Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cologne, Gasoline and Italian Sausage

There’s an area downtown littered with bars that attracts douche bags and sluts. In fact, you might find those Jersey Shore fucks fist pumping there…Snooki came to town just a few months back! Wait that probably isn’t something to brag about. Anyways, it’s rare I stumble down douche drive but when I do I try my best to make sure I’m good and drunk. This particular night a few years ago was a success! I drank enough booze to fuel two lawnmowers. Believe me, after spending a night at these bars you’d have to drink at least that much just to stop yourself from choking on your own vomit all night. One sure sign that I’ve had too much to drink is when my mouth salivates at the sight of the truck that serves greasy meat, or as it’s known around here, “Street Meat”. Tasty, right? We joined the line and started with the usual small talk while waiting to order.

“What are you getting?”

“I dunno, maybe a cheeseburger. What are you getting?”

While my friends and I are having this delicious conversation the guy in line ahead of me decides to chime in with his wise words as he overhears that I want an Italian sausage.

“Hey, I got your Italian sausage right here!” he says while grabbing his bulge which I’m sure was 97% balls and 3% wiener. Instantly I was impressed with his wit, creativity and originality. I turned my head slowly to share my look of disgust and noticed that he was the epitome of a douche bag. He was wearing black dress shoes, ripped jeans with a button down shirt that seemed to have lost a lot of buttons, gold chains, at least three bottles of gel in his hair to get it to blow out all nice like and he smelled like he rubbed every cologne sample he could find from a magazine all over his body. Were his eyebrows waxed? I don’t remember.

I started by ignoring his comment which only made him say it louder and more often. The genius and his comrades laughed as he continued to tell me what I could do with his sausage (or cocktail wiener), he was right where I wanted him. Suddenly I started to comment on his offensive odor.

“Oh, God! What is that smell?” I started to sniff heavily as my friends nervously laughed. “Ugh! Oh! Oh, God! It smells so bad! Do you smell that?” I said to the prize standing next to me.

“Uh, no.”

“Oh, God…it smells like really, really bad cologne. You don’t smell that?” He knew it was him.

“No,” he said while his smile escaped his face.

“Oh my God! It’s horrible! Someone really reeks!” I continued to yell as he tried to ignore me. This wasn’t working. I had to take it a step further. The car parked on the street behind me smelled like it was leaking gasoline. Perfect. “Is that gasoline? Do you guys smell gasoline?” I asked my friends. They encouraged me to stop and I was not going to let that happen. This was just about to get good! I was crossing the line and it felt so right, so good. I continued to sniff around and yell that someone smelled like gasoline and cologne. My Italian sausage friend kept looking over at me and he looked angry. This held so much more satisfaction than any name I could call him!

“Do you smell gasoline?” I asked him.

“No, not really,” he said while trying to blow me off.

“Ugh!” I moaned over the stench, “It smells so bad! Like gasoline and cologne.” I continued to dramatically sniff while his friends ordered their street meat until I finally sealed the deal and began to put my nose as close as I could to his body and inhaled deeply.

“What the fuck are you doin’?” he yelled.

“Oh my God! I think it’s you!” I shouted. “It’s you!”

“Sssssstoooop,” my friends whispered as I continued to ignore them.

“What?! No it’s not you crazy bitch!”

“No, it really is you!” I leaned in closer, “You smell like gasoline…and cologne.” I said this a few more times until I could feel him glaring down at me.

Our eyes met as I was practically resting my head on his chest. Right at that very tender moment a cab pulled up in front of the car that smelled like gasoline and a skinny, blonde kid in his twenties stepped out. Italian sausage spun around and knocked the kid out with a punch and took off running. Blondie laid on the cement in shock as a small crowd started to form. We decided pizza seemed like a better option and left.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bartonville, Illinois: Always Room For One More

When the weather becomes extreme I tend to want the complete opposite weather. Sometimes the winter around here feels like it will never end and all I can dream is a warm, sandy beach with waves gently crashing onshore while I sip a strong margarita. But I’m typing this while in the beginning of a heat wave and there is nothing I want more than to build a snowman and watch some football. Grass is always greener, right? Well, I think I found something to melt that snowman and be thankful for no snow on the roads!

Looks like a road trip to Bartonville, Illinois is in my future! How exciting! Oh, Bartonville! Known for…well, um…is it near Chicago? OK, OK, so it’s a suburb about three hours away from Chicago and it’s not as lame as it sounds! Sitting in Bartonville is an old asylum that was abandoned during 1973. The now decaying, vandalized buildings, that used to be part of Peoria State Hospital, certainly are not completely abandoned. There are ghost stories that will raise a brow of any skeptic. By no means am I a skeptic, I’ve seen and heard plenty. I try to hold in my giggles when I come across a non-believer, I’ve been with many skeptics before and they have witnessed the same events and are now full on believers. Something tells me that this place with convert any skeptic! But it’s not so much the idea of experiencing anything supernatural that intrigues me.

I’ve always been fascinated with the insane. None of us are completely sane (if you are…you’re probably the most insane individual out there). It’s interesting how the definition of sanity evolved over time. What is sane now was insane and many innocent, healthy people were locked away to never join society again. If your child was born on a full moon it would be considered possessed, instantly insane and taken away to the loony bin to live his life. Torture was certainly common and considered a treatment, not to mention basic abuse and neglect. Lobotomies, branding and blood draining, OH MY! Sounds like the men and women behind these hospitals were lunatics themselves, but that was the norm. Most asylums were created to keep the “crazies” locked up and away from the public, like a prison. And most “patients” were treated as prisoners instead of receiving the care and treatment needed. The Peoria State Hospital was a revolutionary hospital that had no bars on doors or windows, no restraints. Were inhumane treatments practiced on patients? I’m not sure, but I’d love to find out!

The Bartonville Insane Asylum is actually open for tours! It would be an absolute treat to learn more about this hospital, patients, staff and history. Overnight paranormal tours are offered, but I’d love to walk and talk with someone familiar with the grounds and history. Tropical destinations are overrated anyways. I know what you’re thinking…I’m crazy.

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