Me, James Bond, Jr., and the Lobster

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One day, my mother announced,
“Stephen, I have told my friend Ginny Johnson that you will accompany her family to the island of Tobago.”

“You what?” I asked, incredulous. “I don’t want to go anywhere with strangers, Mom. What are you talking about? I’m not going.”

“They need a playmate for their son, Jimmy, and I agreed that you would go, so you are going.”

“I don’t like to drive to Baltimore, and I’m flying to an island with a family I don’t even know? I’m shy, and I’ve always had a fear of my plane crashing in the ocean, and I’ll be devoured by a shark. I’m not going,” I said.

“You leave next week,” she said.
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One week later I was on my way to Tobago and wearing a pair of bright green slacks that my mom got for me. First, we flew into Port of Spain, Trinidad. At the bottom of the airport escalator, there was a very black man beating on a steel drum. He sang, “Here comes a big boy in green. We welcome him to the Caribbean.”

I gave him a quarter.
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Our flight to Tobago was on a tiny plane. They made me sit in the back, I think so the front of the plane would go up in the air. They had to shoo the sheep off the runway before we could land. I couldn’t watch the landing and buried my face in Mrs. Johnson’s chest. It was a great trip so far.

The Johnson’s had a little house down there with a coconut tree in the front yard and little gecko lizards running about. It was hot and sunny. The first night, we grilled some barracuda that we’d caught in the lagoon, served with beans and rice, and fresh baked bread. We went to bed early.

Jimmy woke me up at one o’clock in the morning and told me he had his father’s rental car keys. We were going to drive to the other side of the island and go diving for lobsters with flashlights and a spear gun. He also showed me a fifth of rum. I said a short prayer, “God, help me through this night,” and followed him silently to the car.

At the tender age of fourteen, I felt as if I was on a drunken adventure with James Bond Jr., and everything went as planned. We were on the way back–our lobster was on the backseat–when Jimmy ran the car off the road and tore the muffler off at the manifold. The car sounded like a machine gun, and we woke up villages of Tobagans on the way home. The Johnsons were waiting outside when we got back. They told me to go to bed and screamed at Jimmy for half an hour. I think Jimmy got smacked. We snuck out again the next night, but we were on foot.

This was the trip of a lifetime, and I never will forget it.

Cruising the Backroads on Friday night

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Another Friday night out–
Vance, Tish, Karl, and myself parked out on Masser Road. We were drinking beers, and smoking some weed. I was driving my father’s red and black Ford LTD with a big 351 engine.
What happened that night we wouldn’t soon forget.

There is a bridge where Masser turns into Opossomtown Pike,
and a small hill before the bridge, which we hit going about 85 miles per hour.
We shot into the air and stayed in the air for about thirty feet.
We landed on the other side of the bridge in a patch of gravel. The car turned sideways, and we skidded for another twenty feet, and stopped maybe one inch from a large oak tree.
Dead silence reigned for about three seconds, then uproarious laughter erupted.

The next day, Dad wanted to know why his car smelt funny.
Tish had shit his pants in mid-air, and we had cleaned it up, but,
I sprayed the back seat with Right Guard deodorant, and it did smell funny.
That was all we talked about that week, and then it became a fond memory.

Cold Buffalo, Warm Heart

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I drove a forklift in a state-of-the-art warehouse for a major toy company.
One day, my coworker told me that I couldn’t get laid in a whorehouse.
This really struck a nerve– one time in Las Vegas a prostitute told me to go away; she had a headache.

My sex life has sucked. Now, at my age, my desires aren’t like they were.
My equipment still works but not like when I was sixteen.
The last woman I was with told me, “Get off! I can’t breath.”

When I was sixteen, I was like a dog in heat. Now I’m more like a cold buffalo.
I’m worried that I will meet the right lady, and she will turn out to be a nymphomaniac.
I do know this:
the next woman who tells me “Get off! I can’t breathe,”
I am going to politely suggest doggy-style.

