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6:02 a.m. - 2002-01-18

DAVE THOMAS CROAKS AND THE WHOLE PLACE GOES TO SHIT

Before I babble on and on about nothing in particular, let me clarify something.

The rant I threw on Gawain during yesterday's entry was a rarity. Please don't think "Oh...this is how I'll get Uncle Bob's attention ... I'll get into a pissing contest with him!"

It won't work. While I used to get bent out of shape when people wrote nasty things about me, I've pretty much reserved myself to the fact that these people are basing their opinions on the words I write and not the person I am. And my words sometimes generate conflict with people.

As far as I know... Gawain and I are not having a pissing contest. He knows I'm right and he's wrong and now he's sulking in some underground sewer, plotting his diabolical revenge against me. His unholy war.

...And he's using his 15 year-old Quake buds to help him plan it out.

(Heh. Sorry. Couldn't resist)

So save your energy. Yesterday's entry was a joke. I can't explain Gawain's words other than it looks like he's been cut off in the bedroom if you get my drift and you probably do.


So anyway ... last night I pop on into church because there was a New Deacon's meeting where they teach us how to be a Deacon of the church. They gave us a series of rules we need to abide by as Deacons.

Rule #1: Try to refrain from saying "Here's a fuckin' cracker and some grape juice ... chow down" when serving communion to the old people.

Rule #2: Try to refrain from calling Jesus Christ "the Hulk Hogan of his time".

Rule #3: Don't interupt the new Deacon's meeting with the phrase "Can we move this along? I've got a porn tape that I have to watch and return by midnight."

Everything went pretty good. We've got 30 new deacons in the church now.

At the end of the meeting, the lady holding it said "We now have to pick a chairman for the Deacons".

A guy nominated me and grinned.

I backpedaled quicker than somebody quickly backpedaling.

"No! Not me! I'm uhhhh...travelling a lot this year and I'm also on the Evangelism Board and I'm a Deacon and I just don't have time to be the chairman. Nope! Not me! I can't do it!"

...So I'm VICE Chairman.

Gee thanks, guys.

The guy that nominated me said he'd be Chairman if I'd be his vice chairman.

I like the guy. He owns a construction company in town and has more money than sense. He's always telling me how thin I'm getting and I always respond with "Shut the hell up, Dave" which cracks him up for some reason.

I guess because I tried to persuade him to diet with me when I first started dieting. And even though I've lost 22 lbs., I've hit the plateau from hell now and have been at this same weight for five weeks. So he's trying to prove to me that my diet's not working and I just need to eat like a pig like he does.

...the evil fat bastard.

Anyway, if we're working together, that should be cool. Two hell-raisers for Deacons.

Yep.

We make our church proud alright.


After the meeting I called Susie on my super special spy phone and asked if she wanted me to bring her some dinner home.

She did, but said it was my choice as to where I got it.

So I picked Wendy's. Only because she loves Wendy's. I've always had a problem paying two bucks for a regular fast food hamburger.

$1.29? Not a problem.

$2.29? Problem.

I go inside rather than go through the drive thru, because I have a somewhat complicated order that I have to use my hands to describe so that the uneducated orangutans behind the counter can grasp what I'm trying to say.

Here's my order:

A single with cheese, but no pickle or onion.

A grilled chicken sandwich.

An order of Big-Assed fries.

That's it.

As you may know, I hate cheese. Can't stand the shit.

Well, my wife hates pickles and onions worse than I hate cheese. If I bring a burger home that even LOOKS like it was near a pickle or onion, she'll throw it out without even opening it up.

So I go inside and wait patiently for Sheri and Wanda to quit joking around and take my order.

"Can I take your order," Wanda says.

I pulled my hands out of my pocket and prepared for my naked puppet show.

"I need a grilled chicken sandwich," I said.

"Sheri!" Wanda yelled. "How do I ring up a grilled chicken sandwich?"

"Push the grilled chicken sandwich button," Sheri yelled back.

At this point, it was painfully obvious that Wanda struggled not only with the alphabet but photos of sandwiches. She could not find the grilled chicken sandwich button. She took a simple job of pushing buttons on a cash register and turned it into brain surgery.

Sheri finally had to come over and push the button for her. As we say in the South "If the button had been a snake, it woulda bit her."

I never understood what that meant until last night. The button was right in front of her face.

"Is that all?" she asked, ringing up my total.

"NO!!" I blurted out, temporarily losing my composure. "I also need a single with cheese..."

(This is where I began using my hands, because Wendy's employees aren't all that bright where I come from. I've been in the restaurant before and seen kids from the Special Olympics cackling and giggling over how stupid the employees are there)

"....But I don't want pickles or onions on that burger," I said as I held an imaginary burger, removed the imaginary top bun, picked off two imaginary pickles and an imaginary onion slice, threw all the imaginary ingredients on the floor and stomped them into the tile.

The girl looked at me like I had just asked to sniff her ass like a dog.

"Excuse me?" she said.

*sigh*

"I want a single with cheese but I don't want pickles or onions on it," I repeated as I held my imaginary burger, removed the imaginary top bun and picked off two imaginary pickles and the imaginary onion slice which was starting to get slimy.

"Okay," she said, stalling for time and staring at her cash register. "Sheri! How do I ring up a single with cheese?"

