Yuletide Cheeseburger

cheeseburger, Christmas, holidaze

 

It’s at this time of the year that I generally climb inside a protective cocoon and hibernate, emotionally speaking.
My personal ambivalence towards a holiday that is celebrated for all the wrong reasons leaves me
outside and shivering on a cold and snowy night.
I know I’m not alone on this one.

‘What do you want for Christmas?’
A question heard since before Thanksgiving.

You know what I want?
I want a cheeseburger, okay?
A juicy, steaming hunk of meat fresh off the grill.
Throw that sucker in a bun and we can eat, we can sit and talk about stuff that matters in our lives.
We can be human for an hour.
And drink beer.
And eat pretzels and stuff.
Talk about the Bruins, the Pats, and the number of players we still don’t know on the Celtics.
We can talk about the Red Sox and a banner year that nobody thought would happen.
We can even talk about the Farmer’s Almanac and their Winter prediction (which I hope is shit)
Social media and smartphones have doomed our society to cyber connectivity amongst users.
Text messages, Twitter updates, WordPress pages and Tumblr posts are just words on a white screen.
We are flesh and blood and we need a closer kind of communication than that.
Cheeseburgers can change that!

A 1TB hard drive from Best Buy for all the music I listen to?
Really?
A 25$ giftcard to Starbucks for their mediocre and overpriced latte’s?
Not that either.
How’s about an Omaha Steak gift box filled with filets, burgers, sirloin and crabcakes?
How’s about that cheeseburger?
Fruitcake I will never eat?
You’re probably not much of a friend anyway.

I don’t want anything.
Period.
Amen.
And the angels sing . . .

It’s a holiday of giving, yes?
When this holiday got blown out of the water is a question that all of us need to own up to.
I work in retail and holiday sales are important but the avarice and over the top ‘milking of customers’ by
online retailers, car dealers, furniture stores, health clubs, fly by night internet schemers and online pirates must be silenced.
That’s something that will NEVER happen.
And that is profoundly sad.
It will always be about the bottom line.
And the bottom line has nothing to do with stuff we don’t need.
It has nothing to do with stuff at all.

My yuletide bells stopped ringing many years ago when I realized that the Christmas holiday was just another chance to sell.
Santa turned darkly foul, holly turned autumn brown,
carols echoed chaotic harmonies not unlike a Charles Ives piano piece.
I miss Christmases from 1970.
I miss the antediluvian ideal of the simple ‘carol’ hummed by people walking on the street, shopping in stores.
I miss the Christmas mornings that you didn’t get all that you wanted but what you got was all and more than what you needed.
I miss the simplicity of the town manger going a whole season without being vandalized.
I miss my feelings and love and respect for a beautiful and simple holiday.
But maybe I just miss the cheeseburgers.
Fire up the grill, I’m coming.
Merry Christmas, dudes and dudettes!
Merry Christmas!

~m

The Wicker Chair of Death

Health, death, age, humor, Sopranos

 

James Gandolfini gone at 51.
My close friend PG gone at 57.
Another friend gone at my age, 54, less than a year after he was diagnosed with cancer.
I hate going to see my Grim Reaper doctor.
Just like I hate going to see my Tooth Pulling Bastard dentist.
It’s never good for a multitude of reasons.
I work 60+ hours a week (including my daily commute) sometimes more.
The gym?
A distant dream, although I love the elliptical machine.
But you have to exercise, you say.
And I agree.
But really?
When?
I do walk at least 30-45 minutes a day and eat fried clams once a year.
At the constant urging (and rightly so) of my wife, I finally made an appointment with my doctor for mid-July.
At the ripe old age of 54, I’m starting to feel my oats.
12+ hour days for 9+ years are taking their toll, physically and emotionally.
I am tired.
Alot.
I have tried to be somewhat reasonable about the food that I eat but sometimes life/time gets the better of me and
I am reduced to a Mickey D’s level of nutrition. (98% beef, of that I am sure)
I want to be healthy, I really do.
And now and then I want to bitch slap someone who has the time to be too healthy for their own benefit for my varying sense of mental stability.
Take ‘Headband Lady’ that runs 400 f*(&^%g miles a week through the neighborhood.
She is incredibly fit and probably has a colon strong enough to  pass a small wicker armchair with ease.
And maybe a slight grunt.
Grape nuts,high fiber horkin’ cheese, Supergrains, tofu pups, Whole Foods ‘Pass a Chair’ oil, who knows what the f*&k this woman eats.
And she soooooo looks like a biatch sometimes with her stupid white headband.
Who wears those anymore?
Not Olivia Newton John, I can tell you that much.
I was driving home last week eating/enjoying a Rodeo Cheeseburger from Kurger Bing (so good) when I drove by her house.
I saw her prancing around her lawn like f(*&^%g Superball on acid.
White headband and all.
Does she ever take the friggin’ thing off?
I found out she has one amazingly green front lawn as well.
It must have something to do with the multiple barrels of Grape Nuts stacked outside her backdoor.
Maybe I should ask my doctor about that.
I don’t want to pass a piece of wicker furniture through my lower intestine but passing a Growler or two
could seriously get me into the Guinness Book of World Records.
And it might make my lawn greener.
There’s always hope.
And maybe enough fiber/wicker to fulfill my wildest dreams . . .

