Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!
RIP: Borders Booksellers. Thank you for years of adventures in reading…
Grand Re-Opening: State of Minnesota. Maybe soon, state citizens will be able to buy MillerCoors
beer products again…
We’re on a mission from God.
Actually, as you read this, we are really on the mission.
“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.”
OK, it’s actually 368 miles to DC, none of us smoke, we have a full tank of gas – with financial backing for at least another tank, and our mission is one of celebratory fellowship. And beer.
BUT it is dark and we are wearing sunglasses.
Right now, as you are reading this message, we are surprising one of our Friday Fun Fact members on his milestone birthday.
To follow-up where we left off in Walker, Minnesota, our group of merry gentleman, along w/”Just One Of The Guys” club president, BeckyW (Special Note I: See BeckyW – I told you, you were promoted!), decided it was a mission to surprise KyleS in DC to celebrate his birthday. You see, Walker, Minnesota will never quite be finished until everyone has been surprised. So, this is one step closer to completing that mission. (Special Note II: The last one to be surprised is BeckyW, and since she’s reading this, she may have already discovered our pattern!)
KyleS has no idea that the “we” are arriving in DC, only the “I.”
We arrived last night, hence the insta-pictures below:
In other words, right now, you are watching us surprise Kyle only a few hours, and probably a couple of beers later than real time. The ghost of Jack Bauer is only moments behind…
As well as a reference to insta-video in Spaceballs – “Everything that happens now is happening now.”
Fellow Friday Fun Fact member KyleS lives in DC with his immediate family. We decided a few months back that since it wasn’t probable that Kyle would be able to return to the Cleveland area to celebrate his birthday, that we would surprise him.
I let him know just a few weeks ago, that I was interested in coming out to DC to celebrate with him, since he surprised me for my birthday party. (Special Note III: Please keep in mind that although Kyle & are life-long friends, we are separated by more than a decade in age, since I just celebrated my 29th birthday.) I didn’t give him too much time to plan in order to keep discussions to a minimum. I didn’t want to give it away that others were joining us.
And, then, of course, we hit a snag: one of us couldn’t get the time off approved at work due to a conflict of vacation schedules.
There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!!!
And Kyle STILL doesn’t know that there is a “we” arriving at his house sometime after midnight Thursday night / Friday morning.
Now, I have to do something with Kyle that I NEVER do: I have to “improvise” the truth. Thank goodness I’ve watched A Few Good Men, Fletch & Heartbreak Ridge enough times to be able to “negotiate,” if you will, an abstract statement or two for the good of all involved. “You want me on that wall, you need me on that wall…”
I let Kyle know that my supervisor needed me for an organizational go-live event, and asked if there was any way I could put off my wrap-around weekend to DC.
“Excuse me; can I borrow your towel? My car just hit a water buffalo.”
Is he going to buy it?! Can I pull off this “negotiation” w/the right tone & pause, yet, not too much of either?!
Right there in the middle of the conversation, I improvise, overcome, & adapt. “You know, Kyle, I hate to do this, but my boss – bless her soul – never asks me to move my PTO.”
“I love this bleeding heart $#&!”
He buys it, because that’s how we roll…
Kyle immediately offers to see if he can move his vacation days to the next weekend. By the next day, mission change requests forms are complete & logged with supervisors. Five days later, all vacation days are approved by Kyle and the “we.”
It is here that we must ask you to bow your heads in a moment of silence for “the fallen.” Others were supposed to join us on this mission, but due to personal conflicts with the change of schedule, they could not. We thank them for their sacrifices…
The mission plans continue.
This whole next scene is a shuffle of flashbacks, flash-forwards, & flash-presents that NO ONE expects any reader to keep track of. We forewarn you and wish you luck. Got your crash helmet on?!
Kyle (Wait… Special ShoutOut to Walt: “Yyyyle!”) gives me a bell a little over a week out to say “OK, you’ll be here in about seven days. We need to focus on what we’re going to do when you get here. What’s on your list.”
Here’s my “A Christmas Story” moment: “Oh, Fuuuuuuhhhhhhddgge…”
What do I say here?! I’m totally unprepared! Alright, the shakedown goes like this: “Uh, want to be a tourist on Friday, let’s do some local blues club on Saturday, and do our normal throwdown for the rest of the weekend.”
And the phone calls begin.
A full week of cloak & dagger, between phone calls to Kyle’s wife Amy, checking with BeckyW & ChrisW on event choices, and coordinated conversations ensues. The true challenge is pronoun usage – “I” instead of “we.” Making sure that the ghost isn’t given up by an accident of vernacular. Oh, and just wait until Kyle is calling you in the car to find out exactly where you are en route! Navigate THOSE conversations while others are in the car and group-speak takes over!
I just can’t wait to get there, so I can revert back to normal chain-of-thought conversations.
Our journey is hampered by a late getaway, turnpike construction (imagine that!), unexpected construction (Special Note IV: In true Murphy’s Law fashion, almost immediately after we knock on slowly-petrifying wood regarding a statement I make regarding the fact that there is NEVER any construction on this next stretch of highway in my years of traveling it.), and an uninspiring meal at a stop in Somerset, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, not all meal stops on the road are met by the Hollywood Syndrome or a food critic column describling a place where you’ve found a great little hideaway.
Finally, a shave after 2:08, we arrive.
OK, off to the Pentagon!
And the surprise journey to Destination Anywhere continues…
Tunes of the Week:
Destination Anywhere – Jon Bon Jovi
Surprise! – Trent Willmon
Havin’ A Party – Sam Cooke / Rod Stewart
Life Is A Highway – Rascal Flatts / Chris LeDoux / Tom Cochrane
Best Of Friends – Dangerous Toys
Blood On Blood – Bon Jovi
Raise a Celebratory Glass!
May Your Friday Be Followed By An Unexpected Saturday…
D – This is Jack Bauer/Irwin M. Fletcher, signing off.
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