Mixups, Mayhem, and a Gangbang

The country club at the end of the trailer park

The first thing I noticed when we got to the country club was the tragic music selection. It was a bi-polar imbalance of elegant Christmas standards meeting an uncertain mix of trashy camp music. You’d hear Silent Night, and then two rounds of songs about overdosing at Christmas set to a piano riff that promised suicide would be swift if you couldn’t stand the song anymore.

The family had opted for an outdoor wedding. At night. Now, in their defense, it was a charming, beautiful set up. Ninety percent chance of rain be damned, it was gorgeous. We explained well in advance that wedding ceremonies at night were a challenge because of the lighting.

Terms like, “Absolutely no refunds,” were used in explaining that we might not be able to get great shots of insignificant moments like their first kiss, or the look on the groom’s face when the bride appears. In case you’re wondering, I had a great angle for that photo and I assure you he looked like an anonymous witness on the news that had been blacked out to protect their identity.

It’s okay, though. I did get some fantastic photos.

Such as the bride’s shoes. She was forty-three months pregnant, so she opted for comfort over fashion. And honestly, that was the best choice. Actually, I think she was probably just in her fourth trimester. For years after their child is born, people will ask what month he was born in and immediately start counting backward.

100% chance of rain

I got several great photos of the bride emerging. That’s probably not the best word. Oh, well. As the country club doors opened—with Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer playing in the background—the bride emerged out onto the patio and it immediately began pouring rain.

Try as I might, I’m pretty sadistic when it comes to memorializing this kind of thing as a photographer. I immediately started photographing their guests—their closest friends and family—fleeing the damn scene like they were being chased by a tyrannosaurus.

When it finally did stop pouring, and guests were reasonably certain we had a few minutes before the real storm started, the event manager for the country club brought out ONE TOWEL. Like one towel to fifty chairs was a reasonable ratio. I pulled Dylan aside and thanked him again for agreeing to a justice of the peace ceremony for our own big day.

I asked the DJ if he could play Alanis Morrisette’s Ironic, but he said he didn’t have it. Which only added to the irony.

Once everyone was back in their seats, the preacher began the longest wedding essay I have ever heard. It was long enough to be a thesis. It may have even risen to the level of being divided in to several volumes.

With the wind howling, a car alarm going off in the adjacent parking lot, and the imminent threat of rain at any second—and the bride being in a see through dress a second after that—I guarantee you he didn’t skip a single line. These things can’t be rushed, apparently. If it had been me, I would have taken the microphone from him in the tenth minute of his personal anecdote about his own experience in marriage—a story sobering enough to convince anyone not to do it.

Finally, they say ‘I do’

For a while, I was taking the occasional photo just for show—so the hostages guests didn’t think I was being lazy. My best guess is that there was Adderall in the grab bags they handed out, because most people didn’t start looking around (for a bar? The exit??) until fifteen minutes in to the ceremony.

I had reached a point where there wasn’t any angle of that ceremony that hadn’t been explored. It felt like it was rising to the level of a stalker. And I was running low on remaining photos, which I didn’t even know was possible. I snapped a shot of the flower girl laying down in the grass and calling it a day, and reserved my photos for the kiss.

Can you photo shop Obama into this?

After the ceremony, I took photos of every conceivable combination of people in the wedding party. The bride laid down on the couch in the hallway, and for a minute, I thought it might be time. I contemplated whether or not any amount of dry cleaning could clean up her water breaking on a taffeta white dress.

It got weird after that. The groomsmen took their shirts off to reveal superhero costumes and asked us if we could photo shop Obama into the middle of their superhero circle. Granted, when you shoot a wedding, you get lots of editing requests. People seem to think photo shop is a cure all, and they’ll ask for you to shave ten pounds off of them or make their trailer look like an estate.

I nodded and smiled. Sure, we’ll tell the editor to put Obama in the photo. Cause thirty years from now, your grandkids are going to think the president showed up to your wedding dressed like Wonder Woman. That’s perfectly realistic.

Later that same decade: a gang bang on the cake

The reception hall was less of a hall and more like a walk-in closet with no ventilation. The cake had melted during the unreasonably long ceremony. I saw the cake before the ceremony… it was stunning. The layers were garnished with strawberries that were elegantly decorated to look like the traditional bride and groom cake toppers.

When the wedding party got to the wedding hall, the edges of the cake had melted, letting the strawberries roll onto the table and floor. The groom’s strawberry was disfigured beyond recognition, the chocolate sauce melting on to the pile of strawberries that were atop the bride’s strawberry. It looked like the bride’s strawberry was being gangbanged in a filthy sea of melted cream.

