Hem, as in Hemingway!


I’m sun burnt, hungover, have rashes of unknown origins and in hard to reach places (ahem), and have at least one dozen mosquito bites per limb.  There’s a thorn in my foot, on the bottom.  The budget is blown, and was probably a joke or wishful thinking to begin with.  There’s a dent in the rental car I’m sure they are going to make me pay for, and the kayaks we rented are a mess.  In other words, it’s been the perfect vacation, and we’ve had a lot of fun.

Did you know that Hemingway got a dose of Edison’s Medicine, and then blew his brains out in Idaho?  That when you come face to face with a Barracuda you will literally pee yourself?  Or that Key West is 90 miles from Cuba, and no, you can’t see Cuba from the top of the lighthouse.  Don’t ask.  The guy at the front desk will throw a thumb over his shoulder and tell ya to read the darn sign.  No spitting from the top of the lighthouse, either.  No jumping, not even if you have a parachute.  But if you do jump, he promises not to yell at your stupid, dead corpse, but that your estate will be billed for the clean up.  Ha-dee-har-har!  “Next!”

People come here for the water sports, mopeds, and bars.  For five-dollar t-shirts and three-dollar baseball caps.  Bracelets and Marlin, to see a possessed doll called Robbie, and the loot that was stolen from the pirates, that was stolen from the kings, that was stolen from the people.  You can’t touch the free-roaming chickens.  It’s a ten-thousand dollar fine, or about what it costs to rent a moped.  Coconuts fall from the trees, and enterprising men of young and old snatch them up, stick a straw inside, and sell the exotic-tasting water to the tourists for a ridiculous profit.  But people pay it, because what the hell, it’s vacation, right?  People line up for blocks to take photos of the southernmost point.  People walk around half naked, wholly drunk, and buy stickers that say, Fuck you you Fucking Fuck, or, I’m not drunk, my typical state is staggering, friendly and loud!  My kids drag us to the candy store, where we find lollypops shaped like penises, and chocolate boobs on a stick.   At four they feed the tarpon, and it’s quite the bloody spectacle.  If you sign a waver they’ll hoist you a hundred feet in the air, riding a parachute and tethered to the ship.  When you’re done, there are body shots and henna tattoos.  There are topless joints of both sexes, and every gender.  For twenty bucks the tarot-card reader will meditate over the cards with you, shuffle, shuffle, have you shuffle, shuffle, and make three piles.  He’ll pick them up, and wha-lah, there’s the death card, sucker, how you like me know?  But relax.  The death card isn’t always that bad.  Oftentimes it means a dramatic change in your life, that could be good thing, or a bad thing.  Or else you’re going to die.  Either way, he wants his twenty bucks.  “But good times are coming,” he says, “so long as you escape the death card.  There’s a sun in your month of October, but in November there is going to be a big fight between you and your spouse.”

“How is that any different than the month of July,” I ask him.  “Or any month, for that matter?”

He doesn’t laugh, and neither does my wife.

And so I shut up and take my future like a man.

“Don’t spend money in January, that’s a bad month,” he says.  “Unless, of course, you’re already dead, then spend it all.”  It appears that he wants the comedic glory for himself.  He gets no encouragement from me.

There’s a guy on a unicycle juggling fire, or whatever.  A guy doing backflips.  They all want money, and make no bones about it.  “Pay up. Are we not entertaining?”

There’s a seven-mile bridge, and little deer about the size of an average dog.  Speeding is frowned upon, because speed kills deer.

The house that we rented faces the Gulf of Mexico, and the waters are broad, bright, and relatively still.  When the sun is shining it dances upon the waves, and with the rain comes the ripples.  When it’s cold we get the nipples (sorry, couldn’t help myself.)  When the sun sets, it seems to dip into the waters and spread like fire.  And then the waters engulf the bright orb wholly, it happens quickly, and the clouds are bright with color.  We drink and play board games, and drink some more.  The bottle is almost empty, “So come on, don’t be a pussy,” and glasses are filled back up again.  The game is a variant of charades, and Uncle Jack gets the card all wrong.  He’s not wearing his glasses.  The answer, of course, is slinky, but he thinks it says stinky.  So he stands, grunts, shits his pants, and waves a hand under his nose.  It’s boys vs. girls, and we’re guessing outhouse and toilet paper, shit stains.  The girls see the card, notice his mistake, and while one tries to correct him, the other is laughing her ass off, saying, no, let him go on.  This is gold.  Ultimately the boys win, and so we play another game, and graciously allow the girls a victory.  Girls put out when they win, it’s a fact of life.

But it comes and goes quickly, vacation.  Work should be so kind.  And now we’ve one day left, and the kids are eating bacon.

