One of my many Ah-Shit Moments (Literally!) – Part One

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Whenever people tell me “You know what made me think of you the other day…” I always interrupt them because I know where it’s going. I say “I bet you were in the bathroom or it has to do with poop, right?” and you know what, it almost always (like 99.99% of the time) is one of those two scenarios.  Some people might think that’s weird, but I take it as a huge compliment. In the same way that Oprah taught us to understand and share our Aha! moments – I want to give the world a forum for their “Ah-Shit” moments. I’ll start with one of mine.

I’m sure that if you were brave enough to delve deep through the cavernous pile of nonsense in my noggin – this incident might have been one of the driving forces of my Imodium AD addiction.  As I’ve mentioned before, when I was in Elementary School I used to incite the girls that I liked so that they’d chase me around and then beat me up when they caught me. There was a girl in second grade named Jennifer who could run faster than any of the other girls (and most of the boys) in our class. When she eventually caught up to me – and she always did – she would tackle me, take hold of my hand and ankle and then swing me around so fast like a carnival ride…Granted, she would eventually let me go and I’d usually go flying face-first into a chain link fence or a brick wall, but she did hold my hand for those few brief moments…She was crazy but I never minded being the Tina to her Ike.

One day, after a particularly rowdy dose of ass-kicking, Mrs. D (the aide on the playground that afternoon) called me over and made me stand against the Gym wall as punishment for letting the girls beat me up again. “It’s OK though, I like it” I tried to explain to her, but apparently that was the wrong thing to say. Far be it from me to argue, but isn’t it odd to punish the victim? Wasn’t I the one who was tossed into the air like a Frisbee? I wasn’t one to question authority back then so I went and took my place of shame against the dreaded wall. I tried to ask how long I had to stand there, but it was no use – I was shut down with every syllable.
As I stood there thinking about my next flight into orbit courtesy of Jennifer’s private airline, I started to get really bad stomach pains. As an adult, I know those pains oh so well and recognize the significance of them, but as a young lad – I couldn’t begin to understand the tell-tale warning alarms that were going off right then.  It was a Quick-Hitter and time was of the essence.

“Mrs. D, I don’t feel so well…” I muttered. “Don’t pretend to be sick – you’re staying against that wall!” she said as she walked away tooting her whistle at another kid acting up.

My stomach was making some crazy noises and gurgling something fierce and I just knew something was wrong; it was like a wave of warmth came over my body and it just didn’t feel right. It subsided for a second and I thought that I might be OK when I realized (a little too late) that I need to get off that playground and head into higher ground (i.e. get to a bathroom). I took a few gentle steps in the direction of the gym door but after the first step I realized it was a big mistake to rock the applecart. I tried to quicken my pace, but after about five steps, I had to grab onto the wall to steady myself because there was an explosion. It felt like a bullet had pierced my stomach because there was intense pain and then it was as if a flash of lightning shot right through my body. “Oh God” I cried out and braced for impact.

Clenching was futile as this was a force that was just too powerful for my nine year old buttocks – it was like a tornado tearing through a fence. This may sound strange, but as soon as the warmth shot through me (along with everything that I had eaten for lunch) there was a moment of relief that the pain had stopped. Granted, it was a quick moment immediately followed by the realization that I was on a playground full of people covered in shit.

I made a full-on sprint towards the door as fast as I could, but I’m not sure if you realize how difficult it actually is to try and run with a full pair of tightie whities immediately after a gastric explosion. By the time I got to the door, I was covered head to toe and there was shit everywhere. It was running up my body, down my legs, across my back (because my shirt had been tucked in) and falling out my pant legs. I was leaving a trail that Hansel and Gretel couldn’t miss, but I just couldn’t stop running.

I headed straight in the door and right towards the one place that always offered me solace: the nurse’s office. As I was running, I was hoping upon everything holy that there wasn’t a line of kids for lice checks in there. By the time I made it to Ms. O’Donnell’s office I thanked God that it was empty. She took one look at me, jumped up from her desk, and sprung into action. I tried to say “You’re not going to believe what happened to me” but before I could even get half the words out of my mouth, she was at my side. In hindsight, I’m not sure that really I needed to explain it to her as it was fairly obvious what had occurred. It might have been the stench I was trailing through the hallway or the fact that I actually looked like I had been dipped in something, but she could tell immediately what was wrong. “Let’s get you out of these clothes” she said gently as she guided me behind the curtain for privacy.

I stood there limp as she started by peeling my T-shirt off of me. It was now soaked through and stuck to me like everything else that I was wearing. She was so nice and calming, and I started to feel a tiny bit better until she tried to take my sneaker off. “Oh my God, it’s everywhere!” she gasped, as one sneaker slipped off, spilling me all over the floor and she realized that my socks were soaked through as well. She peeled my clothes off one layer at a time and immediately placed them into a giant black garbage bag on the floor next to me. I don’t know why she thought there was any chance in hell that bag was getting on the school bus with me, but she soon changed topics and asked me for the phone number to call my mother to come and bring me some new clothes to put on. I started hysterical crying and had to tell her that my mother started a new job and I didn’t know the number. She offered to call my brother out of his class to see if he knew the number, but that was the absolute last thing I wanted her to do. I was still under the deluded impression that no one would ever find out what just happened to me.

Don't drink that coffee!!!

Since we couldn’t call my mother, she said for me to sit tight and she would go look through the lost and found for something I could change into.You think it’s embarrassing when the school nurse has to wipe your ass? Imagine the embarrassment level when she has to hose you off because you’re covered head to toe with shit! And those paper towels might as well have been sandpaper because they most certainly were not Scott tissue. By this time, she had used about fifty four wet paper towels to clean me off and still hadn’t gotten all the shit removed. I stood there while she went into the back closet to find me something to wear. As if I hadn’t been through enough, I heard the office door open and someone come in. All of a sudden, the curtain swung open and there was Mary, a girl that lived up the street from me, staring with an equal mix of curiosity and disgust in her beady little eyes.

I tried to cover myself as best I could, but it was no use; there was shit all over my body, the room smelled like a cesspool, and my soiled clothes were in a heap on the floor next to me – who was I trying to fool?  All I could do was cry while the nurse shuffled her out of the office and locked the door. As she was escorted out, I could hear Mary asking “Oh My God! What did he eat? Oh My God – Is he OK?” (Years later I actually went to one of my proms with Mary, and I wore a white tuxedo. Believe it or not, I sat down on the seat in the limo directly onto a peppermint patty she had dropped and the chocolate got all over the back of my pants. What are the odds that I would soil the seat of my pants twice in front of the same girl? That must be a record of some sorts!)

