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STORYTIME (permalink) 11.17.2017
a simple story

SCIENCE, FRIENDS, STORYTIME (permalink) 08.26.2005
one hit i won't be taking for the team
anyone who tells me they've had a vasectomy can be assured of my undivided attention for as long as they will answer my questions. i'm entirely unable to explain my quenchless need to know more about this topic, i just know to call it anything short of insatiable would be a mistaken way to describe my mood. last night i received my best account yet from a man who i will call, for the sake of this telling, the beef-eater.

first, and this i did not know, there is a pre-screening. the extent of this pre-flight check seems mostly concerned with making sure you don't have three testicles and that the two you do have are sitting in the appropriate left-right configuration. although, i imagine they would be truly interested in any number above two. and as for non-left/right options you have the very rare front/back or even more rare top/bottom alignments, either of which would certainly earn a note in the metal binder. and, there is little doubt that any of these unique scenarios would generate extra fees (esp bonus gonads) so this reality check works to prepare the subject for any special handling fees that may arise. the day the beef-eater had his pre-screening was coincidentally bring your kid to work day which means he got to answer these questions with a backpack-wearing eight year old staring up at him.

the big day has you laid out on an exam table naked from the waist down. they drape a towel over your groin area only there is a big whole cut out framing the part of you the towel is usually there to conceal (nobody better look at the naked side of my hip while my johnson is laying there lifeless, bloodless and frankly scared quite shitless). the nurse then partially knocks you out so you're awake but mostly unable to put up much of a fight or think too straight. it was at this point in the procedure that the super-attractive lady who lived two doors down from the beef-eater and was a nurse in this office, unbeknownst to him, entered the room. the best he could muster was to raise a hand and mumble the single word 'foul'. the doctor came in moments later and began. after the incisions were made he took a tool that resembled a crochet needle and pulled one of the vas deferens out of the hole, exposing it to be severed. i'm told that having your gamete superhighway lifted from its tracks in this manner produces an extremely unnatural sensation. i theorize this is the anti-erection part of the procedure, just in case all the random fumblings elicited any sort of positive feedback. it is now that they snip, burn and return the helpless tube back to its home. my mind envisions the ends whipping around like a dropped firehose or more appropriately, a writhing and injured worm.

they then sent him home telling him to lay on the couch with frozen corn on his affected part(s) for the next 24 hours. these were the last words of our conversation:

wow. is it hard to clean up all of that corn when you get up.

you leave it in the bag, idiot!

oh. but, when you were done do you put the bag back in the freezer or throw it away?

i don't know what other people do, but i threw mine away.

hmmm. i don't think marty would let me throw it out, groin-ridden or not.

and i can now check another fixation from my list. i found the account of this man's journey to be quite satisfying. thanks beef-eater for doing successfully what many before you could not.

STORYTIME (permalink) 05.26.2005
in a world before call notes
i'm starting to feel like my father-in-law, in certain regards at least. he had seven kids. when they were older, the phone in his home rang thirty plus times a day. over a month we're talking about almost a thousand calls. for sure, i've worked at help desks that got less traffic than this. and of all those calls, you know how many of them were for him? not a one.

legend goes that on the rare occasions when he was the only one home, he'd be sitting in the living room watching a sunday tv movie or the like, eating a sandwich. if the phone rang, he'd pick it up and simply say "they're not here right now" and hang up. when the family returned they would ask if anyone called. yes. who was it? i don't know. what do you mean you don't know? i don't know, i didn't ask. the girls would go and complain to their mother who would come in and ask why he couldn't take a message. his response; i couldn't reach a pen.

now i'm certainly not there yet and i don't plan on ever having seven kids but when you consider the fact that bella is four and already gets more calls than me, this more resembles my future than it does not.

