Friday, January 20, 2017

I Sweat Violently

I kinda want to write a novel with that title. A noiresque effort:
"As the dame with legs longer than an antelope on steroids swayed by my table, sweat rolled off me in buckets. Not the kind of sweat most men experience either. I mean full-on, messy, swampy, road-flooding torrents of moisture, splashing into the aisle, rolling toward the ladies room door like a tsunami that only Godzilla could create with a cannonball jump in a kiddy pool. Not pretty, no sir, not by a long shot. 

My underarms weighed heavier than my lust. My crotch channeled a breeding ground of mosquitoes. 

Yet there she was. All figure eight, psychically tattooing a 666 on my blighted soul. Thrusting her hips back and forth like a drunken sailor on a really storm-tossed day.

After I dragged the napkin--a cloth kind, not the cheap paper kind found in McDonald's--across my forehead, I wrung it out. A large goosh of water splattered across the floor. The waitress--clown make-up and practicing a smile like a poorly carved pumpkin--slipped, grasped my hand, said, 'Honey, looks like you could use a good toweling off.'
I said, 'Ain't the first time I had that offer tonight, baby.' I pulled up my shirt collar, wiped off more perspiration. 'Not your problem, doll-face. Just bring me more napkins. Go on. Get outta' here. Snap those ankles like firecrackers.'

'That doesn't even make sense.'

'If I asked for cents, doll, I'da' given you a buck, a full Washington.' Sick of her attitude, I grabbed her wrist. 'Customer's always right, baby. Right?'

'I guess! Let go of me!'
The big picture in sight, I released the waitress, my eyes  googly and glued toward the john, a sticky situation. Any second now, my apparition of beauty would stroll out, a wiggle to her walk, a waggle to her gum-chawing, iron (strong in its manly squareness) jaw. 

I couldn't see that well. My vision blurred by the sweat rolling off my forehead, dribbling into my eyes. Droplets rolled into my ears, plugged 'em like a bullet between the brows. I shifted, lifted a bun. My pants stuck, than ripped away from the cushioned chair with a gassy sound, one I hoped the beautiful dame wouldn't hear. Such sounds never passed her astonishing auditory beauty.

Finally, the door whisked open, then slammed with a shot. She strutted out, queen of the kitchen, ballerina of the bathroom, feline of the fast food chain. Her wig--a damn pretty wig, sculpted of rock-hard platinum blond cement--jitterbugged atop her head, perfectly complementing her hourglass, wasting-no-time figure. A trail of toilet paper followed  her heel, a ticker parade premonition of our impending nuptials.
I flattened my hands on the table, hoping to anchor so as to gaze more carefully. Sweat loosened my grip. I went head-first, splat onto the table, worse than a severely compromised parachutist."

Well, that's all I got. It could go on all night.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Poor, poor oppressed, angry, white guys...

Okay, elephant in the room time, I'm an angry white guy, too. But for different reasons than what's becoming vogue, particularly in the states.
Recently, I saw a video clip about the horrendous beating of a mentally challenged white guy that the black abusers posted on Facebook. Absolutely grotesque.

Nearly as grotesque was the surrounding commentary by some "reporter (a very angry white guy)" who ranted and raged and made the story about himself, proclaiming "the media doesn't care about white people!"

Enough's enough. The media only cares about rich white guys. They're the much-valued and sought-after target market. I worked in marketing and advertising and journalism for thirty some years, first thing I learned. Not a whole lotta' black guys hanging out with Joey and Chandler and Ross.

Outside of a couple of international leaders sporting atrocious hair-cuts, the biggest current threat to the United States is the sensationalism of the media and its effect on viewers. There's no real reporting going on any more (unless you count the forgotten dinosaurs of newspapers and, ugh, who reads print these days?). Forget about pure facts, just a whole lot of editorializing in your face. And thanks to the introwebs, everyone's got an opinion. Just search out the "specialist" who agrees with you. I'll wait. Shouldn't take long.
Opinions are fine, everyone has one (like another thing that I can't quite put my finger on, but give me time and I'm sure I'll find it). But for these so-called journalists to present horrible events as rabble-rousing propaganda to further their own personal political interests is despicable. 

Sure, you might say, I'm doing the same thing on my blog. 

Well, I'm RIGHT, dammit, and you're NOT!

See how easy that was? And ugly?

When did loud, white, privileged guys become a minority in America?  

In the work-force, of course, we white guys need to curb our tendencies toward sexual harassment. Seems like everyone has it out for us regarding that. Big deal, right? I mean chicks watch Mad Men, too. And there's a built-in stigma--an oopsy embarrassment, really, that we're all trying to politely church-laff over--regarding our noble white male heritage: something to do with our ancestors owning slaves, killing off the true American natives, poisoning the world, bla, bla, bla. Then there's the sad fact that some white males are only destined for sub-management positions--assistant managers, mind you! Heckuva' tough cross to bear. Get right down to it, keeping up a perfectly coifed yard is a nightmare of magnanimous proportions. Don't even get me going on proper footwear and sweaters (pop that collar!).

