An Award-Winning Disclaimer

A charming little Magpie whispered this disclaimer into my ear, and I'm happy to regurgitate it into your sweet little mouth:

"Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for those of you who start to laugh and piss your pants a little. Although this blogger understands the role he has played (in that, if you had not been laughing you may not have pissed yourself), he assumes no liability for damages caused and will not pay your dry cleaning bill.

These views represent the thoughts and opinions of a blogger clearly superior to yourself in every way. If you're in any way offended by any of the content on this blog, it is clearly not the blog for you. Kindly exit the page by clicking on the small 'x' you see at the top right of the screen, and go fuck yourself."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

It's My Masonic Apron's Totes Awesomesauce Giveaway, Motherfuckers!

Okay, asshats, here's the deal:

To increase weekend readership, I have decided to whore my bloody, ravaged little cockmeister out on y'alls and have a giveaway. I know, I know: giveaways are the Chlamydia of the blogosphere, but, hey, don't say I never gave ya nothin'.

Now, I know I've gotten a reputation around these here parts as being somewhat anti, well, everything that's popular, but, let's face it: I'm not as antidisestablishmentarian as I drink you am. I mean, I was all over the 90-minute season premiere of "Runway" on Thursday night. I'm so fucking into it, I even call it "Runway," for Christ's sake. "Project Runway" is for the non-initiated and disaffected. True, I was not digging Heidi's bangs necessarily, nor was I into the social fuckdiot wearing the bowler hat, but I am all about "Runway," and that's popular, I guess.

Still, I haven't seen "Titanic" or "Moulin Rouge" yet, nor have I heard a Carrie Underpants song all the way through, and you'll never catch me playing Beer Pong. Maybe I'd referee, if I could wear a cool, short-sleeved uniform shirt and charcoal grey trousers.

Nevertheless, children, try as one might, it is nigh impossible to eschew everything that's popular. And, it is in the spirit of that sentiment that I have decided, against my better judgment, to host the first ever, lunar module, domestically charged, animal controlled

MY MASONIC APRON'S TOTES AWESOMESAUCE GIVEAWAY, MOTHERFUCKERS

Here's how it works:


I treat you like a Salvation Army drop-off location and dump every shitty, worthless, dust-covered, possibly irreparable item on my desk on you. You compete for the honor of winning it by jumping through a series of arbitrarily-chosen, slightly misogynistic hoops. After you have jumped successfully through the series of arbitrarily-chosen, slightly misogynistic hoops, I will just randomly pick whoever the fuck I want as the winner, and send them all my shit.


Ready? Here's what I'm giving away. Open wide, bitches:


One (1) shoulder pad, covered in two distinctly different kinds (gray & coarse, blonde & fine) of dog hair.


One (1) empty Zip-Loc baggie (purple & pink make whatever)


One (1) Original Broadway cast recording of "Into the Woods" (Baker = Chip Zien, Baker's Wife = Joanna Gleason, Mysterious Man/Narrator = Tom Aldredge). Also covered in dog hair x2.

Two (2) AA Energizer alkaline batteries (good until 03-2015!!!)

One (1) squishy stress brain (gray).

August, 2010 edition of "Reader's Digest" and before you say, "That faggot reads 'Reader's Digest'?!!!" stop yourself-- it's my wife's, and her psychologically questionable uncle gave her the subscription as a "gift."

A handwritten list of how much money we spent on fixing the PT Cruiser in the past three years. Curious? Here's the details:

Door Locks Crazily Locking & Unlocking Themselves = $50.29
Crack in the aluminum wheel = $47.70
Tire replacement = $127.20
Oxygen sensor = $285.56
Tire replacement = $108.12
Busticated tie-rod = $395.38
Beschmoigied bushings = $412.02
Bumfucked ignition wires = $100.00
Tire replacement = $137.80
Snapped off dog-bone suspension = $180.73


(Total? = $1,800, more or less. Yeah... we fuck up our tires a lot. And they always seem to cost a different amount to replace. Funny. That's what happens when Israelis fix your car.)

One (1) NYC Metrocard (exp. 08/31-- there's still time!!!) May actually have money or something on it. Who wants to see a show?!

One (1) pamphlet advertising the "Jim Henson's Fantastic World" at Michener Art Museum in Doylestown. Slightly creased.

One (1) postcard from San Francisco from Mrs. Apron's brother upon which he scrawled, "HAPPY SAN FRANCISCO!" A real four-star communicator there.

One (1) half-used tube of Neosporin.

Now, here's what you have to do to get the swag:

1.) In the COMMENTS section of the blog (WE HEART COMMENTS!) write three haikus on the following subjects: 1.) The aesthetic virtues of the original "Pink Panther" film, 2.) The aesthetic virtues of my scrotal area, 3.) Seal-clubbing.

2.) Carve a 1/18th-scale rendering of Herbie, the Love Bug in exacting detail out of alabaster
and send it to the American Embassy in the United Arab Emirates. (I will arrange for them to send to me-- I don't trust you with my home address.)

3.) Eat nothing but hard-boiled eggs and mortadella for a period of ten weeks, keep an exacting journal of your bowel movements and send photostatic copies of your notations to the Chinese Embassy in Uganda. (I will arrange for them to send to those motherfuckers in the U.A.E.)

4.) In the COMMENTS section of the blog (COMMENTS ARE FARKING HAWT!) write a list of seventeen compelling reasons why I should be named The Free State of Saxony's Man-of-the-Year.

5.) Take off all your clothes and run around your neighborhood like a fucking idiot screaming "ALL I WANT IS A MASONIC APRON AND/OR A SMALL TEDDY BEAR TO WIPE MY ASS WITH!"

6.) Get arrested. If you do #5, this one should come pretty easy.

7.) Write me a love letter. But, like, not a really hot one, 'cause I'm married and shit.

8.) Write me legal subpoena. But, like, not a really hot one, 'cause I'm married and shit.

9.) Go to a Quaker Meeting for Worship. Fart. Loudly blame the elderly lady sitting next to you named Fran.

10.) Smile, because it's Saturday, and, hey, you're cool in your Ray Bans and madras shorts.

Hey, thanks for participating in "My Masonic Apron's Totes Awesomesauce Giveaway, Motherfuckers." I'll be sure to contact the lucky winner whenever I feel like it. And, if you're really lucky, I'll throw in a crumpled Post-It note with the username and password for my father's business Facebook account that I created for him last year and then forgot to ever update.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Well, Fuck My Sheep and Totes My Goats, It's... DEAR APRON!

After that shart-filled, schmoopie post about giving sensitive advice to chicks and stuff, I thought I'd better hetero it up around here with another beer drinkin', dick slappin' edition of...

DEAR APRON:

My 89-year-old mother has always been difficult. She not only never loved me, she treated me as if she didn't like me, either. She told me she didn't send me a birthday card on my birthday last month because "What was it supposed to say -- what a 'wonderful' person you are?" My children visibly winced when they heard her say it and worked extra-hard to make sure my day was special.

Apron, I have cancer. My prognosis is questionable. I was supposed to have been dead seven years ago -- but I'm managing. My problem is, I recently was told that my mother has been keeping in touch with a single friend of mine from years ago, and they are making plans for her to marry my husband when I die! A few other so-called "friends" are in on this. This last betrayal is incredibly hurtful. Where do I go from here? -- J.C. IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR J.C.

Where do you go from here? Well, I don't know-- you've got lots of options, though. I hear that Utah has some really beautiful natural sights, and there's always the Ozarks. Of course, the Lake George area is always gorgeous, but, this time of year, bring your sunscreen. But, if tall ships and lobster are your thing, you can't beat Camden, Maine. If you're interested in some particularly slammin' dinner theatre, Boca Raton might be your cup of tea. And, if you dig retarded people who aren't actually diagnosably retarded, there's always Natchez, MS. Wherever you decide to travel in these waning months of your unloved life, just remember, only you can prevent forest fires.

Oh, and, J.C.-- I don't think it's your prognosis that's questionable, I think it's your oncologist.

DEAR APRON:

My daughter and 12-year-old grandson "Patrick" visit me on Sundays. Patrick watches TV in my office.

I was recently looking at the history on my Web browser after he had been there, and I noticed that Patrick had been visiting free porn sites and chat rooms on my computer.

I am disappointed that he has been looking at pornography and that he has put my computer at risk for viruses, etc. Should I talk to his parents? To him? Or should I ignore it and disable my computer when he visits? -- GRANDMA ON ALERT

DEAR GRANDMA:

I totes heart the sentence "Patrick watches TV in my office," when the following sentence clearly and immediately disproves the first sentence. That's DP anal-fucking hilarious.

I also love how you're #1, disappointed in Patrick for looking at porn, and, #2, that he's put your computer at risk for viruses. At least your priorities are in order. Did you know you can get a computer virus from buying that Amethyst costume jewelry from QVC online, too, Grammaw?

What's even more interesting than the aforementioned points of mine is the fact that you are not at all, apparently, disturbed by the fact that Patrick is totally jerking the fuck off all over your barcalounger. If you did the "Dateline NBC" blacklight test on your office, it would look like some psych patient had just gone batshit with several gallons of Elmer's Glue. I'm talkin' walls, keyboard, ceiling, everywhere. What-- you weren't suspicious when you found yourself purchasing twenty-seven boxes of Kleenex every other week?

Jesus-- I don't know what you are, Grandma, but you are most definitely, in no way, shape, or form, not "on alert."

DEAR APRON:

I am 20, newly married and very happy with my new husband. I didn't tell my father when I got married; he just found out. When I moved out four months ago to live with my fiance and his parents, I also didn't tell Dad I was engaged.

Dad called me to ask if it was true that I had gotten married. Of course I said yes, and he got very angry. He asked if I was pregnant and I told him no. Then he wished me luck with my husband, said we were on our own now, and he would be out of my life!

Apron, I have always been a daddy's girl. When it came time to get married, I didn't tell him because I knew he'd try to stop me. I love my father and don't want him out of my life. What should I do? -- NEWLYWED IN JACKSON, MICH.

DEAR NEWLYWED:

You've always been a Daddy's Girl and you didn't tell your dad you were getting married, or that you were moving in with your fiance and his parents?

