The Legend of Saggy Pants

8 09 2018

Saggy Pants

Sometimes things just pop into your head. Maybe it’s because of something you saw or a song you heard. Or maybe it’s because of something you saw while hearing a song. Jimmy Dean’s 1961 hit Big Bad John was playing when I saw some kid waddling down the street trying really hard not to fall over his sagging pants. This was the result. You’ll notice the similarities to Big Bad John (those of you who are old enough or listen to oldies radio). Many thanks to Jimmy Dean.

 

Every morning at the school, you could see him arrive

He stood 6 foot 6 and weighed 125

Kinda narrow at the shoulders And boney in the hip

And his pants would fall down If he’d let go his grip.

Saggy Pants

 

He’d waddle into class all cocky and brash

With a sneer on his lips and talking trash

The teacher’d say, “boy, why don’t you pull up your pants?”

But, he wouldn’t say a word, he’d just cut her a glance

Saggy pants

 

Then came that day In the Janitor’s Room

When a fire broke out amongst the mops and the brooms

And it grew with a rage as it spread through the school

And everyone ran except Mr. Cool.

Saggy Pants

 

With his belt at his knees, he tried hard to run

But he couldn’t kindle a step if you pardon the pun

Fell flat on his face and crawled toward the door

But he couldn’t get out as he cussed and he swore.

Saggy Pants

 

So finally, he pulled his pants to his waist

And he ran from the room as if he were chased

When he got through the door, he slowed down to a trot

And joined the rest of the crowd in the parking lot.

Saggy Pants

 

He tracked down his teacher and to her great surprise,

He gave her a mighty hug then with tears in his eyes,

He swore an oath that was truly heartfelt

“I’ll never again wear my butt on my belt!”

Saggy Pants

 

Advertisements




The Yankees’ Guide to Grilling

30 08 2018

Recently, I asked a Yankee friend of mine if he had plans for the Labor Day weekend. He said after he finished “mowing the lon and washing the cah,” he was planning to have family over for a “bahbecue.” If one couldn’t already tell by his Bostonian brogue, then a strong clue he was from the North was when he referred to this coming backyard bash as a barbecue. Still reeling from the barbecue misnomer, the telltale was when he said he would be putting his barbecue away for the season.  I asked him what season. “Bahbecue season,” he replied. I cringed. This was wrong in so many ways; I felt sorry for this culturally-challenged transplant and decided he needed help. If you plan to live in the South then you need to learn the lingo. As they say, “When in Rome…” So, for those above the Mason-Dixon Line and west of El Paso, who want to blend in, here is the guide to help you understand the art of the grill.

 

The Grill: First of all, let’s get the terminology correct. In the South, it’s called a grill, not a barbecue. And, it’s called grilling, not barbecuing. Barbecue is not a device on which you cook meat; it IS the meat after having been properly treated with your favorite sauce. The grill was invented for the purpose of cooking meat- meat which one coats with a dry rub of top-secret spices or slathers with sauce. It was not created for cooking Brussels sprouts, cream of wheat, or potato gnocchi. Meat!

 

The Gathering: Similarly, a barbecue is not a gathering of your closest friends for backyard drinks and ribs. Call it a party. Call it a get-together. Call it a congregation of your social network, but don’t call it a barbecue. Nothing screams Yankee louder than asking Bubba and Bubbette to come over for a barbecue Saturday night.

 

The Season: There is no barbecue season. There is a football season. There is hunting season. There is even grass cutting season and the farther north you live, the shorter the season. But the grill is like a calendar…it’s to be used year round regardless of where you live.

 

Yankees will hover for hours over a hole in the ice to catch a fish. They’ll sit all Sunday afternoon in a blowing snow with their favorite team’s logo painted on their bare chest. And yet, they can’t stand in the backyard for 20 minutes to cook a steak? I have shoveled six inches of snow out of my grill so I could cook chickens. I have stood on the deck cooking steaks when the temperature was 11 below. I have stood under an umbrella in the middle of a thunderstorm (not my brightest moment) to cook burgers, so this thing about cold and snow means nothing. “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” Man-up and light the coals.