Dieting Until the Miracle

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I am going to lose twenty pounds by Christmas using the WBM method.

WANT
I have to want it badly. I saw too many flimsy chairs collapse under me last summer. My pants split open twice revealing my underwear as less than 99.44% clean. My love handles look like camel humps, and I did not see my feet this month.
You have to want it bad, and I do.

BRAVERY
You are going to do battle not only with your own diabolical hungry thoughts, but with your family and friends, who will offer you cheesecake or chocolates as soon as they hear you’re on a diet. Being brave has been lacking in my life so far. It is time to be courageous and fight for a slimmer, sexy body, and then everything will be wonderful.

MIRACLE
Yes, it would take a miracle if over the next few weeks I lost twenty pounds. Sometimes miracles do happen. If I reach my goal by Christmas, I might go to church,
and, there is a Burger King right next to church.

Struggling with LB

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I told a joke at a party,
after which a young lady asked me if I had read the famous book,
Tiger’s Revenge, by Claude Balls.

I said, “No,” and then asked her if she had read,
Under the Bleachers, by Seymour Hiney.

We were having a grand time, and then I started thinking negatively.
I have not read a whole book for years. I have suffered for many years from LB.
In medical terms, it is referred to as Lazy Brain.

I really don’t like to use my brain, and rarely think about anything longer than ten seconds. I can dwell only on negative stuff. According to the internet, this may be responsible for my wrinkles, hemorrhoids and excessive gas.
I am trying to be more positive. I tell my friends that I can’t wait for tomorrow, because I get better looking every day.

Frozen and Forgotten

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I don’t like winter. One reason for my dislike of the cold, dark season is a strange thing that happened to me when I was a boy, about five.

In 1963, we had a monstrous snow, almost three feet. We had been cooped up inside for three days, and my mom said, “Get your snowsuit on. You’re going outside.”

My snowsuit consisted of two pairs of pants, two shirts, and, on top of that, my old snowsuit which zipped up the front, plus a hat with ear muffs and a wool scarf. Last year’s snowsuit was tighter than ever. When I walked, I was like a penguin, but I thought I could take the harsh weather.
My mom pushed me outside and said, “Go find the cat.”

I was sweating and walked about twenty steps, when I turned and looked back,
then fell on my back two feet into the snow. I quickly realized that I couldn’t move.
I was like a turtle on his back.

I was there about an hour, and I was cold. The wind had blown snow over me,
and I raised my hand above snow level and waved.
After about ninety minutes, I started yelling, “Help!”

This did attract the cat. I tried to get the cat to go get Mom.
I heard her voice: “Stephen, don’t lay in the snow. You’ll catch a cold.”
“Mom, help me. I can’t get up,” I pleaded.
She pulled me out of the snow, not knowing that she saved my life. I could’ve died there, the front door within sight, frozen and forgotten.

Maturity at the Dog Park

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My dog, Louie, was on his third bowel movement at the park. I suspected a woman was watching us, so I got behind Louie and blocked her view, giving Louie some privacy.
There was just a small fart noise and no dookie– a kind of misfire much like when I go.

“Aren’t you going to pick it up?”
This lady was yelling at me from one hundred feet away.

I kept walking towards my car, and she yelled again,
“Pick it up, you jerk! You ruin the park for the rest of us.”

When I was younger and I would get angry, I lost good jobs, insulted the wrong people, and got in all sorts of trouble. I looked at that lady and yelled, “Fuck you, you old hag, mind your own business.”

Somehow, I briefly felt younger. She said she was calling the police, and I yelled,
“I don’t care if you call Obama.”

I got in my car and was backing up, and she was walking towards the car writing down my tag number. It flashed through my mind to back the car up over her, maybe put the back tire over her head.
But, that sort of behavior is way behind me.
I am a wiser old man, so I drove forward and headed home.