Kidney Stones, Meatloaf and the Mendocino Shuffle


SPECIAL SUNDAY EDITION

FINALLY – Part 3 of the latest VB Saga!

Dear Reader,

Valet Boy apologizes profusely to those among you for whom my absence of late has been particularly distressing.  But, it’s all just a matter of making time and apparently I had no time to make.

Most of you know I spend a very large chunk of my days with Mrs. Boy – VB’s famed 92-year-old mom.  At 92 she is still pretty darn healthy – Thank you, God!  I would imagine that’s largely due to the fact she has relatively low stress in her life.   In fact, at this very moment she’s gallivanting around Jackson Hole, Wyoming on a seniors’ bus tour of the Utah and Wyoming National Parks.

I, on the other hand, have now returned to my more northern roots in North Carolina where I have been reacquainting myself with long missed friends and trying to jump right into a social life from which I had been sorely deprived these past months.   In so doing, somethings may have gotten a little out of hand.  So my apologies to those friends and readers who might not have seen Valet Boy at his peak of perfection.

But, all good things must come to an end and I fear that the time for earnest sober thinking is upon me.  Buckle up and down, Mr. Boy, you may be in for a bumpy ride!

So, where was I lo those many weeks previous…?

Oh yes.  Now I remember.

Obviously, I was not murdered, raped or eaten by convicts on that cross-country journey and I did return to my car to find my passenger alive and well.  He took over for me with the gas can and after dumping most of it in the tank, he kindly primed the carb* and off we went.  (*Remember when we used to have to do THAT?)

mendo

View from the bay of the Mendocino “skyline”. My home from 1973 to 1976.

I have no recollection of the remainder of the trip.  In fact, I may have taken him to LA, dropped him off at a 7-Eleven or a Pioneer Chicken then continued on my way up I-5 and 101 northward to Mendocino, CA.

But for now another brief departure….

Reality Check In 10:30 PM – Checkout 2:30 AM

June was Kidney Stone Awareness Month.  But were you even aware of that?  Why the heck would you even want to be?

My best guess is that this comes from the folks who want you to drink more fluids, specifically more water.  Yes, cool, clear and refreshing H2O.  Summer time we get hotter and our bodily fluids deplete faster creating nice little asteroids that sprout seemingly out of nowhere inside our kidneys to begin what can be a long and torturous journey to our urethra before they pop out into the world of light.

If lucky, we can pass these little boogars on our own as Valet Boy has done many times in the past with little or no fanfare at all.

However, VB’s kidney stone luck ran out recently and just in time for June which, as I just informed you was KSAM, (kidneysstoneawarenessmonth, remember??).

I had just finished eating a lovely and very filling dinner with old high school chums Gary and Angie Donegan, when on the drive home my belly forcefully demanded being freed.  I loosened my belt and continued to Mammy’s Place.

At about 9:00 PM, I realized my discomfort was not merely the dietetic overload of salad, steak, baked potato and garlic bread.   (Earlier I had ingested a Zantac 150 hoping this would nip my tummy troubles in the bud… just in case.)

There was nothing I could do to get comfortable. The pains started on my right side between my hip-joint and my belly and the Alarm Bells were shrieking and Red Lights were flashing something I have always dreaded and never wanted to face especially on a Sunday night at bedtime:  “Warning. Warning. Danger, Will Robinson – APPENDICITIS ATTACK!”

VB’s Mom was already in bed and I debated whether or not I should sneak out of the house, run to the hospital, get this checked out and be back before she even knew I’d gone.  I weighed the pros and cons of this strategy and, after squirming and walking around in agonizing circles for another hour, I caved and rapped upon her bedroom door.

She had already taken her hearing aids out so I had to amp up the volume: “Mom, I think I’m having an appendicitis attack.  So I’m going to the ER.”

I’ve cannot recall the last time I saw a deaf 92-year-old woman sit up faster or straighter as her mind wrapped itself around the words she’d almost just heard her little boy utter.  “What?”

“I said, I think I have to go to the emergency room. I may be having an appendicitis attack.”

