Tag Archives: Coney Island

From the Mr. BTaRchives

6 May

May 6, 2014

This blog has been on WordPress since 2009. It has been around a lot longer than that, but you had to be on MySpace to see it, and we all know what happened with that site. So when everyone upped and moved out of MySpace one day, leaving me all alone (“Hey, where’d everyone go? Huh? What’s a “Facebook”?) I moved most of my old posts over to WordPress and continued on.

But while the posts were the same, the look was not. Although I didn’t keep any screencaps, I found a lot of old images of the blog on the Internet Archives site. Here is a smattering of the old looks of Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride.

1btrnov2009

Here we are, back in November of 2009, and I love the white text on a black background. However, I got a few complaints that it was hard to read so that didn’t last long. There are a few things worth mentioning here. First, the header. I took that picture myself in Coney Island. Since then, Astroland has been sold and the rocket has gone with it. If you go there today the burger boy is still there, but the rocket is long gone. The header also features one of my old taglines, “It is what it is.” We’ll see some more tags later on. That page also features my old bio, before the current one written by Mac of BIOnighT.

 2btrfeb2010

This is from February 2010. The black background is gone and you can see a little more of the Coney Island header. (There is much more to that image, still unseen.) I liked this theme because it leaves the header image clean. The sidebar has one of my favorite “raves,” from Jim at relicradio.com.

3btrapr2010

This is April 2010 and we’ve gone to a more modern header. In fact, I’m currently using a variation of that header right now. Do you see the grammatical error in this one? It isn’t really an error. At the time this was made, the software didn’t support apostrophes. I figured it looked good and no one would notice. The tag has also changed, to “some guy’s idea of fun,” which I still think sums this blog up.

4btrjune2010

June 2010 and we’re starting to look familiar. I changed to the current theme, but I’m using one of the generic WordPress color schemes. The tag has changed once more, to “Based on the novel “Mr. Blog” by Sapphire,” which is making me chuckle as I type but may be too dated to reuse.

5btraug2010

August of 2010 brought a new tag (“A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Wait- that’s Knight Rider.”) as well as a new “rave,” from the multi-talented JRD Skinner of flashpulp.com. He picked right up on my Superman obsession. There is also a “contact me!” link, which today can be found at the bottom of the “About me” page. I have to warn you, though- now, as then, I never check that email. All I ever get is spam about people wanting me to run their ads.

6btrjan2011

January of 2011 and I’ve changed to the green color scheme, which won’t last long. The tag has also changed to something close to my current tag. The header image is the first of a few city scenes and highway signs I’ve used over the years. This version of the blog added a few new pages, including the Scrappers page which is mercifully long gone. I added the Invisible Man founder image, and it popped up once or twice more over the years. I also wasted a lot of space with more “raves,” none of which appear on the blog anymore due to, quite honestly, my embarrassment. This particular Conway Twitty post still gets a ton of hits and the occasional angry comment.

7btrapr2011

In April 2011 I added the custom background which looks a lot better now than it does here. It still isn’t quite finished yet, but this is close to the way the blog currently looks. The founder is gone, replaced by my teaser (and I still love that ad) for the return of Mr. Know-It-All.

8btraprlate2011

Here we are. I added the sidebars, and there’s my Conrad Bain plaque. (Why? Why not?) You can also see an early version of the long running city header, which ran for longer than any other image.

There have been some other changes along the way, including a ton of American Chopper headers, and the Tepid Zombie header, which I still dust off when appropriate.

zombie-header

By the way, here’s the full Coney Island rocket header:

16_astroland_rocketBMJ2K

The graffiti on the windows is my addition, but the rest of the building looks the same if you go there today, except for the rocket.

The blog hasn’t changed much in the last three years. The tag changed yet again, and there are some other small alterations. The site is due for another change, but no matter what, I promise not to go back to the white letters on black background.

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Eddie Part Three: The End of Eddie

17 Jan

January 17, 2013

(Smelly People I Have Known Part 5)

Despite the impression I may have given, Eddie was not long for the store. He was barely there two weeks. Eddie, however, left a long impression on the store. It took a long time to forget him, especially the way he left.

