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The Fisher of Stories



I posted on Twitter and Facebook yesterday that I was going to be trying a Netti Pot for the first time. I asked for some helpful tips or suggestions, and all I got was this:


So I sorta did.

I’m not going to lie, this is gross. Not really stuff coming out of me gross, but more like, “stuff running down the back of my throat and almost making me vomit” gross.

Watch at your own risk, and have a happy Monday.


“Haaaaaaay! This is mah wagon, and I know mah blues don’t match, but that’s just me doin me, you know?”

So yeah. I’m pretty sure I liked dudes at this point. Also, that camper? LEGIT, son. You wish you had a camper like that. And yes, I’m 99% sure that’s the tailgate of my dad’s truck laying in the grass. Classy as sh*t, yo.
Also, moving along, I saw the following things at church yesterday after The Missus pointed them out to me. I had to get a picture, mostly because it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

“No, Herbert. You want to keep on down the hall a bit. Yeah, the sign that says ‘Creepers.’ Yeah, that’s it.”

The bad thing is, I think I looked just as bad taking pictures by the nursery. I’m pretty sure I’m not welcome back there again.Admitting is the first step, right?

For the last few years, The Missus and I have been mostly slogging through life on our own. We haven’t had a lot of friends, just one or two between us. Kid Funk was seriously one of the ONLY friends I had for a long time. It didn’t bother either one of us that we had a lack of friendships, we were mostly okay with it, and we spent a lot of time watching TV and eating, which may or may not be partially responsible for the fact that I have my own gravitational pull.

However, we’ve recently joined a church and gotten involved in a Sunday School class, and we’ve made quite a few new friends. Good friends, really, ones that you could call in the middle of the night and they’d be there. Unless you call them about an orgy. For some reason, we haven’t gotten a yes out of anyone for that yet.

Another thing that has happened in the last year is that I’ve started viewing life like it’s a game of Sims. You know the game, incredibly lifelike characters go through mundane daily tasks, and you spend most of your time just trying to get the characters to do it, and when they do you try to watch even though it’s blurred out. However. There is another aspect of the game that I can relate with. I’ve started viewing every social interaction I have with either a plus sign or a negative sign over the other person’s head representing how the interaction went. I’ve taken the liberty of illustrating this.

There you go. You’re all caught up. Fast forward to present day, actually a couple of nights ago, and put us in the house of some new friends who have invited us over for dinner. Great people, great food, and fun fellowship, which involves me telling stories. That’s what I do. I tell stories. I told them about The Time The Missus Kicked Someone’s Ass For Me, and I told them about Being On The Tyra Banks Show, and a few more. The hours passed in conversation. And they continued to pass, with me being oblivious of them.


So essentially, the time comes where The Missus almost literally has to DRAG me from their home. We get into the car, and the first thing she says is, “Geez Travis, don’t you know when to leave, or are you too retarded?”

She loves me so.

I was shocked, and I was also concerned. Had I overstayed my welcome? I asked her that question, and she replied. “You ALWAYS overstay your welcome.”

Color me astonished.

Apparently, I am a social rapist. I force myself into your home, and I force my conversation into you over and over again without invitation or consent, and I refuse to leave when it’s over. I am very fortunate that this crime has not become as frowned upon as REAL rape, although The Missus sure made it sound every bit as bad. I think it was when she said, I think people would rather you rape them for real, Travis. I know I would, geez.”

So I’ve moved on to re-evaluating my social skills. I’ve thought about starting a timer and only staying somewhere until it goes off. I’ve thought about doing things the Costanza way and leaving the second after I get a big laugh. I’ve also considered just never going anywhere again, and holing up here in the house with a fine, loving dog by my side. But I think I’d eventually grow concerned that I was socially raping the dog, and dogs are obligated by nature to wag their tails and try to jump on you when you talk to them. Wouldn’t be fair to the dog, and I know it.

From here on out, if anyone of you ever invites me anywhere, please present me with a flowchart that explains how many stories are acceptable, which stories you have heard, the appropriate duration of said stories, the decibel level I should talk at, how many children are in the house, whether or not I can use words like “gay” or  “douchebag,” how long I am allowed to stay, and whether or not you want me to use lube.

