Monday, April 26, 2010

My Niece's Senior Prom (along with some of my own idiocy)

Kristi and her date

This weekend, instead of taking the opportunity to rest and do nothing at home, I accompanied my buddy Stew in the limo he was driving his daughter/my niece and her friends to their prom.
Kristi and her other date. He was shared with another girl in the group
Given it was a special night for my niece, Kristi, I figured I would go ahead and use this as one of the very rare occasions in life to dress up. That and I probably would have been beaten to death by a 17 year-old girl and her mother. That is if my wife had even allowed me to escape without doing so, of which there is a 0% chance of happening. My wife understands the social implications and would not allow me to embarrass her or my niece by association by showing up in scrubby jeans and a greasy hole-filled t-shirt.

So Stew was the driver and I was tasked with being the henchman to keep all the little hormone-laden adolescent boys in check, as well as being the guy who operates the door for all these high school prom goers. We arrived at my niece's house just in time to walk into the tight confines of Estrogenville where the girls were still in the process of getting ready, along with some help from Lorri, Kristi's mom. My niece had no idea I was coming, and I sat in the back of the limo until we got there, and her dad went in and got her to bring her out to show her "a surprise he brought along". She seemed relatively pleased that I showed up.
Kristi with a very proud Mom and Daddy/limo driver

Eventually the boys showed up. Out of respect for my niece I decided to be nice. But not too nice. After all, as the henchman and uncle, it was my duty to murder any of these punks for even the slightest offense. Partially out of my natural protective nature, and partially because murdering high school boys is an area my resume sorely lacks. So I was torn when the boys appeared to be well behaved gentlemen throughout my time there.
I was supposed to watch over these young people, along with 3 others who showed up later

Once everyone was ready, we proceeded outside for some photos to be taken, and then off to the high school for some grand promenade march. All the couples went across the stage one at a time, announced by the principal, with names, parents, and random tidbits of information- some of it funny, some of it serious. All the couples looked very nice, especially my beautiful niece (and her date).

Once all the couples in our group were done, we decided to get the heck out of there rather than wait on every other couple to go through. We got the important ones out of the way. And it was as we were ready to leave that one of the random moments of moronism in The Mook's life occurred:

While Stew and Lorri waited on the kids to get out into the hallway, I decided to use the restroom before taking the drive over to another town for dinner. I saw the sign indicating a bathroom off the main corridor. I went in, and as I looked up and down the long wall all I saw were stalls. No urinals, merely sit down units. Now a normal guy would think twice about this, go back outside the door and double check to make sure he had the right gender's restroom. Not THIS guy. I merely stepped into a stall, lifted the lid and proceeded to alleviate my tiny woman bladder of its contents. In the middle of the process a lady walks in. I found it funny that she had come into the restroom I was using and snickered audibly, when she gasped at the sight of me. She asked if this was the women's room, to which I firmly and assuredly told her that it was not. She exits, and about 10 seconds later leans in the door to inform me that it IS in fact the women's restroom. I uttered something to the effect of "CRAP" as the sudden realization of my stupidity set in to my dense brain matter.
See? I can dress up, even if my wife says this picture makes me look fat. Plus, it makes for a stylish exit from the lady's room
As I walked out, I looked for the expected stare down from this lady to see just who the moron guy is that went into the women's room. I spotted her immediately, took a graceful bow, and made some comment to the effect that I apparently can't even read pictures. I have determined that the heavy bladder clouded my ability to see the silhouette of a girl in a dress next to the bathroom entrance. The room wasn't marked by words, but by these shapes of people. Stew and Lorri were a bit confused when I came out and took my bow, then noticed my social faux pas. To my credit, I did put the seat back down and took the time to wash my hands before leaving the little girls' room. The lady who had interrupted me, and another adult woman were quite amused at my idiocy. So I was glad to have provided a moment of frivolity that could be shared with perfect strangers, as well as all my friends who will read this.

