Blog Archives

Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me! Episode 2 #150530

wwdpm-logo-marqueeGet ready for Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me!, the 5MDR Geeky Quiz.

This episode of Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me! broadcasts live from Charlotte, North Carolina.  Guests panelists for the show include Charlotte Geeks’ Joey Paquette, writer, martial artist, and ballroom dancer Edward McKeown, and author and storyteller Tally Johnson.  Listen as announcer Chuck Carte and host Doc Geressy engage panelists as they play Who’s the Panelist This Time?, Questions about the Geeky News, Bluff the Geek, Geeky Limerick Challenge, Warp Fill in the Blank, and Panelist Geeky Predictions.

If you are interested in booking Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me! for your convention, please contact Doc Geressy or Chuck Carte at

Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me! Episode 2 – Click to Listen or Download

Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me!: Episode 2, Segment 1
Live from Charlotte, North Carolina/Who’s Our Panelist This Time?/Questions about the Geeky News

Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me!: Episode 2, Segment 2
Bluff the Geek

Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me!: Episode 2, Segment 3
Geeky Limerick Challenge

Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me!: Episode 2, Segment 4
Warp Fill in the Blank/Panelist Geeky Prediction

Sci-Fried Eggs Episode 88 #150107

sci-fried-eggs-logoThis week the Sci-Fried Eggs are back from the holidays and broadcasting from the Fitness Center at Bathurst Manor.  The Eggs start by discussing some of the things that Back to the Future II promised us that we still don’t have.  There’s some news about trips to Mars and Venus.  Doc has a movie review of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and Chuck reviews In Your Eyes.  3D printing is making more waves.  And the Eggs play another edition of Blind Movie Synopsis!

Sci-Fried Eggs Episode 88 – Click to Listen or Download

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 88, Segment 1
Back to the Future II 2015 Evaluation

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 88, Segment 2
Mars News and a Research Station on Venus

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 88, Segment 3
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and In Your Eyes Movie Reviews

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 88, Segment 4
3D Printing Advances

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 88, Segment 5
Blind Movie Synopsis #2: Black Butler, Fruits Basket, and Spice and Wolf

This slideshow requires JavaScript.




What I Know About Caring for Babies

I should start by saying that I’ve never been put in charge of caring for a baby.  But I have been around a lot of people with babies.  One time I was on a flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas and there was a lady with a baby two rows ahead of me.  And people with babies bring them pretty much everywhere, so I’ve seen them a lot in grocery stores and restaurants.  And I’ve watched a lot of movies on babies.  I watched over half of Baby’s Day Out before I realized it wasn’t Willow.  And through my casual observations, I’ve picked up on a lot on baby care.

Baby care isn’t easy.  It requires a lot of hard work and paying attention to things.  And there are a lot of rules for caring for babies that you don’t need to know if you’re caring for your pet (unless your pet happens to be a pet baby, which is okay in some countries), an item entrusted to you by a sorcerer, or your best friend who drank too much at a DC Talk concert.  For instance, did you know you can’t feed babies after midnight?  Now I’m not sure how that works exactly because technically it’s always after midnight in a way.  But I’m guessing it means after midnight up until the sun rises for the next day.  Some of these tips are kind of vague, so I just always err on the side of caution.  Like with the midnight thing, I just wouldn’t feed a baby until noon the next day.  Better safe than sorry I always say.  So head’s up future babysitters, here are some important baby care tips.

– Don’t feed babies after midnight.  We already went over this, but here it is again just in case you’re printing this list out to post on your fridge or bulletin board.

– Don’t let babies out in sunlight.  Lots of parents know this because I always see them covering their babies up on sunny days.

– Don’t get babies wet.  Something about water is bad for babies.  This also explains why babies smell.

– Also in the aquatic arena, babies can’t cross running water.  They must be carried or ferried over.  This is why you always see parents carrying their babies across bridges in the park and on walking trails.

– Chocolate, raisins, and onions are poisonous to babies.  Don’t ever feed your baby these things.

– Never feed babies from the table.  Table scraps are bad for babies.

– Babies are allergic to garlic.  If you aren’t a fan of babies and want babies to stay away from you, then wear a string of garlic cloves around your neck.

