A Few Quick Things, vol. 19

poop-factory2I took off my wedding ring a week or so ago, on account of my fatness. It fit perfectly in 1993, when we were hitched by a radio judge in Atlanta. But in 2015… it was below the skin. Know what I mean? It didn’t hurt or anything, but I was afraid it might cinch-off my finger; I’m surprised the whole thing didn’t turn black and fall off.

So, I lubed it up with spit and worked that bastard off. It wasn’t easy; the fat kept shifting like a mouse inside a snake, so it was touch and go until I got ‘er past the knuckle. It’s been about a week, and it still looks ridiculous — like I’m still wearing a ring, skin-colored. How long before it bounces back, and becomes normal again?

I think I’m just going to buy a new ring, sized for my big 2015 Snickers fingers. I know you can have them adjusted, but I like the idea of a new one. We’ll see. It’s not exactly high on my Big List O’ Priorities. Except, of course, people might think I’m recently divorced and still carrying around the ghost of a shattered marriage on my left hand. I guess I should do something about it?

I breezed through the Train the Trainer Training last week. Well, “breezed” might not be the proper word… It was tedious and involved, but I endured it and survived. In fact, I finished in one day, which is quite rare, according to Bob, the instructor dude.

Surprisingly enough, I was the only student. It was just me and Bob for hours and hours. He said he does Train the Trainer one-on-one. And if I’d know that in advance, I probably wouldn’t have been dreading it so much. I had visions of me and four or five grizzled warehouse veterans, shaking their heads and rolling their eyes at my raw dipshittery.

But, as so often happens, it was NOTHING like I imagined. Almost all of it took place in a classroom, and involved OSHA regulations, and that sort of thing. Parts of it were mind-numbingly dull, but I powered through. He told me that on several occasions he’s had people walk out on him, during the OSHA part. They just stand up, big Bob adieu, and drive away.

In any case, I’m now certified to host classes and issue forklift licenses. And not just forklifts, a whole array of contraptions like scissor-lifts, etc. Amazing. Also, Bob bought me lunch: a club sandwich from Perkins. And how cool is that? Bob is good people.

Since I wasn’t supposed to be at work on Thursday, because of Day Two of my training, my boss told me to just take it off. The weather was perfect, so I worked in the yard all day. I mowed and trimmed, and also cleaned up the flower beds and all the leaves that were suctioned to our house from last fall and winter.

And man, it sucked. But, it’s a funny thing… I’ve been playing around with the outline for a new novel I’m planning to write, and was having problems with certain plot points. But on Thursday, while doing the yard drudgery, a bunch of ideas came flooding out of my beleaguered brain, and I was able to fix every issue. I kept running inside the house and jotting shit down. It was exciting.

People always say exercise and exertion are like meditation. It worked out that way on Thursday, and it was great. Plus, our yard looks good. However… it’s so very temporary. In fact, it’s Monday and it’s already starting to get a little shaggy again. What the hell, man?? All that work, and I only get a few days out of it? It’s bullshit.

I’ve said it before, but how come scientists haven’t come up with a type of grass that grows to a certain length and stops? Like pubes? We can put a man on the moon, and reconfigure an Olympic champion into an ugly woman, but we can’t do a pube grass?! So many disappointments…

After I finished the yard and my outline, we went to the high school for an art show. The younger boy had a couple of pieces in this thing, and we turned it into a family outing. Afterward we went to dinner, and it was a good time. A rare good time.

But check this one out. I walked around the corner, saw it, and nearly shrieked. I don’t know the person who drew it, but it’s supposed to be a self-portrait. I hope she doesn’t look like that in real life.


And here are a few from a previous year, still on my phone, for some reason. Yes, the self-portraits are always a highlight.


This was also on my phone, taken last Saturday night at the Replacements show. That guy was roughly seven feet tall, and took up residence directly in front of me for a while. You can see the normal non-freakish people around him, and how much taller he is than them. He was like something out of a circus, and was standing right there! Guys like that shouldn’t even be allowed to leave the house. Sweet sainted mother of Woody Fryman!


Oh, and I posted a short 19-second clip from some 1965 home movies at Facebook yesterday. Hopefully the link will work. It features my mom and dad, my brother (the baby in red), and a 2-year old me. Check it out, if you can. My parents look like kids, probably because they were. I have no doubt they were both already far more mature and responsible — at age 22, or whatever — than I am now. Crazy!