You're not a Daddy's Girl-- you're just a fucking idiot. T-minus two years till you're a divorced fucking idiot.

'Till then, good luck with your husband, you're on your own now, and I'm out of your life.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I am Jealous

I am jealous of your toenails,
Yes, that is what I think.
Mine look like bleu-cheese crumbles,
They are not smooth and pink.

I got Athlete’s Foot in third grade,
When they made us all take swimming.
That locker-room was nasty,
You can trust me, I’m not kidding.

They tried ointments, sprays and creams,
And some other nasty stuff.
But nothing seemed to work on me,
My soles are itchy and rough.

My coworkers wear sandals,
As if to flaunt their goods,
Their pearly, pretty toenails,
Mine look like Volkswagen hoods.

And so I hide them under shoes,
Which makes the problem worse.
Because my feet sweat like bastards,
It’s my non-Athletic curse.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shart

Yesterday, a coworker told me about the time she sharted herself.

“I must have eaten something foul,” she said. “I was sitting with my boyfriend, and I was in a towel… and I just sharted all over the place.”

She and I laughed hysterically, the kind of laughter that desperate people exude with a sort of wild abandon that disturbs non-desperate people who happen to be standing close enough to witness the unbridled, convulsive hilarity, but not close enough to have heard the story and/or be in on the joke.

“Who cleaned up—him or you?” I asked in between howling, spasmodic laughter.

She pointed to herself, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Aaaaah!” I screamed, pounding the wall. Other coworkers stared at us. “You’re not together anymore, are you?”

She was laughing so hard that she couldn’t breathe to answer vocally, so she just shook her head in the negative.

“He wasn’t a keeper,” I said, composing myself. “A keeper would have wiped your ass for you.”

“He said, ‘Unless you’re under eight or over eighty-four, you can wipe up your own shit.’ We didn’t last too much longer,” my coworker replied.

She then told me that, aside from her now ex-boyfriend, I am the only person in the world who knows that story. While she’s probably told it to people whilst intoxicated, I was flattered nonetheless.

“I’m glad we’re friends!” she gasped finally, launching into a lusty rendition of “The Wizard and I” from “Wicked,” which I joined in on, harmonizing (of sorts) in a raging, ultra high-decibel falsetto that echoed down the hallway. Coworkers continued to be suitably disturbed.

The funny thing is: we’re not friends. We don’t chat on the phone, or over email. We don’t socialize outside of “work” (in quotes because it’s not a real job—not really— not if you can talk loudly about sharting—it’s just “work”) and we don’t know anything about each other’s families or history or… anything, really.

And yet, I know that, a couple of years ago, this chick shat herself in nothing but a towel in front of a guy she used to fuck.

Why?

I don’t know… people tell me stuff. It makes them feel better, I think. It’s always been like that, too, for as far back as I can remember. In middle and high school, and even into college, I was the counselor, the person people would come to with relationship dilemma, existential crises, family trouble, boyfriend trouble, family drama, typical, random every day bullshit. Nobody’s ever called me with a razor to their wrist, thankfully, but for the more banal, the more mundane, the less life-threatening—folks often show up at my doorstep, or my cyber-doorstep with those issues.

I’m not quite sure why. But I kind of like it.

I’ve always wanted to be, I don’t know—important? And there nothing more important that people can trust you with than their problems, their pain, their secrets… their sharts. And, of course, I’ve totally violated this coworker’s trust by blogging about her shartage, but coworkers don’t know about my blog, and that, ladies and gents, is how it’s supposed to be.

So, her secret’s safe with me. Sort of.

Contrary to my alter-ego, Dear Apron, I treat people who come to me with dignity and respect, I hope, because, let’s face it, if somebody trusts me enough to come to me with something weighty, the most terrible thing I could do would be to drop it—or them. It’s the least I can do for a brotha or a sista, or a friend. Whatever that is.

Conversely, I’m dreadfully petrified to open up to people, to let them get close, to see me vulnerable or afraid or unsure. It’s why my opinions tend to come out so strong, so unfettered by indecision or hem-hawage. I sit with my legs tightly crossed and arms folded across my chest. An old friend of mine regarded me for a time and observed, “You like to fold yourself all up, almost into yourself, making yourself as small as humanly possible—so you don’t get into anybody’s way, or make a wave, or trouble someone.”

He’s going into psychiatry, and I love him. And I wish we saw each other more.

Ah, life. Sometimes, you’re a real shart. But you’re still a keeper.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Up Go the Trolley Cars

There’s a lot of shit on the desk.

Our computer desk is a repository for the randomest junk imaginable. Most of the time, I don’t even see it anymore. My eyes just kind of glaze over it, drifting listlessly from our real estate tax bill (not due until August 31st, thank you) to the black pen to the red pen to the pen with flowers all over it to the pair of orange-handled scissors to the orange camera case to the “Peter Pan” program to the pink scrap of fabric with dress mannequins on it.

There’s one item here that really stands out. It’s a 1/24th scale silver Volkswagen Beetle with a long piece of wire sticking out from the center of its hood, right where the VW medalion would be, you know, if it were a real car, and, at the end of the piece of the wire is a curly-q and, shoved into that curly-q is a photograph.

Like, an actual, real, no-bullshit photograph that's 4x6ish. It's me & the Mrs. The Mrs. & I. The Apron-heads. In this picture, it's 2005. She's wearing the same eyeglasses she's got on today. Mine have changed approximately six times since then. Her hair is shortish, and a wisp of it is flying clear across her fair forehead. She's got on her red "Elmo" fleece. I'm wearing a red, blue, and gray bowtie she handmade for me. I've got on a parka. Do people still call them "parkas?" I am out-of-touch-- with style. Reality. A lot of things.

We're sitting on a bench, but you can't see it in the picture. All you can see is us, in front of a brick wall. Beautiful, blood-red bricks-- bolder and stronger than your average brick, because they were hand-commissioned for a man who was bolder and stronger than the average man.

"I am not an American," he said, "I am the American."

We're sitting on a bench on Mark Twain's porch. The Hartford Home. 351 Farmington Avenue. "Up go the trolley cars for Mark Twain's daughter. Down go the trolley cars for Mark Twain's daughter." That's what his daughter, Susy, said, over and over again as she watched the traffic go by from her bedroom window, in the final hours of her life, her brain ravaged by spinal meningitis-- hundreds and hundreds of miles away from the family that loved her. Susy Clemens was 24.

The picture of us was taken on October 9th, 2005-- Mrs. Apron's birthday. She had just turned 24. Moments before this picture was taken, I proposed. I was behaving like a whackjob all during the tour. I kept putting my hand inside my pocket to make sure the box with the ring was still in there. Because I would lose it. Because birds shit in my eye. Because I am incapable, incompetent, in...conclusive. But never inebriated.

Thankfully. Wouldn't help.

When my wife asked me later why I decided to propose to her at Mark Twain's house, I didn't have an immediate answer at the ready. It took me a little while to figure it all out. It was a house that had seen so much sadness-- Twain nearly drove his family to financial ruin, and to save on expenses, he was forced to shut up the Hartford Home he and his family loved so and travel like a vagabond. He lost the love of his life, little Susy, in that home, and he didn't even make it back for the funeral. But, it was a house that Twain had specially built to surround his family in peace, opulence, and love. It was a house, he said, that would "celebrate this kind of love." The love he had for his wife, Livy.

The Hartford Home is the epicenter of Victorian beauty, grace, delicacy, extravagence, and refinement. Being in it, for me, is like being hugged by the past-- and I like that. More than that, I suppose, and I was finally able to articulate this to my wife after some inevitable Apron-style fumbling-- I wanted to propose to her in a spot that I was sure would always, always be. Yes, there was a time in the past where the future of the Hartford Home was uncertain-- it was unceremoniously chopped up into apartments in the 1940s, I believe, before it was rescued and rehabbed. But, it was Mark Twain's home, and, therefore, it will survive. It will endure. There will be literati and philanthropists who will swoop in and save it from ruin. They will hug it back. I was worried that, if I proposed to her in some place of perhaps lesser significance that, some day, that place will not be there anymore.

And, if our love is to go on forever, well, I'd kind of like the locale of the proposal to go on forever, too. Or as close to forever as we can reasonably expect.

This past weekend, when we were playing in the ocean together in Brigantine, the waves were breaking over our backs and, sometimes, our heads, and as my wife squealed (totes) with delight, and as I held her around her waist, I felt the euphoria and exhilaration I felt in June or July of 2005 when we did the same in Ventnor in the ocean, laughing and loving atop the shell-coated sea-floor together, the waves crashing all around us-- us jumping around like children.

"I almost proposed to you there, in the ocean, that day," I told her later, "and I know that the Atlantic Ocean will always be there, but how could we be sure that it was that exact spot-- by that rock jetty, or was it that one half-a-mile down? How would we know for sure?"

Besides: people pee in there, you know.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Scout's Honor

So, maybe you remember that we're gardening.

Well, a little while ago, in the process of watering said garden, Mrs. Apron broke our hose, right off the spigot of our house. I know, something in/on our house broke and I wasn't responsible? Believe me, I was as shocked as you.

In order that we may attempt to perpetuate photosynthesis in our little patch of earth, we went to the local hardware store to purchase a hose. Mrs. Apron decided that the hose must be kink-resistant. After I chided her for being anti-Semitic, I decided that the hose must have a trigger-like attachment with multiple flow settings, like the shower-heads preferred by 9 out of 10 masturbators. My wife agreed to my decision, and I to hers. See, every relationship and everything in a relationship has its non-negotiables.

The hose-head attachment that we purchased has eight different flow patterns, ranging from Soak to Stream to Shower, Spray, Mist and Flat. And others. Two others, to be precise.

Anyway, when we put the new hose in and attached the trigger thing, we were so excited that not only did we water the garden, but we washed both of our cars in the driveway, like real suburban grown up adult type people.

As happens every time I wash my car by hand, it rained the next day. Not only that, but, in a matter of just a couple days, the roof of my car was absolutely littered with a delectable helping of bird shit.

Fortunately, none in my eye.

