How To Get From San Diego To Carlsbad (In Four Hours)

It started out as a typical Football Sunday. Drinks at 9:30 in the morning, smashed by lunch, and screaming at the T.V. by the fourth quarter of the Hawks game (roughly 3pm). We had neglected to take our car into the shop since football season began, well past its 3,000 mile / 3 month due date. There was nothing notably wrong with the car to prompt our responsibility, we just thought it would be a good excuse to drink and drive.

Pause: I am just fucking with you. Drinking and driving is a horrible decision and should not be made light of. 

The evening proved to be a success. The Seahawks won, our car was fine, and no small children were plowed over during our four block drive home from the auto shop – for sport, maliciously, or by intoxicated accident. However, the engine was now making a weird clicking sound that it had not been making prior to our visit. We notified the body shop and scheduled to bring it in after work on Monday.

Sure enough – our flux capacitor was shot. No more traveling through time, and it was also suggested that we not drive it until it was repaired. Normally not much of a burden on myself because I work from home. But unfortunately, I did have a meeting 45 minutes away the following day at 11:00am. Thus, the chain of unfortunate events were set into motion. . . . .

I live in San Diego and to say it has urban sprawl would be an understatement. After doing some research on google – my 45 minute drive was going to be a two and a half our public transport or ridiculousness. That includes four changeovers, three buses, one train, and about a mile and a half of walking – in a suit.

Pause: It should be mentioned that I absolutely fucking hate wearing a suit. I would compare the way I feel wearing a suit to that of the way your adorable dog feels when he can’t stop licking his ass so you are forced to make him wear the cone-of-shame. For some unknown reason I feel humiliated – shamed – and of course restrained from licking my ass.

At 8:00 in the morning my journey began. If I wasn’t kicked out of the Cub Scouts when I was 12 for wielding a knife at my step-sister, I would have been an excellent Boy Scout. I cross-referenced the route (google and the city’s website), emailed the route to myself, wrote the route down, and had it pulled up on my phone. The first leg of my journey started at 8:30am at the train station. I was there at 8:10am, ready to buy my ticket.

This was the first “real” time that I had attempted to navigate the train system and I wasn’t fully aware of the intricacies that would later (in about 15 minutes) prove to shit directly on my face.

The phone, written version, and email all said that I should be taking the Surfliner north for 45 minutes. I walked under the first set of three tracks to the far side of the station to purchase my ticket. There are absolutely zero transit employees available to discuss my route decision with, leaving the ignorant (myself) to buy their ticket from a machine. I couldn’t find my destination on the screen and spent a few minutes looking at the route map to figure out which stop I needed. The map indicated that there were only two stops and neither were the one that corresponded with my route plan.

I checked my information again. It said that my train stopped at Encinitas. At this point I don’t know what the fuck is going on? I decided to move forward with the process and selected the destination that was closest to what I needed. Maybe not all the stops are listed?

As I punched in my selection it came up that the ticket would be $18.

What the fuck!? 18 fucking dollars!? Oh-my-fucking-God!

I double checked my information. Sure enough, it stated that the entire trip should cost me $12. This left me a little confused and short on time to figure things out. The only person that I could spot that ‘might’ have a chance of knowing what was going on was the transit security guy. Now I don’t like to judge a book by its cover. But – if I was the type to make a judgement call based on a person’s appearance, looking at this particular book, I thought I would be better served trying to search for a solution to my problem in the puddle of urine left by a bum the night before.

As I approached the $7.50 an hour waste of oxygen I noted that he was occupying his time by harassing a 15-year-old girl.

Dipshit: I need to see your ticket.

Girl: Why?

Dipshit: Cause I have the authority to ask you for your ticket.

Girl: Uggh….. rolls her eyes and digs in her pocket.

Dipshit then examines the ticket like a dyslexic child trying to read stats on the back of a baseball card.

Dipshit: See – cause if you don’t have your ticket you could get fined

Girl: But I have my ticket

Dipshit: Yeah (examines it again) just so you know it would be a $350 fine if you were caught on the train without your ticket.

Girl: ………………………Ok………..

Me: Excuse me…………excuse me…………..EXCUSE ME.

The transit cop must have just watched a John Wayne marathon the night before or the down syndrome was worse than I initially suspected.

