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8:55 a.m. - 2002-08-12

ANYBODY WANNA BEAT UP MY KID? THE LINE STARTS HERE

Your daily house report: Ain't no changes in the daily house report. Even though I needed to make a decision "right now" on whether I wanted another shower control put in my shower, obviously Tad the Builder didn't mean he was going to fix it "right now".

Apartment report: Apparently we have new people living in the apartment above us although I never saw anyone moving in. That was kinda strange. I haven't seen the people yet, but I know that they're loud. Very loud. They sound like they're holding auditions for "Soul Train" upstairs. You know...if "Soul Train" is still on the air. They were stomping around upstairs and playing music and doing the worm and all kindsa stuff up there. I wanted to take a broom handle and pound on the ceiling and yell, "You kids hold it down up there!!" But I didn't because I'm finally getting a grip on this thing we call "common sense".

We walked out of a restaurant Saturday night. We went to TGI Friday's here in town. The restaurant has been open a year now and Saturday night was the second time we've tried to eat there. The first time was back in December on a Sunday night around Christmas and NOBODY was in the place, yet we still weren't waited on. We weren't greeted, we weren't given any water, we weren't told "Somebody will be right with you" ... nothing.

So we left then.

Saturday night, we decided to chalk that first time up to ... uhhhh...ignorance and laziness on the staff's part. So we went back.

We got in, were seated, the place was doing business but they weren't slammed. There were more empty tables than occupied tables.

We looked over the menus, picked out what we wanted and waited for a waiter or waitress to come to our table.

And waited.

And waited.

I think what ticked Susie off the most was that three waiters were just standing by the kitchen doorway, laughing and playing. I tried to flag another waiter down, saying "Excuse me" and raising my hand like I was going to hit them had they been within striking distance.

The guy actually turned his head to avoid looking at me.

We were dressed nicely ... the whole nine yards. It's not like we look like we're going to stiff the people.

So after ten minutes of sitting there, waiting on someone to take our order or even acknowledge our presence we left.

Susie, having spent ten years in the restaurant business, got a bit snippy on the way out.

The hostess was seating another family as we were exiting.

"Have a nice night!" she said in her fakest TGI Friday's voice.

"We couldn't get waited on, so we're leaving," she said. "Good luck to you people," she said to the family being seated.

Ouch.

A girl held the door for us and hoped we'd have a nice night as well. These two gals were the same two morons that had greeted us ten minutes earlier. I guess, in their pea-sized brains, they thought we had been served, ate and left a healthy tip all in ten minutes.

Susie again reiterated that none of the wait staff could break themselves away from their shenanigans inside the doorway to the kitchen and that we were leaving. The girl said she was sorry and Susie said "It's okay, we just won't ever come back."

Double ouch.

I love my wife. She always takes the reins when it's time to be ugly in public so I can walk out with some dignity.


We went looking at furniture and home furnishings this weekend.

You know...that might "sound" like fun in the same way that sex with a grandmother may "sound" like fun when you're drunk and at the tail end of a four year dry spell.

But it wasn't.

I saw more beds this weekend than Madonna during her rise to the top.

We finally decided that we wanted a canopy bed. A nice bed with four posts and some metal thing connecting all the posts that looks like it double as a sailboat or something in case the house ever flooded.

Susie was all excited about the possibility of getting a canopy bed until I came to my senses and reminded her that we have a ceiling fan and the first time we turned the fan on with our bed in the room, it would send wood and metal parts flying around the room like a scene out of "Poltergeist".

Susie glumly accepted the fact that we live in the south and must have a ceiling fan in the bedroom and said goodbye to her canopy bed.

It was sad.

Not sad like having sex with a grandmother-sad.

But sad nevertheless.


Andrew got tackled for the first time in his 21 months yesterday.

And I'm here to report...he didn't like it.

At church, I try to love everyone. It's part of the gig...you come to church, you're supposed to get along with others.

There's one family there that I'm not particularly fond of. I don't hate them by any means. But they stick to themselves, never really associate with others, never really go out of their way to become vital members of the church family.

Plus, the matriarch of the family is this woman whose hair is always perfect, clothes always perfect and she never smiles. She just seems stern and bitchy. We've never really spoken. She works at JC Penney in the makeup department and apparently that is the hoity-toitiest job ever when you're a woman pushing 60.

She has a grown daughter who's married and has a daughter who's a little younger than Andrew who attends church with them. I've tried to be friendly with the younger husband and wife but they've never taken the time to address me by name, even when I have a freakin' nametag on and they don't and I STILL address them by name.

"Hi Tracy, Hi John," I said yesterday as they walked in.

"Hi," they said, barely cracking a smile.

"Oh ... by the way guys...here's a fork. Eat my ass," I wanted to say, but didn't.

So anyway, after church we always have cookies and coffee for everyone. It's clearly Andrew's favorite part of church because he doesn't get many cookies outside church.

Oh.

Yesterday, Ms. JC Penney brought her grandson Zach with them.

I'm not gonna bust on the kid, but there's something wrong with Zach. He's about 2 and a half and kinda has a mild form of Downs Syndrome or something. He's had trouble learning how to walk, still doesn't talk and is really rambunctious. He's got the facial features of a Downs Syndrome kid...but doesn't look like it's full blown Downs.

Okay.

So anyway, Andrew's mingling with the church crowd, eating his cookie and seeing who all's at church.

