The Bob

It’s already established that I’m middle aged and fairly boring. So it’ll be no surprise that I’m a fan of Bob Ross. Not so much the paintings as the man and the show itself. Bob is a human narcotic and the show is a warm bath (to slit your wrists in), from the opening with him and baby woodland creatures to the joy he takes cleaning his brushes “beating the devil out of them”. When I was in high school there was a rumor going around that he was a marine in Viet Nam and did a lot of killing, something snapped and he became what you see on T.V. I don’t know if that’s true but I kind of hope it is. Anyhow, we’ll watch it every so often and when we do we’ll imbue it with a drama that isn’t there.
“It’s done, the painting is done. Stop it.” “he better stop, it’s gonna be too crowded.” “Not another goddamn happy tree, stop it already.” “Is that a stream? What the hell is that?” “Christ, it’s mess, how many goddamn tree’s is he gonna put in.” “Well, that actually works, well done.” “Why did we ever doubt him.” “The Bob is good, the Bob is great.”     


mr. coughee

I was getting my car serviced at the dealer and I’m in the waiting room. Giant wide screen TV tuned to Regis and Kelly, shitty coffee, and an old Sports Illustrated. A salesman is there trying to chat up the cashier. He’s middle aged, surly, slumpy, with a head full of suspect “hair”. All he’s doing is coughing. Coughing like a lung is gonna fly out of his mouth. Coughing as if it’s a language, “cough couuuugh, cough COUGHCOUGH!!” (silence) “koff koff,coughcoughcoughcough.” This went on for fifteen minutes, it was horrible, go the fuck home already. Then he wipes his nose with his hand which he wipes on his ill fitting suit, glares at the people in the waiting room and walks off. If he can act like that and sell a car, he’s the greatest salesman ever.

“white” hot chocolate

Dunkin’ Donuts has been pushing a “white” hot chocolate” I’m not really clear on the “white” part. Is it “white hot” like molten metal and no conventional cup can hold it nor can anybody drink it, “Here’s your white hot chocolate, it’s served in mug hewn out of solid rock, you should let it cool down for a day or so until you drink it.” Or is it something more insidious like a “white power” kind of thing. “I want a hot chocolate, make that a “white” hot chocolate, it goes with my hood.”

get me to the slots

I was driving to Cape May with my wife and we stopped at a rest area right before Atlantic City. On our way out we saw a small crowd of people gather around an old lady who had collapsed in the line at Burger King. The woman, who didn’t seem to be in any danger kept screaming “Get me to the slots! Get me to the slots!” On the outside of the crowd was this down syndrome Burger King employee, a broom pusher. The whole scene with the old woman was blowing his mind and he was hitting a table with his broom. I felt bad for the guy, it looked like his head was gonna explode. He had no supportive people around or coping skills to deal with it. The old woman just kept yelling and we left.

ham (I Hate Me, Pt.000,001)

After work I went to Foodtown for some cold cuts. It was about an hour until closing and pretty empty, the best time to shop. It’s like having your own store. There’s an old, skinny, worn out guy who works the deli section. The best thing about him is no small talk, “What do you want?” and “Here’s your order”. I ordered a half a pound of ham and he slices too much, almost a full pound and he starts to get upset. I tried to calm him down and told him it was fine, I’ll take what he sliced.  I pat myself on the belly and say, “Don’t worry about it, it’s not gonna go to waste.”  That should have been it but he came back with a morose “I can eat and eat and I never gain any weight.” I’m thinkin’ “Good for you, I hate you. You skinny bastard.” But I say “well, you’re a lucky man.” “I have a thyroid condition and I’m pretty sick.” I don’t know what to say, I mumble a “that sucks” and then there’s really uncomfortable silence that felt like ten minutes but it wasn’t more than ten seconds. I’m waiting for him to give me the ham and I’m thinking mantra like, “gimmethefuckin’ham gimmethefuckin’ham gimmethefuckin’ham”. “Do you want anything else?”, “no (never)”.

I Like Records

I work in a record store, here’s a story.
A skinny middle aged long hair came in with a small pile of records to sell. He’s a “you don’t remember me?” guy. He has a tenuous connection through my brother in-laws old band and I’ve never figured out what that connection is. He was bummed out that I didn’t remember him, I’ll call him Ben. He showed me the stack of records, “are you still buyin’ these?” He doesn’t wait for an answer and he has the frantic cadence of a tweaker. “Yeah, These ain’t mine, they’re a friends…bigfatguy, he’ll be here innaminit.” About a minute later his friend walks in; short, heavy, sweat shirt and pants, drenched in sweat. Ben did the introductions, “Foggy meetTim, Timmmeet Foggy”. Foggy had been standing there for a couple of minutes and he was still out of breath, when he spoke it sounded like a drunken Tom Carvel. “Yeah…huhuhhu…these records are…huh..uh real good,some…huh…huh..uh…of them are…sealed….Look a sealed Stevie…huh..uh Ray Vaughn. You…don’ see that…uhuh every day.” It was a small but pretty good collection, I offered him fifty dollars and told him that he could probably do better on E-Bay. “yeah…I don’ have …afuckin’ computer…uhuh…I don’ give a…shit…uhhuh..uh…I don’ wanna bring ‘em home…huh…jus give…uh..uh what they’re worth.” I told him they were still worth fifty dollars to me. “Ahh…gimme fiftyfive…huh..uh for all of ‘em…huh…I don’ wanna bring ‘em home.” O.K., deal, I pay him and Foggy and Ben start discussing their breakdown, “yeah..uh..fiftyfive…ten uh..fivefifty and uh..twenny uh…” Ben jumped in, “yeh twennypercent is eleven an you owe me twelve.” “yeah…uhuh..but you owe me… five bucks…uhuh so that’s uh..uh.” “sevenfuckin’bucks” “yeah…ok… you want the…cash…or I could…uhuh give it you…in pills.” “yeah gimme it in pills sevenbucks aintshit.”


As a fat guy I’m well aware of sometimes being a clog in some smaller aisles at stores. As a conscientious fat guy I do my best to let people pass by or “appear to let people pass” by contorting my body or just moving away.
One of the banes of my existence are skinny people with giant backpacks. These skinny jerks who have never been aisle cloggers are a goddamned menace. A menace because they don’t realize what kind of aisle clogging assholes they are. You say “excuse me” and they just ignore you. I’m sure they’re thinking “Me, I’m skinny. I could never be in somebody’s way”. The only thing worse is a fat guy with a back pack, it’s a giant orb of inconvenience.