Things to Think About After the Fire Dept. Protest in Southwest Philly

The worst way to protest, like, fucking ever – The subsequent protest at 65th and Woodlawn was one of the most remarkably stupid things I’ve ever witnessed. And hey, I get it. People are angry. Four little kids died. When people get angry, they sometimes enjoy a good protest. I get that too. I’ve been to good protests, like Occupy Philly (pre-homeless invasion). But I’ve also been to bad protests, like Occupy Philly (post-homeless invasion…damn hippies giving out all those free sleeping bags, god damn it).

But these people were protesting what they perceived as a slow PFD response time by…slowing PFD’s response time? The protesters surrounded the firehouse at 65th and Woodlawn, ensuring that the firefighters within couldn’t respond to their calls. That could have gotten another little kid killed. And would have they then protested PFD all over again, saying they should have, I dunno, put big ass balloons on their fire engines so they could have gingerly floated over the people blocking their way?

Give them a fuckin’ minute to get there – Here’s something that anyone who hasn’t worked in emergency services seems to forget: Yours is not the only emergency. Yes, I know. What happened on the 6500 block of Gesner was horrifying. But the people angry over PFD’s response time need to understand their other fire engines were responding to another emergency.

“Oh, but that so-called other emergency was just an abandoned vehicle fire!” says someone who isn’t thinking logically about the situation. Yes, their engines were responding to a vehicle fire because that is an emergency as well. Had that flaming vehicle injured a kid because no EMS personnel responded to it, we’d have different problem on our hands now wouldn’t we?

Let’s not forget that Philly is a big ass city and, I’m sorry, but your average person acts fucking stupid in an emergency situation. When grandma gets a bad cough, there are people who will call 911 and say she’s about to code. And guess what? A bunch of firefighters will go along with the paramedics to help out. It’s what they do.

Too many people call 911 for bullshit. On top of that, there are the countless legitimate emergencies that PFD firefighters and paramedics must respond to at any given time. Yet even with the insane amount of calls PFD firefighters and medics get every day, they still had boots on the ground on 6500 Genser Street within three minutes.

That’s not bad at all. Consider rural communities who rely on all-volunteer EMS services who really might have to wait the (completely not accurate) 30-minute response time the protesters from Gesner Street were complaining about.

Most people don’t understand the Fire/EMS mindset – Here’s something you might not know. Firefighters and paramedics can be complete dicks. Like, seriously be douches. You know why? Because the vast majority of them are Type-A alpha dogs in a job which demands them to be just that.

Which is why I know, on gut instinct, that no self-respecting Philly firefighter or medic would willingly drag their feet to a call. They will get there as soon as possible and do their job because if they don’t literally none of their coworkers will respect them. I’ve met firefighters and medics who are about as pleasant as a foot in the ass.

They might not be polite when they come to your house. But if your shit is on fire they will, to the absolute best of their ability, try to pull your stupid ass out of the flames, or carry your 500 pound uncle down four flights of stairs in your cramped South Philly rowhouse when he’s having his tenth heart attack (and won’t even complain that he pooped his pants on the way, at least not until the call’s finished).

Are there bad firefighters and bad medics? Absolutely. But there aren’t a whole lot of them. The nature of their job won’t allow it. Your chances of running into a crooked firefighter or medic are about as good as getting struck by lightning. And if you do get struck by lightning, you’ll only have to wait five minutes for the good guys to get there to save you.

One more thing, which shows the true character of our PFD first responders. Do you know how, when granny is having those chest pains, you and all your family members are screaming bloody murder when the fire trucks and ambulances roll in? Yeah, when you do that you get on their fucking nerves. Stop screaming, get out of the way, and let them do their jobs. And if you’re going to protest these bad asses, don’t block their way because they might be trying to get to your 500 pound uncle’s house.

Four fucking kids died – Now that I’ve sufficiently ranted about the stupid way some of those people have protested PFD’s (totally not longer than 3 minutes) response time, let me now say this. Don’t forget that little kids died that night and it’s a painful thing for those people on Gesner Street to go through.

