Things That Confuse Me

I’ve never claimed to be the smartest person in the world. Well… actually I have, on several occasions. But rest assured, I was entirely drunk when I did so.

My point is I am at best above average on the intelligence scale. But there are still several things in this world that confuse me. So I would like some clarification on the following.

Why the hell do my maxi pads have diagrams?

For men and really stupid women, a maxi pad is something that teenage girls and lazy writers with tilted pelvic bones use during their monthly menstrual cycle. What confuses me is that the inside of my maxi pad looks like this;


Ignore the shirt on the lower right. I’m pretty sure that’s just something designed to show how ‘athletic’ maxi pads can be.

Is my menstrual flow supposed to be reading this diagram? Are my unfertilized eggs that smart that they know exactly where they are supposed to go? If so, should I feel guilty for the fact that I’m flushing them down the toilet? I mean, I won’t eat pork because pigs are smarter than dogs and that bothers me. If my unused eggs are smart enough to follow the diagram on a maxi pad, should I be throwing them away at all? Or should I be enrolling them in an Ivy League school?

Also, why blue for the diagram? Trust this people, the second I start seeing blue stuff leaking out of me; I’m not worried about staying ‘dry and fresh.’ I’m more worried about the fact that apparently I’m miscarrying an alien’s baby.

Why do people play the lottery?

I used to consider playing the lottery, then I elected to start lighting my money on fire and flushing it down the toilet instead becuase I realized the lottery is for idiots.

I’m not talking to you occasional hopefuls who buy a ticket on the way home from work. I’m talking to all you fucktards out there who choose scratch tickets like you’re choosing your first born’s name.

You know who you are. You show up at the gas station at rush hour and take 45 minutes trading in tickets to buy more tickets to a lottery that you will never win.

Listen fuckers, in the time that it takes you to pick out those tickets every day, you could have written a novel, created a cure for cancer or more realistically, GOTTEN A FUCKING JOB.

The house always wins. Whether you’re playing at a craps table or scratching off little grey boxes, you will always lose. But the lottery commission depends on one thing to keep selling tickets.

They depend on you being a fucking moron. Stop playing right into their hands.

Where the hell did Tilapia come from?

Ten years ago, I had no idea that this fish existed.


Now, it’s everywhere. At any restaurant I go to, tilapia is on the menu. When I was in the hospital, I even got served tilapia during the daily meal I ignored because I was too drugged up to eat. As I recall, it smelled like feet and tasted two items as bad.

The best way I could describe the flavor is ‘cardboard flavored death.’ But now it’s popping up everywhere. It’s like reality TV shows. One day I saw one, and the next day, the world was overrun. I’m pretty sure the government manufactured tilapia out of cardboard and old ashtrays in an attempt to make fun of hipsters.

It’s working.

What does the ‘power of prayer’ really do?

This week, Tracy Morgan was seriously injured in a car accident. That isn’t news. But what I saw in the comments is news, because apparently there are idiots who feel they can save Tracy Morgan through the power of prayer.

First of all, the fact that Tracy Morgan is a celebrity does not make him any more important than the people that were on the bus with him, who were also seriously injured (or killed).

Next, what the fuck are your prayers supposed to do?

Let’s be honest. You don’t know Tracy Morgan. If he dies tomorrow, you might open your Facebook page and be like “oh, so sad, I will pray for his family. :( :(”

But you won’t really pray and you won’t be sad. You’re just saying that. You don’t know him, his family or what they’re going through. You’re just using him as an excuse to sound like a good person.

My bible knowledge tells me this. You can’t pray for someone to live or die. It doesn’t work like that. According to the Catholics, everything is predefined and whatever happens to one person will be god’s will, and can’t be changed. You can only pray for your own acceptance of that fate.

So why the fuck are you idiots wasting time praying? If you really want to honor Tracy Morgan, head to Vegas, get wasted and snort some coke off a hooker’s ass.

Above all, stop bringing god into this mess. It isn’t your place to pray for Tracy Morgan, no matter how much you liked him as Brian Fellows. It’s his family’s place so back the fuck off and let them grieve in peace. Stop stealing their grief so you can get attention.

That’s all I had to say. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I need to go buy some lottery tickets so I can buy candles for Tracy Morgan at midnight mass, because he is the most important person in the world to me. My menstrual eggs are also coming. They followed the maxi pad diagram right out of my pants and used a very complicated algorithm to buy their own winning lottery tickets.

