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Album Anniversary List 2020-09-27

2020.09.27 06:49 omegacluster Album Anniversary List 2020-09-27

Today's anniversaries are:
2004
2009
2010
2011
2012
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
submitted by omegacluster to ctebcm [link] [comments]


2020.09.26 22:48 Nuclear_Assplosion This is going to be an unpopular opinion, but here we go. [Text wall warning]

I know this is going to make some people upset, so fair warning, I'm about to support NOED. This of course is my opinion and feel free to disagree, but I don't think I've seen this brought up. Also for the record, I am neither a survivor nor killer main, which I play depends on if someone I know is on or if I'm by myself. The difference in play time is probably within a couple of hours.
Let's start with a question. You just finished repairing the last gen, what do you do? Go to the exit right? Then what? You leave... NO YOU FUCKING DON'T. You stand there, you wait, for what? +5 bold points. Nope, you wait so the killer can see you flip them off as you ride into the sunset as Rocked You Like a Hurricane blasts in your head. Unless you found the hatch, then you park on it so he can see you leap into it to some other 80's power ballad. God forbid your team has run circles around the killer, because then, hell, might as well keep showing off for another ten minutes. You do all of this, not for points, but to stroke your own ego. I know this because I AM GUILTY OF THIS TOO!
For the longest, I hated NOED, mostly because I disliked any perk that was inactive almost the whole game, that is until I stood in the exit, teabagging when a NOED running Myers chopped my ass down and hung me up like a field dressed deer; and you know what? I fucking deserved it.
I knew how annoying it was to have survivors wait for you to show up just so you could see Dwight truffle shuffle his happy ass out the door, yet I did it too. Today, NOED is a regular perk in my builds. I really don't care for it still, and don't enjoy when it hits right as I land a chop on someone. Here's the thing though, if you out played me, GG... Now get the fuck out; but if your going to stand around dragging your sack across my stoop, don't get upset when I nail it to the damned floor.
If my friend gets shit slammed mid teabag, lesson learned, I'll see myself out. If I decide to go back in and rescue them only to get hung up like dime store painting, that's on my dumb ass. NOED didn't reward them for being a crap player, it punished me for being toxic and/or stupid. Sure there will be times where it is in fact a crap killer who will use this to get his free kill, maybe on someone I know, maybe it'll be me, but that's all he should be able to get: a kill... one. If it turns into four, that's on the survivors. Hell if the killer is that bad, let 'em have it, sounds like they could use it, plus getting everyone killed just tells them what they are doing works.
Maybe there's just one left when it procs, well that's just bad luck, at that point three people are already dead, so it's claiming shit killer is a bit of a stretch barring the most rare of cases. Hell I've three killed a team, only to catch a perfectly healthy Meg at the end, having just finished up the last generator, deciding to leave a snail trail in the dirt at the exit line. I harpoon her ass with the Gorton's Fisherman Cowboy and its over, but because of NOED I'm clearly the worst player in the history of the game.
There are probably plenty who use NOED for all the reasons people complain about, but if they do use it, leave. Only one kill per game enough times and they will rethink it. Sure it sucks to leave a team mate behind, or to get left behind, after all, four people make the celebratory handjobs easier to give each other, no reason to overwork anyone. For me though, it's all about ending the toxic BS, and the satisfaction of personally smiting an irritating player. Quit pointing and leaving nut prints in my foyer, and for fuck's sake David, PUT ON A GOD DAMNED SHIRT YA SMUG BASTARD! This is why I will use NOED and why I'll defend it's use. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I know I'm not the only one who sees it this way. Stop with toxic shit (again, shit I too am guilty of) and there would be some drop in it, then stop feeding the crap killers and it'd all but vanish.
If it's a crutch for crap killers, then make it one of those shitty Tiny Tim stick and cloth combos. Turn it into a God damned Rascal scooter and they'll never change; and quit saying you've only seen shit killers use it, as you know that shit's not true either.
Finally, right quick, if you are a NOED defender who likes to use the whole, just cleanse all the totems argument, please quit. You know damned good and well that shit isn't happening in a level 16 fucking pug group.
submitted by Nuclear_Assplosion to deadbydaylight [link] [comments]


2020.09.22 13:46 UberHansen Rooting Interests Week #3

Week 2 went Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good for the Bills. 2-0, Check. Patriots lost, Check. Josh Allen 400+ Passing Yards, Check. The Bills are rolling and suddenly, for what feels like the first time in forever, they have an offense to go along with their defense. This week the Bills look to maintain their hot start and have arguably their first real test. Without further ado, I present the third iteration of 2020 “Rooting Interest” posts. Included in this is the “Game Importance Scale” which will rate games from 👏👏👏👏👏 (Most Important) to 👏 (Least Important).
NOTE: I do not consider ties or injuries for the sake of this discussion. Tiebreakers in order below are for overall standings.
  1. H2H = Head to Head
  2. WLC = Win/Loss in Conference
  3. WLG = Win/Loss in Common Games min 4
  4. SOV = Strength of Victory
  5. SOS = Strength of Schedule
WEEK 2 REVIEW
Week 2 went well but not quite as well as Week 1, in regards to Rooting Interests but oh did it have its highs. Of course, and most importantly, the Bills moved to 2-0 but the Patriots also lost vaulting the Bills into sole possession of the AFC East. Of course the Chargers beating the Chiefs or Texans beating the Ravens or Saints beating the Raiders would have been nice, but the Bills will take what they can get. On to Week 3.
Rooting Interests Record: 16-16 (LW 7-9)
Rooting Interests 👏 +/-: +7 👏 (LW +1 👏)
Dolphins @ Jaguars (Thursday 8:20PM) 👏 👏 👏
Fresh off of getting squished the fish take on their state-mate in a battle of teams who are unable to sell out, even at 20% capacity. There are two ways to look at this game. First, the Dolphins are in the AFC East so a loss for them further bolsters the Bills’ positioning in the AFC East. Second, the Jaguars have a better record (1-1) than the Dolphins so a Jaguars loss pushes another AFC team into a losing record. Simply, because we are so early in the season, option one is optimal to provide for further separation in division.
Optimal Outcome: Jaguars’ Victory
Texans @ Steelers (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏 👏
The surprisingly winless Texans are up against the undefeated Steelers in Week 3. While the Bills do play the Steelers in 2020, and not the Texans, SOS & SOV lack in importance in this matchup. The desire here is to provide the Bills some wiggle room at the top of the AFC and right now one of these teams is at the top and the other is on the bottom wondering why-oh-why they let Deandre Hopkins go.
Optimal Outcome: Texans’ Victory
Bengals @ Eagles (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏
The Bengals and Eagles have a combined record of 0-4. Joe Burrow looks to be ascending while Carson Wentz has a passer rating (64.4) that is almost half of Josh Allen’s (122.9) in 2020. This Toilet Bowl should be a barnburner but someone has to come out on top, hopefully it’s not the AFC team.
Optimal Outcome: Eagles’ Victory
49ers @ Giants (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏
The 49ers’ backups just trounced the Jets, while the Giants are off to a 0-2 start and lost their best player for the season. There are two NFC teams in this matchup so no direct implication on the Bills playoff odds but since the Bills do play one of these teams SOS & SOV can be improved with a specific outcome.
Optimal Outcome: 49ers’ Victory
Raiders @ Patriots (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏 👏 👏
One of these teams is 2-0, one of these teams is 1-1. One of these teams the Bills plays next week, one of these teams is in the same division as the Bills. One of these teams plays in a Roomba, one of these teams plays in a town where outside of football they are most famous for at one point having the world’s largest straw hat factory. One of these teams you might not like, one of these teams you hate. Don’t root for hate, root for not hate.
Optimal Outcome: Raiders’ Victory
Titans @ Vikings (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏
Stefon Diggs really misses Kirk Cousins after 2 weeks with Josh Allen. Wait, he doesn’t? He had more receiving yards in Week 2 than Cousins had passing? Ya know what, we should feel bad for the Vikings why don’t we root for them this week? (And quietly root against a team tied with the Bills atop the AFC standings).
Optimal Outcome: Vikings’ Victory
Football Team @ Browns (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏
The NFC East leading Football Team heads to Cleveland to take on Baker’s Browns. The Bills don’t play the Football Team or the Browns in 2020 and while the AFC team in this matchup seems to have a slew of issues it won’t hurt if they fall further down the standings.
Optimal Outcome: Football Team’s Victory
Rams @ Bills (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏
You know what’s better than 2-0? 19-0. Since we can’t win 19 games in 3 weeks we will have to settle for 3-0 and revisit 19-0 sometime in February.
Optimal Outcome: Bills’ Victory
Bears @ Falcons (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏
Da Bears and a Falcons’ team that somehow finds new heart crushing ways to lose will meet in Atlanta on Sunday. Two NFC teams neither of whom the Bills play in 2020 so for now this is a complete Toss Up. For the sake of this post I will be vehemently rooting against a team that goofed so bad that an extra Lombardi trophy now resides in Foxborough.
Optimal Outcome: Bears’ Victory
Panthers @ Chargers (Sunday 4:05PM) 👏 👏
No CMC for the Panthers and possibly no Tyrod for the Chargers. If I were to believe one of the most popular narratives in sports media from 2018 then the Chargers are taking a bigger talent hit than Bills South in Week 3. If this is true than our Optimal Outcome should be highly likely as we want the NFC team to beat the AFC one.
Optimal Outcome: Panthers’ Victory
Jets @ Colts (Sunday 4:05PM) 👏 👏 👏
One of these teams has a QB who has lived up to being a top-5 pick and the other team might be the worst in all of football. For the most part in these early season matchups we should root against a team in our division but in the rare scenario where that team would struggle against the Ottawa Rough Riders you prioritize a loss going to the better team.
Optimal Outcome: Jets’ Victory
Cowboys @ Seahawks (Sunday 4:25PM) 👏 👏
Thanks to the Falcons not knowing the rules during an onside kick the Cowboys are 1-1 and will go up against the Patriot-Slaying Seahawks. Two NFC teams in this matchup but only one of them the Bills see in 2020. Root for that team for a bump in SOS and possibly SOV.
Optimal Outcome: Seahawks’ Victory
Buccaneers @ Broncos (Sunday 4:25PM) 👏 👏
I never thought I would think this about a certain QB’s team, let alone have to do it, so I am going to try and word it in a creative way that makes me feel better about it. Since the Broncos are in the AFC and the Buccaneers are in the NFC root for the team whose best QB this millennium had nearly twice the interceptions as passing TDs in his playoff career but “lead” his team to a SuperBowl anyway.
Optimal Outcome: Buccaneers’ Victory
Lions @ Cardinals (Sunday 4:25PM) 👏 👏
Two NFC teams, one a Lake Erie Bro, and the other a team the Bills play in 2020. You never like to do this but root against your brother for a bump in SOS and possibly SOV.
Optimal Outcome: Cardinals’ Victory
Packers @ Saints (Sunday 8:20PM) 👏
Two NFC teams who the Bills will not see in 2020. As Pick’em as it gets but we need someone to root for so we’ll have to come up with something. How bout, one of the QBs in this game was a college teammate of a certain Bills’ LB who could possibly come out of retirement this season to sure up the Bills’ front seven. Root for that QB’s team.
Optimal Outcome: Packers’ Victory
Chiefs @ Ravens (Monday 8:15PM) 👏 👏 👏 👏
This is without a doubt the game of the week. Two teams the Bills will need to get past at some point this season if they want to make a run to the SuperBowl (!!!). For now watch this game and use it as a barometer of where the Bills are in comparison to these teams while rooting for the team the Bills play in 2020 for a boost to SOS and hopefully SOV. This is a HUGE game.
Optimal Outcome: Chiefs’ Victory
If all of these games went the optimal route below would be the updated AFC standings (All tiebreakers considered) Until Week 7 the assumption is that unknown tiebreakers go in the Bills’ favor:
  1. Chiefs (3-0 TB = 3-0 WLC)**
  2. Bills (3-0 TB = 2-0 WLC)**
  3. Titans (2-1 TB = 2-0 WLC)**
  4. Ravens (2-1 TB = 2-1 WLC)**
  5. Raiders (3-0 TB = 1-0 WLC)*
  6. Jaguars (2-1 TB = 2-1 WLC)*
  7. Steelers (2-1 TB = 2-1 WLC)*
  8. Colts (1-2 TB = 0-2 WLC)
  9. Chargers (1-2 TB = 1-1 WLC)
  10. Patriots (1-2 TB = 1-1 WLC)
  11. Texans (1-2 TB = 1-2 WLC)
  12. Browns (1-2 TB = 1-1 WLC)
  13. Jets (1-2 TB = 1-1 WLC)
  14. Bengals (0-3 TB = 0-2 WLC)
  15. Broncos (0-3 TB = 0-2 WLC)
  16. Dolphins (0-3 TB = 0-3 WLC)
** Division Leader
* Wildcard
submitted by UberHansen to buffalobills [link] [comments]


2020.09.21 17:43 livingthedream666 2020 Lions Fan Guide to Bandwagoning

After last season/the Bears loss/the Packers loss, it’s become clear to all of us that the 2020 Lions are a completely unsalvageable pit of despair from which there is no escape.
Patricia should have been fired at the 50 yard line of Lambeau and then beheaded for his crimes against humanity.
Quin should be exiled from the land by a pack of ravenous hounds that chase him back east across Lake Huron.
Hopefully Stafford can catch a ride on a ship to the Undying Lands and get a fat contract from a QB-needy team before he retires. Killing Barry and Calvin AND Stafford is more than I can handle as a fan, let somebody be happy for the love of god.
That said, what to do for the rest of the 2020 season? Time to pick a team to bandwagon! It’s important to pick a good bandwagon team now if you want to have a chance at riding another team’s coattails all the way to the playoffs. Let’s go through the list (by last week’s power ranking) and discuss.
The Top 5
Here’s where you go for your best bet at sure-fire contenders. This section is for bandwagoners who want to see their team go to the Super Bowl in order to get some semblance of the shine of the Lombardi trophy on your face, even if you know in your heart you cheated to get there by becoming an imposter in the fanbase of a foreign team from foreign lands.
  1. Chiefs – Last year’s super bowl winners with the new hotness Patrick Mahomes at QB and lovable BBQ-eating Andy Reid at HC, plus Travis Kelce. Historic underdogs finally having their moment in the sun is a perfect fit for a Lions fan to root for. This is bandwagoning on easy mode, the clear pick in my opinion. Number one in the rankings, number one in my cold dead 2020 heart.
  2. Ravens – The only better pick than the Chiefs is the Ravens. Lamar Jackson playing QB is probably the most fun thing you can watch on television right now period. I bandwagoned the Ravens all through last season while dreaming that Stafford’s back healing up might make a difference in 2020 (oh how young and naïve I was) and it was a great time! They imploded a little bit in the playoffs but hey, this could be their year!
  3. Seahawks – This is a nice pick for some history, familiarity, and stability. The Seahawks are always in it as long as they have Russ and Pete Carroll, and last night we watched them go 2-0 against the Pats in a serious nail-biter finish. You know you’re at least going on a deep playoff run if you bandwagon the Seahawks.
  4. Saints – Watching Brees continue to cement himself as a top all-time QB, potentially in his final year, with an actual defense, Michael Thomas, and Kamara? It’s sure to be a fun ride! Plus, the Saints are another team that knows a lot about long droughts of success, hanging around the bottom of the league, kicked while they’re down, nobody ever believing in them. They’re soul mates in pain, and it’s fun to watch those teams succeed.
  5. Packers – No. Never.
The Middle of the Pack
So you’re not looking for a sure thing, you’re interested in a bumpier bandwagon ride. The middle of the pack of is for you! These teams will have ups and they’ll have downs, and if they make it to the Super Bowl, or even the deep playoffs, the victory will be all the sweeter.
  1. 49ers – After Sunday I believe every single player on the 49ers has a torn ACL or something like that, but hey, they made it to the SB last year and they could do it again! 49ers are historic and who doesn’t like to root for a classic franchise?
  2. Bills – A true sister-ship team of the Lions. Forever frustrated and disappointed fans now getting their chance to root for a QB who throws over 400. I like Josh Allen because to hear his bio it really sounds like he just found himself in the NFL by accident and is somehow pulling it off. Plus now he’s got Stefon Diggs, who is no longer our divisional problem. Classic underdog pick, go Bills.
  3. Steelers – Roethlisberger is back, JuJu is great, and the Steelers are always in it. If you want that authentic “we’re more blue collar than you” experience, Steelers are a solid pick. Bonus: revisit the days of Ebron and watch him brick-hand pass after pass, and feel some semblance of relief that out of all the problems the Lions have this year, he’s not one of them.
  4. Titans – A great pick for the Lions fan who wants a long-shot with good odds. If Tannehill keeps his breakout alive and Derrick Henry keeps trucking people, they’re a tough team to stop. Plus now they have Clowney (how could Patricia not go after Clowney Jesus Christ are you kidding me he had a chance to grab an elite DE in free agency and shore up in pathetic pass rushers and we didn’t even hear about him trying to land him how fucking pathetic can you believe this guy… wait no don’t think about that!) Titans are a sleeper for the SB and I think they’ll continue to surprise everybody this year.
  5. Patriots – No Brady, no problem. Patriots still look great as always, plus Cam Newton is way more fun to root for than Brady ever was. Watch Belichik potentially use his evil powers for good and get Cam a ring. Patriots can feel dirty to root for but it’s also like eating a whole chocolate cake after you’ve been on a years-long diet. Sometimes it feels good just to give in.
  6. Rams – This is the team you want to root for if you’re a big NFL conspiracy theorist and think hidden capitalists are pulling the strings behind the scenes to rig games. “The NFL wants LA to succeed because it’s a huge and largely untapped market of a city. For that to work, either the Rams or the Chargers have to go deep every year until LA is turning out their pockets for that sweet football merch.” Maybe it’s true, maybe not, maybe who cares! Also a great team to watch if you want to see Aaron Donald wreck people every single play. Remember, Donald could have been ours but instead we drafted Ebron. I’m just kidding, I know you didn’t forget. How could you?
  7. Cardinals – Kyler “Calamari” Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and Larry Fitzgerald pulling this team out of the depths and into something respectable would be a fun ride to watch. Another franchise with historic pain, a dark horse long-shot, it speaks to my Detroit-hardened heart.
  8. Cowboys – Rooting Cowboys is like going after the dumb hot girl. She’s not going to amount to much but she sure does get a lot of attention. If you want to watch a lot of primetime games and hear about your bandwagon team in sports media constantly, may as well pick the Boys. Win, lose or draw, for some reason we all have to talk about them all the time. Also, it’s fun to root for Kellen Moore, and it’s fun to watch Zeke be a wrecking ball. Successful run game teams actually exist!
  9. Vikings – Ew. I guess. Kirk Cousins can play football and Dalvin Cook is a running back. Riley Reiff used to live here. Kyle Rudolph has a fun name if you’re a big Christmas person. I don’t know. This seems like a pointless bandwagon unless you really like the color purple.
  10. Buccaneers – Never count Brady out. Love him or hate him (hate him) Brady is historic and worth watching. If you want to watch Belichick-less Brady in his final year(s), reunited with Gronkowski, tearing up the ground with Fournette, this is a solid band wagon pick.
  11. Texans – Another great fit for the Lions: watch an incredibly talented QB get hamstrung by his incompetent coaching staff and wasted in his scheme, all while his good-on-paper defense continues to let him down on the field. JJ Watt is still fun to watch, and moreso if you close your eyes and pretend is 2013 and we all still love him.
The Bottom Half
Bandwagoning to win is for pussies, you’re here to bandwagon a team that is either an extra-super long-shot, or another team with no chance to pair with your Lions heartbreak. You sick son of a bitch, I respect it, but I don’t think it’s good for you.
  1. Eagles – Good pick for It’s Always Sunny fans who want to root for Jim Schwartz.
  2. Raiders – Cool uniforms, cool fans, another chance at an NFL conspiracy team due to the move to Vegas
  3. Falcons – If you can’t watch Stafford succeed, you may as well watch his buddy Matt Ryan also not succeed.
  4. Bears – Chicago is cool and nearby, and the Bears haven’t been successful in a long time, so it doesn’t feel completely gross. Any win they can get with Trubisky at the helm they damn sure deserve.
  5. Chargers – Actually looked legit good against the Chiefs with their new QB Justin Herbert, plus you got Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on defense. This is probably as far down the list as you can go and find an actual contender. This is your longest long shot for the true masochist who still wants hope involved.
  6. Broncos – Good pick for big South Park fans. Also I guess if you’re still high on Von Miller.
  7. Colts – Their colors are similar to ours and Indiana is pretty close. This strikes me as a particularly hopeless bandwagon pick, but they do have a running back, which could be fun to watch.
  8. Jaguars – Minshew Mania makes this a solid pick. Plus it’s another cat team.
  9. Washington – Chase Young, oh what could have been.
  10. Lions – "Bandwagon? Bandwagon?! We don't need no stinking bandwagon!" Ride or die motherfucker, it's Lions Only for your fandom. You're a captain going down with the ship, you're gonna sit here and watch Patricia waste another year of Stafford's career, fail at the run game, fail to adjust, fail on defense, fail at everything all season long. Because when we go 0-16 again, you'll be able to look back and say you were there. You'll bear witness to our heroic Tank for Trevor Lawrence, and the pride that comes before the fall of the house of Quintricia. And when we see flashes of greatness from Stafford, 100 yard rushers from AD, interceptions from Okudah, and long-yard FGs from Prater, you'll be there to cheer on the Lions as always. Win or lose, rain or shine, Detroit vs. Everybody.
  11. Bengals – Root for Joe Burrow. Plus it’s another cat team.
  12. Panthers – Blue cat team.
  13. Dolphins – Tank for Tua actually happened and honestly good for them. Plus a little dose of Fitzmagic in your life.
  14. Giants – Daniel Jones is an Eli clone and honestly that kind of science should be studied. Might be worth checking out.
  15. Browns – Great pick if you’re done with the Lions but don’t want to improve through bandwagoning in any way shape or form. A true historic and present lateral move, a decision forged in Midwest hopelessness and gallons of beer. Godspeed to anyone choosing to bandwagon the Browns this season.
  16. Jets – The "just let the pain flow through me" option.
Comments analysis after 24 hours
The names I'm seeing the most after 24 hours and 48 comments are Seattle, Buffalo, Arizona, and Chargers. So 3 outta 4 you guys are goddamn gluttons for punishment! Lions fans through and through, you won't even bandwagon a sure thing, it's gotta be a long-shot underdog story of a long-suffering franchise that MIGHT have some success this year. Goddamn, never change guys.
submitted by livingthedream666 to detroitlions [link] [comments]