– Babies are also allergic to silver, so always use plastic spoons with babies.

Those are some of the basics of baby care.  As you can see already, caring for a baby is no field day.  It’s a lot of work and making sure babies don’t do a lot of things.  Now if you aren’t directly caring for babies, then there are some other tips you should probably know if you are going to be around babies or people with babies.  Here are some additional baby facts.

– Babies can’t enter your home on their own.  They have to be invited in.  This is why most parents will ask you if it is okay if they bring their baby places.  Once the baby has entered your house, it can come in again any time it wants.  If someone asks you if it is okay to bring their baby to your house, always say no.

– Babies hate crosses and holy water.  This explains why babies cry so much at a baptism.  Much like everyone else in the church, the babies are in agonizing pain throughout the baptism process.

– If you are on a boat and you hear a baby crying, you should get away from it immediately.  The wails of babies have been known to lure unwary sailors to their doom.

– Babies can’t stand the yodeling of Slim Whitman in his song Indian Love Call.  I’ve heard listening to the song will make a baby’s head explode.

– I’ve heard the gaze of a baby can turn you to stone.  I’ve never seen this happen, but I don’t look directly into the eyes of babies just to be on the safe side.

That’s pretty much all you need to know about caring for babies.  When you know all the rules, baby care is a whole lot easier.  Oh,  some people say that if you can guess a baby’s name, then it has to take you to its pot of gold.  But that’s just ridiculous.  Babies don’t have money.

Sci-Fried Eggs Episode 85 #141217

sci-fried-eggs-logoThis week the Sci-Fried Eggs broadcast live from Bathurst Bowling Center at Bathurst Manor!  The Eggs start by discussing some of the Sony hacks.  Then Doc gets infuriated at news of yet another Spider-Man reboot.  Chuck digs up an interview with Danjo Nguyen while Doc calms down.  Then Chuck and Doc share some movie crossovers they’d like to see.  And finally, a new edition of Crap Chuck Found on the Internet!

Sci-Fried Eggs Episode 85 – Click to Listen or Download

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 85, Segment 1
Sony Hacks

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 85, Segment 2
Another Spider-Man Reboot

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 85, Segment 3
Danjo Nguyen

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 85, Segment 4
Movie Crossovers

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 85, Segment 5
Crap Chuck Found on the Internet #8

This slideshow requires JavaScript.





Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me! Episode 1 #141123

wwdpm-logo-marqueeGet ready for Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me!, the 5MDR Geeky Quiz.

This episode of Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me! broadcasts live from AtomaCon in Charleston South Carolina.  Guests panelists for the AtomaCon show include author and storyteller Tally Johnson, Podcasting’s Rich Sigfrit, and writer, actor, and director Chuck Carte.  Listen as Doc Geressy hosts and guests and panelists play Who’s the Panelist This Time?, Questions about the Geeky News, Bluff the Geek, Geeky Limerick Challenge, Warp Fill in the Blank, and Panelist Geeky Predictions.

If you are interested in booking Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me! for your convention, please contact Doc Geressy or Chuck Carte at

Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me! Episode 1 – Click to Listen or Download

Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me!: Episode 1, Segment 1
Live from AtomaCon/Who’s Our Panelist This Time?/Questions about the Geeky News
Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me!: Episode 1, Segment 2
Bluff the Geek
Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me!: Episode 1, Segment 3
Geeky Limerick Challenge
Wait Wait…Don’t Phase Me!: Episode 1, Segment 4
Warp Fill in the Blank/Panelist Geeky Prediction

Sci-Fried Eggs Episode 76 #141015

sci-fried-eggs-logoThis week the Sci-Fried Eggs broadcast from the Restoration Room of the Site C Compound.  Doc and Chuck give their picks for the Ghostbusters all female cast.  Doc has another episode of Doc’s Documentary Corner and tackles Bigfoot: The Definitive Guide.  The Eggs bring you a double shot Crystal Coast Con Warmup interview with Marina Sirtis.  And the Eggs talk about physical media in a non-physical age!

