County Fair Beatdown
This might be the most insane thing I have ever seen with my own two eyes. We used to have this carnival in Kennedy Park in my town when we were growing up. There was this big rivalry between our town and the next town, South River, which is probably the case with every two towns in America. So there we were, hanging out, and right across this grass lot from us were these guys from this other town with one of our girls, hanging out. We didn’t like that she was hanging out with them, and I’m sure it didn’t help matters any when this one guy, her boyfriend as it turned out, stood up and backhanded her across the face in front of all of us. So, a bunch of us walk over to them, and words are exchanged. My buddy Tommy, who is a brick shithouse now but back then was a little dude, walks right up to the guy who smacked her. He was enormous, but Tommy was a scrapper. He’s like, “What the fuck are you doing?” and next thing you know the guy from South River pulls out a gun—it looked like a 9mm or something—and puts it right in Tommy’s face. Mind you, this is a “county fair”-type carnival deal. There are cops everywhere. So the gun comes out, and you would think that a gong had gone off because somehow it seemed like the rides stopped, the music turned off, you could hear streetlights changing from red to green—it was that quiet. Everybody was like “Fuck,” and in an instant—before the cops could react, before anybody could fucking fart—my buddy Tommy takes his left hand (the guy’s got the gun in his right hand), puts it just below the guy’s right shoulder, pulls the dude as close as he can without kissing him, and tucks the gun hand under his armpit. Then with his right hand, Tommy starts beating the piss out of him, just hauling off. By the third hit blood is coming out of the guy’s nose, by the fourth his eye is lumped up and his knees collapse. Tommy lets go of the arm, grabs the pistol, and starts pistol-whipping this guy. My eyes are fixed on what’s in front of me, so I didn’t notice that there are police now forming a perimeter around the fight. I look up and there are these cops with their hands on their hips just staring, watching it all go down. He’s beating him with the fucking gun, and when the guy looked like he was unconscious, one of the cops was like, “All right, Tommy, that’s enough. We’re gonna arrest him now.” So they pick up this guy’s passed-out body, put cuffs on him, and throw him in the back of the car.
All presenter photos by Patrick O’Dell. Styling by Sara McCormack.
Jorge: Yves Saint Laurent shirt, Hugo Boss suit.
To see a dude disarm somebody like that—I’ve tried to do it, to demonstrate to people, and I can’t even do it without them holding a weapon. And Tommy was so nonchalant afterwards, we went back in the woods and we all had some beers. He’s great. I moved to California, but once I came home and went to a Pantera show. I hadn’t seen Tommy in a long time, and suddenly I just see this big ass dude pummel some other big dude right in the middle of the pit. One punch, lays him out cold. Then the big guy starts coming toward me, and I’m like, “Oh my fucking god, I’m not even in the pit, I don’t even want to spill my beer,” and it’s Tommy. He’s like “Hey, Chris, long time no see. How you been?”
I Got Shot
I was a 13-year-old, kind of new-wave skater kid with a Tony Hawk hairdo living in Kansas City and trying to score pot. It was almost impossible back then and one of the few people that had it was Greg Grefauk. He was also 13 but the thing about 13 is, it’s a weird age. There’s 13-year-olds who look like janitors. They’ve got a mustache and a car. And then there’s 13-year-olds who look like they’re 8. I was the latter. He was the former.
So after trying to get pot all over Kansas City, I had to resort to Greg. He gave out pot for free, but it was still expensive in a way because you had to hang out with him—all night. Me and my friends went to his house and he made us listen to metal for hours and hours. I hated metal back then. I guess I still do. As the night wore on my friends started dropping like flies. I didn’t have a curfew so I could stay there all night if I wanted. He didn’t have a curfew either. In fact, his mother wasn’t even home. She was in Hawaii partying. She was rich because she divorced some rich guy, but she was as white trash as white trash gets. Greg and his mother lived in a huge, six-bedroom McMansion, but there was no furniture in it. Crap was piled everywhere. About the only decoration in the house was some wallpaper in Greg’s room made of old Marlboro cartons. He was proud of how many cigarettes he smoked.
At around 5 AM Greg put in this Iron Maiden VHS tape and turned up the volume as loud as it could go. It was like he was trying to torture me to see what my limits were. Like when a newly adopted kid is bad so he can see if his new parents are really in it for the long haul. I braved out the tape and after half an hour or so Greg suggested we go out and hunt rabbits. I said sure. Free pot had to be just around the corner. I had paid my dues.
