Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hey Croce? Fuck You

A man considers himself lucky if he can point to just one male mentor in his life other than your typical father/brother/uncle role model type. One who helped shape and define him and teach him things that he otherwise never would have discovered. A different way of looking at things. A new point of view. Or even just another way to laugh at life's cruel way of forcing you to deal with people who's best side you wouldn't even shit on if it weren't for your job forcing you to just smile and wave as they rip you up one side and down the other because THEY bought the wrong hex bolt and you just happen to be the poor son of a bitch to walk down the aisle at that given moment.

Today I found out that I have lost one of mine. I first met Chris Croce when I was a smart-assed 20 year old slinging paint cans at Home Depot. My first memories are of us closing the store when no customers were around. We would jokingly jaw at each other between the aisles. "Hey, Croce?" ..... "What?"..... "Fuck you." and he would crack up. Soon after I joined the night crew and Chris worked in plumbing overnights for inventory prep. And the jawing got worse. With no customers in the store and the entire building locked down from the outside world, it was a free for all. But a bond was forming. I am not sure if he saw a little of himself in me when he was that age. Or if he just appreciated my candor. I never held back and would call out anyone who didn't do things the right way. More than likely, he just liked hearing me tell him to fuck himself.

Over the next 5 years or so I worked for Chris both when he managed the night crew and then hardware. Chris was a man who not many people understood. To the outsiders, he appeared angry and cynical and at times an asshole. But to those of us on the inside? The ones who were lucky enough to have not only worked for him, but to have earned his respect along the way? Well, who we saw was a man that just wanted to do things the right away. Learn to question those who took shortcuts, and also train ourselves not to mirror their actions. Don't let management dismiss your concerns and ideas with a flippant wave of the hand just because they think they knew more than you did. Because most often than not, they were just jealous and insecure for not having the intelligence and foresight to have thought of those ideas themselves. But most of all, we learned that in a culture that breeds self serving and ass covering on a daily basis we had one person who always had out backs. If you worked hard for Chris and actually listened to what he had to teach you and made sure you did what was right, he had your back like no one else in that company ever did, or ever will.

Tonight, I hang my head in sorrow and remember a man who taught me so much more than anyone ever could have at that age. I don't think anyone else had the personality and intelligence to have gotten through to me back then. I started at Home Depot as a boy. But thanks to Chris Croce, I left as a man.

Hey Croce? Fuck you...........

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Alexander The Not So Great

"Do you know how many people died in that???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Our second grade music teacher was spitting the words out of her mouth while turning a deep crimson red. She was trembling while trying desperately to find the strength not to strike out at the subject of her ire. My best buddy in school, Alex. You see, Alex was a very creative child who found it difficult to keep himself entertained with multiplication tables and memorizing spelling words. So when he was bored he would draw. All day long he'd doodle out scenes from the most popular movies of the day. Images of dragons being slain by heroic knights. And dead soldiers during WWII bleeding out on the battle field.

Wait, what????

Yeah, you see, on this fateful fall day Alex had drawn a scene with dead WWII soldiers screaming out "Oh, they got me!!!" while dropping to the ground with images of Swastikas all over the page. It happened to be what we were learning that week and he was just being topical. And the teacher happened to look down at what he was drawing. And she flipped her shit. I should mention that she was Jewish and didn't find Alex's artistic expression worthy of being hung on the wall of a French art museum. She let him have it and I don't think I have ever seen Alex so quiet and still the 6 years we were in school together. I also swear there was a little yellow puddle under his chair.

Alex was my first best friend growing up. We met in 1st grade and were thick as thieves from the beginning. I don't recall the first day we met or what we said to each other or even how/why we became friends. It was just too long ago. But we were inseparable. And no one made me laugh more day in and day out that he did. I cannot tell you how many times I got in trouble for laughing out loud because of something Alex leaned over and whispered to me almost as if he were daring me not to laugh. I'm sorry, but when your best friend in 5th grade refers to a girl getting her first "hot beef injection", you couldn't stop me from laughing if you put a gun to my head.

Alex didn't just make me laugh from telling jokes. He cracked me up because of some of the situations he got himself into. One a field trip one year at the zoo, he wandered over to the lama pen. He was petting one gently and seemed to be enthralled with this majestic creature when it suddenly sneezed all over his face and front of his shirt. Holy shit, we all howled as he stood there in shock as the lama snot dripped down his clothes.

