Tall Tales

Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Tall Tales with Comments closed |

Sometimes when you’re as tall as I am, people say things that they think are clever, but really, it’s just annoying. Things like, “How’s the weather up there?” Or a slight variation of that, “How’s the view?”

Neither of those statements are funny when you’ve heard it at least twice a day for twenty straight years. I really want to spit my coffee all over these people and say, “It’s a torrential downpour,” but I don’t. I usually give a fake laugh and say, “Never heard that one before.”

Sometimes people are naive enough to say, “You haven’t?”

And I say, “Well, it’s the first for the day,” and I leave them standing in their stupidity.

One thing that’s hard about being tall is dating. The first question that any woman asks me, even before they ask for my name is, “How tall are you?”

“6’10” I say.

“Ewwww, that’s tall. You know what they say about tall guys,”

“They have knee and back problems?” I

“No silly—That they’ve got big…you know?”

I’ve had the same conversation with 100’s of girls and it usually stops right there because I don’t dare tell them about the Irish curse. This is the main reason I looked into an elective height reduction surgery.

“What?” you might be saying, “I know you, you’re not 6’10”.”

And I’d say, “Not anymore buddy. Not anymore.”

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Home-Lunch Ban

Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Home Lunch Ban with Comments closed |

There’s earthquakes all over the world, toxic waste polluting the Pacific, America’s 15 trillion in debt, and now this. A Chicago school has banned home-lunches. What’s next, a ban on chewing gum? We’ve got our eyes on you Singapore.

Administrators at Little Village Academy, a public school in Chicago, say the policy is all in the name of good health. Principal Elsa Carmona told the Chicago Tribune she created the policy after watching students bring, “bottles of soda and flaming hot chips,” for their lunch.

Personally I don’t think school administrators should be meddling in what kids eat at school. They have a hard enough time teaching kids to learn. Dozens of kids have walked their trays up to the trash can and thrown the food-trays away without eating a bite. I’m sure this is going to help them pay attention to the teacher after lunch.

My only question to the students is, “Are you going to eat those tatter-totts?”

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Black Widows

Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Black Widows, Serial Killers, Uncategorized with Comments closed |

I saw an airbrushed painting of a Black Widow the other day and I couldn’t stop staring at it. The way her red hour-glass body balanced on those white-ghostly webs was mesmerizing. For a brief moment, I psychically felt the fear, which the fly in the painting would have felt, as her eight eyes stared down at her prey.

A female Black Widow sometimes eats her mate after copulation. Although most serial killers are male, female serial killers who kill their husbands or boyfriends are known as Black Widows.

Belle Gunness is considered to be the most prolific female serial killer to date. Gunness had at least 42 confirmed victims in the early 1900’s. Some experts estimate Gunness had as much as a fifty or more unconfirmed victims. She killed many of her victims for insurance money.

Gunness was never sentenced for the murders she committed and her death is a mystery. But in all likelihood, Gunness died in 1931 while awaiting trial for a poisoning under the assumed name Esther Carlson. This goes to prove that sometimes a Black Widow’s poison can come back to bite them.

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Ways to Make More Time

Posted by on March 30, 2011 in Time with Comments closed |

If you have some ideas or hobbies that you want to pursue, you have to make the time to do them. How am I supposed to do that, you may ask? Here are some ways to make more time for yourself.

1. Kill your TV.

If you ask someone, “How much time do you spend watching T.V?” The answer is almost always the same, “I hardly watch any T.V. Maybe an hour in the morning before work, but that doesn’t really count. Then a probably a couple hours in the evening.”

Then you ask them to keep track of it. Use a journal or write it on the calendar where you can see it. Most people don’t make it past two or three days before they realize they are watching way more TV than they thought they were.

2. Focus one hour

Focus on something you want to work on one hour a day. Chances are if you set one hour a day aside to work on something, you will eventually get it done. That would be 30 hours a month that you normally wouldn’t have focused on your project. And because it’s your project, and supposed to be fun, you should look forward to doing it. One hour shouldn’t be that bad.

3. Go to sleep one hour earlier.

“Oh my God! That is ridiculous,” you may be saying. Studies show that sleep affects the rest of your body. If you don’t have enough rest you can’t focus on anything else. Also if you go to sleep an hour earlier you, can get up an hour earlier so you can apply
Step 2.

“Yeah right, I’m not doing that!”

Drastic times call for drastic measures. What are you willing to do? If you were as unhappy as I was in past jobs, you’d do whatever it took to change the situation.

4. Use your off day as a half-day.

Your new project, whatever it is, is going to need some attention to get done. If you can’t afford to quit your job and work on it full-time, you’ll need to at least work on it part-time.

I’ve had a full-time job while I’ve worked two part-time jobs just to make ends meet. But if you’ve got a full-time job, you better start treating your project like a part-time job. That means you need to show up, just like any other part-time job, to get the work done. The difference in this case is you’re the boss and you like what you’re doing, but at the same time you’re not going to have anyone looking over your shoulder telling you what to do. If you think you may need some help, this is a good time to start looking for a coach or mentor to help you get through.