But then we were on our way. We packed all the kids into the limousine, and set off for the Pizza Ranch for that nights supper. Even on prom night, it is weird to see the gender separation. All the boys sat on one side of the long tables and girls on the other side. At one point during our meal, I was having a discussion with one of the adults and did some pointing across the room in order to make a point. Something along the lines of saying if some guy went and tried to look down my niece's dress I would be able to spot it and kill him before he ever saw me leave my seat. Well, my finger ended up pointing right by my niece's head. She piped up and called me by my full first name. That name is only to be uttered when I am in trouble. As far as I am concerned, I was not to be in trouble with my 17 year-old niece at this moment. So I asked her in a very loud and plain manner if she had just cussed at me. One of the boys at the table saw the opportunity to jump in and flip her crap. I snapped my head in his direction and told him in a very quick but authoritative cracking of the whip to stay the hell out of it, and that it was a inter-family dispute. Not that there was a dispute, but I got my point across and he shut up immediately. I enjoyed the moment to flex my henchman status while being impressed with his quick nod of respect to his elder. It was nice of the young man to help me out with my ego, like that. Kristi then came over to my table and made me shut up. I failed to realize that even though she's not my daughter, she has me wrapped tightly around her little finger. I'm not sure how I got owned by a 17 year-old girl.
My Niece is a Diva and knows how cool she is!

After dinner we took the kids around to waste time until the dance started and we were able to drop them off and conclude our night. I have been told they had a god time, for which I am glad. It was nice to be there for one of those special events in Kristi's life, before she gets all grown up and lights out on her own entirely. And for her, I was even able to bear the wind and rain soaking me as I stood outside to make sure they all were able to get in and out of the limo as quickly as possible without any undue hassle. Diva or not, I still love her!

Clearly the girl knows how to have fun and enjoy herself!

And I sure hope she knows, as of this moment, she is the only girl (save my wife) that I would take the time and trouble to not only dress up for, but put up with a bunch of teenagers, and stand in the rain on demand, and anything else that might have been required to make sure her day and night went as perfectly as possible. She is after all the most favored of all my 17 year-old nieces, and can give me that special little look of hers that she knows full well can keep herself in only the best of my graces.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Bunch of Closet Mookists

This is what a typical Mook looks like. And the little one is one of THEE Mook's legitimate offspring. And by legitimate, I mean, not merely cloned. I could clone myself, maybe messing with the DNA some to accentuate the strengths that I come by naturally and tweaking out the FEW (and I mean very very very few) not so good traits. I have no bad ones, just some that aren't quite up to snuff with my high standards of awesomeness that I have grown accustomed to possessing. However, I don't think the world is ready even for my offspring, never mind an entire army of me running around. For some people I know, I am already one too many of myself for them to handle in anything other than small doses. they say I'm just too weird, but I know the truth. They are all clearly intimidated by the aura of awesomeness that surrounds me where ever I go.

While I have some followers who have chosen to out themselves and list on this blog as followers, and a few friends who follow me outside of the blog world, it has come to my attention that there are a number of closet Mookists out there. You know who you are, because you are reading this.

I'm not sure quite why you're reading this right now, especially since you should be focusing on your work, you know those clients you have to deal with everyday? You really should be concentrated on their needs and on keeping your SLA numbers up. Otherwise my wife will get irritated. Most of you have never seen her truly irritated. Trust me, as awesome as I am, even I don't like to see her really irritated. I irritated the heck out of her once, years ago. It resulted in a lopsided frying pan that almost took my head off, and even by missing and her ensuing diatribe of misdirected anger (I mean really, I am charming enough that even when I mess up on those once in a decade type situations, I should be let off the hook.), I have yet to be able to fully recover. My brain is always bouncing around from thought to..hey look a shiny quarter!..thought. I haven't had a normal sleep schedule in years, my mind is so affected. Sure, she'll tell you I was ADD before she met me, and that my sleep schedule has more to do with my odd work schedule than her chewing me a new one. Truth is, she's wrong. She is lying and she knows it. She's just trying to gloss over a more turbulent past. She would like everyone to assume she has always been as sweet and awesome as she is now. She forgets that I did not bestow the grace of my awesomeness unto her until about 4 years ago. Sometimes success just goes to a person's head.

