A Few Quick Things, vol. 71

TV10It smells like a decomposing monkey in here. My home office (aka The Bunker) shares a wall with our garage, and every time it gets hot and humid outside… there’s a mild hint of dead animal in the air. We’ve never had any issues with varmints, that I’m aware of, so it’s confusing to me. One thing I know for sure: I don’t care for it.

Right now it’s kicking harder than usual. Hopefully there’s not a stack of dead hobos in our garage. Admittedly, I don’t go in there very often. Perhaps word has spread throughout the underground community that the corner of our garage is the place to go for dying hobos?

It’s the only explanation I can come up with. That, and a team of spider monkeys getting trapped behind the drywall every summer for years. Those are the only plausible scenarios, as far as I can tell. Help me out, won’t you? What else could it be?

Two Fridays ago I was sitting in our living room reading, at 1:20 am. Oh, I’m quite the party animal… I’m WILD, I tell ya! In fact, I was reading this book, which is far geekier than the stuff I usually choose. But it was fantastic. I loved the shit out of that thing.

Anyway, it was very late, and I was the only one still up. The two hooligans were even sleeping at that time, which is unusual. And I heard somebody run toward our house, yank open the screen door, and POUND on the wooden door. Four bangs, possibly five, and nothing else.

I about deep-soiled the loveseat, and sprang to my feet. Should I open the door? Yeah, that thought actually went through my head for about half a second. Then I remembered: this ain’t a 1980s slasher flick. I don’t HAVE to act irrationally. So, I just stood in front of the door, waiting for something else to happen. And it never did.

Kids! Dumbass kids out wandering the streets, on one of the first weekends of the summer, doing dumbass things. I’m almost certain that’s what it was. But, what if? It’s very unnerving, somebody BANGING on your front door in the middle of the night.

It woke Toney up, and she called the cops on the non-emergency line. And within five minutes, possibly three, an imposing white SUV was slowly driving up and down our street with a powerful spotlight shining between every house.

And that’s the end of the story. There’s nothing else to report, thankfully. But it gave me my cardio workout for the day, that’s for sure. Not a fan.

I see stupid crap like this on Facebook all the time, and almost never click through. But, for whatever reason, I checked this one out and laughed my ass off. I think it was the headline, or maybe it was the fact that a longtime Surf Reporter posted it?

In any case, these guys were supposedly trying to pull off their own Jackass stunt, and things either went horribly wrong or right, depending on your point of view.

I had many thoughts while watching this (four times), but at the top of my thought-list is this: if we’d been able to talk one of our friends into doing something so stupid, I wouldn’t have jumped in and started knocking fire ants off of his wang like that. Ya know? He and his mangled sac ‘n’ shaft would be on their own at that point. Oh, I might’ve sprayed high pressure water on it, like that one dude. But nothing with my bare hands.

Also, I laugh every time when he flings his underwear out of frame, like a Frisbee. And I love that people are driving by during the ordeal. Please share your thoughts on this important artifact of the early 21st Century.

Finally, I spent three days in the Yurt Village last week, and it went well. I had a word-count target I wanted to hit, and didn’t come anywhere near it. But I got ‘er started, and it feels like the novel is officially underway. I view that as a win. And… the stuff I wrote is pretty strong, I think. So, I’m happy.

While there, I had two international visitors. I didn’t know the state park attracted so many people from other countries. Perhaps it’s the abundance of gnats and high humidity that draws them in?

One night a fairly powerful storm rolled through, and a nervous Frenchman came a-calling. He wanted to know why I didn’t hunker down in the bathhouse, because of the “tornado.” I said, “Huh?”

Rangers were riding around the park, he explained via heavily-accented speech, telling everyone to go to the bathhouse because of a tornado warning. I told him I knew nothing of this, and he seemed to be concerned about it. Why had they not informed me? I could’ve been killed!

I just shrugged and told him it was all over now. “No tornado,” I assured him. But he was clearly unsatisfied, and walked away muttering to himself in French.

Another night a young couple with deep-seated British accents knocked on my door. They said they wanted to rent a cabin, but nobody was in the guard shack. I didn’t know how to help them, but pointed them in the direction of the camper near the entrance, with a sign out front that reads HOST.