The groom’s cake was black. I don’t think anyone thought that through. I stopped saying things like, “smile,” and “’say cheese’,” and opted for leading questions like, “Are you sure the contract says we have to stay until nine?”

I cried during the bridesmaid’s toast

In a rare display of emotion, a few stray tears escaped me during one of the toasts. I had realized we had an hour left and the event coordinator had just assured the mother of the bride (we’ll call her Helga) that we would definitely stay later if needed. Like hell we would.

After the toasts, we had thirty minutes left and there had been no daddy-daughter dance, no throwing of the bouquet, no rice throwing, and no exit scene (this is sometimes staged when the photographer leaves before the reception ends). After assuring the event coordinator that our exit time could not be adjusted, they crammed everything in to the last thirty minutes.

Are the children required to marry right away?

A five-year-old caught the bouquet. A different five-year-old caught the garter. Now in defense of the single men who were avoiding the garter like it was a rabid pterodactyl, I’ll add that even the groom didn’t want to touch that thing because of the humidity in the room.

I’ve never been clear: do the children have to get married right away, or is that just the symbolic recognition that no other eligible member of the family will be getting married in the next twenty years?

We coached the bride and groom on the best way to stage an exit photo. It would have been so lovely if we had coached the entire room. The guests—every single one of them—had handfuls of faux snow that they started throwing—nay pelting—the bride and groom with.

I got three great exit photos: the first was the bride and groom oblivious to the fact that everyone in the photo behind them was about to attack them with a powder-like substance. The next photo was the two of them horrified by the sneak attack. There was this look of utter betrayal in the bride’s eyes that hasn’t been seen since Benedict Arnold’s days.

The final photo was an otherwise charming photo of the two of them walking, hand-in-hand down the hall. Actually, they weren’t walking as much as running away, but that’s not evident in the photo. What sets this photo a part from the normal coffee table book covers that every bride dreams of is that the two look like they just spent an hour in Whitney Houston’s sock drawer.

I remember why I don’t photograph weddings anymore. Everybody wants something beautiful to commemorate their wedding with, and instead, they get gorgeous, black and white stills of what looks like outtakes from Jurassic Park.

Sure, I’m available for your wedding as well.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Christmas Newsletter 2014

Greetings friends and family!

I was just about to pass out from strangling myself with Christmas tree lights when I realized that it’s that time of year again! Buckle up, cause it’s your annual Christmas newsletter!

Baby Jessica fell down the well (again). I don’t have kids, so that really takes away from things to brag about. Sure, I could make up two charming (likely illegitimate) children, but then I’d have to name them. Agnes and Harcort? Amorette and Ripley-Thiago? I may not be cut out for this.

And while it would be lovely to report that my fictitious children are mastering calculus despite the trials and tribulations of Kindergarten, most people would catch on to that when they realized the stock photos I sent out came right out of one of those “your ten cents a day could buy this child a unicorn,” catalogs pamphlets.

So… what’s new this year?

For those of you who may not know, my parents (Terry and Gena) remarried earlier this week. The great thing about getting remarried for a second time is that you don’t need a blood test. Because there’s nothing more awkward than the court clerk looking at you—the product of that marriage—and then telling them they’ll need a blood test to ensure that their potential offspring won’t be the product of… can I say ‘incest’ in a Christmas newsletter? Anyway, the concern for potential children is diminished when you marry someone for the second time. On a serious note (I try to toss one of those in every few paragraphs), please drop my parents a line to congratulate them.

Speaking of marriage, Dylan and I will be getting married in March. We will send out official announcements closer to the date, but honestly: if you can’t brag in a Christmas newsletter, when can you?

Since I have garnered quite an audience on my newsletters, I thought I’d use this opportunity to share some helpful holiday hints to make your season more enjoyable:

  • If a group of people show up outside your door dressed in Christmas attire, it might not be a home invasion. Christmas carolers often show up uninvited unannounced to spread holiday cheer. It’s polite to pause for 30 seconds before dead-bolting the door shut.
  • Always choose a star or ribbon for your Christmas tree topper. Because, really: if you were an angel, would you want a tree up your backside for a month?
  • Christmas music is the perfect way to set the mood for a bar mitzvah most holiday occasions; however, Mariah Carey’s, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” should be played no more than once per decade day—as a courtesy to those who may already be predisposed to suffocating themselves with a Christmas stocking.
  • If you enjoy knitting homemade gifts, a hand-knitted bikini sends a much stronger message than a hand-knitted scarf.
  • If you prefer to add a splash of something 80-proof to your eggnog, remember this rule of thumb: if you look like Keith Whitley after your first cup, you’ve added too much.
  • Christmas decorations should—and must—be taken down by the first week of the New Year. If the Home Owners’ Association shows up on your porch chanting obscenities in unison, you have waited too long.

