Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipses...then and now

Den of the Beastly Bear

Howdy Folks,
 I sit in the grass next to my Father as the Eclipse begins. I take a hit from the bottle of Jack and pour a measure for him. The Perdomo 10th. Anniversary Champagne Noir cigar I'm smoking wafts it's snow white smoke skyward as I pick a stray piece of grass from Dad's tombstone. It's something he would have liked, smooth and mellow much like the man himself...well in his later years at least. My Father would have been 80 today you see, were it not for the Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

 I'm suddenly struck by a coincidence; I was sitting next to my Father, drinking Jack Daniels during the last Eclipse I witnessed.
Well over thirty years ago, my family would go camping during the Fourth of July Holiday. It was an annual pilgrimage made by several families together, some friends, some relatives.

 This one night a group of the guys was sitting around the campfire, my Dad, Uncle Bob and a few other adults and three teenage boys, myself included. Uncle Bob produced a half gallon bottle of Jack Daniels (my Fathers spirit of choice), cracked the seal and started passing the bottle around. The first several passes skipped the teenagers until Jack started working his magic and the rules were relaxed.

 I remember vividly the huge full moon that warm July night, the smell of the fire and the distant trill of frogs and crickets looking for love. The talk was warm and companionly, gentle ribbing and chuckles at this one's expense, before moving that one as a target. This was a special night, and we were allowed to stay up late with the adults as there was to be a lunar eclipse that night.
The hours wore on, the bottle emptied. On this pass, as it got to my Father, he stood up from the log we were both sitting on and hoisted the bottle high. Once certain he had everyone's attention he spoke, with much bravado for my quiet Father.
"I was in the Marine Corps., been around this crazy world and I've been drunk on damn near everything there is to be drunk ON,  and I'll tell you...there is NOTHING better than Jack Daniels!"
With that, he raised the bottle to his lips, tipped it back to take a mighty swig and stopped short.
"Well, will ya look at THAT!" He said, gesturing at the sky "Something's eating the moon!!!" He then, very uncharacteristically ...giggled.

Which of course set us all into gales of laughter, Uncle Bob went to relieve my Dad of the bottle and said "I think you've had just about enough there...." but as he reached for the bottle he tripped over a root, stumbled into my Dad, and they both went over the log!
As quick as they were down, my Dad bounced back up...stared into the bottle and exclaimed: "Didn't spill a drop!"

I smiled at the memory, poured the last bit of Jack on Dad's grave.
Ground out the butt of my cigar, held the bottle high and said: "Well, will ya look at that...something's eating the sun!"

There was no laughter this time, just a single tear.

Be Well Folks, 
Treasure your parents while you have them, for time is shorter than you think.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 not myself...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks,
So today something amusing happened to me, so I thought I'd share.

Losing half your body weight has some interesting side effects. Not only do I no longer have to shop in the Big and Tall section of clothing departments...but I now can walk in ANYWHERE to shop!
I now sometimes have the opposite problem and find something I like, but all the sizes left are too big...go figure!

 So, today at work I was brought a trainee to show the ropes of driving a Hi-Lo. He had been driving a couple days in another department, and we like to bounce them around throughout the plant to expose them to different aspects of the job, different environments, and let them work around different people. This produces a more well-rounded driver capable of fitting in almost any job assignment given them.

 This particular fellow looks vaguely familiar, but when I heard his name I drew a blank...after all, I don't meet so many "Ludwigs" that I would forget one.

 After he's been working on my dock for a couple hours, he mentions that he used to work with one of my regular drivers, Scott. They both drove for the same trucking company that I did, first for GM and later for Penske when he bought the division. At break time, we were talking about the changes that had gone on with Penske that had prompted each of us to transfer back to GM.
Talk then turned to people we knew and what had happened to them.

Ludwig- "I guess a lot of guys from the Flint terminal came over here."

Scott- "Yeah, I know a bunch of us are here..."

Me- "Doug Cramb is here on third...and Jackie, remember her?"

