Eddy Murphy

Eddy Murphy

(Photo credits: Chuck Babbitt, Eddy and Robin Scanlon, Murphy)

For my Hawaii 5-0 bday, I did a month-long apartment swap with friends that live in a marina on the windward side of Oahu in Kaneohe. Kaneohe is where I previously, and very happily, lived and dog-walked for 4 years (until Hawaii spit me out like an unemployable haole loogie).

Since this was such a milestone birthday, the week of it involved 4 dinners, 2 concerts, a racing sail and a fundraising dog walk. Seriously, I was just short of a parade and a key to the city.

For the actual day, I decide to do a Humane Society-sponsored fund raising hike then dinner at my friends that own the dog that would be mine (Murphy, 5 yr old cocker spaniel) if life gave you everything you ever wanted. Following my chosen path of least maintenance, I chose a bday where I could get away with being a makeup-less, baseball-capped, sweaty mess in the company of males that prefer me stinky.

I planned for the fund-raising event by getting Murphy’s mom, Robin, on board with Murph and recruiting my cousin, Chris, who lives near the hike. Since Chris was coming, I felt we needed another dog to lessen our 3-to-1 human/dog ratio.

Robin didn’t want to bring Maddy (their crazy young boxer) because she’s too much of a hand full. It’s like she is the spastic kitten and everything is the dancing string.

Some backstory on my relationship with Murphy… I was his human puppy playmate sitter from the time he was 5 months old as his parents are photographers and have a lot of travel with their work. Apparently, I am the opposite of the dog whisperer — I am the dog riler. Kris, his dad, would tell me, “Each time after you stay, we basically have to re-train him”. He’d say this as I was either running my hands over Murphy’s snout saying “bite, bite, bite, bite, bite” or knocking on the wall and saying “who’s there?” and encouraging him to bark. Kris would walk away from these conversations muttering, “You’re the one that needs to be in the crate.”

I ask Lisa and Chuck (neighbors in the marina I’d just met) if their handsome dog, Eddy, could be my date. Although they were going to be out of town and friends would be taking care of Eddy, they reluctantly agreed.

I rush from the sail to bust Eddy, whose sitters are gone for the day, out of his house. This tail-wagging (rubber) baller is just so damn game! Here’s a veritable stranger hijacking him into a car, but still he hops in completely eager for whatever is afoot (or is that apaw?).  I open the windows enough for him to hang part of his helmet head out and the ancient canine call of the car window breeze works its magic — for a while. I placate his whines about 15 minutes in when he’s like, “this was fun to start with and I love the breeze up my nose, but when do we get out — and who the hell ARE you?”. We finally get to Makapu’u (pronounced Mock-ah-poo-oo) and he meets my boy, Murphy, Chris, and Robin.

Poor Murphy is confused as I’m meant to be his alone until death do us part, but I’ve got Eddy in tow.  Murphy does his best to ignore Eddy (which is hard to do when Eddy nose is lodged in his butt). Murphy is undoubtedly thinking, “I was so relieved that sister of mine, the gangly oaf, was not on this hike buzzing around me like an annoying mosquito. Now who is this dopey jet black lug you’ve brought to take her place? This is grounds for divorce, puppy woman.”

After all butts are thoroughly sniffed and the understood hierarchy of dog dominance is established with little Murphy decidedly on top, we head up Makapu’u. Eddy’s gung-ho up the first lengthy incline then eventually realizes he’s got a long way to go and finds his pace.

Only Eddy knows why he goes for some dogs and completely ignores others. These big fluffy, white dogs trotted by and he charged for them (he likes white girls?) then some whippets stalked past and he acted like they didn’t exist (he prefers the thick ladies?).

He hit every water bowl sprinkled along the trail — a couple were so well-used he was basically drinking others’ slobber. Murphy, on the other hand, would only drink clean water and avoided all the bowls. Murph is very much the opposite of Eddy — he doesn’t like grass because it pokes his feet, doesn’t play with other dogs at the park, the little diva won’t go out in the rain and he sure as hell won’t drink a bowl of backwash.

