Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who's got the clicker?

These are my dogs. Many have had the opportunity to meet them, and many have not. For those who don't know them, "Movie" is the little black one, and "Vodka" is the big White one. It may look like they are having a conversation in this photo, and well, that's because they are.VODKA: He's holding up that little black thing that smells like his hands again.
MOVIE: Yeah, Sometimes I think there is something wrong with him, maybe he's retarded?
VODKA: I probably would have argued that point with you, but yesterday he spent 5 whole hours with a girl and never even sniffed her - you know where.
Then they spoke in "dog" the rest of the time so I couldn't understand what else they were saying.

I have noticed lately that Vodka watches TV, very intently. My brother Josh moved in with me and built this really cool projector screen so that now we have a 9' picture in the room. Prior to this super HD Cinematic viewing experience, I did have a pretty nice 60" screen... but Vodka obviously will only settle for the very best because he never used to watch TV. Sometimes I'll come into the room and he'll be the only one in there.

JOHN: Hey Vodka, whatcha watching?

VODKA: Oh just the "Dog Whisperer", you should see this chihuahua that Caesar is working over this episode, heh heh, what a moron.

He likes all kinds of shows though, including Soccer, Basketball, Survivor Man, and Wildest Police Chases. He hates "The Bachelor" and "The Hills", but I'd probably make fun of him if he didn't, so thats good.

I could have sworn in the movie "Turner & Hooch" that the vet say's "Dogs can't see two dimensional pictures." When asked if the dog could identify the killer. What do I know though, he's definatley watching TV. Perhaps it's because he's 42 now in dog years, and can appreciate good television, or he can see things better because the picture is so big, or because the image is projected, or possibly it's because of the HD, but it's really funny to see him doing it, and kind of fun to always have someone to watch TV with. Even these pictures don't do it justice.

John Maxim

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Prince, O'Conner, or the Gimmes

A few weeks after my divorce (December 06*), I was having a pretty difficult time. I spent a lot of time on my own. As is showcased in many movies and television shows music became my best friend. Mostly depressing - feel sorry for myself - type of music.

I distinctively remember an experiance I had one day. I was standing in my living room, I had been crying most of the day. I had only my underwear on and I was looking at myself in the mirror over my fireplace. I was holding a 2-liter of half drunk Mountain Dew. I was looking at my bare stomach and it's lack of muscle definition, my mind wandered, and I wondered if my belly button was symmetrical... then of course I thought something self depreciating like, "Who cares if its symmetrical, nobody will ever love me anyway."

That's about the time that the song "Nothing Compares 2 U" started blaring on my stereo. You may have heard this song from the original version sung by "Prince", or overwhelmingly more likely you heard the more popular version made famous by "Sinead O'Conner". I happened to be listening to the more recent cover by "Me First and the Gimme Gimmes". I knew the song, but with my current state of emotion I was carefully listening to the lyrics of songs in hopes that I could find an artist who could adequately describe my pain and anguish, and hopefully validate all of my sorrows. While still standing there, instead of relating to the singer, I thought... what a pathetic loser (the singer... not me)! Even though, at the time of this experience I believed that no one ever would compare to my ex-wife, and it seemed that a song titled "nothing compares 2 U" would fit me perfectly. It was all very whiny, I found the singer kind of disgusting and thought I need to make sure I'm not like this sap...

The song played on, and I listened as this line played out, "...all the flowers that you planted mama, in the back yard, all died when you went away..." I looked around and noticed the 4 potted plants that sat in that room. I noticed how already after the last months tumultuous events the plants had been neglected and were starting to wilt. I had never cared for the plants, that was Lara's thing. I thought about the other two plants in the kitchen. I set down my soda, and ran over to the computer to rewind the song, I listened to that line again as if to reinforce what I was about to resolve to do. I would make certain that those plants would not die! The plants health would be a symbol of my triumph over pain and heartache. I was so excited about my new hobby that I watered all of the plants and even took a shower after days of wallowing... I think, despite it being so trivial, that it was the first day after losing our son, that I felt like there was some actual purpose to my life.

I am happy to report that all of the plants are still alive. Mostly. The one pictured to the left was the furthest down the road of death, and it is now one of the healthiest. The one on the right has grown 8 1/2 inches since that day.

These three always look bad, they have never fully recovered, but haven't died either... I replanted each one in better soil and with clay pots, but they still haven't improved. If anyone has any tips or pointers on this I could probably use them.

This poor thing is the one I am worried about, It even bloomed with little flowers this winter, but now no matter what I try it seems like it's giving up.

