Monthly Archives: May 2017

Go Sports Go

I’m a sports fan. I’ve played most of the sports I watch. I watch curling unironically. I’ve even watched golf if I’m in a place that that has it on and I’m not in control of my own demise. Having played sports, one at a professional level, I have a sort of Zen attitude when viewing them. The stunts these men and women pull off (okay, I mostly watch men’s sports. Except beach volleyball. I never watch men play that) are amazing feats. Take it from someone who’s hurt himself trying them, it’s tough.

Which is why I hate being around other human beings when I’m watching sports. People ruin everything. Case in point, the other night we’re out watching a game (yeah, I know but it wasn’t my choice). It was game seven of a playoff game. Now I know some of you may not know that game seven is a big deal. But you can trust me when I say it is. For one of those teams their season is over and they get to start their vacation. Which doesn’t sound like a bad reason to throw the game but don’t be silly. These guys are professionals with professional pride that keeps them professionally battling until the final piss poor call by a referee ends their broken season. Then they get into their private jets and fly off to a secluded island inhabited only by supermodels.

Except for two thirds of the team who are making the league minimum which allows them a comfortable living but which means they can’t afford security details and lawyers to keep everyone who thinks they helped them on the way up so should get a piece of the pie away. Those are the guys you hear about getting shot during the off-season.

But it’s game seven. Someone is going home. I wish it was me. But it’s not. The bar is just beginning to fill up and the first sign is upon me. There is a couple across from me. The woman hasn’t shut up since we arrived. Now I don’t care if people speak. I only care if people speak and I can hear them. Especially across a large piece of real estate. All that means to me is they’re speaking too loudly. One of the main reasons I’m not a fan of this is, in my life, I’ve never run into a loud person who has anything worthwhile to say.

The game is minutes from starting and I hear a chilling statement from Mrs. Loud,

“I don’t even like basketball.”

Chilling. Absolutely chilling.

You may not think so but it’s because you don’t have the experience I have. When she said “I don’t even like basketball.” What she’s actually saying is, “I’m going to talk through this entire game screaming things like, “Shoot!” and “Foul!” And “Icing!” the moment a player touches the ball. And my husband won’t stop me because he hasn’t listened to me in thirteen years which is why I scream toward strangers in a cry for help.”

Or she’s just an attention seeking asshole. Take your pick.

So, before tip off (or as she may term it, kickoff) I know I’ve got that spinning around my ear hole. And then there is a man next to me. How can I explain him? With words, obviously, so that’s what I’ll use.

He has on blinding white kicks, right out of the box (later he took one off to let me take a gander of it. And I wish I was using my licensed comedic take on that), purchased today because it’s what his favorite player is wearing tonight and he thinks it’ll bring them luck.

His pants have the name of it’s designer up the side of his legs. Nothing says class like some other man’s name up your entire pant leg. And he has on a two sizes too small white t-shirt that not only shows off his pecs but also the gut they’re resting on. And a giant white G-Shock watch that he kept shaking and holding up to catch attention. He had to be wearing it for that purpose because he never once looked at it for the time.

From the opening tip-off I know what guy he’s going to be. He’s going to be the,

“There ya go.” guy.

Every dribble, every pass, hell, every movement is going to come with the phrase, “There ya go.” not once but twice every time his chosen team touches the ball. I know that may sound like I’m being negative but that’s because you’re very judgmental. Let me explain it this way, invite me to your job, let me sit next to you, and every time you move let me say, “There ya go. There ya go.”

I bet you’ll stab me in the eye with a pencil before you take your first sip of coffee.

I also know that “There ya go.” guy is going to work hard to get my attention. He’s going to say,

“There ya go. There ya go. Man, they were ripped off on that possession. You’d think the refs were doing it on purpose so the superstars could get to their private plane that’ll whisk them off to secluded supermodel island before midnight.” Or some other obvious conspiracy theory.

I get through the first quarter with the non-fan across the bar screaming versions of,

“First down!” and “Ace!” and “The stone’s is in the house!” pretty much every time there’s a basketball on the court.

And to my right,

“There ya go. There ya go. If they play tough D and get some offense going they can pull this one out.”

Yeah, and if it’s sunny tomorrow it might not rain.

