Clarifying my trip to Best Buy…

So I posted on a message board about my trip to Best Buy and the responses were either, “I had that same thing happen,” or, “Well, you’re the idiot for not looking in the A section. You could’ve done that, but it’s way more fun to feel superior to other people that you clearly think are idiots.” So I went back and left the message below in an attempt to clarify the situation.

After reading the responses to my story I feel I need to clarify a few things as I feel I’m being painted as a pain-in-the-ass-douchebag customer, which is not the case. I’ve worked in customer service for a long time and have seen those characters. I am not one of them, I assure you.

I definitely understand this is an obscure new release, but keep in mind that Best Buy was promoting this release with their coupon. A coupon that is on the Adrenaline Mob Facebook page only because it is linked from one of Best Buy’s Facebook pages called Best Buy Music Gear. On this page they say, “Be sure to pick up this amazing new Adrenaline Mob CD tomorrow at all Best Buy stores” and “This album will for sure be on our “Best 12 of 2012″ list in December.” From these statements, more so the first than the second as I just read the second comment today, I was led to believe that this release was a bigger deal to Best Buy than it turned out to be.

It has been suggested that it’s my fault for not finding the disc right away because I didn’t look in the ‘a’ section upon arriving at Best Buy. I re-read my post and I did not note that I, in fact, had done just that after failing to find the disc among the “New Releases.” So I started at NR, went to A, went back to NR when the employee approached me. From NR we both went back to A and couldn’t find it.

There are also some facts that I didn’t relay pertaining to the ‘A’ section. It began with Bruce Springsteen. When the A’s did start they were not alphabetical. Remember I found the CDs behind Aerosmith. ‘Ad’ should come before ‘Ae,’ right? I would later learn from the person I described as OCD that she didn’t like that the CDs weren’t in alphabetic order like she thought they should be. One reason they aren’t was that in her experience “young people, as well as some older people don’t know the alphabet.”

At no time did I feel superior to any of the Best Buy employees, and posting of my experience wasn’t meant to relay that “they are all idiots,” but instead to vent my frustration at the whole process and perhaps entertain a bit while doing so. “Be kind; Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I chose this space as a place to do so after reading of the hassles others experienced at their local Best Buy stores.

I want to say a huge assumption was made that my attitude was disruptive and ruined peoples days, but I didn’t really make clear in my post that I didn’t display any attitude. Not even to the cashier who, in my opinion was really asking to be vented upon. In fact, EVERYONE left the exchange with a smile. The 2nd time I went through the cashiers line I even left her chuckling a little bit. I didn’t blow up on anyone because that wouldn’t have been very productive. OCD thanked me for showing her where the discs were hiding, and sounded genuine. I don’t actually think that she could be disingenuous. She was just wired differently than most folks. So as far as I could tell no days were ruined, not even mine. My lunch was crippled a bit, but I managed.

There also seemed to be some confusion over the “rap” comment. Again, I wasn’t saying OCD was stupid because she didn’t know this CD wasn’t rap. She seemed like a pretty smart person, in fact. She was very articulate and enthusiastic, but she had some ticks that were amusing. Like when she was pointing at nearly every disc we passed and saying, “Is that it? No, that’s Adele. Is that it? No, that’s Meat Loaf. Etc.” Really it wasn’t amusing that she was saying it, but it was the way she was so excited every time she thought she’d found it coupled with the number of times in a short period of time in which she became hyper-excited only to be utterly disappointed by the CD at which she was pointing.

So that’s more of my story. I think that’s the rest of it, to be honest, but I can never be sure.


A nearly failed attempt to shop at Best Buy.

A hassle indeed. WTF is up with Best Buy? Todays experience reminded me why I don’t typically shop there.

The CD was on the shelves, buried behind 6 or 7 Aerosmith discs, but I wouldn’t find that out for another 30 minutes.

I wandered for about 5 minutes searching before a helpful, minimally helpful I’m afraid, young lady asked if she could help me find anything. Told her she could help me find one thing. I was standing with the new releases, and apparently that was quite a silly thing to do when looking for a new release. Long story short, she looked where I already looked then got a friend and looked in a secret spot after she checked the computer and found they had 2 in stock(hiding). Then while they kept digging through the secret cache the OCD clerk in charge of CDs/Blurays comes over and was quite a sight.