We used to go to the Boys Club for our weekly gym class and swam every other week. One week Alex forgot his bathing suit. No biggie, he could just do gym class with the girls. Nope, the teacher had enough of this nonsense and made Alex swim in his underwear. Once again, hilarity ensued as poor Alex was doing the doggie paddle in his tighty-whities to the whistles and cat calls from the bleachers.

Alex taught me how to laugh at all the things happening around us. Even if that included laughing at ourselves. Ourselves and sneezing lamas swimming in their BVD's after their hot beef injections.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanks For Nothing

That's right. Thanksgiving is just about upon us. The time of year we give thanks for what we have, not for lamenting on what we can never obtain. A time for reflecting on life's gifts and joys, and not focusing on the fact that the big-tit blonde who's been in the company for 8 months got the promotion you deserved after working your ass off for 7 years.

I was browsing some other blogs today and came across this one:

Reading how terribly intrusive and guilt lading this woman's mother is/has been all her life is maddening, to say the least. For fuck's sake, why can't people just stop being assholes to each other? Especially to the people they are supposed to love and support? I cannot begin to imagine what it's like to grow up with such bitter hatred and loathing coming from my parents. And the guilt thing? That's like nails on a chalkboard. There is nothing more douche-chill inducing than a person who blames their shitty life on everyone else around them, but themselves. Playing the victim card with a marked deck. Nuh, uh. Not to me, you won't. Shut your lint trap and fix your own life. Don't try to hover over mine and take a big shit on it. It's no wonder we don't have more serial killers in the world if this is how children are being raised. Listen up, kids. I have an important lesson to share. Are you thinking about what you want to be when you grow up, but having a tough time deciding? Be a therapist. Because it's painfully obvious that the world needs more of them. There sure as hell won't be a shortage of fucked up individuals anytime soon.

So, as I am reading this I began to put myself in her position. Not the giving birth part. Because, frankly I would look silly with my legs up in the air and pushing out something other than a fart. No, what I am referring to is being in the middle of such a life altering, beautiful experience only to have it ruined by this annoying yenta trying to be the center of attention and pouting like a 2 year old if she isn't. Because I would have a shit fit. A complete meltdown not seen since Chernobyl. I would have had NO problem kicking her out of the room. I would not hesitate. Thankfully, I never had to worry about that. Because my parents never stuck their noses in when I became an adult.

They said nothing. They enforced nothing. They projected guilt on nothing.

So, to Ma and Dad, I say thanks. Thanks for nothing. It has always been much appreciated.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's a girl!!!

Relax. I'm not having another child. You have to be having sex for that to happen. You also have to have a factory that wasn't shut down due to a going out of business sale. So, I don't qualify. No, what I am talking about today were the 3 words that changed my life. Exactly 13 years ago today my daughter was born. 13 years. One, three. 10 + 3. 13. Holy shit, where did the time go?

Everything about that day is still crystal clear. Having the Dr. tell us during the ex's morning check up to "Go home and pack your bags and meet me at the hospital. You're having that baby today." after an entire weekend of "false" labor pains (everyone else's words, not ours).

Driving about 20 miles an  hour and ending up picking the bumpiest road in New England and hearing through gritted teeth "Hurry up!! And stop hitting all the bumps!!"

Both of us falling asleep sometime in the afternoon in the room only to be awoken by a loud BANG!!!! and jumping awake. Turns out what we heard was the water breaking and the sound coming through on the monitor. Scared the hell out of me. I almost delivered a little bundle of joy out of my ass myself. And then we were off to the races. And don't get me started on the audience we had. "Call your mother QUICK. Tell her if she wants to be here for this, she needs get down here ASAP." My father was at work that night and my mother didn't drive at the time. My brother was home and so he was pegged to drive Miss Daisy to the hospital. And of course the ex's parents were both there. You now have me manning one leg, her mother the other, my mother at the side of the bed talking to her and the two stooges (my brother and her father) sitting at the little table in the far corner of the room staring out the window not able to look at anything or anyone. Poor bastards. The look of sheer terror on their faces was priceless. If only I had thought of it ahead of time I could have tossed a wet sponge over to them and yelled "Shit!! Quick, catch that!!!!". Hilarity would have ensued, I guarantee.

As I stood there holding her left calf in my hand I began to witness the most beautiful, amazing, magical, disgusting moment of my life. Good Lord, there is a reason why they never used to let men into the room during labor. It was like watching a horse blink it's eye (thank you Family Guy for the reference).

