Friday, April 10, 2015

AT THE SONIC FOR A BANANA SPLIT

There is one girl, she drives me nuts. I dread going up there, and pray she doesn’t bring my order. She is too much like me.  She is too friendly.  She is too familiar, putting too much effort into being nice, to be funny.
She says the same thing every time she brings the banana split out.
She rolls out on her “Skitz” (not misspelled, I think she is high to boot), and handing me my banana split says:
“I REALLY had FUN making this for you”

I don’t know why, but it creeps me out. I wish she didn’t tell me that.
Finally tonight,  she skated up to me and said “I REALLY had FUN making this for you”.
I took the split, inspected it very closely  and with a horrified look on my face said “Please don’t tell me that. You didn’t get a hair in it, did you?”


You can say that about anything on the menu, but please don’t say it about the hot dogs or the banana split.

NATIONAL SIBLINGS DAY, MY SISTERS STORY, PULLED FROM THE COMMENTS OF A FACEBOOK POST


“I have no idea why I feel the need to add to the Bulletholes family faux pas but here goes..I don’t think that I have even shared this with Bullets…

I was at a professional dinner at a nice restaurant (I didn’t know a soul and needed a drink or two to overcome my shyness and talk to people). After my dinner arrived I was trying to shake the salt out of the wrong end of the shaker. OK, the pepper had come out of the bottom! I thought that I had figured it out fast enough that I was in the clear and could maintain my professional decorum.

But OH OH…I looked directly across the table and saw these blue eyes looking at me and bobbing up and down. They belonged to a man whose head was bobbing because he was laughing at me and I knew that I had been busted. But, right then it was just a little laugh between the two of us. But, as my luck would go, this guy was Michael Foster who was and is one of the funniest humans on the planet. His reaction made me start laughing too, and the more he laughed the funnier he made it so the harder I laugher and it just kept going…until I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t contain it and I slapped my hand on the table. So hard that it caused (yes) my chair to tip over backwards..I had a little hang time so I tried to catch it…but it went all the way down to the floor.

Then I was trapped because the chair had these great big arm rests and my feet were initially jammed up under the table. I managed to get my feet loose so they ended up wiggling up in the air with my high heels on full display, just in case someone at the table hadn’t noticed what I had done. Now you couldn’t miss it. Not just my shoes were up in the air for every one to see. I was wearing a dress.


The 20 or so of my new colleges helped get me up and out of that chair. It was a big heavy wooden chair. Since I had unwisely pulled my feet out from under the table righting the chair and letting me stand up wasn’t really feasible. They had to drag me out of the back it. I know that my mother, who was always the epitome of a lady, was turning in her grave. I wanted to dig a whole in the ground and crawl in it for the rest of my life.

But, as it turned out I didn’t have to find any liquid courage to introduce myself to this group of strangers anymore. I had provided them with the best laugh they had had in while and they all wanted to be my new friend even if they had seen my underwear. Michael Foster ended up being one of the best friends I ever had.

I guess that this runs in the family… I am working up the courage to hit the comment button. Here goes."


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Jay Wilkinson Versus The World

“I was dyslexic,” Wilkinson said, “so my mom gave me comics. Books were overwhelming. Comic books were cool because I could just look, and then I’d get excited and want to read a little. So that’s how I got started drawing."




“I’ll do portraits of people’s dogs, sometimes grandmas,” he said with a laugh. “Last Christmas I did portraits of [a client’s] dogs, but I put them in Patton-esque general outfits. Sometimes [clients] are like, ‘Go nuts.’ Other times I’m told to just stick to the picture. It’s a great way to earn a little extra cash.”

Wilkinson isn’t worried where he’ll end up. He’s just enjoying the ride.

“Art is toying with people’s ideas of the universe, law, politics,” he said. “I’m still solving this problem of what art is. I don’t know where I’ll wind up. I assume I’ll settle into one format eventually, but it’s not something I’m worried about right now.”

Jay is the son of a good friend of mine.
His characters are totally unique; slightly deformed, weather beaten wrinkled and toothless people, desperate characters on the fringe, forgotten and forlorn, trudging on with their face against the wind, back turned from the sun.

His next show "Bobby On Drums" May 30 at  Shipping and Receiving, Fort Worth Texas.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Saturday, April 04, 2015

MORE ON THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE

I did a post a while back about a Colorado cake shop that refused to make a cake for an LGBT wedding. They said it violated their right to free speech. The judge ruled against the cake shop, saying that by refusing to make ANY cake they were guilty of discrimination against a protected group of people. Colorado had extended rights of public accommodation to LGBT.

