Black Bags Matter

If you’ve traveled lately, then you know the strange aversion that everyone has to black luggage, or black bags in general. No official scientific polling or US certified data will conclude my assertion that 72.6% of all bags are black (using my ability to guess attendance figures at meetings, goat ropings, and Save the Hi-Lo Club rallies).

If you’ve ever stood at the baggage carousel after your flight, then you know it looks like the black side of a box of dominoes being shuffled with a sea of black. People flinching, lunging, and doing the fake0out grab when they realize it’s not their baby!

The most important part of “Black Bags Matter” is the reallocation of assets. If somebody gets YOUR stuff, then it’s panic-mode deluxe. No so fast, you need to inventory the new black bag you’re acquired in trade. Maybe the contents are much more valuable than yours. OK, if it’s a muu-muu, a 10-year-old curling iron, and a sleep mask, then you probably need to get Sherlock on the case finding your bag.

Maybe, though, it could be like the movies, where it’s $500,000 cash in unmarked bills, or a goofy-looking cat statue full of pure uncut heroin (like you’re really gonna know what to do with that).

Most airline employees don’t really subscribe to “Black Bags Matter”, but will give you a lot of lip service to make you think they give a rip. Shame on you!

If you ever get it back, consider yourself lucky. I know that somewhere in America, they have the big elephant graveyard for lost bags, and it must look like a sea of black dabbed every once in awhile with pastels.

Don’t think you are safe by always carrying on your bag. Last trip, I saw these get shuffled with people like a deck of cards. People were freaking out and trading bags, in panic mode.

I’m just the messenger, but “Black Bags Matter” if it’s yours. But I own purple ones and silver ones with lime green tags.

PS: If you think you can out-smart this by tying a colored ribbon to your black bag – think again, other people are doing the same thing.

PPS: Good luck trying to explain that lingerie in your black bag….

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April 25, 2018 at 8:49 pm Leave a comment

From Jr. High to Curmudgeon

We all would listen to people say, “Well, back in my day…blah, blah, blah…” and kind of smile, or at least empathize when they referred to something that wasn’t the same or unavailable anymore. I am there, and it went by at warp speed. I think of all the things that have been adrift in my orbit and some things come to mind which shouldn’t – you’ll likely think of as silly or stupid, but I will ramble about them anyway.

We all have habits and favorites, and when they are gone, it’s a personal blow to the stability of self-satisfaction.

First, the lack of men’s clothing store choices. We had the Squire Shop, Mr. Buck’s, Emmer Brothers, the Canterbury Shop, Cutchalls, Parks, Napoleon Nash, and of course Harold’s. If you were a keen shopper, the Bargain Outlet at N. May & Grand Blvd. was a hidden gem. Now you have a couple of hipster places, Dillard’s, and the Men’s Wearhouse (I guarantee it! that you won’t like the selection).

I know it’s a little thing, but you can’t buy Brooks ketchup in Oklahoma. It’s got a tangy, sharp taste similar to the ketchup at Whataburger, only better. They got squeezed off the shelf by store brands and a conspiracy by Del Monte and Heinz (that info came from a guy who’s brother’s neighbor’s girlfriend works at a grocery wholesaler).

Next, I miss Kip’s. It’s a total surprise to Debi Scott, but I miss the burger combo with the secret sauce (rumor has it that it was Thousand Island dressing – LOL!) and strawberry pie. I also miss the Split-T on Western. Some naive people without the distinctive taste palate that I have would say, “Just go to Johnnies,” but no, people… there is a difference. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

My latest fit of madness comes about because Braum’s got rid of Black Walnut and Chocolate Almond ice cream by the cone for their new hip-hop-and-dippy flavors like Sea Salt Cashew Swirly Animal Cookie Latte Delight. So in retaliation, I went to Dairy Queen for my usual Hawaiian Blizzard, only to find out they canceled it, took it off the menu, POOF! – it’s gone.

Well, good news – after calling to complain using numerous voices and threatening to get Scott Hines involved, Braum’s has returned Black Walnut and Chocolate Almond to the dipping cone cooler.

