Friday, December 14, 2012

Round For a Reason

Early in my career as a married person I made the mistake of referring to my good friend, longtime associate, and highschool secretary; Alison Bell Langmack as “Pregnosaurus Rex”.  It was a comedic reference to both her general crankiness and her pregnant stature. Comedy Gold! 

Enormously pregnant, she was not amused and did not speak to me for about two months, during which period her child was born. I read about it on the interwebs.

Unfortunately, I did not realize she was not speaking to me. Further incensed by my lack of attention, she was forced to let me know she was not speaking to me, then start over not speaking to me for another thirty days or so. In all, it turned into a very protracted punishment period with no credit for time served - to which I objected strenuously. As a result, her children know me only vaguely as “The Bad Uncle”.

Having said that, I believe it is time to tackle the topic of maternity weight-gain.

Everybody waxes and wanes a bit. I’m currently waxing. At some point I’ll wane again. It’s my birthright as an American to get as fat as I want, then furiously starve and torment myself back to (relative) skinniness through any number of ill-advised dietary regimens and workout programs. My plan for 2013 is to cut out carbohydrates, add cigarettes, and switch to Downy. 

My point is: a little fluctuation here and there is normal, so when you have two entire people stuck in the same big bag of skin for nine months (ACTUALLY TEN!! shouts Tylertoes) – it's ok to expect a little newfound roundness, right?

Nope. Everyone around you has to pretend you’re still a skinny 9th grader.

I consider myself a big fan of women in general. As a result, I staunchly support a pregnant woman’s right to swell up to whatever gigantic proportions she feels is reasonable given her condition and stature. Go right ahead, I don’t mind a bit. In fact – I’m "for" it! This is the only time in my married life I have been able to eat Chinese food without paying cash and hiding the leftovers. Plus, I think a big ‘ol pregnant belly with that weird inverted navel thing poking out is pretty hysterical. Everything has gone wrong. You have an alien inside you; and when it comes out - it's going to be bad. Heh heh. And better yet - after about 4 months - people start to stare.

In the waiting room not long ago I was the object of quite a few furious, sweaty, uncomfortable, gazes myself so I’m familiar with the territory.

At the time they were staring because they all knew that I knew that they are fat - and they didn't like knowing that I know it. Everyone in a pregnant woman's life goes to monumental lengths to pretend nothing has changed. Despite the fact that your husband just entered the house and found you sprawled across the couch sobbing and eating Klondike Bars off your chest like an otter – he must carefully pretend to sense nothing amiss.

Let me set the record straight for both of us - if you're pregnant - you're either fat already or headed there with the turbos spooled up and screaming. You just are. I can't help you by playing an elaborate game of boy-do-you-look-skinny make-believe. "Pregnant" means "ROUND FOR A REASON". Your whole body bloats up like an enormous tick, then belches a child out into the world without so much as a stitch of clothing, or a way to feed, groom, or care for itself. It's biological and I didn't come up with it. If it were up to me, male children would spring, fully-armed, from the shoulder blades of their mothers and immediately leave home to slay a dangerous beast before being accepted back into the family.

As it is: blame God - it was his idea; but don't count on me to whip out my acting skills and prance around your swaying bulk proclaiming soothing blessings of eternal skinniness over you like a Buddhist mantra. I just don’t have it in me.You're pregnant. Great job! Now go buy a one-piece. 

Fortunately, Tyler is either amused by, or immune to - my various frailties; so I have experienced few of the marital woes commonly accruing to the man of the house during this delicate time. 

I wandered into the bathroom this morning to find Tyler brushing her teeth. She turned to say hello and promptly knocked the hairdryer off the bathroom counter using only our unborn child. I hollered and pointed HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA BABYGUT!!! She giggled in response and gestured at her feet. She was wearing my short tennis shoe socks, which she knows I hate.

Round or not, she's always a step ahead.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Waiting Room, Part II

The waiting room is a trick. It’s not a waiting room for the doctor room, it’s a waiting room for the real waiting room. There’s a double-secret waiting room before you get to the examination room. They didn't tell me that. I trundled through the door behind Tyler expecting to get to rifle through the drawers and cabinets in an examination room, which I love to do. Instead, I was shocked to see her sit down in a tiny, secondary, waiting room with approximately 8-10 chairs in it; arranged in an “E” shape.

I was immediately reminded of Temple Grandin and her solution to cattle and cattle-stress-management in corrals: slowly squeeze the cows down into single file lines and reduce their lines-of-sight to limit stimulus and resultant stress.  I drew on my newfound ability to remain silent and did not mention that aloud, but I felt shocked and cornered. I realize I am the rogue Holstein that tears the whole system apart getting clear of the corral. 

That other waiting room was a waiting room to get into this waiting room.
Yeah. Here have a mint.
I don’t want a mint I want a damn doctor. We have been here 45 minutes. I've gone to the hospital, had a surgery, and gone home faster than this.
Oh c'mon. Here take this Cosmopolitan sex quiz. You love taking these. 
......Egghhhh....This is what you get when you take a place for women, fill it with women, and have women run it. Two waiting rooms.  I have never been so glad to be a man.
Yeah you get to start wars, raise taxes and get people pregnant. Hooray for men. Have some water.
Water? Where did that come from?
Right here. There’s always water in the little waiting room
You mean the waiting room’s waiting room

I was still chafing at the concept of two waiting rooms when the nurse came in and issued us back to the examination room.  We walked in and the door shut behind me. You could not have squeezed a reasonable-sized guinea pig in there with us. It was tiny.

Does this make you feel better or worse? Everything about this experience reminds me of a cattle pen.
The size of this room
What do you mean? It’s fine.
Yeah for you. You have a big table to lounge on and those feetie step things. I don’t have anywhere to damn sit except this little scooty chair and I HATE IT.
Don’t get agitated and don’t sit in that chair. That’s the doctors chair.
Well he can damn well stand for what this is costing me.
It’s a she. You’re getting all tense like you get when we’re packing the car for a trip. Just relax.
Well here’s a chair behind this little curtain.
You can’t sit there either.
Why not?
I looked up right into a stirrup and a set of legs all a-sprawl.
Oh. Eh. Ahem. Where should I sit?
Just stand over there by my head.
Eh. Cough. Uh. Ok.

The door swung open and a tiny little doctor sped into the room. Without so much as a howdy-do: THUNK! She’s in up to the elbow.

The two of them are talking like sorority sisters. I am mentally clawing at the walls in my haste to escape. This is an internal exam. Eh. I did not know that. Lightbulbs are beginning to slowly flicker over my head. Stirrups. I get it. I realize I should have read Tyler's emails about today's protocol instead of my bass fishing reports message board last night.

