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6:24 a.m. - 2001-07-14


Since yesterday was one big assed boring day with more of the same old crap, I've decided to take a day off from being Uncle Bob and just handing over a couple of vintage humor (using the term loosely) columns from my newspaper days. One's about moving and one's about having sex with whales. You judge which is which.


It was once said by a wise man that a man can judge who his real friends are when it comes time to move. That wise man was me, and I still stand by that credo. Unfortunately, to paraphrase Danny Glover from "Lethal Weapon" ... "I'm getting too old for this stuff."

Those of us who are experienced amateur movers have learned the basics over the years.

The first thing to remember to do when someone asks for your help in moving them is to turn tail and run away screaming. For the most part, this tactic has a high success ratio in relaying the message that you aren't keen on the idea of spending the better part of a Saturday morning trying to squeeze an exercise machine into the back seat of a Yugo. It's like trying to put the Cheez Whiz back in the can: it is not as easy as it sounds.

I mention all this because my friend Bill was moving on Saturday and he had refrained from asking me to help all week and I had not offered. I had been watching the Weather Channel like Roger Condit watches interns and knew it was going to be a scorcher on Saturday. Finally, the guilt ate away at me for being such a lazy bones and I asked him bluntly "Do you need any help getting moved?"

"Yeah," he said nonchalantly, "You think you can be there by 8 a.m.?"

When friends are moving friends, it's usually best that somebody has an inkling of how to pack a truck. I knew that the heavy stuff goes toward the front of the truck, or at least I thought it did. That is the extent of my packing knowledge. Beyond that, I'm like a three year old trying to do a 300 piece Jigsaw Puzzle. I toss things everywhere then start to cry.

Women are not usually expected to do much during a move. Women have usually done their share by packing the boxes up. Women are the route you want to go when you need packing done. They are efficient, and take great care in packing. They get down to business in the packing department, because they know when that oak china cabinet is having to be hoisted three feet into the air onto a truck, they're going to be inside sitting in the middle of the floor drinking an iced tea and waving.

Except for my Aunt Marge, Central Illinois' largest woman. My uncle Bert used to rent Marge out for movers, strapping desks and loveseats to the lady's back. And Marge didn't mind. Heck, one time they took her picture and put it in the local paper. She was happy as a pig in a tuxedo.

It's also a good idea to have at least one person in the moving party know how to drive a beat-up rental truck. These battle axes of the subdivisions worldwide usually have well over 100,000 miles on them and most even come equipped with steering wheels.

It's a good idea to drive the truck around the parking lot where you rent it first before you take it on the road. You don't want to hit the highway to find out that every time you apply the brakes it sounds like you're torturing a sack of kittens. You also want a truck big enough for sweat soaked men to move around in without having to climb all over each other. Unless of course you like that sort of thing. You don't want a truck so small that it would leave Herve Villechaize ducking.

If the items you are moving have been in storage for any amount of time, you may want to inspect every thing you pick up carefully before doing so. Sure, this may tack an extra three or four hours onto the festivities, but when your hand is under a box that has been in a garage for three months and something comes crawling between your fingers and starts a mad dash toward your elbow, believe me, you will flip out too. You will go running and screaming for your mommy too, only to have to turn around and face your friends after shrieking and speaking in tongues. I'm sure it happens to everyone. I'm sure it does.

I'm sure.

Another important rule ... bats are not our friends. Bats are rats with wings only uglier. Bats may look like an odd leaf hanging off a rafter in an old garage, but they're not.

They're bats.

And they ain't our friends.

And if you promise your slaves beer for helping you move, follow through on the promise. Don't get the last cardboard box full of old magazines dumped on your new dining room floor and then tell them the refrigerator isn't cold enough for beer and that you are going to take a shower. I've seen families split apart for lesser infractions. Make beer plentiful throughout the move and accept it when your television accidently gets dropped in your new driveway. Heck, laugh it off. There's still more beer.

Of course, the most important rule to helping a friend move is to invest in a package of Doan's Back Pills and take the recommended dosage before going to bed. You're still going to be as stiff as Janet Reno at a male strip show the next day but you won't feel it.


Just when I thought I must be the biggest village idiot this great land of ours has ever seen, along comes somebody to challenge me for the crown.

If you haven't heard yet, a nude man was found dead inside one of the whale's tanks at Sea World,draped across the top of one of the whales.

My initial gut reaction? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

My second initial gut reaction?? Was it my cousin David? He had loved whales when we were kids. He wanted to Free Willy and then some, if you get my drift and I doubt you do.

As it turns out, it wasn't Cousin David (this time). Reports said that it looked like the guy hid in the park until after closing hours, stripped down to his birthday suit, and jumped in the pool because he either wanted to take a bath or become one with the whale.

Folks, if you need to, you can take a bath in a gas station bathroom. AND get a whole lot cleaner than swimming in a whale's toilet. Call me Inspector Clouseau, but I think this guy was after more than just a bath.

In a nutshell ... we're talking kinky whale sex.

Reports went on to say that the guy wasn't "a bloody mess" when they found him. Their reasoning is that he could have been pulled under by the whale's vortex, or that "the whale may have considered him a toy."

...Uh huh...a big ol' SEX TOY!!!

Let's discuss this idiot's funeral. I don't care how seriously you take the matter of death, this would have to be one hilarious shindig.

What minister would be able to contain his chuckles as they reminisced about this fruit loop?

MINISTER: "He was a good man who loved animals. Wait ... I shouldn't say that. He was a caring, gentle man who had a few screws loose. Wait ... I can't say that either. Ahh ... I think we all know what Bob was. Let's remember him in our own special ways."

The guy's friends would all be sitting there, with their heads bowed, giggling as they imagined their friend in the ultimate compromising position.

So, once again, society presents us with a tragic love story. It's a story we've heard before. The story of a man and his obsession with a whale.

Kind of a hybrid of "Free Willy" and "Moby Dick."

Let's just call it "Moby Willy."

...Since I need to hang onto this job.

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