Sunday, January 30, 2005


My Dad’s birthday was January 25. He is 59 years old. I’d say that’s pretty good! Anyway, his having the flu last weekend caused us to put off the celebrating until today. We had fun because of darts, chickens, an accordion, a Turkish spike fiddle, salad, the guy who urinated his way out of an avalanche, and stories from my parents about the olden times.

When a guy gets to be a certain age, he assumes he knows at least the important things that ever happened to his parents. So you can imagine my surprise when my Mom laid this one on us. Out of no place, she started talking about when she spent the night with one of her friends when she was a little girl. She said it was pretty gross because the house smelled kind of funny and everything – including her bedding – seemed a little bit damp. And, oh yes, there were a lot of monkeys living there, un-caged. Maybe that’s the kind of childhood experience that keeps her from touching all but certain very limited parts of my dog, Albert. She’ll gladly touch him on the top and back of the head. In other words, she’ll touch him where his tongue can’t reach. My Mom’s a little freaked out by moisture that comes out of animals. I’m freaked out by gravy. I guess that’s why we’re related.

Then I found out that my Dad was chased by a bumblebee around a baseball park ten years after he’d been stung six times in the eyelid by the same bumblebee. To me, that’s incredible! But he insists it’s true, and I’ve never known my Dad to make stuff up. Getting stung in the eyelid caused him to holler, “Son of a bitch!” His mother made him eat a soap, and my Dad has cursed seldom since.

The mother who made him eat a soap turned out to be my grandma. Once, when I was spending the week with her and my grandpa in West Virginia (my grandpa went to work in a pants factory there), Elvis died. That night I wanted to sleep in my socks, but wasn’t allowed on account of “We don’t sleep in our socks here.” I got mad and took off all my clothes. That’s the last time I appeared naked in front of people who aren’t me (and even when it’s just me I try to quickly put on my briefs).

I remember when I was a kid. My parents weren’t much for grounding me, and I can’t recall getting slugged or anything. The only discipline I can remember was my Dad saying, “Damnit!” He cursed so infrequently that all he had to do was say that word and I knew that I’d just about had it. My Mom, on the other hand, likes using curse words. Her problem is that she thinks it’s funny to cuss, and she’s one to laugh at her own jokes. Once I did something to really make her mad and she called me “Shit Head”. If my Dad had called me that, I would’ve started crying. But when my Mom called me it we both started laughing.

Oh! There was a guy last week that was driving along when an avalanche landed on his car. Fortunately for the guy, he had beers in tow. He started drinking the beers while he was stuck there, and then he thought to roll down his window enough to urinate on the avalanche. Sixty beers later, he managed to urinate the avalanche away. Authorities found him walking around the side of the road in a drunken stupor. This has been a story about how a man used his urine to defeat Mother Nature.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Musical Pants

Man, if there are two things I have they are A) a never ending supply of fabulous ideas and 2) the inability to capitalize on any of them. Because this is a problem that I haven't been able to correct in 32 years, I guess I might as well start telling you about some of my ideas so that you can use them to get rich.

From the one who thought of but didn’t do anything about such products and services as The Smell Recorder, Pi Restaurant, the Dallas Light Rail Shopper, Magnetize My Ashes & Stick Me In An Etch-A-Sketch Cremation Services, Risk Consultant / Insurance Company, "People You Hate" Urinal Accessories, and the Personalized See & Say (just to name a few!) here is my latest concept that will inevitably go to and around waste and your waist, respectively - MUSICAL PANTS!

Here’s the idea. Whenever you get up and start walking this way and that, the back and forth walking motion of your human legs sets off some sort of a thing that causes your theme song to start playing. All that from right inside your pants! Think of how happy you will feel when all of a sudden you get up to walk someplace and "Forever In Blue Jeans" or "She’s Like the Wind" or other starts playing. Hey! Nothing can be better than Larry Feathers’ Musical Pants.

Now pretend you’re a baby. Let’s say that you are trying to learn how to walk. For lots of babies walking is hard. But for you it is not hard to start walking when you know that you’re wearing my Musical Pants. I guarantee that you’ll start walking a little bit earlier than the rest of the babies as long as you promise to wear some of these pants.