Good times.







Somewhere in Afghanistan – I Just Don’t Know What to Think

Usually, I can get behind something one way or another. I am either 100% for something or 100% against something. I’m pretty black and white like that.

But sometimes, I just don’t know what to think.

I bring this up because of this couple.

Joshua Boyle and Caitlin Coleman are two tourists who elected to go to Afghanistan, despite full knowledge that the country is dangerous and filled with anti-western extremists who would like nothing more than to kill as many of us as possible.

Look, I have nuts the size of bowling balls, but even I wouldn’t do something like this. When I look into making my travel arrangements, if the American government lists a country as “red-level, extremely not-recommended for current travel due to likelihood of having head separated from neck”, I tend to listen.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t have put off my walking tour of Chad for so long.

When this shit happens, I get annoyed. I get annoyed because if the US government chooses to find a way to free these people, either through a special ops situation or through exchanging prisoners, American lives will be lost. Either they will be lost when our service people take the extreme risk to go and get them, or they will be lost when dangerous criminals are released in exchange for them.

I don’t think that our American soldiers should have to pay with their lives for another persons’ stupidity. These people were not there as humanitarians. They weren’t there to build schools for poor kids, provide medical care for sick people or expose war atrocities to the world. They were there because apparently they ‘like exotic travel.’

Part of me wants to say ‘let them rot.’

But here’s the thing. Not only did these idiots choose to travel highly dangerous terrains, they actually chose to travel when Caitlin was pregnant.

That means, somewhere in Afghanistan, there is an innocent baby who does not deserve to suffer for its parents’ stupidity. Somewhere in Afghanistan, there is an American citizen who deserves the right to come home.

That baby should not have to pay for its parents’ mistakes.

It’s annoying to me that this comes on the heels of the highly controversial exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Seriously, fuck that guy.

This picture should be listed under 'douche' in the dictionary.

This picture should be listed under ‘douche’ in the dictionary.

I’m sorry, but if you voluntarily enlist, and then choose to desert in the middle of a war zone, I don’t think the armed forces’ policy of “leave no man behind” should apply to you. You chose to leave your fellow soldiers behind. In my view, once you desert, you are no longer a member of the armed forces and the military has no obligation to help you.

I only pray that exchange was made as part of a higher military strategy that we all can’t be party to. Otherwise, I’m forced to ask this question.

What ever happened to “the United States of America does not negotiate with terrorists?”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but last I checked, the Taliban was the poster child for terrorism. I’m pretty sure if you look up ‘terrorist’ in the dictionary, you will find the 2014 Taliban reunion picture.


Ain’t nothin’ but a Taliban party…

If we’re going to start negotiating with terrorists, maybe we can do it for the people who deserve it? Like the Boko Haram victims kidnapped while they were just trying to get an education?

I don’t know, just tossing those thoughts out there, but maybe we should use the leverage we have for people who actually deserve it?

Look, when an American citizen is in a dangerous land for a good reason, I can respect that. Even if I don’t agree with that, I can respect why they did it. When a citizen is in danger because they were trying to do something good, I think we owe it to them to do everything we can for them.

But when we have citizens who choose to do something stupid, and then expect the government and the soldiers who have already sacrificed so much to put their lives on the line for them, I have a hard time getting behind the cause to free them.

Once, when I was in Germany, I got into a fight with someone and threw a beer bottle at them. As I was in an Irish pub, everyone used that as an excuse to start throwing punches and the place quickly turned into a veritable orgy of violence.

Later that evening, I was arrested and charged with ‘inciting a riot.’ I’m not making this up. To this day, I still have an Interpol record.

I deserved to face those charges. Even though I wasn’t sure what would happen, I knew deep down that starting a fight in an Irish pub at 2 am on New Years would result in a serious incident.

Because Joshua Boyle and Caitlin Coleman have a baby, an absolutely innocent victim, I think that we should do something to help them.

Then, I think as soon as those two idiots step their feet onto American or Canadian soil again, they should face charges for manslaughter and assault for every last one of the lives lost, and every soldier injured, while trying to save them for their own stupidity. The United States or Canadian government should sue them for every penny lost in their rescue attempt, just like that bar owner sued me for the damage caused in the bar fight I started.