Cause I’m a social rapist y’all. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, hide yo husband, cause I’m tellin stories to urrone out there.

imageWhen I woke up this morning, I saw the news. The news said it was 11 degrees outside with a wind chill of -5. For starters, and I know this has been beaten to death, but why don’t they just say it’s -5? If that’s what it feels like, that’s what it is. That would be like me walking up to you and saying, here’s 50 cents, but in my mind I feel like I’m giving you $20. “Hey everyone, I just gave John $20! Aren’t I generous?” Or maybe a midget walks up to you and says, “Boy, I feel like I’m 6 feet tall today!” and then you list him on your basketball roster as 6 feet tall because he feels like it. I really don’t see how that helps make my point, but you’re a basketball coach, and you should know better than to be bringing in midgets for any position other than mascot, and that’s only if you are the Leprechauns or the…well, never mind.

“We can hoop, coach. For realsies.”
Photo credit

So anyway, I have this thought. I think, “Dude. There should totally already be something called “Personalized Climate Zones” where you just have the kind of weather you want in your personal space all the time. If you want it to be 75 and sunny, you can press a button, BAM, you’ve got it. Anytime. Genius, right? Then I start thinking about how it can be done. You’d need to manipulate atoms and electrons and positrons and Decepticons and what not, swirl em all together, get some sort of high tech blow dryer to pump them all out of, and then get sort of a force field type thing to hold them all in. You’d of course need a way to get fresh air in, but hey, I’m not a scientist, let them figure it out.
On a side note, could we not make that force field have sort of an “anti-rape” setting? I’m really thinking that might help out the world a bit. You see? I should get the Nobel for this folks, and that’s exactly what I was thinking when I figured this whole thing up. I was about halfway through my acceptance speech when I realized this:

“Warm moist air shoots upward meeting colder, dryer air.  Warm moist air is lighter than the cold dry air making for a strong updraft within the thunderstorm. As the warm moist air rises, it may meet varying wind directions at different altitudes. If these varying winds are staggered in just the right manner with sufficient speed, they will act on the upward rising air, spinning it like a top.” -taken from here

You see, say I liked it warm and moist. I think most men do. I’ll leave that alone and just continue making my other point. I like it warm and moist. The Missus might like it cold and dry. (again, this is not in any way representative of our relationship) So we wake up in the morning and we go about our business, set up our climate zones, and then we decide to have a good-bye kiss before heading off to work. Let’s say we get excited about this kiss and start running towards each other. I don’t think my wife has ever been that excited about kissing me, but I imagine it might happen if I won the lottery. Anyway, she’s running at me, I’m running at her, and then lets say I jump to meet her, she stays on the ground, and aside from all the damage to her person I’m going to do by landing on her, boom, we just made a tornado.

All our possessions gone, for the sake of one good-bye kiss. The neighbors would be beyond pissed I’m sure, and we’d be banished from towns forever. Especially small towns in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, both Dakotas, and Arkansas.

Also, what happens if SHE jumps? I’ll catch her, sure, but what about the ensuing microburst? I can’t afford new furniture, y’all. I’m saving up for an iPad. What if we’re near a lake or ocean when our excited yet deadly embrace of passion takes place? That’s a hurricane. At the very least, we’d cause some sort of thunderstorm, and someone in the room would get struck by lightning, and that’s not a good way to make and/or keep friends.

Then you have to go on and try to figure out all the other natural disasters that occur from two opposite or same climates hitting each other. What if Kid Funk liked it rainy and I liked windy? If we ever met up for a game of golf, we’d be ostracized from the golfing community faster than someone not as talented as Tiger cheating on his wife. What if we both liked it rainy? That’s a tidal wave, and in all seriousness, I think we’ve learned from Indonesia that those are really bad. Was it Indonesia or India? Or was it Haiti? That was an earthquake I think. All I know is that I texted about $600 worth of donations to something or other completely by accident. “Hello, customer service? Yeah, I need to take some of that money back and apply to my bill instead…yeah, I’m aware that I’m an ass.”

The moral of the story here folks is that I should never be allowed to invent anything at all. Ever. So if I come to you with an idea for anything at all, just give me a hug, pat me on the back lovingly and tell me that you love me and everything will be alright. I might act mad at first, I may even squeeze too hard on the hug, but at least we hugged without sending the state we’re in running to the White House with cries of needing emergency funding.

