Archive for July, 2010

My Sad Homie

July 30, 2010

It’s been nearly a week and I’ve gone from “must write about this” to “this is too depressing to write about.” But it bugs me so I feel I must lay it to rest in a niche web site like a difficult puppy at a rest stop. So if this makes no sense or doesn’t seem to somehow resolve as a story should, know that I’m just shoving it out of the car without looking into it’s sad little face.

We took the Girl Scout Brownie girls on their first overnight. Since nobody in our small troop was ready to take the girls for a real hike and camp, we went to a Kampground of America where there’s a pool and a bathroom and people everywhere. I wasn’t hugely keen on the Krazy KOA Kamp (a lot of K’s) but so be it. I’ll survive. Who am I to rock little girl boats.

All the girls came. Which was great. This was the pinnacle of girl empowerment and self-sufficiency for 8 year-olds. Of the six girls, most were bringing their mothers. Even my kid was going to bring her mom/my wife since she hadn’t had the opportunity to do much scout stuff during the year. So I was psyched! I’d have 24 hours to just hang in the house by myself, spread out on the bed and sleep in until 8:00 maybe. Maybe watch a video. The life! But my kid decided at the last-minute that she didn’t want to hurt my feelings and invited me along as well.

So it was me, five moms, and one other dad. I was concerned about the one other dad out of more reasons than jealousy. For some reason I don’t know, I had previously formed opinions of Don. His wife seems nice enough and his kids were OK, but something was bothering me about New Money Don.

You could tell Don was from newish money because he was a guy with a lot of toys and exaggerated behaviors. Giant Caddy Esco with “mad rims,” huge baroque watch, giant house…you could tell he had no idea how to live an old-school opulent life. But it was his transparent frat-boyishness of Don that most concerned me. Something about him reminded me of the George Hugely type but who am I to judge?

So everyone had already arrived at our KOA except Holly, Heather and their father, Don. We had partially set-up camp when the girls dragged their over-heated parents over to the tiny pool. We were hanging out at the tiny pool when we heard loud Sirius/XM hip-hop lite from a new giant Escalade. The Don had arrived. The Don was in the house, as the kids used to say.

Don and kids made it over to the pool after a half-hour or so. Don was drinking a cup of beer which seemed odd.  He asked me what the “rules were for this stuff.”  That seemed odder. I said that I strongly suspect that there’s drinking at the KOA but that discretion was probably best. He told me how happy he was that I was there too. He was looking forward to having a drink, he mentioned. That was oddest.

Once we had our campsite set up, the girls went off to play miniature golf. I stayed back to get a fire going and start with dinner. Don and a couple of moms stayed behind too. As we were making fire with charcoal and gasoline and preparing for dinner Don mentioned, over his beer, that a margarita would be nice. We all agreed that that sounded good. I even professed my love for girly drinks and Mexican margaritas (tequila, no mix, no ice, no salt). I was riffin’ funny to a new, captive audience. So I was too full of my own bit to really monitor anyone else.

Don produced tequila like a magician. Oh. Well, since I’m not one to turn down a drink I accepted the offer like the gentleman I am. But, doy, I had no desire to get hammered. A drink? Yes. A party? No. Neither did the moms. But it appears that Don may have some self-control issues.

By the time we were finished eating, Don was staggeringly, fall-down drunk. Drunk! Drunk dad at a Brownie overnight drunk. Fucked-up drunk. I was talking sports and stuff with him and he began actually passing out with ice cream in his lap. On his daughter’s girl-empowering Brownie overnight. At a point he even offered a creepy, inappropriate, and unsolicited, “compliment” to one of the moms. I sighed and shrugged to my wife.

So, I can’t ask him to leave because he can’t drive drunk, nor can really find a way to tame him to my satisfaction even though, clearly, a spot correction was in order. Don is one of those former linebacker types. I’d have to cut his Achilles tendon to tamp him. So I figured that sleeping it off was the best course of action. We’d all bail in the morning. All would be forgiven, right?

The screaming and raging at 2:30 a.m. was so much more than embarrassing that I struggle with words to describe it. Harrowing is a word that might come close. We were all independently concerned that the verbal harassment abuse Don was heaping upon his young daughters would become physical and direct toward us. Don had gotten a second-wind and was cussing and raging at his kids for not sleeping; blaming them for all the ills he had to contend with in life. The oldest girl was screaming phrases of retort like, “I HATE YOU AND I’M GOING TO TELL MOMMY HOW MEAN YOU ARE AND ABOUT ALL THE THINGS YOU DO TO ME!!” and “I’M GOING TO RUN AWAY AND NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN!!”

