The Life of Rob: Part 12

Welcome back to part 12! The year is 1999. ’99 was a busy year. Still living in the ghetto. I was working my first job at Peter Piper Pizza.

Peter Piper Pizza would mark the beginning of being dependant on only myself. I was learning how to “Adult” & getting used to it. The following year I would move out to be on my own. I felt like I didn’t have anyone to lean on when I needed help with money. Sometimes I would be broke. Even though I was working, sometimes I couldn’t afford decent food, money for gas, medical issues, or things like truck repairs. My Mom was always broke. I hated asking my Grandparents for money, or asking anyone for that matter. I definitely wasnt going to ask the rest of the family, who I felt like I was getting more & more distant with at this time.

I just never saw much of my family. I’m not blaming them or even myself. It just didn’t happen on either end. When I was younger I would see them. But as I grew into my late teens, I faded away from most of my family. I’m not sure how it really happened. We just grew apart. After thinking about it, maybe I blame myself a little? Later, after getting a vehicle, I couldve taken initiative. My mind was also crammed with other problems & ambitions. In hindsight, I could blame it on being a punk teenager maybe. I never went to family functions or hung out with anyone except occasionally my cousin Bill & his Mom. (And my grandparents of course) They’ll never know how much I actually thought about them all though.

So yeah, I was working. I wanted out of the house badly. I learned to man up, stay working, keep my head above water, & take care of business myself. It was a pain to get to & from work some days. I was craving a vehicle more than ever. I finally saved up enough to buy this old beat up 80’s Camaro. The brakes on this thing were NOT reliable. I’m not sure really what I was thinking when I bought it, but I was a desperate teenager. At this time, I didn’t know much about cars. My cousin Glen was the family mechanic. Now a days, I do most of my own repairs.

I learned a lot not having the money to take my vehicles to a shop & being forced to do the work myself. It was a pain to scrape up the money for a used part much less taking it to a shop like normal people might do. So I buy this Camaro. Because of its near useless brakes, I was so scared of driving it. After buying it, I asked Jason to drive it home. I planned to fix the brakes later. I bought the thing for like $600 cash or something. You had to pump it to a stop. The brakes didn’t have much stopping power. One day the thing decided to lunge forward on its own without me pushing the gas. This thing had problems.

I had a “car” but I was still bumming rides off of people. I would love the Camaro if we could just get it running decently. I wish I had kept it, but I ended up returning it. Soon after I bought another piece of shit Camaro, that I also ended up returning. I liked Camaros back then if you couldn’t tell, but I couldn’t afford a decent one. I was getting frustrated. I had a job but it didn’t pay enough to get ahead easily. After getting a job, I would get used to paying for my own food & everything else for that matter. Man those were the days when I didn’t have to pay for much of anything! Sometimes you don’t appreciate what you have until its gone.

Well, my Grandma knew of my struggles. My Grandma was driving my grandpa’s old truck at the time but she didn’t care much for the big truck. She wanted a car. So for my Birthday, she surprised me one day & gave me the truck! (Technically I paid $100 on it & paid to get the title switched over) I had never been given such a big gift before. I was overjoyed. This opened up a world of freedom to me. A ride & a job were the tools of my fucking salvation! The truck was a 1984 blue & white Ford F-150 V8. My Grandma & Grandpa had taken pretty good care of it. It had an old 8 track player in it.

If I remember right, Totsie later helped me install a CD player. Totsie had learned a lot about car audio from his… street exploits. Well just leave it at that. I learned a lot just watching Totsie & his brother “Bubba” mess with car audio. I started to grow closer to Bubba around this time. I learned enough to make more progress learning about it on my own. Now a days, I install most of my own car audio stuff. I’ve had A LOT of vehicles over the years to practice on! I also learned a lot from another “activity”, which ill touch on in a bit. But I had a truck! I drove that sucker to death. Literally to death, when it threw a rod a few years later. But at the time, I could now drive to work, to Decatur, to Saginaw, wherever I wanted! I don’t understand some kids these days that don’t care about driving. I couldn’t wait to drive & have freedom. But to each their own.

Now that I had a truck I was trying to figure out a living situation. I really couldn’t afford an apartment by myself. But I kept working. I had my first bills. Auto Insurance, registration, truck repairs, & I also got a pager. For you kids that don’t know what a pager was it was a small plastic device that people could call & input a number to show on the “Screen” of the pager. My friends & family would communicate with me on it. We had a few codes for different things. I would have to drive to the nearest payphone anytime that I received a page. I still couldn’t afford a cell phone just yet. I also bought myself a damn heater for my room. My Mom pleaded with me not to, because she’s crazy & thought it would burn the house down. Well after they saw that it wasnt going to burn the house down & saw how much more comfortable it made things… Frank got jealous of mine, so I had to buy his dumb ass one. My Mom & Frank used the same one.

