Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Off Season Post 29: 'Twas Ten Days Before Bachelor

Hello, Readers. Welcome back to the final off season post before the start of our favorite show. Granted, there will be a lot going on for all of us over the next ten days, but the January 2nd launch looms largely in the back of our collective minds. Relaxing and vacationing this time of year always turns out to be hard work, doesn’t it?

I’d like to thank all of you for sticking with me for another year. I cannot express how much joy (and that is the right word) I get knowing that you all log on from some place far away from my keyboard and read what I have to write. Knowing I’ve brightened a day or put a smile on a face is a great feeling. Even the negative comments resonate with me.  To Alice in Tulsa and Some Girls who believe I'm a misogynist, believe it or not, I'm glad you took the time to check me out.  I appreciate you all and I’m lucky you take the time to read this.

I’d like to wish all of you a happy, healthy, and fun holiday season. I hope the jockeying for position at the mall, rushing to get last minute gifts, paper cuts, and egg nog hangovers are all worth it. Me? I plan to eat, exercise a little in order to assuage the guilt of my overindulgence, kill a few Lone Stars, watch some football, and generally enjoy myself. My Christmas shopping will take place on December 23rd between noon and 2 p.m. After that, I plan to relax.

Now, let’s get to it.

'Twas Ten Days Before Bachelor
An adaptation by Some Guy in Austin

'Twas ten days before Bachelor, when all through the Pad
ABC interns were stirring, cleaning up after Brad;
The T-backs were hung by the hot tub with care,
In hopes that Ben Flajnik soon would be there;

This season’s bimbos were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of cocktail parties danced in their heads;
Some Guy in his Snuggie, had just popped the cap,
Off a frosty cold Lone Star, post off-season nap,

When out near the mansion there arose such a clatter,
Harrison sprang from his suite to see what was the matter.
He paid his sleeping escort then he flew like a flash,
Pulled on a black suit and threw an intern his hash.

The moon on the breasts of the girls on the show
Gave the lustre of mid-day to the wet driveway below,
When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But a stretch Hummer limo, filled with desperation and beer,

And there stood Ben Flajnik and his bad haircut it seems,
As Some Guy sat and wondered what Ben’s last name means.
With tons of eye make up and fake tans, they came,
Chris Harrison whistled and called them by name;

"Now, ANNA! now, AMBER! now, KACIE and JACLYN!
To the blue neon lit mansion! Evening gown and all!
Now dash away! Drink away! Get drunk ‘til you fall!"

Like Axe Body Spray they linger. They laugh, and they lie,
When they meet the next Bachelor, they give a bat to the eye,
So up to the house-top the bimbos they flew,
With livers full of booze, and Chris Harrison too.

And then, in a twinkling, across the living room floor
The prancing and pawing was too much to ignore
As I puked in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the grand entrance came Ben with a bound.

He was dressed in grey Levis (remember those?), and a queer yellow sweater,
Some Guy wondered and wondered why Ben couldn’t dress better;
A bundle of roses he had flung on his back,
A big giant d-bag, like his predecessor, Wo-mack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
He looked for a virgin, alas, not a cherry!
He had not a six pack nor muscles and knew it
He’d gained no street cred by banging Love Hewitt (allegedly);

The First Impression Rose he held tightly in his teeth,
As the strong stench of jealousy hung around like a wreath;
Girls soon will be sent--- crying in the limo alone
Think Fantasy Suite, Ben. Send the bitchy ones home

His looks were just average, although dressed in some finery
And I laughed when I saw him, his trump card his winery;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Is all it would take to get these contestants in bed;

Ben spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And cut all the loose ends who then called him a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
Harrison grabbed his blow and left with some Ho, Ho, Ho’s;

He sprang to his suite and gave the women a whistle,
And away they all flew toward Ben’s awaiting love missile.
But I heard Harrison exclaim, when he drove out of sight,

Well, there it is. My final post of 2011. Thank you all again. Enjoy your holidays. In the meantime, if you need me I’ll be ironing my grey Levis. Ho, Ho, Ho. DP

Friday, December 9, 2011


Hello, Readers and welcome to an extremely late post. Between trials, my berfday, and my other obligations, it’s been tough to get the time to write. In the spirit of the unbelievably aggressive ad campaign launched last week by our friends at ABC heralding the January 2nd start of the Bachelor starring the wimpiest bachelor since . . . well, ever, I’ve taken the liberty of breaking down the female suitors after reviewing their profiles and head shots on the ABC website. Before I begin, I must share with you the real reason why I didn’t post this until today.

Picture Some Guy sitting shirtless--which is much easier thanks to a certain other blogger posting that infamous picture of me on her website--at the desk in his bedroom staring blankly at his keyboard in hopes that Inspiration would knock on the door, walk to the ‘fridge, grab a cold Lone Star, and sit down on the edge of the bed in order to share himself with me. Strike that. Let’s picture Inspiration as a hot, olive skinned, brunette in a knee high summer dress and cowboy boots. Much better.

Incidentally, I think “Inspiration” would make a fine stage name for an up-and-coming stripper. I have no intention on trademarking or copyrighting it, so if you’re destined for the pole, feel free to steal my idea. Granted, it’s not a city in Nevada, a spice, a fruit, a palindrome, and it doesn’t end in an “I,” but it’s a valid stripper name nonetheless. You’re welcome. Back to my story.

As I began to type the first paragraph of this post on Wednesday evening, I thought I heard a beeping sound coming from the front of the house. I got up to inspect it and indeed heard a faint beeping sound. When I opened the front door (I live in a condo) I was hit squarely in the face by the piercing scream of the fire alarms running throughout the complex. “Odd,” I thought as I saw my neighbors on the phone with who I assumed was the fire department. “If there’s a fire, they’ll let me know,” I said aloud and closed my door.

I walked back across my living room and noticed what I thought was smoke coming from the closed doors of my laundry room, which is located outside a double sliding glass door on my balcony. “Oh God,” I thought, “my dryer is on fire.” I threw the glass door open, stepped out on the balcony, and put my hand on the closed laundry room door. It was at this point that I noticed I was standing in a pool of water and the “smoke” was actually mist. I opened the door and, like Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon, was showered with a waterfall of cold water coming from the sprinkler head above the washing machine. Soaked and sufficiently pissed off, I shut the door and went back inside waiting for the remaining sprinklers scattered throughout the house to begin spraying at any moment.

In anticipation of the soaking all of my belongings would soon take, I retrieved a duffel bag from the closet and began packing a change of clothes, my phone charger, my iPad, and my “Insurance” folder from my file cabinet. Oddly enough, I felt no need to pack anything else. In the middle of packing, I heard the familiar sound of sirens in the distance and knew that help was on the way.

Still unsure if there was a fire and convinced that my sprinklers were on the verge of bursting at any moment, I opened the front door and sat on the couch, soaked from head to toe, drinking a cold Lone Star waiting for the cavalry to arrive. I felt like the band playing on the deck of the Titanic. Granted, I was wet, shirtless, and I wasn’t headed for certain death in the icy waters of the North Atlantic, but you get the picture: there was nothing I could do.

Mere minutes later, I heard the clomping of fire boots headed up my stairwell and I arose to greet them. Within moments a herd of yellow fire suits stampeded into my place in search of the danger. Unfortunately, the 12 (yes, 12) firemen who barged into my place elected the 12th guy leader and authorized him to speak with me. They could have saved themselves a lot of trouble—and me the need to steam clean my carpets—if they would have made the first guy the speaker. As they searched my entire place high and low with their axes and oxygen tanks attached, I pointed to the balcony and suggested that Mr. December corral Mr. January through Mr. November in order to fix my sprinkler problem. Here’s where I find the humor.

The entire time I was standing there wet and shirtless with 12 young, muscular, damp, determined fire fighters standing on my balcony only two thoughts kept spinning through my head. The first one was “how many firemen does it take to turn off a water sprinkler?” The second, and most important one for our purposes, was “I can’t wait to tell Lincee ( this story.”

I felt like that helpless lady on the cover of a romance novel being ravaged by a raven headed Indian on the frontier. I half expected to look at my open front door to see the back lit silhouette of Kurt Russell or Fabio running toward me in slow motion before throwing me over his shoulder and whisking me to safety where he would revive me by performing CPR whether I needed it or not. “Dude, Lincee would love this,” I kept thinking as I smiled in relief when the sprinkler was turned off and I realized my home, my belongings, and my person were all in tact.

I offered Mr. January through Mr. December the remaining 11 beers in my 12-pack. After all, one guy had to drive the fire truck. Incidentally, Mr. March appeared to be the most capable of that task—or at least that’s what I told myself. They all laughed and politely declined. I shook their hands as they wished me a Merry Christmas, apologized for the dirty carpet, and accepted my sincere thanks for the work they do. Thanks to the Austin Fire Department. My only regret is that Lincee wasn’t there instead of me. With that out of the way, let’s get to the women.

It’s that time. It’s time for this year’s bachelor, the aforementioned wine making wimp, Ben Flajnik, to comb through a pile of 26 women in search of the person he’ll sort of get to know over the course of five weeks, propose to in the crushing heat of a tropical location after meeting with the ambiguously homosexual Neil Lane, attend countless parties and photo ops with, and eventually announce (regretfully) that after trying super hard it just wasn’t meant to be.

