I woke up this morning and looked in my wallet and there was still money in it. This is not usually the case. For the most part I feel that a successful evening requires complete exhaustion of one’s funds. I also came to the conclusion that I felt pretty darn good ( ie., no hangover ). I know I should have felt good about myself, but I couldn’t help but think about all those bartenders and cab drivers that were wondering: “Where the Hell is Uncle Don!” I mean, I’m sure that the balloon payment on their vacation home is due soon and it will be my fault for not contributing. I asked a bartender one evening how she could put up with the same ‘rascals’ day after day and she replied: “Well, I was going to send my son to state college in a Toyota, but thanks to you, he’s going to Stanford in a Lexus.” That really warmed my heart.
Another offshoot of waking up sober, it that I started being productive ( you know, doing stuff ). I like cleaned the bathroom; gave myself a haircut; showered and put on ‘clean’ clothes. It’s usually all I can do to find the frig, grab a cold beer and make my way to the porch to smoke a Lucky Strike. Even then I don’t feel right until at least the second beer, if not the third. Plus, now I’m writing a story about the whole deal. I think I’ll check the back of the cupboard. Maybe my girlfriend has a ‘box-o-wine’ I can rip open and pound down. I’m feeling like I need to do something fast or before you know it, I’ll be doing yard work. Yeah, me doing yard work at 8 am. I should have seen the light when the ‘better-half’ brought home some gas for the lawn mower yesterday. She is the type of person that likes to use Sticky Notes to remind me of chores. I actually don’t know how much she likes them, but she sure uses a lot of them. Take this morning. Sticky #1 was placed on the bathroom mirror. “Don’t forget to call about getting the cats fixed.” Ah yes…, the cats.
Back in April 2012, I was Facebook friending a young lady ( very cute ) and having a make-believe friendship that everybody on Facebook seems to have. She told me that she had rescued two Siamese kittens and was looking for a home for them. Naturally I stepped up and said I would take them, as I was sure it would get me into her world ( it didn’t ). What it got me was a sincere thank you followed by the statement: “My husband will be so happy”. Well, if that wasn’t bad enough news, did I tell you I paid $60.00 for the them. It was actually a bargain because originally she wanted $40.00 each. I got a discount because I took the pair. She told me that as brothers they were very attached to each other and should not be split up. She added a few touching details about how they had lost their mother and were being hand raised by foster parents. I bought the story and took them both. This led to a series of ribbings from most of my ‘real’ friends who informed me that all across the globe, cats are usually free. One especially clever friend even made up a song to embarrass me even more. It goes to the lyrics of Roger Miller’s, ‘King of the Road’. ‘Two cats for sixty bucks..People think that I’m a smuck… I bought!/ two cats by golly…( thump, thump ) King of the Road’.
Now I must admit that for winging out a quick ditty, this one was pretty good. There was only one tiny problem. He made up the tune in a bar where he started singing it loudly. Oh yes, it gets worse. The guy sitting next to us started singing the tune, and then the two guys at the other end of the bar started singing it. There were many pained looks from me which only encouraged them more. Between verses they would tell cat stories such as: “Hey man, haven’t you ever been to the grocery store and seen a box of cats for ‘FREE’. Or how about: “Hey man, most people would give you money to take cats off their hands”. Yup…, after many jokes and much laughter, I decided to finish my drink and mosey on.
Now this should have been the end of the; ‘Let’s embarrass Don by singing the Roger Miller inspired tune, but no’. It seems we live in an electronic world of I-Phones, I-Pads and just plain: “Hey dude!, Wait until I tell you what Uncle Don did”. You can probably download the pirate copy of the lyrics along with the video. I now find myself hanging out in a completely different set of bars, ( yes Mabel, that means more than one ) and I have learned a valuable lesson. When it comes to buying cats for 60 bucks, don’t talk to anybody about it. You could be one of the Mercury Seven Astronauts, Chuck Yeager or any other of my childhood heroes. It wouldn’t matter. All you are going to get from me is a polite nod and then it’s back to sipping my bourbon/ginger. The only exception to this hard learned lesson, might be Carol Phaffenberger from the eight grade. That girl was way, way ahead of her time, in every department. She I would talk to, right after I un-tied my tongue.
It seems I have segued from drinking, to cats, embarrassing drinking songs, then aviation heroes and finally, well-built, friendly, eight grade girls. Funny how the brain works sometimes. Take for instance, Sticky Note # 2 on a box of Wheat Thins. One thing you need to know about me is that I like birds. All kinds of birds. I put food and water out for them and much to the chagrin of my neighbors, I even feed the crows. Crows are very smart and once you start feeding them you can’t stop. Early every am, they will sit in the trees or line the back fence and squawk until I come out with some food. I usually give them cat food ( Little Friskies is my favorite ). The lady at the bird store says it’s good for them and it doesn’t cost too much. ( Don’t worry, I feed my cats the good stuff from the pet store ). In the past, back before I had ‘Biff’ & ‘Cosmo’, I would run out of Little Friskies and just to get the crows to shut-up, I will toss some crackers in the yard. Well,… three bucks a box for Wheat Thins is not cost-effective, so my girlfriend put Sticky Notes on all the crackers saying: “Do Not feed to the crows!” One day I noticed the crows soaking the crackers in the bird-bath and wondered why. Seems they don’t like salt and they were removing it in the water. I thought this was very clever, so I mentioned it to my Sticky Note Pal. Of course I had forgotten that I was not supposed to give the crows three dollar a box Wheat Thins and I received one of those ‘Special Looks’ that you can only get from someone who you’ve known for a while. I tend to get this look often and it is always the same. Doesn’t seem to matter what infraction I have committed, Ms. Sticky Note has got ‘the look’ down.
Another thing about Sticky Notes that I don’t like, is the fact that I didn’t invent them. I’m sure the person that did lives on a private island somewhere sipping drinks with umbrellas in them ( Umm…, umbrella drinks…,my favorite ). I mean, think of it. A disposable product that is used once and thrown away, and they aren’t cheap. I love the different colors and variety of sizes, but what the Hell ever happened to taking used office paper, turning it over to the un-used back side and cutting it up into little note-like squares. I’m sure my Dutch heritage might have a little to do with my not wanting to spend money needlessly. ( I’m not cheap, but I am thrifty ).
Once again as I re-read my little story, there seems to have been yet another shift in topic. Come to think of it, the original title of this story was: “Why Am I Sober?”, and now I am going to have to come up with something else. “Damn You Sticky Notes”!
“Where the hell is the buffer zone?”, by EC