Friday, January 23, 2009

Anders Oglethorpe, The Christmas that Wouldn't go Away, Garage Sale Mysteries and #167 Chef


That’s right. It’s official. #167 Dad’s following has expanded from eleven to twelve. Anders Oglethorpe, all six foot ten of him, officially committed to reading on a regular basis this week. Oglethorpe and I met some sixteen years ago. By day we taught school at the old Arizona Boys Ranch and by night we ran up and down the court in the East Valley industrial basketball leagues. We were an unstoppable combination on and off the court. Ok, we probably lost more games than we won but we did have a good time drinking beer and eating wings after afterwards.

Some ten years ago, Oglethorpe, who at one time held the distinction of being the tallest living mixologist in the state of Arizona, met a girl, got hitched and moved to Washington State. We’ve been in contact off and on over the years. The big man tells me he’s traded in his basketball shoes for Skates and a hockey stick. He boasted that he leads his industrial league in penalty minutes. Good going Oglethorpe. Welcome to the army.


The Abominable Snowman is still holding firm in the yard a couple of streets over, there are still a dozen or so unmailed Christmas cards stacked on the kitchen counter, and I just noticed a half empty container of eggnog in the back of the fridge.


Not even close, baby. My wife works Friday nights. My girls hate Friday nights because I cook dinner. Well, cooking is a stretch. My repertoire is pretty limited. They do seem to like my frozen chicken fingers and frozen French fries. And I fry eggs. The stove caught fire when I tried to add bacon to my list of specialties. I tried to boil an egg for one of the girls last week. It looked like something out of a horror movie when I cracked it and the contents cascaded out in liquid form. Tonight, the menu will include, canned refried beans, eggs – fried and boiled, and micro waved tortillas. I’ll let you know how it works out. If nobody screams and nothing catches fire, I’ll call the culinary endeavor a victory.


My wife is having a garage sale tomorrow. She’s selling all of my exercise equipment. Mind you, I haven’t cashed in on exercise; it’s just that I found a good gym. Garage sales are a regular part of my wife’s life. She orchestrates somewhere in the vicinity of fifteen or sixteen of them every year. The crazy thing is there’s always more junk in the garage after the sale than before. I have no explanation for this phenomenon. Perhaps as with crop circles, local farmers are coming out at night and playing an elaborate hoax on my family. There is an awful lot of junk in my garage tonight. It’s bad. Last week I sent my eight year-old into the garage after a hammer and I had to go in there and look for her. It was something like three hours before I finally found her mumbling incoherently between the bench press, a stack of Christmas decoration boxes and the old washing machine. But I’m going with Obama on this one, I’m going to be audacious and show a little garage sale hope, hope that when that last customer putters off with that last beat up piece of exercise equipment tomorrow afternoon, there will be less junk in that garage than there is right now. Remember, this is the year of achieving the seemingly impossible dream.


Locke said...

Wow Snyder "lost more games than we one" I thought you taught English? :)

#167 Dad said...

You bring an old saw to mind. Those who can do and those who can't teach.

beFrank said...

Good line about losing the kid in the garage. I'm going work in the yard now, but I'd rather be writing.

#167 Dad said...

Hey Bryan,
What line? Ain't nothin' like the feel of dirt from you're own land in your fingernails. The very thought makes me proud to be an American in the same county with you.