Back in the summer of 1986, when I was but a wee lad of 17, I got kicked out of the house for the egregious crime of going to the lake with my friends since I had the day off work. They say events tend to repeat themselves in 26 year cycles, and now I find myself living in a $350/month apartment in a dry county where the biggest attraction is the size and sheer number of mosquitoes. In a nod to the Olympics, the gods of karma (I have not been a great person recently) have even increased the degree of difficulty – I just found out I have plantar fasciitis and my faithful canine has infected scent glands (conveniently located in her butt – it has been suggested that I learn how to “express” them…I’m pretty good friends with my dog, but not that good.).
This situation is very similar to the time I quit college and went back to my hometown to work at Taco Bell, occasionally sleeping in my 280ZX as I “figured out WTF.” People were like “what the hell is that kid doing not going to school?” Presumably now people are like “what the hell is that middle-aged dude doing not making any money during his prime earning years?” Hopefully my response will be on par with the stretch of good (ok, very good) fortune I had following dropping out.
Top Ten Reasons It’s Better To Get Kicked Out Of The House When You Are 43 Than When You Are 17
10. Now have total custody of my dog (with the attendant shedding/exclusion from certain hotel chains), back then my dog stayed at home (note: not the same dog)
9. [yellow tail] is my friend now, back then could only drown my sorrows in Mt. Dew
8. Large pizza at Pizza Hut inexplicably now costs half what did 26 years ago #deflation
7. The internet exists now, I don’t have to go to Food 4 Less to read projections about the upcoming NFL season (and I hear there are images of attractive and naked females easily available on the internet as well, but I have not yet endeavored to confirm this)
6. If I find myself homeless during winter, at least there’s been 26 years of global warming – and, sleeping in the Escape with a warm dog would be much more comfortable than wrapping up in a USA Today in a sweet 280ZX (with louvers!)
5. I have almost twice as much money in my checking account as I did back then
4. This time I didn’t have a bright yellow OP shirt fly out of a boat on the day I was getting kicked out. (I cannot believe that I found an image of the EXACT shirt – the internet is insane. I had long yellow shorts that matched. This somehow was an improvement from my “hey-“Beat It”-was-a-cool-video-two-years-ago-I’m-gonna-wear-parachute-pants-and-a-sleeveless-white-t-shirt” phase. Also, trembling with fear at my mom’s reaction to learning I lost that shirt on the lake, I had to pay a 200% markup to buy another one from a kid at school who had the same shirt.)
3. At 83, mom’s punches barely leave a mark (however, her words still do a lot of damage)
2. 2010 Ford Escape holds more (okay, all) of my treasured belongings than that crappy Oldsmobile
1. Back then I was burdened with having friends and fun stuff to do when I left home, now I’m free to work on sh*tty websites to my heart’s content
(Editor’s Note: After writing the self-indulgent stuff above (in an effort to make the narrative more internet-compelling) I got some unfathomably bad news – and the kind of news that generally makes people say “well, that gives things perspective” but in this case it gives zero perspective because it makes no fucking sense. One of my buddies from my boat passed away unexpectedly the other night…there are no words that can do justice to something so tragic, but I will say that Chuck – a great guy and probably the most capable officer in our entire wardroom (no small accomplishment with a roomful of workaholic geniuses) – was basically Ron Swanson before Ron Swanson existed. He built a large fishing boat by himself – from f*cking SCRATCH: welded the frame together, coupled a couple of diesel engines to power the f*cking thing, did the most ornate woodwork you’ve ever seen throughout the cabin, it was astonishing to behold – and I took several skeptics over to do just that. Despite all that hands-on prowess he was actually an electrical engineer and something of a computer expert (he partitioned a hard drive and added a second operating system so he could run CAD on a government laptop in 1997) and was the only person on the boat who really understood the arcane Navy QA system. He also was pretty much always in a good mood (no small feat in the military) and is probably the only person I’ve ever met who literally did not give a shit what other people thought about him – totally comfortable with himself. Rest in peace, you will be missed greatly. Elizabeth, stay strong during this terrible time.)