Security Guard Stories pt. 2

The following is an email sent to my brother and various other close friends in regards to ridiculous people I used to know.  Certain names and places have been altered because I don’t ever, ever want to have any contact with most of the people in this story.  Ever.

Hello.  This email pertains to a guy I knew when I worked as a security guard at {A certain natural history museum in Ohio}  for a year.  I was under the impression that I had told you guys all these stories, but apparently they have slipped by somehow.  I will stress that I am hard pressed indeed to believe that I NEVER mentioned this guy to you, but if that is indeed really the case then I will start at the beginning. 

{Mikey}  was the first person I ever saw when I walked into the museum, and knowing nothing else but this first impression I could immediately tell that here was a guy who took his job way, way to seriously.  He was dressed in a full-length black leather trenchcoat which was tied up really {f-ing} S&M tight around his Tweedledum body type.  He was wearing the blackest sunglasses I’d ever seen, and he had a greaseball pony tail dangling off the back of his goateed head that was a good two and a half feet long.  A few things were immediately apparent:

1.  This guy was going to incredible lengths to look like a badass.

2.   He had seen the Matrix about seventy times and didn’t quite get that it wasn’t a theoretical physics documentary.

Look, I understand that the {this museum} is a museum and there is some really expensive {s-t} inside.  OK, I get it.  You have to have security for the jewels and the Zulu {s-t}.  But the stone cold reality of the situation is that this is a {f-king} CHILDREN’S MUSEUM.  Busloads of kids come in every day, wander around, be too {f-king} loud, go to the planetarium, and eat a tater tot shaped like a dinosaur foot on the way out the {f-king} door before they go ride the ten foot high steel stegosaurus replica out front and slide off it’s back when their bare skin touches the 1000 degree metal on the back and impale themselves on the tail spikes.  Yes, it happened once.  I asked why the museum doesn’t put up a sign that says, “{f-k} off of the stegosaurus” next to it to avoid this problem in the future.  The response was, that if you put up a sign then you have acknowledged that it is dangerous and are therefore aware of a problem.  Then, whether they should be playing on it or not, if they kill themselves then they can sue you because you obviously knew it was a danger to the public.  If they completely ignore it then they can deny everything and it’s a much safer legal position to adopt.  Go figure. 

Me:  Hey, is that a screaming and bleeding child desperately trying to pull itself off the sculpture outside?  We should go help him.   

Fat Tony (No really, Fat Tony):  Sit down new fish, you need to learn to relax. 

Understanding this attitude is critically important to understanding how incredibly {f-king} cake this job was.  See, most of the people who worked security at the museum were either old retired Cleveland Heights police officers,  old retired Marine Corps veterans who fought in Korea, or both.  These people had had very, very difficult circumstances to deal with in their previous careers, and wanted nothing more than to be put out to a pasture filled with doughnuts, free coffee, and a short walk in a climate controlled environment twice a day, and occasionally yell at children if they felt like it.  They had to deal with crazy,{f-ed} up {s-t} time after time after time, a high divorce rate, total and unreasonable assholes 24 seven, and their reward was a pension so pathetic that they were forced to go and get a part time job at the age of 70 just to make ends meet.  Just to give you a better sense of the flavor of these gentlemen, here are some excerpts from actual conversations I had with some of them. 


Me:  (Talking to a former detective about his crime scene experience)  What’s the worst thing you ever had to deal with?

John M:  Dead children.  There was one lady who gave her baby a bath and then put it in the microwave to dry it off.  I don’t even know what they did with her.  The strange thing is that she seemed to think it was a perfectly reasonable thing to do.       {incidentally, this very event was mentioned in a recent edition of Time magazine regarding killers} 


Me:  (To a veteran) Man it’s {f-king} freezing out here.  What took you so long to get down to the dock to let me in?

Fred:  Because I lost seven toes in Korea.  Don’t whine to me about being cold, pussy. 


Me:  Holy {s-t}, you were shot?

John K:  Yeah, twice.  Once in the elbow and once in the….rear end.  I don’t tell people about that one much.  We were responding to a domestic violence complaint because some dude beat up his girlfriend.  So when we go to arrest him, the bitch he beat up comes out of the back room screaming, ‘you can’t take my man, don’t take my man’, pulls out a gun and shoots me in the butt.  Needless to say, my partner shot them both.  What I never could figure out was, SHE’S THE ONE WHO CALLED US.     

So you see what we are dealing with here.  At this point Fat Tony piped up and said, ‘if you have to shoot someone you better make sure they are dead.  The stack of paper work is only about half as high as if you wound them because they only get your side of the story.’  