Let me tell ya about their sleeping arrangement. My Mom slept on a mattress, on the floor, in the living room. I also did not have a box spring or frame, just a mattress on the floor in my room. Frank took the only real bed in the house. however he placed it in the hallway that connected my room to everywhere else in the house. Let me tell you the complications of this. Frank often slept butt ass naked. It was hot in the house in the summer. It was just as hot inside as it was outside. So there Frank would be… A huge mess of flesh, body hair, & ass. Sleeping naked in the damn hallway. As if I needed any more mental scars. He didn’t do much to hide himself. What… the… fuck… Anytime that I would need to go anywhere he would know & often times he would be naked.

If I needed to go to the bathroom, he was there nude. Kitchen? He was there nude. Outside? He was there nude. A lot of times when I would pass by, he would make me do stuff. No not that kind of stuff. He would make me fetch him a refill of tea, or heat up something in the microwave, or whatever little bullshit he could think of to annoy & boss me around. I started to stay away from the house as much as I could. I would come home just to sleep or play games. I stayed at friends houses a lot also.

Some years back, when I was younger, I made a little “robot” out of a tin can & stuff lying around. It had a little gear on it that looked like a saw. I told Frank that I was making it to help him with is yard work, which was his “job”. Well he shot me down saying something like, “That thing could never help me”. Once, in an attempt to be shown some love or attention, I bent an old spoon that was laying in the yard to try to impress him. He just replied something like, “Oh that’s nothing”. I think he added that “I wasnt strong” or something of that nature.

It was just years of this type of negative attitude. Youre not supposed to shoot a kid down like that. Youre an even bigger piece of shit if you do it on a daily basis for years on end during the kids growth. There were a few times when he would get mad where I thought he was going to hit me, but I must say, he never actually did. Probably only because he knew my Mom would leave his ass if he did. He did not care about me. I was the baggage attached to my Mom. My Mom & Grandparents didn’t treat me the way he did. My real family always built me up & said positive things. Frank was a monster. When he dies, I will have to struggle with myself to not celebrate. I will try to be a better person about it, but its going to be hard. I do not like that fucking trash of a human being. Ok, moving on…

Around this time I was also going through another “phase”. Lets backtrack to 1997 for a sec. I remember it was me & Jason reading a Game Pro magazine once. We saw an add for a music group called the Insane Clown Posse. It was a sliver of an add running vertical along the page. It was like these 2 wicked clowns & one had a voodoo staff. I remember thinking it looked bad ass & they had a crazy gimmick going on. It piqued my curiosity. I took a mental note of it. The next time we went to Blockbuster Music (Which might have been called Sound Warehouse at the time. It later changed to Blockbuster Music.) I sought this Insane Clown Posse Great Milenko CD out. I found it & took it to the counter to listen to it. I was expecting a more hardcore sound, but this shit was hilarious. It was kinda hardcore, but mostly hilarious.

Jose was with us also. I made Jason & Jose listen to it. They loved it. I think we listen to the whole damn album that day. Every song on the CD was great. I wondered why we never heard about them anywhere else. They were good in my opinion. It was definitely different. Well before we left Jose had somehow stolen a copy. We went to Jason’s house after. Jason went to the bathroom. Me & Jose were sitting in Jason’s trailer in the back. Jose busted out the CD out of nowhere, so we started blasting it. Jason came out of the bathroom confused on how we were listening to it. The Juggalo age had begun…

We discovered the other albums after that. Jose would steal them all, mostly from Best Buy. Later I would buy them all on CD. I would lay in bed for hours listening to the albums. The Riddlebox was my favorite & remains my favorite to this day. We would get online & read about them & read about how they would shower the crowd with Faygo soda. We later found Faygo soda at a Fiesta Grocery store & drank it all the time. We were unknowingly transforming into Juggalos (ICP’s fan base). So from ’97 to the current year in my story of ’99, we saturated ourselves with ICP music. We had all kinda merch (merchandise), shirts, posters, you name it. This infatuation for ICP would later snow ball into crazy proportions…

