Friday, January 31, 2014

It's a wonder...

Den of the Beastly Bear


Hiya Folks!

Well it's Friday, finally...the 31st. and I managed to write a blog everyday!!! Yay me!

As I write this my page counter sits at 2,130 views!

I am amazed, thank you all!

My wife continuously wonders how I remain alive despite my predilection for calling people on their bullshit, being aggressively truthful, and my distain for pretention!

As a truck driver, my travels took me all over Michigan, and the surrounding states. On days I was local Metro Detroit was my main stomping grounds.

Usually I had college age kids helping me with store orders, occasionally a retiree working part time just to get out of the house.

I was at this store on the west side of Detroit, and had a crew of 4 college age black men working with me. 
As we were working I noticed that this one fella was being treated a little different by the other guys. He held himself aloof from his fellows, he had a certain air of arrogance and superiority... and was quick with little snarly comments for his compatriots. We took a break half way through their order, as they had half of a 53 ft. trailer.

As we were sharing a soda and a couple laughs, I noticed our superior friend was fiddling with a leather medallion he wore on a leather thong proundly displayed on the outside his smock.
"What ya got there?" I asked motioning with my pop bottle.
" Oh dis?" He said "Dis here my ______"
I don't recall the word he used, but I was unfamiliar with the term so I asked.
"You're WHAT?"
"Man dis here represent my heritage!" And he held it out for me to see.
"Oh," I said "how long have you been in the States?"
He gave me a smirk. (Stupid truck driver it said)
"Naw man, I'm from here..."
"So you recently visited there?"
"No, man it represent my family!"
"So your parents are from Africa?"
"No"
"Your Grandparents??"
"Huh unh..." 
"Your Great-Grandparents???
"No man....you just don't get it, it's my heritage! I'm African!"
I shook my head.
"No man, YOU don't get it! Aside from skin tone, that makes you about as fucking African as I am!!! What YOU are is American!"
I thought his buddies were gonna die...they just fell out laughing and hooting at him. I got the distinct impression these guys had heard his little spiel many times before...
"Man....why you fuckin' wit me???"
"Not, just trying to understand.."
He was quite a bit more subdued the rest of the time I was there, his buddies chuckling whenever they looked at him.

Another thing that really bugs me is improper speech.
Despite your station in life, language is free! Respect yourself and those around you enough to make yourself clearly understood...or I just might give you shit about it.

Again Metro Detroit, different store...unloading a truck.
We used rollers to unload. If your don't know what those are, imagine 8 foot sections of ladder with metal rods for rungs and steel roller skate wheels spaced along the rungs. You build yourself a ramp inside the trailer, set the boxes on the rollers and let gravity do the work for you.

At the end of the truck there is a guy that stops the box and either transfers it to a roller going into the store or puts the boxes on a cart to take in.
This particular day the fellow transferring boxes needed me to stop sending boxes for a minute, and hollered up into the truck.
"Hoe DUP!"
I stopped and walked down to the end of the trailer and said. "What?"
"Hoe DUP!" He repeated
"Man, I think it's great you're learning a second language...and Korean's a tough one! Good for you!"
"Huh?" 
"Well you said 'Hoe DUP' right?"
"Yeah..." 
"Well that's Korean for 'with duck', though why you would say that to me I really can't fathom!"
"Man, I don't speak no Korean, I meant 'HOLD UP'!!!"
He said, enunciating VERY clearly.
"Ah, so you DO speak English as well, fantastic!!! In the future if you use English I'm much more likely to understand you."
"Asshole....You understand DAT!"
"Yes, I understand THAT! Just let me know when you're ready to start up again." And walked back to my place in the front of the trailer.
Didn't share a good natured soda and talk that day, that's ok...I made my point!

Guess it is a wonder...Lol!

Be well folks!

Beastly Bear



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sometimes I'm so ashamed...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Howdy Folks!

I used to drive semi's for Perry Drug Stores.
Every Monday I drove to Chicago where I delivered to 4 stores in the Chicagoland area. 
The first store on my Route was at 115th. Street and Washington Ave. on the South side of Chicago.
As Jim Croce said in his song "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown",
it was in fact...THE "baddest part of town"! I was the low seniority driver, so I got stuck with it...no one else wanted to go!

I don't say this because it was the local chapter of the V.F.W. (as in Very Few Whites), but because in the couple years I delivered there, there was a shooting IN the store, and a slashing. 

The shooting: two elderly gentlemen(60's-70's) were standing in line for lottery. While looking at his slip, one lost his balance(Alcohol may or may not have been involved) and bumped into the fellow in front of him. This man became angry and shoved the "bumper", even though he had apologized. This enraged the bumper, who shoved him back...hard. At this point the gentleman in front (the bumpee) produces a small .38 cal. revolver and empties all six shots into the poor bumper...killing him dead.
Over bumping into him in line.

In the slashing: while we were unloading the truck, we heard a cashier scream! We all dropped what we were doing and ran to her aid. What we found was a twenty something fellow doing his best to hold his intestines inside his body. He had been slashed with a straight razor from groin to nipple...by his brother....over a woman!!!