 

The Fuel: Fuel of choice in the South is charcoal. It is permissible to use gas when short on time or if you run out of charcoal. But charcoal, newspaper and a chimney (or lighter fluid) make up your charcoal starting A-team. That means, you need two grills or a grill that allows you to use either gas or charcoal.

 

The Foil: Rookie mistake number one is to cover the grill top with aluminum foil. Sure, it makes clean-up a breeze, but, you’re blocking the smoke from getting to the meat. The meat gets its flavor when fat drips onto the hot

That’s not grilling. That’s frying!

glowing coals and the smoke that wafts through the neighborhood rises to envelop the meat. Don’t cover that grill top with aluminum foil. And don’t buy one of those grill mats, copper or otherwise. Those things are intended for suckers who don’t want to have to clean the gratings on the grill. You may as well throw those steaks in a frying pan. If you’re too lazy to clean the grill top once in a while then you should probably just sell your grill and make friends with someone who owns a grill or plan to spend a lot of time at Smokey Bones.

 

The Sauce: Sauce is personal. It is the one variable in grilling, other than the meat selection. You might want your ribs naked or you might prefer them to be drenched in a heavy layer of smoke-flavored sauce. Your sauce of choice might be a ketchup, mustard or vinegar-based sauce. But the thing to understand about sauce-in fact, the cardinal rule of sauce is, it cannot come from a bottle. You need to create your own signature sauce. Until you do, you can fake it by discretely pouring bottled sauce into a bowl or Mason jar so your guests will at least think it’s your own creation. Don’t forget to hide the empty bottle! Don’t have a Mason jar? No worries, any jar will do. You can use an empty mayonnaise jar (preferably Duke’s), salsa jar or peanut butter jar. For low-viscosity sauces such as a vinegar-based, a wine or liquor bottle works best. That way, you can control the amount of sauce you are dispensing by holding your thumb over the opening as you pour or sprinkle over the meat. An empty Makers Mark might be a bit pretentious but still not a bad choice. Warning: If using a wine bottle, avoid Sangria or anything from Little Black Dress or Moscato and other chick wines. Stick with something such as Gnarley Dude or Mad Dog.

 

You should also understand that a good steak can stand on its own; it doesn’t need to be bathed in sauce. Now, I like the flavor of A-1 as much as the next guy but save the A-1 for when you get cornered into eating something totally unpalatable such as when your host serves you scrapple with roasted Brussels sprouts. See: https://billtaylorcsp.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/internet-recipes-yech/. To mask the flavor of a good rib eye with a sauce is a sacrilege.

 

Following these tips will not make you a grilling expert, but at least you won’t stick out like a giraffe at a possum convention. Happy grill’n, ya’ll!





Professional Biotics

21 08 2018

I believe it was Winnie the Pooh who said, “Sometimes, I sits and thinks and sometimes, I just sits.”

 

Recently, I was sit’n and think’n and something occurred to me: are all biotics professionals? I was watching a movie and, for the umpteenth time during the movie, I saw a commercial about probiotics. It occurred to me to ask, where do probiotics come from? What I mean is, you never hear about amateur biotics. Why is that? Do biotics automatically turn pro when they sign up? Or, do they have a farm system, like in baseball, in which the not-ready-for-primetime players work to make it to the big leagues? Do they have a league like the NFL; or, since they independently eat their way through bad bacteria, do they belong to a group like the PGA? The PBA Tour (Professional Biotics Associatation Tour)? Do they have a union such as the Professional Biotics Players Association (PBPA)? And how does a biotic achieve professional status? Are they judged by the amount of bad bacteria they consume?  Just a few gut-wrenching questions about probiotics.

 





My PC Has Gone PC!

27 05 2018

Who could forget this modern marvel?

The personal computer first became available in 1981. At the time, I was the safety director for the City of Durham, North Carolina and as my co-workers were surrendering their IBM Selectric typewriters for new IBM computers and struggling to learn new terminology such as MS-DOS, RAM and floppy, I was doing all within my power to avoid letting anyone put one of those infernal contraptions on my desk. My hope was to be able to complete my working career and reach retirement before this new technology was forced upon me. Of course, that didn’t happen. Technology moved faster than crap through a goose.

