I Could Tell Ya, but I'd have to Bore Ya - Inane Anecdotes


#1

Here’s a place to write your inane anecdotes for the group.

The first time I was pregnant, I was working at an outsourcing call center. I was somewhat of a big deal (read: being sent on business trips, managing whole projects, supervising a 30 person team, and being paid no money). As such, they decided I should travel with the CEO down to Houston, Texas and start giving our biggest client in-person quarterly performance reviews.

On this particular trip (my second, the first was funny too, but a longer and possibly better story) I was about 5 months pregnant, so I looked like I had swallowed a basketball. My CEO decided we should have supper at Shula’s, a steakhouse named for Don Shula, some former NFL coach I guess. We went in and sat down and the waitress came over and handed Frank a menu, and then another waitress came by and set a regulation sized football in front of me on a kickstand. It was the children’s menu.

I wondered at the time what on earth the narrative must’ve been in their heads… like, was I Frank’s teenage bride? Was I his pregnant teenage daughter? Don’t you have to be 12 to get to order of the kids menu (I was 27)? Frank was an… interesting guy to say the least (in fact, Frank was his middle name, his real name was Marion). He had gotten to where he had by hostile take overs in household name companies, and had the personality to go along with it, so he gave me a dirty look for having this stupid ball on our table before flagging down the waitress and asking her to take it away.

The contrast was ironic, as the next day I had to give a Powerpoint presentation to the second in command in the biggest utility company in America. A scary guy who wore his alligator loafers with no socks and had his shirts custom made. Before hand Frank and I
went to this weird flea-market esque barbecue place for lunch and Frank felt it his duty to mansplain to me why there was a box of pieces of white bread sitting out, as though I was not originally from Iowa.

Traveling with Frank was always simultaneously mortifying and compulsively gleeful, like listening to a Taylor Swift album. He was a terrifyingly aggressive driver and when he drove he would tell me secrets about his mentally ill first wife and why he didn’t respect my boss and what it was like to grow up poor. We had this last thing in common, which might’ve been part of why he felt like he could tell me this stuff. He basically single handed ended the company I was working for at the end, making a whole slew of strangely emotional and paranoid direction changes and setting the staff against each other on purpose to drive results. While he wasn’t exactly professional with me, I was touched by the fact that he wholeheartedly believed I had a bright future ahead of me and that he’d never actually made a pass at me. I think I’ll be telling stories about Frank until I’m dead.


#2

#3

Thank you for this! I am really enjoying what you bring @saf.

I will probably participate soon. My life has felt like three lives and I’m not 40 yet. There was my life before I got married and had children. I was a mess. Then there was married life when everything quieted. And now there’s the widow-with-four-kids life. Each of these are so different. Each involved somehow finding peace. Some anecdotes are funny. Some are the worst.


#4

Really looking forward to it, Nick! :slight_smile:


#5

My ex-husband almost never made jokes, but one time we were driving into work, and I was complaining. I was in the thick of my Neil Young phase and I was annoyed about how anytime I tried to talk about Neil Young people thought I was talking about Neil Diamond and how moronic it was that this had actually happened more than once.

He deadpanned back at me “Yeah, I hate how every time I try to celebrate the cinematic achievements of Lou Diamond Phillips, people say ‘Yeah, Heroin was great.’“

Despite the fact that he was making fun of me, it was probably the funniest thing he ever said in the 8 years we were together.


#6

Sheesh. That’s the funniest thing he ever said to you? That is rough. I’m kidding. Totally kidding!

Similar-
In November my dad was facing a procedure that would hopefully end his Atrial fibrillation. After a shit ton of cardioversions (basically a rebooting of the heart), Covid, and battling prostate cancer and other maladies, he was able to have this procedure. So we went out to dinner the night before as a potential de facto “last supper.” Dad is giving us (my mom, their five kids, my brother in law and my girlfriend) a rundown of what is going to happen. He says that we should know fairly early if the procedure was successful in getting his heart back in rhythm. I, being the asshole son, ask him if they had warned him about “the rhythm.” He looks at me puzzled. I inform him that the rhythm is going to get him, and from what I have heard, it could be as early as tonight. My girlfriend looks at me and chastises me by incredulously asking “you chose this moment to make a Miami Sound Machine joke?”


#7

oh man. i could fill this page with tons of past walls of text!!! i actually love to bore ya.


#8

Don’t threaten me with a good time.


#9

Yeah, I’m afraid I treat all threads like this.

In the new year I’m going to try to be less long-winded.


#10

And I will try to be less of an asshole.


#11

Listen, we probably DO eat at least a couple of spiders a year… I just pulled one out of my coffee maker spout. :skull:

Sometimes you just want to tell someone a story apropos of nothing… or maybe that’s only me.

Here’s another hit from my first pregnancy.

