The Man Cave

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

Sunday, January 17, 2021

"Man Protests Climate Change by Refusing to Surf Perfect Conditions"


"Man Protests Climate Change by Refusing to Surf Perfect Conditions"


Family and friends question motivations



Chula Vista Times

A Southern California man says he's registering a protest against Global Warming by refusing to surf the perfect conditions that have persisted in the Golden State over the last few weeks.


"I'm fed up," says Jack Clune, a 52-year-old husband, and father of two boys.  Speaking from his home in Chula Vista, nearly 15 miles from the nearest beach. Clune says he is engaged in a peaceful protest- for now.


"It's f@#$% ridiculous.  Every single goddamn day, the wind is offshore, it's sunny, and the waves are 4 to 6 feet and firing," says Clune.


He's also angry that he now has all the free time in the world to go to the beach and surf, with the Covid-19 virus bringing his job as a personal injury attorney to a halt.  Clune says there are far fewer car accidents or dog bites since the world shut down.

"Look, when I was growing up, and an actually half-way decent surfer, the waves sucked!  And whenever there was a swell, I had a final exam, or I just started some shitty new job where I couldn't leave."


Speaking with Clune's wife Tracy, she says she has doubts about Clune's stated beef with Global Warming.


"Jack was invited by a friend who really surfs, to go on the friend's boat to a secret surfing spot. The waves were perfect, but he was so fat and out of shape, he rode his surfboard like a Boogie Board the whole time, because he couldn't stand up.  He also said the new XXL wetsuit he bought online was loose everywhere except the belly, so he got real cold fast."   


We tracked down the friend to see if we could get the real story.  Insisting on anonymity "B.L." did not initially return our phone calls. 


"It was embarrassing.  It's been a few years, so I thought it would be fun to invite him on the boat. The whole crew at the break saw him give up trying to stand, and Boogie Boarding the peak.  I'm gonna grow a goatee, and give it a few weeks before I go back. I've been getting stink eye around the dock."

B.L. "Let down, and embarrassed"

Speaking with Clune's wife Tracy again:


"I've never known him to be concerned with environmental or political issues. This is his first protest if you don't count the time Costco changed from Hebrew National to Kirkland hotdogs, and he took a few weeks off before he gave in."


Asked when his protest will end, Clune says he's monitoring the situation.


"If the water warms up, and the waves return to normal size in summer, I'll probably go back."

Friday, August 28, 2020

I Can't Live Up To The Size XXL Shirt I Just Bought

I Can't Live Up To The Size XXL Shirt I Just Bought

I gotta lose weight

Antoine Da cunha on Unsplash

Romantic Getaway, COVID-19 style

My wife Tracy and I are getting ready for a short weekend getaway trip for our 16th Anniversary. We’re also visiting friends who are having a BBQ for their son, who is going away to college.

Because it is 2020, we’ll be wearing facemasks on the airplane, and we’re flying into an area that was decimated by wildfires. “Romantic Getaway” COVID-19 style!

The hotel gave us a significant discount just to thank us for coming, so we didn't even have to use our AAA benefits.

. . .

A new shirt for the trip

I’ve worn pretty much the same Dri-FIT exercise clothes every day since about mid-March. So when Tracy said she was going shopping and would I like her to pick me a new shirt for the trip, I said, “sure.”

Even though I wear elastic-waisted workout shorts every day, I haven’t actually had a chance to exercise since the pandemic began.

“What size are you now?” Tracy asked, somewhat witheringly, and really overemphasizing the word ‘now.”

Actually, it was a pretty good question. There were whole swaths of shirts in my closet that I’ve subconsciously avoided trying on in the last few weeks. I know they won’t fit, or they’ll fit tight.

“I’m an XL. You know that!” I said, jocularly.

Tracy did not laugh. She looked me up and down. Then she rolled her eyes and walked away.

That got me to thinking.

. . .

