Saturday, September 29, 2007

Beer is for Closers

I'm giving up drinking until I make a commission by placing one of these asshole VP's with a job in advertising at my job. The people at my work say all the time that "pain is the greatest motivator known to mankind," and let me tell you, being in Chicago the night the Cubs clinch a playoff spot and NOT being able to drink is damn painful, and, with any luck, one heck of a motivator. My willpower once I start drinking is horrible, in that as long as people are willing and able, I'll keep sucking them back. However, my willpower has always been strong once I'm fully committed to something. Here are some fine examples which illustrate this very point.

1. Earlier this year, my doctor told me that that my "good cholesterol" was good, but my "bad cholesterol" was a touch bad. Nothing to worry about, but just a little high. I freaked. "What do I do, doc!" I replied in a frantic state. "Well," he said calmly, and a little annoyed with my frantic state "just cut back on fried foods a little." I haven't had a fried food since. Not a french fry, not a tater-tot, and nary an Arby's curly fry dipped in Horsey sauce.

2. Going back a little further. My mom told me that I had a bit of a thumb sucking problem as a kid, which came as no surprise for me to hear, as I'm a bit of an oral fixator. It was a habit she could not break me of until my dentist told me that if I continued suckling on my fattest of digits my teeth would stick out like "Bugs Bunny." My thumb-sucking days were over that very afternoon.

3. Going back even further, I was 16 in that last story, when my mom was trying to potty train me, I was not hearing it. When she'd ask if I was going to go in the potty that day, I'd say, "Not today." I've always been a bit of a procrastinator, and a brilliant one, in that I wasn't being defiant, just putting it off a little, just trying to buy myself a few more glorious days of shitting in my pants. One day when the whole family was getting ready to go to the public pool, my favorite place in the world to shit my pants, and my mom, in a stroke of genius, said, "You can't go, little Gancer, unless you go in the potty first." And I've been going in the potty ever since, unless the situation calls for other more creative endeavors, like writing my name in the snow or pooping off a high dive at that very, same public pool. Ironic? No, but a good poop story.

So, as you can see from these stories dating back to when I was potty trained, at age seven, once I set my mind to something I'm damned determined. I kind of wish I wasn't though, because going to bars when you're sober, with millions of drunken Cub fans, is damn irritating. Here are some things I discovered:

1. Bars are smoky. It's like I'm immune to it when I'm schnockered, but when I'm sober I'm so annoyed and disgusted. Believe me when I say I don't like being the guy annoyed with smoke. Even though I only smoke a pack a year, nine times out of ten I prefer smokers to non-smokers, but that's another post for another day.

2. People are obnoxious when they drink. The only worth-while drunken display I saw was a girl, who couldn't dance for shit, trip over her big boots, and fall on her face. A good laugh was had by all. She was crying, but I'm sure she wasn't hurt. The makeup undoubtedly broke the fall. See, that wouldn't be as funny to me if I were drunk, and I probably would have thought she was a damn, fine dancer, but sober Gancer was too observant for his own good and way too crabby.

3. It's hard to pick up girls when you're sober. I don't want to be the stone sober guy picking up on drunk girls, because that's kind of sleazy, so I just kind of stand around thinking of a good time to sneak out.

4. I notice how much my friends and I drink when I'm sober. I feel like their mom when I'm like, "jeez, another round already?" I know full well that if I were drinking too I'd be right along with them, and some nights, maybe worse, and that's the scary part.

5. The crazy thing is that for the first hour or so of barroom sobriety, it's all I can do not to jump over the bar and slam the first three bottles of anything I can grab at random, but then I reach a point where I want no part of what the demon rum makes people become. That rhymed! However, I had better have some success at work soon, because I know these Cubbies are going cause me a great deal of stress, and then when they blow it again, making it officially 100 years since they've won a World Series, I'll need to get properly Schlitzed, and you're all coming out with me, seven readers, to watch my glorious, drunken, tumble off the wagon.

