Spoiler Alert!!!

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you anything about Star Wars or Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead or Max and Ruby.  This spoiler is TOTALLY about Bobbing for Popcorn!

TOMORROW is our ONE HUNDREDTH POST!!!  1 – 0 – freaking – 0!!!  I’m kind of pumped about it.  When I started this whole thing I thought I’d have a fun little Lenten challenge and tell some goofy stories about my childhood and some social commentary about subjects that wouldn’t necessarily polarize people.  I love talking about quirky things, I love writing, and, above all, I love making people laugh.  I never expected the response I’ve gotten from this little hobby.  I am humbled and psyched simultaneously.

However, TOMORROW will be very different.  And since it’s going to be different, I asked for some help from some very special people.  I’ve talked about the comedy troupe I perform with in past posts and I am fortunate that these fellow performers are in my life all the time.  Anyone who has performed on stage knows that your cast mates turn into a sort of theatre family.  Not these people…they ARE family – we complete each other’s thoughts, we bring out the best (and worst) in each other, and we are together more time offstage than we are onstage.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have all of our troupe involved, but we did gather a healthy helping for tomorrow’s celebratory post.  ALSO, unfortunately, at no time do we explain who these people are, so just to get you ready for tomorrow here’s a bit of a visual aid:

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So get ready for something new.  Be patient, we’re venturing out in unfamiliar territory for your entertainment.  And if you could have a few heavily loaded Tom and Jerrys before checking out tomorrow’s post it would be greatly appreciated.  It is scientifically proven that we get funnier the more you drink.  Mazel Tov!

“I don’t care if the turkey said the dog was a turkey! The dog is not the turkey! The turkey’s the turkey, you turkey!” ~ A Muppet Family Christmas

If I’m Tired Again, Am I Re-tired?

I already messed up my summertime blogging goal but I had an amazingly awesome reason – I was at my parents’ retirement party.  Yup, they both broke away from the workforce on the same day.  You’d think on their last day, they’d follow their usual schedule just to make it official and to have a countdown of the minutes like New Year’s Eve; but, of course, my parents couldn’t follow “the plan.”  Dad left work 3 hours early and Mom stayed 45 minutes late.  Of course, as far as my parents are concerned, they were both right on time.

My parents are some of the hardest working people I know – there were YEARS that I remember neither one of them taking a sick day.  I remember staying with my grandparents on nights and weekends when my parents had to work odd shifts.  My dad worked all sorts of jobs: metal factory, plumbing supplies, modular office manufacturing.  He had some really interesting jobs like making the big light up signs that businesses use on their storefronts and working in a factory that made those super cool self checkout stations (I LOVE those things).  My mom had the same career for forty years…she sold drugs.

They both were had to deal with– long hours, going to work and coming home in the worst weather, missing important…

She worked in a pharmacy!  She filled prescriptions!  Pharmacy tech. She wasn’t like a drug dealer…no, like the legal kind…oh God…

Anyway, they both paid their dues and I’m very proud of what they went through to make sure my sister and I wanted for nothing and never knew how hard they struggled until we were older.  So, after all the years they did everything for us, when they asked us for one simple request, of course we had to do it for them.  They simply asked to let this event go by without fanfare.  No party, no big acknowledgement, just let them punch out and go home…

…yeah, we totally ignored that and started planning a barbecue.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – respect their wishes, they ask nothing of us, yadda yadda yadda, we gots to get our party on.

My sister and wife took care of the food prep, my brother-in-law was going to run the grill, and I was in charge of the decorations…bwahahahaaaaa.  Game on!

We had to make sure both of them were equally represented – pharmaceuticals and plumbing supplies.  Piece of cake.  First thing I had to do was decorate my sister and brother-in-law’s deck.  Patio lights! Easy peasy, right?  Wrong!  Can you believe they don’t make pill bottle lights?! So, like they say, when life won’t give you pill bottles, buy them on Amazon!  Okay, so that might not be what they say but it’s what I did anyway.  Who loves his parents enough to order pill bottles in bulk off the internet and most likely land himself on an ATF watch list?  This guy!

lights

But how do we ensure equal decorative representation for the padré? Luckily my sister has the same twisted mentality as I do (no doubt we’re related) and suggested a toilet for the chips.  Of course the dip would be kept up in the toilet tank.  Who loves his parents enough to make a toilet they can eat out of?  This guy!

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My brother-in-law and I ran to the liquor store for some crappy wine (we’ll save that debacle for another night) and we were good to go.  The family showed up, the food was cooked (only one minor out-of-control grease fire), the cake was decorated, and we waited for the guests of honor.

