Saturday, September 30, 2006

How To Make Fun Of A Relative

It's Fair Week here in Dekalb County, Indiana. The carnies and their Tents Of Questionable Odors blew into town a week ago and will be gone for another year in just a few hours.

When I was younger I used to love going to the fair and bumping into friends and family as I strolled the town square. Not anymore. Now that I'm older I realized that everyone comes out to the fair. Everyone. The kind of Hoosiers that most people out-of-state think of when they think of a Hoosier. I'm not quite sure where these people come from, as the other 51 weeks of the year they are mysteriously absent. Not that I'm complaining. I'm just not a fan of the hillbilly.

Recently Dad and I did some work for some friends of ours. We attended the same church with them before I moved away from Indiana in '92 and their daughter Amy was in the youth group with me. I had a chance to meet Amy for some coffee and catch up on the last 15 years.

We met at my favorite coffee shop in town, which is also her favorite, but that initially presented us with a problem. The cafe is located right in the middle of the town square where the fair is located and that meant we'd both have to traverse through the masses. We decided to brave the crowds if for no better reason than to make fun of the people walking by. If you know me you know that's definitely something I could be down with.

As Amy and I sat and commented on the passers-by (believe me, the fair attendees did not disappoint) we talked about old times and I even told her the story of my uncle on my mom's side who had a long history of disappearing for years at a time and one day popped up driving a semi with a roller coaster ride in tow. That's right. Uncle Kenny had become a carny. I don't know how long he..."carnied" because that same afternoon he showed up he disappeared again for another few years.

Amy didn't believe my uncle was a carny and I can't say that I blame her. Believe me, when he pulled up in that huge yellow semi and I heard my brother say in awesome wonder Uncle Kenny is a carny! none of us could believe it either.

About this time two men dressed from head to toe in I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Harley-Davidson black leather approached the coffee shop. Leather jackets, pants, and boots were part of the get-up as well as the obligatory red, white, and blue bandanas. One of the biker guys was holding a small pink stuffed monkey. And that's all I needed.

I began to go on about the dichotomy between the biker and the pink monkey and how I would never have chosen those two to go together. Remember in elementary school the paper your teacher gave you with pictures of different people (a policeman, a baker, a cowboy) on one side and various objects (a police car, a chef's hat, a cowboy hat) on the other and you had to draw a line connecting each character with their appropriate prop? Well, I would have never drawn a line from leather-clad motorcycle guy to pink stuffed monkey.

As fate would have it, the two old bikers decided to come in to the coffee shop. Amy and I had moved on to another subject by this time, but I couldn't help but notice out of the corner of my eye the Biker With Monkey lurking a little too close to me. He took a step toward me and I could feel him staring at us.

Why is this guy gonna ask us for money I thought to myself. That's what Amy and I get for dressing like normal regular people and having full sets of teeth.

"What's a character like you doing here?" I heard the biker say to me and was happy I spent what was left of my cash on my chocolate mocha. At least I wouldn't be lying when I told the guy I didn't have any money on me.

I turned and looked at the guy and then really looked at him and in that instant I knew I would be blogging about this event. There standing beside me, dressed in leather and clutching a pink stuffed monkey, was Uncle Kenny.

We talked briefly and I pointed out to him the amusing fact that he was dressed in black leather and holding a pink monkey (at least I said it to his face and wasn't two-faced about it, right?) and he got a good chuckle out of it. Afterward I told Amy I should have learned a lesson. There I was making fun of someone I thought was a complete stranger and it turned out to be my uncle. That should teach me not to judge people just by the way the look.

It should, but it probably won't.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

...But I Can See How You'd Confuse The Two

This week Dad and I are doing some work for a friend of his. She owns a two-story house that she bought with the intention of fixing up and re-selling for a nifty profit. She hired us at the beginning of the summer to do a little work, claiming her ASSISTANT would be doing the rest. Fast forward a few months when Dad and I are back, trying to fix the goofs all over the house brought on by THE ASSISTANT who claimed she "knew what she was doing."

She didn't. Just because you watch a marathon of HGTV on Saturday doesn't necessarily mean you can run out and do the exact same thing on Monday.

This morning Dad was on the roof painting and I was on the porch. THE ASSISTANT was inside doing the only thing we would let her do in the house: Clean heating vent covers. I have banned her from touching another paint brush, roller, hammer, screwdriver, spackling knife, or drywall compound.

Dad finished what he was painting on the roof and tossed one of the dropcloths from the roof onto the ground before climbing down himself. A few minutes later THE ASSISTANT came out of the house and pointed behind me.

"Is that a tarp?" she asked.

I turned and looked where she was pointing and saw the gray square dropcloth in the yard. "Yeah. That's a tarp."

"Oh. I thought your dad fell off the roof." She began to laugh and giggle annoyingly. I think she was trying to be cute and/or charming, but she had all the style and finesse of a rusty bedspring one might find in an alley behind an abandoned army surplus store.

"Yeah that's not my dad. It's a tarp."

Let me just say, I can understand if you see something fly past the window out of the corner of your eye how you might think Dad fell off the roof. But to wait a few minutes, come outside, and then point at the tarp and try to differentiate between the two...well...that's just dumbness.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I Hate Your MySpace Page

Your MySpace page is ridiculous. And you know who you are.

You fill your page with so much crap it takes me 36 minutes to load the entire thing (and I have a cable connection). Did you know that in the time it takes your page to fully load 13 kids in Africa died from rickets and the ozone layer got smaller by .96%?

There are so many videos on YouTube that crack you up, you couldn't choose just one (they're all so funny!). So you uploaded 14 of them onto your page that will surely entertain everyone who decides to watch them all.

You feature music from 18 different bands. Conveniently, none of them are bands I have any interest in.

You have a background picture featuring colors that make it impossible to see and navigate my way around. But kudos for the image of a haggard fisherman aboard what I can only assume is a schooner made of cardboard. By moonlight.

You feature 6 different clever and witty little polls that give me even more insight on you that no one really cares about (My personal color; Which character from "The Jeffersons" am I; My mood rainbow; Which lunch meat are you?).

Splashed across the top of your page is "YOU GO GIRL" written in maroon glitter.

When I move my cursor around your page the images blur, or even more amazing, flip horizontally. It's like surfing the web with a hangover except without the trouble of getting drunk first.

You have all this and more on your MySpace page. I know this hurts to hear it, but someone had to say it. I hate your MySpace page, and so do your friends. It's not cute. It's not intriguing. It's not even entertaining. It hurts my eyes. Thank you for the headache and, as of last Tuesday, the epileptic fits.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Someone stole my money clip, doggonit.

Last night I went to drop off my rent and decided to drive instead of walk. I stuck my money clip in the little console between the driver and passenger seats and forgot to grab it when I returned. Of course, when I went out to get it this morning, it was gone.

How can I live in cities like LA, Chicago, and New York and never once meet any harm and then come to Auburn Indiana and get ripped off. I hope they tried to use the credit card because the card I had in there was no good. I had $14 cash, my membership card to a video store (I should call to make sure no one tries to rent anything) and Borders, my tip chart, and some other stuff that I guess wasn't too important (except my discount card I bought that gets me 3 cents off every gallon of gas I buy...crap!). The most annoying thing will be replacing my driver's license.