Tuesday, January 26, 2010

UnHorsed at the Pass

"WHAT?!?!? WHAT DID YOU SAY?" she hissed, furiously across the kitchen/diningroom/den/breakfast room that is the first floor of her townhome.


"A R E Y O U K I D D I N G M E? !?!?!?"*

I rumpled down into the couch a bit more and peered out over the top of my blackberry for the kitchen-appliance-missile I expected to see hurtle across the space towards my tender noggin at any moment.

Sorry. sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry. sorry sorry.
sorry sorry sorry....

I murmured from down in the couch.

"I just sometimes tune out. You know that. I didn't realize you were cleaning up the kitchen."



"Well, I hardly think that kind of ugly talk is appropriate" I said, adopting an injured tone for my initial manouvers. "I just didn't realize what was going on is all."

"Anyway, technically, you're in the kitchen and I'm in the den. See?" I said waving my feet around on the couch, "Ha!! Invisible kitchen wall. See?!"

Then, I made the key strategic error that cost me not only the battle, but also the entire war, a real casket, and appropriate embalming.

I said: "Well, why didn't you just ask me to help?"

And that, dear friends, touched off Vesuvius.

When the smoke cleared I was frantically casting about the kitchen for something to clean, or at least a few cups to bang together, and my lovely assistant was nowhere to be seen.

The next evening as I recounted the story to Dad over dinner, Tyler chimed in periodically with key facts that I managed to omit, then said (to Dad) "I know you know better than that?!"

Dad, who seemed very pleased at my costly foible, responded (to Tyler) "well, why didn't you just ask him to help!" and my heart leapt as I thought "FINALLY!!! VINDICATED!!! VICTORY AT LAST!!! SAVED BY SUPERIOR EXPERIENCE, AGE, AND WISDOM!!""

.....until Dad finished with "...because everybody knows he's retarded."

Once again, we find our hero galloping boldly across the sunlit plain.....dead in the saddle with one lone arrow in his back.

*I have been instructed to point out that no tempers were "lost" in the making of this scene. Duly noted.

(.....but I can think of at least one temper that was found.... hrhrhrh)

Monday, January 25, 2010

What's The Big Deal

I dont understand what the big deal is about styrofoam. I got absolutely jumped on the other day for letting it be known that I had just stocked up with 3,000 16oz styrofoam cups FOR MY OWN USE, because they apparently "ruin the environment." I wasn't handing them out on a playground mind you - I got them just for ME.

I just don't see the big harm. Sure, they stick around for awhile, I'll grant you that; but are they really HURTING anything?

No, I dont think so.

If they grew poisonous spines and attacked elementary schools as soon as you threw them out - that would be one thing; but as far as I can tell they just lay in our landfills happily soaking up the sun. I can respect that.

The same person who accosted me so furiously over the matter drove home in an SUV drinking 14 mpg of our rapidly-depleting gasoline reserves, but I'm the bad guy?!? The only thing about styrofoam that I think everybody has such a hissy fit over is this: its an eyesore. its not HFCs, flourocarbons, or even (gasp) transfats - its aesthetics.

Fortunately, I've figured out a way to help the environment AND prevent landfill overuse: instead of throwing out my used cups - I just burn them.

I'm surprised everybody hasn't caught on to this simple solution yet.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Somebody Needs Attention

When Tyler feels ignored this is what she does to my instant messenger system:

Seriously though, things are rockin' around here.

Just kidding.

Not really rockin.

Ok they ARE rocking and rollin.
Just kidding, if they were rocking, I wouldn't be emailing you right now.
Just kidding I would.
Just kidding I really am hungry.
Just kidding I'm not because I ate grits for breaky and they're tiding me over nicely.
Just kidding they're not, they're ground corn for pete's sake. Chickens eat more than that.
Just kidding they don't, or their stomachs would explode.
Just kidding they wouldn't, I really don't know the anatomy of a chicken.
Just kidding, I actually do because my mom worked for a poultry company for 35 years plucking chickens.
Just kidding, she was in Marketing and didn't love me.
Just kidding, she did.
Just kidding it's YOUR family who doesn't love you.
Just kidding, they do, they told me so, on our weekly "how's Jimmy" check in calls. Just kidding we don't have those.

Just kidding, but I do feel like you’re not Focusing Entirely On Me right now (FEOM) and I thought we had discussed the ramifications of that.

I’m not kidding.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Head Usher Reports

When I first posted a blog about my important role as an usher in the recently-completed Slocumb-Pitts merger; I had no idea how critical that role would be.

Generally, when you hand someone a crucial wedding role like "Head Usher" its really more of an honorary title. Really, you're not supposed to do much ushering per se. They pay highschool kids $4.50 an hour to usher at movie theaters - this isn't that kind of ushering; this is the kind of ushering where you get dressed up and walk women around in church for free.

The main benefits of ushering, as I see it (and if you're single, which I'm not), is threefold:
1. You get to prescreen all the single women before everyone else gets to take a crack at them. Think of it as "thinning the herd" so to speak. If you know where she's seated you're a step ahead of all the silly groomsmen mooning around up on stage with the bridesmaids.

