Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Wednesday Night Board Meeting

The older I get, the more I like my parents. I've always loved them. But I really like them, too. In my 20s, a visit home meant a chance to catch up with friends from school. These days, my friends rarely know when I'm in town because I'm just hangin' with my family.

My dad has been retired for a few years now, but he still keeps in touch with his old work buddies. Not so much by phone; he's not the chatty type. Definitely not by e-mail; he'd kick your ass just for suggesting that he sit in front of a computer and peck out a note to someone. No, my dad and his friends keep in touch in a reasonably formal way. It's called the Wednesday Night Board Meeting.

I have to admit that the first time I happened to be at my parents' house on a Wednesday night, I prepared myself for a Wednesday Night Bored Meeting. But let me assure you, these are anything but.

First of all, I'm privileged beyond words that I even get to attend the occasional WNBM when I'm in town. Typically they are attended by men only.

Secondly, I get to learn things about my dad and his buddies that I wasn't privvy to as a child. The guys love to tell stories on each other. And let me just say right now that the guys already know about this blog, so it should be understood that anything they say within earshot of me is fair game in here. Nonetheless, I will change some names to protect the guilty where necessary.

Also, I must mention that southern accents make these stories soooooo much better, so audio would be great here. However, I'll try to spell phonetically so my Yankee friends will get the point.

On a recent visit to the WNBM, Daddy called out a friend- let's call him Arty- for his recent social faux pas while at a NASCAR event (you didn't think I'd share a story about rednecks that didn't include a NASCAR angle, did you?!).

Daddy asked what might have been an innocent question by anyone else: "Arty, do you need some Depends?" Or words to that effect.

Immediately, Arty gets a sheepish look on his face.

"Alright, I'll admit it. I sharted," he said.

I'm wondering what the heck a "shart" is, but in this group, it doesn't take long to figure things out.

Arty and a group of friends went to see a race at the Daytona Speedway. Shortly after nearly getting into an altercation with a drunk man, Arty sat back down by his girlfriend, gazed lovingly into her eyes, hiked up one butt cheek and attempted to fart, "just to be cute," he said.

I say attempted, because that's not quite what happened. He crapped in his pants. Classy.

So Arty quickly earned himself a new nickname: Arty Sharty.

A couple of weeks later, I found myself at my parents' once again- on a Wednesday night. I'll admit I was excited. I wondered who might top the Arty Sharty story this week.

On this night, a legendary story about my dad beating the crap out of an uncle-by-marriage came up. I've heard the story before, but it's so much funnier when Daddy's redneck friend- who witnessed said butt-kicking-tells it. I suspect he embellishes, but hey, I never let the facts get in the way of a good story, either.

We'll call his redneck friend "Mike."

Mike says he was in the truck with my dad the afternoon they drove up to my aunt and uncle's house so Daddy could have a calm conversation with his brother-in-law on how his sister should be cared for and treated properly.

Let's set the scene: Daddy and Mike are in a 1974 Dodge Power Wagon 4x4. They enter the trailer park (Yeah, I know. No redneck story is complete without a trailer park scene) and drive over the aunt's/uncle's hedge and stop in the front yard, just outside the front door.

This is how Mike describes what happened next: Uncle comes barreling out the front door, shouting, "Hey, you can't drive over my hedge and up in my yard like-"


That's the sound of Daddy doing an open-handed slap across the Uncle's face. And the Uncle doing a cartwheel as he hits the ground.

"I thought he was doin' sum gymnastics," Mike says of the Uncle. "Yer daddy beat the hell outta 'im."

Then Daddy pipes in with, "No I didn't, I slapped 'im one time."

"What about when you kicked 'im in the hangy downs as he tried to crawl under the trailer?" Mike asks.

Daddy denies that happened. Meanwhile, I'm still doubled over with laughter at the term "hangy downs."

I promise, one day I am going to write a book. You just can't make this stuff up.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Some Things Are Worth Repeating

I'm a writer. I'm comfortable with my style; my abilities. But sometimes, I read things like this and wish these were my words:

I wish I could take language
And fold it like cool, moist rags.
I would lay words on your forehead.
I would wrap words on your wrists.
“There, there,” my words would say-
Or something better.
I would ask them to murmur,
“Hush” and “Shh, shh, it’s all right.”
I would ask them to hold you all night.
I wish I could take language
And daub and soothe and cool
Where fever blisters and burns,
Where fever turns yourself against you.
I wish I could take language
And heal the words that were the wounds
You have no names for.

Words For It
Julia Cameron

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Battle of the Bulge

The Battle of the Bulge is something I've fought nearly all of my adult life. It comes as no surprise that the older I get, the more the bulge gets the best of me.

