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Blam! Boom!! Kablooey!!! Has Anyone Seen My Torso?

Happy Independence Day! 

Every year, my brother and I take a trek to the Indian Reservation to pick out fireworks for our family’s Fourth of July celebration.

And it is a thing of beauty—not the family affair, though Mom’s potato salad is wonderful—but Dave’s and my system in which we attack the Reservation (metaphorically speaking.)

Through trial and error, we have fine-tuned our approach over the years.  We wander the multitude of ramshackle stands at Firecracker Alley, looking for a stand that has the best of both worlds; large cakes of fireworks that are sure to please the whole crowd, and a good variety of the smaller stuff that will keep the kids busy all day—bottle rockets, snakes, firecrackers, and smoke bombs.

But it always feels just a bit seedy.  We are solicited at every turn, as if we’re doing a back-alley deal; “Psst…Buddy.  Yeah you!  Come on over here, we’ll give you a good deal.  We’ve got all the best stuff.  Let us hook ya’ up with some stuff that’ll blow your socks off.”  (I’m compelled to go to confessional afterwards.  And I’m not particularly Catholic.)

Once we find a booth that feels right, we go to work; Dave starts asking about the big cakes, the ones listed for seventy, eighty, one hundred dollars.  He’ll ask about the highlights, and receive pyrotechnical jargon like “aerial barrage,” “reports,” “repeater,” and “mortar shells,” and terms having to do with the look of the display; “chrysanthemum,” “brocade” and “comet” and “peony.”

Dave responds that we don’t really care about all that.  We just want stuff that will shoot high and fast, that will be colorful, and after it explodes, there’s a good chance our audience will be bleeding from their ears.

As Dave takes care of the big-ticket items, I grab handfuls of Pop-its, Ground Bloom Flowers, sparklers, smoke balls and any number of chickens, ducks, boats, cars and tanks, all of which emit safe-and-sane showers of spark, smoke, and then “pop” at the end.  I slyly pile the kid-friendly things alongside Dave’s growing arsenal, hoping the booth operator doesn’t see how much I’m asking him to throw in on the deal.

Next is the moment of truth, when the proprietor takes out his calculator, plugs in entirely fictitious numbers (or secretly spells “BOOBLESS” and “SHELLOIL” on the calculator,) while laughing to himself about what rubes Dave and I are.  We have arrived knowing exactly what we will pay, and we know that his total will be at least twice our number.  This year was no exception.  His final tally—twelve hundred dollars!  Our number?  Due to the probability that our wives might read this, we have sworn an oath of secrecy.

Suffice it to say, after a fair amount of give and take, we leave the Reservation thinking we have just made the deal of the century, while the booth owner is still laughing, with the knowledge that we just spent seven hundred dollars a lot of money on something that cost fifty-six dollars to manufacture.


FIREWORK FRENZY

One of my favorite parts of buying fireworks is walking amidst the firework stands, and reading the names of the fireworks.  My favorites from this year were “One Bad Mother-In-Law,” and “Final Felony.”  Other offerings this year included:

Viagra Va-Voom!:  If your fireworks show is hitting a sagging, use this firework to get your display up and going strong.  If this lasts longer than one hour, call the local fire department.

Smokey Joe:  A safe-and-sane favorite for the kids— light-up Smokey Joe and see him emit multi-colored smoke, followed by an onerous battle with lung cancer.

Palin-A-Palooza:  Shoots flaming stars-and-stripes high and far in a random, almost incoherent pattern.

Shock and Awe:  The price of this firework will shock your wife, and the lameness of it will leave your friends in awe that you got ripped off by such a dud.

TacomaAroma:  Sprays a whimsical array of color (and odor) overhead that will have your family wondering, “Aunt Edna, did you do that.”

Rep.WienerWrapUp:  A brilliant display, with potential for greatness, until it implodes upon itself and fades into the night.

English Comp. 305:  A display with long, tedious reports.

Piccolo Pete-sa:  A long, high-pitched squeal, with a stream a white, Canadian bacon-scented smoke make this a Fourth of July (and dinnertime) fan favorite.

Alopecia Totalis:  This firework is so hot and explosive that afterward, your audience will look like a Yul Bryner convention just hit town.

Anyday Arsonist:  Shoots a flaming displays far and wide, dispersing little gasoline-accelerant balls for added excitement.

Sheen-O-Rama:  Is an amazingly brash, over-the-top display of noise, light and heat.  Only one word can describe this firework—Winning!

Paratroopers In Paris:  Shoots parachutes into the sky, which land on a map of France, followed by immediate surrender by a cardboard cut-out of Charles DeGaulle.

Heavy Metal:  This firework emits so much colorful smoke and sparkles that your party will inadvertently ingest 75% of the elements from the periodic table.

Fizzle Fuh-Shizzle:  A firework which emits small explosions timed to the beat of Will Smith’s Getting’ Jiggy Wit It.

Roman CandelabraShoots a flaming display of fabulous colors, which form the outline of Liberace’s face.

Sure-And-Be-Gore-Ya:  Your viewers will want to watch this firework with rapt attention as it emotes green smoke and wee shards-o’-metal in random directions.