After seeing the previews on ABC’s website (yes, this is the only time of year I actually research before I write), I found myself wondering what in the world the Producers are going to use as first-episode filler in lieu of the 20 minutes of shower and work out scenes we’ve come accustomed to seeing over the past few seasons. Ben is far from a doughy mess, but he doesn’t exactly ring the bell at the top of the rock wall in the hot body or looks category. If I want to see a pu*sy shower, I’ll go to the Men’s Locker Room at my gym on Bring a Guest Day. My guess is that they use the Sonoma Valley grandeur in the absence of Ben’s grandeur. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

As most of you know, I actually liked Ben last season and I respected him for getting pissed at the five head when she dumped him. He—say it with me—showed some sack. However, it is incumbent upon me to bust his grapes this season. First, let’s concentrate on his 26 options for the maybe soon-to-be possible fiancé and perhaps eventually at some indefinite time in the future Mrs. Flajnik.

Oh, and Ali and Roberto broke up. Shocking. Ali was nice enough to assume we cared and—in an effort to protect the “privacy” she and Roberto need at “this difficult time” she ran straight to the cover of People Magazine in order to tell us what happened. “We both realized we were unhappy more than we were happy," she said. "And we both deserved more." Ok.

Nice job, Ali’s Publicist. Now let’s translate that back to how it was originally communicated to the aforementioned publicist. “Roberto realized that he was unhappy with my incessant nagging and demanding more than he was happy with my incessant nagging and demanding. Roberto deserved more; and frankly, should have no trouble getting it.” Now, let’s get to the women.

“These women will compete for Ben but only one will win his heart,” decries the ABC website. I assume that due to the limited space on the web page, they deleted the full sentence.

For the record, it read, “These women will compete for Ben, unlimited and undeserved publicity, free alcohol, a 28 day trip around the world, a modest per diem, and Ben but only one will win his heart before the constant media pressure reveals all of the slutty secrets she haphazardly buried in a shallow grave before signing ABC’s airtight yet unconscionable release in hopes of becoming famous.”

1. Amber B., 23 --- I know, it’s shocking that there’s more than one “Amber” in the mix, right? Regardless, the Canadian and alphabetical-order-blessed Amber B. tells us that Eat Pray Love is her favorite book. That means she bought the book at the Barnes and Noble for that tiny Canadian dollar amount in the corner above the real price and put it on her coffee table next to her potpourri and on top of her Paula Deen cookbooks after hearing about it on Oprah or from one of her girlfriends at the wine bar who bought the book after hearing about it on Oprah. She probably thinks Julia Roberts wrote it.

That movie is not about soul searching and finding oneself, by the way. It’s about a selfish woman with enough money to take a year off and tramp around the world indulging herself until she’s ready to come home. There’s nothing romantic about it. Amber B. will soon be OOT of the running.

2. Amber T., 28 --- I know, it’s shocking that there’s more than one “Amber” in the mix, right? This one looks like a man. “The best way to a man's heart is through his stomach,” she says in her carefully crafted profile. Utter lack of originality aside, she’s wrong. You’re close, Amber T. The real way to a man’s heart is a little lower than his stomach. I’m certain you’ll figure that out. Provide she’s not “The Crazy One” this season, she’s likely to make the cut. At least she didn’t say “the best way to a man’s heart is through his ribcage with a sharp kitchen knife.”

3. Anna, 25.--- She’s 25, but she’s Canadian. With the exchange rate, she’s actually 14. She also looks like a man. It doesn’t help the case for androgyny when she tells us that she “Loves dressing up.” Let’s hope that the original sentence didn’t end with “as a woman.” If Ben takes her on a beach date, he’s bound to discover the truth.

4. Blakely, 34 --- She’s definitely the hottest head shot picture taker. She’s a VIP Cocktail Waitress with 4 tattoos. You guessed it; she’s my favorite. Her job description screams fancy club or nudie bar. Either way, she probably knows 50 Cent, P. Diddy, and all of the Oakland Raiders.

5. Brittney, 26 --- She’s in medical sales and she’s from Colorado. Notwithstanding the fact that her roots are darker than Blakely’s past, she’s likely got her sh*t together. We’ll see how she does.

6. Casey S., 26 --- Doe-eyed, blond with Shirley Temple curls and the girl next door look. She appears as pure as the driven snow—and about as smart as it too. It’s always the sweet and quiet ones you have to worry about.

7. Courtney, 28 --- My prediction is that provided she had a scintilla of personality and a modicum of class, she’ll make it to the Fantasy Suite. She’s simply too hot not to. Sorry, but that’s the way it works. She’s a model from Arizona. You know who else is a model from Arizona? Brooke Burke. Ahh, Brooke Burke (insert DP dream sequence here). At any rate, Courtney says, “I'm a hopeless romantic.  Love is my religion. I'm in love with love. All I want is to find the right guy & love him forever.” Ampersand aside, that’s a ridiculous answer.

8. Dianna, 30 --- She’s a non-profit director who loves ‘N Sync. That’s hot. She also admires Oprah more than any other person. That’s not so hot. She’ll do well.

9. Elyse, 24 --- Personal Trainer. Another hermaphrodite. What in the hell is going on with the selection committee this year? Granted, a head shot can be misleading, but if you look close enough you can see chin stubble and an Adam’s Apple on this broad. She “loves making people happy.” You know what that means? I have four letters for you. S. L. U. T.

10. Emily, 27. She’s another front runner according to my brilliant picking skills. She’s an Emily from North Carolina—No, not THAT Emily, but an attractive girl regardless. She’s working on her PhD. too, proving that even smart girls can make dumb decisions. You can hear her voice in her profile answers and she appears to have a good sense of humor. I like her. If this trend continues into next season, I’m going to suggest that every pregnant woman who knows she’s having a girl move to North Carolina and name the kid Emily. Your kid is guaranteed to turn out hot.

11. Erika, 23 --- Law student with a lip tattoo. BOOOOORRRRIINNNG.

12. Holly, 34 --- Her age column should read “At least 34.” Look, if you’re going to bleach your hair blond and lie about your age, at least pick an age that works for you. If she’s really 34, she needs to stop tanning and smoking. She’s aging faster than Lindsey Lohan. It’s difficult to tell, but she also appears to have Vienna-ism of the eyes. Oh, and she also looks like a man. What gives?

13. Jaclyn, 27. Poor Jaclyn is blond and unattractive. Her fantasy date is “being whisked away to an undisclosed spot.” Where I’m from they have a word for that. That word is “kidnapping.” Enjoy your free drinks and your tour of the mansion. Make sure you put the free soap in your purse because you won’t be staying overnight.

14. Jamie, 25 – She’s an RN. At first glance she’s cute and perhaps has a naughty side (it’s in the eyes). She looks for “loyal, respectable, funny, approachable, charismatic, honest, hard-working, intelligent, kind, polite” men with great "father" qualities. Hey Ben, run. The career choice is nothing more than the manifestation of her disproportionately overwhelming desire to care and nurture others caused by the neglect of an emotionally unavailable father. She’s looking for everything he wasn’t. Get out while the getting is good.

15. Jenna, 27 --- I like her too. She’s a Blogger which explains why she has such a good profile. She’s witty and attractive. Ben should be aware that everything from how loud he snores to the size of his wiener will be posted online the second she learns it. Provided the size of his wiener is not something he’s ashamed of, this one may work out. She’s also a DP front runner.

16. Jennifer, 28 --- She’s a red headed accountant from Oklahoma (or as we call it in Texas, ‘Mobile-homa’) with a fake smile broader than the Three Gorges Dam in China. She tells us that her favorite book is The Notebook. HOWEVER, “I don't read love stories because they often seem unrealistic - this one though does it for me.”

First of all, nothing Nicolas Sparks writes is realistic. That’s why women love to read it. Second of all, if you don’t read love stories then how did you stumble upon The Notebook? As the only red head, she’ll stand out but she’ll have to do more than wax poetically about Noah Calhoun is she’s going to stick around.

17. Kacie, 24 – Naughty looking administrative assistant. She’ll go far.  These kinds always do, if you know what I mean.

18. Lindzi C., 27 --- I’d like to thank her parents for the glaring spelling error in her name. “Lindzi” with a “Z”? That’s ridiculouz. She tells us that she’s “allergic to sun.” I’m not certain what that means. The irony is that she lives---where else-- in Florida, the Sunshine State. Someone needs to tell her that she’s also on a show where the winner has to move to sunny California. She’s hot in a sort of younger Heidi Klum without the creepy looking husband and 7 kids kind of way. She’ll stick around. She’s a DP front runner.

19. Lindsie J., 29 --- Prognathism (Google it). She lists her occupation as “Internet Entrepreneur.” Much like “VIP Cocktail Waitress,” this job description implies something untoward. I’m certain that all of the members of her bedroom-based chat room are excited to see her with clothes on; however, they’ll have to get used to being unable to type “show me your cooch” into their sticky keyboards while simultaneously watching it happen.

