This Week’s Totally Biased Tidbits: The Man With an Extra Chromosome
In this Edition, we take a look at a particular eye, ear, and brain sore of the human race that we all affectionately know as: Travis Rand.
Lots of people have lots of friends. But, every once in a while, someone comes along that’s so unique, so different, so special that all you can do is sit, stare, and wonder in awe at how they aren’t just drooling all over themselves on a constant basis. For me, and many of those unfortunate enough to have made his acquaintance, that person is named Travis Rand. A singularly bizarre and wondrous specimen of a “human being,” he’s been polluting my ear drums and raising my blood pressure for over four years now, and in those four years, I’ve learned more about him and seen more of him than any other human being should have to. Bearing that in mind, I’m not one to keep a “good thing” all to myself, and have decided to take it upon myself to unleash what I know of him upon the rest of the unsuspecting world. Whether I’m inciting a riot that rages across the city, initiating World War III and cloaking the Earth in a nuclear winter, or beckoning the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to engulf the Universe in death, destruction and decay, I do not know. All I know is, hopefully you’ll feel even an inkling of my pain after reading through a dissection of a complete douche, a divulgent look at a total dick, and, most importantly, a Very Special (get it?) Edition of Totally Biased Tidbits: Travis. G(r)ay. Rand.
A Refusal to Relent
Determination. Poise. Resolution. Tom Brady? Nope. Travis Rand. See, there have been very, VERY few people who would, could, or especially wanted to, hold their own when I’m in the red and being a total dick about something. Travis has been a constant rock to my hard place. The immovable object to my unstoppable force. He’s always there to counter whatever I have to say, for better or worse, to explain and reason another side of things opposite my own, even if he didn’t entirely disagree. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to grow and stay sharp as a writer. It’s also one of the things that makes him incredibly fucking annoying. This “never quit, never say die” attitude extends far beyond the realm of the written word, bleeding into almost ever aspect of his character: from his unrelenting argumentive abilities, to his refusal to give up until he has what he wants, to his merciless abuse of a single joke until no one but him is laughing at it.
See, it’s this same refusal to compromise that makes him who he is. Without it, he may just be another clone in the conformity army. If he would just roll over, like everyone else, and accept, like everyone else, that the Pats are clearly better than the Giants, he wouldn’t be who he is. If he would stop crying about his NFL nonsense and post stuff, like this article, that people actually wanted to read, he wouldn’t be who he is. If he were polite, respectful, thoughtful, and compassionate, he wouldn’t be who he is. And for some strange reason, we still let him stick around…
Maybe we’re the problem…
Have you ever known someone who was rather up front about certain things? That made requests of you that might otherwise be deemed rude? Someone who doesn’t hesitate to to inject themselves into any situation or conversation, regardless of their involvement, if any? Well, Travis does all of those things, and normally, if someone did any one of them, it’d be reason enough to avoid that person altogether. But! For some reason, which I have yet to discover for myself, he’s still saved under my phone’s contacts and I continue to spend time with him. Travis is never one to shy away from something that may benefit him, whether or not it may be something slightly out of the way, such as letting you know he “needs a ride home” or he “needs some food” or “doesn’t want to do that” or some other douche bag remark that lets you know, “Hey! Travis comes first and you’re the afterthought.” Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to call him a “leech,” but he’s certainly not going to keep you from knowing what he may or may not need, and that it’s more important than whatever it was you were doing. At least, as far as he thinks so. Unfortunately for ol’ Travie-Wavie, most of his problems begin right then: once he starts thinking.
