Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Being Right

I don't know how to sing. In church I kind of sway and warble, but no stranger ever accosts me later and says "we sure would like for you to sing at our wedding".  I don't dance much if I can help it. I'll never go to the moon.

I'm not likely to ever become a woman. I won't invent a new kind of asphalt shingle that engages in photosynthesis to combat global warming. I haven't even thought of a better way to collect rainwater than "barrel" or "mouth".

There are many things I've missed out on, I guess. But you know what I can do? Read a speed limit sign. I can do that.

I have some latent confusion regarding my relationship to the number painted on those signs, so to help me understand more clearly what the police think about that number and my relationship with it, I bought a "Valentine One" radar detector. Then, I bought a special mount for it. Then I bought a special bluetooth module. Then I bought a little thing to plug it into my mirror. Then I bought an entire cell phone that does nothing but help manage the beeps and beeboops that emanate from the detector itself that needed the bluetooth module to work. Then, I bought two special magnetic mounts (one for both my phones) and I got so excited about them I bought 5 more to give as gifts. Then, I accidentally left them in a cardboard box and Tyler threw them away. She never throws HER stuff away by accident. Only mine. It's how she rolls.

To make all that detector stuff work I then discovered that I had to learn something about radar detectors themselves or nothing really made sense. On top of THAT I had to read up on radar itself. Did you know "Ka" band is superwide? Yeah. I know all about that.

Finally. I was ready to roll. And roll I did: right through a laser speed trap, which radar detectors don't help with. When your radar detector says "LASER!" it's really just saying "Hey. You got a ticket just now! How did it feel?"

I am emotionally invested in my radar detector setup. I can't help it, but its true. So, when the cop clomped his way up to my window, leaned in and said "I see you have a radar detector in there son" with a little chuckle - I found myself feeling very betrayed and vulnerable.

He continued: "I guess I definitely have to write you a ticket now. On account of seeing that there radar detector".

This was a bit much. I mean, you can insult me, sure. But not my radar setup. That's private.

So, I said "Here's the thing officer. The way I figure it - if there's a state patrolman standing in my window by the side of the highway with his hand on his sidearm and he's asking me pointed questions about a radar detector. I'm already getting a ticket. Don't you figure?"

He thought about it for a minute and said "I reckon so." and just like that: he handed me a ticket.

I do love being right.

Friday, June 10, 2016

I'm Back

I’m quite a bit older since we last spoke. I have a bunch of new gray hair that looks terrible and won’t lay down well at all. BUT I’m already married! Hah! Take that, universe!

Since I don’t have to attract a mate anymore with my fancy hair - bring on the grays. I'm ready.

I want to catch you up on the last year or so, but I don’t want to go overboard. I’ll hit the highlights, such as they are. 

I blew up a truck motor this year. That was pretty satisfying. Not just anyone can break a whole motor from inside the cab using nothing but his right foot and his mind, but I did it! It made a really big noise that was some “gnashing” but also a “rending” coupled with a “clatter” and a “knock, knock bang” followed by at least one hard “crash” sound and long slow “grinding” noise right there at the end.

I quit writing a year or so ago. I don’t know why. I am a little bit sad about it, because I had some really funny thoughts that I didn’t write down and now I’m not sure I can get them back.

I’ll blame children, but it’s probably not their fault. My fallback is to blame Emily Jones for anything in general, but it’s probably not 100% her fault either. 

Funny story about Emily – she’s allergic to seafood so I always try to sneak shellfish into her meals. One night I convinced her that “crab roll” was definitely not the same thing as “seafood” (“it’s a crustacean” I said, with a winning smile) and I suggested that she should have a teeny tiny bite. I really pulled out all the stops and, by god, she went for it. Watching that tiny piece of crab roll disappear down her gullet was the moment wherein I realized I needed to be in sales. So, the aftermath was worth it (for me) if you consider the broader implications. I consider securing that first sales job a real accomplishment. Fortunately, it turns out Emily was fine and doesn't really have a true anaphylactic response to shellfish. Who knew? She's totally fine. Don’t worry.

Mostly fine. 

By “fine” what I really mean is “not dead”. She is absolutely not at all dead. She is alive, I can confirm that. She did, however, call me later that evening every half hour from 2AM to 7AM from the floor of her bathroom where she was thrashing about in the throes of totally unhinged projectile vomiting. So, to be clear: after all THAT, she was totally fine.

The voicemails were hysterical. It was a lot of broken sentences punctuated by “heaving” and "splatter". And the swearing! Good Lord! 

Heh. I know that’s not funny. I know. Practical jokes aren’t funny at all and I should be ashamed of myself. I know it.

I mean, it is a tiny bit funny though, right?

Anyway, deductive reasoning being what it is – I believe my failure to write is my wife’s fault, but it may also be my propensity for introspection, my failure to own a diesel pickup, finding out about the zika virus, or having had stitches in my foot during a beach vacation last summer, which was infuriating. Regardless, I’ve been absent. So much so - that people don’t ask me about writing anymore, which only makes me want to sulk. So I’ve done some of that too. Then, lo and behold a new computer and some space for writing shows up under the Christmas tree compliments of the wife I blame (now entirely) on my lack of writing and I find I’ve been encouraged to proceed with writing once again in a way that only a Real American could appreciate – a retail purchase!

So I’m back.  I couldn’t just let this fancy retail purchase sit there unused. If it’s not called “material guilt” it is now.

I would catch you up on more details from the last year or so, but it would read terribly average and middle-class. Here’s the highlight: I got a fancy travel bag for Christmas so I filled it up with stuff I don’t need and I spent almost all of my money trying to shoot a huge bull elk, which I was able to do only for the following reason: I went to college and he didn’t.


It was every bit as satisfying as you might guess.

What else? There is something else I wanted to tell you.

Ah yes. I have an extra kid! Brand new! I made this kid myself and I feel like I may have gotten this one just right. The first one is turning out to be super aggressive and powerfully outdoorsy and perhaps a tiny bit too much like me to be what you might call “perfectly centered”, so I am glad for a second chance at the goal.

This new creature is a tiny girl person and she’s probably going to be reaaaallll fancy and expensive. Before you ask: No, I’m not saving for a wedding. I don’t need to, and I know that already because I know this: she is going to have a lot of first dates that bring her home riiight on time, walk her nervously up to the front door AND NEVER COME BACK OR I’LL KILL YOU.

Her love life will be very sad, I'm sure, but not for MEEEEEE!

Maybe one day I’ll get to write about it.