I Just Don’t Care about Vaccines. Wanna Get Pissed About It; Unable

I probably should. As the father of one small child who is perilously close to becoming the father of two small children I should get fired the fuck up about this and shout down whoever is on the other side of my personal vaccination choice fence. Dismiss them as utter simpletons who are either lambs being led to government and big pharma slaughter, or back woods country bumpkins incapable of understanding any sciencey stuff and thus clinging to folksy pagan beliefs on how to take care’uh yer own. Because clearly there can be no middle ground in this raging debate. You’re either on my side, or you’re fuck you, idiot. The Vaccinators condemn the non-vaccinators as irresponsible, the Vaccination Conspiracy Theorists believe themselves irrefutably correct because they’ve “read too many books” to vaccinate. Vaccinate your kids or don’t vaccinate your kids, I don’t give a fuck.

I’m not doing one single, solitary minute of hard research on the issue. Not one. Lazy as hell on this one. I’m basing my own decision on “collective personal experience” and “trust”. How dumb is that? Pretty dumb really. I have so much shit to worry about that I cannot, will not add vaccines to the preexisting list of petty concerns. Is the health of your child over the time horizon of Their Whole Life a petty concern? Meh, I don’t know. Here is my ill-informed, pathetically researched, and wholly “by feel” approach to making a vaccination decision:

-Collective experience: My wife and I were both vaccinated. All of our friends were vaccinated. In the 1970′s and 1980′s everyone was vaccinated if they had access to it. It is just what you did. The memories of the parents of these children, and even more so the grandparents of this generation, included knowing someone, if not multiple people, who were stricken with polio. Then the vaccine dropped, everyone got it, and there is no more polio. None. I’m sure there is some polio cruising around somewhere with some pimp ass chrome braces, but I’ve personally never encountered it in my lifetime. I’ve traveled a little-not extensively. I’ve lived in some extremely population-dense cities. I haven’t even caught a whiff of polio. Suffice it to say that none of these people who witnessed its horrors, then watched it disappear overnight because of a vaccine, are going to say “fuck that, I’m not vaccinating, fucking government crawling up my asshole”. Is one vaccine story all-encompassing for every disease? No. Of my inner circle and all our friends, I don’t know anyone who has either A) been afflicted with anything we were vaccinated against and B) been afflicted with any of the stuff that could be a side-effect of a “bad dose”. Nobody. Is that a scientifically respected sampling size? No. Does it mean people in my era who were vaccinated never got the diseases they were vaccinated for or the hideous side effect ailments like autism? No. I have just never met them. Let me remind anyone frothing at the mouth that I’m merely explaining the lazy-assed way I arrived at my personal choice.

-Trust: I’m an unapologetic Dr. Z guy. My Dr. Z could ask me to slaughter a group of innocent, slumbering vagrants for “The Cause” and I would do it. Dr. Z has on several occasions refused to prescribe me pills that I told him I “needed” because he doesn’t believe in over-medicating, he believes in letting the human immune system work its scary, scary magic and only give it an assist in dire circumstances. I believe in Dr. Z. Maybe I’m a pathetic, idiotic, naively trusting bastard that would be sold to a vile big pharma company by Dr. Z in a New York Minute. I will live and I will die by my Dr. Z affiliation (Those associates of mine from the University Days know there is another Dr. Z. University Dr. Z is not to be confused with my medical Dr. Z. I would not make medical choices based on the teachings of University Dr. Z. I might even fade them). Secondly I have seen my wife’s doctor, with my own eyes, do amazing shit. Both doctors work for one of the best hospital systems on planet earth. Are they infallible or all-knowing as a result? Absolutely not. But to beat a dead horse here I’m merely pointing out the road my horse and I traveled to get here.

