Whenever I talk. . .

. . .sorry, whenever I’m stuck listening to this guy, a grown ass man, I come away with head slapping moment. Such as, earlier today, he tells me that he made a pretty big purchase that he was very happy with.

I don’t say anything to encourage him because, well, I don’t have to. He’s a monologue spewing machine.

“Yeah, I bought $2600 worth of Matchbox Cars.”

I stand there, a bit stunned, I will admit. But, people have hobbies. Its just that most times I’d rather not hear about them. Suddenly he laughs and says,

“Maybe that’s why my third wife left me.”

Ya think?

A Simple Plan For A Simple Man

My girlfriend, her daughter and some friends were going to a Wedding Shower. What a gyp. No, not that I don’t get to go (that’s a good thing). I’m talking about Wedding Showers. So now you have to pre-gift the lucky couple before you really gift them? Where I come from that’s called double dipping. It’s a scam I am totally against.

What’s next? A Birthday Shower a month before the actual birthday? A Fetus Shower because you’re thinking about having kids? Why not have a Pre-Death Shower where people give you flowers while you lay in a casket? Where does the madness stop?

But this isn’t a story about the nefarious shower industrial complex. It’s a story about one man in search of a smidgen of peace in a house with between three and an ungodly amount of women. I know, at the minimum, my girlfriend, her daughter and her best friend will be in the house when I get there. I don’t know if there will be more but I did hear the dreaded ‘cot’ word bandied about.

But I can’t worry about that. In my mind I have a plan. A simple plan. Most likely a plan destined to fail. But everyone loves a man with a plan. Probably because it rhymes.

I’ve been told that, if I time everything just right, I may not even have to see the overtaking of the house by a bunch of shower crazed lunatics. Oh, you’ve seen these people after a shower. They get that glint in their eye. They’re on the lookout for their shower. The gears spinning in their heads as they concoct other fake showers. The Break-Up Shower. The New Job Shower. The Finally Got Rid Of That Pesky Chlamydia Shower.

We decided to meet at a local bar. That way I can get a handle on the number of guests in a location where, if I so choose, I can escape. Plus its also near the bus station where, I was told, they’d probably be using for their trip back home. They enter after me and I’m glad to see it’s only three. Great. A couple of drinks, the departure time of the bus drawing near, I’m one step closer to my simple plan.

A snag. Of course there was going to be a snag. The girls have decided to stay over one more night and go to the beach in the morning. Hmm, this may even be better for my plan. Oh, another snag. They’re hungry. What is up with that? Every time I see these people they’re always hungry. Do they not eat unless I’m there? What do they think this is? Some kind of Food Shower?

Another snag. Because I didn’t know we had dinner plans (but, honestly, how often am I the last to know?) I’m going to have to stop at an ATM. And where is the first ATM they see? In the parking lot of a dark, tree lined and very poorly lit bank.

And if you remember mere moments ago I mentioned that the bar we were in was situated very close to a bus station. Now I don’t know if you fine folks have had much experience with bus stations but they’re never in the finer neighborhoods of the city. So basically I’m standing with my back to the woods taking money out of a machine. So I’m basically standing in front of a walk up crime spree.

But I survive and they decide to go to a rather nice restaurant. We sit there, four adults, and have a pretty good time despite the fact I remember when these two balloon heads were noxious pre-teens causing havoc and mayhem throughout many dinner times. Oh yes, the human capacity for selective memory is truly one of our most self protective traits.

The waiter had an odd trait of addressing me as ‘Boss’. Which I found rather sexist because he didn’t address the women as CFO or Regional Director or Executive Assistant to the Director of R&D.

I find when people cloyingly repeat themselves I twitch. It’s a situation where I want to react but, because I’m in a nice restaurant, my base impulses have been tamped down by societal norms. But I also know myself. If it goes on to long something will bubble to the surface.

“So, Boss, would you like another beer, Boss?”

“No, Employee, I would not like another beer, Employee.”

Oh boy, the worst thing I can do, in my girlfriends eyes, is make people laugh when I’m being, to her, rude. But my thought is, damn, she should be used to it by now.

The other thing off kilter at the restaurant was when I saw three of the wait staff running. There are only three things that will cause a wait staff to run:

1) the kitchen is on fire
2) they’re being robbed
3) the computer is down and no one knows how to process orders

By the amount of time it took to get our meal I was pretty certain it was number three. That was confirmed when Employee came over to tell us they were having trouble getting orders through the kitchen because of number three. I wanted to help them get over this tragedy. I wanted to tell this highly trained staff in a fairly upscale restaurant to call down the street to the 24 hour breakfast joint and see how they get orders to the kitchen without the aid of a computer.