20. Monica, 33 --- She loves lip gloss and San Antonio, Texas. Whatever.

21. Nicki, 26 --- She’s a cute dental hygienist from Hurst, Texas, which is a town just outside of Dallas that people from Dallas refuse to acknowledge as a suburb of Dallas. To be fair, Hurst doesn’t have valet parking and you’re not required to wear a sport coat everywhere you go. That alone disqualifies it as a suburb of Dallas. Nicki has the “ability to make people feel comfortable.” Let’s hope she’s referring to her Fantasy Suite skills. My hope is that my fellow Texan will do well.

22. Rachel, 27 --- She’s the one who looks like Olivia Newton John. That would have worked for me in a big way circa 1978. It’s too bad that I’m over it now. Ben will likely feel the same way.

23. Samantha, 26 -- She has 3 tattoos in “various locations.” First of all, no sh*t? What’s the alternative, “a single location”? Spare us the vague description next time and just say “I have a tattoo near my cooter.”

24. Shawn, 28 --- She has 5 tattoos also in “various locations.” Now we’re talking. Set aside the fact that one of those “locations” is her lower back, and I dig it. Conservative, grape-squishing Ben, on the other hand, will likely draw the line a one tattoo. She looks slutty in her picture too. Oh, and if she’s 28 then I’m 16.

25. Sheryl, “age is just a number”. Why are they wasting my time? She’s at least 60 and I’ll give her an “attractive,” but come on. Unless Ben is an anililagnious weirdo, this is a pathetic stunt that, frankly, will backfire. If I was the Bachelor, I’d call her bluff and get her to the Fantasy Suite, but I doubt Ben has the balls to do that. Who knows, he might learn a thing or two---or sixty.

Enjoy you’re 15 minutes, your soda water at the cocktail party, and the hug you get from Ben on your way out the door. I’m certain the women at the bingo hall will love hearing the story.

26. Shira, she responded “??” to the age question. That answer screams body-morphic and aging issues. Ben would do well to run away from her and her trick mirror.

Well, there it is, a rundown of this season’s upcoming Parade of Poon based solely on their head shots and profiles. I can’t wait to figure out who’s going to go crazy first. Enjoy your weekend and look forward to next week’s post. I plan to continue my “Night Before Christmas” tradition of bastardizing a perfectly good Christmas story into a bachelor parody. If you’re interested in seeing last year’s click on the December 2010 drop down and read my “’Twas a Week Before the Bachelor” post from last year. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be sharpening my pencil. DP

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Hello All.  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a couple weeks after Thanksgiving as well.  I'm back from my pseudo exile and ready to post again.  I plan to get a brand spanking new post up here no later than tomorrow morning.  Thanks for the emails and messages.  As always, thanks for hanging in there.  You'll hear from me soon! 


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Off Season Post 27: Le Thanksgiving is Here!

Hello, Readers, and welcome to Thanksgiving week’s installment of my blog. It’s been a hectic month for me and it’s nice to have some down time in which to collect my thoughts and put them into writing for you to absorb while waiting for the perfect moment to sneak out of your respective offices or cubicles and begin your long weekend.

Between trial notebooks, pretrial hearings, and other boring stuff that I have to do in my day job, I took the time to ponder a timely topic on which to pontificate this week. Sure, I could have opted for the traditional stuff about family feuds or alcohol-soaked, tryptophan-filled, comatose, flatulent uncles snoring away on couches in front of the television; however, I didn’t want to rely on the obvious. Besides, after last week’s trip directly into the gutter, I feel like I should deliver some higher end material this week.

Like most of you I’ve been contemplating my Thanksgiving Day plans and looking forward to a long, food-filled weekend sans the responsibilities of the office. In an effort to keep myself in shape, I talked myself into running an 8 mile race on Thanksgiving morning in the name of having an excuse to be somewhere and as a justification for all of the food I’ll undoubtedly be stuffing into my face and washing down with copious amounts of booze while simultaneously spraying profanities toward the football game on the television in front of me.

Committed, I logged on to the website, signed up, entered my shirt size, and paid the fee. Paying to run 8 miles? That’s a lot like paying someone to kick me in the knees for 68 minutes. Regardless, after paying I received a confirmation email along with a coupon for $15 off a new pair of running shoes at a local running store that sponsors the event. Of course, I paid more than $15 to run in the first place, but hey, fifteen bucks buys 7 Lone Stars and leaves a buck for the band’s tip jar at my favorite honky tonk. After confirming the nearest location of the running store, off I went to get some new (discounted) running shoes.

Now as most of you know, Some Guy has a general abhorrence for ceremony, titles, pretentiousness, or anything self-congratulatory (well, other than this blog). As I flipped through the nearest addresses of the running store on my handy iPhone I noticed that the closest location was in a shopping area in North Austin called The Domain.

Shopping pisses me off enough; however, throw in the ceremony, titles, pretentiousness, and self-congratulation that accompanies “high end” shopping centers and I get irritable quickly. Include the holiday regalia (read: propaganda), and my blood pressure rises considerably. I’m not suggesting that I’m “right” and everyone who frequents these abominations on my Hill Country serenity is “wrong.” I’m just telling you how I feel about it.

Despite my genuine affinity for Bianca, Mary, and a host of other Dallas readers, there is a comparison to be made here. The Domain is tantamount to a group of engineers figuring out how to surgically remove 10 square blocks of Dallas and transplant them in Austin. Shops with fancy names with accents in them, promotional luxury cars strewn about the outdoor walkways, fancy coffee shops, Nieman’s and its offspring serving as the anchor stores, steakhouses, sculptures, and (my favorite) valet parking abound like pills in Courtney Love’s purse. I suppose it’s my fault for subjecting myself to this ridiculousness in the name of saving fifteen bucks, but that’s not the point.

I arrived and had the audacity to park my own vehicle in spite of the judgey looks I received from the pimply-faced, red-jacket wearing teenagers at the valet stand. I walked immediately toward the key map mounted in the middle of the entry way in order to find the store with my new shoes in it. Like most men, I’m all business when I leave the cave and go hunting for something. Unlike most women, I see no need to make a day of it.

As I perused the array of places designed to rip me off in the name of looking trendy, I made a mental note to grab a Diet Coke on the way to my store since—according to the map—there was a café situated about halfway between YOU ARE HERE and my shoe store. It was at this point that I became momentarily intoxicated with whatever substance is being pumped into the air by collusive retailers seeking to brainwash customers out of their hard earned money.

Diet Coke in hand, I strolled knowingly past the shops meant clearly for women in search of something to tickle my fancy. Lord knows I love my fancy tickled. I actually knew a girl once who loved her fancy tickled. However, I never went there. She had her fancy tickled so often that it wasn’t very fancy anymore.

Annnyyyhooo . . . .

I walked past a few stores and noticed a store filled with pots, pans, and other cooking stuff. “Why not?” I thought. I’ve got some time to kill. Besides, I’m certain I can find something I need in there. I approached and noted the name of the place. “Sur Le Table,” I said aloud. Of course, I pronounced it “Sir Lah Tay-bull,” but was later informed by the Special Lady Friend who sported that Tsk Tsk condescending smirk that women get when a man attempts to enter their playground that it is actually pronounced “Soor Le Tahb.” Excuuuusssse me. “It’s still an overpriced ripoff,” was my response.

Back to Le Tahb.

I entered an immediately noticed that there was no way to discern what, if anything, was actually for sale. Items were stacked haphazardly on metal shelves that seemed randomly placed around the store. The French presses were mixed in with the spoonulas, spatulas, and other platypus-esque mergers of kitchen tools for which I lacked the vocabulary to call by name. I quickly became confused.

Oblivious to my crisis and intoxicated with the possibility of purchase, hoards of anxious women one step shy from frothing at the mouth buzzed around me like bees on lavender bushes in search of stuff to adorn their kitchens and accent their dining room le tahbs. I felt like that kid in the LSD video they used to show in high school right after he takes his first hit of acid and the world seems to spin around him. LSD is, of course, not a gateway drug; rather, it’s usually progressively arrived at as the result of boredom with other drugs such as marijuana—also commonly referred to as “Mary Jane” or “Reefer.” Remember that movie?

At this point, my bladder began to realize that I’d ingested 20 ounces of Diet Coke and became pregnant with pressure. I needed the Sur Le Toilette. I made my way through the mish mash of Le This and Le That, stepped around some boxes, and began to relax my clenched bladder in anticipation of some alone time with Mr. Urinal. My expectations were quickly quashed when I noticed the unisex sign on the bathroom door and the word “Occupied” in the slot above the lock.

“Damnit,” I thought. “I really have to Sur Le Pee.” In an attempt to ignore the building pressure on my bladder walls, I turned to the nearest shelf of Le Stuff and examined various espresso accessories and wine openers, including one called “The Wine Saver” which consisted of a rubber cork and a vacuum thing to pull the air out of an opened bottle of wine in an effort to preserve the bold fragrance and satisfying woodiness of whatever was on sale at 7-11’s “wine” section that week. I found it odd that the Wine Saver was available in only one size. Never once had I opened a regular sized bottle of wine and not finished it. Sure, the giant Gallo jug size might need to be “saved” on an off night, but a regular bottle? Please.

