Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Great Crossing

It was a blistering summer afternoon when my brother and his friend hatched a plan to set out upon an epic journey to obtain the most sought after item for any child. Yes, that item was called candy. This amazing plan consisted of the two neighbor boys, my brother Scott, and I traveling on foot to the nearest market in search of this allusive sugary delight we so greatly desired.  Our fellowship consisted of my brother and his friend Todd, who were both 8, along with my rather hefty friend Kelly and me who were both the ripe old age of 6.

Here we see the typical 6 year old boy in the wild.
As we discussed the great distance to the nearest store, called Y.J.’s Market, my brother came up with an outstanding strategy for saving precious time. You see, the market was on the other side of the interstate from our house and the excursion would involve traveling down to the underpass that was a mile east, cross under the interstate, and then travel the mile back west to the market. His superb plan was to cut across the freeway directly to the market. Brilliant!  So like Arthur’s knights in their search for the Holy Grail we too set off upon our epic journey.

What could possibly go wrong?  Right?
As luck would have it Todd and Kelly’s house was backed up against the freeway and their father had stacked cut logs along the fence making perfect step.  Once we reached the top of the fence we just hurled ourselves over the top and landed on the south shoulder of the interstate. I often wondered what the faces of the motorists passing by must have looked like as they saw the four of us lined up on the side of the asphalt waiting for them to pass so we can play human Frogger across the traffic lanes. How many 911 calls were actually made that afternoon will forever remain a mystery.

Once we saw a gap in the traffic flow we made a break for it.  As I ran across the lanes of traffic time slowed down and I swore I could hear the Chariots of Fire theme song in the background, although that could have come from the passing Honda that almost took out Todd. My brother and his friend ran faster followed closely behind by myself with portly Kelly pulling up the rear. When we made it to the large, grassy median we paused for a moment to catch our breaths and waited to make our final push to the opposite fence. Seconds later we were off again!  Meer feet from the side of the freeway I heard a shriek from behind and spun to see my gravitationally challenged friend trip and fall face first into the fast lane bouncing as he came to rest on the white dotted line. 

You can't prove that was us.
I distinctly remember seeing a maroon car blazing towards us with its horn blaring as I ran back into the roadway to pick up my stout friend Kelly. There were tires squealing and cars swerving while I dragged him to safety. I equate this sudden burst of might to the strength a mother finds to lift a burning car off her child. There I was, a loving mother dragging my obese child through the number two lane to safety. Finally, after what seemed like forever we reached the other side only to find Todd and my brother up against the fence laughing uncontrollably at the certain doom that was unfolding before them.

"LOL! He fell in the street... oh stop... I can't handle it!"
After we crawled through the barbed wire fence that led us away from the interstate, Kelly getting stuck twice of course, we made it to our objective; the candy isle at Y.J.’s Market. Once we had gorged ourselves on our sweet bounty we reviewed the first half of our journey and concluded that, for the return trip, we should probably take the long way around instead of risking Kelly almost dying again. This rational mostly likely came upon us because we were no longer in a candy-frenzy and were able to think rationally like normal 6 and 8 year olds.

Child logic dictates that there is no such thing as too much sugar.

I often look back on this story with fond memories.  Not only did I feast on fistfuls of candy but I also was a hero that day.  I dont know where Kelly is now but Im sure he is on his knees right now thinking God for my heroics.  To all those small children out there that are reading this account of my life let this story be a cautionary tale.  My lesson to you is this: Do not risk your life by running across a busy interstate in search of temporary pleasure if you are prone to falls or too large to make it through the barbed wire fence on the other side of the interstate.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


As a follically challenged male I have often pondered the oppression of my people. We are mocked, laughed at and openly shunned from society.  Why God? Why?!  Why did you part my hair like the red sea?

Hollywood oppresses my people at every turn. I can use the fingers on one hand to count how many bald or balding movie stars there have ever been who were not playing a dying cancer patient. Now after saying that there are plenty of character actors (supporting actors) that have out grown their hair because Hollywood seems to think my people make great bumbling fools for the lead actor to make fun of. Ever notice the guy in the commercials that doesn’t know that Brand A is better than Brand B inevitably will have less hair than the smart guy who does know?

Pop Quiz: Guess which guy is the lead actor and which one is the goofy sidekick?
The female population is another oppressive organization, although they rarely admit it.  Look at the face of a woman immediately upon laying eyes on her balding blind date.  It is quite funny. Well, as long as you're not the balding blind date guy.  That guy will probably go cry himself to sleep as he holds a picture of Gerard Butler wondering why God cursed him.  I once had a girl I was on a date with interrupt me in mid sentence to say, “Wow! You’re really starting to get thin up there!” Her phone must have been broken after that because she never answered when I called.  She later married a man with full stalinesque hair who, within five years of getting married, proceeded to lose it all.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't laughing maniacally as I wrote this.