He slowly moved his gaze from the girl to me in a downward motion, his eyes squinted, as if I had just challenged him to a duel at high-noon.

Dipshit: Yeah?

Me: I am trying to get to Encinitas. The website said I needed the Surfliner. Is that correct.

Dipshit: Encinitas – No, no, you need the Coaster (as he pointed)

Me: You are sure?

Dipshit: Postive.

I walked over to the Coaster machine and was surprised to see my destination available and at the time and cost I was expecting. Huh, I guess the handicap can severe a meaningful function in society.

I purchased my ticket and waited by the tracks. I let out a deep sigh, thankful that I figured out my ticket situation with five minutes to spare. I watched as the Surfliner pulled into the station, three tracks and a fence away, at the exact time I was suppose to catch my train. A sudden feeling of panic set in. I rushed toward the security guard and asked him if my Coaster ticket entitled me to get on the Surfliner.

Pause: The only time that I had taken the train before was to head up north to watch football and get smashed. On my way back, a slightly less moronic transit guard had helped me purchase my ticket and put me on the train. Which was a Coaster ticket and a Surliner train. Yes, I was that smashed that I required assistance and thus my confidence in doing this action again was. . . . fuzzy. 

I quickly asked him my question again as I intently stared at the train.

Me: You are 100% sure!?

Dipshit: No, no way. You can get a $350 ticket for that.

Realizing that I made a mistake by not digging through the urine I quickly ran back to the Coaster machine to check the schedule. Sure enough – there are two times that you can purchase Coaster tickets and use them on Surfliner trains – 8:30 in the morning and 10:30 in the morning.

Just as I turned to run toward the Surliner it took off. . . . . . even my inner Buddhist told me I should go kick the shit out of that fucking transit retard.

No Bret, I thought to myself. You cannot blame the illiterate for their shortcomings.

Illiterate – at this point I wasn’t sure if I was referring to the transit guard or myself?

My only other $5.50 option was at 10:30am – two hours from now. With the buses and walking I needed to do after the train, I would arrive at my meeting just after 2:00pm.  Three hours late. I wonder if anyone in our four person meeting (including myself) would notice?

I called my wife to complain, vent, and ask for guidance. Being raised a devout Methodist my initial instinct was to not go at all. Say fuck it and go home and watch SportsCenter. But Sally reminded me that this is work not church and we needed to keep me employed, I need to impress my boss, and money for us is as scarce as intelligent transit security guards.

I gritted my teeth and made my way back over to the Surfliner ticket machine. Thankfully there would be another train in 30 minutes and Sally was going to email me my new transfer itinerary. Not so thankfully – it was going to cost me $18.

Just as I was coughing up the $18 (on top of the $5.50 that I just paid for my “Coaster ticket”) an older lady came up to me and described the same problem that I was having. I explained to her the situation and even managed to refrain from using profanity. She was thankful for the help and also discouraged that she had to pay the additional $18.

Stranger: I’m from Australia, what’s your excuse.

My wife’s family is Australian and I have a slight affection for our English brethren from Down Under. So normally I would take the opportunity to engage in polite conversation and witty banter with a stranger such as this. But her comments couldn’t have come at worse time.

In an attempt to keep the anger in my eyes from turning into laser beams and melting her on the spot. I gritted my teeth, half smiled, and fake chuckled. I then did an about face and as I walked toward the opposite side of the train station to where she was standing I mumbled the only offensive Australian word I knew, just loud enough that she might here.

Me: Fucking wanker!

A text from my wife with my new itinerary reveled that I was only going to be about 20 minutes late. A relieved sigh escaped from the corner of my mouth as I plopped down onto the bench to wait for the Surfliner.

1 minute late.

5 minutes late.

10 minutes late.

Other passengers starting to grow concerned and checking their watches.

15 minutes late.

20 minutes late.

Oh fuck – there goes my revised itinerary. The bus numbers hadn’t changed, so rather than pestering my wife for yet another update to my travel plans, I decided to let this one play out and just grab the first bus I see when I get off the train.

The train rolled in 22 minutes late. I made my way to the second story and laughed to myself as I stretched my legs out for the 45 minute ride.