Now one of the guys that helped me unload the truck, was a jovial, heavyset young black man named Leon.

Leon and I got along famously! We laughed and joked all the time, he always made my day. I was the only white guy Leon had ever really known.

He told once told me how things were hard for him sometimes because he only had a 7th. Grade education.

Leon was the father of six, and this was one of several jobs he worked to make ends meet. We'd take turns buying our little group sodas, Leon and I both preferred Coca Cola.

I tell you all of this so you'll know why I'm sometimes so ashamed of myself.

I had been letting my hair grow out for a while, you couldn't really tell because I wore a baseball cap at work most of the time. Hard to keep your "Do" straight when you're sweating your ass off unloading trucks!

So in the vein of both trying something "new" and ease of maintenance I decided to try a short, tight perm! Step out of the shower, towel dry, run a pick through it and go...easy peasy!

So the Monday after I had this done, I headed off to Chicago. I pulled into the alley behind the store, and rang the buzzer. The door flew open and out bopped Leon...
"My man Joe!!!" He said then skidded to a stop.
"What da helllll happen to yo hair bro?"

At this point, not having considered anyone's reactions...my twisted sense of humor kicked in...hard!

"I don't know Leon," I said, all serious "I woke up in the motel last Tuesday morning to THIS" I told him pointing to my hair.

"Whadafuq?" Leon responded.

" I know, weird right??? I can't think of what could've hap....wait a MINUTE!!! You remember last week we both got cokes when we took a break?" 

"Yeah" he said looking bewildered

"And we set them down on the back of the truck to finish up?" I asked.

"Yeah..."

"I bet we got the bottles mixed up...I got your pop, and you got mine...THAT MUST BE IT!!!!" I said with the excitement of discovery.

"Wha???" said Leon, then watching him I could literally watch the implications of what I said wash over him...

"Oh my GOD!!!" cried Leon "OH MA GOD!!! You don't really thing das it? Do you???"

"That's all I can think of Leon...man, I can't even wear any of my hats...they won't fit over this" I was on a roll now!

"God DAMN!!!"

"You feel any different Leon? Notice any changes?!?"

"Unh uh...man like what??? Watcho think DAT shit'll do to me man??? Oh shit!!"

"I don't know...I've always been "me", I don't know...is your hair any straighter?"

He grabbed some of his hair and pulled it so he could see ( he wore a Billy Dee Williams jerry curl).
"I don think so, ...maybe...damn, my wife's gon be pissed!!! Man she love ma hair!!!" 

He was really starting to get upset...and I was starting to feel guilty...so I fessed up.

"Naw Leon, man I'm sorry...I'm just messin with you. We didn't mix up our drinks, and it wouldn't mater if we did. I had this done, it's a perm."

"A 'PERM' what da hell is a perm???"

"Well Leon, when white folk want their hair curly like this. They put rollers in their hair and put chemicals on it to make it stay that way "permanently", so they call it a perm!"

He looked at me like I just told him I was an alien.

"You mean ta tell me, you did DAT shit to yo hair...on purpose?!?" He asked.

"Well...yeah!"

"Damn man..." He said shaking his head "you white folks be crazy!!"

Through the next couple hours, every now and then he'd start chuckling...
"Man, you scare't da shit right outta me....you jus ain't right!!"

Sometimes I'm so ashamed...lol!

Be Well!

Beastly Bear



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Princesses first date...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Howdy Folks!

Good God, it's only Wednesday!!!

Yesterday I told you all about Princess Bear's early adventures with boys...pre 16!

That was the age her mother and I had discussed would be about right for her to start dating...enter "J"!

Katie was 15 when she met "J" at school, he was a year older than her. They started talking on the phone and hanging out at school...she was falling hard. Then just before school was out he broke his leg in a dirt bike accident. That was when we started taking her over to his house for "visits", as he couldn't drive. We met his parents, very nice folks...and we were comfortable letting her hang out over there. This was also when I met "J". We had taken Katie over, and "J's" mom invited us in. They had the poor kid in an office chair so he didn't have to walk, and could push himself around with his good leg instead of fooling with crutches in the house. He was a good sized kid, about 6' 1-2", blonde hair almost white and blue eyed.
To his credit, as soon as we came in he attempted to stand to greet us and shake my hand! Liked him immediately. I told him to stay seated, we understood.

He was laid up through July, and once the cast came off and he could drive he'd come over here to see Katie.

"J" was a "car nut". He had a Honda Civic that he was always working on and upgrading, spending what little he made at his part time job at the pizzaria.
So at the end of August, when the Woodward Dream Cruise rolled around, he wanted to take Kaitlin on a "date" to go down with him and some friends.
Katie would turn 16 in early September, and we liked "J" so we said OK. With the proviso that I have a talk with "J" before they go.

Now I don't know exactly what my daughter tells her boyfriends about me, but uniformly they are always afraid to meet me...go figure.

Guess they don't want my full attention!


Now "J" had already met me, yet he "freaked out" that I wanted to talk to him! But he wanted to date Katie more than he was scared of me, so he agreed.