I can respect the courage it takes to be a civilian going to a scary foreign land while just trying to help a disadvantaged people. I can respect the journalists who take their craft so seriously that they would put their lives in danger to expose a country’s crimes against humanity to the world. That takes an incredible amount of courage and is also a job that needs to be done, that very few people are willing to do.

What I can’t respect is willful ignorance. Joshua Boyle and Caitlin Coleman chose to be willfully ignorant. While they do not deserve what is happening to them now, American and Canadian soldiers also do not deserve to lose their lives in an attempt to rescue them.

When they do, Joshua Boyle and Caitlin Coleman need to face the consequences of what they did, just like I faced the consequences of starting that bar fight.



No…Not Everything is Misogyny

Let me introduce you all to one of the most overused words in the English language.

Misogyny – reflecting or exhibiting hatred, dislike, mistrust, or mistreatment of women.

You know what, over the top feminists? When you label everything as misogyny, nothing is misogyny. Misogyny becomes the new normal.

I saw a movie review today that labelled Seth MacFarlane’s most recent movie, A Million Ways to Die in the West, as misogynistic.

Bullshit. Personally, I think when it comes to hard hitting issues, Seth Macfarlane is actually one of the most PC people on the planet. You know why? Because he doesn’t shy away from the offensive to keep from hurting the delicate ladies’ sensibilities. Instead, he treats the women in his films like people who are capable of doing things wrong, being stupid, being promiscuous and in short, being human. He doesn’t pin a scarlet A on his character’s chests because they enjoy a good time. You know who really does?


You know what I find misogynistic? Lifetime “Television for Women.” Every damn movie on that channel deals with some woman being a victim because she’s a woman. Let me give you the formula for every Lifetime original movie ever written.

Innocent leading woman is living a normal, near Puritan style life. Then, the men with their evil man penises come along and destroy that independent lifestyle. When the woman goes for help, all the evil men with their man penises laugh at her weaknesses because she’s just a poor little woman. Then, through the power of prayer, therapy, macramé…fucking whatever, she rises above it.

Lifetime is the ideal example of misogyny, because they portray all women as either Madonnas or whores. Any woman who enjoys sex, or god forbid has nudie photos taken, has low self-esteem and daddy issues. She can never just be a chick who likes to have fun. Women are perpetual victims.

I have never seen a Lifetime movie that I did not find utterly obnoxious and condescending. Not only are they insulting to women, they also portray men in an unflattering, unreasonably evil way.

Let me give an example and a non-example of real misogyny.

Misogyny – a woman at a university gets raped and a police officer investigating the rape says women shouldn’t dress like sluts to avoid being attacked. That’s misogyny.

Not misogyny – A woman is raped at a university and the university hands out pamphlets warning women of the danger in a specific area. Nope, not misogyny. It’s actually just common sense.

I’ve seen several recent news stories lately where people actually complained about this. Women would say “why are they handing us pamphlets on how to not get raped? Shouldn’t they be handing out pamphlets telling rapists not to rape?”

I’m sure in some rainbow covered universe, that would be the best way to go about things, but again, that universe wouldn’t have rapists, now would it? The truth is that these sex offenders and criminals know they’re wrong. No amount of pamphlets are going to fix them.

But a warning might remind a woman to be vigilant to avoid becoming a victim.

So why the hell is it misogyny or ‘promoting a rape culture’ to warn women of the dangers?

When I park in a parking garage in Orlando, and a sign warns me to lock up my car and take my valuables with me, I don’t accuse the city of Orlando of perpetrating a ‘theft culture.’

I lock my fucking car and I take my valuables with me because I’m not stupid. I know bad things happen and I know that I need to be vigilant in order to prevent those bad things from happening to me.

Because the world isn’t misogynistic. It’s just filled with assholes.

Look, when you accuse every man of hating women, when you blame men for all the problems women have and when you accuse all people who don’t worship at the all-mighty temple of the vagina of being misogynists, you are part of the problem.

You are part of the problem because you dilute the real problem with a bunch of stupid problems based in rhetoric, gender neutral language and some desperate desire to be offended for any reason.

Stop over-using misogyny. Every movie that doesn’t portray a woman in a favorable light is not misogyny. Every person who suggests women learn how to defend themselves isn’t a misogynist and suggesting that every lady ever born is not some kind of saint/angel/vagina goddess is not ‘perpetrating a rape culture.’

