Aug 27

Football Fever: This is “Next Year” Edition

Quote of the Day:

Wait til next year.”     –mantra of thousands of Mississippi State fans for the last 70 years.

This has been the absolutely longest, most agonizing off season ever. But finally, tomorrow, college football is back! Thursday Pickin’ is back! Baby got Back! Ok, that one doesn’t EXACTLY fit, but I like to work in threes.

As many of you know TB enters every season with optimism. I always think Mississippi State is going to be better than last year, that they have a good chance to pull some upsets, that with a break here, a break there……well, you never know……

Only this year…….let me just say……you never know. I cannot recall a season with more justified optimism in my four decades as a fan.

Most of that optimism is based on the potential for greatness in our starting Quarterback, Dak Prescott. Not only does he have the size to take hits, the arm to make tough throws and the feet to turn potential disaster into crowd bending touchdown madness, but he’s got the charisma and the back story to make him the face of MSU football for many years to come. They are already calling him The Dak Knight and if/when he takes down LSU in Death Valley, you’re going to be seeing our version of the Caped Crusader featured in the bright lights of Gotham. I can’t hold it back any longer. Prescott is going to lead State to a 10-2 regular season and the biggest bowl game in our history. You heard it here first.

But it’s not just Dak. The Bullies are three deep at tailback–good’uns. We’ve got at least two future first round draft picks on defense and a slew of future pros. Nineteen of our top twenty-two are back on that side. The receiving corps is the best we’ve seen in Starkville. Our punter is good, our stadium is legit and….um….have you ever had MSU cheese?

Disclaimer number 1.  We might drop a few games due to abysmal placekicking. I’m really worried about this.

Disclaimer number 2.  If we lose an offensive lineman or two, things get dicey.

Disclaimer number 3.  If Dak gets hurt, we drop back to form–possibly as low as 5-7 or 6-6.

All of these things, if history is any indication, are more than mere irrational fears, if not quite expectations.


Counter Disclaimer number 1. I really think we have a chance to go 11-1 in my head, I just don’t have the guts to predict it.

Counter Disclaimer number 2. I don’t count us out of any game on the schedule, even against mighty Alabama.

Counter Disclaimer number 3. This is the fewest number of disclaimers I’ve ever been able to come up with regarding the jalopy that is Mississippi State football.

Yep, I’ve got preseason exuberance. Premature jocularity. Um…errrr….excitedness.  Stop it. Sometimes that third in a sequence is really hard to think of.

If MSU is home to the SEC’s Batman, somewhere there’s gotta be a Bane, and Bane is Ole Miss. Rebel fans are every bit as giddy as we Bullies, except when they laugh it sounds evil. The Rebs return Dr. Bo, a pretty good quarterback in his own right, purportedly healthier this year and with a decently villainous moniker. They’ve got studs on the D-Line, in the defensive backfield and several offensive playmakers. I look for Ole Miss to win nine games, possibly ten. As confident as I am in State this year, I have to admit I see us as no more than a slight favorite to keep the Egg for the fifth time in Dan Mullen’s six seasons as head coach. It is indoctrinated in Ole Miss mythology to such an extent I think many Reb fans actually believe it, that State is not their main rival. Save your patronizing, Johnnies. I lived in Oxford for three years. I visit regularly. I know how batshit crazy you are about losing to us. Your team will be ready for that game and you fans will be frothing at your treacherous mouths. The one thing Ole Miss has to worry about is the offensive line. It’s thin and untested. Like State, a key injury there, or to Bo, or to Robert Nkemdiche could easily torpedo the Land Sharks out of the water. Wait, what? Whatever.

Southern is bound to get better. They can’t get any worse. My prediction for the Buzzards is SMTTM. Southern Miss to the Middle. Of CUSA, or whatever they are calling it these days. Monken has a good rep, Southern has a proud history and….um….for some undisclosed third reason you will get five wins this year.

Alabama and LSU lose three games this season. Auburn does too.

Wait, did I just raise the stakes on my prediction?

Why yes, I think I did.

Why not?

Why the hell not?

After all, this is Next Year.


