Monday, December 5, 2011

I flog dead horses

I was surprised to see Julio return to our classroom after an absence of many days.

I decided to take him out with me for awhile, to bond a little.

He told me stories about being in jail, and I farted when trying to retrieve a stack of library books from the back seat.

In hindsight, I should have shared with him my own experiences with the penal system.

When I was much younger, my church youth group had a little play we would perform called "El Shaddai".

It was kind of like the "Turn around,bright eyes" performance that used to make the rounds on the church youth circuit.

El Shaddai had no dialogue; it was all pantomime and emoting, set to a soundtrack of Pink Floyd and car crashes.

Yes; we blew minds while winning hearts for Jesus.

My part was the Drunk Punk Rocker.

 I wore make-up and stumbled around stage, waving a root beer bottle and trying to tempt the Christ/Ziggy Stardust character to abandon his virtue and come join me in an endless debauch of headbanging and awkward, party-so-hard facial expressions.

We performed this play all over the place, including at a maximum security juvenile detention center.

The audience was stoic.

During my performance, I heard someone yell "You don't know nothing! You don't know shit!"

The youth group leader told us to sit in the audience when our parts were over and try to "make a connection" with the young men around us.

I think I would be a good actor.

Like when I start doing a funny voice, I just don't stop. I lose myself in it.

I was making lunch for Julio and the others and I created this character, on the spot, that was just hilarious.

He had this loud, constantly cracking southern accent and prattled on about polecats and people who compulsively sniff their fingers.

At one point  I peeked at Julio to see if he was loving the show, but he had headphones on.

Kids these days and their stupid tiny white head phones.

You could do an entire tap routine behind them, and they would sit there, a worthless, plugged-in and wired generation of vegetables, no clue that the joke was on them.

Except Jeffrey, he often has his head phones on, but they are not really plugged into anything, just wrapped around his belt loop.

You do your routine behind that fella and he'll be on you the second the breeze from your jazz hands tickles his neck hairs.

"What are you doing?" he asks me with a big toothy smile.

I am breathing pretty hard because I am quite fat these days.

In fact I put on some pants the other day and I could no longer button them.

"Don't wear them," my wife said, "You'll just be uncomfortable".

"Whatever. I can still rock these thrift shop brown khakis with the disgustingly deep front pleats."

 But secretly I know the truth.

Each day is fraught with these moments of terrific clarity: I WILL NEVER BE ATTRACTIVE TO ANYONE EVER AGAIN!! OPA!!

It's over. In a few days I will be 36, and they will say of me, "He had a go of it." "Well at the very least you could say he was a living organism."

They will awkwardly shuffle their feet because, in truth, there is nothing more to say, and they all want the conversation to be over so they can mob the Triscuit and Swiss Cheese platter.

The slide from the fit and youthful days, into the haggard, flappy middle years, and on into drooling incoherence is so terribly sad.

I used to be able to smoke, and now even that is gone.

Several years have passed since I was a smoker, but the other day I caved and bummed one from someone.

It was like going to bed on Christmas Eve as a child, and waking in the morning as an old man. You dreamt of G.I. Joe and Nintendo, only to open your presents of sweaters and gray wool socks.

Sometime in the night, you had aged horribly and the Marlboro Light of your youth was now the Flaming Stick of Coughing and Vomit that will haunt you through all your final days.

I got about a quarter of the way through and knew I must bring up.

Luckily, lots of homeless guys get drunk and puke behind our classroom building, so not only did I have a designated area nearby in which to vomit, but I in no way lacked for companionship.

 Anyways, the pants.

A half hour later, and I have so much gas.

Tight pants gas has no where to go, no method of disbursement; you swim in it, baste in it.

You hate it because you know that when there is a bad smell, people always assume it is the chubby white guy, unless there is a disabled person nearby.

The chubby white guy just looks like he had salami and nitrates for breakfast, that he never wipes with 100% success because he gets too winded from bending forward all that time.

He looks like what all bad smells would look like, if they were to take on human form.

Jeffrey busts me tap dancing behind him, as I was saying.