This weekend, my wife and I "vacationed" with my family at the New Jersey shore. We went in my car, because it's a compromise-- the Fit gets better gas mileage, the Volvo has better seats. This time, better seats were the non-negotiable. Yesterday, coming back to the beach house from a bizarre, only-in-my-family errand, I spotted a familiar sight: that of young, scantily-clad girls washing cars. In the parking lot of the local Elk's Lodge. This frequently happens in my neighborhood, at a Sunoco station. Usually it's to benefit a cheerleading squad, or a softball team. It's always cheap, and that's supposed to be funny.

I never stop, because, well, you know. How can I participate in the sexualization of young women by permitting them to slather my car full of soap while they're wearing little shorts and sweating and such? It's, you know, weird. Maybe this is just me overthinking things the way I am known to do, or maybe everyone else is thinking it too, and they just do it anyway. Maybe the middle-aged housewives do it because they remember doing it when they were young, too. Maybe the middle-aged men do it because they have raging hardons for young chicks. Maybe some people actually do it because $5.00 is a good price for a car-wash.

On Sunday, I drove into the parking lot. Because my roof is absolutely covered in birdshit, I told myself. Because I have to get over feeling guilty and perverted about everything. Because sometimes a car wash is just a car wash.

Besides, it's the Girl Scouts. What could be more wholesome than that?

A bronzed, sixteen-or-so-year-old blonde girl in a lilac-colored bikini bottom and dark purple tank-top bounded over to my car window. I handed over my five dollars, and I felt like the most disgusting human being on the face of the earth. It was around 700 degrees out, so I stayed in the car. I stared straight ahead while the car got, you know, washed. It only got weird when a girl in a white tank top leaned over the hood to scrub it. I stared at the headliner of my car and noticed how it contained tightly interwoven strands of fabric, as opposed to cheaper cars whose headliners are just a solid piece of fabric or, worse, vinyl.

Really, the more I think about it, the less I blame myself. I kind of blame the Girl Scouts. And the basketball teams. And the cheerleading squads. Whose idea was it to send teenage girls out into hot parking lots with buckets of soapy water in barely any clothes to go wash cars for money? Haven't these fucking people ever heard of bake sales? I would be happier if they sold flowers in the airport like the Hari Krishna whackjobs used to do in the 1970s. I know the Boyscouts are trying to turn America's male teenagers into duty-loving homophobes, so I suppose it should come as no surprise that the Girlscouts are trying to turn America's teenage girls into soapy sex symbols.

When I got back to my the beach house, my wife and sister were playing with my nephew on a sheet on the floor. Guilt weighed heavily on my conscience so I told my whole family where I had been and what I had been doing there, in case a neighbor came by to report me.

"The Boy Scouts washed your car?" my father asked after I had finished my Strindbergian monologue.

"No," I said, "Girl. The goddamned Girl Scouts washed my fucking car."

"Oh, okay," he said, skimming through text messages on his phone. I shook my head and guiltily schlumped into the sofa.

"What color sashes were they wearing?" asked my mother.

"Sashes?!" I exclaimed, "you think they were out there washing cars in their fucking uniforms?! They were dressed like pin-up models." I closed my eyes and put my head back into the cushion, hoping it would suffocate me.

"It's okay, honey," my wife said, "you just got sold sex for $5.00."

"But the car is really clean," I replied.

"I'm sure it is," said my sister, smiling, "did they rub their little tussies all over it?"

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hi, I'm Disgusting. Nice to Meet You.

On Thursday, my wife was leaving the house for an appointment, and the age-old question of "What do you want for dinner?" was hanging in the air like a long... dangly thing.

My wife, as she grabbed her go-bag, reminded me of the small, Italian market we used to go to rather frequently two neighborhoods ago.

"Holy cocks!" I said, with typical eloquence and aplomb, "I totally forgot about that fucking place. Let's do it."

It's teeny-tiny, and every breathable inch of space is taken up by sumptuous, delectable comestibilities. Everything that isn't canned is made on location, live, before a studio audience.

Lobster ravioli

Garlic sausage

Bevilacqua (or some shit) sauce

Meatballs in meatsauce, with some meat on the side

Bacon cheddar burgers

Lots of unbelievable looking Italian shit I can't pronounce or remember

(This, children, is why I am not a food writer.)

Anyway, my eyes glazed over the instant I walked into this place. It was 5:24 when I arrived, and they close at 6:00, so it was jammin' with teased up, underworked tennis wives picking up fru-fru food for their philanderers.

I blindly picked and pawed at items that appealed to some of my baser instincts (read: need. for. flesh.) Here's what I got for my vegetarian wife:

1/2 pound of vegetable risotto
1/2 pound of sun-dried tomato (I know, it's not 1994 anymore) farfalle

Here's what I got for meatnormous, motherlovin' me:

A half-pound of meatballs in meatsauce
1.65 pounds of baked Grouper

Total cost for "dinner, honey": $41.62.

Oops.

As I walked out into the parking lot, carrying my rather heavy bag of swag, I muttered under my breath, "Yes, world-- this is what happens when you send me out to do errands. Unsupervised."

See, I'm not the stereotypical husband who gets sent to the supermarket for pimento olives and comes back with kumquats. I'm not brain-dead, I just think with my food-dick. I get what looks, smells, and (probably) tastes good. I don't care what it costs. Doesn't interest me in the slightest. Because no meal is as important as the one I am currently shopping for and/or am about to eat.

When my wife came back from her appointment, dinner was prepared. She was in the process of having a regular old heart-to-heart with her sister on the phone, so I kept the massive quantities of food warm while she talked outside on the porch. When Mrs. Apron came inside, it was time for a heart-to-heart with me. I prepared myself for this by putting the entirety of the 1.65 pounds of Grouper onto my plate. And some of the risotto. And, later, some of the farfalle. Halfway through my meal I stopped the serious conversation to state,

"Eating this all in one go is not smart."

"You don't have to eat all of it, you know," my wife wisely stated, her rationales and logic completely and comfortingly devoid of mentions of swollen-bellied Indian children and West African street urchins.

"I know."

"But you probably will," she concluded. I shoved some more Grouper into my vacuum mouth.

"Mmpf-hmmpf."

As we climbed into bed later that night I turned to her and said,

"Gee, I hope I don't throw up on you tonight."

"Me, too," replied my darling wife.

I was somewhat alarmed when I awoke at precisely 4:00am on Friday morning, my forehead and lower back glistening with sweat. When I was younger, 4:30am was Throw-Up Time. When I vomited, it always happened at 4:30am. It was like curtain time for my blarchges. I could feel things moving up and down my esophagus, things that I could only assume were Grouper-like in nature, swimming up the canal towards the basin that is my mouth.

"What a fucking pig," I thought to myself as I propped myself up in bed, "Over a pound-and-a-half of fish. I deserve what's about to happen to me."

But, in the end, nothing happened to me. I got up, I peed, and I went back to sleep. The Grouper knew no revenge upon me, and my wife passed another night of not getting vomited on. I went to school with a girl who, according to popular legend, at least, was getting drilled doggy-style and the inebriated gentleman doing the drilling vomited all over her back. That's the kind of thing that happens in college. You don't marry someone and then throw up on them, either during sex or just after a raucous night of Grouperage.

One thing's for sure, though. I can't wait to hit those motherfucking meatballs.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sometimes, You're Just a Small, German Child

I just finished writing my first scholarly paper since graduate school. I didn’t enjoy it very much, because, really, there isn’t very much to enjoy about writing scholarly papers-- unless you’re writing them whilst receiving oral sex, which I wasn’t.

I wrote this paper as part and parcel of the process of acquiring a BBJ (Big Boy Job—nothing to do with oral sex anymore, sorry) and, if I get it (God I hope I get it! How many losers do they need?!) it may very well be the first BBJ I’ve held since 2003. Since then, I’ve had a quaint series of jobs, but none of them have been BBJs. They’ve just been, you know, Little J’s, as opposed to the Flying J, which, apparently, is a franchise of highway gas stations for eighteen-wheelers, and not some sort of Jewish person doing avian acrobatics.

You might surmise that, since I didn’t especially enjoy the process of writing this scholarly paper that maybe I’m not applying/vying for the right job. You know, since, if I get hired, that’s pretty much what I’ll be doing, um, all goddamn day long. Well, that and applying for other jobs. And waiting for a satisfactorily suburban police department to announce that they’re holding a written and physical agility testing session. And blogging from work.

Actually, come to think of it, since this is a BBJ with an actual, real company, they’ll probably have all kinds of internet filters and firewalls and blocked sites and super-scary Big Brother e-monitoring/iSnoopery going on so that if I so much as try to buy Stan Rogers music on Amazon they’ll probably fire my tight, though distinctly bony ass.

And then I will look for other jobs, and wait for police departments, and blog from home. And, sporadically, observe pornographic still images/moving motion pictures via a computer with no ookie spy shit on it.

Writing the scholarly paper wasn’t hard—then again, maybe I just didn’t do it right—but motivating myself to do it was extraordinarily Herculean. I would do anything before I would sit down to write this paper. I did the dishes, I walked the dogs, I watched clips of Tim Conway cracking Harvey Korman up on “The Carol Burnett Show.” I made obscure Gilbertian references on peoples’ Facebook pages—and you all know I’m not into that.

By the way—did you know that the first lemur ever born in captivity in the United Kingdom was born on Gilbert’s property?

Anyway, I am a hopeless slackass and, really, I ought to be more motivated and zealous about an opportunity to land a BBJ when I won’t have any J or j in almost precisely a month but maybe I’m just not ready for a BBJ. Maybe I don’t want another desk.

Or, far scarier, maybe another desk is just what I need.

Ever get the feeling that you’re the small, ruddy-cheeked German child in any number of Brothers Grimm fairy tales? You know—you’re hopping along through the forest, wearing a red cape or lederhosen or chaps coated in Vaseline or whatever and the woods get all dark and scary and shit, and the trees are all gnarled and twisty-like, and there you are, just standing there with a basket of pastries in one hand and your plump little choad in the other and you’re faced with two paths. One of those paths leads to a precious little cottage, safe and warm with a white damask sleeper sofa from Jennifer Convertibles, all ready for you, and your favorite hot bowl of regurgitated mushflakes, and grammaw crocheting you a facemask or something…

…and the other path leads straight into the lair of your friendly, local clustertoothed, semi-retarded, lascivious wolf or T-Rex or rabid llama who will assrape you with a frozen garden hose until you sing the “Star Spangled Banner” like Stevie Nicks.