Please was right at this point. I had to urinate so badly that I began eyeing the multicolored Le Creuset pots in the corner. I even contemplated giving that wine saver thing a try in order to seal things off for a bit. “Man, whoever is in there must have a real problem,” I thought. Just as I was ready to kick in the door like The Transporter in search of his Asian cargo, the door opened and two giggly women and their 40 bags of Le Junk emerged without a care in the world. It was then I was reminded that during shopping excursions women’s pack behavior is extremely prevalent. Fighting the urge to smack both of them with the Fork, Spoon, Spatula, Grill Cleaner, Pot Scrubber in One on the nearby shelf, I brushed passed them and found relief in the now empty restroom.

I exited and proceeded to the register with that Fork, Spoon, Spatula, Grill Cleaner, Pot Scrubber in One. I simply had to have it. When I approached the register it was impossible to determine if there was actually a line of women waiting to pay or if the women in front of me were simply milling around like those aforementioned bees. Gossip, Giggles, and Girl talk filled the air. The woman behind the counter—who was inexplicably wearing an apron—smiled at me and asked me if I was ready to check out. Thankful, I approached and handed her my Fork, Spoon, Spatula, Grill Cleaner, Pot Scrubber in One.  An apron?  Who is she Sur Le Kidding?  

“Name and address, please?” she said as she simultaneously smiled from ear to ear and placed her hands in an at ready position over the keyboard in front of her. “Excuse me?” I said. “Name and address, please?” Name and address? I’m buying a Fork, Spoon, Spatula, Grill Cleaner, Pot Scrubber in One not enlisting in the military. Why in the hell do they need my name and address?

“Chris Harrison,” I said with a straight face as I made up a fake Austin address. Incredibly, she didn’t recognize me and the joke fell on her Le Deaf Ears. Le Whatever. I paid for my Fork, Spoon, Spatula, Grill Cleaner, Pot Scrubber in One thing and left the store still on my way to find some running shoes.

Wandering, it occurred to me that it might be a tad chilly on Thanksgiving morning at 7 a.m. I saw a store with headless mannequins clad in athletic attire and crossed the street to see if I could find some warm up pants to wear. I looked up at the sign above the door and realized the place—like the Artist Formerly Known and Now Currently Known Once Again as Prince—did not have a name; rather, it had only a symbol that looked like an Omega in the Greek alphabet. “At least the other place had a name,” I thought.

Before I could ascertain the name of my location, I was approached by a giant of a woman dressed in whatever the name of this place was athletic attire. I’m 6’1” and this broad towered over me like Godzilla above the Tokyo skyline. I was too busy looking for the remnants of knuckle hair and an Adam’s apple to realize that she was welcoming me to “Lululemon,” which I gathered was either “her” stage name in the drag queen show she performed in nightly or the name of that symbol above the front door.

I’ve since asked a few of my female friends about this place and, to my utter surprise, every one of them has delivered an impassioned response about the quality and durability of Lululemon yoga pants. I realize I’m about to teach Jesus about the Bible, but humor me here. For those of you (I assume the one guy who reads this) who aren’t aware, Lululemon is apparently the greatest yoga and athletic pant manufacturer in the history of the entire universe and everything that ever came before it . . . ever. More about that later.

She-Ra, or whatever “her” name was, guided me toward the “men’s” section of the store. Actually, I went there for fear that if I didn’t she’d body check me into a dressing room and violate me, but the result was the same: I ended up in the “men’s” section, where I had a difficult time seeing anything a man would wear.

She-Ra asked me what brought me into the store and rather than answer “stupidity, boredom, and morbid curiosity,” I made what I would soon realize was the cardinal faux pas of Lululemon. “I’m looking for a pair of warm up pants,” I said. (insert that Tsk Tsk condescending smirk that women get when a man attempts to enter their playground).

“Well,” said She-Ra trying to contain the rage boiling beneath her well-formed biceps. Incidentally, I’m certain that the only reason she didn’t give me the beat down at that moment was the off chance that I was some sort of pre-Christmas season mystery shopper sent by whoever invented that symbol thing above the door to ensure holiday staff readiness.

She-Ra quickly explained to me that Lululemon pants were “work out” pants and were not JUST for warming up. Excuse me, bitch. Big or not, I’m still a man and I was confident that given the opportunity to inflict the first punch, I could easily take her. It was as this thought was traveling through my mind that She-Ra grabbed several pairs of Lululemon pants off the rack and began her sales pitch.

Let’s see, there was the Kung Fu Pant, Trek Pant, Tight, Tight Luxtreme Pant, Formula Pant, and the Presta Pant. They ranged from $98 to $140 for ONE pair of warm up . . .errrr, work out pants. Give me a f*cking break. I almost hit her over the head with my Fork, Spoon, Spatula, Grill Cleaner, Pot Scrubber in One thing.

Let me say some final things about Lululemon. First, She-Ra—in spite of her intimidating appearance—was just as passionate about these phenomenal pants as my female friends. She was knowledgeable and was an excellent sales person. However, no one is a good enough sales person to get me to buy a pair of $140 “work out” pants named Lululemon. You’d think they’d have a guy line called Rocco lemon or Sluggo lemon or something more masculine. Apparently, it doesn’t bother the dudes going in there to buy them. I’m certain they’re boyfriends appreciate the Tight, Tight Luxtreme Pants as well.

I eventually did make it to the athletic shoe store and walked out with a new pair of running shoes. I plan to wear them on Thursday during the race and then carefully deposit them in the bedroom after I shower and put on my $18 warm up pants. My Fork, Spoon, Spatula, Grill Cleaner, Pot Scrubber in One thing should come in handy at the Thanksgiving table.

On a serious note: I’d like to wish a big get well soon to my close friend, Lincee Ray who had knee surgery this morning. Many of you reading this are reading it via her blog Lincee has become a close friend over the past couple of years and I’m thankful that she’s there to cheer me on each week. Feel better soon, my friend. I look forward to the next two step.

Despite having to stomach The Domain and it’s odd stores, it did occur to me that I am lucky to be in position to afford a Fork, Spoon, Spatula, Grill Cleaner, Pot Scrubber in One and expensive “work out” pants if I chose to buy them. I’m lucky to be able to run 8 miles and even luckier to have some folks waiting at the finish line for me when I do. I hope you’ll all take time over the next few days to sit quietly—if not for just a few moments—and remind yourself of the truly good things, circumstances, and people in your lives. Friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, jobs, houses, and yes, even expensive work out pants enter and leave our lives often in irregular, unpredictable, and even heartbreaking patterns. Still, there are always blessings of which we should forever be vigilant enough to recognize and to foster. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Be safe, be happy, and most of all, be Thankful.

Until next week, if you need me I’ll be warming up in my Tight, Tight Luxtreme Pants. In closing, I’m reminded of a song by one of my favorite artists, Chris Knight. The chorus goes like this.

"I'm thankful for the things I have and all the things I don't.
I've got dreams that will come true and I've got some that won't.
Most the time I just walk the line, wherever it goes
'Cause you can’t hang yourself if you ain’t got enough rope.”

Enjoy the link below and enjoy the holiday ahead. DP

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Off Season Post 26: The Jig is Up. . . and HUGE!

Hello, Readers and welcome to this pre-Thanksgiving installment of whatever happens to be bouncing around in my head this week. It's always amazing to me where I find inspiration. This week I found it in an unlikely place. I’d like to give credit to my virtual friend, HK, who writes a wonderful blog entitled She was nice enough to send me an email and when I responded I asked her how she was doing. After telling me she was having a lousy day, she suggested I respond with something to make her smile. In return, I did what I always do when I’m put on the spot for a quick laugh: I resorted to a d*ck joke.

As I’ve been whining about for the past two weeks, you should know by now that I’m staring back to back trial settings in the face and I’ve been busier than the new girl on dollar night at the Bunny Ranch lately. Because of that, my ability to post has suffered in addition to the quiet time I have to find ideas to post about. However, thanks to the A-hole that ruined HK’s day, I have found quick and easy inspiration.

For the next five minutes I am going to list every anatomy joke that pops into my head. Feel free to use these; however, after your effort is met with either laughter or an appalled look, please give Some Guy some credit for his material. I promise to have something substantive drafted for you higher thinkers out there in the next week or so. However, in the meantime, please enjoy your trip down into the gutter with me. Let’s get to it.

My d*ck is SO big . . .

. . . that IT has a nickname for ME.

It’s SO big, I once went to a nude beach and Greenpeace tried to throw it back in the water.

It’s huge, I’m telling you. It’s so big, it has snow on top of it in the summer.

In fact, most women need a Sherpa and an ice axe in order to get to the top of it. It’s THAT big.

It’s SO big, I have to wear a roller skate on the end of it when I go jogging.

It does two shows a day at Sea World.

GIANT, I’m saying.

It’s so big I can drive a stick shift without using my left foot.

It’s talented too. It’s so big and talented that it once tried out for ‘N Sync.

Lance Bass tried to make friends with it.

It’s SO big that when I was a little boy it had its tonsils taken out.

It’s difficult to travel too. In fact, I have to pay $25.00 to check it curbside at the airport.

