Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fiction: Of Nipples and Women's Underwear

 “Hey, dude, you’re bleeding through your shirt.”

“Oh, shit. I need to change my gauze.”

“Are you okay, man? What did you do?”

“It’s nothing. I’m fine.”

“Come on, man. You’re bleeding through your shirt.”

“Yeah. I don’t really want to talk about it.”

“Don’t want to talk about it? I just admitted to you that I like to wear women’s underwear to work.”

“Yeah, I’m trying to get that image out of my head.”

“I’m just saying that we can tell each other anything, man.”

“Not this. It’s too stupid.”

“Women’s underwear, man. Right now. Behind this thin layer of denim.”

“Jesus.”

“Just laying it all out there, man. You can trust me, you’ve got something on me.”

“Okay. But this is against my better judgment.”

“So is wearing women’s underwear.”

“Okay, I get it.”

“Finally.”

“First of all, you should know that I have a third nipple.”

“What? You’re not serious.”

“Dead serious. I have a third nipple.”

“Can I see it?”

“Do you want to hear the story?”

“Not as badly as I want to see the nipple.”

“Trust me, you don’t want to see it. Not right now.”

“Come on.”

“I’m done. I’m not telling you this story.”

“Okay, okay. You can show me later.”

“So I have a third nipple. When you have a third nipple, you have a choice. You can embrace it or you can reject it.”

“Which did you do?”

“At first I decided to reject it.”

“Reasonable move.”

“But then I saw how much it would cost to have it removed.”

“Yeah, I would expect a nipple amputation to be expensive.”

“It was.  Insurance doesn’t cover nipple removal.”

“So what did you do?”

“Well, I decided to embrace it.”

“Good call, man. Good call.”

“Put your camera phone away.”

“Just one picture?”

“No.”

“You suck.”

“Anyway, I decided to embrace the nipple. I mean, it was the one thing that set me apart. It made me unique. How many people do you know with three nipples?”

“Including you, one.”

“Right. So I started thinking about what ‘embracing’ the nipple really meant.”

“You said, ‘Embracing the nipple.”

“And I thought that simply letting it exist wasn’t enough.”

“What?”

“Well, just having it was what made me different. If I was to embrace it, I had to do something more.”

“Something more?”

“Yeah.”

“Like what?”

“Like a piercing.”

“Ouch.”

“Just wait.”

“With my new-found self confidence, I ran off to find a tattoo place that also does nipple piercing.”

“That’s not a sentence you hear every day.”

“I found a couple of places, but they wouldn’t do it.”

“Why not? You can’t tell me that people that work in a tattoo shop were freaked out by a third nipple.”

“Nope. There was even one guy who had a tattoo of a third nipple.”

“Then what was it?”

“Well, it’s a third nipple, so it isn’t as well formed as the first two.”

“I see.”

“So it would be a bit tricky to pierce.”

“Are you sure it’s even a nipple?”

“Yeah, it’s definitely a nipple. It’s just not your standard nipple.”

“And these places only do standard nipples?”

“Basically. They told me that it wouldn’t be safe to pierce that nipple. They didn’t want to take the risk.”

“Oh man, I really want to see the nipple now.”

“No you don’t. Let me finish.”

“Go ahead.”

“I didn’t really see how piercing my third nipple could be dangerous, so I kept looking.”

“Good call.”

“Right. This is where I kinda lost my mind.”

“Because you were thinking rationally up to this point.”

“You know what I mean. Anyway, I found a place that would do it.”

“Of course you did.”

“It wasn’t the best place in the world, but it looked like they kept their equipment clean so I figured it would be okay.”

“Just like a Kia dealership.”

“So I had it done. It was pretty painful, but I had never had a nipple pierced before so I just thought that was how it was supposed to go.”

“Did the guy that pierced you at least speak English?”

“Yes. As a second language.”

“You should have just slammed it in a car door, man.”

“Shut up. I’m not proud of this.”

“Okay, go on.”

