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I Hate to Even Post This March 10, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in Crazy Magnet.
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Today I was squirreling around the internet searching for birthrates out of wedlock.  The first link that came up led me to the Stormfront.org forums (I’m not going to link to it because, seriously, the site doesn’t need any more hits).

The source article was fine; it was just embedded a link to a New York Times article–40% of all American children are now born out of wedlock, according to this source.  But as I read through the replies, I was increasingly horrified.  One commenter blamed the increase on “race-mixing whores.”  I figured this guy would get lit into, but as I kept reading, there were all sorts of racist comments.  People were blaming the increase on Hispanics and African-Americans, citing their dependency on the white man’s tax dollar.  I couldn’t believe it, until I realized that I was on a white nationalist message board.

Oh. My. God.  I knew some crazy stuff happened out there on the internet, but SERIOUSLY?  A whole forum dedicated to WHITE SUPREMACY AND RACISM?  No lie, the boards were broken up topically and globally. Turns out, if you’re a racist neo-nazi in Switzerland, there are some folks who really want to hang out and chat with you.  The really disgusting thing was that there were, literally, tens of thousands of posts.  It wasn’t like this was Alabama John Doe’s backyard project.  It’s popular, and that’s terrifying.  Crazy people by themselves are bad enough, but crazy people en masse are dangerous.  Very, very dangerous.

Update on Offensive Facebook Status Updates December 7, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Crazy Magnet, Life, Loathin'.
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I’ve written three papers in six days.   Yes, you heard me.  My entire weekend was devoted to researching and writing two, and I have one more (as yet unstarted) that’s due on Wednesday.  Basically, by brain is slowly liquefying in its own literary juices.

So, for FIVE MINUTES, I hop on facebook to unwind and revel in other people’s finals week stress.  Do you want to know what the first thing on my status feed was?  DO YOU?

Anonymous Poster is I listened to her scream for about 7 minutes while she searched around for the shield. I continued to pinch my nipple, so it would protrude, and she finally did it! I got her to nurse on both sides without the shield… Now, it took A LOT longer than normal. We’ll see how it goes in the middle of the night :o)

I. Am. Not. Kidding.  I have no idea what a shield is (and I’m way too afraid to google it for all the ta-tas I know I’ll see), nor do I care.  Nipple pinching?  ON FACEBOOK?  Totally inappropriate.  Good Lord.  If you want to talk about the challenges of motherhood, there are PLENTY more avenues to use–your own personal mommy-blog, private notes on Facebook, the telephone. Just…please.  Spare the rest of us (who, again, don’t care) the gory details.

From The Great Beyond October 27, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Bus Songs, Crazy Magnet, Life, Lovin'.
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Hey everyone!  Remember me?  You know, that Mexican girl you talk to sometimes?  Yeah, I’m not dead…yet.  Just totally, completely swamped.  It’s been non-stop work for me lately, so much so that I haven’t been able to type up a single little blog post.  Intolerable, I know.

Anyway, in the interval, why don’t you check out my new favorite website: People of Walmart. I, of course, live in the Walmart (not Wal-Mart, they’ve changed their branding!) capital of the world, which means I pretty much swing by a Supercenter every other day.  I mean, the convenience!  The affordability!  The PEOPLE.

Of course, you’ve read about one of my encounters with a Walmart employee whether you realize it or not.  But really, I can vouch for the People of Walmart website single handedly.  I mean, seriously.  I cannot begin to tell you how many nutjobs I’ve seen trolling the aisles of the Middle Class Retail Mecca of the World.  For example, one night John and I went to Walmart around 2:00 am, I can’t remember why, probably for unmentionable naughty things Cheez-its.  We noticed a man walking around the store with a giant 42″ flat screen plasma television in a cart; we mainly noticed because the man was rocking the longest mullet I have ever in my life seen.  Throw in the dirty camo pants, and he definitely looks like he doesn’t have indoor plumbing, let alone the wall space for such a honker of a boob-tube.  Anyway, the guy happens to be lapping the store, and as we make our way to the front we watch him try to walk out the front door with the television, even though John and I both know he hasn’t paid for it.  He presents the greeter with a reciept, which is promptly denied.  He then gets angry and walks back to the electronic department like he’s going to put the television back, only to try to exit through ANOTHER Walmart entrance/exit, despite the fact that it’s closed.  John and I hang out to watch this guy, who tries to exit the store not once, but three different times.

I mean seriously.  Why try and steal such a huge television?  Why get greedy?  Steal some small expensive things, like cell phones, curtains, etc. and sell those in order to get the cash to buy the television.  Tisk tisk.

