Either Learn to Endure or Hire a Bodyguard


They endured. Bruce Lee said the words in the headline on this blog. And of course he didn’t do either. Unlike Dilsey.

I met a traveler from an antique land …

“Our freedom of speech is freedom or death. We got to fight the powers that be. Lemme hear you say, Fight the power.”

Karen enjoys watching the “The Bachelorette”/”The Bachelor.” And I watch along with her. Lord knows she accommodates me on enough of the crap I watch. So I don’t complain, and sometimes I even marvel at the dynamic present as the guys and girls try to find forced true love. Of course it doesn’t work very often. The bloom came off the last couple even before the final wrapup show. Lots of the folks they pick to be on it are either pretty self-absorbed – not a good prescription for letting someone else in – or have intimacy issues to start with. We don’t take it very seriously. We’ve come up with a drinking game – take a shot every time someone says “amazing” or “here for the right (or wrong) reasons,” though we haven’t played it (the show is on Mondays, after all).

“I can’t fly or sink or swim. It’s a lot like falling down standing up, and I’m falling down. You’re my cup till I understand. Wait a minute and see the pieces don’t fit this time.”

What if they threw a protest and nobody came?

“Well, yesterday’s news is what I have been reading.” And in my Charlotte Observer Monday there was an article about Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas and its plans to protest at the funeral of a Gastonia Marine, as it does with other service members who die in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was on the front of the local section, about 600 words or so. Which was about 600 or so more words than people who actually protested, according to today’s Gaston Gazette. Still, mission accomplished. The nutso church got the attention it wanted without even having to stand out in the hot sun.

Last night’s episode had the bachelorette, a young dentist named Ashley, in Thailand with her entourage. On one of their group dates, the guys learned how to kick box, apparently the national sport of Thailand. So then they faced off against one another. Apparently no one saw that this could be trouble. One of the guys, a Wall Street financier named Ames, got his bell rung pretty badly and had to go to the hospital. Which at the very least got him the pity vote to stay on the show. Turns out he’d never been in a fight in his life.

“Then you heat the coffee on the stove. Pull the cup down from the shelf. And slowly turn your back on me. As I sing a blues song to myself.”

There was an interesting twist in The Charlotte Observer story. It said the church “protests at the funerals of dead servicemen.” I guess that’s because there’s really no one at the funerals for live ones.

“And I wish that I could hear, Yeah I wish that I could hear, The blues you sing to yourself.”

But that wasn’t the stupidest thing I’ve seen in the Observer over the past three days. That honor would have to go, as it usually does, to columnist Scott Fowler. Who says the Charlotte Bobcats shouldn’t select Jimmer Fredette from Brigham Young University in the NBA draft this week. That’s actually fair enough. I wouldn’t either. But he doesn’t say it’s because Fredette isn’t quick enough to play the point or strong enough to play defense or any rational criticism. No, he says the Bobcats shouldn’t pick Fredette because Adam Morrison was such a disaster pick for them. He says they’re two of a kind. What’s he mean by that? They play different positions, after all. And they seem to be different guys – Fredette appears to be much more comfortable in the spotlight, for instance. And Fredette hasn’t wrecked his knee. Oh, yeah, they’re both white! Guess they Bobcats shouldn’t pick Dirk Nowitski or Larry Bird, either.

“My life is different now I swear. I know now what it means to care About somebody other than myself.”

Karen asked me if I’d ever gotten punched in anger. No, I said. What I didn’t say was that I almost had. It was back when I lived in Jacksonville.

“Shame, boatloads of shame. Day after day, more of the same. Blame, please lift it off. Please take it off, please make it stop.”

Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,  And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read. Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed.

“I did it 35 minutes ago.”

It was at a bar on the cusp of Court Street. It wasn’t a topless place. I’d gone after work to have a beer and play some pinball. That’s what I was doing when the Miller sitting on the pinball machine fell to the floor. It had been put there by one of the two Marines playing on the next machine. “You owe me a beer, chief,” the owner said. “No,” I said. “You had yours sitting in a place where it was bound to fall off.”

“You expect me to talk. No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”

The Bobcats obviously have no plans to draft the Jimmer anyway. They haven’t had him in for workouts, and I don’t think it’s because they’re planning some great misdirection move. Later in it, he says, “I (Fowler can never write a column without an “I” in it) don’t think Fredette will turn into Morrison …” So what was the point? It was a column in search of a delete button. As most of his are.

The Marine kept at it, raising a pretty big fuss. One of the waitresses I was friendly with bought him a beer to shut him up. Only it didn’t. He kept threatening me and telling me to come outside. Now I have some anger issues and I can do – and have done – some stupid things when challenged, but Hilda’s boy wasn’t born yesterday. I wouldn’t have had a chance against him, even if his buddy stayed out of it. Which he wouldn’t have. Eventually the bar manager, a big biker guy named Buffalo whom I also was friendly with, threw the guys out and made sure they left. So I was saved from the closest thing to a thrashing I ever got.

“Everybody’s got a secret, Sonny, Something that they just can’t face, Some folks spend their whole lives trying to keep it, They carry it with them every step that they take.”

… Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.

A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

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One response to “Either Learn to Endure or Hire a Bodyguard

  1. Pingback: So It Goes … And Other Stuff « Rants 'n Raves

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