Thursday, June 30, 2005

Great lines

I really don't watch a lot of TV, so when I moved into my apartment I didn't get cable or satellite because I just couldn't justify paying for a service I would hardly use. I get the local NBC affiliate out of Bluefield, WV and that gives me the local news and Jeopardy! so that's about all the TV I really need.

Except for a few shows I do actually miss watching. Rescue Me on Fox, a show I really can identify with and the original CSI.

So without cable, I'm basically screwed for the shows I really liked to watch. Now enters the internet. I found a really cool website where I can download the recent episodes of my favorite programs and watch them at my leisure sans commercials on my computer.

I downloaded most all of the first season of Rescue Me, then began downloading CSI, watching the show then deleting them because they were beginning to take up to much room on my hard drive. So all I do is download them, watch them and get rid of them. But there is one episode I think I'm going to hold on to for a while.

I used to be a 'purist' and only watch the original CSI, the one in Las Vegas. Then I got into CSI - New York. But I ran out of shows of both of them to watch, and even though I'm not a really big fan of David Caruso or Dana Delaney started to watch CSI - Miami.

It's been a really long while since I've seen any actress (is that too politically incorrect?) that stirred the old blood around, not since the character 'Bailey' walked onto the set for WKRP in Cincinnati in my formative pubescent years. But the character on CSI - Miami just does something for me...

Emily Procter, who plays the firearms expert 'Callie'....



I still like to shoot. I used to be on the US Army rifle team at one point a long time ago. I was pretty good, if I do say so myself. I still think I'm pretty good though nowhere near as good as I used to be. But I still love to shoot long range rifle when I get the chance.

So here I am last night before work watching this episode of CSI - Miami and this exchange goes on between the two characters, Horatio and Callie.

They're both looking for a sniper and they're on a roof of a high-rise in downtown Miami.

Horatio: "Ok, what do you get when a six foot tall man lays down with a three foot rifle?"

Callie: "Hot flashes... But that's just me."

In another episode, the same character walks into the weapons vault at police headquarters. There are thousands of guns arrayed over all the walls and on shelves. She looks around, sighs and says:

"Hmmm. Be still my beating heart.."

There you go. I simply LOVE this character!

She's the perfect woman.

A beautiful blonde with a southern accent who digs guys who shoot...

Methinks I'll be watching a lot more CSI - Miami!

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The "Shell"

Sometimes I feel like the redheaded stepchild at my job. Very little support, no information and zero communication. The "Mushroom Effect"; Kept in the dark and fed a lot of shit.

Sounds like my marriage.

I can't even get a weekly schedule out of my supervisor. I have to call him on Monday morning and wait until possibly Thursday until I have a firm grasp on when I'm supposed to work and I can't get a straight answer out of anyone.

Last night for instance. I show up at 10 PM for my shift, expecting to see the new vehicle I use, as I've been bitching about the lack of a vehicle for several weeks. I had been walking my patrols, which isn't too bad unless it's raining.

It was gone, nowhere to be seen and in it's place was a five-year-old piece of shit with over 300,000 miles on it. Nothing works on it either. It's in need of a front-end alignment that's so bad if I let go of the wheel I'll automatically make a right-hand turn.

It brought me back to the PD... Our district had one car we called "The Shell". That about summed up that vehicle. Nothing worked on the damn thing. Not the red & blue roof lights, siren, radio (both police and AM/FM), windows, heat or air conditioning. Dash lights were out, turn signals didn't work. The engine started, the headlights came on and it drove. That was about it. A shell of a car.

a 2000lb piece of bat guano.

It sucked in the winter because of no heat, and was even worse in the summer because the power windows were stuck all the way up and the air didn't work. There was only one other vehicle in the district that was worse and that was one of the wagons, or "Paddy Wagons". It was a 1979 Ford Econoline, that had one of the old mechanical sirens in it like the old fire trucks. It ran off a fan belt from the engine and actually sounded pretty cool. The one problem with it though came from it's operation. Since the siren was belt-driven, and the engine was old and tired you could use the siren, or go fast. Not both. It was either one or the other.

Why the city didn't replace these hunks of shit is beyond me. Maybe it was a way to keep the troops in line.

"Fuck up one more time, Wolfenden and you've got The Shell permanently!"

Unlike most smaller departments where the cops get to use the same vehicle every day or some even get to take them home, we were stuck with what was available in the lot at the beginning of our shift. And the vehicles were assigned by the sergeant, who, in his sick sense of humor would mete out punishment to those who've pissed him off in the past.

Those who pissed Sarge off got "The Shell"...

I only got it once, surprisingly enough, but others in my squad got it almost as a given.

Anyway... I must have pissed someone off, because my nifty new truck that only has 600 miles on it and was really comfy has disappeared and I've been relegated to another Shell.

Tonight I think I'll walk my beat.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Power and the Wonder

Yesterday afternoon I was awaken by one of the most spectacular events on the Earth.

About 3:45 PM I was jarred from my sleep by the constant sound of thunder. This wasn't you're everyday, run of the mill thunderstorm. I jolted out of bed to turn off my computer and in just the nick of time it seems. I had just shut down the box and was unplugging everything from the wall when the power went out. I unplug everything because no matter how good your surge protector is, sometimes they fail as I learned a few years ago during the Monsoon in Arizona. I lost my harddrive and mother board on that occasion and I don't want a repeat.

And this storm was a doosie. For over an hour it was constant thunder and lighting. Not the usual flash and then wait a few moments for the bang. It was a continuous roar of thunder that reminded me of my days living on Ft. Sill, Oklahoma where my barracks was sited right next to am 8" howitzer firing point. Then the hail started. Golf ball sized hailstones rained down and I was wincing as they bounced off my windshield of my truck.

But I just love them. I love to sit and watch them, especially at night when you can get the whole effect of the sheer power. No Fourth of July fireworks display will ever compair to God's magnificent light show.

So, as I had no power and I discovered later no phone, I was basically screwed. Everything in my apartment is electric, so I couldn't even heat a pot of water for a cup of coffee. So I just sat and read a Tom Clancy book by candle light until it was time to go to work. That in itself was quite relaxing. The one good thing I did realize though that the water heater for my place in gas, and I'm on city water, so I still had hot water for a shower.

The storm was over in about an hour and a half, but it took Appalachian Power until about 9:45 PM to get the lights back on. I showered in the dark with only a candle lighting my way. That wasn't the big problem, shaving was... I was lucky not to slit my throat!

And that got me thinking on how much we are all reliant on electric. We're all screwed at this little inconvenience which one hundred years ago was almost unheard of in most homes.

How we're all shackled to it like a ball and chain and we can't survive with out it now. I was talking earlier in the day with a friend about our air conditioning, and I commented on how I didn't understand how my parents lived without it when they were growing up. (They were both children of the Great Depression, and home air conditioning wasn't even invented then) And here, not eight hours later was God giving me a little example of what life would be like without it all together.

It sucked.

And for that I'm eternally grateful for a few people who made it all possible. Benjamin Franklin for thinking it could be useful, Thomas Edison for applying it and lighting our way, and Nikolai Tesla for making it practical.

And lastly, but by no means least, I thank God for letting us all know with that majestic display of power yesterday that he can take it all away too.