If I lose one or two, it's been nearly 18 months since she went away, and I can now happily sing "...all the potted plants that you planted mama, in the front room, still live even to this day..." Cheesy? yeah, I know.

I look back on that day though, when I was feeling cold and lonely, standing in my underwear, and I'm glad that Prince wrote that cheesy sad song, whose lyrics I could despise enough to start me on my own personal road to recovery and remind me that I don't care if my belly button is symmetrical cause I'm wicked awesome just the way I am.

John Maxim

* = Originally the author typed '07 when '06 was intended. John would like to thank Quela for pointing out this grievous error.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Adoption Chronicles: The Letter


Hi, this is John, the hopeful adoptive parent of your soon to be born son. I wanted to write you a quick letter, from one man to another. I don’t envy the position you are in, 16 and already faced with some pretty hard life choices. I bet it’s pretty difficult to weigh all of the pros and con’s that come with which ever decision you make.
You are young and you have a lot of life to look forward to. I’m only 10 years older than you, some of the greatest and best times I have had were in my late teens and early twenty’s. I’m a little jealous that that is what you have to look forward to. When we spoke on the phone briefly, I could tell by the intelligent loaded questions that you were asking that you have given this adoption thing a lot of thought. I doubt I will say anything in this letter that is new or that will sway your decision in any way. I figured however I would offer a couple of things for you to consider again.
This decision you have to make, which takes a lot of things into consideration, foremost the child’s best interests and future. Let’s not forget however your best interests and future and Nikki’s best interests and future. Now, it seems that Nikki is not very high on your list of favorite people right now, but obviously she has some redeeming qualities if you spent enough time with her to be in this situation.
What are the child’s best interests?… that’s tough to determine. Should he be with his Mom and Dad who were not planning on having him, who don’t like each other and still have so much of their own life to live and things to learn? Who will also not be living together and not be spending much time together with him. A boy who will probably grow up with a step father and step mother with step brothers and sisters, and have to deal with all of the relationship issues that come with that. People playing favorites in the family, wondering if he belongs. Although on the other hand they are his blood parents, they will love him there is no doubt of that, and they will try their very best to raise him properly. He may never feel like he wasn’t loved or abandoned, never have to wonder who his parents are or feel awkward about what he will say to them the first time.
What are the best interests for you, a father that may only get to see his son occasionally? A Father who will have to pay hundreds of dollars a month in child support for a few hours, maybe a weekend or two a month of quality time. A father who will always wonder worry and probably have to defend the things said by the boy’s mother, grandmother, and step father. Who could possibly be competing with a step father for affection and love? Even competing for the title “Dad”? Although on the other hand a Father that will know and have a relationship with his son. Something that he helped to create. A father that will get to impart of the many life lessons he’s learned and teach his boy how to be a man.
What about Nikki’s best interests. I think a lot of people think you don’t care what happens to Nikki in all this, but I think different. I think that you understand she is in a difficult situation too. She a mother that will have to work the life of a single mother, limiting the time the child gets with her. A mother who will have a difficult time completing high school and college so that she can offer the best lifestyle to her son. Who may never get to pursue her dreams because of a decision she made one night with a boy she really liked at the time. Although on the other hand a Mother that will know and have a relationship with her son. Something that she helped to create. A Mother that will get to impart of the many life lessons she’s learned and teach her boy how to be a man.
What about adoption then. Well I can only tell you the life he would have with us. The boy will be loved; will know that his birth parents were young and unprepared for the task of raising a child. Will know that his birth parents set aside their own wants to selflessly think only of him, because they really loved him! He will know what kind of people his birth parents are, and when he is old enough and ready, he will be encouraged to pursue a relationship with them. You will still get to see him grow up; I will send monthly letters and pictures, updates on how his life is going. Although on the other hand, he may be wondering one day if he was really loved, he will have to deal with the issues all adopted kids do. There may be times he will be confused and feel like he doesn’t belong.
Yes Aaron my friend, a difficult difficult choice lay ahead of you. I only hope you realize and really truly realize that this is your choice to make. Not your Mom’s, not mine, not Nilkki’s Mom. Just you and Nikki. You and Nikki made the choice to have sex all by yourselves; I think that means you also have the right and responsibility to make this choice all by yourselves. Free from other influences.

