May 31, 2006

What to Say?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:10 pm

Possible things to say when the Feds find $90,000.00 in cash wrapped in aluminum foil inside Tupperware containers in your freezer.

1. “Oh my! I went to a covered dish party, and I must have taken the wrong dish home.”

2. “Money? I don’t know anything about any money! Karl Rove must have broken into my house and put that in my freezer. Damned Republicans!”

3. “Money? What money? A guy came to my front door and said he was afraid his fish sticks would thaw before he got home, and he asked me to put them in my freezer for him and that he would come by tomorrow to pick them up. What a jokester!”

4. “It’s not my money. I only borrowed it from a guy to use in connection with my private investigation of a Republican appliance repairman I suspect of being dishonest.”

5. “That’s not my freezer! Someone, probably a Republican, switched freezers.”

The one thing you should say when the Feds tell you that the $90,000.00 was comprised of the marked bills that they videotaped you accepting from an FBI Informant from whom you solicited a bribe.


May 30, 2006

Supermarket Torture.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:28 pm

I meant to post this the day after my return from Florida, but Life 101 got in the way. Better late than never.

There is nothing that will immediately suck the vacation-induced calm out of you like the mandatory trip to the supermarket after a vacation to replenish perishables (and to buy lots of sensible food, which you’ve sworn to begin eating regularly). My trip yesterday proved the rule.

Coming from the wide-aisled, brightly-lit Publix supermarket in Fort Myers Beach to the Black Hole of Calcutta atmosphere of our local supermarket was enough of a shocker, but the crush of Garden State Vulgarians and mouth breathers in the place was the clincher.

Parking Lot Assholes. These are the knuckleheads who, upon sensing that a shopper walking away from the store with a full cart of bagged groceries just might be vacating a parking spot, immediately stop the car and flip on the directional signal, taking it on the come that the apparently-departing shopper will walk to a nearby car. Of course no one can pass this jackass while he plays parking spot roulette.

There are, of course, numerous open parking spots just past those being guarded by the Parking Lot Asshole, but God forbid the Parking Lot Asshole takes one of those spots and has to walk an extra twenty steps to the store.

Even if the apparently-departing shopper does walk to one of the cars being guarded by the Parking Lot Asshole, all the poor slobs behind the Parking Lot Asshole still have to wait while the now clearly departing shopper loads her groceries into the trunk, enters the car, fishes through her purse, and lights up a smoke before starting the car.

If I were King, being a Parking Lot Asshole would be a disorderly persons offense that would get the offender mandatory jail time.

Negligent Indulgent Parents. I have a flash for all the people who think it’s perfectly fine to let their kiddies push the shopping cart around. It’s not fine. In fact, it’s a gottdamned nuisance. The kiddies have no sense that other people are trying to navigate a crowded aisles, and they invariably either smack into you with the cart or completely block the aisle, while mom or dad surveys the array of canned soup. I don’t blame the kids; they don’t know any better, but I damned sure do blame their dipshit parents who ought to know better.

The Old Lady and the Check. After spending more than an hour being jostled, jammed and frustrated by an interminable wait at the deli counter because of a clutch of people who insist on purchasing a quarter pound of every-gottdamned-thing in the deli case, I finally made it to the checkout line. Foolishly I thought I had finally caught a break, as there was only one person ahead of me. She was an old lady who was accompanied by a woman in her late forties or early fifties whom I assumed to be the lady’s daughter.

After her order was run through the scanner (and the daughter did not lift a finger to put a single item in a bag), it was time to pay. The cashier told the old lady what the final amount was, and the old lady looked to the daughter to translate what the cashier said into some unidentifiable East Bloc language.

I immediately knew, Jimbo, this is trouble.

There was several back and forth exchanges between the old lady and the cashier, each having to be translated by the daughter. Obviously, the outcome of this tripartite discussion was that the old lady could pay by check.

Of course, the old lady had to make multiple passes through her purse the size of a pillowcase to locate and produce her checkbook.

Then, she began the process of writing the check. I swear that one could have written out the entire Declaration of Independence in longhand in the time it took the old lady to write the check. She would write a little, look up at the register total, hold a discussion with her daughter in the unidentifiable East Bloc language, then write some more, look up again at the register and hold yet another East Bloc conversation with the daughter. This went on until I thought my head would explode.

Finally … finally … she handed the check to the cashier.

The cashier looked at the check and said, “You wrote this check out for $100 more than the total. I can’t accept it.”

