Be like Subway – do good

When I went into Subway this morning, they informed me that the rewards card I was using was stolen and they were calling the police.  This means that the hockey guy I stole it from took the time to report to Subway.  And that Subway took the time to flag the card in their system.  And the person working there cared enough to notice that it was flagged.  And also cared enough to call the police.

This is what’s going on in the world.  This is what people are spending their time on.  You can rest assured that in spite of all the other problems we have that Subway takes their rewards program very seriously. 

I watched the Amazing Johnathan documentary last night.  It was okay.  Maybe I would have liked it better if I knew who the Amazing Johnathan was.  Besides a meth addict. 

The movie implies that maybe the guy was faking his terminal illness.  Someone says “can you trust anything that a magician does?”  It got me thinking about Royale and all the shit Mr. Petticord was saying about him.  I think, if he bothered to say anything, he would tell me that Royale was a bullshit artist who knew a little actual magic.  That all his stories about stopping bad people and protecting everyone from evil magic practitioners was made-up. 

It would be easy to believe that.  Royale was a stage magician, he lied for a living.  He was a lonely old man that wanted company.  Why wouldn’t he exaggerate?    Why wouldn’t he make his life sound like something great and purposeful?  It would be easy to believe he was lying.

But I don’t believe that.

I haven’t met many truly good people.  Royale was a good person.  I don’t think he lied to me about anything.  I believe that he maybe was hundreds of years old.  I believe he saved a lot of people.  I believe he did good in the world.  I believe he taught me magic so I could do good too.  Maybe because I want it believe it.  But that’s okay. 

Grace’s new look

Previously on Cult is Such An Ugly Word (terrible title) – after a violent incident, Grace’s car was impounded by the Lyons PD. Since she has no license, insurance, tags, or title (and because she was depressed) Grace gave up getting the car back even though it contained all her worldly possessions. Including her ring gear, such as it was.

Her new ring gear consisted of a $7 Wal-Mart t-shirt (why does Wal-Mart have SO MANY Johnny Cash shirts?) and cheap ass shorts at first. Stealing an old hockey mask from an asshole really completed the look. At the time, stealing the mask felt justified but she does feel bad about it now. Kinda.

Syndrome of subjective doubles

On the show I worked last night, there was a guy who billed himself as Howard Traylor of Howard Traylor’s Dodge.  His gimmick was anyone in the crowd could fight him, and if they lasted 5 minutes they’d get a fully loaded brand new Ram. 

I assumed this was a work, but from what I heard it’s a shoot.  How is that possible in this day and age?  That’s carny stuff from the 1800s.  I wish I had watched the match – there’s no mistaking a real fight for a wrestling match.  Instead I saw something else when I walked in on him having sex in the bathroom.  I don’t think we’re going to be friends. 

Since meeting with Mr. Petticord, I’ve been working on my magic.  Spending a few days with that bitter old jerk and meeting the professor reinforced that I can’t wait around for another mentor.  I’ve gotten good at summoning smoke.  A lot of smoke.  Too much smoke.  I’m trying to dial that back.  I’ve also figured out how to make a flash of light that could blind someone.  I’m working out non-lethal spells that can help me out of a jam.

When I summoned my fetch, Mr. Petticord flipped his wig at first.  Then he asked me what it did.  When I told him it didn’t do anything, he sneered.  I’ve been working on that.  Turns out that I can make it move a little.  If I practice I can probably make it do more.

Last night I had a nightmare about a copy of myself coming in at night and strangling me.  So maybe I won’t mess with that spell anymore.

Who’s on your Mt. Rushmore of serial killers?

Getting back to my car and on the road was a pain in the ass but it wasn’t interesting, so I won’t talk about it.  I wonder if hitchhiking was ever really a thing or just something in movies. 

A guy backstage at the show I worked last night was talking about how there are no ‘good’ serial killers anymore.  He said that the 70’s was the golden age of serial killers.  I asked him if he knew about the guy from the professor’s book.  Then he bothered me the rest of the night because he thought I was into serial killers too.

Since I was out of touch for a while, I spent a lot of time on my phone trying to get back into the swing of things with my bookings.  Since I canceled three shows, someone online had started the rumor that I had given up the biz.  It seems like no one knows who I am unless it’s because they’re fucking up my program. 

