YOUR TALES

We’re looking for your own, true-life “Bad to Worse” stories. Send us your stories and if we like it, we’ll post it here PLUS you might be the lucky recipient of a DVD and signed poster if we really like it. Please make an effort to edit your stories down to 300 words or less….don’t be boring! Send your story to Jerry.
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A few years ago, just after I had graduated from high school, I was at a friends house for dinner. After dinner we all gathered around in the living room to talk. There were quite a few of us, so some of us piled onto the couch and some of us sat on chairs. My friend ended up sitting in a recliner with her dad, she kind of sat on the arm while he sat in the chair, and I sat in front of the chair. We had been sitting there for a while and I decided I was going to reach up and tickle her feet a little. I tickled them a little and she didn’t laugh and so being a “foot man” I decided to try and tickle them again and maybe rub them a little. Finally after a couple of minutes I had noticed a few funny looks from around the room, I turned to her and said, “What, you aren’t ticklish”? She smiled at me and then her father looked right at me and said, “No, I’m not”. Turns out the entire time, I had been playing with her dads feet.

Tod K.

So I was dating this guy who I never let in my apt. We worked together at Kmart and used to go up in the loft and make out and look thru the shoplifter windows they had by the roof…there were catwalks along them…he was “security” and I was a book keeper.

So one night we drive up to my apt and he says these dreaded words..”I have to go to the bathroom” I said “You can make it home.” He sez “No, I can’t” I said “Why didn’t you go in the restaurant?” He said (gritted teeth) “I didn’t KNOW that I would have to go like this!” I said…”Well, you’re a guy, just whip it out on one of these hedges.” He said “It’s NUMBER TWO!” oh. so I walk up to my door on the second floor, open the door, and I slap my hands over his eyes so I can’t see what a pig sty I live in…he slams the bathroom door and I am frantically tossing crap into the kitchen to hide it,while hovering by the bathroom door…but damned if he doesn’t escape and flicks on the light…and in all my pigsty glory I also forgot to mention that it is April and my long dead giant too big to get out of the apt now Christmas tree is crouched in the corner where periodically I hack branches off and so it looks even rattier…guess he figured I wasn’t “future wife” material.

I had a friend who wasn’t raised Catholic, but her brother married a Catholic woman. They took her to church with them (she was 12 or 13)

She needed to fart and thought she could sneak it out but when she let it go, she said it sounded like someone slapping a two by four on the non-padded pew. Everyone in the church turned and stared, the priest stopped his sermon and her brother and his new young wife were completely humiliated. I don’t think she has been to any more catholic churches or at least churches that don’t have padded pews.

Sixth grade is not one of my best years at elementary school. At our school, we had alot of students and they thought that different grades need to co-operate better with each other. The senior grades (5-8) would often be in split classes where half of one grade and another half of another grade would be in the same class, I was in a 6/7 split class where my teacher was the Vice-Principal.

I was definately considered one of the weirdest and least popular to my classmates because of my sub-par hygeine, including me picking my nose. But the worst out of them was this seventh grader and his friend, who had given me the label “Faggot” and kept constantly kept calling me that for all of Grade 6.

But the worst thing that happened in the class did not actually happen to me, it was with a female classmate and I think it happened at around November 2004. Anyways, while the teacher was out at a meeting with the teachers for over an hour, the seventh grader brought out cigarette lighter from his pocket (I really don’t know how he got it) and he along with his friend tried to set the girl’s head on fire for over half an hour. Everyone else including me decided to either watch it in total WTF, or ignore it. Yeah, we we’re a** to the poor girl and never told the teacher when he came back. Thankfully at least he didn’t set her hair on fire. But after the Christmas break, she moved to British Colombia.

Andrew E.B.

This is a very old story, but I thought I’d share it anyway.

Many years ago one summer, a friend and I went to “The Battle of the Network Stars.” This was a cheesy TV reality show that featured celebrities competing in olympic-type events. The whole circus took place at Pepperdine University. I wasn’t a groupie or a star-struck fan – it was just something to do, and hey, I was 20.

My now-husband-then-boyfriend was pretty terrific – in spite of the fact that my friend and I were going just to ogle famous guys, he loaned me his very expensive camera, which had a big telephoto lens and an auto-winder – pretty expensive stuff in the day. He gave me a quick lesson how to use it.

The last event of the day was a diving competition. The announcer introduced an actor named Tom Selleck who was to star in a new fall show called Magnum P.I. Hardly anyone applauded – the show wasn’t televised yet. My eyes bugged out – I recognized him from his modeling days for ‘Chaz’ cologne. His picture appeared in ads and posters at the department stores that carried the stuff, and although the cologne stunk, I remember lingering over those pictures of him at the cosmetic counter.

So, there’s Tom, looking pretty damn hunky, standing on the high dive, wearing a really good tan, a pair of red shorts and a goodly amount of body hair. Mustache. About 6’4”.

Good diver, too.

The show was over. The stars headed off to their trailers or tents, just stopping to give some obligatory autographs and posing for a few pictures. The BJ and the Bear guy had an huge entourage trailing him off to his tent. That’s when I spotted Tom, all by himself, tying his shoes on a bench. Alone. Fully clothed (damn.) Not a soul pestering him or a another photographer in sight. I made a beeline…

I was shy, but I couldn’t resist. I went up to him and asked if he’d pose for a few photos. I actually told him I’d seen his picture before, and thought (I can’t believe I said it, what a goofball) he was by far the best looking guy there (which he was), and he was going to be famous. He looked a little embarrassed, but also thanked me sincerely. He was very obliging, posing with his foot up on the bench, putting his hand on his hip, doing the modeling thing – what a natural. Nice teeth too. I tried to look cool, and like I knew what I was doing, but I was so excited, I’m surprised I didn’t drop the camera. I think I actually fogged up the lens.

After madly clicking off photo after photo, his agent told him he had to go, but Tom was really gracious and asked me if I were done – I thanked him. He waved. The day could NOT have ended any better. I practically flew to my car.

The first thing I did when I got home was rush my film out to the developers.

Upon receiving the pack of photos, I peeled open the envelope – NONE OF THE PICTURES OF TOM CAME OUT. I was devastated. I don’t know what happened, and neither did my husband-then-boyfriend. I almost cried. I couldn’t believe it – my brush with the hottest guy of 1980 was no more than a story with no pictures.

