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Senior Citizen models

The expanding image of the typical American has broadened as a trending topic on a large scale.

 

Yeah, I get it. We have gotten fat.

 

As we travel the world, our image—as our bellies—have grown yet another trait that identifies us in a not very complimentary manner.

 

Speaking of our manners, that is exactly what birthed the concept of the Ugly American. Going back to the 50’s, many a foreign resident viewed us as being,

“…loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless, ignorant, and ethnocentric…”

 

Thanks to fast foods, high fructose corn syrup, and 24/7 digital distractions, we have added our girth (literally) to that litany of negative credentials.

 

I feel it every time I get stuck in the middle seat on a nine-hour transatlantic flight, with some overweight guy bulging well into my personal airspace.

 

Of all the thoughts that go through my mind in those instances, that this guy is really the new image of a sexy body is not one of the top ten that I think about. Not even on the top one hundred.

 

Of course, truth be told, I need only look in a mirror to see that guy might be me, especially if the wife-person keeps baking plates of incredible sweet treats, like the amazing dark chocolate dipped, marzipan-tasting, almond cookies I found on a plate on the kitchen counter.

(Which, I later found out were for her club meeting the next day…oops.)

 

The result of all my high calorie grazing is, now that I have topped 60, my weight keeps inching up, along with my belt size.

 

I have been thinking about doing something about this, which is not to be confused with actually doing something about this.

 

Now it comes out that I don’t have to do anything about this; I could have gorged myself on the entire plate of treats.

(Hey, I was already in deep doo-doo.)

 

What momentous, life-altering event changed the world view of my physical condition?

 

Thanks to Breaking News from Jon Stewart, I learned that it was no longer necessary to suck in my ample gut whenever I was in sight of the fairer sex.

 

If this story was legitimate,  I could breathe out knowing that my ample belly was now considered not only desirable, but even—gasp—sexy. The news goes that I am packing what is a highly desirable manly bulge above my beltline.

 

According to a recent story in the New York Daily News,

Women are lusting after dudes with “dad bods” — a little extra gut around the middle.”

 

Even Hollywood heartthrob megastars have been seen sporting the look.

 

 

           dicaprio on boat dad bod

 

 

Kristen Schaal, on the Daily Show segment said,

“You don’t have to be a dad to have a Dad Bod, you just have to be really lazy.”

 

Schaal even claimed that,

…women are lining up at the Dad Bod buffet.” 

 

Well, I’m here to tell you that either the story is bogus, or I have been lining up at the wrong buffets.

 

I have tried three Old Country Buffets and two Sizzlers and I keep getting the same looks of disdain from all the women I parade by. This was especially unexpected, since I was sporting my outfit of yoga pants and a lycra top.

 

In the meantime, the wife-person has started to get suspicious why I want to go eat at yet another buffet, and more worrisome, why I keep strutting up and down the buffet line over and over.

 

I was starting to get skeptical, but even Jimmy Fallon acknowledged the Dad Bod phenomenon in his Pros & Cons segment. Here are a couple of them:

PRO: No longer worrying about what you see on the scale.

CON: Because your gut is blocking the view.

PRO: Being comfortable of having a soft, flabby body with zero muscle tone..

CON: Realizing you still need to lose 75 pounds to attain that [Dad Bod] physique. 

 

Well, since this news is on the internet, it must be true. So, maybe I will go try a big slice from that berry pie I saw in the refrigerator.

 

I’m sure she made it for me.

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The tales of adventures that went awry abound.

 

Books such as Not So Funny When It Happened (edited by the target of my adventure travel writer man-crush, Tim Cahill);  No Shit! There I Was; and Oh No! We’re Gonna Die, are but a few of the genre.

 

Truth be told, the awryer the better if you’re an adventure humor travel writer (or wannabe facsimile of same)…assuming you survive the ordeal, that is.

 

And, for anyone having followed my decades of travel ordeals knows, I should have tomes of travel tales on the aisles of the digital bookstore shelves over at Amazon. 