So up here you very rarely get to see your actual OB/GYN during your prenatal appointments, they usually send you to a high level nurse. My first trimester I was diagnosed with Shingles by my personal care physician. She prescribed me a week long course of Valtrex (Shingles is the Herpes Zoster virus) like an anti-biotic and tried to convince me it would be fine to take Lortab (I declined, I was building my daughter’s organs, lady). Having shingles was not fun, but lucky for me, it was turned down a little because of my pregnancy, so it never really got beyond my back.

Well fast forward to the rare prenatal visit where I would actually see my OB/GYN. Every time she’d come in, she would ask me about my Valtrex prescription and I would remind her that I was no longer on it. The THIRD time this happened however, she lowered her paper and said to me, “So there are no… outbreaks you might have concerns about?” and OH MY GOD this probably happens in this office all the time, someone is embarassed and tells lies to their doctor, MY DOCTOR THINKS I HAVE HERPES and I don’t want to tell her!!! So I calmly explained to her that I had had shingles, that it was in the system, but that I had never been on Valtrex except for that one time and that I had no concerns. But inside I was worried that she was going to order a C-Section to protect the eyes of my unborn child from a STI I did not have.

Anyway, the next time I gave birth, I had a homebirth.


#12

:blush:


#13

Haha, good luck with that :wink:


#14

Yeah. No. I was lying.


#15

I’ve grown increasingly crotchety as I get older. It usually comes with some guilt, yet it doesn’t stop me from being an asshole. Two recent examples-

Two weeks ago I was on the phone with a company I used to order a Christmas gift. The gift should have been here like 20 days before this call. According to the package tracking, my package left a shipping hub, but there was nothing after that. I tell this to the customer service rep. She informs me that there are all kinds of delays because of the season and covid. I understand this. What doesn’t make sense to me is that my package left somewhere and didn’t arrive somewhere else. I’m not super shitty or anything…just annoyed. She tells me she is going to put me on a brief hold to talk to her manager. She thinks she does this. I hear some typing and then I hear her tell someone, possibly her manager, “this fucking asshole doesn’t understand Covid.” I start laughing. She picks up the phone and apologizes. I tell her there’s no need to apologize and we share a laugh. She refunds me everything. This gift arrived Tuesday.

This next one happened maybe two or three months ago. Admittedly, I was already in a shitty mood for reasons I can’t remember now. I go into a gas station. I want four things. Most importantly, I want a fountain Diet Coke. I get a craving, ok, Ely! I get to the fountain and there are two early-20s girls in front of me. Fine. Then they start talking. I hate their youth. I hate their yoga pants. I hate their “gonna take a year off to find myself” aura. They are pouring their drinks and one of them says something like “Jenna (who I assume was pumping gas) wants a Diet Pepsi.” The other quips “of course she does” in an annoyingly annoyed way. The cuter of the two proceeds to say “I’m seriously thinking of getting a coffee.” Breaking news. The other girl says “Oh, you totally should.” There are then about 30 seconds of nothingness. Cuter girl then says “I’m seriously thinking about it.” This goes on until she moves to get a coffee. I get my drink and my three other things and get in line to pay. I’m about four socially distanced people from the front. This woman in a tank top, who I can only assume only pretends to be appalled by the idea of anal because “I don’t do this for just anyone” is definitely part of her vernacular, walks in. You can just tell that had she been having a worse hair day she’d be wearing a straw country music concert hat. There’s a guy behind me. He’s fucking gigantic. She tells him she is running “super late” and asks him if she can cut in front of him. She tells him that she only has one item. You can tell he’s not happy about it, but he relents. I brace myself for the same spiel. She taps me on the shoulder asking for the same thing. Fuck. I can feel myself making bad decisions. She even tells me that she only has one item. I tell her I only have four. She mentions that she is running super late again. Maybe it was the mood I walked in with. Maybe it was the yoga pants in front of me getting drinks for Jenna. Maybe it’s Maybeline. I’m done, though. She asked again. I tell her I can’t do that, but tell her that maybe she should get in the “Three items or less line.” She tells me that she would but they don’t have one of those in a weird condescending “ain’t he cute” kind of way. I tell her “I know, so shut the fuck up.” Gigantic dude behind me blurt laughs. I instantly feel bad.


#16

You have a gift for story telling, I like this.


#17

keep em coming nick.


#18

I’ve been on a huge letter kick lately. Handwritten letters, typed up 4 or 5 page letters, and postcards, and more letters with funny pictures or bumper stickers affixed to them. I’ve written people I have not written in ages. I feel as if i’m out of my depressed slump. I have written David James Duncan letters and he’s written back twice now. My sister in law and my nephews and my niece…my mom and dad…my daughters…old friends in Argentina and Montreal…old carpenter buddies…

yesterday i wrote a letter to this girl that i used to babysit. I was 19 and she and her brother were 9 and 7. This extremely wealthy couple hired me to watch and caretake their home and kids and pets for 5 days of the week for roughly 40-50 hours per week. We could dowhatever we wanted, so long as the grass was mowed, the chicken coop cleaned and the chickens fed, the pasture mowed (about 4 acres) and whatever other chores they’d have me do…laundry, etc …

Fast Forward 22 years…she is getting married…and i have read twice now Brian Doyle’s new anthology called “One Long River of Song” and so i wanted to send it to her.

here is my letter. i would apologize for the wall of text…but i don’t feel bad …and i don’t feel sorry. i’m taking a page out of saf’s notebook and throwing this at the internet wall and letting stick…slide down and land anywhere.

