Who is Ernie?

The new guy at work is wearing a red and blue striped shirt, shorts, and sneakers. With his messy black hair and that goofy smile on his facem he is a dead ringer for Ernie from Sesame Street. Seriously, if you saw a photo of Ernie and then saw this guy in real life you'd swear he is Ernie!

Ernie vs. Jason Bourne

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

About a year ago, this new guy starts working on my team. The first day I meet him, he points to the top of my cube-mate's head and says, "Nice hair. Are you trying to look like Jason Bourne?"

My cube-mate at the time had the front part of his hair sticking up. The truth is, he did look sort of funny. Still, it was strange and unusual for some new guy to make fun of his hair so quickly. Especially when the new guy's hair is all messed up too.

The new guy wears a red and blue striped shirt, shorts, and sneakers. With that messy black hair and a goofy smile on his face he is a dead ringer for Ernie from Sesame Street. Seriously, if you saw a photo of Ernie and then saw this dude in real life you would swear that he is Ernie.

My cube-mate is a big fan of the Jason Bourne movies. He enjoys the Harry Potter books too. In fact, my cube-mate said to me once, "I am Harry Potter." Sometimes he wears a shirt that has an iron-on print of himself when he was a small child being held in his Mother's lap. All the girls love it. What a douche.

Ernie sometimes torments my cube-mate with questions like, "Who do you think would win in a fight between Harry Potter and Jason Bourne?" After thinking about it for a few seconds, my cube-mate responds, "Jason Bourne is unbeatable."

"What about Harry's wand?" Ernie asks.

My cube-mate smiles and replies, "Bourne would find a way to get it away from Harry without him even knowing it. He's that good!" It's hard to take sides with a guy who wears a picture of his mother on his chest.

Conversations like these went on for months. Eventually, my cube-mate had enough and left for the East Coast to become an FBI agent. He's had a lot of training by watching UFC videos at work. By the time he leaves, I've learned all about Crow-Cop and his deadly ribcage kick! I've never known a guy so obsessed with UFC, Jason Bourne, and Harry Potter.

Sometimes Ernie asks me what I think my old cube-mate is up to. I'm not sure, but I have a feeling it involves watching UFC videos and crooning over Jason Bourne.

Listen to the audio recording here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/jnr121.mp3

Square Dance Bowling Shoes

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Today Ernie is wearing the same worn out white sneakers that he always wears. Once, he and his wife took a square-dancing class at the community college. Imagine it- Ernie dressed to the hilt in a cowboy outfit swinging his partner to and fro.

I ask him if he wears those sneakers when he goes square dancing. “No,” he explains. “I bought a pair of used bowling shoes at the thrift store. They were red and purple.” He goes on to say that wearing them makes it easier to turn on a wooden dance floor. I ask if he wears a matching glove for those wicked dosie-doe’s. He doesn’t.

Ernie is failing a summer finance class because of his poor study habits. He said the only way he can get a passing grade is to bribe the teacher with a banana cream pie. I hope it works.

Ernie’s wife is a professional clog dancer. "Is there any money in it?" I ask. He explains that she brings in about $200 every two years but is thinking of retiring due to a foot injury. I ask Ernie if they have clog dancing in The Special Olympics. He says they do not. Too bad, I bet clog dancing is harder than it looks. Besides, everyone knows there is money in the The Special Olympics.

Ernie is full of optimism. In his own way, he is a role model. I think the world needs more dreamers. I’m just glad Ernie has a lady who loves him as well as a professor who loves banana cream pies.

Go, Ernie, go!

Listen to the audio recording here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/02_Ernie_Squaredancing_Shoes.mp3

Batman Pennies

Saturday, August 9, 2008

People at work are always throwing things at Ernie. Paperclips, pennies, a rubber ball with spikes, a foam miniature airplane, a battery-operated dancing gerbil, etc. He just has that look. People see him and they want to chuck things at him.

I wonder if the Muppet Ernie has the same problem.

Once, as a practical joke, someone placed a stack of pennies on top of Ernie's car. They positioned a few nickels on top of his windshield wipers too. He told me about it the next day. He said he heard a rumbling noise when he backed out of the parking lot but didn’t think much of it. Then, when he drove onto the main road, a car behind him started honking.

"Hey! A penny flew off of your roof and hit my windshield." The man in the car yelled.

Imagine Ernie all scrunched down in his seat, smiling meekly as the motorist past by, his messy hair blowing in the wind.

Later that week, Ernie popped the hood of the car for some routine maintenance. Pennies fell through the engine and onto the ground. It's like finding sand in your shoes three months after you've been to the beach. It gets everywhere.

Ernie has rotten luck. I try to make Ernie happy by treating him to lunch sometimes. Nothing big, just a cheeseburger or a soda. Once I drove with him to Winger's and stopped off at a convenience store afterwards so he could get some bottled water. He had burned his tongue on some hot sauce. He’s like a child, really. Most of us have accidents sometimes but Ernie has them constantly. I bought him a Batman Kit-Kat bar along with a bottle of water. It made him smile.

Ernie is a big fan of Batman. For the premiere of “The Dark Knight” he stayed up late to catch a midnight screening. Only getting a few hours of sleep, Ernie bounced into work bright and early the next morning clad in a brand new Batman T-Shirt. Before Ernie made it to his desk I received the following text message from a co-worker in another department: "My whole team just watched Ernie run in from the parking lot wearing a Batman shirt. Check him out!"

He bounces through the door in a fit of excitement. "A man was dressed as Batman!" He exclaimed. "He was throwing shirts to the crowd. Do you know how much these cost at Hot Topic? $20! And I got one for free!" He is so happy. $20 is a lot to Ernie.

It's weird to think that even Batman chucked something at him. I'm just glad that it wasn't pennies or a battery-operated gerbil.

For the remainder of the day, people hum the old Batman television theme song to Ernie’s face. He hates it. One co-worker calls his extension and uses the phone keypad to play a musical version of the Batman theme. Na na na na na na na na Bat-Man!! I told Ernie his shirt is cool and asked if he wants a soda. He declines and instead buys one for me.

Thanks, Ernie.

Listen to the audio recording here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/03_Ernie_Batman_Pennies.mp3

Im Going to Pee on You

Monday, August 11, 2008

When Ernie was in high school, he peed on another boy’s leg. He said the lights were out in the restroom and he thought he was peeing in a urinal. Turns out, he was peeing in a jock’s pocket.

