Friday, June 26, 2009

My Brother's Phone

My brother's a stand-up guy. If he says something, he means it, if he commits to something, he does it. he's honest, thoughtful, considerate, deeply spiritual. You know, all the qualities you or I would have if we had the energy or inclination. Once he stopped a table full of ruffians in a Snohomish Washington bar from relieving me of my box of Sherman cigarettes. Just by grabbing one of the guys by the arm, looking him in the eye and saying "no". My response would've been more along the lines of asking them if they needed a light. He also walked into Manhattan from Brooklyn on 9/11, somehow found his wife and daughter and walked them back home. Like I said, a guy you can count on.
In most respects. Let's just say he's technologically "challenged". The 21st century doesn't quite fit. I get the impression he'd be perfectly content to live out his life in a moss covered hut on the coast of Ireland, writing, painting and reading Joyce until his eyes bled. No cardigan is too ugly (or fuzzy), no natural fabric is too itchy (or ugly), imagine a sartorial cross between Mr. Rogers and Grizzly Adams and you get the idea. My brother will send my kids a tofu sculpting kit in lieu of the copy of Call of Duty III that I suggested. He sends me freakin' letters, for Christ sake. He approaches the computer like it's going to burst into flames at any second. He borrows my niece's laptop and she stands behing him rolling her eyes so hard I'm afraid she's going to need corrective lenses.
Our dad has ended up in the hospital for a few days so I tried to contact my brother on his cell to give him daily updates:
ring ring ring ring ring ring...the Alltel customer you are trying to reach is unavailable, please try again later. (click).
WTF? Did you know you can get a cell phone plan without voicemail? I didn't. When I finally get ahold of him I suggest that he pay the extra 50 cents a month and get voice mail. This I think irritates him but the connection is so bad I can barely hear him. Somewhere in the static he keeps telling me there is nothing wrong with his phone. I suggest texting. No go. I suggest pulling out the antenna and hooking up the knapsack battery pack to a car battery. This irritates him further and he repeats that his Verizon service is just fine. Then it disconnects. I call back and get the Alltel message. Maybe that's the problem. My his phone doesn't know who it belongs to. We need to straighten this out. I'll send him a letter.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Heeere's Jesus!

Looks like Death knocked on Ed's door to deliver his prize for winning the Eternity Clearing House Sweepstakes. Too bad. All the late night heroes from my boyhood are fading away. Johnny, Sammy, Joey, Mike, Merv, Frank, Buddy, Milton, Sid, David (oops, still kicking)... all gone. Makes one stop, reflect on his own mortality and realize just how precious our fleeting time in this life is...Ok, enough of that, I think SpongeBob's on.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Peace Latte

Vacation in Rehoboth Beach over. Finally an end to all the crying and whining and complaining. And that was just me. Since we stay about a mile south, I like to walk up the beach to the boardwalk. Usually by myself and sometimes with one or two of the grandkids (we had three with us this time, ranging in ages from 2 to 8). It's nice. The only sounds the murmur of the sea and the voices in my head. I get to the boardwalk, meet up with the family (damn cell phones), and am informed in no uncertain terms that "we" are hungry. So here's my thinking: there are two adults, three very young kids and me. I suggest Victoria's first, a pretty classy sit down restaurant as I know she'll turn that down for logistical and financial reasons. That leaves me an excuse in case any of my much more reasonable (and cheaper) fast food places goes south. I lead everyone to 5 Guys burgers, voted #1 in something or other poll from somewhere or other. How bad can this be? Well, pretty bad, as it turns out. Imagine being trapped inside a tanning booth with a thrash metal band and a hairlipped auctioneer with a megaphone and you get an idea of the ambiance. Between "songs" and all the furniture being thrown around (tables too close together) I was informed that my significant other has not eaten red meat in a year. Now how the hell was I supposed to know that? In Five Guys defense, my burger was pretty good. Thankfully the music was blaring when she opened up her wrapper and gazed down at the sodden mass of grease and bread that was her grilled cheese. I could see lips moving, something about eating a bucket of Crisco, but there was no escaping that look. So I swore to God that something like this will never, ever happen again and ran across the street to Whole Lotta Latte and got her a quad. That helped. At least the hole I dug didn't get any deeper.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Gasper the Friendly Ghost

Maybe this is too soon and I have wrestled with my conscience a bit in deciding to post this but I can't let one of life's little absurdities, even the tragic ones, pass unnoticed. I would hope that if I were found dead in a hotel closet, with a rope around my neck and my pecker in my hand, someone would take the time to write a few words about me. It would be immortality of a sort and I can think of more embarrassing things that you may actually live through, like this. Besides, who knew whacking off could be so deadly?
Since I go home at lunch and have broadband access I have been tasked with the job of researching this particular behavior. Any novel masturbatory techiques invoke great interest at our company, particularly in the Drafting and Engineering department. I hope any information I share doesn't spawn a series of copy cat incidents that end up decimating the technical wing of our company. I could lose my job. Or at the very least get a stern talking to.
According to the Thai police report, David Carradine was found dead in the closet of his hotel room, with ropes around his neck, wrist and genitals. The mechanics of this tragic mishap are what fascinates me. Now the rope around the neck I can understand - that's the whole point. The rope around the wrist is more problematic. I figure he tossed the rope over the clothes bar in the closet, tied the other end to his wrist, assuming that as he lost conciousness during the act, his arm would relax and the rope would loosen around his throat and he would revive. Now I would think that to be safe you would hold the rope in one hand and as you passed out it would release, increase the odds of a non-fatal outcome for this particular bit of self gratification. Of course, it is possible that the wrist rope was also tied to the genitals. But you would need a free hand somewhere so it could have been one rope linking wrist, neck and genitals in an intricate series of pulleys, cables and sliding knots. That's some Kung Fu shit there. The whole genital rope thing bothered me, too and I'm kind of sorry I even looked into it. It may have had something to do with prolonging or preventing an erection. Take your pick. Somewhere between 250 and 1000 people in the US, mostly male, die from auto erotic asphyxiation every year. I knew one, and, take it from me, you don't want to be remembered as the guy they found hanging from a doorknob with his pants around his ankles. Then again, you may not care, but that's a subject for another post. So boys (and the occasional girl), unless you were an Eagle scout or a sailor, and have mad knot tying skills, better make this particular activity a team sport.

Shout out to the asshole at work who came up with the title. I liked "Hung Fu" but I'm sure it's been used. I said you wouldn't get any credit. And you won't