Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Here's Your Hammer

Me: What should I get my groomsmen? I can't think of anything. I have a zillion great ideas, but they're all about $2,000.

Tyler: I dunno. I thought you had a few good ideas in that list you sent me.

Me: I couldn't really decide on any of those so I threw them all out. Got any ideas?

Tyler: How about a hammer?

Me: A Hammer.

Tyler: Right. A Hammer. You know. Bang bang. Hammer.

Me: Right. I got it. I just don't know what to say.

Tyler: What? Its useful! Your stupid ideas weren't any better! Everybody needs a hammer! Get it engraved!

Me: So your idea for a groomsman gift is an engraved hammer.

Tyler: Thats right, Bucko.

Sucking In

My family apparently stays current with my little writing efforts because last weekend I was terribly pleased to receive a real, live, Stihl 250 chainsaw as an engagement gift.

Looks like I may be able to make this "marriage" thing work for me after all!

I've been lobbying hard for tools and various armament as a "wedding gift" from my beautiful bride for months. I haven't seen a new firearm poking out from beneath the engagement tree yet, but it ain't over.

Also, thanks so much to my cousin Sarah for pointing out mid-present-opening-ceremony on Saturday that my middle shirt button had come unbuttoned, then suggesting, loudly, that I should "suck in."

Sarah: I know you planned it so your husband Marlin couldn't come to my bachelor party, but I've changed my bachelor party plans and I'm coming to your incredibly fun, almost-too-tempting-to-turn-down, baby christening this weekend after all.....



Keep Your Hands to Yourself

During a recent tour of a nearby eatery I noticed no less than four (4) loudly-posted handwashing signs proudly displayed throughout the establishment. And you know what? I’m glad.

I’m happy for you guys to wash your hands after the bathroom, before the kitchen, between customers – whenever. The more handwashing you do – the happier I get, but you know what I noticed? Everybody is all sorts of fired up about service industry handwashing post-lavatory. What concerns me is: I thought that was a given. Of COURSE you wash your hands after leaving a restroom and before you go back to a public-service kitchen.

Of COURSE you do that.

All these signs everywhere makes me think that for some people – maybe not. Maybe they’re not sure. Maybe they get confused – “Is this where I go to WASH my hands, or is this where I go to touch every damp, nasty thing in sight; then go make somebody a sandwich?”

We should take pairs of these folks, superglue their unwashed hands to each other’s faces and let them fend for themselves in bear country until it wears off.

The other thing I think about every time I see these signs is: OF COURSE you should wash your hands after a questionable activity of any kind; but I’m not that worried about that for me, personally.

Like my paternal Grandfather - I’m naturally antiseptic.

What confuses me a bit is - what are people most concerned about - somehow infecting other people with their filthy bodies? Or do you wash your hands to protect yourself from other people? Are you worried that you'll somehow spread your own germs around on your own body? Really?

What exactly are you doing in there anyway?

If you're afraid of what's living in your own pants you really do have a problem, but if you're concerned about keeping your nether regions pristine - I'd think you'd want to wash your hands BEFORE you enter the water closet, then just scurry out on your elbows.

I'm genuinely unconcerned about sullying my hands from a mid-day brush against an otherwise zippered region of my own body. That is a man’s cleanest, most treasured, best-cared-for region and chances are good he’s kept an extremely close watch on that area's daily whereabouts.

I don't know about you, but I'm going to wash up first, then walk in dangling my hands in the air like a surgeon. It ain’t my hands I’m concerned about.

As far as general handwashing goes: of all the fabulous activities in the world that could endanger a man’s paler portions; I’m going to be furious if its a simple handshake that sends me, itching, to the doctor with some kind of fungus.

So, wash up folks; but let's not shake hands anyway - just to be sure.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Get Down Party Wagon

During the after-party of yet another Summer wedding; I happened upon the youngest sister of the bride very studiously attempting to paint some appropriate language on the windows of the getaway car.

