The Sea was angry that day my friends – My Costanza moment finally arrived!!!

Sea was angry

 

I normally try not to drag my wife into my crazy stories on here, but this time I just couldn’t resist! We went away to celebrate her birthday without the kids for the very first time since they were born and it had the makings of a fantastic getaway; that is until the universe pulled out an ironic twist of fate to remind me that “I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots!”

 

 

 

Let’s be honest – this has been the worst winter in a long time, and she’d been so looking forward to getting away to the beach, that I was afraid she might make a run for it and swim out to join Ariel the second she saw it. As we parked and walked through the sand, there was no one around. When I say there was no one around, I mean it was deserted. Obviously, early April isn’t beach weather, but it was finally a really nice day after a long crappy streak of dismal days and wasn’t too cold to be down by the water, so we were surprised to find it empty. As it turned out and we’d later discover, there was a small group of other people, but I’ll circle back to them in a minute.

 

 

 

My wife LOVES the beach and was so excited to see the ocean, so as soon as we arrived we went straight there. She’s part mermaid and was born and raised on the ocean, whereas I’ve been hiding in the shade my whole life like a vampire. The beach isn’t something I particularly care for (come on, you’re literally sitting in dirt!), but since it was her birthday and my wife stays home, raising our kids and working one hundred times harder than I ever do at my job, I was determined not to spoil it for her. Little did I know what we were in for…?

 

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As we walked down through the sand, I could see the sheer joy on my wife’s face and her big smile was so contagious that I just looked at her sheer happiness and thought “what could be better than this?” Then I stopped and squinted – trying to make sense of the sight in front of us. I was squinting and confused, until I realized and gasped – because I thought I was hallucinating: “What…the Fuck…is that?” I shouted and she stopped dead in her tracks.

 

 

 

I couldn’t tell if it was a tree trunk washed ashore until I saw it moving, but right there sprawled out before us was not the Kissed by a Rose dude that snubbed me a few months ago, but an actual living, breathing, seal! We thought he might be out there sunning himself at first, but from the noises and restricted movements it was making, we could tell it was in pain. We were shocked to see it, but even more shocked to see the group of Mennonite women playing ball next to it as if it were part of the game. Forgive me for not staying current on all the games these kids are playing now, but common sense should take over and tell you not to put your slam ball or you corn hole that close to a dying seal! It was like they were waiting for him to tap in and play.

 

 

 

I couldn’t tell for certain if they were Amish or Mennonites or the cast of The Handmaid’s Tale out there in that garb, but what I could tell is that they were definitely idiots. We were like “did you guys call the police?” and they were like “for what?” It was almost like a hidden camera how because there’s no way they didn’t notice it… it was right then that I knew that I’d have to be the Marine Biologist on the shore that day! My whole life had been working towards this moment and I was determined to fulfill my Costanza destiny and save that seal! I rolled up my sleeves and went marching over to lend a hand when I heard the voice of wisdom from above: “Do not touch that seal!”

 

 

 

It actually wasn’t divine intervention, but my wife reminding me not to get too close to an animal in pain. I was convinced he just needed to get back into the water and she looked at me like I was crazy and said “What do you think there’s an underwater emergency room down there? Do they have seal band aids and nurses to take care of him? It obviously needs medical attention – Leave it alone!” She’s seen one episode of National Geographic and all of a sudden she’s an expert…but in all seriousness, it would be very cool if they had seal band aids with either the animal on them or the Kissed By a Rose singer!

 

 

 

We agreed to disagree as I was convinced that all that poor seal needed was just a push to get it rolling back into the water, but quickly reminded myself that this is exactly what happened to Buster Bluth on Arrested Development when the seal bit off his hand. (Also, not the Kissed by a Rose singer, but an actual live seal). Not wanting a hook for a hand since it limits my Halloween costume choices, I looked around for a branch or piece of wood to gently press under him to start rolling him into the water when the Po Po arrived.

 

 

 

From one professional offering courtesy to another professional, I went over to update the officer and explain my strategy for assisting the seal when he stopped me mid-sentence and said “Do Not touch that seal – do you understand what I’m saying?” Obviously, he was very sensitive about who was actually in charge of the situation, but I didn’t want to start a fight so I deferred and let him have this one. Also, that was a big seal and I knew I wasn’t strong enough to roll his fat ass back into the water alone and no one was looking to assist me! My favorite part was how he was looking at me like I was the crazy one, yet the cult ten feet away still hadn’t stopped their game to pay any mind to him or the seal. It was as if there were Vegas odds and they stood to make a fortune the way they were so wrapped up in that game.

 

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Two experts conferring on the scene…

 

 

He called animal control to pick up the seal and I left feeling satisfied that my job here was done. I actually did a double take and started looking around for the cameras because I was absolutely convinced we had just stumbled onto the set of the next season of Arrested Development. My wife, on the other hand, said she’d been to the beach thousands of times in her life and here I come rolling into the sand and it’s a shit show. After that, I just kept repeating “The sea was angry that day my friends…”and we did have a really nice weekend despite the seal and the cult members. Sometimes all you need is to seal the deal early and you’ll have a nice time after that.

