Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Gone Fishin"

So I was stuck in New York this weekend. Right off the river. So I thought I'd get some fishing in. I'll admit, I'm not real good at things like hunting and fishing. In fact, I do most of my hunting and fishing at Winn Dixie. It's just easier and I'm a horrible shot. 
Fishing I can usually manage so long as it's not hot out. Fishing is supposed to be relaxing so I found a way to make it more relaxing. I don't bait the hook. Every time I do some fish comes along and hooks itself then I've gotta go through all the trouble of reeling it in, usually to discover it's not worth the effort.
If there are other people around then I've gotta do the masculine thing and clean it and stuff or I look silly. My only way around that is to find someone to give it to. "Here ya go kid, I can't eat fish anymore but I so enjoy catching them." Blah blah blah. (Although we all know I eat tuna and/or salmon or mackerel every day. I just prefer catching it in the can. It keeps better that way). At least then I look generous and I get to keep my "Man Card". 

I've got that "Grog the Caveman" side of me but I think ole Grog wasn't a hunter or even a gatherer. He was the "hey, guys, I'll chill here and make sure this fire thing doesn't go out. It took us forever to discover it; we can't afford to let it disappear again." type. I'm pretty sure that's where all those cave drawings come from, bored cavemen playing connect the dots while "guarding" the fire. 
There's even a good chance that my caveman type is responsible for domesticating dogs. I figure it went like: "hey, mutt. Look, you'd better do some growling and shit when other animals come around. You've seen what the other guys come back with, yeah? That could be you. Do some noises and I'll try to convince them not to eat you. You seem kinda cool. Hey! Are you even listening?! Wag your tail or drool or something if you're paying attention." 
Clearly, the dogs in China didn't get the memo. Now they're food. Shoulda listened. Or maybe they didn't have the sensible caveman types there to have a chat with dogs. 

Cats? That's a different story entirely. Don't blame the cavemen for that. Blame the Egyptians. Like they did stuff that made sense? Those guys built giant pyramids that don't seem to have a purpose. They put up gargantuan statues like the Sphinx. So worshipping cats only makes sense. Now those bipolar, schizophrenic creatures think they own us. 
Every neighborhood has that "crazy cat lady". You know the one...she's 40, never married and feeds every cat in the neighborhood. She's harmless. Or she's off her rocker. It's always a toss-up. And, ladies, if you put clothes on your cats and their pictures are all over your house and your neighborhood doesn't have a "cat lady"...yes it does. They just don't call you that where you can hear them. 
It's ok though. Really. I mean, look at Catwoman. She turned out pretty cool. Plus, cats are better at fishing than I am. 

Dogs serve a purpose. They protect us. Mine have protected me from more squirrels than I can count. They've kept me warm in the winter. Someone within a 1,000 feet of my truck? I'm covered. In fact, I can safely say that I'm not worried about ever being attacked by crickets either. And loyal? Affectionate? Pfft! A dog is happy if you just come home. 

Cats? Totally different story. Where dogs have owners, cats have servants. They're weird little critters. It's like playing "rock, paper, scissors" with an octopus. Even when you win, you lose. They've got 2 looks: awake and asleep. No way of telling if they actually want you to touch them or if they're luring you in for a closer strike. You'd might as well have a pet badger. Trying to pet a cat is like trying to play catch with a cactus. Sleep? I hope you're a day sleeper. For an animal that's constantly in stealth mode they become the noisiest things in the world after 2:30 in the morning. They're like ninjas except when you're trying to sleep. And talk about neurotic. You wanna completely screw up a cat for a few days? Rearrange the furniture. They hate that shit. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate cats. I've had cats before. I think they're amazing, lithe animals. But one big difference between cats and dogs is you can't own a cat. You can feed it, you can take care of it and you can love it but you can never really own one. If they had opposable thumbs they'd have no use for us. It'd just be "hey, how did 68 cans of tuna get put on the shopping list?!" Meow. These are animals that've convinced us to bring dirt inside and clean up their poop in the box. Crafty. And the little bastards...they can't stand it when you clean that box. While you're still pouring litter in there they'll jump in and poo. While looking right at you like "yeah, this is MY box. Now clean it again human!"
Maybe the Egyptians had it figured out though. They worshipped them. They elevated them to royal status. In short, they put them on pedestals. Which made me think. Cats are reincarnated women. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"Call Me Bored"

Now that cell phone numbers are on call lists for telemarketers I've found I get more phone calls. That's nice, I don't get to talk to too many people so I always welcome new friends. Sadly, though, those new friends never invite me to parties. Makes me feel like they're just using me. 
Today was one of those days. I got a very pleasant call from Susan who told me how excited I should be. Yes, I keep notes when people call. One thing my teachers taught never know when there's going to be a pop quiz. So I like to be prepared. Here's how the conversation went:

Me (seeing it said "caller id blocked"): hello! You're on the air! You're lucky caller number 12! What's your name caller?