Best of luck to you. You know we realize that if we don’t get to adopt your son, another family will come along and pick us to be the adoptive parents of their child. I mean we are pretty cool, once you get to know us. There is something special about your son though. Some special connection that I can’t really explain, I’m not very superstitious or spiritual, but there is definitely something there. That’s why we are willing to try a little harder to get this one to work out. Again it’s not our decision. It’s yours, be a man, be mature and do what you think is right.

Thanks for reading, if you actually made it this far.


PS Should you change your mind, and think that adopting to us would be a acceptable compromise to you and Nikki’s differences, we would really like to meet with you and get to know you so that we can let your son know what kind of Man you are.

Friday, April 18, 2008


A few years ago, it became clear that I could not do my own taxes. With my business, 1099's, write offs and stuff like that, the software program that most of the rest of you use makes my head spin. So off of a referral from one of my friends I met my CPA who I'll call "Taxman". He has the uncanny ability to make my personal tax liability not so difficult to swallow. When my friend first referred me he said that the man worked wonders with making the amount of taxes he had to pay shrink significantly, but warned me that this guy was one of a kind. I was able this year to document my experience.

When I arrived at his house I saw two Men come out the front door who had beaming smiles on their faces. They were carrying manilla envelopes and stacks of papers, but laughing with one another as though they had just shared a joke. When I passed them I said "Was it a good year?" One of them nodded and said "Thanks to Taxman it was." I knocked on the door, and after about four minutes I tried the nob. It was unlocked. I walked into the entryway and said, "Hello?" I could hear the faint sound of a TV off in some distant room but there was no response. The smell was pungent, it was almost tangible, like I could have taken a handful for later. As I walked into the house I noticed I had kicked something on the floor... I looked down, and there lay a half eaten chicken drumstick. I knew Taxman officed out of his basement so I headed for the stairs. I thought I heard someone walking in the kitchen as I walked by, I looked but only saw 3 cats eating out of the 5 dishes on the kitchen floor. I started down the stairs, and the stench of stale person mixed with cat and maybe a faint poop smell got thicker as I descended. Another cat passed me on it's way upstairs.
I rounded the corner at the bottom of the stairs the room was a mess, papers and file piled and strewn over three desks and all over the floor. At the first desk sat Taxman. He was sporting a thermal shirt some pajama pants and these rainbow slippers (pictured at bottom of paragraph). He takes the "disheveled look" very seriously during tax season. I said "Hey Taxman." and he didn't acknowledge me at all. I sat down in front of him, and noticed he had his headset on. I thought maybe someone was talking to him. So I waited. While I waited I began to scan the room and look at all of the dead animals mounted on the walls. I counted them, 14 fowl, 9 fish, and 6 deer/elk. I looked at Taxman realizing he hadn't made even the slightest movement. I noticed his eyes were closed. Was he asleep? "Taxman." I said again. His eyes opened up and he said, as though he hadn't been asleep at all, "Hey Maxim, heh heh heh, time to do some taxes, eh?"
We went over my years various debits and credits. He would often tangent off, I was there for about 2 hours and (no exaggeration) 20 minutes was spent talking about tax stuff the rest covered golf, fishing, a few off color Mormon jokes (Taxman quote - "I hate the Mormons but you're a cool guy Maxim") and we spent at least half an hour talking about why he thought at least every Male should experience divorce once in their lives. He was on his fourth wife. I looked at the ground, and noticed the mess. I couldn't help but see the half drank bottle of whiskey on the floor next to someones W-2's and two open mostly eaten cans of cat food. Then I heard snoring. I looked up and Taxman had actually fallen asleep.

I took this opportunity to venture to the restroom which was surprisingly clean. On my way back Taxman said, "Just printing off your returns." then he began to ask me about Oregon's Columbia River Gorge, since I had grown up there and because that is where he was going on a 2 month fishing trip at 8am tomorrow. As walked back to my seat and started to answer his question, I noticed the poop. Actual dried (at least three days old) cat poop on the carpet directly behind where I had been sitting. I mentioned to Taxman that I think one of his cats had left something over here, his reply was, "We all got to shit somewhere."

Personal tax returns = $160
Business tax returns = $200

Spending 2 quality hours with one of the most eccentric individuals I have ever met...

John Maxim

Monday, April 14, 2008

Indestructible no more

John couldn't find his shoes. Josh told him that any old shoes would be good enough but that he probably wanted laces. Since John wore almost exclusively, Vans slip-on's, this narrowed it down to his Adidas Sambas or his church shoes... he couldn't find either. Almost all the rest of his packing was finished. He looked at the clock, it read 3:53am. John knew that Josh would be waking him sometime in the next 3 hours regardless of when he went to sleep. He thought about finding his shoes when he woke, but figured he'd better do it now. After a few more minutes he found one under the couch... then another under the air hockey table. Ahh, sleep.

