Skip navigation

Category Archives: musing

if you’ve ever listened to an interview with dave sim, you’ve probably heard him talking about why he ended up doing comics, why he chose it as his medium or whatever.  the blame doesn’t always lie with him for this repeated topic.  i’ve listened to a boatload of interviews and chat with the dude and this is a subject that just seems to come up a lot.  i’m like anyone else, probably, and i have some serious reservations and mixed feelings about dave sim.  but the dude definitely deserves to be asked about comics.

one of the reasons i love interviews with him is that he has thought-provoking things to say about his own work.  the dudes from comic geek speak have chatted with him a bunch of times in going through and reviewing his collections of CEREBUS indivually, and the things sim remembers from making the books–the insight he shares on his formal methods, processes and concerns–they’re awesome.  he’s done thousands and thousands of pages and it’s clear he was thoughtful about it all the way through.

what he says in response to this recurring question about why he ended up making comics is pretty awesome though.  one of dave’s big-time fans and followers was a dude named ken viola, who’d been a roadie to the rolling stones during some choice years of their career.  viola says keith richards once said to him that when he first discovered and listened to american rhythm and blues, ‘it was like [his] black and white world turned color.’  the line’s supposed to be a nod to the famous transition in WIZARD OF OZ, i think.  dave sim says that when he first discovered comics, this happened for him, too, and when it did he knew he wouldn’t be able to do anything else but make comics.

i’ve had that feeling two times.  my first was with STRAY BULLETS and my second was with BERLIN.  i rarely go back and look at those books anymore, but they’re the two books that completely convinced me that comics could be about fucking anything, no matter how high-flying or mundane.  those two books took the way i felt about comics–and i loved comics already–and opened the door to a lifetime of examining what comics could do.

what i get from keith richards’ line–and from how dave uses it for himself–is that when you find the thing you’re meant for, the thing you’re gonna dedicate yourself to–your sine qua non–you feel your world expand.  for me it wasn’t just comics; it was black-and-white comics and it was comics with unrestricted subject matter.  any time i look back on those reading experiences of BERLIN and STRAY BULLETS, i get a half-nervous feeling like i’m still having them for the first time and i can remember what it was like before–but just barely.

but that’s the thing about those moments when, as in WIZARD OF OZ, you step into the color.  you can never pretend you haven’t seen it.  you’re changed.  dave sim knows.  and what the fuck would dave sim have ever done with himself if he hadn’t found comics?  you can’t even speculate about that.  that’s how it is for me, too, though i don’t claim dave’s accomplishment.  black-and-white comics have been my world since that one moment, and i don’t think i could ever go back to a world without color.

Advertisements

a few weeks ago, i had a table at molly’s that was a lot of fun–three old-timers having a few drinks and dinner together.  we were pretty busy so i wasn’t able to able to spend a lot of time with them, but i remember them very clearly.  it was an older couple–a heavy-set curly-haired lady and a tall, lanky cowboy-lookin’ old dude with white hair and a mustache just devouring his head above the upper lip.  dude had that deep, hypnotic cowboy drawl that you’d swear was  put on if you didn’t hear him keep it going.  very nice couple, though, and their friend was nice, too–a giant man who laughed at everything.

what they got to drink was memorable.

some people like to make up their own drinks.  the dude, speaking for himself and for his wife, ordered them a cocktail just sounded absolutely foul.  “we take it like this, son.  a whiskey–that’s a double now–kahlua, half-and-half, bailey’s, and coke. tall glass.’

god, BARF, i thought.  ‘does this drink have a name, my friend?’

‘son, you can call it however you like, long as you get it right.’  i double-checked with them and they said i had it right.

whiskey, kalua, bailey’s, half and half and coke.  that is just disgusting.  the only other time a man is likely to have mixed that shit together is in kicking the bottle and dumping all his booze and mixers down a damn drain.  i took this awful recipe to mladen, our bartender, and repeated it until he understood that these people actually did mean to drink it.  he whipped the drinks up, and i brought them back.

i rarely fuss about special orders.  it’s just part of the job.  but in this case, the drink was so nasty i wanted to poke a little fun.  mladen and i had straw-tested it after we mixed it, and it was crap.  it even looked nasty.  the different boozes and ingredients didn’t blend in a way that made a good-looking drink.  it looked like it tasted.  ugh.

‘so, brother, i took the trouble of naming this drink for you since you said i could call it whatever i wanted.’