Well, that’s kind of how I feel, looking for jobs, and, not to sound too dramatic here but kind of standing on the precipice—making choices, being a small, German child kind of all alone in the woods, on the lookout for drooling, hairy creatures clutching the frozen garden hoses of the world, petrified to bend over to pick up that tempting pastry I just dropped.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why Don't They...

Ever get gul-durned, double-fisty frustrated with the way some aspects of the world work— or, rather, don’t?

Surprised to find out that I do? Close your mouth, honey, you look like a human being with certain unspecified exceptionalities.

Sometimes, when life bitchslaps us upside the head with seemingly trivial annoyances, it just seems like more than we can take. And I understand that. I get it. It may seem to your perceptive self like this is going to be a blog post that compiles petty grievances and blows them out of proportion for exclusively self-involved, cathartic motivations and, possibly, a decidedly non-LOLish chuckle from you.

Well, congratulations—- I’ll mail you your fucking genius certificate once the Magic Marker dries. Till then, why don't you enjoy a little bit of...

Why don’t they…

• put sizes on men’s suits?

As someone who purchases suits almost exclusively secondhand, this drives me fucking duckboats. I understand, if you purchase a suit from a reputable menswear retailer (like, say, Grace Brothers) that the suits will be identified by the store’s label, with the exorbitant, ridiculous price as well as the size. I get that you’re supposed to purchase dress suits new. But I don’t. First of all, I prefer the cut, quality, and style of vintage (some may say “antique”) suits better than new ones, which, it seems, are manufactured by seven-year-old Asian girls locked in a closet. Call me old-fashioned but, well—okay, there’s no but. I’m old-fashioned. Anyway, there are few activities more irritating than shopping for a suit at a thrift, vintage, or secondhand store because you pretty much have no idea what the hell size anything is, and you have to try every fucking thing on that you like, and the meter outside of my favorite thrift store is only a fifteen minute meter. How many vintage suits do you think you can actually try on in fifteen minutes? It should be a gameshow. Would you watch me speed-try on vintage three-piece suits?

Perv.

• tell you when you have a brake-light out?

Being a car-buff, as far as I know, most cars manufactured between 1897 and 2000-and-whatever do not have any discernable way of alerting you, the driver, lord, and master that you have a brake-light out. According to my owner’s manual for my 2002 Volvie-poo, there is an idiot-light that will go off when I have a brake-light out. And I thought to myself, “Well, fucking FINALLY!” I mean, how goddamn hard would that be to make for every car that rolls off the assembly line? When your turn-signal blinks really fast, we all know that means that our turn-signal bulb is a day or two from going out. And isn’t that nice to know? Why can’t something like that happen with our brake-lights? Not just the nouveau riche like me deserve the heads up, you know. It would avoid, you know, the unfortunate encounters with Johnny Law because, really, that’s the only real way you know when you have a brake-light out. And then they find the forty kilos of blow in your trunk and the family of illegal Mexican immigrants hiding underneath your backseat and, well, then that pretty much fucks your night right up.

• just give me a Twitter account and let me loose?

Seems inevitable, doesn’t it, for a self-involved asshole like me? Gotta start sometime, right? After all, what seemed like a woefully self-indulgent pastime for the up-to-the-moment-obsessed few has now been somewhat normalized by, well, the indulgence of… somewhat… normal people. I suppose the logic of my not tweeting is a bit like what a friend of mine said about the notion of mirrored ceilings in his bedroom.

“I can’t imagine anything being a bigger turn-off than watching myself have sex.”

Me tweeting, I think, would be the equivalent of me watching myself have sex. And I don’t need that. And neither do you. And neither does the world.

• sell funny coffins?

I mean ones shaped and painted to look like, I don’t know, Lifesavers packs. I think that would be fucking hilarious. When I die, I want to be buried in a goddamned coffin made up to look like a Toblerone. But I don’t want to have an open-casket funeral. Nobody needs to see that.

• legalize same-sex marriages?

What are they afraid of? That “the gays” are going to defame the institution of marriage? Don’t straight people do that every day when they divorce, smack their wives, and go out in public wearing matching tracksuits? Sheesh—all this fuss because they take it up the poop-chute and use big, purple dillies. Whatever.

• breed dogs that don’t shit?

I know it probably wouldn’t be “humane” or “within the standards of the Geneva Convention” but, like, I’d be all up on’s a dog that I didn’t have to follow around everywhere, all hunched over with a plastic bag. I mean, shouldn’t the annoying, whining environmentalists be all over inventing the shitless dog? Think of all the plastic shopping bags that would be… um… manufactured… anyway… and then… just… thrown away-- nevermind.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Elephant in the Shorehouse

At around 5:00am yesterday morning, I awoke to the uncommon sounds of our elder statesman dog, Finley, making distressed panting noises, pacing about the floor, and generally behaving in a skittish, anxious manner.

I also, coincidentally, awoke to the uncommon odor of shit which, according to David Mamet, all train compartments smell of (vaguely). Our bedroom is not supposed to smell like shit because Molly, the puppy who is currently terrorizing the very marrow out of our bones, is crated during the night, and anyone who’s ever owned a puppy will tell you that dogs will not shit in a confined space, because they know two things, instinctively:

1.) That they are not in a train compartment

and

2.) That shitting inside a small confined space is gross, because, then, you have to lie down in it.

We had been feeding our dogs the bottom-of-the-barrel dog food for a while, and noticed that their fecal output was boulder-like. After I opined about this on my blog (because I am so uber-powerful, I can get you to read posts about dog shit), a couple of my well-intentioned readers suggested cracking open ye olde wallete and pouring some decent coinage into a higher quality of dog food.

My wife and I did this. One of the bags even said, “Venison.” Folks, I’ve only eaten venison once—my fucking dogs ate it twice a day, every day for three weeks.

The results (sorry) have been mixed (sorry). Molly’s shit seems to have normalized in quantity and quality. Finley’s, well, not so much. I’ve been Finley’s master (?) since 2003, and if there’s anyone who knows anything about his ass-leavings, it is I. Finley always, always, always pees before he poops (am I really writing this?) always always always. After consuming this allegedly higher quality food, the moment we hit the grass, he’s squatting to let out some serious Number Twosies. On a quaint walk around the block, he will shit four times. It’s a good thing I’m going to the gym, or I’d never be able to lift the poop bag, with all its requisite nuggetage.

Sometimes, I’m a tad pressed for time and I don’t have time to allow Finley his four squats in a given walk. Like yesterday, for example. So, against what I know was his better judgment and preference, he laid it all out on our bedroom floor in the middle of the night. Of course, as I swung out of bed, slowly realizing what had happened, I stepped in it, because I am the guy into whose eye birds shit, and I am the kind of guy who steps into his own dog’s shit, after he says, “Oh my God, Finley just shat all over the place.”

At least, at 5:00am, I still have the presence of mind to talk like a fag.

All that said, we have secured a dog-sitter for this weekend, because we are going away. On a vacation.

Sort of.

Actually, not really.

I can’t remember if I’ve written about this or not. If I have, sue me. And, while we’re in court together hiding behind our lawyers, bite me. Actually, bite my lawyer—that’s what I’m paying that asshole for, isn’t it? Anyway, a while back, my parents were at a silent auction—the one social event they attend in a given calendar year. The grand, mega-prize was one full week at a fully-furnished beach house in Brigantine. Nobody was bidding on it, so, to grease the wheels, my father put his name, oh, and $2,000 down.

He won.

Now, in a normal, pleasant, happy world, a week at a shore house would be, you know, something nice. The Gilbertian, topsy-turvy twist in this particular world of Apronism is that nobody, and I mean nobody in my family wants anything to do with it. In fact, up until a couple weeks ago, my father was ardently trying to sell the week at the shore to, well, anybody. Nobody wanted it because, apparently, it is cursed-- with our blood. This auction was won in January, and nobody in my family would speak about the details until, oh, last month. It was such a taboo subject that we were actually directed not to discuss it when coming to my parents’ house for dinner.

So we didn’t.

Nobody even knew which fucking week it was until the beginning of July. This, kids, is how we roll.

Anyway, my wife really wants to go. I was dicked out of a week’s worth of vacation at my current job (it will end August 27, and I am not permitted to take any days off until the termination of my job—after which, I can have all the days off I want— woot!) and my wife has lots of time off, but may be changing jobs, so that’s all up in the air. A weekend in Brigantine, with my parents and, potentially, both of my sisters and my sister’s husband and their baby, and now quite possibly my deadbeat uncle, alcoholic aunt and their college-aged twin daughters could be in the offing.

In the words of Gandhi: this does not tickle my wickle.

Regardless of its wickle-tickling properties, I have had to resort to asking a coworker to dog-sit for us. She recently acquired a puppy (which she had potty-trained in a week. Yes, a week. Can you smell the jealousy-pie cooling on the window?) and was, therefore, in my mind, ultra-qualified to take care of our canines. I asked her if she would do this for us on Monday, and she told me she would think about it. She walked up to me at work yesterday morning and stood in front of me without saying anything.

“Oh my God,” I said, “this is where you’re going to reject me, isn’t it?”

She smiled and said, “No, no, no—I’ll do it.”

I was flabbergasted. Stunned. Slackjawed. I actually almost cried.

“I just wish… we were actually going someplace where we were going to enjoy ourselves,” was all I could think of to say. She gave me a comforting rub on the shoulder and said,

“I know. Just try to have a good time.”

“Yeah,” I said. “You, too.”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ride That Pony... Every Month

I’m going to blog about something that happens to lots of people on a monthly basis, and, don’t worry: it’s not the cotton pony.

I know I’m a sensitive blogger, but I’m not a woman. Yet.

I don’t know if this is true or not, but there seems to be, recently, an overabundance of products, items, services and just thingy things that we are being charged for on a monthly basis. I, like you, (and I like you—awww!) am being bombarded constantly with advertising, that has not changed—but what has changed, in my mind, is that instead of being sold a bill of goods that we pay for once, we are essentially purchasing tangible objects and paying monthly service fees, or we are not even purchasing the object oftentimes—we are renting it and still paying that monthly fee.