I know there’s nothing I can do about the sports fan across the bar. But there’s a possibility I can get ‘There ya go.” guy to stop attempting to capture my attention. The thing is telling him to shut the fuck up isn’t an option. That’s too subtle. So I come up with something that will be offensive to some people but, trust me, if you were in my position you’d search your brain for something to escape the constant barrage of inanities pounding into your head.

I turn to him, do fake sign language to get his attention, take out my notepad, write something on it and show it to him. What I wrote was,

“I’m Deaf.”

Sure, I know, me, horrible person, you wonderful person who’s never in their life lied or cheated or finagled themselves out of a situation. Yeah, I know, I caught your first stone.

You know what? I don’t care about your poor opinion of me. And do you know why? Because it worked. He not only stopped trying to engage me he stopped being Mr. “There ya go.”

Which sort of sucked because, without the constant chatter, we may have had some things to talk about.

Adult Adolescent

I was sitting with a group of people who were talking about things I don’t care about. Themselves, golf, boats, did I mention themselves?

Don’t get me wrong, I like to be on boats, how can you not? The beer, the fishing, the body dumping once you get into international waters. But, like most things, doing it is much more fun than listening to people talk about it.

Especially when that person is a newly retired douche nozzle (much grosser than a douche bag) and he’s just purchased said vessel.

“I can finally fulfill all the dreams I put on hold while I worked all the time. Oh yeah, and raise my family.” His wife gives him the look that says,

“Oh, you raised the family and you worked all the time? If I remember correctly, you were too busy ‘working’ with your mistresses to have time. . .”

He saw that look and, wanting to get on his with story, made a slight adjustment in his tale.

“Of course, my wife did most of the work with the family. I was just a steady hand on the tiller. Speaking of tiller. . .” He deftly steers the subject away from the mine field.

He’s gushing in newly learned marine terms that he barely comprehends. But he’s proud as punch to be using them. And I’m pretty much over listening to them. I zone out as the conversation buzzes around me. Some people are paying attention to him most likely in hopes of going out on the boat this summer.

I don’t have to because that doesn’t interest me. Oh, I know he’ll get all certified and everything but I have my doubts his gigantic ego will feel the rules of the sea won’t pertain to him. After all he is the captain.

I pretty much stayed out of the conversation and deftly missed most of his bloviating but then I heard two words that caught my attention. It was during the discussion of what he is going to name this fine water vehicle.

Let me describe this grown man to you. He looks as if he’s stepped off a 1970’s Haggar Slacks ad. The hair, the style, the louder than necessary voice and color combination. Basically, he got a look during his first job at the law firm and firmly stuck to it.

I was just an innocent bystander when this started. I didn’t know any of them. I was sitting there minding my own business when they included me in their conversation because he needed just a few more people to make his ego self-stroking even more of an event.

These are all late 60-early 70 year old men. Men with pasts, a lifetime of motion, a base of knowledge gathered throughout time. And what phrase was being bandied about in the guise of the name of a boat has them howling with glee?

“I’m going to call it Wet Dream.”

Now I don’t know about you but, I don’t want to think of a gaggle of 70 years olds having wet dreams much less riding in one. But one and all (excluding the two wives present who are shaking their at the pre-juvenile hi-jinks they’ve been putting up with for decades from these scalawags) find great humor in the name of the boat being Wet Dream.

Oh, I get the humor, it’s wet and it’s always been a dream but it’s also a naughty double entendre! What scamps! But the idea that a grown ass man who can afford a brand new boat (and all that entails) would consider that simplistic comedic gesture not only funny but of serious consideration to be painted on the back of a boat has me fearing for nurses and other health care workers when he tumbles out of his boat one evening and breaks a hip on the dock.

My girlfriend is listening to this and also does not find it as amusing as all these AARP members.

“If we’re ever on a dock and see a boat with that name we’re walking the other way because I don’t want to see what crawls out of there.” I tell my girlfriend.

She’s in agreement and is about to say something with the newly christened boat owner asks me my opinion of the boats name. I look at all these smiling faces and said,

“You’re going to make one sixteen year old happy when he finds it at the salvage yard after you crash into a dock on your maiden voyage.”

Check out my TV show!

Of course, I did have many stipulations going in. I couldn’t be controversial, profane, insulting, intimidating, too risky, no innuendo, obviously no sex or violence, bad language was strictly prohibited and my humor couldn’t be too out there.

Basically, they wanted show with Chris Zell without the burden of dealing with Chris Zell.

Even though they had final edit I thought it would be fun so did it anyway. So, here’s what they came up with from the hundreds of hours of video I shot.


