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Effortlessly Average

Sort of half-heartedly leading the charge into mediocrity since, oh, let's say around 1987 or so.

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Location: Roaming (additional charges may apply), Argentina

Proof that with internet access and a powerful laxative, even insipid people will blog; the place where your excellence and my mediocrity collide; where my Karma whips ass on your dogma.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Collateral Damage

When I was a kid you had to chain me to the couch to keep me inside. My parents were lucky if I showed up before the sun went down each night. They'd be dragging me inside for dinner as I clawed at the ground in an effort to stay outside "just. a. little. longer. puh-leeeeeese!" My kids, however, seem compelled to grace me with their constant pressence. I was lamenting this after threatening to lock the doors to keep them outside for a while on such a nice day.

Typically they come back in roughly every 15 seconds to ask if they've been outside long enough and can they please come back inside and end the fun I'm forcing them to have. "Thank you, Father," they say. "We've learned so much about life, nature, and entertainment during our exile to the back yard, but while we will always thank you for exposing us to the wonders of what the world has to offer, we beg you to allow us to return to the security and warmth of hearth and home." But this time, Bryce came in to ask a different question:

FlyBoy: hey dad
Me: yeah [I said, ready to revert to the fatherly "when I was a kid" mode if he asked to come back in already]
FlyBoy: I have a question. How long do you think it would take to go away if someone sprayed mace into a closed car?
Me: [uh-oh]

It caused to surface a memory from my childhood. When I was a kid my father was a cop in what was then the smallish town of Reno, Nevada. Actually, his service was in Reno's sister city, Sparks, but since the two towns have long since grown into each other, making the distinction is semantics to everyone except those who live in Sparks.

For several weeks we'd been having problems with neighborhood stray dogs knocking over the garbage cans and spreading the trash all over the yard. Fortunately for us, my brother and I were still too young to be given the task of returning the trash to the cans and my mom wouldn't go anywhere near the mess, so the hazmat cleanup fell to Dad.

Rather than doing the obvious and capturing the dogs for Animal Control, my father took the more vengeful approach. After picking up all the trash for about the dozenth time, he sprayed a liberal helping of mace into them and quickly closed the lids. I guess he figured that if the dogs got into them again, the mace would ensure it would be the last time. Unfortunately it would also prove to be the last time for months that the garbage men emptied the cans.

I hadn't thought about it at the time, but today I can just imagine the poor garbage men rolling up the street in their big green truck, unaware that they were about to be gassed by Officer Vindictive. Back then the garbage trucks in town didn't have automatic emptying mechanisms, so I can picture the man removing the lid as he got ready to dump the can.

From inside the house I remember hearing the truck roll to a stop outside our house. I heard the cans being scraped across the asphalt and the lid being unceremoniously tossed to the ground. Then... "HOLY HELL!!! WHAT THE F@#! IS THAT!!"

Yes, it got rid of that dog; and the garbage men, too.

- The Number of People Stunned by My Mediocrity