Friday, April 27, 2007

A Good Time Was Had By All

Last week I went to Milwaukee. It's one of the few cities I'd never been to before.

I stayed at a really nice hotel, the Hotel Intercontinental. The place had several nice bars and restaurants so I was looking forward to an interesting evening.

I moseyed down to the main bar during happy hour. It was fairly crowded, so I thought I'd probably get into one of my typical conversations. Normally I manage to strike up conversations with people while on my travels, but nothing was happening. Nada. Zilch. I had just brushed my teeth, so I knew it wasn't my breath. I discreetly whiffed each armpit and ruled out GAPO (Gorilla Armpit Odor for the uninitiated.) I didn't pick my nose...I'm pretty sure I didn't. Maybe after the prior week's trip to Cleveland my expectations were running a bit high. Maybe I was just giving off bad vibes. Oh, and here's a thought…maybe it was just the crowd. So, I went and had dinner then returned to another one of the bars in the hotel where a DJ was spinning tunes. The sound was a little loud for my taste but the music was good and the surroundings were attractive. I felt like I was sitting in a club.

The place was almost empty. I was the only cotton head there. An attractive blonde woman, mid-30's, was a few seats to my left, talking on her cell phone. Off to my right, at the other end of the bar, a young couple were billing and cooing and drinking martinis. Strains of "I'm just a lonely boy, lonely and blue..." played inside my head. About the best I could do for entertainment was to try my hand at teasing the pretty young bartender…I asked her to recite the wine list in reverse. She was a good sport and actually tried, but couldn't do it. Geez, it was almost 9:30 and that was the highlight of my evening so far. I seriously considered going back to my room and watching American Idol…well, almost seriously. I'd have to be incredibly dire straits to do something like that...I'm not a tv-watcher, unless it's something like the Sopranos.

I had another drink and listened to the music. I had a clever thought, something I might be able to work into a story someday, so I opened my journal to write it down.

"So, you're a lefty, huh?" It was the pretty blonde.

"I don't know many lefties," she continued.

I told her she was about to add one more to her list and introduced myself. She said something about lefties supposedly being very intelligent.

"Do I look intelligent?"

Of course she said "yes" (smart girl) so I figured I'd just go with whatever came to mind. I told her I was semi-ambidextrous...I play golf right-handed and bat right-handed in baseball. This is actually the truth, though I must admit I haven't played baseball in 20 years. I figured I'd lay it on thicker.

"I'm also ambimoustrous."

It only took her half a beat to catch on, so I knew this was someone I was going to enjoy talking with.

Okay, okay. You know I like to make up words sometimes. Yes, I made up 'ambimoustrous.' It means I can use a mouse equally well with either hand. A computer mouse. Now, I didn't make that word up on the spot. I've actually been using it for years. Of course ambimoustrous is a form of ambidexterity, but there is a only applies to working with a computer mouse. Applied to the rodent variety of mouse the proper descriptive term would be in having the ability to hold a dead (rodent) mouse by the tail and to be able to throw it into the woods behind my house (or at someone) equally well with either my right hand or my left hand. Yeah, in case you're wondering, I just made that up. But, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense, right? What the hell, it's almost happy hour and my creative juices are starting to flow.

Anyway, our conversation ultimately drifted into what we did for a living. When it came to sharing my profession I was very tempted to respond with "pornographer," "astronaut," or "brain surgeon." Since I couldn't decide between the three I just told the truth.

It turns out she was an artsy type and proved it by doing a pen-and-ink drawing of me in my journal. Actually, it was a drawing of my face, not me in my entirety. No one had ever done a drawing of my face before. It was a sort of caricature, and when I looked at it I saw my son's face instead of mine. It kind of blew me away, because if you put photos of my son and myself side by side those similarities would never be apparent. (Actually, my kids are lucky to have inherited their mother's looks instead of my looks...she is quite beautiful.)

We talked for almost an hour. Then her boyfriend came in. We had more good conversation. We bought each other drinks. They were really nice people and we all hit it off extremely well. I must admit to being a bit envious of him. He was a year younger than me...with a thirty-something goomah. See my N'Italian lessons here if you need the definition of goomah.

