Thursday, October 31, 2013

Which is Witch?

Happy Halloween! -- for those that could afford it.  Like the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, for example...  "You think he gives out the good candy?"  He should.  Coming up he's going to get paid 24 million buckaroos -- in a single payment.  "That's not bad..."  I just wonder if that comes in the form of a check, an automatic deposit, or one of those shiny pay cards my credit union wants to sucker me into...  "Talk about a post-Halloween treat!"  Yeah... I wouldn't mind a portion of that check.  Maybe then I could get some new tires for the family van.  "It probably needs a wheel alignment..."  Maybe...  "And a new battery."  Okay... "And don't forget about that broken motor mount on your car, too -- not to mention the suspect steering wheel you've had for awhile... "  Gee, thanks for reminding me... Which also brings to mind the shoes I wear.  They could use a tuneup... "So that's what those are -- I'd send them to the scrap heap."  You're too kind... "Oh, and don't dismiss the paint job needed on the house trim..."  I already took care of that.  "Not that one spot up on the roof..."  Hey, our beloved homeowners association can wait --no way I'm climbing up top to keep them happy... "What, are you scared?  Afraid you'll come tumbling down, never to be put back together again?"  Now that you mention it, yes!  I'm not going to risk life and limb just for them -- I dare the Board to fine me.  Put a lien on the house for all I care!  "Then there's the master bath your buddy wreaked havoc on.  That could use some work..."  With friends like that...  "Maybe you can hire one of those subcontractors that hang out all day at Home Depot.  Their rates are reasonable..."  No thanks.  All I need is for some guy named Jesus to get seriously hurt, sue me, and end up owner of my humble home.  I won't allow it!  Never ever ever!  "You, you wouldn't welcome Jesus Christ into your family home?  What sub species are you?!"  I said Jesus -- not Jesus!  "I got it -- you know what you need to do?"  Beside hacking into Kobe Bryant's bank account?   "Hey, that's not fair -- you took the words right out of my mouth!  You're always stealing my ideas!"

Monday, September 30, 2013

Where have those hands been?

I'm so proud of myself... "Somebody has to be..."  The other day, I did something incredibly wonderful for my son... "We'll be the judge of that..."  Yes, I reattached a hand.  "Oh god, poor kid!  What happened?  Did an alligator grab hold of him?  A crocodile?! -- how do you tell the two apart?"  Relax, it was nothing like that...  "I didn't know you were a surgeon.  Did you take online courses?  Do you ever gag in the operating room?"  Well, no, actually, I --  "You think you could do some slicing and dicing, take a few inches off my waist?"  Just to clarify, I reattached a bobblehead's hand.  Not my my kid's...  "A what?"  You know, those collectible figures with big heads that bobble back and forth...  "Are you sure you're not talking about Hollywood celebrities at a sobriety checkpoint?"   The bobblehead's hand broke off one day, so I used a type of super, super glue and it worked...  I should know -- that little hand got stuck to my hand!  For awhile there, I had an extra digit... I pulled and tugged and nothing happened.  I was convinced I'd have to have it surgically removed... "The bobblehead's hand, you mean..."  Yes.  Anyway, my son was so proud of me when I fixed the bobblehead -- it was all worth it.  I've never seen him so happy... "I have -- whenever you're not home."  This all reminds me of when I worked on model cars and airplanes as a kid.  Admittedly, I'd get upset trying to hold the tiny parts with my fingers...  "Did you ever consider tweezers?"  And I always ended up with all these extra parts that I didn't know what to do with...  "I'm glad you're not my surgeon -- you have anger issues."  I wasn't very patient as a kid, as you can tell... "Oh, there's a lot I can tell, believe me..."  Can we talk more about this later?  I find it therapeutic to talk about my childhood hobbies...  "Uh, much later."  Great.  How about tomorrow, right around this time...  "Oooh, I can't wait -- actually, I can, for a very long time..."  So what are you saying?  "Don't call me, I'll call you..."

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Do Not Destroy

"Hey, buddy, what's wrong?"  I'm sad.  Really, really sad...  "Oh, but don't be.  You should be accepting of your appearance by now..."  Friends and family, I don't know about you, but it saddens me to know that there are only 1.75 billion to 3.25 billion years left on Earth.  "Well, that narrows it..."  And that's too bad because this human civilization thing was doing pretty good, too -- other than trivial stuff like the threat of nuclear war and bio-terrorism... "No worries, all that's overrated anyway..."  I don't know about the rest of you guys, but this news puts a lot of pressure on me to work on my Things to Do Before the World Ends List before... you know...  "Before Earth ceases to exist?"  Yeah, I mean, I have so much I want to accomplish, so much I want to do before the Apocalypse.  "So then what are you waiting for?  Move it!  Move it!  Move it!"    Okay, I will!   Yeah, for starters, I want to memorize the names of all of Angelina Jolie's kids...  Yeah, and I want to be able to rattle off the list of JLo's  ex-husbands and boyfriends without a cheat sheet.  "Good luck on that one..."  And  here's another troublesome thought about the Earth's demise in the next few billion years: the Chicago Cubs may not have enough time to win another World Series before then...  "Oh, those poor, poor Cubbies -- blame it on the billy goat.  Not Mother Earth."  Speaking of Chicago, I don't know if I ever told you guys, but I was born in Chicago... "Please, you'll ruin Al Capone's reputation..."  You know, when you stop and think -- "Not me, not while I'm awake" -- there's really not much time left for Earth.  And that's going to affect a lot of family's lives.  "You really think so?"  Take the Kardashians, for example.  "Nah, you can have 'em."  This doesn't give a guy like Rob Kardashian much of a chance to find a job... "Just when he was getting motivated, too..."  And Bruce Jenner, he won't be able to get all the work done on his face as currently scheduled.  "That would be a tragedy..."  Now, closer to home, the clock's ticking away as my wife tries to wear all the shoes she has under the bed before Earth goes kaputz.  "Wow, now that you put it in those terms, 3.25 billion years is no time at all!"

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Til Rats Do Us Part...

Like everyone else out there, I'm not perfect.  "Speak for yourself."  But from now on I'm going to be perfect -- or at least try.  "But, but, why?  Why set the bar so high?"  I'm doing it for my wife.  "Oh oh.  What did you do?  Something really bad, huh?  Something that would make a seasoned priest blush.  You should be ashamed of yourself!"  No, no, it's nothing like that...  "Well, in that case, instead of trying to reach perfection, start with something more reasonable, something more realistic -- like plastic flowers.  She'll love those..."  No, no, I just want to be the best husband possible from now on...  The best spouse there is... "Huh?  What's come over you?   You usually strive for mediocrity -- and even that's a reach.  Come on, tell the truth.  What's going on?"  I already told you, my wife deserves the best, and I'm going to be all I can be for her...  "You might as well join the Army while you're at it."  Look, I want to be perfect for my beloved -- especially after reading about a woman who chose her pet rats over her husband!!!  "Huh?"  That's what the article stated, I swear.  "Oooh, you swore!  I'm gonna tell!"   That's not considered swearing swearing.   "Are you sure?"  I swear I'm sure... "Okay, then.  We'll let you slide this time..."  Thank you... So yeah, I told my wife about the woman who chose rats over her husband -- and she smiled.  "She smiled?"  She flashed a bunch of teeth, yeah. She found it amusing...  "You mean she liked the idea?"  That's what I'm a little nervous about.  Instead of denouncing the woman's actions, my wife seemed to agree with this crazy woman's stunt.  "How could you tell?"  She said she agreed.  "Oh, that's a pretty good sign..."  I don't know, but I'm about ready to dump all the cheese in the house.  I don't want to give her any reminders of that woman and her rats.  ""There's some good Cotija cheese in the fridge, too -- are you gonna eat that?"  Nah, I can't take the chance.  Take it.  "I think I will -- along with some tortillas."  From now on, I'm going to always help around the house.  I'll be Mr. Fix-it, pick up all the towels, hang my clothes in the closet... I'm going to do all those things -- and more.  My wife will have nothing to ever complain about.  She'll have no choice but to hold on to me... "Wow, that's impressive.  So, does that mean you're going to take the trash out to the garbage can without being told?"  What?  Are you kidding?   And run the risk of running into filthy rat while I'm out there?  Hell no!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Paparazzi, Please Pass the Sassafras...

