Showing posts with label Greg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greg. Show all posts

The Container and The Contents

We took a Spring Break trip to Myrtle Beach two years before we turned 21. That was the awkward time of wanting to acquire alcohol right before being legally able to buy it. I had tasted the devil’s sweat and couldn’t wait to do it again without worrying about getting busted. When on home turf, there were always older friends to buy or bars that friend’s dad owned. On the road, it was a little tougher. That’s why we decided to take our own. Not in bottles, cans or in wine skins. But in a 5 gallon, insulated coffee dispenser in the form of Hairy Buffalo.

There are two parts of this story: The Container and The Contents.

The Container

Eric went to school at Miami of Ohio’s Western campus. Or as it’s know to those who really care, The School of Interdisciplinary Studies/Western College Program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. We knew it as the hippy side of Miami U. It’s a very liberal college where everyone seemed to have long hair (back when it wasn’t fashionable) and hairy armpits (which is never fashionable.) Notwithstanding my mocking, it was a wonderful school and Eric loved it.

During Eric’s tenure at Western, Folgers Coffee had a marketing campaign aimed at getting college kids addicted to coffee again. (This was back when Starbucks only had 125 stores. They were all within three blocks of each other, but you get my drift.) To get the kids addiction rolling, they strategically placed 5 gallon, insulated, coffee dispensers all around the Miami and Western campuses. In the mornings, a truck would drive around with full containers. A dude would climb out of the truck, unchain the hopefully empty 5 gallon container, replace it with a full container, refill the cups and toss the empty container back in the truck. It would take the guy about ninety seconds to complete the transaction.

You may not know this, but Eric has the unique ability to borrow a 5 gallon, insulated, coffee dispenser off the back of a truck in about thirty seconds. Though it was not in his plans, the one he borrowed was full of hot coffee. For you that are unfamiliar, five gallons of hot coffee weighs about 41.8 lbs. With the container at a slim 16 pounds, he was lugging a total hot load of 57.8 lbs. If you did not check out the link above, you will not know that the container was tall and thin with handles at the top. One would have to lug the container with arms hanging down and legs spread apart in a sort of half crab walk.

Eighty seconds into his delivery, the coffee dude turned around to see a long haired asshole, half crab walking across the green carrying off one of his containers of coffee. Eric had a fifty second lead and all the guy could do was yell and take a few worthless steps in Eric’s direction.

I’m sure this container, God knows where it is today, could tell a number of stories of the original coffee that was drank from it and the dozens of other liquids that filled it during it’s time in Eric’s dorm room, then law school and perhaps all the way to Chicago. Since the container is not here, I will tell the one story that I know.

The Contents

I think the whole reason we decided to take Hairy Buffalo was based on the fear of getting busted for speeding on the way down to Myrtle Beach and having the cops search our car and take away any bottles of liquor. Somehow, a huge five gallon container of red liquor fortified punch would slip by the eye of Deputy Dawg in his search for contraband.

Somehow, Eric had acquired an insulated, five gallon container that would be perfect for transporting hairy buffalo. It had a locking lid and a spigot at the bottom for easy dispensing. We were divided up into two groups: those finding the required alcohol and those buying the fruit and mixers. I can’t remember what group I was in. What I do remember is that Russ was in the latter group and arrived at Eric’s house with rhubarb. Rhubarb? What the fuck is rhubarb? Rhubarb is basically a weed that you find next to okra in the Natural Foods section of the supermarket. See, Russ had been eating Rhubarb for years in his mom’s cherry-rhubarb pie. As a pie, it was like tasty celery swimming with cherries in a crust. Why wouldn’t it taste good in a hairy buff? For one thing, you have to drown rhubarb in sugar to make it palatable. It’s also a good idea to bake it as well. Russ wouldn’t have any of that and chopped it up along with the watermelon and strawberries.

The dudes who were in charge of alcohol did well and came back with various bottles of alcohol as well as sugary liquors like DeKuypers. A fine mix of alcohol to mix with the juices and the other fruit and the fucking rhubarb which I’m sure is a vegetable.

So we placed the 5 gallon container in the middle of Eric’s mom’s priceless, hand-woven Turkish carpet and began to pour the bottle of liquor in it. We had dumped about four bottles in when someone noticed that the container was not filling up. That statement made everyone shut up just long enough for us to hear the noise of liquid pouring out on to a priceless, hand-woven Turkish carpet. We had cleaned and rinsed the container out and in doing so the convenient spigot at the bottom of the container was open and the liquor was pouring out and on to the thirsty carpet.

