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Joined: 10-Nov-2006
Birthday: 14-Sep-1955
Total Posts: 27
Realm: Hudson Highlands


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Fifteen Minutes of Fame
Posted by Celt on Jul 26th, 2007 5:28 PM
Sherry Miller. I met Sherry in Kindergarten. We sat next to each other at the big table, as there were no individual desks in our classroom. We helped each other to hold those Lincoln Log size pencils and crayons, shared our graham crackers, and laid our mats next to each other during nap time. She was smart beyond her years, knowing how to write both her first and last names, while I was struggling to make a legible "M". But I was class mechanic, having torn apart and rebuilt all four classroom Tonka trucks, and thus earned Sherry's undying affection. I think I fell in love with her during our Christmas Pageant that year. She played a mean triangle. The spotlight twinkling off the glitter in the frames of her glasses only added to her allure. She was a goddess.

The following summer we spent most of our days together. She loved playing "road construction" with me, and the ideal setting was under the steps leading to my back porch. The dirt was the perfect consistency for building roads with our collection of trucks and earth-movers. Just moist enough to be cooling in the summer heat, with very few stones to get in the way. So here we were, squatting down, inches from each other in the cool refreshing shade of the porch. I had just completed a main road and Sherry was adding curbs and drainage. We both happened to look up at the same instant, and each caught the others' eye. She smiled and from nowhere I made a subconscious move to take our relationship to the next level. I farted. It raised our eyebrows, and more than a little dust.

Now this was not your basic, every day, run-of-the-mill rip. No, this was a perfectly rendered playback of the NBC Peacock jingle, exhibiting flawless three chord progression in a smooth melodic flow. It was the epitome of "suave". If Dean Martin were to let one go, it would not have sounded so polished. Sherry was visibly moved, as I detected a tear in her eye. Neither one of us laughed, as would normally have been the case. This was ground-breaking, earth-shaking, and wind-breaking at it's finest. I had achieved greatness, and she was there to bear witness and partake of the glory. Word, with everything else, spread fast. Kids came from three to four houses away to shake my hand and hail me as "gifted". You could almost smell the fame and celebrity in my future. While Ed Sullivan featured countless novelty acts, it was apparent that talent of this caliber was in short supply. Perhaps my Mom could call the Ted Mack Amateur Hour and book an audition. I'd be on my way! However, Moms don't really see eye to eye with six-year-olds concerning show business. Or farts. "That was uncalled for" comes to mind as her response.

No one else in the neighborhood ever came close to matching my prowess with a wind instrument. Oh yeah, there was one kid who claimed to have done a rendition of "Three Blind Mice", but he was exposed as a cheat and a fraud for doing it in three separate toots.

It saddens me to say I never duplicated my moment of glory. I burned up my fifteen minutes of fame way too early in life. At least someone I cared deeply about was there to share. She always knew how to bring out the best in me. Oh, Sherry...

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A true red-letter day...
Posted by Celt on Jan 9th, 2007 4:20 PM
This morning I received the phone call from Hell. You know the type. You know that it's coming, but you're still shaken when it does-

"Hello, Mark?"


"This is Dr. Zambito's office, calling to remind you of your 6-month dental cleaning and checkup, today at 2:30."

"ummmhh, ok?"

"Fine, we'll see you later. Until then, have a good day."

"uh, you too."

Sure, have a good day. Like I'll be having visions of sugarplums dancing in my head. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not afraid to go to the dentist. I'm just not very keen on somebody probing around in my mouth, and expecting me to carry on an intelligible (let alone intelligent) conversation during same. The blisters on the roof of my mouth from a late night pizza slice weren't really enhancing my mood, either. I stick with the 6-month appointment plan for a reason. If I wait a full year for a checkup, there's always the possibility that something will come up that will invariably lead to the admonishment "if this had been caught earlier, it wouldn't have cost quite so much". Yeah, like dentists want to save you money. Anyway, today I knocked off earlier than usual to prepare for the chair. Arrived a few minutes early to case the joint and to secure a seat in the waiting room, just a few paces from the exit (hey, you never know). Ever notice how relaxing the dental waiting room can be? WHUD-FM playing soft rock, comfy beige tweed lounge chairs, plush mouton lamb carpeting, and a corner table covered with at least seven years worth of New Yorker and Highlites magazines, all tied together by the conjugal-visit green walls and cathedral ceiling. Add to this mix, the soothing whir of a not-to-distant air drill, and I was borderline comatose, so relaxed was I. Perhaps there is a method to the madness of inducing dental patients into a zombie-like state (no, not California). See, zombies, as a rule, have bad teeth. (ever see one that couldn't benefit from White Strips?) Dentists thrive on bad teeth. You do the math.

"Mark, walk this way, please."

Difficult to comply, as she was in heels, and I, topsiders. We successfully traversed the maze of hallways and anterooms that led to the examination room, and "the chair". I was speechless, staring with childlike wonder and amazement at "ol' sparky", the (who's yo') grand-daddy of dental chairs. Its gleaming white porcelain pedestal, sumptuous black naugahyde upholstery, rich Corinthian leather ankle and wrist restraints, polished brass spittoon, and flickering (mirrored and magnified) migraine-inducing fluorescent examination lamp, fairly daring anyone to cross it. I had come to accept this as my destiny. I was the true macho adventurer, Indiana Jones. I had entered the temple of doom, and I was not to be denied. Nostrils flaring, biceps bulging, sphincter puckering...

"Your bib, Mark." (reality bites)

I'm amazed at the number of metal utensils that someone can coax into my mouth at any given time. I mean, I thought that 4 McNuggets and a wad of french fries were pretty much the limit of my oral capacity, but I have been proven wrong. About the only things that didn't make it into my mouth were the hygienist's neck chain and cleavage-enhancing pendant (though not for lack of trying).

No x-rays this visit, which was disappointing. I had been so looking forward to having the lead apron knock the wind out of me. (not that wind ever needs to be knocked out of me)

There was good news, in that I don't need any work done for another 6 months. However, the bad news is that I have to go back in another 6 months.

I hope everybody else had a better day than I.

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