Anyways, where the hell was I? Oh yeah. Your work, you little closet Mooks! Get to it! You can read this on your own time, right along with your political discussions you hold from time to time.

What's that? Oh you didn't realize I knew all about that? Yeah, see that is why I am full of awesomeness, and you are all just full of awe. I got midget monkeys trained in the art of the ninja scoping out your homes. If you get up to go take a leak at 3am, they see it, and I know about it. Sick huh? It gets better. Yeah, one of each of these ninja monkeys' eyes are bionic and hooked up to a live stream to my computer being recorded.

Its not that enjoy watching you people use the bathroom, I really don't. Its all about recording your habits and activities for the future. You see, I'm convinced as I';m sure you are all convinced as well, of the greater worldwide conspiracy against me by the global elite. They are afraid of me. I am a product of prophecy as my ego was born before me and foretold of my birth. Of course in the process of my birth, the ego had to insert itself inside of me, my head got too big, and mom was forced to C-section me out because I wouldn't be squeezed out so easily. But yes, I appear to be a simple man now, but the real truth of it all is that someday, after I get done procrastinating and stuff (just one of my manly superpowers), I will be the greatest force to be reckoned with on my block. Well, provided that bully I saw over by the swing set earlier doesn't move in on my block.

And that is where you come in. Once that bully makes his move, I'm going to send my ninja monkeys to summon you, my secret unknown army, to harass the bully with your superior numbers. Of course you're gonna have to finish that call your on, and make sure it is properly documented before you close it out, and tell my wife you're going home sick. Either way it will be an Epic battle of Good Vs. Evil. I of course am good, and the bully is evil. You all will probably falter at the moment of truth and try to be the U.N. and level sanctions on him. And then, I will have to get mad, turn green and burst out of my pajama pants and wife beater. And then I will show the bully how my shoulders used to look like plastic action figure molded muscles, before they turned to flabby useless slabs of limp roast beef. Damn You Jimmy Johns! You turned me into what I eat! Damn you all to helllllll! (are any of you old enough to even get the altered movie reference here?)

Anyways, the bully will be distracted with my perfect and scientific like description of how cool I used to be, and then finally my ninja monkeys will catch up to us. They smoke and have developed COPD and lug around oxygen tanks, so they are a little slower than you guys. But, more effective than you, they will just plunder the bully, dip him in a bronzing agent and put him on display at the park. Just to let people know that the park is now considered under the jurisdiction of Mookified security forces. Meanwhile, you useless people, having disgraced the message of Mookism, will be sent back to work. But I will have called my wife and told her why she should write you all up for lying about why you left 'sick'.

At the end of the day, I will just be this awesome. And you will be grumbling cubicle dwellers, who speak under their breath about how REALLY MESSED UP the Mind of Mookie can really get. Just make sure you do it on your break. I wouldn't want you to get into too much trouble with the boss. Afterall, I have to let her come back home at the end of the day, and I don't want her to take out her issues with you all on me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Am The Last Stand

"If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." --Ronald Reagan

Okay, full disclosure here, I am not talking political and economical ideologies here. What I am talking about is the freedom to avoid people and the encroachment upon my life made by advancing technology in the communication industry.

Everyone around me has a cell phone these days. I remember when I first saw cell phones. One kid, Tim, had a bag phone for his car, which we all rode in to go to work. Cell phones those days looked more like the kind of phone the Army used to call in air strikes. Today they come in all manners of shape and size. They also have more functions than ever. You can talk, take photos, video, or you can text people. With the standard phone buttons or a fold out complete keyboard. You can type out your texts with individual characters or use the T9 technology that will predict your words and help you get through a message even faster. That is unless you're me, I am hopelessly useless with the T9 functions when I borrowed my wife's cell phone once to go to a niece's 6th grade basketball tourney. And the only reason I borrowed it was so that I could check in that I made it there, and for when I was coming back, depending on how the tourney went.

