So, this was my weekend…

Posted in Crazy Tourists on September 27, 2013 by deathfrisbee2000

“Let me ask you something,” the older man, I’m guessing Grandpa, says. “When you become a teacher, are you going to teach Evolution?” He takes a breath, hoping to drive the importance of his point home. “Or The Truth?” His son or daughter, their spouse, and his twelve-year old granddaughter all crowd closer, waiting my answer.

Damnit, and I was just starting to like this guy, but I can tell if I express my views to him, the whole family will shut down and I’ll have one crap-tastic tour. So, being diplomatic, I tell him I’m studying to teach Social Studies, and won’t have to deal with That Issue.

It seems to appease the mob and they settle down, and I go on telling them about the Black Hills’ gold rush. This was last weekend.

The above family may certainly be some of the wackier tourists I’ve dealt with (and if you don’t believe me, keep reading), but certainly not the only ones. See, over the summers I work at Big Thunder Gold Mine, teaching people about the history of gold in the Black Hills, showing them a “historical” mine, and teaching them how to pan for gold. And you can be sure in the ten years I have been there that I have seen my fair share of weird shit.

And I don’t mean weird shit like ghosts and stuff (that’s another story for another time), but just ridiculous people with mind-blowingly stupid questions. Some of my favorite questions (and responses I give) are:

“Where do you keep Mount Rushmore during the winter?” We deflate it, roll it up, and store it in Rushmore Cave.

(Refering to wind-generators) “What are those big turny things in the field?” The cows get awfully hot, so those fans keep them cool.

“Where can I go to pet a buffalo?” Actually, I should probably warn them that buffalo are dangerous and will most likely attack, but… maybe Darwin needs to win this one.

The list goes on. I understand that people are on vacation and need to turn off their brains a bit to relax, but really?

Also, a decade in tourism has taught me this very valuable lesson: We are not fucking snowflakes.

Not even close. So many people come through that look, act, and sound exactly like people who showed up a week ago. There’s the frustratingly bored teenager or mother who doesn’t want to be there, there’s the weird Eastern European families where the dad’s shout at their families the whole time, there’s the ADHD kids who have to try to break off pieces of rock from inside a gold mine, and the always annoying new parents with the baby that won’t stop crying (tours follow movie-theater etiquette folks, and if your baby cries, get it the Hell out).

Sorry, that started getting a bit ranty there. But the point is that, while there are billions of people on this planet, perhaps Jung’s ideas of archetypes is a little closer to the mark than the snowflake theory.

The other point, however, is that in ten years, I have never once come across a family like the one this last weekend. I mean, I heard that people believed that dinosaurs and man roamed the Earth together 6,000 years ago, but those people were the they out in the nebulous elsewhere. I’ve now had a close encounter. And the uncomfortableness didn’t end there.

At the back of the mine I begin to tell them how the further down you get, the hotter the rock becomes. Before I can mention that this is due to the fact that we’re getting closer to the Earth’s core, Grandpa pipes in with, “Well, obviously it’s because we’re getting closer to Hell.”

Then, in the same serious tone he’d used on me earlier, he leans in close and says, “You better teach your students about Hell. That’s important.”

Once more whipping out my my skills as a Diplomancer, I counter with the fact that I’ll have many different types of students in my classroom and that I just want them to grow up to be good citizens who ask questions and are good people.

“But,” Mom says, eyeing me shrewd eyes like she’s got a stumper, “How can you be good?” She beams and informs me that only those who follow God’s law are able to be good. I give a half-hearted nod and inform them that we’re running over time and have to keep going with the tour.

Now, by reading the not-so-subtle subtext you may be deducing my own personal views on the matter. However, that’s not the point of this blog. The point of this blog is to show you how weird my tourists are, and I think that these Fundamentalists are a choice example.

And they must have liked me, because they gave me a tip in the form of a tiny comic book!

Ok, this blog is getting away from me and morphing into something I’d rather it not. So before it does that, I’ll bid you farewell.

Ahoy, Me Hearties

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 19, 2013 by deathfrisbee2000

Avast! I do be hoping that ye know what today be!

For those without Pirate to English translators, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! That’s right, my all time favorite holiday is today, Sept. 19th! You know what that means; get out there and terrify the muggles with your “Y’arghs!” and your “Mateys!”

For you non believers out there, let me assure you that this is real. I’m not just some nerd overreacting, but a prophet bringing you the good word of the high seas. Check it out for yourself!