She, bless her virtuous, kind, sweet-spirited, 18-yr-old heart had chosen lovely "Just Married" type themes for most of the decorations. It did me some good to know that godly innocence is still afoot in this wicked world. Maybe that is why she seemed completely dumbfounded when I suggested "PENIS!!!" in large block print as a good bride-side-window alternative to the somewhat unimaginative "JUST MARRIED".

She also refused to hand over the paint, then refused to discuss the possibility of anything even the slightest bit dirty including such classic phrases as "Nekkid Dance Party", "Get Down Party Wagon" and "Honk If You Love Married Sex".

What is wrong with kids these days?

If you're going to send a wholesome, Christian, couple off into wedded union; I'm pretty sure the rule is you MUST include as many sexual or otherwise off-color references in very readable script as will fit on the automotive canvas.

Am I wrong about that?

I hope not because if so; I have recently suffered the wholly-inappropriate indignity of driving an airport getaway car (alone) from Florida to Atlanta that had been completely covered with large graphic representations of the male member (http://jimmyewing.blogspot.com/2008/05/artistic-expression.html).

Lets face it - if you're a conservative-type living in the South, you're watching the married couple drive off and thinking "They're not fooling anyone - I know what they're up to!", but it's such a relief to see it spelled out properly in white shoe polish. That way you dont have to wonder, guiltily, if you're the only one who knows the awful truth.

So please - take a break from polishing your Buster Browns and decorate away! It's ok! It's the one time in your life you'll get to embarass your grandmother without getting in too much trouble.

Just don't do it to my car.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A RingBearer Is Down

If you plan to utilize the services of a bagpiper in your wedding – I think you owe it to the crowd to prompt with a bit of warning; maybe even provide earplugs for the elderly or otherwise un-Scottish.

A sudden bagpiping can be extremely dangerous.

Don't get me wrong - I am definitely in favor of any instrument historically made from animal guts, but let's face it: nobody is really Scottish anymore, are they? Is Scotland still around? I feel like I don't hear much from over there.

Ireland - sure, they're still around and they're still hopping mad about something to do with religion, but not Scotland. When I think of Scotland I think of a 1973 Volkswagon Beetle with one of those weird European license plates on it and a bumper sticker that says "It's always tea time in Scotland!" There's a big hairy bagpiper behind the wheel and all he's pissed at is Ireland for not taking it easy.

A Bagpiper is like a cannon - if you're standing near one you definitely want to know when it's going to go off. I know when an ambitious bagpiper began soundly abusing his instrument 4 yards behind me at a wedding this Saturday – I was completely unprepared.

His first sonorous blast caught me full in the chest – knocking the program clean out of my hands and popping a brass button off my blazer ("I told you that button was loose" said an arched eyebrow, smugly, from my left). The Great British caterwauling that followed and my subsequent twitching sent Tyler’s left elbow firmly into my ribs – a move I've been told is intended to "comfort" and "soothe" me. “QUIT SQUIRMING” she hissed. “I CAN’T TAKE YOU ANYWHERE.”

Oooomph” I exhaled in assent.

Our hushed discourse completed, the now red-faced gentleman lately stomping around the back of the church left off punishing his bag - just in time to save my last remaining brass button, but not quickly enough to salvage my ribs.

I will grant you this though: a bagpipe may indeed produce a lovely, haunting sound. Dad said if you hear it played over a Scottish moor at sundown – it will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

I definitely believe him about the hairs on your neck because this guy Saturday made the hairs on my chest fairly bristle in fear every time he roared.

Aggressive bagpiping aside, the wedding, mother of the bride, and bride herself were all quite lovely and everything seemed to be in order. Then, about 8 minutes into the ceremony - after
- massive bagpipery
- the tolling of the hour
- the entrance of the wedding party
- the entrance of the bride
- two hymns
- several piano solos
- a violin solo
- a word from the father-of-the bride

but before
- the unity candles
- the 4 individual readings
- the bride and groom duet (yup, you heard me)
- the homily
- the exchanging of rings
- the processional
(they are quite firmly married from every angle – no doubt about it); the second of the ring-bearers - a dapper young man of about 7 - leaned calmly over mid-stage and quietly puked his ass off right square at the foot of the unity candles.

This was no stifled gag either - it was serious and deep. I saw a tennis shoe come flying out of this kid.

