The Week That Was And The Weekend That Will Be


The current situation: Our boys are in Florida, living it up with my parents. And Toney is in New York City, staying at some fancy-pants hotel with Nancy. So, that leaves me and Andy here at Chez Kay, trapped inside by a snowstorm.

We took the hooligans to the Philadelphia airport on New Years Day, to catch a plane to Tampa (I think). I worked the night before, and had to get up at the butt crack of dawn the next morning, so they could make their pre-noon flight. The good news: The turnpike was almost abandoned; everybody was presumably home sleeping it off, like civilized human beings.

While Toney and I stood by, to make sure the boys got through security with no issues, we heard someone shouting, “Oh God! Oh my God!! Lord Jesus!” It sounded like an old black man, and it was unnerving. What was going on?? I thought somebody had had a heart attack, or a person was waving a knife around, or something.

I went toward the shouting, to see if I could figure it out. And I saw a twitchy TSA worker, standing by himself, shouting all that stuff. Unprovoked, as far as I could tell… There was something going on with this dude — he wasn’t right. He was just standing in the middle of the floor, with nobody near him, yelling, “Oh lawdy! Dear God!!” He was white, but sounded like Scatman Crothers in distress.

However, when a passenger would approach, he’d snap out of it and act semi-normal. He even joked around, and was one of the “fun” security guys. Then he’d start hollering again, as soon as the task was completed: “Oh my Gawd!!”

I simply don’t understand. Tourrettes maybe?

The boys texted us and said they were boarding the plane, so we made a beeline for Cracker Barrel. I had a powerful hankerin’ for the Old Timer’s Breakfast. But it was full-on pandemonium. The woman behind the presidential podium informed us it would be “at least” an hour wait for a table. So, we went down the street to an IKEA store, to pass the time.

We bought quite a bit of IKEA stuff during previous lifetimes, and it all required hours of construction. A giant bookcase, for instance, comes in an impossibly small box. As we walked through that labyrinth of low-end end tables, I remembered this old cartoon I enjoyed years ago:


I found some really cool British-style pub glasses I wanted to buy, but there were roughly 10 people with flatbed carts at every checkout. So, funk dat. I dropped the four-pack of glasses in a dump bin of cookie cutters, and we returned to The Barrel. And as we walked through the front door, someone shouted through an amplification device: “Jeff! Party of two!! Jeff!” Perfect timing.

It sounds like the boys are having a great time with my mom and dad. Yesterday they took a boat out into the Gulf of Mexico, and saw dolphins, etc. The older boy — the one that will occasionally let down his guard and show emotion — was going on and on about how cool it was.

I’m glad it’s going well. My parents have been wanting to do this for a while, and we finally got it together. They’re going to Disney, and some other amusement park, as well. Hollywood Studios? Is that a real place? I don’t have the energy to Google it.

Yesterday the older boy texted me the following, about my folks: “They refuse to eat at KFC because of an isolated incident that occurred in 1972.” I laughed, because I know all about that incident, and my parents’ unparalleled ability to hold a grudge. I’ve been hearing about that piece of raw chicken my dad bit into, for most of my life. And they’ve literally never been back. Heh. Forty-three years and counting.

How are you at holding grudges of that sort? I always weaken. I have a fire in my belly for a while… then I lose the passion and go back. How about you? Anything remarkable to report on voting with your feet? Tell us about it, won’t you?

Nancy is in NYC for some kind of blowhardy conference, possibly with some of these people, and invited Toney to join her. Nancy’s employer is paying for an expensive room in an expensive hotel, and Toney’s piggybacking on that deal. She drove over there this morning, and has already sent me several texts about all the “pretentious douches” filling that place. But it’ll be good for her to get out of the rut of our crazy life for a while. Even if it’s with Nancy.

And I need to call it a day here, my friends. I’m starting my new novel, and hope to get two or three chapters finished before Toney returns tomorrow evening. Wish me luck. I’m excited to get into it. I’ve been thinking about it so much it’s starting to creep into my dreams a bit. It’s time.

See you again soon!

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  1. Jeremy Wiley says


  2. Wow – time ALONE? Kids showing emotion? Enjoying their grandparents? A Scatman Crothers reference? This post has it all.

    We are celebrating our 6th anniversary today. Thank you, Jeff.

  3. johnthebasket says

    Grudges and regrets are both heavy burdens that will stress the spine and not allow the juices to flow by jangling around gently as you move. Thanks, Satch.

    By the way, I actually saw Satchel Paige pitch in person in my home town in 1961. He’d caught on with the Portland Beavers and was in town playing against my team, the Tacoma Giants in a AAA game. Satch was 54, and managed a 2.88 ERA in 25 innings before he hung up the spikes again (and not for the last time).

    He didn’t have a lot of velocity, but nobody hit the ball hard off him. My dad had told me about him, and it was a great night which remains in sharp memory, even though I was only eleven. The following year, Satch published his autobiography, “Maybe I’ll Pitch Forever” which I bought about ten minutes after it hit the bookstore. As I recall, it was a terrific read.