“What’ll it be? ” I ask.  “The beach?  Kayaks?  Paddle boards?”

They shrug their shoulders and tell me that it doesn’t matter.  That they’re happy just to be here, chilling like a villain.  In the end they opt for the kayak, a trip around the block.  Maybe we’ll see some sea turtles, or manatees, who knows?  Another barracuda.  Either way, it’s our last day, and we intend to milk it slowly, and savor every drop.

The answer is vacation, and right now, right here, we’re doing a pretty good job acting it out.  Work and school will come soon enough.

Florida Keys

You don’t care. I get it. Pretend to care. Take an acting class, and learn to emote. It ought to be part of your training, so that when you put on the uniform and look in the mirror, your smile tells your customers that you’re a human being. Instead, your sitting there as cold as ice like some brain-dead robot. Your thumb runs over the glass of your smart phone, subconsciously activating some app that will you take you away from it all, killing pigs or crushing candy. Anything better than this asshole, who’s demanding that the car he reserved four freaking months ago be sitting in the lot with a shiny set of keys and a radio. So she offered us an upgrade, from an SUV to a two-door convertible BMW that the kids are going to love. Wind in our hair and all of that. If only we could fit three kids inside, along with our luggage. She tried to make me happy, but oh well. “Sorry,” she says, but doesn’t really mean it. “You can phone the number in the morning and try to get a refund.” That’s right, In the morning. But right now, it’s late, and I got a family stuck at the airport, and there is no tomorrow. There is no tomorrow. Desperately, we go from one rental car company to the other, searching for scraps. Most of the cars are gone. The Enterprise lady sees the look of desperation in my eyes, and offers me a minivan for roughly the cost to buy one. I give it some thought. She doesn’t care either. No one cares anymore, and I wonder why I still give a shit. I want not to care like the others. I want prozac or whatever these assholes are taking, something to bring the dead into my eyes, a shrug into my shoulders, and perhaps a smirk of inner joy, what the Germans call schadenfruede. I want to join the ranks, because it seems so easy over there. Not caring. Not my problem. Talk to the hand.
Andrea comes up and says there’s this guy with this car, and it’s going for a lot less than Enterprise. We go and sign the paperwork, and we’re on our way.
But now, the guy at the front desk of the hotel doesn’t have the rooms we reserved.
This is vacation. Our time to get away from the hassles and the headaches. To recharge our batteries.
We have two separate rooms on two different floors, and there are no other options. So we split up, girls on the twentieth floors, and boys on the sixteenth. We meet for breakfast, eggs and renewed optimism. At least we’re not working. The family is together. The sun is shining, and we’re off for a new adventure.
Now smile like you give a shit, or at least try and fake it!  🙂

Summer Vacation


Our little family of five drove south in a  ten-year-old minivan with cookies, dreams, and paperwork to board a cruise ship called the Freedom of the Seas.  Parking for seven days cost $120.00, the approximate bluebook value of the van, or one can of soda aboard the ship.

It was a beautiful day in Cape Canaveral, Florida, home of the Kennedy Space Center.  Astronauts used to come here for a shot at the moon; we were going to Coco Cay.   It was our first cruise.


Waiting to board the ship, we entered our first line.  This would become our routine.  At the end of this line a nice elderly lady asked me to take off my baseball hat for a photograph.  Yes, she was wise to my devious scheme, one in which I had intended to use this disguise to rob sodas from the machine.  She then issued our sea cards, which would soon become the most important thing in the whole wide world.  You cannot, I repeat, you cannot lose your sea card.  Gabi lost her sea card.  Seriously?  You need this card for everything.  Eats, drinks, and especially the casino (yes, my twelve year old used her own disguise to play craps).  You even need your sea card to sing Karaoke.  I should know.  I took a shot of tequila one night and belted out I don’t want to miss a thing, by Aerosmith.  The MC came up to me afterwards and said that he didn’t think a hick from North Carolina had it in him to sing Aerosmith.  I wasn’t offended because mostly I was drunk, on vacation, and indeed rather hickish in appearance.


Once everyone was aboard the ship the captain held a drill.  The rooms were cleared.  The pool.  The bars.  In gestapo-like fashion they marched us down the stairs, several different agents along the way demanding to see our paperwork.  “To the right, deck four,” they yelled.  “Mustering point seven.  Next!”  Every floor another agent asked to see our paperwork, and don’t even think about trying to slip past them even though by now you know … to the right on deck four.  Got it.  Mustering point seven.  Bullhorns announced that the drill was required per international law, veiled threats of internment for those unwilling to comply.  Once on deck four they told us that in the event of an actual emergency nothing will happen as planned.  To go ahead and forget which dingy we were supposed to crawl into and run around screaming for our lives.  Every man for himself, they said.  Woman and children … when we get around to them.