When I came back to myself they were cheerfully going over a list of the three million incredibly horrible things that might take place inside your womb if you happen to lose the genetic coin flip. I tuned out for a bit and thought about guns and bears and fishing line. Some time later conversation waned and the doctor turned to leave. I looked at Tyler.

Wait. Didn’t you pee into one of those cups to test if the tester stick thing was right from the other day? You know - the one that said "we're pregnant?"
Yeah. Uh huh.
Well? Was it right? What is going on? Was it right or wrong? WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Eh. Hee heee. So,(turning to the doctor) Ehh. Heh. Ummm. We were wanting to make sure. Eh. You know......(vaguely gesturing towards the womb)
Doctor: Oh yeah (laughing). You are definitely pregnant.

THAT is what I thought we were there to find out.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Waiting Room: A Comedy In Two Acts

If there is one place in the world I don't belong it's in the waiting room of a ladyparts doctor. It feels wrong - worse than the time I set the backyard on fire, much worse than slamming the screen door after your Dad said not to, and even a tiny bit worse than when we put the cat in the creek where the cat did not want to go.

I walked in for our first OB/GYN visit and found myself the intense focus of 30 pairs of eyes all accusing me with their hard, red-rimmed, late-night-lactation glare. THIS IS YOUR FAULT. YOU DID THIS TO HER! hovered in the air over me like a storm cloud.

Hey, this was her idea. I mumbled to no one in particular.
Heehee! You're talking to yourself again. Don't talk to yourself, talk to meeeeeee!! Chirped Tylerpants.

The OB/GYN waiting room is lined with chairs containing uncomfortable women waiting to have their mysterious ladyparts thumped and prodded like the tires on an old Chevy (the one you decided not to buy); and every woman in there knows what you've been up to and how you got into this situation and they're thinking about it. That is an unhappy combination.

The crowd is not terribly varied. Mostly, you see pregnant folks and a few not-pregnant folks studiously pretending they don't know about ladyparts and can't recall exactly why they're waiting. If you go in there you better look pregnant or everybody starts thinking the worst: herpes. Maybe gonorrhea. Or even better - an unwed pregnancy situation. Tut, tut. The savvy birthers flash a wedding ring on the way through the door like a secret code.

Then, out of the blue, in walks an octagenarian.

EGHHH!! Nobody should be confronted with the fact that there are 80yr-old naughty parts just out wandering around the city at will, totally unlicensed. It's too upsetting.

Eventually everyone quits thinking about old folks, which is rude, and realizes its perfectly fine to stare at me, furiously, as I am the only male person in view.  In retrospect, perhaps the staring was due to my attempt at dispelling the awkwardness in the air with loud approximations of humor.

Finally, after "I guess now we know what estrogen smells like" and "Whew, when do I get to try on the fatlady suit and pretend to nurse?" Tyler giggled and whispered "please you have got to stop!"

My mouth did, but my mind didn't.

A maternity waiting room crowd does not play to my comedic strong side. They don't like me in there and, in the process of finding that out, I decided I don't need to see my child in an unborn state on a computer screen that badly. Do I want my unborn child's first vague impression of me to be as the guy who went to great technological lengths to photograph him or her naked? We can shake hands in May. That's soon enough. In fact, it may be a bit too soon if you ask me, which nobody did.....ever.

Essentially, the waiting room is a giant box of shame. There's one hugely pregnant, but thin, woman who insists on standing, in heels, to prove she's beautifully, wonderfully, pregnant and feels perfectly fine; unlike most lower forms of women. Later, she goes home, flushes the goldfish, kicks two puppies, and burns all her skinny jeans in a rage over the size of her swollen feet. Everybody else is in worn-out house shoes furtively glancing around trying to make sure someone in the room looks fatter and more miserable than she does, until the blinding realization finally hits one of them that the reason she can't spot anybody worse is because: she's it. Once the tears come and the pecking order is established - most of them kind of drift off into a hazy pregnancy-addled sleep, or resort to manipulating their own strange, misshapen bodies in a variety of terribly off-putting ways.

The woman directly to my right was sitting bolt-upright with her legs spread as wide as they'd go; she was staring down and methodically lifting her 7-months-plus belly before abruptly letting it flop back down between her legs. God only knows how the baby was tolerating that nonsense. Lady - there's a person in there, you know? The sensation would be like me stopping your elevator half way down the building, then lifting it up a few hundred feet and dropping it two floors at a time all the way to the lobby.

I wanted badly to ask her to stop, but I didn't because I can control what comes out of my mouth when my life is at stake. She eventually tired of tormenting the unborn and started furiously punching at her phone.

About mid-way through our 45-minute wait; an absolutely enormous black woman shuffled in and settled, groaning and sputtering, into a chair directly to my left. She looked to be a solid 45 days overdue and terribly uncomfortable. She had to stand back up to shoehorn her phone out of her maternity jeans, then after slowly lowering her heaving bulk back into the chair she proceeded to text someone. Lengthily. I was dying to know who. What could she be saying? I slid over a seat to get a better angle on her. About 9 lines in - she fell dead asleep, slumped over; maternity water bottle tipped over and puddling across her abdomen. Drool immediately began trickling down her chin. Apparently pregnant women have lots of extra drool.

I suddenly find I am in the incubation chamber of an unknown horror.

Then, the nurse called our name. MRS. EWING? She mumbled. TYLER? I looked around. Tyler was gone. I felt trapped. What if it's like a Six Flags ride and if you don't go in when you're called - they skip you?

HERE!! I shouted flapping my arm wildly. HERE I AM! I MEAN WE! HERE WE AM! ARE! HERE WE ARE!

I panicked. My panic response is to babble.



HEH HEH.....





Enormous black person was still asleep, but everyone else was staring at me like you'd stare at the person talking in a library. Angry staring.

Tyler clip-clopped back into the room and shared a knowing look with the nurse that communicated something negative about me, I'm not sure what, and in we went.

After that, it got worse.

Much worse.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Election Day

Election Day is the day half of America gets to feel furious and despondent and loudly bemoan the country's future while the other half, literally, throws an enormous obnoxious party. I love it because I like knowing half of you are furious and don't know exactly why. That's good comedy.

I also love the Republican Party for consistently selecting un-electable candidates. God bless us and our tiny money-grubbing little hearts. Remember Sarah Palin? That was a Republican genius idea and now she won't go away. She's like a gremlin. We spilled the holy Republican water on her and she's still multiplying.

