Archive for the ‘Shane’s luck’ Category

I got Tagged…

October 10, 2008

For some reason, Connie, my beautiful wife who is also an uber-talented local Annapolis baby and child photographer, felt compelled to tag me with a crazy chain email/blog thingy.  According to my wife, I am supposed to list 7 little known Shane factoids in a public forum or else I am going to suffer a horrible painful death.

Here’s the thing- not only is my wife asking (practically begging) me to embarrass our family name by revealing all of the strangeness that is Shane, she is telling me if I don’t I’m certainly going to die.  Holy shit, I better get typing, the way my luck’s been running an anvil could fall out of the sky any second.  So, in the interest of self preservation and pleasing my wife, here are seven little known Shane factoids:

1.  I have a titanium plate in my neck that looks like a shoe horn and is held in place by (4) large wood screws.  I would imagine that if one of those screws ever backs itself out of my spine my head would fall clean off.  I have a bowling ball bag in my closet in case that happens- I don’t want my gourd getting all scratched up on the way to the Doctor.

2.  I am afraid of nothing…except rats.  I am friggin’ terrified of those nasty vermin and it’s all my Dad’s fault.  I was 8 years old riding in the back of my father’s car when for no apparent reason he turned around, looked me square in the eyes and said, “You know, son, a rat can chew through a block of concrete if he wants to get at you”.

First off, I have never heard of a rat with a vendetta against human beings so no idea why a rat would be out to get me.  Secondly, what the hell, Dad?  Did you really think that bit of info was going to help me develop into a healthy well-adjusted adult?  I don’t think so. What were you thinking?  That’s like me telling Cayden, “You’re right, buddy, there is a good chance that the Boogeyman does live under your bed. I haven’t seen him, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t there. G’night buddy- sweet dreams”.

3. I can’t read a road map to save my friggin’ life.  If Connie had lived several hundred years ago she would have gotten old Chris Columbus to the new world in about a week using nothing but stars and her internal GPS. Not me.  I can live in the same town for 20 years and still have to ask for directions to get to the corner quick-mart.

4. I am practically deaf.  I blew out my ear drum shooting anti-tank rockets in 1990, so I can barely hear anything anyone says, especially when Connie and I get lost due to my piss-poor navigation skills, then my hearing really shits the bed. “I can’t hear a word your saying, honey, what’s that- take a left?”

5.  I love donuts- they are delicious, they are cheap, they play well with coffee (another fantabulous creation) and you’re encouraged to eat them first thing in the morning so your body can be shocked back into activity with a 3 zillion gram sugar rush.  The little known fact is I don’t eat them because if I did there’s no guarantee that I would be able to stop.

6.  My best friend in the whole wide world is Sonny Kirk, he’s 74 and absolutely the greatest human I have ever met, minus my immediate family of course.  The guy is an inspiration, never has a bad day, is always ready to lend a hand as well as share his well-stocked frig full of Budweiser.  He just had a quadruple bypass a few weeks ago.  I never worried cause Sonny is as tough as they come, but my eyeballs did sweat a bit when his wonderful wife called me after the surgery and told me that Sonny woke up before the doctors had planned and wanted to know if I was watering his plants regularly.

7.  I love Marines, not the ones with all the rank and prestige, but the young enlisted guys who get paid practically nothing, but willingly risk everything.  If you have had the priviledge to work alongside these young patriots, you’ll understand what I mean. If you haven’t had that honor, track one down and thank them for their service.

That’s it, folks, seven Shane factoids.  Don’t you feel like you know me so much better?  I’m off to pick up the boys from the bus.  Cayden’s been getting bullied by a 2nd grader and I’m going to go down there and attempt to look intimidating.

We all have bad days on occasion and sometimes we even have a couple of bad days strung together in succession. Well, this is my story of a couple of bad days.

“Hey Honey, there’s a storm a-brewin’!”

We recently bought a boat- a beautiful 2005, 21ft, center-console fishing boat. Before my male readers start congratulating me for “Being the Man!” and asking me questions such as “How did you get your wife to agree to such a financially irresponsible purchase?”, let me admit that it wasn’t my idea. The boat idea was 100% Connie; I was nothing more than a reluctant accomplice. Like every good husband, I kept my mouth shut, most of the time, and helped my spouse navigate through the painful boat research protocol that commandeered every free moment of our lives for a period of no less than three months. I was less than excited about being a boat owner, but damn it, we’re a family and if one of us wants to invest in a giant money-sucking hole in the water, then we will all march into financial ruin together.