Your turn: Isn't it some sucky-ass shit to be the lone sober person when you go out with your booze-hound friends? Discuss . . .

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Raw Jello

I was riding home from work, with my iPod on random, and out of all 7,000 songs that could have popped up on this afternoon, No One is To Blame by Howard Jones Came on. I instantly wanted to eat raw, powdery, sweet, sugary, jello right out of the box.

Let me explain, since anyone who says something that recockulous had better well explain his or herself:

When I was in the 9 to 10 years of age division on my swim team, we'd eat raw sugar during meets, because someone, somewhere along the line must have told us that it gave you energy, which somehow made you swim faster. I was skeptical, since I was a skeptical kid (the Easter Bunny was bullshit to me by the time I was four), but I suspended my disbelief for any excuse to eat a box full of colored sugar. Hell, it would stick to your hands and make your fingers all red, then you'd wipe your face and hands with your towel. Fucking decadent.

Anyway, for whatever reason, my brain has a decades-long, lasting, Pavlovian response to Howard Jones, which makes me want to pour gelatin in powdered form down my throat, which may make me choke and cough a little, but sweet, sweet, sugar-burning, choking coughs. I can't say that I listened to HoJo at swim meets, ate raw jello while listening to his Brit-synth pop stylings, or at any time combined all three elements, but I'll be damned if I didn't want to, the second the song came on, want to pull my piece of shit Camry into the Wallgreens, walk up in that piece, find a box of jello, lick my dirty, little finger, and lick me up some strawberry, jello powder.

How's about you, seven readers? Anyone out there have a knee-jerk response to a song they'd like to share for the other six readers?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Birf' of a Salesman

Not many of you know this, but I was in the education field for the last few years. Even less of you know this, but I resigned and started recruiting for advertising firms. One day it dawned on me that if I taught all my life, I would die penniless. Plus, I would never be compensated for how hard I worked. In sales type jobs, you do get paid for how hard you work, and while I've been working my tail off, I haven't made squat yet.

People always tell me I'd be good in sales, because I'm funny, personable, likable, and trust-worthy. These are all true, and they do translate well into sales. However, I have some draw-backs that aren't as obvious to everyone, but they are becoming very clear as I get further entrenched into the corporate world. I'm unorganized, scatter-brained, forgetful, and I have bad anxiety.

I'm getting better every day, but there were a few days where I didn't think I could hack it. Have you ever had a job where you felt like an idiot all day at work, and every second outside of work all you can think about is having to go back there?

For example:

Let's say you're a Bearded Lady, and you keep flaking out and shaving every morning.

Or let's say you're a Belly-Dancer, and you keep blowing on your partner's belly.

Or let's say you're a Cannibal, and you keep filling up on roasted chicken with butter sauce.

Or let's say you're a Skin-Head, you strongly dislike The Jews, but you just can't bring yourself to hate them.

On any given day, I feel like any one of those guys above. However, I'm starting to see myself being damn good at some stuff, especially cold calling, which I have to do a lot of until I have more regular clients. The thing about ad people though, is they're a cool bunch. I mean, they're really boss! Sometimes I'll bullshit with them for quite some time, and it seems like a lot of them drink a lot too, which is jolly-good for The Gancer. My plan is to hit a Chicago advertising happy-hour with a shit-ton of business cards, schmooze, and booze.

Just today I met a girl on the phone, and even though I've never seen her, I feel pretty confident saying that she was really, damn hot. I mean, for fuck's sake, she's an account planner in Los Angeles named Nik. Not Nicole, not Nikki, just Nik. We chatted for a while and she emailed me back with a bunch of her friends' names who I could, in-turn, talk out of working wherever they are. She just took a new job, but she's keeping me in mind, and she said, "I think I'm going to like you." That's what I'm talking about. Are any of my blog buddies from L.A., because I smell a business trip in my near future?

