Archive for September, 2009

Parallel Endless Summers

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27, 2009 by tom

One thing about life in Florida: the summer seems endless.  We're "officially" four days into autumn, and it's a steamy 90 degrees, our daily afternoon thunderstorm just adding to our seasonally omnipresent humidity.  I talked to somebody in Utah yesterday.  She was expecting 90 tomorrow, and snow on Wednesday.  Not here.

Tallahassee actually got some decent winter weather, at least compared to the Tampa Bay Area.  When I was in college, I actually had to make sure to have antifreeze in my radiator–quite a novelty for a kid from this subtropical "paradise."

One late summer many moons ago, I was in college, working for WBGM, FM-99–Tallahassee's Favorite Radio Station! That was our slogan, and the ratings bore that out. 

Anyway, one Sunday, I was working my mid-day shift–10a to 3p–when my program director hotlined me.  "I hope you like the Beach Boys." I did.  Good thing, too, for I was told I had to squire our contest winners out on "A Night on the Town with the Beach Boys."

This was a promotion we did, wherein people would call in to win concert tickets, then one grand prize winner would receive a pair of tickets, plus limo service, dinner, and backstage passes, all accompanied by an air personality.  Sweet deal for the winners.  Sweet deal, too, for the jock selected to host.

It was a perfect late-summer Tallahassee day, warm temps, glorious sunshine.  A giant stretch limo pulled-up to Osceola Hall.  I got in, and directed the driver to the AXO house, where my girlfriend Sarah lived.  We were giddy, 19 years old and riding in a giganto limo, enjoying the novelty of smooching while frenzied traffic passed outside our tinted windows.  We found our winner's house, and she and her girlfriend came out to join us. 

They were in their late 20's, with sort of an MFA student vibe, very granola and non hair product-using.  Our limo marshmallowed us to a trendy restaurant, The Pink Flamingo.  We ordered drinks–lots of drinks, with umbrellas and lots of vodka and rum and juice–plus appetizers, and a nice entree each.  I signed the check importantly, left a big tip, then we headed back to the limo.  It made perfect sense to have this behemoth go to a liquor store.  How our driver got this huge Cadillac through the drive thru lane, I'll never know, but he did.  A fifth of Crown, a big bottle of Diet 7-Up and four cups of ice later, we were imbibing our way down North Monroe Street toward the Leon County Civic Center.

It's almost a cliche among drunken limo passengers to open the sunroof and stand up in traffic, rather like a generalissimo reviewing his subjects.  We did that.  It was cool, toasting traffic with our very brown cocktails.

I got our tickets and backstage passes from the will-call window, and we quickly found our seats. 

I should admit here that the Beach Boys aren't my favorite band ever, but I liked (and still like) a lot of their music.  Also, I don't give a crap about surfing or California or the beach or cars, for that matter, which eliminates a lot of their songs from my "like" file.  But their harmonies are pure, and their upbeat music makes me happy.

Oh, and did it make us happy as buzzed as we were.  Even if you're not a huge Beach Boys fan, odds are you know lyrics to lots of their music.  And when you're drunk, and it's really loud, everybody can sing along–the tight five-part harmonies ensure everyone hits a note.   We had a ball at the show, probably 90 minutes of hits and fun. 

When the concert ended, we stuck our passes to our shirts and went backstage.  The Beach Boys' road manager told us the after-party had been moved to Calico Jack's, and we could go there if we wanted to–our passes would gain us admission.  By then, it was getting late, and everyone's adrenaline (and alcohol) was fading.  The winner and her girlfriend just wanted to go home, and Sarah had an early class the next morning.  We got in our limo, and the driver took home our winner and her girlfriend first.  They thanked us for a great night.  Sarah and I drained weary slugs from the Crown bottle as we headed back to the AXO house.  We didn't say much.  We were tired and hoarse from singing. She said she'd had far more fun than she'd anticipated, and told me I had a great falsetto.  I told her she sang well too, and that she looked beautiful.  We kissed as the limo crept down Park Avenue.  She asked if she could keep the purple Crown Royal bag as a souvenir.  I gave it to her, kissed her good night again, and the driver and I waited to see that she made it inside safely.

