assorted rants, creative writing, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy

An Unexpected Blast from the Past, A Self-Esteem Boost at Walmart, and a Strange History

 

Steve Perry 2014

I was a bit delighted as well as taken aback this morning at seeing my long-time most favorite singer, Steve Perry appearing live on stage again.  I even liked the song he performed with the Eels (a band I didn’t know existed until today) even though the more prudy types would be offended by the language in it.

Sometimes coarse language is the only way to describe aptly the frustration and pain in one’s heart.  Been there.  Done that.  Don’t want to go there again, although in my heart of hearts I know I will.

It’s still a good song, and for a guy of Steve’s age and ill health, he still sounds good.

axe phoenix

 

Every time I go to Walmart with Steve-o it’s a new adventure.  First he was pissed because he couldn’t find the one kind of deodorant he likes – Axe Phoenix, the blue gel, NOT the white paste- except in a two pack.  I thought I was cheap.  I told him, he has two pits, so why not a deodorant stick for each pit? Just label them “right” and “left” as borderline OCD as he can be.  Finally he decided it would just be easier to buy two, as if he’s not going to use one up in a week or two anyway?  It must be the opposite of the Costco mentality- buy barely enough for a few days, then make a trip to buy more.  Personally if I have the scratch (and he has more than I do) then I usually buy in quantity- not only for the discount per unit, but to save myself a trip.

Of course we encountered the Freaky People of Walmart  en masse-  such as the morbidly obese woman who probably was not even 30 yet, trolling about in the little battery powered Mart Cart, sporting her bleach blonde ends and about three inches of black roots, and a plethora of extremely poor quality tats on a good portion of the exposed surface area.  

mart_cart-xti

When your ass is bigger than a Toyota Corolla, that “bright, Corvette-like finish” on your lard-ass cart is a sure bonus!

I guess my quandaries about the Mart Carts are:

1. How do they actually move under the suffocating heft of their passengers?  If a normal sized person got in one and took off in it, would it set land speed records?

2. Is the minimum weight requirement at least 300#?  Because I’ve never seen anyone under 300# trolling about in one of those.

3. Do they use deep cycle batteries, sort of like for boat trolling motors- or more like the batteries in a Prius?

4. Would the need for the carts be vastly diminished if some of the riders got off of their behemoth asses and actually walked a bit while in the store?

 bad fashion 5-14

 I sort of enjoyed Jelly Roll woman too.  She wasn’t quite large enough for the carts (give her time, she was probably in her early 20’s) though I don’t think she realized that a cherry red tube top is a poor fashion choice when your body sort of resembles the Michelin Man’s.  The badly done pink dye job on her hair and misspelled neck tats (when one is trying to say, “Missy loves Ray”  it is not spelled “love’s“) were the icing on that cake.  Woof.   I am glad I didn’t have the pleasure of  feasting my oculars upon “Ray.”

Then again, it’s Steve-o’s reactions to the wildlife of Walmart that I find absolutely priceless.  Such as when he was looking for that men’s three-in-one shampoo, conditioner and body wash, and a rather large girl in low rise Daisy Dukes bent over right in front of him, exposing a rather hairy and somewhat substantial ass crack.

muffin top

I thought he was going to hurl right down her shorts.  That would have been camera-worthy,  if only I had the courage.  I don’t take pics in Walmart precisely because the wildlife are large enough to devour me in one bite, or to sit on me and squash me like the unfortunate “lost” Chihuahua in the “Lost Dog” cartoon.

 lost dog

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t remember people being so flipping fat.  I feel like a freaking anorexic when I go to Walmart, and I’m no Calista Flockhart by any stretch.  The rural areas are absolutely the worst, as far as the really behemoth size 20+ underwear wearing chicks – (and there’s plenty of hefty dudes too) as if they have nothing better to do than watch Direct TV and tie on the feed bag.  I can understand that in those places, though.  There really isn’t much to do.  Even screwing must get boring after awhile.