It’s life. Some people are assholes. Some people aren’t. If you aren’t one of those assholes, it’s up to you to protect yourself from those who are.

That isn’t misogyny. It’s just common sense.

Let’s Explain the Comment System Again

A few days ago, I wrote a post about my home town. This post is starting to take up far too much of my time, because people reading clearly don’t understand my comments policy.

Here’s my policy; I’m a fucking bitch. I will be mean to you if you insult me. I will pull statistics that prove you wrong and I will attack you even if your insult is veiled and passive aggressive. If you insult my writing style, I will attack you. I won’t just calmly say “different strokes for different folks.”

This is what I do for a living. You telling me I’m doing it wrong is like me showing up at whatever McDonalds you work at and complaining you’re dropping fries wrong. This is my job and I’m doing it just fine without your assistance.

Sending a poorly spelled message where I need to hire a translator in order to decipher what you’re saying will make me attack you. Insulting me directly will make me attack you. Being a passive aggressive asshole will make me attack you.

I’m sorry I didn’t make this clear, but I’ll go ahead and do it now. I write for a living. I’m mean for a living. I am controversial for a living. Half the time. when I yell at you, I’m not even angry. I’m just doing what comes natural to me.

Yes, I know the post on my home town went viral. You know what? I didn’t fucking ask for that. It just started getting shared because apparently more than a few people thought I was right. I didn’t start slapping that post up on people’s pages and demanding they share it. Apparently, they agreed that your town was going to shit. All I did was shine a light on those problems.

Attacking me will fix nothing.

In fact, it will do nothing more than get your feelings hurt, because trust this; I know how to hurt feelings.

So let’s explain the comment system again, to the people from my home town who apparently think I’m going to take it easy on them.

I’m mean and I am incredibly good at being mean. Hurting your feelings if you piss me off will not keep me up at night. In addition, Essa on Everything is MY page. It’s syndicated and I get money for it. The more controversy I cause, the more money I make.

But that isn’t even half the reason I’m mean. I know that my disclaimer states ‘warning, posts on this site might be factually inaccurate…”

Here’s the thing; that’s a little thing called tongue-in-cheek humor. I self depreciate on a regular basis to make myself seem more human, but deep down, I know I’m much, much better than you are at being a sarcastic bitch.

I know I’m right. I did the math and I did the research. I wouldn’t have written the post if I didn’t. When you argue with me, I have no problem proving that point.

Maybe you all didn’t get the way the internet works. Maybe you think I’m supposed to coddle you and suddenly change my opinion because you disagree with me.

Let me explain a little more thoroughly; I don’t give a shit if you agree with me and your opinion means shit to me. That’s why this page is called “Essa on Everything” and not “Random Asshole on Everything.”

As a reminder, the comment system works as follows.

  1. The only opinion that really matters on this page is mine. If you have a problem with that, start your own page. It won’t be as popular, but at least it will be yours.
  2. I don’t usually call people out on spelling and grammar, but if you have a 90% error rate in a ten word sentence, if you don’t know how to use a comma and if you’ve sent me 14 random run on sentences in text speak, expect me to wreck you for it. That’s just disrespectful. I make an effort to ensure that my page is as error free as possible before I put it up. If I can do that, I expect my commentators to do that when their comments are only 10 words long.
  3. I had regular fans before these Berlin shenanigans started. A LOT of regular fans. I WILL protect those fans. If you post a comment attacking one of my prior friends/fans opinions I will either delete it, or I’ll attack your ass. It really depends on how much I’ve been drinking. But I will respect and protect that fan base, because they aren’t just my fans anymore. They are my friends and it is my responsibility to take care of them.

This is MY page. I’ve earned my following and no, I don’t need feedback on my writing style. Enough people like me to keep me in leather pants and candy apples every month. You will not attack my friends, you will not attack my family and you will not attack me without dealing with the consequences.

You don’t want to tangle with me. I’ve been doing this too long to back down now. My livelihood depends on taking you in a fight…so guess how seriously I take it when you post an offensive comment on my site? If your answer is ‘rage induced verbal attack that will haunt you and your family to your grave’ you might be in the neighborhood.

