Guest Relations

I support local business. I shop at quaint boutiques, buy the best local coffee and regularly eat at food trucks and carts. When it comes to ‘dating,’ however, I tend to be a bit more global.

 

Recently, when on an impromptu trip with D-Dog at a locally owned boutique hotel, I reached out to a beau who I hadn’t seen for a while. He was interested in meeting up and suggested that D-Dog make like a local at the nearest public library while we ‘catch up.’

 

I thought this was a nice plan and, with D-Dog’s approval and instruction, “don’t have sex on my bed,” we planned a little afternoon delight.

 

About twenty minutes into our catching up there was a knock at the door followed by two simple words, “Guest Relations.”

 

“Yes?” was our reply.

 

“Is everything okay?”

 

Our reply remained the same, “Yes.”

 

We both laid silent and still.

 

Once I heard the elevator descend I asked, “Were we that loud?”

 

“No,” he replied.

 

“As a local, have you ever had that happen?”

 

“Never,” he said and added, “Do they really think someone would tell them if things weren’t okay? ‘I’m just beating her, thanks for asking.'”

 

His point was valid. Had they not trusted our response would they have just entered the room? Seems like a risky move but, in this case, they would definitely uncover the naked truth.

 

Next time, I may have to screw the ‘local’… wait, I already did.

Burgled

Within two days of being home I was back to my old routine: drinking wine and eating cheese on the porch.

 

Nora, my neighbor’s cat who regularly frequents my porch, immediately came over.

 

Live Longer decided to share some cheese (wrapped in coffee grounds) with her and I decided to limit my kindness to a simple hello.

 

“It isn’t that I don’t like Nora; I do. It’s just that the minute I’m kind to her she tries to bust into my house and hide,” I informed Live Longer.

 

She listened to my concern while continuing to feed Nora cheese.

 

A little while later another friend stopped by and we decided to walk to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

 

We locked up the house, enjoyed a lovely meal, and returned a few hours later.

 

After everyone left I walked into the kitchen and found a plastic bag with a homemade scone in it on the kitchen floor. The bag had been ripped open from the bottom and pieces of the scone were eaten and scattered.

 

I checked the countertop where the scone had been and found an avocado with several bite marks.

 

Using my best CSI skills I quickly assessed that the bites were not made by a human. I wondered if Nora could be to blame but, in all of her break-ins, she has never eaten any of my food. To be sure, I yelled out her name several times and conducted a perimeter search. When nothing came up I had to accept the next case scenario: a rat or a raccoon.

 

Exhausted, and knowing there really wasn’t much I could do about it at this time of night, I went to bed.

 

Just as soon as I would fall asleep I would be awoken by what sounded like rustling in the kitchen. I’d lay in bed and listen for more rustling and when I didn’t hear any I would fall back to sleep.

 

At 4:30 in the morning I was awoken by the sounds of pouncing, jumping and eating.

 

I stayed in bed and considered my options.

 

Should I get up? What if it is a raccoon? If it is a raccoon I’m going to have to barricade myself in my room, call the police and hope for the best. Will I have time to get up and shut my door? How the hell did it get in my house? Shit! Shit! Shit!

 

It was at this time that I heard what sounded like a bell. Then, more eating. I stayed in my bed attempting to strategize a plan. I hoped to hear the bell again because that might rule out the rat or raccoon which would make my handling the situation much easier. The eating stopped and I heard the bell again.

 

I jumped out of bed, slowly entered the hallway, flipped on the light, and the animal took off toward the back of my house. Assuming there was only one, I peeked my head around the doorway into the kitchen and saw Nora trying to make her way to the basement.

 

“Nora, get over here! Get over here!” I yelled.

 

She reluctantly returned to the kitchen/crime scene and stared at me firmly.

 

“Get out!” I told her and opened the front door.

 

A few more ‘get outs’ and she was finally out of my house.

 

If I can, I plan to charge her with a feline-y.

Ex(tra)pat Down

Every now and again I receive mail indicating I may already be a winner of amazing fortunes. With the exception of the door prize that I won at The Price Is Right in the early 90s, most of my ‘winnings’ have been nothing but fanfare.

 

Thus, the when I arrived at the airport to return to the United States of America, I wasn’t too excited when the TSA informed me of an amazing opportunity soon to come my way.

 

“You’ve been selected for a special screening,” she said with a smile on her face and then yelled, “Female!”

 

I was guided toward another female TSA agent who had paired her uniform with blue protective gloves.

 

“I’m going to give you a pat down,” she informed me and preceded to pat me in places that had not been patted in some time.

 

Once that was done she grabbed a swabbed wand and began ‘collecting’ information from a few of my extremities.

 

A few minutes later she gave me a nod to indicate that I, an expat of sorts, had been granted permission to return to my country of origin, without incident.