Yes, some of them are acting stupid. But let’s have some fucking empathy here. Four kids died. It’s about one of the most horrible things a community can experience. There’s some nasty shit being said about the people in that neighborhood and, yeah, some of them are acting like idiots in the aftermath of the tragedy. But four fucking kids died. Grief can take many forms, not the least of which is stupidity. So let’s be nice and stop the personal attacks because, let’s not forget, there are people who live on that block who have had nothing but good things to say about the PFD’s response on Gesner Street.

I don’t hate Meek Mill…as much – I really hate that I can’t hate this guy as much as I want to hate him. Though I dearly love rap music, I only love the kind that isn’t full of a bunch of jackasses bragging about how many people they shoot…which leaves me with like, 20 percent of hip hop that I can enjoy.

Also, Meek Mill is a grown man and yet here he is in a video with a bunch of other grown men making stupid shooty finger gestures.

No grown man should: 1.) Air guitar 2.) Do pretend shooty fingers. You just look stupid.
But apparently Meek is donating money to the families affected by the fire on 6500 Gesner Street. Awesome, Meek. I don’t hate you as much now. Just please stop the shooty fingers.

 

PA Fascism Proves We’re All Fucked

If you pay even the slightest bit of attention to local Philly/PA politics (and I really try not to), you probably know that we’re all unequivocally fucked.

Like, really fucked. And knowing how super duper really fucked PA voters are, it’s not stretch to believe that all American voters are super diddly duper fucked.

But let’s start with our own local stuff first. The very idea that most Pennsylvanians are likely unaware of how anti-democratic our state really is shows a catastrophic failure of not just our state and local governments, but our media as well.

Right now, every single “journalist” in the state should be screaming about how the Democrats and Republicans run a cutthroat operation to utterly murder any non-establishment candidate.

It’s not a left wing or right wing issue. The state political machine crushed the campaigns of Tea Party Republican candidates, Occupy-loving Democrat candidates, as well as Libertarian and Green party candidates. They even got our good friend Richie Antipuna.

What they do is this: Say you’re an independent candidate, or running with a third party, or a Democrat or Republican who simply isn’t backed by the powerbrokers of either party. You’ll need thousands of signatures to get on the election ballot. So you run around the neighborhood looking for signatures. Hard work, but simple enough, right?

No. Because once you get the signatures, either the Democrats or the Republicans in the political establishment will proceed to challenge those signatures. You can appeal it, yes you sure can…but at your own expense. If either party takes you to court and you lose – and you probably will – you have to bear the burden of court costs.

Can you afford to pay $80,000 to $100,000 to get on a ballot? If you’re a candidate working outside the two-party establishment, chances are you don’t.

Establishment candidates don’t have to worry about court costs because they’re backed by people with lots and lots of money. What does all this mean? If you’re a regular person (like our buddy Richie Antipuna) or a reformer or a radical, the Democrats and Republicans will bend you over and fuck the free speech right out of you.

And they’ll do so legally because this form of soft fascism is laid out in the Pennsylvania State Charter.

(A coalition of small-time politicians are fighting back against the state machine with Senate Bill 21, also known as the Voter Choice Act, which is currently in the works.)

What does this mean for the rest of the country? It means everything, really. If the big parties and moneyed interests funding them can destroy outside-the-establishment voices so easily, casually and legally here in PA without voters rioting in the streets, it means shit like this is happening everywhere else, as well.

Look at our candidates. Whether you agree with their politics or not, actual, seemingly dedicated reformers and radicals are either mocked or ignored. Ron Paul was one of them. Do any left wingers really think Elizabeth Warren will get the Democratic nomination in the next presidential election?

The Democrats squashed the Occupy Movement. The Republicans assimilated the Tea Party into their ranks. And that supposedly super-liberal president we elected took mountains of campaign donations from fucking Wall Street.

These people don’t hide this shit. They just expect us not to give a fuck about it. And usually we don’t.
Enjoy your freedom!

Daydreaming When You’re Thirty

(Cross-posted from my very writerly pen-name blog.)

The other day I woke up and discovered I had less hair, was a bit fatter than I was the day before, and – holy fuck – I was 30. (Or close enough that it made no difference. I have ignored the inexorable march of my 30th birthday for awhile now.)

