Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'll Be Your Tribesman

Today Tyler mentioned that some of her friends went on a National Geographic cruise trip to Antarctica.

Well, whoooop-tee-dooo.

I'm sure, like several of my ex-girlfriends, Antarctica was lovely, frigid, forbidding, and yet somehow extremely fascinating.

As you may have guessed - it does NOT sound great to me, but I would never discourage you from going on such a trip. In fact - go! I encourage it!

Me? I don’t see much point in taking a National Geographic trip anywhere there aren’t sweaty naked people. After 10 formative years furiously thumbing through National Geographics for photos of naked tribespeople (’87 was a good year); I’m not sure I can go through life fulfilled without gawking at an indigenous people group clad in the altogether at least once.

I find it fascinating that in 2010 there are still entire societies on earth that wander around in various stages of undress. It’s fantastic. By the time I shuffle off this mortal coil I will have spent something like .055% of my lifespan on the mind-numbing chore of taking things to get cleaned that these people groups did away with altogether! And WE claim to be the more “evolved” tribe?

The general anthropological study is interesting I guess, but I just can’t quite wrap my mind around it. Can you imagine what our society would be reduced to if shirts were optional?? I, for one, wouldn’t get a single useful thing done, and I certainly wouldn’t have sufficient focus to hunt or gather. The power grid would flicker and go completely out by day 5 and by day 200 the US population would have either happily starved to death with peaceful smiles on their faces or doubled – I’m not sure which.

Without the dry cleaner we’d be just another group of sweaty tribesmen with barely enough focus left to sharpen a pointy stick.

Hug your dry cleaner today. He'll understand.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spray Tan Your Way to Success

"My bathing suit bottom has officially disappeared," Aunt Sherry sighed; gently waggling her rear in the corner of the sitting room.

"I mean, it's 18 inches deep and going out of sight" she continued, stifling a giggle.

"This one is going to take a surgical team to extract" she chortled, walling her eyes and gesturing vaguely behind her.

"MOM! I can't take you anywhere!" Ashley wailed.

Then to me: "At Beau's wedding we he had to take her wine glass away before she ended up on stage with a tambourine!"

"You know I just asked the band if I could play the tambourine one time and for all the noise y'all make of it you'd think I walked up on stage naked playing a trombone! I've always wanted to play the tambourine, ok?!" Sherry said. Then, before Ashley could retort, she gave the hem of her black cocktail dress a series of violent tugs and sashayed off in the direction of the dessert table.

“Did she say “bathing suit” Aunt Greer buzzed into my ear from behind me. “Why did she say bathing suit?”

"I’M WEARING MY BATHING SUIT BOTTOM BECAUSE THE ELASTIC HOLDS MY GUT IN!!!" Sherry announced gaily from the dessert area; chocolate covered strawberry held triumphantly aloft.

I heard a noise behind me and turned just in time to see Aunt Greer’s glasses slide off her nose and onto the floor. I bent to pick them up and noticed that they were missing an earpiece. “Greer I think you just broke your glasses" I said.

"Oh no honey. I know. They’ve been like that for awhile." She replied, carefully balancing the broken spectacles on the bridge of her nose. “If I hold my head just-so they stay on fine.”

Between bites of strawberry Sherry continued: “Last night Robert and I went to Nichole’s salon to get a spray tan; and I realized how skinny these bathing suit bottoms make me feel; so I thought to myself ‘well, maybe I’ll just wear them to the engagement party!’”

“What?! Robert gets a spray tan? He always does look very dark!” Greer peered at her, owlishly; eyeglasses slightly askew.

“Oh noooo, Robert has his own tanning bed at the house! He just came over to have a glass of wine and watch me get spray tanned" Sherry finished.

Oh man I think I’ve heard enough about your weird married games” I said. “Is this one of those things Cosmopolitan says to do to spice up your marriage?”

“Well I don’t know. I just called and said ‘Robert take the ham out of the freezer to thaw, I’m going to get a spray tan,’ and Robert said, ‘I’m on my way.’ When I got there he had a bottle of wine open and his reading glasses on and he said ‘Nichole spray her down good.’”

Greer twittered guiltily, further jostling her glasses and said “Well. Ahem. Harrumph. Let’s take a family picture.”

We did, and cousin Sarah insisted on closing her eyes at the flash, so we had to keep re-taking it until she was satisfied with lighting, skin tone, and degree of eye-open-ness.

None of the resulting photos managed to capture the ephemeral photographic “good side” I’ve been searching for in photos of myself for years, but Sarah seemed pleased with her results.

We ate deep-fried pork bites, mashed potatoes and roast beef, asparagus, and roast corn dip until we lacked the strength to navigate the buffet; then we carried the party back to the Gaither’s for a post-engagement-party wind-down. During the wind-down phase we discovered that the lunchtime coleslaw had disagreed with some of us; and those unlucky few spent the remainder of the evening with feverish, perspiring faces nestled gently against the cool, soothing side of a porcelain fixture.

