Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Called Him "Chico" And Lived to Tell About It

Diane reminds me on a regular basis that I have a not-so-healthy affinity with my car horn, and I, in turn, remind her that she should mind her own freakin' beeswax. I should probably listen to my wife more.

I had to work a longer shift Tuesday night to cover a coworker's vacation, so I was driving home a little later than the roads-are-totally-deserted later-than-normal. As I was driving home, I came upon a slow-moving vehicle that, though it remained in it's lane, seemed to be drifting excessively within the lines. I kept my distance. We came to a stop light and both of us maneuvered into the left turn lane. The road onto which we were turning started out with several hundred yards of two lanes before merging into a single lane. Since I didn't want to be stuck behind this potentially impaired individual, I decided that I would pass him if I had the opportunity. The light changed, he meandered into the right lane, and I made my move. That's when all the bad things began to happen.

As I turned into the left lane and attempted to pass, I was abruptly cut off by
my liquor-imbibed amigo as he cranked the wheel hard to the left and shot out right in front of me. I jammed on the brakes to avoid hitting him, and yes, you guessed it, I instinctively reached for the horn and gave it a nice long blast, you know, just to let him know I was there. It must of worked because he over-corrected and shot back across the right lane and off the road, plunging my car in a cloud of dust before returning to the road. This pretty much confirmed my suspicion that this individual was indeed drunk, so I backed way off and let him go on his merry way.

I followed him all the way to my subdivision (oh great) where I eventually pulled up beside him at a stoplight. Why I pulled up next to a dude I knew was drunk is a question I continue to ask myself, a question to which I have no good answer. Probably the best one is that "I'm stupid", but the ones I've been going with are closer to "I was tired" or "I wasn't thinking", which is just a variation of "I'm stupid". Anyway, I pull up next to him, and he immediately confronted me. And since it was a pleasant Arizona evening, I had my windows down so I had no problem deciphering his message:


I probably just should have kept my eyes straight ahead and done nothing, but "I'm stupid", remember? I turned and looked and found myself staring into the glassy eyes of a behemoth of a man. He was stone-faced drunk and looking for a fight. At this point I figured I could do two things: I could ignore him and piss him off, or I could respond and piss him off. Guess which one I chose.

"Yeah, when you practically run me off the road, I honk my horn."

Well, that was enough for him. He started fumbling around at his gearshift on the steering wheel, then at his seat belt. Then he found the door handle and opened the door. "Alright, you! Get out of the car!" And he started climbing out of his car.

Now I'm a supposedly responsible, law-abiding, happily married father of two. I have a mortgage and own a minivan. I'm not supposed to get involved in street fights with chiseled, inebriated chuckleheads in the wee hours of the morning. I knew I needed to get out of there, pronto. But just when I thought my stupidity had reached its limits, I got stupider. I left him with a departing inquiry:

"Had a little too much to drink tonight, there, chico?"

And then I fled against the red light.

Before you label me as a racist, please allow me to try to explain myself. My high school Spanish teacher used to call us "chicos" and "chicas" (that's "boys" and "girls" to those of you not proficient in the Spanish language), and it stuck with me, especially under circumstances in which someone has pissed me off. On those occasions, these particular individuals, regardless of race, have become "chicos". It's not the best habit in our politically correct society, especially here in Southern AZ, but it's so fully ingrained in my vocabulary that it's going to be tough to break. Incidentally, "chico" also means "little" or "small", which is funny to me because this dude was huge. He was also white. I should have called him "Bubba".

So now I'm racing for home and trying to lose this guy. I had a good lead on him, but was reluctant to go too fast through a heavily populated area. I also didn't want this jerk driving his SUV into someone's bedroom, so I set a brisk, but responsible pace, the only level-headed decision of the evening. I monitored my rear-view mirror and finally spotted him FLYING up the road behind me. He blew right through a stop sign and came bearing down on me, eventually pulling in right behind me and tailgating me. That's it, I thought, I can't go home, so I slowed down and just kept driving.

He followed me for a couple of minutes with no sign of backing off, so I grabbed my cell phone, dialed 911, and headed for the closest police station. How the hell do I get myself into these situations? Well he either got tired or wised up to my plan because a few minutes later he turned around and went home. I sighed a sigh of relief, and when I thought it was safe to do so, I did the same.

So what has this experience taught me? 1. Don't honk. 2. Keep my mouth shut. and 3. Take an alternative route home, especially if I fail to follow #1 and #2. Oh yeah, and never, NEVER, call them "chico".

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Big One

I've always taken a certain measure of pride in the fact that I wed an older woman. There's a mystique to the older woman, a sexiness, a hotness, and an added layer of difficulty to the hunt. You see, I think it's fairly easy for an older man to score a younger bride, but you've really got to amp up your game to bag an older one. They're wiser. They know our tricks. And we'd better be pretty frickin' special if they're going to pass up their sugar daddy for us. Well I did it and I'm proud.

I also happen to be talking completely though my anus because we were stupid frickin' kids when we met and started dating, and our difference in age is a mere six months. But tomorrow that six month age difference will magically transform into a seemingly bottomless chasm as my bride ceases to be a 30-something. Yes, tomorrow is Diane's birthday, and it's a big'un. Tomorrow my bride turns 40.



But that doesn't distress me at all. I, as a younger husband, think it's HOT. I get to sleep with a 40 year-old woman! What really bothers me is the knowledge that MY 40th is only six months away. Then I'll probably cry.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


We're back from what I believe to be the perfect vacation...lots of laying around, playing in the surf, drinking cervezas and margaritas, and eating ourselves silly. Here are some pics from the trip.

The view from our back patio...not too shabby, eh?

Our not-too-humble abode...six bedrooms,
five bathrooms, an elevator, and a hot tub
built for about 10. girls hamming it up with my nieces. They
never made it to sleep before 11 pm the whole vacation.

Looks like a scene from Jaws...

Takin' a break, mugging for the camera...

Kyra, practicing her "surfing"...

Kailey, building castles with her cousins...

The fam...yeah, I'm the pasty white guy in the back...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Taking a Vacation...FROM MY PROBLEMS!!

Sunday morning can't come soon enough. Cause when early Sunday morning comes, we pack up our crap, jump in the van, haul our pasty-white butts to Tucson International Airport, pay an insane amount of money to check our baggage (stupid American Airlines), and board an overpriced/overbooked plane on our way to a connecting flight, where we'll spend most of the rest of our day in airports and boarding planes. But all of that doesn't matter, because we're heading to a beach house on the Gulf of Mexico with no plans other than drinking Dos Equis and margaritas, and relaxing on the beach for a week. And I. Can't. Wait. I'm also excited because we'll be meeting my Mom and my brother and his family there, marking the first time all of us have vacationed together.

This vacation is long overdue. Diane and I have both been stressed to the max from different work situations, and both of us are literally counting down the minutes until we get the hell out of Tucson. Yesterday, we went out and spent about a million dollars on swimsuits, and I didn't care a bit because we need this vacation.

Of course the week before vacation comes is always hectic, and this week has been no exception. I decided to take a summer class (History of American Cinema) and was pumped to discover that it was an online course. No travel! I thought it would be a nice little summer class taken from the comfort of my home to be completed at my leisure. Not so. It's turned out to be the workhorse class from hell so far. We've only been at it for two weeks and I'm already behind. And heading on vacation will put me further behind. But I don't care. I'm GOING on VACATION, and I'll get the work done when I get the work done. Fortunately, I'm enjoying the content of the class, so it shouldn't be too burdensome to catch up.

A couple days of work, a couple of loads of wash, some packing and tidying up around the house, and we're gone. Too bad we have to come back.


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