Smile Politely

All over the place

Wow, it’s been quite a while since I wrote my little column. There’s a ton of stuff to cover and none of it ties together all that much, so I’m dedicating this column to the Bangles, partly because Susanna Hoffs is still smoking hot and mostly because their first record was called All Over the Place, which is what this column is. Get it? Yeah, me neither. Let’s get it on.


If you have a wedding and the bridal party includes SP columnist Kathy Decker and myself, expect to have a completely boring evening. I’m joking, of course; we totally lit that shit up. I won’t go through the entire thing, for many reasons, only a few of which pertain to memory or lack thereof. I found this picture the next day on my phone. I can only assume we were reenacting some sort of Red Riding Hood scenario with my friend who we’ll call Bryce, as the title character. Apparently, food and liquor make people’s eyes glow in a wonderful way.

I danced three times which, not surprisingly, coincides with the amount of times I pulled my hamstring. I also managed to give a wedding toast that had virtually no swearing at all. FYI, I had a backup toast that had lots of swearing, but I decided to save it for some other time.

The best part was riding the karaoke party bus from the wedding to the reception. Sure, it got full and crazy as the night went on, but at this time it was just Todd, the groom, Ward, Bryce, and me. We half-heartedly sang along with “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” but honestly, those lyrics are pretty complicated. We even tried to keep the momentum with some crapass Aerosmith song. When we were about to give up, a song of great poetry came on and we all sang at the top of our lungs. As we pulled into the reception, you could hear the brilliant selection with such heartfelt lyrics pouring from the bus windows.

You show us everything you’ve got
You keep on dancing and the room gets hot
You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy

You say you wanna go for a spin
The party’s just begun, we’ll let you in
You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy

You keep on shouting, you keep on shouting

I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day


There’s nothing like a 4th of July party. In fact, I like it so much I started on the 3rd. Fine, it wasn’t full party mode, but if your pal has a keg on ice there’s really no reason not to tap that shit a day early. I helped hang up some red, white, and blue streamers to give the illusion that my arriving a day early served a purpose, but it was mostly so I could drink and swim a little bit extra.

Of course, the next day, there were people there — people, and also kids, who are sort of people except little and sort of assaulty. I don’t know what it is about me, but every child who goes swimming believes me to be some sort of freaky pool toy they can abuse for hours at a time. I was splashed, hit in the face with balls (not that way), and sadly, had my beer spilled about seven times.

The scariest part is that those fucking squirt guns are a lot more powerful than I remember them being. Holy crap, they pump those things up like pellet guns these days. Forget about not being able to see for a second because you got hit in the eye. Those new rat bastard guns will blind your dumbass if you aren’t careful.

After all the frolicking, it was time for the fireworks. We had a fine vantage point through the trees at my friend’s house and it was also very close to the liquor, which made it an even better vantage point. Sometime during all the oohing and ahhing, a lone, shirtless man rode in front of us through the darkness on a bicycle while smoking a cigarette. That, my friends, makes me proud to be an American.


What the fuck is this holiday anyway? It’s too much noise and I hate it. Last year, those fireworks were so loud I freaked out and crapped right in the middle of the living room. It wasn’t a little crap either, but you know, a full-on crap. This year, I managed to hold my bowels until I got outside, but still, I was a complete mess. Do you dickhole humans really have to celebrate for five fucking days in a row? A dog can only crap so much before it just wears his ass out … um, literally.


My buddy, and probably yours (let’s call him Matthis Helmick), is raising money for a store he’s working on called Plant Mode. He will have, of course, plants, but some other cool stuff like home goods in there, and it promises to be a sweet little addition to downtown. He’s started a campaign on indiegogo if you would like to help out and be a part of what will soon be a super-happening plant scene in the C-U area.

You can stop by on your computer mechanism and contribute to this fine venture. You can give any amount, $10, $25, $50, $100, or even $1,000 or $5,000. In fact, I bet you could even give more than once if you had a hankering to do so. You even get some cool stuff if you pitch in. Plants, what’s not to like?


We switched to DirecTV over the winter, mostly out of spite. It was cheaper and great for a time, but then summer came along. Initially, a few of the channels weren’t coming in, but I chalked that up to a temporary problem. It became progressively worse until now, when most of the channels don’t come in. It became quite clear, even to a dim bulb like myself, that the neighbors’ trees had grown over the path to the satellite.

I called to see if they could move it and they said it would be $50. I politely informed them that I didn’t feel we should be charged since I wasn’t the one who put the goddamned dish up in the first place and that it wasn’t working through no fault of my own. I was politely told back that the dish was set up for optimal viewing on the day it was installed.

See, this would be great if I only planned to watch TV on that one fucking day a year, or even if I only wanted to watch it in the wintertime. I would assume the fine DirecTV technician would have a class that informs them that trees often develop leaves on them in the summer months and that a fucking signal won’t go through fucking leaves. Either way, I paid $50 and made sure the lady on the phone had a really shitty day. Sometimes it makes perfect sense to kill the messenger.


You can’t really personify something like an M & M’s candy and then expect us to not feel sorry for it when you take a bite. It’s not quite like that traitorous swine pig that advertises Li’l Porgy’s, but it’s sort of like that.

He was a great one-man-band. Sure, the kazoo and the knee cymbals struck me as over the top, but the banjo, harmonica, and under arm accordion really took us all to a higher place.

Buona sera, senorina, kiss me goodnight.

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