CONTACT, AS IN SPACE, NOT PAPER

(Note From Your Cap’n: this post is dedicated to my buddy Ms. Angel, who I work with at Publix, a hard worker, a fine and decent lady and a cutie to boot…this one is for you, sweetie.) 

Today we’re going to talk about Earth, spelled with a capital “E” when using the word to refer to the planet; it is not capitalized when using the word to refer to dirt, and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to bring the President into this conversation, thank you.

Planet Earth, as we all know, is the third planet from our Sun, which is a minor star that lies close to the rim of the Milky Way (that’s the galaxy, not the candy bar) in the Orion Arm. It is not known whether or not Orion has legs as well, but for the sake of this essay, it will be assumed, otherwise how could it walk, run and wear pantyhose, one of man’s most ubiquitous and consternating inventions?

(And lemme’ tell you, I think I should get points of using the words “ubiquitous” and “consternating” in the same sentence…please be impressed.)

A little info to give you some perspective on the Earth’s relationship to the Sun, the solar system, the other stars and the universe. First, we must consider the measurement of velocity referred to as the “speed of light”…

Light waves travel in a vacuum at approximately 186,000 MPH, which is visual; as a referent, sound waves (aural) travel at a mere 741 MPH and that stench coming from Washington (olfactory) is moving WAY faster than most of us ever imagined it could.

A light year, the measurement used to determine distances in space, is thus…

The speed of light x 60 seconds in a minute x 60 minutes in an hour x 24 hours in a day x 365 days (approximate) in a year, or 186,000 x 60 x 60 x 24 x 365 = 5,865,696,000,000 miles in a year, or about the speed I was moving at when Old Man Adams came out from behind his garage and almost caught my friend Jimmy Walker and I soaping his windows on Halloween night, back when I was 11. (Every time one of us hit/threw a ball into his yard he’d come out of his house and take it…the following year after almost being caught we tried the old “shit in a bag, put the bag on the front porch, set it on fire, ring the doorbell and run at the speed of light” routine on him. Sadly, the old fart didn’t stamp it out with his foot as we had hoped, but went in the house, returned with a glass of water and put out the fire…it still had to be disgusting to clean up.)

The closest star to our Sun and to Earth in our galaxy is in the Alpha Centauri system, Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B, which form a binary pair and are 4.3 light years distant. Using the above measurement for a “light year”, that equates to these stars being 25,222,492,800,000 miles away; FYI, that’s trillion, and further FYI, the next unit of measurement after “trillion” is “umptyfuckingbazillion”, which we will be using soon to refer to the national debt under the “let’s shrink government spending” Republicans in our Congress.

Our solar system is part of the Milky Way galaxy, which contains somewhere between 200 and 400 billion stars, and is estimated to contain at least 100 billion planets. (The term “Milky Way” comes from the Latin “via lactea”, or “milky circle”, and since I promised to stop making obnoxious references to women’s breasts, I think you guys should be proud of me for keeping the dumb joke I would usually make here to myself.)

To extrapolate further, you must use a “loofah”…excuse me, that’s exfoliate, sorry.

Begin again…There are approximately 100 billion galaxies like our Milky Way in the Universe (and with that many galaxies I figured that’s a word that ought to be capitalized). If we assume the existence of 100 billion planets in our galaxy, then we can further assume that there are 10 x 18th power, or 10 QUINTILLION planets, give or take a few bajillion, in the Universe.

Given each planet’s proximity to its star, or Sun, the atmosphere of said planet, the age of the planet and other factors, such as the duration of the cubic zirconium and the radius of the torrential nebulae, most scientists, evil fucks that they are, would probably agree that there is in the vicinity of 6% of those planets that would sustain “life” as we recognize it, said life not to encompass any beings as obnoxious as that repulsive Mitch McConnell, or a potential 60 trillion planets that could sustain some type of life form. (Actually, most scientists would probably say the number of potential life-sustaining planets is considerably less than that, but I was on a roll.)

I believe it safe to say that at least a few of these potential life-sustaining planets are inhabited with some kind of sentient creatures, possibly akin to the Iguana people of the planet Zatox, or brainless oxygen suckers like Kardashians, from the planet SelfImportant. (FYI again, “Kardashian” is Armenian for “llama mucus”). In any event, given the above numbers, in the final analysis, most likely Man on Earth is not alone in the vastness of the Universe.

My point? We exist in a immense, veritable ocean of stars and planets, so deep and vast and measured in numbers so unbelievably huge as to defy comprehension, all surrounded by the bleak nothingness of space, which could be a good description of the span between our President’s ears, and yet, with all these stars, all these planets, all these systems and all these potential life-forms, we still find ourselves getting pissed off at the asshole in front of us with 15 items in the 10 Items Or Less Express Lane.

Just a little perspective, mateys; some things just aren’t worth the hassle…we are small cogs in a VERY, VERY vast wheel, not insignificant by any means, and most certainly unique, but minuscule in scope nonetheless.

Well, except for President Tweety Bird, who is WAY more significant in the Universal scope of things than the rest of us…just ask him.

See what comes from being a part-time Front Service Clerk (a grandiose corporate name for a “grocery bagger”) in a Publix grocery store?

Love and space stations,

Cap’n John

HOW LONG? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

It was the first of a new month and I was standing on the main deck of the R U Kidding, just aft of the mizzen-mast, talking to my 2nd Mate Gertruden Shepard about the newly begun baseball season, when her boss walked over to us with a silly grin on her face.

“Hey,” I said to my 1st Mate, Taffie Wetzel, with a nod and a smile.

“Happy April, fools,” she said. (You could tell she’d been waiting all day to try that line on someone.)

We all had a good laugh, and then I called a couple of my deck-hands, who had been busy swabbing the deck behind us, over to where we were standing.

“Aye, Cap’n.”

“Take Ms. Wetzel back to the stern, bind her up good and then put the plank in place…we’ll join you there in a bit.” TW turned to me with a look of astonishment on her face.