She asks me the name, and I tell her Adrenaline Mob. Then she walks to the new releases and about 4 or 5 times points to something and says, “Is that it? No, that’s (enter variable here).” Variables included, SoulFly, Meat Loaf, Adele(WTF??), I can’t remember the others because I was concentrating on not laughing. The lady was probably 45-55, had nitrile gloves on, a vest, skirt, and had no markings of a Best Buy employee at all. Then came my favorite part…

I’m following her as she pointed and recited her line. Then she stops and closes the distance quickly leaving only about 6 inches between our faces and whispers, yes whispers, “Is it… rap?” I nearly died laughing, but held it together. If the question itself wasn’t nonsensical enough the look on her face was just so magically comical. Then she asks the name of the album. “Omerta.” Her reply, “America?” Anywho, she can’t find the 2 discs either. I’m told they probably have it in the warehouse and I should come back tomorrow.

Having already blown 20 minutes on lunch from work without eating, I decided I didn’t want a repeat trip tomorrow so I went on the proverbial Easter egg hunt and after another 5 minutes found the discs behind Aerosmith. I held both discs aloft and shouted, “Found em’!” Miss OCD nearly sprinted to me to learn where I’d found the discs and even blessed me for looking on my own.

So… I tried to use certificates, in addition to the coupon and boy did that seem to insert runny shit in the cashier’s Wheaties. First, I put my phone with the CD and turned the phone toward her so she could see it. Said phone is a Blackberry Bold, and the picture of the coupon was quite small, I readily admit. She scans the disc and politely pushes my phone back to me. I ask if I will be receiving a new Reward Zone card as mine is now expired. “You’ll have to call them,” she replies bluntly. Now I pointed out that there was a coupon on the phone and she picked it up, looked at it, frowned then tossed the phone, yes you read that correctly; she tossed the phone, back to me and said quite angrily, “I need the number under the bar code. I can’t scan your phone!”

If the spirit of KeithK could’ve possessed me at that very moment I would have gladly taken a back seat and given him the controls. What a bitch she was and all I was trying to do was be a customer. I asked if she needed only the numbers under the barcode or if she needed the digit on the side then the under-digits then the other side digit. Looking at me as though a fully-formed, adult, male, reproductive gland jutted fully erect from betwixt my eyes she said, and I quote, “The numbers UNDER the barcode.”

Alright, here we go…. I begin, “00048…” She interrupts, “Nope, that’s not long enough.” I reply sharply as my patience has now abandoned me, “There are more numbers to come.” And what does she say?????? “I know, but that’s not enough.” Are you fuggin serious, lady?????? So I just blast through the numbers under the barcode, all 10 of them. “Nope, that’s not enough. Usually it starts with a number on the side, then 2 groups of numbers underneath the barcode, then another number on the side.” All I could do was stand and stare, momentarily, in silence. Then I wondered aloud, “Didn’t I begin this coupon-banter exchange with a question about which numbers were required? And wasn’t I told only the numbers beneath the barcode were required?” She has no reply and I read all the numbers and the $2 drops off the final price.

I tried to use both $5 certs I had, but was told I couldn’t because the total was only three dollars and some change. That I can understand so I went back and picked up the Essential Alice in Chains since I have none of their catalog and have been meaning to rectify that for quite some time. The same cashier was much more pleasant for this purchase. Was it really the coupon that set her pubes ablaze?;

When did it become so difficult to be a customer?

Indomitable Casey.

Thursday night I was grabbing my camera to take a few shots of the sunset which was developing nicely outside the bathroom window. As I picked up the camera Christy got a call. Hearing only her side of the conversation I could only guess that someone died. I went about my snapping for a few moments before returning once the conversation ended.

Casey's Sunset

I only got off three shots and this was my favorite of the trio.

“What happened?”

“Casey died.”

Then the tears came.

I asked what happened and she said there was confusion. Her parents found him in the field across the road from their 40 acre property. To be more specific, they found him after investigating the area over which the buzzards were circling.

Both Christy and I were saddened at the news of his death, but Christy was especially broken up at the way in which her mother broke the news. She would be watching over her parents house for the weekend while her mother and father crossed the state for her paternal grandmothers funeral.

“You won’t have to worry about feeding Casey this weekend,” were her mother’s words. I’m not sure how I feel about them. I know that she doesn’t care for animals the way she used to, but using a phrase like that to announce to someone that their beloved pet has died is just this side of cruel regardless of your own feelings. Her mother hasn’t been the same since the brain aneurysm that left her comatose for 8 weeks and one of the areas that have suffered greatly seems to be her internal “filter.” She seems to have lost some grace in speaking in many situations and this was another example. I wanted to fault the aneurysm completely, but still wanted to slap her for making a horrible situation worse.

