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Joe Verses the North

Last year, I moved from Winston-Salem, NC to a small town about 40 minutes or so north of Pittsburgh. I’ve always lived south of the Mason-Dixon line, so the move up north was a bit of a gut punch to my sensibilities. The first thing I noticed about living up here is how different northerners are from southerners. I don’t just mean personalities, I mean every fucking thing is different. The people up here are (for lack of a better word) harder than the people down south. Seriously, it took me all of about a week to figure out why these fuckers won the Civil War. I think it may be the unreasonably cold winters here that toughens these bastards up. The men here are manly men, and the women are too.They pee standing up, I’ll bet. Image

Having mentioned the unreasonably cold winters, did you know it can fucking snow in the middle of June? I didn’t. I do now, but I didn’t. There should be some sort of pamphlet that you can pick up at the tourism board that says it snows about eight months out of the year here. Just something like a little F.Y.I., it doesn’t have to be anything special, just something that says, “Hey! If you like freezing to death in 26 feet of snow, you’re going to love October through June!”  They could even go a bit more subtle, and go with “There’s a reason our women have hair on their balls.” Something. Fuck.

The other thing I noticed is that the north seems to have a monopoly on names with heavy “Ch” sounds, and names that are missing vowels and shit. A name from the south might be Davidson, Johnson, Harris, Brown, or Smith. A name from here could be Dloubek, Czczeknik, Obleckski, Obernich, or Kpusta. Where the fuck did these people come from that hated using vowels? Buy a vowel.  Hell, buy two, they’re on me.

Also, they don’t have regular sweet tea here. What the fuck, people? The war is over, it’s okay to carry a few regional customs across state lines. Get your shit together, and put some sugar in your tea. Who wants to drink unsweetened tea? A typical exchange in any restaurant here goes something like this:

  “Sir, can I get you a drink?”

“Sure, I’d like a sweet tea.”

(Looking around as though I’d just asked for the head of the queen on a pike) “Sir, we don’t serve sweet tea. I can get you a raspberry tea. It’s sweetened.”

“True. It is sweetened. It also tastes like fucking raspberries. An easier way to get sweet tea would be to just dump some sugar in regular tea while it’s hot. The heat will dissolve the sugar, and what do you know?! You have sweet tea!”

“I can bring you some packets of sugar for your unsweet tea.”

“Thanks, but no thank you. Do you have Coke?”

“Pepsi okay?”

Yes, Pepsi will be fine. While you’re at it, can you find me the reason I gave up the sun and sweet tea, and friendly people to move up here to this fucking Klondike?

Morning Shift Assholes

I know this is going to come as a tremendous shock to any of you that are familiar with me at all, but people tend to irritate the fuck out of me. Most recently, it’s been the cast of freak show rejects that work the morning shift at my work. I generally work the nightshift, which is why I haven’t been able to spend more time with the greatest group of readers around…(the Hey Joe’s Geniuses). Anyway, the shift rotation at work is laid out as follows: Midnight 11pm – 7am, Daylight 7am – 3pm, and Afternoon 3pm – 11pm. My department rotates shifts each week. I trade my daylight shift each week for midnight. I can’t handle daylight. There are just too many things present on daylight that irritate the everloving fuck out of me…upper management, for example. Another example is the rest of upper management. Finally, there’s the daylight assholes. These freaks show up anywhere from 6am-6:50 am every morning. They are always smiling like they’re actually happy to be awake at that time of day, drinking something (moonshine, or vodka probably) out of a 56 ounce coffee mug.


I just don’t get how an entire shift of people can possibly be so fucking hard to look at…

Where was I? Oh yes…so the freakshow people with their ridiculously large coffee mugs show up, and they are laughing and smiling like our jobs don’t suck. This further supports my idea that they are actually getting hammered with whatever is in those tanks they keep showing up with in hand. Like just the other morning, one of these beauty contestants had the nerve to come over to me and say the shittiest thing I could think to say to a midnight guy; “Good morning! It’s a beautiful day outside!” To which I responded, “Because now, all of you are in here.”  He turned around to his buddy Igor or Lurch (I think that’s his name), laughed like I told a killer joke and followed with “Man you crack me up every morning!”

Yeah? Really? I’ll tell ya what, I’m bringing donuts in for you unfortunate, happy bastards tomorrow. We’ll see if I’m still funny. For those that don’t understand the reference, or maybe you’ve forgotten…


Just Give Me My Coffee, Honey Boo Boo…

For those of you that know me relatively well,(or not at all) it will come as no surprise that on most days of my life the only thing that prevents me from being a mass murderer is iced coffee. Seriously, I drink the shit like it’s going to kill me if I don’t. I don’t necessarily do it merely for the taste, I do it because of the caffeine and sugar. It keeps my energy up enough to allow me to bitch about the things that need bitched about. Bad drivers, for example, or  morning people…or the person that sells me my iced coffee (in this case).