It took me a while just to get used to being an XL

I’ve often marveled at the fact that I am an XL shirt size. I don’t feel like an XL. I look around, and there seem to be so many bigger and chubbier guys than me stumbling around. What size do they wear, if I’m an XL? 8XL?

But I’ve temporarily had a potbelly the last few years which threw the whole sizing thing off. Tracy reminds me that I have skinny legs and no butt. But the belly throws the sizing thing askew, and that’s why I go XL on the shirts.

I say temporarily, because any day now, I am going to go back on the Atkins diet. Yes, long before there was Keto, Paleo, and all these other rip-off diets, there was the Atkins Diet. It seems like nobody gives Dr. Atkins the credit he is due anymore, except Rob Lowe.

. . .

I need to get back on the Atkins diet

I did the Atkins diet hardcore for two years in a row, about 15 years ago, and I really trimmed down. I got thrown off track, however, when Boston Market went into bankruptcy and closed down most of their locations. Up until then, I was eating Boston Market’s chicken (taking the skin off, sometimes) and creamed spinach two or three times a day.

I’d also go to Costco and eat the hot dogs without the bun, or drive through Jack-in-the-Box and eat the Supreme Bacon Cheeseburger, also without the bun.

“Dude, you’re diet is horrible,” my jealous friends told me.

“All I’m doing is eating all the same stuff I ate before without the bun. And I’ve lost 12 pounds,” I’d say, popping another Altoid. Your breath can get pretty intense eating all that protein.

I was giving Rob Lowe a run for his money. It sucked when Dr. Atkins himself died of a massive coronary.

The problem with the Atkins diet is if you slip and have just one french fry, potato chip, or piece of garlic bread, it’s over. That french fry becomes the best tasting french fry you ever had in your life. You immediately slip into a carb binge. You wake up two days later in a parking garage, surrounded by carbs.

. . .

Tracy texts and calls me from the clothing store

Tracy texted me two photos from the store.

“This one’s a Large, and this one is an XL,” said the text with photos of two shirts.

Tracy liked the patterns on these Hawaiian-style shirts. One had hot dogs on it, and the other had bananas.

“The one shirt shows what you eat every day, and the other shows what you drive me — bananas,” Tracy said.

Hardy har har, I thought. Tracy was not “getting the vibe” of the type of shirts I like. Nonetheless, I told her to bring them home, and I would try them on.

. . .

The “Grand Theft Auto look” I invented and everyone stole

A few years back, I went on a Hawaiian shirt kick. When it comes to fashion, I get an idea in my head, and I really beat it into the ground. I decided I wanted to dress like the characters in the videogame Grand Theft Auto (“GTA”).


It was back when there were GTA advertisements on T.V. The commercials showed car thief criminal characters running wild through a Los Angeles landscape. The characters wore white sneakers, jeans, and sleazy Hawaiian shirts. I don’t know why this look appealed to me so much. These fashion whims just sort of come to me sometimes, and I go with them. Before this GTA phase, it was safari shirts with epaulets.

I wore jeans, Adidas Stan Smiths, and the sleaziest Hawaiian shirts I could find. That became my uniform for the past few years. We were on the Disney Cruise one year, and the entertainment director called me out on my outfit while Tracy and I were performing on “The Dating Game” in the pub in front of all the parents who were relaxing away from their children.

“Look at the outfit on this one! Nobody dresses like this anymore,” said the British lady host, pointing at me and trying to get a laugh. “Who are you supposed to be, Magnum P.I.?” The crowd roared laughing.

The next day on the pool deck, I was looking at my phone and Dolce and Gabbana, and all the other fashion designers had stolen my idea and were using my GTA look in their shows.

Don’t worry. I got that British entertainment director back good. That’s a different story.

These hot dog and banana prints Tracy was picking out, however, were too cutesy, and not sleazy enough. But I humored Tracy and said bring them home, and I’ll try them on.

. . .

The fashion show at home

I tried on the XL shirt with the bananas print, and the shoulders fit and the length was good. But it looked like there was a watermelon pushing out from the middle of the shirt. And the bottom did sort of hang a little bit like a maternity dress.

