Friday, May 31, 2013

abashed the devil stood and saw how awful goodness is

Hey y'all, look what I found!

Remember me bemoaning my non-uniform-clothing detentions? I knew I had kept a memento....

I found several fun things cleaning out one of my memory boxes. A pile of fantastic stuff near the bottom all came from Halloween, 1999.

In 1999, Halloween happened to fall on a Sunday. This was glorious, because in Catholic School you get All Saints Day (November 1st) off as a holiday.

I'm pretty sure the mention of Halloween 1999 still causes a collective shudder amongst the cops in at least eight different towns (in four different counties, in two different states).

....A little back story first. Not long before Halloween, a few of my friends (among them Mike#1; you remember him) decided to make their own LSD. Mike#1 was a super genius who normally applied his skills to making explosives* and so was extremely knowledgeable in the realm of chemistry. Jason's father worked for some pharmaceutical company and had stashed all sorts of [stolen] equipment in their basement. Matt#1's parents were filthy rich. They each bought some of the stuff they would need, so that way they weren't buying everything at once and thus would not tip off the authorities. They made the stuff in Jason's basement (and tested it themselves to make sure it worked without killing anyone--THAT was a fun weekend -___-) and then realized a small problem.

They had bought the ingredients in bulk. They made a crap ton of acid. They broke even selling it that first weekend, and that barely put a dent in their supply. Jason didn't really want vast quantities of extremely illegal things hanging out in his basement and even Mike#1 wasn't sure if the acid would eventually go bad or not, so they were like f*ck it; let's just give it away. After that, pretty much everyone who knew Mike#1, Jason, and/or Matt#1 had more hallucinogens than they knew what to do with.

Fast forward to Halloween. Or rather, Saturday, the night before Halloween.

Devil's Night.

Being die-hard fans of The Crow, we had to celebrate Devil's Night in such a way as to make Top Dollar proud.

I began the weekend by doing my usual I'm-totally-sleeping-at-Friend's-house routine and had the friend's older sister pretend to be her mother to confirm this (Mum refused to let me sleep anywhere unless she spoke to the other kid's parents first). Mumsy dropped me off at Sara's house, where we proceeded to get ourselves as gothed up as humanly possible, with fishnets and leather pants and spiked jewelry.

From the memory box: an actual photo of what I wore to school the previous day!

Then Mike#1 and Matt#2 arrived. Mike#1 brought laudanum (he was the best friend to have ever if your favourite pastime was killing brain cells). We watched The Crow. Sara and I painted Mike#1's and Matt's faces so they would match us. Matt and Sara pretended to go upstairs to use the bathroom and then had extremely loud sex in the attic. Mike#1 and I went outside and committed similar sins in his car. Mac liquid eyeliner is the sh*t, because we had barely any smudges to our makeup afterwards.

Then we went to pick up Rocko, who had just gotten his license back but because of a separate offense, he had to be drug tested weekly, which made him the perfect designated driver.

(Despite being a bunch of delinquents, we were at least responsible delinquents. Most of the time, we had a sober "babysitter" when doing things like acid or mushrooms, just in case anyone needed to call 911 or drive to the emergency room, or escape the police.)

We painted Rocko's face, too. And dropped some acid.

We went to the hardware store by Rocko's house and bought $40 worth of charcoal lighter fluid. Then we went down the street to the supermarket--the Big V.

I loved the Big V because it was sketchy as hell and the first time I went there, they had these signs hanging up all over the store:
...another gem from the memory box...

Sara, the most artistic out of the five of us, attempted to make a giant bird out of lighter fluid in the Big V parking lot. We set it on fire.

It did not look like a bird. It looked more like this:

We could not accept failure. But the parking lot was on fire so we weren't going to wait around and get arrested. We moved on, heading to the Chester Mall and parking in the corner near the bowling alley. This time Matt#2 tried to make a bird.

He failed miserably.

We drove five minutes north to Rocko's ex-girlfriend's house. Rocko attempted to make a bird in her driveway.

It sort of looked like a bird?

It also sort of set fire to the shrubbery in the front yard, so we ran back to the car and floored it out of there. Rocko didn't stop until we were safely in the next state.

Any of y'all ever been to West Milford, New Jersey? It's friggin weird.

And because it contains so many weird things, like Clinton Road, the jet in the woods, Route 23, the Germantown Road houses, and the abandoned Jungle Habitat, it tended to attract a lot of kids like us. We ran into quite a few of them in the parking lot of the A&P, where it was my turn to try and make a bird out of lighter fluid.

It's not as easy as Brandon Lee makes it look. I think my bird was the worst one yet.

By the time we left the parking lot, there were six flaming attempts at birds from all the kids we had just met, and we could hear sirens. It was time to move on. We drove around aimlessly (remember when petrol was only like $1.00 a gallon and you could do that without going bankrupt??) and ended up in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Mike#1, for some reason, got extremely offended by all the enormous houses. The following madness ensued:

Matt#2 and Sara wandered off into someone's bushes. Mike#1 was setting fire to everything. Rocko was getting increasingly irritable because he no longer wanted to be sober, and he had thought Sara was single. (Technically, all of us were single; everyone was just doing it with everyone else.) Then Rocko and Mike#1 started arguing about hockey, which turned into a screaming match. I'm presuming someone in at least one of the giant houses called the cops on us, because we heard sirens getting alarmingly close.

At which point Rocko (who was kind of a large dude) picked Mike#1 up and hurled him onto the ground, then ran back to Mike#1's car.

And drove away in it.

He didn't come back.

