Random Thoughts on James Taylor, Heat Waves and Pizza Company Desserts

Random Thoughts

Once in a while I come up with a great idea for a new Top 5 List but simply cannot come up with the five ideas needed to round it out. It happens all the time. You can stop me at any given time and I will have four or five sheets of paper in my back pocket loaded with half filled out Top 5 Lists. I’ve been doing this for a long time and it is bordering on an obsession at this point.

So I figured I would take a few of those un-finished lists and put them together into one Random Thoughts piece. Just because I lack the creativity to round out the list of musicians who I wish would simply disappear into the next sunset and stop embarrassing themselves with new and horrible music is no reason to let James Taylor off the hook.

Musicians who need to go away –

You would be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t like at least one James Taylor song. Even a head banging metal freak knows the words to Fire and Rain but the time has come for James to bring this act to a close. He wrote a song about a hundred years ago called Walking Man, he needs to be that guy now and walk.

James Taylor has not had a decent song in over twenty years and that’s being kind. Truthfully he hasn’t recorded a listenable piece of music since like 1980. That’s going on forty years and yet he continues to churn out album after album without any sense of self-respect. He has single handedly made himself completely irrelevant and destroyed what would have been a Herculean legacy of music.

At this point in his career James Taylor reminds me of my dad when we have a party. Two hours after the party is over my dad is asleep in the chair with zero intention of leaving. He simply has no concept of people wanting to go to bed. He’s 80 and really doesn’t have anything better to do which I think might be afflicting JT. I love my dad but it’s agonizing much like how James is now agonizing,

In addition, this bullshit bucolic act he puts on with the denim shirts and the leather hat coupled with this never ending stream of idiotic songs about blacksmithing and black licorice has made him into a clown. Nicki Minaj is regaling us with songs about her “anus” and James is still singing about railroad cars and picnics. Now I’m not going so far as to say that I appreciate the musical musing about one’s anus but I am saying that the world has passed moved on from poor James.

Is he broke? Is his wife a bitch and he needs to get out of the house? What?

Indian heat wave –

This is more of a current event rather than a part of a Top 5 List but if I were to assign it to an actual list, I would file it under the Top 5 Things I Don’t Understand.

Currently there is a killer heat wave going on in India with daily temperatures hitting 47 degrees Celsius.

Writers note:

I wondered just what 47 degrees Celsius equates to in the Fahrenheit scale since this whole metric system thing never really caught on and was told to simply multiply it by 5/9 or 9/5 then divide by something or other. WTF? I don’t remember how to do any of that shit so I just looked it up and found it to be somewhere in the 120 degree range. That’s pretty effing hot.

Sadly, some 1400 people have died. This is sad, no doubt but what flummoxes me is an article in the India Times, which I assume is a paper in, no surprise, India. First of all, the India Times? There are like over a billion people in India and they have one paper covering everything? The obituary section alone has got to be the size of the Manhattan phone book! What poor bastard has to deliver this daily tome?  Anyway, the article said that the Indian government was mounting a crusade to inform the people suffering in this inhuman heat to stay in the shade and to wear light clothes.

Really? You have to tell people that it’s hotter in the sun and that they probably shouldn’t be wearing that wool overcoat when the thermometer bust into three digits? The weirdest part of the whole thing is that the death toll actually dropped the following week once this advice hit the streets further reinforcing my belief that at least half of the earth’s inhabitants IQ’s hover someplace near full blown idiot.

Shouldn’t the fact that you’re hot be enough to move into the shade? Profuse sweating is an indicator that maybe now isn’t the best time to be sporting that new North Face jacket no matter how awesome you may think you look in it. The need to maintain a non-lethal body temperature is innate in all of us, so I thought. I’m at a loss.

Pizza company desserts –

I was trying to assemble a Top 5 List of the companies who should have stuck with what made them good in the first place but was stymied at only one which kind of defeats the idea of a Top 5. Anywho, what is this obsession with stores like Papa John’s and Domino’s insisting on making desserts? I guess I know there is the never ending quest to find ways of increasing revenue but taking a pizza crust and coating it in cinnamon and icing does not constitute a dessert. Pizza crust is basically bread and when you add sugared toppings to bread, it’s called toast. I don’t want to pay to have toast delivered to my house and, frankly, I’m offended and pissed that he tried to slide this by me. Look blowhole, you have left over dough, suck it up and throw it away like everybody else does. Don’t dress up your garbage and sell it to us.