I once went to Minnesota and Paul Bunyon tried to chop it down. I impregnated Babe the Blue Ox while I was there. HUGE, I’m telling you.

I went to Washington D.C. and Japanese tourists took pictures in front of it. It’s so big it has its own reflection pool.

I’m not kidding when I say it’s big. Military families tie yellow ribbons around it.

I drank too many Lone Stars one night and ended up giving the Grand Canyon stretch marks. HUGE!

It’s so big, the IRS suggested I list it as a dependent on my tax returns. BIG.

I went to Rockefeller Center at Christmas time and Mayor Bloomberg tried to light it.

It’s huge. In fact, the doctor had to use a hacksaw to circumcise me.

It once earned extra money when it got a summer job snaking the Alaska Pipeline. I mean the thing is enormous.

It has its own heart and lungs.

At boring parties, I use it as a limbo pole.

It’s so big I feed it mice.

Aaaand, finally . . .

When I'm done making love I have to yell "Timber!"

Well, there it is; a couple dozen d*ck jokes in under five minutes. I hope at least one of them brought a smile to your face, even if you’re ashamed at yourself for laughing. I’m going to take the suggestions I’ve received for posts and try to get something substantive written right before Thanksgiving so you have an excuse to retreat to a private place with your laptop or iPad and escape your family for a bit over the holiday. Have a fantastic, safe, and happy Thanksgiving week and get some rest in anticipation of Black Friday. In the meantime, if you need me I’ll be at Wal-Mart. My d*ck got a seasonal job as a velvet rope. DP

Friday, November 11, 2011

Off Season Post 25: It's Trial Time in Texas

Hello, Faithful Readers. As always, welcome back to yet another week where you've generously tasked me with filling the white computer screen in front of me in the name of allowing you to escape whatever aspect of your life needs escaping for the 20 or so minutes it takes you to plow through my mess of ideas. Before I begin this week, I have a few requests.

It's that time of the Off Season when--notwithstanding the two trial settings currently looming over my head--Some Guy begins to get thin on ideas. Believe it or not, it's difficult to fill 10 single-spaced pages with an idea drawn from scratch in a matter of hours without the benefit of an overproduced, clearly contrived reality show for assistance. Top that off with my affection for Lone Star Beer and you begin to see my dilemma. In short, I need your help.

Like a Vietnamese prostitute on the outskirts of an American military base, I'm soliciting you for ideas for my next few posts. My challenge to you is to get creative. Stuff Chicks Like will likely be resurrected before the January launch of the next season of The Bachelor so feel free to send in those ideas. However, I'm looking for that special idea; that spark that lights my creative fire. Aim high and let's see what happens. You're welcome to email them to me; however, I think leaving them in the comment section for all to see and read would serve to keep all of our creative juices flowing. Man do I love to get my juices flowing. Annnnyyyyhooo. . . I look forward to your constructive participation. I promise to take the clay you give me and sculpt it into something wonderful.

Now, for the bad news. The bad news is that I’m swamped at work. I have two trial settings and they both look like they are going to move forward as opposed to settling or getting continued. Thanks to the work of our military and the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, every litigant is entitled to his day in court. I’d never deny that. Because of that, people like me spend hours upon hours preparing in an attempt to convince 12 strangers that our side is right. Because of that, I’m forced to choose my job over my passion this week. I’ll do my best to post before Thanksgiving, but my ability to do that will depend on what I can get done in the next couple of days. I’m certain y’all understand. I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I’m the only person with too many obligations from time to time.

Please, take care of yourselves this week and be sure to post your ideas for new posts below in the comment section. Happy Veterans’ Day. Happy Friday. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be diligently scrutinizing my briefs. DP

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Off Season Post 24: Home of The Biggie

Hello, Readers. Happy Halloween, All Saints Day, or Dia de Los Muertos, depending on your affiliation and ethnicity. I’m certain that most of you had a wonderful time dressing up as a naughty whatever. I hope it was a good time.

It’s nice to be back in the blogging mode after what amounted to a week of running around the Great State of Texas in the name of various aggrieved parties in an attempt to depose, discover, and defend. I’m back in Austin for a short time now, and despite the two trips currently on my calendar for this week, it’s always invigorating to be back home for a bit. Thanks for hanging in there with me last week and thanks to all of who sent me encouraging emails wishing me safe travels.

After reviewing the past few posts, I realized that the blog has taken an almost preachy and certainly a (GASP!) serious turn over the past couple of weeks. In order to remedy that problem, I’ve chosen to dive head first into the holiday at hand and recount to you another classic story from my youth. As was the case in the past, this one also involves the now infamous MH.

For those of you who don’t recall, MH is my current close friend and also my former childhood best friend responsible for My Sex Scandal, various run ins with local law enforcement, countless acts of tom foolery, and the person who attempted to steal a wooden Indian with me in New Orleans while simultaneously rescuing me from stampeding strippers. He was once the Chewbacca to my Han Solo, the Hillary to my Bill, the steroid to my Albert Pujlos, and the Maroon 5 to my Derek and the Boys in Miami. The following story took place during my freshman and MH’s sophomore year in college on Halloween night. I hope you enjoy it.

Sitting alone in my room as a freshman in college I was distracted from my studies by the ringing phone. It was none other than MH who was calling from Huntsville, Texas where he had resided long enough to be a sophomore; however, his academic status was unknown. MH told me that he was coming back to our hometown for Halloween and suggested we venture out with a few dozen eggs and a 12 pack of beer in order to see if we could scare up a little fun. I, of course, agreed.

In order to properly set the stage for this story it is almost imperative that I date myself a bit. If we don’t count pizza places, at the time I was a freshman in college my home town had exactly one fast food restaurant within its city limits. When the Wendy’s arrived it provided more than MSG and empty calories to the teenage population: it provided a parking lot to hang out.

For my last two years of high school, the Wendy’s parking lot was the site of many break ups, hook ups, throw ups, and police round ups. When we got bored sitting on the tailgates of trucks in the middle of the place we affectionately referred to as “The Fields,” we headed to Wendy’s where we would inevitably run into the likes of Officers Bates and Sharman who would generously pepper all of us with threats of “going downtown” unless we “dispersed.”

My friends and I were well-seasoned in such legendary drive-thru pranks as ordering a full meal into the speaker and then driving out of line so that the subsequent orders were delivered out of chronology; ordering fictitious, sexually provocative items such as The Furrburger, the Furrburger with mayonnaise, and the perennial favorite, the warm Cherry Bend Over; in addition to the occasional naked drive through. One of our favorites was to have a person strip down to his underwear and wriggle around in the back of the truck with duct tape over his mouth and around his wrists while MH and I sat stoically in the cab waiting for our food. Childish? Yes. Funny? Hell yes.

It was during this wonderful time in my life that a Wendy’s marketing executive with no clear understanding of the mind of a teenage boy or any concept of an anatomy joke decided to launch Wendy’s answer to the Super Size It ad campaign that McDonald’s implemented. Much to our delight, the new marketing campaign introduced items with the word “Biggie” in front of them. What’s more, the roof of every Wendy’s, including the one in my home town, was adorned with a giant sign that read “Come Get The Biggie,” or something inadvertently suggestive to that effect.

Upon driving by and seeing it for the first time, my mind went where any overly virile, bored teenage boy’s mind would go. “The Biggie. Just like my d*ck,” I said to MH who through a hearty laugh opined that the sign, in fact, referred to his d*ck and not to mine. After some spirited debate, we agreed to disagree. However, we did agree on one thing. Like second base, wooden Indians, or the still-in-tact virginity of (some) of the girls on the drill team, MH and I needed to steal it.

After some careful consideration (and a few beers), MH and I reasoned that a good time to attempt the Biggie sign theft would be on the upcoming Halloween night since the local law enforcement (all 5 of them) would be busy ferreting out egg throwers, candy stealers, and other criminally mischievous novices. MH and I would simply shimmy our way up the back side of Wendy’s using the rain gutter for leverage and, equipped with a hacksaw and some wire cutters, steal the sign and escape before anyone knew what happened. We were like two drunken, less sophisticated, teenaged Thomas Crowns and that Biggie sign was our San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk by Monet.

While most of our friends were headed to their favorite stash spots to uncover their booze and eggs, MH and I were casing Wendy’s and the surrounding area in an effort to put the finishing touches on Operation Steal the Biggie Sign. Eggs, you ask? Yes. Egg throwing on Halloween was so prevalent that about a week before Halloween all of the convenience stores stopped selling eggs to anyone under 35 with a grin on his face. Like most of my friends I was proficient enough to hit a moving car square on the windshield with an egg from at least 50 yards away.

Unlike the overworked chickens that produced those eggs, my friends and I were not thrilled at our inability to purchase them on the best night to throw them. Still, necessity is the mother of invention. Ergo, booze stashes in the woods soon housed dozens of pre-purchased egg cartons in addition to bottles of Boone’s Farm Strawberry wine and cases of Keystone Light Beer.

