Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Welcome to the Official Dude Club—waitaminute, there’s a Dude Club?

 

The other day in the office, my buddy Jeff approached me and said “Hey Doug, so I heard about your Dude Club.  Can I join?”  I said “Dude Club?  What dude club?”  But before he could answer it hit me—I think I get it.

You’ve probably heard me mention this before, but I work with a large group of women.  There’s Jamie, Julie, Candace, Gwen, Rita, Mia, Kim, Kathy & Danielle.

There’s just two guys in our group, myself and Steve.  Now I’m not knocking our set-up for a minute—this is a talented bunch, funny and smart and hard working.  We have a good team.  But I think the older I get, the more I see the differences between the sexes (besides the obvious).  I’ve always gotten along pretty well with most women it seems, and count many of them as good friends.  But at the same time… you’re always aware THEY ARE A DIFFERENT SPECIES.

Steve

 

Here’s Steve, the other dude in our group;  you won’t  meet a nicer guy

This whole “Dude Club” began awhile back in the office.  One day, after learning of an upcoming addition to our department, a flurry of emails went back & forth between the women in our group.  “Who is this new guy?”  “What’s he going to do?”  “How come the boss never hires any eye candy?”  I watched all of this transpire, but said nothing.  My friend Julie noticed this, wrote me privately and asked “Fresh, why aren’t you joining in?”   (She calls me Fresh.)  I said “You don’t see Steve replying to any of these emails either do ya?”  Julie said “You’re right, why is that?”  I said “Because we don’t care about this kind of stuff.  We’re dudes.” 

Julie said “Well I want to be a dude too.”

I told Julie that wasn’t so easy.  “WHY” she asked, then added “I’m more a dude than you!”  I said “Well, your hair’s shorter than mine, and you can probably kick my ass, but that still does not a dude make.  Why do you want to be one?”  Julie said “Because wimmen are crazy.  They need wimmen pills.  I think all the wimmen who work downtown should get in line every day for their lunch and their pills.  ‘Here’s your lunch and here’s your wimmen pills.  Next!’  I’m not crazy like them.”   I said ok, ok—that’s too damn funny, you can be a dude too.  This made Julie pretty happy.

 

When she’s not busy being a dude, Julie enjoys being married to her husband Jimmy

But I might’ve been a tad premature in handing down that dude decree.  For instance, when Steve (or Jeff who works in our dept but not our group) walks past my desk in the morning and says “Good morning Doug”  I’m usually friendly right back, but sometimes they may get a grunt or crappy response in return.  “Yeah whatever.”   It could be for any number of reasons—I hate Mondays, I’m under pressure to get something done, or maybe I just got out of bed on the wrong side that morning and feel like being a dick.  Do these guys care?  Hell no!  Steve wants to settle in and look at last night’s lottery numbers, and Jeff is anxious to eat his breakfast.  They are dudes.  

The following however, is not dude behavior:

JULIE:  Good morning Fresh… (eyes me suspiciously)

DOUG:  Good morning Julie.

JULIE:  Whoa—what’s with the attitude?

DOUG:  What attitude?

JULIE:  I saw the way you arched your eyebrow at me.

DOUG:  What the—I didn’t arch anything!

GWEN:  What’s going on over here?

JULIE:  Fresh is giving me attitude—and he won’t tell me why.

GWEN:  At least he acknowledged you—I came in this morning and got snubbed!

DOUG:  Gwen I didn’t snub you BECAUSE I WAS IN THE MENS ROOM.

JULIE:  I’m still waiting for an answer about that eyebrow.

Now Gwen can be excused for her wimmen drama, she’s one of them.  Julie on the other hand… well, her husband’s a cop and she’s suspicious by nature.  I know she’s trying her best, but getting back to Jeff’s question about joining our so-called club:  when I asked “Dude Club?  What dude club?”  Jeff said “Julie told me that you, her & Steve are dudes and I can be one too if you guys are ok with it.  So am I in?” 

Yes Jeff, you can be one too.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My quest for The Golden Fleece (I have the money so what’s the problem?)

 

Friday, 6:00 pm.  Like a gazillion other office drones, there’s not a better time of the week.  I’ve just arrived home (after stopping at the market first for some weekend essentials—a loaf of raisin bread, half a chicken and a bottle of Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce) and the only thing I have planned for tonight is a ham sandwich and one or two episodes of “Breaking Bad” on my DVR. 