Gather around everybody, I want to admit something.  I'm going to come right out and say it... "Great, just in time for the parade coming up -- you can carry the colorful banner..."   Well, here goes: I enjoy gossip magazines every once in awhile, but not all the time, okay?  Just every so often... "You?  Mr. High and Mighty?  You read the rags?  You stoop to such lowly levels?"  Look, I can't lie, I'm not into chicanery...  "Hey, Chicano Studies isn't for everybody..."  Anyway, as I've honed my skills for celebrity research, I've learned that many celebrity parents feel compelled to put their kids on strict diets from Day One.  "What about Day Zero?  Day Zero never gets any credit.  For that, there should be zero-tolerance!"  Uh yeah... I think of all those fun-food deprived kids and I can only thank my lucky stars... "You mean, Carl's Chicken Stars..."  Okay, right... For that reason alone I'm glad I wasn't raised in a celebrity family...  "Watch what you're saying, there are some perks: round-the-clock attention, limo rides to school, rubbing elbows with spoiled-rotten kids already in therapy -- it doesn't get better than that."  You heard it here first: not allowing celebrity kids a fun-filled diet will bring America to its knees.  After all, we are talking about tomorrow's leaders...   "But what about the day after that?"   I read about zany celebrities and their kids' no-nonsense diets -- my childhood would've been so empty, to say nothing of my stomach, if my parents had reared me in a similar fashion.  "Please, you should be the last to speak about fashion..."  There's no way my brain would be what it is today if it hadn't been for my unrestricted childhood diet...  "Lucky us..."  For that, I salute my down-to-earth-parents.  "Oh please, stop with the dietary drama..."  I'm serious.  I can't imagine growing up without first-thing-in-the-morning pan dulce,  or chorizo con huevo -- or weekend menudo!  "I still say Ricky Martin should've stuck with 'em..." Yeah, I'm glad my folks were never high profile celebrities, forcing wacky fad diets down my gagging throat:  "You no leave this mesa if you no finish los macrobiotic vegetales!"   That would've been crazy, right?  "The thick accent, yes..."  While I appreciate celebrities' concerns for what their kids put in their mouths and bodies (for the most part), my parents didn't spend much time worrying about such things.  Whenever I got an allergic reaction to certain foods, my dad would merely shrug his shoulders and say, "Ponte Vicks."  That was his cure-all.  It still is.  "Yeah, I remember...  And where you applied the Vapor Rub was totally up to you..."  And now that I think about it, my parents wanted me to see dinner while it was still alive. Especially on our many trips to Mexico, where they had me witness cows and pigs and chickens being 'prepped' for that evening's meal. Why, I've never seen so much blood, so much upfront gore in my life -- other than Tarantino flicks.  It's a miracle I didn't grow up disturbed.  In fact, if I may say so, I turned out okay.  More than okay.  I turned out to be a pretty stable, fairly even-keeled guy.  Yes, very much so, no doubt about it... "Uh, let me ask you a question buddy:  Growing up, are you positive you didn't try Charlie Sheen's homemade lunches?" 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Do Not Disturb... or Perturb

As my wife continues to convalesce from her recent surgery, she has time to enjoy her favorite TV shows, but not without some stress.  Which I find rather amusing... "Surgery?  Don't tell me she had doctors stretch her face from here to there.  I'd nip -- and tuck -- it in the bud before she looks like something that escaped a wax museum."   No, my wife did not get cosmetic surgery.  Far from it. She had no choice but to go under the knife for something more serious.  Thankfully, she's doing fine.  "That's fine that your fine wife's doing fine, but don't say I didn't warn you..." Anyway, when my wife views her favorite TV shows, including soap operas, she doesn't like to be interrupted.  Not at all.  "Ooh, I love operas, except when they're singing -- I have very sensitive eardrums."  No, I'm talking about soap operas, where everything's so over-the-top dramatic.  "Oh, you mean where at least one character's always in the hospital -- bedridden like your wife?  She should be able to relate..."  Please, be careful with what you say... "All she needs is that oxygen thing shoved up her nostrils and she'll be ready for the cameras!"   You said it, not me.  "Soap operas -- hah!  Everyone's beautiful and a doctor or a lawyer -- it's a joke."   Listen, you're going to get me in trouble...  Please stop, I don't want this to get back to her.  She can get rather loud...  "Alright, alright, Wifey Boy, continue with your story."   Don't tell her, but it's funny how my wife's gone ballistic at the recent flurry of Emergency Alerts.  "She totally loses it, huh?"   You should see her.  And just because episodes are interrupted by the National Weather Service.  "Oh, I hate when that happens.  It's like space aliens talking through the TV."  Yeah, she keeps hearing about floods and thunder showers in the area.  "What floods?  We're in Southern California!"  That's what my wife says:  "There's no floods!  There's no thunder!  Give me my soap opera -- now!"  Speaking of floods, I would've liked a few back when I was in elementary school.  "Huh?"  I was always dressed for the occasion.  "Uh, what does this have to do with your wife?  Does it always have to be about you?"  My parents used to send me to school wearing high-water pants.  It was embarrassing.  "High waters, huh?"  Yeah, I wasn't a pretty sight...  "Ditto for the present."  It's a miracle I turned out as normal as I did... "Everyone has a right to his or her opinion..."  Other kids wore stylish pants, while I had some that barely reached my ankles.  How dare my parents send me to school looking like that!  "So you wore long shorts, that's cool."  No, it wasn't!  It wasn't cool!  I wasn't cool!  And there's school pictures to prove it!  "Really?  Can I see them?"  No, you can't see pictures of me in my high-water pants!  And I better not find you sneaking over to my parents' either!  "At least you got over it..."  How dare you!  How dare you ask such a thing! Why would -- hey, come back here! Where are you going?!  Don't leave me standing here!  "I'll be right back.  I'm just gonna find the Emergency Alert people, so they can contact your wife.  I'll let them interrupt her favorite programming so they can break the news: "Lady, your husband's nuts!"         

Friday, August 30, 2013

Hey Spot, can I borrow your shoes?

If you all don't mind, I'd like to reveal something.  "Oh, please do -- but not before we shut our eyes..."  Where do I begin?  How should I say this?  "You may want to try your mouth..."  I try not to show it, but I've been deeply disturbed for a good while now... "Poor thing, you're always the last to know..." Some weeks back, I saw a picture that still keeps me up at night.  It's stuck in my head and I can't get rid of it... "Your 3rd grade picture, right?  It is pretty damn scary..." That's not what I'm talking about. "Your big ol' head just about popped out of that yellow shirt and tie..."  The picture I'm talking about shows the image of a dog wearing pantyhose and high heels. Unbelievable... "That's nothing.  I saw one where a tiny Chihuahua and humongous Labrador are attempting to -- "  Pantyhose and high heels!  I saw it with my own two eyes!  "I hope so.  Anybody else's and it'd be called theft."   Wait, there's more.  "Oh, goody..."  I did some research and I found similar pictures on the Internet.  A whole bunch of them.  What are dog owners thinking?!  "Research, huh? That's what you call it..."  What would possess anybody to subject their dog to such craziness? The family dog in high heels and pantyhose... Really?  Come on, people!  It's not right!  It's just not right!  "Are you sure it wasn't Oscar De La Hoya?  He's dipped his toes in that a time or two..."  I don't know where to start, but I want to stop this from becoming a normal thing for dogs.  Just think of the repercussions...  "Cussing? I'm not cussing.  Don't you dare tell my mom, you hear?  'Cuz I didn't swear -- I swear!"   If this trend continues, there's no way I'll ever own a girl dog.  It's already expensive enough to dress my wife and daughter! "Hell, you'd never leave the mall!"  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but pantyhose and high heels will surely cause an identify crisis for Man's Best Friend.  I mean, what are dolled up dogs going to think when they're walking by a construction site and they hear all those whistles?  "Fetch is my guess..."  Exactly.  They'll be looking for a ball -- or treat -- not compliments.  That's going to mess with dogs' minds:  Where'd it roll?  Where's my bacon bit?  Where'd it go?!  The next thing you know, those four-legged neurotics will require therapy.  "That's another expense -- we can barely afford the visits to the vet!"  And you know women dog owners will get jealous after awhile.  They'll resent the unexpected competition: "Hey, I saw him first!  Go away you dumb dog!"    

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fix it -- or your life!