Incidentally, my friend Jeff’s parents, whose half-assed under-parenting or half-assed over-parenting (we didn’t care which) allowed them not to inquire as to why there were an inordinate amount of egg cartons in the garage refrigerator in the days leading up to Halloween. As a result, Jeff made a handsome fee leasing space inside that refrigerator so the rest of us could literally buy eggs weeks in advance in order to avoid the lockdown.  Brilliant.  That's capatalism at its best. These days I often think where we would be if we would have focused half of that energy where it mattered. Sigh.

Oh, and by the way, that’s the same Jeff who was called upon to empty his bowels on command into the local swimming pool so we could hit the beach. If you haven’t read my “A Friend Does His Duty” post, please do. Back to The Biggie.

After hitting the county line and obtaining enough beer to give us courage but not enough to make us too drunk to scale the back wall of the Wendy’s and steal the Biggie sign, MH and I settled in on the tailgate and talked about nothing as we awaited “Go Time.” Regardless of the illegality and stupidity of what we were about to attempt, my veins coursed with the possibility of adventure. As I thought about what we were about to do, I could literally feel the steel bindings of the rain gutter against my hands and the brick beneath my shoes as I scurried up the wall. I anticipated the exhilaration that would hit me as fear mixed with excitement and the thrill of the danger of getting caught. That feeling is impossible to replace and there are few, if any, equivalents in the adult world. Sadly, in a few years the most realistic chance I’ll have at that feeling is a sports car and hair plugs. Then again, I hate sports cars and I have all of my hair.  Sigh again.

MH and I were, as any well-planned sign stealers would be, dressed in black. I remembered to surreptitiously obtain a hacksaw and some heavy duty wire cutters from my father’s tool box prior to MH picking me up and I’d made a careful mental note to return them to their exact location once the heist was over. MH and I reveled in the genius of our plan as we killed our final cans of beer and mounted up in search of the world’s biggest d*ck joke.

Like Leif Garret and the rest of the Soc’s in his Mustang casing the park where Pony Boy and Johnny innocently walked, MH and I drove slowly around Wendy’s looking for signs of our good buddy Officer Sharman or his overweight companion, Officer Bates. We even parked across the street and made a gum and soda purchase at the convenience store so as not to arouse the suspicion of…well, anyone who might have been guarding the Biggie sign for potential thieves.

Satisfied with our recon, MH and I proceeded to our secret parking spot. We’d previously selected the parking spot keeping in mind the potential weight of the Biggie sign and our ability to run with it at full speed in the unlikely event of a foot chase. Just a year prior to this heist I’d been (allegedly) involved in a pizza theft from a Waco Pizza Hut where two friends and I were chased vigorously by both the police and the local Pizza Hut staff. We’d narrowly escaped that little scenario and, after much reflection, I’d concluded that our lack of absolute success could be attributed to poor planning and execution. I burned my mouth on that stolen pizza too (allegedly).

Pregnant with anticipation, MH and I exited the truck and began our trek through the woods leading to the back of Wendy’s ready to scale the back wall and begin sawing. As we approached the edge of the woods and saw our target, nervous laughter and conversation quickly turned to determination as MH and I lied there on our stomachs like lions in the Sahara stalking their prey. My heart raced as I looked over at MH and nodded. “Let’s go,” he said.

I quickly hopped up and ran full speed at the wall before bounding up it off my left foot and grabbing onto the bracket holding the rain gutter in place. Fueled only by fear and excitement, my body willed its way up the wall and I eventually threw my leg over the top of it and rolled onto the roof above.

I lied there catching my breath until MH came rolling on top of me about 30 seconds later. Drunk with the possibility of actually pulling off our plan, I’d forgotten the part where I was supposed to move out of MH’s way. I paid for it with an errant knee to the groin, but quickly recovered. The first part of our mission was accomplished. For some reason, I remember looking at my watch as if we were on some sort of Italian Job time crunch. We rolled over on our stomachs and got our bearings---after laughing hysterically, of course.

The roof was surrounded by a three foot brick façade that spanned all four walls. It was therefore possible to crawl without being seen from the ground below. Considering the fact that a good portion of the roof was covered in tar, this was a welcome development. The sign was on the opposite side of the roof on the side of the building facing the main road. We confirmed what our initial recon discovered: the sign was indeed secured to eye hooks via ¼ inch cables and the hacksaw and wire cutters were the appropriate tools for the job. I smiled like the Cheshire Cat when I reminded MH that he believed the sign was merely secured by rope.

We also delighted in the fact that all four cables could be reached without having to stand up thereby exposing ourselves to a potential bust. “This is going to be easier than we thought,” said MH. I nodded in agreement and we began to crawl around the air vents emanating the noxious smell of Wendy’s fast food. So far, so good.

We crawled to the first set of cables. MH took the one closest to the front of the building and I took the one to the rear. Our plan was to cut the rear ones with the clippers thereby releasing the lower corners of the sign and saw the front cables thereby allowing the entire sign to drop to the roof rather than waving around like a flag reading “Catch Us. We’re Up Here Stealing Your Biggie Sign.”

I clipped the first cable and the sign stayed put. As I crawled over to the other rear cable ready to clip I could see MH begin sawing the first front cable. When I arrived to the second rear cable I realized that it was secured differently than the first cable was secured making it impossible to get the wire cutters around the tail end of it. It was necessary to cut higher on the cable.

While I was sitting there processing this information, MH, oblivious to the problem, kept sawing. Before I was able to communicate the problem, the cable MH was sawing snapped and the “IE” end of the Biggie sign snapped free from its location and began flailing around like the freaking American flag during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. I half expected gallantly streaming ramparts.

“Oh shit,” said MH as I sprung into action. I quickly crawled over to the remaining cable so I could cut it and allow the banner to fall down. The banner was waving around and the loose and frayed cables posed a real danger and a big impediment to getting the job done. It was at this point that it occurred to me (and I assume MH) that our brilliant plan lacked brilliance.

Scrambling to cut the wire I said in the loudest whisper I could muster, “hold the thing straight, MH. I need to get the cutters around the wire.” Responding to my request, MH stood up to grab the flailing corner of the sign and inadvertently exposed the majority of his torso to whomever happened to be in the parking lot. The big problem with that is that for the past 60 seconds the sign had been waving around more vigorously than the Grand Marshall in a gay parade and had undoubtedly drawn the attention of every person in the parking lot.

Luckily, I was able to cut the wire and the sign fell on top of both MH and me as we lied there and tried to catch our breath while thanking our lucky stars that our heads had not been severed by wind blown wire cables. The past five minutes looked a lot like that rooftop battle beneath the Silvercup sign in The Highlander minus the sword fighting and the homoerotic banter. We were both exhausted.

Remember the part where I said that I half expected gallantly streaming ramparts? Well, my wish didn’t exactly come true. However, as MH and I were collecting our tools and rolling up The Biggie sign in preparation for our descent of the rain gutter and our triumphant return to MH’s truck and our remaining beer, we saw the rockets’ red glare. Much to our chagrin, the red glare was accompanied by blue glare, then red glare, then blue glare.

As we sat there horrified on top of the roof of Wendy’s with a hacksaw, a wire cutter, and a Biggie sign in our hands we heard the unmistakable voice of our good buddy Officer J. R. Sharman over a bullhorn. “We know you’re up on the roof. Put your hands up and begin to come down.” Almost instantaneously, we heard the unmistakable voice of our good buddy Officer Bates on the opposite side of the building. “We have the premises surrounded. Come down now.”

Keep in mind that just a mere three months prior to the current circumstances MH and I had been caught three times in one day by Officer Sharman. The last of the three entailed what he believed to be a homosexual tryst in the neighborhood pool with menthol cigarettes and wine coolers. On that occasion we’d been given the “if I catch you so much as breathing wrong again then your asses are grass and I’m the lawnmower” speech and were sent to walk home wet and humiliated after promising to never again cross him. If we were caught this time there would be no mercy.

Paralyzed, MH and I sat there motionless lying on our backs shoulder to shoulder while our minds attempted to process our next move. As a seasoned veteran of both well-deserved interrogation (see again, My Big Sex Scandal) and downright harassment (see again, My Big Sex Scandal) from the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office, it occurred to me that I heard neither MH’s nor my own name over the bullhorn.

DP: “MH, they didn’t say our names. They have no idea who’s up here.”

MH: “So, they’re going to come up here and nail us.”

DP: “The hell they will. You think Bates’ fat ass can scale that pipe? I’m 18 years old and I barely got up here.”

MH: “What about Sharman?”

DP: “He’s 125 pounds. He’s too big a p*ssy to get up here.”

MH: “They do that kind of stuff in the Police Academy.”

DP: “Yea, the HOUSTON Police Academy. That’s why they’re Constables.”

MH: “You’re right. Let’s stay here. What if they get a search helicopter?”

DP: “From where?”

MH and DP: Laughter

And so it went. As MH and I lied there on our backs staring above into the vast expanse of the Milky Way awaiting for our fate to unfold, I vacillated between laughter and fear. I admired Orion’s Belt but prayed I wouldn’t feel the handcuffs from Sharman’s belt. I identified the Big Dipper but feared being identified by the same nickname in the Harris County Jail. Minutes seemed like hours yet somehow I felt an odd peace about me. It was as if I was exactly where the universe intended me to be at that very moment in my life. As odd as that sounds, I’ll never forget that feeling. I’m certain MH felt it too. It never occurred to us that they would get a ladder.