Well, a Religious group has tried to put the law to the test in their own way. They ordered a cake from a gay baker at the Azacar Bakery with an anti gay message on it, and when the gay baker refused to make the cake, they tried to sue. And failed. Apparently they never read the judges ruling:
"it is the explicit, unmistakable, offensive message that the bakers are asked to put on the cake that gives rise to the bakers’ free speech right to refuse. That, however, is not the case here, where Respondents refused to bake any cake for Complainants regardless of what was written on it or what it looked like. Respondents have no free speech right to refuse because they were only asked to bake a cake, not make a speech."

I'm amazed that people are talking about this as though they know something about it without ever having read the judges ruling on the case.  If they would simply do that, some of the nonsense might stop, and we could get headed in the direction of a good solution and compromise.

I was impressed with the Azacar Bakeries response to the request. They refused to make the cake with the anti-gay message, but did agree to make the cake without the message, but to provide the materials where the purchaser could put the offensive message on the cake themselves.
And the Religious group tried to sue.
I just have to shake my head.

In the Elane Photography case out of New Mexico, in which a judge also ruled that a photography shop was in violation of public accommodation laws with regards to an LGBT wedding, here is what he said:

"On a larger scale, this case provokes reflection on what this nation is all about, its promise of fairness, liberty, equality of opportunity, and justice. At its heart, this case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less. The Huguenins are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish; they may pray to the God of their choice and follow those commandments in their personal lives wherever they lead. The Constitution protects the Huguenins in that respect and much more. But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life.
 In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship. I therefore concur
."

I have some very good friends who look at this and focus on that last line "it is the price of citizenship". And this concerns them.
I agree, I don't like to hear anything is the price of citizenship.
In the case of a wedding cake, with no obvious pro-gay message, no double groom/double bride at the top that might infringe upon the makers right to free speech, I see no problem.

The Photography case, where a photographer was asked to take pictures at a gay wedding, almost went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declined to take it, leaving the lower courts ruling in effect against the photographers.
Someday I think they will have to take a case like this. Certainly baking a cake with no pro-gay message requires little participation in the actual event.
But taking pictures at a gay wedding? The photographer has to be very much involved, His participation level in the event is at a much higher level than that of the baker.

In the meantime, I will ask who seems to be the more tolerant--Azacar Bakery, or the religious grouup suing, or the Baker who flat out refused to make ANY cake-- and willing to make compromise, or as the judge has it in his two sentences before the last:
" That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world."





Friday, April 03, 2015

HOW I CAME TO BE A PUNK

Yeah, in Detroit in the Fifth Grade I had a teacher named Mrs. Rawlings.
She liked to say smart mouthed stuff like "You have the brains of a squished ant" and "Did your mother have any children that lived?" and it didn't take long for me to really appreciate her humor.
I started saying the same stuff to anyone that happened to be in my way.
If anyone taught me how To be a punk, it was Mrs. Rawlings.
I stopped say "Yes Ma'am " and "No sir" and started to say "yep" and "nope".
"Please" 'Thank you" and "You're Welcome" went right out the window.

When we moved back to Texas i remember my 7th Grade teacher asked me if I didn't know how to say "No ma'am".
My reply?
"Nope"

Thursday, April 02, 2015

OBAMA MANDATES “APPLE A DAY” FOR ALL AMERICANS



President Obama, speaking to the American Medical Association, indicated that all Americans should be required to eat an apple a day.
“A good diet is a great preventative measure” he said “We’ve all heard the old adage “”An apple a day keeps the doctor away” and I think that’s sound advice”
“He can’t do that” said Republican Ted Cruz. "Americans should be free to eat or not eat apples at all. Its time to bomb Iran.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest was quick to walk it all back.
“The president merely made some comments concerning healthy dietary choices. There are no plans to make apples a part of the ACA. “

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"UNTIL YOU LEARN TO HOWL...

...YOU WILL NEVER FIND YOUR PACK"



Monday, March 30, 2015

I CAN DRIVE AND CLEAN THE BACKSEAT AT THE SAME TIME

Back in my using days...
A friend was really worried about me one night. They took me to the ER.
At the ER they sent me to the psych ward to talk with a Dr.
He asked me if I used any dope.
“Yes sir:” I figured I’d be honest.
“What does that do for you?” he asked.
“It makes me laugh, makes me funny. I’m like a comedian when I’m high”

"So you are a comedian" he says, and marks something down on his chart.
“Do you ever do anything dangerous when youre high?” He asked.
“Like what?”
“Like drive.”
“Sure doc, but that’s not really dangerous is it?”
“You don’t think driving under the influence is dangerous?” he asked.
I thought about it a minute.
“Well, doc, the stuff I use is the same thing they give fighter pilots”
I thought I had him there but he didn’t even flinch.
“Oh, so you are a fighter pilot now?” he said, and wrote something down in his chart.


