Thursday, May 18, 2006
Did I ever tell you about the time I lost my wallet in Moose Jaw, Canada? No?
Well, no time like the present, I always say - unless I'm saying "Beans! Beans! Beans!", which I rarely do, so let's move on.
Anyway, there I was in Moose Jaw, which is one hell of a thing to name your town. I suppose it's better than Gopherguts, Nebraska, but not much.
I just made that up, of course. There is no Gopherguts in Nebraska. Or should that be there are no Gopherguts in Nebraska? Whatever. There's not much of anything in Nebraska, especially my wallet. So, let's get back to Moose Jaw.
(Wouldn't it be way cool if there was a Gopherguts, Nebraska? Then this could be their town song, sung by a chorus line of grizzled old Gabby Hayes lookalikes:
Big green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts
Mutilated monkey meat, trampled on by dirty feet
One quart jar of all-purpose porpoise puss
Swimming in your pink lemonade
Welcome to town, stranger!
No, I suppose not. There actually is an Oil Trough, Arkansas, as well as a Hell, Michigan. And who can forget Truth-Or-Consequences, New Mexico? Not me, that's for sure. And I've tried. I sure as Hell, Michigan, have tried. However, that's another story. This is about me losing my wallet in Moose Jaw. And so far it's not much of a story.)
Well, there I was in Moose Jaw with my buddy, Jeff O'Connell. I had known Jeff since we were little kids. An interesting thing about Jeff was that he only had four fingers on his right hand. He had lost his index finger in an unfortunate childhood accident involving a lawnmower, which begs the question of whether or not there's such a thing as a fortunate childhood accident involving a lawnmower. Anyway, the loss of that particular finger made for some odd hand gestures by Jeff. For instance, whenever he flashed the peace sign, people thought he was flipping them the bird, so it had the exact opposite effect of that desired. And when he played cops and robbers as a kid, his imaginary gun just told everybody "Way to go!"
(Now, you might ask why he didn't just use his left hand. Good question, troublemaker. Shut up.)
Jeff had a sister named Goldie who had all of her fingers. That wasn't her real name. Her real name was Jennifer. Everybody called her Goldie because she resembled Goldie Hawn, except that she weighed 390 pounds and stood about 4' 6", which in and of itself wasn't necessarily an insurmountable social handicap but when the wind was at her back, you didn't want to be at her front. She had body odor that would have driven a buzzard away from a rotting corpse. It was unfortunate since she had a real sweet personality, but not too many folks ever found that out because she was a grossly obese stinky dwarf.
Goldie married a trumpet player from Mobile, Alabama. If you're a jazz fan, you might remember him - Elroy "Skillethead" Jones? Yeah, him. He stood 6' 11", which was good for Goldie because his nose was so far above her he didn't get a whiff of her until the honeymoon but by then it was too late. He got his nickname because of an unfortunate accident in a waffle house, but I won't go into that here since it has nothing at all to do with the story. Beans! Beans! Beans!
(Huh. Seems I say that more often than I would have thought. Sorry.)
So, we're sitting in this bar in Moose Jaw and in walks this guy with a dog. He goes up to the bartender and says, "I have here the world's only talking dog. If I can prove it to you, will you give me a beer?"
The bartender says, "Sure."
The guy says to the dog, "What's on top of a house?"
The dog says, "Roof!"
The guy says to the dog, "Who was the greatest ballplayer of all time?"
The dog says, "Roof!"
The bartender comes out from behind the bar and throws both of them out into the street.
As they're laying there on the sidewalk, the dog turns to the guy and says, "I guess maybe I should have said Joe DiMaggio, huh?"
Now, Jeff and I are taking this all in and Jeff turns to me and says, "That joke doesn't really work as well on paper, does it?"
"No, some of them don't," I said, "But try walking up to someone and actually verbalizing all of the goofy crap I've written here so far and see how long it takes before they cart you off to the cracker factory, which isn't a bad place to be so long as you have an ample supply of cheese and, brother, I've got one of the biggest supplies of cheese around."
"Damn straight!" he said, holding his open hand above his head, so I gave him a high four and said, "Beans! Beans! Beans!"
It was at this point that I realized I needed a short vacation, so I took one and it lasted until next Tuesday, so see you then. If you find the wallet, you can keep it.