Thursday, April 20, 2006

I was almost a hero...... I think.....

As I was walking into Staples this smelly homeless guy goes quickly limping past me and I hear, “STOP HIM!!! HE STOLE AN INK CARTRIDGE!!!!!.”

Then for some unknown reason I turned and ran after him yelling, (get this) STOP THIEF!!!”

Who yells that?

About ten steps into my hero moment a thought hit me, “What do I do when I catch him? Tackle him? He smells.

Then another thought hit me.

“Why would a smelly homeless guy steal an ink cartridge?”

“He has a color printer?”

I slowed down.

“He has a computer?”

An ink cartridge....

I stopped.

I went there to buy an ink cartridge. I’ve bought ink cartridges before and I’ve always thought they were “stealing” from me.

$57.99 for ink?

An ounce of ink?

What are they doing to get this ink?

Milking squid by hand?

Then it clicked. Maybe it wasn’t a homeless guy after all. Maybe he was going to take the ink cartridge to a pawn shop so he could come up with enough money to feed his family for a month so he doesn’t have to go back to prizefighting.

Or maybe he ran out of gas. Those people always come up to me in parking lots with the old car ran out of gas story. Sell an ounce of ink you could almost fill up a Hummer.

Why smuggle marijuana across the border?

Smuggle ink.

You could smuggle it in the intestines of illegal aliens.

In little balloons.

While I was pondering all this the Staples manager came up to me.”

“Why didn’t you catch him?”

“I think I pulled my groin.”

“Well at least he won’t be able to use that ink cartridge. It was inside one of our plastic security boxes.”

“Yeah... He’ll have trouble with that... He’ll probably have to steal a brick or something... Or maybe pick up a rock from the earth... No way is he getting into there...”

Then I thought of the oysters you crack open at Sea World for $12.00 to win a pearl. That ink was worth more than those pearls.

By now that homeless guy was down at the bay floating on his back like an otter with that security box on his stomach trying to crack it open with a clam shell.

I limped back inside Staples with the manager.

“Do I get a reward or something?”

“For what? You didn’t catch him.”

“He was very fast for a smelly guy with a limp, plus I told you I pulled my groin.”

“Here take this.”

“A coupon for three dollars off my next purchase of an ink cartridge?”

“Take two. But you can only use one at a time.”

“Don’t I get a key to the store or something?”

“Do you have a Staples reward card?”


“Ta da!!!!”

“Wake up Tony! Wake up! You’re talking in your sleep again”

“What, who, where......”

“Idiot, you sat up straight in bed and said, “Ta da!!!”

“Ta da?”

“Yes, what in the hell were you dreaming about?”

“Uh... um... sex?”

“Go back to sleep numb nuts.”

“Hey honey?”


“Will you go to Staples tomorrow and buy an ink cartridge for the color printer?”

“It’s three o’clock in the morning why are you worried about ink? And why can’t you buy it yourself?”

“Because the last time I went to Staples I think I pulled my groin.”

“Ouch!! Okay, fine but when I’m homeless and smelly and I'm out on the street begging for ink you remember this night.”



Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Do you know the way to San Jose?

I flew back from San Jose on an airline that rhymes with “Mouthbest”.

This is the airline with the pilots who want to be standup comedians. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t want anybody that happy flying me around at 30,000 feet.

I want tough. I want mean. I want a pilot that will get me there even if his arms have been blown off in a food cart and luggage accident.

I want someone with a will to live no matter how bad his life sucks.

I don’t care how happy they sound because I know they all think the same thing.

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Captain Rock Cavern, welcome aboard flight 666. I’ve had a really crappy day so shut up and sit down. If you have a child traveling with you that’s small enough to fit in an overhead compartment please stow that child immediately. As usual we’ve overbooked the flight today so if there are any passengers, who have waited for two hours with 200 other people and screaming children, that would be willing to take a later flight, please let us know now. We will give you a free plane ticket for the next available flight and a $200 travel voucher that you can use to fan yourself with as you’re waiting in the “C” line looking like you were too stupid to print out your boarding pass online. We’ll be flying at approximately six feet today and if someone doesn’t shut that brat up you’ll arrive via submarine in a few short minutes. For you lecherous businessmen the only thing extra you’ll get off of our flight attendants is nuts, especially from Jonathan. In the event of a loss of cabin pressure yellow oxygen masks will fall from overhead. They’re not actually connected to anything but this will give you something to do while we plummet into the ground. In the event of a water landing, which means I’m really drunk, your seat cushion can be used as a floatation device so the sharks have more of a “buffet” feel to the event. Thank you for flying Cattle Car Airlines.”

I took my wife with me to San Jose. She has been fighting a terrible sinus and ear infection so we were worried about how the pressure change while flying would affect her ears. She found something called “Ear Planes” which are basically ear plugs that help to equalize the pressure. They worked really well on the way to San Jose.

