Richmond: A year in review

Looking back on 2009, a lot of important stuff happened in Richmond. As I whittled down the list of things to mention, I realized the most important things happened to me, which made writing this so easy it’s stupid.

Looking back on 2009, a lot of important shit happened in Richmond. As I whittled down the list of things to mention, I realized the most important things happened to me, which made writing this so easy it’s stupid.

1. I get fired from Capital Ale House.

Didn’t see that one coming. Apparently their zero-tolerance policy on being tardy more than once a week (on average, over a year) wasn’t just a subtle wink to my sleeping habits. Since my departure, most employees, customers, passers-by, and prospective customers who opted to go to Friday’s instead have spun into a downward spiral of drinking, drug use, womanizing, wanton littering, defaulting on loans, infanticide, ejaculating uncontrollably while watching Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, and losing at Uno on Family Game Night.

2. I plant a garden in my front yard.

Who’s got the prettiest house on the block? Me. My next-door neighbor who drives a sports car and looks like Joakim Noah won’t even look me in the eyes, he is so ashamed. If he did, I bet he’d feel so guilty he’d take a bath with his PS3. To ensure his jealousy, when we are both outside I am sure to stare at my flowers, giving a low whistle that says, “I know. I know. Majestic. If only dirt had a pussy.” I won’t even mention what my garden has done for the Jackson Ward housing market. My neighbor should thank me. Selfish tool.

3. I celebrate Mother’s Day with my mother.*

I went with her to church, and all of Richmond felt an extra skip in their step. I complimented her on her pot roast, and the city’s homeless rate inexplicably dropped. I gave her a Mother’s Day card, and the Good Lord himself felt so inspired he decided to give our city another shot at having our own ball team.

*Actually I was in Norfolk, where my mother lives, although I cannot attest to any benefits felt in that city.

4. I cheer the Detroit Red Wings on to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Richmond and Detroit have always had a special relationship. We drive the cars they manufacture. They smoke the cigarettes we produce. We listen to the White Stripes. They closely watch our job market. So I felt I should take it one step further, by rooting the Red Wings on to the Stanley Cup Finals. Why did I do it? I did it because Detroit needed it. Detroit, you are welcome. Hang in there.

5. I discuss the controversial Obama poster outside Club Velvet.

And decide it would have been more effective if the poster had 3-D boobs.

6. I drive home drunk from Washington DC in a borrowed car with only one cigarette left.

First of all I would like to say that RVANews and its sponsors do not advocate drunk driving. Ever. It is flirting with death. Which is why it is so amazing that I made it back in one piece after that hellishly blurry death-tango of a drive, the only crash coming when I crashed on my friend’s couch. A couch so small I felt like Buddy the Elf. I met this chick at the bar in DC who said she has done every possible sexual deed ever. I tried to ask her to clarify but she couldn’t hear me over the music. I eventually gave up after yelling “I SAID, ‘WHAT ABOUT GOATS'” six times. Did I mention that on this particular trip I didn’t have an ID on me? It’s like climbing Everest without a sherpa. Fuck, it’s like climbing Everest without a jacket.

7. I fill out the paperwork to interview for a job in the Coast Guard, but then forget to go to the meeting with my recruiter.

Did you know the New York Police Department has more people in it than the whole Coast Guard? No wonder the price of nose candy stays relatively low. For the record, I did want the job, it sounded like a real cake walk. The only problem I could see with being in the military is the whole “permission to speak freely” thing. I mean, what’s next? Permission to get drunk and chase my cats around the house? Some decisions are to be made by a man when he knows the time is right.

8. I scare a homeless guy, but then have mixed emotions about my actions.

He was trespassing on a construction site next door to my house, using their portable toilet to defecate. I took some beer bottles and loose change and dropped them from my roof so they smashed right outside the door. He let out a shriek and sort of bobbled around in that sad plastic stenchbox, and then wouldn’t come out, I’m assuming because he was too afraid of the jingle monster. I wanted to coax him out, tell him that it was just a joke or maybe an accident, but it was getting late. I fell asleep that night with an unfamiliar tinge of sadness and guilt. Had I really sunk this low for entertainment? I awoke the next morning feeling fresh and revived, jovially telling the story to a friend over brunch. The guilt had passed overnight, and I became confident that I was probably not in the wrong. Who knows? My friend reminded me that he was trespassing.

9. I go see a movie, enjoy it, and then everyone else goes to see it.

Fact: if every movie were made with me in mind, we’d have a lot of movies that everyone would like. I would have put an alien sex scene in Shrek, a giant spider in Beaches, and the cast of Jaws 2 would have had to do battle with actual sharks. How does that sound? Do you like Point Break? I would have replaced one of Gary Busey’s arms with a giant drill. What else… The Constant Gardner would have a constant erection and Corky Romano would feature the death of Chris Kattan by the hands of Ray Romano, who turns out to be his evil twin.

10. On Halloween it rains cats and dogs, but I do not care because I go dressed as a fisherman.

Everywhere I look there is another whiny, knuckle-fucked slut worried about her makeup running and her costume getting ruined. Some are crying, most are drunk, all are hanging on to their boyfriends who, regardless of what they dressed up as, all seem to look like some sort of wet Jesus. I, in my raincoat and galoshes, take all this in, as I sip on a delicious ice cold beverage.

I would like to thank everyone who helped me make this year a memorable one not just for myself but for everyone everywhere. I would also like to thank the Detroit Red Wings and the cast of Inglourious Basterds, for being so hospitable to me so many times. I would like to thank the homeless guy for what he threw in to the mix, the Virginia State Police for recognizing that shit was under control, Club Velvet for never giving up on the dream of ‘Titties inside, Politics outside’ America, Capital Ale House for reminding me that getting drunk after getting fired is pretty fun but can be embarrassing if you end up at Fuego Latin Nightclub and can’t tell the men apart from the women, and the United States Coast Guard for keeping America’s waters so safe it is not even funny.

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Christopher Elford

Christopher Elford is a Canadian-born waiter, writer, and comedian who enjoys playing a game called “Drink When You’re Unhappy.” He lives in Richmond, Virginia with his two cats and would love to do stand-up at your next garden or office party.

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