Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I wish I owned a lawn

The more I think about it, the more I wish I had a lawn.

I own a condo. Back when I was a kid I thought only porno stars owned condos. Condo just sounds like something where people go and do deviant things. But it's not. It's basically where I microwave macaroni. I guess when I was a kid it just sounded like a bungalow. And everyone knows that a bungalow is definitely where people do deviant things.

I mean, if someone invited me back to their bungalow I would assume we were going to have sex or do drugs. It's just one of those things. 

I looked bungalow up in the dictionary just now and the picture next to the definition is a woman snorting coke out of a penis.

But I wish I had a lawn. Like an area of nature that was in front of where I live so that I could get closer to nature. Imagine telling people "Hey, I'm out on my lawn." That would make me happy. 

The other thing I could do is water the lawn, so when people ask me what I did all weekend I don't freeze up, get nervous and just admit that I got drunk all weekend. No, I could say "I watered my lawn." No one asks you questions after that. Watering a lawn takes about a half hour tops. But no one ever asks "What else?" If you say "Oh, I read a book." They'll go "And what else?" Somehow watering a lawn immediately gets so much respect, people will just stop asking you questions.

But I have a condo and they don't come with lawns. They come with plants and some dude waters them or a sprinkler or something - I don't really know, I only use the outdoors to smoke. 

What I should do is start slowly planting grass where the plants are and let nature take its course. Eventually, I'd have a lawn and it would spring up so slowly that no one would notice that I was growing a lawn. Then I'd be the only condo owner with a lawn and everyone would be jealous and I would just sit on my lawn and drink lemon-aid and smile at them.

But I probably won't do that. I'll probably just get drunk again.

What might be wiser is if I were to plant a lawn somewhere out in the country and just go visit. "Gonna go out and see the lawn." I'd say as I drove out of my condo complex. Everyone would think I was crazy, but then I'd show them the pictures of the lawn and they'd be like "You aren't crazy after all!" And then I'd smile and pat them on the head.

Also, I could take people out to see the lawn. Like dates. I could meet a woman and say "Hey, wanna go see my lawn? It's about 70 miles south. It's real friendly." Then they'd go with me to my lawn and I would show them the wonders. "Every blade of grass is a miracle!" I would say. And the woman would be so blown away by my green thumb she would make love to me right there on the lawn. 

But I'd have to hire security. People have been known to steal lawns. I knew this guy back in the day, he had a big ole' lawn and he was so proud of it. It was as green as emeralds. Then one day it started disappearing. Piece by piece. It took 14 days for it to completely get ripped off. But it did. And I would say to him "How come you don't hire security or get guards?" And he would say "Because that's not the America I want to live in." Then when it was all gone, I knocked on his door and said "Hey, it's America and your lawn is gone!" 

I would have to vet the guards, though. I do not want to just hire people off the street I don't know. I also want to make sure they have a working knowledge of grass. I would test them. I would say "What does grass do?" And if they didn't say "grow", they just lost a job. It's that simple. 

But this is all make believe until I actually get around to planting that grass in that country wherever that is. I'm not for certain there's still places where you can just plant grass at will. I Googled it and I received no results. That's good news though, that means no one has thought of it. That's where I run all of my good ideas - through Google. That way I can figure out if they are as original as I thought. Like that pizza helmet I was selling. And no, it's not a helmet made out of pizza. It's a helmet to protect you from pizza. 

I guess it's possible I'll never own a lawn. I don't like to think about it, but it's looking that way. America is about dreams and I have mine. And let me tell you: if it's what gets me up in the morning, then it can't be bad. 

Like this morning when I didn't want to get up and I just thought about my fictional lawn and I was able to get out of bed and go to work. 

Then I just sat at work and Googled lawns. I looked at other people's lawns. I felt dirty. But I also felt inspired. There's a man in Topeka who owns three lawns! I said to myself "Only in America!" Then a coworker asked what I was so excited about and then I kinda hid my screen because I didn't want someone knowing that I was looking at lawns all day on my computer when I was supposed to be answering 911 calls.

