Too scared to shoot…

Under the Constitution, I can buy a firearm to protect myself, my family and (in Texas at least) my property.  The government hasn’t been able to take away guns, but it has taken away any use they may serve.  How?  By making it so incredibly painful and downright frightening to ever pull the trigger.

Here are a couple of examples of how this works.  One, the building where I work is maintained by a real estate company.  Over the last couple of years, about half of us have had items stolen from our cubicles.  In my case, it was a company-owned $6000 industrial laptop; others have lost personal items, such as a digital picture frame, and one person was so upset about his $400 PERSONAL Dyson fan going missing, that he put up a flyer in the kitchen area, asking for it back & warning others about the theft.  So how did the real estate company react?  Instead of investigating the theft in this card-key access-controlled video-monitored 24-hour security building, they took down the fliers and sent an email to everyone that only APPROVED flyers or posters can be put on the walls.  Nobody ever recovered any stolen items.

Another example is the southern border we share with Mexico.  In this case, just like the real estate company, when the government didn’t do its job securing the border, a couple of groups – Minutemen, the Arizona police – tried to help, take matters into their own hands.  They didn’t even do much else besides survey the landscape & notify the immigration agents when they saw someone trying to cross.  So how did the government respond?  Did they double-up on border patrols, send more agents down, build a wall, call the National Guard?  No, of course not; they got a team of lawyers and sued anyone who dared to try to do the Federal government’s job.  The fact that the government is NOT doing its job is beside the point.

Now we have someone who has the right to carry a gun, and took it upon himself to do what the police didn’t: make his community safe.  George Zimmerman should be called a hero.  He took the initiative to patrol his own neighborhood, and from what I gather, ended up shooting someone in self-defense after the punk tried to beat him to death.  Maybe he profiled the kid, maybe it’s bad to confront someone just because he fits the description of the thugs that have been seen committing crimes, but Travon was no angel, and he proved George right by pummeling him with his fists for daring to disturb his walk.  So how is this hero treated?  Public ridicule, calls for his assassination, death threats, and eventually arrest & charges for murder.

The real estate company, the Federal immigration administration and the police department do NOT want you to do their job for you.  Even if they suck at it, you’re supposed to just sit there with your blinders on as your personal items are stolen, illegal aliens set up a crack house in your neighborhood, or your friends & neighbors are robbed & burglarized.  Sure, I can buy a gun, but I know that if I ever use it, I’ll lose my job, my reputation, my friends and family will leave me, or I’ll have to go into hiding, and the “victim” or HIS family, along with the government and media, will crucify me in public, I’ll be arrested, charged, and even if I EVER clear my name, I’ll be scarred for life.  I even heard a lawmaker this morning on the radio wanting to take away a person’s gun & carry-license if he shoots someone, until the matter is investigated.  Great.  So a gang member breaks down your door, you shoot him, the cops take your gun and now the rest of the gang wants revenge and KNOWS you’re now unarmed.

The only situation I can think of where a gun would be useful, without the fear of this horrible guilty-until-proven-innocent prosecution, is during complete anarchy, or during revolution.  And then I’m sure a 12-gauge shotgun is going to be real useful against the government tanks, F16’s and trained military.  Or, to protect my family, I would go ahead & shoot the bad guy, then call the cops & turn myself in, confess that yes I used deadly force, no I’m not a trained professional, yes I know I have the right to remain silent, yes I realize my skin color is different than his so this’ll probably be a hate crime, no I don’t want a jury trial, I trust a judge better, in fact, let’s just cut to the chase & you can shoot me right now, my life is over anyway … see ya up in Heaven, kids …

-Mark

Funny one-liners

I have a silly little game on my Iphone called Restaurant Story.  I know, it’s lame, especially for a dude, but I’ve come up with some funny little posts to make.  In case you missed them, here’s a compilation: (my restaurant is called beefnbeer – who doesn’t like beef and beer?) One or two I heard before, but the rest are all original.