I would like to tell you that the story ends there, that Mary was the only one who ever found out about what happened to me, and that I eventually lived that horror down – but it didn’t end there. When the nurse came back from the closet she laid out the clothes for me to put on and I started hysterically crying again. It was a pair of red and white checkered girl’s pants, a tight green V- neck tee shirt with a butterfly on it (also a girls) and a pair of girl’s white sneakers that were a half size too small on me. I had no other choice since I couldn’t call my mother to bring me something to change into and there was nothing else in the lost and found. I was content to wait in her office until the bus came at the end of the day, but she wasn’t having it. I looked at myself in the mirror and the pants ended up being too short for me. The pants legs stopped mid calf and capri pants might be “in” now, but back then a little boy in short pants tended to stand out from the crowd. If the butterfly wasn’t so prominent on the green shirt, it might not have been as obvious that it was a girl’s shirt.

As I went back to class people were asking me where I had been and why I changed. I tried to play dumb, but one girl recognized the shirt and told me she had a very similar shirt and I wanted to tell her that since it was in the lost and found it might actually be her shirt, but I was afraid she would try and take it from me. The only other shirt left in lost and found after this one was pink, so I kept quiet. It’s actually very hard to keep quiet and pretend nothing is up when twenty kids are making fun of you and asking why you’re now wearing girl’s clothing, but I did. Needless to say I was devastated and was out of school for over a week because I got myself so worked up from what had happened I just couldn’t go. It’s funny to think of it now, but that was the longest day of my life and has most definitely played into my neurosis and obsession with Imodium, cleanliness, and butterflies.

The Legend of Weeva the Diva

Get Well Soon Weeva!

My friend Weeva is recuperating from surgery, so I thought that I’d tell you a little about her so you can send lots of Imodium love her way. As a note to my other friends: Don’t go and get hospitalized so I’ll write about you too! This is a one-time only,  isolated occurrence!

Weeva and I used to work together and we always had a blast. She’s twice as old as me but three times as crazy as and ten times more fun than almost anyone else I have ever worked with. The rearview mirror in her car is about three inches shorter than the Hubble Telescope but can see just as far. She has been known to rock a neck brace for no apparent reason, created her own hands free cell phone with duct tape on her steering wheel, and she’s a Dunkin Junkie that goes there multiple times a day for her fix.

At least she isn't texting while she drives...

When I say multiple times a day, I mean it. She lives in the building across the street and is in there more than some of the employees. She reads her morning paper there and one time a homeless guy took pity on her because he thought she was homeless too when he saw her there in a paint-splattered baseball hat and sweatpants.

If you think remembering the correct lyrics to REM’s “It’s The End of the World As We Know It” is tough – try remembering Weeva’s coffee order. She gets this humungous jug filled with half coffee, a quarter espresso, one part wolf tears, two parts parsnip, a half ounce of Columbian sugar cane, two hits of patchouli extract and a drop of kerosene. That isn’t the exact combo she orders, but it’s fairly close.

I am not a coffee drinker (need I remind you of my stomach and the reason this site is called Immodiumabuser? Me drinking coffee is like someone pulling the pin off a grenade!) so I’d get tea or Diet Pepsi. One time I went and forgot my note with her secret formula scratched on it and was about to turn around and go back when I randomly thought to ask the cashier. “On the off chance, do you know how to make the weird mixture for the crazy lady I work with…?” “You mean Weeva? Of course I know what she gets” and then she made it correctly. That was when I realized exactly how much time she spends in there.

Should be required reading for any movie lover!

Our local movie theatre was showing The Graduate and having a talk and signing with the writer Mark Harris, who was there to present his brilliant book Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of a New Hollywood after the screening. It was a great book (If you’re a movie lover – this is a must read!) about the back stories of the five Best Picture nominees from the 1968 Academy Awards (of which The Graduate was one) and we both love The Graduate, so it was a no brainer. Mid-way through the question and answer section, a look of realization comes over her and Weeva nudge me and says (A little bit too loudly) “Oh my God, these people here probably think I’m your Ms. Robinson!” Picture me crying with laughter.

I'm all for trying a new look Weeva, but this is ridiculous!

 

One day she came in with a new short do and everyone was complimenting, but I knew. The next day, her hair was three times as long and more compliments. It made me realize that I work with the most polite people in the world or the most oblivious. After Weeva walked by, I looked over and said to Christine “You know that she’s wearing a weave, right? “What makes you think that?” she replied. “Are you kidding, her hair was shorter than mine yesterday and today it’s hanging past her ass…that’s not a sign?” “Really? Are you sure?”

My favorite Weeva story happened one day while they were renovating our building. They got us pink and blue hardhats embossed with the company logo for our client appointments during the construction and no one loved their pink hardhat more than Weeva. All of the Spanish guys on the crew used to always point and giggle as she pranced around because she rocked that plastic lid like a mini Donald Trump surveying the land.

As I was sitting at my desk in my god-awful cubicle, Weeva walked up and was standing next to me as I turned around. She had on slacks and a blazer and we were chatting as Renee walked up and said “Weeva, what’s that hanging out of the back of your pants?” Weeva turned to look and there it was – half a roll of toilet paper overflowing out the back of her pants and hanging well past her knees. She ran to the restroom grabbing at the mounds of paper and it actually took a few tries before she got it all out – while we were rolling on the floor hysterical laughing.

She came out of the bathroom laughing harder than any of us were and she was mortified, but not from us seeing it. “Oh my god, I haven’t been in the bathroom for over two hours – how long has that been like that? I had a client appointment and I went to Dunkin Donuts like that! No wonder all the guys on the construction team were laughing and pointing – this time it wasn’t the hardhat!” I can still see all that paper flying by me like a tail as she ran off…

This is similar to how much paper was hanging out the back.

Weeva – you rock it like no one else can and your weave always look good! Keep it up! If Scheherazade had 1,000 tales, you are my Supreme Princess of a thousand hairpieces, get better soon and remember CYA! Always cover your ass – you never know what’s hanging out of it!

The Legend of Dom and Tonna

If you are one of the very lucky ones and happen to be friends with me – you’ve definitely heard me talk about a friend of mine and his wife. If not – you’re in for quite a treat because they are both absolutely nuts. I firmly believe that crazy attracts crazy and even after being married for almost a hundred years, these two are still a perfect fit for each other. The networks are missing a HUGE opportunity by not following these two around with cameras. Forget the Real Housewives – these two are ready for their close-up and it’s all natural, 100% crazy!  