John's alarm sounded loudly at 7:01am, he quickly hit the snooze button. Nine minutes later, before the alarm could sound a second time Josh came in to make sure John was awake... he half heartedly pretended like he was. John jumped in the shower. They loaded the car and were on the road for Moab by 8am.

John was going to go mountain biking. It would be the first time since he helped his dad put together his Huffy when he was eleven. Back then his off-road skills consisted mostly of jumping off or up a curb. During the 4 hour trip from Salt Lake to Moab, John and Josh covered many topics, and really had some winning conversation. Not till the very end of the trip did John ask, "So what are the tricks to mountain biking? Are their some tips you can give me?" Josh replied, "Yes." John looked at him wanting... "Could you elaborate?" he exclaimed. Josh did explain about balance, how you always want your body strait up and down, so if your bike is going down hill you want to lean back, even back behind your seat. If you are going uphill you want to lean forward, sometimes even to where your chest is resting on the handle bars. Josh also mentioned that you sometimes need to "just let go", he explained that when going down hill the rougher the terrain the faster you should take it, that this would minimize the chances of crashing. He conceded the contradictory sound of this technique but assured John he would understand.

They arrived at a mountain bike trail called "Slickrock". Josh said it was the most famous trail in the world. John figured that meant it was for everyone. As they unloaded their bike John asked, "So, do you actually use your helmet?" The look on Joshes face was answer enough, but he still responded with a "yes." John spent the next 12 minutes just figuring out how to put his helmet on, while Josh got their bikes all ready. Then they took off towards the trail head.

As they arrived John watched as Josh sped up over this little gravel pathway to hit a 3 foot rock wall... that he actually tried to ride up. John, didn't even bother, he thought If this is what I have to look forward to maybe I shouldn't be doing this. Josh noticed the hesitation and reassured him that it would be fine. They headed off. They call this place "Slickrock" because there is no dirt, just hills and hills of solid rock, more comparable to cement. Up and down they went hill after hill. John kept falling off his bike on the up hill climbs because he tried to stand up for added power this would just pop his front wheel up and the bike would fall sideways. John, rode his breaks down hill after hill at some ridiculously steep declines... there was a moment of sheer terror the first time he leaned back so that his butt was behind the seat - which meant the seat was right in front of his family jewels. All of the possible scenarios that could have ended any hope of having future offspring went through Johns mind. He cried out to Josh to make sure he was doing it right because it felt so very wrong. Josh was way ahead though and couldn't hear. After successfully making it up and down about 20 hills, John started to "get his bike legs" as Josh put it. He was more comfortable with his bike and his trail he really started to have fun... except for every 12 minutes or so when they would have to stop because Johns fat flabby body could go no further. The sheer energy needed to do this sport coupled with the fact that John only had three hours of sleep the night before was taking its toll. The ambiance was beautiful, and there were many great sites and landscapes. There were moments when John could see 4x4 jeeps and trucks traversing trails below him. He marveled that he was higher then they were, and he did it on a bike with no motor. Truth is though John was so out of shape he spent a lot of the trip looking at the ground as he pushed his bike over difficult spots.

They had ridden about 10 miles, and were on the way back, now going down slopes they had climbed earlier... On one such slope, that was so steep they decided to walk up it instead of biking. John panicked a little he held down on his brakes and the bike started to skid. At the bottom of this slope, before it flattened out was a 2 foot drop, that bikers were just expected to ride over. Josh who always led the way, had only moments before ridden over the same spot. John whether lazy, tired, or just a little flustered held onto the breaks the whole way through. The front tire dropped slowly of the little 2 foot cliff, and instead of riding through, the momentum just flipped the whole bike and its passenger over the front tired. John cried out and tried to lunge off, but his hands just went out and he watched as the rock speed towards his face. In that moment John thought, "I have a helmet!" He dipped his head forward and though his hands skid across the rock in an attempt to catch himself, he bounced squarely on top of his helmet, and, had the bike not landed on him immediately after, may have gone unscathed. Josh watched John as he writhed in pain. John said "I can't believe I used my helmet!" He picked himself up, and the headed back to the parking lot.

The last two miles were horrible for John. His body would not continue. The fatigue of no sleep and the fatigue of an 11 mile bike ride was more than he could handle... Josh patiently stayed close, but near then end just headed off while John trudged the rest of the way.