Good work is so hard to find.  Sometimes it's downright impossible...  "Wait a sec, what on God's not-so-green Earth are you saying?  Are you calling me lazy?  Just because I'm allergic to work and break out in hives if I lift a finger doesn't mean I'm lazy!" I'm not calling you anything.  "Oh, so now I'm not even worthy of a name, huh?  I resent that!  I resent that very much!"   Please, don't misunderstand me; I'm not trying to disparage you in any way.  "Speak your mind, then -- after you explain the meaning of disparage...."  I'm not talking bad about you, okay?  Please don't misconstrue what I'm about to say... "Miss Con did what?!"  This has nothing to do with you...  "What are you talking about then? Spit it out -- just not in my eyes."   Maybe you had a chance to read about a crazy couple that was involved in a bizarre kidnapping awhile back... "The only thing I have time to read is your flog."  Uh, it's called a blog; it's blog with a 'b.'   "If you insist... The only reason I read your dumb ol' blog is because I have to.  If I don't, you give me a gigantic guilt trip.  You make me feel like I committed a crime or something..."  I apologize for doing that.  It won't happen again.  Now, speaking about crimes, this particular couple kidnapped a handyman in order to get him to work on their house.  They kidnapped him!  "We heard you the first time..."  I can only imagine what they told the poor dude: "Go into that crawlspace and don't you dare come out 'til you find a leak!"  Those people had to be nuts, right?  "When you get to the nuts and bolts of the matter, yes."  Can you believe that?  These people committed a major offense in the name of home improvements.  "Caulk every hole in this house if you want to come outta this alive!"  "I'll pretend I didn't hear that..."  Man, if only drywall could talk...  "Don't worry, I know a good speech therapist..."  This crazy twosome literally held their handyman hostage!  I'd do anything to find out why they went to such lengths...   "You can start by sweeping the garage..."  Perhaps this so-called handyman was incredibly unreliable and they reached a boiling point: "Enough is enough!"  "Wasn't that a song? -- Donna Summer, I believe..."  It reminds me of the guy that used to work on our house.  He knew just enough to be dangerous.  By the time he was through, this impostor had wreaked havoc on our master bathroom and kitchen.  He pretended to know what he was doing... "Oh, so you two had a lot in common..."  In a weird sort of way, I understand this couple.  I feel for them -- not that I recommend kidnapping in any way... "Down deep inside, you do..."  Now they face the consequences... in jail.  Unfortunately, this husband-wife relationship will suffer greatly in the long-term.  "Hey, in good times and in bad..."  And it all stems from them trying to maintain their house by entrusting a guy with a toolbelt:  "You had to insist on bamboo floors, didn't you, woman?!  Bamboo floors!  You'd have thought a panda bear was living here!"

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Don't Rush Me, Please...

"You look like you've got a lot on your mind -- go ahead, spit it out."  Oh, I don't want to sound like I'm complaining; it doesn't do any good. "Still, you need to let it out..."  Look, I take great pride in not being much of a complainer, if at all... "Here we go -- you're going to complain, aren't you?"  Maybe just a little... You have to hear me out.  "I'll probably pass out first, but go on..." I had to take my wife to the Emergency Room the other day -- it was the wee hours, actually.  But more on that later... "So that was you singing Cocka-doodle-doo! -- it gets old after awhile..."  My wife was in a lot of discomfort, so I told her to get checked immediately... "What a brilliant thinker you are -- she's okay, right?"  Yes, she's fine now, following surgery a few days later, as it turned out... "What did doctors turn out?"  I'm not going into specifics...  "Oh come on, you can tell me.  I'll hardly tell anyone..."  I'm just glad I was there for her, in her time of need...   "Which reminds me, I need you to lend me some moola..."  If I may say so, I put up a brave front for my beloved as we raced to the hospital.  "Thank goodness you kept your cool -- you usually become unraveled at the sight of blood while shaving."  Yeah well, now I'd like to express my, uh, concerns.  Not complaints -- concerns. "Oh boy, bring 'em on..."  I just wish we hadn't driven so fast to the hospital -- we could've gotten a speeding ticket.  "Please don't tell me you made your speed-racer wife drive.  Please don't tell me."  Well no, but I thought about it... "Of course you would..."  Try to understand, it was way too early for me to put on my contacts; my eyes aren't accustomed to it... "Oh, you poor baby -- you should've been rushed to the hospital."  I'm sorry, but my high-maintenance eyes don't make me a bad guy, okay?  They don't.  "Oh yes they do! -- then you should've called a taxi!"  Not at their rates.  "How 'bout an ambulance?"  They're even more expensive -- and that's having insurance!  "This is too much.  There's you're wife, about to pass out from the pain and you're worried about your pretty little eyes..." Hey, it's the only pair I've got.  "We are talking about your eyes, right?"  Again, let me repeat myself: if I put on my contacts before a certain hour, they'll bother me the rest of the day.  I'm rendered useless.  "Spare us the obvious.  What we want to know is, was it a boy or a girl?"  It was nothing like that... "Are you sure?  Cuz there's a rumor going around that you want an army of kids so you can star in your own reality show..."  That's absolutely false; at least it has been for awhile...  "Okay fine, so are you finally done venting?"  Look, just between you and me, I wish my wife hadn't fallen ill in the middle of the night.  "How inconsiderate of her..."  I love my wife and everything, but I mean, a good night's sleep is important to me, too.  "You are one selfish dude."  Hey, I'm just trying to avoid bags under my eyes, okay?  "Too late!"  Really?  Do you see bags?!  "I see a carousel of luggage."  You're joking, right?  Please tell me you're joking!  "How can you think this way?  How can you be so vain?"  Please, put yourself in my shoes for a minute... "I'd rather not, I've seen your socks -- and feet.  Come on, what can possibly be more important that your wife's well-being? Please explain."  Well, if you must know, I'm considering getting a state ID card, okay?  I want to come out nice in the picture...  "Oh well, you should've said so... Of course you want to look your best in that picture."  Thanks for understanding... "Here's what you do -- you put cucumber slices on your eyes... Yeah, okay...  "But be very careful; you don't want to cut yourself and then have to be driven to Emergency..."

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Taking Her Home to Mother...

Some things are really hard to understand; they're downright perplexing.  "Like your wardrobe, you mean?"  Before I begin, let's get something straight... "Fine, but let's use a ruler -- I drink a lot of caffeine."  I consider myself a pretty open-minded person, progressive, somewhat intelligent... "That's stretching the truth a bit, but okay, we'll go with it..."  At the same time, I see myself as somewhat old-fashioned, a romantic, if you will... "I will, if you will..."  And yet, I can't wrap my head around a very strange marriage I learned about recently...  "Oh, did you start watching The Kardashians?"  Please believe me when I say that I'm all for everyone finding true love.  "I'm sure you're lying, but continue anyway..."  I truly feel deep in my heart that there's someone out there for each and every one of us.  Someone...   "Are you trying to set me up with one of your supposed friends again?"  I'll never try that again...  "'Cuz the last girl stole my wallet -- good thing it's always empty."  Much to my dismay, I learned about a man that married -- are you ready for this?  "Probably not."  He married his pillow.   His pillow!  "Oh, is that all?  I thought you were going to tell us something weird..."  You don't think that's weird?  "My definition of weird's changed a whole lot after meeting you..." Answer this for me: How in the world can a man marry a pillow?! "Maybe you should ask the happy hubby instead..."  I don't know, but marrying a pillow's really, really strange, as far as I'm concerned...  "When did the ceremony take place?"  I'm not sure, awhile back, I think... "You think?  Don't tell me you lost the invitation.  You lost the invitation, didn't you?  You know full well that I love weddings!  We would've had a blast!"  Uh, I never got an invitation...  "That's 'cuz you're so cheap with wedding gifts." You're impossible to talk to... Please, somebody out there help me answer this question: What on God's green earth possesses a man to marry a pillow?  I mean, what are the benefits, other than lots of hugging and squeezing -- and plenty of pillow talk.  And what about putting a ring on it?  How does that work?  It must get very costly, a band that big... "Well, it must not be just any pillow.  It's obviously very special to the guy..."  How did he propose?  Did this guy literally kneel on the pillow when he popped the question?  "This pillow, it's made of goose feathers, right?"  I don't know about that...  "For the pillow's sake, it better have goose feathers..."  What are you talking about?  "Think about it, buddy: you take the pillow of your dreams home to mother -- and it's merely polyester.  No sign of goose feathers.  Talk about breaking your Mama's heart." You think so?   "Oh yeah, she'll resent that pillow forever, always consider it second class..."   Well, to all that I will say one thing: Hopefully, the groom looked at what's on the inside, not just what's on the outside...  "In other words, 'Never judge a pillow by its cover.'" Yes, that's right... Better yet, never judge a pillow by its, uh, pillow case...  "Ya had to have the final word, didn't ya, Mr. Wordsmith?  Ya just had to..."