It reminds me of a time when I peed on my little brother. We were very young and full of mischief. I stood atop the monkey bars of our elementary school on a warm summer's eve. My little brother looked up at me from the gravel floor. His cheeks were round and red.

“I’m going to pee.” I said.

He laughs nervously as I undo my trousers.

“I’m going to pee on you!”

“No, Jake. Don’t!”

“Yes, I’m going to. You better move.”

“No! I’m telling Mom.”

“Move, or I’ll pee on you. I mean it.”


He doesn’t move so I pee on him.

Of course, he cries all the way home. I walk along side of him and ask why he just stood there? After all, he had fair warning. Plus, I was on top of the monkey bars. It’s not like my aim could spray more than a few feet.

He doesn't answer. I suppose it's because he is a kid and he looks up to me. (I’ve told this story a hundred times and I’ve always found it hilarious, but now seeing it written down, it’s seems a little mean.) My mother gives me a good scolding and gives my younger brother a bath.

A few weeks later, my brother comes into the house from playing. He is crying and his pants and shirt are all wet.

“What happened?” my mom asks.

“Timmy peed on me.”

“What?!” I exclaim in utter amazement. I can’t believe it.

“I was standing in the ditch and Timmy said he was going to pee on me if I didn’t move. I told him not to, but he did it anyway.”

I'm not sure what to think. I can’t understand why my brother didn’t move the second time somebody threatens to pee on him. If anyone told me they were going to pee on me, I would move very quickly. Wouldn’t you? Especially if I’d been peed on before.

The jock whom Ernie accidentally sprayed didn't have that luxury. By the time the boys understood the situation, it was too late. Ernie ran from the restroom at top speed. He didn't look back and he didn't slow down. Better yet, he didn't get caught. I'm sure the jock was pretty well pissed.

Keep this in mind if anyone pees in your pocket in the boys restroom in the dark- It's probably Ernie from Sesame Street. But it is an honest mistake and he is really sorry.

Listen to the audio recording of this blog entry here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/jnr122.mp3

Ernie Found Out

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ernie found out about this blog. He asked me how long I plan to keep it up. I told him, “As long as we work together.” I think he was suspicious for awhile because he saw me taking notes during a conversation. He demanded to know why I was so concerned about his square dancing shoes!

“Why are you writing about me?” he asks.

“Because you’re easy entertainment.” I reply.

Ernie’s wife thinks the blog is funny. So do people at work. Ernie says he was going to start a blog about me. He wants to call it “Bert the Jerk.” Although I look nothing like Bert.

“You should do something more original.” I suggest. “Don’t just copy what somebody else is doing. Besides, my life is already an open book.”

He starts asking questions about my childhood- what were some of my favorite things to do? What were some embarrassing moments? Etc. He even sends an email to my brother and requests some “dirt” from when I was younger.

I already told Ernie about the time I peed on my brother. What could possibly be worse than that? Aside from when I poured boiling water on a neighbor kid during a water fight. But Ernie already knows about that too. I felt really bad because I didn’t know boiling water would cause 3rd degree burns on a person’s back. Ouch! Hey, I was just a kid.

Ernie said he will think of something else then, though he tells me in secrecy that he feels slightly honored that I write about him. Imagine the Muppet Ernie’s face staring straight ahead with his mouth agape.

Today, he bought me an apple pie from Arby’s. Although he pretends to spit in it before handing it to me, I think his heart is in the right place.

Hear the audio recording here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/05_Ernie_Found_Out.mp3

Giggle Buddies

Friday, August 15, 2008

For awhile, Ernie considers sitting next to me at work. After very careful consideration, he decides not to due mostly to his fear that we might giggle too much.

I like to think there are a handful of “giggle relationships” in everyone's lives. You know the type- two people get together and chuckle for absolutely no reason whatsoever. My brother and I are like that. (I would re-print some of our text messages here but they are too explicit. For example, we think it’s hilarious to joke about having sex with our Mom. You should see the looks we get. Few people find it amusing.) We also tickle fight.

I recall a time when Ernie helped me move some furniture. We almost dropped a very heavy armoire and a 3-piece couch down the stairs due to hysterical fits of mirth. What was so funny? I have no idea. Probably nothing. Or perhaps it was that goofy Muppet-esque look on Ernie’s mug.

“This is a nice place you’ve got here.” Ernie says rather casually.

“Thanks,” I reply. “Wanna buy it?”


Then the sniggers start. At one point, I suggest sitting down on a long piece of the couch while Ernie heaves it on his back up the stairs. We laugh so hard that we miscalculate a crucial turn and remove a large chunk of drywall from the family room. Hilarious! By the time we finish trudging two heavy office desks up a steep concrete set of stairs, we are crying from laughter. We stop several times and catch our breaths. It takes forever to get the job done, but somehow we do it.

The gaiety stops when Ernie’s wife calls. I make it a point to talk loudly about having a sweaty male-on-Muppet orgy in the background. Ernie doesn’t see the humor and threatens to leave if I don't shut my trap. Yikes! His eyes are wide with fright.

Giggle buddies are the best friends (and relatives) to have. They make life a little more enjoyable and help pass the time. Even if the humor is lost on innocent bystanders, it's still shared between two blundering goofs.

Listen to the audio recording here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/MyErnieBlog_Giggle_Buddies.mp3

Jaws of Ernie

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ernie is on a road trip with his wife. I hope he makes it home safely. The last time he went on a road trip he clipped the side of an old woman’s car on the freeway and flipped her upside-down a ditch. She is OK, and so is her daughter. But at the time, everything was a mess.

ERNIE: “I think a piece of dirt flew in my eye. I rubbed it for a second with my wrist and the next thing I know, BAM! I heard a loud noise and my car suddenly veered off the right side of the road. Dust was everywhere.”

JAKE: “Were you hurt?”
ERNIE: “No.”

JAKE: “What happened?”

ERNIE: “I made sure my wife was OK. She was, so I got out of the car. I saw a van on the side of the road. At first I thought I hit the van, but the woman inside told me I hit another car. I asked her where the car was and she pointed over the railing. I looked down and saw the car lying upside down in a ditch.”

JAKE: “No way!”

ERNIE: “Yeah.” (Pausing in troubled thought.) “The passenger was able to crawl out but the driver was trapped inside. They had to call the Jaws of Life to get her out.”

JAKE: “Holy crap.”