Nobody moved.

Then, everyone (bride, groom, wedding party, preacher, attendants, witnesses, Esau, Isaac and Jacob), just one time - in unison - violently squirmed.

Then: crickets.

For a brief second I thought it hadn’t happened. I remained in a state of disbelief and self-doubt until one of the more alert groomsmen lifted the offending puker bodily off the stage and deposited him behind the organ to heave and lurch in peace. I looked around and the entire crowd was staring straight ahead at the preacher as if nothing was at all amiss.

Except for the sniffles emanating from underneath the organ - you might not have known anything had happened at all.

My squirming and general gawking-about immediately precipitated the rapid return of The Elbow of Silence, but not before I was able to confirm with Will Gaither, Brother-in-Law, that the kid had indeed made a deposit onstage. Ladies and gentlemen – it happened, I saw it, and it has been confirmed.

Naturally, the tiny over-eater had aimed his outburst with the calm, unerring, vomitous precision of a public school cafeteria frequenter; giving the bride the option of:
1. Omitting the Unity Candle step and damning her union for all eternity.
2. Dragging her train through the chunky puddle.

I consider myself a practiced evaluator of a female set jaw and I could see by the Bride's that no power on earth would keep her from the lighting of that Unity Candle.

By God, she did it; but it wasn’t pretty.

My congratulations to the Groom: she might not walk through fire for you buddy, but we know one thing that won't stop her.


Friday, August 20, 2010

The Mother Of Invention

I’m sure by now most of you know I am an amateur inventor. I’m not claiming to be Edison, but – I dabble.

For example: two days ago on my way into our Chicago office I invented the Roll-a-Clean - it’s a revolving door that dry cleans your clothes on your way in the lobby. I loathe revolving doors, but I love getting my clothes back from the dry cleaner; so I feel like The Roll-A-Clean is a great way to start your day.

I’m also working on the IndigiScrubby. It’s like a big street sweeper, but it roams the streets at night in the summer, gently lifting indigents and winos into a slowly-revolving drum of soapy water. I haven't figured out how to dry them yet, so it's more of a "seasonal" service. Don't be the only city left with unwashed bridge people.

I also invented "Flush Magazine" the magazine for toilet accessories and "Foot Flush" - an aftermarket chrome foot pedal flushing device for your commode.
"Lost Your Hands? Its OK!! Foot Flush Saves The Day!"

I have a few other things in the works too - like:
- Chefrolet - a small portable oven that uses heat from your engine block to bake while you drive.
- ScroogeDriver - a customizable electronic GPS device that kills the power to your wife's car if she gets within a certain distance of "problem stores".
- Mr. BelvedEAR - a spinning ear cleaner attachment for your electric toothbrush.
- Poopalicious - a tasty aerosol solution that dogs can't resist. You spray it on dog poop and the next dog to come along simply can't resist the now-tasty poopsicle. No more pooper scoopers! No more jogging around with warm little baggies of waste! Put the neighbor's dog to work for you!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Long Division

Yesterday I spent ten minutes standing just inside the open doorway of an MD90 at O'Hare waiting on the 300lb structural marvel ahead of me to shoehorn her lumpy butt into a seat entirely too small for it.

Due to the immense quantity of lumbering flesh in my path, I found myself parked against my will right outside the bathroom. It soon became abundantly clear that someone was inside the airplane bathroom doing their best to destroy the atmosphere. We are not airborne. We are parked at the gate. The A/C is not running.

I don't understand why anyone would sit in an airport right outside a large, land-based bathroom for 2 hours and "hold it" until you get on the plane. I can certainly see "holding it" until you get off the plane, but the other way around just doesn't make sense. Perhaps one might do that if one had some kind of weird fetish, but I truly don't know what kind of fetish category that falls under. It certainly doesn't sound like the kind of wicked fun most fetishists seem to crave, but it must have seemed reasonable to the idiot in 2A.

I genuinely hope life punishes him for it long-term.

I'm standing there in the apex of a swirling smell storm with a 1" thick accordion-style folding door between me and an overpowering odor that I can only describe as "hot", and I'm landlocked by the morbidly obese. The whole front of the plane smelled like somebody snuck a dead zebra on in their luggage.