I made the unfortunate decision to purchase one of these atrocities a few months back from Papa John’s. It’s no secret that I am known to make bad food decisions when I am even remotely hungry so I don’t fault myself but, my God, this thing was just awful. It makes me hate their pizza which is why I say, stick to what made you good in the first place. You don’t see the people who make those Easter egg dying kits branching off into making missiles and land mines so what makes Papa think that we will welcome his pathetic desserts?

I think this went well. I got to use up some material that would be otherwise lost to my lack of creativity.

“Are you Alice menstruating?”

“What has that got to do with anything?!?!”

“Hey, back off man. I’m a scientist.”

Trying to Lose Weight

Trying to Lose Weight

I hate to harp on the “getting old” theme but I am currently struggling with the inability to lose weight. Like no matter how little I eat, and please don’t start with the “your body is in starvation mode” bullshit as I am clearly not talking about living on meals of kale thrown back with a big frothing bowl of steam. I am eating plenty but simply trying to control the portion sizes I ingest and still, I lose no weight. I can pretty much eat as much as I want and stand par so common sense should dictate that if I cut back on the junk and portion sizes, I logically, should get thinner. Sadly, this is apparently not so. My body has found a way to defy physics. Pretty awesome right?

So I fire up this MyFitnessPal app thing which keeps track of my daily calorie intake. I plug in my height, 5 foot 10, and weight, 213, and also shamelessly tell it that I am virtually sedentary and that this lifestyle will continue for the foreseeable future. I tell my friend Ryan all the time as he hurts himself continually hiking and just generally dicking around outside, that no one ever got hurt laying on the couch. No truer words have ever been spoken. Anywho, MFP decided to allow me a daily allotment of 1500 calories which I found to be bountiful and quite easy to adhere to.

I decided to give this iPhone fitness machine thing a month to produce results and actually committed to where I would like to be when done. A goal weight, if you will. I figured a month would be more than enough time to take care of 40 years of caloric abuse. Now, Lord knows, I would like to be back at my playing weight of 175 but let’s be realistic here. Truth be told, if I could get under 200 pounds I would probably break down and start weeping from sheer joy.

I must say, in my defense, that I am pretty good at telling myself no, almost achieving a sort of sexual gratification in denying myself pleasure. Pretty sure it’s based in some sort of self-loathing issues I’ve picked up over the years. I also decided that I would only check my weight once a week not wanting to get caught up in the day to day worry of whether I was dropping any pounds. In my mind, I would just know that it was working because of the new blousy way my clothes were fitting. Sadly, this did not happen.

After one week, I mounted the scales. I weighed 213, which, if you will remember, is exactly what I weighed when this suffering began. Great! Shit! I could focus on nothing but the foods I missed out on all GD week just to find out that I’ve done nothing but spin my wheels on this stupid diet. Damn me for trying to be healthy.

After entering my pathetic statistics into the app, I discovered that MyFitnessPal also gives you inspiring messages when you make good decisions and also predicts how much you will weigh in two weeks if you keep on track, “If you keep this up, you will weigh 205 on June 17th and will have lost 8 pounds!! How inspiring! I blamed my stagnating weight on drinking too much water and decided to carry on with my one month commitment. I knew I was lying to myself but the alternative of quitting seemed like I was signing my own death warrant for some reason.

However, after a month of meticulously following my calorie counter I got on the scale and discovered that had gained 3 pounds. Gained! Is somebody fucking with me here? Immediately I demanded to know if my wife had monkeyed with the scale. I feel compelled to remind you here that I was not exercising and will not but I don’t exercise when I am eating whatever I want so shouldn’t there be some progress? I mean, shit, I could have eaten pizzas and burgers and stayed at 213 but I had to eat a bunch of crappy salads and garbage like that so that I could gain 3 pounds? Eat shit MFP!

MFP was now giving me irreverent messages like, “If you keep this up, you will weigh 240 by July 1st” and delivered with a large dose of sarcasm. Like, “Nice job fatass, please delete our app.” I felt like I was getting the same attitude that I received from the salespeople at Express when I thought about buying clothes there. Like they were begging me to please not wear their clothes and sully their fine name. FYI Express, your clothes look like a costume for a gaudy European pimp and I wouldn’t wear them anyway. MyFitnessPal was now ashamed to have me as a user. Apparently, they only want winners, or losers as the case may be here.

I quit. I give up. I am convinced, at this point, that I have done serious damage to my metabolism with all of the fad dieting I have dabbled in. I once lost 40 pounds on the Atkin’s Diet but gave that up after Dr. Atkins dropped dead on a treadmill while eating a block of cheese and one of those giant Slim Jims. Not that I would ever catch me on a treadmill but still, this was distressing news.

