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Archive for the ‘Bad Behavior’ Category

Just before getting (literally) pulled up out of bed this morning, I flashed back to the time when I saw the movie Amadeus at the Millbrae Theater. I don’t know if it was the time of the year that it was showing — either near Thanksgiving or Christmas — or maybe it was the fact that the audience was packed with “old people”, the one single memory I took with me from that in-theater experience is the moment the house lights came on at the end of the film, the entire auditorium reeked like turkey farts. Too many years have passed for me to recall seeing a bunch of “blue hairs” sleeping off the effects of tryptophan on their systems. All I have left in my mind’s nostril is the soury sweet smell of flatulence.

Well, my friends, that little stroll down the lighted aisle got me thinking about other interesting and unusual experiences I have had while at the movie theater. Then I figured what good are those memories in my head when it would be so much more fun to share them right here with you all!

I hope you enjoy reading about these good times half as much as I did making them.

When I was a wee lad, my dad and I were at the Tanforan theater concession stand ordering popcorns and Dr Peppers when I told the lady helping us that my dad knew Dr Pepper when he was an intern. (It was one of his go-to phrases at the time). Anyway, she shot the future Italian Man Servant a look that said, “what the heck are you in teaching this kid, Mister?” as she handed over the snacks to us.

Then there was the time when Animal House had just come out and John and Judy decided to bring their nine year old son along with them to the show. You know that scene where Pinto is wrestling with what to do about/to/with his passed out Toga party date and the little angel and devil appear on his shoulder? Well, I neither saw nor heard much of it because while my dad covered my ears, my mom shielded my eyes. It wasn’t until the film came on HBO the next year that I got to experience the scene as Douglas C Neidermeyer, Daniel Simpson Day and Senator Blutarski intended it to be seen.

I’m pretty sure that my friends Matt and Erin and I were taking in a matinee showing of Take This Job and Shove It and being the obnoxious adolescents we were, we smuggled a Pip Squirt pen into the theater. For those of you scratching your head and wondering what the heck a Pip Squirt pen is, imagine if you will a functioning pen that also doubles as a kick ass water gun. Well, one miniature water pistol plus a darkened theater filled with unsuspecting marks equals an afternoon of muffled giggles for three suburban troublemakers. Unfortunately, our day at target practice was over quickly after Matt scored a direct hit to the back of some guy’s head. This man was so steamed at whomever blasted him in the back of the melon that he threw down his bucket of popcorn and stormed out of the theater never to return.

And then there was the time when Matt, Erin and I saw Creepshow and three-quarters of the way through it, Matt and I heard the telltale sound of rushing liquid entering a wax paper beverage cup. Apparently, the prospect of missing even one minute of this riveting flick was too much for Erin to bear so he brought the toilet to his chair by peeing in his empty soda cup.

Back in the mid-eighties when Rocky IV was released to a rabid and largely jingoistic American public, I attended a showing on opening night at the newly constructed Century Theater in South San Francisco. I remember being elbow to elbow in the lobby with hundreds of other Rocky Balboa fight fans chomping at the bit to get seated for the big showdown with the Soviet monster Ivan Drago. The movie itself did not disappoint any of us in attendance as spontaneous chants of USA, USA, USA filled the rafters when the Italian Stallion emerged victorious.

And then there was that time when we saw Raising Arizona and my friend Roger accidentally dropped an unopened bottle of Coors from his coat and it rolled all the way down to the screen. Several folks snickered and guffawed. Never one to waste a perfectly good beer, Roger simply walked himself to the front of the theater and retrieved his brewski. More than several people politely applauded his effort.

I could fill a thousand pages with stories about my merry misadventures at the Burlingame Drive-Ins but for the sake of brevity, I’ll limit it to only two. One evening, a high school letterman jacket wearing friend and I were trying our hardest to stave off early onset glaucoma (if you know what I mean). Anyway, after our fourth trip to the snackbar in two hours, the woman working behind the counter said to us, “I want some of whatever Potsie is smoking!” Needless to say our polluted minds were blown by her intuitive mind power until we realized that Potsie’s name was written on the back of his coat.