On the day of their date, Katie told me "J" was on his way and could he bring his friend in with him when I talked to him? I said of course that would be alright.
"You're not going to embarrass me are you?!?"
"Of course not," I consoled her "I just want to clarify a few things."

Now it is a well known fact that I detest the "thug" look. Put your damn hat on straight, and pull your 
F-ing pants up!!!

I was in the family room when the boys arrived, and instead of coming into the house they waited just inside the front door. 
OK, guess I'll have to go to them.
As I round the corner I see "J" and Kaitlin, properly attired...and his friend, with his hat on sideways rocking the young white thug look! Really?!? This is who you brought for moral support?!?
Sooooo first thing I said is:
"I see somebody doesn't know how to wear their F-ing
hat in my house!" Open strong.   ;-)
"I'm sorry sir..." The friend said, whipping the hat from his head.
"J," I said "I don't believe I know your friend..."
He introduced us, I shook the young man's hand. Firmly!
"Look, I don't want to keep you guys so I'll be brief.
You understand that Katie's 15, and she was not to date until she was 16...and that we're making an exception because it's you, right?"
"Yes sir." He relied.
"OK then, here's the deal. That's my Baby! For almost 16 years, this girls health, happiness, and well being have been MY responsibility! Now, you take her out of my house, YOU assume those responsibilities... and you're not going to want to fail in upholding them. Because if something happens to her while she's in your care...well, brother...this planet ain't big enough to keep you from me. We understand each other?!?"
"Yes SIR"
"Alright then, you guys have a good time...stay out of trouble, and if you have any problems feel free to call."
And so my baby left on her first official "date"!
I must not have frightened the boy too bad, they dated a couple years...went to prom together...but like most romances it ran it's course.
Prom 2009
Kind of a shame too, I liked the kid. Sure, he had some knot head buddies that got him in a shitload of trouble(after they broke up), but he treated my daughter right! And I really can't ask for more than that!

Be Well!

Beastly Bear







Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Boys: The Enemy...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Howdy Folks! Warning, this one's a little long!

Boys!
No word conjours more dread in the hearts of fathers of daughters! Mainly because we were all boys once...and we know what we're like!

When Princess Bear was born, she became my whole world! She was my little pal!!! Nothing beat coming home from a just awful day at work, walking in the door and hearing that squeel "DADDY!!!!"

They say that a father is his daughter's first love, and I surely felt that way! But Princess Bear is her father's daughter...I knew it wouldn't last forever. I just thought I'd have more time.
She was 3! She came home from daycare/preschool, and made the announcement... The one that broke my heart.
"Guess what daddy...I've got a boyfriend!"
"You do, well what is this young man's name?"
"Him's name is Michael!"
"Michael eh?" I asked thoughtfully "and how old is Michael?"
She held up her hand, all fingers displayed.
"He's this many!"
"5 huh? An older man. Maybe I should have a little talk with this 'Michael'!"
"Hunh uh daddy, you better not..."
"Why not?" I asked
"Cause he'll knock you on you butt!"
"Really? That must be some big 5 year old!"
She just giggled...and so it began!

There have been many since, some I've liked, some not so much....some never made it past "sup?"

We had gone to the local Cinaplex located within our mall. We were on our way out, Momma needed the restroom and Princess had spotted some kids from school.
"Can I go say 'Hi' Dad? There's a guy over there I REALLY like..."
"Sure, I'll wait for your Mom...go ahead."
When Momma Bear was done Katie came back all excited.
"I Want you guys to meet him...OK?"
"Sure..." I said. Here we go again...
"He's the one sitting down..."
As we approached I did the whole Sherlockian thing.
Hair: moderate, stylish. Nothing weird, not "making a statement". Good
Clothing: not 'thug'd' out, good. Again within standards
Shoes: Nike, but not 'Jordan's' so not spoiled, laced properly-not lazy.
Social: with a group of friends, not a loner. Relaxed, laughing: comfortable. Good
Overall: moderately attractive, not so much to be stuck on himself...yet not a step down for my daughter.
Ok, he may have potential.
He was sitting on the bench, arms spread across the back. Legs crossed at the knee...as we walked up his attention diverted from his friends to us.
"Mom, Dad, This is Steve....Steve, this is my Mom and Dad."
Here's where ole' Steve blew it.
He looked my wife up and down, turned his attention to me, gave the 1 inch chin raise and said.
"Sup..."
Some small talk was made, and finally we left.
"So.....what do you think?" Princess asked me.
"I think not." I replied
"Why....?"
"He's not that interested honey, sorry..."
"What do you mean 'not that interested'???" She demanded.
"Ok baby, here's the thing. When you're interested in a girl, and you meet her parents for the first time. You get your lazy ass up off the bench, shake her Dad's hand and say "Pleased to meet you Mr. Ormerod, Mrs. Ormerod!" You don't stay seated, give a head bob and say 'Sup!"

