A great many of my Facebook friends have covered their profile pics in a rainbow gel. They’re ecstatic about the supreme court’s decision to legalize same sex marriage all across the land. Of course, my Facebook friends are a diverse bunch and others are very upset with the decisions of the POTUS and the SCOTUS. As for me, I’ve got more of a problem with the highest court in the land being referred to by an acronym which is just a few letters away from being a ball bag.
As I drove around running errands the other day, I wondered if the I’d be able to detect any change in the world of suburbia now that any two consenting adults could marry. I didn’t notice much. Rainbows didn’t seem any more prevalent than before. I didn’t come across any outdoor same-sex newlyweds having photos taken of themselves with their wedding parties. Admittedly, it was a Monday, which is fairly rare choice of day for even the most non-traditional of nuptials.
To be honest, I wasn’t too surprised. Suburbia is a substantial step away from the big city, where gay pride parades and loving same-sex couples are more than happy to openly express their joy in being finally legally permitted to marry. I know that there are gay people in every corner of the world, they’re just a little less conspicuous in the land of soccer moms and malls.
Nope, nothing to report except the usual sights; people driving with cell phones plastered to their heads, others driving with their knees while employing both hands to text, still others driving while reading texts, possibly sent by the driver in the next lane. Some cars had unrestrained children romping around in back seat, cute little traumatic brain injuries just waiting to happen. It was tough to see many of these folks because they were swerving around me doing 15 or 20 miles an hour over the speed limit. At the supermarket, someone was parked in a handicapped parking spot but didn’t have the appropriate placard on their car.
It struck me as somewhat ironic that so many people seem to either be terribly upset or wildly overjoyed about what it now officially legal, but so many seem oblivious as to what it means to actually obey the law.
That’s what I get for going on Facebook in the first place. I should have just paid attention to the road and left the computer off.
It’s my turn over at The Nudge Wink Report, and I’ve decided to delve into why people prefer to only read a few words at a time. They learn these bad reading habits at home, people, and it has to stop! Please don’t be offended if this sounds like I’m describing you, this is entirely about Bernice.
This looked nice, but quickly became illegible once I hung a couple of jackets on it.This may or may not account for my uneventful sleeping of late.(Image from ourimgs dot com)
I walked over to a neighbor’s home a few weeks ago carrying a cup measure and an empty Flintstones jelly glass. I’d been in the middle of making scones when I suddenly realized that I was fresh out of both dried currants and vodka. For you epicures out there, the currants are sometimes found in scones, and the vodka in consistently found in me when I’m baking.
I’ll refer to this neighbor as “B”, but her actual name is Bernice Waldbaum. There was no doubt that B would have every ingredient I could ever need, she’s one of “those” people. I’d also resigned myself to the idea that she would take at least partial credit for…
I’m a terminally itchy guy. I always have been. When it comes to addressing my never ending bouts with flaky, itchy awful skin, I’m like an artist. I’m the Picasso of picking, the Stravinsky of scratching. I’m the freaking Jackson Pollock of placating pervasive pruritus.
Since many readers are likely amateurs by comparison, I thought it might be nice to share my wealth of scratching strategies. The truly itchy know that any patch of skin is fair game for a flare up, but for many, the most annoying are the ones located on the back. Those pesky spots can only be reached by a few yoga enthusiasts and circus freaks with really long nails.
I’ve taken the liberty of categorizing the implements/strategies for easy reference – since no one with an itchy back has time to be searching for answers.
Plastic – These are politically incorrect, unless fabricated from recycled milk jugs and lawn furniture.
Bamboo – The green crowd loves these, and they work pretty well. I prefer mine to be sanded to a sharper edge. The few remaining panda bears can damn well eat kale like the rest of us.
New-Fangled Telescoping – These are flawed in design – one good scratch and you’ll never be able to close this thing up again.
Long handled soup spoon – Excellent reach, nice edge, strong stem. Also, you can stir a big pot of soup with it. Dinner guests will appreciate your washing the spoon between scratching and tending to the gumbo.