Mostly I feel the same as all the previous times in my life when I wasn’t 30, except when I don’t. I feel different mainly when I fantasize about things. You know, daydreaming ‘n shit.

When I was in high school I daydreamed about being a famous rapper, although I had no talent for it. I’d get insta-boners by looking at women in the tamest of K-Mart underwear ads, fantasizing about them, like, showing me around K-Mart, sexily.

I remember when I was 22, taking the bus to community college for creative writing, fantasizing about all the hippie girls I was going to bang from that class. (I failed miserably.)

From ages 23 to 25 I was high on oxycontin and fantasized about little else.

When I was 27 I daydreamed about how I was finally going to make some type of money from my writing because oh god I’ll be 30 in three years and I think I might be wasting my life. By then, sexy K-Mart ads weren’t doing the trick anymore, and hadn’t for some time. I mean, I could use them in a pinch but a man’s gotta raise the bar after a while, doesn’t he?

Now I’m 30 and you know what I daydream about? My feet not stinking like shit. I can’t help it. I work a lot of overtime and, well, I must have some sort of fungal thing that makes my feets disgustingly pungent. This is no joke.

You can literally smell my feet through my shoes at times.

I took to wearing boots to work because my sneakers simply couldn’t conceal the funk, even though the boots make my feet hurt. On the way to work I would happily fantasize about the day when I could wear shoes without the shame.

That was when I found this bad boy on sale at CVS.

 

Behold.

 

Amazing when you think about it, because I had only went inside to get a new lint roller. We don’t even have a cat yet somehow I get hair all over my clothes. Can’t leave the house like that.

Anyway, Odor-Eaters from the wonderful people at Blistex, Inc. has all but cured my feet of their poisonous odor. I can take off my sneakers at the end of a long shift without my wife screaming at me to throw those demonic things into the basement where they can do no harm, then ordering me to soak my feet in bleach.

Now I don’t fantasize about anything. I don’t even fantasize about beautiful women. When seeking porn, I look for moderately attractive chicks who are considered average by porn standards, and slightly above average for real world standards.

Essentially, girls who might reject me gently, as opposed to brutally.

During all those years when I wasn’t 30, I quietly daydreamed about how I could get better looking in the future. Now I know that’s not true. Right now, I’m the hottest I’m ever going to be. It’s all downhill from here.

The hill is not high. If I took my shirt off in public, people would stop and stare in bewilderment. “Look, an anthropomorphic jellyfish right here on our street!”

You can’t even consider me to be pale. It’s more like I’m translucent. If I stand in front of the sun you can see all my organs. And hey, I’m not completely lazy when it comes to fitness. I do plenty of bench presses and pushups to fight off my inevitable pair of man-tits but, folks, it’s one hell of a fight. The boys on Okinawa must have felt this way.

Now, if you all will excuse me, it’s time to spray my feet.

Why I Stopped Saying “Faggot”

If you’re a regular Philly Neighbor reader, you might notice that we don’t use the word “fag” anymore.

Well there’s a reason.

The other day I found a document containing most of our old posts. As I read though them – trying to remember which ones I wrote drunk versus which ones I wrote blasted on Percocets – I noticed something. I used the word “fag” almost constantly.

And guess what? I was fucking embarrassed by it.

Now, I don’t think I qualify as a homophobe. Many times not just on Philly Neighbor – old posts and also a recent one – but also my old gig writing for the Fishtown Star, plus in my own personal life, I’ve been a vocal supporter of gay marriage and gay rights in general.

But then I look back on the language I used, the countless times I called someone – almost always jokingly – a fag, faggot, queer, or some variation thereof. I even recall using the term “fag cycle” when referencing those ghetto ass dirt bikes all the hoodrats are riding these days (and Kenzos and F-Towners have been riding since the late 90’s, god I fucking hate those things).

And when I look back on that language I feel like a goddamn douchebag. Sure, my intent was never to disparage or offend gay people. But my intent doesn’t matter, now does it? The truth is, no matter what way you use the word “fag,” it will always carry a negative connotation of gay people, mostly gay men.