On the way back however I had a once in a lifetime opportunity I was not going to pass up. My wife and I were at the beginning of the “A” group and scored the emergency exit row seats. That’s right baby! Extra leg room and only two seats so no stranger in the third seat next to us.

I hate that third seat stranger. I hate it when I’m that third seat stranger. “Hi, I’m traveling alone. That’s right, alone. I have no one to go with me on the plane. If the oxygen masks drop please help me because I’m alone.”

I always get the fat smelly guy sitting next to me. I don’t want the last person I hug in the event of a crash to be the fat smelly guy. How come the supermodel never sits next to me? Maybe she thinks I’m the fat smelly guy, to a supermodel everyone looks fat. But I don’t smell.

Come on we all judge who were going to sit next to in case we’re going to die.

Here’s the thing. My wife had these “Ear Planes” in ears and her hair pulled back. Two big blue plugs sticking out of her ears. She sat in her seat and immediately closed her eyes to try and go to sleep before we took off.

Now every passenger is eyeballing us as they go by. I know that look. They were checking out the emergency row passengers to see if we were qualified to open that door in the event of a water landing. Plus they were just plain pissed off that a 4’10” woman had all that leg room.

Then the flight attendant comes over and says that she is required by law to ask if we are willing and able to operate the emergency exit door.

Who says no? I can’t imagine a scenario where the plane has gone down and I just don’t feel like opening the emergency exit and GETTING THE HELL OFF THE PLANE!!!!

After the flight attendant leaves my wife turns to me and says, “What did she say?” And because my wife has “Ear Planes” in her ears she can’t hear herself talk so she says it loud enough for the entire plane to hear her.

We were now officially the most hated people on the airplane.

I immediately start having random conversations with the passengers around us.

“Its okay folks, she’s just wearing a custom “iPod”, she’s not deaf and she’s really strong. Trust me she’s really strong. She’s been kicking my ass for twenty eight years. She boxes and takes Aikido. She’ll get that door open no problemo. I’m just letting her sleep so in case we crash she’ll be at full strength. She’s built Ford tough boy, you do not want to mess with her. She’ll tear that door right off the hinges.”

I did not notice that my wife had removed her “Ear Planes” to hear what I was talking about.

“What the hell are you doing?”

“I’m being a responsible airplane passenger.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“People were staring at us.”

“Really? And you don’t think they’re staring at us now?”

“You’re the emergency exit door monitor and you’re falling asleep.”

“Trust me numb nuts if we crash I’ll wake up.”

“You yelled out loud that you couldn’t hear the flight attendant.”


“So you’re in trouble with Homeland Security for lying to an airline employee.”

“I didn’t lie. I couldn’t hear her.”

“No, you nodded yes when she asked if you were willing and able to open the emergency exit door.”

“Well you nodded yes so I just did what you did.”

“But you didn’t know what she said.”

“And if I had heard her, what do you think I would have said?”

“Well… uh… that doesn’t count.”

“Oh it counts.”

“You better hope they don’t have an undercover air marshal on this plane or you’d be busted.”

Fifteen minutes later.

“Nuts sir?”

“No I’m just a little nervous when I fly.”

“I see sir and would you like some nuts?”

“That was a joke you know.”

“Yes sir I hear it all the time.”

“Don’t you find it odd that you may be serving people their last meal and you’re serving nuts? Peanuts? Why peanuts? How come you don’t serve pistachio nuts? Who thought that peanuts were a great last meal airline food snack? Plus how many nuts are you serving? There’s like five nuts in there.”

“Would you like an extra pack of nuts sir?”

“No thanks I’ll just eat my wife’s.”

“Ouch, you’re supposed to be asleep and deaf.”

“Give me my nuts.”


“Now give me your nuts.”


“You know you can’t have those.”

“That could be my last meal.”

“This way it won’t be your last meal. Now breakfast was your last meal. Feel better?”

“I… um… I’m not taking you with me again.”

“Fine, be the third seat stranger.”

“At least I’d have my nuts.”

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"Emeeergency, emeergency, eberybodee cleeer da street."

I was an ambulance driver this week. My wife and I had to take my youngest sons wife to the emergency room because she was bleeding heavy (you never think you’re going to use that line unless you’re a war correspondent) and was concerned about a miscarriage.

She was at work and we were closer to her than my son so he said he would meet us at the ER.

Immediately the theme from Saving Private Ryan or maybe it was Forrest Gump started playing in my head. I sprang into action, which is what happens when the lever releases too quickly on my recliner.

I did my best impression of a NASCAR driver, including the southern accent, all the way to the hospital. Instead of chewing tobacco I had a wad of sugar free gum in my cheek. I was trying to keep it light, make her laugh, you know, to take her mind off things.
Then we got to the ER.