I also noticed the other day, in addition to having lost the ability to lose weight that my hair has become remarkably grey on the sides leaving me looking like an Irish version of Paulie Walnuts from Sopranos. The hair on top is still pretty black but it’s thinning and when I use too much gel I feel like I look like a doll that had its hair chopped off like that thing from Toy Story or a pin cushion.

I know a guy who dyes his grey hair fire red. He’s old and wrinkled too which makes him look like one of those Peruvian mummies where the skin is all rotten and shriveled but the wig is still perfect. Mostly, he looks ridiculous and sad because he’s a douche and really his hair is the least of his problems.

I read that taking B vitamins might help bring back some of the original color of your hair. I don’t want to become vitamin guy though. I really don’t think they do anything but make you waste your money and they make me queasy. I’ve been to GNC and they push really hard to get you to join their “insiders club” and that gives me the willies. Anybody pushing that hard is up to no good. “Look pal, I don’t want to give you my email address and I don’t want to spend a hundred buck to be a gold member. I just came in here to buy that latest fad diet pill, so let me buy it and, yes, I know it isn’t going to work but please leave me alone and shut the fuck up.” What is this some kind of a supplement time share? Sheesh!

Plus people that take vitamins are like the Krishnas that used to hang out at the airport shoving their lifestyles and pamphlets on everybody. “Oh, you should really think about taking a multi-vitamin.” I hear that a lot and it’s always coming from the least healthy person I know. Like didn’t you almost die from a nose bleed last year? Where were you previous vitamins then? Back to the Krishnas, whoever decided that the airport was the place to hang out and get converts anyway? Like they expect that I’m going to wake up one morning and go, “What I need is a new religion, let’s hit the airport and see what they have to offer.”

I just guess that I would rather be a tad overweight, keep my greying hair and crush the occasional extra-large pizza all by myself than to be an app using, hair dying, vitamin taking d-bag. Evidently, I don’t really have any choice anyway.

Gwyneth Paltrow Sucks

Gwyneth Paltrow Sucks

I recently stumbled on this headline:

Gwyneth Paltrow Tries To Live On a $29 Food Stamp Budget For A Week, Fails

Let it be known now that I have no love for celebrities and seeing a headline like this is like throwing raw meat into a lion cage. The thing I detest most about these self-important morons is their assumption that we have any concern whatsoever about what they think about social and especially political issues. Like, why are these people consulted on politics? Yes, please tell me who I should vote for perched in your 25 million dollar estate because surely we have so much in common. Why am I subjected to the likes of Sean Penn sitting down with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to discuss foreign policy? Did Penn even graduate high school? What credentials does he have to rationalize his presence in a powwow with the leader of a foreign country? He was Spicoli for God’s sake!

I remember this guy Harry Thomason was always hunkering down with the Clinton’s back in the 90’s. As the producer of the show Designing Women, of course, he had every right to be helping to set policy on foreign affairs and domestic policy. (In case you missed it, that line was served with a very heavy dose of sarcasm.)

So back to this food challenge, it basically breaks down to trying to feed oneself on a meager pittance of $1.38 per meal for seven consecutive days. The challenge was thrown at Princess Gwyneth by #FoodBankNYCChallenge and was also offered to Debbie Harry of Blondie fame and well know douche bag Sting. I am not privy to knowing nor do I care if Blondie or Sting accepted. Sting is a giant asshole or at least I have always perceived him to be an asshole. He is the worst kind of self-righteous, pseudo-intellectual dingbat, so he was probably busy elsewhere surely tied to a tree trying to save the Amazonian rain forest. I’m sure he was also hesitant as one needs more calories than $1.38’s worth of nourishment to keep up with the tantric sexual lifestyle of his that he shoves in our faces continually.

Like, really, Sting? Maybe if I didn’t have this thing we like to call a job, I could sit around and make my orgasms last for hours too. As it stands now, I need to keep my job and make it by on my thirty seconds of occasional carnal pleasure. You keep making your tantric videos, though, and maybe someday I’ll have enough money set aside so I can nut in my pants all day. Eat shit you elitist d-bag!

I had to Google Debbie Harry as I wasn’t even sure, frankly, if she was still alive, I haven’t heard a peep from her since her hay day back in the 80’s. She, apparently, is still around but looking rather emaciated and the pictures left me with the feeling that $1.38 in food might be more than she can handle. By the looks of her, she would do herself a service if she blew the whole wad on some candy bars and signed up for the WIC program for some free cans of Ensure. It would simply be cheating if she accepted the food challenge at this time.