ERNIE: “Yeah dude,” (not smiling.) “I guess when I clipped her, she lost control of the car and drove off the side of the road into a steep ravine. Her car flipped over twice. If she had landed a few feet away, she would have rolled all the way down the ravine to the very bottom.”

JAKE: “But she wasn’t hurt?”

ERNIE: “No. She scraped her ear a little bit, but she was fine. An ambulance took her and her daughter to the hospital for some x-rays, but luckily they were OK.”

JAKE: “Did you go to the hospital?”

ERNIE: “No, it was dinner time so my wife and I drove to Denny’s.”

JAKE: “You were still able to drive your car?”

ERNIE: “Yeah. It slanted a little to the left, but it was still drivable. I had it towed back into Salt Lake. It’s totalled.”

His tone is casual, but his eyes are lost in troubled memory.

ERNIE: “It didn’t really hit me until the pancakes and syrup were placed on the table. I started shaking. I told my wife I couldn’t believe what just happened. It all seemed like a dream, you know. I could have killed somebody.”

JAKE: “Yeah, you’re lucky nobody was hurt. The Jaws of Life came and everything.”

ERNIE: “Dude, I know.”

He emailed me the news clipping from an online newspaper. It was only a paragraph in length and didn’t have a lot of details.

It’s startling how an extreme experience can alter a person’s reality. It makes them appreciate the day a little more, hug a loved one a little tighter, and shake off small irritations a little easier. Moments like these are what make life really sweet.

Thanks for sharing this one, Ernie.

Rubber Ducky

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A few months ago, Ernie placed an enormous Rubber Ducky atop my work monitor. It’s more than a foot in length and almost a foot in width. It squeaks too. Who else but the real-life Ernie would know where to buy such a thing?

It’s quite the conversation piece. A woman from another department says, “Oh Jake. I bet you want to take a bath with that duck, don’t you? Yeah, I’d like to take a picture of you in the tub with your big duck.” If I didn’t know any better, I’d say she is hitting on me.

Sometimes, Ernie throws things at my duck. I’m not sure if he’s aiming for the back of my head, but if he is then he’s a terrible shot. On occasion I’ll come into work and find the big duck missing. It magically reappears after Ernie asks me where I think it can be. Also, my chair falls on its side when I am away from my desk for more than a few minutes. Sometimes it moves to another area of the department all on its own. How peculiar.

Ernie loves to play "The Isaac Asimov Super Quiz." He usually reads the questions out loud so he can accuse me of cheating if I answer correctly. Sometimes other people play with us. He reads the questions from a website then everyone writes their answers down on a piece of paper. At the end of the quiz, Ernie reads the correct answers aloud and we tally up our points. It’s fun, I suppose, if you like being accused of cheating.

Ernie always scores the highest. I remember when he got a perfect score on the subject of “Nursery Rhymes.” It made me think of little Ernie snug as a bug in a rug wearing a pair of blue zip-up footsie pajamas, listening wide-eyed to his angelic Mama‘s soothing bedtime tales. He sips warm milk and sporadically wets the bed. He hugs his Mama goodnight with his sticky jam hands. That cute little scamp!

I wonder how old Ernie was when he got his first giant rubber ducky.

Listen to the audio recording here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/Ernie_Ducky.mp3

The Levi Prince

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Today is the first time Ernie has worn pants to work. They are blue jeans. Normally he wears loose cotton shorts.

JAKE: “You’re wearing pants?”

ERNIE: “Yeah, “I’m wearing pants so I can wear these low-cut black shoes. If I wear them with shorts, they make my legs look funny.”

Imagine the Muppet Ernie in full denim attire. Levi jeans, denim shirt, Levi jacket with the wool inside, a denim beret, an old black pair of tennis shoes dangling beneath two funny-looking legs. “The Canadian Tuxedo.” “Denim Dan.” “The Levi Prince.”

Ernie has been searching the internet for a new bag.

JAKE: “What happened to your old one?”

ERNIE: “It got dust in it from the car accident, and it ripped.”

I glance down at his desk and notice his cell phone is open. The display panel is all fuzzy and wobbly, much like an old TV set from the 1950’s with poor antenna reception.

JAKE: “Was your phone busted in the car accident too?”

ERNIE: “No.” (Picks up his phone and placing his thumb on the upper left-hand corner to stop the screen from jittering.) “Are you going to put this in your blog?”

JAKE: “Maybe.”

A co-worker of ours, who I shall call Kenny G. due to his musical tastes and curly locks, enjoys how the blog isn’t always about Ernie. He thinks it’s cool when I talk about other people. I think he secretly wants me to start a blog about him called “Tai-Chi with Kenny G.” but I won’t do it. (He listens to Tai-Chi style music sometimes.)

JAKE: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

ERNIE: “An economist.”

JAKE: “Really? Is square dancing economic?”

ERNIE: “Not really.”

Ernie tells me that water got into his cell phone and that’s why the screen wiggles. How did it happen? You might think it's because he took a bath with it, but Ernie claims he was caught in a rainstorm with his phone in his pocket.

His denim pocket.

KENNY G: "I think denim is a fine fabric. In fact, I wear denim trousers 30% of the time. What I mean is, 30% of the time I wear trousers, they are denim. I don't wear denim 30% of the time."

"Tai-Chi with 30% denim Kenny G."

Big No.

Listen to the audio recording here: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/MyErnieBlog_The_Levi_Prince.mp3

Meals on Wheels

Friday, August 22, 2008

Today Ernie and I handed out food to old people. We volunteer for a program called “Meals on Wheels.” It’s a nice break from the office and it feels great to get out and mingle with the elderly.

Ernie wore his custom made T-Shirt. It has an outline drawing of an open mail box on the front. It was appropriate for the day as we were delivering pre-made hot dinners, but when I asked Ernie why he chose the design, he didn't have a good response.

ERNIE: “I just saw the mailbox and liked it. So I had it ironed on my shirt.”

At one stop, a sweet old lady sits on her front step smoking a cigarette. Next to her is a little white dog on a leash, yapping. “I get juice!” The senior citizen exclaims with a loving smile.

ERNIE: “No you don’t. It says here you get milk.”

Her expression changes all at once from complete joy to absolute despair.

OLD LADY: (Whimpering.) “Oh, I guess that’s OK.”

JAKE: (Scowling at Ernie.) "Are you sure?"

ERNIE: “Wait a minute.” (Examining the paper more closely.) “You’re right, you do get juice. I'm sorry, I was reading from the wrong section.”

I smile at the woman and ruffle her dog’s head.

