Monthly Archives: May 2017

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.