Sunday, March 09, 2008

New Onion on the Block (Redux)

She was almost home-free, almost. My sister had spent 18 months of her life blown up like a bowling ball with legs; 2 smiley face cuts into her midsection; 4 years of changing pooey diapers; terrible 2’s times 2; 475 checks under the bed for the Boogeyman, his son the Boogerman, the Abominable Snowman, the Heatmizer, Liza Manelli, and other heinous floor dwelling villains; 10001 questions such as “not fair, why can’t I pee in the litter box?”, and over 5000 times answering with the standard default of “cause I said so, that’s why.” Over 11 years of dealing with 2 of them, 2 years apart. That’s a whole lotta “Go to your rooms NOW”. But they were finally becoming little responsible, slightly self-sufficient members of society that had more to contribute than fart jokes and runt rage. My sister would be turning 40 this year, so it was all downhill from here. The light at the end of the tunnel was getting bigger and brighter, and it would soon be safe to give peace a half a chance. So what does she go and do? She has one more.

When she told me she was having another baby I told her somewhere right after “Huh” that she was nuttier than Mr. Peanut’s nutty nut sack. Now don’t get me wrong, as much abuse and torment as they put me through, I love my niece and nephew more than anything in this world. Unless I get a call from The Maury Povich Show and start getting anonymous cards for Happy Baby’s Daddy Day every June, they are like the kids I never had. Even though it is hard to imagine myself in my fifties jumping on the trampoline until I can’t feel my legs, busting my fat ass on roller blades, scooters and pogo sticks, getting hit in the head with a Lil’ Ranchero Geetar, and all the other things I do regularly with the older two, I’m sure I still will. Those kids keep me young, especially since at the end of the day I can just say bye and go home and self-medicate. It just baffles me that people want to have kids in their forties. I guess I never wanted to be the guy at their kid’s graduation that someone comes up and says “I think it’s so great that your grandpa came.” Dammit I’ve worked since I was 13 years old and I want to enjoy my retirement drinking Viagra shakes and farting in banks like other old folks without having to set an example for my youngin who thinks I’m uncool cause I got my trousers yanked up to my saggy manjugs.

I’ve never understood all the hoo-ha about babies, but people just go banana flavored apeshit over them with comments like. “Oh she’s just adorable”, “Oh my how precious”, “She’s just a little princess”. Listen up, babies aren’t cute, they are like cranky, wrinkled little old people with incontinence. How is that cute? I‘ve always thought babies look more like little aliens then people anyway. Their heads are too big for their bodies, they make these indiscernible grunts, and they have these otherworldly phone home fingers. Sounds more like E.T. than a little princess, doesn’t it? And what’s up with these people saying stuff like “Feel that grip. He’s gonna be a football player like just like his daddy!” Look, unless you are the second coming of Nostradamus you don’t know if that kid is going to be a linebacker for the Jets or a jizzmopper at the local spank house. So stop it with all that yammering about how junior is destined for greatness cause you’re putting subconscious unrealistic expectations on that kid, and that can only lead to a life of emptiness and failure, trust me, I know.

On that happy note, it with great pride that I introduce you all to the latest addition to the Onionhead family, Marissa. She loves her Uncle B so much that she has already spit up and sharted on him multiple times. Guess she’s just marking her territory. Her specs: 6lbs and 13 ounces, and 1 foot 7 inches tall. I hate when people say babies are so many inches "long", after all we are talking about people here, not sub sandwiches. She will be a Denver Broncos cheerleader, find a cure for AIDS and cancer, and be the leader of the free world. She is even cuter than bulldog puppies, and yes, she is a princess.


Friday, February 22, 2008

So Happy Together...

Howdy ho peoples. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? That’s what I told one of my girlfriends a few years ago before she went to the circus and she never came back. Either she is really really fond of me or she ran off with a clown with a shiny red nose and a big cock, errr, I mean big feet. Anyway, It's been a long time since I've been up in this piece. I know, I promised a while ago that I would be as regular as Bran Muffin Boy, then I write one thing and don't come back for a year. Nice job, Punjab. But hey, I MEAN it this time.

