Cell Phone Ring Tone Composer
(Pilot: part 2 of 2)
Xavier Montclair is America’s # 1 cell phone ring tone composer.
Xavier Montclair is America’s # 1 cell phone ring tone composer.
By Michael James Nelson
Published in The National Lampoon
A Bar Mitzvah is the Super Bowl of a young Jewish man’s life. It is when he turns in his diaper and begins a journey that will end with doing your taxes. When I was a kid, I went to so many Bar Mitzvahs I had to hire my mom as my “Mitzvah agent.” Every Friday I would walk in from school, sift through the fridge, and she would chime in with, “Okay, you have a 2pm Weiss Mitzvah followed by a 4pm Sherman Mitzvah after party,” as she thumbed a big calendar. “And Cory is holding on three. What should I tell him?” I would leave the room with a snack, a thumb up and a forced smile.
She took twenty percent.
That was my childhood. Bar Mitzvahs, nagging mothers, hairy backs and the decision of which Yarmulke to wear were the major elements of my Jewish life. Despite this, there was still one problem. I’m not Jewish. I am Christian, born and raised. But when I was seven my family moved to a small neighborhood right next to the JCC, the Jewish Community Center, or, as I called it, Jesus Can’t Come in.
The JCC was only a dreidel’s throw away. That’s how Jewish the neighborhood was. If you were a stranger off the highway, requesting directions to a good restaurant, you wouldn’t get, “Go two miles down this road and…” No, you’d get, “Okay, go twenty (throat noise)-adel throws down this road, hang a rrrrright. And then you go two (throat noise)-adel throws and it’s on your left. Try the veal.”
At first, being thrown in the Jewish mix was hard. My family purchased a membership at the JCC for its athletic facilities and it became my hang out. After shaking off such nicknames as “Jesus in the Flesh” and “Pope Nelson,” I eventually became an honorary Jew and this put me in position to attend the hottest Bar Mitzvahs on the planet.
One Bar Mitzvah that has always echoed in my mind was Josh’s. It was in Jacksonville and my Mitzvah publicist said if I showed up, kissed some babies, and threw out a couple “Shaloms” then my name would be written in stone on the guest list of every who’s who Bar Mitzvah on the east coast.
I arrived late at the Temple and sifted through the large container of Yarmulkes. Damn! All the blue ones were gone and I was stuck with a corduroy nightmare. Just once I wanted to get a Yarmulke that had a little personality to it. Maybe one with a propeller on the top or one lined with sparkling jewels. What if NIKE ever tapped into the Yarmulke market?
NIKE TV COMMERCIAL
EXT. BASKETBALL COURT – DAY
A BUNCH OF JEWISH BOYS ARE PLAYING A BASKETBALL GAME. ALL OF THEM HAVE A PLAIN COLORED YARMULKE ON AND NO GAME WHATSOEVER. WHAT YOU HAVE HERE ARE A GROUP OF BOYS THAT WEAR THE FINEST ATTIRE AND USE HIP HOP LINGO WITH THEIR OWN TWIST TO MAKE UP FOR WHAT THEY LACK ON THE COURT. WE JOIN THEM AT…
(WITH THE BALL)
HE PASSES THE BALL TO TEAMMATE CORY.
What son? Check this move.
Check yo Yarmulke!
CORY BLOWS PAST HIS DEFENDER. HE ATTEMPTS TO LAY THE BALL IN THE BASKET BUT THE BALL HITS THE BOTTOM OF THE BACKBOARD, THEN COMES BACK AND HITS HIM IN THE FACE. HE THEN RUNS INTO THE POLE VIOLENTLY AND FALLS TO THE GROUND. AFTER SOME LAUGHTER, ALL THE BOYS SURROUND CORY AND HELP HIM OFF THE COURT.
Damn kid! We out one.
BOTH TEAMS SUDDENLY LOOK IN AWE AT A BOY EMERGING FROM THE PARKING LOT.
CUE THE SLOW MOTION.
HE APPROACHES WEARING A BLACK SUEDE YARMULKE WITH A WHITE NIKE SWOOSH ON THE SIDE. HIS BLACK BAG SAYS JEW CREW ON IT.
Ayight. It’s you ridin’
With them. Your rock.
THE BALL IS THROWN-IN TO THE NEW BOY. HE FAKES RIGHT, GOES LEFT, AND LEAVES THE GROUND TO AMAZING HEIGHTS. AND JUST WHEN YOU THINK HE IS GOING TO LAY IT UP, HE REVERSES, GOES UNDER THE BASKET, AND DUNKS THE BALL ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIM. EVERYONE IS IN SHOCK. ONE BOY SLOWLY TAKES HIS YAMIKA OFF, STARES AT IT, THEN LOOKS AT THE BOY STILL HANGING FROM THE RIM. THE SHOT TRAILS OFF INTO THE SKY. A VOICE IS HEARD…
NIKE. Just Jew It.
