A real life version of Frasier, if the Cranes were from Mississippi. Dusty Thompson, displaced Southern gentleman and writer, invited his Dad, an authentic Southern Good Ol' Boy, to live with him in California. When his Dad showed up with the largest LaZBoy in America and a dog named Lulu, Dusty realized the only thing he had in common with his father is the belief that he is adopted. Now that his Dad has returned south, Dusty decided he would keep this blog because he has lots of opinions.
I recently witnessed a scene somewhat sad and perplexing.I was behind a young man in the line at
Starbucks who was dressed in an odd manner.As we were literally in the shadow of Facebook (it was about 100 yards
away), I assumed this 12-year old in $300 denim was one of the acolytes of
I guess odd isn’t the right word.Unexpected, maybe? From the waist up he was
your typical hipster nerd, complete with snarky t-shirt and non-prescription
glasses.However, below the waist, his
over-priced jeans were, and I believe I’m using this term correctly, “bustin’ a
sag”.I am so street.
Don’t get me wrong,
I applaud anyone who his committed to a specific look.I do, however, believe in giving someone a
dose of reality, if needed.I don’t
think Devin, if that was his real name, was giving off the appropriate gangsta
vibe.Why you ask?Well, for one, he was at Starbucks, for pity’s
sake.If that wasn’t bad enough, he
ordered a “non-fat skinny mocha-choco-latta-ya-ya” or somesuch.All I could do was sing, ‘Creole Lady Marmalaaade!”
in my head.
From what I
gather, real gangstas, were they to find themselves in a Starbucks (evading
Johnny Law, I presume) would order something like “Caw-Fee!Random Expletive! And a Cookie!Subsequent Expletive!Yes,
Warm!Final Expletive!”What?I watched that TV show that one time.
honor of this interaction, I’ve decided to offer Uncle Dusty’s Guide to Reality
for Millenials or as The Dad would say, “young-uns”.
1.Pull up your pants.You only get dates dressed like that because
women have taken pity on you.They think
they can save you.We’ve had to start
2.If you are thin, stop dressing poorly.If you have no taste, look for a friend that
does and ask for help.Or call me.I will literally take anyone shopping, up to
and including Charles Manson, although how you accessorize with a forehead swastika
would be a stretch even for my significant abilities.
3.Never assume retail employees have good
taste.No one checks out their outfits
during the interview, with the possible exception of Kate Spade.I have seen co-workers from my days at
Dillard’s tell a customer that the only shirt that would coordinate with khaki
pants, would be a khaki shirt.Yes, if
you are the Roto-Rooter guy.
4.If you think the cashier at any store has the
power to change company policy, you are special kind of silly.This is not a bazaar in Calcutta.You can’t barter at Forever 21.
5.Stop wearing flip flops with jeans.Because it’s stupid.
6.The cashier at Safeway is not in charge of how
many lines are open at 10PM on a Saturday night.You waited 11 hours for the new iPhone, you
can wait 10 minutes for whatever cheap alcohol you’re trying to buy.Stop being rude.
7.Don’t be rude to servers in restaurants.If you’re nice, they’re nice.That’s how it works.
8.Please tip your servers appropriately.They are providing you a service.I don’t care how cheap you are, tip at least 15%;
more if you’ve gotten great service.How
would you like it if you were paid based on someone else’s opinion of your work?
9.It’s great to be passionate about your beliefs.However, if you haven’t put much thought into
why you believe what you believe, don’t get mad when someone questions
you.If you find yourself unable to
defend your position, maybe you should figure out why.
10.If you’re not horrified by the world around you,
you aren’t paying attention.
11.It is your right as an American to have an
opinion.Coincidentally, you have to
deal with the repercussions of your opinion.Just like everyone else.
12.Hard work is the only path to success; there is
no other.If you want to invent an app
so you can sit around chillin’, you have to actually invent an app.All those Facebook and Twitter guajillionaires
are hard-working people.Granted they sometimes
wear hoodies and seem laid back, but they actually invented, and then
aggressively marketed, a product.You’re
not a dreamer.You’re lazy.
13.Not every successful person is smart; but all
successful people are hard-working.If
you don’t apply yourself, you’ll never succeed.If you’re in school, that means you need to study.I know Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped
out of college.But they dropped out of
14.When you’re driving and you make a wrong turn or
miss your exit on the highway, just keep going.Trying to cut across four lanes of traffic to make your exit is
dangerous and stupid.I am not dying in
a fiery car crash so you can get your fix of over-priced caffeinated
beverages.And you know good and well it
was something that stupid.
