In chapter six, I discussed fun and interesting stories of events that occurred in my formative years. In this chapter, I was fully formed and just as stupid. As you read these stories, you will continue to scratch your head and wonder on how powerful my guardian angel really is? The answer is that I have more than one. One alone would not be powerful enough and would have soon gotten burned out and quit. I have my two deceased fathers and my two deceased brothers, because even though we drove each other crazy while alive, I am sure that they still loved me in their own way. Right, Nah!? Well, two out of four is not bad…just look a baseball.
Having suffered through reading my stories, you would think that I was not that into parties. Well, you would be wrong. When I was young and lived closer to my large extended families, we were always having get- togethers and parties. We really didn’t have friends, we had family. That is probably why I have struggled in retaining lasting friendships. Five to six years seems to be the max for me. As life has become more confusing, I have had trouble even keeping in touch with family members. I find that since I don’t have kids of my own, I have kind of been pushed off to the sideline some. Maybe that is why I find myself in so many hairbrained schemes, it is an attempt to gain recognition and acceptance. Who in the hell am I kidding? It sounded good didn’t. Filler alert!
Alcohol and Volleyball don’t mix
Now on to my stories…it is about damn time. You may say to yourself he uses damn a lot! I think it is a great word, and I will continue to use it, so, stop trying to analyze everything. During my first serious relationship where I became engaged and lived with psycho bitch and son, we had two memorable parties. Since they are memorable I will, of course, bore you with both of them. Yes, I have a point to discuss both of them. I usually do have reasons for everything I do. Other times I just wing it. The first party story was memorable because it was the first party I organized. It was a typical party with friends, co-workers, family and neighbors. Yes, it was too big and too expensive. But it was great and my co-workers talked about the party for quite sometime, so it was worth it. It also showed my eldest brother that I wasn’t a loser, because I quit working for him. another story. We ran out of all of our supplies and I had to go out an get more. We had steaks… I know steaks, what the hell was I thinking? My fiancee’s idea. We had all kinds of beverages including alcoholic stuff. One of my friends took over grilling and did a great job of it. At the end of the party we were all drunk. So, full contact volleyball seemed like a good idea. I am sad to say that it will never be an event in the Olympics…though it should be. The Nelson ratings would certainly be higher. Rules, there were no real rules, it was just plain fun and so what if we got a few bumps and bruises. So, it was a resounding success, not too bad for my first party. The total guest’s count was over 30 people. To this day, I truly don’t know what the actual head was. Who cares, I am not a statistician for Christ’s sakes.
We are all Going to Jail or Hell
The second party I went to was not of my own making, It was a typical southern apartment party. After we had all eaten our fill, as happens in most parties, you break up into groups based on age and sex. The pre-teens all usually play together, the teens break up into girl and boy groups. The girls talk about current heartthrobs and other girl stuff. The boys lie about all the girls they are banging. Basically, the adults do the same stuff, though we have more life experiences to discuss. The women now talk about their children, their husbands, their lovelives and how big the husband’s penis is. The men don’t talk about their penis size because they figure the women have this covered. We don’t talk about kids because well, who cares this is a party. We end up talking about hunting, fishing, cars and sports. So, as usual, I found myself looking in. Well, this is where it started to get interesting. Well, it turns out the drinking is not conducive to keeping secrets… who would have “thunk” it? This is when it got down right scary and all the rest of us found that we’re looking for ways to just get the hell out of this discussion. Well, our storyteller had a few drinks and was feeling no pain. I want you to know that prior to this conversation, he seemed like a nice enough guy. He was always friendly to us, well, I now know why he was so friendly to us in particular. Of this matter I will discuss just a little later. So, he launches out-of-nowhere discussing him and his buddy and how they preformed an armed hold-up. Well, his bad-boy score went right up with that bit of information. But it doesn’t end here. He went on to tell how his best friend and partner-in-crime turned state’s witness to get a reduced sentence. I guess, this happens all too often in our judicial system. However, this is where it gets scary because of not only what he said but how he said it. He spoke of the following with no more emotion than he would exhibit stepping on a bug. He said that while in prison he paid off a fellow prisoner to kill his partner. Then he proceeded to go on discussing sports. We, all silently said, “What the hell?”! What did we just hear? Are we all now complicit in a first-degree murder after the fact? Well, needless to say, the conversation kind of dried up for us and went in search of our respective families. Now for the second part of the story. After I had been married to my first wife for a year, I came across a recording on the back side of our answering machine cassette, where my ex-fiancee and “the killer” discussed an ongoing affair that they had been having when we were living together. No wonder he was so friendly. My fiancee was quite the lulu. So, my wife and I immediately went to the county health office and got tested for every sexually-transmitted disease known to man including HIV and AIDS. Thank God, we came back negative. This did not end my story with my ex-fiancee. I will discuss this a little later.
