It’s Been a Long December…

Well, New Year’s is almost here. You are no doubt sitting in a swirling vortex of leftovers and shredded wrapping paper, wondering why people brought fifty pounds of homemade cookies to your house when you had enough left over to feed Ethiopia for three weeks. The best part is the after-dinner movie, either Christmas Vacation or the immortal Christmas classic Die Hard. You always fall asleep clutching your superfull belly, but hey, you’ve seen this movie a thousand times.

I did hear recently that Drake and Kanye were Twitter beefing about whose the better rapper. Can I take neither on this? I even thought of a great Christmas present for the people of Earth. I now openly challenge both Kanye and Drake to a fist fight. One million apiece. If either wins, they get one million. If I win, they quit doing music and have to resign from all social media. You’re welcome America (and Canada for all you Drake fans). This challenge is also open to Adam Levine of Maroon 5, another asshole that needs to disappear from the airwaves.

It’s not that I hate all male pop stars. I think hanging with Timberlake or Bruno Mars would be great. They seem like cool dudes that haven’t been changed by fame. The others seem to use their fame to treat other people like garbage and be dicks to people, and then get away with it because they are famous. Hence the taking fame out of the equation so that they can shut the hell up about their incessant nonsense.

I had the same problem with Christmas that I had with birthdays. Do I provide a gift bag if the dude is getting a giant bag of gummy worms and a fifth of Jameson? Luckily my wife is more cultured than I, and she placed the items in a festive bag. I would have opted for the brown bag provided by the liquor store. That’s why my wife and I are so good together. She gets me. And she covers my glaring deficiencies. Although it was fun to watch people open gifts at Kat’s house. Wrapping paper torn to shreds and tape in your eyebrows, as you eagerly tear open the box with your teeth to see what’s inside. Suddenly you’re a kid again, opening presents from Santa on Christmas Day. The sad part is the dog got more presents than anyone. Well, he is the baby after all

I would like to take this time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. And if it happens to be your birthday in there, then Happy Birthday as well. And what better way to celebrate than to give a Top 5 of Christmas Movies.

5. It’s a Wonderful Life. I know this movie is a little cliche, but it does have a great story. Black and white makes it that much better, and it’s Jimmy Stewart at his best.

4. Miracle on 34th Street. This movie shows you that Santa can be terrifying. And miracles do happen.

3. Bad Santa. Clearly the funniest of the movies so far. Not for the faint of heart, Billy Bob Thornton embodies everything wrong with Christmas. But he wins out in the end.

2. A Christmas Story. The Red Ryder BB Gun. The Leg Lamp marked “fra-Jil-ae”. The infamous tongue on metal pole scene. This movie teaches real life lessons.

1. National Lampoon Christmas Vacation. Was there ever any doubt? Chevy chase doing the physical comedy that made him famous. Cousin Eddie cleaning the shiiter into the gutters. Enough electricity to power a third world nation. “We’re the jolliest assholes this side of the nuthouse.” Add in the part with Elaine from Seinfeld as the yuppie bitch next door, and it’s all comedy gold.

Honorable mention goes to Die Hard, which was set during Christmas but actually came out in Summer. Also nods to Polar Express and Four Christmases. Great movies, but not in the top 5. If you’re looking for any Hallmark/Lifetime movies on here, you’re in a place where you need serious help.

The only other news to report is that I have started a diary. That’s right, I keep a journal.. of beer. I recently discovered that Lowe’s Foods has a Sixer Mixer you can purchase for $10.99. They have cold beers you can purchase in a six pack. I can try six different beers and see if they are good or not. And I keep track, because they change up beers about every two weeks. Don’t want to buy the same beers over and over. And the beers run the gamut from Brooklyn to Wicked Weed. So I put if the beers are good or not. So if you see me at Lowe’s, that’s why. Have to make another 12 journal entries.

That about covers it. Hope the holidays treated everyone right. We had Kat’s vegan Christmas dinner, and it was delicious. Vegan–not just salad anymore. Be sure to enjoy family time and treat each other well.

