Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A tale of the old wild west

The old man sighed as the stranger rode up. "Stay here, Lucy Sue", he said as he picked up the old weathered chest and went outside. The stranger climbed down from his mount, stretched and ambled toward the house.

The old man put the chest down at his feet and said, "what can I do for you, young fella?" The stranger replied, "I'm here for your daughter, old man."
"I've got a right mind to put you in the dirt, boy."
"And why is that, old man?"
"Because I figure you for a slippery black snake and you belong slithering on the ground with the rest of your kind."
"Well, old man, if you'll notice, I am already on the ground. Standing upright on my feet and all but still on the ground just the same, so to speak."
"You have bested me with your logic, stranger. Come and claim your prize." The old man opened the chest with the toe of his boot. The stranger approached slowly, keeping his eyes on the old man as he did, getting within inches before kneeling down. He reached deep into the chest, rummaging with his hand through the contents for several seconds before pulling his hand out and looking at what he had retrieved.
"A whistle! Seriously? I can keep it?"
"It's yours, boy."
The stranger yelled "Yee-haww!!" as he ran back to his horse, jumped on and rode off at a full gallop toward the horizon, happily blowing the whistle as his silhouette shrank and disappeared. The old man sighed as he hefted the old weathered chest and brought it back inside. Lucy Sue would remain a virgin for at least one more day.

Monday, February 25, 2013

I'm not sick anymore...maybe

As promised, here's new material...

I am no longer sick. No, at this point I actually think I died two weeks ago but the drugs I've been ingesting are just so powerful that they won't let me stop moving. Have you ever seen a car so dirty that you weren't sure that if it were washed, there'd be anything there afterward? Like, at some point, it stopped being a car and became dirt in the shape of a car? That's kind of what I am now, drugs roughly in the shape of a human-esque being, walking around and doing stuff.

In the event that theory is incorrect, I guess I'm still sick, but that just doesn't make sense. Because when people get sick, generally they get better or worse and I'm not. I'm the same level of sick I have been for four weeks now. What's your point, influenza?

I've eaten so little (and retained for any length of time, even less) that I should look like an Ethiopian fashion model. The other day, I ate 3/4 of a Lean Cuisine before feeling bloated and saying, "oog, that's enough of that noise". I told my friend about that and she said, "yuck, I'd rather eat the box." I said, "You're missing the point; it's not the quality of the Lean Cuisine, it's the quantity. Under normal circumstances, when I pick up a Lean Cuisine in the store, I can tell by the weight in my hand that it's not going to be enough to fill me up. Normally, I'd be inclined to slap two of them together around a paint stirrer and make a popsicle to eat between meals... and I couldn't finish one! Who does that?!?" Yesterday, I ate two eggs and a piece of ham for breakfast around 10am, had a grilled chicken sandwich and about half an order of fries before deciding that was too much of a chore for lunch around 4pm and a big bowl o' nothin' for din din. And I'm not even hungry.

This is almost as disturbing a development as the failure of my usual "go to" remedy for the flu. Typically, I can count on drinking gallons of orange juice, which is necessary to counteract the taste of Alka-Seltzer Plus, which tastes like ass soda but puts me into the coma I need to sleep the shit out of it. This time, it hasn't worked. Neither has NyQuil or Mucinex or Delsym or all the other stuff I've forgotten. I'm still at exactly the same level of congestion I have been for weeks.

Worst of all is this thing that has been happening where I cough so hard that my windpipe actually seals up and I can't breath for a few seconds. This usually, but not always, happens late at night. The first few times, it really scared me. I'd sit up in bed, gasping for air, flailing my arms, tears running down my face, life flashing before my eyes, all that stuff. Now, it's more of an annoyance. The other day it happened while I was driving and changing the radio station and I didn't stop doing either of those things. Sure, at that moment I was unable to draw oxygen into my body which is a life-threatening problem, but I'll be damned if I'm going out listening to REO Speedwagon.

