Sunday, September 21, 2008

Deli Surprise



Time: 1983
Place: Atlanta, GA


There was a great deli within walking distance of my apartment called Katz’s Deli. I don't think it was any relation to the one in New York.

I was having lunch there with an old girlfriend when I noticed two older couples and a younger man walk in the door.

“Hey, that old lady looks just like my grandmother,” I said. “And the old guy with her looks just like my grandfather. Hey, that is my grandparents!”

I asked my friend to wait and went over to say hello. They were delighted to see me. I got handshakes from the men and kisses on the cheek by the women. As nice as we were to each other, there was an underlying tension.

The reason for the awkwardness between us had nothing to do with me. Zayde (Yiddish for grandfather) had remarried after his wife died. My grandmother was actually my step-grandmother. The couple with her that day was her son and his wife. They had all come down from Chattanooga to visit my step-grandmother’s grandson.

For all intents and purposes, Zayde had just come down for the ride and to keep them company.

They didn’t ask me to join them, which was fine because I was with a friend. I said goodbye and went back to my table.

My friend and I had a very pleasant lunch. I was happy that I had shown up with her the day my grandparents decided to show up, because my friend was Jewish. On most occasions I lunched with shiksas.

We were still talking and sipping coffee when I noticed that my grandparents and cousins getting up to leave. Tanta Bessie waved and headed for the door with her son, daughter-in-law and my gay step-cousin. Zayde picked up the check and instead of walking to the cash register, walked towards me instead.

When he got to my table, he moved past me and addressed my Jewish friend.

“If you knew him,” Zayde said, pointing his finger at me, “like I know him,” pointing his finger at himself, “then you wouldn’t be sitting with him,” shaking his finger at my friend.

My friend laughed and said, “Thanks for the warning, but I’ll take my chances.”

Zayde laughed and turned to me.

“Mickey, I love you, goodbye,” he said, reaching down and kissing me on the cheek.

Then he went to the cash register, paid the bill, and left.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oh so dirty

I'm driving to work today when I find myself behind a moving van. The van is filthy. Instead of writing "wash me" into the dirt on the back, someone wrote "I wish my girlfriend was this dirty."

I believe "wash me" has now become obsolete.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bumper Sticker

Time: 2008
Place: Atlanta, GA

I was at a gallery opening, drinking free PBR, and listening to loud rockabilly music with my best friend from college. We were talking about something or other when a woman stormed past us and said, “Get over here, right now!”

She wasn’t talking to us. The man she was angry with was older than her and didn’t look in the mood to hear her shit. My friend and I stopped our conversation to eavesdrop on the couple.

Unfortunately, the music was too loud and there were too many people shouting over the music to hear what the woman was so pissed at the man about. All we heard clearly was what the man said before he walked away from her.

“It’s all in your mind. And your mind is fucked up!” he said.

“You know what?” I said to my friend, “That would make a great bumper sticker.”

Then I got to thinking about all the bumper sticker ideas I’ve had over the years. Most of them are too odd to ever become popular, but here is my list of bumper sticker ideas, starting with the one I overheard:

IT’S ALL IN YOUR MIND.
AND YOUR MIND IS FUCKED UP.


HONK IF YOUR HORN WORKS.


I WAS CURSED BY THE GODS.
WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?


GOD IS MY CO-PILOT.
BUT I DRIVE LIKE A BAT OUT OF HELL.


JESUS LOVES YOU.
NOT YOU, THE PERSON SITTING NEXT TO YOU.


SHIT HAPPENS.
USUALLY AFTER A LARGE MEAL.


SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE.
NOW IN FIVE NEW FLAVORS!


BIKE RIDERS:
I’LL SHARE THE ROAD
WHEN YOU SHARE THE TRAFFIC LAWS.


BABY MAMA ON BOARD.


USING YOUR TURN SIGNAL
DOES NOT MAKE YOU GAY.


MY OTHER CAR COSTS TOO MUCH TO FILL UP.


HOW SMALL DOES MY PENIS HAVE TO BE
TO DRIVE A CAR AS NICE AS YOURS?


YOUR CELLPHONE CALL IS NOT MORE
IMPORTANT THAN MY SAFETY.
HANG UP AND DRIVE.


IF GOD DIDN'T WANT US TO HAVE SEX
WITH STRANGERS, THEN HE WOULDN'T
HAVE INVENTED BEER.


I'LL GET ER DONE WHEN SOMEBODY
TELLS ME WHO ER DONE IS.


USED TO BE, YOU HAD TO HAVE TALENT
TO BE FAMOUS. NOW ALL YOU NEED TO
HAVE IS A BIG ASS.


I couldn't resist adding some Sarah Palin bumper stickers:


SARAH PALIN?
McCAIN, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?


4 OUT OF 5 POLAR BEARS AGREE.
SARAH PALIN IS A STONE COLD BITCH.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Invisible



Time: 2008
Place: Atlanta, GA

I was in a bookstore when the janitor came up to me with a big smile on his face and asked, “Do you like Science Fiction?”

“Not so much,” I said.

“Well, let me ask you this,” he said. “What would you do if you could be invisible for two hours.”

I was immediately impressed. The janitor had just asked me what must be one of the best conversation starter questions of all time. The way he approached me, smiling, easy going, eager to talk, indicated that he must ask this question all the time.

“I would visit every women’s locker room and changing room I could find,” I said.

“Not me,” he said. “I would go out on a football field in the middle of a NFL game.”

“But wouldn’t be in danger of getting clocked?” I said. “Especially since none of the players would see you. They’d run right into you without knowing you were there.”

“Wouldn’t matter,” the janitor said. “I’d be in the middle of all that excitement. It would be worth taking the hit. Besides, I’d tackle one of them first. They’d never know what hit them.”

I wondered if maybe he came up with the question because so often the janitor is invisible to the people who pass by him.

“You know what most people say?” he said, which proved to me that he had asked many others the invisible question. “They say they’d go to the bank.”

At first, I thought that was a stupid answer because the bank tellers would see the money floating away. However, the janitor never explained the ground rules. Let’s assume your clothes are also invisible and maybe you get to carry a large invisible canvas bag. In that case, stealing money or anything else is a good answer.

“Forget the money,” I said. “I want to see naked women.”

The janitor laughed and he went back to work, no doubt keeping one eye open for the next visible customer to whom he could ask his question.