Al Qaeda’s All Right’a:  Strap this firework onto your back and surprise your imperialist-dog guests as you light up the sky like Riyadh on Ramadan.  Sure to induce eews and ahs!  (Works best as a grand finale.)

 
9 Comments

Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Thirty Two “New and Improved” Proverbs, Idioms and Aphorisms, (parenthetically.)

Discretion Is The Better Part of Valor
(The soft, fuzzy side is the better part of velour.)

Going to Hell in a Handbasket
(is extremely uncomfortable—better to spend money on a limo and relax, because… I mean… you are going to Hell.)

A Fool And His Money Are Soon Parted
(as is a fool and his ill-fitting toupee.)

Pride Goeth Before A Fall
(and so does inadvertently Tweeting photos of your junk.)

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right
(but sometimes it’s just so darned satisfying.)

Kill Two Birds With One Stone
(
at the Endangered California Condor Exhibit and you’ll get four to six months with twelve months probation.)

The Best Defense Is A Good Offense
(The best offense is an order of garlic fries and a double order of refried beans.)

The Bigger They Come, The Harder They Fall
(is painfully obvious if you’ve just been crushed by an enormous Redwood.)

Hindsight Is Always 20/20
(which is fortunate, because finding a pair of non-chaffing, corrective hind-glasses is no easy matter.)

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
(as does natural male enhancement.)

Better To Have Loved And Lost Than To Never Have Loved At All
(
is a bogus rationalization for why Jennifer Anniston never returned any of your 4,200 phone calls, letters, texts, Tweets and e-mails.)

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword
(
Then how come Aragorn didn’t wield a Sharpie instead of the re-forged sword of Elendil?   And there’s no freegin’ way Gandalf could’ve stood a chance against the Balrog in the Mines of Moria with just a couple Bic Round Stics.   Sure, Frodo might have been able to squirt some ink from a Levenger fountain pen into a few of Shelob’s eyes, but he could not have hauled enough refill cartridges up the stairs of Cirith Ungol, especially while carrying the Lembas bread and the weight of the Ring.   Yeah, a True Writer might have wounded Wormtongue, but are you telling me the T-Dub is mightier than Glamdring?   And maybe, if you were wearing a pocket-protector made of Mithril, you could fend off an attack from Hadhafang.  But if you had Goblins armed with Papermates fighting with a Mont Blanc-toting Uruk-Hai Army, fighting against Strider with his Elven knife and just a few other Rangers-of-the-North with swords no bigger than Sting, maybe then……But I’ll bet an awesome battle would be the Uruk’s and their Scimitars against a Chesterton Ballpoint-toting army of Elves at Pellenor Fields, that would… be… totally… awesome!)

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
(
and you may get one of several oral maladies, including Benjamin Franklin tongue, penny-cent palate, E Pluribus Uvula and Half-Dollalitosis.)

Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness
(so Satan must reek like Hell.)

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush
(and a fifteen percent chance of contracting Asian Bird Flu.)

Better Late Than Never
(
is a losing argument when you’ve shown up ninety minutes late for your own wedding.)

Never Put Off Till Tomorrow What You Can Do Today
(unless it’s telling your wife of your odd fetish for weasels.)

The Way To A Man’s Heart Is Through His Stomach
(if you are a way-below-average cardiologist.)

Charity Begins At Home
(which explains why my wife condescended to marry my sorry butt.)

Opportunity Seldom Knocks Twice
(whereas the guy trying to repossess your 72-inch 3-D Plasma TV is rather more persistent.)

Where There’s A Will There’s A Way
(Where there’s no will, expect your inheritance to be tied-up in court for years.)

You Scratch My Back And I’ll Scratch Yours
(is probably not something to offer when visiting a leper colony.)

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
(and an inner core of acid-rain pollutants.)

Behind Every Great Man Is A Great Woman
(Behind every great woman is a man looking at the woman’s behind.)

Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention
(She is also the Aunt of Subprime Mortgage Lending, and the Half Sister of Men’s-Room Over-The-Urinal Advertising.)

No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent
(But one can steal your identity without your consent and really mess with your credit rating.)

Ignorance Is Bliss
(which makes me the happiest man on earth.)

Loose Lips Sinks Ships
(Loose hips means you’ve had bad orthopedic joint replacement surgery.)

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You
(And if it’s a practical joke involving a flaming paper-bag filled with poo, make sure you do unto the others first.)

Familiarity Breeds Contempt
(My neighbor breeds fighting gamecocks.)

Eat, Drink And Be Merry
(
would be a terrible motto for Alcoholic Overeaters Anonymous.)

There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute
(evidenced by the fact that you are spending time reading this.)

Give A Man A Fish, And He’ll Eat For A Day.  Teach Him To Fish And He’ll Eat For A Lifetime
(
though his lifetime will be cut short due to severe mercury poisening.)

An Idle Mind Is The Devil’s Workshop
(An envious mind is the Devil’s three car garage, and an impudent mind is his over-the-garage Man Cave with air hockey and a foosball table.)

