Rotten Hamburger

Eject, Emit, Expel, Gag, Heave, Hurl, Nasty, Puke


Hey Gang!

My aunt’s birthday was Monday. The family got together, which rarely happens, and we all went out to dinner. It was a great day. The End.


It was a fantastic day, but I couldn’t help but realize how different I act around my family. I’ve been to college and I consider myself a somewhat douche-y intellectual. However, above all, I consider myself a good dude. It takes family to remind you just how awful you really are.

My family has always been a pretty dark humored bunch. Dark humor tends to come about from dark circumstances. My family is no different. We yell and we cry and we laugh through the dark times, of which there seem to be many. Usually, I am silly and goofy and joke about fun things but when I get together with my family, I can tell how much I change. Normal things I find taboo tend to  come front and center for cracking jokes about.

I drove down a few back roads on our way to lunch. The cool air ripped around us while we remained toasty inside, to my lament. I always enjoy things between 65-67 degrees. My aunt likes her temps between 73-hell fire degrees. It was her birthday so I said, “Well, I suppose it’s okay that I have back sweat for a little while.”

“Turn down that road over there,” Josh said pointing left. As we’ve gotten older and dealt with our own demons, I notice our bond growing. Pain knowing pain. He points down an old road leading to town.

“I thought you were hungry? Eyes on the prize,” I said.

“Oh yeah,” Josh said as he sat back into the passenger seat. He looked the smallest bit defeated. I would have felt bad had I not been hungry enough to literally eat a person (not the whole person, just, like, a leg or something).

“Well, we should go by there after dinner. There’s a creeper* van back there for sale. Who the hell would buy that?” he shook his head.

“I mean, maybe it’s meant for kidnapping,” I said. “You know, long windows and all that. Pretty easy stuff.”

We laughed. What follows from there is a conversation only meant for those in the car. However, I will tell you that, by the end, Josh had a Haram and massive house where they stayed in a particular wing and cleaned or made love to him. I, on the other hand, was madly rich because I “procured” people. Basically I was like the other side of Taken but for high class individuals. No garbage, drug-laden prostitute dens. Sultans only!

We grabbed dinner and hopped back in the car. There was a lot of heavy breathing and burps, as usually follows a trip to Golden Corral.

Josh mentioned he felt like he was about to throw up. I told him he should just let loose as it wasn’t my car.

“Must’ve been all that ROTTENNNN HAMBURGERRRR,” Josh said in a gravelly voice and glass shattered in my mind.

Isn’t it funny how things in our childhood drift away? We say or do something that is funny or terrible in the moment and then time happens. You fall in and out of love, go through school, and live your life. All the while, this one event gets pushed further and further back until someone casts their line out, hook it, and reel it to the surface.

All I needed to hear was “Rotten Hamburger” and that old memories wriggled on the hook like an angry bass.

I was seven or eight; Josh would have been twelve or thirteen. We spent most of the day together and had McDonald’s. He started feeling nauseated and we went home. He started throwing up and I was an asshole. I decided to peek my chubby brown face around the corner and lightly taunt him.

“Oh, not feeling so well?”



“You know what it probably was? That hamburger. Didn’t it taste funky?”


*heavy breathing*

“Chris, shut the hell up and go sit down,” my mom yelled to me as she rubbed my cousin’s back.

“That’s it. It must have been that ROTTENNN HAMBURGERRR”

*violent barfing*

“It was so brown. I bet the cook didn’t even wash his hands when he served it up. I can smell all that ROTTENNN HAMBURGERRR.”

*brown puke*

I repeated it in differing ways, each time met with a concert of burping, puking, gagging, and farting.

I finally weaseled my way between my mom and aunt to continue my verbal assault but I stopped in my tracks.

It was the combination, really. The mixture of the sour bile smell mixed with a big mac all swirled up with half-digested fries hung in the air while the toilet in front of me bled brown, chunky liquid. The high pressure of vomit smell and the low pressure of disgusting brown chunks everywhere met and created a tornado in my stomach.