Susan: h-h-hello?

Me: well, H-H-Hello, I see you've called to join our conversation on why Jeff shouldn't be ashamed of his stutter. What would you like to say, H-H-Hello? Feel free to t-t-take your time. 

Susan: Mr. Two shit available? 

Me: you mean Touchet? (People are always mispronouncing my name. A dead giveaway that they don't know me) Yes, you're on the air with him now. 

Susan: my name is Susan from the rewards department. We show you took an online survey. 

Me: well, Susan, your stutter cleared up. So are you taking "Speak Smooth" like Jeff did? I've heard great things about that product. 
So, rewards? That's awesome. I was just telling my listeners that I felt my job wasn't rewarding enough. 
By the way, this call may be recorded for training purposes, quality control or just for the hell of it. Is that ok? 

Susan: uh. 

Me: ok. We will accept that as an ok. It sounded close enough. So, tell our listeners about the reward for the survey I didn't take online. Unless you mean that button I accidentally hit while I was surfing porn. Not my fault, the goat knocked the computer over. Anyway, goat ahead..

Susan: well it's magazines. Wait. Is now a bad time to call? Would you like us to call another time?

Me: nah. Go ahead with your spiel if you'd like. I know how you guys love telling us what we've won that we never wanted and won't use. 

Susan: (whispering. It sounded like she was covering the mouthpiece) *can I disconnect? Well, yes, he's responding but I think it's a radio station or something. Sigh. Ok*. (In her normal voice) well, sir, as a valued Visa or MasterCard holder, you're automatically signed up for the grand prize of $25,000 and the drawing for $2,500. In addition, you get 4 magazines free for one year. Maxim, Car&Driver, Sports Illustrated and (honestly I can't remember what the fourth one was). 
Now, there is a shipping and handling charge of $4.99 but that's one fee for all 4 magazines. Isn't that great?!

Me: well, that's horrible. I was dating a Maxim cover model when I wrecked my car on the way to a football game. Seeing that combination in my mailbox would set me back 3 years of therapy. Speaking of therapy, how long were you in therapy for that stutter? You still haven't told us what you think of Jeff's story. 
Oh, and I don't have any credit cards, by the way. I can't afford the $6 processing fee to apply for them. I do have baseball cards though. Will you guys let me pay you in baseball cards? They're not really baseball cards. They're of me when I played T ball a couple of years ago but I think you'll love them. 

Susan: oh. Well then I can send you or catalog of over 250 titles to choose from sir. 

Me: excellent. Can you email that in Braille. I'm blind. Do you have magazines for blind people? If I send an extra $4.99 a month can you have someone come describe the pictures for me? 

Susan: oh. Um. Uh. 

Me: look, Susan, you seem nice but indecisive. Tell me, did you have abandonment issues at a young age? Have you gotten therapy for this? I don't think it's good for a young lady with abandonment issues to call old guys who are watching porn while they drive. Is this what led to your stutter?

Then there was a click and she quit playing. Oh well, I lose more new friends that way. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

"Dance With Me"

She said "I need saving. I need a hero; I need a knight.
A savior in armor to defend me from the horrors about. 
With a strong horse, sword at the ready; a paladin in white.
A dream warrior strong, noble and stout."

They're all gone now, the Prince Charmings; the heroes. 
The terrors that plague the earth are our own inner fear
There is no armour made to save against love's throes
I've got my scars to protect me from you my dear

Unicorns will run you through if you expose your heart
Damsels in distress will eat your soul to feed themselves
So the Knights ran in a panic from the very start
Tunics, swords, armor and lance left to rust upon the shelves

As we walk that valley of death and take a chance
For living in fear of love isn't living at all 
Yes, I would still waltz to that poisonous dance
Knowing in the end it's love, not life, that'll be my downfall. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

"Death of the Sales Pitch"