For more of the same, please see this earlier blog post.  For no more of the same, don’t worry, I’m all tapped out.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

School’s Out…I’m Bored!

Happy Summer!  We all remember the sheer jubilation that kids experience when school’s out for the summer;

“No more school!   I get to stay up late, play hide and seek with the neighbors till eleven.  Man, I can’t believe how warm and light out it still is.  This is awesome.  Let’s sleep out on the lawn.  We can sleep in all morning, then eat Sugar Pops and Eggos and watch an hour and a half of Sponge Bob.”

“What?  It’s only 10AM.  Why do I hafta get up?  Yeah, I was gonna roll up the sleeping bags after breakfast.  Yeah and I’ll put the blankets away.  And then pull weeds for two hours?  Are you kidding me?”

“Ah, finally, the sun drenched, lazy afternoons of summer.  You want me to do what?  I have to read?  A book?  I was in school all year—I don’t want read.  So, it’s either “find a good book or more weeding?”  Okay, I’ll read.”

“Finally, I get to do something with Chase and Cody today.  They’re on vacation?  Man, I’m bored.  I can’t wait until school starts!”

Yes, warm memories are sure to be made this summer.  And nothing produces more feel-good memories than a family summer vacation.  It’s not too late to plan a getaway.  Sure, most of the good places are probably booked by now, and with the economy like it is, you probably don’t want to spend too much.  But don’t even dare think about a staycation.  That’s so 2009.

Here are some ideas of lesser-known tourist destinations that are off the beaten trail and are sure to intrigue kids of all ages, not to mention the parents, especially if you are looking to avoid massive crowds, expensive hotels, good food and fun activites.  Disneyland, Schmisneyland.

For your Family Summertime Fun 2011, KevInane has compiled;

TWELVE LAST-MINUTE SUMMER DESTINATIONS,
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
(Because if you haven’t made other plans yet, you’re pretty well screwed.)


1.  The Amarillo Tri-County Blistex Festival:
  Come join hundreds of pairs of chapped, cracked, sun-damaged and cold-sored lips from around the Texas panhandle as they convene to enjoy the fun and frivolity that lip balm can add to one’s life.  This year’s attraction include:

*  A handshake booth with Miss Fever Blister 2011, Judy Denksen.
*  Billy Idol and Mick Jagger will debut their new charity single “Lips Around The World,” to promote general awareness.
*  For five dollars, you’ll get three chances to dunk Mayor Cranbrook, lips first, in the Vaseline Dunking Booth.
*  Blistex will award their first annual Lifetime Achievement Award to Angelina Jolie’s collagen-laden lips.
 

2.  Visit Wington, Indiana, the felt capitol of the world.  Tour the whopping 2,250 square foot factory that is responsible for felt boards of all sizes, and which supplies 95% of the felt board needs to America’s Sunday School classrooms.  Wington, Indiana; “We Who Felt It, Dealt It.”

3.  In Stinkweed, Mississippi, you can visit Harold-n-Maude’s Ear-Wax Museum, featuring the uncanny ear-wax likenesses of;
* John Wilkes Booth
* A big helpin’ of Corn Pone
* Ellie Mae Clampett
* A Crawfish
* Jerry Lee Lewis’ 13 year-old wife
* A swamp creature (or David Duke, depending how you tilt your head.)
We’d advise that you visit in the early summer as the humidity can really do a number on the “artwork.”

4.  Palin In The Park:  Conservative thespians meet to do dramatic and somewhat-incomprehensible readings and interpretive dance, based on Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue: An American Life.”  Per the approval and advice of Palin herself, this is performed at the Wasilla City Park on the second, fourth and sixth Tuesdays of the month.  And yes, you can see Russia from the park.

5.  A Hard Day’s Knight; A Photo Exhibit:  At “Two Guys and a Gal-ery” in Times Square, New York, an exhibition of original photography, showing the full body of work of up-and-coming photographer Andrew Weiner.

6.  Walla Walla, Washington; travel to the burgeoning wine country in Walla Walla, for a summer concert series, featuring “Frans Drescher Sings” at the St. Augustine Whinery.

7.  Camp Rap-O-Limpics:  This is a weeklong summer camp for 18-25 year old aspiring caucasian rappers.  This year’s camp will be led by Kevin Federline, Vanilla Ice with a special appearance by Rick Moranis!

8.  Medieval Days, July 4th through July 18, in Tuber, Idaho.  Most Renaisance Fairs provide the same-‘ol-sampling of jesters, jugglers, jousting, and traffic jams.  Medieval Days, however, highlights the lowlights of the Dark Ages; The Black Death, Prima Nocta, dental caries, famine, pestilence, blood letting, and the rack.  And parking is never an issue at Medieval Days!

9.  No time for Vacation Bible School this summer?  Then bring your kids to the whimsical Iniquity Inn and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, where your children will learn about the Bible, in rooms based upon classic Biblical characters and stories.  You can reserve family-friendly, beautifully-decorated suites, with themes such as: Judas’ Betrayal, Cain’s Murder of Abel, Satan Being Cast Into The Firey Pit Of Eternal Damnation, Jezebel’s seduction, The Serpent In Eden, and Armegeddon.  Sin City never felt so righteous.