I’m officially going to join the hallowed ranks of bare-knuckle boxers.  I was concerned that I might be too heavy because when I looked online there seemed to be only one weight class for women.  It turns out they’re not real strict in the world of third-rate promotions for a sport that is already super sketchy.  

I’m going to fight a Guatemalan woman named Jacqueline Gutiérrez in Biloxi, Mississippi.  The guy I talked to apologized fifty times because I wasn’t getting a cut of the DVD sales.  I found that hilarious.  Who buys DVDs?  Especially DVDs of what is essentially one step above a YouTube video of a street fight?  No offense, US Bare Knuckle Association.

Protect yourself at all times

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been in a place with no mobile coverage.  I didn’t know that was possible.  A few days ago, the professor drove me in his Lexus to an area that didn’t even look like it was part of this country – just trees.  I didn’t see any buildings for long periods of time.

On the drive I commented about his car and how being a professor must pay a lot of money.  He said that his money came from ridding people of ghosts.  When we first met, he said that he knew a spell to dismiss ghosts but I didn’t really think about it.

We talked about it for several hours as we drove.  According to the Professor, ghosts are completely real.  I have no reason to doubt him at this point.  His theory is that ghosts aren’t really people or souls the way we think.  He believes that people can imprint their psyche on a place or a thing.  Then if enough magic energy converges, it forms an entity that we think of as a ghost. 

The way he explained it is that a ghost is like a recording.  A ghost is not a person any more than an image on my phone is the actor I’m seeing.  He believes that you could do a spell to create ghosts but he never tried it.  I asked him if ghosts could be dangerous and he said most of them are harmless.  The way he said it made me think he had met one of the not harmless ones and never wanted to again.

So, yeah, ghosts exist.

The place he took me looked like something from an old book about the Depression.  I thought it was a barn until a guy came out of it.  There was a rusted plow in the front yard, one that would be pulled by a horse.  I can’t believe someone lived there, and that’s coming from someone who lives in a car.  

Most old people look like a stiff breeze would kill them.  But sometimes you see ones that look like they’re made out of fucking cast iron and broken nails.  I don’t know how old he was, could have been anywhere from 50 to 100, but if you told me he was in WW2 and was hit by an artillery shell and survived, I’d believe it.  

It was like the universe created an opposite man from the professor.  Forget about driving a Lexus, this guy didn’t have running water.  The three of us talked for a while and then the professor left.  He didn’t abandon me there, that’s what I decided.    

Staying with Mr. Petticord was a bizarre experience.  It was like living in another century.  I never chopped wood before.  I never slaughtered a chicken either.  I did a lot of things I never did before.  

He was very dismissive of the training I got from Royale which I didn’t like.  It didn’t bother me when he crapped on me for being a bad magician but I didn’t like him talking shit about Royale.  He said what Royale taught me was “city” magic which he had no respect for.

I did freak him out when I showed him my fetch spell, but otherwise he wasn’t impressed with anything I could do.  He was unpleasant and mean but he knew a lot about magic.  He said that the Asian girl was making me sick because I had no defenses.  Sometimes you see boxers who aren’t very good and they’re wide open, they get hit so much the guy punching them gets tired of hitting them, I was like that I guess. 

He really laid into Royale for not teaching me how to protect myself as the first thing.  At one point I wanted to smash his old face in, but he didn’t care.  I think he goes months without ever seeing another person so taking feelings into account isn’t something he worries about.  

I asked him about the serial killer in the book the professor wrote and he confirmed that he was a blood magician.  I asked how he stopped the killer, and he looked at me like that was a stupid question and said that he killed him.  I was shocked.  He was condescending of my reaction.

Royale and Obaluaiye both told me that killing someone with magic is the ultimate sin – not to mention that murder is not okay for non-magic normal people as well.  Mr. Petticord had a different idea.  If someone is doing something bad, you stop them.  And if that means you have to kill them, fine.  

He asked me how I expected to stop anyone from doing evil if I wasn’t willing to kill.  I had no answer. 

After he was satisfied with my magical defenses, he told me to fuck off.  I don’t know what I thought was going to happen.  He and the professor and I were going to form a magic super trio and go around fighting crime?  The professor didn’t seem interested in stopping anyone from doing bad shit, and this guy wasn’t going anywhere.  