Strange daze are theez

weird, Boston, strange

 

Working in Boston there are things that happen on a daily basis that defy any logical definition.
Although I haven’t chronicled all these weird/blessed events, they do play out daily/nightly in my brain like
a bizarre Charlie Chaplin movie.
A guy came running into the store today and yelled to no one in particular,
“There’s a pig outside! I’m not kidding! There’s a pig outside! You gotta see this!”

I said, “Dude, this is Park Square. There are pigs everywhere.”

It was then that I saw a little white pig with a curly tail waltz his fat ass by the open front door.

White, well behaved pigs on a leash.
I wondered what would have happened if I approached said hog with a bottle of ‘Sweet Baby Ray’s’.
My mind wanders.

Then there’s the guy that walks into the store, waits patiently for 15 minutes and then asks me, “Where can I get tour of Germany?”

“Dude. I sell cigars. And pipes. And tobacco. I don’t sell tours. You’re in the wrong store.”
He looks at me as if I just spoke Latin.
Tours?
Germany?
Do you see a fucking beer stein here?
*sigh*

Now I will move on to a regular customer that I will refer to as ‘PhillyCheese’.
This is a guy that has confessed to wearing panty hose, heels and a wig while he vacuums his home.
I hear the neighborhood has taken up a collection to allow/force him to put up curtains.
His dialect changes on any given day from stoutly English to a NY Brooklyn accent.
He’s like a box of fucked up chocolates when you never know what you’re going to get.
Run, PhillyCheese, Run!!!!
PhillyCheese was engaging an unknowing customer the other day when I heard him say this:

“I collect jock straps sir, and I like to wear them around the house when I’m doing something pleasurable.”

What activity would be more pleasurable when wearing a banana hammock?

I can’t make this weird shit up.
It just happens.

Had a weirdass oriental dude come in one late Monday morning and asked/said, “Save Lenny?” [Save Lenny?]

“Save Lenny?” I asked.

“Yeah, save Lenny,” he said.

“I got nothing dude, hang on.”

I called on my friend and colleague Charles to make the situation right.

“What do you want?” [said Charles]

“Save Lenny.”

“What are you talking about?” [said Charles]

“Save Lenny.”

“We’re all out.” [said Charles]

*customer shakes head and leaves withoutsave lenny‘.

Whatever the fuck ‘save Lenny’ is.
I guess.

This is the proverbial tip of the weirdness iceberg that is 100% Park Square.
As I always say, “Everyday is Halloween.”
Bring on the crazy.
I’m ready every day.
Most peculiar, mama . . .