Can you eat Opossum?
So, not to give you a distorted view of what parties were like in the deep south, I will throw in a third party story free of charge. Most parties didn’t end up in drunken brawls or discussing previous felonies. They were wholesome get-togethers where people ate too much and yes, told lies of imagined past glories. Since my past was far from glorious, you can trust that I am not lying. We had this local hunting hero in the community who would throw these parties every year. He was as close to a professional hunter as you can get. If it had 4 legs, he killed it. But what is not so bad is that he ate everything he killed. So every year, he would share his food stock in the form of a party. He would have around 40 or so grilling stations organized in a large circle with all kinds of tables and chairs in the middle, where you could relax and enjoy the fine cuisine. Since nobody has 40 grills, all the neighbors chipped in their grills and their grilling services. Of course, they were all supervised by our local hunter. This party was by word of mouth only, but hundreds of people would show up for the spectacular assortment of grilled meats. I, of course, would try a small sample at every grilling station. Some meat was great, some was so nasty, you had to ask yourself what the hell? Possum is one of these, it not only is an ugly animal, the meat is terrible as well. I ate so many different animals that I could no longer differentiate between them. There is one thing that I know, you would never find a party like this in the northern states, maybe in the West but not the North. I will always remember this party. It was done strictly for friendship and to introduce people into the world of hunting. I think it gets 5 out of 5 stars in the pretty cool meter.
Give it a Break, Will Yah?
I wish to include one more story involving my fiancee. This time it wasn’t my ex that initiated the interaction but her ex-husband. It turns out that he was filing for a custody of their child. He seemed to think that I could help his case. So, I had a debriefing with his lawyers, where they discussed what they were looking for from me, and they went over a script of questions that they would ask me before the judge. Since I was subpoenaed, I had no choice. This was my first experience with lawyers. They should, of course, be called liars. Because they totally blindsided me and treated my like a hostile witness. I was pissed as you can imagine. But the one thing that I got out of this experience besides now loathing all lawyers, was that I got to see my ex. While she had always been a big girl and easily outweighed me, she had grown even larger. She could have easily been a strong girl in a circus. What the hell I had ever seen in her… I don’t know. Well, that is a lie. We all know what I was after. In my defense, I will only say one word, hormones. Yep, that about sums it up.
The More you Try, the Worse it Gets.
This is an interesting story. In retrospect, I don’t really know what I was thinking. I was installing my stereo system in my new wife’s house. This was just the initial stages and I had not decided to gut the house yet. The living room had carpet so I decided to run the speaker wires under the carpet instead of what any normal person would do and simply run them around the walls. Simple and easy. Well, I thought my way was better and besides my speaker wires were too short for plan B. The problem is how do you get the wire threaded under the carpet? I just happened to have this semi-rigid plumbers snake. I taped the wires to the end of the snake and threaded it under the carpet. It was going perfect until the padding got caught and started bunching up under the carpet. So, now I had the wire where I wanted it, I now had rather obvious bunched area my carpet right in the middle of the living room. So, not wanting to give up and admit that I am an idiot, I pried up more of the carpet along the wall, and proceeded to shimmy under the carpet to get to the area where the padding had bunched up. I was so far under the carpet that you could only see my feet. This is, of course, when my wife got home from work. She said “Hi, honey, what’s up?”. That is the only thing she said. I guess she was already used to me. Well, I was able to mostly fix the padding, there was a slight bulge in the carpet until I finally finished up remodeling the house and I got rid of all the carpet in the house. The coffee table did an admirable job covering up the slight bulge. So no harm no foul. So, that was when I was almost eaten by my carpet.