Sci-Fried Eggs Episode 76 – Click to Listen or Download

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 76, Segment 1
Ghostbusters 3 Female Casting

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 76, Segment 2
Doc’s Documentary Corner: Bigfoot: The Definitive Guide

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 76, Segment 3
Crystal Coast Con Warmup: Marina Sirtis Interview Part 1

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 76, Segment 4
Crystal Coast Con Warmup: Marina Sirtis Interview Part 2

Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 76, Segment 5
Physical Media in a Non-Physical Age

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Doc’s Do-It-Yourself Method

There are a lot of people who like to do things themselves.  Some are poor people.  Some are people who are gluttons for punishment.  And some are people who are all about doing things themselves because they can, or they get some sick sense of fulfillment, or they are hippies.  Now the whole Do-It-Yourself process is just like any other professional process.  It takes time and effort and a lot of luck.  Unless you’re me, then it just takes time.

There are lots of Do-It-Yourself methods out there.  Some are better than others.  And some are just plain stupid.  But most of them involved a few simple steps to achieve results.  Since I’m wicked smart (and good-looking) (and modest), a lot of people ask me, “Doc, what kind of Do-It-Yourself method do you follow?”  Well, I’m glad you asked!  I like to follow the patented Doc’s Do-It-Yourself Method!  What is Doc’s Do-It-Yourself Method?  Again, I’m glad you asked!

Here’s how Doc’s Do-It-Yourself Method works:

1. Access the problem or decide what you want to do.
2. Develop a plan of attack.
3. Research and develop.
4. Test said plan.
5. Execute plan.

Let’s go through the process with a little example.  Let’s say you want to build a bird house.  BAM!  You’ve already completed Step 1!  Deciding what you want to do is a step in itself!  You see, Doc’s Do-It-Yourself Method is all about the rewards!  Why waste time being disappointed right out of the gate when you can already feel like you’ve accomplished 20% of your goal!  I know, it’s awesome (I told you I was wicked smart).

Now on to Step 2.  Let’s develop that plan of attack.  We got to decide how we are we going to build this bird house?  There’s no reason to spend a lot of time coming up with our own ideas when lots of other chumps have shared their sweet ideas.  Let’s look on the Internet and see what kind of birdhouses other people are building.  Go ahead.  Take a look.  I’ll wait.  Yeah, I know, there’s a lot of stupid ways people are building bird houses, but there are a few (very few) diamonds in the rough.  So go ahead and pick a design you like.  Go ahead.  Pick one.  I’ll wait.  Did you pick a design you like?  Great!  That’s Step 2!  You’re 40% done!  That’s almost halfway!

Now Step 3 is where we have to take a trip to Lowes or Home Depot or Wal-mart or the Dollar Store (depending on your budget).  Step 3 is all about research and development.  You gotta see what materials are gonna cost you.  Then when you find out how expensive birdhouse stuff is, you spend some time looking for cheaper materials you can use.  You have to decide if you wanna use screws or nails or glue to secure your birdhouse.  Step 3 is not a rush step.  Take you time with Step 3.  Look things over and make some smart decisions.  Let’s face it, a birdhouse is a luxury for birds.  They’ve lived just fine for thousands of years without birdhouses.  They’ll be fine while you research your project.  So don’t rush things because you’re worried about the birds being cold and homeless.

Now to Step 4: the testing phase.  This is where you actually have materials and you start doing some building.  You’ll do a lot of measuring twice, cutting once, measuring again to see why the piece doesn’t fit, then measuring again and cutting again.  You’re going to spend a lot of time seeing what will actually work and what won’t.  You’ll find out things like maybe you need glue AND nails for this bird mansion you’re building.  Anyway, the point is test the waters and see what will work and what won’t in physical application.  I’ll go ahead and tell you that Step 3 and Step 4 are another 40% of the plan that will take like 80% of your time.  Don’t worry.  Great (and patented) Do-It-Yourself methods like this one take time.

Now on to Step 5!  Execute that plan!  Make that birdhouse.

Just so you know, like Roy Underhill on The Woodwright’s Shop or Graham Kerr on The Galloping Gourmet, I’ve been building a birdhouse as I’ve been writing this essay.  And I’ve been using Doc’s Do-It-Yourself Method.