Take this Motorola modem sitting on top of my desk amidst a veritable sea of random papers, business cards, envelopes and… Neosporin tubes?

(Ew.)

I am renting this modem. I do not own it. It belongs to the great, rabid, insidious Comcast overlords, who have fang-penises and permanent lockjaw on my nards. I pay some assholish amount of money for my superdoops high-speed internet yumminess and my cable television which my wife utilizes for almost exclusively for “SpongeBob” and I utilize almost exclusively for “Intervention.” Oh, and I pay a monthly rental fee for the fokakta modem, which I have replaced three times since we moved into this house last February.

Gee, Marmadick—they don’t make ‘em like they used to!

This got me thinking a bit about what services or products my wife and I pay for on a monthly basis. There’s the typical stuff, like the television and the internet. The cellphone (fortunately, we “own” those, I guess) and the water. The newest introduction of monthliness in our lives is the gym. Fortunately, we’re getting the summer “free” and we’re still sponging off my EMT discount even though I haven’t touched a stretcher since 2007 (shhhhh!) but, after August’s end, it will be a monthly service fee, which will remain, whether we work my balls off or whether we stay at home eating apple and raspberry pie.

We don’t do Netflix. We’d probably like it, but we’re also probably scared of it. It’s new, and different, and that scares us. Well, it mostly scares me. There’s no reason, really, why it should, except for the fact that the Netflix overlords, with their greasy, elongated fingernails and their venom-pus-filled pro-Simian foreheads will be able to track our film preferences, habits, and my disturbing proclivity for films where goggle-eyed-but-gorgeous English actress Natascha McElhone is featured in various states of undress.

Same deal with EZ-Pass. I mean, sure, the EZ-Pass overlords, with their gangrenous eyelids and their pock-marked, forked leather-tongues won’t know about my Natascha McElhone fetish, but they’ll be able to track my motoring movements, and that’s maybe kind of skeevier. Fucking skeevadors. EZ-Pass is a monthly thing, isn’t it? What’s with all the monthliness?

Oh, and Pandora keeps trying to get me to give them X number of dollars every month. And they’re really turning up the heat on me—it seems like they’re playing that motherfucking “You know what 2:30 in the afternoon feels like, right?” Right. It feels like holding your mother hostage in a vermin-filled basement shit-closet. I know what it feels like. Trust me.

And then there’s goddamn iTunes. And the goddamn Kindle e-book downloads. And cellphone internet data plans. And for you single peeps, there’s the soul-sucking, motherfucking eHarmony and Match and JDate (worked for me, d’hyeeyuck!) and Christ only knows what other craziness out there that I’m too not-in-the-know to know about.

It just feels like we’re renting our lives away—for only $10.00-a-month! But that shit adds up, and if you’re a technocrat of the highest order, you’ve got to be giving $10.00-a-month of your at least semi-hard-earned cash to a bumload of entities who are sucking you dry and squeezing your tit blue, and not in a quaint, hey-that’s-kinda-nice way, either.

They’ve been charging monthly fees for porn websites for years, but I never partook. After Juliana taught me the ways of Pornhub, well, I’m gettin’ it from the cow for free, and the milk’s, well… um… we’ll just leave that fractured analogy alone.

It’s kind of funny, the rental mentality. That whole paradigm has changed, hasn’t it? I don’t know about you, but my snobby family always looked at people who rented as scumbags—white-trash who paid $7.00-a-week for the TV they couldn’t afford to buy outright.

The Rent-A-Center crowd.

$24.00-a-month for the Barcalounger. $13.00-a-week for the microwave. Pay ya on Friday, Sam.

Now, we’re all doing it. But we call it “subscriptions.” “I have a subscription to thusandsuch website that enables me to access thisandthat content.” “Subscribing” sounds much more palatable than “renting.”

And, after all, it’s all about the marketing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Foodspergers

Gotta love kids.

Kids and puppies-- for most normal people, they're both too cute to kill. And that's a good thing. God knew what (S)he was doing when making kids and puppies: make them as cute as possible so only the real dregs of society will put bullets into their brains or smash their little skullettes.

On Saturday, our puppy urinated all over our couch. Fortunately, it's an Ikea couch, so it has a slipcover. Said slipcover went into the washing machine and backup slipcover was utilized in its place. Not two hours later, she let loose all over backup slipcover.

Today's Tuesday, and she's still alive because, let's face it: she's pretty fucking cute, and would look decidedly less so with all four of her legs broken, her asshole sewn up with piano wire, her ears tied together in a bow and her teeth shoved into her eye-sockets.

We don't have a kid but, when we do, I'm sure (s)he is going to raise all kinds of hell-- it's going to eat my favorite pocketwatch and shit in our bed and rearrange the t-shirts in my t-shirt drawer and vomit in my antique hats, and chances are the kid will survive relatively unscathed. Because, let's face it, discipline is just so draconian and 1950s.

One thing that kids are notorious for getting away with is being picky eaters. I used to have a friend whose sister would only snack on sour cream, which she ate, right out of the container with a big wooden spoon. For the first decade-and-a-half of his life, my brother-in-law subsisted almost entirely, it seems, on any number of pasta products smothered in sauce, french fries (only from fast food establishments-- the ones cooked at home never got crispy enough) slathered in ketchup, chips and salsa (noticing the tomato theme?). According to my wife, he still eats pop-tarts schmeared with cream cheese, every day for breakfast-- a holdover from his tempestuous youth.

mMmMMMMMmMmmmMmmmMMMMMMmmm, right?

I went through phases as children do, too. For all of high school, I would eat a challah roll, cut in half, toasted, buttered, with a cup of tea for breakfast-- my Jewishness and Anglophilia meshing smartly at the breakfast table. In middle school, every Sunday, I would watch auto racing with an enormous bowl of Doritos piled up to a tenuous, pre-overflowing state. And then, immediately afterwards, there would follow another bowlful. In elementary school, the only candy bar I would eat was a "5th Avenue Bar." Once, my father went to the 7-Eleven and came home with a "Butterfinger" stating confidently that "it's the same thing, mummy." I took a bite and spat it out into the toilet. This might have been the first time I decided I didn't always trust him.

When children exhibit food quirks, it can be trying for parents, I'm sure. But it's also kind of charming. "Oh, he only eats brown bread! Isn't that cute?"

When adults exhibit food quirks, well, it's not cute anymore.

It's Foodspergers.

That's right, bitches, I coined a term. Give me money and prizes and such.

Foodspergers (n - fud/SPER/gurz) is defined as "a clinically diagnosable inflexibility displayed by certain portions of the 18+ community surrounding food that is typified by socially unacceptable requests, demands, preferences, proclivities and/or behaviors that fall outside normal, acceptable limits."

On Sunday, my wife and I were in New Hope at a small, hole-in-the-wall pizza joint. Like normal people, we picked slices of pizza from the selections that were on display at the counter. Had we desired a more fru-fru dish, we would have ordered one, you know, from the choices contained on the menu.

In front of us, I heard,

"Do you have whole wheat pasta?"

The chippy behind the counter blinked twice.

"I want whole wheat pasta. Don't you people have whole wheat pasta?" the voice insisted or, rather, whined.

The clerk looked at someone else at one of the ovens. The someone else shrugged and shook her head in the negative. The customer belonging to the whining voice looked utterly exasperated and crestfallen. She looked at her husband.

"I just don't understand how they can't have whole wheat pasta."

BECAUSE IT'S NOT ON THE CUNTFUCKING MENU!!!!!!!!!!

By the way, said customer was definitely 60 or older. An obvious sufferer of Foodspergers. You don't walk into a place and ask for something that's not on the menu, and then get all crybaby and indignant when they don't have it. You don't walk into McDonalds and order a porterhouse with garlic butter au jus and then throw a fit when they give you an Angus Assburger with some anonymous schmenksauce on it.

That is the other component of Foodspergers: the inability and/or unwillingness to adjust one's gustatory expectations to their comestible environment. Linguists might refer to this as code-switching, and most of us are facile enough at food code-switching so that we do not attempt to order a Double Mocha Java Chip Frappuccino from the bewildered Indian service attendant at the Mobil Station Grab-n-Go Snack Shack.

A while ago, Mrs. Apron and I passed a pleasant morning at a local farmer's market. You've been to a farmer's market before, right? We're talking big-shouldered Amish women with ten thumbs who gut whole chickens right in front of you with all those thumbs. We were ordering our breakfast from a greasy-spoon lunch counter type place. There is a menu, and it is very simple: any possible type of permutation you could possible desire, so long as it has to do with eggs, cheese, and/or ham, bacon, sausage, pork-roll, or scrapple (let's face it: this is Pennsylvania, motherfuckers). Standing in front of us were two gangly homosexuals, probably in their late forties. They were dressed in black, carrying designer man-purses, and the one who opened his purty little mouth to order was wearing Versace sunglasses and copious amounts of hair gel.

"Do you have faux-meat?"

The guy in the apron that looked like it had been lovingly coated in placenta stared at him.

"You know, vegetarian sausage?"

Some of the non-Foodspergian customers looked at each other with the, "Where does this guy think he is, Soho" look in their eyes. The proprietor was nonplussed.

"No," he replied flatly, "we don't."

And then came the exasperated, homosexual sigh. That terse, barely restrained, almost tweeny exhalation of disappointment. I mean, are you kidding me, Renaldo?

True, we all get disappointed when we don't get what we want in this world, but, fortunately, most of us are non-syndromic enough to cope with those disappointments and put them into the proper perspective.

That said, I will never forget the day my father brought me home that fucking Butterfinger. God, I should have broken his legs and shoved that hyper-sweetened, messy-assed candy bar up his hairy Israeli orangutan ass.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Do I Know You?

Do I Know You?

Recently, a friend of mine (not just like, you know, a Facebook Friend) posted a status update that asked the following:

“How many of us really know everybody on our FB friends list? Here's a task for you: I want all my FB friends to post how you met me. After you comment, copy this to your status. The results just might be interesting!”

Being a somewhat of a Facebook recluse, I sent her a private message with my answer, just so she would know that we were really friends, and not just Facebook Friends, but, since 57 people so far have replied to her status, I couldn’t, in good conscience, permit my inbox to be ass-raped by all of those ensuing replies.

