Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spies Are Us Keyhole Review

Sometimes the bills pile up and you have to stop what you are doing and write the checks or do the online banking thing. That time has arrived.
Over the past week or so I have received three award medallions which need be deposited ever so delicately in my sophisticated Award Safe Deposit Box.

TB is thirty-one years old and I discovered her and she is what she is today because of me. Of course, that’s a lie – but it would be nice to be able to take credit for her incredible blogging success. You see, I was one of her first readers and recognizing talent, presented her with her first award. Alas – she has moved onward and upward leaving me far behind. She is now queen of VBlogging…VLogging…whatever you call it – Video Blogging. She has taken pity on me – a poor old-fashioned typing-on-the-keyboard blogger and presented me with an award created with her very own hands. I am sure she stayed up all night sewing this.
One of conundrums I face when accepting an award is I also have to accept the consequences. She says that I must relate my most embarrassing moment. I thought about just skipping this TB Award, but then I would have to face the fact that she would probably produce a finely crafted Video Blog telling the world that I was ‘too good’ for her award or something. Then it would be shown on Facebook and whatever and then be picked up by 60 Minutes and…it would just get too confusing.
This is a double-headed reversing embarrassment and if you are child under 45 years of age you shouldn’t be reading this. In fact I need to let my wife read this and pass judgment before I publish it. If she gives it a thumbs down I can simply say that my wife wouldn’t let me publish my most embarrassing moment and I would be free and clear.
I think it was twelve or so years ago. I had divorced a year before and I had met my future wife online. We soon became passionately involved online as I seduced her unmercifully with imaginative and creative notions of the splendor and erotic bliss that awaited her when she would at last melt into my arms. We met briefly at the airport when she passed through – and we were giddy with fascination, nervousness, and lust for each other. From then on our emails – well, my emails, became intense with roaring and improbable scenes of our passion fulfilled.
Finally she agreed to come to my city and spend the weekend with me. At the time my daughter was in between jobs and living with me. I made arrangements for my daughter to disappear from my apartment.
It was Friday evening and the scene was set. We were both breathless and our senses were vibrating uncontrollably as we entered my bedroom. We furiously threw ourselves at each other with deep kisses and hands furiously disrobing each other and then – nothing happened. Three months of build up to this defining moment and I failed to consummate the most erotic event of my life. No excuses offered.
Marilyn couldn’t have been kinder or sweeter and passed the whole thing off as inconsequential and suggested I was being silly for being so dismayed.
Now the reverse.
The next morning we went out for breakfast. When we reentered the apartment, the fire roared as soon as we opened the front door. Clothes were ripped off and flung everywhere. A bra ended up hanging off the lampshade. Shirt, blouse, blue jeans, underwear scattered all over the living room. We bounced off the walls and collapsed onto the bed and achieved what had eluded us the night before.
An hour or so later when we were laying side by side talking in that meaningful afterglow – we heard the front door open. My daughter. We heard some clanging in the kitchen. Marilyn was horrified….our underwear…our clothing was out there. I just knew my daughter would be traumatized. Her father. Sex. Ugh!
I always try to face adversity head on. I pulled on some clothes, walked nonchalantly past the kitchen into the living room, nodded to my daughter who was making coffee, and quietly gathered the clothing in my arms and walked back toward the bedroom. I nodded again to my daughter, who had a tremendous smirk on her face, and re-entered the bedroom.
The incident was never mentioned again.
Marilyn and I ended up living together and married two years later.
There TB – I hope you are satisfied.

The Postman gave me this award because I ‘exude an optimistic demeanor’ . I didn’t mean to exude….after all, I do use deodorant.
The Postman. A bubbling cauldron, that’s what comes to mind….spitting, gurgling, rolling, spewing. Then through the magic of imagination, put a pressure cooker top of that cauldron. Imagine what goes on inside – the intense pressure building and building seeking release – freedom. Then slowly release the pressure a little at a time and watch what roars out. That’s the Postman. His soul is filled with an incredible intense need to express. His blog is a release of that pressure. So he writes, and writes and it will be a full time job just to keep up with him. And we profit from it.
A real live curmudgeon. There is no subject that he won’t tackle – and does so backed with research, wit, and imagination.
God bless the Postman. He demands nothing from me….no embarrassing moments or anything. Like all awards it is suggested that I pass this on to other worthy bloggers. I will.