So we bought a boat, had it for a week,  and got it out on the water four times. Right now, it’s Saturday morning and we are prepping for the first of a series of hurricanes/tropical storms/tsunamis all aimed at destroying our quiet little corner of Maryland. I’m not sure if you know this, but boats don’t do well in severe storms. In fact, they have a tendency to fill up with water and sink or, even better, get picked up by monstrous waves and thrown against other high value items such as homes, cars, bigger boats and an occasional unsuspecting pedestrian. Where was all this happy news in the “Maryland Boater” propaganda magazine that the dealer gave us?Even doctors have the decency to warn you that the routine surgery you’re about to undergo could kill you, but not boat dealers, hell no, they’ll send you right to your death (physical or financial) without even batting an eye.

So I sit here in my kitchen waiting to see if my boat will pass through my front yard. I imagine it will look like “Katrina” footage, boat floating by, most likely capsized, with a family of strangers pushing it along with garden rakes while waving at helicopters in the hopes of being rescued. I know this sounds extreme, but let me explain the rest of my week and maybe you’ll agree that this is a likely scenario.

“Keep your hands to yourself”

Every mechanical thing that I touched this week immediately ceased to function. I got to the office on Tuesday, turned on my computer, and was greeted by the blue screen of death (B-SOD). The B-SOD was nice enough to inform me that all of my physical memory was on its way to the dump and that I should prepare to recreate, from scratch, every item that I had worked on for the past 3 months. Oh happy day, what good news. I immediately picked up the phone to call the Pentagon tech department (resident computer hostage negations team) to see if they could convince the B-SOD to takes its ugly business elsewhere, but alas, the phone decided to join forces with the computer and boycott Shane for the day. I picked up the stapler to bludgeon my phone, but it sprung open and spewed staples across my desk directly into my coffee cup. Feeling as if I was about to lose control (as if beating my phone with a stapler was not evidence enough), I pushed away from the desk and walked away. I decided a brisk walk to the bathroom would help me regain my composure plus afford me the opportunity to relieve my bladder (I’m a multi-tasker). Not going to lie, after the computer, phone and stapler, I wouldn’t have been surprised if my junk fell off the minute I undid my fly, but some risks are necessary so I moved forward as planned. I took my position in front of the self-flushing urinal and the minute I began to relieve myself the urinal sprung into continuous flush mode, quickly overwhelming the urinal basin and flooding the immediate area. I rapidly moved over to the sink to avoid the ankle deep water, waved my hands in front of the faucet sensor, but nothing happened. I stood in front of six sinks before I found one willing to cooperate. I turned to the automatic paper towel dispenser (you’ve got to be friggin’ kidding me), looked at it with disgust and despair, and waved my hands in front of it. I stood there for 5 minutes waving my hands frantically in front of the damn sensor thingy, but it simply would not budge. Eventually the gale force winds created by my flapping arms were enough to dry my hands and the pool of water created by the urinal that I had offended minutes before. I walked away dejected.

I survived the rest of my day by steering clear of anything mechanical. I left as early as I could and jumped on the first extremely crowded train that I could find on that sweltering 90 degree day. My uncanny ability to stop things from functioning must have applied to deodorant as well because I didn’t run into a single person who smelled even remotely human. Well, at least I would have the solitude of the car ride home to decompress before seeing the boys.

Yes, Officer, of course I locked my car…

So I jumped off the train smelling much like the homeless wino who occupied the same square foot of space as me for the 45 minute train ride. I walked over to the parking garage where my Dodge Ram was quietly awaiting my return, trotted up the three flights of stairs to my regular parking space, walked over to row 3B and found nothing but an empty slot? That’s strange, I must have been more tired this morning than I thought. Why don’t I just wander around the parking garage for 30 minutes or so and look on every floor for the car that I am certain I parked right in this spot? My search was in vain. My 2005 Dodge pickup was gone- I had been hood-winked, bamboozled, violated- someone stole my damn pickup! Either that, or my truck heard about my luck with mechanical objects and, in the interest of self-preservation, had decided to drive as far away from me as possible. Along with the pickup, they also got (2) green folding camp chairs, (1) booster seat, all my country music CDs, and Mack’s Tony Hawk skateboard. Whoever did this better hope that Mack never finds him; he is beyond livid. As a side note, Cayden offered to scratch and bite the perpetrators if I could locate them. I guess he was a little upset as well.

The officer I spoke to was very nice. That’s a plus. I told him he should canvas every gas station within a ten mile radius as my truck only gets 3 miles per gallon. At least I had that going for me. Whatever idiot stole my truck just chained himself to a gas pump. Have fun, buddy; next time steal a Prius, moron.

The insurance lady was nice too- so nice, in fact, that even after she told me that I would not be reimbursed for rental car expenses, I still wished her a great weekend. Why not, let it go. I am good; I have a full jug of Mr. Rossi sitting on my counter at home; I got some healthy kids torturing each other in the basement, a hurricane is a-coming, but at least I don’t have to worry about my truck being damaged. Ha! I wonder if the knucklehead who ran off with my truck knows he did me a favor?