“Hello, FEMA? Yeah, we’ve got this problem down here…I hugged someone.” 

And that’s the story of most of my mornings, and may or may not be the cause of why I’m constantly late for work.

P.S. Stacy, if you’re reading this, I’m NEVER late for work. Ever. I exaggerate for the fans. Swear. Please stop reading.

P.P.S. If you’re a fan, I’m late for work almost always. I have to tell my boss I’m not so I can keep my job. Swear.

So this is where I’m at.

Starting Monday, I’ll be a college student. Again. For the third time. My academic record so far? A beautiful and stunning 21 credit hours of zeros. Oh-fers. Goose eggs. I kind of sucked a college in the past, if by “kind of” you are comparing how Lindsay Lohan “kind of” sucks at rehab.

My transcript actually has a picture of Lindsay Lohan on it.

So why am I going back to college if I’m so stupid bad at it?
Well, I honestly believe that in the 6 years since I’ve been, I’ve grown up a lot. I’ve realized a few things, and I understand the importance of having a degree. Especially if you want to be a writer/journalist, which is the career goal I’ve chosen. Say what you will, but there isn’t a single company or person out there today willing to give you a chance to write more than the classified ads if you don’t have a piece of paper in your hand saying that a degree granting institution considers you to be “alright.” It’s bull, but don’t try to tell that to people who have that piece of paper. They’ll cuss at you.

My goal is to go straight through, no breaks, no summer vacations, nothing at all until I’m done. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but I’m going to try. I want to get this done. I want to start a career. I’d settle for becoming famous, but published would be great. I don’t need millions of dollars to be happy, but when my kid comes up to me and says, “Dad, I’d like *insert name of ridiculously expensive and stupid toy*, I want to be able to buy that for them. I want to be able to send my kid(s) to basketball camps so they can be really talented and get drafted into the NBA and let me retire at 45. I want them to have things I didn’t.

Speaking of kids, I got word this week that we are “unofficially” approved for the adoption. We should get the final approval next week some time. That both excites me and scares me to death, because the other day I was thinking about it, and I realized that we’re essentially going to have a little stranger move into our house and never leave. Kind of like all the movies with Sinbad, only this kid probably won’t be as funny.

So there’s that. After the approval, it could take anywhere from 3 months to infinity to get a kid, and that’s the number coming from DHS. I think they actually used the infinity symbol, but kind of turned it at a bit of angle so it looked like an 8.

Starting on Monday, get ready to be greeted by a Facebook/Twitter feed of exhaustion, excitement, learning, and stuff about my farts, friends, penis cups, and Duke basketball.

You know, the usual.


BEEBE, ARKANSAS – Thousands of dead blackbirds rained from the heavens on December 31st in Beebe, Arkansas, a town with a population of about 5,000. “It was crazy,” said a local. “We were a six pack up and a hit of meth in, and thought we were seeing things. Then my baby double dog dared me to go touch one, so I sent the 5 year old out with a pair of dishwashin gloves to touch it. She said it was real. That shook us sober real quick.”

Just a day before, on December 30th, there were 80 to 100,000 dead drum fish found dead on the banks of the Arkansas river just 125 miles west of Beebe. Scientists have determined that the fish all died of some kind of disease, but they can’t say what. People fishing the river at the time described it as a “miracle.” When asked his opinion on the matter, one area fisherman commented, “Do you know how much we hate drum? Have you ever eaten a drum? You have any idea the best way to cook one? I have a joke for you about that. You take a slab of hickory and you nail…” He was cut off mid-sentence when he was elbowed sharply by his friend who said, “That’s my momma’s secret recipe, you dummy!”

We talked to a local pastor about the situation and he had this to say. “I can tell you this, it’s not of God. Do you have any idea what kind of God we serve? Have you read the Old Testament? If this was God, it wouldn’t have been drum, it would have been crappie. And let me tell you this, blackbirds wouldn’t have fallen from the sky, they would have multiplied by a thousand and there would have been locusts everywhere. This for sure wasn’t Old Testament God, I think it was aliens. If it was God, then finally, in His infinite wisdom, He got this one right.”

Other people we interviewed talked about Hitchcock, M. Night Shyamalan, and Elvis. There were a wide variety of reactions, ranging from fear to humor to flat out lunacy. One person we talked to said that she thought the birds were killed by a combination of the thunderstorm and fireworks that were happening on New Years Eve. She’s currently being ostracized by her community, and has been ordered to house arrest for an undetermined amount of time.

