Rude Dolph the Red-Nosed Drunken Mall Santa; A Holiday Classic Realistically Reimagined

Rude Dolph the red nosed drunken mall Santa;

Had some very noxious breath.

Most kids who sat on his lap;

Begged him (please) for their own death.

All of the other mall Santas;

Thought that he had sullied their names,

So every time they saw him;

They brushed their fingers at him in shame.

Then one busy Christmas Eve;

The mall manager came to say,

“Rude Dolph with your breath so rank;

Won’t you eat these mints I got at the bank?”

Then how the children flocked to him;

And they shouted out with glee (yippee),

“Rude Dolph the red nosed drunken mall Santa;

Now you only smell like pee!”

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…accept my apologies.

A don’t…forget to brush your teeth, especially if your mouth is going to be close to people and you’re required to speak to them.

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Some Restaurant Whose Name I Dare Not Remember; A Disaster in Mexican-American Fusion

Greetings!,

I wish to regale you with a tale. It isn’t a tale of hope. It isn’t even a pleasurable tale. It is instead a tale of a horrible mistake. A mistake made by a young man and his father. It may be pleasurable to you. Being detached from the actual experience, you may find it quite humorous. Read on that you may be enlightened as to your reaction.

Before I begin, I firstly disclaim that, although I tell a tale of woe, I do not seek to discredit anyone whatsoever. It is perhaps a benefit that I do not remember the name of the terrible Mexican restaurant my father and I visited. Nor do I remember the town that it was in, although the state was Oklahoma. Go figure. Ridiculous Turnpike tolls and horrible Mexican restaurants. The only good thing to come out of Oklahoma for me is my beautiful and amazing wife. Well, her and that one Toby Keith song.

My father and I once traveled to a town fairly foreign to us to tow home one of our family’s cars that had broken down on the cursed Turnpike. After hooking up the car to my pickup truck, we decided that we were hungry. We pulled, connected and carefully, into a small town gas station and inquired as to the availability of “good food” in the area. The attendant for some reason suggested the Mexican place. Perhaps it was the only restaurant in the tiny town. If so, I’m sure the inhabitants rue their future for it is one bereft of culinary class and diversity.

We traversed the tiny roads, happy for the low population and empty streets, until the route we had been given terminated in the Mexican “restaurant” whose praises had been sung (sang? No, it’s sung.) at the gas station. In retrospect we should’ve considered the source. I’m not saying that gas station attendants have no taste. All I’m saying is that the edibles offered by gas station attendants generally inspire diarrhea.

We entered the place and were shown to a table by some people who were by no means Mexican. This should have been our first clue. My father and I are, however, quite dumb. We sat down and perused the menu. After ordering drinks my father proclaimed a need to evacuate either his liquid or solid waste repositories. I can’t remember which, and it probably is irrelevant and disgusting to try and remember anyway. He requested that, should the waitress approach before his return, I order him the buffet.

As it turned out, I placed our order, two buffets, as he was still preoccupied with his evacuations. I approached the wanting self-serve bar and filled a plate. There wasn’t much to choose from. The buffet was perhaps three feet long. There was some ground beef that had dried out on the top, a pan with taco shells that had cracked down the middle and some wilted lettuce.

Attempting to avoid diarrhea, I loaded my plate with the only other thing on offer that day, jalapeno poppers. Or so I thought. I returned to the table and, before my father returned, I had time to bite into a popper and be disappointed and confused.

When dad got back to the table, the waitress was there refilling my drink. Dad requested the house made salsa and went to fill a plate. When he returned, he found on the table a bowl of ketchup with jalapenos sliced into it and cilantro sprinkled on top.

As he sat he said with a grin, “You must experience the bathroom!”. After having eaten a few “jalapeno poppers” I was only to quick to agree. Before making my exit, however, I lifted a “popper” in salute and watched as he also bit into one. His face creased, as mine had, in disappointment and confusion.

They were not, in fact, jalapeno poppers. They weren’t, in any respect, Mexican food at all. They were pigs in a blanket.

As dad sat regretting our choice, I visited the men’s room, another choice to be regretted. The toilet sat upon a raised rostrum not even large enough to support the entire base of the toilet. Sitting upon this was an experience I’ll not explain in detail. Who needs to read about that? Suffice it to say, it was scary. The sink, if sink it could be called, was so shallow that I couldn’t fit both hands under the stream of water at once.

After washing each hand individually, I returned to our table for the most horribly non-mundane culinary experience I’ve ever had.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…take risks when you eat out. Many times you’ll find a “diamond in the rough”.

A don’t…eat at a Mexican restaurant staffed by white people. Or, if you must, tread very carefully. They may take too many liberties and present you with unexpected and horrible Mexican-American fusion disasters.