“It was fine for a few days, but then it started getting red and puffy and tender.”

“Don’t take any offense if I puke.”

“I iced it and put some antibiotic cream on it, but it didn’t seem to help.”

“So you went to the doctor?”

“Not yet. One night I rolled over on it and it felt like it exploded.”

“Oh my God. I’m going to vomit.”

“I looked down and it pretty much had. Like a pimple. It was obviously infected.”

“Then you went to the doctor?”

“Yes. I went to the doctor.”

“And what did he say?”

“That he needed to remove the nipple.”

“So you removed the nipple?”

“Yes. I came straight here afterwards.”

“So you’re bleeding from what used to be your third nipple?”

“Yes.”

“I guess your first instinct was right.”

“Reject the nipple.”

“Reject the nipple, man.”

“Yeah.”

“You should get that as a tattoo.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What To Do While Your Wife is in Vegas

1) Turn on every single alert your bank account offers.
2) Take this opportunity to hang all the pictures that she wouldn’t let you hang before and when she sees them just say, “Don’t you remember talking about it when you called?  No?  You did sound pretty drunk.”
3) Put on a suit, head down to the riverboat casinos and try to get “comped.”
4) Walk the dog.  A lot.
5) Pretend that those people on Facebook are actually your friends.
6) Remember that while your wife is in Vegas, whatever happens in your condo stays in your condo.
7) Delete all episodes of The Bachelorette from the TiVo.
8) Hookers.
9) Invite friends over, meet them at the door, check their ID and tell them they’re not properly dressed for this club and send them home.
10) Treat yourself with the Champagne of Beers® and Strawberry Fruit Snacks.  It’s the next best thing to Champagne and strawberries.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Random Updatery

In all the excitement of posting stories and bits and keeping up with my new self-imposed schedule, I’ve not provided many updates on my life.  Get ready, it’s time for some updates.

Foam Memory
Dee and I got a new bed.  It’s one of those fancy-schmancy memory foam mattresses.  It is awesome.  These past four days have been the most well-rested of my life.  It’s strange that they call it memory foam, though.  It doesn’t really remember anything.  I mean, I guess it remembers to always spring back to its flat, rectangular shape but it definitely doesn’t remember me.  It simply reacts to my weight and shape and gently caresses me to sleep.  I guess “reactive caressing foam” doesn’t have the same catchy ring.

pH and the New Space
My comedy theater company, pH Productions, has moved to a new theater space.  We’re now at 3110 N. Sheffield Ave — a place called Studio Be.  The folks that run the place are awesome and very excited to have us and we couldn’t be happier to be a resident theater in a space.  We’ve got 8 PM shows now!  Yes, pH is finally doing shows before your bedtime.

Last weekend we did our first shows in the new space.  At 8 o’clock we did pHrenzy and said goodbye to cast members Howie and Tracy who are moving to LA to pursue bigger dreams.  With lots of help from my wife and her awesome friends, the place was packed and the show went really well.  We also did a midnight show, but I wasn’t there as it was past my bedtime.

This weekend we did preview shows for waitstaff, concierges and Yelp.com VIPs.  We did short versions of pHrenzy and pHamily the Musical.  Another round of good shows and another good crowd.  It also helped that we had free food and drinks for the lucky patrons.

Check our website for our schedule for the rest of the month.  In August things should settle in and we’ll have a consistent schedule.  Look out for our Gala Night on August 15th.

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You
As part of my new schedule I’ve decided that I want to post a short video on the last Friday of every month.  I shot some video with my friend Micah a few weeks ago and I’ve been working with him to get it properly edited and ready for posting.  I’m still on track to get something posted by Friday.  I’d love to post a trailer for the video, but the video itself is shorter than most trailers.

Secret Agent Man
I recently had a medical examiner and an FBI Special Investigator in my house on the same day.  I’d tell you more about it except for the whole tell you/kill you thing.  That makes telling the story logistically unfeasible — especially since my guns only shoot Nerf® darts.