WIFE, STORYTIME (permalink) 01.10.2005
man, are you getting old marty!
in college when i dated girls, i only went dutch. this was not so much out of principle as out of necessity. as my rusted out 76 volvo attested, i was not a man of leisure or privilege. barely equipped to take myself to burger king once a week, i was in no way prepared or willing to take on another's culinary appetites.

so in these early days of romance, as relationships flourished i would suggest a date. if accepted, i would immediately ask if they minded going dutch. only one did mind but as it turned out, she was a direct descendent of satan so i learned my system had hidden benefits. for added uniquity, at some point on the first date, i would announce that they, the girl, had an astoundingly generous and guilt-free endowment of $15 which they could use in any way they desired; 3 trips to fast food, fifteen shows at the dollar movie house, i was even amenable to putting these funds towards a larger item, the balance of course to be covered by them.

with marty, our first dating encounter was so brief that she didn't exhaust her stipend. the year following our slight flirtation marty spent dating half the ivy league and i passed those days sitting/living in a friend's basement. during a lull in my male-heavy social life, i called marty to notify her that my records indicated she still had six dollars credit with me and that it was about to expire and would she like to exercise her rights to those funds or let them default? laughingly she agreed to use this line of credit and we went out for a second time.

that subsequent date happened 15 years ago today.

we married 8 years later on this same day.

and on this day, today, i consider those fifteen dollars to be the most significant and well-invested to ever pass through my wallet.

happy anniversary walt.

WEB, PHOTO, PERSONAL, STORYTIME (permalink) 11.19.2004
breaking the silence

special note to peggy walter: click on these words

STORYTIME, SOCIETY (permalink) 09.29.2004
what would you do?
sadly, i wasn't here for the original conversation or even the retelling. i heard about it third-hand from marty so the players will have to forgive any kluged details (and, should that happen, walt is to shoulder the blame).

e-love and dr. j have a dog, hattie. they also have a new baby, alison. trying to gauge his wife's commitment to their family members, e-love recently posed the following questions to her.
  1. if crazed terrorist broke into the house and said you had to cut off your pinky finger or they would kill hattie, what would you do?
  2. if crazed terrorist broke into the house and said you had to cut off your baby's pinky finger or strangle hattie to death with your bare hands, what would you do?
let's just say you don't want to be hattie, or any other canine for that matter, on dr. j's watch should crazed terrorist break into the home looking to grow their collection of finger-pieces.

WEB, STORYTIME (permalink) 09.28.2004
chuck, i'm all over door number three
One day in the future, George Bush has a heart attack and dies. He immediately goes to hell, where the devil is waiting for him.

"I don't know what to do," says the devil. "You are on my list, but I have no room for you. You definitely have to stay here, so I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I've got some folks here who weren't quite as bad as you. I'll let one of them go, but you have to take their place.

I'll even let YOU decide who leaves." Bush thought that sounded pretty good, so the devil opened the first room.

In it was Ronald Reagan and a large pool of water. He kept diving in and surfacing empty handed. Over and over and over. Such was his fate in hell. "No, George said. "I don't think so. I'm not a good swimmer and I don't think I could do that all day long."

The devil led him to the next room. In it was Richard Nixon with a sledge hammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing that hammer, time after time after time. "No, I've got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was break rocks all day," commented George.

The devil opened a third door. In it, Bush saw Bill Clinton, lying on the floor with his arms staked over his head, and his legs staked in a spread eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does best. Bush took this in disbelief and finally said, "Yea, I can handle this." The devil smiled and said "OK, Monica, you're free to go."

from the desk of big ed

PERSONAL, STORYTIME (permalink) 09.10.2004
making older ladies smile uncomfortably from the start
a week before bella was to begin preschool she said she wanted to make valentines for her teachers. for those who don't live with this girl, valentines are the common world equivalent of a homemade hallmark card.

bella valentines typically involve of a complex formula only fully understood by her. they are diverse in style but do have certain common threads. for instance, rarely are people drawn without a browneye. allow me to swing your attention to exhibit a which i will call the 'grandparent anal valentines debacle' which fostered several silent dinners at my parent's house. given her past record, walt and i were a touch concerned of what might be in store for her new teachers.

