Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

My Way Or the Highway

Posted on April 12, 2011

Listen, there are only two ways we can do this---it’s my way or the highway. The highway is faster, but my way is more scenic.

The highway has more restroom opportunities and a Wendy’s, though. I think we all know how I feel about Wendy’s. That said, my way sometimes has waterfalls this time of year because of snow runoff, and it’s quieter. Ugh, it’s so tough to decide.

I mean, you’d think my choice would be my way. I tend to choose my way. But, I’ve chosen the way we do this the last four times, and I’m starting to get tired of my way. So, unless Google maps says the highway has traffic, I think we should do the highway.

Hold up, hold up. I just realized; we could also do this the hard way.

Whad’ya think?

I’m not going to mince words, the hard way can be a little hard. It’s definitely harder than the highway. I think it’s worth it, and I’ll tell you why: 1) We’ll feel very satisfied afterward. 2) New adventures. 3) There’s a frozen custard stand. 4) Did I mention the frozen custard stand? 5) I don’t actually like the highway. I was just sick of the alternative.

So, do we have a consensus? Are we going to do this the hard way? I know the name is intimidating, but I assure you, it’s only mostly hard. Not completely hard. Boom, that’s what she said. Sorry---off topic.

By show of hands, how many people want to do this the hard way? Let’s see … one, two … Jerry, is you hand up? No? Okay, two then.

How many people want to go with the highway? One, two, three four five … a couple over there … Graham, Donna, Bethany … sixteen, seventeen … Alright, it looks like everybody wants to go with the highway.

How can I convince you guys we should do this the hard way? Frozzzen cuuuustard. No? Nobody wants frozen custard? Fine, I’m using my veto. We’re doing this the hard way. Sorry to have to use my veto…

No no, there’s no use complaining. The hard way it is. You guys will thank me when it’s over. Let’s get moving.

Wait a second, I just remembered that I’ve been wanting to do this in the worst way. Now, hear me out…


Substitute Nickname

Posted on April 6, 2011


Alright, ha ha ha, kids. Very funny. Ha ha. Settle down, class. I can see we need to have "the talk."

I'm going to repeat what I said my first day substituting for Mrs. Arnott: My name is Mister Turlinger. Here, I'll write it on the board. T-U-R-L-I-N-G-E-R. It's pronounced just like it looks. “Turlinger.”

Now, some of you have figured out that I'll turn around in response to the name "Mr. Turdlicker." Which is not my name. Again, my name is Turlinger. I’ll admit it does sound a tiny bit like the words turd licker, meaning someone who licks... turds.

Settle down. Quiet, everybody.

Additionally, I realize those times when I do turn around after hearing the name Mr. Turdlicker, I tend to have a goofy, expectant smile on my face. Like I’m excited to hear the nickname. I can understand how that might be extra funny to you kids.

Well, there's a simple explanation for that:

You see, I grew up with an older, cooler cousin named Bobby, and he used to call me "Turdlicker." We had different last names. And, while I first thought of it as an insult, one day Bobby defended me from a group of older bullies---the O’Meary Brothers. He fought off three of them at once and split Ryan O’Meary’s lip wide open. That’s when I realized Turdlicker was a term of brotherly affection.

So, when I hear the name Turdlicker and turn around to face the class, some part of me expects to see my cousin Bobby. But…

… Then do you notice how my expectant smile falls into a look of distant sadness? Like something in my heart grows heavy at remembering the name Mr. Turdlicker? [sigh]

When I was twelve and Bobby was sixteen, we were swimming in an old quarry out past the lumberyard. And, um… Bobby calls out, “HEY, TURDLICKER!” And, I turn around and see that Bobby has climbed this high outcropping on the southern edge of the quarry. “LOOK AT THIS!” he yells, and he lifts off in this cartoony, goofy imitation of a swan dive that is---in its very exaggeration---actually quite graceful.

I watch as he hangs for a moment in the air, and I feel this pang of jealously at his natural athleticism. Then Bobby’s face clouds as he spots something in the water below that I can’t see from where I am… And, then, everything happened so fast. Like I was looking out the window of a train as the world raced by...