Five Guys, One Burger
Dee and I went to the Five Guys Burgers and Fries that recently opened in our neighborhood.  Delicious burgers.  Greasy, but good.  Plus, they put your order in a brown bag and then dump in a scoop of fries — even if you’ve already ordered fries.  I recommend you stop in — just don’t make it a habit or you’ll be the size of five guys.

Rock ‘n’ Roll
During my week off at the beginning of July I dropped by the Empty Bottle to see the White Rabbits on the recommendation of one of my coworkers.  It was a great show in an intimate venue.  They put together a very intense set and really played their guts out.  I loved it.  It was the first time I’d seen a live band in a while.  It was good to hear some live music again.  Check out this video for a sample of how they like to rock it out.  Also, the two lead singers are really short.

What’s Going On?
I wonder what a caveman thought was happening when he woke up in the middle of the night with a leg cramp.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Truth: Computer Class

My dad was always a little bit ahead of his time.  For example, he immediately recognized the importance that computers would play in our daily lives and went out and bought the first TRS-80 he could get his hands on and he taught himself how to program it.  As time went on he would consistently upgrade.  We had a Commodore 64 and several IBM clones after that.  He made sure that I knew how to work whatever computer we had and he encouraged me to spend time on it and learn as much as I could so that I would be prepared for the future.

My dad wasn’t content to just teach me how to use computers; he wanted to teach as many kids as possible.  He decided to talk to my teacher, Sister D.  It was no surprise that he managed to talk her into letting him teach my sixth grade class computer programming for a couple hours a week.

When my dad came in to teach the lesson, he gave each of us a floppy disk with our name on it - including Sister D.  The class loved this.  Sister D would be learning right along with us.  We were instructed to save our programs to the disk with our name on it and my dad would check the disks each week to see how we were doing.

Most of the kids in the class caught on quickly but it was clear from the beginning that Sister D was struggling.  Each week her frustration would show a little more and we would quietly snicker and hope she didn’t notice.  At recess we would laugh at how easy it was for us and how hard it was for Sister D.  A few kids joked about playing some kind of prank on her with the computer but they didn’t know how.

I did.

The next day during my designated computer time, I quickly finished my assignment for the week and decided to take a look at the programs Sister D had saved on her disk.  I noticed that she had already started the assignment for that week and I opened up her program.  It was only half finished and I could already see that there were several problems.  She would definitely be doing more work on that program.  Thinking back to that recess, I suddenly knew the perfect prank to play on Sister D.  I began typing furiously and I stretched my meager programming skills to the limit.  Once I had finished, I saved my new updates to her programs and put her disk back where I found it.  I returned to my desk, anxious for the next time Sister D went to the computer.

Early the next morning, Sister D gave us all a lengthy math assignment and went back to the computer to work on her programming assignment for the week.  I watched closely and tried to keep from exploding with laughter.  I turned back to my assignment but I couldn’t concentrate.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long.

“What is wrong with this thing?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“It’s asking me for a password for all of my programs.  What is a password and how do I know what to type in?”

The whole class looked at me.  I did my best I-don’t-know-what’s-going-on-either face and said, “A password is a secret word that you use to protect your files.  What did you set yours to?”  The entire class was squirming with excitement and laughter but no one dare let out a peep.  Thankfully, Sister D was still staring at the computer screen.

“I didn’t set mine to anything.  Who did this?!”

She was getting angry.  The excitement and laughter quickly turned to fear.  No one liked when Sister D got angry.  Crazy and irrational things started happening when Sister D got angry.  I jumped out of my seat and ran over to the computer.

“Let me take a look.  Maybe I can figure out what is wrong.”

I opened up a few of her programs and pretended to be surprised when it asked for a password.  I took my time “discovering” the problem and deleting the code I had written.  When I was all done, I pulled up her programs and showed her that they were all working fine.  She looked at me carefully.

“How does something like this happen,” she asked.

“I’m not sure.  Maybe your disk is bad,” I tried.

“Did anyone else have this problem,” she asked the class.  Everyone shook their heads.