10.  The Hellen Keller Experience, take a walk-through of a replica of Helen Keller’s childhood home as she experienced it; for $14.95, you’ll be blindfoled, gagged and ear-plugged as you try to: navigate the ramshackle staircase down to the root cellar; chop firewood; scramble eggs on a hot wood stove, wire the parlor for electricity; castrate a spring lamb; and feed Hellen’s voracious Akita.  This will give you and the kids a new appreciation for people with disabilities as well as for all of your remaining senses.

11.  Stop by the Hocus Crocus Nursery in Westerton, Florida.  The crocus flower is a harbinger-of-springtime.  Yet it is grown all year long at the Hocus Crocus, through the miracle of hydroponic gardening and New Age channeling.  At this Nursery you can see the largest crocus ever grown, towering over nine and a half inches tall!  Bring your camera.

And for only $25.00, the Hocus Crocus’ proprietor, Primrose Bloodsky, will do one of her famous crocus-blossom readings, to help cheer your chi and shock your chakra.  For only five dollars more, enjoy the deep soul cleansing that comes from a tofu and crocus-nectar colonic enema.

12.  Just Dew It!  Visit Melville Dewey’s home office, where he invented the Dewey Decimal System.   Located in Buston, Nebraska, you’ll see Dewey’s entire 3×5 card collection.  And the card catalog he kept it in.  And the wood floor it stood upon.  Did we mention the 3×5 cards?

_____________________________________________
Take advantage of one or more of these ideas, and years from now, when you look back on the memories made with your family in the summer of 2011, you will say, with a clear conscience and with certainty, that Disneyland would have been way better.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The ’50s Were Swell, golly gee willikers!

Hello Again!  If you were paying attention during my last post , you’ll recall that I watched way too much TV as a kid, (which explains why I named my four children Little Ricky, Hoss, Thurston Howell The Fourth and Tattoo.)  But as a Baby Boomer, watching TV was my duty.  What else was a kid in the late Sixties to do?  Besides, my too-strict parents said “no way” about me driving to Woodstock with my cute babysitter, Moonbeam Starflower.  Being only five in ’69 was not groovy, Man.

And as you will no doubt recall, to this day I have a perception that growing up in the 1950s would have been a pretty swell thing.  Shows like Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best and even My Three Sons shaped my impression of Americana in the pre British-Invasion era.

(And by this, I do not mean the invasion of 5000 British troops into Baltimore in the War of 1812, under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Alexander “Tough As Heck” Cochrane.  I am referring to the invasion of the U.S.A. by British Rock Bands under the command of Sgt. “Stoned As Heck” Pepper and his Lonely Hearts Club Band.)

The Fifties seemed an idyllic time to be a boy.  You rode your bike into town— the playing cards slapping against your spokes— to the Saturday matinee.  You bought an Orange Crush at the drug store for fifteen cents.  You and your buddies played baseball all day long.  You collected bubble gum cards.  You dressed up in your poodle skirt, bobby socks and saddle shoes and took baton twirling lessons.  I mean, your sister dressed up and took the lessons.  Yeah, that’s what I meant.

It seems that life was alright in the Fifties.  It was a simpler, not so hurried, more innocent, and less Bill O’Reilly-esque time.

It also appears to have been an easier era to be a husband and a father.  In my view of things, Ward Cleaver had it pretty darn good.  June always met him at the door after his work day, dressed in high heels, a dress and an apron.  Dinner was on the table, warm and ready to eat.

(This is NOT an indictment of my wife.  She is beautiful in a dress and high heels, and she is a good cook.  And she owned an apron once, I think.  It’s simply not the norm for her to meet me at the door with my pipe, evening paper and slippers in hand.)

(This is NOT to imply that my wife isn’t pretty in a lot of different types of clothes, or in any type of shoes.  Or in no shoes.  And she is excited to see me when I get home.  I’m just saying that…  Oh man.)

While I am a man nearing my fifties, I kinda wish I was a man living the ’50s.  Not only did I miss out on some of the cushy government handouts, like the G.I. Bill—sure, you had to have served in the military, but in nice tropical places like Pearl Harbor in Hawaii or on the beautiful sands of Omaha Beach—but men in the Fifties simply had it easier on the home front than we do today.

After all, do you think that Ricky Ricardo was in the delivery room, lovingly trying to massage his wife’s sore lower back when she was in the throes of back labor, as she nearly broke his wrist during a contraction while yelling at him—”YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!”  No.  Ricky was in the waiting room with other expectant fathers, and Fred Mertz, as they smoked cigars, drank highballs and sang Babalu.

Did Robert Young have to wash dishes, iron his shirts before work or diaper the baby?  No.  He was able to kick back on his Barcalounger, relax and enjoy the comforts of life, which included watching his wife do all of the house work and raising of the kids.  (Plus, he was busy on the side studying for medical school.)