This is my day.

Naturally, I'm desperately casting about for something to take my mind off the aluminum-skinned box of hell Delta has put me in, so I look over my left shoulder into the cockpit and I see the captain sitting at the controls. He has a pad of paper clipped to the yoke in front of him and and he's staring at it hard, brow furrowed in intense concentration, pencil in hand. Upon that piece of paper he, the captain of an airplane full of unsuspecting people, has written this:

And you know what? That's fine. I'm sure there are millions of people out there who struggle with math, but it really, really, really worries me to find that a person in charge of something with this many parts:

can't perform long division.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I believe as husband and leader of a fledgling family unit, I deserve at least a modicum of respect. That is why I hardly think it is appropriate to be addressed as "Troll" by my future bride.

Tyler: Have you finalized the rehearsal dinner?
Me: I don't know.
Tyler: Can you please pick some readings for the wedding?
Me: No.
Tyler: Do you want to see my to-do list?
Me: I wanted to ELOPE.
Tyler: Either step it up, or get back in your cave, TROLL.

The Deer Camp

For those (12) of you who have regularly read my blog in the past for one reason or other - I'm sure you've noticed that The Deer Camp has factored prominently in my life since childhood. Ah, The DeerCamp.

I don't doubt that some of you may be confused by it.

What is it exactly?

Well, it's a Deer Camp - a camp for hunting deer. You know I do love aptly-named things.

Where is it?

It's just outside a tiny town south of Atlanta called "Smarr" - about 75 miles from my back door. If you've ever been through Macon on I-75 headed South from Atlanta - you've driven right past it.

Built in roughly 1990 by Uncle Buster and the Maddux family to accomodate kith, kin, and a fortunate few crossover not-quite-blood family; it is the site of the large majority of my deer hunting experience, the final resting place of my very best and third-best bucks ever, the site of my biggest hunting screwup ever (I got overexcited as I tend to do and I attempted to shoot buckzilla at 4 yards with "Jude The Obscure" in paperback), and it's the single property in the world most covered with things initialed by my pocketknife(seats, trees, bushes, sticks, steps, bullets).

I made my longest shot on a deer there as a nine-year-old in 1989 (200+ yards, walking between two trees 6" apart - shot square through the heart). I had my first extremely unfortunate, yet educational run-in with bourbon whiskey there in 2001. Two years would pass before I could safely whiff brown liquor without turning green.

I put diesel gas in a gasoline-powered ATV there in 1991 (sorry Uncle Buster - that was me), I almost shot a hole in my own ATV late one night chasing coyotes in 1996. I watched Tripp shoot a hole in his trailer while laying down a heavy line of covering fire on a marauding 'possum in the fall of 2007.

I shot a coke can full of cement literally out of sight through our homemade cannon. I got stung by bees and eaten alive by chiggers. I got covered with ticks. I cut myself. I fell into low things. I fell out of high things.

I fell in the lake in early March 1995 going fishing. Bud had to drag me out.

Quite a few young women heard about it, but only a handful ever saw it. It's just not a place for ladies. It's a place for men. It's a place for slightly unwholesome talk and fires and oyster shells and ammunition and Hoppes #9 and long arguments about the best way to do it - whatever "it" is.

I enjoyed some of my best dinners there in its kitchen. I met some of my favorite friends on its front porch.

But, all things must come to an end.

So, with a great deal of fondness in my heart and a lifetime of good memories in my head, I bid "Adieu" to The Deer Camp and the batallion of characters to have crossed it's threshold in the last 20 years. To Jack, Bryan, Ralph, Dad, Seth, Tripp, Thomas, Reid, Dick, Gene, Rayboy, "Hooty-Hoo-Hoo-O'Dillon", Beau, Buster, and John I say: Happy Hunting, it's been an honor and a privilege.

Keep your powder dry,

Atlanta, Ga
August 16, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Strangers With Candy

In response to my email indicating that my day consists of: showering, going to work, and going home; my Beyoncee had this to say:

Hhrhrhrr. At least you showered, but I'm surprised you parted with your hard-earned musty smell.

