Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Hurricane Tree

When I was a kid a hurricane was coming. It was the first hurricane I was old enough to be aware of. And, being left to my own devices, I decided I wanted to get a good look at it.

So I walked down the wind blown and deserted street to the house of a friend. I went to the backyard and climbed the largest tree (really, the only tree) on the street. I’m climbing higher and higher; the branches are getting narrower and narrower; the wind is getting stronger and stronger. So at one point I stopped climbing.

Not out of fear, I should take a class and learn how to do that, but because I could finally see above the school next door. A dark, whipping view of, well, darkness whipping things around. the tree is swaying. I see the school then a moment later I’m seeing the sky above me. So I did what any kid my age would have done. Well, if the kid was as dumb ass as me. I held on tighter.

I must say the outer edges of a hurricane has it’s own fierceness. Between the wind and rain pelting my face and making my eyes as wide as paper the constant slapping from the undulating branches was batting me around pretty good. So I did what any moron, such as myself, would have done. I adjusted my seat trying to wedge myself tighter into the two largest branches.

It’s at this point I learned a pretty important lesson:

Just because something is bigger doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better.

I prop myself into my new perch happy to witness the wonder of weather all alone. I was happy because I was going to be the first one to see the hurricane blow into my city. So it went like that for some time, wet wet, blow blow, slap slap, bend.

It was like an E ticket ride at Dizknee. Which, to a kid who’d never been to Dizknee, was the best analogy he could come up with. So, doubting he’d ever get to Dizknee he strapped himself in for his Dizknee and waited for the ride to start.

Turns out, it was starting in another six seconds.

The branch I was leaning on snapped. Have you ever known your shoelaces were getting frayed but you’re still surprised when they break? That’s how it was with me. There was so much sound, snapping branches all around me, leaves flapping in my face, the force of the air pressure making everything seem so far off in the distance.

So you can just imagine my surprise when I started to fall.

I’ll cut to the chase: I didn’t die.

But I got my ass whooped by every friggin’ branch, my skin rubbed raw by bark, my face got it’s share of dope slapping on the way down. I didn’t fall straight down. I hit, and sometimes took along with me, all the branches I’d climbed up on.

Over the years I’ve debated within myself if it would have been better going straight down. I wasn’t thinking of it in terms of injury. Either way I was still going to have a pretty good fall. But more in terms of thinking about what was going to happen.

“My mother’s going to kill me if. . .”

There were many things to think of after if. Such as, I tear my clothes; I break open my skull (again this summer); I break a leg or something else, I get hurt but not too hurt so it won’t stop her from spanking me for being an idiot. Oh the list was endless. Whereas, if I’d not hit every branch as I pinballed down the tree, I would have had time for only one thought.

“Gee. I wonder how much this is going to hurt?”

By the time I was getting to the bigger, lower branches I found that, although I could slow myself down, I could take the hits and try to hold them for a second or two. But there came that time when there was only one thing to do: drop straight down to the ground.

You may find this hard to believe but that didn’t bother me at all. You see, I’m a city kid. We play all sports on asphalt. Everything we did was on asphalt. There are still chunks of my flesh on the streets and school yards of that city. What was going to happen now had to be infinitely better: I was going to fall on grass and dirt.

Here’s something about falling on grass and dirt. Even if you’re an experienced asphalt faller, it still hurts like a bitch. I watched as the grass, friendly grass, got closer. I figured I’d lean in with my shoulder, like I was taking out the earth during a full contact tackling drill, and land on the soft, soft grass harmlessly.

I was probably thinking that as I hit with thud. To this day I’ll argue with you that the wounded animal roar I heard was from the core of the earth.

“Yeah! Take that Mother Earth.”

Okay, so maybe now I wouldn’t argue too long but if you’d fronted me about this when I was eight I’d have been like,

‘Bitch, I moved the international date line. All your clocks are three minutes late now, sucker.’

I started to get up, considering what had just happened, none the worse for wear, brushing leaves and bark off my clothes, pulling branches from places they should never be placed, even in a jest, and just making sure I’m not any stupider than I was before.

After I’m sure I’ll be able to get away with this I smile. Sure, I’m scratched up some and tomorrow I might not feel so cuckoo for coco puffs but it won’t seem like anything out of the ordinary. In our neighborhood the saying was, a day without bloodshed is like a day without play.

I turn to leave when the last indignation occurs. A branch, which must of been stuck up there, fell and hit me in the head. I kicked it truly pissed. But don’t think badly of the young me, I didn’t know shit about karma yet.

I leave the yard and the wind is still blowing and the rain is still falling and the streets are still empty. Except for one guy sitting on his porch.