There has been a cataclysmic mistake paradigm shift from then until now regarding expectations of a husband and a father.  I think my dad was right; maybe we have arrived in Hell in our Handbaskets, and it probably was the fault of the Hippies and their Rock ‘n’ Roll music.   I guess, like the reruns of old told me, Father Knows Best.  But what’s a guy to do?  Gotta go with the flow.  Adapt with the times.

And so now, let me conclude by saying, “Honey, bring me a cold one.  And don’t forget my slippers!”

___________________________________________________________________
Stay tuned for the next installment of “KevInane Gets Himself In Hot Water.”  But maybe, just maybe, he has found some interesting research that sheds light on his errant, misogynistic ways.  Coming soon to an http://KevInane.wordpress.com blogpost near you.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on June 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Suckling At The Bust Of The Baby Boom

Hello, my name is KevInane, and I am…….a Baby Boomer. Really, I am. Being born in 1964 qualifies me as such. Or not. You see, there is a bit of a discrepancy as to what really qualifies one as a Boomer. Strictly by the numbers, the boom in post-war babies lasted from 1946 through the late 1950s.  Returning G.I.s and their wives found a fruitful way to keep warm during the early Cold War.

This prolonged national friskiness led the Surgeon General to issue the warning; “If a nation’s excitation should last longer than 14 years, seek immediate medical help to avoid long-term injury.”  American men responded with a collective crotch cringe, and then sent their wives to the doctor, where the gals were prescribed “the Pill” en masse when it debuted in 1960, thus spelling doom and gloom for the Boom.

In addition, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris’s chase to break Babe Ruth’s season home-run-record in 1961 was a diversion from creating additional-but-unexpected little leaguers, because everyone knows what concentrating on baseball can do for a guy.

And with TV becoming almost universal in American homes, more and more couples—forsaking a good-night “special mommy and daddy hug”—fell asleep watching Johnny Carson when he took over the Tonight Show in 1962.  As a result, birth rates continued to diminish.

This trend was not lost on the powers that be, even at the highest levels of the U.S. government.  President Kennedy’s challenge to America— that no National resources would be withheld in order to get a male member of the U.S. into deep space with hopes of landing a space shot in the Sea of Tranquility— was a thinly-veiled euphemistic plea for a return to American “productivity.”

Despite these efforts, the Baby Boom’s bubble had burst years before I was born.  Nonetheless, the Baby Boom generation is still defined as lasting from 1946 to 1964.

SIDE BAR:  Do sociologists think so little of the collective American Brain? That we have that short of an attention span?  That we can’t remember dates that aren’t simply transposed? ’46 to ’64.  Do they need to treat us like little kids?  Come on you smug sociologists, tell it like it is!  We can handle the truth.  Americans do not need to be coddled, because back during Westward Expansion, when the buffalo roamed the plains…Hold it.  What were we talking about?

Oh yeah, despite trends and statistics to the contrary, I get to call myself a Baby Boomer. Neener, neener, neener!  I’m not really sure, however, what that gets me.  If nothing else, it keeps me from being lumped in with the Gen-Xers and their Milli VanilliSaved By The BellMy Little PonyTransformer-Goonieness.

Even though I am a card-carrying Baby Boomer, I didn’t get to experience some of the perks of being an earlier blooming Boomer.  Although I did macramé a flower-pot holder and I sang Kumbaya in summer camp, I missed out on that whole free love, acid trip, college rioting thing.  (As a six-year-old I preferred kick ball instead.)  I do remember being oddly intrigued by the streaking phenomenon.  Our nice, older neighbor-lady, Mrs. Netch, whose living room window overlooked my bedroom window, was the recipient of a few streaker dashes I took about my room as a groovy, with-it (and odd) eight year old.

I am also a bit chagrined that I can’t really say I grew up with the classic bands of the sixties, such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones or Nancy Sinatra.  I’m pretty well stuck claiming disco, new wave and Boy George.

SUCKLING ON MR. ED?
Even as birth rates had diminished in the early sixties, so too had breast feeding rates. As such, I and many of my fellow Boomers were raised, not at the bosom of our mothers, but at the teat of the boob tube. There was ample sustenance for a child.  Romper Room, Captain Kangaroo, and Sesame Street kept the attention of America’s youngest. Locally, kids enjoyed JP Patches, Wunda Wunda and Brakeman Bill. (And yes, I am a “Patches Pal.”)

Being the last class of the Baby Boomers did have some privileges that the early B.B.s didn’t have access to in their pre-pubescent years.  By the time I was six, there were a whopping six TV channels (and nary a one was a home shopping channel.)  TV screens were bigger and programming was now in living color. Not only did I have the choice of watching first-run programs like the kinda-depressing “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” or the inappropriate-for-a-six-year-old “Love, American Style,” but I had access to one the five greatest inventions of the 20th century, one that was not available to the earlier Boomers— the television re-run.

