Sunday, April 25, 2010

I think I'll try verse.

I've been looking over verse lately and thought this week's exercise should have some. The arts and politics do collide so together shouldn't be discussed at a cocktail party. Especially, at a fund raiser.

How do you know there’s too much government?

When you go to buy a Popsicle and they don’t give you the stick.

You buy a bigger candle and it doesn’t have a wick.

You’re paying too much health care and it still means you’re sick.

You buy a Gillette razor and in the package you get Schick.

The jobs they are a fleeting but the stimulus is on.

The farmers they are hurting and still it twists their arm.

It doesn’t know it’s own self and keeps conflicting harm.

It’s big; it’s enormous, it’s like the mastodon.

It’s twelve trillion dollars; I’ll never earn that much.

For future generations, I hope you find a crutch.

You can’t yet feel the price tag, you wouldn’t know as such.

It’s up to us to H.E.L.P. them now, so please no matter what side you’re on, Honor, Educate, Lead and Prosper,

In God we all should trust.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

There's Free Money On The Ivory Coast

Oh man, I am stoked! I just got an e-mail from someone on the Ivory Coast who invited me to take part in a business proposition that involved 20 million dollars. It’s a sure thing. Imagine me getting my hands on that kind of money.
I have actually, imagined it, even more millions when I pretend to win the lottery.
I’ve gone through the expressions, jumping up and down, I’ve imagined the sounds of joy when telling my family, I come up with their reactions and think of the things we would all do. Everyone yells, screams, hugs, kisses, we drink champagne, good God, the things we would do and now it’s possible.
Married people from what I hear fight over money. My wife and I don’t have that luxury but I’ll be glad to spar a bit when this Ivory Coast deal goes through. It reminds me of the time we had an argument over money we didn’t have.
We were talking about winning the lottery. I don’t remember the amount but it was the mother load and I said, “If I win, I’d give money to everybody who has ever been nice to me. I’d call people up that I haven’t seen in years and tell them I won the lottery. I’d tell them to take this money for helping me out, way back when I didn’t have anything.”
She asked, “What if it was only a small amount?”
“Then I’d give people small amounts.”
“Like hell you will.”
“Well, I’d have to give something to my family.”
“We would give some to the kids.”
“Well, what about your sisters? If they won a million dollars, you wouldn’t expect to get some money?”
“Hell, No!”
“Well Honey, if my brother or sister won a million dollars, I’m expecting some cash. Whatever they want to give me is fine. But I’m expecting something.”
“They don’t owe us anything,” she said.
“Maybe not you, but they owe me. Damn it,” and I think she took it as if she has never done anything for my family, which she has. Years ago, she calmed my ass down.
I could see where this was going. We were arguing over money we don’t have. How screwed up is that? So we agreed that if I ever won the lottery I would give her 70% and keep 30% to do with what I want.
With that settled I am now able to calculate what my exact winnings would be from the Ivory Coast deal. Let’s see, 10% of 2o is 2 million, multiplied by 3, equals, it’s a shit load. Ball parked its 6 mill, enough to do some damage on the debt of all the people I hold dear.
My mother gets a million. If I know her she’ll leave her money to my sister, brother and me which will eventually come back and go to the three nephews, and my stepchildren. (I got my wife’s kids covered with my 30%, too. I’m not crazy.)
My sister and brother get $500,000.00 a piece.
I have one uncle who will say, “Keep the money” and an aunt who gave me seven hundred dollars to go out and find my fortune when I was 20 years old. I’ve never forgotten that. She gets $500,000.00. She’s been married to a remarkable man who has five children who became my wonderful cousins. They will get a $100,000.00 each, which comes to 1 million, which I hope they will share with their children. I don’t see them often through no fault of their own but after I give the money, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the next reunion.
I will give the next million to my wife’s two sisters and brother to be split however they want. Her family is like mine. Blood is thicker than water and with money in the mix we’ll see how thick blood can be. I do know it will be used wisely and given to the lower generation and their grand kids.
With the older generation, my generation, and the lower generation getting the trickle down and my wife still having the 70% I’m ready to surprise the old friends with my last million dollars.
I have three friends who have always believed in me and will get $100,000 each.
I have four colleagues that have made me shine and will receive $50,000.00 each.
I have ten people I have worked with in different capacities through the years that will get $20,000.00 each and $100,000.00 is left for stray family members, drinking buddies, and black mailers. (I’m not a Boy Scout)
With the last $200,000.00 of the Ivory Coast money I’m going to throw the biggest outdoor concert this town has ever seen. It will be on a beautiful autumn day in September, possibly my anniversary and I’ll open the show by flying to the stage in a helicopter, getting out and announcing the biggest acts of the day, acres and acres of land will be filled to capacity with people yelling and screaming as I give back my 30%.
I know I have a few bucks left and the rest of the people will have to grovel for it. You see, I’ve gotten a bit cocky owning all this money. It’s awesome. So where is the Ivory Coast, anyway?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Identity Theft

I’ve learned that a person’s identity and how they are perceived is
important and knowing one’s self and what you want to convey is entirely up to you.
I’ve done things in the community that has formed opinions and believe me, people do remember what touched their lives.
“Hey, man, are you still on the radio?” is what I get in the grocery store by someone I haven’t seen in many years.
“Do you still do those plays?” is something I get from closer friends who know I’m not on the radio.
“Are you still on TV?” That’s what I get from people whom I’ve met in the last few years and at points in between I get:

“Damn! We sure got drunk when you owned The Abyss.”

“I remember when you did those skits on stage at Illusions.”

“That Navi-Gator Magazine, that was a pretty funny magazine.”