All this time away has left me creatively constipated - I got it in me, I just have to sit down long enough to get it out. And that’s where you the reader come in. Now don’t get all excited in your wide stance, there won’t be any rubber gloves or magic fingers needed for this chore. All I ask is that you start coming back and checking in again. If there is no one here to read then I feel like I’m talking to myself and I do that enough already. For example:

“Shut up, A-hole.” I said.

“No, you shut up, D-bag.” I yelled back.

See what I mean. I am verbally abusive to myself. That’s no good.

On that note I leave you with a heartfelt apology:

Baby, just give me another chance, and I’ll make it up to you, I promise. I know I let you down and am I’m so sorry for that. We had something special and I screwed it up with my insensitivity, apathy, and neglect. It wasn’t your fault, you were awesome the whole time. You gave me nothing but love and support, and I turned my back on you. Please find it in your heart to let me prove to you that I’m a changed man. I know you’re the one for me, and I will never stray again.

OK, maybe I wrote that for something else, but I MEAN it this time.

We can be so happy together…

Why isn't this girl on American Idol? Oh right, she CAN sing

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Worm It Up, B

My nephew means well, really he does, but that doesn’t necessarily translate smoothly into acceptable social behavior all the time, OK most of the time. Despite his occasional, OK frequent, journeys into Uncontrollaville and Nolistenland, he fends off Time Out and other more effective “hands on” forms of punishment largely because for an eight year old he has a remarkable sense of compassion and an uncommon moral compass. He’s got the Aw Shucks spin down to a science, and the scary part about that is it’s 100% genuine and not manipulative like his darkly evil older sister who likes to cheat in Spongebob Uno.

This is why it’s hard to get mad at the little guy even when he hit’s you in the back of the head with his Little Ranchero Geetar. Let’s say hypothetically this happened to me. He would come up to me all teary eyed staring down at his feet, looking like an inconsolable sad sad clown, and sobbing uncontrollably start babbling stuff like “I’m sowwy Uncle B. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I wanted to hear what it sounded like…um, um, I saw it on a Wodewunner cartoon. I wuv you.” And then let’s say he hugs my kneecaps. And yes I forgave him, but if I ever see a bunch of empty Acme boxes in his room I’m heading for the high ground cause I ain’t going out like that. Score: Irresistible Stringed Force 1, Immoveable Empty Object 0.

So yeah, he wears his heart on his sleeve, along with mud, Cheeto dust, and the occasional blood spatter of his uncle. Despite his momentary lapses of reason, he loves people and all creatures great and small, and wouldn’t hurt a fly. Worms on the other hand may want to take heed.

My sister’s family bought my pop’s old crib last year and moved into a neighborhood where most of the people’s hair is either long gone or gone blue. Not exactly the best place for a little boy to meet new peeps unless he wants to hang out and listen to HAM radio, knit an ugly sweater, or play Bingo. And unlike his diabolical older sister who finds it necessary to spoil a sporting contest of Mr. Mouth by slamming his robotic yap shut right before her uncle can flick in the winning fly, he didn’t have a lot of success making new friends right away. I suppose answering his lord and savior’s call to take a classmate’s bologna off their sandwich, rub it on his butt, and fling it up against the blackboard that read “Sharing is Caring” may have had something to do with it. Martyrs are so misunderstood after all.

Knowing of his struggles I was ecstatic last summer when I spoke to him on the phone and he informed me he had a new best friend and I just had to meet him. So I drive over there, and of course he is waiting in the driveway for me as always, bouncing around like the New Shmoo on crystal meth.

“What up dawg!” he yells out to me.

“Holla” I reply .

“Holla, holla” he rebuts.

With formalities out of the way he grabs my hand, and yanks me like his flea-ridden flea market dog to the backyard.

“Paul and I have been waiting for you Uncle B. He can’t wait to meet you! We can go bowling and putt putting and rower skating, and jump on the twampoleeeeen!”

“Oh boy.” I said with overwhelming reluctant glee. “Trampoline? Aren’t there any medieval torture devices we can play with?”

“I think dad boxed them up with the Cwismas decowations.”


We walked to the backyard and he released me from his vice grips.

“He’s right here.”

I looked around and saw nothing but trees, the hot blazing son, and the family flea market dog furiously slurping on his ball sack like Backwoods Billy bobbing for Budweiser at the County Fair.

