Friday, June 27, 2008

The three words you can never say in front of children

In memory of George...

I have never considered myself to be a foul-mouthed person. I mean, sure I play golf, and drive a car, and occasionally have been known to break out in song from the South Park Christmas CD. But for the most part, my speech is tasteful and very much family and kid friendly.

Or so I thought.

A couple of weeks ago, I was over at Kywana's (their celebrity couple name) playing Mario Kart on the Wii. But that's another issue for another day. There were a couple of children present. I think we can all see where this is headed.

Well, as is bound to happen, I ran my kart off the road pretty quick. And without thinking, I dropped a c-bomb.

Instantaneously, I heard a motherly voice from the next room admonishing me. "Uh, we don't say that around here."

I managed a befuddled "What?"

"We don't say that around here."

Then a child chimed in, "Yeah, that's a bad word. We say carp instead."

"Carp?" As in the large Asian freshwater fish? Yes, apparently. "Fine, I'll say carp. But you'll all know what I really mean!"

Laughter ensued, or so I imagined. And for the rest of the night, crap became carp. Or more accurately it became, "Crap! I mean carp!"

The racing continued for awhile without incident. Then some person with pure evil in their heart selected the track known as Rainbow Road. It's this wee little narrow winding road with huge drop offs on both sides, into a canyon, river, or some other such abyss. If you run off the road, your chance to win is pretty much shot.

"I hate this frickin' track," I uttered innocently.

"Um, we don't say that, either," came the motherly voice again.


"That's another bad word."

I didn't know whether to go stand in the corner or write my name on the board. I felt like I was in first grade. And much like first grade, I talked back.

"I've never heard of such. What am I supposed to say then?"

"Try heavens to Betsy."

"Yeah. Or oopsy daisy."

Laughter ensued, only this time for real. Finally, after I ran my kart off Rainbow Road for the fifth time still on the first lap, I let another expletive fly.


The room fell silent. (Not really, but it's more dramatic that way.) Nothing needed to be said. I'd hit rock bottom, and knew I needed help. I hung my head and wondered if I'd be asked to leave. Or if they were gonna call my mother. Fortunately, the answer to both was no. Well, I was asked to leave, but that was because it was 9 PM and I'm always asked to leave at 9 PM.

I was one of the lucky ones. I got another chance. And even though it's only been a couple of weeks, my rehab is going well. I'm already starting to see some progress. Just this past weekend I was playing Trivial Pursuit with a girl. (If only that were a euphemism for something else.) I dropped a box of cards (or that), spilling them on the floor. Instinctively, and with the tone of a kindergarten teacher, I said, "Oopsy daisy."

That illicited an odd and slightly fearful look. And needless to say, we didn't wind up "playing Trivial Pursuit" that night, if you know what I mean.

Hmm, perhaps "carp" would have been a better choice there?

"Courtney Cox. I love you. You're so hot. On that show..."

Monday, June 23, 2008


(This was inspired by the 3 Word Wednesday exercise. This week's words were: frequent, open someday)

someday waits on sun drenched sand
for lovers two
walking heart in hand
a lost and lonesome wind in search of sails

someday longs for stroke of pen
to close distance 'tween
long absent friends
someday sighs as stubbornness prevails

someday hopes and someday dreams
and forever someday frequent seems
promises someday often makes
yesterdays left in someday's wake

someday I'll make time for you
do all the things we meant to do
someday we'll go here and there
someday will be soon I swear

someday breaks in distant place
where promises are kept
and dreams are chased
father and son play catch in open field

"When you comin' home son? I don't know when. But we'll get together then. You know we'll have a good time then..."

Monday, June 16, 2008

I took off for a try and recall the whole year

(Weather permitting, I will be participating in a 36-hole putt putt tournament Tuesday evening. I'm thinking of bringing my own putter. Is that too much? BYOP! I'm in it to win it!)

I hadn't had a vacation or holiday since New Year's. Work seemed to only be getting busier and more stressful. People around the office had become amused and/or frightened by my constant yelling at the phone for ringing. It was getting to the point where at least three times a day I felt as if my head were about to explode like a Gallagher watermelon. Clearly, I needed a break. So last weekend, I got away. To Myrtle Beach.

It was a bit of a last minute decision, as most of mine are. I didn't know for sure I was going until about four hours before I left on Friday. I was also a bit hesitant about going from a financial standpoint, considering the $600 car repair bill I'd just accrued last week and the kidney it was going to cost me in gas.

On the other hand, I was going to have a free place to stay. And it was the beach. So I ignored the overly cautious little Bone sitting on my left shoulder--who speaks with the voice of Carlton on Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air-- and just went.

It was my first trip to Myrtle Beach. The drive wasn't that bad, though it did cross my mind that the country is definitely wider than it is tall. Google Maps put it at a nine and a half hour drive, but I shaved a little more than an hour off that. The final tally was 591 miles in roughly 8.5 hours for a 69.5 mph average. That included a drive on the Strom Thurmond Highway. And one six hour stretch where I passed three cities that host NASCAR races--Talladega, Atlanta, and Darlington. Only in the South.