JAKE: “You’ll have to forgive him. He’s still learning the ropes.” (Shaking my head.)

OLD LADY: (Wiping away her tears.) “Kids these days."

ERNIE “What do you expect?” (Handing over the correct food with a small box of juice.) “Look who’s training me.”

OLD LADY: “Oh, that was a good one!”

The old lady crackles and the two giggle like ex-lovers who only see each other at night in their dreams. I smile and wish the lady a pleasant afternoon. Ernie says his goodbyes and we move onto our next delivery, leaving the woman behind us coughing up a lung.

Our next destination is laced with a very foul odor, much like three-day-old trout hiding in a wet ashtray. It is so unpleasant that Ernie won’t go inside, forcing me to make the delivery on my own. Later in his car, I ask Ernie if his wife farts or burps in front of him. He thinks about it for a moment.

ERNIE: “I don’t think so.”

JAKE: "Do you burp or fart in front of her?"

ERNIE: “I try not to. I'll typically leave the room or something.”

JAKE: "Oh."

We stop by Wendy's on the way back to work and I buy Ernie a #3 combo meal with medium fries and a coke. Perhaps it is a foreshadowing of Ernie's future. I imagine youngsters delivering Meals-on-Wheels to a rosie cheeked, wrinkly old Muppet Ernie sitting on his porch all alone, drinking coke, his mailbox shirt in tatters, thinking of how he should have studied harder in school instead of bribing his teachers with banana cream pies.

The thought makes me happy and sad all at the same time.

 Listen to the audio recording of this entry at: http://media.libsyn.com/media/jakespage/MyErnie_Meals_on_Wheels.mp3

That Little Twig

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yesterday on his way out of the building, Ernie calls me from his cell phone. He wants to know if the dry-erase marker he had chucked at me had fallen into my coffee. I tell him it didn't, then he starts to laugh.

JAKE: "What's so funny?"

ERNIE: "Did you know that your car windows aren't rolled up all the way?"

His laughter turns sinister.

JAKE: (Begging.) "Please don't pee in my car."

ERNIE: "It's too high for me to get my butt up there and take a crap, but don't worry, I'll make sure to leave you a little something."

He giggles some more and wishes me a good weekend. Then he hangs up.

I nearly curse at him over the phone but decide against it. Ernie recently told me of a college professor who swears at him in class. Ernie doesn't typically use foul language, so it's easy to picture him sitting in the classroom all scrunched down in the chair with a carton of milk and a Teddy Bear on his desk, trembling with fear underneath the professor's sharp words.

JAKE: "Why does he swear at you? Is it because you try to bribe him with pies?"

ERNIE: "I don't give him pies. He just likes to swear."

JAKE: "Maybe you should give him a banana cream pie."

Ernie has been talking about starting the "Bert the Jerk" blog again. He mentions the idea to a couple of people at work and they both look at me and say, "But he doesn't look like Bert." Regardless, Ernie asks if I would post a link to his blog if he starts it.

JAKE: "Sure, why not."

ERNIE: "Nah, I don't think I'll do it."

He shrugs. Then he launches a dry-erase marker in my direction. It almost falls into my coffee.

When I walk to my car at the end of my shift, I discover that Ernie has done something very strange. He didn't urinate or "take a crap" through my window. Oh, no. Instead, sitting there on the driver's seat is something entirely different. It is a quarter, a nickel, two pennies, and a bent twig. I pictured Ernie standing next to my car with a crinkled smile on his face, slowly dropping change and a little stick through my window. Was he re-paying me for the #3 combo meal from Wendy's, or just handing out change? How did the little stick fit into it? It's all very weird...

And Ernie thinks I'm the jerk.

Little Ernie Travels to Arizona

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Little Ernie has been traveling! Click on the image or go here: http://myerniephotoblog.blogspot.com/ to see fun pics of Ernie in Arizona.

Thanks, Trevor!

Home Clips

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ernie is wearing his yellow, blue and red striped shirt today. Classic! The resemblance to the real deal is spooky.

I ask him what he thinks about the traveling Ernie over at http://myerniephotoblog.blogspot.com/

ERNIE: “It’s pretty sick, dude.”

Whatever that means.

Ernie and his wife are talking about buying a Town Home near the community college. Right now they live in the basement of Ernie’s father’s business office. (His father sells insurance.) I ask if Ernie has to clean up the place after hours. Wipe the windows, empty the trash bins, change the toilet paper, etc. Ernie says he’s not the janitor, but he is looking for a more personal residence.

He wants to live on the top floor of a massive skyscraper overlooking a crowded metropolis. Ernie tells me he wants the entire floor to himself so he can do whatever he wants whenever he wants. I wonder what his wife thinks.

JAKE: “You’d be like Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight movie.”

ERNIE: “Yeah! I’d go out to the edge of the building in a cape and jump off.” (Pausing with a goofy smile on his face.) “Can you imagine the Ernie Muppet dressed as Batman?”

I look Ernie straight in the eye and say, “Yes.”

I ask Ernie for a little more information about becoming an economist. He mentions one of his investment classes where he uses a computer program that allows him to “pretend” to invest in stocks, just to see how his investments play out. So far, Ernie has lost $41,000 dollars. I hope his teacher likes Banana Cream Pies.

Just for fun, I asked a co-worker who she thinks would win in a fight between Bert and Ernie. Her answer: “Ben.”

Who’s Ben?

I think she meant Bert, but I’m not certain. She says, “That yellow guy is always bitch-slapping Ernie around. ‘Ernie, where’s my paperclips?!’”

Good ol’ Ben.

Flowing Chi

Friday, August 29, 2008

This morning, Ernie chucks a dry-erase marker point blank at my face.

JAKE: “Why did you do that?”

ERNIE: “Because we are friends.”

JAKE: “If that’s how you treat your friends, I’d hate to see how you treat your enemies.”

ERNIE: “I ignore my enemies.”

Later, Ernie tells Kenny G. to hug me because my self-esteem is low. Kenny G. hugs me in the only way  a mellow soft-pop saxophone musician can- with flowing Chi.

Ernie tries to embrace me from behind, but I poke him in the throat with my finger.

ERNIE: “Ow, Bruce Lee! You hit my Adam’s Apple.”

I didn’t know Muppets had Adam’s Apples.

KENNY G: (Cooing) “Why is your self-esteem so low?”

JAKE: “My self-esteem is fine. Ernie just feels bad because he did a terrible thing and now he wants to make up for it.”