But, remembering the last glare I received, I stay mum.

We get to the house and I’m told the women are heading to the beach in the morning.

“Have fun.” I say hoping they have fun. But it’s also the first click in the combination that is my plan.

“You don’t want me to get you up?” My girlfriend offers.

“Nope.” I say trundling off to bed rubbing my hands together like a mad scientist so close to the birth of his great idea.

I wake and hear nothing. But I know they are still in their respective rooms. So I lie there, quietly, until the first ses of bare feet slaps upon the floor. Suddenly, in a burst of activity, doors open, zippers slide, breakfast dishes ting. The sounds of an active morn. All the while I remain stock-still.

After some time I finally hear it. The sound of the truck pulling into the street toward the beach. I stay still for a few minutes making sure no one forgot anything. Finally I get out of bed and jump in the shower. My plan is now in full effect.

I get out of the shower, do what one does post-shower then open up my bag fully expecting to see the library book I checked out a couple of days ago. I told you it was a simple plan. Remain in the house by myself with no noise and read a book. But something, of course, went wrong. My book is not in the bag.

I figure she put it in the kitchen. Nope. I start to look around the house. It is nowhere to be found. Damn, I think, she must have left it in the truck. That’s an occurrence I did not plan for. But I make a note of it for future plans.

Disappointed, sure, but I’m resilient. I’m a roll with the punches guy. I look around the house and there are books. Nothing is really popping out at me so I resign myself to making a choice. I grab a beer, go out to the deck and read. Then, not long after, go back into the house because, damn, that sun is hot and, damn, I am white. I can’t walk past a lamp with a sixty watt blub and no shade without getting burned.

Undaunted, well, maybe daunted a little, I sit back on the couch and read. I finish the book so begin another. All in all, it’s been a great day off. Could have been better with the right book. But I’m making the most of it. About half an hour into the second book I’m about to implement the final part of my master plan.

The nap.

Between the few beers and a couple of books taking that nap was a very easy thing to accomplish on this very good day.

“Is he sleeping?” I hear some undetermined time later. “What’s he doing sleeping?”

Enjoying himself?

I slowly sit up listening to the most noise I’ve heard all day.

“Didn’t you turn on the TV?” I’m asked.

“Nope.” For the life of her she can’t fathom that. “Hey,” I say attempting to revive the day. It may not be the original plan but if I can pound down some pages of my planned book so at least I can pretend complete victory. “Where’s the book I asked you to bring down?”

“I brought it back to the library.”

“The library? I asked you to put it in my bag.”

I thought you said put it in the box.” Box, bag. I can see how that could go wrong. All I can think now is, boy, it’s going to look weird when I check that book out two times in a row. “Are you going to get up? Because we’re hungry. We haven’t eaten all day.”

I swear these people don’t think food exist if I’m not around.

The Dilemma

Your first customer of the day comes up to you and tells you someone has rubbed shit on the bathroom wall.

At first you might think that’s very nice of them. Warning you of a potential PR hazard (in this case PR means Poop Related). Or, if you’re normal, how disgusting your life is.

But things start to change when you realize that a) this is the first customer in the building in fourteen hours b) you personally checked the bathroom minutes before you left fourteen hours ago and didn’t find a shit stained wall c) the shit on the wall has that just shit smell.

The dilemma is do you 1) quit disgusted with the path your life has taken 2) confront the finger painter 3) wipe down the wall knowing it’ll only get better from here?

Oh, sorry, they’re all wrong.

The correct answer is A1) clean the bathroom knowing this is only a foreshadowing of the horrible day you’re about to encounter.

Chatter

A guy was trying to make conversation with me. He was pleasant enough I guess. For a unibrowed, tea smelling, pot bellied twit.

“Did you do anything with your family?”

First off, how does he know I have a family? Has he been stalking me? Does he have pictures of those nearest and dearest to me? Does he know my travel schedule? There are always strange cars parked in front of my office, is his one of them? Just when I think about going through the security footage with a fine tooth comb I realize something.

“Did you do anything with your family?” is a pretty basic question from someone making small talk. I mean, he has to assume one has a family or some familyish simulation. So I decide he’s not going to get knee capped so I can make my getaway. He doesn’t even know how lucky he is.