I filled Eddy’s collapsible bowl and Robin warned me to let Murphy have it first. Murphy had a few tentative sips then when Eddy got his turn, he nose-dived into it with considerable gusto, and almost ate the bowl.

At the top of the hike, the Humane Society team took pictures of the dogs. As soon as his photo op was through, Eddy vigorously rolled in the dirt and proudly rose covered in brown dust. I quipped, “Now that the paparazzi has found him, he is disguising himself — he’s become a chocolate lab.”

We ran into the HS photographer on our way down, but he’d consistently forget the dogs’ names when he’d try to get their attention for another shot. I advised, “You can remember them as the hilarious comedy team of Eddy Murphy.”

On the descent, Eddy’s hips were swaying like a hula dancer’s and his toenails were scraping across the concrete as he was starting to run out of steam. Every once in a while, he’d turn around and bury his nose in either Robin’s or Chris’s crotch then carry on with a spring in his step like he just needed a sniff of someone’s junk for motivation.

I briefly handed him off to Chris, and that was when he made-a-poo on Makapuu. The unwritten rules in dog walking go, whoever drags him, bags ‘em, so Chris’s timing became a bonus birthday present.

I took the reins the rest of the way, and we ran into Eddy’s parents’ diving friend and her little dog. She recognized me from a dinner at their house, and said, “Hi, I met you at Lisa and Chuck’s the other night.” I said, “This is Eddy!” (she didn’t recognize him out of context). We then had one of those “how amazing we ran into one another when we just go in circles around this rock anyway and it is impossible not to, but we are still wowed by the coincidence of it each time” moments.

Near the end of the hike, Eddy, Murphy (who was off-leash) and I were well ahead of Chris and Robin. It was downright primal how Eddy accepted that pint-sized Murphy was the alpha and obediently shadowed him — to Murphy’s indifference.  But at one point, uncharacteristically ignoring Murphy’s lead, Eddy stopped and waited for Chris and Robin to catch up then contentedly carried on — as though he was saying, “Are you my family now? Ok, I will wait for you.” (I imagine Eddy’s voice would be like the voice of that big cartoon dog that thinks Daffy is his “own little bunny rabbit”, and says “I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him.”)

Once we got down the hill and across the finish line, a slew of water bowls awaited. Eddy lustily tried the water out of every one. I asked, “Which one is just right, my panting Goldilocks?” Chris said, “Perhaps he has a future as a water sommelier.”

Murphy and Eddy got bandannas and a poop bags for their efforts. I got a walk that would not have been near as fun without Eddy’s Oscar to Murphy’s Felix.

I can’t help but smile at a dog whose tail unconsciously wags with each step (Eddy) — or one with no tail whose butt wiggles so hard when he sees me I fear he may break in half (Murphy). Without doing anything except taking a walk, those two made it the happiest of birthdays.

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Spanish Fly

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Work with a kind of hot presenter from a Spanish speaking country. He has a Ricky Ricardo appeal — minus the bully aspect. He says “Do you know what is this product? You buy the product, no?” (Uh, no, I don’t.) “You remember when you learned to ride a bike, no?” (Not really, but I still like the way you tell this story even after I’ve heard you rehearse it 5 times, no?)

He had a gargantuan nose hair yesterday that mesmerized me as it danced in tune to his exhales. I went to my room and plucked my eyebrows last night it unnerved me so. Thankfully, he had a haircut and full shave, nostrils included, today.

I’ve often said I’m better with someone that is ESL as I do not think they fully grasp how crass I am.

Some of his endearing quotes include: “Last but not list.” “Give him a round of applows.” His video intro is “roll the bideo.”  He’s so cute and seemingly naïve, I want to get into his Spanish fly.

