Thursday, July 30, 2009

Letting go of your childhood. In Memory Of Gary.

I went to see Gary today. I went to tell him I loved him and.. to tell him goodbye. Gary has been my neighbor for 47 years. We have known each other from birth. Our parents moved next to each other before we were born, our houses shared a backyard fence. When Gary's parents were coming out of the hospital from giving birth to him, my parents were going into the same hospital to have me, they met on the elevator.

I have no childhood memories that do not include Gary. We were almost always together. Our own little Rat Pack. We played almost everyday and then began kindergarten when we were old enough. We got in our share of arguments and fights, but always made up. We got in trouble together on many occasions. We did some really stupid things which I won't get into because I'm still not sure the statute of limitations are over. We had some mischievous times too. Like throwing water balloons at cars from the cemetery at night. It had many trees that blocked the moons rays, purposing it to be the perfect hideout when the owners of those cars stopped, the goal of ripping our sweet little innocent heads off foremost on their minds.

His parents almost sold their house once. I saw the "for sale" sign in the front yard and I panicked. I went home and prayed it would not sell so Gary would not move away. He was my only friend at the time. It didn't sell and he stayed. Things that could have torn other young friendships apart, didn't. Gary's German Shepherd, Sam, jumped our fence and bit a huge hunk of skin out of our Dachshund, Fritzi, and at my 6th birthday party, one of our fellow classmates decided to pretend he was a kamikaze pilot but didn't release the battle plans to Gary until after he had flown a rather large plastic jetliner into Gary's eye. Sam was very protective of Gary and looked after him like any good dog should. Gary would sometimes climb.. or should I say TRY to climb the fence into my yard. Sam, intuitively knowing that Gary was doing something terribly, horribly wrong, would run up and hook his teeth into the back of Gary's pants and start pulling, naturally to save Gary from impending doom. Gary would scream "MAMAAAAAA" knowing one of our mothers would eventually come to the rescue when there was a commercial break during their soap operas.

As what happens with a lot of childhood friends, we grew older and grew apart. Gary was into sports, I wasn't. That alone was enough to create a cavern between us. The things we had in common seemed to slip away, things that teenagers for some reason, don't realize they should hold onto. Instead, they battle the much bigger questions of wondering who they are and where they fit in, superseding everything else.

Life went on of course and years quickly flew by. Gary's mother passed away after high school as did mine later on. We felt the loss of both since they co-opted in raising us. Gary inherited his mothers house and I eventually moved back to take care of my Dad after a stroke. We were neighbors once again. We did not talk much but were always friendly towards one another when we did. Surprisingly to me, there was still a twinge of regret in my heart for the friend I lost so long ago.

In November of last year, Gary had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. During his bypass, something went wrong and he was put on a respirator to help him breathe. I drove to the hospital to see him and was slightly taken aback by all the tubes encircling his body and bed. There were tubes in his throat, allowing him to breathe, but not talk. When he saw me, he grabbed me and pulled me close, there were tears flowing from both of us. He released my body only to grab my hand as hard as he could. He looked straight at me as if to say, "I remember".

Gary left the hospital only to go into a nursing home for rehab. Complications almost involved the installation of a revolving door as he traveled back and forth between the two. At this point he had not been home for 8 months. We talked several times over the phone. His voice, gravely and sometimes weak, made it hard to understand what he was saying at times but I chalked it up to the tiny speakers of a cell phone. Visiting him in person taught me that the cell phone was indeed working quite well and it was his consistent coughing that was the larger culprit. His thirst for a sympathetic ear was underscored by his need to be noticed, to know he had not been forgotten. I tried to make sure he wasn't.

Not only was Gary suffering from his heart procedure, He was on Dialysis for his kidneys and battled diabetes that wasn't discovered until his hospitalization. His toes had turned black from the complications. He contacted me Tuesday night. He was going to find out if he would be losing his toes or perhaps even more of his foot. He wanted prayer, he said he didn't understand why this was happening. we talked a bit longer then he told me he had to get off the phone because he was having one of his "spells". I assumed he was going to have one of the many coughing fits that filled his days. I said goodbye, not knowing it would be the last time we would ever speak.

He was found unresponsive on Wednesday morning. He never woke up. They turned off his life support at 3pm today. He passed away shortly after. I am supposing I was the last person to talk to him.

