Friday, July 11, 2014

It’s In The Bible

Absurd excuses abound in our every day life.  We hear them from elected officials, so-called “religious” folk, the neighbor across the hall, friends, enemies, co-workers, and the Internet. Our brains are constantly being flooded with absurdities in the social media obsessed 21st Century. 

People are spewing hateful tirades and hideous beliefs. They have the audacity to say all it’s in the name of “God” and the proof/truth/excuse for their actions is “In the Bible.”

I’ve perused the Bible and can’t seem to find those phrases everyone seems to quote when they’re defending themselves. 

Sadly I think the Bible is the most mis-interpreted and mis-quoted book of all time, and the least-read book of all time. It’s lost its way (and its real messages). It seems to me people twist and turn the passages any way they want to support whatever idiotic thing they say. 

All these distorted interpretations of the Bible are just an excuse for bad behavior: 

I hate you because of the color of your skin.  Why?  The Bible says so.

God loves me and hates you. Why?  The Bible says so.

Loving who you love guarantees you eternity in hell. Why? The Bible says so. 

Sherri Shepherd is leaving The View because it says so in the Bible. True! 

Everyone should attend a tea party and forfeit coffee. Why? The Bible says so. 

Throwing bombs at non-believers and killing them is the right thing to do. Why?  The Bible says so. 

Well… I’ve decided to backup all my absurd beliefs and inane spewings with the phrase “It’s in the Bible.”  This way no one can dispute me because it’s in the Bible, and no one questions what’s in the Bible. 

Here’s what I say:

No one should be allowed to watch Fox News. Why? It’s in the Bible.

Never wear sandals when crossing a parting sea. Why? It’s in the Bible. 

Malbec wine should not be served with poisson. Why? It’s in the Bible. 

Everyone who doesn’t go to the gym regularly should not be allowed to eat ice cream. Why? It’s in the Bible.

I dare you to prove me wrong… Why? Because it’s in the Bible. 

The most important thing I know for certain is that absurd excuses for bad behavior give God a throbbing migraine. 

How do I know that? 

God told me.  

Sunday, July 06, 2014

How Yummy is Your iPhone?

I shouldn’t walk around my neighborhood anymore. Every time I do I see something a little odd and it pokes at my brain for the rest of the day and causes me to do things I normally wouldn’t do. 

Today while walking along I saw a man coming out of a coffee shop and heading up the street towards me.  As he approached he licked the front of his iPhone. Oh yes he did.  With his tongue hanging like a dog’s tongue that’s been in the heat too long he licked the front of his iPhone from bottom to top in one long quick swoop.

He saw me see him do this and there was no twinkle of laughter or look of embarrassment or shock of shame.  My immediate thought was this wasn’t his first time licking his iPhone, and probably not the first time licking his iPhone in public. 

Well… that got me thinking… what does an iPhone taste like?  

I thought about it and the thought consumed me. I suddenly had this desire, this need, this uncontrollable urge to lick my own iPhone.  But since I was outside I didn’t want anyone seeing me do it. (We all know how judgmental people can be.)

So… as soon as I got home I pulled it our of my pants and lifted it to my face. I closed my eyes and let my tongue hang low and with one quick swoop I licked it. 

Here it goes...
It tasted just like bacon.  

Who knew that Apple was so innovative, so 23rd Century in a 21st Century world, giving iPhones flavor?  

I suggest taking the iPhone taste test… maybe yours tastes like bacon too? Or maybe yours is coconut shrimp flavored or coffee flavored or pizza flavored or southern fried chicken flavored? 

My secret desire is when I get my next iPhone it’ll taste like a Dunkin’ Donut. I’d lick it every morning for sure… and I’d sneak out of the office to lick it whenever I needed a mid-day snack… and then I’d lick before bed just for the fun of it. 

So what are you waiting for? 

Give it a try and give it a lick. 

How yummy is your iPhone? 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Tick Tock Crazy Hateful Midge

It must be difficult being Midge.  

She’s an old lady bully.   Actually she’s probably not as old as she looks. In human years she’s probably early 50s though she looks mid to late 60s. Her hateful heart has aged her and not like a good wine. She’s the bad tasting vinegar that needs to be flushed down the toilet. 

Sadly everybody knows a Midge.  For you she might be Laura or Lisa or Thelma or Adriana or even Shawanda.  For me she’s Midge.  A midge is a small two-winged fly that swarms near water or marshy areas where it breeds. How appropriate for the Midge I know.

People warned me not to befriend her, not to trust her, but in that small corner of my brain where I naively believe there’s goodness in everyone I felt the human duty to give her a chance.  I assumed kindness would beget kindness. I was wrong. 

We worked together a few years ago. When I first got there Midge made it clear she was the office leader. Her boss was the big boss and she embraced the power of the position.  There was no questioning Midge. If you didn’t agree with her she would bully you relentlessly until she got her way. 

One day she had a loud tick tock crazy fight with Jimmy the personnel manager and decided she hated him with a passion so intense it was scary.  From then on he could never do anything right and everything he said she mimicked.  She would instant message terrible things about him to anyone who had their instant messenger open.  Others in the office were afraid to call her on her bad behavior.  It was the “better him than me” attitude. 

