Only Richard Simmons and Boy George Cry

We spent Thanksgiving this year in Blackfoot. I don't know why you're thinking bad things about Blackfoot right now. I am clairvoyant, and words like "cold" and "windy" and "Baywatch" are running through your mind. I don't know why you're thinking about Baywatch. Well, I do actually, and that's why we're not better friends than we are. Adjectives like "cold" and "windy" are probably fair for Blackfoot in November, I guess. But it was pretty balmy this year. Daytime highs pushed into the upper-40s. For you Kelvin buffs, that's like 5,000 degrees Kelvin. Maybe 8,000. I actually don't know anything about Kelvin, and I'm too lazy to Google it.

Rifle kickback. Nice photo, Grammie.
Ten years ago Shannon took me home to meet her family in Blackfoot for the first time. We made the trip in my 1980 Honda Accord. It had a pretty sweet stereo system -- with a couple speakers that rattled with a tinny timbre at every thump of a kick drum -- and a ski rack on top, which I shoplifted from my parents' shed out back, and which predated JFK. This time around, we traveled in a minivan with a DVD player inside. (Italics added for false bravado). I'm not trying to brag or anything, but we're super rich. Basically, we can buy Twix like it's no thing. As long as they're previously-owned Twix.

BTW -- since the word "Twix" is plural, ever wondered what they're called in the singular? I guess a Twick? If McDonald's wanted to do awesome things, they would buy Twix wholesale and then resell them one and at a time in Happy Meals, and call it "McTwick." There might be legal problems with my idea, but then there are legal problems with lots of my ideas. Like borrowing those giant Maori statues from Easter Island and using them as stage props for concerts by my imaginary band, the Regal Beasts.

Also, when I went to Blackfoot ten years ago, I had to impress Shannon's dad so that he'd let her marry me. So I got out of bed at 4:00 a.m. to help feed the cows. It was like 12 degrees outside. That's like 40 Kelvin, maybe or something. I liked feeding the cows well enough. It was sort of dark so I couldn't actually see the cows, but something was eating the hay, and it wasn't sharks (sharks' teeth are ill-adapted for eating hay), so it must've been cows. Or snipe. Could've been snipe. Nowadays, I don't get out of bed to help feed the cows. Shannon's dad sold them a few years ago, and anyhow I'm not as helpful as I used to be back when I needed something from him.

Ten years ago, Shannon's whole family went outside and shot guns after Thanksgiving dinner. I participated, even though I was wearing a tie-dyed Grateful Dead shirt. Normally guys in Grateful Dead shirts don't shoot guns, but I pride myself in straddling cultural divides without splitting my pants. It turned out I was a decent shot with a pistol, which I think helped Shannon's family acquiesce to her marrying me despite my Grateful Dead shirt.

This year, everyone again went out to shoot guns after Thanksgiving dinner. I went along, but opted not to shoot, because the truth is I'm a sissy and a wimp. Ten years ago I was still under the impression that I was manly and that I could be president someday. Now, I've come to terms with the fact that I'm a girlyman and that the only thing I'll ever be president of is an ant farm, and only then if the ants are relatively passive. Even though I didn't shoot, after a while my son Halen wanted to be like the grown-ups and use firearms, in spite of being six. I probably should've helped my son shoot the gun, because I'm his dad and all, but I'd already gone inside because it was cold outside and I wanted to get snuggly in a sissy blanket and read a sissy book. Uncle Blaine helped him out, because he's not a sissy.

In the picture above, Halen's grammie expertly caught the split-second after the rifle fired. You can see the rifle's kickback shoving Halen's little head backward while inertia keeps his hair in its original position. The force of the gun's shot bruised Halen's chin and shoulder, but he wouldn't let himself cry. Cuz he's a real man. Only Richard Simmons cries. And Boy George. Only wussies like that cry.