He picked up his stepfather’s .22 and started waving it around the room. I wasn’t too worried about it and went to the bathroom to take a piss. When I came out of the bathroom he shot me. BANG! I remember seeing his face go really pale and realizing I had been thrown up against the bathroom door and was now sitting on the floor. The bullet had entered my side, punctured my liver and kidneys, ricocheted around my ribs, and got stuck halfway out my back. Like, if you looked at my back you would have seen the tip of a bullet sticking out. When I looked down at my shirt I saw this enormous red stain that was growing way too fast. It is impossible to convey the kind of fear I was feeling at the time. Pure terror. You see, most people have a library of references if something happens to them. If they burn their finger they go, “Oh yeah, a burn,” and go put it in water or whatever. I didn’t have references for this experience. All I knew about being shot was what I saw in Rambo movies and that was: You die. I was going to die. These were my last moments on earth. One thing people in movies don’t do when they’re shot is stand up and start screaming, “YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE! WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE!?” But I did. He kept repeating, “Dude, I’m sorry. Don’t sue me.” That’s what he kept repeating, “Dude, don’t sue me.” I didn’t mind the suing thing so much as the word “dude.” This was back before everybody in the world said “dude” and it just fucking annoyed the shit out of me. I ran around the house ranting and raving for about two minutes until the pain hit me. It’s difficult to describe the pain. Just imagine the worst cramp anyone ever had times 1,000. It was literally crippling, so I lay in the fetal position and told Greg to call 911. That’s a tape I’d like to hear. He said, “Hey, man. I think… I think my friend got shot.” And I yelled, “No you fucking asshole. Tell them YOU shot me.” And he said, “Yeah. I guess I shot my friend.” Neither of us cried once during this whole thing. I remember I was wearing a “Boys Don’t Cry” shirt at the time. Greg picked me up (remember, he was one of those grown-man 13-year-olds) and carried me out to the lawn. This was summer in Kansas City and the sky was just breathtaking. I lay on my back looking at the stars, bleeding to death, and I started to pray to Jesus. I was an atheist at the time and gave my mother no end of grief about Christianity, but that night I prayed and prayed to Jesus and begged him to let me live. Then I had a life-changing experience. You know how they say your whole life flashes before your eyes? It does. When I closed my eyes I saw my whole life being projected inside a cylinder. There was audio coming out either side playing sound bites that related to the images. It started at my most recent memory, being at the skate park on my 12th birthday, and it went chronologically backward toward my birth. As the video unraveled it was moving toward a bright white light that I was also heading toward. All those clichés are true. The next thing I remember was being startled out of this dream state by a paramedic. I opened my eyes and said, “Am I going to die?” and they said, “I don’t know.” Aren’t they supposed to tell you everything’s going to be all right? I started panicking again as they put me in the ambulance and asked me if I could move my toes and all that. When we got to the hospital, I asked them if the Kansas City Royals had won and then blacked out. They did exploratory surgery and stopped the bleeding and that was it. Apparently organs heal themselves, so if you can stop the bleeding everything else will take care of itself. When I woke up this real slick tough-guy black dude came over and said, “Wassup Jeff. I’m the surgeon that stitched you up.” I said, “Thanks for saving my life,” and he said, “Cool.” Then he said, “I need to talk to you about something,” and went into this huge lecture about “the pot.” He told me how he was a child of the 60s and he’d been there and seen what it can do to people and if I don’t stop going down the pot route I’m never going to do anything with my life. Fine, I won’t smoke pot anymore. Greg came to visit me a few days later (I was in the hospital for weeks). I had a catheter in my penis that they put in the second I arrived. That was potentially more traumatizing than being shot. They also had a huge green tube that they stuck up my nose and into my stomach. It was pumping bile from my stomach nonstop. So Greg comes up to my bed and he’s freaking out, saying, “Dude, I don’t know what to say, dude. Please don’t hate me, dude,” and he gives me a letter and walks out of the room. I wish I still had that letter. It had the grammar and spelling of a kindergarten project. And the worst part was he fucking spelled “dude” wrong. It said, “Dued.” This was about the only word he knew how to say and he couldn’t even spell it. The letter said something like, “Dued. I am so sarry. Dued. Don’t hate me dued. Dued. I don’t know wut to say. Dued.” Hilarious. Just before I was finally ready to leave the hospital, my mom came into the room and said we had to go over some insurance policy offers. I was like, “What? I get money because some idiot shot me?” Apparently if something like this happens in a person’s home, you can get their home insurance policy to pay you money. They had offers like a lump sum of $200,000 or how about $800 a month for the rest of your life? I chose money for life and $5,000 cash. My parents didn’t let me spend the five grand until I was 21, but I’m 33 now and I still get that check every month. In a way it’s a curse because it totally robbed me of any ambition, but fuck it. I know people with really shitty jobs and it sure beats having a shitty job. I’m glad I got shot. JEFF JENSEN