They asked how I liked the yurt, and I told them they’re pretty freaking kick-ass. Not that bluntly, of course, but that was the general vibe I conveyed. “Wanna take a look?” I said, and held open the screen door.

The wife or girlfriend said yes, and began moving forward. But the dude said No! and started to back away. WTF? Again, I shrugged — this time the international sign for ‘whatever.’ And they left, the guy with his arm around the girl in a protective posture. Sheesh. I imagine he was saying, “That bloke probably has a stack of decomposing hobos in there.”

Anyway, I got three solid chapters written. Some funny stuff, I think. I want to knock it out and not let it drag and drag and drag like the last one. Wish me luck.

I have to go to work now. Have yourselves a great week, my friends.

I’ll see you again soon.

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  1. I don’t play video games – but I read that book a few years ago. I read somewhere that it is going to be into a movie.

  2. Wonderboy says

    I recently started Ready Player One over the weekend as well. So far I’m really enjoying it, I would recommend it to anyone who lived during that time and enjoyed the culture of it. I would love to see it turned into a movie.

  3. Speaking of strange goings on with the front door –

    A few years ago I was in another room folding laundry and heard the screen door open. I live alone. I stuck my head out of the room I was in and saw some kid standing in my living room looking around. I asked him if I could help him with something. He turned around and walked calmly back out the front door.

    • Mookie325 says

      Probably casing the house for a potential future break-in. Had a kid ride up to the top of my driveway once and begin looking into the backyard. I saw him from my living room so I went out and asked him what was up. He did the same thing – calmly turned around on his bike and rode away. About two weeks later my truck was broken into and my golf clubs lifted. Bastiges.

      • I wondered about that. I don’t own anything but stacks of records, cds, and books. Maybe that didn’t do anything for him.

  4. madz1962 says

    Years ago, some neighborhood kids stole a Halloween prop – it was some maniacal looking lumberjack/scare crow thing. They flung it against our front door. The thing hit the storm door with a loud bang and when we looked out the window and saw a “man” lying on the stoop, it got a bunch of screams. But I had to admit, that was exactly the kind of shenanigans I did so I had to laugh.

    That video – holy cow! I watched it with and without the sound and I can’t decide which was funnier.

    Glad the yurt time was productive. Can’t wait to see it.

  5. Stuart in Oz says

    Love your work Jeff! I just finished the book The Martian, loved it..it started out as a self published e-book, now a best seller and soon to be a movie….just sayin!

    • Thank you, Stuart. I read The Martian, too. Fun stuff! I think the guy originally published it at his blog, one chapter at a time. People liked it so much, they wanted him to make it available as a book. He wasn’t even planning to do one. Now it’s a big-time hit, with, like you say, a movie coming. I heard the author on a podcast talking about it. He sounds like he can’t believe what’s happened to him.

      • Revashane says

        I read the Martian too and told the husband they should make a movie of it. When the book you’re reading goes on Kindal unlimited I’ll get it. Been on a sci-fi jag here of late.

        • Hopping on the bandwagon… I also read The Martian a few months ago, and liked it a lot. Revashane, if you’re on a kick for that sort of thing, check out the new Neal Stephenson. It’s called Seveneves.

          • Revashane says

            Thanks Chill always looking for suggestions. I stumbled upon Wayward Pines last year and true to form the books are SO much better than the show. Matt Dillon uggh.

  6. sunshine_in_va says

    Karma’s a bitch, Jeff. It’s just the Dunbar days coming home to roost.

    I got bitten by fire ants on two occasions when I lived in Austin in the mid-80’s. Once it was just ONE ant between two toes and that was enough for me to strike up my best “Ave Maria” at the top of my lungs. Those fucking things HURT.

    But I’m not sure they have “fire ants” in Thailand:


    • sunshine_in_va says

      Eh – never mind: they do have one form or another of stinging red ants, often referred to as fire ants for no other reason than sheer laziness.

