It just feels wrong

I was leaving to go to work the other morning. I walk through an alley as a shortcut most mornings. I saw the following sight as I walked by some trash cans: 20130107-174727.jpg

I know, right? It's just one of the saddest things I've ever seen. Someone must have had a bad run. They're throwing out underpants, a VHS of "A Charlie Brown Christmas," a VHS of "Dead Poets Society" and more underpants. I feel like that's just throwing hope out the window, giving up on life.

Either that or for Christmas, this individual received DVDs and new underpants.

Santa sighting 2012

I can't say that I believe in Santa, but I do have respect of the man. It can't be easy having to be holly, jolly 24/7. And lugging around toys for all of the good boys and girls in one trip must be exhausting, especially if you're morbidly obese. I'd like to think his job has gotten easier with technological advances in modern-day toys. Remember when toys were made out of metal and chunks of painted wood? (What fun!) Well at the very least, the cargo weight of Santa's sleigh has decreased with time. Then again, the world's population continues to multiply like rabbits, so that's more items.

I guess Santa's screwed.

Do you think Santa has the option to retire? Is he like the Dread Pirate Roberts or Shamu and easily replaced after 15 years or so? It can't be that hard. We only see him once a year, his features have been cartoon-ized in our memories and he only ever wears the one outfit. Basically, as long as you're fat, have overactive white facial hair and a red suit, you're in. Plus, people tend to do a lot of drinking around the holidays, so he's got us at a bit of a disadvantage there too.

I was out last night. Not too late because I'm a responsible individual. Also, I dislike feeling claustrophobically close to strangers. So, it was a Saturday night and I was nearly home and who did I see? Mr. Claus himself! I know, I was for sure star-struck.

Casual Santa


So I did what any half-believing fan would do. I took a picture! It must have been Santa just out on the town, letting lose with one of his elves, understandably so. We're getting closer and closer to the big day and I bet that big guy slumps down in his oversized La-Z-Boy at the end of every day and says, "Santa needs a hot toddy." It does my heart good to know that Mrs. Claus allows him that time to just go out, let his coat hang open and get sloshed. (I'm sure she trusts that he doesn't use the pick-up line, "Come over here and sit on Santa's lap.")

It took far too long for me to snap this picture - probably because the magic emulating off of him was effecting the technology of my phone - so Santa and his elf were pretty close by the time I had finished. I looked up at him and smiled and he was smiling right back at me. (His gut really does resemble a bowl full of jelly!)

And I said the only thing you can say to Santa Claus, "Merry Christmas!" and then turned and walked away.

When in beautiful Vienna, Illinois

Be sure to visit Dolly's Place, a classic diner to its very core. Off the highway and an hour north of Paducah, Kentucky, Dolly's is nothing less than you would want it to be. Locals discussing hay bales, plastic laminate tables and waitresses being overly helpful making coffee rounds like it was an Olympic event. The eating part was great. No disappointment, no regrets.

The bathroom situation, however, left me uneasy.

Should I be expecting someone?I remember the last time I was in a bathroom with two toilets in the room. It was a Montessori preschool. I only mention that it was Montessori because maybe this is the exact situation they are trying to prepare children for later in life. You know, be free, be creative... and always pee with a friend.

I don't think/know if the Montessori school had an effect on how I turned out. I know that it must have given that I was there during my formative years, learning how to interact with people and learning how not to interact with people. Something very non-Montessori resulted: I like to go to the bathroom alone and furthermore, I don't like to share (more on the latter point later).

The doorknob was round and brass and had one of those twisty locks that just kept going round and round. I didn't want to check the door handle in fear that it would undo all of the important twisting I had just done, as though there were a secret padlock combination code that I had just happened to guess on the first try.

So I unzipped and sat down. I chose the toilet with the flowers because I would at least be closer to the door and have a better visual should a pee buddy enter. Also, you'll notice that the toilet on the left is a "handicap toilet." It's not higher and it even seems like the tank is narrower. But the bowl may be longer. I don't know. I guess it's just polite legally required to have a toilet with bars around it even if the toilet is the same. Anyway, I was on the flower toilet expecting a paraplegic to open the door at any moment.

[Building suspense.]

Anticlimactic is what this story is. Nothing happened. I finished my business, washed my hands and left.

But it was weird, right?

Glory hole pumpkin

Here's the thing about Halloween: I don't really care. Of all the holidays, it is by far the most righteous. There's no two ways about that. Would you like to dress up as anything you want and have all judgement be reserved? Would you like to go around to strangers and collect candy from them? Would you like to purchase an over-sized squash, gut it and turn it into a face of your choosing? Um, yes please.

But I never dress up. And I tend to make friends/acquaintances with those who are excited about dressing up and coming up with the best costume. The thing is that I love the idea part and I love watching the execution - I just don't want to be involved first-hand.

Last Halloween (or maybe the one before) I was taking the dog for a walk outside as everyone else was party prepping. I saw two people get into a cab outside my building. One was dressed as Betty Draper and the other as Joan Holloway. The first was actually a woman, the second was a man. And it was fucking spot on. I love that. Great plan, great execution.

But I'd rather be at home, walking the dog before my annual viewing of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas with a big bowl of candy corn.

Where I'm going with all of this is just leave me alone. I don't want to dress up. I don't care. I don't even want to not dress up and then when someone asks say something witty like, "This is my costume. I'm my own twin." That was lame. That wasn't even witty. I'd rather have a beer at my desk at work all day and be going as an alcoholic. That would at least be beneficial. Offensive and over the line, perhaps. So next year, back off. It doesn't mean I'm not fun. It doesn't mean I don't have any good ideas. It doesn't mean I hate Halloween. It doesn't mean I think you're stupid (but I probably think you're stupid for other reasons).

All it means is that I'm sitting the costume portion of that holiday out. Piss off and Happy Halloween!