So the comment policy? Disregard it if you want, but let’s see what happens when you piss me off. I don’t pull punches and nothing is off limits to me if you cross those boundaries.

Trust this; I’ve turned being angry, drunk and offensive into a lifestyle.


In the Next Year – An Essa Birthday Special

Today I turned 34. Now I must say my life is a lot better at 34 than it was at 24. Based on the fact that my happiness seems to double every 10 years, I’m pretty sure being 44 will kick ass.

But I need to put some plans in place if I want to make it to 44. So as my demographic changes from the ‘young persons box’ to the ‘adult’ box, I have made the following changes.

I will stop cyber stalking people that piss me off.

Seriously, there is nothing more I like in the world than starting a fight. Unfortunately, those fights seem to suck up a lot of my time. I mean, what’s more interesting? Writing a 700 world article on the benefits of RLSA in a paid search advertising campaign, or hunting down a hate mailer’s personal details and posting all his info on Craigslist with a discreet request for some hardcore S&M man-on-man action? Can you blame me for being immature and choosing the latter?

But I am a professional and I need to spend more time actually working as opposed to pretending to work while I hunt some poor internet douchebag down so I can call him at home at 3 am…14 times in a row. Jesus, I have got to stop drinking.

I will stop drinking…so much

I’m pretty sure I have 4 out of 7 of the early signs of liver failure. On the upside, I’m losing weight like crazy. 6 pounds in a week? Most cancer patients on chemo can’t brag about that much. It’s easy to lose weight when your diet consist of hops, barely and disdain.

So I will stop drinking so much. I will do the responsible thing.

I’ll switch to marijuana.

I will be less afraid of bugs

I have had the same dead roach on my bathroom floor for the past few days, because I’m afraid of picking it up. I’m not sure if it’s dead. To anyone who has ever dealt with a roach, you know the second you pick that thing up to throw it away, it starts twitching around and freaks you the fuck out. Seriously, they’re like the terminator. Just DIE already.

I’ll publish enough to live on my book sales.

Right now, I can live on the royalties alone. Hell, I sold 1509 books in the month of May, but that will taper off. I’m planning on living on my royalties for the summer while I expand my catalog. Expect to see the end of the Strangely Sober series in July, as well as the beginning of the Blue Suede series in August. Then expect my lazy ass to take a few months off while I roll around in a giant pile of money.

I’ll start brushing my hair again

Yeah, I haven’t in weeks and I don’t even have cute white girl dreadlocks anymore. Instead, my hair has congealed into a tennis ball sized mass at the back of my head. Before you call me out on my lack of grooming, you need to understand what it is to be a Floridian.

Namely, the second you step out of your shower, you already start to sweat and feel dirty again. Something like that will really kill your motivation to look pretty. Your only goal becomes preventing yourself from dissolving into a ball of humid goo. Hair-brushing tends to take second place.

That doesn’t work as well when your hair reaches your waist. So either I’ll start brushing it, or I’ll just get drunk and cut it all off, but either way, I will make a decision.

It’s amazing to me how much the past few years have changed my life. I haven’t seen the inside of a cubicle in two years and I’ve been avoiding my student loan officer for the same amount of time. I’ve gained a fan following, gained a following of anti-fans and might even have a hate site by now. I’ve written 6 books, pissed off men, pissed off women, pissed off everyone in my home town, learned how to buy weed on the internet and learned how to tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue.

I have a feeling that 34 is going to be a kick ass year.








The Writer’s Paradox – What Would Dr. House Do?

It’s weird that I use this site for marketing, because to be honest, whenever I start getting a lot of attention, it makes me cringe a little.

The other day I wrote a post about my home town that kind of exploded. It got shared on Facebook about 200 times and saw about 500 views in the hour after I posted it. Most people would be thrilled by that level of attention.

I spent the majority of the day avoiding turning on my computer at all and hiding on the couch, watching reruns of House. It didn’t help that the first comment I got was some asshole spewing venom. You figure I’d be used to hatemail by now. I mean, I get a lot and I also get a lot of critical reviews on my writing. Any day of the week, I deal with at least 5 messages that criticize me personally.

But when I’m as open as I am in a post like the one I wrote, that criticism is a little bit harder to take.

Beer helps.

