All posts by Rob Darnell

Beer

Just back from a full shopping spree at Kroger. I’ve been trying to find a beer called Alaskan White, but no luck yet. I went up and down the beer aisle at Kroger, they don’t have it. So, I settled for Miller Lite. I’m not a big fan of light beer, but Miller Lite is an exception. I took a liking to it a while back, and I find it especially good on hot days.

That was one of the more humiliating experiences of my life

I meant to write this last night after I posted the latest book review, but it was late, so I went to bed. Now I’m up at 6 AM. Though I’m a little droopy with sleepiness, I need to get this down now.

You know the new Dollar General on the corner of Elba and Davison Road. It’s nice to have such a store so close to where I live. I’ve been there many times since it opened, and I guess several people working there now know I can’t hear for shit.

I don’t usually have a lot of cash on me and will pay for things with a card. The first time I was in the Dollar General, I had trouble with the card machine. I put the card in and selected whatever needed to be selected, and then I entered my pin number.

And it wouldn’t work. I guess the machine wasn’t recognizing my pin number. So, I’d have to do it again and again. I know my pin number and I’m counting four beeps, and then a fifth beep when I press the Enter button. Still the fucking machine wouldn’t process my payment.

That first time I had the problem, after several tries, it did eventually work. I don’t know why it suddenly worked, but it worked.

The next time I’m in the store, I’m having the same problem. I put the card in, selected the options, entered my pin number and the stupid thing didn’t work. But that time it was a different cashier and she knew what to do. She came around the counter and worked with the machine for a minute.

The next time I put my card in and entered the pin number, it worked. That cashier was my hero. After that, every time I was in the store, there were no problems while paying.

Until yesterday evening.

As it happens, my twin brother and I were on the way to my house from our mom and dad’s. Fred lives in Clifford, which is about an hour away and it was late in the day, so he was going to spend the night in my attic.

We stopped at Dollar General, so I could get a few things. Fred stayed in the car while I went in the store. I shopped, and then went to pay. The cashier knew I was deaf. I think I’ve seen her a few times while in the store, but I can’t say for sure if she ever rang me up before.

When I’m done shopping, I just want to pay and leave. I don’t want to deal with all this horseshit. But sometimes it’s just not that simple.

The problem was back. The machine wasn’t recognizing my pin number and I couldn’t pay. I tried a few times. Nope. The fucking piece of shit wouldn’t work. I couldn’t hear what the cashier was saying, but I tried to tell her what that other cashier did the last time I had the problem.

I don’t know, maybe she didn’t understand what I meant. I couldn’t really make out anything she was saying. I should’ve just told her to write it down, but that idea didn’t occur to me yet.

The cashier went away. I stood there confused. I didn’t know if my payment had finally gone through or if the cashier was still working with me on this, or if I was asked to leave the store. But a minute later, she came around the counter and with broken sign language, asked me if someone had driven me to the store.

I didn’t think, and just said, “my brother.”

She immediately turned around and started across the store toward the exit. I’m starting to catch onto what’s happening here. I called after her, “He’s deaf too.”

She ignored me and kept going.

I followed her and tried again, telling her that my brother is deaf too. She still ignored me. Now, I’m getting pissed off, but I’m too nice, so I don’t let my anger show. I really hate it when people ignore me like that, but that wasn’t all of it. I was also pissed off because this lady decided she needed to get my brother to help me.

Do I give off a vibe that says “Mentally Retarded: Likely has a guardian nearby”?

I followed her outside. She walked to the SUV that was parked in front of the door and knocked on the window. I told her my brother was parked further down the parking lot and led her to his car.

I should’ve not taken her to his car. I should’ve told her that I handle my own business and she needed to deal with me. But I’m stupid, I didn’t think it through quickly enough.

She went around to the driver’s side and talked to Fred through the window. I leaned in through the passenger window. Fred didn’t know what the fuck was going on. I was starting to feel the stings of embarrassment.

Fred gets out of the car and we all go in the store. Back at the register, the cashier told me to put my card back in the machine, and then she told Fred to enter my pin number.

Fred’s like, “I don’t know what his pin number is.”

I entered the pin number myself, while muttering under my breath that the cashier didn’t need to get Fred.

Of course, it didn’t work that time either. Again, I explained what the cashier from before did to fix the problem.  I looked to the side and there’s my hero. She’s an older woman, and I’m guessing she’s the manager.

She worked with the machine for a minute. I put my card in, entered my pin number and it worked.

The ordeal wasn’t quite as bad as the time a cop stopped me for walking to Elba Corners with cerebral palsy. He detained me for about twenty minutes, breathalyzed me, patted me down, accused me of lying to him, yelled at me, and was looking for any reason to take me in. Last night’s ordeal wasn’t quite that bad, but it was pretty high on the list of bullshit I’ve had to deal with.

Sinisterotica: A Collection of Erotic Horror

A while back, I had a short story that I was shopping around to magazines that generally publish crime fiction, because that’s what I felt the story was, crime fiction. But because the story was sexual in ways, I decided to try an erotica magazine. I was surprised when a couple weeks later, the editor at the erotica magazine told me she wanted to buy the story.

I was happy about making another sale, but at the same time, I was a little uncomfortable about the story that would be published. Not so much because the story had sexual content, but because of the type of sexual content. There’s so much rage directed at E.L James and her Fifty Shades of Gray and other authors who have written such material. I was a little worried (not terribly worried, mind you.) that I might find myself the target of such rage.

I got to talking to Gustavo Bondoni about my concerns. Gustavo has sold more than a hundred stories. He told me that he had written and sold such erotica stories himself. He pointed me to an anthology that one of those stories is published in.

That anthology is Sinisterotica: A Collection of Erotic Horror. I decided to put it on my to-read list. Now that I’ve read Sinisterotica, I’m not concerned about my own story and I know what category it fits into. My story is an erotica horror. Though, in Sinisterotica, all of the stories have supernatural elements and mine doesn’t.

The stories in Sinisterotica are quite disturbing. Some of them made me cringe, but I think that’s what the authors intended. I still have an uncomfortable sensation on the side of my neck from all the vampires.

Well done, y’all.

I don’t think I’m going to anymore parties

When I go to a party, I go because I want to get out of the house, do something different for a change, hang out with people, try to socialize. While I usually do enjoy the party to some degree, for much of it I feel alone and left out.

At parties, several people try to talk to me. When I can’t hear them, it gets really awkward. At the last party, I came up with a solution. When I couldn’t hear someone, I offered them my cell phone with the Memo app open, so they could type in what they were saying.

Some people seemed to like the idea and were willing to use it, and that was helpful. But others didn’t like it. They’re trying to talk to me, I can’t hear them and they don’t want to use an alternative method of communication. So, I don’t get to know what they were saying and I feel like I’m missing out.

And then I get drunk, and start talking too much and too loud, and saying stupid things. For days afterwards, I’m angry and depressed, I’m too socially inept and it’s probably better for everyone if I don’t go.

Funny

In the light of ABC considering a spinoff that focuses on Sara Gilbert’s character, people are saying Sara Gilbert is the worst actress on the show and that her character is the least interesting.

Really? I don’t think I would have liked the show as much if not for Sara Gilbert.