Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Low Key – September 12, 2010

Posted on September 12, 2010

Hawaiian Punch


Buying a Cowboy Hat

Posted on September 10, 2010

The first time you get fitted for a cowboy hat, Clem's gonna give you a hard time. Make you feel like a beetle caught under a mason jar. He does that to every first-timer. You've got two options:

1) You can give him the silent treatment right back. Clem is one of them stoic, craggly cowboys with a stare that'll peel the rust off a weather vane.

Some young bucks try to straighten their spine, loop a thumb in their belts, and glare right back. I'd advise against that.

The last guy who tried it ended up mid-air, flying across Main Street with a boot-shaped dent in his seat. Clem's not one for challenges.

2) Or, you could try what I did the first time Clem fitted me for a cowboy hat:

I pushed past his swinging screen door. Clem looked me up and down and sneered, "Highway's back the other way. I'd advise you get yer hat at the Banana Republic Outlet."

I stood my ground as he stepped out from behind the counter to show me the door. I did the only thing I knew--I gave him a big ol' bear hug.

Oh sure, he bucked. Tried to shake me loose for a minute or two. I just held tight and whispered, "Shh, it's okay. Just give in."

He reached for the bowie knife tucked behind his hip, but I caught his arm. "I know it hurts. My pa was a hard man, too. Distant." That's when Clem broke down and sobbed.

I ain't never seen a grown man blubber like that, but it was good for him. He'd led a hard cowboy's life, and he'd earned a long cry.

After a while, though, Clem started to hyperventilate. I tried rubbing his back to calm him down, but he was all worked up. I had to force some whiskey into him from the shelf in back before he finally settled.

We sat on the floorboards and had a long pow-wow about it being hard to cobble together a model of masculinity to follow. Then, we ordered some lo mein from Chen's Noodle Hut and watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica on the shop's laptop.

Finally, he sold me the hat you see right here.

So, them's your two options for dealing with Old Clem. It's worth it, though. Best-fitted hat I ever owned.


Favorite Parts of Dinner

Posted on September 9, 2010


Dear Darcy,

Thank you so much for having us over for the delicious dinner last night. I think my favorite part was the conversation, which was wonderful. My second favorite part was the food. Not that the food wasn’t great—it was. I just liked the conversation slightly more.

My third favorite part of the evening was the napkins. I loved that you went full out with linen. Real classy. I almost enjoyed the fancy napkins even more than the food. Again, not that the food was bad; it was delicious. I just really liked those napkins.

My fourth favorite part was the appetizers. Do those count as the food? If so, include them as a subsection of my second favorite part about last night. If not, then they were my fourth favorite part.

My fifth (or fourth depending on how things fell in the last paragraph) was the temperature. Really good job on the temperature, Darcy. A lot of people get that wrong.

My sixth favorite part was when I made that joke about lemons, and wine came out your cousin’s nose from laughing. That might sound like I’m bragging about how funny my joke was, but I’m not. Everybody knows how funny I am at dinner parties. That’s a given. I just really liked how everybody rushed to help clean wine off of your cousin. I liked it sixth best of all the things about last night.

My seventh favorite part was not having to help do dishes.

My eighth favorite part was when the smoke detector went off because of the oven, and Sean scrambled to get it down from the ceiling. The evening felt truly alive at that moment. I shall cherish that memory forever.

My ninth favorite part was the anticipation as we first walked up to your door. What would you serve for dinner? Turned out it was lentils. Which were delicious. (Not amazingly delicious, though. Just regular, really delicious. Just a touch more salt, and they would have shot past conversation in my order of favorites.)

I feel like maybe I’m implying that some parts of last night’s dinner were not as good as others. No no no. Everything was splendid. The margin of difference between all these favorites is very narrow. I would say the conversation just barely eked out first place in the end.

I could go on listing all my favorite parts of the meal (there are seven additional favorite parts), but I won’t. Everything was excellent. Some things slightly more excellent than others.

Can’t wait to have you over to our new place, where you can judge which aspects you like from best to least.

Thanks again for thinking of us,
Andy (& Colleen)


People I Won’t Lend To

Posted on September 8, 2010

What follows is a careful, annotated list of friends and acquaintances whom I will no longer lend things to. I call them “The Lendless,” sad souls wandering the earth without hope of borrowing any of my cool stuff. I’ve got a lot of cool stuff to lend—CDs, art books, a rubber horse mask, a hammock—tons of cool stuff. But, these people can never again borrow anything from me for the following reasons:

Brian B. – Borrowed my comb on picture day in the 5th Grade. Never returned it.

Peter – Lost my copy of the Scorpions’ The Best of Scorpions.

Stephanie O. – Returned a book with a chocolate thumbprint on the title page. I hope it was chocolate.

Greg F. – Inadequately grateful for my lending him a sleeping bag.

