Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 86

The Time I First Saw My Wife "Megan" (*)

Later this week my wife ("Megan*") and I will be celebrating our seventeenth wedding anniversary. SEVENTEEN.  Adding to that....we have known each other and have been more-or-less joined at the hip for the last twenty. She and I have been through more together than I ever imagined, and I don't see an end to it either. Good times and bad. Sickness and in health. For richer and (almost forever) poorer. Til death do us part.
Did somebody say "celebrate?"

In honor of our anniversary, I thought I'd share the story of the first time I ever saw my "better half." It was one of those days in my life I will never forget, and it always makes me smile.

For as much as I rag on this blog about how much Walmart sucks the big one, it does hold a special place in my heart because that was where I first saw and met Megan. We were both college sophomores (at different colleges), and while Megan had been there for awhile - I had just started working there as a cashier.  After a few weeks of schlubbing a front register and dealing with the "back-to-school" crowds, in their infinite wisdom the managers decided that I belonged back in the Sporting Goods and Automotive Department.  If someone would have told me then that I would spend the next six years jockeying a Sporting Goods counter, I would have said you were silly.

And then one Saturday not long into my Sporting Goods days - it happened.

The Toy Department was having a big clearance of all their summer toys (pools/squirt guns/floaties), and they had a big area set up in the aisle between Toys and Lawn and Garden.  From my vantage point in Sporting Goods, I could see clear down the aisle through Toys to the Garden Center doors where people were milling about and a few Walmart Associates were keeping a mindful eye.  Every so often, one of the employees standing there would get on the overhead PA, and announce to the store the clearance toy sale back by Lawn and Garden and Toys.  One time in particular a woman's voice came over the speakers saying something like:
"Attention Walmart Shoppers!  Please check out the clearance sale going on right now in the Toy department where we have lots of summer toys marked down 50%.  The sale is going on in Toys right next to the Garden Center doors."

I looked down towards the Garden Center, and I saw the girl talking on the PA.....she had long straight brown hair, glasses, and was dressed very nice - especially for a Walmart employee.  I saw her face and immediately thought "Wow. That is a good-looking chick." I was awe-struck by what I was seeing, and immediately asked my co-worker "Bill*" - "Who is the chick with the brown hair standing down by the Lawn and Garden doors?"
He said "Her?  Oh That's Megan."

I tried to play it cool, like "Oh. Cool."  But inside I was like "Holy GD MF Jesus!"  This girl made my jaw DROP.  I'd seen pretty girls before, but this one made my heart jump.  I'm serious.

My first instinct was to go talk to her, but as I was never overly confident with the ladies - I felt like she would think I was a total dope. I had the immediate opinion that she was probably out of my league, and I stood no chance of any kind. Looking back now, I obviously under-estimated my chances.

Oddly - I don't remember the actual moment we first talked to each other - it was probably while helping clean up and "zone" the store after it closed - but I will forever remember seeing her for that first time.  It didn't take long after that for us to start hanging out together, partying with the other college-aged Walmart gang, and then eventually just spending time alone together.

The rest I guess is history, and I wouldn't change any of it.  Well...except for the "poorer" part, but I don't think there has been much we could have done to avoid that.

Happy 17th Anniversary.  Thank you for marrying me and making my life better than I could ever have imagined. I love you very much.


(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Do Not Mess With Wesley Crusher

I decided to clean out the random stuff I've saved in my network folders and found this one.  It cracked me up when I found it over a year ago - and it still makes me laugh now.

Don't mess with Wesley Crusher or Will Riker....
(For best result - read it in your head using the your best "gangsta" voice)

Textbook Graffitti

I remember doing stuff like this in grade school.  Classic work.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How To Mess With People Today

Everyone you see today, ask them if they have heard the song "Mambo #5" by Lou Bega. When they say yes, over-emphatically tell them that you think its the best song EVER.

Really sell it. Tell them that it is "your jam, and makes you get up out of your seat.

If they disagree or say they don't like the song, call them a terrorist, and say that Lou Bega does not deserve their criticism.

If you can do this with a straight face, win.

A Wedding Day To Remember

Apparently getting arrested on your wedding day does not only happen in TV soap operas....

