And we’re back (somewhat). I thank you all for being so kind about “No Recess” which should prove to all writers that improvement is always achievable. I mean, I’m known (somewhat) for being that dude that just writes chunks of dialogue from his own life and yet the dialogue in that old book couldn’t have been more forced or cheesy if I forced it to eat cheese doodles all day at gunpoint. Anyway, if you love writing and you can’t quit it, please continue to improve. There is a shortage of people who know how to write in this country and no shortage of jackasses who can’t.

My buddy Stu is on house arrest. And I know you won’t find this surprising, but he’s not actually enjoying it, so I try to hang with him as much as I can. His girlfriend is even being cool about my repeated appearances at their place, which is akin to Hitler hosting a Bar Mitzvah for a Jewish friend. Not that she’s a bad person (like Hitler was), just that I am the kind of guy who constantly gets accused of corrupting otherwise decent fellas. Not my fault. We are who we are and all that.

Saturday night, while playing poker at Stu’s house, I walked into a sliding glass door. Twice. I do not want to know what this says about me as a person.

For the third year in a row, I am volunteering to umpire little league baseball in the blazing heat and humidity of a Tampa summer. Fortunately, this time I get community service hours. There’s no bright side to any of that, but there is at least a glimmer of bright in the vastness of suck that has become these last few months for me.

Okay, this is gonna make me sound really vain but whatever. (Most of you have probable conceded that my vanity is, at the very least, present and accounted for anyway). Umpires are, for the most part, fat and ugly. Some are just fat, others are just ugly, but few are actually not-ugly and not-fat. I am that umpire. Because of that, I get a lot of attention from girls (for a non-player) at ballparks. Sadly, this is what constitutes a bright side for me in my life right now.

Oh, and not for nothing, but two days ago I worked with an umpire who had hair growing out of the front of his nose. Like chin hair. On his nose. How can you not notice something like that and/or not fix it? I mean look: my wardrobe is T-shirts, flip-flops and shorts, I often neglect nail-cutting, hair cutting and any other kind of cutting, I have bad dandruff (had it for years—there is no cure) and I often forget about my ear hair until someone actually points it out to me. But to have hair growing out the front of your nose and not shave it off, possibly not even notice that it is there? Wow. I mean, mother humping, wow! I couldn’t take my eyes off this dude’s nose, which may have been the most fascinating thing I’ve seen in person since the time (five years ago), when conjoined twins walked into my office. I wish I had photographed dude’s nose. That’s some mesmerizing shit.

Stu’s apartment is conveniently located next to a very popular bar. As such, all kinds of drunk people walk by his house every night around three a.m. He calls it the freak show. Here is what I saw during Saturday nights freak show:

A Jamaican man whip out his member and urinate while talking to a group of girls walking by.

A Jamaican man drink from an empty bottle of rum literally sitting with Stu’s garbage.

A Jamaican man and his gay lover openly expressing their disdain for Stu, me and each other.

I gotta say, with the right people involved, even house arrest can be fun.

And, because logic and fluidity cannot believe the banality of this bumper sticker, I will leave you with the following, which may be the most boring and unimpressive bumper sticker in the long and storied tradition of boring and unimpressive bumper stickers:

“My brother is in the Navy.”

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