The looks on their faces as they drove up made all the planning and work worth it.  Because after all the years of raising us, all the sacrifices they made, all the hours they worked, all the bills and paychecks they had to shuffle, all of those feelings of exhaustion they overlooked to play with us, all of the literal blood, sweat, and tears that were shed so we didn’t have to – my sister and I finally learned the greatest lesson from our parents: that same angry look they gave you when you didn’t listen that scared the hell out of you as a child is ABSOLUTELY hilarious and fulfilling to see when you’re an adult and ignore their one wish to not have a retirement party.  TOTALLY worth getting grounded in my 30s.

“The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.” ~ Abe Lemons

Yearly Monarch

Birthdays are pretty awesome.  You basically get worshipped for doing absolutely nothing special whatsoever!  Take a look around you.  Everyone you know and everyone you don’t – EVERYONE, since the dawn of time, has one thing in common: they were born!

Now most of you probably don’t remember the day you were born, but I do and if you were anything like me, which you most definitely were, you did absolutely nothing to help.  The proof is in the pushing!  Our mothers wouldn’t need to push if we gave them any assistance in this process; we would just be sitting there when she woke up patiently playing with our bungee cord waiting for some breakfast.

Regardless of all the trouble we gave our moms when we were born, we still commemorate the day like Napoleon among throngs of much shorter French people.  Now… I LOVE going to bed – sleeping is awesome – I get giddy when I pull those covers up to my chin and hunker down into my fluffy pillow.  But that love is outweighed every year the night before my birthday when I will always stay awake for the sole purpose of watching the clock strike midnight.  Then I turn into something like this guy:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UBcF6n-skk]

And then it’s on!  24 hours of “me-ness” begins.

Kids have it the best – they get those sweet theme parties.  Superheroes, princesses, dinosaurs, whatever they’re into – and the walls get adorned with decorations shaped like these things, and they’re plastered on all the cups and plates and tablecloths.  We need to bring this back for adults – true we’d have party themes like “awesome tax returns,” “afternoon naps,” and “Nicholas Sparks novels” (for some of the really lame, sappy adults who want to play Pin the Raindrops on the Lovelorn Guy and Spin the Bottle where at least one member of the couple dies after they kiss).  Things that serve no purpose 99% of the time become necessities for the birthday parties.  If you were to strap a cardboard cone to your head with a rubber band and go about your normal day, you would be subjected to a day full of second glances, confused looks, and pointing.  But if you wear these things at a birthday party, no one bats an eye – in fact, if you’re the only one NOT wearing one THEN you get ridiculed!  And no one begins picturing a home remodeling project with the hopes that their living room can be filled with balloons and streamers.  Try it – when your husband, wife, roommate, parents, or whoever is away, decorate with balloons and streamers all over the place and see what happens when they come home.  They’ll want to know what the party is for and get a camera ready for their expression when you tell them that you did all this “just because.”  They will be convinced that you’re defective.  But not if it’s your birthday – in fact, they will probably do this work for you!

Then, once your party space is decorated to your liking, a bunch of lauders (which you hand selected to attend) show up to bask in your glory.  They each bring an offering to you like the gods of yore, hoping that their trinkets please you.  To show your benevolence you feed them and offer them entertainment such as games, music, possibly even a court magician or jester!  Then members of your revelers bring forth a beautifully crafted figure of some happy creature and, because it is your day, you get to be the first to beat the creature with a stick until the artwork is destroyed and small gifts and confections (not as large as what are given to you, of course) rain down upon your subjects who, afterward, sit around you and give witness to the opening of your offerings so they can see all the things that are not theirs. Finally, you are brought a large, hand-crafted treat to gorge yourself on (after you have already gorged yourself on an already bountiful feast) and, because it is not worthy of consumption as it is, it is set on fire before it is presented to you!  BEHOLD YE THE FLAMING GLUTTONY!!!  Your subjects sing your anthem before you quell the blaze with your very breath, and then allowing your revelers to share in all of its sugary goodness. And, because you have set a time limit to their festivities, they begin to leave your kingdom and THEY thank YOU for allowing them to come worship you!

Yes, it is arguably the greatest day of the year.  Now that I’m grown up, I don’t get a theme party and a bunch of people coming over, but I do get to call the shots on simple things like dinner.  It’s almost like the Death Row last meal – they have to give you what you ask for.  If you want spaghetti and mashed potatoes, that’s what you’re getting.  Usually, I choose something I really like, nothing spectacular.  I should try to see how far I can push this privilege.  Will people actually fish out certain colors of M&Ms for me?  Will they trim my steak to look like the profile of my favorite member of Congress?  When I’m told I can have whatever I want…do they mean it?  Glazed llama nuggets are acceptable?