This was a problem for two reasons: First, almost a third of the alcohol was not going to be leaving Ohio. Second, we just figured out how to turn priceless rug into a less-price rug. Eric was a little pissed off, but shit, it was his container. He should have checked the integrity of the tap before handing it over.

We closed the tap and pulled the container away from the spillage area. There was a growing two foot diameter stain. Towels were brought in and we scrubbed and cleaned as best we could. I’m unsure if Zud is the best stain remover for Turkish carpets, but that’s what we found under the kitchen sink.

We cleaned the top as best we could and then rolled back the carpet to see what had happened to the underside. The padding under the carpet was unlike anything I had ever seen. It was like a natural mesh of unwoven reeds or weeds or jute. Whatever it was, it was soaked in liquor. The natural material had taken a liking to the liquor and wasn’t about to let go of the red coloration. We soaked up what we could and laid the carpet back down.

There was still a red stain on the carpet at the point of impact. It was about the size of the bottom of a vacuum cleaner. As luck would have it, Eric had a vacuum cleaner and we placed it directly over the stain. No one would ever suspect a thing. At least until we were out of state. Three hours later we were out of state with a 5 gallon, insulated coffee container that was not full enough of hairy buffalo.

There is much more to tell about this Myrtle Beach Trip: Tony’s sunburn, the MMS, the pummeling on the beach, Shag, Vertical Smile, Papa’s Pasta Palace, and the Oil Leak. But let me leave you with this: After two days the slices of rhubarb grew fuzzy and with the addition of alcohol still tasted like shit. Who the f puts rhubarb in a f’ing hairy buffalo?

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Editor's Update

I found a photo of the dudes from the Spring Break trip.

From left to right: Eric, Brett, Russ, Greg and Tony. Kit is smack dab in the middle. (I'm taking the photo. I might have been wearing a t-shirt that said "Nothing phases a ceramic engineer.")

Brett reminded me that it was the bananas in the Hairy Buff that went fuzzy. The rhubarb just absorbed the alcohol and converted it to starch.

Trogdor the Burninator

I'm not sure if you were ever a fan of Homestar Runner, but I was and still am.  For about three years, all I ever did was reference Homestar in conversations and debates.  Strong Bad taught be that most debates can be ended by catching your opponents on fire.

Recently, I showed Greg the Strongbad e-mail about Trogdor the Burninator.  We watched it again tonight and he wanted to draw it.

I think he did pretty good.  Especially with the consummate Vs.

RollerCoaster Tycoon Life Lessons

I pulled out our dusty copy of RollerCoaster Tycoon about a year ago and Greg and I play on and off. Recently, Greg, who just turned seven, has really been getting into it. I sometimes need to help him figure out how to reach goals and maximize profits so that he can complete a level. We both love it when you do complete a level because all the park guests all turn to you, let go of their balloons and cheer.

One day, he was playing at the kitchen table and asked for help. One method to determine how well you are playing is to look at a list of all the rides and booths in the park and sort them by profit. By knowing what isn't profitable, you can change prices accordingly or tear down a ride to build another.

At the bottom of Greg's long list of rides and booths was a very lengthy segment of Balloon Stands that were all losing money. There must have been twenty Balloon Stands.

I said, "What are you doing with all those Balloon Stands? It isn't profitable! How much are you charging?"

And Greg replied, "I'm giving them away for free."

"You are not going to make any money doing that."

Greg said, "I know, but when I do win everyone will have a balloon to let go of and the sky will be filled with them."

I don't know why, but I got a lump in my throat and had to turn away.

Homestar and a Haircut

In 2004, Greg was a one years old boy and only sold shirts for little boys and not for babies. But I bought Greg a shirt anyways, knowing that someday he would grow into it.

And he did.

Air Hockey Table

My parents did something amazing once. Normally the stuff they did was one step down from amazing. It wasn’t their fault. We were not rich and they always bought what they could and not what we wanted. They bought the Sears Atari knock off when they could have bought the original. They bought the TI-99/4A computer when we could have had an IBM. They bought an Apple //c when we could have had an PC. You get my drift.

One year they bought something awesome. They bought an air hockey table. It might have been used (some dents and some larger dents filled with bondo,) but it worked great. We would play for hours. I think I was born with six fingers, but luckily I lost one of them on the air hockey table, so now I look normal.