Through the continued tears Christy relayed to me how her parents had found Casey, and that there “wasn’t much left.” Because of that her mother said that they had no plans to remove him from the field for burial.

Casey was not my cat. Not in the sense that I cared for him as my own for his lifetime. However, Casey was the cat whose behavior around me caused Christy to call me the Cat Whisperer. Whenever I would visit he would come from the far reaches of the property to greet me, and I was the only person to whom he would call when he saw me. For that I am touched and grateful. He always warmed my heart especially when he’d come trotting to me and begin the figure-eight leg rub for which many cats are known.

Even though Casey wasn’t really my cat, I loved him. That being said, I was incensed when Christy told me that his body was going to be left in the field to rot, or be consumed by the carrion feeders who had already begun their attack. For me, for Casey, that would simply not do.

“Let’s go. I’ll take care of it. He’s not going to sit out in that field. I’ll bury him.”

The long ride out of civilization and to her parents was spotted by light chatter and attempts at understanding why her mom had been so rude and why their 20+ year old family members body was being abandoned. There were also jokes and retelling of stories involving Casey.

Casey was a perfect example of a cat with 9 lives. I know that he’d been bit by rattlesnakes and survived, been run over and left unaffected, and then more recently he was attacked by a rival male cat that left the barn a wreck and blood everywhere. The run in with the rival was earlier this year and while he survived the attack he, in essence, became an indoor cat. That he’d ended up in a field that he no longer visited for no apparent reason is still baffling.

When he had the scrap with the rival male Christy called me and was very worried about his condition. She told me that there was so much blood and parts of his face were “hanging off.” I told her I’d come look at him and do what I could to make him more comfortable, and was honestly expecting that this episode was his last hurrah. When I got to him wrapped up and sleeping on his couch he lifted his head and meowed and began to purr as I examined him. His scalp was a tremendous mess of dried blood and matted fur. Thankfully the piece of cheek that was thought to be hanging from his face turned out to be a chunk of cat food that had dried and been covered with the mess that now covered most of his body.

I listened to his heart and lungs with a stethoscope and all seemed well. His heart was pumping away as usual and his lungs were clear, although this was difficult to determine as his purring through the scope was quite deafening. Before using the scope I could hear he was struggling to breathe and found the culprit in his nostrils. A thick mucus was covering much of both of his nostrils. When not purring you could clearly hear that Casey was laboring to breathe. After clearing his nasal passages the sound was no longer present and the tension previously visible in his chest was absent.

Other than the cuts, mats, caked blood, and mucus he looked alright. Walking wasn’t easy and one of his rear legs didn’t seem to want to cooperate with the operation of the other three, but he was able to climb up onto his couch and rest. His left eye wouldn’t close, possibly due to nerve damage suffered from the wound on the top of his head, but he didn’t seem to be bothered. The eye remained wet as his inner lid was able to function normally. When sleeping he would just roll his head on that side so the outer lid was shut by friction. Something I find quite brilliant.

Within weeks he was back up and moving around, eating, and using the litter box, an action for which I was quite proud of him as most of his life was spent as an outside cat. After a month or so the only thing that reminded you he’d even been in a battle was the scab atop his head and the rear leg limp. Christy thinks Casey inflicted wounds on the rival that weren’t survivable and attributes Casey’s survival to my care. I’m not sure about either of those things, but am certain the rival was never seen again.

So having survived that episode, and the rattlesnake, etc. I was shocked that he would go missing for a day, or so, and only be found after he’d died. Perhaps it was just his time, but it seemed a lad that had survived so much would live forever or at least show signs of death far before he’d actually pass.

Casey Damon

This is the picture I showed my mother and she said, "He looks like Matt Damon." Don't worry, she's not sure what she saw either.

After the long drive we stopped at the end of the long driveway leading to Christy’s parents house.

“He’s across from the mailbox.”

The mailbox is at the edge of the road and is separated from the main property by a shallow drainage ditch on it’s west side. We weren’t sure if he was across the ditch from the mailbox, or the road. We looked at both spots, but it was growing dark and couldn’t find anything. Well, we did find something across the ditch but neither her nor I were able to identify it. It kinda looked like bleached partially digested shredded wheat, but it resembled nothing that had any business being in the field.