 

Not only was technology trucking along at warp speed, the world was also changing socially. The workplace was no longer accepting of “blue humor,” and rightfully so. The office is not an appropriate venue for off-color jokes or innuendo, particularly in mixed company. Long gone is the pin-up tool calendar hanging in the maintenance manager’s office. And while these are positive changes, somewhere along the way, progressives (see definition below) decided to take it to the extreme and, political correctness was born, and with it, the nation of the offended.

 

Anti-Ridiculous, Not Anti-Progress

Until recently, I considered myself a rebel. A holdout against political correctness. An advocate for normal speech. By that, I mean, I still use gender-specific terms like freshman, ladies and gentlemen, and husband and wife. I still refer to a dead guy as a dead guy and not a permanently static post-human mass. I still call a lady a lady. And don’t even think of inviting me to speak at your commencement because I will invoke the name of Jesus while on your campus. If someone is deaf, I will say he is deaf. Oh, but then some hyper-sensitive progressive would likely correct me, saying, “He’s hearing impaired.” Excuse me, libiot, Merriam-Webster (FYI-that’s the paper version of Wikipedia.) defines deaf as, “lacking or deficient in the sense of hearing.” He lacks the ability to hear! He’s deaf!

 

Anyone who uses a computer is familiar with spell-check and auto-correct-those helpful yet annoying features of Microsoft Word that automatically correct our spelling errors or replace the words we want to use with those Microsoft thinks we want to use. Well, recently, I had an experience that I couldn’t believe, although I shouldn’t have been surprised. It was one of those head-smack’n moments when you suddenly realize the absurdity of something and smack your hand against your forehead.

 

I was using my work computer to write something about confined spaces. I typed in the word “manhole.” Immediately, a red underscore appeared below “manhole” along with a message box. The message was suggesting I use gender-neutral language such as “a utility access hole.” How dare it! A machine telling me to be politically correct! I won’t take that from my mama; I’m certainly not going to take it from a plastic box full of doo-dads and doo-hickeys held together by screws and solder.

This is PC run amok!

 

As a result, I no longer consider myself a mere rebel. I am now a crusader against political correctness. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before artificial intelligence takes over completely. Hopefully, I’ll be raptured before that happens.

 

Progressive: a left-leaning loon who goes to extreme measures to shove their own ideology down the throats of normal people. Progressives can usually be found loitering in large clusters at college faculty lounges, newspaper offices and Barbra Streisand film festivals.





I Could Care Less!

20 05 2018

I could care less. That’s not right. Yet, so many people say it that way. The correct term is, I couldn’t care less. To say, I could care less, implies that it is possible for me to care less than I do. It says, I have more care to give. If I’m trying to express the fact that something is of absolutely no concern to me, then I would want folks to understand that I could not (couldn’t) care any less than I already do because my bag of care regarding a given issue is empty. I have no more caring. I couldn’t care less.

 

Think of it this way. I could not care any less about the royal wedding than I already do. If so then I could care less. But, because I am at the abyss of caring about the royal wedding, it is impossible for me to care any less. Therefore, I couldn’t care less about the royal wedding. I couldn’t care less what the bride was wearing. I couldn’t care less how much was spent on the wedding. I couldn’t care less where everyone sat. I couldn’t care less who was invited. Any questions?





Don’t Blame the NRA

25 02 2018

I saw that several companies have recently cut ties with the NRA. I was particularly disappointed to see Delta and Hertz among them, as I have availed myself of their services on many occasions, and nearly exclusively in my frequent travels over the past 30 years. I am a two-million miler with Delta and a President’s Circle member at Hertz.

 

Don’t Blame the NRA

These and other companies have chosen to boycott the NRA in the wake of the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida; but, I feel the decision is not based on doing what is right but, instead, is based on greed. The decision-makers at Delta, Hertz and others are smart enough to know the NRA had nothing, whatsoever, to do with that or any other shooting. The NRA is no more complicit in school shootings than Delta Airlines was in the underwear bomber, who tried to bring down a Delta plane on its approach into Detroit on Christmas Day, 2009. Or, you could look at it another way. It’s like blaming the National Association of Airline Passengers for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The National Association of Airline Passengers is a non-profit organization, as is the NRA, which advocates for the rights of citizens, as does the NRA. So, does that mean that if a plane crashes into a school, we should boycott them? Of course not. That would be ridiculous.