It doesn't help when you have friends who are 5'8",weigh 112 pounds on a hefty day and wear size zero. Meanwhile I'm too short, weigh none-of-your-damn-business and wear size fat-in-the-ass.

The skinny friend recently went through a bout of uncontrolled weight loss. She was eating like a horse and still losing weight. Well, cry me a friggin' river, I thought. Oh, to have that problem.

But she kept wasting away and frankly, I began to worry about her health. She did, too. We made a trip to her endocrinologist together (she suffers from doctor's office anxiety and wanted some emotional support) and learned that she has hyperthyroidism. This is nothing to fool around with, and I know that.

But in the back of my mind, I couldn't help being jealous. Why does she get to have hyperthyroidism and lose all the weight? Why couldn't I have hyperthyroidism, too?

Now let me just share something about my twisted thoughts. In my mind, I should be able to choose the characteristics of hyperthyroidism that I want. Obviously, I just want the ones that result in drastic, faster-than-the-speed-of-light weight loss. I'll even handle the chronic diarrhea. But you can keep the resting pulse rate of 140 BPM, the inability to sleep and the nagging feeling that your insides are trying to vibrate right out of your body.

Also, in this fantasy world of mine, I could schedule my hyperthyroidism. It would last until I lost the appropriate amount of weight and then it would miraculously go away. I don't think that is too much to ask.

While whining about my weight to a friend this morning, she offered her seven step plan to becoming anorexic. We laughed heartily at the joke, but I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't considering following the steps. Not all of them are unhealthy. See for yourself:

The Skinny Girl's Guide to Becoming an Anorexic
  1. When you feel hunger pangs, drink water.
  2. Cravings typically only last 60 seconds. Distract, distract, distract.
  3. Plan errands around mealtimes.
  4. Use a small plate, such as a salad plate. Eat on a black plate, if possible and avoid eating on red or orange plates. (She gave a plausible explanation that's too long to share. Just trust me on this one)
  5. Chop food into small pieces before eating and put your fork down between bites. Also, eat things that burns more calories eating them than the calories taken in by actually eating the food. Celery is an example.
  6. Count how many times you chew your food before swallowing and double it.
  7. Exercise daily. For hours.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Every Kiss Begins With K...

After a several-month hiatus, I've decided to started posting on my own personal little ol' blog again. I'll warn you now: it very likely will be sporadic. But here's something I wrote on another site on Feb. 13, that I will share here, just to give me an honest-to-God, up-to-date post:

Valentine’s Day came early for me this year and I can tell you this: the Kay Jewelers commercial is right when it says, “Every kiss begins with K.”

For me, that is “K” as in “Kel-Tec.”

Yes, gentle readers, my darling husband bought me a gun for Valentine’s Day. A Kel-Tec .380, to be exact. And he accompanied this token of his affection with these words: “Honey, this is the finest in purse weaponry.”

Ahhhh, say it again. Romance was in the air. The angels sang. Birds twittered. And then ducked for cover. Would-be burglars ran for the hills. And that damn barking dog next door sensed that something was up and he got a little quieter. Well, for a minute.

This Valentine’s Day, Cupid has nothing on me. My gun can out-shoot his arrow without a doubt. I know. I’ve already fired about 40 rounds of ammunition through it at the Tenoroc shooting range.

I will admit that this definitely is not the kind of handgun you want to target shoot with. It will beat your hand to death if you shoot 40 rounds of ammo through it in 20 minutes. The muscles in my forearm and hand are still feeling the punch this pistol packs.

But I say that’s a small price to pay. After all, we’re talking about having the finest in purse weaponry.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I've Moved!

It's official. I'm discontinuing this blog, as I've moved to a hyperlocal blog:

I believe there's strength in numbers, and I'm happy to be a part of Lakeland Local, which features three other writers besides me. It's flattering to be part of a talented group of writers.

So I hope you'll cruise on over to Lakeland Local and not only continue to read my posts, but those posts by Billy, Darby and Chuck as well.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tales from the Delk Side is Moving

This is just a quick note to let everyone know that very soon, I will relocate my blog to someplace really cool. Why? Because ALL the cool kids are doing it, duh!

Stay tuned. More to be revealed...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bright House Customers Can Get In Free At Tampa Yankees Baseball Game

Bright House Networks is offering its customers free admission to a Tampa Yankees baseball game, raffles, door prizes and giveaways for the 8th Annual Customer Appreciation Day.

The event is slated for Friday, July 25th when gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the game starting at 7:05 p.m. at George M. Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Way in Tampa.

Admission to the game between the Tampa Yankees and the Dunedin Blue Jays is free to Bright House Networks customers who present their cable statement at the ticket office for admittance.

There will be lots of games and giveaways, with the grand prize being a trip to Chicago and Wrigley Field courtesy. Second prize is a $1,500 Romance Getaway Travel Voucher.