Friday, May 26, 2006

Get On With It Already

The world's a faster place and complaisance is regarded as sloth. Who sits around contemplating anything anymore when there's so much to be done? Stop and smell the flowers and you're likely to miss a market move although the last time I checked the market was still there and the only thing that had moved was some items at the meat counter where older cuts were brought forward and, oh, I'm sure they're fine. Pretty good anyway, I can take a few cents off.

We're Blackberrying and Bluetoothing and emailing and paging and instant messaging until we're black and blueberry. (INCOMING!) Look, if you have a few extra minutes to think about something like, oh, why intelligence feeds from "Bob's Bargain WM Depot" might not be fully up to scratch or that authors who answer questions with questions like "did I really say that on page 13, ok, maybe that happened" are misfiled under non fiction, you're clearly too focused on one problem while a myriad of other issues are passing you by. Forget about it, seal it up with duct tape and he'll eventually apologize on national TV for his expose of having been the Pope for a year while Bishop Karol finished his detective novel writing.

Everything's fast, everything's in a hurry. We speed date and I don't mean a schnozzful of nose candy to get through appetizer conversation. No, we sit around a room, about twenty of us and make our best first impression in seventeen seconds or less. Sort of like Name That Tune for sex. A bell rings and the lucky participant moves on or not, as the case may be but usually isn't.

Some notable first lines and responses:

"Ring the freaking bell already."

"So, is this your first speed date?"
"Is that a blood stain on your shirt? I think I'd better call the police."

"My name is..."
"I'm a lesbian vegetarian. I think I'm in the wrong room. See you."

Somebody actually gets a date here. I'm sure of it. Otherwise why would perfectly sane people put themselves through all this? Then again, why do we continue to play the lottery? Not that I do, I clean up at three card monte. But somebody dates and gets into a relationship and then the dynamics of that kicks in. Everything here is in a damn hurry too and we're adapting and adopting to speed relationship. Friends I know just celebrated their first anniversary. Yep, they made a week and gave each other the traditional gift of Post It notes. Two weeks; Elmer's School Glue, Three; glass marbles and then the big one: A Month.

Whew. Construction Paper. Everyone should be able to free a substantial portion of their salary for that.

I admit it. I'm on that track myself and while I'm only comparison shopping glue right now, I've looked out a window and what I've seen makes me think that someday I'll be in one of "those" stores with the glass cases and precisely focused lights and the men in suits who unfold little bits of velvet on the case, smooth it out ever so precisely and then hand you a loupe so you can make sure the reusable coaster you're getting is everything she's ever dreamed of.

It's a wonder I'm not more often violently pelted by blueberries (INCOMING!)

Bunny on.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


There's this dirty look I get from the woman in the elevator and I'm curious as to why until I realize the damn car is going up and the original intent was to go down to the lobby.

So I'm wondering why we're going up. After all, I got on on four, pressed the button for "L" and automatically straightened my posture and looked for telltale bits of towel fuzz, toothpaste goop, eye sludge and whatever else gravitates towards me in the all mirror, all the time elevator.

Nothing. I check out clean. I can confidently cross the massive atrium of the Grand Hyatt, wonder why they are floating a grand piano in the middle of a pool and fountain that little children are scolded not to throw pennies into or you'll hit the Steinway without fear of dragging a sheet of toilet paper on your heel syndrome.

I can kind of see Lenny DiCaprio hanging onto the keys shouting something about being king of the world while the breakfast buffet is being set up. Not that that has anything to do with my sudden inability to use the elevator. I'm going up. She's tossed me her micro-scowl, punched eleven and I'm embarrassed at being there for no reason whatsoever. Like yesterday when I got off and headed to my room and realized I was at least a hundred rooms off, everything started with a three when I was supposed to be in four-land. Yep, wrong floor. What's with that? Admittedly, I can be clumsy, awkward and distracted but it takes a lot to set me off course. Once, when I was in final exams I drove "home" only to find myself idling in the airport parking lot a half an hour later not knowing what the hell just happened here.

It's been that way all weekend long. One minute I'm on the interstate and the next I'm on the side of the road admitting to 80 in a 65 zone and getting a stern warning that I'm grateful is going to cause me a little flush but leave me flush. Sorry 'bout that officer, but as you can tell, I have no idea how I got here in the first place.

It didn't hit me until dinner which is to say I was having some great pasta and seafood with my friend Jim and he explained to me why I've suddenly lost my ability to ride an elevator and operate common household objects. Jim is a keen observer of the rabbit condition and Socratic in that his questions force the student to answer his own.

"So, get off on the wrong floor and not know why lately?"

You're on to something here.

"What's her name?"

Sudden, unintended stupidity syndrome. What a nice problem to have.

Bunny on.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Son of Virus

Anyone who remembers when I'be 'da code will be cheered to know that Son of Virus has once again taken up residence in my vast, empty cranial cavity. Snotty, runny, raw nose not unlike being belt sanded with 80 grit has resulted. A throat like a cross town bus has backed up into it. Drivers, please don't idle engines, get stuffed Port Authority of Bunny Throat.

