"… is something I know nothing about. Nevertheless, I can’t count the number of times people come up to me on the street, at the unemployment office or in the women’s locker room at my gym and ask me about my column. Why just last week, there must have been almost two people who approached me..... Continue reading
As many of you know, I am a nationally sought-after marketer. It has come to my attention that President Trump’s campaign is struggling to come up with a new campaign slogan for his 2020 re-election bid. He can’t use Make America Great Again because, well, he's already accomplished that task bigly...........Continue Reading
A wise man once said, If a man’s wealth be measured in grains of rice, he could hold all the riches of the world in his hands. Okay, so that man was an idiot. He was also my Uncle Larry, and he died penniless – unless you count the 850 boxes of Minute Rice found in his basement after his funeral................. Read the complete article at View from the Bleachers
Recently I ordered one of those cool robot vacuums called a Roomba. It’s pretty amazing. It will quietly clean an entire floor while only mildly terrorizing the cats. And when it’s all done, it returns to its charging station and goes to sleep.
Dear person who never looks up while crossing the street, no matter how much traffic there is,
Hey, how’s it going? I hope I didn’t interrupt you from anything important. Please, by all means, go ahead and finish texting LOL to your friend Brad. Don’t forget the smiley face emoticon. Your text is far more important than anything I have to discuss with you. I’ll wait……… Done yet? Super.
Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself. You see, I’m the guy whose car almost creamed you earlier today when you walked into traffic against the light and never once looked up. I doubt you remember me.
I can imagine it must have been hard to hear my horn blaring or my brakes screeching to avoid hitting you, what with that AC / DC song playing on your iPod at 175 decibels. I could hear them rocking away from inside my car with my windows up. I have to say, excellent choice in music, dude. Can’t go wrong with Highway to Hell – a classic.
You know, when I was young, I was taught that the center of the solar system was the sun. I now realize that my teacher lied to me – because clearly the solar system revolves around an eight-inch space between those earbuds of yours.
Okay, so technically I may have had the “legal” right of way over you, seeing as the light was green for me, and you had that annoying, flashing DON’T WALK sign that you probably missed since it didn’t flash on your cell phone. But hey, who has time to read street signs when they’re busy checking out their Facebook page, am I right?
Anyhoo, what I was trying to say is I apologize. I’m deeply sorry if my car’s front bumper photobombed the Selfie you were taking. Given that my windshield was merely four feet away from your ribcage when our paths crossed, I fear I may have ruined your Snapchat moment.
I must confess, I envy you just a little. You looked so at peace – so completely unbothered by the gridlock you created for all those cars behind me trying in vain to make it through the intersection. I am in awe of your composure in the face of a long line of irate drivers who would have happily made you into a hood ornament.
A lesser person would have been intimidated at the thought of 4,000 pounds of steel bearing down on them at the speed of a hungry cheetah. But not you. You were so courageous, completely undaunted. Even the screams of the maddening crowd didn’t shake your certitude that the urban seas would part to make way for your triumphant, regal crossing. Way to make an entrance, King Cell Phone Dude.
And I simply must applaud your amazing ability to keep your eyes focused downward during your entire crossing. As I was trying in vain to get your attention, your eyes never once wandered from your cell phone screen during your entire 36-foot journey from curb to curb. I doubt a nuclear explosion could have diverted your concentration away from whatever YouTube roomba cat video you were locked in on.
Ya’ know, sometimes I find myself having to stop what I’m doing and pay attention to other people around me who insist that I observe basic courtesies of a modern society. You don’t suffer from that affliction. Not one bit. It must be nice not to have to worry about anything outside of a two-foot radius of your thumbs. What’s important to me is that you were able to saunter across the street at your own leisurely pace, without having to worry about anyone else on this planet. I am in awe of you.
I hope our paths cross again sometime. Perhaps we’ll meet on an airplane. I’ll be the guy right behind you in line waiting for fifteen minutes while you attempt to squeeze a suitcase the size of a refrigerator into the overhead compartment.