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pssst... Got any performance enhancement treats on ya?

I'd like to mention something about dogs.  It may be sensitive to a select many... "Well, you love dogs, right?"  I enjoy dogs, yes.  I'm a dog owner...  "Then that's all you have to say -- bye!"  If I may, I'd like to share my concern; it deals directly with dogs...  "Concern? About dogs?  That's not good, not good at all..."  It'll only take a moment... "Okay, but first, you let your dog lick your face, right?" Actually, I don't.  I've never liked that, getting licked, by my dog.  I --  "You're no dog lover!  I hope your dog bites you!"  Wait a minute, just because I don't let my dog lick my face?  Is that so wrong?  "Yes, it's very wrong!"  You have a right to your opinion, I guess... "Yeah, and it's the right one..."  Anyway, I heard about an exercise class that includes dogs.  "And?  That sounds wonderful!"  That's where my concern comes in: I don't want that to become a trend.  "What's wrong with that?"  I don't want my local gym to allow dog members -- now or for the foreseeable future, like while I'm alive.  "Hater!  You're a dog hater!  That's what you are!"  I am not.  "Are, too!"  Look, all I want is my space when I go to the gym, a place to blow off some steam... "I've been around your steam, and it ain't pretty..."  Maybe I'm the only one, but I don't want to worry about getting chased by dogs the size of a horse while I'm in the gym.  "Why not, chicken?  All that running, it can be part of your cardio..."  And I certainly don't want to feel obligated to pet every toy pooch that comes my way, either...  "You are sooooo anti-social..."  Sorry, but I don't like getting distracted during my workouts... Nothing against dogs, I swear...  "We understand, you don't want to take time to, uh, spot dogs during your precious workouts..."  Right, I can't take the chance to see dogs bulk up and get ripped before me...  "Speaking of ripped, I'd like to right about now..."  What if a dog needs help with a piece of equipment, am I supposed to help?  Do I ignore it, leave it up to its master?  Some dog owners are very picky that way...  And another thing, will I have to carry doggy treats with me?  Plastic bags?  I already carry workout gloves and a water bottle... "Big wimp, you should try a baby bottle..." That's just me: I hate having anything in my pockets while I'm working out... "From what we hear, you never have much of anything in your pockets anyway..."  Here's something else to consider: how's my own pet going to react when I come home smelling like the other dog?  He'll think I'm being unfaithful to him. He won't trust me, he'll insist on going everywhere I go.  I mean everywhere... I can't live that way!  And I certainly can't toy with Rocky's emotions in that manner...  That poor dog will look at me with those sad puppy eyes, barking his hairy ol' head off to no end: "I've given you the best dog years of my life -- and for what?!  For the chance to see you running around with a pretty young bitch!"  "Geez, you make an awfully good point..."  Right?  You understand what I'm saying?  It'll be very awkward if dogs are let into gyms. Very awkward... "I've got it!  I've got the perfect solution: Trade your dog in for a hamster -- it'll come with a treadmill already!"

Saturday, July 20, 2013

You want me to press what?

I need to say this.  I really, really do... I have to get this off my chest.  "Don't look at me -- no way I'm helping you with a waxing! We might be friends, but I have my limits!"  Uh, that's not what I'm talking about... "Oh... -- and that goes for your legs as well!"  Thank you for letting me know...  Now, that you're finished with your nonsense, I'd like to take this opportunity to express my feelings.  I want to share my thoughts on a particular subject...  "Lucky us..." I would be remiss if I didn't...  "What about Miss?  Miss California? Miss Hawaii?  Ya gonna judge one of them hot beauty pageants?! Cool, dude!  Can I go with you?!  Can I?!  Can I?!  Can I?!"  You're hearing things; there is no pageant...  "Oh, that's too bad, 'cuz I hear the girls have great personalities..."  What I'd like to do is discuss automated phone calls... "Uh, how interesting -- right up there with nail fungus.  What can you possibly say that we don't already know about such calls -- like that they're annoying, and go on forever!"  I used to think that way, but now I beg to differ.  "Please, don't beg. I hate beggars -- especially when I'm enjoying an expensive coffee drink as I leave a store!"  I find automated phone calls to be quite useful -- and I'm here to speak on their behalf.   It's time somebody does.  "I've got an idea: Why not press the pound sign and let them speak instead?!"  Let's take calls from my local drugstore, for example.  I look forward to those calls. "You are lonely..."  It's nice to be reminded that my medication is ready... "I knew it!  You are on meds! -- I knew it!  I knew it!  I knew it! -- and they're not helping, by the way..."  Listen here, we all get sick once in awhile, okay?  "Yeah, and the outcome for some of us is complete recovery!"  Anyway, I used to get so sad when I heard Goodbye and then a click from automated phone calls.  The end was so sudden, so abrupt.  I'd be left with the want to share more with that voice on the other end.  It would leave a void... I used to mope around for hours, disappointed that I didn't get to say more to that warm, friendly voice...  "Okay, I'm going to say this once and only once... IT'S A MACHINE!  You got that?  And NO, it's not a robot that consumes adult beverages!"  But you don't understand; my communication skills and overall people skills have improved so much because of automated phone calls.  I've learned to be more patient thanks to the patience exhibited toward me.  I mean, once upon a time, just to be mean, I'd talk while the other voice was still talking. I'd interrupt and yell -- and scream rude things at the top of my lungs. Yet, that friendly voice continued on and on, not judging me, not hanging up on me...  That's a true act of kindness and understanding, don't you think?  Hello...?  Hello...? Can you hear me...?  Are you still there...?  "To have your tongue pricked with poisonous needles, press 1 now... To travel to an island inhabited by hungry cannibals, press 2 now..." 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sun of a...

I was intrigued by a really hot guy recently...  "Intrigued?  By a hot guy?" Yeah, the dude was scorching hot.  "Uh... does your wife know about this... guy?"  Nah, I haven't bothered to tell her; I haven't had time... "Well, find the time!"  Okay, okay, I'll get around to it... I tell you, I can't imagine anyone being any hotter... "Enough already! -- I'm covering my ears!  Come on, you're gonna talk to your wife right now!"  Why?  What's the big rush?  "If you don't tell her, I will -- right this minute!"  But there's no reason to get worked up over this... "You're going to talk to your devoted wife about this male hottie -- and to your older kids, too!  They need to hear this.  For now, spare the youngest child..."  Nah, I think I'll tell him too; he'll get a laugh out of it...  "You are one sick dude, you know that?"  Yes, I'll tell them all at the same time... "Get it over with quickly -- rip that bandage right off."    I'll come right out and say it: I'll tell my family about the burglar who was disguised as the Sun.  "Huh?"  Thankfully, police caught the guy.  "That's the hot guy you were alluding to?"  Yeah, you can't get any hotter than the Sun, right?  What did you think I was talking about?  "Uh, never mind..." Now, while we all wonder how this burglar tried to pose as the Sun, I also ask: Why the Sun?  Why not a planet?  Why not Pluto?!  "Watch how you say that, buddy."   In my opinion, Pluto's been getting dissed for the longest time -- and it has to stop!  I'm here to advocate for my pal, Pluto.  "Hey, I thought I was your pal!"  You are.  I just thought I'd throw in a little alliteration... "And now it's my turn -- to throw a not-so-little punch at your face!  How dare you toy with our friendship!"   First off, I took great umbrage when Pluto was no longer called a planet.  "That reminds me, I borrowed your umbrella..."  Why can't Pluto be a planet?   It's a classic case of picking on the little guy, er, planet, er, whatever it is these days... In my opinion, the Sun's been getting too much attention for the longest time.  Share the wealth, no?  "In other words, every planet deserves a moment in the Sun..."  Uh, yeah...  To all of the folks out there -- burglars included -- the Sun does us a lot of good, but let's not forget the rest of the solar system.  The Sun is essential for our survival, yes, but it causes a lot of damage, too.  "Sure, blame the Sun for those impressive crow's feet..."  I'm here to remind everyone that the Sun's not just a giant star with smiley face and sunglasses!  "Sun should sue you for slander!" Getting back to the burglar, I could never disguise myself as the Sun; I'd get blisters -- or a horrible rash.  In fact, I have one under my -- "How 'bout them Dodgers?"  Heat does that to me.  It affects me in so many ways... "That includes your brain, obviously..."  Since you're here, I might as well tell you about the time I got a brutal sunburn.  About the only part of me that didn't get burned was -- "Leave that for the book.  It'll be a bestseller, I'm sure..."