I walked out to the garage where Tracy was working out in the home gym.

“Oh God, that’s horrible,” said Tracy, before I could get a word out. “How did the XL fit?” she asked.

“This is the XL,” I said.

“Oh, Jesus. Turn sideways,” said Tracy

I saw myself in the big home gym mirror. It did not look so good.

“I guess it’s not that bad. You might be able to wear that,” said Tracy. “Just don’t turn sideways when we’re at the BBQ.”

Back in the man cave, I tried on the L sized shirt- just for fun. I got my arms through the shoulders, but I could barely get it buttoned. I gave up and let it hang loosely unbuttoned.

I turned to the mirror above the tufted leather couch. I looked like Robert Plant at the height of Led Zeppelin, when he wore those little girlie half shirts. I looked like Robert Plant if he had a big pot belly.

. . . 

Take these shirts back, please

Tracy took both the XL bananas shirt and the L hot dog shirt back to the store.

“Do you want me to see if they have any good XXL shirts?” Tracy asked.

This was the moment of truth. Was I going to take that next step on the evolutionary chain? The classical music from 2001 A Space Odyssey played in my head.

“Sure. Send me a photo if there’s an XXL you think I’d like,” I said. As soon as I said it, the music in my head switched to the Baby Elephant song.

Tracy got to the store, and the texts started coming. The first was a photo of a really cool bright pink shirt. It was sobering to see the XXL on the label inside the shirt.

I was in the middle of a Zoom meeting for work. My face on the screen looked so pink and blotchy, I was playing with all the Zoom settings to see if there was something wrong with my computer camera.

Everybody else in the meeting’s face seemed normal complexion, except mine. My face seemed really, really red. In fact, I was already researching Rosacea on the Mayo Clinic site on my second computer screen. That’s when Tracy’s text of the pink shirt came in. The shirt was kinda sleazy and right up my alley, but . . .

The Author (XXL)

“I like it. But I don’t think that hot pink it will complement my complexion,” I texted back.

Tracy sent me a photo of a second shirt. This one was white, with wispy black palm fronds on it. It seemed pretty simple and elegant.

The Author (XXL)

“Sure, bring that one home.”

. . .

Graduating up to the XXL shirt

Tracy put the shopping bag down on the kitchen counter and pulled out the XXL shirt.

“Oh my God. It’s like a bedspread!” I chortled.

“Don’t get ahead of yourself, ‘Chubs. Sometimes when I hold up your shirts in the laundry room, I feel like I’m folding duvet covers,” said Tracy.

I grabbed the shirt from her hand and took it back to the man cave. After some mental preparation, I put the XXL shirt on over the Dri-FIT I was wearing.

The XXL shirt fit like a glove. It was twice as comfortable as the XL. Oh my God. I’m an XXL.

I walked back to the kitchen and showed Tracy.

“It’ll probably shrink once you wash it I said,” twisting and posing side to side.

“I hope it doesn’t shrink too much,” said Tracy. “It fits perfectly right now.”

. . . 

Getting used to my new XXL life

I had to go to the grocery store later that day. As I masked-up and walked to get the shopping cart, I looked around to see if there were any other XXL guys around.

Just then, as I was crossing to the front of the store, a lifted truck came barreling towards me, running over two speed bumps without slowing the slightest bit. I jumped back and let the truck go past.

I saw the big angry guy driving the truck, with his arm hanging out the window, and it was obvious he wears XXL or larger. He had Oakley Blades on, a baseball hat backwards, and a Fu Manchu mustache. He had a really big and burly wife or girlfriend in the front seat, and you could tell she was just as grumpy as he was. She was drinking a Big Gulp and had a bandanna on. She probably wore XXL too.

The driver “mad-dogged” me, staring at me the whole time as he tore past me. Then he was gone.

Man, if I’m going to be wearing XXL, maybe I need to start acting like that guy, I thought.