Last is people not updating on the internet. I rented a van from National Car Rental. They showed on my reservation to pick it up at Will Rogers terminal building – but oh, no – they were really in the new Car Rental Hub out BY the airport. So we played “Drive-Around-the-Rosie”, but since we are near the airport, I hope the moron that designs those skimpy seats on the airplane balloons up to 450 lbs. and has to fly somewhere once a week. They at least oughta have airline seat shoehorns to help squeeze you in. Oh, wait – then they would create an upcharge for it.

Remember – where there’s a will, there’s a probate!

June 28, 2017 at 8:05 pm Leave a comment

8 Ball in the Side Pocket

An iconic Southsider of folklore, Chester Truelove, passed away recently. You may not know this, but long before Remington Park, the OK lottery, or Indian casinos, there were people in Oklahoma that liked to gamble (wink). Chester was a ringmaster to this group of cooters, rascals, and rounders by not only providing a few pool halls for a friendly game of nine-ball, eight-ball, or snooker (maybe for a little nest egg), dominos, or spades.

This was long before ESPN or cable brought pool and billiards into your living room to catch these nationally known pool players criss-crossing the nation in places like Chester’s to play and practice – the likes of Pittsburg Mike, The Mighty Chang, Louisville Louie, and OKC’s own Norman Hitchcock (who seemed like a mild-mannered guy at the plumbing wholesale counter, but was really an assassin with a cue stick).

These games for (I can’t acknowledge or deny) high stakes brought a lot of onlookers and side wagering. The crowd of characters reminded me of the bar scene in “Star Wars.” If there was ANY action in OKC like pool, card games, or other such activities, then Chester was the man with the scoop.

He also cooked some mean meals – basic breakfasts and a great burger. No fries – he wasn’t gonna mess with a deep fryer. Don’t ask him twice, or you might get bounced like the “Soup Nazi”, but a great burger it was. He wanted you to think of him as tough, but he really had a heart of gold. A million stories are flying around about this herder of cats, and his cast of characters are what legends are made of and remembered.

May 26, 2017 at 9:42 pm Leave a comment

OK, He Said It – “Fish or Eat Bait…”

Having been thrown in the circumstance of the helpless wait one day, it gave me a chance to reflect on one of my favorite subjects – food (mostly eating out kind of food). I’m a child of the 1950s and ’60s from a blue collar family with “Depression era roots” (in which a huge bunch of uncles and aunts had to scramble among themselves to grab their share of the vittles).

My dad was a meat & potatoes guy, and my mom was only a little more adventurous. She would sneak us to El Charrito for an Explorer or Defeat (much more glamorous than asking if you wanted a #1 or #2). My dad was not on board for the delicacies his younger brother, my Uncle J.B., explored.

My uncle gave me my first taste of pizza – I’m talking Sussy’s pizza with gooey cheese, pepperoni, sausage, and mushrooms. Not that slick piece of cardboard frozen pizza like at the drive-in movie, but REAL PIZZA.

He also went to the Chinese restaurant, and wow! that was some mighty tasty grub. I went anyway, in spite of the chance they might spike my food and hook me on opium. I would then be an outcast, living in an opium den down on Skid Row, where even the winos would look down on me.

My luck really changed for the better when my mom’s brother remarried a gal from Louisiana. We visited, and her mom could cook Cajun like nobody’s business. Who cares what we were eating – this stuff was great! Gumbo, etouffee, jambalaya, spicy cornbread, and hush puppies. The only question was, “When are we coming back?”

This pre-dates my first job as a teen, but after I started making money, I wanted to go spend it out exploring different places around OKC to eat, and the foods, flavors, and choices that existed. Even to this day, that is my quest, and traveling only fuels this flame, like rum on a Bananas Foster.

My challenge to you is to go find things to eat that you don’t like or won’t eat again – because if you do that with vigor and an adventurous spirit, you will find a whole heck of a lot that you DO like and are glad you tried it.

Remember, there’s a cupcake under all that frosting!!!

March 19, 2017 at 9:24 pm 1 comment

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