Hell of a Guy
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it - Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Never Fart in an Elevator…


My feeble little mind, the one with the aging and rapidly atrophying medulla oblongata, thought of this title one morning as I was descending from the fourth floor of a Hilton Garden Inn to the first floor under some extreme intestinal distress.  There was a pressure evident and I thought for a very brief moment of gaining relief of it by expelling this flatulence, inasmuch as I was alone in the elevator, but I knew as soon I did it the elevator would stop and a group of nuns would get on and I would have to fain ignorance of the offending odor.

All of our lives we have been given wisps of wisdom on what not to do in certain situations.  Unfortunately, most of us do not always heed these caveats, and I surely am the offender in chief.

Ever notice someone driving down the road picking their nose?  Our mothers instructed all of us not to pick our noses, especially in public places.  I read once we do it in cars because, firstly, we are alone and, secondly, we believe once we close a car door we become instantly invisible.  Not so, Gunga Din!  We actually become increasingly visible as soon as a digit hits a nostril, and are seen by everyone occupying every passing vehicle and anyone standing on the side of the road because something in nature immediately forces the eyes of anyone within 1000 feet to look directly at us.  I think this may be a part of Murphy’s Law - anything done in a vehicle is instantly viewed by the world, including our mothers.  Do as I should do, always, if the need arises, pick your nose in a private place, one where you are totally alone, like a closet with the door shut.  You won’t be viewed by others and your nose will benefit.

What about the clean underwear thing?  I remember my mother chastising me with the finger wag to wear clean underwear, to save embarrassment least I have an accident.  I don’t know what kind of accident she was talking about, but she did nearly scare the crap out of me with this admonition, and that is why even now I change mine a couple times every day…yes, I am kidding, but I have to admit to this day I drive in fear.

Be sure to wash behind your ears was another of mother’s instructions.  I recall a time when I was about nine or ten when I told Mom I had a system to make sure I hit every part of my body with the wash cloth.  She laughed and told me I might want to reverse the procedure when I explained I started with my feet and worked up.  I was young, for crying out loud, and never thought about the critical middle parts of my body.  I made the correction and won praise from my mother, I think it made me the favorite of her five children. 

There were lots of these little warnings throughout my life.  Some I heeded and most I did not.  Thank God I heeded the one about farting in an elevator.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Saturday, October 20, 2012



I took a long walk yesterday. 

The Nancy and I have spent the last three days at the Glades Springs resort in Daniels, WV.  She is here to attend a conference and I am here as her chauffer, to make sure her clothes are properly pressed and wrinkle free, to be her alarm clock and along with other sundry duties, like having her tea available when she arises and bringing her breakfast to her.  Once she is off to her meetings, the day becomes whatever I choose it to be.  Hence the long walk.

Glade Springs at this time of the year offers up some of the most spectacular autumn colors – the foliage is ablaze with reds and oranges and yellows, and I really don’t like it.  Autumn is not my favorite time of the year.

As I began my hour trek around the tree-lined streets of the resort I was bathed in a shower falling leaves.  This place is littered with big oak trees, towering poplars and majestic maples, all shedding their summer dress like attendees at a nudist camp.  I was swatting leaves left and right like gnats on a hot summer day and I was a little sad.

I am a spring guy.  Spring brings new life, rebirth and longer days.  On the other hand, there is autumn; 90 days of dying flora, hibernation and very long nights.  Sun almost begins to set shortly after it rises.  Autumn brings cooler,unpredictable, inconsistent weather – cool to cold one day, very warm to damn near hot the next.  And what is it with this Indian Spring crap anyway?

It is about this time each year I begin to countdown the days to the winter solstice.  You know, that horrible day in December with less than 10 hours of daylight and more than 14 hours of darkness.  This is the time I begin to yearn for springtime; I yearn for the aroma of freshly mown grass, the brilliant green of young leaves, warming weather, and oh how I look to the time when I can to sit in one of the rockers on my front porch with a beer in hand and the sounds of spring striking my cute little ears (another story). 

Spring is my time of the year.  Spring is renewal, rebirth, fresh and it just gets my inner child (some might say my immaturity juices begin to flow) motivated to get things done.  Spring is the time I get to plan the garden that will probably die off before the harvest because I do not have a clue as to how to keep it alive.  Spring is the time I list my outdoor projects so I can procrastinate them off to the fall when it gets too chilly to be outdoors to do them.  Spring is the time when I can bring out the zero-turn mower and get it stuck in a myriad of places and situations.  Spring means not having to wear much clothing or anything at all if I wish – not that I have done that more than a hundred times or so (we don’t have neighbors).  Spring is the time to drag out the grill that I seldom use.  I long for spring.

All of this I pondered as I walked the streets of Glade Springs and listened to Josh Groban on my iPod.  It was 66 degrees with a slight breeze.  The leaves were tumbling down, wafting slowly to and fro on their way to the ground where for a while they create a beautiful mosaic until swept away by some pissed off home owner with rake in hand cussing the day he ever bought a place with so many trees. 