One weekend, my buddy Russ got to spend the night. Russ and I did a lot of spending the night at each other’s house. It was great when I got to go to his house because I got to watch Monty Python and Benny Hill. At my house, we got to play air hockey.

During one morning at my house, we decided to play a game of air hockey. I’m not sure if it was the corn flakes for breakfast or the pizza we had the night before, but something crept through my bowels and waited to pounce.

During a very hard fought game, I let loose a very quiet, but very deadly fart. It left my butt, snuck through my dirty underwear and pajamas. Right before escaping unto the world it was pulled back under the table and into the fan that sucked air up and through the hundreds of holes in the air hockey table surface. As it was a hard fought game, Russ was bent over the field, intent on winning. The fart was pulled up and pushed right into Russ’ face.

Here is where I mention that Russ had a weak stomach.

Russ puked. First on the table and then on to the floor. The air didn’t mind having puke on the table so it just kept on bubbling through. Yeah. Gross.

I ran downstairs and got mom. We unplugged the table and cleaned it up. Unto this day, Russ will swear that the Devil himself crawled up his nose and pulled forth the vomit from his gut the stench was so bad.

The table withstood the vomit and only lost its value with its legs buckled under the constant leaning and smashing it had to endure. We tried propping it up under some chairs, but they were never even and someone always got the uphill bonus.

My son, Greg, and I play air hockey when ever we get the opportunity. Sometimes, Russ is there with his kid and we watch them play. I know what we both are thinking.

Banzi slide is small or GREG IS HUGE

Greg had a great day at baseball, winning the coveted game ball. Afterwards we went to Toy R Us so that he could use his money to buy some Gogo Crazy Bones. While there, Miss Sally asked us to get a Slip-n-Slide.

Instead of going with a well known, brand name, I went with the Banzi 16' Soak N Splash with Body Board (sale price $6.99.)

I knew this was a good buy because the kids on the front of the box were having an awesome time.

At home in the backyard, something was amiss. I unfolded the slide and immediatley found that the end with the water collection splash enabler was much smaller than expected. The box showed a kid sliding into a small baby pool sized basin. This was much smaller.

Here is the slide in action with the box for reference. This was take number 122 to get the photo just right.

Greg is HUGE!

You can see the Greg's hand reaches all the way to the back when his shoulders are at the edge of the pool area. A total misrepresentation. That's something I would expect when paying $4.99 but NOT $6.99!

I wanted to see if it was possible to get the shot on the box, so I got down very low and got the box angle.

I then added Greg.

Out of Focus Virtual Greg looks like he is having an awesome time.

The Known Universe and Muse

Someone set "The Known Universe" video to music from Muse. Greg drew this picture right after watching it. I like the flag on the moon.

Greg Learned How to Write

You might remember my "Stay Out Daddy" post where I tricked Greg into turning his requested door sign into something else.

Well, Greg has learned to spell. Here is his newest sign:

And a scan...

The gist of the sign is that you have to pay to get into his room. There are varied charges based on some level of Evil scale which I still have not figured out.

Smart kid.

The Fairfield County Fair in Two Parts: Carnies and Aim

Greg has been asking about the circus. Really he means the Fairfield County Fair and he usually corrects himself right after the word circus comes out of his mouth. He and I have a lot in common with our word selection except that instead of circus I accidentally say boobs. Greg’s been asking about the circus Fairfield County Fair so that he can get another goldfish. So on Wednesday, still dizzy and recovering from the flu, I picked him up from school and we drove to Lancaster to go to what is currently the happiest place in Greg’s mind. This story is broken into two parts: Carnies and Aim. I am sad to report that I only took two photos during this whole trip. I apologize that I will have to illustrate this story with boobs words instead of photos.

As you pull into the Fairfield County Fair, you must pass through two human gates. The first person takes your money for admission ($5.00 for adults and Greg was free as was the parking) and they hand you x amount of tickets according to how many people you just paid for. The next person is about 30 feet up and they take the tickets that the first person just gave you. This is very inefficient and I still don’t understand why they first person just doesn’t collect the money and send you on your way. (I should clarify at this point that the people at the gates are Lancaster folk and not carnie folk.) As you pull away from the second set of people, you are guided towards the grass field to park. There are people to guide you and, on this day, it was like driving in reverse past a human evolution illustration. The first guy seems normal, the second was hunched over with a stalk of corn waving me past and the third guy was covered in hair and waved me on with a jawbone. The field was a muddy mess and I noted that a “Park at Your Own Risk!” sign was mounted about 50 feet past the point of no return of having to park. So we risked and parked.