Am I positively, beyond a reasonable doubt absofuckinglutely right on this issue? Who knows. I simply do not have the time or the energy to sit in my log cabin in the wilderness and stare out the windows with my musket just waiting for a gang of drunken Redcoats to show up looking to rape my women and confiscate my guns. I share some beliefs with the Militiamen but I lack their energy. So I go with my collective experience, the people I blindly trust, and maybe my gut. I’m fine and dandy with the people who aren’t vaccinating their kids. It is their kids, not my kids, and I’m not going to shout down their personal choice on the matter. Live and let live, bitch. I do think that before their movement really takes off they need to recruit better public faces than Jenny McCarthy and Kristin Cavallari. Give me Bill Cosby or even Kelly Ripa, some blow-hards with a little credibility for Christ’s sake. Use your Twitters or your Facebooks or whatever the kids are doing these days for some positive discourse on the topic rather than shouting out your front door then promptly slamming it before anyone can yell back, and calm the fuck down.

That being said, I’d love to discuss with whoever remains of the Navajo people, or any other indigenous North American peoples, their autism concerns for measles or smallpox vaccines. Regardless, in the end I’m confident they’d preach tolerance.

*I’m also tagging two of my cousins in this post. They are siblings, one a hard science cancer researcher and the other a doctor…..of animals, but still someone who knows a lot about both disease and vaccines (Kramer of Seinfeld fame would argue they are more knowledgeable than human doctors owing to their versatility). I’m curious if the subject ever comes up around their professional lunch tables?

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I Just Have a Head

There are moments in life-we all have them-when the veneer of denial that protects the delicate underbelly of who we truly are is stripped away, revealing the knotty, stained, and otherwise flawed reality which lies beneath. Often it is an outside force which lays bare our soul, rather than our own introspection. Sometimes blunt force trauma is the most expeditious path to inner salvation. So it was for me. Delivered with tactical, military precision in but one complex sentence from a person closest to me, the sphere of delusional vanity in which I swam was shattered forever into a million shards upon the living room floor of my psyche.

My path towards male pattern baldness began more than a decade ago in Boston, Massachusetts with mere hints and allegations that hairs manning the front line of my scalp were beginning, quietly and in earnest, to abandon their forward positions. Only scholars of my hairline would have even noticed but it was a dark portent of the mass exodus to come. I responded to the initial shock by entering full scale denial and stopped cutting my hair altogether. Unaware of concepts such as “layering” or “cutting off the dead ends”, for a period of time I looked like the blonde member of a 60′s rock band. One set of regrettable photos remains from this era due to my standing in my friend’s wedding. I’ve been mistaken for one of the bridesmaids. My haircuts improved drastically over time but not even quality hair work can impede the inevitability of nature’s wrath. There was a brief interlude during which I consulted with my doctor, the estimable and incorruptible Dr. Z, on the possibility of Propecia or similar. Dr. Z looked me straight in the tits and said “Sure, I’ll prescribe you drugs, the pharmaceutical company will even juice me for it. What I don’t know are the long-term ramifications. The studies of daily use only go out a short time horizon. I can’t guarantee you that in 15-20 years from now your kidneys won’t fail or you won’t have liver scarring. So you tell me how vain you really are and we’ll go from there.” Parade-pissing mutherfucker. I was forced to come to terms with the Great Recession occurring beneath my locks lest someday I wake up and look like Gallagher, kids calling me “Skullet” behind my back. Thus haircuts gradually became shorter, revealing a peninsula formation on my forehead which as I type is, as though a victim of global warming and rising sea levels, becoming an island. Soon all rail and vehicle travel to the island will be reduced to ferry boats until someday in the future the island will be but sunken barrier reef to the mainland. I’ve begrudgingly accepted my fate and several years ago began cutting my hair increasingly shorter since I no longer have the troops necessary to feign a united front. I don’t yet break out razor and shave my head, but it’s in the mail.

