Monday, October 27, 2008

the vast right-knee conspiracy

I've noticed recently that my really cool jeans are all wearing out rapidly. Bummer. The strange thing, however, is that they're wearing out in the same place -- the right knee. Not the left knee.

The right knee.

So what I've done is sent all of my pants down to the lab for further analysis. It looks like I won't be going to work this week. Or anywhere else that requires pants...for that matter.

I got some strange looks down at the Post Office when I shipped my pants off this afternoon. You'd think no one had ever seen a man in his underwear before. This country really needs to loosen up -- and soon. I don't know how much more of this I can take..

Monday, October 20, 2008

Guttenberg Bible (in which I swear -- twice)

I felt kind of bad about my post yesterday. Even as I typed it I was privately worried about coming off as somewhat elitist. Let me be the first to tell you, I am not an elitist prick. I don't have an elitist bone in my body! So to make up for that erroneous perception, I'm going to do this for you; I'm going to give you a very helpful tip.

Though you will never, never, never, never, NEVER find Club Lepidoptra, if you should somehow trip across it -- and clear all the many preliminary barriers and hurdles necessary to become a full-fledged member -- here's the last thing you have to do to become an official member in good standing.

When that day arrives and the barkeep approaches you and says, 'Excuse me, but have you seen the movie Cocoon?'

What you need to do is look him dead in the eye -- I mean, dead -- and say, 'Seen it? F-----, I've LIVED it!'

You did not hear that from me.

Friday, October 10, 2008


"...the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

"Whatcha gonna do when everybody's insane?"
- Heart, 'Crazy on You'.

First, a warning: this post is going to be all over the place.

Let's start by sending out a little poem to the folks on Wall Street -- and Main Street. Apparently, it is a small world after all and we really are all in this together. For better and for worse.

Parachutes v. Umbrellas
You didn't complain
when the river
ran full,
so bear it
when it trickles
down low.
Over time,
recall if you will,
a river's habit
is always

Now that I've soothed the markets, I'll go on to mention that the Wilson sisters (of Heart fame) kept me from getting into an accident yesterday. I was stopped at a red light and just about to turn onto the entrance ramp of 494. Generally, even though people making the left turn onto 494 were coming at me, I would have weaselled my way into the crowd and been on my way. But, just then I heard a funky little guitar intro. It kind of stopped me in my tracks. You see, I'm one of those shallow people who takes great pride in being the first one to identify a song when it comes on the radio. Anyway, this funky guitar intro sounded familiar, but I couldn't be sure. So I settled back in my seat for a listen. Sure enough, just as I had suspected (honest!) it was Heart's Crazy on You. And just as that jolt of sweet recognition -- and tasty pride -- hit my system, a car that I didn't see at all sliced right in front of me -- out of nowhere! 9 times out of 10 I would have been right there, just waiting to get blindsided. But not yesterday. So thank you, Wilson sisters. I'm sure your producer thought that funky guitar intro was gratuitious. Me, I'm glad you kept it in there. Plus what a great song! And right after that, they played In a Big Country. That's a real nice two-fer.

Lastly, another poem.

Code of Conduct
Do you know
what I hate?
I hate when your
approaches you
at a fancy restaurant,
points at you,
then turns to the crowd
and shouts,
"HE'S completely insane!!"

That's not professional.
I don't care what
anyone says.

Monday, October 06, 2008

just another new kid in town

Not many people know this, but I have ancestors who were major players in the Old West. Yup, real gunslingers. And that itchy trigger finger runs in my blood. How could it not? I mean, first there was my great-great grandpa. He was a true legend. Folks called him The Tonsillitis Kid (he got sick a lot).

Yeah, in that way he took after his old man (my great-great-great granddaddy) -- Kid Quarantine.

Kid Quarantine's grandson, though, (or The Tonsillitis Kid's kid) took the cake as far as being an Honest to God, living, breathing legend. He was really adaptable and kept up with both the times and changing technology. Nosiree, folks never knew what to make of Kid Paradigm Shift. He kept them guessing, right up until the very end.

There's lots more I could tell you about my ancestors, but the fire's burning low and this middle-aged cowpoke is heading off to the bunkhouse. Adios, pardners.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Gurkelbee in the fall

'There ain't much to rake anyway in the fall.'
- The Replacements, 'Here Comes a Regular'.

As some of you know, Helen Gurkelbee lives down the street from us. She's a lovely woman -- widowed. A bit of a sad story. Anyway, I help her out with some odd jobs around her house from time to time. I am not, as Mr. Rutherford -- who lives even further down the street from us -- likes to say, 'banging her like an old screen door.' It's not like that at all. We're friends, Helen and I.

So yesterday we were doing some raking in her backyard (Mr. Rutherford, if you're reading this, please don't go there!). I was actually finishing up while she went inside to get the lemonade, which had been chilling since noon. I was kind of wrapped up in what I was doing, and I hadn't even noticed her return. When I turned around, our gazes locked. It was one of those awkward moments that crop up from time to time. Finally, she said, "I love you, Dan Hendrickson." I dropped my rake and then I said, "And I love you, Helen Gurkelbee."

In exaggerated fashion, she spun around and fell back into my arms. I was already a little off-balance, so we crashed to the ground, with me absorbing the brunt of the impact. For a second or two, I was pretty sure I had dislocated my shoulder.

Then Helen started to laugh, and that made me laugh. We laid like that, akimbo in the cool, lush green grass, for what seemed like a long time beneath the radiant autumn sun. When we finally collected our wits, we adjourned to her deck for some cold lemonade. Which, as I stated previously, had been chilling since noon.