Guest blog: Deep thoughts from Jarhead

August 25, 2006 at 12:35 am (Uncategorized)

07-09-very-old-man.jpgHoly shit, I am looking forty years of age right in the eyeballs. Yup, October will do it; I will be at least at the base of the hill. There are days I already feel over it, and some days I feel under it.

Has it really been twenty-two years since I was eighteen and chomping at the bit to be older? I can remember thinking that twenty was old when I was ten and the same for thirty when I was fifteen. Forty was a milestone where I would have to eat oatmeal every day in order to keep my colon regular. It’s when I would have to bend over and have my prostate poked and hope that my comedian of a doctor didn’t have a fake hand so I wouldn’t feel two hands on my shoulders while his finger was up my butt.

The passage of time has gotten worse since my kids were born. Ten years has passed in the space of a day or so as far as how fast my kids have grown up. Diapers and midnight feedings yesterday, puberty tomorrow.

I can recall fighting bedtime when I was my son’s age and didn’t think a damn thing of staying up for three days straight when I was in the military, on liberty. What the hell, I got paid every two weeks, I was floating through the world at the expense of the taxpayers, and I knew I might never get to do it again. Now I have to get my beauty rest: my normally ebullient demeanor is far from beautiful if I don’t.

A lot of the old farts I scoffed at when I was eighteen have turned out to be pretty fucking smart about a lot of things. My kid’s ears don’t work any better than mine did when I was their age.

Gravity and time are vicious allies, too: Anything that was up high at eighteen probably ain’t at forty!

But what really scares me is turning fifty, because that’s the age when you’re supposed to get your first colonoscopy. It’s not the thought of the camera in the ass, as you’re given sedation for that, but the bowel prep.

See, you’re given this stuff that literally takes all the shit out of you. I am full of shit, I like my shit, and I am scared to death that I will simply vanish down the toilet.




  1. Martha said,

    Hey.. don’t knock 50.. I passed that 2 years ago. My baby is 29 and has 2 children of her own.

    The stuff to empty the bowel… I had to take it just once… smelled and tasted like alka seltzer made with swamp water. I was supposed to drink a glass of it, I think, every half hour. I got through about a third of it, and when it just wouldn’t go down, I gave up. Figured, I had to get it in me for it to do any good.
    I figured out one thing from that experience. The next time a Dr. wants to order that test I’m going to tell him, either you knock me out.. or it aint gonna happen. PERIOD!

  2. Mainetarr said,

    I too, being a classmate of Jarheads, am quickly approaching 40. Unlike the grumpy bastard that wrote this blog, I don’t mind turning 40. If they are half as good as my 30’s were, I won’t be bitching. Life seems to get a bit easier, more comfortable, as you get older. Yeah, so I creek a little here and there and can’t get by without my glasses, but life is good. You start figuring out how your parents did it all those years. If you have kids, I would imagine the time seems to go by quicker, but for those of us who just borrow and spoil everyone else’s kids, time moves along at a much slower pace. Friends keep having babies, so there is always a new little one coming along-for me to rock for hours, and the ones who are a little bigger, well a shopping we will go. So yeah, 40 is coming Jarhead, hang on-but it only gets better.

  3. jarheaddoc said,

    Jesus, Mark, I said forty, not four hundred! Where the hell do you get these pictures?

  4. K2 said,

    I see jd has the same manicurist as the Turner beast.

    40? Yes, death is right around the corner. Now bend over. “Umm, doc, you got the whole fist in? Moon river . . .” (Fletch, anyone?)

  5. jarheaddoc said,

    I laughed at what you wrote about the younger generations not understanding ‘digital examination’, K2

  6. jarheaddoc said,

    And that should surprise us how, Mark?

    However, this may be the big break that will send people screaming to the bookstores to pick up your books! And I am not trying to be sarcastic in saying that.

  7. LaFlamme said,

    And hey! I had one of my secret squirrel buddies snap a picture of you while you were napping at the beano hall. That’s where the above photo came from. You look great for a man your age.

  8. K2 said,

    Well, I was half right. I suspected it was a dog/coyote hybrid. But, it’s a blue chow. Hey, it needed the money!