I tried eating lunch with her a few times but always suffered severe indigestion afterwards.  I then tried water cooler small talk but always left the conversation with a dry mouth and a fear of water coolers. 

A few days after her fight with Jimmy I saw a crouching Midge, her fat ass looking like a beat up beach ball ready to pop, in the parking lot wandering between cars. That evening when Jimmy went to drive home he found his car antenna bent into a knot. 

Jimmy knew she bent his antenna, and when he confronted her she denied it which only made the situation worse.  Shortly thereafter Jimmy took a job at another company. And shortly thereafter I was fortunate to find a better job. 

I often wonder what makes someone like Midge such a hateful bully.  

Her heart is as shriveled as a pitted prune.  

Maybe someday she’ll tire of being so hateful and make a spiritual change for the better.

Until that happens… if you ever meet Midge… run the other way! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Supermarket Maze

I love spontaneity.  For me it’s like a double expresso after midnight, a quick high of carefree adrenaline to offset my otherwise dullard existence.

In the name of spontaneity I sometimes have white wine instead of my beloved red, pork instead of chicken, quinoa instead of rice, and if I’m feeling dangerously spontaneous I wear my red jockstrap with my white gym shorts. 

Other times I hit shuffle on my iPod just to mix rhythms.  Ooo wee my hips go crazy and my head gets dizzy keeping up with dangling dance beats.  

Sometimes when I wake up and the blues hang heavy over my bed I add cinnamon to my coffee grinds to give my tongue a delicious zip with that first sip.

Those moments of spontaneity are mine to do as I please and when I please. 

There are things in life I don’t like to spontaneously change, especially when I’m not in a  spontaneous mood.  

Currently my favorite supermarket has begun rearranging its store shelves. For the store I’m certain it’s not the least bit spontaneous but the result of months of research and planning, but for me it’s a spontaneous change I didn’t want.

It took me by surprise and sent me on an emotional tailspin. I felt like a mouse in a maze searching desperately for the cheese, and I wanted the cheese and I wanted it badly, and the cheese was no where to be found. 

I clutched my shopping list tightly as I roamed from aisle to aisle.  Where did they put the English Muffins?  Where did they shelve the Pepperidge Farms Milano Melts?  Where oh where did they hide the coffee? Where the fuck was the coffee! 

Nacho chips replaced cereal.  Canned vegetables assaulted me when I was expecting olive oil.  Peanut butter seemed to disappear. The shelf where it happily sat for years was now empty and lonely. 

I was so discombobulated I almost bought decaf beans instead of caffeinated beans, which is the ultimate mortal coffee sin. And we all know all the cinnamon in the world cannot save a cup of decaf.

After taking what felt like hours to find everything on my list I zoomed my cart around other shoppers, almost knocking a few to the ground, to get to the checkout.  The cashier noticed my discomfort and assured me the changes will only enhance the shopper experience.  I didn’t believe her.

I asked how long until the changes are done and she said another few weeks.  

I paid for my groceries and ran from the store. When I got home I realized I purchased two cans of Fancy Feast cat food instead of two cans of Chicken of the Sea. 

Damn. I hate cats. I hate cat food. 

From now on I’m buying my groceries online.  

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Army Protects Los Feliz

I love all things off beat of the avenue. Those out of the ordinary things that make you stop mid-step to take notice. Those things that ignite a smile with “Hey, I wish I thought of that!”

In the past I’ve been excited by ruby red shoes hanging across telephone lines in the middle of the street.  The first time I saw them I was at a traffic light and they were dangling high above my car. I took out my camera for a photo and was so enthralled with the mystery of why they were there that I forgot to drive when the light turned green.  The impatient car behind me didn’t appreciate my enthusiasm for ruby red shoes. 

The ruby reds have been replaced recently by hanging Teddy Bears.  They dangle above the traffic like pinatas for birds. I giggle every time I see them. 

Today while roaming Hillhurst Avenue in Los Feliz I noticed a small army figure poised on top of a parking meter.  I was immediately flooded with memories. This was the same army figure I had in my toy chest as a child.  I wanted to touch it, to reposition it, to aim it towards the enemy lines.  I wanted to be that soldier and be all that I can be.

I looked further down the street and saw other army figures on top of other parking meters.  They were all there protecting us from whatever it is we need protection from in Los Feliz… aliens? meter maids? actors? 

Was it Uncle Sam saying I Want You?  I really don’t know but I did have a surge of patriotic pride. 

Will the Los Angeles Times run the headline “Army Protects Los Feliz” in tomorrow’s edition? 

Other people were walking along the street and not noticing the army men standing guard.  They were too busy texting, chatting on their phones, and picking their noses to even notice what was happening around them.  

Who is the person who put their army men at risk for the protection of Los Feliz folk? 

Is that person my neighbor or someone I’ve worked with or even a friend?   

Was that person at that moment watching me from afar? 

Was I being video taped for some reality show? 

I wanted to snatch one of the army men. I really did but I didn’t.  What would I do with it once I got it home?  I’d probably display it on my desk beside my computer and autographed photos of Donald Trump, Milli Vanilli, and Monica Lewinsky.  I’d probably play with it whenever I got bored with writing.