Even though he was an asshole, I would have liked to stay longer and learn more, but he wasn’t interested in teaching more.  Life goes on I guess.  

School of Hard Knockers 8 – Ivy League

I don’t feel great about mooching off the professor but I don’t hate it either.  It took a few days for him to arrange a meeting with the mystery man, and once he found out I was sleeping in my car, he set me up with a guest suite on campus.  Now I can say I went to Cornell.  

After the B&B this is the second nicest place I’ve stayed.  The dining hall is nuts.  The food they get here is better than anything I eat by a mile.  They have fucking cake and brownies every day!  I kept a look out for boys disguised as girls like in all the sorority movies but I didn’t spot any.  They must be pretty good at evading detection.

I mostly stayed in the room because being around all these people freaked me out.  I spent most of my time alone.  Even when I’m at a show, I don’t interact much.  I keep saying I should work on that but how do you get started?  

Even though we’re the same age, these college students feel like kids to me.  I think I’ve felt like an adult most of my life.  That’s probably normal when you’re on your own early in life.  

I got an angry call from Eric, he had driven to one of the shows I cancelled and he was pretty pissed.  I told him that he could come meet me here while explaining again that I can’t use magic to get his wife to take him back.  I don’t think I’ll be hearing from him again.  So much for my cult.

While I was waiting, I made a list.  I’m not even sure of what, but things I need to do something about.

  1. Asian girl
  2. Eterno
  3. Guy who maybe tried to kill his ex-wife with magic
  4. Probably magic diner

I punched him right in his 100 year old face

I didn’t believe the Professor at first.  The spells he said he could do aren’t things you can prove.  What won me over is when he said he could do a protection spell.  Of sorts.  I don’t think he realized how hard I can hit.  I just knocked his glasses off and pushed him back a little instead of killing him when I punched him in his old face.  So he’s magic. 

That would be a really useful spell for me to learn. 

It allowed me to show him my healing spell.  And for me to learn that my healing spell works on other people.  He was very impressed.  I asked him who taught him and he said that he learned from a book he found.  Just like the Asian girl.  I don’t understand how they can do that. 

I asked him what the story was with this area.  He said that there are places of power where there’s more magic.  It’s easier to do magic there, but it also creates interference for people trying to remotely do stuff to you with magic.  I told him about how I thought the Asian girl was making me sick and he agreed with my theory.

He told me that he lives outside the magic zone because if you stay too long it messes with you.  You get tense and jumpy, easily agitated and moody.  After a few more days you get a vicious headache and become confrontational and aggressive.  He never pushed it farther than that but his theory was that if you stayed long enough you’d go crazy and eventually die from it.

When I told him about what happened that night in the park in Lyons, he didn’t really react.  Maybe he didn’t believe me.  Once everything was out in the open I asked him what really happened with the serial killer in the 70s.  He said there was someone I needed to meet.

Bed, Breakfast & Beyond (aka any person any study)

I never thought about what a bed and breakfast was.  Turns out it’s some people in a fancy house that rent you a room, or bed if you will, and make you breakfast.  It was easily the nicest place I’ve ever been.  It was just a big house I’m sure but I couldn’t stop myself from thinking of it as a mansion.

In books and movies sometime they have the poor character feel intimidated and afraid of being in a nice place and pining to be back in their cardboard box.  I always thought that was stupid before.  Now I kind of get it.  But only a little.

Not only was it the nicest place I’ve ever stayed, the breakfast was fucking delicious.  I don’t even know what it was but it was wonderful.  I ate enough for a couple people.  I don’t care what they thought about it. 

And it was free!  The gas station lady sent me this way because the B&B lady didn’t have anyone booked that night and likes to help out “people like me”.  I guess there’s a benefit to driving a 40 year old car and wearing borrowed clothing. 

I only got to stay there one night but it was the best thing that’s happened to me maybe ever.  I asked the B&B lady about the supernatural history of the area.  She wasn’t into it like the gas station lady.  She did show me a book that a guy wrote about the disappearances gas station lady mentioned.

I thought she was kidding when she asked if I wanted to meet the author but she was totally serious.   Her husband knew the guy from some 1 percenter club.  I had to cancel another show and sleep in my car for a while but next thing I know I’m meeting with a fucking professor at fucking Cornell.  Fucking.   