The service slowly crept forward and ended, routine. Afterward, everyone headed over to an auditorium for an after party that had a Mardi Gras like feel to it. Breasts weren’t being exposed, but you could feel the energy release of a bunch of parents who really needed it.
About thirty minutes in, things started to get crazy and the parental party agenda was very visible. I suddenly found myself cornered in the back of the room. “Drink this juice, it is tradition, and everyone is doing it,” one boy said as the rest of the group laughed. It was always a riot to play a joke on ol’ Jesus lover. I wanted to get them off my back so I drank. It was Tequila!
I was so drunk I began having flash backs of being three feet up in rice patties about 15 clicks out of Qui Non while my new wife kept sending me pictures of our new born and bitching about the yard getting “out of control.” Not having been old enough to have fought in Vietnam, I just assumed this type of stuff happened the first time someone got drunk.
Everyone around me was laughing. Their faces were blurred and their laughter was coming from all directions. To get away, I barged back into the main room, drunk and overwhelmed by the Jewish parents throwing each other up on chairs and chanting.
The rest of the night was a montage of confusion, spills, and the floor possessing the comfort of a Tempur-Pedic mattress. The next morning, I woke up in the back of a Cadillac with a terrible headache, wearing a sleeveless tee shirt that said, “I rocked out at Josh’s Bar Mitzvah.” I was finished. My life on the Bar Mitzvah tour was over, kaput. My reputation was ruined.
I approached my house later that day with my head down, feeling depressed. How was I going to explain to mom that there was no more twenty percent? I entered the house just as she hung up the phone. “What happened?” She said.
“What do you mean?”
“Every Jewish boy from here to Israel wants you to come to their Bar Mitzvah,” she said. “And Josh called earlier and wanted to thank you for a great show. What’s that mean?”
I slowly sat down confused and rubbed my head. “Oy vey.”
Â© Michael James Nelson â All Rights Reserved.
By Michael James Nelson
In my spare time, sometimes I find myself thinking about Jesus. We all have a general idea of how Jesus passed his time here on Earth, but how is he spending it now? Is he lounging around Heaven, enjoying life at a level the living cannot possibly comprehend? Or, is he a very busy man? You know God has a lot on his golden plate, dealing with all the different galaxies and universes and dimensions, not to mention the battle that is about to erupt between the Talaxians and the Bajorans of the Triangulm Galaxy (donât even get me started).
So, while Godâs focus is often distracted by all of the activity abroad, who keeps an eye on Earth? The answer is Jesus. And Jesus doesnât take a lunch break or show up late or spend most of his office hours searching for old flings he had here on Earth via Facebook. No, I imagine Jesus as a workaholic. Jesus doesnât miss a nanosecond of the activity here on Earth. Jesus is a micromanager.
God might still be the boss, but the people stationed at Earthâs Control Center on the eastern side of Heaven answer directly to Jesus. They sit in front of thousands of screens in a huge room, monitoring everything. These monitors have no plugs, no wires, and are one thousand times the clarity of High Definition. These people work the controls and monitor everything. Then, in walks Jesus. White robe, long hair, with a coffee and cigarette in the same hand, He begins his pacing back and forth behind the row of chairs. He has a big chair for him, but He never uses that chair.
âStatus report,â Jesus says, after a long gulp of coffee. The guy pounds the stuff. âGood morning, Jesus. Today the cease-fire is barely holding in the promise land, Earthâs economy is on a downward spiral, and Zimbabwe is still starving.â Jesus thinks. He paces. None of his people ever question his decisions. Every action ripples into something else, causing the most complex and delicate chain reaction ever created. A small decision like keeping little Timmyâs parents from getting a divorce could ripple out to unimaginable distances, causing China to bomb Japan and lead to rapid climate change. His people donât understand it, they could never understand, so they just trust him. Not a birthday wish goes by without Jesus knowing. When people end their prayers with, âThrough Jesus Christ our Lordâ, they have no idea to what degree that request is actually executed.
Jesus kind of walked into this whole thing. After returning to Heaven, Jesus never shook his fascination for Earth. Yes, it had been a bumpy ride and in the end Earthâs habitants completely ripped him a new one, but he grew to love them, just as his father did. And as things started to exponentially expand on the horizon, God finally transferred the managerial control of Earth over to his son. Sure, God still feels the individual incidences and changes of Earth and its people, but he can smile and relax because he knows that his children are closely watched by their Big Brother.
âJesus Christ!â someone screams. âWhat is it,â Jesus asks, dashing to the spot behind Thomas. âToo many multiple alerts.â Thomas explains, turning invisible dials in the air about a foot in front of him. âList them out for me,â Jesus says, head down, ready to receive the information.