They invited me to go to one of their local hangouts. It was great. There was a piano player doing Frank Sinatra songs, several people got up and sang. We had more drinks and more good conversation. I stayed up way later than I should have, but all that good energy easily carried me through the next day.

To me, encounters like this put a lot of fun into life.

Just another episode in Badabing's travels.

Badaboom Badabing...

My Very First Time

This is a true story. It really happened. It happened exactly as I describe it. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Oh yeah...I should warn you in advance that this is a long post.

My trip two weeks ago was to a suburb of Cleveland. A buddy and I arranged to have dinner at a trendy restaurant that neither of us had been to before. I arrived before he did. There was a waiting line, so I put my name on the list and went to the bar to wait. I knew he'd know where to find me.

The bar was packed with 20, 30, and 40-somethings pressed shoulder-to-shoulder. I was the only 'cotton head' in the place. I wedged my way to the bar, ordered a glass of wine, and retreated to the periphery to watch and wait.

A woman standing at a chest-high partition at the back of the bar started waving and smiling at me. She was tanned, pretty face, late-30's to early-40's. I looked over both shoulders to check if she was waving at someone else...then smiled back. Now, I'm a happily married guy and wasn't looking for a woman, but I figured it might be interesting to at least strike up a conversation. A few minutes later, a spot opened up next to her and I instinctively made a bee-line for it. My reflex reaction to the empty space was clearly the result of many decades of training.

As I approached, she smiled again. "Hi. Nice to see you. You're Norman, right?"

Not. There's no way in hell that I look like a Norman.

I chuckled to myself, because that line was almost identical to one of my old pick up lines back in my bachelor days…with 'Susan' or some other spur-of-the-moment female name substituted for 'Norman.' In any case, I was flattered by the thought of an attractive woman dishing me a pick up line.

Then again, it could just have been wishful thinking. Hmmm. Nah. Okay...maybe.

We made small talk and she told me I looked just like her friend Norman. She introduced herself (we'll just call her Fran) and offered to buy me a drink. It was a nice gesture, but I declined and just stuck with the small talk. She was waiting for a girlfriend. I was waiting for a buddy. She offered to let us share a table with them since their name would come up first. I didn't think my friend would be comfortable with that, so I didn't want to commit. I don't remember exactly what my response was, but it would definitely have earned me a senior position in the diplomatic corps.

And besides, I didn't know what her girlfriend looked like ;-)

I eventually bought her a drink. My buddy arrived and I bought him a drink. Her girlfriend arrived (we'll call her Carla), and I bought her a drink. Then we took turns buying each other drinks.

Did I mention that Carla was hot? Well, she was. Pretty, blonde, tanned, possibly liposucted, and nicely cleavaged. Okay, okay, I know 'liposucted' and 'cleavaged' aren't officially words. So what? I made 'em up…but I'll bet you got the picture, right? So, just think of them as my contribution to the blogtionary. Yeah…I just made up that word too…creative old fart that I am.

Anyway, we continued buying rounds for quite some time. I can't remember how many iterations this went on for, but I was way past what I usually drink and my friends were liking my jokes, so everything was right with the world. I could tell the booze was working its magic since the girls were laughing even before I got to the punchlines of my jokes. I chose to ignore this little factoid in favor of believing it was my superb delivery.

Suddenly, in mid-slur, Carla and Fran saw two open stools at the bar and swooped them up before I could even swallow a sip of my wine. I was a bit envious that they reacted faster than me. They must have had the same hands-on, hardcore bar training as me. We won't mention the roughly 20-year age advantage they had on me. They waved at us to join them at the bar, but my buddy and I decided to stay put and figure out what, if anything, we were going to do about dinner. I suggested we have another round, on me, and think about our options.

When I returned from the bar with our drinks I found my friend talking with an attractive black woman. We had a nice conversation…and she liked my jokes too, so we were off and running. My friend spent the next hour talking with her, and I shared my time between them and Carla and Fran who were still sitting at the bar. Every time I checked-in with the girls at the bar, Fran would say "Oh, isn't he the sweetest guy, my new friend?" to which Carla would (by this time semi-inebriatedly) agree. Then, Fran would say, "Poor Carla. She says she feels so old. Don't you think she's beautiful?" Of course, I would reply with "Absolutely. I think she's very beautiful," or with "Absolutely. I think she's the hottest 35 year-old in this place." Both lines got an "Oh, get outta' here" from Carla and a "See, what did I tell ya'. He's just the sweetest guy" from Fran.