I often wonder how such a horrible man could have
such a lush garden of hair.
This understanding that men who have uncombable hair on their heads should somehow be ostracized from society is nothing new. I recently read in the Bible in the book of Leviticus where God explains to Moses “A man who has lost his hair and is bald is clean. If he has lost his hair from the front of his scalp and has a bald forehead, he is clean.” Basically God has to explain to the Israelites that a man who has lost his hair is not a leper and should not be sent out of the camp while everyone points at him yelling, “Unclean!” I wonder if this arose because someone in the camp pointed to the bald guy and said to Moses, “What about Merkowitz over there? If that contagious?” The final insult is that Moses sandwiches this passage in between instructions for leprosy and mildew. We are sooooo going to have a talk about this when I get to heaven Moses.

Way to go buddy.  No one will every know.
The people in the white coats tell me that the cause of baldness in males is testosterone (the “man hormone”). Essentially it converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. DHT is a powerful sex hormone and a body and facial hair growth promoter that can adversely affect the prostate as well as the hair located on the head. Now you have a bald, extremely hairy sex machine that has trouble urinating. Eat your heart out ladies. Basically God made the Baldites so manly that their manliness pushes out their own hair on their head. 

I submit exhibit A.
My people pray for God to send a Moses-like figure to come out of the wilderness and deliver them from their suffering. I can see it now. A man in a leisure suit and sporting a comb over walks up to Tom Selleck, he has to be the leader of the follically gifted, stretches out his hands and yells, “Let my bald people go… to the barber and not have to pay full price!”  I mean come on we have less hair!  Why make us pay the same?!  We are a simple people.  We don’t ask for much.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't "Just Get Out and Vote"

As I was driving to vote I started to think about the people who will be voting today.  After I stopped crying  I wondered if I even wanted them to go vote to begin with. There are so many people that have no idea what or who they are voting on. They just show up and cast a vote because people tell them to “just get out and vote.” I say NOOOO! Don’t just “get out and vote!” If you fail to follow any of the rules below… don’t vote.

There needs to be a test on the topics at hand before people are allowed vote.
Voting Rule #1: If you vote for the guy with the biggest and most signs, you should not vote. As I drove by the hundreds of election signs that are posted on every street corner on my way to vote today I began to wonder the purpose of these signs. The experts who are in charge of putting the signs up believe that the more signs you see the more likely you are to vote for that person. The unfortunate thing is that for many people, this works. “I’m voting for Bill because he had the most signs on the side of the road on my way to work.” “What policies does he support?” “I don’t know, but he had lots of signs… and they were red white and blue so he MUST be a patriot.”  If you are this imbecile, do not vote.

Voting Rule #2: If you vote because someone told you to go vote, you should not vote. I see a lot of commercials on television and on the radio telling people to "just get out and vote." This especially happens on young people media channels like MTV and others that appeal to the 18 to twenty somethings. The way I look at it is if someone has to ask or remind or otherwise motivate you to go out and vote, then most likely you have no idea what is going on and should, therefore, not be voting.

I think the picture says it all...
Voting Rule #3: If you do not understand that men and women have died to give us the right to vote, you should not vote. Remember that this is a privilege to vote and there are millions and millions of people on this planet that do not have that privilege. It isn’t a duty to vote it is a privilege. Don’t think of it as a job that you have to go out and vote. You get a chance today for your voice to be heard. Now after saying that... just because you have the chance to vote doesn't mean you should if you are uneducated on the candidates.

Don't let shiny objects distract you.
Voting Rule #4: If you listen to the television and radio ads put out by the pundits and take them as truth, you should not vote. 99% of all the information in those ads are so badly skewed that there is barely any remnant of truth left. I’m not even sure the names are correct. There is a large possibility that the man on the television may in fact be a monkey that had his face shaved.  Just assume that all "facts" regarding the candidates are completely false when listening to those ads and you should be safe.

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers.
So, if you are someone that falls into any of these categories (and I’m sure there are more I’m missing) please do not go out and vote today. Please do not listen to those “just get out and vote” ads and signs. If you “just get out and vote” we will have a mass number of uneducated morons at the polls today electing God knows who because of God knows what.

You do not want to be this guy two years down the road.
Besides, if you do not go out and vote then my vote will mean that much more.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Muffin Top

Let me start out by admitting that I am no fashion mogul my any stretch of the imagination but I have seen things as of late that I cannot remain silent about any longer. Every decade has a few standout fashions: Leather jackets in the 50s, tie dyed clothes in the 60s, bellbottoms in the 70s, neon everything in the 80s, plaid shirts in the 90s, etc. Well now we have low-rise jeans. This really isn’t anything new as they had them in the 70s, but today we have a society of that is, on average, overweight. So if you put the low-rise jeans style together with overweight people you get a rather distasteful situation: The muffin top.

I'm not talking about the good kid of muffin top folks.
The muffin top occurs when a person, almost always a female, wears low-rise jeans but does not have the waist to pull off said jeans. The result is an overflow of chub that cascades over the top of the jeans like the Gulf of Mexico coming over the levies around New Orleans during hurricane Katrina. Everyone knows its going to burst and no one wants to be there when it does.

