The Man Cave

The Man Cave
Jack's Man Cave (Click on the photo to enter the Cave)
Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Family Intervenes to Make Man Stop Delaying Stool Sample Test

"Family Intervenes to Make Man Stop Delaying Stool Sample Test"


 Chula Vista Times

A wife's pain

A wife and children held an "intervention" last week to convince a 52-year-old husband and father to mail in the colon cancer test sent to him two years ago on his 50th Birthday.  Family and friends do not understand George Clooney's (real name withheld) refusal to move.

"I tried a professional intervention-type person," said wife Trixie (not real name). "But the assh*** kept laughing and making jokes like 'that's not really what I doo.'  'Real funny,' I said, then hung up."

Swirl of emotions

Family and friends had mixed emotions when they found out the reason for the gathering held last Friday at the family home.

"They wouldn't tell us what it was about, so when I dropped by the house and plopped on the couch I was ready to talk about almost anything.  There's about four or five different issues he's got way bigger than this.  This whole stool thing just snuck up on me.  I never saw it coming," said Mikey, Trixie's brother.

Mother-in-law "Judes" (not real name) was actually "relieved."

"When I found out what it was about, I said 'you've got to be sh**ting me,'" said the registered nurse and former Rockette.

Sons smell desperation

Speaking with Clooney's two high-schooled aged sons, they expressed frustration at the logjam and father's refusal to budge. 

"It's pretty sad.  Dad's stared at the envelope on his desk for two whole years without pulling the trigger. It embarrasses me.  He taught me everything I know about . . . I used to look up to him when it came to things like this," said Son #1 (name withheld for privacy).

"He's always telling us what we should be doing . . . like 'go read a book' or 'you should brush your teeth more often.'  I say, 'Well, you should go do your poo test.'  That always shuts him right up and gets him off my back," said Son #2.

Stool test envelope, probably stale

Friends tapping toes, gnashing teeth

Family friends said they could only wait so long.

"I squared up to him and said it was time to 'sh** or get off the pot,'" said friend Phil McCracken (not real name). "I said 'be a man, you got a lot of people depending on you around here.' Depends, get it?" (Laughing).

"I told the family, don't let him watch the Super Bowl unless he does the test, y'know.  It's like 'hop on the bowl, or no Bowl,'" said family friend Seymour Butts (not real name).

The family says George spends hours in the bathroom sitting playing his guitar anyway, so they never understood the reluctance to take the potentially life-saving stool sample.

"I've heard him in there squeezing out all of Side 2 of 'Dark Side of the Moon. ' Badly mind you, but without even a break between songs," said Trixie.  "This should be right up his alley."

Signs of softening

Speaking to George Clooney directly, we tried to get the straight poop.

"I just couldn't be arsed about it," said Clooney (not his real name).  "Every day, I  said to myself, 'let's push it to tomorrow.'  Something unexpected always popped up, like the whole COVID-19 thing, then the Tiger King show, and Bitcoin. I didn't want to hold up any of the mail-in ballots either. When the Padres lost in the playoffs, I got really down in the dumps." 

The family compromised and told Clooney they'll be looking for the stool to be in the mail by the end of the week, or he cannot pick squares on their Super Bowl Bingo craps table. 

© Jack Clune 2021

Monday, January 18, 2021

Slippers Review on Amazon

Dear Amazon

I am disappointed my new Sorel bedroom slippers already smell this bad, only a few weeks after Christmas.  My wife bought them for me, and the fleece lining was so comfortable, I did not want to wear socks with them.  I knew something was wrong after about three days of wearing them.  One night, I was practicing a song on my guitar ("Carefree Highway") when I got an itch on my foot, so slipped one of the slippers off my foot partially to scratch it.  That's when I got a whiff.  It was pretty bad, so I figured I better air these things out for one night. I took them off, took a shower, and figured everything would be okay the next morning. I should have known there was a problem when I got out of the shower, and the dog was sitting next to them.  He only comes in my room and sits there when I order the Salt and Pepper chicken wings from the Chinese restaurant across from Southwestern College. Anyway the other night I was in a rush to get up to bed because my wife and I  were going to watch the Tiger Woods special - the documentary about how he cheated and his wife beat him with a golf club. I took the slippers off and climbed into bed  I somehow knew to let my feet air out first before I put them under the covers.  Good thing