Rejected greeting cards

I’ve written for greeting card companies for years. It’s a tough racket and the sale/submission rate is mighty low. Sometimes I’ll have written something I think is a sure sale but other times I know I’ve written some stinkers. Here are some of those rejected greeting cards:

It’s your birthday!
Too bad no one cares.

I know our love is forbidden.
But court systems aren’t always right.

Thanks for the kindness you showed us.
By moving out of the apartment.
Your ex-roommates.

I know I can’t wait for your retirement!
It’ll be nice not having to do your job and mine.

Happy Birthday!
Mom made me buy this or she wouldn’t let me out of my room.

It’s spring!
So clean up your yard.
From the entire neighborhood.

Rose are red, violets are blue. . .
. . .you better hope we don’t meet ’cause I’ll punch you.

Good luck in your new home!
You’ll find your stuff in the garage.

I love watching you!
So could you go back to your old curtains?

Happy Graduation!
This is a reminder your first student loan payment is due.

Cat Wrangling

We take our cat with us whenever we go away for the weekend. My girlfriend likes to have him around. That makes sense. It’s probably the reason we got him in the first place.

He, on the other hand, is not a fan of how we make this transaction happen. He does not, in any way, shape or form, likes to be captured and boxed up. And that can often make it a battle between he and I. I always do the wrangling because, as I told her,

“Let’s have him only hate one of us.”

I’ve chased him down hallways, had to squeeze myself between a washing machine and a wall, spent countless hours looking for him (and being a feral that little bastard can hide. One time he did it so well we had to cancel the trip because we couldn’t find him), reached under every bed available, you name it and I’ve had to corral him there.

One morning he sensed something was up and was running around the entire house until he decided on the place he figured I couldn’t get him. That place was the top of the refrigerator. Now until you’ve seen a cat jump on a counter then leap onto the top of a refrigerator you really can’t say,

“Holy shit that was amazing.”

As much respect I had for his mad skills I still had the issue of getting him. There was another issue that was pointed out to me.

“Don’t let him knock over the expensive cookie jar.”

Up until that moment I didn’t know there was such a thing as an ‘expensive cookie jar’. So I had to figure out how to get the cat down and also not be blamed because it’s totally my fault if the cat bumps into and breaks the ‘expensive cookie jar’.

I thought about my predicament for a moment before coming up with a solution.

“Get down from there.” I barked.

And damn if it didn’t work. Surprised the hell out of me, let me tell you. I can’t get humans to do things I say.

And the battle continues. Sometimes I try to sneak up on him but that doesn’t often work. By now he’s leery of me on a full time basis. So basically it’s me running after him trying to corner him under a table or behind something.

Last week it was time to get him. He’d not been too concerned with our movements so I could keep an eye on him. Slowly I started to move toward him and he looked up, blinked into consciousness and jumped down from the couch. He ran through the living room into the dining room into the kitchen with me following.

Every time I pass a door I close it. I’m creating a maze to attempt to limit his locations. I walk into the kitchen, he’s standing in the middle of the floor, he looks at me then runs toward me just out of my reach heading under the dining room table.

I look through the door and see him. He sees me through the thickets of chair legs. I take a step back. I begin to form my plan of action. Yes, I spend my days trying to outwit a cat. Sometimes this entire adventure is like throwing snowballs at the sun.

I know, because it’s where he last saw me, he’ll be paying close attention to the kitchen door. So, stepping as quietly as possible, I go the other way. I sneak through the hall way and peek around, he’s still silently staring at the kitchen door. This is good for me.

I begin to creep through the living room, trying to stay out of his peripheral vision and I don’t even know if cats have peripheral vision (I just looked it up by typing in do cats have. . .and the first thing that came up on the search list was ‘periods’. Ah, why? But I ventured forth and found out that cats do indeed have peripheral There, now I don’t feel so bad about sneaking around).

He’s still staring straight at the kitchen door waiting for the moment when I step out to pounce on him. I slowly, quietly approach him hoping when I bend down to grab him my knees don’t creak. I reach toward him, he’s still awaiting my frontal attack as I grab him from behind with two hands.

At this exact moment three things occurred:

  1. he jumped, startled
  2. he made a sound like a 1920’s movie gangster, “Gaah, coppers, you’ll never take me alive.”
  3. he shit

So, yes, I literally scared the shit out of my cat.