Friday, June 10, 2016

My Fear of Flat

Everybody fears something.

Some fears are warranted and some fears are downright silly. Well, silly when you’re not the one who’s fearing. I have a silly fear…

I fear flat tires.

When I see people on the side of the road with a flat tire I immediately pray to the God of Flat Tires to have their tires suddenly inflate so they can go on with whatever it was they were doing before the dreadful “Hsssssssssssssssss” and lopsided drive that forced them to the side of the road. (Can you sense my anxiety when reading that sentence?)

My fear began years ago when I was a husky teen (aka fat-assed). Yes, I was husky and frequently bought pants in the husky section of Sears Roebuck. Some people would say it was baby fat, but once puberty hits, it’s no longer baby fat, it’s just plain ‘ole fat.

So there I was a teenage fat-assed kid with the back tire of my Sears ten-speed flat. I walked my bike up the street to the nearest Shell Gas Station to fill my tire with air.

The first thing I saw was my arch-enemy’s mother at the gas pump filling her car with gas.  I looked at her. She looked at me. There was eye contact, but certainly no acknowledgment. An omen of things to come…

I must confess, at that time of my life I was a virgin-air-pumper. I had no idea how to properly fill a tire, so I kept filling the tire until it felt real hard and full.

I then climbed on top of the bike to ride it home.  Once my fat-ass hit the seat there was a loud pop and an extra-long “Hsssssssssssssssss.”  My tire blew like an exploding fart that shakes your body to its core.

My arch-enemy’s mother heard it all and saw me and my fat-ass on my bike with a now exploded tire. That bitch smirked. Smirked!

All I could do was slide myself off the bike, pretend I wasn’t completely humiliated and wheel the flat-tire bike home.

From that one incident came a deep rooted fear of flat tires.

Whenever my car warning light goes on saying the tires need air, I immediately get myself to the car dealer and have them do it. 

I refuse to ever pump air into a tire again. I’d rather walk or crawl than to suffer again the fear-inducing ego deflation I felt when I over pumped my tire those many years ago.

And that's my silly fear... my fear of flat... tires.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blinded by the Light of a Do-Right Angel

I try to be a good person and I try to do the right thing, but sometimes in my quest to be honest I get kicked in the nuts.

A couple of weeks ago I got kicked in the nuts, and my nuts are still sore.

Let me tell you my tale of woe…

I ordered a three-month supply of daily contact lenses from my eye doctor. Shortly thereafter a package arrived with my three-month supply. I was happy. My eyes were thrilled. I now could wear funky fun and colorful sunglasses.

Then a week later another package arrived with another three-month supply of contacts.

The Devil on my left shoulder kept yelling, “Bingo! Three months free!” whereas the Angel on my right shoulder kept singing in a high pitched falsetto, “A decent man would do the right thing!”

I kept vacillating between right and wrong, and with each vacillation the difference between wrong and right blurred. Should I? Shouldn’t I?

This inner struggle was overwhelming so I reached out to my friends for advice and soon realized all my friends are devils… well, not all my friends…  one friend appealed to my suburban Catholic upbringing and asked, “How were you raised?” Then I thought of my dead mother looking down from Heaven, shaking her head, and saying, “I didn’t raise you to do the wrong thing.”  

I was blinded by the light of a do-right Angel.

I called the eye doctor’s office and confessed I received a second package. I foolishly assumed they would embrace my honesty and send me a pre-paid return receipt.  I was so wrong.  

The woman in the office, who normally was a nice person, gave me bad attitude. She wanted me to hand deliver the package to them even though she knew I’m working 12-hour days and cannot get there. I work in one direction and her office is in the other.

When I suggested she send me a pre-paid return label she refused to pay for the postage.

I calmly reminded her I did not order the second package. It was their error (probably hers) and not mine, but she still refused to pay the postage. Refused!

Back and forth and back and forth we’ve gone and it’s still not resolved. All this over a pre-paid postage label.

This has certainly taught me a harsh life-lesson: No good deed goes unpunished.

I can see clearly now… and what I see is that I need a new eye doctor.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

She’s Pregnant and He’s Dead

Sometimes I say things I shouldn’t say, and stick my size 10 1/2 foot into my rather large mouth. What follows should be regret, but in most instances, I see the humor in what happened and find myself in bed giggling myself to sleep. 

Here’s one of those instances… 

After I graduated from college I was taking a step aerobics class and saw an old friend from high school. I hadn’t seen her since high school graduation, and was quite excited when I saw her in the sea of spandex that surrounded me. 

We ran over to each other. Hugs and hellos. 

I immediately noticed her rather large belly and stepped back to admire her pregnancy glow. In my moment of glee, I congratulated her and asked how soon was her due date. She suddenly tensed, backed away, and her “glad to see me smile” immediately disappeared. “I’m not pregnant!” she screeched.  

What do you do in a moment like that?  I instinctively made an “egad, what the fuck did I just say” face, and stammered a rather wimpy “I’m sorry” and quickly tried to change the subject. She stormed away. 

The few times I did see her since that pregnant/not pregnant interaction she refused to speak to me. 