All of this makes (some) people say to me, "I bet now you wish you'd gotten a flu shot." Oh yeah. Because if I had to do it all over again, I want someone to inject this directly into my body rather than take a chance of dodging it on my own. It's like telling someone who's been hit by a car while trying to cross the street, "I bet now you wish you'd just laid down in the street and let them run over your femurs."

Anyway, now you're all up to date. I'm either already dead or this level of illness is my life now. Actually, I feel pretty good today. I'm even seriously considering eating a meal.

Friday, February 22, 2013

I'm still (still) sick

Remember what I said Wednesday? Same thing today. I'm sincerely sorry. Believe me, I hate it more than you do. Come back on Monday and I promise, I swear, I'll have new fart jokes for you then.
In the mean time, feel free to catch up on the ongoing adventures of The Unbelievables, coverage of the Tampa Bay Lightning at Raw Charge and advice on all things writerly at Peevish Penman, all places where I'm not a massive failure at meeting my deadlines...yet. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I'm (still) sick

I wouldn't have thought this was even possible, but somehow I have been sick for about a month. The year is not even two months old, so I have been sick for more than half of it. All I do is work and then come home, pound various drugs and then go to bed. Ridiculous. Every time I start to feeling better, I relapse. Anyway, it's catching up to me and I'm starting to be unable to fulfill my normal obligations, including to this here blog. So no material from me today. Instead, enjoy this collection of various Harlem Shake videos.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Conveniently open to ridicule

Sometimes, not all the times, just sometimes, when I get done working a late night (such as after a Tampa Bay Lightning home game; did I mention that I cover the team for, I like to stop on the way home and get a little snack. I know it's not good to do that, but like I said I don't do it all the time and I just get a little something, like maybe a single donut and a milk, okay? That's it. Geez, get off me.
The place I like to, and by "like to" I mean it's "most convenient for me to", stop is a little convenience store in west Tampa. Not a 7-Eleven or Circle K or even a Racetrac. Nothing so fancy for me. I don't even know what the name of the place is. The only sign I've ever bothered to notice is the one that says "OPEN".
The guy that works the night shift has a nametag on his smock that says "SCOTTY", although I'm positive he's not Scottish or Irish or any other ethnicity that ends in "ish". Scotty hates me. I suspect he hates most people. I don't know why that is. I do know that in my case it's because this happens fairly often...

ME: Let's see what we have to eat tonight...
SCOTTY: (Sigh) Donuts, over here.
ME: I want to see what epicurean delights are available at this establishment.
SCOTTY: Why? You never order!
ME: I might be in the mood for something different; let me just inspect your little carnival of horrors here...
SCOTTY: (Sigh)
ME: What's that? That tub of orange-y brown meat? What's going on there? Do you smear that on bread or put it in a cone or what?
SCOTTY: It's barbecue. For sandwich.
ME: All right. I don't see any buns or bread so I'm assuming the treatment of that is even more horrible than what's in the display case, since you have it hidden. Pass. What's this next to the meat tub?
SCOTTY: Pizza.
ME: Pizza! Really! Well, I had a hunk of cardboard covered in flavorless red goo hidden under a mottled dome of rubber cement for lunch, so...
SCOTTY: Is cheese pizza! No cardboard, no cement! I make fresh! Delicious!
ME: Whoa! What the hell are these?
SCOTTY: Mini tacos. Four for dollar.
ME: They don't look like tacos.
SCOTTY: They are mini tacos.
ME: No, do you want to know what they look like?
SCOTTY: They look like mini tacos.
ME: Nope! They look like the Franklin Mint released a line of precious miniature replicas of celebrity vaginas and you have the whole set but they were damaged in a fire.
SCOTTY: They are mini tacos! Not war chinas!
ME: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! What did you say?!?
SCOTTY: Listen to me...!
ME: Wait! That one winked at me!
SCOTTY: What?!?
ME: That one right there! Joy Behar's melted toy war china just winked at me!
SCOTTY: Stop! Stop now!
ME: What can you tell me about these hot dogs?
SCOTTY: They are hot dogs. One niney nine.
ME: They look like they've been twirling around on that contraption since the Bush administration.
SCOTTY: Ha! Which one? [He started saying this with a tone of "GOTCHA!", as if he had defeated me by noting that there was more than one, a tone which very quickly faded as he realized that the most recent was still over four years ago, thus failing to deflect my insinuation that the hot doges were less-than-fresh]
ME: Overruled. Rhetorical.
SCOTTY: ...what?
ME: One donut, please. And a milk.
SCOTTY: (Sigh)