Susan

It was my bachelor party, so I invited all of my decadent buddies to go camping. The weather called for some rain, so we pitched our tents, made a shelter and threw a bunch of steaks onto the fire.

Everything seemed great, until the rain hit. My tent was originally on a dirt path, which ended up becoming a torrent river with fish jumping out of it. My tent basically washed downstream and was under about 3 feet of rushing water.

I didn’t think too much about it at the time, as we were all too busy with heavy drinking. So, when it was time to go to bed, I looked around, and everyone else had already packed into their cars for shelter.

There was only one guy awake who had a 1970¹s style pop-up camper, so I asked if I could bunk with him. I opened the door to the camper and was blown away by the stench of 30 years of mildew. It was enough to make you vomit.

There was a hole in the roof on one side, and the rain kept pouring in on top of the only open bunk. There were only two dry beds left and another of my friends had already taken one. I leaned over him to see how bad the wet one was, and as I pushed down on the bed, it immediately filled up with freezing cold water. I then reluctantly asked the guy whose camper it was if I could share his bed. He agreed, and I squeezed beside him.

I lay uncomfortably awake as the rain pounded on the decrepit hulk of the camper. Then, the unspeakable happened. The guy lying next to me started to moan in pleasure and cuddle up to me. I gave him an elbow to the ribcage, but two minutes later, he nuzzled in again and this time flung his huge arm over me.

That was all I could take. I jumped out of the bed in horror and, in a panic, scrambled for options, but of course there were none. I leaned over to check out the wet bunk again, but it seemed even more wet and cold than before. I opened the door stared at the deluge. Exhausted, shivering and with nowhere to go, I curled up on top of a pile of wet, muddy hiking boots.

Nice guys trip. My fiancée, on the other hand, spent her bachelorette party on a beautiful sunny island.

-Ted

**Folks we have a winner for this block of a dozen or so “Bad to Worse” stories. This time it was hard to choose: the stories keep getting better all the time. However, top kudos go to bcrmk with the hillbilly hitch-hiker story. Although it didn’t have the usual lone protagonist, this hair-raising tale is a riot! Congrats bcrmk with the superior tale! At this time, I feel compelled to thank each one of you who have written in with these fine-crafted tales of woe. Jerry

I have just seen the Hypnotist episode. Great! That reminded me of something happened to me some years ago. I went to Rome, to this lawyer who claimed to be a hypnotist. I went there because my analyst told me that perhaps he could make me stop smoking. The lawyer-hypnotist lived in a luxury house in a chic neighborhood of Rome called Parioli. The door was opened by a slim, tall, liveried Ethyopian butler who very politely invited me to wait in a small room. The room was carpeted with b/w pictures of celebrities with personal dedications. One stroke me in particular and that was one of Federico Fellini who thanked this man for making him quit smoking. The hypnotist came in and was very kind and smiling. He told me to sit down, give him my packet of cigarettes and close my eyes. Then he lit a cigarette, touched my forehead, my shoulders and my arms saying something I can’t remember. The whole thing lasted less than one minute. Then he said: “Ok, it’s 400000 lire.” (about 200 US$) . I was perplexed, but payed anyway. As soon as I was out, walking to my car, I felt the urge to smoke. I I tried really hard not to smoke for about one month, but then I gave up and started again.

Federico G.

P.S. I stopped smoking a couple of years later, by myself.

I met a friend of mine who has an brokerage account. He trades all the time and he says he’s making tons of money. He said trading is easy and I am missing the boat. I asked him how I could start trading. He said that it would cost me about a thousand dollars to open an account and set it up and everything. I didn’t have a thousand dollars at the time, so I asked him if there was any other way we could get it going. He said, “Yeah, just give me the money and I will keep track of it. Whatever you earn, you get to keep, minus the taxes.” I thought that was okay so I gave him $100.00.

The first day I showed up to trade, he said we were all set but all I could afford to buy was penny stocks. I had never heard of penny stocks before, but I agreed to go along. So we found this penny stock that was only .09 cents per share. He bought me something like 1,000 shares. I couldn’t believe it. I owned 1000 shares of Wall Street. Over the next few days I told all my friends, including my uncle who knew about stocks. It was very exciting for me. All that week, I was on cloud nine. This was a new beginning for me. On the next Monday, I went over his house see how my stock was doing. The stock symbol had somehow got an E attached to the end of it. He told me something about the SEC and the company not filing some paperwork forms properly. He also told me that the shares had actually gone to less than one penny in value. I guess that’s why they call them penny stocks. I still own all 1,000 shares, but the future doesn’t look too good.

This story happened to a friend of mine, who is Polish (and fluent in the language) along with the rest of his family. What happened is that he was living with a roommate who is Polish also, however neither of them knew at the time that the other was. One day while my friend wasn’t home, his mother called and his roommate picked up the phone. After a little bit of confusion over how the other person “sounded strange”, they went on to have a half hour conversation in Polish, with the false presumption of who the other one was.

My friend found out later what had happened, when his mother asked him why he didn’t remember her telling him anything over the phone. After talking to his roommate, they finally realised what had happened.

In the mid 80s, I was pretty much broke and needed to make some money. I hooked up with this mechanic who repaired Volvos. He seemed to have a lot of junk cars that needed to be fixed, so I agreed to do the work, he agreed to supply the cars, and we would split the profits. It sounded like a really good idea. My intention was to make enough money to go on a trip to California, so I began to work on the first car right away. It was a 1960 Blue Volvo. I got everything working properly, gave it a good tune up, good used tires, and a really good cleaning. The only really bad thing left was the frame. It was severly rotten in two places right behind the front wheels. I made two braces and bolted them together where they could be welded in place for strength. I had to ask my mechanic partner to do the welding because I didn’t know how, but he was too busy.

The next day, a friend of mine saw the Volvo and fell in love with it. He offered full asking price and we sold him the car immediately and I got paid on the spot. We were really excited with this first car sale. The weekend passed and the Monday after was a holiday, so I didn’t go back to the garage until the next Tuesday. That’s when everything hit the fan. My mechanic friend was really mad and he said I owed him all the money back and that I was going to be sued. Apparently everybody forgot about welding the frame together and my friend who bought the car was traveling in South Providence and hit one of those very large speed bumps way too fast. The car went up in the air and came down in two pieces with the front half of the car going south and the back half of the car going west and ending up on the sidewalk. He sued everyone. When it finally got to court, my mechanic friend was deemed 100% responsible for the money the car cost plus damages, and he was fined for selling cars without a licence and lost his garage business. I guess it wasn’t such a good idea afterall.