"Wait a second.  What the hell is that God-awful smell?" asked my wife Tracy. Yes, it was my feet.  I had to admit it."Oh my God!  Get your feet and those slippers out of this room right now!" I had to go downstairs and take another, unplanned shower.  When I got out of the shower I had a text message. "Your feet left a horrible smell on the bedspread.  You're disgusting."  That text was from my wife. I went upstairs and I did not smell anything that bad, so I think she was exaggerating. But none of this is what I expected.   I've researched on YouTube "How to Clean Your Ugg Boots."  I thought I was just going to be able to throw them in the washing machine.  Like I did with my five-year-old purple Adidas sneakers- they look brand new now. No, instead I have to buy some fancy Ugg Boot cleaning kit.  This is far too much work, and I feel embarrassed to ask Tracy to do it.

I guess I'm just saying that there should be a warning label on the box- "Don't wear these slippers more than three days in a row, without a break," or "Slippers May Stink if you Don't Wear Socks."  It's just a bummer.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Only People Who Like My New Car Are Men Who Own Car Washes

The Only People Who Like My New Car Are Men Who Own Car Washes

Women don’t find my car sexy

Photo by Grahame Jenkins on Unsplash

I’ve leased the same car for nine years in a row

I’ve leased the same strange, niche model of BMW for three times in a row, amounting to nearly nine years with the same car. I have to get the identical car all the time because it perfectly suits my need to put surfboards in it on the two or three occasions per year now I actually go surfing.

I don’t like to put my precious surfboards on a roof rack because I do not want them to get stolen. These surfboards are not the foam boards from Costco. These are McCoy surfboards from Australia, and they are works of art. Never mind that I’m so fat now, the boards can hardly float when I’m sitting on them.

                                   The Author

The model car I get is called a 335i GT, and the “GT” stands for "Grand Turismo." The car is basically a 3 Series BMW, stretched out and plumped up into a hatchback, for more storage than a standard 3 Series sedan.

In exchange for losing the world-class sportiness and agility of a standard 3 Series, the GT has incredible storage space when you put the back seats down. The GT drives more like a truck on rails, and you sit much higher on the road than the standard 3 Series “Saloon” (fancy word for a car with a fixed back seat and trunk).

It’s not a sedan, or a wagon, or an SUV

In America, we have a stigma against station wagons, so BMW built the car to suit a niche market that I fall into. The Germans stretched out the chassis on the car, to make it longer and roomier.

The chassis is referred to as the “Chinese chassis” because, supposedly, in China, the people like all their cars stretched out with big back seats, so they feel like they are riding in limousines.

I like that concept too- the huge back seat. The backseat in my 335 GT feels even more roomy and luxurious than a 5 Series BMW, and, on the BMW blogs, it is more often compared to the enormous 7 Series back seat. Now, whenever I drive any other car, I feel like the rear seat passengers are sitting on my shoulders.

Europeans, and American car magazine writers, however, love station wagons. They make fun of my GT as being an ugly “Frankenstein” car, for stupid people who aren’t smart enough to like station wagons. The magazines and the blogs laugh at how supposedly unagile and awkward looking the 335 GT looks compared to a wagon.

Crusty old Douchebags (with a capital ‘D”) who have driven BMW’s for decades make fun of my 335 GT and say that the model is an insult to the BMW brand (“rondel” in the trade- meaning the emblem on the hood of the car). These bastards are all wrong, of course, and I am right, and I love the car.

BMW, unfortunately, must have listened to all those cretins, because in 2019, they decided to discontinue the car. So now I have to decide whether to keep mine at the end of my lease.

I may become that guy you see driving a SAAB from 1983. The SAAB that’s out of alignment, going sideways down the road, with the leather bra on the hood, the bent antennae, and the Supertramp bumper sticker.

. . .

I had to upgrade my car when I switched from being an insurance defense attorney to a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney

I used to drive a Mazda Protégé wagon that fit my surfboards just fine. I didn’t mind getting sand in the Mazda, or when the surfboard wax melted on the carpet in the back or on the back seats. The Mazda Protégé was my real “surf wagon.” The trusty ‘ol Protégé suited my job too.

Insurance companies don’t want to see the attorneys working for them driving fancy cars or wearing nice suits. The insurance claims adjusters report back to headquarters, “Hey, Clune seems to be living high on the hog.” Then you get the call from the CEO telling you to cut your fees or they’ll move the account to a cheaper law firm.

All of that changed when I switched to the other side to do exclusively plaintiff’s personal injury cases.

. . .