Well That Went Downhill Pretty Quickly


Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 85

The Time Mookie Encountered Weirdness At A Funeral

Even without the whole "sadness of dying" thing, funerals are hard for me sometimes.  You have to talk to people, and you have to say something to the bereaved while paying your respects - which is horrible in itself because nothing you say is going to matter or make the pain go away.  I remember standing in a line of family members at my Grandmother's funeral, and those that came to pay their respects would sometimes stop and talk to us grand kids.  "I'm sorry for your loss."  Uh yeah. Thanks. It totally does nothing.  In fact, in the back of my head I was probably thinking "My Grandmother thought you were an A-Hole.  Keep walking there Buster." I guess some people must feel compassion and relief when other's are "sorry for your loss." Me?  I'm just uncomfortable.

While I don't like going to funerals, I do enjoy certain things I see at them. There is usually a nice tribute, or "shrine" of sorts made by the family for everyone to look at. Its always neat to see things the recently deceased did, or pictures of them "way back when." Then of course then there are the things I see or hear at funerals that just make me shake my head.  Sometimes its good - Sometimes its not - and sometimes it gets a little weird.
Thankfully I have never seen anything this weird...yet.

One time I went to a funeral for a girl - "Kelly"(*) - who I used to work with at a previous employer. Kelly was only a few years older than I was, and died unexpectedly due to an undiagnosed heart issue. Sadly she left behind a husband and small daughter, so it was just sadness across the board. While waiting in line to greet the family at the visitation - I overheard someone say that Kelly's MOTHER styled KELLY'S HAIR for the visitation. I was like "Whoa."

I had forgotten Kelly told me several years back that her Mom was a hair stylist, so while I shouldn't have been surprised at this news -  it was definitely weird.  I had never heard of a family member doing their deceased family member's hair/makeup.  My only thought was that maybe it gave the Mom some peace in the matter, made her happy to do this one last thing for her daughter. This fact was confirmed when someone ahead of me in line pulled the Mom aside and said how wonderful Kelly's hair looked. Kelly's Mom matter-of-factly said that she "just wanted her daughter to look good."

Needless to say - any sadness I felt at that moment was overridden by the shock of how odd I thought that whole thing was.  But that's me though.

A side note to this if it wasn't odd enough: Kelly's husband - who is not much older than I am - was previously married before he had met Kelly and that wife had cancer and also died! So this poor dude had been widowed not once....but twice.  Just sad and odd.

While I have lots of "funeral stories," and will probably share more of them in future Monday Morning Stories, I must share this little bit of funeral weirdness because it still makes me laugh to this day.

My wife and I went to the funeral of Dorothy - the old lady that used to live next door to the house where I grew up. She was a wonderfully nice lady, and looked down upon me as a surrogate grandchild at times. One thing Dorothy was good at during a point in her life was playing the piano. Therefore during the funeral, at the places where there would normally be a hymn - they played recorded piano music of what were apparently Dorothy's favorite songs.  One of the last songs played - right after the very nice and tearful eulogy her daughter gave - was the song "When The Saints Go Marching In." If you have ever heard this song before, you know this song is played as a traditionally jazzy march. I had never heard this song at a funeral before and I started to giggle. I looked at my wife, and at my parents who were also there - and they started giggling too.  It was the weirdest song I had ever heard at a funeral, and yet it was totally Dorothy.  It was great.

I learned later that the song is actually a Christian hymn, but that it most often has the jazz style applied to it.  For this reason, it is quite common at funerals in New Orleans and such.

In hindsight, its just too bad Dorothy wasn't wearing any beads.

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent

Miss a previous episode?  Click HERE to catch up!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lost In Translation

The Guy Running The Internet

You ever wonder if there is someone somewhere that is responsible for keeping the Internet running?

There is. Its THIS GUY.

Crude Dude Kermit

Its the smile on his face that makes this picture.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Flu Season Is Coming

My employer brought up the topic of flu shots today. Then I saw this.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 84

The Time Mookie Gave a "Best Man" Speech

Many years ago, my life-long friend "Rick (*) asked me to be the "best man" at his wedding. It goes without saying that I was pretty excited at the prospect, but also quite nervous. I had only really been in one other wedding in my life - mine, and I had never been a "best man" before either. So needless to say I did not want to do a poor job.  I took to the Internet and looked up all of the suggested things the "best man" was supposed to do. Some of the suggested duties of the "Best Man" were:

 - Making sure the groomsmen all show up;
 - Make sure everyone gets fitted for their tuxes;
 - Help organize the bachelor party; and of course
 - Hold the bride's ring during the ceremony.