I am constantly asked to text someone, or just give them a call when I get to where ever it is we are hanging out, or when I get to their house to let them know I'm there to pick them up. I have to inform them that sorry, I don't have a cell phone!

I get some pretty weird looks. They are incredulous that I don't own the new iPhone or Blackberry cell phones. They ask how I can possibly live without a cell phone. I tell them essentially to quit projecting their way of life onto me. I was born before cell phones, I never had one attached to me surgically once they did come out, and I will probably most likely NEVER own one. I can live without one, because I lived half my life without them even existing. I put a caveat on that never, because I'm sure at some point someone will get it in their head to ban landlines altogether through government pressure. In which case I suppose I will then own a cell phone. However, I can guarantee that if this happens, my cellphone will stay in the same spot my current home phone's base is located.

I carry a cell phone for work. It is part of the equipment that goes with my little rentacop route. I pass it on to the guy who relieves me, who passes it on to the next guy, who will pass it back to me when I come back on duty. Other than that, I am generally at home. I have a home phone to be reached by, so I have no need for a cell phone. If I am not at work or at home, chances are likely that I am doing something I enjoy, and wish not to be contacted by anyone that isn't physically present with me. Some people just can't understand this. People I hang out with will keep checking their phone in the midst of conversations for new texts, missed calls, etc. Now I don't mind that they do this. After all, ask my wife, I'm not the best conversationalist in the world, so its not like I feel slighted that they are not interested in an already not-so-deep conversation to begin with. Writing is my better form of communication. Although with some people I may have to learn how to write in a texting form of language in order to hold their attention long enough for them to get the point I may be trying to make. But at the same time they have become slaves to this technology, and that I abhor. The whole point of the things were to be a tool of convenience, not a ruler of your life. You use the phone to dictate and communicate. Instead, it seems the phone and other gadgets now dictate their lives for them. Even by their own admission to be feel the need to be left alone, or that they are addicted, cellphone users just can't shut the thing off or leave it at home. They even have SCIENTIFIC STUDIES that show the addictive capabilities of these devices. And the people wonder why they can't get a private moment in their lives without worry that so-and-so is going to call or text them at any moment.

Now I know you're probably wondering what the hell my point is with all this rambling. Well it is this. I TRULY am the last stand when it comes to not having a cellphone to interfere with my life. Especially in my family. My sister has one, her hubby does too. My wife and all her siblings and parents have cell phones. The only reason my kids don't have cell phones is that I'm not paying for them, and they aren't old enough to have a job to support their own cell phone ownership.

Then there is me without a cell phone, along with my parents. But that all ended this last weekend. I received a call from my mom, who informed me that she had accompanied the Evil Duane (of the Branch Duanians of Sac City) downtown and bought themselves a phone for each of them, ad to give me their new cell numbers. I thought I had allies in my anti-technology fight. Yes I realize I'm saying I'm anti-technology while maintaining a blog site on a computer, an old Myspace account, and a Facebook page. The latter two things I once said I'd never do, and I broke down and added myself to the millions of mind numbing activities provided by a social networking site. In my defense, this was the only way to keep track of some friends. A cell phone is still not necessary to this mission, and if they provide me with an ultimatum that they will only communicate by texting from here on out, then I shall issue them my resignation from the relationship on a grounds of irreconcilable differences of conditional relationship status.

Things may not be going commie around here, but I see everyone throwing their hat in the ring in order to get the newest gadget, make themselves more trackable and susceptible to identity theft and surveillance by those who fly the silent black helicopters. Don't deny the conspiracy, we all know they do it. Ultimately its all part of a much larger conspiracy to use the world's population to get to me. Luckily I am hiding out in my super-ultra-secret underground bunker located at...oh wait, never mind. No one can find me here. The Mookified State is in full control.

