A Tradition of Giving

A Tradition of Giving

When you go to a dinner party, the proper thing to do is bring a gift. I’m not sure who started this tradition, but I’m assured by my wife that this is indeed a proper tradition that society expects of us. And I want to be part of society. I think.

It’s not that I’m stingy. It’s just that I’ve had my share of gift giving faux pas over the years. Like the time I was told to bring wine to a dinner party. I’m not a wine guy. I can’t tell you which wine goes with fish or pork or spam. I know that some are red and some are white. I know that the stuff that comes out of a box is supposedly not as marvelous as the stuff you can’t pronounce and costs $100 per bottle.

Rachel Dolezal & Brian Williams to Star in the Bucket List 2: Let’s Pretend.

Rachel Dolezal & Brian Williams to Star in the Bucket List 2: Let’s Pretend.

BREAKING: Warner Brothers announces plans to make a sequel to the 2007 hit movie The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Neither will appear in the sequel, however. Starring in The Bucket List 2: Let’s Pretend will be NBC’s Brian Williams and former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal.

The Bucket List 2: Let’s Pretend will follow the two as they cross off a list of items they want to pretend to do before they die. Dolezal is very happy to be turning this new page in her life. “In the past, I’ve pretended to be a victim of white racism, black discrimination, child abuse, and domestic violence. So, you could say that I’ve hit all the obvious ones. In this film, I get to explore victimhood on a level I’ve never imagined.”

“I don’t want to give away too much, but the director has promised I will be a victim of gerrymandering, circumstance, time, and carnies. As the film progresses, I get to be the victim of a natural disaster. I’m hoping for a flood or hurricane so I can also be a victim of global warming. Double bonus!”

“I’m getting some pushback from the screenwriter, but I really feel I should visit Egypt and be a victim of one of those plagues from the old testament. Maybe the frogs or the darkness. I’m pretty sure I can spin one of those two into a shot at carbon based fuels or something like that. And in the climax, I’m a victim of identity theft! But the audience is left to guess if it is my white identity or my black identity! I’m totally blowing your mind, right!”

Brian Williams is excited to explore the possibilities as well. “As you know, I pretended to be shot at during the Iraq war. Silly me, but that’s all behind us. When the producers approached me and offered me the chance to pretend to be shot at by a wide variety of weapons, I couldn’t pass it up!”

Williams is boning up on his diving skills, he reports. “I’m going to be underwater trying to interview a talking shark off the coast of Austrailia. I will pretend to be shot at by various aborigines men with harpoons. There’s a glorious scene in Yankee stadium where I get shot at by t-shirt cannons. One I’m particularly excited about is being shot at by those poisonous blow darts. It’s sort of an homage to Indiana Jones, except this will take place in Times Square and instead of natives, it will be members of the Tea Party doing the shooting. Or blowing I suppose is the correct term.”

The former anchor is particularly excited about the climactic scene. “I can’t give too much away, but it will involve a trebuchet, 300 lbs of cottage cheese, and an androgynous villain named Le Méchant.”

Look for The Bucket List 2: Let’s Pretend in theaters in March 2016.

Carry on, Citizens!

72 Hours in Savannah (Part 3)

72 Hours in Savannah (Part 3)

From the Quick Baseball Mysteries (Short Stories Collection) 

(If you missed Part 1 and want to start at the beginning, click here)

Long before Google, there was Mueller —as in Mike Mueller. When it comes to trophies and medals, I’ll take Mueller over an internet search engine any day. With search, I type in keywords and out comes a sea of images and whatnot to sort through. Sometimes I get what I need right away, sometimes I lose an hour or two online. With Mueller, I simply make one call. He does the work and I spend that hour or two watching a game or engaging in other leisure activities. Of course, this does come with a few minutes of listening to Mueller bitch about how bad the Reds are at that particular moment of the season, but it’s worth it.

“It’s one in the morning, what the hell do you want?”

I thought I would start with something positive. “The Reds bullpen really got them out of a jam today.”

“Yes, but if they don’t start hitting, they will never catch Chicago. Why are we talking baseball at 1 in the morning, Quick? My wife is giving me the evil eye.”

“Turn the light back off and leave the bedroom so we can talk.”

“The light is off.”

“Then how do you know she is giving you the evil eye?”

“When you’ve been married for 27 years, you will know when you’re getting the evil eye. You don’t even have to be in the same state to know somewhere out there, she’s giving you the evil eye. And right now she’s knodding her head yes while giving me the evil eye. I can’t see it. But I know it’s happening.”

“So go to the kitchen or something.”

“All right, all right. What’s this about? You’re usually not the type to be working this late.”

“I’ve got a friend in trouble and I need to find out about a trophy.”

“What kind of trouble?”

“Murder.”

“Your friend the corpse or the accused?”

“The accused.”

“Good for him. What’s this have to do with a trophy?”

“They found a trophy sticking out of the dead guy’s body.”

“And you want me to tell you what it looked like before all the blood and guts?”

“No, I want you to send me a picture of the 1937 Southern League Championship trophy. It was stolen when the murder was committed.”

“No, it wasn’t.”

“Yes, it was. Scott, my friend in trouble, said he walked by it every day at work. He said that was the one that was missing.”

“Then your friend Scott wasn’t very observant. The team championship trophy is sitting in the private collection of a man named Barnes. Lives in Charlotte, last I recall. What your friend walked by every day was a smaller trophy that was given out to the players.”

See what I mean? Google wouldn’t have told me that. “So, do you have a picture of it? And any idea which player it might have belonged to?”

“Ivey. Lance Ivey was his name. I’ve seen that trophy myself. His family gave it to the team when he passed. He played a week or two in Triple-A ball, but mostly toiled in the low minors. I probably have a picture, somewhere.”

“Thanks, I really appreciate it.”

“Hey, did the trophy sticking out of the body have an art deco type of shape?”

“It was still in him when I saw it, so I can’t say. I identified it by the base.”

“What year and league was it?”

“Southern League, 1941.”

“That’s interesting.”

“Why?”

“It’s the same basic shape as the one you’re looking for. These were pretty common, had a wooden Art Deco shape and a bronze plated figure on top. The engraving plate would have been brass. In total, about 15 and a half inches high.”

“Based on what I could see, that sounds about right.”

“So, in essence, the killer rammed an identical trophy into the body as the one he stole.”

“He just wasn’t counting on somebody noticing from the plate that it wasn’t the same one.”

“Yeah, what’s one dusty old trophy from the next except for guys like you and me.”

“Only one problem.”

“What’s that?”

“What makes a dusty old trophy worth killing for?”

“Got me, Quick. You’re on your own to figure that out.”

“I usually am,” I answered.

Carry on, Citizens! 

Dear Nanny State…

Dear Nanny State…

Dear Nanny State,

Enough already. It wasn’t enough that you regulate every inch of our lives. Now you want to mess with s’mores. We’re done. We’ve had it. It’s time for an uprising or revolution or strongly worded blog post. It has come to my attention that you are now sending out missives to Americans asking them to replace the chocolate and marshmallows in s’mores and replace them with strawberries and yogurt. It’s not enough you and the First Lady turned school lunch into a broccoli laced healthy product that kids won’t eat, now you want to jack with their Summer too?

Stop. Just stop! Go spend our tax dollars on fixing our infrastructure or curing cancer or preventing Kanye from attending award shows. But leave s’mores alone. We’re watching you…

Sincerely,

Citizens

Carry on, Citizens!

photo credit: The first night via photopin (license)

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