They spent the rest of their time in Moab with other friends who had come down. They played games and stayed up late talking, John still had had no sleep at 2am when the fun and festivities were over. They slept for about 6 hours, and then went to the Monticello Temple early, and did one more small bike ride after. They loaded up the car and headed for Logan.

Why Logan? Well, a few weeks ago Josh informed John that "MxPx" one of Johns top three favorite bands of all time was going to be in Logan. Josh loved MxPx too, so they had to go. They drove mostly strait to the venue and got read to rock! MxPx is a harder punk rock band which had they're hey day in the late nineties. The music was loud and the moshing was hard. John jumped, danced, and sang to the music like he always had, but about halfway through the concert something happened that had never happened before... John started to suffocate, almost hyperventilate. He just could not breath, and started to get light headed and see stars. Like a wuss he had to leave the mosh pit and catch his breath. One of the best concerts John's ever been to and his body will not do what he wants it too. He puffed and wheezed off to the side and wondered if perhaps the whole weekend of combined over-exertion just got to him. Or if it was his age catching up to him... He quickly thought of 20 year old John, and determined that even he would have had trouble with this weekends activities. The final song came on and as they sang "...i wanna get into the crowd, i wanna hear it played real loud..." John hurled himself back into the action. His tired body had just enough energy in it to get a good couple of elbows in the back, a few more tablespoons of other peoples sweat on him, and the strength to raise his arms and yell "YEAAAH!!!" with the rest of the crowd.

-Johnny Metropolis

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Every second Sunday of the month, my family gets together for dinner and we usually play any number of games, including but not limited too: nerts, apples to apples, speed scrabble, scene it, imagine if... etc. We are a pretty competitive bunch and it is a lot of fun... and even though I seldom win, I have fun losing gracefully with some sweet trash talk. Anyway we were playing "speed scrabble" a simple game where you ditch the scrabble board and put all the pieces upside down in the middle of the table. Then you grab six random pieces to start, you flip them over to make words in whatever combination you can like a crossword puzzle. When you have used all your pieces successfully you yell "go" and everyone playing must add another piece to their group of letters or puzzle. The process is repeated until all the pieces are gone, then you add up the points on the pieces you couldn't use. It is one of my favorite games, even though spelling has never been my strong suit, and I pretty much always lose. Anyway very seldom does one get good letters from the original six. I got this the other day, which I thought was so hilarious that I had to snap a picture instead of saying "go." I'm not sure what about this as a 30 year old adult I found so funny. Really though, what are the chances that these six letters would come together and happen to spell these two seemingly related words. Not likely.
So, thanks to the marvels of modern technology (phone camera & blog)I have decided to preserve this moment forever. Enjoy.

John Maxim

Saturday, April 5, 2008


In church a couple of weeks ago the Bishop read this thing from the First Presidency about how we should go to our district caucuses and support politics and stuff. I had never heard the word caucus and didn't think too much about it. Later in the week I got a phone call from a friend and client of mine. He explained that he was hosting our districts caucus at his home and invited me to come. I politely said I would without fully intending to do so, and then kind of forgot. The day of the caucus I saw this guy walking by my house as I was planting some new grass and he said "See you tonight." So I figured, what the heck, lets see what a caucus is all about.

I show up, and it's clear that even at the age of 30 I am by far the youngest person in the room. Probably the next closest age to mine was 45, but the average was easily 60. Regardless of the spread I saw a lot of familiar faces. I spend a lot of time in my front yard and I'm pretty friendly so I know most my neighbors, not to mention the time I spent in the family ward where I recognized a bunch of these people from.

I get there, and a lady I had never met was in front of the group conducting. She explained that as a group we would be electing delegates to go to State and County conventions to vote on behalf of the district. I thought that sounded easy enough. The conductor lady asked for nominations, it was pretty quiet and it seemed nobody wanted to speak up... noticing the hesitation she said "You can nominate yourself if you'd like to volunteer." then about four hands went up. The woman wrote their names on the board. Then a woman raised her hand and nominated another guy. The conductor lady wrote his name on the board and said "Maybe we should have each person introduce themselves and then we can vote." While she was talking a little old guy who I knew raised his hand and said, "I would like to nominate John Maxim." He smiled at me as though he had done me a favor, and the conductor wrote my name on the board.