âThe Israelis are going to come to a decision to ignore the cease-fire. A restaurant in Syria is killing cats and cooking them as chicken tenders. An airplane is hailing a mayday call over Nashville. A volcano is about to erupt on the main island of Hawaii. A man is drowning off the coast of Sri Lanka. A Daryl Smith in Tucson, Arizona is praying for world peace. A group of rebel soldiers in Congo are sneaking up behind a UN aid convoy. Oliver Stone is out drunk driving again. A walrus cannot find its pup. A man just crapped his pants in the bathroom at a Tony Robbins seminar and is praying for it all to go away. And Annie Holcomb of Maitland, Florida is praying that her father make it home safely.â
Jesus rubs his beard covered chin. His disciples keep their eyes on the screen, knowing that their orders are about to fly at them like bee-bees exploding out of a shotgun shell. A moment.
âMy father will visit Olmert in a dream tonight. Give the pilots the focus to land the plane safely, but have them land in Knoxville. And make sure the pilot meets a woman waiting for her son to return from California. Let the volcano erupt, but only half its full force. The lava can only take out seven homes, but they must be empty except for one, which will unfortunately hold a cat. The man will realize that the bottom is about three inches under him, and make sure he talks to the homeless man as he crosses the beach back to his hotel. One of the rebels will start gagging violently from the cat tenders he had for lunch, alerting the UN aid convoy in time to get away. A man in that convoy is Annieâs father. Unfortunately Daryl, that is not how it works. The pup is with us now. The mother will fill the void with another child and live a long, lovely life. The man will have to figure out how to get back to his room on his own. No one should praise Tony Robbins. Give Oliver Stone another movie to keep him off the roads.â
Immediately the disciples go to work. In mere seconds it is all done. And Jesus stands still for a moment, nodding his head. He then sips his coffee.
âWe are good across the board, Jesus.â
By Michael James Nelson
âThat reminds me of the time Fabrice, Chloe, and myself took the Euro to Switzerland,â he says, sifting his very expensive glass of Madeira wine. âWe took a spiritual hike through the Alps and then parachuted off one of the summits. (deep breath – hand over chest) It was heavenly.â The surrounding individuals gasp in bewilderment and slight envy. And me? I am lost, shaking my glass of $1.99 Charles Shaw. The wand of fancy never has sprinkled pixie dust de la sofisticaciĂłn over my head.
âMichael, let us hear your story?â Everyone leans in. I have nothing to say. I have never left the country. The only exotic travel tale I have is when I was six years old, missing the cup and pissing all over the back seat of the family Cadillac. âWe are not stopping for the bathroom,â my Dad would yell over his shoulder. âWe need to make Cincinnati in fourteen hours, grab a cup!â I knew that this story would never hold water.
âWell, I have another one,â he says, with a small smirk on his face, recapturing the audience. âSo, it was Fabrice, Judith and myself in RomaâŠâ What an ass. I leave the group, pound my Charles, and vow to one day have a dazzling out-of-country travel story of my own.
Months later, I got off an airplane in Cancun, Mexico holding a list in my hand. The list was from my employer, a production company, of items that I would deliver to the set of a television show they were shooting. This was my only task and the list was as follows:
- Four bags of camouflage netting
- Womenâs clothing for executive producer
- A bottle of Patron for executive producer
- Satellite phone
I arrived at the baggage claim in Cancun and instantly became depressed when I realized how difficult it was going to be to transport the four sixty-pound bags of camouflage netting through the airport. I found a very small aluminum cart and slid them on. This cart took every volt of energy I had to push and as I made my way through the airport, the front right wheel screeched, as if to say, âHey, look at this douche bag trying to push all these douche bags!â
I rounded a corner and the momentum of my leaning tower of bags almost took out a small Spanish family of five. âÂĄAh dios, corre!â He screamed, clutching his children. After stopping and steadying the bags, I looked up to see that I was at the end of a very long line. As I squeaked closer and closer to the front, a customs agent grabbed my arm. âExcuse me sir, what is in the bags?â The agent asked.
âUm, you know, just my stuff,â I said, downplaying it.
He paused. ThenâŠ âCome with me,â he said, signaling to some of the other agents. Three Federales followed with AK47s over their shoulders.
They led me into a dark room that housed two tables and two chairs. It was dimly lit and one of the halogen lights overhead was flickering. I wondered if one of the Spanish announcements draping the walls warned of Americans trying to enter the country with camouflage netting.
âSIT DOWN!â The agent demanded as the room filled with more people. âNow, what is in your bags?â He lightly tapped them with his black boot. I thought about it for a split second and I knew that however I answered the question, eyebrows would raise. I took a deep breath. âCamouflage netting,â I said as my heart sank to the bottom of my stomach. Terrible scenarios flashed through my head.
âDo it slowly.â The Federales stepped forward, guns trained on the bags. I opened them while trying to free-style whistle to mask my nervousness. But in actuality, I was so nervous that I couldnât pucker my lips properly so all I was doing was violently blowing out air. âRelax. Would you like some water?â An agent asked as he held out a glass of water with a very wicked smile. Tremendously parched, I took the glass and drank it, trying to relax as the cold water rushed down my dry esophagus.
