The DumbDown Prophesy


Today a pinnacle in the annals of personal parentdumb has been achieved.

I wasn’t striving to reach the peak of this mountain……it was a natural progression as forewarned by my parents before me and I am quite sure by theirs before them.

I write this post to attempt to educate any parents of small children who will at one time, in the not so distant future, be parents of teenagers.

At that time….and ONLY at that time will you be bitchslapped by fate in the same manner in which I have been.

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That’s right….fate is the monkey that jumps off your back and slaps you.

It was earlier this afternoon as I had a confrontation with my stepdaughter.

“Why didn’t you answer the text I sent you?”

“Because we were walking around.”

“You know….the reason you have that phone is not so you can LOL and OMG with your friends but so we can get a hold of you when needed.”

“What’s the big deal? We were just watching a movie and I didn’t hear it.”

“…..you just said you were walking around.”

AND THEN IT HAPPENED

Her arms crossed, her eyes rolled, and she gave an audible sigh and said,

“Whatever, you are going to hear what you want. I said we were watching a movie.”

Then she flung herself and walked out of the discussion chamber and into her room.

It was at that exact moment in time when I heard my fathers voice come down from the heavens and into my head….

“It’s official. Your dumb. Just like I was when you pulled that reverse crap on me. Enjoy the next few years of parenting hell.”

In looked up and grimaced. Then looked at my wife and said,

“Honey, I’m dumb now.”

She replied without missing a beat,

“We have been dumb for a few years, dear. You have just been blind as well. Now you see what I see. Still glad you married me?”

“Great….I’ve been the Helen Keller of parenting….when do we get smart again?”

“Only when they have kids, honey. Not any sooner.”

“Uggghhhh.”
_______

Once the teen years have pummeled the sweet nectar of life right out of the once able bodied minds and hands of my wife and I am hoping to be able to look back on this time, as my parents once did and theirs did before them, and say we raised them right.

But, until then, all I can is,

“I ain’t as smirt as I oosed too bee.”

I have become comfortably dumb.

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Accept Tense


A popular topic in meetings (at least in my neck of the woods) is-

Acceptance<

If you a regular….or not so regular attendee of AA meetings I am sure you have heard it

“And acceptance was the answer to all of my problems”

It is taken from a story in the back of the Big Book. It is in the section called ‘Personal Stories’.

That section is a collection of stories written by persons who had recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.

In regular person terms it means they use the steps to solve the drink problem.
______

It is a great story and gives hope to all of us who are afflicted with alcoholism.

BUT…..

There is always a “but” isn’t there?

What a lot of AA members fail to realize or just plain ignore is this-

That particular topic does absolutely nothing to aid in the recovery of someone who has not fully worked the 12 steps of the AA program.

Wait for it. I will get there.

The person who wrote the story was an active participant in their own recovery. He agreed with the process that was necessary to help him stay stopped from drinking.

That process is outlined by way of the 12 steps that are found within the first 164 pages of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

That person obtained a spiritual experience from the completion and continued effort placed into the process.

From that experience, the story was crafted.

The story from which the acceptance topic is taken from is on page 417 in the 4th Edition.

Anyone else notice what I noticed?

To ask of anyone to understand and share on the topic of acceptance in a meeting is fine.

IF THAT PERSON HAS WORKED ALL THE STEPS

If that person has not worked all the steps and has not learned a large chunk about themselves and the patterns that brought them to AA and the state that their lives are in….then acceptance is not the answer.

The only thing they will be accepting is being tense and confused.

Who wants to accept tense and confusion as a design for living?

If I am willing to accept those 2 as answers, then I am willing to accept 3 more things-

Drink drank drunk

I know that will ease my tension and confusion.
______

I couldn’t accept ANYTHING until I could accept myself…..

And that happened once I put in the work needed to find that out…..by working the steps and having a spiritual experience.

I accept that this is just my view.

It’s still good2begone.