I'd definitely Tivo a show about those two...

I shall call them Dom and Tonna for the purposes of this entry and having known each other for years, even I don’t know where to begin when talking about them. Do you start with her walking right into a glass sliding door in her house? Do you describe what they look like? Does any of it matter? Tonna is short, Italian, and is always cold. Dom is not. He is much taller and wider than her and is one of the absolute funniest bastards that I know. When I say funny, I mean HYSTERICAL like last week when he had his boss’s car towed anonymously because it was parked in a handicap spot. The boss is anything but handicapped and flipped out to say the least, but who has the balls to do that to their boss?

I call this part one because if I were to tell you all of the different stories about this dynamic duo this would be the longest post in creation, so I’ll start with my favorite Tonna story ever. And I mean ever! She was driving her car one fine day when out of nowhere, a deer ran out into the road scaring the dickens out of her. She slammed on her brakes and rammed that poor deer, propelling it onto the hood.  It shot up like a rocket with all the speed and agility of my aunt’s fat farm campers after they completely lubed up their sweaty selves with gallons of baby oil and dove down the weight room hill. I mean fast!

After the impact of the car made it airborne, that poor deer was spinning out of control and yelping as it rode up the hood. In an instant, Bambi arrived at the windshield still spinning like a pinwheel when the deer’s front hoof spun directly into the driver’s side open window and connected with Tonna’s nose. It popped her right in the chops! it got her right in the kisser like this video, I tell you! Then as quickly as it shot up, it slid off the hood and ran off into the woods. That’s the exact reason I’ll never drive with my window open or pick a fight with a deer! Forget Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter, that deer was ready to take on Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Bambi-oa!

"And in this corner Rocky Bambi-oa!"

Dom and I worked together at the time, but he worked the weekend shift and had off every Monday. Tuesday morning came and the whole team assembled for our morning meeting and our boss asked Dom about the weekend. That particular boss, Larry,  was the extreme opposite of Dom or myself; he was very low key, very professional, and did not like fooling around in the workplace. (Needless to say he hated me). You would expect a man that was so orange from cheap self-tanning lotion to, at the very least, laugh at a good joke or sarcastic comment, but with Larry that wasn’t the case at all. In two years that we worked together, I never saw Larry crack a smile once until the day that I told him that I was leaving to go to another company.  

As Dom was recapping the weekend, he started to explain how he was running around like a wild man. In his dead-pan delivery, he proceeded to explain just how bad he got chub-rub on Saturday night when Larry interrupted him and mistakenly asked what Chub Rub was. Dead Silence took over the room as the twelve other people in the room and I were trying not to look at either one of them or, God forbid, laugh.  My head was about to burst from tying to hold it in and my eyes were tearing as Dom said “You know, when you’re running around all night sweating and your thighs rub together so much that the skin wears away and gets irritated from the chafing? That’s Chub Rub!” I almost peed my pants and burst out laughing but it didn’t stop Dom. “My underwear were so soaked through with sweat that when I peeled them off at home and threw them towards the hamper – they stuck to the wall. They actually stuck to the wall!”

Does this even need a caption?

Larry’s face looked like he just had bad Chinese as he picked his jaw up off the floor; he tried to tell Dom how inappropriate that was when he interjected “Imagine how I feel – they’re still stuck on the wall…” I had to leave the room or risk being fired because I couldn’t control myself any longer and I sprinted out like it was burning. No one else could get away with that kind of stuff with Larry and it was one of the funniest things I ever bore witness to.

Much more to follow about these two later – like when Tonna was screaming at the Dali Lama, her famous Bomb Squad incident, when Dom shut down his favorite restaurant in town, or the time he spit his drink right into a client’s face at dinner….

The Saddest Thing I Ever Saw!!!

You think your day sucks? I went to CVS and low & behold I got hit with a ton of bricks:

And you thought you were having a bad day?

They better raise the terror alert to orange because this is some scary stuff right here. People are gonna freak out and start panicking and it could get messy… OK, I’m probably the only one panicking, but something is definitely up here and if I’m not able to get my Imodium it might actually get messy! This is the third CVS I went to over the past few days that didn’t have Imodium AD. One store might be a stocking issue, and two might be a coincidence, but three stores not having it? I’m not trying to get anyone nervous but if you ask me, this seems like the cruel and hurtful things that would be the work of a vast terror network that rhymes with Hal Shmyda.

I know this sounds nutty, but my immediate reaction was that I might be using too much Imodium and they can’t keep up with me…then I came to my senses and got the manager. I asked what was going on and he looked at me like I was crazy, then pointed at the sign and told me to buy the store brand, as if that was the solution. I leaned in close and whispered “Is something else going on here? You can tell me, don’t worry I won’t tell anyone else” and that’s when he really looked at me like I was crazy and walked away. As if other people aren’t getting the manager and asking the same thing – come on.

Before you even suggest that I use the store brand; you wouldn’t use wrapping paper if toilet paper wasn’t available would you? Would you put Crisco into your gas tank instead of going to Shell to fill up? No and you better not! I am not gonna try an untested substitute when I know very well that Imodium is what works andwhat I need. If it’s not the AD – it’s not for me!  As a side note since you mentioned Crisco, I have a friend that actually used to be called Crisco by her family. I was at her house for dinner and asked why her father had just said “Crisco get the ketchup” and she said “You know – fat in the can” and pointed at her backside. You gotta love families,  building self-esteem day by day.   

Speaking of families and gas stations, did I ever tell you about how my brother Angelo got run over by the same guy twice? He was at the gas station walking back to his car after prepaying with the cashier when an old man ran him down the first time. Realizing he had hit something, the old guy immediately backed his car up (once again driving over my brother). All the while, my brother was on the ground screaming for the attendant to give him his money back because he had prepaid for the gas. An ambulance finally showed up and they immediately started attending to the old guy instead of my brother – who was still on the ground writhing in pain. Apparently, the old guy had suffered a stroke a few months back and shouldn’t have been driving anyway. Sure, he really did get hurt and the old guy tore up his leg real bad, but I still can’t think about it without busting out laughing…on the plus side, it gave me a great anecdote for his wedding toast “Marriage is like getting run over twice by the same guy in a Merit Gas Station – sometimes it hurts.”     