Consider 2012 a reminder, Republican Think-Tank: most of America still considers Mormonism a cult. That's "Cult" as in: Scientology, Heaven's Gate, or the Branch Davidians... Just nicer...and maybe not as well-armed.

Here's the question you guys might have asked in your pre-primary-selection polls: "What's better than a hugely wealthy Mormon President?" And America answers: "A partially confused semi-Muslim President that we've had for 4 years and one who we are confident won't claim to hear from angels, poison, trap, or kill us individually or en-mass or force us all to wear special underwear."

I actually do like Mitt though. He seems sharp, super-nice. Great family. Then he slips off to that big Tabernacle and God only knows what goes on in there. Shifty. Can't trust him. Was that a secret handshake he gave Ryan on stage last week? Looked like it to me. Welcome back Barack. It almost feels like you were never gone.

Post-election everybody is still worked up over Benghazi and the CIA. I get it, but here's the thing: the press and Federal Government are both unreliable. Don't everybody act shocked all at once.

I lost faith in the press entirely when I realized nobody ever thought to ask Mitt about Temple Underwear.
Does he adhere? How would that impact the Presidency? I can't think of a single part of my life that wouldn't be significantly impacted by mandatory special underwear selected by someone else. If there is one human right I hold sacred - it's the ability to own underwear. I don't know about Mitt Romney, but if I couldn't come home at night and get into a fresh pair of boxers I'd be a war criminal.

I feel obliged to vote (mostly because of my politically-savvy neighbor, Suzi Voyles, who is equal parts wonderful, reliable, and conscientious) and so I do, while at the same time loathing both political parties equally, the news, newscasters, and while I'm on a roll - professional sports, high fuel prices, and the itchy feeling fiberglass insulation gives you.

Republicans lost. Again. Sure. I get it, but I don't feel upset about our future. I know our future. Guess what's going to happen next year? Everything will be more expensive. Guess what happened last year? Everything got more expensive. Guess what happened in 2006? Everything was more expensive than in 2005.

Here's my prediction through 2016: abortion is going to stay legal, gays are going to keep right on gaying, and white people are going to continue to shrink as a percentage of the population.

I have no commentary to offer on any of that, except to point out one interesting thing about gay couples; they biologically cannot make more of themselves. Don't hate me, but it's true. Heterosexuals make more gays; so if you're all pissed off about the economy and the gay population in America and what all they're up to: you are mad at you. It's your fault for having all those expensive, gay, children who grow up and refuse to work in factories! When was the last time two gay guys went out, adopted a kid and said "Ok kid, you have to be gay like us and you better love it?"  To quote American Comedic Genius, Katt Williams: "Not Never!"

Going forward, you can blame Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Gay Santa Claus for the condition of the country if you want, but they are going to have very little to do with any of it.

I hope this sets your minds at ease.

If I were you and I was really upset about the good old US of A - I'd get on the horn with my congressmen and women. They actually get to make decisions. The President, by and large, gets to do what he's told. The man can't can't even hold his own war for more than 60 days without approval. Seriously? I don't want to be head of a nation unless I can at least decide when, where, and how long to bomb some other place without too much interference.

A system of checks and balances is great, but a President who can't even smoke inside the White House is one terribly sorry sight. I don't smoke, but if I were President my first official act would be to go room-to-room in my boxers opening all the doors and closets (like I do every morning); then burn through a carton of Marlboro Reds in the Lincoln Bedroom just to prove that, if nothing else; I AM THE PRESIDENT OF THIS HOUSE, BY GOD.

Poor guy.

It's a wonder anybody wants the job at all.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rediscovering The Creek

When I was little I remember seeing how the men in my family spent their time and I can clearly recall wondering “what is wrong with these people?”. I would be neck-deep in some kind of swamp hole in the creek with my cousin Seth, throwing rocks at each other all day long, thinking “This is the greatest day that ever was”. I'd trudge back up to the house at dusk smelling like swamp water and goat only to find that Dad and Buster spent their Saturday riding around on a tractor, building something out of wood or steel, or otherwise "working". Granddad spent his weekends tinkering with various forms of meat smoker, or spent the afternoon making a mess somewhere in the house for Grandma to clean up. At the time, it sounded to me like a waste of a great creek day.

Now, I think I get it.

I spent all weekend with my buddy Austin generally flailing around in the woods on a tractor.  I cut through all manner of detritus with an enormous 65 horsepower spinning blade that makes a soothing, thrumming song like "I killyouuikillyouikillyouifyoufalloff", saw 5 deer, 20 turkeys, 3 snakes and all sorts of other flora and fauna. At some point I managed to shear two hitch pins in the 3-point hitch, bust the tailwheel clean off the bushhog, and get the tractor stuck. That was a low point….except that Austin and I were so prepared we already had all the tools and parts to fix it.  Hah!  I am a MAN! Take that Murphy!

Tyler covered herself in glory by showing up to the stuck tractor in Austin’s pickup truck with a chain and 10 gallons of diesel fuel. She proceeded to calmly hook the tractor up to the truck, put it in low range 4-wheel-drive and coolly snatch the tractor out of the ditch before toodling back down the road with a honk and a wave.

At dusk I returned to the cabin pleasantly soiled, terribly smelly, and warmed with the sense that I’d accomplished something monumental.

When I advanced in Tyler’s direction for a customary welcome-home pat on the head, she wrinkled her nose and poked a finger into my chest; using it as a fulcrum to shift my orbit in the direction of the bathroom.

What in the world have you been doing all day? She chirped, not impressed at my cuts and bruises and general level of grease.

Tractorin'. What have you been doing all day?

Making teeeeeee shirts seeeee!!! She trilled, holding aloft a women’s tee with block print on it and some other girl crafty stuff.

Ah gotcha.

Harrumph. You’re all dirty and you smell like the bottom of a can of worms mixed with Vaseline and bridge person and sewer. Can’t you pay somebody to do the tractorin’?

Yes, I could.

I don’t understand.

I can't explain. It's like playing in the creek.

You are so weird.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I would like to show you a photograph of a beautiful pony. Gather the children and scroll down to experience the wonderment that is shortly to befall you.


Yep almost there.

Here it is.

Not quite. It’s still a bit lower.

Ok, Now!


That's the enormous gaping gash sliced into my leg compliments of half a shower wall and the metal lath backing employed by builders in the 1960s. I was demolishing my bathroom wearing shorts.

That was a mistake.

I know that now. At the time, it didn't feel like a mistake to be wearing shorts; it felt cool and refreshing. There are many things in life that start that way and end up in ruin, and, as near as I can figure, life is about figuring out what those things are just a little bit too late.