As for Kanye, Drake, and Levine…I’m still waiting


November Rain

I know it’s been awhile since the last post. I actually skipped over the whole month of November, but so much happened to keep me busy. I haven’t had a chance to catch up with my faithful readers. There is one advantage to working nights. When you are off work, you have this free block of time at night. So here we are, in the throes of insomnia updating you guys on what’s going on.

For starters, I have returned to work after a brief 2.5 month absence. Work has not changed much. Same old place, same old job, same old workers. The only thing that seems to be different is me. Lying on your back for almost three months gives you a bit of perspective that you can’t get any other way. Let me explain. See, during my sick leave I slept on our couch. I did this with the idea that, should my gaping second anus leak or drain, it could drain into the puppy pads lining the couch. That’s right, I used puppy training pads to keep drainage to a minimum. The point being that, as I slept on the couch, my peaceful slumber would be disturbed at about 630 every morning by an old woman rummaging around for coffee to go with her cigarettes. So by 8 am, I was up and getting my day started. This meant that by 11 pm or so, I was ready to hit the hay. And after that long, I got used to it. Now my schedule is back to third shift, coming in at 9 pm and getting off at 730 am. So obviously there’s a conflict there, as sometimes I sleep great and sometimes my body wants to stay up after I get off work.

I also am dealing with the very harsh reality of my own physical limitations. I can’t go at things like I used to anymore. I can’t go all day, get an hour of sleep, and be good for ten hours at work anymore. And the tell tale sign of not getting all the groceries out of the car in one trip. Now I take a few trips to get it done. I know, shocking. I can’t go gangbusters at any activity to too long without a break. But hey, breaks are great. As long as it gets done, right?

I have resumed drinking, albeit in less quantities. It was more of a spite thing with my “medical professionals.” You see, I was trying to get my prescriptions from the original doctor at the hospital refilled, and the jackasses I go to for medical care couldn’t figure out if they were supposed to fill it, or if it was another doctor’s job. It was the most infuriating game of Tag ever, and so I just quit taking the meds. I haven’t had any side effects, so screw all of them anyway. And I have cut the amount of alcohol tremendously. Not drinking for almost three months showed me exactly how much I was drinking, and how much it had taken over all aspects of my free time. Now I drink in a more normal fashion, in social settings and some on weekends. Not the three plus cases of beer like in the past. It was just too much.

And now, a gift-giving guide. I was recently confronted with buying a gift for a dude, and realized I didn’t know the proper etiquette. It was two bottles of liquor that he really likes. As I bought these, I tried to figure out if they needed to be wrapped. Is a gift bag in order? Or do I, as a dude, hand another dude his liquor and just say cheers? Sensing that I was the more senior adult in this situation, I opted for the gift bag. Of course, one of the handles broke when I handed it to him. Strangely, it didn’t affect the taste of the gin or the whiskey. PS Pinnacle makes gin and it’s delicious. And just try Jameson if you haven’t. You won’t be disappointed. Which brings us to the gift guide. For all dudes who drink, a six pack of his favorite suds, or a decent sized bottle of the good stuff will suffice. Gift bag optional. And for those dudes that do not drink, I’m sure a gift card to his favorite sports bar/steakhouse will suffice. Or a six pack of soda/water. The poor sap has to drink something.

Another Day, Another Year Older

I have a riddle for my readers out there.  What do these songs have in common?

Rich Girl by Hall and Oates

Margaritaville by How Can You Seriously Not Know Who Sang This Song?

Night Moves by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

Heard It In A Love Song by The Marshall Tucker Band

Hotel California by The Eagles

I’m Your Boogie Man by KC And The Sunshine Band


Are you stumped yet?  No clue?  They were all Top 100 hits in 1977.  As I alluded to not so subtly in the previous post, my birthday is quickly approaching and might be upon us by the time you read this.  Reading this list just gives me one thought…damn, I feel old.  Reading some of these song titles, I realize that I not just feel old…I am old.  For those of us that failed remedial math, I will be turning 41 on Friday (the 19th, for those who are calendarly-challenged).  As I sit and compose these thoughts to all of you now, I can absoultely say that I never expected to live past maybe thirty.  I thought 32 was pushing it, given my laissez-faire attitude toward simple concepts like managing diabetes and not drinking my weight in alcohol whenever it suited me (News Flash, it suited me ALOT).  There’s a song that’s not from 1977, a little tune by Montgomery Gentry of country music fame.  It’s called I Never Thought I’d Live This Long.  It basically talks about a guy that lived fast and free and wondered why he was still alive.  And yet here I sit, doing all of this living stuff despite all probablity.