Because we couldn’t locate him we went to the house to ask her parents. We were told he was on the other side of the road from the mailbox and was farther east from where we’d already looked. When I asked for a shovel so I could bury him Christy’s dad made a face that I interpreted as an, “I’m not sure you want to see what I’ve seen” face and he asked if we were sure. I assured him that I was and he told me where to find a shovel and something that I could use to transport Casey.  I’m glad that I’ve never had any issue with death and the sites and smells that accompany death.  If I had had an issue I’m not sure I would have been able to help Christy and Casey.

I was pleased that by the time Christy and I picked up shovels and a bucket that both her parents had come out to assist. They showed us where he was and I retrieved his body. I don’t want to remember Casey only for the way he looked that final day, but he wasn’t as bad as I expected. When I’d heard buzzards, and “not much left” I’d expected to find a pile of fur at most. He was whole enough that identification was easy, but he was enough of a mess that I didn’t want Christy to see so I did my best to shield the view while I lifted him and placed him in the bucket.

I was also pleased that Christy’s dad helped me dig the grave. Not only because the dirt on their property is more roots and rock than dirt and the digging is difficult, but also because it seemed more like a family memorial. That helped me feel like maybe they weren’t the heartless cold bastards I’d wanted to bash with a shovel when I’d initially heard Casey was going to simply be abandoned.

We said few words while we dug, other than cursing at the horrid ground in which we were digging. As I placed Casey in the ground I think I said something along the lines of, “There you go buddy” but don’t really recall verbatim. We covered him and everyone remarked that they were glad there was a place where they could visit when they wanted to do so.  “There’s Casey,” were Christy’s fathers words upon completing the task.

It was only after the “ceremony” that I made my way downstairs with Christy to embrace her and shed my own tears.  I didn’t see Casey often enough, but will miss him tremendously.

Other than my deceased roommate, Sabreena, and my current roommate, Momo, no other cat made me feel more loved by an animal than Casey. And I feed Momo. Haha…

Making his way...

Casey as I imagine him now. Making his way toward the Rainbow Bridge.

In the presence of enemies.

Got a call from an old friend this evening. Brad told me he would call this weekend, but I was surprised by his call because I’d dozed on the couch and was less than fully conscious when I answered the phone. His number didn’t display on the caller ID. He’s currently stationed in Guam, and I’m not sure I have his number, so that may have also influenced the surprise.

That his number, or really his name, didn’t populate the phones display was actually a good thing as I usually dread talking to him. Not because our conversations aren’t anything but fantastic. If anything it’s because our conversations are fantastic, and usually rather lengthy. And usually I end up learning something about myself and that leaves me terrified. It’s stupid, and I know it. Whenever he and I get together I initially just want to get it over with to quell my fear and nervousness. Amidst the palaver the fear and nervousness work it out amongst themselves and I begin to feel sorry that our conversation will have to cease. This evening was no different.

Anther of the things that makes me uncomfortable whenever we talk is the fact that I knew him in elementary school, and I hated him. And I let him know it. Everyone in our class, save a very few, made him a target. I can’t fathom the amount of pain we put him through and would equate it to the bullying that is used as an excuse for school shootings. Don’t worry though, he let me know this evening that I’m no longer on his “list.”

None of us are the same as we were in elementary school. However, I make it a point every time he and I speak to apologize for my conduct. Not just a little either. He may, in fact, be getting tired of hearing it. So now he can read it as I truly am sorry for what I did to, essentially, torture him for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade.

He and I were in an experimental class those three years in which our class had 1 “computer” for every two students. In my opinion it was a complete failure and am glad that it has not become the standard. To have the same core classmates for three years at that age seems to stunt social growth. We were not treated well by the other classes leaving us pretty isolated and were left to hope to find a friend amongst the twenty or so kids on our island.

I didn’t start in the class until halfway through fourth grade and was not immediately welcomed. These other kids had a few months head start on typing and those shitacular computers and they let me know it. If it weren’t for the sense of humor I’d developed as a result of coping with numerous prior moves I probably would’ve been in the same boat as Brad. The S.S. Outcast. I’m not sure I would have fared as well as he did, nor am I sure I would have survived if I were exposed to similar treatment.

I could list the excuses we used for hating him, but they don’t matter. Not even a little bit. Nobody deserves to be made such an outcast that even our teacher, in another hallway session with Brad, told him that he’d better change his personality or he’d never have any friends. Geez, thanks person who is supposed to be taking a guiding and nurturing role in my life.

The number of successful students to emerge from that class are few, and fewer still for males. I’m not going to detail the bias present in the class as that is not what this post is about. Brad told me this evening that he only knows one other person from our experiment that graduated high school on time. That he is one of them is truly a testament to his resilience.