The other side of the coin in this department was a group about three of us younger guys who wanted a simple job to make ends meet while we were preparing to move onto bigger and better things, and it took a very specific kind of person to fit in there.  It had to be someone who would be mildly entertaining to these older dudes, but not annoying and willing to listen in tacet awe of their war stories.  Needless to say, my interview lasted about two minutes before they gave me a job because I look like {f-king} Timmy from Lassie except I also pay taxes to support their Medicaid and Social Securty checks.  Dustin was probably my best friend there, and he was great because of his ability to say anything convincingly if he wanted to win an argument whether he was bull{s-ting} or not.  Case Western Law School, obviously.  Dustin’s father was a pilot, so he got to fly a lot of places for free.  One day in the Atlanta Airport when he was twelve he stole some stupid little keychain that said something stupid about how great Atlanta was from a gift shop, and his dad found out about it when he saw him playing with it back home in Texas.  His dad made him get on a plane, by him self, fly back to Atlanta, go to the shop, call his dad on his cell phone, hand the cell phone to the clerk, return the item, and then publically recite a five minute long prewritten statement about what he stole and why he was a bad child who would probably end up in jail if he doesn’t straighten the {f-k} out.  The clerk apparently laughed so hard he barely was able to function.  Then he got back on a plane and flew home, where his dad promptly screamed at him for two hours and grounded him for a month.  Apparently his dad overreacted now and again, but true to form Dustin maintained through some logically convoluded position that he was somehow entitled to this object rather than admit guilt, and I think he’s working for a big firm in Cleveland now and makes well into the six figure mark.  I suppose that sounds about right.       

Now, the reason I tell you all this {s-t} is that it is only through the presence of a bunch of other crazy and ridiculous people that a person like Mikey would be able to wander through his daily routine without seeming overly freakish and weird.  He was pretty quiet most of the time in the interest of maintaining his belief that he was Morphius, and so besides being the victim of an occasional backhand comment about his body odor he was generally left well enough alone as long as he did his job.  However, once you got Mikey talking you quickly realized exactly how far removed from reality a person can allow themselves to get if everyone ignores them and their thoughts and opinions go completely unchallenged for a long enough period of time.  See, now that we are married, I’m sure all of us can relate to the fact that it is infuriating to live with a woman because at times they steadfastly and irritatingly refuse to allow you to simply have your own opinion about even the most inconsequential things, regardless of whether it’s reasonable or not, and they seem to have a total inability to shut the {f-k} up and let {s-t} go if they disagree with you like you have to every day of your life.  Yes it’s violently annoying to be told that the reason the sprinkler you’ve been wrestling with for the last two hours doesn’t work because you put a kink in the hose, when clearly the problem is that the sprinkler is a {f-king} asshole and deliberately failing to work for no reason whatsoever just to piss you off.  And maddening as it might be to hear a high pitched voice interrupting your Constitutionally protected bigoted opinion, the fact of life is that it is absolutely necessary for that to happen to keep you grounded in reality.  If the world lets you slide on your casual “Mars is in retrograde” comment, then ten years down the line that little falacy of logic opens the doors wide enough to where you wake up one day with an ass full of valerian root and little glass globes melting the flesh off your back while you chanting Om Mani Padme Hum and spiritually allign yourself with the aura of your {f-king} oregano plant.  That {s-t} is no good, and in rare and extreme cases you wake up to find that you are invading Poland.  We have to have these checks and balances in our lives not just for our own good but for the good of the rest of the planet. 

Fortunately, Mikey ended up falling on the benign side of this equation, mostly because no matter how extreme his delusions of grandeur may have been he could never escape the fact deep down he was really just a big pussy, and as a result of this he ended up being extremely entertaining in a freak show kind of way.  The first few nuggets of information you would get from Mikey once he decided to break his museum ninja guardian code of badass silence would typically come out in conversations involving Dustin, Mikey and I in the form of “I know a guy” stories.  Ridiculous stories.  For instance, the three of us are sitting in the back at the end of the day flagrantly not doing our jobs and drinking coffee.  All the guests have left, and we are trying to avoid being seen so the old dudes have to shut the place down for us.  At this point, Dustin says,  

Dustin:  “Hey, I watched Enter the Dragon last night.  That movie is badass.” 

Me:  Sweet.  Bruce Lee kicks {f-king} ass.  A week ago I read that he could knock a guy down with a punch that started just one inch away.  (True)   

Dustin:  What?  No way. 

Mikey:  It’s true.  There are guys who can kill you with one finger. 

Me:  Whaaat, bull{s-t}t Mikey.  If Bruce Lee can’t kill you with a fist to the sternum then one finger sure as {s-t} isn’t going to do anything unless you send that finger burrowing through their eyeball and into their brain stem.   

Mikey:  No, it’s true.  There are guys who know the exact pressure point to hit you with one finger and it will instantly paralyze you and stop your heart.   

Dustin:  Dude, shut the {f-k} up, no they can’t 

Mikey:  Yes, they can.  I know this guy who is a 19th degree black belt in Kim Chi Whatever Karate who can paralyze your whole…body…just by touching you with…one…finger…on the side. I saw him do it.    

