Ok ok, I’m happy as all get out today, despite not following “Revelation 4” and burning the crap out of my hand again. My buddy Pete from Fla. just joined myspace!

For those of you who don’t know, or who have never heard the stories, I was a miserable fucker when I lived down in Fla. Hated it hated it hated it, and to say I hated it really is an understatement. I often used “fuck” as a noun, verb, adverb and adjective in the same sentence. I still harbor Florida rage. But the friends I made down there were tremendous people. They helped make a miserable area really, really fun. Pete is one of these people–along with Christine, Jenny, Gilbo, Little Debbie (“Snack Cakes” as we sometimes called her) and the llama girl Drey. (If she ever reads that sentence, she will kill me.) If not for them, I’m sure I would have gotten up on a water tower and sniped the shit out of a lot of people.

Pete and I met at work down at the South Florida Newspaper Network (or whatever the hell it was called–changed names like 4 times). He’s the man who introduced me to a load of bad movies, including Sonny Chiba flicks (the Street Fighter series…I have it on DVD), teaching me basic auto mechanic stuff, and just bringing random fun around (he introduced the oragami worm–a story best told over beer). He did the best Porkins impersonation (“I can hold it…I can hold it AARRRRRGH!”), and we would completely geek out at work by discussing Babylon 5 episodes for entirely too long. I introduced him to the joy of Primanti Bros, and got him in touch with the ways of his western PA roots (his dad is from Greensburg).

We also lived through some bizarre ass times down in Fla., but then again, when weren’t there bizzare times down there? The night that will forever stand out in my mind was the night that this guy Bob was fired/quit. Bob was a crazy ass Vietnam veteran, and would often ask Pete things like “Have you ever been in a rice paddy with the water up to your neck?” “Have you ever cut a man’s throat?” Yeah, that type of crazy. So one day he was riding on our boss Frank’s nerves. Frank sends him home after a brief yelling match, and Bob leaves in a huff. The whole rest of the night, the entire crew had one eye on work and one eye on the door — we didn’t have security and the door was always unlocked–we were all just waiting for him to come back and go postal on us. And I’m not lying about this–Bob was just that unstable that we all could see it happening. While we joked about it and such, we were convinced he was gonna kill us all. There was an uneasy tension in the room all night. Luckily it was a Wednesday (our short night), and when we got permission to go, people SPRINTED to the door. But afterward, Pete and I went to the London Pub II to play darts (and for me to drink — he didn’t drink beer at this time). So we’re playing darts, and just ripping on each other, blowing off the tension from what we though was our impending doom — and by the end of the night, there was a small crowd gathered around us, laughing right along with us. I don’t think I even realized it until the one girl started yelling Pete’s name and started cracking on him ….

We lost touch for a number of years … and then out of the blue, I got a call from him. How he tracked me down is beyond me. And really, while times have changed–he just got married and now lives in Atlanta–they really haven’t. We still talk about retardedly bad movies, he still gives me tips on cars, and one day he will come to Pittsburgh and I will immerse him in his heritage of drinking in divey bars, drinking incredibly cheap beer and eating Primantis in the Strip at 3am. And when he does eventually come up to visit, if you all ever want to see hilarity, come out. Once we get some beers in us and start trading stories … oh man … it’ll get ugly.

I’m already starting to chuckle to myself…


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