“Hey guy, I don’t see him. Where is he?”

“OOO, ooo , oooo, you gotta find him Uncle B! Let’s play Find Paul! Where are you Paul, come out, come out wherever you are!”

“I got an idea, let’s not and say we did.” And with that edict I did an about face and forward marched back to the house. Cruel? Maybe. But where I come from tough love never takes a holiday, besides, he knew the deal. Uncle B doesn’t play games until he puts his laundry in and stuffs his fat face with free food.

“OK, OK, I’ll tell you where he is. I swear.”

He was a little young to be swearing, but if it got us from point A to point B without piddlefarting around with the rest of the alphabet, I was all for it.

“Alright, where is he?”

“OK, OK, you have to call out his name three times just like Beetlejuice, and then he will appear out of the bwoooo, just like magic!”

What kind of dancing monkey did he think I was?

“Umm, I don’t think so David Copperfield,”

“I’ll tell my mom you taught me the F word”

Apparently blackmail never takes a holiday either. Eeep, eeep.

“PAUL!! PAUL!!! PAUL!!!!”

I looked around and still nothing except Flea Market Dog was thru with his task at tongue and was now ferociously chasing what most of us, who weren’t traded for a pack of Marlboros, know is a tail.

“Your magic sucks, Wyatt.”

“No, NO!! There he is, there he is…um, ta-da.” And he points down to a Chinese takeout box on the ground filled with dirt.

“Do you really think I’m that dumb???”

To answer my question he starts digging around in the dirt. “No look, he’s really in here. Don’t be scared Paul, it’s just Uncle B, he’s your fweeeeend.” And with that he pulls his new friend Paul out from his dirty home. And yes, he is a worm. And yes, I am that dumb.

Just then my niece came out.

“Were you actually calling out for a worm Uncle B. Worms don’t have ears. Man, you are dumb.”

Then suddenly she disappeared, as if by magic.

God, she is so deviously sinister. At this moment I am sure she has reported this to her mom, pop. the local authorities, the newspapers, CNN, the paparazzi, and will carry the legend down so my name will be forever tarnished for my great nieces, nephews, and future kinfoke around the globe. Thanks a lot, Paul.

“Paul, meet Uncle B. Uncle B, this is Paul, my best fwend in the whole wide wooold”

Not to be unfriendly or rude, but there was absolutely nothing to shake except a wriggling body cavity, so there was an awkward period of silence that I was forced to break, primarily because Paul didn’t have any lips, or a mouth, or vocal cords.

“Hi Paul, nice weather we’re having.”

If there was ever a time to talk about the weather and not feel like a lame ass it’s when you’re talking to a worm. Not that there is any social grace in doing that either.

My nephew pushed the squirmy filthmonger up to my face and did his best ventriloquist act in wormspeak.

“Oh, you are sooo right Mister B. I think it’s a perfect day to go roller skating, don’t you”


“Um Mister B, how bout putt putt golf. I’m really good. And you can buy me a slurpee”

“I don’t think so Paul. My money is kind of tied up right now in entertainment investments. I need lots of singles tonight to tip the ladies over at Jigglers if you know what I mean, (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)..”

“Do they jump on trampolines at Jigglers, Mister B?”

“If they did I’d have a heart attack...”

“Then we shouldn’t go.”

“That’s OK Paul, it’s a gentleman club, they wouldn’t let you in anyway.”

“I am a…”

“O really, you’re a gentleman? Prove it”

My nephew pulled Paul down to his eye level and stared and poked and I could tell those little gears in his head were working hard at a good answer for me. When he finally came to a conclusion he thought was adequate to refute my statement he pulled Paul back up, and if by magic he spoke one last time….

“I don’t have boobs.”

Point made. Score: Dumb Answer 1, Dumb Question 0.

With that I walked back to the house with my nephew and Paul who was nestled back safely in his soy sauce smelling take-out pad. I got my laundry in and stuffed my grill with some leftover takeout lo mein and not one but two Hot Pockets. I think it was the meaty goop flavored ones, but who can be sure really. As we embarked on our day of fun, I convinced him to leave Paul at the house since there was really no where we could take him unless he wanted to go the lake, then we could cut him in half, jab a rusty hook through his ass and go say hello to Mr. Pan-fried Catfish. Supposedly Paul said “You two go have fun, I’ll be chilling here at the crib”. Or something to that effect.

