I bump into some people who I went to high school with who’ve seen this site and they assume, for some reason foreign to me, that I am world famous. That Oprah wants to start her show back up just so she can interview me about five movies that know they are movies, or want to know my stance about hip hop artists who look silly wearing skinny jeans.  Truth is, even with almost a million hits in two months since launch, nothing changes and no one gives a shit. That is the beauty of all this, I can write lists like that and pretend people do actually care or are curious. My life has been an insane ride. and I’ll probably die soon, so I felt it best to collect these stories. If nothing else, posthumously, someone might find this stuff entertaining. Anyone who thinks they are going to “make it” as a writer had best be prepared to pay their dues first. This is the five most insane (and sometimes most rewarding) ways I payed my dues.

Lazer Tag: 2 Years

Yup, that’s right. I worked at a laser tag arena. How many people can say that? And not just any laser tag arena, but the most badass laser tag arena ever. Click here to see how awesomely badass (and slightly ghetto) it is. To truly understand just how insane and amazing this is, you need to see this shit:

Imagine walking around this place, stoned off your ass, yelling at kids for making out in the corner. That was my job. Not the stoned part. I added that part. Every day. 

And the best part? I did every job there was to do at that place over the two years I was there. I started out as the guy who would just walk around during the matches (the arena is giant and has two floors about forty hiding spots) and make sure people weren’t being extra shady. Eventually, I just got jaded and would walk around with a gun, shooting the kids who were acting like douches to impress their girlfriends. In other words, me in my twenties would have shot me in my teens.

There was also an arcade. This arcade, to be exact.

I was just informed by the government I’m not legally allowed to call this an “arcade”, for obvious reasons.

Eventually, I got moved up to what was so kindly called a “party coach”. What this meant was, I basically ran the kids parties. And honestly, it was pretty awesome. Yes, you would get some shitty parents and some rude kids, but overall, when people play laser tag, they are in a pretty good mood. Plus I got tips. And don’t even get me started on the Portuguese cougars who would try to get some Remy action while their kids were in the game. It really was a crazy time in my life. Crazy awesome. From there, there really only felt like there was one thing I could do.

Counsel Adolescent Survivors of Rape: 6 Years

That is how the progression works, right? You help throw kids laser tag parties, and then you counsel kids who were raped, right? Wait, that’s not the normal progression? Man, what was I thinking? I did mention that some of them turned into rapists themselves, right? Wait, I didn’t mention that? Man, I should probably leave this one off the list, huh?

No, no I shouldn’t.

This stuff happens EVERY DAY, and we live in a world that wants to pretend it doesn’t.

You know why I should put it here? Because this stuff exists, and you know what else? I had the balls enough to step up and try to help these kids with the EXACT reasoning that perhaps I could prevent it from happening to some other kids. And you know what else ELSE?? I did. I can safely say that I kept some of these kids siblings and peers from being raped and molested. Do you know how rewarding and amazing of a feeling that is, for the soul? No, only a handful of people do, because only a handful of people are brave enough to do this line of work.

Those are this world’s true, unsung heroes. The human service workers who do all the shit the rest of you bitch about, but are too scared to face. But it is only in saving future generations that we save our whole world.

As long as I live, I will never forget my time with those kids. 

Incase you can’t tell from the undercurrent so far, yes, some of those kids were special needs. So you must be thinking to yourself: What kind of person rapes a special needs kid? The worst kind, that’s who.

I won awards and I know I changed lives, but the job took a toll. It would weigh on you. I could tell you stories that would make you lose faith in humanity, but I won’t. Ever. Honestly, that was my last gig before I jumped at this writing this, full time. And I only left because some asshole drove over the median and smashed into me. If that hadn’t happened, and I hadn’t been hurt (full recovery since) I probably would have stayed at that job, and it probably would have killed me.

Now onto something just as insane, but more light-hearted.

A Model Scout For The First Online Modeling Agency: 13 Months

I know off hand that sounds creepy and rapey, but it wasn’t. There was one quite famous supermodel on the board of directors, actually. Thing is, it ended up being a pyramid scheme. Granted, I knew nothing about that and had nothing to do with it, but still, stuff is tied up and legally, I am not allowed to talk about it. So, all I can do is dance around it. I will say this, when I was hired I thought it was a joke. I honestly felt like this job fell from Heaven and landed on my lap. This just proves that “too good to be true” is generally right. 

A typical day at work was me telling girls if they were pretty or if they should go home. I shudder to think about it now.

So how it worked was this. I was given a whole crap-ton of really nice business cards, and I would get V.I.P to all sorts of events. I would then go to these events (bars, white parties, concerts) and find the prettiest girls and most handsome guys, and I would hand them my card and tell them to come to Boston on Tuesday night for our open call. We would then have an open call on Tuesdays, where we would then figure out, of the weeks picks, who was “worthy”, and then we would send out those people’s portfolios to the different REAL agencies and try to get them work. In theory, it was actually brilliant. The problem was, there were behind the scenes people, secretly charging the models. And the agencies. And then paying us scouts and pocketing the rest. Messed up, huh?

But I think you may have missed a crucial part: I was in my twenties and surrounded by models, and I had infinite power. Do you know what that does to a young mind?

Oh man, that was a tough job.

The thing is, I have never been a particularly slimy or douchy guy, so that gig, as awesome as it was, just was not for me. And don’t think I never got my hands dirty doing work, because as out next entry proves, I did.

Cutting Sheet Metal: 11 Months

Of all the jobs I have ever had, this was the job that made me most want to blow my brains out all over a canvas and hope my girlfriend could sell it on Etsy as modern art. This job was the very example of devastating monotony and isolation.  You were in a room by yourself for ten hours a day, with a giant cutting press. You would get orders of metal, all different widths and sizes, and you would have to measure the metal into sizes for orders and then cut them to the exact size. Thing is, I suck at math. And am not that great working with my hands. Oh, and the metal was sometimes razor thin, which resulted in a lot of this:

A good deal of my break time was often spent bandaging and re-bandaging my own wounds.

Although I blocked that out from my memory for the most part, I do think the money was good. But I was too exhausted and bloody and depressed as a result of the job to spend it. On anything but drugs. Man, life was HILARIOUS  that was a pretty messed up time in my life. As I recall, my life kind of felt like this at the time:

In hindsight, all the drugs I took at the time probably didn’t help make it all feel any less surreal. But it was this, day in and day out.

See, so if you look at these jobs now, you see a real balance. A balance between the amazing and the shitty. A true yin and yang. I was either getting paid to hit on attractive woman and play videogames, or I was being slowly cut to death for a paycheck. But nothing sums up my life better than my first job.

I had no idea it would set the tone for my whole existence.

Playing Alf: 2 Times, But Forever In My Heart

I won’t even begin to try to explain to you the circumstances that involved me, dressed up in a full ALF suit, at a shopping mall, when I was in the fifth grade. I will tell you a few things: It was a pretty cool first job to have, and I am pretty sure the guy who gave me the job wanted to molest me. But he didn’t. And I got to get paid to do my awesome ALF impression, so really, everyone wins.

Man, I learned so much about life and love that day.

And in hindsight, me playing ALF those few times really did set the tone for all this. For a life that would be defined by a pop culture obsession that, obviously, started quite a long time ago.

So you see this list and think to yourself: No wonder he’s a writer. He’s done everything else.