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Friday, April 24, 2009

The Tale Of Nakkie-Man

In 1984, I was working at TJ Applebees in Houston. One night during happy hour, a rather large gentleman came in. He ordered a pitcher of our Happy hour Margaritas and a basket of 10 cent wings. He specified extra hot wings. In our restaurant, that was NOT smart because the line chef who made them had an evil sense of humor about his wings.

This man had a very ummm... healthy appetite. Four baskets of wings later (about 80 wings), he was on his third pitcher of margaritas and feeling no pain. Every minute or so, he would let out a huge belch and then giggle like a little girl, complete to covering his mouth with his hands and blushing. This activity coming from a man about 6'5" and maybe 300 pounds was comical as hell.

Fianlly he walked off towards the restroom and I used the chance to try to clean up the mess. There were chicken bones all over the floor, drawings of various obscenities on paper napkins, about 6 glasses on the table (he frequently requested a new glass and also very INfrequently allowed me to bus the table) and dirty napkins everywhere.

I went into the kitchen with my twelve foot high load of junk to get rid of it all. About three minutes later, another server came into the kitchen, laughing so hard she was practically turning blue.
"Janet... table 28... oh my god... get out here... oh SHIT... anyone have a camera... where the f**k did he leave his pants?!"

Somewhat leery but knowing that I had to go out there because our management had an in house policy of "your customer your mess," I walked out and stopped dead in my tracks as I got near table 28. My customer was naked... and eating wings. Well, he wasn't totally naked. He had had the foresight to leave on his tie to tuck his napkin into. But other than that and his shoes and socks, he was butt naked.

From right behind me, I heard the giggles of practically every member of the staff, down to the cooks. Mysteriously enough, the manager was absent. My mess huh? Gee... thanks.
Luckily, we weren't very busy that night, so I did my best to shut up the other staff and convinced them to go do what they were supposed to be doing. The giggles of course, kept going as they walked away as well as the comments of "Hey Jan... maybe he likes you and wanted to get to know you better" to "Damn Josh, what the hell did you put in those drinks!?"

I walked over to "nakkie man" and tried to talk without either sinking through the floor or bursting out laughing, both very distinct possibilities.
"ummm...sir... you're... where are your... I think you might wanna.. Sir... YOU'RE NAKED!"

"I know honey. I was BURPPPPPP oh my... so sorry... that was rude of me giggle from him... I was hot, so I just figured I'd sit here and watch the game on TV and eat my wings. Can I get another pitcher of Margaritas please?"

He was drunk right? He HAD to be drunk. Yet he was talking perfectly logically, no slurring.
"Sir... you can't be in here naked. I mean, the other customers... I mean sir your, at this I looked down and pointed and probably blushed redder than ever before or since ummm it's illegal. You have GOT to get your clothes back on sir or I'll have to ask you to leave."

Ask you to leave??!! WTF Janet? The dude is NAKED not being drunk and hitting on you! I gathered my thoughts together and vowed silently to kill my absent manager.
"Sir? I have to insist you get dressed!"

At that, he stood up. "What's wrong honey? You've never seen a naked man before? What's the problem? I was hot cause of those wings so I got comfortable."
At this, he grabbed himself and started shaking "it" in my direction. "It's just a dick honey. See? Harder shaking to where I was worried he would pull the damn thing off but as I said he was feeling no pain Just a dick. We all have 'em. Well, maybe not you but you got a cute ass and some nice tits. And I've got a DICKKKKKKKK"

Ok, I was done. I was totally and completely embarrassed and also laughing my ass off as Nakkie Man began to prance around his table, eating a wing with one hand and grabbing his penis with the other, chanting "I have a dick. I have a dick. She has nice tits but I have a dick!!" The restaurant was a madhouse of people leaving but mostly of.. I am not lying... people taking pictures and laughing.

I walked away and went to the phone and called the police and between laughs and stutters managed to explain that we needed some help because we had a crazed naked drunken man dancing around in house. After the dispatcher clarified between his own guffaws what I was saying, he sent out a car.

Nakkie man had sat back down. The bartender had brought him a pitcher of margaritas and Nakkie man was again happy, eating wings, mopping his face and drinking. About five minutes later, the police came in, guns drawn, expecting I don't know what.

