Paying the Piper: Award Blog: This one goes out to Karen and Arthur

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 | 2 Comment(s)

It is time to pay the piper.  This is my blogs first award show.  This one is the pay-off for the worst contest ever created (my bad) and the haiku contest (my good).

First Karen.  She won the "guess the fruit" contest.  She correctly identified said calabash from its file name "calabash.jpeg." Great job Karen.  Great job me.  But a deal is a deal and here is what I have to tell you about Karen.  While I met Karen as a lowly undergrad at Wesleyan, we were not friends.  I can't say exactly why that is.   We weren't enemies.  But I was a dance major and she wore skinny jeans and hung out with film majors (i think).  So, different circles I guess.  Anyways, it was both of our losses.  Thankfully, post-college, we re-met through mutual friends and realized the amazingness of each other.  And Karen, make no mistake, is amazing.  Here's an example.  One day before leaving the country for 2 weeks, I call Karen and tell her how I am an idiot and I am looking for a place to park my car in Boston for, um, 2 weeks.  I am doing things last minute (unshockingly) and I've just realized that it costs over $300 to park your car in a garage for 2 weeks.  Karen's first response is, "no problem."  Her second response is to actually figure out how that is going to work out.  Now, in the end, I found a solution that didn't entail Karen parking my car at her friends house for me, but what is really important here is how readily she activated to help a friend.  That's the stuff that counts in my book.  Unfortunately for her, she has found herself surrounded by absent-minded goofball friends like myself so often, that she has elevated the idea of "good friend" into an artform.  She is the one to call when you need bailing out of jail when you don't want it to accompany a lecture (thankfully hasn't happened yet).  She's the poo.  the tits.  the shit.  She's good people.   Strangely, Karen recently moved into the apartment AND bedroom of an ex-girlfriend of mine from when I was living in Boston.  This coincidence was the motivation for this text exchange:

ME: Brunch with gf's grandparents tomorrow.  We look forward to seeing you in Amherst soon.  ps. I've done messy *insert sex act* in your bedroom.  Mua!
Karen: That blows.  In reference to both facts.
flash forward to a text days later.
Karen:  I would love you to stay here, but I had to burn that house down after your last text.  Sorry.

A good friend, and funny.

Prize #2.  With due respect to all who entered (shout out to Melissa, John, and Erin) I think it's clear that Art Black won the haiku update contest with this gem:

infarctions aside, life's good.
i heart insurance.
Whenever you can use "myocardial" as your first 5 syllables, you are starting ahead of the pack.  On the unfunny side, it pains me that one of my favorite people in the world would go have a heart attack at 31 just to win a friggin blog contest.  A+ for commitment Arthur, but you have got to chill out.  For those of you who get connected to people you have never met extremely quickly, you will be pleased to know that Art is recovering well and hopefully this experience will prevent any more medical funny business in the future.

As for his reward, I offer this story.  Art and I met on a high school Jewish youth group teen tour bus trip (that's a lot of adjectives) across the USA (both ways).  We became close friends.  The year after that summer, we went on another Jewish teen tour that took us to Poland (aka. concentration camps) and Israel (Israel looks absolutely incredible when juxtaposed with seeing the past slaughter and burning of millions of people--fyi).  We followed up these trips with visits to Kentucky (where he was living--my first and only time eating KFC) and to Conn. (where I was going to college--my first and not only time shrooming).   But this story comes from the bus teen tour in high school (sophomores?).

As part of this trip, we moved in and out of hotels almost daily.  The 45 of us would descend on a hotel, take over a floor for a day or two, and then be gone as suddenly as we had arrived.  As we went through some of the southern states there was the added bonus of it seeming like some Jewish UFO landing everywhere we went.  We once wrapped tefillin during a service (those things the authorities thought were bombs and landed a plane because a boy was wearing) at a truck stop in Alabama.  A little scary and a lot funny.  Anyhoo.  The whole group of us was in the lobby area of one of these hotels, in the process of checking-out.  I, as is not uncommon, needed to go to the bathroom.  As I walked into the bathroom, Art was washing his hands on his way out and he alerted me to the fact that our friend Alan (notorious funny) was in the occupied stall.  I took the other stall and began to chat with Alan.  As sometimes happens when I start talking, I just kinda go and go and go.  It was probably a whole minute before I realize that Alan wasn't replying.  This is typical Alan.  Sure sure, make ME feel like the asshole.  I wave my hand under the stall, "Alan.  HELLLLLLLLO.  WTF (I probably said the whole "What the fuck" as I'm not sure WTF had been popularized yet).  Why aren't you talking to me?"  I got fed up. "ALAN!" I reached under the stall and grab Alan's pants and yanked.  

"Get the FUCK out of here!"  

That was not Alan.  That voice was entirely too low and too "old sounding" to be anyone under 50, let alone a high schooler.  I would say it scared the shit out of me, but alas, I already had taken care of that.  I didn't even wipe.  I pulled up my pants and hauled ass out of there.  The nice thing about being transient all summer is that your suitcase is always nearby.  I quickly found mine and changed shoes (My thought process being that this is the only way Mr. Pulled-Pants could really identify me).  I next found Art and punched him.  Then i told him what happened.  The we laughed really hard.   And that is the story of how i harassed a total stranger while we were both taking a shit.  Another gold star on my record.


  1. nice. i figured you were going to tell the "pretending to be blind in the mall to pick up girls" story.

  2. You are making blogging too easy Art. Now I'm going to have to tell that one too. Guess you'll have to stay tuned. ps. That shit was brilliant of us.