This was in Florida in like 1983. It was me and a few fellow metalhead kids riding around, smoking weed, and blasting music. Kill ’Em All had just come out and we were going fucking crazy for it. So this truck, like a huge redneck race truck, pulls up alongside us and flicks off our whole car full of dudes. We were like, “Fuck that motherfucker!” and took off following him. We were speeding through the woods for a while, fully in a car chase. All of a sudden, he takes a sharp left and we come up right behind him and it was fucking insane: Two rows of about twelve more of these huge redneck race trucks each, all lined up. It was a full-on bonfire kegger in the woods. There was country music blasting, tons of dudes, and a bunch of their chicks. We were fucking dead, basically. First thing, one of these guys runs up, reaches right into the driver’s window, and pulls the keys out of the ignition. There are five of us in that car and I’m sitting bitch in the backseat. All of these rednecks are standing around our car just laughing and cracking their knuckles. So they start taking turns running up, popping the driver or the passenger in the face, then stepping back. It was like having a pack of hyenas come at us. I’m watching all my friends get pulled out of the car one by one and get the living shit beaten out of them. Like, really serious beatings. The driver gets sucked out through his window, BANG. The passenger-seat guy goes, BANG. And they’re kicking and screaming as they go, too. It was like something out of a horror movie. My friends were all pretty big, but there were just too many of these guys. So they open the backdoors and the guy to my left gets yanked out and they start on him. Then the guy to the right and they start on him. At that point the first wave of punches started to hit me and I was really ready to be unconscious in a few minutes. Like, I was just hoping I would get knocked out fast. But then this one redneck chick puts her head in the car and was like, “You better get the FUCK out of here right now, kid!” I think I was small enough that she took pity on me. I was only like 12 years old at the time. She was like, “Run, motherfucker! Run!” I jumped out of the car and there was this weird moment where I was thinking, “Should I stay and try to help these guys?” But then I realized, “No way! What the hell am I gonna do against 20 huge Florida rednecks?” So I booked. Right before I ran, I saw this especially big redneck guy who was holding a fucking shotgun run up and grab my friend JP, who had been riding next to me. He was like, “I’m gonna take care of this motherfucker myself!” He ran JP over to his pickup truck, threw him in the bed, jumped in, and peeled off. In my mind, I was like, “Jesus Christ, he’s gonna kill him!” So yeah, I ran. A few hours later when I was walking down the main road, I saw one of the guys from my car wandering around all bloody and totally dazed. He could barely talk—he was in shock. We walked a few miles to a gas station and called the cops. They went right out there. A couple of our friends were fucked up really, really bad. One of them was in the hospital for weeks. But remember the dude who got thrown in the back of the pickup and driven off to die? Turns out that redneck had played soccer with my friend when they were kids. He recognized him and pulled him out of there. They had been friends as little kids, just one dude went the redneck route and one dude went the metalhead route. He drove him back to town and was like, “Look, man, I’m sorry.” TREVOR SILMSER I Lost My Fingers
This happened on September 11, 1998. I was in Boston. It was a friend of mine’s birthday, so we had a party for him at another friend’s apartment. At about three in the morning I was crossing through a very clubby district of Boston. Bars in Boston close at about 2 AM, so there were just hundreds of people on the street. This area also happens to be right next to Fenway Park, so it’s kind of like the epicenter of all the really crap nightlife in Boston. The moment we got into this element, there was this car with one young Vietnamese guy, who was about 17, and then the other two passengers were in their mid-to-late 20s or something. It was these three kids who were all from the same area of town, all Vietnamese, all first-generation refugees. They drove by us, and my friend that I was walking with, Ryan Bernstein, has this really big Jew afro, like Mitch Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It all started as simple as that: We were walking across this bridge, we got into this area, our paths just converged with this car that was cruising, and the guys had the windows down and were just heckling my friend’s hair. So we were kind of all like, “Fuck you too,” and the car kept moving. It was moving a little faster than we were, cause