Decision From The “T”


The shakes hit me so hard that they awoke me from my blackout state. I am on the floor of my bedroom, staring at the dust and lint that resides under the dresser.

Sweating.

Shaking.

Holding my stomach in agony as it feels like its eating itself.

I need a drink to stop the pain….if only temporarily.

I calm my mind long enough to remember hiding a 5th of tequila behind the chest in the living room and a couple of beers at the back of the vanity in the bathroom.

The wave of nausea took over every time I blinked.

I had nothing left to throw up. I was sleeping in and over last nights contents of my latest drinking spree.

But that didn’t stop my insides from rejecting even the air that I attempted to breathe.

I muster up enough will power to get up off the floor.

Vomit drops off my clothes as I grow from the crawl, to the knees and finally to upright.

I see the clock digitally screaming at me in neon green that it is 3 p.m.

My wife will be home from work in a few hours. I have to clean this (and me) up before then.

Maybe she won’t know….

I use the furniture as a handrail and a guide from room to room to find my stash.

The afternoon sunlight coming in through the windows and the bitter silence oozing from the state of my affairs make it hard to see clearly.

But I see clearly enough to know what I need. I just have to retrieve it.

I make it to the living room and slump down next to the chest. I catch my breathe and wipe the continuous flow of sweat from my brow. A tremor of shakes brings me to my knees. I muster enough energy to reach behind the chest and find…… nothing.

“I KNOW IT WAS THERE” my mind screams.

That thought makes my head pound harder. I can feel my heart beating out of my chest. The beer has to be there.

I reach the guest bathroom after an eternity of crawling, whimpering and sheer determination.

I open the vanity door.

One beer and a note are the contents I find inside.

I instinctively grab the beer and pull the tab on it.

Riiip

Fsssss

The carbonated smell of the foam hits my senses and for that moment before I drank it

If only for that one moment…

I had won.

I drank the warm beer in a few gulps. My shakes slowly tapered to a mild twitch.

My stomach began to settle enough to focus the rest of my body.

The hot sweats I was enduring began to cool. The dampness of my hair and clothes were a warm welcome.

The stench of stale vomit was not…But a shower would fix that.

I set the empty can on the sink and picked up the note with my still shaky hand.

Jonathan,

You just drank the last drop of alcohol that remains in this house. You have also taken the last bit of compassion I have for you. The kids and I are gone. And we won’t be coming back. I still love you. But I fell in love with the man I married, not the one you have become. If you ever find your former self, then maybe you can find me again.

Until then,

Goodbye.

I wanted to cry or show some sort of emotion other than anger, but I couldn’t.

I could figure out a way to fix this but I

NEEDED

booze to help me sort things out.

I get up.

First I need a shower. I strip off my clothes and step into the cool water. It washes away my sins of yesterday.

I dry myself off.

Put on clean clothes and rifle through drawers and worn clothes trying to find a little money.

BINGO

A fiver in the back pocket of a pair of jeans I wore 3 days ago.

I go to the garage……

That bitch took the car…..

My eyes jet left to right. I see a bike tire jutting out from behind a few boxes.

It’s the bike I bought when teaching my daughter to learn to ride. I hadn’t ridden it in years….

The convenience store is only a few blocks away, I could ride it to pick up a six pack and then get back here to formulate a plan.

It’s a shaky ride, but I make it, and go into the store to make my purchase.

I buy my beer, get on my bike and decide the best place for it, is resting over the handlebars. If I go slow enough I should be fine.

As I ride back, I hit a few bumps and notice that 2 of MY beers are beginning to fall out of the plastic holder.

I try to pedal faster….only a few more houses to go and I am home….

I hit a pothole and lose control. I go flying off the side of the bike.

The beer glides off the handlebars…. in slow motion, clanking together as they go airborne and the hit the pavement.

2 of them spring a leak and begin to roll down the street.

I get up off my bloodied elbows and knees and give chase.

Tears are rolling down my cheeks as I try to stop my lifeline from seeping out of the holes. To no avail…I am left with four.