Anyway, enjoy the website.  I sure do.

I’m Lovin’: Stranger than Eviction August 2, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Crazy Magnet, Lovin'.
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My sister Caitlin pointed out something great about this note:  I love that he clearly wrote, ‘Gabe, your are evicted!’ went back inside and thought, ‘WAIT! There’s something I need to add!’ got halfway back outside and then thought, ‘No, not in black!  This one needs to catch the eye!’

This is a kid-friendly example of a Gary correspondence

I was all in the middle of telling you about my campus cop story when John and I happened to stumble across this website.  (Warning: if you’re not comfortable with profanity, don’t click the link).  If you think my stories from the Red Bus are crazy, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.  The blog details Gabe Dunn’s one month subletting experience from a criminally insane landlord named Gary.  Not only is the material hilarious, but Gabe’s insights are funny, too (even though I don’t think Gabe has the grammatical high-ground to stand on that he thinks he does).

The best part?  The saga is ongoing.  Gabe’s latest post was yesterday.

My Experience With The Homeless Man May 13, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Crazy Magnet.
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Ugly truth: I’ve never been fond of the homeless.  Trust me, logically, I have a lot of sympathy for them.  Many of the people who are homeless are suffering from mental instability that they either a) cannot afford treatment for or b) don’t even realize they have.  It breaks my heart to read statistics about homeless veterans, and I really am compassionate to their plight.

The thing is, they still freak me out.  I have yet to have any really decent experiences with the homeless.  This might have everything to do with my crazy-magnet: I probably only attract the super-unstable homeless people.  If I hadn’t been so harrassed by crazies, perhaps I’d be less panicky about dealing with them.  Instead, my heart races, I get a little light headed, I pray fervently, and try to get away from them just as quickly as possible.

Last week I had my most recent run-in with a crazy homeless person.  It was a nice evening, so John and I had gone for a walk.  We’d started about 45 minutes before sunset, so we weren’t able to go very far.  We had just turned around to head back to our house when a man approached us from across the street.  He looked fine enough; he was carrying a backpack and a Starbucks coffee.  He looked tan, like maybe he had a day laborer position or something, so initially I didn’t think much of him.  He stopped us and asked us where the Fayetteville Athletic Club was.  We pointed him in the right direction and he started off.

Not ten steps later, he turned around and looked at us and asked us if we were Christians.

I could have thrown up right then.  It has been my experience that when someone asks you that question, no good really comes of it.  They either spend an hour trying to fight you down off of your beliefs or they try and wheedle you out of money, etc.  This guy looked more like the latter than the former, so I grabbed John’s hand a little tighter to try and get him to answer the question and keep walking.

He doesn’t, of course, and this homeless man launches into this huge story about how he walked into a church earlier that day and the congregation did nothing but take him to Chick-Fil-A for a meal.  Then he goes on and on about how he was really Christian and then fell on hard times because, get this–both his mother and sister are institutionalized for mental disorders.  Right then I was ready to get the heck out of there.

So by this point, John and I have gotten to our “turn off” to go back to our apartment, and he’s been talking to us for 30 minutes.  Since he’s been FOLLOWING us so far, I’m afraid to turn down our street in case he follows us there, too.  I really, really cannot emphasize how creepy this guy is.  He obviously knows his Bible, but he’s so pushy…he keeps sort of preaching on how Christians should take each other into their homes to care for one another.  So, of course, he eventually asks if he can take a shower at our house.  I shout “no” so loudly that it startles both John and the homeless man (who has refused to give us his name, because he’s rejected his other name in favor of a new name that Jesus will give him.  Ooookay).  Instead, John gives the homeless guy his watch to get him to a) wait for us and b) as a guarantee that we will come back for him.

We hustle back to our apartment to grab the Vibe.  John has already called our pastor and is asking for advice, and I’m of the opinion that we don’t need to go back for him.  Against my better judgement, I fix the guy a sandwich and we pile in the Vibe.  I opt for the back seat just in case this guy starts acting funny or something (I grabbed the hunting knife out of my truck just in case).  I’m not sure what I would have done if the guy had pulled a gun or something, but I’m relatively sure it wouldn’t have been legal or pretty.

Anyway, as we head towards the Athletic Center this guy starts getting more and more aggravated.  He starts talking about how Christianity is a prison and asking us, pointedly and angrily, why we won’t let him go to our house to take a shower.  He’s starting to get more and more agitated at this point, which is making me more and more nervous.  I have a death grip on the handle of the knife, certain I’m going to have to stab a man before this thing is all over.