-Mark

  • Teacher said it was dain bramage
  • My wife says I never finish anything. I don’t know what she’s talking
  • I ALWAYS have trouble being consistent
  • I told my wife, “I love U! It’s my favorite letter!” and she got mad! Women are just crazy
  • deja vu: the feeling that you have deja vu
  • I used to think girls were nice to each other. Then I saw an episode of The Bachelor. Now I’m scared of ’em…
  • My favorite bumper sticker says HONK if you love Peace and Quiet!
  • I’m not heterosectual; I’m a lesbian trapped in a man’s body
  • My last post was just a joke. I’m not a lesbian in a man’s body. No offence; just wouldn’t want to be one; I’m afraid of scissors
  • I once gave a speech at a morgue. It was recorded before a dead studio audience
  • My wife says I’m sarcastic. Right. I really want to say one thing and mean another; I want people to thing I’m crazy. Phft!
  • I flunked out of spy school. They told me I had to learn to hold my tongue, but I couldn’t; it’s too slippery
  • Favorite sign: “I HATE being BIPOLAR! It’s AWESOME!”
  • I hate judgemental people. They should all be thrown in jail because they’re all bad!
  • “Hoe-Down” (noun): when a hooker trips & falls – modern Texas dictionary
  • Straw Poll: standard dance equipment in rural strip clubs
  • My wife says I’m nice but a little immature. (Teeheehee! She said “butt”! Hahaha!)
  • I don’t need a degree to be rich; college dropout & I make six figures … wait … do the ones after the decimal point count?
  • My wife said, These new shorts make me look skinny. I said Yeah, too bad it’d just an optical illusion. She almost hit me…
  • Philosophically speaking, if a man says something, and there’s not a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?
  • I recently bought a dolphin because I felt like my life lacked porpoise
  • Someone asked, on a scale of 1-10, how stressful is it with a wife & 4 kids? I said, is AAAAAAHHHH! a number?
  • I hate it when they fly the flags at half-mast. Every time they do that, somebody dies.
  • I didn’t win the lottery.  My wife said you have to buy a ticket – I KNEW there was a catch!
  • I’ve heard computer hackers make alot of money.  I have a computer; now I just need a hammer & a chainsaw.
  • People in dreams never stay dead because the subconscience mind knows: there is no death; have a Good Friday
  • Before I went shopping, my wife said check my BAC. I wasn’t drunk yet, so I got more beer. Thanks Honey! I love you..
  • Happy Easter! Jesus was dead and Satan was happy, then Jesus was alive (!) now Satan is mad. Yay! Let’s eat!
  • I love my Camaro. I named it Kellie, after my wife. Now I can’t yell at her, or I’ll be insulting my car!
  • I tried multi-level-marketing once. I was supposed to enroll all my friends, but neither one would do it!
  • Is it gravity, or does the earth just suck?
  • I know why it’s called “daily grind”. I feel like one of those cocoa beans that’s been plucked, dried, roasted, crushed and scalded!
  • My wife said stop drinking, so I started smoking. Now she says stop smoking. So I did! Sappy Hatuday evrywon!
  • At my funeral, everyone in the 1st row get $20. Back row owes me $5; it’s only way I’ll ever get any money from my brother!
  • “Kids, When I was you age I wore all black, smoked pot and listened to heavy metal.” “Aw, Dad, you’re so old-fashioned!”
  • God, you gotta give us a break. I know you made Adam and Eve perfect, but after centuries of in-breeding, we’re all messed up!
  • I may look young, but I’m just an old fart. I came out of a sumu wrestler in 1978. I’m such a stinker! Been driftin’ ever since…
  • Sometimes I let my wife drive. It’s amazing how the fear of death can improve your prayer life.
  • I don’t have a hangover. I just drank beer last night and now I have a headache and my stomache hurts. Just a coincidence.
  • I’m very loyal.  I’ve had the same mistress for 5 years!
  • I don’t have a drinking problem. In fact, I can’t even REMEMBER the last time I got drunk.
  • I fell on my butt and made love to my wife on Mother’s day. I guess that makes me a badd-ass mother f…..
  • Marriage is all about give & take. She gives me orders & I take them. I give money & she takes it. See? We’re totally equal…
  • Geek-Land: where “Dumping a log” is both common and painless!
  • “Break a leg!” (Step one in the Loan Shark’s Collection Manual)
  • Marriage tip: forgiveness. My wife forgives my many faults, and I forgive he for not having any (which can be VERY annoying!)
  • Fortune cookie: “That wasn’t chicken”
  • Oxy-Moron: two words that should never go together, like “Nice Boss”, “Fun Job” or “Happy Monday”

The husband drinks

I’m an alcoholic.  I’ve been drinking on and off since I was 18.  I’m 46 now.  I started drinking heavily when we went to visit my grandparents in Louisiana.  The drinking age at the time was 18, so I told my parents I was going for a walk, snuck over to the liquor store and bought several large bottles of Jack Daniel’s & stuffed them in my suitcase.  I would hide them in my closet and take a sip every now and then.  I drove drunk; wrecked my car once, at the mall, weaving uncontrollably and sliding over the curb at Denny’s, wiping out the sprinkler and my left front wheel.