Incidentally, the Italics are Mikey’s, not mine.  Whenever he was saying the most ludicrous part of his contention, he would slow down his speech, stare right into your eyes with an expression which could easily be mistaken for the look of death,and emphasize each word as carefully as possible.  If you have to say it’s the Champagne of Beers…well, you get the idea.  At this point we can infer a few things about our boy Ian:

1.  He’s a dumbass.  Furthermore, he’s deluded. 

2.  He owns the special edition DVD’s of both Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Legends of the Drunken Master and has watched them so much that the scenes in those movies are slowly beginning to supplant his actual memories. 

Whatever though.  More power to him as far as I’m concerned, because now this otherwise boring day is going somewhere very, very entertaining for me, mostly because if there’s one thing Dustin can’t stand it’s someone dumber than him (most people) trying to pass off completely stupid statements as gospel truth (like Mikey).  So I sit back and watch as Dustin calmly and methodically pushes Mikey back and forth, me adding color commentary the whole time, and as his logic slowly broke down Mikey would regress farther and farther away from the details of the offending statement he made without ever fully abandoning his initial position.  Now, you both know that I have a particular talent when it comes to remembering this kind of thing, and the following conversation is as close to verbatem as I can muster.  Let’s tune back in. 

Dustin:  What?  No you didn’t.

Mikey:  Yes I did.  He’s a friend of mine.  He owns a dojo. 

Dustin:  Where is this dojo.  (I am using a period instead of a question mark because it’s not really a question.) 

Mikey:  It’s over near the Blockbuster on Mayfield.

Dustin:  Fine.  We’re going.  I want to see this guy. 

Mikey:  What?  He doesn’t do it all the time.  We can’t just walk in. 

Dustin:  What?  You said this guy was your friend.  Introduce me, I want to meet him. 

Mikey:  Well, he’s kind of a friend.  I mean, I’ve been to his dojo before.   

Dustin:  No {s-t}t.  So now this “friend” is just some dude you saw one time.  I bet it wasn’t even in a dojo either. 

Me:  Why the {f-k} would a martial arts master who can kill you with a finger work in a shitty building on Mayfield?  Shouldn’t his ass be in China somewhere?  

Mikey:  Listen, this guy can really kill you.  I saw him do a demonstration. 

Dustin:  So let me get this straight.  You saw him do a demonstration…where he killed a guy.   

Mikey:  No, of course not.  I mean, obviously.  He told us about the move and then did a kata that showed us how to do it.  I could do it to you now if I wanted to. 

Dustin:  Let me guess.  This was in the mall, wasn’t it.

Mikey:  No.  It was at a martial arts convention.  

Me:  Right.  In the mall.   

Mikey:  NO! And it doesn’t matter!  This guy can move so fast and strike so hard that even a single finger in the right place could knock you down.  He moves so fast that you might not even see what he did.  Look, I have done extensive matial arts training and I have a black belt equivalent (I’ll explain that later) in four different forms of martial arts.  I have trained myself to move so fast I could dodge a bullet.  There are people out there who can move faster than the eye can see because of their training! 

Dustin: ….Waaaait a minute, back that {s-t} up.  You…can dodge a bullet. 

Mikey:  Yes. 

Dustin: …. 

Me:  Dude, come on.  Seriously…    

Dustin:  OK.  Listen to yourself.  You are actually going to put that out there.

Mikey:  Absolutely.  I could dodge a bullet from like ten feet away.   

Me:  Um…. I’m assuming that because you are standing here today you’ve never actually tried this… 

Mikey:  I’ve trained with shurikens and sais.  (apparently he’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) 

Dustin:  Alright then, let’s do a little test right now.  I’m going to take this pencil and I’m going to throw it at you.  You can stand ten feet away, and dodge this pencil.  If you can even dodge a throwing star, which you can’t, then this should be a piece of cake.

Mikey:  Bring it on. 

They measure off the distance, agreeing finally after some minutes of bickering.  Dustin gets ready to throw, and Ian adopts the most inauthentic Outback Steakhouse martial arts pose I’ve ever seen.  About this point Chad, our boss/firearms responisibility coach walks in.  Chad doesn’t particularly like Mikey because Mikey doesn’t shower and he {f-king} stinks most of the time.  To the point where Chad eventually had so many complaints from the other guards that he had to have an intervention.  Chad hates this kind of thing, because it means that he actually has to do something and he hates pausing the Sopranos and leaving his office unless it’s to eat or take a {s-t}.  So in this mindset, and demonstrating his total lack of fuzzy people skills, Chad handled it in the way we had all become accustomed to.  “Look Mikey, you {f-king} stink, OK?  I’m sending you home and you have to take a {f-king} shower before you come back.  I swear to god, if I ever have to have this conversation again I’m going to {f-king} fire you.  You got it?  Good.  Go home.”  So with that in mind, back to our little event.    