My fiancé is giving me crazy eyes (I may have left him setting up the tree by himself while pretending to be productive) so I should probably wrap this up like a four-year-old trying to wrap a present with super glue.

Happy holidays to you and yours. (That’s not my politically correct way of getting out of saying ‘Merry Christmas,’ I just don’t plan to send out a newsletter for New Years).

Love,

Ty & Dylan (If he’s going to own 50% of what I do, he’d like to take credit for the conservative part(s) of the letter!)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Drunk News – April 2014

If you’ve ever watched Good Morning America in the bar, you can probably agree that the person sitting next to you—especially if it was me—has a better storytelling angle for the headline than the news anchor.

To that end, I thought it might be fun to take some real news stories and re-pitch them 80-Proof style.

Search for Jet’s Black Box Hampered by Whales

In a bizarre twist in the world’s most publicized game of hide-and-seek, the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370—which may or may not have ever even left the airport—is being stalled by Shamu and friends.

The equipment used to locate the black box is unable to distinguish between the world’s largest mammal and a titanium shoebox.

Last week, the same international, multi-agency taskforce conceded that the plane had likely crashed, which was validation for every other person on earth who reached that conclusion around two days after the plane went missing.

Clerk Mistakes Suicide Victim for Prank, Throws Body Away

On April 1, a clerk thought a dead body was a mannequin (is anyone else playing Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” in their head?).

Apparently, the clerk thought the “mannequin,” was part of a prank and just left it in the parking lot. When it was still there a couple of hours later, he got two other equally stupid people that happened to be delivering newspapers in the area to help him throw the body away.

Now my question is this: who still has their news paper delivered? did no one think, “Why is it taking three of us to lift up this bloody mannequin?”

The police investigation determined the lady jumped to her death from the 16th floor balcony overlooking the parking lot. These people must shop exclusively at Wal-Mart to see a body that’s been through that and think, “Yeah, this is the same model they use in the athletic gear section.”

Snooki Expecting Baby No. 2

I can’t. The former Jersey Shore harlot that looks like a cross between a crack clown and a broken pinball machine is pregnant once again. She hasn’t even figured out to do with the first baby.

“Jionni and I were trying to have our second baby since November, so every month we kept taking tests,” she told some publication that pretended to give a damn. It’s really sad when the only test you can pass is a pregnancy test.

For Drunk by 4 News, I’m Dan Rather Ty.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Stay Classy, CVS

There’s something about the American drive-thru, be it for coffee, food, or drugs, that just strips the average person of any class.

As some of you may know, my bedroom window overlooks the CVS drive-thru. If you’re ever given the option of having your bedroom overlook a CVS drive-thru or a gun range, pick the gun range.

People waiting for their prescriptions usually have the emotional fortitude of Kurt Cobain, so I normally keep the fan, TV, and a dozen other items running simultaneously to drown out the noise. It was somewhat cold today so I turned the fan off.

The following is a dramatization of my daily battle with the shoppers of CVS.

CVS: “Hi, can I help you?”
Lady: “Yes, I’m here to pick up my order…”

I turn away from the window (like that really has any impact) and try to fall asleep. A few minutes pass, and I almost make it into my morning coma.

Lady: [Car honk]: “Hello?!”
CVS: “Yes, I’m sorry the order isn’t ready yet.”

The exchange continues but I try to tune it out. She’s obviously waiting for Xanax and is unhappy. They’re also playing Josh Groban, which drowns out some of the noise. The point is, my apathy level is off the charts. Once again, I try to get Mr. Sandman’s attention.

Josh Groban: “You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains,”
Lady: “Well, when will it be ready?”
Josh Groban: “You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas,”
CVS: “If you can pull around to the end of the line we should have it ready in 10 minutes.”
Lady: “I’m not moving. You said it would be ready an hour ago.”

I glance at the clock. I toy with the idea of opening the window and shouting that it’s only been 45 minutes.

