Indiana Jones and the Case of the Missing X-Files

Bangkok, Thailand

This gets no Sober Fun rating from me, and does not appear on the LARGER LIST of Sober Activity Fun Ratings. Not because it wasn't a fun activity, but because I'm not even sure it qualifies as an activity. I paid a man to play with his snake, and then after a while, asked hm to please get it off.

And yes, yes... Insert your own gay joke here.

This is an excerpt from my diary. And FYI, I write my diary on my iPhone, like a normal grown adult, so stop picturing me a curled up in bed, wearing pink onesie pajamas and writing with a big fluffy pen. That's just ridiculous.

I was supposed to be helping out at a neighbor's garage sale, but I found a pink onesie in their clothing pile and put it on in the driveway over my clothes.  Yes, yes, I was still drinking at the time, so God only knows what was in that green cup.  Fun fact, I used to just walk around with party cups full of liquor in the daytime, even when there was no party. What a delight I must have been!
I was supposed to be helping out at a neighbor's garage sale, but I found a pink onesie in their clothing pile and put it on in the driveway over my clothes. Yes, yes, I was still drinking at the time, so God only knows what was in that green cup. Fun fact, I used to just walk around with party cups full of liquor in the daytime, even when there was no party. What a delight I must have been!


Today I met an old friend, Eric, and was telling him about some of my travels. He said what I hear all too often, that he couldn’t believe I still wasn’t on any social media. I’ve gone a lifetime without ever having any social media account, so I figure why start now, but he said something that I found quite amusing, he said, “Not everyone can be Indiana Jones, Ryan, and travel the world like you do, people would eat this shit up!”

Huh. Would they though? Even though I’m not actually on Instagram or Facebook, I’m not completely oblivious, and I do eat out at restaurants, so I seem to recall a period of time where everyone was obsessed with photographing their meals.

For some unknown, misguided, reason.

Maybe they are still doing this? I bet you they were told something very similar by one of their friends. “You know, not everyone is eating the exact same food each day as you are, you should take pictures of all your meals and post them incessantly. People will eat that shit up!”

Of course, they won’t literally eat it up, it’s pictures of your food, but I guess they can live vicariously, jealously, through your amateur food photography? Ugh, what a nightmare.

Back when I was waiting tables, people were already obnoxious enough, I can’t imagine what it must be like when you have an entire section that’s trying to stage dozens of tiny little photoshoots of their food.

“Move! You’re casting a shadow!”

“But ma’am, I’m just trying to fill your water glass!”

“Fine. Let’s reset and go again, but this time we’ll have you enter camera left…”

“Sure. Since you hold my tip in your hands, you have complete power over me.”

Eric is about the same age as me, so when he mentioned Indians Jones, I could safely assume he was talking about the old, good movies from our childhood (that involved cheeky monkeys and melting faces), and not the bizarre newer ones (that inexplicably involve aliens). Damn it, now I'm thinking about the awful newer ones, and I can't help but have a bottleneck of thoughts:

1. The last time I saw Harrison Ford on a talk show, I couldn’t decide whether he was crazy, old, or possibly just buzzed. It was the British talk show where they let all the guest drink liquor, so it was probably just the latter, but he struck me as unhinged.

2. Speaking of unhinged, I see that Shia LaBouf isn’t in the trailers for the new, upcoming Indians Jones movie, whatever happened to him?

3. Why is Harrison continuing to make more of these Indians Jones films? Do people want this? I mean, I do acknowledge that many of the ingredients seem to be the same as in the recipe for the old ones, but now that end result just seems... deflated. It could also be that I'm now in my forties, and not four.

4. They must be more lucrative than making more Bladerunners, though, I’m guessing...?

5. And finally, why would anyone want to see photos of me doing adventurous things?

Unless you are MY GRANDMOTHER, or unless I am going to write helpful PHOTOGRAPHY and TRAVEL TIPS to help you achieve some of these adventures for yourself (which clearly, I have not been), then posting photos of myself doing AWESOME THINGS just seems egotistical and exceedingly bumptious.

I liken it to the same reason I do not watch any sports, nor have I ever. Do you know that I have never, not even once, seen a football game? I don’t even know the rules, although I am painfully aware that there are a lot of them, and also that they don’t edit football games down to just the actual minutes of gameplay like they should. To me it always looked like very little actual playing was happening, and instead a whole lot of resetting, replaying, and analyzing, but mostly just a bunch of long-lensed shots of various people and coaches bumbling around, and pacing exasperatedly on the sidelines. Sorry, but that’s what it looks like to me. But then again, everything I know about football comes from the X-Files.