2020.09.21 02:47 Leather_Term Meet Brock Pierce, the Presidential Candidate With Ties to Pedophiles Who Wants to End Human Trafficking

thedailybeast.com Sep. 20, 2020.
The “Mighty Ducks” actor is running for president. He clears the air (sort of) to Tarpley Hitt about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein and more.
In the trailer for First Kid, the forgettable 1996 comedy about a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the president’s son, the title character, played by a teenage Brock Pierce, describes himself as “definitely the most powerful kid in the universe.” Now, the former child star is running to be the most powerful man in the world, as an Independent candidate for President of the United States.
Before First Kid, the Minnesota-born actor secured roles in a series of PG-rated comedies, playing a young Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks, before graduating to smaller parts in movies like Problem Child 3: Junior in Love. When his screen time shrunk, Pierce retired from acting for a real executive role: co-founding the video production start-up Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) alongside businessman Marc Collins-Rector. At age 17, Pierce served as its vice president, taking in a base salary of $250,000.
DEN became “the poster child for dot-com excesses,” raising more than $60 million in seed investments and plotting a $75 million IPO. But it turned into a shorthand for something else when, in October of 1999, the three co-founders suddenly resigned. That month, a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit alleging Collins-Rector had molested him for three years beginning when he was 13 years old. The following summer, three teens filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit against Pierce, Collins-Rector, and their third co-founder, Chad Shackley. The plaintiffs later dropped their case against Pierce (he made a payment of $21,600 to one of their lawyers) and Shackley. But after a federal grand jury indicted Collins-Rector on criminal charges in 2000, the DEN founders left the country. When Interpol arrested them in 2002, they said they had confiscated “guns, machetes, and child pornography” from the trio’s beach villa in Spain.
While abroad, Pierce had pivoted to a new venture: Internet Gaming Entertainment, which sold virtual accessories in multiplayer online role-playing games to those desperate to pay, as one Wired reporter put it, “as much as $1,800 for an eight-piece suit of Skyshatter chain mail” rather than earn it in the games themselves. In 2005, a 25-year-old Pierce hired then-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon—just before he would co-found Breitbart News. Two years later, after a World of Warcraft player sued the company for “diminishing” the fun of the game, Steve Bannon replaced Pierce as CEO.
Collins-Rector eventually pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. In the years that followed, Pierce waded into the gonzo economy of cryptocurrencies, where he overlapped more than once with Jeffrey Epstein, and counseled him on crypto. In that world, he founded Tether, a cryptocurrency that bills itself as a “stablecoin,” because its value is allegedly tied to the U.S. dollar, and the blockchain software company Block.one. Like his earlier businesses, Pierce’s crypto projects see-sawed between massive investments and curious deals. When Block.one announced a smart contract software called EOS.IO, the company raised $4 billion almost overnight, setting an all-time record before the product even launched. The Securities and Exchange Commission later fined the company $24 million for violating federal securities law. After John Oliver mocked the ordeal, calling Pierce a “sleepy, creepy cowboy,” Block.one fired him. Tether, meanwhile, is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General for possible fraud.
On July 4, Pierce announced his candidacy for president. His campaign surrogates include a former Cambridge Analytica director and the singer Akon, who recently doubled down on developing an anonymously funded, $6 billion “Wakanda-like” metropolis in Senegal called Akon City. Pierce claims to be bipartisan, and from the 11 paragraphs on the “Policy” section of his website it can be hard to determine where he falls on the political spectrum. He supports legalizing marijuana and abolishing private prisons, but avoids the phrase “climate change.” He wants to end “human trafficking.” His proposal to end police brutality: body cams.
His political contributions tell a more one-sided story. Pierce’s sole Democratic contribution went to the short-lived congressional run of crypto candidate Brian Forde. The rest went to Republican campaigns like Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, John McCain, and the National Right to Life Political Action Committee. Last year alone, Pierce gave over $44,000 to the Republican National Committee and more than $55,000 to Trump’s re-election fund.
Pierce spoke to The Daily Beast from his tour bus and again over email. Those conversations have been combined and edited for clarity.
You’re announcing your presidential candidacy somewhat late, and historically, third-party candidates haven’t had the best luck with the executive office. If you don’t have a strong path to the White House, what do you want out of the race?
I announced on July 4, which I think is quite an auspicious date for an Independent candidate, hoping to bring independence to this country. There’s a lot of things that I can do. One is: I’m 39 years old. I turn 40 in November. So I’ve got time on my side. Whatever happens in this election cycle, I’m laying the groundwork for the future. The overall mission is to create a third major party—not another third party—a third major party in this country. I think that is what America needs most. George Washington in his closing address warned us about the threat of political parties. John Adams and the other founding fathers—their fear for our future was two political parties becoming dominant. And look at where we are. We were warned.
I believe, having studied systems, any time you have a system of two, what happens is those two things come together, like magnets. They come into collision, or they become polarized and become completely divided. I think we need to rise above partisan politics and find a path forward together. As Albert Einstein is quoted—I’m not sure the line came from him, but he’s quoted in many places—he said that the definition of insanity is making the same mistake or doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result. [Ed. note: Einstein never said this.] It feels like that’s what our election cycle is like. Half the country feels like they won, half the country feels like they lost, at least if they voted or participated.
Obviously, there’s another late-comer to the presidential race, and that’s Kanye West. He’s received a lot of flak for his candidacy, as he’s openly admitted to trying to siphon votes away from Joe Biden to ensure a Trump victory. Is that something you’re hoping to avoid or is that what you’re going for as well?
Oh no. This is a very serious campaign. Our campaign is very serious. You’ll notice I don’t say anything negative about either of the two major political candidates, because I think that’s one of the problems with our political system, instead of people getting on stage, talking about their visionary ideas, inspiring people, informing and educating, talking about problems, mentioning problems, talking about solutions, constructive criticism. That’s why I refuse to run a negative campaign. I am definitely not a spoiler. I’m into data, right? I’m a technologist. I’ve got digital DNA. So does most of our campaign team. We’ve got our finger on the pulse.
Most of my major Democratic contacts are really happy to see that we’re running in a red state like Wyoming. Kanye West’s home state is Wyoming. He’s not on the ballot in Wyoming I could say, in part, because he didn’t have Akon on his team. But I could also say that he probably didn’t want to be on the ballot in Wyoming because it’s a red state. He doesn’t want to take additional points in a state where he’s only running against Trump. But we’re on the ballot in Wyoming, and since we’re on the ballot in Wyoming I think it’s safe—more than safe, I think it’s evident—that we are not here to run as a spoiler for the benefit of Donald Trump.
In running for president, you’ve opened yourself up to be scrutinized from every angle going back to the beginning of your career. I wanted to ask you about your time at the Digital Entertainment Network. Can you tell me a little bit about how you started there? You became a vice president as a teenager. What were your qualifications and what was your job exactly?
Well, I was the co-founder. A lot of it was my idea. I had an idea that people would use the internet to watch videos, and we create content for the internet. The idea was basically YouTube and Hulu and Netflix. Anyone that was around in the ‘90s and has been around digital media since then, they all credit us as the creators of basically those ideas. I was just getting a message from the creator of The Vandals, the punk rock band, right before you called. He’s like, “Brock, looks like we’re going to get the Guinness Book of World Records for having created the first streaming television show.”
We did a lot of that stuff. We had 30 television shows. We had the top most prestigious institutions in the world as investors. The biggest names. High-net-worth investors like Terry Semel, who’s chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers, and became the CEO of Yahoo. I did all sorts of things. I helped sell $150,000 worth of advertising contracts to the CEOs of Pepsi and everything else. I was the face of the company, meeting all the major banks and everything else, selling the vision of what the future was.
You moved in with Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley at a mansion in Encino. Was that the headquarters of the business?
All start-ups, they normally start out in your home. Because it’s just you. The company was first started out of Marc’s house, and it was probably there for the first two or three months, before the company got an office. That’s, like, how it is for all start-ups.
were later a co-defendant in the L.A. County case filed against Marc Collins-Rector for plying minors with alcohol and drugs, in order to facilitate sexual abuse. You were dropped from the case, but you settled with one of the men for $21,600. Can you explain that?
Okay, well, first of all, that’s not accurate. Two of the plaintiffs in that case asked me if I would be a plaintiff. Because I refused to be a part of the lawsuit, they chose to include me to discredit me, to make their case stronger. They also went and offered 50 percent of what they got to the house management—they went around and offered money to anyone to participate in this. They needed people to corroborate their story. Eventually, because I refused to participate in the lawsuit, they named me. Subsequently, all three of the plaintiffs apologized to me, in front of audiences, in front of many people, saying Brock never did anything. They dismissed their cases.
Remember, this is a civil thing. I’ve never been charged with a crime in my life. And the last plaintiff to have his case dismissed, he contacted his lawyer and said, “Dismiss this case against Brock. Brock never did anything. I just apologized. Dismiss his case.” And the lawyer said, “No. I won’t dismiss this case, I have all these out-of-pocket expenses, I refuse to file the paperwork unless you give me my out-of-pocket expenses.” And so the lawyer, I guess, had $21,000 in bills. So I paid his lawyer $21,000—not him, it was not a settlement. That was a payment to his lawyer for his out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses so that he would file the paperwork to dismiss the case.
You’ve said the cases were unfounded, and the plaintiffs eventually apologized. But your boss, Marc Collins-Rector later pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. Were you aware of his behavior? How do you square the fact that later allegations proved to be true, but these ones were not?
Well, remember: I was 16 and 17 years old at the time? So, no. I don’t think Marc is the man they made him out to be. But Marc is not a person I would associate with today, and someone I haven’t associated with in a very long time. I was 16 and 17. I chose the wrong business partner. You live and you learn.
You’ve pointed out that you were underage when most of these allegations were said to take place. Did you ever feel like you were coerced or in over your head while working at DEN?
I mean, I was working 18 hours a day, doing things I’d never done before. It was business school. But I definitely learned a lot in building that company. We raised $88 million. We filed our [form] S-1 to go public. We were the hottest start-up in Los Angeles.
In 2000, you left the country with Marc Collins-Rector. Why did you leave? How did you spend those two years abroad?
I moved to Spain in 1999 for personal reasons. I spent those two years in Europe working on developing my businesses.
Interpol found you in 2002. The house where you were staying reportedly contained guns, machetes, and child pornography. Whose guns and child porn were those? Were you aware they were in the house, and how did those get there?
My lawyers have addressed this in 32 pages of documentation showing a complete absence of wrongdoing. Please refer to my webpage for more information.
[Ed. Note: The webpage does not mention guns, machetes, or child pornography. It does state:“It is true that when the local police arrested Collins-Rector in Spain in 2002 on an international warrant, Mr. Pierce was also taken into custody, but so was everyone at Collins-Rector’s house in Spain; and it is equally clear that Brock was promptly released, and no charges of any kind were ever filed against Brock concerning this matter.”]
What do you make of the allegations against Bryan Singer? [Ed. Note: Bryan Singer, a close friend of Collins-Rector, invested at least $50,000 in DEN. In an Atlantic article outlining Singer’s history of alleged sexual assault and statutory rape, one source claimed that at age 15, Collins-Rector abused him and introduced him to Singer, who then assaulted him in the DEN headquarters.]
I am aware of them and I support of all victims of sexual assault. I will let America’s justice system decide on Singer’s outcome.
In 2011, you spoke at the Mindshift conference supported by Jeffrey Epstein. At that point, he had already been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Why did you agree to speak?
I had never heard of Jeffrey Epstein. His name was not on the website. I was asked to speak at a conference alongside Nobel Prize winners. It was not a cryptocurrency conference, it was filled with Nobel Prize winners. I was asked to speak alongside Nobel Prize winners on the future of money. I speak at conferences historically, two to three times a week. I was like, “Nobel Prize winners? Sounds great. I’ll happily talk about the future of money with them.” I had no idea who Jeffrey Epstein was. His name was not listed anywhere on the website. Had I known what I know now? I clearly would have never spoken there. But I spoke at a conference that he cosponsored.
What’s your connection to the Clinton Global Initiative? Did you hear about it through Jeffrey Epstein?
I joined the Clinton Global Initiative as a philanthropist in 2006 and was a member for one year. My involvement with the Initiative had no connection to Jeffrey Epstein whatsoever.
You’ve launched your campaign in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer. How do you feel about the civil uprising against police brutality?
I’m from Minnesota. Born and raised. We just had a press conference there, announcing that we’re on the ballot. Former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley was there. So that tells you, when former U.S. Senators are endorsing the candidate, right?
[Ed. note: Barkley was never elected to the United States Senate. In November of 2002, he was appointed by then Minnesota Governor Jesse Venture to fill the seat after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. Barkley’s term ended on Jan. 3, 2003—two months later.]
Yes, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. My vice-presidential running mate Karla Ballard and I, on our last trip to Minnesota together, went to visit the George Floyd Memorial. I believe in law and order. I believe that law and order is foundational to any functioning society. But there is no doubt in my mind that we need reform. These types of events—this is not an isolated incident. This has happened many times before. It’s time for change. We have a lot of detail around policy on this issue that we will be publishing next week. Not just high-level what we think, not just a summary, but detailed policy.
You said that you support “law and order.” What does that mean?
“Law and order” means creating a fair and just legal system where our number one priority is protecting the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all people. This means reforming how our police intervene in emergency situations, abolishing private prisons that incentivize mass incarceration, and creating new educational and economic opportunities for our most vulnerable communities. I am dedicated to preventing crime by eliminating the socioeconomic conditions that encourage it.
I support accountability and transparency in government and law enforcement. Some of the key policies I support are requiring body-cams on all law enforcement officers who engage with the public, curtailing the 1033 program that provides local law enforcement agencies with access to military equipment, and abolishing private prisons. Rather than simply defund the police, my administration will take a holistic approach to heal and unite America by ending mass incarceration, police brutality, and racial injustice.
Did you attend any Black Lives Matter protests?
I support all movements aimed at ending racial injustice and inequality. I​ have not attended any Black Lives Matter protests.​ My running-mate, Karla Ballard, attended the March on Washington in support of racial justice and equality.
Your platform doesn’t mention the words “climate change.” Is there a reason for that?
I’m not sure what you mean. Our policy platform specifically references human-caused climate change and we have a plan to restabilize the climate, address environmental degradation, and ensure environmental sustainability.
[Ed. Note: As of writing the Pierce campaign’s policy platform does not specifically reference human-caused climate change.]
You’ve recently brought on Akon as a campaign surrogate. How did that happen? Tell me about that.
Akon and I have been friends for quite some time. I was one of the guys that taught him about Bitcoin. I helped make some videogames for him, I think in 2012. We were talking about Bitcoin, teaching him the ropes, back in 2013. And in 2014, we were both speaking at the Milken Global Conference, and I encouraged him to talk about how Bitcoin, Africa, changed the world. He became the biggest celebrity in the world, talking about Bitcoin at the time. I’m an adviser to his Akoin project, very interested in the work that he’s doing to build a city in Africa.
I think we need a government that’s of, for, and by the people. Akon has huge political aspirations. He obviously was a hugely successful artist. But he also discovered artists like Lady Gaga. So not only is he, himself, a great artist, but he’s also a great identifier and builder of other artists. And he’s been a great businessman, philanthropist. He’s pushing the limits of what can be done. We’re like-minded individuals in that regard. I think he’ll be running for political office one day, because he sees what I see: that we need real change, and we need a government that is of, for, and by the people.
You mentioned that you’re an adviser on Akoin. Do you have any financial investments in Akoin or Akon City?
I don’t believe so. I’d have to check. I have so much stuff. But I don’t believe that I have any economic interests in his stuff. I’d have to verify that. We’ll get back to you. I don’t believe that I have any economic interests. My interest is in helping him. He’s a visionary with big ideas that wants to help things in the world. If I can be of assistance in helping him make the world a better place, I’m all for it. I’m not motivated by money. I’m not running for office because I’m motivated by power. I’m running for office because I’m deeply, deeply concerned about our collective future.
You’ve said you’re running on a pro-technology platform. One week into your campaign last month, a New York appeals court approved the state Attorney General’s attempt to investigate the stablecoin Tether for potentially fraudulent activity. Do you think this will impact your ability to sell people on your tech entrepreneurship?
No, I think my role in Tether is as awesome as it gets. It was my idea. I put it together. But I’ve had no involvement in the company since 2015. I gave all of my equity to the other shareholders. I’ve had zero involvement in the company for almost six years. It was just my idea. I put the initial team together. But I think Tether is one of the most important innovations in the world, certainly. The idea is, I digitized the U.S. dollar. I used technology to digitize currency—existing currency. The U.S. dollar in particular. It’s doing $10 trillion a year. Ten trillion dollars a year of transactional volume. It’s probably the most important innovation in currency since the advent of fiat money. The people that took on the business and ran the business in years to come, they’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’m not sure they’ve done anything criminal. But they certainly did things differently than I would do. But it’s like, you have kids, they turn 18, they go out into the world, and sometimes you’re proud of the things they do, and sometimes you shake your head and go, “Ugh, why did you do that?” I have zero concerns as it relates to me personally. I wish they made better decisions.
What do you think the investigation will find?
I have no idea. The problem that was raised is that there was a $5 million loan between two entities and whether or not they had the right to do that, did they disclose it correctly. There’s been no accusations of, like, embezzlement or anything that bad.
[Ed. Note: The Attorney General’s press release on the investigation reads: “Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”]
But there’s been some disclosure things, that is the issue. No one is making any outrageous claims that these are people that have done a bunch of bad—well, on the internet, the media has said that the people behind the business may have been manipulating the price of Bitcoin, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the New York investigation. Again, I’m so not involved, and so not at risk, that I’m not even up to speed on the details.
[Ed note: A representative of the New York State Attorney General told Forbes that he “cannot confirm or deny that the investigation” includes Pierce.]
We’ve recently witnessed the rise of QAnon, the conspiracy theory that Hollywood is an evil cabal of Satanic pedophiles and Trump is the person waging war on them. You mentioned human trafficking, which has become a cause for them. What are your thoughts on that?
I’ve watched some of the content. I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. I’m an internet person, so Anonymous is obviously an organization that has been doing interesting stuff. It’s interesting. I don’t have a big—conspiracy theory stuff is—I guess I have a question for you: What do you think of all of it, since you’re the expert?
You know, I think it’s not true, but I’m not running for president. I do wonder what this politician [Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene], who’s just won her primary, is going to do on day one, once she finds out there’s no satanic cabal room.
Wait, someone was running for office and won on a QAnon platform, saying that Hollywood did—say what? You’re the expert here.
She won a primary. But I want to push on if we only have a few minutes. In 2006, your gaming company IGE brought on Steve Bannon as an investor. Goldman later bought out most of your stock. Bannon eventually replaced you as CEO of Affinity. You’ve described him as your “right-hand man for, like, seven years.” How well did you know Bannon during that time?
Yes, so this is in my mid-twenties. He wasn’t an investor. He worked for me. He was my banker. He worked for me for three years as my yield guide. And then he was my CEO running the company for another four years. So I haven’t worked with Steve for a decade or so. We worked in videogame stuff and banking. He was at Goldman Sachs. He was not in the political area at the time. But he was a pretty successful banker. He set up Goldman Sachs Los Angeles. So for me, I’d say he did a pretty good job.
During your business relationship, Steve Bannon founded Breitbart News, which has pretty consistently published racist material. How do you feel about Breitbart?
I had no involvement with Breitbart News. As for how I feel about such material, I’m not pleased by any form of hate-mongering. I strongly support the equality of all Americans.
Did you have qualms about Bannon’s role in the 2016 election?
Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign got me to pay closer attention to what he was doing but that’s about it. Whenever you find out that one of your former employees has taken on a role like that, you pay attention.
Bannon served on the board of Cambridge Analytica. A staffer on your campaign, Brittany Kaiser, also served as a business director for them. What are your thoughts on their use of illicitly-obtained Facebook data for campaign promotional material?
Yes, so this will be the last question I can answer because I’ve got to be off for this 5:00 pm. But Brittany Kaiser is a friend of mine. She was the whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica. She came to me and said, “What do I do?” And I said, “Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.”
[Ed. Note: Investigations in Cambridge Analytica took place as early as Nov. 2017, when a U.K. reporter at Channel 4 News recorded their CEO boasting about using “beautiful Ukranian girls” and offers of bribes to discredit political officials. The first whistleblower was Christopher Wylie, who disclosed a cache of documents to The Guardian, published on Mar. 17, 2018. Kaiser’s confession ran five days later, after the scandal made national news. Her association with Cambridge Analytica is not mentioned anywhere on Pierce’s campaign website.]
So I’m glad that people—I’m a supporter of whistleblowers, people that see injustice in the world and something not right happening, and who put themselves in harm’s way to stand up for what they believe in. So I stand up for Brittany Kaiser.
Who do you think [anonymous inventor of Bitcoin] Satoshi Nakamoto is?
We all are Satoshi Nakamoto.
You got married at Burning Man. Have you been attending virtual Burning Man?
I’m running a presidential campaign. So, while I was there in spirit, unfortunately my schedule did not permit me to attend.
OP note: please refer to the original article for reference links within text (as I've not added them here!)
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2020.09.19 14:01 ILoveSupergiant New UK COVID Restrictions

Government update
On Friday the 17th of fucktember new restrictions will come into play. We will sound a kazoo from the top of the angel of the north to start the new rules. Do not mix with anyone from other households, unless there’s only 5 of them, in which case fill your boots. If you need to see loved ones or friends, go to the pub. Weatherspoons open about 8am so you only have 14hrs to mix because theymust be shut at 10pm however, go straight home, no parties or anything like that, and straight to bed. And don’t forget to turn your lights off so corona knows you’re sleeping. Remember to set your alarm to get up and go grouse shooting with up to 30people...that’s ok...but you MUST...listen to the benny hill theme music on your way to the shoot. Work is fine, school is fine, eating out is fine, shopping is fine, but if we catch you in a park in groups of anymore than 6....KERCHING!!!!....your getting fined. There’s new Marshall’s who will be on patrol to enforce this, most probably wearing power ranger costumes. If you do have symptoms get a test, if you live in Durham then the closest test centre is probably Cornwall, and even when you take the test it’s most definitely probably maybe wrong. We are trying our hardest to get a test from somewhere that will work, the last few haven’t been great and we can only get our hands on a few thousand at a time but Boris wants 1/2 a million a day so we need to pull our finger out. Matt Hancock’s brother was on a grouse shoot and his mates uncle said he could sort him some tests out for cash, so the government have set aside a further 3billion pounds - which will have to be taken out over the counter at Barclays for matts mates brothers uncle. Remember that you need to play your part too....wash your hands...stay 2m apart...wear a mask...I know it hasn’t worked up to now but keep doing it anyway. From Monday, wear a blindfold as well as a mask, wear headphones with or without music, wear gloves and a scarf and a hat, any hat you want but preferably a cowboy hat.
If we follow these rules we can beat this together.
👍😎
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2020.09.12 18:45 PrisonWriters Prison Labor Is Slave Work

