Marika Malaea

faithful marauder + fake royal

Doofus: Story of a Dreamer

with 18 comments

I used to work for AmeriCorps, though technically I worked for a vocational school as a tutor and GED-prep teacher. If you’ve never heard of AmeriCorps, chances are you’re a lazy Satanist who probably hates the homeless, because AmeriCorps volunteers help our world and stuff. For those of you who’ve actually worked for AmeriCorps, you’re probably laughing your face off at the thought of you actually caring for the homeless. In AmeriCorps, ‘caring’ wasn’t your job but ‘unnecessary paperwork’ and ‘fucking off’ probably was.

AmeriCorps, for those in the back, is a U.S. federal government program that partners with non-profits, public agencies, and faith-based organizations that was created under Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend by the blah-blah-Act of 1993. The work done by these groups ranges from public education to environmental clean-up to pretending that the sun rises and sets from the exhilarating ass crack of AmeriCorps, all while getting paid less than $700 a month. I did them all.

I was on an AmeriCorps team with three other people:  Mole Girl, Crazy, and Doofus. They were each special in their own way.  Mole Girl was one of those unfortunate girls who would never be considered pretty in her life – all the Oprah makeovers in the world couldn’t help – but she didn’t really care because she already had a boyfriend. When her boyfriend inevitably cheated on her, she broke up with him for three days, taking him back after he proposed sans engagement ring, stating ‘it was probably time to get married anyways.’ Crazy nicknamed her Mole Girl because he said she looked a newborn baby mole, the kind that resembles a blind, sniffly pink penis. I did not disagree.

Mole Girl would have said these things about herself, in order of importance:

1.  She’s a good Catholic.

2.  She’s a good Catholic wife and a good Catholic mother.

3.  She’s glad she waited to have sex  until after she was married.  (She didn’t.)

Crazy was named for exactly what he was:  Bat. Shit. Crazy. He was prone to fits of meth-fueled violence. He drunkenly tattooed himself at least four times in the one year I knew him. He was  smarter than anyone I had ever met – but he also believed in weird conspiracy theories, his own  immortality, and that a free-loving sexual revolution in which he was the main attraction was coming down the pipeline in the very near future.  He thrived on his open, very dependent, terrifying marriage to a young girl named Bitch, although I was only allowed to call her ‘Heidi.’ (I learned that one the hard way.)

Crazy would have said three things, in no order of importance:

1)  The Illuminati is REAL and if we don’t do something SOON they will take over our WORLD as sure as they’re taking over our pulpits, politics, and economy. THEY MUST BE STOPPED.

2)  His wife is totally down for a threesome, if you want to hook that up. In fact, she’s fucking some janky conservative douchebag right now, and look at Crazy – he don’t even care! She can fuck who she wants! That’s how healthy their relationship is – who needs trust when you can be open about your philandering? That’s REAL HONESTY, that’s REAL LOVE.

3)  It’s been scientifically-proven that hanging around Doofus will give you cancer or AIDS or a flesh-eating virus, just by sitting in the same room with him. Conclusion:  Doofus is dangerous to your health.

I named him Doofus because he was as dumb as a box of  amputated doll parts, and just about as useful. We also called him Fuckface behind his back when he wasn’t pulling his weight, which was pretty much always. Doofus was known for being the world’s most amazing liar – he was also the world’s worst liar. I loathed his lies so much, I almost kind of liked them – he provided a wealth of free entertainment to me, every single day.

When he said he was a black belt in karate (he said it like ‘ka-da-TAY!’, with an actual karate-chop hand movement), I wondered if he was telling the truth; kicking ass, martial arts-style, didn’t seem plausible for his soft body or lumbering walk, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

When he told me his sister had a rare blood disease, I felt sorry for him. He showed me a photo of her; she didn’t look sick, but some people never do. He said that doctors were working around the clock trying to figure out how to help her. I thought it was sweet that a 20-year old kid was concerned about his younger sister. I patted Doofus on the shoulder sympathetically; he just shook his head and looked away.

When he said he studied Archeology at Clover Park High School, I thought maybe he meant Architecture or something else starting with ‘A’ – because, yeah, Architecture is a common high school requirement, right after Blow Jobs 101. Then he cleared up any miscommunication:  he hadn’t studied Archeology at Clover Park, he’d studied in Egypt at The Pyramids through a very generous grant for students who show a lot of aptitude in the Archeology sciences. When I asked what the Archeology sciences were – knowing the answer was ‘Archaeometry’ – he just rolled his eyes and waved his hand at me condescendingly. “It’s just so hard to explain,” he said.

That’s when I asked for some clarification on his sister. When I brought it up he looked confused, as most fabricators do when they can’t keep their stories straight.

Me:  So what kind of rare blood disease does your sister have again?

Doofus:  Oh, that! Yeah, ah, it’s awful.

Me:  Right. So what was it?

Doofus:  Well, um, that’s the terrible part. My sister’s blood type is so rare that they don’t even know what it is yet.

Me:  I see.