Jeffrey Lee and Leroy Jeffrey, cousins, express their delight
at the death of the drum and blackbirds.

One thing everyone agrees on though,  is that fishing and bird feeding has certainly gotten better in Arkansas.  “We can finally fill our feeders up again,” said one man. “There used to be a time when all we saw was blackbirds. You know how we feel about black things here. Now I can look forward to some  good ol God-fearin seagulls coming back around. They’re so beautiful. And catfishin! I can finally catch a mess of catfish without some gol-dern drum muckin things up. Speakin of, have you heard the best way to cook one of those things?” image

The year was 1996. I was 14 years old, and less than a year ago we had moved out of a 2 bedroom trailer and into a house. That’s right, we had 6 people in a 2 bedroom trailer. A 2 bedroom ONE BATHROOM trailer. It got crazy on Sunday mornings, y’all.

One of the things the new house featured, aside from that glorious, wonderful, sent from heaven second bathroom, was a glass double door at the “back” of the house. I put quotes around the word back because no one ever came to our “front” door. It’s like the thing had a giant ogre in front of it, yelling “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” over and over again. Or it could have been the fact that a colony of barn swallows spent the entire year making nests out of mud on our house and covering the front porch in poop. My dad spent many an hour outside screaming at them in anger and hacking their nests up with a broom, but they always came back.

Back to the glass double doors. One of my dad’s favorite things to do was to sit at the table and stare out that door for hours, just watching things. He would watch people, cars, animals, and anything else that happened to be outside. As a matter of fact, one of our favorite winter activities over the next few years would consist of the entire family gathered around those doors, laughing at people trying to make it up the huge ice covered hill beside our house.

We lived in an area called Mallard Bay. Directly to our east was a part of the same community, only it was called Robin’s Roost. They were referred to as “The Roost” and “The Bay.” The Roost was not a place you wanted to live. Now, I know a lot of people reading this probably came from over there, but still. You know. You really wanted to live in The Bay. As a matter of fact, I had to have special permission to even ride my bike through The Roost.

So anyway, one day my dad was looking through those glass doors, and I was in the kitchen, making a sandwich or something. All of the sudden my dad jumps out of his chair, runs for the door, and starts running out the driveway towards the gigantic hill. He took the red path in the following illustration.

You see, the field behind our house kind of presented a problem. I’m pretty sure my dad was barefoot when he took off. I don’t know that for a fact though, and that’s how legends get started. Either way, there was a giant ditch he would have had to jump over, and he just figured the road would be faster. Watching my dad run was something else. He was about 6’1″ and weighed about 280, and he had short legs like me. It was kind of like watching an old cartoon where the character’s legs just sort of wound up and then they took off like a bat out of hell. My dad could MOVE. I don’t think he even noticed the hill.
What was he running to? Well, in the house just up from us, there lived a lovable transient gentleman with an IQ that was not up to the then current average. He raised fightin roosters. Picture the dude from “Of Mice and Men.” We’ll call him “The Doose.” Apparently, this gentleman’s brakes had gone out at the point illustrated above. Thinking quickly, he had decided that he could open his door and stop his truck…with his foot. While his vehicle was moving down a hill. He would not have succeeded if it weren’t for a very large tree that his truck hit. The Doose was obviously shaken up, and the first person to reach him was my dad. I swear my father made it up the road before the truck hit the tree, but again, that’s me making a legend. He got The Doose out of the truck and laid down in the grass while his family started to come outside.
I didn’t see the foot, y’all. But I heard terrible things. Horrible things. Ambulances were called, and The Doose was whisked away in a flurry of lights. And my family, sans my dad, spent the entire time watching the event from those glass double doors.
notes about the picture:
1. Yes, we had a trampoline AND a swimming pool. Be jealous. 2. Yes, we had them next to each other so we could do stupid things. 3. That meth fire stuff is NOT exaggerated. 4. That hill was at least a 40% incline. Might have gone 60. 5. Yes, the road literally ended in the water. It’s called a boat ramp. 
Other Trips Down Memory Lane This Week: (GO READ THEM.)
Madmother’s Memoir Monday: BOO!