Tag Archives: New York

To my Grandpa, rest in peace Grandpa … you were pure awesome


Grandma and Grandpa ... circa who knowns

I was scared I didn’t have any photos of my grandparents then I remembered I was married and wives like to ‘frame’ things. Five hours of searching later ….

My grandpa died on Tuesday.  Park the pity party outside, he lived a good-long life and I have nothing but fond memories of him.   He was an awesome man and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him.  Though he was my grandfather on my mom’s side it was what my father said to me about him that stuck in my head.“He always worked hard,” my dad said.

My dad is right; my grandfather did work hard his whole life.  That’s a quality I looked up to in my father as well and realize it was a quality my grandfather also espoused.  I’m not sure I ever lived up to either of their standards but I try*.

But both of them are role models to me in that regard.

My earliest memory of my Grandpa Hurlbut is him feeding me ‘doublemint gum’ while I rode on the fender of his tractor as he, in his words,’ farmed it’.   Sometimes, and I don’t think I was allowed to tell mom this, I was allowed to steer the tractor.

I wish I could tell you an awesome story about how I drove it into town and bought beer but I was like five, it’ was all about just holding the steering wheel and giggling cause driving a tractor is cool at five and at 43.

When I first joined the Army I bought a used Mazda RX7 because I was an idiot.   Still though I drove the piece of crap up from lower New York to Upstate New York the visit my grandma and grandpa as soon as I some leave.

The car had a thing, what the hell do you call it, on the outside door, a long strip of plastic rubberized material that prevented other car doors from making dings in my ding-ridden RX7.   Anyway my plastic rubberized thing was lose and I thought, ‘hell Grandpa is handy, he can fix this shit easy!’

He surveyed the problem, extracted a heavyweight drill from a well-organized garage and aimed an auto appropriate screw at the issue.   The drill slipped and he fucked my door harder than any porn you’ve ever seen.     Literally there was a 5 inch torn open wound in the metal when he was done.

The car lasted another three weeks, I think it actually broke down on the way home from that trip and I had a useful lesson in what rotary engines meant.  So no loss.   I just remember him turning to me and saying, ‘oops.’

Grandpa, damnit picking up chicks in a beat up RX7 is hard enough!  Doing it with a 5 inch drill gash on the door is … I was 21, never mind.

I should have asked my dad for advice really, he’d have been like, “son get yourself some type double category seven adhesive and a level 9 bonding agent, apply it liberally with poodle hair and you’re done.”

Dad knows cars, Grandpa built shit.

Key my mom.    We lived in Phoenix Arizona because they ran out of gas money there on the way to LA or something and one year my Grandpa and Grandma came to visit in a truck with a camper which is way cool really.

Travels with Charlie anyone?  No?  Screw you it’s a great book.

Again my dad could outfit any variety of Dodge vehicles with a jet engine given enough time and thought, but building furniture not so much.   I didn’t fall far from the tree there, I built a beeramid last month but it didn’t survive Dagmar101 and I’m still in fucking trouble.

Anyway Mom wanted a desk like thing built in the living room and a bookshelf built in one of the bedrooms.

As a kid, like 12 or 13, I remember being fascinated by the process of building these things.  As an adult I now think, “holy fuck, aliens that discover our planet after we are all dead will study these two items.”  Seriously they, I’m sure of this, are still in that house today and are impervious to fire, flood, earthquake or hell.

Future generations will use them as examples of ‘American workmanship’.

Solid doesn’t do that furniture justice.

At my brother’s wedding Dagmar pulled Grandpa out on to the dance floor (you

little black dresses boys, am I right? Wait this is about my Grandpa, he had a fun dancing with my wife …

were rocking that little-black dress honey, looking damn hot by the way) for a spin.   There are few photos I have of him but he seemed to love it.  Looking at the photo still makes me smile.

Third party story told to me by my Uncle Georgie, fuck you I have an Uncle Georgie and he’s pretty cool … even if he makes fun of me for being a city slicker.

Maple trees make maple syrup, it seems.  Who knew?  Apparently you do some kind of weird magic, sap comes out, you cook it and then pancake goodness flows forth.  I dunno the details, there was cooking involved though.