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Aug 21

Rebecca and Billy

Quote of the Day:

Everything has positive and negative consequences.”     –Farrah Fawcett

There was a funeral to attend and, hey, Rebecca didn’t wish harm on anyone, but on the other hand it was going to be nice getting out of the house without having to put up with any of her Husband’s shit. That’s just how she told it to me so address your objections elsewhere.

Now, I promised myself that I would not describe her as being dressed to kill. So I won’t. Let’s just say she was going to see a lot of old friends, maybe even a few boys she knew from high school and she wanted to impress. I wasn’t there, mind you, but as she told it to me: “high heeled black boots, boobs out, hair down.” She was pleased with herself and rightly so.

Driving across the county–Rebecca lived out in the sticks nowadays–she decided on a whim to call Billy. She’d known Billy since tenth grade and they were Facebook friends. He seemed like “one of my own”, that is, not quite right. In a good way, you know? Billy said, “Come by the house. I’ll ride with you.” So she did.

They went to the funeral and then went back to Billy’s place and started talking. They talked about Billy’s dog. Like I had been when I heard about it, Rebecca was impressed and amused that the dog had come with the house. That is, when Billy bought the place, the prior owners packed up everything down to the cabinet knobs and the damned light bulbs, but they left the dog. The dog saw nothing untoward about all this turnover. After all, to his mind this was his place. He wasn’t going anywhere. But he was more than willing to take in Billy. It had been many years since Rebecca had laughed so.

One thing led to another and Rebecca eventually confided to Billy that in high school she’d had a major crush on one of Billy’s friends, Jay. Billy suggested they call him up and see how he was, so they did. He was good. Glad to hear from Rebecca and Billy. It had been awhile. The best part was, Jay’s life was possibly even further out beyond the left field fence than Rebecca’s.

Rebecca didn’t have to be home until later because her asshole husband didn’t know much about how funerals and visitations worked. So Billy suggested they go get some beer. Rebecca didn’t drink beer but didn’t mind if Billy had a few and they drove down the road to some shady Vietnamese place that still had a working pay phone out front and faded graffiti on its cinder block walls. On the ride, Billy learned that Rebecca had never bought beer before. He also learned that Rebecca was in an abusive marriage.

They parked and Billy handed Rebecca a hundred dollar bill and sent her in to the place with orders to buy a twelve pack of Natural Light. Rebecca felt nervous and excited, she was leery of the shop, but she knew she looked good in her deep cut dress, with those high heeled boots, and her hair down because Billy reminded her as she approached the door. “Damn, girl, you lookin’ GOOD in that dress.” There were two other men in the store besides the shopkeeper and they all stared at her from get to go. She rather enjoyed it. They seemed harmless and weren’t obvious about it or anything. As she paid for the beer, she wondered if she’d get carded. No such luck. She lugged the twelve pack back out to Billy’s car, walking faster than she really needed to for some reason.

The next day Rebecca called and told me this story. Had me in stitches. But mainly, she needed a recommendation for a divorce lawyer.

True story.

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Aug 18

A Thug’s Life

Quote of the Day:

You gotta love livin’ baby, ’cause dyin’ is a pain in the ass.”     –Frank Sinatra

“I thought you was DEAD!”

“Hell, I’m too mean to die. I’m at least gone-out-live you. We done buried errybody else.”

Thus began a short conversation I was privileged to witness between a couple of old friends last weekend. Old, as in north of 80.

The one I didn’t know looked and sounded harmless enough. I happened to notice him as he gingerly exited his car, then carelessly shoved the door closed with his hip. As he walked in the restaurant my friend caught sight of him and called him over–that’s when they had the exchange I described. The dude couldn’t speak right–he kind of wheezed his words and I paid extra close attention in case I needed to translate for my hard of hearing companion. But somehow, it wasn’t necessary.

They exchanged pleasantries–talked about how hard it’s been to get a-hold of one another–Wheezer advised that he’d gotten rid of his landline so you can’t find him in the book no more. After a few minutes the gentlemen exchanged promises and email addresses so they could meet for coffee soon, then Wheezer went off to his own table. My friend grinned broadly and slapped me on the back–seeing the old geezer, Wheezer, had clearly made his day.

“You see that old man right there?”, he asked.


