Greetings friends and loyal family!
It’s been a few, uh.. months since you’ve heard from me or had a chance to enjoy any of my poorly written motorcycle jokes. Trust me when I say that it’s not you, it’s me. You night not know this, but this year has not been the best ever. I spent most of the year in a lonely haze of anxiety as I sat inside the house watching all the freedom loving stupids try to burn the world down. This description of this year also probably rings true for most of you (that is, unless you have recently purchased stock in hydroxycloroquine and/or body bags). I hope this warm holiday greeting finds both you and your loved ones in good health. It’s okay to not be alright: even a tough ol’ bastard like me got hospitalized (a few) time(s) this year and have volunteered to become a literal laboratory rat to resolve my issues since the American healthcare system is based loosely on the “EA Terms of Service” model.
Let’s just start by addressing the elephant in the website: I know all three of you will be saddened that I decided against writing a “BEST GIFTS FOR YOUR WORST” for 2020. This series has been a huge hit for a very long time, with the first edition debuting back in 2012. 2012 was one of those years in the old days when we could do crazy shit like hug each other and touch door handles with gleeful impunity. While there were plenty of terrible gift ideas to be written about this year, I just could not find it within me to add another ounce of negative energy to the already massive dumpster fire of anger and uncertainty. Normally I’ve been able to vent most of these feelings with Ugly Hayabusas, but even coming across those was nearly impossible this year since spray paint, duct tape and bumper chrome were considered the rarest of luxuries in the Mad Max year of 2020.
Hell, practically everything felt like a struggle to be perfectly honest. Manufacturers had to scale back on the variety of products they made. After February, we no longer had 34 different brands of Campbell’s Thick and Chunky to choose from. Our grocery stores even stopped carrying our beloved Baja Blast anymore. They even rolled out a diet version, but in two weeks it all had vaporized from store shelves. There were several months during 2020 when the value of toilet paper exceeded the value of gold. Anybody who was foolish enough to not buy at least 3 pallets’ worth of Charmin back in March were destined to not survive this madness of the coronapocalypse with their buttholes intact. The sudden scarcity of goods made us have to devise our own clever ways of extending our supplies. My personal method to extend our TP supply was pretty simple: just leave an empty roll on the wall. It will never get changed because in my household, this work is considered brutal manual labor.
Despite my trademark level head and chill demeanor, even I reached my personal breaking point myself: I mugged a dude in the Wal Mart parking lot for a pack of Great Value toilet paper.
Seriously. Great Value 1/2 ply sandpaper toilet paper. I’m not proud of my past.
This year, we traded countless lives for dollars as the rich got richer and the poorer had to scratch and claw through unemployment, evictions, and starvation. The most American ™ photo ever taken was taken in Las Vegas in March. The government had set up socially distanced spaces in parking lots for the unhoused to live and sleep in while in the background, these people were flanked by literally hundreds of thousands of empty hotel rooms. I’m not sure where that part is listed in either the Bible or the Constitution.
The numbers of fatalities grew with each and every day until the point we’re at now experiencing a human loss equivalent to a 9-11 every day, despite everyone deciding to focus on the real travesty: we still can’t enjoy all-you-can-eat riblets at Applebee’s. While all these totals are are a hard number for to our dumb monkey brains to even comprehend, every one of those souls who were lost were more than just a number. Each person was a real, functioning human being who had hopes, dreams, and aspirations but are all now piled inside a biohazard trailer. Every one of these human beings were chucked into the meat grinder while our half witted clown show of a government downplayed deaths all while selling snake oil cures. Of all the lessons that we learned this year, the most important was how dangerously stupid we can be as a culture while exuding complete superiority to everyone else. Literally every fucking country on the planet handled this pandemic better than America did.
“But we had fucking boat parades!!!”
In 2020, we lost a lot of great famous folks too. We lost Neal Peart. We lost Black Panther. We lost fucking Deebo. There’s been a huge void left by all the irreplaceable talent that has left us this year, and I’ve even lost someone dear to my heart as well. We lost Groovey (of groovey.tv) this year unexpectedly, and his absence has left a massive hole in Denver’s artistic community. I consider myself blessed having worked for and directly with Groovey, and there would be no tehben.com without him giving me my first writing and filming opportunities. Everything I’ve contributed in media (website, podcast, youtube, etc) has been a direct offshoot from Doug giving me a chance to try something new. Without Doug, I would never have an imdb page or ever get listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. I’m really glad he published my first article “12 Dumbest Jamiroquai Hats“ to contrast my amateur skills against the more serious and well-made content on his website all while laying the foundation for such a great friendship and working relationship.
So, after reading all this HILIARIOUSLY depressing content, you may wonder what comes next on my hit list of grievances. Sure, there’s plenty of stuff I could continue bitching about, but I think that 750 words of sadness is enough already. Instead, let’s try to focus on our blessings this year.
Uh… dogs are still pretty cool. Cyberpunk 77 has glitchy dongers. I guess that’s all of it?
While I’m a natural optimist, even at the bottom of this pit of despair I can still manage to still see the positives. I know that there’s still a proverbial light at the end of this shit tunnel. We are soon to be blessed by the triumphant return of one of the all-time Best Shit Ever. It’s one of those special food menu items that make life truly worth living, and it’s not that fucking McRib, either!
Here’s a hint: It’s something that is spicy, zesty, rich and fulfilling. Something that contains an overwhelming sense of unbridled hope that can cannot be quelled under any circumstances. It’s something composed of entirely of magic crafted from the very fabric of the universe and space and time itself. If you say “McRib!” again I’m gonna punch you in the throat (which also happens to be a main component of McRib).
On Christmas Eve, the clouds will part and the angels will sing.
We are going to be blessed yet again by the arrival of…
TACO BELL NACHO FRIES!
No shit! they are coming back right before Christmas like some sort of holy miracle in itself. It’s also returning with some stupid bacon chalupa thing that nobody gives a shit about. I cannot wait to taste my favorite fast food menu of all time on December 24th. You all might be at church on that night, but I am gonna be howling in the Taco Bell drive through, talking about miracles, hope, and my nacho fries boner. Seriously, this is the best thing to happen this year and will hopefully set us up on the right foot heading into 2021. A large icy Baja Blast and a few bags of nacho fries can warm even the coldest of hearts. After the year we’ve had, this is something we all need.
Happy holidays to all of you, and let’s hope that we’re finally on the mend. I can’t wait to see you all in 2021 when we can all chill poolside in normality with margaritas made from Baja Blast and listen to The 1975.
Teh Ben is a nacho fries expert and has also been known to whittle replicas of celebrity feet out of balsa wood. You can revel in his disaster by visiting his YouTube channel, his Golf Hitler Must Die Twitter feed or check out his sunrise photos on Zuckerberg’s invasive photo roll.