Ernie re-enacts the dry erase marker hurl to Kenny G. who slowly walks away from us.

Later, I receive a text from a friend who is a phlebotomist. She tells me that a bag of human plasma exploded in her face. She was sitting in the emergency room because some of the plasma spurted in her mouth and she needs to be tested for rabies or tetanus or something. I hope she is OK. How would it be to have a bag of human juice explode on you? Probably gross.

JAKE: “What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?”

ERNIE: “Cow Brains.”

JAKE: “Straight from the cow?”

ERNIE: “No.”

I tell Ernie about an exotic food I tried in The Philippines called ‘balut.’ From Wikipedia: Balut is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, balut are mostly sold by street vendors at night in the regions where they are available. They are often served with beer. The Filipino and Malay word balut (balot) means "wrapped" – depending on pronunciation.

Even though Ernie says he didn’t eat brains straight from the cow, I like to imagine him saddled to a bucking bovine, fork in hand, digging in for seconds as the mad cow rages on. The picture would show an orange bumpy blur swirling atop a dust cloud in the southwestern desert.

Giddy up, cowboy. Yee-haw!

His Moving Necktie

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

 Ernie was wearing a necktie when I came into work today. His white shirt sleeves are rolled up and he appears ready for business.

JAKE: "Looking sharp."

ERNIE: "Thanks, man. I have a job interview today."

JAKE: "Really? But what about the blog?"

ERNIE: "I don't think they'll hire me. But if they do, I'll make sure to call you all the time with funny stories."

I thought about it and replied, "OK."

I've been out all week so I haven't had the chance to observe Ernie at work. I sold my house and moved 12 miles southeast to Sandy, Utah - a suburb of Salt Lake City. Ernie helped me load some heavy furniture into the moving van last Friday. It was the first time I had the chance to meet his wife, Mrs. Ernie. She is pretty. Ernie tells me they've known each other since they were 15.

JAKE: "High School sweethearts?"

ERNIE: "Not really. She had a crush on me in high school, but I hated her guts when we first met."

JAKE: "What about now?"

ERNIE: (Smiling.) "Now I love her,"

Life's unfolding mysteries.

I tell Ernie he is lucky to have a girl like that in his life. She doesn't think he resembles 'Ernie from Sesame Street' at all, but everyone else does. In fact, when we were all standing together in my girlfriend's mom's hallway, I said to her, "You've read my Ernie blog, haven't you?"

MY GIRLFRIEND'S MOM: "I've read some of them, yes."

JAKE: "Well," (Moving my hands in a swooping motion towards Ernie) "There he is."

Chris's mom looks at Ernie and burst out loud with laughter.

MY GIRLFRIEND'S MOM: "Yes! Oh my God. It really is Ernie! I see it. I see it. Woo-hoo-hoo!" (Holding herself against the wall to keep from falling over with glee.)

For awhile, I fear she might roll on the floor. She finds it hilarious! It makes all of us chuckle, including Ernie. His wife merely smirks and plants a sweet sexy kiss on Ernie's lips. I feel a little funny watching it.

There were lots of giggle moments, as previously mentioned regarding a sectional couch. This time I giggle so hard I snort which causes Ernie to laugh uncontrollably.

ERNIE: "Dude, you're snorting like a girl!"

Maybe I am, but it is a well-needed break after a day full of heavy lifting, packing, unpacking, and driving.

I sure hope Ernie doesn't get that job.

Get Out of My Rental

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ernie is driving a nice 4x4 rental pickup truck while his car is in the shop. He was in an accident a few weeks ago (different from the one previously written about) and is enjoying the first-hand experience of today’s exuberant fuel prices.

JAKE: "Hey Ernie, let’s grab some burgers for lunch.”

ERNIE: “Yeah man, I’ll drive if you buy me lunch.”

JAKE: “What?!”

ERNIE: “Dude, I’m driving the rental truck. That thing uses a lot of gas.”


He was right. The price of fuel just to drive to the burger joint and back would probably be more than the cost of his lunch.

On the road, Ernie and I talk politics. We discuss the pros and cons of different political candidates. We keep it light and dodn’t trudge on each other’s viewpoints. Although, can a Muppet legally vote?

We also talk about a great card game called Killer Bunnies. Ernie has never played, but he’s eager to try it. I’ve played it loads of times, and it’s always a riot. Cute, furry bunnies offing each other with knives, guns, and various weapons. Classic!

As we approach the delicious burger hut several miles away from work, Ernie becomes impatient.

ERNIE: “Look at all those cars. I don’t want to wait in line to turn left. I’m starving.”

Before I know what's happening, Ernie ploughs his massive truck over the median across four lanes of heavy lunch-hour traffic, into the burger joint parking lot. We shake and rattle in our seats like two bloated peas in a can.

JAKE: “Nice one, Ernie!”

ERNIE: “Dude, that was awesome!”

He was smiling like a happy puppy, his black hair standing straight up.

Inside of the restaurant, the lid keeps popping off the top of my soda. It's a large plastic cup and if you squeeze it even the tiniest bit, the top bends and spurts the lid to the floor, along with the straw. Ernie isn’t having a problem with his drink. Apparently, it is just me. I change my lid and straw twice but the damn thing keeps popping off. It makes Ernie laugh so hard that he turns a brighter shade of orange. I wonder if he glows in the dark.

When we go back into his truck, Ernie tells me he doesn’t like to see a woman mow her lawn. He also tells me how much he enjoys making his brother-in-law lose at board games and Mortal Kombat. Random topics.

When we finally get back to work, Ernie sees a parking space close to the building.

JAKE: “Are you going to fit? That looks a little tight.”

Ernie and I made eye contact and burst out laughing. Ernie asks me if I say that to all the guys. I make a rude comment back and he retorts furiously, “Get out of my rental!”

Back at work, I run into a co-worker in the men’s restroom. We’ll call him Mr. McFeely. Mr. McFeely, or “Feely” for short, stopps me by the sink.

FEELY: “My wife and I were out to dinner last week and I told her about your Ernie Blog. It sounded hilarious to her so she asked me to pull it up on my blackberry, so I did! We made so much noise laughing that other customers glared at us on our way out. Keep ‘em coming, man!”

Thanks, Mr. McFeely. Will do.

Later in the day, Ernie puts his finger in the air as if to say, “Hold on a minute, I’m on the phone.” A co-worker mistook it for him giving her the bird. Ernie tries to apologize, but she won’t listen.