Fish Cupcakes Taste Like Fish? I Should Be Surprised if They Didn’t

My wife and I recently watched a cooking show. If you knew us, this would certainly not be news to you. Since you quite likely do not, enjoy this meaningless update.

Now.

Consider the following confession: My wife and I enjoy food. More specifically, we enjoy good food. The cooking show we watched most certainly did not feature good food, but we watched it anyway because, like most people we know, we are entranced by meaningless competition and procrastinate ludicrously when watching said meaningless competition.

You’ve likely gathered by now, due to contextual clues inherent in the preceding text, that we were watching a cooking competition. To narrow it down, it was a baking competition. The challenge presented to the competitors was to bake a certain number of cupcakes. They were given certain requirements upon which the cupcakes would be judged. Halfway through the time allotted to complete the cupcakes, they were given a surprise qualitative element that must be incorporated into the cupcakes.

Said element was the addition of fish. FISH!

The bakers, attempting to appear nonplussed by the mandate that they add fish, FISH!, to their cupcakes, scrambled to find the perfect fish, FISH!, to satisfy the judges.

Once the cupcakes were baked and the appropriate dramatic element had been achieved through the presentation of soundbites provided by bakers barely hiding their not nonplussed attitude at having to add fish, FISH!, to their cupcakes, the judges began to taste the offerings of the aforementioned bakers.

DISCLAIMER: Don’t read the previous sentence out loud. You’ll die of asphyxiation.

One of the judges actually said, in a snooty nasal voice, and I paraphrase, “Your cupcake is good, but it tastes like fish.”

What?

WHAT?

“It’s good, but it tastes like fish.”?!

You’re dinging them for a fish cupcake tasting like fish? One of the requirements was that the cupcake feature fish! And you’re upset that it tastes like fish?

Golly gee, I wonder why?

I’ll tell you why:

“It tastes like fish because IT’S FLIPPING FULL OF FISH!”

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…roll with the punches if you ever enter a baking competition. It seems it can become a strange, unfair, deliciously wild ride.

A don’t…bake fish, FISH!, cupcakes. Or eat them. Or have fish, FISH!, and cupcake materials in the same room with one another, let alone the same bowl, oven or serving apparatus.

 

Europe and the Sights You May Not Want to See or A Confused and Innocent American Abroad

It seems I look like a drug user. Now, before you get up in arms and accuse me of stereo-typing or profiling, consider the following facts:

  1. Substance abusers often tend to develop certain physical traits. These traits are generally the result of the havoc their substance of choice wreaks upon their bodies. These traits have nothing to do with the individual on a personal level and are therefore not stereo-typical of anyone of a certain race or background, rather of people with a proclivity toward certain substances.
  2. If you want to accuse anyone of profiling, accuse those who deal drugs on the dark street corners of Berlin and Amsterdam. They apparently assumed that I use drugs based only, I assume, on the facts that I am a white male and that I was passing through the dark street corners of Berlin and Amsterdam.

I can say this because I did not travel to Europe alone. I went with a Vietnamese friend and not once did anyone offer him drugs of any sort. I would say that perhaps these dealers assumed my friend spoke no language they would understand. This cannot be the case, however, because when a small man stepped out from behind a statue in Berlin he walked directly to me and said, in English and with no hint of question, “You want hashish.”

I asserted quite strongly that I certainly did not. He then, without ever addressing my friend, melted back into the shadows of Germany.

In Amsterdam a similar occurrence occurred. We passed a dark corner and from the shadows leapt, actually leapt, a small man. He, also without inflecting his voice to indicate a query, offered me illicit substances. This time it was cocaine. This time, he also used default English, though it sounded as if he barely spoke my language himself. Upon my decline he also faded back into the night, never addressing my friend.

It seems as if these discriminations are poor business practices for these guys because, based on a later incident at an Amsterdam coffee shop, my friend showed that he was in no way opposed to obtaining at least certain types of drugs. Perhaps he only wished to procure legal intoxicants and perhaps somehow these street dealers sensed that.

But how? And why didn’t they sense that I wanted no substances, legal or otherwise?And why did they always start with English? Unless they’d been following us and heard me speak, they’d have had no clue that I’m aware of that I speak English. What is it about me that identified me as an English speaking potential purchaser of illegal drugs? I wasn’t overweight at the time, although the Army with their nearly anorexic guidelines said differently, but I was by no means emaciated. I wasn’t covered in sores. I don’t have any involuntary twitches or any of the other tell tale signs of drug use I’ve come to recognize in the time I’ve worked at my current job.

So what was it?

No idea.

