Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Do Part I

BON me. BON me now
WARNING:  This is a multi-part story.  I could have edited it down to something more manageable, but that would have denied you countless belly laughs.  And forced me to come up with something else to write about (have I ever mentioned that I love ‘delayed posts?’).  But, for your comfort (and so you don’t open my blog, say “Oh, Christ!” and go read something more cheerful like The Drudge Report), I’ve broken it into several parts (which I think I just said).  You’re welcome.

    I meant to write about my anniversary a few weeks ago. 
    I figured what better way to recognize the fact that an attractive woman has elected to remain with a man given to shouting at squirrels and falling through decks? 
    Of course, I won’t use her real name.  No sense embarrassing her, thus taking the chance of hacking her off.  After all, the woman can dip my little congressman into a jar of Super Glue as I sleep.
    Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, life got in the way.  Between work, soccer tournaments, a “Cop Rock” marathon, visit from Charlie Sheen, and the aforementioned falling through my deck (I’m just kidding.  There wasn’t a soccer tournament), I didn’t get a chance to look back on life 25 years and 25 pounds ago.
    My only real acknowledgement of the occasion was an observation about the “Land of Love” gift shop in the Poconos.  A tale of tee shirts, coffee mugs, back-scratchers made of cheese, frogs-smoking-cigars figurines, and 12 inch dildos that couldn’t possibly be actual size (I hope) just had to do.  Sadly, it would be almost July before I could get to my grand opus (NOTE: Latin for “O Piss.”  I think.).
    So, let us return to those halcyon (NOTE:  I have no clue what that means) days of 1986, a time of Ronald Reagan, Miami Vice, guys in pink shirts, big hair, and a black Michael Jackson.  Who was also alive (too soon?).....
    Cue cheesy waterfall reminiscing effects and harp music......


    Marriage is an institution and I’m one of its inmates.
    From birth, we’re bombarded with the message that we can’t be happy until we get ourselves a smokin’ hot spouse, 2.5 children, dog/cat/bird/fish/ferret/gorilla, house in the “burbs”, two car payments, and a pre-financed funeral.
    Nossir, nothing says success (or kill me now) like decades of a White Picket Fence lifestyle before the sweet release of death.
    The slippery slope starts from the moment you get down on one knee (or lean over in the front seat of your Nissan Sentra if you’re a hopeless romantic like me) to ask the woman of your dreams to make you the happiest guy on the planet.  If you’re lucky, your beloved will mist up, clutch her hand to her heart and, in a faint, trembling voice, whisper softly, “I’d like us to be just friends.”
    On the other hand, if she displays a remarkable lack of judgment (i.e., Mrs. Penwasser), well then, brother, you’ve set the ball rolling.  Get ready for years of a matrimonial Shawshank Redemption.  Good news, though.  You won’t have to sleep with Morgan Freeman.  Or...ick...Timothy Robbins.
    The period between “Will you?” and “I do.” is a giddy one which is pretty much a girls-only affair.  Men are relegated to the background as their fiancée (or is that “fiancé”?  I could never get that straight) commences planning an event which makes the invasion of Normandy look like a backyard barbecue.
    Mostly, guys are expected to:  sit in parking lots of countless bridal shops, decide on the smoked salmon or goat head with mango salsa reception entrée, compose wedding vows (that don’t mention jumbo hooters), feign interest in centerpiece selections, suck up to future in-laws, and try to convince her that nothing says love like cubic zirconium.
    Usually, the man is merely window dressing for the main event.  Right or wrong, all attention is focused on the bride-to-be.  After all, everyone fixates on Beautiful Bride Barbie.  Who really gives a flying crap about Kooky Cantankerous Ken?


To be continued.....
Next: Rehearsal dinner, Denny's, and Rock, Scissors, Paper. 








I know this has absolutely NOTHING to do with the post above, but nothing says "party" like a little weiner.