Mike the temporary mechanic.

I was about to write a great moment of my existence in my email to you. My neighbour called to ask me if I wanted to eat paëlla with him. As I answered that I already had dinner. At the same time, I had the Its JerryTime! website on and it went crazy. I almost couldn’t hear my neighbour on the phone anymore because all of your videos were playing at the same time. Voices of eight Jerrys were telling a very parcular event at the same time, in my apartment. Each one was louder than the other and made all the words indistinguishable. I had to hang up.

Marie Atman. Nantes, France

About a year back, I’m moving into a new apartment, and I get a roommate to cut down on the bills. He’s a cool guy, and I’m consider myself to be pretty relaxed, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal.

First thing he asks me is if he can get two cats. Trying not to be a jerk, I say sure why not. So he gets two grown cats.

At first I tried to be friendly to the cats, and just let them do their thing. Then my roommate stops cleaning up after them. At first the litter box was next to his room, so it didn’t really bother me… but one day, after not cleaning up the cat drek for like two weeks, he cleans it up and then moves the litter box next to my room instead. I don’t know if he was trying to tell me to clean up after them or not, but I refused to – they were his cats.

So my roommate starts spending the night at his girlfriends, like every night. He starts living over there. I’m stuck with these cats. He stops taking care of them and stops feeding them. I felt if don’t feed these things, they’re gonna die. So I start feeding them, but I still refused to clean their litter box. Well, the cat drek just starts piling up. It went on like this for a month or two, and the drek was overflowing all over the carpet, and it smelled terrible.

The cats would meow at my door, because they obviously thought I was their owner, since they only saw me. I would just throw objects at the door when they annoyed me, to scare them away.

Eventually my roommate comes back and cleans up, but the cats had already “marked” a new territory in the living room, and there was cat urine all over the carpet in there.

When we moved out, despite all the damage, the main office only said there was $15 worth of damage! My roommate floated the $15 and I think he got off scott free. I can’t believe I put up with those stupid cats for 8 months.

The summer I was fourteen I worked in Reese’s Delicatessen In East Northport, Long island. My grandfather ran the store and paid me $15 a week and gave me Wednesdays off. After $5 a week delivering newspapers, that seemed fine. It was a typical mom and pop affair featuring homemade salads, sandwiches made to order, and the staples—bread, milk and beer. On busy days I made sandwiches and heroes. One afternoon a regular came in and ordered a hard salami and Swiss on white bread. I grabbed the salami, I tossed it on the Hobart slicer, turned it on and began slicing. It was getting down to the heel but I decided not to use the meat guard. Slicing away I looked out the front window at passersby—then realized I had removed part of the end of my right thumb. Fear welled up—not at cutting my finger—but I was bleeding all over the meat and I could see my grandfather over the counter doing something out back. A number of things ran through my mind—hide the meat—hide the blood—get to the sink…I reached for the salami with my left hand and removed a portion of the tip of my left thumb, compounding the problem.—it was getting messy. I grabbed two slices of Arnold white bread, sandwiching the pulsing thumbs and headed for the back. The bread was getting red rapidly. I attempted to get past my large, Pennsylvania Dutch grandfather, but it was too late. I plunged my hands into running water and he stood there grinning—”Cut yourself, huh?” There was a tiparillo clenched between his teeth. He never said anything more. I nursed the cuts and bandaged them up. The next day they were exquisitely sore and untouchable. My grandfather said, “The canned soda cooler is empty—fill it up.”

Geoff

So I am on this double date driving my dads old buick and we are headed home. I thought it was a good idea to use this sort of remote desolate road because it would save us some time and we were running late. All of a sudden we hear a loud pop and the tire goes flat, it turns out we ran over a pitch fork and that is what punctured the tire.

I did not have flashlight and it was just to dark to see to change the tire. As time went on we started getting really scared and our minds started wondering and imagining all kinds of scary things out there. So we thought we would hitch hike.

Then this car pulls up and asks us if y’all want a ride – this guy looked like something right out the movie deliverance “hillbilly type w/beer belly”. We all looked at one another and said – okay I guess. So all four of us get in and I am in the back seat and my date is in the front seat right next to the beer bellied hillbilly. He then say’s where y’all goin? so we told him and he said awright. Then all of a sudden he starts yelling and putting his hands down his pants grabbing something – we are swerving all over the road. He continues to yell and we continue to swerve. This goes on and on, the girls are screaming and I am freaking out! I am thinking I have to protect us so I grabbed this really smelly boot that had cow dung on it – I was getting ready to hit him over the head with it. Then – all of a sudden he stops screaming and pulls out a big grasshopper out of his pants.& nbsp; I guess it must have crawled up his leg and was biting or doing something in his crotch area.

Well after that the beer bellied hillbilly settled down and then took us home. We never ever drove home on that desolate road again at night.

bcrmk

i grew up in buffalo. black family in a black neighborhood. my father one day decides to move us to the suburbs. now this was in 1968. so we moved far away from the city. at the time it was my brothers brian and danny, 11yrs and 7 yrs in age, and myself, i was 9. we were the ONLY black ” anything ” out there. the white people there had never seen a black person except for linc hayes of the “mod squad”. i personally had never seen that many white people in my life. well school started, and my first day of gym class the white guys started fighting amongst themselves as to what basketball team i was gonna be on. they both wanted me, and for obvious reasons…....i was black, so it stood to reason i could play basketball. so the coach had to settle it and finally i was put on a team. the other team was pissed because they just knew i was gonna be great. well, they passed me the ball, and to their suprise, i couldnt play a lick. i hadnt even seen a basketball let alone played with one. you could cut the disappointment from my team mates with a knife, while the other team couldnt stop laughing. i guess i was one black man that couldnt ” jump”.. to top it all off, my class had a “boys against the girls” day. we had to answer questions. the score was tie and it was up to me to break it. i was up against a white girl named shelly. the question was ” which basketball player scored 100 points in one game. the girl yells out ” wilt chamberlain”. girls win. i killed every stereotype there was….............well, almost every one ( looking down ) Roy

I took my elderly Chinese mom on a shopping trip to the new ‘99 Cent Store’ that just opened in our town. (As an aside, I get a perverse thrill from buying stuff from dollar stores, telling people where I got it, then asking ‘guess what I paid for this??’ Yes, I need to grow up.)