We pointed out Nakkie Man. They walked over and quietly conversed with him, one of the cops waving his hand and obviously refusing Nakkie Mans offer of a drink. One of them went into the bathroom and retrieved the misplaced clothing, with the other leading Nakkie Man out by the arm as he kept saying "But I wasn't done yet. I still have some margaritas left and some wings. Hey, doesn't she have some great tits and what an ass huh? Can I get my wings?"

Nakkie Man was gone. Every customer in house at the time was offered a free meal voucher and their desserts from that night comped (hush money so to speak). The manager suddenly showed up gee imagine that and told me I had done good. How the hell would YOU know bozo? You hid.

Three days later the manager on duty came out to me as I was getting ready to start my shift and handed me an envelope, already opened but with contents reinserted. the envelope was adressed to "The Waitress on duty when there was trouble on October 23rd" (guessing at the date here; can't remember) It contained a short letter from Nakkie Mans wife, apologizing profusely for the nights incidents, explaining that Nakkie Man had various mental issues and with a hundred dollar bill enclosed "for your trouble"

I don't waitress anymore.

Things Childhood taught Me

Alternately Titled
There IS a Boogey-Man Under The Bed

1)When your mother tries to feed you something she has nicknamed garbage soup, you're not going to like it.

2)Mud pies are not; I repeat are not edible no matter how pretty they look. For that matter, neither do butterflies taste like butter. They taste rather like dusty paper.

3)Never challenge yourself to see how much water you can drink. You can drink a lot and you will regret the knowledge.

4)Mothers of my moms generation learned to make oatmeal at the Acme Glue Factory.

5)No matter how hard you try, you can not catch fish from a rain puddle using a stick with thread tied to it. You can however catch a whipping when your mother realizes you used a whole spool of her thread in the attempt.

6)It is imperative to jump onto the bed quickly if the light is already off. Otherwise the boogeyman under the bed will grab your ankle and pull you under there and eat you. Also never let your foot or hand slide off of the bed. Just.Trust.Me.

7)If you sneak a bag of cookies to run away with, your mother will take the cookies but let you run away. Sneak carrots instead. She'll let you take those in the firm knowledge that she will get them back. Then you can dump them in someones trash can and feel vindicated.

8)If your older brother dares you to drink a 16 oz. bottle of pop in under a minute, don't do it. The after burps are killer.

9)You can suck jello through a straw if you try hard enough, but it hurts like heck if you laugh and make it come out your nose. Though it has its benefits if it was lime jello.

10)You can not hide garbage soup in your pants.

11)Nothing anyone can do can disguise the taste of liver. Not even liberal amounts of Ketchup work.

12)Black eyes look awesome when you're eight. Major status symbol and great way to get candy sympathy.

13)It is a moral imperative of kid-dom to never eat Corn Flakes without first putting so much sugar on it that you can spoon the wet masses out of the bowl after you eat the cereal.

14)Never believe anyone who tells you it ruins Christmas to sneak and know all your presents ahead of time. It was a blast. I preplanned my Christmas Vacation activities in November.

15)Bicycles do not fit through basement windows. The person riding it however can have enough momentum to go flying through said window.

16)The same bicycle also does not win against an oncoming police car. But policemen who feel guilty over ramming into 9 year old girls offer five dollar bills as hush money.

17)When you toss a prop Turkey off the stage in your fifth grade Thanksgiving play in a winning attempt to get a laugh, no one ever believes it was on purpose. I'm 44 and my family still thinks I just dropped that son of a bitch.

18)Last but not least, if you sit quietly on the bottom of the public pool, you can giggle over knowing who exactly it is that pees in the pool. This is especially fun when it's the popular kids.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Parental Rant

Last night we went to my youngest sons school where they were having what is called "Spring Fling". The chorus, of which my boy is a member, did a few selections, then they had an auction and then the kids did a short musical based on Schoolhouse Rock (another post entirely lol).

During this, I couldn't help noticing something. Nine out of ten of the children present there (as well as their parents) were very overweight. I don't mean baby fat that a teen growth spurt (or a few days of being careful in the case of the parents) would take care of. I mean obese. The girl who was the lead in the musical was wonderful. Charismatic, funny, all around great. Also, ten years old, about 4'10" and probably weighed 160 pounds. It pisses me off.
Not at the children though. They are just that; children.