I wasn’t a strong enough swimmer. If I could have gotten there just a couple of seconds sooner…

I could have just, um…

I, uh…

Alright, some of you kids are crying now, and I didn’t mean for that. Like I said before, we’re here to make Calculus fun! Right?!

So, here’s what we’re gonna do: Let’s come up with some different silly nicknames you guys can call me. That way, Mister Turdlicker isn’t so tempting. Sound good?

How about “Mister To Linger,” like maybe I linger too long on Calculus proofs? Or Mister Fur Finger? Mister Furry Finger. Or, how about Mister Hurlinger? Do kids still call vomiting hurling?

Can anybody else come up with a playful bastardization of Turlinger? Anybody…

[sigh] “Turtle Dicker.”

Yes, Scott, that is a valid nickname. I’ve actually heard that one before. And, I can see from the class’s reaction that Mister Turtle Dicker will probably be the one to take hold. Which is fine, I guess.

Alright! Settled, everybody? Let’s call a truce and unofficially agree that the class will go with Mister Turtle Dicker until Mrs. Arnott comes back from maternity leave.

Now, if we can, let’s gets back to linear operators and how they relate to derivative functions…


Lost Map

Posted on March 31, 2011

Treasure Map

Folks? Hello, folks? Everyone, can I please have your attention for a minute? Then, I promise you can get back to bingo.

I seem to have lost a map I was carrying, and I was wondering if you all could look around your bingo tables for it. If anyone sees a map or scroll-like object, can you raise your hand and let me know? It is not a rare and ancient treasure map.

The map I lost was yellowed and a bit water-damaged around the edges. Kinda like a map that survived battles aboard a pirate ship and then centuries buried under a hearth in an empty rum bottle. It's not valuable or anything, so no reason to keep it for yourself. It just has a sentimental value. It was my ... great- ... uncle's.

Let's see, what else? The map I lost---again, just a perfectly normal map, nothing special---had a series of riddles written in iambic pentameter and salty Caribbean pidgin. By coincidence, the final riddle refers to a trading post that once stood upon the very site of this modern nursing home. Weird coincidence.

Anyhoo, has anyone spotted anything like that? Like a map that---once one toils for years solving the many complex riddles to find its true starting place---has a simple dotted line leading to a large "X" that implies buried treasure? I can't offer much of a reward for it, since it’s not worth very much. Just my gratitude and maybe a handful of precious rubies.

Oh, I see everyone is clearing out of the room, grabbing any tools or utensils at hand. I assume that’s simply excitement about afternoon gardening, since again, this map of mine is not a treasure map. Okay, okay. Let’s calm down, people. LET’S CALM DOWN!



Those Jeans

Posted on March 24, 2011

Wolf Whistle

Pardon? You're asking if I think you look good in those jeans?

Well, when you were walking in them just now, there was a low boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-ba-doom jungle drums sound that appeared out of nowhere, and a line of business men all turned their heads as you walked by, and their heads morphed into giant wolf heads.

And, the wolf-headed men all made ah0ooooga sounds, and their eyes spun back like slot machine tumblers. And, then all the slot machine eyes landed on cherries, and the wolves' mouths opened up, and long red tongues rolled out to form staircases down to the sidewalk.

Then, ten little hedgehogs wearing bellhop uniforms emerged from the wolf mouths and descended down the tongue staircases, at which point they each tipped their little hedgehog bellboy caps and said, "M'lady!"

At that moment, cracks formed in the sidewalk, and a tiered platform raised up underneath you until you were about thirty feet above street level. And, the platform began to pivot as hundreds of swim-capped bathing beauties dived off in synchronization down into the awaiting pool of wolfmen drool.

That's when I realized that Tom Jones had floated in on a giant scallop shell, and he was singing a cover of Outkast's So Fresh, So Clean to you, but he had changed all the words to include details of your life. And, just as he got to the new part about "thighs like a peach beggin’ for a bitin'," the Navy's precision formation flying team, The Blue Angels, streaked by overhead leaving a skywriting vapor trail that spelled out the words:


So, yeah, I think you look pretty good in those jeans.