 

I should.

 

 

  rocky path

 

 

Most of my adventures seem to take place on, or under, some form of water, so yes, my travel stories are truly all wet.

 

One waterborne pursuit I partake pretty often is lake kayaking. Compared with scuba diving 100-feet down through rusty wrecks, helicopter skiing deep powder on steep slopes, or taking a shower in a tub with no non-skid pads, you would not think much could happen on a calm mountain lake, while safely ensconced in a stable, high-flotation watercraft.

 

You would think.

 

 

  there will be blood

 

 

Viewer caution suggested for visual grossness of this next picture.

 

 

                  knee injury1

 

 

How, you might ask, is that type of injury even possible under such conditions?

 

Well, my first instinct was to proclaim that I jumped off a cliff to save a young child from drowning, but apparently that cock and bull story has already left the farm

 

 

 

       cliff jumping

 

 

Like my dad used to say, “The second liar doesn’t have a chance.”

 

O.K. How about this: I was attacked by a yet unknown, high sierra cousin of the feared freshwater piranha.

 

 

     local fish

 

 

No?

 

Well, I just remembered. A huge, winged marauder swooped in to grab my iPhone 5S off of my lap.

 

Ha, ha, stupid winged marauder; I already paid $1,000 for someone to stand in line for me for the new iPhone 6 Plus.

 

 

  Egret in flight

 

 

No, not that either?

 

 

Well, what certainly should have not happened did not happen, was that, as I was taking three steps in knee deep water, I tripped on a rock and landed on another.

 

Ha, ha stupid rock. It only bled for an hour.

 

 

      plants in rock wall

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head compass

This post is about navigating in a sea of concrete, alcohol appreciation before breakfast, on belonging to a tribe, and getting a prostate check by a mob of gun lovers.

 

I’d like to think that I have a head for topographical spatial orientation. In other words, I can usually find my way.

 

Like Daniel Boone, I won’t admit  to ever having been lost.

 

And, like Daniel Boone, that is not to say that on occasion I haven’t been a bit bewildered for a while as to where in the hell I was.

 

     lost in translation

 

To wit, when I got off the BART metro train in San Francisco last weekend, as I ascended from the subterranean depths into a deep canyon of concrete monoliths, which all but blocked out the sky, you might as well have put a blindfold on me and spun me around, as if playing pin the tail on the donkey.

 

After wandering around for a while looking for a recognizable street name, I finally resorted to pulling out the iPhone and started down the street—looking like almost every other person out there—walking while staring down at my hands, as I tried to avoid Mad Hatter taxi drivers and semi-suicidal bike messengers.

 

     skyscrapers from street

 

My desired destination was the iconic Maggie McGarry’s Irish pub, home to the über-fanatical fans of Arsenal English Premier League soccer—or football (fútbol) as known to the rest of the world. We fervent followers go by the nom de plume “Gooners,” as we shout support for the players, who are called “Gunners” (from the club logo).

 

The pub was televising the final match of the F.A. Cup, which is the world’s oldest football cup competition. This annual championship game is a very big deal in the world of English soccer. Arsenal was playing against the heavily under dogged Hull City team in Wembley Stadium, with almost 90,000 in attendance, plus trillions watching around the world

(O.K., maybe only billions).

 

                Arsenal logo2

 

While some of the early risers were quaffing frosty pints of Guinness, others opted for more of a traditional American morning Bloody Mary, many of us began the morning with chilled glasses of Magners Irish hard cider, which are anything but hard to swallow, as we hoisted them early and often.

 

The joy of joining with a group of people of all ages, races, and sexes (apparently, nowadays there are more than just two) and the common bond of enthusiastically cheering for your favorite team, or political cause, or some other interest often results in the old cliché where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

A physiologist would probably tell us that there is some basic human comfort and physiological power being part of a tribe.

 

     Emirates FA Cup celebration

 

There’s that, and the part where you get to dress up in certain costume elements (which might only be a team t-shirt), being able to act crazy, and…yes…it is acceptable to drink copious amounts of alcohol before most of civilized society has even woken up.