Mom didn’t understand what kind of store it was, but once she walked through the door, her little cloudy eyes brightened up. She peered at the canned peas stacked in front of the entrance, then commented ‘hmmm, off brand’ which of course they were, but then, what can you expect for two for 99 cents? She put two cans in her cart.

At first she couldn’t really grasp the whole 99 cent concept. She kept asking ‘how much is it?’ which gets kind of annoying in a store where everything is…well, you get the picture. When the idea finally set in, she happily bought bananas, tomatoes, onions, towels, cough candy – all with the comment ‘oh, it costs this much at the grocery store’, or ‘it costs $1.99 even at Costco.’ Mom was happier than a pig in mud. I steered her away from the canned peaches from China – no reason to press our luck.

Once we got home, she cracked open the canned peas, as canned peas are one of the four green things my dad will eat. After pouring them into the pan, she commented that they were larger peas, hence less desirable than the Del Monte brand peas she usually buys. I argued that, in fact, peas are peas, especially when the life is boiled out of them, and they’re sitting in a briny tin can bath.

I think she’ll go back, but I don’t think canned peas will be on her list – even if they’re 3 for $.99.

Susan

One time my grandmother was in the hospital, and I went to visit her. I sat in the middle of the room, up against the wall. On one side of the room was my Nana, in one bed, and in the other was this other old woman named “Mrs. Ryan”. The curtain between the beds was pulled forward, so my Nana couldn’t see Mrs. Ryan. But she knew she was there.

Anyway, I said “hi” to Mrs. Ryan, but she didn’t answer me. She just stared at me. I didn’t think too much of it, and began talking to my Nana. Every now and then I’d glance over at Mrs. Ryan, and, sure enough, she would still be staring at me. One time I gave her little smile, and nodded, but she still just stared at me without saying anything.

I asked my Nana, quietly, if Mrs. Ryan was ok. “Suuuuure” said my Nana. I guess her son had just visited her, and had left about ten minutes before I showed up.

I looked at Mrs. Ryan again, and she’s still staring at me. Now I’m getting annoyed, and I was thinking of saying something like “What are you looking at?”, or something like that, but I didn’t, because she was an old lady and my Nana seemed to like her.

Then a horrible thought occurred to me. I got up slowly and moved to my right, to see if Mrs. Ryan’s gaze followed me. It didn’t. I moved the other way, toward the door, and her eyes didn’t follow me that way, either.

I went out into the hall and flagged down an orderly or someone, and said, “I think Mrs. Ryan may have passed away”. The orderly went in the room, leaned over Mrs. Ryan and called her name loudly. Then, he took her wrist in his hand. He looked at me and said “You’re right”, and asked me if I would take my Nana for a walk. I guess they tried to resuscitate her for about a half an hour, but it was no use.

Joe Bivens

**Folks, we have a winner for the second dozen or so “Your Tales”. It’s Marie. with the car rolling downhill story! She narrowly beat out Jon with his failed skunk-catcher tale…Marie gets the coveted Gambatte Award with a JerryTime poster/DVD pack for gamely trying to stop a car rolling downhill by various methods, including sticking her calf in front of it…Congrats Marie for the superior tale.

blockquote>I grew up in a fairly typical English seaside town. The place was fine in the summer, when it filled up with tourists and gorgeous European students who came to learn English, but in the winter everything closed and entertainment was thin on the ground.

One such winter’s day, my friend Stu and I found ourselves on the sea wall, watching the waves on the beach. They were coming right up and crashing against the wall but then would wash back 20 or 30 feet before the next one came in. The beach was sectioned off with groynes every sixty-or-so feet and with a quick bit of 12th-grade reckoning, we worked out we should have a pretty good chance of running the distance between the groynes before the next wave came in.

The question “why” never even entered our heads.

We waited until it looked like a wave was going out a long way, then the two of us jumped down onto the stones and started running for all our worth. The first problem with our plan was that you just can’t run as fast on shingle as you can on normal ground. The second problem is – we learnt – that when a wave draws back a long way, it’s because the one following it is especially big.

We might have made it… We were getting really close to the next groyne, but the sheer size of the wave bearing down on us must have made Stu panic, as he stopped dead and I went crashing into him, bringing us both down just in time for several thousand litres of salt water to sweep us up and thud us painfully against the sea wall.

How we didn’t get washed out to sea and off to France somewhere, I don’t know. But the afternoon saw two bickering teenagers sat on a windswept promenade, wringing their clothes out and fishing seaweed from places it ain’t meant to be.

Dave

A few summers ago, my grandparents decided it would be uber fun to take a camping trip to Missouri with their many children and grandchildren, and I, unfortunately, was forced to join in with the merriment. They had planned everything out so well – swimming, hiking, telling humorous anecdotes around the campfire at night, etc., and for the first couple of hours there in Missouri it seemed OK.

But that’s when it all went wrong.

First of all, my sisters and cousins and I had been swimming in the outfits we were wearing that day (not a good idea, for future reference). When we got out of the water and my parents decided that it was about time to get something to eat and set up our tents, we realized that my stepdad had forgotten my and my sister’s suitcase. We had that one wet, chafing outfit for two days straight.

By that night, around eight or nine, our clothes had pretty much dried, and we were fairly comfortable. That night, though, it started raining. Not just sprinkling raining, I mean pouring down, sheets of wetness being flung at you, smacking you in the face, thundering, the works. We obviously had to put the cover on the tent to keep the rain out. Well, I guess in that part of Missouri in that part of the year, daddy longlegs run rampant. By the time I got up from my fitful sleep (about five o’clock AM), I looked up through the transparent screen to see hundreds of daddy longlegs up under the tent cover. I got up and went back to sleep in our van.

We had already decided a few days before that we would go hiking in the woods that day, but it was too muddy for that, so my grandparents entertained me and the rest of their grandchildren by showing us where a freezing cold creek was, where we saw the head of a snake. It was miserable and cold. Later that night I forced my parents to drive me home, cold, wet, and exhausted.

Suffice it to say, I loathe camping more than ever, and my grandma still doesn’t believe me about the snake head.