ER is hospital talk for Department of Motor Vehicles. Because the line was just as long, there was this terrible smell, children were screaming everywhere and no one behind the counter seemed to give a rat’s ass.

Osama Bin laden is not hiding in Pakistan. I’m fairly sure I saw him waiting in an ER in La Mesa.

On the wall of the waiting room was a digital message board that read, “Welcome to the Department of Motor Vehicles (substitute hospital name here) today’s date is Monday March 24, 2006 the time is 6:03pm.

We got there on Monday April 3rd at 10:45pm. Apparently they got a bonus of daylight savings time.

After waiting an hour and a half they finally called her name. We were so excited. It was like winning French fries at McDonald’s.

I spit my gum.

It was at this time that I realized that customer service for SBC was not the only thing outsourced to India. A woman with a name that rhymed with Hajogelerabashhekya Funjabila, I’ll call her Mary, came and took my daughter-in-law away, and I never thought we’d see her again. Five minutes later she came out with a yellow wrist band on. I guess all Mary was supposed to do was check ID’s so they would know my daughter-in-law was over twenty one when they served the cocktails.

I looked at my wife, “Uh… this must be part of the “no patient left behind” plan Blue Cross has come out with.

My wife and I stayed for a few hours and then we went home to burn our clothes. It’s the only way to kill the Ebola virus I was sure we picked up from trailer park people that were sitting across from us. I think they were all pregnant, the women, men, children pets, all of them. The one older guy kept complaining he was missing the “knife” show on the TV and that Shane should have known better than to fire a screwdriver from a shotgun.

My son, exhausted and confused, called us from the hospital at 5:30am. That’s when a doctor finally examined her.

“Dad, its AJ. Melina didn’t have a miscarriage. I think they said she has Placenta Primavera.”

“I wonder if that’s anything like the Chicken Hemotoma your mother tried to make the other night?”

“Dad don’t start, I don’t have the energy.”

“You didn’t see that chicken. I think it was in the Witness Protection Program.”


“For the amount of time we had to spend in the ER we could have sacrificed that chicken to “Joboo”, cured Melina, and been home in time to watch the “knife” show.”

“Idiot, what are you talking about?”

“Son your mom just woke up.”

“Is that AJ? How’s Melina?”

“She’s okay it was just indigestion from the primavera she had for dinner.”

“I’m not even awake Calabrese and I still know you’re an idiot. Give me the phone.”

So my daughter-in-law seems to be okay now.

Hopefully this won’t happen again but if it does next time we’ll be ready.

The DMV is two miles closer.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The agony of da feet.......

Do you ever just sit back and watch?

Watch everything?

My apologies I haven’t written much lately.

I’ve been watching.

Sometimes the world is your own private television show. I’ve noticed there are a lot more commercials in real life, particularly for duct tape.

When I see a woman trying to cram fat feet in those pointy shoes…. wrap them in duct tape. If the shoes burst open… wrap the shoes in duct tape.

I’ve noticed that there are some women with feet shaped like a large box of Kleenex.

A perfect rectangle.

They cram those feet into a size five shoe.

It’s disturbing to see fat squeezing out of a shoe.

It’s more disturbing when you see those shoes and they have buckles and one of the buckles is missing.

I wonder if under the strain one of those buckles shot off and maybe hurt a bird or the mailman.

You can almost hear the shoe scream under the strain.

Anyway you get to a certain point in your life where you notice these things.

My dad once told me that life was too short, you need to “stop and smell the roses”.

I don’t always see roses… I see fat feet everywhere.

What if PMS is really about shoes?

I’ve never noticed a pissed off barefoot woman. Then again I’ve never looked for a pissed off barefoot woman.

What if the key to world peace is chocolate and comfortable shoes?

So many questions…

This shoe thing could never happen to me. The worst thing that might happen to me is that I get to that certain age where it’s mandatory to wear socks with sandals.

My wife made a living will for me that states if I ever try to go out in public with her with socks with sandals she can have me put to sleep.

Women talk a lot about their shoes and they lie about their shoe size. Why is shoe size so important?

I’ve never heard a woman say, “Do these pumps make me look fat?”

Why don’t the shoe people just lie about shoe size? Just label a size nine as a size five. How many lives could be saved?

There are men that lie about their shoe size but for different reasons.

“Yep, size 15EEEE baby. You know what that means heh heh heh……”

It means he’s a liar, an asshole and walks like a duck… or he’s really good at waterskiing.

I’ve never been sitting around with another guy and talked about my feet.

I did spend fifteen minutes yesterday having a discussion with my oldest son about the size of his new dog’s testicles.

We didn’t talk about politics, religion or sports.

We didn’t bash women.

We talked about a dog’s testicles.

We had a serious father son talk about the size of a bull dog’s huevos.

His new bull dog has testicles the size of peas.

But… he has huge paws…

I wonder what dogs would do if they could use duct tape?