shaunpgannon @ gmail dot com
I lived in a crappy townhouse complex owned by the university for a couple years when I was in undergrad. There was only one bathroom on the second floor, and when you sat on the toilet, if someone else sat or stood on their toilet in the apartment next door, our whole toilet would raise/lower by a centimeter or two - enough that you could visibly see it happen, not just feel it. Not sure why BSU bolted toilets to each other through walls, unless that’s the kind of thing they’re into.
Today I found out you can microwave cling wrap. I always assumed it would shrivel up like a plastic bag. “What a time to be alive” - Jasper
When I was in undergrad, I sublet a house one summer in a part of town where the frat rejects holed up. I was standing on the porch one night watching two of my neighbors shoot roman candles at each other. The last fight ended when the guy standing on his porch fired a shot across the street and into the mouth of the other guy. Everyone started laughing, including myself, excluding the guy who ate the purple fireball, who instead yelled “AAAGH. IT TASTES LIKE BURNING.”
At the end of second grade, it began to rain midway through Field Day, so we had to hold the tug-of-war tournament inside, the location being the main chapel — not down the chapel lengthwise, which would make sense, but “short-wise” in the space between the pulpit and the first row of pews, because someone in charge didn’t want anyone hitting their heads on the armrests of the pews when they fell down. There were two doors going behind the stage that led to the baptismal bathtub area, and the teams stretched along the rope beyond those doors into small corridors. At some point during the tug-of-war match, my pinky finger got trapped between the rope and the doorframe, and enough skin was ground off the finger that I didn’t have any visible/noticeable fingerprints on that part for the entirety of the summer — probably because it got infected at some point. I blasphemed enough that day that had it not been the last day of the school year, I would have been in pretty big trouble, so thanks for not expelling me so my parents wouldn’t sue.
Last year, at an undisclosed sporting goods store, the cashier spent so much effort pushing the store’s stupid club card that not only did she not realize she passed over $100 dollars worth of shoes, but I didn’t realize it either until I was in the parking lot, discussing with my roommate how much we had spent, and I looked at the receipt. Eeeeeeheheheheh
So I had to take my car to the shop because the starter I had just
replaced malfunctioned once during a 13-hour road trip I left it there for about 5 days before they told me they couldn’t get it to malfunction again and to just pick it up. Today when I returned to the shop, which is in what looks like Chop Shop Central of College Park with 8 run-down mechanics’ garages and 2 half-operating, half-abandoned towing companies, I got my key and went to my truck, and the door was unlocked, and I was like “hrm” and my truck ABSOLUTELY REEKED OF WEED.
I forgot about my longest-running recurring nightmare! This seems to be more of an event within or conclusion to a dream, rather than the entirety or “event” of the dream, so that could explain it:
Sometimes, whenever I am walking/running somewhere in a dream, my legs begin to ache terribly, the pain radiating from my knees, and I slow down. If I’m being chased/running from something/etc., this is no longer the case, and my slow, painful legs take priority. I suspect these recurring nightmare stems from when I was forced to join the track & field team in 8th grade. Practices for the year started right at the beginning of my growth spurt (I have a lot of stretch marks on my knees, and I’m 6’4” now, so you can imagine that it was a pretty significant, speedy change in my body). When I jogged during practice, I would end up at east half a mile behind my teammates, as my knees very quickly felt like they were on fire, and I would drop in the streets and clutch my legs when I couldn’t run anymore. This resulted in one of the coaches breaking off from the herd ahead of me to turn around and yell at me while writhing in pain, rather than say “you should probably get that checked out.”
I’m not sure I can judge the frequency of this dream while in middle/high school, it was so commonplace. Maybe once every two, three weeks? Now it only happens once every 4-5 months.
