Who says I’m not me?

I was quietly minding my own business the way I do. I have no need to be the center of attention. As a matter of fact, it’s to my detriment when I am. If I’m talking that means I’m telling of things that have passed. I’m not gathering stories for the future. That’s what I call it no matter how mean spirited other may find it.

That’s when someone walks up to me and says,

“What’s the matter?” I get that question often. So let me answer that question once and for all. Unless you see a bone sticking out of me, a copious amount of blood pouring from me, something large and pointy sticking out of or a small projectile entering my body my answer will be.

“Fine.”

Everyone’s life has shit in it. I don’t want to hear yours so I doubt you want to hear mine. I think I’m doing you a solid on this one because, trust me, if I were to tell you some of the things that go on in my life you’d never leave the therapists office.

But this person knew something was wrong. They could just feel it. Which amazed me because I’ve only met this person three times and can’t say we’ve really had a conversation. I know I haven’t and don’t remember anything earth shattering lolling off her tongue.

“You’re not yourself tonight.”

“Yes I am. As a matter of fact, I checked my ID before I came in. Exactly me.”

She looked at me askew, which happens when they get an answer from me they didn’t expect. Proving she doesn’t know me. People who know me pretty much aren’t phased by anything that comes out of my mouth. As a matter of fact, if I say something normal sounding I can tell they feel a little let down.

I can tell she doesn’t know what to say. In her life answers like that aren’t possible. But in my life, the life she thinks she knows so well, that’s just ‘a fine howdy do!’ to people.

We stand there facing each other for a moment. I can tell, even though I’ve only met her three times, that not having a comeback and having to deal with this issue at all is making her uncomfortable. So, without a word, I turn and exit the room.

Because I want her to feel even more awkward.

“You like to read?”

Says someone seeing me reading a book. I stop reading and look at them.

“Yes.”

“Books?” I paused for a moment as I stepped up to him.

“No.” I said as I put a hand behind my back. “Toilet paper.” I mimed wiping my ass. I pull my hand up to my face and look at it. “The beginning is usually interesting but the ending is always shit.”

Jukebox Hell

I hate jukeboxes. Let me rephrase that. Jukeboxes, since they were invented, are an engineering marvel. They ushered in era of rock ‘n roll. They were often a place where you’d hear a song for the first time. They were even a place where a guy named Earl could steel himself against a cruel world by playing ‘My Way’ sixty three times in a row.

And that’s the problem. The technology, as most technology, is perfect. It’s when we put humans in the mix jukeboxes, like most other technological advances, begin to suffer.

Music is supposed to be exciting, its a path to discovery. Music is not supposed to be the two 1972 hits from Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show played back to back ( did not know this. I looked it up). As a guy does at this one place every time he comes in. Dr. Hook should at least call this guy because he’s keeping the Doctor alive in ASCAP’s eyes.

I was sitting there the other night, The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald being offered as a sing-a-long, contemplating many evil deeds which I can not speak of here because, if they ever happen, I know you bastards would snitch on me. As TWOTEF was coming to a merciful close I enjoyed that moment of quasi silence until I knew the next musical ziconia would spring to life.

When I came to a few songs later I found myself wondering, “What the fuck’s the deal with Tony Orlando?” and quickly thereafter, “What the fuck was going on in the 70’s?”

You see a man had enough left in his 401K to seize control of the jukebox. And he does so with a vengeance by playing every song he remembered, and ten or twenty he misremembered, from the 70’s. It was during the middle stretch when I found myself asking those musical questions from above. Let’s tackle the first one, shall we? The second one is too daunting.

“What the fuck’s the deal with Tony Orlando?”

Tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree because ‘I’ve done my time’ and ‘it’s been three long years’? What the fuck’s that deal? Who says ‘I’ve done my time’ and ‘it’s been three long years’? Convicts, that’s who. He’s been gone three years, probably assault and battery, possibly a domestic, and he wants her to drop everything, go out shopping for yellow ribbon and spend time fashioning a bow around some probably diseased tree. Why not suggest leaving a light on or tape a sign with an answer on it? See how controlling he is?

And it was a world wide hit. About a guy getting out of jail and forcing a woman he hasn’t heard from in ‘three long years’ to jump to his bidding? I don’t know. It doesn’t seem right.