I pick up the remaining beers and head to the house. I leave the bike.

I get into the kitchen and immediately down 2 of them before attending to my injuries. I am still crying.

“How am I going to make it….I don’t have enough….” I think between the sobs.

I rub my forehead with my palm and glance over at the phone. A second note sits next to it.

I reach over and pull it towards me and read-

If you decide you want to quit, call this number. They say they can help, but they won’t until you ask.

Alcoholics Anonymous 555-5490.
________

Jonathan looks at the number that sits in front of him.

Then looks at the phone that sits at the left.

And then at the beer that sits on the right.

He feels like he is standing at a “T” in the road trying to decide which way to go.

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____________
This fictional story is a tribute to a friend in AA who passed away this past year with 26 years of sobriety. Parts of this story were based on his story.

Recovery from alcoholism happens.

He chose to go to the left.

Which way would you choose?

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Earring Twins


Nothing starts out a day on the wrong foot like finding out the customer you have been doing a remodeling job for is a terrible cross dresser.
________

Before I get to the story, let me clarify a few things-

I am not homophobic

Ok…

So, that’s just one thing….but it did need to be clarified.

Allow me to further explain by way of another story before I get to that story.
_______

During my last year of pre-sobriety (?) I lived with my younger brother and his boyfriend.

In that time, I learned much of the ups and downs of what it is like to be or to be assumed to be gay and the joys and hardships of relationships from their perspective.

I knew few people in that city. Predominantly, I hung around the gay and lesbian crowd.

I even earned a nickname-

“The Fag Hag”

I was the heterosexual surrounded by the homosexuals.

They were ravers. Club hoppers. Techno music enthusiasts. They like to drink. They liked to drug. They partied like drag queens.

I accepted them. They accepted me.

People are people.

I am open minded enough and comfortable enough in my own skin to not judge. As long as they were happy (which they were), then I was, as well.

That’s not to say they didn’t test me every now and then.

I was once asked if I wanted to venture into the “gay district” and hit up a dance club. They looked at me and said,

“It’s a pretty hardcore gay club.”

I replied, “Whatever. I’m in. I have to see what hardcore and gay looks like in one place….it’s like giant shrimp…it just doesn’t make sense.”

They laughed and got all giddy about taking the straight guy deep into the gay hood.

The best description I can come up with is that the club was basically a rodeo on steroids and crack without the barnyard animals.

They weren’t needed……there was bareback riding going on everywhere without them.

My brother came up to me after about half an hour and said,

“You alright bro?”

“Yeah, I’m cool. This place is nuts….no pun intended.”

He laughed and said, “Do me a favor and DON’T go into the bathroom here. There are things going on in there that straight men shouldn’t see.”

I made a sour face.

Paused.

Then replied.

“Thanks for the info, I will steer clear….”

I looked around as he stood by me and then I said excitedly,

“HOLY CRAP! Is that a Dig Dug machine?!? I’m out sucka….I got $4 in quarters burning a hole in my pocket!”

I went and retrieved 2 beers and headed for the arcade game that was tucked into the corner.

By the time I used my quarters, I got hit on by 4 different guys. 2 of them gave me their numbers and stuck them in my back pocket with a pat and a squeeze.

After we left the club I showed my gay entourage the phone numbers and said,

“Look what I got….and I didn’t have to go to the bathroom to get them!”
_______
FAST FORWARD TO PRESENT >>

I have been remodeling a kitchen for about a month.

I had seen and talk to the customers every day for about 3 weeks.

At the 3 weeks and 1 day mark….it happened.

I was finishing installing a few electrical plugs while the guy working with me was adjusting the cabinet doors.

I heard a door open and someone walking in.

Then….

I heard the guy working with me say, under his breathe,

“What the fu….?”

I look over my shoulder and see our customer walking up…..he was attempting to be graceful but it was not working.

For 3 weeks we had seen him. Dressed in work pants and a denim shirt….he is a truck driver. He is in his late fifties to early sixties. He is married.