They inspected the camouflage netting while speaking Spanish. The Agents got around to my personal bag and fear rushed down my dungarees. This would look terribly bad. I had forgotten about the other items. The agent pulled out the satellite phone, the bottle of Patron, and the womenâs clothing. I panicked as the agent elevated a small pink tank top out of my bag. âLook, I know this looks very, very bad,â I said, hands up in the air. âBut trust me, it is legit.â
I proceeded to explain that the camouflage was going to be used to drape over equipment while filming, that the satellite phone was to talk to the main office, that the Patron was for pleasure, and that the clothing was for a female producer. They still werenât happy and after ten minutes of Spanish banter, the lead guy told me to stand up and then he got in my face. âWe keep the camo,â he said, waiting for me to challenge him. I could tell he was very angry. âYou take your bag.â
âThatâs cool,â I said, raising the pitch of my voice to come across as non confrontational and weak as possible.
âI guess I can just come back by later today to get – â
âAnd another thing,â he said, the halogen light overhead now flickering out of control, in tune with his every nostril flare. âGet out of my country.â
Not too long after, I stormed down the isle of the airplane and took my seat, looking out the window for the Federales. âSir, please watch where you swing your carry on,â the flight attendant demanded. I violently jammed my bag into the compartment and took my seat, an isle seat because the glass of water the customs agent so cleverly gave me instigated the worst case of Montezumaâs Revenge. From my seat to the bathroom the carpet was meshed down, a path created by my frantic shuffling to the bathroom every five minutes with the palm of my hand pressed firmly against my ass as I lightly sang Dave Matthewâs âDonât Drink the Water.â
I entered the bathroom and suddenly laughter started to echo all around me. âChloe, Fabrice and myself pity you,â The voice in my head said, laughter everywhere.
âGo Away!â I screamed, covering my ears and rocking back-and-forth on the toilet.
âLetâs hear about the tinkle express non-stop to Cincinnati,â the voice said, laughter echoing. They just wouldnât leave my head. I sat there on the toilet recalling my experience and softly said to myself, on the brink of tears, âI will never leave the United States of America ever again.â
Â© Michael Nelson â All Rights Reserved.
To all reality television producers,
With all of the attention on Iraq and Iran, it is easy to forget about our little diamond in the rough, the country that we saved (a.k.a. bombed the living shit out of) and started to build back up in our own unique way. Our little Sim City… Afghanistan.
Yes, rooting for the success of Afghanistan is something that we all should do. But, we should also root for and embrace Afghanistanâs pop culture. You might think American Idol is the primo entity of reality television, but in fact it would be a late night infomercial compared to the reality show that is Afghanistan.
Watching a pop culture take its very first steps would be an immaculate thing to witness. Picture this if you willâŠ It is a hot day with a nice cool breeze out of the west. The Taliboy Band 198 Degrees has just stepped off the stage after an encore. The crowd of over ten thousand people is going absolutely wild. But, every one in attendance is really there for the big headlinerâŠ The Al-Qaeda Kids. This ultra hip band first grabbed attention with its hit, âI Wonder What You Look Like, Girl.â With four buckets, some old oil barrels, and the ammo casings of a Russian assault riffle, these four young men jived themselves into prime time. Now, they spin and gyrate on stage as thousands of women scream through their veils, with some going as far to flash an ankle, later to be featured on the VHS tapeâs âBehind-the-Scenesâ section.
Sure, the country gets a slow start by jamming out to Right Said Fred and chewing condoms because they think its bubble gum, but time will tell and mistakes will be broiled into gold. Afghanistan will start to recycle fads that American pop culture abandoned years ago. Men will be seen wearing jean shorts and hyper color shirts while jamming out to a Walkman. (What the hell is a Walkman?) Women will ultimately go whip happy with their slap bracelets and proudly sport their jelly sandals. A young man will pass a friend and say, âAhmad, radical day for some hoops?â In which Ahmed will answer with a double-sided hand slap identical to the one used in the hit movie Top Gun. (The top movie in Afghanistan.)
Inevitably, trouble will rumble through the communities when one of its beloved pop stars is booed off the stage for not singing âlive.â A short cut that is strictly shunned in Afghan pop culture and should be looked at identically in American pop culture as well.
But, the showstopper would be when Aknar, the lead man of The Dirt Road Boys, removes the veil of pop diva Shaloma, revealing her face during a live feed of the Camel Cup 500âs halftime show. Brought to you by Shantari Mouth Dry. âTired of your camel spitting all over you? Try Shantari.â
But I digressâŠ The entertainment value condensed within an Afghanistan pop culture will explode to insurmountable proportions. When reality televisionâs extortion of everyday people fades away, just when we thought the entire concept was dry, they will find a sweet drop of relief in the deserts of the middle east. Besides just the Cabbage Patch Kids, Ataris, Light Brights, big haircuts, and Pogo Balls, Afghanistan will bring a new dimension to reality television. It will become the primo entity on television and you will find yourself scheduling your entire life around it. So, make it happen.
