I grew up in Sarasota Florida. Right now I am wondering why? Why would you start a family there? I never asked my parents that. “Hey Mom why did you decide to raise a family where most dreams, hopes, and people go to die?” Mom – “Shutup and eat your brussel sprouts.” It is not one of the top 50 states to raise a kid. That’s why God put Florida at the very bottom of North America. It was like his illegitimate child. He was trying to hide it and hope it might drown in the gulf. Of course when I was growing up I thought Florida was normal. People driving around in jacked up trucks, chewing skoal, and skinning squirrels was how everyone do, right? Every restaurant is a buffet and at least one of your childhood friends is murdered. That’s all a normal part of everyone’s life. It wasn’t until I moved to Chicago when I was 13 that I realized no Ryan, it is not.
I should of known Florida was a strange place by just looking at my dad. He never wore a shirt. Okay wait let me recant. He wore a shirt but by sociey’s loosiest definition of “wearing a shirt.” My dad owned a biege short sleeve button down shirt…that he would never button down. It was his favorite shirt. He wore it at all times…like a Simpsons character. His fashion statement could be seen at grocery stores, movie theaters, baptisms. Dad’s shirt wide open as he checked out the ripeness of a peach or told the waiter to hold the walnuts on his waldorf salad. And when he was outside in the hot Florida air with the wind flapping his shirt against his back it looked like he was wearing a cape…with training wheels. The short sleeves ensuring that his shirt wouldn’t fly away and hit a pelican. He looked like the world’s least threatening superhero. At the time I thought this was all normal. Clearly it was not. And it wasn’t like my dad was doing this to show off his six pack abs or Fabio pecs. He had the body of a used car salesman. Because he was a used car salesman. That’s right. He sold Ford trucks to rodent skinnin’ tobacco lipped yokels. And he was quite good at it. My dad could sell a ford bronco to an amputee. “Don’t let those knubs deny you the feel of a V8 engine!” I should mention he would button up his shirt at work. He was not insane. He knew to get a fella to sign on the dotted line you need to at least put the tiny buttons through the loops in your shirt. He understood the concept folks. My dad was just casual…maybe the most casual. Like I couldn’t think of a better spokesman for the Casual Male. Could see him in a commercial – sitting in a lawn chair wearing flip flops, cargo shorts, and his unbuttoned short sleeve collared T, hoisting up a giant iced tea and saying “guys it doesn’t get anymore casual than this male “wink”. Also all Velcro wallets and golf visors half off this weekend!” I bet sales would skyrocket. Then Waffle House would have to change their policy to “No shirt, no shoes…and no unbuttoned short sleeve Casual males – no service.
Simpsons – a cartoon that made it okay for yellow people to drink at the same water fountain as whites.
Waldorf Salad – The Nerf of the salad world. A salad for pussies. Fruit, nuts, mayonaise. You disgust me.
Nerf – You like sports? But still got a soft spot on your head? Catch this foam sponge momma’s boy.
Fabio – Long golden hair and mountain sized pecs. Loser
V8 Engine – The first engine to be powered by spicy tomato juice.
Casual Male – The men’s answer to Lane Bryant. Clothes designed for your buffet body.
Waffle House – No it is not a house made out of waffles. Wait, I just got a great idea.