Grandma and Grandpa were cooking the maple syrup and an argument developed, he thought it needed to cook longer.   She disagreed but he left the room to attend to something (cows!) and she followed his direction.

In the morning she slid him a block of solid maple overcooked uselessness that should have been syrup and decried, “here’s your maple syrup!”   Fuck I don’t even get that story, sorry.   Don’t overcook maple syrup which comes from trees or something.    I am a retard city slicker it seems.

Grandpa and Grandma were farmers, as I’ve pointed out.    I can remember him squeezing the cow’s teats and spraying the milk on a gaggle of kittens and cats and watching them lose their shit.  Even to a disinterested 15 year old it was so cute you had to laugh.    Milk was hitting them and they were ‘paws up’, catching it.

Mom used to tell a story about the family all coming home from something (church?) in the winter and seeing a family of bears near the barn.   Grandpa, she explained, went to the barn and tossed out food them.   Why bears were out of their hibernation caves in winter never was defined.   Grandpa was good with animals I think was the point.   And he was.

Danny Hurlbut, you had a chair at the old farm house on star hill when you were like three.   You broke it.   You broke it because you were three (it might have been already broken, I don’t remember) and I remember grandpa taking that to the garage and ‘industrial-level’ unscrewing that chair.   It was awesome.  He took your little kid chair outside and ‘manned it up’.   I was like 15 or something.  Then you sat in it, for like 30 seconds.

Rest in peace Grandpa …. I’m gonna pop in a Cowboy movie and call it a night.

* And by try I mean I swill a lot of beer and make an ass of myself here, so there are levels of trying.

Stripper Ferris Wheel! I’m coming Chad, Amanda, Dad, Diane, Darcy, Cory, Aunt Viv, … stock up on beer


Dear Olivers, dear Hurlbuts, dear Dibiases (French people!), dear Colemans, dear my way cool cousin that used to write funny crap on my facebook feed, dear way cool lawyer cousin that was always awesome to hang out with, dear whoever else I forgot, mostly to my little brother and dad and dear all of you.

To hell with it, I’m coming there to upstate New York next summer.

In my efforts to be the Billy Carter of our combined families, between making jokes about swilling beers and boobies, I forgot something.

That something is the following.  The wife has totally, and completely (I’m going to need some free legal back up here lawyer relatives) given me permission to plan a trip there this coming summer.

And here’s the deal.  The department I work in for the U.S. Army is the, “Plans and Operations Division” and you can ignore everything after ‘and’.

Let’s plan this.

Darcy and Chad, and by Chad I mean Amanda, I’m looking at both of you.   I’m pretty sure that fireman cousin of mine wants in but I can’t be bothered to look on Facebook for the name.   It’s Cory or some crap.

Yeah, yeah, when are you coming, yeah, yeah where are your going to stay, and yeah, yeah let’s talk, The fun.

The fun details follow.

Did I just impress anyone with my bold use of bold?  God I hope so.

The get together has to be at the Oliver farm.   Those of you reading this that don’t know there’s an Oliver farm will be shocked to learn there’s an Oliver farm.

It’s at the end of the Oliver road, a major super-highway that runs about a mile into the hills of upstate New York.  Really though it’s “Oliver road.”

I think the Gin Blossoms did a song about it once.

(Google), See here’s the lyrics,

“All of the pressure that I left behind
On Oliver Road
Fools in the rain if the sun gets through
Fire’s in the heaven of the eyes I knew
On Oliver Road”

Also fuck the Gin Blossoms cause that has nothing to do with Oliver Road … they’re tards.  I think we all agree.

The re-union or union or the party, let’s just call it a party, is going to need a crap-top of beer because of well, me.   Everyone else will have to bring their own.  Okay, okay the wife just said I have to share.  That means I have to have a, okay WE, have to have a crap ton of beer plus one.

I think we’ve all learned one lesson here.   Lots of beer is needed.

how fun is this?

Yeah great we ‘could’ mow grass or clear brush or we COULD tear around the area like madmen while swilling beers Chad! This combined with a Ferris wheel … well you pick.  Also guns. Don’t forget guns.