‘oh yeah?’

‘THE NEEDY MUSTACHE.’

the old cowboy dude thought it was funny enough.  i suggested to him that from now on when they order the drink, they should order the drink by name and indignantly pretend that a good bartender should know what a NEEDY MUSTACHE is.  the idea of that husky-voiced old cowboy trying to pull that off makes me smile.  dude’s mustache really was epic.  it was a huge distraction, like if he’d had a fucking math test stuck to his face or something.  i wasn’t going to be able to let them leave without a mustache joke, so the crappy cocktail came through with the chance.

ugh, fuck that nasty drink!

when i was younger, my grandmother, uncle and my dad would all separately take me out for my birthday.  they’d tell me how much i had to spend and we’d have the day together, eating lunch and going around to wherever i wanted to spend some birthday cash.  i look back on this very fondly.  i have some pretty awesome family.

one birthday i remember very clearly.  it was my birthday in 1995.  my uncle took me to the comic store and told me i had $50 bucks to blow.  14-tear-old alex could not have been happier.  i took him to a store that didn’t have a tight policy about selling so-called MATURE comics to the  underage, because i knew STRAY BULLETS had started–read it in WIZARD–and i absolutely had to have it.  as a back-up plan, i knew my uncle would just buy it and give it to me if they said i was too young to buy it myself.  had it all worked out. being a DC nerd with only blossoming interest in non-hero books, i didn’t really know what i was in for.  i only cared that it was david lapham’s new book, because i’d been totally obsessed with defiant comics’ WARRIORS OF PLASM and his work on that.  i loved his art and thought he was a god.  anyway, only issues 1 & 2 were out, which i knew, and comic gallery did NOT HAVE number one.  i was pretty heartbroken, but when i left the store with STRAY BULLETS #2 (and my pile of other stuff), i was maybe more excited than i’d ever been in my life.  i remember we were pulling out of the parking lot so we could go grab lunch and i couldn’t even put it together to listen to what my uncle was saying.

STRAY BULLETS #2 fucking changed my life.  it was my first black-and-white.  it was my first true indie.  it was my first taste not only of self-published comics but of a RAW-ASS story that was just gonna fuck you up and not care.  i’d opened it up to the scene where virginia applejack puts a #2 pencil in the back of a nasty boy in class who’d licked her cupcake to ruin it for her.  a little girl was stabbing someone in this black-and-white comic.  you guys–it was magic.  it was that feeling.  it was stronger than it’s ever been before or since.  that shit was like falling in love.  it started something for me that’s still going now.  it’s still going this very second.  comics, it turned out, could fucking be about anything.

badass.

there was a big stretch of time when i was a kid when all my friends and i were waiting the entire year for comicon.  from the ages of 9-22 i lived in san diego, and i started going to comicon in ’93.  i was 12, and if i’m not mistaken, it was the first year they’d upgraded the show to the convention center.   that shit seriously changed my life.  it was the height of the image buzz.  it was the height of valiant comics’ fame.  it was the year of onslaught.  it was the year of defiant comics–jim shooter’s comic new company–and probably the year of a million other assholes’ new comic company.  everyone had the new shit and wanted a piece of that comics-boom money.  it was the very height of that, of the speculator boom (or whatever you wanna call it), before the whole thing crapped itself and sent our world of comics into harder times.  it was x-men.  it was vampirella.  it was free shit.  it was cards.  it was summer crossovers, character revamps, new costumes, the anime takeover and all that shit.  it was fucking EVERYTHING.  it was good to be a nerd.

it was the shit.

my best buddy vic and i both tried to get downtown as much as we could during the show, either together or separately.  we didn’t have any money but dude, we could not believe how badass comicon was, how much sweet shit was just flying around that place.  we would walk around broke and not care.  there was always something we wanted to see.   it was like this every summer for many years.  vic and i started saving all year for the show and spending the entire day every day at con when it happened.  we’d even stay after hours, watching the evening anime schedule, attending the eisner awards–all that shit.  we basked in the nerdness for as long as we could.  we were big comics fans.  this was during the years that i ran the international justice league fan club and vic and i were hungry DC nerds. we were into old comics, new comics, dumb comics–and once STRAY BULLETS started, we were suddenly into indies, too.  comics was a world, and it just seemed to get  bigger.

