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5:41 a.m. - 2003-08-18


So, my Friday afternoon was spent at our local Civic Center passing out programs to an Expo that drew 45,000 hunters from every state in the union.

I don't hunt.

I shot a bird with a BB gun when I was 12 and felt so bad about it that I never picked up a gun again.

Well ... this was after my cousin David and I strung the bird up in a tree by its neck and repeatedly shot it up the ass to see what would happen once it was dead.

(Answer: Nothing)

Anyway, I love my meat.

But I don't want to have to sit in the woods for eight hours in some ugly outfit, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and waiting patiently to shoot a cow so I can have a ribeye for dinner.

I'll just pay the eight bucks at the grocery store for my steak.

I guess if I was really poor and only had a gun to my name I'd probably take up hunting.

But for the time being, I'm employed and live in a house, not a cardboard box. So hunting is not really in the cards for me.

Anyway, I volunteered to hand out these programs ... right?

So I'm B-O-R-E-D because I'm surrounded by thousands of rednecks in camoflauge outfits who are asking me questions like "What's the serial number on a Remington SR-50?" and "Where's the free Skoal?"

Honest to God...somebody was handing out free chewing tobacco and that was the question of the day by these drooling baboons...where can I get my hands on some wads of chewin' tobacky?

My answer?

"Hell if I know, Chief...have a program," while shoving bags full o' crap in their hands.

I volunteered to do this for three hours, while every hour on the hour, my co-volunteers would change out.

From 4-5:00, I got these two women that were borderline geektards.

One of them asked me what I did for a living. I told her I was in the tourism industry.

She wanted to know what I did before that. I told her I wrote several books.

That opened the floodgates.

They BOTH started babbling at the same time about books they wanted to write.

Now, I have a problem focusing on listening to one geektard at a time because nine times out of ten, whatever's going on in my brain is a hundred times more interesting than what is running out of their mouths.

But when two of them are intensely focused on trying to get me to listen to them at the same time, it's enough to make my ears bleed.

The gist of their giddiness revolved around them wanting to write a book about one of the ladies' dog, Buddy.

Buddy is apparently a very smart dog. Smarter than his owner anyway.

When you tell Buddy to give you a hug, he jumps up, puts his paws on your shoulders and then "hugs" you.

I didn't have the nerve to ask if Buddy's little pink nub comes flopping out during the hug and if so, that's why Buddy's into the hug.

They wanted to write a book about the adventures that Buddy would get into, like finding a cat under a bridge and insane shit like that.

Next, because I'm an experienced writer, they wanted my help in their endeavor to make Buddy The Hugging Canine a literary superstar.

I stared at them, trying to think of the most simple words I could use to explain myself.

I told them I'd have Buddy travel around the world.

Buddy would stop in places like NYC and Athens and Tokyo and Seattle.

Buddy would get in adventures around the landmarks in each of these cities to TEACH children more about various cities,their cultures and their geographical stature.

Because a lot of parents are hellbent on buying books for their kids that have (gasp!) some educational value behind them.

I would give Buddy some friends like Steve the Cat and George the Rabbit because the more friends Buddy has, the more talking stuffed animals can be produced and the more fistfuls of marketing dollars can be shoved into their respective wallets.

These morons stood there dazed and drooling as they took in my elementary suggestions to make Buddy the next children's book icon.

For the next 55 minutes, these two ladied stuffed programs into bags and excitedly talked about these new twists in their venture. At 5:00, they thanked me profusely and slithered off to the parking lot.

Then ... there was Lindsey.

Lindsey came to the Expo with one motive ... to get laid.

To say Lindsey was a "flirt" is like saying Hitler had a temper.

I was introduced to Lindsey and she said "A man! Yum!"

No poop. She literally said that.

For the next hour, Lindsey ... whom I had never met before to the best of my knowledge ... put her arms around me, complimented my muscles, told me I had strong hands (I was lifting a bundle of programs ... it's not like I was bench pressing) and basically molested me for an hour with her eyes.

I'll be the first to admit ... I'm not much to look at.

But now I know what a pretty girl in a crowded bar must feel like.

Because I was ogled like a cheap piece of meat by this woman for what seemed to be an eternity.

It was flattering at first but then it quickly became unnerving. No matter what I did, it was construed as sexy by this woman.

Meanwhile, thousands of sexier guys in camoflauge with tobacco juice dripping off their chins surrounded her.

But she had her sights set on me.

Maybe it's because I was the only one in the building wearing long sleeves and a necktie.

I dunno.

Regardless ... I felt dirty after that shift.

And that's all I've got to say about that.

I taught Andrew his first magic trick last night.

Basically, he was holding a tennis ball behind his back so I couldn't see it.

I taught him to take his index finger and touch his chin and ask in a puzzled fashion "Where's the ball?"

Then he'd point at the fireplace. "Is it over there? Nooooooo."

"Is it on the table? Nooooooo."

"Is it in the kitchen? Nooooooo."

"Where could it be?"

At this point, he'd get excited, bring the ball out in front of him and yell "TA-DAAAAAAA!!!" and I'd have to act all amazed that he had "produced" the ball.

It was cute the first 457 times.

But then it got old.

Have I made it abundantly clear here in the past that I am horribly unmacho?

Rather than tinker and fix items around the house, I'll just buy new ones to replace them?

I have?


So my weed eater had been acting up the last few weeks. Basically, the little spool thingie won't turn and I have to shut the thing off and manually pull the string out every 2-3 feet to make it work.

This can make for a long afternoon.

So Susie tells me to go to Lowe's and buy a new weed eater since she knows if I actually tried to fix this problem, I'd end up flailing my arms and legs in the middle of the front yard, sobbing like a toddler with severe diaper rash.

I go to Lowe's and am pricing the weed eaters when I see something out of the corner of my eye.

A replacement spring for my weed eater.

To the best of my knowledge, there IS NO spring in my weed eater!!

Which is why the mechanism thing isn't turning properly!!


I have an Einstein-like epiphany right there in aisle 22.

I snatch this spring (only $2.99) and run up to the cash register, flashing it proudly.

"How are you today, sir?" the bored cashier asks.

"I'm FIXING MY WEED EATER!" I say as quietly as possible, but my excitement has me nearly screaming with joy.

"Great," she says. "$3.30 please."

I'm tossing dollars at her, telling her to keep the change because I'm a big shot now because I can FIX MY WEED EATER AND DON'T HAVE TO BUY A NEW ONE!!!

I leave the store as the chorus of the Village People's "Macho Man" rings loudly in my head.

I march home, yank that cap off my weed eater thing and start shoving the spring in there.

I snap it all back together.

I crank that bad boy up.

I start eating those weeds.

....For about three feet.

Then the string runs out.

I yank the cap back off the weed eater thing, pull some string out, stare at the whole thing for a few seconds, say a quick prayer and snap it all back together.

...Three more feet.

The chorus of Beck's "Loser" rings loudly in my head.

But on the bright side ... I'm getting a new weed eater today!!!

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