Then there was mini Eminem.
Or at least that's how he thought of himself.
REALLY didn't like him, but tried for my daughters sake to keep my mouth shut. He was self important, disrespectful, not just to us but to my daughter as well.
About 5'6" and a buck thirty soaking wet, he fancied himself a bad ass because he was from Pontiac, living in Clarkston.
Neither of them could drive, and I had brought them home from school so they could spend a little time together.
I was listening to this little blowhard asshole regaling my daughter with stories of how he and his hommies were harassing another kid. My daughter said.
"You better be careful you don't get your ass kicked. He's a pretty big guy!"
"I ain't scared of that Lil bitch, I can take care of myself babe. I grew up in the 'hood!!!"
I couldn't take it anymore.
"Well," I said "I grew up in the woods, and I can hide your body where it never will be found!" 
And just smiled at him.

Thank God that ran it's course!

Now she's an adult, 22 and my opinion doesn't quite carry the weight it once did! She has several "satellite" guys circling around her...none have dropped the hammer and asked her out yet! But it's just a matter of time...
Be gentle with my daughter's heart boys...
Cause I got a spot all picked out, you'll like it. It's very peaceful there...    ;-)

Be Well!

Beastly Bear




Monday, January 27, 2014

Say What?!?


Den of the Beastly Bear

Welcome folks!

Today's story is a cautionary tale for you parents/grandparents out there! Make sure when talking to a child, that they understand.

Back when Princess Bear was but a cub, a couple months before her 4th. Birthday she went and spent the weekend with my Mom.

My Mother dotes on Kaitlin something fierce, but would sometimes forget she was dealing with a child.

For instance whenever we were over my mother would let Katie play with her costume jewelry.  I would tell her she shouldn't do this, but being "Grandma", she would shut me down with an "Oh, it's OK!!!"
So we come over one day to visit...
As soon as we get there my daughter asks "Gwamma, can I go put on pretties?"
"Sure Sweetheart, you know where they're at..."

Now, I admit to being a strict parent...which I learned FROM THIS WOMAN!!! But every time I would get after Kaitlin in front of my mother, I would get the stern "Joe, she's just a little girl!!!". Then the "Grammafying" would begin "Oh you poor little thing, you didn't mean it, did you? Mean ole' Daddy huh?"
EXCUSE ME?!?
This from the woman that whipped my sisters AND my ass all together if no one fessed up to breaking something. REALLY?!?

So Katie comes downstairs from my mother's room, bracelets past the elbows of each arm! Now my mom loves her some costume jewelry, but not even she has that much!!! As I looked closer I notice there are really expensive bracelets mixed in with the cheap acrylic ones....like gold/diamond/sapphire/emerald etc. expensive!!! My mother noticed as well.
"Kaitlin Renee!!! You've got my good jewelry on too, you take them off RIGHT NOW!!!"
My daughter, not used to this tone from Grandma, hastened to comply! 
Standing in the middle of the kitchen, she stripped first one arm then the other in one smooth motion...
right onto the floor! Bracelets bouncing and clattering off the tile floor, scattering in every direction possible!
At that moment, Grandma disappeared! In her place, in all her righteous fury was the mother I remembered from MY childhood!
"KAITLIN!!!! Why did you do that?!?" 
My mother said, veins bulging.
My daughter hung her head, arms at her side and looked up at my mother from between her bangs and said, in that sweet voice of innocentence.
"Gwamma, I'm jus a widdle gurl!"
I couldn't help but say with a smile, 
"Well THAT bit ya in the ass didn't it???"

So anyway, back to spending the weekend with my mom. We had picked her up about 5pm Sunday and taken her home for dinner. Later that night she had gone to her room to get dressed for bed. It was summertime so she put on her short pink nightgown. It wasn't quite bedtime, so there was still time for playing with the dog, cuddling with mom and dad, or playing with her dollhouse.

As she was playing she bent over and I saw she didn't have any panties on under her nightie.
"Um Katie, where are your panties baby?"
"I'm not wearing any daddy.."
"I can see that baby, why not?" She always did.
"Welllllll, Gwamma says that every now and then you need to 'air it out'!"
"Say what?!?"
"You know daddy, down there...you have to let it breathe" That last in a stage whisper.
"Oh she did, did she?"
"Unh huh..."

So after she had gone to bed I gave my mom a call...
just to find out exactly what was said. I mean it was not outside the realm of possibility that that was EXACTLY what my mother said, if you knew my mom you'd understand.
"Hi mom, did you guys have a good weekend?"
"Oh yes, we had a great time!! Boy was it hot this weekend though! So we were in the pool a lot!"
"That's great...hey, wanted to ask you a quick question.
Did you tell Katie not to wear underwear to bed? Because she needed to 'air it out, and let it breathe'?"
My mother chuckled and said "Not exactly,"
She explained "We'd been in our swimsuits all day and took a dip in the pool before bed. We had toweled off but our suits were still damp. So when she put her nightie on I told her to leave her panties off so that they wouldn't get damp and the air could dry her skin."
"Well that sure wasn't the 'take away' she got!" I laughed.

So parents/grandparents remember, that kid will spout your 'wisdom' at some point in the future....
Make sure they know what you mean! Lol

Be Well!

Beastly Bear






Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Dinner...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Good Sunday evening folks!

Growing up, Sunday evenings were always the time for the big family dinner. Through the week, everyone kept different schedules, but Sunday evening you ate at home with your family...period.