Today….

He was in a loose fitting blouse. A knee length skirt. Black socks and sandals.

And make up…..make up applied as a man would apply it….

He made MiMi from the Drew Carry Show look like a goddess.

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The guy who works with me is a redneck….and was looking kinda pale.

I looked at him and said,

“You gonna be alright, Bubba?”

“Yeah….but I can’t talk to that…”

I looked at the customer and asked,

“Good morning. I know we got here a little early….we are just trying to “make up” for lost time.” And I glanced at Bubba and winked.

Bubba just stared. All droopy faced and stunned at what his eyes were seeing.

“No problem,” the customer began, “I just needed a glass of water and I will leave you all to finish.”

I smacked Bubba on the back of the head as the customer walked by and mouthed to him when he looked at me,

“Watch this…”

I turned to the customer and said,

“Sir, I don’t mean to intervene in your life but can I make a suggestion?”

Bubba’s eyes got big and he stepped back a few steps.

The customer turned around, crossed his arms and replied,

“Sure, go ahead.” Almost mockingly.

“Well……that eyeshadow is all wrong for your complexion. A lighter color would bring out your eyes a bit more.”

The customer relaxed….just slightly and said,

“Really….and what do you know about make up application and skin tones?”

I replied,

“I used to hang around the ‘alternative lifestyle’ crowd. There was a lot of talk about make up, fashion and the like. I picked a little up. If you would like, I will show you a few web sights that will help you out.”

“I would like that thank you.”

And then, the customer smiled, turned around and went back into the other room.

I looked at my stunned redneck work mate and said,

“Did you notice that you both were wearing the same earrings?”

Bubba didn’t think that was funny.

The Opening Gotcha


I WAS sick — sick unto death with that long agony; and when they at length unbound me, and I was permitted to sit, I felt that my senses were leaving me.The Pit and The Pendulum, Edgar Allen Poe

The man in black fled across the desert, the gunslinger followed.
The Gunslinger, Stephen King

Make yourself useless.How to Ruin Your Life, Ben Stein

I sent one boy to the gaschamber at Huntsville.
No Country For Old Men, Cormac McCarthy

Death is my beat.The Poet, Michael Connelly

John Wilkes Booth awoke Good Friday morning, April 14, 1865, hungover and depressed.Manhunt-The 12 Day Chase For Lincoln’s Killer, James L. Swanson
____________

Just a few of my favorite opening lines from books I have read…..more than once….twice…..three times a….

You get the picture……even though I used no pictures for this post.

A well written book or story does not need pictures.

The author creates them in your mind with the collection of words that he or she chooses.

If they getcha at the opening line….

Then they gotcha until the last.

Books….yeah, they are that good.

Broken Home


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“If These Walls Could Talk”

Back and forth, forth and back I keep pacing.
I stay the same while this world keeps changing.
I try to run but these walls got me caged in.
Is it real or just my imagination?

Back and forth, forth and back I keep pacing.
I stay the same while this world keeps changing.
I try to run but these walls got me caged in.
Is it real or just my imagination?

Sometimes I wonder if these walls know my deepest secrets,
from whom I love, to who I fall asleep with.
Can they see my sadness, my raging madness,
or that stack of porno magazines underneath my matress?
Can they hear my breathing, or my footsteps leaving?
Sneaking out my window ‘cuz I’m tired of my parents screaming.
Louder than Metallica playing with a symphony.
Louder than crowds in the eighties screaming for Tiffany.
I feel secluded, my thoughts feel polluted.
So I escape to music ‘cuz I think it’s therapuetic, and,
this whole world can hate or love me, or think i’m ugly,
‘cuz unlike my friends these walls wont judge me.
These walls wont betray me, these walls are like my safety.
But sometimes I feel like these walls drive me crazy.
They enslave me or chase me by myself.
‘cuz if these walls see everything, why the fuck don’t they help?