Ladle – Good reach, stem strength, but flawed edge accessibility due to angle of cup
Serrated Knife – Very effective, but not advised for amateur use.
Yard Stick (Meter Stick if scratching abroad) – Excellent reach, though too flexible unless you choke up on your grip.
Ruler – Better rigidity than the yard stick and easier to hide from the teacher. Use the edge with the metal insert for truly evil itches.
#2 Pencil or Bic ballpoint – Not recommended due to poor reach, and increased likelihood of wrecking your favorite white shirt.
Lacrosse stick – Traditionally strung – good roughness factor, though has a rather broad scratching surface. Avoid goalie and defense sticks.
Whiffle Ball Bat – Good stiffness, reach, but mediocre roughness, unless you have one that the dog chewed on.
5 Iron – Good grip, excellent reach – angle of the blade face may not be the best – I’d consider a sand wedge here.
Dogs – As man’s best friend, you’d think that Fido would be a natural choice, however canines can misinterpret body language and may start humping your thigh instead.
Cats– If you can get them to pay attention to you at all, these furry introverts have what it takes in the claw department. If your back bears any resemblance to upholstered furniture, they may get overzealous.
Hamsters – For some reason, these little balls of fluff get nervous anytime people attempt to employ them around the back area.
Man on the Street – If you can subliminally convince them that they are on a hidden camera show and will look like jerks for not scratching, this may result in a vigorous scratch and limit potential demands for reciprocity.
Dominatrix – These aren’t cheap (or so I’ve heard). If they are too into the sadistic end of things, they may refuse to scratch just to watch you squirm. Find one who knows how to use a cat-o-nine-tails and hope for the best.
Co-Workers – In these politically correct, litigious times, this one can be a little risky. You don’t want a threatening call from the lawyer representing Jeannie Whatshername with the nice nails down in accounting. By the same token, you’d be well advised to avoid asking your boss for a good scratch between the shoulder blades. If possible, use an inanimate object instead, such as a mailer tube or even a compact umbrella in the closed position. If you must employ a co-worker, try to avoid moaning or reflexive leg jerking during the scratching.
Spouse/Significant Other – Relationship experts agree that a successful pairing of people requires a degree of give and take. By their reckoning, a spirit of cooperation is key to a long and successful marriage. It should be noted that relationship experts are often divorced and lonely. It doesn’t take a degree in quantum physics to determine that a thirty second, limp-wristed scratching should not equate to your having to do yard work for an hour and a half. Though itching can be intense and with a sudden onset, you need to take a moment to consider your bartering position and history.
I’d write more about this, but I promised my wife I’d cut the grass.
A few weeks ago, I accepted the friend request from a guy on Facebook. He and I have a few mutual FB friends. His name was vaguely familiar, and I was feeling outgoing in a virtual sort of way.
Perhaps my new friend would post something on FB which would trigger enough synapses in my old wrinkled head to help me recall how I actually knew him (assuming I’d even met this guy in the first place).
Within only a few minutes, I spotted his first post. It was a motivational poster with strong religious overtones. It rang no bells of recognition and no one I knew had commented on it. Before I could waste too much time wondering, another post popped up from him. This one was quite ethnic and not funny to me, though I’m sure someone laughed at it. As I tried to make sense of why someone would post religious cheer-leading, then baby-mama posters within minutes of one another, yet another post popped up from my new friend.
I had published a new blog post. As fate would have it, a few people read it and commented, so I was making sure that I read and replied to as many comments as possible. I also have a job, a wife and a life, so I wasn’t on FB too often. Every time I was though, there were multiple posts from my mystery friend.
I knew I had to block this guy before his dorm-quality WWJD posters and World Star Hip Hop-style homages to booty overwhelmed my news feed. I’d have to sift through mountains of this junk to find the kitten photos and empowerment slogans of the rest of my remaining FB friends.
Before I blocked him, I decided to tally up the posts for the twenty four hours of our friendship. The total: Forty-six photo/slogan/booty-liscious posters and eight religioso posters. None of the posts included photos of the guy, or so much as an original sentence. Fifty-four FB poster posts in the span of one day?! I glanced at his profile page to see what career allows someone the time paste over two of these inane things every single hour of his life.