“Aye, Cap’n”.

They grabbed the 1st Mate, who was by now protesting loudly, and dragged her off aft.

When the boys had her trussed up good and tight, we walked back aft as well and with little to-do, made Ms. Wetzel walk the plank…sadly, she walked 11 feet on a 10 foot board, and in the drink she went. One of the hands up on the bow, not knowing what was going on, yelled “Woman overboard!” (Hey, I run a totally PC ship…none of that sexist iguanacrap on my boat.)

I only let her flounder for a few moments, then I had the hands tow her back in, just before a huge school of paranoid goldfish, masquerading as NRA members, moved in to attack her.

“Why did you DO that?!?” she sputtered, dripping wet, after they had her back onboard. “I thought you were going to let me drown!”

“Fooled you, didn’t I?”

Now that we have the frivolity out of the way I’d like to propagate a monumental sea-change here and, whoa, never thought you’d see this, did you, be serious for once, as unusual as that is.

April 1st marks the six-month anniversary of the launching of the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog, and despite all of the nay-sayers and critics who exclaimed loudly that the Cap’n would sink and not swim, you and I and all the silliness that swirls around the Kidding are still going strong.

Okay, limping along vigorously then.

For the past six months I have been boring, excuse me, regaling you with stories of three-legged pigs, or about being a part-time Front Service Clerk for Publix, or with all my advice to the lovelorn columns (remember the three-breasted woman or the retired proctologist who lived in Whoopee Cushion FL) or my Cap’n John For Pres 2020 campaign, or Montpelierians, or my opinion poll, or my trip to the doctor to find out I’m growing a second head or the Antonin Scalia School of Holistic and Organic Legal Education (better known by its acronym ASSHOLE) or with any of the stories of all the other “interesting” things that I choose to expound on occasionally.

And through it all, you guys, my loyal and faithful readers, have suffered, er, sorry, endured.

Masochists.

So two things, mateys…one, I hope to hell that you guys have had 1/10 as much fun reading the Cap’n as I have had telling the stories; two, and here’s the big one, from my heart…thank you.

Thank you, 10Q, danke, gracias, domo arigato, feliz navidad, xie´xie´, e pluribus unum, spasibo, tierra del fuego, in whatever language you care to apply, I am very, very grateful to you all.

Like double-secret probation grateful.

You guys are awesome, I don’t care what Mitch McConnell says.

Hey, as long as we’re all here, how about a few “Cap’nisms”, wadda’ ya say?

~From “NORTH, SOUTH AND OPINION” 3/16/18

                “…the First Amendment of our hallowed Constitution grants the nation’s citizens the right to pop-off with their opinions, any time they like, about anything they want to pop-off about. The Constitution was ratified in 1787 and Americans haven’t shut the fuck up since then.”

~From “IT’S ONLY HIGHER LEARNING IF YOU’RE STANDING ON A LADDER” 11/18/17

                “I know you Oswaldo, you’re not the kind of man who would let his laundry basket sit on the cowling of a P-51 Mustang that was painted orange and why was the persimmon?”

~From “POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS FOR $500, ALEX” 1/18/18

                “And FYI, “yo ho” is not how you say hi to a prostitute.”

                “Hey, it’s going to be under 30 degrees here in central FLORIDA overnight again, with a “freeze warning” having been issued by the county…you’re damn right I’m in favor of global warming. And it better happen pretty damn soon, ‘cause everybody down here is freezing their cojones off. What, are you kidding me?”

~From “ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T GETTING ANY (AND I DON’T MEAN ADVICE)” 11/10/17

                “My wife of 25 years recently left me for a rodeo clown, who had a line of bullshit a mile long, a pimped-out Winnebago and his own barrel, and I’m thinking of celebrating by spending two weeks at some island resort, naked and drunk. Do you have a preference for vacation spots?”

~From “THE INSISTENCE OF MAMMARIES” 3/23/18

                “I’m a retired proctologist living in a senior’s apartment complex in Whoopee Cushion Fl, and I’m having a problem attracting the “right” kind of women; so far, since I’ve lived here, the only woman I’ve been able to get a date with was an old-maid ex-turret lathe operator with three nipples and a pet iguana named Horace.”

                “The guy in the cubicle next to mine at work is a hunk, but he never says a word to me other than “hello” in the morning and “boiled llama parts” when he leaves at the end of the day.”

                “Well, you could march into his cubicle wearing nothing but an engineer’s cap and a big smile, carrying a left-handed monkey wrench, and announce that you’re there to tighten his lug nuts; that oughta’ get his attention.”

~From “IT’S AMAZING ALL THE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW AS A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE” 1/27/18

                “…a study done back in 2015 revealed that 11% of Americans think that the term “HTML” is actually an acronym for some kind of horrible disease. The report further stated that these same 11% couldn’t find their butts with a flashlight, a map and two hands.”

~From “I FORGOT TO ASK IF THEY HAVE A WENDYS” 12/8/17

                “I’m sure Montpelierians (no way I could say that word three times in a row with a couple of adult beverages under my belt) are devastated at this news…I know I would be.”

~From “DID ANYONE CALL MISSING PERSONS?” 12/4/17 (on babies)

                “They’re generally cute, smell pretty good until they do something unspeakable in their diapers (something my ex- and I used to call a “special delivery” whenever my daughter left us one), sometimes noisy but mostly inoffensive, and although they add little to the Gross Domestic Product, they can be counted on to vote Democratic.”

~From “…AND IN TONIGHT’S HEADLINES…” 10/7/17

                “-“Freshets Of Profanity” would be an awesome name for a rock band.

                “-do the hokey-pokey and turn yourself around…order given by the Captain to the crew, or if he’s incapacitated, the Machinist Mate 3rd Class Cosign PiRSquared, to immediately after hearing the “Hokey-Pokey” horn, turn themselves around. That’s what it’s all about.”

~From “BOY, THE WETTER YOU GET, THE OLDER IT WANTS” 2/11/18 (on getting older)

                “…and it flashed into my mind that if I said something about needles being stuck to any of the kids at work, they wouldn’t have the slightest idea what the hell I was talking about.”