He says something about teaching us the “foondamentals” and I say to a co-worker, “Oh my dios, that’s it. He’s so freaking adorable, I’m gonna ask him to marry me right now. I’m going to wait on the stage-right stairs on one knee and propose to him in front of (the voice of) god and all these badly-dressed, kool-aid drinking nuts when he comes off stage. Make sure we get this deranged moment on i-mag.”

He has some nonsense he wants to do where 10 people come onstage for some sort of review. This gets cut by the powers that be… sensible. He sidles up to me and thinks he slyly glances at my name tag without my knowing then says, “Sharon, I blame you for disappointing these people that wanted to present.” I’m only half listening because I am stunned that this beautifully broken Englished man whom I have fantasized about for all of 24 hours, (including that repulsive, rhythmic nose hair and a public proposal), does not know my name. I think, sure blame me when your hot-tempered wife finds out, I’ll say I was just giving you a hand brushing some nose hairs off your pants.

Reunited

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I went to my 30th high school reunion at the end of June.  (I grew up amidst the humidity, and stupidity, of the Redneck Riviera in Northwest Florida.)  The 10th was mediocre, but the 20th was a blast. At the 20th, I was voted “most changed”. I was brunette and shy (to everyone but the gays) in school, so this is the one time I was rewarded for all these years of being a blatant blonde smart ass. As a result I decided at the 20th it is never too late to be popular in high school and attended the 30th with that in mind.

Walking into Delchamps (my nickname for the 1st night’s reunion locale) when I saw the icy, indoor bar empty, I thought, “are you kidding me, we are outside in this humidity… we are peri-menopausal women?! I might as well just piss my pants right now to hide the sweat stains.”

On the bartender asking what the occasion was, the person next to me readily gave up, “it’s our 30th reunion”. I said, “Can’t you say 20th? If we can’t lie to each other, can we at least lie as a group?”

At one point, my early onset dementia (or my former bong-burned brain) has me feeling like I am standing in a room full of strangers with the song “Somebody that I Used to Know” xylophoning in my head. I’m blowing up neurons trying to recognize spouses I’ve never met and trying to place classmates I probably never knew in school (there were something like 500 in our class). This gives me an idea for a reunion app where you type in someone’s name and their high school picture appears on your cell. I also need an app to help me remember this idea — Lost Marbles Found, Brain Fart Historian or Old Alz Heim could be this app’s name options.

We had an unofficial contest of best-preserved guy and girl. There were many women that easily vied for the title, for the men there was only one, with a distant second. I hear at the 40th, all that changes. In the next 10 years (once we women dry up) we then look like men complete with barreled torsos and beards. I won’t be at that reunion.

Before I head out on Friday, a certain octogenarian I’m staying with, comes to me with Kotex mini-pads that he bought at the commissary asking if they are the same as the ones his wife bought for him with the explanation, “I sometimes leak when I fart in my tan shorts”. I said to an old acquaintance who is acting as gallant caregiver to his parents, “This is what it’s come to, the criteria for finding love at this age… who is going to buy mini-pads for me when I’m sharting myself?”

Throughout the weekend, I was of the mindset to say “hi” to whomever crossed my path. Mostly, that greeting was positively returned, but there were the exceptions…

I said to one guy, “Hi, I think we went to high school together.” He replied, “Yeees, we did” (the understood part was, “and I’m still doing my best to avoid you”) then kept his eye on me like I might pounce while slinking away. Good to know he clearly never relocated from his hometown of Doucheburg.

Another rather poorly-aged (now, I’d never say this if she was nice) cheerleader wannabe I said “hi” to by name. She made a face like I farted in it and said “hiyeeee” while upping her pace to walk by me. I said to one of my gay boyfriends from high school (after walking across the room, standing behind her, and blatantly pointing at her from overhead because he couldn’t spot her – then the two of us snorting with laughter like misbehaving schoolgirls on my trip back), “that’s okay, if I looked like her, I wouldn’t say hi to me either”.

I will be hosting the latest edition of Snark Week on Animal Planet, please tune in.