Each day I struggle with whether or not it’s going to be worth the effort of getting out of bed, suiting up, and saving the world. I know what you’re thinking…”You expect me to believe that you save the world every day?” The answer is an emphatic “Fuck yeah, how else would you still be here reading this if I didn’t?” Damn…get with the program. Anyway, Yesterday was a bit different. I work the midnight shift this week, so instead of waking up, and going to work, I’m waking up, and coming home from work. On my way, I like to stop at the store near my house and buy a half-gallon of iced coffee. For whatever reason, the management of said fine establishment decided to throw me a change up from my routine yesterday. In lieu of the hot girl that normally works 7-3, they threw in a sub…I mean a fucking sub…like a German U-boat. The kind of shit that’ll wreck your day. As I approach the checkout lane, I immediately realize something is amiss…the light fragrance of heaven is replaced by something in the neighborhood of old, and desperation. Already…I’m a bit nervous. This isn’t going to be the exchange that I look forward to starting my day with. Once in line, I see the issue. Apparently, through some oversight, Miss September has been replaced with a lady I can only refer to as “Honey Boo Boo fucked up”.

This trainwreck in Express Aisle 3 is staring at me with her “good eye”. I think… She starts up a conversation with asking if the iced coffee is all I need. I’ve never wished so bad in my life that I had an entire shopping list in my pocket to hand her, so I could say “Nope…I’m gonna need you to run and grab the rest of it though”. Unfortunately, the surprise change in casting for this little nightmare left me unprepared. “Yep.” was all that I had.This is the trainwreck’s cue to begin a soliloquy on her grandson, and something about a car. I try to look interested, but I’m pretty sure by about 9:15 when she’s halfway through her fucking life story, I fell asleep. When I woke up, she was staring at me…or not. I can’t really tell when people that need a front end alignment on their eyes is looking at me. I wasn’t sure what she’d said, so I hand her my debit card. she’s still staring at me (I think) when she swipes my card. There was a bit of an awkward silence between us. To break it up, she decides to strike up another conversation. At this point, she’s holding my card hostage, forcing me to continue to stand there in Not-so-Express Aisle 3, and interact with her. It was a strange conversation. Something about do I need a bag. I told her no, and she returned my card without having to get a SWAT team and negotiator involved. By this time, I’d been around this lady long enough to be convinced that she isn’t actually even looking at me. I look around, and find that I’m the only one in the store except her, and some guy rearranging the magazines two aisles over. I take my coffee, and begin to leave. Then it occurs to me that tomorrow, I may have to go through this shit again…I started to ask the Aisle 3 trainwreck if she would be there tomorrow, but left it alone.

Hey Joe! Presents: Fun With Hitchhikers!

Hello! I’m back…this time for good. The ride is over, and I’ve exited the vehicle. It’s time to get back to doing what I do: helping you get the most out of bad situations you’ve created for yourself! Tonight, I’d like to discuss a dying species: the hitchhiker. Hitchhikers are far more scarce these days than in the 60’s and 70’s, but if you’re fortunate enough to find one, I can help!

The general arrangement between driver and hitchhiker is this: “Hey Bro, you’re headed (pick a direction), I’d like to share your vehicle space, while offering nothing back except the vague aroma of marijuana from my jacket. You won’t kill me, I won’t kill you, and you can drop me wherever you want, or where I need to get out – whichever comes first. Deal?”

Now that the basics are covered, let’s begin…Image

1. The Short Trip – This particular move is one of my all-time favorites! Essentially, you pull over to the side of the road and allow the hitchhiker to approach your vehicle. As is always the rule, when the handle is reached for, pull the vehicle forward several feet, and stop. Repeat until no longer amused. Once the derelict victim rider has entered the vehicle, pull the vehicle forward a couple feet, and stop again. Do this several times,totaling around 15 feet before explaining that sometimes the vehicle “Needs a little push” in order to get moving again. Ask him to oblige. Once he exits the vehicle, and begins to walk to the rear of the vehicle, simply accelerate back into the lane, and leave.

2. The Heist – This one occurs whenever you happen to pick up a hitchhiker on the highway near a bank. As stated before, perform necessary pull forward maneuver, and allow bum car-less asshole rider to enter vehicle. Explain that you’ll take him wherever he needs to go, but you absolutely HAVE to stop by the bank first. Upon arriving at the bank, reach into back seat, and grab backpack. Go inside, and ask if you can use the restroom. As you are about to exit the bank, put on ski mask. Run to the vehicle, and accelerate away at break-neck speed. Remove ski-mask,and calmly ask passenger for a destination while speeding away from the bank.