Luckily, it never occurred to them either. After about half an hour the red and blue stopped reflecting above us and the Q-beam search lights stopped shining. The bullhorn threats stopped alternating from each side of the building and proved to be as empty as we hoped. Afraid that we were being lulled into a false sense of security, I rolled over on my stomach and told MH to stay put while I crawled over to a drainage hole on the roof.

Peaking out I saw nothing but empty spaces and as MH and I made our way around the walls of the façade in search of those drainage holes we relaxed again before realizing we needed the courage to make the trip down the rain gutter like a couple of itsy bitsy spiders before hitting the ground and hauling ass back into the woods like a couple of itsy bitsy cock roaches.

MH: “Did I ever tell you that I’m afraid of heights?”

DP: “Yea, well I’m afraid of jail.”

MH: “No, seriously. I’m afraid of heights.”

DP: “I’m going to go first. Follow me. Keep your hands and feet on the gutter and don’t look down.”

I crawled close to the side of the wall and threw my feet over the side straddling the rain gutter. I slid down the wall and turned to run into the woods. Safe, I turned to see MH repeating the same thing. Apparently his fear of being cornholed at the county jail eclipsed his acrophobia. As he hit the woods we both took off in a full sprint trying to contain the adrenaline escaping as laughter through our smiles. We reached the truck and as MH hopped in he leaned over and unlocked my door.

DP: “We forgot The Biggie sign and the tools.”

MH: “Yea, but we still have the beer and the eggs.”

As MH and I drove away from our secret parking spot we noticed that we were both covered in roof tar and smelled like fast food. Laughing, MH took a turn down a well-traveled main road and in the distance we saw the familiar reflective paint of a Precinct 4 Constable car. MH slowed down and as we passed by under the posted speed limit MH rolled down his window and gave the horn a friendly “honk honk” before we exploded into laughter upon seeing the stoic look on the face of Officer Sharman.

DP: “He knows it was us.”

MH: “No way.”

DP: “Take me to The Home of The Biggie.”

MH: “You mean my house.”

DP: “No, mine.”

MH: “Whatever.”

And there it is. I hope you enjoyed a little Halloween cheer. I’m back on the road today so please hit me with your comments and emails. They make a lonely hotel room less lonely. Be safe. Be happy. Until next time, if you need me, I’ll be scrubbing the tar off my Biggie. DP

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Off Season Post 24: DP IS LATE!

Hello, Readers.  Welcome back to what now amounts to an post for the week.  I've been traveling for work more than Jack Kerouac and I've scarcely had a moment to sit down and type.  Right now, I'm looking out of the window of my plush room at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in lovely Lubbock, Texas.  

I'm sorry to say that I've got to rush out and meet some clients for dinner after working in town all day combing through documents.  It's back on the plane tomorrow morning and I'll make a quick run through Dallas before returning home, repacking, and heading to the flat state of Kansas next week.  I'll TRY my best to post on my regular Tuesday post.  

In the meantime, I'll entertain you with a couple seasonal jokes to get you in the Halloween spirit. Here goes. 

Did you hear about the two gay ghosts? 

They gave each other the willies. 


How do you get a witch pregnant? 

You f*ck her.  

Thank you, folks.  I'll be here all week.  Incidentally, that last joke works with pilgrims, elves, cupids, leprechauns, and whatever mythical creature happens to be seasonally appropriate.  You're welcome.  

Have a wonderful weekend!  DP

Monday, October 17, 2011

Off Season Post 23: Lessons at 30,000 Feet

Hello, Readers. Welcome back to this week's post. I'm starting to wonder if, aside from the guy who screens this thing for inappropriately foul content from his cubicle located on the third floor of Blogger Headquarters in some Midwestern customer service center, anyone is actually reading anymore.

Before I wow you with some observations from seat 3A I’d like to announce the winner of the Truism Contest. There were a few dozen entries and I have to confess that the vast majority of them were good. In the absence of an objective test to evaluate that sort of thing my general rule is to advance the ones that make me laugh upon my initial read and then go over those in order to select a winner.

This week’s winner of the Truism Contest, however, is a person who I can’t identify. Because of the comment problem, the comment disappeared from the site. Luckily, it made it to my Blogger email notification before that happened. The winning Truism is: “Always Stay Two Drinks Behind Your Boss.” Brilliant. If the person who posted that could please come forward, I’ll arrange an autographed something or other for you. Thanks to all of you who played along. The decision was a difficult one. When all the cards were on the table, I selected this one because it is indeed universally true. Congratulations, Mystery Responsibly Drinking Reader. Now, to the air travel.

I've been preoccupied as of late. Like most of you, the biggest source of stress in my life these days is my day job. It wasn't always that way, but it's been that way lately. I've been traveling quite a bit and, although the trips are usually short flights within the Great State of Texas, being up and down on a airplane a few times a week is like going to bed with triplets: it's pretty entertaining at first but after a while everything tends to get jumbled together and eventually you'd rather just sleep than do anything else. It gets expensive too.

For those of you who travel frequently, you'll understand it when I say that my (our) experience at the airport, on the plane, and in a different city is far different than it is for the person who packs a suitcase once a year and rarely, if ever, flies.

It was the once a year traveler who was on my mind as I was hit with the idea for this week 's post. I was standing in the Big Shot line with my fancy ticket and my Get Out of Jail Free card waiting for the two people in front of me to get their respective ID's checked before I could get through for the elastic stretching of my Fourth Amendment rights by the TSA agents with the razor sharp minds and the doughy soft bodies manning the security stations.

By the way, it seems to me there should be at least a nominal fitness requirement for that job. After all, these are the people tasked with taking down international terrorists. Aside from simply falling on them or temporarily (and accidentally no doubt) obstructing possible escape routes, I'm not sure that many of the TSA agents I regularly encounter could do much else in the face of danger. In fact, a good deal of them look like that only thing they've spent any time trying to tackle is the beef lo-mien on the buffet at the in-terminal Chinese restaurant.

Notwithstanding my lack of faith in our government's best and brightest airport employees, I made a mistake that turned out giving me some good seeds to sow in the way of blog material this week.

Normally, as I walk into the airport I pull out my freshly charged and loaded iPod in preparation for my big trip. The ear buds go in the second I make it through security and they don't come out until after I land and make it to the exit of whatever airport I happen to be in that day. As I made it though security last week, I reached into my coat pocket and pulled out my iPod. I was horrified to see that there was very little charge remaining on it. I assume my charger must have been unplugged; although I still haven't solved that mystery.

Regardless of how it happened, I was horrified at the possibility of facing even a short flight without the benefit of my iPod. Because my flight was boarding in less than 10 minutes, I had no time to put even a cursory charge on it.

I resigned myself to turning it off for the ridiculous instructional portion of the flight in addition to leaving it off until we hit 10,000 feet; you know, like Federal law requires. That way I'd have it for the bulk of the actual flight. Oh, and yes, I know it's against the rules to keep the thing on, but I do it anyway. That's not because I think I'm better than the next guy. I saw a Mythbusters once where they literally tried for an hour to take down a plane with a cell phone and an iPod. The iPod myth proved to be just that: a myth. My general rule is that if I get caught by a flight attendant astute enough to notice that I'm tapping my foot to the beat then I'll turn it off. Otherwise, like an ape in transport, the music soothes me.

Of the hundreds upon hundreds of times I've found myself in an airplane over the last few years, I rarely, if ever, listen to the preflight instructions from the flight attendants. You know, the ones where they pretend that they are "there for your safety" and that the arbitrary in-flight rules have been carefully created for a reason other than pacifying you into a false sense of safety.

My favorite instruction is the one where they start with "in the unlikely event of a water landing." First of all, commercial air liners don't "land" in the water; they crash in it. They should just call a spade a spade. If I'm 30,000 feet above anything and the pilot's only option is to put it in the water, we're not landing. That Sully guy might have done it once, but let's be honest. We're not going fishing in an isolated Alaskan village. Our plane doesn't have giant kayaks strapped to the bottom of it. The only true part about that statement is the word “unlikely.” It’s extremely “unlikely” that a jet liner loaded with people, fuel, and luggage screaming toward the open water is going to “land.”

Back to the other day.

I boarded and then I sat there annoyed at the prospect of listening to the Southwest flight attendant--who was an obviously homosexual man wearing those snug khaki shorts, a golf shirt, and some cute white ankle socks with his pristine white tennis shoes. I chuckled to myself at the thought of some sort of tragedy befalling the flight. "What is this guy going to do, shoulder carry me down the aisle through the flames and kick open the door in the event of a crash?" I thought. I had visions of him trying to save his accessory bag before me.

However, as I listened for the first time in a very long time to the instructions, it occurred to me that the preflight presentation given thousands of times a day to oblivious, cynical travelers like me who pay more attention to the status of the overhead bathroom light than they do anything else on the plane is the perfect metaphor for life. Let's break it down.

1. Like most things in life, the opening presentation is an event put in place by someone who doesn't know you and, in your absence, has decided what he thinks is best for you.