I’ve had issues with guilt.  I think that’s part of the problem.  My dad used guilt to control and punish me.  School used guilt to control and punish me.  I was a straight-A student, valedictorian of my class of 750, until my senior year when I just couldn’t take the pressure any more.  I graduated, Mangum Cum Laude, or whatever it’s called – I actually hated the school so much that I skipped the ceremony – and dropped out of college after one semester.  I’ve had it with school.  I’ve even stopped going to church because they also use guilt to control and punish you.  Now I can’t do anything without feeling guilty.  My weekends are filled with guilt.  I can’t get anything done because I have this huge weight of guilt on me, and the only thing that makes it go away is alcohol.

Several things hit me really hard.  After home-schooling both of my children, taking them to church, praying over them, they ended up getting their GED’s and basically floundering.  My son spent the $10,000 I gave him, for college, that I’d been saving up for his entire life, at $50 a month when I could barely afford it, on classes that he didn’t finish or a laptop that he lost or partying with friends.  He wrecked the car that I got for him, then talked me into co-signing on a brand new car, made one payment, then wrecked that one too.  He currently owes me $14,000, over and above the college money, which I will never see.  Then my daughter took her turn, doing all sorts of things.  She huffed paint, cut herself, attempted suicide, spent a week in a mental institution, and ran away to Mexico with her boyfriend.

The thing that really got to me was cancer.  After all the stress of life, plus all the crisis that my kids put me though, when my wife got cancer I freaked out.  She’s over it now, got checked the other day and the cancer hasn’t come back, but I just gave up.  I don’t want to live any more.  I’m much too big of a whimp to kill myself, so I just drink & drink until I pass out.  My wife has had to leave the house several times with our other two little boys.  I never drink before work, but I go to work hung-over and barely able to think.  I have high blood pressure, acid reflux, a hernia, migraine headaches – any stress-related illness, well you name it  I got it.

At this point I don’t really care.  I’ve tried to quit.  Went 26 days cold-turkey once.  I tried switching to beer, then malt liquor, then back to whiskey again.  Had to switch from Jack Daniels to Jim Beam because it doesn’t upset my stomache as much.  And, so far, my liver is fine.  My doctor gives me regular blood tests and it always comes back normal, except for my chloresterol, but I take pills for that.  In fact, I have a whole basket of vitamins & drugs that I take on a daily basis; probably the only reason the drinking hasn’t killed me yet.  My latest thing was to try and use nicotine instead of alcohol.  I ordered some electronic cigs online (http://www.v2cigs.com) and I puff away on that, but it doesn’t help very much.  I end up drinking whiskey and chasing it down with my coffee-flavored nicotine vapor.  Maybe it’s helped a little, I don’t know.

Today, I’m going to try something new.  I just ordered the “last call” program (http://www.drinklessnow.com/) which is insanely expensive but looks like it might do the trick.  We’ll see I suppose.  It’s over $800 but just one DWI would probably cost me that much.  I go through one 1.75 liter bottle of whiskey a week, plus a few beers usually, and at $30 a bottle maybe, if this stuff works, it’ll pay for itself.

I have lost so much of my faith in God.  I still believe in Him, I still tithe, I still read my Bible on occasion, but going into a huge fancy church with a big “Give money for our new building” banner makes me want to throw up.  I did everything I thought was right – I got saved, married the church girl that led me to the Lord, joined a fundamental, Bible-believing church, went on Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesdays, plus any other time they had a special function.  I was in the church band, helped out in the nursery, taught a class once.  But, the pastor, who officiated at our wedding, ran off with the lady who sang at our wedding, and the piano player divorced my best man, who turned out to be gay.  The church finally folded.  All of that effort home-schooling, then paying for private Christian school, and I thought my kids got saved, really, truly saved, and I naively thought that the in-dwelling Holy Spirit would keep them from all the typical sins of the teenager.  It didn’t; if anything, they were writing down all those sins on a to-do list for later.