I didn’t see him until I was in the middle of the street. Trust me, if I’d seen him I would have crossed much later. I didn’t have to wonder long if he’d seen my daring bit of do.

“Get home. Didn’t you hear? There’s a hurricane coming.”

“Thanks. I’m going there now.” Ha! He didn’t see anything. I pass his house. I’m in the clear.

“And don’t climb that tree again. You almost broke your neck.” DOH!

It only took me a few seconds to regain my composure as I continued home.

After all, I didn’t break my neck.

Late For Work

I was five minutes late this morning. It happens to the best of us. Usually it’s not a big deal. If someone is waiting it’s always someone I know. They’ll bust my balls but I’ll remind them that I haven’t opened the door yet so, if they don’t want me to call in sick right now, they should proceed with caution because,

“If I call in sick it’ll take my boss an hour and a half to get here.”

I do have my ways.

But today an oily, greasy, salesweasel was sitting in his car waiting for me. He got out of his car in a huff making sure I noticed him checking the time on his low end famous brand watch.

“You’re five minutes late.” He snarls.

“You’re lucky.” I say over my shoulder. “That means I’m fifteen minutes earlier than usual.”

A guy was. . .

. . .starting a fustigation which I was trying to quash. So I chuckled and said, “Aw, I’m a lover not a fighter.”

He shored himself up and said, “That’s what every pussy says.”

“Don’t get me wrong.” I begin correcting him.” I’m a great fighter so just think of how good a lay I am.”

Opinions

I’m in my office talking to a customer I have a good relationship with. It’s all light and easy. He comes in, we take care of business with no issues, some laughs and he moves on his way.

I have a relationship like that with many customers. Although they don’t see it this way it’s a very one sided relationship. I know a ton about them (trust me on this, more than I want to know. To give an example, I know them so well a guy walks in with the greeting, “Well, they took ’em all.” and I immediately know he’s talking about his toes) and they know jack shit about me. It works so well that way.

So this guy and I are chatting. He tells me a couple of jokes I’ve heard a thousand times before (hazard of writing comedy) and I laugh as if they’re the funniest jokes in the world. It’s all fun and games. I’m nearing the end of a joke when someone enters. I quickly alter the joke to the clean version (just as potent a punch line, just not blue) while looking at the new guy and nod.

Everyone knows that look. It’s the ‘I’ll be with you soon’ look. It’s a look we’ve all experienced and because, as a society, we’ve agreed to accept it, wait patently for our turn.

I finish the joke, the first guy laughs and exits. The new guy, a guy I’ve never seen before, has waited a whopping total of thirteen seconds. Way below the ‘Ill be with you soon’ look time allotment.

I begin to give him the time honored opening when I get a whiff of his cologne. It said all I needed to know about him. I think the name of it is “Unctuous’ by Theirry Smugly. 

Before I’m done with my short greeting he begins talking. I don’t say interrupt because I’m sure it’s his normal method of communication. He doesn’t strike me as a listener.

“Is there a manager I can speak with?”

“That would be me.” Not the answer he wanted. He looked at me with as much disdain as you would while picking a dead raccoon out of your car grill. My only thought is, ‘Damn, that’s a lot of disdain from someone who doesn’t even know me.’ It usually takes days, sometimes weeks, for people to build up to that level about me.

“Then there must be an owner.” I know before I say it my answer, which is the one hundred percent correct answer, will not make him happy.

“Why yes, there is.”

Then I stand there.

It doesn’t take him long to rile up all over again. It’s written all over his face. He believes dealing with me is the most difficult thing he’s been forced to do all day.

And the day is still very fucking early.

He palm plants both hands on the counter making a slapping thud. Hey folks! Want some advice from your kindly customer service guy? Don’t ever do that. The moment you do that, or it’s sister move, flicking down your credit card you’ve been branded an enemy of the state and will be dealt with summarily.

Also, while I’m laying down some knowledge to you ingrates, don’t be on the telephone when you have to do a transaction with someone else. If I’m not important enough for you to stop your important conversation (which, in my experience, consists of you saying, “Uh ha. Mmm. Uhngh.”) why should you be considered important to me? Lesson over let’s get back to my turning this idiot into a pile of mush, shall we?

“Then I would like to speak to him.”

“Can’t.” You see, the best way to shiver this guys timbers is to answer him slowly and never completely. He demands responses swiftly and complete. Yeah, well, I want his balls to catch fire so neither of us is going to get what we want.

“Are you saying you will not let me speak to him.”

“Nope. Said can’t. He’s not here.”