                “I gotta’ be careful farting that hard…at my age I’m liable to blow my spleen right out my asshole and shoot it across the room.”

~From “OH SURE, NOW YOU TELL ME” 2/3/18

                “From the wonderful Tony Bennett song, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco and My Spleen In Cleveland”.”

~From “A PSA OF DUBIOUS QUALITY (LIKE THE VALUE OF YOUR BITCOINS)” 2/24/18

                “I once ate an entire box of Entemanns Cinnamon Raisin English muffins (with butter melted into them while they were hot, and with a big glass of cold milk…yes) right before I fell asleep and woke up alternately singing “God Save The Queen” and doing Freddie Mercury impersonations.”

~From “LET’S THROW A POLITICAL PARTY!” 1/10/18

                “No donation is too small, and as Bill Murray said in Ghostbusters, no fee is too big, so send in those dimes and quarters and $100 bills ASAP. And remember the immortal words of Will Rogers, who once opined that we should be happy we aren’t getting all the government we’re paying for.”

Yes.

Hey, I haven’t had this much fun since the last time I had root-canal work, but I need to wind this up and get going…Ms. Wetzel just walked by the door to my cabin, where I’m working here at my desk, and when she saw me turned her head away and refused to speak to me.

I think it might be time for her to take another swim…this time I might let the NRA goldfish have her.

With all my heart, thanks you guys.

Love and anchors,

Cap’n John

NORTH, SOUTH AND OPINION

I have received torrents and rivers of letters and emails recently, wondering why I haven’t written anything for the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog since back on the 24th of February (okay, I got two, but compared to none, that’s a torrent), concerned that I might be incapacitated in some way and asking when, oh when, Cap’n John, will you return?

In reverse order…well, I guess my return date is today, 3/15, the infamous Ides of March, on the 2062th anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar by a bunch of Roman Senators who were not only upset with his handling of several important issues of the time, including immigration, taxes and sword control, but Caesar’s numerous alleged liaisons with large-breasted women of ill repute as well. (FYI, your Cap’n is a big fan of large-breasted women of ill repute.)

As far as being incapacitated, thank you for your concern, but no, I’m fine, as well as can be expected for someone whose mother dressed him funny when he was a kid.

Lastly, I just got lazy. (Hey, it happens.)

I saw this headline this morning on the ‘Net…”O.J. criticizes Kaepernick over anthem protest”. So apparently even disgraced athletes who are convicted felons think Colin Kaepernick’s ill-advised kneeling during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner prior to NFL football games was a rancid crock of yak butter. (And thank you to author Christopher Moore for that great description.)

I’m sure all those folks who also didn’t like or agree with Mr. Kaepernick’s actions are greatly heartened at O.J.’s support.

It’s been my experience in life that opinions are a lot like assholes…everybody has one and a lot of them stink. But this is ‘Murica, and the First Amendment of our hallowed Constitution grants the nation’s citizens the right to pop-off with their opinions, any time they like, about anything they want to pop-off about. The Constitution was ratified in 1787 and Americans haven’t shut the fuck up since then.

I see (and like most people, I suspect, occasionally respond to) opinion polls about everything these days, on the Internet, in my daily newspaper, in the mail, even being conducted by individuals in shopping malls, all of them asking “hey, what do you think about…”, presupposing the process of thought, a chancy supposition at best in many cases.

So I thought that, hell, I can be a band-wagon jumper, why not come up with my OWN opinion poll and foist it upon my unsuspecting readers and make it about things I really want to know?

Okay, unsuspecting readers, here we go…

1) ”Pool noodles” would be…

[]             a) a great name for a rock band;

[]             b) a great name for amphibious pasta;

[]             c) the “real” reason J. Caesar was killed or;

[]             d) none of all of the above.

2) Cellular phones are…

[]             a) a blight on humanity;

[]             b) a blight on humanity;

[]             c) a blight on humanity or;

[]             d) all of the above twice.

3) President Donald Trump…

[]             a) is doing a great job…not;

[]             b) is the Devil Incarnate;

[]             c) is an unprincipled horse’s ass;

[]             d) as a President would make a fine truck-driver or;

[]             e) all of the above three times.

4) Satanism is the perfect religion…if you screw up, when you die, you go to Heaven.

                []             a) true

                []             b) false

                []             c) orchestra section, third row, seats 56 and 57.

5) The 115th Congress…

                []             a) is doing a great job…not;

                []             b) is a bunch of unprincipled horse’s asses;

                []             c) should be beaten repeatedly or;

                []             d) if you answered “yes” on Question “a” (line 54) then proceed to section “L” (line 56.53) and repeat as needed, but only if you have checked off box “h3” (line 666, subsection “25.nd%”) then refigure your tax after completing Form A888999555 (line 2, paragraph 2.5) and recalculating your framitz deduction fiscally with addendums.

6) Re my campaign for President in 2020, if I made singer Toni Tennille my candidate for Vice-President, I could campaign as “The Cap’n and Tennille”; is this…

                []             a) a great idea;

                []             b) something that smells like a fish left in a hot car for three days;

                []             c) a really dumb idea or;

                []             d) pool noodles.

7) The Grammys…

                []             a) are a complete bore;

                []             b) are a total and complete bore;

                []             c) are totally irrelevant and a total and complete bore or:

                []             d) stupid.

8) Yesterday at my part-time job as a “Front Service Clerk” for Publix Supermarkets, I walked 8053 steps, or 3.8 miles in a 5 hour shift…

                []             a) not bad for a guy slightly younger than a redwood tree or a tortoise;

                []             b) see answer “a”;

                []             c) all of the above;

                []             d) Mongo Santamaria.

9) Yoga pants are…

                []             a) a blight on humanity:

                []             b) the best thing that ever happened to men in general;

                []             c) tight in all the appropriate places or;

                []             d) the corner of 57th Street and Maple Lane.