Here’s what mine looks like.


Yours probably looks more like this.


Hey, don’t worry.  You gotta break some legs to make some omelets, or something like that.  And you’ve gotta make some whatever the hell it is you’ve made before you make a passable birdhouse.  Keep trying.  And you may want to maybe pick some better plans from the Internet.  Just remember, Doc’s Do-It-Yourself Method is like playing the harp.  It takes time to master.  Good luck!

Chapter 11 of The Autobiography of Viva Doc Vegas: Broadcasting Legend

I’m not going to tell you that being on the radio was all glitz and glamor.  It wasn’t.  There was a lot of bullshit that went along with the job.  The stupid meetings to tell you what new stupid thing the radio station was trying to do to round up new listeners that month.  And God help the on-air staff any time a ratings book came out.  If we weren’t number one, it was the end of the world.  This was the ’00s.  Radio wasn’t king any more.  To listen to the corporate higher-ups, radio was scraping by.  Of course, looking at the stockholder numbers, radio was raking in the cash like it was printing its own money.

And dealing with the man is never fun in any job.  But the high…the high of cracking open the mic and broadcasting to thousands…millions of people…that’s what being on the radio was all about.  That was the drug.  That was what kept us coming back for more.  Not to mention all the fringe benefits: comped meals, free drinks, t-shirts and other station swag.  And the ladies.  They were all over the place.  There’s something about being on the radio that women love.  I guess it’s the fame and power that goes along with it.  Or, honestly, it’s probably the fact that all those women think you make a lot of money.  And some weeks at the radio station, they were right.

“I’m Viva Doc Vegas, and until tomorrow night at midnight, the show’s over!”  The words no sooner left my lips than the show close started to play.  The off button for the mic lit up a bright yellow as I pressed it, replacing the bright red glow of the on button.  I reached up and slowly took my headphones off and put them on the counter beside me.  The room was buzzing with people, producers, interns, some strippers we had picked up earlier.  I tried to focus, but it all seemed like a buzzing sound to me.  My producer, Billy Trumen, was scurrying around picking up papers and beer cans, cleaning up the studio for the morning show.  The poor morning show, they were lightweights, Bible-salesmen compared to the depraved things we did during the overnights.

We were all exhausted.  One of the interns called a cab and showed the strippers out the door and on their way.  Brittany Bee, co-host and web mistress, had her head down on the table, drifting off to sleep.  Billy slowly kept cleaning the studio.  I shook my head and looked at the computer screen, trying to get my eyes to focus.  I got the next few things set up so things would run smoothly into the beginning of the morning show.  I scooped up my headphones and notes and gently patted Brittany on the shoulders as I passed by.  She jerked back into consciousness and got up out of her chair and followed me and Billy out of the radio studio.  We headed out into the dark, cool summer morning.  The sun wouldn’t come up for another 45 minutes to an hour.  We all said our goodbyes as we headed toward our cars.  I walked over and opened the back door of the limo and crawled in.  Dionjilo was sleeping in the front seat.  As I stumbled through the car to wake Dionjilo, I tripped over another stripper who was asleep across the limo’s rear-facing seats.  She was a cute little blonde.  She jostled a little bit, turned over and went right back to sleep.  I shook Dionjilo’s shoulder and he opened his eyes and looked at me in the rear-view mirror.

“Where to, boss?”

“Let’s head on home, D.  I’m beat.”

He looked over the back seat and saw the girl fast asleep.  “What about the girl, boss?”

“We’ll deal with her when she wakes up.  The cab’s already gone with the other two.”

Dionjilo turned the key and the old Buick roared to life.  As he dropped the car down into drive, the car lurched forward, the inertia gently pressing me into the midnight blue plush back seat.  I leaned my head against the side of the car and looked over at the softly slumbering stripper in the other seat.  I closed my eyes and dozed off as the car turned out onto the highway and headed home.

I awoke as the limo turned into the driveway.  The nap was refreshing but not nearly enough sleep.  Dionjilo pulled the limo up to the front stoop.  As I opened the car door to get out, Dionjilo looked back at me, “What about the skirt?”

