Monday, March 15, 2010

Sometimes they call it a mouth organ. I don't, but some people do.

I had a stepfather once who turned out to be a crook, but that's another story, because what I really wanted to say about him is that he used to be a hobo in the seventies.

This was before any of my family met him, and before we laughed and laughed over dinner all the time at his swirly comb-over, and at how he said "stockings" instead of "socks" and "let's build a cake" instead of "let's make a cake".  

Sometimes, after we'd mocked his quaint speech awhile, he would start in about how people should never give money to transients on the street because those people actually wanted to be on the street, and giving them money was just encouraging them to continue living a life of unbridled freedom from showers and bosses. He sounded jealous.

He knew about the secret desires of transients, he said, because years ago he had disappeared one day, just walked away from it all and went to live on the street. No good reason.  He was kind of like Forrest Gump without the shrimp boat.

He would never say what he did all day while he was a bum, so I had to fill in the details from my imagination.  Mostly I thought he probably had a pet rat that loved Cheetos and lived in his jacket pocket, and that he would tie the rest of his bandanna-wrapped belongings on a jaunty stick, and then tip his hat at people when they walked by.  Sometimes I figured he would play a little harmonica or give sage advice to young gingham-clad runaways who would then ride their bikes straight home, only to have a tornado suck them up and forcibly relocate them. ( I watched  the Wizard of Oz every year when it came on, except for anytime there was witches or monkeys, or disembodied heads.)

And then one day he got bored with the rat and the harmonica, and went home.  Either that or his family found him and did a bum intervention of some kind, or the cops stopped looking for him, I don't exactly remember. 

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you want to imagine I've been hanging out all unwashed and playing the blues with my Cheeto-lovin' rat friend for the couple of weeks, that would be okay with me.

Sometimes I just get tired. 

Anyway, some other quick things that have happened around here lately:

1)  Classroom drama update:  My little shit friend dropped by a few days ago after school to ask when I intended letting him come back to class.  He said the essay he wrote was sort of an "opposite day" essay;  it was a compliment.   I said,  I don't believe you, unfortunately.   He said, "No, I didn't think you would, but it was worth a shot.

Then his dad wrote a letter that said he was sure his son did not intend to be "mutinous" or "peculiar" and would I please reconsider? Pshaw, Mr. Father!  No way.

Then his new teacher stopped me after school one day to ask me about him.  I asked how he was doing.  She said he was "slimy".  I think he's going to like it there.

2.) I'm going blind.  A little bit.  I kept thinking the projector in my room wouldn't focus correctly or was dirty, so I kept muttering at it and wiping, wiping, wiping the lens, but it never helped, because it turns out it was my eyes and now I have glasses for distance.  After my glasses came in, and everyone lied and swore that  my beauty was actually magnified by my new Danny Gokey-esque frames, we went to see Crazy Heart, and I kept comparing and contrasting.  Glasses on, glasses off. Aaannnnddd, refocus.  Glasses on.  Glasses off.  Blink.  Aaaannnnndddd, refocus.

I decided it was true that Jeff Bridges looked a little crisper around the edges with the glasses on, but then I got dizzy and had to just listen through the whole scene where he runs off stage to vomit behind the bowling alley. 

3.)  We bought ironic "silverware" at Ikea this weekend. Kitchen utensils are an excellent choice, because they rarely require assembling. 
Inside the door a salesperson handed us a flyer with this written at the top:

If Ikea made fortune cookies I would buy them in bulk.

4.) We went and saw our tax guy.  His hair plugs are very sparse this year, and he needs new cartoons for his desk, but he was full of light-hearted chitchat about amortization and incremental schedules, so it was another pathos-filled party.  I look forward to our time together every year.

5.)  Today, in the car, I called home and my son answered the phone.  He sang,   "HEL-low.......sweet CHARRRR-i-o-o-t.!"  Apparently this is how he's been answering the phone for awhile, and I never knew. 

He is going to sixth-grade snow camp this week, and I will really miss him if he is trapped in an avalanche.

Maybe some other time I will tell you about how Hobo Stepfather landed in the penitentiary, or about a different stepfather who had fifty identical pairs of fussy ankle boots lined up in his closet and walked like a pony, but this is all I've got for now. 

I'm coming to do some blog-visiting tomorrow, and I promise not to panhandle very much.


sas said...

even though the smell of burning eyeball will never ever leave me completely. ever. having my eyes lasered after years of wearing specs was a revelation. suddenly i could see. like a sweet miracle. except you know, for the burning.

Jules said...

Now I want to call your house!!!!! But ONLY your son can answer. Promise! I'll sing the next line back to him.

Mommies-Miracles said...

Cute post! I definitely love the part about your son answering the phone, to adorable!

otherworldlyone said...

I definitely want a fortune like that.

I laughed approximately 6 times while reading this post. Just FYI. And extra hard when I pictured a man wearing ankle boots and walking like a pony.

erin said...

If you visit my blog scroll down a few posts and check out the illegal activity you've been engaging my head.

I never considered that having multiple stepfathers might be a fun, exciting adventure...

sort of.

Kurt said...

I hate when people ho-boast. (*slide whistle*)

Megs said...