you can obviously imagine our anxiety when bella announced her creations were complete. we hesitantly took them from her outstretched hand and eyed them carefully. no anuses, check. no penises, check. no ginas, check. (gina is pronounced like china only with a G and is how bella says the word, yes you guessed it, vagina). relief poured over us. it was important that the teachers' first impression of our child was not a jaded, or real, perception. we felt this was a pivotal component of our eldest girl's success in the classroom.

on the morning of the first day, bella was super adamant that her valentines not be left behind. we assured her multiple times we had them, clapping my hand on the three sheets of paper in my back pocket. once at school it was her single and immediate mission to distribute them to her teachers. i only saw the first of these transactions. she gave it to the smiling educator who leaned down to thank her.

teacher: oh my, isn't this a beautiful picture.

bella: yes it is. it is a person being chased by a shooter.

teacher: oh. well, isn't that ... interesting.

yes it is interesting, but not nearly as interesting as the parallel story of how marty and i became the newest names on missouri's department of family services watch-list fifteen minutes after that exchange took place.

i'm confident we just witnessed the beginning of what is certain to be a rollicking academic career.

QUOTES, STORYTIME (permalink) 08.12.2004
would you care for some perspective
while waiting to get clipped by the super-barber, i had an interesting conversation with the guy in the chair. he was a vietnam era refugee from laos. between my addled hearing, the hair clippers and his thick accent i missed much of the conversation. here are a few of the snippets i recall:

you could hear the explosions on the mountains at night when you slept.

i knew there was trouble when the bodies started floating down the river.

my family hid in the forest for many months.

when i was caught they just kept pointing the gun at my head shouting "tell me why i shouldn't kill you right now. tell me why i shouldn't shoot you in the head. tell me why i should let you live."

there were hundreds of us in the prison and they didn't give us food or water. people were dying.

my father owned the sawmill and they didn't have anyone who could use the equipment so i got out of the prison to help them.

my family snuck into thailand.

i had to say that all of my relatives were dead so i would have a chance to come to the united states.

i said the only place i wanted to go was the united states and i didn't care where they sent us within the united states.

i was in san francisco for 10 days and then i came here (saint louis).

to feed my family i sold buckets of water for ten cents each.

we couldn't afford the meat so we just got the chicken bones and made soup from them.

i had to feed my family.

if this doesn't fix over half of your perceived issues, you may be beyond salvation.

PERSONAL, STORYTIME (permalink) 07.09.2004
ask not what your office can do for you ...
remember the story i told a week or two ago about the 4-yr old kid in my neighborhood who peed funny and how i thought i would become a legend if i urinated like him in my office commode . i've had more than one person tell me to stone-up and just go ahead and whiz funny in the john, becoming said legend. something about how i'm always preaching memorable moments and all.

my response to them is that i would but when the legend was retold by the guys i work with it would begin like this:

"hey do you remember that mo-fo we kicked the shit out of for pissin' wierd in the bathroom?"

the up-side is they would remember me, perhaps not by name, but they would remember me, and hence the legendary status.

STORYTIME, SCIENCE, HYGIENE (permalink) 06.04.2004
just another bonding moment from the norman rockwell collection
while playing outside at the neighbors house, bella ran up to me and said she had to go pee. "so go pee" i told her. she promptly whipped down her pants, squatted and proceeded to urinate in the grass pretty much right where she was standing when she asked the question.

some of you may think that the odd part of this story is that i not only encourage but actually instruct my child to drop trow and whiz in someone else's lawn, but it is not. nor is it in the detail that one of the boys playing with us, a four year old, ran up behind bella, laid down on the ground desperately trying to see the pee come out. i'm watching this little guy watching my daughter and thought, man this kid is a freakshow.

