Basement Editorial | How the Mind of Josh Mosey Worked in High School

Journal Entry: February 8, 1999

Remember when this was the best that digital cameras had to offer?

I am a teenager, but not a teenage mother. That’s the truth. Maybe. Yes, it is. I like girls. I like cheese and bacon on my hotdogs. I like cheese and bacon on my baked potatoes. I like Mr. Potato Head. Once, I sold a Mr. Potato Head to a kindergarten teacher who let kindergartners play with it. If I were a mother, I would send my child to kindergarten with he or she was five. That is how old they would have to be. I would make their lunch and they could trade it or keep it. I don’t care if they trades lunches. I don’t care if they eat a puppy, unless it makes a mess. Don’t make a mess!

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Basement Editorial | Bad Advice with Chico Martinez | Fashion

I happened across another edition of The Parable, the His House Christian Fellowship newsletter. So, here’s another article of Bad Advice with Chico Martinez (the first is here).

800px-BathingMachineDontBeAfraidWith summer just around the corner, we are all soon to see the summer fashion editions of the morning “news” programs. As your resident man of the people, I figured I would save you the trouble of waking up early and listening to annoying, overpaid, and chipper morning people. And if you are worried that you may not be getting the truth from me, just keep in mind that I’m not getting paid for my opinion. I’m not getting paid at all. I’m so poor. Please, someone just help me out… Okay, anyway, on with the summer fashion advice. This year, Chico can help you be Muy Caliente!

  1. Following the fashion trends of yesteryear, first we had the bell bottoms of the 70’s, then a rehash a few years ago. Then if you remember, we hit the 80’s, but rather than advise anything from the 80’s (except Stryper of course), we are going to skip ahead to the next fashion trend. Hammer Pants! You know you had a pair and if you still have that pair, whip ’em out! I don’t care if it was ten years ago and you are mucho grande now, Chico has spoken. Hammer Pantalones es muy In!
  2. Swimwear you say? Chico has the skinny on swimwear (figuratively of course, Chico is not a skinny man). Think back with me to the 20’s and 30’s. Those were the good old days of swimwear, when men wore full-length red-and-white striped swimsuits, and ladies wore full-length gowns (Chico doesn’t remember what the ladies wore, but he thinks that full-length gowns sound pretty good). Well, it is time for a little bit of that old-timey goodness again. Water, prepare yourself for the red-and-white striped cannonball!
  3. Why not does something new? Something no one has done before? Let’s get creative here… I’m proposing a new piece of clothing never thought of before. I think I’m going to call it a “t-shirt”. This is what it looks like. It has one large hold in the bottom that fits around your waist, a hold for the head and two “sleeves” for the arms (each “sleeve” has a hold for the “arms” to go “through”). It is made of lightweight cotton-like material and maybe it could have a logo or words or a picture on it, but it doesn’t need one. Anyway, I’m pretty sure that my “t-shirt” idea will be an instant classic!

And with that, Chico does it again! Pure genius as usual. And to all of you who are thinking that I’m just some crackpot bent on bringing people down to my own reviled social status… ummm… you might be wrong?! Well, until next time, keep your pants high and your socks pulled up, and don’t forget the wisdom of Chico when you go shopping at the Goodwill (like I do) for your new summer look. Adios mis compadres!

I am a Pog Collector

I didn’t realize that I still had them. But as my wife and I went through the things in the basement, deciding what would be given to Goodwill and what would be going to the dump, I came across as small red bag, filled with cardboard discs and a brass slammer.

Memories flooded back. In middle school, but about two weeks, possibly a month, Pogs were the biggest thing in the world. For those who don’t remember, Pogs are a cross between baseball collecting and a game of jacks. You and your opponent place your Pogs into a stack, then take turns dropping/throwing your slammer on the top of the stack. Those Pogs that flip over are your to keep.

And so the risk of playing Pogs is losing them. And the fun of playing Pogs is winning them. I never had much fun playing Pogs, because I hated losing them. And I never played enough to get good at winning them because I was afraid to lose the ones that I had left. I preferred safety to risk.

dc_comics_pogsIn my defense, I had some pretty sweet Pogs. You see, my dad sold them for a time in his hobby shop, so I got my pick of the good ones. My collection consists primarily of DC Comics Pogs. I have Robin, Hawkman, Deathstroke, Black Lightning, Superboy. I have Aquaman, John Stewart, The Joker, Metamorpho, and Lex Luthor. I even have Mr. Mxyzptlk, Lobo, and Shazam. The only one that I don’t have (that I wanted) is Batman.

Of course, I had some average Pogs as well. I have a number of Goosebumps Pogs (Copyright 1995) that came free in boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios. And I have a few stinkers like a sun wearing sunglasses pitching local grocery store D&W and a buoy for some reason.

The point is that I learned at a young age that I’m not much of a gambler. I never wanted to risk much in order to get better as a Pog player. And in the case of Pogs, this was fine, because by the time I had gotten good at Pogs, the fad would have been over and my skill would have been wasted. But the truth is the same.

I prefer safety.

And so, after finding them, you might be wondering whether they went to the dump or to Goodwill. The answer is…

Neither. It’s a fine collection of Pogs. If I wasn’t going to get rid of it in middle school, I’m not going to get rid of them now. Maybe I’ll finally find the missing Batman Pog and my collection will be complete.