These jeans were not made for this kind of punishment ladies.
Listen ladies, just because the low-rise jean is the popular style does not mean you need to wear it.  If you cannot pull it off don't do it.  For the love of all that is good an holy do not do it.  If the Simon Cowell School of Fashion said that tight shirts were in you would not see me going out and getting one.  Why?  Because if I wore a tight shirt I would look like an injured porpoise trapped in discarded plastic desperately trying to get off the beach and back into the ocean.  People would walk by and throw water on me and yell, "Keep him wet!"

Yes.                                    NOOOOOO!
Pick a fashion that works for your body type.  Just like for women at the beach you should not wear a bikini if you are gravitationally challenged and for men if you are not on the swim team get out of those Speedos.   It's like trying to shove a round beg into a square hole.  Didn't we learn that didn't work at age 2? 

If a button pops off someone may die.
This isn't a dig against people who fall in the “Before” category of the weight loss pictures as I have lived in that category for a number of years now.  I am merely trying to get people to take an honest look at their bodies and then take an honest look at their clothes.  Honestly… do they go together?  If your midsection is desperately trying to escape over your low-rise jeans like prisoners over the walls of Sing Sing, the answer is a resounding NO. For the love of God… NO.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Good Samaritan

I wouldn’t say that I hate mornings but mornings and I just do not get along very well. Mornings to me are like that one guy at work that has an office down the hall and every time he sees you he spends 30 minutes telling you about how the podiatrist removed his bunion. You don’t hate the guy but if you ever saw him again it would be too soon. In my humble opinion God should have made the sunrise around 10 am and anything earlier is just unpleasant. This becomes a problem every Sunday morning when, after going to sleep around 2 am, I must wake up at the crack of dawn and drag my self out of bed and make it to church by 8:30 am. This particular Sunday morning was especially delightful.

I have a "good morning" waiting for you in my diaper.
My wife leaves early for practice as she sings in the church praise team so it is up to me to get the kids fed, make sure they have clean underwear on and looking halfway presentable in the morning as to not embarrass my wife. Everything ran rather smoothly for a Sunday morning which should have been my first clue that trouble was about to rear its ugly head and bite my face off.

The greatest fear of every mother.
About a half a mile from the church the car engine died suddenly. I managed to steer the car into the median of street as there was no shoulder on the road. Since I know absolutely nothing about cars I didn’t bother lifting the hood and taking a look at the engine. What’s the point? I may as well have been looking at the wreckage of a Boeing 747 and trying to determine what part was defective. It isn’t like I would know what I was looking for anyway. I have noticed most men do the “Lift the hood and stare at the engine so people think I know what I’m doing” routine but I decided to just skip that step and move straight to the “start walking” step.

"I fail to see how 150 of us can fit in here."
I gathered up my two boys, who are 5 and 7 years of age, and started walking down the side of the road. It was a busy morning on this road as so many people are on their way to church. There must have been at least 50 cars pass us by before finally, as we were about a block away from church, a mother of one of my Sunday school students stopped to give us a ride the rest of the way. It was only a block but it was a wonderful gesture.

I believe this may be more reliable.
After Sunday school I had at least ten people come up to me and mention that they saw my car broken down in the street and they saw me walking with my boys along the side of the road. The comments ranged from, “What happened to your car?" to my favorite, "Hey, I saw you walking down the road!"  A few guys even tried to diagnose the problem with my car by asking me what had occurred before the engine quit.

"Well.. uh..I tell you what you got there... You have an issue with your...
uh... car's dumaflache.  I had that issue one time back in '83..."
Of course the only question I wanted to ask them was, “So you saw my broken down car and you saw me walking along the side of the road with a 5 and a 7 year old but you didn’t bother to stop and give us a ride on your way to church?” Let me repeat that last part, “on your way to church?” I decided to be friendly and just smile and nod.

This makes me think of the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. You all know the story of how a man was beat up and robbed and left for dead on the side of the road. Person after person, including a priest, passed by and no one helped him but finally one man, a lowly Samaritan, stopped and rendered aid to the injured man. What an amazing story of mercy and how we are to look out for each other in times of need.

All this has made me think of all the opportunities I have missed on the side of the road of life because I didn’t stop and assist someone. How many times have I been too busy to make time for someone else who may need my help? We all have to remember that we need to take time out of our busy days to stop and help those who are in need, even if that means sacrificing time and money. That is what a good neighbor would do and that is what Jesus would do.

Of course, then there are bad neighbors...
By the way my timing belt broke while I was driving and cause everything in my car’s engine to move at the wrong times and totally destroyed the valves in my engine.  It was like taking the teleprompter away from the news anchors... No one knew what do to next so ensued. On a side note if anyone wants to send me $1300 for car repairs let me know. After retelling this story I take it back… I hate mornings.

This guy seems legit.  I trust him.