Chad:  (Grunting)  What the hell are you three assholes doing in here?  Get to work. 

Dustin:  Dude, Mikey said he can dodge a bullet.  I’m going to throw this pencil at him to prove him wrong.   

Chad:  …. Do it.   

Dustin rears back to throw, and before he even lets go of the pencil Mikey is already throwing himself out of the way.  Seeing this, Dustin pauses his motion just enough to take a {f-king} HUGE step towards Mikey, easily closing half the distance, and throws the pencil so hard that the forward motion of his arm cleared four of the remaining five feet between them, the net result of which being that he was essentially just stabbing Mikey in the shoulder.       

Mikey:  (predictably)  OOOOWWWWW!!!!  {F-k}, man! 

Dustin:  I told you. You can’t dodge {s-t}. 

Mikey:  What the {f-k}!?  I told you I could dodge it from ten feet away, not right next to me! 

Dustin:  Whatever.  You said you could dodge it and you couldn’t.  You are full of {s-t}. 

Mikey:  Look, that’s not how a bullet would work anyway.

Dustin:  Whatever.  You said you could dodge it and you couldn’t.  You are full of {s-t}. 

Mikey:  No I’m not, I can dodge it just fine.  You didn’t do it right. 

Dustin:  Whatever.  You said you could dodge it and you couldn’t.  You are full of {s-t}.

One of the entertaining/infuriating things about Dustin is, just like a good lawyer, once he gets a something on you, whether it’s justified or not, he will hound you from that position for the rest of the argument.  It’s like a third grader who cheats really obviously to beat you, and then proceeds to call you a loser for the rest of the week no matter how much you call him out on it. 

Mikey:  You didn’t do it right.  If you shot a bullet at me it would leave from ten feet away, not right next to me. 

Me:  OK, seriously, this is bull{s-t}.  Do you have any idea how fast a bullet is moving?  Even from ten feet away that bullet would get there even faster than Dustin throwing the pencil at you from three inches away from your head!  That’s ridiculous. 

Mikey:  Looking exasperated.  Well…you don’t actually dodge the bullet from the second it leaves the gun barrel.  I mean, I can’t but there are people who can.  What I would do is watch for when you finger starts pulling the trigger and then I’d already be moving out of the way. 

Dustin:  See, I told you so!  You never said {s-t} about watching me pull the trigger.  So what the {f-k} would you do in this NEW instance to get out of the way of the bullet Mr. Miyagi? 

Mikey:  Here, I’ll even show you how it works.  Watch this.   

Mikey gets himself set like before, and does this really twinkish little hip turn that moves him to one side and sticks one of his arms out a bit.  At this point Chad walks off.   

Mikey:  There, see that?  I turn to the side, and the bullet would hit me in the wrist instead of the body.  I still get hit but it’s much safer. 

Dustin:  What!?  Why the {f-k}would you do that?  If you are fast enough to get your fat ass out of the way why the hell wouldn’t you get your{f-king} wrist out of the way too?  That’s {f-king} retarded! 

Mikey:  I told you I could dodge a bullet.  Ben, you see what I’m talking about right? 

Me:  Look dude, I don’t…

Dustin:  {F-k} you.   You can’t dodge a pencil, and you can’t dodge a bullet.  If you really want to try it again let’s compromise and I’ll throw the stapler at you.  I’ll even stand over here.  {This is loooong before Dodgeball, by the way.  The stapler just happened to be there and the movie came much later}     

Mikey:  Do it right this time.   

At this point I get the {f-k} out of the way.  Right or wrong, I don’t want to get hit by a three pound chunk of metal flying across the room at 200 mph, even if I have a MUCH better chance of dodging it than Mikey does.  To his credit, Dustin did back off quite a bit considering his lingering respect for life, no matter how stupid.  Besides, I think deep down he would be willing to concede the point if the alternative is paying an insurance carrier fifteen grand in medical compensation.  So he gives it a light lob, and Mikey, writhing around like an earthworm in the way you would NOT expect a martial arts master to behave, barely, and I mean BARELY, manages to get his knee out of the way. 

Mikey:  See!!!  I {f-king}old you!  I have amazing reflexes!   

Dustin:  (looking half-heartedly annoyed)  Whatever, I almost hit you.  If that was a bullet you’d be crying like a little bitch right now. 

Mikey:  Yeah right.  You couldn’t hit me if you tried.  I only did what was absolutely necessary to get out of the way.  Martial arts is about not wasting energy. 

Me:  Chriiiist….  

Suddenly Chad reappears, and we assume that we have {f-ked} around long enough and this is the end of the line for procrastination.  We could not have been more wrong.   

Chad:  So you can dodge a bullet, huh?  Alright smartass, let’s see. 

At this point, Chad reaches into his pants and pulls out a {f-king} loaded .38 and points it right at Ian.  You might remember this .38 as the one that eventually got his ass fired.     