From Texas State Prisoner, Edward Ji:
They call fields. You wake up. Comfort yourself. Cuddle your sheet and pretend it’s a cat. Your cellie rushes to smoke a K2 stick (spice joint), to less feel the pain. Shit if you can. Sit. Get ready. You go outside, for the first time in months. It’s not that they don’t let you, but after walking in circles for ten minutes watching sweaty walruses try to dunk a basketball, it’s mostly downhill from there.
The sun is absurdly bright, breaking through the Texas cloudscape like Creation itself. Soon, you will learn to hate it. You march out the razor wire castle that is your home in “hoe squads” of a dozen each, stalked by guards on whickering horseback holstering revolvers. Cats ninja out of your way, under post-apocalyptic slop wagons brimming with kitchen scraps, like Cold War tanks growing cancerous lumps of rust. You vow, if ever released, to surround yourself with cats. With dogs and birds and pythons. Such would be your luxury. Prisoners around you have kept mice and frogs in jars, birds in mesh commissary bags, even bats in lockers. You have seen old men wrapping dead flies in toilet paper to feed their pet spiders.
Animals are a luxury. Trees are a luxury. Grass is a luxury. At age sixteen, you were transferred briefly to Terrell state Mental Hospital after four months of juvie. Four months of metal doors and concrete floors and fluorescent lights. While being escorted to your new cell, you passed through a lawn. Your guards let you touch a tree. You will remember the barnacled bark under your fingers until the day you die. The feeling of tossing aside your shoes at the first sight of that emerald rec yard, and laughing barefoot, staring unbelievingly at your toes. One day, I will walk barefoot in grass again, you think as you march, two-by-two, through hell. I will pet a cat again.
The gate opens. Angry cowboys scream “Walk it off!” Birds swarm to peck at green horseshit. Dawn glows on salmon cloud-bellies like a baby atom bomb. Hills everywhere. How long has it been since you’ve seen a horizon, lost in morning mist only, and not through bars or chain-link or razor wire? Bird ch-ch-chirp for mates; bastards.
You walk through Middle Earth. Dinosaurs could roam here with real estate to spare. The smell is incredible; mostly the pig farm. You pass tractors; pass trailers, left there as if just to insult you on your way to pick beans by hand.
You pass a crossroad and memorize the signs. You try to map out every hill and dip and sewer pipe in your mind, nicknaming them with battles from World War II. Because, you know, just in case. Just in case the moment comes, when the horses aren’t surrounding you on every side. When the inmate with the dogs stops prowling on a distant hill. That day when the gods are kind and your chance comes; when the enemy slips.
Cows low behind paddocks. Oil derricks. Cowboys spit. A trailer rumbles past, full of horses and barking dogs, mocking you. The pig farm is air-conditioned, but the prison is not.
You walk for miles, lurching on rocks. Taste the road-dust layered on your teeth. Rattlesnakes ch-ch-ch from the high grass. Weird bugs haunt your sweat thirstily. You eye the distant forest. Let yourself dream a little. Too far.
For years, you will dream of trees. You spent your childhood wandering desolate railroads, the scrubland, and imagined the wider world not as a glitzy city, not as people, but as trees. Now, for the rest of your life, you will wander empty industrial blocks, climbing chain-fences and walls, knowing someone’s chasing you, desperately running for the mist-cloaked frees–until you wake, weeping into your prison sheets, a feeling nesting inside you too beautiful for words. A loss too profound.
They pass out bags for you to fill. You bend and forage through blades of crabgrass and red spiders and black mud until your arms are pink to the elbow. Swing your bag through bean-less fire ants, moths fluttering. Your friend (an Aztec-mystic/philosopher prison-magician) hands up a lemon drop. You now understand the appeal of gangs. No one else is on your side, teaching you, taking care of you. Anything to not be alone.
Inmates beside you reminisce about the diamonds they used to have in their mouth, which tooth, while you work without gloves or sunscreen. This is your new value as human beings. Somewhere in this world, fellow Americans are spending eight billion dollars on Halloween costumes for dogs.
Two hours in, a water break. You stand silently, two-by-two, hats off, staring at the water trailer until its ass-pipe sputters. Now line up to suck the water down like horses. Like someone pissing in your mouth. Refreshing. Thirty seconds, and form up again, to pick okra, bare-handed. Itchy hairs. The plants are covered in white flowers. For some reason, ants eat these flowers. Thank you, God. “It’s like grabbing fiberglass,” an old man warns. “Wrap your hand in your hat.”
You line up on barbed wire, facing a creek. “Bump down, bump down!” Cries the sarge. You squeeze “nuts to butt,” staring at each other’s necks. “Bump down!” Which way? “I’m doing this way.” A lifer gestures vaguely at freedom. Ha-ha. “Aggies up!” You raise your hoes in a thirty-man salute, facing liongrass, your mortal foe. Your blades will swing like a Spartan phalanx, inches from your neighbors’ faces. Guards adjust your position like battlefield commanders. One moves you up, one down. You once saw a YouTube video of thousands of Thai prisoners reenacting Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” You are a poor imitation. “Man, fuck America!” laughs a black inmate, old cellie “50,” with fifty years.
Then you smell it. The creek. It hits you like a poison bomb: the “water” is solid dappled-green shit. A two-thousand man sewer. The horror of what you’re about to do sinks in.
Now you sing. “One!-We up, two!-We up, three!” You strike the ground like robots, and “fo’ step” forward, blades biting at your boots, annihilating everything in your path, anthills, orb-spider webs six feet across, wasp nests–towards the diseased water. “I don’t wanna!” Hit. “You don’t wanna!” Hit. “But we gotta!” Hit. “Fo’ step!” You perch on the perilous edge, and strike at the swamp grass in the shallows, averting your face from your jade reflection, as clods rain in this putrid River Styx, and pretend you don’t exist; that you were never born; that your body is just a tractor, a machine, and not a living thing with you in it.
“Now we gonna-fo’ step!” Now you will plow the wet bed of green shit.
Think of it like writing cursive in school. The point is not to actually cut grass. The point is to re-engineer you as a person. This is good for your soul. This is what you will be made of if you are ever released. This is the new you.
You were once cruel. You were once angry. You were a liar, a thief, a violent person. Now you are in hell, exiled from all that is holy. Now you are screamed at and manhandled. Now you have to lie and cheat every day to survive. Now every new prison you move to, you have to “fight, fuck, or bust a forty.” Now on your first day, three fellow prisoners come to “heart check” you, (i.e., to beat, rape, or extort you). This is your life. Stop trying to make moral logic of it, or even regular logic, it’ll go easier for you. Then someday when you’re old, you will be released. You will have no non-criminal friends. Your family will not recognize you. Half will be dead. You will be near-unemployable. With luck, you will be a burger flipper, or truck driver (these jobs will soon be eliminated by robots). You will be tech-illiterate (the prison college has a class about the internet.. .taught from a book). Women, children, cars, cash, self-control, freedom will all be alien to you. Everyone will treat you like a criminal anyway.
The point of prison is not to fix you (to teach you a lesson), but to destroy you (to “teach you a lesson”). Criminals must be destroyed as human beings: Bankrupted; Publicly humiliated; Socially exiled. Literally disenfranchised (lose your right to vote). You once read a fantasy novel (The Wheel of Time) where a deposed queen was forced to work as a laundry-woman for the rest of her life. A dead queen is a martyr. A John Dillinger. A Bonnie and Clyde. A laundry-queen is utterly destroyed.
The sun is at high noon, gunslinger shadows. You march to a ditch-bottom, hopping wasps and fire ants, a wet rag around your neck. Your neighbor falls. “Man down!” Cries echo up the line. The pasty psych-patient, “Zombie,” squirms in the mud, white eyes rolling, joints locked. Just a minute ago, you were debating the merits of the old Gundam series against the new. Now you get to watch him die.
“Push on, push on!” Field laws sit in their saddles, shoulder to shoulder like a silent firing squad, pointing at the grass, the grass, miles of grass everywhere, stranded in the drought-yellow sea. “Call medical!” Someone else has had enough, tossing away their aggie; a hero. Not you. You watch, two inmates holding Zombie up. Briefly, heat haunts the air, the tingle of violence, and the distant trees.
Then they call a truck—not for Zombie to ride in, but to follow him as a friend carries him like a wounded soldier two miles home.
Now they take you back in. As the guard screams to shut up, two inmates begin to rap: “I’m a diamond in the dirt that ain’t been found, an unnamed king that ain’t been crowned…(Magna Carta. Holy Grail!)” Pass under the shadow of the sniper tower. Horses tethered to chain-link wicker at your passing. Now you get naked, barefoot on hot concrete. Open your arms as you pass a fan, the wind in your pubes. Dozens of naked men are normal now. You spin as they search you, open your mouth, lift your feet. Now stand in naked rows to enter a shower so angry, your balls will hurt, dreaming of sleep.
Make Prisoners Voices Heard On Prison Writers!
Write To Edward Ji #01575341 12120 Savage Drive, Midway, TX, 75852-3654
submitted by PrisonWriters to CriminalJustice [link] [comments]


2020.09.12 18:45 PrisonWriters Prison Labor Is Slave Work

From Texas State Prisoner, Edward Ji:
They call fields. You wake up. Comfort yourself. Cuddle your sheet and pretend it’s a cat. Your cellie rushes to smoke a K2 stick (spice joint), to less feel the pain. Shit if you can. Sit. Get ready. You go outside, for the first time in months. It’s not that they don’t let you, but after walking in circles for ten minutes watching sweaty walruses try to dunk a basketball, it’s mostly downhill from there.
The sun is absurdly bright, breaking through the Texas cloudscape like Creation itself. Soon, you will learn to hate it. You march out the razor wire castle that is your home in “hoe squads” of a dozen each, stalked by guards on whickering horseback holstering revolvers. Cats ninja out of your way, under post-apocalyptic slop wagons brimming with kitchen scraps, like Cold War tanks growing cancerous lumps of rust. You vow, if ever released, to surround yourself with cats. With dogs and birds and pythons. Such would be your luxury. Prisoners around you have kept mice and frogs in jars, birds in mesh commissary bags, even bats in lockers. You have seen old men wrapping dead flies in toilet paper to feed their pet spiders.
Animals are a luxury. Trees are a luxury. Grass is a luxury. At age sixteen, you were transferred briefly to Terrell state Mental Hospital after four months of juvie. Four months of metal doors and concrete floors and fluorescent lights. While being escorted to your new cell, you passed through a lawn. Your guards let you touch a tree. You will remember the barnacled bark under your fingers until the day you die. The feeling of tossing aside your shoes at the first sight of that emerald rec yard, and laughing barefoot, staring unbelievingly at your toes. One day, I will walk barefoot in grass again, you think as you march, two-by-two, through hell. I will pet a cat again.
The gate opens. Angry cowboys scream “Walk it off!” Birds swarm to peck at green horseshit. Dawn glows on salmon cloud-bellies like a baby atom bomb. Hills everywhere. How long has it been since you’ve seen a horizon, lost in morning mist only, and not through bars or chain-link or razor wire? Bird ch-ch-chirp for mates; bastards.
You walk through Middle Earth. Dinosaurs could roam here with real estate to spare. The smell is incredible; mostly the pig farm. You pass tractors; pass trailers, left there as if just to insult you on your way to pick beans by hand.
You pass a crossroad and memorize the signs. You try to map out every hill and dip and sewer pipe in your mind, nicknaming them with battles from World War II. Because, you know, just in case. Just in case the moment comes, when the horses aren’t surrounding you on every side. When the inmate with the dogs stops prowling on a distant hill. That day when the gods are kind and your chance comes; when the enemy slips.
Cows low behind paddocks. Oil derricks. Cowboys spit. A trailer rumbles past, full of horses and barking dogs, mocking you. The pig farm is air-conditioned, but the prison is not.
You walk for miles, lurching on rocks. Taste the road-dust layered on your teeth. Rattlesnakes ch-ch-ch from the high grass. Weird bugs haunt your sweat thirstily. You eye the distant forest. Let yourself dream a little. Too far.
For years, you will dream of trees. You spent your childhood wandering desolate railroads, the scrubland, and imagined the wider world not as a glitzy city, not as people, but as trees. Now, for the rest of your life, you will wander empty industrial blocks, climbing chain-fences and walls, knowing someone’s chasing you, desperately running for the mist-cloaked frees–until you wake, weeping into your prison sheets, a feeling nesting inside you too beautiful for words. A loss too profound.
They pass out bags for you to fill. You bend and forage through blades of crabgrass and red spiders and black mud until your arms are pink to the elbow. Swing your bag through bean-less fire ants, moths fluttering. Your friend (an Aztec-mystic/philosopher prison-magician) hands up a lemon drop. You now understand the appeal of gangs. No one else is on your side, teaching you, taking care of you. Anything to not be alone.
Inmates beside you reminisce about the diamonds they used to have in their mouth, which tooth, while you work without gloves or sunscreen. This is your new value as human beings. Somewhere in this world, fellow Americans are spending eight billion dollars on Halloween costumes for dogs.
Two hours in, a water break. You stand silently, two-by-two, hats off, staring at the water trailer until its ass-pipe sputters. Now line up to suck the water down like horses. Like someone pissing in your mouth. Refreshing. Thirty seconds, and form up again, to pick okra, bare-handed. Itchy hairs. The plants are covered in white flowers. For some reason, ants eat these flowers. Thank you, God. “It’s like grabbing fiberglass,” an old man warns. “Wrap your hand in your hat.”
You line up on barbed wire, facing a creek. “Bump down, bump down!” Cries the sarge. You squeeze “nuts to butt,” staring at each other’s necks. “Bump down!” Which way? “I’m doing this way.” A lifer gestures vaguely at freedom. Ha-ha. “Aggies up!” You raise your hoes in a thirty-man salute, facing liongrass, your mortal foe. Your blades will swing like a Spartan phalanx, inches from your neighbors’ faces. Guards adjust your position like battlefield commanders. One moves you up, one down. You once saw a YouTube video of thousands of Thai prisoners reenacting Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” You are a poor imitation. “Man, fuck America!” laughs a black inmate, old cellie “50,” with fifty years.
Then you smell it. The creek. It hits you like a poison bomb: the “water” is solid dappled-green shit. A two-thousand man sewer. The horror of what you’re about to do sinks in.
Now you sing. “One!-We up, two!-We up, three!” You strike the ground like robots, and “fo’ step” forward, blades biting at your boots, annihilating everything in your path, anthills, orb-spider webs six feet across, wasp nests–towards the diseased water. “I don’t wanna!” Hit. “You don’t wanna!” Hit. “But we gotta!” Hit. “Fo’ step!” You perch on the perilous edge, and strike at the swamp grass in the shallows, averting your face from your jade reflection, as clods rain in this putrid River Styx, and pretend you don’t exist; that you were never born; that your body is just a tractor, a machine, and not a living thing with you in it.
“Now we gonna-fo’ step!” Now you will plow the wet bed of green shit.
Think of it like writing cursive in school. The point is not to actually cut grass. The point is to re-engineer you as a person. This is good for your soul. This is what you will be made of if you are ever released. This is the new you.
You were once cruel. You were once angry. You were a liar, a thief, a violent person. Now you are in hell, exiled from all that is holy. Now you are screamed at and manhandled. Now you have to lie and cheat every day to survive. Now every new prison you move to, you have to “fight, fuck, or bust a forty.” Now on your first day, three fellow prisoners come to “heart check” you, (i.e., to beat, rape, or extort you). This is your life. Stop trying to make moral logic of it, or even regular logic, it’ll go easier for you. Then someday when you’re old, you will be released. You will have no non-criminal friends. Your family will not recognize you. Half will be dead. You will be near-unemployable. With luck, you will be a burger flipper, or truck driver (these jobs will soon be eliminated by robots). You will be tech-illiterate (the prison college has a class about the internet.. .taught from a book). Women, children, cars, cash, self-control, freedom will all be alien to you. Everyone will treat you like a criminal anyway.
The point of prison is not to fix you (to teach you a lesson), but to destroy you (to “teach you a lesson”). Criminals must be destroyed as human beings: Bankrupted; Publicly humiliated; Socially exiled. Literally disenfranchised (lose your right to vote). You once read a fantasy novel (The Wheel of Time) where a deposed queen was forced to work as a laundry-woman for the rest of her life. A dead queen is a martyr. A John Dillinger. A Bonnie and Clyde. A laundry-queen is utterly destroyed.
The sun is at high noon, gunslinger shadows. You march to a ditch-bottom, hopping wasps and fire ants, a wet rag around your neck. Your neighbor falls. “Man down!” Cries echo up the line. The pasty psych-patient, “Zombie,” squirms in the mud, white eyes rolling, joints locked. Just a minute ago, you were debating the merits of the old Gundam series against the new. Now you get to watch him die.
“Push on, push on!” Field laws sit in their saddles, shoulder to shoulder like a silent firing squad, pointing at the grass, the grass, miles of grass everywhere, stranded in the drought-yellow sea. “Call medical!” Someone else has had enough, tossing away their aggie; a hero. Not you. You watch, two inmates holding Zombie up. Briefly, heat haunts the air, the tingle of violence, and the distant trees.
Then they call a truck—not for Zombie to ride in, but to follow him as a friend carries him like a wounded soldier two miles home.
Now they take you back in. As the guard screams to shut up, two inmates begin to rap: “I’m a diamond in the dirt that ain’t been found, an unnamed king that ain’t been crowned…(Magna Carta. Holy Grail!)” Pass under the shadow of the sniper tower. Horses tethered to chain-link wicker at your passing. Now you get naked, barefoot on hot concrete. Open your arms as you pass a fan, the wind in your pubes. Dozens of naked men are normal now. You spin as they search you, open your mouth, lift your feet. Now stand in naked rows to enter a shower so angry, your balls will hurt, dreaming of sleep.
Make Prisoners Voices Heard On Prison Writers!
Write To Edward Ji #01575341 12120 Savage Drive, Midway, TX, 75852-3654
submitted by PrisonWriters to EndMassIncarceration [link] [comments]


2020.09.12 18:45 PrisonWriters Prison Labor Is Slave Work

From Texas State Prisoner, Edward Ji:
They call fields. You wake up. Comfort yourself. Cuddle your sheet and pretend it’s a cat. Your cellie rushes to smoke a K2 stick (spice joint), to less feel the pain. Shit if you can. Sit. Get ready. You go outside, for the first time in months. It’s not that they don’t let you, but after walking in circles for ten minutes watching sweaty walruses try to dunk a basketball, it’s mostly downhill from there.
The sun is absurdly bright, breaking through the Texas cloudscape like Creation itself. Soon, you will learn to hate it. You march out the razor wire castle that is your home in “hoe squads” of a dozen each, stalked by guards on whickering horseback holstering revolvers. Cats ninja out of your way, under post-apocalyptic slop wagons brimming with kitchen scraps, like Cold War tanks growing cancerous lumps of rust. You vow, if ever released, to surround yourself with cats. With dogs and birds and pythons. Such would be your luxury. Prisoners around you have kept mice and frogs in jars, birds in mesh commissary bags, even bats in lockers. You have seen old men wrapping dead flies in toilet paper to feed their pet spiders.
Animals are a luxury. Trees are a luxury. Grass is a luxury. At age sixteen, you were transferred briefly to Terrell state Mental Hospital after four months of juvie. Four months of metal doors and concrete floors and fluorescent lights. While being escorted to your new cell, you passed through a lawn. Your guards let you touch a tree. You will remember the barnacled bark under your fingers until the day you die. The feeling of tossing aside your shoes at the first sight of that emerald rec yard, and laughing barefoot, staring unbelievingly at your toes. One day, I will walk barefoot in grass again, you think as you march, two-by-two, through hell. I will pet a cat again.
The gate opens. Angry cowboys scream “Walk it off!” Birds swarm to peck at green horseshit. Dawn glows on salmon cloud-bellies like a baby atom bomb. Hills everywhere. How long has it been since you’ve seen a horizon, lost in morning mist only, and not through bars or chain-link or razor wire? Bird ch-ch-chirp for mates; bastards.
You walk through Middle Earth. Dinosaurs could roam here with real estate to spare. The smell is incredible; mostly the pig farm. You pass tractors; pass trailers, left there as if just to insult you on your way to pick beans by hand.
You pass a crossroad and memorize the signs. You try to map out every hill and dip and sewer pipe in your mind, nicknaming them with battles from World War II. Because, you know, just in case. Just in case the moment comes, when the horses aren’t surrounding you on every side. When the inmate with the dogs stops prowling on a distant hill. That day when the gods are kind and your chance comes; when the enemy slips.
Cows low behind paddocks. Oil derricks. Cowboys spit. A trailer rumbles past, full of horses and barking dogs, mocking you. The pig farm is air-conditioned, but the prison is not.
You walk for miles, lurching on rocks. Taste the road-dust layered on your teeth. Rattlesnakes ch-ch-ch from the high grass. Weird bugs haunt your sweat thirstily. You eye the distant forest. Let yourself dream a little. Too far.
For years, you will dream of trees. You spent your childhood wandering desolate railroads, the scrubland, and imagined the wider world not as a glitzy city, not as people, but as trees. Now, for the rest of your life, you will wander empty industrial blocks, climbing chain-fences and walls, knowing someone’s chasing you, desperately running for the mist-cloaked frees–until you wake, weeping into your prison sheets, a feeling nesting inside you too beautiful for words. A loss too profound.
They pass out bags for you to fill. You bend and forage through blades of crabgrass and red spiders and black mud until your arms are pink to the elbow. Swing your bag through bean-less fire ants, moths fluttering. Your friend (an Aztec-mystic/philosopher prison-magician) hands up a lemon drop. You now understand the appeal of gangs. No one else is on your side, teaching you, taking care of you. Anything to not be alone.
Inmates beside you reminisce about the diamonds they used to have in their mouth, which tooth, while you work without gloves or sunscreen. This is your new value as human beings. Somewhere in this world, fellow Americans are spending eight billion dollars on Halloween costumes for dogs.
Two hours in, a water break. You stand silently, two-by-two, hats off, staring at the water trailer until its ass-pipe sputters. Now line up to suck the water down like horses. Like someone pissing in your mouth. Refreshing. Thirty seconds, and form up again, to pick okra, bare-handed. Itchy hairs. The plants are covered in white flowers. For some reason, ants eat these flowers. Thank you, God. “It’s like grabbing fiberglass,” an old man warns. “Wrap your hand in your hat.”
You line up on barbed wire, facing a creek. “Bump down, bump down!” Cries the sarge. You squeeze “nuts to butt,” staring at each other’s necks. “Bump down!” Which way? “I’m doing this way.” A lifer gestures vaguely at freedom. Ha-ha. “Aggies up!” You raise your hoes in a thirty-man salute, facing liongrass, your mortal foe. Your blades will swing like a Spartan phalanx, inches from your neighbors’ faces. Guards adjust your position like battlefield commanders. One moves you up, one down. You once saw a YouTube video of thousands of Thai prisoners reenacting Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” You are a poor imitation. “Man, fuck America!” laughs a black inmate, old cellie “50,” with fifty years.
Then you smell it. The creek. It hits you like a poison bomb: the “water” is solid dappled-green shit. A two-thousand man sewer. The horror of what you’re about to do sinks in.
Now you sing. “One!-We up, two!-We up, three!” You strike the ground like robots, and “fo’ step” forward, blades biting at your boots, annihilating everything in your path, anthills, orb-spider webs six feet across, wasp nests–towards the diseased water. “I don’t wanna!” Hit. “You don’t wanna!” Hit. “But we gotta!” Hit. “Fo’ step!” You perch on the perilous edge, and strike at the swamp grass in the shallows, averting your face from your jade reflection, as clods rain in this putrid River Styx, and pretend you don’t exist; that you were never born; that your body is just a tractor, a machine, and not a living thing with you in it.
“Now we gonna-fo’ step!” Now you will plow the wet bed of green shit.
Think of it like writing cursive in school. The point is not to actually cut grass. The point is to re-engineer you as a person. This is good for your soul. This is what you will be made of if you are ever released. This is the new you.
You were once cruel. You were once angry. You were a liar, a thief, a violent person. Now you are in hell, exiled from all that is holy. Now you are screamed at and manhandled. Now you have to lie and cheat every day to survive. Now every new prison you move to, you have to “fight, fuck, or bust a forty.” Now on your first day, three fellow prisoners come to “heart check” you, (i.e., to beat, rape, or extort you). This is your life. Stop trying to make moral logic of it, or even regular logic, it’ll go easier for you. Then someday when you’re old, you will be released. You will have no non-criminal friends. Your family will not recognize you. Half will be dead. You will be near-unemployable. With luck, you will be a burger flipper, or truck driver (these jobs will soon be eliminated by robots). You will be tech-illiterate (the prison college has a class about the internet.. .taught from a book). Women, children, cars, cash, self-control, freedom will all be alien to you. Everyone will treat you like a criminal anyway.
The point of prison is not to fix you (to teach you a lesson), but to destroy you (to “teach you a lesson”). Criminals must be destroyed as human beings: Bankrupted; Publicly humiliated; Socially exiled. Literally disenfranchised (lose your right to vote). You once read a fantasy novel (The Wheel of Time) where a deposed queen was forced to work as a laundry-woman for the rest of her life. A dead queen is a martyr. A John Dillinger. A Bonnie and Clyde. A laundry-queen is utterly destroyed.
The sun is at high noon, gunslinger shadows. You march to a ditch-bottom, hopping wasps and fire ants, a wet rag around your neck. Your neighbor falls. “Man down!” Cries echo up the line. The pasty psych-patient, “Zombie,” squirms in the mud, white eyes rolling, joints locked. Just a minute ago, you were debating the merits of the old Gundam series against the new. Now you get to watch him die.
“Push on, push on!” Field laws sit in their saddles, shoulder to shoulder like a silent firing squad, pointing at the grass, the grass, miles of grass everywhere, stranded in the drought-yellow sea. “Call medical!” Someone else has had enough, tossing away their aggie; a hero. Not you. You watch, two inmates holding Zombie up. Briefly, heat haunts the air, the tingle of violence, and the distant trees.
Then they call a truck—not for Zombie to ride in, but to follow him as a friend carries him like a wounded soldier two miles home.
Now they take you back in. As the guard screams to shut up, two inmates begin to rap: “I’m a diamond in the dirt that ain’t been found, an unnamed king that ain’t been crowned…(Magna Carta. Holy Grail!)” Pass under the shadow of the sniper tower. Horses tethered to chain-link wicker at your passing. Now you get naked, barefoot on hot concrete. Open your arms as you pass a fan, the wind in your pubes. Dozens of naked men are normal now. You spin as they search you, open your mouth, lift your feet. Now stand in naked rows to enter a shower so angry, your balls will hurt, dreaming of sleep.
Make Prisoners Voices Heard On Prison Writers!
Write To Edward Ji #01575341 12120 Savage Drive, Midway, TX, 75852-3654
submitted by PrisonWriters to socialjustice101 [link] [comments]