“How are you going to get there?

“I’m driving, of course.”

“No you’re not!  You call your sister and make her take you.”

I really did not want to waste the time to do this – the pains were shooting from front to back and then just hanging around my entire gut effectively shutting off all brain function as my doom fantasies took over.

“In a related story, an elderly man’s stomach exploded last night slamming his even more elderly mother with bile infused salad, steak, baked potato and garlic bread.  Both died at the scene in what this reporter can only describe as a dietary Hell which has no equal.”

My sister Peggy  (known affectionately by everyone as P.A.) rose from her overstuffed Ethan Allen and in near slumber agreed to take me to the ER – though she warned me ahead of time, “It’s probably just a kidney stone”.  (Smart ass.  Kidney stones run in our family, but then again so do smart asses.)

Okay – the short story is yes it was a kidney stone.  I’d spent 5 hours in the ER, during which time no one had informed my dear deaf 92-year-old mother what was going on.  This went over, as one might expect, like George Zimmerman winning the Bushmaster AR-15 Lottery.

At one point a Baptist Hospital ER Staff Admin poked her curly red-head into my “suite” and wearily inquired, “Are you Valet Boy and do you have a deaf 92-year-old mother?”

I immediately wondered if this was a person with whom I’d gone to school and somehow had recognized me from all those years ago – “Why, yes…Yes I am and Yes I do.”

“Would you please call her, she’s been phoning the front desk and wants to know what’s going on with her son!”  With that the exasperated Staff Admin whirled around and took her leave.

OH BOY!   I rolled off the bed, grabbed the IV fluids line to move with me, found my cell phone and called dear mater.  She was in tears and hysterical, but anger was definitely the overriding emotion as she lit into me.  I smoothly shifted blame to my little sister and promised I give her whatfor when she came back to pick me up later.

After the repeated blood draws, the fluids, the EKG and my first ever CT Scan, the ER Doc came in and proclaimed officially that I had a kidney stone on my right flank and that I was free to leave after visiting the Accounts Payable desk.

It was just a 4mm kidney stone. Nothing special.  No need to think you’ll get a TV series or a new adventure out of this deal, Mr. Boy.

But the adventure did continue…FOR 6 MORE WEEKS!  Until the last Wednesday in June when I finally relented and let my urologist go in there with a team of spelunkers and grab the offending rock and drag it out.

kidney stone

Actual size of Mr. Boy’s Kidney Stone….not really, but it sure felt like it!

Surgery went smoothly – of course I was out to lunch enjoying the deep dreamless sleep of the innocent.  Michael Jackson was doubtlessly looking down (or up) at me with envy as the triple whammy cocktail of Versed, Fentanyl and Propofol lulled me into compliance.

That definitely was the high point of the experience because once out of surgery and once the anesthetics wore off it was screaming, cursing and groaning.  But three days – and a healthy supply of Demerol – later, Valet Boy was ready to rock and roll.

Now, I realize this still has not finished the VB Saga…but I promise that the very next episode will wrap up the Cross Country Mystery.   And you’re in for a treat with some photographs of Mendocino during the counter-culture heyday of the 70’s taken by famed photog Nicholas Wilson.

So, until next time…which should not be too far into the distant future…I promise!….

Thanks for Reading,

Valet Boy

Posted in Friends & Family, Funny Stuff, Ghosts of Route 66, Highway to Hell, Humor, On The Road Again | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Who’s Up For a Game of Truth or CONVICT-sequences?


Part 2 – Continued from last time:

oatman AZ rte 66

A little oasis along America’s best loved highway. Oatman, Arizona

Let’s see now…where were we?

Oh, yes…I was just leaving the Chevron gas station about 11:30 PM on a bitterly cold January night lugging a 2 gallon gas can up an on-ramp to I-40 East a few miles outside of Flagstaff in 1974.  This would make me 23 years old and dumb as hammered mud.

Mud-285415

It may look like poop, but it’s Hammered Mud.

At the top of the on-ramp, a few big rigs sped past ignoring the gas can and my plaintive thumb.