As I peregrinated my chosen route listening to some beautiful music and thinking, which always gets me in trouble, I couldn’t help but contemplate what a lucky dude I am and how even though fall is not my most favorite time of the year, this day was indeed The Best Day Ever.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Friday, October 12, 2012

WVU Football Season, Circo 2012…


Football is about to do me in.  What, you say? How? 

This doggone football team is about to drive me up a wall or to my final resting place, the great reward.

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may know I do not count myself among those who are huge football fans.  Frankly, I usually can take it or leave it and be more than satisfied just to read about the results the following day.  The Nancy, on the other hand, is counted among the diehards, the nuts…in fact she is OCD with her football.  If there is a game on TV she will watch it regardless of the teams.  But then there is Mountaineer Football, and apparently something about it resonates deep within my inner being.  I cannot get enough of it, even though it makes my heart ache.

For years I rooted for the University of Virginia, the University of Maryland, except when the played Virginia, Navy (my all-time favorite team, though they usually suck) and my beloved Colts and the New York Giants.  These days, having married this crazy West Virginian, I am tuned into the West Virginia University Mountaineers, it’s a propinquity thing and it is unconditional.  This is my adopted home and my adopted college football team.  My West Virginia wife has turned me into a WVU Frankenstein, of sorts: I have become a monster.  I love Mountaineer football, but these bastards are trying to kill me.

The past Saturday I sat watching WVU play the University of Texas Longhorns.  The game was back and forth from the get go.  My heart was pounding for most of the slowest moving three hours I have spent in a very long time (that being exactly one week and the Baylor University game that WVU won 70-63).  At one point I swear I could see my chest undulating with each beat.  I could hear myself breathe.  My hands were shaking so much I could hardly hold on to my beer.  I lost my appetite, and that happens once in a Blue Moon and never during a football game.  What in the hell is happening to me?

This Saturday WVU plays Texas Tech (the Horned Frogs) and, fortunately, I may miss the game, though my iPhone will keep me abreast of the scoring.  I don’t think I could sit through another game like these last two, but then there are still seven more to test the strength of my heart.

Should you see no further posts from me to this website, you’ll know what happened.

And that is all I have say about that…

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What have we done to our Children…


Not Long ago The Nancy and I were sitting in our regular seats at the bar in our favorite local restaurant when the phone at the bar rang.  The owner who just happened to be there talking with us answered it.  I heard her exclaim, “You are three hours late for work and you are just now calling to let us know?”  This 19-year old man was thirty eight miles away on “family business,” or so he said.  This lackadaisical view might be proof we have not provided a proper upbringing for youth. 

We have totally failed our younger generations – notice the plural.  These days, and many of the preceding ones, we have taken “failure” out of the lives of our children. We have created a bunch of takers.  We are the cause of this apparent culture of entitlement, this expected right to be cared for, this don’t-say-no-it-might-damage-ones-self-esteem crap.  T-ball, as an example: every kid on the team gets a trophy.  Why?  In school, kids are not allowed to fail a grade, they are held back.  Failure is not an option these days, everyone has to win.  Bullshit!

When I was kid it was more than apparent I lacked athleticism…when it came to sports, I sucked.  I had a tryout for a little league team and didn’t make, but learned lived with my failure.  In high school I went out for football as a freshman, I did not make the team, but I lived through the disappointment.  Three times in my life I got fired (I would like to see without cause…but).  I sold real estate, not very successfully, and for seven years and heard “no” a lot (I sucked at it, too).  Throughout my life I have heard that word many times, and I have had to deal with it.  It made me stronger.

Kids today cannot take or deal with disappointment, and it is truly sad.  I remember about ten years ago at a mall with the grandkids we stopped at a book store and bought each one a book they had to have, letting them know the books were all they get.  A bit later in another store the four-year old saw a toy gun (that he called a “dun”) and asked to buy it.  I said no and hysterics took over.  This kid screamed and kicked and had to be literally dragged out of the store.  As he continued kicking and screaming at the top of his lungs, and as people looked at me like I was kidnapping him, I carried to the car where he continued to sob and didn’t clam down for at least thirty minutes.  Ten years later, he hasn’t changed a whole lot, and still does not know the meaning of the word “no.”  He doesn’t understand this life is not a free lunch, a free ride.  My parents were not abusive, but they didn’t spare the rod, either.  These days, kids have rights (more bullshit) and know it.  What most of them need is remedial training in negative responses…and not a crash course.  When we say no, we need to mean no, and therein lay the problem.

If you threaten children with “Don’t make me pull off this road?”  Mean it.  And if the kid continues, pull off the side of the road.  Slip the youngsters pants down around his knees and give him two or three cracks on his ass with your hand.  If someone says something to you, just tell them you were showing him how clapping sounds using his ass to make the point.

And that is all I have to say about that…