And apparently, whatever it was, it was pronounced enough that it wasn’t only drug dealers that recognized it. My friend and I, after landing in Frankfort, visited Berlin, London, Edinburgh, Wexford (a coastal town in Ireland with a very cozy B and B that had three or four beds to a room and a husband and wife that showed up at the door early every morning with a very satisfying breakfast and a newspaper), Paris and Barcelona. After Barcelona we sailed to some port in Italy and made our way to Rome where we were robbed by Gladiator impersonators who take your picture with your camera in various “I’m being killed by Gladiators” poses in front of the Coliseum, then demand an egregious amount of money for the honor of being photographed, on your own device, as they “kill” you.  After all this we took a train back to Munich to catch our flight home.

As we attempted to depart the train station three German police officers, one male, one female, one canine (a German Shepherd, of course), approached me. Me. Not my friend. The male officer asked, immediately in English although this time that was understandable because I had my touristy backpack on, “Where are you coming from?”

“Rome.”

“What is in your bag?”

“Clothes”, and reluctantly because I didn’t know the import/export/customs laws and had no desire to go to German jail, “A bottle of wine for a friend.”

“You have drugs in your bag.” Again, no hint of a question.

“No.”

“I will look in your bag.”

“Ok.” I said. I removed the pack from my back and held it out to him.

He sneered at me and then said, in what sounded like a Schwarzeneggeresque attempt to be intimidating (he was successful) “Get out of here.”

I gladly went. But so did they. They never once addressed my friend who had only barely remembered to rid himself of his remaining “legal” substance before we left Amsterdam.

I know you likely don’t know me, but there is nothing about me that I can see that indicates I have a desire to buy drugs or do drugs. Perhaps it’s simply a European thing. I’ve never been offered drugs on the dark streets of California or Seattle or even Las Vegas.

Who knows.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…visit Europe if you have the chance. There are many beautiful sights and sites to see. Stonehenge is especially impressive, as are Windsor castle and Notre Dame. Try the Donor Kebab. They are prolific and quite tasty.

A don’t…go unprepared. If you share whatever characteristic it is that identifies me, somehow, as an aspiring drug addled fiend, expect to be fending off small men at every shadow you pass. You could simply stay in at night, but where’s the fun in that?

Sweet and Then Sour; A Five Year Old Imitates a Popular Gummy Candy Although the Order is Reversed

I habitually call home as I leave work. I do this because I love my family and I can spend a few extra minutes interacting with their minds, even though we aren’t physically together.

A couple of days ago my wife was busy straightening up our board game cabinet. (We are huge board game people. Our Christmas tradition is to buy a game for the family. This year is going to be Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and I couldn’t be more excited.) She was a little stressed so she handed the phone off to the five year old boy we love so much.  I asked him how his day went and shortly after this conversation petered out he said “You’re my favorite sweet-pea.”

I responded with similarly sappy drivel and said “Thank you, buddy! You’re my favorite sweet-pea too!”

I drove on for a few seconds reveling in the pure love my son had just expressed. My son was silent also and I could hear muted conversations in the background over my son as he breathed right into the phone.

I was nearly startled off the road when he snarled “I’m going to fight you.” It sounded as if a demon had stolen the phone and spoken to me from the depths of the appalling Inferno envisioned by Dante. I was understandably taken aback and remained silent for a moment before uttering a tentative “What?”

“I’m going to fight you!”

“You’re going to bite me?”

He wasn’t speaking clearly and my brain was busy composing a “The power of Christ compels you!” type of speech.

“No. I’m going to fight you!”

“But…wh…wh…wh…wh…why?” I stammered, confused.

And then, in a sweet, nearly sing-song voice he said “Because you’re my favorite sweet-pea!”

“Why would you fight your favorite sweet-pea, buddy?”

“Because,” he said, “you’re my favorite sweet-pea!”

I’m still pondering whether or not to contact some Catholic authority.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…enjoy your family despite their occasional demonic quirks.

A don’t…forget the look up the Pope’s address. You know. Just in case.

P.S. Here’s a demonic quote from my seven year old daughter, just so you understand my concern: “I’m thankful for the dead people because they died.”

Sweet dreams fellow bloggers and blog readers. I hope your family is much less demented than mine apparently is.

Wallets or Billfolds: Is There a Life Lesson in Considering Them?

I want to share some food for thought. It might not be very tasty to some, however, if we stretch our minds way way way out, we might be able to somehow find some philosophy in it.

The thought, or more correctly, the query is: Are billfolds called billfolds because they fold bills as they close or are they called billfolds because the billfold itself folds while containing bills? It doesn’t seem like it would be worthy of consideration but, as I said be, we might be able to pull some meaning out of it.