10) Opinion polls are…

                []             a) a blight on humanity;

                []             b) a valid and meaningful method of determining people’s feelings about the issues that face our country today, as long as the “people” you ask have an IQ above room temperature;

                []             c) stupid or;

                []             d) endless.

11) Are you (please check all that apply, sequentially)…

                []             a) male;

                []             b) female;

                []             c) other;

                []             d) over 21 years of age;

                []             e) an American citizen;

                []             f) a taxpayer;

                []             g) a standout rodeo performer;

                []             h) deeply confused about which antiperspirant to use;

                []             i) claiming all the residents of your entire apartment complex as deductions;

                []             j) all of the above except a, b, c, d, e, f, g, and h.

Thank you for participating.

By applause, how many of you are really glad that this opinion poll is done…yeah, I thought so.

Love and questionnaires,

Cap’n John

Post Script…a major announcement will be forthcoming from the Cap’n John For President campaign in the immediate future. Stay tuned to this blog for the latest news.

 

TAKING THE POT OUT OF CHICKEN POT PIES

I remember telling my good friend Maureen, who is a fellow sufferer, excuse me, employee at Publix Supermarkets, where we both work part-time, myself as a Front Service Clerk (if jargon were profit, Pubics, as I call them, would be awash in cash) and her as a cashier, back when Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pies were on special, that that’s three of my favorite things, a silly joke from which we both still get a big charge whenever a customer throws a box of them up on the conveyor (see my earlier post “HE WAS BORN WITH THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER AND THE SENSE THAT THE WORLD WAS MAD”, 10/7/17); it’s the little things that often times make life more livable.

Mo is a major sweetie…she’s one of those rare people that always has a smile for you and never bitches, even when she’s entitled. She makes the world a better place for being in it, and we were all deprived of a decent, fine lady when she wasn’t born twins. And she is just one of many super folks that labor in the vineyards of Publix, day in and day out. Much as I bitch about Pubics, the people are mostly cool, with a few notable exceptions. (Are you listening, Ed?)

But I digest.

So imagine my excitement when, during this past weekend’s various football games, and Holy Forward Pass, Batman, wasn’t that throw/catch for a touchdown at the end of the Saints/Vikings game effin’ amazing, I saw repeated commercials for Chicken Pot Pies at KFC. (There was a kid in our neighborhood, back in the day, who could never say “Kentucky Fried Chicken” properly…it always came out “Kenfucky Tried Chicken”. He went on, as an adult, to become a Senator from Illinois.)

Hey, three of my fave things, now at KFC for only $3.99 a pop. Whoa.

To say I was disappointed when, after obtaining one of these delicacies and not finding any hint of pot whatsoever, would be an understatement; chicken, yes, and it most certainly was a pie, although I prefer apple typically, but pot, not so much. In fact, more like none, nada, zilch, bupkis, zero, close your eyes and what do you see, not a bit.

Absolutely none…I didn’t get the slightest buzz from it at all (it was pretty good though). And I’m sorry, but I think that’s a blatant case of false advertising, and I intend to approach the FCC, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Better Business Bureau, the FBI, the CIA, the Mafia, B’Nai Brith and the Shriners about this travesty. These big corporations must know that they can’t trifle with the American public with impunity. 

Okay, it’s a really bad joke, but hey, I had you going for a while there, admit it.

And as long as I’m talking about TV commercials, another repeated attempt during the games by Corporate America to get into my wallet was the Charmin toilet paper ad…it shows the cute animated Bear Family on vacation, checking into a hotel, when suddenly Papa Bear charges out of the bathroom, all upset that, instead of Charmin in the dispenser, it has an inferior brand of TP. “I’ll never get clean with that”, he bemoans. Mama Bear comes to the rescue, however, when she whips out a roll of Charmin from their luggage…yeah, I always carry my own toilet paper in my suitcase when I travel. Flash to the beach, where all the Bears are now happily frolicking, even PB, who cutely shakes his butt at us, to show how clean, and therefore by implication, how happy he is. See, America, taking a good dump and cleaning up afterwards can be fun with Charmin. 

Sorry, that’s disgusting. (It ranks right up there with ads for feminine hygiene products, erectile dysfunction cures and the Edward Jones investment jerks.)

Oh, and as long as we’re on the subject of crap, I stumbled onto this headline yesterday…”Ivana Trump Says Donald’s Not Racist, Just Confused” (see link below). Gee, how nice of her to clear that up for us; here we were thinking that he’s just basically a dotard, which by the way, according to Google’s online dictionary, is defined as “an old person, especially one who has become weak or senile”.  

I have, as I believe I have shown frequently, a very vivid and active imagination, but I can’t think of a thing to say about this…it rather speaks for itself, wouldn’t you agree? Please nod your head if you do.

Thanks.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ivana-trump-says-donalds-not-racist-just-confused/ar-AAuIWoh?li=BBnbcA1&ocid=mailsignout

I understand that President Tweety Bird has directed Attorney General Jeff (I’m Not A Racist Either Just A Roving Asshole) Sessions to launch an immediate investigation into Yum Brands Inc., parent company of Kenfucky Tried Chicken; PTB believes that they may be a major distributor of marijuana.

Love and the munchies,

Cap’n John

DID ANYONE CALL MISSING PERSONS?

(FYI, the above photo is from the collection “Baby As Art” by photographer Carrie Sandoval, and they are all exquisite…a tip of the hat to Ms. S.)

I like babies.

I was quite young when I was born, and recall little of the event, but I have it on good authority that I was, in fact, once a baby myself; that may explain why I like them as I do. They’re generally cute, smell pretty good until they do something unspeakable in their diapers (something my ex- and I used to call a “special delivery” whenever my daughter left us one), sometimes noisy but mostly inoffensive, and although they add little to the Gross Domestic Product, they can be counted on to vote Democratic.

