28 January 2006

A Starbucks to Remember

     It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve offered up my random thoughts to the public.  What can I say?  Dry Spell?  The great mind blight of 2006?  What ever has been kicking the cherubic bottom of my muse, I wish it would quit.  Since wishing and hoping is the stuff passive-aggressive legends are made of, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
     One day this week I was off work and decided to get out of my normal surroundings to see if that would light my mental pilot light.  Since my inspiration quotient has been running a quart low, I chose Starbucks.  What’s worse than writing something at Starbucks? Writing something about an experience at Starbucks has to be a far greater sin.  I do apologize.  It’s hackneyed and trite, but I’ve had my creative Johnson in my hand for 2 weeks.  It’s time to post something.  If you read any further, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  
     Well let’s at least mix it up some.  Let’s do this in script form.  Imagine that I’m trying to sell this to ABC as a scene in some crappy sit com. (And yes I know the format isn’t right.  What are you going to?  Give me an “F” on my own Blog?  And yes, not all of this is quite true.  Situations and characters have been embellished where I like.  Please don’t think about trying to get me on the Oprah show to confess.)

A Starbucks to Remember
Written by: BK
Revision: 27 Jan 06

Welcome to the Starbucks in Hermitage, its 10:00 AM on a sunny, but cold January morning.  The coffee house is filled with your typical characters.  Slackers, avante-guard fan boys and girls, business persons, and the employees (all with Masters in some very difficult, yet very unmarketable subject)

BK- a 30 something balding could loose a few pounds man gets out of a black Honda CR-V with a lap top under his arm.  He’s wearing jeans and sweater with a Serenity baseball cap.  BK opens the door and walks in.  Standing in line he is constantly scanning the room.  BK surveys the coffee shop like someone looking for a terrorist rather than a cup of coffee, he steps up to the counter.

BK: A large caramel machadio, please
Employee #1: A corn fed, young woman with unnaturally tinted hair, a Cocopeli nose ring gleaming, and a button that says “My Ferret Screwed Your Honor Student” You mean a Vendi?
BK: If that is Starbucks code for “Large” then yes.
------Queue Laugh Track
Employee #1:Looks at BK with distain and takes his money.
BK: Waits in line for his coffee.  Starbucks Employee #2 hands him his cup.
Employee #2: Have a special day.
BK: Same to you buddy. BK walks over to the only open table in the place.  Placing his lap-top and coffee on the table, the camera pans from his fingers counting to the number of Blackberries he sees.  Camera pans up for a close head shot of BK shaking his head when he reaches 10.  Opening the lap top and he starts to peck at the keyboard.  Looking over the screen, he sees Patron #1 approach him.
Patron #1: Very neat, very stylishly dressed 30’s male; obviously under the spell of Metrosexuality or some other type of sexuality.   Are you Ron?  You don’t look a thing like the picture you sent me.
BK: I think you’ve got the wrong guy.
Patron #1: Is nearly bowled over by Patron #2.  Patron #2 is a mid-40’s male with a mustache that can only be described as a cookie duster.  Patron #2 grabs Patron #1’s arm. I’m Ron! Patron #2 starts dragging Patron #1 to a table and looks over his shoulder at BK.  Patron #2 gives him a look that would steam a clam. This process is repeated two more times with other stereotypical internet hook ups.  A woman hooking up with another woman and an obviously married woman hooking up with an obviously married man repeat the process.
BK: Shakes his head and wishes that Starbucks is not a smoke free environment.  Looking around the coffee shop again, he sees that all the business persons are eyeing his brand new lap top with envy.  BK’s eyes land on a purposely bald businessman.  He is a line backer type with a goatee.  He is sitting in one of the couches that is too small for him.  It reminds BK of pictures of FDR in a wheelchair.  BK looks down at the man’s wingtips and notices a growth on his right ankle that is hidden by his sock.  The growth is in the exact shape of a scrotum. If this guy’s got balls that big, I have no chance at succeeding at anything today.  BK takes his laptop and coffee and leaves.  In the parking lot he lights a cigarette and the camera zooms on his face.  There is a lone tear running down his cheek, as he unlocks his CR-V and drives home.

