Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Nachos and The Pope

The first things I remember being happy about upon moving to Texas were nachos. We moved from Indiana in 1979, and, at the time, Indiana didn’t have nachos. Because of Mexicans, I bet Texas has always had nachos. The first Mexicans didn’t settle in Indiana until around 1990. Now they are all over the place!

People say that the Mexicans’ greatest invention is the nacho. I say nachos are practically any kind of people’s greatest invention. Here is a list of some really important inventions:
1. Earth
2. Wheels
3. Space
4. Nachos
5. Skin

I can remember sitting in elementary school when the only thing that got me through the day was the prospect of an after school snack of nachos over at BILL Harland’s house. Bill had a really deep voice. His wife was Jacque. She made the nachos and had toe surgery. The son was David and he liked planets. There was a daughter called Kathy. She listened to Men At Work all the time. Jacque knew exactly how much cheese to put on the nachos, and how long they needed to cook in the microwave. She also pronounced Target like this - /tar’ jhays/.

The other day while I was thinking about The Pope, I started thinking that he has almost certainly never had nachos. I think that’s a shame. I had a hard time coming up with things The Pope can eat. Here is a game. I’m going to list some foods, and you get to guess whether The Pope gets to eat it. If I had a way to tally all responses, I bet they’d come out pretty similar. Here are the things that The Pope may or may not eat:

Salad, Cube Steak, Popsicles, Baked Potatoes, Frosting, Nachos, Pot Roast, Eggs, Fried Chicken, Miscellaneous, Mutton, Bread, Blood, Meatloaf, Teddy Grahams, and Salt.


Here’s the solution in webdings (you’ll need to decipher it by putting it in Word and translating back into American). Salad, Cube Steak, Pot Roast, Miscellaneous, Mutton, Bread, Blood, Meatloaf, and Salt

Recently The Pope had some true things to say about the Muslims. Now some of the Muslims want to kill The Pope (which kind of proves The Pope’s point). The whole thing plus nachos gives me a solution to all of the world’s problems:

Let’s put all of the world leaders down at a table and force them to eat nachos with one another. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember ever fighting with anyone during nachos. It might not even be possible. People like eating nachos together.

I’m tired, but I have a question. If I were to write a series of illustrated stories called “Adventures of The Pope”, would it be offensive? I wouldn’t have him doing anything immoral. Instead, I would just stick him in unPopish situations. For examples:
1. The Pope Goes to Wet ‘N Wild.
2. The Pope Gets his Pope Teeth Cleaned
3. The Pope Surfs
4. The Pope in Garland
5. The Pope Eats Gravy
6. The Pope’s Body Does Somersaults
7. The Pope Visits a Hot Dog Factory
8. The Pope Gets a Perm
9. The Pope Makes Sausage

Please let me hear your ideas now.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


This morning I took the train to work. Since I live near the beginning of the line, it’s always easy to get a seat. However, by the second or third stop, the train nears standing room only. I like paying attention to how the seats fill up. In general, the trains here go four seats across with an aisle down the center. As you would expect, the pattern is for everybody to try to sit in a seat without anyone next to them. Some jackasses sit on the aisle and refuse to move to the window when the train starts getting full. The rest of us sit down at a window and wait for people to sit down beside us.

Here are descriptions of the people without seatmates as the train approaches capacity:
* Guys with cuts on face
* Jackasses who sit on the aisle and refuse to move toward the window
* Smelly people who talk to themselves
* Me

I can remember a day when I’d sit there hoping with all my might that nobody would sit next to me. Not anymore. It’s not that I want to sit by anybody. Instead, it’s that I can’t figure out why they don’t want to sit next to me. I am nice and usually don’t smell horrible.

The same thing happened this morning. Every seat was full except for two – mine and that of a man with scabbed up stub arms with open sores on face. Then a woman came on board. When she got to the section with the human infection and me, she stopped, surveyed the both of us, and with a look of complete desperation plopped down in the seat next to me.

She was wearing a name tag. It seems that her parents decided to name her “Every”. I thought, “What a nice name. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it before.” Then I remembered that I have heard it on account of it’s a word I use every day!

I started smelling stuff as soon as she sat down. When I sniffed her real close, I determined that her smell was eggs.

For the longest time I’ve had a love/hate relationship with eggs. On the one hand, I love the way they taste. On the other, I can’t think of anything less appealing than putting into my cakehole the reproductive cells from which a new chicken should have developed had I not become hungry.

Every’s egg smell grew and grew. The stronger the smell became, the more I wanted to smell her. I’d never smelled anyone like Every. I leaned over for an extra big smell when I realized that it wasn’t that Every smelled like eggs, but that the guy across the aisle was eating a Tupperware container full of leftover chicken.

I know it was leftover because it was 6:30 in the morning, and chicken places aren’t open that early.

At that point I was feeling sort of guilty for accusing Every of smelling like some eggs. I tapped her shoulder and said, “I’ve been thinking to myself that you smell like eggs, but it turns out that it’s just that man’s chicken. For all I know you might smell normal. By the way, is that a real name? Every.” She didn’t respond to my compliments and decided to move over next to Scabby for the rest of her ride.

I’m pretty certain I’ve never seen a man eat chicken so early. (P.S. The man eating the chicken did not have an “away-from-the-face” beard. I think this proves the latest addition to my beard theories. That is, bearded men don’t eat chicken for breakfast.)

I’m disturbed that my olfactory system confused eggs with chicken. I think it’s weird that something that came out of a chicken smelled so much like a chicken. That’s certainly not the way it works with stuff that comes out of people.

By the time my stop came, I was about to throw up from the chicken/egg smell. The weird thing about it is that when I thought it was eggs, I wanted to smell it real hard. Once I realized it was some chickens, I started getting sick.

Are other people like me? If I smell or taste something taken totally out of its normal context, it’s liable to make me kind of sick. For example, I can’t drink Coke (which I normally enjoy) out of a translucent green cup. It just doesn’t look right, and I think it tastes different.

Here’s another example…When I was in high school some of the other kids and I went to Mr. Gatti’s after final exams. While I was at the buffet re-loading my plate, my friend Brandon put a piece of spaghetti in my straw. When I sucked out the spaghetti, it nearly made me throw up. But I like spaghetti! I just wasn’t expecting it. I thought I was getting a drink, but got food instead.

I was expecting the smell this morning to be eggs. When it turned out to be chickens, I got thrown for a loop. I’m still trying to cope with what happened, and haven’t yet determined whether I’ll ever be able to eat eggs or chickens again. You can think I’m an idiot if you want, but I’m serious. Today was the first time when ordering fajitas that I didn’t either get chicken or combo. Instead, I went with the steak. Chicken was more than I could take.

P.S. I have a real niece now. Her name is Daphne and she is correctly proportioned. Evidently those sonograms distort head size on fetuses quite a bit. She came with orange hair and seems to enjoy being alive so far. The picture at the top of this is her. When she yawns, her mouth goes crooked. While I’m unwilling to tolerate much in the way of imperfections, this is one that I think gives her character.