Jim Tews

Former quarterback for the philadelphia phillies.

In Ten Years

"Whatever happened to Jim Tews?"

"You know that guy in Times Square that offers to help tourists take their pictures, then yells ‘You’re taking pictures of billboards you fucking idiots!’ and smashes their camera?"

"Yeah, that’s him."

"I wish he’d start doing standup again."

"I mean, that’s kind of standup."

Room Upgrade?

"Looks like we’ll be able to upgrade your room, Mr. Tews. I’ve got one available with two beds and a front room with a second TV."

"Can I see either of those TV’s while I’m on the toilet?"

"I don’t think so."

"Then that’s more of a lateral move, but thank you I’ll take it."

I Can’t Talk About Football

I can’t care about football. I’ve tried. Really hard. I can watch a live game, with several beers in me. But even then I’m not watching, I’m just screaming when I know I’m supposed to scream.

I understand the game, I know the rules. I played pee wee football when I was a kid. I quit because it was miserable. The league I played in made teams by age and weight. I was a fat kid, which means everyone on my team was the same weight as me, but taller and older. Week after week of getting trampled by dudes who were already growing mustaches. That’s probably one reason I’m not into it.

The other reason is that it seems heartbreaking and frustrating. I’m coming at this from a strange position because I was born and raised, in Allentown, PA, a Philadelphia Eagles fan. When I was a kid they were pretty terrible team. My dad would watch games and get furious, angry as shit, yelling at the TV. Then he’d be depressed for a few hours. Looks like fun, Dad.

The second city I spent a good portion of my life in was Cleveland. I moved there at nineteen, and it was everything Browns. I jumped on board, then learned more about the Browns history and was like “maybe the Eagles aren’t as bad as I thought.” Some of my closest friends are Browns fans, and I’ve watched week after week of their frustration in following a team that loses so fucking much. It’s like watching torture porn.

On the other side of all that pain, I’ve seen the elation when things finally go your way. In 2004, I remember hearing how excited my dad was to see the Eagles make it to the Super Bowl, and I felt it too. I was like “FINALLY I GET IT.” Then they lost. And I was like “Ah, fuck. This hurts.” Which made me feel good about my choice to avoid football in the past.

A lot of people like to talk about football. The way some react when you say you don’t watch football, as a grown man, can be intense. Like saying “I never learned how to read,” or “I’d like to talk to you about Jesus.” There’s a heavy silence, and then I feel them debating where to take the conversation.

I could take a social/political stance against football, probably. That might be a fun way to redirect. Instead of talking stats and odds, I’ll just bring up all the terrible things a handful of NFL guys are regularly getting away with. But that’s just a case of dudes with money and privilege feeling invincible. And that’s a problem that reaches far beyond football. If I’m using that reasoning to avoid something I’d have to stop watching movies and voting, too.

I wish I could talk about it. I’d love to have an escape, a reason to hang out and drink with people, something to follow. It just doesn’t work for me. But I’m glad you like it, and I hope your team wins.

The Startup Baby

I had a lucky upgrade to first class on a flight from LAX to SFO. First time in my life flying first class. Next to me was a toddler with his own seat. I’m not normally an airplane talker, but I had questions.

"How’d you end up here?" I asked. He looked up from his iPad mini.

"Startup." He said.

"That’s cool. What is it?" He closed the iPad and shuffled in his seat, crossing his legs underneath him. He turned towards me and put a tiny finger on the side of his Google Glass, which I didn’t see until he faced me completely. He scanned me up and down.

"Sorry. You’re a stranger, so I’m recording video." He said. His r’s kept sounding like w’s which made everything feel less important.

"I get it. You have my permission."

He looked around and his face started to scrunch. He let out a short wail, and almost instantly a hand holding a small bowl of cheerios came in between the seats from behind us. His mood instantly lifted and he clumsily shoved a few of them in his mouth. “My startup is called ‘Diapr’. It’s a mobile app.”

"What’s it do?"

"It finds adults in your area who are willing to change you."

"Oh, that’s genius. Was it hard to find the money?"

"I’m not in first class by accident."

"I am." I laughed nervously.

"We know."

A stern, female voice comes from behind us. “That wasn’t nice. You apologize to the man.” The boy mumbled an apology and continued.

"I didn’t really have a problem finding money. I’ve had two really good birthdays. We invested the money from the first one into some really successful tech companies. Plus a few angel investors chipped in and we had a nice seed."

"That’s impressive." I said. Strangely, I was not jealous. I just realized his life’s trajectory was a rocket pointing towards the moon. While mine was a tattered hot air balloon already beginning its descent. There wasn’t much I could do besides be amazed.

"I didn’t do any of the programming, so I can’t take the credit for that. I’m kind of an idea baby."

"Still, very impressive."

"Thanks. It was an easy sell, honestly. I mean, I’m getting my customer base earlier than anyone, and new users are born every minute."

"Literally."

"I don’t know that word."

"Well, you used an expression, and in this case, it… Never mind. I probably used it wrong anyway. What’s next for you?"

"I’m going to keep hitting this young market. We’re the real tastemakers. We’re the newest wave of consumers."

"Well, you’re not actually the consumers."

"Huh?"

"I mean, adults are buying this stuff for you." His eyes became puddles, his mouth turned downward and he started crying hard.

"I’m sorry! I’m so sorry, don’t cry buddy! Hey, look!" I started making faces at him. Then acting like I’d suddenly lost control of my right arm, I began hitting myself. He giggled and a tissue appeared from behind us, wiping his eyes and nose.

"Sorry about that. I think I need a nap."

A foul smell wafted towards me. The baby hit a few keys on his iPad, I heard a phone beep behind us and the woman grabbed the boy. Minutes later he was placed back in his seat, clean and sleeping. We landed and exchanged emails. I sent him my resume this morning.

Tonight’s my last night at Creek and Cave. Free show, 7p. Lots of Tews. (at The Creek and The Cave)

Tonight’s my last night at Creek and Cave. Free show, 7p. Lots of Tews. (at The Creek and The Cave)

Check out my bubbling hot “Simmer Reel”