For whatever reason, Eddie had been saying from the first day he started that if he did not get paid $2,000 he was quitting. That was the ray of hope in my life because no way was a part-time minimum-wage employee going to get a paycheck for that much money. The easy thing to say is that he should have done the math. There was no way he could possibly come up with $2,000, but I think the hardest math Eddie was capable of was “I only have one sock on today, how many socks am I wearing?” And I am not confident that he would always get the correct answer, in part becuase he did not always wear socks.

       homeless-guy                

Eddie started on a Monday and Friday was payday. That is, for everyone else but the new hires. When you get a paycheck it is for the week before so Eddie and the others had to wait for their second Friday to get paid. (I once had a part-time job where, due to a payroll error, I didn’t get paid for four weeks. That was total misery.) Eddie did not understand the concept. It was Friday, Friday was payday, so he should get paid. No matter how much the bosses tried to explain to him that he hasn’t even worked an entire week, Eddie was angry- ANGRY! AND YELLING!- that he was getting ripped off, this was not right, not fair, etc. etc. etc. Somehow they calmed him down and he, in a very surly way, told them that if they were lying and he did not get paid next week there would be trouble.

Next week came and luckily Eddie got paid.
The bad news? He did not get $2,000.

Saw all this for myself.

The paychecks came in and most of us were gathered by the side office to get our checks. It may sound like lemming behavior but many of us carpooled together to the bank on our lunch hours, hence the crowd.

Eddie got his check and examined it minutely. Literally. He held it close to his eyes and squinted at it. He held it up to the light and studied it. He looked on the back, he looked on the front, he pulled off the perforated part and put that through the same scrutiny. So what was the problem?  His paycheck was only for $131.

This was not in the back by the break room, it was not in the stock area, this was all happening in the front of the store, by the registers, near the front windows, and in full view of all the customers. He yelled “no, no, NO, NO, NO!!!” and marched to the front office and demanded to see Brian, the manager who gave him the check.

Brian wasn’t there but the manager who was wanted no part of Eddie. Brian had, just a second or two ahead of Eddie, left the store to go to lunch and the manager told Eddie he’d have to wait for Brian to come back. Eddie was not about to wait. He glanced out the window and saw Brian walking through the parking lot. Eddie ran after him and caught up and grabbed him by the shirt. Brian spun around and (I am going on a combination of lip-reading and common sense) and said “what the fuck are you doing!” Eddie repeatedly pointed to his paycheck and said something like “this isn’t enough money-“ before Brian yelled “get the fuck back to the store!” and very angrily pointed to the building.

Eddie came back in, muttering to himself. I picked up things like “they are stealing from me,” and “this isn’t right.” He got his jacket from the back and that was the last I ever saw of him.

Eventually the rest of new hires wore out their welcome as well, and we never saw the likes of them again, at least not until Carolyn started hiring her relatives.

disneys_comics_scrooge_mcduck_819500

Eddie Part Two: The Missing Mop

16 Jan

January 16, 2013

(Smelly People I Have Known Part Four. I can’t believe that title survived.)

When Eddie took a huge bite out of Marc’s sandwich we were stunned. We knew what had happened, Eddie knew what had happened, but none of us ever said a word about what happened. I can’t say that it changed my opinion of Eddie because it was already pretty low to begin with.

(Just a few days after the sandwich incident, some of us from the store were hanging out and I saw a dumpster with the words “Eddie’s Lunchbox” spray painted across the side. I never laughed that hard again.)                     

(Not the actual lunchbox, but an amazing recreation)

(Not the actual lunchbox, but an amazing recreation)

My low opinion of Eddie was compounded by the fact that while I knew he was incompetent, I also knew that he would not be fired or be held accountable in any way. No matter what he or any of the lousy new hires did, they had some sort of protection from whatever program they were a part of. One of them, whose name I forget, was only fired when the most senior person in the store went to the manager and told her that either the new guy goes or she goes. The guy was rude and nasty, violent and looking to cause fights. He was also lazy and a thief. (The worst part? He had the same first name as me. I always called him by his last name.) He was in my department though I was careful to never work with him and constantly avoided him as much as possible. I also presented proof of his drinking on the job to management but it had no effect. (His beer bottles were literally scattered in plain sight all over the stock room. Carolyn’s response? She swept them up.)

One night Marc and I were closing. Eddie was closing too. At this time I was pulling triple duty. I was likely to be found working on the sales floor, on the register, or in the stock/maintenance department. I must have been doing register that evening since Eddie was doing the end of the night cleanup.

At that time I had a little bit of a reputation (then deserved, but soon to be lost and forgotten) as a prankster and of course I lived up to it with Eddie.