We have babies coming into Publix Supermarkets, where I am employed as a “Front Service Clerk” (not sure who services the rear, and don’t want to know) all the time, generally with their mother or, in some instances, both Parental Units (rarely alone). I talk to all the babies with whom I come in contact; our conversations are typically not understood by either party, but we have fun nevertheless.

Getting a smile from a baby always makes my day, and I’m pretty good at making them smile. (If you’ve ever seen my picture, you’ll understand why that is.) I even got to feed one little guy, while Mom was paying the bill. (See my post (“BAGGING GROCERIES AND FEEDING BABIES: A MOMENT IN THE LIFE OF AN FSC” 10/13/17.)

The other day several of us were standing around talking, during a brief lull in the action at Store #420, where I work, and someone mentioned something about Ivanka Trump, whose picture graced the cover of some magazine on the rack by the checkout line, being born with “a sliver spoon up her wazoo”, which I would think had to be rather uncomfortable for both mother and child.

Now I don’t know if that’s true about Ms. Trump, but I do know, in my case, that I had no cutlery of any kind protruding from my cute little tushie when I was born…my mother would have mentioned it at some point.

My mother did tell me, and many others, this story (and on my mother’s grave, this is true)…

I was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Hamilton Ohio, back just after the end of the Civil War, and, as was common in those days, spent the first few days of my new life at the hospital. Came the momentous day that Mr. and Mrs. Krissongs were to take their new-born son home, there never were two more proud parents than these. (They didn’t know me that well yet.)

As my mother relates the events, as they were entering the front door of our house, the phone was ringing (could have been A.G. Bell, looking for Watson, but it wasn’t), and since Dad was carrying me, Mom ran to answer the phone. 

A woman on the other end identified herself as Sister Mary Holywater, the head nun at St. Mary’s, where we had all just left, and asked to speak to Mrs. K; Mom says yo, and SMH proceeds to inform the Mother Unit that, oh shit, really sorry ma’am, but you and Mr. K left the hospital with the wrong baby. (Remember, this was in the Jurassic Period; wrist bracelet IDs and 21st century uber-security was WAY in the future.) Mom, being the occasional Einstein that she was, blurts out, oh no, we have our baby. SMH says, oh no, sorry, lady, wrong kid. 

About this time, according to my mother, I announced (at least they thought it was me), loudly I assume, that I was in immediate need of either food or a dry diaper, or both, so mother turned the phone over to my Dad, who proceeded to do the same two-step with SMH, finally arriving at the conclusion that, shit, something isn’t right here and we had better head back to the hospital and get this straightened out.

So back we go. The Family K arrives back at St. Mary’s, were ushered into SMH’s office, and I was brought forth from the nursery, oblivious to all the commotion over my whereabouts.

Yes, they had taken the wrong baby home. So the swap was made (Mom and Dad were reluctant to return the one they had) and we returned to Chez Krissongs, fortunately to no further ringing telephones. 

When a bunch of years had passed and I turned into the horrible child of the century (I really wasn’t, but I know I was the cause of many gray hairs for both of them), my parents swore that they wished that they had kept the other one…he was cuter and much less noisy, apparently.

He was also African-American.

Yes, I was the smartest one in my family, by a considerable margin.

Love and pacifiers,

Cap’n John

GOD OF WIND

As you can see from the above, I put up my Christmas tree last night, what with it being the holiday season and all. Yes, it’s a very small tree, but hey, we’re talking quality here, not quantity. (I remember telling a young lady that once, in much different circumstances…she persisted in referring to me as “Shorty”.)

(The bitch.)

Anyway, I did my annual five minute’s worth of tree-decorating, hung my two stockings (one for me and one for the Harley Dog (below), who sadly is no longer with us; I still put his stocking up though, just because…it’s my house, and I don’t need a better reason), all the while playing the requisite Christmas music on my stereo (“The Nutcracker”, one of my all-time faves), and drinking eggnog fortified with Baileys. (Actually, it was more like Baileys with a splash of eggnog.) 

Of course, I only heard the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” and “Waltz of the Flowers” and oh well, all done…and FYI, I hate eggnog, I really just had the Baileys.

So, to give all of you an opportunity to get me something I really would like to have for Christmas, and not wanting any of you to have to fret over what to buy me, I have a suggestion for you guys…

…I would REALLY REALLY REALLY like to have a Pagani Huayra (see below). It’s named after the Andean God of Wind, Huayra-tata, which translates into English as “Holy shit, look at that bad oscar”. (Okay, it’s a loose translation.) 

Sporting a V12, twin-turbo Mercedes-AMG engine that develops just over 700 horsepower, it has a top end of about 230 MPH and the 0-60 time is 2.8 seconds. It uses a 7-speed gearbox and has a curb weight of just under 3000 pounds. Base price is €850,000, or $1.15 million, which means it would take me about three weeks to make enough at my part-time gig at Publix Supermarkets, where as you know from my previous posts I’m employed as a “Front Service Clerk” (a $200 name for a 27 dollar job, as I’ve said before) to buy one.

Or you guys could all pitch in…(subtlety, thy name is Cap’n John).

So there you are, mateys…if you’d like to bring some serious Christmas joy into Cap’n John’s world, here’s your chance.

Or you could get me the same thing you got for me last year and just wrap it differently.

And speaking of geography (don’t ask), I just found out today that despite my belief to the contrary, Brazil is NOT located just north of Atlanta. (Like I said, don’t ask.) 

Hey, who knew?

At top speed, I could drive from New Port Richey, where I live in Florida, to Atlanta in just under two hours in a Huayra.

Hint, hint.

Love and fuel injection,

Cap’n John

VANITY, THY NAME IS CAP’N JOHN

(Cap’n John would very much like to give this kid a grocery cart enema, just for general principles…hey, Apron Brain, you already put the lady’s stuff in a paper bag, so why ask her NOW? Geez…sorry.)