With enthusiastic anticipation,
Michael James Nelson
By Michael James Nelson
I think a ghost took a dump in my house. No, I donât have any proof, but I am sure it was there, floating in my toilet. It smelled like death. And, a lot of people will think I am crazy and think I am just seeing things, but none of that matters to me for I know there is a presence lingering in my house.
Beyond that one rotting smell, there are other things. I get these senses that I am not alone. âHello?â No one ever answers. But sometimes, when I enter my house, I always find a tension filled quiet, like I just interrupted a conversation and all parties involved are silent, holding their breath. Yes, this is all new to me. I donât have any past dealings with spirits stricken to a life of limbo here on Earth. I am trying to adapt best I can, but it has been a bumpy road.
Bottom line, I am trying to be polite to this ghost because I know he can rock my shit if I pissed him off, with his cloaking capabilities and dark powers. How do I know it is a he? Well, no woman, dead or alive, would drop a deuce like the one that sucked the oxygen out of my bathroom, and now I realize that a fart joke probably kills in the underworld. Good to know.
So, the other night I turned the television off and announced that any spirits in any dimension in any room of my house may use the toilet. ââŠBut you must flush the toilet and flush twice if necessary!â It was my first action towards total acceptance. Would he listen? Well, itâs tough to say. I am not sure if ghost can hear. I think they might be deaf because every time they are depicted on television, it sounds like they are moaning like a deaf person.
And, the thing is that I â See! Did you hear that? (Editor Note: the Author gets up to inspect a noise that came from the back of the house. He returns.) Bastard opened the microwave door. See, itâs shit like that that really gets me. He needs to stop with the petty stuff and get down to business; you know, try and communicate with me or tell me he is a long lost relative.
Anyway, what am I to do? Its not like I can evict him. If I did demand him to leave he would just slam a door and then be quiet. A couple weeks would pass, me thinking he was gone, practicing my usual naked Wednesdays (helps the week to go by faster) and then he would scare the shit out of me by knocking something over or just take another colossal dump. But, as the days pass it really does bother me that I truly do not know if he is really in my house. Knowing flat out that he was in my presence would relieve me of so much stress. Sometimes I just fill with rage, lost in the unknown. So, I went out a bought some âghost gearâ.
I got on the Internet and ordered a handheld ghost meter that detects any sudden spikes in electromagnetic energy. I also threw on what is called a âglide suitâ made out of rubber, covered with these small, dark blue plates that supposedly make you invisible to the invisible. After a couple beers, I slowly crept around my house, holding the meter in front of me and holding a bag of flower in my other hand. The purpose of the flower was to throw in the air when my electromagnetic meter spiked. That way it would land on the ghost and make him visible. Now, I had a couple big leads and at one point I thought I had him cornered. My electromagnetic meter was spiking like crazy. But, an hour later I had nothing and my entire house was covered in flower.
So, I have made a deal with him. Now, I canât prove that said ghost was at said meeting but what I said out-loud was that all ghost in my house please come to the kitchen. After five minutes, I sat down and began the meeting. âIt is apparent to me that certain ghosts at this table will not leave.â I said, waiting. Silence. A noise! I quickly jerked my head and then realized that it was my air conditioner humming to life on the other side of the house. âSo, I have drawn up a lease agreement. I am not sure what year you left us, but these days we sign leases.â I slid a copy across the table and stared at it, just waiting to see any movement. It did move, but that was the breeze from an open window. I shut it and proceeded.
âYou may stay in my home. You may call this home. But, I have rulesâŠ Maâam.â I waited, hoping the ghost would object to my calling him, maâam. Nothing. âRule Number 1: Any ghost to live under my roof shall never reveal themselves to me for it would scare me beyond belief. And if English isnât your native tongue, please speak up.â Pause. I scanned the room. âRule Number Two is a given: Any ghost under this roof shall always flush after a bodacious dump.â Pause. Nothing. âRule Number Three: There shall only be three ghost under this roof at a time. If you have friends over, and there are four of you, take it out to the patio.â Pause. Scan. Nothing. âAnd finally, rule number four: if my dog is barking and I am not home, please let him out to piss and run around.â I put the paper down. âFair?â
No answer. But, I think he got the point. I have not seen any signs of my friend for some time. I confess, I do miss him dearly. And if he went to drier pastures, well, I hope he is happy. But, I do miss the guy. The place hasnât been the same anymore. I hope he knows he always has a home right here. And I hope he knows that if he shits in the toilet, then son-of-a-bitch he needs to flush it.
By Michael James Nelson
âGotta drop dem knees down now,â shouted a tall black man to a bunch of small Jewish kids on a basketball court. âMake sure you protect that basket! Donât let âem drive the lane! Clog the middle!â I grabbed the ball, cut right, cut left, weaved in-and-out of each defender, and took it right down the middle to the basket. A whistle blew.