And the big one,

“Whatever happened with that Steve-O shit?
(When you finish, Goggle Larry Hyatt and Steve-O. Don’t do it yet you’ll be there in one minute.)

All those things were all part of my identity and things publicly that I’ve conveyed. A golf buddy told me that I should run for political office. He didn’t know my secret identity so I took it as a compliment.
I have a friend who didn’t want to relinquish his non-profitable business after thirty years even after he had divorced his wife and lost his kids by sticking with the losing proposition. He felt giving up would have been a sign of weakness, his identity, that of a donut-maker, the person who got up early and made the donuts, a worthy profession.
He once confided in me that he could have sold the business for an exorbitant amount of money but he didn’t because he didn’t know how to do anything else. He learned how to mix dough at an early age, from his father, and throwing it in a fryer was something he did with perfection before he doused them with a mixture of flavored sugar that he had made himself and was proud of. He felt no one should take that away. It was “his’ donut, the donut that had the perfect mixture of yeast and cinnamon and would rise to the perfect height. He knew he was the “Donut Man.” When seen in a grocery that’s what they called him. I loved his donuts.
I have a family member who is a drug addict and his identity is that of, go figure, a drug addict. No one wants to let him in their house because after years of knowing he has a monkey on his back he can rationalize stealing the television you watch every day by coming to the conclusion you won’t miss it. To me this is a person who doesn’t care how he is perceived and doesn’t know his own identity or perhaps he does realize the induced rationalization and has to get it while the getting’s good. Either way, you’re not watching American Idol in your living room this week.
What about the identity of a person of a perceived, distinguished position and liaison, such as a board member in a small town community to which some find isn’t much but can be held dear by those who’s own self identity is in question? To “hob knob” with the communities elite and walk amongst those that have discretionary income is an identity on to itself. I’ve met these, the people who forget the mission but enjoy being apart of something bigger then one’s self. Non-profit boards are unpaid positions, do it for the mission and of course, court ordered community service.
It seems to me that government employees and community board members go hand in hand? Communities with Kiwanis, Rotary, The Chamber; all intermingle and want each to do well and want each member to join their group and that’s good because these groups always seem to produce “The Most Useful Citizen.” My town acknowledges a person for this award each year through a contest in the newspaper. I would love to be considered the most useful citizen even years after the fact.
In the grocery someone could say, “Hey Larry, I remember when you were the most useful citizen. What have you been up to? Oh Wow! That’s not useful. So tell me, are you still on the radio?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Used, Abused and Tattooed

I don’t have a tattoo. It’s entirely too permanent.
My friend in high school got a tattoo on his shoulder of a big rainbow. Little did he know 10 years later the gay community would make rainbows a battle cry. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I’ve got a young family member who is 19 years old. She’s got the word “love” tattooed on one shoulder and the word “peace” on the other. Then in her young and unfaultable wisdom she had the word “one” printed on her right wrist, and “love” written on her left, an ode to her boyfriend with which she can extend her arms and show the world her feelings. It also happens to be a sell line for a chicken finger’s place called, “Raising Cane’s.”
“Raising Cane’s, One Love.” It’s on all the television commercials and radio jingles. What the hell was she thinking? He broke up with her about three months later, that act of love not being good enough but good enough to earn chicken fingers for life from the owner of Raising Canes.
A guy I know got “Comedy/Tragedy” tattooed on his forearm, the happy and sad face masks he associated with Mardi Gras. Little did he know there’s a gay bar in our hometown, called The Drama Club that uses the same logo on billboards everywhere. Go figure, not there's anything wrong with that. Here’s another tattoo story
I went on a business trip with a librarian who was one of the sweetest people you ever want to meet, very nice and enthusiastic about her job and would say things bright and cheery such as, “Hey Larry it is so very nice to see you again. I’m so glad you’re with us. How are you today?”
Others on this trip thought the same about her. She came off as such a good girl and very friendly, the kind you wouldn’t mind spending a six-hour flight with. You know the type, bubbly.
At dinner, sitting in a booth, her across from me next to a mirror, I noticed her shirtsleeve gathered haphazardly up her arm and in the reflection, a tattoo of a naked lady in a provacative pose. The lady’s arm was behind her head lounging back, with her legs open. When I saw it, I blinked real hard and it didn’t go away. So, I blinked again. It was still there and I thought, “Oh, you naughty librarian, you.”
Of course in the tattoo world they have the obligatory comic strip people who seem to be obsessed with body art.
I read a study on tattoos that said the shock value is waning and that people with four or more tattoos and piercing is more likely to do drugs and illegal activity. I guess it’s getting harder to freak the shit out of your neighbor but people will keep trying. I tend to agree only with the shock value of the study and not the drug analyses. I remember when a man piercing just one ear put the neighborhood on edge.
The last ten years saw an uncommon, likeable, increase of women with the lower back butterflies, abstract art, and words written right above “the goods.”
I ask again, what were they thinking? I would think they only expected a few intimate men or possibly the people on the beach to admire and ogle the top part of their ass, and imagine, as Opra put it, “the Va-J-J.” But, the thing that always comes back is the fact that the tattoo is not coming off without substantial work.
If I want to remember my life when looking in the mirror I look at scars. The one on my lip when at a bachelor party I got drunk and fell into the bumper of a car. The one on my knee when I crawled under a fence to get to a cigarette machine a twelve year old boy should not have tried to get to, my eyebrow that as a first grader I slipped on a cowboy shirt that my mother told me moments before to pick up and clean my room, and those were just the physical.
Next time you have the chance, look deeply in a mirror and see all the tattoos of time, they’re there, staring back with all the colors of the rainbow and all the colors of life, which is basically black and blue. Look through the black and blue, see the permanent pictures, it is the pictures that life has tattooed on you.