Back inside the ship, we found lines for coffee, the hot tubs, and the ice cream stand called, Sprinkles.  We stood in lines just to find out where the lines ended.  Most led you to food, but there were also line for mini-golf and Ms. Pacman, lines to climb the rock wall or to ice skate.  There were lines for the elevator, and lines for apparently no reason at all.  People would just come out of their rooms and find a line to stand in.  Shrug, and say, “Why the hell not?  We’re on vacation.”

We took out a second mortgage on our home to rent two rooms for the week, both of which were about the size of a Photo Booth.  Instead of a camera there was a bed, a small sofa, which we used for a suitcase, and a bathroom, where a man could shower, shit and shave all in the same spot.  We had a sliding-glass door that led out to a balcony, the solution to all your problems about eight stories down.  Looking over the edge, I wondered how many people had jumped?  How many, in a drunken stupor, had fallen overboard?  Would the ship’s captain even tell us if something like that were to happen?  “Uh, ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.  Last night we had a young man disembark the ship prematurely.  Don’t worry, he’s dead.  Well, most likely he’s dead.  No one knows for sure.  Anyway, we’re not turning back.  Screw that hippie.  We got a port call in two hours, and we are not going to be late for Coco Cay?”  The rest of guests would have cheered, trust me, but we were late for Coco Cay anyhow.  Something about a fuel leak.  The captain told us not to worry.  “This type of mechanical failure happens all the time, but as a precaution we’re asking the smokers onboard to cease and desist until further notice.”

Coco Cay is a remote island owned by the same holding company that owns the ship.  The crew loaded the passengers onto a smaller ship called a Tender, and through choppy waters they took us ashore where the fleecing continued until moral improved.  Just off the beach was the jumpy house, an hour costing about what a jumpy house would cost on ebay.  Renting a jet ski cost about as much as a jet ski, with a tank of gas on the house.  At eleven a.m. they fired up the grills, and everyone stood in another long line for meat and an apple, and then engaged in a game of musical chairs for a coveted spot at a picnic table.  At noon the rain began to fall.  We had tickets to the aqua park.  The young man who ran the show said that in the event of lightning they would have no choice but to suspend operations.  When the clouds rolled with thunder we promptly cancelled our tickets.  A young girl raised her hand, and asked about the thunder.  The same young man said, “Thunder is okay so long as their ain’t no lightning.  Weren’t you listening to what I said earlier?”  The young girl seemed confused, stayed and listened to the safety brief.  Our party left for the line back to the mother ship.  A drunk guy behind us kept keying his walky talky, asking Scottie to beam him aboard.  A sign said to not feed the birds, but we fed them anyway.  More rainfall came, and more thunder, and back behind us the little girl obeyed the stringent rules of the aqua park.


Later in the cruise, we made it to St. Thomas.  From the port we took another small boat to St. Johns, where we hiked along a narrow forest trail to a place called Honeymoon Beach.  The snorkeling there was phenomenal.  We saw coral, sting rays and colorful fish.  On the hike back we came across a family of donkeys heading in the opposite direction, and my girls screamed like there was no tomorrow, scrambling aside to allow the determined family of three safe passage.  Later along the trail I picked up a hermit crab, and the little bastard popped out and bit me on the finger.  My son found that hilarious, the little …  My wife and I spotted a UFO, an unidentified furry object that looked like a cross between a monkey and a ferret.  On the ride back to the mother ship they gave us free drinks, and by the time we arrived everyone was pretty much drunk and having the time of their lives.



Every night there was a show at seven p.m.  Either stand up comedy, magic, Broadway musical tributes, or death-defying high-wire acts.  A New York comic asked how many democrats were in the audience.  Two people clapped, and were subsequently booed by the rest in attendance.  The comic gulped, told a few more jokes, and then shuffled off the stage with an apologetic shrug

There were shops on the fifth deck, Ben and Jerry’s and cupcakes.  For twenty bucks you could buy a wallet and watch, and my kids couldn’t wait to one, spend their money, and two, lose what seconds ago they couldn’t live without.  On the eleventh deck were the pools, hot tubs, and just enough deck chairs to start a riot over.  A sign says don’t reserve the chairs, but who goes on vacation to read signs? Better to get up early and lay claim, and then find yourself in an argument with the one person who read the sign and subsequently stole your chair while you went to get ice cream at Sprinkles.  (FYI, there were no sprinkles at Sprinkles, just cones, three flavors, and another long line, although not in that order.)