“Uncle B, I’m going to put Paul somewhere outside where he can enjoy this beautiful day.”

“That’s nice Wyatt. I’m sure he’ll thank you later. Even worms need fresh air…um, I think.”

“Yeah, that way Mom doesn’t find him and flush him down the toilet”

That would have given a new meaning to the term “mercy flush”, but at least he thought he was looking out for Paul’s best interests. Or was he? Dun, dun, dun….

And so my pal Wyatt (sans Pal Paul) and I had an eventful day of putt-putting, bowling, freeze tag, roller skating, and going to Chuck E Cheese where the fun never ends, unless you find robotic muppets singing hillbilly jamborees and pizza so bad you wouldn’t feed it to your flea market dog, not fun. To make matters worse, since he shocked the world by getting high marks in conduct on his last report card, I promised him I would buy him a toy as a This Will Never Ever Happen Again In A Million Years So I Guess I can Afford It award. We ended up at Toys R’ Us So Fuck U and walked around in circles for two hours before he decided on the toy he went ape-shit over the second he walked in the door.

Needless to say, at the end of our excursion we were both exhausted. But since his feet didn’t reach the pedals I manned up and volunteered to drive home while he slept in the back. I turned on the radio and was enjoying an annoyance free ride back to the house when the DJ comes on with this little local update…

“Hey there Raleigh, was it hot enough for you out there today? What a sizzler, a hundred and two degrees, O My! That’s a new record for those of you scoring at home. You could have fried and egg and some sausage out on the sidewalk today people. Hope you brought the pets and the old folks in...”

Mmmm, eggs and sausage…maybe throw some corn beef hash out there too, that would be real nice like. I hope my sis has some good grub waiting for us cause I’m hungry like a P-I-G hog right now. Hot buttery toast with jam too….drool. Wait a minute, bring the pets in…uh oh. I hope Paul is OK. My nephew was going to leave him outside for some fresh air. He will be devastated if he killed that damn worm. Here I was dreaming about food like we fat kids tend to do from time to time, meanwhile my nephew’s world may have been crushed. My experiences catching man-eating flounder taught me if you didn’t keep your worms semi-cool they wouldn’t last very long. I had to go find Paul before he did, that way I could maybe get rid of him if he was all melted and disgusting. Then I could make up some bullshit fairy tale about how Paul joined a traveling circus or got abducted by aliens or took the next train to prosperity...

We pulled into my sister’s driveway and I looked in the back and he was still in the backseat all tuckered out and sleeping like he was five minutes into watching the State of the Union address. Perfect. I left the car running with the AC, and got out and started casing the yard for Paul. Flea Market Dog greeted me as I got out. His tongue was hanging down to the ground, his hair was looking a little scruffy, and his eyes were glazed over. No different then he usually looked.

“Hey, don’t pee on my tires and the Snausages are on the house tonight.”

I searched all over, by the pool, in the pool, on the trampoline, in the shed, behind the house, in front of the house. I searched in the boat, by the float, in the grill, over the hill, in a box and with a fox. Ok I didn’t search with a fox, but I woulda if I coulda, and I did search here and there, but I could not find Paul no where. Wait that’s a double negative. I could not find him anywhere. Better.

Perhaps it was delirium from an exhausting day with my manic nephew or maybe the blazing heat had cause some temporary insanity, but for whatever the reason I started calling out the worm’s name like that sad dopey kid calling out for Old Yeller or Lassie or Snoopy or whoever it was.

“Paul! Paul!! Paul!! Come here boy”

And of course, as if by magic, you know who just happened to walk outside.

“Surprise, surprise, surprise. It’s true, crazy is as crazy does. Isn’t this just sad. A grown man calling out for a worm. Maybe you should find a girlfriend or a hobby Uncle B. Hahahahahahahaha”

Man, she was so evil I was waiting for her head to start spinning around. But I had more pressing issues, namely the one that was sleeping in the back of my car.

The only conclusion I could come to was that Flea Market Dog scarfed old Paul down as a little afternoon snikkity-snack. Maybe he thought he was a Snausage, maybe he didn’t care. But how did he get rid of the box. Was he really that crafty to hide the evidence? Or did he eat the box and the dirt too? I was leaning toward the latter since I did see him wolf down one of my flip flops and some fireworks last 4th of July.