-AnnaBelle

A long long- well actually just a week ago, I went to this teen hangout at a local church. its for kids off the street mostly so the directors keep the doors locked until exactly 8:00pm so no kids “run away”. I felt slightly uncomfortable being around so many teens, so me and my cousins went to sit at a small table in the corner to wait. when we finally got out of the building I was so happy I ran to what looked like my grandma’s car, I slid into the back seat and wondered why my cousins had stopped walking. as I looked up, just about to close the car door, I saw these two parents staring at me like I was a swamp monster or something. My face went red and I quickly got out muttering “wrong car, sorry!” My cousins laughed at me all the way home.

When I was 13 I went on a group camping trip. My friend Jason and I were both having a hard time getting to sleep the first night and I just happened to hear rustling sounds outside of the tent. I took a peek and saw two skunks eating the leftovers from our dinner scraps just hours before at the fire pit. I decided I was going to catch one of them.

I asked Jason if he would assist me by holding a trash bag and a flash light while I set up the trap. The trap was an oversized potato chip bag. It took a few minutes, but eventually one of the two skunks took the bait. He walked into the bag, licking the salt and spices. Once he was in, I leaned over and snatched up the bag grasping the skunk and waiting for my friend to come with the bag, but he began to panic.

He yelled out “I’ve been sprayed by the skunk!!” though I assured him it was doing nothing but squirming and writhing wildly in an attempt to escape my grasp inside of the potato chip bag. He dropped the flashlight and ran, leaving me in nothing but moonlight with a terrified skunk in a potato chip bag. I realized suddenly that I had done a foolish thing, but it was too late to undo what I had already done… I mean, what kind of kid actually attempts to catch a skunk with their bare hands?

Then the most horrible thing happened. The skunk suddenly became calm, and the tail raised up! The skunk began to squirt and the odor was intense. I ran to the edge of the clearing and threw the skunk, bag and all, into the brush. The next morning everyone awoke to the putrid smell of skunk. The pancakes and toast smelled and tasted like skunk, everyone’s tents and clothes smelled like skunk, and needless to say, the following year, my friend Jason and I were not invited to the camping trip.

Jon Koch
Skunk Catcher :-)

There was this Halloween store that moved here in my area of town and it was just after I finished working at my summer job at the nearest race track. The next few days, I became interested in it, because I had finished a horror film.

So after I applied for it they told me I had to be a sign waiver, which is basically a “mascot” so to say that stands outside the front of the store, dressed up in a scary outfit and wave to people to see if they’ll come in and shop. I really enjoyed it because I loved to perform for people and that got more costumers in. But there were times where it would get too hot outside and at the end of my shift and when I get home I start to have fevers.

Sometimes when the manager was out, the assistant manager would let me work inside the store, and he said I was doing a nice job. But there was one day I heard it was going to be about 95 degrees out so I called in and asked if I could help inside the store, but they said no. So I asked for the day off and they said “If you don’t come in I’m afraid we’ll have to let you go.” That broke my heart.

I told them I didn’t want to work with them anymore. I’m never going back to that store. It had its moments but in the end, they couldn’t respect my needs…

While attending college, I worked for my stepdad as a plumber’s helper.

One day we were working on the main floor of a house and my stepdad told me to pack up the supplies and tools because we were moving on up to the next floor. The way he said it to me reminded me of The Jefferson’s theme song and as I started packing up our plumbing stuff, I started to sing the song out loud…you know the one….”Well we’re movin’ on up…to the east side…” My loud voice echoed throughout the empty house.

I turned around to suddenly see three black men who staring at me. They were masons sizing up the chimney job.

The man in the middle smiled at me with a bunch of gold teeth and said….”So ya movin’ on up, huh?” I was so embarrassed, I hurried up and loaded up the rest of the fittings and moved on up stairs….and of course, stopped singing.

A few years ago a friend of mine went to buy a microwave at the local mall. Once he purchased it he put it in his trunk and went back inside to continue shopping. He was inside the mall perusing the stores for a few hours and when he got tired of looking he headed to the parking lot to leave.

However, his car with the new microwave inside was nowhere to be found.

He looked for a long time in the mall’s huge parking lot before succumbing and calling the mall police to report it missing. Once he called, a nice elderly mall security man came in his security SUV, it was then that they drove around for hours searching for the microwave bearing car.

Eventually they gave up and he called me, relayed his misfortune, and I came to pick him up. Once home, he called his insurance company and they began the process of issuing him a check for the stolen microwave with the car wrapped around it. The insurances process took a few weeks, it is noted here that the insurance company was located in a building in the “mall” parking lot. Yes the same “Mall”.

In a few weeks the insurance agent called him to inform him that they had mailed him a check and to be expecting it in the mail. Later that very same evening the police department called to tell him that they found his stolen car.

He wasn’t all together sure if he was happy or not. He was looking forward to the check but was curious as to how they found it and who had it. I am certain that he had visions of his car sitting on an dead end road badly beaten and completely broken with (of course) no microwave. So he asked the officer on the phone where it was. The office told him that he could pick it up, it was in the mall parking lot. Silence fell over him. I could sense the conspiracy theories filling his mind, after all it was there for weeks.

I took him back to get his car. It was late the mall was closed and as we approached the parking lot it was clear that the one and only car sitting right out in plain view was his car. It was right under a light, it seemed to glow. He didn’t think it was as funny as I did. His car was in plain view right in front of the insurance companies large picture windows. I’m sure that every morning (for weeks) when they first came into their office it was sitting out there all alone and they never put two and two together. He had to return the check.

Laura D.

PS. The microwave was still in it.

As a middle-schooler, while playing football in a neighbor’s backyard, I cut my knee open pretty bad sliding across the ground. The neighbors
had driven these short aluminum poles into the ground, leaving them sticking up about a half inch, in case they ever wanted to “throw up the badminton net for a quick game”. They never did. My knee slid right over one of these pipes, cutting open my jeans and knee in an inches-long gash.

I ran home to my dad, leaving my friends wondering what was wrong, and showed him my knee. “We can either take you to the doctor for stitches,” he said, which I didn’t like, “or I can tape you up, but you’ll have a scar.” Well, as a kid, I was a walking collection of scar tissue. A little more wasn’t going to hurt anything. I would have been better off going to the doctor.

Once in the bathroom, the first thing my dad did was pour the entire bottle of Mecurachrome over my knee, the same bottle we’d had all my life. If I recall correctly, this orange-staining restorative contained mercury. I think it’s illegal now. When I got done screaming from the stinging fire that the Mecurachrome had ignited in
my wound, I asked dad what it was for. “It’s to kill the pain,” he said.