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Bummer

Well, it's that time of year again... "Time to shampoo the rug, huh?  Sometimes you gotta wonder if having a dog's worth all the trouble..."  I was talking about  summer...  "Well, that's a good thing, right?  No school or homework, you get to sleep in late..."  I guess... "You guess?  There is no time of year like summer!"  I suppose... "Yeah, suppose I'm right."  I was doing some reading on adult summer camps; I understand they're popping up all over Southern California and Hawaii... "We're going to Hawaii?!  Yay!"  Uh, hold on to your hula skirt, buddy.  All I said is there's summer camps for adults... "You mean a camp where there's no kids in sight?"  That's right.  These camps are gaining populari -- "I wanna go!  I wanna go!"  Yeah well, maybe you do, but I don't.  "Come on, adult summer camps sound like a lot of fun.  It's a chance to relive your youth.  Don't you want to relive your youth, back when you were hanging out with Benjamin Franklin?"  Not really... "Man, you're no fun."  Camps just aren't my thing, never have been... ""Tell you what, pal, I'll ask for you.  I'll ask your wife for permission to let you go to one of those big-boy camps.  We'll go together."  Let's get one thing straight: I don't have to ask my wife for permission to go anywhere!  "Okay, sure.  I'll be sure to tell her that."  Uh, I'd rather you not... In fact, I'd like to keep it quiet about these camps.  Knowing my wife, she'd reserve a spot for me first chance she got.  "Sorry, no comprende.  So, what's the problem then?  Don't you want to get away for a few days?"  I don't know... I just don't want to be pressured into doing something I don't want to do.  "Pressured?  What's there not to like?  Have a little fun in the sun...  Did you ever go to camp as a kid?"  Not exactly... "That means 'no.'  Why don't you want to go to camp?"  Well, it's kind of hard to explain... "Wait a minute -- you're afraid you'll get homesick, huh?  Big baby!"  No... "They have names for guys like you, you know that? -- and they're not very nice!"  Okay, okay, so maybe I would get a little homesick -- but not that much.  Just a little...  "It's cool, we believe you."  You don't believe me.  "We do, we really, really -- okay, we don't."  Look, I hear that at summer camp they make you do all sorts of dumb stuff.  "Yeah, and you're dumb -- it's a perfect match!"  I hear they paint your face at these camps.  "And since when are you against that?"   For your information, that was a long time ago... "Let me guess: 'It was just a phase...'"  Beside, face paint makes me break out.  "And that would be an improvement, right?"  Then there's those water balloon games they play...  "Those are fun."  Yes, but getting hit by one of those things really hurts.  I don't like to feel pain.  It's painful... "So you'll tell them to underhand the water balloons at you."  I guess I could do that... Can I tell you something?  "If it's about growing a pair -- of ears -- to listen to my advice, yes!"  Back when I was a kid, I dreaded staying over other people's homes.  Nothing personal, but I was never the type to want to stay overnight...  "Why, were you afraid you'd miss your mommy and daddy?"  No... "You're not very convincing, you know that?"  Man, you read me like a book... Yeah, I guess I was afraid they wouldn't return for me...  "And I wouldn't have blamed them!"  That hurts.  That really, really hurts...  "I just hope you consider going to summer camp someday.  It'll be good for you..."  I'll go one of these years, I promise.  But only under one condition... "You name it.  Anything."  Promise not to laugh?  "Promise."  I'll only go away to camp if I'm able to take my teddy bear... "How you ever found a wife, I'll never know..."

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Excuse me, should I keep an eye on you?

It's that time again.  "Christmas already?  I haven't even paid off last year's gifts!"  No, not that.  What I mean is, it's time to worry.  "Coming from you, that's a shocker."  You see -- "No, I DON'T see.  I don't want to see anything that has to do with you!" -- I received an e-mail about a felon living in my neighborhood.  "Who's the felon?"  I didn't open the e-mail.  "You didn't open it?!  Are you that way with presents?  If you are, I'll be happy to open them for you! -- and keep 'em for myself!"  I'll take that into consideration, thank you... Anyway, the felon tip was very helpful as it reminded me to watch my neighbors differently from now on...  "How's that, with one eye instead of two?"  I don't know when exactly the supposed felon came into our neighborhood, so all I'll have to assume everybody's committed a felony until I find out who it is.  "But that's not fair to your neighbors!  What about presumed innocence?"  Sorry, I can't take any chances.  The fact is, at one point a neighbor broke the law in a very serious manner.  "You can't live that way, eyeing those around you in a suspicious way."  It won't be for long; only until I find out who the felon is... "But you live in a nice community, a gated community."  And that concerns me: a felon lives comfortably amongst us -- behind bars.  He feels right at home!  "How do you know it's a he?"  You're right, I mustn't assume.  For all I know, the felon's a she.   And that's why I've decided to put on my detective hat.  "That's quite a big hat."  For the good of the community, I'm going to expose this felon.   "Are you sure you're up to it?"  Sure, I'm sure.  I'm fully qualified.  "How so?"  Well, I've watched plenty of crime shows in my time, dating back to Charlie's Angels.  "Gee, I wonder why that program..."  I even watched the Sherlock Holmes movies just to brush up on my sleuth skills.  "You sure you don't mean sloth?"  As a matter of fact, I have a growing list of suspicious people I'm keeping an extra close watch on... "Oh, that's no way to talk about your wife."  No, not her -- she passed the background check.  And the lie detector test.  "Yeah, well, you may want to dig a little deeper..."  For example, I have this neighbor who has the same light on every night..."Every night?"  Every night... "And it's the same light?!"  Yes!  "Man, if I were you, I'd march right over and handcuff the culprit myself!"  I'm tempted to, but then I have this other neighbor; one day she casually mentioned that she's going to have a baby.  "Okay..."  Next thing we know, she has the kid -- nine months later.  "Aha!"  How convenient.  "Huh, that does sound suspicious..."  Yeah, right?  Then I have this other neighbor down the street, he leaves his house every morning at the exact same time.... "You don't say..."  Wait, there's more: he returns home every evening at the exact same time, too!  "Very interesting..."  I bet he's doing that to throw us all off... "I really think you're onto something.  You were born to do this sort of stuff!"  I tell you, I have a bunch of suspicious neighbors... "Maybe they're all felons!"  Maybe... "Well, whatever you do, don't go snooping around my neighborhood..."  Why not?  "Oh, I'm just messing with you..." Why'd you say that?  "Oh, no reason..."  I'm curious, buddy -- why?  Do you have a shady past?  "Who, me? -- nah..."  Are you sure?  "I'll see you around, okay? -- I'm gonna go look for some shade."  Hey, come back here!  Stop!  Where do you live again?!         

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spot me, you whippersnapper, you!

