Luck From Above

It’d been at least six months since my last haircut. For me, this means a Gene Wilder-esque mess of tangled madness floating around my head, barely attached, with the number of gray and white hairs increasing each second, constantly closer to overtaking the brown ones I’m really going to miss. It was time for a cut.

My new-ish apartment is in-between two barber shops in the same chain, about two miles away from each. Normally I’d drive, but my roommate insisted it was a fine walk. While I’d been conditioning myself to spend days at a time indoors, hunched over a computer, internetting my life away, movement is something my body probably needs way more of than I’m willing to give it on a regular basis. Taking this into account, I slathered sun block on all exposed parts of my body and headed out into the world, going the healthy route, despite my fear of sunlight and sweating.

A walk through my neighborhood is a celebration of smells and sounds one normally would not celebrate. So far, my experience is that it’s not a particularly bad neighborhood, but the frequent sirens singing and low flying helicopters dancing, paint a different story. It’s got, uh, character.

That character was even more apparent on the hot summer day walk to get the crazy madness atop my head shorn. Aside from fear of sweating in all the places I really dislike sweating (meaning all the places), it was fine. I’d decided I’d made the correct decision to walk instead of drive when I was upon a street lamp at the corner.

And I felt the air rush past my face, something hitting my messy nest of hair right before sounds of thunder plops exploding about me.

I cursed everything that is curseable and debated running my hands through my mop top. But I didn’t… because I was fairly certain there was bird shit in it. I tried to enjoy the great outdoors, and that quest for joy had been shat upon by nature.

My leisurely stroll became a speed walk. The only fortunate thing was that my destination was a barbershop/salon kinda place. They charged extra for shampooing… I wondered if there was a bird poo charge on top of that.

Now the sweat was really pouring off of me… my unkempt hair all a-crazy, likely now housing the white poop of our fine-feathered fiends from above. Clean, flip-flop and fanny pack wearing tourist gave me the same look I gave that very serene-looking guy I saw walking and peeing down the sidewalk near my neighborhood one time. I was one of those characters who give my neighborhood character.

When I reached the barbershop, there was a wait. Covered in sweat and my version of self-actualization, I went to the men’s room to inspect my hair. While it was a mess, I found no bird poop. Perhaps… I’d just felt the air of it whizzing by? Well, that was a relief.

I was called to a chair, and the hair cutter was a very relaxed, nice lady who loved dancing, talking about how she loved dancing, and who also seemed to have no problem with bird shit. She said it was lucky, but also confirmed there was none on my hair.

As I was sitting, the apron over me, I rested my hand on my leg… and found where the bird shit had hit me. For the first time in my lifetime of getting my hair cut, I asked for a moment to go to the bathroom to wash bird poop off my jeans. She, again, was fine with it, saying she thought it was cool stitching on my jeans when she saw me sitting down. Nope. Poop. From a bird. Bird poop.

When I returned, large wet spot on my pants leg where the dropping had been, hands washed and re-washed at least three times, she kept on chit chatting like it was no big deal. It even turned out she was from the same county of Ohio as I was, which is a wacky coincidence to cap off my wacky non-adventure.

As I left, she reassured me that being pooped upon by a bird is good luck. For me personally, the jury is still out on that one.

Two Rights Make A Wrong So Right It’s Wrong

There was a time when I would not have put a mini Snickers bar and a mini Twix bar in my mouth at the same time, chewing them together into one über-snack. It was an era of dignity and self-respect. Now I find myself wondering if a 3 Musketeers and Kit Kat would be as decadently delicious. (Note to self: this probably would be awesome, so go ahead and try it as soon as typing is complete.)

By way of an explanation, let me back up a bit. You see, today I walked from my in-place-putting hallway desk into my managers’ office. In said office, aside from my managers themselves, is a Spider-Man’s head-shaped candy bowl. Inside the faux-Spidey-skull is, well, just a lot of candy.

I initially went for a mini-Twix, but then deemed it too small for my mouth. Instead of grabbing another mini-Twix to make a decent-sized-Twix (or, say, putting the candy down and getting an apple), a mini-Snickers bar caught my eye, and — you know what? I didn’t really need to back up at all, did I? The act of putting a mini-Snickers bar and mini-Twix bar in my mouth at the same time is it’s own explanation.

Like it says in the Constitution of the United States of America, combining foods can be awesome, especially when the foods in question are chocolate-based candies. Common knowledge to anyone who knows even a modicum of history.

On a related note, I’ve been trying to lose weight for a few months now, partly at my doctor’s advisement, partly due to my money-saving desire to not outgrow my current pants size have to buy new pants. It’s been going pretty well, surprisingly.

My technique is to eat, well, less. Still eat. Eat plenty, really. Just eat decent-sized instead of HUGE meals with less fried things and whatnot. It works most of the time, but once in a while I snap and do things like put a mini-Snickers and mini-Twix bar into my mouth at the exact same time, my only regret being that they are mini and not full-sized.

Common Sense? Or TRIUMPH?

So, last night, as I do every night, I ate food. This meal is one I call “dinner.” Some call it “supper,” but that sounds like it should only be said with a refined Southern accent to my way of thinking, so I call it “dinner.” Or “din-din.” Or “dying alone slowly alone while watching TV alone… and usually drinking beer…alone.”