My stay was most relaxing. The weather was perfect. There wasn't a cloud in the sky Saturday or Sunday. My Blackberry didn't have a signal inside the beach house, which I was kinda bummed about at first. But in hindsight, it was probably a good thing. I needed a break. It was good to be disconnected for a few days.

I got to meet an old friend for the first time. We hung out on the beach during the days and enjoyed outstanding seafood in the evenings, my two favorite things to do at the beach. One particular place we ate was called the Bonefish Grill. Yeah, I really liked the name, too. It felt like I was meant to eat there.

I arrived home Monday evening feeling refreshed and recharged. My head clearer. My skin a bit darker. And feeling glad that I "just went."

There were times in the past when I might have found some reason not to go. But that was the old Bone. A lot has happened this year. Things that have caused me to appreciate and try to live each day, taking advantage of opportunities to do things and spend time with people. I've found myself saying "yes" a lot more this year. (Creepy pseudo-suave voice:) So... ladies?

Oh, one other thing happened at the beach. I went plaid:

Uhh, ladies?

"With all of our running and all of our cunning, if we couldn't laugh we would all go insane..."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A blogger book

A few months ago, I was told about a book being compiled by Peach and four other bloggers. It was to be a book of shared experiences written by bloggers, titled You're Not The Only One. They were accepting submissions of previously unpublished material from anyone with a blog.

At first, I wasn't going to submit. Then later, I still wasn't going to submit. Because as much as I profess to want to be a writer, I had never officially submitted my work anywhere for possible publication, nor possible rejection. But hey, to never fail is to never try, right?

One thing that really pushed me over the edge and made me finally decide to submit this time was that proceeds from the book were going to charity. And not the Human Fund, but a real charity. I've always been impressed by the overall generosity of bloggers and their eagerness to help.

So finally, up against the deadline, and thanks to some gentle encouragement and arm twisting from a few people, I sent in a couple of submissions. I never figured any of mine would be selected, but always hoped.

Well, the book is out now, and I am in it! Checking Peach's blog Monday night--as I have done almost daily for the past three months--I was unexpectedly overcome with emotion when I saw "Bone" on the list of contributors. I didn't realize how big a deal it would be for me--someone who has never been published--to have a piece included in this book.

That being said, this isn't about me at all. As I mentioned earlier, proceeds from this book will go to Warchild, which works around the world to help children affected by war.

Also, thanks to Peach and the others who helped put this book together for giving bloggers like myself a chance to have something published. They are to be commended for the countless hours they undoubtedly spent on this project. What a wonderful and worthwhile thing to do.

You're Not The Only One includes stories from over a hundred bloggers. The cost is around $22. For more details, visit Peach. And again, it's for a good cause.

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

"Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? It took me years to write it, will you take a look?"

Friday, June 06, 2008


(I wrote this for 3 Word Wednesday The words were: Deny, Smile, Uncomfortable)

E. Barclay Logan stared across the wide mahogany table, almost glaring now. The young man looking back at him was holding up a wallet-sized photograph. Logan snatched the picture out of the boy's hand, glanced at it, then thrust it back in the direction from which it came.

"Never saw her."

"Are you sure about that?" the young man shot back as he held up a second picture. Logan was growing more and more perturbed by the boy's audacity. Who was this kid to question the wealthy E. Barclay Logan. And in his own home to boot. But at the same time, maybe that was the very reason he'd not called security to remove the young man yet.

Reluctantly taking the second photograph, the gray haired man was stunned when he saw it. It was a picture of the woman from the first photograph standing next to a much younger version of himself.

This time he examined it a bit longer. And though there were no visible outward signs, for just a few seconds the old man softened. As he remembered the shiny brown hair and genuine smile, just a bit crooked with mouth slightly agape. He gathered himself, then spoke.

"What are you trying to pull here, boy? You got something to say? Say it," Logan growled, hoping to intimidate his uninvited guest. But for the first time in this meeting, he was the one feeling uncomfortable. He realized his hands had begun to sweat, his throat was parched.

"So you do know her?" the young man wasn't backing down.

"I knew her," Logan admitted, no longer able to deny it. "A long time ago. She was just a girl. There were a hundred of 'em. What's it to you?"

The young man got up from the table and started to leave. Pausing when he reached the door, he turned and looked at Logan with hazel eyes that were suddenly familiar to the old man.

"That was my mother."

The door closed and the young man was gone. His words still reverberating thru the otherwise silent room like thunder that just rumbles on and on and seems like it will never end.

"I was thinking I was angry, but I let it go. I was waiting on a miracle, but nothing showed..."

Thursday, June 05, 2008

A mother and son discuss the important things in life

A week or so ago, I was driving with Mom in the car. We were coming back from somewhere, discussing the typical mother/son fare. You know, work, family, the new Steak Out we're getting (booyah!), last night's Nancy Grace. And then...

Bone: "I still haven't been to the new Walgreens."

Momma Bone: "You haven't?"

