Fish Crackers

Looking down at his feet, the father couldn’t quite remember whether it was Tuesday or Wednesday.  “How long have I been here?” he asked himself.   “Two days…or three?”  He noticed his shoes  still looked creamy smooth.  The Italian leather was highly polished, making the burgundy color shimmer under the lights of the hallway.    “I love those shoes, even after all these years,” he thought.

“Excuse me, nurse.  When’s the doctor going to be out?”

“Sir, as soon as he’s completed the exam, he’ll be with you…I’m sure,” she replied,  sounding both annoyed and sympathetic.

Within minutes, the exam room opened and the doctor walked out, somewhat uncomfortably.  “Let’s talk in here,” he motioned to a small room at the end of the hallway.

“Any change?” the father asked.

“Not really.  Your son’s brain’s still is swollen.  If it doesn’t improve within the next 12 hours, he might become comatose.  At that point…well…I’m not sure.”

All the father can do is shrug his shoulders, sigh heavily and lean against the wall.

“Why don’t you go home for a few hours.  Get cleaned up; take a short nap.  We’ll call you immediately if anything changes.”

“I’m not going anywhere.  He needs me;  he needs me.”

“I thought you would say that.  I’ll send some lunch into you.  I’ll check back in a couple of hours.  Maybe you can take a quick snooze in the room.”

“Yeah Doc…maybe.”

The father walked into his son’s room…closing his eyes quickly as he saw the tubes protruding from the side of his throat…and the IV stuck in his little arm.   He slowly and gently sat down beside the bed, rubbing the fine hair on his son’s head, touching the heavy wrap.  “I love you son…so much.  I’m right here.  Promise.  I’m right here.”

He thought about how they’ve grown so close in such a short amount of time.  His mom had been gone for only 5 months, but they had become inseparable.  “I’m lost without you, buddy boy,” he thought.

As he looked up toward the window, with the blinds closed, he could still hear the rain and wind.  His quick dream was interrupted by something he saw, more like felt, out of the corner of his eye.   A movement…a slight burst of air.

“I’m sorry to disturb you sir.”  A man, tall and lean, had walked into the room.  “How is he?”

“Not good.  Are you with the hospital?”

“I often volunteer,” he replied, walking around the other side of the bed.  “He’s very young.”

“Yes, but he’s very strong.   A good boy.”

“Ahhh.  A sweet soul.”

What an odd thing to say, the father thought.   Looking at the volunteer, he saw a man that looked fragile, yet powerful.  “It must be the eyes,” he guessed.  They seemed to change color when he  moved his head.  Blue, then dark green, then light blue.   “Stop staring,” he told himself.

After smiling at the young man, the volunteer slowly raised his head and looked at his father.  “If you don’t mind me asking, are you a religious man, sir?”

“Not really.  I try to believe, but it’s been difficult.  I lost my wife recently and now this.  Faith is hard for me, right now.”

“I understand,” the volunteer replied.  “Faith is a gift that must be accepted.”

“That’s true,” the father giggled, smiling quickly.

“You have a nice smile, sir,” the volunteer observed.  “I can tell you’re a good man.”

The father sat back in his chair, wiped away small tears and looked at the stranger.   His face was old, but the eyes were so young.   His hair was medium cut, thick and blond…ish.  No grey.   “How odd,” he thought.   His face was narrow, as was his tall body.  He looked familiar.  Watching the volunteer softly touched his son’s head, the father asked him, “Have you been doing this long?”

“Ohhhh, for years and years.  I try to bring comfort to the patients and their families.”

“Well, I can tell you that I appreciate it very much.  It’s nice to have someone to talk with, other than hospital folks.  It’s been real nice.”

“I should be going,” the volunteered said, rising from his chair.   “Sir, if I may remind you, the Lord acts in mysterious ways; ways that don’t always seem fair or righteous.  I hope you find your faith.”

Oddly, the father felt relief and comfort from his words.   Most people say those things in passing, but from him, they seemed genuine…and true.  “Thank you,” he said, turning back to his son.

Sensing the stranger leave the room, the father felt that quick rush of air again…and a burst of light.   Spinning around, facing the door, he thought he saw a shadow, a very transitory one at best.  Numbly staring at the doorway…it looked like a shadow of wings!  “You are tired,” he sighed.   The brightness of the room remained.   “The sun must have come out,” he concluded.

“Dad?!”