This triggered more tripartite conversation, during which the cashier explained that store policy only permitted taking checks for no more than $25 higher than the total.

The cashier left her post to fetch the manager. After a few minutes, she returned with the manager, and the manager again explained that the store would not take the check for $100 more than the total.

I assume that the words “store policy” didn’t translate well into the unidentifiable East Bloc language.

There appeared to be a standoff.

I began to mutter, ”Yo, this is a goddamned supermarket, not a goddamned bank.” Mrs. Parkway shooshed me, lest I create a “scene”. I could feel my blood pressure hitting the red zone.

The Manager then disappeared to consult with her manager. She returned five minutes later with the verdict, which was that the old lady could change the amount on the check by cleanly striking out what she had previously written. She could write in a new amount and initial the changes. Five more minutes of tripartite discussion ensued.

By this time, I was aggravated enough to have a bathroom accident.

Once it was explained to the old lady in the unidentifiable East Bloc language what was necessary if the old lady was to leave the store with groceries, she began the process of correcting the previously written check. This went a bit faster, as one could only have written the preamble to the Declaration of Independence in longhand in the time it took the old lady to change the previously written check.

What really frosted my stindeens was that at no time did it seem to bother the old lady or her East Bloc speaking daughter that other people had been waiting behind them for nigh on to twenty minutes while they screwed around with a check for about forty bucks worth of groceries and tried to get a hundred bucks in cash.

I’ll bet they were also Parking Lot Assholes.

May 29, 2006

A Reminder.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 11:59 pm

This year, as in past years, I marched with my American Legion Post in the local Memorial Day Parade. I carried a rifle as part of the color guard that led our unit down the main street in town. Unfortunately, with the exception of the two blocks that comprise the center of town, there were pitifully few spectators.

As we sweated our way down the largely empty street followed by the high school band, I found myself wondering why I bothered to participate. Sure, there were isolated pockets of people at the curb who clapped at we marched by, but it was not like parades of years ago with crowds along the entire parade route large enough to attract the pretzel and balloon vendors who always seemed to appear each year from God knows where. This year the pretzlel and balloon vendors were elsewhere.

Just then, a lady along the parade route stepped off the curb to hand me three lilies tied together with a red, white and blue ribbon. She said, “These are in memory of my father. Would you carry them, sir?”

Thanks to her, I’ll march again next year.

Two Things.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:31 pm

Many things happened in the world while I was away last week, but two things did not escape notice.

1. The people of New Orleans re-elected Ray Nagin

2. 63 million votes were cast for the American Idol.

The former shows that New Orleans is doomed, and the latter shows that the United States is doomed.

That is all.

Memorial Day 2006.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:24 am

Memorial Day Idol1.bmp

Please take a moment to remember what the day is all about.

Thanks again to my friend Brian, the Air Force Vet.

May 28, 2006

Lake OK-No-Thankee.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:34 pm

When in Florida I did not spend any time on or near the water here, and here’s why.

The biologists begin to count. In three hours, from just a pair of airboats, they find 754 gators in one small section of Lake Okeechobee, one of Florida’s most concentrated gator habitats.

The slide show gave me the hot squirts. Don’t miss it.

Thanks (I think) to my friend Brian, the Air Force Vet

May 27, 2006

Summer Camp.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:58 pm

It is quite a challenge to do a recap of one’s vacation that is at least as interesting or amusing as the phone directory. Nevertheless, I shall try to hit the high points without putting you to sleep.

Yes, this year as in the past half-dozen years or so, the Usual Suspects moved the ongoing party from Jersey to the Gator Sunshine State. We toss our lily-white bodies onto a plane (except for the two who drove down, ugh) to hang in our May digs in Fort Myers Beach.

We spend a good deal of time having refreshments. Last year we commandeered a shopping cart to serve as the rolling bar, but this year the shopping cart could not accommodate the four coolers and one large tub that we brought to the pool each day. So we had to use one of those “rolly” things that bellhops use to roll luggage around. Fortunately, the people who are there the same week as us every year have come to realize that we only look like Vulgarians, but we are an affable and happy lot.

Speaking of the peeps, each year we re-unite with folks from places such as Chattanooga, Tennessee (They said that they have heard of some guy in Tennessee who sits on his deck in his birthday suit and types lots of dots), Fort Wayne, Indiana, Longview, Washington (where apparently the sun never shines), Shelbyville, Illinois, Rome, New York and Ashtabula, Ohio. They’re real good peeps, and I figure in a few more years they’ll finally learn that the answer to the question “Haya dooin’?” is “Haya dooin’?”