Fact is I'm way funnier now that I'm sober. 
And a better driver.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

NO ONE KNOWS LIKE YOU

Two weeks before my sister died I got a call from my ex wife.
“Hi” she says.
“Hi yourself”
““I have some sad news” she says. He voice is under control just enough I can tell its going to be really sad. “Arnold passed away.”
“ Oh God” I said.
“Are you OK?” she asked.
Long pause…the lyrics to a song come to me...

“Holding back the flood
Just don’t do no good
You can’t unclench your teeth
To howl the way you should
So you curl your lips around
The taste of tears and a hollow sound
No one knows like you”

“Are you OK?” she asked again.
“Yeah. No. Yeah” I said.

You are probably wondering who Arnold was.
Arnold was a friend of my ex-wifes family. He was blind since his teens. He done everything from milk cows and pick cotton on a farm to making brooms at Lighthouse for the Blind. I’ve personally seen him repair and replace a radiator on a Ford Van, drive nails, and change out a water heater.
He had been a plumber and a cowboy.
He and his wife ran the sanitation department in Kennedale for years. She drove the truck, he loaded the trash.
And at one of the deepest darkest times of my life, when I had given up,  Arnold took me in. He gave me shelter in a burned out trailer, no electric, no water,  and let me stay in his when the rains came in. It was all under the guise of me taking care of Arnold, but it was really the other way around.  Sure, I mowed the yard, and made him breakfast. But it was his bacon and eggs we were chawin’ on.
And Arnold and I became good friends.

“Are you OK?” she asked again.
“Yeah. I’m OK” I said.
“I want to ask you something” she says. “We are planning Arnold's funeral. Do you think you can do it?”
“You mean, like the eulogy? Sure I’d be honored” I said.
“No, not the eulogy.  The whole funeral.  We need someone to run the funeral.”

Have you ever had the blood just rush from your head to your feet? It was kind of like that.
The most humbling moment I’ve ever experienced. She’s not asking because I’m so great. She’s asking because she knows what Arnold did for me.

“You want me to run the funeral? I don’t know about that. I’ve never run a funeral before.”
“Well, we don’t have anyone else. Just think about it and get back with me” she says.
“Ok. Let me think about it a bit.”
Long pause.
“Ok” she says.
Long pause.
“ Ok” says I.
Long pause.
“Just think about it and let me know tomorrow” she says.
“OK”.
 Long Pause.
 “You know what?” I says. “I don’t have to think about it. I’ll do it. I’d be honored to do it.”
And that’s how I came to do Arnolds funeral.

Good afternoon everybody. I’m so glad you can be here today to honor Arnold. My name is Steve. I am humbled to be here.  I was lucky to know him, and proud to say Arnold  was my friend.
This is a good time to go ahead and turn your cell phones to silent, as we all bow our heads in prayer. 

Our Lord we thank you for Your presence here today. and come before you this afternoon as friends and family of Arnold Horton. We are here because we love him and miss him and we want to cherish our memories of him, we want to honor his life and honor him and support one another as we grieve his passing - a passing from life here with us to everlasting life there with you  Lord. As you promised:
 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
In the mighty and holy name of Jesus we pray.
Amen.

Then we played a song, and I read Arnolds obituary, and invited Arnolds sister, and Arnolds wife to share which they did. One of Arnold’s sons had written a nice tribute to Arnold, but didn’t want to stand up. So I read that for him.
Then I told my story…

I came to stay with Arnold some years ago. He helped me in a jam I guess you could say. I lived in the old burned out trailer for about a year and a half. Maybe it was longer, it was a bad time for me, a bad time, except for Arnold.
I’d get up in the morning and watch for his porch light to be turned off. That was my cue to come over and have some coffee and maybe fix a little breakfast. Arnold ate a lot of bologna and hot dogs back then. I wish I could say he ate a lot better after I come out here. I can say maybe he ate a little better, but the fact is, if anyone had asked what I was doing out here, I’d have said I was taking care of Arnold. But really, it was the other way around.
Arnold was taking care of me.
But we had us a time, you know, and got to know each other.
It’s the loudest place on earth, Arnold's place at the end of the road, right next to the train tracks.
You might think that out in the middle of nowhere would have been peaceful and quiet, but you might be wrong.
The one neighbor had three German Shepherds and a Chow, and all it took was a cat crossing the road 100 yards down the way to set them to barkin' and howlin' like it was the End of the World.
Then, right across the Railroad tracks there was a concrete plant. In the morning trucks would line up to get their fill and between the low rumble of the motors, you could hear the sledging slurping sound of concrete spilling down from a hopper and into the spinning back of the truck. Later that day the plant would go into production, and gravel would be crushed in some giant machine. It was like the sound of marbles being dropped on a tin roof and amplified enough to make you ears bleed.
So when the dogs got to barking, and the gravel got to crushing, you really couldn't quite hear the train that was coming down the tracks till it was almost on you. But as the trailer began to shake from the vibration of 100 cars filled with coal gliding down the Double-E of the tracks, if we timed it just right we could holler out "There goes that son-of-a-bleep" at the top of our lungs, only you wouldn't be able to hear the "bleep" because the engineer had commenced to blowing his whistle.
When we  timed it right Arnold and I would just laugh and laugh.
But that's not all.
Since this place was "out in the middle of nowhere" it made it the perfect place for someone to put up a Dynamite plant a half mile away. And at various times of the day, starting at 6:00 in the morning, they would test the dynamite and there would be a big boom go off and the shock wave (which could snuff out a candle) would rattle your windows and of course, set three German Shepherds and a Chow to barking their fool heads off.
But that's not all.
There was one thing that could drown out the dogs, the concrete, the train and the dynamite. On Friday and Saturday nights, one, or all three racetracks in Kennedale would start their engines. I was stuck right between all three and you couldn't hear a thing.
When those racetracks started up, I might have missed Gabriel blow the Lords Trump.