TOP FIVE INVENTIONS OF THE 20TH CENTURY:
*  Cap’n Crunchs’ Crunch Berries
*  The personal computer
*  Television re-runs
*  Donald Trump
Wax Lips

After-school TV programming showed rerun after rerun of Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, The Brady Bunch, The Addams Family and I Dream of Jeannie.  I also watched countless episodes of The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and any number of Hanna-Barbera cartoons such as Lippy The Lion, Wally Gator and Touché Turtle.  Saturday morning cartoons were a staple of the Boomer Generation—The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, Johnny Quest, Pink Panther, and Scooby Doo.

Probably because I had an older brother, I also enjoyed programs that he had watched—programs about the Wild West, such as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and The Rifleman.  The way Chuck Connors cocked and shot his rifle in the opening credits was so cool.

One show from the Fifties that I quite liked was Leave it To Beaver.  It had a nice simplicity to it.  It made me feel that the Fifties would have been a great time to be a kid, aside from the impending threat that the Commies would drop an atom bomb on your school at any time.

Part of my Fondness of the Fifties may also stem from my father’s repeated contention that the U.S. was going to Hell in a Handbasket—largely because of the Sex-ed Up Sixties, Hippies and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

As much as I loved my childhood as Barely-A-Boomer of the late 60s and early 70s, I still look back on the Fifties with a bit of reverence.  Sure, I know there were signs of trouble, like that hoodlum Arthur Fonzarelli, Elvis’ hips and J. Edgar Hoover’s bustier.  But those were times that it was acceptable to live as if everything was copacetic, while beneath the surface you could survive quite nicely as a cross-dressing, communist sociopath.  Representative Weiner can only dream of such times.

Join me next week for another blog installment, where I will divulge some earth-shattering research that proves that Men and Housework are a deadly combination, and how being a man in the ’50s should have led to near immortaility.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Axle Grease And Me, Part 2; Top Ten Guy-ish Things

Hi all!  Before you read this post, it would help if you first read part one of this special, two-part KevInane exclusive, which is right……here.  Doing so will put this posting in proper context and will pad my site visitation stats.

We took some time last blogpost to convince you that KevInane is not a quiche-eating, girly-blog who cries at sappy TV commercials, like the commercial where that darling kitten appears to be lost and gone forever, until her owner finds her in the laundry room cuddled up adorably in the dryer-sheet box, because Fluff Dryer Sheets have that soft, springtime scent.

And as a result— just as George Bush convinced us with his “Mission Accomplished” speech, that foreign hostilities and terrorism had ended forevermore— so too did “Axle Grease And Me, Part 1” end the rampant speculation that KevInane had gone soft. After eradicating the last vestiges of lace doilies and mulberry spice potpourri, KevInane was established as the blogosphere’s sole proprietor of pure horn-dogged masculinity.

Gentlemen, with the womenfolk away at candle parties, sipping darjeeling tea and talking about menstrual cramps and Ashton Kutcher, for the remainder of this post feel free to don that hilarious “Alf” T-shirt, your crusty blue jeans and the “Beer Lover” ball-cap that she won’t let you wear.  Remember, our wives aren’t here so we can say this loudly and proudly; “we are M-E-N, MEN!”

So now, without further ado, is a list of….Ten KevInane Guy-ish Things:

(Sorry, I can’t pass up tacking on a bit more ado.) You see guys, over the last 60 years, we have been slowly losing our grip on gender-based Manopolies, such as hunter/gatherer, village-pillager, and game-show host.  (Darn you, Meredith Viera!)

Sociologists— and high-level sources at The TV Guide— attribute the beginnings of this subtle shift of Man-Power to a 1957 episode of Leave It To Beaver, where June Cleaver all-too-obviously accuses Ward that he is unfit as a husband, as a father and as an actor in a cheesy sitcom.  She openly challenges his authoritarian stranglehold on parental authority with her now classic but caustic line; “Dear, we need to talk about the Beaver.”  The gall of that woman!  Lorena Bobbit was subtle in comparison to June’s prime-time emasculation of Ward.

Slack-jawed, we’ve slid down this slanted, slippery-slope on sleds like sheep to the slaughter.  We are now “house-husbands.” We have to be “sensitive.”  We are expected to “pick up our underwear which we tend to leave on the bathroom floor after our shower and it’s just kinda gross to have them sitting there when the laundry room is just ten feet away and would you please not leave your toe-nail clippings on the dining room table.”

We have conceeded our traditional, God-ordained guy roles, such as “Secretary of State,” “NBA Basketball Referee” and “Irish Cop Walking His Beat, Happily Whistling And Twirling His Billy Club, And Patting Little Children On The Heads.”

Men, we have handed our Nads to the ladies on a silver platter.  Our Man Cards are about to expire.  While we’ve been looking after Junior and planting begonias, we’ve let the ladies catch us in too man-y ways.  They now graduate from college in greater numbers than men.  They’re gaining ground in the corporate and political realms.  They can be members of the Elks Lodge.  They’ve caught us in lung cancer and heart disease rates, not to mention their almost insurmontable lead in breast cancer.  If we don’t get with it, fellas, the ladies will soon take the lead in prostatic hypertrophy.

Unless we re-exert our overbearing, chauvanistic dominance on society, what’s next? Are we going to let go of other well-earned male descriptors, like Dead-beat Dad, Dude ranches and muppet Guy Smiley.  Tough-guy New Yorkers, do you really want to end up living in the borough of Womanhattan?