Scene Fades

With all that said, I think I’m going to get drunk tonight and go on a Snipe hunt.  

18 January 2006

A friend in need, is a thing in deed and the trail has it's own strict code

     The bad thing about driving home in the weather conditions we had last night is not the roads or the weather.  Neither of those things hindered my progress on the 70+ mile trip I drive every day.  What does a man in is the hint of danger.  The situation is ripe with enough potential that it heightens one’s spider sense and is safe enough to lull him into false securities.  
     One’s mind tends to wander into odd corners when these states of affairs exist.  I began to day dream that I would run off the road and the members of MUFFIE (Mulletiers Uniting for Follicle Initiatives Everywhere) would finally catch up with me.  Realizing that I was the one behind the Tennessee/Kentucky Mullet Hunters Alliance they would finally have their chance to rub me out.  The only thing saving me from the situation would be some spurious logic and a very real looking resin cast German Shepherd in my back seat.  Or running off the road in a cell no man’s land and hiking to the nearest trailer to use the phone.  Only to be faced with a conclave of evil middle aged hypnotists practicing throwing their panties and love hexes at Tom Jones the next time he played Municipal.
     I was snapped back into reality at the state line.  Gleaming on the side of the interstate was the sodium lights of a state run rest stop.  My thoughts began to wander back to a night in 1990 when I was faced with a dilemma at a rest stop on a similarly snowy night.  You might remember the exact December weekend this happened.  Some well meaning, but wrong, professor in Memphis had predicted a massive earthquake along the New Madrid fault line.  The region was up in arms at the impending destruction of life as we knew it in Tennessee was about to end.
     I had been rooked by Gav to do a convention run to Vincennes, Indiana.  The takings from the geek fest were slim and we decided to cut losses on Saturday.  Driving through the night every bridge we came to became a death trap with the impending earthquake.  To make matters worse, a fluffy blanket of snow was sent from the fates to wrap us in our ground shaking demise.  We drove straight through the night and ended up in at the Clarksville rest station around 4 AM.  Needing to powder our noses and freshen our coffee, we decided to stop.
     Our business concluded, we mounted up again for the last leg of the journey home.  The ever so slight hitch arose that our van would not start.  Poking and prodding at wires and engine parts would not force the beast to turn over.  Cold and frustrated, we kept trying when we noticed a woman in a fur coat walk over to us.  Dear readers, please remember I was 18 and not nearly as wise as I am now.  The following is a bullet point summary of the conversation and events that happened afterwards.
  • Early 30’s rode hard and put up wet fur coat wearing woman comes up to us and asks if we need help.

  • We explain the situation to her.  She offers to use her AAA card to get us a tow truck.  She throws in that if she can get a tow truck there before we can conjure one up, we owe her breakfast. And that she knows the prefect place by a motel in Clarksville that she would take us to.

  • Being young and desperate, I began to think this was not such a bad idea.  Gav being older and wiser smelled foul

  • The woman insists on helping us and goes into the rest stop to call a tow truck.  I notice she’s signing the visitor’s registry and wonder why anyone would do so leaving a pager number.

  • Gav beings to write a note to leave in the van stating that if we get our heads cut off with a box cutter, the woman in question did it.

  • The tow truck arrives, and tells us we’re SOL.  The van is too heavy to tow.  The drive has his wife and small child in the car.  The fur coated woman talks to him for a long time, gets in her car and leaves.  

  • The tow truck driver comes over to us and explains that she wouldn’t give him her AAA card number and that we own him for the trip.  Then he throws in something about thinking the woman was “Corporate Beaver”

  • The tow truck driver’s wife beings to wear him out for talking to her for so long, and thinks he’s set up a little side action for later.  I’m sure she was right, because his blushing bride was of the Frankenstein variety.