âNo, no, no,â the tall black man said, moving onto the court, directing some of the kids. âOvi, you let him go right past you. And Ben, you gotta get low to the floor. Guys, you gotta clog the middle so he canât go straight to the hole!â I just stood off to the side, with a grin on my face. It was 1995 and I was the âMichael Jordanâ at the Jewish Community Centerâs (JCC) Summer Basketball Camp. And that tall black man was our coach, Dennis Scott.
Dennis Scott was a local star at the time. He played for the NBAâs Orlando Magic, but more importantly, he was a celebrity that drove a âpimped-out rideâ and was on television every other night. So, as he would stand there, holding our shoulders, placing us where we needed to be on the court, we just kept telling ourselves, âOh my God, Dennis Scott is talking to me.â We were star struck, all his words went in one ear and out the other.
After camp, we would always congregate in the menâs locker room to get into our street clothes, discuss the activities of the day, and just hang out. But before we would enter this very large locker room, one boy would always peak inside first and then give the âall clearâ sign. What were we trying to avoid in that locker room? Old, naked Jewish men.
The menâs locker room at the JCC was notorious for itâs old, naked Jewish men. These old men would roam the locker room, their wrinkly asses reflecting the ultraviolet light from the bulbs above as their testicles demonstrated the true forces of Earthâs gravity.
We got the âall clearâ and moved in. Fifteen minutes passed and we were pretty much dressed in our regular clothes, just talking about camp and planning the rest of the day. Then, all of a sudden enters Dennis Scott. All goes silent. No way!!! Dennis Scott!!!
After what seemed like a month, a kid named Jordan stood-up and slowly approached him. âHey Mr. Scott, how are you,â Jordan nervously asked, extending his hand. âIâm fine Jordan,â Dennis said, his enormous black hand encasing Jordanâs. âGood job out there today guys. A lot of hard work.â And then Dennis looked right at me. âAnd nice game today, Michael,â Dennis said. âLoved that last drive to the hole.â And then he started walking towards me, extending his hand. At that moment, time slowed to a snailâs speed. A sink ran in the other room. A basketball bounced in the gym. The air conditioner softly hummed. And I was a deer in headlights. Dennis Scott, a pro basketball player, complimented me on my game and was about to shake my hand. This moment would go down in Jewish history.
Suddenly, a white, wrinkly ass appeared two inches from my face. I immediately jerked my head back. An old Jewish man had come out of nowhere, blocked me, and shook Dennisâ hand. At first, I donât think that Dennis realized the man was naked, but after the shake, Dennis jumped back a foot or two.
Then, like zombies rising from the dead, old, naked Jewish men started slowly walking towards Dennis from every direction. They came from the showers, from the steam rooms, from behind lockers. Everywhere! How did these old men move as if one entity? Did they communicate in some flagellant language, but at a frequency too low for the human ear?
Dennis was trapped with only one way to go, out the door. He announced he was late for a meeting and bolted. The old, naked Jewish men looked at each other, shrugged it off, and went back into the depths of the locker room. I was crushed, and then decided that I was going to get my handshake. I stood up and in between the door and I stood three old, naked Jewish men. I took a deep breath, grabbed my bag, cut right, cut left, weaving in-and out each old man, and went out the door.
I rounded the corner outside the JCC, caught up with Dennis. âHey, Dennis, its Michael,â I said, sweat sliding down my forehead. âYou know, down the middle?â
âYes, Michael. Again, great job out there.â Dennis said, extending his hand. âYou got some game, son.â
I was fixated on the enormous black hand suspended in front of me. That hand looked huge, like it could take out my momâs house with one swipe. But, this mammoth hand was the same hand that cuddled the ball ever so gently and flung it through the air, floating to the hoop like poetry. Swish! He was a very skilled celebrity.
So, I snapped out of it and reciprocated. Shaking his hand, I was in heaven. Then, from somewhere behind me, I heard a door aggressively open, accompanied with some shuffling and muttering. It was the herd of naked Jewish men, now fully clothed. I have to admit it was odd to see the old men clothed because I had become so accustomed to them grazing everyday with not a centimeter of clothing on them.
They all slowly walked past Dennis and me as we shook hands. I am pretty sure Dennis kept shaking my hand because he needed to look occupied. I kept shaking his hand because he is a professional basketball player. The old men slowly continued to walk by, squinting their eyes, as if to say, âThe locker room is our turf little boy. Be careful. Be very, very careful.â I suddenly imaged them all in the locker room, creeping towards us like in West Side Story, but instead of snapping, with each step, they would release a pungent fart.
Â© Michael Nelson â All Rights Reserved.