My dear Alissa,

To say I hope this finds you well would be an understatement…and also futile as I know, by following you on Facebook, that you are indeed quite well.  And engaged to be married!!!

Is he funny? He must be. Is he handsome? He must be. Is he witty and clever and does he drive you crazy with his idiosyncrasies? He must be. At the end of a long and arduous day, does the sight of him make you pause, smile, and give thanks to have a partner that you know feels the same way about you? He must be.

This is a wonderful thing. This is life. It ain’t romantic, but the sexiest and the coolest thing you can get in life is not someone who drives you wild with lustful passion, but someone that sticks it out with you through thick and thin. Someone that is capable of compromise, capable of shutting the fuck up when they have to and then in the same turn not shutting the fuck up and standing up for their convictions but then only backing down or back pedaling when they know some stupid words fell out of their mouth. That’s romance to me. It ain’t flowers. It ain’t thoughtful consumer goods, and it ain’t love letters (although, let’s be honest, those ARE nice). Intimacy is ultimately a string of heartfelt words that are put into action. Heartfelt being vulnerability and vulnerability being the trust you put in someone for the care of your soul and shared experience we call a life.

I recently read this book over the summer, and then re-read it again. It has stuck with me like no other book in recent years. In fact, it has sparked a whole new feeling of Rod feeling like Rod again!!! I think they call that inspiration. Perspiration? Same difference as far as I can tell.

Anyway, I wanted to write and let you know that this book made me think of you and Clay. And then I wanted to give this book to you because I just know, from the very first sentence, that you’re gonna love it. That most splendid summer of watching over you and Clay still remains and will always remain one of my fondest memories of my life. I can still remember in 1998 my Algebra II teacher telling me that I sucked at math and that the second semester I was gonna be a student aide over at Muldown Elementary. And so, I would walk over and help “aide” kindergarteners—your brother Clay being one of them. I also remember my last day as an aide and after having garnered a hand drawn letter from each one of those kids, I had to leave quickly and find a bathroom so I could cry…I was overwhelmed with love and loss. Fast forward and I would be lucky enough to land the dream job of a lifetime!!! It was just meant to be. I was born and my path led me to you and Clay!!! How neat is that?

You two were the first kids I ever truly first loved. And you were good practice for being a father in my later years!!!  I so enjoyed helping you search for Cheddar the kitty… and sweet ol’ Reba would fetch stick after stick after stick after stick….And basketball for days!!! No, you did not imagine it, I really was a fantastic shot—I still am, but nowhere near as polished as I was then. I played a ton of pick-up basketball in my 20’s. I remember most loving to make you laugh  We’d fart, tell jokes, chortle, I’d tell stories about talking raccoons and then we’d eat mac and jack and then cookies and then I’d make a mess of burnt toast and Cindy would come home from tennis and be like what the fuck is this? I’d clean it up and we’d go play video games and then head to the lake and our little sun-drenched bodies would glisten with life. We’d make homemade cookies and take naps and play more video games and watch Disney on DVD’s or maybe it was VHS??? The most amazing summer—full of love, laughter, some tears, some fine memories, dogs and cats, water, whiffle ball, basketball, fresh cut grass with the hint of gasoline exhaust, and Garth Brooks and some trips to Dairy Queen, a hike up Big Mountain with Rachel, and a summer full of wonder and words and sunburns and long-drawn-out discussions on what it meant to be “good” or so I recall. I do hope my love of irony, sarcasm, and nonsense made its way inside your heart and your brain. Sarcasm is both my blessing and my curse…but I treat it more as a gift and try to harness it. I joke too often and tease frequently—at my expense or others’. Even reflecting and looking back, I know that was the case with you and Clay.

You and Clay are a part of me always. No amount of time can take that away. I wanted you to know how very much I love and appreciate you and thank you for the gifts you gave me. 

“Everything’s a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the way it is.”
― Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

With love,

Rodknee

P.S. Give your mom, dad, Clay, Charlie, and fiancé a big smooch from me or a wet willy…whatevs


#19

That’s a great letter, Balv. Very thoughtful!

How great would it be if she wrote you back and all it said was “who dis?”


#20

lol

not likely but i would love that. both her and clay were in our wedding and to this day i hang out with their cousin (he’s the same age as me) i only get to see him once a year…cause ya know…life.