Monthly Archives: July 2011

To All the Hetero Men

My Friends,
   Has this ever happened to you: You start a new job and conduct yourself respectfully and confidently for the first few weeks.  You are always well turned out and looking your very best, flirting politely with the girls and and joking around with everyone.  Then after a few weeks of this, someone asks you point blank during the middle of your shift if you’re gay…
  Now, far from being an insult, this can still be disconcerting for the straight male who conceives of himself as being a good-natured philanderer and good breeding stock to boot.  When you can only respond with a confused “um, no…,” they may further ask you this incredibly stupid question: “Are you sure?”  If you read between the lines you can see that far from trying to gain clarification on the matter, asking if you’re sure that you’re not gay implies that they feel you are a lying homophobic closet case who is ashamed of his attraction towards men.
   Then it hits you, the whole image you have cultivated for yourself has had the opposite effect it was intended to and everyone is fairly certain that you like…well, whatever it is they think you like (PENIS!).    The reality however, is that you may not have been acting gay.  In the three instances where I was assumed to be a “confirmed bachelor,” the circumstances were all very different.  The first time was a military posting a cadet corps summer camp for kids.  I worked in conjunction with a lot of civilian instructors, and more than a few were openly flamboyantly gay (That’s right, gay and camping with your kids, joke’s on you lol).  This didn’t really confront me none, and I was amicable with most of them (some were just obnoxious jerks and being gay did little to redeem them in my eyes).  Now because I got on well enough with the gays in the immediate circle I worked with, the girls in said immediate circle, maddened by the realization that I was way out of their league, started to invent crazy explanations for why they had no chance with me.  Instead of being honest with themselves that they were ugly, rude and self-centered, they chose to project on me.  I am like 98.3% certain this is what led one of them to ask me, in front of some of the summer camp kids no less, “are you gay?”  I think this first time was the only time I was angered by the question, but more because of the fact that she was undermining me with questions about my sexuality in front of kids I was in charge of.  She could have asked me about what my favourite female breast shape was and I still would have been annoyed.  Its called tact, learn it.
   The second instance was when I was hired as a server at a restaurant where the majority of servers were female and one of the male servers was openly inappropriately disgustingly gay.  When finally someone did approach me and ask me about my sexual preference (as it was so germane to the job-related task I was performing at the time) they were a lot more tactful about it.  When I calmly and amusedly responded that I was not in fact homosex (sic),  they took it upon themselves to reassure me that they never thought I was gay themselves and had been defending my heteroship (sic) the whole time when it had been under attack by the gossip of coworkers.  I thanked her for not allowing them to slander my good name but assured her it was wholly unncessary, as people are gonna think what they’re gonna think.  As I later found out, the aforementioned gay male server had been spreading rumours that I was gay.  I reasoned that it was part of some insidious plot in which, if I heard from enough people that I was gay I might actually start to believe it and put out (Note: you may notice a recurring theme that I strongly believe a person’s desire to get in my pants causes them to act reckless).  This may sound delusional, but it should be mentioned that he offered me at a later date $100 to perform fellatio on me.  Although not tempted, I was flattered, until I heard that he offered some of the teenage boys working in the kitchen $200 for the same service.  “I thought we had something special…”
   The last case is kind of ongoing and probably somewhat my fault.  Its a warehouse I work at during the summer and I suppose because I wear tight wife- beaters, women’s sunglasses (in my defense, they’re fly as hell) and any of the following bandanas,

that I perpetuate an image of fruitiness.  These factors, as well as the fact that I sing along to all the songs on the radio, hitting the necessary high notes, doesn’t jive with their blue collar sensibilities I suppose.  While no one has asked me point blank, some have had their suspicions and they good-naturedly bust my balls about it daily.  For example, when the new payroll chick got hired, a no-nonsense Jamaican lady, my foreman insisted that me and him traipse through the office holding hands  in front of her desk.  I thought it would be a gay old time funny, and we had her convinced I was a batty boy…. a bloodclot batty boy even.  But then, when you do goofy shit like that, you can’t blame people for casting an awkward eye at you.
   At this point I feel that if people don’t question where I stick my penis I am doing something wrong.  After all, I am suspicious of anyone who comes off as completely hetero: the biggest secrets are the best hidden I figure.  In the end though I can’t really be vexed about the assumption that Im gay: most people are just going by the popular conception of homosexuals as good-looking, well-dressed and shameless flirts, and that ain’t a half-bad rep to catch.
Stay Thirsty,
-Andre Guantanamo