I got some weird looks on my way to see the professor but that didn’t bother me.  He was a super old man with a Santa beard.  He looked like the professor character they put in every college sex movie.  He was a professor of medieval studies.  That’s good for him I guess but it’s hard for me to understand why a guy who seemingly does nothing drives a Lexus while people that work for a living get jack shit.

He talked about the book for a while and his theory that the disappearances were due to the work of a ritual killer.  We danced around it for a while like people in a drug deal who worry that the other one might be a cop but eventually we got there.  He thinks the killer was doing magic.  Because he’s magic too.

The Ithaca Vortex Triangle Mystery

I feel so sick I had to cancel my booking last night.  I really wanted to get a motel room and sleep but I’m right on the edge moneywise again so I didn’t.  My plan was to drive to my next show and just hope that I felt better.  It wasn’t much of a plan.

While I was driving I suddenly felt fine.  A few miles further and just as quickly I felt awful again.  On a whim, I turned around and went back the way I came, and again I felt fine for a couple miles.  I did that a few times until I mapped out where I felt good. 

I pulled over to the side of the road and sat in my car for a long time not sure what do.  What I decided is that I wasn’t really sick.  What I decided is that it was her making me feel that way. 

Some people in the comments have asked why I say “the Asian girl” instead of a name.  There are a couple reasons.  One of them is that names have power.  That’s one thing Harry Potter got right about magic.  It’s the same reason people used to say Old Scratch or Sam Hill instead of Satan.  You never know who might be listening.

I drove to a gas station and, feeling like an idiot, asked the lady working there if the area had any strange local folklore.  It was like asking a new mother if they had any pictures of their baby.  She talked for a long time.  She kept talking to me while selling people cigarettes and lottery tickets.

The highlights are that Native Americans thought this area was cursed, there’s a house supposedly haunted by a woman who was murdered there, from 1969-1981 someone disappeared in the area once a year every year in October, and people claim to have seen giants in the woods.  Not Bigfoot, giants.

I don’t know why any of these things would result in me being healed or blocking the Asian girl’s magic.  I asked the gas station lady where the cheapest place to stay nearby was.

Brass Knuckle Barb Wire Bikini Beach Brawl Buckle Match

My street fight got me thinking about gimmick matches.  I daydream sometimes about what I would do if I make it on TV.  Mostly I would annoy people by trying to bring back old wrestling gimmicks that no one wants anymore.

I feel like whenever you watch a show from the 70’s there’s always a dude with a bullwhip for no reason.  The only whip I’ve ever seen was a lady who was doing a dominatrix/cat thing.  That’s Catwoman I guess.  I want to bring back bullwhips.

Do people really whip bulls or is that just a name?  If you whip a bull, won’t it gore you?

Sometimes there’d be a dude with a chain around his neck.  Or a rope with a cowbell.  But my favorite is the bone.  Dudes would just come to the ring with a big femur like that was normal.  “Oh, this is just the bone I carry around, don’t worry about it.”  Maybe it’s a therapy bone.

I would also challenge people to weird old matches.  I mentioned before how my goal is to be in a flag match and get booed as the USA representative.  Another one I like is a coal miner’s glove on a pole match.  To really get all the coal miners interested in the match.  Evening gown matches, I’d love to do that.  I saw a match once with a sock full of coins.  I’d love to upset people with all that old crap.

There’s one thing I know for sure about gimmick matches – if it takes more than a sentence, maybe two sentences at most to explain the concept, it sucks.  Hell in a Cell?  Fine.  Elimination Chamber?  Garbage.  Ladder match?  Great.  Wargames?  Awful.  Coffin match?  Love it.  Anything with someone being put in a shark cage or handcuffed to something?  Don’t waste my time.

If there is a second thing I know about gimmick matches it’s that you should  make sure the gimmick works.  I watched a compilation of old matches from NWA and WCW where whatever stupid thing they were trying to do failed.  There would be a box or something that would fall apart.  Or there would be a switch that kept falling down.  Dumb stuff like that. 

TNA really hits both sides.  There’s not a lot left to come up with in the world of gimmick matches.  But they hit a home run with the Ultimate X match.  On the other hand, they also came up with the King of the Mountain match which is unwatchable.  What the fuck is even happening in that match?