Monthly Archives: June 2014

Jim the Bacon Man

In keeping with the spirit of this Era of Re-runs, here is a post that was first put up on 7-3-2012, even though I would rank it near the bottom of my amusing posts.

Everyone carries around a list of their ranked blog post based on level of amusement, right?

I bought my tickets to see Jim Gaffigan at the Taft theater in Cincinnati.  His shows are coming up in August.  I’m really looking forward to it.  I bought four tickets, but haven’t actually decided what to do with the third and fourth ticket.  Clearly, the first two are for my wife and I.  Jim’s comedy is not anywhere close to over-the-top with respect to adult material.  But do I bring my kids?  They have seen and heard many of Jim’s shows on television in the past.  Or do I invite a couple of friends?  I don’t know how to make this decision.  My boys already know that I have the tickets.

My wife has suggested that I check the Taft theater web site in order to determine if there is a minimum age requirement.  There sure is–with respect to visiting the bar.  Clearly 21 is the age required.  But the site is not very clear about taking a position on age pertaining to anything else.

taft

I’m a tall guy. I hope you weren’t behind me.

However, there are many other rules written out to clarify many different scenarios and restricted items.  There are typical things like video recording devices or audio recorders that make the “do not bring” list.  This makes sense for some performers that are trying to make additional money on CD/DVD sales and want to limit the boot-legging.   So let me share a few odd ones with you that landed in the “restricted items” list.

“Cameras with long or detachable lenses (cameras small enough to fit in a man’s shirt pocket are allowed)”

This just begs for me to create a pocket the full size of my torso and load it up with the basic inventory of a camera shop.

“Aerosol Spray Cans”

But what if my hair starts to droop in the middle of the performance?

“Weapons”

This seems obvious to me, but it helps me finalize the decision to leave my bazooka at home.

“Tools (wrenches, pliers, etc.)”

That is exactly how it is written out on the theater’s website.  What did someone do to make the theater management spell out the examples?  Does “etcetera” cover pipe-wrenches?  Cause I have a fear of dropping my ring into a sink drain, and I usually carry a pipe-wrench to dismantle the plumbing when I do that.

“Inflatables”

So when I told my inflatable woman that I couldn’t bring her to the show, she had this odd surprised look on her face.  Oh wait a minute, she always has that look.

And at the end of the list: “Any other item deemed unacceptable by Taft Theatre management.  Subject to change at the discretion of Taft Theatre or Tour management at any time.”

So they reserve the right to just look at you and say, “Hey buddy, you have to leave right now because we just added ‘brown hair’ to the list.  Totally unacceptable.  Have a nice night.”

Following the list of restricted items comes the list of behavioral reasons that will get thrown out.  Typical list leaders include intoxication, disruptive behavior, and the use of profanity (not including most of the stand-up comedians).

“Unacceptable or indecent dress”

So I have to wear my pants to the show?  Really?  Jim wouldn’t if he had the option.

“Participating in a fight”

I’ll need a bit of clarity on this one.  Is watching the fight considered ‘participating’?   I’ll need to know how to handle this in advance.  If a fight breaks out, do I need to close my  eyes?  That just seems dangerous to me.

“Entering or attempting to enter the restrooms of the opposite sex”

I’ve been down this road a few times in my life.  Each by accident–honestly.  Someone remind me to write the story of my college days incident of this mistake.  A mistake!  Not on purpose.

“Breaking the law”

This will get you ejected out to the streets where law breaking belongs–not in the theater.

“Any action that, in the opinion of the Taft Theatre management, places other guests in danger or reduces their enjoyment of the event”

There they go again.  “Hey you.  You’re blinking funny and people are starting to complain.  You’re out of here!”

I can’t wait for the show!  Especially now that I am fully aware of the rules.  Oh, and I just realized that the Taft ‘Theater’ is actually the Taft ‘Theatre’ (R before E).  I wonder if I’ll get thrown out for that gross oversight on my behalf.

Buy my book! (or wait for the play)

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Dark Humor

This re-run was originally posted on 6/28/2012.

Several years ago I was initially reluctant to put this “out there”.  But this is what makes me tick.  This is the essence of Marcus.

Poop humor makes people smile.

Lights Out

This is one of those iffy subjects.  I am wondering if I can pull this off without offending and bothering you.  By you, I mean specifically you.  You know who you are.  If you don’t, that would be an odd thing.  Perhaps you are in a coma and don’t know you anymore.  Sad really.  But since you are reading this, I would guess that you are alive and well.

The topic pertains to the bathroom which is one of my favorite topics when I am trying to produce something that will make you smile.  Producing humor that is, not anything else that you may or may not have been thinking.