What disgusted me the most about my use of the word was that I reminded myself of the racist douchebags who say “nigger” all the time, then justify it by saying, “Hey man, nigger doesn’t just mean black people, there are white niggers too!” Or the people who drop the n-bomb to “take away its power!”

I think sometimes we hold onto words that we know offend people. Some of us do it in a lazy attempt to be edgy or funny, like I did, and some out of anger at people who are different. Then there’s more and more people who realize using words like that makes you a fucking asshole, regardless of your intent.

So I stopped using it. And no, I’m not patting myself on the back. In fact, I’m ashamed it took me this long to stop using it.

Me and my Philly Neighbor co-conspirator were just talking about our days in high school, back in good old North Catholic. (Holy mother of God we graduated ten years ago…over ten years ago, fuck my life.) Back then, you couldn’t be gay. If you were, you’d be mocked endlessly, maybe even get your ass kicked.

Fast forward a few years later. I’m working in Kensington High School, mostly with ghetto kids, some rough little motherfuckers. In a “learning” (hah!) environment where drug deals, calculated assaults, and random acts of violence were all commonplace, I literally watched openly gay students go on about their day with little to no trouble.

(Obviously I could be missing something from my vantage point. Those gay kids could have been having a far more difficult time than I could have known, but on the surface things seemed okay.)

Yet me and my Catholic school buddies, most of whom came from more disciplined, more stable backgrounds than these ghetto kids, would have instantly targeted the “fags,” just to justify our own manhood and stay within the “norm,” even if most of us weren’t honestly hateful of gay people.

Basically, I can’t in good conscience use language that is, even in a joking context like I used that language, like a knife through the heart of someone else. (Or might lead to a gay person beating the shit out of me if they ever ran into me in public. Oh don’t get me wrong, there’s some self-preservation going on here as well, bitches.)

Or maybe someone would read something I wrote and think, “Yeah, it’s okay to hurl around hateful shit like this, and I’ll just hope everyone knows my intent isn’t to hurt anyone.” Or, worse, some douchey hateful prick might think it’s perfectly fine to keep ugly language like that alive.

So yeah, I don’t use the word anymore, with the exception of quoting someone else or, as in this post, explaining myself.

Don’t get it twisted. Me and my partner-in-crime here on Philly Neighbor will still totally troll the shit out of everybody. We’ll still make fun of toothless Kenzos, hoodrats with too many goddamn kids, white trash Republicans, hipsters with tight pants, and whatever the fuck Gastrobpubs are (I’m still trying to figure that out), and we’ll still do it out of love for our city and our neighborhood, because we really do love everything about it.

But now I won’t do it using that word, or words like it, which aren’t just lazy, pitiful attempts for cheap laughs, but also might end up hurting our friends, neighbors, or random readers who might otherwise enjoy our juvenile, poop-filled bullshit.

*Note: No, I’m not one of those mainstream liberal PC pussies who think cleaning up naughty language will suddenly save the world. Institutionalized discrimination and marginalization — and the kind of anti-labor, anti-union, pro-business bullshit that destroyed large parts of Philly — are FAR worse than even the worst, hateful words. But hey, not sounding like a bigoted, hateful douchebag is always a good thing.

Old School Fishtown is Dead

I think it’s been dead for awhile now, but it was never more apparent for me than when I make my monthly voyage from Pennsyltucky back to the old neighborhood.

And no, it’s not just because every other corner has a gastropub (what the fuck are those anyway) and you can’t order a drink at a bar without first looking at an extensive menu of craft beers, beers with strange names that I cannot pronounce.

The sign that old school Fishtown is dead? Easy: In the last two years I’ve seen very few neighborhood kids sitting out on the corner.

Oh, I know. Hanging on the corner is supposed to be a bad thing. All types of negative connotations there, right? That’s where kids get into fights, where they drink beer, where they smoke a joint for the first time.

Yeah, that’s where all the fun shit of your youth happens.

I visited Fishtown last month. While walking over to the Port Richmond Thriftway (still a shit hole) I saw two rough-looking teenagers strutting toward me. One had a hoodie pulled up, even though it was humid as hell. The other one was glaring at everyone, including me, as he mumbled something about how they should get a case of beer later.

