Archive for July, 2010

In case you’re unaware Mack just obtained his fourth degree black belt last week.  This may sound incredible (unbelievable) considering most folks don’t obtain such a prestigious level in the Martial Arts world until much later in life- but I assure you, Mack has a fourth degree black belt.

Here is how he did it:

Day 1- Grandma took Mack and Cayden to see “Karate Kid” (2010)- all great/dangerous ideas seem to stem from the film industry.

Day 2- Mack executes a “Google” search for inexpensive, yet authentic, karate belts and then purchases the highest ranking belt he can afford.

Day 2-5- (while the belt ships from the manufacturer) Mack performs karate/ professional wrestling type moves in our basement frequently using his younger sibling as a training aid.  His training was exhausting and extremely thorough- which it had to be considering he was not simply learning a form of martial arts but creating one that the world has never seen.

Day 6- The belt arrives, training immediately ceases and Mack is now a fourth degree black belt in “Mack-Fu”.

There you have it folks- Mack’s fool proof formula for becoming the next UFC Heavy Weight Champion.  What could possibly go wrong?  Probably nothing but possibly the following:

Mack is telling everyone he meets that he’s a black belt- which he genuinely believes because he HAS a “Black Belt”.  I fear that eventually he will have the inclination to explain his martial arts status to the play ground bully who will then pummel him mercilessly for making such an outrageous claim.  Though Mack-Fu is entertaining to watch I have doubts as to it’s effectiveness in an actual physical confrontation.

Point two, Mack is looking for investors to bank roll his own Do-Jo.  Considering Mack is bringing limited collateral to the bargaining table (unless of course you’re in the market for some extremely “Rare” silly bands) it is likely that Connie or I will have to co-sign the loan.  I’m sure our finances will eventually recover from the multiple law suits we’ll likely endure due to Mack being a complete and utter fraud- but who are we to stand in the way of his dreams?

Final point, If one can purchase a belt and become a Kung-Fu Master what else can one achieve with a $20.00 balance in their checking account?  For instance can I purchase a stethoscope and then start practicing medicine?  What would happen if I bought a red cape and stood in front of a speeding locomotive or asked my spouse to shoot me in the chest with a large caliber hand gun?  I think the lesson here is even if I can afford a kitchen apron I won’t transform into  Emeril Lagasse just because I wrapped  it around my torso. 

I tried to explain to Mack that it isn’t the uniform or accessories that give someone a special talent or skill- the skill or talent is the result of years of hard work and sacrifice.  I almost told him that ”You aren’t a Kung-Fu master just because you dress like one”- but then I caught myself.

Who am I to tell him what he is or isn’t?  What he can or can’t be?  The fact is he probably is a Mack-Fu master and as long as I keep my cynical grown-up attitude to myself he’ll likely be a Mack-Fu master for the rest of his life.

In case you’re unaware, the average American doesn’t carry a large enough balance in their savings account to bankroll their own funeral.  A recent discussion with a dear friend (DH) who just lost her father helped me reach the aforementioned conclusion.  Lucky for my friend her father was a forward thinker and purchased a “soup to nuts” burial package back in the 60′s for about a thousand dollars.   Where does one go to shop for such a thing?  Maybe in the 60′s they were sold door to door or were conveniently located near the grocery store cash register in between the smut rags, toe nail clippers and disposable “Bic” lighters?  Regardless of where or how he found it you’ve got to admire the guy’s initiative- he saved his family a ton of money, time and effort.  What a considerate gift- you’ve got to respect a dude that gets more done in death than most people will accomplish in the average work week.  The idea of a burial package intrigued me so I queried my friend further as to what all was included.

The thousand dollar investment included the plot (that’s the hole you get thrown into), coffin, embalming, fees for the service (apparently priest cost $), limousine, etcetera- this thing was “no-kidding” comprehensive.  The best part (according to our DF) was that her family didn’t have to worry about a thing- they just sat back, celebrated her Dad’s life and let the professionals worry about the details.

Good shit right? 

Probably the best thousand dollars the guy ever spent.  But these days it isn’t a thousand dollars.  These days a cemetery burial will cost you more like $10,000; and that dosen’t include all of the extras that our friend’s dad got- I’m pretty sure the limousine is more like a “same day return” U-Haul box trailer; so make sure the bereaved has a trailer hitch. 

My opinion is simply this- “bullshit”.  It’s likely I won’t be worth $10k alive so why the hell would I spend that much to primp and bury the “meat package” that I was lugging around with me for so many years?  Not trying to sound trite, but by the time I get “called home” I don’t plan on having a lot left to bring with me.  I plan on getting every penny out of this carcass and whatever is left can be incinerated and spread to the winds.  That’s right folks I’m signing up for the whole cremation thing- after all how much could it possibly cost to slide my butt in and fire up the kiln? After some limited research turns out to be about a $1,000.00.

Why?

Cremation should be the economical send off- what’s the $1,000 fee for?  It’s not like I’m asking for a gigantic granite head stone or a titanium coffin- all that I’ll need is a couple gallons of propellent and a dustpan to scoop up the dust.  If it’s gonna save a few dollars tell the “pyro-technician” that normally presses the “burn to a crisp button” to take the day off and I’ll have that unbalanced third cousin on my father’s side flip the switch- the guy absolutely loves fire and this would be a once in a life time thrill for him.  If it’s more cost effective, pair me up with a skinny dude and divide up the remains proportionately.  And by the way, don’t try to sell my wife a decorative urn- pa-lease, all I need is a Tupperware container with a lid.  Forget it, none of the current Tupperware in our inventory has a matching lid so just put my ashes in a gallon size freezer bag and call it good- obviously I’m not real picky.

I hate to sound cheap- but if I’m lucky enough to have $10k left at the end of this fantastic run I would rather divide that sum up among my surviving relatives so they can finance that much needed brake job on the family Prius or pay their current utility bill- that is some “good lovin” from the grave right there. 

I shared my all of these thoughts with my friend (who I love dearly I might add) and she didn’t think I was an insensitive ass at all, in fact we laughed- and it was a good laugh.

I think we came away with a few really solid “take aways”.

1. Her father was a smart and loving man who took care of his family even after he was gone.

2. Your body is a thing- not really who YOU are but simply a vessel used to house your spirit.

finally

3.  Shane is such a tight-wad you couldn’t pound a needle up his ass with a jackhammer.

I think all three are pretty legit :)

We love you Donna- s & c