I'm sort of jealous. My step-father was a cheap, picky little man with a Hitler 'stache, who used to get upset at the amounts of toilet paper and Suave shampoo we used. But he was never a hobo. He would have been infinitely cooler if he had been a hobo.

bikramyogachick said...

hmmm. I'm thinking your mom needed an intervention on the men she was picking!
Your son totally rocks answering the phone that way....

kate said...

"Build a cake" is a new husband says "food store" instead of "grocery store" (which is what I say and, therefore, obviously correct) and every time he does, I kind of want to slap him in the mouth.

That skeezy student of yours is going to make an excellent douschey frat guy someday.

Summer said...

You've had quite the interesting step dad situation. Can't wait to hear about the one who walked like a pony. ???

Ed said...

Mom was a real magnet for winners.

I'm sure the new specs are extra hot on you. If not, just stand really far from the mirror when checking how you look in them.

Tony said...

Back when I lived in Portland, I used to give this hobo half of a sandwich, and the day I didn't give him one was the day he threw bottles at me.

With that being said, I'm glad that little turd is miserable. Your ex student, I mean.

MJenks said...

My tax man and I got to talking about our love of the literature of Alexandre Dumas. It was a very Porthos-filled party.

Okay, just imagine I didn't parody your blog in my comments.

Rebekah said...

The secret lives of hobo-stepfathers is pretty much JUST what I needed today. Because you are, as always, awesome.

linlah said...

Hello Sweet Chariot is a perfectly normal way to answer the phone, beat the heck out of hmm yellow.

Fragrant Liar said...

Well I'M jealous -- I would like the freedom from bosses and showers. I mean, I guess I could jump into any old pond I passed to keep the crevices fresh, but the real crux of this hobo attraction comes from that freedom from bosses thing. Of course, if I quit showering before I come in to work, that could happen, huh?

Glad to see you're back. You are one of my go-to blogs when I need a good laugh or twenty.

CatLadyLarew said...

I could always tell you were descended from classy people, Vic! No wonder you have so many good stories to tell!

(And kudos on pawning off the slime-ball on someone else! I bow to your awesomeness!)

Chelle said...

I've uncovered something: All the best bloggers have very unconventional parents.

Not that I think I'm the best blogger, but once my Dad buried a police car and ate a bar glass in a 5 star restaurant. Not on the same day. That is all.

He also slid down a hill with his friend Rick in a refrigerator box.

K That's really all.

Once he got mad and paid for the entire town's outstanding water bills.

I'm done.

Once he went to hotel and lied to them, telling him he was a safety inspector and made them take everything off their lobby walls because it was 'unsafe'.

I'm really done. But this is mildly therapeutic...

Charlotte Ann said...

I laughed and I needed it!

Chelle said...

PS, some of those facts might be slightly embroidered. By wine.

Moooooog35 said...

Wow. What an eye opener.

I will never pee and spit on a hobo the same way again.

Next time I'll use a lot less force.

Eric said...

40 years from now when I'm under the care of a buxom young golddigging nurse, I'll remember that I shouldn't 'empty my mind and fill my drawers' because of your fortune cookie comment.

Haha, thanks for that.

Miss Yvonne said...

Everyone knows glasses make women look way more hot.

*waggles eyebrows over her sexy librarian glasses*

See? Hottt!!

diane said...

Hey there chica, I think I really love your step dad, he would probably fit in rather nicely around my house.
I bet your ex-student leaves a slimy trail where ever he goes, like a slug. He probably just follows along in the slimy trail of his dad; his mother probably lost her trail years ago, poor thing.
Your son's future looks bright, with his sunny optimism he'll go far.
Thanks so much for your sweet comment. I'll try not to take too long sorting things out, promise. xo d

just making my way said...

I might have to steal that from your son. Hilarious.

I think it must be harder to be a hobo today then in the "golden years" of hobo-ing. You just don't find that many unlocked box cars these days.

Mr. Charleston said...

I did the same thing at the movies when I first got glasses. They didn't seem to make a great deal of difference. Then I realized it was the movies. They simply aren't really very sharp, just BIG!

Kez said...

Haha I hope to hear more about these stepfathers!
As usual, you make me laugh LOTS :)

The Jules said...

My brother was told he had to have glasses for distance a short time ago. He was amazed.

He never knew you were supposed to be able to see the individual leaves on trees, and all those squiggles on car license plates - they're NUMBERS you know!

Wonder how long he was driving illegally.

Also, if I'd had your stepfather I would've made Big Rock Candy Mountain an anthem for the household.

"Ooooooon a Summer's day in the month of May a burly bum came hikin'."

Altogether now . . .

Carolyn...Online said...

What the heck is snow camp? And do they do musicals there? Because I think he might like to do a musical.

Stephanie Meade Gresham said...

It IS a mouth organ and my sister in law is having the same "projector issues" that you're having. Get glasses that make you look like a librarian. I do that and people think it's hot...and that I'm smarter than I really am.

That Baldy Fella said...

There's a voice
Keeps on callin' me
Down the road
That's where I'll always be...

Twisted Susan said...

All the lucky kids have step fathers.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I want to be a hobo, but instead of a rat, I'd have a tiny little armadillo who would protect me with its armour.

And I am so going to answer the phone like that next time it rings.