When I first found this baby bird, it was lying on the ground with a broken wing. Now, after four weeks of care and shelter and hand feeding, it’s ready to fly away on its own. And I can’t believe how ungrateful it is!
Seriously, not one thank you. Never a single word of gratitude or any small acknowledgment of all the hard work I put in. Without me, that stupid little shit would still be fluttering around at the base of that tree. No, worse; it’d be in the belly of some tabby.
All the time and energy to help this songbird heal—it all went unappreciated. I made a newspaper nest; I crafted a splint out of index cards and bendy straws; I even mashed up worms from my flowerbox. You know what I got back? Nothing. All I got was a view of some tail feathers flying away.
Goddamnit, you put yourself out there. You care for someone. It never comes back. I beginning to think this whole idea of reciprocity just doesn’t exist. I mean, it’s not like I was looking for a hand-written notes or a muffin basket. It’s a bird.
But, just a nod. Maybe a tip of its bird head. Something to show that it understood how much work I did. Nope. Nothing.
Wait, what’s this? He’s flying back to me! My little bird is coming back to say thank you! Come back to me, Bird! Come back. I forgive you.
Oh, never mind, it’s just a crow. You fooled me again, Songbird. You fooled me again. Jerk.
There are a ton of saints, guys. A ton. People know the big ones—the ones with the cities or beers named after them. But, what about the lesser-known saints? That’s why I’m here to help you lapsed Catholics out.
St. Carlyle – Battled a dragon. Lost, but put in a solid effort.
St. Philipius Cornelius – Accidentally slammed his finger in a carriage door every day for 40 years, yet miraculously never took the Lord’s name in vain.
St. Arnold of Bentley – Delayed the invention of birth control.
St. Catherine de Sales – Survived being burned at the stake the first five of six times. (Ultimately turned out to be a witch.)
St. Maximillian of Milan – Showed up with cold lemonade just as the cardinals were finishing moving in all the Vatican furniture.
St. Loquacious – Miraculously well-written Thank You notes.
St. Fancis of Lapidus – Witnessed the face of Christ on the cover of a Kenny Loggins album.
St. Levy the Bold – Drilled a half-court shot at the buzzer to win Sacred Hope Catholic High School its only ever state championship.
St. Walter of Muskegon – Found miracle quarters behind the ears of his grandchildren.
St. Alma de Oltrarno – Died a virgin. Never shut up about it either.
St. Bernard – Miraculously cuddly and lovable.
St. Luke of Nazarene – Got Mary Magdalene to keep quiet about the progeny.
St. Andre of Cologne – Added soft brie to the Eucharist. (Later overturned by Pope Pius IV.)
St. Leslie the Divine – Healed the lepers by calling upon them to “stop being such pussies and walk it off.”
St. Herbert the Skittish – Experienced holy fits of nervousness.
St. Vinny “Squints” Tuscadero – Never squealed once. Not even when the feds was putting the screws to him.
St. Martin of the Hills – Baptized everybody and everything he could get his hands on. Like bunnies and acorns and stuff.
St. Kevin the Elder – Looked very saintly. Really good beard.
I've always been lucky to have had warm, supportive people around me. People who encouraged my self-confidence. Growing up, I remember my parents complimenting me on my suave mannerisms. "Smooth move, Exlax," they'd say. Exlax was my nickname, because I was "extremely relaxing," I guess.
Or, if I didn't know something or misunderstood a fact, they'd call me Einstein. It was to show me that even Einstein didn't know everything. Life is about striving to learn more each day. As in, "Learn to tie you shoes, Einstein."
When I got glasses, my family made me feel good about what could have been embarrassing. They pointed out that I now essentially had "four eyes." Like some kind of super hero. My folks had a lot of nicknames for me over the years.
In school, too, I had a lot of positive reinforcement. Even though I wasn't the best at sports, my gym coach would call out, "Way to whiff it, Ross!" Or, "Nice fumble!" He must have seen my potential. That's why he'd put me in the far back of the field, so that I could catch the most important catches.
Today, I still have supportive people around me. My wife is always saying, "I'm soooo glad you decided to buy this broken ass coffee pot. It makes my life sooo much easier." I was concerned it had actually made her life harder, but her kind words set me straight.
Also, when I'm worried about how I look, she'll calm me with something like, "Wow, that shirt doesn't me you look like a retarded fat ass at all." She's so sweet.
I guess I'm saying that we should all remember to share kind words with each other. Words like “doy” and “ka-duhhh!” It shows we care.
[Author's note: Even though this is clearly a joke, I have the overriding need to point out that my parents were/are the warmest, most loving people in the world. And, my wife is nothing but supportive and lovely and wonderful. There, I said it.]
Guys, this is going to be the best bank robbery ever! Are you psyched? I’m psyched!