If you do not show up to your reunion, you are easy prey.

Just to be fair, this was my fave thing to say when someone couldn’t remember me… “Well, that’s okay, I used to be a boy in high school. I was Ron Nectar.” In following, we were at the bar, a guy was sitting at the table we were using and Cathy told me to get rid of him. I said, “should I go up to him with a hopeful look in my eye and ask if he likes chicks with dicks?”

Okay, back to the easy prey of the no-shows…

– Two older ladies (at least by 10 yrs) picked a couple of our reunion leis off the bar, donned them and sat out on the lanai at Delchamps. I said to Russell, we should take a pic of them, post it online and write, “Time is finally not so kind to Stacy Jones and Angie Smith.” (These were two cheerleaders in our class that have looked Dorian Grayishly consistent over the years.)

– About my best friend in school (whose shadow I’m finally out from under as people seemed to think I was her keeper at the 20th — only one person asked me where she was this time), I explained to people that yes, as they always suspected we were a couple… up until 2005 when a certain orange-striped Poop came into my life. There was a lot of hissing, (big)hair raising skirmishes and claws-out jealousy, and I decided there could be only one catty puss in my life, so she stayed home from the reunion out of respect for me and my litterbox-using lover.

– About a gay friend that lives 40 miles from the reunion and worships various old school kings of rock, I said his cigarette-sucking, well-tanned diva hide was on tour playing Rod Stewart in a Legends roadshow.

–  About a raucous no-show queen, I wove a tale that he had been incarcerated since 2011 for offering to give swimming lessons to young men in his Tallahassee sinkhole.

One former classmate mentioned my “candidness” – well, the way I see it is you can’t hide much from the people that knew you when: you had cystic acne like a face full of tumors, your voice broke like a braying donkey, you saw out of four crossed eyes, your hormones gave you wood like a generous, yet diabolic, lumberjack, you smiled through braces that would put a jack o’ lantern to shame and to whom you can never lie about your age.

And if you were me, you were called “chicken legs” (obviously), “snaggle tit” (let’s just say I’ve never called mine “the twins”), and “Nectar napkin” (don’t ask, those early adolescent period waterfalls were trying times). In addition, Don Merrill pulled my skirt down tackling me in 3rd grade and everyone saw my blue-flowered underwear (fortunately, this was before “free-lipping”). I never wore that skirt again and my grandfather (God rest him) walked my shaken self to the bus stop the next day. There was also the time I farted in my tomb-quiet 6th grade class during a test (I asked my parents if we could move).

There were more embarrassing times brought on by my inability to excel in math or science… in high school, I cheated my way thru AP Biology and Physics. Bob Johanssen (another one originally from Doucheburg) ratted out my cheat sheet in AP Biology — I wrote Mrs. McDonald a note saying I had no business trying to think with that side of my brain.  I seriously should’ve been in Imbecilic-Placement Biology. In Physics, my best friend and I cheated off each other and both got like a 20. Freaking morons that we were, we didn’t have the wits to cheat off someone knowledgeable — we didn’t even understand the physics of cheating! BTW, I did not cheat in college — figured I was paying too much and besides, I was an art major. It’s a little hard to cheat on (a useless) talent.

Ultimately, my overall take on the reunion was … no matter the wives, husbands, partners, parents, grandparents, caregivers, widow/ers, bachelor/ettes, divorcees, corporate conquerors, small biz owners, soul searchers or full-time mothers/fathers we’ve become, we’ve shared the most awkward, insecure and carefree time of our lives. We ran inside from the bug man on summer nights; never sat in traffic downtown or on Brooks/Destin Bridge unless something was terribly awry; greatly anticipated — like only a kid (without a cell phone) can — a visit to Goofy Golf, the Palm Theater, Santa Rosa Mall, Carvel Ice Cream, The Waterboggan, Beasley Park, The Gulfarium, etc.; studied for, passed and failed tests on slightly moist, aromatic mimeographed paper; woke up to fresh arrays of blossoming zits; eagerly learned to drive; felt painfully inadequate in gym or band or chemistry or social situations; and experienced what seemed like a drama-filled lifetime leading up to graduation, but was actually just a speck in the scheme of the personal triumphs and tragedies that would follow.