I mean, my sweet little inbox is just so delicate and chaste…

It’s a good question, though, just what, and just who do we “really know”? Sometimes, the people I think I know very, very well pull the rug out from under my vintage wingtips and throw me a curveball. Sometimes, the curveball is thrown right at my junkety. And that hurts. Sometimes, I’m sure I junkball the people who think they know me, too. And I’m sorry about that. It’s never nice to go below the belt.

Well, hardly ever.

There’s a woman I’ve worked with now for about three years, and it seems like, almost every other day, she says something about her personal life to me as if I’ve known it forever, and it invariably is a “news to me” comment or fact. Like, I didn’t know that she was a professional actress for her first few years out of college. When I expressed surprise at this, she looked at me incredulously.

“You didn’t know that about me?!” she asked, wide-eyed.

No, I didn’t. And sometimes I don’t think I really know anything about anybody.

“Well,” she said, “I guess it takes me a long time to get comfortable with people and share things about my life. I just don’t talk so much, I really like to listen, though.”

I like listening, especially about other people’s lives, and the choices they’ve made, but I like to talk a whole lot more. I’m a bit liberal with information I share about my own personal life, unless it’s the very personal bits, and my mouth is opened far more than it is closed. Fortunately, though, I’m not a mouth-breather. ‘Cuz that’s just nasty, bitches.

“That must be very annoying,” I replied to my coworker, “my propensity to talk about myself all the time.”

“Not really,” she replied. “You do it in that charming, obscene way.”

Charming and obscene. It’ll go on my tombstone.

It’s a good question for you to be asking yourself, too, from time to time. Who and what do you really know? Do you really know your family, or your friends, or your FB Friends, or your Blogger Buds, or your Foursquare Folks, or your sandbox pals? Do you really know yourself? You might be surprised to find out that you know less about your own peeps than you do about the homeless guy crossing 18th Street.

I was recently in downtown Philly, on 18th Street. As I was crossing, I overheard a brief exchange between two pedestrians, going in two different directions, from two different walks of life. The one was a black homeless crazy in a torn up wifebeater and shorts bearing stains of indeterminate origin, and no shoes. He had, as far as I could tell, one tooth. The other pedestrian was an impossibly hot blonde chick, maybe twenty-two years old, with tits like woodblocks, and those asinine, oversized sunglasses that maybe looked cool in 1963, a billowy white blouse, and little tweed shorts that were so miniscule that they were practically choking the life out of her coochie.

The old, black homeless crazy stopped walking directly in front of hot blonde woodblock tits and screamed,

“HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY!”

He stopped, and stared at, surprisingly, her face. She looked at him, cocked her head slightly like a Springer Spaniel might, and said what was probably the only decorous thing she could think to say:

“Do I know you?”

And I thought to myself, “Oh, honey… of course you do.”

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Friday Kind of Sunday Blog

So, I’ve been doing this bloggity thing for a while now. I’d call myself a pro, but I’m not getting paid, so I think I’ll stick with the moniker “experienced amateur” as that perhaps more accurately describes my blogger status.

As I’ve made my way through the months, blogging every day, sometimes multiple times a day, since March of 2009, I’ve noticed a few things. Want to hear them? Sure you do, Sugar:

• People may like it when I blog about serious topics, but they comment more on the funny shit.

• Hardly anybody ever comments on “Dear Apron,” yet, when queried, people profess to like it.

• Some people of the female persuasion admit to reading my blog in a state of semi-nudeness, and that makes me feel strange considering I always write fully clothed, mostly because, if I didn’t, our new dog would claw at my balls and tear open my scrote.

• There is, like, one male that I know of who reads my blog, and I don’t know whether he reads it in a state of semi-nudeness or not. And I don’t care.

• I can make you read a post about dog shit.

• You don’t mind that your loyalty to this blog is not rewarded with appreciable amounts of eye candy in the form of flashy graphics, backgrounds, wallpapers, pictures of cats wearing cowboy hats, hyperlinks, music videos, audio clips of Mel Gibson demanding pre-Jacuzzi blowjobs, Lady Gaga references (except for that one) and/or totes fab giveaways. OMG, LMT.

• Basically, nobody reads this blog on Friday.

The last point kind of baffles me, just a little bit. As most of you know, I’m a tad obsessive about my stats. Not that they’re astronomical or anything—hardly—but I find them interesting. And I like to know when you, yes YOU, are reading. It’s like my own, private Nielsens. Does that disturb you?

Good.

So, while my stats are usually admittedly modest, on Fridays, they are unfailingly modester than usual-- to the point of bordering on pathetic. When I first started noticing this trend towards end-of-the-week awfulness, I immediately set about to search for the cause of the aberration. My first idea was that the vast majority of my readers must be Orthodox Jews, Friday being Shabbat and all, and the use of the electronic that would be required for blog viewing would be verboten.

But then I realized that Shabbat doesn’t start until sundown on Fridays, so there would be plenty of time, especially in the summer, to enjoy oneself a little peek-a-boo under My Masonic Apron before the dying rays of the setting sun were at last extinguished and you, you know, couldn’t see the goods up there anyway.

Anyway…

So that idea sort of went nowhere—like the majority of my ideas. Then I started trying to convince myself that you people don’t like “Dear Apron,” since I write that exclusively on Fridays. But then I started hearing from some people that it was the highlight of their week and that they would eat their own babies if I stopped doing it and that this one chick threw herself under a four-hundred pound gorilla while wearing a bathing suit made of lowfat peanut butter because I had stopped doing “Dear Apron” every single week.

And so that shot that theory to shit.

Then I remembered that my former best friend works in NYC and that, during the nice weather, all New Yorkers who make $45,000 or more annually get excused from work by 2:00pm, like they’re elementary school students or something. And so I thought to myself, well, if they do this in New York, it must be done in other cities and faux-cities all across America, maybe even the world. And then it hit me. People read blogs at work. So, if people are let go from work early, then nobody’s reading blogs!

Eufuckingreka!

Amazing what you learn by blogging. And, occasionally, thinking.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'm a Checker

HEY! Remember my phoneterview?

Yeah, it turned out that it was for a part-time job. No benefits. No point.

Queen Quieff on the other end of the line wasn’t exactly apologetic about the fact that the job listing made no mention of the fact that it was a part time job. Instead, who apologized? Me.

“Well, I’m sorry for wasting your time,” I said. Oh my God, my balls must have been the size of Grape Nuts that morning.

Sad, isn’t it? I even went home that day and checked and re-checked and re-re-re-checked (because I am a checker, and a re-re) to make absolutely sure that the listing really said nothing about the job being part-time. It didn’t. Of course, it didn’t say anything about the job being full-time either but, really, when you’re looking for jobs, don’t you assume that a job is full-time unless the listing states otherwise?

I do. But maybe I’m wrong about that. Sorry for wasting your time.

I have another interview coming up, though. Soon. This one is live and in-person, but the interviewer will be male, so I won’t have to worry about getting caught ogling pert boobage. I’ve been emailing back and forth with him for just over a week, trying to coordinate a mutually agreeable time for me to come in. He’s a good-natured guy, you can tell, because I would have told me to fuck off and not bother a couple of days ago. Wednesday at 7:15am. That’s right, children—7:15am. Since my blogs post at 7:18am, you know that the early morning business bothers me not. In fact, it’s my preference. I needed to interview either before my current job starts (9:00) or after it ends, (3:30). This guy’s work-day doesn’t start until 8:30, but he’s coming in at 7:15, just for me. In fact, nobody in the building will be there at 7:15, except the two of us.

I sent him an email asking if this was business casual or business formal, “the difference in my world,” I wrote, “is the subtraction or the addition of a blazer.” He wrote back that I would be “just fine without the blazer.” I like him already.

I’m still scared I will throw up on him, or blurt out the N-word, or fall down a flight of stairs, our spill piping hot coffee on his genitals, all things that can happen at a live, in-person interview, but I guess it will probably end up being okay. I am, after all, only looking for a job to do from the time my own job ends in late August, till whenever a police department comes knocking on my door saying, “Son, we want you to join us.” But, you never know… maybe this will be the chance for me to get paid every week for… you know… writing.

Maybe this will be a career, instead of a job.

I’ve never had a career before. I might like me one of those.

Maybe.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Well, Cut the Cord and Praise the Lord, It's... DEAR APRON!

It may not be weekly anymore, but it’s still definitely vile, vulgar, and vulvalicious.

That’s right, kids, it’s cheaper than a Maybach and friendlier than the Clap. It’s….

DEAR APRON:

My girlfriend, "Donna," and I have shared a wonderful relationship for nearly three years. During her college days she had a sexual encounter with her best female friend. (They had been friends since high school.)

Although they graduated from college five years ago, they continue to see each other. Donna tells me that nothing sexual goes on between them. Personally, I don't trust her friend. Please help me get over this. -- TONY IN WHITTIER

DEAR TONY:

I pleasured myself to mental fantasies conjured up with the aid of your letter. Please help me get over this.

-- Mr. Apron in Pennsylvania

DEAR APRON:

I have been in a relationship with a lady for the past few months. How do I tell her that I want out without hurting her badly?

I have tried a couple of times to end things, but she gets hysterical, starts crying and accuses me of wanting someone else, which is not true. Please give me some advice. -- IN A FIX, PASCAGOULA, MISS.

DEAR IN A FIX:

Well, if you were going out with just a normal female, it would be no big deal. But, since you’re “in a relationship with a lady,” that obviously changes things in a big way. Here’s what you do:

Purchase a waistcoat, spats, and arm garters. (I’m assuming you already have a cravat and pince-nez.) Using a reservoir pen (contains its own ink, invented circa 1884, and pen her a grandiloquent, prosaic novella, expressing yourself in flowery, vegetable terminology that obfuscates your more vulgar instincts and baser propensities, forsaking them for more effete dispositions.

And, remember, use “courtesan” instead of “hoebag skeeza pleeza.”

DEAR APRON:

My husband doesn't like to go to funerals. In the 25 years we have been together, I think he has only been to three -- and that was only because he had been asked to be a pallbearer. Fortunately, we haven't had to deal with many losses on either side of the family.