There are different schools of thought concerning getting older or reaching a certain age.  Some people want to stay young forever, which is what keeps hair salons and dye companies in business.  I have known men and women who dye their hair into their 70s.  My aunt gave up when she was at the hair salon once a week to reapply dye to her hair.  I prefer the Just Let It Happen approach.  If I’m going to lose my hair, or get gray hair, or get wrinkles…well, all that stuff is supposed to happen anyway.  Father Time catches us all eventually.  So why hide it?  Show off the gray.  If you go bald, shave the head.  Don’t have that thing with the bald front and then long hair for the other half of the head.  A half-mullet just screams Guy In Panel Van With No Windows Offering Free Lollipops At The Playground.  Don’t be that guy, and don’t look like you’re that guy.

People always tell you that as you age, you’re turning into your mother or father.  Most people don’t respond kindly to these observations, but I think that’s pretty awesome.  My father was my hero.  He led a very troubled childhood and rose above it all.  He volunteered to go to Vietnam, only to be held back because of the Saving Private Ryan Rule.  Any only male children, and only children, were not allowed to be sent to the front lines in any branch of military service.  To do so required that the parents would sign a waiver relinquishing their rights to sue the government in the event of said child’s death.  So Dad ended up guarding a section of the Berlin Wall in Germany.  He had the opportunity to work on all types of military machines, from airplanes down to lawn equipment.  He could tell you what was wrong with a car just by you cranking it up and him listening.  I’ve seen him diagnose a car over the phone to someone two states away, and tell them how to fix it, all while imbibing quite a few drinks.  He fixed one lady’s car with the inner tube of an ink pen.  Take that, McGyver.  His skills exceeded far beyond auto repair.  When he was young, he built houses on Wrightsville Avenue with my grandfather.  So Dad could build a house from the foundation up.  He could pour concrete, hang drywall, do roofing work, and do it all accurately.  This from the guy that couldn’t figure out how to text on his new cell phone.  So yeah, when someone tells me I’m turning into my dad, all I can do is hope and pray that one day I can fill those shoes.  Well, at least the one because Dad was an amputee.

Meanwhile I am trying to embrace my sobriety.  As of August 20, it has been almost two months since I had any alcohol.  I don’t know if you’ve caught my other posts, but this is a huge feat for me.  I was at one time up to about 48-60 beers in a weekend.  I’m not sure what the going consumption rate is supposed to be for mere mortals, but I’m sure it’s not that many over three days.  Hence the not taking care of myself and living wild and free.  One day you snap out of it and realize that you’re 40 and it’s too much to have to recover from every weekend.  Of course, sometimes fate intervenes and gives you a rectal abscess AND a pulmonary embolism for good measure.  You know, in case you’re too stupid to listen.  Message received.  At the same time, I wonder if JImmy the Beer Guy at Harris Teeter thinks I’m dead or something.  I saw him every Friday morning and night, Saturday and Sunday afternoon like clockwork.  Maybe he started a search party.  If you see my face on the back of a beer or wine bottle from the Teeter, do not be troubled for I am alive.  He’s probably just worried that sales are plummeting now.

One place that clearly makes you want to drink is Wal-Mart.  I despise this store with all of my being.  I guess because I’ve been out of work recovering, that I’ve got a slower sense of getting around the store.  What’s the rush, I’ve got time.  Apparently everyone else didn’t get the memo.  There are people zipping by you left and right, then they park their buggy right in front of what you were trying to get close enough to so you could check it out.  Then they have the audacity to look back at you scornfully.  Like you’re the problem.  Geez, I’m just ttrying to get some cheese sticks and a jar of peanuts.  The best are these people that see someone they know, so their turn the cart sideways and block the whole aisle talking to their long lost childhood friend for twenty minutes.  Get her number, you guys can talk later.  I need olive oil and you’ve jammed your cart in the way.  Every time one of them zooms from behind me to end up right in front of me, then stops, I visualize myself sticking my arm out for the old clothesline move from pro wresting.  “CLEANUP ON AISLE 7!  SOME JACKASS GOT CLOTHESLINED AGAIN!”   JUst let me get to my Carb-Smart Ice Cream and nobody gets hurt.