Honey, Where is the Wall?
One day during my remodeling escapades, I was working on the master bedroom. It originally had been an open patio, and the original home owner had done a crappy job closing the room off. There were sizeable holes in the outside wall. I considered the outside walls to be a lost cause, so I tore both walls out. In the front, I put in a block wall with a bay window and thick glass that essentially soundproofed the room. I also put in a block wall on the main side wall with a small window on that side. Our neighbors were close, so it was simply for ambient light. So, now our master bedroom would be very quiet. It was also well-insulated, so it stayed cool in the summer months. On this particular day, it was demo day. I had just knocked out all the walls when my wife came home from work. She was obviously exhausted from her 12-hour shift, and all she wanted to do was get some sleep. So, in a zombie-like state she walked into our bedroom. When she saw me with a sledge hammer in my hands and our bedroom open to the outside, she immediately grabbed a blanket from the closet and went into the living room couch and went to sleep. She never said a word. I thought that was the damned funniest thing. Three days later, the room was totally finished, tile floor and all. I could really motor in those days.
I like to set goals for my self, it makes life more interesting. After watching the movie Christmas Vacation, I decided that I could beat his 20,000 lights. My early attempts only involved a few thousands of lights, but as the years progressed I needed to start taking time off from work to decorate. My final year, it took me 2-full weeks with a full time worker helping me the second week. I had even started renting a cherry picker. My light total had finally reached 50,000 lights. If I had not move to Nevada the next year, I would have been over the 60,000 mark. In order to have this many lights, we had to have a second breaker box and multiple sockets installed all around the house and around the yard as well. This greatly reduced the number of extension cords. I built a 12-foot tall lighthouse and I suspended Santa sled and reindeers between two trees. Our house was a ranch style house, so I had to raise the pitch of the roof so that my lights would show, I also built a fake chimney for Santa to enter the house. I build a ski lodge for Santa as well. The list just goes on. I basically turned our house into a gingerbread house with striped lights on all the walls. The effect was truly amazing. Well, being a Randy story it was replete with the odd mishaps. Like it’s really not a good idea to build a 20-foot stepladder with an extension ladder. So in retrospect, I don’t know why I didn’t just use a pole to string the lights in the tree. But I didn’t think of this method mainly because it was just too simple. Why do some thing easy and safe when you can do some thing that is more difficult and dangerous? Where is your sense of adventure? So, of course, my contraption breaks and now I am hanging by one hand 20-feet in the air from my tree. Meanwhile, my crazy-ass wife is trying to prop the ladder vertically so that I can get back on it. I don’t know how she thought she could hold the ladder steady enough for me to climb down it. Well, I made like Cheeta the Chimp and swung to another branch where I could get a second handhold on a large branch and proceeded to shimmy down the tree.
It is also not a good idea to let your cat drive your cherry picker. I blame my cat on this one. He really did like going up in that cherry picker. So now that I had a cherry picker, life was so much easier. Hanging the lights in the big tree in the front yard was no longer a job for the Flying Wallendas. My parents did not have to balance the ski lodge on their heads while I moved it onto my boxed utility trailer. I was also able to use it to hang my Santa and reindeer from the cable and I could use it to lift the top portion of the light house on the base. Life was great. So in retrospect, I should have pushed it and used it to hang my lights from the TV antenna. I had 7,000 lights hanging from the antenna, one I just kept there for the lights since we had direct TV. So somehow, I managed to snake it between my house and the neighbor’s house. The lights went up quickly and with no fuss. So now I had to try and remember how I had got back there but in reverse. Fun fact, our particular cherry picker weighs 11,000 pounds. Maybe this would have been nice to know a little earlier. So I, of course, could not replicate my feat in reverse, and I soon become buried in the soft soil between our two houses. So, being just slightly smarter than an opossum, decided to pull out the cherry picker with my Isuzu Trooper. I, of course, got nowhere, so my neighbor who is more high than not, tied off his truck to the cheery picker as well. So now we had two vehicles doing wheelies in the front yard… that was so much better.