con got more social as time went on.  we would being more friends and spend the show walking around with more and more people.  this led to more shenanigans and more distraction, but for the most part it was worth it.  i distinctly remember throwing larry marder’s BEAN WARRIOR ACTION FIGURES (lima beans) directly at rob liefeld–a bunch of us did this as a posse–and then just running away in nerdy hysterics.  we would walk around and taunt people dressed up, take photos, buy shit, waste time.  con was so addictive then that anything you did at the show was better than anything else you could do outside the show.

and vic and i dropped PILES of money.  we weren’t saving up for a car to drive around and get laid.  we were completing silver-age runs of THE SPECTRE and fucking NEW GODS.  we were buying anime scrolls and DVDs (trying to find a way to score some of the porno ones). we bought action figures and commissioned sketches.  i was growing my collection of kirby comics.  we were playing the shit out of MAGIC and the STAR WARDS cars game.  we were arguing about the minutiae of DC crossover events and picking up back issues of SCUD: THE DISPOSABLE ASSASSIN and DORK.  man, we were nerd junkies.

one of the years we did con, we were walking in a pack from the convention center, headed to POKEZ, a veggie mexican joint with stupid portions.  we were all really pumped about that place.  this black dude with a poofy purple shirt and too-tight black jeans came up to us and said, ‘excuse me!  but my computer tells me that none of you are liked by ANYONE IN THE WORLD.’  in any other circumstance, this  would’ve been a hilarious moment that we all recognized.  we would’ve messed with the guy or egged him or laughed our asses off at what we said.  but i was the only one who even noticed.  so we didn’t bother.   crazy dude was gone and we were so high on the show, all of us, that we didn’t care.  we were talking about our day.  we were blathering about the JLA revamp or some shit.  con was like that.  when it was going on, nothing else really mattered.  it was about what you were buying, reading, checking out and what you were trying to get into.  it didn’t matter that the rest of the year could be so boring or that your cash could disappear so fast.  it was about nerd love.

i have no regrets at all about it when i look back.

before i’d even sat down to work on my first comic, i met jeff nicholson at comicon in ’03.  i was a big fan of COLONIA (still am) and had recently got my hands on a hard-to-find copy of THROUGH THE HABITRAILS, which is still one of my favorite fucking comics of all time.  i dragged a buddy with me and bugged jeff over the whole weekend, talking to him about his plans for COLONIA and asking him tons and tons of questions.  jeff was obliging and kind–certainly more shy than i am but obviously up for long talks about comics, which we had.  now that i’ve had so much convention experience, i really hope, looking back, that i bought a some shit off him, but i can’t remember if i did.  in any case, we left the show as friends and have stayed in touch ever since.

i really admire jeff’s work.  when he made he the decision to leave comics after his last run on COLONIA, it was hard to fault him, since he was from a generation of cartoonists that profited from the so-called ‘black and white boom’ and he knew what it was like to make a living self-publishing.  but i knew i was gonna miss him, and i felt like comics would suffer for his loss.  jeff wasn’t just a face in the crowd with his work; he was a standout with the indies, a six-time eisner nominee.  he plugged away on ULTRA KLUTZ for years, taking it from a goofy ultra man spoof to an awesome, complex yarn you just have to read to understand.  he serialized THROUGH THE HABITRAILS in the hallowed pages of TABOO and busted out eleven issues of COLONIA, an innocent time-travel romp with fun, memorable characters.  it’s a book that shows off just how much he was able to teach himself about comics in his career.  i look at the covers now and i feel like something’s absolutely missing from comics.

when i started my first book in may ’04, i was in touch with jeff, and for a while we were working at the same time.  it was so badass to get emails from him while he worked that final, three-issue stretch of COLONIA.  it was clear he was happy doing the work and was pushing himself in way he hadn’t for a while.  he was getting home from working his serious dayjob and getting down to business on his pages. i felt happy for him and was excited to see where he was taking COLONIA.  we worked off each other.

it’s only because he stayed in progress with comics for so long that he made it to an era in comics where the way he’d always done things wasn’t making him money anymore.  the death of the serialized floppy has been hard for the old-school, i think.  jeff’s had to deal with not being able to make ends meet doing what he loved after having really done it for a while.  jeff is one of the main reasons–if not THE main reason–that i told myself from the outset that i wasn’t going to let the money in comics decide anything for me.  i know that jeff’s heart was broken when the bottom fell out of the market, and i know it felt personal to him that the sales were less on every individual issue he put out.  but that was just comics.  his audience may have been just what it was, just with new expectations of the publishing strategy.  maybe?  who knows what could’ve happened if he’d started with a new GN.