Go here for pics and story:

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, June 27, 2005

MY jaded rules for a relationship

Or should I say:

"How not to piss me off because I'm not in the third grade anymore and for the last time I refuse to play your stupid little games."

I hate those chain emails with a passion. I hate those cutsie little fucking notes. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that always say at the bottom "Send this on to everyone in your address book within five minutes and you will be blessed with good luck, a Mercedes 500 SEL, 60' luxury Yacht, a mansion and ten million dollars, delete it and you will burn in hell for all eternity!"

One of those was sent to me by one of my well meaning but clueless male friends who think I really wanted to read this kind of crap. It went on about "Rules for women" allegedly written by some guy attempting to let women really know what men want. Well, it was sort of humorous but totally unrealistic. Below I've expanded on it some, omitted other parts and just polished it up some to fit me.

And in the process will probably piss a whole bunch of people off, so there's nothing new there either.

I'll call it "Things women should know if they intend on spending time with me"

Ok. It's my house. If you use the toilet, put the damn seat back up after you're done. Maybe you don't want to fall into a bowl of water in the dark, but it's my place and I certainly don't want to piss all over the seat in the middle of the night. Don't worry, I'll put the seat down at your house...

Do not cut your hair. Ever. Long hair is always more attractive than short hair. And I like long hair on women. No other reason than that.

Birthdays, Valentines, and Anniversaries are not quests to see if we can find the perfect present yet again! I will remember them unlike most guys, but DO NOT expect an expensive present. Especially jewelry. I did that once and lost my shirt and I'm not about to spend more money on a ring than my father did on hist first home, ever again. Got it? I'll remember all the important dates, take you to dinner, get you a nice bouquet of flowers and a card, but I will never again buy tiny pieces of rock and gold that cost more than my vehicle.

Do not ask me a question you don't want the answer too. I haven't a clue what shoes goes with that skirt, and PLEASE don't ask me if you look fat in something. If you thing you look fat in it, you probably do and I really don't want to get into a pissing contest. And when we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really. So don't ask me, you're wasting your breath. And if I tell you I think what you have on is nice, I really mean it and I'm not blowing smoke up your ass. Honest.

Sometimes, I want to be alone. Deal with it.

Do not ask me what I'm thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss the war in Iraq, Politics, why I still don't trust the Communists, deer hunting and steam locomotives. And sometimes on long drives I tend not to talk and just enjoy looking at the scenery. I'm not giving you the silent treatment, OK? Sometimes I really do just enjoy your company and feel our every waking moment together doesn't have to be filled with meaningless banter. And please do NOT try to give me the silent treatment. It only pisses me off. If I have a problem with you, I'll let you know and I expect the same in return. My name isn't Uri Geller and I am not a mind reader and never will be. My lack of ESP is not proof of how little I care about you.

Sunday = Sleep. God wanted it to be a day of rest. Let me rest for God's sake! If I want to sleep until 2 PM, let me sleep! I certainly do not want to get up on my day off early to go to a White Sale at the mall.

Do not ask me about my ex. I'm not going to discuss her, so please do not tell me about your ex. Every time I get someone telling me about their ex, I feel like they're mentally comparing me to them. I'm not him, never will be. There's a reason he's your ex, so shut the fuck up about him already!

Ask for what you want, when you want it. I'm not a goddamn mind reader. If you still insist on giving me those little subtle hints and you thing I still don't get it, tough shit. I probably DID get it but chose to ignore it because I didn't want to play any sophomoric little games. I got out of grade school years ago and have no desire to act like an eleven year old again.

Unlike most women and some guys, I do not dress for other people. Meaning I don't dress for other guys. I wear Wranglers, pocket T-shirts and boots in the summer, and the same thing in the winter, add only a plaid flannel shirt. I could give a rat's ass what I look like but I definitely do not want to look like some male model in the Abercrombe catalog. He's a faggot anyway. But I don't look like slob by any means and I believe I have good physical hygiene, but I'll never be what you're trying to turn me into. I'm 39 and I'm quite happy with who I am and no matter what you think I will definitely NOT look good in that pink button-down shirt and pleated Dockers, so save your money. You really want to give me something for my birthday or Christmas? Get me socks or underwear. It's something I'll actually appreciate.

I'll be really blunt with this one. Headaches that last four months are a serious medical problem, so go to a doctor. If you don't want to sleep with me, let me know and I'll find someone else who will, OK? Don't use sex as a weapon, I'll only backfire on you. I do not respond to the carrot-and-stick anymore.

Check your oil and pump your own gas when I'm not there. Do not drive past fifteen gas stations twice a day all week to and from work then when you finally get so see me toss me the keys to your vehicle and ask me to get gas. You will be stranded with an empty tank.

And yes, I was looking at her ass, by the way. I may look at the menu at other places, but I ALWAYS know where my dinner is coming from. And don't get all self righteous, women are just as bad as men if not worse in that regard. I've moonlighted as a doorman at a few of those "All Male Reviews" and women are a hundred times worse than men.

You can either ask me to do something OR tell me how you want it done, not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself. And I do not need you standing over me commenting on everything I'm doing. That's the one way to be sure it wont get done at all.

Christopher Columbus did not need directions, and neither do I. Rangers DO NOT get lost. I have been mightily confused a time or two, but I've never been totally and hoplessly lost. Besides, getting a little 'lost' can be actually kind of fun once in a while.

I see in primary colors only, like windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. I have no idea what mauve is. Give me real colors. Red, blue, white, brown, tan etc. And please don't tell me the color of your car is "Hawaiian Orchid" because that's what the goddamn salesman told you. That's not a color, it's a goddamn flower, ok?

If it itches, it will be scratched. Also, farts are funny. Especially in public. For instance the frozen foods aisle in the local Kroger's.

And the last thing. Just because I'm a rare guy who is not really into sports and really doesn't like to watch them much on TV does not mean I want to curl up with you on the couch on a Saturday afternoon and watch a "Chick Movie Marathon" on Lifetime with a box of tissues and a bottle of wine, OK?

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Saturday, June 25, 2005

More oddball laws

Here's my latest installment of strange laws still on the books. I've been going in alphabetical order by state so far.


In Tucson, it is illegal for women to wear pants.

Great! Now all we have to do is get the city council to ban skirts!

In Globe, it is illegal to play cards in the street with a Native American.

Because they're all in the Indian casinos on the Res!

In Glendale, it is illegal to drive a car in reverse.

They can't drive at all in Glendale, let alone in reverse!

In Nogales, it is illegal to wear suspenders.

What the hell do the firemen do?

Again, if anyone knows of a verifiable goofy law on the books where they live, please email me at:

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, June 24, 2005

ET, phone home! Need more Charmin!

We've all heard of old Mexican women seeing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a tortilla, or a guy in Toledo seeing Jesus in a pancake, or the image of Elvis is a grilled cheese sandwich. George Clooney in a raisin bagel. Richard Nixon in a cranberry danish.

My younger sister actually claimed to have seen the ghostly image of Terry Thomas in a blagmange once.

But I my friends, have seen ET in a shitter in a coal mine in Raven, Virginia.