John pulls into the parking lot of the gym as quickly as possible.  The guy gets out, leaving his stuff in the car, complaining about how he doesn’t think they’ll let him in.  John grabs it and hands it to him, just as I was about to get out of the car and toss it out in the parking lot.  Thank goodness–the guy just took his stuff (along with John’s watch) and left.  I’ve never been so relieved in my whole life.  I’m still a little scared of running into this guy somewhere on the street and having him harass me again.  I know it’s unfounded, but still.

I’m just not fond of the homeless.

And holycrap! April 9, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Bus Songs, Crazy Magnet.
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And THIS GUY spent the WHOLE FRIGGIN’ RIDE MASSAGING HIS BALL SACK. What is WRONG with these people?!?

Oh my Goodness April 9, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Bus Songs, Crazy Magnet.
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So I can’t say I talked to this guy, but he stared at me a disconcerting amount during the bus ride home.

Weren’t My Cannabis February 16, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Bus Songs, Crazy Magnet.
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There are a couple of different stops on the Red route within a mile of my apartment.  If I wake up early enough I’ll catch the one by Toys ‘R Us.  It’s the 5th stop on the route, which means longer ride time in the morning, but I get home faster in the afternoon (and let’s be honest, that’s the part that really matters).  If I’m running late, I can always wait at Walmart, which is a few stops down the line but only a mile or so further away. 

This morning was a late morning, so I headed to Walmart.  As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed that a police car had pulled over an old silver Buick.  I thought it was a little early in the morning for that sort of public vigilance, but whatever.  I figured the person had either been a) sleeping in his/her car all night long, and the manager had called the police to remove the squatters or b) speeding.  

I only had to wait a few minutes before the bus made its way down the main street, so I piled out of my truck.  I stood in the frigid morning trying not to shiver as it rolled up to the curb; as I began to make my way towards the stairs, I noticed a woman hurrying towards me.  At first I thought she was special needs–many mentally disabled people ride the Red–but as she approached she seemed to be (at least decently) lucid.  She was probably in her early 40s and, like most of the non-traditional bus patrons, seemed a little worse for the wear.  

“That policeman almost didn’t let me go,” she huffed, completely indignant, cutting in front of me.  “I told him none of that weed weren’t mine, that it was all his, and he almost made me miss the bus.”

Sure, lady.  Whatever you say.

Monkey See February 2, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Bus Songs, Crazy Magnet.
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A lady wearing a gorilla suit rode the bus today.

I know.  What can you say to that?

Because I’m A Selective Listener November 21, 2008

Posted by A. Robinson in Bus Songs, Crazy Magnet.
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About three weeks ago this area of the country had its first cold snap, which prompted the trees to change colors and the locals to fish out their bulky–though toasty–outerwear.  I’ve been living here for four years, but I’m still not accustomed to the winter weather, so where many people were donning sweatshirts, I had on my sub-zero Columbia.  

Cold snaps are particularly problematic for someone who catches the bus in the morning.  Its always much colder at 7:00 or 8:00, so if you’re not careful, the weather can take you by surprise.  This particular morning happened to be below freezing at 7:00 a.m. with the wind chill, so I was particularly proud of my forethought.  I swung my truck into a prime space in the Walmart* parking lot and trudged over to the bus stop to hitch a ride onto campus.  

Normally the 7:00 route is fairly empty, but today I happened to have one of the on-again, off-again bus-taking Walmartians to keep me company.  I had seen this woman at the stop before, but normally she was busy either a) smoking up a storm or 2) chatting with her fellow, equally odd Walmartian co-workers.  The last time I’d been privvy to their conversation they’d been discussing how her neighbor had been kicked out of her apartment complex for attacking the landlord; with this in mind, I nodded a polite “hello” and sent her a reserved smile, keeping my fingers crossed that I’d done just enough to meet decorum without inviting further conversation. 

Pah.  Some luck.  

Not five seconds after I’d arranged my backpack and lunchbox on the ground, this woman pulled out a pack of cigarettes and started to drum up conversation.  I didn’t expect much; she certainly look like she’d been “rode hard and put up wet,” so to speak.  She was in her late 50s as best I could guess, average height, a little round around the middle.  Her hair was long enough to reach past her lower back despite the fact it was pulled back in a scrunchii that looked like she’d had it since 1993.  The cheap, Crayola yellow she’d decided to dip her head in made her smoker’s complexion look even more pasty, and the constant punishment she’d inflicted on her poor, defenseless hair made it look more like hay than anything else.  I could tell that she’d put effort into her appearance, though–she certainly hadn’t neglected make-up.  I didn’t ask her name–still don’t know it–so for the sake of the story, we’ll call her “Blondie.”  