“I went golfing with him one time and he told me he’d just bought the Mayor of Memphis a new TV.”

“The current Mayor?”, I asked.

That earned me a “Don’t-be-ridiculous” look, but my friend simply replied, “No this was years ago. We went golfing two weeks later and he told me he’d just bought the Mayor a car.” My friend looked at me to see if I was as dense as I looked. I was. “He owned him then, you see.”

“Oh.” I thought I could see but I wasn’t sure. “You mean he was some sort of gangster?”

“Well, I don’t think he wanted to own the Mayor for nothing.”

Makes sense.

“What’s his story?” I asked, curious now about old Wheezer.

“Well. He’s 87 years old. He was born in a brothel on the waterfront in St. Louis. Doesn’t have any family–brothers, sisters, Moma, Daddy–nothing. Served in the Pacific in World War II. He and his buddies started stealing beer and burying it on some island. After the war they went and got the beer, brought it back here and sold it and made a killing.”

“Damn. It would take a lot of buried beer treasure to make that kind of operation worthwhile.” I flashed back to the Seinfeld episode where Kramer and Newman try to make the Michigan recycling run work out financially. “They must’ve had a plane or something.”

“More like a ship,” answered my friend.

He let that sink in for a few moments.

“Anyway, he set up in Memphis after the war. He took me to Miami one time on a golf trip. We went to a club he said a friend of his ran. In the back room there was one of those one-way windows. I saw what must have been 10,000 polos on the other side. He said they were his. I asked him what he was gonna do with all those shirts. “Sell’em,” he told me. “Well, where’d you get ‘em I asked. “Stole’em,” he said. I didn’t ask anything else.”


“He had five safes full of cash buried under the floor of his living room. One night his wife caught him out somewhere with his girlfriend. She got home first and emptied three of them. He told me he felt lucky to have kept the two.”

Then our sandwiches arrived and we set about the business of eating. I caught my friend laughing to himself every few bites or so, but he never did offer up any more stories.

As we settled up with the server my friend remarked that “People think they know what goes on in the world. But they really don’t have a clue.”

“No,” I agreed, “People don’t have a clue. God knows I don’t.”

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Aug 16

When You Need it the Most, Vegas.

There was this sound, screeching maybe, but not so much of a squeal, only because a squeal is nearly impossible to ignore, but the nagging effect of a squeal was definitely present. It might be more like the sound of ceiling fans revolving relentlessly, pushing the same air around the room changing nothing, but the perception of feeling cooler. There was a haunting; the buzzing sound of life taking place around me, a constant background to the mundane life my path had taken me.

*sound of a record screeching to a halt*

What it all boils down to is that I needed a shake up, so when my friend Audra invited me to go to Vegas with her and a group of friends…I was (to state the absolute very least) in!

As the weeks leading up to the trip passed by, friends and family members were intrigued at what I might be doing in Vegas. I joked that I would be drunk the entire time, a part of me wanted that to be true, but for the most part I never made any real plans to accomplish anything, except to squeeze in a hike at Red Rock Canyon (ß this did not happen). Before I knew it, it was the morning of the trip and I couldn’t be happier to spend 10 hours in the car with Audra and (as luck would have it) my sister, Jessica. Go ahead and let that sink in, 10 hours!! I was happy to do it; I mean, clearly, Vegas needed to happen.

Now, believe me when I say this, I don’t drink often (it’s pretty rare) but when I do, I’m all in, frat party style in. With that said, my sister and I decided to get a jug of Crown (“jug” that’s my terminology for it; if it’s got a handle it’s a jug) to do some room drinking, while Audra decided to stick to patron and ummm..cookies. Once we got there we took a little nap, as the last hour of the car ride did us in. We got up had a drink (Audra ate her uh..cookie) and once we were all ready to roll Audra had determined that she couldn’t move…she was positively wrecked from her, ya know…cookie, where she spent the remainder of her night in bed tasting her words and playing giggle talk with her friend Karen. So Jess and I hit the strip together. I remember making it to several different hotels/casinos stopping in at random lounges and doing shots of Jack with different people, even setting up a prompt 11 a.m. shot date with a lovely couple from Boston. (Jess, lovingly telling our new friends: “You keep saying “bah” whenever they said “bar”). We came back to the room (I’d love to know how we managed that) making a huge scene, Jess threw her shoes at our roommates and then we slept.

