Category Archives: Top 5′s
A number of things have taken my time and energy away from getting a new blog posted. The Holiday seasons are the worst time to work in a grocery store which drains every last ounce of energy out of me, it’s also gaming season so Borderlands and Left 4 Dead 2 have eaten up a lot of time, and now it seems I have been stricken with a rare mutated version of Swine-Flu called; Mega-Ultra-No-Happy-Fun-Time-Swine-Flu.
On the plus side it’s help turn my apartment into some sort of makeshift bio-weapons lab.
Seeing as it’s been over a month since my last blog post I began to feel guilty. So I decided to write up this totally bullshit blog entry list of Christmas Gifts I expect to find under my tree this year. Upon reflection I have concluded that I have been a right basterd very good boy this year. So if any of my readers find it in their generous hearts to help secure and deliver any/all of these items to me on Christmas Day I won’t have to unleash my Bio-Engineered Flu-bombs on your household would hold you in a special place in my heart forever.
5. Movie/Television Replica Clothing
You have probably already concluded from reading my previous blogs that I have a big problem with the reality we currently live in. Is this my fault? I didn’t choose to live in the near-iliterate, banal, mediocore, coast to coast shopping mall we call America. So until I master the awesome power of Reality Warping, I have to find other ways to keep my sanity.
One of these ways is getting myself lost in great Science Fiction. Whether it’s a book, graphic novel, movie, video game, or television show, I use the time I spend with them to escape this primitive world we live in.
This is where Abby Shot comes in. They specialize in recreating clothing from some of the most popular science fiction mediums out there. Movies, television, video games, etc. Two items on their site have caught my attention.
First is a replica Browncoat worn by Captain Malcolm Reynolds in the amazing, albeit short lived sci-fi show Firefly.
Sporting the replica Browncoat will help seperate me from the crowd. In fact it may prompt several people in authority to literally seperate me from the crowd. But hey, that’s what being an outer space rebel will do. All for the low, low cost of…um….$359.
The second item that caught my attention is the replica coat of the 10th incarnation of Doctor Who. The new Doctor Who series will probably go down as my favorite sci-fi television show of all time. Mostly because it helped inspire me to create and write Monster Rebellion.
So…yeah I want this.
Also, if any woman wants to travel with me in a time traveling blue police box they also sell the Doctor’s companion jacket as well.
I also belive that acquiring these items will help me in my defense against the soon to be implemented state required therapy sessions I’ll be forced to endure.
4. A Jet Pack of Some Kind
This item is fairly simple. You see growing up reading comic books and watching sci-fi movies I have concluded that we are long over due for public jet packs. I don’t understand why this is such a difficult device to create? We can send rocket ships to the moon, but can’t strap those same rockets to a human torso? I smell a cover up. And I believe there is a consensus on this as well.
So I’ve done some reasearch and discovered that there have been many advances in the science of human rocket technology. I am grateful to these individuals who have helped further my goal of owning a jet pack. I say this because on one occasion I allowed my Team of Scientists to take up the cause. The results were….less than favorable.
A gentleman by the name of Eric Scott has made many advances in jet pack technology. In fact he has even broken a Guinness world record by traveling 68 mph in his jet pack prototype.
Here’s a pic of Eric Scott doing what he does best.
Well as impressive as Eric Scott’s jet pack feats have been, there’s still just something primitive about his design. No, if I am to use a jetpack I want something with style.
Let’s see what the Military is currently cooking up.
Ugh…the need for a parachute totally negates the purpose of a fully functioning jet pack. If this was for sale on Amazon I’d give it two stars.
Why is this so difficult? Did, or didn’t I watch a documentary when I was young about an awesome jet pack? I recall it clearly.
Ok I’m gonna be honest here. The reason I want a jet pack is because I’m sure it will impress women. If big pick-up trucks and motorcycles can somehow cancel out the logical reasons a woman should date someone, then a jet pack must be like spanish fly.
3. A Mascot Costume
If any of you are worried that you might end up buying me the same gift as everyone else who reads this sight, then don’t worry because this entry is for you.
I want a full size, deluxe mascot costume. Doesn’t matter what it’s of. As long as it practically covers me completely. The reason I want one of these is because the potential for hilarity seems almost limitless.
I can be this…
Just imagine Johnny Red walking the streets of Northern Maine decked out in this!
The only problem is these costumes tend to cost thousands of dollars a piece. But remember that I’ve been a decietful power hungry megalomaniac very, very good boy this year.
