humour

Sunday Chuckle: Slick Willie

Cleaning out Jen’s mom’s basement has been an adventure. I found some cool LPs and CDs (still sealed!) that we’ll look at another time. For now, something amusing.

In the 1990s Jen was dating a guy who not only wished he was American, but also wished he was a Republican. Long before any orange-skinned presidents sullied the name of the Republican party, Jen and her then-boyfriend even attended the inauguration of George W. Bush.

We found “Bill Clinton’s presidential driver’s license” in the house (see below)! This must have been her boyfriend’s possession. Let us take you back to the nostalgic glow of the 1990s, when it seemed like the worst thing a president could do was deny having sexual relations with “that woman”!

As soon as I saw it, I said “I’m keeping this”!

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#695: Don’t Forget to Lock It!

GETTING MORE TALE #695: Don’t Forget to Lock It!

The most important part about closing the Record Store was also the easiest. It wasn’t balancing the cash, or leaving the store in good shape for the morning shift. It wasn’t setting the alarm. It was simply remembering to lock the door on your way out.

When it comes to locking up, I had the best life experiences to remember by. After all, it was my dad who used to make locking up a long, drawn out exercise.

When we used to go to the cottage for the weekend, my dad would make 200% sure that we locked up the house. My mom, sister and I would be waiting in the car, in the driveway, for him to finish checking. He’d exit the house by the front door, check it a few times, and then go out back to check the back doors and windows. Then he’d come back out front and check the front door again. If he was being extra careful, he might run back to check the back door one more time. Then, we could leave.

Leaving the cottage was the same routine. Exit by the front door, lock it, and make sure. Run out back. Check the back doors and windows. Check the front once more before leaving.  Repeat as necessary.

We teased teased my dad about it.   Once, after he got into the car, I jumped out and said “I have to check something!” I then checked the front door and ran out back to check there too before returning to the car. It was pretty funny, I thought.  Not sure he got the joke….

When it came time to be an adult with grown-up responsibilities, locking up the house, or car, or store was never an issue with me.  (It’s an issue with Mrs. LeBrain, but that’s a whole other story or two.  There’s a reason I made a sign that said “LOCK ALL DOORS AND WINDOWS BEFORE YOU LEAVE”.)

I would always be doubly careful. There were times, more than one occasion, when I could not distinctly remember locking the door at the Record Store. Rather than worry all night, I’d jump back in the car and make sure. I never did actually leave the door open, but taking the 30-40 minutes to drive back and confirm was worth while.  Much better safer than sorry.

I was absolutely furious one morning when I came in to work and the door was unlocked. As discussed in #489: I Forgot to Remember to Forget, it only happened once. Thankfully no thieves tried the door. If they had, they would have had free entrance. I can’t remember who left the door open…but I wanna say it was a night shift with Dave Quon and The Boy Who Killed Pink Floyd. Clearly, they didn’t have dads like mine.  If memory serves, each of them thought the other guy had locked up.

Locking car doors was also something drilled into us, before the era of remote door locks. I was stopping at a convenience store with one of the guys from work. As we got out of the car I reminded him, “Don’t forget to lock it.” Some dirtbag hanging out in front of the store yelled mockingly, “Yeah better sure you lock up that Ferrari there.”

Not the point!

As much as it annoyed us as kids, I’m glad our dad drilled “don’t forget to lock it” into our heads. It helped a lot when it came to adult life. Nothing was ever left unlocked at the Record Store by me, and I think indirectly they need to be thankful to my dad. He personally trained their employee (me) on locking the doors.  I think my dad deserves a bonus! Or a free CD, or a T-shirt!

#686: Puke!

GETTING MORE TALE #686: Puke!

 

Almost everybody hates puking.  It’s one of the most unpleasant bodily functions, and everyone does it.  Especially rock stars!  I remember reading an interview with the rock band Kix in Hit Parader magazine.  On the subject of tour stories, one of the guitarists was sick during one show.  He had a puke bucket at side stage, but he missed and the puke ended up hitting an electric fan, which splattered the vomit all over the drummer.  “But he felt better for about half a song!”

On the less funny side, too many rock stars died after choking on their own vomit.  Jimi Hendrix and John Bonham come to mind.  It’s a tragic way to go, when the rock and roll lifestyle eats its own young.  Unfortunately the lessons are not always learned and rock and roll continues to be littered with tragedy.

But let’s keep it light this time.

I have always been a power-puker.  I wake up the neighborhood.  I’ve never puked on stage like the guy from Kix, but I do have a couple rock and roll stories.