I know you sadistic turds want to know if I saw any gators. Some of the more sensitive of you, knowing I am shit scared of those disgusting creatures, sent me e-mails saying, “Yo, Jimbo. No need to worry. It’s not exactly as if you’ll be tooling around in the Everglades. There won’t be any alligators where you’re going.”

Well, guess farookin’ what.

There is a little bullshit pond across the street from our digs, and guess what was swimming around in that little bullshit pond.

One afternoon, two of the Usuals were taking a walk on the main drag past the pond and saw a six-foot gator swishing its way through the water. Of course, they couldn’t wait to call me on the cell phone, “Jimbo! Jimbo! Come out here. There is a goddamned alligator in the pond! You gotta come and check it out!”

Of course, I did not go check it out. I was certain that they were breaking my stindeens. However, we checked with the locals who work at the place and they said, “Oh yeah, he’s in there. We figure that he’s getting big enough that one of these days, the state may come and move him.”

Well, isn’t that just farookin’ swell. This pond is ten feet from where I walked every morning and is no more than 200 feet from my front door (good thing I was on the second floor). Needless to say, for the rest of the week, I gave that pond and its prehistoric inhabitant wide berth.

If that thing would have lumbered onto the sidewalk as I was doing my morning walk, I can imagine the coroner looking down at my dead ass, scratching his head and saying, “The best thing I can figure is that the poor bastard shit himself to death.”

I’m thinking that if they don’t move that damnable creature, by next year he will be fourteen feet long, and I’m going to need heavy meds.

Other Wildlife

Turtles. The place where we stay was cited by the “Turtle Police” for having regular outdoor lights on the property at night. They actually took pictures of the offending lights, at least two of which were over a stairwell (Oh, the humanity!). According to the Turtle Police, the lights somehow screw up the turtles when they meander ashore at night to lay their eggs. I don’t know how it screws up the turtles, but the Turtle Police say it screws up the turtles, so that’s that.

As a result of the Turtle Police bust, all the bulbs in the outdoor lights had to be replaced with yellow bulbs. Apparently yellow lights don’t screw up the turtles. Of course, if some poor bastard human can’t see the stairs so well when lit with yellow light bulbs and breaks his ass, that’s too bad. These Turtle Police Peeps are apparently very smart.

Sharks. You may have read that while we were in Florida, someone caught a 1,280-pound hammerhead shark that ate a 25-pound stingray for bait! Turns out that this monster was caught not all that far from where we were staying. Just when you thought it was safe …….. (Thanks to Rob for the link.)

Stingrays. Speaking of stingrays, I figure that Mr. Hammerhead may have been in the area because this is the time of the year that the stingrays come close to shore to lay their eggs. Indeed, signs are posted on the gulf beaches asking those who venture into the water to “shuffle their feet” rather than walk in the water so as not to step on (and presumably royally piss off) a stingray.

Boids. There were boids of all kinds in the area, including roseate (i.e. pink) spoonbills and egrets (lots of egrets). I also got a kick out of the boids with the long, curved beaks as they probed the holes in the sand on the beach for little crabs. I cheered each time they got one. I farookin’ hate crabs.

All in all, it was a bit too much wildlife for a guy whose brushes with the animal kingdom are pretty much limited to seeing backyard squirrels and passing the occasional dead deer on the highway.

Unfortunately, the week passed far too quickly. Furthermore, it only took one extended, blood pressure spiking visit to a local supermarket today to undo a week of fun and sun. Remind me to tell you about the old lady in the checkout line writing a check to pay for her groceries. It’s a wonder I’m still alive.

May 26, 2006

Back and Beat.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:21 pm

We returned from the Gator Sunshine State to an overcast and drizzly New Jersey. Fitting, that. It made the industrial swamps around Newark Airport all the more “appealing”.

I’ll have a bit more to say about our annual week in Florida Grown-Up Camp some time over the weekend, but right now, my insides are tired, and I have a shitload of laundry to do (Even an Laundry Guy Extraordinaire doesn’t do laundry while on vacation). I also have to catch up on some blog reading and the most recent “Sopranos” episode. Priorities, peeps.

I would like to take a moment to thank Craig of and Eric, our favorite Straight White Guy, for minding the place while I was away. I forgot to warn Eric about Vinnie and Vinnie about Eric. Anyway, I’m happy that there was no bloodshed and that the next time I visit Eric it won’t be in a Jersey landfill. Seriously, thanks guys. That was some seriously funny stuff — way better than I can do at the moment.