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Food Preparation with Power Tools

My Friends,
   I hope the title conjured no visions of Sawzalls being used to chop carrots or belt sanders shredding lettuce; alas the truth is not that exciting.  I simply used a drill to put holes in a coconut.  Now I love coconuts but only buy them rarely because of the hassle associated with getting the milk and nut out of them.  Not so today, as I opened it at my place of employment wage slavery.  Now usually I open them at home where there is a dearth of tools (I have, in the past, resorted to using a 25lb dumbell to smash the coconut open).  It is a laborious process and as such I savour the reward.  However, in light of all the tools at work, I decided to get industrial on that bitch and pulled out the 18V cordless with a 1/4″ bit (Insert that noise Tim Allen makes on” Tool Time”). 
   The results were pretty much what you’d expect: after two holes were drilled, the milk, the very nectar of this bounty of the tropics, literally flowed out into my glass.  I looked at it a moment then guzzled it down greedily.  This was in stark contrast to my aforementioned usual sipping and savouring, but then, the reward had come so easy so why not?  Despite my now-slaked thirst, a lingering feeling of emptiness and shame came over me.  I started thinking horrible thoughts about how bad I was with coconut milk-management and how my mom would be so disappointed if she witnessed the spectacle of my gluttony.  
   In a vain attempt to alleviate these feelings of woe I set to work on liberating the nut from the shell.  However, not being privy to the grand designs of the universe I was not aware that the powers that be, in their infinite wisdom, made the nut of this particular coconut particularly difficult to extricate from the shell, likely to offset the relative ease with which I extracted the milk.
   Now let me stop and ask a quick question: Do you remember the first time you actually thought to yourself about how your airbags would work in the event of a car accident?  How they would deploy in an explosive manner and that even if they saved your life they would exact their toll in facial damage?  I reasoned that using power tools to extract the nut was kind of like that: even if they worked they would not only destroy the coconut beyond edibility, but also sully it with saw dust and metal filings.  So I opted to wait until until the brilliant minds at DeWalt developed some kind of cordless coconut de-sheller and instead channelled my inner caveman and whacked the coconut on the floor.
   This was met with better-than-expected success as the nut broke clean into two halves, but there was still the persistent problem of separating the shell from the nut.  I reasoned that I could use my hands to collapse the coconut halves in an attempt to loosen some of the nut.  At first I doubted my ability to exert such a great amount of force then I recalled how years ago a WWF wrestler named “Crush” made his debut and his finishing move was crushing the opponent’s head between his hands.  The announcer explained this move as being a result of his proficiency at crushing coconuts barehanded in his home state of Hawaii his whole life.  I reasoned that as fabricated as pro-wrestling may in fact be, they could not just blatantly lie about something like this: there had to be some basis in truth…there had to be!  
   Sure enough I did manage to crush the shell+nut into smaller and smaller pieces, but each new break availed me little in the high stakes game of separating coconut shell from nut.  Naturally, I gave up.  I considered me and the universe even for the relative ease with which I enjoyed the coconut milk and put the broken pieces onto a plate in the fridge to become my co-workers’ problem.
Stay Thirsty
-Andre Guantanamo

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Down for Whatever

My Friends,
   Jim Carrey made a film a few years back called “Yes Man,” wherein his character made a point of saying “yes” to everything (except presumably, committing felonies).  This opened him up to a plethora of new experiences as well as true love.  While the film did have its funny moments I think its true appeal was that it served to illustrate just how much we deprive ourselves of with negativity, or saying “no.”  Who hasn’t stubbornly refused a flyer or voucher handed out by someone on the street, or declined an invitation to try something like skydiving, or even deleted an email for discount Cialis without reading it?
  It would be preachy and cliche to spout banalities such as “at the end of your life you will regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did,” but I can not help but think of all the human potential that is squandered for lack of utilization.  By simply trying something you would not ordinarily be inclined to try you may surprise yourself by finding a new proficiency or passion.  Ironically, in our efficient and purposeful existence, where we steer clear of any obstruction hindering movement from point A to point B, I would hazard a guess that wasted human potential is the most abundant resource on the planet.
   What to do about this predicament?  Well, I am reminded of the words of Guy Debord in his 1958 treatise, “Theory of the Derive,” where he proposes that individuals,

   “during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there.”

