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The True Meaning of “Whoops!”

Posted by julescosby on November 15, 2010

Let’s momentarily give the floor to our old friend Adam Richards, who recounts for us an unforgettable “I can’t believe I said that” moment from his past.  -JC

There was a book event for kids at work this week.  No one came.  Not really the end of the world, but a co-worker had put some time and thought into, and so I thought I would make an attempt to derive some benefit from this non-event before she tore it all down.  She had set up a Truth or Dare game for the kiddies, and when she asked me to play, I didn’t hesitate to agree.

“Truth” I said, never once having been afraid of it.

“What was the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever said?” she asked, reading the card she had made probably no less than an hour ago.

You see folks, I open this cakehole quite a bit, and more often than not, something stupid comes out of it.  But before she’d finished asking the question, the episode was more or less fully-loaded in my memory, and my brain was already processing the images.  Once a few customers that were hanging around had left, this is what I told her:

The year was 2004.  I was in my first year of university, living in residence.  I wasn’t incredibly social that year.  Instead, I spent most of my time with a girl who would I would grow to love, but only as she simultaneously grew to hate me.  Thanks, universe.

We smoked a lot of pot that year.  Sometimes we’d smoke in her room, but usually we’d make the trip outside to a little paradise that the stoners carved out between two of the residences.

This is the way it would work: we would take the elevator (I always suggested the stairs, because really, how hard is it to go DOWN the stairs?), prop the basement door open, enjoy a smoke, and then do it all in reverse.  Not rocket science here, folks.

Now, the basement wasn’t only for tokers skipping outside; there were also two laundry rooms.  As we would catch the elevator up from the basement, we would inevitably run into someone entering it on the main floor.  Thus, my go-to joke was always to make a stupid, random laundry comment for sake of the new person.  It usually broke the ice, because we obviously reeked of dope, which can make some people uncomfortable.  At the very least it was good for a few yuks.

I don’t remember that the circumstances of this particular day deviated all that much from the norm.  It was me, her, and maybe a mutual friend or two.  There was the trip down, the propping of the door, the smoke, and then the return.

What was different was the crowd that appeared on the elevator as we hit the main floor.  They were all black guys; we were all white.  But, whatever.  They could have been purple for all that any of us cared.  We were “progressive”, after all.  And so of course as the door closed I didn’t skip a beat going right into my usual shtick, expressing the first random laundry-related thing that came to mind.  But what was it that I said? Well, I’ll never forget it as long as I live:

“My grandma always told me never to mix the colours with the whites.”



I said that.  I really said that.  We rode up to the 7th floor where she lived, but it might as well have been the 107th.  I stood so incredibly still, trying so damned hard to be invisible.  When the door opened I jetted out like air escaping from a pressurized spaceship into the great chaotic vacuum that lies beyond.

Eventually the University put a fire alarm on the door downstairs to keep the smokers from propping it open.  That decision was probably for the best, because I NEVER want anyone else to go through that moment as I once did.

And if any of those guys from the elevator are reading: I am SO sorry.  No, SO sorry.

Adam Richards, circa 2004. Giddy-up.


Posted in friends, personal | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Special Guest Blogger: Adam Richards

Posted by julescosby on March 15, 2010

To our loyal reader: JC has been suffering from a severe case of writer’s block as of late.  This week we present a musing by his longtime associate and loyal friend Adam Richards.

The Two Adams

By Adam C. Richards

It might as well be a sitcom.

Two roommates, both named Adam.  One is gay, one is straight.  BUT HERE’S THE KICKER: The straight one is fancy – like Will and Grace fancy – and the gay one is more like the older brother from the Wonder Years.

The rest practically writes itself.

But it’s not a sitcom; it’s my life right now.  When our other roommate told me who was about to move in a few months back, I expected an Elton John or a Truman Capote to show up with an entourage and suitcases upon suitcases of fabulous kitsch.  Think of the classy parties we would have! The new colour schemes in the bathroom! The mani-pedi Sundays!

And then, Gay Adam arrived.

Jerry Seinfeld once mused that he wasn’t gay, but that people always assumed so because he was thin, single and neat.  Gay Adam is single, but not thin and hardly neat.  He likes guns and is going to be a cop.  He wears a hunting jacket, pajamas, and big ugly boots out into the world every day.  He doesn’t care much for the world of LGBT, but sure loves CCR.

In other words, Gay Adam is a dude.

Now Straight Adam, yours truly, if you take him on appearance, is a dude too.  Once, a classmate called me ‘hypermasculine’ because I have a jawline that can cut a diamond and a baritone that could reach a submarine in the middle of the Pacific.  But oh those ever-deceptive appearances! In reality, I might be the most effeminate hypermasculine that you’ve ever met.  I can’t leave the house if my scarf doesn’t match my shoes, or if my belt clashes with my watch.  The amount of product I put into my hair probably amounts to the Gross Domestic Product of half of the Global South.

To give you more of an idea of the Gay Adam/Straight Adam dichotomy, here are a few examples:

  • I like to keep things neat and tidy.  He doesn’t give a fuck.
  • I eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.  He doesn’t give a fuck.
  • I moderate drug and alcohol intake.  He really doesn’t give a fuck.

Yes, we’ve really come to hear that particular utterance – “I don’t give a fuck” – a lot around the apartment these past couple of months.  In fact, if this were a sitcom, that would definitely be his catchphrase, although maybe watered down a bit for television.  Ideally we could find a timeslot on HBO to keep the accuracy, because ‘I don’t care, especially’ or ‘I don’t give a hoot, presently’ doesn’t come close to properly capturing the I-don’t-give-a-fuck-ness of Gay Adam.

Now, here’s the part where you get my view on homosexuality.  I don’t care about it one way or another.  I’ve been called a ‘fag’ my whole life by dumb children, but I’m not one.  In fairness to those little imps, I kissed a boy on the cheek in the bathroom once in Grade 7 in front of everyone.  It wasn’t because I was especially attracted to him; it just seemed like the right idea at the time.  Man, THAT one took a while to explain away.  But never at any point have I found men, images of men, or even the idea of men particularly attractive.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good stereotype.  Like The Onion says: Stereotypes are real time-savers.  But in a world that is presented to us as fundamentally black and white, I truly enjoy seeing them break down into slippery grays.  And to see this much illogic concentrated in one small apartment is enough to prove the only intuition I’ve ever had about the world: that it is one big steaming pile of absurdity.

As for the plot lines and story arc for the new season of The Two Adams, well, Gay Adam just asked me to take him clothes shopping this week.  Look out, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.  You’re about to get fucked in the ass.

Stay tuned.

Posted in friends | 4 Comments »

My friend Matty

Posted by julescosby on January 4, 2010

This is my friend Matty.

Matty and I have known each other since we were kids.

We were on the same baseball team.

We played in rock and roll bands.

We worked together at a music store owned by Canadian folk legend Fred Eaglesmith.

We are such good friends that we never let girls come between us.

One day Fred Eaglesmith decided to let Matty into his band.

Now he is always away on tour.

I don’t see a lot of Matty anymore, but when he visits it is always fun.

I miss Matty.

Posted in friends, music | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »