A special edition essay on memorable events of the past eight years.
18 July 2004
10. Remember When We Saw That Giant?
I sometimes love to drive. And sometimes when I drive, I see strange things on the side of the road, like the time I ran over that opossum or that time I almost killed a groundhog. But sometimes when I drive with AJ, shit just goes down.
AJ, remember when we saw that giant? It was totally strange! There was this woman standing on the side of the road (Ryan road at 19 Mile, to be exact), and she looked like she was literally nine feet tall. I’m sure she wasn’t, and I’m sure she was just super thin and tall, but it was maybe one of the most ridiculous things AJ and I have seen on the road together.
Another crazy driving story takes place on the few rare occasions when AJ was driving. It was probably his first or second time out on the open road, and AJ’s dad made him practice in a subdivision before letting him out onto 45mph roads. And as luck would freaking have it, they switch seats and the next thing we know, all three of us are staring at this guy on the side of the road who is jogging backwards. Yes, my dear friends, backwards!
Since that day, AJ has not picked up the keys to any vehicle voluntarily.
9. Well Thank You, AJ!
She may not know it, but my mom has been a big part of AJ’s and my outrageousness. There’s this one time where I’m sure she’ll not remember (AJ still had an eyebrow ring back then) where I was telling her things that AJ had passed onto me. And, of course, she was rolling her eyes at my fake knowledge of how I had Type II diabetes. And then I tell her that he thought that she had something wrong with her in regards to her colon problems and she goes, “Well thank you, Dr. AJ!” in a kind of sarcastic tone.
Needless to say, I reported the story back to AJ and since then, when we mention my mom, we refer to her as “Well thank you, AJ.”
There is another story that AJ sometimes forgets because it’s too funny and insider, like bananas 99 or trees trees trees. Back when Missy was still virtually unknown, she released her third CD, “So Addictive,” and there was the intro to end all intros, where she tells him to “getcho feet off my dashboard.” I once made the mistake of telling my mom about how AJ and I were saying that to each other and she started to say it all the time. I think she actually took the sentence to work with her and for like a year, every time AJ was on the phone, she would tell me to tell him to get his feet off of her dashboard.
8. Stalking Old Friends
When AJ and I first became friends, we were still in high school. I was still friends with Angie, and I decided to introduce AJ to one of Angie’s and my favorite pastimes, stalking people.
So one day AJ and I are driving around the tri-county area because that’s what you do when you’re 17 and have nothing else to do. So we tell each other stories about other people we used to know and I tell him this story about this guy I had a horrifying crush on at my old private school.
We drove around for hours, looking at old houses and found a stroke of luck when we stumbled on this old crush’s house. You could see his house from the back because they were on a main road in the sub. I saw his mom washing dishes and his brothers were playing football in the backyard. We decided to drive past the house several more times and I finally got the nerve to take a ride up to the court they lived on. As we’re pulling out of the court, the guy drives right by me in his family’s super old station wagon and looks right at me and AJ. It was horrifying, and the last time we pulled that stunt.
7. Tiramisu at Buca di Beppo
A couple of years ago, this new restaurant moved into town. It’s name? Buca di Beppo.
AJ and I decided to try it and the food was amazing, but we needed dessert. And what is everyone’s favorite dessert? Freaking tiramisu, bitch!
So we order the $7 catastrophe and the next thing you know, this gargantuan bowl of brandy and coffee soaked ladyfingers topped with marscapone cheese and cocoa powder and biscotti pieces is coming toward us. So we dig in, and I get this huge spoonful into my mouth and the next thing I know, the cocoa powder is all up in my area and I have to cough it out. With the cough came with a huge cocoa-colored cloud that AJ and I will never forget.
6. Happy New Year!
This story is every bit as mortifying to me as it is AJ. It’s new year’s eve on 2002, AJ was sitting across the street from me as usual and our freaking crazy co-worker was going around wishing them a happy new year and how she wasn’t going to see any of us until “next year.”
It was kind of embarrassing, but these kinds of things happen to people every once in a while. The next thing we know, we’re ready to leave and this crazy girl is standing between our pods. She throws her hands in the air and yells “Happy New Year” again. Next thing I know, AJ is leaning in for a hug. I remember thinking, “what the hell is he doing?” and leaned in too. I remember clearly leaning in to the hug because I didn’t want to look like an ass if it was a hug. In retrospect, I think my sharp mind was telling me to zoom in because AJ would not be able to live down the shame of molesting this poor lesbian.
The rest is a sad, sad, scary memory.
5. Everything but the Kitchen Sink
As we break into the top five most outrageous things I’ve ever done with AJ’s help, we have to mention the reason AJ and I are friends to begin with. When we were in the tenth grade, we were in the same accelerated English class. I had just started that class after spending the first semester in the regular English class. I’ve always been a great writer and loved English as a subject (but not to be confused with grammar or even English history—I just like to write editorials about how So for the third quarter of the school year, and my first in accelerated English, AJ and I paired up to do a research paper on a famous writer. For whatever reason, we picked Maya Angelou.
We had several weeks to get the paper written, and we finally made a date to get together and put some stuff on paper. It was our first time hanging out together and I believe we met on a Sunday night—the night before the day the paper was due.
The heavens knew that he and I would hit it off right away, and case in point, we spent the entire night making jokes about the radio station that kept screaming “1998 y’all!” Do I even have to tell you that we didn’t type one word of our paper?
The next day I convinced my parents to let me do something I had never done before. At AJ’s council, I convinced my mom and then my dad to let me stay home from school and call me in sick even though I wasn’t. And as if that weren’t enough, I also convinced them to drop me off at AJ’s house first thing in the morning and they would pick me up after they got out of work. I had never missed school that year and it was pretty close to the end of the year. I was pretty pissed, if I remember correctly.
But somehow, my parents took pity on me and dropped me off at AJ’s house (only after I told them that his mom would be home even though she wasn’t going to be). And what did we end up doing? We ended up having a damn good time. Don’t get me wrong, we got the assignment done—after ten hours!
4. Giving Angie the Silent Treatment
Why AJ and I do some of the things we do, I’ll never figure out. Why when we get together our brains turn to mush and we some outrageous things, our consciences let it happen…
This one time AJ and I decided to unleash our humor on Angie, who would be a pretty much innocent bystander. AJ decided ½ way to her house, that he was going to play dumb. Literally. He wasn’t going to talk. So I thought this was amazing, so we picked her up and honked the horn, waved to her mom, and during this said nothing. We made it like 10 miles to a Starbucks and ordered coffee and sat with our drinks for like 30 minues longer before finally giving into verbal communication. I think we only did it because she looked like she was going to lash out at us physically. We kept our saneness by staring at each other across the table, clutching our coffees in our hands.
I finally told her we were meditating and that she should shut it and focus.
3. This Message is for AJ…
When this next outrageous moment went down, I had to hear about it from AJ because I wasn’t actually there, but I was totally involved…
For whatever reason, I needed to get ahold of AJ. I think we were just getting together or something. The point is that I remember calling AJ at home and his brother picked up. When I asked where AJ was, he told me he was at this guy’s house. I asked him for the number and he gave it to me.
So I turn around and call the number, it went to voicemail, and I don’t know what ever possessed me, but I left a message. I believe it went something like “Hey this is AJ’s friend Diana. I need to talk to AJ so please have him give me a call back. Thanks!”
From what I understand (through AJ’s imagery), the guy was really weirded out that I called his house and left a message. The answering machine taped out loud and a bunch of people were listening as I was talking. When my message was done, I guess everyone was screaming “who was that?!” and it turned into a fiasco.
I’m glad that I wasn’t there, but AJ said that guy was pretty scared and wanted to know how I got his unlisted phone number and why I needed to talk to AJ so bad. Fiasco.
2. Can I Talk to Shaquanda?
Apparently, most of my most outrageous moments with AJ include the phone. Maybe that’s ½ the reason that AJ’s DJ name is Phone.
One day, we were hanging out at AJ’s house and one thing led to another and we prank called Caitlyn when she was at work at the cleaner’s. I can’t remember why we did it, but it happened. And for some god-forsaken reason, we decided that it would be better for me to call because she didn’t really know my voice. So AJ dialed the number, and I asked to talk to Shaquanda. Where Shaquanda came from, I have no idea. But it happened. And the prank call happened for about half an hour, and there were about a dozen hang-ups. The final call culminated in Caitlyn banging the phone against the table for a minute before hanging up.
The rest of the afternoon, AJ and I sat in his background, waiting for Caitlyn to come bash our heads in with a baseball bat. We were positive that she was going to drive up with a shotgun and either run us over and then blow us away or blow us and then run us over.
Let’s just say that we were a hell of a lot more scared of what Caitlyn’s phone prank repercussions than Angie’s silent anger…
1. The Scavenger Hunt
Perhaps the most outrageous thing that I’ve ever been a part of ever (not just with AJ) was when AJ and I went to a party in high school and we had to go on a scavenger hunt. I believe it was a road rally, but whatever. The point is that AJ and I automatically joined up and added two randoms to our team. I drove us all to AJ’s house and we got 98% of our list. There were a few things that we picked up at my house and a few things from some other girl’s house. The signs we had to see were along the route (not a very original road rally, but whatever). The only thing we needed was to stop at Kmart to ge some Polaroid film.
After we assembled our stuff, we hightailed it over to the party place and started counting it out. We were going head to head with this other team that had this freak that I totally hated as a leader. I totally needed to win—for my self esteem! So we got the same amount of answers right for this quiz they gave us… Then we started counting out the items we were supposed to pick up around town. It was horrible. We were in a dead heat. I was outraged and thought up a plan…
Next thing I know, I’m screaming at the top of my lungs that they have a disqualified item. There was an item on our list… The fur of a wild animal. So I fought tooth and nail that their domesticated cat was totally not wild and that my team had stopped on the side of the road and picked some fur off of roadkill.
We picked the fur off of AJ’s cat, Cotton, but it’s the originality that counts, right? We ended up winning because their fur was disqualified and AJ and the rest of my team backed me up that we stopped to grab some fur from a dead opossum.
The point of the story is that I’ve done some outrageous things in my time. I’ve done even more of them with AJ. And, of course, these aforementioned moments don’t even begin to prove anything. There are moments that he and I couldn’t recall at the time of this writing, there are moments that didn’t make the cut.
AJ, remember that time we came up for our own syndicated talk show? Watch Out!
And every Friday Night at AJ’s is a sure recipe for something crazy to happen. I can only imagine the messed up moments we’ll have when we’re on vacation together. A week in Miami during hurricane season? You’d better believe it.
Look for part deux, probably coming soon.