.

Jeans…with holes in the knees. And a very tight army camouflage t-shirt. I looked like a Nazi who just walked in off the street.


So I went in, my client was under the sheets ready to go, no worries no nothing. I apologized up and down, I felt so so bad about this situation. I’ve never screwed up this bad before. I am the almighty cog in the Academy Machine that does not break down…until today.

So fine, we get started and I begin an hour and a half massage. But then something came to my attention. As I’m working the back of his leg, my stomach wakes up. I had skipped breakfast in my rush, so I expected a bit of tummy rumblings going on. But this…was different.

This was a feeling, not a sound, a feeling that something in my stomach...was not right.

Something was rotten in the land of my large intestine. And it…wanted…out! We all know too well the feeling of one of those craps that you just know has a relation to Mexican food. This was one of those bad boys. I had JUST started the massage. A late massage no less. There was no way I could excuse myself and take off to deal with this problem. My only choice was to clench my butt and pray to god that worked!

The thing is…with massage, you use your abdominals to create the movements and pressure needed. And every time I did that, it pushed against the beast inside. Which in turn, pushed against my tightly clenched butt, as if a bully was poking it into submission. Throw in the odd zinger, where you begin to pray to god to, “make the bad man stop” and hope nothing gets past the gates. This feeling always makes my do a funky little dance, where you kinda convulse and gyrate your hips in every direction, while your knees constantly try to fold over each other.

Every so often I would look up to the clock in my room with hope that it would read “TIME’S UP!” Only to see that in all that time…one minute had passed. I had 1hr and 29 minutes to go. I was not going to survive.

This went on for the other leg as well as the work I did around the hips. But by the time I had moved onto the back, the feeling had settled. No pain. Nothing! I even flexed the abs a little to test the waters. I was good to go. One hour to go!

The rest of the massage went well enough. I had him turn over and worked from the legs up to his neck. And that’s where the fun really started.

All that pain and discomfort I was feeling before was just all the gunk in my system passing through the proper channels. NOW, it had reached it’s destination. I sat down on my stool, (heh) to work on the neck, and something became…crystal…clear. There was a mass, what felt like the size of a pack of ground beef, begging to be freed from the other side of my sphincter. Some of you aren’t familiar with that word, it’s pretty much the paper thin gateway that holds back all of your bowel movements. As I tried to sit down, my legs naturally spread apart to ease myself down onto the stool. Bad idea.

I damn near fell over with the certainty, that if I spread my legs any further than a nanometer…I was going to have a really bad day. I thought my little dance before was impressive? My ass cheeks did a solo routine on that stool that could put the most influential tap dancers to shame.
Finally…time’s up! I ran like a mother fucker to the closest toilet that was not occupied, (on the top floor, because my day is just that great!) and as the gladiator Maximus once said, I “Unleashed Hell”.

No you do not get to know the contents of the bowl. That info is between me, my God, and the gallons of Pepsi that probably had something to do with it.

Needless to say, I’m a little fragile and weak from the experience. But I’m at home now, all is well in the world, and I’m going to relax now and enjoy one of my monthly treats.

JalapeƱo and Cheddar Thunder-Crunch chips!