Here is a timeline of recurring (meaning annually at the very least) nightmares I can remember:
A) CAR — I’m in the passenger side front seat of a traveling vehicle, usually my mother’s car. I’m aware of who the driver without looking at them (again, usually my mother, otherwise, my father, but a few times it was a stranger), but I have an uncontrollable urge to look to the driver’s side, even knowing what I would see, what I’m going to see, and when I do, whoever was driving is now gone, and the car is no longer under any control but is also not coasting to a stop, so I reach over and attempt to control the vehicle until I wake up. I never got into an accident, though. Once this dream happened in Paris, which was weird. This series occurred at least four times a year before dwindling away around the age of 6.
B) BABY — I’m sitting in some random location, holding a baby. It is usually happy, but sometimes it’s crying. Eventually, without warning, its head falls off. There’s no blood or anything; it’s like a babydoll. I only feel a slight anxiety towards this, as if I dropped my sister’s toy but knew I could fix it with my bare hands. Usually I woke up before attempting this, but in a couple dreams, I actually replaced the head and the baby continued to function as a standard baby. This series occurred at least two times a year before a final dream at the age of 10.
C) DEAD DAD — My stepfather is dead, and my life is inherently improved. No other circumstances change; as I live my usual, conscious life; often it would begin with me waking up and remembering chores, but knowing my stepfather is dead. This series occurred at least once every 2-3 months from the age of 13 until his suicide, when it no longer qualified as a torturous, impossible dream.
D) ALIVE DAD — My stepfather is now still alive, but his health is ailing in some way, and I feel empathy for him. Eventually he would just still be living in the same household as my mom, 2nd stepfather, sisters and I, and everyone treated it as the usual situation (I think this was due to his poor healthThis series occurred at least twice a year from the age of 18 to 24, and I still have it roughly once a year.
E) TEEF — I look in the mirror and my teeth are super fucked up in some way.This is just because I had braces for those first 3 years. When they were still on, I would have extremely rotten teeth in the nightmares; now that they’re off and I’m supposed to wear a retainer to sleep (which I do one-half to one-third of the time), I have very crooked teeth in the nightmares, which isn’t even that big of a deal to me anymore, considering I wasn’t even that gung-ho to get adult braces in the first place. The frequency of recurrence also lessened considerably, going from 2-3 times a month to only once every 3 months.
So the reason I hated that kid mentioned yesterday was because at the birthday party of the very same mutual friend also mentioned yesterday, we went to a go-kart track and the kid kept ramming my car, yet I was the one who got yelled at. That probably just cemented the memory of THIS though which is REALLY why I hate him: before go-karts, we went minigolfing, and at the end of this, he and another kid from that town full of apparent assholes asked me what music I was into, and I didn’t know what to say, so I said, “Oh, you know, like ’80s rock and pop, Van Halen, Queen…” The other kid said “Van Halen sucks,” and since I’d lied about that one - yes, I couldn’t name two bands I listened to at age 11. so what. f you - BUT THEN THE VILLAIN OF OUR TALE says “Psh, Queen sucks too. And they’re not ’80s, idiot.” and turned away from me.
And with this, I can prove to you that the mystery of time travel will not be discovered in our lifetime, for if it were, our woesome tale would end “And at that exact moment, some gangly lunatic appeared behind me, screamed “RADIO GA GA” and punched that kid right in the fat face. And then he was gone.” However, it does not. it ends with a mini-golf employee reprimanding me for getting hit in a car when I’m trapped in a rubber tire track with my assailant.
Tomorrow I’ll show you a nightmare chart.