All of this because of some disgruntled-but-probably-really-hot chicks’ misguided desires for a level playing field, “equal rights” and the desire to shatter the glass ceiling?  Don’t women know how dangerous that would be?  And please DO NOT get me started on that whole women’s sufferage/19th ammendment scam.  (Darn you Susan B. Anthony!)

I am entirely out of ado so, Man Up, men, and peruse…


KEVINANE’S
TOP TEN GUY-ISH THINGS:

The Snot Rocket:  When you’ve been jogging for a couple miles or playing basketball for an hour and a half, on occasion, a guy’s nose begins to run.  Sure, you could stop the game and ask the lads for a tissue, or use one’s sleeve, but the most expedient answer is; obstruct the opposite nostril, aim away from the power forward and blow to high heaven.

Peeing Outside:  If one should have to let the dog outside at night to use the lawn, and one has the lawn right in front of him, one is entirely within bounds to avail himself of the lawn as well.  One’s wife may say “but there is a bathroom right by the front door.”  This matters not to the true man of the world.  He relishes the opportunity to show the neighborhood who (and what) is number one.

Scratch That Itch:  As young boys, we quickly discover one of the wonders of Creation; that our hands are at the end of our arms.  And our arms often rest at our sides— with said hands at the end of said arms—draped just below belt level.  Furthermore, we find that our oft-itchy nether regions are easily accessible by said hands.  Now that’s Intelligent Design!  Guys should be allowed this freedom without judgement or snide comments to “stop touching yourself.”  After all, we are just playing with the hand we were dealt.

The “Butt Pat”:  When playing basketball with the guys, it is not uncommon, and kind of expected, to give a manly butt-pat to a competitor, acknowledging that his cross-over dribble drive to the hoop was a thing of beauty.  This should be allowed without feeling you’ve broken a social more or commited another workplace violation; it’s just a butt-pat.  Linger a bit, give a subtle squeeze and you have just crossed the line and you deserve a thorough pounding.

Ridin’ The Hog:  In my younger days, I fondly recall riding down the open road, pre-helmet laws, wind whipping though my big mop of early-’80s hair.  I loved the feel of the acceleration as I would go from zero to twenty in eleven seconds on my Yamaha QT-50 moped.  (Okay, so I admittedly haven’t been the most avid biker, and I was not too-well received at Sturgis, but still, a bike’s a bike, isn’t it?)

Dropping The Tranny:  There’s no greater guy-empowering feeling than dropping the tranny on your ’66 Pontiac GTO, and successfully replacing the tie rod of the torque convertor, and bypassing the overhead cam shaft in the dual-valved differential, thereby increasing the displacement of the four-speed, dual quad posi-traction 409.  Nothing can touch her, my 409.  Oh yeah, car stuff is manly and awesome!

Movie Machismo:  Women have their tear-inducing rom-coms, but we have ours—  Made For Men Movies that we will watch anytime, anywhere; Braveheart, Cool Hand Luke, Gladiator, Rocky, The Terminator, and Porky’s.  (Hey, amidst all that physical mayhem and death, a guys gotta laugh once in a while.)

Smells:  Here are a few smells that give guys a warm but masculine fuzzy— the smell of a fresh 2×4; just-spread beauty bark; axle grease, the smell of newly mown grass; gas vapors, either his own or petroleum based; the smell of the wet dirt and sod of a sports field.

Sounds:  These are just a few of the sounds that are music to a guy’s ears—Chain saws; hammer pounding a nail; Phil Collin’s drum solo in In The Air Tonight; the sound of the barbecue flame igniting on your barbecue; the lawn mower roaring to life after only one or two pulls.

In The Crosshairs:  Here are a few sights I like—The grassy, sun-drenched fairway of hole number one at the beginning of a round of golf; my wife’s sparkling beauty; the glassy sheen of the Puget Sound beckoning an afternoon of waterskiing; a beautifully thrown spiral or a blind-side quarterback sack by a blitzing weak-side linebacker; the tool corral at the local hardware store.

Feels:  Nothing touchy-feely here, just a few feelings KevInane enjoys—the adrenaline rush of an axe driven strongly and successfully through a round of firewood; the pride of an adeptly skipped rock; the ache and fatigue of a hard days’ work in the yard; the feel of a well-driven golf ball, a well-struck crosscourt forehand in tennis, or a squarely hit line drive.
_____________________________________________________________________
Gentlemen, thanks to a ballsy, Guy-A-Palooza of a two-parter blogpost, our loins are now fully girded and we are brimming with testicular fortitude.  After surveying the manscape and realizing that we are indeed the Manliest of Men, KevInane must boldly, proudly, unashamedly and somewhat anxiously proclaim;  “When are the wives getting back?”

 
11 Comments

Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Axle Grease And Me

Last week I blogged about my brother and how utterly delightful he can be, and I expressed my brotherly love for him and my appreciation of him.  The softer, sensitive side of KevInane was revealed in an emotionally-charged, tear-jerker of a blogpost.  Some hailed it as “the feel-good post of the year.  Not since Raccoons In Tighty Whiteys have we seen such candor, such insight, and such depth of bull pucky.” 