A friend of mine recently became a grandpa for the very first time.  "That's awesome.  What's her name?"  His name shall remain private... "Well then, congratulations go out to Grandpa Private -- who unfortunately never made it to Corporal."  Okay... My friend's entrance into Grandpahood reminds me of a couple of grandpas out there.  "Where?"  I don't remember where.  It doesn't really matter.  "It does if you want to find your way home..."  Anyway, I read about a couple of grandpas somewhere out there who are all into bodybuilding.  "Wow, a couple of real Dr. Frankensteins..."  No, no, let me explain: these senior citizens work on their own bodies.  They pump up their physiques.  You know, at the gym.  "Oh, okay -- I don't go to the gym.  Too much fungus hiding out in nooks and grannies." You mean crannies.  "Thanks for speaking on my behalf."  Look, not to rain on anyone's parade, but I'm not too sure about bodybuilding grandpas... "Rain?  I just washed my car!"  That's beside the point.  "But I never wash my car!"  These fitness freak grandpas, bless their souls, I'm afraid they're going to set a bad precedent.  "How dare you talk about our president that way! -- Have some respect!"  Look, I work out right now, trying to stay fit.  "Could've fooled me..."  I spend countless hours at the gym every week.  "Uh, if that's what you tell your wife, fine.  We'll play along..."  Look, I'm going to be frank with you.  "Okay... Frank.  All we ask for is complete honesty... "  I don't want to drag my tired old bones to the gym when I'm a grandpa -- many years from now.   I want to stay home and do nothing, just nap all day.  "But you do that already."  Sure, I'll play with the grandkids for a little while... Then I'll send them home when they get hungry or need changing.  "Oh, you'll be one of those grandpas, afraid to get your hands dirty..."  Wait, now that I think about it, I will work out in my golden years -- I'll be working out my vocal chords as I yell at bratty kids to stay off my lawn -- unless they're mowing it!  "Hater!"  I tell you, someone's got to put a stop to those bodybuilding grandfathers  -- now!  They're pressuring the rest of us guys to stay in shape our entire lives.  "But that's a good thing..."  Think about it: we'll have to wear extra tight T-shirts when we're old and wrinkled.  "Thanks for the visual..."  We'd have to walk around flexing all day -- God only knows what it'd do to my insides.  "You don't stop, do you?"  I can't be more emphatic than this: protein shakes are not what I plan to drown in when I'm an old goat.  "What will you prefer, whole milk or soy?"  You heard it here first: senior men will be coerced into bland boring diets that increase their mass...  "Going to mass a little more often never killed anybody..."  When I'm old and gray, the only time I want to watch my diet's when I'm shoving it in my mouth!  An old man should have the right to eat anything he wants.  He shouldn't have to worry about amino acids!  "But how do you really feel?"  The only acid I'm gonna care about -- "Careful.  The DEA might read this."  -- is acid reflux!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Where'd those teeth go?

I have a chance to improve my smile, courtesy of an unsolicited offer.  "If it's an offer you can't refuse, take it."  Huh?  "You don't want to wake up with a horse's head next to yours..."  Not to be ungrateful or anything, but I'll pass on the offer, thank you.  "You're welcome -- for what, I'm not sure."  Uh, I wasn't talking to you.  "I wasn't talking to me either."  Then I guess we have something in common... "It's bad manners to turn down that gift, you know?  You should accept it."  Actually, it's not a gift -- I'd have to pay for it.  "And isn't improving your smile worth it?"  Hold on, what's wrong with my smile as is? "If you allow me enough time, I'll be happy to tell you..."  Okay, so maybe these days my teeth aren't perfect: a cavity here and there.  But who doesn't have at least one cavity?  "My 98-year- old neighbor doesn't have any.  Of course, she doesn't have any teeth either -- unless you count her dentures."  Look, I admit it -- I didn't wear my retainers like I was supposed to when the braces came off.  I'm sorry, Dad!  I'm sorry, Mom!  "Don't look at me -- I'm neither one."  So my teeth moved a little after the braces -- but not that much.  I'll shout from any mountaintop that I'm happy with my teeth.  "Let's get to the root of it: Do you have all your teeth?"  Yeah, other than 3 wisdom teeth... "Ah, so that's why you're lacking in one department..." What department?  "My point exactly -- wisdom."  Just so you'll know, my one remaining wisdom tooth has been there for me in times of need, especially after high school.  "I'll have to see a diploma..."  I'm eternally grateful for my wisdom tooth bailing me out of some tricky spots, especially in college.  "Those sorority girls are something else, aren't they?"  I faced excruciatingly difficult exams, but I passed thanks to the smarts of that molar.  "I thought it was a tooth."  You know, all this tooth talk triggers my mind that I lost track of my baby teeth...  "Try saying that while chomping on crackers..."  I don't mean to cast my mom as a villain, but she misplaced my baby teeth.   "And she calls herself a mother..."  I had them safely tucked away in a little plastic bag... I bet they'd be worth something today on the open market... "You'd sell your teeth at a supermarket?"  Not to dwell on the past -- I've hardly sought therapy for it -- but my parents didn't indulge me with Tooth Fairy talk.  Heck no.  If a tooth fell out,  a tooth fell out.  I'd lift the pillow the next morning and the only thing I'd find were the tooth -- and a list of chores my dad had waiting for me early Saturday morning... "You mean your dad didn't let you sleep in on weekends?  At least 'til 8 o'clock?"  Are you kidding? Being an Army man, my dad has always believed in that old saying...  "What exactly are you saying?"  Come on, you've heard the saying, help me out.  "I'll help you to a mental ward..."  How does it go?  "I can't say that I know..."  Oh yeah: The early bird gets the worm.  Yeah, that's it!  "Hold on a minute, the Army fed your dad worms? -- No wonder they can't find recruits!"

Friday, May 31, 2013

Walkin' and Talkin' -- and Whistlin', too.

I saw a sales ad the other day.  "That's nice -- and I saw a chicken cross the road..."  The ad read: A walk-in tub at an affordable price.  I thought it was rather silly.  "How silly?  As silly as your predictable wardrobe?"  Talk about a waste of money.  "Why do you say that, Mr. Financial Guru?"  First off, why would I spend my hard-earned money on a tub to take walks in?  "I have a better question: Just how hard do you work for your money?  Because I've heard conflicting stories..."  Let me remind you all that tubs were originally intended for something other than walking.  "Yeah, to watch our rubber duckies float in a perfect line..."  Think of the drawbacks; there's only so much to look at while walking in a tub.  There's the tile, the grout -- the hand towel somebody  always forgets to wring out and hang!  "Hey, there's some very nice shower heads out there, too.  Do give them their due..."  And what's with the door on these walk-in tubs?  Are guys expected to open it for the little lady every time she steps in?  "If you're a gentleman, you certainly will..."  The existence of such doors,  should I knock first, before I swing one open?  "That reminds me -- I love knock-knock jokes!"  Well, don't look at me...  "I always try not to..."  But getting back to my original thought, I'm the first to say that there's much better places to walk than walk-in tubs.  "Really?  Such as?"  Well, I prefer a stroll in the park any day of the week.  "Even Sunday through Saturday?"  Outdoor walks allow me the chance to whistle a happy tune.  I like whistling; it get me in a good mood... "How nice -- do you take requests?"  Sadly, whistling is a dying art these days -- especially outdoors.  People just don't pucker up for the right reasons anymore... "Yeah, but whistling can be offensive to some, especially birds.  They think you're mocking them."  Oh, yes -- like who?  "The Mockingbird.  They gather their bombardier buddies, start flying overhead... Before you know it, it's 'Look out below!'"   In any case, nothing compares to taking a nice walk in the great outdoors.  "You forgot one thing: what about the land mines?"  What land mines?  "All those dog owners that don't clean up after their pets -- why carry those plastic bags if they're not going to put them to good use?!"  Don't get me wrong -- "It's hard not to since you usually are."  There probably is a market for those who prefer to take walks in their tubs, just don't include me...  "We try to exclude you as much as possible..."  I'm just not into walks that have such limited space.  Three steps and you bang against a wall -- again.  "And I thought you were dropped as a baby..."  There's also the worry that I may slip on a wet spot; that's a troublesome thought, too.  "That's why you post a sign: 'Slippery When Wet' -- as a reminder."  Maybe it's just me -- "It's you, alright."  Too much time in a bathroom puts me in a bad mood anyway.  "Maybe I can be of some assistance.  I have strategies to help flush negative thoughts from the human mind..."  To be perfectly honest, bathrooms put me in a crappy mood.  I guess they remind me of just how costly plumbers are these days.  "These days?  How about all days!"  All they care about is the bottom line.  "So, what are you going to do right now?"  Oh, I think I'll go for a nice, long walk.  "But there's thunder and lightning -- you can't go outside."  I'm not.  I'm gonna walk laps in the freight elevator next door instead...  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Servicing yourself isn't for everybody...