. . .

Trying to “fit” in

When I got home from the store, I went online, and I started shopping for things to fit my new XXL life. I went on Amazon and started looking for some of the items that I thought I might need.

I browsed for a leather knife holder that would fit on my belt. Then I shopped for obnoxious wrap-around blade sunglasses, the kind that guys with Mullet haircuts wear. I checked out the cowboy boots too. Expensive.

Maybe I should have a toothpick in my mouth all the time, I thought.

Then it dawned on me.

I’m not really cut out for this XXL thing. I can’t pull this off, nobody is going to believe it. For chrissakes, my dad drove a Jaguar XJS, and had a man purse. I myself leased two Miatas, and still wished I had one.

I went back to the grocery store and headed straight to the meat aisle. I bought a bunch of protein- hot dogs, chicken, and steak. I picked up some creamed spinach and walked right past the bread aisle without even stopping. At the register, I grabbed a tin of Altoids.

Back home I looked at myself in the home gym mirror.

I gotta lose weight.

© Copyright 2020 Jack Clune 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Sitting In My Jacuzzi with Rock Stars

Sitting In My Jacuzzi with Rock Stars 

I've got questions, they've got answers


The other day I was sitting in the jacuzzi when rock stars kept popping up from under the water. I asked them questions before they disappeared.

. . .

Jim Morrison

“Were you possessed by a Native American, like the movie showed?”

“Yes. . . . Willingly.”

“Did you die of an overdose, or were you murdered?”


. . .

John Lennon

“Would you have gotten back together with Paul, George, and Ringo”

“You don’t like my solo stuff?” said John, acting mock offended.

“I love your solo stuff. “#9 Dream” is one of my favorite all-time songs, and I love the whole difficult and painful first solo album.”

“Well, yes. Beatles would have tried to make a . . . comeback” said John, facetiously.

“You say ‘Beatles’ too like Yoko does? Instead of ‘The Beatles’?”

“Yes Darlin’”

“Would you guys have made music just as good as before?”

“Yeah, sure, why not? Like ridin’ a bike Sonny”

“Do you play music with George now?

“Yes. And it’s very good music too,” said John, whispering and batting his eyelids.

“Would you and Yoko have gotten divorced?”

“No. We’d have ‘UN- consciously coupled’” said John, making fun.

“Would the world be a much better place now?”

“All you need is Love”

. . .

Mick Jagger

“In your heart of hearts, you think the Stones are better than the Beatles, right?”

“Of course.”

“Why don’t you get a vasectomy?”

“Cuz I’m a King Bee.”

Then Mick flew away.

. . .

Bob Dylan

“Are your songs prophecies?”


“So are there hints in your songs about what’s going to happen in the future?”


“Do you know how the world ends?”


“Is it pretty?”

“Who’s askin’?”

. . .

Kurt Cobain

“Did Courtney Love have you murdered?”

“No,” said Kurt, lighting up a ciggie.

“Would you have quit music, if were you still alive?”


“What would you do instead?”

“Marriage counseling.”

“Are you serious?”

“No!” he said laughing.

. . .


“Was it an accident that you died?”


“Do you jam with Jimi Hendrix and other superstars?”

“We get down!” said Prince smiling coyly.

“Do you like me … do you think I’m cool?” I asked meekly.

“You’re alright. But you need to hit the gym!” said Prince, scrunching up his face in disgust.

“Don’t you think every Bruno Mars song is a weak copy of Morris Day?

“I’m outta here,” said Prince.

. . .

Ian Curtis

Do you like New Order’s music?


“Do you appear as a ghost in the doorway giving your blessing in the video for “Perfect Kiss?”


Are you uncomfortable? You seem uncomfortable being in my jacuzzi.”

“Yes, I’m getting burned by the sun.”

“Do you want to leave?”


“One last thing . . . is there anything that could have changed your mind? That day . . .”

“Yes. It was just an impulse. People read too much into these things. I’m sorry I hurt the people I loved.”

