Showing posts from 2009

Road Rage

Maybe it's just me, but for some reason I am unreasonably irritated when I see stupid things on display while I'm driving. Perhaps the fact that the stupidity is linked to travel causes me to make the assumption that it will be more widespread than traditional, sedentary stupidity. I don't know; trying to figure out the whys and hows of my psyche is like trying to do a Sudoku puzzle immediately after being stabbed 23 times.
For a while, the object of my ire was a license plate that I saw during my travels (to the liquor store). It was attached to a hybrid car (maybe a Prius, I'm not sure), and it said, "MPG X 2." Now, I'm as liberal as the next UC Santa Cruz graduate, so if you're driving a hybrid, more power to you. But the fact that this guy, after purchasing his hybrid, was so enamored by his miles per gallon that he had to go out and spend extra money to trumpet to the world "I DON'T HAVE TO BUY GAS AS OFTEN AS I USED TO!" reeks of …

The Return of Friendly Tony, the Conclusion: The Status Quo

Well, this is it...the last chapter of my long and winding tale. I suppose I should just get right into it.

“And that was that,” I said to Garrett Steel. “I changed Friendly Tony’s birth certificate too, so he was back to being himself again.” We were sitting at a beige picnic table at Falafel Drive-In. I had gotten a falafel lunch special, which came with a banana shake; Garrett had gotten a falafel and fries, but no shake.
“Did he ever try to come back to your apartment?” said Garrett. “He was living there, after all.”
“Nope,” I said. “I guess he figured it out. Anyway, I made a few changes with the white out pen as retribution, so I think he got the message pretty quickly.”
“Changes?” said Garrett through a mouthful of falafel and spicy sauce. “Like what?”
“Well, as it turns out, Friendly Tony left a few other documents in the desk. I found his resume in there, and I whited out his ‘current job’ and replaced it with ‘Jizz Mopper’ at Sinnaman Erotica Outlet in Riversi…
Hmm...this was supposed to be up yesterday, but in all honestly, I forgot about it until I got to work, by which point it was too late. My apologies for that. Anyway, without further ado, let's get back to the story.

I was slowly adjusting to my role as Friendly Tony. I had taken to wearing sweater vests and eating bologna sandwiches, and had gotten a job as a file clerk in a small law office.
“That’s funny,” my boss, Jeff, had said during the interview, “You don’t look Mexican.” It seemed like an odd thing for a lawyer to say, but I kept my mouth shut and was hired.
I rented out a room in an elderly couple’s house, and spent my free time writing a sprawling historical fiction epic and participating in the occasional paid clinical study. It was a quiet existence, but I felt that was for the best as I adapted to my new persona. Some days, if I kept myself busy enough, I could forget entirely about Joey Marsilio. Every once in a while, during my weaker moments, I would check…

The Return of Friendly Tony, Part 8: Diminishing Returns

You may have noticed that there was no intro/outro as usual for my last installment. Or maybe not. Either way, there's no grand reason for it; I simply forgot. Anyway, thanks for sticking around, and here's part 8:

Vengeance consumed my mind as I drove the old van back home. I was wearing a slightly too large white shirt with a picture of the Golden Gate bridge on it, and a pair of blue shorts that said “Yay Area” across the ass. I was fairly certain they were girl’s shorts, but they were the best option I had at the time save my soggy pajama bottoms, and there was no way I was climbing back into those things. Despite my new clothes, I was still cold and wet, and I shivered as I cranked up the heat.
I dropped off the van at Prosciuttscio’s newsstand, and at my request he gave me some old magazines he was going to toss anyway. I walked over to an alleyway a few blocks away and tossed my soggy pajamas into a banged-up steel garbage can. I then tossed in the old magazines on to…

The Return of Friendly Tony, Part 6: Love, (Native) American Style

Welcome back. We're up to part 6 and things are really heating up! What awaits me in this next chapter? Well, come on, you're going to have to read it if you want to know. I'm not going to summarize it for you, for Pete's sake.

If someone would have told me before I walked into that hotel room that my evening would be even worse than my morning, I would have scoffed at them and perhaps insultingly tossed some old grains of rice at them. The idea was too far-fetched, my misery too complete, for anything of the sort to be possible. Yet they would have been right, and shown the foresight of George Orwell, as my evening became a smoking ruin the instant I laid eyes upon the three corpses lying within a hotel room that was reserved under my name.
Well, lying may not be the proper word here. They were in fact sitting, the three of them posed in a macabre diorama that indicated a sort of undead love triangle. A gypsy woman, who resembled a more ethnic Bret Butler, sat i…

The Return of Friendly Tony, Part 4: In Dubious Battle

Annnnnd welcome back, for the fourth installment of "The Return of Friendly Tony." Hopefully you've been following thus far, as I've been bouncing back and forth with in order to bring you this heart-wrenching tale. Anyway, without further ado, we continue:

I returned to my former home to find the door locked. Repeated pounding on the door went unanswered, and I knew that attempting to ring the doorbell was fruitless. Ever since the time I tried to rig it to play a simplified version of “Rollin’” by Limp Bizkit every time someone pressed the button, the doorbell has been silent. Some say it died to preserve what little dignity it had left, but this of course is hogwash.
It had been a horrid day so far. After my trip to Jack in the Box, I had ventured to a local tavern in the hopes that a drink might raise my spirits and calm my stomach. An elderly woman approached me, and asked whether Friendly Tony was my given name, or a nickname. I tol…

The Return of Friendly Tony, Part 2: What’s Yours Is Mine

Hi There! This is the second chapter to my world-shattering blog crossover, "The Return of Friendly Tony." The first chapter is on my Myspace blog ( Go ahead and check it out to catch up...and if you're not my friend on Myspace, feel free to add me. This is a good opportunity for me to explain how this is going to work...the blogs are going to alternate chapters. So chapter 1 was on Myspace, chapter 2 is on Blogspot, Chapter 3 is on Myspace, etc. Anyway, enough chit-chat. Here's chapter 2.

“What are you talking about?” I hissed. I stifled a dry heave, then continued, “Have you lost your mind?”
“No,” said Friendly Tony, gesturing at my vomitous sheets, “but it appears you have lost your lunch.” He chuckled, a tittering laugh like raindrops bouncing off a sparrow’s head.
“God, that was so lame,” I said. “I think I might barf again just because of that joke.”
“Barf away,” said Friendly Tony. “Do whatever you like. As I said, the burden…

CDs? More Like CDeez Nuts

It is a ritual that is repeated like clockwork, once a year or so. Despite its fruitlessness and utter futility, I have been involved in it many a time, and know I shall see it again. The ritual that I speak of is...well, I suppose this will require some explanation.
My father is possessed of the inexplicable idea that he and I listen to the same music. In fact, he has said as much on several occasions. "See, Joe," he slurs, "it's great that we listen to the same music. It's not like I'm some old guy or something; I can listen to your generation's music."
Now, anyone that knows me reasonably well knows that, despite my diverse musical tastes, on average I would say I listen to hip-hop probably 80% of the time, minimum. My father doesn't listen to hip-hop, period. I know this isn't going to change and, to be honest, I don't want it to. But in and of itself, it sort of conflicts with what he claims. Of the other 20%, I usually listen to ei…