Friday, February 15, 2013

An update (sort of) on the book

Carrie Bailey, the head honcho over at Peevish Penman, tagged me in a Q and A game regarding soon-to-be-published books. Hey, I have one of those! So I answered the questions and here they are...

 Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book? "A Ridiculously Inconsistent Treasury"

Where did the idea come from for the book? One day, a wizened gypsy crone came up to me on the street and said, "You've been producing content free of charge for audiences to enjoy for a number of years now. You should gather what you consider to be the very best of what you've done, put it in a book and make money from it." She walked past me but turned around and said, "Also, your zipper is down and has been all day long." She was right about the zipper thing so I thought she might be on to something with the book idea.

What genre does your book fall under? It's a collection of fiction and non-fiction short essays, so I guess it's an anthology, which is a way more impressive word than it deserves.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I'm afraid I'm the only actor who could play me so we'll stick with that. Other characters could be portrayed by a stable of various age-inappropriate actresses. 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Here is a collection of stuff I've written over the last seven years that you could have read for free a week ago.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Self-published, baby. That feeds the punk rock aesthetic I'm striving for so desperately.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Everything has already been published starting back in 2006, but compiling it all, re-reading and re-editing it for the purpose of putting it in a book has taken almost a year.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? While in no way whatsoever comparing myself to these authors, this book... ideally... will resemble "Ant Farm: And Other Desperate Situations" and "Free Range Chickens" by Simon Rich or anything by David Sedaris. 

Who or what inspired you to write this book? I looked around my apartment one day and decided what I needed was several cartons of unsold merchandise with my name printed on it.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? It will have a "Choose Your Adventure!" feature that allows you to skip around the contents in no particular order, an index that tells you what pages all the dirty words are on and will be useful in the event of an emergency in that it will be extremely flammable.

Here are links to my fellow Peevish Penmates...

Carrie Bailey
Lyssa Proctor
Molly Field
Rob Hines

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My winter jacket

It doesn't get that cold in Florida and even when it does it doesn't last very long. Still, you need to own a jacket. I needed one before this winter hit and I've always liked the style of the classic letterman's jacket so I decided to get one. I didn't want one in certain school colors with medals and elaborate embroidery, just a plain black or dark blue one. I don't want to look like the captain of the cross country team, I just wanted to stay warm in a nice looking jacket.
Thing is, even if that's all you want and you want to pick it up and wear it right away, you still have to go to the stores that sell the ones that kids in high school wear. If you've ever thought about doing this, I have one word of advice: DON'T.

First, they're expensive. The ones at the store I went to in south Tampa (the location could be at least part of the reason for the high prices, actually) started at $185 and went up into the $300s. And that's without any stuff on them. That's a lot, isn't it? I don't really know how much good things are supposed to cost but that seems like a lot. I paid less than $100 for the jacket I eventually did get. I don't know how parents are expected to afford stuff like that for their kids.

Secondly, if you're anything like me, you're not going to be comfortable in a store with a bunch of minivan-driving moms escorting packs of JV cheerleaders around.
"Hi. Can I help you?"
"Yes, I'm looking for a jacket."
"For a boy or a girl?"
"For me, actually."
"Oh. Hmm. Okay. Well, did you go to one of the schools we have on display here?"
"No, I'm not looking to represent a school. Maybe just plain black, like the socks I prefer to leave on when I'm having sex?"