At some point in the demolition, I channeled my Grandfather's spirit and achieved furious liftoff and managed to pull the entire shower wall down on myself, which was actually part of my broader plan. Unfortunately, I neglected to consider the finest points of that plan, such as the various implications of sharp metal pieces hurtling at me backed by several hundred pounds of mortar and such.

Under the circumstances, most people would have called 911. I called Tyler, who called Dad. They followed the blood trail into the bathroom where they found me splayed out on the floor trying my best to run cool water through my shin muscle and assess my situation  (which is the first step to take if you forget who or what you are, or cut yourself badly).

I wanted Dad to superglue it. He anticipated that and had superglue in his pocket. He took one look at the size of the gash and said “no”.

Me: But its bleeding pretty bad and all pooched out. Glue it on up.

Dad: Sorry Charlie. This one is too bad. To the hospital with you.

Me: I don’t want to PAY for someone to sew up my leg. I’m already hurt. That’s bad. Hurt and out $300 is worse. Why do you want me to be worse?

Dad: Tyler, take care of this please.

We headed to the “urgent care” center down the road at 10:30PM on a Thursday night. Guess when they close? Before 10:30 PM; which is ridiculous because only about 2% of every bad thing that happens actually happens before 9:00PM. They should call it the "If It's After Dinner We Don't Care" Center.

I talked Tyler into going in to CVS and buying butterfly bandages instead of driving all the way to Northside Hospital. It was one of my better sales jobs.

I hobbled in with her hoping to show the pharmacist and any passers-by my gaping wound and, somewhere around aisle 2, became separated from my medic. I tried to show my leg to someone between my aisle and the aisle Tyler's head was on, but when I approached the woman she ran off like a rabbit. I mean: clear out of the store. 

I am finally convinced America is in a state of social decline. In my opinion, if you can't say "hey lady come look at this" to a stranger in a drugstore and at least make a new friend - you've definitely slid into a state of social decay.

I finally caught up to Tylerpants on aisle 3, hobbling and moaning. She was not on the "bandages" aisle or even on the very interesting "contraception" aisle; which I could have understood might be tantalizing regardless of the backdrop of pain and agony coursing through a close family member only a few aisles away. She was on the hair products aisle. 

Me: I am pumping blood in a public building. What are you doing?
Tyler: Getting hairgel.
Me: Hairgel? What? Why?
Tyler: We’re out.
Me. My hair isn't bleeding. This isn't a hair emergency. My leg is bleeding. I can see grainy fat and meat down in there.
Tyler: I know, but we’re here. So I thought I’d get some.
Me: (holding my leg up by the knee) You see my leg, right?
Tyler: Don’t be so dramatic. I’m getting the bandages now. Go out to the car before somebody sees you.

She came outside a few minutes later and plunked a bag full of emergency supplies (and hairgel) down on the floor at my feet. It rattled. I looked inside and found a box of bulk chewing gum.

Me: After I left - you went to the candy aisle and got Wintergreen gum.
Tyler: Yeah. You want some? This kind is really good. 
Me: No, I mean, you know how we talked about the hairgel and all. And here I am bleeding and so forth, and right this minute I can see stuff down in my leg meat that normally is hidden from view by skin that should be together-skin, not apart-skin: but you had time to go get wintergreen gum?

Tyler: Don’t you like wintergreen? They were out of peppermint.

Somehow I feel like she was missing the point.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Sleep Apnea and Other Ways to Entertain Your Mate

Sleep apnea is the last thing I needed. 

Not the last thing I needed. Second-to-last. The last thing I needed is the big face contraption they’ve insisted I wear to bed to help me not die so soon.

I found out last year I have sleep apnea. I know. I should have mentioned it earlier. Sorry. Now I’m an ex-homeschooled kid who sleeps in a snorkel.....I have officially peaked and am now hurtling downhill at breakneck speed.

Fortunately, I’m married - so I don’t really care about anything anymore and my wife doesn’t mind because it means now: I don’t have to die so soon; which means: I can continue to generate capital for "us". Everybody wins. 

The interesting thing about sleep apnea is that I actually felt fine before I knew I had it. I had no idea I felt terrible; in fact – I’ve always had the excess energy of an 8yr old.

The warning signs are subtle. I started getting a bit sleepy in the afternoons. That was odd. I nodded off a bit at a stoplight once, which struck me as also a tiny bit odd – so I figured I’d better curtail my sleep-driving before I got myself in trouble. Enter Mr. CPAP (that’s continuous positive airway pressure) Machine.

More on that later. First, I had to go in for a sleep study. This is the seamy underbelly of preventative medicine. If there ever was a medical field ripe for the establishment of a prostitution ring – this is it. 

Lucy was my sleep tech. She came into my hotel-like hospital room and spent 45 minutes gluing electrodes to all my parts including my eyelids. She did not want me to take off my boxers. I offered. She said "no." About halfway through the gluing process I stood up and tugged the back of my boxers down to about half-mast. She went into hysterics.  

Ohhh Mr. Ewing now you know I don’t need your undies to come off. 

(Twitter. Buzz. Giggle.)

Oh now mr Ewing please sit down.

But Lucy don’t you want to glue one of those things right back here on my cheeks? I bet we’ll get some interesting data!

Oh Mr. Ewing!  Hee hee Mr. Ewing, you are so bad! Hee hee! (twitter)

She wrapped up the process and helped me gently settle into the bed before trailing out with instructions to “just call out “Luuucyy!” if I needed anything”. Boy did she have the wrong guy.

I tested the sound system about 15 minutes later.


YES MR EWING? boomed a god-like voice from literally every corner of the room.
Just checking.

A few minutes later

Lucy? (quietly)


Come scratch me.

Heehee oh Mr. Ewing you are bad! Now go on to sleep.

No, I'm serious. Come scratch me.

Oh Mr. Ewing where do you have an itch?

I can't tell you. I have to show you.


You know you have a snoring problem when the sleep study technicians, sitting blearily over their cups of coffee, gawk and laugh at you when you emerge the next morning. Apparently, it was "bad." At one point I held my breath for 65 seconds and their was some discussion among the staff regarding CPR.  That accounts for the last ten years of drowning dreams. I had wondered about that.

So, now I have this little snorkel thing that blows air up my nose and keeps my airway open. If you fight it – you feel like you’re drowning inside a water-less, airless, vacuum of horror, which is terrible. Otherwise, it’s a miracle machine. 

I thought I had plenty of energy already. Now I wake up in the morning absolutely FREAKING OUT over all the things that immediately crowd into my mind to get done.  Between 6:47 and 6:49 AM I have spontaneously thought of a way to use every second of my life until I'm 89, and by 6:52 I am frustrated that the image in my head of the amazing things I intend to accomplish isn't at least 14% complete.