Then Tony comes back with ‘Knock Three Times’? If that’s not a song about cheating I’ve never heard a country song about cheating. ‘Knock three times on the ceiling if you want me, twice on the pipes, if the answer is no.’ How romantic. The only reason to have special signals is if you’re throwing down a bunt sign in baseball or doing something nefarious.

And, again, he makes the poor woman go the extra mile to say no. He makes her get a wrench, walk over to the radiator pipe, give it a couple of whacks if her husband is going to be home, then put the wrench away so her husband doesn’t suspect anything. Also, I don’t know if the guy understands how sound works but the moment she starts beating on the pipe the entire building is saying,

“Looks like Paul’s not going to be getting laid tonight.”

And what happens if she happens to walk a little heavy and he takes that as the knock? Does he go running up there only to have her husband answer the door? What does Paul think then?

‘Is she suggesting a three way? Does she want us to get caught? I hope he doesn’t see the condoms in my pocket.’

And then there was the third song in this trilogy about the full blown moral decay that was the seventies. The last song was ‘Take A Letter, Maria’. What is going on there? A man, wait, a gutless man is making his secretary take a letter to tell his wife he’s found greener pastures. He doesn’t even have the decency to call her? With the whole letter idea I know he’s such a ball-less twit he couldn’t do it in person.

“Take a fucking letter, Maria, address it to my wife tell that battle axe I’m outta here. I’m telling you, Maria, one more neighborhood fondue party and I was going to stab everyone with a fondue fork. Tell her she can keep the dog.”

And that’s it? That’s his plan? Letter, check. Maria, check. Mail, check. Life is going to be. . .hold on just a moment, Mr. Divorce Attorney has some letters of his own he’d like you to read. Plus I’m sure, to finance his little plan, this weasel nose snot has been skimming from the company. And you know who knows all about it?

His loyal secretary Maria, that’s who. She’s been keeping duplicates of all the books because she knew one day he was going down. Making copies of all your ‘appointments’ too. Yeah, she’s been waiting for this.

“Pat my ass once more and I’ll break your fucking finger. One more ‘Sweetie fetch’ and I’d have stabbed you with a letter opener.” Yeah, Maria is going to be one awesome witness on the stand.

I was walking to the car after hearing these debaucheries of that heinous decade and all I could think was,

“To maintain the puddle level of sanity I still have I gotta stay outta that place, if it’s the last thing I ever do.”

Olympic News

“And coming into the stadium right before the Olympic torch is the ceremonial bolt cutter.”

Olympic Games Rio 2016: Officials Lose Keys To Stadium, Had To Use Bolt Cutters

Someone was talking. . .

. . .about sunblock and she asked me what I use.
 
“SPF indoors.”

Wait, what?

Let me get this straight, you’re so lazy you won’t scoop shit yourself but you’ll call up an app and pay someone to do it for you?

http://pooperapp.com/

The app is so stupid I should have come up with it.

But I would have called it Poobur.

Differences

We were driving down a street on a fairly nice evening. It was an uneventful ride. We take a left turn and I see a dog park. And it was packed like a Tokyo subway. Dogs were all over the place. Running, racing, romping. It was as active as an e-coli petri dish. The people were huddled in small, tight groups. I wonder if they were segregated by breed or size or prescription drug usage. Whatever the reason everyone in the park was happy and joyful. A hive of activity.

A block down the street I saw a kid park. Unlike the dog park I couldn’t call this a hive of activity. More like a dearth.

There were four kids and four parents. Each group was separated from one another as if they were positive and negative magnets. Something strong was keeping them apart. There was no eye contact, no one was smiling. It seemed as if everyone was told to go to their respective corners and wait for further instruction.

I wondered what would happen if a fifth pair arrived. Would they gang up on them Lord Of The Flies style or maybe they’d kick the weakest link out of the kid park? It was too grizzly a scene to contemplate so I didn’t.

None of the kids could be considered active. They looked as if they were still strapped beyond movement in their car seats. I even questioned the vital signs of one kid as it slumped over a still horse on a spring. I’m sure none of these kids would even put their head up if they heard the all time kid siren – the ice cream truck.

Pulling out of view I started to think about the differences between those two parks. The vast differences in activity, the levels of fun. It just make me think that one group really wanted what it had. And the other? Not so much.