Monday, October 05, 2009
About a week ago, I was attacked by two foreign powers. Normally, being an American and having a hair trigger when it comes to such things, I might have retaliated with ridiculously overblown force. I just got back from the dentist, however, and he gave me a prescription for Oxycodone. I filled the prescription, and then filled myself with a handful of happy pills, so I am currently not in a mood for violence.
(In the ongoing War Of Jim’s Mouth, I had my lower gums sliced open, the bone drilled into, rods and screws and whatnot implanted, and I am now ready to receive a brand new prosthesis sometime next year after the battlefield has healed. The very least I should get out of the deal is a weekend of unrepentant dope consumption.)
Okay, let me try to succinctly explain what happened. Brinkbeest, a normally sane Dutchwoman, gave me an award, within which was hidden a meme. In order to receive the award, I’m supposed to complete the meme. Jinksy, an otherwise sane citizen of the United Kingdom, apparently urged Brinkbeest towards this madness. And usually - as you know if you’ve been reading me for any appreciable length of time - I would break open a big sack of gratuitous and altogether nasty insults, toss them off like so many grenades at the offending parties, and then (since I have no scruples and I’m a hypocrite of the first order) accept the award, while saying something disingenuous about it all having been in good fun, much as I did HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and even HERE.
Like I said, though, I just got back from the dentist. I have about six hundred stitches in my mouth, and I’m getting higher by the minute. If I didn’t have the good meds, I’d probably already have hopped a plane to Europe and punched them both in the mush. But, the meds are quite swell (they’d have to be to put me in a good mood right now, since I’m still bleeding from the incisions) and therefore they get a pass on a beating, both literally and figuratively. I’ll just complete the damn meme and accept the award without any extra-curricular evil.
(The rest of you shouldn’t get any ideas about giving me trouble. By the time you give me your award, the pills will have run out and I’ll be in a truly nasty mood. I’ll come to your house and set your puppy on fire.)
The award is The Honest Scrap Award.
In her posting, I think Brinkbeest said something about it’s being given to people who say things honestly. I don’t recall all of the details. I’m high as a kite. It seems like a nice deal to be thought highly enough of to be given such an award, though, so I’ll just say that I’m thrilled to have so thoroughly pulled the wool over someone’s eyes.
The meme entails giving ten facts about yourself that are strange or weird or might get you arrested in Bulgaria. Easy enough. If she had asked me to come up with ten NORMAL things about me, then it would have been harder. Here goes.
1 – I Actually Liked The XFL
(I have no idea how widespread the telecasts of that league’s games were. I would assume that nobody outside of North America saw them. Therefore, both Brinkbeest and Jinksy are probably going to be totally bewildered by what follows.)
I watched every telecast of Vince McMahon’s odd little football league and enjoyed the hell out of them. I was looking forward to a second season. Apparently, not too many others shared my appreciation. Sportswriters from coast to coast ridiculed the league unmercifully and the whole enterprise was scrapped after one year. What can I tell you? I really liked it. De Gustibus Non Est Disputadum, as my grandfather used to say every time he put on his Field Marshall uniform and went around the neighborhood singing Deutschland Uber Alles.
2 – I Never Wear A Watch
I guess I have a good internal clock. I’m never late for anything because of my lack of wristwear. I do own a watch, and every couple of years I’ll put it in my pocket to be on the safe side if I have a very important appointment to keep, but even then, I’ve rarely found a need to refer to it.
Actually, it’s the folks who wear watches all the time who are more likely to leave you hanging. I’m not sure why that is (and I’d have a really good punch line here, too – something to do with either Salvador Dali, the musical group Chicago, or a newsmagazine - but I’m too blasted to work it out, so we’re just going to move on to the next thing.)
3 – I Have Spent Close To $15,000 On My False Teeth
And there’s probably another $10,000 in future costs if I want to have the whole process finished in the snazziest way. For now, though, what I have works and I’ll only get the really attractive final prostheses if we can afford them without a considerable strain on our budget. I’d like to have a magnificent smile, but I can eat anything I like and I can speak as well as I could before getting them (which is the most important aspect, considering my line of work.)
Implants are magnificent things, but damned expensive. If I had just gone with plain old removable dentures, most of the cost would have been covered by our health insurance. Unfortunately, they’re considered an optional cosmetic procedure by most dental plans, so I have to be satisfied with the functional-but-just-okay-looking choppers. The meds are excellent either way, though!