I have six kids. The only one carrying any extra weight is my daughter, who is also the mother of a fairly young child so I am confident hers will come back off. She's been working on it. All of my boys though are fine.

I am somewhat overweight and because of that, I was determined that my kids would not follow my lead. I watched what they ate (still do with my 12 and 14 year olds), was careful about snacks. Pop is a rare treat for them, candy also. They get candy on "kid candy holidays" like Easter, Halloween and Christmas and for "just because" treats every once in a while. I keep canned fruit (in it's own juices not heavy syrup), sugar free jello, a constant supply of Apples and Bananas, stuff like that. Their meals are portioned out to contain more veggies than meat and if they are still hungry when they finish, I ask them to wait for a bit to make sure they really ARE hungry before allowing more. Most of the time they decide they aren't.

I see these children, these precious being entrusted to our care, literally waddling like a woman 8 months pregnant and I want to beat the tar out of their parents. What the hell are they thinking letting that happen?!

Too many people go by the notion of "food is love" and I want my child to know I love them. Hell, I bake for my family. Made cookies yesterday as a matter of fact. My boys had 1 last night and have had 1 today. That's it for them. It's enough. Why isn't enough...well... enough for some parents?

They love their kids as much as I love mine. I know this. So how can they be blind to what they are doing to their kids? The health risks are obvious. The weight, no pun intended here, feeds on itself, making it hard for the child to do the same activities as his or her peers thus making them heavier from lack of exercise as well as segregating them from normal friendships that are so based on action in childhood. If you can't keep up, you're out.

Beyond the health risks, there are the social risks. Sure, there are some, like that girl in the play at my sons school, who get past the weight and you can watch them and know they will be popular no matter their size. Sadly though, that's rarely the case. Those kids will be ostracized, outsiders among the most social of creatures.... children. Then to make them feel better, their parents will give them some cookies.

Dammit... look at that child before you throw edible comfort at him! Give him a hug and go out walking with him. Go bike riding. Go hiking. Something. But teach him to push the plate away when his stomach says he is full. Teach him he can't fill his heart with an extra serving of mashed potatoes.

Gary Fulsom

No matter what she did that night, she couldn't get warm. December in Cleveland was a bad time to be temporarily homeless. Being only nineteen, she knew better than to go over to the crowd of men huddled around a garbage can fire. There was no friendship waiting there;only problems.

So she pulled her knees in closer to her chest and tucked her arms under the thin sleeves of her shirt and looked longingly at the bright flames and the bits of food the men were passing amongst themselves. She had no extra clothing, no coat. Those had been kept in a fit of temper when her ex-roommate kicked her out because she didn't want to go farther than being a roommate.

She saw the aged man coming towards her and tried to make herself invisible behind the dumpster. It didn't work.

"Hey Blondie. Why ya hidin' back there? Scareda us gents over there? Well, you should be. We're a nasty lot of lost souls." He smiled at her showing a mouth full of broken teeth and sat down near her, waving a hand and telling her to sit back down when she arose and looked frantically around for the help she knew wasn't there.

Sitting back down as far away as the limited space behind the dumpster she had been calling home for the last week allowed, she waited quietly thinking if she just let him ramble, he might leave sooner.

"Frightening looking old shit, ain't I?" He spread his arms wide as if to show himself off. He wore a faded Army uniform with tattered old sneakers. His hair was halfway down his back and looked like it hadn't seen a brush or shampoo in weeks. His right arm hung strangely and he favored the left, using the right only to cradle the bottle he periodically swallowed from.

He gave a snorting laugh and smiled at her. Something in his smile eased her fears a little though she still kept silent. "I wasn't always this bum you see now, sweetheart. I'll betcha didn't know I was a vet huh? The uniform ain't just for looks honey. I served three tours in Nam. Had me a good life going until I got hit. Had me a wife and a couple of kids waiting at home." He took a long drink and was quiet for a long while. She thought he was finished and started to doze lightly, comforted by the presence of someone older. She awoke with a start when he began to talk again. "When I got hit, she couldn't take it cause I ain't a whole man no more. She took the kids. Got herself remarried. I lost touch with the kids 'bout 10 years ago. They'd be pretty much grown now."