Not as good as the jeans that made a rocket ship get stuck in place during take-off, heating up the surface of the Earth until the North Pole turned into a cartoon thermometer with the mercury rising so fast that it popped out the top. And, then the Earth exploded into a billion trillion little Red Hots candies than swirled into a nebula shaped like your butt.

But, that other pair of jeans is in the hamper, so I think you should go with these ones you have on.

Anyway, good luck on your job interview, Honey. I love you.


My Dance Moves

Posted on March 18, 2011

Wedding Dancing

At a recent marriage ceremony, I had to defend my title of World's Greatest Wedding Dancer. Yet again. I've become resigned to it.

For the last twenty years or so, every wedding I've attended has seen some young punk calling me out for a dance-off, forcing me to put him in his place. It's been too many to count. But, I can still see the looks in each of their eyes when they got beat and slinked off the dance floor. I almost feel bad for them.

However, I'll admit I'm getting on in years. My shimmy shimmy isn't what it used to be. See this tremble? Those aren’t jazz hands.

Wedding dancing is a young man's game, and I won't be the World's Greatest Wedding Dancer forever. (Hush now. Don't cry, little one. There's no need for those tears.)

One day, I'll be dancing with my back to the reception hall door. (Look at me. Get your face out of your hands and listen. This is important.) And, some young buck with fast enough feet and a lucky song selection will take me out. I only pray it's quick and doesn't involve crumping.

Now, when that happens, I want you to promise me something: I want you to take my moves. I wouldn't rest knowing that they were in the hands of some stranger.

I want to you take my “elbows up shoulder drop” and my “march in place with head bob” and learn them well.

Now, don’t be cocky. Start small at a Bar Mitzvah or an office picnic. Then, when you’re ready… (Yes, you will be ready! I believe in you!) When you’re ready, I want you to go to a wedding and find the biggest, best wedding dancer there. It’s usually the uncle in the loudest tie. And, I want you to dance him into the ground. It’ll show people you mean business.

Do not let your guard down. When folks see you doing my “cantilevered disco lasso with hip popping,” it’ll be like you’ve painted a target on your chest. Dancers are going to be coming at you from all sides. You stay focused and shake it.

Now, listen to me. Listen. Stop your lip quivering and listen…

I am so sorry to have to bring you into this cutthroat world of dancing at weddings. I wish you could go off and lead a calmer life, like that of a karaoke singer or a surgeon. But, I’ve seen you on that dance floor, and it’s in your blood. Just like it was in my blood.

I have to go now. There’s an Earth Wind & Fire album somewhere that needs seeing to. (I thought I told you not to cry. Shhh.) But, if you ever need me, just look to the spot between the catering table and the coat check. I’ll always be there watching over you and twirling and twirling.


Gauging Your Mood

Posted on March 16, 2011

Hey, do you have a minute to talk about something I hate? Or, do you want to wait until later, when you're in a more cynical mood? Because, I don't want you cheering me up.

If you are in the frame of mind to give people the benefit of the doubt, or if you’re feeling optimistic about your fellow man, just give me a dopey smile, and I'll move on.

However, if you agree with me that people are gross and stupid and their butts smell like butts, and you promise me not to play devil's advocate, maybe we can talk.

On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your mood? One being "shut your fat face," and ten being "bunnies: we love 'em." If you're at a six or higher, just forget it. I need somebody on the bitter end of the spectrum, because I am not looking for contrasting opinions right now. Not that I normally am.

You haven’t rolled your eyes yet, so that means you’re not annoyed by anything. Why don’t you take a few minutes to read some YouTube comments? Maybe look up the bio of someone younger and more successful than you. That always works for me.

Are you grumpy yet? You seem like you might be getting grumpy. Yeah, you definitely seem like you’re grumpy. Is it because I keep using the word grumpy? Is that what’s making you grumpy? Because, those frown lines make you seem grumpy. Ah ha! Now you seem grumpy!

Alright, now that you’re properly irritated, let’s talk.

Ryan over there just intentionally put me in the foulest mood, and I want to complain about him doing that…


Sense of Style

Posted on March 11, 2011

Why would you assume that I work for Bud Light? Just because my cargo van has a huge Bud Light logo on the side? That doesn't mean anything.