I wish you were sitting with me on the plane right now instead of the man with the world's smallest bladder who has asked to be let out way too many times. I feel like I'm pet-sitting. Somewhere over Texas I decided that if he asked again, I was fully prepared to say "no."

But then he gave me gum.

Clearly, my future wife is highly susceptible to even the simplest forms of bribery; a tool I should have brought to bear in what has come to be known as "The Great August Gift Card Dispute."

Fool me once? Shame on you.
Fool me twice? Shame on me.

Fool me over and over again forever? Marriage.

Mancorations - A Love Story

Last week we met with our lovely professional decorator, Ann Warsham, (decorator to the Atlanta Stars, specializing in taxidermied animal removal). Friends: The DudeRanch, despite its sturdy brick construction and multitude of mancorations, will soon submit to the unrelenting power of the female aesthetic.

Ann, Tyler, and I met to go over the new plans for the "keeping room" (where many things are "kept" except, apparently, anything of mine), kitchen, and master bedroom, but somehow in the process someone suggested adding a previously non-existent bathroom to the house. I have been told that I mutely nodded my assent.

"Muteness" certainly not being among my greater gifts, I can only assume that Warsham, Evil Queen of Stucco, cast her spell on me. I speculate my suceptibility to flattery may be partly to blame, because when I suggested installing a stainless steel firewood man-drawer next to the fireplace complete with outside-access for loading firewood directly into the kitchen - she complimented my genius. That's all I was looking for.

"Complimented my genius" may be a tad strong. She may have rolled her eyes and said "Really? Well, ok we might can make that work if we have to". My memory here is fuzzy, but I was so relieved to have them both listen to me - I just nodded from then on.

I've finally come to terms with the idea that everything I own and love is soon to disappear into the musty confines of a dimly-lit basement based on silly, nebulous criteria such as "items that might 'scare' or 'harm' young children" and "being ugly." Gone are the days of the naked bowie knife on the mantle, the "My Goodness, My Guinness" beer poster in the kitchen, and the wall-mounted bottle opener. Gone too is the "extra shotgun shell" popcorn tin. Sure, I may find a new container in which to displace extra shotgun shells that have gone through the dryer; but it won't be the same.

After my recent unfortunate run-in with my new domestic despot over Home Depot gift certificates (still haven't seen them), I was terribly pleased to walk into my new in-laws' house yesterday to find my soon-to-be father-in-law griping about "his important stuff" all ending up crammed in the basement between duplicative pieces of furniture.

Times are tough all over, but at least I'm in good company.

The Dream, though dimmed, yet lives.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Scan Results

Listen, I know I've tried to lighten things up a bit here recently; and I don't want to upset anybody, but based on Beau's most recent "scans" I think he's got alot more problems than I first suspected:

Obviously; the tapeworms and the gearshifter are the only things preventing Beau from becoming Hideous LobsterBoy. Unfortunately, as you can clearly see from the slide, the tapeworms have gotten drunk off his liver residue and have begun to coil into their classic "S" hibernation shape. Generally, that is what we see in these cases right before the Hideous Lobster Claw takes over.

If the surgeons can't find a way to stop the Hideous Lobster Claw, poison the tapeworms with Natural Lite and get that gearshifter out of him right away - he is in big trouble. Living as half-man, half-lobster is no laughing matter.

Even if he makes it - I'm afraid he's going scream every time he sees boiling water for the rest of his life.


Humerus! ~ A Comedy In Two Pieces

I had the pleasure of catching up with Jessica P. Slocumb (the "P" makes me laugh, I don't know why) and got a brief update on grubby cancerbutt himself. The "P" in Jessica "P" makes me laugh, but the "update" was even funnier.

