Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm a Hoodlum and a Perp

Rushing around. Trying to get things done.
I had a list of things to do and I wanted to get back in time for Jerry Springer.

It was single digit weather. You know it’s cold when dogs are freezing to fire hydrants. I was prepared. I am, after all, a New Englander.
But that was fairly obvious, by the Red Sox cap on my head and the Patriots hooded sweatshirt zipped up keeping me snug and warm.
To keep warm in such weather you need to dress in layers. I’m sure you’ve heard that before. It’s true, as I always do with such statements; I checked its validity on Snopes.com.

So … under my hooded sweatshirt was a long sleeve denim shirt, over a short sleeved t-shirt, which was over a long sleeve t-shirt, which was covering all I really needed which was the 30 pounds of genuine Italian chest and back fur I usually carry around with me.

No wonder I got more than the normal amount of stares from my fellow shoppers at the supermarket. I must have looked like the Unabomber with my hood up and my bulky sweatshirt stuffed with layers of clothes. And now that I’m thinking about it, it kind of explains why people were going out of their way to avoid my shopping cart as I barreled down the aisles at six APM* instead of my usual two APM. (*Aisle Per Minute). I had not one carriage bump: although I did clip a few people at their heels.

“OUCH! Slow down!”
“Oops! Sorry sir.”
“Oops! My bad, mamm.”
“Yeeeeowww! Boo-hoo. Boo-hoo! Mommy, mommy!”
“Oops! Sorry kid.”

So … I have two errands left … the dry cleaners and the bank.
I park the car, grab the bag of dirty clothes and run down the sidewalk.
I open the door to the drycleaners … chuck my bag in … and say …
“Marie,Imgoingnextdoortothebank. I’llbebackintwominutestopickupmycleanclothes.”
“Marie, what was that? I couldn’t make out who it was.”
“I’m not sure, Sue. According to the label on the bag it was Joe.”

I enter the bank and quickly take my place in line.
I check my watch … Ten minutes to Springer.
“Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” … I think to myself.
Then came the poke in my back.
“Crap! It’s a hold up.”
“You want to remove your sunglasses.” … It was a statement more than a question … I ignored it.
Another poke … only harder …
“I said, remove your sunglasses … and the hood.”
I turn to face an old man, easily in his eighties.
“Sir, they’re called ‘Transitions’ … They’re not sunglasses.”
“Don’t take that tone with me young fella. Now, take off the hood, hat and glasses!”
“Sir, if I take off the glasses I can’t see.”
“That’s it! Let me see some ID!”
“Huh? Wha? … No sir … let me see YOUR ID!”

Then came the manager …
“Okay. Okay, gentlemen. Let’s take a breath. Mr. Sampson, is something wrong?”
“Is something wrong? Why yes, there’s something wrong. This perp won’t take off his disguise.”
“Joe, would you please pull down your hood and remove your cap for the retired Sergeant Sampson?”
“Ahm … sure … okay … sorry about that.”
“There’s something fishy about this hoodlum. He was wearing sunglasses a minute ago.”
“Sergeant, sir, I told you they’re ‘Transitions’! They’re the same glasses!”
“Joe, please, window two, it’s your turn.”
“Next time obey the signs or I’ll bring you in.”
“Yea … whatever!”
“Uh, Mr. Sampson, please, way down this end, window six will take you.”

Back at the cleaners …
“Hey, I’m back to pick up my clothes.”
“Oh, Joe. It was you. You were so quick before. We didn’t know who it was with the hood, hat and sunglasses.”
“OMG! They’re ‘Transitions! Not sunglasses … oh … never mind. Bye!”

“Sue? Is it me, or was Joe just not his usual happy-go-lucky self today?
“You’re right, Marie. He did seem a bit upset … but his glasses were kind of cool.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Our First Date

A Hat ... A Ring ... And No Shrimp.

"Joe, can you believe it? It’s been 42 years."
What does she mean … “Can you believe it?”
Time to remind her ... just what made it so.
I shake my hips, thrust my pelvis like I’m being continuously goosed and gyrate a few times … that’s right … doing my "sexy" dance.
I stopped and with complete confidence, gave her a look as though to say … "Who’s your daddy?"
She seemed to be soaking it all in. A few seconds pass … and then … three and a half minutes later, after she wiped the tears and caught her breath, she says …
"Joe, please, you made me laugh so hard my head is hurting."
I never get the results I expect after busting my move.

Forty-two years ago today, we had our first date.
We were fifteen and sophomores in high school.
I had met her for the first time, just a couple of days before our date. She and her friends were just horsing around at the North End Union, a neighborhood social club that had it’s own gymnasium. It was "girl’s night" in the gym. My friends and I were hanging out and looking to get out of the cold.