2020.09.12 18:45 PrisonWriters Prison Labor Is Slave Work

From Texas State Prisoner, Edward Ji:
They call fields. You wake up. Comfort yourself. Cuddle your sheet and pretend it’s a cat. Your cellie rushes to smoke a K2 stick (spice joint), to less feel the pain. Shit if you can. Sit. Get ready. You go outside, for the first time in months. It’s not that they don’t let you, but after walking in circles for ten minutes watching sweaty walruses try to dunk a basketball, it’s mostly downhill from there.
The sun is absurdly bright, breaking through the Texas cloudscape like Creation itself. Soon, you will learn to hate it. You march out the razor wire castle that is your home in “hoe squads” of a dozen each, stalked by guards on whickering horseback holstering revolvers. Cats ninja out of your way, under post-apocalyptic slop wagons brimming with kitchen scraps, like Cold War tanks growing cancerous lumps of rust. You vow, if ever released, to surround yourself with cats. With dogs and birds and pythons. Such would be your luxury. Prisoners around you have kept mice and frogs in jars, birds in mesh commissary bags, even bats in lockers. You have seen old men wrapping dead flies in toilet paper to feed their pet spiders.
Animals are a luxury. Trees are a luxury. Grass is a luxury. At age sixteen, you were transferred briefly to Terrell state Mental Hospital after four months of juvie. Four months of metal doors and concrete floors and fluorescent lights. While being escorted to your new cell, you passed through a lawn. Your guards let you touch a tree. You will remember the barnacled bark under your fingers until the day you die. The feeling of tossing aside your shoes at the first sight of that emerald rec yard, and laughing barefoot, staring unbelievingly at your toes. One day, I will walk barefoot in grass again, you think as you march, two-by-two, through hell. I will pet a cat again.
The gate opens. Angry cowboys scream “Walk it off!” Birds swarm to peck at green horseshit. Dawn glows on salmon cloud-bellies like a baby atom bomb. Hills everywhere. How long has it been since you’ve seen a horizon, lost in morning mist only, and not through bars or chain-link or razor wire? Bird ch-ch-chirp for mates; bastards.
You walk through Middle Earth. Dinosaurs could roam here with real estate to spare. The smell is incredible; mostly the pig farm. You pass tractors; pass trailers, left there as if just to insult you on your way to pick beans by hand.
You pass a crossroad and memorize the signs. You try to map out every hill and dip and sewer pipe in your mind, nicknaming them with battles from World War II. Because, you know, just in case. Just in case the moment comes, when the horses aren’t surrounding you on every side. When the inmate with the dogs stops prowling on a distant hill. That day when the gods are kind and your chance comes; when the enemy slips.
Cows low behind paddocks. Oil derricks. Cowboys spit. A trailer rumbles past, full of horses and barking dogs, mocking you. The pig farm is air-conditioned, but the prison is not.
You walk for miles, lurching on rocks. Taste the road-dust layered on your teeth. Rattlesnakes ch-ch-ch from the high grass. Weird bugs haunt your sweat thirstily. You eye the distant forest. Let yourself dream a little. Too far.
For years, you will dream of trees. You spent your childhood wandering desolate railroads, the scrubland, and imagined the wider world not as a glitzy city, not as people, but as trees. Now, for the rest of your life, you will wander empty industrial blocks, climbing chain-fences and walls, knowing someone’s chasing you, desperately running for the mist-cloaked frees–until you wake, weeping into your prison sheets, a feeling nesting inside you too beautiful for words. A loss too profound.
They pass out bags for you to fill. You bend and forage through blades of crabgrass and red spiders and black mud until your arms are pink to the elbow. Swing your bag through bean-less fire ants, moths fluttering. Your friend (an Aztec-mystic/philosopher prison-magician) hands up a lemon drop. You now understand the appeal of gangs. No one else is on your side, teaching you, taking care of you. Anything to not be alone.
Inmates beside you reminisce about the diamonds they used to have in their mouth, which tooth, while you work without gloves or sunscreen. This is your new value as human beings. Somewhere in this world, fellow Americans are spending eight billion dollars on Halloween costumes for dogs.
Two hours in, a water break. You stand silently, two-by-two, hats off, staring at the water trailer until its ass-pipe sputters. Now line up to suck the water down like horses. Like someone pissing in your mouth. Refreshing. Thirty seconds, and form up again, to pick okra, bare-handed. Itchy hairs. The plants are covered in white flowers. For some reason, ants eat these flowers. Thank you, God. “It’s like grabbing fiberglass,” an old man warns. “Wrap your hand in your hat.”
You line up on barbed wire, facing a creek. “Bump down, bump down!” Cries the sarge. You squeeze “nuts to butt,” staring at each other’s necks. “Bump down!” Which way? “I’m doing this way.” A lifer gestures vaguely at freedom. Ha-ha. “Aggies up!” You raise your hoes in a thirty-man salute, facing liongrass, your mortal foe. Your blades will swing like a Spartan phalanx, inches from your neighbors’ faces. Guards adjust your position like battlefield commanders. One moves you up, one down. You once saw a YouTube video of thousands of Thai prisoners reenacting Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” You are a poor imitation. “Man, fuck America!” laughs a black inmate, old cellie “50,” with fifty years.
Then you smell it. The creek. It hits you like a poison bomb: the “water” is solid dappled-green shit. A two-thousand man sewer. The horror of what you’re about to do sinks in.
Now you sing. “One!-We up, two!-We up, three!” You strike the ground like robots, and “fo’ step” forward, blades biting at your boots, annihilating everything in your path, anthills, orb-spider webs six feet across, wasp nests–towards the diseased water. “I don’t wanna!” Hit. “You don’t wanna!” Hit. “But we gotta!” Hit. “Fo’ step!” You perch on the perilous edge, and strike at the swamp grass in the shallows, averting your face from your jade reflection, as clods rain in this putrid River Styx, and pretend you don’t exist; that you were never born; that your body is just a tractor, a machine, and not a living thing with you in it.
“Now we gonna-fo’ step!” Now you will plow the wet bed of green shit.
Think of it like writing cursive in school. The point is not to actually cut grass. The point is to re-engineer you as a person. This is good for your soul. This is what you will be made of if you are ever released. This is the new you.
You were once cruel. You were once angry. You were a liar, a thief, a violent person. Now you are in hell, exiled from all that is holy. Now you are screamed at and manhandled. Now you have to lie and cheat every day to survive. Now every new prison you move to, you have to “fight, fuck, or bust a forty.” Now on your first day, three fellow prisoners come to “heart check” you, (i.e., to beat, rape, or extort you). This is your life. Stop trying to make moral logic of it, or even regular logic, it’ll go easier for you. Then someday when you’re old, you will be released. You will have no non-criminal friends. Your family will not recognize you. Half will be dead. You will be near-unemployable. With luck, you will be a burger flipper, or truck driver (these jobs will soon be eliminated by robots). You will be tech-illiterate (the prison college has a class about the internet.. .taught from a book). Women, children, cars, cash, self-control, freedom will all be alien to you. Everyone will treat you like a criminal anyway.
The point of prison is not to fix you (to teach you a lesson), but to destroy you (to “teach you a lesson”). Criminals must be destroyed as human beings: Bankrupted; Publicly humiliated; Socially exiled. Literally disenfranchised (lose your right to vote). You once read a fantasy novel (The Wheel of Time) where a deposed queen was forced to work as a laundry-woman for the rest of her life. A dead queen is a martyr. A John Dillinger. A Bonnie and Clyde. A laundry-queen is utterly destroyed.
The sun is at high noon, gunslinger shadows. You march to a ditch-bottom, hopping wasps and fire ants, a wet rag around your neck. Your neighbor falls. “Man down!” Cries echo up the line. The pasty psych-patient, “Zombie,” squirms in the mud, white eyes rolling, joints locked. Just a minute ago, you were debating the merits of the old Gundam series against the new. Now you get to watch him die.
“Push on, push on!” Field laws sit in their saddles, shoulder to shoulder like a silent firing squad, pointing at the grass, the grass, miles of grass everywhere, stranded in the drought-yellow sea. “Call medical!” Someone else has had enough, tossing away their aggie; a hero. Not you. You watch, two inmates holding Zombie up. Briefly, heat haunts the air, the tingle of violence, and the distant trees.
Then they call a truck—not for Zombie to ride in, but to follow him as a friend carries him like a wounded soldier two miles home.
Now they take you back in. As the guard screams to shut up, two inmates begin to rap: “I’m a diamond in the dirt that ain’t been found, an unnamed king that ain’t been crowned…(Magna Carta. Holy Grail!)” Pass under the shadow of the sniper tower. Horses tethered to chain-link wicker at your passing. Now you get naked, barefoot on hot concrete. Open your arms as you pass a fan, the wind in your pubes. Dozens of naked men are normal now. You spin as they search you, open your mouth, lift your feet. Now stand in naked rows to enter a shower so angry, your balls will hurt, dreaming of sleep.
Make Prisoners Voices Heard On Prison Writers!
Write To Edward Ji #01575341 12120 Savage Drive, Midway, TX, 75852-3654
submitted by PrisonWriters to prisonreform [link] [comments]


2020.09.12 05:43 imnotgae998 How my older cousin ruined my childhood for a game.

Hello there, fellow redditors, this is a very personal story but i wanted to share it since i felt the need to speak out.

A bit of context, it was around the late 2000's, i had a cousin wich name i forgot, he lived (?) outside the city, a zone that was town-ish in Argentina and i remember there was a train bridge near it. (this is a bit more of an experience, although i'm high english pro i may mess up my writing.)
The point is: he had a Playstation 2
I'm an Argentinian, you know, the european descendance, "mate" drinking cowboy-ish, Falklands war protagonist (hi to a few english ppl out there, i don't really hate y'all) and many other things my country is known for... gaming was slowly rising from the early or mid decade and the best games that were there was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the PS2.
At first all i remember is that we were around his house for a couple of times and we even had a christmas there, my memories about the place are a bit blurry since it was a forgettable age if it was all about him, but wait until i get to when he introduced to me his console... Oh... it all goes down.
You see, my bigger brother introduced to me gaming, with MK: Armageddon as i used to play other games such as San Andreas, L4D and Minecraft on my aunt's computer and still i was a happy lil' boi just wanting to enjoy videogames. (Sadly i wouldn't play much as i had very little time there.) Also i remember playing some LEGO games on an old familiar on his PS2. (I dunno anything about him today.)
Going actually to the point, one moment i remember the most is that he had San Andreas and i was like:
I wanna play dat gaem!! :(" -Me at 6yro i think... It's blurry.
There was this time where i had to... hold his crotch? Literally i didn't feel him hard or anything, once did that i promised that i would do whatever he wanted and not to tell my parents... It was all normal throughout the passing days and still he wouldn't let me play! Wich was disappointing and it's a bit dumb thinking why i'd even bothered accomplishing a promise that won't? Okay now heading to that part... Okay, it's going to be hard as i dunno if this is going to have to be marked as NSFW, but whatever. So i had a visit from him, we ate together and stuff, his family seemed okay as i don't remember very well... We just went to my room and played alright, (I'm unsure if it happened the same exact night or one of alot of nights, but it's my guess that it was one from several visits). He literally closed the door and put my bed against it to "block it because my parents are dangerous", i was worryingly confused and i was slowly getting a bit scared when he pulled out his flacid penis. (I think it wasn't hard, yet it was concerning) He told me to take it in my mouth but i refused highly, he was begging me "To do it for my cousin", the idiot even had to play the game where i close my eyes and you guesses what happened, it only lasted a few seconds as i quickly called my parents out, they came and the party was over. After i told them what happened, we COMPLETLY cut off contact with him and his family as i knew nothing else from him ever again... It was a messed up experience i won't forget as i got two theories on what happened to this kiddo:

1- He saw his mistakes and gotten better.

2- He's worse today.

That was it, i don't have anything else and with supporting me it's enough, cya!
submitted by imnotgae998 to stories [link] [comments]


2020.09.11 04:58 Kookabanus Just a flash in the pan!

A cautionary tale from my past. I have placed it in this sub because of the family involved. Hope you will agree. I want to assure the reader that this is an absolutely true story and I have not embellished in any way. Serious.
OK, for this one we are going way back in time to 1988ish.
Set in rural Australia, not far from Longreach.
My first job was as the sole jackeroo on a sheep station. A jackeroo is an Aussie term for a farm hand or roustabout, possibly even a cowboy/ shepherd, depending on your country.
The station (again Aussie for farm or property) was not huge as Australian stations go at 6580 hectares or 16200 acres, but neither was it particularly small. It was a pretty typical run down affair in the middle of the big drought, lots of rusting fences, dead sheep and kangaroos everywhere. Kangaroos don't mind the drought at all and were thriving. The station had an "open ticket" to cull as many 'roos as possible.
It was hot, dusty and nasty. I hated every minute of that job.
The place had been run by one family for as long as anyone could remember and here is where the Entitlement comes in. These folks had the mentality of knowing they were always right no matter what. They KNEW how to run the farm because that is how it had always been done. Anything new was wrong and bad and god help you if you dared suggest making an improvement. Each generation had been raised on the station and taught everything they knew about farming from their parents and grandparents. Hell, half the buggers were buried there.
One other thing to note, like many of the failing sheep stations, they were on government support to stay afloat until the drought broke.
I arrived as a starry eyed teenager. On my first day I was told "That's your motorbike, that's your Ute and trailer, that's your horse and that's your dog. Here is a gun and block of ammo, shoot every 'roo you see. Board and lodgings are taken out of your pay, you work 5am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, Sunday is free unless there is work needing done".
And so I began work. Mostly I was set to repairing fences that had not been looked at since before I was born. Every day I would rise before sun up and grab breakfast cooked by the Lady of the house which was *always mutton*. Breakfast, mutton chops, lunch, cold sliced mutton sandwiches, dinner, mutton roast. I would then be on my way in my ute to wherever I left off work the last day to continue replacing rusty old fence wire. Work through the day stopping to eat a mutton lunch, head back to the house at dusk for a mutton dinner, shower and bed. Each Saturday slaughter a sheep for the coming week. Repeat ad infinitum.
I must have seriously replaced over fifty kilometers of fence line single handed.
One day the boss took me to help shift some equipment from a neighbours station down the road, a good fifty kilometers or so away.
On the way there he laughed and told me about his neighbour "he is one of those city types, he actually went to agricultural college (laughs) as if you need to go to school to be a farmer (laughs again). Then the fool went and took out a huge loan, millions, to buy this place and spent the rest putting in irrigation (laughs uproariously) and the best bit is he can only manage to water about two thousand acres, that is nothing!"
On the horizon I could see a growing dot of green against the red earth of the drought.
"So how long has he been here then?" I asked
"Oh only about ten years" said the boss, "Total flash in the pan. He will never last. And get this, this is the best bit..He farms cattle!!!" (laughing like it is a huge joke) "Everyone knows this is a sheep district, you CAN'T grow cattle here"
So we pull into the neighbours property. IT...IS...INCREDIBLE!
Everything is green! There is a lush yard around the house full of growing plants, everywhere I look there is new equipment, and not a thing run down or out of place. We are greeted by several of the jackeroos there, yes this place employed ten jackys as well as the owner. In the nearby paddocks are fat and obviously very healthy cattle. I just couldn't believe it.
The boss went off to talk business while I spent time with the other workers.
"Wow, your boss sure invested in this place. Must have been a lot of money" I said
"Yeah, apparently he took a real gamble but it paid off and he is debt free now." They told me. "The cattle are doing really well out here, good weather, no pests. Looking to expend the irrigation next year, reckon he can pay for it directly out of his own pocket by now".
"So no money worries?" I asked
"Shit no" they laughed.
It gave me a lot to think about during the drive back to the sheep station as I looked out the window at the red earth and dead sheep.
"So boss, you reckon the guy won't last?" I asked
"What him? Hell no, everyone KNOWS you can only farm sheep out here. Flash in the pan mate, flash in the pan" was all he said.
And that is the definition of entitlement! Proof all around you that you are wrong yet stubbornly holding on to your beliefs anyway. A whole family of the buggers too. Taking handouts from the government to stay afloat while still mocking the only bloke in the entire district who is making a success of it.
I quit soon after.
submitted by Kookabanus to entitledparents [link] [comments]


2020.09.07 17:19 IndieheadsAOTY Album of the Year 2014 #7: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - I'm In Your Mind Fuzz