Now, if I could just figure out why my left margin appears and then magically disappears. Hey, it’s better than coming home to pictures of gators (about which, I confess, I much fretted).

Yo! There goes the washing machine dinger. Later, y’all.

May 25, 2006

Decking it in Jersey….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric @ 8:43 am

… you know, I just don’t get these Jersey guys… I really don’t… take Vinnie for instance, what an asshole… see, Jimbo asked me to come around every so often to make sure that his Bourbon didn’t get lonely while he was away… and that is just what I was doing the other night…

.. quietly minding my own business out on his deck, I was contentedly listening to my darling Patsy croon when Vinnie rounded the corner with a shovel in one hand and a half-burned cigar in the other…

Vinne: What da fuck?!… Who day a tink YOU are?… Where’s Jimbo?.. and where are your farookin’ pants?!

Me: … Howdy…. I’m Eric.. Jimbo is down in Florida hiding from gators and drinking vodka with a bunch of geriatrics that he knows… he asked me to…

… the burly Jerseyite curtailed my explanation.. Vinnie obviously didn’t like me almost immediately… which is a bit strange, really… usually it takes people a few hours before they decide they want to kick my ass…

Vinne: … You’re not from around deese parts, are ya, Ricky?… so Jimbo is in Florida, eh?… well, where are your farookin’ pants, redneck?…

… just between you and I, Vinnie was starting to get a bit active with the shovel… one could almost say that “brandishing it” was not far away on the horizon….

Me: …. Don’t get upset, sir… it’s all above-board, I promise… and you can trust Uncle Eri.. umm, never mind…. and yes, I’m from Tennessee… and my pants are on the kitchen table next to the Indian carry-out I’ll be enjoying for dinner…. but I’m no Redneck, sir… he’s this OTHER guy from up in Ohio somewhere…. see, I’m a guy Jimbo met from off of the internet… we bonded down in Helen, Georgia a few years ago over a few half-gallons of homemade Apple Brandy… and since then, well, we’ve been pals…

Vinnie: … Shaddup, redneck!… go inside and put your pants on… youse is making Jimbo’s deck look like a scene from “Deliverance”… wait… I tink I heard about dis from some guy over at The American Legion… are you the lowlife who painted Jimbo’s toenails red?…

Me… HAHA!… nope.. that wasn’t I, my New Jersey friend, that was someone else!… I just took the pictures!… hey, you want a Krisy Kreme donut?… I carried them all the way up to New Jersey from Tennessee to hand out as “Friendship Tokens“… here, have one… they’re yummy!…

… well, that is all I can remember right now…. well, that and the “ding” of that shovel smashing against my noggin…. I woke up a few hours ago laying duct-taped in the kitchen with a strange dream-like memory of guys with New Jersey accents laughing about some guy named Jimmy Hoffa and some parking lot… and something about Jimbo’s crawlspace and “paying off his markers“…. I must have been out for a day or so…

… I’m not sure I’m cut out to be chilling in Jimbo’s pad… but one thing is for sure… once I get a shower and clean off this duct tape residue, I’m keeping my damn pants on… these guys up here just don’t know how to relax

Children’s Tales

Filed under: Uncategorized — Craig @ 4:06 am

This is recycled stuff from one of my other blogs, so I apologize in advance. I feel bad being charged with neglecting two blogs at the same time, so you get re-runs.

My kids have really enjoyed the “Thomas the Tank Engine” books and videos.

It’s kind of amusing for the adults, too. Most dialogue seems to go something like this.

Thomas (cheerfully): Hi! My name is Thomas, and you’re ugly!

James: Shove it up your piehole.

Narrator: This made Thomas cross.

[. . .]

Thomas: I’m sorry I called you a syphilitic ass-clamp.

James: That’s OK, I’m sorry I poured kerosene in your bunghole.

Sir Topham Hatt: You’re both very naughty engines.

Thomas and James: Get bent, fatso.

Narrator: And Thomas and James were sold to the scrap yard for $6/ton. Maybe part of them is in your silverware!

Good stuff, that Thomas. I think you could make a drinking game out of it. Every time an engine is made cross, that’s a drink. When an engine’s reach exceeds its grasp, that’s a drink, and when Sir Topham Hatt chews them out, you have to chug.

That oughta work.

But you should probably wait until the kids are in bed.

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