Blink And You’ll Miss Yaupon Season

If you drive through the coastal plains of Texas, you’ll see a few standard images. Cows behind barbed wire fences. Gas station and barbecue restaurant combos. And around this time of year, you’ll see young suburban families desperately pleading with little Ambreighlynne to LOOK AT THE GOD DAMNED CAMERA as they trespass to get the locally coveted “Toddler Among Bluebonnets” photo.

The state flower of Texas is the bluebonnet. It’s a bright blue wildflower that grows in friendly territory, such as busy highway medians and other people’s land.

Listen here, y’all: do not pick bluebonnets under any circumstances.

Ask any Texan. Or don’t, as “asking” isn’t a prerequisite for getting Texas-specific information from Texans. Posing your cherubic tykes with bluebonnets may be mandatory, but picking bluebonnets is illegal.

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Above Us Only Sky

“Imagine” is a catchy tune about the pitfalls of religion and materialism, written by a guy who got filthy rich selling jangly three-minute pop songs about love and walruses and shit.

That sentence is a good summation of my bitterness as of late. I’m having a hard time enjoying much of anything, even ubiquitous peace anthems by former Beatles.

I turn on the TV. How’d some lousy sitcom actor get to be famous while I am sitting here in obscurity? I drive to the store. Why does this asshole driving next to me get to roll a Jag instead of this banged-up Prius?

This whole setup is horseshit. I’d like to speak to the manager of…the world? Sure. The whole damned WORLD.

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I Did It My Way (And Failed)

This is the post I’ve avoided writing for seven months.

I lost my restaurant.

No, I didn’t misplace it. It’s stationary. If it were a food truck, that might make sense, like I parked it somewhere and now I can’t find it. I’m a known drunkard, so it’s not that far-fetched. Plus, I make stupid jokes to keep from crying.

But no, I lost my restaurant in that I had to make the decision to shut it down permanently. It’s not all that funny. I had seen other people lose their businesses before, and that was fucking hilarious. But this time, it happened to ME, which was significantly less funny.

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Are You a Problem Announcer?

My dog, Lemmy, isn’t much of a problem solver. He’s a world-class problem announcer, though.

Lemmy’s definition of “problem” ranges from “someone rang a doorbell on TV” to “someone rang the actual doorbell.” In other words, my dog is a redundant doorbell. And unlike my actual doorbell, Lem Lem shits a lot. My actual doorbell hardly ever shits.

I’m just kidding. I don’t have a doorbell. This blogging thing doesn’t pay doorbell-having money. If you want to see me in person, you’ll have to knock on my door. I won’t answer it, but to be fair, I also won’t answer it if you push the spot where the doorbell button is supposed to be. Lemmy will flip the fuck out either way, though. Your move, Knocky.

“Problem announcing” has much less value to society than problem solving. That’s why Lemmy still lives with his mom and dad at 28-dog-years-old: his complete lack of marketable skills.

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A Letter To My Younger Self

Dear 15-year-old me,

It’s me. That is to say, it’s you, but from the FUTURE!

I’m writing to give you some perspective on the years ahead of you, i.e. the years behind me. It’s 2020 now, and so much is different today than it is for you in 1991.

In the coming years, a lot is going to happen. Some of it is so insane, you probably won’t believe me. Then again, I’m assuming you’re going to believe that this is a letter from the future, so I should probably maintain this presumption of your gullibility for consistency’s sake. You were (are) pretty naïve, as I recall.

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You Never Even Called Me By My Name

My given name is Rickey. Not Richard. Rickey. In fact, I am Rickey, Junior, as I am named after my father. Among family, I’m sometimes referred to as “Little Rickey,” though I am 42 years old and 3” taller than my dad. I’ve stopped growing, but he’s bound to start shrinking any day now, so I fully expect that height differential to keep expanding.

People spell my name incorrectly all the time – Ricky is the most common, followed by Rickie. Sometimes people mispronounce it, sounding more like “hey asshole” than the phonics would otherwise indicate. I always respond, though, so I guess it works.

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Four Ways To Become More Patient RIGHT NOW!

I have been growing less patient lately.

“Less patient” is a euphemism I like to use in the place of “unnecessarily, irrationally full of rage.” Just like I used to say I was “freelance consulting” when I was actually “unemployed.” I think it sounds a little better.

My days seem to be filled with an unrelenting deluge of challenging situations. Things and people that would once evoke my empathy are instead triggering a strong desire to roundhouse kick someone in the head. This is problematic on several fronts, including my physical inability to lift my good kicking leg above my waist. Now I’m left with only my bad kicking leg to deliver the damage, and what kind of satisfaction would that bring? Significantly less, which frustrates me all the more.

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When In Doubt, Don’t Bark

It’s human nature to categorize things, recognize patterns, and extrapolate missing data. Actually, it might be better described as animal nature.

My dog Lemmy uses process of elimination to determine where I hide the treats. He might do so clumsily, checking the same spot two or three times en route to crossing it off his list. But he’s definitely categorizing and extrapolating, ham-handed (maybe ham-pawed, as it were) or not.

Lemmy utilizes basic cause-and-effect to recognize that giving me “sad puppy dog eyes” will nab him some of whatever I’m eating. Incidentally, both of us have the same favorite cuisine: people food. Maybe he cuts his losses with hard-nosed Mom, and doubles down on Dad. He notices a pattern: Dad is more easily swayed to part with the scraps.

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What’s Your End Game?

What happens when you don’t get your way? When you get mad, and then act upon that anger, what is your goal? What would make you happy again, or at least not mad anymore? What is your end game?

Let’s say you go out to dinner. The experience is sub par, and you feel strongly that you didn’t get your money’s worth of food or service. So, on your way home, you whip out your phone and fire off a scathing Yelp review. You disparage the restaurant and its staff for the rest of the universe to see. That’ll teach ‘em!

But what’s your end game? Continue reading

Time To Grow Up, Boys

I’m noticing a lot of surface-level, clichéd “masculinity” being bandied about lately.

Maybe our current polarizing political climate is to blame. Perhaps it’s just because I’ve been more attuned to it recently.

Or maybe it’s because “everyone these days are weak little momma’s boys who need a swift steel-toed work boot to the rear end,” according to one angry dude’s comment on my Twitter feed.

 Whatever it is, it’s time for real men to defend real masculinity against those who would seek to define it by its most stereotypical tropes. And we shall defend it with BRUTE FORCE! *adjusts crotch and spits on the ground.

Damn, no, scratch that. Sorry. Continue reading