Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Fuzzy Buddy

It's sad watching an old friend die slowly. (I mean, I don't really want them to die quickly either.) Some are just suppose to last forever. But, alas, I don't think she's going to make it. She's not yet "critical" but she's moving in that direction.

No, no. Debbie is fine. The kids are great. It's ... "The Date Chair."

I'm sitting in (on?) her as I write this. I purchased her years ago from a wholesale place in East Alton, Illinois. I had never been in the store before but found myself walking through it one day and came across her. It was love at first sit. I went and got Debbie, knowing that she would share my love. She didn't. I walked away broken hearted. A week later I went back ... you know ... just to visit. I sat in her again. It was a perfect moment. The angels sang. Then I noticed a flaw in her fuzzy arms. I pointed it out to the salesman. He sighed and knocked another $50 off of the price.


I loaded her into the back of my mini-van, drove to the old "TR's" restaurant and phoned in an order to be delivered to the back parking lot. Kelli was there and she delivered with Tammy Iskarous. I was lounging on my new fuzzy buddy, van hatch open, shoes off. The bagel just made it all the more perfect.

Eventually Debbie forgave me and wanted to sit in her too. I had to share. But she was really mine. Always was. Always will be. She became officially known as "The Date Chair" when the kids started bringing their dates home and discovered that she was big enough and long enough (she's a "chaise lounge") for them to sit next to without dad (that's me) going nuclear. This chair survived Kelli and Joe's dating extravaganza. She saw Scott and Amanda fall in love from close up. Christopher and Laura have camped out on her through many an evening. One of my favorite memories is of Amanda and Laura sitting side by side in her singing the theme song to "The OC." Ahhhh. Those were awesome days. The Date Chair never met Bear but she survived Bailey. I often lay in her (the chair, not the dog) in the nearly fetal position with my head on her thick fuzzy arms while Bailey lay next to me, resting her little Beagle brains on my leg. It was the best moments I ever spent with Bailey. We bonded there.

And now she's not doing so well. She made the trek to Cleveland with me a few months ago. I noticed her creaking as Danny Dingeldein and I moved her upstairs. And now as I sit in her I realize that she isn't so fuzzy anymore. I lay my head on her arms but she no longer caresses my cheek. Perhaps worst of all there are patches ... little areas ... where her fuzz is gone. Completely worn off by the very love she offered.

I don't know how long she'll last. And there is no point in calling the chair doctor. (Is there a chair doctor?) No, her condition is terminal. She isn't going to make it. I believe that 5115 lake Road is going to be her last stand. But I'm not giving up on her. I'm not throwing her out the door early. Like the true lover she is I'll sit with her till the very last moment. She'll be my fuzzy buddy until her little cushions no longer beckon me to rest ... until her cushy arms are nothing but fabric covering 2X4's. Until she is pronounced "deceased" by a stronger heart than mine. And then I don't know what I'll do. Perhaps I'll have friends come and remove her while I'm out pretending that all is well. Tricking myself into believing that it's just another evening. And when I get home and gaze through tear filled eyes at the place where she brought me so much joy ... I'll lift a cold can of Vernor's in her honor ... and toast the days gone by.

Then I'll probably go chair shopping. (Hey. You can only take this grief over a chair thing so far!)

Scott, Elle & Bailey in The Date Chair

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Christmas Story House

We've waited until we really needed something to do before pulling this one out of our hat. Friday's are our designated "Discover Cleveland" day. Last week you may have read that we drove all of the way to Toledo for peaches. Okay, we got that one wrong. So today we made up for it. We went to "The Christmas Story House" in the inner city. If you have any holiday spirit in you at all you've seen "The Christmas Story." It was filmed in 1983 and is the story of Ralphie and his family as they live their lives out around the Christmas holiday. The house where it was filmed is still standing. A couple of years ago it was in a state of total disrepair and for sale on ebay. It sold for $150,000. I think the guy who bought it was from the west coast and was not really terribly happy when he came out and actually set eyes on the place. (Lesson: Never buy a house on ebay.) But he's done okay for himself, rehabbing it and charging $7.50 per person to tour it. I'm sure it takes a lot of tourists to cover the purchase price of the house (20,000 to be exact,) not to mention the rehab tab. But people come by the bus loads. So I'm not too worried about him.

We finished off the evening by heading over to Blockbuster and renting the movie. Had to verify its authenticity, don't ya know.

And in case you are wondering ... no, Debbie would not let me buy a "leg lamp" at the gift shop. Not that I didn't try...

Monday, August 18, 2008

10 Summer Olympic Events I Would Like To See

Hey, we all love the olympics. The sportsmanship. The competition. The medals. But it's all gotten so predictable. We only watch these sports every four years. So I say it's time to revamp the events. Out with the old, in with the new. Let men prove themselves to be men. Let women show once and for all what they are made of. In the spirit of the original games I humbly submit the following "upgraded" events. LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

10 - Asphalt volleyball
9 - Parking lot diving
8 - Beach bob sledding
7 - 100 Meter Reader Dash
6 - Cherry Bomb Badminton
5 - Chain Link Fencing
4 - Waterford Crystal Basketball
3 - Real Horse Gymnastics
2 - Inverted Aquatics
1 - I-Beam Pole Vaulting