I thought my cat was dead last night. I was watching Con Air on my futon I purchased from Big Lots when I looked over at my cat sitting next me. He was turned over laying on his back with his paws straight in the air and his mouth wide open looking like “The exorcism of Emily Rose.” I poked him a couple times in the chest and he didnt respond. I thought oh shit my cat is dead. He is dead. Now, I wasn’t so much sad as I was mad. Like why do you have to die now. Its 2:30 in the morning and Im tired and I just want to finish watching Nicholas Cage blow up some stuff in a tank top. Couldn’t you of waited till tomorrow round noon when I already had my coffee and watched my 5th Sportscenter in a row? I think I would be fresh enough to deal with a dead cat situation by that time. Plus I dont know what to do if this happens. I have never had a cat die. Not sure what goes next. Like is there a proper precedure to follow? Is there a quick drop at the animal hospital like they had at blockbuster, where i can just put him into a Target bag and toss him in with a post-it that says “dead cat.” Or is the dumpster behind my apartment okay? I’m pretty sure dead guys are tossed in there all the time, its Chicago, so why not a dead cat. No that can’t right. Maybe there is a guy who you call. Like a shady guy who takes care of your dead domestic pets who has a cool name like “The “Extinguisher.” He shows up in a leather jacket and dark sunglasses eating a tube of salami and stuffs your cat in a Jansport backpack, gives you a wink, and off he goes in his Geo Tracker. No, no there has to be a standard procedure that you have to follow. There is a procedure to everything these days. You can’t just do something the way you want anymore. You got to follow a set of rules or guidelines. Even ordering a sandwich at Subway. You can’t just say I want ham. They are like “Sir you order over there, this is the bathroom.” Then you have to tell them in the correct order what bread you want, what cheese, want toasted? Then and only then, can you safely move on to the condiments. “Can we get this over with please? I should be eating ham by now.” Try ordering out of this detailed procedure and you will see the sandwich artist’s brain explode. “He told me what cheese he wanted before which bread. What’s happening? Don’t feel well, I need to sit down.” That’s not his fault though because Subway goes by a procedure. Where the hell was I. All this talk of sandwiches and salami can really work ya up an appetite. Oh right, dead cat. So basically what I’m getting at is if there’s a procedure even for grey processed deli meats then you better believe there will be one for a dead cat.
All of these thoughts go on in my head for ten minutes until finally I decide I’m just gonna pretend it didnt happen. I didnt see it. He’s fine. Just had a long day. Little tuckered out from napping all day. I’ll sleep on it and figure it out in the morning. Just gonna put a newspaper over him and go back to watching long haired Nicholas Cage. Just when I am about to put the business section over his cute little dead face he wakes up startled and looks at me. And he looks at me like he knows. “You were just going to put that newspaper over my face like I’m dead werent ya? Hope I’d just disappear when you lift up the paper in the morning!” Then he started licking his claws. “Well just wait till you fall asleep tonight bro. Should of gotten me declawed when you had the chance.” Too bad you spent that money on a wolverine snuggie instead. Now you’re screwed. Beause these claws are real. They aint no comic book bullshit!” Yay you’re alive! Let’s go get some Subway!
A couple of years ago I moved to Naperville to further distance myself from past mistakes and start again new. Naperville, Illinois seemed a likely candidate because it was just far enough away that no one wanted to go or visit unless they had a court hearing. They live a little different out in Naperville. The streets are clean, people are nice, and they have a saturation of apartment complexes to fit any poor comedian’s budget. This story is not about a town though, it is about a store that I found out there that quickly became my favorite of all time. You see there has been this empty void in my life ever since Venture went out of business in the early 90s and I have searched high and low for a department store to come in and sweep me off my new balance sneakered feets. I am happy to say we can all relax now because that store is Big Lots! What a wonder this place is. It is a store that thrives by taking the discontinued items that other shops have thrown the way of the dumpsters, digs them out, and sells them to ya for 25 cents less. Wonder what happened to Nabisco’s line of OreNos? The first oreo with no cream center. Big Lots! Has your teenage son been begging you to buy Xbox’s exciting non smash hit game “Kazoo Hero.” B-I-G-L-O-T-S.
