Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's Today

I wasn’t going to say anything about it, but Marni let the cat out of the bag and Beth, of cup of coffee fame, as me to give you some of the wisdom I have obtained over the past sixty-three years. That’s easy. Not much!

I was born at Crawford W. Long Hospital on September 27, 1944. As you know, the war was going on, but my dad said my birth shortened the war because I was going to be a hell raiser and the Germans and Japanese didn’t want anyone like me that they couldn’t control. He was really good about boosting my moral.

Anyway, as was the custom back then, my mom had a private room and stayed for six days before being released. She had a private nurse the whole time. We were not rich. We couldn’t even afford to pay attention back then, but that was all the hospitals had to do, because everyone was at war, working in the war plants, or raising their kids. No one had time to be sick, or think they are sick like they do now. If you felt bad, you took a dose of castor oil or put a mustard plaster on your chest and kept on trucking.

For the first four years of my life we lived on Meldurm Street in the Bellwood section of Atlanta, not far from the world headquarters of Coca Cola. I remember riding the trolley, an electric machine that ran on tracks but powered by cables reaching up to electric wires running across the town. The seats were made of wood and were very uncomfortable. I remember mom taking me to Grant (not the same Grant of Civil War fame, but named for some dude who helped get the railroad started in Atlanta) Park to the zoo. The zoo was only about five miles from the house, but we had to transfer three times to get there.

My dad never owned a car until I was out of the house and in the service. He drove a truck for Sinclair Oil for 35 years without and accident, but he didn’t own a car. When I was born, the terminal was within walking distance of the house, and back then, a car was a luxury, not a necessity. My brothers and sister, 15, 13 and 10 years older, dated using the trolleys or busses. So when Sinclair built a huge terminal (were the gas trucks refilled to deliver to the gas stations around Atlanta) my dad had to bum rides to work. One day he was leaving the terminal and saw a house about two mile from the terminal, so he stopped and bought it (for $5,000 plus dollars and had a house payment of $30 something for 30 years.) Mom didn’t see it until the day we moved in. By then my oldest brother and my sister had bought a car and helped us move. It was in May, it was hot, I was four years old and my mother was eight months pregnant with my younger brother. The house had a living room, three bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. For seven people.

This was in Atlanta, but in 1948 it was still rural. There were two barns and two horses that the previous owner left until he could get a place for them. We had them for about a year. The next door neighbor had chickens, the house two doors down still had an outhouse in the back yard and two cows. The house five doors down raised pigs. And everyone knew and supported each other. It was a family of about 150 people. I had twenty or thirty mothers who would spank me as well and as fast as any of her kids. Then they would call mom and tell her and I could expect another spanking when I got home. Today its call “Child Cruelty.”

My sister had a bedroom. My two brothers had a bed room. My dad and mom had a bedroom and I slept on a rollaway bed in the kitchen. Thankfully, my oldest brother got married and I got promoted to the boy’s bed room. My baby brother got promoted from the crib in mom and dad’s room to the cot in the kitchen. Then the next older brother got married and baby bro go moved in the bedroom with me. When my sister got married, me and little bro moved into her room and the boys room was turned into a den because it was next to the bathroom.

We lived there until I went into the service. Mom and little bro lived there for almost 40 years. The house is gone now, but we still own the land.

I have seen street-cars, electric buses, gas buses to electric buses come to Atlanta. I was raised on radio shows like Gun Smoke, Gang Buster, Dragnet, Ozzie and Harriett, Fibber McGee and Mollie, the Grand Old Opery, and many more. We had an old rotary dial telephone with a three person party line, and the same phone number of 40 years. Only the area coded was added later. I remember the Bank of Georgia building be constructed and touted as the tallest building in the South (23 stories high.) You can’t eve see it now.

I drove cars before there were seat belts and the high-beam switch was on the floor next to the clutch. There was no power steering and automatic transmissions until the sixties. The radio was AM and the air-conditioning was call 2-60. Two windows down and going 60 miles per hour. There was no rush hour traffic because most people rode the bus and lived close to their jobs. Our fist television was bought by my sister with her first paycheck. Of course it was black and white and, in Atlanta, we only had three stations (most of the time) with a “rabbit ears” antenna. The television stations went off the air at 11:00 pm or at midnight.

When I got married and bought my first house, it cost $17,000 and I was worried sick over how I was going to meet the payments each month. When I got out of the Navy, I went to work at Georgia Tech at the experiment station, and, no, I wasn’t one of the experiments. I worked in the warehouse and delivered supplies all over the campus. For this I was paid a staggering $185 once a month and out of that I had to make a car and insurance payment, date, drink, get into trouble and live. I left GT after a year and went to The Atlanta Coca Cola Bottling company and by the time I got married and bought the house, I was making around $200 a week.