Wake up. Rinse. Repeat. 2nd night started with room drinking, cookies, and a plan to make it to Fremont Street. On our way out we decided to stop in for a shot at Dick’s Last Resort. Audra had been dying for us to go to the place where she lamented the fabulousness of eating out while the staff relentlessly acts like dicks to you and makes you embarrassing hats. Sober me felt like she didn’t love the idea, room drinking Harmony was all “hells to the yeah” about it. As we approached the bar at Dick’s we were told, “have a seat, whores” and “let’s see some ID bitches.” I don’t know, challenge accepted, I guess. Because at some point the bartender told me “whoa, you don’t work here settle down.” No worries, I didn’t totally offend him. We chatted a bit, he made me a hat and we were on our way.

On our way out some of the knights from the tournament stopped us asking if we wanted necklaces (ie cheap plastic Mardi-gras style beads), the girls seeing right through their scam said “no,” but I was pretty wasted and felt like “pfffftt, shit yeah I want a necklace.” So, they dragged us over to do some pictures. Jess became fixated on wanting a necklace of every color; so bordering on the edge of relentless she kept reminding the guy that she wanted a purple one, which caused him to question:

Guy: “Do you say anything else?”
Jess: “I am Groot.”
(I will NEVER stop laughing at this, never!)

Walking through those hotel doors to the Vegas Strip immediately put me into a black zone, from there on out, I have flashes of memories. Like everything being super hilarious, trying to start some form of card / drinking game with strangers using the ever available prostitute cards on the strip, and being on a bus at some point feeling sick. I’m told that I laughed for 2 hours straight, talked to a wall for 10 minutes and that I went on a spree of profanity yelling as I bumped into people in crowded areas. At some point we made it back to the room and sleep was to be had.

Wake up. Rinse. Repeat. 3rd night started off with some room drinking and plans to make it to Fremont Street (take 2). Because we had so much fun at Dick’s the night before we were definitely stopping there first for some shots on the way out. Of all the people that worked in our hotel that stopped us and talked to us at least 15 times a day, yet showed no signs of the slightest hint of our being familiar to them whatsoever, I was absolutely floored that the bartenders remembered us when we walked in. And while I pressed my memory for anything that could make us memorable, or more precisely: ashamed, I bordered along the line of momentary spazzery. But you know what? Vegas. Pffft. I ordered a double shot of Jack and let the night proceed without further thought. Jess switched her game up to Jager, while Audra kept cool with her Patron.

Dick’s on Saturday night was totally different than Friday. Lots of music and the DJ required that the entire bar interact. We all had to sing along, clap our hands and try our best to get it right. If you fouled up, he called you out on it and threatened to punish the entire bar with horrible music if you didn’t get your shit together. Audra fell victim to this while failing to clap along correctly to Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Don’t worry though, she pushed through her drunken haze and managed to spare us all from the sounds of the Backstreet Boys. Jess became a social butterfly, fluttering all around the bar making new friends, reading everyone’s hats and hugging every single person she spoke to…it was beautiful. She introduced Audra and I to a couple that was getting married the very next day to which we both immediately and simultaneously responded with “don’t do it!” Luckily, we all had a good laugh at that. **side eyes* We did some shots with the husband and wife to be and wished them our best. Shortly there after, Jess got cut-off, thus ending our time at Dick’s (thanks for all the laughs fellas!). And through those magic doors to the strip that makes everything a hazy dream we went.

We never did grace Fremont Street with our presence. 3rd night ended with Jess rolling out of the elevator, she did Vegas right that night. I don’t know even know how we got her to the room. I don’t know how they got me to the room the night before, or how Jess and I made it back to the room the night before that. 4th night started off with some room drinking…but we played it cool that night, as we had a 10-hour car ride home the next morning. 8 of which was spent in a deep fog where we randomly grunted at one another just to show that we were still breathing. Coming home felt just as good as leaving did. Every hour that passed on the way home my heart ached to get to the kids. I couldn’t wait to get home, feel their hugs and hear their cheers of “mom!” as I walked in the door.