Anyway, as is so often the case, there are some sweet deals (and actually, considerably less weirdness) to be found by shopping on line.

Monday, February 11, 2013

White People Problems: Extreme Edition

One day last week, I found myself not-that-hungry at lunch so I walked to the nearby Starbucks, figuring they had muffins and such. When I got there, I saw that they offered bagels. Perfect! "Can I assume you have cream cheese?", I asked the barista. "Yes sir", she replied. I ordered one, toasted, with cream cheese, to go and took it back to my work. When I got back to my desk, I opened the bag and found my bagel and a plastic tub with cream cheese in it. I immediately became furious. Well, not immediately; it started as mere disappointment but it heated up real quick.  "Are you kidding me? Oh yeah, Starbucks. I really want to put the cream cheese on it myself. You charge people $9 for a cup of coffee but you can't afford to pay someone to put cream cheese on a bagel? No, instead you stick this individual serving size tub in the bag and wait for me to be two blocks away when I find out I have to do it myself? Bullshit!" In quick succession, all kinds of awful ideas went through my head; I'd tweet about it, put it on my blog, call her manager, send feedback to their web site, dozens of of other things I could do to just utterly ruin this lazy, incompetent, good-for-nothing, piece of... WHOA!
I don't know how or why but I caught myself. I looked down at what had me so upset. There was a nice, fresh bagel, perfectly toasted, already cut in half, with a portion of cream cheese and a plastic knife to apply it. Basically, it was exactly what I had asked for, minus the assumption that the barista would put the cream cheese on it for me, an inconvenience that required slightly more effort on my part than spelling the word "inconvenience" correctly. And because of that, I was not only willing to spoil my lunch break but also waste a good part of my afternoon in the hopes of making somebody miserable, making that person suffer, somebody just doing their job. Jesus! What the hell is wrong with me? I'm out of my mind! I'm a monster! I calmed down and ate my bagel and looked at videos on YouTube (a common lunch activity), including this one...