I was sitting at my desk (in my underwear, as always…I write better in lingerie) this afternoon, doing some editing on a post I had written earlier, before I had gone to work. Given that being employed at Publix’ Supermarkets as a “Front End Clerk”, such as I am, part-time of course, so I take nothing away from my duties as the Captain and Master of the R U Kidding, kills an average of 72,000,156 brain cells per hour, I like to do my “creative work” prior to going in, when I’m a little smarter.

Anyway, I was re-reading my post from this morning (“ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T GETTING ANY (AND I DON’T MEAN ADVICE”) 11/10/17), and, since I had already forgotten some (a lot) of what I had said previously, it was like reading something that someone else had written, new and fresh, and, I’m sorry, but like Dizzy Dean once said, it ain’t bragging if you can do it, pretty damn funny.

I was laughing out loud, staring intently at my monitor, like a cat waiting at the mouse’s door, dreaming of dinner, when suddenly it hit me, making me laugh even harder.

Even if NOBODY else ever read a word of what I’ve written, even if I had had no expectation of anyone EVER reading my stuff, even if I absolutely KNEW no one else would ever read it, ever…

…I’d still write it and post it, and then read it myself.

I think I’m hysterical.

Remember what Diz said (see above).

I really already sort of knew this previously, that I enjoy my own work and that I am probably my own #1 fan…I’m not sure if that makes me a) a narcissistic asshole, b) WAY more naïve than I should be at my age or c) just fucked up. (By applause, how many of you went right to c), with no hesitation?) But I hadn’t ever really thought about it in quite the blunt terms that I did earlier today.

Yeah, I’m a pretty funny guy. (Just so we don’t lose perspective here, God still had His little joke with me, ha-ha-ha, you Jerk…with a face/shape like mine, you’d BETTER be funny or you’re going to be a very lonely person.)

I’m still really, really glad when someone “likes” something I’ve written…hey, I have an ego, I’m not a unique or anything like that, come on. 

(Phone rings)

“Cap’n speaking.”

“Yes, First Mate Taffie…”

“It’s pronounced how?”

“Oh, okay, I’ll fix that. Thanks.” (“Bitch.”)

Excuse me, that was my First Mate, Taffie McWetzel…she does an instantaneous edit of what I write (mostly as a “spell-check”, but also to keep me from seriously stepping on my johnson) and just informed me that the word I wanted (see above) is “eunuch”. (I hope you’re happy now…no fruit cup for you tonight, missy. And once again, a tip of the hat to the incomparable Mel Brooks, a man who knows a little bit about inducing laughter.)

Ego and all that other shit notwithstanding, yeah, I like making people laugh…it is my raison d’etre, believe me. (I think that’s Latin for “Hoochi, Momma, full blast and top down, baby”…I’m pretty sure it is.)

It’s just that the first person I make laugh will always be me.

Love and Goldmund, (wrong title, see below)

Cap’n John

Post Script…and some Carly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j13oJajXx0M

BAGGING GROCERIES AND FEEDING BABIES: A MOMENT IN THE LIFE OF AN “FSC”

I have a call into Todd Jones, the President and CEO of Publix Supermarkets, the company I’m employed by part-time here in the wilds of Central Florida; as soon as T.J. returns my call, I’m going to nominate myself for “Employee Of The Month” (and I’m not even sure if Pubics has such a thing, but if they do, I think I ought be in the running for this month’s award); I strongly believe I should be eligible for some kind of corporate recognition for my superior day-to-day performance. 

I mean, I am an exemplary employee…just ask me. (Please insert “winky face” here.) 

Back in April of last year, I decided that I had had enough of sitting around my apartment in my underwear, listening to old Byrds and Allman Brothers CDs on YouTube, watching baseball on TV, belching (farting) periodically, shaving every third day or so, and generally accomplishing little if anything of any import. (I did manage to win the Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstakes, but I blew all the money on strippers and Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream…it was a Pyrrhic victory at best; once you’ve had that much ice cream and seen that many naked women, it begins to pale. (Well, the ice cream did.)

So I figured, nothing from nothing leaves nothing (and thank you, Billy Preston), and that, considering sanity and good taste, two things I have in small quantity, it was time to go find a part-time job.

I was recently retired at the time, and after 45+ years of getting my brains beat in at various and sundry management jobs over my “career”, including being self-employed for the last 13 years before I hung it up, any part-time work I sought would have to have several “perks” (I hate that word), beyond just a paycheck.

Generally the work would have to be low-stress (i.e. mostly brainless…hey, after “getting my brains beat in”, what’s left after that, the spleen?), honest (relatively), close to home and pay me enough to make it worth my while to come to work. Based on that criteria, I’m surprised I didn’t wind up President. (I heard rumors that the position of Pres was filled last November by an incompetent moron, so I figured that job was no longer available anyway.)

Did you guys know that Zimbabwe has an average annual rainfall of just over 33 inches (that’s roughly 83 centimeters for you metric freaks)…I just thought you might want that info for future reference.

So Pubics was nice enough to offer me a job as a “FSC”, which as I said in a previous post, is a 200 pound title for a 27 pound job. “Bagger” is the proper nomenclature.

I don’t love my job…I like it as a means to an end. I’m pretty sure my ex-wife had the same point of view towards our relationship; I just never knew what the “end” was supposed to be.

In a rare moment of brevity, a concept that I’m not likely to ever be accused of embracing, I’ll skip all the other heart-warming stories of my various encounters with our customers, and move on to the topic of today’s post, another heart-warming story. (You figured there was going to be one SOMEWHERE in here, right?)

I was walking back into the store one day last week, after 10 minutes of chasing grocery carts out on the sweltering asphalt, and as I came into the cash register area (“the front end”), I was presented with this tableaux…a nice young lady, a recurring customer whose name I do not know, but whose face was familiar to me from coming in the store, a conveyor belt full of groceries, a shopping cart sitting at the end of the queue, empty other than for the baby seat strapped across the front half, said seat being full of small baby at the time, Gertrude, one of our tireless cashiers and Amos, one of my fellow FSCs, checking and bagging respectively; since it was still rather early in the day, this was the only register running, and the only customer being checked out.