Would you assume any guy with a big "Chevy" sticker in his rear window works for Chevy? Of course not. Because making assumptions makes an ass out of both you and ... uh ... Assuming ... To assume that everyone’s an ass leaves the world blind.

What would you rather I have painted on my van? Some sort of wizard riding a pterodactyl over a beautiful waterfall? Yeah, that'd be amazing! I wish I had that on the side of my van! But, I'm not some fly-by-night van painter. I make my choices and I stick to them. I’d like to think that I have a unique personal style that exists outside of the whims of fads and fashion.

My van has a Bud Light logo; I wear a giant foam cowboy hat; I keep an extra grilled cheese in my fanny pack; my pink leather jacket has homemade fringe; my sunglasses are actually welder’s goggles; these plaid flannel pants tear away for hot days; my cornrows reach past my shoulder blades; I have multiple neck and wrist piercings; my sandals are made of duct tape; I have smiley face contact lenses; my blue lipstick matches my toenail polish; I wear a medieval quiver to hold my diablo sticks and juggling balls; my sideburns have a drawing of the Papa Smurf shaved into the side; my roller blades are covered with Garfield stickers. So? What of it?

Does that make you think I work for Garfield? Or that I write sexually inappropriate fan fiction about the Smurfs? Or that I can’t afford real sandals? Or that I was raised in a home without a sense of structure or love? Or that I just sort of scrounge around for a sense of identity? Or that my van has broken down on the way to Burning Man, and I need to borrow your jumper cables?

Because, a couple of those are correct.

Bully for you, Mr. Judgmental! WAY TO SOLVE THE MYSTERY! Now, can I borrow those jumper cables or what?


The Drug Talk

Posted on March 8, 2011

Son, sit down. I think it’s time we had a serious talk about drugs.

Don’t be nervous. I believe you when you tell me you don’t do drugs. Because, I know you wouldn't lie to me. I like to think we’re not just father and son; we’re friends.

So, as your friend, I understand that there’s a lot of peer pressure to get high. I simply ask that if you do decide to experiment, you do so here at home, where I know you’ll be safe. I don’t want you in somebody’s car or out in the woods where god-knows-what might happen. Y’know what? Bring the drugs home, and I’ll show you how to do them myself.

I’m serious. Feel free to bring home any weed or salvia or whatever the kids in your class are doing, and we’ll smoke up together in a safe, comfortable, adult atmosphere. Maybe with some classic vinyl on the stereo.

Because, here’s the thing: Drugs and alcohol are dangerous. You can get in serious trouble or even killed. Unless you know exactly what you’re doing.

Okay, go over to the closet and grab me that shoebox from the top shelf … Thank you. This is a vaporizer. This will deliver all the HTC straight into you like a gunshot. I’m showing you this, because this is the kind of thing you’ll want to stay away from. This is too advanced for you. You’ll probably want to start out with something simple, like this skull bong over here.

Listen, as your father, I’m totally fine with you experimenting and finding yourself, but only up to a point. ‘Shrooms are okay, but I do not want you trying cocaine or LSD. If someone offers you coke or LSD or even ecstasy, I insist that you bring those home immediately and hand them over to me to dispose of properly.

I love you, and I just want what's best for you, Son.

Here’s what I want you to do: I want you to take this eighty dollars and go to the parking lot behind the Ace Hardware. Tell a guy named Dusty that I sent you. Then, ask for a type of marijuana called Acapulco Tittyfuck. Don't write that down; just remember it. If he tries to push off something called Dunkweed, I want you to just say no.

Because, that shit is weak as hell.

Now, hurry up. Kung Fu Hustle is coming on Showtime at midnight, and we’ll need some provisions. I would take you there myself, but this monitoring ankle bracelet doesn’t reach past the mailbox.


Last Will, Testament and Murderers

Posted on March 7, 2011


"Last Will, Testament & Probable Murderers"

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[Text of the above audio.]

As I lie here in bed, dying of a deadly butt fungus, I have decided to record this, my last will and testament and list of my probable killers.

I, Reginald Henry Leopold, being of sound mind and body, hereby bequeath/accuse the following:

To my first likely killer, Jonathan --- I know it was you who killed me. As a mycologist, you had ample access to the many rare strains of butt fungus.