He checks his watch and asks me, "Were you dancing like a bro?"

I believe I was.

"You know who likes me in this classroom?" he asks. "Me! Because I'm a Me kind of guy."

I wish I had his self-confidence, his unabashed love of himself.

I just don't.


  1. holy crap, this whole post was completely random and scattered and yet i laughed myself stupid as i read it! nice pic of you in the sexy pants. and now next time i see a very large person, i'm going to think about their supposed inability to wipe properly. thanks for the pretty mental pictures!

  2. I loved this post. Very pastiche, and very hilarious. Also, I will now forever use "bring up" for vomit because I'd never heard it until now and I love it.

  3. 'cause good looking people fart AmbiPur.

  4. Um, do you know the translation from Hebrew for 'El Shaddai' ? It has a very interesting etymology.

  5. There's no stoicism like a wife's stoicism.

  6. There was an inordinate number of quadruplets and triplets in that juvenile detention center. Perhaps that explains their stoicism.

    Also, this is not the post to read after only a few hours of cold medicine affected "sleep".

  7. "Tight Pants Gas"... DUDE. I thought it was just me. For 40+ years I've been all, "Why do I get such miserable gas every freaking time I wear tight pants?" Now I know.

    Also? My birthday is the 20th. I will be 49. So take your 36 and bite me.

  8. SherilinR-I did not realize that it was a little random, but I think that is truer to my actual train of thought then some of the posts I spend more time on. I am happy to provide you with beautiful mental images.

    The Weed-thank you! I believe 'bringing up' is supposed to be a more discreet term, but paired with my picture, I think any subtlety went out the window


    esboston-'God the Mountain Destroyer' i think

    The Jules-yes, it is quite painful sometimes in its complete lack of reaction

    Alan-i think it was some sort of experimental facility where they were trying to isolate the "Bad Seed"

    Killer Cupcake-I knew the 36 thing would get a negative response. 36 and 49 are basically the same age!

  9. "You know who likes me in this classroom?" he asks. "Me! Because I'm a Me kind of guy."

    What a great way of looking at life.

  10. So 'God The Mountain Destroyer', that's 'Erosion'? S'ppose it could be plate tectonics as well.

  11. You have found your callling: "He had a go of it. Well at the very least you could say he was a living organism." - I could definitely see that going on a tombstone.

  12. I feel your pain. And I say that as someone who spent two hours at the week-end trying to convince herself that the bikinis she bought just two years ago still look fine.

    At least I can still smoke.
    That's all I have.

    Funny as ever, gonna say happy xmas and new year now as I'm off early friday xxx

  13. Don't call me a heretic here, but you're reaching Hyperbole and a half levels of hilarity here.

    Don't let it go to your head. :)

  14. I agree with Dorsey about not letting this all go to your head. Instead I would suggest that you surgically install a hilarity reservoir in your neck area that way the hilarity is still close enough to the brain to influence it, similar to how the endocrine system functions, glandularly. It would be close to your voice box as well, so that may positively influence your stand-up performance as swell.

  15. krouth-yes, he can be sickeningly positive at times

    Dorsey-that is very nice of you and a true compliment, but I use my wife's laughter to measure my success, and when she reads Hyperbole and a half, it sounds like sobbing hyenas; when she reads mine, it's just a low chuckling 'muff huff muff'. Someday, someday I'll get the hyena out of her

    esboston-my hilarity reservoir would have to have some kind of filtration process, but I tend to think of about 100 really stupid unfunny ideas for every 1 idea I actually write down. It would also have to have some kind of automated poking system whereby it could deflate any swelling of the brain due to ego infusion

  16. I believe you are onto something, so like a skeletal system 'funny bone', this would be a urinary system 'funny kidney'.

  17. At risk of overflowing your reservoir, and causing ego inflation, I have given you an award. It's for blogs with less than 200 followers, so I thought I'd better hurry and present it to you, because you will be of cult leader status by the end of the first quarter of the new year.

    Thanks for the funny!

  18. Oh. I guess I'm supposed to tell you to view it on my blog. It's a traffic driver conspiracy I guess.