Uh oh, damn. Well, it's happening...I have no choice! Here it comes:


Even though I habitually requested off, I would invariably always have to wait tables on Sunday nights, right during the time slot that they aired the new X-Files episodes.

Or should I say, during the time slot that they were supposed to air them. I would come home exhausted from work, excited to see the next big adventure of Scully and Mulder, only to find that instead what was on my VHS tape was a recording of the last 45 minutes of an overlong football game.


The network would just let the football game coverage smash right through into the X-Files' time slot. Actually, to be more accurate, it was as if the football game was playing on top of the X-Files! This is what was most infuriating of all. The football game would finally end, or rather, all the sideline pacing and other footage of people Not Playing would finally come to an end, but after that final flourish of triumphant horns and the return to our “regularly scheduled programming,” we were just dumped unceremoniously into wherever the X-Files episode was. Not from the beginning, mind you, but like it had been playing all along, underneath the football game!

“Mulder, what happened? Are you okay? Are those tall, alien-shaped men gone? I got knocked out, I didn’t see anything…”

Well f*ck, Scully, neither did we! You can probably tell, as can I, that from the look of Mulder he’s been through something catastrophic and life-changing, he looks pretty shaken up by what I can only assume were very important plot points that will be crucial later on in the season, but what that ordeal was, we will never know! We were busy watching footage of football teams doing anything other than playing football! Fuucccccckkkkk!!!!

Either start X-Files from the beginning after the game, or edit the game down into a more manageable show of just the instances when they are actually playing with the football!

I’m getting furious all over again just thinking about it, all the confusion I endured that wouldn’t be cleared up until years later when DVD box sets were made readily available, but this injustice is not the reason I don’t watch sports. I’ve clearly suffered at the hands of televised football, but this grudge hasn’t clouded my vision.

The reason I don’t care to watch sports is the same reason I wouldn’t want to watch footage of other people eating. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy eating food myself, it’s delicious, but why would I want to just sit and watch other people enjoy their food? What an odd dinner party that would be, to come over to someone’s house expecting to eat, only to find out that, "No, there’s not enough food for you, but you’ll be happy just watching us eat, right? Won’t that be just as much fun for you? Then afterwards, we’re all going to play games, and you can watch that too!"

As a kid, there was boy on our block whose invitation to hang out and play video games I almost always declined. This was due to the fact that he’d invite me over under this pretense— that we were going to play video games together— but when I showed up, invariably he’d already be playing. He was quite good and took forever to die, so what he really meant was, did I want to come over and watch him play video games?!

No thank you, B.J., I’ll pass. To me the fun of a game is in the playing of it, not the watching. Why would I want to simply sit passively by and watch other people have fun playing a game?

That pretty much sums up televised sports for me, and it also sums up why I am reluctant to post photos of me on various adventures, no matter how vicariously-Indiana-Jones-esque they might be!

That is why, to justify sharing this photo of me playing with an enormous boa constrictor in Thailand, I will attempt to imbue this article with some degree of wisdom— some advice for when you attempt to play with a boa constrictor in Thailand yourself.

The snake is unbelievably heavy.

In retrospect, I should have been prepared for this, considering that muscle is extremely heavy, and this snake is made of almost pure muscle, but when the guy placed in on me my knees buckled, and it almost knocked me over. It felt like I was wearing about 5 of those lead vests from the dentist. Truth be told, I almost immediately wanted him to get it off of me, but all of my friends that were supposed to be taking photos had suddenly disappeared and were sheepishly hiding behind various things on the pier. It took a while to coax them out of hiding and convince them to take photos, so I had the snake around me much longer than I had intended.

I don’t know if they thought it was going to spontaneously jump off of me and on to them? While absurd, that would have truly been something to see, considering the whole time it was on me this snake moved in a sort of calculating, slow-motion, writhing, undulating way. It was obvious this snake has never jumped a day in its life, surprise isn’t the way it catches its prey, no, it slowly constricts itself around the body of its prey, until all the air is slowly squeezed from its victim's lungs, and they gradually suffocate and get it off get it off get it off!!!!!

Get this f*cking snake off of me!

Even through my T-shirt, I could feel it doing a weird clinchy-thing with its muscles, and I’m just realizing that it’s coiled about 2 feet higher up around my shoulders than it was when he first draped it on me. I take it all back, on second thought, maybe I would like to vicariously watch someone else play with this snake instead of me.

And also, Eric— just by the way— I seem to recall that Indiana Jones was deathly afraid of something. Hmm. What was that again….?

In the interest of total honesty though, I do want to admit that I’d still rather be trapped for two hours in a writhing pit of snakes than to watch two minutes of other people playing football.