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6:29 a.m. - 2004-06-07

CHECK IT OUT NOW ... THE FUNK SOUL BROTHER

I'm pretty excited.

Well ... I'm just pretty. I thought I'd throw the word "excited" in there so I wouldn't sound so self-centered.

Actually, I'm a little excited.

Why?

Why, you ask??

Because I have FINALLY learned the dreaded jive handshake.

You see ... I'm a big dumb white guy.

I can shake hands with the best of 'em.

Wanna seal a deal? PUT 'ER THERE, PARDNER!

(shakeshakeshake)

Bet me ten dollars you can tie your penis in a knot? LET'S SHAKE ON IT, TWISTA!

(shakeshakeshake)

Y'see?

I can DO that kind of handshake. The old fashioned clasping of the hands and moving said hands up and down in a symbolic gesture of trust ... I've got that one down pat.

But the whole slapping, thumb-clasping, finger-tickling and interlocking handshake?

I have always looked like a mentally challenged thumb-wrestler when it came time to exchange one of those. And the person who tried to initiate me in these types of handshakes always walked away shaking their head sadly while commenting about how white I was.

Leaving me standing there, confused and sad, cursing my inept eye-hand coordination.

So Friday night, I'm at the club and I watch this guy walk in and start shaking hands with his buddies at the bar.

He walked in.

They first did the thumb-locking move which then effortlessly slid into the four-finger lock before finally pulling hands away while snapping fingers.

Each buddy did it the same way.

This is all I needed to know.

This was the 2004 edition of the jive handshake.

Simple enough. I can handle this.

Fast forward to Saturday night and our (successful) block party.

My new neighbor Justin and his family are there. Justin's the guy I helped move late in the night last week.

Anyway, we see each other and I can tell we're about to do the jive handshake because he's warming up his thumb by spinning it around in a small circle.

Now was my moment to shine.

We extended hands.

We locked thumbs.

We EFFORTLESSLY slid into the finger locking move. This is where I would normally screw everything up and my hand would be doing bad impressions of Jerry Lewis from "The Bellboy".

We then separated hands and I added the funky "snap" of the fingers, which he didn't.

I tried to play the snap off as a nervous tic. I'm not sure if Justin bought it or not, but I also don't think he really gave it much thought.

He walked away to talk to others at the party while I stood there alone beaming with pride.

I had mastered the shake.

It was the day I became a man.

Or something.


The block party was a big success. Everyone had a great time and nobody seemed to be sour.

Except the block snot.

The Block Snot is the woman at the end of the street who is too good for the rest of us.

Her husband owns a pool company and apparently that makes her think that her sh-- don't stink but if she leaned a little bit closer she'd find that roses really smell like poo poo poo.

Every family on the street was invited. Two families were going to be out of town and let us know that.

The Block Snot never gave us a firm answer one way or another.

The night of the party, the Snot came out of her house twice. Once to check out the party while pretending to pull weeds out of her yard. The other time when I was playing the Electric Slide and the street was filled with housewives and children doing the Slide.

She came out and stood in her yard with her arms folded across her chest, watching us from afar. When the song ended, she went back inside.

As much as I'd like to give the woman the benefit of the doubt and say she's shy or anti-social or whatever, that's not the case.

She has a major party twice a month where cars line up and down the street.

Naturally, none of us neighbors have ever been invited to these parties because we're not as good as her.

Her husband is supposedly a really nice guy. I met him once at last year's Easter Egg Hunt and he seemed sociable enough while she stood there with her big assed sunglasses on, pretending that she wasn't surrounded by anything less than royalty.

So naturally, the Block Snot quickly became the topic of the street gossip at the block party.

I didn't take part as I was busy organizing the kids and their Karaoke requests.

But Susie says that the other housewives were ripping the Block Snot a new one.

They all unanimously decided that they wanted to do a block party at least twice a year...spring and fall.

And the Block Snot was no longer able to receive invitations to these parties.

Man oh man.

The Block Snot is going to learn quickly ... you don't snub the housewives on my street.

Sheesh.


I gotta say ... it's sad that Reagan died.

You can have all kinds of problems with the politics he played, but you can't argue with the fact that the guy turned out to be one of the most affable and enduring presidents we had in the 20th century.

There was a song by the Ramones called "Bonzo Goes To Bitburg" where the band just really tears into Reagan and his then-foreign policies.

I always found it ironic that Joey Ramone died before Reagan did.

Now they're in Heaven together.

And more than likely, Joey's beating the living shit out of Ronnie.

Well ... not "living" shit.

I do believe most of the "living" shit is still being cleaned off Ronnie's bedsheets.


And finally, a big round of congratulations go out to Jennifer Lopez and her husband of the year Marc Anthony.

I've got to wonder if Marc REALLY thinks this union is going to last.

Honestly, you couldn't pay me to be Mr. Jennifer Lopez.

Not that I'd ever even have to entertain the thought on a serious basis.

But you know ... if she asked me for my hand in marriage, I'd have to blush shyly and then run like hell in the opposite direction.

I truly think she's just trying to build a "Who's Who" of ex-husbands so that she can leave a romantic legacy like Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor when she turns into a mangy old hellcat.

Or at least mangier than she is now.

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