One morning we woke up at St. Maarten, and took a taxi cab to the French beaches.  West of the rocks, old men and women walked around naked.  I know this because I told my kids to stay put, and went there (ran there) with my wife.  It was quite deflating, so to speak.  At no time were we inclined to join the shriveled masses.  Men, penis to penis, chatted politics and weather.  Ladies sunbathed on their cots, legs spread wide, some shaven, most not.  C’est la vie.  The cutest thing we saw was a naked puppy on a surf board, with several sets of unbridled tits.  Just adorable.

Back on the sane side of the beach, the sand was fine and warm, the waters clear.  Eric, our waiter, brought drinks as we lay on our chairs.  The kids built sand castles, and the girls had their hair braided by the ladies who came by with bracelets for sale.  Young ladies wore thong bikinis.  Chloe and I got the jet ski up to fifty five miles per hour, and the day went by even faster.


The next two days were spent at sea.  We slept in, ate good food, watched movies by the pool, and rotated our necks beneath the ice cream machine.  And yes, we stood in more lines.  Regardless, there were far more smiles and laughter, and that’s what I’ll remember the most.  The kids giggling by the pool with friends, everyone getting dressed up for the formal dinners.  It was our first cruise, and most likely won’t be our last.  Next year, however, we’re going to see if the lines aren’t a bit thinner at Yosemite, with hopefully just as many smiles.


P.S.  Perhaps later I’ll post about what happened after the waiter at the beach restaurant in St. Maarten gave us a free bottle of rum and shot glasses.  My wife told me that if I wrote about that she’d kill me.  And for now, I just can’t take that chance.

Everyday another list

Everyday I find another list in the newspapers, magazines, or social media, telling me why I should eat this and not that, do these exercises and not those, drink coffee, and here’s why, drink wine, preferably red, travel lists of unforgettable destination, and why we should get at the very least eight hours of sleep, so stop reading lists.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick to death of these goddamn lists.

The best make-out songs, dance songs, hip-hop songs, and eighties songs.  The best songs to listen to while you’re ripping up lists.

There’s a top ten list of things that you didn’t know about the movie, Forrest Gump.  Really?  The only thing anyone really needs to know about Forrest Gump is that life is like a box of chocolates … ’cause when you look at the bottom of the boxes nowadays there’s another freaking list of exactly what you’re going to get.  Suck it Forrest, suck it, ’cause your momma didn’t know what in the hell she was talking about!

Fight Club had a list of rules, but I can’t talk about it.

David Letterman has a nightly top ten, ran out, and had to retire.

At work I have a checklist (canopy, cords, harness, crouch, dive and pull – that was the bailout list for the military trainer, but nowadays I fly the airbus, where the captain goes down with the ship), and when I’m packing my bags for the jet I have a list of four important things that I cannot forget.  I’m not going to tell you what that list is, but the mantra goes something like this: one, two, three, four, everything else I can buy at the store.

We have the honey-do lists (yard and paint) and the honey-don’t lists (sex, and sex), but I’m so sick of these godforsaken lists that I can’t even bring myself to compose a freaking grocery list when Lord knows that I need one.  I’ll bet there’s even a list on why we get  Alzheimer’s disease, and I’ll bet I even read that list.

Most of these lists tell us what we’re doing wrong.  They tell us why we’re fat and broke.

The top ten list of reasons why you’re a pathetic loser.

1) Your father ignored the list on the health benefits of birth control, and wham bam, thank you ma’am, you were born.  Mistake number one.

2) You then suckled your momma’s teet, which was loaded with saturated fats.

3) You had the nerve to reach puberty, unregulated with hormones.

4) You discovered beer,

5) and on a Saturday night promised her that you loved her, convinced her that the top ten reason why she shouldn’t trust you was bullshit, and then promptly knocked her up.

6) You then failed to read the top ten list of well-paying jobs, and ended up cutting lumber in the redwood forests until the tree huggers came along and ruined a perfectly awful career.

7) When it was time to buy a home, because your prom date, aka, wife, was insistent, you then failed to read the list about the top ten mortgage missteps.

8) The top ten reasons why you’re going bald, and the top ten most ridiculous things you can do to fake it.

9) The ten most popular places for middle-aged hair growth (hint: the belly button is number five),

10) And the number ten reason why you’re such a pathetic loser, you finished reading this lists.  Boom!

Of course, God was the original list maker, what with the ten commandments and the seven sacraments; and in our quest for heavenly glory it all went to hell in a hand basket.

We love to start lists, read lists, but we simply can’t finish lists.

So when it’s time to tackle that bucket list, don’t worry about reaching the end.  Simply climb that mountain and cross that bridge.  And the number one reason why, when you get there, you should go ahead and jump?   No more freaking lists!