Album of the Year 2014 #7: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - I'm In Your Mind Fuzz
Hello everyone and welcome back once again to the Indieheads Album of the Year 2014 Series! Up today, my pal u/Srtviper slots in to talk about King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's second album of 2014, I'm In Your Mind Fuzz.
October 31st, 2014 – Heavenly / Flightless
Listen:
Bandcamp
Spotify
Apple Music
Background
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are an Australian rock and roll band known for their revolving door of genres and aesthetics. For the most part they stick with some deviation on psych, but they have mashed their instruments to all sorts of sounds. Leading up to this album the gizzogophy has consisted of speedy garage rock bangers, western story time, neo-psychedelia, and more neo-psychedelia but hold most of the neo. This fuzzy fifth record, takes the last 4 records, tosses out the cowboy bits, and breaks out the fog machine.
When a band makes a habit of putting out an overwhelming number of records it’s easy for their output to begin to feel disposable. This effect has been seen with many artists, for example my namesake Viper put out 6 albums in 2014 alone, but in the 2010’s indie world King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard is the most famous album assembly line. This being the Gizz boys 5th album we weren't quite to saturation point, and they certainly weren't close to running out of gimmicks. Since then the band has churned out another ten studio albums with a sixteenth set to release any time now. But among all the Lizard releases, I’m in Your Mind Fuzz is an exceptional bright spot. It’s unique take on lo-fi garage psych effectively revitalized the whole garage rock scene and continues to influence the genre's evolution.
Review by SRTViper
To me this record represents an important moment in recent garage rock history. In the first half of the 2000’s there was a substantial garage rock revival happening. The White Stripes, Arctic Monkeys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and dozens of others were entering the mainstream with fast, fun, and fuzzy rock tracks. Sure it was mostly just an extension of 90’s alternative but maybe a little closer to the genres roots. However, as the big boys started cleaning up their production and buying clothes on the nice side of town, the garage rock world broke and a new smellier sect emerged.
With a huge injection of energy the new (but also more old) garage rock world started to bubble to the surface. Integrating power pop and psyche into the genre, while also borrowing much of the fundamentals from the genre's proto punk roots. Artists like Thee Oh Sees, Black Lips, and Ty Segall were driving the genre forward, and at the head of the charge was the unfortunately named Jay Reatard.
It was a scene all about energy and making fast fun music. The songs were vibrant and the shows were intensely thrilling. It was, and I don’t say this lightly, the most skankable scene since 3rd wave ska. A sharp contrast to the more dreary sound that was most often synonymous with the current iteration of indie rock.
By 2008, things were really picking up steam. It seemed like nearly a weekly occurrence that a garage rock classic was coming out. Jay had just signed to Matador Records and it was looking like this new wave of garage could be taking over a controlling share of the indie world as a whole. But of course, it didn’t. In January of 2010 Jay Reatard was dead at 29. Overnight it felt like all momentum was lost. The other bands kept putting out records, many of them fantastic, but it was a crushing blow.
So, now it’s 2014. The garage rock world is still putting along but has been mostly overshadowed by neo-psych and post-punk that just won't stop reviving. Kevin Parker is now the president of indie and if you want to put out some psychedelic music you had better make it sparkly and sweet like Kevin likes. This is where King Gizz and the Lizz Wizz come in.
The seven piece had already made a Thee Oh Sees record and a Tame Impala record, so now it’s time to give those chunks of coal a squeeze and hope some diamonds pop out. Unfortunately, with so many members they squeezed a little too hard and ended up with a sticky mess. But it turns out that’s just what we needed. With the release of I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, garage rock got its next revival; this time with just enough psyche to appease a tamer palette.
But what actually makes this album any good? To me it’s the same thing that makes most Gizz records good: it's the fun. In their early days King Gizzard was basically a joke band. Un-tethered by pretension or artful expectations, they could make any dumb shit for a laugh; like a song about kicking around the footy. By the time our fuzzy boy was on its way out, Gizz Bizz had straightened up a bit. Their third record Float Along – Fill Your Lungs, was on the bland side, although still some glimmers of whimsy. Now however, it was rock n roll time and septuplet brought their best jorts.
Right from the get go this record throws everything at you. It screeches and yells with a menagerie of instruments. At any given moment you are hearing from nearly a dozen noise makers. With three guitarists, two drummers and smattering of other bits and bobs this album could easily become overwhelming, yet it never is. To me that’s part of what makes this album special even in the Gizz discography. It’s able to use lo fi to its advantage instead of relying on it as a crutch like many others have before them. By using a shroud of haze this record is able to present itself a uniquely aesthetic while also being catchy and easy to listen to, smoothing over some harshness while adding layers of atmosphere.
I’m in Your Mind Fuzz is a bubbling cauldron. Sounds rise and fall from its depths. As one instrument sinks out of view it is effortlessly replaced by another floating up in the mix. The layer of fuzz may obscure a sound for a time, but it never feels like it’s truly gone. Like a good Gumbo the innumerable ingredients may seem like a pallet overload on paper, but once all the flavors have a chance to meld with each other, you are left with a rich dish that perfectly blends together without being homogenous. You will never get every flavor in its full force at once, but in every bite you can feel the influence of everything in the pot.
In many ways the fuzz acts as its own instrument, though its influence also comes and goes. When it needs to be, the mix can be quite clean and mostly unobscured. Other times the fuzz will take the reins and smash its way to the front row. This is most often done in the most high intensity moments on the record, as though the sound is too brilliant to be recorded in full clarity. In these high energy moments it never feels like the sound is being held back but instead emphasized by distortion. This is most effectively seen on the album’s climax; “Am I In Heaven?”. The first half a minute is a sweet melody. It’s calm and clear. Then the rest of the instruments kick down the door and let in the fuzz. The more the song builds, the more it’s overtaken by haze. There is a brief moment of serenity but it’s quickly overtaken by a blast of noise. It’s one of the most cathartic songs I’ve ever heard and never fails to excite me.
There are a couple of weak points on this album. For the most part the lyrics are just empty calories. There are some loose themes of environmentalism and falling in love, but there is no coherent point to most of the songs. On the majority of the album, this just means that the vocals exist as another instrument. Yelps and cries are great for building on the intensity of the instrumentals. The downside however, comes in with the more vocal centric tracks. The slow songs on this record serve as a break from the high intensity bits, but honestly I don’t feel like I need a break. It’s not a huge down side, but on a ten track album one or two fluff songs is still a notable detriment.
Since the release of I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, King Gizz has rapidly grown. They are now the de facto psyche band with wide reaching influence on the indie world at large. Even though they only occasionally revisit their garage roots, Mind Fuzz and its sequel albums have had a massive impact on the world of garage. Even some of the bands that preceded Gizz have taken clear inspiration from this album's sound. And it’s not hard to see why. The Gizz sound is fun and surprisingly catchy, even without particularly interesting lyrics. It alone may not have catapulted the whole genre forward but it does represent the start of a new garage rock era, or at the very least the revitalization of the last one.
Oh, also have you heard the harmonicas on this album? Goddamn legendary mate.
Favorite Lyrics
And when I stop to think of all that we've done
Satan's at the door
Who's he looking for?
  • Satan Speeds Up
Water, hot water
Hot water, hot water
Hot water, hot water
Hot water, hot water
Hot water, hot water
Hot water, hot water
Hot water, hot water
*Hot Water
Do do do do, do do do do do do do
Do do do do do do do, do do do
Do do do do, do do do do do do do
Do do do do do do do, do do do
  • Cellophane
Talking Points
  • Which of the 15 Gizzy albums is your favorite?
  • What gimmick should they do next?
  • What are some other albums that use lo-fi to their advantage?
  • Should this album be considered a vital part of garage history? Or were the smaller innovators that carried the genre into the 2010’s more important?
  • What classic artists do you think most inspired this album?
  • What current artists do you think have been most influenced by this album?
  • And finally, where does I’m In Your Mind Fuzz rank in your 2014 lists?
Thank you to u/Srtviper for saving us by slotting in at the last minute with this great write-up! Up tomorrow, my friend and Album of the Year 1998 alum, @semiinteresting, brings us his look into one of my personal favorite albums of 2014, Dean Blunt's Black Metal. In the meantime, discuss today's album and the write-up in the comments below, where the rest of the schedule will be posted!
submitted by IndieheadsAOTY to indieheads [link] [comments]


2020.09.03 17:25 Daniel_Freeman Michael "Ghost" Freeman

Michael
Name: Michael "Ghost" Freeman
Gender: Male Age: 25~ years
Race: Modified Human
Class: Gunslinger
Theme: Firepower
Appearance: Gray Slim Hair that Covers left Eye, Black-Greyish Eyes, A Grey bandana, A wielding mask for loud operations, White-Grey "Intereference" Camo shirt, A Grey Coat, Greyish Black Pants, Cowboy Boots, Always wear a light balistic vest behind his shirt.
Personality: Silent, Cold , but carismatic if you know it well
Equipment:
- Dead Ringer = Fool Dead, 3 Encounters Cooldown, 3 Charges Max
- Quick Reload Mags = Reloads 30% faster
- Aegis Vest Mark 2 = -20% less damage, Reflects Lazer attacks
- Gravity Gloves = Can move any small object to proppel against itself or another entity
- Thermite = "See the world BURN" Very flammable Quimic
- Wielding Mask = Remain unrecognaizable meanwhile equiped, But raise the alarm Instantly
Passive Abilities:
- Operative = Unlocks Stealth in most missions.
- The Art of Steal = Lockpicks 60% Faster.
- Hacker = Can hack complex Systems.
- Firearms Specialist = 30% more Damage with Proyectile-Based Weapons and 25% faster reload speed.
-Ballistic Vests Dont Slow Sprint.
Active Abilities:
- Focus = Dont fail the next 5 Shots, Dont works In Shotguns.
- Out of Sight = Can Dissapear for XX Turns, Can reapear at any time = 4 turns Coldown.
- Adrenaline = Infinite Stamina for 3 Turns , After that slows 15% for 1 turn.
- Bullet Time Camera = Slows down time = 2 turns cooldown.
Weapons:
- Call of the Void = A modified, 2-round burst .45 ACP Handgun, The second round become explosive, doing splash damage and Slowing the targets nearby.
- Persuader = A Custom Minimalistc Bullpup Rifle whit a very futuristic look, Able to use 7.62 x 54 caliber bullets, Moderate damage whit High Firerate.
- Spas-12 = Moderate Spread Damage, Piercing, 12 ammo capacity , Wide Ammo Possibility
- Hail-Fire (Railgun) = Massive Damage, Piercing, Infinite ammo, Needs to be reved before shooting
- Escaton's Rage = After Deafeting Alatreon, Ghost upgraded his sniper using the jewel container of it's power, Now it deals A lot of knockback and Penetrates armor, Still Spare mags "I want Ava to see this Thing"
- Assasin's Blade: A small blade that stores in his Sleeve, killing with it makes no noise at all
Misc. Equipment: Food Rations = Some insta soup and Ham Sandwiches A canteen = Can be used to Contain liquids, Any kind Ammo pack = Well... Just an ammo pack A Medkit = A Military-grade Medkit Some Spare Ropes = Handy many times, Fireproof Money = 1,500,000 Actually
Companion: Quartz, His lovely Cat
Contacts:
- Sparrow, His getaway pilot and friend
- Flintlock: A mate of his work, Backup
- Phoenix: The Organization he is working for
- Toolbox: One of his friends, Owner of Armera Cutoms
- Arthur Argos: A new pal, Friended he in battle
Backstory: Michael "Ghost" Freeman, Born in [REDACTED], Son of [REDACTED] Freeman And [REDACTED] Goodman, Was an Elite Black-Ops Operative in the military of U.S.A, Know for his Ability to Make Mission Extremly Stealthy, Later Contacted By Phoenix, A criminal Organization, Which Hired him, 10 months After Ghost Got Captured by the Goverment To make them a "Job" In Exchange of A Pardon To all his Previous Crimes, After that Freeman Became A Rogue Operative, Now he is Exploring New Horizons in this new land.
Lore Posts: -Betrayal- New Horizon ....
Weaknesses:
- Unstability = Electricity in high voltage will worn out all the active Abilities for 3 turns and do Kritical damage
- The True Cost of War = Any Form to make him Sad will hit him harder, at the point of a slight depression if strong enough.
( Made using u/TheGMRedditor's character sheet guide. )


Some Photos Extracted from an old camera (White due to data loss)
submitted by Daniel_Freeman to BossfightUniverse [link] [comments]


2020.09.02 05:53 joefrost8809 LF: SHANKS LAZY SUNDAY & STATIK LINK RENAISSANCE

CL
JAYREWIND - ALL LOOP KITS
BASED 1 - RAGE LOOP KIT
SAY QUIZZY - ALL LOOP KITS EXCEPT NO LOVE SAMPLE KIT
BSTERTHEGAWD - DRUMKIT VOL 2-6 TWIN DRAGONS, GAWDLY HEAVEN SOUNDPACK, MACHIGAI
CUBEATZ 350+ LEAKED LOOP KIT
NICK MIRA - AUGUSTUS, THE MIRA TOUCH VOL 1, FORGE DRUM KIT, BODEGA, CONTRA, DIESEL, HAYWIRE, MAGMA, NEW ATLANTA, BRAWL, TAPPED IN
FORTHENIGHT - VOL 1 & 2, MOONLIGHT VOL 1-4, PHASES OF THE NIGHT (with stems), AFTER HOURS, NIGHT EXPEDITION 1 & 2
FRANK DUKES - VOL 1-10, FRANK DUKES X ALLEN RITTER, COLORS, PARKSCAPES 1 & 2
KINGSWAY MUSIC LIBRARY - CVRE 1 (with stems), CVRE 2, ILLNGHT VOL 1, ILLNGHT VOL 3, LAP OF LUXURY VOL 2, WAVES VOL 1 (with stems), WAVES VOL 2 (with stems), WAVES VOL 3 (with stems), WALLIS LANE VOL 1, ILL.E VOL 1, ILL.E VOL 2, ILL.E VOL 3, FRANO VOL 1, FRANO VOL 2 (with stems), MATTHEW TAVARES VOL 1 (with stems), JUZICY VOL 1 (with stems), JUZICY VOL 2, EIBY VOL 1, BRANDON LEGGER VOL 1 (with stems), LOUIS BELL VOL 1, MINO VOL 1, MINO VOL 2 (with stems), MIDO VOL 1, MIDO VOL 2, QUIN KIU VOL 1 (with stems), NAHUM VOL 1 (with stems), NAHUM VOL 2, TY JAKE VOL 1, MATE VOL 1, VINNYX VOL 1 (with stems), TRAXX VOL 1, SAMPLES FOR CHANGE (with stems), OSCAR ZULU VOL 1, ILL.E X EIBY VOL 1 (with stems), FRANS VOL 1, COOP THE TRUTH VOL 1 (with stems), ELI BROWN VOL 1, HORIZON, S.L.M.N VOL 1, DANIEL EAST VOL 1 (with stems), DANIEL EAST VOL 2, DANIEL EAST VOL 3, ADRIANO VOL 1, DEEP WATTERS X JOEY LOPEZ VOL 1 (with stems)
JAKE ONE - SWISH AND CHIPS VOL 1, 3 (with stems) SECRET WEAPONS 1, 2 (with stems), 3 (with stems)
PELHAM & JUNIOR - COFEE TALK VOL 1 (with stems), NEO GOTHAM VOL 3 (with stems), ARCTIC HUES, AMBER HUES VOL 1 (with stems), GUITAR MOODS, GUITAR MOODS 2
THE RUCKER COLLECTIVE - 6 (with stems), 9 (with stems), 12, 13 (with stems), 14 (with stems), 15, 20, 23, 21, 26 (with stems), 27, 28 (with stems), 29, 35 (with stems)
THE CRATE LEAGUE - HEAT INDEX VOL 1 (with stems)
CRABTREE MUSIC LIBRARY - VOL 1, 4, 5 (with stems), 10 (with stems), 13 (with stems), 15 (with stems), 16 (with stems), 17 (with stems), 20 (with stems) 21 (with stems), 22, 23 (with stems), 24
ACTION THEMES VOL 1 (with stems), ACTION THEMES VOL 2, ACTION THEMES VOL 3 (with stems),
GUITARS VOL 1 PIANOS VOL 1
CRABTREE ROYALTY FREE - VOL 2 (with stems), VOL 3 (with stems)
AG WAVY - VOL 1 (with stems), 2 (with stems), 5 (withs stems), 6, 7 (with stems), 8-21
AG WAVY SAMPLER SERIES - VOL 3
COOP THE TRUTH - ELEVATION (with stems), VOL 1-5 BUNDLE, ISOLATION (with stems), TRANSITION, ASCENSION (one shots), ASCENSION SAMPLE PACK (with stems), INTENTIONS (one shots), INTENSIONS SAMPLE PACK (with stems), INTROSPECTIONS (with stems), EXPANSION (with stems), MANIFESTATION (with stems)
DEZ WRIGHT - SPACE COWBOY, HARVEST LOOP KIT VOL 2, WILDFLOWER, ODYSSEY, POLARITY, MOON SHADES 1 & 2, BUTTERFLY EFFECT
ELI BROWN - SOUND PALETTES VOL 1, 2, 3 (with stems), SOUND VIBRATIONS (with stems), NORTHERN MOONLIGHTS, TRON LOOPS
NAMI MUSIC LIBRARY - ONDAS (with stems), POCKETS (with stems), INSOMNIA VOL 1 (with stems)
OSCAR ZULU - SQUARE ONE MUSIC LIBRARY VOL 1 (with stems), 2, 3 (with stems) THE OVERSEAS MUSIC LIBRARY, THE SYNTH TRIALS
CRYPTIC - EXPEDITION 1 - 3, UTOPIA W/ VIP TICKET
TEDDI JONES - A COLLECTION OF LIVE INSTRUMENTS
DANIEL EAST - INVERSIONS 1 (with stems), INVERSIONS 2, INVERSIONS 3 (with stems), INVERSIONS 4, THE LEGEND OF EAST, LYRE OF TIME VOL 3
GHXST - VHS KIT VOL 2
POLYPHONIC MUSIC LIBRARY - PREY VOL 1, MARIO LUCIANO VOL 1, RC20 PRESETS, TAPE BREAKS VOL 2, SOUNDS FOR CHANGE, IN THE CRATES, A NEW PERSPECTIVE, MIKE ROBBINS VOL 1, GOSPEL & SOUL SAMPLES, STRONGER TOGETHER SAMPLE PACK, JIMMY JAMES VOL 1, EEST ID VOL 1, ALL HUG VOL 1, MISCHA CHILAK VOL 1, UNKWN VOL 1
SOUL SURPLUS - PORT RICH VOL 4 (with stems), RETRO WAVE
DUDE CLAY - ALL GFX PACKS
MSXll - LOOPS FROM 1984 VOL 1 & 2, LOOPS FROM 1984 VOL 3 (with stems), VIBES FROM THE 80S VOL 1, VIBES FROM THE 80S VOL 2 (with stems)
OZ - VICE CITY
YOUNG LEPA BEAT SALES MASTERY COURSE
OVERLORD MAFIA OFFICIAL EMAIL LIST
HIJO DE RAMON MUSIC LIBRARY - VOL 6 (with stems), 7 (with stems), 11 (with stems), 12 (with stems), SOLUCIONES 001 (with stems), SOLUCIONES 002
UNKWN - RUBY
TIMMY HOLIDAY - JOY, CARLA
PVLACE - SECRET LOOP KIT VOL 1
SHANKS - REALIZATION
BWB THE WAV - VOL 7, 8
DEEP WATTERS X JOEY LOPEZ - INFECTIOUS (with stems)
VINNYX - YOUNG BUDDHA VOL 1 & 2 (with stems)
800+ RAPPEPRODUCER EMAILS
submitted by joefrost8809 to 808Trading2 [link] [comments]


2020.08.28 06:00 joefrost8809 LF: KINGSWAY MUSIC LIBRARY ILL.E VOL 2

CL
JAYREWIND - ALL LOOP KITS
BASED 1 - RAGE LOOP KIT
SAY QUIZZY - ALL LOOP KITS EXCEPT NO LOVE SAMPLE KIT
BSTERTHEGAWD - DRUMKIT VOL 2-6 TWIN DRAGONS, GAWDLY HEAVEN SOUNDPACK, MACHIGAI
CUBEATZ 350+ LEAKED LOOP KIT
NICK MIRA - AUGUSTUS, THE MIRA TOUCH VOL 1, FORGE DRUM KIT, BODEGA, CONTRA, DIESEL, HAYWIRE, MAGMA, NEW ATLANTA, BRAWL, TAPPED IN
FORTHENIGHT - VOL 1 & 2, MOONLIGHT VOL 1-4, PHASES OF THE NIGHT (with stems), AFTER HOURS, NIGHT EXPEDITION
FRANK DUKES - VOL 1-10, FRANK DUKES X ALLEN RITTER, COLORS, PARKSCAPES 1 & 2
KINGSWAY MUSIC LIBRARY - CVRE 1 & 2, ILLNGHT VOL 2, LAP OF LUXURY VOL 2, WAVES VOL 2, WALLIS LANE VOL 1, ILL.E VOL 1, ILL.E VOL 3, FRANO VOL 1, FRANO VOL 2 (with stems), MATTHEW TAVARES VOL 1 (with stems), JUZICY VOL 1 (with stems), JUZICY VOL 2, EIBY VOL 1, BRANDON LEGGER VOL 1 (with stems), LOUIS BELL VOL 1, MINO VOL 1, MIDO VOL 1, QUIN KIU VOL 1, NAHUM VOL 2, TY JAKE VOL 1, MATE VOL 1, VINNYX VOL 1, TRAXX VOL 1, SAMPLES FOR CHANGE (with stems), OSCAR ZULU VOL 1, WAVES VOL 3 (with stems), ILL.E X EIBY VOL 1 (with stems)
JAKE ONE - SWISH AND CHIPS VOL 2 & 3 (with stems), SECRET WEAPONS 2 (with stems)
PELHAM & JUNIOR - COFEE TALK VOL 1 (with stems), NEO GOTHAM VOL 3 (with stems), ARCTIC HUES, AMBER HUES VOL 1 (with stems), GUITAR MOODS
THE RUCKER COLLECTIVE - 6 (with stems), 9 (with stems), 12, 13 (with stems), 14 (with stems), 15, 20, 23, 21, 26 (with stems), 27, 28 (with stems), 29, 35,
THE CRATE LEAGUE - HEAT INDEX VOL 1 (with stems)
CRABTREE MUSIC LIBRARY - VOL 1, 4, 5 (with stems), 10 (with stems), 15 (with stems) 17 (with stems), 20 (with stems) 21 (with stems), 22, 23 (with stems), 24
ACTION THEMES VOL 1 (with stems), ACTION THEMES VOL 2, ACTION THEMES VOL 3 (with stems),
GUITARS VOL 1
CRABTREE ROYALTY FREE - VOL 2 (with stems), VOL 3 (with stems)
AG WAVY - VOL 1 (with stems), 2 (with stems), 5 (withs stems), 6, 7 (with stems), 8-15, 18-21
AG WAVY SAMPLER SERIES - VOL 3
COOP THE TRUTH - ELEVATION (with stems), VOL 1-5 BUNDLE, ISOLATION (with stems), TRANSITION, ASCENSION (one shots), ASCENSION SAMPLE PACK (with stems), INTENTIONS (one shots), INTENSIONS SAMPLE PACK (with stems), INTROSPECTIONS (with stems), EXPANSION (with stems), MANIFESTATION (with stems)
DEZ WRIGHT - SPACE COWBOY, HARVEST LOOP KIT VOL 2, WILDFLOWER, ODYSSEY, POLARITY, MOON SHADES 1 & 2
ELI BROWN - SOUND PALETTES VOL 2, 3 (with stems), SOUND VIBRATIONS (with stems), NORTHERN MOONLIGHTS, TRON LOOPS
NAMI MUSIC LIBRARY - ONDAS (with stems), POCKETS (with stems)
OSCAR ZULU - SQUARE ONE MUSIC LIBRARY 1 (with stems), 2, 3 (with stems) THE OVERSEAS MUSIC LIBRARY, THE SYNTH TRIALS
CRYPTIC - EXPEDITION 1 - 3
TEDDI JONES - A COLLECTION OF LIVE INSTRUMENTS
DANIEL EAST - INVERSIONS 1 (with stems), INVERSIONS 2, INVERSIONS 3 (with stems), INVERSIONS 4
GHXST - VHS KIT VOL 2
POLYPHONIC MUSIC LIBRARY - PREY VOL 1, MARIO LUCIANO VOL 1, RC20 PRESETS, TAPE BREAKS VOL 2, SOUNDS FOR CHANGE, IN THE CRATES, A NEW PERSPECTIVE, MIKE ROBBINS VOL 1, GOSPEL & SOUL SAMPLES, STRONGER TOGETHER SAMPLE PACK, JIMMY JAMES VOL 1, EEST ID VOL 1, ALL HUG VOL 1, MISCHA CHILAK VOL 1, UNKWN VOL 1
SOUL SURPLUS - PORT RICH VOL 4 (with stems), RETRO WAVE
DUDE CLAY - ALL GFX PACKS
MSXll - LOOPS FROM 1984 VOL 1 & 2, LOOPS FROM 1984 VOL 3 (with stems), VIBES FROM THE 80S VOL 1, VIBES FROM THE 80S VOL 2 (with stems)
OZ - VICE CITY
YOUNG LEPA BEAT SALES MASTERY COURSE
OVERLORD MAFIA OFFICIAL EMAIL LIST
HIJO DE RAMON MUSIC LIBRARY - VOL 6 (with stems), 7 (with stems), 11 (with stems), 12 (with stems), SOLUCIONES 001 (with stems), SOLUCIONES 002
UNKWN - RUBY
TIMMY HOLIDAY - JOY, CARLA
PVLACE - SECRET LOOP KIT VOL 1
SHANKS - REALIZATION
BWB THE WAV - VOL 8
DEEP WATTERS X JOEY LOPEZ - INFECTIOUS (with stems)
800+ RAPPEPRODUCER EMAILS
submitted by joefrost8809 to 808Trading2 [link] [comments]