If these walls could talk they’d say,
that I was so damn lonely.
It feels like no one knows me.
These walls keep closing on me.
If these walls could talk they’d say,
that I was so damn lonely.
It feels like no one knows me.
These walls keep closing on me.

These walls are my leviathan, my cage, my lion’s den.
I’m feeling trapped, strapped to this bed that I’m lying in.
I can’t escape it so I grab hold of my blanket,
counting the cracks on the ceiling for my own entertainment.
And this order, it feels like post mortem, shit,
I’d rather have my pumpkin smashed by Billy Corgan.
‘cuz these walls watch me fall asleep and wake up,
they’ve seen my first kiss, they’ve seen my parents break up.
They’ve seen how I like to make sure my door stays shut.
cuz I like my privacy without it the inside of me
would fall to pieces like clothes with a bad seamstress.
These walls are my diary, my notepad, my Jesus.
A change of scenery is really all I need.
‘cuz these walls are closing in and it’s hard for me to breathe.
It’s hard for me to leave but not hard for me to fall.
I just don’t wanna become another brick in the wall.

If these walls could talk they’d say,
that I was so damn lonely.
It feels like no one knows me
These walls keep closing on me.
If these walls could talk they’d say,
that I was so damn lonely.
It feels like no one knows me
These walls keep closing on me.

Back and forth, forth and back I keep pacing.
I stay the same while this world keeps changing.
I try to run but these walls got me caged in.
Is it real or just my imagination?
Back and forth, forth and back I keep pacing.
I stay the same while this world keeps changing.
I try to run but these walls got me caged in.
Is it real or just my imagination?

If these walls could talk they’d say,
that I was so damn lonely.
It feels like no one knows me.
These walls keep closing on me.
If these walls could talk they’d say,
that I was so damn lonely.
It feels like no one knows me.
These walls keep closing on me.
If these walls could talk they’d say,
that I was so damn lonely.
It feels like no one knows me.
These walls keep closing on me.
If these walls could talk they’d say,
that I was so damn lonely.
It feels like no one knows me.
These walls keep closing on me.

DEAD CELEBRITY STATUS lyrics are property and copyright of their owners.
“If These Walls Could Talk” lyrics provided for educational purposes and personal use only.
Copyright © 2000-2013 AZLyrics.com
________

Addiction is everywhere. Help is available, but you have to be willing to look outside your own walls to find it.

Peace

Irony Of The Snake Man


This man is a legend.

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He holds multiple world records, that are recognized by that Guinness Book that lists all the world records.

Where I live he is a local hero. He lives in the same area, and has for many years.

He is currently in critical condition at our local hospital.

He is known the world over for his accomplishments.

Some call him fearless. A renegade. A collector of creatures that many fear.

I call him an idiot.

He is….

Jackie Bibby “The Texas Snake Man”

He has had a TV show-

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I don’t know if it is still on or not, but I do know that he travels the world to show off his talents.

He holds the record for number of live rattlesnakes being held in his mouth by the rattles-

13

He holds the record for being in a sleeping bag with the most rattlesnakes-

150

He has lost part of his leg due to a snakebite. He almost lost an arm.

He has completely lost his mind.

Every year in our wonderful small town. We have what is called-

“The Rattlesnake Roundup”

He is the host.

Besides the main attraction of “the snake man” there are other things at the roundup.

Guns…lots of guns

Knives….sharp sharper and damn!

And swords..Samurai broadswords and katana swords…..

I don’t know what a katana sword is…I just like saying it…

KATANA!!!

It doesn’t sound like a weapon…it sounds like a sneeze….

Bless you….

Anyway,

And of course there is food.

Weapons, rattlesnakes and food. Fun for the whole family!

Redneck crazies come from all over to challenge the snake man at the roundup.

They get to crawl into the sleeping bag and have snakes put into it, until they say stop…..or get bit….or freak out.

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The should have called it-

“The Idiot Roundup”

The roundup was this past weekend.

Mr. Bibby was a no show.

