Saturday, April 09, 2005

Blur 'Leisure'

All right. I shall try once again to recreate the magic that may have been lost to the internet demons last Thursday.

Earlier that day, I had the pleasure of watching over my nearly two year old niece, Chloe and my four and a half year old nephew, Preston. Generally speaking, they are good kids. If you put them together, you’re suddenly a bouncer at Gilley’s.

Lets face it. Watching over little kids is a lot like taking care of drunks. They have short attention spans, they urinate frequently, they have bad balance and manage to run into just about everything, and they are quick to anger.

When even the threat of violence for the sake of civil obedience within the house was ignored, I simply asked them to stop a minute. Suddenly, it was as if Hawkeye Pierce was asking if we could hear the silence after hours of shelling. I must admit, it was a little unsettling to have the full attention of these young terrorists.

I combed my hair back with my right hand and asked them if they wanted to watch some ‘Green Acres’?

Preston agreed very quickly and went straight for the couch. Two seconds ago, he was like Abdullah The Butcher stabbing Cactus Jack in the forehead with an unsanctioned, foreign object. Now, he was in his usual television viewing position. He was calm and quiet, simply waiting for the DVD to start showing him comedy genius.

Chloe stood and stared at the magic image box as I settled in for some good fun too. The show’s theme came on and I tried to get Preston to sing along. He wouldn’t give in to the temptation that I could easily make out on his face.

It was truly amazing, the two of them settling down and watching some great comedy that had shaped and twisted my young mind. They eventually ended up right in front of the television with Preston stretched out on his back looking up and Chloe sitting on her little plastic blue chair. They would cackle with delight when Eddie Albert got smashed in the face with something. They giggled every time Tom Lester executed a pratfall. And later in life, I’m sure they’ll realize the genius of the comedic dialogue.

Comedy has always been one of the things that have kept me from sending parts of my brain on a one way ride with a large caliber handgun. Just watching something on television, listening to a George Carlin record, or even laughing at myself has managed to keep me relatively sane. My family, ex-girlfriends, and friends will tell you, sometimes I will just break out in fits of laughter seemingly without any provocation. I’ll simply think of something funny that I’ve seen or heard in my life or maybe come up with a new funny idea. So, I have become quite accustomed to people looking at me weirdly when I go into these "fits".

The thing is, these fits can occur anywhere without warning.

While having dinner the other night with a lovely lady, a television show that was on FOX a couple of years ago popped into my head. It was called ‘Banzai’.

I remembered a certain scene that literally floored me where I submitted to tears. Imagine if you will...

The question was how many helium filled balloons would it take to lift an adult chicken off the ground. Three Japanese gentlemen were dressed in lab coats, filling balloons and attaching them to a gondola made specifically for the chicken inside. When the chicken finally lifted off the ground and into the air, the chorus of REO Speedwagon’s ‘Keep On Lovin’ You’ started to play as the camera got into position underneath the successful experiment.

I was explaining this to the lovely lady through fits of laughter and tears in my eyes. She seemed to be laughing along with me as she explained that my face was turning four shades of red.

Anytime I get down or depressed, I can always think of that moment. It’s perhaps one of the weirdest moments on broadcast network television that doesn’t involve the Zappa brothers.

Somehow, I’ve gotten off track of what I had originally written and lost to those damn internet demons. So, lets get back on track...

I’ve been trying to get a friend of mine to watch ‘Female Trouble’ for some time now. She just isn’t buying into the whole John Waters is a genius thing. But, that’s not what I’m gonna tell you about. I’m gonna explain how I acquired this particular DVD.

An old friend of mine possesses the same sick sense of humor that I have. I felt duty bound to share with this young ‘un the great comedy of Mr. Waters. So, I suggested that he get the ‘Pink Flamingos’ and ‘Female Trouble’ DVD package.

He did and after a Greensboro Generals hockey game, my fiancee’ and I joined him at his crib to watch ‘Female Trouble’. The three of us continued knocking back adult beverages as we enjoyed the flick. I was turning him onto the greatness of John Waters and little did I know, I was turning them both onto each other.

Yep, you guessed it. He made a play for her, she dumped me, and Hammer was having a Bad time.

She and I were together for almost six years. We were engaged for two of those years. I didn’t expect our engagement to last THAT long, we just had a lot of unforseen things happen that kept pushing things back. I was determined to make good on the marriage and I didn’t want money to be an issue in the first few steps of marital bliss. As some of you know, that’s a killa.

She and I packed up the bags of stuff that belonged to each other and made the swap. Also included in the trade were bags of stuff that he and I had borrowed from each other.

Inside the bag marked for him was the ‘Pink Flamingos’ and ‘Female Trouble’ DVD set. I had borrowed it to watch the director commentaries from John Waters himself. Which, by the way, is just as funny as the films.

She told me that I could keep the DVD’s. The jackass had purchased another.

Of course, I asked why and I was told that this mental giant actually thought that I would scratch up or even destroy them for some kind of junior high school like revenge. Could this be true? How could he believe that I would do such a thing?

Yes, I was hurt and I was angry. But, there was no reason for me to take out my frustrations on something that had given me much pleasure even though it didn’t belong to me. The DVD’s were innocent. They were the ones who betrayed me.

I still have the DVD’s and they continue to brighten up my life whenever I need them or just wanna watch them.

He has a wife (yes, they married) who has a bad attitude most of the time. She’s paranoid of everyone’s intentions and she believes that they’re all out to make her look foolish. She’ll talk trash about you as soon as your back is turned. And, she is a bit of a control freak.

She has a husband where the only goals in life are watching Springer and documentaries filled with sad, directionless people in order to make him feel superior, watching horror movies, playing video games, and getting to the bottom of every bottle of gin purchased.

They got what they deserve, obviously. I didn’t lose that great of a friend. I didn’t lose a helluva girl. And, I’m thinking that I got the better end of the deal.

Who's laughing now?


  1. Anonymous8:42 PM

    that story saddens me..

  2. But I got the DVD set!!!

  3. Anonymous12:52 PM

    well, I guess that counts as somewhat of a victory.. though I have been forced to sit through Female trouble... bad, bad, bad...

  4. Anonymous11:45 AM

    You need to pound out your tale into a screenplay and get John Waters to direct it. I'm sure he would drool at the chance to add his genius touch to your magic words. And put the bit about using "Green Acres" as a calming tool into a subplot of some sort. Also, write a role in your screenplay specifically for that person you know who lives over by Lindley Park. Word on the street is he wants to be in a John Waters film. Just make sure you don't have me--I mean, him trailing hungrily after a dog on its walk.

  5. Anonymous2:52 PM

    Hey "old friend" You have me addicted to reading your BLOG. It kinda keeps me in touch with you and knowing you those years and working with you "BOTH" I know you came out on the better end of the deal as well. Keep that head up and remember we still have to get together and have some of those tastey adult beverages !!!!!

  6. Well, Meagan's Mom...

    LETS DO IT! You know I'm always up for some drinking of adult beverages.

    You know how to get in touch with me!

  7. Anonymous11:41 AM

    Sounds good.... I might be heading to Arizona Petes sat night for the Jeff bates concert ... of course ya know hubby is working that blasted Furniture Market.....other than that im free just not cheap or easy...hehe...give me a yell !!!!