I’ll check in with the media outlets and update the progress on my Imodium investigation as I find out more. Before you roll your eyes at me, they say if you see something say something and they don’t just mean that for the people I work with who got suspicious when our Fedex guy’s truck broke down in the parking lot. The poor guy was out there transferring his packages into a rented U-Haul truck so he could finish his deliveries when my two coworkers got nervous and called the Popo. When the police showed up imagine how funny the Fedex guy did not find the situation. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t our regular guy, but he’s here almost every day and now it’s a little bit awkward…some people hold a grudge, I tell ya…

Phoenix Schmeenix! It wasn’t breast trip I’ve ever been on!

In case you can’t read this, the car window says “A WHOLE LOTTA BREASTS UP AHEAD! Who doesn’t love Coachella?

I couldn’t even escape the lunatics at the hotel bar. All of a sudden this random guy sits down cheery as can be because he has had the best sales day of his career. Apparently, he’s a paint salesman and had sold 33,000 gallons that day. He didn’t get my joke when I asked if he had to lug each paint can door to door…and then he proceeded to tell me that he was “The right guy, selling the right paint, to the right people at the right time.” I busted out laughing at that and he got annoyed because I accidentally laughed in his face.  I said “‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh, I just thought you were kidding.” Apparently, the paint industry is very serious.  I couldn’t be that mean either because it was an airport property and there weren’t that many people in the bar. I had very limited conversation choices: it was either talk with him about paint in all it’s glory or talk to the 20ish girl tending bar who said she was trying to get something “heartfelt” for her boyfriend’s graduation at Walmart. She gave me a dirty look when I laughed out loud but I couldn’t tell if he was graduating from Walmart or what she thought might be “heartfelt” there anyway.

Start to finish, this was the worst trip I’ve ever been on. I started out almost knocking myself unconscious in the driveway when I hit my head with the trunk while trying to close it after loading luggage in which resulted in a big red gash on my forehead, I ended up delayed seven hours at various airports, getting bumped from two flights and missing a connecting flight, had a full-on anxiety attack because they didn’t send my luggage with the flight for some reason but still charged me to check the bag, then I found out that I was charged for two airline tickets instead of one and then they proceeded to tell me that it was my fault, the boxes with presentation giveaways for my clients that I had shipped to my hotel didn’t arrive on time, and did I mention the heat and the sweating?

 

That’s not even to talk about the old lady on the security line who was holding everything up because security had to come over. Apparently, she thought it was a good idea to bring two cans of tuna fish, a plastic squeeze bottle of mayonnaise, slices of bread, and a plastic knife in her carry-on bag. She was gonna make a little snack mid-flight. What is wrong with people that they think they can make stinky tuna sandwich on a plane? The stink alone is reason not to do it even if it was allowed – but seriously, where was she planning on draining that tuna? Why wouldn’t you make the sandwich before-hand?

After her I was at my gate (before the first delay and then de-planing) and the lady scanning the boarding passes had to call security on the guy in front of me. After being told his carry on bag was too big, he took all of his clothes out and carried them under his arm and abandoned the suitcase at her counter and tried to walk around her and board the plane with an armful of shirts, boxers, pants, and socks. She was yelling at him not to leave his bag there unattended and he tried to ignore her so she called security. I never did see him get on the plane, so who knows what happened to him after that…

Am I the only one who goes through the airport security line scanning the crowd to see who I would be friends with if we crashed onto an island like Oceanic 815 did on LOST? Obviously, I’m not looking for Kate, Hurley, or Jack, but I give the people a once-over and see who’s gonna be dead-weight if a boar comes charging at us, who’s most likely a fugitive, who has a drug problem…and It helps me realize that as crazy as I may be, there are quite a few more nuts than me!!!

Girl Scoutstitutes: Brownies of the night – It’s not Samoa-sed to be like this!!!

I’m concerned here people! In much the same way that vegans are everywhere trying to scare the dickens out of me by pushing their crazy lifestyle, another enemy has started gaining momentum: Girl Scoutstitutes – the cookie pusher in a beret.

Granted, they don’t look at you with disgust because you have the scant odor of Mc Nuggets on your breath, but let me tell you – there are some tough little bitches in those troops.  In the same way that a junkie tries to get you hooked on the dust – these little intimidators are ruthless with the tactics they’ll use to shove those damn Tagalongs down my throat. I actually blame a certain Girl Scout’s mother (who shall remain nameless) for at least ten pounds of my recent weight gain. Don’t you dare tell me about self-control and that no one is forcing me to eat them: this is reaching epidemic proportions across the the country and it’s time we take back the streets! We need to stop these cookie monsters and their peer pressure immediately!  

Maybe it’s always been like this, but it seems to me that lately they’re resorting to guerilla tactics and using any means necessary to peddle those damn cookies? I’m afraid to leave the house on weekends. I went to pick up lunch on Saturday and right there in the strip mall parking lot was a makeshift cookie counter set up. There were about six mothers and ten girls waving flags and they were actually chanting. I couldn’t hear until we drove near them that they were chanting “be patriotic and buy Girl Scout Cookies.” Once again, I was shamed into submission and now they’re using a red scare to make you buy them! For God sakes, I was forced into it or otherwise now I’d be labeled a communist! I like a chilled Thin Mint as much as the next fat guy, but what the hell is patriotic about buying cookies? They’re not a branch of the USO are they? Where’s my right to choose?

Try going to a supermarket and see if you can make it past the barricade at the front door without buying some. Then they try to hit you on the way out – and look at you with a suspicious eye when you say you bought them on the way in. Why we succumb to the pressure and dig through the bags to prove it to this coven of witched is beyond me, but we do. My friend was heading into the market (they’re not always super by the way) with her boyfriend and they were approached too. They explained that they had purchased them from a parent at work when the little psycho went on the attack like a dragon and spit out with fire “You should be supporting your local chapter!” If that was me that she said it to, I would have gone all Jackie Chan on her. I am not afraid to cut a bitch. Sure they have you outnumbered and you don’t realize how tough they actually are until you throw them out of the way so you can meet the First Lady.

 True story, I did throw some Girl Scouts out of the way so I could meet Laura Bush when she was First Lady at a meet and greet. It was a mixture of me being really excited, them looking bored and not appreciating the moment quite the way I thought they should be, and quite frankly, they were in my way so I tossed them. Meeting the First Lady, any sitting First Lady for that matter, is a privilege and an honor and is to be treated as such. Those little gum snappers were acting like it was just another day. I’m not expecting Justin Beiber-like pandemonium, but come on…It’s not one of my proudest moments…OK, who am I kidding? Yes it is – I got to meet the First Lady – screw those Girl Scouts!  

