Worst Christmas Card Ever…

Most of the time I try to add humor to my posts, but this won’t be one of them…I found out this week when I received a Christmas card in the mail, that a friend who I grew up with had been tragically killed when he was run over by a police car…as hard as that card was to receive, I can’t imagine how difficult it was for his wife to send…

For close to 30 years, Tom was the person who knew me better than anyone…at least until my wife came along anyway…my wife…who Tom introduced me to one hot day on the beach in Cape May, NJ…

…of course, as friends will do, Tom and his girlfriend…his future wife and now sadly his widow…also then took us (me) for a round of drinks that day at one of the beachside bars after a round of couples miniature golf they shamed us in…if I didn’t know any better, I would have said THAT was Tom’s true motivation for introducing me to my future wife…she was really bad at miniature golf…

Tom and I were part of a group of 8 friends who, starting in high school and into our 30’s did everything together…there were always other people who passed through our little Communal group from time to time, but once the nolvety of them wore off…well, you get it…mostly what we did together though, was drink…we also played a lot of bad golf together…it was Tom who took me golfing for the first time…he taught me a couple of lessons that day…Tom bounced a tee shot off my rear end as I was reaching into the cart to get a ball, then walked over, picked up his ball claiming a mulligan (a free do-over in golf)…still hear him laughing…he also taught me what a $2 Nassau in golf is…and how expensive it can be to lose every side of one…

As a friend, Tom was also supportive…when my mother passed away too soon, he (and my other friends) all came to the viewing, but it was Tom who took off work the following day to come to the burial and spend the next day with my family as well…some years later, after my wife and I had moved to PA, my father passed away…even though we had lost contact for some time…when my father was buried, it was Tom who came to pay his respects to my family…

Tom and I took a couple of vacations together…a week skiing in Killington, VT…a week where we each skied our first expert hills, ready or not…none of the other guys enjoyed skiing as much as we did…we also went golfing down in South Carolina…Tom’s father and mother once took Tom, his wife and newborn son, and my wife and I with them to Montego Bay for a vacation one cold winter…I remember Tom and I took a walk one afternoon off of the estate and surprisingly ended up in a beach bar where we spent several hours just talking and catching up on things…drinking too…but not like the old days…and watching some sort of photo shoot with women who were wearing varying styles of swimsuits…what can I say, we were still young…I remember walking home that day and we decided that we each had to get a coconut to take back with us…we also learned that it’s a lot harder than it sounds…especially after you’ve spent the last couple hours drinking Red Stripes…no matter how hard we tried to just shake them from the tree?… they weren’t coming down…not until we found a couple of large sticks laying close by and put 2 and 2 together…I remember a group of local girls walking by and laughing at our ridiculous efforts…at least we got one coconut any way… 

I was the Best Man at Tom and his wife’s wedding…and him at mine…we went to Eagles, Phillies, and Flyers games…I remember his father had gotten tickets for us to Game 5 of the 1983 World Series…even though we knew the Phillies were going to lose the series, I was still excited about going to the game…Tom felt the tickets would be more valuable if we scalped them for whatever we could get…the Phils lost 5-0 that day, ending the series…Tom was right…

…neither Tom nor I went to college, we were blue collar workers right out of high school…he worked for his uncle installing gas mains and services and I worked for the township where we lived…at least I did until I got a DUI one night on my way home with Tom after celebrating his birthday…sadly, my mother passed away the following year, on Tom’s birthday…I never celebrated another birthday with him again…and he never asked me to…

Tom and I saw less and less of each other after my wife and I moved to Pennsylvania…something I’ll forever regret…this week has brought back a lot of memories…some good…some not as much…I could write a book about growing up with Tom and our group of friends…I’m sure if I had taken more time I could have come up with a better tribute to my long-time friend…one thing Tom’s passing has taught me is I need to be a better friend…somehow I’ve forgotten what that means and how to do that…

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Can They Fire Me For This?…

In my new position as the junior Service Team Leader in training at the store, I’ve become concerned about a couple of things…other than Eagles football helmets packaged in Dallas Cowboys boxes…no, this Particular demon is about my vanity…and how my employer wants to hang a large oversized cell phone picture of me at the front of the store where customers checkout…

I am not a handsome man…I generally have bad haircuts…I’ve been told because of my grey hair I look sickly when I get a fresh haircut…I have a small scar on my forehead…a small thing under my eye that could probably be cut off by a dermatologist…my face tends to wrinkle a bit too much when I smile…and my teeth resemble an old picket fence in need of a whitewash…

Sorry if I just spoiled your breakfast with that verbal portrait of myself…but I hope that explains my aversion to being photographed…and why, after they hung up my new picture at the front of the store…we decided it would be best for all parties to take it down the next day…they said it was because I didn’t smile…I didn’t…they want their employees to portray a positive, cheerful appearance…to be engaging with the customers…to be knowledgeable about food and the benefits of eating healthy and enjoying fresh food…and that picture of me portrayed the extreme opposite…an unhealthy diet of pre-packaged foods and no fruits and vegetables…how the hell did I get this job anyway?…

So I have come up with my own simple plan to get a picture acceptable to  IMG_0142everyone…take a selfie with my phone and use an on-line editing app something like photoshop to get rid of all my facial and dental imperfections…or as many as possible since I’m not sure any one editing program can fix everything that’s wrong with my appearance…but at least my employer will be happy since they won’t have to hang a photo on the front wall that skeeves out their employees and customers… 

 

Are You Friggin’ Kidding Me!…

I can’t believe the display currently set up at the grocery store where my talents (?) are currently on display…it spits in the face of every Eagles fan and gives us just one more reason to hate the Dallas Cowboys…not that Eagles fans need any added incentive…this is Eagles-Cowboys week…the first of 2 games against the team Eagles fans LOATHE and DESPISE the most…maybe more than the Giants and the Redskins, the other 2 teams in the NFC East… combined!…at least I know I do…

So what is it that has my midnight green shorts in a bunch?…let me start at the retail level and my current employer…although if they keep displaying silly things like the one I’m going to get around to eventually describing, it may be not for long…but, how in thee name of “Concrete” Charlie Bednarik can any self-respecting manager allow this particular item to enter a store in SE Pennsylvania?…makes me wanna start throwing snowballs again (remember?…the whole throwing snowballs at Santa?…it’s supposed to be a joke?)…anyway, I tried to use all the leverage that a junior Front End Service Team Leader…in training…can muster up, and I demanded the store powers that be remove this insulting, ridiculous item immediately!…yeah?, so no, not gonna happen…

Okay, that having failed…I now have to rely on a groundswell of customer complaints to any retail business that chooses to stock this ridiculous item…what is it that some Droll employee over at NFL Marketing has decided every Eagle fan needs?…that Eagles-Cowboys week would be the best time to roll this abomination out?…take a look at this piece of NFL collectible garbage!…

That’s right Birds fans…don’t know how good you can see it, but that beloved Eagles helmet has been placed in a Dallas Cowboys box…where’s the outrage?…why isn’t Eagles owner Jeffrey Laurie demanding these be removed?…immediately…getting paid is probably why…but this thing sucks…I’ll bet money it isn’t sold at the Linc on gamedays…can you imagine the riot this thing would cause?..and before you fans of other NFL teams start thinking this is just an Eagles-Cowboys thing…check your local grocer..bet they have one for your squad too…and finally…please keep in mind…NFL helmets…even from official suppliers…do not prevent concussions…your kid would have just as good a chance if he/she wore the box it came in…that unfortunately is no joke…