Spinning so fast that he tripped over the bedside chair, the father could only reply, “Son?!”

His green eyes were open, his voice hoarse and weak.  “Hi, Dad.”

“Hi, buddy boy.”  He felt his nose running and the tears soak his cheeks, his arms shaking.  “How do you feel?”

“I’m hungry.  Can I have some fish crackers?”

Laughing, rubbing his nose and cheeks with his shirt sleeve, the father could only reply, “whatever you want.”  His son just smiled.

“Let me open the blinds and get some sun into the room,” the father snapped.

Yanking on the cord, he pulled the blinds back.  He could only stare at what he saw.   Dark clouds covered the sky.   It was raining harder than ever.

“Dad, I love you.”

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What’s the difference between Fighter Guys and Bomber Guys

Thru the years, folks have asked me what does the “F” stands for in F-14…and what does the “B” and “A” stand for in B-2 or A-7.   Well, the “F” is for Fighter and the “B” and “A” stand for Bomber and Attack (basically the same thing).

What’s the difference?  Well, one fights air-to-air (dog fight) and is the very tip of the spear.   The other drop bombs and is somewhere down the spear handle.  One “acts”…the other “reacts”.  In the past 30 years or so, those lines have blurred, but for the most part, that’s the difference on paper.  However, in reality, here are the real differences:

A Bomber guy comes to your party with a bottle of fine chardonnay and a wheel of brie.  A Fighter guy comes with a twelve pack, some carne asada burritos and a thirst for your 18 year-old scotch.

A Bomber guy donates $10 to your  daughter’s college volleyball team’s car wash.  A Fighter guy offers her $20 if she’ll flash him while wearing a wet t-shirt.

A Bomber guy drives a Prius, because his wife gets the mini-van.  A Fighter guy drives whatever makes the most noise and looks good.

A Bomber guy comes to your beach party in a button-down, collared shirt, khaki shorts and top-siders.  A Fighter guy shows up in flip-flops, board shorts and a “I got laid at Gilly’s” t-shirt…with puke stains.

A Bomber guy starts all conversations with:  “Hey…Great to see you!”  A Fighter guys starts and ends most conversations the same way:  “Ahhhh..Fuck you, Man!!”

A Bomber guy always likes to do a time-hack…”In 15 seconds, it’ll be 10:00.”  A Fighter guy stumbles around wondering what day it is.

A Bomber guy discusses politics, global warming and financial affairs.  A Fighter guy will debate who wins in a fight between  Terminator,  Alien and Robocop.

A Bomber guy wakes up with perfect hair.  A Fighter guy spends most of the morning scratching his head, while pulling out specks of last night’s dinner.

A Bomber guy loves movies with an in-depth plot and a complex theme.   A Fighter guy just wants to see one monster eat another.

A Bomber guy is your wife’s favorite choice to date and perhaps marry your daughter.   A Fighter guy tells your wife she has a great rack.

A Bomber guy reads Jane Austin novels and The Count of Monte Cristo.  A Fighter guy orders a monte cristo sandwich, with an extra order of fries, and the biggest beer on the happy hour menu.

A Bomber guy has a diverse portfolio; one that has maximum reward,  tempered with minimum risk.  A Fighter guy has a portfolio of the best-looking bimbos he’s known thru the years…on 8 x 10 glossies.

A Bomber guy dreams of a peaceful world filled with abundant food and medicine for all.  A Fighter guy dreams of shooting a zombie in the head with a cross-bow.

A Bomber guy will sneak a cigarette, smoke it away from his wife, and beg you, “Don’t tell her, please.”  A Fighter guy lights up a fine Chohiba, smokes it in front of your mom, who has emphysema, and asks her if she wants a hit.

And finally:

A Bomber guy will entertain your family with stories of adventure, including the mystical qualities of flying among the clouds.  A Fighter guy will drink all your vodka, burp in front of your grandmother and ball-walk around your wive’s new, granite-covered kitchen island, just to see if anyone is looking.

Hope this helps define the differences inherent in the system!!

E

F14burner

 

 

 

My Busy Mornings

As always, I totally over-estimate my worth in the world.

Just about every morning around 4:30, my trusted basset hound Thunderball comes to the side of my bed, crying to get up.   It’s important to note that he used to jump on the bed, no problem.  About two years ago (and he’s only 4 years old), he decided he needed help to jump up…and I obliged him.   Anyway, I made a deal with him that  he can’t come up until 5:30.  Does he remember that deal?  Evidently not, because every day he shows up early and I have to remind him to “GET BACK TO YOUR BED!!”  Uggggggggg!