I’m pretty sure my little brother agrees when I say there should be rented ATVs.   Because it’s the farm and my Dad’s tractor aside, mud.

I think we should also have a ferris wheel with STRIPPERS!   We can put it down on the flats, with music.   Every seat on the ferris wheel has a stripper on it and when the music stops the stripper on the ground floor …

Hi, This is Dagmar, I’ve taken over the blog for a moment.   Hope you’re all okay, and we will see you all soon!   I’m also feeling much better and thanks for all the kind words when I was sick, it meant a lot to me.   No Todd, there will be no Ferris Wheel of strippers.  There won’t be a Ferris Wheel at all.  Where do you get this stuff?  Look I told you before to please stop saying bad words here.  Can you stop saying the ‘F’ bomb?  Thanks.  No strippers on Ferris wheels on the Oliver farm and no more ‘F’ bombs okay?  Thanks,  Dagmar.

…  and then when the fireworks go off we all totally hit the dynamite and rock this fucking party like

afua[ouda .arfau4q58d.

*)OD*S<>

Uoj(ukd<>

Okay sorry my head was just bashed into the keyboard and I’ve been informed that there will be no Ferris Wheel with or without strippers and that I should stop saying, ‘fuck’ so much.

Which is odd cause I thought fuck was a very funny fucking

A;uaplikjfdaiuzdpoiutaqcogf.

Okay.  LOOK.  I’ll stop saying fuck.

OUOPADUFIG*UP)C(*U(UD

Holy Moly!  I’m cured.  Lets’ have lots of potato salad, soft drinks and water balloon fights!  Maybe the Pope can come, who knows?

And fishing, seriously someone needs to bring fishing gear.    Cause I want to do some damned (Is THAT word okay?) fishing, there’s a trout that owes me somewhere in the little creek.

You all know which creek I mean.

This is Dagmar again, just wanted to add, Todd how would you know it’s trout, you’ve never fished a day in your life. 

What the fuck

apfu8adoiud

*#*D(*SKCJJgaukd ,d

Okay … okay.  Get off my blog woman.

Note:  What fun that was.   Look we are coming back there this summer Dad, Diana, Darcy, Chad, Amanda, Little Edward, and all other’s that care.   I’d like to do this right (for once) and see all of you and have a grand time at the old Oliver Farm.   Let’s do this.  We can plan it, talk about it, work it here or via email.  I care not, but let’s make this work.  I want to see an Oliver Farm Day.  Finally does anyone there know what the cost is to rent a Ferris wheel, don’t tell Dagmar.

Another plea for a hero … support for Sgt. 1st Class Taylor starts with us.


First things first, thanks for reading. The last 24 hours have seen more traffic here than any other period in this blogs short history. More as in thousands more. Thanks for the hits, thanks for the shares and thanks for giving. Sadly that’s where we’ve come up short badly. Today his fund has almost double yesterday’s amount but it’s still far, far short of it’s goal.

We’re talking of course about Sgt. 1st Class Walter Taylor’s legal defense fund and efforts that are underway to help him raise $35,000.

This update is all about how you can donate (hint: that’s the link) and why you should donate. There will be, sadly, none of this blogs usual shenanigans – Taylor’s situation is far too dire for jokes. I mean that, its tough for me to say, I think almost anything can be a joke. Not this time though …

The good news is that even if you live overseas and have an APO mailing address you can STILL donate. In the address line where it asks for your city type in APO AE and in the line where they ask for your state, select New York and viola, donate away!

Pretty painless really, easier than purchasing on Amazon or iTunes so please, I beg you, head there now and donate whatever you can. Also again, repost this on Facebook and twitter and where ever else you find an audience because as you know or will soon know the recipient of this money is an American hero.

Why should you donate?

In an effort to fight out what appears to be politically motivated criminal charges SFC Taylor, wisely, hired a civilian attorney. Rather than risk it with a U.S. Army appointed defense lawyer, who may or may not be up to the job, SFC Taylor in an effort to save himself, his family and his career sought out and employed a civilian attorney well versed in military law.

This is an excellent move because, as you know, he did nothing wrong on July 21, 2011.