I kick off my shoes, toss the chicken in the fridge and turn on my computer (just to confirm I haven’t gotten some emergency waiting for me, like a message from the bank that Russian hackers emptied my account) and see this instead:  an email from the Roddenberry Transmitter (where hardcore Trekkies go to shop), proudly announcing the arrival of ‘Master Edition’ Star Trek tunics. 

“Produced by Anovos, these Star Trek tunic replicas are the most accurate representation of the 1960’s era wardrobe available. Using decades worth of accumulated research and access to the original garments, great care has been taken in reconstructing these tunics. These replica faithfully represent the original wardrobe seen on Star Trek – The Original Series.”

It then goes on about their quest to find the original dye colors & fabric, the meticulous handcrafting of the gold braided sleeves and how no serious fan should be without one.  The price: $200.00.  Yeow!  That’s a lot of money for Captain Kirk’s shirt.  And right now I can think of nothing better then seeing one of these golden treasures hanging in my bedroom closet.

 Here’s where I keep all my regular top gear:  you may need to make some room, boys

So I sit here staring at it, trying to put it out of my head which is difficult to do when it’s looking right back at me.  I mean c’mon, it’s an obvious waste of money.  For gosh sakes, I need a new pair of glasses (and my last pair cost $550.00).  I need a new couch.  My niece’s birthday is coming up.  I have 25% of my salary deducted into savings and investments for those dreams of early retirement so I’m on a budget.  Plus I want to hire a painter to do some work in my apartment.

Will I wear it to sci-fi conventions or costume parties?  No.  Will I wear it to the office on Halloween?  I’m self-conscious enough there as it is.  Will I take it out of the closet and proudly show company?  “Shawn, Jim--guess how much I paid for this—go on, guess!” 

So what would I do with this bad boy besides let it hang?  I know what Spock would say, and blast it he’s right.   

 “Douglas, I fail to understand how owning this replica of a fictitious organization from the future is going to serve any useful purpose; logic demands you buy a new sofa instead.

Why am I even writing about this, no one wants to read about some goofy-ass Star Trek shirt anyway.  It’s forgotten, I’m going to bed.  (Thanks Spock.)

 

Stardate 20130921.  It’s Saturday morning, I have a list of things that need done and I can’t stop thinking about that damn shirt.  

Now I know how Ricardo Montalban felt in ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ when he was explaining to his cohorts his need to capture Captain Kirk:  “He tasks me!”  (By the way, I’ve seen that movie around 215 times, does that impress you?)  I need to make a decision here… I’ll be back.

Stardate 20130922.  It’s Sunday morning, my stomach is full of raisin toast, and I’ve made my decision.

As much as I want this awesome tunic, if I’m going to shell out the big bucks then I feel like I have to earn it.  (That’s how the Enterprise crew got theirs!)  If I can lose that 25 lbs I keep griping about, the shirt will be mine.

I think this is just the challenge I needed.  Smile

Monday, September 9, 2013

I think I’m going to sit right down and write myself a letter—a real one!

 

A couple weeks ago, after posting one of my so-called retirement plan blogs, my sister Shawn wrote me and said “Aren’t you worried about putting your net worth on the internet?!”  I pointed out that I actually hadn’t, I was sharing what I HOPED to have (some years down the road, if I played my cards right).  Still, she had a point… I was letting the world know I had a few bucks socked away.  But surely on this little blog of mine, tucked away in a corner of the internet, no one’s going to really notice those numbers—right? 

Well maybe someone did—because in the last couple weeks, I’ve received not one, not two but three love letters to the email account linked to my blog.  Coincidence?  C’mon! 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Blogger Contact Form
Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2013 7:23 PM
Subject: [ApacheDug's Teepee] New message received.

 

Hi single man!  I write a "single" because such am I. I am looking for a man like Apache for serious relationships.  At once I ask you to write to me but not if you're married, I don?t like to break any family.

