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6:47 a.m. - 2002-03-03

I AM THE TELEVISED KING OF WHITE TRASH!

I've had an interesting couple of days lately that will most certainly not translate as interestingly as they actually were.

Friday night went smoother than I thought it would, as far as scheduling several activities into a few scant hours. I picked up Andrew and we headed to our local coliseum for the white trash spectacular event...the Junior League Rummage Sale.

We got there 20 minutes early, because that's what white trash do ... they get there early, stand outside the doors and when the doors are opened, they all run in their like overweight track stars, knocking over small children in order to buy the best stuff there.

So anyway, the doors are finally opened which was good, because I was sick and tired of standing in the cold air and being forced to have a conversation with the chain smoking hillbilly mother and daughter combo behind me in line.

MOTHER: "Wha' choo lookin' for in yonder?"

ME: "I'm just here to meet my wife."

DAUGHTER: (hopefully)"You ain't married??"

ME: "No...I'm married. I'm just supposed to meet my wife here and help her find stuff."

DAUGHTER: "Ah. I thought choo was sayin' that you ain't married and you came heree to find a wife and mother for that there handsome lil' baby boy."

(Andrew stares at her in fear, because he's never seen a woman missing all her front teeth)

ME: "No. I already have a wife. I'm just meeting her here."

MOTHER: "Ah thought choo was sayin' you din't have a wahf too."

ME: "Nope. That's not the case."

DAUGHTER: "Ah. So...wha' choo lookin' for in yonder?"

Anyway, we get inside, find the wife at the baby clothes section and she instructs us to go to the toy section IMMEDIATELY and see if there's any big outdoor toys for Andrew. That hard plastic "Lil' Tykes" stuff...slides...clubhouses, stuff like that.

So Andrew and I mosey over to the toys section where Armageddon has just broken out.

Two trashy ladies are fighting over a wagon. They have already grabbed up EVERY piece of hard plastic Lil' Tykes stuff for outdoors and taken them in their respective piles to examine them and determine which ones they're actually going to buy. They put them in their piles so if anyone comes over and starts to touch the slides, they can yell "THAT'S MINE!!" and scare the living shit out of the people, even though they haven't officially paid for it yet.

Apparently, two of the women had grabbed the same wagon at the same time. And there was a hellacious squabble going on over it. It got so ugly that a Junior League woman had to come over and pull a Judge Judy on them,trying to determine which one actually got it first.

I watched with mild amusement for a minute and then just moseyed around the toy section a little more.

...And found a wagon EXACTLY like these two women were fighting over. It was shoved under a table with its handle poking out.

Obviously, if two women were going to be fighting over a wagon, it must be a pretty decent wagon.

So I snatched it up and began walking over towards the women who were still arguing over the wagon that neither one would probably end up buying anyway, since they had entire playgrounds in their respective piles.

I sashayed past them, holding the wagon and pretending to be looking for other things, acting like I was oblivious to what they were arguing about.

Their argument momentarily stopped as they watched me walk by with an exact replica of what they thought was the only wagon of its kind in the building. I paid the three bucks for it and took it outside and put it in the van.

...Andrew doesn't like the wagon. But it takes him about a month to warm up to new toys, so eventually I'm sure he'll like it.

But for now, it just serves as a smarmy monument to defeating annoying white trash at their own game.

While walking around the Coliseum in a lazy daze, I saw a TV camera coming my way with the local female news anchor in tow.

I looked the other way. That's what white trash does at the Junior League Rummage Sale. Nobody has time to talk to the TV cameras...we're here for BARGAINS!!!

Although technically I wasn't there for bargains. I was there to babysit the kid while Mama did her white trash impression.

The news anchor stopped me.

"Sir, do you mind if we ask you a quick couple of questions for television," she asked, looking much more haggard in person than she does on television. On television she looks happy. Here she looked...desperate.

I actually had to think about it. Me, the original publicity hound, had to think "Gee...do I REALLY wanna be on TV and admit that I'm doing the white trash thang on a Friday night?"

...Of course...my train of thought only lasted 0.2 seconds.

"Do you NEED me?" I asked.

"Yes sir," she sighed. "Nobody wants to talk because they're too busy looking at things."

I felt for the girl. I remembered back to when I co-hosted a few local TV shows and how tough it was to get people to talk on camera at these things. It was like pulling teeth.

"Okay," I said.

"Roll tape!" the girl snapped at the cameraman before I changed my mind.

She asked me about the bargains I had found. I hadn't really found any ... except for the wagon. And that wasn't really a bargain as much as it was a smug victory.

"Well, I found this AWESOME wagon," I gushed. Then I made up some stuff that I had a feeling she was looking for. "And I've got my eye on some GREAT home furnishing and appliances, as well as a brand new suit!"