I discreetly moved myself and my pile out of her smoke trail as she began to complain about how late the bus was running. 

“Man, don’t he know I’m freezing out here?” she railed.  “This bus driver is always late.  He’s supposed to be here at 7:30, and it’s already done 7:35.  The old bus driver, he wasn’t never late.”

“Oh,” I respond.  The Red bus’ driver is actually quite delightful.  Unlike his counterparts, he actually waits for latecomers and doesn’t leave you in a cloud of natural gas fumes if you happen to have waited in your car to keep warm.  He’s always friendly, and usually quite nice to talk to.  I’d been riding his buses off and on for four years, so I felt morally obligated to defend his honor.  At least a little.  “Sometimes he runs a little late on the first route because he has to get out of the depot.”

Of course, the Blonde Bombshell cuts no slack, continuing on about how cold she is.  I notice she’s wearing nothing more than a thin, purple hoodie and say as much.  

“Well, I’d be wearing my coat if I had it,” she responds.  She’s clearly getting agitated now; her voice has more than the usual amount of edge to it.  “I used to have a green coat, but it got holes in the pocket so I threw it away.  Then I got a pink one, but it’s dirty, so I can’t wear it.”

Hrm.  Problematic, this.  I start to realize that this woman is fully prepared to divulge much more information that I’m willing to listen to.  I respond with sympathy, and make a show of putting on my backpack, hoping she’ll take it as a signal that our conversation is over.  

She doesn’t. 

“I would wash (pronounced WAR-sh) my jacket, but the machines at the place where I rent (not “apartment,” not “complex”) are broke.”  

I politely suggest taking her jacket to the cleaners, mentioning that it’s better for it than the warshing machine anyway.  Blondie will have none of it, and tells me that dry cleaning is a waste of money.  Apparently she visited a cleaners, and when they told her the price, she turned right around and walked out.  Fine, I think, this woman obviously gets minimum wage.  Cleaners can be outrageous–perhaps she has a point.  

“I went to the laundromat too, and they wanted to charge me $1.75 a load!  I couldn’t believe it!  That’s just way too expensive,” she says.  I start to interject, but Blondie cuts me off.  “It’s no good though.  There’s a sign on the door [to the warshroom, I assume] that says the machines will be fixed soon, but it’s been two weeks and they ain’t done nothing about it.”  

TWO WEEKS?!  I’m sure my jaw dropped and my eyes got wide.  Talk about airing your dirty laundry!  Har-dee-har-har.   

“Well,” I reply, forgetting the caution I normally exert when dealing with CRAZY PEOPLE, “It seems to me that’s not too much to pay for clean clothes.”

“Did you not hear me?!” This woman–whom I’d never spoken to before five minutes ago–has started to YELL at me.  “You weren’t paying to attention to anything I was saying!”  She’s now making eye contact, a sure sign of aggression in animals, children, and Walmartians.

Oh.  EXCUSE ME.  Not only is some stranger yelling at me, she’s falsely accusing me of not actively participating in a conversation that I politely tried to end numerous times.  At this point, I’ve crossed the line from being mildly annoyed to just plain pissed.  

“Excuse me, ma’am,” I respond, drawing myself up straight, returning her stare.  “I heard every word you said.  $1.75.  See?  I caught that.  I’m just saying that it’s not too much to pay for clean underwear.”  We stare at each other for a few seconds, and she looks away.  Ha!  Point for me. 

If you take nothing else from this post, remember this:  If you don’t win that dominance-establishing staring match with animals, children, or Walmartians, they will tear you apart.  You have to sacrifice manners for survival.

I clearly am the bigger dog, but this doesn’t convince Blondie to shut up.  She moves on to another story, telling me about how her daughter helped her get a job at Walmart, but then was fired.  That’s why she rides the bus now, she says.  Her daugher’s (lousy, no good, jerk of a) husband won’t let her drive mama to work at 11:00 p.m. at night. 

“I never did like him, not at all,” she finishes defiantly as the bus pulls up.  As I wait behind her to get on, the bus driver and I share an eye roll.  What a nut job, I say to him without words.  

As she sits down in the seat behind him so she can chat with a new victim, he responds with a glance:  Oh, I TOTALLY KNOW.