Ryder (once I got his attention): “That was the best 5 days of my life!”

Everybody needed a little Vegas, I suppose.

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Aug 12

Pillow Talk

Quote of the Day:

When I woke this morning my girlfriend asked me “Did you sleep good?” I said “No, I made a few mistakes.”     –Stephen Wright

She’s kind of short and to be honest, just a little bit plump. Both soft and hard, depending on how you look at her but whether you like that sort of shape or not, by golly she’s kept it the same. Getting older, there’s no denying. But age doesn’t matter to me. I still love sleeping with her.

Why my wife can’t accept that was beyond my understanding. Her griping started a couple of years ago and only got worse this summer. “When are you going to get rid of “your girlfriend”? My gosh, it weighs a ton! There must be a billion dust mites living in it!”

I don’t know why she has to use the “it” word.

My Mom bought that pillow for me to take off to college in 1988. Not counting travel days, I’ve lain my head upon it every night since then. It is the perfect pillow.

My pillow and I have grown up, and old, together. At the close of each of the best days of my life, it was there, encircling and embracing my sleepless-excited mental replays of college graduation, landing my first job, getting engaged, bringing home my baby from the hospital.

It’s been my reassurance in the hard times too, like the day I rashly changed majors at State, when I quit my best job and decided to move away from home, through numerous heartbreaks of various cause, intensity and duration.

No matter what has happened in life over the last 26 years, the comforting certainty of my pillow has always been there, doing it’s part to give me perspective, to help me make it through the night, to prepare me for a better day tomorrow.

And then Rock Star began insisting that I dump her. Even my Mother, who brought us together in the first place, agreed.

So I went reluctantly to Bed Bath and Beyond last week armed with a 20% coupon, determined to upgrade to a hot young version of my old companion. I’m a side sleeper with a shoulder problem that requires me to turn over at least four or five times each night. Not just any pillow can handle that kind of action, so I had to choose carefully.

Eventually I settled on the Brookstone X-2000 microbiologically designed, hypoallergenically bred, with a thousand comfort spikes and advanced skull snuggling technology. The most expensive, hottest looking model in town.

On our first night together I lay down in hopeful anticipation of getting to know my new companion. She wore me out. Whew! What a lady! But man, I’m too old for that sort of action. After midnight I just wanted to rest for Pete’s sake.

The next day my neck felt a little sore. After the excitement of that first night, I couldn’t help but to compare her to her predecessor. She propped my head up at a little steeper angle. When I shifted in the night, the pillow refused to move in tandem. Sure, she looked firm and pretty, but something was off–there was no sensation of welcoming, no shared memory, dare I say no soul.

I decided around 3 a.m. to go back to the old girl but when morning came, she was nowhere to be found. Tossed already, as if RSR knew I could not get over the loss on my own.

So I’ve been trying to make things work.

I’m breaking in the new girl or maybe it’s the other way around.

She’s not keeping me up all night, like at first.

But we’re years away from making magic together.

I hope RSR is happy now.



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Aug 08

Summer Time Dad Is An Idiot

I thought I was doing well yesterday. I had a very productive day at work. There was no yelling in my general direction at least. Then I had to go get my youngest from gymnastics and tote her to dance class. Drop her off and head home to get my wife’s grandma up to feed her supper. She seemed to enjoy the food. When she finished eating, I put her back in the bed and headed back out to get supper for the youngest and myself at Subway. Picked up the youngin’ and headed home. “Dad is batting 1000”. Idiot.

This is where the sabotage started.

Devyn (the little criminals name), told me that she only had one thing that needed a parents signature and momma could do it when she got home. She also informed me around 8 o clock that she was going to get a shower. Sounds good, I thought to myself and went back to my part time job of killing zombies online.

Momma walks through the door around 9 with our other child. It was a pretty normal late night of activities for the kids. I swear, I don’t remember my childhood being so full. I digress.

Mama, who in a previous life was a prison guard or possibly a detective of some sort, surmises in fairly short order that I have dropped the ball in multiple areas.