Chad:  You say when, and I’ll pull the trigger. 

Mikey:  (not realizing that Chadis just {f-king} around.  And honestly, why would he?)  Woah man, woah.  Hey, I said that OTHER PEOPLE can do this.  There’s really only like three martial arts masters in the world who can do it!  I can’t do it every time! 

Me: ‘Every time’?  How about, ‘never’, dumbass.

Dustin:  Oh, what’s up now bitch!  I thought you did this {s-t} all the time?  Dodge that bullet, Mikey!  Come on, you said you could, so man up and prove me wrong. 

Chad:  Say when boy.

 Mikey:  No!  {S-t}, stop man, :f-k}!  OK, {s-t}!  All I meant was that there are people who can do it, not that I can do it!  And I already proved you wrong Dustin, so shut the {f-k} up!   

Dustin:  You are so full of {s-t} dude. 

Chad:  (grunt)  That’s what I thought.  No go close up.  

Chad walks off to his office, and Dustin and I leave for our rounds. 

Dustin:  I {f-king} told you. 

Mikey:  (talking to me as Dustin walks out of earshot)  See, people can dodge bullets.  I’ve seen it.  What these guys do, is they…………. 

And that’s a lot of what you need to know about Mikey.  I think Mikey opened up to me more than the other people working there simply because I listen politely to anything that anyone is saying regardless of how whacked out they are.  Me smiling and nodding when they are talking is my way of marveling at how {f-king}  insane a person is, but often times they mistake it for understanding and agreeing with what they are saying.  Maybe that’s how I get into so much trouble in the first place.  But what I finally figured out about the guy is that he has gotten to the point where he isnt’ actually lying to himself any more.  He actually believes a lot of the crazy {s-t} that he is saying, and often times is willing to put it to the test because he’s really that far gone.  I mean, he let a full grown adult human being throw a {f-king} stapler at him did’n’t he?  For Christ sake, he only truly backed down when an actual firearm was pointed in his face, and even the it was a half-assed excuse that vanished as soon as Chad walked off.  Needless to say, this behavior got Mikey in over his head on more than one occasion, sometimes with disasterous and hilarous results.  This next incident sets up about the same as the last one, except this time instead of the “I know a guy” thing he was able to skip right on to his “I have superpowers” tirade that almost got him shot.  One day one of the old guys brought in a small bag full of Habanero peppers from their home garden.  He told us that we could each take one, but to really, REALLY {f-king} careful with them because these were supposed to be some super hot strain, and Habaneros are already too {f-king} hot for damn near any human consumption anyway.  Even touching the outside would start to burn your fingers if you held it too long, and as we are musing over these things Mikey walks in the office fresh off his round. 

Mikey:  What are you guys looking at? 

Me:  Fred brought in some Habanero peppers.  They are hot as {f-k}. 

Mikey:  Oh yeah?  I eat those things all the time.

We look at Ian like he has a dick growing out of his forehead. 

Dustin:  What, raw?

Mikey:  Yeah, I love them.  I eat them whole. 

Me:  No you don’t. 

Mikey:  Yes I do. 

Me:  No.   You don’t. 

Fred:  Listen, you sure you aren’t thinking of bell peppers or something?  These things have a Scoville rating of 580,000.  They’ll burn through your tongue. 

Scoville Units are the measuring standard by which capsacin content in peppers is measured.  A bell pepper has something like 100.  A Jalapeno is around 5000, and can cause redness on exposed skin from contact.  Those hot-ass Thai peppers are in the 50,000 SCU range.  The TRADITIONAL Habanero is around, 100,000 and the peppers in question are the little red {f-kers} that are 5 times nastier than that.  For a little context, police-grade pepper spray is around 500,000 SCU, which means that eating one of those babies whole is quite a bit worse than sucking on a hit from a pepper spray canister.  Baaaaad idea… 

Mikey:  Yeah, Habanero peppers.  I’m telling you I eat these things raw all the time. 

Dustin:  (with a look of absolute joy on his face)  Hey man, then by all means, grab one and eat it for us.  I think if you took even a little lick of that thing you’d be crying like a little baby. 

Me:  Here you go Mikey.  Eat that thing whole, just like you said.  Go ahead and take a huge bite of that bad boy. 

Mikey reaches into the bag and pulls one out by the stem.  Dangling like a testicle, he eyeballs it a little more suspiciously that his previous bravado would suggest. 

Fat Tony:  Um, listen man, I think that’s a bad idea.  For real, those things are really really hot.    

Dustin:  Forget that {s-t}.   Go for it man.  Show us how much of a badass you are. 

Mikey:  (chuckling to himself)  You really want me to eat it?  I’m telling you, I can take it. 

Me:  I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.  Eat that {f-ker}. 

Fred:  Mikey, seriously, don’t do that… 

Dustin:  Go big man, eat it.  You said you can eat it, so {f-king} eat it, pussy.   

