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06:17:28 - 2000-04-27

THE BALLAD OF THE PIMPLE-PICKING PUTZ

I think the most pissed I ever made my parents was in college.

Y'see...believe it or not...I'm a pretty smart guy. All through school, I got A's and B's. I received one "D" and that was in the 4th grade in Social Studies (i.e. history) and never did any worse than that.

Until college.

Once I got into an atmosphere with no curfew, no age limit for alcohol and lots of college women, I completely lost it.

My motto was "Fuck School, Let's Get Drunk."

After a year of this, my dad decided to cut me off. My grades completely sucked. At one point, I had a 0.8 GPA.

Yep. Worse than an "F".

So ... with no more money from Mom and Pop rolling in, I had to cut back on expenses.

I started with the electricity and phone bill. No need for those since I was never home anyway.

At Christmas time, I had to find a way to my family's home in New Jersey from my college in Tennessee.

I called Dad to see if he'd buy me a plane ticket.

Nope.

But he WOULD get me a bus ticket, since that's all I was apparently worth.

Alrighty...bus ticket it is.

The bus ride was going to be 27 hours long.

That's right...27 hours on a bus.

In a way, I looked at it as an adventure. See the USA in my Chevrolet kinda thing.

Jesus God. Janet Reno couldn't have been more wrong.

The first few hours were spent writing song lyrics. My project at the time found me working on an "album" of songs where each of the songs was about one of the women that had influenced my life. Twelve songs...twelve women.

The album title? "Girls Girls Girls"

Yep. Motley Crue stole it seven years later. Damned Satanic assholes.

Actually, I stole it from Elvis ... so who's the Satanic Asshole now?

Well...it'd still be Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue. But you get the idea.

Anywahoooo...riding a bus for 27 hours is the most psychologically damaging thing anyone can do to themselves short of hanging with Affemann for an afternoon.

Apparently, only psychotics and poor college students use Greyhound for transportation anymore.

I remember one man sat down next to me for a few states. He had an old, brown paper bag with him that he kept securely in his lap the entire way. Every five miles or so, he'd peek in the bag to make sure whatever he had in there was still there.

He kept talking about stock car racing too. Now, I've never known shit about stock car racing. I knew my dad did it before I was born, and so I casually dropped that trivia fact into the conversation at one point.

That made crazy guy go ballistic. He HAD to know my father's name. After I told him, he SWORE he knew him and remembered him.

Ummmmm...my dad did this like 20 years before this conversation and was pretty much a regionally-known racer...never nationwide.

The guy still swore he knew Dad and when we parted ways, he shook my hand and said it was an honor to meet the son of my dad.

Freak.

During this trip, I had a MONSTER zit on the back of my neck.

This thing must have been the size of a quarter and I couldn't help but pick at it. There's not much to do on a bus. You can look out the window, pick your zits and scabs and go to the bathroom. That's pretty much the extent of your entertainment for 27 hours.

What I didn't know was that during one of my picking sessions, I had popped that bad boy.

Another thing I didn't know...the collar of my white oxford shirt was now soaked in pimple blood.

One of the other passengers pointed it out in D.C.

I ran to the bathroom of the bus terminal in D.C., and took my shirt off to the delight of the homeless people that lived in the bathroom.

Yep. A big red spot about two inches in diameter was on the back of my shirt. I looked like I had been shot execution style and lived.

As all my wardrobe was stashed underneath the bus, I couldn't change shirts. I couldn't ask the bus driver to get my suitcase out for me and let me change, because I didn't have the self esteem necessary to admit that I had been picking at a zit for the last 450 miles and was now a bloody mess.

So I rode the last 1,200 miles with a blood soaked shirt and a foul disposition.

...And I fit right in with the rest of the passengers.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Have a topic already picked out when you begin a diary entry and don't expect everyone to be enthralled with the fact that you used to pick your zits.

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