He is with Jesus now. He is resting from a difficult life and a particularly rough 8 months. I'm happy he is out of pain. Free from all the tubes and equipment that had taken over his life. I'm thankful I had the chance to be there at the end since I was there in the beginning.

Goodbye Gary. I'll see you again someday.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Memories Of Grandpa and JimTom the Soldier Dog.

My grandfather lived with my dad for the last few years of his life. On the day it was decided that "PopPop" would make the transition from his home of 40 years, he'd had the space heater going in his den on a hot summers day and the temperature inside had risen to over 100 degrees. He was found passed out on the floor. We don't know why he had the space heater running on such a hot day. Maybe Grandpa had taken up making pottery and decided to use the den as a kiln but since we didn't see any clay we decided he needed a bit of supervision. The only problem with taking grandpa home with us to live is that we had to take his 20 year old Chihuahua from hell known as "JimTom".

In dog years, JimTom was older than his owner. Those two "old men" were a lot alike. Neither could walk very well or see worth a darn but they understood each other with a type of knowing relationship war veterans might find at the local VFW. JimTom didn't do much but sit in PopPop's lap and stare at anyone who came within his line of vision. He was obviously checking to see if you were a spy.
Lord help if you decided to pet JimTom, for you would draw back a bloody nub from his one good tooth which he was amazingly accurate with. Perhaps it was a targeting skill he finely honed while storming the beach at Normandy or perhaps he was simply lucky. PopPop would call JimTom "his only friend" yet he was not immune from the "tooth of doom". I guess to JimTom, everyone was a Nazi spy. If touched in the wrong spot, which was apparently anywhere on his body, JimTom would carry out his snipers assignment to silently make the kill. Although crippled with arthritis, JimTom would draw on the memory of Pattons rousing 3rd army speech and find the inspiration to leap up and destroy the enemy hand that naively traversed his airspace.

After PopPop and JimTom came to live with us, JimToms body weakened a little more and he was unable to walk more than a few steps. Even though JimTom was in pain, it would have killed my grandfather if he were to lose his only friend so we just let him live out his days as comfortably as possible. JimTom had to be carried outside to use the restroom, a duty that required skill and if you were smart, heavy leather gloves.
The latrine call could come at anytime of day or night. He owned a high pitched siren that would sound from his bunker on the LazyBoy in the living room. You had to respond or the siren would continue and no amount of cotton placed in the ears would soften it's shrill tone. Most of the time, JimTom would have mercy on the enemy hands assisting him in his business but in reality he was lulling them into a false sense of security, gaining trust and biding his time till he could do the most damage.
PopPop passed away on a February day and we could tell JimTom immensely felt the loss. Not sure if he missed Grandpa or just the taste of blood. He slowed down even more and the decision was made to let him spend eternity with his only friend.

I couldn't watch it being done. I had to leave him alone at the vets office. I felt as though my cowardice and betrayal would eventually be punished by superior officers but JimTom would be far happier. He could go on reconnaissance missions and bite all the Nazi's his one tooth could reach. He could hoist all the Ale he wanted at the Moulin Rouge and if no one was watching, enjoy a playful moment chasing squirrels through the meadow, the constant pain gone from his legs at last. It felt as though I was losing part of my past but I knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do. He was a soldier and his dignity was gone. He needed to go out like a man.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Death Where Is Thy Sting?

Death where is thy sting? Today, My Isuzu pick-up affectionately known as "Lil Hoss" breathed his last in the drive through at Whataburger. He was 17. Lil'Hoss was a good truck. He served me well for 5 years. He had been through several surgeries lately and simply could not recover. Services will be held in my front yard on a date to be determined.
One of the feral cats also went to meet Jesus, face to whiskers yesterday, she was taken out by a Ford.

Now I gotta admit, I don't miss the cat as much as I do the truck. I like cats, but not as much as I do being able to drive to get groceries or drive my dad to the doctor. Call me selfish for wanting to do that. That being said, I think of all the people who have to depend on public transportation or even those who are shut-ins. Who am I to complain? How many in this world have it worse than I do.. millions, thats who. Ya got to put everything in your life in perspective.

I have another truck that has vinyl seats and no air conditioning. Not a great combo here in Texas. While you leave small pieces of skin behind on everything you touch, it's better than walking.

I say, Look for the silver lining in everything around you and give thanks with a grateful heart. I'm about to right now.. "Thank you God for getting rid of one more feral cat". See? thats how its done.

RIP Isuzu and feral cat. May you sleep forever in peace.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A New Day Begins!