Did I mention that each time Fran said how sweet I was she would punctuate it with a kiss on the cheek? Yes, that would be my cheek. She was a good kisser. I thought about telling her that, but logic got the best of me and I held my tongue.

After about ten iterations (hell, it could have been only six but who's counting) Carla started to say "thank you" whenever I paid her one of those compliments. I wonder if it took her that long because by that point maybe I started looking at her baby blue's instead of her cleavage…or maybe she was too far gone to know or care. Probably the latter, since I long ago mastered the art of inconspicuous cleavage peeking. (I'm so tempted to make up another new word here…somehow 'cleaking' doesn't quite have the right ring to it...but I shall resist.)

Oh yeah. Fran continued with the kisses, but upped the ante to two on each cheek.

Did I mention that my two new friends were getting shit-faced? Now, I like women when they're a little giddy, but when they get too drunk it can be a very un-pretty sight. That is, of course, unless I'm also which case I wouldn't notice. Of course, the fact that I did notice is proof positive that I wasn't shit-faced. Wow, my logic is so perfect it scares me sometimes. (quod erat demonstrandum)

I started spending more time with my buddy and his new friend. She was getting a little tipsy and the conversation got very interesting. Turns out she was married, but she had a thing for older white guys with gray hair. And, as we say in New York, she was looking for a little "strange"…a little something "on the side" to speak. Upon hearing this I really perked up (get your mind out of the gutter…there isn't room for all of us there) and did a quick scan of the room. Well, there were only two older 'cotton heads' in the bar…and I was one of them.

Shit…she had to go and spoil my fantasy by saying she was interested in the other guy. I kidded that I was insulted. She said she was originally attracted to me…that's why she struck up a conversation with my buddy…but that after talking with me she thought I was too nice of a guy for her. The ensuing conversation went like this:

"So, you like more of the bad boy type, huh?"

"Yes. You're better looking than him, but he looks like the bad boy type to me."

"Well, I can be a bad boy too, ya' know."

"Really? But you seem like such a nice guy. It's hard to believe. I don't think so."

"Okay then, girl. Maybe I should just bend you over that bar stool and spank your ass real good. How'd you like that?"

"Oh yeah baby," she squealed with delight and grabbed my arm, "that's the kind of thing I'm lookin' for."

By the way, I kid you not. This actually happened. Verbatim.

The woman ultimately left to persue the remaining cotton head, and I got tired of standing, so my buddy and I found a couple of lounge chairs and we shot the shit for who knows how long. In case you don't know, 'shot the shit' is a technical term meaning we talked.

Suddenly, there was a bit of a ruckus at the bar, but all we could see was a crowd of people stepping away from it as we heard the sound of glasses shattering on the floor, and cries of "Oh my god" and "Are you okay?"

It took a few seconds more for the unmistakable scent of vomit to waft our way.

First the bad news. My new friend Fran had just up-chucked at the bar. The good news is that the empty bar stool to her left was the only victim. Carla would normally have been sitting there, but, fortunately for her, she was on a potty break.

After the air cleared, literally and figuratively, I went over to see if Fran was okay. She started into a glassy-eyed "Oh, here's my sweet friend. Isn't he…" but I stopped her in midstream because I sure as hell didn't want that peck on the cheek. Instead, I took her hand.

Big mistake!!

Everything got cleaned up pretty good. Everything but Fran's hand.

Yes. That's right. I was holding a gooey vomit hand. A very gooey vomit hand. It was wet. It was clammy. It was sticky. It had little solid vomit bits mixed in. Arggh.

That was my first time…my first time holding a gooey vomit hand.

Aren't you glad I shared?

Badaboom Badabing...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Global Warming Is Real...I Have The Proof

Earlier this month my friend the Duke of Earle made a post about global warming. I have been thinking about this topic ever since. Being an engineer by training, and having a little too much time on my hands, I have been searching far and wide to get my hands on all the data I could to prove whether this phenomenon is or isn't real. I now have irrefutable (and tangible) evidence that global warming is, in fact, real. See below.