It was a quiet ride home, my ringing ears the only noise I could hear in the limo.  I thanked the driver for his patience and skill, and tipped him $20.  My buddy Tim spotted me getting out of the limo.  He whooped at me, and when I got upstairs greeted me with a beer.  I guess it was a novelty to have your fellow dorm rat get driven around in a sweet, two-tone gray stretch Cadillac.

My favorite Beach Boys song that long-ago late summer night was "Surfer Girl." It's inane, I admit: I don't surf, nor does my girlfriend, and a "woody" means something wholly different today.  I remember swaying back and forth as we sang that night: "So I say from me to you/I will make your dreams come true.  Do you love me? Do you surfer…" There's a long pause the last time through.  Sarah grabbed my arm and looked up at me with her big brown doe eyes.  "Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl (surfer girl, my little surfer girl)."

On my way to work this afternoon, I was playing scan roulette on the radio.  The oldies station was coming out of a jingle.  When I heard the first strains of "Surfer Girl," I flashed back to that moment, to those eyes, to being 19 and booze-giddy and having a perfect falsetto.  I flashed back to a warm late summer Tallahassee night, to late cicadas buzzing in the trees, to buttery leather seats, and that naive sense of immortality intrinsic to whiskey-fortified 19 year-old boys.  I'm many moons older now, and two of the Beach Boys we saw that night are dead.  Also dead? My clear, perfect falsetto.  As I drove the USS Nimitz (my truck) down 28th Street, I laughed at the croak that came out.  Then I accepted that a lot has happened since that night–lots of alcohol and cigarettes and life.  I kept my smile, and switched down to the baritone part, "Do you love me? Do you surfer"–I  wondered briefly where Sarah is today, not wistfully, but just hoping she that still smiles and sings when she hears this song on the radio–"Girl (surfer girl, my little surfer girl; girl surfer girl, my little surfer girl)…"



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Sunday Legal Stuff

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2009 by tom

(The Tom Zone legal department has been busy since my last post.  The following are certainly heartfelt, even if they are mandated by legal wranglings on three continents (and if you have to pee all the time, you're incontinent–shouldn't it be ONcontinent, since you're piddling ON the continent? (and shouldn't it be "inyourpants" instead of incontinent anyway, since that's where you end up dribbling?)))

First off, I'd like to apologize to those with bladder control issues.  There is nothing funny about uncontrollable urination.  Deep is the heartbreak caused when you can't trust a laugh or a sneeze.  Again, I'm sorry for making light of this most serious problem.  

I understand if you're pissed. 

(repeat the above apology for that bad joke as well)

From our Australian legal department, I offer most-heartfelt regrets to those whose lives I ruined by pointing out the gender differences between airplanes.  Apparently, it wasn't obvious to everyone that boy planes have engines on their wings, while girl planes have tail-mounted engines.  I've been told that this revelation has forever tainted the way some people look at jetliners: even though the thought is unwanted and unwelcome, there it is.  Not everyone has the same twisted view as I do, and I'm sorry if I took your normal view and skewed it.  It was not my intention.  It would be as bad as if I'd pointed out that all Toyota Camrys of this configuration…



…are named Herman.

Okay, I'm now told we have to apologize to Toyota, Toyota Camry owners, and people named Herman.

Next up, we have Red Lobster, who were victimized by a potential bad novel line equating "that whore Cecile" as causing a character's "junk" to smell like "The Mariner Platter at Red Lobster." Per our legal department, "Red Lobster is a fine, dependable seafood restaurant.  Their food is tasty and well-prepared, and does not smell like whore.  Try the Admiral's Feast, featuring Walt’s Favorite Shrimp, bay scallops, clam strips and flounder fried to a golden brown,  including a fresh salad, and your choice of fresh broccoli, home-style mashed potatoes, wild rice pilaf, baked potato or fries seasoned with sea salt.  All this for only $16.95. Please visit for the location nearest you. Red Lobster: Cecile's whore junk can only dream of smelling this good! "

Also, apologies to Cecile.  Cecile is a fine, dependable woman, and her junk does not smell like a fried seafood platter.  Please visit for her current corner.

