Sunday, June 23, 2013

Louis XIV, Little Skeezers, and Hand Pad Soup

     This past week and weekend have been full of some serious Summer fun, and I get the sense that these are the times I'm going to remember when I'm in the Uber Dad retirement home, and these are the stories I'm gonna tell my fellow retirees at "Shady Acres" home one day.  I hope that my lovely children don't put me into a home, but I have to say that some of these places look like an all-inclusive resort.  Regardless, these stories hold a special place in my heart.  The laughs are real and heartfelt.  My only hope is that the true joy that I experienced living these moments comes across well in constructing this blog.  I'm pretty good at verbal communication, and telling stories.  I write sort of like I talk, and I hope it comes across that way. One of my standard lines is, "You think you can out talk me, yea I bet.  Cause I ain't met nobody that can do that yet!"  Ok, I borrowed a little from LL Cool J there, but it's a true statement.  Here goes stories about Louis XIV, Little Skeezers, and Hand Pad Soup.
     This weekend on one of our journeys I saw a tricked out Trans-Am that was just totally awesome.  I told Cheryl, "When it comes time to buy a new vehicle, if I get one of those I would actually pass on buying a pick up truck."  My lovely educated wife Dr. Cheryl tells me, "That would be an Ostentatious Display."  Big words once intimidated me, but since I have come into my own with this higher education thing I relish these "big word" moments.  I don't always use these words correctly or pronounce them right, but I'll use one of those big words in a heartbeat.  The word "Ostentatious" struck a cord with me, because I heard it used recently to describe Louis XIV and his "Sun King" aesthetic.  So I shot it right back at the good doctor and said, "My Trans-Am could be my Ostentatious display of power and wealth similar to that of Louis XIV and the Palace at Versailles."  Cheryl looks at me and says, "You're not Louis the XIV and you're neither powerful nor wealthy."  She does have a point.  I'm the guy that used Dora the Explorer underwear, "Accidentally", as a handkerchief.  In my defense, the two items were very similar in texture and material.  I still like to consider myself as an "Enlightened Despot" in the mold of Louis XIV.  Enlightened possibly but Despot is the hard one to convince my subjects of, but I'm working on it.
     We had the opportunity to eat some of the best popsicles I have ever eaten this weekend.  Steel CIty Pops in Homewood is freaking awesome, and I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't been there.  I wondered what in the heck I had gotten into when I paid $11 for 4 popsicles, but after one bite I knew what was up.  The "Watermelon" is the bomb, by the way.  While we were eating our popsicles my sole male heir, the young man who will inherit my vast empire, Jesse, says out of the blue, "I'm really glad that they got a drive thru at Little Skeezers."  This was a slip of the lip by my son, but to hear him say it made me laugh out loud.  It brought back many references that I remember about Skeezers in the 1980s.  Urban Dictionary defines a Skeezer as "Slang for a Woman with low morals and could also have poor hygiene."  I never knew about the hygiene part, and I'm really glad about that.  You see what you can learn with today's technology...Amazing.  The Skeezers seem like they've gotten a bad rap, and I'm surprised there is not a group out there seeking fair treatment for "Skeezers."  Everyone is mistreated these days, and political correctness has reached ridiculous levels, so why not "People for the ethical treatment of Skeezers."  Anyway, I'm not going to talk about Skeezers anymore, even if I really like saying the word.  Just picture a ten year old in your back seat saying, "Little Skeezers" and try not to smile or laugh.  I guess you had to be there.
     Finally, the past week I had a chance to get out really early one morning and spray some weed killer around the "Perry Compound", and I sat on the grass while performing this action.  This was one of those times that a feeling brought back a flood of memories.  My rear end got wet when I sat down, and it reminded me of two a days back in the good old days of August football practice.  The first morning practice always brought a wet back side when you sat down to stretch.  I hated that moment back then, but I would love to be able to do it now.  The other thing I thought of was three words.  Three words that if you have ever played football, especially if you were a lineman have deep meaning.    Those three words could bring fear if you had a water break after those linemen, or sheer joy after a long session of "blocking drills."  The three words are "Hand Pad Soup."  Yes, I can see it now, an old blue drum cut in half (that was probably used to hold chemicals or something) filled with ice and water.  I'll give you a little info on the life of a high school football offensive/defensive lineman.  Hand pads were worn by many linemen and were rarely washed, contained sweat, grass, blood, and debris of all kinds.  These hand pads were not removed before being dipped into the "Nectar of the Gods" cold water in that drum.  Water breaks were not as common back in the day as they are now, and when you got one you felt extremely fortunate.  If the linemen had a water break before those sissy skill players, (Backs and Receivers) then the water was full of grass, blood, sweat, tears, and whatever else was on those pads.  I take back the above "Sissy" comment, because I've been trucked by some pretty good running backs before and I was a tight end so I did work with the receivers from time to time.  It all boils down to this, you were glad to get that hand pad soup, and boy did it taste good!  The only ones complaining about it weren't working hard enough anyway.  I really miss playing football, can you tell.  I would recommend "Hand Pad Soup" to anyone who would like to try it.  Now, you have to work your butt off to dang near exhaustion to acquire a taste for it, but its an experience.  I think I'm gonna write that "Bizarre Foods" guy, and tell him about it.  It's a delicacy.
     Well that's all for now, but there is a whole lot of Summer left and I can't wait to get out there and get after it.  Summer is a sweet time of year that is full of memories of all kinds, and I for one cannot get enough.  In the immortal words of that great American Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't slow down and look around, you might miss it."