I entered the world at 2:17 in the morning of that day.  The doctor held the slime-covered newborn me by the feet and gave my ass a resounding slap.  I screamed bloody murder.

At the time, I could have done without the reminder that it was time to start breathing.  I would have been perfectly content to let the doctor wait until I stopped gurgling and twitching then hook shot me into the stillborn bin.  What did I have to live for?  I was too young to drink and the bars were closed at that hour anyway.

Forty-six years on, my appreciation for life has improved.  With a little effort and a lot of luck, I’ve managed to carve out a decent existence for myself.  I have food, shelter, and friends, plus enough of a sense of humor to carry me through when things don’t go my way.

Eye Beam

The year was 1992 and my girlfriend Jen had just just called me a pig.  I grinned at her because she was right.  She usually was when making a porcine assessment of me.  I wonder whatever happened to her.

On this particular occasion, it was because of an idea I told her about that would revolutionize television coverage of the Olympics.  We were watching women’s gymnastics, which as we all know allows folks with certain (ahem) tastes to check out underage girls bending themselves into unnatural positions without running the risk of ending up on a sex-offender registry.

What I proposed was a “beam cam.”  Think about it.  All those people watching the balance-beam competition were deprived the chance to see a beam’s-eye view of the forbidden fruit at the point of impact.  With my invention, the event could boast a 100% viewership, at least among those who watch with their hand down their pants.

Looking back, I should have patented the device.  The major networks, fearing a killjoy outcry, might not have gone for it but if they had, I would have established my claim to fame.  As things stand, “Dave Jennings, he could hold his liquor (sometimes)” is all I can hope for as an epitaph.

Temperance Tantrum

A little over a month ago, my ex-girlfriend Betty gave up the hooch.  At least by my besotted standards, I really didn’t think she drank that much.

Still, alcohol wasn’t doing her any favors and as her friend I respect her decision.  I’ve been down the road to recovery myself (well, the drinking part of the journey anyway) and like to make some gesture of support, even if it’s a symbolic one like reciting the Serenity Prayer before downing a shot of Jagermeister.

Tomorrow night won’t be so easy.  She’s having a birthday party at a friend’s house, a clean, sober, what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here-during-happy-hour celebration.  I promised to attend and  I won’t even pack a flask.

I don’t need to drink, really I don’t.  So if I end up ducking into the bathroom to take a few swigs from the Listerine bottle, it doesn’t mean I have a problem. I don’t drink in the morning…while I’m at work…very often, and that’s why I’m not an alcoholic.

A Bug’s Life

The office crime wave continues unabated.  Last week, it was stolen laptops.  Today, it’s unauthorized surveillance.

I received a company-wide email this morning from our VP of HR and Servility Enforcement.  She said that someone had planted an “electronic device” in an employee’s cubicle that violated that person’s privacy.  I was scarcely aware that anyone in human resources gave a rat’s butt about privacy rights.  I imagine they have a huge file of every profane email I’ve sent and every sordid website I’ve visited.  Maybe they just don’t like the competition.  In any event,  she was plenty ticked.  She said flat out that such activity would not be tolerated, lest anyone operate under the assumption that HR is made up of tolerant people.

She failed to specify what sort of electronic device it was.  At first, I thought it might have been an upskirt webcam  put under the desk of [name withheld because I’m a gentleman] but realized that not everyone shares my priorities.  It was more likely some sort of microphone-transmitter thingy picking up stultifyingly dull yet company-private conversations.

I wonder what malfeasance will be uncovered next.  Murder?  Arson?  Writing snarky things in a blog?  I’ll keep you posted.

On the Wag

I like dogs, always have.  I don’t have the time to own one myself but they’re nice to have around.  Lucky for me, I frequent a bar that is dog-friendly.  As I sit and swill my whiskey, there is usually one or more canines dozing under the barstools and sniffing crotches.  It’s the sort of behavior I only wish I could get away with myself but I’m willing to live vicariously through them.

It is therefore reasonable to assume that if there is some trouble facing one one if these animals, I’m not going to be impartial about it.  This past Wednesday, there was. And I’m not.

Since the incident might still be a police matter and I’d prefer to plead ignorance if questioned, I shall change the names of both the people and dog involved.

I’m friends with a married couple, whom I’ll call Mr. and Mrs. Lockhorn, who frequent the bar and make it a habit of bringing their yellow lab, whom I’ll call Cujo.  Cujo is a playful scamp who has a friendly disposition toward both man and beast.  She does however bark at small children, which is OK because they shouldn’t even be in a bar unless they have a real good fake ID.

So Mr. and Mrs. Lockhorn went outside to smoke and Cujo went with them (for the record, Cujo is a non-smoker).  There is a church a few doors down from the bar, one of those evangelical houses of worship where poor people can go and thank Jesus for being poor.  Anyway, a service was letting out and Cujo, off leash, started barking at one of the children on the sidewalk.

The kid’s father was livid.  Rather than doing the gracious thing and accepting Mr. Lockhorn’s halfhearted apology as sincere, he started in on city leash laws and proceeded to call the cops on his cell phone.

He was similarly unreceptive to Mr. Lockhorn’s suggestion that he go fuck himself.

When a police car pulled up in front of the bar, the Lockhorns and Cujo had already left for the evening.  The father was still there, waving his arms and complaining to a couple of cops who certainly had better things to do.

I hope this little incident blows over and there is no bad blood between the churchgoers and bar patrons.  After all, we’re really not so different.  I’ve been known to speak in tongues after my eighth Jameson’s.  Christians do that when full of the Holy Spirit.  I do it when full of a whole lot of spirits.  Whatever works.