 

At this point it was too late to turn around, grab my suitcase and live in YumYummy’s basement forever more.

 

This was my opportunity to enter the country as my forefathers had and make a name for myself.

 

Not wanting to waste any time, I immediately found a coffee shop. When they asked for my name I thought about it for a minute and realized this was my opportunity.

 

“Pat, Expat,” I proudly advised.

Hold your applause

Two weeks and one extended stay after leaving North America America for North America Canada, I decided it was time to return home. This decision was questioned several times by my Canadian counterparts; specifically, YumYummy’s youngest son.

 

“Did you get a job?” he asked me as I wheeled my suitcase to the door.

 

“Not yet,” I replied.

 

“Then why are you leaving?” was his follow up question, coupled with a little bit of judgment.

 

“Well I probably need to start working a little harder on getting a job,” I advised.

 

“Why? You can just keep living in our basement,” he kindly offered.

 

As much as I would love to continue living in the basement of YumYummy, her beau and her kids, I feel is probably in my best interest to actually secure gainful, legal employment…just as soon as I return from my next vacation.

 

So, for now, please hold your applause.

Dance Party

When I was a child I loved to perform. My brother and I would write plays and make our family and anyone else we could wrangle to the set (fireplace) watch us deliver our lines in academy award winning fashion.

 

We were certain that our rendition of Joseph, Mary and Jesus at the Inn would surely catch the eye of three wise producers. But we didn’t perform for the fame or notoriety, we did it for our fans and for the love of acting.

 

Thirty years later, not much has changed. I love a stage. Add a microphone and karaoke (especially machines made in the Philippines) and I am all over it.

 

Add anyone else who is willing to join me – even those who will regret it later – and I am in heaven.

 

Thanks to social media and technology my adult performances are heavily documented; usually by heavily intoxicated individuals, myself included.

 

While in Canada I had the good fortune of enjoying two major ‘days’ on th same day: Canada Film Day and international Dance Day. According to my peeps, first wasn’t a huge celebration.

 

“Canadians don’t even watch Canadian films; Strange Brew excluded,” YumYummy informed me.

 

Altough sad to hear, this news made sense to me. I’m far more intrigued with their public awareness campaigns, such as, “Don’t put it in your mouth,” a campaign focused on safe use of medications. They had me at their tag line, “Always ask someone you love before putting anything in your mouth.”

 

I should have asked YumYummy before I put a couple of shots of tequila in my mouth. Unfortunately, I did not. Fortunately, neither did Sweller. This resulted in a dance party, in honor of International Dance Day, that would cause Jennifer Grey to come out of the corner.

 

Luckily, thanks to modern technology, I was able to document most of our amazing moves and shad them with the World Wide Web.

 

Just as I thought when I was a child, I’ve no doubt wise producers will soon be knocking at my door.

Leaving on a Jet Plane…Or Am I?

By the second or third day of drinking and eating poutine in Canada (or as YumYummy’s beau calls it, North America Canada), YumYummy suggested I extend my stay.

 

Being that I had the privilege of a lot of extra time off work, an extended stay was something I seriously contemplated.

 

As the departure day arrived I stripped the sheets off my bed in the basement, threw them in the wash, cleaned the bathroom, and packed my suitcase.

 

We went to lunch – a last supper of sorts – then returned to YumYummy’s home to retrieve my suitcase and head to the airport.

 

With more than enough time on my hands and less than one hour to arrive at the airport, I decided to extend my flight.

 

A few minutes later my suitcase was unpacked, the clean sheets were on my bed and YumYummy and I were enjoying a Fruli.

 

As it turns out, I’m not leaving on a jet plane and I don’t know when I’ll be back again.

Clapping

On the day of my Skype interview I washed my hair, did my make-up, reviewed my key messages, steamed my shirt (I outsourced this task to demonstrate managerial skills), and, as promised to many, I let my shirt take the lead in the interview.

 

The interview went well and, once I was certain the web cam was disconnected, I returned to my casual Friday/early retirement attire: jeans and a plaid shirt.

 

I was in the kitchen of YumYummy’s house, minding my own business (the only business in which I’m currently engaged), when her son entered the room singing.

 

“If you have a job and you know it clap your hands!” he happily belted out and smiled my way.

 

I wasn’t sure if he was aware of my job status, or the fact that I just participated in an interview, but based on his mood I had a feeling he knew something.

 

“I don’t have a job,” I told him.

 

“But you will after today’s interview,” he replied with confidence.

 

He then returned to making Duck tape wallets – a business he and a class mate started several months ago. It has now gone worldwide because they added ‘worldwide’ to the end of their company name. They’re still working out payment and shipping plans but they didn’t let something like that get in the way of their international dreams.

 

“This kid is like a young, red headed, Tony Robbins,” I thought to myself.