When you’re a plaintiff’s attorney, the clients want to see you have a nice car

Nearly fifteen years ago, I switched away from defending insurance companies to exclusively representing people injured in accidents, making claims against the insurance companies.

One day, I got a call from a man injured very badly when he fell in a poorly lit area outside a business. Both his arms were broken- so before you make any smart-ass remarks, this was no “Brady Bunch” episode about a fake neck injury. This man was very seriously hurt, and missing time from a high paying job, with his benefits running out.

On the way to the man’s house in my Mazda Protégé that evening, I was nervous and excited to sign up one of my first personal injury cases. I pulled up to the stately mansion in the fancy Banker’s Hill neighborhood. The city skyline lights of San Diego twinkled in the background. I saw a curtain draw back, and two men were staring outside at me as I approached the front door.

Photo by Ján Jakub Naništa on Unsplash

The potential client and his older husband looked me over in the foyer.

“What kind of car is that you drive?” asked the older man, dressed in a silk evening jacket.

“Excuse me?” I said.

“What kind of car is that?” he asked again.

“Um, it’s a Mazda Protégé,” I said. “Limited Edition, with the rubber floor mats.”

“A what?” asked the younger man, whose arms were in two casts, popping out from his silk robe.

“A Mazda Protégé. Silver.” I said.

“I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of that kind of car,” said the older gentleman, with a mildly disgusted expression.

“It’s sort of a hatchback. A sporty hatchback. It’s really good for my surfboards.”

“Oh, . . . “ the older gentleman said with a withering eye roll and a side glance at the younger gentleman.

They signed up with me, but I felt like I was on my heels the whole time. I knew I needed to get a nicer car.

. . .

When I decided to get the BMW GT, my wife Tracy was unusually supportive even though it was expensive

“Yes, that’s a perfect car for you,” said Tracy, lying in bed.

I was leaning over, showing her the YouTube video on my phone. The car reviewer was explaining that even though lots of people thought the BMW 3 GT was ugly, the car had amazing storage room and was fun to drive.

Something seemed off.

“I’m not going to lie, the monthly payments are going to be way more than the Protégé,” I admitted.

“Well, you’re a plaintiff’s attorney now. You said the clients want to see you drive a nice car — otherwise they think you’re not successful,” said Tracy, turning up the T.V. volume way too loud.

It’s true. I had said that. But now that Tracy was saying it back to me, I didn’t like it. Or I was suspicious, I should say.

“And plus, you’ll be able to fit all your crap in it. When you go to the beach.” Tracy said, over the T.V.

I turned back to my side of the bed. I could not believe how easy it was to convince Tracy I needed to upgrade my car.

“Now Shhh! This is the Housewives Reunion Finale. No talking! This is important. I need to hear this.” said Tracy.

. . .

It’s a very niche audience who likes my car

On a former friend’s advice, I used a car broker to help me lease the BMW GT the first two times. That’s a story for another day, though. Sadly, the story ends with my broker declaring in a very public place that he wished I go blind and develop low testosterone. I thought that curse was very Old Testament, and way too extreme of him.

The first few weeks driving the BMW GT, I got a couple of compliments- but far fewer than I expected, quite frankly.

“She’s a beauty!” came a gruff voice from behind me.

I was at the car wash, leaning in to grab the three or four straw wrappers off the passenger seat before I turned the keys over to the guy to vacuum the interior. I turned to face a gentleman who looked very much like Yassir Arafat.

“That’s the one with the big back seat- eh?” said the gentleman.

“Yeah. Yes sir,” I said.

“Very nice, very nice. We don’t get many of those here,” he said, making clear to me he owned the car wash and mini-mart.

“BMW’s, yes! Hatchbacks, no!” he said, laughing uproariously.
. . .

A few weeks later, I was pumping gas. Again, a male voice came from the distance behind me.

“Is that one of those new hatchback ones?!” said the voice.

I turned to look, and it was a guy who looked sort of like Brett Favre. He was in a work uniform, coming from a tanker trunk, which said “Danger! Explosive Contents Under Pressure! Stay Back!” on an odd-shaped storage tank.

“I ain’t seen one of these in person yet,” he said, wiping his hands with a small towel as he approached.

“Yes sir. It’s the ‘GT’,” I answered.

“You mind poppin’ the hatch for me to see?” he asked.

I proudly pushed the button on the key remote, and the hatch opened smoothly.

“Oh yeah, look. It’s got plenty of room!” he said. “Plenty of room.”

“Yep,” I said.