I remember a particular instance in which the class had been split into groups to complete a project of some sort. I don’t remember if was a Lego Logo project or something else, but my group included Brad and everyone, except Brad, of course, didn’t want him in the group. I remember him being a bit goofy and making ridiculous suggestions then laughing about it, and that may or may not have happened, I can’t clearly recall. At recess it was decided, by our group, that after school I would track down Brad and beat him up. “If you listen to fools, the mob rules.”

I remember stalking him on his way home that evening, and am not convinced he didn’t know I was coming. He completely outran me and I never had a chance to come within a hundred yards. I was, however, close enough to make out the smile on his face and the digits, or digit, which he extended every time I stopped running to catch my breath. Had I eventually caught up to him I’m sure he could have pushed me over with a single finger in my state of exhaustion. With all the pent up rage I’m sure he was harboring at the time he probably would’ve beat the living shit out of me even at my most rested. I’m not sure how beating him up would’ve removed him from our group, or made him more affable in the group, but I guess we were kids thinking kid-ly and he didn’t go anywhere.

Despite our best efforts Brad has grown into a man for which I have a great deal of admiration. Of all the kids, male or female, from that class I fell Brad is certainly the most successful. And I mean that in all facets of life. Socially, emotionally, financially, etc. I am truly amazed by the fact that he is who and where he is in life, not because I feel he has some sort of deficiency that would render him incapable of success, but because he weathered our abuse. He also weathered the abuse of a less than helpful teacher, and also the abuse from other schoolmates post-experiment. Perhaps he even left some of us feeling the way we wanted him to feel. Perhaps we felt that way all along.

To borrow from one of my favorite films, The Shawshank Redemption… Brad truly “crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side.” I’m ashamed of the way I’ve treated him. I’m proud, however, to call Brad a friend, and am thankful, indeed, that he finds the grace and forgiveness I would think is required to call me his friend.

It’s 0430. Time for laundry?

I haven’t been sleeping well lately, and it, finally, isn’t because of fireworks. Five calls over three days to the authorities and not a single follow-up nor sighting. Lame.

I fell asleep on the couch at about 7ish last night and woke up at 1ish. I’ve been trying to fall asleep since then and have lost the battle. So I thought I’d do laundry. I needed to do it last night and, as you may have read somewhere, fell asleep instead. So now Momo is keeping me company and trying to figure out just what the fuck that noise is and why my clothes are spinning round in that glass window. It’d be fascinating to know just what thoughts go on inside his little noggin. It’d be especially fascinating to have those thoughts translated to English and piped directly into my head. Honestly it’d probably be terrifying much like it would be to have anyone’s thoughts brain-piped. Least of all a cat’s.

I really have nothing going on at the moment, except the aforementioned laundry, so here is a picture of Momo at some other non-laundry occasion:


Craziest thing I’ve ever seen…

Check this out…

Yeah… Crazy, eh?

I was sitting in the living room and heard a weird noise so I went to investigate. Never would’ve thought I’d be seeing a short stack tooling across the sky.

Well, yeah I was scared, but I grabbed my new video capturing device and braved the terror to capture the scene for you.

Flying short stacks are weird, but flying short stacks that use a bovine propulsion system? That’s crazy.

What’s crazier is that there was an option to add a stack of pancakes to a video… And even half way animate it. Who would ever need that option? Well, other than myself, of course. There are all kinds of stupid things I can add. I’m sure much more fun will be coming soon…

Fried mashed potato sticks.

My dad was having an issue placing an order at an online retailer and called me for help. I told him I’d swing by after work expecting, as he did, that the issue was something simple and he was just missing a minute detail. What I found was the most profoundly poorly written webpage I’d ever encountered.

“So here’s what I want, and I click ‘Buy Now’ and this is what happens,” he explained as the screen changed from the item page to a page that informed us that his shopping cart was empty. “What the hell am I missing?” I informed him that I didn’t think he was missing anything. I took a seat in front of the computer and had a go. Same result. So I switched browsers. Same result. So I remotely connected to my PC at home and tried a third browser. Same result.

“This is the dumbest fucking website I have ever encountered and I don’t think the cocksuckers on the other end deserve your money.” Clearly I was more than slightly frustrated.

We found what dad was after on another website, one that actually functioned, and dad asked if he could take me to dinner. Never one to turn down free food we climbed in my FJ and headed to Red Lobster.

How can a meal be both mediocre and extrodinary at the me time? Easy. I’m not sure which coast lies closest to this establishment, and I’m not sure the seafood placed before me would know either. This seafood had certainly not seen the sea for a great length of time. That pretty much sums up the mediocre.