The field was a muddy mess because it had been raining for about two days. The temperature was hovering around 47 degrees and there was just enough of a breeze to make you regret not wearing a sock hat.

I had to pee and tried to get Greg to go. He wouldn’t. The facilities at the Lancaster Fair Grounds aren’t primitive, but damn are they old. The stalls are about 18” wide and if you had to poop, you would have to do it in shifts.

We stopped and got fair fries. As the fairgrounds were pretty empty on a cold, wet, Wednesday afternoon, we got quick service. The fries were awesome. Greg likes his with vinegar and ketchup. I’m a vinegar only man, but will split a medium cup with both vinegar and ketchup with the boy. Greg kept saying, “These are good. I don’t know why the vinegar tastes good. These are good.” They were hot and delicious and kept the cold and wet at bay. I spent a good 18 napkins wiping off the 6” diameter ring of ketchup from Greg’s mouth.

The plan was to hit the fries, play some games, get a fish, and grab a candy apple on the way out the door. It was wet and cold and I was post-flu weak and already just wanted to go home. So we headed towards the row where the carnie games are located.

Oh dear god, the depression and sadness that filled the fair that day. I thought carnies were sad enough, but you get them wet cold and without customers they all ooze desperation and sweat processed methamphetamines. It was a gauntlet of pathetic taunts and barker’s sales pitches.

“One dart, you win!”
“Every kid wins!”
“Come on dad! Win one for the boy.”
“Only a dollar!”
“Easy win here dad!”
“I killed my wife in 1986.”
“One dart gets your choice!”
“Three balls only a dollar.”

We checked out the different booths as Greg eyed the huge stuffed animals and I pointed to the tiny ones. I was looking for the “Kids win every time” booths. They actually have games of no chance were you just pay one, three of five dollars and pick your prize. They fool the kids with some random floating duck mumbo jumbo, but in the end, everyone is happy.

We finally decided on a booth that had small SpongeBob Square pants. It was a balloon pop game and Greg was keen to throw darts this year. I asked the carnie guy what the deal was and they had a tiered pricing system for three darts that would gain larger and larger prizes as the price point went up. I settled for $5. Greg actually hit two balloons, but he needed three for the win. At that point, carnie guy reaches in the kids win every time basket for a tiny stuffed banana. He then leans into me and says, “For $5, you throw one dart and hit or miss, you get anything over here.” He gestured along the wall and the corner where a small SpongeBob sat. I said, “Sounds good,” and forked over another $5. I actually hit a balloon. Carnie said, “OK sonny, pick anything from this area.”

Greg pointed to SpongeBob again and said his choice.

Carnie said, “Oh no. Not there. Any where in this area.” And he pointed to a small area next to SpongeBob.” So I pulled out the Dude.

“Dude! You said $5 more bucks and we could have the SpongeBob.”

“No I didn’t. I said in this area.” His hand strayed even further from Bob.

“Dude. You completely pointed to the SpongeBob. Give us the SpongeBob.”

“That’s not what I said.” A whistle came out from between his eight teeth when he said said.

“Then give me back the $5 and we’ll take the stinking stuffed banana.”

I’m not sure if they guy felt bad for Greg or if I started to actually go Berserker on him, but he said, “All right, you can have the SpongeBob.” He pulled it off the wall and handed it to me. I turned to hand it to Greg who was now not standing alone. He had a new carnie friend who was watching me interact with his cohort. I handed it to Greg and pushed him off to the other side of the path at the same time. I’m not sure if carnies have a secret, sub-vocal alarm system, but that guy appeared from out of my blind spot, seemingly to ensure there was not a problem.

We went the other way. Quickly. I then realized that I had gotten into an argument with someone over a $3.99 stuffed toy and that I had won. But there’s an old carnie saying that goes, “If you think you’ve won an argument with a carnie, check you wallet and then your heartbeat.”

I realized that the next part of our stop to get a poster required us to travel past SpongeBob’s old home. We tried to sneak by. Carnie was chatting with the got-your-back carnie that showed up. I didn’t try to listen or look.