Ivy is so refreshing – candid, self-depreciating, really intelligent, witty and a whole lot of fun. And she tells you secrets – like the fact that she writes everything out longhand before typing it, including her blog. I can identify with this because I used to do the same thing. Writing by punching keys used to seem so impersonal. When you write longhand the emotions and feelings ooze down your arm through your hand and fingers onto the paper. The keyboard with a wire to a box seemed to be a barrier to all this. I am not that way now and I am not sure how I switched – I suspect I had to on the job. The point is sometimes her secrets point right to you, the reader….she is sometimes telling your secrets….in a fascinating and truly enjoyable way.
Ivy required that I tell seven things about myself.
Well, I figure I have already confessed to two things so I only have five to go.
3. In college I drove a maroon Volkswagen around with no brakes. I didn’t have money to spend on such things as brakes – my money went to more important things such as dating and movies and parties. There were priorities, ya’ know. Anyone that rode in my car with me knew the routine. I always drove real slow and when we would inch up to a stop light, both right and left doors would fling open and we would stick our legs out and push our shoes against the pavement to stop.
Why wasn’t I killed? I don’t know. I do know if I ever found out that any of my two kids drove around without brakes I would kill them.
4. I loved that Volkswagen. For a while I was involved with the drama group at college…once I played a mouse in Cinderella and a jester in Pygmalion. Pretty heady stuff. One time after the end of production there was a cast party at the lake side. Drinks were flowing…and flowing into me. I had always heard that Volkswagens would float on water, so I decided to test the thesis. I got into my brake-less car and proceeded to drive toward the water. Soon everyone was chasing me shouting “No!” “Stop!” Never one to be deterred from a mission I plunged smack into the lake. It floated.
The cast somehow got the car back on dry land. It started right up – none the worse for wear. I loved that car.
5. We have all read those little reviews on the dust covers of novels. I sometimes amuse myself by composing dust cover reviews of a book that I haven’t written. Such as:
“Gripping. Spine tingling. The part about the space shuttle flying through the Lincoln Tunnel almost made me pee in my pants.” (Podunk Monthly Gazette)
“Capitalist trash. Full of inaccuracies. Khrushchev did not say, ‘We will marry you.” He said, “We will bury you”. Rubbish.” ( Red Star Review)
“This book kept me up all night. Well, I was up all night anyway – but it kept me entertained in between tricks.” (Nevada Prostitutes Union Weekly)
“While thoroughly entertaining, I question the notion that dinosaurs roamed the earth during the time of George Washington.” (Lithuanian Museum of History)
“Tom Clancy has been trumped! Never have I seen such intrigue, such moving erotica, such verve and intensity. I especially liked the part where Hiawatha shot down the 747 with an arrow.” (Spies Are Us Keyhole Review)
6. In the Navy there is what is called General Orders of the Sentry. There or five of them, or maybe seven…I can’t remember. I do remember one: “I will walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert, observing what transpires within my sight or hearing.”
Every sailor has to memorize all these General Orders as well as the Chain of Command and other stuff in boot camp.
Each boot camp company of recruits has an organization…complete with Recruit Petty Officers. I was selected to be Company Clerk, which is a high ranking position that deserves the….well, maybe not too high ranking. But as a Recruit Petty Officer, one of my jobs was to walk around inspecting sentries and quizzing them on stuff they were supposed to have memorized. Note that Recruit Petty Officers did not pull sentry duty. So I would walk around and bark at sentries and demand that they recite the second general order or the fourth. I had no idea if they got it right or not, because I never got around to memorizing them.
Once our company was at the diving center. That was that horrid place where you had to jump off a platform a million feet high into the water, and while underwater strip off your dungarees and tie a knot in each leg, rise to the surface and flip your dungarees in the open to trap air in them so they could be used as flotation devices. This was practice for when your ship got torpedoed out from under you. After I did this, I was sent back to the barracks to relieve the barrack sentry so he could do the diving thing.
So I stood there guarding the empty barracks with my trusty rifle and our company commander, Chief Neelan, walked in.
“Halt! Who goes there?” I barked.
“You stupid Ninny, you can see who goes here!” he screamed.
Then he demanded that I recite the General Orders of the Sentry. All of them. I only knew the one that I recited above.
This was the day before graduation from boot camp. Chief Neelan had the power and the right to set me back a month….send me back to a company that had a month to go until graduation so I could learn to be a real recruit. But if he did this, it would be a black mark on his record.
I escaped with having to do 50 push-ups. I never did learn those general orders.
7. I am lucky to have Marilyn as a wife. She one time bought a credenza at a yard sale during her previous marriage. It would only fit part way into the SUV, so she had her husband walk behind the SUV holding up the end of the credenza while she drove slowly back to the house. I wish I had a video of him sweating and cursing and screaming at Marilyn to slow down while he struggled to hang on to that credenza trotting along as she drove through town. I’m lucky because Marilyn had never made me do this.
When Marilyn was moving to Houston I drove a rented moving van 200 miles to her apartment and we loaded it up. Marilyn drove her car on to Houston and I was to follow way behind. I forgot to shut the rear doors as I took off and stuff fell out as I drove five blocks. When I stopped at a stop sign it occurred to me that I might not have shut the rear doors. I got out and shut them and looked back and didn’t see anything scattered along the road. I proceeded merrily on my way.
When we offloaded in Houston, Marilyn asked, “Where are my mirrors? My special mirrors?” And then she asked about missing two wardrobe boxes of clothes and I think about some piece of furniture. I casually mentioned that I may have accidentally left the back doors open for a teeny little bit. Quick phone calls to her kids 200 miles away, and clothing and broken mirrors were found all within one block of her old apartment. I am lucky – Marilyn has only mentioned it fifteen times since we have been married.
She puts up with a lot – including reading this insanely long blog.