But if I know you – and I’m pretty sure I do – you won’t notice me then either. And that’s okay. Because no matter how long you make me wait for you to place your special order at the drive thru or ask the bank teller to convert your collection of 2,578 pennies into dollar bills, it’s okay. Take your time. Please don’t hurry on my account. All that matters to me – and the other 25 people in line behind you – is that you focus on the needs of Numero Uno, buddy. Act like we’re not even here. That should be easy for you to do.
On behalf of all the people in this world who are forced to wait on the outside of whatever impenetrable magic bubble you live in, I just want to say, thank you for reminding all of us that your time is more valuable than ours.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base - Click the image below to go to the View from the Bleachers website or click here: www.viewfromthebleachers.net
Author’s note: Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I thought I would celebrate with a true story about love and romance. Sometimes you never know when or where love will find you, as ts story proves. Their names have been changed out of respect for their privacy but the story is exactly what happened. – tej]
“Pardon me, sir. But do you play bridge?” That’s how it all started. A simple question, posed by a middle-aged woman to a complete stranger. To be more specific, Beth was emboldened to ask this question in Aisle 7 of the grocery store, somewhere between the shampoo section and men’s shaving cream.
“Um, well, uh, yeah, I do”, stammered the elderly man, confused by the query and not sure why this mysterious woman was accosting him in the middle of a store. His name was Ed – a kindly fellow, well into his 80s, with a warm, jovial smile. He was just minding his own business. But Beth was not finished. “My mother plays bridge. Would you like to meet my mother sometime?”
More stammering. More confusion. Mixed with an extra helping of embarrassment. Ed was caught in a deer-in-the-headlights moment. He had no idea what the correct answer was to this audacious inquiry. So, being the gentleman that he was, and not wanting to offend this lady in Aisle 7, he replied, in his noticeably southern drawl, “I dunno. Well, um, I guess that would be ahhhlrahhht.”
Apparently by “sometime,” Beth meant NOW. Because before Ed had time to ask her name, she was on the phone with her mom. “Mom, meet Ed. Ed, meet my mom, Margaret.” And then she handed the phone to Ed and walked away. Suddenly there were now two deer caught in the headlights – and neither of them knew what to say. Margaret wanted to say, “Beth, why are you trying to embarrass me? Hang up this phone this instant!” But Margaret was raised to be polite and instead told Ed, “What a pleasure it is to make your acquaintance,” hoping this awkward situation would be over quickly, never to be discussed again.
An agonizing two minutes later, Beth returned, relieved Ed of the phone, and gleefully said to her mom, “Doesn’t he sound great?” The next sound Ed heard was CLICK! Beth had just taken a photo – of him – to bring back to her mom. Beth took down his number and thanked him for his time. And poof! She was gone. Ed was confused. Very confused. What exactly just happened? Who was that woman? And what was it I was looking for in Aisle 7 anyway?
“Jessica, I think I just found a man for mom”, shouted Beth into her phone, as she exited the grocery store. Her sister was the less impulsive of the two. “What are you up to now?” she asked in a concerned, slightly disapproving tone. Their mom – Margaret – was a sweet elderly woman who had lost the one and only love of her life, Arthur, after almost four decades of marriage. He had passed away a couple of years before due to illness. Margaret was getting by, but Beth could see that the sparkle in her mom’s eyes had been gone for quite some time. Margaret was strikingly good-looking, despite her years, with a full head of smooth, silvery hair and a gentle smile that belied the sadness she felt now that her best friend was gone.
That did not sit well with Beth. So, without running it past Margaret, of course, she decided that her mom needed a man in her life. And apparently, what better place to find that man than in Aisle 7 of the local IGA? Beth drove to her mom’s house, a good 25 miles away.to show her the photo of Ed. “Mom, what do you think? Isn’t he adorable?” Beth was on a mission, explaining how Ed played bridge – “just like you, mom – oh, and he wants to meet you – in person!”
Margaret was completely flummoxed. What exactly was she supposed to do? After all, she had not been on a date with anyone but her husband in almost forty years. And it had only been a couple years since Arthur’s passing. Surely it was too soon. But Beth would have none of it. “Mom, Ed seems like a very nice man. And he has a charming southern accent and a kind smile. What do you have to lose?”