~m

GiFridays

gif, smoke

I troll the internet on a nightly basis and find gif images that I would love to share.
Facebook doesn’t allow these creative creations.
Why?
Who the hell knows.
That said, I am instituting a weekly offering on Fridays only.
Send me your favorite gif images and I will post them here and put a link on my
Facebook page.
There are some amazing, funny and creative Gifs out there.
Send them to me via link/Facebook message.
This could be fun.
My weekly offering is above . . .
If you’re wondering what a gif is, please ask Google . . .  :=)

~m

Iwatch

Kellie Pickler, Dancing with the Stars

 

I watch ‘Dancing with the Stars’.
There. I said it.
American Idol? Nope.
The Voice? Nada.
The Bachelor? Puuuhleeesse. I have standards.
The Kardashians? They need to find a new planet to inhabit. Soon. And hopefully don’t pro-create.
The Biggest Loser? Whoever watches this stoopid show.
If you need a power tool to get your fat ass out of a chair . . . just sayin’
The Amazing Race? I personally know Max of ‘Max and Katie’ and I have never once watched the show.
It’s not that I don’t like Max, it’s that I don’t watch much TV.

Walking Dead.
New England Patriots.
It’s a short list.

My list could go on but I will spare you.
Get my drift?
DWTS came on tonight and my wife drew me into the living room in the only way she knew she could.

“Come here! Michael! Come here! Kellie Pickler is on! You have to at least watch her.”

My wife is telling me to watch a hot, sexy, gorgeous blonde that is half my age.
Did I like it?
What do you think?
Va-va-Voom .
Pickler has pickled my pickle since American Idol.
Okay, yeah, I watched some AI.
I feel dirty.
And guilty.
NOT.

It does make me smile when Pamela makes me watch a bit of a show as I did tonight.
What kind of wife does that?
Mine does.
I think she also knows that her face is much prettier than 1,000 Kellie Picklers.
It’s not only her face but it’s her unfailing heart and soul.
I love ya, Kellie Pickler but Pamela owns my heart.
And that,  my friends is the end/beginning of the story . . .
Can’t wait to see what KP will be wearing next week.
I’m sure Pamela will tell me . . .
8-)

~m

An Italian Christmas (redux)


I have posted this every year since God only knows when.
After a not so recent comment from the author, (3.3.08) I’ve found  the man behind the story and have given him full credit.
Wonderful story, Bill.
It almost made me take the chino’s to Browntown . . .

An Italian Christmas

by Bill Ervolino

I thought it would be a nice idea to bring a date to my parents’ house on Christmas Eve.
I thought it would be interesting for a non-Italian girl to see how an Italian family spends the holidays. I thought my mother and my date would hit it off like partridges and pear trees.
So, I was wrong. Sue me.

I had only known Karen for three weeks when I extended the invitation.
“I know these family things can be a little weird,” I told her, “but my folks
are great, and we always have a lot of fun on Christmas Eve.”

“Sounds fine to me,” Karen said.

I had only known my mother for 31 years when I told her I’d be bringing Karen with me.
“She’s a very nice girl and she’s really looking forward to meeting all of you.”

“Sounds fine to me,” my mother said.

And that was that.
Two telephone calls.
Two sounds-fine-to-me.
What more could I want?

I should point out, I suppose, that in Italian households, Christmas Eve is the social event of the season — an Italian woman’s reason d’etre.
She cleans. She cooks. She bakes. She orchestrates every minute of the entire evening.
Christmas Eve is what Italian women live for.
I should also point out, I suppose, that when it comes to the kind of women that make Italian men go nuts, Karen is it.

She doesn’t clean.
She doesn’t cook.
She doesn’t bake.

And she has the largest breasts I have ever seen on a human being.

I brought her anyway.

7p.m.

We arrive.
Karen and I walk in and putter around for half an hour waiting for the other guests to show up. During that half hour, my mother grills Karen like a cheeseburger and cannily determines that Karen does not clean, cook, or bake. My father is equally observant. He pulls me into the living room and notes, “She has the largest breasts I have ever seen on a human being.”

7:30 p.m. –

Others arrive. Uncle Ziti walks in with my Aunt Mafalde, assorted kids, assorted gifts.
We sit around the dining room table for antipasto, a symmetrically composed platter of lettuce, roasted peppers, black olives, salami, prosciutto, provolone, and anchovies.
When I offer to make Karen’s plate she says, “Thank you. But none of those things, okay?”
She points to the anchovies. “You don’t like anchovies?” I ask. “I don’t like fish,” Karen announces to one and all, as 67 other varieties of foods-that-swim are baking, broiling and simmering in the next room.