My baby girl, Marni, came along, and that slowed me down some. I mean, I was a father, now, and had even more responsibilities. So after a few years, I divorced my first wife and SHE gets all the credit for raising Marni to the lady she is today. All she got from me is her since of humor and her temper.

I was amazed and amused when my step kids came home with history homework and I knew, first hand, what they were studying. I lived through and witnessed Korea, Viet Nam, Integration, race riots, bra burnings, social change of all kinds, White Flight out of Atlanta, the advent of fast food restaurants and chain stores. I’ve witnessed, and participated, in the changing of girls and women going from being respected, protected and treated like gentle souls who never had to, or was required to, work outside the house to being a peer in the work force. Back in the day, a girl would die of embarrassment if she was caught calling a boy on the phone, and she would never ask a boy on a date. And the guys were scared to death of the feminine mind and body.

Yes, people did not live as long back then, but they were stronger and more self-reliant than we are today. I miss those times, but I’m glad I have my Waffle House and central air-conditioning. And computers. And color television – on cable. And cell phones.

But of all the things I have loved in my life, Sweet Tea, Marni, J-Man and Bug head the list. As we all do, I look back on my life and think, “If I had done this or that instead.” I wouldn’t have these precious people in my life. And, for that, I would not change a thing.

Sorry for rambling, but that is what I was thinking about today, my birthday, while I was trimming my toenails, getting a haircut, having the oil changed in my truck, and getting fish supplies for the fish tank. Although I don’t FEEL sixtythree, I guess I look it, but that’s okay. I don’t have to look at me, even when I am shaving, because I do that in the shower. Thanks for hanging in there.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

All About Me Me

I saw this one at Marni’s place and I though you might want to know me a little better. They’re hard questions that take a lot of soul searching to answer. I did my best, and I hope it doesn’t upset you too much in reading about my life.

Have you ever licked the back of a CD to try to get it to work? Yes! I go to the library to get audio cd’s when I go on my road trips, and sometimes they have stuff on the back. I lick it and rub it gingerly on my shirt. I don’t savor the taste or anything like that, just get it wet.

What's the largest age difference between yourself and someone you’ve dated? About 21 years. I was 42 and worked with her. She fulfilled the need and we both went on with our lives. I still see her occasionally at the mall or someplace. We are still friends, but I couldn’t put up with her again. She still giggles at everything. I guess its nerves.

Ever been in a car wreck? Are you kidding me? I drive like a one eyed bat out of hell. There have been several, but I have only been at fault once. About 40 years ago.

Were you popular in high school? No! I was an asshole dork. Too skinny and shy, so I made up for it by being obnoxious.

Have you ever been on a blind date? Yes, many. None were bad, but very few were ever repeat dates. I could have made us miserable – because I can do that – but I decided that she took the time out of her life to meet me, the least I could do was make it as nice as I could. If she could sit across from me and carry on a decent conversation, well, what else could I ask for (other than a bj?)

Are looks important? Well, if you have to tie a bone around her neck to get the dog to play with her, I wouldn’t want to be seen in public with her. But if she can suck a golf ball though a 20’ water hose, there might be hope for us. Actually, no! Looks do not matter. If it did, I would NEVER have had a date.

Do you have any friends that you've known for 10 years or more? I have people I have known for that long, but no friends.

By what age would you like to be married? Aren’t you a little late with this one? I have been married twice and I was too young both times. And if something happens to Sweet Tea, I’ll still be too young to marry. I think the right age would be somewhere around 105.

Does the number of people a person's slept with affect your view of them? It might. I can’t view her if there are 12 or 15 people laying all over her. That would affect my view for sure. But her past, nah. Unless she was with John Holms, then there’s nothing I could do for her.

Are you a good tipper? Sure! I tell people all the time not to be the tallest thing around during an electric storm, or not to place the radio on the side of the tub when taking a bath and other tips like that.

What's the most you have spent for a haircut? $20 at a stylist shop because the Great Clips was too crowded and I was in a hurry.

Have you ever had a crush on a teacher? I’ve had a few teachers I would have liked to have crushed, but, no. All my women teachers were old and fat. I never had a teacher like I see in schools today. And the men teaches didn’t float my boat, either, because I don’t row that way.

Have you ever peed in public? Yeahhhhh! Not trying to win a size contest, just because I HAD TO GO.