I shouldn’t complain.  I drank, did drugs, ran away from home, quit school, got a girl pregnant (she had an abortion).  If anything, I believe in Karma.  I think God forgives me for all of my sins, past, present and future, but my first two kids couldn’t help but repeat the sins of the father; I had it coming.  Hopefully, that took care of the Karma, and my two little boys have seen how much their older brother & sister go through, barely scraping by, always needing help, begging for money, maybe they’ll actually make something of themselves & get a decent education or training or SOMETHING so they can support themselves; a career, not a job at fast food joint.

So, we’ll see how this stuff works.  My wife has threatened to have an intervention or force me to go to AA or Alanon or even a hospital treatment.  I do NOT want to go to some place called Alcoholics Anonymous where you have to tell everyone your name and everything about yourself.  Anonymous my ass…  I’ll post back after I start taking this junk & let you know how it goes.  This will be an honest report; I don’t get anything from these people, I’m not going to post a referral link that would get me a little money; I just need a place to record my experience.  Maybe, if it works, then someone else will read this & get help too.  But for now, I’m going to TRY and make it at least until 4pm before I drink again.  That’d be an improvement for me…

-Mark

ps I didn’t make it to 4pm.  I started drinking when my wife took a nap yesterday at about 2:50 in the afternoon.  I don’t remember much about yesterday.  This Monday morning, I looked at the bottle and there’s about 3/4 inch left.  That bottle was completely full when I bought it on Friday; I don’t know how it happened.  “Just a little more.  Just a couple of more swallows.”  I don’t even get a glass or attempt to mix it – just up-end the jug and guzzle it down, just like a drunk bum.  I can’t wait for that stuff to arrive.  I’m going to document my experience here; I hope hope hope & pray that this works… Stay tuned…

The Wife Works

I wrote this a few years ago when my wife decided to get a job.  It was quite an ordeal.  Enjoy…

My wife has never “worked”.  Oh, sure, she’s been sequestered at home with infants for days on end, changing diapers & doing housework, and she’s even done that professionally at daycares.  But, this was the first time she ever got a real job, outside of the home, with a paycheck that didn’t smell like baby powder.  She got a job with Southwest Airlines as a reservation agent.  She talked to people on the phone, helped them book air travel or change reservations – perfect job for her, since she loves to talk.  Being on the bottom rung of the seniority ladder, hers was the night shift – from 4:30 pm until 1:30 am – and her days off were Wednesday and Thursday.  That left three weekdays where I was the one at home, sequestered with small children for hours & hours, plus both Saturday and Sunday evenings.

I thought I would make a pretty good “mom” at first.  After all, I was pretty good at my complicated computer job; surely I could handle a couple of rugrats for a while.  Besides, it would be fun to spend some time with the kids.  I got off early and made it home usually about 3:30pm or so.  Just enough time to say Hi to my wife before she rushed out the door.  That left me with 7 or 8 hours alone with the kids, until I would tuck them in to bed and take a well-deserved nap until I had to get up at 5 or 6am for my own job.  No problem.

My initial idea was, this’ll be great!  I can get so much done without my wife home.  I had started a project, installing a new bathtub & shower in the master bathroom.  Perfect!  I’ll use all my newly acquired free time to finish it up!  I worked a little every day on the bathroom, and I took the kids to the hardware store once or twice to get supplies.  Bad idea.  They enjoyed it at first, getting to spend time with Daddy and go shopping, but after a while I think it traumatized them.  Now all I have to do is say “Lowe’s” and they start crying.  So I thought, I won’t drag them all over town looking for GFCI outlets and CPVC plumbing, I’ll just concentrate on cooking.  It was a good chance for me to experiment with all the different types of meat that can go with rice from our new rice cooker: beef, sausage, fish.  But it turns out my kids hate rice.  After a week or two, all I had to was mention “Chicken and Rice” and they’d start crying again.

