• The Mark Chesnutt Concert

    4 Ago 2014, 10:48

    I’ll tell you a little story.
    I did something really fun one July night, a few days after my birthday. I was able to attend a “Mark Chesnutt” concert in the town of Mankato, Minnesota. He is one of my favorite artists and it was a great performance. He is a real pro with 14 No. 1 hits, 23 top ten singles, four platinum albums and five gold records, while at the same time being a very humble, down to earth man. The concert was out doors in a arena made of stone much like the old Roman amphitheaters and did not have seats, you just sat on a stone slab, unless you were smart enough to bring your own lawn chair, which I wasn’t. My wife couldn’t make it, so I went with two of my boys.
    Sitting beside me on the stone slab was a beautiful girl in her mid 20’s and on the other side of her was her huge husband. He would make two of me, and I am not exactly petite. They were talking a lot about American football and I gathered that he had played a lot in his day. They had also been drinking a lot. He left to go get another round of drinks, which they didn’t really need and she suddenly noticed me sitting beside her. She was really pretty, slim and tan with beautiful big blue-green eyes. Suddenly she whirled towards me (noses nearly touching, looking into her beautiful blue-green eyes) and said, “Do you like whiskey?”
    “Aaaa… yes I do.” I answered. (Thinking, that’s real normal.)
    She went on, speaking like a machine gun, ”What do you like? Royal Crown is my drink, I can’t live without Royal Crown and soda, it has to have soda in it, but do you know what happened? We went to the booze tent and the Royal Crown didn’t come in, it didn’t come in! The only other Canadian whiskey they had was Lord Calvert, and Lord Calvert sucks compared to Royal Crown. The bar lady felt really bad, though so every time I get a drink, she gives me a double whiskey for the same price. This is my third double.” Taking a big drink of the pale blue liquid in her glass. (That explains a few things, I thought)

    “I like Jack Daniel's .” I answered.

    She reloaded the machine gun and told about her job... everything about her job, she was trying to get promoted but had not been able to, and didn’t know why except that she was from Wisconsin, and the boss was maybe prejudice against people from Wisconsin, or it could be some other girls were stabbing her in the back. They do that all the time.
    Spinning back to me nose to nose. Did I mention she was really pretty?

    “What do you do?” she asked.

    I told her that I ran the distillation equipment in the largest ethanol plant in Minnesota and I made over 300 gallons of ethanol per minute, 24-7.
    “What’s ethanol?”
    “It’s like vodka that will burn in your car.”
    “300 gallons a minute!” she said in awe.
    I could tell that I had achieved instant hero status.
    There was an awkward 10 seconds of silence, then she whirled around again and said, ”Do you like football?”

    “Well, I like it but I’m not a fanatic.”

    “That’s what I am! A fanatic! I couldn’t live without football in my life. My husband, Gary, played a lot of football. Did you see how big he is, he played college football - defensive tackle for Northwestern, do you know where Northwestern is? ”

    “In the northwestern part of the state?”, I said wisely.

    “Yes! You do know football! When Gary was in his junior year they won the national championship! (that is like the Super Bowl of college football) Gary has the state record for the most tackles in one game. He was drafted by the pros - the Pittsburg Steelers.”

    “Really, I wouldn’t want to make him mad”, I said thoughtfully.

    She went on, ”Then the dam fool went skiing. Hit a tree so hard he broke his ankle. They had to put a steel pin in it, football career over just like that! You can’t play football with a steel pin holding your foot on! He should be a Pro making millions … and he is selling cars for a living”.

    “I’m sorry, it must be very frustrating for him.” I said with sympathy.

    “Oh, he’s frustrated all right”, she said rolling her beautiful eyes. “Here he comes with the drinks!”
    She grabs her forth double from Gary and they immediately start an animated discussion / argument over whether Minnesota or Wisconsin has the better college football program. I don’t know if I am a part of the conversation or even understand it, but she glances my way for support .
    I glance at the stage hoping the band will appear soon and change the subject.

    At last we hear “Ladies and Gentleman….. Mark Chesnutt” and the crowd goes wild.
    Now she screams “I want to dance! I want to dance in front of the stage for Mark! Come on Gary.”
    Gary, ”I’m not dancing”
    “Come on, Gary, ! I want to dance in front of the stage for Mark!”
    “No, I’m not dancing! If we go down there someone will take our seats. Besides, my ankle hurts.”
    “If you don’t dance with me I’ll dance with someone else!”
    I pretend not to here this.
    Suddenly she whirled towards me (noses nearly touching, looking into her beautiful blue-green eyes; long, slim, tan legs nearly in my lap, Gary towering over us) and said, “You will dance with me, wont you?!”

    “I don’t think so, I’m really not much of a dancer”, I said quietly.

    She spins around and snarls at Gary, ”He says that HE will dance with me if you don’t! Are you going to dance or not?”
    I am quickly evaluating every possible escape route, and wondering if that steel pin slows him down much.
    Gary, ”I don’t want to lose our seats!”.
    "Then we will get someone to save them"
    She turns to me and says sweetly,” You will save our seats for us, won’t you?”

    “Hell yes ! I’ll save your seats for you! You two go dance up a storm and if anybody even looks at your seats I’ll get rid of them. Don’t you worry.”

    Just then Mark Chesnutt strides up to the microphone and booms out “Bubba shot the jukebox last night!”, and the crowd goes wild and the concert was on.
    I enjoyed the show immensely while keeping one eye on the crowd of dancers in front of the stage. My new friends never came back and I never saw them again.
    When it was over son number one said,” Glad they never came back.”
    Son number two said, ”Ya Dad, we were wondering how you were going to get out of that one.”

    Mark Chesnutt interview -
  • Songs of the week

    6 Jul 2013, 8:09


    Burn Me Down
    Tim Murphy


    The Tractors -
    Baby Likes To Rock It


    Mary Chapin Carpenter -
    Down At The Twist And Shout


    "Gonna Go Hunting Tonight"
  • Dave Barry's colonoscopy journal:

    26 May 2013, 20:42

    I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis . Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, quote, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'

    I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America 's enemies.

    I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous. Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.

    The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.' This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

    MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

    After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep. The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous.. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, 'What if I spurt on Andy?' How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.

    At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.

    Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this is, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.

    When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand. There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, 'Dancing Queen' had to be the least appropriate.

    'You want me to turn it up?' said Andy, from somewhere behind me. 'Ha ha,' I said. And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

    I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling 'Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,' and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood. Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.

    On the subject of Colonoscopies...
    Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous..... A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:

    1. 'Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before!

    2. 'Find Amelia Earhart yet?'

    3. 'Can you hear me NOW?'

    4. 'Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?'

    5. 'You know, in Arkansas , we're now legally married.'

    6. 'Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?'

    7. 'You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out...'

    8. 'Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!'

    9. 'If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!

    10. 'Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.'

    11. 'You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?'

    12. 'God, now I know why I am not gay.'

    And the best one of all.

    13. 'Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?'