we were walking with throngs of people. But the car kept circling back. The second time it was the same thing as the first, “Nice fucking hair, faggot,” or whatever. I don’t know if we could even understand what they were saying, because they were first-generation Vietnamese immigrants, but we were always kind of there to rebut, “Fuck you, too,” and “Suck a dick.” It was just like throwing words around—I don’t think our intentions in the matter were nearly as aggressive as theirs. Nobody in our group was really expecting a scuffle. So the third time they came around we’d gotten to this area where the sidewalk kind of opened up, and my friends were about half a block in front of me. There were four of us in pairs—two of my friends were in front, and then me and my friend Leigh were in the back. When the guys came around, I guess because they saw me first, or maybe because I was kind of the leader in our call-and-response game with these dudes, they just slowed the car down to ride alongside me for like ten seconds. So we immediately went back to catcalling each other, and then the door opened and this kid got out from the far side of the car with what looked like a tiny billyclub. What it was, though, was a small samurai sword, like the kind you always see in head shops, but all wrapped up in a garbage bag or something. The kid was tiny—at the time I was 21 years old, and he was 17 and small. I think he probably would have come up to my chin or something, which is a pretty substantial difference. So he got out of the car, I saw the club, but again because it was wrapped in a perfectly tailored garbage bag when he started coming at me I wasn’t worried. I mean, had this guy gotten out with a really shiny knife, I would have fucking hightailed it. I wasn’t that married to this confrontation, I was just kind of like, “Little guy, little club.” I was clearly liquored up, I’d had a really good time, and I was just walking with my buddy whose birthday it was, and that’s about all I remember. I’ve deduced from my injuries what I think happened: The kid came at me, and the first thing that happened was that he went to swing the thing and I went to grab it. It was then that I lost the pointer finger and half of the middle finger on my left hand. It must have just gone right through my fist, or maybe my hand was open because I was trying to grab his hand, but it just went right through, and I don’t really remember how. After that I was definitely awarded a huge scar across my stomach, and then one on my back. To give the guy a little bit of credit, he really nailed all of my vital spots. He got me right across the stomach and didn’t go any deeper than the slice of massive fat that I carry around with me, so it didn’t really get into my gut. But he also got me right across the top of my elbow on my right arm, in other words right across that big vein that runs down your arm. The moment the scuffle started, my other two friends came running back pretty fast. I think we were probably tussling around for half a minute before we got pulled apart by either my friends or just other people on the street. And the moment we got displaced from each other, these guys jumped right back in their car. Then I’m kind of standing on the side of the road, and I was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans, and I remember looking down at my chest and it was as if a giant Bozo the Clown or a giant whore with bright red lips had just kissed my stomach. From the bottom of my lungs all the way down to my belt was bright red. I didn’t even feel any injury. I lifted up my shirt and saw my stomach, which was cut open. It was really nasty and at that point the only injury that I had noticed. Then my friend, who I think actually had literally just finished clocking the fellow, he turns around and goes, “Morgan, your fingers,” and just passes out. He just fell. I remember he was kind of standing by the car, still ready to fight the guys who were getting in the car. They were getting in and he was really contemplating punching through the glass, that kind of stance, and he turned around—and he was a pretty big guy, he was from Philadelphia—and he saw my hand, which, to recap, was clearly missing two fingers and squirting blood out of it, and he just went, “Morgan, your fingers,” and fell over. It was very cinematic. I looked down at my hand, then I brought it up to like waist-high and saw the two fingers gone. Then I kind of shifted focus and I don’t know how much moving around I had done, but on the ground I saw one of my fingers. At the time it was a little weird, because my father grew up in Cynthiana, Kentucky, so in the summers they would harvest tobacco crops. When you harvest tobacco, you pull it out of the earth and then two people, I’m sure they have a machine for it now, but two people would hold the stalk and the leaf, and you take turns cutting right through the stalk. You just hold it between yourselves and the person with the machete or whatever just cuts the stalk off. It’s a big plant, but there is a lot of room for error. In the case of my dad, his friend cut his finger off. When this happened to him he was a boy, like 13 years old. He only told me the story because I saw the scar on his finger when I was younger. I remember being really terrified and asking