WHAT I DID ON MY CHRISTMAS VACATION
by Crazy Carl
so last week I went to the english teacher convention in philly in hopes of landing a (decent) teaching job . . . a two-night stay in the wyndham plaza was over $330, but my parents thought it would be a good idea for babyboy to get some much-needed interview experience . . . I did actually manage to stumble upon one interview (with a community college in new york city), but like the song says: just send me to hell or new york city, it would be about the same to me/ . . . i’d obviously take the job to ease my parents’ burden, but I think I’d rather live deadcenter of your taint, dear reader . . . most of the (brighter) recent grads would have had a job interview lined up before they drove 5-hours and spent hundreds of dollars, but my parents thought I should just go and start handing out curriculum vitas . . . i had even hoped that there’d be a message board with 300 or so job postings, but the actual list contained 32 entries with names like angelo state and messiah college . . . did I mention that I was coked up for my interview? . . . did I mention that I staggered around the convention for 2 days drunk-as-shit? . . . did I mention that every morsel of food that I ate while there was robin-hooded off a room service tray? . . . did I mention that a fucking large cup of room service coffee was $8? (that last one was for you old fuckers out there) . . . the drive up interstate 95 from washington to philadelphia was its own lil slice of hell--like driving the daytona 500 surrounded by serial killers and new jersey grandmas who all drove like jimmy spencer on a bad day . . . there were wrecks and fender-benders and shredded tires galore and no one stopped or even batted an eye (like I woulda stopped, but I didn’t see any stranded motorists who were also hot chicks) . . . there was a 5-minute line at the rest area for the men’s room and a 20-minute line for the ladies--and it would appear as if acid-washed jeans never went out of style in the state of delaware . . . what can I say about philadelphia? . . . i gave the first cabbie a $5 for my $3.50 fare and he kept the change . . . i demanded change back from the second cabbie and it really pissed him off . . . i gave all the subsequent cabbies the correct change . . . i can’t say the people were rude to me, but they were very abrupt--like "pay me my money, hillbilly and keep moving" . . . the hotel was nice, but not worth $118 a night, plus $20 a day to park there . . . after I unpacked, I did a few lines and took a cab over to the convention center . . . the graduate student who was taking resumes was nice to me at first, but quite motherfucking smarmy after he figured out that I was leaving a resume and cover letter for messiah college (wherever the fuck that is) . . . then I went back to the hotel and started pounding beers back in my room . . . i went down to the hotel bar eventually, but it was chocked full of fags with morning interviews and fag-hags who were pretending to be happy for their fags (even though they knew the next day would bring 18,000 seminars on jane austen through a 2004 lens) . . . i guess some of them were hot, although each and every one was a short-haired brunette with tortoise shell glasses and wannabee designer shoes . . . i’m fat, ya know, so the fact that I wore jeans and a patagonia tee-shirt to the bar really didn’t help my chances of scoring . . . i did run into an english professor i knew in the elevator, but she ran like the wind when the door opened after I offered to pack her a bowl . . . after that, I went from floor to floor stealing room service trays that people had left outside their doors . . . and maybe you’d pay $12.50 for three pancakes, but make goddamn sure my mama wouldn’t . . . i think I had 2/3rds of a philly cheese steak that night that some rich fucker decided that he didn’t want . . . the night ended with me back in the room using hotel conditioner to masturbate to a lesbian porno on showtime . . . day 2 and the song remains the same: king karl from the underground literary alliance called me the next morning and we arranged to meet at some seedy bar downtown for beers at noon . . . and maybe the king karl you know is all about fighting-the-power, but the king karl I know is all about getting-some-pussy . . . we pounded a couple pitchers, commiserated over lost loves and wound up wandering the streets of philadelphia in search of girls who wanted us to look at them so they could hate us for looking . . . we ran into an english instructor i knew named lilly and somewhere in the mix i traded king karl for her . . . lilly had already had 2 job interviews that day and as we walked, she said that "maybe karma was with her" since the number of interviews she had was equal to her number of ex-husbands (she had one final interview that afternoon) . . . lilly is younger than me and kinda cute, so walking down the street with her on my arm, ex-husbands or no, put me in a significantly better mood . . . we stopped off for coffee at a dunkin donuts and she explained that she divorced her last husband because he gave her a four year window to finish her dissertation . . . I dropped her off at her interview and then proceeded to stumble around looking for a seminar that seemed the least bit