Friday, February 08, 2013

A squirrel tale

The other day I was walking down the street on Davis Island, a suburban neighborhood just southwest of downtown Tampa. I passed a house where a man was working with his two young sons in a flowerbed beneath the house's front window. On the other side of the sidewalk, at the base of a tree, there was a squirrel writhing on the sidewalk. At first glance it looked like it was trying to scratch it's own back by squirming around on the concrete but the spastic movement indicated that something else was going on. It was kind of doing the "Ook! Agg! Ick!" thing Bugs Bunny does sometimes. I kept going because, well, I don't know what good I could do by stopping. I love animals and there are very few things I hate more than seeing one of them suffer, but... I don't mean to play situational ethics here... it was a squirrel. I don't mean "just a squirrel", minimizing it's existence because there are billions of them. I mean, it was a squirrel, in that squirrels are kind of crazy all the time; for all I knew, maybe he was, or would be, fine. And they are rodents that carry disease; it's not like I'd be doing anybody any good if some addled-out-of-it's-mind-by-rabies-or-some-other-plague-inducing-disease-but-otherwise-perfectly-fine squirrel bit my hand and then ran off as I was attempting to render aid. I thought about saying something to the dad.
"Hey, your squirrel here is messed up."
"What are you telling me for? It's not my squirrel."
"It's in your yard. I'd say that makes it your problem."
It made me sad but I kept on going, figuring an argument over a dying squirrel wouldn't make me feel better, hoping it would be okay, knowing it probably wouldn't be and looking for something to distract me from thinking about it too much. I heard the dad behind me telling his boys to hurry up and gather their tools and go inside. The next thing I heard was a loud metallic SCHUNK! I turned around and saw the dad holding a small shovel with a sickened look on his face standing over a now-beheaded crazy squirrel. He had apparently seen the squirrel the same time I did, assessed the situation and hustled his kids out of there.
"What did you do?", I asked as I headed back toward him. "What did you do?!?"
"I--I killed it", he said. "I had to. What was I supposed to do? I have kids!" He was obviously traumatized. "It was--there was something wrong with it."
"I know. I saw it. I almost said something to you."
"Why? Why would you expect me to do something about it? It's not my squirrel!"
"That's why I didn't say anything."
"Yeah, well, I did something about it."
"You sure did. Probably for the best, I guess."
"You gotta help me!"
"Me? No!"
"Come on, man. My kids are going to look out the window or come back out here any minute. You have kids, don't you?"
"No, no I don't. It's not the only reason, but a big part of that decision was not wanting to explain to kids how God needs animals to die and how sometimes He needs mom and dad to chop their heads off with a shovel because He can't be bothered with dirty work."
"Please? Help me!"
"Damn it! Fine. Give me the shovel."
He handed it over, "Here!" and ran into his house.
I carried the shovel with the beheaded squirrel gently back to my truck, laid it down in the cargo bed and drove slowly off. I had no idea what to do. Could I just dump it in one of the guy's neighbor's garbage cans? No. It would be just my luck that I'd get caught doing that and the people who live there would belong to an obscure minority group that worships squirrels and I'd be guilty of a hate crime. Could I leave it in a field and let turkey buzzards or some other carrion eaters find it and take care of it? No; although that would be nature at work, it still seemed cruel. Not that I'll have a reason to care or a say in the matter, but I'd like to hope that when I die, people don't just leave me in a field, although having actually written it out now, it really doesn't sound that bad.
Anyway, after driving around Davis Island for 15 or 20 minutes, I was getting more and more depressed by the situation when I saw a small wooded area just off the street. I pulled over and parked, figuring this was an easy and obvious solution; bury it in the woods. It seemed poetically appropriate, in fact. 
I got out and went to the back of the truck... and the squirrel was gone. The shovel was there, still with some squirrel blood on it, but neither part of the bifurcated rodent was anywhere to be seen. The bed was otherwise empty but I looked around in case the body parts had fallen off the shovel and slid around when I'd hit a bump or taken a curve. Nothing. No squirrel anywhere. I guess this is the end of the story because I have no idea what happened. There are really only two possible answers:
  1. The squirrel was still alive somehow and he picked up his head and hauled ass.
  2. A turkey buzzard or some other carrion eater swooped down and snatched the squirrel out of my truck when I was at a stop sign.
Either way, I guess the moral is don't screw around with the wildlife on Davis Island.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

My (last) year of living relevantly

Today is my birthday and I am turning 49 years old.
Oh thanks, but this is kind of frightening. Not because of any fear of mortality, of hurtling off into the all-encompassing void of the unknown. Yawn. No, the significance of beginning my 49th year  means today I am entering the last year of my life when what I do and think matters. I'm not talking about in life out in the world, like interacting with friends and family or being a productive part of society, operating under the philosophy that my actions directly affect others and that I should always try to remain conscious of that fact, and if I can't do good, I should at least do no harm. Who cares about that shit? I'm talking about something important. Specifically, as a white man, this is my last year as part of the most powerful group on earth...
"A18-49" or Adults 18-49 Ratings - this is the advertising demographic advertisers are usually most interested in. It's the important number in terms of how well a prime-time television show is doing. Total viewers (P2+ above) don't really make a difference.
Next year, year 50, I'll just be a part of "Total viewers". I won't make a difference. Meaningless. Pointless. Irrelevant. I'll be invisible in the eyes of those who matter. Cripes, for all intents and purposes, to those in positions of power I might as well be a black woman.
Wishful thinking, white boy.