Good Christ, I wanted to hug the little motherfuckers (though they were both larger than my Hobbit-like self and likely could have kicked my ass). These were neighborhood kids, just like me and my Fishtowner and Kenzo buddies growing up. I looked at the little shit heads, who were sharing a cigarette and thinking they looked just so fucking bad ass, and I said to myself, holy shit, has not every F-Towner, Kenzo and Port Richmond kid not, at some point, acted just like this?

But then I walked back to my mother’s house and didn’t see one kid hanging on the street. No teenagers with a case of beer hidden in an alleyway. No sixteen year olds talking shit, getting ready for a fist fight.

My fondest memories growing up in and around Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond are when me and my shit head buddies did all this wonderful crap. We got into trouble, we looked for girls, we walked aimlessly around the neighborhood.

Kids in Fishtown don’t seem to be doing much of this anymore. In ten years that neighborhood won’t have anymore neighborhood guys nor any neighborhood girls, just a bunch of sheltered yuppie spawn who were too busy on their fucking I-Pads to get into a street fight during their formative years.

So, I think of those two kids I saw in the Thriftway parking lot. I love you, you troublemaking little fuckers. Just don’t sell oxies in front of my mom’s house.

Philly Archdiocese Joins Pointless March Against Gay People

So I read the story on Philly.com about how the Philadelphia Archdiocese is the only archdiocese in the nation sending foot soldiers to the March for Marriage in Washington DC on June 19th.

At first I was sickened. This March for Marriage will be a shit festival full shit heads, sponsored by wonderfully shit headed organizations like The Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council.

I’ve been vocal about making Philadelphia more gay friendly and was excited when Pennsylvania shifted on gay marriage. I, for one, would love it if Philly was full of married gay people. Yeah, I’d be happy for my gay friends, but there’s another reason.

I love my city and I want to see it do well. Sadly, Philly is fucking poor. We bleed money and don’t bring enough in. One way to fix that is to get as many people married as possible, regardless of where they stick their cocks or on what surface they wish to rub their cooters.

Married people pool resources. They save money. They buy houses. Married people stimulate economies. Philly needs more married people. The more married people we have, the better our neighborhoods will be, the better city will be.

Yet the shit heads in the Archdiocese, led by chief shit head Archbishop Chaput, think taking part in some asinine, intolerant march is a good idea. And yes, when I read about it, I was fully prepared to rip into the Archdiocese for acting like a bunch of bigoted, intolerant scumbags.

But when you really look at the situation, it’s really quite hopeful. It’s a sign that our society is progressing beyond holy book horseshit.

I’m not saying everyone who attends this March for Marriage is a hateful asshole. No, not saying that at all. But the core of the ideology behind the movement is, well, a fuck ton of hate. You can’t have a movement saying, “These people are different from us and, as such, must be treated differently,” without having a nugget of hate somewhere in the middle.

And the organizations supporting this movement, like the Archdiocese, are perpetuating hate whether they mean to or not. (Not everyone means it, but a lot most certainly do.)

But there’s something far more powerful than hate at work here. No, it’s not love, you hippie bitch. It’s fucking apathy. Fewer and fewer people give a rat’s ass about the anti-gay marriage movement. You know why? Because nobody gives a shit about gay people getting married.

They’re over it. It doesn’t affect them. Unless I personally know two gay people getting married, I could give a shit if gay people get hitched. It’s none of my business. I care as much about two gay dudes getting married as they do about me and my girlfriend getting married.

We’re all equal. As such, we don’t need to give a shit about each other. Equals just do their own thing in their own private lives.

The idiots running the March for Marriage need to realize this. Americans, in increasing numbers, do not give a fuck about gay people getting married.

In Philly, down in the river wards, this is apparent. I know lifelong Catholics who either support gay marriage or honestly don’t care enough to want to keep gay marriage illegal. Why? Because they know it’s stupid to be against it, the same way it’s stupid to be against interracial marriage. We’re getting to a point where nobody cares.

I’m not saying life will be perfect for gay people. I don’t know what it’s like to be walking home then suddenly having a bunch of meat heads calling me “faggot” and threatening to kick my ass. That’s some terrifying shit but, I think, it’s some terrifying shit that will eventually die off.