All the moms were in alert mode–it was probably Don’s inelegant, “If you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about” threats at 2:50 a.m. that created the tension–and I was actually sitting outside the Don family tent with phone ready for the 9-1-1 call that there’s a man-bear mauling people at the KOA or that I had to cut a man-bear’s Achilles tendon to protect the rest of the campground. Except that me, the black man, in those parts of the country, cutting down a good old boy football hero would not have been a positive to my personal long-term interest.

So, sadly, my most thoughtful and calculated move that night was to sit outside Don’s tent. Ready. For God knows what. My plan was to make enough rustling noises so that the occupants (Don) were clearly aware that there was “presence.”

Nothing more happened. There was some brief and awkward debriefing among the rest of the parents as we all went to eat breakfast and as we broke camp. All I could muster to Don was, “Dude, I can’t…whew, what a night. You….” We all left.

Yes, there’s been corrective and healthy follow-up but I remain concerned that I could have, should have, done more. All the subsequent debriefing suggested that there really wasn’t, but I it was ugly enough to force that sort of reflection. I mean, even though nothing would have been different, I feel like a schmuck for having a drink with the guy.

I remain deeply concerned that we were just witness to a peek-a-book iceberg tip of a, uh, deeper situation.


Swagger Wagon vs. The Man Van

July 20, 2010

I seem to be on some sort of tear of late vis-à-vis men and their choice of the type of vehicles they choose to drive their kids and all their kids shit around in. That and rap parodies. But I’m not going to go into much detail or even edit because I’m sick and I’m on sick drugs and a friend just died. So this is all I got.

I found this in the Canadian press this morning (thus the “u” in “favourite” – Canadians are notoriously retarded, just look how they spelled “Viagra”):

“Chrysler is getting ready to roll out a manly minivan. The carmaker isn’t talking, but The Wall Street Journal got the lowdown from dealers who had been briefed about the plan to splash testosterone on North America’s favourite Mom Mobile, the Dodge Grand Caravan.

According to the paper, the “man van” will likely be based on a prototype displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, dubbed the Chrysler Viagara. That model featured a hood scoop with an air vent over the engine, a macho orange exterior and black leather seats with red stitching.”

I don’t really feel I need to type much here because anyone reading this already knows my take on the minivan. I don’t like them. Not because I find them castrating or somehow beneath me. I’d drive one rather than walk any day but they are not my preference for automobile. I don’t need all the room. And I actually like to drive. Maybe it’s my heritage as a Californian but those things aren’t fun to drive. Maybe I’m just fighting utilitarianism or some shit.  In fact, how ‘socialist’ are minivans, right?

But “Man Van” branding is so desperate it boggles even my brain. Man Van.  Sit on that for a minute. Juxtapose the Man Van with the Shelby here: [clicky]  If you’re going to drive a minivan, just drive a regular one, not one that is dressed up like daddy in the cocaine 70’s. That’s a bad toupee. That’s so, so, so…fuck!  I don’t even have the fucking words. Anyway, I’m just reporting the news. I couldn’t make this shit up.

But as Gavin said with regard to Church on the Move’s rap parody from the very last post–“Hate “I’m corny” rap parodies but this was pretty good”–I too possess general dislike for rap parodies.  But I’m finding myself relating to the Swagger Wagon parody by Nissan (below).  I think my resonance with this video has to do with a fantasy based upon smoking Mr. Sienna’s medicinal pot and banging his GGG wife.  Something like that.

Church On The Move

July 1, 2010

A good friend of mine who JUST had a baby last week sent me this video. Subject was like “Just in case you didn’t see this…”  Where am I going to see this? I just got the new Kanye single, Power.

He’s either trying to indoctrinate me into the sacred church of unicorns and dragons or he’s finding resonance in this portrayal of fatherhood. Or, he’s just sleep deprived and struggling to make sense of new human life and the roles related to its survival. Nigga what?!

I get most of this; it’s solid satire but the problem is these Jesus-y fellas seem to relish this…this…mostly relegated to totem pole bottom lifestyle. It would be funny if they didn’t actually live this life. You can tell, right? Nigga what?!

Again with the minivan. Again with the goatee (which rhymes, apparently, with 1080p). Again with khakis. When did this become the prototype? Did the TeeVee do this to men?

Yeah, I’m from the suburbs, but I don’t roll that way [see Episode 9].