So, there's that.

Mr. CPAP is also good for my marriage. If Tyler annoys me during the night, which she does regularly by being all hot and clingy and refusing to observe even the simplest of bed-sharing guidelines and basic human rights – I can lift my little blower thing off and blow it all in her face until she rolls over, then blow on her face from the other side until she rolls back. That’s good for several hours of entertainment on a slow night.
What's bothering me is this: this CPAP thing is ok, and I guess not having to die as soon is good, but do I really want to cut down on the chances I’ll die in my sleep? Because that's really all I'm doing. I'm at least 50% sure I'm eventually going to die, but with this CPAP business - now I'm pretty sure that, when I do, it's not as likely to be peaceful.

What if I cheat death with the CPAP, but I end up falling down under a tractor instead? In a man as innately curious about tractors as I am – that could be a real problem.

Sleep well.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just Trying to Get Home

I have a particular affinity for self-sufficiency. I get it from my maternal Grandfather who carried an emergency birthing kit in the trunk of his car at all times, along with a years’ supply of Hot Tamales (which, incidentally don’t weather well).  By the time he died; the birthing kit was accompanied by an emergency tracheotomy tray, a few suture kits, two stethoscopes and a box of latex gloves. Unfortunately for him - he never got to save anybody. Fortunately, for his estate - he never had the opportunity. I have no idea what kind of lawsuit results from a botched amateur tracheotomy attempt, but I bet it's awesome.

Someone asked me once why I insisted on driving a pickup truck (4WD) when it’s inefficient and not terribly conducive to carrying passengers. I had no ready answer for (obviously) her. It never occurred to me that I’d drive anything else. I was caught completely off guard, but I retaliated by never calling her again. One of us won that standoff. I think it was me.

Either way, I still have my truck.

What it boils down to is this: for you to drive your 325i BMW from point A to Point B – somebody has to think ahead and lay down a nice flat path for you or else your're like a Roomba hitting the couch at the first sign of a curb. You can’t even get across your average parking lot without plenty of routine maintenance and freshly painted arrows. 

You, in short, are helpless.  That’s why I need 4WD; not so I can drive all over the sidewalks; so I don’t need to be like you

Is it worth 14 mpg and expensive tires? Oh yes. 

Another key component of my whole mantra is a sense of direction. Drug me, put me in a big sack and take me somewhere, open the sack, dump me out on the ground and leave.  When I woke up I’d have a pretty good spider sense about where in the world I might be, and more importantly: how to get to a Krystal. I rely heavily on my sense of direction and I take great pleasure in looking down upon anyone with a wonky internal compass because it means this: you’re helpless and I’m not

All this is why I find it incredibly disturbing that I cannot seem to find my way home from our new Deer Camp (near Macon). I can get down there the same way every time, but coming back something terrible and off-putting happens. I can’t explain it. I even have paper maps of the world which I consult prior to a trip.

Last week I headed home and ended up in Stockbridge. The week before - I didn’t realize I was off target until I got into downtown Monticello - and the month before that I came home from Gray, Ga by way of Covington.  Back in March I headed to Forsyth and found myself pulling in my Grandmother’s driveway in  Macon an hour later. No clue how I got there.  I was awake the whole time. I made turns. Listened to the radio. Had a good think. I didn’t hallucinate, go on a quest, kill a unicorn or even swing in and play Keno at the Walthall Exxon. I thought I was on track the entire time and I just plain wasn’t. It was horrible.

I finally understood how it feels to be my Aunt Jan. Click, the car door shuts. Click the door opens again and you're where you wanted to be with no idea how you got there.

Most of those little side trips cost me an hour or so, but I came out ahead when I found myself at Gma's because I hit Sunday Lunch square on the nose. That might have been my internal food clock taking over.

Columbus made it from Spain to the Bahamas by looking at the stars. Most people can't find Wal-Mart without activating an elaborate worldwide network of satellites, so, naturally I find GPS offensive. The situation has become so grave that I have stooped so low as to allow the nefarious GPS device to take gentle sips of my soul through my telephone.  It sends me somewhere else first, 9 times out of 10, before it will get me back to The Duderanch.

The situation is upsetting, at least partly because of the sheer volume of questions I have to answer after taking a particularly scenic detour. 

Last week Tyler called and said "Where are you?" 

Round Oak. 

Oh, ok. I thought you were in Tifton. 


Did you go to Tifton?


Well. Alright. I'll start dinner then. You headed home? 


Two hours later she called back. I had just found myself hazily wandering around Conyers.

Hey. Where are you? She said.

And do you know what I did?

I lied.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Field Sobriety

From what I know of the facts and figures: I can’t officially recommend drinking and driving as pathway to success in life.  In fact, the statistics seem rather grim.

That having been said, a few of my wilder friends claim to do their best dirt-road driving somewhat "under the influence" and, to hear some of my elder male family members tell it: drinking and driving around was just “what you did” as a teenager on a rural Georgia Friday night. Back then it apparently wasn't “as illegal" or, at least that's what I've been told. 

Perhaps that activity’s popularity is what ultimately led to some of the stiffer driving laws we enjoy today. I can’t disagree with the rationale, but suppose it’s roughly 1969 and you’re young, dumb, rural and in possession of a big block Chevy encased in 6,000 lbs of American steel and Dupont racing stripes: a case of PBR and a trip around the County might be just the activity for you.  Again, I’m not advocating we relive the golden years of your youth: I’m just pointing out – it could have happened.

At roughly this time in history my Uncle was pulled over by the local Sheriff well after midnight when the car he was riding in was seen to have been traveling “somewhat erratically” through an intersection. My Uncle was in the backseat; his buddy was driving and his other buddy (“Daryl”) was riding shotgun.

The Sheriff (who knew my family) leaned in the passenger-side window, exchanged the usual pleasantries, asked after my Grandfather and the health of the family, then abruptly said, “you boy’s been drinking?”

"No. Nossir. Not a bit sir." They responded, angelically.

“That right, son?” Said the round-shouldered, slightly paunchy sheriff through his handlebar moustache, singling out Daryl who, from experience, he knew to be the weaker vessel of the trio and who also, by now, had a thick dew of perspiration adorning his whispy, trembling moustache. 

“I bet you been drinking, ain'tcha boy? I know you're not the kind of man who'd lie to the law.”

“Yessir. Err. That is - nossir we ain’t. I mean we ain't the type to lie.” wafted back to him on the Pabst-scented breeze.

"What about the drinking part. That bit seems more relevant to this here discussion, don't you reckon?" he replied.