Arnold never complained, never had a bad word for anyone. He had the sweetest most pleasant disposition of anyone I ever known. And how he did what he did with his limited vision? I’ve seen him drive nails, do plumbing, pull and replace a radiator off a car. His wife Jackie might say “Arnold, I want you to put that tractor up in my pickup truck, and Arnold  would go over and put his arms around the tractor, grunt, laugh and tell her “I don’t think I can do this Jackie”. But he sure did try. Pauline, his sister was telling me about when he and his brother Waymon were working on a car.
She said: ‘He and Waymon were working on a transmission out in the driveway. It got to be dark, and Waymon said that’s it for the day. Arnold asked him why.
“Its dark out Arnold” Waymon said.
“That doesn’t make any difference to me” said Arnold.
That's just how Arnold rolled. Nothing got him down.

(When I told this part I looked at at Pauline, and she was smiling so big. People like it when you tell their stories)

Lets go ahead and close out today with a prayer. After the prayer, I’ll invite you all to pass by Arnold, and pay your last respects, say goodbye. Let us pray:
God, thank you for Arnold! You formed him, you knew him, you walked with him through 81 years, and even now we have confidence that he is in your presence.

Thank you that you are a God of mercy, who promises to comfort us, particularly when we lose our loved ones, and so in these moments now, and in the weeks and months ahead, please bring comfort and mercy to all of us as we remember, and share fondly all that Arnold was to us.
Amen 
And that was that. I did the graveside too. Its really quite easy. Its like running an NA Meeting. You introduce yourself, tell folks to turn off their phones, say a prayer, invite people to share and share yourself, then close out with another prayer.



 It was just two weeks later my sister died. I started looking for someone to do her funeral. In a totally inspired moment I thought of Daryl. Daryl had been the champion of the Youth Group where we went to church. He stood up for us all, especially the girls, and kept us straight as best he could. He was like Johnny, in Dirty Dancing, without all the dirty dancing.
So I called Daryl and asked if he could do Lisa’s funeral.
“You mean like a eulogy? Sure, I can do that” he said.
“No, not just the eulogy. The whole thing. I’d like you to stand in as a minister would”
Long pause.
‘Well, let me think and pray on this tonight” Daryl says.
“Sure, take your time”
“When did you say it is?”
“This Saturday”
Long pause.
“I’ll just need to pray on it” he says again.
“That’s fine”
Long pause.
“You know what? I don’t need any more time. I’d be honored to do it”
And that’s how Daryl, who never did a funeral before in his life, came to do my sisters funeral.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SEX AND THE CITY

You know what’s really funny about my sister?
You may recall she passed away back in January after years of being ill.
There was a guy that kept asking her out the last three years. And she would stand him up. And he just kept asking her out.
She finally went out with him one time.
She called me the next day.
“You call him and tell him not to ever try to kiss me again”
“He tried to kiss you?”
“Yes”
“When?”
“When he dropped me off and walked me to the door”
“And you wouldn’t kiss him?”
“No, I’m not that kind of girl”
“its just a kiss Lisa. He’s asked you out a million times. You should go ahead and kiss him, just a little kiss”
I can tell by her voice she’s totally offended.
“I have my boundaries” she says.
“Well, so do I” I say “And I have no intention of calling him and telling him not to try to kiss you anymore. Its not my job”.

I know this guy. He’s had a stroke, walks with a limp and his left arm is mostly immobile. He may be a creep, but he’s hardly a threat. He seems like a sweetheart to me. Hell, if I was girl I’d kiss him, just out of pity.

But then, if I was a girl, I’d be kissing EVERYBODY.

So now I’ve got all her stuff, and this is whats weird.
She has every episode of every season of “Sex In The City” on videotape.
But the last 4 Seasons are unopened.

Maybe that where they get to the kissing part?