Paul W. – Tried to replace my hammer with a cheaper hammer and thought I wouldn’t notice. I noticed, Paul. I noticed.

Jenny R. – Returned my bicycle all wet on a day it didn’t rain. Super weird.

Jeff A. – Asked to wear one of my sweatshirts at my rooftop party. Got compliments on looking better in it than me.

Henry – Borrowed my car to drive his wife to the hospital. Allowed her to give birth in my car, staining the upholstery.

Carrie W. – Returned my mouse pad too quickly. What, is my mouse pad not good enough to keep?

Charlie H. – Borrowed a kitchen knife. Framed me for a series of murders.

Brian B. (again) – Turned an awesome caterpillar I lent him into a girly butterfly.

Alice – I lent her a college textbook. Months later, she punched me in the face for cheating on her.

Liam – Borrowed a pair of dress shoes for a job interview. Returned them filled with olives.

Nellie – I don’t like how she says “totally” too often.

Catherine S. – Borrowed a paintbrush. Framed me for a series of paintbrush-related murders.

Annie R. – Borrowed a cup of sugar and re-loaned it to a guy I don’t like. (Paul W.)

Richard P. – Wasted my bone marrow transplant by not pulling through.


Your Arm Might Be Broken

Posted on September 7, 2010

Honey, I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m pretty sure your arm is broken. I know you think it’s not broken, but just weighing the evidence, it seems like it’s broken.

For one thing, it didn’t used to bend that way. It used to bend just at the elbow. And, then, only within a 180 degree limit. Also, before, when you gave “two thumbs up,” your thumbs would point in the same direction.

Secondly, I heard a distinct, loud crack when you fell. You said at the time it was the sound of the wicker chair you had been standing on. But, I’ve since examined the chair carefully, and it doesn’t appear broken. Your arm, though—that seems super broken.

I don’t remember much bone being visible before you fell. I could be mistaken, but I pretty sure all bone was safely on the inside your arm. Now, however, that bit of jaggedy stuff near your sleeve … I’m not a doctor, but that’s for sure bone.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m super grateful you got a head start hanging Halloween lights this year. And, I understand getting the ladder down from the garage takes much longer than simply setting a wicker chair on top of the picnic table. But, maybe get used to the idea that your arm might be broken.

No rush. It’s been a week. I’m sure whatever’s done is done by this point. Take some time to admit to yourself that you might need to see a doctor about it.

All I ask is that you sit out of this second round of flag football. You keep fainting from the pain, and it’s making everybody nervous.


C’mon Guys!

Posted on September 6, 2010

C’mon, gents, give me back my hat. Seriously, return my hat. No, don’t throw it back and forth. It’s not meant to be thrown around; it’s meant to be worn on my head. I’m beginning to think you two don’t know what hats are for.

I don’t understand why you’ve singled out me for your amusement. It can’t be because I snickered at your poor grammar. Nor could it be my insistence on calling you slack-jawed dolts. Ergo, it must be that you believe my hat is some sort of sporting equipment.

Well, it’s not. It is a fashion accessory made by a “hatter.” Ah, I see by your perplexed expressions that you assumed all hats were made by “milliners.” You see, a milliner specifically crafts women’s hats. I am a man; that is my hat; therefore, it was made by a hatter and sold to me by a haberdasher.

Clearly, you believe it to be some sort of playground toy. Your limited intellects must have deemed it—

Owe! Owe, my lip! You seem to have accidently struck me on the lip with your fist. Perhaps this is a part of whatever silly game you two are playing. Well, I shan’t be any part of any violent sport. Oof! That was my stomach. You, sir, have pummeled me in my stomach, and I demand an apology. Why I—

Gah, the face again. Please, stop hitting my face. Ouch! I implore you to cease. I will allow you to keep the hat if you will stop hitting my face, you wet-brained buffoons. Oof, I admit that was a poor choice of sobriquet on my part. Owe!

Alas, poor me and my refined sensibility … Ouch! Ooooooh!


Low Key – September 5, 2010

Posted on September 5, 2010

After Dinner, They Went Back to His Place for Knit Caps


Barbecue Tips

Posted on September 3, 2010


Blam, it’s barbecue season! Actually, it started a while ago, but it took me awhile to pass my barbecue license test. Now I’m grilling for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also dessert and afternoon snack… and late night snack… and even later night snack. I’m pretty much constantly barbecuing.

During all that sleepless practice, I learned a buttload of barbecue tips. And, guess what? That’s right; I’m passing them along to you! Grab your tongs, because here we go:

- Only barbecue outdoors in a grill. Never fill your kitchen sink with charcoal and light it, even though that seems to make perfect sense.

- Brush the grate with cooking oil. Otherwise, food will stick to it like a goddamn, stupid sonofabitch.

- Never use more than four bottles of lighter fluid. In fact, probably just stick to using part of one bottle.