Then it was just back to work. This guy called and he had been stabbed and I couldn't help it "Do you own a lawn?" he wouldn't answer me, he just kept talking about his back and how it was stabbed and how the guy was getting away and all I could hear was "I've been lawned. The lawn is getting away." And then I said something like "I'll save your lawn!" And then my manager came by and asked if I was OK. I said I was OK. Then I got back on the phone with the stab victim. But it was too late. I would never know if he owned a lawn.

After work I went out and bought lawn darts. Just to, you know, get a start at owning a lawn. It made me happy in a way that cocaine and hookers never did. I took the set home and put it in my closet and then got drunk. 

I'll probably grow out of my lawn phase. I'll probably get into something more realistic, like bulbs or something. What are bulbs? They look like petrified ballsacks and old ladies love them. I guess that makes sense. And maybe that's not what I want out of life. I don't want to die and the only the thing they say about me is that "He loved petrified ballsacks." That would be heartbreaking. 

But I'll get over it. I'm a practical man with practical needs for the most part. I am fine with never owning a lawn. But you know what I do own? The dream. That's right: the dream of the lawn. And you can't take that away from me. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Getting Old

The other day my Mom texted me to let me know her phone doesn’t work.

Let that sink in.

Getting old is rough.

Have you ever watched a TV show a bunch and then thought to yourself “This is getting old.” That’s what getting old is like. But you’re watching your own life. And the only commercials you get are the rare moments you black out because you’ve drank so much because you are just goddamn tired of watching yourself eat another helping of cheesesticks at Red Robin, alone on a Wednesday night.

I suppose I noticed I was getting old way back when I was a toddler and noticed that I could walk. I remember looking up at my Mom, who was ecstatic, and thinking “Man, I’m getting old.”

But it really starts to hit home when you’re thirty. All of a sudden drinking nine beers and eating a whole large pizza means you gain a pound or two. Gone are the days you could just hang out at a buffet all day and just kinda live there. Like the waiters are walking by and wondering if you’ll leave, but you’re able to shove a french fry in your mouth every few minutes just so you can claim that you are still eating.

Also, you start getting gray hair. People think it’s funny and will poke fun - “Hey, you got gray hair.” Or “Hey, you have gray hair, mister.” or “Hey, what’s with the gray hair?” or “Hey, gray beard!” But you won’t laugh. You will cry and whisper “It’s not funny; I’m dying.”

Because you are. Every last second on this Earth you are dying. Every breath you take is one step closer to death. Like you’re watching the new Star Wars movie and you think you’re enjoying it, but really you’re dying.

Other things start happening as well. You start getting ailments that old people get. Like Wright Brothers Disease or Fatty Arbuckle Syndrome. You go to the doctor and he has no idea how to treat these diseases because he’s like 29 and you’re old. So he hands you some pills and tells you have to stop drinking. But you don’t want to stop drinking. Then he says “I mean, just not in my office.” and then you throw the bottle of Jack Daniels at him and wake up in a Denny’s.

A lot of people will try to overcome age by exercising. Just stop it. Give it up. I believe in an all powerful God and when he starts making me age I follow. If you go out and jog and you get all out of breath that’s God saying STOP IT! God doesn’t like phonies, so quit acting like a phony. You’re old now. Go drink some Early Times and watch Lawrence Welk. God is watching.

Another thing that starts happening is your hair starts falling out. You’ll be walking down the street and the wind will blow and you’re bald. It happens that fast. Then everyone starts poking fun by saying things like “Hey, you’re bald.” or “Hey, you have a bald head, mister” or “Hey, what’s with the bald head?” or “Hey, bald beard!” But you won’t think it’s funny because you had some big plans for that hair. You were gonna braid it.

Some people, thinking they can cheat God, will try to go out and get plastic surgery. They’ll go in and say “Hey, Doc, can you make me look younger?” And the doctor will shake his head and say “No.” But I can turn you into a woman.” Then you’ll say “Will that make me look younger?” And he’ll shake his head. Then you do it anyway and now you’re an old lady. Good job, dipshit.