Ludwig- "Yeah, I ran into her the other night. Larry Nevers is on first, I see him every now and then... And Joe Ormerod, he's on second like us, he's in material but I don't know where."

Scott and I exchanged glances, Scott starts cracking up and makes an elaborate "TADA!" motion towards me. I raised my hand and waved.

Ludwig looks at me, then at Scott, back to me and says "Holy SHIT you've lost a lot of weight...I never would have guessed that was you!!!" A look of complete astonishment on his face.

Scott- "He hasn't been himself for a while fact, he's half the man he used to be!"

 And so realization struck me that Ludwig looked familiar for good reason, all be it I had not seen him in 20 years.

Ludwig- "You don't remember me do you? Well, you probably wouldn't. I wasn't there very long before you left, I remember there was a lot of talk when you left...other guys thinking maybe they should too."

So folks, there you have it. Another benefit of my weight loss...I am now incognito, hiding in plain sight! Lol

May you all be recognized and remembered for all you do!

Be Well, 
The Beastly Bear

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Escalation of Benefit or The Stripper Corollary...

Den Of The Beastly Bear

Hi Folks,
 I find myself of late, wasting WAY too much time on that soul sucking venture known as Facebook. So I thought I'd write another missive to you all.

 About my title today, Escalation of Benefit is something we are all familiar with. Every time you see a TV pitchman say "But wait, there's more..." you are seeing Escalation of Benefit. It is an age old marketing/advertising ploy used to separate you from your hard earned cash when you are vacillating on a purchase. But it need not be as in your face as Billy Mays screaming "But WAIT there's MORE!!!"   

 Sometimes the escalation is insidious and small, such that you don't realize you are being manipulated. Hence the second half of our working title today "The Stripper Corollary".

 Now I'll ask you ladies, and those who have never ventured into such an establishment (yeah right) to bear with me for a moment.
Allow me to explain. When one patronizes a strip club, one pays a cover at the door. One is then reminded that there is also a 2 drink minimum, these are the preliminary means of separating you from your cash. The dancers perform on stage for tips, usually dollar bills...maybe a $5 spot here and there. But the main means of emptying your pockets is the lap dance.

 So, you come in, pay your cover, buy your drinks and sit down to watch good looking women dance in various stages of undress. That's when the first stripper comes over. They always send the ugliest one (relatively speaking of course) first. 

You politely decline and send her away, and the next prettiest one approaches.(Escalation of Benefit) This continues until the girl is so fine you concede(this varies by each guy), and BAM there goes $25 A SONG. Now, generally speaking in all clubs it is verboten to touch the ladies as they are performing this service for you. The dancer will, however, lead you to 

believe that should you bump up to the VIP room there may be more to be had.(But wait, there's more!) Should you fall into this trap, you're now out an additional $50 and all you will get is a longer dance. So now you're out $75 you didn't plan to spend, on something you didn't really want in the first place.

 What brought this to mind is a friend that had broken up with her significant other, for the third time since I've known her. She was adamant that she was now DONE! Had met a nice fellow and they were going to start dating. Until the Ex found out. Then he started Texting (ugly stripper), she didn't respond. Calling (next prettiest stripper), then showing up to talk to her at work (they work at the same place in different areas), she was still adamant and discussed this with me. I tried to explain what was happening, told her of Escalation of Benefit and The Stripper Corollary. Next, he showed up and openly cried in front of the other employees (something this narcissist would never do) telling her how wrong he had been. Again she sought my counsel, I again reminded her that this all stems from the fact that she had met someone and he found out through the grapevine and now was going to do and say ANYTHING to try to get her back. When next I saw her she didn't bring him up at all, then I heard that she had gotten engaged.

"Wow," said I "that was fast, she just started dating this guy..."

"Oh no," they told me "She's engaged to her Ex."

"Holy Shit, she bought the lap dance..."

Hope you all enjoy some true benefits in your life...

Be Well,
Beastly Bear