Ahhh, the early morning. The day is dawning. The sun glistens through the branches of the trees in the field while magnificent colors explode in the clouds. The birds chirp excitedly over the first meal of the day, a June bug perhaps or maybe a grasshopper that has exposed it's position. The gentle wind rustles my hair like an elderly grandmothers hand. The squirrels are starting their day by playing tag with one another in and around the majestic Oak trees, happily chattering away...

Well thats an ideal morning but I woke to utter darkness, sweating like a pig from the heat in my poorly air conditioned bedroom and an uncomfortable pain somewhere in my stomach that feels like an alien intruder ready to dine on spleen tartar. My extremities scream with a treacherous betrayal of their basic function and my mouth is as dry as the Mojave desert.

Yet, I am blessed with another day of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As bad as I feel, I know I am blessed. The gift of a new day has never been a human right although there are people in this world that will demand God correct that oversight as soon as they get enough people to sign their online petition.

As we study and grow in the knowledge of God's nature, we should realize we aren't promised anything in the life he's granted us other than he loves us and he will not forsake us. We never know if we have one more minute left on this earth much less one more day. As we let the trials and tribulations of being human make us into emotional useless blobs of goo, we forget that he is more knowledgeable and far more capable in setting out paths straight yet our sinful nature makes us into the proverbial toddler that screams "ME DO IT!" to assert our independence.

We were not made to live independently of God. Living apart from God is as illogical as a fish declaring that it no longer wants to be bothered by the confines of water.

My day is progressing. The aches and pains are disappearing and the alien living in my innards has finally decided to take a nap. I will make plans on what to do today. I will decide on how productive I want to be.. then God is gonna have to drop kick my fat hiney right in the middle of it to get me to actually get it done. He knows me too well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I'll Take Sleep Disorders for $300 Alex!

Sleeping disorders, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. Well, I would count them if I could stay focused long enough. I had Sleep Apnea for years. Sleep Apnea is a disorder where your brain forgets to tell you to breathe during the night or there is an obstruction to keep you from breathing properly. Now I'm sure the brain doesn't do this on purpose and it's simply an over site on it's part. I'd hate to think it was an act of revenge but if it were I would imagine it would be for the times I spent watching Desperate Housewives.

I didn't know what was wrong with me. I could sit down in a chair and be asleep in seconds. Nice if you're 80 years old or like to take small naps during the day, not so nice if you like to do it while say..driving a car down a freeway or while at work. The toll it took on my mental state was vast. I could not concentrate on anything. Many hours passed by with me staring into space, not really thinking about anything, just enjoying LaLa land and the carnival rides they have there.
Mistakes I made at work were plentiful, thus, why my bosses tended to yell and scream at me. It was a good thing I was riding the merry-go-round inside my head and didn't hear a thing they said. I lived in a fog so much of the time, I considered tying a flashlight to my head so ships wouldn't run into me.

I was given a CPAP machine. It's a machine of torture that has a mask you place over your face while it gently forces air into your nose and/or mouth to keep your airway open, much like placing your lips around a jet engine during takeoff. It's not that I didn't enjoy having to stuff my lungs back into my chest with a broom handle up my wazoo or anything, it just didn't work. I could not get used to it. The next step was a bit more drastic. They wanted to take my tonsils out.

Hey! The kids on TV always had all the ice cream they wanted. They always made it out to be a very simple procedure.

Lies.. all dirty, dirty lies.

Sure, you could have all the ice cream you want.. what they don't tell you is that once it goes past your mouth.. it morphs into salt encrusted razor blades with thumbtack sprinkles.
You see, the roots of your tonsils keep growing as you age. At age 40, mine had grown so long that my body had put up a fence much like they have for the lines for park rides at Six Flags.
The beginning of the operation was a nightmare. Since I had sleep apnea, they said they had to intubate me...


I liken the experience with having to swallow a garden hose.. and attached sprinkler head. They made me swallow disgusting things, vile tasting things. They claimed it was to deaden my throat for the operation but I was fairly certain that when the tonsils tasted this stuff, they would just get up and walk out on their own.