Monday, June 27, 2011

Really, All I Wanted To Do Was Clean Up That Spilled Barbecue Sauce


Inspired by the travails (NOTE: Snooty word for clusterf**ks) suffered by dbs at his think.stew blog.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dicktation

  The practice of shortening "Richard" to "Dick" is pretty much restricted to older dudes.  I don't really know why this is.  It's not like the pejorative "Dick" is a new creation in the world of slang.  In fact, I think it was first invented by one of the earliest kings of England who, during one of the Crusades (I don't feel like looking up which exact one) was incensed when Muslims called him "The Lionhearted Dick."
  And, even though he was played by Warren Beatty, there's just no getting around the fact that his name was Dick Tracy. Hmm, come to think of it, didn't Warren Beatty also play a hairdresser?  But, then again, he bagged Madonna.  Who herself bumped uglies with Dennis Rodman.  Who wore a wedding dress.  God, I'm so confused.
  Well, as they say at a Village People concert, back to Dick.
  Anyway, younger guys, rather than being compared to man's true best friend, prefer to be called "Rick," "Ricky,""Richie," or just plain old "Rich."  This is especially true if their last name is "Johnson."  Frankly, if my last name was "Johnson" and my parents christened me "Richard," there isn't a rest home too hideous for me to dump them in.
  Consider.....

Dick Cheney
While hunting, shot his friend.
Who probably thought he was named correctly.






Dick VanDyke
Tried to pass himself off as English in Mary Poppins, which also starred Julie Andrews (who is English).
Likewise, tried the same in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which also starred Benny Hill (who is also English).  Story was written by Ian Fleming (who is, you guessed it, English).
A "Two-Fer," his last name can also be used to describe Ellen Degeneres' car.




Dick Cavett
Tried to be another Johnny Carson.  Hell, he couldn't even be another Merv Griffin.







Dick Clark
Didja see the poor guy last New Years Eve?
I'll give him a pass.









Dick Butkus
As bad as being called "Dick Johnson."
Still, no way am I calling this guy a dick.
He could hurt me.





Dick Armey
Really?  Why, oh why did his parents call him that?
What's next? Penis Platoon? Air Force Phallus?










Dick York
Co-starred with uber-hot (hey, in the 60s!) Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched.  Then, he left the show (Al's Historical Note: he was replaced by another guy named Dick.  Strange, but true.)








Richard Milhous Nixon
Even though his name is actually "Richard," was called Tricky Dick.
What, the thing could do magic?
Plus, his middle name is the same as Bart Simpson's best friend.








Richard Simmons
May as well be called Dick.  I mean, c'mon...
But, I'm sure his dad is proud.









Ricky Martin
One of the younger guys who doesn't go by the name Dick.  I find this strange, because after all, you are what you eat.

I'm sorry.  That was sophomoric and mean.

At least he didn't play a hairdresser.






Seriously, wouldn't it have been perfect if his first name was Dick?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Today's Vocabulary


Cockeyed:  1.  (adj)  Unfortunate side-effect following use of the foreskin for cosmetic surgery of the eyes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fun With My Cell Phone Camera


    I love my cell phone camera.  Well, I don’t exactly love it.  My fetishes usually extend to the vinyl, hot fudge, and stiletto heel area code, but you know what I mean.  Still, there’s a lot to be said for setting my phone on vibrate, sticking it in my trousers, and asking beautiful strangers to call me.
    Along with the internet, sex robots, and three-ply toilet paper, cameras on cell phones will go down as some of history’s best ideas.  Light bulb, shmight bulb (I just made that up.  Ain’t I clever?), just give me a chance to snap a picture of “Crack Filler” at the Home Depot and I’m the funniest guy in your address book.
    Whenever I go out, I look for something which catches my eye.  Something whose sense of style grips me.  Something which prompts me to say, “Hey, that’s pretty funny.”
    If you’ve been a follower of mine for a while, first let me offer you my sincere condolences.  But, if you’re still with me, I’m sure you’ve noticed some of the pictures I’ve taken.  Things like “Bone and Joint Institute,” “Joint Compound,” “Plastic Wood,” “Wood Filler,” and “Butter Krak” struck my funny bone as I passed them.  Hopefully, you felt the same way.
    But I could never figure out what that can of "Heinz Spotted Dick" was. 
    I’m still looking for a box of condoms which are sized “small.”  Alas, like Bigfoot and a Rhodes Scholar working at the carnival, I don’t think they exist.
    Of course, the cell phone camera is an absolutely perfect vehicle for abuse (i.e., Anthony Weiner sending pictures of the Little Congressman around the country).  But, I prefer to use it with discretion and at a level of maturity not seen in the halls of Congress.
    Which is why I didn’t snap a picture of those twelve inch dildos in the Poconos.  I took a picture of tampons instead.
    Hmm, come to think of it, maybe I will run for office.
    Anyway, since they say a picture is worth a thousand words..... 

  I followed this truck until I ran out of gas.  But I'm thinking it's probably false advertising.  Like all those signs for BJs.


    





  Imagine how seriously pissed off these guys were when they showed up at the Patent Office and found out that the name "Jenga" was already taken.






