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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hobba Lobba Da (Let Me Explain)

My brain said Happy Holidays.

My mouth said Hobba Lobba Da.

My acquaintance -- passing me in the mall -- was a little confused. I just kept walking. Once you throw something like that at a person, there's no recovery. Just keep on trucking.

Recently, I did it again. 

This time, it was only a word, just one goddamn word, that changed everything. One wrong word caused so much more damage than an innocent little Hobba Lobba Da.

In my gardening column for Charleston's Post and Courier, I wrote about Japanese beetles. They're an invasive species that causes oodles of damage on trees and shrubs. Here's what happened.

My brain wrote: "They eat everything, especially roses."
My stupid fingers wrote: "They eat everything, except roses."


There's no taking that back. There's no stopping my friend in the mall and saying, "Oh, hey, Carl... yeah, sorry about that weird thing I just said, I don't know what happened. Maybe I'm having a stroke. Anyway, what I MEANT to say was Japanese beetles eat everything ESPECIALLY ROSES!!!!!!"

No, I wrote it and now it's out there. Forever and ever. 

Those in the know, horticulturists and such, will read it. They'll laugh, cut my picture out, and throw dirt at my dumb face because everyone, EVERYONE, knows that Japanese beetles LOVE ROSES!!!!!!!!!!!

So I'll run an explanation in my next column. I'll tell my readers that I had a stroke and that things are okay now. 

And then I'll write that the world is flat.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Death by Pink Dobber

Bingo. It's not for kids.

It was a large room divided by a dingy plexiglass wall. On one side, smoking. The other side, second-hand smoking.

We bought packets of bingo boards and colorful dobbers to blot out the numbers. We caught dirty looks as we found seats next to a wrinkled old woman. She was 120 years old and double-fisted with dobbers and 36 bingo boards.

No lie.

She will kill you.

The number caller was up in a boxed in podium left over from a 1970s skating rink DJ booth. He would lip the mic and his words sounded like Alexander Graham Bell's first phone call. He spit something through the speakers and the old woman's hands were a blur. WHAPWHAP!

Dobber ink everywhere.

"Ahaharigh, ahright, nexx game, next game... posgaestam... postetsemagp."

Did he say postage stamp?


I whispered, What's postage--

"Firsnumb, firsnmber B5B5."


Next game, same thing. And the one after that. We got shooshed 10 times. And then it happened. It was game four that one of us hit. BINGO!!!!!!!

A short wrinkled man (they were all wrinkled) counted out the money in his hand while a cigarette teetered between his lips. We high-fived. But it was all hate from the rest of the room. It beamed through the plexiglass wall like a smoky heatwave. The old woman looked up, then stabbed her card with pink dobbers like a contract killer. 

We took the money and ran.