him, “What did they do?” because the finger is now back on his hand. He said, “Well, I went to the hospital and they put my finger back on.” He told me that he was out of the hospital in a day. So when I saw my finger on the ground I just immediately recalled that memory and kept thinking to myself, “I gotta get to a hospital, I’ll be there for two days, I’ll get out, I’ll be fine.” I just immediately presumed that fingers are off, no big deal—happened to my dad, runs in the family. I’ll go get my fingers put back on, and then I’ll be out of the hospital in a day. What I didn’t realize is that the guy cut mine off right at the fucking knuckle. It’s a much different cut if you cut it at the knuckle, for obvious reasons—it’s a joint in your hand. So instead of getting my finger put back on, what they had to do was fuse the bone back together. What I have now is like two sticks shooting out from my hand, so I can’t bend either of those fingers at the joints in the middle of the finger. And my proper knuckle, the boxing knuckle, I have movement there. So in other words I can make an L with them, but I can’t bend them to make a nice C. The kid who did it ended up getting five years, which is pretty lame. I mean he was clearly out for blood. MORGAN LEBUS
Motorcyclist Goes Flying
It was summer. I had just gotten my driver’s license. I was not cocky—I was safe. But when it was my night to borrow my mom’s Cutlass Supreme coupe and pile my friends inside so they could smoke one-hitters of mediocre weed and mock everyone who lived in my city, I dutifully responded to the challenge. We made our way down Water Street. It was lined with college bars and, so as not to betray the Middle American cliché, a McDonald’s whose parking lot played host to assorted jocks, punks, and heshers from the three local high schools (two public, one parochial). Only in my city we did not call them “heshers.” We called them “grubs.” Many of these grubs had painstakingly restored muscle cars, on whose hoods they would sit. Many of the jocks, in a cruel bit of irony or possibly a glimpse into the future, drove parental-looking, reliable, responsible cars on whose hoods they would not sit. We had nothing to do in the Cutlass. No real desire to stop at the McDonald’s, which, by the way, shared a second parking lot with a Taco John’s. Both lots were swollen with kids, but we of course felt superior, so we kept passing by, joking with one another. My friends kept smoking weed. I was the driver and a good kid, so I did not. We were in the lane opposite the McDonald’s. This meant you had to make a left turn across traffic to enter the parking lot, which is what one guy in a black Ford pickup truck wanted to do. It was hot outside and he had a medium-size black lab panting away in the back. A deadhead might point out that the dog was grinning. There were cars coming in the other direction, so the pickup-truck guy had to wait. But I did not know that. In between him and us there was a stocky guy, maybe 25 years old, a weightlifting shlub on a nondescript Kawasaki. The kind of motorcycle your dad might have ridden if he were the type of lawyer who did not wear an earring but just loved fresh air. A starter motorcycle. Again, I did not know that. What I did know: That we were in plain view of about 344 kids in the parking lot. What else I knew: That I was telling my friends something extremely hilarious. What I didn’t know: That all 334 kids in the parking lot were watching as the pickup truck slowed to a stop and as the motorcycle slowed to a stop. What I learned: That if you’re doing 28 mph, you can slow it down to about 7 mph—if all of your friends suddenly realize that no one in your car is paying attention to the traffic ahead of you, that is—before you make contact with whatever is in front of you. Whatever was in front of me was the stocky guy on the motorcycle. I hit him. Or the cycle—the back wheel. I’d seen too many movies, read too many newspapers. I immediately saw myself in a suit in a courtroom, in prison until I was 67. I was fucking bummed. I heard a crazy murmur from the parking lot, the simultaneous gasp of 344 people. Then I saw the stocky guy launched into the sky, arms paddling. I saw the black lab looking up at him, inching to the right then inching to the left repeatedly, not knowing which way to go. Which way would get him the hell out of the way of this flying stocky fucker. My friends of course resorted to laughter. And also, “Jesus, you fucking idiot.” Then the guy landed—on his feet—in the bed of the pickup truck. Like some Flying Wallendas routine. The dog wagging its tail, circling around him. Then off came the guy’s helmet. He was fine, but angry. He had an overgrown blonde crewcut which made him look like Udo, the singer from Accept. He did a little rodeo leap out of the truck bed and bolted towards my car. My friend Lieberman, in his best Chevy Chase imitation: “Roll ’em up.” Udo pounded on the hood of my car with two balled fists. The parking lot erupted in laughter. Cars stopped in both directions. I was praying for the cops to show. My friend Lieberman: “Let’s get the hell out of here.” Me, mouthing to Udo through the windshield: “My fault.” The whole world: “No shit.” Soon enough the cops came. Udo did not fake an injury, so I did not get sued. I got a citation for inattentive driving. My mom’s car was fine, except that her front license plate was mangled in the accordion that was the guy’s motorcycle. I was back driving again within a couple of weeks. Which was a horrible decision. JEFF JOHNSON Struck by Lightening
