Stories From Beyond My Brain

a dedication to the strangers i meet and the stories i give their lives and an ode to the characters i create

How American Idol should be run…

(3/7/2012) I haven’t seriously watched a season of American Idol since 2006 and a big congrats to the one and only Idol I voted for, Bo Bice. Though your name is lost in pop culture history, Bo, I still hold belief in your self-hesitated comeback. Bo Bice 2012.

My mother on the other hand, is a dedicated follower of the show, and for one night only, for her, so was I.

And of course, rather than pay attention to the singing, I began thinking about the voting system. If Idol still does this, and I wouldn’t know since I only voted for my one and only man Bo, the Idol thanks you for casting their vote for them.

Plus, I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this, JLO has the weirdest shaped eyebrows. It’s the one thing she took in her divorce from Marc Anthony.

Anyway, back to the voting, this is the way that I like to believe that voting is handled*:

It’s that part of the Idol season, March. The American viewing public has sat patiently through the “hilariously” bad and humiliating auditions, waiting for those 12 golden eggs to be selected with hopes of having a less than 50% of actually having a music career. Anyone else remember Diana DiGuarmo? I don’t even know if I spelled her last name right, but that’s how much I don’t care to actually switch the page, use Google, and spell her last name properly. It’s just not going to happen.

It’s finally the big night, the first night on the stage, face to face with the judges. Nervous, sweat and anxiety make a deadly combination for these 12 finalists as they have to prepare for those final notes into their inevitable public future.

Ryan Seacrest has his whitest smile set to sparkle at full blast, suit ironed and tailor perfectly. Of course, not many people knowing, that Ryan owns his own dry cleaners and Men’s Wearhouse in order to monopolize every single market imaginable.

The lights dim, the in house audience silences, the at home audience is on the edge of their seats and the famous opening, music and graphics start a night full of talent and criticism.

The show always goes as planned. Ryan’s small talk with the contestants, the judges comments that all sound the same, and the advertisements.

And at the end of each song, the at home audience sees it. The phone numbers appear at the bottom of the screen each with an extension indicating the lines to call if you would like to vote for a particular Idol.

After the show, the Idols are quickly shuttled back to the the stylish, classy digs that the producers have set them up in. And while some may see the house from the outside as being very relaxing, the inside is the opposite of first perceptions.

There are 2 rooms with 6 beds in each, the pink room is for the girls and the blue room is for the boys. While there are 4 other rooms that could be used as bedrooms, they are full of phones. The information that has been never released is that those aren’t voice recordings responding to fans calling into vote, they are the actual contestants.

The harder the contestant works at answering phones, it usually means that they probably got the most votes. The contestant who doesn’t have to work the hardest, is usually sent home the night after voting. This is all viewed by producers through security camera’s supplied by Ryan Seacrest’s security system company.

The farther a contestant makes it into the competition, the more phones that they are allowed. The busiest night of voting, the night between the final 2 contestants, usually consists of an equal amount of votes. The way that the producers decide which contestant should be the winner of American Idol is by also putting them through a series of challenges, similar to field day in elementary school. Tug-o-war, volleyball match, softball game, dodge ball, potato sack race, pie eating contest, and carrying an egg of a spoon in your mouth (which makes you think about how the events went down with Ruben and Clay).

Whichever contestant is able to succeed at the majority of these challenges, will most likely win the title of American Idol.

This is truly how I feel American Idol should be run.

*this part of the story is completely fictional

(Source: storiesfrombeyondmybrain)

Dollar Store Jim

(3/7/2012) I walked into the Dollar Store to buy my mother some hair gel for her therapy group. While I like to believe that she was going to tell people to massage hair gel on their faces when they get upset, I was wrong. In fact, I didn’t understand what she needed it for exactly after she explained. So I like to believe her therapeutic methods are so advanced that she advised people to massage hair gel into their faces. 

As I walked down the beauty isle, full of cheap nail polish, off-brand soaps and tooth pastes, and surprisingly some undergarments, there was a man. He was a tall white man, about 6’2”, wearing jeans and layers of thermal shirts and plaid jackets. He was also wearing a winter hat upon what I perceived was a bald head. As I first viewed this man in the beauty isle, I saw him spraying the off-brand cologne in a large puffy cloud of smell. The closer I got, the more I questioned whether or not I should walk down this isle, but I was on a mission to help people subside anger through hair gel. I had made my decision. 

I politely said “excuse me” to this blue-collar man, who I would like to name Jim, and walked through his cloud of smell with my chin held high and my nostrils shut. The first thing that went through my mind was “now I smell like this.” The second thing that went through my mind was “why was he shopping for cologne at the dollar store?”