So let them have their ignorant, idiotic march. Let them bang pots and pans in front of the Capitol building, screaming about the sanctity of whatever-the-fuck, let ‘em do it until their vocal cords bleed.

Let them scream and bitch and moan and we’ll all ignore them, the same way we ignore the Ku Klux Klan, because within a few years the anti-gay movement will be just as irrelevant as the guys running around in white hoods.

Even If Weed Becomes Legal, You Still Can’t Smoke It

I don’t know why everyone is so optimistic about the growing movement to legalize the recreational use of weed in Pennsylvania. Even if it’s legal, you’re still taking a big risk by smoking it.

I know, all the happy hippies are still cheering about Colorado’s legalized dope. Here in PA we can see public opinion leaning further to legalization, as there’s a bipartisan bill proposed to legalize pot for medical use which might pave the way for legalized recreational use.

But having the government legalize pot, or any other drug, doesn’t mean you can use it freely. Even if I lived in Colorado I’d still be nervous about smoking up.

Why? Well, my fellow degenerates, your employer will still totally have the right to fire the shit out of you if you decide to light up. Oh yeah, the hippies didn’t tell you, did they? You can still get fucking fired in Colorado if you drop hot piss.

“Oh no!” said the hippies. “But weed is legal there, they can’t do that!”

Except they absolutely can. Employers still reserve the right to drug test you for pretty much whatever they want.

Case in point: Cigarettes are totally legal. That doesn’t mean any employer can’t reserve the right to check your piss – or your hair – for traces of nicotine. I’ve even encountered employers who not only check for nicotine, but make sure applicants haven’t had it in their system for six months.

That means they’ll deny you employment if you were a smoker and quit using nicotine patches. Or if you got tired of the ol’ ashy lungs and switched to an e-cig. Still has nicotine in it, so you’re fucked.

This has nothing to do with morals, by the way, and everything to do with liability. If you’re a forklift driver and you crash your forklift after smoking pot three weeks ago, chances are your employer’s insurance company will deny them coverage for any damages.

As for the nicotine tests, well, your employer can see black lungs, missed time, and you eating up your health benefits in the future.

So don’t get excited over legalized pot unless you work some shit job at Wal-Mart…oh wait, they drug test too.

Ah well. We should all be used to this by now. The government can get as open-minded and liberal as we want, but until we have some true privacy rights guarding us from the whims of our buzz-kill bosses, you’re not really free.

By NRA Logic, North Philly Should Be Safe

North Philly should be the safest place in the world, according to the NRA.

No, seriously. But let me back up a second. For the last year or so I’ve lived outside of Philly, in a place where I regularly come into contact with vociferous flag wavers, super patriots and gun nuts. The kind of people who think every round they fire is a mini-explosion of freedom.

I’m not mocking these people (well maybe a little, what with their Walmart-bought bald eagle-superimposed-over-the-American-flag-t shirt aesthetic, gotta love the paranoid buggers).

Normally I pay as little attention to the national discourse as humanly possible, mostly because I don’t care about any of it. But on a daily basis I get to hear people talk about how safe the world would be if everyone had an AR-15 strapped to their shoulder.

The National Rifle Association has been saying this for a while now. They say that when we’re packing heat, we’re less likely to be the victims of violent crime. It’s hard to argue with the logic, ain’t it? I mean c’mon, Sandy Hook never would have happened if the teacher had a bazooka.

The logic is this: If we all have guns, we’re less likely to kill each other. Everybody knows everybody else is armed, so nobody gets robbed or murdered. Mutually assured destruction and all that shit.

So if this NRA “arm everybody and rock out to freedom” theory is true, why are people constantly getting killed in North Philly? There are probably more guns in a half-mile stretch of North Philadelphia then there are in the entirety of Pennsyltucky, where there are literally more shotguns than people.

And it’s not like your average North Philly gangster hanging out at 10th and Lehigh is hiding the fact that he’s packing. He’s not a little old man with a glock tucked into his shorts, ready to surprise an unknowing mugger with a deadly shot of freedom in the face. Every criminal in every North Philly ghetto is well aware that every other gangster has a gun on him.