I think I need to start planning my next birthday a few months early this year…I have just raised the bar.

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” ~ Dr. Seuss

 

P-A-R-T-WHY? ‘Cuz I Gotta!

Every day is a reason to celebrate.  No, no, no – I didn’t just get all sentimental and introspective on you, dear readers – I’m still as snarky, cynical, and lovably cantankerous as I ever was – I honestly mean that there are reasons to celebrate every single day.  Sure there are the biggies like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year.  Then you have the second string holidays like Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, and Valentine’s Day (which, as we have discussed, is being overrun by zombies).  Then you’ve got the ones that come and go with very little fanfare: Groundhog Day, Arbor Day, and Columbus Day.  But if you go looking, you’ll easily find that EVERY DAY has something marked on the calendar – sometimes a day will host multiple holidays!  For example:

HAPPY CEREAL DAY, EVERYONE!!!

Yup, that was today – did you forget to celebrate?  It’s not too late, crack open the Lucky Charms and get this party started!  Is cereal against your religion?  No worries, it’s also Crown Roast of Pork Day!  So crack open your Pork Crowns and get this party started!

Just go easy on the cereal and pork, because you’ve got a busy day tomorrow (especially you, ladies): International Women’s Day, Proofreading Day, Unique Name Day, Organize Your Home Office Day, and Peanut Cluster Day (if you have a nut allergy, please don’t celebrate).

Could you imagine the untapped market potential for greeting cards?!!  There are literally hundreds and hundreds of holidays that go uncelebrated.  Did you remember to send your brother a Happy Cheese Doodle Day card on March 5th?  What about your poor forgotten granny?  Sure you acknowledge her on Grandparents’ Day and maybe even on Mother’s Day.  But what if you’re fortunate enough to have a grandmother who’s hot?!!  Then you better start stashing away some cash so you can treat her right on Gorgeous Grandma Day on July 23rd!  “Thanks for taking care of me and making me cookies, Nana – oh and way to go on still being smokin’ in your 70’s!”

Feel like annoying everyone you come in contact with for an entire day?  Then pour some rum down your gullet and practice your best scowl n’ growl because YARR! September 19th be Talk Like A Pirate Day!  But if you are one of those “Ninjas could totally beat up pirates” nerds – you need to cool your jets and wait for your day to celebrate International Ninja Day on December 5th.

But for all of these quirky little fun holidays – there are more that just make you scratch your head and wonder under what circumstances were these celebrated for the first time.  Like when someone was doing the laundry and realized they only had one half of their favorite pair of socks- were they so distraught that they stood on the coin machine at the laundromat and belted out a William Wallace worthy proclamation that May 9th shall forevermore be known as Lost Sock Memorial Day?

Or what about February 7th?  That’s Wave All Your Fingers At Your Neighbors Day.  This must have been in response to one of those neighbors who was out snowblowing his driveway at four in the morning on February 6th which prompted you to run to the window in your skivvies and wave just one finger at him for disturbing your very favorite Taylor Swift dream (hey, no judgement here, I love you for who you are).

They get more bizarre.  There’s Dyngus Day which is the first Monday after Easter.  Traditionally, boys celebrate by breaking into girls’ houses, dumping buckets of water on them while they’re still in bed, and chanting “Dyngus, dyngus, for two eggs; I don’t want bread, only eggs” while spanking them with pussy willow branches…feel free to celebrate and, no, I’m not bailing you out of jail.

My favorite head-scratcher has got to be Hoodie-Hoo Day which is celebrated on February 20th.  It’s when people who are sick of winter, step outside at noon, wave their hands in the air (like they just don’t care) and yell “Hoodie Hoo!”  That’s it – the whole celebration.  First of all, why?  Second of all, WHY?!  Finally, what’s with the “Hoodie Hoo” yelling?  How does that show your disgust toward winter?  I mean you can go outside and bellow anything randomly to freak out the neighbors: “LAXATIVE!”  “FLABBERGASTED!”  “SHIA LEBEOUF!”  See?  Anything would work.  I mean, what’s the harm?  Your neighbors are probably still weirded out by when you went out and creepily waved all your fingers at them a couple weeks earlier!

The point is (if you can really call it a point), there are plenty of reasons to celebrate – so you shouldn’t be wasting your time being bored…or going to work for that matter!  It’s high time we start enjoying the finer things life has to offer us.  Now, I must cut this post short, I have to run.  There are only 25 shopping days left until Love Your Produce Manager Day!

“All holidays can be good times.” ~ John Clayton (thanks, John – that was deep.)