I won’t be retiring for another 10 years, give or take. I haven’t given a huge amount of thought as to how I’ll spend my golden years. I’m thinking of taking up fly fishing, or maybe opening a combination craft brewery/yoga studio so I can touch my toes before my beer belly gets too big. In the event that I choose to spend my hard earned retirement posting buckets of virtual bumper stickers all over social media sites, I hope one of my actual friends will come over and smother me with a pillow as I sleep.
A few friends of mine love to ask for my opinion as to who would win if Batman fought Superman. Now that the trailer for the upcoming film epic has been released, I’m sure they’ll ask again soon. These knuckleheads also enjoy asking me whether the Flash is faster than the Silver Surfer and whether the Hulk is stronger than the Thing. They don’t ask me these questions because of my vast knowledge of fictional superheroes. They ask to annoy me, and because they seem to enjoy my stock answer:
“I’m a grown-assed man, ferchrissakes! Why would I waste my time even considering such an idiotic question?!”
Like most kids of my generation, I watched Superman and Batman on TV. By Superman, I’m referring to a character played by a paunchy George Reeves on a snowy, black and white screen.
By Batman, I mean a character played by a paunchy Adam West – shot in color but viewed on a Sears black and white TV with an antenna clad in wads of aluminum foil.
By the time Hollywood started making special effects-laden blockbusters about these characters, I had already outgrown men in capes and moved on to women in tights (not necessarily super heroines, just women – and not necessarily in tights for that matter). I went through a brief transitional period which my therapist often refers to as my “Julie Newmar as Catwoman” phase.
Despite my ardent attention to Ms. Newmar, I don’t think I ever considered whether she would win in a battle with Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. Irrespective of who would have won, I would have paid my entire allowance for a year to have had a ring-side seat for that clash.
I know that the world is full of unanswerable questions; things like the meaning of life, our fates after death, and why Donald Trump’s hair looks like it does. These are all things we’ll never truly know. Despite their unanswerable nature, we’re destined to ask them again and again.
As for Batman versus Superman, my answer is a shrug of the shoulders accompanied by a roll of the eyes. I’m just amazed that so many people seem to truly care enough to even have an opinion. My only guess is that whichever superhero wins the first battle will lose in the sequel.
I’ll admit it, I watch too much TV. Unlike lots of folks, I don’t just sit there like a potted plant. I constantly complain about bad plots, breaks in continuity, and of course, commercials. The gap between the imaginary world of advertisers and reality drives me nuts. Whining to my wife and dog isn’t enough; I’ve got to write entire blog posts about it.
Ad Portrayal: Tablet users design surf boards, organize food drives and find sources of potable water for refugees in the Sudan. They also use their tablets to take pictures of breathtaking scenery and refer to online astronomy charts while out in the wilderness at night (Despite being a million miles from anywhere, there’s a good WiFi signal).
Harsh Reality: Tablet users are playing Bubble Witch Saga, watching porn in the powder room, or checking Facebook for likes on recently posted photos of their cats and/or nephews. They occasionally “lose” the tablet just to keep the kids from hogging it.
Ad Portrayal: Pick-Up owners are driving to work sites, parking entirely too close to the hearth at the steel mill, and generally playing key roles in building the infrastructure that makes this country great. The guy doing the voice-over sounds like he’s from somewhere in the Rockies, unless it’s Dennis Leary who sounds like Dennis Leary.
Harsh Reality: No one is allowed to put anything dirty in the back of Dad’s truck, including but not limited to: mulch, play sand or lumber. Despite the truck being equipped with Bluetooth for safe, hands-free communication, Dad never answers when his brother-in-law calls because he needs help moving.
Ad Portrayal: SUV drivers navigate through mud, snow and over all sorts of rugged terrain as children play happily in the back seat. Dads reconnect with their children by taking the whole family to the Grand Tetons while towing expensive looking boats.