Anyway, like I often do, I ordered a pizza. Pizza Hut (or Pizza “Slut” as my bro used to say way back when he worked there in the days of our youth). A large. I usually go with some tasty local places (Victor Jr’s, La Rocco’s) or even Papa John’s (when I get a good coupon via email, because, yeah, I get Papa John’s deal emails), but Pizza Slut appealed to me on that particular evening.

The ‘za (as I sometimes call “pizza” as a joke*, often with “brah” following it for extra humor**) arrived approximately when it was scheduled to, which was swell. And it tasted about how I expected. Now, some folks might make fun, but Pizza Hut was the classy pizza in my town growing up, so I will not make fun of the stuff. I find it delicious.

My usual is to order a ‘za brah, eat about half of it, and then decide to save the rest for later. …At that point, there is always a struggle that lasts about thirty seconds, and I cave, eating the entire pizza pie. The resulting pain and discomfort is something I never remember during the devouring process.

Last night, however, I ate half and… decided to leave it at that. I stuck to my guns. I was very proud of myself, then inconsolably saddened and terrified by the fact that I feel proud for only eating HALF A LARGE PIZZA. Still… my stomach didn’t hurt, and yet I was no longer hungry. I hope to apply this way of thinking to my life henceforth, but I don’t know if I trust myself when confronted with pizza. History will tell if this triumphant bit of common sense was an isolated incident.

I pray it is not, though, as I don’t want to have to buy new clothes and am increasingly unhappy with pictures of me on Facebook. Also, stairs. Good lord! Am I right?

And don’t say I should eat fruit or vegetables or something instead of pizza. I need to work my way to true healthiness slowly and carefully, so I’m starting with trying to defeat my inherent gluttony. Wish me luck. Or don’t. Up to you.

* Like many weird words and phrases I use, “za brah” started as a joke — but I now sometimes say it without remembering I was making fun of it when I first started saying it. (See also: “dude,” “bro,” “dudebro,” and “brovoloni with cheese.”)

** Or “humour” if you are British.

The New Vintage

Clothing options had dwindled to a dangerous one or two work shirts. I’ve never been a clothes horse, but it had gotten ridiculous. “Didn’t you wear that shirt yesterday?” had become a common question at work. Please note that I always washed shirts between wearings, so the answer was always, “No, it was… the day before yesterday… probably.”

I’d been on a hunt for new shirts for a long damn while, but it seems like most of humanity changed shape slightly over the years, making it impossible for me to find shirts that fit. (I assume it was everyone else who changed and not me, because there wasn’t a rash of shirtlessness on the streets as far as I could tell.) Nothing in the XL range fit me, and I refused to move up to XXL, even though my body has been swelling this past decade.

This body-swelling is why I’d been moving up in clothing sizes for a few years now, but a while back I declared no more! I would refuse to go up in any more sizes! I’d either have to get my manboobs under control or just wear old, worn out shirts; I’d either have to get my gut in check or wear too-tight jeans that hurt me physically as well as emotionally!

Last week it got critical when I bent my arms and tore holes in the elbows of one of my three “almost-fitting” shirts Hulk-style. Another shirt had had a similar fate not long ago. It was a near-panic moment, and a trip to the store was necessary. I’m not comfortable going topless at a beach, let alone at work.

So… shopping. It’s a nightmare for me. Everything is too expensive, even on the sales racks. The styles seem to have left me behind in the late 90s. And, as stated previously, nothing ever fits — at least in the size I’m willing to buy. I felt like Phillip Seymor Hoffman’s character trying on fine Italian shirts with Marky Mark and Dr. Steve Brule. (That depressing tug over the gut breaks my heart every time.) My long-suffering ladyfriend went with me to help me out, but her spirits were quickly crushed by my crushed spirits, as is often the case.

Though the shirt situation was dire, I declared shopping a waste of time and was about to leave when she insisted upon one more store…

And, would you believe it? Success! Right to the sales racks, and there were shirts she liked and I kinda liked, so I was willing to try them on. They were “vintage fit,” which in my day meant, “for skinny people,” but something has happened as the years ticked by! Apparently, vintage had gone from slender waifs to barrel-chested husky dudes! This is why no other shirts fit me! Vintage is the new normal, so now normal is vintage!

It was a happy time. My moobs and gut fit in the shirt well, and it was were cheap, so I got another in a different color, too. What a relief. No need to go skins to my coworkers’ shirts. XL vintage! Who’d a thunk it? Kinda felt okay.

Then, this morning, I cut the tag off of one of my new shirts and saw… XXL. Son of a bitch. How had I missed that? Here I was all excited that I fit into XL and amused that my fat size was now Vintage, and… the dreaded two X’s.

Did my ladyfriend see this and sneak it by me in desparation and fear I’d continue down this shirt-destroying path? Or will she be as surprised as me when I whine to her about it after work today? Yeah, the shirts fit, but I’d sworn to not go this route. This way lies me just eating more and more until all I can fit into are the pleated jeans and Cosby sweaters at the big ‘n tall stores! (Why, big ‘n tall? Why? We big fellas like cool clothes, too.)

So, all my theories about Vintage being the new normal and all that shit… probably not. I just accidentally went up in size. Like I’d promised myself I wouldn’t. It’s better than wearing post-Hulk-out shirts at work, but still… XXL. Dammit.

I guess that makes this morning’s breakfast burrito okay, though… gotta fill out that extra “X” now… XXXL, I’ll see you in a couple years!