The crazy ideas this beard comes up with…sometimes I wonder if it’s the cranium or the whiskers talking.
I got started early this morning with a post reply from Fearsome Beard, one of my fellow bloggers and Gents. He is a great writer and gets great responses from followers, and admittedly he’s snagged me twice (for the beard brotherhood and the brain tease). So, early this morning I’m looking at comments over at his website and see one response that says “I love a good year”.
God, this mind goes in places others might not dare. I wanted to get cheeky and reply ‘I prefer Coopers, they’re more reliable’ but instead said something like ‘I promise to behave, I promise to behave’.
Behave? That’s a rarity. If my best friend/partner/muse of some 14 years were able to speak he could tell you stories…then again, we could tell them better together, once we hacked our lungs out from LOL abandon.
To be there in the moment we were watching a Jackie Chan movie where he was reclined fully on the sofa and I in the wing-back chair you would have seen the aerial footage of Chan doing high-wire maneuvers to a very tiny Hong Kong below. That was when the crash happened: he screams, rolls off the sofa to the floor (surprisingly face-up). By now I can’t talk less breathe, painfully laughing my guts out. Words eventually formed to say ‘you are the first person I know who is confirmed to have Horizontigo!’ He had vertigo, but that’s not applicable to someone who was horizontal falling. I think after about 10 minutes of hysterical laughter he blurted out ‘I …think…i…hate…you’. Translation: you know me too well and you’re gonna tell all our friends and families. Yep, I did.
There was a moment when our Norwich CT home was subjected to a heat wave of historic levels – 108F that day in the early 2000s. The day was cooking by 9am when the thermometer hit 90. I started to hand wash dishes and he enters the room. Upon placing my hand under the nozzle I pull away immediately, scalding my hand, then saying ‘I just burned myself on the hot cold water.’ His black eyes got big as saucers, muttering ‘wait…that’s not possible…don’t f*!k with the handicapped’. I said ‘I’m telling you we have hot cold water, see for yourself’ and insisted at that point he turn on the cold water and experience it himself, and he does…pulling his hand away and accusing me of replumbing the house in his sleep for this prank. Nice try but I have zero welding and plumbing skills. In fact we traced the problem to a cellar wall where our cold water pipe runs inside and a blazing surface which got sun-baked did all the boiling to that pipe.
Then there were those tender moments of messages I’d leave on our replay answering machine – you know, the ones that you didn’t have to dial in to play back. The cats would play my opening messages when they would get lonely…and hearing myself downstairs at 3am was a hoot. Even funnier was the wordplay I’ve leave for him who slept like the dead, needing to be out of bed by 7:30. I’d use our animated ‘man child’ – the cat we named Bear – as my front-man-cat. First message: ‘This is what Bear would sound like if he ate a big wad of peanut butter…(very muffled screaming meows simulating his mouth was stuck)…’ then I’d hear on the other end uproarious laughter and panting as he ‘nearly tripped down every step and almost wet himself getting out of bed’ to answer.
But wait, there’s more…
Bear as Muse moment was my unashamed use of his speech impediment. You see, Bear was a Russian Blue right down to his vocal chords. Unable to meow, he would utter various forms of words all surrounded by mainly vast amounts of consonants (as in ‘meschkkkkackkk’). I used his tongue-tied skills one night at a dinner party where I had dear friends observe as I pointed to Bear’s food area and asked him to read the word MEOW on the place setting. Of course, MESCHAAACCKK was what came out and they were running for the bathroom. Cue the next morning from the previous Bear muse when I needed to get a good tactic for raising the him that sleeps like the dead into consciousness. Phone rings…I start in with ‘OK Mr.Bear repeat after me…1…(meschkunn)…2..(meschkooh)…3 (meschkkee)…’ and by the time I was barely able to say 4 from laughing while stuck behind the wheel in Hartford CT traffic the phone speaks back in uproarious laughter between heavy inhaling, ‘I…(lol) hate…(lol) you!’. For sure he got to work ok, don’t know how much he tumbled out of bed or down the staircase, but he wasn’t late!
Sometimes the yuk-yuks came back to me: doing fill-in over 10 years ago at the place I hang my headphones, a fellow buddy and broadcaster who has worked for years at ESPN was my info dude and myself the entertainer. He had just finished the info portion of programming when we got a little banter going about gifts from the holidays, and mine for mental show and tell was a plate from Israel. A very special plate indeed, as it bore the resemblance of my Bear-kitty complete with Yahmulke front and center against a backdrop of an old city location with a menorah. And then, the moment – a radio ‘oopsie’ that I wished got airchecked: his reaction came out ‘I didn’t know you had a Russian Jew as a pet!’…and then THUD, laughing hysterically, he falls off his chair…but I did likewise, and for two full minutes the laughter filled the airwaves until I could compose myself enough to say ‘No Josh, Bear is a Russian Blue; I don’t keep Russian Jews as pets!’ He could not look at me without busting out the rest of the day.