Social Media Lynchings

Let’s be clear: Donald Sterling, owner of the L.A. Clippers, is foolish.  He obviously has deep-rooted feelings towards minorities, feelings that don’t seem to be particularly kindhearted.  But if you listen to the tape his mistress clearly goaded him into discussing a topic that he wasn’t comfortable talking about, with her or anyone else, let alone for the world to hear.  What happened to privacy?  Are we to police every dark thought?  And if so, how many of us would be immune?

It seemed to me that Mr. Sterling was upset that his girlfriend was making public her relationship with black men in general and Magic Johnson in particular.  Furthermore, and reading between the lines here, it sounded like he was being ridiculed by his friends or colleagues that his girlfriend was taking up either social or sexually with men of color, which alludes to the stereotype of black men being well hung and thus good lovers.   Mr. Sterling said that he didn’t care if she fed him or fucked him, just don’t bring him to his games, which sounded to me like the desperate pleas of a cuckold wishing to avoid the public shame.

Yes, he is a foolish man, for his outdated and misguided views of race, but more so for taking up with that girl in the first place, who history won’t remember despite her wicked attempts.  She cornered him, sweet talked him, knew what he might say and was intent to capture it on tape to ultimately destroy him.  She was cunning, fully aware of the trend or fad in social media.  It’s a typical group-think response, and whoa to the social commentator who takes the opposite view.

Society has embarked upon a mission of persecuting dissenting opinions, however unenlightened, and thus exposing our own biases and prejudices, the consequences of which will be silence and backlash from those who have been oppressed against.  No, better to expose the man’s hatred, and then shame him with forgiveness than to banish him from the very sport that he has helped along the way to prosperity.

But those are not the days that we are living in, are they?  No.  In the name of righteousness we condemn.  In goodness we ruin.  It won’t end with Mr. Sterling, either, for someone else will come along and utter something ridiculous, in private or in public, it won’t matter.  We have formed our posses, and we have called them Twitter.  With this we will rally our men and our women, for we are outraged, empowered and bloodthirsty.  Yes, not a posse at all but a pack of hungry wolves, stalking through the cold mountains until we are sated.  Be careful lest you stray from the pack.  Hide your thoughts, words and ideas, pretend not only in public now but in private, because the walls have ears.  The world is listening, waiting, and the world is hungry!

Billion Dollar Bracket

I shopped online this morning.  Looked at watches, cars, and vacation properties.  One Billon Dollars!  That’s what I stand to win should (should?  no, when)  I fill out the perfect NCAA March Madness Bracket.  That’s how much of Warren Buffet’s money is going to go from his account into mine.  So that by this time next month I’ll have One Billion two hundred and fifty six dollars in my bank account, and a contract on a new condo in Miami.  Taxes will eat up some winnings, of course, but that’s okay.  I can survive on half a Billion Dollars so long as the government puts my hard-won money to good use, which they most certainly will because now I’m an optimist (one Billions Dollars will do that to a man).

Like Madonna, I’m going to sleep on this.  Right before going to bed I’m going to study the bracket and have it mostly memorized.  I’m going to keep it on the nightstand with a pen, click off the lamp, and, again like Madonna, sleep in the nude (this simplifies the act of sex, the odds of which are about the same as winning).

But I’m an optimist now, remember, so yeah, after a wicked lay the winners will come to me a dream.   (By wicked I’m talking sixty, no, fifty seconds of sweet sweet love, and fifty, no, forty seconds later of even sweeter dreams.)  The clouds will part and the angels will sing.  Moses will come forth, and instead of the Ten Commandments he’ll be carrying the perfect bracket.  Hallelujah and Amen!

That’s right, bitches, I’m gonna be rich, and I’m not going to be no asshole, neither.  Hell no.  I’m gonna be one the nice rich guys with an easy-going attitude, and not no big shot with one hundred dollar tips for the bell hop or barber just to prove how rich I am and how rich they aren’t.  No, I’m going to be graceful, and donate anonymously to worthy organizations like The Bunny Ranch, The Meth Institute of America, and Rock-‘N-Roll University!  What?  There isn’t a RockU?  Well, there’s going to be when yours truly has one Billion Dollars, or about half after taxes.  Our mascot is going to be Gene Simmons of KISS, in full regalia.  Instead of basketball we’ll have competitions to see who can roll the meanest and fattest doobies.  Ten years from now the brackets won’t be about basketball but about beer bongs, with the number one seed being from where else but RockU.  We’ll sanction extreme sports and our students will major in Fun, with a minor in sex ed!  Boom!  Instead of the geek dorm or the athlete’s dorm we’ll have the Kush dorm and the naked dorm.  We’ll have awards for those with the worst attendance, the most pathetic grades, and in another five or ten years we’ll see those individuals in the White House and congress.  Another boom!  Wanna come?  Sure you do.  Just take that stick out of your ass and let’s start the paperwork.  Tuition is free, ’cause I’m stinking rich.  And if you’re thinking abut going all Twenty-One Jumpstreet on my ass and coming undercover, bring it.  You think the law can keep down a Billionaire?  Pah!  You don’t America.

