Sunday, September 12, 2010


Some days, it might be a better idea to stay home in bed. This was one of those days. Knowing that the Basset Hound won’t get her walk, tonight, because I’ll be at work, I took her for a big walk this morning. Walked her to the cemetery. No birds. Could have left the binoculars at home. Well, let’s be honest: the odds of me deliberately leaving home without binoculars between August 15th and October 15th—also known as fall migration—are slim to none. Looked around for birds, and headed home.

Almost made it. It was that last 100 yards that got me. My worn-out old Birkenstocks caught a plate in the street that isn’t flush with the sidewalk—like it’s supposed to be. I did a Steve Martinesque ballet, wobbling, skipping, dancing madly, arms flailing in the air as if I was on fire, and finally landed face-down the way you’re not supposed to (because you can break your wrists), with my arms out straight in front of me. Bam! My wrists hurt! Whump! My right knee skidded down the street like the #7 Budapest bus on a snowy February evening. After doing a jellyfish’s version of a push-up, I sat on the sidewalk, embarrassed by the thought of all the cars on Indian Hill Blvd that are driving by some fat dude in shorts who is sitting on the sidewalk:

“Het, Martha! Look at that drunk bastard! It’s not even ten o’clock, yet!”

After I found my testicles—which were cowering under an oleander—and pushing the dog away from the shiny pool of blood forming on my knee, I stood up, and hobbled home. Got the dog inside the house, and realized that my cell phone is missing.

Somebody shoot me down.*

Twelve days ago I decided that until USC gives me a new Blackberry, I’m going to buy one of those “disposable” cell phones they sell at Target [and Walmart, but I have been boycotting Walmart for years, because of how they (mis)treat their employees]. When I said disposable, I didn’t mean it literally.

From elementary school in the 70s to college, from the army in the 80s to my return to college in the late 1990s, I had the same phone number for around 25 years. I had this cell phone number for 12 days.

Well, the good news is that I already emailed people a couple of days ago; telling them that I got my USC phone back, and to go back to that being my primary number.

Here’s the part that pisses me off: somebody out there found that phone, they said, “Hey, look! A pay-as-you-go phone with over 300 minutes on it!” and they aren’t making any effort to give it back. When I found an iPhone at Legoland this year (on the day of the Calexico 7.1 earthquake), I marched straight to the nearest employee and said, “Here, someone dropped this.” Whoever dropped that phone was at Legoland with their kids or grandchildren, and when you have kids, having a cell phone makes such a difference. I knew that person needed his/her phone back. I wish the jerk who found my phone today would think of that. Probably a kid.

Speaking of kids, we took ours to the annual Bataan Death March Re-enactment in Pomona, last weekend. Most people refer to this ritual as the L.A. County Fair.


1) They hold it in September, the hottest part of the year.

2) The fair grounds are asphalt and concrete.

3) I don’t like crowds

When you have flat feet like I do, and are overweight, standing around in the hot sun in a teeming crowd of tattooed, pierced people in tank tops is far from the definition of fun. That, and the frightening collection of—ahem—surgically augmented women who have arrived to take advantage of the opportunity to share their implants with the world. Geez, lady, you could poke somebody’s eyes out! I swear L.A. is the only place in the country where breast implants are a competitive sport.

As for the tattoos, let me put it this way: when I make love to a woman, I don’t want to read the stock market report.


1) I spend a whole day with my wife and kids

2) I get to throw darts at balloons, winning stuffed animals for my kids. This is the 21st Century equivalent of spearing a wooly rhinoceros to feed the tribe. Lean closer. Can you hear the rustling sound of hairs growing on my chest?

Deadly accuracy with darts is one of my ninja skills that my wife never knew about, until we went to the fair, one year. Why this skill still amazes her, I just don’t understand.

*My niece in Hungary wrote me that she uses Google Translator to translate this blog from English into Hungarian, but it’s a bloody disaster. I tried it, and it translates “Somebody shoot me” as “Somebody fire!” So, to trick it into accurately translating “Somebody shoot me” I have to write “Somebody shoot me down, in order to get “Valaki lojjon le”. I worked my way through the Hungarian translation of my blog, and laughed my ass off for 20 minutes.

1 comment:

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