I was not much of a joiner at Norman High School.
I played football, and that was about it.
But I was a proud member of two organisations that will go down in infamy: the Grandstand Boozers and Alvan’s Army.
Both involved massive amounts of basketball, testosterone and adult beverages.
Not necessarily in that order.
(Yes, I know there are formatting problems. I’m almost 60. I’m allowed.)
- You never pull anything out of your pocket without Panadol falling out
- You try to use the same *cup all day so that you don’t have to reach up into the cabinet and feel that hot-10-penny-nail-jabbing-into-your-shoulder-socket feeling
- You become the ultimate Christian hypocrite when you start wildly boogeying to the Stones, but then you think about what their lyrics actually say
- You know there are not many better things on Earth than watching a 2-year-old chase a pigeon in the park
- You find one day that you are wearing a shirt, at work, around important people. that has the kind of wide stripes that went out with the Rat Pack
- You had at least one “hippyish” item destroyed by a parent who went completely mental
- You realize that, right now, your kids or nieces and nephews have jobs that are way more important than yours
- You much prefer Facebooking about Shih-Tzus and cats than talking about work or politics
- You don’t go a day without praying for someone’s intentions, solicited or not
- When you wake up in the morning, it is a miracle if you can get to the bathroom without a cramp or stabbing pain or brain aneurysm
- When you were little, you and your cousins got up to mischief that no one, to this day, knows about
- When a Facebook friend mentions watching Johnny Carson reruns. for the next 10 minutes, you are laughing about the Carson clips airing in your head
- You have not bothered to properly get the last few back-up ‘dings’ in your car repaired because, really, what’s the point
- The most analytical you get these days is when you and your child watch the latest Star Wars or Avengers movie, and you really zoom in looking for plot holes
- Every time you see a Facebook mention of a soldier who has died or a child undergoing chemo, you pray for them; you really pray
- You get up from your computer and start walking down the hall, and everything looks blurry, so you wonder if you are having a heart attack, but then you realize you’re still wearing your computer glasses
- When you want to put on old Norman TBT photo on Facebook, and you realize there aren’t many in your family because film was expensive
- You remember the story about Narcissus, and you wonder whether this ‘selfie’ thing is a very bad deal
- You hear an old song by the Stones or Hendrix or Led Zep, so you CRANK IT UP, and then you wonder how you ever made it home alive from **parties
- The thought of winning the billion-dollar lottery scares you to death because you have personally seen how love of money truly is the root of all evil
- You have recently opened a kitchen drawer, removed a utensil, and scratched an area of your old body that you don’t talk about
- When you see young lovers out in public, and your mind wanders, it usually grabs hold of a memory from a time when you were below the age of consent
- Pretty much every major new invention or government policy that you read about reminds you of George Orwell’s ‘1984’
- You still have a phone/fax machine on your desk even though the last fax you received was during the Bush Administration
- You see a guy driving down the road in a mint condition 1966 G.T.O. and you immediately want to be his best friend or kill him and steal his car.
- You need to hear a baby laugh every day, just to get you through the stuff, so you’ve watched this clip of Laughing Quadruplets about a hundred times
- You have figured out that vinegar and baking soda will clean or cure pretty much anything, and you wonder why you need all the crap in your cabinets
- You also wonder why stores don’t carry ‘fat guy’/’fat gal’ pants like they used to, back when you didn’t need them
- Other than your kids being born, your best memories are simple, and almost always involve laughing with old friends
- You realize that you are way closer to your death than your birth, and that’s OK
- Most of the major dental work you had in your 30’s is now falling to bits
- You realize that a John Wayne cowboy movie and a stiff drink with a really old Norman High School friend will fix any damn thing
- There are at least three times that you could have gotten really rich if you’d taken a moderate financial gamble, and that really annoys you
- Your new laptop comes with built-in software capable of landing a man on Mars, but you mainly use it to search for stuff that’s lost in your computer
- When you go to the mall, you always park in the same area. Always. Because, otherwise, you would never find your car. Never.
- The Groucho Marx glasses that you bought for 79 cents were the best single investment you ever made