To you, I leave my dog, Buttons. She is a wretched little Yorkie who's never been house-trained and requires three insulin injections per day. You deserve it for murdering me.

To my second likely killer, Samantha Gurdy-Jones --- If Jonathan was not my killer, it most certainly was you. You're the only person who makes regular trips to the Amazon, where you could have easily bought deadly butt fungus on the black market. Also, I know you have never forgiven me for forcing the maid to give you up for adoption.

As my only legal heir, I leave you my mansion and collection of vintage automobiles. Please note, though, that I plan on haunting everything.

To my third possible murderer, Jenkins --- If neither my fungi-scientist lover nor my illegitimate daughter killed me, that must mean you are my murderer. You could easily have laced my hot tub with virulent fungus, knowing that I would be placing my butt in it.

To you I leave one million dollars. Because, if indeed you felt the need to kill me, that must mean that I never told you how much I appreciated all the hard work you've done over the years.

If in fact you didn't murder me, think of the million as a thank you for not killing me. Also for all the hard work.

To my fourth possible killer, Buttons --- I never in my life would have guessed it was you who killed me. You're just an wittle-bitty doggie. But, with all the other suspects cleared, that leaves you.

To you, I leave controlling ownership of the Charleston Shuckers, a minor league soccer team I won in a poker match. Be firm yet encouraging with them.

To my last possible killer, Marie --- It probably wasn't Buttons. She's a terribly mean-spirited dog, but she has no opposable thumbs, which are pretty essential for murder. And, looking back on it, the promise you made me to "never kill me using a rare butt fungus" seems quite suspicious after the fact.

To you, I leave the boat.

Thus ends my last will and testament. If any relatives remaining seek an unclaimed portion of my estate, please avenge my murder, and we'll see what happens from there.

Signed and notarized,
R. H. Leopold III


First Kiss

Posted on March 4, 2011

Honey, I have something to tell you. I've been keeping this a secret for a long time, and it's always weighed on my heart. And, I hope that in finally saying it out loud, we can accept it and move forward stronger than ever.

Remember the story of our first kiss? Remember how you'd tell everyone that you knew it was true love, because a single drop of rain hit your cheek just as we were about to kiss? But, then it didn't rain. Like, somehow our kiss kept the clouds at bay? Well, it wasn't a raindrop. I gleeked on you.

There, I said it. Now, we can move on. Whew, it feels great to get that out in the open! Right? Okay, well, thank you for listening, and we don't ever need to talk about it again---

What's a gleek? ... You're asking what a gleek is? … Um, okay, well a gleek is when … a jet of … an involuntary jet of saliva shoots out of a person's mouth involuntarily. A tiny, tiny jet of saliva. I'm not sure where from---maybe from inside the cheek or under the tongue---

No no no! I didn't spit on you! It was just a gleek. That's totally different. I would never spit on you---

Yeah, but---

No, see---

Whoa, alright, slow down. I think I see the sticking point here. You seem to be assigning some sort of intentionality to gleeks, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is totally involuntary.

Here, let me look up the definition on my phone. I’m sure that’ll settle things ... Geez, bad reception. Let me just hold this up to the window, and...

There, see. A gleek is a “fan of the tv show Glee.” Goddamnit! That’s not what gleek means, Internet! God, I hate that stupid show! Who names their own fans? Stupid, self-satisfied asshole television.

Anyway, listen, while my phone reloads, let me just say that it doesn’t matter if it was a raindrop or an unintentional gleek. Our first kiss was beautiful and special, and even eleven years later, I’ll never forget it.

We were standing under that street lamp on West Washington Avenue, and you were wearing that green polka dot dress, and you’re hair was tied back. And, when I leaned in---

Yes, polka dot. Green with white polka dots ... Becky Santos? Oh, you’re right! That was Becky Santos who had the polka dots. Oh my god, that’s true. Wow, whatever happened to Becky? She was such a  sweetheart ...

Honey? Honey, where are you going? ... Don’t go! It was only a gleek!


[muttering] Dammit, that fucking show Glee ruins everything. I hate that show.

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