Lips and Lagers

Squid Lips My walks down life's roads have taken me many places. I lived on a kibbutz in Israel and harvested grapefruit when I wasn't shoveling out chicken houses. I was in the Philippines in the Air Force, spent my freshman year of college in California before graduating from the University of Iowa, and worked in an officer's club in Germany. I've hitchhiked all over the country, I milked an English Bulldog once, and also hit myself in the head with a baseball bat.

So just a couple of days ago I found myself in Florida having lunch at a joint call "Squid Lips," and I thought, how did I end up here?

I found myself accidentally stumbling into introspection there at good ol' Squid Lips, and then I fought that off. Introspection slows me down. And I was left with deep philosophical questions as I sat there, namely: why do my cars' windshield wipers always wear out on the exact sight line that I need to see clearly, and why do birds of all varieties always crap on that same sight line?

And then I ordered another Sam Adams Boston Lager.

The Boy in the Bridal Boutique

Shortly after Christmas, my long-suffering wife and I drove to Florida for a visit with her sister's family in Melbourne. An unexpected highlight awaited. Given the choice of watching a bunch of men in shorts kicking each other's shins or accompanying my wife, her sister, and two nieces to The Bridal Boutique, I chose the latter.

I had wisely avoided such enterprises when my daughters married, so why was I going now? Well, my gifted, talented, lovely, witty, and brilliant niece is getting married in March. She had purchased a wedding gown and was going in for a fitting. Being a lifelong learner, I thought I'd tag along.

While Anna was getting fitted, I roamed around the estrogen-rich environment, looking at wedding gowns on a rack that extended about the length of a football field. The cheapest gown was $1,800, and they escalated into the low 4's. Off the rack. Above the rack were posters of the Bulemia All-Stars modeling various gowns. One young woman appeared to have failed in her attempt to escape vampires.

Backtracking to the front of the business, I proved useful in picking out the color for the Mother of the Bride dress. Blue. Later passed over for a mauve taupe sea mist stone aqua.

And even though Anna looked radiant in her tasteful gown, I just might pass when it's time for my niece Amy to visit the Bridal Boutique. And maybe give soccer another look.

Just another tequila mockingbird...

Things and more things filter through my mind, snips and snatches I can't explain. And sometimes things happen to me that are just plain weird. So I'll share a few. Why do people look at the hymnal in their hands when they're singing the "Hallelujah Chorus" with 1,328 "Hallelujahs" in a row? Same for that song with all the "glorias" in it, "Angels We Have Heard On High." Same words, over and over again, singers looking at the book. LOOK UP, PEOPLE! YOU LOOK STUPID!

I never knew it before today, but "Tequila Mockingbird" was that novel written by Harper Lee. Students really need to read more. Maybe they were thinking of Jimmy Buffett.

How do I explain having a cat in my underwear the other day at our "escape cottage"? I could explain it, but I won't. But if I don't explain it . . .

I did not watch one minute of any college football game last week. No wonder I don't feel well. It's been decades since I could say that, and trust me, it's not going to happen again.

I have had two concussions in my lifetime, both provided by baseball bats. One, by my older sister. One by me. Both stories should generate concerns, by you, about my cerebral functioning. On the other hand, it might explain a few things.

I was struck by lightning one time on I-95 south of Jacksonville, Florida. That might explain some of my snarled synapses, too.

Do you detect a pattern?