August 12, 2008

Mr. Statler and Mr. Waldorf

Shady Sunrise Retirement Home & Gardens
Room 22
Terrace Pass Road
Naples, Florida 34102

Dear Mr. Statler and Mr. Waldorf:

This letter is to serve notice of your eviction as residents of Shady Sunrise Retirement Home & Gardens.

Bachelor Party

By Rob Bloom


I haven’t showered in three, maybe four, days. Not that I have anything against showering. It happens to be an activity I engage in regularly and one I encourage others to do as well (hear that, NYC taxi drivers? Yeah, YOU, the ones whose cabs smell like a combination of feet, spoiled cheese, and the dirty water left in the vase four days after the flowers have died).

Anyway, there’s a perfectly good explanation for my shower hiatus: I’m a bachelor again. See, my wife Julie has gone on vacation with her friend Allison to Sarasota, Florida. The reason for this (the vacation, not Allison who, from what I understand, is quite lovely this time of year) is that Julie’s job provides her with ample vacation days and by “ample” I mean “enough for her to accomplish something great, like building a spaceship or acquiring a taste for caviar.” My job, on the other hand, provides substantially less vacation time, as well as strict criteria regarding said time, namely “vacation cannot occur over consecutive days.”

So Julie took off for Sarasota while I stayed behind to assume various bachelor duties, such as ensuring the survival of the Trans Fat economy. It’s not as easy as you’d think. With the health kick our country’s on, the supermarket is filled with products that say things like “Fat schmat!” and “Made from cardboard!” (WARNING: May cause anal leakage). The whole ordeal makes it very difficult for a guy like me to find bachelor-appropriate foods, such as:

* Wings
* Beer
* Beer-flavored Wings
* Neon-orange crunchy things
* Any product with artificial coloring, ingredients that have been processed a minimum of twelve times, and that when consumed, I actually feel myself getting fatter.

In other words, I’m looking for the foods from my first bachelor run. Back then, I was living in a Georgia town called Smyrna with my buddy Steve. Now that was a bachelor’s apartment! Steve and I had it all, starting with the two essential bachelor food groups: beer and Doritos. For additional sustenance, we’d frequent the neighborhood restaurants that met our strict dietary requirements of a dollar menu and drive-thru window.

Our philosophy towards food (“Who needs utensils?”) was complimented by our philosophy towards cleaning (“What’s that?”). Cleaning was something we just didn’t do. Instead, we adopted the bachelor-tested philosophy of letting our dirt work for us. For example, what’s the point of folding and putting away laundry when you can just as easily let it pile up in the corner of your bedroom, where it can flourish and grow, eventually morphing into a surprisingly comfortable chair where a bachelor can sit and engage in a number of activities involving beer, Doritos, and the scratching of a certain body part exclusive to bachelors. Naturally, this cleaning philosophy was also applied to the bathroom or, as we referred to it, “The Experiment.” This room, particularly the “sink,” “shower,” and “toilet” regions, was home to several different species of insects, mold, and other live cultures, all of whom were far more active than we were. Though in all fairness to Steve and me, these creatures had way more legs than us.

Now mind you, we didn’t not do these things because we were lazy. On the contrary, laziness only had, like, 10% to do with it. The other 95% was simply because we didn’t have the time or math skills. Truth is, the life of a bachelor is complicated. It’s also pretty darn hectic (what with foosball tournaments and Twilight Zone marathons) and therefore requires some heavy-duty time-management skills. Besides, you’d be amazed how productive a bachelor can be when he doesn’t waste time engaging in trivial activities like cleaning or looking for a job.

Speaking of productive, I’ve been mighty busy myself the past few days. Take Saturday, for example.

8:30 AM. Wake up. Eat a slice of cold pizza. Go back to bed. 

11:45 AM. Shuffle to couch. Fall asleep 20 minutes into Will Ferrell movie. 

3:05 PM. Can’t decide between Mild and BBQ wings. Weigh the pros and cons of both while drinking a beer.
5:40 PM. Wake up surrounded by several empty beer cans. Detect foul smell in the house. Embark on detailed search of the premises to find the source.

5:41 PM. Doritos break. 