This kid was a tutor to people becoming nurses, truck drivers, chefs, teachers – he was a tutor for actual humans, not that you’d ever see him work. I had so much extra crap to do because of his sloth-like daily routine. There were six-foot long tables in the tutoring center, so he would climb on top of one when he arrived and sleep for most of the morning. Upon waking, he would do what I now call ‘that gratuitous Will Ferrell yawn,’ a five-minute yawn that gets wider and more ridiculous the longer you watch. Then he would grab his diet orange soda (“Gotta stick to diet soda since I’m training to be a cage fighter”), shuffle over to the computer, go to his favorite cartoon erotica website, and settle in ’til lunch.

Yes, I said ‘cartoon erotica website.’  When pressed for an answer, he called it ‘an anime site.’ I think he meant to convey that it was all above-board. He explained this porn site to me in the same exaggerated tone of patience one uses for the mentally handicapped:  “This isn’t a porn site – this is just excellent writing that happens to relay the heightened intimacy between a 12-legged robotic octopus and a Sailor Moon costume-wearing underage Asian girl who’s flexible and frightened.”  I tried explaining that the computers belonged to, you know, the government, and that they took spank-bank websites quite seriously. He explained to my face that he was, in fact, a master computer hacker (LIE) and that they’d never even know. They knew within a month, and our computer privileges were temporarily taken away. No one ever confessed to ratting him out [enter innocent whistling here], but I suspect it was Colonel Mustard in the Library with The Candlestick.

Excessively tall tales get old pretty quick, but not with Doofus – he was outrageously entertaining. I particularly enjoyed how he would make up random facts (LIES) to support his statements (MORE LIES). One day, Doofus told us that he was a ‘spice guy’ – this led to a lot of shrieking and an impromptu Spice Girls singalong – and that he used red snapper flakes on all of his food.

Me: You mean red pepper flakes, right?

Doofus: No, I mean red snapper flakes.

Crazy: No, you mean red pepper flakes.

Doofus: I know what I mean – I’m talking about red snapper flakes.

Me: No one puts fish flakes on their food. It just isn’t done. And fish aren’t spicy like that.

Doofus: Red Snapper is known to be the spiciest fish in the sea.

Apparently, it’s common knowledge that red snapper is RED – and red means HOT – and hot means DANGER – and danger means SPICY – and spicy means I PUT RED SNAPPER FLAKES ON MY CEREAL, GUYS. That’s how his pea brain worked. When faced with actual truths or real information, Doofus would dig in his heels and spew forth a litany of falsehoods, each one more fantastical than the last. I admired his commitment to lying when he wasn’t doing it directly to my face.

The master computer hacker couldn’t log into his Livejournal account one day because he couldn’t figure out where the password went. True story. When I finally showed him how, he said his eyesight was failing him (LIE) because of a botched Lasik surgery (LIE) and that he was suing the doctor for hundreds of thousands of dollars (LIE). I wondered aloud why he didn’t wear glasses if the surgery was so “botched” and, like clockwork, he showed up the next day in plastic horn-rimmed glasses with no prescription lenses. He kept taking them off and thoughtfully cleaning them with his sweaty t-shirt, looking through them with concern and  making a big show of it.

Me: Do those even have prescription lenses in them?

Doofus: (defensively) YES.

Crazy: Do they even HAVE lenses?

Doofus: (defensively) YES.

Me: Are you near-sighted or far-sighted?

Doofus: Well, see, that’s an interesting story–

Mole Girl: Nope. You’re either one or the other.

Crazy: Let me guess. You’re some kind of medical fucking phenomenon that smells and hears with your X-ray eyes.

Doofus: No, but I do have telekinesis.

Me:  Of course you do.

Turns out, when pressed to make things move with his mind, he didn’t have telekinesis – he’d mixed it up with telepathy. Because MOVING OBJECTS WITH THE POWER OF THOUGHT and READING MINDS is the same thing, especially when they start with the same letter in the alphabet. The next day, he came in with reading glasses from RiteAid, the ten-dollar bifocal kind. He wore them like an 85-year old champion, sliding them to the end of his nose and holding his book at arms’ length – he’d turned into Wilford fucking Brimley overnight. I expected him to grow a mustache and fart in public, like most grannies do, but he didn’t stay long enough for the transformation to occur. I guess wearing bifocals when you don’t actually need them can give you a massive headache, so Doofus went home early. He was gently encouraged to dump the bifocals after I said they were actually glasses for women – I sat on that information for at least three hours, just for my own amusement – and then he was all-the-way encouraged after Crazy told him the attached rhinestone chain was ‘hella fuckin’ gay.’ He never wore glasses again, much to my dismay. I loved how those glasses drove Mole Girl insane – she even hid them at one point, but he found them right away. I told her to hide them wherever he should be working, because he would never find them there. He replied, “HA HA ASSHOLES, AND WHERE WOULD THAT BE?” He didn’t even know where he worked in the room.