The young lady was in the midst of attempting something that all mothers do, every day…handling two tasks at once. Sometimes it’s for convenience, and sometimes it’s for sanity.

As I approached, I could immediately see the looming problem…the customer, at once, had her wallet in her left hand to pay the bill and was holding the baby’s bottle in her right for the little guy, while he happily sucked away. As far as I could see, no matter which task she decided to undertake, at the moment, she was a least one hand too short to achieve any degree of success in either endeavor.

So I walked over, said to the lady, here, please let me help you, and put my hand under the bottle so I could support it while Junior continued to feed. Mom, after a brief look of mistrust, recognized me and gave me a smile of relief. She was very happy for the assistance. 

Baby, on the other hand, had stopped sucking and was still making his own evaluations of this new development; he didn’t seem completely comfortable with the substitution. From his seat, all he could see was this big, ugly stranger, holding the non-business end of his bottle, staring back at him. After Mom took her hand off, he scrutinized me for a moment, and after I assured him that I was nothing more than a temporary replacement for the Mom Unit, he apparently came to the conclusion that I was harmless (I swear, a look passed over his little face, which contained two big amazingly blue eyes, as if he thought, oh well, the formula is still coming, who cares who’s holding the bottle) and got back to his breakfast.

As the others around us concluded their business, Baby and I discussed the baseball playoffs, the chances of the Dodgers reaching the World Series, and whether or not banana oatmeal cereal is better-tasting than strained jalapenos.

So Gertrude got Baby’s Mom checked out, Amos got her things bagged up, the nice lady paid the bill, Baby got fed and the world continued on its path, moving around the sun with what sometimes seems like reckless abandon.

(Okay, now here comes the part where we fast-forward a bunch of years, and the baby is now an adult and comes upon a car-wreck late at night and I’m in one of the cars and he recognizes me (sure, he was an 4-month old baby, he’ll remember the incident) and is so moved to see me again that he risks life and limb to save me from the burning auto.)

I think we need to call the author in and have him rewrite that paragraph.

There are no morals to this tale of which I’m aware, no compelling under-story of greed and betrayal, just a fleeting “nice moment” in a day filled with all of life’s usual bullshit.

Oh, Baby thought the Indians were going all the way this year…little did he know.

Love and pacifiers,

Cap’n John

!!!!GO DODGERS!!!!

 

AS AMERICAN AS BASEBALL, MOM, APPLE FRITTERS AND WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE GUY ON FIRST

Well, I am happy to report that the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog is, as of today, Sunday, October 8th, 2017 CE, officially one week old. 

Please commence with the obligatory celebration, with all the attendant frivolity thereto included.

Our next goal here at the WATRUK blog is to make it through another week, and then reassess our position.

By now most of you who have been following my adventures this past week have probably figured out that I am, in no particular order, a) a BIG baseball fan; b) a RABID Los Angeles Dodgers fan; c) a huge believer in both sex and apple fritters; d) a BIG baseball fan and e) all or none of the above.

If you chose “e”, you’re probably a Republican.

Now I am extremely fortunate with regards to apple fritters; as I mentioned in a recent post I am currently employed part-time as a “Front Service Clerk” for Publix Supermarkets here in jolly ol’ New Port Richey FL. (When anybody asks what I do, I tell them I’m in the Publix “CEO-in-training” program. I figure, with my skill set, experience, talents and all-around “good guyness”, I should be ready to ascend to the President’s office in about 35 years, making me a youthful 101 when I take over the reins. Hey, by then, 101 will the new 93.)

What I really am is a “bagger”, and of course, Captain and Master of the Kidding, thank you.

I’ve been there almost a year-and-a-half now, and so far no one has ventured an explanation as to what duties accrue to the “Rear Service Clerk”, assuming the existence of such a position, and I’m fairly sure I don’t want to know either way.

The bakery at Publix 420 in Chelsea Place (sounds like a fashionable London address) makes the absolute best apple fritters ever, in the history of flour. I never buy them, mind you…too much sugar, and sugar and I have a long-standing mutual animosity; when I eat too much, I get fat. It’s ugly.

And it’s a damn shame too, because I  apple fritters…even more than sex even. (Okay, about as much…well, maybe not quite as much but sort of close to as much. Practically but not quite as much. But close.)

So the apple fritters are covered, should a sudden craving for fried flour, sugar and apples overcome me someday as I stand, busily bagging our customer’s groceries, smiling, happy in my duties, content in my existence.

Rather gives you a strong desire to yark, doesn’t it?

Sex on the other hand (you’ll pardon the completely unintentional pun) is a little more difficult…let’s just say that in the two years I have been living here in bucolic NPR, I apparently haven’t overwhelmed the ladies with my charms, such as they are…if you can find the path that they’ve beaten to my door, you’ve got better eyes than I have. (Insert large sigh of resignation here.) I just hope it doesn’t have anything to do with my little peculiarity…(see pic below).

I was watching the opening game of the L.A. Dodgers/Arizona Diamondbacks Divisional Playoff series the other night, and during the game, they trained a camera on the VIP seating section, where Vin Scully, the legendary announcer for the Dodgers for almost 70 years before his retirement after last season, was sitting with his wife.

If you know anything about baseball, you know who Vin Scully is, and if you know who he is, you probably have a favorite story about him…here’s mine.

Back in ’07, the Dodgers brought up from the minors, during the September expansion of the roster, a player from Taiwan that they had signed several years earlier, to give him some “big league” experience during the waning days of the season.

His name was Chin-Lung Hu.

I was watching the Dodgers/Padres game the day this young man debuted, and as soon as he stepped into the batter’s box for his first at-bat in the majors, and Vin said his name, I was already on the floor, laughing my ass off…I could see what was coming, and what made it even funnier was that you could tell, by the smirk in his voice, that Vin could see it coming as well.

Sure enough, Chin-Lung takes a couple of pitches, gets a fastball he can handle and lines it into left field. As he stands on first base, and after the ball he hit had been thrown into the dugout for him to have as a keepsake, Vin did it.