Standing in one spot wasn’t getting me any closer to my car so hoofing it was the order of the day…or night as it were.  Besides I was freezing my little Test-Ickles off and some exercise to coerce my molasses-like blood flow and warm the extremities seemed a pretty solid notion.  So off I went.

A wee bit of highway lore:

At this time in I-40’s genesis, as a smoothly paved 4 lane highway, the roadway was relatively young – a mere babe in the asphalt jungles.  The 3rd longest east-west roadway in the nation, for about 1,000 miles it follows the general route of the Beale Wagon Road from Arkansas to California. The Beale Wagon Road was built in 1857-59 by Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale and his men using a team of camels as pack animals.

Route 66 was formally established on November 11, 1926.  Known as the Will Rogers Highway, Main Street of America and affectionately the Mother Road this slice of true Americana was removed from the national highway system officially in 1985 as the last stretches of Interstate 40 neared completion.  

WilmingtonBarstow

I-40 roadside sign in Wilmington, NC – Like it’s sister sign in California this one was a popular target of thieves for years.

 

Alright…alright…. back to the story.

I decided to walk down the highway center line because gas was sloshing all over my hands and clothes.  I thought this offered a more balanced approach to my efforts and might help lessen spillage.  Plus, any toothsome thing charging out at me from the brush would have to cross an entire lane to reach me, thus affording me a couple more fleeting moments of terror.

I mean there was that big fat full moon illuminating virtually everything.   But, you know, with light comes shadow… And if you are familiar with the high desert then you know there are lots of cacti, scrub pine and junipers to shelter and hide all manner of beasties.  And I had not forgotten about those escaped convicts.

For comfort I considered singing and whistling, but that’s rather like hanging a neon sign around my neck proclaiming “FREE LUNCH”!   I tried talking to myself, but I was too busy shaking to respond.  I prayed…not sure what for… maybe the usual: “Lord, please don’t let me get killed out here…or raped…or eaten.”

Then I stopped.  Right there in the middle of the road .  My Moonshadow reaching out beyond me and quaking even more so than I.  (For a moment I thought it actually dropped the gas can and took off.)

Do I hear a voice?  No.  TWO VOICES!!!

It’s the freakin’ convicts!  And I’m out here in the middle of freakin’ nowhere.  I scanned the foreboding countryside.  There halfway between me and the desert horizon.  Lights!  No, not lights… A fire.  A campfire!  And at least two guys.  How far away?  A quarter mile maybe.  SHIT!!!  It’s the convicts!

I crept along the road hunkering down to present less of a glaringly obvious target.  More gas spilled.  I’m toast.

But wait…. fear slowly gave way to common sense.  If you were an escaped convict, would you be sitting around a campfire laughing, drinking beer and roasting s’mores?

Logic demanded the answer – “That’s a huge negatory there, breaker-breaker. Ten four, good buddy.”

But still…who in their right mind is camping in the middle of freakin’ winter in the middle of freakin’ nowhere?  There’s no official park, no KOA, no clear pathway to the little camp-nest among the cacti, scrub pine and juniper.

They could still be “The Hills Have Eyes” deranged “Chainsaw Massacre” killers.  Images of a shrieking Valet Boy rear-rammed by toothless banjo picking murderous rednecks ala “Deliverance” flashed through my fevered brain.

“You gotta right purty mouth.  Now, squeal like a pig.”

Careful there, Valet Boy.

Silently, I was rapidly putting some distance between myself and THEM and it wasn’t too long before I could breath again.

Okay.  That’s better.  I’m simply a guy out for a late night stroll on a long, lonely, dark stretch of deserted highway… Just me and the cold winter wind that was freezing my fuel soaked limbs.  Yep.  Just me and the wolves, pumas, cougars, bears…Oh, SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!!

I worked myself into a lather and picked up the pace.  Spillage be damned, I’d had enough of this crap.  Where was I?  What mile marker is it?  Hell, I’m even on the wrong side of the damn highway!!!  What if I already passed my car?  What an idiot!