Another thing you start doing when you get old is crack cocaine.

Just joking. You don’t start doing that because you’re old, you start doing that because you are really loaded and this guy you hang out with offers it to you because he’s super weird and you wonder why you’re hanging out with him and then you remember you got really drunk with him because he was the guy who called you “bald beard” and you slugged him and then he slugged you back, but then you made up and went for a beer and then he offered you crack.

That’s another thing - your memory goes. Like, for instance, I was watching the History channel and they were talking about the Magna Carta or something and I was like “I totally don’t remember that. I don’t remember being back there in those weird clothes and signing that thing. I’M LOSING MY MIND!” But then you realize that you didn’t live back in those times and you couldn’t have remembered that. But then you think - what if I did and I just forgot. So then you call all your relatives and ask if you lived in 1215 and they all say No. But then you realize that they’re all old. Also, they’re all liars. Like Uncle Doug. That guy could lie his way out of a bed. This one time he told me that we were going to get ice cream, but he stopped at the Post Office and I was like “I thought we were going to go get ice cream.” And he said we were, he just needed to stop at the Post Office first. But going to the Post Office isn’t going for ice cream. And I explained that. Then he turned the car around and started calling me a shit and we never got ice cream because he was a liar.

What’s really sad about getting old is watching other people get old. I have this aunt, Aunt Maria. She’s old. I go over to her house every weekend and just watch her get old. She’ll sit in this rocking chair and I’ll just stare at her and cringe and say things like “Oh, man, you’re old” or “You’re really getting old today” or “Hey, old beard!”. Also, she’s not my real aunt.

Another thing that starts happening is you start liking stuff old people like. Like food. You’ll sit and talk about food. Like back in the day it was all about living life in the fast lane: women, drugs, and music. But now you’re old and you just talk about food. Like “Hey, what’s for dinner” or “Did you taste the so and so at so and so” and “Hey, food beard”. Or you’ll talk about housing prices, 401Ks, and inane TV shows. What I typically do is something like this:

Person: Hey, did you try that new gastropub on -

And I’ll cut them off and just go: CUT THE SHIT!

You have no idea how young I look when I’m telling someone to cut the shit.

Then there’s children. They’re all over the place when you get old. Everyone has a kid. They walk around and everyone thinks they’re cute, but they are just reminders of how old you are. And you sit down and you try to talk to them and you don’t even understand what language they’re speaking. Like my nephew, Joe. He’s a one year old. I have no idea what he’s talking about. I don’t understand the music he listens to. And I’m pretty sure he drinks because he vomits every time I go over there.

And no one cares about how they look. Once I was a great looking man, and now look at me: I’m 450 pounds, have no hair, and vomit a lot. No one likes that. Thanks, God.

This getting old business is just not right. It’s the one thing God got wrong. Like polio or The Voice. They say God works in mysterious ways, so, maybe getting old is a mystery. I’m good at solving mysteries. Like this one time I woke up and someone puked all over my kitchen. I spent the day solving the mystery. Turns out it was me. Or this one dude named Tim that sold me crack. Point is: I nailed it down to two people and the investigation is ongoing.

I guess I won’t solve America’s aging problem. It would probably be easier just to move to France or some country that doesn’t make you age. But I’m old. And I’m too tired now to go hunting mysteries in France.

A Day in the Life

The thing about waking up is that you have to do it everyday.
I would imagine there’s some meth addicts that don’t, so it’s not a general rule. But for most of us - everyday.
I suppose the alternative, the only alternative we know about, would be a lot a worse...or better depending on your religious beliefs.
But, man, if I could just skip it just once. Just that feeling of everything I’ve ever done and everything I’m expecting to do just hitting me slowly like a bag of shit in zero gravity….