ten minutes later freakshow-boy announces his own need to urinate. his mom, like me, told him to go ahead and go. so he pulled the bottom of his shirt up to his neck, pinching it under his chin. he then pushed his pants and underwear down to his ankles and jutted his groin out in front of him as if he were trying to form the letter C for some seseme street skit. now for those of you out there certain this nearly naked pose is the weird part of my story, slow down. the weird part is not his body's pose, but what he did with his hands during the stance ... using both hands, he made a diamond shape around his penis/genitals, framing them while he peed. as i'm taking this whole vision in, i spied bella squatting a few feet from him studying the heck out of this dude's urination technique. i considered yelling at her to leave the freak alone while he peed but was myself too transfixed for such petty administration. so we both, father and daughter, watched the 4 year old from next door empty his bladder into the front yard of his home.

in closing, i can't even tell you how much i'm looking forward to my next work day where i can casually stroll to the bathroom, cram my polo shirt up under my chin, lower my pants and boxers to my ankles, jut my doughy paunch forward, letter-C-style, and aim for the urinal which will be an impressive four feet away. the only real question left will be if others in the bathroom will lay on the ground (ala freakshow) or simply squat (ala bella) to observe, what i'm sure they will all agree is, a mesmerizing vision to behold.

STORYTIME (permalink) 08.26.2003
well, when you put it that way
last thursday after first getting up and passing bella in the hall she stopped and held her hand up to me as if a cop instructing traffic to halt and said the following in a doctor-serious voice.

you go take a shower.
you get underwear on.
then you watch big bird with me.

she then turned and headed towards the tv room. the body of the teddy bear she had in a serious headlock bobbing behind her. if i could express a thought in the office using half her conviction and firmness, i might actually make something happen. which i think may have worked out had i not been watching the prescribed episodes of big bird and company all morning.

STORYTIME (permalink) 06.20.2003
this is what you get for spilling paint in the garage
there were 11 kids and one father. the oldest was in high school and the youngest just out of diapers. the dad learned long ago trying to get answers from these greater-numbered masses proved futile so a system was devised to contend with the numerous overturned lamps, dings on the wall or basically anything that just seemed out of harmony.

after an infraction, they would be ordered to the basement. all eleven. they moved slowly and single-file down the stairs. i say slowly but not so slowly their compliance might be questioned. once there and standing in a motley line they would be instructed to undress. the pace in which this was done closely resembled the march down the stairs, not swift but definitely in motion. once all clothing was heaped on the floor in front of each child the man's belt would come off with a long pull from his fleshy arm. as the tip left the the last belt loop a silent starter pistol went off and there's really no other way to describe what came next other than to say, all hell broke loose. naked children ran screaming in all directions.

some crouched low and others ran outright but none stood perfectly still, it made for too easy a target. oftentimes two or more children would collide into one another. this could be a shoulder-grazing blow or a head-thumping collision. when this happened one, usually the smaller, would fall to the gritty floor. if down, they would madly crawl towards an outer wall not concerned with the potential scrapes from the unpredictable cement. the younger ones urinated as they ran, their erratic streams spraying on themselves as well as those who were just too damn close.

the adult in the center reached for the racing youths as they darted by. he'd try grabbing their flailing, wispy arms where he would then raise them high enough in the air to negate their churning feet. working his fat hand under their bony armpits worked best. the belt was in constant motion whether he held a kid or not delivering imprecise but meaningful blows. making contact on them as they shot by, while not as significant, still proved therapeutic. those who dangled beneath his raised arm would take licks to whatever side of their body was facing the advancing leather when it arrived. after a few strikes they would be released, their feet already in motion, for the next child to be snared.

it was certainly possible to make it back upstairs without ever having been singled out or even touched by the belt. it was equally possible to be collected multiple times. this was a gamble the children were willing to take, pitting their strategies of escape against their siblings. in the end, the one thing they all knew in the 60 watt darkness of their home's basement was that the only absolute defense would have been to be born in the house next door, down the street or on another continent altogether.

story told me almost 10 years ago by a coworker (g.s). it stands as one of the most vivid firsthand tales i've ever listened to.

