🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Woo-Woo vs. The Beast 🛻
Dart Throwers 🎯
My Job 📋
I am not used to driving a tank. My normal vehicle is Woo-Woo, AKA The Shitty Little Car, AKA a Nissan Versa. It’s practical. It gets great gas mileage. I hate it.
Woo-Woo normally accelerates as quickly as a child asked to do his chores. This is offset by the every-once-in-awhile burst of speed it decides to give when you absolutely floor the accelerator. The fact that both happen randomly has led to some near-death experiences when I tried to pull into quickly approaching traffic expecting the latter while receiving the former.
I’m in beautiful and wonderful St. Joseph, Missourah, today, which, for the unfamiliar, is just north of Kansas City on the heavily defended western state border with archenemy Kansas. To get here, my company allows a rental car, which is kind and considerate and much easier than mileage reimbursement. It also affords me the opportunity to drive something other than Woo-Woo, which is always welcomed.
After doing all the preliminary stuff, the rental company counter guy took me out to inspect my vehicle. “These are the only two we have left,” he said, motioning to two monster pickup trucks, one black, one white. Now here’s an interesting thing: There was a Black gentleman waiting behind me in line. I’m assuming he was renting a vehicle as well. Was I steered to the white Dodge Ram monster pickup because of my race?
This thing is a beast. Not only does it require a trampoline and a stepladder to get into, it won’t do anything less than 65 mph. I merely looked at the gas pedal and was going 70. So far so good on the “avoid unpleasant encounters with law enforcement” front, though. It also has all the fancy bells and whistles a car like Woo-Woo looks at and calls “Boujie.”
Heated seats. Heated steering wheel. Backup camera. Apple CarPlay integration. Consistent acceleration. An armrest for the driver and the passenger. Ya know … rich guy stuff.
It’s also very wide. Two Woo-Woos can fit side-by-side in each lane of traffic. About three-quarters of this thing fits in a lane. I’m pretty sure I’ve shoved at least three vehicles into the median while not breaking any traffic laws.
Parking Woo-Woo is like parking a go-kart. Parking my rental tank is like pooping in an airplane bathroom. You can do it, but it’s going to be a tight fit and not very rewarding.
I return the beast tomorrow and will hop immediately back into Woo-Woo for the trip to the office. The transition, I’m sure, will not be easy.
There was a time when arrival in a hotel room meant the end of my going out for the day. There was a comfortable bed with 55,000 pillows, unfamiliar TV channel lineups to explore and free soap. Who needs to leave that kind of fun?
Well, to put it simply, me, these days. One can only sit in a hotel room so long before going insane.
I hauled my crap up to my room, set up Angelina (my CPAP machine that keeps me from regularly dying in the night), unpacked the clothes that needed unpacking to avoid wrinkles and a sad attempt at ironing, and went in search of a sports bar at which to eat and watch, well, sports. The place I found had good-enough food, but it was playing annoying new-school country music, and I was just about done with “loud” for the day. So I went back to the hotel, grabbed my book and a cigar and started wandering.
I ended up at a nearby hotel’s outside porch, where there were a few comfortable chairs and an ashtray. I lit up, opened my book and was enjoying some new Stephen King when some folks came outside. It was an eclectic bunch, and they were well into feeling good as they sat nearby and the sun worked toward finishing its decent into the horizon.
We fell into conversation, largely because one commented on how cold it was and how I was sitting there in jeans and a T-shirt. They were up here from Orlando and Dayton, Fla.,, had left early to avoid the hurricane and arrive here in time for a weekend darts tournament. I guess that’s a thing … traveling long distances to throw tiny spears.
While we were talking, they received phone calls from people back home, a friend in Ft. Myers whose home was gone, a relative in Orlando who said the wind was really whipping.
They bought me a drink, which was kind of them, and then headed off to find a sports bar where there was a dart board. I recommended the place I’d eaten dinner and warned them about the country music. “That’s OK,” one of the group said. “When we’re playing darts, we don’t really hear the music.”
Ya learn something every day.
My job here in St. Joseph is to rep my company at an open house. The event is held at a wholesaler of HVAC supplies, which my company makes. I’m to set up a table with the assortment of stuff I am riding around with in my rental tank and be friendly and knowledgeable when HVAC contractors come in, more for the free food being offered than for anything I might be able to share with them, I’m sure.
