Well, We Can’t Say that We Weren’t Warned

On our way to dinner, my dad said, “What you don’t understand is that you’re scary.  You frighten people.  People are afraid of you.  If you lost 80 pounds you would rule Tennessee.  You would be like Attila the Hun and Richard Simmons.  People would get out of your way and then follow you.  You really truly scare people.  You have to understand that.”

And then, at dinner, he couldn’t understand why I only ate half of my meal.

I was about to launch into some tedious explanation about what the metformin does to my appetite in the evenings.  But I didn’t bother.  I mean, apparently I could rule Tennessee if I just lost 80 pounds.  And I think we all have some ideas of what I would do to this state once it was under my thumb.

The good news is that we will have legalized ultimate fighting.  The bad news is that at least one fight each evening must contain a Republican state legislator.

Through It

Do y’all remember that there was some song or chant from when we were kids?  And the leader would go “Can’t go over it” and everyone else would drone “Can’t go over it.

“Can’t go under it.”  Can’t go under it.

“Gotta go through it.”  Gotta go through it.

That’s all of it I can remember, though, but it is with me this morning.  I took next week off because I need some long days in the hammock or working in the yard to clear some grief and spiderwebs in my soul.  I am about at the end of my rope on all different fronts.  And I need to be doing something other than the things I am doing to reset myself.

I didn’t realize that my parents were going to be here for the whole week.

And no matter how much I say “I’m not going to Georgia with you,” theres still some talk of an ill-advised family trip down there.

I will not be going.  But I have been amusing myself by imagining such trips.  I mean, really, is there anyone other than Will Campbell who can sit one week with congresscritters talking about the evils of 287(g) and then the next week be on a trip to hang out with the Klan?  I mean at least successfully?

Does the FBI still keep files on everybody?  Because I would love to FOI mine then, just for the WTF?s written in the field notes.

Anyway, I will be going through it.  Whatever happens.  I am going through it.

A Story You’ve Heard Before

Having tomatoes in my window always reminds me of my old boss at the newspaper.  Everyone knew he was growing pot out at his place, but he always claimed the plants in his windows were tomatoes.

The way the paper was set up was that there was a front office area that had been kind of updated–with a drop ceiling and drywall and carpeting.  But then you went through a door and you were in the old building with huge twelve or fifteen or however high foot ceilings lined with drawers of type and old printing press parts jammed in a corner and the light tables and waxers we had to use to put the paper together (and I’m not that old, folks!  That’s just how behind the paper was.) and his office was in that space, four regular eight or ten foot high walls and a door, but above that, open to the real ceiling.

And he would come in about ten or ten thirty every day, just pissed off and surly, yell and some folks, go to his office, shut the door, and we would stand at the light table and wait and watch for the smoke to start rising to the ceiling.  After a little bit, we would smell that he had switched to tobacco, and he would come out of his office, all red-glassy eyed walk next door to the pharmacy and come back with two huge bags of Cheetoes, which he would then consume.  And by lunch, he was pleasant to deal with, if not a very good or reliable boss.

But the funniest thing about the whole thing is how our ad manager was always “Do you think there’s something weird with our boss?  I’m starting to think he might be on drugs.”

No.  Really?  The obvious drug use in his office every morning didn’t tip you off?