Now, I cannot tell you why I did this, maybe I heard something…Perhaps I sensed it… But, I eschewed the I-40 center line stripes and returned to the road’s shoulder.  Within seconds it was upon me.

Before I could even turn around the barreling whoosh of a huge dark sedan blew past me!  Speeding at 100 miles and hour…. with its lights OFF!

MUTHERHUMPER!!!

That damn car nearly turned me into “Don’t Cook Tonight – It’s Highway Deelight” Roadkill!  Literally!   SHIT SHIT SHIT!!!!

Uh oh.

Brake lights came on.  Tires screeched.

The car stopped.

I stopped.

The car started backing up.

I started backing up.

Swerving left to right to left again the approaching tail lights were a harbinger of either good or ill…I figured there was a 50/50 chance of getting out of this alive…

The big brown and Bondo’d gray Cadillac slammed brakes and sat idling beside me.  I was frozen solid.  Nothing was working.  Nothing was moving.

The Caddy’s window slowly creaked open.  Still no headlamps came on.

I bent to look inside the car in order to present a clearer target for the .357 Magnum that was doubtless preparing to blast me into the netherworld.

The interior light came on.  I see – count ‘em…One…Two….

Two guys. Uh oh….  I feverishly thought:  They’ve stolen a car and they’re out cruising for hostages and victims!

Scraggly.  Bearded.  Long hair.  Hmmmm.  I don’t know….

Maybe a good sign…but could go either way.  Aren’t convicts supposed to be clean shaven?  I mean so they can’t hide shivs in their beard hair?

Mr. Passenger Seat leaned out.  “Need a ride?”  (It took a beat for me to respond because I was trying to determine if he’d actually said “You gotta right purty mouth”….) 

“Uhhhh…Mmmmm…”  (I was eloquence personified)

“Get in.”

“Th…thanks.”  I opened the back door and pushed mounds of detritus out of my way, though I’m pretty sure I sat on an old Snickers and a half munched bag of Fritos.

Passenger Seat looked over at Driver and then back at me. “Ran out of gas, huh?”

I nodded haltingly.

“We saw your car on the other side of the road.  Your buddy said you’d gone for gas.”

OMG!!!!   They killed him too!   What the hell am I doing here?  Can I make a break for it?  Let them keep the damn gas.

“Got any cash?”

“C-c-cash?”

“Yeah. “

I still had those 2 dollars that theprobablylatewhat’shisname had given me…”Sure here.”  I handed over the crumpled bills, “….Sorry it’s all I got left.”

Passenger Seat eyed me suspiciously and held it up for Driver, who apparently’d had higher hopes for a fatter score, but would settle for what was readily available.  Besides, they’d be rifling through my pockets after I was cold anyway.

Driver studied me in the rear view mirror.  “Sorry we almost ran over you.  Gene here wanted to drive without lights since the full moon was so bright.  Kind of fun.  Sometimes we take all our clothes off too…and drive naked.”  Gene smiled toothily.

UH OH….. (My brain’s sound track was adding piggy squeals to the dialogue.)

I think I chortled nervously…or wet myself… perhaps a combination.

Driver extinguished the interior light, slammed the Caddy into “D” and shoved his foot hard on the gas.  The Detroit behemoth lurched forward continuing its perilous Twilight Zone journey.  Windows down the brisk wind whipped at me and tossed the junk around in the backseat.  I think a few Fritos flew into my mouth.  The Caddy was going so fast and the wind noise was so loud that my vehicular saviours had to shout to be heard.

“We’re going to hit a hundred!”

“YeeHaw!”

I was screaming in my head but laughing hysterically – kind of like the stoned piano guy from “Reefer Madness“.  At least I was sitting down and making good time…And so far I hadn’t been murdered, raped or eaten.

And then in a blue cloud of peace…Everything changed.

Gene turned to me and offered the joint. How ever did they manage to light it?  Soon all my fears, cares and woes drifted away – replaced by the serenity of an idiotic grin.

Life  was pretty damned good.