anyway, i love jeff’s work because it’s fun, it’s dark, it’s different and it always takes you somewhere.  but i identify with jeff, too.  i look back on his initial run of ULTRA KLUTZ and then at how his work ended up, and i can see a dude who showed up with a sharp pencil and the will to smash heads and used that enthusiasm to hone his raw drawings into a tasteful, beautiful, controlled, mature style.  he taught himself how to make comics while in progress, and he got fucking good at it.  among other credits i’d give him, THROUGH THE HABITRAILS could be a fucking textbook for how to pace words with pictures, not using too much or too little, and letting both truly sing.  jeff had an ear and eye for that stuff, and i think of how tasteful THROUGH THE HABITRAILS was in that regard all the fucking time.

i’ll end with a question i asked him in an interview i did with him the month i published my very first comic.  he’d been there for me the whole way and would coach me through a lot of the diamond shit.  the question was about success, and it rings in my head much differently now that i have some struggle of my own under my belt.  keep in mind that dude plugged away in the small press for about 20 years just because he was that pumped for comics.
______________________

Alex Cahill: What does success mean for you as a comics-maker? Do you consider yourself successful?

Jeff Nicholson: Great question, which needs a long answer. It keeps changing. As the comics market evolves, and I age, my measure of success evolves as well. In the beginning, I wanted my book to be racked along side the underground comics I admired. A few years later, my goal was to sell 5,000 copies so I could actually make a living off of it. I actually achieved that one, but it slowly slipped away as the market dwindled. Then my measure of success became to only work on projects where I was offered a page rate. That worked for a while, but it was still a tenuous living, so I still seemed be using a living wage to define whether I was good enough, or if the market was being good enough to me for me to participate. After enough years of it not being good enough to me, I realized I was still born to make comics and couldn’t stop. This was when I started Colonia, and I wanted my success to be my ability to out-perform myself, and stop worrying about the money as a barometer of acceptance.

***Now I consider myself successful simply out of tenacity and the ability to adapt, and to not let my creative side get crushed. ***  Things like low sales still affect me emotionally, because those are old wounds, but not intellectually. I know it’s not my fault that the thing I was born to do offers very, very few people a living wage.

_________

jeff, buddy, you’re the real deal.  i miss your shit a lot.

i’ve been thinking recently that it’d be an awesome project to make a list of all the employees we’ve had at molly’s since i’ve been there.  it’s probably more of an exercise than anything else, but there have been so many people to come through our door for work–dozens and dozens in my time–that i thought it’d be an interesting trip to try and remember everyone.

i’ve sweated with some incredible people at molly’s.  from the true team players who’ve come through for everyone in a pinch to some heartless fucking divas who had no love for anyone and no talent for hiding their shallow ways.  restaurant work probably isn’t much different from other work. we sell shit to people who come to us.  but the interesting variable in restaurant work is the particular kind of pressure we suffer.  when you’re dealing with people and their appetites for food and booze, patience is in short supply and many of the niceties and pretensions people extend to each other in most social situations disappear.  add into that the dynamic of tipping and wanting to be tipped and it’s even more complicated and less kind.

the weenies of the restaurant world disappear quickly.  even though the stakes are low in our work, the pressure’s high in a busy environment.  and big pressure, regardless of the stakes, just crushes some people.  one of the first dudes i remembered when i did start this list of molly’s employees was someone who cooked for us, an ex-marine from nebraska.  we’ll call dude johnny hooder.  he was a vet who ran two tours in iraq, desert and iraqi freedom both.  ran air traffic control, stormed some hot war zones by foot, saw some shit there that turned my fucking stomach just to hear.  dunno if dude ever really felt comfortable as a citizen after his service.  he did coke with his wife and shot pool at trash bars in beaverton.  the thing he would always say, to describe to me just how easy it was to work in a restaurant after the military, was ‘man, it’s just food.’