You have about a .0002 percent chance of being struck by lightning in a storm, which basically makes me one of the unluckiest people in the entire world. The time it happened to me, I was fourteen years old, had just started high school in New Zealand and was waiting under a tree for a teacher to take our sports class. Earlier that morning I had borrowed my friend’s bike so I could ride to the shops to steal a few magazines—it was a regular day and I felt invincible. The last thing I remember is kicking a ball to my friend and then everything is black. According to the entire town, the noise the lightning made when it struck me, my friend, and the tree we were underneath, was deafening. When the teachers looked out the window they wondered why a couple of boys were lying in the mud with smoke billowing off of them. One of the teachers gave me mouth to mouth and managed to revive me but I don’t remember the touch of his moustache. The ambulance arrived and took us to hospital and my heart stopped again so they had to use the paddles to revive me a second time. The lightning had entered my body through the back of my neck and my butt and had come out of both elbows and blown holes in the soles of my feet, but it didn’t bleed. Lightning is about five times hotter than the surface of the sun (10,000 degrees Celsius / 50,000 Fahrenheit) so it was basically as though I had been put into a microwave and cooked from the inside—I remember the smell of burning flesh and hair well. The radiant heat had left burns all down the side of my face and one side of my body also. In the week or so that I was passed out in the hospital, my parents were told that I probably wouldn’t come through and if I did, I wouldn’t walk again. I remember being put on a hydraulic lift that would descend me into water to clean me so they didn’t have to touch me. I guess I beat the odds because after a few months I was up and moving around. TV and newspaper reporters followed me round for a few years and it was always me playing tennis, training for a marathon, shooting guns or riding bikes. I was like the miracle of Hamilton. I also became a sort of guinea pig for doctors who would poke and prod—one even hooked me up to this electrode machine and gave me electric shocks, which was totally the last thing I needed. The other guy who was struck had worn glasses all his life but after the lightning strike, he could see perfectly. His religious family attributed this to an act of God, so I made a point of avoiding him after that. Now, apart from having shitty balance and not being able to walk outside with bare feet, I’m not too sure how being struck by lightning affected me but I guess it’s cool cuz not many others can tell the same story. BENJAMIN BUNTING Home Brothel Confusion
This story HAPPENED when I was still in high school. I was living in this ruling house in Surry Hills which we called The Beautiful Men’s Club. You know the kind of place—always heaps of people moving through, lots of girls and lots of craziness. We were one door down from a regular brothel and two doors down from a trannie brothel. I was 16 and having the time of my life. So, one day this sketchy, woggy-looking dude came over looking for this funny little Brazilian guy who lived on my balcony. We all had pimped out rooms, but for some reason this kid lived on the balcony. Anyway, I didn’t think much of it, went back upstairs to my room and left him with my balcony buddy Matey. An hour later, I was under the covers, naked, jacking off, when I heard the sketchy dude shouting for Matey to open up the safe, even though we didn’t have a safe. I threw on the only clothes I could find—a pair of my ex-girlfriend’s netball shorts and a three-sizes-too-small Michael Jordan singlet—and went downstairs. Just as I did, the guy pulled out a catalogue-fresh chrome .22 pistol with a silencer and started waving it around and shaking like crazy. When Matey started shouting at him, he wigged out and pulled the trigger (which made a soft cap gun ‘pop pop’ sound that’s nothing like what you hear in the movies) and light shot out the end of the gun. So did a bullet which hit Matey in the foot. He started screaming, “He capped me, lad, he capped me, lad.” The dude then started asking me where the back door was. I was thinking two things at this point: the first was that if he tried to shoot me, there wasn’t any way he was going to miss from that distance and the second was that I really wished I’d at least gotten that one last shot away back in my bedroom. I asked him why he didn’t just go through the front door, and so he did. Once he left the house, I called an ambulance and then I called the cops. Half an hour later, the street was cordoned off and I was getting thrown in the back of a paddy-wagon. The cops wouldn’t even let me go upstairs to get changed and the only shoes I had downstairs were a pair of Timbos, so, as you can imagine, I looked kind of insane. Once we got to the cop shop, I was thrown into this lording office with the head detective and he started saying things to me