To Be Continued:

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Stay Tuned for Valet Boy’s Epilogue on this highway of adventure -

Next time VB answers the question:  “Who the hell is Arthur Murray and what has he got to do with the Mendocino Shuffle.”

Til then, Thanks for sticking with me Dear Readers!

Valet Boy

Posted in Childhood Memories, Funny Stuff, Ghosts of Route 66, Highway to Hell, Holiday Humor, Holidays, Humor, Monsters, Old Loves, On The Road Again | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

What’s that up the road?…A head?


Dear Fellow Brainiacs and Regular Intellectuals,

The management at VB, Inc. just wanted us (the lowly Staff) to remind you that Valet Boy’s Dashboard Confessionary Tales & Memoirs now posts on Wednesday rather than Sunday.  But if you prefer, VB will be happy to return to Sunday morning delivery – if that is more convenient.

Really.  Our Blog-bots do everything so it’s no sweat off our keyboards.  Valet Boy barely shows up at the office anymore.  He just phones it in.  Disgusting.

Anyway….If you missed the latest post see it here:   http://valetboy.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/the-hitchhiker…e-that-3-miles/ ‎

It’s the first of a 3 part Valet Boy.  A mini-series if you will.

The Staff tried to tell Mr. Boy that it was too soon for such ambition, but Mr. Boy won’t let us critique any of his work.  He seems to think that you like it and he tells us to let YOU ALL be the judge of that.

Part 2 is already finished and just waiting for delivery.  So for those Reader Friends who were concerned that Mr. Boy might have had a stroke or a meltdown before you got to find out whether or not he was killed on that highway in the dead of night by escaped convicts….

The good news is we think he survived okay… However, he does seem to be twitching a lot.

We put a little form below that you can use to tell us what you’d like.

Happy Reading and Thank You from All of Us,

Mr. Valet Boy’s Woefully Underpaid Staff

(Please do fill out the form below otherwise Mr. Boy will beat us.)

Posted in Childhood Memories, Friends & Family, Funny Stuff, Ghosts of Route 66, Highway to Hell, Holiday Humor, Holidays, Hollywood Hills, Humor, Love in the Age of Bipolar Disorder, Old Loves | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hitchhikers Guide to Stupidity….or….Walk a Mile in My Snowshoes!


Vista view rt 66 (480x270)

The once and always iconic romance of the roads that was Route 66. When first I glimpsed this dashboard vista it was bathed in the stunning beauty of a desert sunset. The highway was an asphalt ribbon delicately carved between these timeless rocky monoliths.

THE DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL   -

GHOSTS OF ROUTE 66

The following is a true story…. Well, in so much as I can accurately remember anything from my past enough that one might call it true.

A couple of weeks ago I was driving my mom back down old US 231 to see her sister Liz and my cousin Mark and his lovely wife Tamara.  They’d just put in a new pool and we wanted to be among the first to sully and despoil it.  Well, I did anyway…Mom at 92 has not been in a bathing suit since the Honorable Senator from NC Sam Ervin called H.R. Haldemann a liar on national television.

So, we’re driving along and I guess it was the fact that I recalled one of Valet Boy’s more popular stories concerning previously driving his Mom down this same roadway  (See “Driving Miss Peggyhttp://wp.me/pSQ1C-aH  It’s a favorite Valet Boy episode of my pal Dan)  that got my normally super glued lips to start wagging.  (I’m usually very quiet on these jaunts with Mom.  She’s half deaf and it just requires so much energy to fling myself across that auditory threshold time after time.)

But somehow I got to talking and recounted this story to dear ol’ Mom…..

flagstaff

The main drag in Flagstaff, AZ

It was sometime during the 1970’s – ( Here things get very iffy.  My friend Moose and I have been trying to bracket the exact dates in which this story occurs.  It seems that during this decade neither of us were consistently “all there”.  The end result being that entire years are a fog.  You just have to trust me that it was sometime during the enigmatic ’70s.  Unfortunately, that’s as close as I can pin it down!  However, I seem to think it might possibly have occurred in 1974…or maybe 1976.) –  I was returning to California on my way northward back to Mendocino from a family Christmas in Monkeytown.