Here's a brief excerpt:

Me: Well, how much of his arm bone did they remove?
Jessica: I think the top part.
Me: Ok, right. But I mean - how much of it?
Jessica: You know. The bone. Like, I mean - 16cm of it.
Me: Yes. But WHICH 16cm?
Jessica: The top part.
Me: Perhaps you can help me. How do I more clearly ask you exactly what part of the bone they removed?
Jessica: The top part. The humerus (giggle).
Me: Eh. I think I've got it. Let me try again. "Did they remove the BALL part?"
Jessica: I think so. I'm not sure. No. Maybe? The top part is what they removed.
Me: So, we're not really sure what sort of arm bones he has left, right?
Jessica: Thats right. They took out some of the humerus (giggle).
Me: Why do you giggle when you say "humerus"?
Jessica: I don't know (giggle). I guess its humerous.
Me: Wow. You are not at all well .
Jessica: I'm a little tired.

I asked Jessica how they're doing and she indicated that Beau is feeling much better. I asked "how can you tell?" and she said "Because earlier Beau looked at his mom in a stupor and hollered "GO GET ME A JAMBA JUICE. I WANT A DAMN JAMBA JUICE!" so I figure he'll be up and around in no time flat. I think he's doing great and feeling much better!"

She said something after that, but I couldn't hear her over Beau in the background hollering "HELP!! Get me out of here!! She's trying to kill me!"

Jessica: (giggle).

That immediately took me back to about 1997, sitting in the den at Grandma's house. Granddad was laid up recouperating from a bout with prostate cancer and Gma was on the phone taking calls from well-wishers. I heard her clearly say "Thank you so much for calling, Wayne. He's feeling much better and he's doing great!"

Granddad rared back in his chair, knocked over his coke and popcorn, and hollered at the top of his lungs "NO I'M NOT. WAYNE!!! DAMMIT!! MARGARET GIVE ME THAT PHONE! CRIMINY!! I'M DYING! I'VE GOT PROSTATE CANCER, HEART DISEASE, DIABETES and GOUT. I HURT ALL OVER AND I'M GOING TO DIE!!"

Granddad lived another 3 years at 100mph before heading to the big pork rind in the sky; and I'm pretty sure as long as he doesn't get in the car with Jessica behind the wheel - Beau just might live forever.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Little-Known Complications of the Home Birth

I spoke with one of my granola-snorting friends the other day and was immediately subjected to a salvo of intense baby-birthing commentary. Apparently she's into "home-births." From what I gather - you roll around in one of these things:

kicking, hollering, grunting and snort-breathing until either:

A. The baby blows out of your body into the tepid water you've been wallowing in for 18 hours.
B. "Something" goes horribly wrong.

H O L Y C R A P.

I've done some weird things in my house, but that pretty much has me beat. I can honestly say I've never carried on, witnessed, or otherwise performed, an invasive medical procedure in The Duderanch At 6710. I'm not necessarily saying I wouldn't - I'm just saying I've never had occasion to.

Everything worked out alright for the first three kids, but I guess they got a bit lax on the 4th home-birth, because when it came time for cleanup; the placenta was nowhere to be found.

Thats right folks: there is a rogue placenta loose in the State of Georgia. I wouldn't even hazard a guess as to its final resting place, but I really hope they have a maid, she looks like Nell Carter, and she eventually finds it. I'd give my favorite toe to be there when she does.

Naturally, I explored the topic a bit. My friend had nothing to offer by way of explanation, so I blamed the dog (always a safe bet). She said "We don't have a dog, but if we did; I'm sure a dog dragging a placenta across the front yard would alert the neighbors."

Maybe I'm not a good neighbor, but you can bet every dime you've got if I see a dog run out of my neighbor's house dragging a human placenta: that's one neighbor I'm going to stay the hell away from.

No dog scapegoat available, my mind danced nimbly across various other possibilities and lighted on "crazy grandmother wants to make placenta tea." Plausible, I guess. The only problem is: I happen to know the grandmother personally and she's just not that crazy. She also doesn't carry a purse to hide things in; which I think is probably a requirement if you're going to spirit away used placentas on a regular basis.

I was left with only one possible conclusion: there was no placenta to start with. Obviously, that would mean the child numbers among The Undead and may or may not be the Antichrist.

My friend strenuously objected to that possibility and claims to have actually seen said placenta during the birthing process. I suspect what she thought was placenta was actually the red gateway to hell, but I guess it's still a mystery.