Captain, it’s in the airlock. It’s opening the doors.
Is it the bag of shit?
It’s the bag of shit.
Jesus, can’t you do something?
There’s nothing we can do. It’s now in the cabin floating towards your face. Because of the nature of this bag of shit, it will break on contact with anything.

I have no problem with life. I have a problem with reflection and forward thinking. I wish I could live in the now. Most people will tell you that living in the moment is the only way to live. And they’re probably right. I imagine those people just get stuck on park benches staring at ducks, though. Living in the moment could be like a coma for all I know.

Doctor, he’s breathing, but there’s no response to any stimuli.
Have you tried blowing in his face?
Well, I’m out of ideas. He must be in a coma. Or...OR he’s living in the moment.
Should we put him back on the bench?

I’m a fan of smoking. It’s not like I root for smoking. If smoking were a baseball team, I’d probably like have none of the baseball cards associated with that team. I mean, I’d have some of the error cards maybe. Like the one of the cigarette holding a bat that says “Fuck Face” at the bottom. But beyond that, I wouldn’t be like a guy who would go see their games. I just mean that I like to smoke.
I was talking with a friend and one of the best things about smoking is that you can leave whatever you’re doing for about ten minutes and everyone just views it as normal.
I’ve never seen anyone at a party do that without smoking: just leave for ten minutes every hour and pace outside. Well, I have, but the person was trying to calm down after I kept promising to not throw cigarette butts on their deck and then doing it.
But you see my point: as a smoker you get these, pardon the pun, breathers where you can just ditch whatever you’re doing for ten minutes and just reset.
Only someone as lazy as me would need a “break” from a party, but it’s true. And smoking helps me take those breaks.
It also ends your life and slowly suffocates you.
So, there’s ups and downs.
Point is, generally I wake up and go outside and smoke.
The only real downer about it is you get this stimulant right when you get up so there’s no gradual wake up, it’s like all of a sudden everything you’ve done hits you in the face in about three puffs.
Having a life is like walking around with a bag that someone keeps packing. The bag is almost endlessly big and whoever is packing it just keeps on doing it and when you wake up, you’re generally looking around that bag trying to figure out what the shittiest parts are so you can somehow get rid of them but there’s no garbage can around so you just kind of huck them at a bird or something.
“Later, time I threw up on my mother-in-law’s lap.”
But the bag just grows and you’re left on the porch smoking a cigarette and throwing your troubles at birds.
Then again, I prefer the bag of shit hitting you in slow motion metaphor better. You know what they say: one man’s bag of shit is another man’s throwing memories of vomitting at birds.

Generally, I’ll take a shower after I smoke. I feel a shower is the closest I get to religion. You take off your clothes and see just how ugly you are and then you wash yourself for fifteen minutes. It’s like confession.
Someone told me once you only need to wash your hair once a week. I followed that advice until I got lice.
That’s the thing about life: one thing might work for one person, but this other person over here has lice because of it.
That’s the point I like to drive home with politics: you might like this candidate and you over there might like this other candidate, but one of you is going to get lice.

I don’t eat breakfast. When I get out of the shower I typically smoke another cigarette. Two hours later I might have a snack. Then lunch. But I don’t wake up and just start eating things. I think that’s just really going overboard. These people that are up for like a half hour and already are eating. Can’t they wait? I mean, give it some time. You don’t go to the rodeo and just start watching the bull riding - you get a beer and you have a smoke and sit on a bench throwing your troubles at birds and getting lice and you say “Hi” to this one dude with this really big hat on and you realize it’s your uncle Owen and so you start talking to him about that one time you barfed on his back on that long car ride to Oklahoma.
That’s pretty specific, but that is also EXACTLY what happens every time you go to a rodeo.
I should know. I made up the whole idea of rodeos. I had these cattle and I was bored and I said to this one guy “Hey, fella - you feel like riding a bull?”
And the fella goes “How do you ride a bull?”
Then I say I don’t know, but let’s find out.
So he gets on the bull and the bull kills him.
But all these people came: family, friends, ambulances….they all were totally into the bull riding. So, then I just started making them pay the next time I met another fella.
Fellas are rare. You might call every man you know a “fella”, but they are not. A fella is a very specific kind of dude. He listens to Journey and drinks a lot of beer and has a hat and a beard. That’s a fella. They all meet and do cool shit like go to Journey cover band concerts with their hats.
Oh, and their hats all have Confederate flags on them.
So, fella’s are racists.
So, the next time you call someone a fella….
And that’s why I don’t eat breakfast.

