Well, fellow Magicians, the time is nigh for another episode of the beloved GTKYFM. "Why so tardy?" you may be asking. I'll tell you exactly why--I'm still barely recovering from a ridiculous trip to NYC followed up by my annual St. Patty's Day Parade blowout weekend in South Boston, which was capped off with a gut wrenching loss to Marquette in the 2nd 3rd Round of the NCAA tourney. I've literally been laying low since. By literally, I mean I have been curled up like a furry little fetus on the cold, soiled hardwood floor that is the middle of my living room.
But enough about me. I'm not the one you're here to hear about. In fact, the originally scheduled Featured Magician for March is being given some much needed breathing room after airing out some strong, but well supported, opinions that were panned and flamed by other commentators on this board. So, I've pulled together perhaps the best Auxillary Featured Magician we've ever seen...
The date is February 9, 2011. After an eventful GameThread in which previously unknown board member Cuse44orDie attempts to rattle an otherwise serene collection of vagabonds, poets, and internet pontificators; I receive an email from a rather unusually named stranger. "If this email is unauthorized, I apologize," writes the sender, applauding my word-to-word combat with the unwelcome flamester. He then gives his consent to be featured in this column.
"That's your real name?" I marvel. Suddenly it all makes sense. StealthTurkey is Seth Stachurski! Seth Stachurski is StealthTurkey! Stachurski, Turkey; Turkey, Stachurski! Not since the Finklestein/Einhorn Scandal of 1994 has there been a greater revelation of identity.
Real Name: Seth Stachurski
Story Behind the username: In what has been a common theme among Featured Magicians and this author alike, Stachurski faced many relocations as a child, which offered ample opportunity for teachers and classmates to start the learning curve anew:
I've been called stef, steeth (LIKE, HOW!?!?), steth, sat, set, sep, sef, zat (I have no idea how, but some lady I see in my store pretty often calls me zat)....I won't even get into it on my last name. So I shared this with a friend of mine one day, in 7th grade, and he called me Stealth.....Stealth Sta-Turkey. (Seth STUH-her-ski).
By nature, Seth Stachurski is all over the place. Whether it's his inability to pay attention in class ("Took a few classes at Onondaga Community College but that didn't pan out. Need to do interactive things.") or something more meta, like his frequent shuffling between K-12 schools ("I went to: Dr. Weeks, Webster Elementary, Grant Middle, Lyncourt Middle School, Solvay Middle School, Solvay High School, Henninger High School, and then Solvay High School again"), Stachurski has never seemed content to keep his mind nor body in one place.
As he closes in on his 24th birthday on April 4th, Stachurski maintains residence on the North Side with the famous Schiller Park Basketball Court less than a football field away from his rear egress. Given his penchant for habitational transience, it makes sense that Stachurski finds gainful employment not on the North Side, but on the South Side, where he runs a pawn shop:
It is unlike traditional pawn shops, being that the laws are a little different, ok alot different, in New York state. It is a pretty good job, a career if I want it to be.
Stachurski is quick to point out the monetary rewards associated with running a pawn shop, but those are obvious to anyone not known as Chumlee.
Rather, let's take a moment to explore some of the marvelous stories that emerge from the world of Syracuse South Side Pawn Operations. Here are Ten Fun Tidbits, in no particular order:
- I have a giant sign that says 5 DVDs for $10, and every single day at least 10 people ask how much they are.
- People love trying to fight you. One day, I said f*** it and ran out from behind the counter and went outside. I said, "You know what kid, today is your lucky day", and by the time I got into the parking lot he was half way down the block.
- People always ask how much they can get for their small children. Some are considerably more serious about it than others.
- I've had people try to take items of the shelves in my store and try to sell them back to me.
- How about a guy that opens his backpack, and it contains an urn. WITH HIS GRANDMOTHER'S ASHES IN IT. He thought the urn was Sterling Silver and that it was worth money. (It was only steel.) But I told him either way there is no way in hell I'm buying it.