  1. hhahhahahahahhahahhahhhhahaaaaa hahha!! YOU ARE A WONDERFUL WRITER!! I LOVE your sense of humor!! I wrote about you in my blog today and posted the link to your blog. I predict you are going to surpass Heather...I AM your faithful follower...

    I too met my husband in an unconventional a singles ad of a Pennysaver. I placed the ad, and he noticed it because of the word 'eclectic'. He is the love of my life, and his name is also Jerry. We've been together 10 adventurous (you like that??) years, and just celebrated our 8th year of marriage last October.

    I too had a VW. It was a 65 Baby Blue Bug and I incurred many, many good times and crazy episodes of my life in that car...

    So happy to hear of your adventures with Marilyn. Loved hearing about your first "get together, and I laughed til I wheezed reading it! You are so honest and brave in your writing...I commend you!!

    Thank you so much for your uplifting comment on my really made my day. We had just signed paperwork on putting the house up for sale. I shared your email with my husband and he was so pleased to see the shift in my attitude.

  2. OMG Jerry you are killing me! I love Marilyn and I love that you left the doors open on the moving van, something I would have totally done! That's car you had? I drove it's twin, a blue Vega, it had brakes but a weird ignition that never worked, would stall anytime you tried to stop and it was a manual transmission so I spent the year I was 17 trying to never have to stop or, if I had to stop, opening the drivers door and trying to push the darn thing fast enough to pop the clutch and start it. Thanks for making me laugh, at both of us!

  3. ahh, you don't hear a love story like that much these days,now do you? who do you think will play you in the movie version? I vote Brendan Fraser...

  4. My turn to be speechless. I don't even know on which part of this blog I should comment without being worried that I'd be unfairly neglecting all the other parts of it.
    Why aren't you making a living from writing is beyond me, Jerry. Seriously.

    So here's my overall review on the dust cover of your blog:

    "This short novel cannot be called just a brilliantly crafted write - it can safely be named a panty wetter. And if "wetter" is not a word, then "STFU" is.
    Two thumbs up for the remarkable wit and charismatic writing talent of this author. Now STFU and follow him." (Through Laura's Wide Open Eyes)


  5. Your most embarassing moment is one for the record books and I loved being privy to it, as well as the rest of your revelations. I laughed out loud at "Halt, who goes there?" and the resulting punishment your Chief dished out.

    I love your Award Safety Deposit Box. Even though I'd read your blog the day you set it up, I was curious and clicked. Great idea! BTW, you have one over at my blog, too, the FMTY.

  6. Great blog! I think your embarrassing moment is awesome. One time, when my husband and I were living with my father in-law, he heard us having sex and I still can't look him in the eye. Ugh.

    I hate to inform you of this, but your blog has created another embarrassing moment for you: my name isn't Heather! Nice guess, though!

