Do you ever….

  • Do you ever skip the gym and just walk up the down escalator at the mall so you can meet new people?
  • Do you ever go through the drive-thru at McDonalds in reverse just so your passenger has to pay?
  • Do you ever walk around Walmart with an open umbrella, cowboy boots, and a speedo while asking where the beef jerky section is?
  • Do you ever go to the grocery store and complain to the manager that their underwear selection is limited and you plan on taking your business elsewhere?
  • Do you ever just go and sit in a port-a-john, waiting for someone to open the door so you can ask if they have any Grey Poupon?
  • Do you ever answer your phone: “Thank you for calling the pedophile self-registration hotline. Please stand by while your phone number is added to the sex offender database in your area.”? (My bother hates it when I answer like that.)
  • Do you ever go to electronics stores to stare at the televisions that are turned off and then complain to the helpful salesperson that there’s nothing good on T.V.?
  • Do you ever pay your rent/mortgage in pennies?
  • Do you ever introduce your guest at a party as a “former world record holding adult film star”?
  •  Do you ever ask your neighbors if they heard the police breaking down your other neighbor’s door last night at 3:00am? Then it’s fun to go to the other neighbor and ask them the same thing about the first one.
  • Do you ever feel the uncontrollable urge to wear a tuxedo to the aquarium and waddle around claiming to be “god of the penguins”?

Or am I the only one who does that?

The Rhythm of A.D.D. or Dr. Seuss on Ritalin

When I awoke on this very day
My mind was out racing in every way.
It ran and it ran so, so far from me
Wandering through the wide world don’t you see.
Thoughts of fun and joys all anew
And all of the shades of the color blue
Were running and racing round my drifting mind
Leaving me in a peculiar bind.
Do I write about a random thought
Of dogs with fake teeth that owners have bought?
Or the reasons behind the wind and waves
And watching the way my weird neighbor saves
The recycling trash from far deep within
The dumpster, the trashcans and every dustbin?
Or about many thoughts for stories untold
Of a leprechaun riding a pink leopard bold?
Perchance I should let my unbalanced brain
Solve problems of peace and green acid rain
That bother and keep me awake every night.
Just kidding ‘bout that, I have a nightlight
That has starry night from the great Vincent
Who I wish I had known. Is that a strange tent
Out though the window in fields where dogs play?
I hope they took care, they won’t want to lay
In a spot that was where Fido went number two.
This all makes good sense for me, not for you.
Try drinking some coffee. Eight cups would work well.
Then drink four big Red Bulls and vodka to tell
What it’s like to be me in my head when thoughts push.
Eat a few Snickers for the sugar and rush.
That may help you to feel what it’s like to me
On the days when I’m dealing with A, D and D.
 

The Things I Learned From My Dad

Now if you read the title of this blog, you may get the impression that that I am honoring my father who passed away a couple of years ago. Perhaps you are thinking that this is a way for me to remember my dad because I have been missing him lately. Well, I do miss my dad and I am honoring him in my own way. I’m not sure that’s how he would see it.

My dad, John Romig, had many gifts. He could take apart an engine and put it back together. He was so good, he didn’t even need to use all the parts that were in it in the first place. He was also able to design all kinds of interesting things without a blueprint or even a plan. At the moment, I can’t think of any that worked, but I’m sure some of them did. Then there were the things I learned and still laugh about them to this day.

Blogger’s note: I admit that I occasionally exaggerate occurrences in my life for the sake of humor and a much more interesting story than ever really happens to me. These stories are factual with no exaggeration needed, and I have a brother and two sisters who will back me up on this.

To this day, I don’t like meatloaf thanks to one experience with Dad’s Meatloaf of Death! (death, death, death – imagine an ominous echo) Mom had to go into the hospital for a few days and Dad was to be responsible for the normal house duties including cleaning, laundry and (pause for dramatic effect) cooking. Dad had a memory of something his mom would make when he was a child called German Meatloaf. It was a simple recipe. As far as he could remember, it had a pound of ground beef and a pound of ground sausage. Dad, being a dad, didn’t look at his ingredients too carefully and made it with a pound of hamburger and two pounds of sausage. Okay, not perfect, but not a disaster…yet. Dad liked his food spicy. He was the one who would salt and pepper everything before he even tried a bite. He thought he would kick the meatloaf up a notch. To this day, we are not sure what he put in the meatloaf. Cayenne pepper seemed to be one of the first choices. We were pretty sure that there was a pound of that in there, too. There was also Tabasco sauce, extra salt, Worcestershire sauce, and wherever else he found in the cabinet. When he placed it on the table, the four kids each took a fork full of meatloaf, placed the bite in our mouths, and spit the ghastly stuff back onto out plates in a way that is usually reserved for the movements of synchronized swimmers. Dad was initially hurt by our reaction… until he tried it. Even he could only take a couple bites.