This is what happened to the last guy that wouldn't buy cookies from the Girl Scouts!

 

Also, let’s just address the elephant in the room now. I’m not trying to be weird or offensive, but how are Girl Scouts really that different from prostitutes? No emotions here, let’s just look at the evidence. I’m not saying that your little girl is going straight from the troop to the pole, but here are the facts: They both stand outside storefronts to sell their “stuff.” They both stroll up to random cars with a smile and a “product to sell” and then walk away with cold hard cash in hand. The Girl Scouts have a cookie named Thank U Berry Munch – Do I even need to explain that one? Most importantly of all, they both charge you money to eat their cookies! Ok, that last part was just wrong in oh so many ways and I apologize for that, but is anyone else as disturbed by the Girl Scouts as I am?

I need to say that if you are a Troop Leader or the parent of one of these Girl Scouts that I’m talking about – don’t light up the comment board below with how your kid is different. You’re what we call an enabler. You make your relatives and the people at work feel bad and guilt them into buying them. You post your Facebook status as “It’s that time” and the first thought I have is that it’s that time all right – to avoid you!  You may be reading this and thinking that I am definitely not talking about you, because you’re different, but I am talking right to you sister! Stop pushing those delectable morsels at me! I’ll buy them just the same, but stop the insanity and the mind games. And then, after you agree to buy the cookies, they try and guilt you into getting more to send to the troops. I am all for supporting the troops and think they are making unbelievable sacrifices so that I can rant about Imodium and little cookie trollops safely, but come on. If I was half-way across the world being bombed and shot at every hour and then you sent me a box of cookies – I’d be pissed. That had better be a joke and underneath them in the box would be some Jack Daniels or I’d be beating the shit out of you!!!

Four Star Generals aren't even this decorated...

 

I know volunteering in a non-profit and I totally understand the fundraising aspect of being part of an organization like that – every one of those organizations needs to fund itself. But my Cookie Queens, why is it that you are only selling them at a certain time of year? You’re not causing demand or creating a desire that you can’t always fulfill like they do with the Mc Rib’s limited availability. (It always comes back to the Mc Rib doesn’t it?) If the cookies are being sold to fundraise, then sell them in stores and sell them year-round. You’ll make more money if they’re readily available and you won’t piss people off.  

While I’m up on that soap box again, if anyone can explain to me why the pumpkin muffin (the absolute most deliciousest of any treat in the world) is only available for a limited window in the Fall – please explain it to me. Same principle applies, you’re not causing demand here; You’re pissing me off! They’re not fresh and pulled from the farm right to the counter – they’re made from a packaged powder mix that is probably older than my dog. I’m not complaining at all because that packet produces one of the great pleasures of my life, but come on. Make that shit available all year and stop the nonsense! I need my pumpkin muffin like I need air to breathe. It happens to me every year, but on that day when the drive through attendant tells me they’re no longer available, it just gets me right here (points to chest) and always takes me by surprise.  Then I have to deliver the same argument to the poor window attendant and get into the same fight all over again. I can’t keep doing it, it just hurts too much.

Think Dunkin Donuts is safe? Nah, the girl Scouts got them too. I went to get my bagel on Saturday morning and, low and behold, there’s a cookie fortress set up at the drive thru window. I have never prayed for a flash flood rainstorm like I did right then. They weren’t set up so that they were in the way of your car, but so that they were right next to your driver’s side window as you pulled out of the drive-thru. Very strategic – I’m sure there are drills run and a lot of off-season training done to hone these strategies.

Of course, the Dunkin dimwit at the window had toasted my bagel when I asked him not to. (Another epidemic sweeping the nation at an alarmingly high rate – if someone says don’t toast my bagel, then don’t toast it – how hard is that for people to not toast my bagel and when I say that I want a little butter – I ONLY WANT A LITTLE BUTTER! It’s not a suggestion, it’s a preference. If I say that I want so little butter on my bagel that I will literally start to choke on it because it is that dry, than why are you putting so much butter on there??? Why are they taunting me?) I had to pull up next to the cookie fortress to wait for my replacement bagel and as I put it into park, I pretended not to see all twelve of those tiny kids coming at me like a flock of locusts – one of them even in a cookie costume – when I heard it. “How many boxes can I get you!” Not “Hi, would you like to buy some cookies?” No, it was like here’s my fist where’s your wallet? There was no questioning in her voice whether or not I would buy, it was a statement that I couldn’t say no to – how many are you getting! I didn’t even get to respond because I saw all the kids and their mothers looking down to read the magnetic placard that I have on my driver’s side door:

I really forget it’s on there sometimes and these mothers were giving me the hard core stink eye, so if course, I was shamed into buying more cookies. AGAIN. They were looking at me like I was the scumbag and there was something wrong with me when they were the ones pimpin their little girls to run up to men in cars to get their money. Lizzie Grubman had the right idea when she took control of the situation in a crowd with her car. It wasn’t in the papers, but I’m sure Girl Scouts were somehow involved there too…

I’m not trying to cause a cookie holy war, but enough is enough. This “cookie season” is also the same time as Lent and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I’m not getting all religious and I’m no saint by any means, but how is it possible that these devilish treats are only around during the time when we are undergoing our spiritual “spring cleaning” and supposed to be fasting or giving up something. For those unfamiliar with Lent, it’s when you see all the fast food advertisements for fish sandwich specials and when you think it’s funny to say to a coworker with ashes on their forehead “I didn’t know you were a smoker.” Ok, I say that to them too, but back to my point: it cannot be a coincidence that these servants of the dark side are only peddling their wares during this period. I don’t have concrete proof, but just wanted to throw that out there to start the discussion…       

I’d like to say that I have boycotted Girl Scout cookies this season and rose above the peer pressure and demands of these terrorists, but I’m not that strong. There’s too many of them and at one restaurant parking lot they had 50’s costumes on chanting into a microphone with a speaker. I’m too weak for all this and have succumbed to the charms of the Thin Mints yet again, like Young Frankenstein to that violin. This time, I have bought too many, ate too many, and then ate some more, but I stand before you with a vow: Next year I will be stronger or I will run one of those little bitches down in a parking lot trying.

Forget the Apple store, the only Mac I care about starts with Big or ends with Rib!

Hard as it is to believe, I’m a guy that really used to go to the gym every day and actually really cared about how I looked. Don’t worry, I’m still that same shallow person underneath; I’m just underneath a lot more layers now. I wasn’t always so self-conscious until people started reacting oddly to me.