Harsh Reality: There are damn few boulder fields in suburbia. A few weeks ago, one of the kids dropped an almond butter and jelly sandwich behind one of the fold down rear seats. It smells like it might be fermenting. Having these killer car payments often prevents SUV owners from buying so much as a dinghy to tow.
Ad Portrayal: Healthy, good-looking people have incredibly tasty looking food delivered by a perky, knowledgeable waitress. There are frosty pints of beer handy to wash it down. The diners look like they’re having so much fun, they might not even get around to actually eating anything. The camaraderie is so thick, you can cut it with one of the handy butter knives.
Harsh Reality: The waitress has a hairy mole on her cheek and an Eastern European accent which make the specials at this Tex Mex joint sound like they are composed of boiled cabbage and beet greens. Our trio of diners could each stand to drop twenty pounds. The patrons at a nearby table are loud, and not in a good way. Somewhere else in Svetlana’s section, a small child wails in his high-chair and throws re-fried beans with reckless abandon while his parents pretend not to notice.
E.D.. Medications – Single Dose
Ad Portrayal:A rugged-but-sensitive looking guy finishes fixing a broken section of barbed wire fence out on the back forty. His pick-up truck gets stuck in a muddy rut on the dirt road. He ties the draft horse from his trailer to the front of the pick up and pulls himself back onto dry land. His MacGyver-like solution to the dilemma is clearly just another day in the life of a fellow who gets things done. He looks like he might be the guy doing the voice-over work on the truck commercials when he’s not working his ranch (but not like Dennis Leary). He pulls up in front of the cozy farmhouse, where the warm lights in the windows are a symbol for the waiting arms of the gorgeous woman who awaits him. If “Old Yeller” aint up for hunting , MacGyver can fix that too.
Harsh Reality: Misinterpreting his wife’s sleeping moans as those of desire, Mr. Fixit slips into the bathroom and pops a little blue pill. Upon returning to the bedroom his wife is silent and there is unpleasantly aromatic evidence that her moaning was not actually desire-related at all, but rather directly tied to the sizable amounts of pinto beans in her meal earlier at the Tex Mex joint. Despite the lack of romance in the air, the pill does it’s job. After some grumbling, the husband decides to sleep on the couch, and maybe catch up on some emails on the tablet.
E.D.. Medications – Daily Use
Ad Portrayal: Another good-looking guy sorts through boxes in the attic with his wife and stumbles upon a well-worn record album. His wife, despite looking like she is a generation younger than him, is immediately touched by the guy’s selection of the music (which would likely be relevant to only one of them). They commence to slow dancing among the boxes as late afternoon sun slants into the storage space. The picture fades to dark, and we all know what comes next.
Harsh Reality: The guy takes these pills everyday, along with fish oil and baby aspirin. When cleaning the attic, he comes across a record album. He cannot play it, as he hasn’t had a turntable since his junior year of college. He shows his wife the album. After a moment, she berates him for keeping old crap and tells him to put it in the junk pile. The daily-use ED medications will later be expelled from his body, as he sits in the powder room, trying to reach the next level of Bubble Witch Saga on his tablet.
It’s my turn yet again over at The Nudge Wink Report. I was originally going to write something brilliant, but decided it was too much work and settled instead for mediocrity (again). For you non-blogging types, it’s still me, I’m just writing somewhere else. It’s okay to read it – you don’t have to feel like you’re betraying me.
No, this isn’t one of the illustrations, but it gives you an idea. The “publishing professionals” thought putting hi-balls and cigarettes in the paws of beloved characters like the Easter Bunny was a bad idea. (Illustration by the author – again. I’m going to use this drawing till people get sick of it. Are we there yet?).
I’ve had this children’s book kicking around in my head for years now (When you stop snickering, we can continue. I’ll wait). I’ve got the rough draft done, and a few sketches for the illustrations, but have yet to reach the point of submitting a draft to any publishers. I’m not sure that in these times of political correctness and hyper-sensitivity that writing a half decent book for the young ‘uns is even possible. To test my theory, I submitted a few plot lines to a publisher* to see what kind of feedback…