    No! It’s a fisher!

    No! It’s a wolverine!

    What morons some letter-to-the-editor writers are.

    I never did tell you guys about me being attacked by beavers on the small lake my parents have a camp on in PA. I’ll have to share that one later — it’s a doozy. Let’s just say I thought I was being attacked by drunks throwing rocks at me from the shoreline. Details later, if anyone’s interested.

  9. K2 said,

    Oh, the beaver attack just happened on my last trip to NY a few weeks ago.

  10. LaFlamme said,

    Beavers are cunning and eerily organized. You’re lucky to have survived.

  11. Mainetarr said,

    Are you talking about Beavers you hooked up with at Hooters, or ACTUAL Beaver Beavers?

  12. LaFlamme said,

    See above.

  13. Castor canadensisis said,

    Beavers’ ability to change the landscape is second only to humans. But that is just one reason why we find the flat-tailed species fascinating. Adults may weigh over 40 pounds, and beavers mate for life during their third year. Both parents care for the kits (usually one to four) that are born in the spring. The young normally stay with their parents for two years, and yearlings act as babysitters for the new litter. While some beaver behavior is instinctive, they also learn by imitation and from experience. Dr. Donald Griffin, the father of animal cognition, has said, “When we think of the kinds of animal behavior that suggest conscious thinking, the beaver comes naturally to mind.”

    Wildlife rehabilitators find beavers to be gentle, reasoning beings who enjoy playing practical jokes. An Indian word for “beaver-like” also means “affable.” Once weaned, their favorite foods include water lily tubers, clover, apples and the leaves and green bark (cambium) from aspen and other fast-growing trees. Tree cutting is part of nature’s cycle, and beaver pruning stimulates willows, cottonwood and aspen to regrow bushier than ever next spring. After eating, beavers use the peeled sticks to build a teepee-like lodge (house) on the shore and/or a dam.

    By damming streams, beavers often raise the water level to surround their lodge with a protective moat, and create the deep water needed for winter food storage in northern climes. While other wildlife endure wintertime cold and hunger, beavers stay warm in their lodges with an underwater food cache of branches nearby. A beaver colony, can consist of six or more, including parents, yearlings and kits, yet they peacefully coexist in a lodge with underwater access to the iced-up pond for four months or more in the North.

    Because they breed only once a year, require streamside habitats, and two-year-olds leave home each spring to find their own territories, beavers rarely overpopulate. They are limited to a small fraction of the landscape that is close to waterways. Kits have many predators including hawks, owls and otters. Bears, wolves, dogs and coyotes can also take adults that are especially vulnerable each spring when two-year-olds seek new territories. Accidents are another frequent cause of mortality, including falls into abandoned wells, and traffic accidents. Trapping is the most common source of mortality.

    Like many wildlife species, beavers self-regulate by starting to decrease their rate of reproduction when occupancy reaches a certain level. In vast areas without trapping, beaver populations may peak, and then slowly drift down to a sustainable level. By the early 1900s, beavers were almost extirpated from North America due to trapping and draining of lands for agriculture. Estimates of the current population are as low as five percent of those present prior to European settlement. Nonetheless, as beaver reclaim some former territory, conflicts with humans arise.

  14. Mainetarr said,

    Hey, now there’s a nice looking Beaver you got there. You happy to see me or is that a paddletail in your pocket?

  15. LaFlamme said,

    *tap tap tap tap tap*

  16. jarheaddoc said,

    K2, what is the name of the movie with the scene of a guy in a knight’s outfit being attacked by a rabbit?

    And didn’t Jimmy Carter have some sort of fun in with a furry animal in which he was forced to drfend himself with a canoe paddle?

  17. K2 said,

    Thanks, I just had it stuffed.

    Montey Python’s Holy Grail. “Look at the bones . . . it’s a killer!”