So yeah, I guess getting older isn’t so bad.  If I continue to take care of myself, then it will continue to not be so bad.  I notice my back and knees don’t hurt as much.  I feel better with the toxic Hospital food out of my system.  And the alcohol, well it was poisoning me.  I know I would not have healed properly had I continued drinking.  I am getting older, and despite my best previous intentions, I will be here for the forseeable future.

Unless you lock me inside a Wal-Mart.  Then all bets are off.



Wake Me Up When September Ends

Don’t lie, you sang that title line.  No doubt trying your best Green Day impersonation.  Well boys and girls, September has ended.  I don’t know about you guys, but I was sure as hell glad to see both August and September in the rear view these past few days.

October is a great month in my estimation.  Not just because it’s my birth month.  It’s actually a lot of people’s birth month, in fact.  Two of my best friends were born on October 1st and 24th.  And there is my Kibby, whose birthday is coming up soon on the 7th (happy birthday from Pa Bear!).  There are others, spanning the 2nd to the 31st and everything in between.  You know what this means?  That a lot of people are Libras and Scorpios. and a lot more people were having sex on Valentines Day than we initially thought.

And of course, the important things about October.  It’s the beginning of the Fall season.  So here in North Carolina, that means the end of Hurricane Season.  I’m sure we’re all glad that shit is over.  So much for “It’s just a Cat 1” right?  There are still smashed trees, flooded roads, and other assorted damage.  Fall also means cooler temps after those 100 degree days.  So it will drop to 85 maybe.  Then there will be those sneaky days where it starts out at 50, then by noon it will be 85, and then sub-Arctic temps at night.  Hooray pneumonia.

The foliage is pretty nice, as the leaves turn lovely shades of red and orange.  And speaking of orange, it’s every kid’s favorite holiday in October.  Halloween.  A time when you dress up in a costume and beg candy from complete strangers.  Of course, in recent years Halloween has received a bad rep because of a few assholes who want to poison or abduct kids for their own nefarious purposes.  Not to be outdone, parents have simply kept a closer eye on their kids by having Trunk or Treat gatherings at local churches to keep everyone safe.  Still, there’s nothing like the look on a kid’s face when he bites into a caramel covered onion.

October is also the official beginning of Pumpkin Spice Season.  And I do mean season, because that stuff is everywhere.  Pumpkin Spice Coffee, cereal, muffins, beer, chicken, salad, underwear, floor wax, house paint, lipstick, dog shampoo, perfume…the list goes on and on.  Dudes, chill with that shit.  I don’t want my entire town to smell like a pumpkin patch. And for some people, Pumpkin Spice Season is all year long, or it starts a little early…like February.

I do actually like the Halloween movies returning to the airwaves during October.  From Halloween with Michael Myers to Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th, those movies are a great time.  Sitting and watch these family friendly classics, along with some others like the Shining or Children of the Corn, is what Halloween is about as an older man.  Handing out candy is fun too.  I am usually guilty of handing out too much candy at the time.  Some years we attract the bare minimum of trick or treaters, only the truly brave who have their parents in tow.  So we devised a clever formula.  Instead of buying the “Grab Bag Mix” or the giant bag of Dum Dum lollipops for $3, we buy candy that we like.  Resse’s Cups, Hershey bars, and other assorted chocolates line our candy bowl, so that if no one comes, we feast.  No one on the earth feasts on three dollar suckers and those awful peanut butter toffee treats wrapped in orange and black.  They won’t even send those to starving kids in Ethiopia because of anti-cruelty laws.