My mother makes the sign of the cross and things are getting uncomfortable.
Aunt Mafalde asks Karen what her family eats on Christmas Eve.
Karen says, “Knockwurst.”
My father, who is still staring in a daze, at Karen’s chest,
temporarily snaps out of it to murmur, “Knockers?”

My mother kicks him so hard he gets a blood clot.
None of this is turning out the way I’d hoped.

8:00 p.m. –

Second course.

The spaghetti and crab sauce is on the way to the table. Karen declines the crab sauce and says she’ll make her own with butter and ketchup. My mother asks me to join her in the kitchen. I take
My “Merry Christmas” napkin from my lap, place it on the “Merry Christmas” tablecloth and walk into the kitchen. “I don’t want to start any trouble,” my mother says calmly, clutching a bottle of ketchup in her hands. “But if she pours this on my pasta, I’m going to throw acid in her face.” “Come on,” I tell her. “It’s Christmas. Let her eat what she wants.”
My mother considers the situation, and then nods.
As I turn to walk back into the dining room, she grabs my shoulder. “Tell me the truth,” she says, “are you serious with this tramp?”
“She’s not a tramp,” I reply. “And I’ve only known her for three weeks.”
“Well, it’s your life”, she tells me, “but if you marry her, she’ll poison you.”

8:30 p.m. –

More fish.
My stomach is knotted like one of those macramé plant hangers that are always three times larger than the plants they hold. All the women get up to clear away the spaghetti dishes, except for Karen, who, instead, lights a cigarette.
“Why don’t you give them a little hand?” I politely suggest.
Karen makes a face and walks into the kitchen carrying three forks.
“Dear, you don’t have to do that,” my mother tells her, smiling painfully.
“Oh, okay,” Karen says, putting the forks on the sink.
As she reenters the dining room, a wine glass flies over her head, and smashes against the wall. From the kitchen, my mother says, “Whoops.”
I vaguely remember that line from Torch Song Trilogy. “Whoops?”
No. “Whoops is when you fall down an elevator shaft.”

More fish comes out.
After some goading, Karen tries a piece of scungilli, which she describes as “slimy, like worms.” My mother winces, bites her hand and pounds her chest like one of those old women you always see in the sixth row of a funeral home.
Aunt Mafalde does the same.
Karen, believing that this is something that all Italian women do on Christmas Eve, bites her hand and pounds her chest. My Uncle Ziti doesn’t know what to make of it.
My father’s dentures fall out and chew a six-inch gash in the tablecloth.

10:00 p.m. –
Coffee, dessert. Espresso all around. A little anisette. A curl of lemon peel.
When Karen asks for milk, my mother finally slaps her in the face with cannoli.
I guess it had to happen sooner or later.
Karen, believing that this is something that all Italian women do on Christmas Eve, picks up cannoli and slaps my mother with it.

“This is fun,” Karen says.

Fun? No. Fun is when you fall down an elevator shaft.
But, amazingly, everyone is laughing and smiling and filled with good cheer — even my mother, who grabs me by the shoulder, laughs and
says,
“Get this bitch out of my house.”

Sounds fine to me.

Bella and the Wish

letters, Christmas, Santa, children

 

This past October took I took a ride to the Deerfield Candle Factory with Pamela and our Australian friends Maureen and Mark.
The place was decked out in the traditional Christmas array of sights, sounds and scents.
It’s a magical place and if you have the time to get there before December 25th, I highly recommend that you do.
There’s even a nighttime Bavarian Village lit by vintage flickering streetlamps where it snows every 4 minutes.
It’s a place filled with secret wishes, sugarplum dreams, amazing tree ornaments and obviously every imaginable scented candle you
could ever dream of including, ‘Brown Paper Packages’ and ‘First Down’,
a mancandle that may possibly smell of broken NFL dreams and dirty jock straps, or not.
The ‘Man Candles’ gave me much in the pause department: Riding Mower, 2X4 and Mantown?
Jeepers.
No Super Sweaty Golf Balls?
And lastly the weirdest 2 candles (to me) were ‘Whiskers on Kittens’ and ‘Schnitzel and Noodles’.
Don’t bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me.
What the hell do whiskers smell like and how would they actually make that scent?
Be on the lookout for my own list of the top 10 rejected Yankee Candle Scents.