Surely this privileged bleeding heart adventure into temporary poverty was meant to prove the point that $1.38 per meal isn’t enough for a person to be properly nourished which is true as I just paid six dollars for a gas station tuna sandwich and a bag of Munchos.

Writers note:

I like food. I like to shop for it, cook it and eat it. I may be the only straight man with a Pinterest account and I have it purely for the recipes. In spite of my love for food, my all-time favorite meal is a gas station tuna sammich and a bag of Munchos washed down with chocolate milk and topped off with a 3 pack of Ho-Ho’s. I prefer to eat this smorgasbord in the car, I just think it tastes better.

What bothered me was the list of things this idiot, Gwyneth, purchased with her $29. To my thinking, when one has only thirty or so dollars to spend on something as vital to staying alive as food is, you go for the cheapest items that bring the highest nutritional return like beans, for instance. Beans are high in protein and cheap. With $29, I’m loading up on as many bags of dried beans as I can, leaving just enough for a big bottle of hot sauce to cover up the nasty taste of this vile weed. The only other ingredient I’ll need for this bean feast of mine is the water to boil them in. Guaranteed, I will be sick to death of beans but I will be well fed and alive.

And while Gwyneth did buy a bag or two of beans she also bought:

A giant head of cilantro

One, and I repeat, one ear of corn

Seven limes

A head of garlic

Please tell me what she planned for the single ear of corn. I know she’s skinny and all but damn. Let me just say this and I mean it with all respect, poor people don’t eat cilantro and limes, they are a luxury. Limes really serve no purpose anyway outside of enhancing the flavor of my Corona and truthfully I’m probably not picking up a sixer of beer with only thirty bucks to spend a week. Plus limes cost like a buck a piece. No doubt the poor would probably like to indulge in the occasional flavor enhancer but when you have 30 bucks a week to subsist on, taste is probably not real high on your list of priorities, staying alive takes precedence. Garlic would also, sadly, fall into the category of an indulgent guilty pleasure.

It seems this Gwyneth creature also “curates” her own website titled Goop.com, Gwyneth claims that “Goop is one of the rare places on the web where food, shopping and mindfulness collide.” Okay, I can get behind something like this and I am actually marginally intrigued to dig further at this point. She continues, “We are all resource strapped so Goop hopes to surface the very best….” So apparently Gwyneth the Terrible is in tune with regular families and the constant struggle to make a dollar stretch as far as possible. I can get behind this too. I mean, I’m not naïve enough to believe that this privileged, country club witch has even a hint of what it’s like to try and feed a family of four on $29 a week but it seems like she’s trying to help out. What else does she have to do anyway? She hasn’t made a good movie since Shallow Hal so why not spend some time investigating hot deals for the “resource strapped.”

So I click on the clothing button on this Goop.com and the first thing I see is a plain old white t-shirt that’s selling for a mere $350. Is this chick out of her mind?!? How does one concoct the temerity to say that a $350 t-shirt is for the “resource strapped?” Pants for $475? An ugly sleeveless, plaid shirt going for $1750? For 1750 bucks, I want sleeves! And the NYC Food Bank expected this jackass to get by on $29? Shame on them for thinking for even one second that associating themselves with this elitist fraternity douche bag was a solid idea.

Gwyneth has also penned a cookbook for us “resource strapped” plebeians. However, the average cost of just one of the meals in this culinary rag is about 60 bucks and that includes the cheaper breakfast options. Average cost per day to cook out of this abomination for a family of four? $300 dollars! That’s a month’s worth of food for some families! This is truly a soulless bitch.

I also found that if you Google “stupid things Gwyneth Paltrow said” you will get literally thousands of sites covering just this subject. For instance, when asked about the difference between being a working mom and a movie star, her response was:

“I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”

How does this person have a fan left on the planet? Her entire existence is reprehensible to me. Are we to believe that she is actually watching her children when filming another snore job of a movie? She is a modern-day Marie Antoinette with her “let them eat cake” bullshit and we all know how that ended, with a swift trip to the guillotine.

Not exactly sure how I decided to go on this crusade of hate against this prissy, self-righteous bitch exactly but it’s 10PM and I’m supposed to be in bed by now. I have to work in the morning and now I’m all pissed off and can’t sleep because tomorrow this idiot, Paltrow, will still have a fan base of idiotic sycophants and Sting will still be spending his time blowing it in his pants. Marvelous.