If you wore a red-inked nametag the last couple nights, we are forever brethren in our starry (four) eyed, spotty youth — whether or not we really knew each other then. I did my best to say “hi” to most everyone based on that fact and the results were truly rewarding (even the snubs made for hilarity).

It’s great to meet the adults you’ve become while recognizing the mannerisms, personalities and underlying faces I fondly (and sometimes vaguely) remember. Cheers to us, class of ’83!

Radio Active

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I am in my humid hometown for the summer due to finding NYC unbearable in the rank heat (and in the frigid cold, and in the trendy selfish crowds, and in the over-priced cruelty, and in just about every day there is, etc.) as well as having no work there.

I’m at the mercy of FL radio in the car here… in the words of Blurred Lines… “hey, hey, hey” (it’s humanly impossible to hear this song and not sing that part). I border on loving it (in the bratty yet catchy words of Icona Pop) and in a perfect (and purple) world that would be a Prince song.

I have no idea what they played on one FL station before that “Welcome to the New Age” song (aka, Radioactive by Imagine Dragons). It is on every time I’m in the car (and I ride the bike a lot).

Feel like the radio gods have smiled heartily on me when I hear Mackelmore’s “Same Love”. The lyrics are over due and I never fail to belt out the “I can’t change” part like an overzealous American Idol hopeful. (“Overzealous American Idol hopeful” – oops, is that redundant?)

I’m embarrassed to admit (but that’s never stopped me before) I kinda like the “Come and Get It” tune by that 4 yr old, Selena Gomez. It’s the Bollywood vibe that suckers me in (albeit, Punjabi MC and Jay Z did it better, but again, I‘m prisoner of the car radio’s lockdown).

Each time I hear that One Direction song (which fortunately is not much because it’s “old”), I sing, “without love… it ain’t much, it ain’t much“. Is this not Shelia E’s Glamorous Life by an auto tuned boy band?

Being in a highly military and southern locale, certain songs are on a perpetual playlist like they just came out… BOC’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, 3 Doors Down’s “Kryptonite” and anything off Soundgarden’s Superunknown. I guess I may be part hillbilly soldier because Superunknown is one of my all-time favorite albums.

I do some pretty pitch perfect ; ) mimicry of Anna Kendrick on  “Cups” as sung from a delusional, smitten Poop (my cat, pictured above) to Quizno (his unrequited summer romance)… “You’re gonna miss me by my hair (loss), you’re gonna miss me (peeing) everywhere. Oh, you’re sure gonna miss me when I’m gone (with my fat ass back to NYC).”

For Immature Audiences Only

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I’m on one of the free online dating sites, but rarely look at it due to my disenchantment with 15 years(!) of referring to it between relationships (and not one of those relationships was borne of a computer). Every once in a while when my pants aren’t too tight and I’m feeling euphoric, I write someone back on the site. I made that mistake this week.

The guy writes and says something like, he noticed me a while ago, but got into a relationship so he never got back to me when I “favorited” him. He also says he’s getting re-assigned back east soon (from HI), so he understands if I’m not interested. I suppose I should translate this as, “you were a second choice and the first didn’t work out, so I am resorting to you for lack of something better as I am leaving soon anyway”.  I truly cannot remember if I “favorited” him because nothing about him or his profile makes me even think of splooshing, so I’m unsure why I ever took notice, but I take the bait and reply. I send a standard reply which involves my phone number as I like to get it over with as soon as possible without any carpal tunnel forming.

I don’t put enough stock in online dating that someone leaving in a month would be a deal breaker for me. I don’t want to tell him I set my goals very low in this realm – mutual desire for a second date is as lofty and as long-term as it gets.