  • Realizing she was a hooker, I felt stupid for almost being duped.  I have never trusted a fur coated woman at a rest area again.  
     In later years, I’ve wanted to track the woman down and thank her.  Thank you Victoria A. ***** for making me a cynic.  (I’ve checked with my lawyers and unfortunately I cannot say that her last name was the German word for bird.  Even though the events are true and in my capacity as a reporter for the Daily Punctilio would allow me to do so)

12 January 2006

School Days.....School Days

In thinking about Nathan Warmack last night, I began very maudlin thoughts about America’s youth. I employ a number of college age “kids” at my day job. (I do appreciate all of you out there that thought writing this blog paid the bills, but alas you’re smoking crack.) In my discussions with them, I have found a troubling hole in their collective educations. Oh their knowledge of history and mathematics is ok, but who is teaching these kids about road trips? Did they skip the day in freshman orientation when they explained what is covered in the recreation or student union fees? Every 18-23 year old I’ve spoken to in the last year needs this gap in their education filled.
DISCLAIMER: I do not advise anyone doing any of this. This blog is a parody of the sham of the enigma wrapped in a burrito that is 21st Century life in America. The following are things that I have heard about people doing and their ethical rational for doing so. Enter into any of these enterprises at your own risk. Do not consider me a role model, or a super model. Do not taunt Happy Funball.

The Student Union Fee and other College tips

Most colleges bilk you out of a few hundred a semester for a Student Union fee. Some places call it a recreation fee, common area fee, activity fee or a fee for use of some lame entertainment building that has 3 used fuss ball tables. The bursar is kind enough to tack this on to your tuition if you make us of it or not. Personally, I view this as another way socialist influences are creeping into our higher education system. I’ve had friends that have used the following methods to recoup the tax from the commissars.
In the spirit of fighting off the red peril on your campus, I’ve included some Ayn Rand approved money making schemes. As always, please pay local and state sales taxes where applicable and check with your lawyer before entering into any of these endeavors.

1. If you live off campus, you should never have to buy toilet paper. Find a supply closet in a seldom used building and get a roll every day or two. If your school uses the industrial sized rolls, all the better. Keep a regular roll in the bathroom for company and use the 6 inch roll as private stock.
2. Why buy notebook paper? Make a template on Word of evenly spaced lines on a blank page. Print out 10-20 each time you’re in the computer lab. Use someone else’s 3 hole punch. Viola, you have notebook paper.
3. Take a zip-lock bag with you to the dinning hall. Rolls, cereal, packets of tea and coffee, chips, whatever. Just fill up the bag with something at every meal for midnight study snacks.
4. While this idea is not sticking it to the man, it can make you some money. Go to a mass merchandiser and buy boxes of single dose medicines and No Doz. Undercut the school store by 25 cents a pack and set up shop. I even had a friend that would buy cartons of smokes and sell them off by the pack.
5. Take a digital camera everywhere, especially parties. There are always some photos no one wants to see the light of day. I won’t go into the story about this money making scheme. It involves a scuba suit, a passed out pre-med student, and Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups.
6. I have one phrase for you… medical experiments. Sperm and plasma could fetch top dollar. I suggest the reproductive material route. Not only do you get paid to do something you’re going to end up doing on a Saturday night anyway, but you get to check out the latest porn.
For the born again hard crowd, you can try the real medical experiments. Now these can be quite lucrative, but there may be some side effects. I knew a girl that faked depression to get on a drug trial program. Unfortunately, she did not get on the placebo track. The side effect was that while on the drug, she would never defecate in the same place twice. Eventually, she used all the crappers on campus and had to spiral outwards from campus to find a place to roost. She had no car, so every night after dinner we would see her walking. Shambling towards a new place to shoot the chocolate, we all wept and held hands.