Just me daydreaming again at work - they really need to fix that Air Conditioning.

After the last tuxedo incident I wrote about, I thought it better to go out and buy a tuxedo instead of renting one. I was interrupted while browsing the selections by the sales guy who felt the need to yell at me across the store “Hey! What are you doing over there? You need to be in the short and portly section down here!” As if I wanted everyone in the store to know that the height Gods might have snubbed their noses down at me but the fat Gods had given me an overabundance of gifts. And who calls someone “portly” anyway – is that even a real word? As funny as I didn’t think he was, he didn’t seem at all fazed when I yelled back “Thanks asshole; do you have any portly shoes to match this?” Some people might have gotten the hint at that point, but he then proceed to follow me into the dressing room and lecture me on how short people look even shorter when wearing the vest of a three piece suit as I was undressing. I’m not sure why, but I always seem to find the most helpful people out there…    

If you were to ask my sister Marlene to share her sage advice on the topic of me gaining a few pounds, she’d gently say “It’s because he’s fucking lazy!” but I like to think of it as being conservative with my energy. The kind and gentle words of a mentally unstable sister can be so soothing sometimes…

I’ve gained so much weight, that if you were to look at my driver’s license picture (which was taken when I was in college, when I was younger and, more importantly, when I was hotter) it looks like a distant relative. You know how when people look at a fake ID and squint and then tell you, unconvincingly, how you could almost pass for the person in the photo? It’s just like that although it looks like I have swallowed the person in my picture. Seriously, people look at that photo and then look back at me, and then back one more time at the photo to make sure it’s really me. They usually furrow their brow as if unsure how to respond and although no one has actually said it out loud yet, I know it’s only a matter of time. I just know that they’re looking at that photo and thinking “What happened you fat fuck?” Don’t tell me that people wouldn’t say that because that’s the type of thing that I would say to someone!   

I don't know why my wife won't go to the beach with me!

I almost feel like I need to explain to them that I broke my left ankle twice – two years in a row on April 22nd actually. It takes a real uncoordinated ass to do that but I’ll wear that crown. Whenever I try to offer that up into the conversation, my ever-supportive wife likes to remind me that it has been five years since I broke my ankle for the second time so it’s probably healed by now enough for me to start exercising again…She also likes to throw in for good measure, that three Presidents have been in office since I was last considered “in shape” so the excuse doesn’t really hold water anymore.

Would she say that to Joe Theismann about his injury? I thought not. As a side note, that is the first and only time you’re ever likely to see a sports analogy used in anything I write. It’s not because I don’t think sports analogies offer anything to the dialogue, it’s because that’s the only sports factoid I actually know and to be perfectly honest, I really only know that one because it was in The Blind Side.

I know very scant bits about sports and can offer little by the way of anecdotal evidence unless you’re referring to the subject of an Oscar-nominated movie. I wouldn’t know Lebron James from Rick James, but you get me started about The Fighter, Field of Dreams, or Rocky and I’ll light this mother up.  

Isn't he on the Miami Heat now?

I was always way too uncoordinated to ever play sports anyway. The last time I tried was the first time I broke my left ankle. Picture it like a mathematical equation if you will: volleyball + a really tall bitch spiking the ball in my face + short stubby me + a one-time jump trying to block a shot that was three feet over my head = Emergency Room, Crutches and then surgery. Get the picture?

Don’t even get me started about that surgery on my ankle because Like B.A. won’t get on an airplane, I will never go in that hospital again. They gave me a sedative and my wife and sister walked me down the hallway as the attendant rolled me towards the elevator and into surgery. I had taken my contact lenses out and couldn’t see anything past my nose. As we passed by, another attendant asked the attendant pushing me to drop a sample off at the lab and then proceeded to toss the sample on the stretcher and it landed next to me. I was squinting like mad to make it out for sure, but I knew it was shit in a bag and I looked to my wife and sister for help.

I pity the fool that put shit on my stretcher!

 Little use they were, because they were looking at each other trying not to laugh. The only thing protecting me from a log of someone’s shit was a thin layer of cotton that the hospital was calling a sheet! The last thing I remember before the sedative knocked me out was me trying to sit up and get off that stretcher because I was so worked up and muttering over and over “There’s shit in that bag…Oh God, There’s someone’s shit in that bag…” No, I am not exaggerating and I am not mistaken – THEY LITERALLY PUT A CLEAR PLASTIC BAG FULL OF SHIT ON TOP OF ME!

My biggest fear in life had been realized and where was my wife during it? Laughing in my face! I might have to go back and rewatch our wedding video, but I’m pretty sure that we covered this in the vows. If it is at all still unclear Honey, please let me remedy that right now because to me “in good times and in bad times” actually means that I vow not to let someone transport a bag full of shit on my spouse!!! 

Incidentally, the second time I broke my left ankle on April 22nd was exactly one year after the first time I did it. No volleyball this time, but I went out with friends to “celebrate” my anniversary and my finally being able to walk unassisted after a year of surgery, physical therapy, wearing a boot cast up to my knee, walking with crutches, falling with crutches, and then walking with a cane like every pimp should. I got drunk that night and left the bar to get into a cab towards home when I tripped stepping off the curb. I twisted my ankle and smashed head first into the rear quarter panel of the cab as I was screaming in agony on the ground clutching that damn ankle again.

One would think that in that situation, a normal person might get out and help someone that had fallen, but the cab driver leaned over the front seat and yelled out the open back door towards me “Are you getting in or not?” As I tried to crawl off the ground and into the back seat, he asked me “where to?” I just cringed and muttered “Hospital – I think I broke my ankle again.” The nurses and doctor thought it was so funny and so ironic that I somehow managed to break the same ankle on the same date two years in a row, but you know who didn’t think it was funny: My wife who was in Florida with her sister. At least the second time, I didn’t break a piece of the bone along with the ankle and need to have another surgery but I was back in that cast and back on those crutches for months again…       

I hope that you weren’t expecting a positive, lesson-learned ending to this post: That’s not me. I will admit that I have gained a little weight and while others might waste time with vows to lose weight this time of year, I am actually heading the other route. I’m vowing right here and now to gain at least ten more pounds over the next month to spite all of those people on a diet!

Screw you! Next time your stomach is growling or you’re tired from getting up early to go to the gym and you’re nibbling on carrots for lunch, picture me and my McRib sandwich laughing as I pass by on the obesity train. Next stop – Elastic waistband pants, Chubb Rubb, and medical intervention with the lap band surgeon! CHOO CHOO!