like, “So, we’ve been hearing you and your mates have been doing a bit of work.” I was shaking like Michael J. Fox and all I could think was that I was going to jail for a really, really long time. He started asking me about my tatts and was like, “What’s that ‘Beautiful’ one about?” I told him it was because I was part of The Beautiful Men’s Club and then he asked me what the ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ one was about and so I told him that I was a huge Motley Crew fan. Then he said, “I think you and your friends are taking things a bit too far.” By this point, I was really freaking out and couldn’t begin to understand why he wanted to know so much about my tatts. Then he said to me, “Girls, girls, girls, hey? Beautiful Men’s Club, hey? I hear you and your friends have been having a bit of fun. Running a home brothel, are we?” And suddenly it was like Andre the Giant had lifted this huge 40-tonne anvil off of my head. It was that good. Because, out of all the dodgy shit that had happened in that house, I sure as hell wasn’t running any home brothel. A few hours later, they let me go home and I thought I was entirely in the clear but it turned out that I was far from it. In the meantime, the cops had gotten CSI on my shit. There were little pyramids lettered A-Z and numbered 1-1000 all over the house. There was black dust everywhere and the whole house had been turned inside out. The cushions on all of the couches were ripped open, my clothes were scattered around my room and they’d stolen our computers. I had just gotten fucked. A week went by and I was lying on my bed when I looked up and noticed something on the ceiling—it was a little black dot which once we took it down, turned out to be a microphone. That was when we also noticed that all of the door handles in the house had been replaced with new ones and they’d put mics in there as well. My mum ended up going to the police station —because, like I said, I was only 16 at the time so she still used to sort out a lot of my problems—and was like, “How dare you bug my son’s house.” They told her the reason they were bugging the house was because they suspected me of shooting Matey in the foot and that they thought that I was the head of a household brothel and underground drug syndicate. After that, undercover cops would come up to me at the Judgment Bar all the time trying to get me drunk and asking me where I kept my gun and I’d always be like, “Gum? I don’t have any gum.” It took ages until they stopped. Then one day they just forgot about me and everything’s been cool since. But never again in my life am I going to let a little Brazilian man live on my balcony, or a sketchy-looking wog through my front door. GIBSET MB Bare Handed Road Kill
I’m an environmental scientist and once had this job where I drove around the Western Australian desert talking shit about trees to farmers all day. On this particular day I was on my way home and had been driving for hours when I noticed a whole bunch of kangaroos jumping across the road ahead of me. Loving nature as I do, I slowed down to let them go. Little did I know that retardo the fucking slow kangaroo would appear from nowhere and slam into the side of the truck I was driving. It sounded terrible and when I got out to check, it was bad. It wasn’t dead but two of its front legs and one back leg were broken. Fuck! I knew that I had to kill it and put it out of its misery but had absolutely no idea how I was gonna kill a fucking kangaroo on the side of the road in the middle of shitsville? Thinking it through, chain smoking, pacing and sweating like a rapist, I decided that I could kill it by choking it to death with my boot. It nearly worked too until the roo started booting the shit out of my leg, tore my jeans up and took a bit of my leg with it for good measure. This was not going to be easy; more cigarettes and sweating. Back in the part of my brain that comes up with really shit ideas, I decided that if I kind of lay on top of skip, with my shoulder pinning its leg to the ground, I’d be able to choke it with MY HANDS!! So, at this stage we have a half dead (increasingly pissed off) kangaroo being choked (by hand) by a twenty-something chain smoking fag on the side of the road. Not one of my winning ideas at all. The fucking thing managed to get that old leg out from underneath my shoulder (which resembles a twig) and booted the fuck out of me again, adding to my wounds! Next I decided that a weapon of some kind was in order—there had to be something in the toolbox that could kill this fucking thing. I came up with a knife, traipsed back to the roo and steeled myself for the inevitable. Grabbing it by the ears I decided that one quick cut would do the job. No, maybe two. No, fuck, what I had was a steak knife and the best I was doing was giving the poor thing a bad rash. So, next I brought out a really big shifter which I proceeded to bash its head in with. So there I was, on the side of the road covered in blood, shifter in one hand, cigarette in the other, beating this creature with all my might when I glanced up to see a bus full of about 20 distressed, chubby little faces pressed up against the glass looking at me like I was the devil. Let’s just say that I have never cried as hard as I did that night. DEAD MAN TALKING Hitchhike Mishmap