2. You get a chance to bait cougars if that's your bag. You can spot the cougars from the housecats because they sashay a bit more and they generally always bump you with a hip on the way down the aisle. You bait them with a few light compliments before seating. If they come back to feed on the bait at the reception - you're in business.

3. You're positioned well at the back of the church for an early escape in the event of fire, flood, or long-winded homily.

The benefits to the good usher are many, the trials few....unless the wedding gets overbooked, for instance.

I had heard the wedding was to be "large" which, to me, meant absolutely nothing. It didn't start to mean anything until I got there and learned a few important things about white people in the south:
1. nobody will sit within two seat spaces of anyone else which leads to Usherial Horror: half-person-width seat spaces all over the place.
2. nobody will scoot down close to anyone else when it starts to fill up.
3. nobody will slide down to the outside ends so you can fill from the center.
4. everyone is saving a seat for someone else who is guaranteed to never arrive.

White people seem to assume that however many seats they want are, by god-given-right, theirs. If you don't believe me - try and bump a rich old white lady out of giving up a saved seat some time. She'll make you weep, I promise.

Having not ever been invited to a majority-african-american, asian, Latin, or "other" wedding, I can't say exactly how they'd handle things; but I'm willing to bet they'd be alot friendlier. Sure, white people may be a majority, but most of the fun at weddings is being had by everybody else - I'm convinced of that. Did you know some cultures get together and bury a burning pig in spices, then dig it up and eat it. H O L Y C R A P, now THAT is a wedding!

Of course, nobody bothered to tell me that 500 invitations went out for 325 seats this weekend. Why would they? After all - metal folding chairs just walk right on up to the rear of the church and unfold themselves quietly to seat stragglers, right? Did I mention it was flooding outside? For all of you wedding goers - you know that loud crashing boom sound that came echoing out of the foyer during the ceremony??? THAT WAS ME.

So, to each of you firmly-affixed-to-your-seat wedding goers out there with your legions of empty "saved" seats and purses placed strategically to prevent communication with your neighbors - I'd like to say this: MOVE YOUR PUDGY BUTT, LARDASS.

By the time the brave, the few, The Ushers marched our folding chairs out of storage through the parking lot in the rain to the foyer to save the day - my hair had all knapped up and I looked like a cross between slick Guido the Chubby Pizza Boy and a recently-evicted Ruth's Chris Steakhouse waiter.

Fortunately, that didn't matter because the powers-that-be "forgot" to include our sodden butts in any of the wedding photos - a merciful omission to say the least because somehow in the humidity my tux shrunk up in the legs, sagged down in the crotch, and my shirt collar refused to lay down all night. It became so intolerable that Lee Trice, the lone sub-usher who actually showed up to the wedding mostly drunk, finally gave in and traded out his tux for worn jeans and a flannel shirt.

Later, on our way out of the truly fabulous reception wherein I got to shake my tailfeathers onstage, it came to my attention that we were to leave our rented tuxes in the coat-check for the mother of the bride to return. I was pleased to say the least because I loathe men's clothing shops. So to Mrs. Pitts - fabulous idea and my thanks because I had a great time, but until then I hadn't realized it had been a real landmark wedding.

It was only when Tripp Maddux and I found ourselves standing in the coat check room in our boxer shorts and black socks rapidly disrobing; that, just as my last leg left my pantaloons, I turned and realized: the coat check girl was still on duty - huddled wide-eyed in the corner of the room behind the coats.

And that did it.

It's not a truly great wedding until a stranger gets to see me mostly naked.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Packing For Success

"Aim high and let it fly" my guide growled from underneath his binoculars. "He's broadside at 104 yards and that's as close as he's gonna get."

I packed my things the week before in Atlanta feeling satisfied that my archery skills at 70 yards would stand me in good stead on a New Mexico spot-and-stalk mule deer hunt.

I was wrong.

The muffled twang of a carbon-shafted arrow leaving my bow at 327 feet per second was followed shortly after by the wholly unwelcome sound of $10-apiece-broadhead meeting loose shale, and a giant mule deer buck of epic, dream-wrecking, proportions bounded off unscathed.

"Right on line, but 6 inches low" my guide grunted, frustrated, pushing his hat back above his forehead; partially exposing a wind-tanned face to the southwestern sun.

We sat quitly for a second then he grinned and said "You can't miss 'em if you don't shoot" before trudging off to retrieve my arrow; leaving me to contemplate his comment and the rapidly-disappearing figure of the deer already a half-mile across the canyon below.

He crunched back up the slope carrying my ruined arrow, then we climbed back on our ATV's and wound our way slowly back up the mountain.

The topic around the bunkhouse that night was misses (all around), and a newfound appreciation for wind drift and distance, but my favorite comment by far came from my guide who, just before turning in, glanced down at my duffel bag and archery kit and said "Junior, I don't think you've brought enough arrows, but you're sure stocked up on wet wipes."

I'll take that as a compliment.