“And you know what?” he asked, putting a piece of gum in his mouth.

“What?” I responded.

“It’s not half as ugly as they said it was either.”

. . .

The day my whole world came crumbling down

Around the time I leased my first new BMW, a colleague of mine leased a new car too, so he called me to come and see it. Michael got a Jaguar, one of the real sleek, sporty two-seaters, and he was eager to show it off.

“I’m here, where are you?” I asked Mike, talking to him on my cell phone as I got to the office building downtown.

“I’m in the parking garage, coming up through the gate now,” he said.

Sure enough, there was Michael, rolling up the ramp to the street in a silver Jaguar that looked more like an Aston Martin “supercar.” The car was sleek and elegant, but like its namesake, it looked like a predatory animal. It really did look like a Jaguar on its haunches, doing that scary stalking thing that a cat does before it explodes off running to catch its prey.

Mike is about ten years younger than me. He’s a bachelor, and he’s about six feet two inches tall, dark-haired and handsome. Mike speaks with a syrupy Texas drawl, kinda like Matthew McConaughey.

Mike pulled the car up to street level, then he opened the driver’s side door and stepped out, dressed to the nines in his lawyer suit. I could not believe he even fit in the low slung car. The overall impression Mike gave made me think of just two words. Tom Brady.

“Why are you getting out of the car?” I asked.

“You wanna drive?” he said, smiling.

“No, I’ll ride shotgun. I want you to show me what this thing can do.” I said, teasing.

I scooted around the front of the car and got in the passenger seat.

. . . 

My God, this is such a tight squeeze, I thought.

I can barely fit. And the center console is so big and bulky. I can’t even get my left arm all the way up on it. I feel like I’m in a race car. I’m glad I don’t have this car! It’s uncomfortable! And I feel so low to the ground. Whew, Thank God! Thank God I didn’t buy a car like this! If I were in my car, I’d run right over the top of this thing.

Mike made a quick right turn onto a busy downtown surface street, then he accelerated fast through the first green light.

“Wow, great acceleration, this is awesome! It’s like the Batmobile!” I said, feigning enthusiasm, but really secretly happy that I liked my car better.

“What kind of wood is this?” I asked, running my finger along the lacquered wood trim on the dashboard.

“Dude, hold on a second,” said Mike. “Check this out.”

As we pulled up to a stoplight, three young women in office attire were standing on the right-hand corner, seemingly on their way to lunch. 

 “Watch what happens here,” said Mike.

The women gradually took notice of the car. Soon all three were all staring directly at us inside the car. One of the women lowered her sunglasses and made eye contact with Mike.

“Dude, what the hell is going on?” I said through my gritted teeth.

“Yeah, funny isn’t it,” said Mike. “This car’s a babe magnet.”

One of the other girls bent down to look past me and get a better look at Mike.

The light turned green, and Mike peeled out, chuckling and looking in the rearview mirror, smiling.

I looked in the side-view mirror and saw the women all turn to each other and start talking. About Mike, no doubt.

“Awesome, isn’t it?” said Mike.

. . .

At the next light, a car pulled beside us on the driver’s side. Two middle-aged African American women were in the car, and the passenger rolled down her window.

“Hey there! That’s a very nice car you have!” shouted the woman.

Mike pushed the button, and the automatic window rolled down smoothly. The driver of the other car waved at him from behind the passenger.

“Thanks! You ladies havin’ a nice day?” said Mike, with his smooth, goddamn Huckleberry Hound voice.

“We sure are. Did you just get this beautiful car?” the passenger asked Mike.

“Oh, I’ve had it for a little while now. You know, I’m just being lazy with putting the license plate on.”

“Well, that car looks really, really fine on you,” said the passenger, batting her eyelids.

I found myself blushing behind Mike.

“Wow! That’s very kind of you to say,” said Mike. “Well, the light’s green. Sorry to have to say goodbye, ladies!’ said Mike, as he slowly pulled into the intersection.

I thought I saw the passenger blow Mike a kiss, but I might have imagined it.

. . .

I was in complete shock. I felt like the curtain was ripped open to a secret new world I never knew about, or like someone had slipped me a tab of L.S.D. Not that I’ve ever taken L.S.D- but I have seen Yellow Submarine.

“Dude. Does this happen everywhere you go?” I asked.

“Yeah, it’s kinda nutty- huh?” said Mike. “I call this car the ‘Panty Dropper,’” he said, looking over at me smiling in his aviator glasses.