Life is filled with obligatory events and the best we can do is sit there quietly through most of them while avoiding the urge to bury a pencil in the nearest jugular vein--which sometimes happens to be our own. Still, hidden somewhere in the stack of garbage is occasionally a piece of treasure worth digging for. It's not often we find that treasure--on the plane or in life--but it's at least the belief that it's out there that keeps up in our seats, isn't it? I imagine that's what also keeps us from picking up that pencil.

Like fastening your seatbelt, stowing your carry on luggage in the overhead bin or beneath the seat, or powering down all electronic devices, our days are filled with rules we all have to follow. Most of those rules--absent the structure and uniformity they create--are meaningless. The real irony is that the people who create those rules are, in fact, responding to another set of rules created by another set of people in response to yet another set of rules about what the rules should be.

Perhaps Dr. Seuss was on to something in Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? when he wrote the following:

"Oh the Jobs people work at!
Out west, near Hawtch-Hawtch,
there's a Hawtch-Hawtcher Bee-watcher.
His job is to watch...
is to keep both his eyes on the lazy town bee.
A bee that is watched will work harder you see.

Well... he watched and he watched,
but in spite of his watch,
that bee didn't work any harder. Not mawtch.

So then somebody said,
'Our old bee-watching man
just isn't bee-watching as hard as he can.
He ought to be watched by another Hawtch-Hawthcer!
The thing that we need is a Bee-Watcher-Watcher!'


The Bee-Watcher-Watcher watched the Bee-Watcher.
He didn't watch well. So another Hawtch-Hawtcher
has to come in as the Watch-Watcher-Watcher!
And today all the Hawtcher who live in Hawtch-Hawtch
are watching on Watch-Watcher-Watchering-Watch, Watch-Watching the Watcher who's watching that bee. You're not a Hawtch-Watcher. You're lucky, you see!"

Life is filled with a lot of Hawtch-Watchers. Stopping to remember that life tends to move forward whether we always follow the rules or not is often more valuable than always following the rules. Dr. Suess knew that. That’s why he was Dr. Suess.

2. There is one way on the plane but there are six ways off the plane.

Notwithstanding that annoying two finger point that the flight attendants use and undoubtedly have to master before graduating from wherever it is one goes to learn to be a flight attendant, I found this part of the presentation extremely enlightening.

Woody Allen once said that 99% of life is simply showing up. As true as that is, the hardest part about anything in life is the 1% of the time we are called on to act. It's those of us who take the most advantage of that 1% that leave a mark on the world--or more importantly, the people in our little section of the world. Being great is not about the showing up part; it's about what you do after you show up that matters.

On an airplane, there is one door that you must go through to get on the plane. In order to get to that door you have to get to the airport early, wait behind a lot of other people, plan accordingly, and rely upon more than one person to get you to the right gate.

Trusting others while being self-reliant is a difficult balance to strike and all it takes is one person with an ill will and you find yourself halfway across the airport at a different gate headed for a different destination. After that happens once, it's a bit tougher to rely upon the kindness of strangers. I believe life teaches all of us that lesson more times than we'd like it to.

Opportunities in life often have one, narrow, conditionally accessible way in and when we get there things often get difficult. When they do we tend to look for at least six ways out. Sometimes it's better to remain seated with your seatbelt securely fastened. In air travel as in life, bailing out too soon can prove disastrous. It’s always wise to figure out and remember where the exits are; however, it’s not always wise to run for them every time something seems wrong.

3. In the unlikely event of a cabin depressurization a yellow mask will drop from the overhead. Use the elastic strap to adjust the mask. Put on your mask first and then help the person next to you.

Helping people with their problems is an admirable thing to do. Self sacrifice, modesty, and charity are all wonderful things. However, no person is capable of living his life through another person. In order to assist someone, you have to take care of yourself first. Then, and only then, can you truly be useful.

Unlike an airplane, our lives often have a way of taking the breath from our lungs on a regular basis. Being aware of that depressurization and being prepared to help ourselves by staying alert enough to take the steps to get ourselves through it is a necessary part of life. A healthy body and a clear mind are two of the most powerful tools a person can store under his seat in the event that life drops that little yellow mask from the ceiling. Help others, but help yourself first.

4. No smoking, even in the bathroom.

This one needs no explanation. If you smoke, quit.

5. The pilots are behind a locked door and you’re not allowed to go near it.

Aside from the really important function of delivering your seven, vacuum-packed peanuts and 7.5 ounces of whatever beverage you desire, the flight attendants are simply window dressing. The vast majority of the important stuff on a flight goes on in that small space behind that innocuous door known as the cockpit. Once the plane is in motion, the best that you can hope for is to adjust your seatbelt, turn that useless air vent thing, and slide the window shade down to an acceptable level in order to make yourself as comfortable as you possibly can for the duration of the flight.

Most of what goes on in life goes on beyond the seat you’re given to sit in for the ride. As undesirable as that fact is to admit, it’s really the truth. Concentrating on what we can control and maximizing our comfort level is the key to a satisfying trip. It’s pointless to obsess over the stuff behind the door because what happens behind it is going to happen regardless of how much or how little we worry about it. Be grateful for the peanuts and the drinks that come your way and enjoy each one of them. Despite expectations, the ride is usually much shorter than expected.

6. Other Truisms from Air Travel

And now for the part where I brilliantly tie all of this together.

Aside from the five items in the pre-flight presentation, I realized that in the absence of my iPod and the Zen state it creates for me that there are many life lessons that can be gleaned from a simple trip on an airplane. Below are a few of them.

No matter what the circumstances are, in life, as in an airplane you will inevitably encounter people who cannot follow simple instructions. Whether it’s getting a grasp on the term “overhead bin” or matching a letter and a number in order to find an assigned seat, there is always a universe of people who will fail miserably at understanding basic things yet succeed immeasurably in annoying you. Learning to successfully navigate these situations is essential to maintaining your sanity on the ground or in the air. Accept that fact that you will regularly be in the presence of idiots but also understand that the day and circumstance will come when you are the idiot. Knowing the latter will help you stomach the former.

You will often have to listen to someone tell you what to do. Even the most powerful of the powerful have to follow instructions every now and then. Henry VIII beheaded a lot of people who told him what to do and Stalin simply sent them packing to Siberia. For every person sent to Siberia or every head to hit the basket after the fall of the guillotine blade, there will be two more people in line ready to tell you what to do. If you happen to be married, there will usually be only one person in front of you telling you what to do but it will certainly feel like two. Chopping that person’s head off is never a good idea. Ask Henry VIII.

Much of what is discussed never happens. Water landings, turbulence, depressurization, iPod interference, and emergency evacuations are all real, albeit small, possibilities when we choose to get on a plane and leave the confines of solid ground in favor of having ourselves and our luggage hurled through the air at 500 miles per hour in search of our destination. While these things are all possible and indeed need to be discussed, none of them will likely happen.

Life is filled with negative possibilities as well. Many people spend a large portion of their day worrying about negative things that could happen. While it is safe to say that something negative will eventually happen in any person’s life, the vast majority of the things we spend the limited time we have here worrying about never come to fruition. In fact, even less of those things seem to enter the world of the living if we consciously choose to focus on the positive things in our lives. Like I learned in Cub Scouts early in life, being prepared is the best solution to stuff that happens. It took me much longer to realize that I can’t prepare for every single thing that might happen.

You're better off carrying only what you need. There is nothing more frustrating for me than watching a clueless passenger attempt to yank an overstuffed, oversized piece of luggage down the aisle of an airplane only to realize that it won’t fit into the overhead bin. Simplification is a worthwhile exercise to undertake when packing for any trip.

We spend a lot of time outside of Tuesday Morning, Target, or Wal-Mart waiting for the doors to be unlocked so we can go inside and find that perfect what not to really tie the living room together. Valet parkers in any city in America carefully select the nicest, most expensive cars to back into the closest spaces to the fancy restaurant so everyone knows that important people eat there.

We are conditioned to accumulate “things” in the name of appearing “happy.” The more stuff we have, the happier we must be. The examples are endless. It’s usually not until one of those negative possibilities I mentioned earlier actually occurs that we are forced to look at our lives and determine what we actually need rather than what we actually want.

Simplifying our lives by purging them of the mental and physical clutter that we’re all force fed on a daily basis is a difficult thing to do. However, that process is far more liberating than a person usually imagines it will be. We’re all “Hoarders” in one way or another. Just because we don’t have feral cats hopping around junk filled rooms doesn’t mean we don’t have things we can’t get rid of in the name of making our lives a bit quieter.

We all, however, have those feral cats hopping around in our heads. Purging our minds of the junk is a difficult but necessary step to take. Fortunately for us, like the cylindrical fuselage of a 747, our minds offer more than one exit for us to use. The key is finding the gay guy in the tight khaki shorts and cute white shoes to point them out.

Well, there it is. It’s amazing what thoughts enter my mind in the absence of the iPod. May Steve Jobs rest in peace. He’s truly the Henry Ford of our generation and I can attest that my life is very different because he lived. Take care of yourselves, tell someone you love them today, and if you happen to be flying make sure and turn your iPod off for a bit. On the plane, as in life, never expect more than one free drink. Until next week, be safe. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be ironing my khaki shorts. DP