Saturday, December 2, 2017

Not dying is a plus...

As I'm sure you remember, on Monday I had my thyroid forcibly ripped from my throat and discarded in the trash like a hunk of rancid sausage.  I was told the surgery was a sight to behold, as it lasted about two hours.  I petered out before it started, but I think it must have ended with a hulking man-wolf perched upon the operating table holding the offending gland aloft, shouting "I have slain the beast, and it is glorious!"

The "doctor" tells me he just removed the thyroid calmly, closed up the incision, and left for another appointment.  He has no imagination.  And his lab coat makes him look like a pharmacist.

Since then I have been recuperating at my sister-in-laws in Indianapolis, so that no little princess hands could jab at my scar.  It's been pretty boring.  But since nothing else happened in the world, here's some random thoughts I had the day of surgery:

Before 
  • Hospital waiting rooms are never as glamorous as they make them look like on T.V.
  • I wonder what that guy is in for?  Is it rude to ask?
  • Should I have made a scrapbook of me and my thyroid on Snapfish?  Or perhaps a mug?
  • It would be cool if the thyroid was God's superpower restrictor plate.  Like the nurse comes out and says, "you're going to be in a lot of pain this week, but now you can fly!
  • I wish I chose "turn invisible" instead of "fly" for my superpower
  • Why did they have me take off my underwear for a neck surgery?  Should I be worried?
  • I wonder how many naked guys wore this robe before me?
  • I hope my insides smell nice
  • I'm going to try and dream about dinosaurs.  But Fred Flintstone dinosaurs, because real dinosaurs freak me the flip out
  • The nurse keeps calling it "Happy Juice."  Does she think I'm five, or is that just fruit punch?  Hopefully they didn't run a financial check on me before hand
  • Getting sleepy....dinosaurs....dinosaurs....dinosaurs....grocery shopping....CRAP!....zzzzzzzzzz

During
  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...dinosaur shopping...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

After
  • These stiches hurt. How does Frankenstein's monster do it?
  • I'm going to keep pretending I'm asleep until the nurse leaves, because I'm pretty naked under this sheet
  • The doctor said he couldn't see my parathyroids.  Now I think he's just making stuff up to sound important
  • I wish they let me keep the gland in a mason jar
  • Is it too brazen to ask the hospital if they have a social media marketing plan?
  • My vocal cord nerve is fine -- why is my wife crying?
  • So insurance approved 40 pain killers without blinking an eye, but turned down a calcium supplement.   Can't believe we have an opioid crisis
  • This neck drain that I have to wear tonight -- not in the brochure
  • I wonder if my gall bladder will want it's freedom, too?
  • Not dying is a plus and all, but my family would have been set if I kicked it on the operating table
  • It's a beautiful day.  The bees are beeing.  The birds are birding.  And HOLY CRAP MY THROAT HURTS!
  • My momma always said if something was rotten, cut it out of your life

And that's all the time we have tonight, kids.  Come back tomorrow when my guests will be Martin Short, Method Man, and the music stylings of the Dixie Chicks.

Good night, and sweet dreams.

Of dinosaurs.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Death, Dying and Showstopping Musical Numbers

First, thank you all for the incredible support generated by my last post.  I debated with myself about whether or not I should post about being unemployed, and if people would be offended by the content.  Luckily, myself convinced myself that I had enough conversations with other folks who were laid-off, that most people could understand the sentiment.  And I was right.

But then again, I also was wrong.

Self-debate is filled with losers.

Another loser: my thyroid.  On Monday, my thyroid will be forcibly ripped from my neck in a routine procedure.  Then, they will check the shivering lump for any cancerous bumps, and discard it in a thyroid specific trash can.  I believe it also gets teased by several doctors with fully functioning thyroids.  I'm not sure what the teasing accomplishes, but I'm told it is all medically necessary.

To prevent my neck from putting up a fight, the doctors will have me suck some hippy-gas until I fall asleep.  Anesthesia has a lot of upside of being a great sleeping aid, with only one real drawback -- the chance of death.  Not being a huge fan of death, I'm reluctant in signing the "Can't Sue" waver, but since my neck frequently writes loving haikus to my thyroid, I feel that putting it to sleep is the only way to quell a resistance.

To come to terms with my impending minute chance of doom, I watched the pinnacle piece of cinema about death.  The Bucket List is a 2007 masterpiece involving thespians Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicolson -- who are contractually required to be in every movie about old people) -- recovering from cancer.  The two concoct a list of things they would like to do so that they could die fully fulfilled.  See the pyramids, drive a sports car, and get a tattoo make the list.  Strangely, spending quality time with the family or make sure next year's 1040s are in order do not make the cut.

Inspired by this American Classic, many people have created Bucket Lists.  You can scour the Interwebs and find out the 100 places to visit before you die, or the 100 foods to eat before you die, or the 100 books you should read before you die.  The problem of these mundane list items, is that there is so much to lose.  What if you put down "See the Pyramids" on your list, and once you get there you just can't get over the oppressive heat?  Or you read Moby Dick and realize that it's just about a whale?  What then?  You die unfulfilled and all the satisfied ghosts won't let you into their cool ghost club.  That's what.

I have decide to make my own bucket list for two distinct reasons. 1.) Morgan Freeman told me to do it, and his voice has magical enchantments. 2.)  If I don't finish the list I CAN NEVER DIE - MWAHAHAHAHAHA.

My Bucket List by Jack Grubb

1.) Participate in a large musical number in which the spoken word would not adequately express the emotion felt.
This musical number can arise spontaneously ala "Stick to the Status Quo" in High School Musical, or be meticulously planned like the end of Mr. Holland's Opus.  It has to be big, involving many people and many voices, mostly to drown out my Pig-Stuck-In-A-Blender vocal stylings.

