Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Oh this? I'm going hunting after work...

As is my practice, when it rains, it pours! I go a long time with nothing, then BAM! two posts. (I'm becoming the Emeril of blogdom) This post has none of the sentimentality and richness of the last post. Whereas the last post was a soothing ballad, this is a "Larry the Cable Guy" fart. How do I know this before writing anything? Well, my mind fills up with ideas much like a septic system fills up. After a while, it'll need emptied. With much of the same contents!

To those of you who know me well, know that I have been wearing overalls to work for over 25 years. It started as a way to keep all my jeans from getting indelible grease spots and fusee burns and became a way for a fat guy to be comfortable without having to wear a belt. I only wore striped ones when dad gave his to me when he retired. Otherwise, it was always blue denim. They're not cheap, costing between $25 and $50. Wal-Mart sells them for around $30 but the size I wore was bigger than the largest size they carry. I mention this because I have decided to quit wearing overalls to work for awhile. I'm wearing carpenter-type work jeans instead. The reasoning is simple. I have seven pairs of overalls at home that are too big on me. They range from 58X30 to 44X30. I've decided that until my weight has stabilized where I want it, I'll stick to the $15 jeans instead of the $45 overalls. How will I carry all the crap I'm required to without the extra pockets of overalls?

Simple, I bought one of those high-visibility vests at Wal-Mart for $8. Jeez, the way some of my co-workers reacted, you'ld think I slapped their kids or something! You see, there is one railroad, the Canadian National, that requires their train employees to wear these HI-VIZ vests. Employees of the other major roads are waiting for when they'll have to wear them also. The employees of Chicken-Shit-Xpress is no different. They think that if only one bozo (yours truly) voluntarily wore an orange vest, then everyone would be required to wear one tomorrow! Some even thought that the order was out to wear them already. Their questions (and the answers I SHOULD have give) ranged from "What are you wearing that #W$%^& thing for?" (It was on the top of the pile.) "Where did you get that?" (The vest fairy put it under my pillow.) and "I suppose we'll all have to wear that!" (Not you. You're too fat to fit in my vest!) Usually, after their initial stupid question, then a pleasant conversation about my reasoning ensued. I told them I chose HI-VIZ orange because the railroad used HI-VIZ yellow. I would've preferred a khaki vest but they are way too expensive for a poor conductor to afford. I usually say that I was looking for a pink vest because of breast cancer awareness because nobody is more aware of breasts than me! Also, I can wear my orange vest when I go mushroom hunting and maybe I won't get shot by a hunter who mistook me for a big, big bunny. Probably not. Hunters wear orange-camo clothes. How stupid is that? Stand by an orange bush and a deer will never notice you!

At work, alot of people lately tell me they didn't recognize me. (My plan is to diet myself into anonymity!) I usually say "Oh." to get them to explain. You see, I want to know if it has to do with my recent weight loss or the fact that they have never seen me before with regular clothes on. It usually turns out that they didn't recognize me with my eyes open!

HELLO! My name is: max

Note: I wrote this on June 25th and never got around to posting it. I'm posting it now because: A) This is the first time I've opened my journal in a month. B) I like it, and C) Becky, who goes by Rebecca, has become my Facebook friend. I may be Mr. Procrastination, but I am firmly rooted in the belief of fate and coincidences. As an aside to an avid fan, "Sorry Fuzzy. No meat here!"

Usually when I blog about a particular subject, I tell a small story about something I saw or something that happened to me and segue into whatever I'm ranting about that day. A little while ago I wrote an entry in my journal about how patience has evolved out of the American culture and it ended up as a rant about the greedy and corrupt Republicans. I had been trying to write that story for months but I couldn't come up with an opening story that linked me with impatience. It seems that I am the epitome of patient understanding. I finally made up a story but a blog entry based on a falsehood is doomed to fail. Yeah, I could've entered it and you all would've nodded and said "You tell 'em fat boy!" when you finished it.

Like most people, my attention span collapsed like that bridge in Minneapolis. My engineer mentioned that one of my old buddies lives down the road from him up by Waterloo. I thought all my friends had more class than to live near Waterloo but one must've slipped through the cracks. The guy he was talking about is Tom Thrush. I haven't seen Tom in years. Tom's wife, Becky was also one of my classmates and when I think of Becky I think of "class" and "style", two words that have never come up when you Google Tom's name. The reason that I'm mentioning Tom and giving him his 15 seconds of blog fame is that, as I get older, I am more interested in what happened to the people I knew when I was younger. The last time I saw Tom, for instance, was in the barbershop about 10 years ago. Him and Becky never go to class reunions and even Stan Pence probably doesn't have their e-mail addresses. The great thing about blogs and Facebook pages is you see how life has treated those you knew years ago. You have a chance to see pictures of their families, learn what matters. I'd like to learn more about those who populated my youth. My daughter, Shannon, has created the web page for the Garrett High School Alumnae Association and they have a feature where you can update where your life has taken you and tell what you are doing. You can include pictures too. Jenny has updated hers. Not one person in my class has done it.

Think of the stigma it would cast on everyone else if I were the first person in the Class of '71 to enter personal information. Me. Mr. Procrastination. The shame they would feel would be palpable. I'll try not to cause them any distress. Every class reunion brings someone you haven't seen in ages that is a pleasant surprise. Eight years ago it was Pam Cutler and the last one was Marston Greenawalt. Not having seen Marston in 30 years, I had to get his name off his name tag. Like all of us, he wasn't remarkable, just interesting. You look at me and you see someone you knew a long time ago. No big whoop, you say. But take a look at a picture of my wife, kids and their families and you see the pride of my life. You know that I work on the railroad and you think that I've probably coasted through life but look at my family and you see a life that has been lived with a purpose, with meaning, with pride.

I would like to see that of my classmates. Maybe by the next reunion, we could come up with a collection of family pictures, with everyone labelled and identified. It would bring a new dimension to those 12 years we spent together nearly 40 years ago.