  In case you're wondering what he's been up to.





   


  Seriously, pretentious A-Hole, you couldn't find any place to put your frikkin' sunglasses?





  Even though I say it too, think about what people are really asking you to do when they ask you to dial 'O'.  If you dialed 'O' instead of '0', you'd actually be dialing '6.'  And I'm thinking that would seriously F things up.
NOTE:  You already know my feelings on calling the 'Number' symbol a "pound" sign. 

  Okay, this will be the last time I send a picture from Five Guys (probably not. I really like the place, clogged arteries notwithstanding).  But, what kind of CYA is this warning?  How could anyone possibly tell that the peanut you're holding came from 5 Guys?  Are microchips imbedded in the things?  I'm tempted to buy some peanuts from the supermarket, pop a few in my mouth, and then walk in front of the joint  (hee hee...I said 'joint').  The manager would probably urinate his pants for fear of a lawsuit.

  What kind of freak, mutant marshmallow circus do these things come from?  Just because you press banana-flavored foam into the shape of a peanut doesn't give you the right to call them "Circus" Peanuts.  Tell you what.  Next time you go to the Greatest Show on Earth, try pawning one of these off to the pachyderms.  Jumbo will shove them right up your ass.
NOTE:  It's probably okay to remove these from Five Guys. 

  True, I didn't take this with my cell phone camera.  But, since what I have to say about this wouldn't take an entire post, I thought to fit it here. Didja ever notice that the only invention that Invent Help talks about is this crazy little deal?  No wonder they say that Bill Schaefer's (and an unnamed accomplice helper) success is no guarantee that you'll end up inventing the best thing since sliced bread.
Like a cellphone camera. 

    Okay, that’s it for now.  I need to go set my phone on vibrate.
    Hey, how ‘bout giving me a ring?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Heartbreak, Thy Name is Doofus

NOTE: The following story takes place before my trip to Playland in Rye, New York. After that time, I began to develop a little respect for Freddy, he of the monstrous incisors.  I mixed up the logical sequence of the stories.  Sorry.  I will send a sternly worded letter to myself.


    Before I knew it, I found myself staring at the Matakonis house. 
    I breathed a sigh of relief.  Neither one of her obnoxious little brothers was outside.  They would have made my visit a nightmare.
    Stepping to the front door, I cupped my hand to my mouth and exhaled softly, checking for bad breath.  Almost subconsciously, I turned my head to the left and right for a quick sniff.  Convinced that the Hai Karate was still working, I pressed the doorbell.
    Immediately, her dog started howling.  Frantic scratching erupted from the other side of the door as Rebel announced to the world that the Matakonis’s had company.  If I didn’t know any better, I would have been afraid for my life.  But, I knew her border collie just wanted to say hello.  Or sniff my butt.
    The door cracked open and I beheld little Jimmy Matakonis.  Regarding me with annoyed contempt, he wiped his nose on his pajama sleeve and sneered, “What?”
    “Hi, I’m here to see-”
    “Al!”
    The door yanked open, bowling Jimmy over, who picked himself up without a word.  Surprisingly, instead of being angry, he just seemed relieved to get back to his cereal and cartoons.
    Gail stood in the doorway, smiling at me.  Unlike her pajama-clad brother, she was fully dressed (and didn’t have boogers on her sleeve).  For a fleeting instant, her face pinched and she crinkled her nose.
    “Hi, uh, Gail.  Just thought I’d come by to, uh, stay in touch.”  Then, “Just like you asked in our yearbook.  Ha ha.”
    “Oh, sure.  Come on in.”
    I stepped through into her foyer and followed her into the kitchen.  Over her shoulder, she asked, “So, how’s your summer been?  Pretty busy?”
    “You know, usual stuff, hanging around with the guys, seeing movies, fishing in a swamp, eating my father’s cinder dogs on the Fourth of July, almost getting killed by the Zowines...”
    Her eyes widened in horror.  “You were almost killed...?”       
    I waved my hand and laughed.  “Well, not quite killed.  Maimed, sure, but not killed.  Besides, it was nothing a paper bag fulla slugs couldn’t cure.”
    She gave me a funny look.  “Whew!  So, anything else?”
    She opened the refrigerator and pulled out a pitcher of what looked like iced tea.  I hoped it wasn’t that nasty instant stuff with lemon.
    “Well, we went to Pennsylvania last week.”
    “How was that?”  She poured me a glass.
    I took a sip.  It was instant!  Ugh, it tasted like furniture polish!
    Inwardly gagging, I pleasantly said, “Well, the most exciting part was Gary throwing up on a Volkswagen out the back window at 70 miles an hour.  Other than that...well, ok, it kinda sucked.”
    She giggled.  “Not much fun, huh?  We’re going to New Hampshire in a couple weeks.  Then, right after that, we start school.”
    “Actually, uh, Gail, that’s one of the reasons I came today.  I, uh...”
    Before I could finish, Rebel was once more clawing at the door, trying his very best to figure out who was ringing the doorbell now.
    Gail turned her head.  “Hang on a second, Al.”
    Beating Jimmy to the door, Gail pulled it open.
    “Oh, hi, Fred.”
    Fred!?
    “Al Penwasser is here.”
    I looked up to see Gail’s company.
    “Hey, Al.”
    My mouth dropped open as I beheld Freddy Dubyk standing before me.  What in the world was he doing here?
    “Hey, Freddy.”
    He grinned at me, his two front teeth flashing like grotesque barber poles.  Gosh, how much money did his parents waste at the orthodontist?
    “So, Gail, you ready?”
    She started to answer, but turned to me.  “Al, Freddy’s parents have a boat and they’re taking us waterskiing.”
    Hoping I didn’t betray my disappointment, I forced a smile.
    “Do you want to come along?”
    No doubt to the snaggle-toothed Dubyk’s relief, I answered, “No, thanks, I gotta do some work in the yard for my Dad.”
    “You sure?  No?  Okay, then.” 
    I rose to go.
    “What did you want to tell me, Al?”
    I placed my hand on the doorknob.  “Oh, I just wanted to say have a great time on vacation.  And, I’ll see you at school this fall.  Have a fun time, you guys.”
    Before they could answer, I stepped onto the porch.  As I pulled the door shut, I turned to see the grinning Freddy Dubyk.  Jeez, he looked like a buck-toothed Jack-O-Lantern with skin problems.
    Doofus.