I went to a non-denominational Christian school from Kindergarten through 7th grade; since I lived in an area that was more “scattered towns” than “packed suburbs”, kids from across the county were brought, by their parents, to this school. in my last year there, I met and became friends with someone who lived and went to church (that didn’t have a school attached) in a different town, and his church was having a lock-in that he invited me to. There were multiple rooms with activities planned all night, but the main fellowship hall was holding a talent show for the majority of the evening, where anyone could sign up to do whatever. I remember one girl picked up change with her toes, and the audience of 25 kids and 2 supervisors applauded — this is the level of talent that was being displayed. I decided I was going to host, at some ungodly hour, the most convoluted game of Simon Says I could improvise, knowing I would award the game to a friend of the person who invited me, because this other kid fucking sucked and was a total dick (more on that tomorrow) and I knew he would think the whole thing was stupid, so I was going to drag him onstage and embarrass him by attaching him to this trainwreck, which it was. Total disaster, most people participated for the first few actions, but in the end, only like 3 people were playing along, nobody laughed once I think, but I totally got that kid onstage and everyone stared at us both like total idiots, instead of just me. The earlier you take a dive onstage, the easier it is to go up there and risk doing it again, and if you use the dumbest possible idea the first time, you’ll be more proud of what you do later.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you why you and I will never see time travel. Sorry chumps
When I was 7, a whole bunch of my cousins came over to my house and, when we were alone together, the one who was my age told me a joke — it was one where three people come across a magic lamp, and in this one they get a pile of whatever they want instead of the standard 3 wishes (these were children sharing jokes, so there’s going to a lot of stupid stuff going on in this story) and the first two wish for normal things, and the third guy exclaims “shit!” for somesuch reason, he stepped in a pile of shit? Why would that be happening while standing around a magic lamp? GOD I was a dumb kid. Anyway, so I hear this joke and it’s the funniest thing in the entire world to me, and I immediately run to my mom and aunt wanting to share this absolute brilliance I’ve come across, and when I get to the second guy’s wish, I realized that I was shortly doomed. That third guy’s story is going to fuck me. if I say “shit” my mom is going to beat my ass. So, when I get to the third guy’s wish, I changed it to poop, and my cousin was next to me at the time, just waiting for me to fuck up and get us in trouble, and instead of looking relieved, he looked disgusted. Like I had ruined the joke. And I felt the exact same way when I said “poop”, it sounded stupid to me, even as a 7 year-old telling the worst joke I’ve ever told in my life. I had to oversell the ending, and she laughed politely, but as I walked away, I thought “You really need that swear there to make the joke work.” AND I VOWED NEVER TO DO THAT AGAIN.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the time that backfired on me the hardest. Well, I guess ‘not holding back’ in a broader sense, rather than specifically ‘not cursing at my mother’.
When I was very little (like 5) I thought grilled cheese sandwiches were called girled cheese sandwiches, because my dad pronounced the phrase stupidly. I yelled at him about how dumb the name was until he spelled it out for me (I have always owned at words and could spell/read at 4 (in yr face)). and then got mad when I told him to say it right. Oh well
Tomorrow I’ll tell you the one reason I became a writer that involves a positive story rather than reasons such as the above bullshit.
I found the most redundant food preparation instructions I’ve ever seen on the Maruchan Yakisoba container:
I also found that they taste halfway decent if you add a little soy sauce and sesame oil to the water before microwaving. Assuredly better than the ramen packets I ate as a kid (albeit not by much).
This part is getting about as sad as last time. Tomorrow I’ll make my dad look stupid. That’ll make me feel better.
When the water heater at our house rusted through, it needed to be replaced by someone who doesn’t live in this house. So, our landlord told us who to call and schedule an appointment with, and so we called on a Thursday, and of course nobody could come until after the weekend, so an appointment was scheduled for Monday morning.
On Monday afternoon, I received a call from the company’s dispatch, who told me our serviceman was going to be busy today, so could he come Tuesday? I said that would not be possible, as a) nobody would be home during the morning or afternoon, and b) I was already furious at having to wait over the weekend.
When she called back after confirming with him how busy he would be, she said he was eight hours behind schedule. Since I didn’t see how it was possible to misjudge an entire day’s worth of work, I said I needed someone from their company to show up today or it would be a different company tomorrow.
That evening, someone from that company came and installed our water heater, very courteous, did a fine job with the replacement of surrounding pipes which were super old, congratulations. A few weeks later, I get two postcards in the mail at the same time; one from the above repairman, thanking us for the business and saying to call if there are further questions or problems. The second card was apparently from the repairman that did not come to the house, and it was this:
Tomorrow I’ll show you something else.