Eddie, Turk, One-Eyed-Pete, Jerry—c’mon you guys, this is exciting! Don’t look so serious. I didn’t get into robbing banks to hang around a bunch of Gloomy Gusses. This is supposed to be about getting out, having fun, and holding people at gunpoint.
Seriously, you all need to lighten up. Where’s the joy we had casing this place? Remember how much fun it was bribing a city clerk for these blueprints? Or, when we stayed up all night trying on masks? I want to recapture that feeling for today’s robbery.
We’ve got walkie-talkies for cripe’s sake! You can’t be a grump with a walkie-talkie. And AK-47s! Hey, look at me, I’m Die Hard. Oh my god! I just realized; we’re totally the bad guys from Die Hard. How awesome is that?!
Turk, look at your face. You look like you’re in line at the DMV. Where’s the Turk from last week—the guy who seduced a teller to find out where they keep the dye packs? That Turk knew how to party.
I mean it; this bank heist is going to be a blast. Get it? A blast? Because of the C4. Aha, there’s a smile! There’s a smile out of Jerry. Check out Jerry, everybody. He’s getting into it.
Now, before we leave this hideout, I want some enthusiasm. I want some excitement. And, I want a big group high five. And remember, if the bank guard even blinks, shoot him in the fucking head.
Welcome to Bill and Wendy's summer cottage! This little "cheat sheet" is to help our guests (you) enjoy their (your) stay. If you have any questions, call us at the phone number on the envelope.
- The rental agency probably gave you the keys, or you wouldn't be in here reading this. Unless you're a burglar, in which case STOP BURGLING US!
- Recycle bins are labeled under the sink. We're self-admitted crazies about recycling, so recycle everything. Or else.
- The pilot light in the stove can be tricky. If you singe off your eyebrows, there are eyebrow toupees and spirit gum in the right-hand cabinet.
- There's a tennis racket behind the couch for when bats get inside.
- The plumbing is old, so please no flushing sanitary products or paper towels down the toilet. Also, no number twos.
- There is a canoe in the shed you are welcome to use. As long as you don't mind spiders. Hundreds of spiders.
- The thing that looks like a camera lens and blinking light in the bedroom ceiling is part of the heating system. Please ignore it and continue undressing.
- There’s not really much TV reception out here, but we do have Patch Adams and Teen Wolf Too on VHS. Be kind, rewind!
- If you get cold at night, there are some quilts Bill’s mother made in the chest. You’re welcome to use them. Again, as long as you don’t mind spiders.
- We highly recommend a trip to nearby Lake Patawawawachakikta. It’s name is Native American for “Birthplace of the Leach Plague.” Interesting factoid, don’t you think?
- If anything breaks, Mr. Trufter down the road is the neighborhood “handy man.” He’ll come over and give you a handy.
- The linen closet door sticks. Just hit the handle three times with the wrench, then lift up and to the left, and put your foot against the doorframe where the footprints are. Then, simply twist the knob to the right and jiggle it vertically as you yank back with your full weight. It’s simple.
- If you don’t like the smell of mothballs, you’ve come to the wrong rental cabin.
- The heater in the attic makes some weird noises at night. It is definitely not Bill and I hiding in the attic watching you sleep.
- Please turn over the porch chairs if it rains.
Those are all the rental rules. Enjoy your stay at Casa de Gunderson! And, again, if you have any questions, call the number on the envelope. It may sound like a cell phone is ringing in the attic, but again that’s just the heater.
Wendy & Bill
[Author's Note: Friday marked 150 straight days of comedy posts on this blog, and I decided to celebrate by taking yesterday off. Technically, it wasn't a conscious decision, but I ended up loving it. So, I'm taking Saturdays off from now on. I promise to make the remaining six days' posts slightly funnier to make up for the missing day. One-seventh funnier each.)
Continuing yesterday's tips about moving, here are a few thoughts for after the move:
1) By the end of the day, your movers will hate you. Don't be upset. They have good reason; you own too much shit. It actually is gross how much stuff you own.
2) Don't try to engage your movers in conversation. Their job is to move your stuff, not appease your yuppie guilt. And, it's not a sign of solidarity that you once helped your friends move a hide-a-bed.
3) Unpack your wine glasses and pajamas first. The rest can wait until tomorrow.
4) Prepare yourself for the full and very real realization as to the number of socks you own. Holy crap, that's alotta socks!
5) You female friends will offer to come over to help unpack. It's because they want to look through your private things. They don't know that's the reason behind their urge to help. It's evolution. Hide your dildos.
6) Ignore the naked shut-in next door. You'll get used to him just like you got used to the constant smell of cumin at the last place.
7) Discussing possible furniture arrangements is a fun and easy way to break up your marriage.
8) Take time to explore your new neighborhood. Alright, that's enough. Back to watching TV. Mad Men is starting back up.
9) Don't expect your first blog post after a long day of moving to be very long or even that funny.