At Sausagefest several years ago, I pushed it one step too far.  Not with alcohol, but with food.  That last sausage was a little undercooked and it didn’t feel right in my stomach. I was OK though the Saturday night countdown, and I went to bed after the music ended.  I slept in my car that year, and I started feeling sick after a very brief sleep.

I woke up and I knew I was going to puke.  I got out the car and walked towards the middle of the field.  I didn’t want to puke near anybody’s tent.  I could hear that some of the guys were still up and partying, but I couldn’t see anything.  And then, I released the hounds:

BRAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGHHHHHHAAAAHHHHH!

BORRRUGHHHHHEEEEERRRRRRRHHHHHEEEH!

PLAGHHHOUUGGGGGHHHHHEAAAAAAR!

“You OK there buddy?” I could hear Tom asking from somewhere in the dark.

“Yeah I just ate too much,” I responded as I recovered.  “Can you get me a bottle of water from my car?”

Tom made sure I was OK, and I slept great after that.  I have no idea how late those guys stayed up, but I know that some years I have woken up in the morning only to find Uncle Meat and Bucky still hadn’t gone to sleep!  There I was going for my morning shit, and these guys were still hanging by the fire.

It happened again a few years later, after Thanksgiving dinner at the cottage.  I blame my mom for this one.  She laid out way too much food, including tables full of chocolate and candy.  As I did at Sausagefest, I ate too much.  I woke up in the middle of the night again, knowing I was going to puke.  I didn’t want to wake anyone in that small cottage so I went outside to the back yard.  Then, once again, I released the evil from my stomach.

BRAAHHHHGGGGGHHHHRRRRRRRRTTT!

BLUUUGGGGGGPPPPPPFFFFFFFFFFFF.

HUUUAAAAAAHHHHHHHGGGGG!

I walked back into the cottage to find that I did in fact wake everyone, despite my best efforts not to.

Here’s the funny thing.  In both cases, the puddle of puke was gone in the morning.  Eaten by wild animals?  Hope they enjoyed the meal!

 

#676: Cry For Help (VIDEO)

GETTING MORE TALE #676: Cry For Help

My best impression. Based on true events.

Sunday Chuckle: A Call from “Visa Mastercard”

Big thanks to Craig Fee over at 107.5 DaveRocks for this one!

During Craig’s live “Tedious Tiresome Trivia” segment on the Tuesday afternoon show (on which he takes live phone calls), he received a call from Ray at “Visa Mastercard”.  The entire thing went out on the air, live, just as you hear it below.  There’s nothing Craig loves more than messing with a solicitor calling into his show. Needless to say, things go wonky very quickly.

What I learned from “Visa Mastercard” on this call is that, apparently, your credit card number is not personal information.  It’s right there on the face of the card, so that makes it public…apparently.  “Anyone can see that or memorise that,” according to the “Visa Mastercard” rep (“not a third party!”) that unwittingly called a radio station.

Please enjoy!

 

#657: GUEST SHOT! Operation: Van Halen (Derek’s Story)

GETTING MORE TALE #657: Operation: Van Halen (Derek’s Story)
Guest post by guitarist and songwriter Derek Kortepeter

Alright, so I’m pretty sure all of us can relay some embarrassing moments from our teenage years. I dunno if it’s the changing hormones or what, but we tend to be pretty damn stupid in these formative years. I have been thinking about my teen years a lot recently, most likely since my high school 10 year reunion is coming up in 2019.

I don’t if it’s nostalgia or what, but I have suddenly been reliving a lot of moments from this time. Here’s something you have to know to know about me first before I start my story. I spent most of my education in public schools in Southern California, namely elementary school and college (two years at a Pasadena City College and then three at UCLA as a transfer student). I switched to a small Christian K-12 school for middle and high school because of bullying (cops got involved, nasty stuff). While I was a working class kid of a single mom, this small school had scholarships and financial aid that made it possible for me to attend.

It is at this small school in “SoCal” that my story takes place. This story involves a CD; well, two CDs to be exact. You see, music has been my obsession my entire life (it eventually became what I studied in college). I had a far ranging interest in all kinds of music from around the world but as a teenager rock, namely punk and metal, amped me up the most.

Above all bands was Van Halen.

Pretty much every person that knew me also knew how obsessed I was with the band. It didn’t matter what incarnation of the band, I owned every damn CD and cut my teeth as a guitarist on all those records.

So while I was a teenage metalhead and punk, what went along with that was that I was a bit of…let’s say, a social anomaly. I didn’t really fit into any clique, but most knew me as a decent guy who was just a tad obsessed with Eddie Van Halen. To go along with this, I was horrifically shy around girls I found attractive.