Each person stood to introduce themselves, but their introduction was just political, like for example, "I have been involved in politics for 10 years, and I have been a delegate three times before, I know all about the candidates, and will do my best to vote the way you want me too... and stuff like that." This made me relieved because I knew that my intro would be pretty unimpressive in comparison. My turn came last, and I stood and said "I am flattered to be nominated, but this is my first caucus, in fact I just heard the word caucus for the first time last week. (I awkwardly waited for some laughter here... but it didn't come) I don't know much about the issues or candidates, but I guess if I were elected I would do my best to familiarize myself with everything." I smiled and sat down.

Two delegates were to be chosen, so each of us wrote down two names on a piece of paper and then talked about some other things while they counted the votes... Well, I guess waving at people from your front lawn goes a long way because I got elected! I guess that's what I get for participating for once! Now I have to go spend a whole day at a convention where they suggest you make sure you "bring comfortable shoes". Already I have had three candidates call me and talk to me and ask, "what can I do to get your vote?" I'm tempted to tell them that we could shake hands and if some money accidentally falls into mine then they're it, but being so new to politics I'm not sure when that's appropriate. One things for sure, if a room full of adults decides I am best suited to represent them... those who know me well have to wonder what the world is coming to?

John Maxim

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A hero emerges

As I walked up to John Maxim's home on Saturday, I could hear the rumble of loud music from down the street. I entered through the front door... and it looked like a party - dim lighting, loud music, party trays and beverages on display, but no people. I walked through the house, back into the guitar hero room and I could find nobody? I wondered if maybe the whole party had gone to Molcasalsa, though that activity usually doesn't take place until 3-4 in the morning and only with a select few lingering hardcore party animals. No, it was 9:30, the text invite I got said 9:00. I started to partake of the treats when Josh walked out of his bedroom. He explained that I was the first one there, and that John was in the shower. Things were looking grim for repeating the success of John's New Years Party by 10:00 only a handful of people had showed. My doubts were quickly set aside however as the over the next 30 minutes wave after wave of party patrons came through the door.

Things were going good, at 11:30 there had easily been a few hundred people through the front door. I noticed amidst the frolicking that the door knob had broken off. Nobody fessed up to being the person who actually did it... but there it sat. In light of last party's broken floor it seemed a welcome mishap and John simply shrugged it off.

People were still pretty nervous about the floor. It was bouncing pretty good. Apparently John and Shana decided to go down stairs and see how the floor was doing. Upon initial inspection everything looked fine. There was some bouncing but noting compared to the horror witnessed on New Years Eve. Then Shana pointed out one joist just to the side of the repaired joists which was bouncing more than the rest. Despite Shana's concerns John jumped up underneath the vibrating floor to inspect closely. After a few seconds he frantically started looking at the ground. He said "It's cracked!!!" The joist had a crack in it that was opening and closing like a little mouth as if the the joist was singing along to the music above.

Without any thought for his own life, and knowing that the party must go on, John said "I need to try and brace it." The average man would have just stopped the going's on upstairs. Not John Maxim, no, he looked around for what he had on hand. There wasn't a 4x4 left over that was the right height. So John took what ever materials he could find and started building a beam. After many different combinations where he just couldn't seem to get the right height, he was finally able to get a jack on top of a bunch of a stuff, and jack up into the dance floor while it was thumping. The music went, "to the windooow, to the wall!!!" John went, jack, jack, jack, jack. As pressure started to mount on the beam it became unstable and the stack of items John had collected burst shooting pieces... the 4x4 hit John in the arm and left a nasty bruise. Undeterred, but warning Shana not to stand directly behind him even though she was 10 feet away, John started building again, taking great care to make sure things were balanced evenly. This time around he was able to jack up the beam into the floor with out incident. The crack stopped singing along, and the folks dancing above never even knew that there was a problem. Like Batman without a mask John had saved the day.

The party was pretty much over, only a couple patrons remained mingling. The cops didn't show up until 1:30 in the morning, right as the party was dying down. Near the end of the night after hearing John brag about his heroic endeavor for the hundredth time I asked him if everything else went well. He said, "The party was a big hit, but I missed out on one thing. There is this girl, who I have seen at two parties previous, she is beautiful and so I have been too chicken to talk to her. I promised myself that if I saw her tonight that I would go talk to her. She came, and I was about to go over, but that's when the whole floor thing happened. I was downstairs for nearly half an hour, when I cam back up she was gone... oh well hopefully next time I guess."

With all the fun that was had, I look forward to many more party's at Johns place. I wonder though if its worth all the effort if, at the end of the day, one doesn't get the girl... I guess that's for John to decide.

Johnny Metropolis