Thursday, February 28, 2008

Laser Fag

I guess before I write my intended post I have to make all kinds of justifications and apology's for using the politically incorrect word "Fag" in my title. The word fag is short for faggot, which literally means "bundle of sticks". The story I heard is that sometime between the 12th and 14th centuries, this became a term used to describe effeminate males. The idea being that their work ethic and "manly" capabilities were less than others. The example often used was when the men would gather firewood - rather than bringing back heavy logs they would gather the sticks and twigs. Sarcastically saying "Nice faggot." probably just evolved into "Nice one faggot." Though there are story's of evil bigotry and the burning of homosexuals at the stake with, "the very sticks they gathered." Most historians believe that the term fag or faggot wasn't used derogatively towards homosexuals until the late 1800's, and that it was more likely the result of the aforementioned etymology than unlikely melodramatic coincidence.

Regardless of the origins, a definition of "fag" is: an effeminate male. In the context of this story it means just that. I know several men of alternate sexual preference who are not effeminate at all and could mop the pavement with my face in a game of laser tag, so I just want it clear that I in no way intend for anyone, no matter what team they play for, to be offended. Besides, fag rhymes with the word "tag" and fits wonderfully considering.

The other day, I get invited to play laser tag for my friend Nicole's birthday. I got pretty excited, last time I played was a while ago. I was on a date, and I totally kicked her butt. So my confidence levels were at a peak with the prospect of playing again.

The week prior to the shoot out, I started talking trash to whomever would listen. It would go something like this: "What, you're not coming?... well that's probably good, because when the lights go out I'm like a ninja. You wouldn't stand a chance." or "Trust me, even with my cat like speed and reflexes, I'll have the self control to stop killing you just before you start to cry."

The day came, and as per usual, it's me and a bunch of girls. (see 2/13/08 blog entry) There were a few other guys there, and they were ready for battle. One even came in camo and had a black beanie. I discovered we would be playing underneath black lights... I had my powder blue t-shirt on. I quietly scoffed at everyone else's over preparedness, and started fantasizing about what I could say when it was over and everyone found out I had the most kills.

I had a lot of fun, but my gun broke a couple of times, and I didn't do as well as I had hoped. Still I wasn't prepared when the rankings were posted.

1. camo Dude
2. hot Girl in camo
3. other Dude
4. hot Girl in black
5. other Dude
6. hot Girl in black
7. hot Girl in black
8. hot Girl in black
9. hot Girl in green
10. hot Girl in black
11. hot Girl in black
12. hot Girl in all white
13. John Maxim

There I am, Mr. Ninja, in last freaking place. Worse part is, nobody rubbed it in... that's when you really know people think you're pathetic. They're too worried you'll start to cry or something. So, there you have it, I got beat by a bunch of girls, badly. The reality is hitting me pretty hard right now as I write this. I was very un-ninja like. Luckily they still let me come over and have pizza with them... ... still... ... I think "fag" is fairly appropriate here.

John Maxim

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cop back-talk

John looked into his rear view mirror and noticed the flashing lights of a police SUV. He looked at his speedometer, of which he was thus far aloof. It read 55 and he wondered what the speed limit on this road must have been. John was in Eden. He was there for work, stopping by after an appointment in Logan earlier that day. He had been in his car a long time and was a little frustrated already. As the lanky officer in a brown Sheriff's uniform approached his car he thought, "This had better be quick." John was no stranger to speeding tickets. He knew the process and hoped he could move it along, as to get back on his way as quickly as possible.