It was the most painful experience I had ever had. I pushed that morphine button like a Jeopardy contestant on crack, but alas, it did not help. I had to drink several glasses of water a day. It was excruciating to do so but NOT keeping the wound hydrated would make the pain worse. They also took out my adenoids in my nose. When I went back for a checkup, my doctor asked me if I had much pain in my nose and I said "no." he said "well you really do but your throat hurts so much you can't tell." Thats kinda like hitting your foot with a hammer so your focus is off your toothache. A coworker had to have her tonsils out a few months later. She told me that the pain was worse than childbirth. At least I had something to compare it with now even if it was by proxy.

All in all.. the pain finally started to go away, after three weeks. My throat healed. My sleep apnea, cured. The good thing about it is that I know what to expect if I ever give birth.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When You're About To Be Murdered.

I was in my kitchen, cooking a roast, adding spices, savoring the aromas wafting my senses when I looked out the window and saw that somebody had dumped two trash bags on my neighbors lawn. "Why do people have no concern for the property of others?" I fumed. I took another look outside and I noticed something sticking out from the trash bags...feet.

I knew I needed to go check it out but I considered that the rest of the body, and no tellin who else just might be chopped up in those trash bags. Throwing caution to the wind and turning the fire down under the pot roast, I proceeded outside to what I was pretty sure going to be somethin really yucky.
I got outside and much to my relief, there was an completely intact human laying beside the bags. Still didn't know who was in those trash bags, but it wasn't him. Heck, he may be using himself as a decoy. Some sympathetic soul leans over the see if he's breathin and "whack!..". He was partially laying in the street so I knew I had to act fast since much larger things, like cars, have been over looked and run over at that corner. If people couldn't see cars, they sure as heck wouldn't see him.

I called 911 and told them there was a mass murderer lying in my neighbors yard and could they come get him before he hopped up and started murderin.
The 911 operator asked me if I was sure he was dead and I said I was as sure as I wanted to be cause I wasn't any gettin closer to find out. I didn't want to be chopped up in those bags, I wouldn't be able to breathe.

The 911 operator was a persistent woman and wasn't gonna let me off the hook.

911: Is he breathing sir?

Me: I can't tell.. he's wearing a heavy coat. (Thus I figured the reason he was laying there in the first place since it was 100 degrees outside)

911: Ok sir.. can you give him a little kick to wake him up?
Now I don't know where this 911 operator was from but here in Texas, we civilized folk don't normally go around kickin dead people we haven't formally been introduced to. I guess I coulda leaned over and tickled him sayin' "gitchee gitchee goo" but that decoy thing kept poppin up in my head.
I gave him a little nudge with my foot and called out to him, no response. The 911 operator said she was sending paramedics out and they would be arriving shortly.

The firetruck came up blaring it's siren. I guess that loud siren was enough to scare his soul back into his body. I didn't know that could happen but it did cause sure enough, he sat up right as rain. I live across from a cemetery too.. ain't no tellin how many people are over there lookin around going "What the crud..?"

The paramedic started taking to him and asking him questions..

Medic: Sir, what is your name?

Previously Dead Man: Jaime Martinez.

Medic: Sir are you ok?

Previously Dead Man: Jaime Martinez.

Medic: Sir, Are you hurt?

PDM: Jaime Martinez.

Well, they stood ol Jaime up and he immediately stumbled into our four lane street. He was about to be killed all over again.

Well, Jaime walked off with his bags of dead people and I stood there really embarrassed that I'd called 911 for somebody that was just takin a nap.

I'm just glad the roast was ok.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Life With Father (With Apologies to Clarence Day)

Ever seen the movie "Life with Father"? It was a 1947 movie starring William Powell and Irene Dunne. It's based on a book by Clarence Day Jr. about his childhood and memories of his staunch, set-in-his-ways Father. I had read the book in elementary school and loved it. The movie is also quite good. It pops up on TCM every now and then.

I take care of my 83 year old dad. It's interesting to say the least. Old people?..well.. they do old people stuff, just like God intended. Why God intends this, I do not know. All I know is it's scary at times and other times, it's pretty dang funny. The best times are when scary and funny combine together to make you laugh while you are running for your life.

One morning I walked into the kitchen ready to go to work. I smelled gas. It wasn't from dad even though old men tend to do that...a lot. It was coming from a gas line somewhere.

Me: "Dad, I smell gas."

Dad: "I don't"

Me(opening cabinet doors under the stove top): "It's coming from the stove but I can't tell from what, it's too dark"

Watches dad take box of matches from cabinet...


Dad: "I was gonna light a match under there for more light."

Combined laughing and crying to now commence...