In defense of the portly rural poor, healthy food is expensive.  It’s really cheap to go and get a bunch of store brand snackies or ramen noodles and mac and cheese if you don’t have much cash.  It’s not so cheap to buy fresh produce (I even balk at that- frozen is cheaper and it’s less wasteful) or lean meat, or to buy minimally processed ingredients to prepare and cook one’s own food.  A can of Spaghetti-os is a lot easier (and cheaper) lunch option than grilled white chicken on wheat with provolone, tomato, lettuce, onion and mustard on wheat toast.  I have been there and done that.  Canned and processed stuff is cheap and easy but will lead one down the primrose path to lardassism with the quickness.

 

 spaghettios n doritos

I do love me some Skettios and Doritos, though! mmmmm!

 As an aside, I just got put on hold and was subjected to a rather odious rap “song.”  The only lyrics I could make out were:

Prestone

Body

Daddy

Anything you like

Whoever included those words and phrases in a song needs some serious psychotherapy time.  Either that, or I just can’t make any sense of rap.

 

 

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assorted rants, creative writing, historical interest, misanthropy

Collecting More Eclectic Ephemera, and Someone Lost a Shoe on the Interstate

shoesonpowerlines

 

I don’t understand how shoes end up on the Interstate.  I have heard the urban legend that states that tying a pair of shoes together and tossing them over a power line indicates that someone nearby is selling the reefer, but I don’t think that the median of I-71 would be a good place to score some chronic.

Another theory I have is that the nimrods one sees on the freeway (usually teenage kids) who like to put their feet on the dashes and out car windows occasionally have a shoe blown off, which would constitute one of those “actions lead to consequences” sort of lessons.   As in, your mother is going to kick your butt sideways when she realizes you just lost one of a pair of $100 Reeboks.

Then there is always the prankster possibility- Jimmy’s sleeping like death in the back seat, so now’s the time to chuck his DCs out the moon roof.  Fun and laffs-laffs-laffs for everyone, except Jimmy, who will now have to wear his little sister’s Hello Kitty pink flip flops for the duration of the vacation.

hk sandalsOh so manly.  Not. But, not being a man, I wish they made these in adult women’s sizes.

 

I can also understand tossing footwear out the window when and if it smells like six week old rancid pork chops that have been marinating in horse piss and used cat litter. This actually happened on a road trip to North Carolina with my parents and my then teenaged son.  The POMC wears a bizarre size- 13 AA- so when he finally finds a pair of comfy shoes, they cost out the wazoo (and he is even more cheap than I am- except with his motor sport needs) and he wears them until they literally fall apart.   I remember these shoes all too well- a pair of highly distressed and duct-taped Etnies that I had once had to special order and paid $100 + for, but by that time they had been worn, used and abused until the very thinnest pieces of soles remained.

Etnies-Kingpin-Black-Lamy2

The Etnies were nice shoes when they were new- but not after 2 years of Steve-o abuse.

And they smelled.  Horrible.  I came much too close to paying a brief and intense visit with Cousin Ralph getting a whiff of that, and I have almost no sense of smell.  It had to be deadly for anyone with a normal sense of smell to be anywhere near that funk.

So when Steve-o decided, somewhere on I-71 in rural Kentucky, that it would be a good idea to remove the shoes, peel off the socks, and let his bird claws air out, a green and thick stench wafted through the Venture van like a malevolent, pasty sewage-y fog.

footsmell

 

I thought Mom was going to hurl right out the passenger side window.   It is only by a Miracle of God that she didn’t spew the Burrito Supreme and Taco Salad she’d just scarfed about an hour earlier at Taco Bell all down the side of the van.  The sight of used Taco Bell splattering down the side of the van and onto the freeway coupled with that evil green miasma that was permeating the interior of the van would have guaranteed a mass uprising of various stomach contents.

 

burrito supreme

I’m sure it doesn’t taste as good on the way back up.

Traveling alone does help one to avoid the hazards of traveling with others- noxious smells, dangerous driving, and the unappetizing visuals of  blood relatives who are dead to the world, open-mouthed and snoring like freight trains.

I rather enjoyed my solo road trip to NC last week.  The only thing I really didn’t like was all the rudeness and bad driving I encountered on the way home.  Apparently assholes are universal, or they were having a convention on I-75 northbound all through Kentucky.  I don’t know why everyone in the south seems to think they are NASCAR drivers or some crap.