    I can't believe you are alive today after driving a floating car with no brakes. You must have been spared in order to allow the world the privilege of reading the books that will go inside of those fabulous dust jackets.

  7. Yikes. TB is not Heather...and it has been corrected in the blog. My stupidity continues to leak through.

  8. Oh, don't be too hard on yourself. I look kind of like a Heather, anyway. :)

  9. I read the post and then the comments. LOL! Where is Heather? Oh, here I am!

    The whole time I was reading your embarrassing moment, I had my hands covering my face and giggling madly! Nodding to the daughter..LMAO!!

  10. Jeez, I've been rendered speechless for the fifth time in my life. I think Donna and Laura have valid points; you're an excellent writer, I like being over here and reading it. Moreover, I have no idea which bits to comment on for fear of unfairly neglecting the other refined gold ore laying about.

    Let's get the easy stuff out of the way first. Congratulations on the awards. You've earned them. That probably sounds hollow coming from me, and I'd like to say that I said it with sincerity, but I haven't got one. Also, congratulations on raising a fine blogger and playing it so über-cool in front of your daughter that Steve McQueen would've froze up.

    That sounded like quite the Volkswagen.

    Adored the book reviews. All this time I thought Khrushchev DID say "We will marry you." Thought it was rather conciliatory of him.

    Space shuttle through the Lincoln Tunnel?! I wanna read that book.

    And finally, apologies on neglecting this here blog for such a spell. I'm extremely honored by your frank appraisal of me, here. Thank you ever so.

  11. This post was absolutely HYSTERICAL. I was chuckling at the Marilyn and you all-hot-'n'-heavy story, but the one that sent me over the edge was your dustcover reviews...Oh. My. God. Every ONE was funnier than the one before...I would SERIOUSLY put those on your sidebar...right at the top! They are absolutely genius! (I think the Nevada Prostitutes Union is my favorite)
    LOVE the visual of the VW floating... with you drunkenly heading towards the water with your friends screaming...and Marilyn's ex walking (trotting) behind the car supporting the credenza? Priceless.

  12. Every part of this post was a gem. Congratulations on your well deserved awards. You are going to need to get a larger Award Safety Deposit Box.

  13. good to run acrooss a dude that has a real sense of huumer. Texas, that's what it is.. reckon? Thanks for the visit... I'll be back..

  14. You have given me some much needed laughter! Marilyn is a Saint! I just love the Credenza story.
    Congrats on your awards.

  15. Jerry - Every post of yours that I read re-affirms my love of your writing! Thank you for sharing your quirks with me (us?)! Marilyn is both lucky and a trooper... :)
    And your kind words encourage me beyond what I could say. Thanks for always commenting and keeping me motivated even when it is hard to do so.

  16. Jerry-
    This is terrific, no question. I wish you had given each part its own posting--that would make it easier to comment.
    As for "most embarrassing moment," some of us have them so regularly that eventually they get lost in the woodwork. The one about the ice cream and the Tampons machine? No. Water skiing with the boat owner who turned out to be blind? No, not that either.
    As for leaving the doors open on a rental truck, I'm afraid that will turn out to be the only way we ever manage to get rid of anything.
    I think, though, if you ever pray, you should include your wife's ex. Not only because you are now happily married to his ex, but because she must have taken him over a great many jumps. Getting some of that out of her system has to have been a plus for you.

  17. Oh my gosh, my first visit to your blog and I feel like I know you. I mean REALLY know you. Yowsah! If Marilyn read all of that, how many times did she sock you?!

    We had a neighbor once who borrowed our long extension ladder. We happened to be outside when he returned it--holding it with one hand out the window, the ladder SIDEWAYS on top of his car, hanging over both directions of traffic and the sidewalk. I wonder if he ever considered what would happen if he encountered another car. Duke graduate, worked for a chemical company. Scary, huh?!

  18. You earned your badges fair and square. I don't understand how to make or bestow them, so I'll award you an imaginary Great First Read award and you won't have to do a thing further except to keep up the good work.

  19. I'm pretty sure everyone who got here first covered the major points. This was indeed insanely funny. I'm especially fond of the reviews. Will you come up with some for my blog? I will post them proudly.

    still giggling,

  20. Congratulations grandpa on your awards, you are a wonderful writer as as well as all the other great things you do. Keep coming those nice stories, I can picture them just as they happened hahahaha. I always love your sense of humor.