I had just recently bought this beast of a Ford, when my mate Piers and I decided to go on a road trip to a friend’s farm in Golburn. We left home at about ten o’clock in the morning. We were cruising along when after about an hour, the temperature gage just started going up and up and up. We pulled into a Caltex servo and this guy walked over and was like “What have youse done you bloody dickheads?” just like he was our next door neighbour or something. He had a skanky dog and was wearing little stubby shorts and a wife beater. He told us his name was Neil and offered to have a look under the bonnet. We told him where we were going and he said he was going that way anyway so he would give us a lift to the farm if we payed for the fuel, and that he'd get us a new water pump, drive us back and replace it for us. We were stoked. So we got into Neil’s car and he started telling us his life story—which over time became more and more sexual. He was like “So do you guys like threesomes?” We played along and were all like “Yeah, bring on the girls!” and he’d be like, “No, just with your mates”. It was strange but we didn’t think too much of it at this point. Anyway, we finally got to the farm and dropped off Piers (which I realised was a really stupid idea just after we drove away) and Neil told me we were just going on a detour to pick up his mate from the train station. To make things even freakier, I realised that we were right near the Belanglo Forest, which is where seven backpackers were murdered in the 90s by Ivan Milat. At this point, Neil started getting really creepy—he even reached over, patted me on the belly and said you must be getting hungry. I thought about running but I had my laptop with years worth of work and all my stuff in the boot so at this stage, this wasn’t really an option. We finally got to the train station to meet his friend, who happensed to be a skinny sixteen-year-old street kid. We were miles away from where we started and it was starting to get dark. Neil told me that this young guy we had picked up would do anything to have a roof over his head. keep in mind that Neil is like 50 years old so this is potentially really disgusting. He started asking whether I wanted to get a Motel room with them for the night instead of going back to the car. He was saying we could get some booze and cards and stuff. I was really starting to freak and insisted that he take me back to the car immediately. He got pretty angry but I just fought the fear and tried to be forceful back. The kid in the back seat said something smart-ass to Neil which made Neil turn around, squeeze his leg and say “You had better shut the fuck up or I’m going to crack your hips tonight boy!” By this stage I was really regretting my decision. I vividly saw myself being tied to a tree in the forest while Neil did bad things to me. Anyway, after a lot of coaxing, we finally got back to the car. It was the middle of the night and raining and I had to force Neil to show me how to change it. For some reason, at the start of the trip I had given him my phone number and the next day I got a message from him saying “Hey Dan, great to hear your voice! Really miss you mate. How about we go to the casino—I’ll give you money to gamble” and so on and so on. I changed my number and have a feeling that I was lucky to get out of that situation unscathed. DAN PRESTON Aaaah. Good stuff guys. You make us laugh so hard we cry with your crazy action stories. Good stuff. OK, let’s open the envelope to see who winner is. Ready? Oh my, the winner is… the guy who saw Jesus! WINNER: I GOT SHOT
Jeff Jensen: “You know what? I deserve this! When you consider all those wussies in Iraq with their missing limbs—I mean, anyone can join the Army. And those inner-city kids who get shot dealing drugs or getting up to mischief? I think we’re all bored of that. So, yeah, I can see why my story would resonate so strongly with the judges. It’s a great story. But thanks!”
I am from Quetzaltenango in Guatemala. Ha ha ha—try saying that fast three times in a row. It’s the second-largest city in the country. Sorry. How’d did you get here? Thirteen years ago I came up through Mexico. It took about 15 days. I was with 12 other folks, nine guys and three women. We are lucky we didn’t get in any trouble. We walked across the Guatemalan border into Tapachula. Then we took buses across Mexico up to Nogales, and there we crossed into Arizona. Which border was harder to get through, the Mexican or the American? I didn’t see any problems at either. You cross the street and go under a couple rolls of barbed wire. That’s just great. How’d you get started working up here? I stayed in Los Angeles for a couple weeks, then I came to Trenton, New Jersey, and worked in a car wash. Were the guys you were working with all right? Yes, everybody was from Guatemala. When it was slow we’d have time for sitting around and joking. What’d you do back home? I made really typical kind of clothes in the country. We used these good knitting machines though, and we could work out of the house, so we didn’t have to go to a factory. What do you think of America? I like it, but it’s expensive. You get a dollar, but then you have to spend it. The only difference is that when you save $1,000 over here, over there it’s like $10,000.