Saturday, July 25, 2009

More on Parties

So speaking of parties, I think the best part about house parties is the fact that you can show off your stuff. New grills, shotguns, cars, boats - heck, sometimes the house itself is the new item to show off / check out.

All of that, of course, has nothing on showin' off the babes at the party.


Now, there's a progression of the quality of stuff that gets shown off, when movin' on through the years. A few years back, the 'new' stuff was just new to the owner, and usually showed up at the apartment at random intervals usually around when folks would drag stuff out to the corner or out to the dump. Some creative application of school money and / or food cash might lead to a relatively high-quality television entertainment center. Some years later, more & consistent pay and a bit of discipline in spending will inevitably lead to better and better stuff.

At about the time when the majority of my friends were getting married, a few things inevitably happened. They ran out of cash and didn't go to any more parties? No, silly, just the parties themselves changed a bit. When most of the guys have their significant others with them we tend to be a bit better behaved (shocker). The food got a bit better too, come to think of it. More folks kept most of their clothes on (usually), and the get togethers became more about, well, gettin' together and hanging out than what they were in the past.

Inevitably, some couple will announce that they're expecting. Soon after, big ole bellies become on the of the things gettin' showed off at parties. This, of course, leads to the babes mentioned earlier.

There's a few funny things, 'bout baby-attended parties.

First of all, when a baby's gotta eat, they eat, and momma's gonna feed 'em. Most of the ladies got their Hooter Hiders (no kiddin', that's what they call 'em), but I've learned that the covers aren't strictly needed to feed the kiddos, apparently. Now, I'm a fan of the boobies as much as the next guy (mebbe more), and I understand what they're alleged main purpose is really for, and while I'll admit to seeing some level of boobage at parties before, seeing a partially topless good friend can give one pause. Lot's of the guys adopted a practice of entering the house via the laundry room, making a bit more noise when entering a living or dining room, or plain announcing their entrance in a room with one or more feeding babies. Generally, whenever we could we'd just hang out in the garage or out on the driveway / porch with the grill, swappin' stories and/or lies with the rest of the guys.

This is where another thing started to happen, with a disturbing regularity.

More often than not, the new dad(s) would be tellin' horror stories about the delivery, and all the other guys would be listening like so many Pfc's gathered around their grizzled old Sergeant.

"So there we were, the doc in it about to his elbows, when he reaches back and grabs the biggest pair of scissors you ever seen..."

"Hey, Zeus", just about in unison from the rest of the guys.

'Bout this time one or two of the ladies would just happen to wander outside in search of their significant others, and ask them inside. The gathered guys would immediately tend to the grill, their beers, or whatever they could, in somewhat of a 'maybe if I don't see her, my neck will be spared' kind of thought. When the condem-er, said named guy has been called out, there'd be some claps of the back, and well wishes from the spared guys, and a few relieved sighs from those not picked.

What happens when you get called in is something of a practical application test for prospective dads, in a room full of ladies. Sweetness, huh.

First of all, there's holding a baby.

Now, I suppose it's a good idea to practice this sort of thing, but my life experiences weren't exactly geared to holding and caring for small children. Mebbe if they needed some disassembly, oiling, loading and whatnot, but basically a small wriggling infant would be thrust in my arms and a room full of ladies would start giving me / barking advice, all at once. 'Support the head', 'tuck the blanket', and possibly 'raise the bottle' would start flying around the room, all accompanied by the critical gaze of My Love, and the even more critical gaze of the new momma.

Actually reminded me of going in front of a board, somewhat...

The best part of baby-attended parties was the number of baby-oriented conversations that we'd have in the weeks following. My Love was strongly in favor of starting a family immediately after each baby-party, hearing of a co-worker having a baby, seeing a baby on the television, or even hearing one cry out somewhere in the neighborhood. She had the fever, in other words. Me, I was of the opinion that things were going much too well for her to get preggers. Money was coming in pretty good, we were still paying off the credit cards at the time, purchase of the house was then not too far away, we had a little left in the bank at the end of each month, etc. I figgured that I'd lose my job immediately after paying the down payment for the house and right before totaling the car, and then we'd find out that she was pregnant. With twins. Regardless of my thoughts, I was always the thoughtful husband and allowed how we might need to practice the sort of actions that brought about the babies in the first place. Purely selflessly, of course.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Joke and a Party

An oldie, recycled, but still somewhat humorous and applicable to a recent story.

Three vets are all walking towards the same intersection in the middle of a small town. They served in different branches of the service, doing different jobs, many years distant, but they had a few similarities. They liked to wear various Marine Corps or Army caps, perhaps a VFW pin, maybe even a set of old comfy boots. The one thing that they all have identically in common is that they are all dragging one leg behind them as they walk.

As they near talkin' distance, the first veteran slaps his right hip and says, "Vietnam, back in '69".

The second vet nods at the first, pats his thigh and says, "Fallujah, back in '04".

The third looks at the other two, grins, points a thumb over his shoulder and says, "Dog turd, 'bout 2 blocks back".

Vets can be like that, about their wounds.

War wounds might be brought up in conversation between vets as a part of story time, a sort of 'life really sucked, back when...'. Sometimes, when the source of a scar might have a more humorous shine to it, it can be more of a 'lemme tell you 'bout the time my dumb-ass tried to change a tire with my forehead right in the middle of a sand-storm'-type story. Other vets don't really run away from talking about their scars, they just don't ever seem to get around to it, either.

I was at a party recently, a birthday party of a buddy o' mine, as it were. Now, I knew that he had taken a round in Iraq back in the day, but that was about it. I didn't serve with him, so I wasn't there when he got hurt. We weren't shower buddies in the civvie world, so everytime I saw him, he had long pants on, so I never even saw his scars. Over time, the one conversation where he mentioned that he'd had a somewhat Really Bad Day more of less faded.

Until the party.

See, his kid was of an age that part of the festivities included various water activities, including getting tossed down a slip and slide, sprayed with a hose, or getting heaved into the kiddie pool. As this is Texas and it's currently hot enough to melt the hair on your head, just about everybody was in shorts and tees, haning out in the shade of the trees and occasionally getting hosed down with water.

Good times.

Good times were kept good by a discrete conversation with some about 1) letting him bring up the scars on his leg, if he wanted to, he would 2) yes, that's probably the entry wound. 3) yup, that would be the exit wound 4) that too, another exit 5) yeah, it's about half as big around as it should be, I would imagine that it hurt like hell - probably still does.

True to form, he came over a bit with a couple of beers (this guy, brining me a beer - sheesh!), patted his leg and said, "good thing I'm already married, 'cause I dunno if I could get many chicks with this leg, huh." I responded by telling him that different ladies go for different things but I still wouldn't want to test out that particular theory, as I've met his wife and have no desire to get on her bad side, at all.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Signal Flare

Yup, still alive.

It's a shame that I have a no-blogging about-work-rule, because what with all the time I've been spending there in the past month or so, there's some awesome stories. I might have to write a few up and wait for the inevitable time when I'm no longer with this particular company... On a related note, at least to a couple of posts back, money is great (hell, I've at least doubled my usual in my last three paychecks), but time spent in the yard has diminished greatly, to the point where the grass is a lost cause... except for that mutant section, of course, that part just looks mildly pissed-off.

Rumor has it that I might actually have a day off next week, and what with this week's hours continuing the decline by dipping into the low 60s, one would hope that time for just about everything other than shower, sleep, and work (read: mebbe even posting a bloggy post or two) should show signs of improvement.