When I got married my wife and I have always tried to maintain that tradition...unless I was off hunting.

There are no particular "rules" to Sunday dinner, other than we eat as a family, and usually at the dining room table. A huge green marble monstrosity we bought the year we bought our house...it seats 8!
It comes in handy at holidays but is a little big for everyday! 

I may have mentioned before, but I cook!
In fact, I'm pretty damn good at it if I do say so myself!
The ability grew out of necessity growing up as Mom and Dad both worked, and as I hit high school I had a job after school as well...so if I wanted to eat (more than sandwiches) I had to figure it out!

Today I'd like to share tonight's Sunday dinner, super simple enchiladas!
Simple Enchiladas

You will need:
Preheat oven to 400°
  • 1lb. Ground Sirloin
  • 1 lg. Onion diced
  • 1 can Black Beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 small can chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 envelope Taco seasoning
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 jar Picante Sauce (Pick you heat)
  • 1 package lg. Flour Tortillas (8-10)
  • 1 4-cup package Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Chopped green onion for garnish
  1. Brown ground sirloin with the diced onion, drain.
  2. Add beans, chillies, corn and taco seasoning and as much water as the seasoning calls for. Heat until liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
  3. Mix soup and Picante together, set aside.
  4. In a clean towel, microwave tortillas just until warm and pliable
  5. Divide beef mixture so you have enough for the number of tortillas you have
  6. Put filling in tortilla and roll like a burrito
  7. Spay a baking dish with cooking spray and arrange filled tortillas in dish leaving a little room between them
  8. Cover with soup/Picante mixture
  9. Top with cheese
Bake for 20-30 min. until cheese is bubbly and starts to brown. Let cool about 10 min. before serving. Garnish with green onion. Enjoy!

I have also made this in a healthier version, substituting ground turkey, whole wheat tortillas, fat-free soup, and 2 cups each part skim mozzarella and fat-free mozzarella mixed. I swear to you it is just as good!!!
If you don't have a large family, they freeze and reheat well.
We get a couple of meals out of a pan.

I hope you try these and your family loves them as we do!
Until tomorrow,

Be Well!

Beastly Bear

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fast food and slow minds 2...


Den of the Beastly Bear

Good evening folks, welcome to "bonus blog"!

Today I had a rare, but pleasurable lunch with my old pal and running buddy Dave "Dynamo" Gawry!

I use the term "lunch" loosely as we took up space at Outback for about 4 hours!!!

I've known Dave going on 30 years now, we worked together at Perry Drugs and made many a run out to Chicago for work. I left Perry's 18 years ago and we've maintained our friendship over the years. Bound together by extreme good taste in books, movies and music...time spent in his company is always a pleasure!!! :-)
GREAT to spend some time with him, to chew the fat and compare notes on the vagaries of life! 

While chatting he reminded me of an incident he bore witness to...in that windiest of cities, Chicago!

It was late for dinner, around 8-8:30 at night. We'd just swapped our empty trailers for full ones and were cold and starving that blustery winter night! There was a Browns Chicken near the truck yard and we pulled in to get something to eat and warm up before heading to our hotel for the night.

While Dave placed his order I looked over the menu.
The large overhead menu extolled the virtues of their numerous meals of chicken, ribs, and pulled pork. The menu also consisted a large assortment of à la carte items like sides, cornbread, and individual pieces of chicken.

Dave had placed his order, paid and was awaiting his food...no problem. I had nothing to fear...right?

The attractive black girl behind the counter gave me a million watt smile as I stepped up to order...this should have been my first clue, no one is that happy at work at 8 o'clock at night!
"Welcome to Brown's, what can I get for you?"
"I'd like 2 chicken breasts and a large Dr. Pepper"
"I'm sorry sir, we don't sell individual pieces of chicken." She said.
"Right there on your à la carte menu, it says chicken breast $1.68...I'd like 2"
"We don't sell our chicken like that..." 
"You know à la carte means 'items available separately' right?" I asked.
"That may be sir, but we don't sell our chicken by the piece!"
"Fine, give me the 2 piece meal, white meat. Substitute a second breast for the wing, and just keep the sides."
"I can't do that either sir, we don't sell just chicken."
"You mean to tell me," I asked, my frustration starting to show "that if I ordered a 12 piece bucket of chicken and didn't want any sides you wouldn't sell me any chicken?!?"
"That's different sir, we offer a 12 piece bucket of just chicken" 
That smile was getting damn annoying!!!
"Fine, give me the 2 piece white meat meal substitute a second breast for the wing and I'll take BBQ baked beans and cornbread, I'll pay the difference."
"I'm sorry sir, I can't do that either...I can't substitute pieces of chicken." 
The smile cranked up a few watts.
"I can however add a second breast for $1.68!"
"That's what à la c...oh never mind, fine...that's fine." 

I'm not certain, but I believe she was fucking with me on purpose!!! I mistook that smile for friendly....not sadistic! Dave believes she just wasn't bright enough to get what I was talking about.

We've laughed about this many times over the years, and today was no different...