Hey Ahab, can I have my dubbage?

Madonna vs. Drake

Madonna Kisses Drake

There’s a lot of hubbub going around lately about Madonna kissing (molesting?) (infecting?) this Drake character. I make no claim of knowing who this Drake person is but I understand he is some kind of entertainer or something. Regardless, as my not being aware of him is of little consequence, this poor fellow was on stage with Madonna and she apparently slapped a big, wet smooch right on his lips. One might, at first glance, think, “Wow, what a lucky guy. I wish Madonna would kiss me,” but you would be wrong. Today’s Material Girl is a haggard and horned demon from the pit of hell and the spit she deposited in this poor soul’s mouth was probably acrid and black from evil and a severe case of gingivitis.

Drake, so grossed out by the proceedings, began gagging and spitting out the congealed skag juice and did not care a lick that the entire world was looking on.

I can’t say that I blame the guy, as the cute Madonna of the 80’s is long gone and she now looks like a succubus they drag out of the grave every morning, electrocute back to life and foist back on the world simply to force us to listen to her low grade version of music.

I have an unfounded theory that I can tell what people on television smell like in real life and Madonna tops my list of people who, I believe, reek of a thick and cheesy ass sweat but try to cover it up with a perfume so strong that it induces a headache. However, if the perfume fails to cause a splitting migraine then surely listening this skank blather on about politics and sex should be enough to make you wretch. I think it’s pretty clear that Drake’s gagging reflex proves my point.

Burned into my memory is this idiot and her unpatriotic vitriol about how she didn’t want to raise her children in this cesspool we call America and moved lock, stock and barrel to England. Two things bothered me about this, A – she helped create this “cesspool.” Have you ever seen her videos? And B – a month after moving to England she’s suddenly speaking with a British accent. Are we to believe that after living in the US for forty years that you, after a one month stay in Europe, suddenly have a new accent? C’mon you idiot! I don’t know who I despise more, her or the idiots who still fall for and encourage this behavior.

I thought hard about something positive that I could say about this soulless harpy and came up with only one thing. The Jellybean Benitez House Party Dub Mix of Feliz Navidad. Produced when dating Madonna, clearly she threw her weight behind the project, and Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it, in my opinion.

Nobody likes Sean Penn anymore. Between having to be subjected to his political rantings and his proselytizing bullcrap movies, I can stand the sight of him anymore. This, too, is Madonna’s fault. I could have enjoyed watching him recreate the Spicoli character over and over again and been satisfied but, no, she had to ruin his life and embitter him and now I have to watch films like Milk. Can you imagine the damage done to this poor guy? Having to listen to her? Pretend to enjoy her music? Ugh.

Kudos Drake and if the kudos aren’t enough than perhaps a shot of penicillin and a Z-Pack?

Random Thoughts – Parking at Home Depot

Random Thoughts – Home Depot and I Cannot Fix Anything

Ever been to Home Depot? Lowes? Ever notice that there is not a good parking space in the entire lot? You can put your car where ever you want but one side of the building is for entry and the other side is the exit. You may get a great spot by the entrance but then you are walking a country mile with all your stuff when you come out. Why do they do that? It’s annoying and stupid. Best to just park as close to the middle as you can. That way you’re equidistant from both doors but it also means you’re a screwed going in and coming out.

I cannot fix anything. I have zero “do-it-yourself” skills. I do have great intentions though. I love to think that I can build a giant deck covering pergola with fragrant purple Wisteria draped all over it but when it comes down to it, I can barely put in a new toilet valve.  I do love the smell in Home Depot though. It, for some reason, gets my creative juices flowing. Most stores seem to have an inappropriate amount of influence over me. I am what marketing people would refer to as “a sucker.” Like if I go into a guitar store, I immediately think, that if I spend $700 on a guitar, that I’ll surely be the next Jimi Hendrix. I have two guitars that disprove this theory, by the way. Put me into a craft store and I am virtually on overload.

I once replaced a light switch in my bedroom and thought I had done everything by the book. Yet and still and in spite of shutting off the power, not just to this particular switch, I actually shut down the entire house, I still managed to electrocute myself, finding out later that the wire wasn’t grounded right or some shit like that. It’s hard for me to remember what my neighbor was saying as I came to. I do remember the word idiot being uttered though.