He then ran down to mom’s sewing cabinet and came back with a rather large needle and some orange thread. I think the thread was orange. Maybe it wasn’t, but was just stained by the Mecurachrome. I don’t know, I just remember it being orange when we were all done. “I can tape you up,” had now become, “I can give you stitches … but first I need you to thread the needle for me.”

I balked, but he pointed to a smooth part on his arm and told me a tale about cutting his arm once when he was a kid on the farm and his parents not being home and how he had stitched himself up and see? No scar. Wow. It didn’t occur to me that the lack of scar was from a lack of there ever being a wound there.

So he jabbed the thick needle into one side of my now puffy wound. You could see the needle in the crevasse that was the cut, like a suspension bridge between two high bluffs. The back end of the needle was barely sticking out one side, the point barely sticking out the other and my dad’s fat fingers could grab neither end. He ran to the garage and returned with a pair of pliers from the toolbox. Greasy, dirty pliers.

Finally getting the needle all the way through, he tied a large, gaudy, orange bowknot. He then looked at me and said, “Ready for another?” I politely declined.

Mark

While living in England, a friend and I went down to London to see a musical. We would drive down to Cambridge and take a train from there to London. Unfortunately, there weren’t any parking spaces left in the train station parking lot, so I
parked in an underground garage for the night.

Upon returning home the next day, we discovered that my car had been vandalized by “midnight raiders.” Basically, they take stuff off the outside of the car, but don’t actually break into the car. So they took stuff like my windshield wipers, side indicator lights and one tire.

I was quite happy that they only took one tire since I had a spare. I had to look at the owner’s manual just to see where the spare tire was.The tire was stored in a case underneath the back end of the car. Nobody had actually ever taken the tire out previously, all this dirt came flying out and something that looked like a bird’s nest.

I finally got the tire changed and started driving home, which is a good half hour away from Cambridge. Of course, it started to downpour as soon as I left the covered garage. So I stopped at a gas station to get a pair of windsheild wipers.

I dropped my friend off at her house, but noticed that she was scouring through her purse. I remembered that in the middle of all these problems, her keys had fallen out of her purse and into the trunk of the car.

So I get out of the car and go around to the trunk. She yelled my name and I looked up to see that the car was rolling backwards towards me. I had forgotten to put on the emergency brake and I was on a slanted driveway. The car was going rather slow, so I thought I could jump in and hit the brake. Just as I opened the door, the car began picking up speed. I realized that I was either going down voluntarily or unvoluntarily. So I dropped down to the ground before the door hit
me. I had the foresight to turn on my stomach so the car would go over my calf instead of my shin if the car ran over my leg, which it did. Ironically, the car drifted across the street, hit the curb and stopped.

This particular friend never learned how to drive a stickshift despite living in England. So I had to get up, not knowing if my leg was broken and retrieve the car before somebody came along and hit it. Then I drove myself to the emergency room.

Luckily, I didn’t break my leg, but I was on crutches for a week. See…the worst injury wasn’t the car going over my leg, but me spraining my ankle while twisting my body on the way down.

Marie

My first apartment wasn’t that nice and after a few nights I realized there was a mouse. I remember at first I saw it as a pet. One night I even left some seeds in a dish near my bed and watched it eating them as I pretended to be sleeping.

Unfortunately, the mouse and I kept different hours and soon I was tired of hearing him run around all night.

In my kitchen, near the door, I kept a large Hefty bag full of garbage. One day while I was sitting watching television I heard the mouse climbing around inside the bag and I decided to take this opportunity and get rid of him. I walked up to the bag and quickly grabbed the plastic string and cinched it closed. There was only the small quarter size opening but I could hear him trying to get to the top, I picked up the bag and ran out the door and down the stairs, shaking the bag so he couldn’t get a grip and escape. I went out the front door and still shaking the bag walked twenty feet to the curb and dropped it.

As I turned and walked back in the house I looked down and saw the mouse running past me and back into the house. I ran after him but he got there first and jumped up the steps and finally into the hall and behind the heater.

The next day I got a cat.

Arthur

i went to a party at my best friends x girlfriends house, we were all drinking in the back yard, when someone had the bright idea to go skinny dipping! so being the clearly intoxicated teenager i was at the time, i decided to jump in the pool….naked! sure enough 3 min later, a car pulls up into the back yard with its brights on…THE FUZZ! was the first thing that came to my mind, being intoxicated i decided it was a good idea to hide under water!...of course it was a horrible idea so about 30 sec later i come up gasping for air. and jumping out of the pool…naked i might add.. and ran into the woods.. well Sam’s girlfriend had a blind/deaf horse, i go creeping threw the woods and the next thing something big freaks out! and all i see is a big white eye shining in the moonlight,”screw this” i said, “id rather get a ticket!” as i drunkenly stumbled my way back to the house…still naked, it turns out it was no cops, it was Sam’s girl friend all along, pulling the car up for a little music.

Lawson

I always liked Ying Yangs, those martial arts emblems that you see on key chains and necklaces. I think that people wear them to warn other people that they know certain secrets, and that people better not start any trouble.

From the fifth grade on, I often drew the symbols everywhere, from my notebook covers to the toes of my blue sneakers.

Once in sixth grade, my friends and I all asked our parents if we could watch the Bruce Lee movie Enter the Dragon. They agreed and I was very impressed with how Bruce Lee could defend himself from so many angry people all at one time and how he visited his priest on a regular basis to get wisdom. But the movie was a little longer than expected and I was disappointed in not seeing Bruce Lee wearing a Ying Yang emblem.

Nevertheless, I thought that if I could get a priest like Bruce Lee had, I could get a lot of wisdom and defend myself from an assortment of angry people, while also impressing my friends.

So I went on the internet to see if I could find a priest who also knew about these things, but I never could find one.

To this day I still like those Ying Yang symbols and I think about them whereever I go.

Nick S.

**Folks, we have a winner for the first dozen or so “Your Tales. It’s Todd F. with the pizza man story! Todd gets the Gambatte Award with a JerryTime poster/DVD pack for bravery under fire. Congrats Todd for the superior tale.

