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5:34 a.m. - 2006-01-04


I've got this friend that owed me some money.

Yesterday during my lunch hour, I went to collect it.

The guy still lives with his mother which is nice in a way since his mother is kinda ... well ... she's old and kooky.

If he didn't live with her, there's no telling where she'd be now.

Because every time I go over there, she tries to give me her stuff.

And no ... that's not a sexual euphemism.

A few years back I went over to lend my buddy some CDs and she tried to give me her dining room set.

I politely declined as the dining room set looked like something that had been pulled out of a burned-down diner.

Plus, I didn't need a dining room set and never asked for a dining room set.

I just wanted to deliver these CDs, crazy lady. You can keep your dining room set.

Yesterday, I went to pick up the money and she met me at the door.

My buddy was asleep.

She gave me the cash and then held out a bunch of paper that was poorly organized.

"Do you want a calendar?" she asked.

I looked at this "calendar" and it was a pile of calendar pages that had been ripped apart and pulled free from their stapled beginnings.

"Um ... no thank you. That's okay," I said, stuffing the money in my pocket.

"Are you sure?" she asked. "Some years you get lots of calendars and the next year you don't get any."

That's some pretty heavy Mark Twain shit she's got there.

"Sure," I said. "I guess I could use the calendar at work."

Her face beamed.

"Here you go!" she said proudly, shoving the scattered sheets in my hands.

I got in the car and took off.

The calendar was once a Norman Rockwell calendar.

April, July and November were missing.

Apparently she really liked the pictures from those months.

Either that or my buddy let her run out of toilet paper and she liked those pictures the least.

Beats me.

For the record ... Andrew and I don't watch "Family Guy" intently every night.

I watch the show for its humor.

Andrew watches it when the characters fall down because he's fascinated by slapstick humor. So if Peter Griffin runs into a wall, the show must be rewound at least 50 times in a row so Andrew can watch it again and again and laugh uproariously.

And if people aren't falling down, he's usually coloring or playing with trains.

I'm NOT a horrible Daddy.

Don't you judge me, Earl.

My heart goes out to the families of those miners in West Virginia who for THREE HOURS thought their loved ones had survived the tragedy only to find out that they hadn't.

I could never be a coal miner. I can't imagine working two miles underground every day. Just thinking about it makes me claustrophobic.

I understand that there's parts of this world where you either work for the coal mines or you leave town because that's the only gig in town.

I come from a town where about 80% of the men in town all snatched their paychecks from the same business.

Sorry ... but I'd leave town and you'd find me flippin' burgers at the nearest McDonalds, serving up those coal miners with a smile.

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