- Give your charcoal about 30 minutes to heat up/cool down. Do not watch it while it’s trying to heat up; it gets nervous when people are watching.

- Add aromatic hardwood to the charcoals to give the food a smoky flavor, you yuppie.

- You can marinate chicken in almost anything. I like Caesar salad dressing, but you could try teriyaki sauce or lemon juice or Legos or zippers. (Be sure to remove any Lego pieces before grilling.)

- Some people grill fish instead. No skin off my nose.

- Have a spray bottle of water handy in case your grill flares up. Or, in case a wet t-shirt contest flares up. Fingers crossed.

- Always have a barbecue buddy watch to make sure you don’t get too obsessed with grilling.

- You can grill tater tots on a sheet of tin foil. Yeah, that’s right—I just blew your fucking minds.

- Use a pair of tongs to flip your food. If you do it with your bare hands, the ER doctor will lecture you for like an hour while he wraps the bandages.

- That lecture is almost always about being drunk, by the way. Super boring.

- Avoid loose, flammable clothing while grilling. Like, say, a cheap Halloween wizard’s costume with an awesome pointy cap.

- Use a meat thermometer to test if the meat is cooked enough. Unless you’re manly enough to just know. Are you manly enough?

- Allow the meat to rest before serving. It’s been through a lot.

- Serve meat with some token vegetables so that you can pretend barbecuing is healthy.

- Have your teenage son clean the grill afterward. It’ll teach him a good lesson in resentment.

- Repeat and enjoy.


An Idioms Guide

Posted on September 2, 2010

Some people ask me how I come up with all the great idioms I create. Like “don’t use a mouth to do your foot’s job” or “ask a nun, beg a trucker.” I tell them it all started with my great-grandfather, because it did.

My great-grandpappy was always making up great idioms. When I was very little, he told me “not to mix my marbles and my honey.” I took that to mean that two good things aren’t always good together, and I’ve lived by that ever since. (It could also just be about honey being sticky. Also useful knowledge.)

Another idiom he wrote was “Don’t slay a dragon when a lamb will do.” It sounds cruel, but you should know that my great-grandfather grew up on a farm. So, he was always killing lambs. I never saw him without a dead lamb nearby. It makes you think.

One of his favorites was “Today’s more temperate than a werewolf’s collarbone.” He wanted something between “colder than a witch’s titty” and “hotter than the Devil’s asshole.” Werewolf’s collarbone never caught on, but you have to admit it was a good idea. He kept writing into the newspaper to have them publish it in the weather section, but they had blocked receiving mail from him by that point.

“Good doctors make great bowlers” was another one that never took off. I asked him what it meant and he yelled at me. Did I mention my great-grandfather was a heavy drinker? When I said I didn’t understand “books first, lemonade then ketchup” he threw a coffee pot at my head. Geniuses are often fussy like that.

“Safe harbor makes for doughy pretzels” seems right. And, I think we can all agree that “foxes run fastest before the regatta.” But, other idioms he made up toward the end of his life were puzzling. Like “help comes in swinging ottomans” or “determinism is a dish best served Charlie Chaplin-style” or “duke it out with your blessings before you cry your last crocodile.” I have no idea what any of those even mean. But, I guess I live in different times.

I’m so glad I was around to meet my great-grandfather. His sage words have stayed with me. Also, he taught me how to drink like a man. Or should I say he “left the barrel tied to the barmaid.”


Apologies for the Tasering

Posted on September 1, 2010

Dear Tammi,

Please accept my sincerest apologies for having tasered you. It was an awful mistake. Actually, it was the culmination of a series of awful mistakes, and I am deeply sorry for all of them.

First off, I should have never brought my taser gun to your pool party. I had just gotten it the day before. And, you know when you get a new gadget? You just want to play with it right away?

Secondly, I should not have recharged it beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations. I had been reading some DIY tech blogs, and a guy in Russia found the taser's internal override switch. My curiosity got the better of me.

When Bill said he was a better dancer than me, I should have just let it go. Not everything is a challenge to my manhood. If Colleen has told me that once, she's told me a bazillion times.

As the impromptu dance-off reached its climax, props were unnecessary. I had clearly won by that point. I guess, subconsciously, I wanted to show off my new taser to Bill.

However, I hope you will accept some small responsibility for having surprised me with rice crispy bars. I mean, you know I'm bad with surprises. I'm not saying the tasering is solely your fault, but I do think blame can be shared a little.

Finally, I'm sorry I waited a few minutes before tasering you. My delayed reflexes are one of the reasons I looked into self-defense in the first place. It was not meant as vengeance for you costing me the dancing competition. I understand why it might have come off that way, which is unfortunate.

Anyway, thank you for having me over. Your new home is beautiful, and I'm sure you will get a lot of use out of the pool once the doctors give you the okay.

Sorry again,

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