  7. Because surely hobos will self-arrange neatly in a stack in their dying moments. It’s what all the subtexts of those train songs are about, after all. “When yerr about te gooooo, here’s whut yew must knoooooow, to Jeff’s garage you wander but in that place don’t flounder, just flop on down in a neatly Pythagoeran derivation of a pyramid with yer Liiiiiimbs, and you’ll be fine! Oooooh!’

    • Revashane says

      I have often wondered what happened to the character at the end of the song Gentle on my Mind. Jeff better check the garage if Glenn Campbell goes missing.

      • johnthebasket says

        Glenn Campbell has already gone missing. As for the character in the song, he’s gone off and joined a wrecking crew, and he’ll always be there, backing up the best pop artists in the world.


  8. Westersteve says

    The smell from your garage is probably fermenting grass on the underside of your lawnmower. It really kicks up if the grass was wet when you cut it. Scrape it all off then apply silicone spray to the undercarriage. The state park near us looks like the United Nations garage sale all we need is a relief truck with bags of rice and mirrored glassed Uzi-toting body guards to complete the picture.

  9. If it smells like rotting flesh, it probably is rotting flesh. Maybe a dead squirrel or an errant pork chop.

  10. Well I’ll be damned, gmail finally for the first time put this one in my inbox rather than promotions!

  11. Jazzbone Swirly says

    Luckily, I lost my sense of smell about a month ago (much like Dewey Cox).

  12. Maybe the knock at the door was just a very polite hobo wishing to die in your garage with your permission. Now you’ll never know!

  13. The Qweezy Mark says

    So, it turns out both those guys had to sleep with that prison employee to get some help? Now I just feel bad for them!

  14. Skippy in WV says

    When I was 6 or 7 I went to my grandparents house on Halloween, Papaw answered the door and said “its a little late for trick or treater’s, I’ll go get ya some candy”. I followed him in the house, when he turned around I was standing in the living room. He jumped my shit tellin me it wasn’t polite to go into someone’s house without being invited. When he realized who I was he was embarrassed that he didn’t recognize his own grandson.

  15. Skippy in WV says

    When I was 6 or 7 I went to my grandparents house on Halloween, Papaw answered the door and said “its a little late for trick or treater’s, I’ll go get ya some candy”. I followed him in the house, when he turned around I was standing in the living room. He jumped my shit tellin me it wasn’t polite to go into someone’s house without being invited. When he realized who I was he was embarrassed that he didn’t recognize his own grandson.

  16. I went to my dad’s house in Texas (he’d just gotten out of prison. I had a key to the little place. I flung the door open and said, “Dad? Dad?” This cute brunette came around the corner and didn’t seem the least bit concerned. Seems that “Dad” had moved out a few weeks prior and she was the new renter. I gave her the key and wished her well. Again, she was all smiles and not at all startled that I was standing in her living room, even though her door had been locked.

  17. johnthebasket says

    HAWTHORN had too much polish for Adelaide on Thursday night, kicking away to a 29-point win at Adelaide Oval in front of a 50,023-strong crowd.

    The Hawks’ clean possession sparkled in comparison to the Crows’, who fought hard but whose errors hurt their cause in their 17.12 (114) to 12.13 (85) loss.

    ADELAIDE 4.1 7.2 11.7 12.12 (84)
    HAWTHORN 6.2 9.6 13.9 17.12 (114)

    Adelaide: Cameron 2, Douglas 2, Walker, Talia, Lynch, Wright, Betts, Laird, Dangerfield, Jenkins

    Hawthorn: Breust 3, Hale 2, Smith 2, Burgoyne, Duryea, Hill, Puopolo, Shiels, Suckling, Ceglar, Hodge, Rioli, Hartung

    Adelaide: Dangerfield, Sloane, Thompson, Douglas, Laird, Cameron, Cheney

    Hawthorn: Hodge, Shiels, Smith, Mitchell, Hale, Burgoyne, Gibson

    Adelaide: Walker (corked thigh)
    Hawthorn: Gunston (dislocated finger)

    Adelaide: Matthew Crouch replaced Taylor Walker at three-quarter time
    Hawthorn: Billy Hartung replaced Ryan Schoenmakers at three-quarter time