Chapter 9 – A Trip to the Office of Mr. Bud Selig
Following the Hotel Istana catharsis, Osh and I found and checked into a place called Back Home Hostel. The rooms had cement floors throughout and smelled like a moldy old unfinished Chicago basement. Nevertheless, the place appeared to be insect and rodent-free, at least it did during the short time I spent there dropping off my luggage.
With a little directional guidance from the Malaysian teenagers at the front desk, the two of us walked about a mile or so over to the Petronas Towers to get a view of the city from the top. Upon arrival, we learned that tickets to the observation deck had been sold out for the day. Discouraged but still looking to get high, we walked another couple miles to the KL Tower – a structure somewhat resembling Seattle’s Space Needle – and took it to the top.
Kuala Lumpur, in my opinion, is a pretty cool city – a melting pot of Malay, Indian and Chinese cultures. Serving as the focal point of this freshly built-up capital city surrounded by rolling green hills covered in jungle are the Petronas Towers. And, from the peak of the KL, the view of the PT had been fantastic.
Looking something like two giant metallic thermoses with spires atop, these futuristic twin structures protruded from the otherwise diminutive skyline of the Malaysian capital like a boner in sweatpants. I’ll admit, the then 6th tallest buildings in the world were pretty damn impressive. That said, I think that the “World’s Tallest” ranking system is complete bullshit and that these skyscrapers should be taken down a notch or two in the record books. Because these buildings and several other monster erections around the world have been designed with spires and not antennas atop as we have on the Willis Tower in Chicago, these nonfunctional sticks are considered an integral part of the design and thus are included in the official measurement of the height. Even though the Willis Tower with its antennas included is a whole 22 floors and 250-feet taller than the Petronas Towers, we have to be Malaysia’s bitch because of what had been the stupidest rule I’d ever heard until I found out it’s illegal for men in Switzerland to pee standing up after 10PM.
In spite of the injustice, I spent several minutes staring out the window, admiring the architecture of the Petronas Towers. After that, I spent the next fifteen minutes staring out the window, plain old enjoying the eagle eye view of the city. I’ve always had a fascination with observation decks and have never really had a bad time visiting one. In fact, one of the best mistakes I’ve ever made had taken place while attempting to view Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from its highest point.
It had been in the final months of my college career when my neighborhood buddy Mike came up to visit me one last time at Marquette University. I had a joke of a schedule that semester – only two classes, both on Monday and Wednesday and both late in the afternoon. I spent a good amount of my free time in Chicago working with my dad, but an even greater amount of that time getting shithouse hammered up in Milwaukee. It was late Friday morning. The Thursday night before had been no exception to the rule. Mike – or “The Luzzbuster” as I like to call him – and yours truly had been sitting up in the common room on the third floor of our eleven bedroom house alleviating our hangovers by smoking a few bowls when he posed me with an interesting question.
“What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do up here but have not yet done?”
It was a simple question but one that’d made me realize how big of a loser I was. After four years of living in the city, I didn’t know anything about Milwaukee except where the bars were. I took a few minutes to mull the question over as I emptily gazed at JCVD beating his own ass in the movie Replicant as it flickered on the television.
“I think I’d like to check out the city from the top of the US Bank Center. It’s no Sears Tower (despite the official name change, I still don’t like calling it ‘The Willis Tower’), but it’s the tallest skyscraper in town.”
Before continuing on with the tale, I think it’s essential you know a little bit more about the dude with whom I’m about to embark on this stoned-ass adventure.
The Luzzbuster and I began hanging out during our freshman year of high school. Prior to our initial encounter, there had been a few running contenders for “biggest pervert I know” – myself included – but upon meeting this fearless man of questionable morals, he easily blew the competition out of the water. Few have come close but none have surpassed ever since.
Never hesitating to whip out his dick or hang some brain during inappropriate times, I’ve seen Mike’s package in pretty much every social situation and public place you can imagine – sans funeral and childbirthing, that is. I’ve watched it get flipped around and positioned every which way from still-life poses such as “the fruit bowl” and “the batwing” to the violent whip-around motions of “the helicopter” and the up-and-down pounding of “the hammer.” His penis is his brush and the world, his canvas.
