Friday, April 29, 2022

April Tweets of the Month w/no Musk mention


• It should come as no surprise but, given our sedentary natures, most standstills have become sit stills.

• The exclamation point is to punctuation what the erection is to the male ego. The more you expose it, the more likely it begins to bore those it was intended to thrill.

• Told the kids one of the best ways to get ahead is to ignore the advice of mediocre adults. They pretended not to hear me ... I know. I have only myself to blame.

• To my everlasting shame, I remember in my surly youth seeing an old man limping in front of me, impeding my stride. I remember with a mix of exasperation and disdain thinking, "What's WRONG with you, old man." Much time has passed and today the only time I think such contemptuous thoughts is when I'm looking in the mirror.

• How empty would your house be if all the glasses, towels, tools, and whatnot were suddenly returned to the bars, hotels, employers, and neighbors you stole/borrowed them from when your ethics were less rigorous?

• I’ve run my own websites, zoom called 'round the globe, etc. Trust me. I'm tech competent. If that's so how come after I've successfully weighed, paid, and bagged 12-items or fewer, I look around at the people in the self-scan line behind me like I'm waiting for one of them to hand me a football to spike.

• I wish there was a superhero whose power was the ability to call a square dance so seductively that battlefield soldiers would -- yee! ha! -- drop their weapons and commence to dosey-doin'. This would give Freedom Fighters the chance to swoop in and declare victory or -- boy! howdy! -- enlist in the shin dig.

• I’m so messed up that when someone introduces me as "good people," I can't tell whether they're flattering my character or talking in code to inform others about my multiple personality disorder. Part of me thinks it's the former, another part of me thinks…

• I’m so vain about my influence, if someone ran into my office and in a panicky voice told me a zombie horde was here to "pick my brain," I'd prepare notes on an array of interesting topics and tell her to let them in when she hears the tea kettle whistle and not a second before!

• Facebook is the perfect venue for keeping up with friends we really ought to just call but never do for fear that if we did call they might answer

• In what was one of life's cruelest ironies, we spent an unbroken 2 hrs/ 40 mins listening to a man talk about his artistic career. With no regard for our interest or the endurance of our collective bladders, he talked and talked .. The irony is the man was a .. MIME! Swear to God

• I wonder how much money you have to have in your IRA before you can with a straight face say, "It's only money." I'd never insult money so cavalierly. Guaranteed, no one who's ever said, "It's only money," has ever googled how much he or she could get on the black market for a spare kidney. I'll save you the trouble: ballpark, $65,000.

• What is it about human nature that when we verbalize the common, conversational ice-breaker, "So, how you been?" the response we dread hearing the most is the one that involves them actually and thoughtfully telling us how they've been.

• I know this is going to cause many people to label me as prejudiced, but to me they all look alike. They all sound alike, they exhibit the same behaviors, and it’s hard to tell one from the other. I'm not talking blacks, Jews, Chinese, etc. I'm talking superhero movies. Seen one, seen ‘em all.

• True gender equality will remain elusive until someone invents a public toilet seat that renders moot the whole seat up/seat down puzzler, one the average male can figure out before he either urinates all over the stall or himself.

• I asked daughter, 15, to imagine what it was like to be forced to talk into phone where everyone could hear me. The static I had to put up with when my parents busted me ordering beer and buying dope for the weekend kegger. Who can blame me for splitting for Vegas when I turned 12?

• Studies show typical woman needs just 5 seconds to decide if she'd sleep with a man she just met. I believe it takes men longer, but only because men, being practical, are factoring in scenarios where he and the woman must engage in the process of repopulating the entire planet.

• One of the unmentioned benefits of having a smart phone is the reduction of embarrassing "senior moments." Now, instead of feeling defeated by memory loss, we just look up the answer. That is if we can remember where we put the damn thing ...

—  <<  >>  —

• I dreamt I was gazing out all around the world and everywhere I looked all I saw was ruin, injustice, and want. I shouted to the Heavens, “What can I do to bring peace to this sad world?” A trumpet sounded and I heard a voice say, “You can write a madcap novel about eternity, soulful redemption, and a love so hard it can forgive every sin.”

This I have done.

Who am I kidding? The title popped into my head one night and I thought, now, that’d be a fun story to tell. 

Plus, I didn’t really have anything better to do …

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Confessions of a straight man who detests fruits in his bar


(1009 words)

This is the kind of reckless confession that in these sensitive times  is bound to backfire, but here goes:

I’m at heart a straight man who detests seeing lots of fruits in his bar.

Bear with me.

See, I’m the kind of guy that spends a lot of time sitting in bars wondering why I spend so much time sitting in bars.

It’s not that I’m lonely. Ever.

Sit in bars as long as I do and you’re bound to spend some of the time waiting for someone to sit next to you. I think it makes some people uncomfortable to see a man or woman solitarily engaged in thought. 

One bar patron likes to point out when I’m sitting alone that I’m sitting there all alone.

“There’s Rodell, sitting there with all his friends,” he’ll snort.

I tell him that a man with a thousand voices in his head is never alone. That’s true. I have a ceaseless inner dialogue going on that may or may not include the topics of baseball, politics, science, arts and what the romance writers refer to as “l’amour.”

My kids are now 21 and almost 16. So if I go home it’s likely they’ll be watching televised entertainment aimed at their demographic and hip mothers like the fair Valerie. The three of them cuddle up on the couch and watch movies that seek a broad audience, true, but mostly an audience of what my old man used to call broads.

What they now call chik flix.

So I tend to linger at the bar waiting for someone fun or interesting to sit next to me for conversation.

On nights when no one does, I sit there thinking, really, I should just go home. But I always recollect the night from about four years ago when I was stationed at my corner stool in Flappers, one of three solid bars in the Tin Lizzy, by happy coincidence where my office is.