37. You have OU jerseys that predate Barry Switzer.
38. If you had a dollar for every time someone in your family said, “if I had a dollar for every time…” you’d be rich
39. You are very clear about Saturday Night Live: there’s Belushi, Aykroyd, Murray, Gilda and Lilly, then a lump of ***everybody else
40. The only way you are ever going to lose 10 pounds is if tacos or DQ Blizzards somehow metabolize fat and scar tissue
41. About 20 years ago, you realized that elected officials in Washington, D.C. were not smarter than you, they were jut less ethical
42. You are pretty sure that if a man, or woman, cannot ride a horse, they should not be President
43. You or your spouse have had at least one operation that cost more than the house you grew up in
44. You know that Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters were really great at ad-libbing, but, truly, nobody was as good as KOCO’s Ho-Ho and Pokey
45. And, speaking of brilliant children’s programming, WKY TV’s Foreman Scotty and Xavier T. Willard were the best rootin-tootin’ cowboys of ****all time
46. You would love to go into the garage, find an old tire tool, and then wrap it around the head of the guy who said “60 is the new 40”
47. You’d then bend it over Jerry Jones’ big, fat head, just because
48. You are almost 60 if you’re a man who has at least one scar from the time:
… you pushed the neighbors normally good-natured dog too far, like maybe hitting her repeatedly with a rope because you were trying to be a cowboy and she simply refused to stampede
… opening a can of beans with your Dad’s U.S. Military issue can opener (just to see if you could do it which, turns out, you could but not without serious blood loss)
… pinched the fire out of your leg, arm or belly when you put the end stretcher board onto your Dad’s U.S. Navy issue cot
49. You are a woman who has at least one scar from:
… touching the metal ends of the electric hair curlers of death
… breathing in infinite clouds of Aqua-Net hairspray (active ingredient: DDT)
… saying once to often to your little brother, “I daaaaare you to throw that fork a me.””
50. You want to throw your computer RIGHT INTO THE DUCK POND when you write something on your blog late at night, and technology and formatting get all bitchy
51. You have come to accept that you will never be able to properly back a trailer or use Excel
52. You remember baby chicks at Easter that were dyed all different colors, and they were cute, not something you feel compelled to report to the FBI
53. At least once a month, you would give just about anything to have a little more time with your Mom
54. You wonder whether your kids would have benefited from having their mouths washed out with soap, at least once
55. You spent hours and hours looking through the glass viewfinder of your Dad’s Brownie Instamatic camera, and taking thousands of no-film photos of your pets and siblings (extra points if they were in the bathroom)
56. Your wife or husband is right this minute wearing the exact same glasses that your aunt/uncle wore in 1966
57. Your chest constricts and you can’t breath properly when you hear the theme from the *****The Twilight Zone
58. You frequently watched black-and-white TV shows in the bedroom, and at least one brother or sister had to hold the rabbit ears wrapped with aluminum foil just so
59. You believe that 70- or 80- or 90-year-old people must be tough as a boot full of barb wire, because their bodies must hurt like crap, since yours sure does
60. And, finally, you know you are almost 60 when you’re no longer embarrassed by those times when you open your mouth and your Mom comes out; in fact, those moments really make you smile.
*Yes, you’ve been known to drink wine out of a coffee cup
** Don’t ask, don’t tell
*** OK, Wayne and Garth are close
**** Sorry Duke
“My leg, my leg!”
Poor Meadowlark Lemon would hold his leg and wail in agony.
So loud that everybody in the huge basketball arena could hear him.
And, somehow, as his teammates helped him limp around the court, in comedic agony, the magic would happen.
We are sitting here wearing our NHS 30th Anniversary t-shirt and our once-were-nice-until-we-got-yard-chemicals-on-them camo shorts, while drinking a $9 bottle of Heineken.
This means that: we have totally down-tooled for Christmas; we are as per always waiting for the Missus at the mall; and we’r getting gouged by this flashy new restaurant.
We have two hours up our sleeve while the Missus gets “just-a-few-things”, so we shall spend it writing this blog on GRATITUDE, because this is not something that comes naturally to Hogs but is a good think to think about. Here goes:
We are grateful for:
- Junior kicking ass and taking names this year musically, including his five-month, world-cruise gig on Crystal Serenity, writing some bodaciously awesome new tunes, gigging with some pretty awesome Kiwi muzos, and even scoping out the studio he wants to record in;
I just realized that I paint the front deck like Russell Westbrook goes to the rim.
Russ hates that damn rim.
And I hate that damn deck.
Russ and I have the very same DNA of RAGE.
And when we tap into it, Missy, you best get out of the way.
Pretty much for the last month, I’d say 99% of my discussions with the Missus have been duck related.
Most of the conversations begin with her walking into the living room and saying, “They are just so INTERESTING”.
At which point I might as well turn off the TV or close my book because, for up to an hour, the Missus will explain how each duck walks and talks and eats and swims and quacks.
And how this particular duck has a dirty face and that duck has a funny walk.
As you might guess, watching the Missus explain all this is far more entertaining than watching Richard Attenborough doing one of his nature shows.
Because he only talks about stuff.
The Singaporean Missus acts out her duck stories, complete with “zooooooming” (duck chases), “peck-peck-pecking” (self-explanatory), and “splashy-splashy-quacking” (see photo above).
In our initial DUCKDATE, we explained a lot about the Missus and her ducks.