I’m sure I’ll add to this list and do a separate Road Trip Tips on another post… Keep coming back and I’ll keep rambling…

10 January 2006

Let the Jackson School System eat Haggis

I’m not looking forward to the day that someone will have to pry "something" out of my cold dead hands. The sentiment is not for me, you understand. By the time some poor schmuck is breaking my death grip; I’ll be facing my heart, a feather, a scale and a half-man/half crocodile intent on eating my soul. My fate having been decided, the guy breaking up the rigor is who I pity. Today, that lucky EMT or undertaker’s list of things that might be in my hands when Grim comes a knocking was reduced by one. After tonight, there is no reason I will need to clutch a kilt when the Great Architect calls me home.
If you will, recall the tale of Nathan Warmack in my Outlaw Kilts post. Nathan’s right to wear a kilt at Jackson, MO school district functions was validated tonight. The superintendent of the school system formally apologized to Nathan for baring his entrance to a school dance for wearing a kilt. (I’m not going to rewrite news articles, so click here to get up to speed on what happened today. I must admit, I was asleep at the wheel. Thanks Reelfoot Sara for giving me a head’s up on these events.)
I’m sure everyone can tell that I’m not feeling long winded tonight. But out of each victory, an after action report must be done. I might expound on these points later, but for now take the bullet points and sleep on them.
1. All the news articles I’ve read have made no mention of Principal McClard saying jack. Own up to your bad judgment McClard; don’t let your Superintendent eat your plate of crow.
2. Where the heck is the ACLU in all this? A search of their web site will show no hits on Nathan Warmack or kilt. I’ll let you figure this out. Their web site has a blurb on this teenager being a “True Patriot” for participating in a lawsuit against the Colorado School system’s regulation requiring students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily. The august body at the ACLU must have just missed this news story.
3. The moral of the story is that you never, ever screw with a man in a kilt.

Chalk one up for the good guys. Nathan, you’ve got some stones lad. For that, when you turn 21, the first Glenfiddich Gran Reserva is on me. Congratulation to you and everyone that helped you reclaims your right to observe your Scottish Heritage.
As for me, I will have to call Charlston Heston and figure out something else I can clutch when passing into that good night.

01 January 2006

New Year's Resolutions

It’s New Years and I’m thinking there needs to be some changes in my life. My resolution last year of fostering new and interesting phobias didn’t work out so well. So now a fresh start, visa via, the planet completing a rotation around the sun. Below is a list of 18 things I resolve to do this year. If you’re not familiar with the list of 18 concept, it’s a Disk Golf and Chub Squad thang. You might not understand…

  1. Eat a DQ Blizzard every day

  2. Become involved in a conspiracy of national, or international, significance

  3. Smoke one more pack and drink one more cup of coffee before 6 am.

  4. Bilk an old lady out of her fortune

  5. Sing East Bound and Down at Andy Cap’s karaoke night

  6. Write a Lifetime movie script, when it’s rejected try the Hallmark Channel.

  7. Solve the mysterious disappearance of Arlo the Clown

  8. Campaign to include the Time Cube theory in textbooks

  9. Involve the ACLU in a Happy Hogmanay campaign

  10. Discover a cure for shart

  11. Find uses for canned air other than blowing away trace evidence

  12. Avoid Cracker Barrel at all costs

  13. Party with the guys from Myth Busters

  14. Write the geek’s guide to “How to Impress Your Girlfriend’s Dad”; topics to include: sports, hardware stores, and grilling guide.

  15. Build errant running robot that looks like K-9 from Dr. Who.

  16. Audition for role as Starbuck’s new love interest on Battlestar Galactic

  17. Convince Don King to promote the ultimate fight; the AFLAC Duck versus the Engergizer Bunny

  18. Never preface an order for Thai food with,”Give it to me as hot as you think I can take it.”

And as always, feel free as a tree in the wind to comment on your particular resolutions. I’m sure the world is as interested in hearing yours as you were to hear mine…