Okay, no one did any hailing, but I did receive quite a bit of positive feedback.  And aside from Des’ all-too-obvious envy of my Trump-esque hair, the glowing comments were from….the ladies.  (cue Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love by Barry White.)

I seem to have touched a nerve with the KevInane female flockers.  It must have been the vulnerability that I portrayed, along with my lonely, brooding, almost vampire-like qualities.  (I am awfully pale.)  And ladies, please don’t get me wrong; I greatly value and appreciate your feedback and comments, but……

With all of this transparent, from-the-heart sharing, I think I am at risk of losing my male readers, perhaps even driving them away to look for less touchy-feely blogs—to find Man’s-man blogs like;

Physical Mayhem, Axle Grease And Me by Buck McGee,
Drop The Tranny by George “GTO” Olssen, or
*  Benchpress This!
by comedian weight-lifter Shlongo Alexseyev.

I can’t help but wonder, has KevInane lost his edginess.  Have I gone soft?  Have I gotten too in-touch with my inner woman?  Does this dress make me look fat?

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Please disregard the “Tranny”  blog referenced above— I checked it out.  Turns out it’s absolutely NOT about automotive repair after all.

Guys, I want to—I need to—allay your fears that KevInane is just another lavender-sorbet-recipe/summer-fashion-review Blog For Babes; that all KevInane does is cuddle, scrapbook, write sissified blog posts and watch Chick Flicks, like He’s Just Not That Into You, even though it was not too bad, and Ben Affleck really hit his stride with great comedic range, broad shoulders and dreamboat eyes.  Okay, it was quite good, but not nearly so as Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Notting Hill or Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II.

For today, right now— ENOUGH with the sensy-poo, reeks-of-progesterone-cream KevInane.  (Women, children, and pets should now leave the room.)  Lace up your jock strap, Grandpa, and get ready for a testosterone-laced, pork-rinds-‘n-beer, for-guys-only blog post!  (cue Rump Shaker by Wreckx-n-Effect.)

But first, to cleanse our palates of anything that’s less than 110% Rugged Masculinity, let me set a Manly Scene for us.  (It would be best if you closed your eyes when you read this, so you can visualize my word picture.)

*  Guys, we are sitting on a horse, on a mountain range, named Brickster.  (The horse is named Brickster, not the range.)
*  And to be clear, we are on separate horses, and they’re all named Brickster.
*  We’re in the Sierras.  No, too effeminate; we’re in the Rockies.
*  We’re sporting Circa-1981 Magnum PI/Tom Selleck mustaches.
*  We’re wearing V-neck Tees, with chest hair bubbling up and over the “V,” and our pecks are ripped.  Not quite Matthew McConaughey in How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days ripped, but we’re pretty buff.
*  We’re puffing on a Double-Tar-‘N-Nicotine unfiltered Camel cigarette.
*  We take a big gulp of a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon.  (We accidentally swallow our cigarrette, but we don’t care because we’re men.)

You can now open your eyes.  Get the picture?  We are virile, chain-smoking men on horses wearing cowboy boots.  (The horses are not wearing boots.  We are.)  We are Marlboro Men on steroids (sans the testicular atrophy.)  You feeling it yet?  I am.  We are Men!  Now close your eyes again.

*  For extra-manly effect, we hock a loogie, then we smash a beer can against our foreheads.  But we forget that this is real He-Man territory; these are tin beer cans, and we now have quite nasty hematomas on our foreheads.  But, like real guys, we whine about it and wish our wives were here to baby us we get over this quickly by smoking nine more cigarettes.  And lastly, for added emphasis, we nonchalantly flick our cigarette butts into the stream and toss the beer can in the mountain foliage.  Recycling is for wusses; we say let the Indian cry.

*  Now we notice that there is a group of tourists staring at us.  They’ve mistaken us for the men’s glee chorus that is scheduled to do a Village People tribute concert at the clearing by the ranger’s station.  But we try to explain that we are MEN, and we eat nails for breakfast.  We are John Wayne, in tight T-shirts, and leather chaps….ah, forget it; we go and perform the heck out of “YMCA” and “In The Navy.”

But you get the picture, we are truly Macho Men.  Machismo is oozing out of our veins, (except for the one guy who seems to be bleeding quite badly from his forehead.)  Although we occasionally get choked up at Steven Seagal movies, or when we run out of ammo at our annual Baby Harp Seal hunt, and at our annual prosate screening, the only emotion we show is casual indifference.  There is no doubt about it now; we are Em Ee En, MEN!

Now that our maleness has been enhanced and with our masculinity firmly established, the stage is set, Hombres, for a nothing-to-do-with-the-gal-crowd, no-holds barred list of …


KEVINANE’S
TOP TEN GUY-ISH THINGS:

……To Be Published Sunday Evening.

(Hey, a guy’s gotta work.  It’s not like all I have is too much time on my hands; give a brother a break.  I’ll see y’all Sunday.)

 
9 Comments

Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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