But kidnapping the army is a crime, and I’m no criminal. 

I took a few photos and continued on my way. 

And as I walked away I hummed Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy… of Company B. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Celebration of Life Party

Have you ever wondered what your friends and loved ones would say about you at your funeral? 

I never gave it much thought until recently. As age increases there’s always the fear that you might be closer to the end than you think. When asked I always say I’m somewhere between 35 and death, hopefully closer to 35 than death, but hey… the clock only ticks forward and never backwards. 

A friend of a friend of a friend’s mother is facing the end and instead of waiting to die for a celebration of her life she decided to have a “Celebration of Life” party honoring herself.  It was a barbecue.  She made her famous potato salad, grilled lots of meat, and let the sangria flow freely.  Guests arrived with jello salad, chips and salsa, Trader Joe’s cookies, macaroni salad, and deviled eggs.

I heard it was quite the party.  Sure there were genuine tears of sadness, but in the end everyone had a terrific time and shared their memories and thoughts about the woman to her face. How sweet. How honest. How wonderful. 

This got me thinking of all the celebration of life possibilities for the near dead.  There could be themed celebrations such as black tie, super heroes, togas, nudist, Renaissance Faire, or even zombies. 

I’m certain Tiffany or Debbie Gibson or Aha or Vanilla Ice or even The Captain and Tennille would provide affordable entertainment. Maybe even Lady Gaga.  

If I were to do my Celebration of Life party I would do a Bowling Celebration of Life with musical entertainment by Kim Carnes. Everyone would be required to wear a vintage bowling shirt and to bring their balls. We would all bowl together sharing balls celebrating strikes, spares, and gutter balls too.  

There’d be lots of laughter, libations, and liver pate.  The multitude of people attending would recall glorious memories and tell heartwarming hysterical stories about me. They would shed tears like Niagara Falls when the party ended. And as they left I would present each one with my favorite flower, a sunflower.

Aah but I’m not quite ready to kick the bucket nor tidy up my bucket list. I anticipate another decade or two before I reserve the Bowladrome and send out the invitations. 

If money becomes an issue and I can’t afford a Celebration of Life party then I’d like to die quickly.  I’d like to have an intense fart followed by a sharp pain through the chest then belching “yabba dabba do so long folks!” and collapsing… and boarding the express train to heaven.  

My preferred way to die is to have the bowling party and then die of old age.  The actual moment would come during an afternoon nap.  When I close my eyes I’d see a tour bus like the ones those country stars travel in, and with Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers serenading me with “Islands In The Stream” I’d willingly board that bus… Destination Heaven. 

My death is something to look forward to, but not yet (I hope). 

In the meantime, as a precaution, I refrain from gassy foods and afternoon naps. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Wadda Wadda Wadda Lady

On Saturday I went to the neighborhood Coffee Bean to meet a friend for java and conversation.  I arrived early and found a table in the far corner of the patio with plenty of shade and no direct sunlight to induce squinting.

Seated at the table beside me was an attractive older woman in her early 70s. She was seated by herself.  When I sat down we smiled at each other.

I proceeded to unwrap my Lemon Currant Scone and sip my coffee while she proceeded to dial her phone.

Then I heard her speak, and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She seemed to be saying “Wadda Wadda Wadda” not once or twice but repeatedly.  It was very rhythmic with melodic highs and lows and a few breaks to catch her breath and start all over again.

Was I hearing correctly? 

Wadda wadda wadda wadda wadda… wadda wadda… wadda…

Was she a fellow Bostonian with a heavy Bostonian accent?  Was she telling the person on the phone to be sure to have plenty of “water” on hand for the hot, hot day? 

After hearing her say it over and over again I decided she wasn’t a Bostonian because a Bostonian would only have to say it once, and the person listening would know exactly what was being said.

Then I thought she was speaking a foreign language I never heard before.  But that didn’t make sense. I know a lot of people and have experienced a lot of foreign tongue and nothing I’ve experienced ever resembled what she was saying.

She hung up the phone and looked at me and smiled broadly. I returned the smile. In her eyes I saw something I’ve never seen before. It was a far away look, though friendly, but definitely far away, maybe from a far away galaxy.

She dialed her phone again and began the same phrase but with a different, more staccato rhythm.

Wadda wadda… wadda… wadda wadda… wadda wadda… wadda…

Then I remembered actress Anne Heche telling Barbara Walters she had a split personality with its own language. Was this woman on the phone with Anne Heche?  She seemed to be enthralled by her conversation.

When the conversation ended she turned her attention to me and began talking.

Wadda… wadda wadda.. wadda wadda wadda!

I didn’t know how to respond. I wondered if I should wadda wadda wadda along with her or talk to her in English or French or Pig Latin?  Before I could decide she stood up and gathered her things.  She smiled a huge smile as if she was the happiest woman in the world. At that moment I believed she was and her happiness was infectious.  I was suddenly giddy.

The wadda wadda wadda Lady waved good bye.

I too waved good bye.

And that was my Saturday morning adventure at The Coffee Bean.