I was also able to avoid tourist traps and kitschy restaurants by bringing my own chow and only stopping for gasoline and to get coffee and pee.  I didn’t encounter any worthy souvenirs this way, but then again I didn’t end up getting taken for various overpriced hillbilly swag.

fish finder

That was almost a sad thing, failing to bring back some sort of memento.  Next time I take a trip like that I should make it a point to stop off at some of those shops along the Interstate just to see if there is anything worth having other than homemade fudge, moonshine (now legal in Tennessee!) or shot glasses.

hillbilly moonshine

 

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assorted rants, cougardom, dogs, gratuitous self pity, misanthropy, theology

God Loves a Hot Mess, and the Devil Is in the Details

hot_mess_shirt-

 

All I can think is that God must love a hot mess, which is good news for me.  The past two weeks have been rather crazy.  I’ve had to make some difficult decisions, two of them in saying no to things and situations that would have been desirable- except that the devil is in the details.

I did get to say yes to the car, which I had been mulling about for awhile, and the pieces came together fortuitously on that one.

But I had to turn down taking in a beautiful black Malinois (still a bit despondent over that one) because Jerry insisted on taking in Lucy last October.  I couldn’t say no to that, especially since we had lost Sheena last May.

Lucy, while she is a sweet dog, is definitely not a Malinois.  Lucy is a hot mess of a willful, disobedient and destructive Beagle mixed with English Bulldog (why, oh why would someone interbreed that combo on purpose?)  Clara, my (1/2 Malinois) sweet pleaser, obeys hand commands and head nods (she’s that intuitive) and Lilo, just knows and follows the routine.  I am still carrying Lucy to her crate in the mornings. She does not go to the crate of her own volition even though she knows she is going to end up there one way or another.

Lucy sleeping

In the words of the philosopher/theologian Mick Jagger: “You can’t always get what you want/You can try sometimes/You just might find/You get what you need.”

Sometimes what I want and what I need are two completely different things.

I discovered last week that even though I’ve been away from the automotive dealer scene for almost fifteen years, just how easy it would be for me to go right back to where I was before (different place, same type of job.)  I was given the opportunity to do that.  I really, really wanted to, but again, the devil is in the details.  Thankfully I came to my senses and realized that 1. working straight commission is no way to live, because you end up living at work, and 2. it would be so easy to go back to that work-as-a-drug power trip euphoria.

The problem with that is when I live that way my entire identity becomes what (and how well) I’m doing versus who I am being.  And that is some scary shit.  That’s what landed me in my doctor’s office with ischemic attacks, bleeds in the scleras of both eyes and uncontrolled high blood pressure. That’s what got me the lecture from my doctor (when I was 30) that I wouldn’t live to see 35 unless I changed my lifestyle.

I made it to 45, so I must be doing something right, but in a rather unexpected and unsolicited job offer I learned something about myself that I don’t particularly like.

I like being in control. I really like it, and if I’m honest with myself I find that’s what’s been pissing me off for so long.  I don’t like being talked down to.  I don’t like having to work within inefficient processes and inane policies that I don’t have the authority to change.  I don’t like being held responsible for bad outcomes that I had no hand in creating- and that I don’t have the authority to fix.  I don’t like being controlled by people who shouldn’t be in the positions they’re in.  I don’t like being in a position where challenging the status quo is an exercise in futility.

The bad thing is that in any environment where one has to deal with people, all of the noxious roadblocks to harmonious living, good business, and successful outcomes listed above are right there, wherever one may go.  So it’s better to deal with the devil you know than to buy into a whole ‘nother demon who may be even worse.

Red_Guy_1

I remember reading somewhere that the devil can be in all the things you really, really want.  It sort of reminds me of when Satan tempted Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world- that somehow selling your soul is worth all the stuff you get in exchange.

I really don’t want to make deals with the devil.

While it’s not good for me to be the one in charge, it’s also not good for me to play the whipping post.  If only I could avoid either extreme.  I’ve been doing “whipping post” for way too long, which is what made my out of the blue offer look so attractive.

whipping post

Maybe somewhere along the line I went from brash hard ass to completely losing my voice (in a figurative way) and that’s another vexing place to be.

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