I'm kinda generous when it comes to a worthy cause. No, I didn't send any money to those kids that've been starving in Africa for the past 40 years or so. I would've sent them farm equipment or luggage though, if I could. They live in a desert so I'm thinking helping them move to someplace that has a Taco Bell would do them more good. Especially one of the ones that delivers now. They've starved for too long, I say let them enjoy obesity for a while. Nor do I cry when that ASPCA commercial comes on. I kinda got burned out on Sarah McLaughlin though. I have 2 dogs and I make it a point to not beat them or anything so I think that counts. 
I've got kids in Cub Scouts and I buy Camp Cards I don't need and popcorn I'll never eat. I even buy Girl Scout cookies like everyone else. All those kids are out there hawking wares like carnival barkers. "Support your local Cub Scouts" boys yelling, "help us go to camp", Girl Scouts literally screaming, "excuse me, mister, but you've eaten 3 boxes of cookies. We kinda need you to pay for those" ... You know, the usual. (In my defense on that last one, I thought the boxes on the tables were samples)

Fortunately, my keeper is more generous and creative than I. Some of these kids could learn from her. For instance, she stops at a truck stop and there's this teenage kid out there in his baseball regalia and what appears to be his coach with a sign "help us go to state". And a bucket. Did little DiMaggio say anything? Nope. Offer a good or service in exchange for the expected capital? Nope. Just a little sign. 
First off..."help us go to state". Um, you mean like you want me to help you win games? Dude, I'm no Derek Jeter, you don't want me out there playing for you. And which state? You're in Tennessee, are you looking to travel for vacation? Why do you need my help? Are you guys not very good? So many questions pop into my mind! 

What does Molly do? She goes inside, visits the ATM (I don't mean like she sat down with it for tea and crumpets or anything), talks it into giving her money and goes back outside. "If you clean my windows I'll give you $20". Wait...seriously?! $20 to clean the windows?! (Had I known I was dating a Rockefeller I'd have asked for a pony a long time ago.) Let me explain here that at truck stops we have squeegees on long poles and buckets of window cleaning solution. Cleaning your windows takes all of 5 minutes and it's not exactly labor intensive.  
The future Hall of Famer had to think a minute before deciding. He mulled it over so long his coach even volunteered to do it but, knowing that wouldn't have taught the kid the lesson intended, my keeper said no. Good thing it wasn't me because I'd have been "silence, interloper! Let the child learn not to live off hand outs! So sayeth me, have your squire cleaneth mine windows!" Or something to that affect. Which is probably part of why I'm not allowed out unsupervised. 

Heedless of the existing child labor laws she offered this kid a chance to do something besides stand there and point at his little sign. Which is what he had done when she asked what they were out there for. No words. He just points to the sign like he's a homeless Charlie Chaplin. 

Did she need her windows cleaned? Of course not. As I've mentioned she's quite meticulous. She practically cleans her windows as bugs hit them. Nor did she need Slugger to do it. In fact, her windows were even dirtier after he cleaned them. But she was trying to be generous to his cause. She's not incapable or lazy, I assure you. But she illustrated a good point. Just standing there looking all forlorn with a sign isn't going to get you where you're trying to go. C'mon kid, work for it a little. In fact, she even suggested he offer to clean truckers' windshields for $5 a pop. "Your team will have more money than they know what to do with at the end of a day."

We work hard, we all do. We don't mind helping people out. Truck drivers are typically suckers for a good cause. But, because we work so hard for every dime, we aren't going to just give out to everyone with a sign. Neither are you, I'm sure. But we can teach kids that they aren't simply "entitled" to handouts. 
Personally, I feel the coach was remiss here. If he can coach kids on the field, why not off the field as well? 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Soccer, Racism, and Pearl Harbor

                                                  Soccer, Racism, and Pearl Harbor 

 As some of you know I am a unashamedly a soccer fan in a (mostly) football/baseball/and basketball nation. :) I was pretty thrilled to see the USWNT take the cup on July 5th - I was especially happy for Abby Wambach, Lauren Holiday, and Christie Rampone, as they are all scheduled to retire before the next world cup, what a way to go out! 

Admitted, we looked pretty vulnerable in our first four games - against Nigeria, Australia, Sweden, and Columbia. However, in the quarterfinals against China we seemed to finally come alive! And then we beat FIFA's number one ranked team, Germany, 2-0. Our World Cup journey ended with the cup when we beat number four ranked Japan 5-2. :) 

A while later I went on Twitter and heard that the hashtag #PearlHarbor was trending. This really shocked and saddened me. Yes, I am an American and proud to be one! However, I don't believe that God created one country better than another, which is one of the reasons why I am so against racism (not to mention that it is just plain wrong!) Tweets and tweeters like this definitely do NOT make me proud to be American!

Some very cringeworthy tweets compared the Women's World Cup final to #PearlHarbor. Such as user @KyleKelly56