Some stretches of I-40 were still under construction and there were – thankfully – still some heavily trafficked stretches of old Route 66 left to be traveled.  Normally, during my winter cross-country journeys, I would have taken I-10, the southern route.  It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to know why….

Once while traveling cross-country with my fiancée (affectionately called Beth Alien by my young cousin Mark because of her bright shocks of green, pink and blue hair – I know right!  I just don’t seem the type.) we hit a blizzard along the very same route Valet Boy is recounting here today.  We were in my little ’82 Honda Civic and she was certain we were going to die.  In all seriousness, she turned to me and said, “You’re going to kill us both…so, I’m going to sleep.  Wake me up if we survive.”

gallery-route66But that’s another Valet Boy for another time.

Back to our regularly scheduled program already in progress…..

How I came to get the scraggly hairy 6 foot plus Lincoln-esque hitchhiker’s frame into my puke yellow 1973 Mercury Comet with the two tone blah brown interior remains a mystery we may have to chalk up to short and long-term memory loss.

(Here again,  Moose and I are at odds as to how this happened.  One version requires so damn much “coincidence”, and we all know how VB feels about that, as to make it seem like the stuff of a novelist’s fiction – while the other makes it completely probable, if not a much more plebeian story.)

Nevertheless, there he was.   He was not a disagreeable chap and this was after all the 70’s – in practical chronology, if not in spirit – so the “Freaks Code” was still very much in evidence among our ilk.  I think the exact line of the code was something like: “No murdering or maiming a fellow long hair hippie brother or sister who gives you a ride over the holidays”.

After all he DID have POT!  So, there was that going for him.

Now let’s set the stage even further.  It’s night-time.  It’s winter.  There’s snow covering the ground and I-40’s broad shoulders.  There’s a really bright full moon that allows you to see the high desert very clearly – (weird how I remember this though, huh?  But, you’ll see why in a bit.)  – and a sky brimming of stars that glisten with a crystalline electricity one only sees in a desert night sky.  We’re just outside of Flagstaff.  The time is somewhere between 10 PM and Midnight and…

… And the ol’ Mercury Vomit runs out of gas.

img_2559s3

Imagine this scene in darkness with moonlight and it gets you pretty close.

I’ve done some pretty stupid things in my life, but one thing I continue to do is gamble with my car’s gas tank.  Especially on these long haul drives.  I just do not want to stop for gas until I’m damn good and ready…. quiet often, however, the car will have other thoughts.

This was one of those times.  Dammit!  Just a few measly miles outside of Flagstaff, AZ and the old girl poops out on me.

Well, my fellow passenger ( who we have since come to re-discover was named Steve Zelezic ) made it very clear that I was on my own here.  He lit up a joint, bundled up against the cold, handed me $2 and said, “I’ll be here when you get back.”

Of that, I had no doubt.  Though I was beginning to question the “Freaks Code”… What if he robs me while I’m going for gas?   I wonder if I have anything worth robbing?  Fuck, it’s cold!   I guess he was a cheap SOB, but remember gas was only about 50 cents back then.

So, off I went wrapped up against the elements.   My plan was simple.  Hitch a ride to the nearest gas station and hitch a ride back.  How hard could that be right?

Luck was on my side.   Shortly after stepping onto the roadside a Big Rig Trucker stopped and picked me up.  I was forced to put aside all the fears of being molested, beaten, robbed (there we go with the robbing thing again) or kidnapped and graciously accept his kind offer.

th

Actual photo of a winter night sky near Flagstaff. Take out the romance and the allure of the Milky Way and drop the temps to the low 30’s and that was pretty much my deal.

We were not that far from the next exit and a big Chevron station.  But the Truck Driver cautioned me, “You might have a tough time getting as quick a ride back. “

After a few minutes and about 5 miles later, he dropped me off near the exit ramp and I stumbled along to the brightly lighted and welcomed oasis that was the Chevron station.  It was warm and comforting inside and I explained my situation.