4 – I Collect Wheat Pennies
That is, those Lincoln head cents minted between 1909 and 1959 with two stalks of wheat on the obverse side rather than the Lincoln Memorial (which became the design following 1959.) It’s just a fun thing. I don’t think there’s any fortune to be made in completing a collection of them (barring a couple of true rarities which I don’t have and don’t expect to get.) It’s just a little something that makes getting change interesting. Once in every few hundred pennies I find one and place it in my little collection.
5 - My Favorite Dutch Band Is Focus
As a matter of fact, they’re the only Dutch band I can name. Since Brinkbeest is Dutch, I felt I should throw this in as one of my 10 things.
You might be familiar with the tune Hocus Pocus. It was a hard rocker with loads of yodeling in it, a novelty hit in the 1970’s and a really, truly great song. Their entire catalogue is superb, though – excepting one album, MOTHER, which is unrelentingly boring and I suspect was done to fulfill some sort of contractual obligation – and, if you’ve never heard of them before, you should check them out. Truly magnificent musicians, some interesting and intricate arrangements, and they never limited themselves to any one form. You’d get a heavy metal rave-up, then a madrigal, then a gentle ballad, and then a pure jazz improvisation. If you’re intrigued – and you should be - pick up the album Moving Waves first. It has Hocus Pocus on it.
6 - My Favorite British Band Is Deep Purple
I’ve mentioned this many times, but Jinksy is British, so I’m mentioning it again.
You’re more likely to have heard of them than Focus, but if you’re utterly unaware of them, you’ve missed out on the best heavy metal band ever. Unlike many of their brethren from the genre, these guys can match chops with just about anybody from the more mainstream realms of music. And, unlike most of their contemporaries, they’re still putting out meaningful and worthwhile new material over forty years after their debut.
I can’t imagine anyone being totally ignorant concerning their recorded output, but if you somehow missed out on them and want the best introduction to their prowess, purchase the album MACHINEHEAD. The first cut, HIGHWAY STAR, is my favorite song, ever, from any artist.
7 – I Ralphed In The Shower A Week Ago Saturday
I’m 52-years-old. You’d think I’d be past such nonsense as going out, drinking too much, and throwing up in inappropriate places (is there an appropriate place to upchuck?) but apparently I’m not. I went to a bar to watch the Boston College game, had 7 or 8 beers along with some fried chicken and fries, and then came home and clogged up the plumbing. Yuck.
I’ll never do it again, though, I can promise you that. Of course, I said the same thing when I was 16, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 30...
8 – I’m A Subway (Metro, Underground) Freak
I love subways. When I was a kid, I used to ride the Boston system, the ‘T’, just for fun. And anytime I go on vacation to a city with a subway, I try to put aside a day (or two, or three) to explore the local system. I live in the Boston area, but MY WIFE can tell you that I have more of the New York City subway map memorized than most New Yorkers do. The more arcane the system, the better I like it.
London’s Underground, with its amazingly complicated interchanges and wonderfully strange station names, is probably my favorite of them all. I mean, a station named Elephant & Castle? How can that not intrigue you?
9 – I Own One Pair Of Shoes
I bought them for my wedding in 1992. With any luck, I’ll never have to buy another pair for the rest of my life. They’re a very well made pair of Johnston & Murphy wingtips, original cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $180 as I recall. One lesson I took to heart from my Dad was this: If you buy quality, it will generally cost you less in the long run than if you buy crap many times over.
I wear the shoes for weddings, funerals, the rare job interview, and a special night on the town, perhaps during a vacation; the same relatively rare times I wear a suit. All other times I wear very comfortable cloth sneakers, of which I currently own three pair.
10 – I Often Fall Asleep Listening To Evangelical Preachers
That’s not a commentary on evangelical preachers in general. I don’t snore in church. I mean to say that I enjoy listening to quite a few of the evangelical Christian preachers who have radio programs, and I more often than not – if there’s not a sporting event on the radio – will tune in to the local Christian radio station at night and then fall asleep while listening to their sermons.
I find very few of them with whom I agree 100% theologically - and those charlatans who constantly try to bleed money from their listeners will get me to switch the station quick, fast, and in a hurry – but I would wholeheartedly recommend at least a couple of them as sincere, intelligent individuals from whom I have learned valuable insights. Should you wish to explore such things, Ravi Zacharias and the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee are, in my extremely humble opinion, tremendous teachers.
And that’s it for the meme. I’m also supposed to give this award to someone else, but now I’m fairly blasted, as well as quite tired from the operation I underwent, so one of you has been spared. If you’re a masochist, or unbelievably needy concerning recognition (that is to say, a clone of me) then feel free to SAY that I gave you the award and enjoy yourself (although you won’t enjoy yourself as much as I have unless you’ve also got a similar prescription.)
Soon, with more better stuff.