Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

My earliest memory of my father is when he was in his late 20s, and took me with him to pick up a new 1974 Chevy Impala. I was three years-old at the time, so the memory is not much more than an image and an emotion, but the image is of me looking out the front window from the passenger seat, and the emotion was pride—as if I had bought the car—and seeing Mom come outside as we pulled into our house in Pensacola, FL.

(Funny side story: Dad got in BIG trouble with Mom for not bringing her car shopping.)

Dad was in the U.S. Navy for my entire childhood, and couldn’t always be there for my sister Lori and me, but I knew he wanted to. When he was home, he assumed the role of “Dad” perfectly: he played with us when we were good and disciplined us when we weren’t so good. When he was away on some months-long deployment, he’d write us letters telling us he loved us, and always buy us things from whatever country in which the U.S.S. Nimitz was in port.

One of my favorite memories is standing on the pier at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, waiting for the Nimitz. I was about seven at the time, but even to a full-grown adult a Nimitz-class nuclear carrier is a gigantic thing to behold. The tradition was for all the sailors to be on deck, in their Navy whites, waving to the crowd below. For Lori and me, it was a game of trying to pick out Daddy. At that distance, though, it was futile. But we had no problem picking him out when he came off the ship, and as we ran into his arms screaming “DAAAADDY!” We let Mom get her hug and kiss in eventually.

As I got older, I played the role of the typical stupid, long-haired rebellious teenager, and got into a lot of trouble with the law. Once this required a court appearance where I had a lawyer and there was a prosecuting attorney whose job was to sentence me. I was acquitted, but I’ll never forget who was standing beside me, supporting me, the whole time: my straitlaced, military-bred Dad.

Dad has been an amazing father to me, as well as an incredible husband to my mother. If I end up being half the man he is, I’ll feel I’ve done a good job in this life.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Where's my Dos Equis Tryout?

I've written for a blog that had thousands of readers. I've worn the UPS uniform. I've gotten on stage in front of hundreds of people, with a lone spotlight on me, and made them all laugh. I've seen the Latvian National Latvia. I'm on a comedy podcast. I once carried on a three-hour conversation with a Russian fashion model who couldn't speak English.

I've written freelance sports coverage for the local paper. I've made out in a red London phone London. I've sat in a jail cell for a crime I did not commit. I've been interrogated by The Netherlands equivalent of the TSA in Amsterdam, while hungover. I danced the night away with a professional dancer in the Philippines. I've been in at least two motorcycle accidents.

I once got a private message from Louis CK on MySpace. I got lost late one night in Cancun, Mexico and had to walk a long, lonely stretch of road half drunk and pretty sure I was going to get kidnapped. I also met a sexy Canadian flight attendant down there who taught me what a "phallix" is. I never watch TV. I call a lot of girls "ex-girlfriends" that I never once called "girlfriends". I once scored the only '100' on the Real Estate exam, then never became an agent.

I've been broke. I've been rich. I've been in-between. I've been heartbroken, though I'm not sure I've ever been in love. Todd Glass once handed me a joint. I had to perform the day after one of my close comedian friends died, I bombed, and the only thing I felt was numbness. I've seen the world from the top of the Empire State Building.

Every single thing I've written is absolutely 100% true. That Dos Equis guy can go fuck himself. I'm the most interesting man alive.