I looked down at the stripper still asleep in the back of the car and then back to Dionjilo, “Right, the skirt.  I’ll take her.”  I scooped her up like a rag doll and exited the vehicle.  I threw her over my shoulder and walked up to the passenger side window of the limo as Dionjilo rolled it down.  “See you at seven, D.”

“Sure thing, boss.”  Dionjilo rolled up the window as the limo crept around the driveway and off into the distance.  I turned and headed up the steps toward the front door and fumbled with the keys to open it.  It was far more difficult than normal to unlock a door with a girl tossed over your shoulder.  I opened the door and as I walked through it, the young girl’s shirt caught on the door.  The shirt pulled against her and the door as I struggled to keep my balance and not drop her.  By the time I got things sorted out, the door had her shirt and I had a topless stripper over my shoulder.

Now a topless stripper over your shoulder is typically thought of as a good thing.  But I was about to find out in this particular case that it was not.  I dislodged the shirt from the door and turned back around. I had lost track of my surroundings in the tug-o-war and as I turned back around, the girl’s head connected with the inside of the door frame with a thud.  It sounded much worse than it actually was.  It was, however, enough of a jolt to bring the young girl out of her deep sleep and back to full and immediate consciousness.

I can only imagine how disconcerting it must have been, thrown over some stranger’s shoulder, topless, being taken into some unknown house and unaware of how you got into such a situation.  That would be disconcerting for anybody.  And her over the top response was mostly expected.  I would rather have had her woken up on the couch on her own, but that wasn’t going to happen now.  She started flailing around, one of her arms beating against my head relentlessly while the other arm grabbed for any item within reach.  She knocked over lamps and pictures and all manner of things.  She continued bludgeoning my head with her elbow and other arm until I finally threw her clear of me.  She landed on a plush arm chair and her and the chair toppled over backwards.  I saw her scurry topless into the kitchen.

I shook my head and looked around to assess the damage caused.  I still had her bright, neon blue, spaghetti strap top in my hand.  As I turned to head toward the kitchen, I ducked hard to my left as something whizzed by my head.  I heard a sharp thud and turned to see a kitchen knife firmly planted in the sheet rock wall.  The next knife from the kitchen wasn’t anywhere close to hitting me but rather shattered the glass and lodged itself in my autographed Fleetwood Mac Tango in the Night album poster.

“Hey!” I yelled, “That was autographed!”

I heard a squeaky voice yell back from the kitchen, “I don’t giva shit!  I’m not gonna be kilt and raped in your dungeons!  I seen Silence of the Lambs!”

The twang in her voice wasn’t surprising from strip club fair in the south, but she had seen Silence of the Lambs, so that was at least some semblance of class.

“I’m not a murderer.  I’m a DJ!”

“Bull crap you are!  No strip club DJ lives in a house this nice!”

I’m not sure if she had a valid point or not and hearing glass starting to break in the kitchen I didn’t have time to ponder it further.  As I walked cautiously toward the kitchen, I saw all manner of glassware being thrown near the kitchen door.  I peeked around the corner as a wine glass shattered on the floor.  I didn’t even know I had wine glasses.  Another wine glass shattered as I looked up and made eye contact with the still topless girl.

“What in the hell are you doing?” I asked in a calm voice.

“Settin’ up one uh those traps like in Home Alone.  You’re not gonna be walkin’ in this kitchen with all this glass on the floor!”

Home Alone…perhaps I judged too soon on the Silence of the Lambs.  I looked down at her feet and saw that she didn’t have any shoes on.  So breaking glasses was sound logic from her perspective.  She wouldn’t be able to leave the kitchen.  I looked from her bare feet down to my own feet.

“But I’m wearing shoes,” I said as I took a crackling step onto the field of shattered glass at the entrance to the kitchen.  A look of defeat crossed her face.  She set the highball glasses she had in both her hands down on the counter.  Her arms fell to her side and she looked down at her own bare feet.

“Well, go on an’ do whatever you gonna do to me.”

With her shirt missing, it was hard not to notice her breasts.  They were small and perky, a perfect size to the rest of her frame.  Not too big and not too small.  Just right.  I tossed her neon blue shirt to her.  “I’m not going to do anything to you except tell you the broom is beside the fridge.  Hand it to me if you will.  I don’t need you cutting your feet all up and tracking blood all through my house.  You’ve done enough damage as it is.”