"Oh nossir. Nossir ain't no drinking going on here. My Daddy'd kill me."

“That so?" mused the Sherrif, inclining his head in Daryl's direction and leaning further into the black interior of the 1968 GTO (yellow). Well if you boys ain’t been drinking then, son, I’m going to need you to blow right here into my ear.” He said, placing his left ear in easy striking distance of the horrified teenager.

Daryl, stunned at the turn of events, sweating feverishly and doubtless having urinated a tiny bit, furrowed his brow, leaned in to the lawman’s shoulder, and, gently as a lover, pursed his lips and sent the faintest breeze wafting into the peacekeeper's hairy ear-hole.

All hell broke loose.

"SON, WAS THAT YOU BLOWING IN MY EAR??" The Sherriff screamed, standing bolt-upright and slamming his fist down on the roof of the car. 


It was the most brilliant field sobriety test ever administered and the best part is – it didn’t happen to me.

Friday, July 20, 2012


As a long-time student of the fairer sex – I’m happy to say I’m generally pleased with them; so much so; that I got married and now have one of my very own - forever.  The alternative appeared to be gayness or singleness and I wasn’t up for either.

Single was fun, but it got old. Plus, everybody else was getting married and, at some point, you run the risk of being weird single instead of cool single. If you don't want to risk that: get married! But you better get it right or you’ll deeply regret not holding out for weird single.

My gay friends seem to have a lot of fun, but a huge downside of gayness, in my opinion; is potentially having to marry a man. Other than that and a few other key specifics - having your buddy around all the time could be pretty fun. At least: when you disagree you can slug it out.

Nobody calls DFCS if a man shows up at work with a black eye – in fact, you just got popular. You’re a scrapper. Plus, in a man fight - whoever cries first loses (which is in keeping with the natural order).  Also – no kids! Or at least – adoptive kids only. And, from what I understand, you can take adopted kids back. I like the idea of being able to turn them back in until I get one that doesn’t act like me

Not so with women. Get in a fight with your wife and she cries first?  You lose. You cry at all?  You lose.  Nobody cries but she wanted to? You lose. Most of the time – winning costs you way more than you ever expected and, ultimately, you lose more, worse, and longer.

Now that I think about it – I’ve never actually won a fight with Tylertoes. I’ve just lost horribly in a million different subversive, sneaky ways.

Remember that disagreement we had about what dark mysterious magic befalls the other half of all my socks? Now they come back clean, together, but inside out – which is much, much worse. No way to prove anything, but I know they didn’t go in the dryer that way. Its not worth fighting about now, but guess who lost? Me and my socks.

All I wanted was my soup to get magically hotter without me having to get up.  Guess what shows up in my mouth? Molten lava.

Beg for something tasty to eat instead of lettuce wraps? Undercooked pork = salmonella.

Sometime soon I’m going to focus on figuring out why women all loathe each other, but lately I’ve just been studying the “I don’t know what my Dad does” phenomena.  Ask a young-ish girl what her dad does? 90% of the time – she has no idea. He leaves every morning, comes back from somewhere and somebody pays him. It’s like he doesn’t exist for about 10hrs a day then he pops back up out of the ground like a man-shaped toadstool put here on earth to change your oil.

I heard my sister one day as a child tell somebody my Dad was in real estate. That is not true. He’s not only NOT in real-estate – he’s NEVER been in real estate.  I confronted her about it (gingerly).

Me: You know Dad's not in real estate, right?
Margaret: Well, he goes to an awful lot of meetings.
Somehow I lost that argument.

I’m not suggesting your average 6-18yr old girl isn’t smart enough to figure it out – I’m just pointing out that, for some reason, they rate it not important enough to investigate.

My research suggests this phenomenon doesn’t stop with Dad. It carries right on down the line. Mom spent 6 years laboring under the belief that I was a tax accountant and I "did people's taxes". I told her at least bi-annually that wasn't true and offered up a clear example of my actual employment. Every year - tax season would roll around and one of her friends would call me about her taxes. I finally just started doing them which, technically, made me a tax accountant! I'm glad she didn't pluck "Lion Tamer" out of thin air.

It gets worse. I offer this to you as evidence:

Tyler:  Whatcha’ doin’?
Me:  I was just talking to Chris in regards to some business. You know. Work stuff. Stocks and bonds and things. No big deal.
Tyler:  Ah. When my girlfriends ask what you do, I tell them that you meet with men...and have meetings...with those men. They nod in understanding and say "that's what my Dad does".  No further explanation needed.
Me:  Ah. Interesting. Tell me: what did your Dad do for work before he retired?
Tyler: He had some kind of business. Then he didn't. I think he sold it. To somebody.
Me:  How about before that?
Tyler: Real Estate.

It always comes back to real estate.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Profiling Is Wrong

Awhile back I swapped out the ordinary fluorescent bulbs in my office for Ottlite “natural sunlight” bulbs. They were awesome and, incidentally, my office plants started growing like they thought they really had a chance to go wild and free. I felt a little guilty at the deception, especially when they shifted and started climbing towards the lights instead of the window. That has to be the ultimate betrayal for a plant. Sorry. I did it. It was me.

My plant caretaker lady even commented on it. My office was quickly turning into The Land That Time Forgot and she had to get aggressive with her pruning shears.

Unfortunately, these bulbs apparently burn out at an alarming rate for what amounts to an incredibly expensive exploding light fixture.  

I finally called the maintenance guy to come in and replace my funky white lights with the ordinary weird yellow-glow fluorescent bulbs that are probably giving everybody underarm cancer or otherwise shortening our lifespans. Whatever. I'm a slave to economy just like everybody else. So what if my eyesight, health and attitude pay the price?

He was immediately unimpressed with my sunlight-light installation and seemed a bit under the weather, or at least I gathered he’d been having a rough day from the steady torrent of invective he kept up under his breath from atop the ladder.

Those lights look funny. They ain’t right.

No. Errrr. Yes. They’re like sunlight.

No. They lightbulbs.  That sunlight (pointing at window).

Well, ah. Yes. That is – no. I mean that IS sunlight. This is like sunlight.

Look like a lightbulb that don’t work to me. Sun working just fine.

Well I mean I bought them to get more sunlight in here.

(walks to window, opens blinds)

Like that?


I retreated into the depths of my desk chair like a startled turtle and frantically pretended to be busy by placing the phone to my ear upside-down and repeatedly pounding the "enter" key on my computer hoping that he'd kind of melt away.  He didn't - and his muttering got somewhat less verbal and more like a series of angry symbols, but I did catch one last phrase as he snapped his ladder shut and trailed out the door carrying an armload of my expensive, nonfunctional lightbulbs.