Hope you all have an old friend to share a laugh with!

Be well folks!

Beastly Bear




Fast food, slow minds...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Morning Folks!

Today I turn my twisted mind to Fast Food, and some of the slow minds I have encountered in my attempts to purchase the same!

For over 15 years I drove a truck, a Semi to be precise, first for the now defunct Perry Drugs Corp. then later for General Motors.
So I have had a fast food meal or two.

The first encounter with the "Duh brigade" I'd like to recount happened on a beautiful spring Monday morning in the town of Flat Rock, Mi.
I was driving for Perry's at the time and had arrived a little early to the store I was to deliver to. Knowing I had time, I pulled around the building to the early morning glow of those golden arches!
It was a little after 6am and some of the locals were already in place enjoying their McWhatever. I walked up to the counter and a bright eyed attractive young woman asked me what I'd like. I ordered, she gave me my total($5.18), and I handed her a $10 bill.
I watched her hit the one, then 00, then 00 again...or $100!!!
The drawer kicked open, she put my $10 in the appropriate slot and only then glanced at the amount of change to make. Figuring surely she would catch her mistake I said nothing...until she started counting out my $94.82!
"Excuse me," I said politely "I only gave you a ten."
She looked at me confused...
"No you gave me a hundred!"
"Believe me, I don't have so many hundred dollar bills that I forget where I spend them."
Now she gets suspicious...like I'm trying to pull a scam of some type.
"The machine says you gave me a $100!"
"What possible motive could I have for lying to you??"
"I don't know..." She said
"Look," I said as patiently as possible "what do you do with the hundred dollar bills when you get them?"
"I put them under the drawer" She said, still suspicious
"Ok, look under the drawer, I'm like what your 4th. or 5th. customer today? If there is a hundred dollar bill under there I'll take my money and my food and go. If not, just give me my $4.82 and we'll call it good. Deal?"
"OK" she said and lifted the drawer....guess what? No $100 bill!
"Oh my God," she gushed "Thank you! I'd have been fired for sure...you saved my job!"
Yes I thought, but for how long...

Next we travel to KFC, surely things will go better here...right?
A crisp fall day, and I am chaperoning my wife and her friend on a shopping trip...scaring off muggers and toting bags! We stop in for lunch, the ladies order first...then it is my turn. I order my meal and a large drink. The dull eyed, listless girl gives me my total of $19.30!
I pay her and she begins assembling our order, drinks first. She brings the girls two medium sodas but says to me "I'm sorry sir, we're all out of large cups."
"That's ok," I say "just give me a medium and a small and we'll call it good."
"I can't do that sir, we use our cups for inventory control..."
"Alright then just give me a medium pop."
So she takes our bill, re-rings everything exactly the same because she's looking right AT the receipt and say "Ok, you owe me $.19"
"What?" I ask "How is that possible if the medium pop is $.30 cheaper than the large pop I already paid you for??? How can I owe you nineteen cents?!?"
"Well that's what the machine says..."
"Well obviously the machine is wrong, I'm not giving you another cent!"
"But sir you owe $.19, if you don't pay I can't give you your food."
I am starting to lose my cherub like demeanor at this point...
"I want to talk to your manager!"
"I'm sorry sir, he's not here..."
"Well where the hell is he???"
"He's across the street getting lunch at Wendy's..."
"Figures!" I said
At this point my wife steps in, recognizing the Beastly Bear is about to put in an appearance and says "Just pay her, it's not worth it...and you're just wasting your breath."
*heavy, heavy sigh*
 "Fine!!!" I hand her two dimes, she rings it in and goes to give me my penny change.
"Keep it," I said "consider it a tip!"

Last but not least, was a trip to Burger King in Waterford. A hot July day, my best buddy and I whipped in for lunch on a Saturday afternoon. As we stood, perusing our options a woman in line ahead of us placed her order.
"I'd like a chicken sandwich with no mayonnaise, an order of onion rings, and a medium coke"
Now this was back when Burger King still had the microphones on the flexible stalks that they used to call back specialty orders. Our perky little blonde haired, blue eyed waitress turned on the mic and called back "I need a chicken sandwich with just lettuce..." 
Our intrepid patron paid, took her food and went to sit down.
My buddy placed his order and paid, and as I stepped up to order the woman returned.
"Um, I'd like to see the manager please." She said setting the box of her sandwich on the counter.
The manager appeared and courteously asked how he could help.
"Take a look at my sandwich please..."
The manager opened the box, and lifted the bun.
"OK....Where is the chicken?" He asked.
"My point exactly." She replied.
The manager turned back to his staff, raised his voice enough to be heard and asked "Who's working specialty sandwiches?"
A young, thin, dark skinned black man of about 5'4" and slightly buck toothed stepped forward...his name tag read "Leroy"
"Yo....I is!" Hand to God folks, that's what he said!!!
"Where is the meat for this chicken sandwich Leroy?"
"Yo see axed fo a chicken sammich wit jus lettuce....
Dat what see got!!!"
There was a stunned silence, we all just looked at one another...
"What?" asked Leroy confussed "What?!?"
The manager hung his head a moment, then made an executive decision.
"Get your shit, punch out and go home you're fired!!!"
"WHAT?!?!?!"
"You're obviously too fucking stupid to work here... Go!!!" the manager responded, pointing towards the back.
In a bit of a snit Leroy removed his apron, muttering under his breath as he disappeared into the back.
As a new sandwich was prepared for the woman, amidst profuse apologies by the manager, I just couldn't resist:
"I wonder..." I said musing "What IS the difference between a chicken sandwich with just lettuce, and a ham and cheese with just lettuce?"
"About 50¢" my buddy deadpanned.
The waitress giggled...the woman chuckled...
The manager was NOT amused...