My parents getting cell phones only reinforces my position that I was key to the strength of the Branch Duanian organization. However, having branched out on my own and running the Mookified Compound along with my trusty executive officer, Colonel Beauregard Sterling Lovell, the power and ultimate autonomy of the Branch Duanians faded, leaving me as the last stand. The Rebel Alliance is no more, as it is just I now, and no others to help in the fight against all that is evil, such as Big Cell Phone, and other technology demons like Apple!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Eating Crow

Have you ever gone and communicated something and then realize that you have just shoved your own foot in your mouth?

Well, yesterday I got a whole heaping of it. It was April Fools' Day as most people know. I love this "holiday" for the pure simple fact that I can prank someone and its all good no matter what I do. It turns out I was wrong on that count as well.

I'm best at physical pranks, like the celophaning toilets, sinks, doorways. Or filling up a room or car with packing peanuts. Things of that nature. Cerebral jokes, or ones in which I must talk my way through them...not so much. And yesterday proved not only do I really suck at them, but I can do some serious damage with my sick mentality.

In all my glorious 'genius' (I'm using this term extremely lightly in these circumstances), I arrived home from work yesterday, logged onto facebook and posted a notice in which I credited to my wife about me dying in a car accident the night before, and funeral plans would be pending.

Now, I spend a lot of time blowing smoke up people's kiesters. Of all things for certain people to take seriously, apparently this was the one message. The first few people to respond took it as it was intended. Just a really dumb (albeit very sick) joke that went too far. However, a few people got at least a little offended, and some very seriously upset assuming the post was true.

I received a call from my sister almost immediately after I posted this message. She was pretty sure she would have received a call about this instead of reading it on facebook, but opted to call here just to be on the safe side. A friend of mine in the area also called, basically to call me an idiot. I was called a variety of names such as idiot, loser, asinine, f*$%er, stupid. Other mentions were made of disappointment in me, and how I suck, and how they are pissed at me. All valid criticisms, and ones I would have to accept regardless of validity in this case.

Most of it was pretty generic, but then I received a message from my best friend, Jed. I grew up with Jed and his brothers. They were like brothers to me, and their parents were my 2nd set of parents as well while growing up. It turns out his mother, my second mother, saw the post and lost it. She was unable to scroll down to where the joke was exposed, and called Jed. She was very upset with the idea of me dying first, then at me for doing that to her. He forwarded me her phone number to call her.

It rang quite a few times. Part of me wanted it to go to voicemail, as that would have been easier to deal with, however she did end up answering. I have not received an ass chewing of that quality in quite some time. I was physically hurting from the emotional burden of this phone call. Unlike the selfish bother it can be when you're a kid being bothered because of the very act of getting chewed out, I was actually genuinely bothered by her reaction. One of the rare times in my life where I found myself feeling bad for the other party and what I had done to them. I found myself pretty speechless to the point that she had to ask if I was still there to accept the well deserved ass chewing I was getting. Saying she was very heavily upset is an understatement. I do not possess the vocabulary to describe her emotional toil that I had subjected upon her. I know she loves me and all being one of her "extra kids", and has forgiven me (punishment pending of course).

Needless to say, whenever she comes out to Iowa, or I go back out to Wyoming, I have at least a few butt-kickings to endure from her. And her husband, well, since I made her cry, I have a feeling that I am going to find out LITERALLY just what being taken out behind the woodshed means.

At her suggestion I pre-emptively emailed my mother in case she got wind of it, to let her know it was all a very bad and stupid 'joke'.

I also managed to offend one friend here in Iowa. He has a family member currently not doing well, and with a bad prognosis for the future. So this "joke" was more than just a little bit ill-timed for him to be reading about.

It was quite apparent that I was doing very little in the way of thinking yesterday morning when I went ahead with my idiotic idea. I made a dumb assumption that people would just laugh at me for making a monstrously poor attempt at an April Fools joke. I've always been more like a jester, and the idea of people caring that much, at least expressed openly, has always made me a bit uncomfortable.

To those of you who didn't take it seriously, I'm not sure if I should be mad at you for not caring enough to believe it, like some of the others did.

Either way, to those whom I offended and upset, I truly am sorry, and hope you accept my most sincere of apologies.