2020.08.26 21:51 Emp3rorDuck Malcolm Tucker Flm Challenge Round II

Someone posted this a minute back and I'm proposing a second round. That being said....
A taxi driver decides to quit his job and open a cafe with a bunch of his mates and a midnight cowboy. One of them is named Jim Morrison who's wife is fucking Moe Szyslak, and one of them use to sleep with a hooker. A gay bank robber hates them and his TV, and along with his Indian friend and a serial killer try and stop the grand opening. There's a homeless guy who sleeps with little girls and a really shit rapper that had like two big songs. They all play pant ball to decide who cuts the ribbon.
submitted by Emp3rorDuck to thethickofit [link] [comments]


2020.08.20 07:50 joefrost8809 LF: BWB WAV 8

CL
JAYREWIND - ALL LOOP KITS
BASED 1 - RAGE LOOP KIT
SAY QUIZZY - ALL LOOP KITS EXCEPT NO LOVE SAMPLE KIT
BSTERTHEGAWD - DRUMKIT VOL 2-6 TWIN DRAGONS, GAWDLY HEAVEN SOUNDPACK, MACHIGAI
CUBEATZ 350+ LEAKED LOOP KIT
NICK MIRA - AUGUSTUS, THE MIRA TOUCH VOL 1, FORGE DRUM KIT, BODEGA, CONTRA, DIESEL, HAYWIRE, MAGMA, NEW ATLANTA, BRAWL, TAPPED IN
FORTHENIGHT - VOL 1 & 2, MOONLIGHT VOL 1-4, PHASES OF THE NIGHT (with stems), AFTER HOURS, NIGHT EXPEDITION
FRANK DUKES - VOL 1-10, FRANK DUKES X ALLEN RITTER, COLORS, PARKSCAPES 1 & 2
KINGSWAY MUSIC LIBRARY - CVRE 2, ILLNIGHT VOL 2, LAP OF LUXURY VOL 2, WAVES VOL 2, WALLIS LANE VOL 1, ILL.E VOL 1, ILL.E VOL 3, FRANO VOL 1, FRANO VOL 2 (with stems), MATTHEW TAVARES VOL 1 (with stems), JUZICY VOL 1 (with stems), JUZICY VOL 2, EIBY VOL 1, BRANDON LEGGER VOL 1 (with stems), LOUIS BELL VOL 1, MINO VOL 1, MIDO VOL 1, QUIN KIU VOL 1, NAHUM VOL 2, TY JAKE VOL 1, MATE VOL 1, VINNYX VOL 1, TRAXX VOL 1, SAMPLES FOR CHANGE (with stems), OSCAR ZULU VOL 1
JAKE ONE - SWISH AND CHIPS VOL 2 & 3 (with stems), SECRET WEAPONS 2 (with stems)
PELHAM & JUNIOR - COFEE TALK VOL 1 (with stems), NEO GOTHAM VOL 3 (with stems), ARCTIC HUES, AMBER HUES VOL 1 (with stems), GUITAR MOODS
THE RUCKER COLLECTIVE - 6 (with stems), 9 (with stems), 12, 13 (with stems), 14 (with stems), 15, 20, 23, 21, 26 (with stems), 27, 28 (with stems), 29, 35,
THE CRATE LEAGUE - HEAT INDEX VOL 1 (with stems)
CRABTREE MUSIC LIBRARY - VOL 1, 4, 10 (with stems), 15 (with stems) 17 (with stems), 21, 22 & 24, ACTION THEMES VOL 1 (with stems), ACTION THEMES VOL 2, ACTION THEMES VOL 3 (with stems), GUITARS VOL 1
CRABTREE ROYALTY FREE - VOL 2 (with stems), VOL 3 (with stems)
AG WAVY - VOL 1 (with stems), 2 (with stems), 5 (withs stems), 6, 7 (with stems), 8-15, 18-21
AG WAVY SAMPLER SERIES - VOL 3
COOP THE TRUTH - ELEVATION (with stems), VOL 1-5 BUNDLE, ISOLATION (with stems), TRANSITION, ASCENSION (one shots), ASCENSION SAMPLE PACK (with stems), INTENTIONS (one shots), INTENSIONS SAMPLE PACK (with stems), INTROSPECTIONS (with stems), EXPANSION (with stems), MANIFESTATION (with stems)
DEZ WRIGHT - SPACE COWBOY, HARVEST LOOP KIT VOL 2, WILDFLOWER, ODYSSEY, POLARITY, MOON SHADES 1 & 2
ELI BROWN - SOUND PALETTES VOL 2, 3 (with stems), SOUND VIBRATIONS (with stems), NORTHERN MOONLIGHTS, TRON LOOPS
NAMI MUSIC LIBRARY - ONDAS (with stems), POCKETS (with stems)
OSCAR ZULU - SQUARE ONE MUSIC LIBRARY 1 (with stems), 2, 3 (with stems) THE OVERSEAS MUSIC LIBRARY, THE SYNTH TRIALS
CRYPTIC - EXPEDITION 1 - 3
TEDDI JONES - A COLLECTION OF LIVE INSTRUMENTS
DANIEL EAST - INVERSIONS 3 (with stems), INVERSIONS 4
GHXST - VHS KIT VOL 2
POLYPHONIC MUSIC LIBRARY - PREY VOL 1, MARIO LUCIANO VOL 1, RC20 PRESETS, TAPE BREAKS VOL 2, SOUNDS FOR CHANGE, IN THE CRATES, A NEW PERSPECTIVE, MIKE ROBBINS VOL 1, GOSPEL & SOUL SAMPLES, STRONGER TOGETHER SAMPLE PACK, JIMMY JAMES VOL 1, EEST ID VOL 1, ALL HUG VOL 1, MISCHA CHILAK VOL 1
SOUL SURPLUS - PORT RICH VOL 4 (with stems), RETRO WAVE
DUDE CLAY - ALL GFX PACKS
MSXll - LOOPS FROM 1984 1 & 2, LOOPS FROM 1984 3 (stems only), VIBES FROM THE 80S VOL 1, VIBES FROM THE 80S VOL 2 (with stems)
OZ - VICE CITY
YOUNG LEPA BEAT SALES MASTERY COURSE
OVERLORD MAFIA OFFICIAL EMAIL LIST
HIJO DE RAMON MUSIC LIBRARY - VOL 6 (with stems), 7 (with stems), 11 (with stems), SOLUCIONES 001 (with stems), SOLUCIONES 002
UNKWN - RUBY
TIMMY HOLIDAY - JOY
800+ RAPPEPRODUCER EMAILS
submitted by joefrost8809 to 808Trading2 [link] [comments]


2020.08.18 23:04 clemaneuverers EXCLUSIVE: Bill and Hillary Clinton were frequent guests at 'Jeffrey Epstein's New Mexico ranch, staying at the pedophile's cowboy-themed village, say estate workers. The former president was Epstein's closest 'celebrity mate'.

EXCLUSIVE: Bill and Hillary Clinton were frequent guests at 'Jeffrey Epstein's New Mexico ranch, staying at the pedophile's cowboy-themed village, say estate workers. The former president was Epstein's closest 'celebrity mate'. submitted by clemaneuverers to conspiracy [link] [comments]


2020.08.18 16:01 No-BrowEntertainment Nigel and Gavin are not the same person

I’ve seen a lot of people saying that Nigel and Gavin are the same person and that Nigel has DID or something and is looking for his other personality. I just wanted to let you know this isn’t true.
If you kill or hogtie Nigel, you can find a letter on him. The letter is the only way we know his name is Nigel, so clearly someone’s read it. The contents of the letter are as follows:
”Dear Nigel,
I was so happy to hear from you. I cannot believe it, mate! My two friends - you and Gavin, boys I grew up with now real rich and successful cowboys in America! That's incredible news. Well done, mate Seriously. Well done. I know you and Gavin would find success over there . I mean, it stands to reason. A pair of boys from little old Maidenhead, Berkshire, now successful over in America. I might come and join you myself.
Now that you two have done so well. Both of you rich and living in big mansions with servants, and all them cattle. I remember when the height of your ambition was pretending you were a Londoner and seeing if you fooled those Scotch boys we met by the barracks. Funny thing is, Gavin never mentioned none of this in his letter, but he always was a bit of a quiet one and I reckon you wrote after he did. Either way, I am mode up for the pair of you. Made up. Cowboys! Millionaires! We miss you, especially your Mum, since your Dad passed on, but she told me she was so proud of you. Even Gavin's Ma was happy. She said her usual piece about not thinking you had it in you, but she smiled and said she knew her boy would see sense or make sense or something eventually. Berkshire forever.
Your pal, Tom
P.S. I saw that bloke Brian Gold the other day, in the market. He said some real odd things about you, which I said weren't true. Bet he's laughing on the other side of his face now...”
This letter proves that Nigel and Gavin are two separate people, even having separate mothers. So please stop saying they’re the same person. I think the misconception came from a Strange Man video, and don’t get me wrong Strange Man’s the best, I love his videos, but sometimes he misses the mark, as he has done here.
Thank you all for your time, and I hope I’ve enlightened you
submitted by No-BrowEntertainment to RDR2 [link] [comments]


2020.08.18 04:22 welcometosouthapp Welcome to South App #4: "Outside 101"