This is the store I have created for him:*

His name is Jim. He’s a hard working mechanic who lives by himself and enjoys a Budweiser nightly while falling asleep in his lazy boy before waking up to Jimmy Fallon’s voice as late shows started to come on and then drags his feet up to his bed. He started smoking at 15 but quit at the age of 30 when he finally met his first wife. While Jim always came off as a strong man, full of strength and confidence in his decisions and the way he presented himself, he was quite sensitive and always had trouble in love. His first wife, Tammy, was a waitress at a local bar where he would go with his buddies after work. Within a year of meeting, they were married. Five years later, Tammy and Jim divorced and at 35, Jim was a single man once again. Tammy broke the marriage off, saying that she had more to live for than staying in the same broken town for the rest of her life. 

Jim wasn’t single for long, as his rebound (a set up from his step-sister, Marie) led to what Jim thought was the love of his life. This new woman, Jessica, made Jim’s second wife and they soon married within the year of meeting. Jim was now 37 and thought that his dream of a family was finally beginning. 

This was until Jessica was in a tragic car accident close to their 2 year wedding anniversary. Jim was devastated and wouldn’t leave his house for close to 4 months. His family was very supportive, meeting with him everyday and bringing his necessities from the local grocery store and encouragement. Soon after Jim began leaving his house again, he decided to re-locate to a new state. With a new state, Jim thought he would gain a new life. 

Now 42, Jim has been living in this new state for close to 3 years. He has had more trouble meeting his next companion than originally thought. Now a member of the online dating scene, Jim finally scored a date with a 38 year old named Katie. She was blonde, had 2 boys (Jaden, 8 and Teri, 10), was divorced and worked as a nurse. Her first husband, and the father of her children, had left her for a younger woman and was now unaware of his whereabouts. As far as Katie was concerned, her ex husband was dead. 

Jim and Katie had not yet met in person, but they had emailed consistently back and forth. They both found common bonds in former heart break and their eerily similar up bringing. Katie loved the way that Jim was strong but sensitive and knew how to make her laugh. She appreciated that he was a simple man and lived a quiet life. Her only hesitation was her children and how they would or would not be accepting of a new male figure in their lives. It was only after 3 months that Katie finally gave in and agreed to meet Jim in person. Their first date is going to be Friday at an Applebees. 

Jim had always been on the cheaper side, both because of his up bringing in a lower class household and his salary. While Jim makes more now than his parents did when he was younger, he still finds satisfaction shopping in the Dollar Store. It was on his lunch break that he decided to go into the Dollar Store for a few grocery items, such as chips and soda, he also wandered around the store. 

Going up and down the isles, small, colorful boxes caught Jim’s eye. On the front of these boxes, were men in different scenes, such as on top of the mountain or on a boat in the middle of a body of water. Nervous, but excited for his date with Katie on Friday, he picked up one of the colorful boxes, opened the box, and sprayed the cheap cologne in a could in the middle of the isle. By the time that he had started to spray a different odor, a young blonde girl had walked right through this cloud. Embarrassed, Jim tried to make a joke but walked further down the isle to look at Q-tips. 

It was finally Friday. Jim went through his ordinary, daily routines. Wake up at 6am, eat breakfast, work, lunch, work, but after work would be different. Today was the day that 3 months of emails, phone calls, and texting had led up to, the day that Jim was finally going to meet Katie. He mind constantly wandered from whatever car he was trying to fix and had nausea at breakfast and lunch, so he didn’t eat all day. Because of Jim’s hypoglycemia problem, he fainted at work and was sent to this hospital. 

Jim felt horrible, both physically and emotionally. He was stuck in the hospital waiting to see what seemed like, doctor after doctor. Meanwhile, his cell phone had died and had no way of communicating with Katie and letting her know what had happened. He thought his one chance at true love had been diminished (although he was jumping to conclusions). 

Sitting in his hospital bed, feeling defeated and cursing what little hope in life that he had left, a beautiful nurse had walked into the room. She was at the end of shift, about to go on a date for a man that she had been talking to 3 months. Lucky for Jim, this nurse was Katie. Fate be damned, Jim couldn’t believe how this had worked out for him. 

While she didn’t recognize him at first, Jim started to cry. It was a subtle cry, feeling relief of his not lost chance at love. Jim was able to wipe away the several tears that had stroked his cheek by the time that Katie had turned around from reading his chart and finally realized who he was. 

Both parties, awkward at first, began talking and soon the conversation flowed like water in a stream. Katie understood how lucky of an encounter this had been and instead of going home to prepare for her date like she had planned, she spent the time after her shift sitting in Jim’s room. Her blonde hair was a mess, her pink scrubs with Tweety bird cartoons on them slightly smelled of stress and vomit from an elderly patient that had thrown up on her earlier. Jim didn’t care, he thought she was beautiful anyway. 

And even though Jim had been discharged hours earlier, he and Katie spent their first date in the hospital cafeteria, eating the dinner special and sharing chocolate pudding for dessert. 

*this part of the story is completely fictional 

(Source: storiesfrombeyondmybrain)