Don’t mind my 26-year-old musician son as he grumpily digs through the mall trash bin.
He is not foraging for food, like many starving musicians.
He is looking for the plastic packaging that he shredded about 30 minutes ago to get to his new headphones.
Because we have just had the following Father-Son chat at the mall coffee shop, after Junior strolled up holding new headphones .
Dad: “Heh, I bought some of those headphones. The look cool, but they really suck.”
Grumpy Son: “They so do!”
Dad: “Take them back. Just put them inside the packaging, and take them back.”
Grumpy Son: “I threw it away.”
Dad: <Rolling eyes> “Seriously? If I had a dollar for every time we have had this conversation about packaging. And receipts…”
I love eccentric people, especially if they have chickens.
And don’t live next door.
Hence, I love going to the physiotherapist, to have my head rotated and get an update on the Titirangi Chicken Situation.
(Yes, I shot that seven-second video last year!)
It seems that the Council — after six months of meetings and complaints and strategies and tactics and skulduggery and general Titirangi weirdness — finally hauled away approximately 28 chickens.
Now, before all you pinko-lefty-chicken-pluckers get all moisty-eyed about the poor, dear chickens, you need to understand that:
The older you get, the more you understand how hard it is to find a “good man” in this life.
The outpouring of emotion this week in Oklahoma, following the premature death of TV sportscaster Bob Barry, Jr., proved that in spades.
I honestly encourage you to have a look at “BBJ’s” memorial service, which was televised live. It is compelling, heart-rending and enlightening viewing.
Loving husband? Check.
Doting father? Check.
All round good guy? Check.
Even so, I’ve heard of many men who checked all these boxes.
But in my 35 years of working in or with (frequently “precious”) media types, I have never seen such a tidal wave of love from friends, colleagues, competitors and “plain, old, everyday people.”
Obviously, BBJ was a “chip off the old block,” the son of legendary Oklahoma sportscaster Bob Barry, Sr. (a.k.a. Big Bob).
He obviously had his Dad’s DNA, and was even mentored by the old man.
But BBJ also had a lot of Will Rogers in him. Seems like he never met a man he didn’t like, or wasn’t really interested in.
This week, Oklahoma media have been inundated with stories from John and Jane Q. Public, and their kids.
Stories about BBJ’s authentic kindness, goodness, curiosity, support, generosity, and his unique ability to “make everybody feel like they were the most important thing in the universe.”
As one of his own loving kids wrote, “He really didn’t know how big of a deal he was.”
For three decades, literally hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans got their sports fix from BBJ on radio (The Sports Animal) and television (KFOR).
Even though he was a Big Dog, turns out that he never acted like one, if you can imagine such a thing in this day and age.
He was the last guy to leave work, always trying to improve a story, always making sure everyone got a fair shake.
Personally, I have been so impressed by his positive outlook on life, and his relentless efforts to promote young athletes, right across the Sooner State.
Unless you have lived in a small town, you simply cannot imagine what it would’ve been like on a Football Friday Night for KFOR’s chopper to fly BBJ into Podunk, Oklahoma.
And then for him to interview your local hometown heroes with as much enthusiasm as if they were the Selmon Brothers.
Never Saw It
Even though I grew up in Norman and went to school with “Bobby” for a long time, I never had an inkling of what he’d turn out to be; as a man, I mean.
He was a year younger than me, so it’s not like we were close friends or anything. Plus, I was a football player, and he was a round-baller.
Even so, I’ve rediscovered more than a few vivid memories of him, which sort of bubbled to the surface after his tragic death. (He was riding his motorcycle when a driver did a U-turn and killed him).
My abiding memory of Bobby is that he was a real character; skinny, thick glasses, and pretty much always up to something.
At the memorial service, one of his oldest friends said, “We had Robin Williams before there was a Robin Williams.”
At Norman High, Bobby was always worth the price of admission.
He could mimic anyone — teachers, vice principals … pretty much everyone in authority.
He could be funny doing anything, especially if it was sports related, which makes perfect sense.
Countless times when we were messing around in the gym, Bobby would show off his patented, goofball, basketball move.
He’d jack a one-handed jumpshot from half-court, his face all contorted, staring at the ground, stiff-legged, with his feet spread about four-feet apart, and making an annoying noise like “uh-beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.”
Seems like about half those ridiculous shots were swishes. Or maybe they were all air balls.
I just remember that he made me laugh. Every time.
Just like when he’d hold court outside the Senior Center, making a comedy routine out of simply saying his name.
“Uh-beee- beeeee-beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” he’d stammer for about 5 seconds, then pound his chest and spit out “Bob Baaaarreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.”
I must have heard him do that bit 50 times. It killed me every single time, especially the time he actually knocked the wind out of himself. You should have been there.
That’s really all I have on Bobby in my memory banks.
(Well, there’s that one NHS party memory that didn’t end very well, when his Dad came charging up like John Wayne. Whoa.)
Funny, I never had an inkling that little, skinny, always-entertaining Bobby had “greatness” in him; like what was so evident during yesterday’s memorial service.
Great kindness. Great love. Great friendship. Great humility. Great manhood. Great humanity.
I wish I’d know him better and for longer. The last time I saw him was probably in 1974.
In many ways, I wish I was more like him now.
I’m honestly going to try. Maybe we all should.
Rest in Peace, Bobbeeeee Baaaarreeeeeeeeeeeee.
Blessings from an old Norman Tiger in New Zealand.
I guess I need to get used to the seizures.
The Crack Puppy would not settle next to my leg last night, as we Facebooked, watched TV and read about Salvation History.
Then she raised up her front end and went rigid.
She was seizuring again.
We are well past time for National Public Holidays honoring bacon.
And we don’t mean the lame-o Dec. 30 alleged “Bacon Day” that nobody know about.
We’re talking the need for major, urgent changes to the United States of America’s Public Holidays.
- New Year’s Bacon Day January 1
- Martin Luther King Day January 19
PresidentsNational Bacon Day 3rd Monday in Febr
- Memorial Day May 25
- Bacon Independence Day July 4
- Labor Day 1st Monday in Sept.
- Crispy Columbus Bacon Day 2nd Monday of Oct.
- Bacon for Veterans Day November 11
- Thanksgiving (for Bacon Day) 4th Thursday in Nov.
- Day after Bacon Thanksgiving 4th Friday in Nov.
- Christmas Day December 25
How will these MUCH IMPROVED holidays be celebrated?
We’re so glad you asked.
I have a hole new kind of writer’s block.
I thought I would write something all clever, if not hysterical, while the Missus is grocery shopping.
But I can’t think of anything except the fact that my left big toe is poking through a hole in my sock.
This has occurred because a) the blog has midget feet and has to buy cheapo kiddy socks and b) we have not trimmed our toenails since Obama was re-elected.
This is not a grass-roots protest or anything.
It’s more to do with winter and our stuck neck.
When the blog does cut our toenails, it’s normally just before getting into the bathtub to soak our aching neck. And our aching back. And pretty much all of our moving parts.
And that procedure works just fine when it’s warm.
But in wintertime, like nowadays Down Under in New Zealand, we cannot recommend sitting buck nekkid on the bathroom floor while cutting your toenails.
The Hiney Zone
This is because a) the blog’s bathroom heater sucks so b) there is every chance one’s hiney could freeze to the tile and c) in all fairness, we think b) is a good enough reason to avoid this.