Then I heard those magical words "It's a girl!!!" and her mother shout "My Gabbi!!!!!" and I lost it. I cried like the fat kid at recess who dropped his Twinkies in the sand and watched the army of ants carry it away. 

When I finally held my daughter in my arms, she was wide eyed and full of wonder. She didn't make a sound. She just looked around the room and took it all in. And I cried. And held her tight. I whispered in  her ear that I would always take care of her and promised to never let her go.

And here we are, 13 years later and she still has her eyes wide open and looking around the room soaking it all in. Except she talks like a Speak and Spell with it's cord snapped off and you can't shut it off. So, I guess 1 one of  2 ain't bad.

Happy Birthday, Kiddo. Now let's go watch Family Guy so you can think of more sarcastic, cynical ways to piss off your mother.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

God - The Original Dead Beat Dad

It's time to talk about "Family Values" for a moment. You hear this term all the time. Usually it's the politicians who spout off this phrase as if their shit don't stink. And these are the ones who generally end up with their arms elbow deep in hooker hole trying to get their wedding ring out. For those of you who know what I am referring to, and can easily picture the visual? I apologize. For those who do not? You're reading the wrong blog and should thank the maker that you have the imaginary vision of Stevie Wonder because this picture I painted just ain't pretty.

Hypocrites. Every last one of them. But what's interesting is where they base their family values from. The Bible. It's usually these right-winged religious zealots spouting the word of God and looking down on free love, homosexual marriage, lesbian car washes, and goat fucking in the back woods of Maine in the middle of Spring.

It's my personal belief that you love who you love. As long as they are 18 and not related to you any closer than 3 generations removed, who is anyone to tell you who you can sleep with? And as far as a gay couple raising kids? "Oh, no! That's immoral!! The kid will be all screwed up on angel dust and humping the neighbor's cat because he is confused from having Mommy June and Mommy Alice teach him how to ride his bike at 10 years old. I stand for Family Values!!! Gays should not marry or raise kids or buy ass-less chaps at the mall!! Family values!! Family values!!! FAMILY VALUES!!!!!! It's wrong!! The Bible says so!!! God intended for man and women to marry and have children!! Follow the word of God!!!!!"

Well, let's take a look at God and the "Family Values" the Supreme Being has given us as an example to live by.

He knocked up Mary without even lifting a finger. So basically because of his fear of commitment, his son was born a bastard child. I bet she felt special, huh? Not only does The Creator not want to marry her, he wants to father her child without even having sex with her. What? Is he gay? Wouldn't that be a kick in the ass, huh? I mean, what straight man wouldn't give his left nut to bang a virgin?

So now we have Mary and Joseph raising this child together. Joseph. Ha!!! He's another fucking sap. He was basically cuckold by the most powerful being in the universe. So he watches his wife carry this life inside her that he had no hand in. Or anything else in, for that matter. Do you really think that Mary even let him anywhere near her while she was pregnant? Not only does he have to see his wife with another man's seed being planted in his wife's garden, he doesn't even get a chance to prune the bushes. What a dope.

And Christ is born, making Mary a single mother. Oh, but wait. She's married to a pussy. I guess it wouldn't be fair to call her a single mom since she's got a husband. That makes God her "baby's Daddy".

Do you think God has the same schedule as most single father's? I mean, he never sees his kid. What does he do? Pray to him on Wednesday's and every other weekend? "Gee, Son it's great to talk to you. How's school?" "It's fine, Dad. Hey, listen are you coming to my game on Thursday?" "Oh, sorry Son. I have a new planet to create. I'm sorry, kiddo. Maybe next time."

Does God pay child support? And if he didn't. who the hell would Mary go to in order to collect? Have the IRS garnish his wages? Take him to small claim's court? It's not like her spineless husband would stick up for her. What's he going to do? Kick God's ass? And I can just picture the whole "I don't have to listen to you. You're not my real father!!!" fight. How is Joseph supposed to compete with that? "Well, I'm the best you've got!!!" Um, sorry wrong again asshole. You can't top God. Black magic, no erasies.

So all through Jesus' life, he never saw his dad. All the school plays where he would be on stage and look out and see that one empty seat where his father was supposed to sit. All the baseball games when he would hit a home run and trot around the bases and touch home plate and look up to the sky to see if Pops was looking. Being nervous about his first school dance and wishing his Dad was there to give him girl advice only to have to talk to his two mother's, Mary and Joseph instead. No wonder the only woman he connected with was the town whore when he got older.