The less I talk about the time I drove my Camaro over the center dividing line bumps in front of at least four police cruisers while leaving those very same drive-ins, the less embarrassed I’ll feel.

One evening in 2007, Fehmeen and I couldn’t decide on a movie to see so we opted to check out separate shows. She went with Chris Brown’s This Christmas and I saw Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey’s Enchanted. (What can I say, I like what I like!?!). Once the lights went down and I felt less self-conscious about being one of the only single viewer in an auditorium full of families, I got to enjoy one of my favorite films of all-time.

And finally, for the occasion of our first date, I took the future Mrs Picetti to a romantic dinner at Chili’s followed by the 7:45 showing of the history of surfing documentary Riding Giants. I was shocked to find out several weeks later that she absolutely hated it. Oh, the things you do for love.

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Working as a caregiver for ALS Boy Enterprises, LLC has quite a bit of down time.  Sure, mornings are seriously high volume — getting me out of bed, putting me on the toilet, transferring me to the shower chair, brushing my teeth, bringing me into the shower dirty and rolling me out clean, drying me off, dressing me (in socks and sandals, still), wheeling me out to the living room and plopping me in the recliner — but it’s usually over by 8:30 AM.

Once that first Boost gets funneled into my stomach and I get hooked up to the Eye Gaze, then begins the down time.  I still require suctioning (for excess saliva) every fifteen minutes or so and the occasional trip to the bathroom but for the most part, it’s fairly smooth sledding by and large.

Most of this non-focused-on-the-health-and-well-being-of-their-patient down time is spent watching sports or movies on television but it is not an uncommon thing to overhear the tell-tale sounds of fingers on smartphone.  Then there is a brief pause in activity, which is followed by an incoming message sound, which is then followed by another round of typing, more pausing, more typing and so on and so on.

Sometimes the texting gets so consuming and involving that the texter disappears from the living room and into the kitchen for upwards of thirty minutes at a time.

On one such occasion when the texter was busily texting away in the privacy of the kitchen for over an hour, I decided to help set the mood of their conversation by providing background music from my Eye Gaze machine.

I hopped on to Spotify — it’s just like Pandora but with the ability to search for and play specific songs and albums — and typed into the search engine a four letter word that starts with the first consonant after the fourth vowel in the alphabet and rhymes with peppercorn.

(The letter precedes Q, by the way.  But you knew that already).

To my absolute and uninhibited delight, up popped a seventy-five track compilation of two minute songs that easily could have been taken directly from those adult-oriented features alluded to in the paragraph above.

As ALS Boy transformed into DJ iGaze for the afternoon by playing tunes with titles like Make You Sweat and Mo Booty for the sole purpose of providing (in)appropriate music to text to, I can only speculate on whether or not my efforts were successful.  Or even noticed at all.

Bow chicka wow wow!!

FYI – I still have the entire playlist saved to a folder aptly entitled p***gruves2text2.  If you want to hear it, just come over and start texting in the kitchen.

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Gaffe

There we were,  a few friends sitting together,  shooting the breeze,  and watching a movie on a premium cable channel when friend #2 silently excused himself.   A good ten minutes passed before he emerged from the room down the hall immediately engaging in a hushed dialogue with my dad.   The off-duty Italian-American Man Servant shook his head and headed towards the garage.   The now on-duty IAMS returned momentarily with the always reliable toilet auger and accompanied a red-faced friend #2 into the breach.

We have all lived through embarrassing moments that never seemed to end, myself especially.   I have already discussed The Piss Chaps Incident on this site.  But the gaffes don’t end there.   Who could ever forget the day that I blew out the crotch of my favorite pair of 501s when I attempted to replicate a David Lee Roth scissor-kick?   Or how about the time I spilled an entire 64-ounce Coca-Cola on a co-worker in the first inning of a company sponsored Giants game?   I will never forget that night in college when I had the most vivid dream that I was taking the most real feeling piss ever only to wake up thirty seconds later completely soaked in urine.   The most difficult part was figuring out a good way to tell my girlfriend who was sleeping next to me that I needed her help with changing the soiled sheets.

