Monday, November 6, 2017
The Wind Jammer is a dive bar located in a retail cul-de-sac in East Memphis. The building itself doesn't match the retail neighborhood of an upscale consignment shop and doctor's offices. The broken concrete and gravel parking lot has been filled with asphalt so many times it looks like a patchwork quilt. The slant of the drive only permits one row of parking. After hours, all other businesses in the vicinity chain their parking lots or tow to deter Wind Jammer patron parking.
The Wind Jammer looks like it began as a one-room, wooden, lean-to shack and slowly, as more lumber could be afforded, additional sections were added. The front doesn't match the back and neither match the tilted drawl of the bathrooms on the right. Once, the bar caught on fire. Repairs to the building were made, but appeared to be haphazard, more of a precaution than to actually achieve stability. The bar has a row of dart games in the back, a sea theme, permits indoor smoking, and is home to the best karaoke in Memphis.
Miss Ruthell is the 84 year old woman with bright red hair that owns the place. She been there every time I have. When the music is playing loud she can decipher every detail of your drink order. She's behind the bar, popping the tops off of bottles, filling up pitchers, and serving-up deep friend chicken tenders with thick-cut french fries. Each drink she hands you is accompanied by a napkin and a pet name that she gives you on the spot.
The Wind Jammer is the type of place you run into someone you haven't seen in years. The bar holds so many memories for me: singing with an ex, laughing hysterically with college friends, meeting the faux Senator Cohen, the Magnum P.I. impersonator, dates in the front corner booth, and accidentally kidnapping a drunk lady...
The night was just weird. As I was getting into bed late one Friday night in 2005 or 2006, Trey & Donna called me to meet them at The Wind Jammer. It was nearly 10pm, but the laughter and music was enticing and Donna said she'd need me to be the designated driver. I put my work clothes back on and headed into Memphis. On my way I get stopped on Highway 14 by the Sheriff's Department. I was listening to classical music like it was a deafening rock concert. When I rolled down the window the officer asked me where I was going in such a hurry, "I'm sorry Sir, my brother just called me and asked me to be his D.D. I'm going to The Wind Jammer to pick him up and take him home."
I was let off with a warning.
Many of y'all know that I don't drink and drive - I was hit by a drunk driver who was also hopped-up on pills on January 4, 2001. This night is no different, I sat with Trey & Donna, Chris and some other people I'd never met, drinking my Diet Coke. At closing time, very early on Saturday morning, I walk, completely sober, to my car. We are taking the party to Trey's apartment. One of the extremely drunk girls sitting at the table with us got up, followed me to my car, opened the car door, and sat in my front passengers seat. We headed to Cordova. Trey and Donna needed to stop for gas. As I pull up next to them, with the stranger in my car, Donna turns to make silly faces. Donna sees drunk chicky and her face turns to absolute horror and a hundred questions cross her between her eyes.
A few minutes after we get to Trey's apartment the drunk chick passes out on his sofa. That is when I learn that nobody knows her. They don't know her name or how she got to the Wind Jammer, something about how she's visiting a friend in town and went to The Jammer. I explain to them that don't know her either. She just got in my car so I thought she belonged to them.
We go into her purse to figure out her identity. There's multiple ID's all with her face on them, all have different names and are from out of state. There is no money and only one credit card in her wallet - not in any of her other names. Her cellphone does not have any stored numbers in it, only a previous call list. Someone at the apartment calls the phone number with the 662 area code. They get an address.
About this time I figure that I have already done enough damage. With an Irish Goodbye I vacate Trey's apartment, leaving everyone there to deal with the drunk stranger.
I learned the next day that they put her in a cab, gave the cabbie her only credit card and the address of the 662 number. Nobody has ever seen her again.
That's par for the course at The Jammer. You never know who will be there, except Miss Ruthell - she's always there, what you will see, or what will happen. I guess I'll have to hit-up the Jammer and attempt to sing once more for old times sake.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
She's been exercising religiously and I've been bugging her to get a sports bra. "I don't need one, my breasts aren't large."
I warn her, "If you continue to run without one you're only going to have to flash a kneecap to earn some beads."
We went to Walmart on our vacation. She says she $7 for the Walmart clearance sports bra is too much. She's frugal. I tell her not to worry about it. I have some Nike and brand new Fabletics sports bras in my drawer at home she can have.
When I come home from work today she is dancing to her exercise DVD in front of the television in the living room. The TV also happens to be directly infront of the giant picture window and front door with a sidelight window. She's gyrating like Ann Margret in the hottest dance scene of "Viva Las Vegas."
She is only wearing a bra and panties.
I tell her, "I'll take a picture of you."
She replies, "Nobody will believe you."
She comes into my bedroom, sweaty from her DVD, "How do you take off a sports bra when you're sweaty?"
"That's the joke about exercise," I twist and contort my arms and look like a dog chasing her own tail, "It's a sports brawl!"
I pull the sports bras out of my drawer. She struggles into one, putting it on backwards and walks down the hallway. The sports bra is only a holster, everything supposed to be in is out. "Hey Paulie," she opens the door to the spare bedroom where they keep their computer., "Averill gave me this sports bra, what do you think?"
"Geez! I'm putting this on the Internet."
"How much do I owe you?"
"Nothing, looks like I got a free show."
"Nobody will believe you."
That's my Mom.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
The cellphone rings. It's my Dad.
We just got off the phone twenty minutes ago.
"Have you eaten dinner? You're Mom made pulled pork. There's a lot of it."
"Nope. Not yet," it's only 5:55pm.