On a recent sun splashed Saturday morning, with the radio playing easy music and hot coffee warming my soul, my peace was shattered by the smallest of tempests. I was on the floor of the living room enjoying a picnic of plastic pie, cheese and crackers, and either strawberries or watermelon (it has never been clear which fruit is depicted in the picnic set) when my daughter began to discuss her recent haircut and subsequent impact the haircut had on her two-year-old life that week. In addition to it being “cool” it apparently also was deemed lollipop worthy by the staff at kiddie salon. At roughly the same moment I was registering my surprise at the fact a children’s salon would not only keep lollipops on the premise but that she would be deemed worthy of receiving one, my daughter began focusing her eyes on my hair. Her gaze switched in an instant from one of lighthearted play to laser-sharp focus and intense study. My own face wore a playful smirk as I pondered what silly-hearted equation was being worked out in her young mind. Then, as the ocean had suddenly been sucked miles out to sea and the children were frolicking in the bare sand and picking up the fish left flopping in its wake, from out on the horizon the wall of wave bore down. She shifted her eyes from my hair and locked them into my own and said, “Daddy, you don’t have hair; You just have a head.” Boom, roasted. As though not a mere innocent toddler but rather a savvy veteran woman 25 years her senior with the blood of many men’s souls upon her hands, she continued to stare silently at me as the gravity of her statement sunk in. It was the equivalent of the pilots of the Enola Gay doing a fly-by of Hiroshima after the mushroom cloud began to dissipate, performing aerial tricks as if to tell the few survivors, “Have fun with the decades of birth defects and acid rain, ya fucks!”. I’d been lying to myself for years; tranquilizing my vanity with the delusion that the world saw me for who I am and not my hairline. This opiate could not pass the toddler test. The world knows me as just a head, nothing more nothing less.

Various rejoinders began racing through my mind such as “Well at least I can wipe my own ass” and “Disney’s Frozen is a shitty movie!”. I didn’t utter a single one. I knew the war was over and I had lost. All I had left was the formal signing of treaties and the packing up of the imperial palace. After a long staring contest I gathered what remained of my pride and said, “Yes sweetie, Daddy just has a head”. Satisfied with her total victory she went back to the picnic as though I was not a broken man upon a leaking raft in a roiling sea. I had nowhere to go, nothing left to hide. So I picked up my plastic pie, made the requisite fake nibbling sounds and washed it down with the bitterest of fake beverage. In the background Neil Young sang, “I’ve been first and last, look at how the time goes past, but I’m all alone at last, rolling home to you. Old man take a look at my life……”

If those who love us most cannot be brutally honest, then why be loved?

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Coffee or Vagrant Piss? You Make the Call!

As I made my way to the office this morning via the Shit Line (some know it as the Blue Line on the L, but there is nothing blue about it. it is brown, like shit. only shittier) I witnessed a youngish, attractive woman playing the old CTA game “What Did I Just Sit In?” (insert laugh track here). I’ve been there before and I’ve utilized the same strategies to answer the question:

  • You part jump, part recoil in horror, from your seat as the realization that your ass is unexpectedly wet dawns on you. It looks like you sat on a scorpion or rattle snake, and not only does it hurt like hell, but you need to simultaneously look at where your ass just touched to see exactly how long you have to get to the hospital
  • You forget that any other human being is on the train. Your world, in this vulnerable moment, ends approximately 1 inch from any point outside your skin. It is you, the offending seat, and your wet ass. As Metallica said, “Nothing Else Matters”. If someone was knocked to the floor or took an elbow to the face during your trampoline bounce off the mysteriously damp seat, that is collateral damage and anything goes in war. If a terrorist bombs your train at this moment it is nothing but background noise
  • You get angry at the seat. As though this inanimate object conspired with the dampening agent to fuck you in the ass. You consider kicking it. Maybe you actually kick it
  • You rub your open palm furiously up and down on one of your ass cheeks as though you are trying to remove a chalk mark. You need to confirm your ass is wet, despite the fact that you know, beyond any reasonable doubt, that your ass is in fact wet. You can even see the liquid on the seat. But you won’t really know until you rub your ass cheek
  • You swear. It won’t change the reality you are in, but you need people to hear you swear. You need to make sure they understand you are not pleased about having unexpectedly sat in liquid of unknown origin
  • Then comes the ultimate moment of truth: you must place three flat, slightly curved fingers, almost certainly the index, middle and ring fingers of your dominant hand firmly on your ass cheek. You let it rest there a moment to soak up the sass you just rested in. Then with curled lips and lemon-suck face you bring the fingers slowly and deliberately to your face. You inhale deeply. You meant to not let the fingers touch your skin but the train encounters turbulence and you jam the fingers inadvertently against your upper lip, philtrum, and nostrils
  • Now, finally, you make the call

