Saturday, May 7, 2016

"What a Stupid I Am!"

Although I am stupid, I cannot take credit for this quote. It was uttered most famously by pro golfer Roberto De Vicenzo. In 1968, he made an error (actually his partner did) on his scoring card. He signed it, thus losing a stroke on 17. Had the right number been entered, RDV would have tied for the lead in the Masters final round, necessitating a playoff the next day. Upon this discovery, the Argentinian said the above quote.

But he was right. I am a stupid.

I thought it would be a wise idea to rub baby powder on my hands before a concert, eons ago. Shoulda seen those sticks fly. Out of my hands.

I'm a Loser

I lost an entire sportcoat once. The last place I wore it was at a private dinner party. I don't think the hosts stole it.

I have lost keys so many times, I should take locksmith training. In my golden years, I have taken to wearing my keys on a lanyard. Lost one of those, too. The whole friggin' thing.

I have lost shoes, too. Not a whole pair, mind you. Just one shoe.

My favorite spatula never left my kitchen. It just vanished.

Girlfriends don't count, right?

Miscellaneous Dumbassedness

Grocery items can also pull the Claude Rains act. Sometimes I discover this as I am three-deep in the glacial checkout line. More often, they disappear between store and my home.

When our eldest, Grace, was an infant, I had the bright idea of strapping a roof rack on our sedan before a road trip. Gracie's stroller was firmly affixed with 38 various bungees, straps and other appurtenances. The affair lasted about fifteen miles. Of course, the whole shebang flew off on 95. I risked life and limb to retrieve the mess. The pram was still anchored to the twisted, useless rack.

I pledged a fraternity in college. Eight weeks of humiliation ensued. Just to hang out with a bunch of guys I didn't really like.

Stairs are my enemy. My right shoulder still aches when I hold it a certain way. This was 43 years ago. I now approach them gingerly. Although I managed to fall up a front stoop not too long ago. My already weathered face looked like a torn softball.

I once told a date, as I picked her up, "Hey hon, that's more makeup then you usually wear." On a hot night, my vehicle needed no conditioned air.

When I was seventeen, I thought it would be cool (at a drive-in movie) to consume an entire quart bottle of Tango, an horrific mix of cheap vodka and orangeade. By midnight, I sat groaning in the backseat as my buddy hosed off the entire side of his dad's car. And what did I have to do (after sleeping in another car) the next morning? Strap on a snare drum and march in a parade.

I thought I had used my turn signal. Honest, officer.

I had lobster in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

At La Luna in NYC's Little Italy, I said, "I thought parmesan cheese came in a green can," as a waiter lovingly grated fresh Reggiano over my bucatini.

My buddy Davey and I, in our late teens, took out our best gals, who were sisters. New Year's Eve. Reservations at a fancypants seafood restaurant. A big splurge. Both gals ordered steaks, well-done. We had forgotten that their family never ate fishies. Ever. The wizened waitron shot us a withering glance.

On the game show Split Second, after I won, I had to pick one car from a group of five. If it started, I'd get the car. If it didn't, I'd return on the next show, when only four cars remained. And so on. I kept winning and keying the wrong car. On my fifth show, I would receive the car of my choice if I had won the game. Lost. Stupid in front of millions.

Once when I was gigging in Boston, a tall, roosterlike dude approached me. "Hey man," he said,"I like the way you drum. Why don't you join my band, Captain Swing? We're gonna change the name and get a record deal." I asked him to call me. My mom took a message a few days later ("Rick called from Boston," magneted to the Frigidaire), and I replied. We talked money, which wasn't there. Since I would have to move to Beantown, I needed a salary. So no deal.

A couple of years later, I was watching The Midnight Special with my mom. I said, "Mom, see that tall singer? You talked to him on the phone."

"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, TIM! THAT MIGHT BE THE STUPIDEST THING YOU'VE EVER SAID TO ME!" I sat there with a rueful grin as we watched Ric Ocasek and The Cars.

By the by, Roberto De Vicenzo had a storied career as a golfer, winning the Bobby Jones award for sportsmanship.

C'mmhere. Pull my finger.

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