‘it’s just food.’

it’s true, too, and that’s what i mean about low stakes.  people can get pretty fucking uppity and rude when their blood-sugar’s flying around, but it’s not like we’re doctors or cops where shit really matters and people can die.  but despite his worldly prepossessions and niceguy airs, johnny hooder was always the first dude to lose his shit when things got hairy.  he’d cuss you out for not telling him you had a six-top before you rang in their food and if you botched an order in crunch-time, which everyfuckingbody’s done, he’d scream you down and make you think he was gonna have a PTSD explosion on you.  dude was a corn-fed dinosaur of a man, too, so that made for some tense times.

just goes to show that despite the knowledge that none of it matters, when pressure bears down on you, you’re gonna feel it.  i think about jonny hooder sometimes now when shit’s all over the fan at molly’s.  he’s the measuring stick for the real freak-out, and when i think of him i remember to keep my cool.

johnny was fired by text message and i was probably the only one at molly’s at that time who wasn’t at least a little spooked he was gonna come around and smash heads.  johnny and i had got along pretty well.

he’s just one of dozens of memorable people . . .

probably won’t do much of this, but i’ve been wanting to share this for a long time.  this is the poem i read at my wedding.  it’s not about me and sorren.  i’ve never felt better about writing something than i felt when this badboy came out.  it’s a little serious for a blog maybe, but it’s just sitting around otherwise so i thought it was a good time to get it out.

 

may we know to take our moment when it comes
and to hold ourselves in dire witness of it.
may we see with naked eyes every color that brings it
and know that our company in it is good.
should our nerve start or settle,
should our hearts swell or calm,
let us surrender to see and be seen
plain as we are and great by god’s blessing.
may we not confuse our shabby designs on tomorrow
for the end of our moment or of any other.
at whatever time this moment comes,
for however long it lasts,
and at whatever scale we choose to see and to be in it,
there is nothing but the love of us, hand-in-hand.
there is nothing but the love of us, hand-in-hand.
may we know to take our moment when it comes.

(made some adjustments to yesterday’s intro to this story, in case you wanna revisit it before you read this part)

just to clarify for you, i’ve waited on just about every imaginable kind of table.  ethnicities, nationalities, personality types, all shapes and sizes–none of that really matters to me.  i like to have fun with people but i stay out the way when it’s appropriate.  every strain of pushy asshole, every strain of forgiving saint.  every man, woman and child.  i’m used to all of it and i’ve developed a feel for sensitive moments.  i’ve talked my way into good graces and out of physical altercations.  i’ve kicked people out and i’ve convinced people to stay.

i was not ready for bird lady.

i did end up bringing these people a few plates of balls of fire for them to share.  by then, bird lady and her husband were isolated to one side of the table and everyone else was trying to talk with themselves while she hovered over them, butting loudly into conversations and spilling her drink.  i decided she wouldn’t be drinking anymore.  she tried to order another drink from me (touching me again), and when i looked at her husband and saw only his bland approval of her, i gave up on his ass.  “yeah, comin’ right up.”  NOT.  i got everyone’s dinner order and considered completely ignoring this table.  i also did what any good waiter does dealing with awful customers:  i complained to my co-workers.  but they already to know what the problem was.  everyone could see.

after i made the rounds and tended to my other tables, i made a pass at bird lady’s table but didn’t get near her or her husband.  i refilled some drinks and even joked with a couple of the others, but when i heard bird lady yapping in my direction–i’d foolishly obliged her request for my name–i just fucking walked away.  i just could not be touched again by that dumb, chattering bag of sticks.  when i returned with food later (my co-workers totally denied my request to run the table’s food without me), bird lady was weeping and had half a ball of fire tottering on a plate in her hand.  she’d clearly eaten some.  ‘OH MY GOD THEY’RE SO HOT.’  i did my usual routine, pulling appetizer plates, offering napkins and hot sauces, and as i was about to walk away and leave them to eat, bird lady ran into me.  i mean she seriously plowed into me like she was falling down.  she was laughing with food and spittle falling out of her mouth.  she had fucked-up teeth and wiry neck veins.  “IT BURNS!”  she braced herself against me and uprighted herself.  she’d dropped her plate and was holding the last remaining bite of her fireball with two fingers. she was breathing hard and slightly choking, but she was still laughing.  “HAVE YOU TRIED THEM?” suicide chills again.  “YOU GOTTA TRY THEM!”

if my mother–bless her infinite serenity and wisdom–hadn’t drilled into me from a young age how important it was to be a gentleman, and if she hadn’t ingrained in me that i was never, ever to hit a lady, i would’ve punched bird lady in the face.  she grabbed the back of my head and smashed the wet fritter against my mouth.

