Friday, May 28, 2010

The Voyage of the HMS TallyWacker

I rolled over in my bunk around 2AM and heard a low melody coming from somewhere topside. I fumbled with the hatch above my bed and stuck my head out through the floor of the main deck. Unable to get a perfect fix on the sound, I clambered through the hole in the roof, my cabin mate, Austin Britt, barely rolling over as I eased myself out onto the salt-rimed fiberglass of the 50-foot Voyage sailboat.

I stepped over Emily Jones’ sleeping, towel-swaddled form laying above the galley and made my way onto the foremost portion of the deck. I paused for a moment, hearing nothing, then from a suspiciously-lumpy portion of the mainsail cover emanated:

“Heyyyy, heyyyy, PP P P PAAUUULLAAAAA!!! I wanntt to o oo (snort, hiccup)…. maaaaaaarryyy youuuuuuu…Hey HEYYYY PAULAAAAA!!! (snooorree)”

I peeked inside the makeshift hammock and found a sodden Charlton M. Bouchemeyer clutching an empty Jack Daniels bottle and gently singing in his sleep. Upon further inspection it turns out that CMB had rigged a tiny portable hammock between the mast and the main foresail supports – effectively using the motion of the boat to gently rock himself to sleep.

Noting that all appeared to be in order, I returned to my cabin and slept.

I awakened to the sound of my hatch being opened from the outside. A pair of twinkling green eyes appeared over the lip of the square hatch, and a I heard a cheerful voice say:

"Um. Hallo. Ah. Do you want to get up and come play with me?!"


“Aaaugh. What TIME is it?!?!?” I said, burying my head in my pillow.

“Um. Hallo!! Hallo!! It’s a looovely day!!! It’s TIME FOR YOU TO GET UP AND COME PLAY WITH ME!! LETS GOO SNAAAAAARRRKLINGGGG” she warbled, avoiding the question.

“Ok ok ok ok ok. I’m up, but WHAT TIME IS IT!?!?”

“Um. It’s ALREADY 5:45”

“IN THE MORNING?!?!? You are a crazy person.”


Augh. Alright I’m up. I’m UP. I'm UP. HANG IT ALL.

I arose and donned my bathing suit, then stumbled into the galley towards the scent of frying bacon. Tyler stood before the stove and I could see Captain Ken’s feet standing at the wheel on deck.

“Well, I see you, me, and the Captain. That’s not EVERYBODY.”

“Everybody IS up….Well, except for Ashleigh, CMB, Austin, Emily, Anslee, and Eric.”

“So, its just you, me and the captain.”

“That about sums it up.”

“I’m powerless to refute that argument.”

“Oh good. Well, want a bacon and egg sammich?” she responded brightly, distracting me with food - one of her more effective tricks.

“Ok.” I grumbled. “Is it at least REAL bacon?”

“Yuppers. Sure is!”

“Well, at least there is that!” I responded, relieved.

Then, in a devious, purely evil move designed to undermine my personhood, she watched me eat half an egg sammich slathered in turkey bacon before I realized it. THEN in an even more provocative move she responded to the onslaught of my pork-imposter wrath with “I just said the bacon was REAL – not that it was made of pork!! Tee hee!”

And that’s pretty much how each morning began aboard the HMS TallyWacker. We scalloped about the British Virgin Islands for a week or so, making all sorts of new friends (a boat crewed by 4 couples in their mid-40s looking to “swing” followed us, or rather Ashleigh, for two days), we saw all kinds of ocean life, and we even managed to get a tan.

There were few casualties unless you count the time Anslee pushed CMB off the rear deck and into the lower hull – splitting his chin open to the bone; an injury which required approximately 8 stitches, but got a butterfly bandage of duct-tape instead…..Or the time CB managed to get himself snarled in a fast-moving mainsail rope; burning the meat off his right hand and left foot – effectively becoming the first sailing non-sailor in history to get footropeburn.

As a result of his burn injuries CMB felt compelled to promptly drink 8 ounces of bourbon to “numb the pain.” It seemed to help because he then wrote a political treatise on the economic fallout of evil “big business” out loud for our edification....But I guess it worked, because he seemed to have completely forgotten his hands altogether.

We experienced all the islands had to offer (except dirty swingers) and made it home alive. In short: I declare the Voyage of the HMS TallyWacker a rousing success.

