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5:40 a.m. - 2003-08-27

TEN HUT BUT YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO FORWARD MARCH

You know ... I love what the people in the military do for this country and back them 110%.

But man ... do these people have rules for EVERYTHING or what??

The obligatory case in point: We've got this huge Air Force conference in town this week that attracts thousands of military people both active and retired to town.

Yesterday, me and the boss had to go to a conference and then a ribbon cutting.

We get there and are IMMEDIATELY asked where our badges are.

We don't have any badges. I came THISCLOSE to saying "Badges? We don't need no steenking badges!"

But this is the military we're talking about. If I say something like that, four guys will pounce on me, wrestle me to the ground and I'll be in a Russian Gulag before I can say "Can't I call a lawyer?"

So we're led from one person to the next in order to get badges.

I halfway expected a strip search by the time they were done interrogating us.

Alright...truthfully ... I was secretly dying for a strip search.

We finally get some temporary badges after they were thoroughly convinced we weren't Al Qaida terrorists and that the bulge around my waist wasn't dynamite, but the remnants of several thousand Heinekens.

We get inside the conference which was an absolute snorefest. Even for the military guys, they were about to pass out from boredom.

We then go to a ribbon cutting which officially opens the shindig.

I made the mistake of asking one guy what time the ribbon cutting was schedule for.

"Oh ten hundred fifty hours," he replied.

No fucker. I need that in English, please.

So I'm standing there, trying to work it out on my fingers what time the damned thing began and getting as frustrated as a mute trying to sing opera when I see Wendigo.

I decide to saunter over to her and make chit-chat.

And...well...you can read her site to see how well THAT went over.

After the ribbon cutting, I'm looking around for Wendigo who has taken off like a shot out the side door. I follow her because I think she's fairly intelligent and knows a secret way out of here.

I get stopped by three young military guys. I've got yogurt older than these guys.

"Sir, may I ask what you're doing?" one says.

"I work across the street," I say. "I need to get back to work."

"Where do you work, sir?" another asks.

I tell him and mention the organization I work for. It shouldn't have him shaking in his boots, but he should recognize the organization, realize just who he's messing with and back the fizzuck off.

He doesn't.

"Did someone tell you that you could leave through these doors?" he asks, gesturing toward the glass doors to our side.

I really, REALLY wanted to say "Cut the crap, Junior. I'm old enough to be your dad. I work in that fucking building right there, I'm a very busy man and don't have time to play 'Let's Interrogate The Fat Guy' with you. With one fist to your testicles I can bring you writhing to your knees in front of thousands of people. Now ... before you get your pimply ass handed to you like it was a pink slip from McDonald's, step aside and let me pass, Private Dicklicker."

Instead, I said "No".

The three Harry Potter with a crew cut lookalikes convened and held a brief discussion, wondering if they should let me pass.

Christ on a stick.

Finally, the leader decided it was okay to let me go out the door and get back to work.

Because I'm a cordial motherfucker, I thanked them for their kindness.

But they're lucky.

Reeeeeeeal lucky I didn't get all Jackie Chan on their asses.


Went to pick Andrew up from daycare last night and his teacher was gushing.

No...not blood. Praises.

"Did you know Andrew could read?" she said excitedly.

"Yeah," I said. "It's pretty wild."

"I mean...he just started looking around the room and reading everything on the walls!" she babbles.

"Wow," I said. "Go Andrew."

"He spelled out everything on the walls!" she reiterated. "He spelled out all the other children's names and knows every letter!"

"Yeah," I said. "He can read several words."

Now, she hadn't seen him actually read and say words. All she had seen was him looking at the name "Taylor" and saying "T-A-Y-L-O-R" and that had impressed her.

So I grabbed a pen and paper and wrote down several words and handed the paper to Andrew.

Andrew sat there, looked at the paper and said "Blue dog. Red bird. Green bug. Yellow duck" and just kept reading what I had written.

Granted, he can read about 12-15 words.

But it's impressive coming from a two year-old.

And truthfully...the only words he can read are colors and animals. Beyond that, the kid is clueless.

Oh, he knows the words Mom, Dad and Andrew.

But the teacher went and grabbed another teacher from another classroom and made her come watch Andrew read.

The teacher was positively giddy.

"I'm going to take special care of my Andrew," she beamed. "Because someday he's going to be a rich genius and maybe he'll remember me."

Doubtful, Sweetie.

The kid can't remember not to eat his boogers. I doubt he'll remember you in 30 years.

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