I want to put ceiling fans in a couple of the bedrooms in our house. I figure, how hard can that be? Just turn off the power, take out the old light and shove the ceiling fan into the hole. I proceed to Google and type, “How to install a ceiling fan,” and the first thing I hear is about this ceiling fan box mount. What the hell is a box mount? Mounting holes, brackets and braces? Without an afterthought, I am done. I know better. I can see this thing spinning around a few times then crashing down on my wife’s skull like an upside down helicopter. It wouldn’t hit me though. No, my particular brand of suffering would come from her complaining about her gashed open head for the next thirty years.

I believe that there is a concerted effort by some elite group of contractors, probably the Illuminati, who want to keep commoners like me from doing things around the house. They sit around in ceremonial aprons sacrificing animals and inventing intentionally scary words like bracket and box mount to intimidate me so they can hold on to their ceiling fan monopoly. They say things like, “hanging drywall is an art,” then laugh at people like me who suck.

There was another time when I decided that it would be nice to re-tile the bathroom. I mean, you just take off the old tile and glue the new stuff on. Easy, right? Getting the old stuff off was actually kind of fun, cathartic, if you will, but I found out during my demolition that the wall behind the tile in the shower was wet and rotting, something I would not have known if I had just left this alone in the first place. Too late now. I encountered intimidating words again. What the hell is sheet rock? My answer to the rotting shower wall incident was to not use that particular shower anymore. Voila! Problem solved. I did, however, move forward with my plan to re-tile the floor. I did every damn thing they told me to do, I mean, to a tee. Within a month, half of the tiles were loose and the grout was disintegrating so badly that it looked like a hillbilly dirt floor.

I think that some people are just born with the ability to be handy around the house. I see no other explanation for it, it simply cannot be taught. I do have a few success stories though. Once I installed, and I use the word “installed” in an overly impressive sounding way, a toilet seat. It wasn’t as much of a story of the glory of my handy work as it was a story of containing my germ phobia. I had to literally fight the urge to vomit the entire time as I was sure I could feel the poo viruses climbing up my arm headed straight for my nose and mouth with a determined vengeance. Once I was finished, I made my wife come and bask in the glory of my triumph, I still talk about it to this day.

I have also been known to change out a few malfunctioning toilet valves in my day though there is still a bit of handle wiggling required once I’m finished; I just can’t seem to get it quite right. Most of my fixing of things seems to revolve around the toilet for some reason, not sure why. I must be comfortable around it.

I do currently hold an impressive vomit streak, at this point having not thrown up since August of 1993, right before my daughter was born. My other two kids had the flu and I knew it was coming for me next so I downed an entire box of Whitman’s Samplers knowing that I would just expel it all before the calories kicked in. Sort of a viral induced bulimia. What this has to do with parking at Home Depot, I have no idea. I just felt that I need to defend my manhood somehow and aren’t extensive vomit streaks always apropos. Should someone make disparaging remarks about my lack of fix-it skills at least I can always fire back with, “yeah but at least I don’t throw-up, bitch.”

Random Thoughts on Moles

Random Thoughts – Moles

While driving my youngest back to college we encounter a lot of what would be labeled as Rural America. My first choice would be to hit the accelerator and motor thru these “out yonder” places as quickly as possible, I’ve seen Deliverance and have lived in fear ever since of being made to squeal like a pig followed by a good molesting by a Mountain Cracker. It is usually my preference to avoid hillbilly anal rape but when you have to stop, you have to stop. Recently we broke for lunch at a place called The Farmstead which seemed apropos as the entire out of doors reeked of cow shit and rotting hay and by the time we’d walked from the car to The Farmstead I had inhaled a lethal portion of bovine remains and had thus virtually lost my appetite.

Doesn’t it always seem that a lot of these countrified restaurants have names like The Hillside Country Kitchen or Ma’s Dinner Bucket? The food is generally good if you’re looking for some “greezy” down home cooking but the local clientele can cast an eerie haze.

First though, before we can get a table, of course, we have to amble thru The Farmstead Country Gift Shoppe. Why do these hole in the wall places have to spell the word shop with an “e?” Shoppe? This isn’t merry old England it’s a podunk gift shop! Stop trying to fancy the place up with inappropriate spellings! It sucks in here and adding an “e” isn’t going to help.

This “vacuum of good taste” is loaded with candles of every flavor and paintings of churches with lights actually imbedded into the art itself. I thought to myself that I’d rather have a smear of vomit on my wall rather than this electric starving artist rendering. They also had a collection of wall hangings painted on recycled barn wood with colloquial sayings. One in particular caught my attention. It said, “My friends always come in my back door.” A nice sentiment, I suppose, if taken at innocent face value but to me, with my corrupted mind, I wondered exactly what kinds of friends one has out in the boonies and what they expect to be doing to you and your “backdoor.”