So, yeah. Thats all pretty great, but the VERY best part about the whole thing is: I know who it is and which house it happened in - and you don't.

Better keep your shoes on when you go a' visitin'.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Half of Something Is Nothing

A few comments in the general direction of my Beyoncee.

First of all, the FLW ("Forrest L. Wood") Tournament “Classic” Bass Fishing Championship is NOT necessarily “redneck” – its “Blue Collar.” There is a difference, and if you’re going to attend an FLW Championship Tournament Bass Weigh-in complete with pyrotechnics, Ranger Boat giveaway, Skoal samples, Blackhawk Helicopter flyover (sound enhanced), a special mock-battle-demonstration by the National Guard and an appearance by Forrest L. Wood hisself; you really shouldn’t sigh and squinch down in your seat every time somebody thanks God for "Arkansas" and "Lowrance brand electronic fish finders." Who are we to judge? Maybe Bass Fishing is inextricably tied to the sanctity of the American Family.

Would this guy lie to you?

Personally, I tend to be wary of anyone floating in mid-air under his own power, but whatever. I guess if you own FLW Outdoors you can float around all you like.

Secondly, she should not be allowed to confiscate my Home Depot gift certificates (some people call them “gift cards”, but I call them “certificates”; it sounds like more of an award that way). Well, maybe half could be confiscated in the interest of harmonious pre-nuptual bliss, sure. I'm flexible.


Boy was I confused. Apparently I didn’t get a few Home Depot gift certificates for engagement presents at all – we got them and 50% of we has decided that “making decisions together” means I probably don’t get any damn Home Depot gift certificates or a 12” dual-bevel sliding radial arm saw with a laser sight and a lifetime warranty covering all electrical components, housing and laser device.

Alright, so I didn't do a few silly little things like "talk ahead of time about money allocation" or "ask nicely" or "please stop crying."

So what?

At this juncture I want to point out that HALF a BMW X-5 looks a whole lot like a used motorcycle from where I sit.

“Half” of something can be a mighty tricky measurement.

Take the guy Tyler sat next to at the FLW Weigh-In on Sunday – HALF of him could easily be a skinny person, OR HALF of him could be 387lbs of gut and no skeletal frame. I was on the other side of Tyler and from the correct angle she looked like a blonde stick figure superimposed on a fat-suit background. I’m telling you - if you don't look sharp this HALF concept can come out of nowhere, snatch your wallet and run right off.

But, as the saying goes "Jedge not Less'n Yew Be Jedged", so I say God bless a man who lets his wife dip snuff and sit a row behind him in a public arena - no matter what half of him looks like.

The American Family lives.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Beau Slocumb, Troublemaker

My cousin, Beau Slocumb, is scheduled for another surgery to remove yet another spot of cancer – this time from his shoulder. Apparently they "did some scans” and found it.

"Scans." Thats alien technology, right? Like a tractor beam?

I’ve heard alot about these so-called "scans” and you can color me "skeptical." I think Beau is probably a-ok and these stiff white coats are just reading "scans" with their beer goggles on.

It was doctors, after all, who told Mom I was going to be a girl and look how THAT one turned out. Not only am I not female - I've got enough hair on my chest to weave an indian blanket and, because of modern medicine, I spent my highly-formative first 6 months clad entirely in pink. Thanks alot 500 years of documented medical practice! Tell Hippocrates I've got an oath for him.

Personally, I think Beau's shoulder issue is just scar tissue from being completely retarded for so long (http://jimmyewing.blogspot.com/2009/06/he-never-needed-helmet.html), but more importantly: what in the hell do doctors know anyway? All you need to be a doctor is cold hands and fancy science and needles and screens and things, right?

Well, none of that is going to help you with Beau. I maintain you can't tell much about Beau on your fancy ScanTron machine or whatnot - you need to smell of him up close. I diagnosed him as “goaty” years ago and I didn't need any three-million-dollar scanner.

Doctors and their fancy screens. Pffft!