Since we all lived in different cities, the groom took care of most of the tux details and making sure they all showed up to the wedding.  Rick's roommates at the time took on the role of bachelor party planners, so all I had to do was show up for that too. I had it pretty easy except for the one last job that I had to take care of myself :

Giving a "toast" at the wedding reception.

If you know me, you already know that I am not a terrific public speaker. I stammer, sweat, look visibly nervous, fidget, stutter, know....pretty much everything you are not supposed to do when you speak in front of people.  Hell, I do most of this stuff when I'm just talking to one person. I sometimes wonder how I have gotten as far in life as I have given my verbal communications.  I'm pretty much retarded.

That being said, I decided pretty early on what I was going to say during my speech. I wrote it all out so I could memorize it, and made sure that the speech covered all the bases it needed to cover (according to the Internet):
 - It was family-friendly personal story about Rick and I;
 - It was mildly humorous; and
 - It showered praise and love on the new couple in some way.

The only problem with all of this was essentially - me presenting it well.

In having some fun with the situation, I solicited speech "ideas" and topics from all of the friends Rick and I mutually shared over e-mail.  Everyone was copied on the e-mails, and the suggestions that went back and forth between everyone (naturally) were off the charts of common decency.  While I had no intention of using a foul-mouthed speech, I enjoyed letting on that nothing was "off the table" and there was a fair chance I could do anything.  I threatened to say things that you wouldn't say in front of your grandmother, and even might cause people to "leave" the reception due to the cursing and vulgarity of it all.  To his credit though, Rick never got flustered over it (to me anyway) and would just say "Ok whatever."  Part of me likes to think he was nervous though - especially when the suggestions from our friends were absolutely inappropriate.
The toast given in the opening minutes of the
movie "The Wedding Singer" would have been
tame compared to what people said I should have done.

I let it be known that I would be preparing TWO different speeches, and that I would decide WHICH speech to give right before I gave it.  It would largely depend on the "feel" of the crowd at the reception. This only increased the excitement from everyone over e-mail as more foul-mouthed suggestions and threats came about.

What sort of things were suggested?  The initial topics included (but were not limited to):
* Racist parrot jokes.
* Comments about self-gratification.
* Jokes at the expense of the female anatomy.
* Jokes at the expense of the male anatomy.
* Exaggerations of Rick's sexual prowess (or lack-there-of)
* Lewd comments about everyone pulling down pants and seeing who the "Best Man" really was
* Quoting the "O-Face," and "bone-roller coaster" comments from the movie "Office Space"
* Asking members of the audience to shout their favorite obscenities for no apparent reason
* A group sing-a-long of the 2 Live Crew classic, "Me So Horny"

Out of all of them, my personal favorite was the suggestion that I should tell a "cautionary" love story about one of my ex-girlfriends (who was actually going to be at the reception), and repeatedly refer to her as a "blood-sucking whore."

I sent this list to everyone, and said that I had titled the speech "Five Minutes Of Your Life That You'd Never Forget." I said it would be delivered with such emotion and comic timing that it would cast a shadow over any speech ever delivered by JFK, Martin Luther King Jr, Abraham Lincoln, or Pee Wee Herman. NOBODY would know what hit them.  Even after reading this - to his credit - Rick never showed any signs of telling me "no," or advising of doing otherwise.

The day of the wedding arrived and everything went as well as planned.  As I stood in the entryway greeting people, I had random friends ask me which speech I was going to use. I just smiled and said "You'll have to wait and see." The wedding commenced, and it was a joyous occasion.  I stood proudly next to my friend of many years, and watched as his glowing bride "Pam" (*) walked down the aisle. The ceremony went off without a hitch, although I admit that I had to laugh during the ceremony when the minister uttered the phrase: "If anyone should object to Rick and Pam's marriage, speak now,or forever hold your peace." 
Seriously....if someone wanted could really have fun with that whole moment.