15.Oh, and your music is simply a re-tread of 80s
music, without the panache or hair spray.This is demonstrated by your rap stars’ inability to a make a hit
without sampling Spandau Ballet and Dead or Alive.I know that’s harsh, but whatevs, Felicia.Slow your roll.Is that right?Did I do that right?
Exercise is universally
acknowledged as dangerous; at least in my house.However, I was never aware consuming low
calorie snacks could cause pain and suffering outside of the unpleasant results
of eating sugar-free cookies.The snack
in question was a 90-calorie bag of naked popcorn.Naked in the sense of no artificial flavors;
had there been a more scandalous connotation it should have been titled nekkid
popcorn. There’s difference, at least where
I have a drawer in
my desk that holds my snacks.I keep it
filled with healthy snacks for all manner of emergencies like late nights, the
2:00 pm energy boost or bribes, depending on the situation.Prior to yesterday, the only danger with this
system was that the drawer, bottom left, if not closed firmly will sometimes
slide open again, like the bedroom window of an unrepentant teen after
curfew.And I’ve hit this drawer with my
chair and my leg but never with the full force of my body in motion.
I was sitting in
my office, talking to my management trainee James (hey, dude!) and we were
discussing some of the ins and outs of leadership and managing people.It should come as no surprise that I was
telling a story and a good story always needs a snack.I had just retrieved said bag of popcorn from
the drawer and opened it, while closing the drawer with my foot, which I felt
was the most efficient use of time and energy, just like those dudes from
Toyota.I’m living the lean journey,
people, LIVING IT!
After a minute or
so, I rose to demonstrate something appropriately leadershippy (and if you ask
James he will concur, won’t you James) not realizing the desk drawer hadn’t
ever really closed, like those mattress stores that are “Going out of Business”
for the better part of a decade.
As you probably
know, the desk is inanimate and stationary and my body isn’t, so it should come
as no surprise when I came into contact with the drawer, I tripped over the
drawer, slicing my leg, but fortuitously not my suit pants, and fell.While trying to catch myself, I only
propelled my rather large head into the wall and landing with a thud, followed
by an interjection that would most certainly not have been exclaimed in that “Schoolhouse
Rocks” tune.You remember interjections
show excitement (Wow) or emotion (Hey)?My interjection had several more letters and was followed by an
appropriate number of exclamation points.
One of the
measures of success, I feel, is the size of one’s office.This hadn’t occurred to me until I looked up,
all prostrate, rumpled and embarrassed, to see at least a baker’s dozen people
crowded around me.There was the aforementioned
James, our student worker, two of our clinicians, one of my managers, two
nurses, a cop, a cowboy, a construction worker and an Indian.I could be wrong about the last three; I was
woozy from the blow to my head.
So, I was picked
up from the pool of blood on the floor, mostly from the leg; not so much from
the head.They rushed me to the
emergency room (it’s convenient to work in a hospital) , triaged me,
interviewed me and took me to a room where I examined and then photographed my
open wound.James, great guy that he is,
accompanied me to the ER and we sort of just stared at the wound.No matter what sort of guy you are, you are
drawn by morbid curiosity to really gross things.
Cut to a fantastic
medical team treating the wound, not laughing directly in my face when I
explained how it happened and sewing me back together with 17 stitches in my
right shin.You know I’m going to try to
be #1 in anything I do.Simply fall
down?That is sooooo not me.I will fall down with prejudice.I will have an open wound, with possible
infection.I will not take painkillers.Ok, maybe my head got hit a little too hard.I’m strong-hearted (according to the book of
baby names), but not foolish.Pain
When I got home
The Dad had fixed dinner (Pork Chops, Home Fries and Fried Cabbage; the last
two items containing at least a pound of bacon between them) and I ate like I hadn’t
had my afternoon snack or dinner, which I hadn’t.Can I tell you that I needed some comfort
food?It was sooooo gooooood, I cleaned
my plate, which is something I haven’t done since 2008.
The Dad was so pleased
that he didn’t even make fun of me for falling down; at least not to my face.I wonder what he’ll say at breakfast?But a more important point to ponder, what
happened to my popcorn?