Thursday, March 08, 2007

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until its Gone

Well, the Grand Pooh-Bah and Markus took off for a “lost weekend” somewhere in Florida and left the rest of us high and dry when it came to Wednesday night Tiki. Now to the uninitiated, this may sound kind of petty coming from me. “They deserve to have a vacation. They deserve to have some time to golf and carouse,” you might say. True. They deserve to go out drinkin’, golfin’, and whorin’, just not on a Wednesday. Wednesday is sacred. Sometimes we get together on a Friday, or a Saturday, and even a few times on Sunday. But whatever the weekend holds, whether we get together at all, Wednesday is a must. It is the grand holiday in the weekly Tiki calendar, like Christmas, New Years, and St. Patrick’s Day, all rolled into one, and the bastards left us.

I came home from a bad day at the bakery and held no glimmer of hope in my heart that there would be any getting together with my Tiki brothers and sisters. On the ride home, with the warm case of beer next to me, I even contemplated, for a moment, jimmying a window and climbing in and then calling everyone to let them know that Tiki was on. It would only take me a few minutes to build a fire in the stove, and I know where Franklinton keeps the peanuts. We could air the place out when we were done, and we would even take out the trash and empty the ashtrays. It would be perfect, except that we would all have to lie to the Grand Pooh-Bah as to why his bedroom furniture was now in the living room, and the bathroom door had a stencil of “Beware of the Leopard”. For a fraction of a second this seemed like a great plan, then I reconsidered as I pictured him getting home on Sunday and finding people passed out on every level surface, each one wearing a pair of Franklinton’s large collection of animal print underwear on their head.

No, there was to be no Tiki on Wednesday.

I put the kids to bed and the wife settled in to watch some “American Idol” (Franklinton’s favorite show, ::sniff::). I sat down to the computer to write a horrible, nasty, scathing article on the insensitivity of some people leaving you when you needed them most, when the phone rang. There are only two people in the world that would call me at that hour, Big Orange, or his brother in law, Fat Wally. The voice on the other end of the line was hushed and indistinct. “What are you doin’?” I didn’t know who it was so I said, “Well, nothing” and trailed off so I could give the party at the other end a chance to say something else that might clue me in as to who this was.

“You want to go to the outdoor Tiki tonight?” At that I knew who it was. “Give me ten minutes and I’ll meet you there,” I said, and had my coat and hat on in four point one seconds. I loaded the kid’s wagon with firewood, beer, kindling, candles, and a flashlight and hustled out in the cold. In two minutes I had a fire going that you could have roasted a hog over. Wally rounded the corner twenty minutes later and explained that he had to watch the end of the Cav’s game. At the buzzer LeBron sank one and it had gone into overtime. He mentioned the final score and I promptly forgot it, as basketball just can’t hold my interest.

We warmed our hides by the fire and speculated how far the Grand Pooh-Bah and Markus were to their final destination. We spent some time gazing at the stars and contemplating the wonders of the universe. The ¾’s moon shone brightly and the stars were in full glow on a cold, clear March night. The neighbor behind the Grand Pooh-bah was kind enough to “donate” some wood to keep a couple of die-hard Tikiers warm. As the fire burned low, we called it a night and promised to get together Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday, the girls and I lounged around the house, and other than taking the oldest to school for a few hours, it was obvious that this was going to be a “do nothing day”. We snuggled in bed and watched cartoons. After the fifth episode of “Pinky Dinky Doo”, I dozed as the little one curled up in my arms. I awoke to the oldest yelling, ”Wally is at the door!”. I got to my feet and rubbed the sleep from my eyes and headed for the front door.

No sooner had I gotten it open than Wally bellowed, “I’ve got wood!”. “Well I’m glad to see you too!” I quipped. He had gone to see some Amish friends of his that ran a sawmill and purchased a trailer full of “rounds”. If you don’t know what that is, then picture cutting a square out of a circle. The edges that are left aren’t worth much as far as lumber goes, but make excellent firewood. It is all hard wood and has been kiln dried, so it burns hot, without all the fussing about with splitting that comes from most firewood. I helped him unload and stack it, as Miss Snap relayed the news of our wayward members. I guess that they got lost on their way down and made it to the hotel only a half hour before their tee time. I asked her how they could get lost when all they had to do was keep heading south, in my mind it was simple, if you run into the ocean, stop; but Wally cleared this up for me when he explained that there are five highways to choose from. I don’t travel and I don’t like to drive, so I could imagine the predicament they were in. Miss Snap said that Markus’s wife spoke to them as they were finishing up on the 17th hole. “They are probably on the 18th by now,” Miss Snap speculated. I pictured them bleary eyed and bloodshot, unshaven, and smelling of late night cigarettes and greasy cheeseburgers. The Grand Pooh-Bah will be sweating as he gives his sand wedge a good workout from a bad sand trap and swearing quietly under his breath, as Markus swigs a warm beer and kids Franklinton about his “grip”.

Well Gents, wherever you are, I hope you are having fun. Have a good time and come home soon and don’t bring home anything you might be ashamed of, unless it is that Cuban maid we have been talking about.. There are folks a little north of the Mason-Dixon line that miss you dearly.

But while you are gone, just know that we are redecorating your house and Wally is wearing your underwear.



  1. FIRST: yesterday sucked big time. It was a Lousy Wednesday throughout for all parties.

    SECOND: yesterday was ALSO a BEAUTIFUL day here in NE FLA. that made up for a lot.

    THIRD: 5 highways to choose from or not, "go south" is about all the duh-rections you need: if you get too far West and are headed towards the Gulf, you'll STILL hit the panhandle anyway. When in doubt, follow the big green highway signs that say "Disney, 200 miles" or something like that. Florida: we're hard to miss.

    I made a fire of my own last nite, but it was in the grill where I roasted the flesh of deceased cows admixed with a goodly-sized sweet onion and quaffed a few beers. Getting outside has a healing effect on most folken, I've noticed.

  2. Oh-- LOVE the carved wooden tiki. You need one: I hear squeezin' the titters gives good luck!!

  3. Genn-- he keeps up posts like this an' I might be TEMPTED to move!!

    Actually, here's a thunk: what about if I came up to Ohio for the summer, worked my ass off for my bro-in-law on his lawn company, and you guys can kind of put me up in a rotating selection. I'd be like a migrant worker-- staying with different people, workin' all damned day, sending all my money home, and then we can drink all night!!

  4. You are welcome to the guest bed. Come on up. We'll Tiki.


  5. genn6: I try and write this kind of stuff with you in mind. I try very hard to picture what the average reader of SZ would like to see and tailor it accordingly. Oddly enough, you are the person that I picture reading a beer blog. A single girl that doesn't drink beer, but wants some insight into the mind of your average American male, not that anything written for this blog was written by your "average American male", but just to give you some idea.

    By the way, when are we going to see the next entry for the single girl on the go? I so look forward to anything you post, you rascal!



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