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Inspirational Reads

A Pirate Looks at 33

December 23, 2008

As I was standing in line at Target yesterday, looking to fill yet another prescription to kill the wee beasties (thanks Leeuwenhoek) that had yet again taken up residence in my daughter's lungs, I thought back on the past 33 years. Admittedly, anything much past 28 years ago was a bit fuzzy, but the occasional memory does rise to the surface from time to time.

Here I was, on my birthday, looking to get some medicine for my sick kid. What a joyous way to kick off the day of festivities. I could be at home, being given a sponge bath by a chesty redhead, or I could be lounging gracefully on my couch watching Christmas cartoons. Instead, I was standing there, staring blankly ahead as some vaguely attractive blonde woman was explaining to me what an antibiotic does and how my daughter needs to take it and all the various side effects that comes with an antibiotic and blah blah blah take your shirt off, it's my birthday, dammit!

So then, I thought about my happiest birthday memory, and I think it happened yesterday. See, as I was pulling myself from the warm embrace of that fickle mistress sleep, I heard shuffling footsteps in the hallway outside my door. It was my little boy, and I figured he was doing his usual "Can you make me breakfast?" morning routine. Instead, he ran to my side, throwing his arms wide around me, embracing me in his biggest bear hug. "Happy birthday, daddy!" he said.

And that's why I was standing in line being lectured to about things that I already know by someone who looked a little too much like a cheerleader and less like someone who would know that amoxicillin is a bacterial cell wall inhibitor thanks to its handy-dandy beta-lactam structure. Though I was bored stupid, I can't really fault her too much. She didn't know that I do research in the pharmaceutical field. She was just doing her job, after all, and I was doing mine: making sure that I'd have someone there to hug me in the mornings every time December 22nd rolled around, so that I could keep making brand new happy birthday memories.

However, you don't come here for the happy, sappy stories about my kids. No, you come for my weak attempts at humor. So, let's get back to that.

I've met a few people over the years who share my birthday. There are also a handful of notable public personalities with whom I share a birthday, such as Steve Garvey, Ladybird Johnson and Crissy Moran (I always forget to tell you guys not to look her up at work, as her, ahem, body of work is rather NSFW). I forgot that housewife-cum-jive translator Barbara Billingsly was also born on my birthday, as well as Lord Voldemort, Ralph Fiennes. Also, the Highlander was born on my birthday. I'm not 100% certain, but he was born on winter's day in the Highlands of Scotland, and every so often, the Winter Solstice does fall on my birthday, so there you go.

Recently, I learned that my new internet friend Scope also shares my birthday, but you guys knew that, since he gave me a fantastic birthday post over at his place, despite the fact that it was his birthday, too! What a guy. He did fail to mention that Romania's communist government was overthrown on December 22nd, 1989. This particular historic event was particularly poignant because a friend of mine was in Bucharest watching out of his hotel room while they dragged Ceau┼čescu's (Chow-chess-cue's) body through the streets. Awesome. I'm sure he said "nuts" right before he was gunned down.

Several other people I've met had the same birthday as me: some nursing student in college that my first room mate drunkenly banged on our first night on campus, one of my teachers in elementary school, this dude Ben who used to have a lake cottage at the same lake as my parents, and two girls I dated in that rebound period after I had my heart ripped out of my chest with my first affianced. I think today would be a good day to tell the tale of these two, because they are prime examples of humanity if I ever met some.

The first girl, Carmen, was a year younger than I. She had all the things I required: pulse, use of oxygen, full use of her legs. She also had dark, curly hair. I met her while I was working at the book store. She came in to pick up a book on Titanic, which had been out for a while, but apparently she was just now becoming wicked fascinated with it or had just learned to read or something. I didn't ask. She had seen the movie something like twelve times, which is more times than I have read the Lord of the Rings, and while that didn't send up a red flag, it did unfurl said ruddy drapeau. I picked her up and we were driving to dinner when we passed Best Buy, and she pointed out that she just learned that her biological father worked there and that he owed her 22 years of family discounts, and that if I wanted anything, she could give me the hook up. Nice. Then we passed the gym where I had a membership and she proceeded to tell me about the lawsuit she had brought against them for slipping in the shower or something. At this point I began tuning her out.

After dinner, she asked if I wanted to do anything else, but that we couldn't go back to her apartment because her roommate had custody of his kids for the weekend and they'd be there. So, we decided to go see a movie, but the only decent thing playing was Apt Pupil, so we went. Nothing like a movie about Nazis to really get the sexual juices flowing. After the movie, I asked if she wanted to do anything else. She declined, saying that she had to go to bed (it was 10:00) to be up at work the following morning. So, I took her home, bid her good night, and returned to my car where I sat there for a few moments trying to think of anything enjoyable about the night (other than seeing Apt Pupil and enjoying some good chicken). Regardless, the next day I called her, told her I had a good time, and asked if she wanted to go out again. She said she was just about to run out the door with her roommate and his kids and to call her back later. I said I would and wished her fun at the farm or wherever they were going. That was nine years ago. In my defense, I did lose her number rather than throw it away, but then, I also didn't exactly look real hard for it, either.

The next girl, Katie, was another girl that I met at the bookstore. She was buying Lolita and I chatted her up a little bit. She told me she had heard about it in one of her classes in college (uh huh...heard about it) and was interested in it. I had to check her ID for her credit card, and that's when I noticed she was born on the same day as I. I mentioned it, and we both thought it was a neat coincidence. She was about three hours older than me. We kept talking for like five minutes and finally I popped the question. She said she'd love to go out with me. So, we set up a date for Saturday evening where we'd meet and have dinner. I was having a lovely time with her; I really liked her, and she had met the same prerequisites as the other one: pulse, oxygen, functioning limbs, but she also had a college degree. And a fabulous ass. It was like I just hit the Daily Double. I'll wager it all on doggy style with a healthy bit of ass slapping, Alex.