“Yeah?” I answer arching it so he knows I still think it’s a very odd question. Just not how odd I thought earlier.

“What’d you do with them?” This guy is relentless. I must stop this onslaught,

“I avoided them.”

Hey? Why’s he looking at me the way I was looking at him earlier?

A person. . .

. . .(and isn’t this where most of my problems begin?) is talking to me. That’s enough to bug me. But all of a sudden they look me in the eyes and say,
“I’ve got to poop.”

I absorb that message as much as one would want to before saying,

“I’ve heard that story. It has a shitty ending.”

Despicable Me

I get asked many questions, not least of which are:

“Why did you say that?”

“What were you thinking?”

“Who invited you here?”

But every once in a while I’m asked a question that is out of the ordinary.

“What’s the most despicable thing you’ve done?”

Well now, let’s not be going there, okay? Not only because I’m not sure of the statute of limitations on some things I’m sure some people don’t want to be reminded (Yeah, I’m talking about you D***. And just because I’m laughing doesn’t mean my apology isn’t sincere.) (I know you’re curious so here’s what I did: When we were kids I sidled up behind him and pulled down his sweatpants. Now that’s something that would happen often around gyms and such. What I didn’t know was D*** wasn’t wearing anything underneath and was sporting semi wood. Everyone starts laughing. I think it’s because of the normal reason: someone got pantsed. I didn’t find out for a few minutes the real payoff).

But it was an interesting question to ponder. What is despicable? Everyone has done things where, afterwards or even during, they’ve said, “Oh, I’m going to hell for that.” But for myself, saying that or having that said to me every day, sort of takes the sting out of that fear.

Then it dawned on me. One time I farted in a baby’s face.

On purpose.

I was in the living room with the baby and his father. The baby was sitting on a couch in that uncomfortable baby way. You know what I mean. Half way between falling and epileptic. It looks like there’s a sharpee sitting on the couch. All wrinkled and unbalanced.

The other adult and I (I had to point this out because, unlike the sweatpantsing, at this time I was an adult) are talking when, because I’m like this, I had to fart.

If you didn’t have proof there was something wrong with my brain before I’m sure I can clear that up right now. My first thought when I realized I was going to fart wasn’t, ‘Gee, maybe I should go to another room.’ Never even occurred to me.

But farting in the baby’s face did.

So I stand up and walk in front of the baby. The father, the protector of this child for the rest of it’s life, asks what I’m doing. So, not being nefarious, I tell him. And he laughs. So, feeling I have parental permission, I park my ass next to the baby’s face and let it rip.

I made sure to spin around fast so as not to miss one second of this event. The baby sits straight up and starts blinking his eyes. In his little unformed brain it seems as if he’s thinking, ‘Whoa! This is not a good experience. Did a cow just explode up in here?’

So as he’s experiencing the first of the one billion traumas that are coming his way his Dad and I are laughing hysterically. I’m wishing I had another one in the chamber for an encore.

As we’re watching this baby flop around like one of those car lot sock guys, arms flailing uselessly, looking as if it’s going to fall, sitting back up, his eyes blinking at seizure speed his Mother comes in wanting to know what’s so funny.

The Dad stopped laughing so quickly he pulled a lung.

The rest of this story is the despicable part.

“He farted in the baby’s face.”

I said.

Now, logistically, she should have smelled a rat (among other things). The father is sitting across the room. I’m standing near the baby. Most damning piece of evidence, I’m me and she knows that.

But she hears that, for the gazillionth time in her imagination, the father has done something detrimental to the child. In her baby protector brain he’s once again done irreparable harm to the baby’s body and psyche. She’s probably also remembering the time(s) he’s Dutch ovened her. I’m just saying my tidbit of information (AKA: lie) is within the realm of her wheelhouse.

He’s looking at me wondering why I’d throw him under the short bus. But it takes mere seconds for him to remember that it’s me. This is my encore. I farted in his baby’s face for him; I’m getting him dog housed for me. The mother snatches the baby from the couch and whisks him away to probably autoclave it. The entire time she’s mumbling about the asshole she married.

And she’s right. He is an asshole.

And assholes have asshole friends.

Who’ll fart in a baby’s face.

Then blame it on dear old Dad.

Quite a week

First the confederate flag dies.

Then Obamacare survives.

Finally gay marriage is just called marriage.

This is the worst week for rednecks since the end of the civil war.