I went to go buy some guitar picks just now and I was pretty tired… I still am. When I was leaving the store, I accidentally went into someone else’s unlocked car and it looked exactly like the one I drove there! It took me a minute to notice that it was the wrong one. I didn’t realize at first that my dad’s car didn’t have a carton of cigarettes on the passenger seat when I went there. I put them behind the seat because I didn’t want to drive around with them, me being underage and all. This car had all kinds of cds that I wouldn’t expect my dad to listen to, and it was dirty as hell. I felt like I was dreaming or something. Luckily I snapped back into reality before the guy got back to his car!

-Dan D.

Years ago I was employed in an office in Manhattan, and the entrance to the office was a security door that automatically locked. One night I was working late, way past midnight, and had taken my shoes off. Well, when I went out to the bathroom, which was outside the office and down the hall, and the automatic door closed. I immediately realized that I had not taken the key with me.

Of course there was nobody else in the office at that late hour. It was too late to call one of my other co-workers who live in Manhattan. I couldn’t even head home (to Queens) because I didn’t have my shoes! I was really tired from a long day and I couldn’t imagine just hanging out in the hallway for another 8 hours until somebody else showed up.

So I chose the only other option available: to break into the office. The only possible entryway was the front security door, which I thought was made of glass. I figured I could smash my way in. There was no alarm system and I finally found a strong piece of metal pipe—Perfect! I began to smash the pipe against the glass door, which I discovered was made of ‘shatter-proof’ glass. I had to swing this pipe against the door 100 times before I made a hole big enough to reach my hand in and open the door.

I quickly retrieved my shoes, wallet, etc., and headed home. The next day, I had to feign surprise at the workmen repairing the door.

In retrospect, I think I did the right thing. My only regret was having caused the company such an expensive repair.

Steve G.

When I was in college, my boyfriend and I lived in a cool three story loft apartment in downtown Cincinnati facing a back alley and parking lot. The gay couple that lived next door had a kick-ass apartment with a terrace on the second floor which was home to their outdoor hot tub. One night in the middle of the coldest part of January I was awakened by the sound of a voice coming from outside. “Help!”. I sit up, all groggy and see that it’s 2 AM. I hear the voice again. “Help! It’s cooooold!”.

I wake up my boyfriend and we listen again. “Somebody please! Help!” At first we think it’s a homeless person who is sleeping outside in the freezing cold and snow. I open the window and look down to see two naked gentlemen on the 2nd floor terrace next door. They’ve never been more happy to see anyone in their life. They inform us that they were house-sitting for the neighbors and they decided to take a late-night dip in the hot tub and accidentally locked themselves out. They were almost blue with cold! I threw them several blankets while my boyfriend called the fire department. The firemen, as firemen would, had a good laugh at their expense but they got the job done.

The couple was very embarrassed and brought us an excellent bottle of wine as a thank you. Cheers!

Jennifer

Well, I used to sell drinks at Virginia Tech football games. The tray was heavy and the work was hard, but the pay was usually good, if you were lucky enough to get a good section. This story doesn’t revolve around a-hole antics of people dropping little empty bottles of alcohol in your tray, but around a guy who paid in cash. Big cash. A $100 dollar bill for one drink. I stood there for five minutes, counting out $97 in change, as with that kind of money, he’d leave a tip right? He took the money, counted it and said, “Hey, you got it right.” And walked off. No tip. Nothing.

I had to go back to where we got drinks and exchange the bill for smaller ones. What a miser!

Matt R.

My job right now is a pizza delivery driver. One time I went to this house, and it looked kind of cluttered with lots of random stuff laying around. I also noticed a sign that said”Beware of Dog” on it. But right when I got out of my car, this guy comes out and the first thing he said was”Don’t worry, Rocko is inside.” Then about a second after he said that, this big dog that I think was a german shepard comes running out of the house barking and comes right at me. I was about to run, but then the guy said right away in a kind of panicked voice to just stay still and she wont hurt me. So I’m standing there with this dog sniffing me and growling, and he tries getting the dog inside by the collar, but it snaps at his hand. He finally got the dog up to the door, but it refused to go inside for about a minute. All this time I’m standing there scared out of my mind holding the pizza bag. He finally pays me, and I go to my next house a little shaken up. The next house had a big dog too, but it was a lot more tame, but its name was Rocky, which was kind of weird.

Todd F

April 20, 2001:
An invitation to a weekend campout-4/20 party was issued to myself and a bunch of my friends. It was supposed to be a huge party on a guy named Johns’ parents house, which was supposed to include a huge bonfire, cookout, plenty of alcohol and other “treats” to par-take. I was traveling in one car with two other friends, who hopped in the car with 10 cases of beer. We were apart of a three car caravan traveling from
Murfreesboro, TN to Pulaski TN, in all an hour and a half drive. The lead car, full of six of our friends, had an open bottle of liquor and some other “treats” the government has deemed “illegal.” One car behind us was full of over 18 minors, who had “treats” of their own.

So about an hour into the trip, my friend who was driving tells me that Pulaski is known as the origin of the Ku Klux Klan and has a reputation for being overtly redneck (btw, I’m half black). Naturally I’m both surprised and insanely scared wondering how long it will take for me to get lynched.

We finally reached the street or dirt road leading to our destination, and we all noticed that the address is a burned down barn with no sign of any inhabitants. Figuring we had made a wrong turn, we traveled up and down the road and still no house and no people. Unable to get in-touch with the host of the party, we noticed two sheriffs behind us with their lights on demanding we pull over.

In a church parking lot we were all pulled out of our cars and subjected to a search of our vehicles. I had to talk our way out of all of us being arrested by explaining to the cops of our situation and even showed them the flier of the party. One cop asked: “Do you have any alcohol or any illegal substances in the car or any cars?” To which I replied: “No sir not that I’m aware of.” They took mercy on us and allowed us to leave without incident. We went back to Murfreesboro, where we all confronted John. One of my drunk friends kicked John in the nuts.

alex b.

My father has such a way with people and is such an influence on me that anytime I can’t think of the right thing to say, I think about what he would reply. When I was seven or eight years old, my father watched my brother and me outside the mall as my mom shopped. While we waited, an older man sat down near us and asked my younger brother how old he was. He then asked my brother, “How old do you think I am?” When my brother said that he didn’t know, the man boasted, “I’m 76 years old!” to which my father replied, “That’s wonderful! I hope you live to a hundred!”