Anyway, I noticed amongst our fellow diners, a “farmer type” having dinner with his wife. She seemed obsequious in the kind of way that a misogynist Fox News viewer, which this guy clearly was, would expect his wife to behave, head down and quiet. Donning his suspenders, dirty boots and the obligatory John Deere hat with an American flag embroidered on it, I surmised that this is their big night out on the “town.” “Whoopee! I’ve been waiting for this pattie melt all week Zeb.”

Near the middle of the room, there’s a family of five that have thrown on the feedbag and I hear them referencing one of their table mates as “Taterhead.” For all I know, Taterhead is a common nickname in these here parts but what was rather distressing was that this Taterhead fella was in a motorized wheelchair. It made me wonder, did they call him Taterhead before he was immobilized or is that moniker based on what happened to him in the accident?  Taterhead, as a nickname, seems easier to get comfortable with if it came before the crippling.

I amble up to settle my bill, I swear this is about moles, and notice that the Taterhead family is ahead of me in line. As if it wasn’t bad enough that they call this poor crippled soul Taterhead, he is now paying the bill for the entire mob of bucolic mongoloids to chants of “Taterhead, Taterhead.” “Look at Taterhead paying a bill for once.” “Taterhead finally got his check. Look at Taterhead, the big spender.” I was aghast.

So, let me get this straight, this guy, Taterhead, is buying your dinner, albeit dinner at The Farmstead, and you’re now ripping him for his generosity? Surely Taterhead was afraid that his family would be “coming in his back door” and wisely ponied up before it all went down. I wanted to say, mother f-er, pay for your own food!

Who I perceived to be Taterhead’s mom was also in on the proceedings, which leads me to my mole theme. She was dressed to the nines, all in purple. This is a big night on the town for goodness sake! It was the kind of outfit that you see packaged in the cellophane bag at your local discount store, complete with matching jewelry. She was a rustic goddess, no question. By that, I mean, she was gross. Overweight, short and her shoes didn’t fit to my satisfaction and she had a mole the size of a child’s head right in the middle of her face. I swear to God I saw it lustfully wink at me at one point. How do you not get this monstrosity cut off?!?! I don’t know if insurance pays for that sort of cosmetic surgery but, fuck, tie some dental floss around it and choke it off.

I had a mole on my shoulder that was grossing me and everyone else out and I went straight to where everyone should go for medical advice, the internet.

Writers note:

                Yeah, don’t go to the internet for medical advice.

I read that if I soak a Band-Aid in cider vinegar and tape it down over the mole that it would go away in a couple of days. Seemed like solid advice and it was free of co-pay, which is always appealing to me so I ran with it. Wouldn’t you know, three days later, having stopped the procedure because I was told that I stunk like rotting pickles, I was examining said mole and with a little prodding, it exploded all over the bathroom mirror. Viola!! Mole gone. Smelled pretty bad though.

Anyway, what I’m saying is, my mole was on my shoulder and I felt self-conscious enough to get rid of it yet some people, like Taterhead’s mom, have them plastered firmly in the middle of their face and see no reason to take extreme measures like taking the cider vinegar challenge.

In the old movies you see women who actually had mole dots painted on their faces as if that made them more attractive somehow. Madonna used to sport that look back in the 80’s. What kind of thinking was that? How about I sketch some eczema blemishes on my arm or maybe I could use my wife’s mascara and draw a pot belly and an infantile penis on myself. How hot would that be?

Goober says “hey” Andy.

Hey to Goober…

Clothes Shopping Where I’m Not Wanted

Even as a “soon-to-be 50 year old”, I still like to think of myself as a snappy dresser. It’s really all I have left. The hair on my head is falling out and miraculously reappearing in my ear and my body is morphing into some uncontrollable blob, so anything I can do to cover up with nice clothing is not only sparing me indignity, it also is, I’m certain, appreciated by those who have to look at me.

I have become, in my eyes at least, a fat, bloated hog. I sweat when it’s 55 degrees and my only exercise comes from walking outside to smoke and bending over to try and touch my toes to stretch out my hamstrings.

