My friend David and I are going to Aruba during the Aruba Classic for drinking, lounging, poker tournaments and possibly expatriating to Venezuela to join FARC. In order to do this, you need a passport. Being the fucking retard that I am, I assumed that getting a passport consisted of rolling into your local courthouse or whatever and they'll mail it to you in the standard three to five days. Nope. Three weeks standard, two weeks if you need it pronto.

Well, fuck. I need that blue bitch by the 25th. What are my options?

Haul ass to your local Regional Passport Authority, with thirteen convenient locations spread across the entire fucking nation.

I live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. David lives in Orlando (worst city in the world and it's not close), and he also needs a passport. Orlando to Miami is the quickest route, a brisk 236 miles, or about four hours. It'd be faster, but hilariously enough it's mostly two lanes and people in Florida are slow as death.

Tuesday nights I volunteer as a broadcast engineer at a local radio station in Tampa. While doing that I won $10 off a news anchor because he didn't believe that the White House Situation Room had a phone number you could call and talk to some dude right then and there. When the mics were off I called the Situation Room, hung up, received $10.

I roll up to Orlando with a bunch of beer and I arrive to see David on the phone with some girl that he's obsessed with and talks to non-stop. Awesome. I begin drinking.

His roommate Troy is this fucking guy and his dickery knows no bounds. David will fill in the details here, but it's pretty unbearable.

(10:39:28 PM) DavidTth: i hate him and i wish he dies
(10:39:31 PM) DavidTth: 95% of the time
(10:39:34 PM) DavidTth: the other 5% he is cool
(10:39:50 PM) DavidTth: imo the description of troy should just be that IM snippet

So it's me and Troy hanging out. I spend the next half hour or so playing Boy With a Coin on David's guitar, a song I just learned and I'm proud of that. Apparently, they have a really hot roommate that just moved in, and I am looking forward to meeting her. She is not home when I arrive.

David emerges from his room like a bear out of hibernation. His mattress is on the floor, there are clothes everywhere, and it appears that he hasn't showered in days.

"Sup. I'm high. I'm going to pass out in an hour I think." It's like 10pm.

We go out onto his porch and smoke, we go back inside, David lists DVDs on eBay for about and hour. I continue to annoy him with my guitar playing. Troy starts to sing some song from some fucking musical and the night continues to suck. At some point, the hot roommate arrives. She's pretty attractive, seems nice enough. Pretty quiet and shy, but apparently really awesome according to everyone. Overall a nice girl.

We are all standing in the kitchen in a really awkward triangle and hurricanes are brought up. Hot roommate is from S. Louisiana apparently, and David asks what she did about Katrina. She said "I really don't want to talk about it." David felt as if this was the most awkward thing that's ever happened to him and he retreats into his room to help his illiterate semi-girlfriend (they haven't even fucked) proofread a high school assignment. I have little to no memory of the rest of the night. We got pizza at some point. I busted into Troy's room in the middle of the night to steal a book. It was "The Average American Male" or something like that. It was OK. I kept it, anyway.

The next morning I wake up at 9am to get ready to drive to Miami for our 2pm appointment with the Dept. of Homeland Security.

David oversleeps, and he's still in the shower at 9:30. He eventually rolls out of bed (literally, onto the floor) and prepares for our journey. We bust into Troy's room (again), and wake him up so we can use his printer. The printer he has takes a solid five minutes to warm up and "clean", which infuriates us all. We print out all the important shit we need (directions, travel info) and leave. We begin the day by running out of change by the third tollbooth, and we are required to run at least six or seven tolls throughout the day. They have the huge speedpass lane so whatever. I'm going to forward all the citations to David anyway.

The drive up consists of us listening to political talk, and discussing how frightening the prospect of a Sarah Palin executive office would be. Several hours later we arrive in Miami, and the approach has got to be the most hellish thing I've ever driven, aside from Downtown Atlanta. What a fucking death trap.

