Off! the Top of My Head

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Good morning, good afternoon and good night. It all depends on when you're reading this, really. I apologize for not writing you all last month, but between looking for new JOBSES, JOBSES, JOBSES and crawling out of this 27-year stupor, I got a little distracted. So, how's everything? How's the wife and kids? Great! Good to hear. Don't worry, little Jimmy will get that conviction overturned someday soon, I'm sure of it. Oh, me? Fine, great, thanks for asking.

But here's the funny story for the month. So, one morning before work I'm doing my morning constitutional and reading the local pile of woodchips and one word syllables called the newspaper, (Like anyone in Jefferson County is really looking through this thing to get all the news that's fit to line your cat's litter box). I'm meandering through the obligatory birth, marriage, death and arrest section, and to what should me wondering eyes appear but a marriage announcement for these two cats I went to high school with. There it was bright, as my forehead after a trip to the fridge: Blah, blah and blah, blah announce the engagement of their daughter Lynn Patricia Stern to Glenn Edwin Orton Jr. so on and so forth...

Intrigued and not quite finished with my constitutional I read on. Apparently the female in this deal is a teacher at a charter school in St. Louis and the male is a case manager for Comtrea. (If you don't know what it is don't worry, if you do know what it is then stop showing off! No one likes a show off!) WOW! I say to myself as I reach for the TP. These two former school mates have really created a world for themselves. They went out there and said "Hey this is what I'm going to do with my life!", and they did it. They didn't sit around and dump eight years and $30,000 into their higher educations only to end up in their parents back bedroom with Mickey Mouse pictures and Anime for company. (Hey, everybody has a vice!) How low is my life? What have I become?

And then the memories came flooding back. No, not the memories of drunk Uncle Billy screaming "Ho, Ho, Ho!" in your ear while there's a string of eggnog drool running from my forehead to his lower lip or other memories of family bliss gone by. (And to quote Dave Attell, "There's only one drink I don't like, man, and that's Eggnog. How did they think that up? I wanna get a little drunk, but I also want some pancakes?") But more, the memories of everything I've done over the years. I mean while these two kids might be making the big leap into wedded bliss and they might have the white house with the little picket fence and jobs where they don't have raise their hands to go to the bathroom and they might have enough money so they don't have to beat up a bum for cab fare just because the lady wasn't really a lady and she took everything you had in your pants while they hung off the night stand and you had to lie there all helpless because you had to be all tied up with the shoestrings that had Big Bird on them just so you could relive that summer camp adventure you never had with the counselor from across the lake, then cut yourself free with a toenail clipping that was a throw back from the Nixon era.

But no, what I mean is that I shouldn't be embarrassed with my life as it stands. I've been to Europe, played in front of tens of thousands of people over the years, had friends that I would give change too so they wouldn't have to beat up bums and learned more things than I wanted to, even though it cost me $30,000 and failed marriage to learn them. So, next time you're all tied up with no place to go and you feel like your life is a little less than what those fancy trailer folk have, just remember, it's not where you are in your life; it's where you've been. And in closing if you've yet to see the movie "Bowling for Columbine" go out and buy it, trust me it's worth it. So, until next time if you see a bum on the street, give him some change. I think I took about $4.87 from him. Peace, love and hair grease.

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