It took some time before Margaret got up the courage to say OK – and even longer for Ed to work up the courage to call her. A full month went by before they finally met. Ed showed up on a Sunday afternoon in front of Margaret’s home. There she was, sitting on her front porch in her nicest Sunday dress. Ed saw her and was smitten the moment their eyes met. “She was so beautiful. I felt like I was looking at Marilyn Monroe,” Ed gushed about their first encounter.
Ed thought Margaret was sweet and kind, and beautiful. He was right on all counts, of course. And Margaret liked Ed too, even his shiny bald head and his accent – which turned out to be from Arkansas. She thought he was the perfect gentleman. And no, Ed did not kiss her on their first date – as much as he wanted to, because, well, he was a gentleman. That date was almost two years ago. Ed and Margaret are still courting. And very much in love. But they are not ready to get married because, well, they want to take things slowly. Margaret’s cat Patches has given the green light, though, as she sits on Ed’s lap whenever he comes over to play bridge.
So, if you have lost your one true love in life for whatever reason, Ed and Margaret are here to tell you, don’t give up all hope. They will be the first to say that sometimes love can blossom again, even when you least expect it, no matter how many years have gone by. And sometimes it just might find you in the most unlikely of places, between shampoo and shaving cream in Aisle 7.
Happy Valentines’ Day.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
To learn more about Tim Jones go to: www.viewfromthebleachers.net/about
If you’re a parent like me – or even if you’re a parent who’s not like me – at some point you’ve probably asked yourself, “Why on earth did I ever have kids?” In my case, I blame my wife.
For years, I found that same question popping into my head – roughly every four minutes – as I would endure one battle after another with my rebellious younger daughter for household supremacy. I fondly recall that satisfying period when I was in charge and my word was law. But then she turned two.
Parenting is exhausting, with long stretches during which you wonder if your children will ever show you a glimmer of respect or affection – and by “long stretches” I mean from age two to whatever age they currently are. If you’re feeling anxious that perhaps your child doesn’t love you, despite all the hard work and sacrifices you’ve made, it’s understandable. But there is hope she’ll get through her awkward, narcissistic phase, and the day will come when she shows you her devotion. Admittedly, when I say “there is hope”, I mean in the way that there’s hope my Seattle Mariners may someday make it to the World Series, or how astronomers hope someday they may find intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.
The signs are obvious if you just know where to look. Here’s how I know my daughter loves me:
Over the years, I’ve sent my daughter hundreds of emails with subjects like “A great life lesson” or “Why drinking alcohol is dangerous to toddlers.” And I would never get a response. I started to wonder whether she was even receiving my communiqués. And now I know she was – because she told me she’s set up a special SPAM folder called “Emails from Dad.” How thoughtful.
When she was younger, she expected me to drop everything to attend to her far more important needs. She’d shout, “I NEED YOU TO HELP ME NOW!” But in recent years, she’s really matured. Now she will always add “PLEASE” to the end of her command.
When she was a teen, she struggled with saying the words “thank you” after I’d done something nice for her – like the time I refrained from killing her when she crashed my car just after obtaining her learner’s permit. But now, whenever I do something kind for her, she routinely says “thanks” – cutting me off as she’s walking out the door to hang with friends. At least I think she’s talking to me. It’s possible she’s talking to her best bud Meagan on her cell phone.
In the past, she used to do that eye rolling whenever I’d say something annoying like “good morning” or “I love you.” But she has really matured. Nowadays she takes that extra second to turn away from me BEFORE she rolls her eyes. That’s just plain courtesy, if you ask me.
There were periods when I sent my daughter a time-urgent text and she’d ignore it completely. I’ve seen glaciers melt in less time than it took to get a reply. On those rare occasions when she lowered herself to thumb a response – usually after my sixth request – it was typically just five letters: “dunno”. But these days, things are much better. Now she occasionally responds after only three requests. Once, when I wrote, “Do you plan to come home for Christmas?” she actually typed a complete sentence: “I don’t know.” If you ask me, the extra millisecond it took her is proof of her love.