6:01 PM. Remember I never decided on flavor of wings. Take a break to figure it out.
8:25 PM. Finish wings (why choose one flavor when you can get both?). Notice smell has gotten closer. 

9:10 PM. Suspect the smell might be me. 

9:39 PM. Think about showering.
10:18 PM. While flipping through the channels, find documentary about the Nathan’s hot dog eating competition. Decide showering can wait.

As you can see, I’ve been involved in some very important activities! Unlike Julie who, every time we talk, tells me she and Allison are doing “girl stuff,” which I can only assume means shoe shopping, painting each other’s toenails, and watching Lifetime.

Anyway, it’s been a lot of fun reconnecting with my bachelor self, but between us, I’m looking forward to my wife coming home. I might even shower for the occasion. If I have time, of course.

Think of the stupidest thing you’ve ever done. You know, the kind of stories that make you cringe every single time you tell them, even though it’s been, like, eight years since you had brunch at that little café in Smyrna, Georgia and you had to go to the bathroom really, really, really bad and, because God has a really terrific sense of humor, there was somebody in the men’s room who was not coming out anytime that year, which left you no choice but to duck into the women’s restroom where, again since God is a regular comedian, you discovered someone had clogged the toilet, meaning you were up to your ankles in toilet water, and the whole thing was terribly embarrassing, particularly when you walked out and saw not only the manager but also your horrified date.

Of course, in accordance to the ancient rules of comedy (see “Stiller, Ben”), any “Oh, Crap!” moment is comically enhanced by the infliction of pain, either physical or emotional. Take, for instance, when I was a 6th grade student at Rock Lake Middle School in Longwood, Florida. There I was, with my spiked mullet and startlingly enormous glasses, thinking I was quite the stud. In reality, I was slightly less cool than my classmate Billy Jeffries who, according to legend, was still wetting the bed.

Anyway, it was March and the big news around school was the upcoming 6th grade dance. I had my heart set on asking Michelle Johnson. Now being the stud that I was, I went about asking out Michelle in the classic studly way: I wrote her a note. But this wasn’t just any note. This was a literary masterpiece where I transcribed (in nauseatingly great length) my deep feelings for her—not to mention about 9 jillion references to how pretty she was and what a cute couple we’d be. I wrote the entire three-page manuscript during Social Studies class. I was just about done when the teacher shot me a “don’t make me come over there” glance. I quickly folded up the note and slid it inside my Social Studies book.

The bell rang and I walked out of the room, confident my note would sweep Michelle off her feet. It wasn’t until my next class when I had a horrible realization:

I had left my Social Studies book behind.

As soon as algebra ended, I ran (see “Runner, Road”) back to the Social Studies room. Yes! The book was right where I left it! The note, on the other hand, was gone. Little did I know, that jerk Billy Jeffries had found the note and, at that very moment, was in the library making a few hundred photocopies of it. Thirty minutes later, those copies would plaster the school walls. Twenty minutes after that, Michelle would call me a “giant spaz!” in the cafeteria, loud enough for everyone in the zip code to hear.

Moral of the story: Never ask someone out in a note. However, if you must, DO NOT let the note out of your sight.

I told that story because, up until a few days ago, I thought I had a secure hold on Stupid Stock. Of course, that was until I accidentally stabbed myself in the thumb with an Epipen needle. For those of you who don’t know, an Epipen is a crazy large needle carried by people with food allergies in the event they eat a peanut or something. So basically, as your throat is closing from the allergic reaction, you’re supposed to take the Epipen and stab yourself in the thigh. Now I won’t get into the details of how I stabbed myself (some things are truly too stupid to disclose) but let’s just say that I discovered the answer to the question, “hmmm…I wonder which side the needle comes out of.”

As I sat there with my thumb bleeding like a character in a Monty Python movie, my only thought was, “Howthehell am I going to explain this to the doctor?” Fortunately the doctor didn’t bother to ask, probably because he was too busy deciding whether or not I should go to the emergency room.

Anyway, looking back, all’s well that ends well. The hole in my thumb is closing and I’m almost to the point where I can eat a shish kabob without whimpering.

Moral of the story: Don’t play around with an Epipen needle. However, if you must, point the thing at Billy Jeffries.