At least not in the 30 seconds we waited in the street. The sirens had gotten much much louder, so Mike#1 and I fled. We had no idea where we were going; we were just running, trying to cut through yards and woods and whatnot to outrun the cops. By the time we stopped, we had NO FREAKING CLUE where we were.

This was in the times before cell phones, remember. Some of our parents had cell phones,

and some kids still had pagers, but most of us had nothing.

Then Mike#1 and I remembered that Sara and Matt#2 had gone off into the bushes before Rocko stole Mike#1's car.


But we couldn't do anything about that now. All we really could do was try and find a payphone and get someone to pick us up.

We walked for a looooooooooooong ass time before we found one.

We found a payphone by the gas station next to the Market Basket and Mike#1 called his house. His mom was the best chance we had of someone coming to get us and actually finding us (pretty sure she was the mellowest mother who ever lived, though I suppose she had to be to stay sane whilst raising Mike#1). 

But the line was busy. In the days of dial-up internet, that's what happened when you tried to call someone's house and they were on AOL.

So Mike#1 tried calling Jason (not sober), Sara's sister (didn't answer), and the few other friends we knew who had cars (all not sober or not answering). He tried his house again, but it was still busy. So Mike#1 fed like $5.00 in change into the payphone to get the operator to do an emergency break.

In the 10 seconds it took for Mike#1 to get off the phone with the operator, put more change into the payphone, and dial his house again, his mother had somehow managed to get back on the internet.

Do you guys remember dial-up AOL?? 99 times out of 100, it took like 5 whole minutes to connect to the internet.

Now what? It would take kind of a long time to walk to Mike#1's house.

So we were like f*ck it, let's go sleep in the bushes by that church over there (they can't kick you out of a church if you claim sanctuary, right?) and call mom in the morning. It was around 2:00 AM by then and we'd been going insane since like 7:00.

It is a damn good thing that I tend to wake up at the ass crack of dawn if I'm not in my own bed, because that particular church apparently had their first Mass at 7:00 on Sunday mornings. this is getting really long. TO BE CONTINUED......

(Mike#1 and I went back to Franklin Lakes in the car a couple weeks later to try and figure out how far we had walked. This is basically the route we took)

*Mike#1 eventually went to jail for this, as well as for hacking into some government/FBI database. Idk the details, but apparently it was epic enough that when he got out of jail five years early, he vanished and is now working for the Department of Defense.


  1. Damn I wish I knew guys like you growing up. My school had some gothy people, sure, but not "do acid and set fire to parking lots" levels of goths. I didn't meet those until I was in college but unfortunately we didn't do acid and set fire to things.

  2. This story is absolutely insane Mich, actually one of the craziest things I've ever heard, your stories make my childhood look like an episode of My Little Pony! The idea of making your own acid is so awesome although a little scary too, just an amazing story!

  3. Fresh meat? As opposed to what?!?

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Mike#1's meltdown is fantastic

    lol my brother had that phone.

    I can't wait to hear what you lunatics did on the actual day of Halloween.

  4. I read this during my lunch break at work and almost died of lulz.

  5. Reminds me of my friends and their "let's make GHB!" "let's make absinthe!" and "let's go shrooming!" phases. I never took any of the shit they made at home, but I will say they never required hospitalization even though they made their G with liquid plumr.

    Max made a bomb and got expelled when he sold it to this pussy kid named Doug who is now a fire fighter...god, if our high school years had been conjoined, you and I might not have escaped prison.

    1. I know all the firefighters in my town, and they are among the biggest pyromaniacs I have ever met.

      If we had been friends in high school, I think we would now be billionaire drug lords living on our own private island in the Pacific.

  6. Your childhood makes mine look like Disneyland. I'm ok with that, so long as you keep posting these epic tales!

  7. "as gothed up as humanly possible" = YOU KNOW THIS IS GOING TO BE GOOD SHIT.

    I've never seen The Crow (Please don't kill me) but I have played about with a bit of fire and life with a filmmaking nutter. What likely happened is they had a professional pyro tech do the flaming bird, likely with a track filled with fuel set into the ground, and just had the actor splash around something that looked like fuel for the shots he was in.

    One of Miles' more fun 48Hour Film stories was the time someone mixed up the fuel bucket for the fire spinners with the water bucket for the safety person. Oops. Actor got doused in fuel instead of seawater and had to carry a flaming torch while crawling through a cave at Long Beach. . .

    Ah, mike was part of the 'Hire the hackers to beat the hackers' Scheme? Nice one!

    I have NO IDEA how you managed to survive your childhood. You sure you'r enot actually some kind of Terminator, come back in time form after Seafood Dude's child creates Skynet? (Kid is barely 18months and can change disks in the playstation if he wants to listen to music)

  8. I've never dropped acid but we DID set a car on fire in high school. That was pretty epic, and it left a huge black cloud over our cowtown for a full day. Also, a lighter fluid bird sounds hard enough while sober. I can't imagine tripping and doing that.


    I've been reading your blog forever. I too am from North Jersey. I REMEMBER THAT FIRE IN THE WEST MILFORD A AND P PARKING LOT. Like you have no idea I almost pissed myself reading that. I feel like we share a connection now.

    Sorry if that's creepy. :D

  10. Bit of a pyromaniac weren't we? I wish you had taken actual pictures of the fire birds because I can sort of see how those look like birds.

    1. I know, I really wish I had photos from back then! They hadn't invented digital cameras yet though, and we were all too lazy/poor to take proper photos...

  11. I can't even... that is truly an epic night. I have similar stories like this, but I usually play the role of Rocko. So one has to make sure people stay alive. I am really just amazed. I am made so mostly because Mike#1 is in hiding and working for DOD. That's amazing. I am eagerly awaiting the second part of this night.


We say whatever we want to whomever we want, at all times.