So let your day be filled with grog and wenches, live by The Code while doing your best Johnny Depp impression, run up the Jolly Roger and most of all, Talk Like a Pirate!

If you need help getting into the pirate mood, may I suggest the following song from Mad Caddies?

Teacher’s Pet

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2013 by deathfrisbee2000

So today in class my Creative Writing: Fiction professor used my 5-minute writing as an example of a job well done. Since I survive solely on Mountain Dew and the praise of others, this was a Good Thing.

Because I want more of the same, I’ll share it here. So yes, you will be subjected to my horrible college-level writings. Since you can’t hear me, laugh evilly for a while and pretend it’s me.

The assignment was to understand a very-close third person perspective, which is even more intimate than first person, since in first, the narrator is horribly unreliable.

Ok, here it goes. Prepare yourself.

 

The hole.

Robbie could only stare at the thing—a little black triangle, surrounded by flecks of red. A tiny wisp of smoke rose from that triangle, trailing away as the last echo of the gun’s report faded from the alley.

The gun rattled in his shaking hand as her eyes, moments before wide and frightened, slowly slid out of focus. The whites were slowly overtaken with red until a single crimson tear formed in one corner and began to track its way down her face.

Please.

That was all she had said. Please.

She had repeated it like a mantra while Robbie held the gun in her face. Her voice shook almost as much as his arm, the word scratchy in her throat. As he wiped his free hand across his forehead, he found himself thinking she could use a drink of water.

Please, she had said, reaching down into her purse, reaching for some cash so the two-bit junky Robbie saw reflected in her eyes could get his fix.

When her phone rang—the ringtone some female artist he didn’t recognize, Miley Cirus or Taylor Swift or one of those types singing about being young and awesome—Robbie flinched so bad he didn’t understand what had happened until he saw that he had painted the ally wall red.

She had collapsed silently, purse falling open, spilling its contents. Amidst keys and crumpled tissues lay the phone, soft light oddly bright in the alley. Ears ringing, Robbie felt his fingers go limp. The gun fell from his hand. Bending down he brushed away a few dollars to pick up her cell.

In the center of the light was the word, NICK. Robbie swiped his thumb along the screen and held the phone to his ear.

Hello? The voice on the other side said, echoing oddly. Hello?

Robbie’s arm dropped to the side, phone clattering to the ground. He only stared.

Stared at the hole.

Greetings From the Dark

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 9, 2013 by deathfrisbee2000

A little about me.

My name’s Matt. I work over the summers as a tour guide and over the winters as a library-aide. I’m 6’2″, and heavy enough that you’ll never need to know my weight, thanks. I could tell you many things about me, but there’s only one that you’ll find important.

I’m 31 years old, and I live in my parents’ basement.

It’s incredible the images that are conjured with that simple sentence. Single. Smelly. Immature. Social outcast. Lazy. Poor. Some of these things are true, and some of them aren’t. What matters is that I completely understand that society is going to look down on me.

I’ve recently decided to chase my childhood dream of becoming a fantasy novelist. With the above images I’ve already given you, and the fact that I want to enter a career that is notoriously bad for the bank, I’m not going to blame you if you stop reading.

However, here’s my point: it’s my dream. My. Dream. Not yours, not societies, not anyone else’s. It’s not my intent to come off a tad defensive, and I don’t mean to be of course, but I am unapologetic.

There’s every chance in the world that I’ll crash and burn. There’s a much smaller chance that I’ll wind up rich and famous and I can go on Conan and watch videos, giggling like a demonic Santa-imp, as fans of my work scream and cry at the death of a whole family of their favorite characters. Yeah—I called G. R. R. Martin a demonic Santa-imp. I mean, look at the man.

Regardless, I want to chase down the dream and tackle it to the pavement, punching it in the face over and over until it either kicks my ass to the curb or I pummel it into submission.

This blog will help in that journey. Even if it’s just keeping me writing every week, this little bit of text will (hopefully) keep me on the path.

If you want to follow it, great. If not, that’s cool too.

–Matt

P.S. For those looking for a little inspiration, this comic by Bill Watterson is absolutely incredible. http://zenpencils.com/comic/128-bill-watterson-a-cartoonists-advice/

P.S.S. Mom, if you’re reading this, sorry. I don’t think this blog will be about the aged wisdom you’ve passed along to me like you’d hoped.