Friday, June 20, 2008

Wild Bachelor Weekend!

Last week, Regina asked me what I wanted to do for Fathers' Day. "Recover from a hangover," I replied. I was serious, and it seemed, at the time, like a practical idea.

You see, Momma and Baby Bear were going to Hell-A for a few days and Papa Bear was left alone. Sure, I had ranch work to do, but I wasn't intimidated. I had big plans: Thursday night at the pub (cancelled), Friday night at a The Devil Makes Three concert (two beers and home by midnight), and Saturday night ... well, Saturday night I had no plans, which I thought meant I could go anywhere on a whim and without a care. Instead, I stayed home and watched a Netflix movie.

I really have no excuse. The parties I imagined myself going to seemed terrific when they were a week away, but come game-time, my old, creaky bones just couldn't muster the strength to go out. Plus, I used to pride myself on being the only guy in Corrigan's bar with a full set of teeth, but I couldn't even be that cool anymore. I had to get a tooth pulled (a pipe meets chin injury) on the day before Regina and Dylan flew down south.

So, as a reward for being a weekend home-body, last Tuesday Regina and I dropped Dylan off with her grandparents and went to see Snoop Dogg in Medford. I could probably say we saw Elvis at the gym or Elton John on a tractor and that would sound more plausible. But it's true. Snoop-a-loop came to Medford. Regina and I were the second-oldest couple there. We stood next to the oldest couple -- two hardcore Raiders' fans who fought the entire time -- to make us look younger. It was a decidedly Southern Oregon crowd (white, drunk), but Snoop was unfazeable (so please don't try to faze me).

A few mamas at the show had their babies in little Bjorns and we wondered for a brief second if we should have brought Dylan to this cultural phenomenon ... until we choked on the stinky cannabis haze that lingered above the crowd like a coastal fog.

I did my part and drank all those beers that I'd skipped the previous weekend. Regina rolled her eyes and drove me home. I suffered through work on Wednesday, all the while piecing together every Snoop-a-licious moment so I could tell Dylan about the time the Dogg Father came to Medford.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


On Friday, we had a niece and a cousin graduate from high school (Go Lions!), and I couldn't help but think that in seventeen short years Dylan will be doing the same. Regina and I will be on our hover-walkers, because we'll be too old to stand, and Dylan will be listening to (or giving) a cliched valedictorian's speech on the same football field where I, as a 140 pound offensive lineman, cheered on the mighty Lions from next to the Gatorade cooler.

It'll be the year 2025 (hence the hover-walker), so the theme will be "A Quarter-Century of Memories," and the key-note speaker will be someone who both understands the new technologies (x-ray vision goggles and rocket shoes!), but will remind the graduates that, cool as it is to fly around and see through clothes, they should never forget the friends they've made and always believe in their drea ... blahblahblah.

One of my more unusual habits (according to me) always percolates this time of year. Every May, while I'm out irrigating, I compose a graduation speech. It's usually very clever and meaningful and is one that will be remembered for years to come. It'll be much like 1991's commencement speaker, who wore a purple suit and sang, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" over and over, but without singing or crazy clothes.

Each evening, as I move swing-pipes around risers and roll wheellines sixty feet, I add a little more to my speech. In a week or two I have a full five minute presentation, complete with music and lasers. By the following week, usually a day or two before graduation, I've completely forgotten the inspiring wisdom I'd intended to impart.

Although a psychologist would probably argue otherwise, I absolutely do NOT want to give a speech at graduation. Ever. I do NOT have fantasies about replacing a laryngitis-struck speaker because graduation cannot proceed without an awesome speech from a pillar of the community. I make up speeches out of boredom and for the same reasons I think I can learn to play the harmonica or why I spend more time thinking about palindromes (my favorite: a slut nixes sex in Tulsa) than hay prices.

Whoever speaks at Dylan's graduation had better start thinking of an original and great speech now, and he or she better do a good job, because I'll be there, in my shiny silver space outfit, wearing x-ray goggles, hanging on every word.