You have to understand that I am a man.  I’m a grown man–someone who is raising a family.  I have my fair share of responsibilities and I am a decent member of society.  However, you also have to understand that before all of my so called maturing happened, I was a little boy.  And after that, I was a male teenager.  And then for a while, I was a guy in college.  Poo-poo jokes and embarrassing situations revolving around the bathroom are something that I embrace.  I can’t not smile when I am confronted by a story that involves gas or someone caught with their pants down.  I have to admit and acknowledge that its part of me.  It makes me, me.  I’m ok with it.

So, that being said and understood, I’m entering a small public restroom the other day.  It’s a nicely constructed with all the newer no-touch devices—lights, toilet flusher, sink water, towel dispenser, etc.  I walk in the lights click on automatically.  I proceed to the stall, to do what people do in a stall.  No details needed there.  You get the picture.  (“Everyone Poops” is a great book.  Look for it if you have never seen it.)

Then some time passes.  I’m not known for being fast at this “particular activity”.  If a book or a magazine is handy, I’ll take in a few stories.  But honestly, who wants to be known for either outcome: fast or slow.

“Hey, isn’t that Marcus over there?”

“Yeah, man it is!  Boy, he can move fast.”

It’s a good compliment for a football player, baseball player, or a track star, but not for someone seeking to relieve their biology.

Anyway, time passes and the sensor and timer controlling the automatic lights conspire against me as they make the decision that there is no longer anyone in the bathroom.  Lights out!  All at once, I am subjected to total darkness.  It’s alarming and very hard to describe the feelings that rush over you in that small moment of time.  In an emergency, the battery back-up lights would kick on, but this is no emergency.  This is simply an energy saving piece of electronics doing its job.

I am an evil device. I can turn Marcus into a blind man!

I think to myself for a plan.  This is a problem I can solve.  I’ll stand up and wave my hands around in order to make the lights click back on.  I do just that.  Nothing.  I’m in the stall with my pants at my ankles flapping my arms so hard I nearly took flight.  Nothing.  Still total darkness—like complete total darkness.  Ok.  I’ll open and close the stall door real fast.  Nothing.  No effect.  Darkness continues.  I can’t believe that the sensor isn’t covering the entire room, but it makes sense.  The sensor is designed to watch the door only, not the entire bathroom.  Despite my situation, I can actually appreciate this design.  I have issues when it comes to devices that “watch” humans in the bathroom.  I’m not a fan of the auto flusher.  First off, it’s watching me sit there.  It sees me.  Creepy.  Secondly, I always cover that “eyeball” with a piece of toilet paper so as to avoid the premature flush.  Nothing worse.

I have a friend on Facebook that posted one of those one-liner jokes that makes its rounds on the internet every so often.  “How does a blind person know when he is done wiping?”  It’s a great question.  Great question.  Well the memory of reading that really hit home just then.

This is the touchy part that might cause you to never return to my reading ever again.  I’ll do my best not to lose you.

I do what I can in total darkness to clean up my… situation.  I am, at this moment, in every aspect of the description, a blind man.  Ok, moving on.  I raise my pants and fix my belt.  I then do the mad dash out of the stall toward the door.  The lights click back on and I reverse the mad dash back into the stall.  In fact, if you had the chance to see me, you would have said, “Wow, that Marcus really moves fast.”

I realize that since no one actually saw me dealing with this whole incident, the story becomes somewhat anti-climatic.  But there I was, back in the stall.  (This is the part where losing you really concerns me).  I return to the seated position in order to check my work.    Let’s just say, as a blind man, I did good work.  Although I still don’t know the answer to that great question—how do they know?

While washing my hands, I had one more flashback.  A long time ago when I was just a little punk, probably somewhere around nine years old, I had a friend named Dave (no last name given in order to protect his identity).  We found it amusing to kill the lights in public bathrooms as we ran out the door when we observed someone’s feet occupying a stall.  We would hear these people’s shocked voices echoing out, “Hey, turn the lights on I’m still in here!” as we were running out the door casting them into total darkness.  We would laugh so hard.

Now, it is so clear that I must apologize to those unknown peoples that we tormented so long ago.  I understand now exactly what they were feeling.  Exactly.  What goes around comes around.

I am sorry.

I wonder if they ever wrote out their story.  Probably not.

Oh, and if I offended any blind people actually reading this story… oh wait, never mind.

Buy my book for the back of your toilet!

Mr. Jetski, I Presume

The original post date of this one was 6/26/2012.  The cool thing about this memory is that my family is scheduled to return to this vacation spot in the very near future.  Every two years?  Oh, yes.  Be jealous.  Be very, very jealous.