I didn't know if he was kidding or not. I wasn't staying around to find out. When the Firemen left, I realized he couldn't stay at home alone anymore. And no, he didn't blow the place up, I discovered that when you call the gas company to report a leak, they call the fire department. I also found out that said fire department frowns on people running down the street screaming for everyone to run for their lives. Apparently neighborhood evacuations are taken seriously and you can't just whip one up willy nilly. Fine.. THEY aren't living with the geriatric UniBomber.

Now for a more calming story...

Dad has a table lamp beside his chair. It is his favorite table lamp. I know this because for the last 4 years, he has had to twist the bulb back and forth to turn it on and off. They obviously had a working relationship. The last straw was when the lampshade would not stay tilted towards his favorite chair, where he read his favorite newspaper every morning. It bugs me to no end that the lampshade stays tilted but he says he doesn't have enough light to read if it's not. In that case he really needs an amplifier next to his head but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's not so much that he's hard of hearing but that he is pretending I'm not there. However, he no longer bothers to stick his fingers in his ears when he goes "LALALALALAAA" while I am speaking. Of course, that may not have a thing to do with drowning me out. I may need to check his meds. sister came to the rescue and bought him a new lamp for Fathers Day. He was happy but his happiness was short lived for it seemed that the wall outlet also favored the old table lamp. The outlet was pouting and would not accept the plug from the new intruding trollop of a lamp.

I told him the outlet was pining away and I'd have to fix it later. Apparently that did not register with him. I hear:


Dad (yelling to me): "Bill, this lamp won't work."

Me: "I told you the outlet needs changed."


Me: "Dad! The outlet needs changed!"


Dad: "It still don't work.."

I tell him yet again that the outlet needs changed and I then go on to think about other things. A few hours later I go into the kitchen to grab a snack. I hear him get up off the couch cause it's his bedtime. As he casually strolls by I hear him mumble..

"...guess I won't be able to read the paper tomorrow either..."

Sigh... Obviously the project could not wait one more day, somebody would die, probably me.

Well.. thats how it goes in my house. My heart goes out to everyone who has had to become the parent and care for the elderly. To all those who's parents are still young and vibrant.. Your day is coming..

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why I Hate Shopping.

I just got back from Sam's Warehouse. If you don't have a Sam's, maybe you have a Costco or other bulk shopping stores in your area. I HATE going to Sam's...Why?.. because..I can't afford to get 20 cans of chunk white tuna or a 3 gallon Bucket-O-Salsa.
The things I could do with 5 boxes of 30 count odor reducing trash bags. Heck, I'd never have to buy underwear again. Those cellulose drawers might get a bit uncomfortable during hot summer months but what's a little nuclear heat rash compared to a man being able to float an air-biscuit whenever and wherever he wants? Dragged to a Symphony? Not a problem.. just wait till the percussion section gets going.

Man leans over to Wife: "Did you catch my rift at the end?" *giggles..

The good thing is, you'll probably never have to go with her again.

I'm a typical man, Go in, get what I need and get the heck out. I couldn't imagine having to go with a spouse. Bulk shopping is really not fair to women or marriages.

Spouse: "Honey! Look! They have 2000 plastic Army men for $5.29! Let's get it!"

Hubby: "Ummm.. why?"

Spouse: "So we could put them in the flower beds and scare the Aphids away from the Hydrangeas!"

I'm sure I could find a use for a 1500 count bottle of Flintstone vitamins.. I could give them away to people, maybe at a dinner party..

Male Guest (leans over to wife and whispers) "My mashed potatoes are looking at me.."

Sigh...there's so much I want when I enter those doors. That mouth watering case of Slim Jims, an 800 count box of Double Bubble.. but alas, they're not to be mine. Some day I'll have the money to get those little green Army men.. I'll pretend they are snipers and aim them for the neighborhood stray cats.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

How To Be Extremely Popular.

I am a very popular person. The attention I get is quite overwhelming at times and I can barely stand it. It seems I get a lot of attention from undesirables, pest if you will. These pest want a piece of me. They are out for my blood. I want them out of my life. These pest?..


I am diabetic. Mosquitoes love diabetics. Our blood is sweet. Like nectar to a hummingbird. For the mosquitoes it's like a trip to Baskin Robbins......

Child Mosquito: Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Let's go to Mr.Bill's! Let's go to Mr.Bill's! I'm gonna get a double suck with extra skin flake sprinkles!