Devyn (criminal) has not only skipped her shower but apparently has multiple vocabulary words that need to be carved in her brain before some gigantic test that apparently is going down tomorrow. My wife is simultaneously giving me this information while giving me the most curious of looks. I can only describe it as mixture of emotions. Part of it looked like someone staring at a poor animal that has just pooped on the carpet and doesn’t know any better. A look of pure pity gazing upon a stupid creature. The other part of the facial expression was stronger than the first. I took it as murderous. A look only a woman married to such a creature can muster after running all day and having 100 things to do when getting home at 9:30 at night.

I attempted to blame the 8 year old. “She’s not 2 years old!” I pleaded. Momma was having none of the strategy so I went to Old Faithful. I pleaded ignorance. She seemed to accept this excuse. Apparently she has heard it before and fully believes it’s validity.

I have to step up my game. I am having difficulty swapping from summer time Dad to school time Dad. I never would have guessed back in the day that I would still be hatin’ school as a 41 year old man. Have patience with me honey. Your third child is aware of the problem and is working on it!

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Jul 30

Thursday Pickin’ Profiles: The Three Phrases of Larry

Quote of the Day 1:

IMMA–Mac-a-RO-ni!”     –7 year old Larry

With Thursday Pickin’ on the horizon, finally, TB’s been thinkin’ about my old ARBs and looking forward to seeing those old familiar names back in the MTGU. I thought I’d dish a little dirt on some of the boys (and maybe the girls) for your enjoyment.

I first met Larry through my first best friend, BR. They were cousins. BR and I played together almost everyday through our elementary years, starting when I was in first grade and BR was in Kindergarten. After a year or so of endless front yard one-on-one football followed by a daily-bountiful crawdad/golfball hunt in the Ingall’s Avenue ditch, suddenly Larry began to show up and expect some of BR’s attention. Larry and I, a year older than BR, were immediate and evenly matched rivals. I suppose he was my frenemy at the time though of course I’d never heard such a nonsensical word. A word I did hear in those days, however, was “IMMA-Mac-a-RO-ni!”

I thought it was stupid, even if I laughed along with BR when Larry said it. He’d do this gay little dance when he said it too. It WAS funny, I must admit. And to this day, when I think of Larry, I think of him doing his little jig in BR’s kitchen. It’s about seven p.m. on a random midsummer Tuesday. We’re eating those new Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos and drinking Barq’s Root Beer out of Dixie Cups. Larry is standing against the wall, next to the back door. BR’s Mom Brenda laughs, not surprisingly,  and even his old man Russ betrays me by crackin’ a little smile. “Imma-Mac-a-RO-ni!!!” I asked a million times what it meant and where it came from and I don’t think I ever got a straight answer.

Quote of the Day 2:  “You can do that alllllll night long…..”     22 year old Larry

Some years later Larry and I were roommates in Oxford, Mississippi. It was the night of the Egg Bowl and we were having a little late night party with a bunch of folks from home–Smily, Murray, Holly, Greekson, Big John and several others were there. It was about 2 am and our keg was as close to dry as it would go. We were all sitting around tellin’ old lies, Larry lying in front of our 3rd-hand love seat, which was occupied by Smily and Murray. Murray is a girl by the way. For maybe ten or fifteen minutes Smily had been stroking Larry’s already thinning mop of hair. Nobody had commented on it because (a) we were all between one and three sheets to the wind and (b) because it was Smily and (c) because I don’t know.

At some point my brain processed the unseemly scene and sent a message down that I should say something.

“What in the hell are y’all doin’ over there?!”

Smily just smiled and kept right on.

Larry looked up at me with the most self satisfied look you can imagine, revelin’ in the love he was getting now (and perhaps later?). He slowly shook his head and gently cooed, “You can do that alllllllll night long…..”

Well, that set the place on fire and as he slowly gauged our unexpectedly horrified reaction, a look of terror spread across Larry’s face. He looked up and realized his fondler for the evening was not Murray, but Smily. Smily smiled down upon him. Everybody else howled. Somehow Larry managed to crawl under the love seat in shame, never mind that it only featured a two inch clearance.