“Maybe you can ask my dad when he comes in tomorrow,” I said, hoping that she didn’t want to admit to another adult that she didn’t understand something. 

“Get back to your assignment,” she said.

I went back to my desk and finished my assignment and spent the rest of the day walking on eggshells with the rest of the class.  The next day my dad came in and taught his lesson and Sister D never asked him about the passwords.  Later that night at dinner my dad informed me that he would no longer be teaching programming to my class because Sister D thought that the students were wasting too much time on the computer.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him the real reason.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Doing the Dishes After a Party

Pros:
1) You score major brownie points with your wife.
2) You don’t come home the next day and ask, “What’s that smell?”
3) The wife is relegated to trash duty.

Cons:
1) Brownie points don’t necessarily translate into sex anymore.
2) It really dries out your hands.
3) What the fuck were these people eating?  I’m sure we didn’t serve whatever that was.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Sunbather

“I think she’s looking over here.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Yeah, she is.  She’s totally looking over at you.”

“Give it up, man.”

“I’m just saying.  She’s a hot redhead - you know how rare that is.  You can’t pass this up.”

“I know, man.  What do you want me to do?”

“Go talk to her.”

“She’s face down with her top undone.  You want me to go over and strike up a conversation with a topless girl that might also be asleep.”

“She’s not asleep.  She just looked over at you.”

“Whatever.”

“Stop being a pussy and go talk to her.”

“You really don’t see how it might be creepy to strike up a conversation with a girl who’s top is undone?”

“It’s not like she can run away.”

“Real nice.  So I’ll just go over and strike up a conversation with a girl who can’t really move except to lift her head and expect her to feel completely comfortable talking to me."

“C’mon.  She’s out here checking people out like the rest of us.  You don’t come out here to sunbathe and not expect to get hit on.”

“It sure seems like she’s doing a lot to avoid being hit on right now.”

“If you don’t do it someone else will.”

“That’s fine.  I’ll let someone else be the creep.  I can talk to her when she’s in a more suitable state.”

“What is your deal?”

“Oh, I don’t know.  Respect for women, maybe?”

“Are you going to respect them so much that you never ask any out?”

“Have I said that I’m not going to ask her out?”

“Whoa.  No need to get angry.  If you get too loud she’s going to think you’re an asshole.”

“Why are you so worried about this, anyway?”

“I want to hit on her friend.”

“Her friend has her top on, why don’t you go talk to her?”

“I’m not going to be the jackass that goes over there while her redheaded friend is topless.”

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fiction: Drugs and Marketing

I’m sure marketing is something that other small business owners struggle with all the time.  I bet they don’t have the same kind of marketing problems I do.  You see, most businesses struggle to find the right way to get their name and product or service communicated to the public.  They’re constantly trying to find the best way to reach the most people and then draw those customers in.  They run ads in the paper or on the radio or maybe even a local TV ad.  They typically use mass media to get their message out.  Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury.

My small business is illegal.  I sell pot.  Weed.  Ganja.  Dope.  Whatever you want to call it.  I can’t place an ad in the paper — I might as well turn myself in to the cops.  Unfortunately, I still need people to know that I sell pot.  I have to pay the bills too, you know.  I can’t use traditional media to advertise my business so I have to rely solely on word of mouth.  Every marketer knows that word of mouth is one of the best kinds of marketing because it’s free and it results in a much higher rate of return than any other kind of marketing.  However, you can’t make anyone pass along a recommendation for your business.  There are plenty of strategies for trying to increase the possibilities of word of mouth marketing — like good customer service — but that’s a topic for another time.  Word of mouth marketing was the original “viral” and that can be a problem for me.  I don’t want everyone to know that I sell pot, just the people that want to buy pot.  If too many people find out that I’m the guy that sells pot then it doesn’t take very long for police to find out.  That’s how my business gets shut down.