I don’t have any nickname for my car. It never occurred to me to give my car a nickname. What would I even call my car?

‘Bubble Butt?’ ‘The Pack Mule? ‘ ‘Daddy’s Home? ‘ ‘The Surfboard Stuffer?’

“How much is the lease on this car?” I asked Mike.

It was about $150 less per month than my car.

Now I’m pissed.

. . .

Confronting Tracy to get to the truth

“Tell me again why you think my car is so good for me?” I asked Tracy, in the kitchen.

Tracy was opening the mail, not paying attention to me. Finally, my question registered in her brain.

“You can fit all of your crap in it,” she said, distracted by whatever bill she was looking at.

‘Yeah, and what else?” I asked.

“Well, I don’t know, your car is just like you. It suits you perfectly,” she said, opening another envelope.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked.

“You know, it’s kind of oblong and chubby. You can shove a lot of crap in it, but it still looks presentable. You know, like when you put on a nice suit and go to court.”

“You just wanted me to buy that car because it’s not sexy!” I screamed.

“What?” says Tracy, looking up at me now.

“The only people who like my car are middle-aged Middle Eastern men!” I shouted.

“What are you talking about? Are you insane?” asked Tracy.

“Nobody compliments me on my car! Nobody except car wash owners!”

“You’ve seriously lost your mind!” said Tracy, now yelling back at me.

“Do you think my car is sexy?!” I screamed.

“What do you need a sexy car for?” Tracy yelled, now standing and folding her arms across her chest.

That’s when I was especially glad I hadn’t told Tracy that Mike called his car the “Panty Dropper.”

“That’s not the point. Don’t turn this around on me! Just answer my question, is my car sexy?!”

“No, it’s not sexy. Of course it’s not! It’s not sexy at all,” Tracy admitted.

“Ah ha! That’s why you encouraged me to buy it isn’t it?!” I asked, indignantly.

“What the hell is wrong with you? You bought that car to shove your dumb surfboards in it. The ones you use once a year!” said Tracy.

“Well, maybe I wanted a sexy car too! Did you ever think about that- huh? Do you realize how expensive the lease is on that car out in the driveway?” I yelled.

“Buy whatever car you want, what do I care? You buffoon!” shouted Tracy.

“Well, maybe I will next time!” I said.

“Good! ’Cause my lease is coming up in two months, and I’m definitely buying whatever car I want!” said Tracy, leaning into me and staring me straight in the eye.

Oh, God. I thought to myself. Oh, God, no. What sort of trap did I just walk into here?

“And my car’s gonna be real sexy! Real, real sexy. In fact, I’m thinking about getting a Maserati!”

Oh shit! Oh, God. Oh please, God, no. No!

“And guess what?!” said Tracy.

“What?” I asked timidly.

"I’m gonna nickname my car the 'Pole Position!' said Tracy with a wide grin.

Copyright © 2020 Jack Clune

Friday, August 14, 2020

I Need To Be Rescued From My Rescue Dog

I Need To Be Rescued From My Rescue Dog

And my family thinks it's funny



My wife rescued a cute female boxer

My wife rescued a boxer about a year ago. She’s a cute black boxer, whose name was “Princess” when we got her, but we changed her name to “Perseus.” We call her “Perse” for short. Tracy thought our other male boxer Atticus needed company.

Perseus does not like men. She must have been abused by males. Perse is about six-years-old. When we first got her, she was a real scaredy-cat, wincing and running away at the slightest sounds or movements. Mostly my sounds and movements. Perse clung to my wife Tracy like one of those protective dragons on Game of Thrones. Tracy could do no wrong.

When Tracy picked Perse up, the woman who rescues boxers told her,

“She doesn’t like men, and she’s real protective of me.” The Boxer Lady added, “Princess still growls at my husband.”

Perse really doesn’t like certain men. Like me.

Tracy brought Perse home, and our two sons fawned over her because she has a really cute, human-like face, with human expressions. You can always tell what Perse is thinking.

My sons are males. But Perse never barked at them.

But every time Perse sees me in the morning, she begins growling and barking. When we first got her, Perse would stand by the side of the bed where I was sleeping, and growl at me, waking me up. Waking me up to a new day. With her growling.

That kinda set the tone for a lot of my days. As a personal injury lawyer, I am confronted with lots of fake growling and barking all day long, on the phone, and in-person in court and at depositions. But this real growling and barking actually kinda disturbed me. It got to me, and I felt like an unwelcome stranger in my own home. My sons loved it.

