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5:27 a.m. - 2002-04-30




There were little things of substance that were important to me that would positively bore your pants off (not that that's a BAD thing...), so I don't think I'll regale you with those tidbits.

I do want to publicly THANK everyone who has taken advantage of the new "Notes" thing that Andrew has come up with for Diaryland. Yes, I finally jumped on that bandwagon with a banjo on my knee and am now a proud "Notes" guy.

Please though...whatever you NOT confuse NOTES with MESSAGES. Oh ... heaven forbid you confuse the two. For those of you who may be confused ... listen up:

Notes are for people who want to leave notes. Messages are for people who want to leave messages.

I hope this clears up any sort of confusion that you may have had.

One thing...people think I've beaten my diabetes since I no longer talk about it.

I have not beaten diabetes. You don't "beat" diabetes. Diabetes beats you.

Sure, I could spank my own ass severely and technically, I guess that could be considered beating diabetes. But in the end, I still have diabetes and would have a particularly raw ass to boot.

I haven't lost any weight since December. However, I haven't gained any either.

My breakfasts are still healthy.

My lunches are healthy 80% of the time.

My dinners have gotten ummmmm...carefree. I eat what I want in moderation and try to stay away from fried things.

I will say one thing...if you're diabetic or have an aversion to sugar or something and have a Walmart Supercenter in your town...get these Blue Bunny "No Sugar Added" Vanilla Ice Cream Sundaes.

My God. Even if you can eat sugar by the fistful...get you some of these sinful treats.

They are so damned good they make me wanna slap my mama's mama.

I still have all my appendages, my heart and most of my eyesight. I say "most" because every now and then I plow into a wall for no reason at all. I'm beginning to think I'm some sort of sadist. Probably the sort that walks into walls for no reason and doesn't particularly enjoy it either. I guess that would be a "wimpy" sadist.

So...since I have nothing to write about, I'm going to tell you guys about the last actual vacation that I ever took. I'm not big on vacations, if I have several days off in a row, I'd rather spend it at home than on the road to a strange town where people are going to laugh at me and call me Hector for no good reason other than I look like a Hector.

As you might imagine...this is an old "professional humor column" of mine (i.e. no cursing). This semi-documents our vacation at a bed and breakfast on the beach.

If you ever take the time to look up the word "relax" in the dictionary, then chances are you're probably a foreigner to this country and I'd like to wish you a big "Welcome to America!" with a firm and hearty handshake. But to those of you who already recognize the meaning of the word "relax" as "to slacken", then you shouldn't have too much trouble comprehending today's column. And by the way ... when did all these foreigners sneak in here?

For the last five months, I have been positively giddy (as opposed to being "negatively giddy") over the fact that the Mrs and I were going on our first real vacation in seven years. We had decided to go to a bed and breakfast on the beach. I am not at liberty to mention the bed and breakfast by name as lawsuits may still be pending. For amusement purposes, let's just refer to it as The Really Big Dump On The Beach, owned and operated by Walter and Wanda Whitman, formerly from Saginaw,Michigan. And trust me, I now know the complete and utter history of Saginaw, Michigan, population "in the couple of dozen thousand by now, ain't it Judy?"

Yet, in the days leading up to this vacation, just thinking about such a location would cause me to nod off like a narcoleptic baby. Yes, I was going to lay in the sun all day and pat moisturizer on my bubbling skin with cotton balls all night. Make no mistake about it. This was going the be the vacation to end all vacations. Arriving at our horrifying abode, our hostess Wanda greeted us with the keys to our room and a shotgun used to "shoot them danged pelicans". As the conversation found its way toward the topic of breakfast (after running the "bed" angle of the chit-chat into the ground), I informed Wanda that I didn't eat cheese and to plan her menus accordingly.

Wanda looked as if I'd just asked to rummage through her purse and keep what I wanted. I honestly thought I had ruined her entire week. I could tell that she was mentally cooking the entire menu without cheese when I added, "Just cook everything the same and leave the cheese off of mine." This seemed to ease her mind slightly, but she still had a look as if to say "How can you eat without eating cheese?" She then answered her own question by admitting that she and her husband were vegetarians.

I honestly thought we would come to fisticuffs right then and there. How anyone can live on this planet we call earth (and sometimes "the world" depending on what kind of mood we're in) and not eat meat? More importantly, I was mentally kissing that big steaming plate of bacon and sausage I had envisioned waiting for me each morning of our stay goodbye. As you know, a breakfast without pork is basically a snack in my book.

But I had more important things to worry about. Like how quickly I could get my pale flabby carcass to the beach.

Roughly five minutes later, I was on the beach, soaking up the rays and smelling the salt in the air. Not another person in sight.

But there were several thousand flies swarming around and searching for human skin to gnaw on.