    Okay, there’s interest. Here’s the scene: I had a late dinner with my wife and father at a bar in Binghamton (the chicken wings are to die for), and then, after dropping of my wife and picking up my dog at my parents (I’m a hopeless romantic), I headed to my cottage across the PA border, only 15 minutes away. Sure I had a few beers. But not a bunch. Honest. Anyhow, the cottage is my fortress of solitude — a respite from the grind of utter domesticity — and my parents. (I’ve been sleeping out there by myself for almost 20 years, and never once had I had a ‘scary’ incident.) Upon my arrival at 10 pm, I decided that a starlight rowboat ride with my dog, Nellie, is in order. Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were all in view, and I knew I belonged on the lake. After I smoked my 3-foot bong I have stashed in the rafters, that is. I then loaded the dog and oars, and headed out across the lake — a small pond by Maine standards — to hang out in the lily pads on the far shore, where only a few structure-less camps are, although there are a couple trailers here and there. So I’m hanging out, drinking a soda (I swear! I had an early tee time the next day), and the next thing I knew KERPLUNK! with a huge splash immediately starboard. Nellie jumped up and the boat almost tipped, and then a KERPLUNK! splash on my port side. Then I heard a door click in front of me. I’m thinking, One of those trailer losers is fucking with me. So now I was freaking out, and I started talking to the shore: “Dude, come on, man. Why are you throwing rocks at me?” No answer, just KERPLUNK twice port side. I could see a little trail of droplets in the water, like little bits dropping off a clump of thrown mud. Anyhow, I hit the nitrous button and paddled back to the cabin in record time; jumped out of the boat with the dog, and high-tailed it to my rather Thoreau-like cabin (no plumbing). I locked the door and grabbed a scythe (it’s all I had, besides beer, weed and some basic foodstuffs) and waited for my drunken attackers to descend upon my austere fortifcations. I was going to go down fighting, yes, sir.

    I woke up the next day and was like, Why didn’t I hear footsteps or drunken laughter? So I went into CSI: Montrose mode and paddled my ass back out there. I noticed a beaver lodge — that’s been there forever, duh. Then I remembered that right before the ‘attack,’ the camp to my far left, a 1/4 mile away, had its light on. But when I paddled back, it was off. So then I started to think that, Wait, maybe they shut their door when they went to bed, and the echo threw the noise directly in front of me, when it was actually far to my left. I went to the camp and spoke to the young man who owns it (my dad sold the lot to his father a few years prior) and asked him what time he went to bed, and did he shut his door. Sure enough he said 10:15 pm, and yes, he shut his screen door. He then simply said, “Beavers, for sure. They fuck with me all the time.”

    And then I reliazed how fucking much of a sally gaggle I was. Of course it was beavers. Beavers smacking their wet tails (thus, the droplets of water before the KERPLUNKs) to tell me to get off their god damn yard. I mean lake. Whatever.

    True story. Only time I’ve ever been really afraid out there, and I was a 36-year-old stoner. Not a proud evening, no.

  18. Mainetarr said,

    Lucky for you they didn’t eat a hole in the bottom of your canoe. LOL You big sissy. Great story though! Gotta love beavers.

  19. K2 said,

    Nope, it was an aluminum row boat. And if I may say, I row pretty damn well. I just don’t think all too good. Me no smart.

  20. Mainetarr said,

    I bet you were rowing like there were three motors on that boat when you thought someone was fucking with you. Too funny. I am surprised your dog didn’t jump into the water. I know Bailey would have been in the water (that dumbass) after the first kerplunk. Thank God Nellie is smart.

  21. LaFlamme said,

  22. K2 said,

    Shit, man, that’s a fucking riot.

  23. LaFlamme said,

    I had no idea the guy was recording the conversation. Seriously.

  24. K2 said,

    Lucky you kept your Turrett’s under control. CUNT! SHIT! FUCK! PISS! Oh, sorry.

  25. LaFlamme said,

    I took some shots at my bosses, but the reporter clearly left that out. Ah, professional courtesy.

  26. Mandy, the obit writer said,

    Will you be looking out for the creature now that the DNA results have shown the animal you covered was a dog?

  27. LaFlamme said,

    Yes, I’m like OJ. I’m resuming the search for the real killer.

  28. AO said,

    But….are you wearing…black leather gloves?

  29. Gil said,

    Get busy living, or get busy dying

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