I don’t remember his exact words, but it went something like this…in his famous Southern California drawl, the Vinster says, “Well, everyone, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but here goes…”

“Hu’s on first.”

By now I’m in tears and there’s a wet spot starting on the front of my shorts…then it got better.

Because all I could think, as I sat there, literally on the floor next to my chair where I have landed, laughing hysterically, is that if Vin says Chin-Lung is married, and his wife’s name is Betty Lou, I’ll need CPR before I’ll able to get my breath again.

Love and sacrifice bunts,

Cap’n John

Post Script…Cap’n John now has an email address (yeah, I know, 1990s technology, what can I say, I’m working on the other shit), so if you want to communicate directly with the Master of the Kidding, I can be reached now at capnjohn@krissongs.com. All good-looking women are encouraged to send messages, and pics if available.

Post Post Script…here, this will make your day a little better… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWZpOsUq_BI

Post Toasties…Dodgers up 2-0 on the hated Arizona DBacks as of last night’s win…next stop the NLCS.

!!!!GO DODGERS!!!!

 

“HE WAS BORN WITH THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER AND THE SENSE THAT THE WORLD WAS MAD”

 

We had Marie Callendar Chicken Pot Pies on special last week at Publix 420 here in bucolic New Port Richey FL (I always tell people that NPR was named for Lionel’s brother, a prominent local proctologist), where I’m employed part-time as a “Front Service Clerk” (don’t even think about it)…I only work part-time so that my job doesn’t interfere with my much more important duties and responsibilities as the Captain and Master of the R U Kidding.

“Front Service Clerk” is Publix’ corporate jargon for a grocery bagger…200 pounds of title for a 27 pound job. “Bagging”, ladies and gentlemen, which I assume covers most of you, is not rocket surgery. (?) Heavy shit on the bottom, don’t mix the hot with the cold, keep the chemicals away from the grocery items, handle the eggs and the bread like, well, eggs and bread, and don’t bring just one cart in when you go back in the store after helping someone to their car. (Yes, sadly, it’s true…some of our high-school age “baggers” are apparently intending to study to be rocket surgeons.)

So I said to Maureen, one of our cashiers and the sweetest lady forever, as she slid several boxes of the MCall CPPs down the chute to me, where I was standing, waiting with bated breath and open bag, “Hey, look at that, Mo, three of my favorite things.” (Comments like these are made sotto voce and always when the customer is still down at the other end…I’m not THAT stupid.) (“Sotto voce”, you will recall, is Latin for “What, are you kidding me here?”)

What made the whole thing so funny was the split second, nano second really, that it took for Mo to process what I said and get it, her face momentarily blank as her brain made the intuitive leap…she told me the next day that she had recounted the story to her daughter later that evening and they got all silly.

(Okay…”chicken”…”pot”…”pie”. Thank you.)

“The Godfather” debuted in 1972; I was 21 at the time, with little experience with pastries from Italy, so it was a number of years later when I finally realized that “Leave the gun, grab the cannoli” was not some kind of attempt at off-color Italian humor by Clemenza. This has no relevance to anything herein, but I wanted to mention it.

What I really wanted to talk about today is the new CD that I have in the works…I have a tentative title, if you would like to hear it (yeah, fat chance you guys are getting off the hook). I’m thinking of calling it “66 Years Old and Still Playing Air Guitar”, which is at once all the material I have for my CD (someone told me you need songs as well) and a sad commentary on my life.

You know, pooberty snuck up on me when I was kid (okay, 27 is no kid, but hey, come on), and I keep thinking that maturity is going to surprise me the same way someday…that it hasn’t happened so far makes me suspect that maybe, just maybe, it never will.

Shit, doomed to forever to have the sense of humor of a high-school sophomore. (When I was in high-school, back just after the War Between the States, I seriously considered studying to be a rocket surgeon.)

I hate and resist the idea of “growing up” (growing old I’m busily doing already)…there are just too damn many things in life that are hysterical, and a lot of them involve chicken pot pies, Halloween pranks and farts. I’m not proud of this, but I still and always, absolutely am on the floor laughing hysterically at the campfire scene in “Blazing Saddles”. Long live Mel Brooks. 

Because Mr. Brooks and I seem to agree on what’s funny, and I have a feeling the chicken pot pie thing would give him a laugh…Mel is 91 and not likely to grow up soon.

A couple of days before we were visited by Hurricane Irma, when the 24/7 coverage of the storm’s approach and the sense of impending doom sent Floridians (wasn’t that a book from the Bible…Floridians 6, Dodgers 3, yes?) in droves to stores like ours, to buy up in mass quantities such items as bread, milk, canned goods, batteries, blow-up dolls, left-handed socket wrenches and Holy H2O, Batman, water by the truckload, I was walking into work and was confronted by a large, hand-written sign, just outside the south entrance, that could be seen from the parking lot…“SORRY, WE ARE OUT OF WATER”. (Irma was bringing plenty.)

So I suggested to the store manager, a really nice lady named Jennifer, who stands 5’5” in three inch heels and is pretty damn good at what she does, that we put a small notice down in the corner of the “no water” sign that said, “BUT WE HAVE PLENTY OF BEER”.

To her credit, she got a good laugh from that, but she still wouldn’t let me do it.

(Full disclosure here)…No, I have never lit one of my own farts on fire…but I’ve thought about it.

Love and frozen food,

Cap’n John

Post Script…I want to sponsor a periodic contest, you know, like “Ugliest Baby Pic Of The Month” or “Ugliest President Pic” (too easy) or “I Can Name That Politician In One Word” (“crook”) or whatever. So I need some input from you guys…help me out with some ideas for a contest. Something simple (hey, look who’s going administer it) and clean. (No porn.) The person that comes up with the best idea gets to win the first contest. Prizes TBD (right).

Post Post Script…the CPPs were a BOGO, by the way.

Post Toasties…the title is the opening line of the novel “Scaramouche” by Rafael Sabatini.