They were all very sympathetic.

I didn’t have a gas can, so I had to buy one.  It held 2 gallons of gas and I got some free advice along with it, “Not much traffic heading east. Truckers don’t like to stop at this exit if they don’t have too.  Might be hard getting a ride…there’s a big weather front moving in.  More snow.”

I’m sure my facial expression hinted at my desperation as I paid for the gas and thanked them.  The woman at the cash register gave me some additional thoughts to chew on, “There was a prison break today and two convicts are still on the loose.” 

As if to put a fine point on it and to dispel my look of incredulity, she indicated the TV anchored to the wall across from me and the local 11:00 news in progress.  The crawl beneath the anchor’s talking head read: Troopers search for escaped killers in Flagstaff area.

HOLY MARY!!!!   Folks, I could make this stuff up but I’m not.

I looked around at the somber faces and haltingly stammered in my most masculine falsetto, “Anybody here…heading out that way?”

Nope.

I suddenly had the queerest feeling that they maybe thought this would be the last they’d ever hear of me.  Mustering all the bravery and gumption I possessed, and hefting what was becoming a pretty heavy gas can, I trudged out into the cold black darkness to reluctantly embrace my fate.

To be continued next time with: 

“Are You Really Trying to KILL ME?….

or

…. Arthur Murray Had Nothing on the                      Mendocino Shuffle”

As a side bar:  Mucho Congratulations to former “West Side Story” cast mate Billy Magnussen on the Tony win for Best Play of 2013 – Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” in which Billy plays Sigourney Weaver’s studly young playmate.


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Thanks for reading!

Valet Boy

Posted in Childhood Memories, Friends & Family, Funny Stuff, Ghosts of Route 66, Highway to Hell, Holiday Humor, Holidays, Hollywood Hills, Humor, On The Road Again | Tagged | 9 Comments

What Fuels These Motives Be…… or…. Where Have All The Flours Gone?


Dear Readers,

Have you ever taken a vacation and immediately thereafter felt you needed another vacation in order to recover from the vacation you just had?

Then you know how Valet Boy feels about his almost two-year absence from the almighty blog-o-sphere and by extrapolating thusly, how Mr. Boy has felt about life in general these past several months.

As a child, it was not unusual for me to experience the occasionally bizarre sensePoster - Snake Pit, The_03 that it was not I walking around within my own skin but an imposter, an interloper, even an alien being.  At times it would be an emotional sensation.  Other times a weird physical thing.  At its worst it was totally mental and just shy of a never-ending loop of the 1948 Olivia de Havilland classic “The Snake Pit”.

If you are unfamiliar with the plot of the film – very briefly and in very broad strokes –  A seemingly normal young woman marries a handsome account exec and within days begins exhibiting tendencies which her husband finds disturbingly bizarre……

Of course, for women in 1948 these tendencies may have been as innocent and innocuous as – say for example:  Having an opinion… Or… an orgasm.

Nevertheless, her husband turns to the psychiatric community (apologies to Tom Cruise) and poor Olivia is institutionalized.  Enter the kindly Dr. Kick and the mean, vicious, jealous and ruthless nursing staff.  The movie title derives from the communal room wherein the nut bin’s inhabitants, all exemplifying nasty bits of raging psychoses, bounce aimlessly off walls and one another in a screeching, screaming, swirling terror filled atmosphere of lonely desperate horror.

Or as I like to call it in my world – Monday.

I don’t believe in coincidence, but in an interesting twist of synchronicity:  Right after completing this post while flipping thro the On Demand movies on my TV,  I happened upon “The Snake Pit”.   Now mind you in and of itself this means little or nothing.  It would mean even less than that if just last night I hadn’t gone thro the On Demand movie line up and “The Snake Pit” was NOT listed. 

Hmmmmmm.

Olivia de Havilland was an Oscar-winning actress, whose career spanned more than 50 years.  She also appeared in another of these anguish riddled psycho flickers that again could have been a symbol of Mr. Boys complex life makeup:  “Lady in a Cage”.