She then asked about the crowds there. I said that if people didn't mind getting beat up for bargains, it was okay. But so far, it had been "a trip", which is aging hippie speak for "a wild time".

She thanked me and told me I'd be on the news tonight.

I walked away, found Susie, forced her to hurry up and get done because I was starving, Andrew was cranky and all our friends had probably left the church by now.

She hurried. We left. Got to the church. All our friends had left and went out to eat.

No biggie. Dropped the kid off, went to my favorite steak place, went back and picked the kid up, went home and watched me on the news.

...They cut out my Wagon line. Dammit all to hell. I was really hoping to ruffle some white trash feathers with that.

But they left me saying that you'd get beat up for bargains, which was okay because that was a thinly veiled remark about the type of people who come to these things.


Saturday, Susie went to work all damned day on her day off to "clean her office up". Which meant one of two things ... she wanted to avoid cleaning our house or she was really a crack whore of epidemic proportions.

So I stayed home with Andrew and cleaned house.

My old pot-smoking buddy Scott called about 10 a.m. He wanted to know if we could get together since he had driven all the way from Indiana to "see me" (i.e. see if I was back to smoking pot yet).

So he came over and it became apparent that I was still not smoking pot and that I had stayed true to my word about quitting smoking once the baby was born.

But we actually had a good time sitting around and chatting while Andrew napped on the floor.

He told me about how trashy his in-laws are and I regaled him with recent tales of my in-laws including the Pepe saga and the fact that my asshole brother in law has owed us six grand for two years.

His in-laws are just as bad. His wife's mother and father are separated as the mother was the one having a mid-life crisis. She started sleeping around their small Indiana town, finally ending up with an alcoholic 15 years younger than she is. They shacked up for a while until he told her he didn't want to be "so serious" so he kicked her out. She moved in with her son (Scott's brother-in-law) who finally kicked her out because he was tired of the place smelling like a brewery and looking like a whorehouse. Apparently she's really been hitting the sauce hard and bringing strange men home to her son's house to have sex with them in every room she can disgrace with her naked sexness.

Kinda made me realize how lucky I was. At least my mother in law's not a whore.

He also told me a story about pulling out in front of a speeding semi-truck and totalling his Blazer, setting the thing on fire and taking a nasty gash on the head.

He had his wife and daughter in the car, making this TWICE that he has totalled two vehicles with them in the car.

His daughter just turned six. I told him it's amazing she'll even GET in a car with him driving anymore.

And yet...he STILL wants to see the rest of the country that he hasn't seen on past three-month-long "vacations" where he forces his wife to quit her job and sell all their possessions because he's frustrated that he's not a real writer and they go see America, dragging their kid with them so that she can't establish any roots and make friends because he doesn't have any friends...so why should she?? All they need are each other.

Yeah pal. That's great. Until she hits 16 and wants to date someone other than her dad.

Anyway, we then hooked up with our mutual friend Craig and went to lunch. Luckily, Andrew was cranky and fussy and neither of the guys wanted to hang out with him, so they let Andrew and I go home and "nap", while they went to see a movie.

Andrew was perfect once we got back in the car alone. I think he knows when I need his crankiness and when I don't.

And I needed it to get away from these guys. He's a good kid.

We all then went out last night to a Japanese Steak House where the chefs cook the food at your table and put on a show with it, spinning eggs on their noses and setting various things on fire in front of your face.

Wheeeee! My eyebrows have been scorched off!! Way to go, Hop Sing!!

It was great food though. Very good. The chef screwed up almost every order but mine, so no complaints from me.

They all then came over here afterwards and we sat and cut each other down, because that's what us three guys always did when we were good buddies back in the 80s. Craig (the lawyer) said that Susie and I desperately needed to get a will to protect Andrew. I said we would but I would need to find a "real" lawyer and not a "Fisher Price" lawyer like Craig. He then said the books I've written are "snorefests" and the only reason people buy them are for the pictures. Well, duh. That wasn't a cutdown ... I already knew that.

Scott stayed amazingly quiet because he's a wannabe writer, working a job selling batteries in a battery store and surrounded by "special" people who couldn't get jobs in a real world that expected them to have memories that didn't include the letters "A", "AA", "AAA", "C" and "D".

(Battery letters. Get with the program, reader)

Scott then announced that rather than staying until Monday like he previously was planning on, he was now going to leave today.

Susie thought that was strange and asked me afterwards why he would go back a day early.

I snickered.

"Because I don't smoke pot anymore," I said. "Think about it."

It's gotta suck, driving 16 hours round trip, hoping against hope that you'll be able to participate in some illegal drug activity halfway through the trip.

Sorry pal.

Maybe next time you'll believe me when I say I don't smoke anymore.


I think this entry has gone on long enough. I've got breakfast to cook and church meetings to attend.

Peace out, my brothers and sisters.

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