What a shitty way to start off my day.

It was a fairly sparse crowd, mixed of business professionals and young kids who appeared to be skipping school. The time was passed with one verbal disagreement between a passenger and ticket collector about the use of the four seats that are facing each other. In that they were reserved for groups of three or more and the girl (on her way to Vegas for the weekend wanted to sit there until said group arrived) and another verbal disagreement between a young girl and half of the train. She had her music playing on her phone and was asked to turn it down. She ignored the first request and that passenger moved to another train. The girl was then asked again by a different woman to turn her music down.

Woman: Excuse me, the entire train can hear your music. Would you mind turning it down.

Girl: I don’t got to turn it down. It’s not my problem if it’s bothering you.

Woman: Actually it is your problem, could you turn it down?

Girl: Nobody asked you to sit in this train car. You can move if you don’t like it.

This conversation went on for an amusing five minutes and escalated to the point that the woman went to fetch the ticket collector. The ticket collector told the girl to turn down her music in passing, which resulted in a 1/4 reduction. This resulted in none of the parties involved being happy with the outcome.

The woman then moved train cars.

I arrived at my final destination just as my meeting was getting started (11:00am). I saw the bus that I needed to catch and immediately jumped aboard. The driver proceeded to drive off just as I sat down.

I scoffed at the fact that I actually made it to one portion of my journey in a timely manner.

I asked the bus driver about where I needed to get off in order to catch my next bus. He told me he would give me the heads up, but I had it pulled up on my phone just in case. It was a quick 15 minute ride across town and just as I was jumping off the driver said I better hurry if I want to catch my bus. As I turned toward my objective I could see my bus pulling away from its stop.


I slowly walked to the bus stop to check the schedule to see when the next one would arrive. But the stop was just a pole in the ground and had no information about when I should expect another bus. I pulled it up on my phone and it said another bus should be there in 15 minutes. That puts me getting to my meeting 45 minutes late. . . .

I waited around, entertaining myself on my phone and day dreaming about when this day was over so I could get blindingly drunk. I was so caught up in my own thoughts that I didn’t notice that my bus was 5 minutes late. Panic mode set in again as I scrambled to get back to the bus schedule on google maps.

What the fuck? It said the next bus wasn’t going to be there for an hour?

Had I read it wrong?

I tired to look it up on the bus website but apparently they had decided to stop investing into modern technology after bubble burst. All I could do was email to their AOL account or send them a carrier pigeon.

I decided this was it. I was fucking done. I was not going to wait for an hour, on the side of the road, only to get to my meeting just as it was getting over. I looked left and right for my closest bar.

Just thinking about trying to get a bus back to the train station, hoping to catch the cheap train home, only to have my boss call me and ask “Where in the fuck where you?” struck my as annoying.

Fuck it. . . . . .

I googled a local cab company. While speaking to them they insisted that I can’t be “on the side of the road next to the mall” and expect to get picked up. So I walked a couple blocks up the street to the movie theater and gave them an address.

5 minutes.

10 minutes.

15 minutes.

As I look down the road I see a bus coming from the direction that mine was suppose to come from. Sure as fucking shit, it stopped at the bus stop where I was waiting. Running there would have been beyond pointless. I was at least a 4 minute jog away and the bus did a two second stop to appease procedures before taking off.

The salt had officially been poured into my wounds.

Just as I was about to call the cab company to ask them where in the fuck they were I received a call from an unlisted number. Assuming it was them I picked up.

Cabby: Hey what up man?

Me: Um, are you coming?

Cabby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I will be there in 15 minutes.

Me: Fucking . . . . . awesome. . . . . . . .

I leaned against the wall of the movie theater in despair. The cabby was able to take me the 13 miles to my meeting for only $25. With the two train tickets, bus ticket, and now cab ride, my entire journey cost me $50. While causing me to get to my meeting an hour and twenty minutes late.

The are several lessons to be learned here. But I think the most important one is – don’t give up, and guess what? You can’t give up if you choose not to fucking do it in the first place! So I think the real take away from this story is – Fuck Public Transit!