Around 5:30 am, he returns, I get up, relieve myself, and lift him up to the bed.  Fine…but he wants under the covers.  Down he goes, wrapped around my knees…stretching out, rolling around, moaning and groaning.  I’m pretty much done sleeping at this point.  Side note: my lady friend always complains when I text her at 6:00 am.  “Go back to sleep” is her response.  Well…I would love to but this is in my bed:

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Now…how the Hell am I supposed to even get back in bed…much less go back to sleep?  The answer is I don’t.  Downstairs I go, opening up the blinds, starting my coffee, relax in my recliner, watch LA news and then…THUMP!  Sounds like someone dropped a bowling ball upstairs…it’s really just him jumping off the bed.  Down he comes, finding me.  He stretches, moans, groans (you get the picture).   God forbid if I want to eat a small donut in peace.  This is what I see:

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My goal now is to  finish my food and coffee and out-wait him,  because I know that real soon I’ll see this:

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Followed by this:

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At last…some peace and quiet.   All of this happens before 7:30.  Wow…good thing I’m retired.  Hopefully,  people will realize why I frequently take naps.  Did I mentioned I’m retired?

E

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Is Everything our Fault?

So rare that we read about what the middle class does right.  If you’re white and male and live in a nice house, you’re a target for just about everyone.  If you’re offended by what you think is a racist, sexist, elitist  thought, then stop reading now.  Put your head in the sand and continue whining about how life isn’t fair.

Some white couple in Michigan wrote about the racist policies of the NCAA…how they exploit black athletes to achieve incredible profits…which go the white guys in charge.   Ok…no doubt the NCAA is  the most morally and ethically corrupt organization this side of DC politics.  Yes, athletes, black and white, in the major revenue generating sports, see VERY little in return for their efforts…on the FIELD.  No dispute there.  What are they expecting?  What do they deserve?  You’re an athlete, on a full-ride scholarship to a school that may or may not be an outstanding academic institution.   You can get a degree; be part of a robust alumni; get yourself set for a lucrative career in business, medicine, law, etc.  Instead, some want to unionize and get “pay for my play”.  Hello….you play a GAME!

The article focused on the racism of the white leadership…the same leadership that exploits white athletes as well (wouldn’t that be “white on white crime”?).   Well, about 60% of all athletes in football and basketball are black, according to their study.  That means 40% are non-black (mostly white)…I know that because I paid attention in math.  But their assumption is the non-blacks were from more affluent backgrounds.  How the hell would they know that??   Because all white guys are middle-class dudes!!  That must be correct, right??  It’s your FAULT, white America!!

To me, it’s any easy answer.  I say:  Let all athletes turn pro whenever they want.  If they want to get their ass kicked in the Mediocre Football League as a 17 year-old, then have at it.  Make the NBA accept kids out of high school.   Good Luck, Baby.  All I ask is when they (you know, “them guys”) don’t make it, don’t come crying back, saying they were “mislead” or “deceived”.   To quote Lawrence Taylor, “I was setup like a mutha-f***ah!”  Obviously,  they could accept a scholarship, but they must accept that form of “amateurism.”   College baseball players have been doing it for years.  Finally, if neither option is attractive, I hear they’re hiring at Planter’s Peanuts.

I watched some of the ladies golf this weekend.  They were playing in Palm Springs.  If you’re not aware, the area has a significant homosexual presence.  They display the pride of their sexual orientation openly and without reserve.  Many homes had rainbow flags flowing in the breeze.  God Bless ’em.  However, it did get me thinking.  My brother J and I decided that the white, heterosexual, male community needed a flag to display openly and without reserve.  I give you our flag:

Boy Flag

For our heterosexual sisters, I propose their flag:

Girl Flag

*Editor’s Note:  There may be some cross-sexual envy with both flags, but that will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

The next logical step is to start planning a “Heterosexual Pride Week.”  I’m thinking Super Bowl Week….maybe World Series…don’t forget March Madness.   Of course, we could just say “screw it” and have it during any Beer-fest, Wine-fest, Cigar-fest, or Scotch-fest celebration…or during the History Channel’s “World War 2” week.

Then again, we could just sit in the backyard, drink and smoke, scratch ourselves while we tell old stories, happily farting and burping the time away.  Long Live Us White Dudes!

E

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