.....White People.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


I was invited to play golf recently by one of the founders of the investment bank I work for. I was initially flattered until I replayed the tape of the invitation in my head and heard the word "golf" echoing over and over with ominous undertones. Then I realized: he's intentionally putting me in a situation in which I could very easily do something to warrant immediate "Don't come to the office - we'll send you your things" severance. This isn't golf - it's a test of my ability to not get fired under pressure.

I could describe my golf game for you in detail, but I won't. Instead I'll draw the curtain of decency around the whole escapade and leave you with only this: the punchline is - in a full 50 holes of golf over a two-day period I nearly hit The Chairman himself, two cars, a pair of croquet players, one goose, a swan, a man on his back porch, two other houses and actually did hit a golf cart. The highlight was taking a 300mph drive straight off the tee and directly at the side of The Chairman's own home on the 4th tee box to my left. Fortunately a large pine tree intervened, but not before the stress of the shot shaved 24 months off my rapidly dwindling lifespan. 

At one point I bounced a ball off a tree, into a cart path and literally OVER another house, but I didn't count that one as "almost hitting a house" becase it hit a cart path first so it counts as "hitting a cart path" (and makes the list of cart paths I hit), but not the "endangering a house" list. Golf is all about technicalities and since I don't qualify to keep track of the usual ones (like "score" and "strokes" and "putts") I have begun a list of my own.

Balls lost: 18
Trees hit: 12
Tee Shots entirely muffed: 15
Times I was told to "just pick up your ball": 20
Man-made objects hit: 3
Animals hit: 0
People hit: 0


I shot a 68. Par was 72. I was 4 under on round one!

We had a wonderful celebratory dinner that evening, but I realize now the general air of conviviality was due largely to the other three players' shared sense of relief to have successfully eluded the blazing hail of screaming golf balls I sent their way all afternoon.

What can I say? I'm no golfer and I'd rather be good at fishing than rich.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Planned Obsolescence

I understand the manliness inherent in producing a compendium of delicious smoked meats from the depths of your home grill or smoker. It's a long, proud, American tradition only somewhat more important than the National Anthem and only slightly less so than Baseball. In some families no woman dare approach the meat cooker - it's hallowed ground so to speak.

In most families - the man stands around ferociously guarding the grill (the vestigial tail of his wildness) and, regardless of how entirely poor his meat-preparing skills are - he'll maintain them completely unaltered until death.  If you're lucky somebody got hold of him at a young age and taught him how to sear, grill, or smoke properly. If not - you're stuck with him and his rudimentary skills and it ain't going to improve. We're like wolves - better catch us before 12 weeks of age or you'll never get us quite domesticated. In that case, the threat of regression is always eminent. You'll look through the kitchen window around noon on a Saturday and there your man stands - naked, grilling, and holding a crudely sharpened stick.

"Honey! Pants please, and no more stick, ok?"

"Bobby no stick?" he'll reply looking dazed.

That's the norm, but I've approached this situation with a somewhat different perspective.

Instead of stumbling through life fiercely guarding these ancient rituals of manhood; my plan is to carefully train my wife to handle many of these important man-tasks and very gently fade into the comfortable obscurity of my fishing vessel and/or workshop and/or huntcamp. I am planning my own obsolescence. Why wait for nature to do it for you?

One day you're going to come home from the pharmacy, painfully wheeze your way into the house, don your favorite smoking apron and slowly shuffle out the door to the Green Egg. You'll arrive and realize you left the lump charcoal in the house. Back you go.

You're too old and weak to pick up the charcoal and now you can't find your fingers, everything smells like the color brown, your glasses fell off somewhere under the sink and your left shoe is untied. Your wife is still young and healthy because she hasn't spent the last 60 years bent over 10lbs of smoking charcoal, so naturally she's off frolicking at yoga and you're going to have to wait for her to get home to tie your shoe so you don't trip over your gouty toe, fall and break your neck.

You eventually fall asleep leaned up against the fridge with the door open, the meat spoils, you catch pneumonia and you never smoke meat again. It's a sad story and if I've seen it once - I've seen it a thousand times.

Yesterday I got home from work to find the Green Egg puffing away merrily, my various man-sized cooking utensils fanned across the kitchen table, and three racks of baby back ribs thawed, rubbed, and slathered awaiting the grate.

Thanks. I'll take it from here.

Take what from where? You're late and I'm grilling.

"Smoking." It's called "smoking." On a grill: "searing." Peons "grill" - its classless and base. Don't let me catch you talking like that again in this house.

Open the door and hand me my big leather grill gloves.

They're mine.

Open the door.

She pranced gaily outside with 10lbs of pork and began layering it about the grate with precision.

"Here I better do that" I said, loudly, as I began gently easing away from the kitchen.

"That doesn't look right!" I hollered, covering the rusty sqeak of my favorite chair.

"Stay away from my Green Egg" wafted gently in on an applewood-scented breeze. I'm an egghead too and you're not taking credit for my smoke this time!

Nuh uh! You better don't! I am the SmokeMaster around here! I hollered from the den as I gently eased back the lever on my recliner.

Fuel up the boat, Fred: I am officially obsolete.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


There are only a few things worse than realizing you're naked and didn't know it - and of those few things here are a couple I've been contemplating lately:

1. Blood at work. IS THAT BLOOD ON YOUR FACE? Yes. I cut myself shaving and now its bleeding again. I suddenly feel terribly guilty and horrible for having blood of my own, and that you can now see it. Its a tiny shaving nick. That's it. Now, please help me calm myself from the instant shot of horror I felt when I saw your face contort into a mindless, wordless, soundless, scream of terror at the tiny speck of blood on my cheek. Based on your reaction I could easily have had a severed ear flapping down by my neck on a few white strands of ligament.

What is it about a tiny bit of blood that puts people off so badly? I don't get it. You're basically a big, soft sack of meat and goo stuck on a bone frame - life ain't perfect and one way or another - eventually all that goo is coming out. Think on that for a minute.

2.  Death. Nobody knows what happens, exactly. Sure, there is lots of speculation about it and after all the speculation - still nobody knows. Does it hurt? I think its likely. Even something as simple as satching a tooth out feels really weird and kind of hurts - I imagine having your soul jerked clean out of your body probably does too - and it really sucks that the last thing that happens to you is probably going to hurt. I'm already not looking forward to it.

Even if you have a fairly clean massive heart attack and all the goo inside you doesn't just explode out into the open from some kind of terrible disease - what's that feel like? "An elephant sitting on your chest." Awesome. Sign me up for the goo explosion instead - at least I get to ride out and leave a giant mess for somebody else (one of my favorite things).