One of the classic tactics that this Beetlejuice look-alike would employ to bring sets of eyes to his set of testicles started with him casually attracting the attention of our high school classmates. During the middle of some teacher’s Ben Stein style boring-ass lecture, he’d extend his arm across the aisle, hold out his phone or coins or whatever and whisper something like, “Yo, hey, pssst, Henry…check out this trick.” And once the attention of the intended target had been consigned to his bait-containing hand, this perv-O would slowly draw their eyes towards his mid-region where his big ol’ hairy ballsack had been pulled out the fly of his pants in the middle of class.
More specifically and even better had been the time during a high school English class that had taken place in Loyola Academy’s basement computer lab. My buddy Kutasi told me that, during this period, The Incredible Luzz had stood behind a kid nicknamed “Smelly,” whipped out his lob and gently rested his entire package on the dude’s shoulder. Magically, he managed to do this without drawing Smelly or the teacher’s attention.
How does one not notice a penis sitting on his or her shoulder? Well, I can’t be sure because I’ve never been in that situation but, apparently, the kid had been so deeply involved in whatever he was working on that he was able to completely block out the unsightly mass that’d just been chillin’ there as if it were a parrot on the shoulder of a pirate.
“Hey, Munroe,” he whispered while tapping the kid on the shoulder that hadn’t been supporting a wang at the time.
“What?” he replied as his fingers continued to click away on the keyboard.
“Check this out.”
“No, seriously,” said Luzz, showing no fear of the teacher or any of the girls in the class witnessing the dastardly deed, “you need to check this out.”
After putting the final punctuation on the thought he needed to conclude and sparing his term paper a brief moment of attention, Smelly finally gave in to the persistent pestering of Luzz. He glanced back and, in doing so, inadvertently came face-to-face with “the whole gang.”
“Ah!” he dipped away from the beast and added what I imagine had sounded like some kind of perverted Jay-Z remix. “Get that dick off my shoulder!”
Even to this day while hanging out, I might not see Mike’s naked penis as often as I used to, but, inevitably, it will still somehow become the centerpiece of our interaction as it did while he and I had recently been watching a Michael Jordan highlight reel on the television at his sister’s apartment in Dubai. To fight the heat, both of us had been sitting around in our underpants and at some point Luzz stood up and began stretching with his arms behind his head.
“Dude,” I looked over and saw that his dick had been ripping through his boxer shorts, “you got a pretty intense boner goin’ right now, huh?”
“Hell yeah I got a boner,” he spat back. “We’ve been watchin’ Michael Jordan dunk on dudes for the past two hours, my dick is rock hard right now.”
You would think that a guy this far-out would be one of a kind, but he’s not. He and his best-good-friend Brendan who’d grown up across the street from one another are basically one in the same and function as perfect compliments of each other. Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that “many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprung up.” Even though these two dissidents of the social norm are living proof of this philosophy, I’m pretty sure that when he gave this quote back around the turn of the twentieth century, Mr. Holmes didn’t have the evolution of these two retards’ nudity-infused antics in mind.
To watch these two geniuses of sorts feed and build on each other’s outlandish suggestions and take peculiarity to an intergalactic level must’ve been what it was like to sit in the same room with Rodgers and Hammerstein while they composed the soundtrack for The Sound of Music. During a night drinking at their apartment, this is what hanging out with them was like. One minute these dudes had been one-after-another, tag-team tearing a new asshole in a pack of Marlboro Lights as they tried to convince me to drop everything, dye my skin brown, buy a motorcycle with a side-car and begin recruiting a bunch of Indian and Pakistani guys to help them start a biker gang called “The Ice Boys” that go around flipping people off and saying “fuck you buddy” in a South Asian accent to everyone they see, then the next minute they were talking about running for alderman in the predominantly Hispanic ward where their apartment had been located at the time.
Now, I don’t know if this had come up as an idea during their ad campaign discussions, but the most recent phallus-bearing incident committed by these masterful puppeteers of the penis had been in honor of Puerto Ricans on their annually designated day of flag-waving and horn-honking out in the streets which, in my opinion, isn’t that much different than any other day down in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. In an apparent first step to begin rounding up loyal voters by showing solidarity with the Puerto Ricans on the day of their pride parade, the ambiguously gay duo danced in front of separate open windows with nothing but bandanas on while shaking their respective penises at passing traffic in rhythm to “Gasolina” by Danny Yankee as it blasted on repeat through their large, powerful and attention-grabbing amplifiers.
