In any case, I hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays so far. Here in Maryland the temperature has been unseasonably warm. Because we’ve had a few days that have been above 70 degrees, my neighbors can attest to my recent indulgence in outdoor activities that I thought I wouldn’t do again until the spring of next year such as riding my bicycle, getting tired and then walking my bicycle, and sunbathing in a neon green Speedo on the front lawn of my apartment building.
While I will admit that I haven’t exactly been to the gym as often as I’d hoped this year, I have to say that I think it was a bit extreme for my neighbors to have had me forcibly removed from the premises. Allegedly, I was scarring the children, and all of the dogs refused to go out for their regularly scheduled walks as long as I was out there tanning. Personally, I feel a little bit slighted. I’m sure they wouldn’t have taken such harsh measures if I were Channing Tatum or Joe Manganiello. In any case, I’ve decided to do two squats and one bicep curl a day moving forward to see how things turn out next year. Maybe instead of having me tossed off the lawn, they’ll offer to put me on the cover of the “Middle-Aged Men of Gaithersburg: Battle of the Dad Bods” annual calendar.
For the first time in a long while, I spent Christmas Day with family. In my mind I thought the evening would be reminiscent of those videos where they put 8 bums in a ring and throw a chicken wing in the center. I expected there to be hair pulling, wig tossing, bottle throwing, name calling, and turkey chucking. Now don’t get me wrong, there were all of those things, but it went way better than I could have imagined. No one fought to their death, which was an excellent change of pace. There were actual hugs instead of headlocks. I have to say that I rather enjoyed it.
In other celebratory news, as I’m sure you all may know because you read it in the tabloids, I had a birthday a few weeks ago. Not one of the majors, but still a considerable one. I mean, I didn’t exactly turn 50 or anything, but I’ve had so many birthdays by now that you could pretty much consider me a pro. Let’s just say I turned one of those ages where, when you say it, people look at you as if they don’t expect you to live through the end of your next sentence. Matter of fact, I’m like two people away from holding the Guinness Book of World Records’ title for being the oldest person alive. But I digress.
For my big day, I envisioned having E! on the premises to film the shenanigans so that they could air it as a special right after Keeping up with the Kardashians. I planned to invite everyone. Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Kim and Kanye. Bert and Ernie. It would have been great. However, I ran into a slight snag when I called E!. They pretended as if they didn’t know me. It was as though they had never heard of my little blog that could. At first I was offended, but then I realized, at this age, who has time to cry over spilled milk or unknown blogs. I mean, I may only have a few good days left.
After the E! receptionist hung up on me (twice), and threatened to send the police if I called again, I opted to do the next best thing: spend my birthday with a few friends and co-workers. Because I consider myself to be a beacon of responsibility and a shining example for today’s youth, I am proud to say that there absolutely was no alcohol involved.
I actually fought peer pressure and did not get excited when drinks were presented to me.
And even though I held a few drinks in my hand just to look cool in a few pictures, I did not have a single drink.
And although I was surrounded by people who were having drinks in my honor, I absolutely didn’t get drunk.
Umm, these pictures better not show up on the internet. I’m warning you.
So imagine my complete and utter shock when I woke up on a strange couch the following day. My head pounded as my eyes adjusted to the light. I tried to make out the weird faces in the room. After a bit of moaning, I learned that I hadn’t been abducted by aliens, and those things that kept moving before my eyes and calling my name were actually my friends. Somehow, I had slept through the remainder of my birthday night and right on through until 12 noon the following day. My friends had reached their caregiving limits and were sending me out to face the world one year older and alone.
I was dropped off at the nearest DC Metro station where I perused my phone to learn that I had drunk texted several co-workers, teachers, and my boss. Fortunately, I didn’t type anything too out of the way, but I did somehow extend out several marriage proposals that were all respectfully declined. I didn’t take it too personally, though. I mean, maybe my boss just isn’t ready for that level of commitment, and that is completely understandable since she’s already married with eight children. In the aftermath, I reached out to Mark Zuckerberg and asked him to immediately create an app that would serve as a breathalyzer on my phone so that I’d never be able to send text messages while under the influence of non-alcoholic Diet Coke ever again.
As I waited for the train, a woman in a fur coat and boots sat beside me and asked for the time. She had a cellphone in her hand so I wondered why she couldn’t have checked that on her own. I figured that either I was about to be robbed, or she had Verizon phone service, which charges an additional $42 a month to allow people to check the date and time. Fortunately for me, it was the latter.
After I secured my phone and wallet, the lady sat down beside me and struck up a conversation. This has never happened to me on public transportation before. In the past, there were times when all I wanted in life was the person next to me to ensure me that I was on the right train, that I was heading in the right direction, and that I’d make it to my destination safely. However, in most cases, my attempts to engage my seatmate in any form of dialogue were met with an eye roll, some choice words, or creative hand gestures that certainly wouldn’t have made their grandmothers proud. But this woman was different.
My head continued to pound from the night before as she asked if she could smoke. When I mentioned that I didn’t think it was the best idea since there were no less than 33 signs posted advising against it, she agreed. It was then that she told me that she had just gotten out of jail, and it wouldn’t be in her best interest to be arrested for smoking on a Saturday because she wouldn’t be released until Monday at the earliest. I’m from Baltimore, so I admired the fact that she knew the prison system like the back of her hand. If that isn’t a marketable skill, I don’t know what is.
When the train arrived, the felon walked past 5 completely empty rows of seats to sit directly in the spot next to me. We talked about everything, from men in skinny jeans to whether it was a good idea to try to return a cellphone that was purchased (possibly stolen) from Target to a Walmart because there was no receipt. I chose my words carefully because I knew that anything I stated could and would be used against me in a court of law at a future date. When she made it to her stop, we exchanged numbers, so I expected to get a call later that day requesting bail money. Fortunately, that call didn’t come until a few days, which gave me time to scramble together a few dollars to put on her books.
Like any normal person would do, after a few weeks, I opted to hire some security and end the relationship. I mean, the 4 AM phone calls from the various correctional facilities got to be a tad bit disturbing to me and my fish. However, in hindsight, I wished I had have asked more questions. How else will I ever learn if the big house is anything like Orange is the New Black? Who will teach me to turn a toothbrush into a shank when the time arises? More importantly, how will I ever learn to turn a battery into a lighter so that I can heat up a pack of ramen noodles in my time of need? Oh well. Maybe I’ll just have to include those things in my resolutions for 2016.
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