As time went on

As time went on, Perse wouldn’t wake me but waited to growl and bark at me when she got downstairs with my wife.

As soon as my feet hit the hardwood floor, the growling would begin downstairs. Then I would mope down the stairs, with Perse growling and barking at me like Cujo. That went on for nine months. Every single day.

My rat fink sons still laugh when Perse growls and barks at me. They think it’s funny. I hear them laughing in their bedrooms. Or if they’re already at the breakfast table, they laugh and point at me while the dog barks.

I don’t try hard enough

Tracy would explain.

“You just don’t try hard enough. You need to get down on your hands and knees. Get down to Perse’s level and show her you’re a good person.”

I’m in the kitchen, and I have my back turned at this point, just trying to get a cup of coffee. Perse is growling ferociously, and now our other boxer, Atticus, gets in on the action because . . . why let Perse have all the fun.

Now the two dogs are leaping in the air and growling and barking at me, like the Dobermans in Magnum PI.

And I’m a “bad person” too

“Dogs know!” Tracy shouts.

Oh God no. Not the “Dogs and babies know” speech. Please God, no. Not the speech!

“Dogs and babies know! They know when a person is bad. They can sense it. They’re always right!” says Tracy.

The boys are laughing hysterically now.

“Yeah, Dad, you’re bad,” says Son #1, laughing his ass off.

My sons are traitors or no goddamn help at all

I look at Son #1 with a complete sense of betrayal on my face. Now I am bent over, with both my hands out defensively, with coffee spilling over the rim of the cup, as I try to back out of the kitchen, towards my man cave.

“It’s not an angry bark. See, Perse’s wagging her tail!” explains Tracy. Just like Tracy has explained it the last 225 days in a row.

Perse is now crouched, and the hair on her back is standing on end.

“You don’t try hard enough. It’s your fault,” says Tracy. “Don’t be such a . . . such a buffoon!”

Now that’s an interesting concept. Because several times, towards the end of the day, I’ve sat with Perse on my lap, and I’ve petted her gently. But every morning is like Ground Hog’s Day.

“Dad, I think Perse has Alzheimer’s disease,” said Son #2 while we were sitting in the jacuzzi one day. “I don’t think she has all her marbles in her head.”

“I think you’re right, son,” I said.

Perse is a bad influence on Atticus

Back to the kitchen. I continue to back away, like Odysseus retreating away from two, er, Cerberus — es.

When I think the time is right, I turn and do my Olympic “fast walk” for the man cave door.

Atticus stays after me.

“Atticus, you old fool, quit acting like Perse!” I yell, trying to get a laugh from the sadists in the other room. “Perse, look what a bad influence you are!”

That’s when Atticus jumped up and bit my ass right through my Adidas dri-Fit running shorts, and made me throw my coffee up in the air against the ceiling.

The tips of his upper and bottom incisors touch one another, through the soft creamy flesh of my ass cheek.

"Jesus Christ! Ouch. Owwwwwww!”

Big laughs in the other room.

“Is he wagging his tail?!” I scream.

© Copyright 2020 Jack Clune 

Friday, July 31, 2020

No, I Was Not at Arby's Today. The Agony of Identity Theft

No, I Was Not at Arby's Today. The Agony of Identity Theft

It shouldn't be that big a deal to let everyone know I have a new debit card


It’s 4:15 pm Friday afternoon . . .

“You see that somebody just tried to charge $6.95 at Arby’s this afternoon?” shouts my wife from the kitchen. She is looking at our online banking on her laptop.

“No! Really?” I ask.

“Were you at Arby’s?” she asks.

“No. I’ve been here all day. With you.” I say.

“Oh god, and look, here’s a charge at Walmart. For $12.32. Did you go to Walmart?” she asks, coming into the man cave.

“No Dear. I’ve been here all day. See what I’m wearing here? I haven’t left the house,” I say standing up at my desk. I’m wearing an ill-fitting dri-fit Adidas running shirt, Adidas shorts, with Adidas socks pulled up to my knees and bedroom slippers.

“Are you sure you didn’t go to Arby’s?” she asks again.

I take a deep breath.

“Tracy. I’ve been sitting here all day. Working on all my cases, writing my memoir and my Medium articles. And I never go to Arby’s. I go to Foster’s Freeze. But I never go to Arby’s,” I say.

“You need to call the bank and tell them there’s fraudulent charges,” my wife says.