For years, my daughter would never admit that her dad could possibly be right or that she could possibly be wrong. In her eyes, for example, I was totally lame to be concerned about a sleepover, sans parents, at Meagan’s, whose drug-dealer boyfriend was supplying beer kegs. “No worries, Dad!”, she reassured me. And she should know – after all, she was eleven.
These days she realizes I’m often right – almost 15% of the time by my latest estimate. Just last week, she acknowledged my wisdom by humbly texting me the following heartfelt phrase: “Whatever.”
I realize these may seem like small gestures on my daughter’s part. But underneath it all, I know they’re her way of saying, “Hey dad, you were an amazing father and I don’t know how to thank you for all your sacrifices. I love you more than words could possibly say.”
Okay, so technically she never actually says the words “I love you”. But I know, from the way she mumbles “uh, thanks” with no eye roll or exasperated sigh, that deep DEEP down, my daughter really loves me. And I’m going to cling to that firm belief the next time she texts me at 2:17 am, “Dad, come pick me up at Meagan’s house NOW – please.”
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base. - Click the image below to go to the View from the Bleachers website or click here: www.viewfromthebleachers.net
Remember way back when, before you had kids, how you and your spouse would go on romantic getaways to exotic destinations like Cancun or Paris or maybe Santorini? Ah, such relaxing vacations. But then you screwed up everything by deciding to start a family. Oh sure, having young kids doesn’t mean you can no longer go on vacations. It just means you can’t enjoy them.
By the time your kids turn seven, as summer vacation season approaches, they’ll begin the longstanding family ritual: complaining that every other child in the free world has been to Disney World – twice– “except for us! It’s no fair!” This is an excellent time to invite your kids to ask the Millers down the street if they might consider adopting them, since apparently “the Millers are way more fun parents than your mom and me.” I never particularly liked the Millers. I suspect the husband may be a metrosexual. But that’s a story for another post.
As surely as my Seattle Mariners will never win the World Series in my lifetime, it’s an equal certainty that sooner or later, you will buckle under the pressure of the relentless nagging and offer to take your kids to Disney World. And for that you have my deepest sympathy.
A trip to Disney World is the perfect vacation – if you like standing in line for hours at a time in sweltering 96-degree heat with 97% humidity, listening to your young children whining endlessly about how long all the waits for rides are. Usually by about 1pm on Day One you’re starting to seriously regret your decision to spend thousands of dollars that could have been much better spent on a brand new red Camaro instead. If this sounds like your idea of fun, then pack your bags and head to the airport for your very own Disney adventure. Then turn around and go back home. You forgot your four-year old, Ashley. Then strap Ashley and her adorable Disney-branded Lilo and Stitch backpack into her car seat and get ready for a not-so-memorable trip to visit Mickey and his pals.
Most families go to Disney World during summer vacation. And why not? The kids are out of school. And there’s no better place to be in July than central Florida – particularly if you enjoy the sensation of feeling like you’re on the surface of Venus. There is so much to see at Disney World. In fact, at last count, there were no less than seven different theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, two water parks, and, their newest attraction, Disney’s Magical World of Heat Stroke.
As you pull up to the Magic Kingdom, your kids will proclaim you the BEST PARENTS IN THE WORLD – a lofty status that will last for slightly less than an hour, after which you won’t be able to shut them up about how hot it is, how hungry they are and how you are undoubtedly the WORST PARENTS IN THE WORLD for forcing them to sit through The Hall of Presidents attraction when their friends’ parents would surely have done Splash Mountain instead.
Based on my own experience, I’d recommend that the ideal duration for touring around Disney World is approximately 90 minutes. Anything longer and you’re going to really wish you had used the time for something more enjoyable, like root canal surgery. Because you will be joined by over 100,000 other families today, be sure to plan on getting to the park early – ideally no later than 5 am. Otherwise, the closest lot you’ll be able to park in is Pluto 85 – conveniently located just two zip codes east of the park.