Tally Ho!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Ordinary, Intelligent Day

I’m convinced that ordinary, intelligent, people do extraordinarily stupid things very regularly and they’re just fortunate enough that, 85% of the time, nobody sees it. Somehow I managed to get myself born under an unlucky star and about 95% of the stupid things I do - someone manages to see. And not just “see” but witness, verify, then relate to others.

Last week I was scalloping about on when I came across a young man selling a set of five (5) automatically-inflatable PFDs (that’s automatic life jackets to you non-fishermen-folks) for $125 plus $16 shipping. I priced the units out at $119-apiece at the fount of all things good and wonderful (BassPro Shops)and was astounded to calculate a cool $454 in savings.

I almost lost my mind.

Naturally, I bought them and they showed up in the mail just a short few days later – as promised and just as described. I was thrilled. So thrilled, in fact, that I immediately put one on and walked around in the kitchen wearing it while cooking dinner. I’m a grown man, and if I want to walk around in my own house wearing an inflatable life jacket – I’ll damn well do it.

I imagine Joshua K. Wallace, Roommate, was very surprised to turn the corner and see me rolling on the kitchen floor in a plate of hot fish, rice, and beans; gasping and clutching at the fully-inflated life vest wrapped around my throat, but he had the wits about him a few moments later to help me deflate it a bit, and take this:

To HELL with camera phones.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Communicating With a Quasi

I called my (newest) quasi-cousin (or “interloper” or just “quasi” for short); Mrs. Jessica Pitts-Slocumb Sunday night to relate the happy news of my upcoming nuptials. She answered the phone and I said simply said “well, we’re engaged!”

Jessica: “Ok yes. You have my attention.”
Me: “No. We’re engaged”
Jessica: “Right I got you. I’m tracking with you. We’re engaged in conversation. I'm fully engaged. Tell me what’s going on.”
Me: “No, I mean seriously - We’re ENGAGED.”
Jessica: "Yes I know. We are. You and me – I’m 100% engaged with you and I AM LISTENING. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IS GOING ON. Hurry UP!!! YOU KNOW HOW SWEATY AND NERVOUS I GET. OH MAN (I hear what sounds like arms flapping up and down) THERE WE GO. NOW YOU'VE DONE IT - I JUST GOT ALL SWEATY.”
ME: I’m not sure how else to say this. Let me think.
ME: ....thinking….....
Jessica: “You are making me really nervous. Seriously. Who died? Just tell me (deep breath). I’m ready. Just tell me.”
ME: Well, that’s gross.
Me: Totally my fault.

Facebook has warped the earth.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Cooking Evaluation #1: The Mysteries of The Pork Chop

In general, I intend for my FutureWifePerson Evaluation Techniques to be succinct, accurate, and accompanied by solid graphical data. However, I was prevented in appropriately documenting our first test entitled "The Mysteries of The Pork Chop" by threat of physical violence on the part of The FutureWifePerson.

I will not harp on an ugly scene but, in short, she blocked my shot of the test results and then slapped the camera clean out of my hand. I tried to recover, but she pulled rank and threatened to "throw away my dinner" which, if you're familiar with the infamous 1987 "Mom took his biscuit away and he cried" incident, you know its a threat I take seriously.

I was generally hopeful that this test would kick The Period of Evaluation off on an upbeat note because we all know pork is delicious. Even well into the preparation process I was confident in Tyler's abilities.

It wasn't until she said "do we have any flour?" then when I replied in the negative responded with "oh ok well - maybe corn starch will work" that I got nervous.

She clamored about the kitchen rattling pots and pans, talked on the phone, whistled tunelessly through her front teeth for a bit, then I heard her say to herself "well, I'll just defrost the meat now."

Approximately 9 minutes later, after 4 or 5 brief phone conversations and a nervous giggle or two, I heard her open the microwave and mumble "whoops" under her breath. She then approached me and said "hey, what do you think I should do with these?" as she guiltily held aloft 6, 1/16" thick, microwave-blasted atomic pork slivers.

Naturally, as an independent examiner I am barred from comment, so I simply located some flour for her and left her to her own devices. Approximately 12 minutes later I heard the unmistakable sizzle of re-frying pork and the smell of hot grease and knew what her solution was: "just fry it."

We're in the south, so that move is actually worth positive points.

