Tag Archives: Camouflage

Man, A Tee Sure Would Be Nice Or See Cows

There’s something to be said for ugly.

Mostly that something sounds like, “Eeeeewwwwwww!”

manatees_mother_calf_brandon_coleHowever, there also is something that goes along the lines of so ugly it’s cute. For exhibit 1 in this category, may I present the West Indian Manatee, a resident of many places, including Florida.

Yes, these are the manatees. They are slow moving, ugly and yet graceful in a ponderous roly-poly sense.

Because of their lassitude when it comes to motion (they sometimes will float in the same place for hours, barely moving) and their camouflage that allows them to fade into the water, many manatees are covered in scars all up and down their backs.

These scars come from boat propellers. Captains who aren’t looking out for manatees or who speed through manatee slow zones can zoom right over one of the peaceful sea cows, doing little damage to the boat, but severely hurting the peaceful creature.

Because they are a threatened species, manatee sightings are a rare and precious thing along the Intercoastal Waterway south of St. Augustine, FL, where my family vacations.

Bela Mar manateeWhich makes our latest two sightings all the more exciting.

I saw and photographed a manatee and her calf floating peacefully amongst the shore reeds at a local marina. Then, the next day, my dad caught a snap of this sea cow.

Apparently it has taken up residence beneath a boat dock near where my dad lives and has been seen swimming around in the river shallows several days running.

What a wonderful animal to have nearby.

One of the most-retold stories concerning the Intercoastal Waterway in our family is the time I and my brother-in-law The Teaching Dutchman took my young dudes, Sarcasmo and Zippy the Travelin’ Boy, fishing on the river in a small john boat.

We didn’t catch anything other than a small oyster (long story full of ineptitude), but we did have an amazing manatee sighting. As we were sitting in the boat, a large manatee surfaced less than ten feet away from us. We stopped all activity and watched as the manatee floated there and watched us.

The four of us must have been especially boring because it soon blinked and then drifted below the surface. Only to continue swimming closer, going directly under the boat, its backside bumping into the bottom of the hull, and then surfacing on the other side of the boat. It turned around for one last look and I swear it was smirking at us before it dropped below the surface again and swam away.

Getting an up-close look at the manatee, I came to a rather quick conclusion. If these things really were the basis for mermaid sighting, then either the old-time sailors were appallingly nearsighted or pleasantly size-diverse in their physical appreciation spectrum.

Share on Facebook

The Good Guys Always Wear Black. . . Underwear

The book’s release must be getting near* because here comes Barry yet again. This time, Barry has a thrilling story about why you should always wear black underwear. Although I’m not sure Barry’s really thought it through on this one. Still, let’s hear him out.

All right, dudes, let’s give it up for. . . Barry!

I am a dude of rather. . . substantial means. And by substantial I mean large. And by large I mean, well, large. In any number of ways. *wink* But the way I’m talking about is related to the pounds I’ve packed on since I purchased a really nice Brooks Brothers suit.

I put the suit on and, while the fit was a little off, I looked even more awesome than normal so I decided to go with it. Which, looking back, might have been a mistake.

One thing I know was a mistake was going out to eat dinner with some friends and eating a cheeseburger. I knew I was living dangerously, living life on the edge, as it were, but I didn’t care. See, I have lactose intolerance.

For those of you dudes lucky enough know to know what that is, I’ll make it relatively simple. I can’t eat dairy (drink milk, eat cheese, or ice cream or anything made from milk). That is, I can, but there’s some severe intestinal problems should I do it. And by intestinal problems, I mean, um, well, let’s just say you can smell the problems and you’d understand.

So, there I was: post-cheeseburger, dressed in a nice, but slightly tight suit and I was getting into the car to drive to work. It was at that time that my lactose intolerance acted up and I had to let it, ah. . . express itself? Yes, express itself. That’s what it did. It was rather loud and I found myself grateful that there was no one else in the car or withint a ten-foot radius.

Feeling slightly better, I headed off to work. I had like five meetings that day; in and out, up and down, before the cheeseburger began to demand that it wanted out. And it wanted out NOW.

Once comfortably ensconced on the porcelain throne, I relaxed and sort of glanced down toward my feet. Unfortunately, what I saw was the floor of the bathroom. Nothing exceptional, until I realized I was looking at the floor through my pants.

What I had thought was just a fart was, in fact, me ripping the nethers out of my pants. There was a hole so big that. . .

pants photo

You know what?

I’m not even going to describe it.

Here, take a look. This is the hole in the back of my pants that I walked around wearing all that day. Yes, really. This pair of pants. Isn’t it lovely?

That one, right there. See the white in the middle of the pants? Yeah, that’s the bedsheet you can see through the whole hole.

And I never once noticed until it was far, far too late.

My point here is to serve as a bit of a warning for all you dudes with your little dudes and suchlike, to make sure your suits fit? No. Um, not eat cheeseburgers if you’re lactose intolerant. Okay, good tip, but not the one.

Oh, wait. I’ve got it: always try and match the color of your underwear to the color of your pants. That way, if anything. . . untoward happens, at least you’ve got some sort of camouflage. Or something like that, anyway.

*it is. Our book, Dude’s Guide to Babies, has a new publication date: It’s March 22. Mark it on your calendars now.

Share on Facebook

The One Where I Talk About Missing My Own Car

by Richard

Here’s the problem with having young dudes in the house who have driver’s licenses? Other than the huge insurance bills that keep coming and coming with the weight of a sumo wrestler on Jupiter, I mean. No, the problem is that eventually, you’re going to realize that it might be easier to have them drive themselves somewhere while you stay at home.

And once you do that, it’s only a matter of time until you have no choice but to take your car to the body shop to get those dents and dings repaired.

This week, I finally couldn’t wait any longer.

I’d been driving around with an increasingly obvious set of dings and dents and scratches on the car. They made the car look a little off, but nothing I couldn’t handle. (Of course, had the marks been on the car belonging to my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Driving Just The Perfect Car, well. . . They couldn’t have been there because she won’t let anyone but her drive her car. Smart woman.)

Until last week, that is. That’s when Sarcasmo (who you’ll remember had his first accident when he backed the car up into one of those rare sprinting trees you’ve been hearing about) went to the gym.

Once there, he somehow managed to exit his parking space while not seeing a large mailbox. He says it was below his line of sight and off in an unused area because it wasn’t in use any more, but, . . . Anyway. It might have been down out of his line of sight, but it wasn’t out of the danger zone.

My mini-van (get off my back, they’re cool!) ended up with a nice dent and a hole in the surface below the window on the back of the car. Even though I covered it with camouflage duct tape, it still was too visible.

Thus the trip to the body shop. And a trip to the car rental place next door.

Now I’m cruising around town in a Chevy Aveo, a very small four-door gerbil mobile. I call it that because, when I throw the foot to the floor  and wait a few seconds for the acceleration to begin, that’s what it sounds like: a gerbil spinning madly on her exercise wheel.

I’m used to a lot more room and a lot more height than this thing. It’s strange driving along and feeling like you’re butt is about to scrape the pavement.

I miss the comforting familiarity of my car.

Here, let’s see how that sounds to other people: whinewhinewhinewhinewhinewhinewhinewhinewhine.

Hmm. Yeah.

Well, I do miss it.

Share on Facebook