STORYTIME (permalink) 04.11.2003
do it right.
there used to be this guy in my neighborhood who had this thing for lying. now we've all met people who like to stretch the truth or possibly embellish a tale but this guy truly believed in crumbling all who came before him. when i told him i was from colorado he said he went to the wealthiest school in the whole state. when i said i had a friend into rock climbing he ascended the Himalayas, twice. when i said i had knee surgery he had both legs replaced with bionic ones after a parachute didn't open after he jumped from the space shuttle on reentry. when in truth, he went to a sub-par high school in saint louis county, not only didn't rock-climb but was afraid of heights and contrary to popular belief, bionic legs were years from actually being invented for use on people (rats sure, people no), not to mention nasa still frowns upon people engaging in extreme sports on their space-bound vessels.

he may not have been a rich guy but he sure played one around here. he got married not too long ago and after his still happily deluded bride had her 2 karat diamond appraised, the honeymoon was over. having elected to marry him it's easy to see she's a little on the ego-rich side of the fence and subsequently you can imagine how pissed she was when told that the symbol of her happiness came to a whopping 87 bucks. she asked if that was U.S. dollars before ripping the larynx from the salesman.

shaken, she called a friend of her husband's to get some background data on this better half. the friend had recently written the guy (her husband) off tired of his perpetual lies so was more than willing to give him up. the conversation revealed all kinds of nuggets including that he was previously married which he had not only not revealed but actually denied earlier.

will you tell me her name she asked. he did.

can you tell me her phone number she asked. he did.

so she called wife A, introduced herself using the guys last name, which is unique enough to raise suspicion. wife A simply asked "are you all right?" and that was without hearing anything other than wife B's name.

like i said, his mission was to crumble all who came before him.

STORYTIME (permalink) 03.20.2003
did you buy those stones on ebay
my dad was selling a car on he quickly got an inquiry from a guy in africa saying he wanted to buy it. the guy said he was going to send my dad a check for more than double the cost of the car and asked that my father forward the excess funds to the company that was going to ship the car to africa. while a bit of a pain in the ass, my dad agreed happy to get a buyer. so africa-guy sent a cashier's check for $8,000 (4k over the cost of the car) and asked my dad to wire the extra jack to the delivery people. now something i failed to mention is that every time dad talked to this guy he (the guy) used one of those operator assistance services where he types his messages and a third party voices them to the other person. the guy cited a speech impediment in explaining the reason, a touch bizarre, but not a deal-breaker. my dad agreed and the cashier's check came but looked a little off in ways i won't get into, it just looked wierd. but it was a cashiers check all the same, essentially legal tender, so pops deposited it but asked the bank to notify him after it cleared because it looked kinda funky. they called two days later and said it was a fraudulent document.

dad spoke to the fraud units of the fbi and secret service to report the situation. they asked him to forward any further correspondence their way. so my dad, emailed the guy, said he got the check and what should he do next. the guy replied and said to wire the extra jack to such and such company in atlanta or somewhere. my dad said he would do it the next day by 3pm and then forwarded all of this information to the coppers.

the authorities did not do anything with the information in the window my dad gave them (3pm next day). my father obviously didn't wire the cash and was working towards getting the car re-listed and for the most part forgot about it. forgot until he got a call at 2:30 in the morning from the guy (sans his operator assistance) asking where his money was. after taking a moment to ponder the gargantuan balls on the dude my father asked him where a cashable check was. the guy then got haughty with my dad who simply cut him off to ask what happened to his debilitating speech impediment and hung up.

my father later asked the feds why they didn't do anything with the information he sent them and they apologized for the lack of response but unfortunately get thousands of these a day and don't get to all of them. thousands a day. amazing. abso-bloody-lutely amazing.