After the ceremony, everyone descended upon the reception hall for dinner, drinks, and dancing.  I had hopes that the beer I was drinking would help keep my nerves at a minimal level, but all it served to do was make me have to pee more.  Inevitably after dinner, my moment of truth arrived and I was asked to start the speeches.

With butterflies in my stomach and ample urine in my bladder, I stood and dinged my glass to get everyone's attention.  It was an odd feeling watching hundreds of people stop what they were doing - talking/eating - and turn their undivided attention towards me.They handed me the microphone, so I took a breath....and started.....

I thanked everyone for coming and helping Rick and Pam celebrate their wedding. Blah blah blah. Then I nervously segued into my "speech."  For about eight-tenths of a second - I actually did think about giving my "vulgar" speech that would have totally killed the room. In the end though, I thought better of that decision and began to tell the original speech I had came up with months prior - the story about Rick and I from our youth.  It somewhat went as follows:

Rick and I used to call each other Christmas Day afternoon and see what we each got as gifts.  During one exchange, I mentioned that I had gotten a remote control car.  I said how it was crazy fast, and it could go all the way up my street in back.  Rick then mentioned that he too got a remote control car. I then jokingly said "Oh yeah?  Is it one of those that has the cord attached to it, and you have to follow it?"  There was then a long silence on the other end of the phone, which was followed by Rick going "So?"  I started laughing uncontrollably.....and Rick hung up because I was being a jerk.

This garnered minor laughter as I expected, but nothing major. I then said how Rick and Pam both received  a "gift" today, and it was certainly one I would not make fun of.  That gift was love.  I hoped that they would cherish that love - and more importantly - each other - for the rest of their lives. (barf) This caused minor "aww" responses from the crowd, and then I asked everyone to raise their glasses and help me congratulate the happy couple.

And that was it - it was done.  I had made it. I certainly wasn't the best public speaker ever, but with all things considered - it was satisfactory.  As I sat there listening to the toasts and speeches from the Maid of Honor, Rick the Groom, and Pam's brother, I could feel the heat receding from my face and the butterflies subsiding.  Whew.

I still had to pee like mofo - so when all the toasts were done, I was finally able to get to the bathroom. On my way back from the bathroom, I was greeted by several people who liked my speech, as well as several friends who were bummed I didn't give the vulgar one. My reply was a smile and I shrugged my shoulders.

Even after all these years though, there are times I wonder what would have happened had I stood up and went into a rant about "racktastic" women, jokes about partners giving oral sex with pierced tongues, and jokes about someone's Mom riding the "bone roller coaster."  While I'm sure it would have been something people would have never forgotten, I'm also sure that my friendship with Rick would have been considerably strained.  Not to mention that I probably would have been cut off during the speech and forcibly removed from the reception. So in the end I probably made the right choice.  

Plus I'm reassured by the fact that Rick has told me that if he dies before I do - he would like me to give the eulogy at his funeral.  

If I'm given that second chance - you can be damn sure there will be racist parrot jokes.

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wonder Woman Fighting A Gorilla

This is an incredibly stupid GIF, but dammit Lynda Carter was (and still is) freakin' HAWT.

This Is A Pretty Specific Book

Quote Of The Night

I have never forgotten this great David Letterman quote from his NBC days:

"I believe there isn't a man, woman, or child who doesn't enjoy a lovely beverage.". - David Letterman

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Now That Is An Obituary!

1. This is real.
2. There is a typo in the date of death, it should be August. I've seen the correction.
3. Sadly, I know a few people who deserve this sort of obit.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ron Swanson Does Not Understand Jean Ralphio

This guy is one of my favorite random characters on Parks and Recreation:  Jean Ralphio.  He is a scheming grease ball that hangs out with Tom from time to time.  The interactions with Ron are usually priceless.  Ron never knows how to answer because Jean talks "weird" to him.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie

Yeah...I am sorry to regret I am unable to throw up a story this week.  Its been a busy week and I haven't had time to get new ones typed up.

There will be a story next Monday.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

A Difficult Decision

It looks like someone came to a crossroad of some sort: chocolate cake or tequila. I know I would have hated to be in their shoes...

That Sign Is A Liar

I stood there for 15 minutes and that cheese didn't do shit.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Thursday, September 05, 2013