Officer: Where are you going in such a hurry.
John: Home.
Officer: Where is home?
John: Salt Lake.
Officer: Do you know how fast you were going?
John: Not really.
Officer: License, insurance, and registration please.
John hands over the info.
Officer: You were going 58.
John: Oh.
The officer scans John's info for a moment.
John: What is the speed limit?
Officer: 50.
This made John a little mad. Eight miles an hour? He started to scoff a little at the thought of the Sheriffs first question. Eight miles an hour is considered "such a hurry." John thought for a moment about throwing out the "I'm not really familiar with the area" excuse... though that was true, it had never worked in the past. Or he could say, "the snow is ten feet high on the sides of the road I couldn't see a speed limit sign." which was also true, he thought, but then the conversation may go longer because the officer would take time to explain where it may have been visible. John figured no matter what he said it would only take longer, and he actually was in a hurry.
Officer: This registration is expired do you have the current one.
John: Uh, yeah.
John shuffles through his glove box.
Officer: This is kind of out-of-the-way to get to Salt Lake?
Slightly irritated and not really thinking John says condescendingly:
John: That depends on where you started.
Holding out his registration John realizes that wasn't very nice and hoped the officer would over look it. He didn't.
Officer: Well where did you start?
John: I started here.
Officer: What were you doing here?
John: I had business.
The Officer had squared his body to the window now and had both fists on his hips.
Officer: What kind of business?
John: I'm building a house here in Eden.
Officer: Where? Which neighborhood?
Then it happened.
John: What is the point of this. Can you just write me the ticket so I can move along.
It was clear that the Sheriff hadn't been talked to this way before. His mouth sat open for a moment. John's mind somehow reverted back to the mindset he might have talking to his younger brother, or a girlfriend he was dumping (funny that those would be the same) His brain was telling him to stop talking, but his mouth kept on going.
John: Look, the longer this takes the more of a hurry I am going to be in. I was speeding, that's been established, write me a ticket and I will get out of your hair. (at some point during this monologue John's hand which was outstretched with his current registration, started spinning in a clockwise motion) The longer this takes the faster I am going to have to drive to get where I am going.
I want to stress here, that this wasn't one of those "John wanted to say this but didn't" situations. These are the words that actually came out of his mouth. The officer grabs Johns registration and says:
Officer: Sir, are you admitting to me that you are going to disobey the speed limit as soon as I give you this ticket.
John: I am not admitting (John thought about making the quoting fingers signal here, but started to realize just how bad this all sounded and decided against it) anything, I'm just saying that if I was in a hurry, a delay would put me into more of a hurry. I just want my ticket, and then I want to go.
Sheriff: I'll be back.
The Officer walks back to his car, and John realizes what he had just said. "How stupid was that" he thought, and then "Now I am definitely screwed." The Sheriff sat in his Dodge Durango for about 15 minutes. Which is a really long time even for a ticket. Clearly, the Officer was taking his time to counter John's belligerent exchange. The Sheriff gets out of his car and walks seemingly slower than before. Then he stops mid-trip and looks to the left. He stands for an excruciating 30-45 seconds just looking off at nothing. Then continues towards Johns drivers side window.
Officer: Sir, I am going to cite you for going eight over, I would have cut you a break and only written it for four over, but for your defiant attitude. (John thought "don't do me any favors, dork" but decided it was in his best interests to hold his tongue this time.) I am going to follow you out of the canyon to ensure that you do not exceed the speed limit again on your way home.
John thought he was bluffing, but decided again it was best to say nothing.
John: Okay.

John signed his ticket, and clumsily told the Officer to have a nice day as he walked back to the Durango. John pulled away from the Sheriff and headed home. As promised the officer followed him all the way out of the canyon. John was really worried that if he went over the speed limit even a mile, that this guy would pull him over again and give him another ticket. John got all the way to the 12th street on ramp in Ogden. As he pulled onto the freeway the Sheriff stopped following him. John realized that his hands had been gripping the steering wheel in the perfect 10 and 2 positions to the point that his hands were sweating and his knuckles had lost a bit of color. John concluded frustration only begets more frustration, all of that trouble for a measly 8 miles an hour.

Johnny Metropolis

Thursday, February 21, 2008

30th speeding ticket

It has been a long time since that day I turned 16 and my Mom gave me the keys to our silver Honda hatchback so I could drive (by myself) to the Circle K in our neighborhood. I still remember the feeling of power and freedom I felt on that first* of many independent trips behind the wheel. It became apparent early on, that that power and freedom was something I was easily tempted to abuse. When I went on my mission three years later I had acquired 13 speeding tickets and had my drivers license suspended. During said mission I was pulled over a few times but the paperwork required to give an American a ticket in England always kept me out of trouble. After my mission I got ticket after ticket, until at the point I got married I had accumulated an additional 12 speeding tickets, the last of which was accompanied by a "driving on a suspended license" (a $500 fine) seeing as it had been taken away again. During my marriage I got 4 more tickets all with the suspended license attachment. At some point, obviously not soon enough, I realized life might be easier and cost a little less if I would just slow down. Making a concerted effort to finally grow up and obey local traffic laws, I have been ticket free for the last two years. I have also again been a legally licensed driver for over a year now. Until yesterday. I received a speeding ticket in Eden, UT for going 8 miles over the speed limit! 8 miles an hour, in a 50! Truthfully, I didn't know what the speed limit was on this road, but it was a State Road, I thought I'd be fine at 60 or 65. For a chronic speeder it's almost humiliating to go down because of 8 measly miles per hour, "John the Speed demon" would have happily drove down that road at 90 miles an hour. And for a guy who was trying desperately to keep from getting pulled over so that his insurance rates would drop, it was a sad and frustrating moment. Which may explain why I acted like such an idiot and only made things worse - I will post that story later. In any case, feel free to congratulate or berate me for my er, uh... accomplishment.