Daddy Mosquito: Well hmmm, I don't know... you barely touched Mr. Jenkins tonight for dinner... Did you ask your mother?

Child Mosquito: She told me to come ask you... and besides, Mr. Jenkins tasted yucky.

Mama Mosquito (yelling from the kitchen): See dear, I TOLD you Mr. Jenkins started drinking again..(trembling voice)Why can't we eat outside a nice restaurant for once? YOU NEVER TAKE ME ANYWHERE!! (flys to bedroom and slams door)

Daddy Mosquito: (looks at kid) See what you started?

I cannot go outside during warm temperatures without being eaten alive. My house has been under siege for months. Silently, they wait, plotting, planning, ready to lay waste to anything in their path to get what they want, much like soccer moms in a Friday after Thanksgiving sale at Walmart.

The aftermath of an attack is another thing all together. The resulting itching is torture. It last for a good hour or more. If I were a terrorist and got captured.. they wouldn't have to waterboard me. All they would have to do is make me eat a 3 Musketeers and stick me outside for a few minutes. I'd talk... a lot, but then I'm such a chicken I'd probably talk as soon as they caught me...

Soldier: HALT! Who Goes the...

Me: (talking at the speed of light)My Names Bill and theres WMDs over at the Dairy Queen behind the Dilly Bars!!

Soldier: Very good, Capitalist Pig..(turns to platoon) Unleash the mosquitoes!

Child Mosquito: Daddy..He taste yucky!

Daddy Mosquito: Oh for the love of.....

So.. want to be popular? Go ahead and have that leftover fried chicken and apple pie when you think everyones asleep.. The Mosquitoes will be watching.. and waiting.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Stint as a Child Star

Most people do not know that I was a child star. It was a brief flame that was snuffed out way too early. I reminisce on those times with a bit of apprehension yet would not change a minute of it. It made me who I am today.

I started my career at KTVT in Fort Worth Texas. I was about six years of age. I remember being very afraid my first day at work. Would I do well? Will I be good enough for a long run? Will they let me play with the Romper Stompers? *Stands in dramatic Superman pose with fist on hips, looking into the horizon.. Yes, I was on Romper Room.

It was a whirlwind of activities. We had an excruciating schedule of two shows a day. I was a star and I knew it. As with other child stars, my behavior became the sum of all the pampering I received. The incident that ended it all was when I crashed my cardboard car into the one in front of me and dramatically screamed while falling to the floor. It would have been fine..had it been in the script but I was being a professional actor. Aren't you SUPPOSED to scream when you are injured in a car wreck? They had to stop taping to see what the heck was wrong with me. My Mother was given a lecture by the star of the show, Miss Mary Lynn. My Mother, always the typical stage mother, got me in the car afterwards and screamed...

"How could you embarrass me like that? Don't you know that this family depends on this job? We will be homeless if you get fired! You know your Father drinks all our money!!"

The only problem with that was that we weren't getting paid and my dad didn't drink. Mother always did have a flair for the dramatic.

I was a 'has been' before I was a 'been'. I longingly look back at it now. What heights would I have soared to? Where would I have been if my illustrious career had not been stymied by my impromptu method acting? Hollywood? Broadway?

I can see myself now..a brilliant career.. money, fame..stints in Rehab smelling of whiskey and regret... I could have had it all.

I would cry that life wasn't fair but I was given a great gift. I peeked when Miss Mary Lynn told us to close our eyes.. I saw where she hid her magic mirror.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My most Memorable 4th of July

I was about 8 years old. Back in those days, fireworks in the city were still legal, before fire departments got all uppity about house fires and burned off hands. We had a farm out in what was then, an unincorporated part of the city.

We always went out there to shoot fireworks on the 4th or New Years. No houses around.. just lots of prime farmland and livestock to burn down. This particular 4th of July was like others, as tradition would dictate, we fished all day while we ate, drank, and relaxed. At dusk it was time for fireworks! As was also tradition, my older brother would throw firecrackers at my feet to watch me dance and scream. That year, he didn't take into account that I was older and able invoke revenge. He was more than a little shocked when I threw one back. He panicked, danced a jig, screamed and stepped on the firecracker to stop it from exploding. After he quit crying I made sure that every time he looked at me, I had a grin on my face. It got a bit difficult to figure out what to do to make him look at me over and over but I was out for nothing less than his soul.