Imagine, if you will, orange plush Ernie flipping you off with a wider than wide smile stretching across his football of a face. Not good. Even in September.

On a personal note, I feel like I’ve come to know Ernie better over the past few months. I’m not sure if that’s good for the blog because I’m losing some of the “outside observer” viewpoint. I guess it’s kind of like that lady who lived with the gorillas for awhile.

Yeah, it’s kinda like that.

See the Traveling Ernie Photo Page at:

Stop. Ernie Time

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Last week, Ernie walks up to my cubicle with a grave look on his face. He says he needs to talk to me about something.

JAKE: "What's up?"

I am genuinely concerned.

ERNIE: "Well, I need to ask you a huge favor. It's big. It's a really big favor. "

JAKE: "OK," (Paying close attention.) "What is it?"

ERNIE: "Will you stop the blog? It's getting me into trouble."

JAKE: "What?" How are you getting into trouble?"

ERNIE: "I just am."

I can tell by the sorrow in his eyes that he hates participating in this conversation. Ernie loves the blog just as much as everybody else, but something is wrong... This isn't a joke. He is dead serious.

JAKE: "I don't understand. Did something happen?"

ERNIE: "Yeah. Just please stop." (Lowering his head and looking meekly at his ragged white sneakers.)

Perhaps I should let it go and take Ernie for his word, but I have to know more. This blog is a terrific creative outlet for me and I can’t give it up without a fight. I press for details and after several repeated questions, it is revealed that some of the things in the blog are causing arguments at home.

JAKE: "Really? Which parts?"

I am completely taken aback.

ERNIE: "All of it."

JAKE: "What?!"

I thought it is generally understood that a lot of what gets written goes through a vigorous 'poetic licensing.' Of course everything is accurate and true, but any observations or skewed personal notes are of my own making, not of Ernie's.

JAKE: "But, what about the traveling doll? What about the fans who read the blog every week? What about the podcast episodes?"

These are knee-jerk reactions. I honestly didn't expect it to come to this.

ERNIE: "You can still do the Ernie doll. Traveling Ernie is cool."

I look at him for several seconds while contemplating more bargains, but it is no use. Like Jane Goodall, I have become too friendly with the gorillas. The observer is gone and the friend now sits in his place.

JAKE: (Muttering.) "OK. But I need to write one more blog entry to explain things."

ERNIE: "Thanks, man. I really appreciate it." Ernie walks back to his desk and leaves me alone in a dazed state.

Later in the day, Kenny G. stops by my desk and I explain the situation.

KENNY G: (In a soothing jazz tone.) "Since when does Ernie's personal life revolve around your writing? Do you have that much control over his marriage?"

It is a good question.

JAKE: No, but Ernie and his wife are young and they've only been married a few months. They haven't had enough life experience to know what to really get upset about."

Kenny G. nods.

JAKE: "Then again, nobody wants to think their husband looks like a Muppet.

KENNY G: (Whispering) "True, but that's just your take on it. It's not the truth."

He looks me in the eyes.

KENNY G: “For example, when you tell my wife that I look like Kenny G. or you mention anything about anything to either of us, we don’t take it at face value. We know it’s gone through a Jake filter, and that’s just the way you see the world.”

JAKE: “Fair enough.”

Was this a compliment or a put down? I don't know, but Kenny G. has given me something to think about, and after thinking about it for several days, grappling with the idea of stopping the blog or not, I'm still stumped. I’ve kept Ernie’s identity anonymous. In fact, I’ve gone through great strides to keep his identity a secret, possibly in case it ever came to something like this.

There is nothing specific in writing pointing to Ernie's true identity.

What would you do? Would you stop the blog and respect Ernie’s wishes? Would you stick to your guns and document the humor in the lives of your co-workers? I watched a program on PBS the other night about stress. You wouldn’t believe the toll stress takes on 75% of the world’s population. Stress causes more physical, emotional, and mental problems in our lives than we think, but there are many ways to reduce stress. Laughter being the most effective and healthiest way.

It should be noted that the goal of this blog is not to cause offense, and it certainly isn’t to inject strife or stress into anybody’s marriage. It’s simply a creative endeavor for a man who “has too much time on his hands,” as I’ve often been told.

So after careful consideration, I will leave the fate of this anonymous Ernie blog up to you, the reader. A poll has been placed up there in the right hand corner of your screen. See it? After 7 days, the end result will yield the fate of the blog. Can you live without your occasional Ernie update? Or do you enjoy peering into the secret life of a Muppet?

Cast your ballot. This isn’t the current presidential elections, this is important!

The choice is yours.

Mr. McFeely Thanksgiving

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

When Mr. McFeely joins me in conversation at work, he casually whips out an imaginary pad of paper and pen and pretends to jot down notes. He shifts his eyes from side to side and listens intently to everything said. When I ask what he is doing, he responds, “Don’t worry about it. I’m just writing an internet blog. Oh, the address? I, uh, can’t give it to you... Just act naturally and say whatever you would normally say. Don’t mind me.” Etc.

The other week he offered to give my brother an estimate to finish the basement in his town home. I didn’t know Mr. McFeely was in the construction business. I guess he is a Jack of all trades.

My brother lives in New York so I was in charge of giving McFeely the keys, which I hand over casually. Hours later when McFeely handed the keys back, he informed me that he made plenty of copies to distribute to neighborhood hobos and vagabonds. He told me of his plans to camp in the basement over the long Thanksgiving weekend with them and have a big turkey party.

I asked if he saw my Mom’s van parked in the driveway. He assured me that he made ample copies of her van keys too and handed those out.

JAKE: "Did you sit inside the van with the doors open and pretend you were in a flying automobile?" I

My brother and I used to do this all the time in our Mom's old green Pinto.

FEELY: “I only sat in the backseat. I ate my lunch and then I put newspapers over all of the windows to block out the sun and I took a nap.”

I’m not sure if he’s telling the truth.

The other day I called my mom to get the recipe for her famous homemade pot roast. Mom recently moved to Texas to help her aging parents. Their health is not the best and she is doing what she can to make their lives a little easier. Before she moved, she was living in my brother’s town home. A lot of her furniture and personal belongings are still there.

During our phone conversation, Mom asked if I would drive by the place. She wants to make sure everything is OK. I told her that McFeely is staying at the town home with a few close homeless cronies. “What?!” she gasped in terror. “Who is living in my basement? With all of my furniture???” I told her I was just kidding. I didn't even mention the van. She scolded me for joking about her things and reminded me to check the mail every once in awhile, even though she’d already put in a forwarding notice with the post office. After several minutes of reassurance and coaxing, I managed to hang up the phone and start dinner, which by the way turned out amazing. Thanks, Mom!