The wife and I are in the middle of cramming everything we own into a series of smaller and smaller boxes. In the process, I’ve learned a few tips to help you with your next move. Enjoy:
1) Hire movers. Don’t be a prideful asshole.
2) Start packing early. We packed all our dishes months ago, and we’ve been eating with our fingers straight out of the pot. Mostly mac & cheese.
3) Bath towels are great for wrapping fragile things—things like your emotions during a move.
4) The cable company wants your DVR box back. So, I guess you’ll never get to watch that documentary about cat groomers from three years ago.
5) You might be worried about your flatscreen breaking during transport. Simply take a hammer and smash it. There, no more worrying.
6) Wardrobe boxes are great for making forts. But, wait until after the move, or else your wife will get mad.
7) Make sure to pack the new apartment keys at the bottom of a box to keep them safe from thieves. And, don’t label which box, just in case.
8) Try not to impose human emotions onto any furniture you dump onto the curb. I’m sure your bed isn’t sad about being carelessly tossed aside. After all those years together. It’s not sad at all. Sniff.
9) Lamps. Meh. You probably won’t need them in the new place.
10) Try to choose the hottest day of the summer to move. I have faith you can do it.
11) If you’re worried about not getting your security deposit back, just fuck it. Paintball party!
12) There’s no point in moving a half jar of pickle relish to your new place. So grab a spoon and dig in.
13) You are going to run out of tape. Prepare yourself mentally going in. Don’t try to trick Fate buying twice the amount of tape. You’ll just be doubly crushed when it runs out.
14) Don’t lift with your back, lift with your niece. (ie. Get your five-year-old niece to hold one end of the armoire.)
15) Fill in any nail holes in your wall with nails. It’s a surprisingly perfect fit.
16) Remember: Don’t go crazy if something breaks or goes missing. It’s all just stuff. Expensive, irreplaceable stuff.
That’s it. Good luck with your move. Come back tomorrow for unpacking tips.
Some people are inherently racist. They look at someone, and all they see is the color of that person’s skin. Not me. I never even notice skin color. I guess you could say I’m colorblind. You could be red, or you could be green; I wouldn’t know the difference. That’s how colorblind I am.
Listen, we’re all just people. Red people, green people—they all look alike to me. Just like red and green lights at the intersection look alike. It’s about the content of a man’s character, not the reddish or greenish hue of his flesh.
I don’t care if you’re Red and like tuna sandwiches or Green and enjoy chicken noodle soup. We’re all the same color on the inside. (Which is either red or green. I’m not sure which.) We’re all one family of man, stretching from the Red Sea to Greenland. Let’s learn to live together.
I had a roommate in college, who I thought was Green, though I couldn’t be sure. I didn’t want to make any assumptions, because race is such a tricky subject. Well, it’s a good thing I didn’t, because I heard him refer to himself as a redhead. At first I was shocked by his use of a racial epithet, but he didn’t make a big deal out of it.
Can you imagine if I had tried to engage him about Green culture, and he turned out to be Red? This non-racist colorblindness of mine can be an awkward thing sometimes.
But still, I’m glad I don’t see color. That way, I can approach everyone fresh, without bias or assumptions. Heck, I don’t even know which race I am, myself. I’m pretty sure it’s Red though, because I’m such a good dancer.
Oh geez! Why didn’t somebody tell me I had a live pigeon tangled in my hair? Gross! How long has it been in there? All lunch? Are you guys serious?!
I can’t believe you let me sit here with a pigeon stuck in my hair this whole time. I’ve been totally wondering what that flapping and clawing sensation was. I just assumed I was under the AC vent. Has a pigeon seriously been in my hair this entire meal?
When did you first see it? Was it there when I got to the restaurant? Shit, it was? Ugh, that’s so embarrassing. I’ve probably had this thing trapped in my hair since I walked through a flock of them earlier.
Oh my god! I just realized—my job interview this morning! No wonder that guy was looking at me so weird. I thought I’d messed something up on my resumé. No, it was that he was watching an adult pigeon struggling to free itself from my scalp. That must be why he told me “good luck out there.” He meant with the pigeon.
Dammit, and I was flirting with that girl on the bus. Like she’d even be interested in a guy with a garbage-eating bird stuck in his hair. Not likely. I bet the phone number she gave me isn’t even real.
Can someone please help me get this pigeon out? Which side is it on? I wish this place had a mirror.
There, did I get it? No? Shit, you’ve gotta be kidding me. How ‘bout now? Still there? Dammit.
What gets live pigeon out of your hair? Peanut butter, maybe? No, that’s for gum. Never mind, I’ll just go home and shower. Maybe that’ll loosen things up, and it’ll fly away on its own.
Thanks a lot. You guys have been a real big help. I’m being sarcastic, in case you didn’t notice. See if I tell you next time you have a pigeon or an owl or something tangled up in your hair.