Accepting defeat I retrieved my sleeping nephew from the car and brought him inside and laid him on the couch. My brother-in-law was sitting in his chair looking over the mail, obviously he had just gotten in before us.

“Hey Uncle B! How was your day with Wyatt? Man he looks sacked out. I figured you’d be the one sleeping.”

“Well, he couldn’t drive home.”

“No, no, I suppose he couldn’t”

Score: Sarcasm 1, Dumb Question 0, Ability to smell sarcasm from a mile away -1.

“Say, do you know where Paul is? I think Wyatt left him outside in the hot sun all day, but I can’t find him. Do you think the dog would eat him?”

“Shit man. I wouldn’t hold it past him. Last weekend he ate a whole tube of caulking right out of my toolbox. We changed his food this week to something a little meatier and satisfying, so hopefully he’s over that now.”

Perhaps not. And how did my Brother-in Law know it was more satisfying? Damn that dude will eat anything.

My sister walked into the room and saw her son snoozing away on the couch.

“Are you out of your mind, don’t let him sleep now. He will wake up in the middle of the night and start talking to himself again.”

It then just occurred to me that my sister didn’t know about Paul. My nephew wasn’t talking to himself, he’s not that crazy, he was talking to Paul. That’s why Wyatt was scared if she found him she’d flush him down the toilet, just like she did my Grover finger puppet 30 years ago, god bless his soul. Wait a minute, maybe she did find the worm and sent him to an early swirlie grave and was covering her tracks now. There was a distinct possibility my sinister sibling could have stumbled upon poor Paul and in a moment of uncontrollable passion, ended what could have been a promising life of eating dirt and asexual copulation. Then again it could have been Colonel Mustard, in the Ballroom, with the candlestick. Ok, that sounds perverted.

My sister shifted her nightly rage over to her hungry husband who was salivating like Flea Market Dog by the microwave.

“And you. What are you doing heating up snacks when you know we are going to be eating within the hour. Must you eat every minute of the day? Have you no restraint?”

To avoid the war at home I slipped back into the living room and decided to wake the little guy up. Perhaps he could shed some light as to the whereabouts of his bestest friend. I would be delicate, cause I’m nice like that.

“Hey buddy, where did you leave Paul? I didn’t see him outside anywhere.”

“OOOOO, I was gonna leave him outside to enjoy the fwesh air, but it was kind of hot so I took him back inside and put his house in the back of the fwidge so he could enjoy the cool breeze of the air condition”

Heh. That kid has a heart of gold. Always looking out for others instead of himself. Here I was running myself ragged, coming up with one conspiracy theory after another, and all the while Paul had been snuggled safely in his little home oblivious to all the commotion surrounding him. And the commotion was heating up as my sister was running her husky hubby through a verbal spanking machine. Man it was getting brutal, but it provided me just the distraction I needed to recon the fridge, grab Paul’s box, and save my nephew from being the next contestant on “Who Wants To Be Verbally Abused, Home Edition”.

I opened up the fridge, something I tend to over excel at, and discovered not one, not two, but six half empty tubs of sour cream. Why does one have six tubs of sour cream? Is that really necessary? Better yet, why don’t you use the already opened sour cream before opening a new one? As mind-boggling as it was, it was not nearly as perplexing as where Paul’s house was, because it was certainly not in the fridge. Dayuuuummm. I shut the refrigerator door empty handed, something I don’t get high marks in, and tried to think about what happened to the House of Paul. But it was hard to concentrate as the battle between my sister’s wrath and my brother-in-law’s gluttony was escalating out of control with every “but, but, but” and “oh really”.

“You know that’s your problem. You have no boundaries, you can’t say no to your stomach!”

“But, but, but, it’s just some leftovers. Someone’s got to eat them.”

“Oh really? I don’t think we can keep food in the fridge long enough before you go in there and destroy it. Maybe we should call them second and third helpings, that way at least you wouldn’t be lying out your ass!”

“But, but, but, you’re not so innocent yourself. I know you had snacks today”

“Oh really, do tell!”