I told my brother about it and he just chuckled. “McFeely,” he laughed. “I love that guy.”

On a side note, many people have asked when I am going to publish another Ernie blog entry. I wish I could say it would be soon but I received a detailed email from Ernie’s wife after the last entry. She kindly asked me never to write about her family again. Ernie feels the same way, though I’m not sure why. So many people love reading about him.

Oh well, I’ve still got stories about Kenny G. and Mr. McFeely and stuff. We'll see how it goes.

Use Your Throat, You Must

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kenny G., in his smooth jazzy way, performs his impression of Yoda from Star Wars for me.

KENNY G: “I can’t do it on command.” I have to prepare my throat.”

He coughs a few times, takes a step back and speaks the following in a thin Yoda-like grumble:

KENNY G: “Use your throat, you must.”

It was pretty good.

A fellow co-worker who I no longer write about… let’s call him “Elmo,” asks Kenny G. if he does any other Star Wars impressions, such as Chewbacca. Kenny G. thinks about it. After awhile, the conversation turns to a parody of Yoda and Chewbacca having sex.

It goes like this:

CHEWIE: “Raaaaaaaaawr!”

YODA: “Come, you will. Yes! Yes!”

CHEWIE: “Raaaa. Raaaaawww. Raaaaaaaaaaaaaawrrrrrr!”

YODA: “Use the force! Ahhhhh!”

CHEWIE: “[Wimper]”

Sticky fur. You get the idea.

Kenny G. leads quite an eclectic life. He once told me of a time he walked all over campus at The University of Utah looking for the registration office.

KENNY G: “There were so many buildings. I couldn’t figure out where I needed to go.”

JAKE: “Did you ask somebody for help?”

KENNY G: “No. I didn’t know anyone and I wasn’t familiar with the school. I was lost. I just gave up and went home.”

JAKE: “Really?”

I was shocked. Kenny G. is usually the resourceful type.

KENNY G: “Yeah. I got in my car and cried. Then I drove home.”

JAKE: “You cried? How old were you?”

KENNY G: “Thirty-two.”

Picture it: 32 year-old Kenny G. sitting in his parked car with tears streaming down his face. That's sad jazz.

When Elmo heard the story, he imagined Kenny G. curled up in the backseat sucking his thumb; students and professors walking all around him. I’m not sure it was that bad. Still, Kenny G. probably needed a really big hug. Either that or a deep saxophone solo.

The good news is, Kenny G. went back to the U several years later and found his way straight to a Bachelors degree in English Literature. Hoorah! Congratulations, Kenny G. That’s really good Chi.

And now look at him- All grown up and making sound effects of Star Wars characters doing it.

KENNY G: “Raaaaaaaaaaaawwwwr! Raaawr! Wrooooooooooo!”

That’s one to grow on.

HappySad Snowman

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

After reading yesterdays entry, Kenny G. started a blog of his own called HappySad Snowman. http://happysadsnowman.blogspot.com/

HappySad Snowman is a Christmas gift given to Kenny G. years ago when the two of us worked nights. It is a knee-high white sock stuffed with sand.

I hate it.

I don't know why I hate it, but every time I see it I get angry and I want to destroy it. Kenny G. pulls it out every year just to taunt me. He created a dopey voice for it too. (Not jazzy.)

HappySad Snowman wears a little black hat atop his head and a smiley face on his front side. On his back, Kenny G. drew a sad face with a permanent black marker. He did this, he says, because I hurt the snowman's feelings by not liking him.

For years I have told Kenny G. that I will destroy HappySad Snowman once and for all. I feel the time has come. HappySad Snowman better watch his back!

On a side note, Kenny showed me a Christmas Card I gave to him in the year 2000. It has a cartoon polar bear face on the front with a little smile. Inside the card reads:

Kenny G.,

What can I say? "Sweet, dude, sweet!" just doesn't seem like enough... How about this: "BOO-YA!" No..?

Shit, dude, shit.

Merry Christmas!

May all of your strengths be amplified into the coming year.


- Jake =)

Damn, dude, damn.

I hate HappySad Snowman.


Caution Children at Play

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In 3rd grade I got into trouble for joking around during an educational film. If memory serves correctly, the film dealt with a smart ass kid who ran up a freeway overpass with a boulder in his arms. He then waited for the right moment to drop it onto an unsuspecting car in traffic below.

I remember the kid bursting with joy as he let the massive chunk of granite slip through his fingers. It landed on the windshield of a small yellow car. The unsuspecting driver was a bald man wearing a white shirt and a striped necktie. As soon as the boulder made contact with his windshield, 'Baldy' was splattered with glass, causing blood to spurt from his face. It was quite graphic.

I wondered how a special effects team could pull off such a vivid sequence. Perhaps it was real and a camera crew was simply filming life as it happened.

At any rate, whose idea was it to show this type of film to a group of innocent 3rd graders? Odd. I suppose it did teach me a valuable lesson. In fact, to this day I never wear white shirts or neckties. Lesson learned.

The film went on to show the driver crashing his car on the side of the road due to the glass and blood in his eyes. A teenage couple saw the whole thing and leapt into action- the girl running to the yellow car to make sure the driver was alright while her goofy-looking boyfriend chased the young prankster and tackled him to the ground.

The teenage girl asked ‘Blood-Face’ if he was OK, but all the man could do was moan and gurgle. The teenage boy shook the younger kid and asked, “Why did you do it? What were you thinking? Why? Why? Why?” over and over again.

The kid’s stuttered response was, “I don’t know. I’m sorry.” He seemed distraught.

I suppose the film was meant to discourage us from senseless youth crime, but all it did was give me ideas. To be honest, I was horrified at the thought of anyone dropping a stone onto moving traffic. So when a few of the kids around me began laughing and make fun of the movie, I was relieved and joined in the merriment.

I was so enthused that I got a little too loud with a buddy of mine. We were laughing it up and giggling and so forth. You know how it is. Laughing in the face of evil and all.

When the film was over, a couple of teachers took us aside and scolded us for our disruptive behavior. They stressed the seriousness of the film and demanded to know what we learned from it. I remember trying to form the right words to express how horrified I was, and how sorry I felt for creating a disruption.