Instead, I have to carefully balance my marketing tactics.  I can’t simply sell pot to one guy and tell him to tell all of his friends.  I don’t want him to tell all of his friends.  I just want him to tell some of his friends.  In fact, I only want him to tell his friends that won’t tell all of their friends but just the ones that are interested in buying pot from me.  It sounds simple, but it’s much more tricky than you might think.  I can’t just tell the guy I sell to to only tell his friends that will only tell friends that will want to buy from me.  You follow?  You see, pot smokers are paranoid (I don’t smoke the stuff myself, I’ve been sober for three years).  They get freaked out if you act like what you’re doing is illegal.  If they think for a second that the cops might be on to you, they’ll go elsewhere.  So, what do you do?  You play it cool.

Part of being a good pot dealer is earning the trust of your customers.  This takes work and it’s not always the kind of work you like to do.  It requires that you put yourself in situations where you’re hanging out with people who like to smoke pot.  You have to go to their parties and drift into the circles of pot smokers and let it be known that you’re cool.  You see, pot smokers want to buy their pot from people they think are their friends.  That way they don’t think they’re getting screwed.  You have to become their friend.  You hang out, you offer to pack their bowl with some of your weed.  Once they hang out with your for a while and smoke your stuff, at least one of them will ask you where you get it.  There’s your customer.
 
Like any good drug dealer, I give him a little for free — because we’re friends now.  I make sure he has my number and I let him know that I’m available to hang out whenever he likes.  At first I make the customer come to me so that I can spend some time with him and get to know him.  This allows me to figure out if he’s a talker.  Once I feel comfortable that he’ll keep it quiet, I’ll tell him that he should bring a friend or two next time.  Inevitably he does.  Again, it gets dicey.  I can’t hard sell his friends the first time they show up or they’ll all get paranoid and I’ll lose everyone’s business.  I let them make the first move and make it seem like they’re lucky that I just happen to have some extra weed around.  Eventually, everyone begins to understand that I’m a dealer, but they never come right out and say it.  It’s an unspoken agreement.  Soon enough, they’re not hanging out anymore.  They come to get what they need and leave or, more frequently, I meet them somewhere (there’s that customer service I’m talking about).

Most of my clients understand that I’m always looking for new customers but that if they bring too many new customers my way, I’ll start to get suspicious and cut them off.  I’m not sure how they know this because I never say it outright.  Maybe they get the hint when I say, “Thanks for the business, you don’t need to do that.”  Maybe they want to only tell select people and keep me a closely guarded secret like their favorite little-known band that they’re afraid will sell out if too many people know about them.  Maybe they’re just paranoid enough to realize that having a high profile dealer puts them in bad situation, too.  I don’t care how they know, I’m just glad they do.
 
I know my marketing “plan” won’t show up in the Harvard Business Review.  Hell, it probably wouldn’t even be original enough to show up in the High Times Magazine business section, but it works for me.  I’ve got food on the table and I’m not writing this from jail.  That’s about all the success a pot dealer can hope for.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Here's the Thing...

…freedom of religion also includes freedom from religion.  So stop trying to cram your religious views down my throat.

…I understand why people might think I’m a Republican - I grew up in small-town Indiana, my dad was a Republican State Senator in Indiana and I went to Notre Dame - but I’m not a Republican.  So please stop inviting me to your ridiculous right-wing groups on Facebook.  I’m looking at you, high school friends.

…no offense.

…if you’re going to be the hot girl that flirts with me on the train, please do it five years ago when I was still interested and available to participate in that kind of thing.

…smokers are idiots.  You know what you’re doing to yourself and you do it anyway.  Same goes for people who eat Twinkies.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Post From My Dog

Note: I found the following on my computer yesterday after waking up from a nap.  It appears that my dog, Ruthie, managed to type a little something up for everyone.  I’ve edited a bit to add punctuation so that it is more readable, otherwise it’s just as Ruthie typed it.