I can feel his balls recess and ass tighten. It actually caused him to stand up straight.

“When will he be here?” He’s steaming. Blood is mixing with sweat on his forehead. He’s pressing his hands so hard on the counter his knuckles are turning white.

“Monday.” I say reaching for his card. “All day.” I say reaching for mine. “His.”  I say pointing at the appropriate card. “Mine.” He slides his hand over covering the cards.

“Does he know how much you joke around with your customers?” Oh yeah, I’d forgotten he came in on the tail end of a joke.

“Yep. Matter of fact, he teaches them to me.” Have you ever seen that red drinking bird that tilts into the water then bobs back and forth? That’s what this guy was doing. And he was almost as red.

“Does he also know how unprofessional you are?” On this one he’s right. Just as he said that it dawned on me that I don’t even know why he’s here. Damn unprofessional if you ask me.

“He’s aware of the flaws in my skills.” Not for the life of this guy can he fathom the treatment he’s receiving. Shows how well he knows me.

“I’m not kidding. I’m going to call him and tell him how you treat customers.”

“You won’t be the first. But, before you give my boss a piece of your mind, what’s the reason you’re visiting us today?”

“I want to see if you’d like to advertise on our refrigerator magnet.”

“So you’re not customer?”

“But that doesn’t. . .”

“. . .stop right there, ass eyes. The truth is, until I called you ass eyes, which fits by the way, I hadn’t done a damn thing to you. I’d stood here taking whatever bullshit that dented cranium of yours spewed.” His blood has turned lava. His jaws are so clenched it looks like he has two walnuts on the side of his face. “And now you have the balls to want to sell us something?”

And this is when I did something truly unprofessional.

I laughed in his face.

Not chortle, not giggle, not snicker nor titter.

I fucking laughed. I had to grab the wall to steady myself. He was totally unprepared for this. It’s as if his entire life has been one of getting his way through force of his rudeness. I bet many times he gets his way as an act of attrition. They just give up and give in.

“Please,” I say pointing at the cards he’s now left on the counter. “Take the cards. I’ll tell my boss to be expecting your call. Make sure you don’t leave out a single detail.” I turn in the act of concluding out business leaving him with one final statement. “He’ll enjoy the laugh.”

He left.

Without the card.

Great. Now I’m going to have to tell my boss the story.

Hair Club For Gentlemen

Parody lyrics to Stairway To Heaven

There’s a man who is sad cause he’s losing his hair
So he’s joining the hair club for gentlemen
When he gets there he knows if his credit is good
With a swipe he can get what he came for
Ooh, ohh now he’s joining the hair club for gentlemen

There a sign on the wall that they want you to see
There are no guarantees at the hair club
Take a seat in a nook, with some papers to sign
Sometimes all of your cash gets depleted

Ooh, a little peach fuzz
Ooh, a little peach fuzz

It could even get wet then I heard some regret
Many voices were crying for refunds
He was ready for that he said, ‘Oh look at these.’
But the voices were out there still calling

Ooh, a little peach fuzz
Ooh, a little tuft of peach fuzz

But he said that today, if I sign up by noon
Then he’d cut the price by twenty percent
Then my new hair will grow so lusciously long
Then the ladies will run so fast after

Ohh, ohh, ohh, ohh, ohh

If there’s a problem with your hair growth, don’t be alarmed now
It’s just some male pattern baldness
Yes, we can fix it it’ll take time, but in the long run
There’ll be hair that you can grow so long
So much more than peach fuzz

Grow, grow, grow, grow

My hair is growing and it won’t go, in case you’re worried
The hair clubs calling you to join him
Dear lady did you think we’d would forget you? Well that’s oh no
Your hair club waits on the mezzanine

But as it grows a little long
Excitement flew right from my soul
There was a baldy over there
Who wore white caps so not to show
Now everything has turned to gold
And if you pull it very hard
The hair won’t come out of my head
The hair is growing I’m not bald
To be a head that’s full of hair

So he’s joining the hair club for gentlemen

An irate. . .

. . .woman appears within my presence. I can tell, through years of experience but also her rather unpleasant tone, she is unhappy about something she deems within my purvey. I assess her discomfort. It is something I neither caused nor was aware of before her very forceful dressing down of me.

“I trust you understand,” she begins to tell me what I must do to remedy this situation which, if her attitude is to be believed, will take hours, if not years, of therapy to erase from her soft, play-doh mind. “You’d better fuck ‘n’ clean it up.”

“If it’s all the same to you,” I say to begin to assuage her fragile psyche. “I’d rather just clean it up.”

As much as I honestly try, good people, I rarely seem to help the situation.