If you don't mind, I'd like to ask you something.  "Of course I mind -- but ask me anyway."  Are you regular?  "Did you just ask me if I'm regular?"  Yes, because -- "I should slap you.  How dare you ask me if I'm regular!"  Let me -- "What business is it of yours to ask me about my business!"  No, no, let me clarify.  "Go ahead -- but when you clarify, speak very clearly."  What I'm asking is if you self-reflect on a regular basis.  I know I do.   It's a very good habit to get into, I think.  "Now that I reflect on it, how you tolerate your reflection in the mirror, I'll never know.  You're no eye candy."  Anyway, self-reflection allows us the chance to look at ourselves at a deeper level, to analyze our strengths and weakness.  "Oh, okay..."  I know it's worked for me.  "Well, right now I can tell you something's not working for you -- your breath!  Wow..."   Sorry about that -- I'll stand back...  "A little farther... farther..."  Going through the process of self-reflection, I've discovered I have this silly little phobia.  I'm almost embarrassed to talk about it.  "Oh, no phobia's too silly to talk about."  Are you sure?  You won't laugh at me?  "To do that would be cruel and insensitive."  Thank you, I appreciate it.  "I'm never cruel and insensitive -- unless you're a fly or niño del la tierra (potato bug for the monolinguals) and I'm bored, with a pair of tweezers..."  Okay so, getting back to my phobia, self-checkout at the supermarket makes me nervous.  "Say what?"  My heart starts to race, my hands get all clammy... I know, call me weird -- "I'd much prefer other synonyms.  You're afraid of self checkout?!"  Well, yeah, I -- "Excuse me while I guffaw.  Guffaw!  Guffaw!  Guffaw!  What are you, some sort of nut case?! -- that was a rhetorical question, by the way.  How'd you escape?!"  I don't know where it all started, but I just don't like the idea of ringing up my own groceries.  "Why?  What is it about handling your own papayas?"  I don't know, I just have this thing -- "Yeah, your lobotomy, what about it?"  I dread the idea of holding up a long line of cranky people as I try to figure out how to scan and bag my own stuff as I get scolded by a damn machine!  "Damn, I hate it when you say 'damn.'"  Then I have to call for assistance, and I hear the deep sighs... People mutter to themselves as they roll their eyes, waiting and waiting... That's a lot of pressure to put on a guy!  "Speaking of pressure, does the store have anything for bloating?"  I've learned the hard way that self-checkout lines aren't for everybody.  That's one of my shortcomings, I guess.  I have to learn to deal with it.  "So, uh, how do you do it when your car needs gas?  You pump your own gas, don't you?"  Well, you know those people that hang around gas stations begging for money.  "I've met a few hundred of those individuals, yes..."  Isn't it funny how their car always breaks down two blocks away?  "Yeah..."  I give them money, alright -- after they fill my tank and check all my fluids.  "Um, I suggest you go back and reflect on what you just said.  Very, very carefully..." 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Care for some bear?

I consider myself somewhat of a romantic... "Oh yeah?  Cool.  When's the last time you surprised your wife with flowers?!"  Well, uh, uh, I did surprise her with a new sports package from our cable provider the other day...  "When's the last time you took her on a romantic getaway, just the two of you."  Well, um, I am planning on getting her some Dodger tickets very soon -- for a night game.  Watching the sun set with thousands of our closest friends is always nice... "You're no romantic -- you're a termite!  A parasite!"  I'd rather you not call me that -- I met parasites up front and center on a very memorable trip to Mexico one year...  "I love Mexico -- I've gone as far south as San Diego!"  Anyway, I bring up the subject of romance because a new bit of Cupid talk was passed my way.  "Did you call me stupid? -- 'cuz if you did, that was stupid of you!"  Cupid.  I said 'Cupid!'  "Oh, never mind..."  Much to my surprise, I recently heard about the late great Marvin Gaye's music being played for, of all things, Panda bears... "And what's wrong with that?"  Come on, mood music for Pandas?  "What did you expect -- a visit to a doctor of dysfunction?"  Wait a minute, I'm being punked, right?  This can't be real.  There's no way the sounds of Let's Get It On are being played for Pandas.  "Why not? Pandas have feelings too, you know -- and needs!"  Yeah, maybe you're right... "I usually am..."  In that case, I'd like to make some suggestions to help the love-hungry bears... "Thank you, but let's  leave it to the experts..."  First off, I suggest that Pandas begin with a bear hug.  That usually breaks the ice... Then, I'd follow up with a candlelight dinner... "Hey, that's not a bad idea..."  You think so? -- I'm being sarcastic!  I mean, why do us humans have to meddle in the love life of Pandas?   Tell me, why?!  "Why?  Why ask why?"  I  really don't think Pandas need our help, do you?  "Duh.  I do think they do..."  Okay then, what else should we do for the Pandas -- love poems?  Love letters?  "Like you've ever written one."  Let nature takes its course!  "But of course.  Let the Pandas become extinct.  Will that make you happy?!"  I'm sorry, but I smell whiffs of commercialism in all this...  "I smell something else."  Before you know it, we'll be hearing about a love cruise for bears.  And let's not stop there.  "What else you got?"  Back in their cabin, the Pandas can pop in a movie to get things going: Bad News Bears, perhaps?  "You know, I can't bear the thought of how your wife puts up with you..."  Speaking of my wife, I'd recommend her favorite restaurant, but the last time I checked, most places require shoes and shirt.  Are you going to tell the Pandas they need shoes and shirt?  Are you going to dress them, be their chauffeur?  It's a lot of work.  "You're being silly -- bamboo's not even on the menu..." 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

But there's always a but...

Don't you hate it when your day is ruined?  "Hanging out with you,  I know that feeling very well..."  Things were going smoothly for me the other day, when something from my past came back to haunt me.  It's awful news... "Oh no -- ¿qué pasó? -- did your in-laws finally realize you're never going away?"  Uh, actually, it has to do with an unsolicited e-mail.  "How unsolicited was it?"  To be honest, I am partly responsible... "Oh really?  Do tell..."  The e-mail stated something along the lines of: I hate to break this news to you, but... "But what?  What did you do, you dopey dope?!  I told you to stay away from Tijuana that one spring break!"  Will you shut up and listen?  "Go on, my lips are sealed -- until my next insult."  I knew what the message alluded to, so I ignored it.  Why read it?  What's done is done... I can't waste my time rehashing the past...  "Now that you mentioned it, you're wasting my time..."  No, wait, hear me out...  "I'd rather not, but... Come on, the news can't be all that bad..."  No, it's bad.  Really bad.  You see, back in junior high school, right before graduation, I got in a fight and -- "Let me guess, she gave you a black eye."  Of course not!  It was a fat lip -- and the other guy was actually a guy.  "You sure about that?"  I'm pretty sure, yeah... Look, I don't want to disappoint anybody, but I lost that fight.  It was the only fight I ever lost.  "That week, maybe..."  No, listen, back in the day I was pretty good at defending myself.  "But you lost this particular fight..."  Right.  "Shame on you!  Booooo!  Hiss!!!  What kind of a role model are you for your sons?!"  I was so embarrassed, I tried to spin a positive out of a negative... "Don't talk like that -- it reminds me of math!"  I walked to my next class with fat lips, trying to come up with a story.  "Let me guess: you told 'em you were a Mick Jagger impersonator." No, not quite. "You were part of a bee-stung lips experiment that went horribly wrong!"  Not that, either..."I give up!"  In hindsight, I had good reason for losing that fight.  "Yeah, you were a lousy fighter -- still are!"  While the other kid was getting the best of me -- Pow!  Bam! Wop! -- I was preoccupied with getting suspended.  I mean, we were exchanging blows right by the main office.  "Correction: you were posing as a punching bag on legs."  Okay, fine... Ever since, I've often wondered what would've happened if I'd gotten caught that day.  I might've been kicked out of school, turned to the streets... My life would be so different... And now, I'm afraid my past has caught up with me.  That's what that e-mail was about, I bet.   "You have a betting problem, too?"  I'll bet you my last dime that some eyewitness finked on me after all these years...  "I gotta get you to Gamblers Anonymous  -- quick!"  I'll surely have to return to junior high to face the consequences... What do I tell my family?  What do I do?  "Beats me, but while you're at it, bring back one of them school coffee cakes, will ya?"

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kids will be kids...

