Shootin' the Breeze


by "Bummer"

 
 
bummer@abate.com

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2007 Columns

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December 2007

    Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas boys and girls!!

    Yes, it’s me, Santa here. Those of you who haven’t read in previous years columns that I’m the one and only TRUE Santa Claus, just be aware that I’m only responsible if you’re happy with the way things turn our for ya this year. If ya have any problems with anything, take it up with Haskell, my assistant down in Region 5. He’s the complaint department.

    I rounded the corner in the “Home” where my friend Pappy stays and almost ran into him and another old geezer as they stood in the hallway talking.
    “All I know is whenever ya find yerself dreaming about taking a leak, ya better wake yer ass up and run to the….OH! How ya doin’ Bummer?”
    “Uh, pretty good Pappy.”
    “Bummer, this is Oscar. Oscar, Bummer.”
    We exchanged nods of the head as Pappy grabbed my shoulder and steered me away. As we strolled to his room he told me the latest news about his daughter Edna and the fact that she’s moving to another state to follow her job.
    “At least they’re not moving to Mexico! They were talking about moving outside of Tijuana.”
    “I remember you telling me about you going down there once. What was that about the ‘Donkey Show’?”
    “Like I told ya before Bummer; ya just gotta find out about THAT yerself!”
    We entered his room and he sat on the bed as I plopped in the old leather chair at his reading table. He lowered his head, shook it and looked up at me as he sighed.
    “On second thought, maybe I SHOULD tell ya about it. Yer just stupid enough to go check it out. OK….It works like this:
    “Tourists go to Tijuana, Mexico and a lot of ‘em have heard about the infamous ‘Donkey Show’. They don’t know what it’s all about exactly, but they ASSUME that it’s something that’s naughty and very unusual, so they get in a cab and ask the driver to take them there. The driver says, ‘OK senior, but it’s going to cost you mucho pesos.’ You agree to a fee for the driver and then he either stops at a phone booth or flips out his cell phone and calls up his cousin Miguel or whatever. You go ahead and give the cab driver lotsa bucks for his trouble and for hooking you up for this very illegal act. He then drives you to a secluded spot where he and his ‘cousin’ rob you. The driver keeps his ‘fee’ and the ‘cousin’ gets the rest of your bucks for doin’ most of the dirty work. Usually he’s the one with the gun.”
    “WHAT?? That’s it??”
    “Yup. But don’t worry Bummer, they never kill anybody. The ‘Policia’ wouldn’t allow it. Wouldn’t be good for the tourist trade.”
    “PAPPY! Is that what happened to YOU?”
    “No. They took me to see the REAL Donkey Show. But for all you asshole gringos that’s what usually happens.”
    “Well, you ain’t exactly a Latino yerself ya know!”
    “No, but I ain’t a rube.”
    “What the Hell is a rube?”
    “You know…somebody who’s a sucker. Have you ever gone to a carnival in the old days when most of the bigger ones had freak shows?”
    “Yes.”
    “Did you pay to SEE the freak show? The ‘Alligator Boy’ or the ‘Petrified Man’? Perhaps the ‘Amazing Half Man/Half Woman’ or anything like that?”
    “Well, yes.”
    “See what I mean?”
    “But I was a kid!”
    Pappy just ignored that last exclamation and asked for a cigarette.
    “I’m surprised they still let ya smoke in here.”
    “Nobody ‘Lets’ ya do anything Bum. It’s YOU who lets them tell ya what you can do and what you can’t do. It’s always your decision whether or not you agree to it.”
As usual he had a point there. I just never thought of it that way.     After he got comfortable he asked how things were going with me.
    “Great. Don’t have any complaints what-so-ever. Ya might say that Bummer is finally at peace with himself and life in general. How’s things goin’ with you?”
    “I think time is speeding up.”
    “Huh? How so?”
    “Well, I’ve noticed over the course of my life that time seems to go slower and faster depending on how much fun yer having. When I think back to some of the years I’ve spent during the good times, they just seem a blur. Of course I remember moments here and there because they really stood out. But for the most part the more I was enjoying myself, the faster the time went. Other times that I wasn’t enjoying myself, like when I was laid up or in jail or whatever, seemed to last forever. I got shot off my motorsickle during the war and it seemed to take forever just to hit the ground!”
    “I’ve noticed that too! Any accident seems to take a LOT longer in retrospect.”
    “Oh, getting shot off that bike wasn’t no accident!”
    “You know what I mean…. Accidents suck. And maybe we just don’t pay attention to time so much when we’re enjoying it. We’re so occupied with the moment, that we don’t take note of it.”
    “That’s true. The thing is, the good times are the times ya WANT to be able to remember in detail, so you’d think that THOSE times would seem to last longer. But that’s not the case.”

    One of the nurses came in and asked Pappy if he took his meds. These days I sometimes forget that he has health issues. Overall he seems to be doin’ just fine.
    Well, I think time is goin’ kinda fast for me these days too, so I better get on outta here and get some stuff done. Christmas is coming soon and Santa has to get his head out of his A%# and get to his Christmas list. Now let’s see….The naughty ones are supposed to get the REALLY good stuff, right?
        Well, you can be naughty and STILL be nice. So…….     Be nice to each other.

           Bummer, OOPS! I mean Santa Claus



2006 Columns

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