Thursday, May 25, 2006

I got to quit settin' myself up for a disaster.

Alright, so I was down at T.G.I. Friday's, and that ain't normally a hang for me, but I was needin' some fried artichoke hearts in a bad way, and ain't nothin' better to go with some artichoke hearts and ranch dip than some sweet-ass rum and Cokes. Yeah — that drink totally cuts through the lingering fry taste, and hella cleanses up the palate for the next bite. Scientists call it symbiosis.

It was around eleven-thirty, and it was pretty much all families and kid birthday parties in there, but I had a little booth to myself in the back corner and was able to read my USA Today in peace. The hearts showed up, with my rum and Coke, and I was poised. I had my fork in my hand. I hit the hearts, still sizzlin', with a dash of salt and squeezed a little lemon into the ranch. I flattened out an article about some kid in Ohio who's the national sit-up champ, so I could read it with no hands. I sunk the fork into the tender, crispy heart, wiggled it just so perfectly in the sauce, and raised it to my mouth.

Some damn guy was standing there drawing my picture! He had on this Uncle Sam top hat, and a checkered tailcoat, and a big goofy necktie that was like eleven inches wide. I told him to cut it out, didn't he see it wasn't my birthday and that I wasn't five, and that I had a rum and Coke, but then he spun some bummer rap on me. He looked over his shoulder to see that the manager wasn't around, then said all these sad things about needing to raise money to finish art school and he had no rent money and even some stuff about his mom recently having passed. Just to get Whiney Dan outta my face I stuck a ten-spot in his coat pocket (still sewn shut, of course, so I had to just drop it onto his clipboard) and awkwardly ate my hearts in silence as he finished the portrait. Man, I had to strangle every damn bite down my throat, what with this kid obviously starin' at my face, knowing that he had just bared his (possibly fake) soul to me and I was sitting there eating a salty little treat and having a cocktail. It was real uncomfortable — I don't even think I tasted the food.

When he was done he handed me the sketch, which was actually pretty decent — although he made my nose way too big — and said that he worked for tips. That kind of pissed me off so I pointed out that the ten-spot had been his tip, and he just walked away. Just walked away. Jesus, kid, you're gonna get exactly nowhere bein' a cock to people who just gave you ten dollars to draw them with a nose the size of a baseball.

I already had bad memories of the drawing, so I looked around at all that knicknack crap they got on the walls at TGI Friday's, and found a framed picture of Annie Oakley that seemed about the right size. I tore it outta the wall (no small feat considering all the screws they use to hold their stuff down), inserted my picture, then worked it back into its original mounting place. I stuck the picture of Annie Oakley (cut outta some elementary school history book, can you believe it?!) to the gum on the bottom of the table, dropped some cash, and dodged. Don't you hate it when something as simple as a lame guy ruins something for you?

Man, I bet that guy didn't even work there. I bet he has a thing where he tells the manager he was hired by one of the eighty-five birthday parties goin' on. Not like a manager at T.G.I. Friday's cares about anything other than going home, doing crank and watching The Terminator DVD on 4X speed, mind you, but still.

Anyhow, the upshot is that I'm gonna get a recipe about making fried artichoke hearts at home, and I already know how to make rum and Cokes, and I'm gonna hire Téodor to draw my caricature while singing O sole mio. He may want to use Adobe Illustrator on his laptop, which is fine with me, so long as he's singin'.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My favorite personal sports

Alright, so I ain't gonna lie. I stone cold do not enjoy jogging, or distance swimming, or marathons, or most of the other main ways of keeping in shape. They are amazingly boring, to the point where someone should write a coffee table book that examines why the main popular exercises make you want to bury your feet in cement and hop off a pier. What we need in this day and age are some sports that are fun, where you don't even notice the time passing. I give you:

1. Badminton.
Everyone, but everyone, can play badminton. It is like tennis, but the birdie is way less crazy and doesn't bounce all over the place if you miss it. You can almost always get to it before it lands. And the court is smaller than tennis, so you won't turn into a big grouchy jerk with spine problems, like Ivan Lendl, who is way rough on his kids.

2. Tomato Tennis
Alright, so you're reading my blog, and you're like, "what is Tomato Tennis? Is that a thing from Letterman?" No, man! It's my fun sport that I invented. The idea is that you stand almost thirty feet away from your friend, and they have their mouth open, and you try to throw ripe tomatoes in. Ripe tomatoes are extremely soft, and cannot cause injury at any distance. If you get a tomato in, you have scored a Tomato Tennis Point. Three points wins the match.

3. Kites
You may laugh, but a kite can be a real calorie burner. You ever get one of those suckers up into the air and then just follow it for a few hours, like a sky-dog? I'm not mainly a dude who will say to ingest LSD, but a healthy serving of THC will serve as a great gateway to deciding to see how a kite acts over a period of several hours.

I'd write more, but I want to go downstairs and eat some fresh gourmet hot dogs that I bought today. I got these specific rolls to go with them, they are just so right.