3. The Narcoleptic – Simple enough…Once useless piece of garbage homeless transient passenger is allowed to get in, make small talk. Be extremely friendly, and offer a bit of information about yourself like the fact that you are narcoleptic. Explain that it’s okay though, because you only fall asleep when excited like those goats on Youtube. Ease onto the highway. (Begin irritation mode.) Start following the car in front of you a little too close. Continue making small talk as though everything is fine. Make some derogatory statements about the driver in front of you, and their ability to drive. Follow lead car for a couple miles, and announce that you’re going to pass them. ease off the accelerator, and allow several car lengths between you and the lead car. Quickly swerve into the passing lane and accelerate as you are passing the other car, allow your head to drop as though you’ve fallen asleep. Immediately jerk your head up and scream “Oh shit!” as though you’ve just woken up while driving. The shock of it should cause your head to drop again. Continue rapid waking-sleeping sequence until past other car.

4. The Sunday Driver – Another of my favorites! Once loser from Loserville idiot pothead passenger is inside vehicle, explain that he’s in great hands in your vehicle! You’ve NEVER had an accident while transporting a passenger! Ease onto the highway. Continue to give safety tips to the passenger about road safety. Explain that by never exceeding 13 miles per hour, there is about an 87% chance that should there be a collision, both you and the passenger will escape unharmed. Turn the radio onto the local bluegrass station, and explain that it just doesn’t get any better than cruising with good friends, and listening to some good music.

If none of these options prove to give a satisfactory result, let me know about it. Write me at ask.heyjoe@gmail.com, and I’ll give you some other suggestions!


The Captain is Back at the Wheel

Seems I’ve been away for so long…

Life for about a month or so has been absolutely nuts for me. Would I relive it? You bet your ass I would. Who doesn’t love a rollercoaster? Anyway, effective tomorrow, Hey Joe! is back on track. Enjoy the tune!

The Hardest Night

It’s been interesting to be me for at least the last year or so of my life. I left 10 years of my life behind to work for a company that I knew little about. I knew it paid well, and had incredible benefits, but that was about it. A year later, after working there quite literally night and day essentially non-stop, I know three times as much as I did a year ago: we get paid well, we have incredible benefits, we work ridiculously hard hours, we don’t seem to age (this is really weird), no one seems to know exactly what we make, and the Vice President drops by from time to time.

The last week of nights, have been well…hell. I work with some pretty impressive individuals, and not to toot my own horn, I do my job excessively well. Apparently, that’s a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by management. On Monday (Sunday night), I was shadowed for an entire shift by the owner’s son. Working that closely with someone that hasn’t ever seen you work is a bit nerve-wracking. He had some kind of high tech tool that he was using to report my every move back to the office.The seven and a half hours he shadowed me felt more like 14 weeks. It pissed me off that they would spring a surprise like that on me. Even my supervisors weren’t aware that it was going to happen till they showed up for work, and he was in the building. My anger response: to set records for the shit that I make. I crushed every other shift, essentially on my own. It was by far, the hardest night I’ve ever worked at this job. Why? Because in order to report my movements, wherever I walked, he walked. My pedometer read 13.6 miles.

I tried to kill him.


Hey Joe’s Top 5 Love Songs (All Genres)

I read somewhere that people like lists, and the top (whatever number) lists especially. That being the case, I thought I would take my top 5 lists, and take the number 1’s and make them a list of the top 5. Confused yet? No? Good! Let’s do this!

5. Norah Jones – Turn Me On (Adult Contemporary)

This made number one on my list of sexy songs. I think it goes without saying why..

4. Survivor – Can’t Hold Back (80’s Rock)

I love how well written this song is, and it’s pretty upbeat to be a love song.

3. Kiss – Forever (Rock)

I liked this song the first time I heard it. I’m sure I’m going to catch some shit from Tom Nardone for putting this at only number 3!

2. Travis Tritt – Drift off to Dream (Country)

I’m not much for country music, but this song is incredibly well written, and very well performed. The lyrical imagery is impossible to top.

1. The Five Satins – In The Still Of the Night (Oldies)

Probably my favorite song of the era.

Top 5’s are hard for me. There are so many incredible songs available to choose from. These are the best in their category in my opinion. If you disagree, leave me your top 5 list in the comments and we’ll discuss! Tomorrow night, Top 5 songs that make me feel like taking over the world! Tom Nardone, I’m sorry!

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