“LADY, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!?  GET A GRIP! DON’T TOUCH ME!”  i slapped the food out of her hand and backed away from her.  the other people in this party all looked like they wanted to die as bad as i did.  and i shit you not, the expression on the face of bird lady’s man was unchanged.  i’d had enough.  i walked away, printed their check (with an auto-grat of 18% on it:  FUCK THEM) handed it to a co-worker and waited in the bar for the table to leave.  i had my co-worker (who understood) close out all of my tables and i didn’t show my face in that room again until bird lady had left.  i couldn’t do it.

check the best part though:  bird lady’s man complained to my boss about me.  about ME.  when i think of the life that guy still has in front of him with the damaged-ass ragdoll he married, i guess i can’t blame him.  it’s not crazy that he’d seek some redress after i yelled at her to her face.  but he did tell my boss that bird lady had only had two drinks.  either that’s a flat lie–or this dude deals with this kinda situation all the fucking time.  i think i actually believe him.

the most obnoxious woman i’ve ever waited on was almost a full foot shorter than me.  i’m not tall.  I’m 5’7″.  she and her husband were part of a larger party that came into molly’s on a busy weekend night to try us out, and the rest of this party seemed to want nothing to do with these two.  they’d all waited for a good while to be seated and so a few of them had drinks they’d got from the bar by the time they sat down at the table i’d prepared.

the woman was the first thing i heard before i even arrived at the table.  the most shrill, glass-shattering bird voice i’d ever heard.  she was still standing, hovering with her empty drink after everyone had been seated.  she was so fucking skinny it was uncomfortable to look at her and she had ballooned, cartoonish fake boobs and the orange complexion of an oregon fake-baker.  what she was talking about i don’t even remember.  it seemed like she was laughing with someone else, but when i approached i realized she wasn’t talking to anyone.  she was just laughing and standing near her man.

there’s a special feeling you get as a waiter when a table makes an awful dread descend on you before you’ve even had a chance to say hello.  the sight of this woman gave me the fucking suicide chills.  i was instantly embarrassed for her and wanted to hide.  my instinct was to give the table away to another server, but i decided that’d be too dramatic.  i was gonna handle these guys.

i greeted the table, half of whom seemed too ashamed of bird lady even to take notice of me.  it made me nervous.  i made my way toward her warily, writing down drink orders as i went and hoping there wouldn’t be problem.  bird lady’s husband was a half-athletic, heavy-set middle-aged dude, the kind with a tommy bahama button-up, a close shave and a confused look.  i knew him for bird lady’s man at the sight of him, and you would’ve, too.

when i got to bird lady to ask if she needed something, she was already putting her hands on me and very loudly asking for a drink.  “WHAT DID I HAVE BEFORE?  WHAT AM I DRINKING?”  laugh laugh laugh.   i backed away a little to send her a discreet message.  when i came back with everyone’s drinks, she pulled the same shit.  she touched me.  she yelled more questions.  everyone else at that table looked like they wanted to get up and leave.  they eyeballed the menus and pretended everything was ok.   i still have no idea why they were all there together.  but there was some talk at the table about trying the balls of fire, mollys’ signature spicy food challenge, and bird lady was off and running with VERY LOUD jokes about hot balls.  she was in my face with that shit, too.  i reluctantly gave her the drink she’d ordered, looking to her man for some fucking sign that he was gonna reign her in or at least get her to sit down.  dude just stared at me.

(continued tomorrow)

ok, so this one’s kind of a follow-up for those of you who’ve been reading consistently.  in one of the previous blogs, i wrote about my buddy xanax, a regular at molly’s who has driven me crazy for six years and who was recently arrested on some pretty heinous felony charges.  well, shortly after he was taken into custody,  we got some calls at molly’s asking about him since it had come up in cursory questioning that he came to our place a lot.   our manager ron answered some mostly harmless questions and after ron got some answers of his own, we were directed to the county’s public record website, where xanax’s mugshot was there for anyone to see.  we made printouts and passed them around to all the staff memebers.  i printed mine out on some nice textured cardstock, and i’m gonna keep it FOREVER.

xanax may manage to inspire future characters of mine–and he may not inspire anything at all.  he may just always be the fruity drug addict who tried to scam me for drinks and who eventually stabbed the man who got in his way when he was stealing half of an old lady’s block of cheese.  after he broke into her house.  because he was on pills.

oh, xanax.  what will your soft hands get into when you’re in the fucking joint?  without further ado . . .