Although many fond memories I have of Mike involve his trouser snake slithering away from its natural habitat, the best times I had with the homey Luzz had probably been during sophomore year chemistry class when The Thing remained in his pants. About halfway through the year, our original teacher Dr. Sechman who’d commanded respect had left on pregnancy leave and was subsequently replaced by some push-over chump named Mr. Wysocki who we tortured relentlessly. I don’t know what it was about this guy, but he could never work up the balls to discipline us for acting out during his lessons. Instead, Mr. Wysocki would express his disappointment and anger with Mike and I by sternly looking in our direction for a good half-minute while his tongue slowly protruded from between his lips as if he were a frog stealthily preparing to snatch a hovering fly. Needless to say, the tongue did not intimidate and we pretty much had the run of the class.
I got a hundred percent that semester ‘cus when it came to chemicals, I was the sixteen-year-old version of mobile-meth-lab Walter White. Although its intricacies have long been ousted from the database of my memory bank in favor of mindless garbage I’ve picked up along the way, at that age the periodic table and the chem lab had been like my personal playground. In suit, my abilities prompted less-gifted students in the vicinity of my desk to pay me for the answers on exams. From his vantage point at the front of the class, the Socki-bomber could see me sitting there twiddling my thumbs with no papers on my desk while, at different increments throughout the period, five different people who’d subsequently all get hundreds would make no effort to hide the second quiz or test on their desk as they copied it verbatim. After seeing this over and over, you could tell by his distending tongue he’d been unhappy, but Mr. Wysocki would never say anything about it. He was that big of a raging pussy.
Under Wysocki’s rule, the class had become wildly out of control. He was spineless – a complete fucking doormat. He’d constantly be letting people take advantage of his timidity. I remember one time this scumbag kid who’d perpetually spoke in the third person had been blatantly masturbating through his pants in the middle of a lecture. If his thrusting and panting weren’t obvious enough, the kid had also been narrating the action in his signature retarded-ass moaning voice that rhymes every noun and verb in the sentence with his self-assigned pseudonym, “Yaves.”
“Ohhhhhhh, Yaves masturbate-ace in class-ace, ohhhh,” he’d droned. “Ohhh, Yaves feel so good-ace!”
This sequence ended when Yaves had stood up with a clearly evident erection pressed up against the pleats of his khakis, turned his ass into the face of a girl named Elena who’d sat across the aisle and blew a huge wet stinky fart right in her dome that even I could taste from the seat behind her. And guess what? Nothing had been done to stop it. No punishments were handed out to prevent it from happening again.
Another time, this kid named Tom whose high school claim to fame was the smoothness of his robot dance had showed up to class looking more than a little bit rusty at the hinges after downing dangerous doses of hard-ass booze with my buddy Kutasi during their lunch period. After stumbling in late and tripping on a few aisle-blocking bookbags while navigating through the room, Tom plopped into his alphabetically-assigned seat right at the front of the class. The dude looked like he was going to vomit and put his head down, presumably to nap. Wysocki hit the ignore button and picked up where he’d been pre-interruption.
“Hey,” Tom picked his head up and warbled several minutes later, “I heard there’s a Lake Wysocki up in Minnesota.”
Mr. Wysocki stopped writing on the chalkboard and glanced back with genuine intrigue.
“Is that right?”
“Yeah, and I heard it’s really shitty,” he pointed in the teacher’s face for stereotypical drunken emphasis, “kinda like you!”
Unable to confront the problem at hand in a legitimate way, our cowardly instructor stood there with blood boiling, glasses fogging up and veins popping from an internalized fit of repressed rage. From what looked like the combination of bitter beer and I-really-gotta-shit-but-can’t faces, I got the impression that this dude’s head was gonna explode off his body, blast through the ceiling and go sailing into orbit. Nevertheless, once again, instead of acting on his emotions and taking care of business like a normal human being, the man could only stick out his tongue in rancor. Eventually, with steam still shooting out of his ears, he continued on with the chemistry lesson.
After being insulted by an intoxicated 16-year-old and not doing shit about it save pushing his tongue between his lips, we knew we could get away anything. It was a clear cut case of mutiny on the Bounty. Everything was up for grabs. Towards the end of the period, The Luzzbuster had gone right to the back of class, ripped a poster off the wall, casually rolled it up, nodded at Wysocki like “what the fuck you gonna do about it” and then walked out of the room with his new piece of art in hand. The poster depicted a blind chick with a walking stick and a phrase that read, “Carol never wore her goggles, now she doesn’t need them,” and became a staple in “The Loft,” which is what we called the second floor hangout area of Mike’s garage before it burnt to the ground.