Also remember the potential for hilarity.
2. A Robot
There are countless ways owning a robot could make my life less complicated. I could get so much more done with a robot assistant. This would leave me the time and energy I need to complete all the experiments my Team of Scientists and I have put on the back burner.
A robot could help me with dealing with annoying customers while doing my job managing a Produce Department.
They can help me with transporting all those “volunteers” the military supplies to me for my experiments.
They can also help clean up after the Zombie Apocalypse, WHICH I might add still wasn’t my fault no matter how the media is trying to spin it.
I also believe that having a robot friend would be a great way to talk out my troubles to an obedient ear without judgement.
But there is one robot I absolutely do not want. Just the thought of that robotic monstrosity haunts my nightmares. Why it was even built is a mystery. When I think of the time, money, and research spent on developing that abomination makes me lose faith in humanity…and robots.
1. Warren Ellis
Warren Ellis is probably the greatest influence on me as a writer. He’s revolutionized science fiction comics. If there was no Warren Ellis there would be no Monster Rebellion to entertain you people when you probably should be working.
Some of his most influential works have been the entire Transmetropolitan series…
His work on Planetary…
And more currently Doktor Sleepless…
Unlike most uppity writers, Warren Ellis tends to keep himself grounded and on the same level as the fans who read his work. I’ve had a few e-mail conversations with him myself. Although he’d probably never admit it, he’s quite humble except for the times he asked all his fans to refer to him as, “Internet Jesus”, and “Love Swami.” He even keeps a twitter account open to all his fans. Here are a few excerpts that he recently posted on his website WarrenEllis.com .
On Pitching Comic Book Ideas:
* THE MANY SUICIDES OF AQUAMAN: The Loneliness Of The Underwater Crimefighter When There’s No Fucking Crime Underwater
* BATMAN’S FATAL HEADSHOT: His Parents Died Twenty Years Ago, But Only Today Did He Find Their Hidden Rape Shed
On Americans Wishing Him Thanksgiving:
* Here in Britain, of course, it’s Thank Fuck We Got Those Weird Jesus Bastards On The Boat Day
On Pitching Movie Ideas to Hollywood:
* phoning Hollywood to pitch THE MUMMY IV: I SHIT DUST
* Related: also trying to beat out Joss Whedon’s TERMINATOR pitch with TERMINATOR: I SHIT ROBOTS
* But, coming soon, Sandra Bullock romantic comedy I SHIT NEW BOYFRIENDS
On Life in General:
* I don’t care what anyone says, I’m changing my job description on my passport to “Space Bastard”
* hammer pneumatic fucking drills into that editor’s face until he has arseholes for eyes oh shit twtter’s on hello there
* the term “beard” shall henceforth be replaced by “crackling virility hedge”
* If you love something, set it free. With one of those tracker anklets. With a bomb on it.
I wouldn’t recommend a solo attempt at acquiring Warren Ellis, as he is no doubt full of trickery and hyper-energized at all times by constant Red Bull consumption. As you can all clearly see from the above photo that he is rather out of shape. This is to your advantage as long as at least three of you team up on him.
Once acquired, I refuse to use the “K” word in this operation as I don’t understand where the law stands on internet blogging, but once “acquired” Warren Ellis will provide me with facebook status updates, blog topics, and when needed he may update my blog in a more timely fashion than I have been lately.
Christmas only comes once a year folks so please make mine a happy one.
John Michael Gagnon…Have a Strange Christmas Everyone…Johnny Red
It’s no secret that Halloween is my favorite time of year. Costumes, candy, parties, and all manner of responsibility and ethics thrown out the window. I love it. It’s also the one time of year that being considered insane is a good thing.
Seeing as Halloween is only a few days away, I figured this blog entry should shed light on some of the origins of our Halloween traditions.
*Warning* Johnny Red is in no way responsible for the damage done to your joyful perceptions of Halloween fun.
5. Trick or Treating
Oh yes, to be young again. Wandering the neighborhood, breathing the crisp fall air, dressed up in our Halloween costumes for a night of fun and candy collecting. It was the best time of the year for being a kid. Trick or Treating hasn’t changed that much since it’s Celtic origin. I guess the only difference is trick or treating was originally called “Souling”, and was originally a bit more…creepy.
During souling children would dress up in costumes, go door to door, beg for soul cakes, and when received would pray for the household’s dead relatives. I guess that could be fun?