It was the end of the night and Eddie was mopping the floor in the back of the store, the area around the break room and stockroom. He had filled up a large yellow mop bucket and wringer with soapy water and left it right in the middle of the floor.

Remember the break room from yesterday? These things were right in front of it.

schematic 1

Eddie had left the mop and bucket right in front of the break room and walked around the corner to get something from the maintenance area. In a flash I decided (and I believe Marc was there too) to play a quick joke on him. While Eddie was gone I hid the mop and the bucket. I knew that Eddie would only be gone a few seconds and my choices of where to hide the stuff were very, very limited. I ended up sticking the mop behind an open door and the very large, very yellow bucket and wringer just inside the entrance to a small stockroom next to the break room.schematic 3

The mop was still fairly visible. The door had a very large hinge (this was an industrial door) so the mop could very plainly be seen in the gap between the door and the wall. The mop bucket was just a foot or so inside the stockroom and very nearly in obvious, plain sight. It was the best I could do in just a few short seconds and should have kept Eddie searching for no more than a minute.

Should have.

Eddie came back and walked to the spot where he left the mop and bucket and stood there, looking confused. He then walked around in a circle, like a dog would, and finally asked me (I was still in the break room, waiting for this show) what happened to the mop. I told him that I didn’t know. I asked him where he left it. He said he left it right there.

“Huh,” I said. “Maybe someone moved it.” I really didn’t have much of a straight face. I was already having fun.

Eddie started prowling the back area looking for the mop and bucket. He must have passed the bucket a dozen times and never glanced over. If he had merely turned his head when he walked past the stockroom he would have seen it. It was right in the doorway!

Eddie was making confused grunting sounds and had the dopiest look on his face as he looked in the most ridiculous places, like in the garbage can, for the cleaning supplies. I have no idea how I could possibly have hidden the mop in a garbage can half its height but he looked anyway.

I started to be unable to control my laughter. I was hiding my huge grin behind my hands, covering up my laughter with pretend coughs, and trying not to burst out into guffaws. What should have been a small joke with a small payoff was becoming an epic as the minutes dragged on and on and Eddie, lost in his confused little foggy world, walked past the pathetic hiding places over and over and over, never seeing the bucket and mop which were hidden in almost plain sight.  In fact, from where I was standing, the mop was plainly visible. It had shifted a little behind the door and the handle was just peeking out an inch or so from behind the door.

This dragged out longer than I ever thought it would, far longer than it should have, and I was almost in pain from stifling my laughter. Eddie, tired of walking in circles and looking in the same two or three places, went to find the manager. I can only imagine that conversation, Eddie telling Carolyn that the mop disappeared into thin air. I briefly thought of putting the supplies back where Eddie left them, right in the middle of the floor, but I nixed that since it would probably have incriminated me. mpb-36

Eddie and Carolyn came back and she had the most skeptical expression I have ever seen on her face.  Eddie stopped in the middle of the floor and pointed. “It was right here!”

Carolyn looked at me, still in the break room and with the worst straight face anyone has ever had, and asked me if I hid the mop.

“No,” (snicker, snort) “I didn’t touch it” (guffaw). I said no but the smile on my face, the laughter in my voice, and the convulsions of hysteria I was almost but not quite keeping under control all said yes.

I don’t think she believed me, but neither was she ready to call me liar.

Carolyn: “Eddie, did you look over at the- here it is!” She had done just what I thought Eddie would have done, spotted the bucket within seconds. It was right in the doorway not five feet from them!

Eddie: “I looked in there!” No, he had not.

Carolyn asked me if I put it there and I again badly lied that I had not.

Meanwhile, they still did not find the mop. Carolyn didn’t see it because she had her back to it, but from my position the mop was plainly visible, having almost fallen out from behind the door (which provided scant cover to begin with.) If I didn’t “find it” before she did she would know that I was lying because I plainly had to see it from where I stood.

So I walked around her, said “what’s this?” and moved the door, revealing the mop. “Here’s the mop!”

Eddie came over and was just totally lost and dazed. “How did it get there?” he actually asked. I said “didn’t you look behind the door?” and Eddie answered “maybe.”

Carolyn was just disgusted by everything and all of us, told us to get back to work, and spared me one last “I know it was you look” before she left.

Then I released all the pent up energy and spent the next five or ten minutes out of control with fits of hysterical laughter.

 

TO BE CONCLUDED TOMORROW: THE END OF EDDIE

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