STORYTIME (permalink) 12.07.2001
oh, don't mind me. carry on.
i took my Computer Programming Theory final earlier this week. a few people have asked about the experience and if i?m all about being a java guru now. sure. why not. i?ve feigned worse. but, the major flaw here is in the question being asked. it?s not always about where we are in the end, but what, if any, memorable moments we incurred along the way. because it is, in the end, these moments that will keep us warm and grinning in our old age. so instead of boasting on the net result of this experience allow me to instead speak to one of the alpha moments over this last academic season.

my professor was a portly fellow, santa claus portly. this is good in an educator. he also oftentimes wore oxford shirts with a thin v-neck sweater on top as an accent piece also fitting the role. this is also good because you want your instructor to look instructorish. every class before lecturing the prof would run through some prepatory steps seemingly to get his game face on. these rituals included checking his silver chalk pencil for chalk, patting his shirt pocket for his red light beam laser, sliding his 64 oz quick trip beverage towards the rear of the desk and lastly, always lastly, hitching up his pants to their rightful place in preparation for the pacing and moving about that was moments from happening. now, i'm sure it goes without saying that it is here, in this final step, where the fun begins.

first, he would carefully fold the sweater up exposing the drooping belt line as well as the lowest buttons of the oxford. this creates a half-shirt kind of look (anyone remember those?) with the sweater. he then digs his thumbs inside his trousers at about 10 and 2, slightly bends his knees, causing a break in his legs, and then stands straight up, pulling sharply on his pants and leaning back with the flow. this process, when complete, could effectively raise his equator anywhere from 5-9 inches, depending on the given starting point, amount of flex in the knees and energy exerted on the upward lift. to conclude the ceremony, the sweater is neatly folded back down concealing the work area and smoothed out to quell any evidence that might point to the event.

i reckon this should not be a completely mesmerizing experience for me, but every time it occurred, i got the guilty feeling that not only was i witnessing some personal act, but that i was front and center for a terribly obscene ablution which was not meant for me. in fact, i would avert my gaze, but my leaning eyes betrayed this intention, acting on their own, committed to not missing a single stroke of this well-practiced and highly appreciated dance. so in answer to your question, i'm now, as can be seen, one java coding fool.

STORYTIME (permalink) 09.04.2001
but, it has this handy applicator
I have this thing with hand lotion, skin creams or essentially anything that makes my hands greasy. One of the quadrillion times Marty obtained poison ivy in the back yard she asked me to apply some soothing ointment to her back. I looked at her back and then the bottle of murky murk she handed me. I pondered the request to touch evil substance A to evil substance B with nothing more than my left or right hand. I dealt out five spots on Marty's back, smartly distancing each glop for even coverage. I then took the opening of the bottle and began pushing the mounds of goo around to all of the affected areas.

What are you doing?!?

I'm putting this stuff on your back.

You have to rub it in.

I am rubbing it in.

With your hand, not with the bottle.

What's the difference?

One is what normal people do and one is what insane people do.

Yeah, I know all of those crazy people getting this stuff all over their hands, that's why they're crazy.

Oh forget it. Give me that.

Marty sat up, snatched evil substance B from my hand and went into the bathroom to tend to evil substance A on her own. I wanted to help. I sincerely did. But, I sat on the bed unable to get the thought of either of those contaminants out of my head and the epidermal mayhem that was occurring just down the hall behind the half closed bathroom door didn't ease my anxiety. After a few minutes she returned looking a tad peeved. I asked if I could help, she said that she was just fine on her own. If she could have done it herself I'm not certain why she asked for my assistance to begin with. I decided not to mention this foible to her. She did have poison ivy and all.

STORYTIME (permalink) 06.03.2001
i think i'll sit over here
This guy in my neighborhood when I was a kid used to bite his toenails. He?d grab an ankle and pull his foot up to his face, crane his head forward, clench the front of his teeth down on the corner of a nail and pull his head back taking a sliver of the nail with him. He would then look away and spit the shard into the air and then go down for another pass. I?m not embarrassed to admit that this is one of the coolest feats I?ve ever seen.

