Monthly Archives: September 2012

On my feet

I was directing a live TV program and, as happens, shit went wrong. Almost from start to finish but, as they like to say, shit happens. I’m making adjustments on the fly I hope the crew will actually do without questioning. I may not be right, but I’m standing over you and I’m not afraid to punch you in the back of the head.

I find them knowing that helps ease the tension.

So, as stated, I’m standing for the entire show, pacing and directing. I’m doing this calmly as many people, producers, on-air talent, random crew members having their own personal hells, the show itself clamor for my attention.

Thankfully, inevitably, the shows ends. I thank everyone (I silently now despise)  and begin to leave. The technical director reaches out to shake my hand and says,

“Good job thinking on your feet.”

To which I responded,

“I had no choice. I was standing up.”


‎”Hey Buddy, can ya help me?”
“Hey Buddy, when’s that gonna be done?”
Yeah, buddy, that’s the information I need.”

That’s a portion of a conversation I had with a guy who, obviously, confused my name with someone elses. So, being helpful like I am, I decided to correct him.

“Hey!” I bark to get his attention because, let’s face it, barking in someone’s face is the only way to get it. “My name’s not buddy. It’s Chief!”


With the last week of summer looming we did what many people do in this corner of the world. Please note that I didn’t say smart or even cautious people. I just said people.

And the thing these people (and I have to assume some of them are smart, more probably cautious but they are here because they all understand
that resistance is futile) do is go to the fair. Just like generations and generations have done before them. They leave the comfort of their indoor
plumbing to, depending on your fortune, get licked by a llama or some other such generally thought of as disgusting activity.

Seriously, if you were walking down the street of whichever city you happen to inhabit and you’re standing there, possibly waiting for traffic to
subside or pretending not to watch some guy acting in a very uncivil manner with some invisible person screaming in their head (blue tooth or
crazy person is a game I so love playing) and anything licked you you’d run, not walk, to slather anti-bacterial all over your body.

But, at the fair, a llama licking your bare arm from wrist to elbow is part of the charm. Or so I’m told.

And don’t get me started on the mud. Why do they all have to be in the mud? We drove there! On a highway! Covered with hardness! Couldn’t
they have just continued hot topping the area where they know hundreds, if not many hundreds, of people are going to walk on their way to the
tilt-a-whirl? I think that’s bad fair planning.

But there’s mud. And right on top of mud are my sneakers. Or should I say, my ex-sneakers. Every step cakes them with an ever increasing layer of
muck. I go in with my normal size feet (normal for me, your size may vary) and end up leaving with icky brown clown shoes. And don’t get me
started on that cacophonous sucking sound with each step. I don’t like it one bit. I’m sure you can figure out that there’s only one sucking sound below my waist I like.

But we’re there. Every. Fucking. Year. And you know what? It NEVER changes! Never! Oh look! The fried muskrat booth! EXACTLY WHERE

I’m sure the fair settlers had a meeting even before they oxened in the first load of mud (tons of it must be trucked in every year due to the sneaker coating loss because it’s just not natural that, by now, we’re not down to the tectonic plates) to decree that ye olde fried muskrat tent would be given the place of honor right at the entrance next to the cabin ‘o creamy delights.

Sorry if I’m rambling and a little incoherent. I think I’m still experiencing a sugar high from walking past all the fried dough booths.

We finally arrive (it could have been ten minutes, could have been ten hours. There’s no way to really tell. The moment you plunk down your $22
– and I’m NOT going to talk about that. Or the fact that I also paid $10 for the privilege of parking in mud! No, I told myself it would be in my
best interest to avoid that subject – your internal clock unplugs. It’s a survival mechanism really) at the midway. They call it the midway because
it’s the half-way point between reason (“No, I don’t think I’ll have a fourth fried snicker.”) and insanity (“You know what? That whole lamb leg
being fried in fat back looks delicious. I think I’ll have another one.”).

At one point we’re standing still (being experienced I kept moving my feet. You can’t let the mud take hold. Why do you think most of these
people are working here? They got stuck in the mud so someone built a booth of fried fries around them). We could have been watching a
juggler. Maybe a topless guy using his wife as a whack-a-mole. I was just too numb to comprehend. I begin to look around at the vast array of
humanity splayed out, like a giant autopsy, in front of me. At this moment I had the thought,

“Boy, America sure is going to waist.”

No wonder they have to have these things outdoor. There is no structure in the world large enough to contain the breadth and girth of those
surrounding me.

And then something licked me.

That’s when I knew we had to leave.

Because I didn’t even turn around to investigate.

Where was this guy shopping?


Walking through. . .

. . .a crowded restaurant a guy carrying a baby lugging contraption passes me and says to the kid,

“Just come on, little guy.”

To which I say,

“He really has no choice, does he?”

The guy laughs and, see? Not all my posts end with people storming away from me!

He does make a compelling argument.

A drunk. . .

. . .walks into work and starts a ramble. It’s against company policy to take a bat to any customers throat in an effort to silence them (Section 64 Amendment 32 – AKA The Zell Amendment). So I stand there. After some period of time the guy gets where ramblers always go, to the part where they spend almost as much time appolgizing to you for rambling as they did ramble. I tell him it’s fine.

“No problem. You’re just an alcohol induced drunk.”

A pirate. . .

. . .with a paper towel wrapped around his head goes into a bar. He sits down and the bartender approaches. Even before taking his drink order he asks,

“Why do you have paper towels wrapped around your head?”

“Arrgh,” the pirate says. “I have bounty on me head.”

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day.

A guy. . .

. . .not, to my estimation, a very bright guy (example, we were working in the same building on something. We both began fully clothed. I run
into him an hour or so later and he’s shirtless. I look at him and, without my asking, he said, “I lost my shirt.” I still don’t know how to lose a shirt
I’m wearing. But I am trying to get a grant to study the phenomenon) said this to me,

“Yeah, my meathead kid is so stupid he only learns something new every fifth or sixth day.”

I know he was trying to show off his wit and wisdom to me. But I felt it was my duty to point out to him that the nut doesn’t fall far from the house.

“Dude, you’re such a fathead you could survive on that alone for a month. What chance do you think your kid has?”

A guy. . .

. . .was asking me a few questions. I gave the best non-answers a human can before he asked another odd one.

“Can you draw?”

“No.” I answer honestly and fully.

“Oh, come on, you must be able to draw!”

His persistence was a tad bewildering.

“The only thing I can draw is a breath.”