This picture was taken by yours truly the last night I worked at the coal mine. I had noticed this the first time I used the facilities, but would always forget to bring my camera. The last night I worked I knew I couldn't forget, so in the middle of the shift I slipped away and got this exclusive photo.

Is this really a sign from the aliens, or is it just a mirage from excess methane gas?

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Thursday, June 23, 2005


This was found in an un-named Catholic church somewhere in the US... Now I'm not one to believe in coincidences...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I know it might be hard for most of my faithful readers to believe, but I was sent to "Sensitivity Training" on several occasions while I was a cop.


It's true!

Seems the police department administration didn't feel I was caring and empathetic enough.

Go figure.

I can't remember all of the reasons and exactly how many times I was sent, but I do remember that the times I was there, I'd see the same faces all the time. It was almost like detention in high school.

"Hey Phil! You again?"

"Yeah Tommy, I know it's hard to believe!" As he rolls his eyes...

You get my point.

I do remember one time though. It had to do with a severed arm and my sometimes uncontrollable runaway mouth.

Then throw into the mix my extremely warped sense of humor.

One afternoon several years ago, my partner and I received a radio call to assist in traffic control around a MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident) As we arrive and look around to try to figure out what had happened, which became obvious almost immediately.

A gentleman riding a motorcycle was traveling westbound on Girard Avenue and was approaching the intersection of 5th street. It was slightly drizzling, and the recessed trolley tracks in the middle of the street were quite wet. The light had changed to red for our biker, and he hit the brakes. As he was doing this, a tractor-trailer was pulling though the light on 5th street, heading northbound. He had the green light. The biker hit the brakes again, and the rear wheel of his Yamaha hit the wet rail. Causing him to go out of control, sliding sideways on his right side under the trailer, and in the process severing his left arm.

As I walk up to the scene, the paramedic from the fire rescue squad, whom I'm very friendly with came running up.

"Tommy, the guy is unconscious, but we can't find his arm. It's a clean sever and if we can find it quick, they might be able to re-attach it if we get him to Episcopal (hospital) soon! Fuck the traffic control and go find the arm!"

"Ok, Fred."

My partner and I took off up the street, looking all over the place. I finally find the arm under a parked car about a half-block up Girard Ave. I reach under he car and retrieve the arm, stand up and yell over to my partner.

"Hey, Jim! I got it!" Holding it up for him to see. He trots over as I'm looking at it and I notice it still has the wristwatch on it.

I look at my partner, and straight-faced say...

"Hey, look! It takes a licking and keeps on ticking!"

He laughs, and we trot on down to the scene where we turn over the limb to the rescue squad. The victim and his arm are both loaded into the rig and they speed off to the ER.

We didn't think anything of it until later when we heard the radio call that everyone on the job hates.

"**** Car, take your headquarters."

Oh, shit! What did we do now? We both wondered...

We roll into the district and the sergeant is waiting for us. It was then we found out what was so bad.

Apparently a citizen who was standing by the accident scene overheard my comment to my partner and didn't think it was all that funny, and being a concerned citizen decided it was in the best interest of the city to report this gross breach of misconduct and take it upon himself to get a "Bad Cop" off the streets.

Three days off without pay and eight hours of sensitivity training later...

I still thought it was funnier that hell.

The instructor in the class was even funnier. She was some twenty year-old right out of some liberal college in Massachusetts somewhere.

She began by telling one grizzled old veteran of the department that he shouldn't hit children.

"Hey lady. Do you have any kids?" He asked her.

"No, I don't."

"I have four teenagers, from fourteen to eighteen. Shut the fuck up. You don't know shit about it!"

It went like that for the better part of the day. And I laughed my ass off the whole day listening to this claptrap. Someone who hasn't got a clue what it's like is going to second-guess me and tell me how to do my job.

Taxpayer's money well spent.

I went to see the biker at the hospital several days later and even he thought it was funny. He recovered fully, by the way.

And I still have folks ask me why I don't get on a PD here in West Virginia.

And go through that shit again? No way. I'm done living in a fishbowl, thank you very much.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Lunar lunacy

Wednesday is the full moon for this month, although it kind of felt like it last night at work. I have a theory about the full moon and I'll get to that in a bit.

Again, I do not make this shit up.

When I first went on the job I was still unjaded by a lot of human behaviors and was still baffled by some people's actions on certain nights of the month. I was on the job for about a year when I received a radio call one night to go to a certain apartment. The complaint was "unknown strange noises".

I got to the address and knocked on the door. The door opened a few inches and peering out from the crack was a disheveled man about thirty or so. I identified myself and he reluctantly let me into his apartment.

This was before I had 'seen it all' and I really wasn't prepared for what I saw.

This guy had his whole apartment covered in tin foil. Walls, ceiling, windows... Everything. He must of had stock in Alcoa he had so much aluminum in the place.

"Sir, would you mind explaining all the tin foil?"

"Laser beams." He mumbled.

"Laser beams?"

"Yeah man! Fucking laser beams from Venus man! Laser beams from Venus! They're beaming them into my head!"

Ok. The guy was nuts, but doing nothing illegal. I told him to keep the noise down and departed shaking my head in amazement.

Ok. Laser beams. Maybe I'm right and these folks are the normal ones and I'm the one who's nuts. I began to wonder...

A few years later my partner and I were doing what most cops do on slow nights with nothing to do. We were sitting in the sector car talking about all kinds of dumb shit into the wee hours of the morning. It was at this time I had the revelation about the full moon. I said that we always get the nuttiest of the nuts on the nights of the full moon.

"Yeah, so what? They're all nuts as far as I'm concerned" He said.

"Look at it this way. The moon moves whole oceans with the tides, right? And the highest and lowest tides are at the full moon, right"


"Oceans are huge bodies of water."

"Thank you for the little geophysics lesson professor." He grumbled.

"Ok, so our brains are, what, something like 80% water, right?"

"Something like that."

"Well, If the full moon can move whole oceans, what is it doing to people's brains?"

"I think your brain was zapped buy that guy's laser beams, Tom."

That's my theory, anyway.

But last night at work I'm again listening to the Coast to Coast AM radio program( )and the host had on this guy and I just knew it was getting nearer to the full moon, even though it was overcast and I couldn't see it. I really have to reiterate, I listen to the program for entertainment purposes only, OK? I don't really believe this stuff. (Although one time about five years ago, the host played a sound of something that had made my skin crawl. I had heard the sound before when I was stationed in Panama. I'll blog about that at a later date)

This guy was talking about an anti-alien abduction helmet...

Anti-alien abduction helmet!

I found the guy's website, so it's easier if you just go here than to have me explain:

Do I think this guy is dangerous? Of course I don't. Is he madder than the March Hare? Of course he is.

This is the kind of people that find me. No matter where I am.

I was so glad when I had enough seniority on the PD to choose not to work on the nights of the full moon. I was saving my own mental health.

I still feel we need a Thorzine mist over the whole population.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, June 20, 2005

A uniform opinion

Yesterday I had a conversation about uniforms. Actually it was about the folks I call "Wackers".

A whacker is a person, usually a volunteer firefighter or ambulance driver. Most of the volunteers are good people, but the with the wacker thrown into the mix it gives the whole group a bad name.