But as I started talking, I farted. It was audible to everyone in the general vicinity and my friend covered his mouth to keep from laughing. The expressions on the teachers’ faces were stoic, except for a slight wrinkle in the corners of their mouths.

They asked me again to verbalize the lesson, and once again I tried to explain myself, but instead… I let another one rip. What can I say? I was just a kid and I held it in as long as I could. The second one was stinky.

It was pointless to continue the conversation. Both teachers burst into fits of laughter. My friend had tears rolling down his cheeks and eventually the giggles got a hold of me too.

After several minutes, one of the teachers apologized to me and placed his hand on my shoulder. “I’m sorry, Jake,” he said, “I didn’t mean to laugh at you. It was just so funny.” He chuckled again and gently patted me. “You can go now.”

I realize how much that moment defined my life. No matter how horrible or crazy life can be, I like to think there is always room for laughter, no matter how inappropriate. Also, when I find myself in trouble with authority, sometimes it’s a good idea to fart.

And of course, let's not forget the most valuable lesson of all, one that can be handed down from generation to generation: Never wear stuffy white shirts or neckties for they will eventually kill you. And, of course: Don't fling boulders onto car windshields for a punk teenage kid might tackle you to the ground and shake you over and over again.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sometimes, when I'm feeling tired during the day, I like to pretend I'm a naked clown in a snowstorm. Because, how can you feel tired with something like that in your head?

No, Jake. No

Friday, January 9, 2009

Christmas isn’t the only time for gift-giving. Just yesterday, I booked 2 non-refundable tickets to Las Vegas in honor of Kenny G’s birthday next month. I didn’t check with him beforehand, I just booked the tickets and hotel room online.

You see, Kenny G. is the type of guy who never commits. He gives me the same song and dance every time I invite him anywhere. It goes like this:

JAKE: “Hey, Kenny G! I am having a party on Saturday. Wanna come?”

KENNY G: “This Saturday?”

JAKE: “Yeah. 7:00pm”

KENNY G: “Hmmm… Let me check with my wife and I’ll see what I can do.”

And then he doesn’t show up.


JAKE: “Kenny, a few of us are going out for drinks. Care to join us?”

KENNY G: “Drinks?”

JAKE: “Yeah, right after work.”

KENNY G: “Hmmm… Maybe… I’ll see what I can do.”

And he doesn’t show up.

You get the idea.

Tired of getting the shaft, I take matters into my own hands and decide there is no way ANYONE would turn down a free round-trip ticket and hotel stay on the Las Vegas strip. Boy, was I wrong.

KENNY G: (Cool as ice.) “I can’t go.”

JAKE: “What! Why not?”

KENNY G: “I just can’t.”

JAKE: “But, KG, these are non-refundable tickets. I can’t even transfer the name.”

KENNY G: “Are you going to guilt me into it?”

He was starting to soften.

Kenny G. and I have known each other for 13 years. We are pretty close. Or at least, I thought we were.

JAKE: “Kenny, we come back the eve of your birthday. You will still be able to celebrate your special day with your wife and family. C’mon! Let’s do it. Free drinks, strip-clubs, gambling. FREE roundtrip tickets and hotel accommodations. How can you possibly say no?”

KENNY G: “Jake, I just can’t.”

I didn’t know whether to cry or to punch him in the face. For a few minutes, I thought of doing both. Instead, I did neither. I could see by the crinkly expression in his eyebrows that he was really touched by my offer, but that for some strange and mysterious reason, he really couldn’t go. So I left work intent to badger him some more the next day.

After sleeping on it, I changed my mind. This morning, I walked over to his cubicle on the other side of the department and asked him to sign a book I had published for our friend, Ernie. It’s a hardback book featuring most of the entries from this very blog. I had everyone sign as a late Christmas gift. Ernie loves it! You can buy a copy at http://tinyurl.com/MyErnieBook It’s really good quality.

JAKE: “Kenny G., I didn’t really buy you a ticket to Las Vegas. I was just joking.”

KENNY G: “You jerk! My stomach was in knots last night.”

JAKE: “I’m sorry, it was just a joke.”

What else could I say? I didn’t want him to feel bad anymore, so I told him it was all a big lie at his expense. If Kenny G. isn’t able to fly with me to Vegas next month, at least he can feel better thinking it was a hoax.

Happy Birthday, Kenny G.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Today at lunch, a seagull hit my head and took my sandwich. Everything is ruined.

What a mess. I hope that stupid bird likes jalapenos!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Whenever I take a crap, I send a text message to a few of my closest friends which reads: "You're AMAZING!" followed by an open-mouth surprised emoticon. Why? Because I heard a funny bit on the radio where a woman offered her congratulation to the station's success. Her sound byte ended with a strained "Keep up the good work... You're AMAZING!" After playing it, the DJ suggested she might have been "squeezing one out" at the time of recording. He then suggested that everyone say "You're AMAZING!" the next time they take a crap in a public stall.

Hilarious! But instead of verbalizing it, I text it.

Picture this- You're doing your own thing on your own time when you receive a text message. You glance down at your cell phone to see the phrase, "You are AMAZING!" with the surprised smiley staring up at you. At first, you think it's a compliment so you smile. But then you remember what it really means... Would you smile or even laugh out loud?

My friends send similar texts back to me, but with more flair. Here are some brief examples:

* My ex-wife sent me a picture taken with her cell phone. It was a close-up shot of her hand holding a roll of toilet paper. Below it, the caption read, "You are amazing!"

* My brother once sent me the following text: "You're the greatest! (That's what I'm texting everytime I cream my jeans.") So far, that's the only one he's sent. I guess he doesn't cream his jeans too much.

* Yesterday, I got a text from "El Luchador," one of my closest and long-time friends, who wrote: "I was going to say you are awesome but it was mostly just gas."

Not to be outdone, this morning I broadcast the following: "You're AMAZING!" with the surprised smiley, followed by: "It feels like I just gave birth to a gnarly cat. That thing was scratching to get out!"

My motto: A poo is always funny, unless it's on your face.

Immature? Yes. Funny? Absolutely. Try it the next time you are seated in a public restroom squeezing one out. At the very least, it's a great conversation starter. (Who doesn't enjoy the random compliment?)

I even sent out a more flourished rendition of my morning poo, which I will share with you now:

"The gnarled, furless creature hissed and scratched its way from the deep, dark flesh cave until finally laying to rest in the queasy waters. The shit cat."

Thank you. And by the way, "You are AMAZING!" =O

Click here for the audio reading of this post.