Well the day passed and it got late. The mosquitos came out and my jaws were tired from grinning for 3 hours straight. We started for home. We got everything unloaded (in other words, my mom made several trips to the car) but I had one problem..I could see there were still fireworks left. Ahhh the temptation..the gravitational pull..they beckoned to me..longingly..seductively.

"Biiiiilllll.... Biiiiilllllll... we have not served our purpose in life, you must purify us with fire or we will not see the promised land..It is your destiny as the chosen one..."

I couldn't take it anymore so I waited till my mother was in bed watching TV and I quietly slivered out of the house and into the backyard with the Kings treasure.. SPARKLERS!
I was going to write my name in the air! Make circles of fire! Burn my hands in multiple places! A few seconds after I lit the infernos of death.. I heard my name being called again.. only this time it was my mother. I didn't know what to do so I threw them on the roof of the house. I had to ditch the evidence.

My mother never caught on so I breathed a little easier..but not for long. We were in her bedroom watching TV when we heard a horrendous house shaking BOOOOOOOOOOM! the bedroom windows lit up like high noon and everything in the house went dark as to welcome the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse. I immediately knew I was guilty and I stared screaming 'I'M SORRY MAMA!! I'M SORRY MAMA!!... she looked at my tear streamed face and said "huh?"
I dove head first into the most dramatic soliloquy of my young life and told her, that I had thrown lit sparklers on the roof.

She looked at me again then got up to put on her robe in a remarkably calm manner considering we were about to be homeless.

When we got outside we noticed that every light in the neighborhood was off and I started bargaining with God to take me up.. NOW. I noticed a crowd of people gathering a few house up, no doubt a lynching was in the making.

Well, what really happened was that a drunk was driving down the road at a high rate of speed and rammed a telephone pole, breaking it in half and yanking the high voltage wires from the power transformers in our front and back yards. Dante's Inferno was indeed in my backyard, but I was not guilty of starting it.

I counted myself lucky that I wasn't to blame but what was my mom going to do now that I had confessed to a heinous crime? I pretty much figured I was going to be living with a professional band of pickpockets soon and breaking into song with redheaded barmaids. To my relief, she did nothing.. strange thing was that every time I looked at her she had a big grin on her face.. and I swear my soul itched..

Friday, July 3, 2009

Taking care of my dad

I take care of my 83 year old dad. The other day he told me he needed a bath. All I had on hand was Dawn dish washing liquid. I wasn't sure if it would work so I took him to the beach and poured crude oil on him.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Vacation/Staycation pictures.!

Anyone know how to make postcards out of digital pictures? Some of my family recently went on a two week vacation and drove from Texas to New York. They sent tons of postcards to me and my Dad about every exotic thing they saw, went to, and experienced.

I can't afford any vacation. I'm very poor. I'm also very petty...So..I'm going to take pictures of various rooms in my house and yard, make them into postcards and show them where I've been while they were off gallivantin' around, havin fun and livin the good life.

I think I shall start with a picture of my television and write a little message on the back..

"I was on vacation too! Today, I rode to the top of the Empire State Building.. it was lovely. Oh and guess who I saw?!? Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks!! I didn't know they were an item! They were looking so intently at each other! SO romantic.. They had some kid with them but I didn't recognize him. See ya later Gator *giggles, Bill"

Next, I think, will be the Kitchen Stove.

"Oh my goodness, We ate here today! This is one of the most exclusive eateries around! They are so progressive, elite and hip, you get to cook your meal yourself! Isn't that just sooo fun?!? I even got to serve another patron. He was an elderly gentleman in his 80's. He was so hilarious too! After I served his meal he looked at me and said "Where the Hell's my drink?" I just laughed and laughed!
Well.. toodles! off to see more sights! Love and kisses, Bill"

Next, Hmmm.. maybe I could try an exclusive hotel AKA.. my bedroom.

"This is where I stayed the night. It was so nice.. Oh My Goodness! Strange thing..the bathroom was in the hallway... and I had to share it! Oh..This place was SO Bohemian! you'll never guess who was coming out the door at the same time I was going in!! THE LITTLE OLD MAN FROM DINNER! ROFL! Again, he made my sides ache with laughter when he said "Better light a match, butthead" LOLOLOLOL! Ohhh my, he was the most colorful man! Gotta Run! Au Revoir Mon Ami!!! Bill"

Well, you get the idea. They will get a good laugh out of it...I hope.


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I'm 50 year old man who prays he won't take anyone out with him when he finally loses it. Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012