 

The NRA, whose mission statement includes defending the United States Constitution, advocates for safe and responsible gun ownership. What’s wrong with defending the Constitution? The NRA didn’t put the gun in the hands of the shooter any more than Delta or Fruit of the Loom put explosive material inside the drawers of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

 

A Decision of Greed

Delta and these other companies initiated this misinformed boycott for business reasons only. They did it to protect their image from what they perceived was an indictment of the NRA on the part of the majority of Americans. That is greed and for that, I resent their actions. Rather than attack an organization who is not complicit in violent acts, our efforts would be better spent if we work together to identify the problems and search for answers. If you were able to get rid of every gun in the world, then those who want to hurt school kids could simply walk into schools wearing underwear stuffed with explosives.

 

In the case of the Parkland shooting, there is plenty of blame to go around, but none involves the NRA. How about all the tips about this kid which had been reported to law enforcement including the Broward and Palm Beach Sheriff’s offices and the FBI? These included numerous tips from neighbors, child protective services, classmates and teachers. How about the four deputies who cowardly sat outside the school for four minutes while the six-minute shooting took place? School officials had been warned numerous times about Cruz. The NRA didn’t tell any of these entities to ignore this young man.

 

Given his mental state, which had become well-known, this kid should never have had a gun. Yes, we need to get a better handle on who can own a gun, but over-reacting by blaming the NRA is counter-productive.

 

Stand Up for What is Right

Back to the subject at hand-I am fiercely loyal, so I won’t be flying American Airlines or renting from Dollar anytime in the foreseeable future. Heck, by the time I get this posted, they may well have joined the boycott, as well. Both Delta and Hertz have been good to me over the years and I’m not going to boycott their boycott, in spite of their cowardice. I believe their actions will backfire and, when that happens, I hope they will be as quick to renounce their decision as they were to join the boycott. But regardless, I now plan to join the NRA…not in spite of any boycott, but because I support their mission to defend the Constitution and advocate for gun safety. Rather than condemning the NRA, we should call on them to use their resources to further promote gun safety since it wouldn’t be reasonable to think taking guns away from gun owners will stop gun violence. Join me, Delta, Hertz and others, and stand up for what is right.





I Hear You, God!

18 02 2018

Much has been made of Joy Behar’s comments last week in which she mocked Vice-President Pence for his Christianity and accused him of being mentally ill. Unless you watch FOX News, you probably aren’t even aware of the latest controversy stirred up by this comedienne, turned co-host, on ABC’s The View. “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus,” she said. “It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct.”

 

Certainly, this is something so politically incorrect, the major networks, least of all the owner of her comments, ABC, would not want viewers (and sponsors) to hear.

 

Her comments demonstrate her intolerance for conservatives and conservative views. But the comments also reveal the blatant hypocrisy of her and her boss, ABC, who have made no effort to apologize to VP Pence, or Christians in general. Assuredly, if she had commented that former President Barrack Hussein Obama said he was told by Muhammad that he should release Gitmo-held terrorists back into the wild, or place nearly 2 billion dollars into the hands of our terrorist enemies, she would have immediately found herself among the unemployed and ABC would be falling all over itself to apologize.

 

But her follow-up comment, which has gotten less press, is, to me, even more revealing. Apparently, under pressure, she attempted to walk back her earlier comments by stating, “To call us intolerant or to call out ABC…I find a little hard,” she said. “I give money to the church. I actually help Christians with my pocketbook.”

 

Why does she give money to the church? Is it because she’s a church member? Does she attend church? Does she pray? Does she consider herself a Christian? Or, the $64,000 question, does she believe that her good deed of giving to the church will buy her way into heaven? I mean, I donate to the Police Benevolent Association but that doesn’t make me a police officer.

 

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions. I don’t know what is in her heart, but her words reveal a lot of what is in her mind. Without making any judgments, I fear she does not have a personal relationship with God. To me, that’s the most troubling part of this entire fiasco. She doesn’t seem to understand God or what it takes to be assured of her salvation in order to attain her reward of eternity in heaven. Perhaps heaven isn’t on her radar; I don’t know. What I do know is that I can pray for her. I can talk to God and ask Him to show her the light. And who knows, He may come back and tell me He has it under control.