All those instances of disrespect will always hold a special place in my heart, but my favorite and most up-front “fuck you” to the face of Mr. Wysocki had been the time that Luzz and I played Mortal Kombat during a dreadfully grueling lecture on the properties of acids and bases. For the specific purpose of making a scene and attempting to push Mr. W beyond his breaking point, I’d brought my Sega Nomad to school and kept it in my locker until seventh period when we let the beast out of its cage. Nomad was the handheld version of Sega Genesis that came with a screen and a control built into it. It had a slot for the game cartridge and a hole in which to plug the second player’s remote on the bottom. The thing also came with a battery pack but mine had been fucked at the time and would only operate if it’d been plugged into the wall.
Since there hadn’t been any outlets close to my desk, I’d also brought an extension cord to school that day which I ran from the front of the room to our seats before the day’s lesson commenced. As soon as Mr. Tongue-Tantrum started to conduct class, we took that as our cue to juice up the Nomad. To be as obnoxious as possible, we’d cranked the volume up to eleven so that all the kicks, all the punches and Scorpion’s demand that his adversary “get over here” could be heard by everyone in the room as we furiously tapped the Dorito-stained A, B and C buttons of my crusty old Sega controls.
We moaned, we taunted and we swore as to make a big production of our gaming. It hadn’t been long before we’d captured the attention of our class and Mr. Wysocki who set down his writing utensil and folded his arms like a not-buff, not-tough, earring-less Mr. Clean. While glancing up from the action, in what looked like a tutorial on how to give cunnilingus to an invisible woman, I could see Wysocki had been furiously licking his lips in our direction. It was such a ridiculous reaction and knowing that we did something to cause it was too much for me to take. I couldn’t help myself and burst out laughing at our teacher’s pitifully angry face.
When I didn’t hear any giggles from my buddy next to me, I had to look over and see why not. Upon removing my attention from the 16-bit fight-to-the-death and turning to my left, I saw that Luzz had been imitating a scrunched-up Mr. Wysocki face and spitefully licking his lips right back at the guy. In response, our teacher just stood there and proceeded to tongue-slap his own set even harder.
“Say it,” Luzz gave me the cue, referring to some planning we’d done prior to the exhibition. “You know what I’m talking about – just say it.”
“Yeah, just do it, it’ll be hilarious.”
As Socki-breath stood at the front of the class French kissing thin air and beaming vicious, hateful looks in our direction, I cast a line, hoping to reel in that which we wanted to learn from the whole experiment.
“Yo Wysocki,” I said, dipping below baritone in the deepest voice I could muster, “whatchu gon’ do ‘bout it?”
I’d been hoping to see some desks thrown, the overhead projector tossed through the window, maps torn off the wall and Mr. Wysocki ripping out of his shirt like Hulk Hogan from the front of the class – you know, some humanity, some real emotion – but that’s not what I got. Instead, he reached down and unplugged the extension cord during the middle of our blood match and then, without even issuing a detention, continued to talk at us in his boring-ass voice about boring-ass shit. I guess, in the end, the tongue method had worked. Since there was nothing I could do to make the guy go apeshit on us, I soon got bored and no longer wasted my time fucking around in Mr. Wysocki’s class.
Although we never did any teacher-tormenting when The Luzzbuster would come up to visit me at college in Milwaukee, that doesn’t mean that havoc wasn’t wreaked and damage wasn’t incurred. One night, after I’d gone to bed, he and another kid from our high school class who’d been visiting blasted “Party All the Time” by Eddie Murphy on repeat until 5am as they took empty bottles and every remaining plate and piece of glassware from our cabinets then smashed them on the kitchen floor. Pretty sick in itself, they followed up by pouring juice, beer, pop and milk on top of the mess so the little shards became solidified to the ground, were impossible to sweep or mop up and stayed there for the remainder of our time at 931 N. 14th Street. Oh yeah, I almost forgot – they’d also hid open packages of ground beef under the cushions on our couch which we didn’t find until weeks later when they stunk like a water-logged corpse and were covered in several layers of maggots.
In spite of this reckless behavior that probably would’ve spoiled a normal friendship, I took it in stride and did my best to find humor in the extremely hostile actions. Besides, I kind of deserved it after what I’d done at my man’s high school graduation party circa August 2006.