I work for a living. Which implies that if I didn’t work I would die. Don’t worry - if I lose my job I won’t die. The wife and the kids might, but I won’t. I have a plan if I lose my job: I will become a bullfighter. But honestly, you can get away with not having a job. There’s TONS of people that do it. Like those guys that ask for change on the corner of the street. They don’t have jobs, unless you count the standing on the corner and asking for change as a job. Which it kinda is. But there’s also these Yogis that just sit and do nothing and they make a living doing it. But then, sitting and doing nothing is kinda a job. So, you really can’t not have a job. I mean, if you just walk around all day you either die or someone gives you something so you can live. So, even walking around all day can be a job. Not a good one. It’s not like there’s a class on how to walk around all day at some college. But there could be one. I could teach it. I could even write the text book. It’s just all about walking around aimlessly. Seems easy, right? Well, it’s not. Most people eventually start aiming at something. Like maybe getting a cup of coffee. So, then they are bad at that job. And then they need my help. The President should hire me to create jobs. Like that rodeo one and the walking aimlessly one. I would save this country. But then you’d vote for me and I’d get lice again.

That’s not to say the country is in trouble. I think the country is 100% perfect right now. I have food and cigarettes and beer. You know what that tells me? That tells me I have everything. And I’m just a normal man. Most people are exactly like me: waking up and smoking cigarettes and not having breakfast. So, if I’m normal and I’m American and I’m 100%, then America is doing great. There’s no need for an election. Just say “Hey, we made it.” And then stop paying taxes.

I’m not super sure what I do for a living. They hired me nine years ago and kinda just showed me where I sat and people came over and tried to show me how to do things with the computer thingy and I wasn’t really grasping it, but at the same time I would bring in donuts to make up for my shortcomings. So, then they started just kindov ignoring I was here. But then I told them about the rodeo and then they really started avoiding me. Then I got the lice and the boss wouldn’t even come near me. So, basically, they keep sending me money, but I really just sit at my desk and pretend that I’m using the email thing.

Oh, and I smoke a bunch.

After work I go out for drinks with my buddies. There’s Guy in the Red Hat and Doug. I always forget Guy in the Red Hat’s name because I’m always drinking when I’m with him. I remember Doug’s name because Doug is such a stupid name. Honestly, if your name is Doug you should do something about it. Like make it longer, like Dougery. That would be a good name. It’s a shame that Doug isn’t like short for something else and then you could just go by that, but no, you’re screwed and your name is Doug.

Doug works for a store that sells stoves.
Hey Doug, 1990 called and no one has a stove or a corncob pipe anymore - get a real job! But Doug likes it. I asked him the other day “Sell any stoves today?” And he said “No, but someone returned one.” And then I asked if that someone was a caveman and Doug said “No.” But you could tell he thought it was funny, because he just kept hitting me and hitting me like it was funnier than that time I slept with his wife.

Guy in the Red Hat is pretty cool, as long as you don’t let on that you don’t know his name, because then he gets awful angry and starts hitting you like you said the funniest thing in the world. He’s not exactly homeless - he has a home, but it’s a tree, so it’s like he’s homeless but he’s not. He just goes into the park after his job drinking at the bar and just goes and sleeps there under this tree of his. I got him this sign to hang on the tree it says “Tree, sweet Tree” like that sign you see in houses that says “Crack, sweet crack”. Anyway, he didn’t find it funny, but he did hit me.

After the bar I will go home and eat a pizza or a taco or something. Then I go to sleep again.

Life is a never ending saga of rodeos and lice. That’s the point I’m trying to make here.