interesting (and obviously I could have given 2 shits about "the gendering of metonymic violence from medieval to modern german culture" or "hybrids iii: psychosocial amalgams," but my intention was to make fun of something--just for you) . . . unfortunately, the coke wore off and I just couldn’t bring myself to sit in on any of the seminars . . . plenty of fat nerds and fag hags checked me out, but none of them had the nutsack to actually come up and start chatting me up . . . and again, the coke was wearing off to the point where I didn’t think I could even make up something about "south asian feminism" if my life depended on it (i.e.,: "yeah, that writer chick’s name was wong or something like that, right?") . . . eventually, I walked the 20-25 blocks back to the hotel, got high, and worked out in the weight room in my street clothes (two 13-year-old girls seemed intrigued and talked to me whenever their mom left the room, but the "smart girls" avoided me like the plague) . . . after that, I robin-hooded some dinner rolls and fries from the floor above me and started pounding beers . . . I considered going to a cocktail party thrown by a virginia university english department and I was working on my introductions (i.e.,: "hey, I grew up in the next county over and I have a ph.d in english") when the phone rang . . . it was the head of the english department at some community college in new york wanting to set up an interview with me for the next day at noon . . . I had no computer (no way to do research on the college or to correct the type-o’s on my vita), so the only thing left to do was to smoke the rest of my guru gnu’s funky five and masturbate to lesbian pornos again on showtime . . . i saved my last bump for 9 am the next morning with the rationale being that an 11 am bump would prolly make me all big and red and sweaty for the interview itself (wise old squirrels usually have a vicodin put away for rainy days and I think the combination of the two made me chatty, yet ultimately calm and reserved) . . . there were prolly 500 or so anal-retentive ph.ds going over their resumes in the waiting room outside of the interview area when I arrived and you could have heard a pin drop for the entire 45 minutes that I was there . . . when it was time for my interview, the receptionist herded me over to this middle-aged, smooooth turtleneck-wearing, bald dude sitting at a card table . . . and a 3-hour, fading coke buzz + a brand new, vicodin mellow = a pretty good interview . . . the dude asked what I planned to do with my career--and I said "publish my dissertation" . . . the dude asked what I thought was the main problem facing academia today--and I rattled off some crap about "mainstream hegemonies v. alternative answers" . . . then I talked about the joy that I felt when "a light bulb went on in some kid’s head when he finally understood what I was talking about" (as opposed to the stiffie I get in my pants the first time I see some lil slut’s ass cleavage) . . . the interviewer asked if I had any questions for him and I obliged with "teacher-to-student ratios" and "cost-of-living" queries . . . and then it was over: 4 days of exchanging meaningful ideas about "ideology, power, and linguistic theory" with my colleagues crammed into 2 days of stealing food and doing lines off the back of the hotel toilet . . . i did stop off to have dinner with my friend-from-undergrad, gipper in dc afterwards though . . . gipper reminded me that the last time we had dinner (at hooter’s!) back in ’98 that he had paid . . . he also conveniently forgot to mention that he was giving me the hard sell to invest with his company at the time as well . . . anyway, gipper suggested that we meet in front of this italian restaurant in one of the ritzier maryland suburbs . . . he walked me up to the menu outside of the restaurant and then proceeded to tell me that this particular restaurant was "too expensive for me since I didn’t have a real job" . . . we then got back in his car and drove to a lil diner outside of town--and he bitched and bitched and bitched about how the meal that he bought for me back in ’98 was much more expensive . . . i suggested that we hit a chili’s or an outback steakhouse and gipper responded that he didn’t like chili’s or outback steakhouse . . . as we were walking into the diner, I suggested that we go to a greek place across the street and gipper agreed . . . i had $60 in my wallet and order a $13.95 trout . . . gipper ordered 3 whiskey sours, 2 appetizers, a leg of lamb with spaghetti on top and dessert . . . the bill came to $82 (and gipper knew that I only had $60 in my wallet) . . . then gipper whips out 8-10 credit cards and says that he’ll pay since i "don’t really have a job" . . . dinner with gipper sounds fun, right? . . . well, in retrospect, that’s what my undergraduate days were like . . . on the way home, mama called and scolded me for a half hour about how I shouldn’t use my cell phone because I was already over my allotted minutes for the month . . .
Crazy Carl, a member of the Underground Literary Alliance, hails from Virginia but lives most of the year in Ohio. His first novel Fat On The Vine is being published by ULA/Out Your Backdoor Press this year. Contact him at carlrob (whereit'sat) earthlink dott net . . .