Okay.  Let’s see.  Number 1 Florida vs. number 16 ALBY?  Jesus, how simple.  Suck it, Moses.  Who needs ya?

All right.  Number 8 Colo vs. number 9 Pitt.  Shit.  Okay.  Maybe I’ll sleep on this one. That thing I said about sucking it, Moses?  Please disregard, because remember: I ain’t gonna be no asshole Billionaire with one hundred dollar tips or making it rain all up in the club, no sir.

So, number 5 VCU vs. number 12 SFA.  Ha.  Easy.  That’s right, suck it Moses, I’m gonna be a freaking Billionaire.   

Naked Men

Okay.  I just looked at myself in the mirror, and I’m not that far gone … yet!  I was standing there naked, my hair wet (at both ends, boom!) because I had just stepped out of the shower.  Pecs aren’t bad, gut’s not offensive, and I’m relatively well proportioned (wink wink).

So why am I not comfortable being naked?

I went to the YMCA today in Boise, Idaho.  Did a little cardio and lifted some weights.  All of which was great.

The downtown Y here is well equipped, happy people coming and going.  But there’s an entire other world inside the men’s locker room.

A naked world.

Of naked men.

And it’s not a pretty sight.

Recently, I read an article on the benefits of a dry sauna (it’s good for you skin and liver, among other things), and it just so happens that the Boise Y has one inside of the men’s locker room.  So what the hell, right, why not give it a try?

I stripped down to my shorts, grabbed a towel, and entered.

Four elderly men were sitting there naked.  Two with their legs spread unnaturally wide.  One guy had his knees hiked up to his chin.  Another was sitting crisscross apple sauce, and what was I supposed to do?  Turn around and leave?  I certainly should have, but damn if those health benefits didn’t sound appealing.

I sat as far away from the spectacle as space allowed.

Naked men came and went, one after another, young and old, and I’m telling myself not to look.  For the love of God, don’t do it.  But then boom, there’s a thin and shriveled penis sauntering in without a care in the world.  And I ask myself why?  Why doesn’t he have any shame or sense of decency?  Am I the only modest man left in this world?

They wanted to know how I was doing, and I hadn’t the nerve to tell them that I was doing poorly, uncomfortable having a conversation with a man whose hairy, limp penis is resting between his pasty, meaty thighs on the sweaty wooden bench.

“So, how about them Boise State Broncos?  That was quite the game the other night.”

“How about putting some shorts on?  Or covering yourself with a towel?  At the very least, how about hacking some of the rain forest away, I mean Jesus, just look at that mess.”

I didn’t say that, of course.  Simply agreed that the Broncos might have a good team this year as hairy penises and even hairier balls paraded before me.

There’s a market out there for manscaping, and perhaps I should get on the cutting edge, so to speak.  Not the grooming, per say, as I hardly groom myself; perhaps own a shop, employ attractive women with sharp blades, write a jingle to stir up business.  Bieber cut or shiny, clean cut man or slimy, come on in, we’ll try not to grin, even if you’re tiny.   No good?  How about this:  We don’t care if you got the drip, come on in and we’ll give you a clip.  Still no good?  Okay, here: Standing tall or feeling limp, girl’s don’t want no hairy chimp!  Now get your ass in here, and we’ll shave your balls!

And we’ll have coupons, two for the price of one.

You don’t like the blades, we’ll give you wax!  You don’t like the wax, we’ll give you the laser.  You don’t like to sag, we’ll give you a lift.  You’re balls are too small for the sac, we’ll give you replacements.  A ball job, kind of like a boob job, only sexier.

Imagine the locker room conversations then, everyone so clipped up and neat, sophisticated, uptight scrotums.  Instead of underbrush, we’d have fashion statements, our initials shaved above our genitals so that our loved ones won’t forget our names, not that they would be able to say our names at the time … am I right, or am I right?

At Junk Clips Unlimited ,our mission is to make the world a better place, one dick at at time.







Why do my kids need braces?



I didn’t have braces and my teeth are fine.

There’s only one reasonable conclusion: their mother; her genes.

The kids’ bad behavior?  Yep, blame it on mom.

My son can’t dribble a basketball to save his life.  I want to cry.  Growing up, basketball was my religion.  He got this from his mother.  (I’ve seen her shoot hoops.  It isn’t pretty.)