The segment in bold is important because I feel it encapsulates the essence of the problem of wasted human potential: we are accustomed to the usual.  In such a state as we live in, it is exceedingly difficult for responsible adults to do things on a whim without incurring the ire or, at the very least, the derision of others depending on you to keep doing what you have been doing thus far.  Saying “yes” to any new experience or opportunity that comes along is anathema to structure and security.  Don’t get me wrong, people will laud you for being bold and embracing life but only up until the point where your free-spiritedness conflicts with their ordered existence.
   For example, my family is generally supportive of my endeavours adventures, but I can see in the not-too-distant future one of my siblings having children.  At that point, their support for my devil-may-care existence will be tempered with their earnest and understandable desire to see their offspring get ahead in this world.  I will cease to be the adventurous brother and become the bum uncle who will serve as a cautionary tale to the offspring for why they should do their homework, eat their vegetables or use prophylactics: “IF YOU DON’T USE A GOOD SPERMICIDAL LUBRICANT YOU’RE GOING TO END UP A BUM JUST LIKE YOUR UNCLE.”  But I digress.
   Still, at the risk of advising you on a course of action which could result in a downward life spiral and self-ruin, we should not let the expectations of others and the omni-present threat of becoming a cautionary tale ground our inklings to the point where we view them simply as distractions.  It is in those inklings and urges, so often put on a backburner due to prohibitive cost (time or money), fatigue and/or children, where our true passions reside.  Now don’t go selling your house, wife & kids to chase your pipe dream of becoming a millionaire seducer of women/space marine; if you fall short of the mark it will sour you on new experiences.  If you really want to rectify the situation in a manageable way, the next time someone invites you to something, man up and say “yes.”
Stay Thirsty
-Andre Guantanamo

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Breaking the Ice

My Friends,
   Today in preparation for an upcoming excursion around the globe I ventured to the travel clinic to receive vaccinations.  Whilst waiting in the aptly named “waiting room” I overheard a frustrated, middle-aged receptionist commiserating with her co-worker about patients demanding estimations of expected wait times over the phone.  “The wait will last until someone calls you in,” she went on, speaking the words she wished she could have said to the caller instead of the more placating answer she likely gave him.  The great irony in this is that noone, the receptionist included, wants their time wasted.  So we cannot fault someone for trying to plan their day and asking for a time estimation; but should we indulge them?
   I understand the importance of timings; they provide structure and allow the world as we know it to function (for better or worse) but for far too many people (regrettably, myself included more often than not), life is nothing but a series of timings: be at work for 9, pick up the kids at 6, dinner at 630.  It all seems a little mundane but we can justify it because we all think we are working for something better.
   Do you know what that “better” is?  I do.  It is the day when we don’t have to have our timings dictated to us and we are free to live as we please.  But we’ll never get there.  Because as stultifying to our flourishing existence on this planet as the rigidity of timings is, it also provides a modicum of security and stability; two things people feel lost without.  Therefore, people, even those who answer to noone, will always be slaves to the self-imposed rigidity of timings because it is, like a well-worn pair of underwear that has served you well, something that is difficult to part with.
   I opt to go without the proverbial underwear and forsake these timings.  If I must rush for something, let it be something I eagerly anticipate.  If I am late for something they will wait for me or they won’t; either way, I’ll be fine.  If I am early for something that gives me extra time to read something interesting or plot an escape route should things get out of hand (depending on the type of appointments you book). In short, inasmuch as possible, we should be attempting to throw off the twin yokes of imposed timings and obligations and revel in the time we can free up for ourselves.  If we don’t learn to live life on our own schedule now we will never know how to do it.
Stay Thirsty,
-Andre Guantanamo

1 Comment

Filed under hamilton, ontario