This October is a little different for me.  As mentioned before, I am still recovering from surgery and a blood clot in my lung.  I have made great strides in re-becoming more of my former self.  But I’m not there yet.  I still have a bandage over a gaping wound that is mere inches from my nether regions.  That wound does still soak through the bandage on occasion, leaving stains of blood in my underpants and my shorts as well.  This bloody bandage does have to be changed five times a week, allowing me the creature comfort of showering so I don’t smell like feet and rotten carrots.  I can walk around a grocery store without passing out now, and I use the bathroom with more regularity than before.  Because there’s nothing more annoying than feeling the urge to use the bathroom, lumber to the toilet, sweat and strain for thirty minutes, and…one tiny microscopic piece of feces falls out.  At least you think it does.  You can’t see it, but you did hear what sounded like a raindrop in the toilet water.  Maybe it was just one of your tears, falling because you know you will never get that thirty minutes back.  And people see you driving around and going to stores and seeing your doctors (multiple), and they assume that you’re all better now.  It’s like the guy that finally gets his GED after twenty years, and then people are telling him he should go to college.  Pump the brakes a little.  Damn, He just got his GED at 40, so obviously high school was kicking his ass.  Same for me.  Recovery is progressing, but don’t sign me up for the Boston Marathon just yet.  Or ever, for that matter.

So enjoy everything that October has to offer.  Horror movies.  Zit-faced kids with no costume begging for multiple pieces of candy.  Slightly cooler temperatures, but maybe dead Pterydactosquitos remaining from the hurricane.  Halloween decorations and hoping your house isn’t the TP or Egg house.  Free candy and raking up leaves from your neighbor’s house that blew into your yard.  And of course, my birthday.  If you’re wondering, my size is Brand New F150.  Now I have to kick back on the porch, relax, as I sip my Pumpkin Spice Latte.

It’s Been a Rough Few Weeks

It’s been awhile since I posted anything on here, but this time I have good reason. A few of them, in fact. It has not been great since at least August, where our story begins…

So I posted last time about working third shift and having Fridays off. This in turn meant Friday mornings are spent drinking beer. Then I would get up in the afternoon and get more beer. More beer on Saturday and Sunday, and the weekend was complete. Of course, with all that barley and hops, your idea of healthy food goes out the window. So eating pizza or takeout Chinese for three days seems like a great idea when there’s 12 bottles of beer swimming around in your belly.

I felt like something was wrong on August 17th. I felt a sharp pain every time I tried to sit down. I thought it had something to do with my steady diet of liquid wheat and processed foods. I finally made my way to the doctor that Wednesday, and they sent me to Wilmington Surgical. I went there Friday, and they confirmed it was a deep rectal abscess.

Now if you are a dude and have dude friends, you know how other dudes are about anything rectal. We are relentless in the ballbusting and picking. I was more concerned with having my first surgery ever. After working at the hospital for so many years, soon I would be a patient.

I was scheduled to have a CT scan of the area that Saturday. My wife went off-script, taking me to the ED instead. Dr. Bebb happened to be the surgeon on call, and within a few hours I was in and out of the OR and in a room on the 4th floor.

Being a patient in the hospital gave me a different perspective. All of my nurses and caregivers were very kind and helpful. Their every four hour rule keeps you from getting too much sleep. After surgery, I rested due to the pain and the location of the wound. I went home after a little over a week, only to resume my steady diet of doing absolutely nothing. I could hardly walk to the bathroom without being out of strength. So I rested up, and that’s where I went wrong.

That Friday morning, early, I woke up to use the bathroom. Thirty minutes later I hobbled out of the bathroom, probably ten pounds lighter. I tried to make my way to the couch in the den, and felt dizzy. Then next thing I remember was waking up face first in the couch. I got myself up and laid back down, only to find out that my heart was pumping in overdrive. There was an extreme tightness in my chest, like two giant fists were pressed together just above my heart. Having no experience with it, I assumed it was a panic attack. I tried to slow my breathing, but it would come back faster every time. Mom was up by then, and she gave me two Valium which did nothing. Terry was up, and she called 911. EMS and a Fire Crew came. Apparently they knew I was 6’4″ and 350 so they would need help. I tried to get up on their gurney, only to faint again. It did nothing for my heartbeat, as it stayed at 150. It scared Terry, as her father was hauled out of their house with a diagnosis of cardiac arrest.