SFC Taylor, a combat engineer, and his platoon, set out on a road-clearing patrol that day to ensure that the roads in his area of operation were free of roadside bombs. They literally went out looking for bombs that day and every other day during their tour of duty. It was their job. They found the largest roadside bomb any of them had ever had the misfortune of encountering. Seconds after the devastating blast they were engaged by small-arms fire and during the course of that fire fight a black sedan, unbelievably, drove into the middle of it all. To the seasoned vets of his platoon this alone warranted serious suspicion that the vehicle’s occupants were enemy forces. Civilian vehicles just don’t drive into an ongoing fire fight.

This bizarre twist of events, coupled with the fact that during the ‘fog of battle’ several members of the platoon reported seeing shots coming from the sedan led to some of the platoon’s vehicle mounted heavy weapons engaging the vehicle.

After the firefight Taylor and three other members of the platoon followed a wire that had been used to detonate the road-side bomb – insanely the wire seemed to lead directly to the now silent black sedan.

SFC Taylor’s Platoon leader, just moments before he started following the wire, warned him that there were reports of insurgents using vehicles as bombs. The black sedan, he and everyone else thought, was obviously another bomb intent on taking his life and the life of his men.

As he followed the wire he came as close as 10 to 25 meters from the vehicle something else inexplicable happened. A figure dressed in black exited the vehicle from the rear-passenger door and ran toward the vehicle’s trunk. Reports differ but, by all estimates, Taylor has between 3 and 10 seconds to make a decision. Was the person friend or foe?

Think about that … 3 to 10 seconds. I imagine it’s something akin to this:

1 second: The door flies open.

2 seconds: A foot emerges from the door

3 seconds: A person’s lower torso emerges

4 seconds: The person is out of the vehicle, facing you and they are covered in black

5 seconds: The person begins in your direction and toward the trunk of the car

6 seconds …

You get the idea. Fearing for his life and more importantly fearing for the lives of his Soldiers Taylor shot and killed the cloaked figure only to discover, to his horror, he’d killed an innocent person. That in and of itself is more punishment they he deserves. It’s very unfortunate that it occurred but that it occurred is neither criminal nor careless – protecting yourself and your platoon from what would to any sane mind appear to be a suicide bomber is clearly the correct thing to do.

Here’s that link again, just in case you missed it. Any little bit, $5, $20 whatever amount you feel comfortable giving will help. If it’s $30 or more they’ll send you a bumber sticker that says I support SFC Taylor, how cool is that?

This isn’t going to be the last update as you can likely guess but I hope it’s the one that pushes his defense fund over the $10,000 mark. Finally, post this, reblog this, link this far and wide.

One final thing, I feel like I need to add a disclaimer. While I am retired from the U.S. Army and am currently employed as a Department of the Army Civilian the words here and my urging you to donate in no way reflect an official position by anyone or any entity besides me. This blog, and the updates regarding this case, are my opinion and should by no means be construed as endorsment by the U.S. Army or the U.S. government.

You know just in case you were wondering.

Thanks.

‘Merica f’ yeah part 2, Tractors, good food, nice people and … HOLY CRAP IS THAT A FAKE BABY?


I have to admit, I was stumped. 

While “’Merica … F’ Yeah!  HOLY CRAP America its food, booze, anger and food — deep fried thoughts from Baltimore” blew away my previous best days here (I hate Valentine’s Day” and the always popular “naked in a mixed gender German sauna”) people were asking for the upstate New York update.   There were emails and a few personal requests.    

So basically seven of you read it … each of you will recieve your $10 check as promised.

I tried, honestly I tried.  Back home here Germany safe and sound in my own house, in my own bed I thought and I thought.  But really what the hell is funny about upstate New York? 

Answer: nothing.

That the lady at the diner near my Dad’s girl friend’s house called me honey while refilling my coffee that was sort of funny.   My Dad’s girl friend’s daughter Darcy DiBaise puts on an awesome dinner party (better than Dagmar and I ever could), that’s not funny.  She’s pretty funny and her five year old daughter Mia throws a mean left hook but the situation isn’t funny. 

Everyone makes really good home cooked food, not funny.  Everyone is super nice, also not funny.  