We've all seen wackers.

You know the type. The guy/girl who has six pagers on their belt, along with two cell phones, a two-way radio and a police scanner. Along with the little EMS pouch with gloves, scissors, penlight. Shit like that.

And their vehicle is a dead giveaway too. It had the same amount of radio equipment, light bar, spotlights EMS/ firefighter vanity tags and enough antennas to give the appearance that the car is actually a shrimp boat.

And these wackers never take off their uniform. They could only be on-call or have duty at the fire house one day a month, but you always see them in their uniform. They sleep in the damn thing I think.

Most of these folks have a monumental inferiority complex and have a huge hero thing going. They have to feel important in what would be a relatively boring and useless life selling produce at the local Kroger's. And most have failed the entrance exam to the police or fire academy several times, and struggled with the EMT basic course, failing that six or seven times until they finally pass.

Makes you feel safe, huh?

They show up to weddings, barmitzvas, christenings, funerals with the ever present uniform, and never turn off their scanner or radio so throughout the whole ceremony or party you hear the incessant beeps and shit coming from the damn thing.

They get off on this shit.

They wack off to it.

They get a boner every time they hear a siren or the pager go off it gives them a woody. Hence, I call them "Wackers".

My friend who I was talking with said that the only reason they wear the uniform is to pick up women. I had to grudgingly agree, because my police uniform was definitely a chick-magnet.

Granted, most of the women attracted to me when I was a cop were certifiable...

I learned early on in my career as a police officer that the uniform attracts far to much unwanted attention so I began wearing my civvies to and from work and changing in the locker room. That's why they provided one to us in the first place. Nothing on my personal vehicle said "Cop". I didn't have handcuffs hanging from the rear-view mirror. The only thing that said anything about my profession in my car was a well-worn ash nightstick hidden under the front seat for obvious reasons.

I did not want to draw unwanted attention to myself.

There's a reason for this. It's Cop Rule #6, which states; "The amount of excitement one has is in direct correlation and proportionate to the amount of paperwork one has to fill out."

ie; More action and excitement = More paperwork

I hate paperwork with a goddamn passion.

Also the scanners get me. My ex bought me a really expensive police scanner our first year dating. I thanked her and put it away in the bedroom closet.

I listened to the police band eight to twelve hours a shift, six days a week. The last fucking thing I wanted to listen to on my time off was police calls.

Uniforms can be an asset in one way though. As far back as I can remember I've worn a uniform of some sort. Eight years of Catholic grade school then four years of Catholic highschool. Five years in the army. Ten on the police department. It alleviates a lot of decision making. I recall so many times in the past where the women I was with at the time would spend hours deciding what to wear for work that day and I knew for sure what I was wearing.

The same damn thing I wore yesterday and the day before.

Factoid: Albert Einstein had seven suits, all the same. The reason? He didn't want to have to expend the energy deciding what to wear each day.

So I'm in good company.

I wear a uniform now on my job, but the first thing I do is shed the damn thing as soon as I get done work. I look like a dork in it and really don't want to be seen in public wearing it.

But even without the uniform I still get mistaken for a cop. I was at the Corning, New York area mall once about ten years ago waiting for someone to get done shopping. I was sitting on a bench outside reading a book, wearing Wranglers and a pocket T-shirt, three day growth of stubble and smoking a cigarette. Right in front of the bench I was sitting on was a few handicapped parking spots. A minivan pulled in and a woman got out, ran over to me and said "Please don't give me a ticket, I'll only be a minute!" and without giving me a chance to respond took off into the mall.


That happens a lot, still. I can't figure it out. I guess I must have this invisible lighted sign over my head that says "Cop" and only the nuts and morons who are attracted to my nut/moron magnet can see it.

One thing I can say for sure is I'm definitely no wacker.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Sunday, June 19, 2005

When news breaks...

I fix it!

It has been reported that since Michael Jackson has been acquitted of all charges in his molestation trial in a move considered to be of mutual support, OJ Simpson as vowed to help the beleaguered pop star find the real child molester...

Another item of unrelated news, an unarmed Pascagoula, Mississippi man has barricaded himself into his home.

When asked, the Pascagoula police department spokesperson, Floyd "Bubba" Threadgill stated "Well, since he don't seem to have any weapons, not even a butter knife, has no hostages and made no demands, we really don't give a shit what he does..."

Check back often for late-breaking news stories of great interest!

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Give me a break...

Another reason I think society as we know it has no redeeming qualities.

Apparently a woman is suing several doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, saying the physicians did not do enough to assist her in making life changes - specifically quitting smoking and losing weight - that might have prevented a debilitating heart attack she suffered.

Kathleen Ann McCormick says the physicians knew she had multiple risk factors to develop heart disease, but they failed to aggressively treat her, leading to a heart attack on Jan. 17, 2000, that left her a "cardiac invalid," according to the lawsuit filed.

Ms. McCormick, if they knew, didn't you know as well? Come on dumbass, is it up to the doctors to make their patients STOP smoking and STOP eating too much food? No one held a gun to your head at the smoke shop or Burger King.

According to the lawsuit:

McCormick was treated at the Wilkes-Barre hospital for various ailments from 1997 to 2000. Physicians knew she had multiple risk factors for heart disease, including obesity, cigarette smoking abuse, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a family history of coronary artery disease.

Despite that knowledge, the physicians never made any attempt to assist her with weight loss, effective cholesterol lowering medications or to provide aggressive treatment to lower her blood pressure.
In addition to the hospital, the lawsuit also names the United States government and a number of physicians as defendants in the case. She is seeking at least $1 million in damages.

Source: Wilkes-Barre (PA) Times-Leader

This sets a legal precedent.

I'm going to sue Ford the very next time I get a speeding ticket, because they manufactured a vehicle that they knew would except the speed limit.

Or better yet, I'm going to sue Budweiser for all the years of stress and mental anguish put upon me for putting up with all the fucking assholes the product they brew produces.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Thursday, June 16, 2005


For the past few months I've had a cat coming to my door. An ordinary black and white little kitty. He's never tried to come into my apartment, but has hung around quite frequently and made it a point to jump into my lap on several occasions just to snuggle and sleep so I've kind of taken him into my guardianship. I've taken also to feeding him... He's been a constant in these days of insecurity.

Tonight, I was off from work and had a few stops to make, guy stuff really. I pulled into my apartment complex tonight and made my way to my little place and found a small frame lying next to my door.

My little shithead.

Apparently, he was hit by a car and crawled to my apartment before he died. He was looking for me and I wasn't there to help him.

I feel so bad right now... I cried like a baby for about an hour holding him.

I wish I could have been there for him in his time of need.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Over the Christmas holidays a dear friend of mine got me hooked on mixed nuts, especially the ones they call "Critter Toes" and since then I immediately sift through the contents of every can I get to find them. Since then, I’ve been buying a can or two every time I go to the grocery store.

Last night I brought a can to work with me just to munch on. As I was munching on these mixed nuts, I began to red the can... On the back I was surprised to find a warning.

A dire warning in bold, red ink.

What did the warning consist of?

WARNING! Contains nuts

Well, no shit.

