Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hail Mary

It happened yesterday. I gazed out my window like I always do when I'm trying to do anything but work, and the Virgin Mary appeared in my driveway. I guess she didn't exactly appear—I just noticed her face in the coloration of the concrete. Plain as day, sober as an undertaker.

I looked away. I looked back. Yep.

My first thought was: "Rich! I'm rich!" I imagined a long line of devotees each paying a dollar a peek. Maybe I could set up a Snapple stand. Just thinking about all those people milling about my backyard made me question the blessing of it all.

I looked again. She still looked like Mary, but also a bit like one of the cast of Cats, unless Mary has whiskers, which she very well might—they always airbrush that stuff out for the portraits. The lyric "Not a sound from the pavement" occurred to me. There are a lot of Andrew Lloyd Weber fans out there, but I'm not sure they'll make the pilgrimage to Omaha. My stock is dropping.

So how does one know for sure? When Mary appeared to Diana Duyser in a grilled cheese sandwich a few years ago, the Golden Palace Casino bought it for $28,000. How did they know they had the real thing? I saw it and thought she looked suspiciously like a Ziegfeld Girl. Besides, the sandwich had a bite taken out of it. Doesn't that lower the value? Who wants a half-eaten Virgin Mary?

They have this going for them: if you Google images and type in "Virgin Mary," a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches turn up.

Why would Mary appear in my driveway? All I can come up with is this: concrete is 80% sand, and so is The Promised Land.

What should I do when it snows? I don't feel right shoveling her face. As it is, I'm parking on the other side of the driveway, just to be safe.

Like a vampire, her face doesn't turn out in photos, or I'd show it to you. Maybe that's some kind of supernatural rule. I suppose when it comes to trademark infringement, Catholics don't mess around.

As I write this, my enthusiasm fades. Honestly? Now the face looks more like Chandler from "Friends." The only entertainment value left is the curiosity of seeing who appears next. MC Hammer? It's like a parade of has-beens, a driveway episode of "The Love Boat."


I guess I'll go back to my usual parking spot, and get back to work.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We Like Change

I voted for change on November 4th, and I got it.

Actually, every candidate had "change" in their slogan this year.
Obama: "Change We Can Believe In."
McCain: "Change is Coming."
Nadar: "Can You Spare Some Change?"
Ron Paul: "Love You—Never Change."

But you won't believe what happened, and I'm telling the truth. On the very next day after the election, I opened my freezer and discovered a half-eaten pint of Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Crunch, where a half-eaten pint of Orange Sorbet used to be. That is my kind of change! "Happy days are here again . . ." (It might be hard to imagine me doing The Happy Dance, but try.)

Coffee Heath Crunch would never stay in my freezer. I love ice cream. The only reason I had sorbet in the freezer is because, well, it's sorbet. It's been there a year. I had never tasted Coffee Heath Crunch before, and yyyyummm, it was great. I finished it off.

Usually all I need is a spoonful or two of ice cream, then I can close the lid, put it back in the freezer and walk away, unless it's Oatmeal Crunch—then I eat two bites, close the lid, shut the freezer door, walk five steps, turn around and repeat until it's gone. I think they flavor it with crack.

The economy is in trouble, the war is awful, health costs skyrocket. I'd have gotten politically involved a lot sooner if someone had promised to turn sorbet into Coffee Heath Crunch. That's like water into wine: something the religious right might want to consider.

So if you want my vote for next year, here are my suggested campaign slogans:
"Ben & Jerry's in every freezer."
"Crossword puzzles you can finish!"
"Your espresso maker will finally work right!"
"Rock hard abs in just two weeks!"

That's change I can believe in.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Here You Go

Do you want to hear my analysis of this historic Election Day?

Me either.

Not that I don't care. I've cared so much since January that I had to put on a helmet and just wait this day out: play some guitar, drink some wine, wait until it's over.

So instead I'll go to the other extreme and write about boys peeing.

All male animals are territorial, none more than humans. When I'm waiting in line for a public bathroom, even one of those vile plastic portables, the guy ahead of me will deed it to me as he leaves, as if peeing on it made it his. "Here you go. It's all yours."

Oooo-wee, thanks.

Last week as I waited pinch-legged with urgency for a bathroom, the guy came out holding by its stem a full glass of amber chardonnay. Eeeew.

It's always a bit of a drag when the occupant doesn't lock the door. There are things I just don't want to see. I always apologize and shut the door, then think, "Why did I just apologize?" Again last week, as I opened the bathroom door on an existing deedholder, he smiled as he washed his hands and said, "I'll hurry." I closed the door, overheard the sink shut off, then heard him blow the most prodigious, prolific snot wad I've ever heard. The door opened. "It's all yours."

I have a close friend whom I've personally seen naked in public four times. He's a popular drummer, and he has been known to play naked on stage. I won't give away his name, but his initials are W.A.Y.N.E  B.R.E.K.K.E. After witnessing some tell-tale pinch-legged urgency on his part, I learned he won't use the bathroom at my bar because he doesn't trust the door lock. I pointed out the time I saw him perform a naked fan dance at a wedding. "That's different," he explained.

This is the point where I wrap up all these observations into one coherent thought. But it's warm out, maybe that last sweet, musky day of the year, and I want to go outside.