The day of the party had been one of the first times I ever drank – can you already sense a problem here? Back then, I had no idea what it was like to be completely limp-dick shitfaced and lose total control of my actions but, oh boy, did I find out that night.
I come from a long line of big boozers and after watching my dad and other heavy-hitting pros do it over and over again throughout the entirety of my childhood, at the age of eighteen and with zero experience in the field, I felt like I was man enough to take down a personal 24-pack over the course of the evening. Because of this particular lapse in judgment, I launched myself into a Hamm’s-induced state of inebriation of which I remember very little.
Since it had been so long ago, I don’t recall if I’d remembered what I’d done the night before or if one of my friends had told me the reason why my foot had been too crooked and swollen to walk on the next day but, as the story goes, at some point during the backyard party I picked up and began punting steel folding chairs in front of Mike’s family. Immediately following that, I allegedly limped over to and proceeded to pull ignited tiki torches out of the ground and threw them like javelins at a group of guests who were nothing short of appalled by the gesture. I was then removed from the party and escorted home by my trusty friend Bill who decided to pull the plug on the rampage and, more likely than not, saved me from an ass-beating.
So there you have it. That’s our history – the tale of two assholes who lived happily ever after. Now let’s get back to the story.
After we’d smoked yet another bowl of green shit out that glass dick of his, Luzz and I wandered into Kampus Foods and purchased an arsenal of snacks to eat while atop the US Bank building. We then hopped in Mike’s Ford Explorer and made our way downtown. Once inside our destination, we went straight for the elevator and rode it to the top.
Being the tallest structure in the city, I assumed there had to be an observation deck – I mean, how could there not be? When The Luzzbuster and I had gotten up there, however, the 42nd level offered no more than an enclosed hallway with zero windows. It was a total bummer. I assure you that, very much unlike the time he and I had been watching that MJ highlight reel, nothing about this situation had been giving my buddy a rock-hard boner.
Almost ready to give up and take the snacks back to my couch, I noticed some rays of shimmering sunshine from around the corner. We turned that corner and moved towards the light which seemed to originate at the end of the hall. It got brighter and brighter as we got nearer and nearer. Eventually we reached the sunshine which had been filtered from its natural form through a very large office and the pair of glass doors that’d kept us locked out of it.
With our respective stockpile of snacks cradled gently in our arms, we stared into the office with our mouths agape. We must’ve looked like total dipshits – like Beavis and Butthead or Ted “Theodore” Logan and Bill S. Preston Esquire. Nevertheless, as we breathed on and fogged up the transparent barrier, we were buzzed into the office. It seemed awfully bright in there. I was quite hungry and didn’t care about much besides sitting down somewhere and tearing into my snacks.
The secretary who granted us entry had been sitting at a fancy desk near the middle of the room. She removed the phone from the side of her head and directed her attention towards us as we stumbled in.
“May I help you?” she asked, cupping the bottom half of the receiver.
“Uh,” I pointed towards the empty sky, “can we look out your window?”
“Yeah, sure,” she waved us in like we were old friends, “go right ahead.”
The welcoming woman then picked up the phone and continued where she’d left off. Luzz and I glanced at each other and shrugged. We walked up to the window where we sat on the floor and began devouring our snacks.
After several minutes of staring through the large pane the way a window-licker does on the back of a short bus, I turned my attention inward. Glancing around the office, I could see the desk at which the secretary sat had been built with baseball bats for legs. Many pictures had lined the walls, all of which depicted some Bill Gates lookalike posing with the studliest baseball players who’d ever stepped on the field. Upon further inspection, I also noticed that the circular white rug – the centerpiece of the room – had been a large baseball-shaped carpet. In the middle of this custom-made ode to the current chancellor of America’s pastime was a line that read, “Bud Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball.”
I just nodded my head, thinking it cool and normal that I was in Mr. Selig’s office then ripped open my second bag of Chili Cheese Fritos. While chomping away and spilling crumbs everywhere, I looked back out the window and decided to point out to Mike all the cool Milwaukee landmarks I knew. After a minute of trying and being unable to think of any cool Milwaukee landmarks, I improvised by pointing out the area of town where all the cool bars were.
After a solid half-hour of snacking and sightseeing, it was time for the secretary’s lunch break and she asked us to leave. We’d had an awesome time and even though we didn’t get to meet Bud while we kicked it in his office, The Luzzbuster and I made up for it by going back to my house and smoking some more bud on the couch of the third floor common room.
Few shots of the Petronas Towers…