…and rerun:

I returned from vacation not too long ago.  My family made it down to Holden Beach, North Carolina.  This particular beach was somewhat secluded and far from the typical tourist trap like you can find in Myrtle Beach.  I found this destination by utilizing my resources in a very effective manner.  We were invited to join three other families in a beach house for the week.  So I basically said, “sure, here is a check.”  I highly recommend planning your vacations in this fashion.  It is a very low stress approach.

One afternoon in the middle of our wonderful vacation, I got to experience riding on a jet ski for the first time ever.  We rented two jet skis for the four of us.  My wife would ride with one of our sons and I would take the other.  My boys are twelve and thirteen and failed to make the requirement of the minimum age to be the driver.  This requirement can be found in the verbiage of a zillion page small book of a legal document that you have to agree to.  There are a thousand places to initial here, sign there, date here, put a thumb print there.  I try my best to read as much as possible whenever signing my life away.  I look for the obvious warnings like: If you scratch the unit, you agree to pay for the repair and buy the rental company a second brand new jet ski as well.

I’ll bet I looked just like this guy…

While reading as carefully as I can while holding off my boys excitement I couldn’t help but notice this warning:  It is highly recommended that riders wear a wet suit.  Water may forcefully enter your rectum and vagina.  Well now that’s an eye opener!  I had to read that one aloud to my entire family.  Three out of four of us don’t have a vagina, so at least that reduces the odds of potential injury significantly.

Anyway, my family is out and about bouncing over each other’s wakes.  Fun was being had. Water spraying and splashing us all over.  Well, not completely all over.  Although I can be sympathetic to the poor soul who sustained that horrible situation that dictated the warning, I’m not sure what position we would need to be in to achieve the forceful salt water enema.  The fun ride completed without incident, unless you count the number of times my son and I shouted, “rectum, hell, it killed him.”

Buy my water logged book!

The Era of the Rerun

Hey, it’s been far too long since I added to this blog.

I know, I know.  You missed me.  I’m awesome.  All that.

Here’s the thing.  Life is busy.  You know it.  Your life is probably busy too.  I know it.

Am I sorry that I haven’t posted for a great time?  Sure.

Am I sorry that I have two teenage boys that chew up all of my time?  Nope.

To be honest here in a vulnerable kind of way, I should report to you that I was in an accident and it left me with only one arm and only three fingers, so it has become a tedious process to type into this blog.

To be even more honest, that previous line is a complete lie.

Look, I’ve been lazy.  There!  I said it!  You happy now?

My original goal for this blog was to promote my book.  I did that.  Success!  And along the way I managed to reach 100 blog entries.  True story.  The entry just before this one was number 100.  So I’m proud of that.

But guess what my new plan is?

Did you even try to guess?

Disappointing.

My new plan is to re-run every entry from the very first one all the way back to this one, which will be weird when that actually happens and you are reading this particular explanation again.  Probably one or so per week.

But listen, this isn’t a bad thing.  You didn’t read all 100 of these stories anyway.  And if you did, I’m sure you don’t remember how much awesomeness is contained in each one.

Without further ado.

Actually, if you want to maintain you current level of ado, you have that right.

So without altering you current level of ado, let’s remember how this all started…

10,000 Foot View (Original date 6/23/2012)

I’m flying home from across the country after a week of work away from home.  Flying out of this particular area offers incredible views at a most amazing part of our country.  The scenery is amazing with the rocky mountains standing in the background.  My flight had to circle around after lift off, so everyone on board had the opportunity to observe the incredible landscape all around.  Everyone, that is, except me.  It never fails that I get the seat with the perfect view of the wing. The wing!  It’s beautiful.  The way the sun reflects off of the rows of screws, the way those flaps move in and out, and the way the message “do not walk here” captures your eye and doesn’t let go.  Breathtaking.  Simply breathtaking.

It seems to me that the wing is always just outside my window.  It doesn’t matter which seat is assigned to me, the wing will be there blocking my view.  In previous flights, I have heard people gawking at the splendor of the Grand Canyon, or the view of the Washington monument, and all I can think is how it looks a lot like an airplane wing. My seat can be in row one, five, twenty-two –it does not matter, the wing will be there.  I honestly think that if I were to be the pilot of the aircraft, the wing would still be there obstructing my view, sticking out of the front of the plane.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain, if you look out of left side of the plane you’ll get a great view of Yellowstone National Park, and since we will be turning around in order to correct our flight path, those of you on the right will also have the opportunity.  Oh, except you Marcus, if you’ll notice please, that’s our wing.”

I always lean forward in my seat to note the person across the way on the opposite side of the aircraft with the prime view of the other wing.  I feel a special connection to this other poor soul who shares the equally unimpressive view of the aircraft wing.  On today’s flight, my wing-observing partner is actually a blind man.

Buy my high flying book.