I’d never thought in a million years that a can of mixed nuts would actually contain nuts. I’m glad you’ve had the forethought to let me know about this.

I know of several people who have a severe allergy to any kind of nuts. A deadly allergy. But I also know they have the sense enough not to buy, let alone eat any nuts.

Do I really need someone to tell me that can of mixed nuts actually contain nuts? I think not. I can see from the front of the can pictured in living color a virtual explosion of nuts. If I had an allergy to nuts, do you really think I’d be buying them in the first place?

"Holy shit Martha! This can of nuts actually has nuts in it!"

Seems pretty ridiculous until you start looking into the packaging on other everyday items. I did a little research and found these instructions and warnings on some everyday things one would find around the house.

This is everywhere now, and from the standpoint of a spectator to life, I’ve come to realize some people are so stupid as to need this assistance. Below is only a small sampling of what I've dug up in an exhaustive, scientific Google search of twenty seconds or so.

Printed on the side of a Slush Puppy cup:
"This ice may be cold"

As opposed to ‘hot’ ice?

On the package of a Power Puff Girls Halloween Costume:
"You cannot save the world while wearing this costume"

Someone ought to tell this to this years’ college graduating class and save years of heartache.

In the instruction book of a Nikon camera:
"This camera will only work when film is inside"

Eh, no shit.

The following is found on page 4 of the instruction book of Lucent Technologies Model 6210 Telephone:
To place or answer a call, lift the handset. To place a call, dial the desired number. To end the call, hang up the handset.

But what’s the number to 9-1-1?

Printed on the American Airlines peanuts package:
"Instructions: open packet, eat nuts"

Do I need you to tell me to wipe my ass after taking a shit, too?

Jell-O Pudding container:
"Caution: contents will be hot after heating"

Usually things are hot after I heat them.

On the package of Carefree Gum:
"Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains Saccharin, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals"

Doesn’t sound so ‘Carefree’ to me...

Found on the can of W. M. Bolthouse Farms Carrots:
"Ingredients: Carrots"

What! No nuts? I want my money back!

Dremel Electric Rotary Tool:
"This product not intended for use as a dental drill"

There go my dreams of starting my own discount dentistry business.

Dial Soap:
"Directions: Use like regular soap"
As opposed to irregular soap?

Found on the packaging of Demazin Infant Drops:
"This formula may cause drowsiness, if affected do not operate heavy machinery or drive a vehicle"

Whew! Good thing I saw that! I just used some on my three month old and I almost let him start up the D-9 Caterpillar!

On the pamphlet in the package of birth control pills:
"Do not use if you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant, or might be pregnant"

But it’s ok if you’re just a little bit pregnant...

Nytol Sleep Aid:
"Warning: May cause drowsiness"

Who’d a thunk it?

Midol Maximum Strength Gelcaps:
"Warning: Do not take this product, unless directed by a doctor if you have difficulty in urination due to enlargement of the prostate gland"

That’s why my menstrual cramps are such a bitch! My enlarged prostate!

On the package of Equate Aspirin:
"Warning, Do not take if allergic to aspirin"

But if you’re allergic to nuts, eat these like they are M&Ms!

Komatsu Floodlight:
"This floodlight is capable of illuminating large areas, even in the dark"

Thank God! Now I can find my can of carrots that don’t have any nuts in them!

Harry Potter Toy Broom:
"This broom does not actually fly"

Better tell this one to my ex-wife.

500-piece jigsaw puzzle:
"Some assembly required"

And no damn instructions! What’s this world coming to?

Craftsman Push Mower:
"Warning: Do not attempt to remove blade while lawnmower is running"

You know someone actually had to have done that...

On a package of garden hose:
"WARNING - May cause cancer in California"

Phew! I’m glad I don’t live there! I’m safe!

I’m going to print out instructions for the morons who need instructions in every little facet of their lives:
Step one (1): Inhale
Step two (2): Exhale
Step Three (3): Repeat as necessary

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, June 13, 2005

"The only dumb question..."

"Is one that isn't asked..."

We've all heard the little gem of wisdom at some point in our lives, and I used to believe it.

That is I believed it until I was in the workplace for a few years.

Let me explain. If you've been in the workplace for, say at least a week you've had to attend some sort of mandatory inservice or course at some point. Weather it be a first-aid or CPR course, a sexual harassment seminar or some such yearly bullshit, you've had to sit through one. They're usually the all-day kind with a smarmy know-it-all instructor who spends more time talking about him/herself and their monumental ego on how they've saved the world in their own little insignificant way then to spend any time on the curriculum, and just loved to tell all about it.

But the instructor or the class topic isn't as boring or just plain infuriating as the one person in the class who has to ask questions.

Lots of questions.

Usually impossibly ridiculous hypothetical questions, all day. Interrupting the instructor almost incessantly to the point where the others in your class gather around at the smoke breaks and conspire in Machiavellian conspiracy to commit mayhem on the unsuspecting victim.

A white-collar cabal.

Then, the most maddeningly frustrating time, usually around an hour before the class is scheduled to end, when everyone is positive the instructor will let you all out early so the whole group can en-masse make happy hour at McCleary's Irish Pub, where you all feel you need a drink after putting up with this shithead's stupid questions all day, the instructor says these words that send a chill down your spine...

"So class. Any questions?"


Now this moron raises his hand yet again...

And instead of getting out at 3 PM instead of 4 PM like the class should, you are held hostage by more vacuous questions...

You miss happy hour...

You're now thinking homicidal thoughts...

We've all known folks like this. When I was a cop, I used to carry around the "Nut Magnet". I've since passed that badge of honor to another friend of mine and have now found myself saddled with the "Moron Magnet".

Again, I'll explain.

After about three months of bitching at my supervisor about the long commute to the mine every weekend, he's finally gotten around to hiring someone for that job so I don't have to make the four hour round trip commute every Saturday and Sunday anymore.

So now he's finally hired someone, and in true form, he expects me to train him. ("The Peter Principle" is alive and well at the company I work at... I don't think it's still in print, but if you can find a copy and read it. You'll be glad you did!) So again, for the last three days I've had to drive to the mine and site for twelve hours each day with that one guy who asks the stupid questions.

This job is really a no-brainer. Just sit at a desk, watch the phones and call 911 if there's an emergency. It took me all of two hours to get everything down when I was trained there.

It took thirty-two hours to train this guy, and when I finally left him at it this morning at 2 AM, I was certain he still hadn't gotten it. But I just couldn't take it any more.

I was going to throttle him.

Just one more "What if..." Question and I was going to go apeshit.

"You think you can handle it?" I asked.

"Yeah, I think I got it. But what if I get a terrorist attack? Is the number on the board for Homeland Security?"

"Listen. We're halfway between Grundy and Richlands Virginia, in a tiny coal mine halfway down a holler. Al Qaida or Osama bin Laden is not going to be attacking us anytime in the near future."

"But what if..."

I cut him off at this point.

"Here's the call list." I said in frustration as I pointed at the name of the president of the mine at the top. "Call this guy if you have any questions, ok? I'm going home... Have a good shift!" And I quickly departed for the parking lot. Jumped in my truck and spewed gravel out of the lot before he could ask me anymore 'what if's'...