Turns out that this post isn’t about candle scents and snowflakes it’s about the letter that you see at the top of my post.
A good portion of the DCF caters to children during the Christmas season and I happened to walk by a corkboard filled with letters written by children of all ages to the holiday machine we created and called ‘Kris Kringle’.
Most letters were as you would suspect:

“Dear Santa,
Please bring me an Xbox 360 with at least 2 games and a new Nano Ipod because I lost mine.
An Ipad would be great but I won’t count on that. My parents are too cheap to buy me one.
Say hi to Rudolph for me. And I promise to leave you cookies and milk this year.
I love you!”

or

“Dear Santa, Hi! How are you? How are your reindeer doing?
What are you doing in the North Poal? I am so ecxited about Chrismas.
I woud like a CD player and a Gameboy Advance and a backpack.
by Ann”

Hmmm.
Let me see if I got this right;
Bella doesn’t want anything for herself,
She wants happiness for her Mom because her Dad is a jerk,
She wants happiness for her family,
And she wants Santa to make her cousin Chrystal’s life better.
This little girl ‘gets’ the holiday while the world goes on not even taking notice of this most simple prayer.
And yes, it is a most vibrant Christmas prayer.

We are bombarded on a daily basis with commercials, videos, signs, radio commercials, TV commercials
and pop-ups on our computers telling us to be happy because that’s what this season is all about.
Where the hell did we go wrong?
This little girl sent me a  personal message in the most innocent of ways telling me that this most blessed of holidays
is not about acquiring the most expensive of gifts.
It’s not about the stuff under the tree.
It’s about the people AROUND the tree that make the difference.
Right now, this little girl doesn’t have that.
Her letter made me cry inside because it was absolutely true.
This disjointed familial stuff pervades our society and the world at large.
A happy holiday?
Maybe for some.
Sadly, not for all.
Try to see through the commercial glitz and glamour of a holiday that has literally spiraled out of control in terms of meaning and substance.
Get away from the artificial joyful noise and the constant jingle bells where you will hopefully arrive at a place where your heart can be happy without the need for the stuff that the Media says you need to be happy.

For me?
I want BellaM to get every single thing on her list this year.
Maybe even a pony for good measure.
I will say a prayer for her on Christmas Eve even though I don’t even know her.
And I will pray she gets love.
Stockings full of love.
How about you?
just saying . . .

~m

Lush Me

Lush, massage bar, I would so eat that

One question before I start.
Would you eat one of the above creations?
If you answered yes, please continue.
If you answered no, then you answered no.
Carry on.
Take out the garbage or go for a walk.
There’s nothing more to see or read here.

Here is a picture of a funny monkey to help you forget why you came here in the first place.

monkey

I have lived with 4 women/daughters for the better part of 29 or so years.
I’m used to all the stuff associated with their personal hygiene too;
hair products, hair brushes, blow dryers (they torch at least one on a monthly basis),
gel/goop crap for their hair, conditioners, face wash [with Hawaiian pumice!], ass wash, back wash, foot wash and feminine mouthwash.
It never ceases to amaze me the amount and selection of products available.
Guys have two major categories: shaving and deodorant.
We don’t need much more.

There are some products available to guys as well that simply elude me.
Axe body spray, for one.
Oh, it’s infused with pheromones so no woman can resist you.
Let’s lay that one to rest and say that if you stink like BO or smell like Charles Manson, no pheromone spray, body wash or Godly bar of soap will ever eliminate that.
No wonder you go home alone.

Living with women I’ve gotten used to oddly named products that have no relation to anything ‘male’;
‘The Brusher’, Pink Grapefruit Exfoliate, Slick Works, Catch the Wave gel, Got2B hair motherfu*&$^ Complex,
TRESemme Simply No Frizz with *Frizz Defense!( and God knows how many more).

I used to think these products were okay as long as they didn’t interfere with my life as a hair growing Neanderthal.
That thinking changed a few weeks ago when I went to the fridge after several perfectly chilled Harpoon Leviathan Ales.