Mikey:  Don’t call me a pussy, asshole.   

Me:  Yeah pussy, eat that pussy little pepper.  Show it who the pussy really is.   

At this point Chad walks in. 

Chad:  (Grunting)  What the hell are you assholes doing in here?  Get to work. 

Dustin:  Dude, Mikey said he can eat a Habanero pepper.  I think he’s too much of a pussy to eat it.     

Chad:  …. Do it. 

A moment of silence… 

Mikey:  Fine.  Here I go. 

Fred:  Mikey, listen to me.  I believe you can eat that pepper.  I really believe you can do it.  Now DON’T EAT IT, and PUT IT BACK IN THE BAG.   

Too late.  I swear to god, Mikey took that {f-king} thing, dropped itinto his mouth, and starts chewing away.  There was another, much more interesting moment of silence, and to his credit, of all the looks on our faces, Dustin’s was the most suprised. 

Then it happened.  All of a sudden, Mikey’s face froze as if paralyzed by a karate master, turned red, orange, and finally a purple-ish color, he ran across the room, grabbed the trash can, and began bazooka barfing for the next five minutes.  Dustin, crumpled into a heap on the floor, was laughing so hard he couldn’t even laugh.  He was curled into a little spasming ball, and making little wheezing sounds like Stephen Hawking falling out of his wheelchair while at the same time having a severe athesma attack.  Tony was patting Mikey on the back and making sure he was still breathing and Fred was desperately rummaging through the first aid cabinet hoping to find some atropine to inject into Mikey’s heart so he wouldn’t get fired for killing a co-worker.  Chad simply walked off.  I don’t quite remember what I was doing, but if I had to guess it was probably thinking about something to take my mind off the smell of vomit and singed flesh that was seeping into my pores, while trying to figure out just how much longer I would have the pleasure of working at the museum before my wife graduated and we skipped town.

As it turned out, of all the {f-king} people that Mikey could have decided to befriend, he chose me.  OF COURSE…  See, I’m from the midwest, and in the midwest they train you to listen politely and non-confrontationally to anything anyone says to you no matter how fucked up and bizzare it may be.  That doesn’t mean you have to agree with it, you just aren’t supposed to call them out to their face.  And while this might seem like a perfectly pleasant way to pass your existence, the reality is that it gets me into way more trouble than it’s worth.  That’s how I end up meeting all these {f-king} nutjobs.  They think that when I am listening politely and nodding when they spout their otherwise conversation ending {s-t} I am understanding them on a profound level and agreeing with something they know deep down is bull{s-t}, when in reality the unwavering blank stare I’m pointing in the direction of your idiocy is masking the thoughts of pure unadulterated hatred and loathing I feel towards them.  All these people want is someone to give them the illusion of listening because so many people tell them to {f-k}, so I guess I fit that profile.  Mikey was no exception. 

One day I’m sitting there at the desk minding the radio, which means I am reading a book and drinking coffee for $8.50 an hour, and Ian waltzes up and starts talking to me.  Now, I had heard from Dustin and a few other people that Mikey’s weirdness extended far beyond the bounds of his strange behavior at work, and I ill-advisedly took the opportunity to ask his what he did in his spare time.  See, on his application for employment he had put down that he had “black belt equivelant” in about six different forms of martial arts, and I had a sneaking suspicion that the word ‘equivelant’ was much more important than any of the other words in that phrase in defining his skills.  I guess I just don’t know a lot of martial artists who are shaped like Violet Beuregard after chewing the gum.  So he proceeds to explain how he trained in six different forms of karate at an official martial arts center with an expert certified martial arts instructor.  Upon further prying, I found that Ian’s definition of certain things was pretty loose.  For instance: 

1.  ‘Instructor’ meant, ‘buddy’ 

2.  ‘Expert’ meant, ‘watched more films than Mikey’ 

3.  ‘Official martial arts center’ meant, ‘basement’ 

4.  ‘Six different forms’ meant, ‘approximations of moves we read about in comic books’ 

5.  ‘Karate’ meant, ‘flailing’ 

6.  ‘training’ meant, ‘talking about’ 

So I guess the final version of his statement ended up being, “So he proceeds to explain how he talked about how to approximate moves he read about in comic books by flailing around in his basement with his buddy who watches a lot of martial arts movies.”  I’m not even remotely exaggerating that either.  He told me all about how there are these people called “cord cutters” he read about in some ‘graphic novel’ who can disable you by precision finger strikes to tendons and ligaments.  He was VERY serious about all this, and maintained that there are people alive today who can do this rare and difficult form of martial arts.  But more important that this level of delusion is that he had clearly deluded himself enough to actually believe that he was a karate master to the point that he was willing to write it on a professional resume and tell people straight-faced that he could do all this stuff.  Now I can only guess that the only way someone like Mikey could function in this world would be to find a way to surround himself with people who would either never force him to test this belief out (and therefore kick his {f-king} asshole inside out) or surround himself with people who were also willing to hold and participate in a similar delusion for themselves.  You would almost have to create your own little ideological world where you can go and be a {f-king} delusional geek without ever having to worry about real life creeping in and spoiling your fun.  One might almost say, an alternate world in which you can participate and live, where the only thing people involved in this organization do in the real world is work a {s-t} job to fund their escape portal into another time.  Sure enough, there IS such an organization out there.  And it is called: 

The Society for Creative Anachronism 

SCA for short.  The mission statement of the SCA is: 

The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our “Known World” consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more.     