It was an honest mistake… she gained a lot of weight and I made an unfortunate assumption. My new pregnancy rule is that I won’t congratulate a woman on being pregnant until she’s in labor and I witness the baby crowning. 

And here’s another mouth-in-foot incident… 

A few years after high school graduation I ran into someone from high school who told me a former classmate, who was bullied all through school, had recently committed suicide. I was deeply saddened with the news. I just couldn’t imagine him doing something like that. 

I told everyone I knew, and anyone who’d listen, about this man’s suicide. 

A couple of weeks later, I was at a social gathering and, with a tear in my eye, I told everyone about the bullied man committing suicide. One of the women in the group listened intently. She seemed confused and had me repeat the man’s name. She confirmed she knew him too and, doing her best to conceal a laugh, said, “That’s so strange because I had drinks with him last night.” What? 

I was speechless. I told the world he was dead…

My new death rule is I don’t tell anyone about someone’s death until I have a notarized death certificate in hand, or I see them in their casket. 

So…  To clarify… She’s NOT pregnant and he’s NOT dead. 

Giggle… giggle… good night…

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bad Day? Think Yellow…

Life has its good days and life has its bad days. 

Sometimes it feels more bad than good… Like when you wake up and don’t have any half-and-half in the refrigerator for your coffee, or having your cowlick stand erect no matter how much gel you use, or having to celebrate a co-worker's birthday, or when you get a flat tire and AAA takes more than an hour to come and fix it, or… well, I think you know what I mean. We’ve all be there.

For me, every time I’m experiencing a bad day I quickly remember my “yellow” experience. 

Yellow, oh yellow. That bright glorious color has left an indelible stain in my life. 

Years ago I worked a summer job in a chemical company. I was in the canning department where I spent all day filtering adhesives, paints, and coatings into drums to be shipped to the vendor. 

One afternoon I was given the task of hoisting, via chains, 250 gallons of canary yellow paint about 5 1/2 feet in the air, attach a filter, and filter it into 50 gallon drums.  I’d done it before and knew the procedure precisely. 

I attached the chains and easily hoisted it into the air.  Then I removed the outer valve to attach the filter. What I didn’t realize is that the person who filled the tank with the canary yellow paint neglected to close the security valve.  

Suddenly 250 gallons of canary yellow paint came pouring out of the spout.  The pressure was intense and all I could do was hold on as canary yellow paint covered me from the neck down. 

If I had hoisted that tank another six inches it would’ve hit me in the eyes, nose, and mouth, and I probably would have drowned. My obituary would’ve read, “He Died in a Sea of Yellow.” 

By the time someone came to my rescue I was glowing yellow in a pool of yellow paint.  

For weeks I found canary yellow in the crevices of my skin, from my underarms to my crotch to between my elongated toes. Yellow! Yellow! Yellow! 

My co-workers nicknamed me “Yellow Bird.” 

That was truly a bad day.

So whenever I’m having a bad day, I think yellow, and suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad. 

(True story.) 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Drunken Jerk Sues Uber Driver

I love reading about jerks who get caught misbehaving who then apologize profusely with tears running their puffy little cheeks, insisting it wasn’t their fault. It was the liquor that made them do it.

Benjamin Golden is one of those jerks. 

You’re probably wondering who he is and why he’s such a jerk. 

Back in October of 2015 Benjamin Golden was rip-roaring drunk and attacked his Uber driver when the driver ended the ride because Golden was too drunk to give him an address . The driver caught the whole attack on his dashboard camera, called the police, and the drunk Golden was arrested.  

When the video was posted on the Internet it garnered thousands upon thousands of views, and Golden’s employer, Taco Bell, promptly fired him as their Mobile Experience & Innovation Lead. "Given the behavior of the individual, it is clear he can no longer work for us.” (Yeah Taco Bell!)

In an interview Golden said he was sincerely sorry. "I'm ashamed to say I got to that point. I don't normally do that and this is a situation where I did.  I handled it wrong in a wrong way. I crossed the line. It was caught on camera. I have to face it.”

Boo hoo! The only reason he apologized was because he got caught.

You’d think the story would end there. Golden would put on his big boy pants and face his punishment and move on. Instead, Golden has filed a $5 million suit against the Uber driver. 

Why? He claims the Uber driver illegally recorded him, and because it was shown on the Internet, he further claims he’s suffered emotional distress and anxiety. 

Is this guy for real? What about the emotional distress he caused the Uber driver, and the anxiety all Uber drivers feel when someone like Benjamin Golden gets into their car?

A child needs to be punished like a child… Golden needs a “time out” in jail to think about what he’s done, and then ordered to write five million times:

My name is Benjamin Golden and I am a jerk.
My name is Benjamin Golden and I am a jerk. 
My name is Benjamin Golden and I am a jerk.

My name is Benjamin Golden and I am a jerk.
My name is Benjamin Golden and I am a jerk.
My name is Benjamin Golden and I am a jerk. 

Anyone wanna join me for a taco or two at Taco Bell?

I’ll meet you there. 

I’m taking an Uber.