Next, heartfelt apologies to the Creator for the things humanity has done to both seafood and Cecile's equipment in the name of comfort food and bargain-basement nookie.

Finally, to my former partner-in-crime, Ann Marie, (the lovely and fragrant) Ellen, and everyone else who has scolded me for my rather dribbling output of late, I thank you for your patience, and I promise to resume a steady stream of demented blathering. 

Enjoy the remainder of your Sunday. 


The Tom Zone Legal Department, Esqs




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Hardly shocking

Posted in Uncategorized on September 17, 2009 by tom

Your result for The Undead Fiend Test


Aaargh! Braaaiiins!


The good thing about being a Zombie is that you don't know what you're missing.  Everyone else knows however, and it scares the Hell out of them!  Now I am not referring to the real life Zombies like they have in Haiti and Colombia, but rather to the cannibal corpses from works like "Resident Evil", "Army of Darkness", and "World War Z."  Some famous Zombies are:  Rob Zombie, Zombiegirl, Michael Jackson (In his Thriller video), and Maris the Great (a gay zombie).  For all intents and purposes, "Destroy the brain, kill the zombie" tends to hold true.  But what you lack in technology you make up for in numbers.  Especially if that virus becomes airborne! 

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Saturday Night Mental Chex Mix

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 6, 2009 by tom
  • It's the SPRINT TO THE FINISH for my Saturday night shift, and I have been incredibly remiss about voxing.  Ergo, I shall smack out as many thoughts as I can in the next 75 minutes (not that I'm counting).
  • The worst line in recent fiction has to be, "Don't lie to me.  I can tell you were with that whore Cecile, because your junk smells like the Mariner's Platter at Red Lobster."
  • I didn't really read this anywhere, but if I had, it really would be terrible. 
  • Honestly, I don't know where that line came from.  Certainly not from Cecile.
  • For years, I've inadvertantly seen jetliners as having gender based on their engine placement. 
  • Boy plane:

  • Girl plane:

  • I've been taking a home Interweb sabbatical, meaning I'll use the net at work, but not at home.  One result of this is that I have read about a novel a night.  One result of THAT is that I've had some bizarre dreams. 
  •  Last night, I had one that I was dating Mary Lou Retton, who was a champion ice skater (not a gymnast), and she and I were flying to Australia with my grandmother.  We flew on a giant 747-Tom (which is like a regular 747, except that the interior looks more like a sofa and recliner showroom, and–apparently–this 747 travels on Interstate highways).  At one point back in the USA, Mary Lou and I were driving down SR 20 outside Tallahassee, and we encountered a giant mountain of garbage on the road.  Try as I might, I just couldn't maneuver the USS Nimitz over the garbage mountain.  I remember thinking, as I sat there, wheels spinning futilely, "Well, THIS is a hella obvious dream image!"
  • I've met Mary Lou Retton, by the way.  Somewhere, there is (or was) a picture of Mary Lou and I smiling together.  She's a good 20 inches shorter than I am.  I wish I had that pic.
  • She was very nice in person (and in my dream), although she was a lot sexier as an ice skater than a gymnast. 
  • She'd probably tell you I'm a lot sexier in my dream than in the U-92 lobby.
  • Knowing that no-see-ums are genus Culecoides doesn't make their bites suck any less. 
  • Like airplanes, mosquito gender is determined by whether the engines are on the wings or aft, next to the tail.
  • Okay, that's not completely true.  You can tell gender because female mosquitoes have the last three abdominal segments inverted, which is where eggs are produced. 
  • And they shave their legs.
  • Not really. 
  • The hairiest legs I've ever seen on a female were on a Psorophora ciliata who was sucking a quart of blood from my leg.
  • The second-hairiest were on this girl named Anna H, whom I dated for a week and a half at FSU. 
  • (This space left free for your own hairy-legged female/sucking comments:                                                                                                                                          )
  • Thank you for your participation.
  • It's been crazy here, but I'm pleased to report, 10 fingers, 10 toes, one belly button, and a steady pulse.
  • Alas, I seem to have run out of workday.  Have a great and safe Labor Day Weekend.

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