But it wasn’t just the criticism that bothered me. It was the idea of people reading what I wrote at all. That stuff was incredibly personal. Whenever I write a personal post, I berate myself for days afterwards for posting it at all. The higher my numbers go, the more I say “why the hell did I write that?”

It’s a lot like inviting 500 people into my house so they can look through my underwear drawer…and comment on the various humiliating things they find in my underwear drawer.

But after that anxiety clears, I start to get glad that I wrote the way that I did. Writing is a personal business. Every word you put on paper says something about you as a person. The more honest you are about your feelings, who you are and what you’ve been through, the better you get.

So no, I shouldn’t give myself anxiety attacks for writing something that makes me a better, more popular writer. I mean, what would Gregory House do? (Aside from testing me for syphilis or acidosis by lighting my hair on fire or injecting the bubonic plague directly into my eyeballs.)

I’ll tell you what Gregory House would do. He’d say “this is what needs to be done. It’s gonna hurt like a bitch and it might do more harm than good, but this is what you need to do…and also, you have syphilis.”

But does Dr. House sit around going “oh no! What if people don’t like me anymore?”

dr house

Hell no! He’s arrogant enough to admit that he’s too good to be dragged down by those who disagree with him and he doesn’t get scared when people call him an asshole. So whenever I feel like that, I say to myself “what would Dr. House do?”

Then, I go outside, hit a random person with my cane, light their hair on fire and diagnose them with syphilis.

I’m kidding. I don’t have a cane.

Instead, I look in the mirror, I address my faults and then I dismiss them. You’re god damn right I am an arrogant, opinionated, self-important and selfish. You know why I can be?

Because I’m just that fucking good.

I can handle writing about stuff that’s incredibly personal without turning into some sad, ‘poor me’ weep fest. I can handle being controversial because I know what the fuck I’m talking about. If my writing wasn’t hard hitting, if it didn’t shock people into taking an action, then I wouldn’t be as popular as I am.

At best, I’d be yet another blogger writing about writing. At worst, I’d be some internet troll posting all my comments anonymously.

I will never flinch when my site hits go up above 500 in an hour again. Instead, I will be like House. I’ll go back, I’ll read what I wrote and I’ll say “yes, writing this was the right choice, even if it didn’t work out the way I thought it would.”

Then, I’ll go back to drinking, popping Vicodin and hitting people with my cane.

Dear Berlin…An Open Letter to my Home Town

***Author’s note: Hi people, just to let you all know, I did not expect this post to go viral, but it did. As a result I feel obligated to warn any readers who are not used to my writing style that it does include harsh language and profanity…so it’s probably best that  you don’t share this with your 90 years old memere who is prone to heart attacks. If you’re curious about who I am, feel free to email, but I won’t share my real name on here. I mean, I did call my dad an ‘angry drunk’. By sharing my own name, I’d have to share his as well and that’s just mean. Plus, he’s gotten significantly cooler since I’ve gotten older.  Finally, there is a good chance this post will piss you off.  For that, I am sorry, but you hate most in others what you see in yourself. Before you get angry, consider that fact that the reason you’re angry is because you know what I’m writing is a little bit true. I usually shut down comments after 5 days, but will be leaving them open indefinitely so you can share your opinion. You don’t need to be respectful of me, but you do need to be respectful of the other people that post here. Deal with it.***



I will admit, I always had city aspirations. I never intended to live with you until I died. In fact, as I recall, I stated I was planning on leaving you before the ink on my diploma was even dry. And I did. I haven’t visited you for fifteen years. Much like an elderly relative with dementia, I doubted you’d notice if I never came to visit.


When I was in you, I didn’t like you very much. My dad was a mean drunk and my mom was too busy working to support me and my brother to pay much attention to us when we were young. For that, I resented you. I resented you for the fact that I wasn’t born pretty or popular, even by small town standards. I resented the fact that you never accepted what I was.

In my town I was too rich to be cool by the poor kid’s standards and too poor to be cool by the rich kid’s standards. I was a perpetual fence sitter.

I was lonely a lot growing up and I blamed you. I blamed you for limiting my horizons. Let’s be honest. You were Berlin, New Hampshire. You weren’t really the kind of place where diversity and being different was embraced. The first gay person I ever met still has scars from your small mindedness.