And after 33 years his one wish finally came true. He got to see his Dad. Too bad he had to get nailed to a cross and starve to death in order to do it. Father of the year right there.

So the next time one of these lying closeted cross dressing, nipple pinching with clothespins, diaper wearing, hooker buying, politicians says 'Family Values" as some sort of disparaging remark regarding people and their sexual and societal preferences, I am going to snap.

But not before I kiss my daughter good night. You know, on Wednesdays and every other weekend. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Guess What? Your Kid Can't Draw

For those who don't know, or honestly don't care, I fix PC's in a large office building. I pretty much walk around and plug the PC back in because some lazy clam kicked the cord with her fat cankled horse hoof and disconnected it. And they look at you like you're some sort of magician when you plug it back in.

"I swear I looked and it was plugged in."

One time I was on the phone with said wilder beast and she claimed the PC "Just shut off on it's own." Or, now stick with me here. Maybe it was the 20 pairs of shoes you had under the desk just couldn't stand the stink of your crows toes and tried to run away and tripped over the cord.

"Is the PC plugged in?"

"Of course it's plugged in!!!! I checked that, how stupid do you think I am?"

Sigh.... "OK, I'll come down and take a look."

So I walk to her desk and I was right. There was a pair of boots laying there tangled in the power cord looking like a rabbit caught in a trap. I untangle the sweaty boot from the cord and plug it back into the wall from which it had become unplugged. And then you wouldn't believe what happened? Holy shit, the PC turned on!!!!

I crawl out from under the desk and look at Roseanne Barr's twin and just smiled from ear to ear.........

"Very." and I walked back to my desk.

In my daily travels throughout my office building, I get a glimpse at how people must live in their homes. Their desks are an extension of their homes and I expect to see most of them on A&E's Hoarders soon. It amazes me the amount of soda bottles, and candy wrappers, and crumbs, and stacks over stacks of paper that haven't been moved in 10 years.

But that's not the worst of it. Don't get me started on the pictures of their kids. People act like you should constantly give a rat's ass about what new piece of shit artifact Johnny brought home from school that you tacked to your wall. No one cares about your stupid kids. And no, little Tiffany is not the next Rembrandt. For Fuck's sake, her drawing looks like a Smurf threw up a bowl of Fruit Loops all over a piece of orange construction paper.

"Isn't it beautiful? She has such talent for a child her age."

No she doesn't. She's fucking 3!! The only talent she has is picking her ass and wiping it on the wall. Oh wait, that's the other picture you have pinned to your monitor.

I wonder if Home Depot is hiring.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Howie!!!!

Once again, I take us back to a time and a place that holds such endearing memories in my heart. A time when I was coming into my own as a man. A place where I was loved, adored, respected, and sometimes asked to perform miracles that even the world's foremost hide and seek champion, Jesus Christ, could never perform:

The Paint Department at Home Depot.

I worked with a man named Howie. In fact, he was also a math teacher at my high school and worked at Home Depot 35 hours a week on top of that. So, he was sometimes quite cranky and short with people without even noticing it. That made it fun to fuck with him.

One day we were both behind the paint counter mixing for customers when I asked who was next. And I saw her. One of our repeat customers. And she was a few sandwiches short of a picnic. You know the type. She had that wide eyed look that if you stared long enough, you could swear you'd see birds behind those eyes chirping in her ear. She was way too friendly and way too talkative for my taste. She just never shut up long enough to answer any of her questions before she asked another one. And she liked to talk about birds. I know, right? I still think she really did have birds in her brain and they were controlling her brain just to fuck with the rest of us.

After about 10 minutes I couldn't take it anymore. She asked me another stupid question about which type of brush she should use. I smiled wickedly and said "Oh, I'm sorry. I don't know enough about the product. But you know what? Howie does. He should be able to help you better than I can." Howie spun around and looked as if he was about to strangle me with his bare hands. I just smiled and bent down behind the counter to pull out some paint that was mixing and I was laughing my ass off. I could hear her with that shrill, Edith Bunker voice babble on and on about nothing and everything. And Howie had to take it up the ass like a skinny prison bitch.

He looks down at me and mouths "I fucking hate you." and I just giggled "Happy Birthday Howie." And no, it wasn't his birthday. I then hear "Oh, Howie!!!!! Its your birthday???? Happy Birthday!! How old are you? What are you doing for your birthday? Blah,blah, blah,blah........" This went on for over 30 minutes. She just would not stop talking to Howie and he couldn't escape her.

Howie never stood next to me behind that paint counter ever again.......