Here's hoping you have a great Saturday!   :-)

Be Well!

Beastly Bear






Friday, January 24, 2014

It's just not right...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hello Folks!

IT'S FRIDAY!!!

It has recently come to my attention, once again...
That I'm getting old!
I don't feel old...I mean aside from a couple aches and pains, in my head I swear I'm only about 28!!! Lol
NOT 51, it's just not right!!!  :-)

The other day I was talking with a fellow at work, he's been dating this girl for a while and they've been having some problems. He was kind of asking a "what would you do?". Which got us to swapping war stories about dating. He had asked me how long I'd been married, to which I replied 26 years.

So I was telling him about this girl I dated, and more precisely why it had ended.
Long story short, we had made plans to go out, I had called her to say I was out of work and was going home to shower and shave and I'd be right over.
She said she was going to lay down for about an hour as she hadn't been to bed yet (she worked nights). I told her we could certainly take a "rain check", no she insisted "I want to see you...just give me a call when before you come, just to make sure I can do it!"
When I called, her phone was busy(she had her own phone in her room), repeatedly. Finally after calling for a half hour I decided to just drive over, if it turned out she didn't feel up to going out, I'd just come home.
When I pulled up to her house her car was not there.
When I rang the bell, her mother answered the door with a quizzical look on her face.
"Hi Mrs. X, is Sherri ready?"
"Ummm, she went to a party Joe..."
My turn to be confused.
"A party? A party where? We had a date..."
"Well, it's at Steve's."
"Steve as in ex-boyfriend Steve?!?" I asked
"Yeah, that's the one...I'm so sorry Joe" (Mom liked me)
"Have her call me when she gets home." I said, and left.
She never called, so neither did I! I felt I was owed an explanation at least, if not an apology! So ended our relationship.

So after listening to my tale of woe, this guy says.
"Well that was dumb, why didn't you just call her?"
"Because she ditched me for her ex...she should have called me!!!"
"No," says he "I mean at the party, why didn't you call her RIGHT THEN?"
"Because I didn't know Steve's number, and I doubt he'd have put her on the phone."
He looks at me like I'm particularly stupid and says slowly as if speaking to a child "On.....her....cell....phone"
"Well Einstein, because it was 1984 and the only people with mobile phones were CEO's, doctors, and high end lawyers. AND they were permanently affixed in their car!!!"

Another gaze into the generation gap came playing cards with some buddies at work a few years ago.
At lunch we were playing poker, for quarters. One of the guys we were playing with was trying to get all the state quarters for his collection, so if he saw one he didn't have he'd snatch it up. 
So as we're playing, I happened to ante in with a Bicentennial quarter.
His eyes lit up as he snatched it out of the pot.
"What the hell is that???" He asked studying it closely.
"That's just a bicentennial quarter, not a state one."
"What's that?!?" He asked puzzled
I'm said "Come on man! The 'Bicentennial'? 1776-1976?? County's 200th. Birthday??? Parades, fireworks, speeches, special editions of every damn thing???? How can you NOT remember the Bicentennial?????"
I admit to sounding a tad condescending...
He just looked at me and said:
"Dude, I was born in '77!"
Well played sir...well played!

Hope you all feel younger than you are!!!

Be Well!

Beastly Bear


Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Confession...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

I have a confession to make, and I'm not proud of it...
Many of you that know me already know, but are too polite to bring it up.

The fact is, I'm prejudiced!

I try not to be, I really do! I know it's not PC (as I am one of the least PC people you will ever meet) and I do try to adhere to conventional social mores. But this prejudice is so ingrained in me I can't keep it from showing!

I do not want to work with them, and I refuse to include them in my social networks. I don't want them moving into my neighborhood, I won't let my kid play with theirs. I don't want my daughter dating one, let alone marrying one! If I see one coming I avoid them at all costs. They should not be allowed to go to school with our children, or eat in our restaurants! I fully believe in segregation, to keep them away from the rest of us.

Is this "Hate Speech"? You bet your ass it is!!!

Oh wait, I didn't explain which "group" of...well I guess "technically" they're people, I so disdain.

It's the North American Asshole!

The problem with Asshole's is that they know they're hated and so most are "in the closet". I have even had friends, some for years...and I never knew they were Assholes! Once I found out, the friendship was over.