I have a confession to make.  "Another one?  You sure keep the Church busy, don't you?"  Oh, not that kind of confession.  "Well, then I don't want to hear it..."  Look, it's taken me a long time to admit this, but I think it's time... Kerry King of Slayer fame and I have a history... "Are you saying what I think you're saying?"  That's right -- we went to elementary school together.  "You went to school with the thrash metal dude?"  Yes, that Kerry King...  Believe it or not, I knew Kerry before all the  ink... "Don't you hate it when it gets all over you, especially your shirt pocket?"  Anyway, Kerry and I were in the same class for a few years, there. "Where?"  I'd rather not say, to protect the innocent -- State Street School.  "Wow! You think he remembers you?"  Maybe... "I know I'd erase you from my memory ASAP."  But check this out: for whatever reason, I annoyed Kerry when we were kids.  A lot.  "You, annoying? -- sounds about right!"  Yeah, I was a nerdy kid, kind of a goofball, actually.  "And you never outgrew it, did you?"  Now, when it comes to Slayer's music, it isn't for everybody, I agree. It's extremely loud, frenetic -- angry.  Looking back after all these years, I hope I'm not at the root of Kerry's rage.  "You probably are..."  I'd like to take a moment to apologize to Kerry for any angst I may have caused him back in the day, a fury that doesn't let him rest.  "Apology accepted -- now go away."  I don't know, I just feel bad.  It's like I irritated Kerry every time I opened my mouth.  "Did you ever consider mouthwash?"   There's this time we did a string art project with the U.S map... "Maybe that's where he discovered strings!"  We were in Mr. Christina's 5th grade class... "Christina? -- I thought it was a Mister."  Anyway, I pointed out to Kerry that two  of his adjoining states had the same color string... My bad.  It turns out, it wasn't two states.  Kerry looked at me like I was the dumbest, most dorkiest kid in the whole wide world: "It's Michigan! -- it's ONE state!!!"  Oh, if looks could kill... Hey, how was I supposed to know, right?  Back in those days, I thought Michigan was Michoacan in Spanish.   "You mean it isn't?"  I admit it, I didn't know the difference between the state's peninsulas and paper maché.  "You were a dumb-dumb, weren't you?"  Kerry surely thought so.  I'll never forget the look on his face, similar to the one when he's on stage...  Another time, Kerry let loose a guttural, almost haunting laugh when I told him I was joining the same youth basketball league.  "You? --basketball?!"  I can't say I blame him.  You see, I wore dress shoes on the hardwood whenever I played... "It doesn't surprise us..."  I'd often see Kerry with his dad, riding shotgun as they headed home one block away.  I'd be on the front lawn, waving, hoping he'd turn and look.  Not a chance.  It's like Kerry wore blinders, trying his hardest not to make eye contact with me... "A smart kid, huh?"  Anyway, that's my Kerry King story... "Thank you for sharing -- now get lost." Oh, and I'd like Kerry to know that I've learned my states, become somewhat of a geography buff, actually.  For once, he'd be proud of me...  "You sure about that?"  Why, I know trivia on all 40 states...  "Isn't it 60?"  If given the chance I'd ask Kerry: Why's the White House located in Washington?  "Why's that?"  So the president can be closer to Canada.  "Of course!"

Sunday, April 28, 2013

You gonna eat that?

FBI.  It's been in the news quite a bit lately.  "Really?  Where have I been?"  Sure, those letters conjure up images of federal investigations for some.  "But not you, right?"  For me, FBI takes on a whole different meaning.  "Funny Bunny Inn?  Fender Bender Insurance?"  No, more like Fabulous Burrito Intake.  "Now that one's ridiculous."  As images of delectable burritos dance around in my head, my memory takes me back to when I was a young schoolboy.  "As opposed to an old schoolboy..."  Those times were bittersweet for me...  "Did you attend a one-room schoolhouse, grades 1-12?"  Back then, my mama would make me homemade burritos for lunch, then wrap them in aluminum foil to assure a nice, warm meal.  "How sweet of her -- ya sell the burritos for profit to go buy baseball cards?!"  No, something much worse: I'd swap them for other kids' lunches -- mere cold meat sandwiches.  "What?!"  I had no regard for my mama's time and effort... "And you consider yourself a connoisseur of good food?  A favorite son placed on a pedestal by his dutiful mother?!"  Sorry.  "Traitor!"  I know, I know, that was so inconsiderate of me.  To think that my mom slaved away in the kitchen at the crack of dawn, adding her loving touch to my presumed noontime meals.  And if memory serves me right, she hassled with chickens and hogs as part of her daily routine.  "Wait a minute, perhaps you're having flashbacks of Farm Animals Gone Wild."  No, I'm positive we had chickens and pigs -- or was it avocados?   "You're no country boy! -- you're from the city!"  It's all coming back to me: as I rolled out of bed every morning, my beloved mother was out back chasing down pesky animals in her pursuit of fresh eggs and bacon.  "¡Aquí, gallina!  ¡Aquí!"  If my mother ever finds out what I did with her burritos, she'll be heartbroken.  "And well she should be!"  It's a deep, dark secret that I vow to keep away from her.  I mean, I don't want my mama to dwell in disappointment in these her golden years... "You ungrateful scoundrel!"  Looking back, while my dad was at work, my mom's the one that took me everywhere without complaint -- on the public bus.  "Oh no..."  Oh, yes... My mother never learned to drive, so she relied on public transportation to take me everywhere: swimming lessons -- "Not the high dive!  Not the high dive!" -- downtown L.A., and  visits to the doctor that seemed hours away.  "Did he make you cough?"  My mother was a saint to ride those public buses... "To say nothing of her raising you..."  I'll never forget those bus rides in the dogs days of summer, when I was surrounded by armpits high above me...  "Hold on to a pole, folks.  It's gonna be a bumpy ride."  And if that wasn't bad enough, I had to help with the stroller, too.  "At what age did you start walking?"  It wasn't for me -- the stroller was for my baby sister!  "Sure, blame it on the siblings..."  Now, one benefit of pushing around a stroller for miles on end was that it helped build up my chest muscles... To this day, I can flex my pecs with the best of  them...  "I wanna see!  I wanna see!"  Okay, but just one time... "Wow!  You are good for something! -- you're not as useless as you look!"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Testing, Testing... 1-2 -Trez...

Somebody made an interesting suggestion to me the other day... "Finally, somebody told you to go jump in a lake."  No, that was last month... It was suggested that I become a motivational speaker.  "Obviously by someone under some sort of influence..."  Yes.  "Yes?!"  I'll to give public speaking a try someday.  I mean, I like talking in front of people.  I always have.  "Better that than their backs, right?"  So, yes, I see motivational speaking as a part of my future... as soon as I motivate myself to do it.  "But why would you do such a thing?"  Well, I like taking on new challenges.  And from what I can tell, people like listening to me speak.  "Boy, they have you fooled." Beside, how hard can motivational speaking be, right?   You stand in front of a mike, say a few words... Before you know it, people from around the world are chanting your name, running over hot coals for you -- and the pay's great!   "So, you think you can get followers to maximize their potential, inspire them to towering new heights..."  Absolutely.  "Well, don't count on me -- I'm prone to nose bleeds."  Oh, that's a shame... "Yeah, I hate nosebleeds.  They're a bloody mess.That's what they say... "Speaking of which, there's nothing worse than getting a nosebleed at the wrong time -- on a first date."  That happened to you?  I'm sorry to hear that.  "No you're not -- you weren't there."  But I sympathize for you.  "Oh, so now you feel sorry for me?-- well, don't!"  Can we move on, please?  "Since we're talking about nosebleeds, are you from the old school where you tilt your head and swallow back all the blood?"  Well, no, I --  "Or do you hold your head steady and pinch your nose hard with a pair of pliers?"  To be honest with you, I didn't plan for a dialogue about nosebleeds today.  "Yet here we are having this great talk about sangre de la nariz -- tell the ladies it's French!If you don't mind, I'd like to get back to the idea of becoming a motivational speaker someday.  "I don't want to be a motivational speaker -- I want to be Santa Claus."  I'm talking about me!  "Oh okay, but I find the subject of nosebleeds a lot more engrossing."  And I'm finding you to be absolutely gross!  "What, you don't bleed?  You don't have blood coursing through your veins?"  Anyway, I think I can be a great public speaker.  "Public... you mean talking in front of crowds..."  That's right.  "You don't get nervous talking to large crowds?"  A little bit, but that's perfectly normal.  "So, what do you do to relax before a big talk? -- I bet you suck on a carton of smokes before a speech, right? "  No.  I don't smoke.  "I bet your wife can smell you from a mile away."  Again, I've never taken up that nasty habit.  "I don't mean to scare ya, but if you're not careful, you're going to end up like that lady on TV, with a hole the size of a quarter in your throat."  I said, I don't smoke!!!  "No need to yell -- you came through loud and clear -- despite your limited lung capacity."  I am not limited.  "Let's not go there..."  Now, you asked what I do to relax before speaking to a large group of people, right?  "Maybe you should write it down instead..."  Hey, I do what any great orator does -- I bite my nails -- and I get sick to my stomach.  "Really?  Is that the trick?"  And most importantly, I make sure to wear a reliable deodorant.  "Yeah well, could've fooled me -- where are those nose pliers when you need 'em?!