How much trouble can this guy get into between 2 this morning and 6 AM when the shift is over? It's only four hours...

But then again I tripped the Methane alarm with a fart...

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, June 10, 2005

The New Steerage Class

It was reported late last week that Northwest Airline is now cutting out those little bags of pretzels as a cost-cutting measure. Now there’s no food at all going to be served on all domestic flights, as if those little three-ounce bags of pretzels would be considered a meal. Beverages will still be served and the usual 1000% markup, so not only will you be crammed into your seat for hours at a time, but you’ll be robbed at $5 each time you want a can of Coke.

I don’t know about you, but the last time I flew anywhere was last August. Atlanta to Phoenix. To say it was uncomfortable would be an understatement. First, I couldn’t upgrade to first class. I need to get into first class because squeezing my 6’ 2", 195lb frame into one of what I now call ‘Steerage’ seats is next to impossible.
‘Coach’ is gone forever.

First class is what coach was twenty years ago. That’s if you’re lucky enough to be flying on and airline that still has first class. Most don’t these days.

That last flight was less comfortable than my worst flight when I was in the military. That flight, from Rhine-Main airbase in Germany to Hunter Airfield outside of Ft. Stewart, Georgia was spent lying on top of a pile of duffel bags stacked in the back of one of those old M-151 jeeps the army doesn’t use anymore in the cargo hold of a C-141.

You know you’re going to have a fabulous flight when the loadmaster is handing out Dramamine and earplugs on the ramp as you walk up. That was more comfy than my latest civilian flight.

Kind of sad if you ask me that the most horrible flight in a cargo plane was more comfy that the last domestic flight I’ve taken speaks volumes about our airline industry.

I remember vividly my first flight ever on a civilian airliner. It was a L1011 on a direct flight from Philadelphia to Dallas Ft. Worth. The US Army was paying for my ticket so I knew I was going on the cheap.
But I still had a window seat, which the airline actually let me pick, I could smoke on this flight, and last but not least I had a hot, fresh meal served on real china plates with real metal flatware and all the coffee and coke I wanted. I just rang the bell and a smiling flight attendant that actually looked like she enjoyed her job would serve me what ever I wanted. I just sat back in my big, roomy seat with tons of legroom and slept like a baby that entire flight.

That’s what first class is like now, if you can get it.

Coach is, well steerage. It’s like getting onto a greyhound bus with wings. Smelly, cramped and soiled. And you’re squeezed into a seat with the same comforts as a wooden bench. You get all this and more, because with my luck I’m usually stuck next to some shithead with chronic halitosis and terminal flatulence, who wants to tell you all about his trip to Boise for the potato convention for the entire length of the flight. All in a seat so cramped you’re in danger of a stroke caused by deep-vein thrombosis the minute you sit down.
My flight from Atlanta to Phoenix was so terrible that for the first time in over twenty years of flying I actually got nauseated. I was really expecting to see some Mexican guy in traditional garb, a multicolored serape and sombrero sit down next to me with a chicken in a bamboo cage on his lap, and look out the wind and see the luggage being tied to the fuselage with rope and guys in a 1954 Chevy pickup truck with a set of jumper cables to start the engines.

Why doesn’t the airlines just go all out? They want to save money, so why don’t they just buy all the old surplus C-130 and C-141 cargo aircraft from the airforce to replace those wonderfully luxurious A330 Airbuses (I love that name, Airbus. It’s what it is, a goddamn bus with wings) I’m positive those nylon-web jump seats I was so familiar with in my time in the army would be a vast improvement over the level of comfort and service we’re subjected to these days.

I’m pretty sure the old USAF ‘box lunches’ the air force served by grizzled old ill-humored airforce tech sergeants on those flights lasting more than a few hours would be more tasty that what’s available in-flight now.

At least in the C-130’s and C-141’s the passengers could do what we did on those flights. Lounge out on cargo palates and luggage. That is until those airline executives find out they can cram more passengers into the cargo hold by having them stand for the entire flight like straphangers on a subway car doubling the amount of money they charge in the process.

I really wish this country would learn a thing or two from The Germans, British and dare I say it, the French about running an airline? They all have Government-owned airlines and the last time I was on a British Airways flight it was pretty damn nice.

Oh, wait. We’d probably fuck that up to. Take a good hard look at Amtrak.

What ever was old is new again. It reminds me of the stories about the steerage passengers on the steamships overloaded with immigrants from Europe at the turn of the last century.

Welcome the New Steerage Class.

Isn’t it wonderful what modern technology has achieved for mankind in the last one hundred years?

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Department of Homeland Insecurity

This is just too creepy for me to be making this up. Truth is always stranger than fiction.

As reported by the Associated Press, on April 25th of this year, US Border Guards at the Calais, Maine border crossing witnessed 22 year-old Gregory Despres (pictured above) attempting to enter the United States from Canada Carrying a sword, hatchet, knife, brass knuckles and a bloody chainsaw.

It's even weirder considering this guy's face. If I had been a border guard and saw this guy, I'd have just grabbed him and threw him in a cell or not let him into the country. Let Canada keep him.

But what did our great border security guys do? They just confiscated the weapons and let him into the country!

"Ok, you look a little freaky and you're carrying a bloody chainsaw, but I guess you're ok. C'mon in!"

Just look at this guy!

What would you do? If he looked any nuttier a squirrel would grab his ass bury him!

And they just let him in!

Just looking at this guy makes my skin crawl and they just let him waltz right in.

What did the Border Patrol have to say about this? The spokesman for the US Customs and Border Protection agency had this to say:

"We could not detain Mr. Despres because he is a naturalized US Citizen, and being bizarre is not a reason to keep someone out of this country or to lock them up..."


It should be damnit!

He went on to say "We are governed by laws and regulations, and he [Despres] didn't violate any regulations."

A guy carrying a bloody chainsaw and a freaky, spaced out look isn't violating any regulations? Didn't that set off any alarms and red lights in any of your heads up there? A guy this freaky looking carrying a bloody chainsaw and the other weapons had to have done something.

It gets better.

On the following day, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police found Despres' 74 year old next-door neighbor decapitated laying on the floor in the kitchen of his home, his head in a plastic bag under the kitchen table and his common law wife stabbed to death in the town of Minto, New Brunswick, Canada.


We've just let a psychotic chainsaw murderer into the country...

Finally the RCMP sent out an APB on this freak, and police in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts finally picked him up after a description of the suspect in the homicides had been broadcast in the US.

They found him walking down the highway in a brown-stained sweatshirt. (More blood, maybe?)

It gets weirder. As Alice said in her jurney through the looking glass, things are getting curiouser and curiouser!

In an extradition hearing in state court the next day, Despres told the judge he was affiliated with NASA and was on the way to a Marine Corps base in Kansas at the time of his arrest.

NASA? Really now. Maybe a space cadet, but NASA? I think not.

How did he get to the border? Well the RCMP ascertained that after killing his neighbors, he drove their car to a gravel pit, then hitchhiked to the border.


Some dumbass in Canada actually picked this guy up and gave him a ride? Whoever did that should be found and locked up for Felony Stupid, along with the border guards in Maine.