Sheri was as frustrated as I was with her. But she came over there and showed her the key with the single with cheese on it, whereas I would have smacked that girl so hard in the back of her head I woulda dislocated her jaw.

I came THISF'NCLOSE to saying "I guess it pays to hire people who can read, huh Sheri?" with a grin on my face.

But I didn't.

Then, after she pushed the key, she had no idea how to order the burger with no pickle or onion.

I wanted to say if they'd just let me come back there and make the goddamned thing myself I could get out of their hair a whole lot quicker and they could go back to cutting up and talking about the fathers of their babies.

But I didn't.

Sheri came over, showed her how to order a single with cheese without pickle or onion and then complimented her with "Girl, you so stupid!"

Wanda laughed like a horse being checked for a hernia and said "UH-UHHHH!!! You's stupider than me!"

They laughed and slapped each other on the forearms in a lethargic catfight for what seemed a fucking eternity while I waited to place the rest of my order.

"That'll be $6.15," Wanda said.

"I wasn't finished with my order," I said through clenched teeth.

"Oh!" Wanda said, slowly realizing the pitfalls of dropping out of school at the age of 13 to have babies. "What else you want?"

"Some big assed fries," I said.

"That's $7.25," she said.

I handed her a $10.

Once again...Brain Surgery 101.

"Sheri," she hollered. "How you open the cash register?"

Sheri came over and showed her how to ring me up. Then they laughed like hiccupping hyenas for another five minutes and slapped each other on the forearms some more before Sheri walked away to make my order. Meanwhile, Wanda was displaying her true area of expertise which was taking the hot fries out of the oil, putting them under the heat lamp and salting them without giving herself third degree burns.

Sheri tossed the sandwiches in a bag while Wanda gingerly put the big assed fries on top of them.

"Those are fresh fries," she said, rather proudly. Like I was going to turn around and kiss her on both cheeks like a gay Frenchman at a fashion show and praise her with a song.

"Thanks," I mumbled, then noted "I saw you take them out of the fryer."

I walked out of the place before I found myself leaping over the counter and forcing Wanda's head into the deep fryer with my knee.

Dave Thomas croaks and the whole place goes to shit.


I had an interview with a guy today that really pissed me off.

Apparently, the guy's had a stroke of some sort. I'm not belittling the guy because he's had a stroke, but his speech was severely impaired. He sounded like Kirk Douglas on 'ludes.

ME: "Can you tell me about the relationship your company has with the community?"

HIM: "Nnnnnghhhhhaaaaaaah nnnnnnnnggggggghaaaaaaa."

ME: "I'm sorry, could you repeat that?"

HIM: "Nnnnnghhhhhaaaaaaah nnnnnnnnggggggghaaaaaaa."

ME: "You've recently had a stroke, haven't you?"

HIM: "Nnnnnghhhhhaaaaaaah nnnnnnnnggggggghaaaaaaa."

ME: "Is there someone else there that I can talk to who might be in a better position to communicate over the phone?"

HIM: "Nnnnnghhhhhaaaaaaah nnnnnnnnggggggghaaaaaaa."

ME: "Fine. What does the future hold for your company?"

HIM: "Nnnnnghhhhhaaaaaaah nnnnnnnnggggggghaaaaaaa."

ME: (scribbling notes) "Nnnnnghhhhhaaaaaaah nnnnnnnnggggggghaaaaaaa. Uh-huh. Got it. Thanks for your time, Stroker Ace."

Here's a good general rule of thumb. If someone close to you has a stroke, don't allow them to think that they're perfectly able to communicate over the phone. Because they're not. Common house plants are easier to understand then a stroke victim over the phone.

This has been a public service announcement from my pissed-off ass.


I was doing my mall walking today and was passing by the Waldenbooks store in the mall and displayed in the front window was my first book that I helped write. I've walked past that window a hundred times in the last few months and never noticed it before.

I felt so important. I wanted to walk in there, open the book up, point to my picture on the back jacket and say "Does this guy look familiar to you?"

Of course, they'd say no because the picture was taken about five years and forty pounds ago. I'd probably have to pull out my driver's license and a few credit cards to prove who I was.

But eventually they'd recognize me, I bet.

And then firmly ask me to leave their store and stop scaring their customers.


I may have passed up a really cool deal today.

I'm going to Oregon in about ten days and conducting a series of interviews...right?

So today I'm talking to one of the people I'll be interviewing. It's a winery on the side of a mountain there. It's surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards and winos.

...And the guy offered me the opportunity to stay in the winery's guesthouse for the evening to "get a better feel for the whole experience".

Apparently, he says there's nothing quite so beautiful as staying in their guesthouse and watching the sun go down and come back up.

I told him no.

Hey, I've already got a hotel room and I didn't feel like lugging a suitcase along up there, enjoying myself, then having to get up real early, go back to town, move back in the hotel room and then go meet my appointments with a massive wine hangover.

He said it's open if I decide to change my mind.

And I still might.

We'll see. Evil Boss Wendigo thinks I'm a fool for turning it down. But she likes wine, whereas I never have been a wine drinker.

I just wanna avoid the hassle of changing rooms for a night. Plus, I just want to do my job and be done with it...not be hanging around with these people for 12 hours or so while they talk about a winery all night long and expect me to take notes while they babble.

Speaking of babbling...I need to get to work.

Sheesh. What do you think I do? Write diary entries all day??

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