Flashback: “Smile” by Lily Allen

A song that didn’t do too well for Lily over here in 2006, but it was a big hit in other parts of the world around that time.

Hillary Goes To High School

Photo by Zun Zun on Pexels.com

I look at some of the stories I’ve told about my life on this blog – and there are times I think I tell a good “beginning” and a good “ending” of stories, but I don’t tell you all the “middle” of a story for one reason or another.

So let me get back to “Hillary” who I recently discovered had passed away somewhere around 2000 or the early 2000’s. I’m unsure of how she passed exactly.

August 26, 1985 was the day my graduating class began high school – with Hillary and I both in the same Phys Ed/Health class. On the surface, that seemed to be good news – we were already good friends though we generally weren’t social past going to school, and I’d probably get to talk to her more.

As often happens as a young person gets older, the total makeup of who is a friend to you and who isn’t changes with time. Some stay with you, but others drift apart, one way or another. For some reason as 9th grade starts up, Hillary starts goofing on me and treats me like I’m some sort of joke to her. A few weeks later, she asks why I never asked her out.

Hillary was notorious in school for – ummm – short-term relationships with some boys by that point, even though she’s 14 (and could pass for 18 easy). That got me thinking I had a chance with her throughout most of late ’85 and early ’86 – and that was exactly what she wanted me to think. I even gave her flowers one day – oddly enough the day was January 28, 1986.

Kind of like how a certain structure went up in flames that day, so did my relationship with her in the time that followed. Her boyfriends were basically cover for the “side action” she was getting by cheating on them with other boys (by today’s terms, she was probably a sex addict of some sort), and by the end of that year, I wanted nothing to do with her. At best, I would have been a pawn in her game of life, as Alex Karras said as Mongo in Blazing Saddles.

Fast forward to August 25, 1986 – the start of my sophomore year. I’m begging “the school schedule gods” not to stick me in a class with her. Five classes come and go, no Hillary – so I have my hopes up like watching a pitcher throwing a no-hitter that this can be done. The bell for the sixth period Science class to start sounds, no Hillary. A few moments later, the door opens, there she is – a line drive up the middle for a base hit. No-hitter gone. She’s waving at me – I totally ignore her, probably wishing I had gone to Seminole High, which was actually closer to home than Largo was.

Our friendship deteriorates further – but you knew that already. One day, I’m on the bus heading home – and she’s on the back of a truck with about six other high school guys that I guess you could say were part of our “redneck” clique of the school. They’re more or less surrounding her in the back of the truck – and I don’t know where they are taking her. Somehow, I don’t think hog prices or Hank Williams Jr. are going to be discussed knowing Hillary’s penchant for short-term relationships – but I never ask her or them about what I suspect might have been some sort of gang-bang. It’s none of my business, and I’m trying to keep her in my rear-view mirror, if you get me.

The last time I see her in school was late 1988 – I’m a senior by now, and she would wind up dropping out of school around that time, possibly as part of a narcotics bust that hit our high school in early ’89. Oddly enough, it’s another situation that could have been sexual or might not have been – she’s in the back seat of a car with another woman, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Godspeed, Hillary. You were a character and a half.

Just Go Back To The Show

This Monday night past, Jamie Simpson, a weatherman in Dayton, Ohio explains in his own unique way why local TV stations interrupt shows when the potential of severe weather exists. The information given can save lives – that’s why the stations do it.

As we now know – later that night, there was a tornado outbreak in that very area of Dayton, Ohio.

Billy Bucks

Photo by Steshka Willems on Pexels.com

Can I be honest with you, my readers?

Another thing I don’t like doing anymore is obituary posts – they tend to be downers. But my blogging policy tends to be that there are exceptions to every rule, and I think this is one of those times where an exception applies.

William Joseph Buckner passed away yesterday, known to baseball fans as simply Bill Buckner. Instead of looking at his career accolades of which he amassed 2,715 hits – he is sadly remembered for an error he made during the sixth game of the 1986 World Series that allowed the New York Mets to score the winning run that night after Boston’s Red Sox had a 5-3 lead going into that fateful tenth inning. Had Boston gotten that final out that wound up eluding them – they would have won their fourth game that series, which more importantly would have given them the World Series championship.

I was a Mets fan when that chain of events happened, and when the Mets scored that run to win – the 15 year-old version of me went crazy, even though there was a seventh game of the series yet to be played. But the first team I followed religiously was the 1979 Chicago Cubs, thanks to that absurdly crazy 23-22 game on May 17th of that year against the Philadelphia Phillies. On that team was a first baseman named – you guessed it – Bill Buckner.

Buckner is the main reason why I don’t like to use the word “choke” when it comes to sports. I never thought it was entirely fair to blame him for the Red Sox not winning the 1986 World Series and for Boston fans to turn on him as they did. When you get two teams of high skill together, games seem to get determined more often than not on sheer luck – and luck was with the Mets that night to the fault of no one else.

Rest in peace, Bill. Whatever suffering there has been with time is now at its end.

Memorial Day: Is It Happy?

I found that piece of art on Steve Jerve’s Facebook page – who is the local meteorologist for our NBC station, WFLA here in the Tampa Bay area.

I have wondered in recent years if saying “Happy Memorial Day” and emphasizing the “Happy” part of it – is that somehow a disservice to our military, and to those who died in service of our country?

The older I get – the more that answer comes back as yes. My father was one of those who served our country in the Army just after World War II, stationed for a time in Colorado as our country tried to figure out how to win future wars in colder climates after the Germans gave us trouble in the war often called “The Big One.”

So while we cook our food and enjoy the extra day this particular weekend brings us – remember those who served and perished to keep the country the way it has been.

The Dum Dums Among Us

I don’t get many of the telephonic scammers anymore thanks to the recent change I’ve made over to Spectrum – but when I get one, they just seem to be all the more dumber to deal with.

Case in point: a call I get earlier tonight at – oh, let’s see – 6:07 this evening, according to my phone. It’s those credit card scammers I’ve been dealing with for months and months now. Ignore them, they keep calling. Tell them to stop calling them, they keep calling. Tell them you’re wise to the scheme, they keep calling. I figure if no one strategy works – keep trying until you get a strategy that does. Never show the same plan of attack twice.

Tonight, I’m trying the strategy of baiting them – wasting as much of their time as I can. Eventually, they will ask how much debt I have on my credit cards. When they ask that particular question – they give themselves away as scammers. If they were a legitimate enterprise, they would already know the answer to that question.

Good natured fellow that I am, I tell them, “If you were truly Cardholder Services, you’d know the answer to that already.”

The fellow with the Indian accent (oh, all these calls from Indian voices would also be a statistical improbability, as 1%-2% of the population would have that accent at best) calls me something rhyming with mother trucker, but I’m too busy laughing hysterically to care.

I tell the irate dude with the foreign accent of some sort that I highly suspect is Indian, “Be sure to call again, benchode!”

I’m looking forward to their next call – sooner or later, they have to give up, right? Even if it takes years, and years, and years.