Everyone is FUCKING nice.   Aunts, uncles, cousins, spouses of cousins (cousins-in-law?) are all nice and further everyone is a lawyer, doctor or about to be elected president.  Shit what’s funny about that?  Also please don’t sue me.

Dagmar was not impressed

If there's ever a job for driving tractors up and down hills, I'm your man

My dad likes tractors, so much so that he bought one.   Well its farm country so what’s so funny about the fact that he bought, restored and uses a tractor in his retirement to plow snow, mow brush and tinker?  

It wasn’t a funny ride. 

So there you go.  Upstate New York, YOU’RE NOT FUNNY, in fact you’re a bit boring but I think you like it that way.  Hell, I think I like it that way.  

8-month-olds sit still for no camera, they're rebels like that.

8-month-olds sit still for no camera, they're rebels like that.

To top it off I had a great time , I met my nephew for the first time Edward Oliver and Dagmar immediately set off to kill Diane’s dog with rigorous death marches because she hates animals.

Maybe there’s a cow joke in here somewhere but Gary Larson I ain’t.

So basically I was stuck. Until yesterday when Dagmar came home from the gym and showed me this clip from the Today Show.

Please take the next six minutes and watch this clip.   I’m willing to risk your going away and not coming back because that clip is just the bizarre.

Okay, did you watch it?   If you’re at all like me right about now you’re thinking about suicide, gouging your eyes out our becoming Amish.   Basically, anything that will prevent that kind of news from entering your brain ever again you’re in favor of … amiright?

Jesus that's fucking retarded!

Jesus that's fucking retarded!

At about 1 minute in we get to look into Becky’s charming idea of fun freaking out older people with her fake baby.    Becky you’re going to give one of those women a heart attack with those shenanigans so knock it the hell off!    Also Becky I seriously suspect you should have your IQ tested and I’m fearful that you vote.    We know, that you know, it’s a doll and that makes it just that much fucking retarded. 

Then there’s Dori and Gary, who have their own goddamn real-life kids and grandkids by the way.   Gary.  Gary, Gary, Gary … Jesus man what happened to you?   You still have that penis right?   I mean okay I get it, she’s your wife and it’s worth it to you not to bitch about the dolls but don’t let her drag you to the convention for Christ’s sake.  What were you thinking sir?

Let’s take this quote from Fran Sullivan, who is SIXTY FUCKING TWO by the way.

“Children talk to their dolls, and they express their feelings toward their dolls,” she told Lauer. “And as a 40- or 50- or 60-year-old woman, you do the same thing. You’re still the same person you were when you were an 8-year-old.”

Maybe you’re the same person you were when you were 8 Fran?   Mentally it seems very likely you are the same as an 8-year-old but 60 year olds DO NOT TALK TO DOLLS AS IF THEY WERE REAL PEOPLE.   Fuck what’s next, a little show and tell with bobby in the janitor’s closet.

Did you catch old Becky and Karen about four minutes into the story? 

Oh boy! 

You know I’ve met Ann Curry.  She’s awesome, really nice, and friendly and I cannot understand how she kept herself from punching these two chicks back into reality.   I think she skipped part of the question she wanted to ask when she says “what made you want to have these dolls?”  I think she meant, “other than being bat-shit insane and obviously borderline retarded, what made you want to have these dolls?”

Not to call into question Ann’s professionalism but I think she missed a few questions.   Questions such as, this is all big joke to get on TV right?   Are both of you fucking kidding me?   Who let you into our studio?  I bet Katie Fucking Couric doesn’t have to do stupid shit like this and Are you all just really mad at your husbands and using these dolls as some sort of revenge?

When I first saw this I assumed it was an April Fools’ joke.  I was secretly hoping Mall Lauer would run in at the end of the segment and violently slay the dolls with a chainsaw or that Ann would, mid interview, reach over grab a doll and bite its head off. 

That, obviously and sadly, didn’t happen.

‘Merica … F’ Yeah! HOLY CRAP America its food, booze, anger and food — deep fried thoughts from Baltimore


You can put anything you want into the Chocolate Fountain ... food, drinking cups, fingers ... not your wiener though; I found that out the hard way.

