1. Usually I do not recall dreams. People have told me details of dreams that they have had over time and I’ve always wondered what the heck was wrong with me – why I never seem to have or remember dreams like this. This morning I had to get myself out of bed because I was having a weird dream. It was crystal clear and made absolutely no sense. I was me as I am now. I was wearing a dark suit. I was in my Grandparents bathroom as it was 40 years ago. I was intrigued by all of the switches for lights and fans on the wall and medicine cabinet. They were an odd combination of toggle switches and button/turn switches. I think the most interesting thing was that they were in such pristine condition. I went outside and entered some fantastic garden after exiting the bathroom and walking through a porch area. The details were very vivid. In reality, this was nothing like my Grandparent’s house. Perhaps this is why I had to wake myself up.
2. Nicknames. For the first 14 or 15 years of my life most of whatever influenced me came from the small town where I lived. Everything we needed was in this small town. I mean everything. There were no Walmarts or malls or fast food places. We did have TV, newspapers, a library as well as books and magazines available at the drug store so we were aware that things were going on outside of our town of about 1100 people. Perhaps that was the reason that someone was able to come up with nicknames for just about everyone. Somehow, these names meant something. Somehow, the nicknamed person had earned the nickname whether they wanted it or not. I think things finally got to a point where people were given nicknames for no good reason at all. I am reminded of this once in a while when I see the Seinfeld episode where George decides that his nickname should be “T-Bone.”
We did not have a T-bone. We did, though, have a “T-Bar.” I’m sure that this was due to the fact that he had a t-bar mounted on his bicycle. Sometimes a person’s nickname would change. I moved out of that town when I was 18 but when I hear from people from time to time they have referred to someone with a nickname that is unfamiliar to me. When I ask who that is, I usually am told the previous nickname.
A town of 1100. Everyone knew me as I was a cause for a lot of pain and suffering as a kid. I also knew them in my own kid way. They had nicknames. I did not. There were times when I felt like I had not accomplished whatever it was that earned this badge of honor. Sometimes you earned it because of some boneheaded thing you did, so I was also glad in some ways that I did not have one.
Perhaps I will recall something more specific about some of these people later but for now I’ll leave with a short list. Last names withheld as some of these people may still be alive.
One family had these people: Pood (sounds like wood), Larky, Hoss, Buck, Lard and Linda. No idea why Linda had no nickname.
Shakey George. Had some sort of palsy. You did not want to sit next to this guy in the restaurant.
Warty Mary (unfortunately died in a hotel fire)
Weiner, eventually for no apparent reason became Greek.
Donkey or Donk, also know as Horse Peter. Yes, for obvious reasons and yes, to his face.
Squint D., A guy with one glass eye. It was rumored that after some drinking he would pop it out and drop it into someone’s glass.
Jimmy or Johnnie the Horse Breeder, I can’t remember which it was and I never knew if this guy actually bred horses or was some kind of weird deviant animal abuser. I seem to recall stories about a whip.
Buckwheat. This was a kid who had a really messed up mouthful of teeth and even worse hardware to correct it. It looked like some medieval torturous device. Calling him Buckwheat was cruel and insensitive, as it was with probably everyone we called anything, but it was the way it was.
Birdlegs. Some woman with skinny bowed legs.
Rubber Butt. Some other woman who had butt cheeks that drooped down over her legs as if they were breasts. I can’t remember how we knew this as back then most women wore dresses. Maybe she was into Capri pants.
Fritz was a guy named Fred and eventually became some other name and then I was totally lost.
Becky Bob. Was actually Becky. Eventually became Bob.
Midnight Mary. Not to be confused with Warty Mary. The story was something like her husband or boyfriend was lost or killed parachuting during WWII. She would put on a crap load of makeup and a really awful wig and then walk around at night looking into the sky. We figured she was about 1000 years old.
Mrs. Gribble. Actual name. We caused this old woman a lot of grief. She lived to be about 104. Knowing that, I am guessing that she was well into her late 80’s or early 90’s when we caused that grief. One recollection is making bows and arrows out of the willowy branches of a lilac bush that grew between the garages. She would be the cowboys and we would be the indians during a sneak attack while she was working in her garden.
Pinchbutt. I guess we had some fascination with butts. Hers looked as if someone had pinched it and it stayed that way.
Bulldog or Bologna (Baloney). Bulldog because he looked like one. No idea where the Bologna part came in.
June T. June was actually a man. I think originally they called him June Bug and then dropped the Bug part. I never knew his real name.
Junkie or Junky, not sure which, M. I think this is because he worked for the garbage man. The garbage man was part of our all inclusive small town. We did not have some large service and going green was not a concern. The junk yard or dump was on the edge of town and we often made it there for wonderful adventures, exploration and recovery missions. We found a Polaroid image of Junky in the dump. He looked like he was having a great time with some female and we were impressed that this little shit was not so little.
Musky M. No idea why other than maybe he had some body odor issues.
Schnoz W. Obvious reason.
Fat Hicks, brother of Chick. Real guy, not sure what his real first name was. He lived up the street and we had to pass his house twice a day getting on and off the school bus. He was a former circus fat man – the world’s tallest fat man is how he was billed.
Horsebird. A kid in 7th grade. The teacher was reading something aloud on the subject of the “Cowbird” but was intentionally saying Horsebird. He was doing this because we were supposed to be reading along with what he was reading. When he was done reading, he was going to ask us what animal he was just talking about. One hand went up and that kid (who was not reading along) proudly exclaimed “Horsebird!” I don’t think he was ever known as Chris after that.
I know that there are many more but am currently at a loss to remember them. I’ll add as I think of them.
Beyond all of that nonsense, here is some more. At noon today I watched Robert Gibbs give a White House press briefing. His hair was out of place. I kept thinking that someone in the audience would gesture to him in some way to fix it or that someone viewing him would speak into his earpiece… but no.
There was a point where reporters were asking about the costs of the war(s) now that we are talking more about an action plan for Afghanistan. My wife rather jokingly asked why we were concerned about the cost of the war now when we never seemed to be worried about it before.
My quick smart-ass answer was something like:
Because we were not patriotic if we questioned that during the last administration. We were defending our freedom, spreading freedom and democracy and protecting ourselves against the threat of terrorism. You can’t put a price tag on that and you can’t ever say we can’t afford it… we can’t afford not to. But, things have changed and now we have an administration who has to answer to all of the mistakes of some fuck-wad over the last 8 years. We’ve had an economy crunch, bailed out the richest of the rich, have a higher than ever unemployment rate and someone needs to explain where the money is coming from.
Really, I just wanted to use the word “fuck-wad” in a sentence.