So back to 1999… Me, Jason, & Jose were all working at Peter Piper Pizza. Jason’s cousin Bubba was also working there. Bubba was a pretty charismatic funny guy. Well ICP came out with a new album call The Jeckel Brothers. I liked most tracks on it. They were also doing a tour for it. We hear that they’re coming to Dallas. Well I have a truck & we all have jobs so we get our tickets. Tickets were cheap back then, like $25 total or so. When the concert came around, a lot of us went. Me, Jason, Jason’s cousins, Jose, our friend Damien, & our other friend Adrian. I took some in my truck & Totsie took the rest in his station wagon. In preparation we bought disposable cameras, brought the Faygo, bumped ICP all the way there, & painted our faces. Everyone’s face looked good except mine. I looked like a sad member of Kiss or maybe some cheap Rodeo Clown…

I remember it raining that night. I’ll try my best to comment on it as I may have drunk a little & smoked a mystery blunt from the crowd… but that’s purely speculation. …Only I really did though. Later I was told the blunt was laced, but I didn’t know with what. We had fun. I don’t think I drove home, can’t remember. So anyway, we get there. Outside the venue which was in Deep Elum, in Dallas… (This was when Deep Elum was hoppin & rougher than it is today) Anyway, there’s a long line of painted up freaks, Juggalos, Juggalettes, bearded ladies, & all manner of monstrosities. It was great though. Juggalos generally don’t judge. They welcome freaks & other outcasts. Somehow a pic has survived all of these years with most of us standing up against the Jeckel Brothers tour bus.

It was my first “real” concert. We got to meet a ton of other Juggalos. At this time we didn’t see many around. Now they’re everywhere. Juggalos maintain a family like relationship. Even though they’ve never met, you’re still in the Juggalo “Family”. I have never witnessed a fan base like this. The only thing that I might be able to compare it to is the stories I’ve heard about KISS fans. Only this was amplified 100 fold. Nothing compares to a ICP concert. To introduce this right, let me go back a tad, yet again…

In about 1998 or so, ICP was connected to another 2 man music group called Twiztid. It was similar music style but also very different. If that makes sense. I remember first hearing Twizted with Jason at the Tandy Center Mall in downtown Fort Worth. They were great. They had a slightly more serious tone & to be honest, I thought they were slightly better rappers, but that’s just my opinion. Both ICP & Twizted were great. Twizted ended up signing to ICPs record label & touring with them. They were a package. Ok, back to the concert…

So were in this small venue. It’s packed sardine tight with Juggalos. Juggalettes are whipping titties out already. Alcohol, weed, & drugs are everywhere. Joints were being passed around the crowd. Twiztid is opening for ICP. Finally, the show starts. We were all fairly close to the front. I lost track of most of my friends though. I remember the very first song Twizted did was 2nd Hand Smoke. They busted on stage with that song hitting hard. Juggalos were jumping around moshing hard right off the bat. Juggalos were climbing the rafters, slapping faces, punching titties. Juggalettes were half-naked. I coulda swore I saw someone juggling shit. Was that a midget? Right off the fuckin bat! No warm up bitch. It was madness, I loved it.

Twiztid did their set, it was incredible awesome, & then ICP came on. I didn’t think it could get any more “turnt up”, but Holy fish titts Bat-Man, hold onto your fucking socks… I was already wore out from Twiztid’s madness. I was trying to catch my breath. I made sure I still had my wallet & my last nad. Well ICP came on & started soaking the crowd with Faygo soda right off the bat & it wouldn’t let up THE ENTIRE SHOW. I had heard the legend but I was now soaked in the legend. It was cold & felt great. Except when the occasional 2 liter would clock you in the dome. They would shake up 2 liters, spray it on the crowd, & throw the bottles into the crowd. They later had super soakers so you couldn’t get away. I remember reading about them being banned from venues for destroying the venue with Faygo & the rowdiness of the Juggalos.

The crowd was so packed. I would be pinned in between multiple people so tight that I could pick my feet off the ground & be held suspended in the air in place. It really is a different concert experience. So at the end of this concert they let the Juggalos get up on stage. I wasnt close enough, but some of my friends got up there. Adrian tried to peak in the back & Madrox from Twiztid threw a mic at him. It was great. You come out of a ICP show soaked in Faygo, exhausted from fun & physical activity, into the cold night half drunk, with a bunch of crazy motherfuckers. But people who all consider you a friend. The entire area is bumping Twiztid & ICP in their vehicles. For just a while, the Juggalos owned the streets. The Dark Carnival was in town. We would go to many more Psychopathic Records concerts for years to come. The concert only amplified our love for ICP, Twizted, Blaze, ABK, & all of Psychopathic Records. The Juggalo age was upon us… 






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