The news reported that he was in the hospital.

He was at his home rounding up his snakes to take to the roundup…..And one of his rattlesnakes rounded up and bit him.

Ohhh the irony.

Get well, Snake Man. The Roundup is just guns, knives, swords and food without the main attraction.

We need people like you, who do the things, that we would never think of doing in the name of world records.

KATANA!!

The Sobriety Mechanic


I am a quitter.

I am not just a quitter….I am an infamous quitter.

I have quit on so many things I quit counting……

One of the standard items I have given up on is vehicles.

I will drive them until they break down. Then abandon them with the keys in the ignition and move on.

General maintenance and upkeep have never been one of my strong points.

If a noise is heard while I am driving that I am not used to…..I turn up the stereo to drown out the noise.

PROBLEM SOLVED

That is until the vehicle craps out.

Then it is abandoned.

This merry go round of misuse began when I was given my first vehicle and was subsequently continued until I got sober.

Honestly, I never even began to pay for a vehicle myself until 5 years into sobriety.

43 years old.
27 years of driving.
0 vehicles paid for.
7 abandoned vehicles

That’s quit quite a record of letting others take care of my responsibilities.

I just paid off my first vehicle a few weeks ago. Shortly after it broke down.

Rather than leaving it at the side of the road and walking away, I did the responsible thing and had it towed to a mechanic and had him repair it.

Then paid for it.

I have since realized that people have been doing this since the vehicle was invented…..who knew?

“Not I” sayeth the quitter.
___________

I go through all that to get to this….

When I quit drinking, I abandoned my old partying ways and left them at the side of the road.

And walked away.

But, I have learned since that chilly October day over 6 years ago that-

It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. -Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous page 85 chapter-Into Action

There is that word “maintenance” again.

I quit drinking through AA and life got better….for me. I am not going to speak for anyone else.

The deal is..if I don’t do the things to spiritually maintain this condition of sobriety, then, off to the junkyard it goes, much like the various vehicles of my past.

How do I keep myself from quitting on myself (again)?

I’m used to quitting….I am good at it. I don’t feel bad doing it.

I just do it.

AA has given me confidence in myself that helps me to avoid quitting on myself.

I stay involved in my home group. I have a sponsor. I work with others. I pray on a daily basis to a God of MY understanding. I go to conferences. I speak when asked to. I help when not asked to.

I aid in the maintenance of my sobriety by getting out of self and into life.

And….

I do it without getting grease all over my hands and clothes.

If I plan to keep what I have gained, I need to follow the steps that helped me get here in order to maintain the life that I am blessed with.

Maintenance…….

It’s not just for vehicles

It’s for a sober life.

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Duck Sauce


My black truck is awaiting to be picked up……she is fixed.

Not fixed like getting a pet spayed or neutered. Which I recommend if you have a pet. If you don’t have a pet, I wouldn’t recommend it because wearing the cone is not very becoming on anyone.

Trust me on that one.

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Sorry….got distracted.

Maybe fixed wasn’t the right wording to apply.

The mechanic has repaired my vehicle.

There. Simple enough.

He called and told me how it was repaired and what was replaced.

While he was informing me of the replacements…..this is what I thought he replaced.

1-

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And

2-

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Any guesses?

No?

Here are the answers-

1- tie rods
2- lifters

Stop laughing.

No really.

I don’t know jack about vehicles.

He could have told me the flux capacitor needed to be replaced and I would have agreed.

All I know is I get it back for the small price of ordering out of state Taiwanese
food and having it delivered to my door.

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“You wan derivery to Texas? Dat cos extra! A rot…..an I mean a rot extra!”

“Yeah…yeah…here’s my credit card. Just don’t forget the duck sauce like last time.”

The mechanic also said she purrs like a kitten now.

Unlike when I dropped her off and it sounded like an 8 year old playing drums under the hood.

no pic for that one….get your own mental image.

What was down
Is now up
What was broke
Is now fixed repaired

As always

It is good2begone.