There are a couple of pieces of wisdom I have garnered over the years though that I feel compelled to share with those who share my affliction. Always wear nice shoes. They will draws the viewer’s eyes downward and away from your whistling nose or your sun-damaged scalp. It’s much better to be complimented on a nice new pair of Allen Edmonds wingtips that you’re sporting, than to have someone staring at your disproportionate head size compared to your giant burgeoning gut. Also, I’ve been wearing a lot of plaid lately. Really, gingham shirts are a Godsend to me. I find it throws off the eye of the viewer and makes me appear thinner. The multi-colored squares confuses their rods and cones making it difficult  to get a feel for just how oddly shaped I’ve become. With these shirts, I have become a walking eye-bending optical illusion. A human Mobius strip, if you will.

Why do I need these fishing line like hairs in my nose? It wasn’t thick like this when I was a kid. Is there some pollutant that hovers around the five foot mark that causes this? Is it now protecting me from something? Why didn’t I need them when I was younger?

There aren’t a lot of men’s clothing stores at the mall anymore, if there ever were. Let’s face it, most men my age have their shopping done by their wives but women have stores for every make and model that they come in. There are stores for skinny women, stores for your larger class of women and short women have something called Petite. Mix all those stores together with all of the sizes and lifestyles that go with the aforementioned classifications and you have the definition of disparity. We men have five sizes to pick from. Five. And really, we have only three. There’s Small, Medium, Large, XL and XXL. Men don’t wear small or medium. I call those sizes extra-large boy. You may call it Asian XL or Slim-Fit.

Sure you have your fitted shirts with sizes like 18 ½ – 34 but you have to be measured for that and few men are going to slow down enough to allow for fitting. I’ve been fitted for dress shirts before and I know my size but knowing my size isn’t the dilemma. The problem is finding a shirt that particular size. I have short arms that rival someone genetically damaged by Thalidomide exposure. Picture Cee-Lo Green or if you’re not familiar with him, a T-Rex. Mix that together with that fact that I have eaten myself into looking like one of those Russian onion dolls and voila! I can’t reach the bottom of my pockets anymore.

Anyway, I’m at the mall with my wife recently and she’s popping in and out of one store after another, treating them rather frivolously, as far as I was concerned, but when you have the volume of material available, why not? I, on the other hand, am stuck with the department stores who begrudgingly throw out a smattering of men’s clothes, mostly, I think, just to draw in more women. One store, a major retailor, has a whole level dedicated to women’s wares. The entire second floor is booming with hip music and even has a lighting scheme. Where is the men’s department? In the basement in a tiny little corner surrounded by bedding and kitchen appliances. They had more options of coffee grinders than they did men’s shirts. I’m 49 years old and I do not want to wear team jerseys with some crack head’s name on the back of it! However, according to this store’s demographic research, I do, as that was all they had for sale.

I gathered myself and headed back out into the mall determined to find a store that shared my appreciation for looking good at my age. First stop, Express. I was greeted by Ian and by greeted I mean to say that he looked me up and down and said out of the corner of his mouth, “let me know if you need any help.” Ian was a prissy, glorified bagboy and was not the slightest bit interested in trying to make a sales commission off of me and clearly did not greet me in the style afforded the young, thin and hip. I had the feeling that what he was really saying to me was, “let me know if you need any help with that mess you call a body and please get out of here and by the way, the first step to making a better you is to admit that have a problem and do, indeed, need help.” He looked at me like I was the Elephant Man and the only way I was going to be allowed to buy anything would be to first promise to rip out any tags that connected me with their fine store. Ian was clearly more interested in having my not ruin the “street-cred” of his product than a commission.

Fortunately for Ian, nothing in this store fit me as, apparently, they cater to “men” who wear the aforementioned extra-large boy size. Having told Ian to go fuck himself, I walked out with as much of my self-esteem as I could muster and headed to the next store this one doing business as H&M.

This was not a better experience. The girl who worked in this establishment simply nodded at me upon entry as if to say, “Yeah, right, you fat old fuck.” Much like the department store, the “men’s” apparel was shoved into a corner and most of it sized for a boy. I would need to develop a nasty cocaine habit and start clubbing on Ecstasy before I could fit into any of this gear. In addition, the music in this place is programmed, I think, to drive people like me away. It was some irreverent, hippity-bippity club banging scat played intentionally loud so that if I stayed in there longer than the time it takes to buy a gift card for my daughter or my would-be effeminate son I would be lying on the ground writhing in pain like I was experiencing a full-body neural seizure.

What’s with the smell in Abercrombie? Why is it so dark?

I did not end up buying anything that day. What I did do was stop for Italian on the way home and ate a gigantic meal with a meatball the size of my fist but this kind of behavior is what got me into this predicament in the first place.

Looking good, Billy Ray! Feeling good, Louis!