It’s A Dog’s Life

A friend of mine just randomly told me a crazy story about when they masturbated their male cat. Please take that in for a moment before we go on. I know exactly what you’re thinking – how does that come up during a casual conversation? I don’t know either. Now, I’m not usually prone to speechlessness, but I gotta say that one got me. They said it only happened one time, to which I say that’s all it takes: One time and the cat’s hooked. I promised I would not put that on this website, so I will not reveal their name or gender, but it made me think of treating animals bad and of course my thoughts drifted back to college…

I’m not going to get graphic and tell you about the female roommate that I had on Clayton Street who had sex with her boyfriend’s American Terrier on his coffee table in front of his friends – I want to talk about that dog. (By the way, she’s now a school teacher and one day when my son is older, knowing my luck, I’m sure that I will walk into a Back-to-School night and come face to face with her) That dog was as big as a small show pony: he was over a hundred pounds, had huge teeth and paws, and his head was the size of a barbecue grill. I use the barbecue grill as a point of reference because he was always tied to that grill out on their porch. One day, he took off after someone and proceeded to drag that barbecue down those porch steps and then right up Clayton Street. The sparks were flying as that barbecue bounced around like a tennis ball and they had to go chasing after him. They didn’t think he’d run away, they were just chasing after him because they were afraid of the propane tank still attached to that barbecue he was dribbling up the street like a basketball. We thought for sure it would explode and take out the whole block, but they were pretty fast and caught up to him about twelve houses down. Most amazing of all though, is that the barbecue still worked after that – those things are really solid.

This is also the same dog that another day, dove through the screen of one of their front windows and made a run for it. He came straight across the street and up the stairs right into our apartment. He broke through our front door causing my two roommates to panic and jump onto the furniture trying to get away from him before they got bitten. One of them did get bit in the ass, but he didn’t break the skin. I, of course, happened to be taking a shit during all of this and when I heard the commotion and screaming, I thought the house was on fire. I didn’t even get a chance to react, because right then he broke through the bathroom door and I was literally, face to face with a monster and the bathroom door shut behind him. Picture it if you will, because I was sitting there thinking “Oh My God, I’m going to get mauled on the toilet by this killer.” I was trapped inside that small bathroom with him and I couldn’t even try to get up or move in any way. I thought that I could take it like a man if he bit me anywhere above the waist, but I was terrified that he would go for my sack if I stood up. If he got me there, I would have had to call it a day because my life would have been over! I could have lived with scars on my face or body, but you mess with the Goods and you’re screwed in a way that won’t leave a smile on anyone’s face!

He then sat down and proceeded to lick his lips while giving me the stare down (like a certain grandmother I know) mere inches from my face. I was sweating profusely and on the verge of tears when his owner and three or four other people on the street heard the commotion and screaming so they came running to find the dog. They peeked in the front door and said “you guys seen my dog?” and then started hysterical laughing when my roommates directed them to me and they opened the bathroom door.  The crowd all thought it was hysterical seeing me pinned on the toilet like that by this beast and they just kept laughing. All I can say is thank God they didn’t have camera phones like everyone does now or I would be a YouTube sensation with the way I was screaming bloody murder. They finally got that monster out of our place and I learned a valuable lesson about shitting in college: Go as fast as possible because you never know what’s outside the door!

They finally had to put that dog to sleep after he bit a few more people, but his memory lived on every time they used that barbecue. Even though he was like a wild boar, no one was happy that they had to put the dog down because it was a sad situation. Well, I shouldn’t say that because our mailman was very happy about the dog being gone. In the mailmen’s defense, he did get chased and bit quite a few times so you could understand him being happy. We never thought he minded because it was pretty funny to watch the dog attack him and then after it he always used to stick his head through the front window and smoke a joint with us. I would say he had a radar to know when we were smoking, but it was a safe  bet that if it was light outside, we were smoking.

So, my friend says they will leave the cat alone, and was just curious that one time. I say that a cat’s private parts are a gateway drug and that the next stop is a trip to the Nature Center and a meeting with an Alpaca with a golden smile…

Fat Camp

It’s funny, because when I used to talk about my aunt owning a fat camp (a weight loss summer camp for kids) and having worked there, people never believed it. It sounded crazy and I was constantly accused of making it up until I actually brought people there. I was in good shape and used to go to the gym every day, so I guess it was a stretch.  But now, whenever I talk about the camp, people believe every word because they look at me (I have probably doubled in size since those days) and nod with that look that says “Of course you were at a fat camp and by the way, you really need to go back. There are many many many Fat Camp stories, most are entirely inappropriate for anyone’s gentle ears – but let’s start with this one:

My friend Weezie (Now talk about a Hooka with a capital “H” and I say that as a very high compliment) used to come to the camp with me all the time (and she actually worked there with me one summer – to almost criminal results) because I lived there and for her it was the half-way point while driving home from college. Our routine was simple, stop and drop our bags, get the crew together, go to Cronin’s, tear it up and stay there until we closed the place and were about to pass out, beg someone to take us to the only place open late night out there in the middle of nowhere, the famous Quickway Diner, engorged ourselves, and then she’d drive home the next day.

My brother Angelo thought it would be a great idea to have a family reunion one weekend and get the whole family together at the Fat Camp but I could smell something brewing from the onset. He was so worried about who would fight with each other that it was only a matter of time before trouble dropped by. With my family coming en masse, I needed reinforcements and invited Weezie and a couple of her sorority sisters to come and visit me. Of course, I “forgot” to tell them there was a reunion going on until they got there but they were real troopers.

My brother Anthony arrived late and the gates were closed and locked. The gates were closed and locked because when I say he arrived late, I mean hours and hours and hours late. Now upon coming up to a locked gate, a normal person would have just left his pickup truck (which was oddly reminiscent of the one Lamont used to drive on Sanford and Son) outside the gate until morning since the camp is located on a side street right in the middle of absolutely nowhere. I mean, there was no worry of vandalism – unless a local deer wanted his stereo or Metallica cassettes – but no, he had to get in that gate. The gate in question is a ten-foot high wooden stockade fence around the whole camp (over 200 acres) with the only openings in it being one small part by the main entrance he was trying to enter through.

So instead of driving up the road a little bit to go into the entrance by the house we lived in where there is no gate, Anthony did the logical thing and proceeded to try and drive around the main gate through the little opening to get in. His truck was about ten feet wide and the path he was trying to drive on to get around the fence was about three feet wide, so of course his truck ended up going front first down the incline and into the ravine on the side of the gate. Not a steep ravine, but there is a small stream flowing gently there.