“Well what happened to those Hot Pockets in the freezer? Did they just jump up and walk away?”

I jumped up and started to walk away.

“I didn’t eat any Hot Pockets today.” She screamed like a banshee.

“Oh yeah, then what do you call this? I call it exhibit A!” he pulled an empty Meatball Hot Pockets carton off the counter that I had left there earlier.

“Oh really, you are such a liar. You know you ate those Hot Pockets and now you’re going in for your second kill. Just fess up!”

“Whatever heifer! This is my first kill of the night. Had there been some delicious Hot Pockets I wouldn’t be heating up this leftover lo mein from the back of the fridge right now. I’m tired of eating sour cream”

Ha, now I knew he was lying. I ate the delicious Hot Pockets and the leftover lo mein.



O, the horror! The horror!!


Guilt is a motherfucker for us Catholic kids. We have it seared into our souls like a Chuck Manson swastika at an early age, and can never get rid of no matter how many Hail Mary’s we say. We are condemned to burn in hell for all eternity for simple pleasures like masturbation, sex before marriage, and feeding your Brussel sprouts under the table to your dog. By the time I got to my teens this caused me to look into converting to Buddhism, not just so I could lay down with hot Asian girls, but also because I’d have a better chance in the sweet hereafter

But I didn’t, and so it was with a heavy heart and even heavier obligation that I begun my Penance for the inadvertent demise of one unlucky earthworm. Part One of this of this spiritual plea for forgiveness was to be a cleansing experience. Moreover, I would be spending the next hour extricating singed worm parts from all parts of the family microwave. To add insult to injury and dismemberment, I was explicitly ordered to save all the “salvageable wormy parts” and place them in the Vienna Sausages container that would be Paul’s coffin. I wanted to at least rinse out the vile pseudo-sausage gel, but my nephew protested with the argument that Paul always loved cool damp places, “It’s how he would have wanted to go Uncle B, believe me, I know.” I suppose I had underestimated the subject matter of their late night conversations.

Part Two of my Penance was to involve my showing up the next morning for the funeral services of the dearly exploded. Although this did throw a wrench in my big plans of doing absolutely nothing all day, I owed it to the kid, and his mom made sure in very clear and certain terms, that my presence was required, or my free tickets on the Non-Stop Laundry Express may be revoked.

The next morning I awoke and tried to figure out what one wears to a funeral for a worm. I opened my closet and looked through my suits, all one of them, and decided that it wasn’t appropriate for the occasion to wear a suit since I’d have to wear a shirt under it and ironing one would take away from my “what the fuck am I doing up before noon” coffee and reflection time. At the very least I needed something black to wear. But I soon realized that I don’t wear a lot of black, mainly because I am a rather pale cat, and when I wear black it makes me look like some aging loser Goth kid, not that there is such a thing as a winner aging Goth kid. The only black shirt I had was an old Motley Crue tee from the Shout at The Devil Tour in 1985. Yea, I know they are cheeseball now, but back in the day they were rockin’, and two million strippers can’t be wrong, can they? Hey, I have expanded my musical horizons since then, and as I wedged myself, inch by painful inch into the t-shirt, I realized I had expanded more than that. You know what though, that shirt brought out all of my curves, mostly the big one in the middle.

When I showed up at my sister’s crib my nephew greeted me at the door. He was dressed in his favorite and only suit, a purple pinstripe getup with velvet lapel that screamed out “If that bitch don’t gimmee my money I’m gonna break this cane outside her ass!”, or something like that.

“Hey guy, nice threads, where’s the hat with feather in it?”

“I dunno, I think Dad packed it up with the Cwismas decowations. I’m sowwy.”

“Hey don’t worry about it man. Those R’s can be difficult. Keep trying, it’ll happen for you.”

“Well, you look nice today Uncle B”

”Thanks, I bet you Paul is just a wriggling away, thinking we are a couple of dapper dudes right now, haha!”

Just then my niece slipped in, as is by black magic.

“Umm, I don’t think Paul is doing any wriggling or thinking Uncle B, since he’s all blown to bits right now thanks to you and Dad. Maybe you should put down the Dr. Seuss and start reading some biology books.”

Wow, the tenderness, caring and sensitivity just never leaves her wicked body. What a grinch! My nephew, I, and all the residents of Whoville were abhorred and very disappointed.