The Best Rappers Of All Time (Through The Eyes of A Small Town White Boy)

Before I divulge my nearly two decades of rap expertise and send itunes in a frenzy trying to populate its online store with “Early 90’s Gangsta-Rap-Pimp-Shit” (that is an actual itunes genre by the way), I would like to preface my list with a little background of where my opinion derives. For those lazy bastards who hate reading, simply skip down to the bottom of the page. Anyone who actual enjoys a story, continue on and don’t forget to check out the rest of the site, it’s the shit! 

For those of you that lack the intelligence to infer from the title that I grew up in a small town, I will make it abundantly clear now. I grew up in a very-small-fucking-town. The importance of this is the following:

  • I wasn’t engulfed in a culture of hip-hop like those who grew up in an urban environment. I had to fight hard to discover artists and wasn’t influenced by the opinions of those around me, because I could use my fingers to count the number of people who I hung out with who also listened to rap as intently as I did (and still do).
  • Outside of recreational drug use, I had nothing better to do with my time than to listen to every single word of an artist and scrutinize their work.

The hindsight of my becoming caused me to realize that I have a natural prejudice to early rap music from the east coast. If your first conclusion was that it must derive from the 2Pac and Biggie conflict, please stop reading now, forget this site, and go back to listening to your Lil Wayne. You are not worthy of knowing The Best Rappers Of All Time, you Top 40 deep throater.

The exposure of rap music where I lived, as I stated earlier –  was limited. It was hard enough finding west coast rappers on the shelves, let alone anyone from the east coast that wasn’t from the Wu-Tang Clan.  This west coast exclusivity caused some early biases that I have been able to overcome today, but are still reflective in my preferences.

The difference I found between west coast and east coast (before the popularity of rap intertwined the two and killed virtually all distinction) would be primarily in the beat, chores, and lyrics. What the fuck else is there?

West coast rap has a very distinct clap on every second or fourth beat.

No, seriously. I am not fucking with you.

Go back to any early to almost any mid 90’s rap song from the west coast. Without fail, it will have it. Maybe because the trifecta of djs (Dre, Quik, Battlecat) all arose from the same camp (Death Row)?

There is also variation in the music between the verse and the chorus. While during this era, east coast rap songs had no problem going through an entire track with little change in the music at all and sometimes would even neglect to include a chorus.

The final distinction between east coast rap and west coast rap (in the early 90’s) can be found in the delivery of their lyrics. West coast rappers let the music intertwine/enhance their lyrics – east coast rappers used the music/beat as simply a serving dish for their lyrics. This distinction started to fade roughly the same time that Biggie and 2Pac brought popularity to the genre

Here listen to these two examples and see if you can pick up on the differences.

West Coast Example:

East Coast Example:

Lyrics – Beat – Chorus

These are the three elements that it takes for a rap song to make it onto my list. With the most emphasis being on Lyrics. If you are just bobbing your head to a beat, or bumping a song because the chorus is catchy, you are missing out on 90% of what makes rap fucking awesome. So pay attention boys and girls and listen to the songs below.

The Best Rappers Of All Time

In no particular order and not regarding their career in its entirety. This list serves as an example of talent and not as an all encompassing list. For example – I have 15 Dj Quik songs that would make this list but I am not going to go through the effort of adding them all. Use the artist as a reference and go check them out . . . you lazy fuck!

Quick shout out to my peeps coming up in the StayTucky – Beer Iz My Water

Oh – and I realize that not all of the songs listed below are from the era in which I expressed my upbringing and interest. I was simply illustrating where my opinion derives.

E-40 (2pac, Mac Mall, Spice 1) – Dusted N Disgusted

Luniz – I Got 5 On It 

Ant Banks – Roll Em Phat

Eminem – As The World Turns

Big Pun – The Dream Shatterer

Spice 1 – Too Deep In The Game

Nas – Rewind

Beatnuts – No Escapin This 

2 Pac – Krazy

Notorious BIG – Notorious Thugs

Mac Mall – Get Right 

Dr. Dre – Xxplosive

Too Short – Ima Playa

Method Man & Redman – City Lights

Warren G – Still Can’t Fade It

The Dogg Pound – Smooth

Nate Dogg – Concrete Streets

Black Market – 40oz & Chronic Dice

Celly Cell – It’s Going Down Tonight 

Eazy-E – Real Muthaphukkin G’s

Ice Cube – You Know How We Do It

Andre Nickatina – Ayo For Yayo

50 Cent – Outta Control

Do or Die – Po Pimp

Scarface – My Homies

Geto Boys – Time Taker

Da Brat – Funkdafied (Only female rapper to make the list)