I promise I am not making this next part up. The dog would not eat it! Yeah, the dog, who licked his own butt and ate poop, would not eat the meatloaf. The cat ate a few bites of this dangerous stuff. Apparently, it caused either so much physical or emotional pain in our cat that the feline decided life was not worth it. Our cat ran out in front of a car the next day. We all blamed the meatloaf. It was carefully wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in the refrigerator. Someone (not me) put a little flag on it that said: “Dad’s Meatloaf”. I thought the skull and crossbones was a nice touch. Eventually it disappeared from the frig. Rumor has it that someone decided to set it free in the back yard because we were fairly sure this was a new life form. The next day, my brother’s turtle disappeared. Coincidence?

The lesson I learned: Don’t make meatloaf. It kills pets.

On the Fourth of July, my dad and his friend were setting off fireworks for the family. There were little missiles, Roman candles, bottle rockets and fountains. One of the fountains turned out to be a dud. It was a sad moment for us because it was a really big fountain that promised to shoot sparks high into the air. My dad and his buddy were sitting there in the darkness, trying to figure out what to do. Dad took his cigarette and stuck it down the top of the fountain.

The lesson I learned: Don’t smoke. It is hard to put your pants out when they are smoking. The cigarettes aren’t so good for you, either; even when they aren’t in your mouth.

One last disaster my dear, darling Daddy dared to do. My father loved motorcycles. I enjoy them, but he had a love that bordered on obsession. To be fair, his affection was across that border by a good ten miles. He got me to race motocross on a little bike when I was young. When I was first learning to ride on the dirt track, Dad wanted to show me how to do it. Okay. No problem. He knew how to ride and how to ride on a dirt track. Did I mention that I was young? Pre-teen young? The dirt bike was a Kawasaki 80. The smallest of the racing motorcycles. Dad was 5’ 10”. You see where this is going, right? He started the bike, revved the motor, dropped it into gear, and released the clutch. For a little bike, it could really move! It moved so fast that it shot out from under my dad. That would have been funny all by itself.

When you’re water skiing and you fall, you let go of the rope. When you rev up a dirt bike and it shoots out from under you, you let go of the handlebars. Dad didn’t get that memo. A full-grown adult running behind a small dirt bike, trying to stop it without breaking anything on the bike or the man, is really funny to a kid.

The lesson I learned: Do not do something stupid on a motorcycle when you son is watching. He can crack his ribs laughing and rolling around on the ground, begging for air.

Those little incidents helped me learn what not to do. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go prepare this dish my mom used to make for us. I can’t wait for my son to try my version of her haggis. I think my addition of the chocolate chipotle sauce will make it a meal to remember.

Progress Verses Congress

I have finally figured it out. You have considered this very question as well, perhaps losing some sleep over it. It has been pondered by some of the greatest minds of the previous three centuries as well as many from our Twenty-First Century. Countless pundits and philosophers have asked the question, debating it over and over without coming to any conclusions, yet never seeming to exhaust the possibilities. The question that has plagued American life from the beginning of American life is: Why do we have Congress?

Don’t believe that we have had issues for a while? Let’s look back. Waaay back. Thomas Jefferson asked, “If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?” Can you tell he was a farmer? He was also the man who wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” I think that last quote made it into some kind of governmental document. Yes, I know I took them both out of context to make a point. This is supposed to be funny in a sad, pathetic kind of way.

Still not convinced? Let’s look at the Nineteenth Century with a quote by Samuel Clemens. Mr. Twain wrote: “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” A thought that was first penned over one hundred years ago seems like it could – or should – have been written today. Just the other day I was half listening to the news when someone was referred to as “one of the smartest people in Congress”. That does not seem like much of an accomplishment.

Here is one more for you from the Twentieth Century. Humorist Will Rogers asked the question, “If pro is the opposite of con, what is the opposite of Congress?” You would think he was writing in this century, wouldn’t you? Now, to be fair, I have seen that Congress has been very quick to act on matters of fiduciary importance. When it is time to vote themselves a raise, they seem to be very prompt. Raising the minimum wage for millions of Americans takes a lot more time and committee meetings.

Larry Hardiman (why couldn’t I have been born with that last name?) explained politics in an excellent way: “The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly’ meaning ‘many’, and the word ‘ticks’ meaning ‘blood sucking parasites’.” Truer words have never been spoken. That applied to business as well as government in my not so humble opinion.

In my lifetime, Carson and Letterman, Leno and Conan, Fallon and Kimmel, have all made very good livings poking fun at the antics and attitudes of our politicians. That is essentially my point. The purpose of Congress is not to pass laws and investigate things that are going wrong in the government. They are not really there to provide a system of checks and balances for the Executive and Judicial Branches. They are not even there to control the purse strings of the United States. Their job, their role, their sole purpose to exist – to make us laugh and realize that no matter how bad we screw up, Congress will do something even worse. They do their job frighteningly well.  Thank your Congressperson today for all they do to make us feel better about ourselves.