You can put anything you want into the Chocolate Fountain ... food, drinking cups, fingers ... not your wiener though; I found that out the hard way.

Living in Europe for the past ten years might, just might skew your perspective on things.  Although I have had a few chances to come back, mainly for work, nothing beats visiting family – for showcasing how bat-shit whacky this place really is.   Coming back to the U.S. for work means, hotels, meetings and hotel bars, boring.  Coming to spend a week near Fells Point in Baltimore means distilled crazy, and I love it.    Next week we head to upstate New York where I hope there’s nothing more to make fun of than cows and well cooked food – Baltimore it ain’t.

Holy shit the news isn’t lying.    Has 33 percent of America spent the last ten years in a non-stop donut eating contest?  Fat jokes are easy to make, easier when you’re skinny sure, but easy none the less.   I can’t say I was shocked by the overall weight here but I was shocked when visiting, all you can shove down your food-hole franchise, the “Golden Corral.”  Having made the rookie mistake of ceding that night’s dinner choice to a 17-year-old (‘Let’s go to the Corral, they have a chocolate fountain’ – should have been a clue that bad decisions were afoot) we set our GPS to deep-fried mistakes and off we went.

I want to call the Golden Corral a war-zone but that is very disrespectful to war-torn cities across the world.   Gluttonous, filthy and all around ‘gross’ seem more appropriate descriptions but they lack the ‘holy fuck are you eating MORE’ eloquence I was hoping to convey.  

Fine, I’m being uptight prick, but dear lord the this plastic dinnerware, heaping plates of half eaten food and the micro layer of something best described as ‘sticky’ that covers every surface (including I think the food) made the meal interesting.   One wishes they had a sociologist friend alongside that could help define or at least attempt to explain the ravenous herds of people vying for a plates full of pan fried shrimp covered in turkey gravy (I’m only sort of kidding).     Sadly, I think I can explain it without the use of a doctorate.  American’s like to eat, they like to eat NOW and every dish can be made better by deep frying.

I confess I’m very used to being the drunkest person in situations where no one is drunk at all.   I think nothing of having a beer(s) at the airport bar at 9 a.m.   I have no issue navigating a check out line in Germany with a head full of beer.   Eyes forward, greet the check-out lady, hand her the cash, bag the purchase and get out.  It’s really quite simple.   

Here in Baltimore, I’m an amateur.  At 1 p.m. on a Tuesday while the girls shopped for groceries I ventured across the street to pick up a six pack of beer.   Beer, wine and liquor can only be purchased in liquor stores here for some reason.  I was going to spend some time making fun of America’s draconian laws regarding liquor until …

While the young lady behind the counter and I had a pleasant discussion about the location of Heineken I was accosted by what I’m sure is the drunkest person in the world.  First, after stumbling into the store in what I was sure was the start of some brilliant street comedy skit, she corrected my greeting the clerk, informing me (with breath that would kill a lesser man) that she was not to be referred to as “Ma’am” but as “Mom”.    The 50-something African American Mom could barely contained her look of disgust and I can’t blame her.   The drunken 30-something Caucasian lady would have been (correctly) drown at birth if “Mom” had her way.    Then the drunken lady notices I’m purchasing cigarettes and loudly, but in the drunk loudly-slurish way, asks that I provide her with a cigarette.   This, and it’s obviously testament to my lack of dealing with drunk skills, seems like a way to sever the conversation so that the clerk and I can continue our discussion of the weather.  Cigarette in hand my drunken entertainer then informs Mom that I’m also going to buy her a 40 ounce … I’m not making this up, a 40 ounce. 

I loved every fucking second.

Dear America.  For a country that seemingly has the automobile as a centerpiece of its culture you fuckers can’t drive.   No one, that includes you reading this right now, bothers to signal a lane change.   Everyone passes on the right and that’s because there’s always some shithead in the passing lane doing exactly the speed limit.   Any attempts to merge are seen as a direct threat to the other driver’s manhood, patriotism or sexual orientation.    In fact most every maneuver that doesn’t include driving forward at a constant speed is met with a string of profanity that has taught me several new swearing lessons.  For instance I did not know I was a “rat-shit bastard fuck stain”.