My oldest daughter punched my youngest in the nose, and sprang a leak.  Where does this violence come from?  Moi?  No way.  Just because I joined the Marine Corps doesn’t mean that I’m not a pacifist of the highest order.

I’m a neat freak, and no one cares.  (Tell me that this isn’t because of you know who!)

At night, the entire house is lit up, and and there I go on a rant, flipping switches room to room.  They look at me like I’ve lost my marbles.

“Seriously, dad.  What’s the big deal?”

I tell them about the big deal.  In unison they roll their eyes – a defiant, all-too common act that I swear they rehearse when I’m not around.

Okay.  The farting antics.  I’ll own those, and why the hell not?  Farts are funny … until the little miscreants cut one in public and blame you, run away gagging and holding their noses.  What are you going to do?  Tell everyone that it was your kid and not you?  I’m a bad parent, not a monster.

And the thing about turning their underwear inside out to stretch another day, all me.  (I know, brilliant, right?  Flip them again and you got yourself another.)

Sadly, a side-by-side comparison of their parents’ report cards explain the bad grades.  I yell at them to shape up and stop making me look bad.  To be more like their mother.

The hugs, yeah, that’s mom.  When one of our little criminals comes up and “shares” with me a hug, I put them in a headlock and demand answers.  “You drop my iPhone in the toilet again, butterfingers?”

Scientists believe that soon they’ll be able to splice the best from both mom and dad.  If that isn’t good enough, they can splice from a third-party donor, and wa-lah: the perfect child.

Of course, the intent is to wipe out genetic defects, which is noble.  However, it will only be a matter of time before medical boutique shops promise perfect smiles and grades?  Every kid money from the three-point line.  Home work done, hands washed, and lights out by nine.  (Am I dreaming?)

But if that’s the future thank God I’m not in it.  We got braces, bad grades and bloody noses.  We got lights, cameras, and action.  Tantrums and defiance, and really lame excuses.  In other words, we got it all, baby.  (And they got the best from me!)


Wait until you read what happens in this post …

You’re going to be amazed.

But do you know what?  I’ve never been amazed.  Never!

Not when the squirrel was riding on water skis, not when the flash mob visited a mall and sang a Christmas carol, and not when Mayor Ford of Toronto said that he had more that enough pussy to eat at home, thank you very much.

But that’s the hook on social media, isn’t it?  How amazed we will be when we click on the link.

You’re not going to believe what happens next.

Only … it’s totally believable.

Like when the fat kid picked the skinny kid who was bullying on him, and body slammed him onto the pavement.  Believable.

The Russian gymnasts.  Totally believable.

The dancers who form cars and hearts with they shadows, cool, yes, and also believable.

So please stop telling me otherwise.  I’m a sucker with the links, but mostly I’m worried.

Yes, worried.

What if something unbelievable happens, and because I’ve become jaded I miss out?

What if a guy really does rip off another guy’s head and shits down his throat?  “You are not going to believe what happens when the driver of car one cuts off the driver in car two.  Totally unbelievable.”

And what if I don’t take the bait and miss out?

That’s something I really want to see.

What if a young lady sneezes with her eyes open, and both baby blues go flying from her skull like yo-yos?  Priceless, and totally unbelievable.  At last, something we can’t believe in!

I want to see a guy shit his pants out, literally.  Like, literally.  He gets up off the shitter, and there in the toilet is a soiled pair of bluejeans.  “I’ll be damned.  Honey?  Bring the video camera.”

This is horrible to say, but wouldn’t it be cool to see someone get their face ripped off?  Who wouldn’t watch that?

I’ll tell you who?  Me.  Because I don’t click on those links anymore, goddamnit.

What if someone actually kills someone with kindness?

And here I am, missing out!  I mean … it’s eating me up inside.

Jesus, what if I miss out on someone getting eaten up … from inside?

And what if a woodchuck chuck’s wood?  How adorable!

“You are not going to believe what happens when it starts to rain!  Click on the link to find out.”

And when you click on the link, it’s raining cats and dogs.  Real cats, and real dogs.  Falling from the rainclouds, splattering on the cars and the pavement, the little old lady crossing the road with an umbrella.  I would watch that shit in slow motion, especially the part about the cats, fucking cats, and maybe even download it and cut it with music – Ride of the Valkyries.

So please, stop saying that it’s so unbelievable.  I’m begging you, because when the unbelievable stuff starts to actually happen I want to see it … with my own two eyes … popping out of my skinless skull like yo-yos, my head ripped clean with shit down my throat and my bluejeans soaking in the shitter.  Now that’s the life for me!





Yeah, I stole a car. You gotta problem with that?

Not that I’m in a whimsical mood; however, writing about an old and murdering friend got me remembering about a time in my life that I’d rather forget.