These are just a few ideas to help free-up some time. No matter how busy your life is, you should make time for yourself. Good luck with whatever it is you choose to pursue.

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Spring Training

Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Haiku, poem, Poems with Comments closed |

Haiku is a poetic form and a type of poetry from the Japanese culture. Haiku, which the plural form is also Haiku, are usually written about nature, seasons, feelings or everyday experiences. The first line usually contains five syllables, the second line seven syllables, and the third line contains five syllables.

This is the Haiku I wrote for my new poetry class.

Spring Training
Swim, bike, running climbs
Triathlons fresh on my mind
Start times, finish lines

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1

Street Justice

Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Street Justice |

I was in Surat, India in late January 2008. My wife was sick. This is how she spends much of her time in India, so she went to bed. Her uncle Adij-bhai, #2, #3, which is what I called the other uncles because I couldn’t pronounce their names, and Neil, Tejal’s little cousin, wanted to take me out and show me Surat on a scooter. It was about 11 at night.

I looked at Neil who was 13 and asked, “Do you have a license?”
“Gearless. Gearless,” he replied.
“You don’t have a license, you’re not old enough to drive,” I said.
“Gearless. No need license,” Neil said.

I think my father-in-law knew he wasn’t legit, but he let it slide because we were with the Uncles.

As we drove through dark narrow back-alley’s, we merged onto a street into traffic. Thousands of people were still out on the sidewalks, hanging around shops and traffic was still very heavy.

After 15 minutes of driving, we pulled up to a sidewalk, which hundreds of people were standing on, to a little food stand. Many of the men were smoking and everyone was looking at me like I was lost. I hadn’t had a cigarette in days.
“You like pan?” Adij-bahi asked.
“What’s that?” I said.
“You try,” he said.

There are two types of pan one is beetle nut wrapped with a green edible leaf. You chew it like tobacco and spit the juice. The other type of pan is dessert and wrapped in a leaf. It is sweet and you eat it whole. We had the second kind.
I asked for a Coke which was handed to me in a glass bottle.
“Want anything else?”
“Yeah a menthol cigarette,” I said.
I’ve never seen anyplace that sold single cigarettes, but this place did.

I ate my pan with dozens of people watching to see if I would spit it out. I chewed and swallowed it. Then I took a big drink of Coke.
“Does it taste the same as in America?” they asked
“Yep. Sure does—exactly the same,” I said.

Then a beggar came up and started tapping me and asking for money. Hemmel-bhai, a.k.a. #2, said something in Gujarti and the beggar scampered away.

I smoked my cigarette and we climbed back on to the scooters. We drove around the city. We happened upon a street intersection. There was a guy walking his bike across the street. We had a red light. When the light turned green, the guy walking his bike stopped in the middle of the intersection. Hundreds of rickshaws and scooters took off and b-lined straight towards the guy. He tired to make his way through the traffic, then we heard a loud bang. A rickshaw had flipped over.

A cop ran over to help. Then everyone realized that an old woman and two children were in the back of the rickshaw. Instead of trying to get them out, the cop grabbed the guy with the bike and punched him several times in the head and face. Then four other guys jumped in and started kicking and punching him too.

Neil pulled the scooter up right next to the scene. We were only about four or five feet from the chaos. Neil started laughing hysterically.

“The guy get punched, hah?” Smiling and shaking his head up and down.
I did not want to get caught up in the mini-riot and I started yelling at Neil, “Go. Go. Go!”
“Go over there,” I screamed into his ear and pointed at the sidewalk across the street.

When he finally got us to safety I yelled, “Why did you go over there? You don’t even have a fucking license!”
He laughed and said, “Gearless,” and waved his hand in the universal sign for don’t worry.

A couple of minutes later the Uncles pulled up.
“Did you guys see that?” I said.
“Yeah,” #2 said. “In India there’s no need for courts on things like that. You handle them there in the streets. It’s called street justice.”

Sometimes I wish we could do things like that here in the States, that is unless I’m the one who caused the accident.

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Iron Don

Posted by on March 15, 2011 in flash fiction, Iron Don with Comments closed |

Don Davenport was huffing his 220 lbs. body up a three mile hill on a red and white, Cannondale race-bike that he bought as part of his New Year’s resolution. Sweat rolled down from his head. He squinted as it hit his eyes, the stinging sensation felt like diluted battery acid. He wanted to wipe the sweat away but the incline was too steep to take his hands off the handle bars. It really didn’t matter since he had forgotten his white wrist-band that he usually wore on his training days. Mental note, he thought, next time don’t forget wrist band.

As Don’s legs began to burn with each pedal. He thought about the affirmation his coach taught him, I’m strong mentally and physically and forward motion gets me there. Don imagined himself crossing the finish line at Ironman Kona. He hadn’t raced in an Ironman yet, therefore he didn’t qualify to race at Kona. But he imagined himself getting off his bike and going for a long, 26.2 mile jog through the parched lava fields on the Big Island of Hawaii after his 112 mile bike ride and 2 ½ mile swim. But he knew that was at least a year away.