I saw a caged bear riding a bicycle on the TV screen last night - and I don't believe for a damn minute that a bear sharp enough to actually ride a bicycle wouldn't take one look at that bicycle and immediately start snacking on trainers. And one more thing: if I were a bicycle-riding bear you better believe my chubby butt is sleeping on goose down - not cage straw.

The point is: you can't believe everything you see on a screen - I don't care how much it cost. You people probably think we actually flew to the moon too. Oh, sssssuure. Rocks and gray sand. Must be the moon. We just "flew" up there.

RIGHT. I know a movie set when I see one!

I figure since Beau is a young, non-smoking, non-tobacco-using, non-alcoholic, generally healthy person who is probably not sleeping on a pile of enriched uranium - the only remaining risk factor is: Beau. So, Beau, please quit giving yourself cancer. It is stressing me out. Plus, "cancer" is so last year. If you're going to the trouble of giving yourself something anyway - may as well make it interesting. How about "mumps?" Nobody gets that anymore. Mumps I can work with in print. Cancer - not so much.

My recommendation for Beau is: get back to Texas, demand a re-"scan," crawl into that machine and place an open pocketknife under his shirt just over the ribcage. Let 'em scan THAT!

Later, after all the commotion dies down - go home and take your pants off in the den. That's my recipe for recovery:
Step 1: cause trouble.
Step 2: remove pants.

Regardless of who’s to blame on this one (clearly Beau for giving himself cancer) I will point out that, in a very Beau-like fashion, he's maintained an upbeat, cheerful demeanor without anyone threatening to beat him (http://jimmyewing.blogspot.com/2010/08/being-thankful.html).

Maggie overheard the following exchange in the barn the other day and I figured I'd report on it to illustrate:

Beau: John – whats been going on? What have y’all been up to lately?
Uncle John: Not much. Just keeping up with the kids. Working. Just trying to keep my head above water. You?
Beau: Just trying to keep my head above DIRT ... BHWAH AHAHAHA!!!!
Uncle John: That's not funny.

Keep it North of the dirt, Beausie; we're pulling for you.

Being Thankful

Years ago Mom taught me a very painful lesson about "finding things to be thankful for when you don’t so much feel like being thankful." If memory serves: she taught it to me with the flat side of a hairbrush, then said “Now, 5 minutes ago you should have been thankful you weren’t getting a beating. See what I mean? Get creative.”

I apparently was unable to think of anything – NOT ONE SINGLE THING I was thankful for when a response was demanded of me. Back came the hairbrush and I rapidly began to wax philosophic about the sunshine, white grape juice (still a favorite), shade trees and Jesus.

Now, years later, I still self-medicate with a little manufactured thankful when the need arises. I don’t know why, but it helps. Or maybe I’m just thankful nobody is beating me with a hairbrush -I don’t know, but today I am proud to say that I'm thankful for quite a few things.

Just this morning I was thumbing through some instructional literature on outdoor survival (BASS Magazine) and I noticed a very nice photo of a northern pike on an interior page. He looked mean and furious. Some of that may have been due to the fat, white, thumb life-size Elmer Fudd had stuck through his gills, but what drew my attention more than anything was his snaggle-toothed scowl. He had multiple rows of positively-mean-looking, sharp, conical teeth sticking out every-which-a-way and a whole bunch of them were missing.

So, today I’m thankful that I don’t lose three front teeth every time I try to eat something. Can you imagine? You get up, fix an egg sammich, bite down into it , and come away with one less incisor and a loose canine? EVERY SINGLE DAY!?!?!

The animal world has it tough. That may be why they periodically eat us.

Either way – I’ll just hang on to the teeth I’ve got, thanks.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Fishing For a Little Romance

Today I asked my lovely, leggy consort if she'd like to accompany me on a little sneak-away date for a few hours this weekend. Wedding planning is a busy time and I believe its important to "make time" for a little one-on-one romance during all the hustle-and-bustle.

So, imagine my surprise when she said "Um, I'm pretty sure I'm busy Sunday night."

We discussed it via internet mail for a bit and then she broke off to attend a work meeting. Later, she said "The funny thing is - you referred to attending a professional bass fishing tournament weigh-in as a 'date'. You must be ill."

Sometimes you just can't win.