Now the actual term “trick or treat” didn’t surface until the 1920′s.
The earliest known use in print of the term “trick or treat” appears in 1927, from Blackie, Alberta, Canada: Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.
We fast forward nearly a hundred years and trick or treating is now a national tradition. Capitalism has cashed in on it as well. Candy sales are the second highest during Halloween, second only to Christmas. Costumes are massed produced and sold in nearly every store. It’s become a cash cow for many corporations, and now the tables have been turned on the children who once upon a time took control of their neighborhoods and forced the adults to do their bidding.
Capitalism has also brought it’s own horrors to trick or treaters everywhere.
4. Haunted Houses, Apple Bobbing, Parties
Halloween is a great time to dress up, throw parties, purposefully scare the hell out of each other, and other things we wouldn’t do any other time of the year. But we do this as adults now. Wait a minute, wasn’t the tradition of Halloween centered around children? Are we, as adults, being selfish in turning Halloween into a more adult oriented holiday?
No we’re not because Halloween was originally a festival that adults took part in more than children. Yes, souling, or trick or treating is a children’s tradition, but that was only part of Halloween.
The first celebrations included “play parties,” public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds.
The party game of apple bobbing was also done by adults as well. The origin of apple bobbing came from when single adults would gather around a bucket or tub of floating apples and try to be the first to grab an apple with their teeth. The belief was whoever managed to grab the first apple would be the next one to be married.
Apple bobbing has lost it’s popularity in recent years as the idea of sticking your face into a tub of snot and spit filled water isn’t very appealing.
Many people also believed that during Halloween the veil to the next world was briefly lifted. People felt that during this time you might be able to glimpse the future. Women would use mirrors and ask that the image of their future spouse to appear in it.
Haunted houses and haunted hay rides have also risen in popularity and become traditions during Halloween. Haunted houses probably go far back as when people first believed that the departed spirits of the dead could return to familar grounds. Nowadays it’s probably explained through carbon monoxide leaks.
Nevertheless simulating a haunted house to scare the bejezus out of each other has caught on. In fact they are very profitable. Over twelve million people a year visit simulated haunted houses.
Now you would think that uptight religious folks would be outraged over our traditional Halloween practices. Well apparently they are. In fact one church wasn’t content in just preaching about the evils of the Halloween holiday, no they took it one step further and created their own haunted house.
A growing Halloween tradition among Evangelical Christians is to provide a type of horror tableau which promotes public awareness of conservative Christian concerns. In Arvida, CO, the Abundant Life Christian Center built a haunted house for Halloween 1997. It includes simulations of:
|a bloody abortion in progress,|
|a ritual human sacrifice by a Satanic cult,|
|a teen committing suicide,|
|the funeral of a homosexual AIDS victim, and|
|a live action scene of a date rape|
3. The Jack ‘O Lantern
Pumpkin carving is standard Halloween tradition. But it wasn’t always so. In fact it wasn’t until modern times that pumpkins themselves were even used for carving. Yet again the tradition of carving vegatables goes back to old Ireland. But back then they didn’t use pumpkins. No, no, those would be too easy to carve out. They used turnips instead.
The tradition comes from the legend of Stingy Jack. The folktale says that a man named Jack who was the greediest man alive wouldn’t even go to hell with the devil when his number was up. Instead he tricked the devil to climb a tree, and while up there he carved a cross into the tree and the devil couldn’t get down.
The devil was so angry with Jack that he denied him entrance to hell. And since Jack wasn’t allowed in heaven either, he wanders the world with nothing but a carved out turnip lantern to keep him company.
Nowadays carving pumpkins has become almost an art form during Halloween. Every year we see more and more creative designs from the traditional Jack ‘O Lantern. For example:
Let’s see…we also have this.
Ohhh my favorite part of Halloween. An excuse to dress up in horrifying costumes for a night of make believe. Well I suppose you could do that any night of the year, but Halloween is the only night you won’t gain an unwelcome reputation in doing so. Dressing in costumes has become a children’s tradition and sadly the horror elements seem to have faded.
Originally Halloween costumes were suppose to imitate the dead, supernatural beings, and demonic creatures. Only dressing in a costume would keep you safe from the otherworldly hordes crossing the veil into our world looking to possess, and/or drag us back to the other side.
So traditional Celtic costumes looked more like this:
Yes, most of the fright is missing from costumes nowadays. But one costume has reigned supreme for decades and is still the number one selling costume of all time. The Witch!