Hello I am ruthie.  I am jeff’s dog.  He is not here and he doesn’t know that I am using his computer.  He will say no if he sees me.  I don’t like when he says no.  That means he’s mad at me and he doesn’t pet me when he’s mad at me.  I like when he pets me.  What was I just talking about?  I had to go bark at the door because there was somoene out there.  I scared them away.  I’m in charge of the door even though jeff doesn’t like it when I protect the door.  He says no but I’m in charg of the door.  I have to protect my family even though I’m small.  I like the computer room because there is lots of sunshin.  I lay in the sunshin because it is warm.  I fall asleep in the sunshin.  Sometimes jeff will make the window give me more sunshin.  I like when he does that.  Sunshin is warm and it feels good.  It feels good when he rubs my belly.  I’m sad because dee went away.  I don’t know where she is and I don’t know if she is ever coming home.  I hope she comes hom.  She’s my favorit.  I follow her everywhere because I love her.  We nap on the couch together.  She likes to take me to the beach so I can smell all of the smells.  There are lots of smells there.  I’m good at finding smells.  Sometimes I find food but she doesn’t like it when I eat it.  It tastes good and smells like the food that jeff and dee eat.  They don’t let me have their food.  I have other food.  I like food.  I like treets, too.  I get treets when I do things.  I get a treet when I sit and when I wait on cars and when I don’t bark at other dogs.  I bark at other dogs because they scare me and I’m afraid they will hurt jeff or dee.  I have to protect them.  Jeff and dee don’t like when I bark at other dogs.  I just want to protect them because I love them.  They feed me and play with me.  Sometimes we play ball.  Jeff throws it and I chase it down the hall and bring it back to him and he throws it again and I bring it back to him and when I get tired I put the ball down and go drink water.  I get thirsty after playing ball.  Sometimes I’ll play with my rope, too.  I’ll pull on it and jeff will pull on it and I’ll shak it and he’ll pull and oh look there’s sunshin.  I want to go lay in the sunshin.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Truth: The No-Hitter

By the time I was eleven years old, I had been playing baseball for four years and I had played every position on the field except pitcher and catcher.  I wasn’t opposed to playing catcher - my coaches had just never put me there - but I definitely did not want to pitch.  In Little League, being a good pitcher was all about who could throw the hardest.  I knew that I didn’t have the best arm, and I was more than happy to keep playing shortstop.  My coaches had different ideas.

I was playing catch with one of my teammates to warm up before practice when Coach Landis approached me and asked me if I wanted to pitch that season.  I told him that I didn’t want to pitch.  He briefly tried to convince me, but he could see that I had made up my mind.  Later in the practice, he asked me to practice with the pitchers just to see if I liked it or not.  If I didn’t like it then I didn’t have to pitch.  As a reasonable eleven-year-old, I agreed and practiced with the pitchers.  I didn’t like it.  It was clear I didn’t have the strongest arm and I would be one of those pitchers who were easy to hit.  I told Coach Landis that I didn’t want to pitch.  He told me I didn’t have to, but he would like me to keep practicing with the pitchers, anyway.  I didn’t see any harm in it, so I kept practicing.

About halfway through the season, Coach Landis and the other pitchers had convinced me that I might actually be a decent pitcher and I was finally convinced to pitch in an actual game.  To be safe, I made Coach Landis promise it would be against the worst team in the league.

At eleven years old, I didn’t have a very good sense of the history of baseball.  In fact, I didn’t pay much attention to the Major Leagues or to my batting average or how many doubles I hit or bases I stole or any kind of statistics at all.  In fact, I couldn’t have told you what I had to do to be a good pitcher other than throw the ball hard.  I didn’t know about ERA or strikeout to walk ratios or no-hitters or anything like that.  All I knew was that I was supposed to throw strikes and hope the rest of the team did everything they could to get three outs before the other team scored.  Hell, I didn’t even know pitchers had win-loss records - I always assumed the win belonged to the team.  I just liked playing baseball and didn’t care about much else besides winning and having fun.