    The street leading to my house was still empty of life.       
    The only evidence that I wasn’t the only one left on Earth was a couple of squirrels.  Ignoring the growing heat, they instinctively knew winter was coming and were doing their best to prepare for it.  They busied themselves bustling to and fro across the street, gathering what they’d need when the weather turned cold.  Basically, they were doing whatever it is that squirrels do:
    Run their nuts off gathering nuts.
    I scuffed my feet.  So, she had a boyfriend.  Nice going, Al.
    For an instant, I was jealous of the chattering little “tree rats” (as designated by that renowned friend of nature, Mal Penwasser).  They didn’t have a care in the world beyond finding food for the winter and staying out of the way whenever my father drove down the street. 
    Plus, since this wasn’t West Virginia, they didn’t even have to worry about ending up as somebody’s dinner.
    People, on the other hand, had to deal with all sorts of things.  Like impressing one another or avoiding being stuffed into a trash can by a bolt-chewing thug. 
    Or losing someone to a pair of bucked teeth.
    When I thought about Gail and the Gap-Toothed Goofball flopping along behind a speedboat on the Housatonic River, I deeply regretted my lost opportunities.  If only I hadn’t been such a chuckle-headed clown while we were at school, maybe she’d be with me, instead of the dentally-challenged.
    My head hurt.
    “Hey, where ya been?”
    I looked up.  Spags, unsuccessfully twirling a basketball on his finger, lounged on my front porch.
    “Nowhere.”
    “Well, that could be just about anywhere in this town.”
    He flung the ball at me.  “I’m bored.  What do you say we go to the park and shoot around?”
    I snatched the ball.  “Sounds like a great idea.”
    Even though I still felt a little blue, I knew that a little dose of Tom Spagnoula was just what the doctor ordered.
    Heedless of any possible Zowine encounter, we headed to the park.  Grabbing the ball, Spags abruptly stopped. 
    His eyes narrowed and his nose turned up.
    “Hey, what’s that smell?”