"VA didn't help me much. The arms never worked too good since then; can't really feel much in it. The rest... well, ain't much they could do to make me a man again ya know?" She didn't answer, knowing it wasn't expected. She just sat with her head on her knees, listening and trying to keep warm.

Suddenly he looked at her as if really seeing her for the first time. "Shit honey, ain't you freezing?" He walked away towards the rest of the men. She heard some low toned words being exchanged and he came back with a dirty woolen blanket. He tossed it at her along with a sack of cold burgers that she knew had probably come from a dumpster behind the local fast food joint.

Grabbing both, she wrapped up and started to eat, hungry enough after three days with no food to not care where it came from. He nodded, looking pleased to see her eat and continued talking.

"I like it out here ya know? Lotsa us out here. Nam... well, it fucked us up pretty good. You don't forget; you can't. No way to forget it when you see a pretty VC woman kill off your buddies like they was so many roaches. Can't forget it when you watch a little boy blow hisself up in the middle of a crowd because someone paid his family ten bucks to let them wire him up." He took another drink and offered her the bottle which she refused with a shake of her head. "That's ok honey. More for me," he said with another snorting laugh.

Suddenly he started digging in his pants pocket. "Honey, you got a family somewhere?" She nodded. "Can't get back to them, can ya? Hmmpphh, know what that's like. You don't need to be in this place honey. It ain't safe for you. Pretty girl like you. You're sure quiet but I can see smart in yer eyes. You need to go home." He pulled out a wad of grimy bills and thrust them at her.

That's when she spoke up."I can't take your money. Thank you... but I can't. I don't have any way of paying you back."

"Yeah you do honey." Seeing the fear light up in her eyes again, he laughed. "Not that; told you... I ain't whole... and anyway, you're 'bout the age my daughter would be. I wouldn't want her out here. Take the money honey. Go home. Get back to yer people before you lose your soul here. You can't live this way and keep it or your mind. Go home. You can do something for me by keeping me in yer head. It'll be nice to know that somewhere out there somebody remembers me. My name is Gary. Gary Fulsom. Remember that ok?"

She thrust the bills down into her pocket and got up. "Thank you. I don't know why you're doing this but thank you...Gary. My name is Janet. Again... thank you." She turned to go, leaving the blanket lying next to him.

When she was a few yards away, she heard him call out to her. She walked back and waited as he fumbled out of his coat. He looked down at it, looked up at her, then back at the coat. "Take this; it's fucking cold out here. I got the fire. You need a jacket. Now get the fuck outta here before I change my mind. Get your ass to the Greyhound station and get the hell outta this place. Go!" He pushed the coat at her and turned away. She held the coat for a second, knowing he had had it since the days when he had had a better life, when he had had love; a family.

"Gary!?", she called out and ran after him. "Thank you... for everything." On a feeling, she reached out and wrapped her arms around his waist for a second. He didn't respond at first, then she felt his hand rest softly on her hair.

He started to speak and cleared his throat when his voice broke. "G'wan. Get outta here. You can prolly get a bus out tonight. Just remember ol' Gary k?".

I still do.

I Remember

Chances are this will be a long entry. The ones that swim placidly in my head as I try to sleep at night tend to be that way.

Most of the people I know were born after 1950. Some I know were even born in the late 70's or even later. But for all of us, even the younger ones, have you ever realized how much has changed since our births? Here, in no particular order are some things & events I remember in my lifetime; things that either no longer seem to exist or weren't around when I was born in 1964. Some are mundane, some were world shaking. How many do you remember?

I remember Swansons TV Dinners in little metal trays with their glue flavored mashed potatoes and the cherry cobbler.

I remember when the troops finally came home from Vietnam. My minds eye can see on TV what ultimately became that famous picture of the teenage girl jumping into her brothers arms.

I remember penny candy that actually cost a penny and candy bars for five cents that were twice the size of the ones now. When we were kids, a quarter gave you enough candy to get gloriously sick on.

I vaguely remember when men walked on the moon in '69. I also have very vague memories of my mother and father both crying and talking about the deaths of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.

I remember school drills we had in case of nuclear war.

I remember seeing The Berlin Wall up close in real life and then having shivers go down my spine as it was torn down just a few years after that.