We were talking recently and he shared that he would not go to his own mother's funeral! They have a very close relationship, and he explained that he only wants to remember her in life, not in a coffin. I feel he should set aside his own uncomfortable feelings and be there for the rest of the family -- especially his brothers and sisters. What do you think? -- PAM IN SPRINGFIELD, OHIO

DEAR PAM:

Your husband doesn’t like to go to funerals?!!! Well, clearly, he just hasn’t been to the right funeral. I would suggest an Amish funeral for starters, they’re pretty interesting. Then maybe have him work his way up to a New Orleans Jazz Funeral. If he doesn’t bitch about that, stuff him in the car and trek on over to Gettysburg for a Civil War re-enactor’s funeral. They do the burial of General John Renyolds every hour on the hour between 10am & 2pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays on the grounds of the Theological Seminary. He’ll totally dig that shit. No pun intended.

If that doesn’t work, maybe it’s that your husband just hasn’t had the right kind of experience at a funeral. Next time one comes up, try jerking him off in the pew during the service. I would sit in the way, way back, unless you’re into the whole exhibition/defamation thing.

DEAR APRON:

I recently completed my first year of college. During the year, I met my current boyfriend. My goal this summer is to have him meet my parents. Because we live six hours apart, I thought it would be best if he stayed over at my parents' house -- in the guest room, of course.

My father objected to it, but said that if it were deemed acceptable by you, he would reconsider. What do you say, Apron? Is there really a problem with having one's boyfriend sleep over at one's parents' house? -- CURIOUS CO-ED

DEAR CURIOUS CO-ED:

Have you or your parents every heard of the Fallacious Appeal to Authority fallacy?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pigs

Get a load of these three bastards:

They're three of the biggest scumbags to have ever worn a badge on their chest and a gun on their hip. Their names, left to right, are Robert Snyder, James Venziale, and Mark Williams. Take a good, hard look at their faces and their names.

They are pigs.

They're not pigs because they're police officers, for two reasons. One, I absolutely despise and detest the practice of referring to police officers as pigs. Former NYPD Police Commissioner Patrick Murphy was once asked by a reporter how he felt about "cops being referred to as pigs." "In my family," Murphy replied, "we weren't allowed to call police officers 'cops'."

The second reason they're not pigs because they're police officers is they aren't police officers.

Anymore.

Well, in the words of PPD Commissioner Charles Ramsey, they're "in the process of being terminated." And, they're in jail, which is absolutely, without question where they belong. May they rot in there for a very, very long time and, if that hasn't punished them enough for defaming their badges and their fellow officers, Hell would be a fine epilogue.

These three ex-police officers conspired, planned, and executed the theft of nearly three hundred grams of heroin from a known drug supplier. Then, they went and sold it to an individual they thought was a drug dealer.

Except, he wasn't a drug dealer. He was an undercover narcotics agent. Gotcha, you motherfuckers.

I am broken.

There aren't enough obscenities, there isn't enough vitriol, there is an insufficient quantity of bile for me to sling in the faces of these appalling human beings, the detritus of the earth, the scum to end all scum-- people who would hide behind the power of a badge and commit crimes against the people of this city. At least run-of-the-mill drug dealers have the decency to commit their crimes in oversized t-shirts, do-caps, and baggy jeans; they don't pretend to be something they're not.

Pictured above are three marvelous pretenders, yet their game is far more sinister than charades; it is the callous deception and disgusting, calculated endangerment of the people of the city of Philadelphia. When a normal police officer needs money, he moonlights as a security guard, he picks up extra shifts, he makes it work. He doesn't abuse his authority for the purposes of personal gain, putting drugs back out on the street to potentially end the lives of the people he has sworn to protect.

Motherfucking pigs. I may only be 136 pounds, but put me in a locked cell with these three fuckjobs, and you might be surprised at who would emerge intact. My fingers are shaking with anger such that it is taking me a while to type this post.

When you've wanted to be a cop more than anything in the world, more than anything else in your life, (including all the shitty jobs you've held in a futile attempt to keep that passion at bay), every transgression committed against the badge by a selfish piece of shit like this rips apart your guts, throws you down the stairs, and slashes at your throat. I want to believe that the majority of the 6,000+ Philadelphia police officers are good, decent men and women who signed on to do an impossible job and stay clean till retirement day...

But sometimes I'm not so sure, and that doubt is very painful. Very.

The local paper has a "Rogue's Gallery" that features the name, face, and deed of every errant Philadelphia police officer, and I'm scared to admit that it's growing. It's really growing. Meanwhile, the city is under a hiring freeze so that new Philadelphia Police Academy classes may not proceed as there is no money in the budget to hire new officers.

But maybe that needs to happen, because I'm not so sure about the apples in this current barrel anymore. And it really scares me to admit that. And, sure, any new crop would contain within it some shitheads and assholes, as with any group of people there are those who are undeserving, but maybe we need to usher in a newer generation of cops in this city. I don't know if they need to be college educated, or if they need different or sporadic psych evaluations, or more thorough background checks, or if recruiting needs to be done in a different way-- I don't know what the answer is. All I know is that the Philadelphia Police Department is putting itself in jeopardy for lawlessness and violence directed at its officers if things do not change. If people view the peacekeepers as corrupt, vile, odious pigs, believe me, that is how they will be treated.

And we cannot, absolutely cannot afford to have that happen.

So, please, don't give up on our guys and gals just yet. And, PPD officers: don't give up on your dignity either.

------------------------------

EPILOGUE: I am suddenly reminded that it's not just Philadelphia.... there are pigs running wild in New Orleans, too, but they have just been caught and placed inside the pen inside of which they deserve to rot for all eternity:

Four NOPD Police Officers were just charged with murder in connection with multiple shootings on the Danziger Bridge while most of New Orleans was still underwater immediately following Hurricane Katrina. Two supervisors were arrested for helping to concoct an elaborate coverup story. If convicted, the four officers charged with murder could face the death penalty.

And may God have mercy on the rest of us.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Phoneterview

So, I have this phone interview coming up this morning and, call me a pathetic neonate, but I’m kind of scared.

I mean, I’m more conflicted than scared, actually, because part of me is very relieved that it’s a phone interview and not a real, live in-person interview.

Really, I’m just a fucking mess and I don’t know how to feel about it. I'm such a girl.

My dear, good, short wife is also conflicted, occupationally speaking, and I recently suggested that she make a Pro/Con List to help her sort through her sentiments about her current and prospective job. Then, she directed me to order her a pita pizza with pineapples and green peppers. So, there we are. Not particularly liking pineapples, or green peppers, or pita myself, I decided to make a Pro/Con List of my own to see if I could help myself determine exactly how I feel about this impending phone interview.

Since I’m a negative sonofabitch, I’ll do us all a favor and start with the...

PRO

Prospective employer/interviewer gets no visual.

Call me excessively self-deprecating, but this first point cannot be mitigated or ignored. They that hold the cards to my future will be utterly unable to deduct points for poor posture, Jenga-teeth, sweaty palms, coffee odor(s), haphazard, untamable Jew hair, eccentric neckwear and dress shoes from the early 1970s. In a word, I’m amazed that I was ever hired, by anybody, prior to the advent and implementation of the phone interview.

Tight.

• (Related to first bullet-point), I can react however I want to their questions.

When they ask me how I dealt with a challenging situation at my current or former job, or if I could be any zoo animal in the eastern hemisphere, which would it be and why, or what do I consider to be a professional weakness of mine, I can roll my eyes, make jerk-off motions with my hand, lie down supine on the floor, give the dogs the finger, pretty much whatever the hell I want as long as I don’t let anything audible slip. Like my boxers to the floor.

BOO-YA!

I don’t have to obsess over being late.

This is a huge, huge deal. No innocent motorist will fall victim to my frothing road-rage, there will be no feverish gripping of the already careworn eight-year-old steering wheel of my car, there will be no frantic, near epileptic search for a parking garage in downtown Philly (the last time I was engaged in this pursuit, I put the car in an underground lot for five hours and was charged $29.00) and I will not go through all of these gymnastics and near aeronautics just to arrive twenty-five minutes early only to be directed to a vinyl chair in some stuffy waiting room so my heart rate can slow down to somewhere near 144 BPM.

Absolutely no chance at being caught staring at interviewer’s breasts.

Yes, it’s happened before. I mean, I don't know if I was caught, really, but, whenever I engage in this act, I almost invariably get caught. And, no, I'm definitely not immune from doing it at a job interview. What can I say? I am only a man and, therefore, evil and retarded.

And now, where I am most comfortable, I’m tempted to call it “Home” but, for these purposes we’ll just go with….

CON

Prospective interviewer/employer gets no visual.

I know, I know, I know—this point not only appeared in the “Pro” section, but it appeared first! What is wrong with me, O Evil & Retarded One? Well, see, while there are definite and clinically-proven negative attributes to my physical presentation, there are also things that work in my favor which, in a phoneterview, the interviewer will not observe.

For starters, now that “Pirates of Penzance” and “Peter Pan” are over, I no longer sport regrettable, Victorian-era facial hair (i.e., large, walrus-style moustache that swept down to my jawline and sideburns that, well, did the same. I’m clean-shaven, with a nice haircut, and I look at least twenty-five years, and a century-and-a-half younger than I did just a month ago. I mean, I’d do me. I mean— hire.

Another thing that tends to work in my favor at in-person interviews is that I dress very, very well, unlike, presumably, a significant portion of job-seekers in my age-bracket. Because I absolutely love dressing up in shirts and ties, you can tell that I don’t just put them on for job interviews, and I certainly don’t opt for the pre-packaged $17.99 shirt-and-tie from TJ Maxx. No, I actually have class and dignity and I like to think that it shows. But not during a phoneterview.

In personal conversations, especially when I am asked to talk about my ideals concerning truth, justice, about my personal philosophy, and/or being honest and respectable, you can almost watch the tears welling up in my eyes, such a sensitive, integrity-filled pussyburger I am—and I suspect prospective employers like interviewing people who they know won’t dick them over, steal from the safe, or rape the boss’s daughter or hamster. Hopefully, in the phone interview, they’ll be able to hear my voice crack with sincerity.

If you’ve ever spoken to me over the phone…

…you know that I sound like a fucking idiot at best, and a hard-of-hearing mental patient off his meds at worse.