So seeing as the Witch is the best selling Halloween costume I decided to do a little research on the origin of the Witch. And after doing that research I decided some things should just not be discovered. Hold on to your hats folks because here is the origin of the Witch and her broomstick.
They were old mad women who put hallucinogenic oils on the end of their broomsticks and put them in their vaginas.
I’M SORRY! I’M SO SORRY!
Yes, according to the research that’s where the origin of the Witch and her broomstick comes from. In fact this was known as far back as 1470.
“But the vulgar believe, and the witches confess, that on certain days or nights they anoint a staff and ride on it to the appointed place or anoint themselves under the arms and in other hairy places.”
Well all I can say is thank God those days are over. Or are they??
1. Halloween Itself
Halloween itself originated in Old Ireland and was called Samhain. Much of what went on during the celebration of Samhain has already been covered in the previous entries. But there is one thing I want to make clear to everyone. They BELIEVED in all this stuff. We celebrate Halloween because we know it’s a fun and lighthearted time. But none of us today actually believe we have to dress up in costumes to ward off evil spirits. Well I’m guessing the majority of us do not believe that.
But imagine being a child in Old Ireland. You’re fast asleep, dreaming of…I don’t know…Old Ireland things, when all of a sudden your parents burst in your room!
You ask your parents why you have to do such a thing? They reply, “Because demons, spirits, and our dead ancestors are coming through the veil…tonight!!”
“Jesus Christ on a stick father!! What are we going to do?!”
“Don’t worry son, if we imitate the monsters and our dead decaying relatives they may leave us alone! They may!”
“I’m scared father!”
“I’m scared too son! Now get your sister and go door to door and beg for cakes or bread to satisfy the dead! Also pray outside each house for the homeowners dead relatives as well!”
“What are you going to do father?!”
“Father this sounds crazy!”
“Shut up son! Oh I almost forgot! The evil ones won’t be attracted to the bonfire if there is any other lit fire in town! Now put out that fire in the fireplace!”
“Father it’s fucking Autumn! It’s going to be freezing in here!”
“Son, trust the grown ups! We know what we are doing! Now where is that cow?”
“What in the hell are you talking about?!”
“We have to slaughter livestock and throw the bones in the bonfire! Clearly it’s what we have to do!”
“Alright forget the livestock! We’ll build another bonfire next to the first one and then each of us will walk between them to cleanse ourselves!”
“Father I am NOT walking through FIRE!”
“Son, it’s the only way!”
“What do you mean it’s working? Those people are dead now Father!”
“Exactly! If they were evil spirits then the fire wouldn’t have harmed them!”
“I can’t even put into words how fucking retarded this is! Where did you hear all of this Father?! Who told you we had to do these things?!”
“Well the old woman in the hills did.”
“The one with the cauldron?”
“The same one who cackles all night and walks around with that smelly broomstick?”
“Yes, the very one!”
“Fuck you guys, I’m going back to bed.”
And that my friends is the story of Halloween!
*Warning* Believing and repeating anything Johnny Red tells you can cause serious damage to your reputation. Johnny Red exaggerates and twists the truth for his own self-amusement.
Don’t forget everyone who lives in the Northern Maine area that Johnny Red will be throwing his annual Halloween Costume Party this Saturday night! Party starts at 7 p.m. and Costumes are mandatory. If you show up without a costume then my hired muscle will gladly tune you up at the entrance, toss your broken body inside, and claim you came dressed as mugging victims.
Oh and since I promised Max and Dominic strippers, then here you go!
John Michael Gagnon…boo!…Johnny Red
As many of you already know, I recently took a management position in the produce department of my local grocery store. Yep, goodbye are the days of being a mild mannered night manager. I have to admit I went head on into this new, well not really new since I used to manage a produce department, venture with confidence and a new zest for life.
That lasted about a week.
So here’s the third blog entry detailing the sufferings one goes through when working in a grocery store.
5. Why am I Awake and at Work Before the God Damn Sun is Up?!
So here’s how my typical day managing the produce department starts. First I am awakened by my alarm clock. My alarm clock has a very unique sound to it. I’ve spent many years trying to pin point exactly what it is and I think I’ve finally figured it out.
It sounds just like the Angelic shriek of a fallen Angel cast out of Heaven as it decends towards the Earth to conquer the worm. And if not exactly like that sound then it comes pretty damn close.