Jesus (and, of course, I'm talking a Charlton Heston-styled Jesus), being a white, angry male is a hard road to travel, after all.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Fred Meyer: Better than Disneyland

Portland, Oregon is host to many fascinating, natural wonders: a world of trees; waterfalls; mountains; hipsters.

But for my money, the most fascinating aspect was the phenomenon known as "Fred Meyer."
During our trip there, I cut my finger or something. Can't remember why or how, but I'm damn glad I did. We needed band-aids. As we passed a nondescript, dime a dozen drug store, I yelled out, "Band-aids! There!"

My wife said, "No. You need to experience Fred Meyer."

I thought, "Whaaat? I don't wanna' meet some long-lost fourth cousin or whatever." I asked my wife what or who Fred Meyers was. She wouldn't answer, just smiled and said, "You'll see."

And see I did. The world as I knew it exploded.

We pulled up to the parking lot. From the outside the store looked like any ol' Walmart. But a world of wonders awaited inside.

Aisles and miles of groceries. Nothing unusual about that. Then there were more aisles of clothing. Again, not that unusual. But...they had an expensive jewelry display right next to the cheese aisle! Mind-blowing! Cheddar and diamonds!

I visited the rest of the store, a surprise down every aisle. Potato chips coexisted next to socks (and don't get me going about how my wife and my Oregon dwelling pal LOVES Fred Meyers' socks). Toilet paper made for strange bedfellows with scarfs. You want shoes? Just turn left past the canned goods, right by the underwear, hook a u-turn after the cereal.

Then things took a turn for the worse. Unhappy with my wrinkled shirt, my wife decided I needed a new top. Fine. Boom. Done in one minute, the way I shop. But my wife insisted I try it on. The problem was the store was under construction (kinda like when you go to Disneyland and inevitably, the best ride is always "under construction"). There were no men dressing rooms. Rebel that I am, I tried to get into the women's dressing room, but the door was oddly lodged stuck. With no other option, I stripped down next to the Lima beans (in front of my niece, no less) and tried on the shirt.

You know, most people come back from Portland with great vacation tales of seeing whales and the beauty of its greenery.

I got Fred Meyers. (And my brother-in-law's crazy neighbor who sprays an aerosol can outside on bugs, but that's a story for another time). One of the best tourist attractions since the hilarious horrors of the "Precious Moments" chapel.

Happy holidays!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Supermodels and Kings!

I love the internet.

B.I. ("Before Internet"), I would've never had the vast opportunities to rub elbows with the greats. It's unbelievable how the Internet's opened up an entire new world of amazement and riches.
I'm constantly bombarded with supermodels wanting to "friend" me. When I do, they say I'm cute and want to send me pictures. Ask for a little start-up cash to fund their humanitarian efforts and the like. Life is great! It certainly makes a (just entering) middle-aged man (HARDLY old) feel in the prime of his life. 50 is the new Magic Mike, so my new Facebook pals tell me.

And the royalty! Wow! Kings seek me out! Cool! I'm hangin' with Kings! Sure, these deposed Nigerian kings have fallen on bad times. Sucks to be in their formally royal slippers. But they present their issues well and, hey, who am I to deny them their rightly inheritance. (Okay, not altogether altruistic to tell the truth...seems like a pretty solid investment plan. That along with gambling, of course. It's always good to have a sturdy retirement plan in place).

Naturally, there're a few downsides to the modern age of social electronic friendships. 

If one more person asks me to join "Candy Crush," Hulk will smash!

Aside from that brief, uncharacteristic outburst of computer rage, though, I couldn't be happier. People are so darn friendly on the Intronets. It's good to know they haven't lost their sense of true, human empathy.

Happy new year! (I hope.)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Fox News Exclusive!

For whatever reason, our new roaming satellite dish only receives Fox News and polka music.
Be good to everyone and happy holidays, no matter what you celebrate. We're in it together.

Speaking of holidays, why not stuff your stocking with my brand new, just released chiller thriller, Dread and Breakfast?

Welcome to the Dandy Drop Inn, where everybody’s treated like family. Come on in outta’ the winter storm. Checking in’s easy…checking out’s deadly.

Five star rating! (Midwestern Bed & Breakfast website)

A chilling thriller to take the chill off of those wintry nights. 


Friday, December 16, 2016

Mortality sucks!

Mortality's something I don't like to think about, something I keep back-burning like cleaning out the gutters.

"Ah," I figure, "the gutters will wait for a while."

Problem is, mortality doesn't like to wait.

Last week, my daughter hits me up with a text: "Hey. My mom had a heart attack. Can you watch my dog?"


First: Bad way of communicating, daughter, bad! 

My heart pounded, not a good sign. I naively thought, well, clearly my daughter meant her grandmother had a heart attack. But that didn't track; one's out-of-town, the other grandmother (my mom) would let me know about it louder than a three-alarm fire-bell. 

I re-read the text.

Yup, clear as day, my daughter's mother had a heart attack.

In full-on, near heart-attack mode myself, I'm texting (damn, it takes a long time on ancient flip-phones: tap, tap, tap, wait, tap, tap...), calling ("Sarah, answer your phone, what the hell you mean your mother had a heart attack? Good Gawd, tell me...BEEEP.), you know, generally having a melt-down. Which helps no one.

"Okay, okay," I tell myself, "my daughter's not freaking out, so why should I?"

GAH! Tap, tap, tap, wait, tap, tap... "Talk to me, dammit, why's the world spinning out of control?"

No answer. My daughter had an hour drive into town. Good on her for not texting while driving. Bad on her for not utilizing a more immediate, stone-age form of communication : telephone! Hello, psychedelic freak-out!

Later, I find out my ex-wife did have the Big One. The "widow-maker," as the jokers in science refer to it.

I called my ex while she was still in the hospital.

She says, "Hey, we better take better care of ourselves, now that we're getting up there in age."


Fifty-five is the new beginning of middle-age, as I constantly remind my wife. My wife laughs. 

Sure, I have a tendency to ignore my squelchy knees, my sore back, hair where it shouldn't be and hair that's fallen from where it's supposed to stay put. In many ways, I'm reverting back to my baby stage. 
But I can remember being young. Gotta' count for something, right?

Shameful, but I had to pull up a calculator to figure out my age. No lie. Guess it's something I've been trying hard not to think about. But, c'mon! Some dude from Game of Thrones just died at the age of 93! I'm only 49 (alright, alright, 54)!


New health regimen. Exercise 'til I vomit. Nothing but food that's good for me (and tastes like crap, because those two requirements go hand in hand; yum, kale!). Less alcohol. Regular sleep hygiene. Don't stress out over my family.

Starting in 2017, of course. After I clean out those damn gutters, once the weather turns friendly. Gotta' fortify myself first.

Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say. (And trying not to think about the short period it took for the Roman empire to fall).

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Log of Controversy

For two months, I've been battling the trash-men in an epic war of stupidity, arrogance, pride and Americana! Hell, yeah!

A little back story... Our huge oak tree in the front yard (biggest in the city--like everything in America!--and apparently a historical landmark) decided to shed one of its honkingly large branches. Weighing in at about 140 pounds, six foot long and fourteen inches around, it was an unwieldy eyesore.

The first day of the month was coming up. Our trash collectors have publicly announced that on first day of the month, every resident can put out two large items. No matter how big or who it is, they'll take it and pollute the world elsewhere.

I put The Limb out curbside. My new nemesis's ("nemesi?") bypassed it. 

Jerks! Oh, it's so ON!

The next week, regular trash pick-up day, I thought I'd play fair (ha-ha, very funny guys, good time had by all, now pick up the damn trash), and set The Log into the trash bin. Sure, it stuck out like a broken finger, but, hey, that's what trash guys are for. Deal with it.

These jokers come along, jump out of the truck, pick up The Log and heave it into my yard.

Not only was it now ON, it couldn't be turned off! (In early retirement, I have a lotta spare time).

I went on-line, did my duty as a True American and tried to raise some healthy ire. I got nowhere. Further research led me to the trash guys' website ("Sure as shootin', everyone's rootin' for garbage!"). A glaring and ridiculously blaring statement proclaimed "limbs and foliage must be tied together in bunches no longer than three feet in length." No reason whatsoever given. Just the trash guys flexing their dirty muscle.

With no electric saw in the garage, I turned to ol' faithful, a rusty saw I'd inherited from the Civil War or something. As my mom would say, " it couldn't cut hot butter."

It was time to go tricky, covert ops. I took The Log to the street. I lifted it, whacked it down to break it apart. Nothing. I climbed a ladder perched onto my house, hefted The Log up. Dropped it on the driveway. Stubbornly still in one piece.

Dragging The Log like Linus with his blanket, head down and defeated, I propped the controversial limb up against the street lamp pole, hoping the trash villains of my nightmares would have second thoughts the following day.

Again, they ignored it. They tossed it into the street.But could it be? An early Christmas miracle? The center of The Log had weakened. Further chipped away by ravenous squirrels. With a mighty Hulk-like roar, one born of two months of frustration, I picked the nightmarish limb up. Smashed it down. HULK SMASH! TWO PIECES!
All that morning, I secretly hovered by the window, waiting to see if the devious trash monsters would pick up the two chunks I cleverly camouflaged inside the trash bin.

SUCCESS! High fives all around! Boo-yah, that's how you do it!