                                                       -From the SCA website homepage

So in a nutshell, this group has divided the real world geography up into 19 kingdoms, and where you live determines your house.  So I don’t live in Denver, I live in a kingdom called the “Outlands”.  Here’s a map from the Outlands kingdom website:

{insert map of southwest with Gaelic type} 

Pretty {f-king} stupid.  You might recognize Texas, Arizona, etc.  I am assuming the burning tower in Argonia is actually a representation of Juarez, and a fairly accurate one at that.  Incidentally, Juarez is where Dustin used to go with his friends, and got beaten up by a Mexican cop fifteen yards outside the US border with the agents watching the whole thing, until his friend kicked the cop in the balls and they ran through the security check point.  Anyway, the whole point of the SCA is that it is attempting to recreate the world of the middle ages right here and now in the 21st century.  When I asked him if they also try to recreate the Plague and small pox, he informed me with a condescending chuckle that no, they are not recreators, but rather they are attempting to reinterpret the middle ages as they wish they had been, and how they had read about in the Arthurian Legends.  Hence, “creative anachronism.”  Basically, these people are attempting to play a real life version of Dungeons and Dragons, and doing so in a way that allows them to selectively omit any rules they don’t want to adhere to.  So you create your own character called Mudtongue Balltwaddle or what the {f-k} ever, register your own coat of arms (which probably looks really, really twink with light sabres and {s-t} on it) and go to SCA events and speak in a shitty Gaelic accent and pretend to be someone else.  OK.  Fine.  What the {f-k} ever.  It’s quite sad that people do this, but Mikey took it to another even twinker level or ridiculousness. 

See, the one redeeming thing about the SCA is that these are the only people on earth who bother to learn skills like armor making and such.  So when you see armor in movies it was most likely made by someone who is in the SCA.  As a matter of fact, there are quite a few people who see this as a kind of role-playing outlet for a hobby, and that’s cool with me.  They know a lot of interesting historical {s-t}, and are somewhat of an authority on a particular obscure subject.  I really dig people like that.  But then we come to Mikey.  Ian loves karate and martial arts.  He doesn’t want to be Thor or Odin, he wants to pretend he’s a ninja.  Japan doesn’t have a ninja-based SCA because people in Japan make robots and work 80 hour weeks.  So he apparently “exhaustively researched” (scanned in between poon trolling sessions online) the history of Samurai soldiers who lived in the middle ages, albeit on the other side of the planet, and found a way to convince the powers that control the SCA that it was feasable that a Samurai could have traveled to Europe at this time and therefore should be included.  I mean, it’s not like they aren’t pulling this {s-t} out of their asses anyway, right?  So his official name was something like Shuzukiro Botswana or some {s-t} like that, and it TOTALLY explained the hair, trenchcoat, and a lot of other things about him.  So you see, he really believed that he was a martial arts expert simply because for more than 50% of his adult life he has participated in an organization which actively encourages him to {f-king} believe that {s-t}.  No wonder he doesn’t have any concept of reality.  But it gets better.

So one day after he’s been going off to me about how great it is and how I should get involved in the SCA because it’s so great and he really thinks I am into this {s-t} because I am to polite to tell him to shut the {f-k} up, and throw a combination to his testicles, and walk off like nothing happened, the nature of his  marriage comes up in conversation.  It turns out that Mikey lives not only with his wife, but also with…her husband.  Wait, what?  Yes, he assures me, that is correct.  My immediate response was, CLARIFY THAT FOR ME.  As near as I could figure out, Ian met this married couple at an SCA event where they were masquerading as trolls or some {s-t}.  So he begins talking to the girl, and it turns out that she is about as far gone from reality as he is.  She’s a certified Wiccan witch, and she makes potions and casts spells and does crazy {s-t} like that.  So Mikey thinks, hang on, here’s an opportunity for me to hook up with someone who is insane enough to think that me not bathing and being a {f-king} douchebag is a plus.  But wait, she’s not going to cheat on her husband with Mikey unless her husband is in on the deal.  So she introduces him to her ‘real world’ husband, and the two of them decide that Mikey is way smarter than both of them and way cooler because they are both retarded.  No really, they are actually both considered mentally handicapped by the state.  Did I neglect to mention that?  Sorry.  They are the kind of retarded people who are perfectly functional but have IQs just low enough to be considered retarded.  Oh, and the girl also had a permanent shunt in the back of her neck so she could have excess brain fluid drained out of her skull casing periodically by doctors.  Yeah.  So basically, they are just both pretty goddamned stupid, and look up to Mikey because he seems like a {f-king} genius by comparison and Mikey is taking advantage of the situation because as far as he’s concerned even retard pussy is typically out of his league.  And they also think he’s really, really funny too.  Like, he should do stand up funny.  Maybe making the retarded laugh is harder that it looks, I don’t know.  You probably have to time your punch lines so they happen when they are about to laugh for no reason anyway.  So eventually they do this Wiccan ceremony that brings him into the fold so the three of them can live a tri-marriage.  They eat together, make financial decisions together, and, oh yeah, they all sleep in the same bed.  So the obvious question I ask is….. 