He’s Stuck on Repeat
There’s this restaurant chain that, like so many others, has been flooding the channels with their irritating, annoying, and characteristically unfunny commercials. The ads usually begin the same way, with someone hiding and someone looking for them, until they sing out, “Reeed Robin!” and the hidden party always, ALWAYS chimes in and says, “Yum!” You know the ones I’m talking about, right? Well, I didn’t think things like that actually occurred in the natural world (assuming Travis is, of course, natural. Personally, I think it’s debatable). As he tends to, Travis has once again proven the order of nature wrong, by showing that certain audio stimuli will, without fail, ALWAYS produce an appropriate reaction. Don’t believe me? Conduct the scientific experiment yourself. Next time you see him, walk up to him, look him square in the eye, and say “You leanin’?” or “Hey, leggo!” I can guarentee you, as I’ve seen for myself thousands of times, he will, without fail, robotically respond the same way he always does: with an obnoxious, Ebonically charged retort according to whichever stimuli you initially introduced. Go ahead. Try it. It’s funny. The first 20,000 times. After that, though, it gets a little old. Trust me on that.
“Would you like some salad with your Ranch?”
If you’ve ever known someone who had a favorite food and there was nothing else that compared for them, they ate it every day, for every meal, then I can promise you that they still don’t like that favorite food as much as Travis likes Ranch dressing. His absolute ADDICTION to the stuff is otherworldly, and most crack and heroin addicts that witness it don’t hesitate for even a moment to say, “man, you got a problem!” Frankly, I don’t know how I’ve never seen Debbie go through a line at work with two carriages: one for all of the normal food, and another one just filled with bottles of ranch dressing. Travis himself has time-and-again said, “I used to think I liked food that tasted a little bit like Ranch dressing, but I’ve realized that I really just like my Ranch dressing to taste a little bit like other foods.” If that doesn’t sum it up, let me transcribe another conversation I had with him recently.
“Huh. That wasn’t that bad,” Travis initially said.
“Oh, Jesus… did you seriously just do that?! You did that just to gross me out!” I snarled.
“No, I just wanted to see how it tasted,” he replied.
“Travis. You just dipped a fuckin’ macaroon in Ranch dressing!”
Need I say more?
The Awkward Baby Talk
You know how most guys will kind of change the way they act around their girlfriend in front of their friends? How they won’t use whatever pet names they normally do in front of their buddies? Or even just on the phone, they don’t talk the same way they do when they’re not around anyone else, so they don’t embarass themselves or sound like some variety of complete douche by saying all sorts of sickly sweet, delightly despicable, absolutely groan-inducing comments? How most NORMAL guys don’t do or say things that will purposefully elicit considerable eye-rolls and excessive wretching? Well… once again… Travis isn’t like most guys. And regardless of whoever is around, will use the same dainty, fairy-like inflection he always does with his girlfriends, saying things that frequently make me, and everyone else, throw up in our mouths a little bit. Why he thinks we want to hear him giggle and gleefully remark to 90, or to talk in the bizarre, high-pitched, whimpery tone he does while he’s around her, the world may never know. All we can do is shake our heads, and hope he grows out of it at some point, because it’s awkward, uncomfortable, and frankly? Fuckin’ weird.
The Voice of Doom
If you’re one of those unfortunate enough to have made his acquaintance in your travels, then you know the thing that sticks out most about Travis, aside from his immacute teeth, is that voice that sounds like he needs to cut it back to four packs a day. I wish I’d met him when we were both much younger, because he says it’s always been like that, even in elementary school. How frightening it must’ve been for the other children at recess to be chased by the creepy kid that sounded like a character out of Legend.
Apparently, the fact that he sounds kind of like he’s gargling molten iron keeps his voice (or “sound,” as I’ve started calling it, since it sounds more like a grating noise than anything else) from reaching a certain pitch. Unlike his squeaky, chirping little brother, Travis’ voice can’t reach a falsetto, something that can be a little bit of a death warrant for anyone as fairy-like as he, as he has no option but to softly rasp and hoarsely shriek in that deep, throaty sound he makes whenever his mouth opens.
Well, there we have it! A Very Special (still don’t get it?!) Edition of Totally Biased Tidbits! As I previously mentioned, even just a single one of these things would be enough to put someone on the “Stay-the-fuck-away-from-that-guy” list, but despite the fact that he does all of them, Travis is still welcome around us all. That might be something we want to try and figure out as quickly as possible.
Until then, who wants to throw down on a hitman with me?