Awkward doesn’t even really cover it, but holy shit did this come to a head in a hilariously embarrassing way with a girl I liked from age 14 to age 15 (this story ranges from late middle school to early high school). Let’s call this girl “S” so that this never makes it back to people I know. Remember how I mentioned that I was a bit of a social misfit? This girl S wasn’t. In fact, she was popular.

Very. Popular.

My dumb ass had the bright idea to get a crush on a (future) cheerleader who hung around (future) jocks that hated my guts (incidentally I did play starting right tackle on the high school football team) and boy was I about to make my mark. Remember how I mentioned that I was shy around girls? Yeah, that meant I couldn’t hold a conversation without my voice cracking from nerves.

So I had a plan to say something without too many words. I was going to go old school and make a mix tape for her since my conversations were very limited. “Oh man S, is going to so dig this! She’ll love that I shared this amazing band with her,” I thought to myself. The thing is, it was my 8th grade year in the early 2000s so cassettes weren’t the thing anymore. As such, I made her a mix CD.

Not just any mix CD though. A VAN HALEN mix CD.

All the classic Roth and Hagar love songs were there man, it didn’t matter that S was more of a Mariah Carey fan, I figured NOBODY could deny the mighty VH.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA BOY WAS I WRONG.

Once I made the CD I approached her locker shaking like my apartment during an earthquake and the conversation went something like this.

Me: Hey… uh… hi S!

S: Oh hi Derek.

Me: So uhhhh…I really like Van Halen…and I…uh…(reaching into my backpack) made this CD for you.

S: Ok?

Me: Yeah…soooo…let me know what you think…k bye!

A day passed and I approached her again towards the end of the day. I figured “OK dude, this is it, you’re gonna find out how much she dug it!” Cue scene:

Me: So… how did you like Van Halen?

S: (nods slightly, forces a polite smile) Yeah… it was… pretty good.

Me: Cool! I, um, yeah cool see ya!

Later on I found out that she didn’t even listen to the damn thing. Friends of mine standing near the “popular group” heard that she didn’t even want the CD and tried to hand it over to guys in the group that liked metal. Major bummer.

But I wasn’t finished embarrassing myself hooooooooo boy I was just getting started.

The 8th grade year ended and I continued to make awkward conversation with S and left a couple of really geeky messages on her home answering machine (FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY). On the last day of the end of the year I was risking my neck by wearing a Van Halen t-shirt (band shirts were banned by the fascists at my school). I wore it in rebellion of the fact that we were going to have to wear uniforms starting my freshman year of high school. That day I got her to sign my yearbook and she wrote, I’m paraphrasing more or less, “you’re awesome, never change <3 –S”

DUDE SHE PUT A HEART OMG.

You see I didn’t realize at the time that girls just do that sort of thing, so I figured I still had a chance. Anyways, I got made fun of quite a bit by the jocks for the whole Van Halen thing, but still liked S. Come freshman year I was a starter on the football team (still not a jock…just was a great lineman), and S had recently had her birthday.

Operation Van Halen part 2 was on.

This time I made a pastel artwork for her (I was a decent artist back then) and… also made another fucking mix CD. This time it was mixed with some more recent bands popular at the time, but still had Van Halen and also some solo Roth and Hagar as well.

Conversation follows here:

Me: So… I have something for you, wait here (I run into the athletic locker room and get the gift).

Me: (hands the artwork and CD over) Happy birthday S.

S: (stares blankly) Oh… you didn’t have to do that (gives awkward hug).

Me: (freaking out that she hugged me) Yeah…uh happy birthday, bye!

In the year that followed this solidified my place in the pantheon of stupidity as the hostility of the jocks increased since I continued to try to pursue a chick outside of my social standing. Eventually I gave up and moved on with my life. Van Halen became a running joke among the popular crowd (one jock grabbed my yearbook and wrote VAN HALEN SUCKS just for “lolz”).

Joke was on them though, I eventually became a really great guitarist (I’m sure Mike can testify to this) and performed frequently in front of the school. My senior year the leader of the worship band asked me to play this Steve Vai piece; I won 2nd place in the talent show for (most people thought I was robbed of 1st). Incidentally, I was placed right in front of S and her pals for the performance.

I wonder if she remembered those stupid CDs I made.

Sunday Chuckle: Dr. WHO?

Long time readers know that LeBrain’s dad is a unique and hilarious individual.  That’s why I have an entire category dedicated to “Shit LeBrain’s Dad Says“.   One of his quirks is refusing to call things or people by their proper names.  Therefore, “Lady Gaga” is “Lady Googoo” and he never called any pet we owned by their proper names.  Crystal = “Gozer”.  Ani = “Johnny”.

