The Recruitment Process

As soon as I wrote the words “hobo hunting” I got this blast from the Alternative Nation/120 Minutes past stuck in my brain hole. Now I am sharing it with you in the hopes that we will all perish together in the gorge of 90’s alt-rock insanity.

So today, one year to the day that my indoor air handler died and cost me $3000, my outdoor AC unit went kaput. It’s $5400 to replace it. It’s going to be 108+ degrees in my neck of the inferno called Texas for the next couple of weeks and living without AC is NOT an option. Any one time donations made in the month of August will be applied directly to the AC fund. If you would like to get something other than karma in return, expect a “HOLY FUCK $5400 FOR A NEW AC HEY MAYBE BUY SOME CUSTOM SKETCHES” announcement Monday.

Speaking of Fancy Sketches: I am finishing up the current batch of Fancy Sketch drive sketch cards and hope to mail them out next week. I’m really happy with how they are turning out and I’m putting some extra juice into them, so I hope those of you that ordered will feel your patience has been rewarded.

COMMENTERS: Has a friend ever tried to get you to tag along for a terrible idea? If you went along, was it because you were equally bad at decision making or you just wanted to keep them safe? Any close “if I would have gone, then I would have suffered horrible consequences too!” close calls? Why are your friends so dumb? Maybe get some less dumb friends.

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  1. Panel 1: "TOGET"

    Also, I ended up with a juvenile record because of some "friends" and a bad idea. Joke's on them, though. I was hammered, and I was the only one who didn't get slapped with under-aged drinking. Just for breaking curfew.

  2. I remember when Razor Scooters got popular my friend wanted to go bomb down a steep and windy road that lead up to a hill lookout point. Now I had some reservations because I far exceeded the 250lb weight limit and that you could hit 40mph coasting down the hill in a car. He convinced me, probably by waving a bag of pot in front of my face. He went first and being quite skinny and riding the brake most of the way made for an almost leisurely 20mph jaunt. So then its my turn, a few seconds in I realize the back tire is starting to smoke and melt meaning I don't get a 20mph jaunt, I get a full speed 45mph white-knuckler. Somehow I don't crash, even barely using the brake the back wheel is half gone. Against my recommendation my friend decides to go again. Halfway down the hill the back tire explodes and he cartwheels tumbles and rolls down the road at 30mph, he was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, road rash all along both arms and down one side of his back and torn up knees. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen, to this day It still makes me laugh.

  3. I used to game at a friend's country house, the driveway of which was a quarter-mile stretch of straight, hard dirt road. One game day, I happened to be catching a ride with another friend out to this house. As we turned into the driveway, we found ourselves facing the homeowner and another friend, the pair of whom had apparently decided to go for a little walk whilst awaiting our arrival.

    The homeowner immediately stepped out of the way. Our other friend stayed put, forcing the driver to brake. The guy then walked up and sat on the hood of the car. I glanced at my friend who was driving. I saw the look in his eye. Before I could open my mouth to say "bad idea," he had hit the accelerator and the car was off.

    After a couple of seconds of quick acceleration, he braked. Hard. Our friend on the hood shot forward, took one or two comically large, gawky, attempting-to-catch-his-balance steps, then collapsed face-first in a cloud of dust.

    The cap he had been wearing fluttered gently to the ground. He was still. The dust settled.

    "Oops," the driver replied.

    The homeowner came running up from behind and met us we stepped out of the car. Our friend remained face-down in the road as we approached, and I really thought, for just a minute, we might have killed him. Just as the driver was tentatively reaching out a hand to prod him, the guy coughed and cursed.

    As all ended well, we still laugh about this.

  4. In the middle of what would normally have been an extended night of barhopping in Fort Lauderdale during grad school, a friend of mine decided he really wanted some cocaine, and he knew a dealer, and we should go. I knew this was a terrible, terrible idea, not least because he had recently quit doing coke (recently being the day before, when he flushed his entire stash down the toilet, and he'd spent the entire night so far talking about it). I also knew he was liable to do something stupid. But I did not accompany him to keep him safe from stupidity, which I knew him well enough by then to know wasn't possible. To my own shame, I figured there would be a story in it, and I didn't want to try to do the right thing and stop him being stupid. Also, I was three sheets to the wind anyway.
    There was a story in it… it was a good one, but too long for this space. It culminated in the dealer's boyfriend wandering around his yard shouting at the top of his lungs that he couldn't find his shoes while my friend, who hadn't yet come out of the closet, made out with the dealer in front of the television. It was an interesting night.