By Michael James Nelson
âSir, Iâm sorry, but it appears that youâve missed your flight,â she said, searching through the database. âBut, I do have another flight that leaves in three hours…â I stood at the LAX ticket counter pissed off and about to breakdown from exhaustion. It was eight oâclock in the evening and I had just missed my flight through Denver, to Orlando. âWould you like me to book you on a the red-eye flight direct to Orlando?â
After I got my new ticket, I headed to the only place that could provide me with something to do for the next three hours: the terminal bar. All was well, chatting with the female bartender, reenergizing, and watching sports. But, right around beer number seven, I became too comfortable and responded to the bartenderâs story with, âShe sounds great. Wanna call me when she turns 18?â Immediately, the bartender lost her smile and printed up my bill. âI can have you kicked out for that.â
âWhat? Come onâŠ Okay look, Iâm a comedian andâŠâ I said, trying to bring back good times.
âWell, maybe you need to look into another profession,â she said, turning her back.
âFine,â I said, scribbling my signature. âNo one appreciates humor at the olâ terminal watering hole.â As I put an extra enfaces on the last letter of my name, I heard a voice say, âSheâs right, you need to find another profession.â
âWhat theâŠâ I muttered as I slowly rotated my head to the left. I then settled on a three hundred pound woman wearing an orange shirt, eating fries out of a basket. Her resemblance to the planet Saturn was striking. âHey, is this an open forum?â I asked. âWhy donât you skedaddle back to Backwoods, North Carolina.â
âI happen to be from Denver,â she retaliated.
âDenver? Donât even get me startedâŠâ I said as I hopped off my stool, waited for the room to stop spinning, and shuffled towards my gate. Forty-five minutes later and closer to sober, I walked down the planeâs isle looking for ROW 23, SEAT D. I scanned the plane and made eye contact with many different people. But, my heart sank when I made eye contact with the woman in ROW 23, SEAT C. I had made eye contact with Saturn. I rechecked the seat labels, hoping to find signs of false positioning.
âExcuse me, I am in the middle seat,â I said as she gave me a bitter look when realizing I wasnât food. I entered the row and all she did to let me through was shift her legs to one side. As I turned away from her to slide by, I could feel her knees stabbing the bottom of my ass cheeks. It took strength and a power grunt to get to my seat. I sat down, got comfortable, and tried to relax. Then I heard, âExcuse me sir, Iâm at the window.â
I looked up and I couldnât believe my eyes. Another obese woman! Immediately, I pictured cupcakes orbiting her as she pointed at the window. âI need to get-in.â
Saturn got up immediately to let her new teammate, Jupiter, in. Not wanting to waste energy while seeking a little revenge, I shifted my legs to the side. Suddenly, my face was in her gigantic, cushiony ass. For ten seconds, I entered another dimension of time and space. My first day in kindergarten, the first time I rode a bike, and other childhood memories flashed through my head. Finally, her ass passed and I gasped back into Earthâs space-time continuum, a little shaken, never to be quite the same.
For the next four hours, I could not get one second of sleep. I donât know when, but at some point during the flight, the two double-sized debutantes became acquaintances and started their own show called Fat Crossfire. The hum of the aircraft was the background noise for views on politics, love, and facts on gastrointestinal surgery. Their elbows would grind into my sides with every point made and every punch line celebrated. I often caught myself staring at the flight attendant call button with tears slowly running down my cheeks, wanting to push it and ask the flight attendant if there was a parachute I could use. But, as these two women went on and on and on, I realized the parachute wouldnât be necessary, just an open door.
Finally, finally, finally, we landed in Orlando. I got off the flight with a high level of rudeness and amazing speed in the name of mental health. But, all was lost when the last bag, making its way around the baggage carousel, was snatched up by its owners. I was the only person in the baggage claim area and I had no bags. I walked over to an airline representative. âExcuse me, my bags didnât come out,â I said, with little to no energy left. She got my info and then left to go check on the status of my luggage. I began to fall asleep standing up.
âExcuse me sir.â She said, snapping me out of my split-second slumber. âIt seems that your bags didnât make the flight.â At that moment, I wanted to scream, pee my pants, and punch her right in the mouth all at the same time, but I didnât have the energy. After a long silence, I finally put together my question. âWhereâŠ areâŠ they?â
She made what looked like a bitter beer face and said, âWell, it appears that your bags went to Denver.â
Â© Michael James Nelson â All Rights Reserved.
By Michael James Nelson
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring and I had no pants on. (Awkward silence) I sleep naked. (Awkward silence) Anyway, I was lying in bed having trouble falling asleep because I was filled with excitement, reviewing the gifts I wanted Santa to bring me: new clothes, a new black Range Rover, and LOST actress Evangeline Lilly. But, little did I know that this would be the craziest Christmas everâŠ everâŠ ever.
For many years, Santa never ate the cookies or drank the milk I left for him to enjoy. What a slap in my face, no? I mean, seriously, I leave him a treat and he wonât even touch it? He wonât accept my thanks? But, for some odd reason, I kept leaving him treats and after a while I got pissed and decided that one day he would bite and I was determined to capture that moment.