Neither of us have our passport photos. We figure the best place to ask about it would be the passport people themselves. We find some dingbat parking lot and walk over to the passport agency. As we're walking, David turns over and says to me "You know fish-out-of-water syndrome? I have never felt it harder than I have now. And I feel that a whole lot". I know what he means, it's weird because honestly I rarely get that feeling, but I definitely had it then.

We get to the building, which is surrounded by cops. Fucking everywhere. Dept. of Homeland Security officers, big black vans, helicopters circling overhead, barricades, the fucking works. And I fucking hate cops. At this point I am flipping out. I go to put out my cigarette before I enter the building, but I can't find an ashtray or trashcan. While I look, a couple guys in suits get out of a black SUV followed by two guys in cop uniforms. I avoid eye contact and try as hard as possible to not look like I'm trying to avoid them in any way at all. I feel conspicuous as fuck.

After finding a trashcan, I go inside. We are subject to Processing by the Dept. of Homeland Security, which consists of us providing valid photo ID, emptying the contents of our pockets, and walking through a metal detector. One of the guys compliments me on my shirt, which was weird. This would be a process that we would repeat several times.

We go to the floor we need to go to, and we walk up to a podium.

"Do you have an appointment?"
"Yes, but it's at 2. Where can we get passport photos taken around here?"
"Go outside and turn right. There's about a dozen places"

We head to the first one we see, which is inside this narrow little corridor off the street in this weird utility room or something. Inside is two Cuban families. Some guy asks "what do you need?" David says "just passport photos". The guy turns and says "follow me".

We follow him into this back room. At this point I assume we're about to give videotaped statements while he delivers an ultimatum with some sort of ransom demand, but to my delight he just takes our pictures, for a scant $25 a piece. They take a few minutes to process, we go back to the car to get all our documentation, and we go back through security.

This time, I accidentally left my cell phone in my pocket and the metal detector went off. The guy has me take my phone out of my pocket, and he hangs onto it while I go back through the metal detector. Later, David points out that the phone could have easily been a bomb, and they'd never have known. He points this out on the car ride home, because he didn't want to say the word "bomb". We were working under the assumption that everything was bugged and we were being monitored at all times.

(11:06:27 PM) DavidTth: lol i was wishing i had put a bomb in it to cause some havoc
(11:06:34 PM) wubbingfubbus: hahaha
(11:06:35 PM) DavidTth: but then i realized i prob wouldnt be able to ever leave the country
(11:06:43 PM) DavidTth: so i figured it was neutral ev
(11:06:51 PM) wubbingfubbus: you mean if you bombed a federal building?
(11:06:54 PM) DavidTth: yeah
(11:06:55 PM) wubbingfubbus: no you'd probably not be allowed to leave
(11:07:09 PM) DavidTth: its a good thing i thought about that

We get to the elevators and I ask David if he has the travel documentation. He looks at me, and it's clear that he does not. He hands me all his shit, fresh off the x-ray conveyor belt, and runs back out to the car. Upon his return, I need to toss him his wallet because he forgot he gave it to me, and he needs his ID.

(11:38:13 PM) DavidTth: lol when i asked for my ID from you a bunch of cops like got real fucking nervous
(11:38:31 PM) DavidTth: cuz i was like signaling you, you could tell shit got fucking tense

We head upstairs, and the guy asks if we have an appointment. I say "yes", he says "go on in". David mentions that we didn't need to spend a half an hour on the phone to set an appointment because they just waived us in. So fucking useless.

We fill out the paperwork, we're called to the window, I take an oath from a woman with a thick accent and I have no understanding as to what I just swore allegiance to. We are given receipts, and we're told to return for our passports in about two and a half to three hours. The building closed in an hour and a half, and we had to be inside the building before then or we couldn't get our passports. So, with an hour and a half to kill, we decided to wander around downtown Miami, David still clutching his birth certificate.