The paramedics worked to get my heart rate down in the truck, to no avail. I did breathing exercises that were also no help. So away we went, off to the ED. The only thing I could think about wasn’t my heart or breathing, but my sore ass riding that unpadded gurney and hitting every bump on the way.

Once we arrived, I was brought right in and placed in the treatment room immediately. The doc for my section started treatment, and I was covered In electrodes as they attempted in vain to run an IV in my dehydrated blood vessels.

Somewhere along the way, the doc theorized that I had an irregular heartbeat that he could jumpstart with something called a cardio version. It’s basically like jumping a car. You have two large electrodes that they shock you with, in the hopes of rebooting your heart back into the natural rhythm. It helps that you’re high as a kite while they do it. They use a sedative called Ketamine for this procedure. For those that don’t know, ketamine is used to sedate horses and other farm animals.

So they hook you up to the sedation, and after it takes effect, you have no idea where you are. You just kind of drift out there, in space. It turns black, which I assume was the shocking part because my chest was hurting. Then I see darkness with a shadow in front of me trimmed in neon green. I hear lots of laughter, and as I drift back to reality, I realize that the shadow was the overhead light in the treatment room. All I could think about was the song by Afro Man. “I was gonna make my heart better, but then I got high.”

So the cardio version was unsuccessful. The doc sent me for a CT scan close by. After this, he sees that there is a saddle clot in my pulmonary artery. It is the worst kind of clot. Suddenly surgeons appear and want to shove a catheter in my groin to access and remove the clot. I am against this for a very specific reason.

When I had the rectal abscess surgery, a side effect was swollen testicles. It got so bad that the two became one, about the size of a medium baking potato. They in turn enveloped the penis, so that it could not be located. I had to pee using a large bedpan in the front so I didn’t get a urine bath every time. Hence my reluctance to go that route. I had visions of a giant pair of testicles with legs and a head.

Nevertheless, they were all discussing it. Next thing I know, they pump me full of clot busting fluids. I am taken to PACU which also houses STICU. I am pumped full of Heparin along with fluids to keep the blood thin in the hopes of the clot dissolving and moving on. I stayed there overnight, and then was moved up to the 10th floor. The penthouse. Moving on up. I was visited by all my friends during my time there (thanks to you all), and I left that Monday. I had enough of those white walls and the same 18 tv channels.

So after the second stint as a patient, then came the doctor appointments. I was set to attend a few, but then came the Hurricane. A so-called Cat 1 that destroyed our region with wind and rain. We were lucky. Some people lost whole houses, furniture, cars, and 40 years of keepsakes. Our power went out, that was the worst for us. Terry and I spent our anniversary in a hot and sticky sweaty haze waiting for the power to be restored. It finally came back on after a week, and we were all ecstatic. At that point, I would have slept with the power guy if he turned the power on.

So here we are now. I’m waiting on my posterior wound to heal so I can return to work and the hell that awaits there. Things are getting back to normal in town, as most places have reopened and stores are restocked. Gas stations don’t have mile long lines. I can get through the store without passing out. And Terry has an art show at Going Local in Front Street tomorrow evening. Check it out

Bright Nights and Dark Days

Sorry I’ve been away, friends. I recently made the transition from a first-second shift hybrid to full on third shift. Without divulging the details of my work or giving disparaging remarks about management, it was the clear choice for me.

Now I know some people out there are cringing at the thought of working third shift. Going against the grain, so to speak. It’s not the body’s natural rhythm to work at night and sleep during the day. It makes those chipper go-getter morning people shudder at the thought of coming in at night.

First of all, I absolutely hate getting up early. I have never gotten accustomed to getting up early. Even when I had a job that required it, I never got used to it. I always thought I would oversleep the alarm, so I got that patented broken sleep. Sleep for 2 hours, then wake up every twenty minutes until time to get up. Yeah, you get off earlier. But then you have to go to bed early to get up early. Or down a cocktail of Monster, 5 Hour Energy, coffee, and fine cocaine mixed in the coffee and don’t sleep for a week

I should point out that I only work four days a week on the new schedule. Mon-Thurs 9pm-730a. Off every Fri,Sat, Sun. It’s not a bad gig. And it’s super quiet. Our job is way busy in the am, and it stays busy til the evening. All that stress of day shift disappears.