  5. Does Josh have a Josh bobblehead on his desk? I want one!

    In high school, I had nothing BUT dumb friends! We once drove 4 hours to an all-weekend concert where the headliners were Great Big Sea, of all the dumb crap, and the truck only had seats for 3, so the other 4 of us just rode lying in the back of the open truck down the highway! We're so lucky we didn't die! Then there was the time we had a huge party in the woods, and everybody got plastered and started making molotov cocktails and throwing them into the fire pit! Never do that!! I can't stress that enough! We were cowering behind cars and trees while bottles exploded! And there was the time a bunch of guys I know decided to break into a construction site to steal something… I don't know what… I was smart enough to leave, and they all got arrested and charged with trespassing and public drunkeness, or something. Morons.

    Sadly, though, I'm still friends with most of these people. 🙂

  6. My roommate and I used to take the bus to a local comic shop every week to pick up new comics. She's the kind of person who actively collects comics, I just sort of pick up what looks cool and let her tell me the entire history of the X-men on the bus ride. A comic she had been waiting for had just come out and she was begging me to come with her to go get it. In a blizzard. Now, the bus didn't actually go to the comic shop, so this trip involved getting off at a pretty iffy bus stop, trekking across to car lots (and avoiding the salesmen) and walking on a slightly precarious sidewalk along the edge of a highway. And she wanted to do this in several feet of snow. I was disinclined to agree. She swayed me with the promise of buying me a Teen Titans comic.
    We somehow survived the trek to the shop and found our shiny new comics. Reluctant to leave, we hung out for a bit and talked with the owner and his friend for a while before we checked out. My roommate pulled out the roll of quarters her mom had sent for laundry money when the owner's friend pulled our his wallet and paid for our comics. "There, that's my good deed for the day," he said, "Now I can go kick a puppy or something."
    So the terrible blizzard idea turned into free comics. That probably explains why I went along with so many of her other terrible ideas.

    • No…Josh is a bear. Although there was a persistent rumor he tried out the "plushie scene" back in the 90's.

      I apologize in advance to anyone who Googles the term plushie and can never unsee what shows up.

  7. I have a friend who, for a while in the late '90s, was trying to convince a bunch of us to make a road trip to Devil's Tower. 'Cause, y'know, "Close Encounters," right? Devil's Tower is in the middle of nowhere in Crook County, Wyoming. The nearest town, Spearfish, is an hour away. There are no facilities at the monument.
    I wasn't able to Mapquest Devil's Tower itself, but the shortest route from my current home to Spearfish is–wait for it–ONE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY-TWO MILES, or 25 hours and 45 minutes if you go straight through. Figure about 30 hours if you allow for fuel stops and bathroom breaks. And then, of course, we would camp out in the shadow of the Tower. And that would be the whole purpose of the trip. So figure over 3300 miles over two to three days to look up and say, "Yup, that's Devil's Tower."
    Oh, and he said we could maybe stop off at Mount Rushmore on the way out or back, which I'm stunned to realize isn't quite as insane as I thought 15 years ago–it's roughly a hundred-mile detour.
    And we would have been making this trip in two or three cars, depending on the number of people coming along.
    The trip never happened.

  8. Living without AC is always an option 😛 I lived through the South-East Australian heatwave of *thinks* 2009? 2010? Eh, the one where half the country burned down all without AC… that said, it wasn't exactly a party… and, y'know, I don't have kids or old people hanging around…

    Ok, you win. Not an option.

  9. Hmmm…something about my only friends being from church probably explains why I've never really done anything incredibly stupid. There's been talk of large flammable things being dropped from bridges just for kicks, but never has it happened. I think my biggest moments of "That was a baaad idea" have spawned simply from humor in poor taste, like making the absurdly racist joke in front of the new black kid I didn't know.

    So, my stupid moments come from being an obnoxious douche, not from anything that makes for a good story.

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