First stop is Starbucks, and David gets this vanilla milkshake thing. We read some Starbucks Exclusive pamphlet about the evils of global warming. Then we wander around Downtown Miami. We walk into what appears to be a stolen goods outlet store. Outside, there are about a dozen or so suitcases, labeled "11.99 CASH ONLY". The whole store is cash only. There is a very tiny shriveled old toothless black woman sitting in the corner amidst a pile of suitcases and blankets eating rice. She asks if we need help, and we do not. On the shelves of this store is the most useless shit you could possibly imagine. Phone cords, pencil sharpeners, those curly plastic wristband keychain things... anything you could possibly never ever need. When you head into the back, there are suitcases everywhere. Parts of the wall and roof have fallen apart onto the floor, and it smells like mold. There is a mountain of suitcases. At this point we decide to leave.

We are trying to figure out what to do, and we end up back at the federal building, a half hour earlier than we needed to be. I make the argument that going back inside is a waste of time, and we should walk around more. David disagrees, saying we should just see what's up with our passports. Eventually we go inside, hand the counter guy our passport tickets, and about five minutes later we're walking out with our passports. David says this:

"Jamie, let me tell you something about life. Everything is a work. Everything. If you go through life
with that knowledge, you will go far. Like the appointments? Total fucking work. Three hours? What
a fucking joke. Everything is a fucking work."

Makes plenty of sense to me. It's David's turn to drive, and we run another eight or so tolls on the way back. Whatever, fuck tolls anyway. I tell David to actually pull into a cash lane to see what happens. They issue you some sort of mickey mouse citation, telling you to mail payment to some address. Postage is equal to the amount of the fine. Clearly, a fine example of just another stupid fucking work. I have no plan on paying.

As we head back, we hear the news that the economy is about to crumble. On the side of the highway, all the fields are flooded and the tops of palm trees poke out above the flooded pastures. We speculate that it is the end of the world.

I read the book I stole from Troy most of the way home. David gets lost on the way back, and we end up on some fucking one-way road to nowhere, with traffic going two ways. We have to make a U-turn. Turn on the emergency flashers and get over into the tall tall grass, and wait for a break in the traffic. I notice that, beneath the grass, is a nice deep ditch. You can't tell it's there because it's overgrown, but it's there. We missed it by like two feet.

For about an hour in the car, we listen to some douchebag on CNBC by the name of Jim Cramer talk about how awesome the collapse the economy is because insert retarded observation here. He is basically Jim Rome, only if Jim Rome knew how to count. For the next hour we make fun of his show, refer to him as "J-C" and make fun of the fact that he has some buzzer that he hits when callers say something that he feels is off-base. He yells at some old lady, which is awesome.

(12:09:14 AM) DavidTth: MAD MONEY

David knows of some poker home game that's running later in the evening, and since I haven't played in a home game in ages, I'm down. It's some $25 STT, which to me seems really boring, but the prospect of a home game is awesome to me, since I basically lived off them for about two years.

We make it home in time, and head back to the house to get the address. David's hot roommate is there, and she's sitting in the living room talking on the phone with all the lights out, which strikes me as really weird. Even in the dark I see she's wearing this really sexy dress, and it looks great. We get the address and head out. We drive over to this game, and I introduce myself to the host and all the players.

Anyone watch pro wrestling back in the 70s? If you do, you'll remember Larry Zbyszko. He was at the game. God, what a weird dude. At some point, he says the funniest thing I heard all weekend. David is talking about some hand and he talks about some action that happened, and Larry, who has been saying weird shit all evening, just goes "I'm so proud of you, David." Larry and I have a bonding moment outside during a smoke break, which is nice.

The host's name is Scott. Scott is a fucking dick and he looks like a Jewish Jason Alexander. The reason he's a fucking dick is because he averages about forty-five seconds every time he needs to do absolutely anything at all. This may not seem like a lot, but it is. Count to forty-five right now. That's a pain in the ass. When someone sits there and stares you down for that long before folding Q4o preflop (I witnessed this from the rail), it's irritating. I counted, we got about 8 hands in per blind level. Each blind level was fifteen minutes. You do the math.

Scott also had his entire living room (or, his "poker room", as he liked to call it) adorned in pictures of every week's winner. This game has been running for a couple years. All the pictures are framed together by "season". It's called "Scott's Series of Poker". Aside from having anal sex with other men, it's probably the gayest thing I've ever heard of. But that doesn't matter, I still want my picture up there.