What song do you want played at your funeral? None! I am not going to have a funeral. The bastards didn’t come to see me when I was alive; I’m not going to give them the pleasure of gloating over me when I’m gone. I am going to be cremated and stored in the garage.

What would your last meal be before getting executed? Christ! Who can eat at a time like this? If it was by lethal injection, maybe I could get a hamburger and fries with diet coke down. But if it was the electric chair, I don’t think I could even swallow. If I could, I guess it would be a bunch of popcorn seeds to see if they pop when the juice is turned on.

Beatles or Stones? Conway Twittie!

If you had to pick one person on earth to die, who would it be? If it could be by a bolt of lightning I would choose Ted Kennedy, especially if Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, “Turbin” Durbin, Bill and Hillery and Barrac Obama were standing around him holding hands.

Beer, wine or hard liquor? Beer or Jack Black Old #7

Do you have any phobias? No! Plenty of Leary’s, but no phobias.

What are your plans for the future? To live the rest of my life or die trying.

Do you walk around the house naked? Whose house? Not mine, but I’m not a fanatic about it. Make me an offer.

If you were an animal what would you be? A wolf (alpha male of course.) If you mean a bird it would be an eagle.

What do you do as soon as you walk in the house? Go to the bathroom and pee, then I go to the computer to check my emails and blogs.

Do you like horror or comedy? Comedy (especially pornographic comedy.)

Are you missing anyone? No! Everyone I know is accounted for. Why? Do you know something I don’t?

Where do you want to live when you are old? I don’t care. I am old and I live here (until we can get the place sold) and then I will live somewhere else. I don’t require much.

Who is the person you can count on the most? Sweet Tea! She is always there when I need her – even if I don’t want her to be there. I think she cares; which absolutely amazes me.

If you could date any celebrity past or present, who would it be? Catharine Bell, of JAG, or Dana Delaney, of China Beach fame. Or any other women who could afford to give me the life I would love to become accustom too.

What did you dream last night? That I could fly and I could take Sweet Tea with me by holding her hand. We flew from roof tops to roof tops. Then we flew into the mountains and set in trees. Yes, we were human, not birds. When I woke up my arms were real sore, too.

What is your favorite sport to watch? The kids' soccer games, a NASCAR race and nude mud wrestling. But not at the same time.

Are you named after anyone? Two Bible figures. Boy did my older brother, who named me, miss the mark.

What is your favorite alcoholic drink? Jack Black and beer (Boiler Maker).

Non alcoholic drink? Coffee or Diet Coke or Sweet Tea (the drink).

Have you ever been in love? Many times! Mostly with me, but, alas, I’m taken.

Do you sing in the shower? Yes, but not like I use to do. I sound pretty good, too. Put a shower on stage during American Idol and I’ll give them a run for their money.

Have you ever been arrested? Yes. But not booked and fingerprinted or stripped searched. Just thrown in the calaboose and waited until I could pay the fine for doing 95 mph through a 15 mph zone.

What is your favorite Holiday? National Procrastination Day – if they ever have it again.

Would you ever get plastic surgery? Yes! I would like to have the bags under my eyes removed. They could use the extra skin and make a billfold or suite case or something.

Have you ever caught a fish? Doing what? I’ve caught a bunch of them eating my worms and crickets.

So now do you know me any better? I feel drained and in need of a cold beer. Care to join me?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Coffeypot the Sage

Words of wisdom from the sage, Coffeypot

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.

It’s always darkest before the dawn. So if you’re going to steal the neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.

Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.

If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again; it was probably worth it.

Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield.

If a first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.

Never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut.

To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world.

Going to church does not make you a Christian anymore than going to McDonald’s makes you a hamburger.

A coincidence is when God performs a miracle, and decides to remain anonymous.

Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side.

Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

Following the path of least resistance is what makes rivers and men crooked.

Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of how you respond to it.

Only in America… can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.

Only in America… are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.

Only in America… do people order double cheese burgers, a large fry and a diet coke.

Only in America… do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.

Only in America… do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and leave useless things and junk in boxes in the garage.

Only in America… do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place.

Only in America… do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

Only in America… do we use the word “politics” to describe the process so well: “Poli” in Latin meaning “many” and “tics” meaning “blood-sucking creatures.

And you wonder why I like to smell gasoline.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'm Back and Boy Are You Going To Get It

Okay! I see that you aren’t very good followers of instructions. So you all turn around and bend over for your spanking – especially you GrizzBaby. Just let me get my belt off and...ooops… damn. Wait! Let me pull my pants up. There! Now… damn.