Well, here are your questions. Answer one or both of them:

1. Tell me a about a job at which you were useless as tits on a bull.
2. Anyone know anyone in advertising anywhere in the country who may want to make a job change? Email me at

-The Gancer

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Kick to the Nuts

There are four young, attractive pre-med girls living in the unit below mine, and for the last few months, I've been a little bit in love with the Asian one. A month or so back, her and the Chesty One went out with the my fireman roommate and myself. Evidently, Chesty One had a crush on Fireman, so it was like Asian and myself were wing-people. By the end of the night, Chesty was no longer into Fireman, but Asian and I really seemed to hit it off. Because I was just trying to play Goose to my roomy's Maverick, I wasn't even trying very hard, which is probably why I was so money. Wait, Goose and Maverick were in the same plane. I suppose I was the Maverick to his Ice Man. Wait, Maverick was always leaving his wing man, and getting reprimanded for it. Let's just say I was the Wolfman to his Hollywood.* Anyway, I felt like her and I were no doubt enjoying each other's company, but I in no way thought there was much interest in either direction. That is until I found myself thinking about her before I went to bed that night, immediately the next morning, and periodically for the months to come.

Having a thing for your neighbor is a tough spot to be in, because even though I'm almost positive there's some interest on her end, if I'm wrong and go for it, I run the risk of feeling like a nimrod every time I say hello to her while taking out the trash. For this reason, and because we have opposite schedules, I hadn't talked to her in a while, but tonight I texted her to tell her we were going to a bar near our apartment. She called back to tell me they were going to SoPo, and I must have really been digging on her to show my face in that yuppy, guys in striped-shirts, girls in tube-tops shit-hole. When I get in there she's all in my fries. Before long she's grinding upon me like there's a piece of flint on my package and she desperately needs to make a spark.

Then a bunch of dudes these girls know show up, and before long she's dancing with the Big Headed One. He's show-boating by shaking his butt (not well in my estimation), and her dumb-ass is eating it up. After watching her neglect my friend and myself for some time, my BFF and I excuse ourselves, and she doesn't even say, like, "You sure you have to go?" It's just a flippant "thanks for coming," and right back she goes to her fucking, Goodyear Blimp-headed, fuck-stick guy.

BFF and I then went back to his house for one last beer and the last 45 minutes of Swingers. Jeez-Louise that movie is still great! I was enjoying the flick, but then every couple of minutes I'd get pissed about the whole neighbor thing.

Well, I take solace in the fact that she was gladly singing along to an O.A.R. song. They're a poor man's Dave Mathews band, and I don't even like Dave Matthews, which puts them in the destitute range. Any girl with taste that poor couldn't hang with The Gancer long term.

But she is fucking, damn cute. I was replaying the events in my head, and having spurts of anger on my walk home too. You ever get that? You know, where you do crazy shit like smack a stop sign as hard as you can for no acceptable reason? Then I get home and see some dude and one of the neighbors, squatted down, kanoodling on the porch. My heart sank, but a closer look revealed the couple to be not Asian Neighbor, but Chesty Neighbor and Ben (a guy with a cranium size closer to the national average). I know his name because when these girls were still being cool to me tonight (they declared me their favorite neighbor around this time) Chesty asked me to evaluate Ben when he got to the bar. Well, with or without my endorsement, I think Uncle Ben is giving her the San Francisco treat as I type this poorly-written, drunken paragraph. Wait, Rice-A-Roni is the San Francisco treat. Oh well. Fuck it.

Hey, Seven Readers, have you ever had a person of the opposite sex on the horizon, and then suddenly it doesn't work out and you're left with a bleak-ass horizon? Well, my horizon is slightly bleaker, but if she likes O.A.R, chodes like the guy she was dancing with, and being prone to sudden-onset, being overwhelmingly unneighborly, then maybe I'm not missing out on too much.

P.S.: Scary Monster, and I suppose anyone else who read and were too scared/disgusted to comment, was privy to the original, drunker, angrier, more depressed version of this post, because this morning I took out some of the scarier lines and smoothed out the edges.

*If you haven't seen Top Gun a few dozen times like me, then you're going to be more than a little lost during this section.