"Do you want some of this pulled pork?" #TheSilverFox yells something inaudible from the background. "How many people are at the house?"
I decided to stop at Jeff's instead of braving the flooded roads in north Shelby County.
"Daddy, it's just me right now, but Jeff will be home. Nick will be home. Melodie won't eat meat. But I don't need you coming back out. You're gonna break Mom's 'only leave the house once-a-day rule.'"
My Dad will leave in and out of the house all day to run errands. If he needs a specific car part he'll run to Auto Zone. He'll come back home. Then he'll make another trip to get tomatoes. He'll come back home. He'll leave again to run to Lowe's or Home Depot. My Mom only likes to combine trips; out for errands and then home to read or exercise.
"We've already broken her rule," he chuckles because he knows he's gotten away with and she's given in to multiple trips, "and we've both been out of the house twice today runnin' around. Karen?" he yells in my ear. It's unusual that he uses her real name. He usually calls her 'Boog,' as in short for Booger. Quieter, he asks, "Go or not?"
She yells something else inaudible from across the kitchen, sounding like an adult from Peanuts cartoons.
"Who's gonna eat all of this pulled pork if y'all don't take it?"
"And there is wild rain, and crazy drivers, and flooding, and y'all don't need to be out in it..."
"I'll see you in a few minutes," he abruptly hangs up.
Forty-nine minutes later, my parents arrive at Jeff's front door with an entire BBQ pulled pork dinner including Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
After work I am walking around Dollar Tree on Highland at Poplar in the Kroger shopping center. I have two arms full of party products, literal arms full. I can't see the floor because I refuse to push a basket in Dollar Tree.
As I walk down the toy aisle I feel it. The hair of an animal rubs against my left leg, crawls on my foot, and captures my bare toes like seaweed in the surf. The hair feels mangy and matted. I can't see it. I scream, "Oh MY GOD, it's on ME!!! SOMEONE HELP ME!!!!"
Two women in the aisle stop to watch me, one of them pauses her blue tooth phone conversation. Another woman from an aisle over abandons her buggy to come to my rescue.
In a complete panic I step wildly to untangled my foot from a rogue, wild-ass animal, in the middle of a toy aisle, in a chain store, in an urban oasis. I hop, dance, and gyrate far enough away from the hair touching my foot to see it.
"Did you want me to pick up your wig?" asks the second lady watching me in the toy aisle.
I look down at it. There it is, a harmless mangled mass of a headband attached to orange plastic-hair, princess extensions.
The lady who abandoned her cart is laughing, "It got you good!" as she walks back to her basket.
#ConfidentlyAwesome #ImNotAnAnimalPerson #SeverelyAllergicToAnimals #IDontLikeSeaweedEither #UnwarrantedBreakdown #AtLeastICanLaughAtMyIdiocy
Sunday, February 5, 2017
When #TheSilverFox found out I put their Groundhog's Day photo on the internet she told me, "Take my face off that damn internet!"
She laughed when I told her that I get more comments and responses for stories I tell about my parents than I do for myself. She likes the attention, she tells people to follow my blog about her. (It's just a neglected blog about my life).
I told her if she doesn't do anything else outrageous this week I'll tell that doozie of a story from January 2nd of this year. She threatened, "Do it! I'm old enough to say what I want and don't care."
So here it goes!
We spent the day shopping, #RealLifeSuperman chauffeuring us around Cordova. We were on a mission for her to find the perfect comforter, in the perfect colors, with the perfect pattern, with the perfect quilting design, with absolutely no idea of what the check boxes to perfection contained. This is my Mom in a nut shell, on the search for perfection, but she knows it when she sees it. Just like when she spotted my Dad for the first time.
I was standing in line at Marshall's to make a $.70 clearance purchase when Dad walks up and says, "Don't worry about it, I'll pay. You go walk with your mother and make sure she doesn't get into trouble."
Foreshadowing is always subtle when it happens in real life.
I give him my Valentine's garland and run after Mom, who is well on the way to Stein Mart. It is raining as we walk under the outdoor mall's portico's. Before is there is a Kroger Employee standing next to their sliding doors. She is smoking.
The Silver Fox quips to the Kroger Employee, "I thought the law was no smoking within 50 feet of a public entrance."
The Kroger Employee responded something inaudible and half under her breath.
My Mom turns to the Kroger Employee and yells, "FUCK YOU!!!"
We are only two days into the new year and not only is she dropping F's and U's, but it's a verbal altercation with a complete stranger. And, Dad just told me to make sure she didn't get into any trouble. Here I am failing.
I text both of my brothers, Trey rarely if ever responds. Blaise is gung-ho for it. He completely agrees with her.
The Silver Fox is a loose cannon! At this point I don't know what she is capable of saying or doing. I stay quiet and scarce. I see Dad 15 minutes later, he's sitting in the furniture section of Home Goods while waiting on us. I tell him the story. He just shrugs his shoulders, "You know how she is."
There is a rainbow across the sky, as we get into the car, I take it as my sign to say something, "Hey Mom, do you often get into verbal altercations with strangers on the second day of the year?"
She thinks it is hysterical, "Well, she was smoking in an undesignated area. You are extremely allergic to smoke. And, I've finally reached that old lady age where I don't care what I say and I can say anything."
Happy birthday Silver Fox! Cheers to being the age to say whatever you want, plus one.
#OneMoreYearOfPersnickityDown #ManyMoreToGo #ISignedHerBirthdayCardWithPostItsSoSheCouldReuseIt