From that point on, if I buy an iPad or a laser toaster or some kind of phone with 13 sharp, whirling blades (Why would a phone need any sharp, whirling blades? Because The Future!) or whatever gimmick is popular then, I won't be a trendsetter, I'll be an old person with something that's basically wasted on the likes of me. At best I'll be one of those senior citizens who seems a tad more tolerable adorable because I'll be participating in a trend. "Oh look, grandpa is on the internet! Isn't that cute? It's like watching an old bald monkey play with a keyboard as though it knows what it's doing. Hurry up and get off, pops; I need to download a PBR." In other words, if I'm lucky, I'll be held in the same regard as rappin' grannies.
Me, in a year, God willing.
Needless to say, this is a sobering thought. Nobody wants to be relegated to fringe status, but I have no say in the matter. If there's one thing you can say about the inevitable, it's that it's unavoidable. With that in mind, all I can do is look back at my own personal history as a person of influence when it came to setting trends and try to make this year really count...
  • Video games - Yes!
  • Video arcades - YES!!
  • Home video game systems better than any arcade - OH HELL YES!!
  • The British Invasion (U2, Duran Duran, Culture Club, A-Ha, etc) - Eh. Not really. Some good songs, sure. But as a movement? Overrated.
  • Rap music/Hip-Hop culture - I've bought albums by Run DMC, Beastie Boys and Public Enemy over the years, but that's about it. I also bought the Tone Loc album.
  • The Minneapolis Sound (Prince, The Time, Sheila E., Jimmy Jam & Tery Lewis, etc) - Yep, now we're talkin'!
  • Swatch Watches - Nope.
  • Apple Computers - My first computer!
  • Rubik's Cube - Had one, couldn't do it, lost interest.
  • Guys with one earring - Nope.
  • Neon (clothings, bracelets, signs, etc.) - Nope.
  • Spandex - Definitely not.
  • Mullets and Rat tails (long strip of hair in back of neck) - Double definitely not.
  • Ripped jeans - As a mishap, yes; as a fashion statement, no.
  • Big Hair with lots of hairspray - Big fan (when it comes to girls) but not a participant.
  • Lace fingerless gloves (like Madonna wore) - See above.
  • Miami Vice Fashion - Nope.
  • Trivial Pursuit - Yep.
  • Ray-Ban sunglasses - Not a slave to brand loyalty but I do like the Ray-Ban Wayfarers.
  • Sony Walkman - The greatest invention until the iPod.
  • "Members Only" jackets - Nope.
  • New Wave music - A little bit. Some of it. Ok, a lot of it. All right, most of it.
  • Pee Wee Herman - Yep.
  • Grunge music and fashion - I like some Nirvana and Pearl Jam but have never owned a flannel shirt.
  • iPods - The greatest invention since the Sony Walkman.
  • American Idol - Never.
  • Blogging - Duh.
  • Reality TV Shows - Nope.
  • Energy Drinks (Red Bull, Full Throttle, Monster Energy, etc.) - Nope.
  • Cigars - Nope.
  • Ed Hardy fashion - Nope.
  • Tattoos - Nope.
  • Texas hold 'em Poker - Yep.
  • Old dudes with greasy, yellow ponytails - Nope.
  • Text messaging - Yep. Reluctantly.
  • Hipsters with their stupid little fedora hats and shit - Nope.

You're welcome or I'm sorry
Huh. Looks like I've never really had that much of an influence. So all along, even at the height of my decision-deciding power, I had already relegated myself to the margins for the most part. I guess there's nothing to worry about after all. As usual.