The great thing about this place is nothing is stocked properly either. There is more structure at a landfill. Jars of pickled eggs are lying on tampons. Motor oil is leaking on raw chicken. It is quite fun because when you do find something, and I do mean find. It is quite an accomplishment. I can only imagine the same feeling as being the kid who finds the orange flag under the pudding filled kiddie pool on “Double Dare.” What a great moment. And please parents make sure you buy your kids toys here. Because all the toys that were recalled for being to harmful to children have been swept up and thrown in aisle 9 of Big Lots! Like Fisher Price’s Talkin Tommy Urinal Cake. No children do not eat this cake or touch it with your hands! “Hey kids would ya, could ya pee on me and I will sing you a melody!” Or Cabbage patch kids line of “He’s in a better place now” Coffin Babies. “Mommy why are my doll’s eyes Xs?”
Larry the Cable Guy has a line of skillet meals there too. I’m not kidding. Finally! I always wanted to look the shape and health of Larry the Cable Guy. You know, like you woke up in a ditch outside a Waffle House after an all night bender. Now ya can! His line of “Get Er Done” meals will have you saying get er, I mean me to the hospital in no time. I recommend trying the Saltine Breaded Catfish Cass“ER”ole. Just add ketchup, paper plate, and sleeveless jean jacket and you will be living every young boy’s dream. (Spork included in box)
I think the people who work at Big Lots have been discontinued too…from every job and life experience. They wont put a smile on your face, because they cant put a smile on theirs. They scan each of your items like it is taking years off of their lives. By the time they get to telling ya what you owe, you want to say “I’m sorry” and give them a hug.
If you want to experience the wonderness of a Big Lots, they will be located in a strip mall between a Dress Barn and Shoe Carnival. They do that so your whole day will be mapped out for ya. You’re welcome.
I remember taking a class called cursive when I was in grade school. Anybody else have to take cursive? Yeah they stopped teaching it in schools now. Why? Probably cause it’s a font. Cursive is a font. They were teaching us a font? Huh? Who knows one wrong move and I could have been learning Gill Sans Ultra Bold in 4th grade. Cursive Sounds like a filler class. Why is there a filler class in 4th grade? I’m not supposed to have those till I’m in my high school pothead years. Cursive was such a waste of time. I want an apology letter from my Phillipe Shores grade school saying “Sorry we screwed up! We dropped the ball on your education. This is why you are so messed up now.
You ever write something in cursive and give it to someone? They look at you like you are crazy. Is someone in trouble? Need to get help? Can I get a decoder ring to decipher this jibberish? Cursive writing doesn’t even look cool. It just looks lazy. Swooping letters together till it makes a weird word doodle. The worst part was the capital case letters looked completely different from the lower case letters. Never understood that. “So the lower case g looks like a regular g except you swoop up the bottom and lead it into the next letter.” Oh okay, well what does the capital g look like. “A tugboat.” A 1930s cartoon tugboat.” Well that makes sense. The man who invented cursive was Albus Fontony way back in 14 AD. While people were busy becoming gods and kings, Albus was hard at work making words look dainty. “Hey Caesar look what Albus did. He made all our words look like they are having intercourse. What a loon that Albus! He needs a wench in the hay like 13AD ago.” Little did anyone know that Albus was just the sloppy town drunk. His letters ran together cause he was too wasted off Southern Comfort to lift his feather off the page. But just like with anything, someone mistook drunk and crazy for genius and ran with his idea. Then through time other drunks began flirting with their words and changing the style of letters. This idea became known as the “Fontony” way of writing and was later shortened to “Font” to make it sound less Italian. And now to this day you can see Font’s great work put to use on crappy band flyers in coffee shops. Well done Albus. Well done.