She tossed her shirt on the counter and turned to the fridge and grabbed the broom.  “Here ya go, mister.”

I took the broom from her and set the dustpan on the counter and started to sweep.  “You can put your shirt back on if you like.”

“Oh, right.  I walk around the club wit’ it off so much sometimes I don’t notice.”

I started sweeping up the glass on the hardwood floor, “You sure seemed to notice when you woke up.”

Her voice was a little muffled as she pulled her shirt back over her head, “Oh, yeah, sorry about all that, mister.  I been in some bad situations.”

“I can imagine so with that reaction.  My name is Doc by the way.”  The shards of glass scritched against each other as I swept them into a neat little pile.

She grabbed the dustpan and squatted down to the pile of glass.  She set the dustpan on the floor and I edged the neat little pile up onto the plastic tray.

“Doc, like, ‘What’s up, Doc!’  Like that cartoon!  That’s a funny name.  My name ain’t nearly so funny.  It’s Serenity.”

“Like the ship from Firefly.”

“I reckon so.  Don’t know nuffin’ ’bout that.”  I finished sweeping the glass, and she stood up and walked over to dump it into the trash can.  “Guess I’ll get outta your hair now, mister.”

“Where are you gonna go?  You rode here in the limo.”

“I rode in a limo!  Well hot damn!  I sure as hell all don’t remember that!  Reckon I ought not ta drink so much for I go a’ wanderin’ off wit’ strangers, huh, mister?”

I took the dustpan from her and attached it back to the broom handle and put the broom back beside the refrigerator.  “I suppose you shouldn’t.  Anyway, you rode here in the limo, so where are you gonna go?”

“I guess I’ll just walk on home, mister.”  She walked passed me and out of the kitchen toward the front door.

“Where do you live, sweetheart?”

“Over near the strip club.”

“That’s nowhere near here.”

“Well guess I got me a long walk then, huh, mister?  Unless that fancy limo of yours can drive me there.”

“Doc.  My name is Doc.  And Dionjilo has the day off.”

“D on j-who has the what?”

“Dionjilo.  He’s the limo driver.  He has the day off.  Won’t be back until seven tonight.”

“Looks like I’ma walkin’ then.  Glad I ain’t workin’ at the club today.”  She picked her bright pink purse up off the floor and rustled through it to make sure she had everything.

“Nonsense.  If you don’t have anything to do today, stay here.  Crash on the couch.  I’m going to sleep for a few hours and then we can go get something to eat for lunch.”

She turned to me.  It looked as if there was almost a tear welling up in her eye.  A big smile slowly crept across her face.  “Do you mean it, mister?”

“Of course I mean it, Serenity.  And my name is Doc.”

She dropped her purse and ran over and jumped onto me hugging me.  “Thank you so much, mister!  I’m real sorry about all your glasses and your wall and your Big Mac poster.”

“Fleetwood Mac.”



“I’m gonna work real hard and buy back all those fancy glasses I broke and I’ll get you another poster and go to the Lowe’s and get some stuff to fix your wall up real good.  My daddy taught me how to fix walls when I was little.  I’ll patch it up just like bran’ new.”

She was still hugging me tight.  I didn’t quite know what to do, so I patted her on the shoulders.  She let go and went over and collapsed on the couch.

“This couch is pro’ly the softest couch I ever been on.”

I walked over to the storage bench by the front door and got out a blue fleece blanket.  I walked over to the couch, unfolded the blanket, and spread it out over her.

She looked up at me and smiled, “Thanks a lot for not killin’ and rapin’ me, mister.”

I rolled my eyes and cracked a smile.  Her accent was so endearing.  “Any time.  And my name is Doc.”

She pulled the blanket up close to her neck and face.  “Gotcha!  Thanks for the blanket too!  Sleep tight, Docy-wocy.”

I headed toward my bedroom.  As I closed the door to the room, the first morning light was just creeping in.  But my room was a cave; the windows were blacked out.  It was like a vault.  I closed the door and receded into the darkness.  I kicked my shoes off and laid down on the bed.  My head hit the pillow and I was out.