. . .


“Was the Devil scared when he saw you coming?”

“Nevah met ‘im. He moved out when Bon Scott moved in, and he left no forwarding address. Har, har, har!”

© Copyright 2020 Jack Clune

Saturday, July 11, 2020

What We Need Now Is A Lot More Empathy

What We Need Now Is A Lot More Empathy

Entitled jerks and loudmouths take note


I'm telling you, this Pandemic is really pushing people to the brink of civilized behavior. Just this weekend, I saw people acting so boorishly, it made me want to weep for where we are headed as a society.

This story is a follow-up to an earlier story.

. . .

Grocery shopping- Vons, Chula Vista

On Friday, my family was out on a walk, when one of our Boxers stuck his snout into a bee that was on the ground, and he got stung on the nose. His whole face swelled up. Now, this has happened before, and we know to give the dog an antihistamine pill, and he feels better right away.

Luckily there was a Vons grocery store nearby, so I ran in to buy some peanut butter and some Benadryl pills. Well, the Express line was packed with about 20 people in it. They were buying 40 oz. beers, and People magazines, potato chips, and all sorts of crap.

So I ran down to another aisle that looked wide open. Right when I get to the aisle, this chubby guy in "Stone Brewing" T-shirt, rolls up, with his cart filled with like, 10,000 items. He can barely push the cart.

"Sir, can I cut in front here, I have a medical emergency going on," I ask the guy.

You should have seen the sour puss on this schlump.

"There's an Express line right over there, what's wrong with that line?" says the Prick.

"Sir, are you serious? It'll just be two seconds here, and I'll be right on my way" I plead with the guy.

Nope. The jerk made me wait behind him. It took even longer because he had to sign up for a Vons Member Card.

. . .

"The Henry" Restaurant- Coronado, California

This afternoon, Saturday, my family and I are enjoying a nice meal on the patio, socially distancing, and frequently cleaning our hands with hand sanitizer. At the high top table six feet away from us, a commotion breaks out.

"Why is it my problem that the keg is out!?" yells this bloated, red-faced guy, embarrassing his cute family stuck there sitting with him.

"Sir, I'm so sorry, it will just be a moment, they're working on it right now," says the poor waitress.

"I don't care if they're brewing a special batch just for me! I'm thirsty now! Bring me a free beer while I wait!" says the entitled bastard.

"Sir, I'll have to ask my manager . . ." says the waitress.

"Well . . . Chop, chop!" says the Prick. "And if the manager says no, tell 'em to come over and talk to me. I want to tell them about this idea I have for when the keg runs out."

. . . 

During these difficult times, I think people should take a good look at themselves in the mirror, and decide if they like what they see. What we all need now is a lot more empathy.

© Copyright 2020 Jack Clune

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Writing Your Memoir?

Writing Your Memoir?

Here are the four questions from family and friends that will make you change it to a novel

iStock by Getty

[At the outset, I want to apologize. This is my first article on Medium and I am having technical problems. When I cut and pasted my article, many of my edits slipped through. Please ignore the bracketed material. I appreciate your patience].

. . .

When the pandemic hit, I ran out of excuses not to write the memoir I've been [threatening] planning to write for years. Holed up in the house with a laptop, there seemed no better [way to avoid doing planks, sit-ups, and squats, than to tell my family it was] time to start work on the Great American Novel.

In the past, friends told me "Oh, that's such a [embarrassing] funny story, you should write a book." So over the last three months, I did write the first draft of a memoir. [Let's see how funny they think it is now!]

But as a result of some [harassment] pointed questions over the last few weeks from friends and family, I am [disappointed] very proud to report that my book will now be a novel, "loosely based on some biographical information."

When I tell people that I wrote 2,000 words a day for the last three months, amounting to over 114,000 words, and 438 pages in 20 point font, here are the questions they ask me, usually in this order:

1. "What's the title?"