Its probably an errant germ that got on my second packet of airline peanuts on the flight home. Yes, once again, I strapped myself into a flammable seat in a sealed aluminum tube and breathed the same air as Petrie Dish Pete for over two hours the other night.

See, that's how you get colds. Viruses. Germs hit you up for spare change and, wanting to impress your date, you toss them a few quarters and the next thing you know Granny Influenza and the Strep twins are unrolling mattresses in your aesophagus.

Just tell that to my mother. No way! You get colds from being cold. Oh sure, modern science is fine and all but they should keep Viagra away from anyone over sixty five so I could date without fear but when it comes right down to it, if you're cold, you catch cold.

No nonononononononononoononoono!!! And I'm not over reacting here or acting out a lifelong frustration. Well, actually I am. If you got trussed up in clothes that were more appropriate to an Exxon Valdez mop up than forty eight degrees in April, you'd go nuts at this step away from rational science too.

So I call her, Mom that is. Hi, back from business, yes, good flight, work was hard but I've got the weekend. Yep, got a bit of a cold.

No word of lie:

"Did you get caught without a jacket?"

Why, no. I had an appropriate jacket, stayed warm and dined on all kinds of biological spore at Cafe Come On Infect.

"You must have gotten wet and it was cold. Did it rain?"

I give up.

Germs are killed by heat or antiseptics like alcohol. So I'm cranking up the thermostat and pouring myself a cold one. As long as I don't get wet, I should be all right.

Bunny on.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Wheels and All

The fastest car in the world is a rental.

Forget your Ferraris, Porsches, Bugattis, Abschiedsmusik and Pasta Al Dentes. I’m talking ’76 Dodge Aspen, as long as Avis holds the title. Strangely not so with my current rental, but more about that later. We first found the joy of abject rental speed running cars between two major North American cities in the late seventies. Airport to airport, we gave 24 hours of Lemans a run for its money with our spirited sprints up and down the circular ramps of the airport parking garage. If we’d have done what we did with rentals a few latitudes more south, we could have legitimately claimed inspiring Nascar.

As it was, we couldn’t consume that much liquor and drive. Also, we had too many of our own teeth.

Ah, and we could spell.

Spelling: I’m riding around right now in a PT something or other. It’s designed to look retro although it needs no retro firing devices to slow it down since simply turning on the air conditioner will slough off ten to twenty miles an hour. The easy acronym for PT is, well, too easy, so let’s just call it my little rented Porcelain Tub since that’s what it handles like, an inverted version thereof with wheels.

I’ve had a lot of rental cars, most of them silly little sub compact jobs that are more likely to wind up mashed in the wheel wells of full sized pickups than actually out on the road. My first rental was an 84 Ford Tempo that I got in Wisconsin. The right turn signal was broken so in order to get it to flash, I had to jiggle the signal stalk the way you’d jiggle the handle of a runny toilet. The comparison was appropriate. I drove the bridge by the lake in Milwaukee in March and one gust of wind damn near took me off the expressway.

I got upgraded to a four wheel drive SUV in Cleveland once and decided to try its potential out.

Uh, sorry about the lawn donuts, but it seemed fun at two in the morning. Most things do, come to think of it.

I ride around in two very distinctive vehicles when I’m not renting something to abuse. One is a little European sports sedan with a five speed and a six cylinder. I call her Lolita since I succumbed to her fully loaded siren song and my wife at the time was not there to pour cold water on my head and hot oil on other parts to calm me down. Every man should shop for cars with their spouse since we, the men of the world, are clearly idiots when it comes to the purchase of motorized vehicular transportation.

Note that I call it what it is. Not wheels, or a ride, or a lifestyle choice. It’s motorized vehicular transportation and looking at it in that light is as much fun as thinking about sex as procreation for the purpose of offspring.

A car is an extension of many things which is why wives are needed at the car dealer’s lot. It keeps you from getting into trouble with that extension the way you tend to get into trouble with the other one.

We bought an SUV once showing the perfect yin and yang of the married couple buying a car. While I rolled my eyes in the back of my head, pointed, drooled and said monosyllabic things like “Want truck. Want nice truck now” my wife lied about the price another dealer had offered us for the same car. I got “nice truck now” at a cost below both of us had expected. I often pat myself on the back for this strategic role playing success when I am feeling particularly delusional.

My other car is an old beater of a pick up truck. I love it in a strange but non perverted way, before you go there. It runs well, doesn’t leak any fluid unless it rains and I accelerate from a stoplight to dump about twenty gallons of water on the Lexus behind me. Heh heh heh.

I also like to pull up alongside new BMW’s and see how close to cowering I can get their drivers. Scratches and dents? Hell. My truck’s scratches and dents have scratches and dents.

All of this bumpkin bravado is of course offset by the fact that I double the thing’s book value every time I fill up.

But both my vehicles are at home right now and I am running around in the Porcelain Tub. Its meant, as I said, to look like a retro ride from the thirties so in the spirit of the thing I stashed some homemade gin and a Tommy gun in the back seat. Saturday night I plan to use the secret password at the speakeasy and plan the next big bank heist.

Or maybe I’ll just get a pair of spats. Rent them of course.
Bunny on.

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