 

 

 

It’s kind of ironic that this happened and my Facebook profile is actually this meme I put up back in December for my sister’s birthday:

 

Facebook

 

 

Tony Baloney – Why you no fat no more?

 

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I’ve told you about how great it is to be a regular and how nice it is to have people remembering you, but sometimes that’s not the case at all.  

 

 

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There was a little bodega run by a Chinese family across from work that I used to hit up every morning on my way into the office. Being OCD and a creature of habit, I used get my healthy breakfast of two Diet Pepsi’s and an individually wrapped chocolate chip muffin every day before work. This was before I started running, before I was eating healthier, and way before I lost sixty pounds. Yes, that is a lot of weight and yes, I realize I was a fat ass…thanks for reminding me.

 

 no more mr fat guy

 

As part of my morning routine, I’d get off the train, hit the convenience store and then head to work. Every day it would feel like forever waiting on that damn line in the store, but it was right across the street and you kinda get used to it after a while. When I say it was a long line, I mean like twenty people on the line long winding throughout the store. Picture a conga line doing the mannequin challenge.

 

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Fast forward to the new and improved, skinny me getting bottled water and a protein bar! As I was almost at the register for my turn to pay, I made the amateur mistake of turning my head to check out the candy display and see if I should tempt myself with some delectable Swedish Fish (the only seafood that I eat). Before I knew it, the cashier was screaming out “Next. Next. Next customer. Nex…WHOA!!! WHY YOU NO FAT NO MORE!!!!!!” A hush came over the store as everyone looked to see who she was talking about. Of course I turned away from the candy and momentarily though about dropping my water and protein bar to sprint out the front door, but she waved me over to her and shouted “COME ON!” I was terrified that she’d start screaming even louder or I would have let someone else go ahead of me while she continued on just as loud. “I can’t believe you no fat no more! What happened? You so different?” she exclaimed as loudly as she possibly could. I threw money at her to try and distract her and get her to shut up but it was to no avail. I tried my best to pretend like I didn’t hear her shouting and just smiled without looking back at the line of tittering patrons waiting their turn behind me wondering just how fat I actually was since I didn’t look all that good now…A normal person would never go back into a store after that, but did I mention that it was directly across the street? I don’t care if she started shouting “Run Fat Boy Run” while throwing Ring Dings at me – the OCD wasn’t letting me break my routine for anything…

 

 Bologna 2

 

Flash forward a few months later to a very stressful, meeting-filled day, and I was in dire need of some comfort food. When life beats me down, food always makes it better so I headed over to the bodega. I know you’re thinking that’s not a healthy response to stress and that’s exactly how eating disorders start, but nobody likes a know it all! As I was searching the displays for something tasty to make everything all better, I decided that we were at defcon three and hit the deli counter for the only remedy: Bologna and cheese! It’s not something that I eat often, but it reminds me of when I was a little kid and always cheers me up. It also reminds me of a day when my sister Marlene ate almost two pounds of bologna forcing my poor little cousin to go to Sailing camp with nothing to eat for lunch. Just like Brooke Shields in the 80’s, she wasn’t one to let anything stand between her and her Boar’s Head. When questioned about her excessive Bologna intake, she defensively sneered “If you can’t feed me send me home!” Some people have happy Disney memories of their childhood, I have random Bologna fantasies: Tomato/Tomah-to.  

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If she knew that my sister could eat like she had two assholes, Mother Theresa might rethink this quote…

 

 

 

So, I head over to the Deli counter and asked for bologna and cheese on a roll with a tiny bit of mayonnaise. I like my sandwich to be dry and by that I mean so dry that you’ll actually start to cough. I really don’t like mayo, but a little drop here and there is OK. How is it that no one in the entire service industry is able to comprehend what the word “little” means when ordering food? I usually don’t even bother ordering mayo because people never listen and you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. Ask for a little ice and the cup is full; ask for a “little” dressing on your salad and you’ll be calling in the Coast Guard because the lettuce starts to look like little boats drowning in the ocean.

 

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My friend Max was with me and mocking me as I ordered. He isn’t what you’d normally consider funny, but proceeded to ask the counter attendants if they also thought it was as ridiculous as he did that my name was Tony and I was ordering bologna. All of a sudden three guys that don’t understand 95% of the language were hysterical laughing and saying it back to each other “Tony Baloney” while pointing at me. I find it so interesting that in the English language there are so many vital and beautiful words or phrases that one can learn, but the takeaway here was “Tony Baloney!” Now a normal person would have maintained some level of dignity and got the hell out of that bodega, but I really wanted that sandwich and they were right across the street…     

 

Tony Baloney 1

 

 

In hindsight, maybe heading to the place where random cashiers shout about how fat I am isn’t the best place to make me feel better on a stressful day. No one said I was a quick learner, but I got the message now!

 

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