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Be Careful How You Use It


    “Be careful how you use it.”
    I regarded the warning on the small bottle of Hai Karate with awe.  Judging by the label’s disembodied hands chopping at an invisible opponent (and the self-defense booklet taped to its side), I was convinced I held the mating Holy Grail in my hands.  Surely, I would be irresistible to the opposite sex.
    Especially Gail Matakonis.
    Having dispensed of our fetid ex-turtle, I sniffed the cologne again.  Happily, I was treated to a fragrance sure to get a reaction from the object of my affection.
    I upended the container.  Immediately, a couple ounces of the amber liquid hit the palms of my hands, tingling my skin.  Its fumes swirled about my head like a vaporous chick-magnet serpent.
    I inhaled deeply and briskly rubbed my hands together.  I slapped my cheeks and smoothed the cologne onto my face in imitation of the beautiful people I saw on TV.  Its powerful aroma sunk into my pores and tickled my nose.
    Grinning in the mirror, I turned my head side to side.  Get a load of me, I thought.  Gail was going to come at me like a seagull on a box of french fries.
    Within seconds, though, its strength seemed to dissipate.  That wasn’t any good, I thought.  People have to smell me coming.  It wouldn’t do if they couldn’t.
    So, I took a couple more splashes and once again slapped it to my face.  And to my chest for good measure.
    My eyes watered slightly.  Still, there was no mistaking what I wore.
    Replacing the bottle in the cabinet next to the shaving cream, nose hair clippers, and collection of worn styptic pencils, I turned out the light and went downstairs.    

    I impatiently watched the clock edge toward ten o’clock.  Even though I was anxious to see the girl I had a crush on since she poured paste into my milk, I didn’t want to show up on her front steps too early.
    So, I poured myself a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and eased onto one of the stools which ringed the breakfast counter.  I decided against turning the television on because I didn’t want to wake anyone up.
    I cocked my head to the side and listened for any movement from upstairs.  Hearing none, I relaxed.  I should be able to get out of the house before I had to answer any questions from family busybodies.
    Ever since school had let out, I was trying to screw up enough courage to visit Gail.  But, every time I decided to lay it on the line, something came up.  Either Spags wanted to do something or my father needed help fixing one of his handyman disasters. 
    Or to watch my brothers and sister while my mother drove him to the Emergency Room.
    Finally, toss in a weeklong vacation and it was nearly the middle of July before I could visit her. 
    In the back of my mind, I knew I’d better hurry.  The Matakonis family vacationed in New Hampshire every August.  If I didn’t get off my butt soon, summer would be over and we’d be in high school.  Then, who knows what would happen?
    I’d probably be out of luck, that’s what. 
    With a soft click, the clock over the stove struck ten.  Cereal forgotten, I slid off the stool and stepped out the back door.
    Emerging into bright sunlight, I squinted and looked at my bike.  Hmm, riding a bike to see a girl didn’t seem terribly manly.
    Well, then, Mr. Penwasser, how about stepping into the family car, then?
    I decided to walk. 
    Her house was less than a mile away if I cut through the park.  But, seeing as the Zowines could be lurking there like feral jackals, that didn’t seem like such a hot idea.  Discretion suggested the long way around.
    Better late than showing up at her house without my head.    

    The streets were empty as I made my way to Gail’s house.  No doubt everyone was either still asleep (it was summer vacation) or eating breakfast.  That was just as well, I figured.  I didn’t want to run into Spags, Donny, or any of my other friends.  They’d either wonder where I was going or tease me for going to see a girl.
    Turning the corner onto Soundview Avenue, I wondered what Gail would think when I showed up.  In all the time we’d spent together at Saint Stan’s, I never gave the slightest indication I was interested in her.  Even though I was pretty sure she was attracted to me, I remained aloof.
    I could imagine her surprise after I told her I wanted to go out.  Squelching some conceit, I smiled as I thought of how much of a treat it would be for her.  I was going to be her sweet-smelling knight in shining armor. 
    Truth be told, I was nervous.  What if, despite my confidence, she couldn’t care less how I felt?  What if all those years of blowing her off convinced her I was just some jerk? 
    I cringed, deathly afraid I’d spend the rest of my teen years burning ants with Donny and flinging dog turds at my brothers with Spags.
    No, that wasn’t possible, I convinced myself.  I mean she signed “Never change!  See you in high school!  Keep in touch this summer!  XO XO!!” in my yearbook.  I mean, c’mon!  XO XO!!
    Still...

To be continued....  

Next:  The conclusion...  