- I bought a 98 Dodge Neon for $150 one time.
- People always try to sell me their used porno, yuck.
- I had a guy say, "Just give me whatever, I'm just gonna fucking smoke it alllllll up!!!!"
- I've had people try to sell me bars of soap and hotel shampoo.
- I had someone call me last week and ask, "Did somebody bring in a Playstation 3 today? No? How about tomorrow?"
Some more detailed stories include incidences in which people do all sorts of expected behaviors: selling him something and try to steal it back, attempting to sell things from nearby dumpsters, and even stealing Seth's own cell phone off the counter before answering his call the next day only to apologize and admit, "I thought it was the store's phone, not yours."
So... let the record show that running a pawn shop is not only a fortuitous career path, but one that provides plenty of gems for a future straight-to-DVD hit as well. Oh wait, that DVD would probably be pawned since no one watches those anymore, anyway.
As for family life, Stachurski has two sisters (22 and 28) who both follow their mother's path as LPN's. Stachurski also has a seven year old brother, who is just now attending his first SU sporting events. In fact, Seth himself was in the womb listening to the 1987 basketball run to the National Championship game, which he credits as a reason for his basketball-size 14 feet. Should Syracuse have won that game, his mom claims she would have named him Jerome. Ah Fate, ye miserable wench!
Being a full-time pawn shop proprietor and Syracuse Orange addict, not to mention a more-than-regular poster on this site, one would think Stachurski has little time for anything else. Wrong.
Stachurski is a self-described HARDCORE gamer. Whether it's XBox360, PC, NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, or PSone, Stachurski will probably school you. His skills come not just from practice, but from his unrelenting quest for knowledge, as well. Well... whatever knowledge one can garner from bathroom readers and Stephen King, that is. Stachurski claims his favorite book is Richard Adams' 1972 fantasy Watership Down, which draws on themes from classical epics and religious history, projecting said themes onto a colony of anthropomorphized rabbits. This interest naturally extends into Stachurski's non-fiction preference of historical literature and, like many others on this board, Star Wars. His Star Wars obsession includes multiple viewings of the movies into the triple digits, as well as a frenetic academic pursuit of all related encyclopedic materials.
As for sports, Stachurski lets his nerdery wane to allow his devotion for the Green Bay Packers, Manchester United, and the New York Knicks (only recently has re-invigorated his rooting interest in the Knicks with the addition of Andy Rautins and Carmelo Anthony to their roster).
The 'Cuse Connection
Stachurski has always lived in Syracuse and claims he will never leave. As stated earlier, his parents are the root cause of his incessant fanhood. His father is friends with Dome Eddie, for crying out loud.
Being a fan of the Orange has taught me patience and faith. Four years ago, both programs seemed to be on the decline--well--football was actually in a nose dive. You just can't give up, you just can't.
The first game Stachurski attended was the football team's 1996 "contest" versus Pitt, in which the 'Cuse trounced the Panthers 55-7. In a cruel twist of irony, his worst memory of attending a Syracuse game was this past season's whooping at the hands of those very same Panthers.
Consuming the 'Cuse
Starchurski is a frequent spectator at Syracuse sports events. This past year, he attended the Maine, Pitt, UConn, and BC football games, as well as the Morgan State, Seton Hall, and Georgetown basketball games. Maybe we should have him pledge allegiance not to watch anymore home Big East games, if that's the case.
He points to the Morgan State game as his favorite Syracuse memory to date, and for a very special reason:
My friend was about a week away from shipping off to Afghanistan, and he evaded security, almost got into the locker room, got kicked out, found Triche outside the back door, and got his KrisJo jersey taken into the locker room by Triche to be signed.
Stachurski is not big into tailgating, mostly because he simply doesn't know anyone that does tailgate. This is an opportunity for fellow Magicians to step up and hook a pawn star brother up. Otherwise, he might continue his pregame tendency to "just pound a whole bunch of vodka and orange juice." That cannot be good for the acidity levels in his esophagus and stomach. Once he gets north of 26, he'll start to realize that.
Need more of a reason to invite Seth Stachurski to your tailgate? Before running a pawn shop, he worked in the food service industry. "I make a hell of a pizza," he claims, "and I can pretty much steal your wife if you let me make my alfredo sauce for her." Well, I guess that narrows down the list of potential tailgate partners to those sans wife.
Actually, let's back up a second. I'd like to put this bold claim to the test. I can't think of a better place to do it than next year's annual TNIAAM OFFICIAL TAILGATE. As much as StrawHatGuy, Pinker, MrPlow99, and all the rest make for a great tailgate, I challenge StealthTurkey to a tailgating food duel at next year's event, with the prize being my wife. Just do me a favor and don't tell her that. She'd get really mad, and probably start calling divorce attorneys, then I'd lose my dog. Maybe I can convince her to be Facebook married to the winner for the span of one month afterward. I don't know--we still have time to work out the details.
As for enjoying the game inside the Dome, Stachurski has his own set of advice:
Two beer limit frustrating? Get a partner, buy your beer, hand it off, and move to the next vendor. You can get back to your seat with a six pack and be set for a while!
[Author's Note: Is this still a secret to anyone? I can't think of the last sporting event I've attended that hasn't resulted in me having an extra dozen beers at the seat, two getting spilled onto the poor souls in front of me, and five or so having to be powered down or handed out at the very end of the game. More often than not, the people in front of me don't realize their jacket is drenched and I have to tell them that I did it before they find out on their own and offer them dry cleaning money. Those are the expenses that make going to games expensive.]
The Nunesmagician Spell - A Q&A Perspective
When & why did you first join the site?
I joined in November. I know, not very long ago. I actually found TNIAAM through Sports Illustrated.com. As a fiend for SU news, I would go back and forth between ESPN and SI, and SI has TNIAAM plastered all over the page for Syracuse. Almost every article linked is from this site, so I started reading now and again, and one day I decided to join.
Why do you continue to read & contribute?
Do you comment on, or contribute to, other sites? What's your level of activity on here compared to others?
I do spend time on ESPN, Newgrounds.com BBS, and I browse Syracuse.com (I really don't comment on there, it is just atrocious). But I spend a whole lot of time on this site.
What are the best aspects of TNIAAM?
The best part of this blog is all of you people. What do I mean you people? Oh...I...well....I just meant you folks are swell.
What areas would you like to improve on TNIAAM?
An improvement? How do you make the best blog ever, better? Hmm....a contest for an all expense paid trip to Georgetown so I can fling poo (not my own) at their Hoya Saxa sign?
Seth Stachurski like a hellified gangsta in front of his pawn shop.
On those occasions where it makes sense to clean it up:
The man is a lamp.
Finally, with his friends and sister at church.
Back in its heyday, the City of Syracuse was a vibrant, bustling economy. Throughout the 1800's, when fallout from international wars caused the price of imported salt to skyrocket, Syracuse was the sole provider of the precious natural resource to the vast majority of the United States. As the Erie Canal, and later the transcontinental railroad system, became strategic economic enablers, Syracuse was arguably one of the Top 10 most important settlements to the young republic. In this period of lawlessness and commerce, Syracuse experienced an explosion of drunkards and ruffians creating chaos and havoc in the streets.
Today, the Syracuse economy depends mostly on the University, whose sports teams and public facing talent entrench the city's relevance on a national scale, as well as the service industries, namely the medical community. To observe Seth Stachurski and his family is to see just how interwoven they are at the core of Syracuse's ongoing fabric, as withered as it may seem in current times. Whether he's contending with this generation's version of drunkards and ruffians in his pawn shop, or contributing to the vehement fanbase that helps attract outside talent and perpetuate the living monad, Seth Stachurski is Syracuse. Syracuse is Seth Stachurski.
Dear Fellow Magicians, it's time to nominate April's Featured Magician! Please post a comment or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.