Sleep well tonight, America! Your borders are well protected by the ever-vigilant US Border Patrol.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden
Photo curtesy of a reporter friend, WFIR AM Roanoke, VA (Thanks Becky!)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Free at last!!!!!!!!

I’m free!

Well, not free, but I’m inexpensive...

Joking aside, I’m finally free. The Honorable Rhonda L Repp. Judge Pro Tem of the Superior Court of Yavapai County in the state of Arizona has finally signed and delivered my divorce decree. Case No. D02004-0400 is officially closed.

I’m free!

Technically it’s been official since February 3rd of this year when the final hearing was in Arizona. I didn’t show up to the hearing on purpose. I was done fighting her and just wanted it over.

I’m free!

So, after the allotted time, ninety days, the judge finally signed the decree and now I have those official documents in my grubby little hands.

I’m free!

The worst ten years of my life are now irretrievably behind me and I’ve never been happier in my life. I’m doing what I want, when I want and not answering to anyone but myself!

What a liberating feeling.

I’m free!

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

It's good for me

A few days ago I was at my buddy’s house hanging out in his garage and shooting the shit. It’s one of the last great American white-guy pastimes. He was showing me his new fly rod and we he was telling me about this sweet little trout stream he knows up in Summers County when he asked if I’d like something to drink. It was getting warm so I agreed.

He went to a beat up dented Frigadare covered in bumper stickers over in the corner and said "Coke ok?"

"Sure. Coke sounds good" I reply and he deftly tosses a frosty can to me, which I catch one-handed.

I still got it.

I go to pop the top and look at the can. On the front it reads: "Caffeine free, sugar free diet Coke!"

"Boy" I say, "They sure sucked all the fun right out of this can of pop."

"What do you mean?"

"Look" and pointed to the can "What’s that say?"

He shook his head. "Yeah, my wife is always buying that shit."

"They’re taking all the fun right out of life" I told him. "Decaffeinated coffee. Non-alcoholic beer. What’s the fucking point?" I ask. "I drink the coffee for the caffeine and the beer for a buzz."

I saw low-carb beer the last time I was at the supermarket. That’s almost as ridiculous as that oxymoron of all oxymorons: ‘Coors Lite’.

"Look. Here we are in an state where it’s legal to eat road kill, but illegal to order your cheeseburger medium or your eggs over easy." I tell him. "What’s next? They are just taking all of the damn fun out of life, sucking us dry of any sense of humanity. ‘Don’t eat this, don’t eat that. Don’t drink that. It’s bad for you’!"

Damn it.

It’s like the ‘Oat-bran’ craze from a few years ago. Oat-bran everything. Horses eat oats and not too many of them live to voting age. I hate oats. I’m so sick of oats. The worst part of the oat-bran craze was I couldn’t keep out of the bathroom. I was shitting my damn brains out. My colon was so strong I could pass a 52’ Buick. Each oat-bran muffin I bought came with it’s own roll of toilet paper.

Now I’m sick of low-carb shit. Low fat shit. Diet shit. Sugar free shit.

I want my normal stuff back.

They are really just draining out the very last vestiges of personality and humanity in this country.
Everything is so pasteurized, homogenized and sealed for my protection. The media has us scared shitless to even walk out of our doors anymore.

They aren’t going to be happy until they have each and every last one of us hermetically sealed in a non-allergenic plastic bubble from cradle to the grave, being tube-fed some slop that good for us, not allowed to go outside for fear that "Something might happen to us!"

Something really might happen to us.

We might actually have fun and be happy for once.

If I stopped eating and drinking everything they say is bad for me; I’d die of starvation in about three weeks.
"But you’ll live longer!" I’m told.

So what? I’ll maybe put twenty more years onto my life. They’re at the end though! The worst years!
The adult-diaper, colostomy bag, kidney-dialysis wheelchair living in a nursing home fucking years.

You can keep them.

What ever happened to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?"

I may die younger than most Americans on all those bullshit diets. But I’ll tell you this much. I’m going to die happy, eating a medium-rare T-bone cooked over real charcoal on my grill, with a baked potato loaded with real butter and bacon bits, sucking down a real beer.

And I’ll have a Goddamn smile on my face.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, June 06, 2005

Oddball Laws... Again


In Fairbanks, it is illegal to feed alcoholic beverages to a moose.

(Hey! I like getting drunk with Bullwinkle!)

While it is legal to shoot bears, waking sleeping bears for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.

(You just know somebody did this)

A law in Fairbanks does not allow moose to have sex on city streets.

(I'm thinking the Fairbanks city council has a preoccupation with moose)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

What year is this?

Or should I ask, what century are we in?

The apartment next to mine is being used as a substation for the local rescue squad on the weekends, and what started as a real pissing contest with one of the paramedics has become a pretty good friendship. Yesterday was fairly good weather-wise after four days of continuos rain, so around 2 PM I decided to sit outside on my tailgate and shoot the shit with my buddy.

We were sitting there and he was keeping up his steady but good humored pressure to get me to join the Athens volunteer fire department, and I was kindly declining (everyone else runs out of burning buildings and he want’s me to run into them? Not.) when we noticed a little neighborhood drama unfolding at the house across the street from our complex.

I had seen what we both believe is the owner of the house several times, just sitting on the front porch drinking beer. Neither of us thinks this guy has a job. As we’re watching him drink himself into his afternoon drunk, a minivan pulls into the driveway and a harried woman emerges with five kids. The kids all run into the house, and the woman starts unloading several grocery sacks. We both counted seventy-two, by the way. It took her several trips from the van to the house and back, and twice the bags broke, spilling the contents down the driveway.

Not once did this guy get off his ass to help what I believe was his wife with the groceries. Neither did her kids.
I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t raised that way. Even if I were drunk, I’d have been at the van before she even stopped and would be unloading the groceries and I would have been kicking the kids’ asses for not even attempting to help.

It gets better.

She finally gets done unloading the groceries and he yells to her to bring out another beer for him.

My buddy and I just look at each other in amazement.

The balls on this guy.

She brought out a beer for him and they exchange words we can’t hear. We see her nod and she goes off behind the house.

I so wanted to say or do something, like beat the living shit out of this guy when the wife came back around to the front of the house with a push lawnmower and started to mow the front lawn.

I’m not talking about a gas powered push-type lawnmower, but an honest-to-God pusher mower, the kind with the big cylinder blades... From the 1920’s or something.

He is not only at this time watching her mow the front lawn with this medieval grass manicuring device while he rapidly gets drunk, he starts to yell at her about missed spots and to re-mow other areas because she didn’t do it right the first time.

I’m seething at this time, and my paramedic friend is talking me though my obvious impending near-eruption... I’m about to go ballistic. He doesn’t want to have to treat this asshole for any damage I would most probably inflict, and he also doesn’t want to have to bail me out of jail for attempted homicide, justified or not. He succeeds in calming me down, and I light another Winston.

What a complete shit this guy is.

My friend and I talk this over and decide this kind of behavior is endemic in this area. The Appalachians I’m referring to. I saw the same kind of stuff, though not as blatant in Appalachian Pennsylvania also so it’s not just a southern thing, so I'm not implying that.

It was like a return to the dark ages.