And so, the solemn procession began. My sis still in her Spongebob adult pajamas and fuzzy monkey slippers, my Brother-in-law in his Dale Jr jacket and hat, my niece in her pink glittery “I’m not insensitive, I just don’t care” nightgown, my nephew in his throwback zoot suit, and me in my snug 80’s metal t-shirt. If the neighbors were watching, and I hope I never have to see this on You Tube one day, we surely would have seemed a surly bunch. My sister was carrying a little boombox, and playing on it was a special selection my nephew picked out just for Paul. Apparently in an emergency family meeting after I left the night before, Whodini’s “Friends, How Many of Us Have Them?” won out over Bette Midler’s “Have I Ever Told You You’re My Hero?” Score: Old Skool 80’s Hip-Hop 1, Overly-Sappy Tear-Jerking Ballads 0. We arrived at the back corner of the yard, and the hole was already dug. Word on the street was a fat man who looked a lot like Santa Claus was seen from a little boys bedroom digging a hole in the wee hours of the night. Wyatt placed the Vienna Sausage can in it and we all just sat there and stared for a while reflecting on the somber music.

“Friends, how many of us have them.”


“Friends, ones you can depend on”


I could hear some sniffling. I looked back and my nephew’s eyes were welling up.

“Then came the arguments and all kinds of problems
Besides making love, we had nothing in common
It couldn’t last long because it started out strong
But I guess we went about the whole thing wrong”

That’s when I started bawling. I mean that part kind of hit home for me. I loved them, all of them! I could hear my niece’s snickers. Luckily my sister found the makin’ love part inappropriate for a worm’s funeral and cut the music off. She put her comforting hand on his shoulder.

“Wyatt honey, why don’t you say a few words for Paul. Say a prayer for him.”

He looked up at the sky, and down at the can, and back up at the sky, and back down at the can again. I could tell he was really working hard at saying something special for his old chum. He choked up the tears and put his hands together.

“Blessed our Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen”

That wasn’t quite what I expected. Aside for my brother-n-law, Paul would never be considered a bountiful feast we were saying grace for. Sure it was a little inappropriate, but it was the only prayer he could come up with, and I knew what is was like being put on the spot. My sister patted him on the head, smiled devilishly, and looked my way.

“Uncle B, since you knew Paul as well how about you say a little something for him.”


“OK…..ummmmm… Alas, poor Paul! I knew him, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now he’s gone…but not without love…and, ummmm…love is a battlefield. Amen.”

So I broke out with what I remembered from Hamlet and closed with Pat Benatar. What can I say, I’m creative like that. At least I didn’t choose “Hell is for Children.”

Wyatt pulled a little toy dirtbike out of his pocket and placed it next to the empty processed meat can. It seems Paul one day dreamed of being a professional dirt bike rider, a dream also coincidentally shared by himself. After the hole was covered up with dirt, in lieu of flowers my sister sprinkled some potpourri onto his grave from her Soaps & Scents basket that my mom gave her two years ago for her birthday. I think I got the cheeses of the world and summer sausage basket that year. My gift lasted two days.

My brother-in-law put his hand on my nephew’s back and gave him a tender pat, “He’s with the Lord now.” Actually he wasn’t, as while their backs were turned walking away consoling their grieving son, Flea Market dog was working double time digging up the yard obviously looking for the blue-ribbon award-winning cat turd he had buried for a rainy day and instead came upon the last resting place of our dear friend. I guess his new food was not as meaty and satisfying as his owner had hoped. I stood staring, taking it all in while he ravenously lapped up the pseudo sausage gel and the last Pieces o’ Paul. I could have said something or done something, but I learned years ago, you never take food away from a hungry dog unless you want to be called Mr. Stumpy the rest of your life. It was best to let nature run its course.

I walked back up the house and my sister and her husband were busy making breakfast. Actually she was busy making breakfast, he was busy licking the pancake batter off the mixing beaters. Since he had both of them shoved in his mouth like Chester the Chubby Cheeked Chipmunk I figured it wasn’t worth fighting him over, so I decided to see what Wyatt was doing. I went into his room and there he was sitting on his bed, feet dangling off the side, with hands together, and still looking quite sad.