Finally, I’ve seen this commercial on actual TV a few times over the past several weeks. I’m mildly shocked that it was ever made, and even more shocked that it’s being aired. It wasn’t that long ago when they wouldn’t even show a toilet on TV — I thought the Brady kids must’ve shit in a bucket or something. And now this? Can you imagine if this popped up during an episode of Fantasy Island, during the 1970s? People would’ve passed out. Not to mention, been completely confused about the idea of bush-trimming… It probably would’ve led to unrest in the streets. Heh.

I have to go to work now, my friends.

Have yourselves a great day.

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  1. Jazzbone Swirly says

    I couldn’t view your fambly home movie, because we’re not ‘friends’ on FB. Thanks for the update, though. Twas an enjoyable read.

    • johnthebasket says

      Jazz, I thought you were making up a word, but then I watched the movie of those ladies trimming their twas. Language and permissible content both evolve.


  2. I changed the video to PUBLIC. Hopefully that takes care of it.

  3. madz1962 says

    A sure-fire way to remove a ring is spray your finger with Windex. Ring will glide right off.

    I know what you mean about the lawn work. Within 2 days (those ass sweating 80 plus degree days) our lawn, trees and flowers exploded.

  4. I went to one of those art shows two weeks ago for my kid. That self portrait make me laugh out loud!

  5. I think the self-portrait kid has a future in advertising. Or forklift driving.

    Neither of our kids was into art, but we did have to struggle through some middle-school oboists. Yikes. Our kids were smart, they both play trombone.

    Good on ya for getting the novel ideas down! I’m in the process of really writing my first long piece, and I’ve done it in snippets, but about a week ago everything kind of fell into place and now I know what direction to head. Of all the many options, one just stood up and slew all others, howling for blood and attention. Yep, it’s that kind of book. 🙂

  6. Dogberryjr says

    not to be cruel, but doesn’t the self portrait remind you of the hairy monster in the Bugs Bunny cartoon, the one where he pretends to be a hairdresser and says, “Monsters are the most interesting people.”

    • madz1962 says

      Oh shit! Yes it does look loke that hairdressing monster. Didnt he say “Monsters make such interesting oets!”.

      Also looks like the big headed kid drom the movie “Mask” that had Cher in it.

  7. At the top of the page, Google gifted me with an ad for forklift operator training.

    And man, I hate yardwork; that’s one reason I prefer winter over summer. But it has its uses. Besides making the yard look less like a vacant lot, it can take your conscious mind off the Problem du Jour so that the seething underbrain can have a go at it.

  8. I see a lot of comments about wanting water to be portable, so you buy bottled water.

    That’s a pretty good argument in itself. However, I do have a question about the necessity or portable water.

    Where the fuck do people live that you no shit need unfettered access to water at all times?

    I have now lived in the desert for the majority of my life and have not once ever needed to have immediate access to water at any given time. Drink water before you leave the house. Take a few sips from the fountain during the day. Drink water when you get home.

    What’s the damn deal with having to have your security blanket of bottled water?

    And if you say it’s because you are a long-haul trucker running the Bishop-Barstow-Wickenburg route, okay that’s legit. But sitting on your ass at a desk, or teaching your sixth graders, or cashing checks from your grandparents, or delivering local FedEx packages isn’t a reason to carry around a six gallons of Arrowhead with you everywhere you go.

    • johnthebasket says

      A nice rant. The last generation of Americans to have access to, essentially, all the water they want throughout their lifetimes was born around 1960. Las Vegas is ten years away from running out of water. The Midwest is five to ten years behind them. Aggregately, the United States runs out of water 20 years before we run out of petroleum.

      So I agree that potable water is a problem. As the man said, “If I gonna BE impotant, I needs to LOOK impotant.

      So I wouldn’t worry so much about mowing the lawn and stuff.


  9. revashane says
  10. Going to hop onto the forklift when you get back to work? Brush up on your faux German accent and declare ‘I am Klaus outta my way!’ as you tool around the aisles. =-)

  11. Skippy in WV says

    Any one here live in or around Morgantown, WV? My better half took a job in Bridgeport. Just wantin somebody to show me some good hole in the wall places. Even if ya don’t live there, any suggestions?

  12. New job has me waking up on weekends like a schnook. Girl one and girl two went back to sleep but not me. Today is a day for yard work and a new phone. Had really shifty service at b dubs last night but she hooked us up on the bill without us saying anyrhing. That got the good lady (nautica) an almost 30% tip.
    good update..
    Marc maron interviewing Terry gross was excellent.
    Tstorm out

    • And according to fb it looks like it’s been 5 yrs since I went to the Indians game with jeffindenverincleveland