Josh Groban: “But when you come and I am filled with wonder,”
Lady: “Maybe if you started counting pills instead of arguing with me? Is there a manager I can speak to?”

It occurs to me that I could never work there. I would have dropped a ball gag in a prescription bag and sent it out to her with a really ugly hand-written note.

The car behind the unhappy customer has the audacity to honk. Another car, in an adjacent lane, also honks.

Josh Groban: “You raise me up… To more than I can be.”
Lady: [Inaudible]

I’m not quite able to make out what she screams next—the sound is muffled by the vacuum of the prescription tube. If you listen real carefully, you can also hear the property value of our neighborhood dropping.

Josh Groban turns into Celine Dion as she drives away. They’re either trying to spike sales in anti-depressants or they enjoy seeing customers sobbing in the aisles.

I get up and turn the fan back on to drown out the noise. It’s really not that cold after all.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

An Open Letter to Paula Deen

Dear Paula,

I know you’ve been under a lot of pressure lately (just stop talking in public), but I thought I’d change the subject by giving you some (somewhat dramatic) feedback on one of your marinara recipes that recently tried to ruin my life.

In your recipe, you said that all good marinara starts with good wine. I had two glasses while looking for a lid that fits on the pot, so I have to agree. After adding a generous glug to the pot, I set the bottle aside for my refills.

You suggested shitake mushrooms, but I don’t make nearly as much as you do and I’ve never liked how they mix with tomatoes. So I skipped that part and killed the time with more wine.

It got hot (is anyone else hot?) so I opened the window. Meanwhile, the wine started boiling and I went to take the pot off the burner, not realizing that the handles would be scalding hot. After I threw the pot in the sink and stopped using your name in vain (still no N-word), I started over and poured another glass of wine to get me back in my mood. I also took a Xanax. It wasn’t in the recipe, but it’s been a rough decade.

I chopped another round of herbs and managed not to cut myself, so that’s a plus. By the way, is parsley really doing anything for anyone or is it just for show? It’s like your cousin at Thanksgiving that always offers to help but doesn’t ever add any real value.

So earlier, when I burned myself, I also splashed wine on the recipe. I couldn’t read everything clearly so I added ¼ cup of butter to be on the safe side. I was also tempted to pour the pot in the deep-fryer but that seemed premature.

After chopping what seemed like a disrespectful amount of tomatoes, I refilled my glass and found myself back at the part of the recipe calling for mushrooms. Fuck it. You want mushrooms? Have mushrooms.

A side note: This has already taken fifteen minutes longer than opening a jar of Emeril’s spaghetti sauce. He puts his recipe in a jar. Meanwhile, you’re probably sitting on your porch using the N-word or claiming only 3/5ths of your employees on the payroll.

Back to the point, the wine kicked in, not unlike the SWAT team at the door of a drug dealer’s house, and I decided to relax a little by turning on some music.

Yet again, your recipe let me down. You should have specified to choose an onion that won’t judge you when you start sobbing. Bonnie Tyler’s “It’s A Heartache” came on, and it was all I could do to not preheat my oven and crawl inside of it.

After I added all of the other ingredients for part one (really, two parts is excessive), I sat down on the couch to take a much deserved break. An hour passed—at least I think it was an hour—and the smoke detector woke me up. The wine had evaporated out of the pot completely (the bottle was also strangely empty) and the onions were burnt and disfigured beyond recognition.

It took me about three minutes to collect myself and clear out the smoke before I threw up an emotional white flag. In my frustration, I stumbled out into the parking lot with your cookbook, determined to tear it apart. Unfortunately, your publisher used a high-quality binding, so the best I could do was tear out a page or two at a time until I was so exhausted that I just threw the tattered remains in the dumpster.

I spent another five minutes morally justifying throwing away most of the dishes involved with preparation rather than washing them. So, that’s two hours I’ve wasted. Not to mention a bottle of wine. And I’m still hungry.

If I wanted to waste two hours, twenty dollars, and be emotional and drunk, I would have just gone to the bar like a normal human being.

You owe me $36 for my Domino’s order (yes, you can almost hear me saying, “fuck it, I’m ordering pizza,”) and we’ll call it even on the wine.

Bitterly (butterly?) yours,

Ty

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ty vs. Rita with USPS

Fuck,

Don’t ever call the United States Postal Service. But if you must call them, don’t talk to Rita.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I ordered some clothes from Amazon. I hate the mall almost as much as Republicans hate abortion, so I try to do all of my shopping from the comfort of my living room.