“Hey buddy, you want to play video games?”


“How about Mr. Mouth? I’ll play with my eyes closed.”

“No, that’s OK.”

“Hmm, do you want to hit me in the head with your Lil’ Ranchero Geetar?”

“Not really, maybe later.”

If he thinks he was getting a raincheck on that, he was wrong.

He grabbed my hand and placed a fortune cookie in it, still sealed in its wrapper, and clasped it shut.

“This was Paul’s cookie, Uncle B. It came with his house. He told me he wanted you to have it.” He gave me a hug then cried in my lap for a good long while. Poor little guy. When my sister called out that breakfast was ready he got up and left the room. I looked down at the fortune cookie and decided to open it. I cracked it open and uncrinkled the little piece of paper inside. On it read:


How true was that? That worm was loved more my this one little boy in a couple weeks than a million worms feel in a lifetime. That was one lucky worm. And I was a lucky dude to have a nephew that was so cool and a family that despite their craziness at times always made me feel nothing less than loved every day. I folded the fortune up. The message is something I wanted to reflect on any time I ever felt sad or lonely. Plus, I needed to write down those lucky numbers on the back to go play Powerball later that week.

I got up and walked into the dining room where the family was divying up pancakes and assorted breakfast meats. You could feel the love in the room

“Hey Everybody, Unclel B pee’d himself!”, my niece cackled as she stood pointing at the wet spot on my jeans, magically left by my weeping nephew minutes earlier. They all started chiming in

“Uncle B, do we need to get you some Depends you old fart!”, my brother-in-law laughed. My sister piled on as well

“Hey Uncle B, I’ll let you have a puddin pop later if you make pee pee and poo poo in the toliet today like a big boy! Hahahahaha!”

I looked over at my nephew. He was smiling and laughing uncontrollably. That sad face had finally disappeared. That was worth ten times the ridicule. And back to normal again he added his two cents.

“Hey you big baby. Put your Pampers on you stink, hahahahhahaha!”

Like I said, nothing less than loved every day.

He called me up the next week. Seems he had a new fwend “Fweddie”. Of course, he wanted me to come over and meet him. Sure, Fweddie could have been a kid he met on the block, but most likely he was a frog he found in the pool trap or a dead squirrel on the road. But I felt obligated to go over. I mean, I was pretty much responsible for killing his first friend. Beside I had two loads of laundry to knock out and a healthy appetite to boot. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made. Family comes first you know.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Onionhead II : Electric Boogaloo

The second time around
Do it one more time, say it again
The second time around
I'm gonna keep you mine the second time, baby

That’s one of my favorite roller skating jams from back in the day, so poignant yet incredibly groovy at the same time. I would strap on my poo colored rental skates with giant orange stoppers, cause that’s how I roll, and would push my self around sans rhythm and shake it like an Etch-a Sketch picture, cause that’s how I skated. All the bigger, faster kids would blow by me with their glittery wheels and fingerless gloves, but it was cool cause I was doing my own thing. I was feeling it and you couldn’t tell me nothing.

After postiing with consistent irregularity I decided to take a break from The Straitjacket Fits for quite a while. I didn’t burn out on it, more than I just didn’t have the time to continue to write at the level I felt like I had set for myself and my readers. I’ve been working on other things for a while now, mostly trying to develop some skills that will help me get to where I want to be in life one day, and also making the time to enjoy the great friends and family I am so lucky to have. However I missed the creativity so much. It is what makes me truly happy, and I know this man. There is no better feeling in the world for a cat like me than to get in the zone and write something you know is good, and the ideas are racing through your head so fast you can’t type them out fast enough (unless that feeling involves Christina Ricci, a hot tub with tiny bubbles, and a bottomless glass of Tanqueray and Tonic).

The format will at least start out a little different than before. Because I have other things I am still working on I plan to go to more of a traditional blog type of thing, shorter entries with daily inner thoughts, observations, pictures, that kind of gig. The benefit of this is I will post more frequently and get my juices flowing again. Now doesn’t that sound just nasty? I however will not compromise what I believe in most and that is: it is the seemingly insignificant yet quirky things in life that keep it fun…

The straitjacket still fits, the crazy never die.

Much Peace!!! BOH