Monday, August 17th, 2020
Winston Beavers was having a very bad day.
It all began at 5 AM when his phone alarm vibrated. He rolled over on his belly and silenced it before it could wake Tai. It was the first day of class, but Winston wasn’t rising early to drink coffee and read the student newspaper. Instead, he grabbed his trusty silk tie and used it to hang his tablet from the sprinkler head. He slipped his headphones on, booted up some porn, and got straight down to business with both hands.
Now his contraption was holding on by faith and faith alone. But Winston paid no mind. He listened to Irish redheads moaning in his ear while he arched his back and curled his toes. And with each passing second, the weight of the tablet began to wear on the old, rusty sprinkler head.
So, when Winston exploded, so did that sprinkler head.
“Fuck!” Winston yelled, choking on a mouthful of rusty water. He tumbled off the top bunk, landing square on his ass. He scrambled to his feet, grabbed a binder from his desk, and rushed out the room - slipping on the puddle on his way out. Tai was already in the hallway, naked and wrapped in a wet blanket.
“What the hell, asshole?!” Tai blurted out, shivering with his laptop and backpack in each hand. “I told you not to jerk off like that!”
“Save your breath, partner,” Winston reassured him. “This here binder is the only important thing in that goddamn room.”
As water seeped into the hallway, Winston reckoned his luck had finally run out. Earlier this week, the Asheville PD had informed him that his prized Single Action Army was nowhere to be found in evidence. But he still had his precious binder, with the letters BDE inscribed on the spine. And when the water was finally shut off, Winston stuffed the binder back in his desk and made Tai pinky swear to keep it a secret.
***
A few hours later, Tai sat on the sofa in a local Asheville coffee shop with a drink and a bible in front of him.
As your wing-woman, I shall provide some friendly reminders!” Gigi cheerfully told Tai over the phone. “Make sure you’re facing the door so you can see when he comes in. Oh, and remember the order of operations: turn a page, sip your drink, make eye contact. Turn, sip, eyes!
“Uh, are you sure you know what you’re doing?” Tai whispered, as sleepy, hungover students filed in.
“I’m setting you up on an impromptu date on a Monday morning, am I not?”
“And have you run this strategy by amateur wingman extraordinaire Winston Beavers?”
Gigi paused. “Winston and I are...no longer on speaking terms. Sorry! I do not consent to any conversation about the aforementioned obnoxious brute whatsoever. Good luck!”
Gigi hung up. So Tai, who had never touched a bible, flipped to Ephesians like Gigi had coached him before. In fact, she’d planned out everything down to the last detail: the NIV version of the bible, the iced caramel macchiato, and the red and white checkerboard Vans he wore.
But Tai’s mind wandered to a more interesting book that he also had not yet read. He wanted to know what the hell was in Winston’s binder.
Suddenly, Jacky California walked into the cafe. Showtime. His 7:30 coffee break was expected. (Gigi found Jacky’s schedule on Facebook, and a quick visit to this cafe before 8 AM Intermediate Spanish just made sense.) Check. Turn, sip, eyes. Jacky waited in line, wearing a slim-fit red Abercrombie polo, bleached holy jeans, and his prized red and white checkerboard Vans. And his shoe decision, yet again, was also expected. (Gigi discovered that Jacky had only two classes on Monday, influencing his choice in that comfy pair of shoes that he wore in his profile pic). Check. Turn, sip, eyes. When Jacky stepped up to the counter, he ordered an iced caramel macchiato. And, once again, Gigi predicted this move. (Whatever the weather, Jacky’s SoCal roots virtually guaranteed an icy, watered-down coffee approach. Not to mention, nobody drinks hot coffee after sitting in the tanning bed for 30 minutes. Which, according to Gigi’s sleuthing, Jacky partook in every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.) Check. Turn, sip, eyes. Finally, while waiting for his order, Jacky pulled out his NIV study bible and flipped to the Book of Acts. (This time, Gigi was only partially off-base. His Facebook modeling photos were actually captioned with Ephesians bible verses. Nothing a quick fix couldn’t remedy). So Tai flipped straight to Acts, took a long sip of his macchiato, and made direct eye contact with Jacky as he walked over.
“Bro, this is freakin’ gnarly!” Jacky said in disbelief, pointing out their matching shoes, bible, and drink. “This is some righteous Revelation-level prophecy if I’ve ever seen it. Hey, my name’s Jacky. Is this seat ocupado?”
***
“Oh no!” Claire exclaimed, stroking Winston's fuzzy beard. “I’m, like, totally sorry about my stud’s mishap this morning!”
“Thank ya, peach pie,” Winston said, shaking his head. “I reckon they’ll move my ass to the broom closet and hang me out to dry.”
Claire and Winston were sitting in the Rec Center courtyard in athletic gear, along with several other hungover students. This was the Outdoors Adventures Seminar, AKA “Outside 101.” For many, it was a breezy way to snag the required Health and Fitness credit hour. And that's exactly why Gigi and Frank were also in this class. They sat on the opposite side of the courtyard, quietly gossipping and shooting the occasional glance their way.
“Your friends over there are, like, totally ignoring us!” Claire piped up, tugging Winston’s sleeve. “That’s, like, so rude.”
“Don’t trouble yourself, puddin’ muffin. They just ain’t ready for us yet.”
“And, like, oh my God! Ryan flat-out told me those are, like, the two people who broke into the frat house and blew up his daddy’s ashes! They are, like, total thugs. Ew!”
“Ah, my sister explained to me that it was a big misunderstanding, bundt cake,” Winston replied, feigning interest.
“Well, you should totally talk some sense to that Asian friend of yours, or else this class is gonna be, like, hella awkward,” Claire suggested. “She has, like, a salt and vinegar chip on her shoulder! It’s, like, totally not my fault that I can pull off a sports bra while she’s wearing those baggy clothes!”
True enough, Gigi and Frank had been giving them the cold shoulder ever since the frat house raid. For Frank, this was because of Winston’s affiliation with Claire Dansby and the notorious fraternity she represented. As for Gigi, it was more simple and personal: the lap dance.
“Ahoy, ladies and germs!” greeted the rugged Australian instructor, decked out in bushman’s gear. “My name is Angus, and I want to welcome ya to Outside 101. While you shop different classes, I indeed hope you’ll choose to spend your semester with us. Today is the Gauntlet Challenge, where we’ll break off into groups and compete for a mighty fine prize!”
With that, Angus hurled an ax at a target behind the students. Bullseye. Everyone stood up to clap and cheer. “Now, everybody come up front and grab yourselves a fine ole’ nametag so we know who you are!”
Winston sprung up and headed for the front of the line. Gigi stood with her back to him, her long black hair draping over her Under Armor tank top. He cleared his throat. “Howdy. Looks like we’re gonna be getting a workout in today. So hey, can I have a word with ya in private?”
She spun around, showing him a forced smile. “I’m sorry, sir. I don’t consent to this conversation.”
With that, she grabbed a nametag and wrote “Gigi.” Winston cocked his head. “So, I seem to recall Sarah telling me that you’ve got a South Korean name that only your father calls you.”
“Ah, but what’s in a name anywho?” pondered Frank, stepping forward. “Sir Winston, I wish to extend a sincere congratulations to your acceptance into the Beta Delta Epsilon Sausage Club. And to that brazen bull of a woman under your thumb. Alas, a braver man than me are you!”
Gigi narrowed her eyes at Winston. “You don’t know my real name?” she stated matter-of-factly. “Do you even know me at all?”
Frank and Gigi walked back to their seat. The hair stood up on the back of Winston’s neck. But before he could retort, two late students entered the courtyard.
“Hey, what’s up dudes and dudettes?” Jacky greeted casually. “Sorry we’re late. We couldn’t find the-"
“Hellooo everyone!” Tai greeted the class flamboyantly. “Jacky-boy, I hope you’re ready for a totally fabulous time! Ready to sweat? Oh, will you look at the sports bra on that blonde gal over here! Looks like Victoria can’t keep her secret for long. Am I right, Tai? Hey, boo-boo! Yes, you in the sports bra. You are killing it!”
Claire giggled, thanking Tai. But he and Jacky wound up sitting next to Gigi and Frank instead, introducing each other. Winston watched from afar, shaking his head. So this is how my roommate acts when he’s no longer single, he thought. Then, when no one was watching, Winston reached into his pocket and pulled out a 20-dollar bill.
“Oi, Steve Irwin,” Winston whispered to Angus, slipping him the money. “I need ya to put me and my friends together in a group.”
Winston pointed out his four friends, scribbled “BAMF” on a nametag, and walked confidently back to his seat. Then, when Gigi was watching, he gave Claire a sloppy, wet kiss.
***
“First elimination challenge is ax throwing!” Angus announced, behind the wheel of a Volkswagen VW bus. “The world’s second-oldest profession.”
Per request, Angus had formed a group out of Winston, Claire, Frank, Gigi, Tai, and Jacky. Now, he was driving them to a deserted field at the base of Mount Pisgah in the Asheville wilderness. Once they arrived, he set up a huge wooden target, then tossed Winston an ax.
“Now you look like a bloke who’s done this before!” Angus remarked.
“Hell, my daddy had to put a lock on the shed,” Winston bragged.
“Winston is, like, totally a wild man when it comes to the outdoors!” Claire chimed in. “I’m, like, super-stoked for him to totally man-handle me in the bedroom.”
The other four cringed at each other. Then, Winston reared back and hurled the ax with two hands, hitting a large ring.
“Three points!” Angus called out. “Claire, think you can conquer this beast?”
Claire stepped forward and grabbed an ax. As a former high school cheerleader, she hid some muscles under her small frame. But what surprised everybody was how she tossed hers one-handed. She hit an inner ring: a five-pointer.
“This, like, ain’t my first rodeo, cowboy!” Claire teased. She brazenly grabbed another ax and under-handed it to Gigi. She yelped, but Frank stepped in and caught it.
“My stars!” he said to Claire. “A woman so supple, yet so brazen around the edges. A fine mistress you doth make!”
Winston walked over to Gigi and gave her a puzzled look. “In the words of Richard III,” he began. “It looks Frank would trade his kingdom for a whore.”
“Um...since when have you started dabbling in Old English plays?” Gigi asked, a bit uneasy.
“Looks like you don’t know me much at all yourself.”
Gigi blushed, either enraged or embarrassed. She left him to stand next to her boyfriend. Then, Frank performed a one-handed throw, landing an inner ring.
“Five points for Shakespeare!” Angus cheered. “Let’s see if Miss Hathaway can cut the mustard.”
Before Frank handed Gigi the ax, she was already tense. He helped her hold it with two hands in a beginner’s stance. “But soft!” he said, as Gigi took aim. “Plant it straight in the heart! Just like I shall soon plant my seed in your womb.”
Flustered and distracted, she heaved the ax for an outer ring.
“Oi, only one point,” Angus declared. “Better hope our last two competitors think off target!”
Jacky grabbed an ax and faced Gigi. “Bro, your boyfriend’s a perv. And so is that chick.”
Jacky pointed straight at Claire. She giggled obnoxiously, flicking her long blonde hair. Jacky rolled his eyes. “God, please bring this lost sheep home,” he quietly prayed. He flung it from over the shoulder, missing the target completely.
“Ah, I can tell you’re fancy a boomerang by the way you throw that bugger!” Angus chuckled. “Our first elimination. Last one, come on down!”
Before Tai could grab his ax, Gigi pulled him aside. “Um, as your fellow wing-woman,” she started, “I suggest you launch the caveman hunting apparatus into the margins for the express purpose of aborting and creating a more intimate scenario with your beloved wave rider.”
Now Tai had grown a little closer with Gigi ever since she matched him up with Jacky. But all he could muster was a blank stare. Gigi leaned in closer. “Lose on purpose so you can be alone with him!” she hissed.
“Oh, got it,” Tai whispered back. “Hey, Gigi? Do ya think I can borrow your room for a bit? There’s no way Jacky can find out I live in a flooded swamp.”
Suddenly, Jacky’s ax boomerang came twirling back around, heading straight for Tai. He jumped to the side with a shriek, watching the ax fly into a tree. “Righteous!” Jacky cheered, running back to fetch it. So with that in mind, Tai took aim and tossed his ax boomerang-style. As intended, it went flying far and wide past the target.
“And Tai and Jacky have been eliminated!” Angus declared. “That means the rest of ya advance to our next challenge. And an impressive performance from the blonde bombshell and Italian stallion, I might add.”
Claire walked up to Frank and slapped his ass. “Looks like we pervs, like, totally got it going on!”
Winston and Gigi stared at each other in shock. But before they knew it, Tai’s ax boomerang came soaring back, nailing the side of Angus’ Volkswagen.
***
“FIX THE FUCKING AC,” growled Evelyn the RA in a low, demonic voice. “I WILL BURN THIS MOTHERFUCKER TO THE GROUND.”
In Sarah and Gigi’s room, Tai and Jacky had taken shelter from this emo demon, who was now stomping up and down the hallway. Sure enough, the AC was broken again. And after Tai had escorted Jacky up seven flights of stairs to “his” room, they’d found it virtually impossible to stop sweating.
“So let’s dive into Genesis 5 where we left off,” Jacky suggested, as they sat together on the futon. “It’s a little gnarly since it’s all genealogy. We’ll have to quiz each other when we’re done so we make sure we got it down pat!”
Jacky cracked open the bible, just as Evelyn screamed from the hallway. They rushed to the door and peeked out. Evelyn had let down her jet-black hair and had smeared mascara on her, sweating pale face. She locked eyes with the two young men. “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE?” the demon within her tremored.
They quickly shut the door and got back to their bible study. “Well...anyway, this is the written account of Adam’s family line,” Jacky read. “Basically, this is gonna be a righteous heck-ton of funky names to remember. My youth pastor showed me an easy way to memorize them, where-”
Death metal blared in the hallway. Over the heavy muted guitar and the rapid-fire double bass, Evelyn released a primal roar.
“So yeah, an easy way to memorize the names is word association!” the sweating Jacky yelled over the screeching guitar solo. “For example, take Adam and Seth, who-”
“EVERYBODY BREAK SHIT,” Evelyn screamed, as the deafening breakdown began. Tai rushed to the door and peeked out again. This time, she was breaking off a long fluorescent light tube from the ceiling. Several of her female hallmates observed like visitors at a zoo. Evelyn reared back and smashed the wall, shattering the light into pieces.
“All right, bro,” Jacky finally sighed, shutting the bible and standing up. “Look, let’s just go to your actual room.”
“W-what?” Tai stuttered, closing the door.
“Come on brochacho,” Jacky said, slicking back his long blonde hair. “You think I didn’t catch on? There are the female girls in the hallway with the female devil incarnate. Not to mention the…dreadful taste in bedroom decor in whoever’s room this is. Come on, man. I wanna see the real you.”
They stared into each other's' cool grey eyes. Finally, Tai nodded and reached out to shake on it. Instead, Jacky held his hand and interlocked his fingers. They sneaked out into the hallway, and Jacky led the way to Tai’s room.
“H-how do you know where we’re going?” Tai asked.
“I’m your mailman,” Jacky answered, giving his hand a squeeze. “I know a lot more about you than you think. Heck, don’t even get me started on your roommate’s male enhancement subscription.”
As they descended the stairs, a herd of female students tried to restrain the spawn of Satan in the hall.
***
“Next up is the zip-line races!” Angus announced.
He drove the four competitors deep into the Pisgah National Forest with the ax still lodged in the van. He slowed to a stop in a green, tranquil meadow where sunlight peeked through the treetops. There, two huge zip-lines ran from the tops of starting platforms, all the way to a platform on the far side of the clearing.
Angus passed out a few safety harnesses, and everyone suited up. “Mine’s, like, a little too big!” Claire whined. “Gigi, you should totally trade with me since you have a tad more cushion for the pushin’! Hey, at least your boobs are smaller than mine! That, like, must be so convenient.”
Gigi ignored her, hooking herself to the lane behind Winston. Claire attached herself to the lane behind Frank. And Angus began the long walk toward the finish line platform. Now out of earshot, both groups began climbing the long rope ladders up to their platforms. Winston purposefully took his time. Halfway up the ladder, Winston stopped and looked down at Gigi.
“Hey, I know I’m being stubborn,” Winston said. “But I really wanna talk to you, if you’ll have me. Just give me a chance to explain-"
“She’s a total bitch!” Gigi hissed, surprising even herself. “If you’re dating her, we’re no longer friends.”
Frustrated and torn, Winston sighed. “Right. I reckon actions speak louder than words anyway.” He reached into his shorts pocket and pulled out a mini can of WD-40. Then, he proceeded to spray the shit out of both of their zip-line hooks.
“W-what the hell is wrong with you?” Gigi exclaimed, choking on the fumes.
“WD-40 is God’s lubricant,” Winston explained. “Now we’ll have a little speed boost when we race ‘em. Sorry, buddy, but I need us both to win so we have some alone time to sort things out.”
“You’re being absolutely ridiculous!” Gigi said, flabbergasted.
“I realize that. So I reckon I’ll make you an offer. When it’s me versus you at the finals, I’ll let you win so you get the Lazy Basil gift card. Deal?”
Suddenly, Gigi’s big, brown eyes shot open and her countenance sang a different tune. Lazy Basil was the finest Italian restaurant in all of Asheville - maybe all of North Carolina. And Frank would not be cooking her an Italian dinner until this Friday. After tasting a little bit of chocolate every day to prepare her body for cheese, she could not wait a day longer.
“Pray tell!” Frank suddenly yelled, looking down from his platform at the stragglers. “Art thou stuck on the ladder, Sir Winston? Mayhaps we require usage of a construction crane to haul up your portly frame.”
Winston grunted, then spat on the ground. “So what was that you were saying about my girlfriend being a bitch?” Winston asked Gigi.
Reaching the top of the ladder, Winston and Gigi stepped onto the platform. A perfect view of the bright green hemlock trees of the Pisgah National Forest. From the finish line platform, Angus pumped his fist. “Let’s get these wagon wheels a’rollin’!” his voice echoed across the forest. “Fellas up first!”
Winston made the mistake of looking down at the endless ocean of treetops. Stomach lurching, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Then, hands trembling, he moved his greased-up zip-line hook to the starting position.
Gigi tapped his shoulder. “Are you...afraid of heights?” she asked, more like a mother than a caring friend.
A sudden breeze caused their platform to sway ever-so-slightly. Winston hunched over and vomited his morning screwdriver into a nest of endangered birds. He wiped his mouth and looked up at Frank’s shit-eating grin. Winston simultaneously flicked him off while giving Angus a thumbs up.
“Ah, we’ve got ourselves a fighter!” Angus called out. “Ready. Set. Go!”
Winston and Frank kicked off their platforms, soaring over the forest. Sure enough, his WD-40 hack gave him the extra acceleration he needed. He held a clear lead over Frank as Angus’ platform grew closer and closer. Not even Frank’s Italian expletives could stop him.
“Wiiinston wins!” Angus cheered, as Winston whizzed up to the platform. And only a split-second later, Frank came in hot, landing gracefully.
“I underestimated thy aerodynamic stature!” Frank admitted. “Mayhaps I too require an uptick in fine American cuisine, say steak and potatoes?”
Back at the starting line, Gigi grabbed her hook and slid it into a starting position. She looked up at her hands, now slick with grease.
“I’m, like, totally sorry about being so rude earlier,” Claire said, making a pouting face. “Look, if you let me win, you get to leave class early with Frank, and I can have the gift card! And not to be totally awkward, but I think you could, like, have a super-hot figure without that Italian food in your diet.”
Two minutes later.
“Gigi wins!” Angus cheered, as she came careening to the finish line. A split second later, Claire came flying by - seething.
“Like, it’s totally not fair!” Claire cried, stomping her feet. “Gigi, like, totally called me a hashtag raging thundercunt! It, like-like-like-like-like, totally distracted me from the race!” Again, more crocodile tears while Claire buried her face in Winston’s shoulder.
“Woe is me!” Frank cried out, grabbing her shoulders. “Oh, the humanity! Alas, say you did no such thing!”
“There, there,” Winston said nonchalantly, patting Claire’s head like a dog. “I’m sure it ain’t that serious.”
Angus covered his mouth. “Oi, Miss Gigi: did you in fact call Lady Claire a raging thundercunt?”
Gigi politely crossed her hands in front of her waist, her messy black hair cascading over her pale face. And then: a tell-all smile.
“Well, you know we handle potty-mouths in Australia, right?” Angus asked. “We fuckin’ celebrate ‘em! And as for sore losers? We make ‘em walk the plank!”
Angus shoved Claire and Frank off the platform. They screamed until the cable pulled taut, leaving them dangling in midair.
“Congratulations, ya raging thundercunts!” Angus said to Winston and Gigi. “Now off to the finals we go. And doncha’ worry, ya blimey losers. My teaching assistant will come get ya down and give ya a comfy ride straight back to campus!”
Winston and Gigi climbed down the ladder and followed Angus out of the woods, leaving Frank and Claire as dinner for vultures. When the two were alone, Claire kicked off her tennis shoes and stretched out, showing off her flat stomach.
“I, like, always thought I had sex in every possible position!” Claire reflected. “Well, except for the Amazon position, since my fraternity forbids it. Awwwkward! But I’ve, like, totally never had sex in midair. Should we try it, Frank?”
***
It was a manic scene in the 700 Hall of Firewater. Hesitant to get the police involved, Evelyn’s roommates were in the process of summoning a Catholic priest to perform an exorcism. But she was no longer Tai and Jacky’s concern. The muffled screams, crashes, and bangs faded in the distance as the two guys entered the 300 Hall.
“We’re actually...not supposed to be here,” Tai cautioned, placing his hand on the doorknob to his room.
“How come, brotherman?” Jacky asked.
“It’s my roommate: Winston. There’s something in there that he doesn’t want me to know about. And he made me promise to not even let any visitors in our room.”
“So did he get it in writing, with a notary standing by?” Jacky joked.
“Pinky swear,” Tai corrected.
“Far out,” Jacky marveled. “That’s some next-level serious business.” Jacky chuckled, slicking his hair back. “So let me ask this about your roommate: would he rather us be in your room, or his sister’s room?”
Tai froze. Finally, he unlocked the door. “Touché.”
The mildew hit them like a freight train. The mattresses, rug, and futon cushion were all gone. Besides that, Jacky was standing in a typical college dorm. A football schedule and Megan Fox poster on Winston’s side. Video game and anime posters on Tai’s side. A dirty microwave and a mini-fridge, probably filled with light beer and leftover Chinese takeout.
Tai sat on the metal futon frame and patted the spot next to him. “So, what if we used flashcards to memorize some of those biblical names? It’s important for me to - WHAAA-!”
Jacky was frantically searching through Winston’s drawers. “Bingo, my man!” He held up the binder and read the spine. “What’s BDE anyway? Does it stand for big...uh, big-penis energy? Sounds like your roomie has some gnarly ego issues.”
Distracting himself, Tai opened the bible in his trembling hands. “So...uh...there’s Shem...Ham...and Japeth, the three sons of-”
Jacky plopped down next to Tai and opened the binder. “Dude! Do you know what this is?”
Tai looked down at pages upon pages of driver’s licenses in card sleeves. Every race, creed, and gender under the sun. And all featured photos that could pass for any young-looking 21-year-old.
Tai and Jacky had just uncovered Beta Delta Epsilon’s secret fake ID operation. Jacky searched through a few pages, and finally pulled out an ID that could pass for Tai. He removed it from the sleeve and placed it in Tai’s shaking hand. Then, he sat on his lap and held up an ID of a tan white guy with blonde hair. “I don’t wanna talk about Shem and Ham, my dude,” Jacky declared. “I wanna talk about our new legal names: Caleb and Demitri.”
“Ah, now I have an actual black guy’s name,” Tai chuckled, forcing a smirk. Suddenly, he slipped his hand up Jacky’s shirt, feeling his rock-hard abs. “I, uh...so do you want to roleplay...Caleb?”
“Not just roleplay, my dude,” Jacky whispered into Tai’s ear, nuzzling his cheek. “I want to help other people roleplay. Dude! What if we stole these fake ID’s and sold them to every underage student on campus? Think of how freaking righteous that money would be!” Tai’s heart raced as Jacky swung his legs over Tai’s waist, straddling him. Jacky ran his lips from his collarbone to his ear.
“That’s...illegal,” Tai moaned softly. “Not to mention a little ungodly.”
“Maybe so,” Jacky said, nibbling his ear. “But I follow God, not the world. Some people don’t know the difference.
“Caleb” and “Dimitri” rolled off the futon, kissing, biting, and scratching each other until the clothes flew off. And little did they know Evelyn was scouring the 300 Hall with a chef’s knife in her hand, searching for them.
***
“The grand finale!” Angus announced. “The rock climbing wall!”
Angus led Winston and Gigi to a huge rock wall on the face of the Pisgah Mountains. This time, there was no cheat code in the world that would work in Winston’s favor. While his upper-body strength toppled that of Gigi, he was simply hauling a much larger load.
“The rumors are true!” Angus chuckled. “There is a 50-dollar Lazy Basil gift card up for grabs for the first one to reach the top.”
He strapped Winston and Gigi to the climbing cables, then took a step back. The trembling Winston glanced over at the cool, confident Gigi. “It looks like it’s just me and you, buddy,” he said. “So, do ya reckon you can tell me what I can do to make things right?”
“Go, go, go!” Angus suddenly shouted.
Gigi, quick and nimble, jumped straight up and grabbed her first hold. With ease, she began traversing the wall like an orangutan. Winston chugged along, contorting his body in awkward positions just to keep from falling.
“Look, Gigi!” Winston called out. “I hate that it’s like this between us. Man, I just wanna know what I can do. Hell, you can have my purple V-neck shirt that you accidentally stole.”
No response still. She worked swiftly and calmly as she approached the halfway point. Winston caught a lucky break, catching some easy holds as he covered a few feet. But there was no way in hell he could match Gigi’s steady pace. Plus, the higher he got, the higher the screwdriver rose in his throat.
Desperate, Winston reached around with one hand and unstrapped his vest.
“Oi, what the fuck are ya doing, mate?” Angus spat from far down below. Winston slipped out of the vest and pushed it to the side. Now, he was climbing freely. Fear coursed through his veins, but so did adrenaline. He used that stress to heave himself up much faster than before. Gigi, now past the halfway point, looked down to see Winston’s pleading eyes looking up at her.
“Gigi, I’m sorry!” Winston yelled. “Look, I...I can’t honestly tell you that I’m sorry for meeting up with Claire at the house. Because I’m not. But fuck, I’m sorry you had to walk in and see it! And...I’m plum-fuckin’ sorry I didn’t consider your feelings for me at the time. I reckon that ship has sailed. But fuck, I don’t wanna lose our friendship over it, Gigi!”
Gigi smiled at Winston for the first time that day. She shut her eyes tightly, fighting to block the tears. When she opened them again, Winston’s white knuckles curled around a tough hold.
“I’m not sure how long I can hold on, partner,” Winston groaned, smiling weakly. Slowly, piss began running down his leg, trickling a long way down to the ground below. Gigi began quickly backtracking, holding her breath.
“Winston,” Gigi consoled him calmly, now by his side. “I need you...I need you to reach out and hold me. Don’t let me go.”
He took a deep breath, then wrapped his arms around Gigi’s slim waist. His legs dangled free, supported only by her. Breathing heavily, Gigi kicked off the rock facing. Slowly, they began to descend.
“My real name is Ji-hye,” she said, as they approached solid ground.
“Ji-hye,” Winston repeated, his heart pounding as he held her in a death grip. “So, uh...why did you wanna tell me that?”
“Um...because we’re friends again!” she cheered, as they reached the bottom.
But before he could release her, Angus yanked his collar and held a hunting knife to his throat. His hair and face were drenched in Winston’s piss. “Oi, I oughta gut you like a fuckin’ fish, ya blimey bastard!”
“Wait, it’s not his fault!” Gigi interjected. “Um...a yellowjacket got caught between his shirt and vest and stung him pretty bad. He’s allergic, so he had no choice but to take it off!”
Angus cocked his head, letting her words marinate like the piss in his hair. Then, a proper belly laugh. He gave Winston a shove and put the knife away. “Yellowjackets?! Why, you Americans and bonafide pussies, that’s what ya are! Oi, you wouldn’t last a second down unda!”
Angus reached in his pocket and pulled out two 50-dollar Lazy Basil gift cards. “Fuck it, take ‘em both. After all, that was a mighty impressive showing of teamwork up there!”
Winston cleared his throat and held his hand up. “Thanks for the offer, Angus. But I’m a proud conservative. And I don’t need no goddamn participation trophies.”
Gigi socked him in the stomach. “Accept the gift card or we’re no longer friends!” she hissed, salivating over her imminent cheese dream.
***
“YOU HAVE SOMETHING I WANT,” the demon growled in the hallway.
Evelyn slowly dragged her chef’s knife across the door of Room 309 - a knife much larger than Angus’. Tai stared out the peephole, then rushed to the futon to grab his bible.
“We need to perform an exorcism ourselves!” Tai suggested, wearing nothing but bright blue boxers with coconut patterns.
“RIghteous idea, my man!” Jacky replied, donning yellow pineapple briefs. “The word of God is an indispensable weapon during the end times that we live in!”
Tai stared out the peephole again. Now, a senile Evelyn gently tapped the door with the tip of her knife. “Hey, uh, Evelyn,” Tai called out softly. “Why don’t we comb through Genesis together? I sure could use your help in memorizing the lineage of Adam!”
“NO BIBLE. I WILL STRANGLE YOU WITH YOUR INTESTINES!”
Jacky gave a thumbs up from the frame of the futon. “See, it’s working! That’s the devil in her trying to resist. But no man, woman, or spawn of Satan could possibly resist the righteous infallible word of God!”
Tai chuckled, half-nervous and half-relieved. Then, he opened the door halfway. “Welcome to our bible study, Evelyn! So if you would have a seat on our super comfy futon, we can-"
Suddenly, Tai lept behind the door as Evelyn charged through the room with her knife held high. “DIE! DIE! DIE!” she shrieked, heading straight for Jacky. He swiftly rolled under the futon frame, as Evelyn began stabbing through it, aiming for the head.
“Fuck!” Tai screamed, frantically flipping to Genesis 5. “Um, um...let the power of Christ compel you with His holy word! Enoch begat Methuselah, and Methuselah begat Lamech, and Lamech begat Noah!”
“WHY CAN’T I HAVE WHAT YOU HAVE?” Evelyn screamed. While Jacky cowered in a fetal position, she reared back and stabbed a hole in the wall.
“Oh, Evelyyyn?” Sarah Beavers called out, stepping into the room.
Evelyn spun around to face her, tears and mascara running down her face. She dropped the knife. Then, she swiveled her head around the room, dazed and confused.
“Oh...no,” Evelyn whispered in her normal voice. “Sarah, I did something bad, didn’t I?”
“Shush, it’s all gravy,” Sarah assured her, while Tai and Jacky looked at each other in shock. “Boys, let this be a lesson to you. Envy possessed Evelyn today. Not only was she envious of your AC, but also of your totally-rad same-sex relationship.”
Tai and Jacky realized they were still half-naked, and that it was too late to hide it. Evelyn, moaning softly, crawled over to Sarah and lay her head on her lap. Then, she began playing with Sarah’s dangling dreadlocks. “Now, now - no touchy-feely of the genitals,” Sarah politely warned her. “An asexual chick like myself ain’t no lamp in a corner, ya dig?”
Then, Sarah spotted the BDE binder on Tai’s desk. Cocking her head to the side, she slowly stood up to take a closer look.
“Shit,” Tai whispered to Jacky. “What do we do?”
“We can’t let her know about our operation,” Jacky whispered back.
“So, if my inner chi serves me well,” Sarah began, flipping through the pages. “You two plan on stealing Beta Delta Epsilon's fake ID collection from Winston, in a grand scheme to sell them to underage students?”
“What in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks?” Jacky whispered to Tai. “A psychic hippie? What kind of friends are you rolling with, bro?”
“I can hear you,” Sarah advised. She sat down next to Evelyn and slipped out an ID of a brunette hipster girl with straight hair. “It’s a crying shame that Winston didn’t think to include any white girls with dreadlocks. Simple-minded if you ask me. Oh! Evelyn, I found an ID just for you. See, she looks just like the chick from The Ring.”
“I will eat your soul,” Evelyn said in her normal voice. Suddenly, she pinned Sarah down and started tickling the hell out of her.
“Wait, so you’re not mad?” Tai asked Sarah, watching Evelyn win the completely non-sexual “game.”
Sarah caught her breath from her massive tickle-fit. Then, she snapped the binder shut. “Mad? Are you high? I’m a broke college student too. As a matter of fact, if you’re going to be making crazy money, I want in on it too. Evelyn and I both want in. And nobody, I mean nobody, breathes a word of this to my brother.”
***
Nine outgoing calls. Zero incoming calls.
Gigi slipped her phone back into her purse, fighting the urge to make it 10. On that windy night, she stood in downtown Asheville in front of Lazy Basil, waiting for Frank to fall from the sky. She was dressed up in a black polka-dot maxi dress with a white bow in her hair, knowing that she would be turned away for so much as thinking about blue jeans.
She grabbed a menu and read through the appetizers. Tempura Fried Calamari? Maybe. Chunky Spinach and Artichoke Dip? Eh. And then, her big brown eyes widened when she saw it. Caprese salad: fresh buffalo mozzarella topped with local organic tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil leaves from our herb garden.
“So he stood ya up, huh?”
Winston leaned against the streetlight in a black suit and tie. He took a final puff on his cigar, tossed it, then walked over to Gigi to read her menu. And like always, the smell of tobacco was masked by Winston’s signature sandalwood cologne.
“I can’t decide if I want the loaded macaroni and cheese,” Winston pondered, “or the fried cheese logs with marinara. Hey, ya reckon we could order one of each and share?”
Gigi wiped drool from the side of her mouth and came to her senses. “Um...wait, you’re not here for a date with Claire?”
Winston took out his phone and showed her the screen. Sixty-eight outgoing calls. Zero incoming calls. “Reckon I should try to call her one last time?” he asked with a grin. “I mean, I don’t wanna come off like a simp or nothin’.”
Fifteen minutes later, they were seated at a candlelit table for two. While they sipped on large glasses of red Moscato, Gigi explained her lactose intolerance and Frank’s plans to introduce her to cheese for the first time.
“So let me get this straight,” Winston said, leaning in. “You consider this cheating on your boyfriend, don’t you?”
“Um...well, it has nothing to do with you!” Gigi laughed nervously. “It’s...well, it’s cheating if I eat that.”
The waiter came over with a platter of Caprese salad and a refill of red wine. Winston picked up a soft, fluffy cheese disc and tore it in half. “I’m not a betting man. But I wager if your boyfriend wanted to have dinner with you, he’d be the one sitting across from ya.”
Gigi stared into Winston’s pale blue eyes, then at the mozzarella. Slowly, she reached out and placed it on her tongue. Then, she closed her eyes as the creamy, silky flavor graced her palate. She swallowed, then grabbed another, shoving the whole disc in her mouth. Satisfied, Winston pushed the plate toward her. Then, he took out his phone and turned on the camera.
“Here’s to Gigi’s first dairy experience,” he announced, taking a photo. “And, I reckon, the moment before one of her many trips to the bathroom.”
She gasped, tossing her dinner napkin at him. They laughed, garnering the attention of a couple of older, quieter patrons. But Winston and Gigi lived in their own world, sipping refill after refill of wine as she alone cleaned that plate. Before long, the waiter returned with fried mozzarella logs for Winston and loaded macaroni and cheese for Gigi.
“So, all jokes aside,” Gigi started. She leaned forward, the candlelight casting a golden glow on her grinning, pale face. “In your old YouTube days...how long would it take you to eat everything on this table?”
“Son of a bitch!” Winston laughed, dunking a log into his marinara. “I knew my sister told ya about my eating channel! How much of it did you get around to watching?”
“Oh, you don’t want to know!” Gigi giggled, taking her first-ever bite of mac and cheese.
And while the two loyal friends shared stories and cheese dishes, their other friends betrayed loyalty that night. Sarah, Tai, Evelyn, and Jacky used Winston’s fake IDs to bar crawl all over downtown Asheville. And Claire sneaked Frank into the Beta Delta Epsilon frat house, where they rolled in the sheets all night long.
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2020.08.17 17:28 kimbo077 Being Stevie Ray