Tech N9ne – Slacker

Xzibit – Get Your Walk On

The Game – How We Do

Busta Rhymes – Break Ya Neck

Outkast – Player’s Ball 

SPM – I Must Be High

Bone – No Surrender

WC – Fuckin Wit Uh House Party 

DJ Quik – Safe + Sound

MC Eiht – One Less Nigga

Masta Ace – Take A Walk

Fugess – Ready or Not

Cypress Hill – Hand on The Pump

Immortal Technique – The 4th Branch

DMX – Damien

To Be Continued. . . .

Quite Possibly The Funniest Shit I have Read In A Looooooooong Time

I was fortunate enough to have a undisclosed Facebook friend post this article in outrage.

“Halfway Heros, Near Veterans?” Are you serious? Is this what America has become. People like this need to leave. You are one of two things, NOT a Veteran or you ARE a Veteran. There is no such thing as a near Veteran or halfway hero because you went to the recruiter in high school and then backed out like a little bitch. If a bill gets passed to give “near Veterans or halfway heros” VA benefits I will march my happy ass to Washington picking up every REAL Veteran on the way and give them what they have coming. Crap like this makes this makes me want to move to another country where people are not so stupid and actually realize how great they have it. You have got to be kidding me. 

I am not sure what is more hilarious?  The article itself or the blinding patriotic outrage of stupidity that kept him from laughing his ass off at what I deem the Facebook post of the year!


CHARLESTON, SC – Jody Siever spends his Friday nights like so many American servicemen and women, mingling while kicking back drinks at a local bar. Recognizing the giveaway military haircut of a fellow patron, he approaches with an arm extended.

“Welcome home, soldier.” Smiling, though apparently puzzled, the stranger returns a firm, brief handshake.

“Thanks, but I’m in the Navy. And I haven’t been anywhere—I’m in Nuke School,” he replies, referring to the Naval Nuclear Power Training Center in Goose Creek, S.C.

“That’s cool,” Siever says, “I almost thought about joining the Navy for a while, but if I did join the service, I would have gone into the Army. I’m just kind of hardcore like that. Shooting bad guys in the face—that’s the life for me. If I wanted it.”

Siever, you see, never actually enlisted.

Veteran servicemembers often find it difficult to relate their experiences in the military to friends and family back home, but a new civilian organization is working to expand that exclusive brotherhood. The Bros Before Joes campaign, established in 2011, seeks to legitimize the efforts of people like Siever, whose commitments to serving in the military range from the hypothetical to the nearly realized.

“We’ve got guys from all over the spectrum here. Some of our members, they merely thought about joining the Army a few times, or took the ASVAB in high school to get out of first period,” explains BBJ founder Trent Bower. “Other guys though, they got as far as making appointments to go to MEPS [Military Entrance Processing Station], but then something important came up.”

A near-Marine himself, Bower recounts his own brush with fate:

“I talked with a Marine recruiter a few times in high school, even attended a couple of pool functions at the recruiting office. It got to the point that I was there so often, the recruiters even started calling me ‘Boot.’ They were practically begging me to enlist, but I always knew I was meant for something more meaningful.”

Bower, a 31-year old assistant manager at a successful pizza delivery franchise, started the Bros Before Joes campaign in his spare time, seeking to bring recognition to others who share his story. For Siever, and thousands of almost-soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines like him, the organization is a long-overdue ray of hope.

Says Siever, “It’s great, you know, to finally be able to reach out and connect with others who share your non-experiences. After giving so much, dedicating so much time and energy to thinking about enlisting, it just feels like we’re finally getting the thanks we deserve.” And recognition has been swift in coming.

Thanks to a successful joint-lobbying campaign with the Almost Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a bill is now before the Senate to approve Veteran’s Affairs benefits for BBJ and AIAVA members. The resolution received overwhelming bipartisan support in a House vote earlier this year from a majority of US Representatives who are themselves non-veterans.