When I took the mound in the bottom of the first inning, Coach Landis said, “Just throw strikes and have fun.”  He made it sound so easy.  That’s what I did.  I knew I wasn’t going to blow it by anyone so I just focused on throwing strikes and I trusted in everyone behind me to make the plays.  I did manage a few strikeouts, but mostly guys would hit the ball and someone would make the play.  After the first three innings, we were ahead 5-0 and I found myself sitting alone in the dugout.  The coaches weren’t talking to me and the players weren’t talking to me.  I assumed that I wasn’t doing a very good job and everyone was mad at me.  I was waiting for Coach Landis to take me out so that I could say, “I told you so.”  He never took me out.  I kept pitching.  I kept trying to throw strikes and we kept getting guys out.  Soon we were ahead 8-0, which wasn’t a big surprise since we were playing the worst team in the league.  Still, no one was talking to me.  I was waiting to be pulled.

When I walked out to the mound in the bottom of the sixth (the last inning in Little League) I realized that Coach Landis wasn’t going to take me out.  He was going to let me pitch the whole game.  Maybe I was doing better than I thought.  Regardless, I knew I only needed three more outs to end the nightmare.  If I got these guys out and we won the game, maybe everyone would start talking to me again.  I concentrated on throwing strikes.  The first batter hit a hard line-drive directly at the shortstop who snagged it easily.  Coach Landis cheered more enthusiastically than he should have for such an easy play.  The next batter swung and missed on the first two pitches and dribbled the third right back to me and I threw him out at first.  Coach Landis nearly erupted with excitement.  I didn’t understand what was going on.  Shouldn’t he expect us to beat the worst team in the league?  All I wanted to do was end this strange game and go home.  Everyone was acting weird.  The next batter took the first four pitches I threw and the count was even at 2 balls and 2 strikes.  I decided it was time for the game to be over.  I reared back and threw the ball has hard as I could right down the middle, he swung and missed.  Strike three.  Game over.  I thought, “Thank God I never have to do this again.”

But it wasn’t over.

The whole team erupted in huge cheers and Coach Landis came charging out to the mound, picked me up and threw me into the air while shouting something about a “no-hitter.”  I was confused and started crying.  I didn’t understand what I had just done and I didn’t know if he was shouting because he was happy or angry.  Everyone stopped.  Coach Landis got down on one knee and said, “Jeff, you just threw a no-hitter.” 

I said, “Is that good?” 

He said, “Yes, that’s the best you can do.” 

I said, “I don’t have do this again do I?  Everyone hates me when I pitch.” 

He said, “No, we don’t hate you.  You’re not supposed to talk to the pitcher when he’s throwing a no-hitter.” 

I said, “I’m not going to throw a no-hitter again.” 

He laughed and said, “I believe you.”

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What To Do While a Baby Shower is Happening in Your Home

1) Sneak into the kitchen to steal some gourmet cupcakes.
2) Watch porn really loudly in the next room.
3) Ignore your wife when she tells you to write down the names and brands of gifts that are being opened.
4) Walk the dog.
5) Try to remember the names of all of your wife’s friends.
6) Pretend you don’t know how to make the surround sound work when they want to watch The Bachelorette.
7) Take the opportunity to check out boobs that don’t belong to your wife.
8) Be a good boy and stay in the den until it’s all over.
9) Thank God that you live far enough away from everyone else that it’s not convenient to do this more than one or two times a year.
10) Pretend that you think the gourmet cupcakes are the best cupcakes in the world even though they taste like, you know, regular cupcakes.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Weekend: 4th of July

I had this whole past week off work so it felt like one really long weekend that still wasn’t long enough. However, I’ll confine this weekend post to cover the past few days.

Anticipated Disappointment Averted
Thursday night Dee and I decided to go see The Hangover with a couple of friends. I’d heard all of the glowing reviews from the pros and from friends alike. However, a friend who’s opinion I trust said it was funny but not as hilarious as everyone is making it out to be. I wasn’t expecting the laugh-riot that everyone was describing. As it turns out it’s a pretty funny movie and I left satisfied. I’m glad I paid the extra money to see it in the theater - unlike I felt after Old School which is just a good rental. Dee and our friends loved it.

