Dan Quayle’s Job

•August 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment


We haven’t heard from Dan Quayle in awhile. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone talk about the poor guy since a couple weeks before his last day in office. I remember back in grade school when our teacher tried to explain Dan Quayle to our class. Some bright young person asked what qualified Dan Quayle to be Vice President, and our teacher tried to  explain it. She said you wouldn’t want a vice president who everyone liked, because he would make the president look bad. What you needed was a guy who could go to all the events the president would prefer to ignore, and still make the president look good by comparison when they stand side by side. She also suggested that if one of us was running for school president and there was massive population in the 3rd grade, then we would be wise to pick our running mate from the 3rd grade class. Ol’ Dan Quayle’s vice presidency seems so harmless and carefree nowadays.


Cockroaches at Restaurants

•August 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment


I was about 10 and had never seen a cockroach when it was disclosed to the newspaper that one of my favorite restaurants downtown was infested with them. The story broke through an anonymous source and sent shock waves through the community. The restaurant’s handling of the story was of interest. Instead of denying the anonymous accusations as baseless and without merit, and they came back in follow-up stories with the attitude that “every restaurant has cockroaches.” This did not calm anyone, though it’s likely true. We didn’t head back to our favorite spot for awhile, but they’ve expanded recently and are doing brisk business. Then only a few months ago I was eating an awesome burrito in the middle of the night and watching cockroaches climb up a wall in the back of the restaurant. If your food is good, people will forgive a lot.

Missed Connections

•August 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment


It’s happened a few times that my phone will ring and the call will be coming from the person sitting right next to me. It was a popular joke when cell phones first came out, but now it means that your friend left their phone in the back of a cab, sitting on a bar, or on the chair at the local Starbucks. You answer it and the caller is some so-called Good Samaritan who’s looking to return your friend’s phone. It’s easy if they lost it in a cab because then you can drop the driver a fat tip and he’ll bring the phone directly to you, plus it’s not very likely that a cab driver would steal your phone. Strangers from the street or bar are sketchy because now it’s basically common courtesy to give them $10 or $20 depending on how nice your phone is, but you never know if they stole it and are calling for the reward or you were just being flaky and left your phone somewhere. Then when you get your phone back you have to thank them up and down for helping you out even though you secretly think they might have robbed you, and the first thing you do is wipe if off and see if they made any overseas phone calls so that you can be justified in your suspicions of them.

Combination Locks

•August 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

locker room_3-1

I got a new combination lock today, and my new combination is 17-26-30. I hate that you can’t see the combination of the lock before you buy it. It’s a total crapshoot whether you’ll get one that’s easy to memorize.  When I was trying to memorize my combination today, I must have triggered the “lock combination” center in my brain because I began remembering old combos. The best was during my 8th grade year when I had 3-5-35. That one was the high water mark of my combination locks; it’s been downhill ever since. I lived with 26-12-34 for a whole year and only forgot that combination once, oddly after I’d been using the lock five days a week for about six months. I’m not a numbers person, so I have to invent things that will help me remember the sequence. For my 17-26-30 I use “ages of women I’ve slept with.” It helps me remember even though it’s not true.

Gay Bars

•August 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment


I’ve been to a couple gay bars in my life. One was called something like “The Monster” and it was in the West Village of New York. It was a little intense. They had gay porn playing on the TVs in that bar, and I was like, “Come on, we don’t have straight porn playing on the TVs at our bars.” I’m pretty sure Monster also only had two men’s rooms, and I wasn’t sure which to use so I waited until I got home. Monster reminded me a lot of a bar I went to the other night in Wisconsin to watch Ultimate Fighting. About 90 guys and maybe four or five girls packed the bar, and we were all sitting around watching massive TVs with the fight. I hadn’t seen much Ultimate Fighting, but basically two guys come out dressed in boxer briefs and punch each other a couple times and then roll around, aggressively spooning each other on the mat. It’s over when one fighter gets knocked out or ‘submits’. The UFC announcers talk about things like how the fighters get sweaty and become slipperier in later rounds. The crowd in the New York bar was probably in better shape, but besides that you really wouldn’t have been able to tell much of a difference.

Bank Error in Your Favor

•August 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment


I received a check today that I wasn’t expecting. It wasn’t a huge sum from a dead relative I never met or a distant and financially reckless admirer of Liquid Astronaut; it was from a company where I used to freelance. The check has my name on it, but I have to admit there’s a strong, strong possibility that it was sent to me in error. They might call in a week and ask for their money back, or worse–the person who was supposed to get the money could hunt me down and kill me for sport on his private island. I’m hedging on the morality of cashing a check that wasn’t supposed to go to me. It can’t be illegal, right? I mean, it’s a check that was sent to me with my name on it. I’d be an idiot not to cash it. I think I’ll give them a call tomorrow morning and ask if they meant to send the check to me, and then after they say “no,” I’ll tell them I’ve already cashed it anyway. Now I just need to find one of those all night check cashing places so they can’t call the bank and cancel the check.

Meeting Your Parents

•July 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

47 rodeo131

Yesterday I was trying to figure out how old my parents were when I first met them. I know I met them when I was born, but I’m thinking more in terms of when I actually remember meeting them for the first time. They must have been pretty close to my age now. I either met them when I was climbing into the back seat of a brown station wagon they used to own, or it could have been the time I tried to ride my dog Sasha like a horse and was clotheslined by the bumper pool table within the first few seconds. Either way, they were helpful and nice folks and we hit it off right away.