Bone: "No."

Momma Bone: "I go in there all the time to use the bathroom."

Bone (a bit confused and on the verge of laughter): "What?!"

Momma Bone: "Oh yeah, they've got the nicest bathroom in town."

Yep. Now you know where I get it. Up until that moment, I didn't even know where I got it. We Bones are very particular about our restroom experiences. And one more piece of the puzzle of why I am who I am falls neatly into place.

Actually, that was excellent information. I mean, it's good to know these things. Maybe I should start compiling a list. It could be like those websites that list the cheapest gas in each city. Except mine would list the most exquisite public restrooms.

"And heaven help us always to remember, that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world..."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Professor Clink did it, with an 8 iron, in the fairway

"Golf can best be defined as an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle." ~ Unknown

The wind was angry that day, my friends. Like Dick Cheney on any given day. We were on the eighth hole, a short par four with water just in front of the green. I had hit my tee shot down the right side of the tree-lined fairway and was lying about 120 yards from the hole.

Figuring I needed about 110 yards to safely carry the water, I chose an 8 iron for my approach shot, just wanting to make sure I got it over. I was staring directly into a blinding sunset so that after I hit it, I couldn't see the flight of the ball at all. I felt like I caught it cleanly and was fairly confident I had at least cleared the water. And then...


My ball had struck the flagstick! It was my own little occasional miracle. The rare amazing shot that keeps the avid but mediocre golfer coming back again and again and again.

I started towards the hole breaking into sort of a jubilant trot, and may or may not have pumped my fist and yelped a little. Shielding my eyes from the sun, I could see it there on the green. It had rolled about ten feet left of the hole.

Of course, I missed the birdie putt and tapped in for par. But still, it was the single greatest shot of my short golf career thusfar.

And that's exactly the story I'm going to tell my firstborn when he or she asks what happened to their college fund.

(Also, if you got the incredibly bad Clue joke in the title, well, I apologize.)

"These old dog days of summer, lord I'll be glad when they're gone. It's too hot to fish, and too hot for golf..."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Great moments in automobile history

The following is dedicated to the clueless individual in the Chevy Tracker-like vehicle that I almost ramrodded into oblivion driving home from a frustrating round of golf...

Allow me to introduce you to the turn signal, also known as the blinker. The turn signal is a safety feature included on every car manufactured since 1956, also known as the Eisenhower administration.

Typically located on the steering column, the turn signal is used by sensible drivers like myself to warn other drivers that the car will soon be slowing to make a turn. Quite an invention, eh?

Yes. Almost perfect. It has but one design flaw: It must be flipped up or down in order to be activated. Otherwise, it is rendered virtually worthless.

It all seems so simple. Even the name itself, turn signal, would seem to be self-explanatory. But apparently not. For you appeared to be well into your thirties or forties, yet still have not managed to master basic turn signal operation.

Or perhaps the turn signal on your vehicle wasn't functioning properly. Well, for that, we have hand signals. Ah, but you probably wouldn't understand those, either.

On second thought, there is one you might know...

"Can't you keep it on your side of the double yellow line. Catch a bus or ride a bike. Call a cab or take a hike..."

Sunday, June 01, 2008

There's nothing to see here

Believe it or not, I started out this year making sort of a silent resolution to myself to try and write at least twenty minutes a day. Oh, the irony. Instead, I've gone in the exact opposite direction and have written much less.

Lately, I feel a bit like Lieutenant Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun movies--which by the way are some of the great comedic moments in movie history--standing there saying, "Move along. There's nothing to see here." All the while, things are exploding and catching fire behind him.

Plenty has been happening in my life. Probably moreso than anytime in the past few years. Last weekend was Decoration Day. Two weekends ago I ran a 10K. I did a Nielsen Diary again this spring. In one particular eight day stretch, I played golf four times. Sonny signed over the "business" to Jason. Yet none of it seems quite blogworthy anymore. Well, except for the Sonny and Jason thing. Can you believe it!?

Most of these are things I've blogged about in the past. Maybe that's the problem. I have written about all these things before, so now it seems repetitive to do so, and difficult to come up with something new to say.

Or maybe it's something else. Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself. Maybe anything and everything is blogworthy. Maybe I waste too much time trying to figure out how they can bring Jonathan Jackson back as Lucky.

As I write this, I realize that I am very much an annual creature, like the groundhog. As opposed to a perennial, like say, the begonia. Year after year, I do many of the same things. Winter blahs, beach fever, 10K race, beach trip, Bama season tickets, holidays. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Not that I'm complaining at all. That's not a bad year. I'm just trying to figure things out. And now that I've compared my life to Frank Drebin, a rodent, and a bottle of Prell, I think I'll stop.

Besides, we need to talk about this. I think I'm a little excited, even though it makes my Where Are They Now post outdated, if not altogether obsolete. I may go out and buy a Batman t-shirt.

"Remember when we said, girl, please dont go. And how Id be loving you forever. Taught you 'bout hangin' tough, as long as you got the right stuff..."