Inside the club's recreation room we soon became bored and snuck down to check out the girls in the gym and before long, we invaded their space, stole their basketball and started a little keep-away.

I was a pretty cool dude back then, especially with the chicks. That night I was wearing a beret. Very French.
Thinking back, I was lucky I wasn't beat up more often.

We didn’t know these girls and they didn’t know us.
We were all just having some fun, innocently running around chasing each other. Then, suddenly, my head was naked. I turned around and there she was.
It was the first time I really noticed her. She was beautiful. She was smiling at me devilishly. She was twirling my beret with her index finger. I was awestruck. I walked towards her and she let it fly. We continued to exhaust ourselves with further shenanigans until our trespassing was discovered.

As we were leaving (being thrown out) she approached me, removed my hat from head and handed it to me. She noticed my ring, a star sapphire, and asked if she could try it on. She slipped it on her finger and told me she’d give it back later. She spoke with a slight Italian accent. I could say nothing but “okay”.

The next day I was anxious to meet her again and as if she planned it, the ring was my perfect excuse. We found each other that night at the club and properly introduced ourselves. I asked for my ring back and then asked her if she would go with me.
Go with me = Go on a date.
Go on a date = Maybe make-out somewhere.
Maybe make-out somewhere = Fat chance.

Surprisingly she said "yes" … but only if my two friends would come along and go out with her two friends … A triple date. My heart was beating a thousand times a minute. I told her it was a deal. I was so excited I almost passed out.
It didn’t take much to talk my buddies into it, we were all 15-year-olds and a only few chest hairs into puberty.

January 21, 1967 at 8pm. It was a Saturday.
It was very cold and very windy.
The six of us met near Paul Revere’s statue and began walking towards the harbor, which was only a block away. It would be quiet there. Desolate, dark and a great place for making out. At the edge of the water the wind was stronger and after only a few minutes the girls complained it was too cold and wanted to head back. With a dire need for a “plan B”, one of the guys noticed an empty truck at one of the loading docks.

I ran over to inspect. It was a refrigerated truck with a logo of a shrimp company on the side. Further investigating lead to the discovery of an unlocked back door. Inside the truck box was dark and empty, and it would shield us from the wind. The girls were reluctant while the guys were desperate horn dogs. Using the natural skills God gave us we coaxed them ‘til their noses were running and their frozen ears were about to break off.

We all stepped inside and leaving the door opened a crack, we paired off to our own dark corners. Soon there was enough heat to stop the shivering and all that could be heard was the sounds of inexperienced kissing.

I barely made it to first base, but it was a night I would never forget.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs

On a Maternity Room door:
"Push. Push. Push."

At an Optometrist's Office:
"If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."

In a Veterinarian's waiting room:
"Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"

In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
"Drive carefully. We'll wait."

On an Electrician's truck:
"Let us remove your shorts."

Sign over a Gynecologist's Office:
"Dr. Jones, at your cervix."

This one brought my plumber some business ...
On a Plumber's truck:
"We repair what your husband fixed."

That was a little fun from an old e-mail I had saved.
For more fun ... check out this new blogger.
See what he has to say about "signs".
He's only two-posts-old.
From The Inside Out

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Expose Yourselves!

If you’re here … expose yourself.
I’m not going to mix words, plain and simple, come out!

I spent the past few days catching up on reading posts from my favorite bloggers. Do you know what I found? Many of them are celebrating (That’s what they call it.) National Delurking Week. It’s the first I’ve heard of it. I guess I’m still a rookie.

Anyway … I researched it.
It seems to have originated at Breastfeeding123.com.
I know. I know. Who would want to lurk around a website like that? All those moms talking about boobs and such.
But, apparently, readers do lurk. Not me of course.
I was there just doing research … on “lurking” not “boobs”.
Hey! Stay on the subject.

So these other bloggers have asked their readers, who never comment, to “delurk” or “expose" themselves by commenting and saying hello.
An example would be …
“Hi PracticallyJoe … I’m Louie the Lurker and I admit I’ve been coming by to read your posts without commenting, you are a pissa!”

See … pretty easy, right?
You can even come out anonymously if you’re too shy to say whom you are … although I think it’s a bit creepy. I don’t care. Do it anyway.
But if you do post anonymously … a clue would be nice … I love guessing.
BTW … MS Word changed my “who” to “whom” … you see … Microsoft has been lurking and is playing along!