Cole slaw, the silent killer, brought yet another family of strong, sociable, southerners to the throne of repentance.

I say if coleslaw, the most unassuming of foods, can take you down: I’m certainly not going to worry about raw oysters; but regardless of food-borne illness and in spite of the casualties - I’d say that the weekend was an overall success. We all learned a bit about the new in-laws and Eufaula, Alabama; but the single most important thing I learned was this:

Life Rule #698: A good spray tan is the key to any successful marriage.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Some people require very regular attention or they get very disgruntled.

me: So - you eggsighted for our big weekend of fun?
Tyler: Yeppers. Speaking of eggs, I made another delicious breaky for myself.
me: You're not afraid to eat some food are you! Good lawd. Fatty!
Tyler: Who you calling “fat,” haircut? Breakfast is good for you, chump. Egg whites, whole wheat bread, swiss cheese, tobasco, perfection
me: Good grief. I cooked myself cheerios for breakfast once. That’s about all I had in me.
Tyler: Yah. You have that nerdy dairy allergy too. I'm surprised you made it through middle school.
Me: Eh, so whats up?
Tyler: knock knock
.....(Um, I think thumbody is at your door...)
me: Sorry, I’m back. Um hallo? I mean: “who's there?”
Tyler: Esther
Me: Esther a doctor in the house?!?!?
me: Did I get it??!? IS that it??! Hhahahhaha I made that one up!!
Tyler: NO. Also, you are not funny.
me: ok ok ok ok, fine. "Esther who?"
Tyler: Esther bunny!
....knock knock
..........KNOCK KNOCK
......(ugh, we're going to have to work on your knock knock skills, loser.). Ok, nevermind.
me: Sorry, back again. Ok ok fine. "Esther bunny who?"
Tyler: NO! AGH!!!
Tyler: You is retarded.
Tyler: NO! I said "knock knock" again, nerd.
me: Geez. ok ok ok. "WHO IS THERE?!?!"
Tyler: Anna
me: anna who?
Tyler: Annanother Esther bunny!....Knock knock!!
me: Oh man I’m not sure I have the strength for this; but ok: “who is there?”
Tyler: Stella
me: "Stella who?"
Tyler: Stella nother Esther Bunny!!!! (they're everywhere!!!)
me: Oh man. I’m done. I've had enough. I cant take the mirth
Tyler: I tell you when you're done, and don't you forget it!! KNOCK KNOCK!!!! (one more please!!!)
Tyler: It's orange! Yoo hoo, Orange is at the door!!! ORANGE IS AT THE DOORRR!!!
me: Ack. Argh. Fine – ORANGE WHO?
Tyler: Orange you glad there are no more Esther bunnies?!?!??!?
me: ok. Is it over?
me: I'm officially dumber now
Tyler: hahahahahahahahaa I was crying I was laughing so hard. So, I enjoyed it at least.
me: Oh man. You don’t get out enough.

Exotic Pets

I generally don’t want a cat for a pet; but after seeing an aquarium full of ferrets at the pet store the other day – I specifically do not want a ferret. A ferret is 100% not to be trusted and, for some reason, this particular collection of ferrets look vaguely "sweaty" which really threw me off. I’d rather have an average-sized tiger wandering around than a ferret - that's how badly I dont' want a ferret.

At least with a tiger you can keep track of its whereabouts. If there is a live tiger in my house, I promise you I’m going to know exactly where it is at all times.

I’d consider that a “priority.”

But not a ferret! No telling where your pet ferret is. It could be anywhere.

Having a pet ferret would be something like having a pet snake crossed with a pet tiger crossed with a cat burglar – it’s an animal that’s extremely unpredictable, untrustworthy, potentially vicious, and it could be anywhere at any time and you wouldn’t necessarily know it.

I find that prospect horrifying.

I’m not sure what the animal theme is all about lately, but it’s obviously been on my mind. Seeing a whole aquarium full of pet ferrets in the pet store the other day is probably what set me off, but the squirrel thing in the news the other day (see previous post) really got me started thinking about rodents and such, in general.

Nothing beats Mom’s story about the python in Macon though. This is apparently a true story that took placae on the street behind my grandmother's house. Here's the gist of it:

Lady comes home from work.

Phone rings. It's Son on the phone.

Son says “Mom, my 13ft long pet python needs sun. Can you take him outside?”

At this point in the story, my Mom’s phone would have abruptly cut off. Someone would have had to immediately escort her to the nervous hospital to recover from “there is a python in my house” shock; but apparently this woman was a bit sturdier around reptiles.

Anyway, I digress.

Lady prods sluggish python outside for a little R&R.