Anyhow, he emails back that he’s off-island and will call after he is back on the weekend. Alas, my phone rings the next day (Tuesday). He is calling me from DC.  He establishes that he is a colonel in the Army with a mandatory retirement in 3 yrs, something about private sector… blady, blah, blah. He says they want to give him a star but he is not interested. I stop him there and say, “A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?” A hush falls, then a serious, “No, I’m a colonel and they want to make me a general. You’re probably wondering why I don’t want the promotion.” I’m thinking, actually no, not at all, I would really wonder if you didn’t want to be on the Walk of Fame.

I mention that my dad was in the Air force. He says, “So you’re an Air Force brat.” Me: “Not really. My dad retired when I was 7.” What I don’t say is my dad’s time in the AF and his regimented ways formed my complete disdain for authority. Don’t get me wrong, God bless those that serve our country. I personally just have no desire to wear a uniform (unless it was designed by Tommy Bahama), be commanded to do things (unless it was like, “go to the beach now!!”) or aspire to be the one that gets to do the yelling (unless it’s shouting poses to queens at a drag show). Thank Buddha the world is not just made up with people that have my worldview or we’d settle our battles on a runway out-werqing one another.

Not only that, let’s not kid ourselves, no matter how far we’ve come with gender equality, women are tuned out and belittled in the work force daily. Those of us with ovaries have all experienced it at our jobs. Can you imagine what that’s like in the testosterone-soaked army? In my delusional mind, I’m way too special for that.

Okay, so going in, I’m aware there are fundamental differences with this (probably right-wing) guy. But, I did date a major in the Marines that was not some rabid flag-waver he-man, so my mind is open (although my ears are wishing they could close) during the rather inane conversation. None of my smart-ass comments get a laugh, so I’m guessing he needs to feel like he is the funny one (I already can’t live that lie).  Oh yeah, the red flags are flying like checkered ones at a Nascar finish line.

He mentions sending me a text but didn’t dare until he talked to me (I say something in my profile about texting instead of calling is the coward’s way). He wants to send me a pic and I’m assuming it’s of the cherry blossoms because he mentioned allergies and how they were in bloom (and that is what I would prefer to see). I say, he can text me a pic, but better to send to my smarter phone that has a higher IQ. I say I’ll text him the other number. Why I am encouraging this, pledge of allegiance I don’t know.

We get off the phone as he is in the car and he’s about to go underwater or whatever. I’m just relieved it’s over. A while later, I text him the other cell number for the photo. In reply (to the same number I said not to send pics to) I get a photo of him in uniform. Um, okay, I do nothing and hope we are done.

The next morning he sends a pic of his cold-looking A-frame in W. Virginia (still to the wrong phone — heed orders from a girl much, colonel?). I can’t help but reply, “where is the pool and the sun? Oh wait, they’re here.” All right, I kind of lied, I said “their here” and immediately send a follow up text that said “Oops, they’re — don’t want to have bad grammar in my texts.” Now who’s regimented?

He replies back and says, “No, but I have these”. I swear to the Society of the Humane, he has sent me a picture of a bulge-eyed dead mouse in a trap. A few minutes later when he has had no response, I get, “Sorry! Not for the weak of heart”. I mentioned to him I used to walk dogs and I own a cat. Apparently, I should have mentioned that I save bugs (ants, bees, who ever is struggling) in the pool too. If you’ve shot any deer, West Virginia, I’m SO not the girl to tell or show it to.

I am officially done. Plus I’m thinking, don’t freaking text me every day like we have a connection of some sort. We have not even met. Do not waste my time I’m not doing anything with anyway. I’m also thinking the colonel needs to feel that someone is in his life way more than I do – and this comes from a woman that chases the cat around trying to get a kiss.

I’m hoping this is over, but today I get another text. This time it is of his mantel showing an iron eagle and the flag on display. (Ironically, this is on the day the background check amendment on the gun control bill got shot down in Congress. He probably sees that as a personal victory. ) Has he confused me with Betsy Ross?