So my father-in-law who always seemed to show up at my times of greatest embarrassment shows up. Did I mention when we first got married he still had keys to the house? He used to stop by when Tammy was at work and do odd jobs on the house. Apparently, he did not get the memo that she was now married. So, in he zooms into our house with his trustee little keys and I am right in the middle of having sex with his daughter on the bedroom dresser. With my white ass just a shining away. The next thing I hear is the door closing and being locked. Needless to say, he never came over without first calling or being at least expected. He also lost his keys to the house. So back to our debacle. He comes up with the idea to call a tow truck. Well, it was too heavy for even the tow truck. But the tow truck had a special weapon, a 15-thousand pound winch on the front of it. So, he secured the truck so it would not be pulled towards the cherry picker and that winch just pulled it right out of that mud. By the way, that was the last Christmas that I lived in that house, so I never had a replay. So the next day, I repaired my neighbors yard and we were all good. It was the next day when the rental company came to pick up the cherry picker that we found out how much it really weighed. I don’t know what the hell we thought we were doing with those two little underpowered trucks. While my stories are now less frequent they have not disappeared all together.
Randy’s Party Extravaganzas
My dream house was remodeled and add-ons were built with entertaining in mind. I had a six burner stove with griddle in the kitchen with two commercial Beverage Aire refrigeration units. Each Unit had 47 cubic feet of storage space. On just part of one side of the freezer I could store 200 pounds of ice. My outdoor Kitchen could seat 6 people at the bar alone. We had chairs and enough banquet tables to seat 100 guests. I had an out door cooking station where I had two commercial burners that each held a 100 quart kettle for our shrimp boils. They could bring 100 quarts of water to a boil in 10 minutes. Pretty amazing. I had three turkey fryers for my Christmas parties. My gas grill could cook a complete meal. I even had music piped to rock speakers placed all over my yard and I had tiki torches for ambience. I also had mister fans to keep the guests cool in the summer. By the time I left Sunrise Hospital I had 5 annual shrimp boils with the final head count being over 90 guests. For this last party I had cooked 50 pounds of shrimp, 20 pounds of sausage, 50 pounds of potatoes and 100 ears of corn. I had melted 5 pounds of butter for the shrimp along with 2 gallons of cocktail sauce. When the food was dumped on the table it took up two 8 foot banquet tables alone. Needless to say no guest left my party hungry. I had a screened enclosure to keep flies off of the food on the banquet tables. Hot plates kept the butter melted. Normally these shrimp boils don’t use plates, but because the food was not on the actual tables that people ate at, we had to include plates. All the banquet tables were covered first with plastic and then brown rolled paper and the guest just left all the shrimp shells and the corn cob carcasses on the table. Because of the cooler temperatures during December, the majority of our guest ate in doors, for those willing to brave the cooler outdoor climate, I had two outdoor fireplaces a several heaters strategically placed to keep those hardier guests warm. In my Christmas party I supplied three fried turkeys and one ham, while the guests supplied the side dishes and the desert. I also provided the punch, which is a family secret. My parties over the years became quite popular and there was a mad scramble to get the days off, when I posted the dates of the parties. So to make it easier for those that couldn’t get work off I started the parties early so that people could stop on by for a couple of hours before going to work and I ran the parties late enough that people working the day shift had time to come by after they finished work. That is why I had two kettles, the second kettle was for the late comers. This way they could also have hot food. The same goes for the turkey fryers. I would have one ready to cook the last turkey for the late Christmas guests. But alas you need a large house and you need a young body to have these parties. When I sold my house, The parties diminished radically in size. Now we keep the guests to under 10 people. You know what I have just as much fun with the smaller parties.
Isn’t he Romantic?
Anyone who was single and is now married knows that you get a much better tax break being married. So as soon as my divorce was finalized with my second ex, I immediately married my third wife Dory. After all, time is money. This wasn’t our first rodeo and we needed to be pragmatists. Where thousands of dollars are at stake, time is of the essence. I still have not bought a ring for my poor wife Dory. She is quite a peach, but she realizes that we aren’t getting any younger and we have to think of our financial future. We know that we we love each other, and the only one that truly benefits is the jewelry storeowner.
My Kingdom for a Dive Computer
In this particular case, my wife Dory and I were going to the Philippines. Of course, I wanted to go scuba diving there as well. So I packed up all my gear which basically was a large duffle bag with almost 50 pounds of gear. However, much to my chagrin when I was sorting out the gear at the hotel before my dive, I did not have my dive computer. Which meant that most of my gear was now useless. So I had to rent the dive shop’s cheap crap. My dives were saved but now I had a 50- pound anchor to tote around. So, we opted to bring it back to the airport and rented a storage locker to hold my gear there until we’re ready to fly back home. Of all the dive trips I had been on, this was the first time I did that. What a knucklehead.
Who says it Doesn’t Rain in the Desert?
On this particular occasion, we were entertaining one of my wife’s friends on a road trip. She agreed to pay the expenses if we did all the grunt work. On this particular trip, we still had my pickup truck. We were camping in a campsite on Lake Powell. We had had just finished enjoying a miserable morning on a boat ride through Horseshoe Bend. It had been raining all day and we were cold and tired. We had camped at the site the previous night and had planned on staying at least one more night on the lake. My wife and her friend had slept in the back of the truck where I had built in a rather comfortable bed. I had slept in my small tent . When we arrived at the site, the tent was now collapsed and under water. It had looked like a twister had gone through our campsite. So now her friend had to sleep on the back seat, it was a good thing that she was short and small. I slept in the back with my wife. We finally finished the road trip. Never again will I do something like that again. After spending several days on the road with a previous stranger, you find out all of their irritating little quirks and nuances. It is lucky that I wasn’t up for murder charges.
What Happened to the Roof Rack?
Now that we made it back home, Dory’s friend wasn’t through with us yet, she wanted to see Death Valley. On the roof rack, I had put two spare tires. I have never given it much thought in regards to the weight of the tires. So now it became an issue because we’re driving on uneven and bumpy roads. It was then that I heard a scraping noise like metal on metal. So, I pulled off the road, oh yah, I forgot what road? I just stopped my truck. Well, guess what… the weight of the tires with the bouncing and vibrations had broken my roof rack. So the roof rack went into the ditch for the next round of desert scavengers and the tires went into the back of the truck. Dory’s friend was fast becoming a major bad luck talisman.
What Happened to the Damn Heater, Part One?
Well, I have this little heater for four-season camping. I had also bought a 20-lb propane tank so that I would not run out of fuel in the middle of the night. It was winter and we were camping in Utah. Of course, I forgot one of the connectors for the heater. So, it was useless. So that night, it had to be a 100 below zero. We both had a miserable night’s sleep. The next day, I woke up and I could not move, I was in that much pain. My whole back had locked up and the spasms would not stop. Finally, Dory was able to massage my back enough so that I could actually walk around and take down our campsite.
What Happened to the Damn Heater, Part Two?
We were in Yosemite this time, and I think it might have actually been colder here. But not to fear, I now had all the damn parts to my heater. I even brought the small bottles to hook directly to the heater. This time, the heater would not work at all. No matter what I tried. So, the next day we woke up as human popsicles. When we finally made it home I tried the heater out and it worked the first time I tried it. What the hell?
This particular incident involved our trip to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons. I could actually write an entire chapter to the mishaps that took place on this trip. I will just discuss one of our early mishaps. It was our first night and we were in Nebraska. Dory had chosen this spot initially only to change her mind. I was in no mood, however, was extremely cranky after the day we already had with the car rental debacle. We now had a van and we had planned on having an SUV. We had actually bought a tent to attach to the SUV to make single-night camping easier. Of course, this plan had turned to shit, so either we had to now stay in motels for our single-night stays or set up the whole damn tent each night. So, I was frankly in a poor mood, so I said, “No we are staying right here”. That is when my entire body felt like it was on fire. Apparently, these ants heard of team work. So, they would all sneak up on your body and due to hormones were able to synchronize their stings. I told my wife that we had to go to get some Calamine lotion and that we would have to stay at a motel. Luckily we were able to get a refund and we beat feet for a local town where we not only got the lotion and some other goodies, and I took a hot shower. What a first day. Just one more story.
Cell Phones Don’t Float
Of all the things I wanted to photograph, Devils Tower was one of them. Thank God, I took a few pictures before we set up camp. Because that was the last time I was going to even see the damn monolith. Again, where in the hell did the rain come from? It was coming down in buckets the whole night. So in the morning it was no wonder that our tent was under water. Of course, Dory’s cell phone was now under two inches of water. Can anything else go wrong? Well, yes it could and did. But I promised I would stop here.
Where is the Road?
Since my getting rid of the boat, I wanted some type of water craft. So, we opted for two fishing kayaks. Of course, nothing goes smoothly with my plans. First of all, the damn kayaks are extremely heavy and bulky. So the racks I bought for my wife’s SUV were just too small to handle them. We also found out that they were just too heavy for me to lift up by myself and my wife was just too short to be able to help. So I, of course, had to come up with an extremely complicated plan involving our retired utility trailer. After several failed plans, I finally came up with a solution that works eloquently. So now that is all taken care of, we decided to go to Lake Mead and camp overnight and kayak the next day. We had previously scoped out the area and had a place already chosen. Unfortunately, since we were in a drought situation, things had changed…so terra firma was now muddy not so firma. Everything now looked different and it was getting dark. The next thing we know we are stuck fast in mud. Despite the best efforts of some campers, we were not successful in extricating ourselves from our quagmire. So, we spent the night in our hog wallow and enjoyed the sweet aroma of decaying plant matter. The next day, we contacted a tow truck service, and you would have thought were on the dark side of the moon. But finally they found us and after 1 full-hour and multiple attempts we had finally were free. Having a trailer attached to our van definitely made things difficult. I firmly believe that if it were just the van, we could have extricated ourselves.
Round Two: Where is the Water?
So not to be daunted by our previous mishap, we decided to give it another go. So this time we tried another location, we also had purchased kayak carts so that we did not have to get so close to the water. What could go wrong? I thought we had all the bases covered. But Mother Nature is fickle. It decided to be windy on this particular day. I guess, if we had more experience with our kayaks we would have been alright. For some reason, my kayak decided to have a mind of its own. Dory seemed on the other hand, to be doing just fine. So after several frustrating attempts to control my kayak, I told Dory to follow me. That was a mistake. I had made it finally back to the other side of the inlet and I wanted her to come over so that we could work together to get the kayaks out of the water. Dory made a valiant attempt of following my instructions but the poor thing was simply making no headway against the wind and the currents. It was then that four retired special forces gentlemen came to the rescue. Two dove in the water and swam out to Dory’s kayak and pulled it back onto to shore. Another vet seeing that I was spent, paddled my kayak back to the original side of the inlet. Thanks to these wonderful men in green who wanted nothing but our thanks, rescued us in our time of need. Cooler weather will soon be upon us, so who knows what fresh mischief we will find ourselves getting into.
Are you tired of my mishaps by now because there are plenty more. For every story I write two more come to mind. I guess I will stop here, you after all get the idea. Once a shit magnet always a shit magnet. You just never seem to out grow your ability to f–k things up.