The data speaks for itself. Q.E.D.

Badaboom Badabing...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kids Say The Darndest Things

I'm trying to recover from a really nasty cold, so my head is too foggy to compose one of my usual posts. But...I just couldn't help lifting this from Old Horsetail Snake's blog. I'm still laughing my ass off.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Some People Shouldn't Drink & Chew Gum At The Same Time

I'm sitting here in my motel room, somewhere in the belly of North Carolina, visiting some of my favorite blogs and trying to figure out where I can get a decent meal, and I realize I haven't posted anything in several weeks. Now, unlike my friend Viki, who thinks nothing of abandoning her readers for weeks on end, I've got the guilt and figure it's about time I post something for my two readers.

I've got lots of stories to tell from my almost-weekly business trips, but I often forget to write them down. After a few minutes of brainstorming, I'm reminded of something I observed on one of my recent trips to Chicago.

The scene takes place at Pete Miller's Steakhouse, in a western Chicago suburb. I'm sitting at the bar having dinner. (Where else, right?)

A couple of guys are sitting on the opposite side of the bar. They're probably about my age, though they look a bit older (okay, okay, I've still got a big head from the compliments I received a few weeks ago…see here…and, get your mind out of the gutter…you know which head I'm talkin' about.) An attractive woman walks in. I'd say she was 40 to 42. She's dressed in black, blondish hair, slim and curvy in all the right places, nice tan (wonder if it's an all over tan…sorry, couldn't resist…sometimes it's hard to leave the gutter when you spend so much time there), short sleeve top sporting just enough cleavage to make an old horndog start to fantasize. In case you're wondering, the horndog would be me. Anyway, she's looking around like she's supposed to meet someone.

One of the guys gets up and goes to meet her. He introduces himself then brings her back and introduces the other guy. She takes a seat. One guy is sitting next to her, the other standing behind and leaning in to talk. While they're talking to her, she's looking around at other people, kind of like when one is at a party and talking to someone and that someone is looking around for more important people to talk to. Not that it's ever happened to me, of course, but you get the picture.

What little conversation there is seems to be strained…and she is making absolutely no eye contact. They all look a little uncomfortable. I get the feeling they weren't what she expected.

One guy says something to her. I think he's asking what she'd like to drink. She answers without looking at him. The two guys look at each other…one raises his eyebrows. They order her a split of champagne. Very little conversation for the next twenty minutes or so, and she doesn't make eye contact until she starts working on her second split. They look to me like they're negotiating something…like plans for the evening perhaps? Or maybe I was just getting carried away with my fantasizing. Oh, and did I forget to mention she's chewing gum while drinking her champagne? Classy, huh? Not.

So one guy excuses himself and disappears. A minute later the other guy does the same. They go to a corner of the bar, where she can't see them, and they start talking to each other. They're gone for a good 15 minutes.

The woman starts looking around, very discreetly, like she thinks they might have bolted (and left her with the check) but she doesn't want anyone to know.

The place starts getting crowded, with people standing behind the bar stools a few rows deep. Someone bumps her stool accidentally, and she spits the gum into her champagne glass. She looks at her drink, then looks left and right. She does this about half a dozen times. I think she's trying to determine if anyone noticed…probably no one but me did. Then, she suddenly sticks her forefinger into the champagne flute, spears the chewing gum, and pops it into her mouth.

Now, you can call me a snobolla (That's a N'Italian word I just made up, pronounced snob-'bowla), but that kinda' grossed me out.

Now maybe it was the sound of my fork dropping, or maybe it was just coincidence, but she made eye contact with me right after she scarfed the gum. I was too far away to make a wise ass remark, so I just smiled, made a chewing motion, and took a sip of my wine. For a split second I thought she was going to throw something at me (hopefully not the gum), but she just blushed and looked away.

Just another night in the travels of Badabing.

That's gonna' be all for now. According to the map I'm looking at I'll need to drive about twenty miles to a town where I might be able to get a decent glass of wine.

Badabing Badaboom...