I felt dizzy and stumbled backward. To the kitchen, threw my head into the sink and through up so hard my back popped. It was one of those vomit sessions where it just keeps coming and when you finally feel like you have nothing left in you, it comes again.

My cousin walked in watery eyed behind me. I turned for a moment to see him smiling.

“Must’ve been that ROTTENNN HAMBURGERRR,” he smirked.

My stomach convulsed and a symphony of terrible noises came from my body as I hurled everything I had into the sink.

A split second later, I was back in my car’s driver’s seat.

I nearly crashed laughing. I apologized profusely.

“It’s okay. It’s funny now,” Josh said.

It is funny now. All of it. When you’ve known someone your whole life, you’re watching their life movie while living yours. My movie left that scene on the cutting room floor but for his movie, it made the cut.

I realized how much of an asshole I was as a kid. Doing anything for a laugh. Then I thought about who I was just hours before when talking about the creeper van. I’ve come to realize, for better or worse, we are our truest selves when around those who hold a mirror up to us and show us who we were.



The Recipe



1 Free day

1 New Favorite Can’t-Get-It-Out-Of-My-Head Song

1-2 Best Friends (Depending on your taste)

1 Pool Hall or local watering hole containing spirits

1/2 Cup of mocha frappucino at a Barnes and Noble Starbucks

1 Car

0 Expectations

Begin by waking up and looking outside at the perfect day. You may be greeted by the snuffles or barks of your Shih Tzu but delight in the sound.

Take a hot shower and put on Pandora radio. Come across a song that sinks into your depths and consumes you, yet it is too embarassing to sing aloud in public.

Wear the summer clothes you have been longing to put on for a day such as this where the sun shines and standing in its’ rays places gentle warmth on your shoulders. Enjoy as it sets in and you forget the long, cold months of winter passed.

Send a text of yourself making a goofy face to your friend(s) and tell them to wake up. Even if you get up early, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be up to enjoy the day as well. (Note: Too early and this may ruin the recipe as they may say expletives and hang up.)

Set a meeting time to pick up your friend(s) and take a drive.

Go to Barnes and Noble and get a mocha frappucino. Sit with your company and talk. Begin making too much noise from laughing and leave the cafe.

Wander the bookstore. At first you look at psuedointellectual books and flip through Kant and contemplate reading Shakespeare. Lose interest and look in the sex and relationships books.

Flip through two (2) books and realize you may have something wrong with you.

You leave with company and feel sick from the sugary mix in your plastic cup and throw it away.

Drive. Listen to the song that has been stuck in your head all day. You try to explain why the song is good but then digress. Your company makes fun of you but after the third listen you all break out into song and laugh at how ridiculous it is.

Go to a park. Walk.


Get Gas.


Decide to play a sport outside. Get sweaty and dirty. Possibly hurt yourself (This part of the recipe is kind of up to you!)

Take your company home. You go home and shower. You take an unexpected nap.

Wake up 2-3 hours later and call a friend to go to the Pool Hall or Watering Hole of choice.

Play Pool. Enjoy 3-20 beverages. Feel sick.

Dry heave in the bathroom.

Gather your life.

Call a cab and go downtown.

Dance with your company.

Think about hitting on an attractive person.

Realize it’s a bad idea.

Go back to your company’s dwelling, eat pizza and fall asleep in the front room just as your company places a just-too-small blanket on you.

Stir all ingredients together in 1 free day and enjoy!

(Note: Some may find the day after the recipe is made a bit dissatisfying compared to the day before.)




Hey Gang!

Man, it has been a wild ride! I have been pounding the pavement for just over a month now and it has finally paid off. That’s right, I am once again part of the employed world! It has been crazy though. I have been floor surfing for a month now! I wish I remembered what a bed was like! So many exclamations! I was laying in the coffin-like room I now call home for a bit longer and I started thinking about my new job. The prospect of being in a position that is different from what I am used to. It’s a desk job but it is good money and shall be worth it but , as always, I let my mind wonder back to four years ago when I had the greatest job I have ever had.

A job fraught with danger, intrigue, beautiful women and car chases. You may be thinking I was a spy but you may be wrong. I was SAM- 13. A “Mall Cop”.

Has your laughter subsided? Good. Now, I must say that I am being completely truthful when I say that all of those things are true. I lived in the Midwest and worked at a rather large mall in a rather large city. I started working there to pay my way through college. I thought it would be boring but with a director that treated it like the military and a crew of guys who wanted to pretend they were in “Die Hard”, it was a recipe for excitement.

In light of remembering those glory days of wearing the awful black, white and gold uniform and the sweater that made me look rather dashing, here are three of my favorite stories.


Mystery of Where Did The Gun Go

– When being mall security we had a device known as the d3. This was a digital log where you would scan areas for each hour and put in reports of incidents that occur. You then sync it at the end of the night and it uploads to a computer. This had our routes in it as well that told us where to be at any given hour. We affectionately called it the babysitter.

One day I was on the upper tier, being completely bored. We would often go by the Victoria’s Secret store and chat up the young ladies there (Give me a break , I was 22 and wore a uniform). I was talking to a lovely blonde woman when I hear over the radio that a man was spotted at the lower level with a baseball bat. I leave her and head downstairs. I am pretty nonchalant as I go down the escalator. I was young and dumb, thinking nothing can hurt me. It didn’t help that I was 6’7″.

As I got to the bottom I bumped into the man. He was visibly upset, pissed off is more accurate.

“Hey man, you can’t have that in here,” I said, smiling in disbelief.

He then mumbles through a long story that I won’t bore you with. He basically had an altercation with an employee at a shoe store the night before at a club. He came back with a bat looking for a fight and then I hear something an unarmed security guard going solo never wants to here.

“Mother****** has a gun, mane,” he exclaims. I tell him to go take his bat to the car. My jovial nature fades. I can remember this part going slowly. I radio in, “we have a 10-32, person with a gun.”

That was the longest walk. Going to that store with no one in it. I look in the doorway and see a tall employee who reaches into his waistband and then runs to the back room. He comes back out and I cautiously ask him about his weapon. We talk for a moment as he looks at me, fear in his eyes. Then a female employee, the manager, comes out from the back room and we relay the events to her.

It took about ten minutes for multitudes of police and my director and assistant director were there as well. I stood guard out front to not let people in. Three stocky little guys pushed passed me and I yelled, “Hey, we are closed right now. Come back in a while.”

A man with a skull cap turns and gives me the dirtiest look I have ever received. I stood guard and then went back in service. In the following days I found out some things. Those thugs that came in including the mean-mugging savant were related to the employee with the gun and were, in fact, gang related. The police didn’t find the gun because it was hidden by…can you guess?……..

The manager! When I came in, he gave it to her and she placed it in her car outside by slipping through the back loading dock.

Finally, I learned that next time someone has a gun, I should probably wait for back-up or at least someone who has a weapon better than a mini Maglite.

In Response

– I was on the lower tier and we got a call from LP at a store, LP meaning Loss Prevention, about a woman needing first aid. I was with a fellow PSO, Public Safety Officer, and we hustled to the back hallways and then sprinted down them until we got outside. I remember seeing a car with its’ front end planted firmly against the side of the mall. I run into the glass entryway and see a PSO giving her first aid. He looks at me and yells, “Gloves, 13.”

I had learned by then to never question anyone when they yell “gloves”. I pulled on my latex gloves from my utility belt and look around. I see a person, won’t be specific for legal reasons…never know, leaned up against the wall. They are coughing and light red blood leaks from the corner of their mouth. The person looks dazed and in pain. I call in to base to get an ambulance out to the location.

“Watch your step, 13,” he says.

