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June 26, 2008


I woke up this morning with a headache. Not one of those super huge ones bigger than your head and only solvable by over-the-counter medication,his headache was tiny. It was actually a tick. Yesterday's trip to the Salvation Army was not a total loss I guess, I made off with a free tick it seems.

I immediately thought "Oh no, what diseases might this tick be carrying?" I wouldn't want to contract Lyme Disease, whooping cough, or Mono. Mostly I wouldn't want Mono. I have no idea if you can get Mono from a tick, but anyone who has Mono knows how people ask dumb questions when they find out you have mono. I had a friend in college once who got mono and everyone assumed he got it from making out with someone. Turns out he got it from his sister. They both took that as a sign that they should stop making out with each other.

But the tick was easily removed. Simple outpatient procedure, no anesthetic or rehabilitation required.

I did have very little time to get ready for work. So I skipped the normal suit and tie getup that I usually wore and prepared what I affectionately refer to as a 'Past Halloween Costume Montage.' I don't usually do this when I am running late, but something inside me must have snapped. It could have been the act of burning the tick alive. It was something my mother taught me to do. "You must burn the tick" she used to say. I never understood the reasoning but I do it to this day. In support of her point, I have never had a tick come back to seek revenge.

Today was the day I would quit my job. Everyone dreams of doing it, but today was my day to make dreams into reality. Entering the office dressed to varying degrees like Mike Tyson, an astronaut, a hammerhead shark, a human slinky, trumpet player from the danceband on the Titanic, K-Fed, and Bob Ross I immediately barged into my bosses office.

By this point the security guard was already on the phone calling for backup, my coworkers were either laughing, slackjawed or taking pictures with their cameraphones and my boss was midbite into his Panda Express Orange Chicken.

I said "I quit."

Looking back on that I probably should have spoken my mind, but I knew what was coming. Security had already made it's way to where I was. There were seven of them, all older gentlemen who the company had hired to be a deterent to criminal activity not to actually thwart any occurrance. We engaged in a bit of a Benny Hill style run down with them eventually taking me to the ground.

I would like to say that they didn't do a number on me but truth be told some of those old men had some fight left in them. Two of them were professional strikebreakers back in the 40's and 50's. The type that didn't ask any questions, they just showed up to give a beatdown. I have a swollen jaw from brass knuckles and several large bruises and welts on my abdomen from a sack full of nickels.

They were kind enough to leave me outside by the dumpster. Eventually I awoke to one of the geese that wander the corporate park pecking at my nuts. I shooed it away and got in my car. I count myself lucky that my Bob Ross afro wig kept me from sustaining any real damage.

Now what was I to do with the rest of my day? Looking in my backseat I saw a fishing pole which is weird because I have never fished a day in my life. Wait! This isn't my car. Maybe a concussion is not out of the question. I grab the pole and set about finding my car.

There it is, my car. Let's get to the lake. Now most people would find a clear crystal serene lake with lots of fish, not me. With my limit fishing experience, the only lake I knew was a dirty waste of an estuary. Upon pulling up to the lake I could see three seperate boots floating in the water. One of them still had a foot inside.

Call me old fashioned but I get nostalgic for this place. My dad used to bring me here every weekend that the courts would let him. We would wade out into the water and see who could hold their breath the longest or he would try and throw me through the air. After about 15 minutes my eyes would start to burn and I would just cry and cry. He would call me a mistake and then he would drop me off and my Mammy's house.

I tend to block out a lot of stuff like that from my childhood. Either that or the pollution has killed the long term memory portion of my brain.

I cast my line and stand quietly in the water. Not many people come by while I stand there. Three nicely dressed Italian men back their Cadillac up to the edge of the water to dispose of a rolled up carpet at one point, but they tell me 'You didn't see nothing', and who am I to argue with that.

Finally there is a pull on the end of my line. I know I can't get too excited. This is going to take some time to reel this one in. If we fight long enough maybe they will write a book about us like Moby Dick, The Old Man and The Sea or One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Suddenly, the fish started swimming towards me which is just strange. So much for epic endeavours. I pick the fish up and look at it. If I were to name the fish based on appearrances I would have to call him Sloth, after the unfortunate looking character in The Goonies. But I don't get a chance to name him, for he begins to speak.

In a voice that sounds an awful lot like Ernest Borgnine he says "You cut my lip. You tricked me and snagged my lip. Now it is going to look like I had a lip ring at one point and then took it out. What the hell man?"

I politely explained to him "A small lip scar is the least of your worries. You look like the Toxic Avenger. I doubt a little bit of a lip scar is going to make or break your chances with the hot fish at the sandbar."

He took a little bit of offense to that, but honesty can hurt some times. I clearly could not eat this fish, I only like pretty food. So I removed the hook from his misshapen Mick Jagger like fish lips and tossed him back in the water.

That seemed like enough fishing for the day. Even when I was a kid I knew it was a good idea to call it a day if the rash spread above my belly button. Looking at my torso I was a little itchy as far up as my second rib. That evening was gonna be rough.

I felt really sleepy as I sat in the front seat of my car. It had been a long day for me, I played dress up, quit my job, got a geriatrically assaulted, laid by a dumpster for about hours as far as I could tell, went fishing in what effectively is just one giant public toilet and have no fish to show for it.

Maybe tomorrow will be different.