When I was in my teens, I began working at a neighborhood store, and I had a reputation for striking up a conversation with just about everyone. One day, an older woman commented, “You seem like a nice young man” and asked my age. I told her, and she then asked me to guess hers. When I said I had no idea, she said with a smile, “I’m 99 years old!” I thought for a second, and unfortunately the response that came out was, “That’s wonderful! I hope you live to a hundred!”

-Adam

It was Christmas of 1982. I was a freshman at U.C. Berkeley and home at my parents house in San Jose for winter break. I was in the garage getting my car, a 1975 Toyota Celica, ready for the trip. Although it looked like it had been in a demolition derby, it drove fine, and I was just changing the oil and minor things like that.

So I lay down on my back, crawled under the car, removed the fill plug on the manual transmission, and stuck my little finger into the fill hole to check the level, as I had always done but when I tried to pull my finger out it was stuck!

I pulled as hard as I could, but it still wouldn’t come out. At this point the finger had begun to swell, so there was little I could do. My friend Paul was with me and he went into the house and got a chess set, and we played a few games of chess, waiting for the swelling to go down.

My sister Shannon finally burst back into the garage and told me she had called the fire department. The firemen showed up and immediately suggested I put ice on it. That didn’t help. They then suggested something about putting a string around it, and I said “how are you going to get the string in there?” They decided that wasn’t such a good idea either. Finally, one of the fireman said he had seen Preparation H used to reduce swelling and get a swollen hand out of a steering wheel.

We didn’t have any. Next thing I know, my beautiful, blonde 22-year old neighbor, (who I had a crush on for years), walks in with Paul and Shannon. She was carrying a tube of her parent’s hemorrhoid medicine that was not Preparation H. Truly embarrassing. We put it on the finger. We waited. I tried to pull it out. It was still stuck.

Finally, Shannon and Paul went to the corner store and came back with the real deal. We put on the finger, waited, and a minute or so later—it came right out. Ordeal over, or so I thought.

The next morning the San Jose Mercury News arrives and on the front page of the local section, the headline reads “Finger Fails as Dipstick He Finds”. I became the talk of the neighborhood.

-Sean Gilligan

I once worked with a nonassuming, quiet fellow, lets call him “Carl”, who had slightly bulgy eyes. He sat at the desk next to me, and we sort of got a long in a non-commital way. “Good morning”, “How was your weekend?”, that sort of thing. Pleasant enough guy, with ever so slightly bulgy eyes. (Note that I have slightly bulgy eyes, as well.)

At the place where I worked, they’d bring in a keg on Fridays and we’d have a company wide meeting (this was the go-go nineties, when companies did this sort of thing). During one of those friday meetings, I was sitting next to a friend in the conference room, doodling on a note pad, when I idly wrote “Carl is a bug-eyed freak.” I showed this to my workmate and we giggled and I promptly forgot what I had wrote.

Flash forward a couple of months. My wife had just joined the staff and she had come over to my desk to shoot the breeze. She was picking through my stuff, when lo and behold, she found the notepad. (Carl is of course seated at his desk.)

Wife: “CARL IS A BUGEYED FREAK! WHO’S CARL?”

Carl: “I’m… Carl.”

Carl didn’t speak to me for three weeks after that, and I still cringe thinking about it now.

-Greg Mills


I drink a lot of coffee so I almost always have some empty used paper coffee cups in my car. I?m always either taking coffee into my car or taking used cups out of my car.

The other day I stopped to get some more coffee. I collected the empty cups from my car and took them with me so I could throw them out in the garbage can in the parking lot. I carried the cups in one hand and a twenty dollar bill for the coffee in my other hand. I threw the cups out in the garbage can and walked on but then realized I didn?t have the twenty anymore. I looked around on the ground but soon figured I must have thrown it out with the used coffee cups by accident.

I didn?t want to stand in the parking lot going through a garbage can, but I also didn?t want to walk away from a twenty dollar bill that I was certain was in there. So here?s what I did. I backed my car up to the garbage can, pulled the entire garbage bag out of the garbage can and put it in my trunk so I could take it home with me where I could go through it privately and find the twenty dollar bill.

When I told my friends this they thought I was completely insane to do what I did.

Tom in LA
www.scribblesfromla.com


My wife and I went skiing a few years ago at a charity race sponsored by the place I used to work. Neither of us were good skiers, and had never participated in a race before.

When we got there, a table was set up to register for the event. Even though my wife didn’t want to participate, I signed both of us up, in case she changed her mind. I thought I was being considerate. I told her that when it was time, if she didn’t want to, she didn’t have to race. It was no big deal. I put both assigned numbers in my pocket.

After a few hours of nice, relaxing bunny hill-grade skiing, the race began. She reiterated her feelings about not wanting to make a total fool of herself infront of everyone, and I understood. I had no such compunctions. I went up to the starting gate and put on a number that was in my pocket.

I lined up for the start, heard the bell ring and the gate swung open. That’s pretty much all I remembered. It wasn’t pretty. I missed every marker, fell a half dozen times and finally lost both skis and at least one pole and mitten, but I had fun.

The problem was I unknowingly grabbed my wife’s number. Down at the bottom of the hill, the announcer in the booth was having a great time regailing the crowd with what he thought were my wife’s antics. I was too high up the mountain, or too preoccupied to hear any of it.

Exhausted, but still enjoying myself, I eventually made it down the hill. I was shocked to see my wife, standing there, alone (our friends, sensing the impending disaster that would befall me, had wisely scattered). The snow around her seemed to have melted from the ball of fury that had once been the woman I married.

I’m not going to go into details , but it was the closest we’ve ever been to a divorce.


Across the hall from my apartment lives a hearty retired woman and her husband from the old country. She yells all the time, while sweeping or just carrying on a phone conversation with her sister. Though the noise is a problem, the bigger issue is that she leaves her garbage in the hallway outside her door rather than in the trash cans one floor down. Because we live in an old tenament with narrow corridors, our doors are only about 2 feet apart. When she leaves garbage outside her door, she is essentially leaving it outside mine. I’ve asked her nicely to not do this. But, she flails her arms manically and shrieks, “My business! No, no! My business! No! No!”

Last night, I heard a flapping dark shadow fall from the ceiling above my television. An oversized cockroach (the kind with bones in their wings and menace in their minds) landed next to the couch. On my way home, I saw a dead one in the hallway, but had never seen one before this in my home. I think my neighbor’s trash is a welcome mat for things unsavory.
Penny

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