The extraordinary section began upon our arrival. An older gentleman approached the hostess station and gave advise on where to seat my father and I. When our name was called we walked toward the station and the old gentleman stretched out his hand toward my dad. They exchanged pleasantries and my father asked how “your boy” was doing. Dad later explained that the son of the older gentleman had just returned from Walter Reed after suffering major injuries as a result of an IED attack. Apparently most of both of his legs were damaged and he had recently had a foot amputated.

We followed our hostess, but only momentarily as the older gentleman directed my father around the corner where his nephew and family were eating. I worked with the nephew when I was a bitch worker at the airport and my father works with him still, although not as a bitch worker, depending on whom you query.

“I swear we can’t go anywhere where dad doesn’t know someone,” I say to the hostess. She explains that her mother is the same way. Apparently a trip to WalMart with her mom must have an additional hour planned for socializing with random people with whom her mother is acquainted.

It seemed the three of us would never reach our seat as no more than twenty feet further into the restaurant another gentleman greets my dad. I smile and roll my eyes and the hostess laughs aloud.

So the extraordinary part of the evening… What? You thought dad knowing everyone was the extraordinary part? Nah. That happens everywhere and has become quite ordinary.

The extraordinary part of dinner was just sitting and talking with my dad. Not arguing about anything, not complaining that he wasn’t doing something I wanted or whatever. Just hanging out and talking about stuff. Which brings me to the fried mashed potato sticks.

My dad was given orders to Bremerhaven Germany, at that time West Germany, and mom and I couldn’t accompany him until the following year. In that time he’d seen the sites and made a bit of a list of places to take my mom and I. One of those places was the Barque Seute Deern.

Dad wasn’t sure where I was while he and mom went to have seafood, and that plays into the story at no level whatsoever, on the Seute Deern and was expecting a dinner similar to the dinner he and his buddies had while mom and I were still stateside. In that dinner the guys had a few courses of varying sea dishes with a main course of halibut. The halibut steak, my father remembered, was about ten inches long, five or so inches wide and an inch or two thick.

One of the dishes served before the halibut was what my dad described as a four inch tater-tot filled with mashed potatoes. He remember being served six, or so, on a plate and he and his buddies thought they were simply amazing. When the dish showed up again with my mom she too found them delectable. This time, however, instead of the halibut steak a much smaller, but thicker steak was presented. Dad recalled it was about four inches square and “super” thick.

Mom and dad enjoyed the dishes they’d been served finishing the six fried mashed potato sticks quickly and a beautiful sea shell filled with a small shrimp covered with a cream sauce presented a la The Birth of Venus sans Venus. When he was delivering the smaller-than-remembered fish steak the server asked if there was anything else he could bring. My father asked if the server would be kind enough to bring more of the FMPS and when he did he brought a dozen or more in a bowl. Keep in mind that my dad is a world class exaggerator so the “dozen” may have not been 12.

The fish steak was dispatched quickly and mom and dad were stuffing their faces with FMPS when the server came wheeling out his serving cart. Confused, mom and dad looked at each other in disbelief as the server placed another fish steak on the table. Apparently it was the second half of the fish dinner. Having not anticipated a second half both my mom and dad had filled themselves with everything else and were suddenly filled with a great deal of embarrassment as they now had a large hunk of fish and more tater sticks than they should’ve asked requested.

As soon as the server left the table mom and dad both launched into “Operation: Hide The Tater Sticks.” Employing lettuce, napkins, and the aforementioned Venus-ish shrimpy sea shell to disguise the fact that they’d asked for more food than they could eat, which at the time was a carnal sin in my household. “You asked for it, you eat it,” etc.

I sure it would be much more entertaining if you were there to hear the way my father spun this yarn but, again, it wasn’t the story so much as that it was a story. Most of my life was spent at odds with my dad. We didn’t have a lot of time, like this dinner, to just sit and tell stories and pal around. He wasn’t always around because of the Air Force, and it seemed like when he was around, he was playing the part of the disciplinarian. Many, many, many people told me that our relationship would get better once I wasn’t living with the guy. “Yeah, I bet,” I would reply in disbelief. They were right. Sorry for not believing you all.

I wish I would’ve listened but, more than that, I wish he would have taken me to have some of those fried mashed potato sticks. Jerk.


The above is, perhaps, a meteorological representation of mine and my fathers relationship. The clouds are moving left to right, of course.