The only thing that hadn’t arrived a week later was a pair of shorts. Admittedly, I got drunk after shopping, so it took me a week to even realize that they were missing. My first call was to FedEx because it was a FedEx shipping number on the order.

Apparently, FedEx handled the logistics but passed the package off to USPS for the delivery. Their records indicated that they handed the package off to USPS, but it was damaged.

I called USPS and—I really mean this—the following conversation is almost exactly what happened.

Rita: “I don’t have a record of us getting the package but that’s not unusual. Our system does show that it was undeliverable because it was damaged and had an incorrect address.”

Ty: “Could I go down to the local office and pick it up?”

Rita: “No, it has to be sent back to the shipper since the package is damaged.”

Ty: “It’s a pair of shorts. I doubt anything is damaged. Could I at least take a look? I don’t have any idea how to get a hold of the shipper for a refund or replacement.”

Rita: “Since it’s damaged it must be sent back.”

Ty: “If it was so horribly damaged from the trip to Dallas, I’m trying to understand how it’s expected to survive the trip home. Really. It’s a pair of shorts.”

Rita: “Be that as it may, the local office cannot release it to you. They must send it back.”

Ty: “But it’s addressed to me. If I had reported the package missing, you would be following a separate recovery process that would have traced the package to the local office and released it to me.”

Rita: “Did you report the package missing?”

Ty: “No. It’s not missing. I know exactly where it’s at. They’re shorts! It’s a pair of shorts! I assure you, if that package is fit enough to ship back to New Jersey, they can’t be disfigured.”

Rita: “The package will have to be returned to the sender.”

Ty: “You’re wearing them, aren’t you? You’re wearing my shorts and that’s why I can’t come and get them. You seriously don’t think this is the first time I’ve had damaged goods delivered to my doorstep do you?”

Essentially, they’ve left me with a dead end next step. They’ve militantly claimed I must contact the shipper, but I have no idea who that is since I bought them from Amazon.

Therefore, I’m reaching out to my vast network of well-meaning but likely apathetic friends for help. I want a letter writing campaign to Angela Lansbury. I want phone calls to the White House. I want closure for my shorts… and for all the other shorts that—like Amelia Earhart—never made it to their final destination.

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of shorts,

Ty

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

An Open Letter to MAMA Instant Noodles

Dear MAMA:

I found your product earlier this week next to the Cock Flavored Soup.

soup

The “Instant Bowl Noodles Shrimp (Tom Yum) Flavour Base,” aside from breaking more sentence structure rules than I care to count, actually looked tasty.

tomyum

Wow!  Look at those shrimp.  They’re almost big enough to give individual names to.  Hell, I didn’t even know they had shrimp in Vietnam.  I mean, I never saw Marg Helgenberger eating shrimp on China Beach.

The curiosity got to me.  While I was cooking the water to pour in the bowl, I decided to research shrimp in Vietnam. As it turns out, Vietnam sends us 100 million pounds of shrimp a year—roughly 10% of our supply.

The water is boiling now. I don’t immediately see the shrimp when I pour the water over the noodles, but I figured they were nestled up inside somewhere, perhaps hiding from the inevitable.  Shrimp are shy like that.

While I’m waiting the prescribed three minutes, my curiosity peaks. I keep reading about shrimp in Vietnam and the headlines go from informative to horrifying.

shrimp headlines

Out of curiosity, I decide to inspect the shrimp in the soup.  I don’t know what I was looking for.  Eating was out of the question. Somehow, though, I felt like I owed the shrimp at least a passing glance before I throw them away.

Here’s what I found:

shrimp

You’re kidding, right?  This isn’t a fragment of the shrimp—it’s the whole thing.  Having grown up in a fast food nation, I know things are not always as they appear on the menu.  Hell, one look at Grindr is a reminder that people always advertise with the best possible image, even if it’s not an accurate representation.

That having been said, size matters.  Your representation is hundreds of times the size of the actual product.  If you pulled something like that on Grindr, the gay community would exile you to Sue Ellen’s for the remainder of your days.

Regardless, I guess it means that the shrimp in the photo got a larger helping of pig feces than the ones in my bowl.  What happened?!  Did a factory worker go out to the stockyard and say, “That’ll do pig, that’ll do,” while the remaining shrimp were left to starve in isolation?

I don’t know if you did me a favor or if you’ve defrauded me, but at the end of the day I am both dissatisfied and disgusted.  If we were Facebook friends, I’d block you.

Sincerely,

Ty

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment