Monday, December 21, 2009

A View From Above

Nothing throws ice water on my otherwise good mood worse than falling off of something from high up. Such excellent tool-users are we, yet science has been unable to solve satisfactorily for the simple equation (X = human being + 20foot drop), where X = IMJUSTFINE

The fact that I am so fragile is one of my least favorite things about how God made me. It also plays directly into my wholly-unnatural, debilitating fear of ladders - not heights so much, but ladders. Heights I can handle, generally, but I always feel like ladders are laying around scheming.

As far as heights go - I'd gladly trade thumbs for the ability to leap long distances in a single bound and without injury, mostly because I have exceedingly talented toes and could make do, but also because my thumbs are remarkably stubby. Not so stubby, mind you, as my dear friend Gelley Kray's* stubby thumbs; but stubby nonetheless.

Not to harp on "hunting" as a topic, but I was sitting in my deerstand this morning before work when a strange horrible sound startled me from a very comfortable, sound, slumber. This terrifying sound invaded my dream to such a degree that I gasped myself wide-awake and, in so doing, sat straight upright - jerking my head and neck forward and backward in a rapid panic.

Clearly, something was about to eat me.

The huge imbalance in my human condition caused by the disproportionate size of my head, coupled with its weight and momentum, snatched my whole body forward and I came very nearly, almost, oh-so-closely to snatching myself clean out of my tree - perched twenty feet up a lone pine with my head among its lowermost branches.

After a few seconds of general thrashing about and gasping wherein I lost my hat, one glove, and a portion of the back cover to Charles Dickens' "The PickWick Papers"; I came to rest once again in my seat - sweaty and terrified and somewhat off-centered, but none the worse for wear.

I had a few moments shortly afterwards to pause and reflect on the morning's events and I realize now, looking back on it; if I expect to hunt successfully before work without getting killed I'm just not going to be able to snore quite so loud anymore.

*names changed to protect the innocent-ish.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Christmas Artichoke

Today, because I’m caught at the unfortunate crossroads of “this is what my life has been reduced to” and an insatiable curiosity concerning supermarkets, I found myself wandering amiably around at Publix, alone, on my lunch break.

After determining that the grill was broken and my sandwich would not be warm until I sat it on my engine block, I picked up a cold half-publix-sub and slowly moseyed down to the checkout person. To my great surprise I heard her cheerfully sending each shopper off with a vibrant “Merry CHRISTMAS!!!”.

It warmed my heart to hear that. Thank you, Publix. It is CHRISTMAS, and you got it right.

When the line dwindled and I reached her with my half publix sub and small jar of marinated artichoke hearts (don't ask) she looked me dead in the eye and said “do you want to donate money to the Publix free food campaign?”

I looked her straight back in her beady little eye and said “no I do not.”

She rang me up in silence, then as I turned to leave she said, somberly, ”have a nice day.” She did not wish me a cheerful and appropriate "Merry Christmas." My day was wished nicely, but my Christmas was not wished merrily – clearly not an equivalent substitution.

Why? Because I didn’t ante up for her shady food cause. Food for who? Going where? What kind of food? Is it a kind of food I support? What if its tofu? I do NOT support donated tofu in any form.

I know the isssue was my refusal to donate because I loitered about by the shopping carts for a bit until I figured out the pattern:
Donate: get a “merry Christmas.”
Don't donate: get a “haveaniceday” and a bonus frown thrown in.

When I figured it all out I stood around, shocked for awhile before finally leaving, furious, when the manager's “can we help you with something?” sounded alot like "get the hell away from the shopping carts" like I'm somehow inappropriately fondling the carts. Idiot.

That checkout lady said “have a nice day” but what she really meant was “F- U TO THE CHEAPSKATE IN AISLE 10”, and frankly, I don’t appreciate that. So, to Publix I have only this to say: Happy Kwanzaa; I hope your damn free food truck winds up in the ditch.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dynamite Is Always A Good Answer

The topic at hand was "how best to bait and kill a beaver", and to be perfectly honest with you I have no clear idea how to go about it. I know trappers used to trap beavers underwater with some kind of metal trap and maybe they still do, but I don't have one handy.

I'm actually not 100% certain what one might do with a dead beaver in a commercial sense, but I can think of about three million great things to do with one from a humor standpoint. Just to be sure, I surveyed Tyler The Scrappy, and determined that she currently owns no clothing made of beavers, so I think its safe to assume wrapping up in a dead animal is somewhat less a point than it once was. It also turns out that my three million prank ideas are mostly un-funny, or so I'm told.

Ultimately, Fred shrugged and said "Listen, I don't care if we trap them or not, all I know is these beavers are eating all the landscaping. If we can't trap 'em we can at least blow them up. Dynamite works for nearly anything. Anybody have dynamite?"

Hank responded with "Fred we're not dynamiting Lake Burton for beavers."

Fred pouted for a bit then said "Well, fine. I'm going to put more logs on the fire" and sulked off towards the woodpile.

"How about cayenne pepper mixed with water and glycerine, and sprayed on the trees at the water's edge?" I said. I know I wouldn't eat a tree sprayed in that."

"Do we want to kill them or just chase them around with pepper?" Hank said looking disgusted. "You're a big fat idiot."

Just then Tyler sashayed up and I, always alert for a way to spread a little natural education around, inquired "Hey, know what makes that mark on the trees?"

"ManBearPig" she immediately responded. "Half Man, Half Bear, and Half Pig", and she flipped her flowing blond locks over her shoulder and stalked off.

"SpiketailBuckDeer" mumbled Fred from the direction of the woodpile.

"Wow. I really like her," said Hank.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I noticed two headlines on today that captured my attention - one says "Americans Thought Jihad Must be Waged", and the next "Drug Tunnel Has Telephone, Elevator."


Firstly, I love Americans who want more Jihad, because they often seem to Jihad their way right into a 6' x 6' concrete enclosure where they can wage all the Jihad they can stand for 7-10 years. It's just Jihad morning, noon and night! Jihad Jihad Jihad! Congratulations to them for their dedication to planning some good Jihad. Best wishes for a happy 7-to-10.

Secondly, Anderson Cooper seems genuinely shocked to find a gigantic tunnel built underneath a false bathroom in a warehouse that extends from Tijuana Mexico to the US.

I, however, am not.


Because if I had a tunnel - I would definitely put it in a bathroom. In fact, if I had a bathroom big enough, I might just build me a tunnel right now. I've always wanted a tunnel that went somewhere, I've just never had two places to connect. So, on behalf of me: congratulations to the enterprising Mexican drug cartel for their clever artwork in crayon entitled "connecting two places with a tunnel" and congratulations to Anderson Cooper for noticing.

Anderson didn't stop there though, he went on to describe the construction, conditions, and estimated timeframe for completion of the great big tunnel o' drugs. It was apparently three years underway and very near to completion when the US anti-drug-catcher-people put the hammer down. That leads me to believe somebody on the anti-drug-catcher-people team knew the construction was going on, and let them keep at it for a few years. Genius, really. Its like giving your toddler building blocks - as long as he's busy tinkering with something he can't get in too much trouble. They should let ALL the bad drug people start tunnels.

Sweet Anderson also indicated that 13 people were apprehended and arrested in the tunnel.

Oh man.

In order for 13 people to be apprehended in a tunnel - somebody has to do the apprehending.

Lucky you.

There are plenty of things in life I just don't understand, but let me just tell you "Lieutenant, get down in this hole and arrest whatever Mexican construction workers you find" would be the last orders I took from my Police Chief; I know that much for sure.

Unless its MY tunnel, of course.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Gumbo Aforethought

So, Tyler invited me over for some delicious Cajun Gumbo last night.

She didn't know this, but I've had a long and fruitful association with various Gumbo dishes since my childhood. An unusual predilection for a 3yr-old; you'd be correct in thinking that Gumbo at that tender age must have been the result of some unhealthy encouragement.

You'd be right.

Enter: my maternal grandfather.

The brunt of my gustatory warp was primarily due to the varied tastes of my maternal Grandfather (known far and wide as "Granddad"), who simply would not bypass Gumbo on a menu. He may have gone in for banana pudding, but the gumbo would come along for the ride. He's also the only educated modern person I know who bought jars of pickled pig's feet at the store.

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure what "store" he was referring to, but I can't recall having ever seen pickled pig's feet at Kroger.

Dad often called him a "scavenger" and, in somewhat less graceful moments, a "buzzard" but I prefer to think of him as an "open-minded omnivore." Which, to my way of thinking, is a much more highly developed animal.

So, with that family history firmly in place, when Tyler suggest "gumbo", naturally I accepted.

Little did I know the horrors that would soon befall me.

I walked in the door and smelled the delicious smell of long-stewing, multi-layered, complex, delicious gumbo. It took me back, it really did. Then, we sat down to dinner and I had a nibble or two. Delicious.

Then I noticed a slightly unusual texture somewhere in the dish. "Sweetheart?" I said lovingly, "What sort of a meat is this in the gumbo?"

"Why do you ask?" she said, sweetly.

Now, I'd like to pause here for just a second at "why do you ask" because, friends, as a man - its at this point in a conversation with a woman that you realize something is definitely amiss. Its a "tell" not unlike a poker player nervously scratching his nose, or clearing his throat at a good hand. A person with nothing to hide would never say "why do you ask?", but a person with a calm exterior, frantically clawing at the edge of reason for a clever lie, would.

Feeling the black shroud of gourmet doom closing about me, I continued.

"I believe something is amiss" I said, "and I believe it is the sausage."

"Oh?" she said, innocently.
"I think the sausage is delicious."

"It's turkey sausage isnt it" I said, defeated; "You've fed me turkey sausage again."

"It's turkey ssauuuusssasaaaggeeeeeeee!!!!!!" she crowed, gleefully.

"It's terrible" I said.
"It's ground-up bird paste."
"Also, there is no shrimp in it. Why have you done this to gumbo?"

"It's soooo gooooodddd for you" she chortled, svelte runner's legs and toned physique fairly humming with delight.

"No, its not good for me; and Granddad is spinning in his grave right now" I responded, corpulently.


"Nevermind, I just hate it. And the chicken was frozen I can tell! Don't lie to me!"

"Oh? Why would you say that?" she said, innocently.

Then, with great cunning and malice aforethought she leaned gently in, brushed a crumb off my lapel, and said these four terrible words:

"Would you like THIRDS?"

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

You Don't Know Neti

"You need a NetiPot" Thomas said, smugly, through his upended beer. "It'll fix you right up. Yup, I swear by the NettiPot." He saw my quizzical expression and smiled. "What. You don't know NetiPot? Tell him, Seth." He gestured in Seth's general direction with an elbow and tipped his beer up once again.

Seth began with "Well. Its like this. No, actually - let me see. Its kind of like this thing that you put water in. Hold on, let me back up - before you put water in it, you kind of pour this stuff in there and mix it around....." then he trailed gently off, scratched for a bit, and said: "Well, basically, it's like a little teapot."


"Right, thats what I said - its like a little teapot" said Seth.

"So, its like a nasal douche then" I said.

"Hahahahhahahaa!!! You said 'douche' " they both chortled.

I let it go.

Still confused, I swung by Walgreens for a mysterious NetiPot to find that it is, indeed, a little blue tea kettle with little white packets of saltstuff to mix in it. Once mixed with warm water, you pour the whole thing straight in one nostril, and it comes straight out the other.

How it knows to do that, I don't know (I would have anticipated it would come back out the SAME nostril) but I do know that I spent 15 minutes furiously dogpaddling air to avoid drowning upright in my bathroom last night. I finally decided I might rather just have the sinus infection than slowly kill myself with tiny packets of saltwater. Too late though; because now I'm afraid I managed to flush whatever was in my sinuses straight out into my ear holes.

Whenever I tilt my head I hear the ocean.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Gridlock Who Stole Christmas

Well, you heard it here first: its officially the holidays. I know that, not because Tyler has been gleefully chirping Christmas tunes for 6 weeks, but because my traffic tolerance gauge has just shattered. The holidays don't have to be this painful. I have a deep-seated sense of hope in my heart that says it could be a gridlock-free Christmas if we just work together.

I got stuck behind a teal green Eagle Talon (seriously, theres one left) today for so long I finally just got off the interstate and followed him around for a bit. Our trip terminated, naturally, at Perimeter Mall approximately 12 minutes later than it should have.

Congratulations! You, Sir, are an idiot.

We have the INTERNET , Sir!! UPS will bring all that stuff STRAIGHT TO YOUR HOUSE. Seriously, they will; its not an urban legend. You've got a measuring tape and you can figure out exactly how fat you are, so you don't really have to go to the mall anymore for a salesperson to tell you - and ou're probably a whole lot dumber than me if you do. Shell out 7% sales tax in my home state though; I'm fine with it - down here we call that "revenues." I'm also fine with you being dumber than me, in general, as long as it doesn't put your dumb, unprincipled, butt dragging aimlessly down the left lane at 25 mph. You (all of you) should never, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER be in the left lane. J U S T D O N T D O I T. Don't even "pass" in the left lane. You clearly can't handle the responsibility.

Also, you don't have to leave the house to pick your nose - you can do that in the privacy of your very own home anytime you like with no public repercussions....I'm just saying....think about it.