Regarding the passage in the House, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) released this statement:

“This isn’t a Red-or-Blue, liberal-versus-conservative issue. It’s about giving near-veterans like me and many of my constituents the recognition we’ve been denied for far too long.” Currently, 345 out of 435, or roughly 80% of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, have no recorded military service.

As the bill nears the Senate floor, however, some opponents are voicing concerns. Senator and Navy veteran John McCain (R-AZ) held a press conference outside his home in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, calling the bill “a mockery… of all that I hold dear.” He also stated that he would “rather tongue-kiss Jane Fonda” than vote to approve the measure. Before he could take questions, he had to be ushered away for medical treatment when blood began seeping from his clenched fist—reportedly from clutching his Silver Star too tightly.

And he’s not alone. Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) is an Army veteran of World War II and presently the only serving member of Congress to have earned a Congressional Medal of Honor. When presented with the bill’s full text, Sen. Inouye declared it “a perversion of our American values,” and refused to touch it, even with his prosthetic arm. Said Inouye, “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

Despite these protests, the bill has mass appeal with civilians and near-veterans on both sides of the aisle. Arguments will begin in earnest when the Senate reconvenes next January. Until then, it’s a long wait for near-heroes like Siever and Bower.

Asked if he would do anything different given the opportunity, Bower harkens back to his non-Marine days:

“I just couldn’t leave all of this behind. I miss those pool functions, though. They were good times; some of the best times of my life. You just… you go through something like that, almost sacrificing so much, with such a close group of guys, and it really makes you brothers, you know? I even think I still have some recruitment brochures around here, somewhere.”

Read more:

Reading Is Evil

As a child I found it difficult to pick up a book and read.  As opposed doing what with it you might ask?  Picking up a book and throwing it across the room?

More like tearing out the pages and trying to smoke them! (With a few added ingredients) Turns out the Bible DOES provide some value!  Bahhhhhh-Zing!  Relax, it’s a fucking joke.

To be honest, as a child even the small bubbles above some of my favorite comic strips seemed to be more of an absorbing task than I was willing to undertake.  It could have been because I had a creative mind that didn’t want to conform to the proposed story line that was set forth for the masses to mindlessly ingest.  I preferred to imagine my own commentary and create a story that was unique.  One that isn’t confined to the four boxes of poorly written and obvious drollery that has been regurgitated from the 50’s.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Because he was an unoriginal bastard and his highly predictable life of crossing the road for arbitrary reasons forced him to throw himself under the fastest moving eighteen wheeler he could find.

That could have been why I avoided reading. . . .

Or a majority of my disinterest in reading might have boiled down to the fact that I was fucking lazy.  Still em.  Actually, being lazy is pretty much my hobby.  It is a very diverse hobby actually, widely applicable.  I can do my hobby pretty much anywhere, at anytime. Not many other hobbies have such a luxury.

I digress.

Yes, most books bored me as a child (most still do as an adult) and at a young age I equated reading to torture, which I firmly believe derived from two things:

1) All books in school are fucking painfully boring!  Shakespeare, Dickens, and what ever else was placed in front of me that was immediately thrown into the back of my locker.  Left to collect remnants of chewed gum and overlooked weed scraps.  I mean, come on! Great Expectations!? What a fucking false advertisement that was.  The only thing “great” about that book was it was thick enough to use as a desk pillow during class.

I think it is a government conspiracy.

This is how they ensure the blue-collar work force is sustained.  Bore people to the point of dropping out of high school.

2) The summer reading program put on by my local library.  When you are 8-years-old and reading is the devil, walking into a library is pretty much like walking into the flames of hell itself.  But what are my parents to do with two intelligent future leaders of tomorrow (my step-brother and step-sister) and a child that was kicked out of pre-school?  Yes, true story.  I was kicked out of pre-school.  An obvious foreshadowing of my accolades to come (i.e.) 0.0 G.P.A spring quarter my sophomore year in high school.

The concept was simple: read a book, fill out a summary worksheet, earn tokens, buy shit with said tokens.

Sounds great!

What young preadolescent doesn’t want shove a brand new sparkly pencil up the ass of an anatomically incorrect naked troll with fucked up neon hair?

Fucking sign-me-up!