Does anyone know where I can get a pair of suspenders, or anyone who is willing to hold up my pants for me? I mean you have it coming. Okay! I owe you one.

It was a great trip. The weather was beautiful and the traffic was light. I left the house at 9:00 pm and drove all night and most of the morning to get to N.J. Then I drove back to just outside Richmond before I got too sleepy to drive. I got a room and was asleep by 4:00 pm. Got up this morning and was on the road by 9:00 am – after a good Waffle House breakfast.

For you who do not know, I do a little transporting from time to time. I work for a few different car dealerships in the area and I transport cars and trucks for them. Sometimes, if it is to just pick up a car, then another transporter and I will ride together to the dealership and pick up a car/truck and drive both vehicles back to the dealer. If it is just a swap, then I will drive one to the dealer and drive another one back. I have been to just about every state in the Southeast. I do it about one or twice a month. I won’t get rich, but if gives me a little spending money in my retirement.

Also, as some of you know, my step-daughter, Dr. Amber, is a veterinarian who owns and operates a low cost mobile spay and neuter clinic. She travels all over North Georgia to Pet Smarts, humane societies, animal shelters and other places who request her services. She is booked several months in advance, but some of the bookings are repeat customers. On Saturdays she goes to a neighborhood Pet Smart and adopts out dogs and cats – if you meet her strict guidelines to become a pet parent.

She has kennels in her back yard and she tries to save every Goddamn dog and cat she sees. Don’t get me wrong, though. If the pet is beyond saving, she will euthanize the animal, but it had better be pretty damn sick or just too mean to be sent out into the world.

She also works with many animal rescue agencies and is well known throughout the country for her work with animals, and she gets calls from many states looking for animals. When she gets some animals she feels she cannot adopt out but feels they could be adopted somewhere else, she gets on the phone. This week she had five dogs that needed to go to New Jersey to a “no kill” shelter (the only type shelters she will send dogs and cats.) So who does she call? The easiest mark she knows. I don’t charge her for my services, though. She pays for the gas, food and any motel I may need, and that’s okay with me. Since she runs a nonprofit organization, she doesn’t have a lot of cash for trivial things like paying her step-dad for helping her out. Besides, she’s family. So that’s why I was on the road, and why you are all going to get spanked as soon as I can do something with these damn pants.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Stop It

Okay, everyone! Stop blogging! I mean it. Stop! Don’t type anymore. I will be out of town making a dog run to a shelter in New Jersey and I won’t be able to read your stuff until I get back. And I don’t have time to read three days worth of your stories, complaints and lies.

I’ll be back on Thursday morning. You can start again on Wednesday, if you like, but not before.

Do what I say, now. Don’t make me take off my belt. When I do my pants fall down and you don’t want that. By the way, do you know where I can get a good pair of suspenders?

See y’all later.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Old Girl Is Gone and I'm Not Far Behind

She died today. The old girl, after 25 years of loyal, faithful service, first to Sweet Tea and her family and then to me as I joined her clan, gave up the ghost. She was a Sharp Carousel microwave oven, and she proudly kept us nourished as only an oven can. She will be sadly missed – until we can get to Wal Mart tonight to adopt one of her kin.

That’s not the sad thing, though. It meant that I had to get my old coffee pot out this morning and boil water. The pot looks almost exactly like the icon over on the right side, and I have had it for more years than I care to think about – or can remember. But that’s not what is sad, either.

What’s sad is that after I put the pot of water on the stove to boil, I fixed myself a cup of instant coffee (Folgers, for you detail oriented types, and it is the only coffee I have at home) by putting the coffee in the cup and turning to the sink and filling the damn thing with water and stirring it while I walked over to the microwave (which was by this time resting in celestial repose in the garage next to the garbage can.) I looked up at the EMPTY space and then at the stove, and well… I’m old, dammit. I can’t be expected to remember everything, now, can I?

I’ll be better tomorrow. But I wonder if Sweet Tea will try to make instant coffee (a metaphor, please) after I am resting in silent repose out next to the garbage can? That’s not so far fetched, folks. Our plans are that we will be cremated and our ashes mixed together with half being poured over the beach on the Gulf and the other half being poured out in the mountains somewhere.

That’s a switch for me, too. Before I met and married Sweet Tea, I wanted my ashes put in a douche bag and run through one last time. But that wouldn’t be right now. So the present plan is in place.

And since I am six years older, a heart attack survivor and have type-two diabetes, chances are pretty good that I will go first. So the ashes will have to be stored someplace. So, I figure that it will be one less thing to dust if I am on the shelf in the garage. Maybe not, but you never know.