Current Events (because I care):  Congressman Anthony Weiner is testing the waters to evaluate his future career in politics.  Sadly, for him it doesn't look good.  Apparently, Weiner is experiencing shrinkage.
And you thought Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, and Mel Gibson were great fun.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Once Upon a Time In Love


    Having returned from our disastrous vacation (NOTE:  As described in “Once Upon a Time On Vacation.”  You’re welcome.) very late the night before, most of us slept in with the exception of our father (who aren't in Heaven).  He’d already gone off to work, no doubt toting the souvenir coffee mug he picked up at that hideous Pennsylvania brick factory. 
    Getting up as soon as I heard him leave, I eased out of bed, desperately hoping not to wake Phil or Gary.  As my bare feet touched spongy peel-n-stick carpet, I glanced at the slumbering knuckleheads.  I needn’t have worried.  They slept the sleep of the undead, Gary’s thumb jammed in his mouth and Phil’s hand stuffed in his underwear (Phil’s, not Gary’s).
    I silently stole to our only bathroom.  Even though I didn’t detect a single sign of life from either my mother’s or Kathy’s rooms, I gently closed the door behind me.  I pulled a towel off the rack and started water running in the tub.
    Ten minutes later, I stood in front of the mirror clad only in my towel and puffed out my chest.  I flexed my muscles like one of those barbell boys you see on TV hawking this amazing workout machine or that (“Only three easy payments of $9.99 or double your money back!”). 
    Sadly I realized that, instead of Charles Atlas, I had the physique of Charlie Brown.  Oh, well, Gail Matakonis would have to settle for my insightful mind and rapier-like wit, instead.
    I stuck my chin at the mirror, trying to decide if I needed to shave.  Even though my father’s safety razor was readily available, I decided against it.  With visions of my chin hanging in a bloody flap swimming through my mind, I figured the duck feathers gracing my face would remain unscathed.
    Even though I decided against possible facial disfigurement, I thought to still use a little aftershave.  After all, I reasoned, the ladies love a fresh-smelling man.
    I twisted the wooden stopper of my father’s Hai Karate.  Expecting a rush of musky manliness, I instead wrinkled my nose in disgust.  What in the world was that foul stench?
    Leaning forward, I took a cautious whiff of the bottle.
    Hmm, no problem there.
    Confused, I glanced down at the sink and saw the source of the odor.
    A few weeks ago, Phil had convinced my parents to buy him a pet turtle.  A species seen only in department stores, “Cecil” managed to delight my brother for an afternoon.
    Sadly, after deciding three inch long amphibians don’t make for electrifying companions, Phil grew bored.  Looking for entertainment elsewhere, he took to more energetic pursuits.  Like shooting pigeons off the roof with his BB gun and clubbing them to death in a bloody Lord of the Flies frenzy.
    Unfortunately for Cecil, he was banished to the bathroom sink.  There he whiled away his days, watching quietly (as opposed to barking) as my family went about its business.  It was a tedious existence interrupted only when my father got carried away with shaving.
    Then, Cecil would be joined by Noxzema icebergs.  With a fit of web-footed bluster, he’d fix his little turtle eyes on the intruders as if to reproach them for befouling his squalid home.  When he didn’t get a response, he’d sigh a little turtle sigh and glumly watch the little menthol-scented puffs bump up against his tiny plastic palm tree.
    Despairing of her son ever taking care of his 99 cents friend, my mother made sure the little guy (Cecil, not Phil. C’mon, people, keep up) at least had water untainted by shaving cream.  She’d also toss in a leaf of lettuce along with some pieces of ground beef.  Cecil, ignored by the most of the family, at least had plenty to eat.
    Until we went on vacation.    
    Thus abandoned, he watched helplessly as his water slowly dried up.  Then, after eating the last of his food, he could do little more than take desperate chews of dried-up flecks of Noxzema.
    Instead of nourishment, all he got was fresh breath.
    Finally, the day before we came home from our adventures in Amish country, an exhausted Cecil gave a last muted moan before succumbing to hunger and becoming Turtle Heaven’s newest resident.
    During the time between Cecil checking out and me checking myself out in the mirror, the summer heat finished its work.  It dried every last bit of moisture remaining in the little turtley (NOTE: Not a real word) bungalow.  Cecil had transformed into a desiccated, decidedly smelly, turtle mummy.
    I scrunched my face as I gingerly picked up his little pen and placed it on the hamper holding my father’s underwear.  I figured one stink would cancel out the other.  As I set it on top, Cecil’s body shifted slightly.  It was as if his ghost was protesting such shabby treatment.
    “Hey, don’t blame me.  Phil’s the one you should be mad at.”
    Deciding it was a little crazy to be talking to a dead turtle-or a living one, for that matter-I returned to my bottle of Hai Karate. 

To be continued...

Next:  Be Careful How You Use It     

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Today's Vocabulary


Homophone:  1. (n)  Little-known invention created by Alexander's kid brother, Elton Graham Bell.