Yes, we stole a car.  A pickup truck to be exact, but don’t get all high and mighty just yet.  Imagine if Justin Bieber or Lady GaGa was playing at a nearby venue.  Iggy Pop.  The Wiggles.  And you were in a mood to rock out with your cock out.  Certainly  you would have sneaked around the neighborhood looking for unlocked cars with keys beneath the floor mats.

FYI, don’t leave your keys beneath the floor mats, or on top of the visors, just like you shouldn’t leave your wallet in your shoes when you take them off to bowl.  Sure, it seems like a foolproof idea, perhaps even brilliant at the time, but everyone’s doing it, even the crooks.  Little miscreants like us, sneaking around with barely enough money in their pockets for nose-bleed tickets to the show.

We didn’t exactly hit the jackpot.  The truck was a POS, short for piece of, well, you know.  A hoopty with a bad muffler and no heat, with a half tank of gasoline.  An AM radio, and we listened to the Mighty 690.  We had a stash of beer and a baggie of weed, but I’ll never admit to this in a court of law.  We had Ozzy on the brain, Crazy Train and War Pig – in the field the bodies burning, as the war machine keeps turning.  To a couple of teenage boys, that song was the freaking bomb.

Entering the city, we followed the signs the Portland Memorial Coliseum, found parking in a handicap zone.  Was that wrong of us?  What’s worse, stealing a truck, or stealing a handicap spot … with a stolen truck?

We bought our tickets and went inside.  It was our second concert, the first being the Oregon Jam at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Quiet Riot – Come on feel the noise, girls rock your boys – with Loverboy, Joan Jett and Night Ranger –  Sister Christian oh the time has come, and you know that you’re the only one so say … okay!  And so we were seasoned professionals, cocky and hip, tucka tucka tucka!  And because we were in a stealing-kinda-mood, we found better seats on the floor, closer to the action.  We sang along, riding a contact high to the encore.  We high-fived people that we didn’t know and hugged others.  We yelled Ozzy countless times, and if felt great.  What a perfect name.  Ozzy!  Imagine Nigel or Benjamin, it wouldn’t have been the same.  Benjamin, Benjamin.  Too many consonants.


When it was over, we made out with a couple of girls in the parking lot, and then one of their fathers pulled up and honked his horn.

Back at the truck, we threw away the parking ticket.  Not our problem.  (I imagine now the poor old man getting this in mail, a parking ticket from a city hundreds of miles away when he was home that night asleep, oh the injustice.)

We must have been the only kids from our small town who attended, because the drive back home was lonely.  The time was north of midnight, and we were heading south on Highway 26.  Literally, there was no one else on the road.

The gas was getting low.

There was no way that we were going to make it home.

In this, our time of need, I turned to religion.

I asked God for help.

If we run out of gas how will we suffer the cold or coyotes, there on foot for another hundred miles with snow on the sides of the roads?  Amid the vast and harsh Oregon wilderness?

Karma, that’s what it was.  Still, I prayed to God.  Just do me a solid, oh Lord, and I’ll turn over a new leaf, be better, stop smoking weed and drinking, get good grades.  Obey the Ten Commandments.  You name it, I’m there!

The engine puttered  and then starved, and we were coasting.

God would be putting us to the test after all.

And karma is a bitch.

But I swear that this next part is true, and would do so with my hand on the bible and in a court of law, for sure!  Fo sho!

From behind us some headlights appeared.  Another car, and perhaps the occupants were friendly.  Distant, but closing in on us as we coasted to a stop.

We hit the hazard lights, and waited.

When the car neared, we exited with intentions of flagging them down.

They could have been murdering lunatics for all we knew.

A religious cult.

Gang members on initiation week, out to kill a couple of doped-out honkies.

We had no other options, so please, God, I’ll be good from now on, promise.

It was a white utility pickup truck, and it pulled up behind us.   A man exited, and asked how we were doing.  Asked if there was a problem.  We informed him that we had run out of gas, and he turned, went to the back of his truck, and returned with a gas can.

“I work for the state,” he said.  “Canvas the roads looking for people who need help.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah.  I got gas, water and food.  You boys hungry?”

In fact we had the munchies.

“There’s chips on the front seat,” he said, removing the gas cap to our stolen truck.  “Help yourselves.”

We ate Doritos while he put gas in the truck.

We must have reeked of booze and pot, but when he was done he just smiled and patted us on the backs.  “You boys take good care.”

“Thanks, mister.  You too.”

We started the engine and drove away.  He followed for a while, and then flipped around and drove the other way.

From the passenger’s seat my murdering friend said, “We got a fatty left.  Wanna smoke it?”

“Hell yeah, bro.  Spark that shit up.”


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