The Guy In Front of Me

So, when the guy in front of me drives into the rain, he slams on his brakes so hard that he nearly loses control of his F150, skidding insanely across all four lanes of 71 Southbound. And, just for a moment, the world turns into a Speed Racer cartoon.

To be clear, he didn’t drive into a volcanic eruption or a tornado or even a thunderstorm. He drove into some light rain.

As he suddenly veers across the lanes, all the rest of us somehow manage to swerve and dodge and miss the collection of large steel tools now flying out of a blue toolbox in the bed of his truck. The toolbox soon follows, narrowly missing my tiny Chevy Sonic.

As soon as my heart starts beating again, I notice that there are many hand signals of displeasure, but I refuse to join them, instead deeply pondering the taste of a cold beer.

What is it about rain that makes Ohio drivers turn the crazy up to eleven?

Celebrity Meeting (Rock & Roll Edition)

In the mid-80s, some college friends and I had had a comedy show on WBGU-FM called “A 1/2 Hour of Static & Fuzz”. It was a ton of work. Writing sketches. Finding sound effects. Recording. Editing. This was the days of reel to reel tape and that meant wax pencils, razor blades, and splicing tape.

I was usually editing right up until air time when I’d wait for the DJ booth’s light to turn green (red meant “on air, no enter”) and deliver the show.

One evening was particularly grueling. (Ask me about the “Tina Louise School of Acting” and “Deep Sea Fishing with Ted Kennedy” sketches some time.) I rushed into the DJ booth about 10 minutes before air time and handed him the tape. He was pretty relieved as that meant he could just put on the show tape and take it easy rather than DJing for another half hour.

There were maybe six guys sitting on a sofa and sprawled on the floor in the DJ booth. They looked kind of familiar, but I didn’t recognize them.

And that’s how I met Michael Stanley and the Michael Stanley Band.

Celebrity Meeting (Playwright Addition)

Year’s ago, I was the Playwright Representative for the Ohio Theater Alliance. The annual conferences were amazing. One year, I had a very, very bad cold, but went to the conference despite being fairly miserable.

Guest Speaker (as I walked up to table sniffing and shivering): Wow. You look really sick. Should you be here? What are you doing here?

Me (staring at Guess Speaker): *silence*

Guess Speaker (laughing nervously and looking down at his hands): Oh yeah. Well. I guess…

And that’s how I met Edward Albee author of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Zoo Story, and many other amazing plays.

Celebrity Meeting (SciFi Edition)

In high school, I spent about a month touring Europe with the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir, doing charity concerts to benefit cancer research. We gave concerts in England, Wales, France, the Netherlands, Brussels, and Switzerland.

One day, we were in a room just off the lobby of a London hotel, checking in. Technically, it was a VIP check-in area, but in our case I’m sure it was just a way of keeping a bunch of rowdy teenagers out of the lobby of their fine establishment.

Suddenly, there appeared in the lobby a bunch of weird looking robots spinning around waving their silly toilet plunger arms blaring out “Exterminate! Exterminate!” I stared blankly at the spectacle. It seemed to be a big deal.

I turned to the guy standing next to me at the counter and asked “What is this?”

He looked at me oddly and said “Dr. Who”.

I explained that I was from the US so if that was a British show, I wasn’t familiar with it. I told him I really like sci-fi, but this was a new one on me. Sorry.

He spent about 20 minutes explaining Time Lords, Daleks, the Tardis, and all things Whoish. When he was done, he smiled broadly, stuck out his hand, and said “I’m Dr. Who. Nice to meet you”.

And that’s how I met Tom Baker, the 4th Dr. Who.

Old Guy Problem

Everyday, for as long as I can remember, my phone has vibrated at 9:00 a.m. I had no idea why.

So, every few days, it irritates me enough that I spend a few minutes looking at applications and searching through phone settings. After a few minutes, I forget why I’m doing that and go back to my day.

Today, I found a setting that causes my phone to vibrate at 9:00 a.m. when there’s an all-day reminder without a specific time. That is, if I have a todo set to mediate every day, but not at a specific time, the phone vibrates at 9:00 a.m. My phone has decided that “Hey, you’ve got something to do today, but you didn’t bother to decide what time ya knucklehead so, dammit, I’m going remind you of that every morning at 9:00 a.m.”

Unfortunately, my phone won’t vibrate tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. so I won’t remember what a genius I am to have found that setting and fixed the problem.

THAT is the old guy problem

A Memory of Socks

Long ago, in the before time, I was sitting in a meeting on casual Friday when the guy leading the meeting noticed my socks.

Guy: Hey, those are some fancy socks.

Me: Yeah, they were a gift from a friend.

Guy: What do the words say? Looks like there’s some words there.

Me: Oh, nothing. It’s silly.

Guy: What does it say?

Me (putting foot up on conference table): It says “This meeting is bullshit”.

General laughter, then an awkward silence.

Guy: Well, being that as it may, we should probably move on to item 4 on the agenda.