We made it to the poster booth where all you have to do is throw a dart and hit the wall and you win your choice. Greg did and selected a Scooby Doo poster. I tucked the poster in my jacket and stood up just in time to see my carnie pal walk by with a cigarette in his mouth. He didn’t notice me.

I then realized that perhaps he was going on break and the other carnie guy was there to relieve him. Maybe I’m just a jerk. Maybe the guy realized that he had made a mistake and didn’t want to see a little kid upset by his dad making a scene. Maybe carnies aren’t that bad.

We tucked away our spoils from the carnie booths and ended up at the goldfish booth. This game entails throwing ping pong balls into narrow necked bowls of water. You make one in the bowl, you win a gold fish. I bought Greg 12 balls for $2, knowing I’d probably need to buy 12 more.

He made one on the second shot. I started to do the math. At that rate, we’d have six fish. We could only make room for one more. Two would really be pushing it. Six and PETA would be dropping by.

Luckily, the goldfish booth also has one jar with red water in it. If you hit that, you can win a stuffed animal. I had Greg aim at that. He’s got good aim, but not that good. By aiming for the red, the missed shots were flying over the other containers. We ended up with only the one fish. The carnie filled a plastic bag with water and deftly reached into a tank and picked out our new friend. He tied it off and handed it to the beaming Greg.

After the fish, we scoured the fair looking for kettle corn. There’s a difference between caramel corn and kettle corn and I hope you get to taste the difference some day. We did not find any, so we settled for caramel corn for mom, a caramel apple for Ann and a candy apple for Greg.

We trudged back through the parking lot mud and we were about forty feet from the car when Greg announced that he had to pee. I said he could pee at the car. We pull the trick where the car door is opened and you can pee with 240 degrees of privacy. Greg stated that he would no be able to pee with other people around so I said we could go to a restaurant and pee. He was OK with that.

Somewhere in the forty foot walk to the car, Greg’s bladder informed him that it was going to let loose right now. He started saying, “I gotta pee! Right now.” I tossed all the prized possessions into the car, except for the fish which I stuck on the roof. We got the door open and he was fighting his pants down.

“You got it?”

“I got it.”

A laser thin stream of urine shot out of his body and began to carve a hole in the soft wet earth. That kid had really had to pee. I was standing behind him making sure that things didn’t go awry when shit went awry. He lost his grip and that pee stream went fire hose and started to fly up on to the open door and into the car. “Greg!” He started laughing. “I can’t help it.” I reached over and tried to do damage control. Pee was deflecting off the door and on to the floor mats and seat and dashboard. His pants had come up and were forcing his wiener in every direction but down. I ended up pushing everything in the groin area down; his gloves and jacket and shirt and pants and penis all got shoved down. The pee gave a last ditch effort to continue to hit the door, but gave up and decided to soak his jeans. Greg was still laughing. I was trying not to. We got his wet gloves off and I shoved him into his seat. I didn’t forget the fish on the roof. We drove home.

Mission completed.

So after a whirl wind trip to the fair, Greg only remembers one thing and the entire trip I only took two photos. Two photos of the pee damage to my car. Enjoy.

Greg plays soccer

Greg had a great game this morning. Three goals and a great block as goalie. The kid's got a powerful kick.

Like Father, Like Son

Greg is in first grade and one of the activities for his first day of school was to draw his teacher:

Not bad. I often dreamed of my teacher with a snazzy skirt and no top on, but I never took the time to draw it.

That's my boy!

Greg and the Lorikeet

I love this photo:

I'm not sure if it's because of his tentative, stiff stance. Or that he's getting bigger.

Or it might be because of the pregnant guy with the goatee behind him. YIKES!

Daddy Shows Greg How to Shoot

Worst Slide Ever

We went to the park this past weekend and found a newly installed play area. As we walked up, I saw the greatest slide in the world. It was snake-like with several huge curves in it.

My increasingly large butt was too big for it, but both Greg and Ann would shoot down that sucker and hopefully make it to the bottom without incurring the negative setbacks from whiplash.

I sent them to the top to slide down. I put my camera on the highest intensity video setting to capture the high speed decline. I only hope the frame rate was fast enough to capture the moment without blurring their glee filled faces.

Wow. That is the worst slide ever. I'm not sure if they designed it to be a slide or a ladder, but they failed at both. Huge disappointment.

On a positive note, they had two very awesome, carved climbing rocks.

Some of the bitterness went away because of the fun we had on those.