Yet they continue to kill each other. Most murders in Philadelphia can be attributed to drug-related violence, with the preferred modus operandi being a good ol’ bullet to the chest, even when the murderers know their murderees are fully capable of defending themselves because the victims are likely to be armed as well.

Oh, and unlike the theoretical little old man hiding the glock in his shorts, our armed criminals in North Philly are absolutely willing to kill the shit out of you. There won’t be any hesitation, I assure you. Knowing all this, other criminals will still try to kill them if they feel it’s necessary.

Basically: A gun and a sociopathic willingness to murder motherfuckers does nothing to deter another motherfucker with a gun and a willingness to murder motherfuckers from killing the first motherfucker.

So NRA? What about that?

Don’t take my little theory as a sign that I’m some sort of anti-gun California Democrat with pink underwear. (My pink underwear has nothing to do with my views on guns.) Guns are awesome. And yeah, I think everybody should have the right to shoot some freedom into a bad guy if the situation calls for it. But the issues of violence and guns are two big ass gray areas. Black and white solutions just won’t work.

5 Awesome Flyers You Might Not Remember

I’m a hockey fan from Philly, so of course I bleed Orange and Black. (And the morning after drinking beers at a corner bar watching a Flyers game, I’ve often puked Orange and Black.)

Any Philly hockey fan can remember our greatest players. The Broad Street Bullies, most obviously, plus Brian Propp, Mark Recchi, the Legion of Doom. But it’s always easy to remember the star players.

Me? As much as I loved growing up watching Eric Lindros and now watching Claude Giroux, my favorite Flyers have always been those easily forgotten third liners and goons, the kind of players who either barely make the NHL or spend their careers as journeymen.

So here are some rather obscure Flyers who, in my humble opinion, were fucking awesome (or at least interesting). Keep in mind, these are just players that I remember watching. There are plenty more who wore the Orange and Black way before I was even born. If you remember any, go to the Facebook page and let me know.

Keith Jones – Probably the least obscure player on my short list, at least to hockey fans. Keith Jones was a grinder who found himself on a line with Eric Lindros and John Leclair, however briefly, notching 18 goals in the ’98-’99 season.

But Jonesy’s offensive prowess wasn’t nearly as entertaining as his other attributes. Check out Jones’ cheap shot on Slava Fetisov, which leads to Fetisov getting a penalty when he retaliates. Awesome.

More interesting than his stats, though, was the night he found Eric Lindros dying in a bathtub after a game against the Nashville Predators. Sure, yeah, Keith Jones likely saved Lindros’ life. But it begs the question…why would Keith Jones casually walk into the bathroom while Lindros was taking a bath?

Sneaking into Big E’s five-hole, are we Jonesy? (Cheap gay joke, bam!)

Trent Klatt – Another grinder who ended up filling Mikael Renberg’s spot on the old Legion of Doom line, Klatt scored a career-high goals playing right wing with Lindros and John Leclair. He enjoyed a few uneventful seasons with the Canucks and LA Kings after four years with the Flyers and is, to me anyway, best remembered for banging my friend’s mom.

I think it was his mom. Possibly his aunt. I can’t really be sure and I don’t want to call him now, after not speaking to him for years, just to ask him if it was his mother or his aunt who banged Trent Klatt. And by the way, I totally believed him when he told me. It wasn’t like he was saying she sucked off Bobby Clarke at a bus stop. Of all the Flyers who supposedly fucked his mother, Trent Klatt doesn’t seem to be the most obvious if you’re making the whole thing up.

Anyway, here’s Klatt murdering Brian Leetch. All of our mothers should give it up to any Flyer who murders a New York Ranger like this.

 

Jody Hull – Best remembered by Philadelphia fans for making us all totally excited the first time we saw the back of his jersey because we all thought – for one jubilantly short moment – that we somehow landed Brett Hull.

But no. It was just Jody Hull. Good ol’ Jody Hull. This was in the ’98-’99, during a time when we all didn’t have constant internet updates.

Ah, God damn it. I still remember that night. “Is that fucking Brett Hull!?”

No. It was just Jody Hull. God damn it. I Googled his name. Google said, “Did you mean Brett Hull?”

No. I meant Jody Hull. Follow this link to see his career highlights.