And do you want to know the worst part about it? I usually set my alarm clock to go off about an hour before I have to get up just so I can go back to bed for another hour. But that extra hour of sleep is restless because I know…I know it’s about to shriek it’s unholy cries again. And here’s another quirk about my alarm clock. If I’m lucky enough to wake up a minute or two before the alarm clock goes off and I manage to switch it off…IT STILL GOES OFF!! And the only way to stop it is to actually hit it. I have to punch my alarm clock quiet almost every morning.
I suppose my mornings wouldn’t be too bad if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m an insomniac. Always have been, and always will be. Combine insomnia with having to get up and be at work for 5am and it’s a recipe for delirious fun. Half the time I’m lucky if I can even dress myself properly. There are many theories on why people have insomnia. I’m still not exactly sure why I have it.
Scientists recently discovered that insomnia might be a genetic mutation. They claim that some people only need about four to six hours of sleep a night. Do you know what that makes me? The LAMEST X-man of all!
I guess when it comes down to it I still don’t understand why I have to be at work at 5am. I understand that I’m working with fruits and vegetables, but I’m not an actual fucking farmer. Let them get up early since they love it so much!
4. Please Understand that Certain Items are Only Available by Season
The following is an actual conversation I had with a random douchebag.
Random Douchebag: “Excuse me, but where are you cortland apples?”
Johnny Red: “I’m sorry sir but they are not in season yet.”
Random Douchebag: “No! They are in season! I know this for a fact!”
Johnny Red: “Well sir according to our supplier they are not.”
Random Douchebag: “I want cortalnd apples!”
Johnny Red: “Ooooooh! Well let me just go out back and harvest some from our God Damn apple orchard! Hey everyone! Have you seen my bushel basket?! Where’s my fucking bushel basket?!”
Ok the conversation didn’t go exactly like that, but you catch my drift.
Granted cortland apples may have just come into season, it doesn’t mean that they have been harvested, packaged, sent to our warehouse downstate, and then shipped to our store. We don’t have a teleporter device, let alone time manipulation technology at your family friendly grocery store.
Here are a few items that my produce department carries only briefly once a year. Cranberries in the fall, cherries in mid-summer, chef potatoes in the fall, fiddleheads in the spring, and my patience for a short time during the holidays.
This entry also reminded me of how an elderly lady recently managed to hit both ends of the ignorant spectrum. She demanded that we get both cherries AND cranberries for her. It was fucking August! Cherries are early to mid summer, and cranberries are only available in the fall.
3. I Didn’t Go to Produce College
When you go to the hospital you understand that the doctor treating you has spent many years being educated in their field. When you hire a lawyer you know that they too have spent many years researching and studying their profession. When you go into a grocery store and stroll through the produce department DO NOT expect me to have a understanding on everything that grows on a fucking tree, or in the ground. The difference between myself and the doctor and lawyer I mentioned is that I didn’t have to take an exam to get hired.
Here’s an example. Star fruit. I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked how to cut, prepare and eat a star fruit.
When I look at a star fruit all I want to tell the customer is that from my vast knowledge of Super Mario Bros. games, I know that if you eat one you will become temporarily invincible. Now eat one and run into oncoming traffic.
You see every now and again people will get a wild hair up their ass and want to do or try something new. But rather than go skydiving, take up painting, or spin around a brass pole a few times, they wander into my produce department and decide eating exotic fruit is their answer. Of course they come into the produce department with absolutely no knowledge of what to do with the items they are buying. Instead they expect me to have all the answers.
So time and time again I’m put in a position where I have to cater to the customer’s demands. I end up ordering all kinds of exotic fruits and vegetables to satisfy the wanton lusts of white middle-class curiosity. We order kumquats, rambutans, dragon fruits, and mangosteens. I supply passion fruit, jack fruit, ugli fruit, and lychee. Pomegranates, pomelos, cactus pears, and acai.
And that folks is an excerpt from my upcoming Dr. Suess book.
BUT, every now and again I have to deal with a customer that is on the complete opposite side of this scenario. They can’t seem to grasp the concept of basic fruits or vegetables. Once a lady came into the store asking for frozen diced carrots because she wanted to make a chicken pot pie. Simple right? Wrong! We didn’t carry frozen diced carrots. But I’ll tell you what we did carry. EVERY OTHER TYPE OF CARROT KNOWN TO MAN! I showed her our frozen chopped carrots and baby carrots. Nope didn’t want them. I showed her our fresh carrots. Whole carrots, shredded carrots, diced carrots, baby carrots etc. Do you know what this women told me?