    Satch was a barnstormer for much of his professional life, and the way he was treated in both the south and north because of his race should have made him bitter. I never saw any of that bitterness manifest itself. Although he could be a little rough around the edges, he was a gentleman who always seemed to have time to sign a kid’s program or baseball. I guess that’s the answer to the question about grudges. If you’ve been called names, denied lodging and meals because of your skin color, and catcalled for nine innings a day because you look a little different than your teammates, then go ahead and carry a grudge. If not, shut the fuck up.



  4. Professor or Hobo….I got 7 of 10!

  5. Whenever people complain about a place and say they’ll never eat there again I remember how good chic-fil-a is and I say get over yourselves.

  6. Taco Bell has been on my shitlist for the better part of a year. I ordered a nachos bell grande, meat and cheese only, and the gave me an oval bowl with a scoop of meat in it and some cheese blasted atop the meat. No chips. I took it back to the counter to have it corrected and got another oval bowl with the exact same shit in it. No chips. I gave up. But I might have to relent. I got hankerings.

    • Wait, you asked for meat and cheese only and they gave you only meat and cheese. The Nerve! Next time ask for chips if you want chips. “Only” means “and nothing else”.

      • Surly Shawn says

        You’re reaching. You can’t have NACHOS, without chips. He wanted the Nachos Bell Grande, with only the MEAT and CHEESE for toppings, not just a bowl of meat and cheese. Even I can understand that, and I am piss drunk right now.

  7. Stuart in Oz says

    classic Kay. Don’t you just love home alone time now and then!

  8. Hollywood Studios is part of Disney World. DW has 4 separate parks: Magic Kingdom (similar to Disneyland), Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios (used to be MGM Studios). That may be their fave of the four as it has a lot of cool shows and rides (Indiana Jones, a stunt car show with lots of fire, Star Wars, etc.)

  9. About 15 yrs ago I got into a fight with Best Buy over my moms TV. It had the rainbow thing going on where a speaker/magnet had been stored too close to it. They wouldn’t take it back. Its a long story but just an act of kindness on Best Buys part would have kept a good customer. Circuit City made a butt load off of me until they went under. I walked through Best Buys doors for the first time last year. I was returning a 15 dollar cable my cousin bought with cash the day before. I had the receipt and they wanted my drivers license number to return it. I blew a gasket, got the manager and received a 20 minute lecture about policy. I totally understood the BS about someone buying a camera, using it for a special occasion then returning it. The license # policy keeps track of that activity… Yeah, yeah bite me its a cable, I have a receipt, paid cash, still in the box, don’t give me shit, give me my cash back without the big brother bullshit. Yes I hold a grudge against Best Buy.

  10. I want some alone time. A few days would be perfect. The lawdy lawdy tsa guy sounds like the whacko in my office. He blurts out stuff all day long. Oh, and he didn’t want to put dead ladybugs in his trash can. He felt they should be buried or taken outside. I thought he was kidding but he was serious.

    Cracker barrel breakfast sounds perfect right now.

  11. I’ve been a huge baseball fan since the sixties – went to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown 3 times in the 80s. Then the great Bart Giamatti decided to ban Pete Rose for life. Pete Rose???? Because he bet on his team to win??? If you ask me, that should be mandatory of all managers and players… might see a little more consistent effort out of them then. At any rate, I vowed never to return to the Hall of Fame again until Pete was allowed in. I’m still just as much of a fan as I was then, and there are several of my favorite players of my childhood in there now, especially Tom Seaver, but I have not been back since. It is beginning to appear that Pete may never get in, and I have to admit to getting antsy to go back again, but have so far resisted. We plan on moving father away, down to S.C. in a few years, so I really need to break down and give in before then, but I may stand my ground…that’ll show ’em, see how they do without my $20, hah!

    • johnthebasket says

      While they’re at it, they can stop fucking Shoeless Joe Jackson in the ass. He’s dead.


      • Your gravatar’s back!

        • johnthebasket says

          Thanks be to Yahweh. I told the Marxists that the check was in the mail.


          • johnthebasket says

            Oops. A confession. I just discovered that the loss of my avatar was probably, like much of the pain and humiliation in the first world, self-inflicted. I was unable to correctly spell the name of my ISP in my email address after I accidentally ate Jeff’s cookie. The Marxist conspiracy I was trying to uncover might have turned out to be a typing error. Time will tell.


  12. Grudges….
    I got sick from a taco at a local place when I was 6 years old. That was 42 years ago and haven’t been back since. ( Amazing enough, they’re still in business )

  13. Is anyone else hoping that Jeff is working on a Nancy/Nostrils masterpiece gleaned from Toney’s visit to the Big Apple?

  14. Burberry, never again. I was 20 years old and needed a good winter coat having just moved to Chicago in 1981. I had $200 cash in my wallet and was in their Michigan Ave store for 25 minutes without any of the 8 staff working the floor coming up to me. I tried on coats, looked around from time to time, and there wasn’t even eye contact from anyone. I guess I didn’t look like I made enough money for them to even give me the time of day. 34 years later and I have never set foot in one of their stores. Never will, either. I bought a decent coat at Marshall Fields the same day.