I felt like the priest in "The Amityville Horror" as I stumbled around the sand, blindly batting away these rather large and hungry flies. This lasted for another five minutes. That's when the wife and I decided to explore other options of our vacation paradise.

We sat out on the fenced-in porch of the home for a while. The wife read the latest John Grisham novel while sipping lemonade. I whiled the time away looking at my watch and trying to figure out what I would be doing at that exact moment had I been at work. The game played as follows:

ME: "It's 3:30. Normally I would be sitting at my desk trying to write my column."

WIFE: "Mmm-hmmm"

(Five minutes later)

ME: "It's 3:35. Normally I'd probably be talking to Wendi right about now."

WIFE: "Shut up. Okay? Just shut up."

And so on and so on, until my wife decided that fighting the flies on the beach could not be any worse than my minute-by-minute updates. And I came to the abrupt conclusion that I just could not relax.

The next day, the flies had left the beach. The weather was beautiful as I romped through the Gulf of Mexico's waters, laughing and splashing as merrily as a grown man can splash while keeping a shred of dignity about him and not looking like a big sissy man.

That is, until I stepped on something.

Something that moved.

This made me a bit uneasy as I screamed a blood curdling scream and started high tailing it to the shore.

And that's when I stepped on something that bit back.

Now...I've seen "Jaws". Saw "Jaws II". Caught most of "Jaws 3-D" on cable which really sucked because you lose the whole 3D aspect while watching the movie on television.

This creature that bit me was not as big as that shark.

But it WAS big.

And I could hardly walk after the attack.

I reached down to make sure my foot was still attached to my leg and not drifting off like a piece of wood. As luck and even fate would have it, I still had a foot.

I limped as fast as a fat guy with a swelling foot can limp back to the house where Wanda was outside watering her plants.

"Been...bitten," I struggled aloud in my best suffering voice. "Need...medical...attention."

Wanda looked at my foot and snickered the snicker that those beach folks have when city folk do something stupid in their presence.

"You were pinched by a crab," she said. "It happens all the time."

I begged to differ.

I pointed out that the skin had been BROKEN and although it was not presently bleeding, I could feel the blood rushing to my foot.

My wife handily pointed out that all blood rushes to your feet when you're standing upright. I then thanked my wife for being a caring, loving soul, debated on who I could sue in a case like this as I hobbled back to the beach to hunt down this crab and torture it with no mercy.

"Drag your toes through the water," Wanda called after me.

Yeah right. As if I wasn't in enough pain after being bitten by a land shark, she wanted me to tease other creatures of the sea.

She then hollered that dragging your toes through the water scares the crabs away from you.

Oh. Okay. I get it. This didn't seem like it'd be too tough. After all, I've been dragging my heels all through life.

Tuesday night, I had what clinical psychiatrists would call an "anxiety attack". All I knew was that I should be at work, facing the weekly deadline crunch with my co-workers and not sitting here on the beach watching the sun go down over the water, plowed out of my mind on Malibu Rum drinks to kill the pain that a killer crab can cause.

And once again, I was NOT relaxing.

The whole week went on like this. It was no reflection on our hosts who were wonderful people with a wonderful home and even went out of their way to fry me up some bacon on Wednesday to help nurse my sore foot.

I just wanted to be in the middle of the dump that I so lovingly refer to as "home".

So now I'm home.

The bags are unpacked.

A slightly reddish hue rests upon my rosy cheeks.

The dogs are barking, the phone is ringing and somebody's car alarm has been going off for ten minutes somewhere down the block.

Finally ... I am at peace.

My God.

(This is present day me...not "old column me")

That sucked.

I took that vacation in 1996. I was uncomfortable the whole time because we were supposed to go to another bed and breakfast that we had been to before, but that lady went and got cancer and had closed her doors. So we had to go to this B&B down the road.

These people had a much smaller home with a mother-in-law plan. We were on one side of the small house, they were on the other side.

You couldn't exactly have loud sex or anything because ... well...we could hear THEM having loud sex. And I didn't want to make them uncomfortable, knowing that complete strangers were having loud sex in their home.

And we could either go to the beach, which was private so that was cool...sit out on our small deck off of our bedroom which was alright but very VERY small, or lay in bed and read all day.

...Or we could go sit in their living room and talk to this much older couple about whatever.

I wasn't in a very social mood the whole time. I wanted peace and quiet. Not tips on how to bait a hook to catch a marlin for 45 minutes when I had no intention of catching marlin.

It wasn't the WORST vacation in the world by a long shot. The crab incident freaked my husky ass out and then Wanda made me feel like an idiot afterwards by laughing at me.

We have never entertained the notion of ever returning to the place, even though we assured our hosts that "we'll be back...for sure!!"

That's called "common courtesy".

I call it "Lying through my teeth in order to get far, far away from this place as soon as possible."

Hopefully something exciting will happen to me today.

I sure as hell don't wanna bore you people tomorrow with another travelogue.

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