 

To say the early stage of the game was not going well for the masses of Gooners at Maggie McGarry’s is an understatement of an epic proportion, as Hull City went up two goals against the clear favorite Arsenal squad, IN JUST THE FIRST EIGHT MINUTES. The gang at the pub was in a serious case of soccer shock.

 

     MM crowd

 

It appeared there was an increased consumption of Guinness as the Gunners lagged, but then again, winning makes us drink more, and losing makes us drink more.

In any regard, at the end of the 90-minutes of regulation time, the teams were level (which means “tied” in soccer talk).

 

Finally, well into the second 15-minute overtime period, Arsenal got another one into the net, and finished the game, thankfully without the need for PK’s, or penalty kicks, which probably would have run the pub plumb out of adult beverages.

 

Let the party begin.

 

 

Bedlam on Grant Street

 

The gleeful Gooners celebrated the Gunners achievement by pouring out onto Grant Street, thereby stopping traffic for as long as we dared (we already had one drive by of San Francisco’s finest in his patrol car), so we ventured back into the pub for just “one more drink.”

(Where have I heard that before?)

 

     MM sign

 

We planted ourselves along the far end of the bar to be out of the way should any of us succumb to the inebriating effects of all our celebrating. But, this location also happened to be in the path of  foot traffic to the loo, which—not at all surprising—was visited at an increasing frequency as the game, and appurtenant fluid consumption, progressed.

 

While I was watching the telly above the bar, I felt a slight moistening on my person. My first concern was that this was the result of an aging prostate, which unfortunately seems to one of the joys of being an old fart. But, alas, I was not the root (pun not intended, yet revoltingly funny) of myself becoming slightly wetted. No, it was initiated by an inebriated young lady carrying a cocktail in the general direction of the bathroom.

 

I say “general direction,” as it was in a somewhat rambling route of which I apparently was standing in, even though I was flat against the wall, away from the bar.

 

The young lady immediately began to profusely apologize, all the while gently wiping my bare arm, which I assumed to remove any spillage that occurred. I say “young lady” to assure the wife-person that, although a younger, single man might have seen her as a beautiful brunette, with a seductive smile and alluring attractiveness, I possibly might not have noticed.

 

When she got to the point where she introduced herself as Jackie and told me that she lived just down the street…while continuing to gently remove any perceived remnants of her spilled intoxicant on my forearm…I decided it was best that I introduce her to my young companion, who happens to be a single male, who like her, lives in San Francisco, and was born in something closer to her age than the three decades that separated her and I.

 

    

 

It was the proverbial win-win-win, as the young lady got herself extracted from a man who could be her (grand?) father, my young apprentice got a possible hook up, and the wife-person did not have to remove the root of my sometimes (VERY infrequently) source of moisture because I continued conversation with the beautiful brunette, with a seductive smile and alluring attractiveness…I mean, young lady at the bar.

 

Being a participant in a packed pub of like-minded fútbol fans for such a historically significant soccer event was worth almost being crushed by the crowd, although once I wasn’t sure if the guy behind me was holding a bottle of Magners at waist level, or if he was just…well, you know the line.

 

          soccer prostate exam

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Typically, I travel armed with adequate digital devices to create wildly entertaining, multimedia content to this internet-based global humor travel tales website; only that I was capable of such a Herculean feat.

 

As this was going to be a quick, one-night trek to Portland to offer my mere modicum of fan appreciation to the highly successful U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, while they were touring the country on their Fan Tribute Tour, I opted to leave at home my usual conglomeration of laptop computer, netbook, and iPad, with their appurtenant cables, chargers, mice, etc .

 

     Brandi Chastain, I'm on my way.

 

I knew that would preclude my ability to provide my anxiously anticipated (mostly by me) insightful, witty blog posts to the world wide web.

 

Not willing to go 100% cold turkey (exactly where does that expression even come from?) I did take my Blackberry; otherwise known as my Grandpaberry, according to Number One Daughter.