I’m not sure if it was the look on her face like she opened up her backpack and saw her mother’s severed head in it, or the panicked sprint out the doors as they opened at the very next station (in the hood, didn’t bother to wait until we reached a civilized stop, just raced her honky ass right out into the middle of a heroin gang war), but it was obvious to me the result of the game. IT’S VAGRANT PISS!!! Alex, tell her what she’s won! Well Missy, it is a pick ‘em: 1) A trip back home to shower, put on new skivvies and pants, burn your old skivvies and pants, and spend the entirety of your trip back into the city trying to concoct a different story as to why you are so late or 2) Google Map on your smart phone the nearest Ann Taylor Loft so you can pick up an affordable pair of generic black pants to get you through your work day, but in the knowledge that the skin of your ass is undergoing a metamorphosis, the result of which is wholly unknown, as the nitrogen-rich and liquor tinged bum urine enjoys extended contact with your epidermal layer. You know in your logical mind, the analytical part, that you cannot contract the High-Five (HIV) from skin contact with vagrant piss. In the recesses of your primitive brain, the part that wants to watch Paranormal Activity but hates every minute of it, you aren’t so certain. Alex, I’ll take #1! Chicago Transit Authority, I Love This Game!!!

 

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If You are Watching News Coverage of the Malaysian Plane Mystery, STOP!

That plane be gone, them folks be dead. End of chat. It is sad, it is tragic, and I feel butthurt for every family who lost someone on that plane. I wish I had the power to un-fuck that flight but sadly I do not. Last night during a temporary, murderous rage-inducing, technical snafu that occurred while retrieving a saved program from the bowels of serpent-infested Hell that is On Demand, the television was stuck on one or the other Mainstream Media for what seemed eternity. It was a panel of “experts” arguing their own narrative for what possibly happened to the disappeared airliner. My confusion lies in how this constitutes 24/7 coverage, with raging assholes doing their rage thing, for anyone outside of the immediate families, plus some investigative forces such as Interpol? Who is sitting in their living room pounding coffee saying “I am not going to fucking bed until I find out if this plane is in 11,000 pieces swirling in eddies off the coast of Tahiti, or sitting as one huge chunk at the bottom of the Indian Ocean! I owe it to the families of the victims.” The so-called experts don’t know a goddamn thing themselves and serve no purpose beyond shitting from the mouth loudly and provocatively to keep John Q Public tuned into CNBXYZ until they are so scared of phantoms they can barely go on with their lives. I beseech you, if you are glued to coverage of this tragedy that in no way affects you, do the following: turn off the TV, read a book, go for a jog, play with your kids, call your grandma (because she sure as shit needs a break from watching it herself), smoke a bowl, walk your dog, smoke a rock, clean your toilet, jerk off, make a casserole, have a drink, fight a bum, dance a jig, but please by all means stop allowing the media to feast to your latent anxieties and turn off the news. There isn’t a damn thing that can be done for the dead except to live yourself.

Of course if the Aliens return the plane sometime soon with all the passengers fully probed but otherwise in good health, there will be egg on my face. I’m prepared to deal with that.

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Looking for a Position as a “Fluffer” (Non-Porn)

I think I’ve found the perfect job for myself. The issue now becomes finding out whether it exists in the real world. I’ve been told since college by people in all walks of life; relatives, friends, old people, young people, corporate people, even a few strangers, that I should go into sales. Owing I suppose to my ease in talking to all sorts of people about most subjects, coupled with a lack of fear of public speaking. I wish it were that easy. If it were I’d be cruising the town in a sweet assed Sebring and talking to everyone on an even sweeter blue tooth ear clip device. If I went into hard sales my family would maybe not starve today, but they would a few months from now. I can’t stand bothering people. It makes my molars hurt.

“Hi, I see you use widgets. We’ve got widgets. How many can I put you down for?”
“Get the fuck out of here.”
“Okay, no widgets for you. They told me back at headquarters that I could take you out for dinner and beers. I don’t want to not use that money. So you want to go grab some beers? I promise I won’t ask about widgets anymore.”

I’m too nice or too much of a pussy, however you prefer to phrase it, and I take things too personally, to succeed in such an endeavor. Here is what I have, you want some? No. Okay cool, have a good day. KILLER instinct. If coffee is for closers, I’m obviously going to be tired all the time. This brings me to the title of this post, the idea that I think I’ve found the perfect job for myself in sales, though at this point I’m unsure if it actually exists. I could be the Fluffer on a sales team. To set the record straight I do NOT want a job which actually entails giving hand jobs off set, but rather metaphorically “work people up” before it is time to bang, er I mean sell. I stroll into your office, look at a few photos and maybe see the book you are reading for pleasure on the desk, make a few inferences, and start a little convo. Bit of back and forth. However long it takes to get you from limp to turgid, we’ll get it done. You feel it? You feel that rapport (not to be confused with Michael Rappaport, who ROX) we’re developing here? I can feel it, the air hangs thick with our rapport. I’m not about to cheapen what we have together by trying to sell you something and put money in my pocket. But this fuckin’ guy will…..

Like a manager who knows his starting pitcher is completely out of bullets I make a two-finger double-tap on my forearm, the bullpen doors open and in strides the sales closer. “You like pussy? Well you’re going to be swimming in it as soon as you drive off the lot with this Mustang! Ignore that sticker on the windshield, we put it there for suckers and I can tell by that rager my colleague Mr. Z here has helped you to work up, that you are not a sucker. Now let’s talk extended warranty.” You’re so high on rapport at this point that you don’t even realize you’ve been lowered into the tank with a great white. A mark isn’t always ready to bang right through the door. They need a little wine and dine, some stimulating conversation, a rub-and-tug, whatever the case. I can do that, in spades. Now I need someone to find me that job because I don’t know what it is called. And don’t come back with anything that requires cold-calling, fuck that. I’d be out in the woods with a shotgun and a The Cure album after one week of that shit.

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Today’s Interesting Fact

While working out in my basement before the sun graced my part of the earth with it’s meager rays, I was playing the Rap station on Music Choice TV. I chose the basement over the gym given it is 1,000,000 degrees below zero in Chicago. Today’s interesting fact is, apparently rapper YG’s burning ambition to become a famous rap artist was ignited by “getting dissed on MySpace”. His fame and fortune is not the off-shoot of a broken home, a promise to a dying grandma, being shot during a botched robbery or car-jacking, or rage against the white power structure. Given his career took off at age 14 we must assume it was a 9th grader posting “Bitch you can’t flow” on his MySpace wall. Not Facebook or Twitter, but MySpace. Huh, who knew?

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Saturday Haiku

Winter is a whore

Shaking it’s little behind

Sex fades to cold clap

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If You are a Black Teenager in Florida, Just get the F–k Out

Florida: America’s dong. Sun, sand and white trash. Love the blacks that play for the football team of their choice, but don’t want them anywhere else. I am certainly not implying the black teenager has no right to live in Florida, but I’m a realist. If you can’t walk down the street talking on your phone or go cool at the mall with your friends while listening to a little music, it is time to skeedaddle. Hit the road Jack, and don’t ya come back. Sad state of affairs indeed. When you can’t do everyday American things in your own backyard without some racist lunatic pulling a piece and shooting you over it, it might be high time to seek greener pastures. The Stand Your Ground law is a real gem. This is the perfect platform for the aforementioned mentally unstable racist white asshole to murder a black kid, then back fill the story and paint himself however he wishes. The fuckhead that shot into the car full of kids in Jacksonville actually had the stones to scream “I’m the fucking victim here!”. Never found the gun he supposedly “saw” the teenagers possess. At least he’s going away for a spell, that is if his attorney fails in the appeal he is comically filing saying his client is “still in shock this all happened”. I hope when he arrives in the joint the brothers find him, quick. That other scumbag is walking the streets on the story he concocted about being forced to murder the insidious black teen who was terrorizing his neighborhood by walking on the sidewalk with a hood up to protect against falling precipitation. The horror. Stand Your Ground = Murder a Black and Claim You had No Choice.