This question seems to be a subtext for the following questions they really want to ask:

a) Are you bitter?

b) Can I tell by the title if I'm in it?

c) Is it self-serving, boring self-improvement stuff that I won't read?


d) Does it have a lot of sex and shameful secrets in it that I can't wait to read?

2. "How far along are you?"

What really seems to interest the questioner is:

a) Can I stop this if I need to?

b) Can I add stuff to it if I want to?

c) When will [you/I] know you are done with it?

d) How hard is what you are doing?

e) Could [I/have someone else] write my [memoir] "loosely biographical novel"?

3. "Have you written anything about me?"

After a short time, they just come out and blurt this one. I can tell by looking in the person's eyes that this is what they are really asking:

a) Do I need to get a lawyer to sue you?

b) Is it bad?

c) Is it good?

d) How can I make sure I [read/edit it] before you [publish it/show it] to anyone else?

4. "What is your goal?"

This is what they really mean:

a) Are you trying to get revenge (on me)?

b) Is there a chance you might get rich and famous from this?

c) Do I need to [distance myself/or suck] up to you?

. . . 

The Answers to All the Questions

The truth is, when I began writing, I did not know [any] many of the answers to these questions. It was only during the vigorous process of writing every day that I learned some of the answers.

1. No Title Yet

I thought of a few prospective titles to my [memoir] novel based loosely on biographical facts, but I am still [not telling anyone] keeping an open mind about it. I [could not think of a cool enough title yet] certainly did not want a title to guide 114,000 words, rather I want the words to suggest the title to me more towards the end. So many book titles seem pretentious and overblown to me. [Mine will be too.]

2. Just A "First Draft"

My [memoir] novel based on loosely biographical information covers my childhood to the point right before I enter high school. I knew I was done with the "First Draft" when I felt [exhausted.] like I had written about most of the [traumas] "teachable moments" I could remember. There were other [terrible decisions] events I could have written about, but I was pleased I touched on as many [regrets] poignant memories as I did.

3. Yes You're In the Book, But No You're Not.

If you were one of the very rare persons who were kind to me, you have nothing to worry about. [Just kidding.]

My book is about [me] my main character, and [his, now] her reactions to events that occurred. It's [me] her, not you. [I don't want to hurt people unnecessarily.]

I just saw a great documentary on Philip Roth where he said "Life is not good enough," meaning that a writer has to [exaggerate] amplify what happened for the reader to be interested. Roth also said "A writer has to be shameless," meaning that [hopefully my family understands] there can be no self-censorship.

Only when you write the [most dirty] deepest thoughts and emotions is anyone going to [buy] care - no matter how [twisted] vulnerable. You can [and heaven knows I should] have shame in your personal life, says Roth. But shame and caution [will not get you a publishing deal] have no place in your writing.

4. My Goal- To Exorcise the Demons

"Writers are the exorcists of their own demons" -Mario Vargas Llosa

It does not matter why I started writing now. I uncorked the bottle, I have to write, otherwise [I have to go back to real work] I don't feel good. That is the only justification I need for writing.

I tried to write in the past, but [I was always afraid to say what I really thought] what came out sounded fake. Now I am mostly just trying to tell the story. When I read my writing now, I do not cringe as I did before, when I was younger trying to write "literature."

. . . 

There were some days [when I was a little hung over] that were a slog, and I was not pleased with the writing. On those days, I mostly felt that I was "telling" not "showing" the reader what happened. I will [never revisit] work hard to fix those passages during the edits. It was far more fun to read the passages where I put the reader right there into the movie themselves, rather than in the back row eating popcorn.

There were other days, however, when I felt the dialogue was cracking, or a poignant truth popped out as if by magic during a scene. On those days, I was, as Bukowski says, "with the gods." I can't wait to go there again.

© Copyright 2020 Jack Clune

Featured Post

How to Train for Your Eye Exam at Costco During the Pandemic

  How to Train for Your Eye Exam at Costco During the Pandemic Ventriloquism, yoga breathing techniques, sign language, and flashcards Photo...

Popular Posts