To take inventory, these texts say:  here is me in my glorious uniform, here is my backwoods dwelling, here are my kills of the innocent and here is my unwavering patriotism. I wonder if John Hinckley had texting capabilities back in the day, would he have sent the same sort of photos to Jodie Foster?

Should I rival him and send a picture of me in my current Hawaiian garb (a style I call “migrant worker’s day at the beach”), a picture of my latest unemployment check and one of my “F*ck That” bumper sticker? Seriously, my cats names have been “Booger” and “Poop” (and I look forward to the day I own “Douche Bag”), it’s a pretty safe bet I’m not the serious/mature/reverent woman he is looking for.

Onsite Schedule (and somewhere in all this, work gets done)

Image4am: Roll eyes at the glass of wine on the nightstand (I waste about a ¼ of the box in this fashion).

4:30am: Drag myself out to the pool for laps.  In this oblivious state, get yelled at by hotel staff to navigate around the floor buffing. Think, “Christ, the maintenance at Disney is never-ending. Why can’t they ever put away my ironing board?”

4:35am:  Get in pool and have irrational fears that an alligator is in the water waiting for me.

5:30am: Traipse thru hotel in towel soaking wet hoping I don’t see anyone I know.

5:35am: Co-worker gets off elevator and says “Hi Sharon!” while my wet haggardness gets on.

7am call time: Bitch about not sufficiently “visiting Kathy’s parents” then smart-assedly ask what everyone’s plans are for their day at Disney.

12noon: Point out how tight the morning’s lose-fitting clothes have become and how my doughboy capabilities are uncanny. (While this has remained a source of – mostly my – amusement over the years, I should probably see a doctor.)

3pm – 6pm: Make various inappropriate comments about everyone and everything (role plays, incompetent tech guys, hooker load-ins, etc.) as it is my way.

4pm: Realize we all have LMFAO’s “Party Rock” hatefully stuck in our heads.

4:05pm: Sing techno break to “Party Rock” with co-workers against our will for 5th time.

5pm: Mention again (because that horse is not quite pulp), that I am such a bloatation device, they could fly me in the Macy’s parade… and just in time for the dinner troughs.

6:30pm: Whisk out of our meal buffet with a covered plate to smuggle up to hotel room to enjoy with boxed red wine while lounging in my underwear. (Glamorous!)

8:00pm: Fall asleep in front of TV with glass of wine at my side.

12:30am: Awake in a panic thinking it is morning.

4am: Repeat cycle (until I have no idea what day it is).

Blow hard, Gasbag.

I tell the cautionary tale of the too many over-told tales…
When I was younger (okay, and sometimes now when I lose all sense of self-awareness and what’s interesting), I thought it was appropriate to tell everyone the full tedious story of my personal life (now I do it in a limited number of characters for what I hope is the entertainment and/or horror of others on FB). I know of a person that needs a personality intervention where an assembly of his family and friends tell him to cease the long-winded, ego-driven stories in hopes that he finally realizes to everyone’s relief that being a narcissistic douche can be overcome. After knowing this ultimate candidate for a “painful character traits” intervention for over a year, I have realized how incredibly unflattering it is to insert yourself into every situation. Ah, thank you to life lessons learned in the least expected places.

The only reason this person asks where someone is from is so he can somehow relate it to the time he’s been there, no matter how insignificant… “Where you from?” he asks. The unsuspecting waiter, bartender or receptionist replies, “Milwaukee.” (I wish for once someone said Uranus, but then his colonoscopy story would undoubtedly ensue.) Him: “I was stuck in a long layover in the Milwaukee airport once.” I’m sarcastically thinking: how exciting, what a unique experience, tell us more… did you peruse a Hudson News, belly up to the bar at a Chili’s Express, wait in line on a badly timed trip to the bathroom near a gate that just de-planed, or meet someone as equally self-absorbed as your insufferable, clueless self while waiting to board and have them suffocate you with their gasbagging? Instead, I furtively roll my eyes to no one and count down the minutes until I can go swab the blood from my ears.