“Yes. I know that now,” I say.

“You need to call right away. Because they’re obviously on a spending spree.”

“Yes, Dear. See my fingers here? I’m dialing the bank. My fingers are dialing the bank right now” I say, lifting my phone up, and pointing at it.

“You must have screwed up. You must have let somebody have your PIN,” she says.

“No, Dear. I did not give anyone my PIN. I’m careful with my PIN.” I say.

“Well, how did they get your PIN? This happens all the time with you,” she says.

It’s kind of true. It does seem to happen to me every six months.

“It’s not my fault. There’s a dark web. With teen hackers in Russia. I saw it on ‘Crime Watch Daily’.”

“Well, it never happens to me,” she says.

“Dear. I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s the criminals’ fault. It’s not my fault, Dear,” I say.

“Remember that time you yelled your PIN out, inside the Target?” she asks.

“That’s because the cashier asked me for it. That was five years ago. And you were making me nervous standing there,” I say.

“You need to call the bank right away,” she says, going back to the kitchen. I hear her mutter “buffoon” under her breath.

. . .

I call the bank. The nice lady on the phone says:

“Yes, we had flagged those charges, and we were getting ready to call you,” she says.

“Can I ask you a question?” I say. “Where was the Arby’s?”

“The Arby’s was in West Covina California, and the Walmart was in Azusa, California. Were you at any of those places?”

“No. I’m in San Diego. You should see what I’m wearing.”

“Okay, well I’m canceling your debit card and sending you a new one. Please destroy your old card. The new card will arrive in 7 to 10 days.”

. . .

I feel proud of myself for calling the bank, so I head to the kitchen for a snack.

“This is going to screw everything up,” says my wife. “All the automatic payments are tied to that card.”

“Oh, well. You know, it won’t be that big a deal. We’ll just have to report the new card number when we get it,” I say.

I start putting the little cocktail hot dogs on a baking sheet and get the oven going.

My wife turns and looks at me. She shakes her head. Then puts her hand over her eyes, looks down, and exhales deeply. “No big deal he says,” my wife mutters, putting her head down on the counter. Then she says:

“I don’t know how you’re such a successful trial attorney. How can the juries take you seriously?”

That one hurts.

My two sons come down the stairs and have the nerve to shake their heads at me. Like this is all my fault.

. . .

I’ve got 22 minutes until the mini hot dogs are ready.

I get back to the man cave and look at my computer screen. There’s a bunch of new emails.

Here’s one from Dropbox.

URGENT. Payment Failure: We just tried to process you’re Semi-Annual fee but were unsuccessful. Today was the day it was due. If we do not receive payment, all of your lawyer stuff will be deleted quickly. We’ll make sure you can’t get your pdf files back either.
Don’t plan on working from home anymore. Plan on moving all the file boxes into Tracy’s new home gym area.

Here’s one from AT&T.

Your AT&T scheduled payment . . . . FAILED. All of your cell phones will be shut off. Soon.
We’re going to shut your wife’s phone off too. She will have to get a new phone number too, and not be able to use the one she’s always had since the early 90’s when “Friends” was on.

Suddenly, the Doobie Brothers song “Minute by Minute” stops playing on my computer. A prompt pops up on my Sonos app.


“Oh my god!” I say aloud. “No!”

There’s a voicemail on my phone too? I put my Bluetooth earpiece in, and listen to the message. It’s a computerized voice, like Siri.

This is Umbilical Cords Plus. Your payment FAILED. You have 24 hours, holidays and weekends included to update your card on file, or we will throw the two cords out.
Friday is trash day around here. The cords have been laying around here for 14 and 15 years. That would be a damn shame. 

© Copyright 2020 Jack Clune

Thursday, July 23, 2020

3 Things My Wife and I Do That Drives the Other Insane

3 Things My Wife and I Do That Drives the Other Insane

Pantomimes, doggy bowls, and tile plagiarism


I'll be the first to admit it. I do a thousand things that drive my wife nuts. I should probably be put in an insane asylum for some of my daily failures of basic human hygiene and dignity.

That's not what this article is about, though. This article is more light and airy, and about the more idiosyncratic things that she and I do, that drive each other insane.

My wife and I have known each other for over twenty years now, and we've been married for nearly fifteen. Let's just get down to it, shall we?

Things I Do

1. Asking for the bill at a restaurant

When I need to get the waiter's attention to get the bill, I use my beloved grandfather's time-honored method:

I wave my hand until I make eye-contact with the waiter, then I use my one hand like I'm writing with a pen, and I hold the other hand flat like it's the bill I'm signing.

