Life in the wilderness...

I was at AutoZone the other day, as most diy folks will be at one time or another, and had to resist the urge to take a photo af a stranger.

Since none of you really know me, many of you are probably thinking 'That perv saw some scantily dressed girl in the warm weather and was going to take her picture!' Sadly, this was not the case.

Let me start by saying that I don't believe in taking pictures of strangers without their permission, and I don't do that. I don't want to start arguing with myself about right and wrong (I need some sleep tonight), so I won't get into the why. For the purpose of this narrative, this whole paragraph was completely irrelevant.

What I saw was one of those white trash nightmares (not that there's anything wrong with that) that makes EVERYBODY cringe, and I wanted to take a picture because, well, you don't see these kinds of specimens in the wild too often.

He was a short guy, stocky but not really fat, haircut that might have been a mullet before the COVID lock-up, and a baseball cap with an embroidered police badge on it. He was wearing jean shorts, with the waist below his ass (pull up yer fuckin' pants, bud) hip-hop saggy pants style. This is also called 'jailhouse bitch' style in some circles. To keep the pants from falling all the way, they were cleverly held in place with belt made from an old GM seat belt, the old square GM latch was the belt buckle. In case this outfit didn't give you enough warning about who you were dealing with, the belt was embroidered with the words FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK... you get the picture.

Does anybody want to guess what kind of shirt he was wearing?

I still can't stop thinking about that belt. Did he make it himself? Did he order it on Etsy? Did he steal it from some girl at Sturgis? Then I go back to the hat. Police badge? My final conclusion is that he must have won a sizeable wrongful imprisonment settlement. Who the hell still sags their pants, anyway?

Naturally, I had a lot of questions. I didn't go out mentally prepared for socializing that day, so I was having a hard time thinking of ways to tactfully ask 'Excuse me, sir? What in the actual fuck?' I'm too old to get in unnecessary fights anymore, and this seemed like the kind of person where 'hello' might jump quickly to fisticuffs. I left well enough alone, but I'm still not sure I made the right decision. I mean, what in the actual fuck?

I was still mulling over that a day later, when I had to help my stepmom get her last load of coal stacked in the basement. On the way, I had to stop for gas, and was fortunate enough to spot the little gem you see below. If you're reading this on a small screen and have eyes like mine, the sign says



Now, I believe they meant to say that they offer both a soup of the day, AND cold beer. However, you have to remember that the customer base out here is largely guys like our acquaintance from AutoZone, and the girls who date them.

If I sound like I'm talking down about saggy pants guy, don't get the wrong impression. I'm not on any kind of high horse. But just to make sure I didn't get the idea that this area isn't exactly where I belong, karma threw in a nice humbling curveball.

All right, I'll admit, I felt a little superior to saggy pants. I mean, what in the actual FUCK? And where did he get that belt? I thought I did right by biting my tongue. I thought I was being a good son helping my stoner stepmom with her coal. I didn't police my thoughts, though, and the universe heard me. What did I get for biting my tongue and doing my chores? A tick on my testicles.

Yeah, you read that right. I came home after lugging 62 bags of coal into a basement, still wondering what the hell was up with that guy, thinking a nice relaxing bowel movement would help clear my thoughts (and such) before finally getting to work on my own household chores, and, well, you read that right.

A tick. On my testicles.

Did you ever see the movie 'Stand By Me', based on the short story 'The Body'? In it, there is a scene where young Wil Wheaton's character discovers a leech on his genitalia. I've pulled several ticks off myself over the years, but I never had to have that scene in my head while doing it before.

Maybe it was just the universe trying to help me out, by distracting me from wondering what the hell was going on with saggy pants guy. That seems like the kind of favor the universe would do for me, and then say 'You owe me one.' It did distract me, for a while. Just a little while.

I probably would have rather gotten in the fist fight (I hope that's all it would have been) than a tick on the balls, but the world seldom lays out all of our options on a plate for us to choose from. I definitely would have rather let my stepmom's coal get wet than get a tick on the balls, and that would have been an actual trade, because I almost definitely got the tick in her yard. I've been telling her to get chickens for years, because she has a bit of a tick problem.

The moral of the story is: Be prepared for anything, and keep a sense of humor about life, becase even when you think you're doing everything right, the world might have a 'bro' moment and tick you in the nuts.

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