But you were still mine. As much as I hated the people who lived in you, I still had some good times with you. I remember walking the Dead River Park after school. I remember hanging out at the train tracks. I remember catching my first fish in you and I remember scamming my first kiss in you. I remember getting picked on by my brother’s friends and I remember learning how to defend myself in you.

I remember falling in love in you. I remember the trail behind the high school where I used to smoke pot. I remember the Milan loop that I would bike every weekend just to say I did. I remember seeing my first moose. I remember the way my mom used to take us for ice cream at the Dairy Bar and then take us moose hunting after that.

She was seriously a kick ass mom.

And in your prime, I’m willing to wager, you were a kick ass city. You were my safe haven for awhile. When a kid was picking on me on the bus, I decided to start walking home.

That’s when I really got to know you and really got to know how beautiful you were. I remember your winding trails in the woods and the way I never wound up where I expected to when I walked you. I remember riding my bike in the same circle over, and over and over again but never getting bored. I remember what you used to be.

It bothers me to know that interlopers have taken you over.

I saw a story the other night about a stabbing that occurred on your use-to-be harmless streets. Those streets that gave me refuge when I was a lonely outcast have apparently turned into the crime ridden streets of a brown town.

I know a lot of people blame the prison for that. Did you know that when giving out welfare benefits the amount is decided by the population of that town? When prisons come in, the city adds in an allowance for inmates, regardless of the fact that they are ineligible for that assistance. A program like that will cause bottom suckers to flock to your shores.

But Berlin, you don’t have welfare recipients only to blame for your problems.

Seriously, every time I see a small town go to shit, I immediate see the middle class people of that small town bitch about those on welfare and how they’re ruining it for everyone. That is a cop out. If you really think your next door neighbor receiving food stamps is the reason that your town has gone to shit, you have a lot to learn about the world. And I’m pretty sure I can tell you why your town has gone to shit. Mainly, you stopped taking responsibility.

You’re too busy looking for someone to blame.

That solves nothing. If you want your main street back, you need to start having a main street that people want to visit.

Get your movie theaters back. Movies theaters are for everyone. They are humanities common denominator. Everyone is equal in a movie theater.

They make no one feel excluded because they aren’t pretty or athletic. Shit people, why do you think I can quote every single Eddie Murphy movie since he made the Golden Child? Movies are for everyone. You don’t need to be pretty or athletic to watch them. A movie theater is where most fat ugly kids (like me) learn about love and laughter. When a town loses its movie theater, it loses its heart.

Organize a neighborhood watch. Make these new meth heads that have taken up dealing on street corners afraid to go out at night. When it comes to crime, you need to draw a hard line. Otherwise, it becomes a plague, ripping through your town unchecked.

Stop letting drug stores buy out every fucking building on the main strip of town so they can leave them empty. You realize that business owners are required to talk to city hall before they start monopolizing the city, right?

Also, stop electing the most popular old dude as mayor. Do you all really want Berlin to be known as the place old people go to die?

You have natural resources. You have a beautiful river, some kick ass hiking trails and a great set up down town. This should be all you need to make your city work again. But you don’t because you let the same tired politicians run your city and you wait for ‘your turn’ on the council.

Here’s the thing. If you want to fix Berlin, “your turn” is NOW. You can’t fix it with a couple of Super Sundays or Tombolas. You can’t fix it with bake sales. You can only fix it by finding a way to encourage business owners to come back and show the criminals that this will NOT be their brown town to sell meth.

Berlin used to be my sanctuary. The people there weren’t great, but the land gave me a peace that I will never be able to replicate. You all have a choice. You can take back your city by creating new opportunities, thereby making a place that people will want to visit. Or you can sit the fuck around bitching about how all the people on welfare are taking your jobs.

The fact is, you have everything you need to be successful again Berlin. But most of you are too busy bitching about the problems to see the potential.

Look, I’m a city chick now. I have been since I was 19. I know I’m not a local anymore and that shouldn’t give me a say…but Berlin used to be my home. I hung at the Hutchins street park, stole my first kiss in Brookside, and learned how to hopscotch at Brown School. I know it’s sentimental, but I’d hate to see it fail.

Simply stated, current Berlin natives, get busy moving…or get busy finding a way to fix your fucked up town, because I’m tired of seeing the place I was born hanging on life support. Either kill it or let it go, but stop letting it dangle somewhere in the middle.

My city deserves better than that.


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