Story Thing (podcast thing)

Hello! I started a podcast called Story Thing, where I read some of my stories and essays out loud so you can hear them. Some of the stories originated here, but have been expanded and remixed for your listening/reading pleasure. Full text of the stories can also be found at storythingpod.com. I hope you’ll check it out. Thanks!

Subscribe – Apple | Spotify | Google | Stitcher | Amazon

Powered by RedCircle

What do you want to be when you grow up? The answer may surprise you.

When you’re a kid and adults ask “What do you want to be when you grow up?” your answer is limited by the jobs you’re familiar with because you’re young and you’re very stupid. A police officer came to the house yesterday, I want to be a police officer! Big Bird teaches me how to count, I want to be a 7 foot tall bird monster! Dad locks himself in the basement for a few hours every night, I want to be a locksmith! By the time you’re done answering, the adults have already forgotten the question, as they’re in the middle of their third panic attack of the day induced by their own job.

As a child, my first love was baseball, so that was what I wanted to be when I grew up – a professional baseball man. To be honest, I really just loved baseball cards and was so-so on the whole going outside and playing baseball thing. But still I went to the stupid practices and played in the stupid games. My ego was dealt a devastating blow when I was 8 and a ball rocketed into my finger, shattering the bone in my very delicate pinkie. With tears in my eyes I ran to my father in the stands and screamed, “I don’t wanna play baseball anymore,” holding my jacked up hand in front of me like it was on fire. He knelt down, patted me on the head and said, “Well then why don’t you become a fucking ballerina, instead?” Now if this was a really good story I’d rip off my tearaway pants, reveal a pair of leggings and pirouette across your mind’s eye, middle fingers saluting the heavens. Like, “I did it Dad. I did it because of you.” But no. 8 year old me thanked god that neither of my thumbs were broken and continued playing Mario 3.

I want to be a royalty-free stock image when I grow up.

I want to be a royalty-free stock image when I grow up.

Thankfully, we live in a world where you can take a quiz online and figure out what you want to be when you grow up, even if you’re already grown up. No more daydreaming on the side of a hill, looking up at the clouds, pondering your existence. Just answer some questions like “What is your favorite color” and “In a group of six friends, which are you most likely to be.” I answered “white” for both. With a resounding 84%, the internet said that I should become a “criminal.” I’m not sure what the percentage represents, and while I agree with the assessment that I “enjoy the rush of getting down and dirty,” I need a bit more stability and less gunplay in my life. Number two with a bullet was Dare Devil, but I’m not sure if that meant I should become a blind, crime fighting lawyer or some off-brand Evel Knievel, dead and penniless at the bottom of a gorge. I didn’t read the rest of the results because I was distracted by another quiz titled “How Tennessee are y’all,” which, if you’re wondering, I am 34% Tennessee.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what you want to “be” when you grow up, because a job is just a job if you’re lucky enough to have one, but it’s not who you “are.” I mean sure, we all wanted to be Robocop when we grew up, but Robocop was a good man… or at least a good pile of flesh. And all that pile of flesh wanted to do was see his family again and shoot rapists in the dick (nsfw) with a gun that popped out his leg. The point is, I need a way to go back in time and warn my 8 year old self that your job is going to be soul sucking and boring for the rest of your life, and none of your dreams will come true. Get really good at online gambling, maybe invent something like a 3 cent mini nickel or a rake that’s actually two rakes. And when someone asks you what you want to be when you grow up, just say “a good person” or “a fucking ballerina.”

Philly Steak and Oh Geez Oh No Thank You

I had to drop some meat facts on Awesome Talk last night. Well not so much “drop” as “read.” “Read aloud” if we’re getting technical. Let’s start over. I read this aloud on Awesome Talk last night, season 2, episode 5. Now you can read it from the comfort of your own home. You’re doing it. YOU’RE REALLY DOING IT.

Philly Steak and Oh Geez Oh No Thank You

The US Department of Agriculture recently recalled 8.7 million pounds of unwholesome meat, including boxes of beef carcasses, beef blood, and beef hearts. Naturally this also led to the recall of two flavors of Hot PocketsPhilly Steak and Cheese and Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese. Rancho Feeding Corporation, the meat boys responsible for this nightmare, processed “diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit of federal inspection.”

In other words, the inside of a Hot Pocket answers the question, “What if meat could shit? How would that taste?”

This recall has sent the Pockethead community into a weird smelling fervor. On the one hand, their favorite food could potentially kill them. On the other hand, dude, have you tasted the new Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese? It’s got everything you love about Philly without having to leave the pile of soiled mattresses under your mom’s deck.

So what happens if you’ve got a freezer fulla tainted HP’s? Not to worry, scientists have discovered a workaround. Step 1, remove Hot Pockets from box. Next, place empty box in microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes. Let stand for one minute, then chow down on that fucking box bro, what are you so afraid of? There are also oven instructions, but no one in the history of food consumption has ever baked a Hot Pocket or its box unless it was accidentally left in the trunk of your car on a 98 degree day.

Slay them all let them come. Let them come. Let them come. They've come for HOT. POCKET.

Slay them all let them come. Let them come. Let them come. They’ve come for HOT. POCKET.

During the course of writing this story, I discovered some Hot Pox fun facts. For example, did you know that the signature flaky crust contains 100% of your recommended daily intake of inmate skin? With every bite, you’re reducing the prison population and saving the taxpayers millions.

Another fun fact: You know what they call a Hot Pocket in France? Douille Terribles, which, when translated back to English, means Terrible Sleeve. Why rename it when there are words for both hot and pocket in French? Look, I don’t make the fun facts, I just read them. Here, you want a better fun fact? FINE, fun fact number 3: when eating a Hot Pocket, if you listen very closely, you can actually hear your digestive system wince and shrug as if to say, “OK, wow, I guess we’re really doing this now huh?”

But in all seriousness, we made it through controversial meat situations before, we’ll make it through this one too. Remember pink slime? Remember when we as a nation were like, “Ew gross pink slime! I would never eat th- oh cool a 30 cent hamburger!” Meat will rebound from this, stronger than ever. I guarantee, in 20 years we’ll be sitting around this very bar, having the time of our lives, suckin down the latest meat tech. We’ll be like, “Hey man, pass me some of that Flavor 7 Funsludge” and “Whoa dude, save some Flavor 7b Hot and Spicy Funsludge for the rest of us!” In the meantime, I’ll be right here, dreaming up future meat conversations thanks to the fumes coming off of a box of diseased beef hearts.

Happy Thanksgiving, no cops on this one.

Turkey Hunting from TheState on Vimeo.