Lame is the Name of the Game

Ever since I was old enough to be competitive, I was. I can remember fighting over the remote control, the front seat, I even smacked my brother’s front tooth out with a Don’t Break the Ice hammer when he was four. And it didn’t just stop at sibling rivalry… I had to be teacher’s pet, the best at Tae Kwon Do, the most impressive grandchild, the best at treading water in swimming lessons… and the list goes on and on.

Well, now I’m 23 years old and there really isn’t much to get competitive over. I mean, sure, drinking and smoking the most is a battle, but the outcome is never glorious.

But today I realized that I might need some psychotherapy for my need to achieve.

I work at night doing at home parties (like Tupperware, but instead of burping, our products buzz). So, when I’m not peddling dildos, I have a lot of spare time on my hands. My recent sloth-like addiction has been applications on Facebook. I started my own little farm as a little blond-haired avatar with pigtails; I rated all of my top-five favorites and worsts; I took quizzes about where I could have the nastiest sex; and I’ve played trivia until my eyes shriveled up and fell out of my skull like raisins. But, by far the worst appli-diction has been Restaurant City. In this little online crack house, you create your restaurant, hire friends, feed your pint-sized workers and work to be the best on your friends list.

There are four other people out of my friends who have restaurants, and until today I was ranked in third place. No matter how many times I checked to make sure my employees were fed little glasses of water and electronic apples, I still came in third. And this wasn’t a close third, this was running-a-marathon-with-no-legs-or-lungs-third.

Something needed to be done; the competitive demon within was burbling to the surface.

So, I noticed a little button that says “Add Coins.” Initially, I thought this was a chance to earn some coin by answering questions or doing trivia. This made me excited, because I will play until midnight if I have to in order to win. But, alas, it was a chance to dip into my Paypal account and transfer real-world money into little bleeps on the computer. A laugh rippled through me at the thought of how absolutely pathetic someone had to be to waste their own money on a little Facebook application. That’s like paying money to be in the Special Olympics — no one really knows if you win or not, it’s just a way to pass the time.

But then I went back to my dismal little restaurant. The tables looked like they’d been stolen from the set of Texas Chainsaw Massacre; the outside was one notch lower than insane asylum and my workers were starving for much needed fruit and water that I could not afford. The recession was beating on the door of my online eatery and I had nothing to give it. I felt like the little bunny family in Sherwood Forest when the Sheriff comes to collect their taxes. I was doomed with no where to go… so, before I knew it, my own Robin Hood was here to save my business. And he was in the form of Visa.

So, now I’m out $20 but, damn, is my little establishment sparkling and there’s an extra skip in each of my workers’ steps. Come visit me if you’d like and get jealous of how sweet my shit is.

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Chuey Baby


It’s been several months since I’ve moved in with my mother. Now, most people would groan/gag/kill in this type of situation. But my mom works all around the country most of the year — giving me a free house, free HBO and a free deaf dog to look after.

This dog (Baby) is my mom’s pride and joy. She doesn’t leave her side. She’s like Helen Keller meets Lassie, but much uglier. She gets lots of “she’s so hideous that she’s kind of cute” comments. Not a one-liner I want to hear any time soon, but I digress.

So, upon moving back in with my mom, not only was my ego a little bruised from returning to the nest — I was a little wounded by the fact that my mom paid more attention to her little “Baby Angel” than to her own flesh and blood. Therefore I needed my own puppy.

I mean, it is the ultimate situation: living with a woman who loves animals more than babies, having a fenced in backyard, no job and someone who, after several temper tantrums, will pay the money for a puppy. So I was on the lookout. I knew I couldn’t just pop home with a puppy because free puppies are like the leppers of the dog world. I was biding my time, waiting for the perfect little bundle of joy to dribble from heaven an into my home.

The time came soon enough…

My brother’s 20th birthday took place at a Chinese restaurant in a local strip mall (we Berkens are not cheap dates), and right next door to Chang’s Garden is a pet store. It is our tradition to go look at the gerbils, hideous birds and cuddly bunnies after every outing to Chang’s so it wasn’t hard to get my mom in the store.

And then we saw him…

Right next to a playpen full of rat terriers was my little nugget. His little brindle body shivered with excitement as he laid eyes on our family. And I’m not going to lie, it’s been a long time since any guy showed that much attention to me, so I was immediately sold. My mom, however, was not quite as whorish as her daughter. Her exact words were “absolutely not.” But, after my brother threatened to throw his fullback frame on the floor and burst into tears, we were sold on the newest addition: Chuey Berken.

But now, a month later, the honeymoon period has warn off. Don’t get me wrong I love this dog more than if I birthed him from my own loins; but, he is worse than a toddler. And to top it all off, my mom just started a new relationship. So while she’s off to dinners, concerts and romantic camping trips — I’m home scrubbing shit out of shit-stained carpet. I mean, this dog has not only shit on every square-inch of the house — he also has developed the habit of peeing when I pick him up. Now, I know what you’re thinking — well, the poor little baby is terrified of his big mean master. No I’m pretty sure this is done out of spite. Because even when I’m swallowing screams as he’s running away from me in the laundry room and I’m talking in a voice saved only for Mary Poppins, the little ass still squirts…and it’s almost always on MY: jacket, foot, hand, blanket, freshly cleaned pants, etc.

So, to make a long story short: I am not the next Dog Whisperer and might take a couple more years to think about my willingness to procreate. But, until then, I’ll be here squeezing the shit (hopefully not literally) out of this precious little bastard.