This next part has a ton of boring poker content, so read at your own risk.

Here's a brief summary of how the tournament went, in chronological order.
1st interesting hand I flat 44 in early levels after a raise and a call. David is directly to my right, which is awesome. There's a couple other callers. The flop comes T22r (I think?) and it checks around. Turn is an 8, and it checks to David who bets aprox 3/4 pot. I insta-call, all others fold. River is a K, it checks down and I announce "pair" which is good vs. his AQ.

Next hand I have AK in middle stages. I raise, retard on my left re-raises. It folds back to me and I shove about 40bb. He has about 15bb. He tanks for about thirty seconds before calling with JJ. I hit a K in the door, and he binks a J on the river. We were the two chipleaders at that point, and it was like our 18th hand, which should give you an idea of how slow shit was moving.

At some point I open KK, everyone folds. Some guy asks for a rabbit hunt, flop is dealt out, he would have hit a set of 2s. Then he says "With your raise, I put you on tens." The flop was T2x. He then said one of the funniest things I've ever heard: "If you bet and I raised and you went all-in, I would have folded my set because I knew you would have had tens." We both had less than 20bb at this point. I told him that folding there would be stupid, and then he says something about how I'm not good at poker or some shit, which was awesome.

Next hand, I open deuces in LP with something like 18bb. The blinds call. Flop comes QT8r. The guy who was dealing at the time (deal passes with the button) burns and turns after about a minute where nobody did anything, assuming it was checked around. Being super fucking slow is apparently the norm here. The turn is the 2c . The SB pipes up "wait I didn't check yet! I didn't do anything!" What follows is, without a doubt, the worst ruling I've ever heard. And because of the circumstance I was in, I couldn't really say anything about it. The 2c was put aside, they then burned and dealt the RIVER, then they shuffled the two back in and re-dealt the turn. The SB fires out, and I fold face-up with a disgusted look at the host, who is possibly the biggest fucking dick in the world in my eyes at this moment. Slow play and retarded rules. Fuck that, man.

My last hand I pushed like 4bb from the BB after a btn open w/ AJ and some horrible downie takes about twenty seconds (which is super-quick for him) to call with KQ. He gets there and I'm done. David is done shortly after that, and we peace. God, what a joke.

David brought up the irritating nature of the host with his friend (the tens guy), and here is what transpired:

(10:45:19 PM) wubbingfubbus: like i give scott a pass because he's stupid and doesn't know the rules
(10:45:28 PM) wubbingfubbus: but explain to him how rude that shit is at least namsayin
(10:46:04 PM) DavidTth: i basically said "there's no fucking reason to be tanking live with a totally unplayable hand, there's no cameras"
(10:46:06 PM) DavidTth: and he wrote back
(10:46:15 PM) DavidTth: and btw this is the stupidest thing ive ever read so gear up
(10:46:18 PM) wubbingfubbus: k
(10:46:24 PM) DavidTth: He thinks there are. He really honestly does. In his house he believes that if he shows any weakness at all he is giving a tell.

The fact is he is beyond awful. We all have the same cards it just depends on when you want to play them.

Last night if I had showed with 8/7 off suit I would have trip-ed up and been sitting pretty for the top 3. Instead I folded and went all in with K9 and lost to an ace high.

The trouble with Scott is he lives poker. He thinks that every hand is a war and he is in it to win everyhand.

In a way its brilliant. He is slow and methodical and he knocked Jamie WAAAAY off his game. If you have issue with it call time but then by calling time you yourself are doing exactly what he wants you to do, you are getting annoyed.
(10:47:10 PM) wubbingfubbus: lol

Playing poker with retards is awesome, but when they're so fucking stupid that it takes them upwards of a minute to perform actions that should be a snap-something, it's beyond stupid. I mean honestly, when we're 6bb deep and you raise (lol) and someone shoves, it shouldn't take any more than a half second to call. Sooooo annoying.

Okay, done with poker content.

I stole some change from Troy for the tolls, and drove back home. And that is how I spent Tuesday and Wednesday.

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