So, things are going great, we were talking about college and all. She went to Indiana, and since my best friend also went there (along with about twenty other people from my high school), I had been to the campus a few times, so I was asking her about it. I then asked the question about whether she had gone to many basketball games, and she said she didn't really like basketball and wished the school was known more for other things. Egad. Red flag went way up on that one, but I was having such a great time and she had such a great ass that I kept going. The other interesting thing was that she had a degree in biology, so I asked her what kind of jobs she was looking for, since I had a degree in chemistry along with a minor in biology. It was at about this point that the date went south. Way south (this is called foreshadowing).

Turns out, she had just quit her job at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. Intrigued, I leaned forward and asked why she would do that, as it seemed like a great place to work if you a) loved animals (like she did) and b) had a degree in biology (like she did). She said the pay kind of sucked, some of the other employees were dicks--both of which are very valid excuses. And then she said, and I quote, "And...there were also the monkeys."

"Monkeys?" I asked, my curiosity aroused.

"Yes," she said, "I had to take care of the monkeys on Monkey Island." Monkey Island was inhabited by a troupe of brown Capuchin monkeys.

Trying to be funny, I offered, "Did they constantly harass you with their little tin cups trying to get some money for the organ grinder?"

Apparently, this was a bad question.

"No," she responded. "They would...attack me."

"Oh wow. They can be vicious little devils, I hear."

"Well, they wouldn't bite or anything. They just kept...grabbing me."
I was too speechless to say anything.

"They would constantly jump up to grab my ass and they'd climb on me to get into my shirt and everything. It was very uncomfortable. I tried to get transferred to a different group of animals."

I sat there, lip aquiver, trying very hard not to laugh aloud. I could feel tears welling in my eyes and my face growing redder and redder. I'm sure she saw it, too. There was no hiding my trying to hide my mirth. Rather coldly, she simply said, "So, I quit."

I steered the conversation away from the zoo immediately. Dinner ended shortly thereafter, but we decided to go see a movie--mostly because we couldn't talk during the movie and I wouldn't mention the whole monkey thing. We went and saw Pleasantville, which is still one of my favorite movies. At the end of the evening, we bid each other farewell and I promised to call her the next day. I did call, and then I called again on Monday to tell her that the book she had ordered came in (it was some Nicholas Sparks piece of drivel). Later that evening, she showed up, and I asked her if she'd like to go out again.

"Well, you're a very nice guy, but I just don't see us dating."

Not one to take rejection lightly, I quipped, "I can't promise I won't slap your ass, but I will promise not to sling poo at you."

She stormed off. I saw her once again, about a week before Christmas, when she came in the store to get something. I assume she was still unemployed, because she was with her mom, and she handed her mom a pile of stuff and then left. Her mom wrote a check, and I had to verify the address. I looked up and said, "Oh, you must be Katie's mom. I went out with your daughter a couple of months ago. She's a very lovely young lady, Mrs. C. As it turns out, we have the same birthday. Tell her Happy Birthday for me."

"Oh, why thank you," she said. "I'll tell you said so. And wish her a Happy Birthday for you. And Happy Birthday to you."

"Why, thank you, Mrs. C. Could you also pass along something else to her, please?"

"Why, certainly."

"Tell her I said 'ooh ooh ooh, ah ah ah!'" I slapped my head and made a face while doing it. Apparently, her mother had a better sense of humor, because she busted out laughing. And then promised to relay the message. Merry fucking Christmas, Monkey Girl.


Chemgeek said...

"I can't promise I won't slap your ass, but I will promise not to sling poo at you."


Lisa-tastrophies said...

First: Happy Belated Birthday. I was traveling all day yesterday and wasn't able to get to a computer.

Second: DITTO on the "I can't promise I won't slap your ass, but I will promise not to sling poo at you." I can't tell you how many times I wish a man would tell me that. :-)

BeckEye said...

Happy belated birthday. that monkey caretaker job still available? Because it sounds kind of fun.

Scope said...

And fess up, you were fibbing a little on the whole "not flinging poo" thing, weren't you?

Good thing you've changed your latitude since then. As they say, "Indiana is a good place to be FROM!"

Alaina said...

That was a fantastic post Mr. Jenks!

Enjoy your 33rd year!

~E said...

Hey! What's with all the blondes? I thought we were into the redheads, you and I?

And you had such potential too.

Will Shannon said...

A happy belated birthday to you, sir.

I would get nostalgic (NOSTALGIA!) about the past, but it would be retelling all what you related on my birthday.

So, I suggest you go to a truck-stop, take a guy with you to bitch about everything, make sure Skoog does not have the mange, propose to John Bringwatt and then meet in the parking lot with Mr. Eggy Sandwich.

Susan said...

Ok, first Happy Birthday. Second, are you really in pharma research? Third, I love the "foreshadowing" definition. Beautiful.

red said...

Happy (late) Birthday!

I once saw Bent, a gay concentration camp movie, on a psuedo-date. I think I win.

SouthernBelle said...

Hahahaha, that is gold.

Scope said...

Tell her, "Ooo ooo aaa aa"

And thus an avatar was born.

Hap said...

I think that Merry F'g Christmas was perhaps the least appropriate signoff. Or perhaps, considering her personal baggage filled C-17, I am simply being optimistic.

Bev said...

I know this is an old post, but since you just linked to it on Mala's blog I feel that it's ok to comment.

That. Was. AWESOME.

I need a cigarette.