“Well I guess I can’t make my chicken pot pie.”
Do you know what’s great about a carrot? You can do whatever the fuck you want with it. You can actually DICE them too!
2. I Don’t Want to be Associated With the Soy and Tofu Section
I just want to go on record as saying that although the soy, tofu, and veggie meat(?) section is in my produce department, I don’t want anything to do with it. I wash my hands of that abomination of a department. I don’t understand hippy, earthy people food. Frankly, it scares the living shit out of me. For example.
I don’t know what tofu is. All I know is that it’s a grey block of pliable material…and people eat it. It’s colorless, flavorless, and souless. The same goes for all those soy products. I know soy comes from soy nuts right? Then how the fuck do you make soy milk, let alone soy bathroom cleaner? It’s against God and Science.
Here’s another product we carry in our abomination section. It’s called Polenta. It comes vaccum sealed in a tube of terror.
One last thing on this entry, as I want to move on as quickly as possible, but what gives the soy and tofu industry the right to copy our meat products? Hey hippies, you don’t want to eat meat that’s fine, but stop trying to make your piles of mush look and taste like meat. You made a choice in your lives and you should stick with it. Why would you want your food to emulate the very thing you are so against? I think Denis Leary said it best when he said, “Meat tastes like murder, and murder tastes pretty fucking good!” Is that what you really want trust fund hippies?
Oh and let’s not forget the most horrifying creation they have come up with yet. The Tofurky!!!
1. I Shouldn’t Have to Risk My Well Being and Life Itself Everyday
Didn’t expect this to top my top 5 did you? I mean how much danger could I possibly be in while managing and working in the produce department of a grocery store? Well I’ll start off small and then work my way up.
Do you know what an artichoke is?
Artichoke leaves are sharp as fuck. Have you ever stuck your hand into a box of fresh artichokes? I bet you haven’t. Well I have and have the pin point scars to prove it. At least once a week I find myself swearing at a box of artichokes as each one I pull out of that box tears a bit more of my hand flesh away.
Handling artichokes is the equivalent of giving a cactus a hand job.
Alright a few small jabs at my hands aren’t too bad. Well how about almost cutting my fingers off? Several times. When you walk by those nicely wrapped and packaged cut and sliced fruit in our produce section do you ever wonder who cuts that fruit up? I do. Well most of the cut fruit. We do recieve some pre-cut fresh fruit, but the watermelons, honeydew, and cantaloupes are all cut fresh in our department. Do you have any idea how slick the skin of a honeydew is? Well just ask the fingers on my left hand.
Still no sympathy huh? Well I’ll turn it up a notch.
Everyone loves bananas right? They have to be the most popular fruit on the planet. Do you know where all our bananas come from? If you said South America then give yourself a pat on the back, or a shot of hard alcohol, I don’t know what you do at home alone.
Hey do you know what else comes from South America? Giant God Damn tarantulas!
That’s right folks! Every now and again a tarantula decides that a box of bananas is a great place to live. Although it is rare sometimes these furry devil creatures will hop a ride all the way to America stored away in our produce freight. Personally I haven’t seen one yet, but a co-worker of mine did find one in a box of bananas a few years back. Luckily for her the tarantula was dead. Or maybe it was lucky for the tarantula because she can be crabby in the morning.
I did find a small spider in the bananas once. I captured it in a plastic container. It then proceeded to spit a clear liquid, which I’m assuming was a venom, onto the inside of that plastic container. I threw it in the dumpster and went home to quietly cry myself to sleep.
WARNING: If you continue to read this blog entry you may never choose to step foot in the produce department again. This is a warning and I am not to be held responsible for what you are about to see and read.
Grapes are probably one of my favorite fruits. They are a good snack, good for you, and come in many tasty varieties. And they are also used to make wine for when you want to get shitfaced.
In fact grapes are probably the complete opposite of one of the things I don’t like so much. And that is to die a horrible painful death. Oh! Did you think the gut wrenching horror stopped with tarantulas?
At least twice a year we get a e-mail or fax from corporate warning that black widow spiders were found in the grape shipments. Really? Am I paid enough to risk my life for this job? I guess in this economy I am.