When I don’t have a person’s face and lips to watch like a hawk to enable me to process what they’re saying and interpret their body language, I’m basically dead in the water. If you’re fooled into thinking that I’m eloquent and facile with words because of what you may have read or may have though you read on this blog, well, it’s just a charade of a fa├žade. You’d have better luck asking a dying donkey for directions to the Holiday Inn in Boise than you would having a semi-coherent telephone conversation with me.

I can’t impress anyone by being early.

Because that impresses people.

So, there it is, kidderoos: my Pro/Con List. I don’t know exactly where it leaves us, or me, except that it’s 7:18am, and my phone interview starts in fifty-seven minutes.

Unless, of course, I call early.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Get the Fuck Off My Gravestone, Bitch

If you're a petty, judgmental, insecure motherfuck, then you've come to the right place today, like pretty much any day. In any case, welcome, pull up a bar-stool, Son. The peanut butter M&Ms are on me.

Or, rather, in me.

I'm sure you know by now that I have some, well, issues. I'm never quite sure if my homespun style of emotional instability is charming, or unsettling, or, as my wife likes to say, "WNL" (Within Normal Limits). Some folks are tempted to hide the inappropriate things that they do and say, for fear that they will be judged or critiqued or, worse, shamed.

Me?

Balls, no. Why stay hidden? I've worked tirelessly to create a comfy little cocoon here, insulated by the warm snuggles provided by all's y'alls, my affectionately bewildered and skeptically intrigued readers.

You will not judge me. You will just be glad that we do not share a zipcode or lavatory.

I can remember, back in my burgeoning days of high school, timidly testing the waters of shared experience by tossing out a masturbation joke, to see if it was met with a knowing glance or smirk of a classmate. See, I just wasn't sure if six times a day was inappropriate for a fifteen-year-old of my height and weight proportions and social standing. We always want to know if we are WNL, and so we check ourselves against our peers, against celebrities, (surely Tim Robbins and Bob Hoskins jerked it six times a day when they were fifteen) and against our perceived betters.

I'll bet you check yourself against people, too. I just hope you don't check yourself against the bitch in the red dress who eats "Special K with Berries" in her kitchen to lose weight, because that fucked cunt is already skinny.

And I'll bet she rubs one out six times a day, too.

Anyway, who, you might be asking yourself, does Mr. Apron check himself against?

Why, "Jeopardy!" contestants, of course!

Most people who ride the "J!" Train, I suspect, check their intelligence against that of the three contestants mentally duking it out with each other Monday-Friday night. I wouldn't dare pit my brain against theirs. No, on weeknights from 7:00pm-7:30pm, I bust out the social awkwardness yardstick.

I'm pleased to announce that, most of the time, I measure up. I'm actually kind of smug about it.

Last night was a particularly devastating example of my social awkwardness propensity to be WNL as compared to the average "Jeopardy!" contestant. Alex was conducting the painful contestant interviews (why do they persist with this archaic, awful practice? Can't they just put up a caption that says "Alice, 39, Hausfrau, Appleton, MN. Was once mauled by a rabid Postal Inspector"? That would save everybody a lot of trouble.), and he had just finished with Saad, a nanotechnology sciency dude, and the chick with the impossibly huge breasts that were practically resting on the podium, and Alex sidled up to the returning champion, a complete and utter milquetoast from the depths of Middle America. Alex looked at his little index card, inhaled crisply and said the following:

"And you have a rather interesting hobby-- you take charcoal rubbings of the gravestones of deceased Speakers of the House, is that correct?"

"Yes, it is," answered the contestant, wearing a black dress shirt and a gold necktie, as if he were in the mafia or a waiter at Carrabba's. "It's taken me all over the country, and in graveyards, sometimes to private property-- but I always ask permission."

Of course you do. Look at you.

"Sounds like fun!" Alex said, without a hint of the insincerity such an exchange would require were it performed at an office Christmas party, AA meeting, or basement snuff film premiere.

But with those three little words, "Sounds like fun," Alex Trebek at once validated my small, questionable, eclectic hobbies and pastimes. Finally, shopping in antique malls for vintage eyeglasses, typewriters and telephones, trolling www.ebaymotors.com for forty-year-old VW Beetles and 1970s-era ex-police cars that I will never buy, and enjoying me a good patter or maritime song doesn't seem so crazy anymore.

Charcoal rubbings, indeed. Freak probably does six of them a day.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dance With Me

My wife has observed that I have this tendency to utilize the literary device (gestalt? I forget what it’s called) where you start out talking about one thing and then meander off in another direction only to circuitously wend your weary way back to your original idea. It probably won’t surprise you to know that this isn’t intentional, or purposeful, or my intelligently and deftly applying skills honed in any number of creative writing classes and workshops I could have, and should have taken. It’s just the haphazard, comfort-seeking way in which my brain works.

Or, rather, doesn’t.

That said, I will confess I had an idea for what I was going to blog about before I sat down at the computer, but I made the mistake of sitting down at the computer with an ice-cold can of Diet Coke and a bowlful of peanut butter M&Ms and I thought to myself, “Holy shit, if I don’t immediately write on my blog about how fucking fantastic peanut butter M&Ms and chilled Diet Coke are, well, then goddamn me to Hell.” And so, I’ve just got to devote a few lines to my snack, even though it has nothing it all to do with what I wanted to blog about for today, and I doubt very much that I’ll be able to gestalt this shit back around at the end. But who cares?

You can’t find peanut butter M&Ms everywhere, and that’s just as well because, if you could, well, they wouldn’t be as special as they are—would they? When we spot that orange bag, we go for it. Now, our house, being basically an eighty-two-year-old furnace with a quaint hole in the kitchen ceiling, keeps pantry food at a comfortable, slightly-toasted temperature. This propensity is especially preferred when it comes to two bad-for-you snacks:

Cadbury mini-eggs, and, you guessed it, Harvard Gal: peanut butter M&Ms.

Your dubiously-aligned teeth pierce the candy shell and just absolutely sink into the pre-warmed mookie goodness and instantly pleasure splinters go shooting through the windmills of your mind. There is a Hebrew phrase that my father taught me that sums up this sensation perfectly. You are supposed to say it after an especially good, satisfying, heavenly meal, and, in English transliteration it looks something like this: “Chhhat-tsee-tsee-un.”

Translation: Half-a-fuck.

Yes, children, consuming warm, mookitty peanut M&Ms is, for most intents and purposes, equivalent to half-a-fuck.

There’s nothing more I can say, though, about the merits of Diet Coke. In caffeinated or CFDC variety it is, without qualm or question, the perfect libation. Definitely ‘nuff said on that score.

‘Kay? Thanks. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

-------------

So, anyway, on Sunday morning, my wife and I woke up, as we fortunately always seem to do, and she turned to me and asked me if I went to any dances in middle school. I laughed, because that’s a nice thing to do when your wife asks you a question.

“Yes, I went to one, when I was in seventh grade.”

“Did you like it?” she asked me.

Sad to admit it, but I laughed again. When I was done, I replied,

“No.”

As she asked me more similar questions, I realized that I had attended exactly one dance in middle school, one in high school, and one in college. And people say I never give things a fair chance. Fucking people— always talking smack.

I don’t remember much about the middle school dance. Clearly, I didn’t actually dance with anybody. I mean, that’s kind of a given. I do remember that I, along with three other awkward gimps, got in trouble for sitting on a rolled up gym mat. There was no sign on it that said, “NO AWKWARD GIMPS MAY SIT HERE,” at least, not that I recall, but I suppose it was just one of those unwritten, unspoken rules that you and your three other awkward gimp compatriots were just supposed to know. Well, we didn’t, and we got sent to the assistant-principal, Dr. A. Dr. A was a severe--looking, skinny, dour woman whose face was contorted in such a way that it always looked like she had just swallowed a cup of Halite. She walked with a cane and I can recall being very afraid that, if I said the wrong thing in her presence, she would break it against my neck.

I mean, really-- why do they even have dances for middle school students? Is it just for the teachers and the adult chaperones to have something to laugh at so they can feel better about themselves? We're all so fucking terrible looking-- gawky, mawky, mawpish, mopish, and just awful. We barely know the opposing gender exists, so why does this painful ritual exist? Isn't it just an attempt at prematurely sexualizing us? I'm surprised FOX News hasn't jumped on this idea yet.

"JUST LET OUR KIDS BE KIDS!!!!!"

Hahaha. Shut the fuck up, FOX News.

In high school, I was convinced by some friends (yes, I had a few back then) to attend a Halloween dance.

“You’ll get to wear a costume,” one of them said. This was enough to make the sale. I came in an Army officer’s dress uniform that I had picked up for twenty bucks at a thrift shop. The pants were large enough to clothe five of me at the same time, and my mother did a hack-job on the waistband so that they would stay up through the evening’s festivities. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” army policy was just beginning to take hold that year, and I wore a name tag that said, “Hi, My Name Is Ham-Pies” and I spent the evening dancing the tango and other absurd dances with my gay friend, who was wearing a yellow polyester leisure suit. I wonder why I wasn’t asked out by a girl that year.

The college dance I attended, though, was quite special. It was the formal ball hosted by the theatre association. I mean, “formal”? “Ball”? How bad could this be, I reasoned with myself. I was dating a girl at the time who had been begging me to go to the dance, and I was very much against it. But the words “formal” and “ball” kept swirling around in my brain. I had conjured up images of my classmates in enormous hoop-skirts, massive mounds of cleavage pouring out of Victorian-era dresses, hair in ringlets, and the budding men in gleaming black patent leather shoes, white gloves, long coats.

If you’ve ever doubted the brain’s capacity for fantasy, doubt no more.

I ended up renting a tux for an absurd amount of money at “After Six Menswear.” Not only did you have to pay to attend the ball, too, but I plunked down $189 on a hotel room. I can remember, very, very vividly getting dressed in that ridiculous tuxedo in front of the full-length mirror in our hotel room and, as I affixed the bullshit fake bowtie, my girlfriend came up behind me, sat down on the bed and looked at me with a smile, but with her brow furrowed and said,

“You’re going to be so handsome when you can buy clothes that actually fit you.”

She was so sweet—- but not quite as sweet as a peanut butter M&M.

BOO-YA!!!!!!!