First, let’s consider the question without scratching the surface. If they are called billfolds because they fold bills then only the ones that fold in half or in thirds would rightly be called billfolds but could also be referred to as wallets. The longer ones that either clasp and sit in a purse or stick way up out of, most commonly, a cowboy’s or farmer’s pocket could only be called wallets. This creates a situation in which all billfolds are wallets but not all wallets are billfolds. Hooray.

If they are called billfolds because the fold while containing bills they are all wallets and/or billfolds depending upon your preference. Unless someone has invented a rigid item with a slot into which you slide bills without folding the bill or the item. We won’t go into that, however, because then we would have to determine whether, if the item were made of a single piece of material, would it mean that it was simply permanently pre-folded and therefore a billfold? Also, if it were made of multiple pieces, therefore undeniably not folded, with a hinged piece that opens for bill retrieval would manipulating the hinge count as folding? Getting into that, though, would be a nightmare of technical babbling that would render us all confused and angry so I shall avoid this at all costs and stick with the original question which, probably, is confusing and angering anyone reading this more than they’re enjoying anyway.

With that all behind us, let’s look at what, if any, lesson we may draw from the distinctions between wallets and billfolds. This seems weak to me, but it’s the best I’ve got: No matter what they’re called, and whether or not anyone is offended by one term or the other, wallets and billfolds by either name perform their functions impervious to our meanderings. Both are designed for a certain purpose and, though the designs may differ, they do what they are designed to do. Perhaps if we, as people of all different titles and statuses and colors and countless other distinctions, perform our functions impervious to the tags that others may pin upon us, we will be a stronger people more capable of higher thought because our minds are free of the stresses of worrying about what other people think we are or are designed to do.

And so you see, even the most ridiculous of thoughts can be used to edify if we try hard enough.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…be a wallet if you’re a wallet, even if others think you’re a billfold. We are all in this together and have basically the same purpose despite our physical differences.

A don’t…think I profess it to be easy. A wallet is an inanimate object and does what it does due to our manipulation. I understand that we, as thinking, feeling beings, will have a harder time with this. This was all simply my attempt to draw meaning from a random thought I had. I hope it made some sense to you.

 

End of the World Prophecies End, The World Survives; A Possible Solution to the Age-old Conundrum

Perhaps you’ve heard the most recent Doomsday report that claims the world will end Saturday. If you haven’t, the end of the world has been predicted for Saturday, September 23, 2017. Get ready.

Or don’t bother. We all know that it won’t happen (not all of us, I guess. Most of us). The Mayans were wrong. Perhaps more fairly put, the people who “interpreted” an ancient calendar with no surviving users were wrong. Nostradamus was wrong, (I’m no expert on Nostradamus but surely he’s prophesied on this) web bots were wrong. Biblical scholars, Jewish scholars and crack-pot prognosticators have all been wrong. It isn’t because they are stupid or uneducated. Perhaps it is simply because the world has already ended and we are already in some sort of after-life.

It’s very simple to throw out theories like this. Rest assured, I have substantial evidence to back my claim.

Let’s consider technology. High-end tech labs continue to churn out products at a pace that is nearly as unbelievable as the products themselves. I heard on the radio the other day about a phone security app that gives access to you only after scanning your face to be sure you are an authorized user. Apparently this even adjusts itself over time so that it continues to recognize you even as your face droops with age. Amazing! Slightly scary. Fraught with bugs? We should know the answer to that in about ten or twenty years. I also heard about a pair of pants that will vibrate one leg or the other to notify you that you need make a turn as you progress toward your destination. That’ll be off the market as soon as someone allows their pants to lead them into the path on an oncoming train. Maybe the pants are smart enough to detect trains. At the very least you could call someone smarty pants and literally be correct. It’s about time. Thank you, techno geeks. But I digress.

The unbelievable nature of these products and the speedy  jumps of technological history could be attributed to the fact that the world has already ended. This would go a long way to explaining why these unrealities are realities. They could simply be mass hallucinations inspired by something in the atmosphere we believe we are breathing in.

If we were already in an after-life setting this would also explain Bigfoot, UFOS, ghosts, ESP and every other new-age idea and supernatural experience. People don’t die, they just leave behind their “body” and become invisible.( Or maybe there’s some after- life after the after-life. I hadn’t considered that until just now.) Some people have really seen Bigfoot. Some people have actually been abducted by aliens. People can really read minds and make the Statue of Liberty disappear and keep their teeth white and do any other unbelievable thing because the science we profess to understand doesn’t apply here like it did before the world ended.

Anyway, just food for thought.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…think about it.

A don’t…overthink it.