Python charges up its sunlight batteries, then turns on its captor, completely encircling her in its coils but, unaccountably, refusing to eat her.

6hrs later Husband comes home to find woman laying prone, and perfectly still in backyard…wrapped head-to-toe in very-much-alive python.

Apparently playing dead saved her neck because, according to later reports, when she struggled the snake tightened down. Methinks she picked a good time to sit tight.

Man says, “Honey, are you ok?”

Wife says “get this thing off of me.”

Sherrif arrives; but refuses to enter backyard.

Hussband manages to extricate wife. (How? We don’t know. Perhaps by insulting the python verbally – we don’t really know the whole story here; except that, at this juncture, no one has yet had the presence of mind to produce a sharp implement or firearm).

Sheriff shoots python in head from roof of house with state-issued shotgun…..multiple times.

End of story.

Which really all just goes to show you: do not mess with ferrets.

Monday, March 08, 2010

A Second-Best Kind of Day

Apparently the second best day of my life happened this past Tuesday. I thought it was pretty nearly one of the tip-top very best A-#1 days, but according to those of you bent on ruining my life and stealing my joy - it was only second best, to be followed by a long period of misery, and finally the very best day of my life which culminates only due to my impending financial ruination.

Wwaaahhh wahhh waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh, thank you for coming to the party Mr. and Mrs. Downer and all your Downer family progeny.

Tuesday, I bought a boat. A big, fast, bad-to-the-bone redfish and bass fishing boat that I'm positively terrified of, and don't really know how to use.

Was that an intelligent financial decision based on my career as a CPA, and everything I know about the economy, myself, and my plans for the future?

Of course not.

Was that a decision based on my understanding that moth and rust destroy? That the things of this earth will perish and that one day, I too shall return to the dust?

No, but thanks for bringing it back to Biblical.

Was this an investment in my future? My future progeny, or things of an eternal nature?


This was an investment in going real' fast because: I want to go real' fast.

This collection of nuts, bolts, oil, and various spinning-things under pressure will, presumably, help me achieve the goal of mind-blowing, gravity-defying, intense, terrifying, not-at-all-safe, fastness; and THAT is why I wrote the check.

Perhaps Fred B. Hand, IV; said it best as he looked at me this weekend and said "Jimmy, this boat needs to go real' fast. When we're done fishing, let me help it go real' fast."

45 minutes later; Fred hunched behind the wheel of my new boat, face set in a grim picture of hell-bent determination but, as we rocketed past his grandfather's house at 70mph with my terrified screams filling the air, I still found my speed-numbed brain pulsing out one lone thought: "THIS IS AWESOME."

So, to all you non-boat-owners who immediately chuckle and begin spouting your pithy anecdotal references to boat ownership, cost, and stupidity let me say this: I have kept careful track of your derisive comments and I will wave to you at the dock...

As soon as I get my boat out of the shop.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Insanity Reigns

Sometimes things in the world get so bad that even the most sheltered of us are forced into a head-on collision with reality. One would think my steadfast refusal to watch the news or read the paper would protect me from the evil, polluting, influence of the outside world; but it doesn’t.

You can’t even get through the Bible without crossing paths with some pretty heady stuff. I flipped through Romans the other day, minding my own business and thinking nothing but good thoughts; and what did I see? “Orgies.”

Seriously. I’ve never even been invited to one of those and here the Bible is bringing it up!

I guess there’s no escaping the realities of a fallen world.

Somehow, the insidious evils of this mortal coil continue to pursue even I – not even the protective wall of tackle boxes, soft plastic worms, crankbaits, and other bass lures I’ve carefully built up around my tv-room chair has been able to buffer me from the stream of bad news pouring out of our television.

This morning Chalrton M. Bouchemeyer, evildoer, sent me the following link - - and something pure inside me died.

How long before the annual Squirrel Hunting Championship of the World Invitational Tournament becomes a gritty struggle for existence? What is next? “Dolphin Eats Fisherman?” “Flock of Bluebirds Carry off School Bus – Children Maimed?”

“Anderson Cooper Accused In Betty White Disappearance??!?!”

How many more indignities must we suffer before the rapture finally comes?

I’d like to direct your attention to a small, seemingly-innocuous sentence in the article - overshadowed somewhat by the headline, but chilling, nonetheless:

“Komosmolskaya Pravda notes that in a previous incident this autumn chipmunks terrorized cats in a part of the territory."


To me that means some number of chipmunks intentionally and prolongedly terrified and insulted a cat, or many cats; with no higher purpose than the sheer, liberating, freedom that must follow from a pack of chipmunks asserting themselves.

Somebody help me.

I can tell you 100% for sure that if I ever turn a corner and spy a pack of teenage chipmunks terrorizing anything; there’s going to be a me-shaped hole in anything solid between there and my Grandma’s house; because Grandma’s is the only safe place I know of when insanity reigns.