John Maxim

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Just one of the girls

I have recently come to the realization that over the last year or so, all of my close friends are girls. This may come as a surprise to some, and may not to others. I have always been very much a man's man. My whole life I have garnered strong hetero relationships, the type that are so close that people have oft times questioned my sexual preference. On the other hand I have always had several female friends. I am not talking girlfriends, but actual close friends who happen to have girly parts. I know what you're thinking, you're looking at these pictures and saying to yourselves, "what's the problem John, all these girls are beautiful!" It would seem silly for one so-very-ordinary man, with so many attractive members of the opposite sex hanging around to pine over his lot in life. I will concede that were I not the one actually living the aforementioned lifestyle I would think the same thing. However, I have been hanging around with mostly girls only for the past year... and I must be honest it leaves me wanting for some male companionship. Some further explanation is required, because I do still have many close male friends. Cameron, Mike, Adam, Nate, Alan, Logan, Kye, Lynn, Jeremy, Dan, Cody, and the list goes on... they are all married. Unfortunately, every male friend I have is married. I can and do hang out with them frequently, but the social hole I am discovering has more to do specifically with "single" male camaraderie. When I hang out with all the girls, I have fun. Lots of fun. I love them, all of them Mandy, Jaime, Faith, Anmaree, Nicole, Kelly, Kristy, Kate, Laura, Jenn, Christie, and the list goes on. Still I sometimes feel like the little brother who just tags along because he doesn't have any of his own friends. Also you think when I am hanging around a veritable harem of attractive women that I do well in meeting new girls? It's quite difficult. When hangin with my married guy friends, I can't really say, "Hey lets go out and meet some ladies!" often times I have trouble seeing them without their wife present. Which again is not a bad thing, I love all my friends' wives. I think there is a place for all of these friend groups. I am simply missing out on the single guy friends group. My boys... I don't have any. And so the obvious answer is to go out and make some guy friends. Easier said than done folks. We men are not the smartest of the sexes. We don't go out looking to make bonded manly relationships. This touches a little too closely to most of our homophobic nerves. As a single male all that goes through our head is "get chicks, get chicks, get chicks." What we don't realize is that we are pack hunters. When one is the lone wolf it's a lot harder to bring down a sexy fawn. (are you digging on my analogy here, cause I am) Alas, this is one of those situations where I know the problem and its remedy, I'm just not sure how to administer the cure. Most single guys already have a tight brotherhood they belong to. Why would they add to it if they didn't have to, and outsider is competition not support? I wouldn't, I need to build a relationship of trust with a dude before I trust him to have my back in the hard knocks world of dating. As I look back at my life most of the strong friendships I've seen between men bloom while they live together as roommates. My brother Josh, moved into my house, I also have another room in the house I am renting out, so hopefully that'll be a start. The main conclusion I have come to with all this analyzing is that being married is much easier than being single. Because once you've "got chick" then you can just be friends with whomever, and hang out to hang out. We the single have too many underlying and ulterior motives to consider. Which, when put that way sounds like its the wrong way to do things... but marriage is the ultimate goal... isn't it?

John Maxim

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Cobra Starship

I went to a concert last night to see the band "Cobra Starship." I discovered this band thanks to the theme song and video they did for the movie "Snakes on a Plane". A film which contrary to popular opinion I really liked. Cobra is kind of a punk-pop band with a fairly original sound despit the popularity of punk-pop these days. I especially like them because of their sarcastic and obnoxious lyrics. Also I have a thing for hot punk rock chicks, i.e. No Doubt, Save Ferris, Shiny Toy Guns.