Becoming Stevie Ray
I think I remember the exact day and time I triggered the obsession in my son. I say it was me, because I blame myself entirely. Truly, I don’t know how things got so bad, and so fast. I wish I had paid more attention.
Eddie was 9, almost 10, and had been playing guitar just shy of a year when he called me into his room.
“Man, you’re really playing a lot this week,” I commented, smiling at my son sitting on the floor, child-sized guitar in his lap. Posters of his favorite bands and guitarists covered his walls - most of them were mine, once upon a time. Along with a typical young boys’ belongings - stinky gym shoes, a baseball bat, snack wrappers - CDs and music magazines littered his carpet.
Eddie didn’t smile back at me, though. He sprung up, shoving his pointer finger in my face. “Look, dad,” he said, his expression panicked and flustered. I grabbed his wrist to steady it and peered at the pads of his fingers. On every one, prominently the index finger, a painful -looking blister sat, red and raw. “I can’t even play anymore, it hurts so bad,” he told me.
“It’s just blisters,” I said, letting go of his wrist. “That’s super normal. I had them, too, when I played.”
Eddie didn’t seem comforted by my explanation. “Will I be able to play?”
“Of course,” I said, picking up his guitar, strumming a few chords. “Your fingers are getting used to the metal strings - it’ll hurt for a while, but then it’ll callus over.”
My boy seemed to relax a bit. “What’s a callus?”
“It’s like rough skin. Like, you know, the one on your finger here?” I picked up his writing hand and pointed to the roughened skin on his ring finger, where his pencils sit when he writes or draws. “Your skin here got all rough - callused- because your pencil is always here, rubbing against it. That will happen on your fingers too, if you keep playing.”
“I can’t keep playing. My fingers hurt too much!” Eddie pouted again, seeming to deflate with this information.
I took another look at his left hand with all the angry blisters. “Yeah, well, maybe don’t play anymore tonight. But you should play tomorrow or the next - that’s how you’ll build up the calluses. No pain, no gain.”
Eddie grinned. “That’s what Mr. Icanbury says when he makes us run.”
The bulldog-looking face of Eddie’s baseball coach sprang to my mind. “Yeah, exactly. Mr Icanbury knows what’s up.” I get up to leave and make dinner, but my son stops me.
“Do you think Stevie Ray had calluses, too?” He asked, wide-eyed. I always thought it was so funny how he referred to the late and great Stevie Ray Vaughan like that, so casually, like he was his uncle or something, not a famous blues guitarist who died decades before he was born.
“I would imagine Stevie’s hands were covered in calluses. He played all the time!” I ruffled Ed’s hair. “Now, I’m going to make dinner. Did you finish your homework?” Eddie nodded before springing to his feet to put on one of my old records. My mother always called him an old soul, for always preferring records over Spotify and YouTube, or even just CDs.
I left Eddie to himself and went to decide what would be the easiest thing to make for dinner - and with that, the conversation was out of my mind, and wouldn’t surface back until almost eight years later, triggered by a simple question from Eddie’s psychiatrist.
“When did you really start noticing a difference in your son’s behavior?”
So this is the story I told him.
Back when Eddie’s mother was still around, the three of us would listen to music constantly. Even as a baby, Eddie was enthralled by music and everything that went along with it - the instruments, the records, and - most of all - the players. Lindsay and I would laugh and laugh at Eddie’s squeals as he bounced along with the beat of the music. He loved any type, but if the video contained a guitarist, he would be glued to the screen, watching their fingers dance across the strings. As Eddie grew up, his love for music only grew stronger, but never in any obsessive or concerning way.
Lindsay enrolled him in piano lessons when he was 5, and he liked it, but he never as much as he liked guitar, which I started him on at 8 years old. Eddie would have his little piano lessons and would practice when he was told to, but that was it. He still always preferred to listen to MY music, even though Lindsay tried with her favorites. She showed him all her favorites - Michael Jackson, Maroon 5, Lady Gaga. Eddie liked the music, but not like the blues. He just always gravitated towards guitar, I guess. The two of us loved to jam out to all the greats in the car. First, I showed him the classics - Albert King, B.B. King, Freddie King. He just adored them. And then I showed him my real favorites - Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, and of course, Stevie Ray Vaughan. That’s all he would listen to from there on out. It drove Lindsay nuts. I remember I was always a bit smug about that, Eddie’s preference to my music.
But that wasn’t when I saw the shift in Eddie. For a while, he was just a normal boy, who happened to love rock ‘n’ roll and the blues. He could name every album of The Doors’ discography, but he also played baseball, loved Monsters Inc, and played with all the boys in the neighborhood. Besides Lindsay’s weird jealously over our mutual love of blues, there were no problems with my son’s somewhat eccentric hobby.
I wish I can say I knew when the hobby turned into an obsession. And I wish I knew when the obsession turned dangerous. But I didn’t notice any red flags until it was too late, I guess. Sometimes, I feel like the transition was so subtle, so slow, there was no way I could’ve detected it. Sometimes, I feel like the world’s worst father - I wasn’t paying enough attention. I guess I can’t say what’s for sure. Really, I only know two things for sure. The first I’m sure of is that my son became very, very sick. And the second thing I’m sure of is that so many of us failed him, really - not just me. His mother wasn’t there. His teachers saw signs, saw things Eddie did when he thought no one was looking, but they did nothing. No one told me about their concerns for my son. His band mates said nothing in the selfish belief that Eddie would make them famous. And his girlfriend only made everything worse, in my strong opinion. She would probably say differently.
After Eddie showed me his blisters, he started to practice more and more. When I commented on that, he smiled at me, his brown hair falling over his eyes. “No pain, no gain, right?” He said to me while flopping his bangs out of his face. Then he kept playing.
Personally, I loved it. I was thrilled to hear my son playing our favorite music. And the progress he made! When I enrolled him in guitar lessons at 11, his teacher was always astonished by Eddie and how much he practiced. Little by little, Eddie learned every jazz and blues standard there is to know. He even started to memorize chord changes, and would often play without even a glance at the music. His teacher told me that he was quite advanced for an eleven year old.
It wasn’t all easy, though, of course. When Eddie was 13, I came home to him laying on the floor of his room, sobbing. I don’t mean just tears - I mean big, hyperventilating breaths. I knew why he was crying right away - every single Stevie Ray Vaughan record I had given him was on the floor, shattered into thousands of pieces.
I ran to Eddie, cradling his head in my lap. Little streams of blood trickled down his hands, and I held them tight. “Baby, what happened?” I kept saying over and over. All Eddie could do was sob, and all I could do was rock him back and forth. I cleaned up his cuts from the shattered records - they looked a lot worse than they were - and held my son until he calmed down and fell asleep against my stomach, so drained from the anxiety attack. I didn’t even move then, while he slept. I just touched his boyish face, that had only whisperings of his transition into a man - little spots of acne, a shadow of a mustache. And I cried because I was scared. I had never seen my son like this. Being a young teenage boy, Eddie was terrified of even the thought of betraying his emotions. He hadn’t cried in front of me for years.
I pressed Eddie to tell me what had caused such a strong reaction - and why all the Stevie Ray Vaughan albums were destroyed. I couldn’t get a straight answer from him. At first, he tried to say it was an accident, which we both knew was bullshit, so he gave that one up pretty quick. Eddie then told me he just got mad and smashed the records. When I asked him why, he wouldn’t answer. To me, it seemed like he HIMSELF had no idea why he would do such a thing.
I told his mother about the incident, of course. We both agreed to look into some therapy for our son. I’m ashamed to say that neither of us followed through on this. It’s easy to say life got in the way, because it truly did. The two of us were drowning in work, and Lindsay lived halfway across the country at this point. Eddie never talked about that night again - he just saved up some money and purchased his Stevie Ray albums back from a Half Priced Books. And then he continued to learn every single song on each record.
“Dad, did you know Stevie Ray was only 5 foot 5?” Eddie said to me, one night during his Jr. High years.
“Wow, that’s pretty short. Not as short as Angus, though,” I responded, referring to the 5 foot 2 guitarist of AC/DC.
Eddie smiled at this. I remember his face clearly in this memory - his hair had finally grown long enough for him to flop behind his head, so there was no longer the problem of bangs shielding his eyes. He stabbed at the broccoli on his plate before saying, “I’m 5 foot 4, right?”
I squinted my eyes, trying to remember the last time I took Eddie to his checkup. “Uh, yeah, I think so. Maybe a little bit taller than that at this point, honestly.”
My son’s eyebrows furrowed at this - which was the only sign he gave me anymore to signal his distress. “Why, what’s up?” I add quickly before standing up to dump my plate in the sink.
For a long moment, Eddie didn’t respond. He kept chewing his grilled chicken, slowly, like he was deep in thought. I was about to ask him if he was okay when he said, “I don’t know, I just want to be like him.”
I gave my son a bemused look. “Well, you are! With all the practicing you do, you’ll be even better than Stevie Ray one day. Has nothing to do with height, yeah?”
Eddie shrugged, slumping down in his chair. He wouldn’t eat the rest of his food after that.
In Eddie’s junior year of high school, a number of things happened that was both exciting for him and me. First, he joined a band with three other high schoolers. There was Cindy, a keyboardist who had been playing since she was three years old. The bassist was a nice young man named Frankie, and he wasn’t as advanced as the others, but he worked hard to keep up with them. And Dimitri was a year younger than the other three, but was an insanely amazing drummer, who had been taught by his own father, a professional drummer himself.
Of course, then there was Eddie. My mother always commented on how much of a heartbreaker he was, with his strange resemblance to Stevie Ray Vaughan. Eddie wore his hair long to his shoulders, just like the late guitarist. His nose was slightly wide, and his eyes were dark but friendly. Other than that, honestly, the similarities stopped. It was Eddie who continued to transform himself into Stevie Ray, by wearing denim jeans and cowboy boots. At one point, Eddie even grew a tiny, triangular goatee before his girlfriend told him she didn’t like it. During shows with his band, Eddie would essentially deck himself out to look like his idol: sporting a large cowboy hat; long,chunky necklaces; a thick guitar strap with music notes he had sewn on; and only one long, feather earring. He had a nice, smooth voice, which reminded me of the smell of leather. The one major difference in Eddie and Stevie Ray was the height - Eddie sprouted into a lanky 6 foot 2 inch teenager. That difference didn’t seem to bother all the girls at his school, who just loved him.
But he only had eyes for one - Janine. She was a year older than him, and had only taken a liking to my son when his band had won their high school’s Talent Show. When Eddie and his group - Triple Danger was their name - were filmed for the local news station, Janine really started to hang around him.
And after those two monumental events in Eddie’s life, I felt like I hardly saw my son. For him, the two things that mattered most were Janine and music. I missed him like crazy, but I was also so proud of Eddie - it seemed like he really had set himself up for life. Words like “child prodigy” were thrown around this way and that by his teachers. I always defended Eddie when they said this - I truly believed that Eddie had earned his status by hours and hours of practice, not by just some God-given talent. They ignored me when I said that, though, acting like Eddie was just born playing the guitar like that, like he was blessed by the music gods.
I always thought of Eddie’s callused fingers when they said this, no longer red and raw blisters. His finger pads were so thick he had once told me he didn’t have feelings in them. If those don’t prove that my son earned his way to being one of the best guitarists in the state, then I don’t know what would.
I told Eddie’s psychiatrist that there are many holes I can’t fill in at this point of the story. I was no longer his best friend, his music pal. He had a girlfriend and band mates to fill those roles. I saw snippets of Eddie’s downfall; I don’t have the whole picture filled in - and I anticipate I probably never will.
By the time Eddie was 17, his Stevie Ray Vaughan cover band was becoming quite a phenomenon, especially in our state of Oklahoma. They weren’t selling out arenas, but they played in lots of bars, strapped with plastic bracelets signaling they weren’t old enough to drink.
When Dimitri’s father hired a manager for the group, I saw one of the snippets of Eddie’s transition into illness. I sat in on a meeting with the band, the new manager, and the rest of the parents. When Mr. Ludlow suggested that the group start writing their own music, and Eddie’s band mates responded positively to that, I saw my boy’s eyebrows furrow, causing him to look like a small child again. “No,” he said, loud, popping their bubble of excitement. When everyone looked to him, quizzical expressions on their face, Eddie simply said, “We play Stevie Ray. That’s my music. That’s OUR music, now.”
Dimitri’s dad, a large man named Rob, gave my son an incredulous look. “Well, maybe your band mates want to expand, Ed.”
I knew it irked Eddie to be called that, but he didn’t show it. “There’s no band without me, anyways. So we do what I want.”
My jaw dropped at his selfish response. “Eddie, come on, don’t be like that.” I glanced nervously at the other parents, who glared back at me like I had said the rude comment.
It was Cindy who broke the silence that followed. “I really don’t mind playing Stevie Ray Vaughan,” she said, her voice as meek as her mousy face. “But...maybe we can do one or two originals?”
Eddie finally agreed to this. The parents gave me looks of disapproval the rest of the meeting. I still couldn’t believe I heard my kind son, always so gentle and polite, say such an egotistical thing. When I brought it up to Eddie later, he shrugged.
“Stevie Ray’s music is MY music. I feel like I could’ve written it myself.”
“Yes, but aren’t you excited now to actually write your own? And create something brand new with your band mates?” I asked.
“I’m just picking up where Stevie Ray left off,” Eddie muttered, and with that, our conversation was over with a slam of his bedroom door.
Not even a week later,I went to see Triple Danger play in a bar not too far from my house. I loved watching my son play; I could never grow tired of it. Eddie truly was magical on his guitar - if you closed your eyes, it was almost like Stevie Ray Vaughan was in the room.
I was enjoying a beer and listening to their opening song - Scuttle Buttin - when Dimitri’s father sent me a text. It was a photo of a notebook, with a message that said “Found this in my basement. Think Eddie left it here last rehearsal.”
I was about to text him back when I was distracted by Eddie’s incredible solo. He didn’t always play Stevie Ray Vaughan’s solos exactly how they were recorded - he usually improvised, keeping his solo close enough to the original but adding in a few of his own flairs. For Scuttle Buttin’, though, Eddie played the song exactly as Stevie had, note by note. It really was astounding how good this kid was.
When I looked back down at my phone, I saw Dimitri’s dad had sent another message. “Think you should call me,” was all it said. And then another message - “as soon as possible.” I quickly left the bar as the group went into their cover of “Couldn’t Stand the Weather.”
“Understand...it's time to get ready for the storm,” Eddie sang into the mic, his tenor voice reminding me again of leather belts and cowboy hats. He was beginning his guitar solo as the door shut behind me.
“What’s going on?” I asked Rob, breathlessly. A million thoughts were running through my head, and I felt as if I couldn’t grasp onto any of them. As Rob explained his urgency to me about the notebook, I became increasingly irritated, and then angry.
“It’s just...it’s not right, Brent. He’s written the same thing over and over again. Like he’s fucking Jack Torrence.”
“Excuse me?” I demand, outraged that he would compare my son to the crazy man from “The Shining.” Images of Jack Nicholson’s deranged face peaking through the broken bathroom door rolled through my mind. I felt sick, so I leaned over a bit, one hand on my knee.
“‘My name is Stevie Ray.’ That’s what it says, over and over again.”
“Ok?” I spit, like this perfectly normal. It’s not, and I know it, but I can’t help but to defend my son.
“Don’t you think that’s a bit...I don’t know, concerning?”
“Maybe he was just having a mental block, trying to write some lyrics, have you ever thought of that?”
Rob was silent for a moment. Then, “I really don’t think so, Brett. There’s pages and pages here” -
I interrupt him, my voice bubbling out of me like venom. “Don’t you ever insult my son again. And don’t you ever look through his stuff again, either! You have your own kid to look after.” And with that, I hung up, putting both hands on my knees, and waited for the nausea to calm. When it did, I headed back into the bar to listen to the rest of Eddie’s set.
I drove Eddie back that night so his band mates wouldn’t have to. He was sweaty still, red-faced and smiling as he climbed into my truck. He stretched his long legs out before him, kicking his black cowboy boots off. Eddie was rambling, talking a mile a minute about the show, like he always did. Many times, he would complain about how terrible his band mates played. That night, though, he was riding a high, claiming they performed a “near perfect” set.
I couldn’t grasp onto his words, my head echoing with a chant of “My name is Stevie Ray.” I simply smiled at him, pretending to listen by nodding where it seemed natural. Finally, I said, “Why did you write ‘My name is Stevie Ray’ over and over again in that notebook?”
Eddie’s face immediately darkened, crooked grin wiped clean off his face. “How do you know about that?”
“Dimitri’s dad found it.” I watched my son, carefully, looking for any clue to tell me the truth behind this mystery.
“Well, he shouldn’t have looked at it!” Eddie said, his voice raising slightly.
“I know,” I agreed. “But he did, and he’s concerned. And I’m concerned, too, Eddie.”
My boy’s face deepened into a scowl. “There’s nothing to be worried about! Jesus.”
“C’mon, Eddie, seriously what has gotten into you lately? What was with that meeting the other day, with the new manager? You’re not acting like yourself.”
“What do you mean, I’m not acting like myself? I defended MY music at the meeting!”
“It’s not YOUR music,” I shot back. “Another man wrote it. Literally years before you were ever born! Please tell me, you know that you really aren’t Stevie Ray Vaughan!” I laugh, nervously, hoping that last part came out like a joke. But deep down, in my belly, a dreaded sensation was growing, spreading out to my fingertips.
Eddie looked like I had slapped him. He was pressed as far away from me as he could, against the window. His face was gaunt, the scowl still deep, making him look older and skinnier than he was. I stared back, hands gripped tight on the unmoving wheel, knuckles pink with the strain.
And then my son wordlessly slipped out of the car, grabbing his boots. The slam of the door was deafening. I watched him leave for a moment, waiting for my heart to stop racing. I sincerely did not know what the best move was. I wanted to run after Eddie, cradle him in my arms, beg him for forgiveness. Another part of me wanted to scream curse words at him for being such an asshole - and for no good reason! The majority of me, however, wanted to put my car and reverse, slam on the gas, and drive away from him as fast as possible. Because - like that night Eddie broke all those records - I was deeply terrified, shaken to my core.
For the first time, the words “mentally unstable” crossed into my mind. And then the realization hit me, like a storm - that those two words absolutely, without a doubt - applied very much to Eddie. Tears streamed down my face as I slammed my fist into the wheel, screaming at this realization, screaming at myself, and at Eddie. I shook until I couldn’t cry anymore. And then - and this is the part at which I am most ashamed of my actions - I drove away into the night, too frightened to face my own flesh and blood.
The moment I got home, I knew I needed to make sure Eddie was with someone, at least, and safe. I called Eddie over and over again that night. It went to voicemail every time. I called his band mates and then Janine. When she picked up she immediately said, “he’s with me.”
I breathed out, shutting my eyes. “Is he ok?”
“Yeah?” She says this like it's the dumbest question in the world.
“Yeah?” I echo back, demanding more.
“He just says he doesn’t wanna talk to you. He won’t tell me why.”
My eyes stayed shut, trying to block out the headache forming in my temples. “Okay. That’s okay. Can you just tell him that I love him, and that I’m sorry? And that I would like to try to help?” I heard Eddie murmur something to her. “What? What did he say?”
“He says he heard you. He said he’ll come home tomorrow.”
“Okay,” I breathe out, the tension in my body deflating. Tomorrow. Eddie would be home tomorrow, and we would talk, and work things out. Then, we could get him the proper therapy he needed.
I told myself that things would be fine as I went to bed that night. I told myself that I would even take a leave of absence from work if I had to, so I could help my son - my boy, my Eddie, my everything - get better. Nothing mattered but him, and I saw this clearly now. He may be forced to quit the band, which would destroy him, but I would be there, and Janine, too, hopefully.
I told myself a lot of things that night.
Eddie had other plans.
I hadn’t known that Eddie was already truly convinced he was the reincarnation of Stevie Ray Vaughan - and I hadn’t known that his band mates and his girlfriend told them they believed he was, too. When the cops questioned them, most had admitted they were just humoring Eddie when they said this, but not Janine and Dimitri. Those two fully defended their beliefs in Eddie’s soul being the reincarnation of the guitarist. Honestly, I’m not sure if I believe them. I think they just don’t want to get blamed.
They found multiple entries in Eddie’s many notebooks about ways he could make himself look more and more like Stevie. First and most important would be the peacock tattoo on his chest - Eddie wanted the exact one his idol had. He was saving up money for it, I guess. There were entries about how he could even get plastic surgery, to make his face look exactly like the guitarist’s - stretching his lips out, setting his eyes just a tad bit further apart. Eddie even had ideas for dental work. He had entries written about his desire for cocaine and whiskey, which he had never tried once in his life. The doctors were able to confirm that. Because he thought he was Stevie Ray, he thought he had an addiction to the stuff - that’s what the cops told me. I am forever grateful that he never gave into those desires, writing multiple quotes the late guitarist had said about how much he enjoyed being clean.
The height difference was the problem. He kept saying over and over - “I can’t be him if I can’t see things from his perspective.”
Eddie had turned himself into Stevie Ray Vaughan, mentally, in every single way but one - He was absolutely mentally unstable, and it was much, much worse than I had thought.
They found him the next day in Janine’s bathroom, her father’s ax in hands. He had….he had tried to cut off his own legs. 9 inches, exactly, in order to be 5 feet, 5 inches tall. He’d never gotten through the bone, not even close - but the skin from 9 inches up was completely gone. The cops believed he had originally tried to get through the bone, and when he couldn’t, he sliced off that skin. Then, in order to make sure his legs would absolutely need to be amputated, he poured Janine’s bubbly soap all over them, along with bath salts and liquid cosmetics.
Jamie’s parents weren’t home that night to hear the screams. And Janine was passed out in her room, deaf to his screams, from the cocaine she shot into herself, which was something I’ve come to learn she did almost every night.
Something broke in Eddie that night. Not only will he never walk again, but he most likely will never really talk again, either, the experts keep telling me. With therapy - lots of it - Eddie may be able to talk again, but the experts think his days of guitar playing are over. Too much blood loss, maybe, the doctors told me. They don’t really know, much like his psychiatrist doesn’t know if he’ll talk again. He’s in therapy now, full time - I did end up having to take that leave of absence after all. Because with no legs and no apparent desire to live anymore, my son is basically immobile. He won’t eat. He won’t play guitar. He rings a bell when he has to get out of bed to shit. And then he sleeps most of the day away.
Eddie still writes, though, in his notebook, during his therapy sessions.. He has got to know we all read it - me, Lindsay, his psychiatrist - but he writes, anyways. The same thing, only two sentences per entry, once per day.
“I am not Stevie Ray. I have made a horrible mistake.”
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