Basement Editorial | The Parable, Valentine’s Edition, Part 2

Back in college, when I was living in the middle house of the campus ministry, His House, my roommate and I put out a newsletter called “The Parable”. In addition to actually useful information, it was a vehicle for our creativity. My roommate did the graphics and I supplied the humor. I ran across the Valentine’s edition as I was cleaning out the basement and thought I’d share. I’m sorry in advance.

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Photo by Stefan Wernli
Photo by Stefan Wernli

Tree Game by Rupert Hickman

Here’s a fun game for road trips! Reach back into the depths of your memory. Root around back there, past the time you fell down the stairs, past the time you pooped your pants at a friend’s house, a little to the left of torturing your siblings, and gaze upon the “Childhood Games” section of your brain. Having a little trouble getting there in your mind? Let me refresh you: Slug Bug, The Alphabet Game, Looking for License Plates, Jeep, Tree, etc.

What’s that? You don’t remember Tree? Well, I guess I’m not surprised. It is relatively new. In fact, my friend and I ripped off the Jeep game and gave it a twist only a few short years ago. Jeep, if you remember, consists of counting every Jeep you see on the road and calling out before others can. The game of Tree follows the same format. Every time someone sees a tree, they yell out, “Tree!” Two people cannot yell for the same tree. The winner is the person who boasts the highest number of trees by the end of the trip.

This is a game everyone in the vehicle can play!

I know what you are thinking. You are saying to yourself, “Why this is such a good idea, I’ll steal it and tell others that it was my good idea, and maybe I’ll even sell the good idea to some important company, and then I’ll get rich off the good idea that I stole! Mwa Ha Ha Ha!”

Well, that is just a bad idea. Believe me, I’ve tried to sell it, but no one seems to understand just how good a game Tree is. Oh well, their loss. Happy Hunting!

Basement Editorial | The Parable, Valentine’s Edition Part 1

j002Back in college, when I was living in the middle house of the campus ministry, His House, my roommate and I put out a newsletter called “The Parable”. In addition to actually useful information, it was a vehicle for our creativity. My roommate did the graphics and I supplied the humor. I ran across the Valentine’s edition as I was cleaning out the basement and thought I’d share. I’m sorry in advance.

Bad Advice with Chico Martinez

This one goes out to all the muchachos out there. Are you a loser at love? Adverse to affection? Disgusting to dames? Loathsome to ladies? Are you trying your hardest but getting nowhere? Well, I’m here to help.

If the average female finds you repulsive, there are precious few things you can do to improve your situation. Fortunately for you, I’ll share what those precious few things are.

Just remember these tips:

  1. Eye contact is very important. If a girl notices you looking at her, she may look away playfully. Keep looking. Some may call this ogling, but what it does is let the girl know that you are interested. But if she leaves the room, don’t chase very far. There are more fish in the sea.
  2. Never stop complimenting a girl. Notice everything and tell her how nice it is, from the shade of the make up covering her acne to the way her feet remind you of little pieces of that expensive cheese that you can’t pronounce. Chicks dig details.
  3. One word: Dollar Store Presents.
  4. Did I mention cash? This may seem a primitive way to operate, but it can be very effective. Every woman has her price. Most are a lot higher than I can afford, but the principle stands true.
  5. Women love a man who isn’t afraid to grovel. I’m not kidding. For a good last resort, beg. As much as we can’t stand a crying woman, they can’t deal with a blubbering mess of a man. The bigger the tears, the better your chances.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go get yourself a valentine! Follow these few techniques and you may be hearing wedding bells before you know it. Either wedding bells, or the sound of handcuffs clicking shut behind your back. Good luck guys!

Basement Editorial | Children’s Book Project with 4th Graders, Part 4

As promised yesterday, here’s the final product. If you want to save it and read it again and again, feel free to download it (bob_the_union_robot).

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Is it the greatest story ever? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Thanks for reading!

Basement Editorial | Children’s Book Project with 4th Graders, Part 3

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Me (right) licking a pan of brownies while Chris (left) works on our project.

As promised in yesterday’s post, here’s my journal entry regarding the letter that Chris wrote to me.

If you haven’t read it, go back and do that first. It’ll help.

Journal Entry #1

I got a letter from Chris. He fights with his sister and claims to be able to beat her with one hand behind his back. He must be very strong indeed.

I wonder why his favorite colors are blue, silver, and black. I find that a little strange, but to each his own I guess.

He likes to water ski. I don’t know how to water ski. He makes me feel inferior. No he doesn’t. I am not jealous. I’m not.

Chris also has a Nintendo 64. I wish I had a Nintendo 64. I’m not jealous though.

I lied to Chris and told him I was manly, but I’m not. I am really more of a band geek than a manly guy, but he doesn’t need to know that.

We didn’t really get a whole lot done other than some lame introductions. I’m not saying that Chris is lame. I’m just saying that making new friends can be hard sometimes. I don’t know how natural it is that a fourth grader and a senior in high school to be good friends, so if Chris and I aren’t, that’s okay.

He doesn’t need me anyway. He has his Nintendo 64 and his water skiing abilities. I’m not jealous. I’m not.

Back in high school, I had a real self-deprecating sense of humor. I think that was cute of me. Today, my humor tends to be on the other end of the spectrum where I enjoy projecting a false aire of confidence. Anyway, come back tomorrow for the story that Chris and I worked on.