For a short spell, back there in the 1990′s, I was a teen. A lily white teen in small town Midwest America. Played on the football team. Had really short hair. Tried, but mostly failed, to score chicks. Was on the honor roll. Didn’t do drugs. Drove a kick ass Honda Accord. Round about 1993, at 15 years old, my father rather irresponsibly bought me a big ass pair of Infinity speakers for my bedroom with a gnarley receiver. I had a huge window in my bedroom on the third floor of our house that opened out onto the side yard and street beyond. I would, with frequency, terrorize the neighbors with music played at a volume that was rude at best, criminal at worst. One fine summer afternoon in between two-a-day football sessions I was amping up for the evening practice by blaring something aggressive on my stereo. My mom was outside gardening, inexplicably allowing me to noise pollute a 6 square block area of our bucolic town. A neighbor finally took umbrage to my noise terrorism and approached the property screaming at me to turn it down. I didn’t hear a damn word but my mom did. Whether instinct or latent white trash streak is unclear, but she went the route of screaming back at the neighbor rather than tell her kid to dial the knob back down from 11. They had it out on the lawn and I remained More Human than Human in my attic room oblivious to the whole scene. If that neighbor had taken out a gun and murdered either my mom or me, they would have gone to and been raped in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison without passing Go or collecting $200. No “I was standing my ground” bullshit. Me and my honky ass rural Midwest friends used to walk the streets uttering swear words at loud volume, smoke cigarettes (well not me, just never developed a taste for the bottom of old hooker boots), dribble basketballs on the concrete and generally be obnoxious assholes. We would drive around town in our cars to go to the mall or nowhere at all with stereos and speakers we purchased for one purpose and one purpose only: Be loud as shit. Blaring Snoop Dogg and White Zombie and Dr. Dre out our windows and not care which old white curmudgeon it pissed off. That is what teenagers do, they piss people off. You can pick fights with them over it if you are a complete prick and have nothing else going on and your life sucks shit and you just want to rage at something that hasn’t changed in preceding milennia and won’t in the future. If that’s your bag then red that face, pulse those neck veins, and get in there boy. But you can’t fucking shoot them with guns. These kids aren’t being shot because their behavior is atypical or because they were the aggressor in an attack that could be perceived as life-threatening. They are being murdered because they are black and the state of Florida has provided a convenient out for unstable, racist criminals to defend themselves against the murder. Plain and simple. Luckily the monster that shot up the car full of kids is going away and hopefully for the rest of his life. The fact that he could still play this card is troubling. Jesus H. Christ, if you are going to shoot up teens for walking while looking suspicious and listening to loud music in a car, may as well fire off a few shots at the sun for shining or the bee for stinging.

Florida, America’s dong.

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I Feel You Will Have to Deal with this Matter in the Harshest Possible Way, Mr. Torrance

All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
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All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.
All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy. All cold and no sun makes Zach a dull boy.

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Did I Miss 25 Birthdays?

I’m suddenly and undeniably 60 years old and I haven’t the foggiest how it happened. My only working theory is that I somehow missed 25 birthdays. I’m falling the fuck apart. I was getting the eye of the tiger back, like Katie Perry but without the tits, this past late summer into early fall. I was even doing some real meathead stuff like saying “Fuck you!” to a barbell right after a set. How cool is that? It’s the anti-cool, but still pretty cool. Then I sprained a ligament in my abdomen. Now I owe apologies to every Major League Baseball pitcher I’ve called a pussy over the years for not pitching through a strained abdomen. It hurts. Hurts all the way into my plums. If I had a crying face emoticon on this blog, it would be here instead of this shitty sentence. The Word Press Dashboard surely does have one but I’m too inept to find it. Crying face. Like your garden variety, mouth-breathing moron, I tried to “work through” the injury for months. Shockingly it never got better and sometimes it got worse. I kept waiting for that one day when I did a shitload of dead lifts or hanging leg raises and the abdomen ligament would just pop back into shape and say “Thanks, no rest and more work is exactly what I needed to recover!” Oddly that day did not come. Eventually I was forced to shut it down for a fortnight so I could finally heal this pig.