Here are some interesting tid bits from the corporate e-mail. They say that if we do see a black widow spider to immediately try and kill it. They don’t say to throw the bag of grapes to the ground and run away screaming like a school girl, which is what I would most likely do. No, they say to douse it with vinegar to kill it. What?? Apparently black widow spiders can only be killed this way. If you try to simply step on them their spider strength will throw you off balance and then they will feast on your life energies.
Probably my favorite part of the black widow warning is that we are told to make sure we inspect every bag of grapes we put out. Yeah, I have to actually look for those horrible little fuckers. Also we are told if we are bit that another co-worker should try to search for said black widow spider because the medical professionals trying to keep your ass from an early grave could use it.
I know the people I work with. And I think I know the result if I ever get bit by a black widow spider while at work.
There’s a lot of down time in my job.
John Michael Gagnon…aka…Johnny Red
Oh, to live in Maine. The crown jewel of the United States. I know, I know, Alaska is actually higher geopraphically speaking. But Alaska is sort of higher and to the back, sort of like a hump on someone’s back that has grown uncontrollably. Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. Alaska is the hump of the United States.
Anyway, I was saying. Maine is known as Vacationland. Stephen King is from Maine and has done us the service of unleashing many tales of horrifying shit to associate with the State of Maine.
Maine is also known for it’s lobstering industry. This has provided countless hours of entertainment for bored Mainers. How, you ask?
But there is more to Maine than Killer Clowns living in the sewers, and lobsters with knives. You see Maine is most well known from central Maine to southern Maine. With this blog entry I’m hoping to illuminate the rest of the country to the joys and sorrows of living in, what most Maine southerners call, “The Other Maine.” So, today I present to you:
5. Unique Food/Drink
Advantage: In Northern Maine, we know how to eat
The people in Northern Maine are known as hard working, which means we work up an appetite. After a long day of work most of us like to enjoy a hearty meal that we in Northern Maine can appreciate. Granted some, if not all, of these items originated in Canada, but we’ve adopted them as our own here in Northern Maine.
First we have the Poutine, also known as the french fry mix. Hmm? How to describe it. Well you see we take french fries, drown them in gravy, and then swing for the fences by topping it off with cheese.
Still hungry? Well next up with have Ployes. A ploye is like a pancake except they are made with buckwheat flour and are only cooked on one side.
Yes, there is a catch. Much like the traditional pancake the ploye must be drenched in any number of toppings and syrups in order to NOT feel like you are eating a plate of foam insulation. Maple syrup is a popular choice for parents who enjoy their children tap dancing on their roofs all hours of the day and night. Strawberries and whipped cream is ok too. But if you really want to challenge the Almighty Creator to send you into cardiac arrest, then you put a thick spreading of the following item across that ploye.
Only in Northern Maine would butter or syrup not be good enough. Cretons are very popular in Northern Maine. The sole existance of Cretons is to let the rest of the country know we don’t fuck around. Again, it’s spreadable pork!!
And after, or maybe during, your meal you want to make sure you wash down that travesty on your plate with a good drink. Coffee might be your choice. But then again perhaps a refreshing glass of milk. Not strong enough? Well a good Brandy is hard to beat. What’s that? Why not all three?
Drinking Allen’s Coffee Brandy straight isn’t bad enough. Here in Northern Maine we’ve decided the best way to polish off a half gallon of this Brandy is to add a gallon of milk. This drink combo has taken a life of it’s own as it has become known as, “The Liquid Leg Spreader”, “Liquid Panty Remover”, and my personal favorite:
Disadvantage: Our hearts may be ticking time bombs
4. The Wild Life
Advantage: Beautiful Majestic Creatures
Oh yes, Northern Maine is host to many animals that we get to see on nearly a daily basis. Whether your taking an early morning walk and get to see a deer striding through an empty field, or perhaps your are fishing on a warm summer evening and are witness to a moose cooling itself off in a lake, the animal life is abundant here in Northern Maine.
Here are some examples.
And probably most popular of all, the moose.
Disadvantage: Beautiful Majestic Creatures…In the Road
Nothing extinguishes the serenity of driving through the beautiful scenery of Northern Maine quicker than the screeching of brakes as you try to avoid whichever mammal has decided it has the right of way on our Maine roads. Moose collisions account for over 2,000 accidents in Maine. Deer are responsible for over 10,000 accidents.
In fact the only time in my life that I’ve seen a Maine black bear was in the following situation.