Now, Anthony was not one to believe that this could, in any way, be his fault, so he proceeded to start screaming and cursing and went to find the person he held responsible for this – whoever locked the gate. Needless to say that when the female police officer showed up and told Anthony that he had five minutes to move the truck after he called her sir (once again, not his fault) my Uncle Raymond immediately took charge and instructed all of the overweight female cousins with a “little back” to them to get into the bed of the pickup truck to weigh it down and then they could put it into reverse…needless to say, he’s not one to take no for an answer so he pulled out the big guns (and by big guns I mean my cousins) and those girls got the truck out of the ravine. Who needs AAA or a tow truck? Also, just a word of advice; if you ever have a big stash of weed in the glove compartment of your truck that you just drove into a ravine and a female police officer shows up – Don’t call her sir!

When my sister Marlene used to work at the fat camp, she used to date this guy Dan that lived around the corner from the camp. He and I were good friends and when he heard that Marlene was coming to the reunion he, of course,  thought she might be coming to see him. I explained that she was dating a new guy(who was a muscle head with no neck and was about as smart as a can of turpentine, but I digress) and bringing him to the reunion, but he came over anyway in case she wanted to see him.

So, to give you a visual about the layout of the camp, it’s set on over 200 acres with a huge lake in the center of the property, and there are golf carts to get you everywhere because of how spread out everything is. The swimming pool is up by the house we lived in, the lake is in the center of the camp, and the main buildings and bunks are down by the main entrance.

So, as the day went on, I was drinking at the pool with Dan, Weezie and her two sorority sisters, and Anthony – my pickup driving brother. The more Dan drank, the more convinced he was that my sister was actually attending the reunion to see him. I say that he was convinced because Anthony was convincing him. In his infinite widsom, my brother thought the best thing to do in this situation was to give Dan a joint to settle him down and keep him drinking. This probably would have worked if my brother didn’t start peppering him with his take on the “situation” and keep offering up his advice. Keep in mind that  this is the same man who drove his truck into a ravine less than 24 hours earlier and now he is giving love advice to Dan about how messed up it was that my sister was here on his “turf” with a new guy and that it wasn’t right. He thought Dan should go down to the bunks where everybody was and speak with my sister to settle this. I thought that he should go home before he got himself killed by No-neck, and with that we (me, Weezie, and her sorority sisters) went down to the bunks because I thought I should let Marlene know that Dan was there and already drunk.

During the camp season, the golf carts didn’t go any faster than a senior citizen at Ponderosa, but the maintenance guy rigged them up so we could really move in them during the off-season so we drove down by where everyone else was in a flash.

So picture this: I’m standing in a circle next to the golf cart that we just drove down there with my sister, Weezie and the two girls, and my cousin Beverly talking about Dan and around us there are about forty-five people milling about. Some were playing cards, some were sitting at picnic tables talking, some were playing lawn darts, but all in all everyone was just hanging out. All of a sudden up by the infirmary hill we see my brother and Dan (who at this point was absolutely wasted) and Dan is staggering towards us blowing kisses to No-neck, my sister’s new boyfriend.

In a literal flash: Dan is blowing kisses at No-neck, No-neck goes running and screaming up the infirmary hill after Dan, Dan goes running toward the back fence leading to the cemetary next door to the camp, Everyone abandons what they’re doing to watch this new drama unfold, my brother Anthony lights another joint as he’s watching the show from the infirmary hill, and then all of a sudden my sister jumps into my golf cart and takes off up the hill to stop No-Neck from killing Dan.

I tried to get into the golf cart too, but I was in flip-flops and she was just too damn fast. I fell because I was trying to enter the golf cart as she was speeding away and I lost my footing. I thought for sure that since I was her brother and we were close and SHE JUST SAW ME FALL, that perhaps she would stop the golf cart to let me get on – but I was wrong. As I lost my balance and fell, I grabbed onto the sideboard of the golf cart to avoid hitting my face and getting my head ran over by the tire and then she took off like a tornado. She just didn’t stop. In a split-second, I went from trying to be a good person and avoid a situation, to literally being dragged up a steep hill by an out of control golf cart piloted by a madwoman.

She flew through dirt, grass, mud and didn’t miss one bump. She was leaving a cloud of dust and I was a mess. I was screaming for bloody murder and begging for some help and I was afraid to let go because I knew that she would most certainly run my body over. I mean she had no problem dragging me up a hill so running me over wouldn’t stop her either. I finally lost my grip and was thrown after about two hundred feet up the hill because she slowed down for a split second when my dislodged flip-flop was thrown from my mangled foot and flew over her head and distracted her. That crazy bitch didn’t flutter or even turn around to see if I was still in one piece as she took off up the hill leaving me a mangled heap in the dirt.

As I tried to stand up and regain my composure (for I knew the dignity was lost fifty feet ago) I turned to face my family and, of course, my three friends from college. As I stumbled back over to them, my cousin Beverly goes “Oh God, she’s so upset, I just can’t believe it – I hope she’s O.K.” to which I responded – “Fuck her – that crazy bitch just dragged me up a fucking hill and almost killed me – literally…almost killed me! What about me?” It was like when Alexis shot her rifle to spook Krystle’s horse and it took off dragging her across the field and caused her to lose her baby in Season Two of Dynasty. (Of course, a Dynasty reference to help those of you who weren’t raised right – Yes I’m talking to you Bemish!)

For a quick second, I thought Weezie was crying but then I realized it was laughter (they were all laughing hysterically) and she helped me find my other flip-flop and when she regained her composure she said “I want you to know that every time you tell me one of your crazy stories I always thought – come on, who do these things happen to? After seeing that just now, I can picture every single one of them – that was unbelievable. I will never doubt you again and I am going to tell this story to everyone we know.”

As for Dan, because he lived around the corner and knew the area, he made it over the cemetery fence and safely home, eluding No-neck. As for my sister, her official “story” (which to this day I still don’t believe a word of) about the golf cart is that she didn’t hear me screaming bloody murder or see me until the flip-flop flew into her frame of view. As for me, it took three showers to feel clean again and then we went straight to Cronin’s where I drank until I couldn’t taste that dirt in my mouth anymore.

Moral of the story and the lesson I learned – Family reunions are not for me! Interestingly enough, that happened in 1999 and we haven’t actually had another reunion since! Or if they are having them- they’re just not inviting us which I truly cannot blame them for…