 

While posting to this site using this somewhat antiquated piece of mobile electronics is technically feasible, it is kind of like doing in-depth fantasy football statistical projections on an abacus.

 

On the other hand, some people have no such difficulties, like the guy who was stranded in deep blowing snow on Mount Hood. While I was working my way around Portland from coffee shop to microbrewery to food truck, this guy was stuck in the deep snow, up on nearby Mount Hood.

 

     Mount Hood helicopter

 

Armed with only his smart phone (not likely a Blackberry), after he made a phone call to place a rescue request, he began posting Facebook updates, admitting to family and friends as to his precarious predicament, figuring he would be outed anyway, as soon as the search and rescue event hit the evening news.

"Got stuck in a storm on the summit of Mt. Hood. Stuck on cliffs over 10,000′ in a white out. Called 911 after several hours of trying to self rescue. Search and rescue has been notified. Wish me luck!"

He also posted his location as,

"right on the edge of some gnarly cliff.

     facebook on smart phone

        

You think that was terrifying? Try being a travel humor blogger.

 

I’m right on the edge every time the wife-person asks me why in the hell am I wasting my time doing this in the first place?

 

Did the guy stuck on Mount Hood post wildly entertaining, multimedia content to an internet-based global humor travel tales website?

 

See, not so easy, eh?

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No chickens were harmed in the making of this blog post.

 

(I wish I could say the same about your esteemed author.)

 

What was I thinking?

 

I paid thirty bucks for the privilege to get up at first light and then drive an hour, just to join a mob trying to catch a 170 pound chicken.

 

    running chicken

 

And what masochists insist in calling these self-inflicted maltreatments, “fun runs?”

 

But, there was a $100 bounty offered to the first runner who could catch the clucker.

 

Apparently, it has never been done, so I was starting to wonder if there was either a running ringer in there, or possibly  it was some super-duper, steroid-strengthened freak fowl.

 

    chicken run chicken

 

Given my propensity to start these runs slowly…and then taper off, I got way back by the “12+ min/mi” pace sign.

 

If I’ve done my math correctly, my one mile per hour pace is a 12+ min\mi pace—with emphasis on the “+”—right?

 

    chicken run sign

 

When it was all over but the shoutin’ (mostly me yelling that I hurt all over) the chicken, once again, eluded capture, so it was veggie burgers all around.

 

With a side of Advil, if you please.

 

Fun run, my ass. (Yeah, that hurt, too.)

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While here in the U.K. I should be running training for my upcoming half marathon (more on that soon), I have been mostly in drinking training for…well…more drinking.

 

It’s been one cask ale after another, only punctuated by an occasional dram of whisky (spelled correctly for Scotland).

 

So, lately my mind has been even less clear than usual, and I seem to get random strange thoughts.

 

Here is a picture I snapped today on the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow, Scotland. Obviously, it was taken in the “loo.”

 

 

       train toilet

 

I just thought about any unfortunate soul who happens to have any embedded metal in their butt, whether it be from shrapnel as a result of a war injury, or possibly someone who might have had a medical procedure that resulted in a metal plate or pin placed “down there.”

 

My vision was someone stuck—literally—on the toilet seat as their rail station came and passed.

 

On my travels I have been known to eat or drink some things out of the ordinary (like the haggis I got down at breakfast this morning) and I, myself, have been stuck on the toilet seat for long periods of time.

 

But, it has never been from the influence of nearby magnetic fields.

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beach creature

While I am finishing up on a hush-hush blog post which could get me seriously sideways with the State Department, I thought you might be interested to see how some people spend their time on the beach.

 

Lots of time on the beach.

 

Think Tinker Toys meets Star Wars.

 

Given the broad theme of this site, which is anything involving sand or dollars or adventures, I present to you this short YouTube video that alert reader* Lou Kruk recently sent me.

 

I will let it speak for itself.

 

 

*While the term “alert reader” may not have been copyrighted by my humor author mentor, Dave Berry, it should be.

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