“So if you guys sleep in the same bed you much all {f-k} each other, right?” 

No no, I was assured.  The two guys sleep on either side with the girl in the middle, and the both {f-k} her but not each other.  Yeah.  RIGHT.  Let me tell you something.  I knew a dude at {my Masters school} who tried to befriend me because I was new and didn’t yet know he was a {f-king} insane druggie.  He would regail me of stories about how much weed enhanced his creativity.  He told me he loves Skyline Chili, and the best thing on the menu was the garlic bread.  The {f-king} garlic bread.  What a {f-k}.  The one day after I had spent months trying to avoid all contact with him, he stops me in the hall and starts telling me about the threesome he had the night before.  It was amazing, he said, the three of them did PCP and had this spiritual one-ness {f-k} fest when they were together, and he felt the deep connection to them he’d never experienced before.  Yeah, him, this chick…and this other dude.  I told him I was going to {f-k} off now.  Listen, here’s the rule:


In a nutshell, we now know Mikey is at least bisexual no matter what the {f-k} he says.  This leads me to the most disturbing shift I ever worked at the Museum of Natural History. 

Late in my tenure at the museum, Mikey seems to have taken a real liking to me.  Because I listen to his insane ramblings without making fun of him.  On this particular day, Mikey is being very friendly, and is following me around on my rounds like a dog and telling me about how I should never allow myself to believe that magic isn’t real and unicorns exist or some {s-t} like that.  We get back to the desk, and some of the other guards are there, and Ian says something stupid.  I crack a joke about him, and everyone starts laughing their balls off.  Mikey gives this bizzare kind of grinny laugh, and puts his hand on the back of my neck like he’s going to pretend to throttle me.  Quickly however, his laugh trails off into this goofy grin, and what should have been a shake turns into a slight massage/rub of the back of my neck.  So I say, 

Me:  Don’t touch me asshole. 

Mikey:  (trailing off with this bemusedly intranced tone of voice)  Oh Ben, you jokester…

And now Benny has to GO THE {F-K} OFF ON HIS ROUND.  Ian follows me.  I decide I don’t want to be followed, so I say “I’ll see you later man, I have to go take a piss.” and I go into the bathroom to take a piss.  Mikey follows me… 

I go to the urinal to take a piss.  Like I {f-king} said.  Mikey goes into the stall next to me.   

I piss, wash my hands, and leave.  As I’m leaving, Mikey says, wait a second for me, we have to decide which floor we are going to take for our rounds.  (There are two guards walking rounds each hour, and you each take a different floor) 

{F-k}.  I go outside and wait. 

And wait. 

And wait. 

….and wait.

About seven minutes goes by according to my watch, and still no Mikey.  What the {f-k} is up, did he {s-t} out his intestine and he’s trying to shove it back in?  What is this crap?  Finally he comes out.  He’s got that same goofy {f-king} grin on his face, and he’s clearly been sweating.  A lot.  Oh.  {S-t}.  What a {f-king} nasty little {f-ker}.  He totally had just jerked the {f-k} off, and we all know what that was about, don’t we.  I {f-ked} right off, let me tell you.  That {s-t} is {f-king} disgusting. 

The end result of all this behavior is that Mikey eventually got himself fired.  Oddly enough, just slightly before Chad got himself fired for the gun thing.  Ironically, he was late too many times in one year, and mostly because he was having to shuttle his “family” around from place to place since they were too {f-king} stupid to do it themselves.  I left the museum shortly after because my wife and and I moved out of state, but I have to say, of all the jobs I have ever worked, that was by far and away the most entertaining thing I have ever done by a wide margin.  I have more stories of all different kinds to tell, and if you’d like to hear more I’m be more than happy to elaborate.

Ben Tomkins is a violinist, teacher, journalist and critically acclaimed composer currently living in Denver, Colorado. He hates stupidity and generally believes that the volume of one’s voice is inversely proportional to one’s knowledge of an issue. Reach Ben Tomkins at

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