Anyway, this concert was held at "The Venue" downtown. As my friends and I walked from our parking spot we walked past mini-van after mini-van with "older-than-me" adults sitting or sleeping in their cars. My mind flashed back to the episode of "The Simpsons" when Homer took Bart and Millhouse to the Spinal Tap concert. I thought, "how old are the kids at this concert." When we entered the building I was surprised to see a lot of young kids. I'm not sure what about this surprised me so much, I remember going to see Metallica in 1993 (when I was 14) as a kid. I don't remember feeling young then. Now though, for the first time in my life I felt uncomfortably old. There were plenty of other people there my age, well, at least close to my age... except for the one guy with the bald spot and the mullet, I might have been the oldest person there, but not by more than a year or two. The concert was outstanding, and despite my age-ist feelings I had a pretty great time.
So now I have to wonder, will the "I'm getting to old for this" factor keep me from going to as many concerts in the future? Am I doomed to only attend concerts for bands that were big in the 90's? Or, will I quit going to concerts altogether? The answer remains to be seen, I mean I am going to 3 concerts between now and March 15th. But up until last night the only reason I have ever had not to go to concerts is the feeling of failure I feel because I never became a Rock Star... and the ringing ears I have to deal with till around 4pm the following day. (which, if I remember ear plugs is a problem of the past.) The only thing that is certain is that I'll always like mosh pits, even if that means a 250 lb 17 year old knocks me on my butt (broke my ankle last May in a mosh pit) and whether moshing, dancing, standing or sitting, I do love live music.
John Maxim

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


John woke up early this morning. It wasn't his alarm that woke him, no, he just woke up. This was because he had fallen asleep around 10:30 the night before right in the middle of an episode of Dark Angel. John used to brag about the fact that he never fell asleep when he was watching something... alas in the last year something has changed. His body just got old. It wasn't gradual like you'd expect. It just happened, one night he got tired, exhausted. The energy that he had always cherished was gone. Now a days, if he closes his eyes for a second, even amidst the most exciting scene a movie or TV show could manage, he would fall asleep almost instantly.

Since he was up, and it was 6:00 in the morning, John figured he'd go to the gym and get a little work-out in. When he arrived, it was business as usual, a 20 minute warm up on the elliptical, and then over to the weights. John never came to the gym on Tuesdays, he always did a Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine. While doing some rigorous bicep curls a girl walked past him in regular gym wear. John took notice and didn't feel guilty as this is common practice at the gym. He of course always takes part in this looking ritual, however he's never had high hopes for meeting women at the gym. The type of girl one finds at the gym at 6 or 7 in the morning all seemed a little too far outside of John’s preferred mold. Too much bleached hair, breast augmentation, and leather tanned skin for his tastes. When he saw this girl he figured it'd be a bit of the same and he didn't give it a second thought.

A few moments later, after lifting his head up from the drinking fountain, John looked up as this girl was walking towards him. It was the same girl who had just walked by. She was beautiful! Beautiful! Like in the top 5 of all time girls he had ever seen. John froze with his hand still pressing the fountain button and he stared. She caught his gaze for only a moment, and then looked at the ground. John tried to move but his muscles wouldn't budge. The girl turned down one of the isles of weight machines, and John's eyes followed her. Just as he thought "I need to stop staring" she looked over at him as if to check and see if he was still looking. He was. She smiled! As far as John was concerned, time had stopped... then he realized that his mouth had been open for this whole experiance, and all of the sudden time started to move very quickly. He awkwardly tried to convert his gawk into a smile. As John's awareness of just how ridiculous he must have looked sunk in, this time he was the one who broke the glance and looked down at the fountain, which was still running. He leaned over to take a drink, to try and cover his cowardess. When he finally looked up again she was across the room working on a machine.

John had never been good at meeting strangers, more specifically strangers who were attractive members of the opposite sex. He spent the next 30 minutes of his workout, strategizing and formulating some sort of game plan - and uh working out too. He looked for a ring, she didn't have one. He didn't think that meant much though... he even looked to see if any of the other girls had rings on, and he only found one, so he surmised that either all of these girls are single or some women take off their rings when they workout. Then John realized it didn't matter, what was he going to say? Girls don't go to the gym to get hit on. Maybe he could offer her some advice on one of the workouts she was doing, but John knew that he didn't know anything about exercising so that would probably make him sound stupid. Maybe something funny like starting his sentence out with "Since I am obviously the strongest guy in here..." (this would be funny because it's so blatantly obvious that he is not). Nothing seemed appropriate and John sort of decided that no matter what he did he would crash and burn if he were to attempt anything. So he gave up and just hoped that she would come up and hit on him. He diecided that if she did, he wouldn't try to play hard to get, he would just say yes. John finished his workout fantasizing that she would say something to him... even though that has never happened before.

She didn't.

Johnny Metropolis