Advantage: There’s Nothing Quite as Relaxing as Fishing in Northern Maine
Everbody needs some sort of therapy in their lives. And I don’t believe in actually visiting a therapist. Why? Because in all honesty I wouldn’t be able to take them seriously. I also don’t trust myself enough to not mess with their heads and reduce them to tears.
So my therapy for when I need to unwind, relax, or just get away from life’s problems is to go fishing. Northern Maine is the perfect setting for whatever type of fishing you enjoy.
And last but certainly not least:
Disadvantage: There’s Nothing Quite as Frustrating as Fishing in Northern Maine
Whether it’s the weather that turns shitty at the drop of a hat, you get your vehicle stuck in a mud hole, or perhaps those uppity fish just don’t want to bite, there are plenty of ways fishing in Northern Maine can be frustrating. Damn uppity Little Black Lake fish! Grrrr!
#2 Winter in Northern Maine
NO, NO, NO! There is no advantage to winter in Northern Maine! In fact I added this entry just to have an outlet for my deep and utter hatred of winter.
If humans were meant to enjoy winter, our bodies wouldn’t have evolved nearly hairless. What is it about winter that people like? Is it the limited daylight? Perhaps the groin shriveling temperature? Maybe you enjoy spending your free time shoveling heaps of snow into your neighbors driveway?
And don’t even get me started on the horrible road conditions winter brings. Living in Northern Maine means you have to own a four wheel drive vehicle merely to survive. Now couple the road conditions with the Northern Maine wildlife frolicking in the roads as well, and we add even more collisions to our tragic tally.
In fact the only accident I’ve ever been in happened during winter.
So really all I can say is, SCREW WINTER! And for those of you enjoy winter, let the following picture haunt your dreams for all time.
Advantage: You’re Camping
Camping, like fishing, can be a relaxing escape from your world of stress, deadlines, bills, court dates, and perhaps work release programs.
Personally I enjoy camping simply for the fact that you get to turn off the cell phone, the television, the computer, and all other forms of technology we seem to depend on everyday. There’s just something about setting up a tent, making a campfire, and enjoying the outdoors with friends.
So really there is nothing else to explain. A couple relaxing days of fishing, cooking food on a grill, telling stories around a campfire with friends is simple and fun. What could possibly go wrong?
Disadvantage: You’re Camping
If a camping trip goes as planned, you couldn’t ask for a more relaxing time. If a camping trip goes bad then you are in for an experience you may not soon forget, or physically heal from.
One factor is the unpredictable weather of Northern Maine. Believing a weekend forcast for Northern Maine is like believing a travelling gypsy psychic.
4 hours later:
It’s also important to only plan your Northern Maine camping trips in the middle of the summer. Don’t try to outsmart the weather and plan an early summer or early fall camping trip in Northern Maine.
It’s also of vital importance that you are familiar with the area you are going to be camping. Never trust a friend, who knows a friend, who knows a friend, who knows the perfect spot to go camping. Because if you don’t find yourself getting lost in the back woods roads of Northern Maine, you may actually find the the unfortunate camping site.
Choosing the right people to go camping with can also be a chore. Going camping with a group of people who want nothing more to do than party all weekend can turn ugly fast. If your group of campers has decided to bring nothing but booze and fireworks, then prepare to ration out whatever food or water you have brought for yourself. These types always say they will just hunt or fish for their food. I think we have all been on the tragic/hungry end of this situation.
You know what doesn’t go well together? A campfire and a bunch of intoxicated daredevils. I don’t think I’ve been to one bonfire, campfire, BBQ or anywhere an open flame is present where a drunk person doesn’t eventually burn themselves. It’s like moths to a flame.
So once again you have to witness the exploits of the guy who has been drinking nothing but “fat ass in a glass” for the majority of the day decide he’s Evel Knievel. This scenario always ends with the jackass taking a digger forearm first into the campfire.
And for three summers in a row the camping trip ends with someone being airlifted to safety.
Well that’s enough excitement for one day. I think I’ll just crawl into my comfy tent and try to forget all the horrible things that have happened on my camping trip. I don’t see how things could get any worse?
Hey, remember that story about those guys who were camping out on the Allagash Waterway and claim they were abducted by aliens? I suppose that would be another disadvantage of camping.
Yeah…it sure would be.
Next Time on Monster Rebellion! Johnny Red and His Team of Scientists VS The Alien Invasion!!
John Michael Gagnon…aka…Johnny Red