I STARTED SMOKING AT AN EARLY AGE. Seven, actually. I found a complete and unused cigarette on a department store floor and pocketed it. I took it home. When my dad was off at work, I lit it up to see what all this alleged adult smoking hoopla was about.
The problem was, we were a match-free house. I used the gas burner on the stove, lit the thing and tried exhaling mightily like I blowing bubbles. That didn’t work. So, I put my respiratory system in reverse and took a puff.
Oh cripes crap. Next to some of my marriages, high school algebra and listening to Curtis Stone sing “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” it was the singularly worst experience of my life. I made a face like a dog that had just licked a pineapple, spit, spit several more times followed by rubbing my tongue with a washrag. Sadly, the kitchen sink rag had remnants of Dutch Cleanser, mayo and counter top dust, so that didn’t exactly help my little baby tongue.
WE HAD THE BIG RAIN. As the heavens emptied, my family member and I stood outside, safely under the eaves, watching. Despite the fact this missive might be read by 20 people on a good day, my closest relative has a zero tolerance policy toward publicity, especially on the Internet. So, She, He or It will remain nameless.
My relative is at that stage where it’s sometimes awkward to wrap her in a cozy blanket and rock her and stand watch for flashes of lightning.
“One-thousand-one . . . one-thousand-two . . .” We count the seconds, as we always do. Five seconds means the lightning is a mile away. Like an artillery strike, thunder boomed maybe a few hundred yards away at times. If I were wearing boots, Nature’s explosions would have knocked me out of them.
NOT COUNTING PREVIOUS LIVES where I was scalped or served as a monk in 7th century Transylvania, I’ve had more than a few bad haircuts. But, I’m a glass half-full kind of person. At least this time around, I haven’t sported a Mohawk or a Bakersfield lesbian softball third basewoman mullet.
I did have a butch in 1968. I was attempting to play high school basketball. My coach — let’s just assign the pseudonym of Fran Wrage of Cattle Mutilations, Nebraska to protect his identity — had this wacky idea. He felt that shaving the heads of his squadron of inept white lads would somehow add deadly accuracy to our jump shots or a wolverine-esque tenacity to the defense.
HAVE YOU EVER RAN AWAY FROM a hospital? Me neither. Thought about it. Seems rather liberating. And, potentially healing.
A while ago, a man was reported high-stepping it away from my hometown hospital. It was late at night. He sprinted out the front entrance, down a side street and veered into the middle lane of a major highway and was running with the traffic. The escapee was wearing nothing but a hospital gown, open in the back. According to a refreshing departure of police scanner speak, his butt cheeks were merrily flapping in the wind.
Which, if memory serves me well, were the lyrics to an old Linda Ronstadt song. Wait. Let me get my guitar:
BESIDES BEING PAID TO ANNOY PEOPLE AS a rural satirist, I also wear many other — ahem — hats. I’m also a communications consultant. My all-time favorite business quote is this:
“A consultant is someone who knows 103 ways to have sex, but doesn’t know any women.”
Sad, but true.
Still. We just swore in a new president. America is awash in a feeling of good will, optimism and cooperation. I’m going to forget our differences and reach across the aisle. I’m sticking out a helping hand to my friends permanently entombed in an unending Living Purgatory/Monty Python
YEARS AGO, MY DAD, MY SIBLING-LIKE SUBSTANCE HONDO AND I embarked on an epic road trip. We packed up the big 4x4 truck and headed to Sequoia National Park. Purpose of the grand safari? My alleged baby brother had never seen a redwood tree. Lincoln logs? Yes. Picnic tables? Yes. Backyard fences? Sure. But Hondo had never seen an actual, in-the-ground majestic redwood tree.
It was a cold day, drenched in an unrelenting and bone-chilling drizzle, and yet, so profoundly beautiful. Quiet in our own thoughts, we kicked up a cloud of mist behind as we rumbled down Highway 198. We were on our way to see the General Sherman, one of the largest trees on the planet.At 275 feet, it’s nearly a football field in height. Sherm’s not even the tallest. Hard to believe, there’s a redwood 100 feet taller — 379.1 feet high. Ouch.