The Rubber Shoes In Hell 2017 Survey. Also, Hoss Is Dead

Randy and I spent last week cocooned in the Smokey Mountains with Mountain Girl and the Bass Player.  For you younger people, who are afraid that getting old means being all stodgy, we had one evening that culminated in an epic rubber band fight. Also, Randy is lucky that he wears glasses or he’d be down at least one eye.

We laughed so much last week, my face still feels tired today.

Well, it was mostly funny. Not all funny. I had moments of boredom as I do every time we all get together. Let’s see if I can frame this in the style of a tired joke:

A rocket scientist, a genius, a walking encyclopedia of music knowledge and woman who is both slightly drunk and slightly hungover walk into a music studio to talk about the science of music. I have no idea what to say next because I have no fucking clue about what they were talking about.

Randy and Mountain Girl are both reading the same book about music and were discussing a part about recording music on tape versus digital music and how tape is a fixed point in time that can’t be altered and how digital music is fluid and can be changed at will.

I followed okay up to that point, and then they either started talking in Swahili or some obscure Inuit dialect.

I thought I was following the discussion about Brian Wilson and how he recorded in mono, only I thought they said with mono, which must have been super hard because I had mono when I was 38 years old and I pretty much just slept the whole time. It turns out they weren’t talking about that kind of mono.

Fortunately for me, the conversation devolved.

I am pretty sure the devolution started when Randy talked like Butthead to me. I didn’t mind. I could follow that conversation.

We had an odd moment Monday night, the night we arrived. I wish I could tell you the conversation which led up to this moment, but it’s lost in a haze of bourbon and birthday cake. When we were driving down to the mountains, Randy randomly offered up the fact all the actors on the show Bonanza are now dead. For some reason, Monday night, I mentioned Randy mentioning that everyone from Bonanza is dead. I knew right away Mountain Girl was kind of freaked out.

Her reaction to the Bonanza comment was mildly bizarre.

She stared at me blankly for a moment with her mouth slightly open.

Mountain Girl: Y’all talked to the Bass Player on the phone or something before you got here, right?

Me: No.

Mountain Girl: Yes you did. You had to.

Me: I can’t imagine the circumstance in which I would lie about that, but no, we did not.

Mountain Girl: Bullshit. You did. He was saying, not long before you got here, how all the actors on Bonanza are dead. Not just that he talked about Bonanza, but that all the actors are dead. And he said it out of the blue and that was it. Just that they’re all dead.

Me: That’s fucking trippy. I mean, how many people on earth talked about Bonanza today? Maybe, that number is pretty high.  But then how many of them talked only to offer up the observation that all the actors on Bonanza are now dead? And then end up drinking together in the mountains? I’m going to guess it’s somewhere between 12 and 125 people.

Mountain Girl: Nah, it’s just them. Also, did you notice they’re dressed alike?

She wasn’t wrong, Randy and the Bass Player were both wearing jeans, black t-shirts and green shirts over the t-shirt.

Me: Well, of course we did talk earlier to coordinate the outfits.

For the rest of the week, the following sentence was uttered dozens of times: “Hoss is dead. He was only 47.”

We also were discussing online polls and I decided I needed to do a poll here. I was going to do a real poll where you check a box and it shows you the stats and whatnot, but I couldn’t get it to stack up right and it looked stupid. Also, you could only vote if you signed in through Facebook or WordPress and I thought, well…fuck that. I will just type it out and you guys can vote in comments.

Anyway, here is The Rubber Shoes In Hell 2017 Survey poll, please vote for one or give me an “other”.

If you could affect one change for all of humanity, which number would you choose?

  1. All insulation would be edible.
  2. Flame retardant hot dogs.
  3. An evil laugh is required before any crime is committed.
  4. One acid trip per human is compulsory.
  5. Anyone caught using a workplace microwave for heating up fish will be sentenced to sniffing airplane seat cushions for 120 contiguous minutes every day for 10 years.
  6. Other






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  • #4… I think everybody should have a mind blowing experience once in their life. Plus, it might make some people happier…

    But I agree with Haralee and Terri Lee, too. Liars and phonies should be marked with a red itchy rash.

    Bass Player is probably a secret mind reader… every once in awhile, he forgets and Mountain Girl gets stuck in the middle of another awkward conversation 😉

  • I’m gonna have to go with #4. That’s going to be my excuse to try LSD if I ever get the chance even though it’s highly unlikely I ever will. And that might be for the best because I’d probably freak out like the guy who calls Jimmy Carter in that SNL sketch–the one where Dan Aykroyd is playing Carter.
    See? I babble like a crazy person even without the assistance of drugs.
    Although I do like #6. I just have no idea what to put in there.
    Possibly something about Buffy The Vampire Slayer which you convinced me to start watching and I am now hopelessly hooked.

  • #2 only because my two kids stayed home by themselves, I was 5 minutes away give me a break. Well, anyway, the girl child decided to fix a hot dog in the microwave. Instead of setting the timer for 30 seconds she set it for 30 minutes. Needless to say at some point it caught on fire. Not so bad that they were in danger or the microwave was damaged, just a flair up. At that point the boy child, older brother, said the customary Kel-l-l-y then the phone call Mo-o-om (how can that word have three syllables?) Kelly set the microwave on fire. By this time I knew Michael. Me: Is it out, is anyone burned, were you helping your sister? Mike: Mom, I told her 30 seconds…..
    Damn, I so miss those days…..