It was a Friday evening around 8. I was surrounded by groups of happy, chatty people and I was all alone.

I’m now almost 60, so my roster of wingman drinking buddies is thinning (even as their profiles are heading in the other direction). Some are dying, some have found other places to haunt and some have embraced the sad tedium of lawful sobriety. None of this deters me from a Friday evening guzzle. 

I make friends easily and am always accorded chummy respect from my bartender pals.

But on this night it was getting to me. I thought, man, here I am all alone on a Friday night, surrounded by happy groups of people who must think I’m pitiful.

What I’m about to say is entirely truthful and I relate without exaggeration.

Just as I was thinking that forlorn thought, a stranger from Alabama approached and tapped me on the shoulder. “Are you Chris Rodell?”

I told him I was.

“I’m so glad to meet you. I want to buy 20 of your Arnold Palmer books!”

I thought, man, I should never leave this place. And now I rarely do, even though nothing remotely like that has ever happened again.

But changes in taste are challenging my default behavior.

People are exerting pressure to get me to begin imbibing mixed drinks. They’re trendy. They’re artistic. They’re expensive.

I for years now have been drinking double shots of Wild Turkey on the rocks. I have heirloom reasons for doing so, but I also like to tell people I drink WT because it’s the bourbon that’s most representative of who I am.

I’m not a Jack or a Daniel, a Jim or a Beam. And I’m not a Basil or a Hayden.

I’m a turkey that sometimes still gets wild.

I like that for years now, I can walk into a bar and have my preferred libation in my hand about the same instant as my butt cheeks settle onto a bar stool.

I don’t like to be quizzed about what I want and I don’t like being handed a laminated drink menu or directed to puzzle over the pastel scribblings on a dusty chalkboard.

I just want my drink, neat and fast.

I’d be right at home in Martini’s  bar in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” where Nick the bartender tells Clarence, the fairy, er, angel, “Hey look, mister. We serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast, and we don't need any characters around to give the joint ‘atmosphere.’”

The fancy mixed drink has changed the whole dynamic of the bartender/customer relationship. He or she used to pour you a drink then move on to the next thirsty customer.

Nowadays, the preening bartender stands there to detect your reaction and wait for you to shower him or her with praise, like a soldier awaiting their medal.

He asks if I like it. He asks if the ingredient taste differential is bold enough. He asks if his drink is superior to the foxy chick who pours the late shift.

The only question I like to hear from a bartender is when he asks, “You ever gonna tip more than a quarter, Big Shot?”

Don’t hold your breath.

I like my drinks direct, up front, unvarnished.

I resent being schooled on all the precious garnishes. Drinks now feature blood oranges, Luxardo Gourmet Cherries, and other foreign elements that stand a chance of demolishing the tasteful integrity of the liquor.

It’s something I learned from spending a splendid day with Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell (above). He’s the reason I remain devoted to the brand.

I’ll never forget the Manhattan dude who had the audacity to order a “bourbon & Coke” right in front of the great man.

Horrified, Russell exclaimed, “Please, it took me seven years to craft it. Don’t ruin it in six seconds. Keep it straight!”

I’ve been that way ever since.

And that’s the story of how I became who I am, a defiantly straight man who detests being in a bar full of fruits.

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Monday, April 4, 2022

What if Jesus returns today to my office at 3 pm?

(489 words)

What if Jesus returns today at about 3 p.m.? I’m hoping He does and I hope He decides to materialize right here in my office. Why here?

I suspect The Lord is going to need a stiff drink or two, and The Tin Lizzy is a great place to initiate some introductory philosophizing.

And 3 p.m. would be good because it would allow me to maybe bang out a tweet  or two before I blew off the rest of the day advising the King of Kings about the number of challenges to save a world that is looking increasingly godforsaken. 

“First of  all,” I’ll say, “we need you to hustle out to Ukraine and end the war that is devastating Eastern Europe. Then there is bitter divisions here in the U.S.A. mostly goaded by mostly old white men who fancy they’re you.

“Then there’s climate change, the disappearance of species who’ve thrived since Noah, and, yeah, we’d all like to know where you come down on the whole Will Smith/Chris Rock thing.”

Understand, we’re talking about The Second Coming. Happening today.

In my office!

I wonder if He’ll buy books. I wonder if He’ll carry cash or I’ll have to have Him explain crypto to me. 

I wonder how He’ll go about fulfilling the scripture so long foretold. 

Much of the Bible can be wildly contradictory on what happens during  J.C. v.2.0.

It says He will cleanse the world. Would it be possible for Him to warm up by cleansing my office?

It says He will usher in a 1,000 year period where He will rule the Earth. That sounds good, but half America will be pissed if He does it by being too cozy with one of the other partisan networks.

Then what’s to be made of this?

You’re going to Sodom and Gomorrah

But what do you care? Ain’t nobody there would want to marry your sister

Friend to the martyr, a friend to the woman of shame

You look into the fiery furnace, see the rich man without any name

At the risk of being labeled a Hell-bound false prophet, that is not Biblical. It’s Bob Dylan. I try and slip some enigmatic Dylan lyrics in whenever I quote the Bible in the hopes a theologian will explain them to me.

What can I say? Some people seek the meaning of life.

I seek the meaning of Bob Dylan.

One of the big things about the second Coming, according to believers is Jesus will separate the believers from the unjust and — Zip!!! — send the unworthy all to Hell.

War, want, injustice, addiction, hatred, loneliness …

If He does come to my office today at 3 p.m., I’m going to gently recommend He take a forgiving posture on who He deems deserving of soulful dispatch to Hell.

It looks to me like too many of us are already there

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