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09:19:19 - 2000-08-11

SAYING GOODBYE IS NEVER EASY UNLESS YOU ARE A STEWARDESS

Hey.

You.

You mind getting off my cloud??

Soooo...I get an email from my dear friend/book editor Wendi who informs me that the book I wrote last year will FINALLY be coming out on October 13th.

I'm sure I've probably mentioned "the book" here at least once...but for those of you who have just started reading the diary and balk at going over allll those old entries...

I wrote a book last year on 100 years of business in Alabama.

Quite possibly, the most boring book ever written.

There's NO Uncle Bobbage in the book. It's written totally serious and it's even in PARAGRAPH form instead of each sentence being its own paragraph.

So you KNOW I'm serious when I'm actually taking the time to construct paragraphs.

Anyway...it's a coffee table book and it's mainly for CEO's of companies and employees of the corporations I wrote about who will take one look at their business' profile and then toss the book into the garbage proclaiming it to be so boring that it could lull their families into a deadly sleep.

I was supposed to write half the book, and another guy was writing the other half.

I ended up MAYBE writing a quarter of it and dropping out. When I first signed the contract to write it, I had a lot of free time on my hands to do so.

Then things changed at work, I got promoted, and all of a sudden, my free time has been dwindled down to nothing.

Plus...I HATED writing it. As I've stated here before, I can write diary entries all day, because that's not considered WORK. But writing things that are REQUIRED of me or that I get paid for...man...hate it, hate it, hate it.

So ...anyway...I get to do a "book tour" which means I have to show up at functions and sign copies of the book.

...I'll believe it when I see it...

...The book tour, I mean...

***************************************

Today's my intern Allison's last day at work.

I'm gonna miss her. She's been a great help and a joy to have around the office.

I ain't gonna cry or nothin'. It ain't like when Roy Orbison died. I ain't gonna be THAT SAD.

But I do hate to see her go.

*************************************

On the other hand, today is ALSO the last day for Susie's best friend at work.

Now THAT will be sad.

They've been friends for years ... this is Julie...the one we helped "move" a few weeks ago...lemme clarify that right now...we helped her move her stuff into a STORAGE UNIT. Not actually "move".

We all went to dinner last night for her farewell party.

It was the same cast of characters from the story about helping Julie move showing up at the dinner.

I sat next to Paul.

The guy with the bum leg. Or hip. Or whatever it is that makes him waddle like a duck instead of actual walking.

I think I'm beginning to find out just what it is that bugs me about Paul.

The bastard just WON'T shut up.

It's a constant nervous chatter. He's the type that feels that there constantly has to be talking going on ... even if talking is ALREADY going on.

Last night, he brought a new camera he had bought to take pics of everyone on Julie's last night in town.

It had one of those LED screens where you could see the picture immediately after taking the photo.

We've ALL seen these cameras...right??

Well...Paul thinks he's the only one in the world with one.

I swear, EVERY PICTURE HE TOOK, we had to pass the damned camera around the table, so he could show off the LED screen.

"It's amazing," he said to nobody in particular. "You take a picture and BOOM! There it is."

Well duh, Paul. No shit. Cameras have been like that for the last ten years or so now. You're NOT Mr. Special.

"Look at the color," he instructed me as he handed me the camera. "Isn't that incredible?"

I wanted to ask if he was on acid. I wanted to say "They're fucking COLORS, Paul. You got a real bargain here...a COLOR camera. My God...this is so much more vibrant that say....oh.... black and white photos..."

But I just said "Yep" and passed the camera to Susie.

Then...as is customary when it's someone's last night in town and you're at their farewell party, our waitress had to take a photo of the whole group.

These are nice people. You have Robert, the most effeminate married man in the state, with his wife who looks like a tank with makeup on. You have Paul, hobbling around the restaurant like The Penguin from Batman. Paul's wife is the most normal of us all, me, Susie and Julie.

But...I'm not REALLY part of their little group. They all work together for the most part, with the exception of Paul who sits at home and takes pictures of his mangled tallywhacker and admires the colors. So I'm a little stiff when it comes to being around them all in social situations.

I'm an outsider.

A rebel.

Paul instructed the waitress for what SEEMED like five minutes, telling her how to do this and that with the camera.

This must be the one part of the job that waitresses despise. They were NOT hired as photographers, yet if they take a bad picture, they get a bad tip.

She snapped the photo and luckily for everyone, it came out good.

But that's not the end of it.

Paul FORCED this girl to stare at the LED screen and admire the colors in the screen.

"Look how blue his shirt is," he said, pointing at me in the little teeny weeny screen.

"Yes, that's really blue," she said, wishing she was anywhere but there.

He stood there, pointing and jabbing at the screen until she said the ONE THING that he wanted to hear.

"That's a nice camera," she said.

AHA!!!

WHY YES....YES IT ISSSS A NICE CAMERA!!!

Paul was so happy that he could have danced a jig, but his bum leg probably would have caused him to go crashing through a window or something so he just grinned like a little kid on Christmas morning.

Somebody FINALLY complimented his choice of cameras.

Well hallelujah, Paulie. Let the clouds part and the angels sing. You bought a nice camera.

Sheesh.

*****************************************

I surfed the Web last night, reading as much as I could about "Survivor".

The general consensus is ... Rudy will be the winner.

The pecking order will come down to Rudy and Richard. And...if they're judged by a group of their peers...Rudy's going to win hands down.

Rich got them fish. He also walked around naked and conspired to get each and every one of them thrown off the island.

Rudy stayed quiet and minded his own business. And thankfully, kept his shorts on.

You've got my vote, old codger.

*****************************************

QUESTION OF THE DAY

What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?

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