I remember the first computer I ever used being a Commodore 64. My fascination with the machines hasn't ended.

I remember being able to make a call in an actual phone booth and it only costing a dime.

I remember black and white TV with only about five different channels and yet always being able to find something to watch.

I remember the days when a child could play outside from dawn until dark with no parent having any idea where we were and no parent even being the slightest bit worried.

I remember when Satellite TV came into being and the dishes took up half of a persons backyard.

I remember when Andy Gibb and Rod Stewart were so cool and every little girl wanted to grow up to be either Jaclyn Smith or Farrah Fawcett.

I remember Disco (shudders)

I remember the Reagan assassination attempt

I remember John Lennon's murder.

I remember always being able to find something to do and I did it without batteries, without computers, without toys that talked, walked or answered questions. My favorites toys were dirt, sticks and my imagination.

I remember the FIRST Gulf War and the day Israel was bombed. My then husband was over there in the Army and I was scared to death.

I remember when country music was called Country & Western and only rednecks listened to it (supposedly)

I remember when the movie "The Day After" came out and got everyone terrified about nuclear war all over again.

I remember when common courtesy was common.

I remember Luke and Laura :-P

I remember when Prince Charles and Princess Diane got married and how that event heralded in the British Monarchy being once again in the public eye.

I remember watching Creature Features late at night while eating a bowl of popcorn that had popped on the kitchen stove not made in the microwave.

I remember when said microwaves came out and the average cost of one was about $500

I remember eight track tapes and cassette tapes being the way we listened to music; not on computers and IPods

I remember AM being where all the good radio stations were.

I remember Hippies... real 1960's ones not the modern equivalent... love beads, long dresses, bare feet, communes.

I vaguely remember when Charles Manson and his "group" went on a rampage.

I remember Richard Speck killing an apartment full of young nurses in Chicago. That one stuck because it happened not far (mere miles) from where I lived

I remember when AIDS was first noticed and how many thought that this was it... the human race was on it's way out.

I remember the Tylenol Killings and how before that, everything had screw on lids. That event was what created tamper proof bottles everywhere from the drugstore to the grocery stores

I remember when we thought our biggest threat came from Russia and the middle east was just a place where they had fought among themselves for centuries

I remember Watergate ..."I am not a crook"

I remember phones with rotary dials and phone numbers that started with letters

I remember when Civil Rights was still a MAJOR issue

I also remember being a little girl in inner city Chicago and wondering why it mattered to anyone if I played with the little girl next door, who was black.

I could probably do this for hours and many more paragraphs but this is enough. Add to this... tell us what you remember that I have neglected to have here. I am sure that there are so many common memories for us all... no matter the age, no matter the country we live in

I Am The Woman

There is still a meme roaming the WWW called "I am the girl" that talks in increasingly sappy ways about what kind of girl this writer will be for her b/f. It is juvenile, unrealistic and says such things as " I'm the girl who says,"ok, but you owe me..." jokingly not because I actually want something, but because it means I get to spend more time with you... or... "I am the girl who will love it when you don't let go of me when I'm mad at you, even when I say let me go". Well, this is MY version of that meme. And I'm not that girl... this is written by a woman. ME.
There is a post that has become a virus of sorts running rampant here. I won't touch on all of her sections plus will probably add my own...

I am the woman who will make you feel every inch The Man in our relationship in private, but will not hang on you in an embarrassingly teenagerish way in public.

I am the woman who will not say "you owe me" anything because there will rarely be a time we are not on equal footing though I know there will be times you are in control of our relationship and other times I will be. We both have our weaknesses and strengths and that will dictate who is doing what at any given time.

I am the woman who has high standards but when in love will happily hold YOU all night long if you feel the need. I know when I need it, you'll do the same. BY the same token, I don't EXPECT to be held close every night. Sometimes we will be too tired... or will simply not want to be touched and want our own space. That's cool too. It changes nothing about my feelings.

I'm the woman who will dress to please us both in the bedroom and am more than willing to wear what you like sometimes to please you and arouse you in public but I am also my own woman with my own rather funky style.

I'm the woman who sometimes does give up hope but then is blessed to be brought back to reality by you...just as I'll do for YOU when you're down.

