A Special Kind of A**hole

Well my friends, you will have a front row seat for a spectacular meltdown- I’m not going to continue to play all of this fucking bullshit. I hope nobody else gets caught up in the wake of this shit show, but I’m getting tired of “living” like this.

I’m back for another week friends, still on the top side of the dirt. Unfortunately, I’m still struggling- can’t win for losing. Every time it starts to look like life may just pull itself together, I catch some kind of bullshit non-sense- either from another person, or as some special bullshit from life itself. Unfortunately, I can’t really speak the truth in those terms this week, because it takes a special kind of asshole to moan about how shitty life is when he has just returned from what would be for the vast majority of human beings the trip of a lifetime. I suppose the play will be to hold off on the bitching this week as much as possible, and tell the story of the trip. I must add, however, that there was significant bullshit going on during the trip. The magnitude of the bullshit is such that at one point during the return leg of the journey I swore to never return to Europe…I may still mean it. In fact, these are the words I banged out into “Notes” on my mobile during the height of my anger:

“Fuck Europe*. I'm never going back. Also, fuck: KLM, Delta, the assholes who work at AMS and VIE, the innumerable beggars of Vienna, the pendejos at Jamonarium, the Co-Op, located in a small town in England, the Sky Lounge at VIE, and the Delta paperwork personnel at AMS, (the list goes on but I’ll stop there). I've seen all I need to see of you in the last two decades- now fuck off.”

As I mentioned, however, I’m going to try to be nice this week. Let’s see how well I do. 

The trip started with our departure flight being delayed several times- and with every conceivable other flight from CHA booked, we faced the very real possibility of losing days of our vacation. No one at Delta or CHA seemed to give a shit- not the gate agents, and not the platinum customer service rep. She offered us a bunch of sky miles to get me off the phone, but never actually followed through. After hours of trying to work with someone, anyone, we were offered a VAN RIDE to ATL (during rush hour, with the certainty of a trip through their famous security lines, and uncertainty of even making our connection). Unfortunately, we had no choice but to find any way to get out of CHA. When we finally arrived, the check-in lady in the Sky Priority line couldn’t print our boarding passes. After 10 minutes of trying, she told us the bald-faced lie that she was needed somewhere else in the airport, and that we needed to get back in the general boarding line to see another agent to have our passes printed. We watched as she then proceeded to help numerous other customers  for the next 20 minutes as we stood in the fucking line waiting for…wait, wait, wait… this is bitching and complaining. Promised I wouldn’t do that. Let’s try again.

Driving the friendly skies.

We left CHA on Wednesday and arrived in Birmingham, England on Thursday. My brother Jem met us, and we were off for the day. The day was pretty chill- just I what I needed. After setting up shop in the lovely village of Henley-in-Arden, we rendezvoused with Sarah and Ms. Sophie and went for a stroll around Stratford. We showed big boy all the Shakespearean sights and stopped for traditional pasties- solid workingman’s food- again, just what I needed. Afterward, the boys trotted off to the BCFC club store to buy all of the Blues gear we could fit in the suitcase. That evening the whole crew joined the incomparable Alan and Anne Jones for a curry. I love those two very deeply, and seeing them was good for both heart and soul.

Friday was quintessential England. We took the kids to Warwick Castle- a big-ass proper castle that was built by William the Conqueror. I love castles, and while this one is privately run by something akin to an amusement park operator, there is enough uncommercialized and untouched history in the grounds that it makes up for it. In fact, having it run by private sector interests has increased the amount of money spent on maintenance, upkeep, and preservation as compared with a typical, state-run castle. It just so happens that the castle also has an operable trebuchet that launches flaming projectiles every few hours- that’s good stuff. After some chemo-related vomiting in the woods outside the castle, the long day of sightseeing came to a fitting end with an outstanding plate of beige (fish and chips) for dinner- I opted for the haddock, whilst the boy (who often lacks common sense), went with the prawns. It was then back to the hotel where we both fell asleep just before the ending of Die Hard. A good day indeed.

That's a proper castle

Have fun storming the castle boys.

The next day was another type of quintessential England. After sleeping in and having a full English, we cruised over to the Joneses around lunchtime. From there, it was off to the football. We went down the Hawthornes to support the Baggies (West Bromwich Albion- my second team) against Manchester City (perhaps the best team in the world). The first game of football I ever saw was at the Hawthornes- Baggies against Norwich City in what is now called the Championship (the division just below the top league which is the Premier League). In any event, Alan Jones and Albion’s club Secretary Dr. John Evans treated me like a king and I’ll never forget that. So I have a spot in my heart for the Baggies. Unfortunately for them, it was a case men against boys in the game against Man City. Aguero scored first (winning me a tidy sum from the book), and it ended 4-nil (Aguero 2, Gündoğan 2). In reality, City could have put up any number they wanted. 

Big Boy on the way to the Hawthornes

Not a shabby grounds.

Oi, the Premiership and their pomp. Just get the boys
on the field and give them a ball already. 

You're not supposed to smile that big when down 4-nil.

That’s got us about halfway through the trip- I’ll fill you in on the remainder next week. As for a medical update, I’ve decided to suspend that practice as long as there are folks who would use that information against me. I’m sorry that the very few have to spoil it for everyone, but that’s what the world has come to. I’ll be back next week, in the meantime ya’ll be good. All my love- C.Rushing

Hmm…what I have been listening to lately? Nothing consistent really, so why don’t we don’t we foreshadow next week

*Please note that by their own vote, the UK is no longer part of Europe.