But probably the most embarrassing moment of my life occurred during a wedding that my band was playing.   Our guitarist tried to teach me how to play the Chicken Dance during a set break (For the record,  I had never even heard the song before).   As fate would have it,  the sheet music I was using had a measure missing so when we played it a half-hour later,  the song sounded like absolute crap.   For the rest of the reception,  folks avoided the dance floor as if it was made of lava.   I never played that song again.

Now that I’ve shared some of my more memorable mishaps with you,  I would love to hear some of yours.

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I have wanted to participate in a flash mob since before they got popular.   Those elaborately choreographed song and dance productions are cool and all but when I conjure up a mental picture of a flash mob in my mind I see three or four dozen people suddenly converging on a park for a spontaneous game of Red Rover.  Call me old school in my preferences regarding group gatherings,  but I like what I like.

Now if I had the energy and wherewithal to organize one of these things myself, this is how it would go down:

Anyone and everyone who has a feeding tube on the Peninsula in the  Bay Area would be invited to meet at the Hillsdale Mall at a certain time on a certain day in a certain place for a mass feeding.

Umm.   You know,  this flash mob fantasy sounded about a thousand times cooler in my head as I was pre-writing this post.   Yeah,  sorry.

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Emma could tell this story in only eight words.  By doing so, h0wever, she would most likely omit some of the more hilarious details of this sordid tale.  I will use her exact verbiage to sum-up each part of the narrative.

Fehmeen, Emma, and I picked up Maheen (Emma’s Nani) in the East Bay for a shopping excursion several months ago.  As we drove our Big Red Van onto 880, Fehmeen reminded Nani to buckle her seat belt.  Maheen shrugged off her daughter’s warning, choosing instead to focus all of her attention on her only grandchild.  As the freeway traffic came to a grinding halt, so too did the Rolling with ALS Boy van.

Now before we go any further in this story you should probably know one thing about our van.  In order to make it wheelchair accessible we had to remove the center section of seats.  So basically we have a driver’s seat, a spot for my power chair, and a bench in the far back of the van.

When our ride came to its abrupt stop, the un-seat belted Maheen kept right on accelerating.  She came to rest in the fetal position under Fehmeen’s driver’s seat.  To quote Emma, “Nani fell.”

Once we had confirmed that she was not seriously hurt, Fehmeen and I laughed until we cried.  Nani picked herself up, strapped herself in, and began to say how she would never again set foot in this van as long as she lived.  Our hysterical laughter from the front seats continued unabated.  To quote Emma again, “Mommy and Daddy laughed.”

About five minutes later we arrived at our destination, Red Lobster.  After we had all piled out of the van, Maheen noticed that she was a little bit damp around the umm, you know, umm, umm, you know where.  Before I dig this hole any deeper, I am going to allow Emma to do the honors by saying, “Nani peed.”

Typed by Michele one of Jason’s many belles

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ALS Boy 101

Whether you are a new arrival to my little online soiree or you’ve been here so long you have your own guestroom, I invite you to enjoy a few of my favorite posts from the past twelve months.

1 illegally parked car + 1 dirty diaper = Another Reason Why I Love My Wife

Incontinence at home and abroad: The Statue of Molly Malone

I knew nothing of the NPR show prior to writing This I Believe

Read the piece that inspired the ALS Boy documentary: Oh, The Places I Go

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Hi Mama and Daddy-

Just in case you couldn’t tell who is typing this, it’s your daughter, Emma. If Daddy was careless enough to leave his laptop open on the table near my highchair, why shouldn’t I take advantage of the opportunity to set the record straight? As far as I’m concerned, the world needs to hear my story: It’s a story of a baby wronged, and after exactly 365 days, a baby avenged.