I wasn’t the best husband in the world when I was married, but Jesus! I did more than my fair share of the housework and helped my ex all the time. It was the way I was raised, I guess. My father wouldn’t be caught dead acting like this asshole, and I believe my father raised me right. You’re supposed to put women on a pedestal. Open doors for them. Carry the umbrella when it’s raining. Carry the groceries in.

Mow the fucking yard.

The saddest part of this little story isn’t the asshole husband, it’s the wife putting up with this bullshit, and the very real fact that the kids will grow up to believe this is the proper behavior and the right way to treat women. It tends to be passed down from generation to generation.

I know what you’re thinking...

Why didn’t my friend and myself go over there and help? Well, from experience, we both knew it would have made matters worse for the woman and the kids. He would have taken what little kindness we would offer as an affront to his manhood, and she would have probably gotten a good beating later for our efforts.

I will tell you this though.

I’m a firm believer in that some people are alive merely because it’s illegal to kill them.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, June 03, 2005

Save the ?

The other day I was doing a little grocery shopping at the local Kroger’s. I was meandering up and down the aisles minding my own business, loading up my cart with normal food.

You know.

The food that isn’t "Lite", "Low Carb" "High Carb" of "Fat Free".

Guy food.

I had just picked up a few cans of tuna and tossed them into my cart when a woman who was next to me in the aisle "Tsked" at me.

"What?" I asked.

"You’re really not going to buy that tuna, are you?"

"What’s wrong with ‘that tuna’?" I asked.

"Well, that’s the wrong tuna!"

Ok. Here we go. The wrong tuna...

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

"Don’t you know, that that tuna isn’t dolphin-friendly!"


"What, if I may dare to ask, is ‘dolphin-friendly’ tuna?"

I should have seen it coming. She wound up for her big lecture by taking a deep breath and putting on a "I’m an intellectually deep thinker" look and began...

For five minutes she harangued me about how the Japanese tuna fishermen catch dolphins in their nets and kill them, whereas the ‘dolphin-friendly’ fishermen don’t do that. So, in buying only dolphin-friendly tuna, I’m saving the dolphins.


She finished her little speech and looked at me with a self-satisfied little smirk on her puffy face. I took a deep breath and let it out.

"Gee. I never knew that." I said.

"See, you have to be more socially aware!" She beamed.

"I do have one question though." I said, and she nodded her head and smiled expectantly just waiting to spew out more of her little nuggets of wisdom on me, this poor, uneducated part of the unwashed masses.

"What about the tuna?" I asked.


"You heard me. What about the tuna? Don’t you care about them? They’re caught in the nets too. Don’t you want to save them?"

"I, I, I," Was all she could utter with a slightly stunned look on her rapidly reddening face.

"Oh, I see. Denis Leary was right. You guys only want to save the cute animals. I guess Charley the Tuna never had his own show on TV in the 60’s, so fuck him, right?" I asked.

No reply, just a shocked and blank stare.

"Lady, if I really wanted your advice, I’d have asked for it."

I then grabbed four more cans of the evil non-dolphin friendly tuna and tossed them into my cart to go along with the two cans already there and walked away, leaving her standing in the middle of the aisle staring at me in amazement. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has them.

So what.

I killed Flipper for a tuna sandwich.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Things that make you want to say...

What the fuck!

I notice stuff.

Most would say it's just stupid stuff.

And this stupid stuff always seems to happen to me.

Stuff that most people tend to chalk up as every day occurrences, but to me these events follow me around like a black cloud of desolation, bent on destroying whatever thin, tenuous thread of sanity I have left.

It leaves me feeling a little like Michael Douglas' character in the movie "Falling Down".

No, I'm not going to go on a murderous rampage though southern West Virginia, it just has me wondering if anyone else notices this shit too, or am I the only sane person left on the planet.

Shit that seems to always happen to me.

Like this for instance.

Every stinking time I go to a fast food place, I can never get a fresh order of fries. I'll order a number three from McDonald's, get my order, go and sit down to eat and the damn fries will be stone cold.

Every time.

I could understand if I had ordered my meal close to closing, but when I order at say 10:05 AM right after they've stop serving breakfast and started serving lunch or right at 5:00 PM, and my fries are cold and hard as a rock that I begin to wonder.

Three times this weekend I went to McDonald's for dinner and all three times my fries were hard, cold and stale. I even varied my times I'd go, as to ensure I had fresh food.

Still, the fuckers were as cold as a frozen walleye in Minnesota in February.

So the last time it happened, I complained to the manager, a pimple-faced seventeen year-old. I was told he'd bring me out a fresh order. So after about five minutes the manager comes over to my table and gives me a fresh order of fries, full of apologies.

You know what?

They were stone fucking cold too.

I just can't win.

It's like some great karmic aura is surrounding me ensuring I don't get hot and fresh fries with my order.

What the fuck...

Here's another one.

I find myself in the grocery store checkout line.

I'm in the express lane as I only have a few items. The person in front of me always has a problem. It's either his debit card won't work. There's a problem with his check. Or if miracles of miracles he actually has cash, he insists on finding the exact change, down to taking off his shoe to get the "lucky penny" he's been keeping there since 1973 all while he banters with the checkout chick about cousin Bobby or aunt Janis' run-in with the law... Then they decide to pull out the pictures of their yard apes to show each other. Then there's a problem with the register. Or the scanner wont work. Price check! Manager needed!

All this as the porcine housewife who would have been behind me if I had just gone to the regular checkout lane looks over with her smart-assed grin, pushing her two overloaded carts out of the store.

What the fuck!

Or I'm on the Turnpike.

It's a busy day. Just let me try to get though the toll lanes in a timely manner. The bastard in front of me will always have a problem he just has to complain about, or has to ask directions... Or it's that guy who just has to give the toll-taker the exact change...

In pennies.

That are in the trunk.

Under the spare tire.

What the fuck!

Or I'm late for work.

I'm tooling along down the road, doing the speed limit and I come upon someone who insists on going twenty miles an hour under the speed limit.

In a twelve-mile long no-passing zone.

This, by the way is the same person who just has to race you out of the turnpike toll lane to get in front of you in heavy traffic, cutting off several tractor-trailers in the process, only to slow immediately to the speed of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

These are the same assholes that appointed themselves private speed-control enforcers. They have the mindset that everyone on the road is driving far to fast so they've decided to take it upon themselves to go on some self-righteous crusade to slow down all the reckless speeders. They look at you in contempt in their rear-view mirrors and wag their finger at you like you're a bad dog who's pissed on the couch.

I just want to weld a huge piece of steel diamond plate to the front bumper of my truck to ram these assholes off the road, break that little wagging finger off and shove it right up their prissy little ass.

You are not a fucking cop, and I don't want to speed.

Mind your own damn business and let me drive the damn speed limit already.

What the fuck!

This next one is the biggest fucking Karmic Joke on the planet.

Is this just me, or does this happen to other guys too?

Now that I'm single, I can't get a date to save my life.

The minute I do meet someone and start to seriously date them, women will be crawling out of the damn woodwork hitting on me. When I was married I was literally tripping over women slipping me their numbers...

Know what I think? God has a warped sense of humor and loves irony. He also has impeccable timing. He's also laughing his ass off at me, along with that other jokester, Murphy.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden