Friday, December 15, 2006

Curse Missed Opportunities

Believe it or not, I am sort of picky what I put on my blog. I have a lot of ideas that never make it on here. I think some are too boring or time sensitive. There are many reasons why they don't make it on. Usually it isn't a big deal to me and life goes roaring on. It frequently happens that a few hours after I post something, I think of something that would make my posts better. For instance, on the Unconquered Sun post I wish it said:

And God says, "Well, just as long as there's some killing going on, I guess most of them can live to see another day. (along with) Except for that guy right there! PILLAR OF SALT! ZAP!" But once they are posted I feel like I can't go and change them. It seems like cheating.

Here are a couple of posts I would have liked to have done:

1. They put an eye into the sky and did not tell the people why

One day I went into the basement of our old house and discovered that my kids had collected all of the rubber-duck toys we owned and flocked them all together. It was seriously like being in Alfred Hitchcocks "The Birds" film, just with yellow rubber ducks. The strangest part of all is that WE HAVE NEVER INTENTIONALLY PURCHASED A RUBBER DUCK. Not even one. And there was a swarm of 30 or so ducks in our basement.

The way it works is that businesses slip them in with other things, like a set of baby washcloths or other legitimate baby needs. And just like that you're living in Duck City. It is nothing short of eerie. I meant to take a picture and post it on the blog, then I had this conversation with Eleanor:

Me: "What happened to all of those rubber ducks?"
Eleanor: "I threw them away when we moved."
Me: "Why?"
Eleanor: "Why do you CARE?"
Me: "mumblemumbleBLOGmumble"
Eleanor: "You wanted to put them on your blog?" (rolls her eyes)

I am forming a conspiracy theory that the government is infiltrating the homes of married couples via rubber duck to ensure that there are no men posing as brides nor women posing as grooms, which would result in a successful and legal gay marraige. That will never happen, if the ducks have anything to say about it.

It is my hope that by writing this, I will finally be able to stop thinking about those dumb ducks and how I wish I had snapped that picture.

2. A Tale of Two Carnies

There is a guy at work named Brenden. The first time I ever talked to him is when he and I were assigned to drive around the warehouse and pick up all of the unused forklifts and park them in an out-of-the-way corner. He was driving me from lift to lift. While we were driving he told me:

"I didn't think I was coming to work today. I woke up this morning and thought, 'there is no way I can go in today.' But then it was time for work and I drank a six pack of beer and all of a sudden I thought, 'I can go now.'"

I asked, "You drank a six pack right before you came in today?"

He said, "Yeah."

I wanted to say, "How about you let ME drive then?" But it was late in the shift, so I figured it was worn off by then. Quite the first impression. Brenden often talks about his daughter and his "baby's mama." I say, "Do you live WITH your baby's mama?" Yes. "Do you get along with your baby's mama?" Yes. "Then why don't you just call her your girlfriend?" He says, "Because she dumped me a long time ago. We just barely got back together. I'm not her boyfriend and I never will be."

I said, "Do you think you will marry her someday?" He says, "Yeah. Someday. I'm too young right now." I say, "Just call her your girlfriend."

The other night he was talking about his baby's mama. Someone asked, "Is she hot?" And Brenden said, "She is WAY out of my league." I asked , "Where did you meet her?" And Brenden said, "Do you know The Carnival?" I asked, "Do you mean the State Fair or a County Fair or something like that?" He said, "Yes."

I wanted to joke with him, "Oh, were you a carnie? You lured her in by giving her a free ride on the tilt-a-whirl?" But the story was already unfolding before I could even open my mouth. He was a carnie... and so was she. When you think of them both as carnies... doesn't it make that line about her being out of his league seem as sweet as Romeo and Juliet? You bet your last skee-ball ticket, it does.

And the whole time I've known him, it seems like I knew he was a carnie, just no one had ever said the words. But once someone says that word, things suddenly make sense. In my experience, carnies kind of have a Ron Jeremy quality to them: they aren't good looking but they seem to have a special gleam in their eyes. Like, if they would just jump in the shower and comb their hair and make a couple of trips to the dentist, then their options in life would be limitless. As is, they probably get kicked out of restaurants when they come in to ask to use the restroom.

Anyway, when Brenden told me he and his Baby's Mama were two star-crossed carnies, the thought popped in my head: This blogpost will get me a Pulitzer Prize. Brenden told me how he left home at 16 because he and his stepdad were having daily fistfights and his mother always took the stepdad's side. So he cut out of there and joined the carnival. I asked, "They just let a 16 year old join the carnival and travel all around the country?" He said, "Another carnie took me under his wing.(he didn't use the word 'carnie,' he used the guy's name)" He says he's been to 48 states, which is more than I can say.

When I tried to prod him for a little more of the story, he seemed to get defensive. He said, "Who are you, my counselor?" I gave him an evasive answer, "Do you need counseling?" He said, "I need a ride home tonight." But another one of the mofos lives close to him so they gave him a ride.

After that, I figured maybe he didn't feel comfortable about the whole thing so I decided against grilling him for all of the details and against my Pulitzer Prize winning blogpost. The gossip I put on my blog is stuff that people seem to share openly that I don't figure they would care about me regurgitating.

And to put some finality on it, Brenden got fired tonight. He didn't have the battery secured in his lift and it flew out while he was driving. The batteries weigh over 1000 pounds and can make a big mess of acid if they spill. They told him it was okay but that he would have to take a drug test (common after any accident). He said he wouldn't take a drug test. They told him to get the hell out then. He left.

I really should have known he was carnie by how excited he got when the company gave us each a big case of potatos for Thanksgiving. "I love potatos!" he said. " I eat them every day. EVERY DAY."

But the true story of a boy who runs away and joins the carnival would be interesting to people. It's one of those things people say but never do. If some guy jumped off a bridge just because his friends did and he lived to tell about it, wouldn't you be interested in hearing the details? And he doesn't need to feel bad: I spent years and years in college and yet there we were, moving furniture together. I've got nothing over him except that I can pass a drug test.

1 comment:

Native Minnow said...

I'm glad you broke down and FINALLY decided to share the rubber duck story with us. Oh, how I too wish you had snapped that picture.

The biography of Brenden would no doubt make an interesting read. You ought to approach him with your book idea and offer to split the proceeds with him and his baby's mama.