My sister and her husband think the pants will be even more fun if the music speeds up as you speed up. I think they’re right. They support my pants.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Oklahoma! Part I: The Grandison at Maney Park

I wish I hadn’t left my notes at work because I’m bound to leave something out that I shouldn’t. Anyway, I had the pleasure of going to Oklahoma City for work on January 10 – 14. I was accompanied this time by Auditor Vickie Warfield. Here’s all about it…

I like traveling with Vickie. Either she kind of likes the same kinds of stuff as me or she is most willing to tolerate me. In fact, I can’t recall a time when we’ve been on the road that she’s nixed one of my eating, sleeping, or shopping ideas. I appreciate her tolerance because I’m admittedly not the easiest character in the world to be around – especially for long uninterrupted periods of time. Indeed Vickie got a small taste of what it would be like to be married to me, and, between you and me, I think she rather enjoyed that aspect of the trip.

Anyway, we needed to find a place to stay in OKC. When I go out of town I like trying to find lodging that is out of the ordinary. One drawback to Oklahoma City is that there isn’t much in the way of out of the ordinary lodging. However, I found a bed and breakfast called The Grandison at Maney Park that agreed to give us the $65/night government rate. What a deal! I was going to get a big ol’ breakfast in the morning and leisurely walks through beautiful Maney Park at night! And Vickie was going to get to live the dream of being married to me (The Grandison is ranked by some publication or other as one of the Top 15 Bed and Breakfasts in American for honeymoons and anniversaries).

Before telling you about our stay at the Grandison, let me just make it perfectly clear that I liked the house and the people who own it. I would stay there again.

Before we checked in at the Grandison, we went to our OKC field office to take care of some business. At lunch time our co-worker Gina said she’d drive us past the house where we were staying so that we could see how to get over there. (That’s just the beginning of how nice Gina treated us while we were in town. She is the best!) Another guy called Warren came with us which made me glad because Warren is nice. On the way over I was telling Warren how I intended to stroll through Maney Park later that night. Warren warned against any such stroll because the Grandison is very near “the ‘hood”. Oh well. At least I was going to get to eat a big ol’ breakfast!

Let me quickly tell you about Maney Park. There is no such thing. The house would more properly be called The Grandison Next to Another Old but Less Well Taken Care of House at the ‘Hood. I couldn’t even tell where a park might used to have been. Still, I would stay there again.

That evening we went to check in. We were greeted by a dog in the foyer who growls at people. Welcome to the Grandison! After a couple of minutes one of the daughters of the man and woman who own the house came out, checked us in, and showed us to our rooms. On the way, we stopped at a hall closet just at the top of the stairs. The daughter showed us that the closet contained a dorm-size refrigerator, a coffee pot, and a couple boxes of cereal. She said (I promise she said this), “This is where you will have breakfast.” Then she took us further down the hall to our rooms. Our rooms were in the back of the house and upstairs. Next to our rooms was a back exit to the house where you can take an outside set of stairs down to the Grandison parking lot. The daughter said (I promise!), “You can take that back door if you want. You don’t even need to come through the front part of the house.”

I went in my room, removed the comforter (as is my custom), and lied down on the bed. I noticed a small spiral notebook on the night stand. When Judge Judy went off the air, I picked it up and started reading. “What a delicious breakfast!” “Loved the breakfast.” “Keep up the good breakfasts.” “That’s the best breakfast I’ve ever had!” “Your breakfast is da shiznit!” What?!?! I was reading a spiral full of past guests’ comments about their stays, and either these people were A) the most sarcastic people ever, B) the biggest fans of Wheaties ever, or C) we were getting the government rate breakfast. I kept reading…."Loved the Jacuzzi bathtub. The rose petals in the bath tub really set the mood.” Set the mood? So much for taking a bath.

The next morning I was relieved to determine that no lewd activity could’ve gone on in the shower as it had in the bath tub. (Still, I wore my protective briefs as I showered.) The reason I know that the shower hadn’t been soiled is that it could only accommodate one very small person. (To turn around in the shower I literally had to step out into the rest of the bathroom, rotate, and re-enter.) As is often the case in other peoples’ showers, the water pressure left much to be desired. I went to work every day with a head full of shampoo residue. My sensitive scalp rebelled against Oklahoma City shower water.

By now you’re probably thinking that I didn’t like Oklahoma City. Well you couldn’t be more wrong. Tomorrow or some other time soon when I'm more awake, I’ll tell you all about the rest of our trip. You’ll learn why I consider Oklahoma City the best city in America. I’ll tell you all about the places they have to eat, how nice the people are, how good of a job they did with Bricktown, and how tastefully done the Oklahoma City Memorial is. And then I’ll tell you all about my return to Texas and how it makes me long for Oklahoma.

Note to self: Tell them about 1) Oklahoma: restaurants, people, Homeland, traffic, downtown, etc… 2) Texas: Pizza Hut, Sprint stores, backed up plumbing, the cat getting hit by a car, Super Target, shopping carts, etc…