After the movie we made our way back to my neighborhood and went to a new-ish bar in the area. We had been told the place was gay-friendly so we expected a fun, mixed crowd. As soon as I walked in I immediately knew that every other man in the bar was gay. We found a table and settled in. I went to the bar to get us some drinks. As I waited, a man sitting at the bar looked at me and asked, “Are you gay?”

“No, I’m not,” I replied.

“Oh, I was sure you were,” he said.

“Um. Thank you, I think,” I asked as I looked confusedly at the guy sitting next to him.

“Yeah, I think he means it as a compliment,” Gay Guy Number Two said.

“Yes, I do. Too bad for you, though,” Gay Guy Number One said.

“I’m sure,” I replied.

I ordered our drinks and headed back to the table and told the story. Everyone laughed and made the standard, “Gay guys love you” comments. Since we hadn’t seen our friends in a while we started catching up on our lives when Gay Guy Number One came over to say hello. I introduced him to my wife and our friends and he started asking questions and telling stories. It was clear that he had been drinking for much longer than we had and he wasn’t making a whole lot of sense. We only understood him when he was talking about my gray hair. Eventually we were able to shoo him away. After he was gone, Dee’s friend turned to me and said, “We can’t take you anywhere there are gay people without causing a scene.”

I said, “Thank God Dee was too hungover for us to go to the Pride Parade.”

Conversational Tones
Friday evening Dee and I were invited to her friends’ place to hang out and celebrate the Nation’s birth. We had been trying to organize a large-size booze cruise, but it didn’t quite work out. Instead a smaller group of us made up some tasty snacks and grabbed our favorite booze and headed over to Dee’s friends’ place. Fortunately, they had a nice little common area in the back of the building that was perfect for hanging out and enjoying the weather. Unfortunately, the common area was surrounded on all sides by the building. We were told that we needed to use “conversational tones.” It became the catch-phrase of the evening any time anyone raised his or her voice. We kept it to a dull roar for a while. Then people started getting drunk and we decided to break out Lightning Xtreme Shock Game. Lightning Xtreme Shock Game involves four people holding those metal handles while a red light flashes. When the red light turns to green, you are to click the button on your handle. If you are the last to hit the button - or if you hit it before the light changes - you get shocked. As you might have guessed, that resulted in more than one loud scream. Soon we were greeted with the sounds of blinds clicking upwards and windows slamming downwards. We quieted down and put the game away.

After about an hour of keeping it relatively quiet, we thought we were in the clear when someone came out and announced that the landlord had just called saying that the residents were “livid.” We moved the party inside. It was almost 1:00 am after all.

I guess our “conversational tones” are still too much for the sleepy residents of Dee’s friends’ building.

4th of July and Other Birthdays
On the 4th, Dee and I drove out to the ‘burbs to celebrate our Nation’s birth and the birth of Dee’s grandmother. We celebrated 233 years for Uncle Sam and 85 years for Dee’s grandmother. The rain put a bit of a damper on the party, but Dee’s brother was brave enough to stand out in front of the grill with an umbrella and make sure we all had tasty burgers and hot dogs.

Before we finally decided to grill despite the rain, we spent a good amount of time waiting out the rain. We spent most of that time snacking on chips and dips and nuts and candies and all of the other snack-type things that show up at a celebratory barbeque. I snacked enough that I could only handle one small burger and a few twigs of asparagus. Plus, birthday cake. And ice cream. After all that, we packed up our doggie (yes, we brought Ruthie) and headed home.

The moment I walked in the door to our condo, my stomach began its revolt. Beer and snacks on Thursday and Friday night had taken its toll and my stomach was pissed. It initiated the evacuation sequence and I spent the rest of the evening in or very near the bathroom.

They say you get forgetful as you age. It seems as if my memory of the fragile nature of body is only about a month long.

Someone send me a reminder in a month so I don’t do this again.