The Grey Side of the Force

Now I’m going to assume you are familiar with Star Wars.  If you’re not, go watch Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back.  I include Empire Strikes Back because it’s a really good movie.  Watching the rest of the Star Wars films is up to you.  I’ll wait.

Okay, so now that everyone has seen Star Wars, you have a general understanding about the light side and the dark side of the Force.  I often think about how cool it would be to be able to use the Force.  I think about it almost as much as I think about how cool it would be to be part of the Q Continuum on Star Trek (you can watch Star Trek: The Next Generation on your own time.  It’s not required reading for this essay).  Anyway, back to the Force.  There’s a lot you can do with the Force.  You can lift rocks and boxes and spaceships.  You can influence the weak-minded (which pretty much means everyone except giant worm-like mob bosses and really shady junk yard owners).  And all that’s cool.  But I think there are far more useful things to use the Force for.

I think I would fall in the grey spectrum of Force users.  I wouldn’t be actively evil, like choking people from across the room or shooting people with lightning until they change the TV channel back to Storage Wars.  No, I wouldn’t be mean like that at all.  I wouldn’t do things to hurt people.  But I would seriously make some people’s lives inconvenient when necessary.  You know, just to keep them in check.  Sort of a Karma thing.  That’s cool, right?

Then there are the mischievous things I would do.  You know, the ol’ college prank basics.  Unsnapping bra straps from across the quad.  Penny locking doors from across the hall.  Relieving vending machines of their delicious riches without having to shake them violently.  I’d get a kick out of moving things around in locked or secured areas, just to make security people wonder and be a little more alert on their next round.  If you think your cat is confused by laser pointers, wait until I get into a room with your cat and launch my Force powers arsenal.  I might actually charge people for this particular cat “training” service.  I know there are a lot of my guy friends who would part with big bucks (or several cases of beer) to teach their girlfriend’s cat a lesson or two.  Imagine Mr. Boots’s surprise when I say, “Come here” and he floats over to me.  At the very least, it will let the cat know who is in charge from here on out.

Then there would be actions of convenience for me.  Like for instance when I want to really want to tie one on on a Sunday and I can’t purchase beer until noon.  What a buzzkill, am I right?  Besides, you can’t drink all day unless you start right when you get up.  Now imagine this scenario.

Clerk:  Sorry, sir, you can’t purchase beer until noon on Sunday.  It’s 8:30AM.

Me: *waves hand in front of clerk*  I can buy this beer.

Clerk: You can buy this beer.  *shakes head, confused at what was just said*  Ummm, I’ll need to see your ID.

Me:  You don’t need to see my identification.

Clerk:  I don’t need to see your identification.

Me: If fact, I don’t owe you anything for it.

Clerk:  You don’t owe me anything for it.

Me:  Have a nice day, sir.

Clerk:  Have a nice day, sir.

Me:  Move along.

Clerk:  Move along.  Move along.

I can imagine this Force mind control would be a really handy thing to have in a lot of scenarios.  It does mean I’d have to go to “pay” all my bills in person, but that is a mild inconvenience for all the money I’d save in the long run.

The possibilities here are really endless for me.  Red lights when driving would be a thing of the past.  I’d make sure every light was green when I drove around.  I’d never have to wait at the doctor’s office or pay a co-pay.  My kite would never get stuck in a tree again.  I could finally get those marbles that rattle around in my ventilation system.  I could unclog my kitchen sink without harsh chemicals.  I would never get in trouble for moving a ladder that is “clearly marked” for employees only have to ask for assistance for things on top shelves at stores.  And I’d breeze through the DMV, not that I would need an ID much anymore, unless I ran into a giant worm-like mob boss or a really shady junk yard owner, which happens a lot  more to me than most people realize.

My Coworkers Don’t Know Me

I’ve been working at this job for well over nine months.  It’s been long enough that I could have had a kid here (and long enough to know that Trisha did have a kid and is now on maternity leave).  And none of my coworkers know me.  They see me every day and none of them know who I am.  I really thought that taking a job at a baltimization plant would be where I would excel as a person.  A job where I would have room to learn and grow.  But that’s not the case.  For some reason everyone thinks I’m this other guy named Dirk Hirder.