In my backseat right now, I have coil cleaners, pipe leak sealant, our bitchin’ brand of can’t-tear-’em shop towels and a thing actually called a Cannon. I’m pretty sure the combination would explode into a massive fireball should I get into an accident on the drive home.
Hopefully that won’t happen.
The drive home last night was a bit rough, which wasn’t entirely surprising. I’ve been around a lot of people the past few days, hadn’t slept past 4:30 a.m. for four or five days, and, in general, this has been one of those “Big Feels” times that seem to happen to me. There are these…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Gotta stay alive to get the rental tank back to its home.
- These HVAC chemicals aren’t going to present themselves.
- Maybe I’ll stay in KC for the weekend and go see my new friends throw darts.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Beautiful Skies ⛅Two Terms For 2022 ✌️ Back in our early days at Pound Ridge Elementary School, Sarah was the fastest girl runner in the class, which bought her some serious playground cred. There were only a few of us boys who could hang with Sarah in the 50-meter dash…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ear Flushing👂Grunge God🎶Tech Guy📺 If you have to have a doctor tell you a body part or yours is small, I suppose one of the least offensive would be the ear canal. That’s what a doctor told me this morning, after I finally broke down and actually went to said doctor’s…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Toys in the Hall🪅Idiot Governors🗳️Flopping FedEx✈️ Last night in my hotel in Springfield, Missourah, I set out a glass of milk and a plate of cookies before going to bed. It’s not that I don’t know how to read a calendar or have any particular belief in a fat man in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Which One?🗺️Leave Introverts Alone🤫Oxford Commas🤪 I’m on the road for work this week, in Springfield. Ahhh, but Springfield what? There currently are 35 populated places in the United States named Springfield, spread out over 25 states, including five in Wisconsin. In addition, there are 35 Springfield Townships, and Ohio owns 11…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Surrounded 😷Wood Splitter 🌲Morons 🤪 I’ve had COVID. Twice. The first time fucked up my life for a year. I’m still not back to the me I was before it came into my home, and I’m pretty sure that now, nearly two years later, that’s not going to change. The second…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sunday audible🤒Fantasy Failure 🏈Anal Chess♟️ Sunday was supposed to be a romantic day spent in a canoe with Wifey Poo, the two of us paddling leisurely down the Meramec River. Mother Nature was not in the mood to play wingman and decided to pick the one day in the midst of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Finish Line Scene 🏃♂️Baseball’s Better ⚾M-I-Z! Z-O-UC-H! 🏈 I have never understood the modern-day purpose of running for the sake of running. Sure, I understand it’s a great form of cardiovascular exercise and it’s a convenient way to get from Point A to Point B, yet the desire to strap on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Book Guy 📚Queen Stuff 👑Bernard Shaw 📺 I’ve decided I want to own a copy of every Stephen King book ever written. That’s about 75 books at the moment. I have a built-in bookcase in my mancave/home office. I don’t think it would hold all 75 in hardcover, but perhaps it…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beginnings 📚School Start 🚌Real Baseball ⚾ I was thinking this morning on my drive to work how we rarely know when the significant times in our lives begin. So frequently, the most important things that happen to us start with nothing noteworthy. Of course, there are exceptions, the “love-at-first-sight” moments or…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Fallin’ Thoughts 🤕Shinedown 🎸Sleepy 😴 The brain can be surprisingly efficient when the meatsack it’s attached to is in the middle of falling off a ladder while holding a revved-up chainsaw. This, I learned yesterday morning while attempting to saw a limb off a tree that was getting way too close…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Overview📅Fantasy Football🏈Elite Bonding🤼♂️ Days that start with chainsaws and lighter fluid and end with four hours of really good professional wrestling are bound to be added to the “good” column for review when the scales are weighed at the end of a life. Yesterday was such a day for me. In…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Funeral 😢Glimmers ☁️Meat 🥩 If you’re lucky, you’ve had a second mother. Whether your first mother was or is an amazing person who nurtured you and raised you among calm consistency or if she was lacking in certain maternal fundamentals, having a second mother is a blessing. Today, we were there…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩We’re Dumber 👎OnlyFans Thrives 🍑Shinedown 🎵 Official statistics put the COVID death toll in the United States at 1.04 million, with another 713 deaths yesterday. More than 4,000 people are in the ICU right now suffering from