Monday, February 04, 2013

It's better to be angry than ill

For the second time in about six weeks, I'm sick. Under normal circumstances, I'm a get-really-sick-once-a-year person, but I don't work under normal circumstances. I work in a sports arena where a couple of times a week, I might be sharing space with up to 20,000 people. That means it's one of those places, along with movie theatres, airports and shopping malls, where the air is circulated and recycled among a lot of people in a relatively small, confined space. That means it takes a long time for whatever bug is fouling up people's systems to wear itself out and actually leave the building. I'm sure that whatever I have now is some not-so-distant cousin to whatever I had a couple of weeks ago.
I ache to the extent that the act of putting on shoes and socks leaves me feeling like I've spent all day horseback riding. My nose explodes several times a day, spackling my surroundings in toxic effluviam. I've ingested so much cough medicine that Robitussin could qualify as a food group. I'm aware how annoying that is and I'm sincerely sorry. If it's any comfort, please know that I'm enjoying none of it.
I'm also aware that one of the most annoying aspects is how whiny it sounds when people talk about being sick, which is kind of ironic. There's considerably more gravitas when somebody says they're sick and tired of something that pisses them off than when somebody actually is sick and tired.

WHEN YOU SAY: "I'm sick and tired, meaning microbes and viruses and stuff are wreaking havoc inside of my body and trying to make me die."
PEOPLE AROUND YOU RESPOND: "Oh, shut up you big baby."


WHEN YOU SAY: "I'm sick and tired of something the government is or is not doing right now, meaning the extent to which I'm willing to take action is announce that it makes me angry!"
PEOPLE AROUND YOU RESPOND: "Ain't that the truth, brother!"

See? People may not like you when you're angry. But they could care less about you when you're sick.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Table conversation

One of the many benefits of the "Me, me, me, I'm the center of my own personal universe and the star of a whole network worth of reality shows" culture we live in is that sometimes the things that people overshare are kind of funny. Okay, that's one of a very few benefits. All right, it's the only thing even remotely resembling the slightest semblance of anything beneficial. But still, this conversation, regarding a family's elderly relative holding rehearsals for his impending funeral to see (I guess) how they would conduct themselves, happened in a booth right behind me the other night when I was eating dinner at Sweet Tomatoes...

LOUD WOMAN: "You could have at least tried to take it seriously."
LOUD MAN: "How? He was sitting right there, looking at me. I swear to God, if they have him propped up in a chair staring at me during the real thing, I'm going to react exactly the same way."
LOUD WOMAN: "Was he supposed to lay down right there in the middle of the lobby?"
LOUD MAN: "Yeah, why was it in the lobby anyway? Even if the funeral is held at a La Quinta, shouldn't somebody book a banquet room or something? I don't think some family from Ohio needs to listen to a eulogy while perusing brochures from Dinosaur World."
LOUD WOMAN: "He stayed in that hotel last night and had already checked out."
LOUD MAN: "If he'd already checked out..."
LOUD WOMAN: "Stop right there!"
LOUD MAN: "All I know is I have never heard of anybody having a funeral rehearsal, and certainly not traveling around the country for a whole bunch of 'em. How many of these is he doing anyway?"
LOUD WOMAN: "We have family all over."
LOUD MAN: "The Rolling Stones aren't visiting as many cities as he is."
LOUD WOMAN: "All right, that's enough. Your behavior is unbelievable."
LOUD MAN: "I just think it's weird. You don't? Tell me it isn't weird."
LOUD WOMAN: "You're disrespectful. You owe him an apology."
LOUD MAN: "I'm not apologizing. He can haunt me."
LOUD WOMAN: "You know, he said we were by far the worst. And he saw Paula and Todd yesterday!"
LOUD WOMAN: "Oh Mike, they live in Bradenton for God's sake! We probably won't even be invited to the funeral now."
LOUD MAN: "Ha! Try and stop me from going!"
LOUD WOMAN: "Oh, so having to do this today was weird for you but you're looking forward to the actual funeral? That's sick."
LOUD MAN: "What's sick is wanting to see how sad someone can be when you're pretending to be dead. Maybe not as sick as having to pretend that you're happy they're still alive, but what's really sick is pulling the kids out of school for the day to participate in this madness."
LOUD WOMAN: "The kids are fine. They've handled it a lot more maturely than you."
LOUD MAN: "You say that now but I guarantee at least one of them gets a fucked-up haircut and develops an unhealthy obsession with Tim Burton movies."