I am Julia. It is not easy to start a conversation but here it goes. I am woman, who still believes in true love. Yes, unfortunately I am very lonely now, and I need a partner. Maybe I need a man to spend time with him, to talk, kiss, make love. This is what I have not and need now. For this reason I decided to write you. If you also wish the same and you're looking for a woman, beautiful, kind and sympathetic, you can send me.   Julia.

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Blogger Contact Form
Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2013 6:43 AM
Subject: [ApacheDug's Teepee] New message received.

GalinaHi. How are you? How are you? I hope all is ok! My name is Galina. My girlfriend shows me your journal and we share laughter over your plight with the Russian women \t is fine! \'m from Russia too. I am 34 years old. \'m a shy girl my friends will tell you. But I open up a little more as I get to know someone. I attache my foto. I hope you like it.

I do not know what to write, because I never used the Internet for American
acquaintance before. Write to me if you want to learn more about another
Galina. I will wait your letter. Take care! Galina
 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Blogger Contact Form
Sent: Saturday, August 31, 2013 4:20 PM
Subject: [ApacheDug's Teepee] New message received.

How is your summer Apache> I think I know.  SMILE!  Hi!  I read your words with real nterest and hey! I am Tara. Borned and live in Italy.  Married once but divorced and never remarry.  Birthday is 14 June 1968 and would like to know, if you are linked to someone or would like new pen pal? You are funny, wise, a straight shooter!  Write me if you are not interest or interest, and let me know this?  Hope to hear from you very soon. Tara

.          .          .

Tara didn’t provide a photo (c’mon Tara!) but it’s precisely because she didn’t that I’d even consider her letter being legitimate.  Those other pics look like they were lifted straight from some Russian dating site.  In any case, it doesn’t matter—I’m not interested, phony ladies!

Now if you REALLY wanted to reel me in, I’d try something a little less obvious.  For starters, someone closer to my age—and who doesn’t live two continents away!  I’m partial to bookwormy brunettes, I’m a real sucker for girls who wear glasses and frankly the more neurotic, the better. 

Darn it, I know you’re out there!  Smile

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Aargh! We’re at the mercy of wicked people, places & things

 

A couple hours ago, I gathered up this week’s collection of laundry and headed downstairs to the basement of my apartment building.  We have two washers, two dryers—and I said a silent, quick prayer that there wouldn’t be a long wait, but on a Sunday afternoon, the odds are against you.

So imagine my great surprise when I found all four machines EMPTY & just waiting for my quarters.  I loaded up both washers, plugged in my coins, came back upstairs and washed some dishes, headed back downstairs, loaded up the dryers with my money & wet clothes, hit the buttons—and a bright burst of electrical sparks sprayed down from the wall outlet (above the dryers) with a loud, scary pop.  I ran upstairs, called building management & told a sympathetic Bethany that the place is about to burst into flames AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, TWO LOADS OF WET CLOTHES AND $4.00 IN QUARTERS WILL BE LOST.  She said “Mr. Morris, I—I’ll have to call upper management about this…”  I could almost hear the hand-wringing over the phone.  I know it’s a Sunday, and a holiday weekend on top of things, but isn’t this a dire situation??  Sparks were shooting out of the damn wall!! 

And the whole time I’m talking to Bethany, I’m trying my best not to listen to the muffled music and shouting coming from somewhere.  Dammit I thought my gay neighbors were away for the weekend!  After I get off the phone, I open my patio door to see if the boys car is outside & I’m immediately greeted by ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’.  Oh, it’s coming from my other gay neighbors, the lesbian’s yard next door.  They’re out there with a cooler of beer & two stereo speakers perched in the grass beside them.  They like to sit outside and fill the air with ‘Sounds from the Eighties’ while throwing back a few and while THEIR neighbors are yelling at them to turn it down; it wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t last for 10 hours.  Gosh, I wish it would rain.

So I turn on my tv, change the channel from reruns of ‘The Cosby Show’ to one of those all-news channels (because serious times call for serious television) and it’s Obama and Syria, Syria & Obama.  My God, the horrors going on in that country, few of us can even imagine.  And the only person who’s making any sense is the Pope, who reminds us all that war begets war, violence begets violence.  And it makes me feel guilty for going on about wet clothes and boozy lesbians when real war is being contemplated (but it doesn’t alter the fact I’m down to one clean towel and a couple boxer shorts). 

I just wonder what’s going to happen next.

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