At one point, I'm talking to a small group of people and I see Andrew standing by himself, scanning the crowd for me.

I say "Andrew...Daddy's over here."

Andrew smiles, glad that he's found Daddy and starts toddling my way.

OUT OF FREAKIN' NOWHERE....Zach comes running full steam at Andrew from behind.

I watch it all happen like it's in slow motion.

Zach clips Andrew from behind, wraps his arms around Andrew's waist, and together they hit the floor with Andrew on the bottom and Zach landing on top of him.

Andrew was NOT happy.

I've got a pretty low-key kid. He's laid back compared to most kids, has never hit anybody or anything and would probably vote Libertarian if the law allowed toddlers to vote.

Andrew WAILS.

And I mean...WAILS.

Ms. JC Penney saw the whole thing. Hell...she probably encouraged it because I think she might be evil.

I rush over to Andrew, who's laying on the floor in front of everyone with this kid on top of him, crushing him. Ms. JC Penney picks up Zach, I pick up Andrew, telling him that he's okay, when clearly...he's not.

Ms. JC Penney says "Sorry".

I guess she meant it as some sort of apology, but she said it like "Sorry...that your son's such a blubbering pussy."

I got in my Karate Kid stance, ready to tear some JC Penney heads off ... but remembered I was in church and you're supposed to be nice to each other and not karate chop grandmothers in the throat.

Andrew couldn't stop crying and I think he was probably crying because he was embarrassed and not because of the concussion that he just suffered at the hands of Zach.

So since he couldn't quit crying, we got to leave, which was nice because Susie will find any excuse to be the last person to leave every Sunday morning. Last week, we literally locked the doors of the church when we left.

Andrew quit crying once we left.

And got him away from Zach.

The two and a half year-old bullying grandson of Ms. JC Penney.


Reverend Brian and his family came over last night to go swimming.

They just got back from Louisville, Kentucky where they bought a house and will be moving one month from today.

We're trying to spend as much time with them as we and they can. But they're being pulled in lots of different directions this last month with all of the church family trying to get a little bit of their time.

But they told us last night that they'd miss us most of all.

Kinda like when Dorothy tells the Scarecrow that she'll miss him most of all before she gets on that balloon and gets the hell out of Oz.

Okay...they didn't REALLY tell us that.

But it was understood. It's how you'll never hear one guy tell another guy "You know...you're my best friend in the whole wide world."

Guys hate picking best friends as adults. I mean ... sure...we may tell our wives "Well...so-and-so is my best friend."

But you won't hear us telling our friend that.

We're weird that way.

Either that or no guy considers me his best friend. Because I've never heard it from anyone else.

Anyway, we stayed in the pool for a while and then came back to the apartment and hung out. They were both excited that they had not only sold their house here, but bought a new home in Kentucky, all in five days.

So excited that they borrowed my DVDs of "Mullholland Drive" and "Scary Movie".

Two movies I couldn't exactly recommend but they were the only two movies of mine they hadn't seen yet.

They left and I watched "The Anna Nicole Show".

Yeah.

Man...that really sucked last night.

But it's still like a train wreck. You can't take your eyes off it no matter how much it hurts to watch.

My favorite sleazy and uncomfortable moment is when Anna Nicole treated her assistant like she was a 50 cent riding mechanical horse outside of Walmart.

She admitted she'd drop a coin down the front of her assistant's shirt and the assistant would bounce Anna Nicole up and down on her lap.

That assistant is in hog heaven when this is done. You can see it in her face. That little psycho dyke has the hots for Anna so badly, she's willing to come across as a complete idiot on national television in order to express her unrequited love for the woman.

Meanwhile, Anna Nicole is oblivious to this as she is to anything that doesn't spell itself out in black and white for her.

Anna Nicole says "I think Kim likes it when I make her bounce me on her lap."

Well duh.

Other than the fact that bouncing her 200+ pound frame is wreaking havoc on her weakened knees, this is the biggest thrill in young Kim's life.

The assistant idolizes her.

She's got a tattoo of A.N. that takes up her entire shoulder.

Next week she gets her tongue pierced as a show of love for A.N. who seems to goad the woman into some bizarre situations for her own drug-addled amusement.

It's uncomfortable to watch because I keep expecting the camera to pause on Kim long enough to see the wanton lust in her eyes as she stares at her Amazon queen.

Alas, the camera never really stays on Kim very long because she's not the most pleasant-looking human to grace a TV screen. Anna Nicole is a princess compared to her frumpy assistant. It's sorta like if Miss Jane Hathaway from "The Beverly Hillbillies" dyed her hair purple and spiked it, gained a few pounds and started wearing Slayer shirts with a tattoo of Mr. Drysdale on her shoulder.

Oh!

And then that nasty part last night where for no really good reason, the camera spent an inordinate amount of time focused on Anna Nicole's new belly piercing.

That was....ummmm....gross.

This woman was a Playboy model at one time. I would have drank pig urine out of that belly button ten years ago.

Now...I was squirming, having to look at her pale bloated belly whose only color came from the red marks that were made from the too-tight waistband of her shorts cutting into her flesh. And since she was sitting semi-cross-legged, there were too many crotch shots for me.

Yes, I just said that. "Too many crotch shots for me."

That's the first and only time you'll ever see me admit that about a former Playboy model.

Anyway...the show sucked this week.

But I can almost guarantee you ... I'll be watching again next week.

Because I just can't pull myself away from it.

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