3. Accidentally drinking orange juice too soon after brushing your teeth. Hey how about this, Colgate: take whatever it is in toothpaste that's ruining my life OUT of the toothpaste! How many hundred years do we have to put up with it?

4. Cutting up the roof of your mouth on a big chunk of too-crusty toast. BAH! I'm pretty sure that's what death feels like after the elephant-on-the-chest part.

Anyway, I'm contemplating all that so you don't have to - just try not to think about it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


I am not one to stand in the way of progress. I’ve embraced automation, technology, the internet – anything high-tech and useful in nearly any form.  My otherwise old-fashioned razor even comes with a battery now.

Quite a bit has changed. We put headphones in our ears to go for a run, we never turn off the telephone - I even have a buddy who wears a radio helmet deer hunting so he can listen to UGA games.  Sometimes all the technology can be isolating - I have hardly even shopped in a brick-and-mortar store since the internet (that’s “Innerwebs” or “Entrynets” to my rural family) became viable. 

I’ll admit. All the technology was nice, but somewhere along the road I started to lose touch with humanity. Yesterday I went to the DOT for a trailer tag and I am happy to report: I am back in touch.

If you’re anything like me, a trip to the DOT fills you with foreboding. You don’t know what’s going to happen – but you can be sure it won’t be good.

What always amazes me is the sheer volume of open combat that takes place right there in the waiting room. Yesterday I walked in to find a young man standing at the customer service window balancing a baby on his left hip, wife to  his right (great with child) and a pile of various completely useless government forms fairly spilling out of his significantly bagged-and-sagged jeans.

I could tell by his posture and the whites of his wife’s eyes that all parties were dealing with a flight-or-fight response before I even made it through the cold glass doors and into the frosty environment of the waiting room.

Customer Service (clearly enunciating): Sir, do you owe money on the vehicle?

Man: Yes. No. Yes. I owe my Uncle $500, but he give me this here tag for free.

Customer Service: Is your Uncle the primary lienholder?

Man: I owe my Uncle $500 and he give me this car.

Customer Service: Is your Uncle the primary lienholder?

Man: My Uncle - he give me this car. I pay him some money. Later I pay him some more.

Customer Service: Who is the Primary Lienholder on your vehicle?

Man: I don’t know nothing about nobody “lean”.

Customer Service: Do you owe your Uncle money on this car?

Man: No. Except for the $500 that I owe him.

Customer Service: Where is the title?

Man: I dunno about no title. All I got is the car. Ain’t that enough?

Customer Service: Well, without the title the car can’t be proven to be your car and it belongs to whoever has the title.

Man (louder): Well whoever he is you tell him I’d like to see him try and take it.

Customer Service: No need to shout sir. You’re going to need the title.

Man (patiently): I don’t need no title and I already got the car – all I want is the little sticker that say “you ain’t got to pull me over Mr. Police Officer.”

Customer Service: If you have your Uncle send you the title we’ll convert it to a Georgia title from a Florida title (AH HA! Floridians!) and then send it back to him and he can give it to you and you can put it in your name when you are finished paying for it.

Man: If you give me that sticker I’ll do all that soon as I get home.

Customer Service: I’m sorry I can’t do that. Have your Uncle sign over the Title and bring it in.

Man (blank stare): My Uncle ain’t gon’ sign me over no title until he gets his money I can tell you that fo’ sho’ because he done took it back twice already because we late on the payments. He’s a dealer.

Customer Service: Either that, or have the Primary Lienholder sign the title over to you.

Man: I done told you: I ain’t know no lienholler all I got is a Uncle and a beater car with no muffler.

I eased on around the corner and took a number to watch the drama play out, but was disappointed to see the man, his wife and the young child turn and shuffle out. It’s a shame because both parties were talking to each other with such (relatively) clear enunciation (like they were talking to a baby) that I could hear the whole thing perfectly. Normally you have to kind of sidle up to someone in that situation to hear the whole hissed exchanged through the DOT service window and that can get terribly inconvenient.

I sat for a bit with an eye on the door. I don’t know what it is about government buildings, but for some reason every single person you see walking into one has something pretty bad wrong with them. The first 5 people (no lie) to walk in after I sat down all had something wrong with a leg:

1.       White male, 50s: No left leg, prosthesis.

2.       Black female, 20’s: Crutches

3.       White female, 50’s: Pronounced limp

4.       White male, 30’s: Less pronounced limp

5.       White female 60’s: Wrapped ankle

It went downhill from there. The next one had a cast on his right arm, the 9th had those really dark eye-doctor glasses on and kept sniffling, the 12 and 13th were both fantastically pregnant, and the 14th was so old I can absolutely not imagine how she managed to get to the DOT. The 16th was preceded by her husband in a wheelchair who looked to be roughly 92, mostly blind, certainly incapacitated, and only slightly happier about the wheelchair than his wife; who proceeded to snatch him around and act absolutely furious with the wheelchair for the next 20 minutes.

I guess maybe it was his fault about the wheelchair and she hasn’t forgiven him for it yet. Seems a touch unfair, but hey – they gave him his driver’s license a lot faster than I got my tag, so maybe it was just a prop.

Anyhow, it was worth the trip.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Figured I'd check in. It's been awhile since I've posted anything here and I can't help but point out that: nobody cared! BAH!  Am I an unappreciated genius or am I appreciated for being the not-genius that I am?  If I understand how the process works - I have to die to find out, so it looks like I'm not going to know anything real' soon. Either way: all of you out there not reading this are absolutely not invited to my birthday party this year (unless you bring a gift).

Just to feed you a little update - things are a smidge different around the DudeRanch than in years past.  I get "Cooking Light" in the mail now with my fishing magazines and I've recently learned that there is a place for the hairdryer thats not on the bathroom counter.  I put the hairdryer "up" pretty often, but I throw away "Cooking Light" whenever I can manage to intercept it.  So far its arrival has portended of nothing good in the culinary department. And by "nothing good" I mean "Tofu."

Why do you need Tofu if you've got eggwhites handy? Isn't it pretty much the same thing?

Tyler walked past 45lbs of perfectly good frozen deer meat the other day, dove into the freezer and came out with a package of pre-made tofu burgers. I thought my head was going to spin around and pop off. 

Unfortunately, it didn't. And I ate the horrible tofu puck, but it nearly sent me to my Aunt Sherry's house out of sheer desperation for a buttery, meaty treat.

In Tyler's health-conscious defense - I do like the fake veggie protein sausage patty things we eat now instead of delicious pork sausage. I don't know whats in there, but they're pretty good wrapped in bacon.