Then, there’s the cat-kids in general. Bear was a conversationalist, ‘the cat with the broken meow’ (I made a little song out of it!). Every night (sometimes on weekends in the afternoon) I’d be halfway up the stairs and I’d here ‘meschaackkek’ – meaning ‘don’t go too far I’ve got to speak with you’. So I’d answer back in the kitty-yiddish in similar fashion…for anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes. He had many vocal ranges too…not at all monotone. God I miss those conversations. He was the ‘little boy’ that would rest his back on my right forearm and put his paws up in the air so I could ‘fly’ him, complete with airplane simulator noises. He would also get my attention upon my own ‘dead to the world’ sleep by pouncing furiously on my stomach – something several of my companions and roommates have seen first hand, often saying ‘why didn’t I grab the camera?’
My ‘Bear-ishness’ passed away 05 February 2008 from complications of a pelvic deformity that was very painful, very quick and inoperable, somewhat common in certain breeds of large dogs and lineage of cats. One of the saddest days of my life, but so many funny memories.
Yin and Yang – the Tuxedo sisters – were brought home around 2003 and have been with me (along with Bear’s ‘mom’ Connie who passed in 2012) all this time and they have had their own unique way of communicating. Each is whimsical, jovial, and at times, wet. Yin is the poster cat for ‘contented’ because when she’s happy in my arms or laying beside me, she drools…no wait!…shaking her head she’s a sprinkler!! I was thinking of renting her out to some deserving California farmer to help end drought, but she hates to fly. Yang is all cuddles, and she has been nicknamed Gloria Swanson for a reason: minus the milk baths she has the slow, deliberate, sleek moves, the whimsy in her voice and purr, and all the ‘moves’ down pat. Tell me, what cat would be sleeping by your head, turn, stretch with her left paw on the pillow, cock her head in your direction and ‘sigh’? I need to be a video camera, on 24/7; such brilliant captions missed – all better than television. Notice, non-verbal (well, non human understandable verbal) communication ends up just as laughable.
And now, yours truly on new words to add to the English language…
Femopause: Male menopause. Developed under intense scrutiny of men who go through their own ‘cycle’, about every three days on average – some more some less. Yes, 10x more than women! For the guy the feelings inside the body and mind are about the same, too: achy, sometimes swollen in certain areas, can’t focus on anything much except that ONE urge, needing to get alone time from the opposite sex because ‘they just don’t get it’. Have used this word in speech and sentences for nearly 20 years.
Blender Effect: When it rains, snows, sleets and hails all at once. Odd weather phenomenon but not out of the odds. If you have been in it, you know it’s like being inside a big blender set to just above ‘puree’. Magical, but frightening. Created it in the early 80s and use it still when necessary.
Squabbit: Confirmed sighting of a beast that looked like part squirrel, part rabbit. No I’m not imitating Elmer Fudd! Created around 2004. Sighted in Bristol County, Massachusetts. No photos (missed the bugger).
TunaVegaMac: Surprise, this is not the latest kitchen contraption! A casserole made with Tuna, Elbow macaroni and Veg-all. Cheap and easy meal, very satisfying; made with Cream of Mushroom soup mixed in as the moistness. And you must cook the macaroni first before adding. More questions on the recipe, send a reply!
WuggaWuggaWugga: The sound that airborne things with rotating top propellers make. I also use that with the wet food dishes for the cats, hovering them around their heads to let them know a tasty dinner awaits. They’ve come running for that since the 90s. People seeing this exhibition usually fall over, laughing…
Rippy Dubois (du-BWAH): The insane act of ‘clean’ shaving good facial hair. Used in a sentence: ‘The guy just went Rippy Dubois, and thinks the ladies will love the fact he appears to be 17 again.’ Been part of the language since 1987, when I stopped Rippy Dubois myself (always had a moustache, though, prior).
OK, enough of those ‘words to enrich your language skills’…LOL.
And here is a good point to pause until the next exciting chapter. PS: Take 2, the boo boo fixer is for the fact I had this down perfect and didn’t realize part of it went to print because I have fat fingers and type faster than my mind tends to direct. So the story has morphed a bit from the original copy that never was, and more will be added. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected while deleting the creation thanks to part of a digit being on the wrong keys at the most inopportune time.