I am the woman who you can talk to about what you feel comfortable with. I will do my best to respect your privacy and will not press you to tell me details just so that I feel you trust me. If I fail at that, I will apologize.

I'm the woman who will fight with you if I disagree and not tell you you're right just to make you feel better. I'm also the woman who will never play coy or with-hold affection after an argument just to get even.

I'm also the woman who will come up to you with an apology and a kiss when I am wrong...if you'll accept it. If you're not ready for that, i'm NOT the woman who will pout over that.

I'm the woman who will listen when you talk but who also expects to be heard.

I'm the woman who still has enough of the giddy girl to love it when you brush the hair away from my face and kiss me gently.

I'm the woman who also has enough of that girl to enjoy being called your baby or some pet name... but please... not in public?

I'm the woman who will enjoy pampering you and taking care of you and not expect that doing that means you have to do it back. I do it because it gives me pleasure to please you.

I am the woman who will give 150% of myself to you sexually and enjoy every moment, but who is not here to belittle myself for your fantasy pleasure.

I'm the woman who honestly doesn't expect Diamonds. Think of me when you go to the bookstore or rub my back for no reason and you've just given me a gigantic gift. I'm not hard to please.

Im the woman you'll find extremely hard to please in other ways. I expect your loyalty, your love, your heart, your wit, your body and your values. In other words... I expect you to give me exactly what I'll give you, nothing more. But I promise... I'll never expect your soul. That's yours and only yours.

I'm the woman who is old fashioned enough to think you are the man and I am the woman but doesn't think that means you are better or I am your servant. It means there are parts of me, inside and out, that complement parts of you. I am your equal and you are mine.

I am the woman who will stand by your side no matter how tough things are.

I am the woman who expects you to defend my honor if I have been unjustly wronged... but guess what? I'll be right there to defend yours also.

I am the woman who will be there to help you reach your dreams. I will cajole, yell, sooth..whatever it takes to see you be what YOU want to be. By the same token, I will never expect you to be more than you are capable of being.

In The Beginning

She had no idea how she had come to be in this place. The last thing she remembered was setting the controls to take her back to the time just before first historical record of The Black Plague. Everything was worked out; she was to go back there, vaccinate as many people as she could via the new airborne vaccine medical science had discovered. In so doing, they anticipated at least half of those who had died from the plague would now survive thus leading to the birth of how many people who might have the answers they needed now to help the human race survive this latest plague. It was their last hope as even the most genius of the genius were getting nowhere back in her own time.

This though... this wasn't England. At least not any version of England she had ever studied. She had been stuck here for eight days now. Her food had run out over twenty fours hours before and she was starting to feel afraid; very afraid.

Where were the people? She had traveled at least a ten mile radius over the past days and hadn't seen a soul. All she could see was never ending vegetation, a series of sparkling streams which while beautiful and helpful in keeping thirst at bay, never seemed to lead to any larger recognizable body of water. All of it seemed to be surrounding one large tree. Her remote didn't seem to be working. She had signaled to be taken back at least once an hour but nothing had happened. She was stuck here... wherever here was.

Up ahead she heard a rustling emanating from the forested area. She ran towards it, not worrying that it may be a wild animal or even a possible enemy. All the animals seemed strangely tame and showed no fear of her presence and at this point even someone intent on harm would be better than nothing. She was convinced she could defend herself.

Before she got very far into the forest, a large man burst out and ran towards her. He was completely nude and while looking much the same as any other man did, the look on his face; part anger, part relief and partly a deep desperate longing, frightened her enough to cause her to start running back the way she had come, all her bravado gone.

He caught her easily. He carried her back to a small lean-to made of mud and branches as she struggled to get away. The only thing her struggling succeeded in doing was tearing her clothing and leaving her name plate in the forest behind her, it's shiny silver surface glinting in the sun that broke through the trees.

Once they entered the lean-to, he blocked the entrance and began to talk to her in a language she couldn't comprehend. The words were strange but the hand gestures and body language made his meanings quite clear. She was his now... she had been given to him as a gift. As he smiled gently and came towards her she understood one word he said as the one that must be his name and she began to scream.

At the edge of the forest, a Hyena cackled as it nosed a shiny silver nameplate that simply said "Eve".