If I recall correctly I made it through one and a half books that summer.  I say one and a ‘half’ because after the first 30 page torturous endeavor I learned a valuable life lesson.  Read the back of the book, the first few pages for some character names, and then skim the rest to pick up on some key plot points.  That’s right folks, at the ripe old age of 8 I learned that to beat the system, you gotta cheat the system.  It was enough of a showing to keep my parents off my back and earn me a few stickers for participation, literally.

Thus my literary development was an even paced crawl through the trenches of underachievement.  Managing to sustain enough improvement to carry me from one prison cell to another.

Or as the teachers liked to call it, “From fourth grade to fifth.”

Occasionally I would incite optimism in my parents by bringing home a book from the grade school library that didn’t require me to locate Waldo.  A few ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books popped up on my radar after I was informed by a classmate that they contained some type of violence.

My parents desperation for me to read reached an all time high when I was eleven.  Forced to find a book in the public library and told I couldn’t leave until said task was accomplished, I returned with two.  One about mafia hits and the other about serial killers.

They were not impressed.

But it turns out they were determined.

I not only was able to check out both books, they actually became the staple of my extracurricular educational development.  I remember marveling at how many times my name was sloppy scribbled on the checkout slip that was glued to the back page.  Thank God someone out there had the decency to put both of these kick-ass subjects in an easily digestible kid friendly format.  Heavy on the photos with quick little blurbs about the most gruesome facts.

Valentines Day Massacre – Al Capone’s north side Italian gang dressed up like cops and slaughtered a rival gang.  See photo below:


The Night Stalker (Richard Ramirez)  – A serial killer / rapist who was actually detained through the help of mass media.  Locals spotted Ramirez and pinned him down until police arrived.  Administering a little public justice while waiting.

Wow………….. I would have kicked him in the face!

As you can imagine, this was not the best spring board to propel me through the literary challenges that awaited me in junior high and high school.  Try going from stories about the Boston Strangler to ‘The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe’ was a struggle.  Edgar Allan Poe, oh fucking yawn!  Talk about driving someone mad.  Psychologists want to draw a connection between violent video games and school massacres.  Maybe they should take a look at the fucking school curriculum.

I don’t actually recall where I learned the motto for my anti-reading campaign  that ran through the duration of my teenage years.  But having regurgitated it countless times and scribbled it in every book that was assigned to me, I think I have the right to coin it?  Not that anyone can really contest it.  Trust me, I googled it and nothing came up.

“Reading is knowledge, knowledge is power, absolute power is evil.  Thus, reading is evil.”

Seems like a pretty simple case of connect the dots to me.

Cover Letter

Why settle for an individual that can talk their way out of a parking ticket while explaining how the meter works? When you can have someone that was offered an honorary deputy position and given a key to the city after a routine traffic stop. Do I want to get into the PR fast lane? My entire life has been spent in the fast lane. I spent four years in the Army jumping out of fast moving planes, I was promoted to sergeant faster than anybody in my entire company, and after two combat tours I left the Army so fast it made their heads spin. I not only graduated with an above average GPA (3.6). I graduated from an above average school (Foster School of Business). I am also an extremely fast learner. I was one of the first fourth graders to master cursive writing and I learned to ride a bike without training wheels. I was hired by a start-up company as one of their first Sales Associates (with no sales experience). We worked out of a house in the suburbs when I started and by the time I left I was the top producing Sales Executive and the company was selling to hotels all over the world. You need a broad range of experience? How about getting shot at in war, working a blue collar job, college, working for a start-up and spending the last fourteen months traveling the world.

My name is Bret Armstrong and I have the self-starting and relentless motivation you are looking for. Does my name sound familiar? Yes, you may find my application already buried at the bottom of your trash folder. That is because I allowed the formalities of professionalism to restrain me from presenting myself correctly. But in all fairness, the rejection email I received stated that you were in the fortunate position of having a wide array of talented applicants. Considering that was a week ago and I just saw the job posted again on craigslist, I think we owe it to each other to consider it a wash. So please, do us both a favor and reach out to me before I find myself stuck in a dead-end job, incorrectly filling out TPS reports, and releasing my frustration on stolen office equipment.

Interested in perusing my resume? I would be more than happy to email you a hard copy before our scheduled interview time.