I went back to the gym feeling refreshed and 80% healthy, definitely plump, but determined to stop aggravating this annoying little bitch of a tummy ligament. I decided to ease into it with some light treadmill. I wanted to work in a few intervals just to keep it interesting. My calf felt tight but no big deal. I’m probably a bit rusty and we’ll just work through that minor annoyance. Then I tore a muscle in that calf three minutes later. Went down on the treadmill like I took fucking sniper fire. Major pussy show at Fitness Formula Club for the 6am crowd. Dropped a couple of “Mutherfucker!”‘s on the innocent and limped out of the gym utterly defeated. It was around this time that the snows started and months later, they’ve never stopped. I did what I could for exercise but with a still bum ab and a sprained calf I was limited. Then while shoveling the mountains of snow falling on Chicago this winter, I yanked my lower back. Am I dying? That was a rhetorical question because clearly I am. I clearly recall in my youth Grandpa complaining about his lower back pain and I always thought to myself “Oh my God you are 1,000 years old”. Now I’m there but 25 years younger. Not the head start I was looking for. More like a head shart. You know how you frequently slip on icy spots on the sidewalk in winter; your foot skids quickly in one direction or the other and you flail your hands out and balance yourself? You look like a flaming asshole but you don’t fall. Me too. The difference is now I pull a groin, hamstring or hip flexor every goddamn time. I’ve struggled to assign blame for this deterioration on something which I can change. All avenues lead to one destination: I’m fucking old. Ryan, a good friend of mine, summed it up best by telling me “I feel like I got sick one day, and I’ve been waiting to get better for two years, but I never do.” Sad face, crying face, repeat. When in the hell did this happen? I’ve tried veganism in an attempt to be healthier but to this day not one fucking animal has been gracious enough to approach me and say thank you, meanwhile recovery time from workouts has gone from a long ass time, to infinity. My shit is falling apart and I’m still decades from collecting any of the cool swag that typically comes with bodily degeneration, such as Social Security or AARP discounts. You know, all the booty that won’t exist by the time I’m old enough to start reaping it. Maybe the time has arrived to just pack it in and give up. Lay on the sofa, eat things that come in boxes or bags, drink light beer, watch sporting events that I don’t even care about, pick a political side and scream at the TV, get fat, take some medications that combat the fat that I did to myself, buy some sweats, go out to buffets, inject myself with insulin a couple of times each day, watch reruns of Andy Griffith, tell my wife to clear away the dinner plate from my stomach and replace it with the dessert bowl and please avoid walking in front of the fucking TV sweetie, and drive everywhere in a mini van not because I have any kids, but because it accommodates my dimensions. It doesn’t sound all bad. Actually it is all bad, but they make other drugs which make it seem, while not all good, mostly gray. Not up, not down, just there. I think that’s where I’m headed. I’ve tried raging against the dying of the light, perhaps now I’ll give going quietly into that good night a chance.

During the brief interlude when I was picking fights with inanimate iron bars and feeling relatively good about myself I befriended a guy 12 years my junior at the gym (no, not in the shower) who inspired me to buy a big assed kettlebell. Not just any kettlebell but one in which the bell portion is actually an orangutan head. Menacing looking fucker, just begging you to swing him all over God’s green earth. Have muscles start popping out of your ass and the two of you together can screech at innocent onlookers puzzled as to why you are swinging an iron orangutan head through dead air. But the orangutan, we’ll call him George, doesn’t swing through the air nor does he screech at shit. He resides in a closet collecting dust and making a bald spot on the carpet. Perhaps someday, if George is lucky, we’ll move him onto the front stoop to serve a gargoyle function. He’ll get sun and fresh air and while I sit next to him drinking soda with pork rind crumbs spilling down my ample gut, I’ll give George’s head a scratch from time to time. When youngsters pass by on a jog I’ll force ‘em to stop, start my stories with “You know I used to run……” Though I don’t recall any of the preceding 25 birthdays, I hope they were fun.

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