Looking into the freezer I spotted an Italian Ice that was the perfect size for a nightcap dessert.
I picked it out and saw the name ‘Whoosh’ on the lid.
Judging from the color is was a blue raspberry ice.
Perfect.
One of my favorite ‘ice’ flavors.
As I began lifting the lid off I noticed that this was not ‘ice’ at all but something called ‘Shower Jelly’.
My monkey brain screamed: DO NOT EAT THIS!

The company that made it is was called ‘Lush’.
They make fresh handmade cosmetics.
Or do they?
Their shower jellies include ‘Sweetie Pie’ and ‘Whoosh’ (the one I almost ate).
They have bath bombs with names like Butterball, Bon Bomb, Dragon’s Egg, Sex Bomb and The Sicilian
(oooh, tease me with your seductive Italian flare! Grazie!)

This company has stuff called ‘Gorilla Perfume’.
Gorilla? For a woman?
Maybe a hairy woman.
Why not call it ‘Primate Scent Enhancer’?
What’s the difference?
The names are quite amusing though . . .
‘The smell of weather turning’ . . .  (here comes the big one, honey!)
‘Snowshowers’ . . .  (get out the shovel you lazy, fat bastard!)
‘1,000 Kisses Deep’ . . .  (not going there, evah)

The other thing I almost ate was a ‘Lush’ bath bar.
These things look like little oval white hunks of chocolate imbedded with yummy things . . .  like nuts and stuff.
I almost ate a ‘Wiccy Magic Muscles’ bar that looked more like a white chocolate Snickers bar than a massage bar.
My olfactory senses slowly connected with my brain and said, “Dude? The tummy ain’t gonna like this. It ain’t food.”
Nuff said.
I had learned my lesson.

Lush has some great names for their products though;

Nutts ( a massage bar. Not touching the name)
Strawberry Feels Forever (giving them a *Beatle for that one)
Heavenilli (looks like Sushimi, minus the wasabi)(rub sushi all over my face, please)
After 8:30 (looks like a piece of carrot cake with 1” of cream cheese frosting, who can resist?)
Dorothy (a bath bar that looks like a little doggie turd on a blue urinal hockey puck)(truth)

Guys like me can’t understand this stuff.
We are happy that it makes you happy but we will never comprehend the obvious product innuendo.
And there is much of it with ‘Lush’.

Consider their Body Butters:

King of Skin
Schnuggle (so cute the name alone makes me gag)
Aqua Mirabilis (?)(is that a constellation?)
You Snap the Whip (Shades of Quentin Tarantino)
And last but not least, ‘Buffy’;

Massage our Buffy body butter all over your wet skin in the bath or shower to make you softer and smooth to the touch, paying special attention to your backside. We add ground rice, almonds and beans to Buffy to act as exfoliants; the rough textures eliminate lumps and bumps and sloughs away dry skin cells to reveal brighter, fresher looking skin. Rinse off the exfoliating bits and pat yourself dry. There’s no need for body lotion after a Buffy slaying session, because the cocoa and shea butters keep your skin beautifully smooth, moisturized and soft to the touch.

Smack my ass and call me Sally, this is true.
I would write more about this company but I have a mad date with an extravagant bath bar called, ‘Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds’.
And I think she’s taking me for one hell of a soapy ride . . .

Odd Noggin Land for Lollipops & Virgins

girl scouts, weird, cookies, humor

A co-worker was walking back to the store last week after lunch when he was approached
by a grown man dressed as a Girl Scout.
Dress, hat and all.
Around Park Square in Boston, freaks like this elicit little but a glance.
This freak spoke to my colleague in passing and said,
“I always wanted to be a Girl Scout. If you could buy a box of cookies you could make me really feel like one.”
Really?
These people exist, folks.
We get phone calls from people looking for K2, Salvia and numerous cannabis alternatives.
The latest is ‘Kush’.
I took a call yesterday from some bonehead that asked, “You guys have any kush?”
I said, “Try ‘Bed, Bath and Beyond. They sell it by the boatload.”
Click.
Dial tone.
I think BB&B sells bath salts too.
We hear you can smoke those and get off with the right pipe.
Christ save us all.
Off to snort some totally rad solid Degree deodorant.
Pass the aaa batteries . . .

~m