 

Then, I grabbed my cup of coffee and returned to the sofa to let the folks of daytime television guide and inspire me. So far, thanks to one week of watching while snacking and drinking, my jeans are starting to work overtime.

 

Perhaps, some time soon, I might want to get up and clap my hands. If I’m not clapping because I’m employed I’ll be clapping because I’m doing Hooked on Aerobics so I can soon fit into my jeans again. All that said, there’s really no need to worry about jeans fitting as long as I’m in the interview stage. So, for now, I’ll top off my coffee and see if I can find an old Tony Robbins infomercial.

Abra CaFLABra XXL

The other night, while enjoying a movie at what Canadians refer to as ‘Cheap Fucker Tuesday,’ the trailer for Magic Mike XXL played.

 

While watching, I leaned over to YumYummy and asked, “What do you think they would title a movie like this featuring us?”

 

I would have waited for a response but, like ‘magic,’ the perfect title came to mind, “Abra Caflabra!”

 

After the movie we immediately began working on a trailer script, testimonial, rating and option for funding:

 

From the producers of Magic Mike XXL comes Abra Caflabra XXL – the story of a middle-aged male stripper who teaches others experiencing midriff crisis how to party, pick up a pant size and make BIG money.

 

“This is sure to be one of the most flabulous films you’ll see this summer.”–Fresh Pickles

 

Rated XXL

 

Support this film on Kickfarter

 

In order to be sure it receives the proper attention on social media, we added all of the right (and wrong) hashtags:

 

‪#‎MMXXL‬ ‪#‎BackfatToTheGrind‬ ‪#‎AllDayAllNightAllYouCanEatBuffet‬ ‪#‎ChanningTatum‬ ‪#‎thatsnotarabbit‬

 

As often happens once good ideas hit Hollywood, we changed the plot a bit. Instead of featuring us in the film (the universe isn’t ready and, to be honest, we’re still working on our midriffs), we opted to keep the focus on men.

Abra CaFLABra XXL

Big apple

As evidenced by the multiple blog entries, getting from point A to point Zed was quite the process this go round.

 

After more than 12 hours I was finally on the last leg of my journey.

 

I was starving. Being that the first flight was a red-eye and I originally didn’t have much time in between flights I had not eaten anything other distilled grapes.

 

Fortunately, the passenger across the aisle had packed a few snacks and was kind enough to share them.

 

After I devoured his half-eaten granola bar he pulled a large Granny Smith apple out of his bag.

 

“Would you like to share this apple with me?” he asked.

 

My mind immediately went to Lady and the Tramp. Although I was unsure how this go down, and unsure if we would need to stop in between bites to the let the flight attendant pass through with the drink cart, I was hungry and his apple was big and shiny.

 

“I would love to,” I replied.

 

He then began looking for something to cut the apple. Due to federal regulations, he didn’t have anything in his bag that either was a knife or could double as a knife. Cut to the spaghetti scene…

 

Although we weren’t in first class, the flight attendants were kind enough to issue us a plastic knife. He sliced the apple and, sans accordion music (although with the young artist on the plane we totally could have had accompaniment), I took a bite of his big apple.

 

Pretty Big Deal

Once off the plane and in JFK I took my runway ready self over to my next departing gate, found a chair near an outlet and sat down.

 

A few minutes later a young guy in a hoodie sat one chair away from me. Then, a guy with a guitar sat across from me. Slowly, all of the seats around me began to be taken by what appeared to be band members. As I listened to them chat, their occupations were confirmed. I quickly learned the guy in the hoodie was the main artist and the rest of the group were his band members and managers.

 

Once they mentioned the name of the artist I googled it and discovered this guy was quickly gaining international popularity. He and his mates were heading to Toronto for a concert and would be on a BBC music show later in the week. I felt it was the least I could do to let them all sit by a legend like myself.

 

We sat there for some time because, like my previous flight, there was a major delay. Due to the weather, no planes were boarding or departing. This gave me plenty of time to read up on this up and comer. He was tweeting like a boss and when he tweeted about wanting to sing a Christina Aguilera song to motivate people (I’m assuming fans) to get up and walk away, I had to look up from my phone to see if I had missed something; specifically, fans.

 

Nope. The ‘scene’ was the same as it had been since they first gathered around me. The majority of his band and managers were pre-occupied with electronics or sleeping and nobody was around him or talking with him. I patiently waited for the Aguilera song, but he never sang it. This didn’t prevent his followers from favoriting and retweeting.

 

This situation confirmed for me that this is how one becomes famous: tweeting about things that aren’t happening; especially when doing so makes one sound very, very popular and cool. A phenomenon I shall doing ‘tweeting one’s way to the top.’

 

I’d love to go on, but I’m about to be (self) promoted. Like the young hoodie, I don’t do it for me, I do it for my fans. You’re welcome.