I’ve witnessed hundreds, even thousands of lurkers coming out of the woodwork at the posts I visited celebrating this phenomena. I expect nothing less.
You crazies who expose yourselves here regularly … I’d like to hear from you as well. Do you have lurkers?
Have they ever exposed themselves to you?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Seven Wonders of Joe

A few days ago I was tagged with a meme by FrogMama of Frogs in My Formula. Usually I avoid these like the plague. Well, not really. I was asked once before and played along. I’m such a pushover. I’m to divulge seven random things about me, Practically Joe.

It’s about time you knew … so here goes.

I always have at least 67 cents in my pocket.
Whenever I leave the house, in my right pocket you would find two quarters, one dime, one nickel and two pennies. Why? I’m not sure.
I don’t always come home with them, so it sometimes makes it difficult the next day to replace them. I tried unsuccessfully one time to get through the day with an extra quarter instead of a nickel after scouring the closet, turning pockets inside out and rifling through my wife’s purse. Couldn’t do it. I had to stop and make change at a local convenience store.

For years, I had to wear a wig.
It was a short hair wig. I wore it during the early seventies. I wore it one weekend a month. I tucked my long hair into a nylon stocking and then under the wig. I wore it until I was ordered by my Lieutenant to remove it from my head. I had to cut my hair that day or end up in National Guard prison.

I’m afraid of giraffes.
I don’t like them. They’re scary. They’re not cute. If you don’t believe me you will have to check this out …
The Truth about Giraffes

I had a heart attack over the telephone.
I was in New York on a business trip.
My wife was home in Massachusetts.
I was feeling ill and retreated to my hotel room. I called my wife to tell her I wasn’t feeling well. She said it sounded like I was having a heart attack. I passed out and had one.
Luckily she had the smarts to hang up and call back to notify the front desk.

I wrote three weekly columns for a newspaper.
One of the columns was about family life. I wrote a lot about my daughters. It was torture for them. They hated that I always wrote stories that caused them embarrassment. I was constantly in the doghouse.
I learned my lesson and now mostly write about my wife.
"Uh-uh honey … For better or for worse."

I have an extraordinary talent of solving word puzzles.
I do quiptoquotes in pen. I should probably work for the government deciphering secret codes. I’m also amazing with word jumbles. I solve them in nanoseconds. Check this out …
ncaphis … spinach
natabylltb … blatantly
pnoanidtesmitp … disappointment
Am I fn great at this or what!

Lastly …

I enjoy getting manicures.
Look … The word “man” is right there in front. If that’s not enough for you, break it down … “manic” and “cures”.
There you go … cures manic. It’s therapeutic.
But, there was this "one" problem. I was running out of salons to go to in the neighborhood. I’d been asked not to return in about 15 different Asian dialects.
I can’t help myself. Once they get to the part where they massage my hands, the first finger they pull I always make a farting noise. Don’t Asian dads play that with their kids? I was having to tip really big to get a second appointment.
I’ve been a record three times to Leilie, my current manicurist. She gets me. When I walk in the door she says to all her fellow workers … “hei tawndah sing-song sing song faw ding-ling bwoooomp”… and they all smile and giggle. Then when the time comes, she announces … ”I pull fingers now.” … and they all join in … ”bwoooomp!”

So there you have it!
I'm practically an average Joe!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Good Morning Joe."

"Look, I said don’t put the sauce over the steak, tuck it under it."
"Joe, you’re kidding, right? How do I do that? It’s Chocolate Mousse?"
"No, I mean it! Just do it! Use a pen or a pencil if you need to."
"Joe, the new hostess is dancing on a table."
"Quick, shut down the music!”
"Joe, Prince is pissed we unplugged his guitar."
"Crap! Anyone see my pants?”

Opens eyes.
Rubs eyes.
Looks at the time.
Throws off covers.
Swings legs over side of bed.
Looks around.
Stands up.
More scratches.
Walks into bathroom.
Lifts seat and aims.
More scratching while listening to babbling brook.
Flushes, puts seat down (well trained).
Washes hands, wets face, looks in mirror.
Yawns again … Scratches again.
Picks up eyeglasses from dresser and puts them on.
Like every morning … walks from bedroom across to guestroom to checkout street scene, glimpse at the weather, see if car was stolen.
But … today …

Visibly shaken.
Picks up phone.
Dials. Hears ring. Hears recording. Presses #2. Presses #1. Waits …
"Pharmacy, How can I help you?"
Still shaking …
"Honey, it’s me. Thanks for the near heart attack."
"Oh, ha ha ha, I forgot to tell you about that. I bought it for Lucia. Sorry."
"Great. Bye."

Our new 5 foot guest.