2.) Attend a dinner party speaking only in movie and T.V. quotes.
Those who guess said quotes will be awarded points based on the obscurity of the quote.  Once someone reaches 100, I hand them a solid gold trophy, grab my coat and hat, and leave.

3.) Buy a coat and hat.
Trenchcoat and fedora, preferably.  I also would like to slick back my hair, start smoking Pall Malls, and mutter wildly about saving the Savings & Loan.

4.) Finish my ABCs of Esoteric Words.
A is for avuncular.  B is for bifurcate.  It's never too early to become a Hipster.

5.) Start calling the mailman Scarecrow.
When he finally asks why, I'll touch his face and say, "because I'll miss you most of all."

6.) Pick what cabinet to haunt.
Haunting a whole house seems like a lot of work.  I would rather just haunt a cabinet, especially the one where they keep the donuts.  Knowing my luck, though, I'll end up with cups and mugs.  Nobody gets scared of haunted cups and mugs.

7.) Do one set of stand-up comedy and/or improv.
Three things got in the way pf my comedy career: 1.) I didn't want to travel 45-50 weeks a year; 2.) I didn't really enjoy the company of most other stand-up people I met; 3.) I'm not funny.  I would like to do one set, though, just to see what a disaster I would have been.

8.) Open up a Gamer Pub in Indianapolis.  
I don't know why I have this stupid dream.  I know nothing of retail or restauranting (or if restauranting is even a word).  But I want a game store that makes money by selling beer, wine and pub food in the playing area.  Special events would be aplenty.  Bonus points by getting my brothers-in-laws to play along.

9.) Finish a story
I have about 20 started and none finished.  Some because they suck, some because they closely resemble the plot of Ishtar, and some because I forgot where I saved the text.  One day I will have a book published.  Probably self-published on Amazon Kindle for 52 cents, but I will be in print along side such classics like: Texting Mr. Right and But...You're a Horse.

10.) Have a ginormous party with all my friends.
The Queen has amassed a plethora of friends during every move.  One or two can stomach me, also.  Combine those with my childhood and college friends and we could fill an average size Pizza Hut.  We'll invite everyone, just enter with the password, "I got booze."  It would be doubly faboo if the night could end with a large musical number.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cheering Up the Unemployed

I haven't written in a crap ton (metric weight) amount of time. Why?

Lots of work, lots of travel, lots of kids, lots of moving, lots of Doritos, lots of 2016 World Series celebrating, little of time.

And now?

Nothing.

We all know the age-old story: Boy meets company.  Boy loves company.  Boy brings niche food product to national prominence.  Boy meets FDA.   Boy gets hit on head with proverbial cartoon mallet.  Boy loses company.  Boy feels weight of unemployment crushing his lower pelvis region.  Boy writes on long forgotten blog.

If you want to know the whole story, click here.  (By the way, I wrote the Press Release.)

I've been unemployed before, but I can only describe this stint as soul-shattering.  I lost a family business.  Working with my father has transformed my life in a profound way.  Our daily interactions and the bond we created over peanut-free peanut butter has made me a better son, father and husband.  I resisted the business for so long, like working for Dad meant I couldn't hack it on my own.  Now I only wish I started the day I left my college campus.

But as they say, when God closes a door, He just may piss on you from the upstairs window.  This window just happens to be in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains, land of opportunity for a marketing specialist who specializes in niche companies.  Not to mention that most of the places -- eight in total --  I have worked before no longer exist.  I essentially have an out-of-place resume built on ghosts.

So, I look for my friends for support.  Most do well and try to hook me up with job opportunities or empathy.  I appreciate that from the bottom of my heart.  This lost hit hard, as I feel that I let down my wife, my kids and myself.  It wasn't my fault, and I couldn't do a damn thing to stop this predicament.  I need proactive love from love ones, because I know I won't seek it out.  I've got job hunting to do.

Some people, however, can stay silent.  I know they mean well, but just like a funeral, some people just don't know what to say.  There are certain phrases that should not be said, basically because they act as daggers made of ice piercing the heart and melting while I slowly bleed out.  Or like watching a twelve hour marathon of Shaquille O'Neal movies.  Whichever is worse.  So don't say these -- unless you are an a-hole.  Then go ahead.

Everything happens for a reason.
My life--and the lives of everyone who used to work at the company, the co-packer, and the people who got seriously ill--went totally sideways for some sort of cosmic plan?  That's like ripping out my right eye so my daughter can meet the doctor's 7-year old son, who she will marry sixteen years later.  I'm not sure God commands such a Rube Goldberg universe.

You'll have so much more time for your family.
a.) I have much more time to slowly sink my family into financial ruin.  b.) I'm pretty sure my family would rather have me at work.  I'm much better in small quantities.

You'll be fine.
This is what you tell a person who was bitten by a zombie and is just about to be shot in the head unless they turn.  It's something you tell a small child who is scared to slide down the "tall slide."  It's what you tell someone when they have to drink something that is hopefully an anecdote.  Not what you tell someone who is struggling to pay their bills.

Have you tried...
Usually these suggestions are so benign or outlandish that the suggestion is worthless.  There is no middle ground.  It's either "Have you tried updating your resume?" or "Have you tried selling blood to a hungry vampire?"  The only reason that this should be said is if it is solicited.  If you don't hear, "What can I do?" don't give suggestions.

HERE IS WHAT YOU SHOULD SAY

That really sucks.

or

Are you OK?

or (hopefully)

Here is someone I can introduce you to who can help you get a job.

That's it.  Nothing more. 

This article has been a PSA sponsored by Cashwise Payday Loans.