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Tuesday, 22 June
Golfers And Bowlers And Horseshit, Oh My

Walking home from work today, I was thinking about a few things coming up, such as my birthday on Thursday (you'll want to use FedEx, people). Yeah, it's the big 35--more on this later--and the wife and I and several of our closest reluctant friends will be going bowling. More on this later. Anyway, as I walked deep in thought, my body quickly adopted one of its least attractive traits when confronted with two simultaneously unconscious actions (walking and thinking), and allowed my mouth to fall agape. It's probably, overall, a happy gift. I imagine passersby:

Girl: "Wow. Who's the gork with the hang-mouth?"

Guy: "Ew. I think I can see the sandwich he ate earlier."

Girl: "Do you have an opinion, passing hobo?"

Hobo: "Disgusting! He's Joseph Stalin! Do you have fifteen cents? I only need fifteen cents."

And so on. My father used to comment on this openmouthed habit of mine, actually, when I was a kid. It's a crummy habit to have, especially when you aren't even aware of it; it gets worse when I'm deep in reading. Not only does my mouth hang open, I tend to let my tongue loll out grotesquely. My father's exasperated--and indelible-comment from my youth: "Jesus Christ, close your fucking mouth. It looks like a hunk of liver is hanging out of it."

It took me years to get over that comment, mainly because whenever I thought of making out with girls in high school, I'd remember that liver comment, and I'd get creeped out, thinking, Don't subject them to your mouth-liver! This turned out to be the least of my problems, as girls were not exactly lining up for the oral liver treatment, perhaps because I was pretty ugly, even by teenage standards.

Jesus. Where were we?

Oh, right. Walking home, thinking about the Big 35. Why is every year the Big [number here]? We're just not very honest with each other about birthdays. I'd like to rectify this. The Big [whatever] trope is a drag, because they're not big: it's usually stupid. We should embrace this. "Hey! So it's the Pointlessly Marking Time 28 this year!" Or: "Oh, boy. I guess we're up to the May Finally Learn How To Cook Crab But We Doubt It 42 now, huh?" Maybe: "Congratulations on the Cannot Ignore Hanging Gut 39!" The ne plus ultra is in sight: "I can't believe you're finally reaching the Eats Cabbage A Lot 50."

And so we're going bowling for the big event. Bowling, at least, has the virtue of being a sport that has the sense to encourage its participants to drink at the actual venue, during said participation. Golf is sort of like this, but then again not so: a martini on the third green is qualitatively different than a beer on the fourth frame. Plus, golf takes place out of doors, which is anathema to bowling; hell, actual sunlight is the bane of bowlers. Golfers are werewolves; Bowlers are vampires. Which may seem counterintuitive until you actually look at Phil Mickelson. I think he's hairier then he lets on.

I don't expect anyone to look at--much less identify--bowlers.

All of this wore on my mind today--honestly--as I walked home from work. My mind was occupied with all of these things. My mouth hung open.

Presently, a bug flew into my maw, and I had a rather awful experience as it buzzed frantically inside my mouth, exploring my gumline with a frankly horrifying enthusiasm for which I was not prepared. (It was really classic watching the woman across the street, bewildered by the noise I made as I spat the insect out: "HLEMGH!" She nervously looked away at this display of entomological spittoonery.) I vowed for the millionth hopeless time to keep my goddamn mouth shut from now on, knowing that I'd still fuck that resolve up sooner rather than later.

"Welcome to the Big 35," I would rather not hear my brain say. "Calling all bugs," says my brain. Or maybe: "Welcome to the Might Learn Not To Eat Bugs 35."

One can hope.

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


I have never in my life read trainwreck-of-thought narrative, until now. Thank you for exemplifying a subtle condition which would otherwise be difficult to demonstrate to people trying to comprehend the concept.

And Congrats on the Birthday

Comment number: 004852   Posted by: Jado on June 22, 2004 09:13 AM from IP:

Hey! My birthday is Thursday, too. It's a big one that ends in five,as well. I think we're only going out to dinner at our favorite pan-asian diner though, no sports of any kind to be an excuse for drinking.

And while I don't as a rule eat bugs, I once had an ant crawl in my ear while I was sleeping. This required about half a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to be poured in said ear. And even thinking about what was actually sort of a combined feeling/sound makes my skin crawl and my neck twitch to this day, over a decade later.

Have a great birthday.

Comment number: 004853   Posted by: Abi on June 22, 2004 11:40 AM from IP:

How to cook crab:

Obtain crab, in seawater preferably (easy if you catch them, harder if you don't).
Boil a mixture of 50% to 100% sea/salt water, per your taste.
Once at a frothing boil, add live crab, head first so they die quickly. Wait 8 minutes, remove, and put in sink to cool (do not rinse, rinsing removes favor).
Once cool, tear off their little flap on their underside. Then grip the left side of the crab's body-shell, and pull upward revealing disgusting innards. Remove innards, rinse lightly to get rid of excess innard. Now you should have legs, claws, and meaty insides (the white parts in very thin shells).

Interesting note about crab skeletons: they're actually not sealed, it's like putting on a very intricate set of gloves. They ditch their shells when they molt, and have to have all of their body come out.

Comment number: 004854   Posted by: Durundal on June 22, 2004 12:12 PM from IP:

I don't know which is funnier-oral mouth-liver, or train-wreck of thought narrative(a very apt description). Even the comments are hilarious!

I hearby nominate you for most hellaciously, recklessly, sidebustingly funny, trainwreck of a blog ever!

Thanks for wreaking your humor on us. Laughter is good for the soul, even if it can cause cramps and the occasional, unplanned cleansing of ones nasal passages with snorted beverages of all types.

Comment number: 004855   Posted by: rzan on June 22, 2004 12:29 PM from IP:

Back in Maryland, where I grew up, home of the world famous Maryland Blue Crab (which is far tastier than Dungeness, I might add), we would steam the crabs in a water & beer mixture level with the bottom of the rack with generous quantities of Old Bay seasoning & salt sprinkled over each layer of crab in the steamer. You then cover and steam until the crabs are red.

Then spread a bunch of newspaper on the table, remove the crabs from the steamer, dump them on the table, and have at 'em! MMmmmm, a Maryland crab feast, one of the things I miss the most living here in the NW.

Comment number: 004856   Posted by: S on June 22, 2004 06:35 PM from IP:

You've ruined me.

The Oral Liver's something I can not sign up for, even within the bonds of holy matrimony. I never, ever want to see my spouse's tongue...again.

Happy Birthday and for God's Sake Shut Your Mouth! (I mean that in the nicest way possible.)

**Also, people tend to say, "Welcome to the big Three-Five" know for emphasis. This appears to start at 30....and continues in fives for the rest of your life. Unless you hit the big One Oh Oh.....then I don't know what they'll say. Probably something like, "Jesus, do you have to subject us to the Mouth Liver even now."

Comment number: 004857   Posted by: MelissaS on June 22, 2004 08:52 PM from IP:

I've eaten roasted fireflies a few times. They're a delicacy in some rural parts of India.

Comment number: 004858   Posted by: Kingsley on June 23, 2004 01:37 AM from IP:

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