Have you ever heard of the monkey-ladder-banana-shock-collar experiment?  No?  Well, this is how it goes.  You take a bunch of monkeys, fit them with shock collars, and put a banana on a string at the top of a ladder.  When a monkey climbs the ladder, he gets zapped.  Pretty soon, they all learn to stay off the ladder.  Then you take a monkey out & replace him with a new monkey, without a shock collar.  If he ever tries to get on the ladder to get the banana, all the other monkeys attack him.  Pretty soon, he too learns to stay off of the ladder.  You repeat the process until all the monkeys now have no shock collar, and yet, they pounce on any other monkey that attempts to retrieve the prize.  I am not an evolutionist, but I never knew how much I had in common with monkeys before.  Every time I get up to grab the banana, the little monkeys attack me.  If I want to cook, they beg for McDonald’s.  If I want to go shopping, they whine & cry.  If I do manage to get them out the door, they take f-o-r-e-v-e-r getting in the car and belted up.  And if I want to go to the bathroom, they always manage to have some urgent need that causes them to pound on the door, or they decide that’s the best time to settle an old score with each other.

So, after about three months of this, I’m a frazzled wreck.  I come home and plop down on the couch.  I distractedly wave a limp hand at my wife as she leaves for the night.  I spend hours watching the kids play a video game that I swore I would delete, but I can’t bring myself to erase the bloody, violent gore that’s keeping them entertained.  Around 7pm, they start saying they’re hungry, so I ask their permission to make food, and give them some very nutritious choices: fish sticks or ramen noodles?  By that time, they’re pretty hungry, so they’re willing to let me go into the kitchen for a little while.  If I take too long, of course, they start fighting or doing dangerous stunts on the banister to get my attention.  After I administer first aid to cover the scrapes & bruises from the triple-axle they attempted to land on the sofa (but missed), they eat their fried calories with soda pop, and beg me to play with them on the trampoline.  Most days I decline, but out of a feeling of oppressive guilt, I sometimes spend 30 minutes playing Tackle and Tickle Two at a Time.  It’s exhausting.  They run & squirm to get away, as I try to get them both into the middle of the trampoline, on their backs, and tickle them at the same time.  At 8 years old, my oldest boy is getting more and more strength, and my aging bones and sleep-deprived body can barely keep up.  After a few times of managing to defeat them and defend my parental honor (can’t let a kid beat me), I collapse exhausted and rest a moment before I get the first aid kit again.  (It’s incredible how much battering those little noggins can take without breaking, but they sure do bruise easily.)

After coming indoors and settling the daily dispute over who’s playing what game first or which movie they will watch as they go to sleep, I finally get them settled in around 10:30pm.  My heart has stopped pounding and I no longer fear imminent death.  I am a total zombie.  I can’t open my eyes all the way, but for some maddening reason they won’t close either.  I can barely move as I crawl over to pray with them and hug them good-night.  I silently add a PleaseGodMakeThemSleepICan’tTakeItAnyMore right before we all say Amen, and I slither into the bedroom.  Sleep still escapes me as I watch three consecutive reruns of Malcolm in the Middle on the Tivo, envious of their close-knit family unity, and I nod off just before my wife comes home all pumped up from her day.  Usually, all she does is throw her purse with her keys on it, from across the room onto the chair by my head, then clamor into the bathroom as I try to gather myself up & stumble to my office/bedroom in the garage.  Other days she’s feeling real good and singing the operatic solo to Oklahoma or plunking out a new song on the piano.  At last, in the solace of my garage room with its single floor mattress and window air conditioner, I can find rest for my weary soul, for a few hours before I have to get up for work again.  That is, if I’m not accosted by the 2-inch roaches that invade our house and have become immune to everything except industrial chemicals.

I guess I’m not much of a mom after all.  I can’t seem to get the kids to do anything they don’t really enjoy.  It makes me feel too guilty.  I even tried bribing and it didn’t work.  I said, I’ll take you to see Ratatouille, the new Disney film, if you go to the hardware store first.  No, take us to the movie first, and then we’ll talk.  I can’t win.  I no longer work or cook or clean or anything while my wife works.  I just spend hour after hour after hour praying for a miracle and trying to figure out why I, magnum-cum-laude graduate from a 5A high school and self-made genius computer programmer, am no match for the sweetest, kindest, cutest 6 & 8-year olds you ever saw.  I guess in the end, I’m just a human.  Just a soft, gewey, stupid human.  No, wait.  I’m weaker than that.  I’m a dad.