As he thought about the run, Don pictured him and his dad watching ABC’s Wide World of Sports when he was five years old. He remembered Julie Moss, a physical education major, crawling to the finish line. She had only eaten half of a Snicker’s candy bar the entire race. She threw the other half away when she realized that ABC’s van had pulled up beside her and was filming her out in first place. She hadn’t even trained for the race, and within yards of the finish line, her body was shutting down. Don remembered turning to his dad and saying, “I’m going to do that someday.” His dad said, “Well then maybe we should take off your training wheels.”

Don snapped back to reality when he swerved his front wheel to miss a pothole in the road as he crested the hill. He realized that his legs weren’t burning anymore. He repeated what his coach told him, this time out loud, “I’m strong mentally and physically and forward motion gets me there. And even if I don’t qualify for Kona, I will finish my first Ironman next year, even if I fall down dead at the finish line.”

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Wasting Time and Changing Minds

Posted by on March 1, 2011 in poem, Poems with Comments closed |

I’ve never been a poetry kind of guy
It always seemed like a big waste of time.
Sonnets, Haikus, Iambic Pentameter,
A waste of time in endless chatter.

Beatniks, Poets, and Spoken Word
Personally I think it’s all for the birds.
Show me how you can pay your bills rhyming,
and I’ll change my mind in a snap.
Oh wait, there’s always rap!

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Hoosier

Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Hoosier with Comments closed |

You don’t have to be from Indiana
to be a Hoosier.
Just because you live in a trailer,
doesn’t make you a loser.

You don’t have to have a car
up on blocks.
No clotheslines of jeans,
underwear and socks,

Flapping in the wind
for all to see.
Gun racks in the window
are not necessary.

No gigging frogs,
or shooting squirrels.
No square dancing,
giving twirls.

But if you’ve done five
from the list above,
you’re a Hoosier,
my family would love.

(In and around St. Louis, MO, Hoosier means the same thing as Redneck. I’ll apologize to anyone who’s from Indiana in advance.)

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1

Army vs. Navy

Posted by on February 15, 2011 in Uncategorized |

There was a story in the News of the Weird about two drinking buddies. One of the guys was in Army, the other was in the Navy, and they were arguing over which service was better. The Army soldier had a gun and ended up shooting the Navy man. And since the soldier had the gun, he ended up winning the argument. This is my interpretation of how this story could have unfolded.

Army vs. Navy

“Well in the Army, we use carabineers. Who gives a flying-fuck if you can tie fourteen kinds of knots?” Dustin Jakes said. Dustin was 27 year old Afghanistan Army vet, who had just gotten out. Now all he ever talked about was going back in.

“You use carabineers because the Army knows their guys are too stupid to learn how to tie fourteen different kinds of knots. You guys can barely tie your own boots,” said David Prost a 24 year old Navy seaman who was home on leave. “The only knot you guys know how to tie is the one in your sleeping bag.”

“You know?” Dustin said looking off into the distance, “When I see a aircraft carrier pull into port and all those guys are standing around the deck in perfect formation, all I can think is, Those are some gay-ass looking uniforms. You guys look like you’re getting ready to break out into a song from some Broadway musical.”

“You’re calling us gay? You guys are the ones who train how to huddle naked next to each other in your sleeping bags for warmth,” David said. “They don’t teach us that in the Navy.”

“We’re not naked asshole. We’re in our skivvies. And believe me, when it gets down to 12 degrees at night out in the desert, you’re going to climb in someone else’s sleeping bag if you don’t want to die.”

“Yeah, but I heard you were doing it in the summer,” David said.

“Yeah right.”

“I heard you didn’t quit the Army. I heard you got tossed out when you violated the ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell,’ policy,” David said.

Dustin reached around to the small of his back and pulled out a brushed-steel Colt .45. “You wanna see who’s gay?” Dustin started closing the distance between himself and David.

David took a step back. “What the fuck man? Stop playing around,” he said and threw up his hands.

Dustin stopped walking, so David continued. “I saw where you kept that gun. You like hard things touching your ass crack? Still dreaming about those nights in the desert in those sleeping bags?”

“Shut the fuck up man! I’m not playing with you,” Dustin said as he raised his gun.

“Oh Sgt. Jakes, what a big gun you have,” David said mockingly. “I see you got the biggest one you could get. Trying to make up for something?”

“Seriously, this is your last chance,” Dustin said.

“A Don’t ask, Don’t tell violator doesn’t have the balls to shoot anyone. That’s why you’re here at home isn’t? You didn’t have the balls to shoot anyone, you big pansy.”

BAMB!
After the responders came, Dustin was cuffed, sitting in the back of a squad car as he watched David being loaded into the ambulance on a gurney. A red circle had formed on the bed sheet below David’s waist. Dustin said, “Who doesn’t have the balls now?”

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