Quote of the Day 3:     “If the Cowboys win 3 Super Bowls in the 90′s I’ll get a blue star tattooed on my ass.”     –19 year old Larry

In 1989, the Dallas Cowboys were a terrible football team. Sweet was a fan and he just knew they were in for great things in the coming decade. He predicted at least 3 Super Bowl wins in the next ten years. Larry thought that was BS and he put his money where his mouth was. No, he put his ass where his mouth was–that’s much worse. “If the Cowboys win 3 Super Bowls in the 90′s I’ll get a blue star tattooed on my ass.”

Well, they did win 3 Super Bowls and so one week before Larry’s wedding, somewhere around 2000, when he would no longer have any say-so over the contents of his ass, Larry–to his everlasting credit–allowed himself to be driven over to Biloxi to get that blue star. As we rode over there was some controversy. Larry interpreted the oral contract quite literally and noting that size had not been discussed was determined to get a dime-sized star. Sweet, looking to the spirit of the agreement countered that it should be no less than a half-dollar. They bargained for awhile, Sweet offering to compromise at a quarter and Larry countering with a penny. Finally it was settled that a nickel-sized blue star tattoo would satisfy the debt.

And now we all know him alternately as Luscious Larry, Loser Larry, Leapin’ Larry or some such. He’s a mainstay in the lower division of TP. And, these days, he passes himself off in the so-called mainstream universe as respectable.


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Jul 27

Unfriend Me. Please.

I have only “unfriended” exactly 3 people on Facebook for differences in opinion. All 3 were the same exact type of person. The hard line Republican that makes ridiculous arguments and is immune to any amount of common sense. I know I am a very opinionated cat. I also am not shy about sharing my views. I am currently trying to dial down the confrontational approach though. I have realized that nothing good ever comes of it.

Here is the point of this writing. Why in the world would you still be friends with me? I know I didn’t send you a friend request because I don’t ever send friend requests for this very reason. If you don’t like what you see, never forget that you asked to be here. Why torture yourself being subjected to my nonsense? It’s one simple click that takes about a millisecond.

I am going to post the conversation so you can see for yourself the type of unreasonable person I am describing. I will redact his name of course because I am civilized. The conversation that follows was posted on another friends post about Sharia law in the US.

Justin McMillian- All I see is Republican mouthpieces railing against it. Who is calling for Sharia law in the US? I am just curious.

Unreasonable Person- Then go be curious with all the tolerant people who make excuses for them.

Justin McMillian- I’m no fan of Islam. If you can’t tell me who is actually pushing for this, you are kinda making my point. I keep seeing people rail against it but no actual examples of it happening. But you just be angry for no reason.

Unreasonable Person- Im not angry for no reason ass hat. Ive been to their countries ive been shot at by them ive seen what they reduce humanity hopes and dreams and indoviduality to…i would NEVER even think about letting it get even close to the country i call home or the family i have (or even yours you ungrateful punk). Oh and by the way…if you think their life is so great…BYE…wont miss you.

Justin McMillian Oh I see. You are one of those unreasonable people that relies on emotion and not fact. Have a nice day.

Unreasonable Person- No im one of those people who put my money where my mouth was. Youre welcome.

End of conversation.

As you can see, he never answered the question and resorted to misdirection and name calling. I honestly can’t deal with folks like this. If you are on FB reading this and I piss you off as bad as I obviously piss this guy off, please do us both a favor. Just unfriend me now. Life is too short for either of us to be unhappy about some social media BS that is easily rectified. You can actually “block” me and I will cease to exist for you on there. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

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Jul 25

Silver Linings

I often wake up in the middle of the night, my mind buzzing. All the distractions that I had given it that day backfire when 1:00 a.m. rolls in and my mind is ready to sort out issues that I have been avoiding. Most times I roll to my side and paint pictures on the closet door, watch the ceiling fan revolve in an attempt to hypnotize myself, or flip on the tv to something boring in hopes that it knocks me out. Some nights, I find myself looking out the window, or out on the porch staring out into the darkness beyond..avoiding looking up and taken in the stars. You can got lost in the stars, for a every star a new thought occurs, the depth…the expanse of it all it can be overwhelming.