STORYTIME (permalink) 05.03.2001
Is Turtle Wax in the hair care isle?
When I was 13 I found myself at the pool with several friends. We were at that annoy everyone else in the water age where we?d perform cannonballs and engage in bewildering splash fights without regard for other pool-goers. Upon arriving at our destination and losing our non-swimming garb, the first challenge of the day was to see who could swim underwater the furthest. So we all charged to the side of the pool and performed awkward dives over the little tikes hanging on the side and began a frenzied race along the pool floor, weaving around the legs of the less active.

Near the other side, contestant?s heads started surfacing, immediately looking around to see how they fared. I popped up a respectable second and was grinning at my accomplishment when one of my cohorts pointed at me and said, ?You were supposed to swim underwater DeArmitt.? I looked at him startled thinking some deception was at hand to pilfer my silver. ?What are you talking about, of course I swam underwater?. His reply was one I would never forget and that would haunt me for many school pictures to come. ?Then why?s your hair dry??

I raised my hand to feel my head only to find he was right. While everyone else?s hair was matted cleanly to their foreheads, mine still leapt wildly away from my skull. It was at that precise moment that the discovery process began, a process that ever confirmed that I was not like all the other boys in that I, unlike them, had water repellant hair.

STORYTIME (permalink) 04.16.2001
Stick em up
A pal shared a story with me about a friend of their family who was a pilot for one of the major airlines. His route ran from St. Louis to New York and he regularly killed time in the big apple. One day while walking about town a young man bumped into him quite hard on the sidewalk of a crowded street. He briefly glared at the fellow but kept on. About ten paces later he instinctively patted his chest jacket for his wallet and found it to be gone. He whipped around and yelled at the kid who turned startled and when the very tall man, fully adorned in his pilot?s outfit, began moving towards him, took off running. This stout and athletic bombardier soon caught up to the youth, pushed him against the wall and barked ?The Wallet!!!? The kid immediately relinquished the item and the captain pocketed it and moved on impressed with his resolve to so readily correct the problem.

Later that day after returning to his hotel room, he began emptying his pockets and realized before dropping even the first item that he was staring down at his own worn and familiar wallet on the table which he apparently left behind. The story goes on that he later returned the victim?s wallet, unaltered, in a manila envelope with no return address on it.

Now while the original conveyer of this tale seemed quite sincere, every time I tell it to someone, it greatly smacks of things that urban legends are made of. To date, I?ve never had anyone call me on it which typically happens with such tales, nor have I had someone else report hearing the scenario in regard to another friend of a distant relation. Regardless of its legitimacy, it stands as one of my favorite yarns.

STORYTIME (permalink) 04.10.2001
Ok kids, gather round...
Many have asked, some have received, but none are sated when it comes to the fabled tale of BirdMan. Always aiming to please I can no longer deny the masses what is rightfully theirs. So I present to the community the first and only available printing of the happenings and events that transpired on that oppressive July 3rd day on the Arch grounds of downtown St. Louis. Without further delay I invite you to personally experience The Legend of the Birdman.

STORYTIME (permalink) 04.09.2001
Where'd that kid go?
I overheard a few teachers Marty works with reminiscing about some of the best pranks pulled in the school over the years. While many were fairly pedestrian, one stood out as the inspired work of a true craftsman. Several years back a rather anonymous student, who I will call Joe, informed one of his teachers, who I will call Mr. Kent, that his family was moving and the next day would be his last. For whatever reason, Mr. Kent devised a scheme and asked Joe and a fellow faculty member to participate.

On the following day in what would be Joe?s last class (unbeknownst to all present), Mr. Kent entered the room with a principal in tow and advised the governing teacher that they needed to speak to Joe. Joe started frantically looking around and began pleading with his current teacher to not let them take him. The conspirators then went to Joe?s seat and forcibly removed him while he white-knuckled the desk, not letting go. They ultimately tore him loose and carried him out of the room while he screamed and begged in protest. The door slammed shut as they exited and that was the last anyone ever saw of Joe.

As I said, the inspired work of a genius.

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