  • #6 Other- If I could have one wish for the world it would be for world peas.
    You can’t go wrong with peas.
    You got your black-eyed peas, chickpeas, Dixie lee peas, snap peas, snow peas, split peas and your sweet peas just to name a few. What can you do with peas? Why eat ’em of course. There’s creamed peas on toast, peas with butter and fresh ground black pepper, pea risotto, pea soup, hummus, peas and carrots (or carrots and peas), pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold and pease porridge in the pot nine days old.
    So yeah- All I am saying is give peas a chance.

  • You are hilarious! I am stuck on the Bonanza conversation. I grew up in Tucson, Arizona (Born in Flint!) and Bonanza was filmed in Tucson at Old Tucson. It was a huge deal for our family watching that show. I love the way you write………….thanks for the Monday laughs!

  • Your post made me smile.
    People couldn’t remake songs or tv shows or movies unless they could provide how their version is needed to better entertainment.

  • While I like the idea of #4, I have two concerns with it:
    First, does it require at LEAST one acid trip, or would it require me to forfeit all of my acid trips after the first one? I could never agree to that, as the acid trips I took at the Peter Gabriel concert in 1983 and the Rush concert in 1986 are two high points of my time here on this Earth.
    And second, not everyone is cut out for the rigors of a full-blown psychedelic experience. I have seen folks who went off of the rails because of it. You actually have to be very careful with such things.
    And while I’m blathering on about acid trips, have you ever heard of Captain Al Hubbard? He has been called “the Johnny Appleseed of LSD” and “According to Todd Brendan Fahey, Hubbard introduced more than 6,000 people to LSD, including scientists, politicians, intelligence officials, diplomats, and church figures.”
    I read about him in a book called ” Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD, and the Sixties Rebellion” that told the story of his personal quest to fly around the world dosing the important (and soon to be important) people he met. A fascinating read, really.
    I’m glad you had a good time with your friends, and I hope you’re feeling better than you were.
    Also, how did your son’s music festival adventure go?

    • Thank you for the link, I am looking forward to reading it. And Joey had a GREAT time. So much fun that he’s going to another festival this month and next month. yay.

      We had a fabulous time, as always. Kind of sucks to be back at work, but my head is in a much better place.

  • I’d go for three too, or alternately, make everyone feel the full emotional impact of what they are about to say, before they say it. Funny and wise people would be warmed by the feelings of joy and relief they were about to engender, and would proceed. Stupid and thoughtless people would be hit by a wave of pain and anguish, and might just lose the will to speak. Win-win for everyone.

  • Well first of all I still haven’t recovered from Little Joe’s death.


    Can everyone just be nice to each other?

    and, ya, get rid of that ‘guy’ in the whitehouse. That would be good too.

  • 4. and 3.
    Because, since acid is a crime, we could spend the whole trip saying “BwaahaahaaHA!”

  • Definitely number three. Although the microwave fish smell is close. If you had said broccoli in microwave, that would have swayed my vote.
    Enjoyed your essay but kind of wish I hadn’t read it. The theme to Bonanza gets stick in my head at least twice a month. I don’t need help thinking about it. If I’m lucky, it alternates with the theme to Big Valley. I have no idea why …… Right now my inner voice is shouting dum diddy dum diddy dum diddy dum diddy dum DUM! …

    Thanks for the

  • #4 if one trip is just the minimum. Which I assume you meant it that way. It was intended as a floor not a ceiling on the experience, right?

    I just think that there are a few people in important positions in society who would benefit from a widened perspective. And also from feeling like their legs have turned into tree roots.

  • Well, it was a tough choice (because I sooo want that bastard in the White House, and his whole evil administration, outta there), but I think I’m going with #1. But let’s make it not just insulation….I think those little packaging peanuts should be edible, too. Think of all the starving people that could be fed if we could just give them our packaging peanuts instead of sending them to landfills where they stay for a gazillion years.

  • #3 How could you commit a crime after laughing?

    Your ‘music store’ conversation hits close to home. First of all I’m a very smart person however, my husband is MENSA genius level smart. And he remembers fucking everything he has ever learned. (He was an Army Ranger in Vietnam, worked at the Pentagon and then retired and has a Masters in Fine Art…I’m talking well rounded smart) He is an early riser, I’m not so when I stumble out of the bedroom each morning I’m followed around by him talking about shit I have no idea what, because I haven’t had coffee. I’ve heard more about ICBM Missiles, F-35 jets (that don’t fly) and other political and governmental minutiae than any person should have to bear.

    His oldest son visited last week and I was off the hook for 4 glorious days. Today we are learning about aquafers. Shoot me.

    • HAHAHA..I am so sorry.

      And yes, perhaps the laughing would curtail some of the crime! Genius.

      Speaking of Mensa..I have a Mensa story. My husband, son and I were in Louisville KY for the weekend, just hanging out and the hotel we stayed at were hosting a Mensa convention. We got on the elevator with Mensa people and I was trying to hit the floor I wanted, but for some reason, kept hitting the “door open” button. Like three times in a row. I realized what I was doing, pressed my floor and turned to the Mensa people. I said “I am obviously not here for the convention.”

By Michelle