You Baltimore, you’re the guy; right there you’re the guy.

Point is, for a nation that literally forces you to drive to the bathroom, the ‘rule of the road’ seems to be, ‘fuck you, go around.’  Look Germans are funny for a lot of reasons, driving isn’t one of them.   There are, to be sure, asshole German drivers.  I cannot count the times I’ve been passing a truck on the autobahn only to discover mister, my penis is too small

Not a single f-bomb was thrown during this drive

Not a single f-bomb was thrown during this drive

so I bought a Porsche, ramming the hood of his car up my ass while vigorously flashing his light in an attempt to let me know that he would like to continue driving at a safe and reasonable 310 Kph and I should kindly complete my lane change.  But it really is the exception and not the rule.   When German’s merge lanes they use the zipper effect meaning that if you’re in the lane being merged into you let a car merge in front of you and the driver behind you does the same.    Generally it works out for all parties involved.

Not here.   In a quick and simple trip to the mall I watched at least 5 different drivers fly into spittle flying, fist shaking rages of self-righteousness all due to some dickhead that had the balls to (without signaling) pull in front of them.  You need to watch it fatty; you’re ticker’s already working overtime keeping the blood pumping around all that girth.

 Okay when the hell did fucking pajamas become acceptable attire anywhere outside the home?   Even the endangered slim and attractive American female seems to have embraced this crime against the eyes.   Pajama bottoms, baggy sweatshirt and flip-flops?   Sign me up for the ballet, I’m ready to go!   At the airport rental car counter there was one young lady, who was either pregnant or a typical American, whose choice of apparel that evening seemed to say, yes I am fat and here’s a direct look at my fat.  Yes sir, I’m keenly aware that my shirt does not only fail to cover my ample stomach but that it literally screams look at my fried-food educed blubber. 

I used to love, literally I would become giddy and start to giggle, to make fun of the American Forces Network.    I’ve devised hours and hours of ways I could make fun of their command information commercials espousing those of us overseas to be good neighbors, pick up after our dogs and to not rape women.

No more.

Here’s my apology AFN:  I’m truly sorry from the bottom of my heart American Forces Network.  You provide quality programming to those of us living overseas at little or no cost and your commercials are generally (if not comically) correct, raping women is bad, turn down your goddamn stereo and pick up your dog’s poop.

I mean it.   My step daughter has something called ‘on-demand’.   Which, with a simple push of a button, shows you every television show ever made, anywhere in the world, in any language and at any time. 

No, no honey go on without me, I've got to catchup on every damn show ever...

No, no honey go on without me, I've got to catchup on every damn show ever...

Look, I know I can come off as a prick and saying things like “I don’t watch TV” makes it worse but fuck, I think I understand why America is fat (aside from deep-fried everything).   America is fat because holy fuck there’s ANOTHER show I want to watch and it’s on right fucking now.   Such wonderful television adventures as ‘Mob Wives’ ( what’s wrong with that woman’s mouth) to every single ‘I want to be famous show’ is available whenever you want.  No waiting until next week, no waiting until its 7 p.m.    It’s on right fucking now so grab that extra large bag (available at Walmart) of chocolate flavored Doritos and have a seat.

Sure making fun of one’s country is fun but man did I forget some of the good stuff.   America is convenient.  Anything you want, at anytime you want it is available with minimal effort.     I was informed at a clothing store that if they didn’t have the size of jeans I needed they would happily deliver them to my house.    They would literally call the other stores until they found the size jeans I needed and then DELIVER them to my house while I ate Doritos watching Tosh.o reruns using ‘On Demand’.  If you decide you need a chainsaw, lubricant and a blow up doll at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday (and who hasn’t)  you can get it here, no questions asked with minimal effort.  

While dinner at a restaurant in Italy can, and typically does, take four or more hours German is not much different.   Waiter service isn’t bad it just not speedy.    Here my beer is barely drained before the server is sloshing down another frothy cold one and asking what else I might desire.  Service is beyond good, the scientists studying the hadron collider should look to American restaurant staff member if they’d like a better understanding of how objects react at or near the speed of light.