Riley Cote – Now retired, Riley Cote is the most recent player on the list. He was one of the most terrifying looking Flyers to ever step on the ice.

Despite the terror-inducing scowl and the obvious fact that this guy looks like he will literally eat your children, Cote was reportedly one of the nicest guys ever, at least one of the nicest guys who could also kill you easily.

He played four seasons with the Flyers, scoring one goal and six assists during his career. Riley Cote and his hot-as-hell girlfriend are both awesome for adding me on Myspace back in 2008 after I sent a long, awful, pitiful message in which I begged them to add me and also offered to buy the beers if they ever stopped in Fishtown.

Riley Cote might not have been the most skilled enforcer, but he was a mean motherfucker to say the least. With the modern NHL bitchily phasing enforcers out of the game, old school pugilists like Riley Cote are a dying breed. Watch him kick ass.

Brantt Myhers – Brantt Myhers played a whopping 23 games for the Flyers back in the ’97-98 season and, like Riley Cote, was apparently a blood-obsessed serial puncher who might have beaten the shit out of random people on the street had he not become a hockey player.

Also, Mr. Myhers is a shining example of how Canadians can take a relatively simple name and spell it in the most insane manner possible.

But what makes Brantt Myhers one awesome motherfucker has very little to do with how many points he scored or fights he won. Myhers is one of the few former NHL players who has spilled the beans on the pill popping culture among tough guys in the league. Myhers admitted to being addicted to pills for years, a byproduct of going out and getting slammed, hacked, chopped and punched every night.

Because basically, NHL enforcers and tough guys are professional pain sponges. They get rattled around every goddamn night – and are warned by their coaches they can’t afford to miss games – and just to get through the day many need to gobble more painkillers than your average Kenzo doing the K&A shuffle out front of Forman Mills.

Strange Memories of North Catholic

 

 

North Catholic taught me all the lessons I needed for adulthood, like how to find the best place to sneak a cigarette, how to conceal the smell of alcohol when I’ve been drinking in the morning, and how to bullshit authority figures.

So yes, I’m glad I went to North Catholic. Had I gone anywhere else, like Kensington High School or Roman Catholic, right now I would probably be a transsexual or possibly a member of the Latin Kings.

And though I graduated over ten years ago, there are still a few things about North that make me scratch my head.

What the hell was that thing under Mr. Costantino’s eye? – Sure, plenty of people would want you to think that grey-black thing under Costantino’s eye was just a mole. I’ve heard other theories. One surmises that the “mole” was actually a Cookie Crisp that had attached itself to his face. Another, more realistic theory says the “mole” was really a doorway to another dimension where Costantino was a demi-god who did little else than frown at you when you didn’t understand his grumbly explanation of the Pythagorean Theorem.

Was Mr. Fitz drunk or insane? – You would walk past his classroom and hear him screaming “Kookamanga!” at no one in particular. He once caught a guy cheating and bitched him out, only to go up to the cheater after class, apologize and then shake his hand.

I know Big Ernie never hid in a tree to spy on smokers… — But I have a feeling the story of Ernie following a kid onto the El to drag him back to JUG was probably true. Also, as a side note, on graduation day me and a bunch of other smartasses promised that we would light up right in front of Ernie once graduation was over. None of us did. (Mostly due to respect, but also because none of us were quite sure if Ernie was actually the Terminator.)

Mr. Martin is still the most terrifying person I’ve ever met. – Who better to teach theology class than Satan himself? With his slicked back hair and black mustache, plus eyes that were like windows into some dark nether region, Mr. Martin apparently survived mostly by eating souls and chain smoking cheap cigarettes. He once caught me smoking in the stairwell. Without saying a word, he pulled the cigarette out of my fingers and crushed it. He then slid his hand into my pocket and took the rest of my pack. “I’m all out,” he said, and walked away. It still gives me nightmares.

And because I felt like I lived in that goddamn auditorium for an hour a day after 8th period, here’s the badass NC JUG T-shirt I got in Celtic Shirts at Belgrade and Clearfield. Hell yeah. (Obviously, it wasn’t wrinkled when I bought it. I got drunk last night and slept in it.)

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