I would be willing to bet dollars to diapers that the two of you don’t even remember what went down the evening of April 2, 2008, but I do. How could I forget? After all, it was only my second night ever in this cold, cruel world, having just been born and all, and I was trying my hardest to acclimate to my new and foreign surroundings. Sure, I understand that you guys were adjusting too, but that doesn’t excuse you for what happened, now does it? I mean, you are both highly educated adults, a bit sleep-deprived, granted, but still. But still.

Anyway, you two rookies had been doing a pretty good job of feeding me and changing my wet diapers, I’ll give you that much. It wasn’t until Mama discovered the secret drawer in the bottom of my clear plastic bassinet that the trouble really started. I will never forget the absolutely clueless tone in your voice when you asked Daddy, “Why do we have so many of these?”, in reference to the half-dozen high stack of newborn-sized white shirts folded neatly in that drawer. “I dunno,” was his equally eloquent, yet strangely mumbled reply.

It was right then and there that I recall the two of you staring at each other and coming to the same realization that I had arrived at a whole lot sooner than either of you noobs: Thirty-six freaking hours in the same stinky, crusty, and drooled-on tiny white t-shirt does not a happy baby make. And then you have to make a call to the on-duty nurse for assistance with the changing of the offending and offensive garment: Are you kidding me?

I decided that the best course of action was to play it cool… for the time being. Sure, I had been force-fed my first spoonful of betrayal, and in swallowing it down I had acquired the bittersweet taste of vengeance, but the here and the now was neither the time nor the place to get even.

I would wait for the perfect opportunity to hatch my nefarious and dastardly scheme. Then, I would lull you in with my cutest baby in the whole wide world act and let the hammer fall when you were most vulnerable. My plan would work, it had to work: Vengeance would be mine.

All I had to do was wait for my opening.

And wait I did. Hours became days, weeks turned into months, and before I knew it, I turned one. I awoke the morning of April 2, 2009, the day after my birthday, with a singular thought and a laser-like focus. Today was the day: The day of reckoning.

From the moment you guys arrived home from school, I gave you exactly what you wanted: A heaping helping of unadulterated cuteness, a side of my patented toothy smile, and to top the whole thing off, a dash of 100% pure, adorable, Emmabug charm. As the afternoon turned into evening, I continued the illusion by keeping the usual whining to a bare minimum. Even my post final bottle of the night sleepy baby act was sublime, a truly Oscar-worthy performance, if I can say so myself.

All modesty aside, the real acting had yet to begin. After allowing the two of you about an hour of uninterupted sleep time, I made my move around 11:00 pm when I turned on the tears and did my best impression of the siren on a fire engine. Because I had greased the wheels so well earlier in the day, I knew I had built up enough political capital with Mama to earn a coveted “get into bed with Mom and Dad” ticket, effectively bypassing the usual “pick me up, change me, and put me back in the crib” routine I was used to.

Once I was placed in bed between you guys, it was like taking candy from a baby, or better yet, like taking sleep from an adult. Hee, hee, hee. Every thirty to forty-five minutes from that point forward, I woke up with a few minutes of wimpering sobs or a well-placed scissor-kick to the back or even a full-on wail of an hysterical cry. I kept this up until about 4:00 am when I finally passed out from pure exhaustion and exhilaration.

As I reflect back on it now, the hour and a half between when I fell asleep to when your alarm went off was the best ninety minutes of sleep in my life. In that short amount of time, I dreamed of spotless and pristine white baby shirts and my parents walking around the next day in a zombie-like trance. I also dreamed of a place and a time where all scores were settled and all debts were paid.

When we awoke as a family the next morning and I stared into your exhausted eyes, I knew that vengeance was mine. But it wasn’t as sweet tasting as I hoped it would have been. I knew then, exactly one year later, that we were finally even and I’m okay with that. Cool? Cool.

Now, let’s have a conversation about that horrible dress you put me in last week, shall we?

Love,

Emma

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