Lately this feeling of an ever-haunting presence of, I don’t know, life has made its appearance on my daily walk/jogs. The all day efforts of keeping myself busy and staying alert catches up to me around the same time, just before I hit 2 miles. In the amount of time it takes to get from my house to the 2 mile mark I have had enough alone time with myself and my thoughts that I end up breaking down in tears (no wonder Ant never asks me what’s on my mind). Not just tears, full fledge lump in the throat bawling. Crying! Who would have ever thought I even had the capability to produce tears? The crying doesn’t last long, which sounds just as ridiculous as admitting to crying while working in some daily exercise (or the fact that crying even happens in the first place) but, suddenly, my little 5 mile breaks of freedom carried a nuisance with it.

At the beginning of the month Ant found me a road bike on Craigslist, I made an offer on it and eventually the guy accepted it. It’s a silver 2013 Specialized Secteur, I don’t know what that means, but I’m told that it’s a decent bike and that I got a pretty good deal on it. My first couple of rides were with Ant, the entire reason I got the bike (to spend some time with him), then he got too busy and I started doing my rides solo and that’s when I noticed how much I enjoy cycling. Suddenly my friends’ and families’ fanaticism with cycling made sense. Everywhere we go I want to bring my bike with me, it in the short amount of time that I have had it, has caused me to have to explain why I love it so much. It starts with escaping, running away, the feeling of literally leaving behind everything. Which probably sounds sick, but I always turn around and go back (at some point). But then there’s also those thoughts that haunt me all day long, that beg for attention. My mind races through them at the beginning of the ride, fast forwarding as I pedal harder, until there’s nothing. Absolutely nothing, except my bike…which is something, but on a level of something’s that I am willing to deal with.

Total escape, total freedom. Everyone should own a road bike.

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Jul 24

Fathers Knows Best (and other childish ideas)

Quote of the Day:

“Raising children is an incredibly hard and risky business in which no cumulative wisdom is gained: each generation repeats the mistakes the previous one made.”      –Bill Cosby

From time to time, as a loving, engaged parent, TB is called upon to answer important, deep and difficult queries from my offspring. I take this duty seriously, attempting to answer honestly, informatively, but also in an age appropriate fashion.

For example, the classic: “Dad where do babies come from?” Of course there are many others, such as: “What makes it snow?” “Was this nugget a real chicken that they had to kill?” And of course the ever popular, “Why are some of your hairs brown and some others are white?”

It’s tough. I do my best: “God, love, marriage, magic.” And, “That’s a great question. Ask your science teacher.”; “No.”; and “Shut up.”

Today was a day for one of those discussions. Scamp had something on her mind, I could tell. She couldn’t figure out the answer on her own and she wasn’t even sure with her fledgling seven-year old vocabulary exactly how to phrase it. But finally,


“Yes, Scamp?”

“You know those cars that are bigger than mini-vans?”

I thought for a few seconds, running the odd question through my mental Scamp-translator-3000. “Oh! You mean a limousine?”


“What about ‘em?”

Scamp narrowed her eyes as the poser turned over and over in her mind, defying the clarity she knew would come if she gave up trying to figuring it out, and instead relied upon the trusty, all encompassing knowledge of her old man. “Where do they park them?”

“What?” I replied, the ST3000 failing to find any relevance in the question and struggling to identify some hidden pitfall in addressing the topic.

“Where do they park them? I mean, they’re too big to fit in a garage.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “Too big.” The ST3000 satisfied me that I’d be relatively safe on this one and I thus attempted to answer the question candidly, notwithstanding my ignorance on the topic. “I think they park them in a big building. Maybe where they work.”

“But how do they get them through the doors of the building?,” she persisted. “They are really big cars.”

My frustration now beginning to build, I quickly countered, “Maybe they have giant doors! You’ve been in giant buildings before haven’t you? They have giant doors sometimes. Okay?”

That quieted her down.

I patted my own back mentally and continued driving, considering what an intellectually imposing and knowledgeable presence I must be for the Li’l Scamp.

Several minutes later she piped back up. “Well… do they get home from the giant building after they park the car? Do they have to walk?”

I took a deep breath and thought about it. I could see this was really bothering her on the cerebral level.

“God. Magic. Ask your science teacher,” I said.

I think based upon her silence she correctly interpreted all that as “shut up.”


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