Before I get to the overall results - I once read a children's story where a tree was cut down and all the other beautiful trees grew strong and tall and then spent a lifetime making fun of the stump. Not to ruin it, but at the end of the story it turns out that the tree was used to build the cross Christ died on to absolve the world from sin. Ha, Ha - guess that goes to show all the other mean, abusive trees - right? So, the cut-down tree was a key player in a major world event and all the other trees just stood around, then probably went straight to the eternal sawmill.

Well, lets just say I hope the pig who walked into the sausage plant on four feet and came out in pork chops bound for Tyler's kitchen hadn't read that story because all the other pigs are probably still laughing.

In her defence - we have a disturbingly-powerful microwave. When you turn this thing on you have to clench your teeth so they don't buzz from the radiation, you pick up AM radio in your skull, all the birds in the yard fly off - I mean this thing is potent.

She could not possibly have known that and avoided triple-blast-frying the meat without warning, so we'll give her a "pass" this time.

Forunately, Uncle Ben's Cheesy Instant Rice and some dehydrated-potato-au-gratin-cheese-food product served as a delicious garnish and saved the day. It was a flavor explosion of pasteurized-process cheese product with notes of oak, a sharp cheddar nose and a light, fluffy, napalm-pork finish.

I'm refraining from assigning a numbered score to this first test due to extenuating mechanical food preparation circumstances, but I'm on the alert.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Who's Got the Skillz?

I've decided that my blog is going to take a brief hiatus from the mundane ramblings of my ordinary pre-engaged life. Instead I'm going to start my first ever multi-part series in the next week or so.

The topic: Evaluating Tyler's various spousal skillz and general preparedness for marriage.

Now that we're officially betrothed, I feel like this is my last shot to kick my evaluatory techniques into high gear with some overt analysis.

I anticipate a multi-part format evaluating basic life skillz with tests such as the following:

1. Cooking Eval. 1 - The Mysteries of The Pork Chop
2. Basic SpeedBoat Handling Exam
3. The Art of The Neck Rub
4. What Do I Do With This Meat?
5. A Thrifty Person Goes To Publix For A Non-Thrifty Person.
6. Backing a Trailer (3-part test focused on "Panache", "Grace", and "Accuracy")
7. Basic Boat Maintenance
8. Cleaning Eval. 1
9. Riflery, Through .30 Caliber
10. Where Do I Start Cutting This Dead Animal? (Graphical Analysis)
11. Recognizing Hormonal Interference (this is a two-part test)
12. Aiding In Basic Handloading

I will keep you, faithful readers, abreast of the results as they are completed.

One Brick Over The Limit

I'm pleased to report that I've successfully tricked a real live woman into agreeing to marry me. Thats right - Tyler M. Davenport and I have offically engaged each other.

I maintain that she asked me, and she swears that I begged her - so we've decided to stick with "engaged each other" so as not to offend either of our delicate sensibilities.

Despite her Mother's ambivalent words concerning my engagement plans: "Well, that all sounds nice.....I sure hope she says yes!"; Tyler did indeed agree.

I thought I was in the clear, but after that comment I spent some time practicing on my kitchen floor just to be safe. I found that when I got down on BOTH knees I could pick up the overhead light just enought to stun her with the glare off the diamond; temporarily blinding her and rendering her sufficiently incapable of wise judgment. So, to be clear, I was not "groveling" I was merely on both knees to pick up better light. Like so many other things in life - I think that was the key to the whole thing - good lighting; but I also plied her with champagne and talked very, very quickly - two of my only remaining good bachelor tricks.

Since Le Engagement I've been the unwitting receptacle for all sorts of advice, witticism, quips and pithy maxim. Here's some of the most recent:

"Welcome to the club, where nothing you say is right and nothing you say can fix the first thing you said that was wrong."

"Hey man, how long did y'all date?"
"a little over a year."
"Err. Ok. Well, can you tell my girlfriend that you dated for six years? That would really help me out alot."

"Raise your hand if you like Tyler alot more than Jimmy."

"You've outpunted your coverage."

"What did you say to trick her into it?"

"Thats the finest Cubic Zirconium I've ever seen."

"Hey - I'm calling to say we just got engaged!"
"Great - more importantly - did you fish in that bass tournament this weekend?"

Thanks for the support guys - its been a good ride.