How can you identify an Asshole?
While driving it's easy...
On the expressway:
While driving with the cruise set, the Asshole will creep up on your bumper, pass you as if furious you are only driving 10 miles over the speed limit, then once in front of you will slow down. Enough so that you, cruise still set will have to pass them. This then, recharges the Asshole into passing you again. Wash, rinse, repeat.... I have had an Asshole do this to me the full 30 miles of my commute to work!
You can also identify the Asshole by:
  • Driving 20mph BELOW the speed limit in the passing lane.
  • Crossing from the passing lane across ALL lanes to hit their exit at the last possible second.
  • Crawling so far up your ass they can tell what your last meal was, when there are two free lanes in which they could pass you.
  • Assholes recognize each other, and sometimes run in "packs"! You can identify a pack of Assholes as generally they'll be driving 3 abreast, blocking ALL lanes of traffic...and driving under the speed limit.
If you should be so unlucky as to have a "closeted" Asshole as a friend here are but a few identifiers I've found:
  • Borrowing your pickup to haul something, returning it with the springs broken on one side and when asked say "It was like that when I picked it up."           REALLY?!? You don't think I'd have noticed my ass was listing at a 20° angle???
  • Sleeping with your freshly ex-girlfriend, "for your own good...so you won't get back with her"
  • Setting up a hunting trip scheduled to leave at 3am Saturday morning, and instead going out drinking and whoring Friday night, and taking the village bicycle home. (You know the "village bicycle"...everybody's had a ride?) And leaving your hunting partner hanging.
  • You don't hear from them for MONTHS at a time, and when you call them they are "oh so busy". Until you get that "Hey buddy, what ya doing this weekend?" call. "No plans, whatcha wanna do?" You ask hopefully...    "I was hoping you could help me move(again), could you bring your truck?"
  • The "Askhole", who asks for your advice in an area in which you have far greater knowledge than them. Then does the exact opposite of what you told them! Then why did you waste my time???
I know tolerance and acceptance of our differences is supposed to be de rigueur, but I can not conform!!! I will not conform!

So yes, I'm prejudiced...and on second thought guess I AM proud, as that is my only one!

Please join me in ostracizing the North American Asshole!!! As they bring out the "beast" in the Beastly Bear.

Be Well!

An irritated Beastly Bear

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Yucky day...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

Oy! It just feels like it's going to be one of those days!

You know the one.
It starts with you having one of those great dreams.
You know, the one where everything is great, and you have not a care in the world! Only to wake up to reality, and your brain starts ticking off all the minutiae of our lives. Car payments due, did I pay the electric bill? Crap, I have too much to do and too little time...well at least it's Saturday...DOUBLE CRAP!!! IT'S ONLY WEDNESDAY!!! AAARRRGGHH!!!

So I've already put myself in a funk before my feet even hit the floor! It's a grey blustery winter day, wind chill of -9°F (that's -23°C) with snow showers to start an hour before I leave for work! Predicted to last till 11pm, just about when I get out of work! Yay me, two way crappy commute!!!

Ok, let's shake it off!!!

Let's try another amusing Tasha story.
As I've said Tasha suffered separation anxiety. As a young adult, little over a year old she developed a bad habit.
Every time we'd leave, Tasha would chew up the toilet paper! Now when I say "chewed up", I mean dime sized pieces...tube and all!
We tried several different remedies to this, bitter apple spray, powdered alum, even hot pepper oil in an effort to get her to stop. Nothing worked!

Finally we hit upon a system.
Before we would leave, Kathy would let Tasha out and I would run back to the bathroom to remove the TP from the holder and put it under the sink. Which happened to be where we kept the spares.
When we came home, I would let her out and Kathy would replace it.
For months this worked perfectly!!!

We had out smarted genius dog, yay us!!!

Then it happened...
One day, I wasn't quick enough...
I turned from putting the roll under the sink to see Tasha standing in the doorway, head cocked and I swear to God she was smiling with a look that said
"Oh THAT'S where you've been putting that!!!"
I said "Get on outta here!!!" 
She turned and ran out to the living room to see us off.

As we left I told Kathy what had happened...
"You think she'll figure it out?" 
"I don't know," I said "depends on how long she was standing there."

We had our answer when we got home.

Where previously she destroyed the roll right there in the bathroom so it was at least contained, we opened the door to a snow covered house!
Well that's what it looked like anyway...there were dime sized bits of TP from one end of the house to the other!!! Not only did she destroy the roll that had been on the holder, but the other 5 double rolls stored under there! She'd luxuriated in her destruction, having been denied for so long! She must have tossed and savaged them like a cat with a ball of yarn. It was on the couch, the chairs, even on top of the television...bits on the kitchen counter, I mean EVERYWHERE!
She came bounding towards us when we opened the door, happy as could be...suddenly skidded to a stop, looked around her, hung her head and slowly walked the rest of the way.
It was hard to be mad at her, after all it was essentially my fault! And she'd obviously had one hell of a time!

So until she grew out of it we found a new place to store the TP, one where without opposable thumbs and the ability to stack things she was never able to get to!

*sigh* 
Still miss her everyday!
Her ashes rest on our mantle, in a place of honor!
I'd guess by the picture you'll be able to figure out why she's been on my mind!

Yeah, that didn't work so well....   :'( 

Be Well!

Beastly Bear