Think of it this way. You know that feeling you get at about 11 am where you want to just take a nap. At 11 am, that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m asleep, and you’re on your fourth cup of coffee. Nothing like the jitters and cold sweats to increase productivity.

And it’s always great to hit the store on Friday morning after work. People are coming from the gym to get fruit and yogurt for smoothies. Moms are buying stuff for their kiddos and their lunches. Construction guys are buying water by the case and snack chips. And there I am in line, a case of beer under each arm. Beer:now available at breakfast.

So now it’s time to hit the hay. Be sure to work hard while I’m sleeping.

Friday the 13th—Again

Yes, you heard it right folks. This is the second Friday the 13th this year, with the first one occurring in April. And while the world didn’t stop turning then, irrational fear and paranoia continue nonetheless.

The roots of such superstition are based in history. Way back in the 1300’s, king Philip had several of the Knights Templar rounded up and executed on a Friday the 13th. And by executed, I mean barbecued to a crisp while tacked to a cross. The king was just trying to get rid of the Knights at the behest of the Pope, but it worked out for him to excuse his war debts as well. Apparently one of the Knights executed a curse during his barbecuing, thus giving rise to the superstition of Friday the 13th.

In a more general sense, people look at the Last Supper and the betrayal of Jesus by Judas as the driving force behind the Friday the 13th phenomenon. Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, which is rumored to be a 13th. Also, most beheadings and public hangings occurred on Fridays, bringing more substance to the fear.

Now with that out of the way, it’s time to talk about the real Friday the 13th. Anyone from our generation (late 30’s-early 40s) knows the name Jason Voorheis. The iconic killer from the slasher flicks is easily recognized by anyone who shivered in their sleeping bag on a camping trip, eyes wide open, light on all night. Jason was a great killer because he said nothing. There you were, hanging out and engaging in some teenage hijinks. Drinking, having sex, staying up late, smoking. And then there’s Jason, creeping up on you despite his 6’8″ frame. It’s always a great time as he picks off campers one by one. It’s even better when they run after realizing that Jason is here to kill them all. You take off running, and run two counties away. Then you trip on a random dustball, or a gust of wind knocks you down. You get back up and BAM! Jason is right behind you, threatening bodily harm with some kind of object. Here’s a list of Jason weapons from Friday the 13th.

Axe– Jason has used an axe on a variety of kills. An axe is a common tool in camping, and Jason is nothing if not an opportunist. He uses whatever implement is around to inflict maximum carnage.

Chainsaw–same result. Just Jason with a gas-powered tree-devouring machine. It works great on flesh and bone as well.

Fence Post–I remember seeing this one somewhere along the series. Hence the “use what you have” philosophy and how cool it was to see someone impaled with a fence post

Speargun–it’s just as cool as it sounds. Jason channels his inner Jaws hunter while shooting a victim in the eye with a speargun.

Ice pick–this is the first weapon Jason used, when the girl killed his mom. Ice pick seems like a pretty terrible way to go

Machete–this is the weapon we are most used to seeing in Jason’s hands. Any photos of him on film usually include a machete, as it it clearly his weapon of choice by far.

Weed Eater–that’s right, he killed a victim with a weed eater. That’s the kind of mind you’re dealing with. Weed out your roses? Nah, I’d rather kill someone with it

I could go on and on. There are some, like liquid nitrogen and a syringe, which were only used in one scene. And let’s not forget his propensity for using his bare hands and brute strength to perform many quality kills. Breaking people in half, tossing people into doors and walls and through windows–sometimes he doesn’t even need a weapon.

So enjoy your Friday the 13th. Just remember not to stay up late or drink or have premarital sex. And that crunching in the bushes–you should just let it happen because you’re already dead.

As a friendly reminder, all of these implements of death as well as wood for walls, doors, and new windows are all available at your local Home Depot. Man, wouldn’t that be a great Home Depot commercial? The scene opens with a guy putting machetes and chainsaws and mother weapons in a cart. The guys proceeds to checkout, the camera pans up, and it shows Friday the 13th on a calendar. Then you see that the guy is Jason.

You’re welcome, Home Depot