His latest name invention belongs to Jen’s surgeon, Dr. Sugimoto.  It came to me as no surprise when he asked, “So what does Dr. Quasimodo think of Jen’s recovery?”

Sorry, Dr. Sugimoto, that’s just the way my dad is!  It’s easier for him to remember names if he just makes them up.

 

Sunday Chuckle: All the Chuckles — the complete list

Sunday Chuckle was a new feature in 2017 — just something to read over your morning coffee to make you smile.  Would you like to see the Sunday Chuckle return in 2018?

Here in one handy-dandy location are all the 2017 Sunday Chuckles.  Some are still funny, some are duds, but here they are!  Thanks for reading along this past year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Chuckle: Clear Eyes II

A followup to Sunday Chuckle:  Clear Eyes

Took my early morning walk recently.  One of the roads we like also happens to be a hideout for teenage stoners.  I found a “Clear Eyes” dropper for those red stoner eyes last time.  This time, I think the stoners were rolling blunts!

 

Yah, mon.

#598: “Seven”

Here’s a very special story for a very special day. September 18th is the day I met my wife! Happy “meetaversary” sweetie.

GETTING MORE TALE #598: “Seven”

When dating, there are many rites of passage on the road to a long term relationship.  For either sex, one of the usual hurdles is meeting the “best friend”.  If the best friend doesn’t like you, your whole relationship could be doomed.  It happened to me and it could happen to you!

I met Mrs. LeBrain on Sept 18 2005.  We made contact like most people these days, first online and then in person.  Meeting people online in 2005 wasn’t as mundane as it is today.  Jen had never met someone from online before.  We’ve told the tale of meeting before – from both perspectives.  Mine was Record Store Tales #111:  The Girl in the Sam Roberts Shirt.  Her version was Getting More Tale #434:  The Man in the Bob Marley Shirt.  Needless to say, music is important to both of us.

There was one thing Jen failed to do, and that was inform her best friend Lara that she was meeting someone over the internet.  She knew Lara wouldn’t approve.  Once we started dating regularly, she had to come clean.  As predicted Lara wasn’t impressed that she would go and meet some random internet dude without telling her.  She was in trouble!  And so was I, just for existing secretly!

Jen arranged a coffee meet up.  We picked up Lara and her friend Dave, and headed over to the nearest Tim Horton’s.  I was pleasantly surprised by Lara.  Jen had made her out to sound evil and dangerous.  She seemed anything but!  Funny, smart, and clearly someone who cared deeply for her best friend.  We got along immediately.

At one point in the evening, Lara asked me, “On a scale from one to 10, how pissed off would you be?”

I didn’t understand.  “Pardon?”

“On a scale from one to 10, how pissed off would you be?” she answered.

“Well, I’m a pretty easy going guy, so I’d say about a three.”  Hypothetically, of course.

Secretly, inside, Jen was worried what this meant.  She said nothing, nor did Dave.

We continued to drink our coffee and chat.  Lara liked science fiction, so we had that in common.  In Canada, sitting around a Tim Horton’s all night drinking coffee (or tea in Lara’s case) is a pretty common pastime.  My wife can really drink coffee like a champion.  If there was a Stanley Cup of Coffee, she would win it every season.

We made tentative plans for a future meet up, when suddenly –

RRRRRRRIIIIIP!

Lara reached over, grabbed my soul patch hair, the part right below my bottom lip, and YANKED HARD.  I looked wide-eyed to see my own facial hair in her fingers.

She asked again, “On a scale from one to 10, how pissed off would you be?”

My answer was immediate.  “SEVEN!  DEFINITELY SEVEN!”

And that is why to this day, all of Lara’s kids and their friends call me “Uncle Seven”.  My nickname became Seven, irreversibly and permanently.  It’s been over ten years and I’m still Uncle Seven.  In fact, here is an actual conversation that I had with her son Tyler, and his girlfriend.  It was Tyler’s 19th birthday:

Mike:  “Tyler, you’re an adult now, you don’t have to call me Uncle Seven anymore.  Just call me Mike.”

Tyler:  “OK Seven.”

Girlfriend:  “Wait…your name is Mike? I thought it was Seven.”

Mike:  “…You thought my real name was Seven?!  Who the hell would name their kids a number?!”

Girlfriend:  “There’s a girl named Eleven.”

Mike:  “Yeah!  On a TV show!  And it wasn’t her real name!!”

 

The fact that I took Lara’s little “test” as a joke meant that our friendship was solidly guaranteed.  I passed!  We’ve been tight ever since.