Lady in a Cage (1964) This unremarkable celluloid journey concerned a woman beset by physical and emotional handicaps who also becomes beset by a gang of young home invading hoodlums led by handsome diminutive screen newcomer Jimmy Caan.

As she has difficulty climbing the stairs in her home, Olivia employs the use of a convenient home elevator.  The elevator gives her the freedom to reach her home’s upper levels instilling a comforting sense of independence.  But, in life as with all good drama – our greatest asset can easily become our greatest handicap!

After the break-in, a frantic virtually petrified Olivia uses the elevator to escape the invading horde.  Unfortunately, they cut the power to the elevator cage trapping her between levels.  What ensues are moderately entertaining, if not seemingly unrelenting, assaults to torture the trapped Ms. de Havilland.  And as she warned us, “Don’t see it alone”…

Perhaps the best word of advice would have been to just not see it at all.

Now, let me pause here in case you, my dear readers, are sensing some kind of a pattern of sexual identity disorder.  Allow me to put your minds at ease.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I probably could just as easily have utilized “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest” for my references but where’s the quirk in that?  (Although, it’s half a sure bet that Ken Kesey saw “The Snake Pit” and based Nurse Ratched on a few of the harpies from the old B&W film.)

Oh, I imagine at some point decades ago there was a fleeting momentary fantasy in which I considered what my life might have been like had I been born a woman.  But, I can unhesitatingly guarantee you that after having had to appear on stage in drag a few times, I realized I would undoubtedly be one of the most unattractive women ever to walk the earth (not to take anything away from Eleanor Roosevelt) and that thought was instantly dispelled.

Please don’t write me about my insensitivity to Mrs. Roosevelt.  I admired her greatly, but let’s face it – I’m sure they were all kept very busy at the Roosevelt household restarting the clocks whenever she passed by —-

1… 2… 3.   Ah, there you got it!  Good.  Moving on then.

“What’s the point of all this, Mr. Boy?”  You may well ask.

It’s just that Valet Boy has been out of sorts of late.  Wrestling with his place in the world as it were.  Weighing the pros and cons of life’s choices.

And from personal experience I can attest that this is an exhaustive exercise in futility at best and at worst may well open doors best kept tightly bolted, shuttered and locked.

I mean the options available in this day and age can be both myriad and frightening.  Doors to a variety of sociopathic and psychiatric disorders are just waiting to be flung wide opened exposing the poor mind to extremes only the young, healthy and firm should even attempt to explore.  Otherwise, we have legions of 70 and 80 year olds rushing out for sex reassignment surgeries or even worse deciding their calling is political and finding themselves in some nightmarish American Idol scenario jockeying for Michele Bachmann Turner Overdrive’s now vacant congressional seat.

So maybe all of this angst is just Valet Boy’s reaction to reaching the age of Social Securityshakespeare and passing through the thorny threshold of elderhood.  As visions of Shakespeare’s  7 Ages of Man speech from “As You Like It” wash over me, I’ll simply fart and burp, take my cane and my Poligrip and quietly move off to squat in the corner as if to say to the world:

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…”

But then isn’t that what THEY want?

Don’t THEY desire that Valet Boy and YOU and EVERYONE ELSE who boldly dares draw a breath on the planet just shut up and blow away?

Well, sorry, Buster!  I’m not in the business of making THEIR life easy.  I spell MY name with a VB and that rhymes with T and that stands for Trouble and….and…_

Where the hell was I going with this?

Nevermind.  Wait ’til I find my keys and I can drive us outta here.

Is Valet Boy back with a vengeance?  I have no idea.  But at least so far he’s not been Genetically Modified.

Until next time, remember:  When you speak in the third person you’re always guaranteed an audience of at least one!

Thank you, Dear Readers, for pausing in your busy day to visit.

Oh and BTW… This eve the lightning bugs have returned to brighten our vespers.

Valet Boy

Posted in Dementia, Funny Stuff, Humor, Love in the Age of Bipolar Disorder | 11 Comments