When I did this on our first date, I looked over at my wife and her eyes were bulging out of her head.

"Did you just seriously act like you were signing the bill to the waiter?" my future wife asked.

"Yeah, that's how you do it. My Grandad showed me that." I said.

"I'm not sure I can go on another date with you," she said.

2. Mansplaining songs

Every time a song like Lou Reed's "Walk on The Wild Side," comes on the radio, I feel it is my duty to mansplain the background of the song. I pretend like I'm explaining it to my kids, but I'm really mansplaining it to my wife for the ten-thousandth time.

"Walk on the Wild Side"

"You know, David Bowie wrote this song . . ." I say authoritatively.

"Me and Bobby McGee"

"You know Kris Kristofferson wrote this song. He was a Rhoades scholar . . "

"Take it Easy"

"You know, Jackson Browne wrote this song . . ."

Each time, my observation is met with a resounding "We know! For the ten-thousandth time, we know!"

3. Buying gear

I buy gear like I'm trying to forget growing up during the Great Depression. I admit I take the "having-the-right-tool-for-every-situation" thing way too far.

When the Amazon box arrives at the door, here is what usually happens.

"What the hell is it today?" asks my wife, bringing the box into the man cave.

"Oh, this wasn't even a fun purchase. This is just something I really need for our ski trip," I say cutting open the box with secret delight.

"A shovel?" What the hell do you need that for?"

"It's not just a shovel. It's a backcountry avalanche rescue shovel. See, it fits inside the backpack I got yesterday," I say, demonstrating.

"We're going to Big Bear Resort for one day, you buffoon!"

Things She Does

1. Dishwashing

I finish my IPA beer, and I take the last gulp with a flourish, then belch loudly and contentedly.

Next, I lovingly and painstakingly wash my special $12 beer glass that I bought at the brewery. I use the brush that we keep in the plastic basket in the sink. The glass is too fragile to put in the dishwasher.

My wife comes in the kitchen with the dogs' bowls. She grabs the brush and starts swirling it around the bowls filled with remnants of wet and dry dog food. She makes sure to catch every scrap of food, scrubbing deep to get the sticky parts.

"Are you kidding me?" I say with my jaw hanging and feeling faint.

"What?!" she says.

"You clean the dog bowls with the same brush as us?" I say incredulously.

"Oh gimme a break, their mouths are twice as clean as yours!"

2. Sleeping with the window open to "get a little air"

I climb into bed, timing it almost perfectly to when the "Real Housewives" is ending.

"Can you open the window, and let some air in?" my wife asks.

She's reached a stage in life where, let's just say, she likes the bedroom to be . . . cold.

The "window" is actually the full-sized door out to the patio. The door/window is on my side of the bed.

"Um, it's raining outside. Actually, it's storming," I say meekly.

"It's too hot in here. Open the window please," she says.

Fast forward twenty minutes later. The rain is splashing on my face, like Gilligan and the Skipper.

"Can we switch sides?" I ask meekly.

3. "They used 'My Same Tile' in [the bathroom, the courtyard, the entryway]"

My wife is very talented at envisioning, designing, and lording over the workers to bring her interior designs to fruition. She is proud of her design choices, but sometimes, it gets a little out of hand.

"Come up here," says the text on my phone. I am in the man cave.

"As soon as the [World Series Game 7, UFC Fight, Basketball Playoff Game] is over," I text back.

"Whatever. Rude!" she responds.

When the game is over, I go upstairs to the bedroom. My wife turns on the DVR, puts on a "House Renovation Show- Chicago Edition", and fast forwards to a two-second clip.

"See that?!" my wife says.

"What? What am I looking for here?" I ask.

"See what tile she's using there?!" my wife asks, looking at me expectantly.

"Yeah?" I say. Confused.

"That's 'My Same Tile!' She's using my tile. The same one I used in the bathroom!"

"Oh. Wow!" I say, still kind of confused.

"She's using 'My Same Tile!'" my wife shouts again.

Two weeks later. Another Renovation show in a different city.

I'm dead asleep, with the wind and rain splashing my face. Suddenly there's a violent nudging at my back.

"Wake up! Wake up!" my wife says.

"What's wrong?! What's happening?!" I say, terrified and reaching for my tactical flashlight.

"Look it's 'My Same Tile' again!"

© Copyright 2020 Jack Clune 

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