Now don’t get me wrong, this Dirk guy is clearly well-liked.  Everyone says hey to me all the time.  I get invited to all kinds of parties and get-togethers.  All the ladies wink and smile at me.  It kind of makes me wonder at times why Dirk doesn’t work here anymore.  It makes me wonder why Dirk left (I assume he left. I can’t imagine as well-liked as he seems to be that he got fired).  And then I guess I also have to wonder how everyone doesn’t know that I’m not Dirk.  But those are all questions that are probably better left unanswered because having people at work think you are someone else is the best thing ever!

Granted it was kind of uncomfortable for the first couple weeks.  People would call me Dirk and I would correct them.  And then they would laugh and say, “Dirk, you’re so funny!”  So I eventually decided to lean into it.  And I leaned hard.  Because Dirk always says if you’re gonna do something, do it big!  Dirk does all kinds of fun stuff I never do.  Dirk goes sail fishing.  Dirk has been cliff diving.  When I took a week off to go see my aunt and cousin in Cleveland and spent the whole week watching reruns of Mama’s Family and The Golden Girls, Dirk went big game hunting in the heart of Africa with Lance Bass.

One weekend I was out in the yard planting some new daffodils in one of my flower beds, and, when I stood up, I lost my balance and fell directly on a hand rake, which jabbed a pretty decent size hole in my side.  I went to the hospital and they patched me up.  Luckily, that was the same weekend of the famous running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.  So I bet you can guess what Dirk did that weekend.  That’s right, that lucky sonofabitch ran with the bulls and ended up getting gently tagged by one of them.  Dirk considers it a sacred scar of the experience of living life to the fullest.

And if you saw my cubicle, you’d immediately realize that I’ve spent quite a lot of money on trophies over the past eight and a half months.  That’s really Chase’s fault.  Chase is a real stickler (a-hole).  It all started one Monday when Dirk was chatting with Cindy, Monica, and Pam at the water cooler and telling them about how he had won this big bowling tournament over the weekend (Kingpin was on TBS).  So the ladies were all impressed and giggling when Chase walked up and said, “Oh, so you won a bowling tournament?  Where’s your trophy then, Hirder?”  Well, that afternoon, I went to Eduardo’s Tienda de Trofeos near the flea market and got the biggest bowling trophy that he had!  And since I buy a lot of guacamole and chapulines from his sister’s bodega, Eduardo engraved the trophy for free!  And the look on Chase’s face when I brought in that 36 inch trophy to proudly display in my cubicle was priceless.  In fact, I sat the trophy on the top of my cubicle cabinet, so the little bowler guy on top of the trophy almost touches the ceiling.  It’s like a little miniature Chrysler building towering over all the other cubicles in of our office.  Since then, Dirk has won 38 other trophies for various events ranging from unicycle hockey to bog snorkeling.  So take that, Chase!  Cross Dirk Hirder and you get burned!

Then there is all the female attention Dirk gets.  I don’t sleep around, but Dirk has slept with casually dated eleven different women at work in the last six months.  Yup, you did the math right.  That’s a different girl almost every two weeks!  Yessirre!  Dirk is quite the ladies’ man.  And the best part is there hasn’t been any drama.  All the girls sleep with Dirk for a couple weeks and then go through this phase where they break up with him because they feel they aren’t good enough for a great guy like Dirk.  And then I, uh, I mean, Dirk gets to be all heart-broken so the next lucky lady can swoop in and console him.  And I’ve found that a woman consoling a heart-broken Dirk Hirder is a one-way ticket to make-out town!

So to sum up the last nine months of my life at my job, my coworkers have no idea whatsoever who I am.  And oddly enough, I’m totally okay with that.  Or, more to the point, Dirk Hirder is totally okay with that.


♠ The title for this essay is courtesy of Brandon Echols.  If you have an essay title you’d like to suggest, email it to  You might see your essay title in one of my books, and I’ll be sure to thank you in the book for it!

%d bloggers like this: