Sunday, March 23, 2014

The balloon man.

Joel and Lacy
A Perfect Storm Saturday

Up until a couple of Saturday’s ago, I had trouble telling people “No.” If you gave me enough leeway I’d commit to practically anything. Logic being, that something bad would likely happen to me at some point, and I’d never have to deliver.

Well, it just so happened that on that fateful Saturday I was alive and healthy when three commitments converged. I had no excuse, nothing that would prevent me from owning up to my responsibilities. Isn’t that just the way of things?

The first commitment on my Saturday list was to cover the Montgomery County Rodeo Parade with my friend Cindy, for Lonestar Internet Radio. Parades are a nightmare to cover, even if you have a program with a list of the entries. We didn’t.

Cindy was also a part of my second commitment.  We had both agreed to co-emcee the goings on at a Chili Cook Off. I accepted the gig so I wouldn’t have to be a judge. I judged chili last year and hurt myself. It took me two weeks to stop crying.

Instead of judging, Cindy agreed that we would host the awards ceremony, handle the karaoke segment and explain the rules about how it’s best to sample the different chili concoctions before settling in on your favorite. Some things that seem basic to most of us lose all meaning once people start fighting for a place in line.

After the cook off, I was supposed to pick up Tracy’s ’89 Toyota pickup at the repair place and drive it back to him in Pasadena. Tracy’s truck was having some issues and since he’s Kay’s kid brother, I agreed to bring it up here to let my favorite repair guy handle the job. Tracy didn’t have a favorite guy.

So I had the day pretty well lined out for me. Fortunately, I had the morning free. Well, I did until I noticed the leak in the downstairs toilet. The repair would involve replacing the weird contraption in the toilet tank and fixing a leak at the faucet. I don’t like to take the lid off a toilet tank. And, I’m certainly scared to death of messing with a faucet.

While plotting my toilet tactics, Kay informed me that a puddle had formed beneath the kitchen sink. I thought there was a good chance that the source was the web-like pipe network that I had repaired at least three times.

You may not believe this, but I managed to temporarily take care of  both jobs in only three hours, and one trip to Home Depot. I was so proud of me. The plumbing job did slow my arrival time at the radio studio, though. That and the fact that there were no parking places in the vicinity of Conroe.

    I believe there were 406 entries in the Montgomery County Rodeo Parade. I don’t know for certain, ‘cause like I mentioned, we had no list of entries. Listening to parade coverage from two people who don’t have a clue as to what’s happening is just slightly worse than listening to two people who do have a clue. It’s a parade! -- “Here’s a wagon with two horses and some people waving. Do you have any idea who they are Mark?”– “I they’re candidates for—Aghhhhhhh! Clowns! Get them away!”

    The rodeo went so long that we barely made it to the Chili Cook Off in time. I think a few of the patrons would’ve had fun without Cindy and me, but I’ve got to say we turned up the “fun meter” a notch or two.

    Karaoke was a gas. At first many people were afraid of making fools of themselves, so we had to do a lot of coaxing. An icebreaker was needed and it came in the form of Melvin and Larry who got up and performed “Surfing USA.” Keep in mind they managed this with no alcohol on the premises. After their performance the number of volunteers skyrocketed. It was hard to do worse.

    While the Karaoke was going on, a friend of mine, Joel, was busy creating balloon art for all the kids. Balloon hats, jewelry, helicopters, boats, bows and arrows… You would not believe what all that guy can do. And, he’s an ex-student of mine, so I’m largely responsible for his talent. (By the way, if ever need a balloon artist and face painter to liven up a get-together, google “Oodles Entertainment” out of Willis. I wouldn’t plug Joel if he wasn’t fantastic. Oh, and he’s ex-student. Remember?

    After the chili event, I picked up Tracy’s truck, and Kay followed me in our car to Pasadena. The truck ran great and the window on the passenger side actually worked. I mention that, ‘cause I never asked my mechanic friend to fix it. He didn’t charge me for it. Didn’t even place it on the list of stuff he did. I love my mechanic. He was one of many good things that came from the Perfect Storm that was Saturday.

    Oh, and the parade? Hard to believe, but the cleanup crew only had to shovel up 26 pounds of horse defecation. That’s a record low. Probably. Not sure anyone keeps a horse-poop diary. They should, but I doubt they do.


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