Hola, amigos. Whuddup? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I been knee-deep in the hoopla. First of all, I been working my fingers to the bone at my new job in a cell phone store. I gotta be out on the floor of this tiny-ass shop all day, five days a week. I only got a cell phone myself like last year, but the manager saw that I used to work at an electronics chain and figured I must know something about this kind of shit.
I know enough to fake it. When people ask me questions, I jut pretend to look it up online and then say yes. Lately, people have been asking me if our cell phones cause cancer. I just pull out my phone, pretend to make a call, and tell them, "If our phones caused cancer, would I do this?" That usually makes them pretty happy, and they walk out.
Besides that, I got involved in a little bit of a fender bender last month. On my lunch break I got Quiznos from across the parking lot, and since it was raining, I drove there. That's when some jackass in a giant SUV ran into me, dented my fender, and broke my fog light. He blew a stop sign and everything. I was like, "We gotta call the cops, unless you don't want them involved." He got my drift, gave me 80 bucks, and took off. Good thing he did, too, or I would have been all up in his shit. In any case, I'd smoked up right before the ride, so I didn't want the cops involved either.
The Festiva wasn't that fucked up at all. I popped the dent out with a hammer, no problem, and I found the replacement light on the Internet for like $30. I had to track down my pal Wes so he could help me order it. I don't see him so much since he moved in with his girlfriend a couple years back, but he still has his credit card and it was good to catch up with him.
The biggest deal lately is what happened with my luxury accommodations. I decided my pad needed a style update, and since my couch was covered with rips and burn marks, I was keeping my eye out for a replacement. Then one night I was driving home and saw a great one sitting on a curb. Make no mistake, this was a good-looking piece of furniture.
Most people throw their couches out because they were peed on by dogs or cats or both. I've been burned by some of those before. It looks fine, you drag it home, but once it gets warm in the apartment, forget it. You can't open your windows wide enough. Well, I gave this one the old Anchower Sniff Test, and it passed, so I grabbed it.
It took a lot of doing to get it in the Festiva. About three feet was sticking out the back, so I took the quiet roads home and drove real slow. I threw the old couch out, put the new one in, and commenced with some major-league sitting.
About a week later, I woke up with a rash all over my arm and chest. I wasn't really freaked out since I had rashes before, but this looked pretty harsh. I got some lotion, hoping that would clear it up, but the next day, it was on my other arm and my face, too. I ain't some kind of pretty boy, but I don't like my mug covered with sores, so I went to the doctor. He told me it looked like bedbugs, then he went to wash his hands.
I had crabs before, but this was totally worse. I had to throw out pretty much everything. My new couch, my bed, the throw rug I got. All of it went out on the curb. I even had to throw out my beer-can pyramid, but I got five bucks for the aluminum cans, so I guess it wasn't all a waste. I seen some guys grab the rug, and I thought about saying something, but they'll find out soon enough.
There was no way I was going to pay for an exterminator, so I called my landlord and said that I didn't know what kind of place he was running, but he better take care of it. The exterminator came the next day. I was supposed to stay out of there for like 24 hours, but everyone I called to see if I could crash already had people visiting. Anyway, the place got sprayed in the morning, so by the time I got home it'd been eight hours, which I figured was enough. I slept on some plastic chairs I picked up at the Target for five bucks.
The good thing is that I had to wash all my clothes, so I've got two weeks before I run out of clean skivvies and have to freeball it again. I don't remember the last time every piece of clothing I owned was clean.
I should have known it was too good to be true, a couch that looks like that, brown velvet with no rips or stains and not smelling like pee. Man, no one throws away a piece of furniture that fine. From now on, I'm not pulling anything out of the garbage until I ask the owners if they got bedbugs. And I hope that happens soon, because I am tired of sleeping on a pile of blankets on the floor.
Jim Anchower joined The Onion's editorial writing staff in 1993 after several distinguished years on The Come Back Inn dishwashing staff. He comments on community-affairs, automotive, and employment issues. He attended LaFollette High School in Madison, WI.