Sunday, June 23, 2013

Airport A-Hole

One of my favorite sports is people watching.  There's no better place to do this than at the airport.  Hubs and I were recently in a small, tropical locale waiting for our flight home.  I settled in, kept my eyes peeled and didn't have to wait long for the show to begin.

A lady was totally losing her mind because she lost her $400 pair of sunglasses.  If she said it once, she said it a dozen times, "$400 pair of sunglasses!"  Yeah lady, we get it.  You spent a shitload of money on a pair of sunglasses.  She immediately accused the man who helped her carry all her shit into the airport of taking them.  "He took them!  I know he did!"  Off she went.  I didn't see this ending well.  I imagined security would soon be pulling out the rubber gloves and digging in her ass for those "$400 sunglasses" if she got too obnoxious.

She insisted, "I'm not leaving this country without those glasses!!!"  (Enjoy your stay, beeyotch!)

While we listened to her drama, Hubs noticed that she left her bag in her seat while she stormed off in a huff.  He suggested that we alert someone of the unattended bag and report that it was making us nervous. (I love that man!)  We sat there laughing as we imagined the scenario going down....

"Yes, officer, the lady who left it looked VERY suspicious.  We think SUNGLASSES may be a code word of some sort between her and her companion.  If she gets mad when you ask her about it, I'd say she's up to something.  Especially if she mentions that they cost $400."

We laughed and laughed as the folks around us no doubt wondered what the hell was so funny.

If you ask me, the lady's first mistake was bringing a $400 pair of sunglasses on vacation.  I have a $12 pair of sunglasses that I bought for travel over 15 years ago.  I swear, I could toss those babies over the side of the boat then find them during a dive.  Cheap sunglasses are like a damn boomerang.  You can't lose them!

But this lady was totally losing her shit over these glasses.  Turns out, she quickly  found them and was a new woman.  I wonder if she apologized to the people she accused....  I doubt it.  Some folks tend to always jump to the absolute worst conclusion.  They shoot the messenger then go on their way.  You know what I call someone who does that?  An asshole.

If you can afford to spend $400 on a pair of sunglasses, you should be able to afford to lose a $400 pair of sunglasses. No matter what your socioeconomic status, if you go full asshole on hardworking people after YOU are at fault, then you are an arrogant asshole.  Think twice.  Choose your battles.  Don't ruin someone's day or quite possibly cost them their job with your arrogance. But, if you do, apologize.  Profusely.  Make the effort.  Money doesn't buy class. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Life Well Lived

In just a few hours, we will gather to say goodbye to my Uncle Mike.  No one I've loved has ever died suddenly, so I am still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that he is gone.

"Mikey," as many of us called him, was proactive when it came to his health and well-being. He loved to exercise. He watched what he ate. He was the most disciplined person I have ever known and the youngest 66-year-old you can imagine.  I exercise regularly, but my motivation is to keep my ass from creeping down the back of my thighs whereas Mikey truly enjoyed the process.  He was an avid cyclist.  Loved snow skiing.  He swam.  He lifted weights. He'd been a dedicated runner.

Mikey didn't have children, but he had us -- nieces, nephews, family, lots of friends and a wife who was his partner in life, business, and without a doubt his best friend.  No one will miss him more than her.

My sister and I gathered photographs to best represent Mike's life at his memorial service.  Through these photos, one thing is evident: Mike's was a life well-lived.

A smiling, innocent boy with a skinned chin in a black-and-white school picture...  A tan, lean young man with haunted eyes earning two Purple Hearts in Vietnam....  Marrying his best girl....  Working....  Going to college.... Traveling the world....  Pursuing his passion for aviation....  Always working, reading, learning, and moving forward....  A quiet man....  An honest man....  A better man would be hard to find.

I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone -- never knew him to judge.  (I'd like to know how he managed that because personally, I've never had that kind of restraint.)  Mike never treated me like a kid.  He talked to me like I was his equal and always seemed amazed by my accomplishments, no matter how small.  That's a big damn deal to a kid and something I've treasured as an adult.

1947 - 2013

One of the things that I am most proud of is being able to make Mike laugh.  Where he was a quiet, reserved and classy guy, I'm pretty sure I was born without that filter most people have that keeps them from saying exactly what they think.  I think he and I appreciated each other's differences.

As disciplined as Mike was, he did allow himself a couple of indulgences -- fine, red wine and excellent Scotch.  Several years ago, I asked him to teach me to drink Scotch.  I joked that if I learned to drink it then he and I would have something to do when I visited him in the nursing home one day.  He obliged and shared his finest (and Mike had the good shit) Scotch whiskey with me.  I tried, but I never learned to fully appreciate this particular spirit.  (Thankfully, Hubs picked up my slack in this area.)

But, I can tell you one thing in absolute certainty.  At some point today, I will pour myself a couple of fingers of excellent Scotch and toast one of the finest men I have ever known.  Cheers, Uncle Mike!  You will be missed.

Monday, June 3, 2013


There are some words I just don't like.  CORNHOLE is one of them.

For those of you who aren't familiar with it, cornhole is a game that is similar to horseshoes except wooden platforms with a hole in each are used as targets and bags of corn are used for tossing.  The little bags of corn look like bean bags, but I read on the American Cornhole Association's (ACA) web site (No shit, this actually exists.) "bean bags are for wimps."

Wow.  Apparently, bags of corn are bad ass.  Who knew?

I know a lot of people love playing cornhole and I've seen all sorts of high dollar, custom cornhole sets advertised.  If you are a cornhole afficianado, cob jock, maize gladiator, kernel colonel, corn head (or whatever you call yourself) more power to you.  I have no problem with the game.  It's the name that I hate. 

Cornhole sounds like something awful that happens in prison rather than a game played in backyards across America.  When I hear "cornhole," I picture a muscled, sweaty convict towering over another dude, nostrils flaring, snarling, "Jus' you wait, motherfucker.  I's gonna cornhole yo' ass when you leas' 'spect it." 

If someone asks, "Y'all want to come over for some cornhole?"  My safe answer will always be, "No."

You never know.  One minute you're tossing little bags of corn, having a few drinks, then next they're asking you to put your car keys in a bowl and stay the night.

I. Don't. Think. So.