No one asks, but unsolicited one hears him tell how he’s lost 26 lbs – “with 10 more to go”. If he weren’t such a bulldozer and let someone somehow notice it and inquire, this would not annoy me as it does. If you look closely, you can see that he looks like he is now in his second trimester instead of his third. Then you hear for the 20th time in a day how he’s done it with cross fit and kettlebell training. Sadly, there is always one in the crowd that doesn’t know what kettlebells are, and this sadist encourages him by asking. All I can think in his presence is life would be more fully lived with “less kettlebell”. What should be shouted is, “how about kudos for the rest of us that didn’t allow ourselves to gain 36 lbs in the first place?”

I work out a lot but I don’t go on and on about it. I don’t really want people to know that I strive to look this mediocre, but regardless, I am very aware that this topic along with your diet and ailments are interesting only to the teller. It’s deadly boring for someone to tell you about every twist, turn and fart they made during their workout. Are you really going to stand before us with a digital map displayed on your cell and recount the complete path of the 9,000 tedious steps you took to run 6 miles this morning? Actually, thank you for sharing this, because I’ll know where to run you over with my car on your next jaunt.

One hears the same stories each time they see him. My problem is that I have no memory so I say, “no, I don’t think I heard that one.” Two words in, I realize I’ve heard it more times than the pledge of allegiance, which I try to tell him, but once a rampant blowhard has started, they think they are so entertaining that they can regale you again (unaware that they’ve actually never “regaled” anyone).

The unnecessary details in these stories abound. This is standard procedure for someone that incorrectly perceives themselves as an enchanting weaver of tales. Example: “So I pick up the phone on Monday afternoon about 3pm — no wait, it was Tuesday. I dial the phone and I say hi”. I have already fallen asleep with my eyes open at this point which means I’ll be subject to the re-telling of this story because I’m mentally no longer in the room. When it comes up next, I’ll again think I haven’t heard it — because I tried so hard no to, and thus, the cycle of inane repetition perpetuates.

The worst part is being regularly subjected to this mind-numbing tedium can have you checking out when the information is actually pertinent. “Sharon, look out for that car!” gets blocked out just like “Sharon, look at that tricked out car. Why does anyone drive that here (in HI)? They can only do 60 mph on one freeway.” This would come up every time he’d see a Jag, Lamborghini or the like, as though it was a new revelation. Sometimes for my own entertainment, I’d point it out to provoke the predictable Pavlovian response and like any person with their head so thoroughly lodged in their own butt, he’d never realize he was taking the bait.

Each time we’d drive by Ala Wai golf course, he’d say again how it was the most boring course ever played. How appropriate for the most boring sport ever talked about. His going on about golf would be like my going on at length about make-up to construction workers. When talking about pars, greens and birdies to me, I always thought I should rally with primers, mascaras and concealers to give him a taste of such pure disinterest and unrelatability.

I was also periodically treated to name drops falling on my head. I don’t know how anyone of fame or infamy would actually befriend this person. I imagine an equally self-important person talking at him while at the same time, he talks back and thus, the love of their own voices echoing off deaf ears seals the perceived friendship.

There was also no awareness during business meetings of the telltale signs that someone has had enough of this bombast either. Pens and notebooks are put away, watches are checked, pending engagements are mentioned, climbing out of skin at epic heights is achieved and somehow he is still telling the story of his St. Andrews golf game to a client that will surely never bring up their Scottish origins in his presence again.

I am unsure how his wife was not a deaf, burned-out shell of a woman from the daily bombardments of hot air blasted in her direction.

Ultimately, being astounded by this person’s behavior proved valuable because a mirror was held up and I realized I needed to stamp out any semblance of myself in it. Please always tell me when I am boring you homicidal or repeating myself, I promise to heed the warning.

May all our long stories be short — or at least interesting.