I look down and see these bright pink pieces of flesh that the individual had been coughing up. It made a grim, colorful trail that lead to where they sat. I was surprised by how pink they were. Not a deep, ruby red but pink much like opal. The person’s  cough brings me back to reality. We administer ice to stop their fever and we give the person water water to stop the dry cough causing more damage.

The ambulance took the person and we find out the whole story. The person had just had throat surgery and a vessel burst in their throat while they were driving. They drove into the building and stumbled in for help. That was one of the first times where the normally funny and crazy job got serious. It could have went wrong in a lot of ways if we hadn’t been first aid certified.

It’s A Trash Can

This is the story I tell everyone about. I got a call about a man in the upper entrance that was causing a disturbance. Me being bored and thinking I was amazing, I went up to the call alone. I got out there along with my best friend/ supervisor. I see a man in rags, digging through the trash. He is mumbling to himself incoherently. His hair disheveled and his beard mangy.

“He looks 10-96. I’m calling pd,” said my friend.

“I’ll keep him occupied,” I said.

You see, 10-96 was code for mentally handicapped and possibly violent individual. So, I begin a conversation with him that I have yet to forget.

He tells me that he is looking through the trash to get differennt things. He pulls out a brand new bottle of orange crush and tells me that it is vintage from the 1920s and it is worth millions. He pulls out a coke can and tells me that the mall is sitting on a gold mine of old coke syrup in a bladder underneath.

A few more of my fellow PSOs come out. My friend signals for them to stay back and he hides behind a corner as well. The man was becoming visibly upset by so many people. I just wanted to calm him down and make it a conversation between us. That way he would be distracted until pd, police department, got on scene.

He yells for me to come to the trash can in a harsh, deep croak. I see my supervisor start to come out but I hold up my hand to stop him.

He shows me a Styrofoam cup with a straw in it and tells me if I put it in the backseat of my car, I can get free satellite radio. He pulls out a crusty, nasty, disgusting, old shirt and says it was his from when he was a kid.

I say, “Oh, okay, so it is like your time capsule, huh?” I was not patronizing by the way. Just trying to be involved. I was scared, actually. It’s hard to calculate the actions of a man who believe you can get XM radio through a straw in a cup.

He answers me and to this day I wonder who was really the “crazy” one, him or me. He blinks twice in disbelief and says, “Nah, man, It’s a trash can.”

He is taken away and I found out from pd that he brain damage from meth use and they knew him well. I was a bit unnerved but I was commended by my director for how I handled it.

There were so many great stories and these were just a few. I got in a car chase, drank beer in the squad car with my fellow officers on an overnight shift (22, remember?), broken up an 11 person fight by myself and been flashed by a woman trying to show that she stole nothing. We wanted to look in the bag not her bra. It was wild and fun and it will never happen again. The people I met are still in my life just not in the same facet.

I have been a videographer, a broadcast journalist, a marketing intern and a Teacher’s Aid since then but I know, when I am sitting at the desk with a plate that says Chris, that just above it, visible only to me, it will read: SAM-13.

Thanks for sticking with me in my absence and through this long story!


IDQT Vocabulary: Laughtershock

Hey Gang!

This is going to be quick but I will still write a longer one later in the week.

Mike and I went to dinner tonight and on the way back we were on a long rant, as usual, about a funny topic. We came up with a scenario where he was in Top Gun and had a bogey on his tail. He has this thing where he slacks his bottom jaw and shakes his body making it flap and making some god awful noise. So, he sound like “Maverick, I can’t shake my bogeyUHB-UHB-UHB-UHB-UHB-UHB!” (The uhbs supposedly sounded like machine gun fire. I laughed so hard we almost crashed.

A few minutes after we had laughed Mike started again and said it was weird how it was still funny.

HE SAID: “It’s like an Aftershock”

I HEARD: “It’s like a Laughtershock”

Even though I misheard, he immediately wanted to take credit for it which he was denied.

SO, here it is:

LAUGHTERSHOCK (n.): When something hilarious has died down but the mere thought of what was so     funny brings you to laugh again.