I know a number of you were skeptical about my post about purchasing things for under $10. "Immature," "juvenile," and "too silly," some of you sniffed.
Please, get over yourself. The abbreviated version of that posting on CNN.com's iReport received over 750 hits. One guy named Alan, who I don't know, said "Thank you for this useful information." You're welcome Alan. Plus, let's face it, immature, juvenile and silly are what you've come to expect from The LG Report.
Now, on to the next thing....
Thomas Wolfe, whose work some of you read in school (or prison), is famous for saying "You can't go home again." People think he was smart because he was a famous author. His picture is even on a stamp:
From what I understand, no photos of Thomas Wolfe (d. 1938) were available, so the Post Office went with Tom Hanks instead. Anyway, I disproved Mr. Wolfe, in a manner of speaking, yesterday. Please allow me to explain.
I'm at my sister's house at the Jersey Shore (she hates being dragged into The LG Report but creative genius cannot be stifled) and, being the good brother than I am, I volunteered to help with some household chores (in exchange for her buying me dinner, of course, but, technically, I still volunteered...)
Whenever I offer to help out, my sister treats me like a migrant farm worker just up from Mexico for a few days. She's not shy about firing off the orders. And everything must be done in her particular way, which would normally be fine, but I prefer to do things in my particular way. Here's a picture of me working in her backyard.
"Now look, see how they form an 'L' around the small refrigerator and air conditioners...make sure you only take the things in the 'L' shape, remember, 'L' as in your first name."
"Yes sir master, whatever you say! Actually, screw off, I'll do it the way I want!" [Editor's note: I didn't actually say this, but I was thinking it.]
I doubt that such a condescending tone was even employed by Anne Sullivan upon first meeting Helen Keller.
The next day I called her at work to tell her that I'd gotten rid of everything in the letter "B" pattern, as instructed, since she sometimes calls me "Baby Jesus." That was how I remembered the instructions, anyway. "The the ACs and the fridge are down at the thrift shop," I said. She didn't laugh; rather, she made threats. I won't recount them here.
This thrift shop, by the way, is not, as far as I can tell, in business to benefit any charitable endeavors. It appears to be merely a place that helps people out by accepting their old cast offs, thereby making them feel good about not throwing these items into the garbage. And, I guess, it keeps people employed.
The matron of the thrift shop gladly accepted the old computer, three unused shelves, five spotlights and other items, but she turned her nose up at roughly 50 brand-new, still-in-the-box softballs (my sisters used to manage and play for a softball team.)
"Those will just end up in the dumpster if you leave them here," she said with more than a bit of snotty 'tude.
"Well excuse me, I didn't realize that the Queen of England ran this thrift shop!" [Editor's note: I didn't actually say that either, but I sure as shiite thought it....]
Not wanting to waste perfectly good softballs, I Googled the number of my old grade school, Wilson School, and offered them the softballs. The secretary (you're still allowed to use that word in a school setting so get out of my face) checked with the principal and said "Sure, bring them over."
This is the exterior of the Wilson School. Our most famous alum would be this guy:
Jack: If you're reading this, feel free to contact me, I'm always willing to help out a fellow Wilson School alum. I'll be glad to give you some favorable pub on The LG Report.
When I went in to drop off the softballs, I told the principal that it was my first time back in the building since I graduated in 1976. A gregarious fellow, he immediately offered to give me a tour of the school and all of its new additions and technological upgrades. It was impressive. Among other things, the school has a computer lab with 30 or so flat screen-equipped computers, and another room with a gigantic electronic "blackboard" that can pull up websites.
We had chalk and pencils in my day. Ole Jack Nicholson probably used a quill pen. Wait, I shouldn't crack on my fellow alum like that, especially when he's in need of my help. I'm here for you Jack.
The kids all seemed curious about this strange visitor who was getting a VIP tour from none other than the principal himself. Unfortunately, I had left my fake snot at home. This woulda been a great place to bust it out.
I was disconcerted by the age of most of the teachers. Yes, appreciably younger than me. That wasn't the case the last time I had been in the building in 1976 (fair warning: if you waste your time trying to post a comment saying that you weren't even born in 1976, it will be rejected.)
Even more upsetting: when the principal told me that he was originally from Bayonne, I asked if he knew a friend of mine from college. "Oh, he died a while ago, drug and alcohol problems. They found his body in someone's backyard."
Wow. That was a kick in the head. This guy was the picture of life and energy back in the day. He could lift an average-sized adult off the ground with one hand. He did it to me on more than one occasion. Conversely, he was also the first person I ever saw use cocaine.
Just another reminder that life is short and you need to make the most of it. I have to get back to work now, I'm supposed to be clearing out space in my sister's basement in the shape of a "W" today. Don't tell her, but I'm going to make it a G...