what the former Moron-in-Chief called that one person coming from China and a situation…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dethroned Queen 👑Gravy Wrestling 🤼♂️Dog Talk 🐕 Don’t fuck with the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival board. That’s a message Abigail Brocwell is learning the hard way. Brocwell was expected to be inaugurated as the queen of the festival in the northern Ohio town earlier this month, but she was stripped of the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩3, Unassisted ⚾A Sad Day 📅Tracking Your Vagina 🌸 The last time Boy The Younger was on a baseball field, the “coach” of his team removed him from a game in the middle of an inning because I had privately messaged him to not attempt to steal home with my kid…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hydrogen Issue 🚀Karting 🏎️Lake Life 😌 I was all excited to watch the launch of the moon-bound Artemis 1 rocket this morning, only to see the clock stopped at T-minus 40 minutes because of a “hydrogen issue.” Don’t know about you, but I’m thinking having an issue with hydrogen is a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Karen in Control ⌚Karting 🏎️What podcast? 🎧 In the winter of 1993, I went to a comedy club with a friend and, in the spur of the moment, decided to be one of those who came forward to join the fun and be hypnotized. This was decidedly out of character for…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Little League Flap ⚾Grandpa Joe 🤦Psychedelics 🍄 Boys are interesting creatures who aren’t easily understood. One of the many, many weird things boys do is mercilessly make fun of their best friends. My closest friends in middle school and early in high school were affectionately nicknamed Goon, Tree Frog, Butt and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩 Death Cometh Sooner 💀Twitter Security 🔓Game Over 🌑 Average life expectancy in the United States dropped in 2020 by almost two years in 2020, the biggest decline since World War II. Every state and the District of Columbia saw a drop. Guess it was a little bit more than that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Worm brain 🧠Chicken Big Mac 🐔Eye Twitch 👁️ Caenorhabditis elegans is probably too elegant of a name for something that is really just a disgusting little worm about a millimeter long and most easily found in rotting fruit. It is more commonly known as a lab roundworm and was the first…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Agliata Homeschool Academy 🚌Hypnosis 😳Sunburn 🌞🔥 When you tell people you homeschool your children, you typically receive one of three responses: An enthusiastic: “Oh, that’s so cool!”An I’d-rather-be-dipped-in-acid: “Oh wow! I could never do that!” A you’re-one-of-those-weirdos: “Oh… really… homeschooling, huh?” The percentage for each has changed in the wake…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Indycar 🏎️Best Friends 😎Baseball Irony ⚾ There are certain people who look at car racing as an endless series of left turns. These people are idiots on whom nuance is lost. Boy The Elder and I crossed the border yesterday late-morning to head just past the fine city of East St.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Swine Inflation 🐖Swamp Thing 🎥Phone Calls 📱 Life was different when I went to college in Iowa after growing up in suburban New York City. This isn’t to suggest I was a city kid. I wasn’t. The city was a place we went to a few times a year, and where…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Triple-Threat 🖥️🖥️🖥️Tasmanian Tiger 🐅Video Work 📹 Humans were not meant to stare at laptop screens. At least, humans of a certain age were not meant to stare at laptop screens. I say this after successfully lobbying for a second monitor at work, which effectively turned my laptop screen into a third…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Look Before Brewing ☕Hoop Construction 🏀Nuclear War ☢️ If you’d like an indication of how much of a Monday yesterday was for me, know that I ended up with an orange in my coffee. Well, to be fair, it wasn’t a full-blown orange. It was something called a Cutie, which is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Weird Date 🪦Nature Walk🌳Bulldog Bath 🐶 If you have a date walking around a cemetery, you’re either weird or goth, and neither Wifey Poo nor I were wearing black today, which I guess tells you all you need to know about us. Old cemeteries are something of a fascination for us,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩So Long, Kid 👨👦Steak Celebration🥩Chip & Joanna 🪚 Regular readers of my drivel know that I’m kind of an emotional guy, which is like saying that Jack kind of could have fit on the spacious floating door with Rose in Titanic. So it should come as no surprise when I say…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Cash 4 IRS 💰Cash 4 Workers 💸Sound of Silence 🤫 Be extra careful on your taxes this year. The IRS is expected to receive nearly $80 billion when The Inflation Reduction Act eventually becomes law, and its plan is to hire 87,000 full-time workers. More than half of the $80 billion…Keep reading