A better plan might be to take the Disney shuttle bus. It stops at every major hotel near the park. Just wait in front of your hotel for the next shuttle bus. It should be here in about 45 minutes. Then it’s just 30 minutes from your hotel to… the transfer station where you’ll board a second shuttle bus, which in roughly 25 more minutes will drop you off right at the main entrance to your Disney theme park. And within seconds after the bus leaves, you’ll realize you got off at the wrong Disney theme park. But don’t fret. The next shuttle will arrive shortly – in about 45 minutes.
By now, you may notice the time is already 11:15 am. So you better pick up the pace. Before you know it, your kids will start complaining they’re hungry. Not to worry. There are over 3,700 restaurants spaced at roughly 40-foot intervals throughout any Disney theme park. You can enjoy food that will appeal to every taste – so long as your taste is limited to burgers, fries, pizza, hot dogs, fried chicken, ice cream or, oddly enough, arugula salad with lemon-parmesan dressing. I know. Go figure. Personally, I recommend dining at the Country Bear Jamboree Saloon. The chicken there tastes surprisingly like chicken.
But the main reason kids love going to Disney World – other than to torment their parents – is for the rides. There are so many great rides to choose between. Should you start with Space Mountain? Perhaps Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin? Or maybe The Pirates of the Caribbean? It really doesn’t matter which one you choose. They all will have one feature in common – a sixty-minute wait to get in.
You might want to consider a time-saving way to avoid the long lines by purchasing a FastPass. It lets you reserve in advance a set time slot for up to three different rides per day – all for slightly less than the cost of a year’s tuition at Stanford. But whatever you do, do NOT go on It’s a Small World. It is every bit as chirpy and annoying as it was when it opened in 1966.
Thankfully, Disney World has one ride that is well worth the wait – the ride back to your hotel in an air conditioned shuttle bus. It’s by far the most enjoyable ride you’ll have all day, I guarantee it.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
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An 87-year-old woman located at 11 Dandelion Place called police to report that her 16-year-old granddaughter Chelsea had run away. After a brief investigation, police were able to locate Chelsea in a tree. Chelsea, it turned out, was the woman’s 16-year-old calico cat. She does not actually have any grandchildren.
A teenager was spotted throwing a rock at a residential window at 42 Eagle’s Nest Terrace. The rock missed the window but caused a slight dent in the downspout. The homeowner is not pressing charges since the suspect was later identified as his middle child Nathan.
Police responded to an argument between a mother and her eleven-year-old son at Happy Hedgehog Trail. The exact nature of the dispute was not divulged, though it reportedly had something to do with the son being told he could not watch any more TV until he finished his homework.
A resident of 219 Nothing-Ever-Happens-Here Way reportedhis lawn mower stolen and informed police that he suspected his neighbor with whom he’d gotten into a dispute over who
should win on American Idol. He called the police the next day to report that he found it – in his backyard shed, right where he’d left it. Claiming a “senior moment,” he reluctantly decided not to press charges against his annoying neighbor.
Police checked in on a thirteen-year-old boy who had been shouting about how much he loved some girl named Natalie in his seventh grade class. He was apparently causing a disturbance
to the neighbors. Upon questioning, the boy admitted to consuming his very first beer and was feeling the effects of an alcohol buzz. He later threw up and apologized to his parents. No charges were pressed.
A female high school student walking down North CrimeIs-Unheard-Of-Around-Here Drive was approached by a suspiciouslooking bearded man driving unusually slowly in a creepy looking
van and called police. After a brief investigation, police identified the creepy man as Barney Mueller, the local Good Humor Man, just making his usual rounds.
Police responded to a call from the local IGA that two suspicious youths, aged 22 and 21, shoplifted several candy bars and a bag of Doritos. An hour later, police were unable to locate any of the candy or the Doritos, although both youths, when questioned, appeared to have suspiciously orange tongues.
See what I mean? I’m living in fear for my life here – or at least in fear for my snack food. I’ve half a mind to think about maybe eventually possibly locking my front door when we’re away for a few days. It’s gotten that bad. Please pray for my safety, won’t you?
Read more of Tim Jones’ humor every week at www.ViewFromTheBleachers.net