When he left for the day, we celebrated by ordering pizza, and put it on Doofus’ credit card that Crazy had stolen while Mole Girl was in the bathroom. I just wanted free pizza but looking back through experienced eyes, I now see that I was an accomplice to Crazy’s illegal wrongdoing. A hungry, adorable, unknowing accomplice.

If Doofus could tell you three things about himself, it would have been these, in order of importance:

1)  The book deal he had for that sci-fi novel he wrote fell through because he was taking care of his mentally ill mother at Western State Hospital. He also did some time there after ‘seriously fucking up some Army dudes on base’ – but they put him in the hospital to make sure he wouldn’t hurt any more innocent people, and not because he was crazy.

2)  His life is a lot like Batman’s. Everybody says so.

3)  His girlfriend lives in Canada – they met at Niagara Falls. Here’s a picture of her – why is it ripped out of a magazine? Because she’s a model, that’s why. What’s her last name? Real models don’t have last names.

I haven’t thought about these people in years.  We don’t keep in touch, and I won’t look for them on Facebook. We were like an awkward family filled with the crappy, leftover family members that no one really wants, so it’s no surprise that we didn’t really like each other. We never would have hung out in real life because we had nothing in common, except for hating both our jobs and Doofus equally. My AmeriCorps experience was pretty common for what it was:  doing good work for very little pay or recognition, much like anything in the service industry. But I like to think I had a crackpot team of freaks that made the bullshit worthwhile; three unique people behind literally hundreds of hilarious anecdotes for me to use in the future. And look: the future is now.

In my own way, I miss Mole Girl, Crazy, and Fuckface. Thanks to them, I will always have laughs.

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18 Responses

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  1. Awesome story! I will keep an eye out for your forthcoming book deal which I assume will be an in-depth expose about your time with Americorps.

    Manthony

    April 22, 2009 at 6:41 PM

  2. O_M_G how did you keep a straight face? Must have been desensitized or something.

    jenniferlg

    April 22, 2009 at 6:48 PM

  3. AmeriCorps made me a stripper. That is, when I couldn’t subsist in Seattle on my AmeriCorps stipend, I removed clothing for cash. And lots of it. So there, AmeriCorps.

    Fortunately “AmeriCorpses” (as we called ourselves) could have another form of employment. Vista people could not. So that second year that I thought I’d be a Vista, I ended up quitting to go “full time” with the peepshow. So there, Vista. In your face, National Service. All y’all.

    Jenny

    April 22, 2009 at 8:02 PM

  4. Oh my God, Jenny. I’m peeing my pants with stripper-related laughter.

    sn0tteh

    April 22, 2009 at 9:35 PM

  5. All that cocaine Botox.

    sn0tteh

    April 22, 2009 at 9:36 PM

  6. I will remember you in my memoirs, Manthony.

    sn0tteh

    April 22, 2009 at 9:36 PM

  7. OMFG, I so need a t-shirt that reads, “Red snapper is known to be the spiciest fish in the sea”

    Matt

    April 23, 2009 at 3:30 AM

  8. YES.

    sn0tteh

    April 23, 2009 at 6:31 AM

  9. I imply nothing. I’ve had red snapper. It’s not made into red snapper flakes. It’s made into a nice white fish that goes good with Chardonnay. And the red skin they have comes from all the shrimp they eat, like flamingos. So I guess red snapper is like the flamingo of the sea.

    sn0tteh

    April 23, 2009 at 5:14 PM

  10. Ha ha, right – but there has to be spicier fish in the sea, attitude-wise. Sharks? Jellyfish? Stingrays?

    sn0tteh

    April 23, 2009 at 6:17 PM

  11. Oh shit, don’t be startin’ nuthin,’ shark be all, like, “Bitch, dont even THINK you’re gonna be spicier than me–I’ll EAT you, bitch.”

    The jellyfish, though, will just lay there and whimper, so good call.

    Matt

    April 23, 2009 at 7:05 PM

  12. “…and spicy means I PUT RED SNAPPER FLAKES ON MY CEREAL, GUYS.”

    ok. i read this about fifteen times, because each time I read it I bust a fucking gut, and because when I do that while sitting at the computer my boyfriend looks at me like I’m a particularly benign and entertaining schizo, which makes me laugh harder, which is a good thing when I’m bleeding like a halal cow.

    ktxbai.

    konichiwa, bitches.

    April 25, 2009 at 5:24 PM

  13. I compliment from you is a compliment from all of Germany. Thank you, Germany.

    sn0tteh

    April 25, 2009 at 10:55 PM

  14. Bitte schön, Ravenna.

    konichiwa, bitches.

    April 29, 2009 at 12:12 PM

  15. *beam* Hilarity. Thanks!

    AltF4LJDrama

    July 16, 2009 at 7:20 PM

  16. OMG! I googled “red snapper +spiciest fish in the sea” and got this as the first result. LMAO! Today at work, someone said something about red sanpper and I said, “known to be the spiciest fish in the sea” and they were like… “Really?! I never knew that!”

    Meagan Leigh

    April 24, 2010 at 11:30 PM


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