In â85, I set up a MacGyver-esque contraption that would take Santaâs picture if he were to lift the glass of milk. In â90, I upped the technology by setting up a video camera. But, after reviewing the tape, in the last moments of the batteryâs life, I watched my uncle grab a cookie.
So this year, I would make sure he enjoyed my treats. This year, I would finally get the thanks and appreciation I deserved. This year, keeping his apparent dislike for cookies and milk in mind, I would leave out a dish that no crazy fat man could ever resist: wings and bourbon.
I threw it all together and went to bed, snuggled in a sea of blankets, too excited to sleep. I tried the age-old trick of counting sheep, but all of them had the shits and kept pooping on my face. I guess they had eaten about two hours prior. Anyway, after a couple hours of struggle, my eyes slowly started to get heavy and as they shut for sleep, I smiled and muttered, âYour move big man. Your moveâŠâ
The next morning, I awoke to the sweet chirping birds and crusty eye boogers. After clearing the boogers, I realized it was 6:00 a.m. and Christmas had arrived. I jumped out of bed and ran down the hallway. I dashed around the corner, into the family room and my body froze at the site of the dishâŠ the wings were gone with only a slight trace of barbecue sauce, the bourbon was half empty (half full for you optimists, time to buy another bottle for you drunks) How interesting,â I said, rubbing my chin.
I stood there perplexed and then I heard it. It was coming from behind me. I slowly turned around. My eyes focused on the couch. And there he was, outfit and all. It was Santa Claus. He was passed out, snoring, with an open cell phone on his chest. As I approached him, I could see that the screen on the phone displayed, âLast call: Emily.â I assumed it was an ex or a little âsomething-somethingâ on the side.
His bourbon-capacitated breath forced me to turn my head slightly to the side for gag prevention. He suddenly jerked and I almost fainted from the scare, âWhat theâŠwhere am I? Rudolph. Blitzen,â he yelled, scrambling. Then, he passed out, cold.
Seeing Santa drunk and unconscious causes your mind to ignite into speculation. You sort of leave that picture of Santa being this perfect, loveable, jolly old man and move closer to the Santa that comes home late after a long night at the North Pole Gentlemenâs Club, hammered and ready to show Mrs. Claus that he still âhas it.â Or, the Santa that gets liquored-up and takes the sleigh out for a spin, only to end up hanging upside-down from a tree? And no one can forget the time the elves set up an intervention and Santa arrived with a fresh Bourbon soaked beard. And nipple clamps, hammered. What a mess that guy. Tough times.
All I knew was that I had to get him in tiptop shape and do it quick. My family would be up within the hour and so would our neighbors, but more importantly, what about all the children that would miss Christmas due to my selfishness? What about all the little kids around the world that would run to the tree only to find that below its branches was nothing but open space? I screwed up, I got Santa wasted out of his mind and I had to make it right. I had to get Santa up and off my couch and back in his sled. I had to save Christmas.
Carrying Santa out of the house was a real bitch, but I knew I had to do it before everyone was awake. As I dragged Santa out to our side yard, he kept going in-and-out of consciousness, often screaming the names of his reindeer. When we got outside, he screamed again. âRudolph!â Suddenly, eight reindeer flew down from the roof.
The eight reindeer landed and we eyeballed each other for a solid minute. Silence. I cautiously watched them and they cautiously watched me. No sudden movements. I couldnât believe it. I was staring at Santaâs reindeer! And then it hit me. The one reindeer in the front, with the red nose, was actually Rudolph. âHoly shit, your Rudolph.â I said. âI canât evenâŠ Iâve studied you my entire life!â I was star struck.
Rudolph looked at me and it looked like he wanted to bask in the praise, you know, maybe he doesnât get to stop and talk to fans, but then he snapped out of it, lowered his head and sniffed Santa. âNot again,â he said in a thick Boston accent. âMiss clause is gonna be wicked pissed.â
“You can talk?” I said, amazed.
“This shocks you?” Rudolph asked, as he chuckled with his fellow reindeer.
“Well, reindeer don’t usually talk,” I said.
“Reindeer don’t usually fly either, Sherlock.” He snapped back. âAlright, enough, we gotta move and we gotta move fast.â
Over the next ten minutes, we sobered Santa up by holding his face over a sprinkler. After three spurts of consciousness, Santa stood up and was briefed on the situation. Some barbecue sauce still stained his beard. I got him some Aspirin and told him that I was a big fan. Santa was pleasant, but he had to get moving because the neighborhood was beginning to stir to life. He suddenly jumped into his slay, snapped the reins, and the reindeer pulled him high into the sky.
A little light headed by the experience, I waved goodbye. Then, Santa actually turned around and waved back. I smiled. He threw something at me. I caught it. It was a small box with a ribbon on top. I opened it and laughed. âYou son of a bitch,â I said as I grabbed what was inside the box. I looked up at Santa again as he disappeared into the clouds. Then, I looked back down at my gift. It was a glossy picture of LOST actress Evangeline Lilly.
Â© Michael Nelson â All Rights Reserved.