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Awww.

PS- There are no ugly dogs. Period.

Of course, not all dogs can be perfect like some . . .

They call him The Spark.

Ass. Holes.

Ass. Holes.

Two former Alabama college athletes have been arrested after they allegedly beat a duck with baseball bat and left it for dead after attending a party. Thomas ‘Landon’ Grant and Jacob Frye, both 19, are accused of taking the white Muscovy duck from a pond at Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City following the gathering of baseball players on campus. The pair beat it with the bat, then took it to a nearby apartment where they decided to ‘put it out of its misery’, according to a police report.

The coach who found the duck contacted officials at the school which led to a criminal police investigation.

It’s not clear if the players remain on the team or if they have faced disciplinary action by the university.

The duo was booked into Tallapoosa County Jail on the same charge Friday, according to Detective Robert Oliver.

You guys know me. No way I’m gonna try and make anything humorous about this. Hell, I stopped my car to help a damn turtle cross the road on 41 south during my drive back from the friendly little town of Peebles, Ohio, today.* But these two freakshows? They can go straight to hell for all I care. I wonder if that made them feel like tough guys, killing a little animal? And show me a kid who kills animals for kicks and I’ll show you a future Jeffrey Dahmer. That’s science. And kudos to the coach who found the duck and turned these assholes in. Give that dude a raise. But Thomas Grant and Jacob Frye? Fry ’em for all I care.

*That was sarcasm. Some of you get it.

PS- I’m not anti-hunting. I don’t hunt but I get it. But this? No punishment is enough in my opinion.

PPS- I’m actually sort of surprised this is against the law in Alabama because you know, Alabama.

Jade Stanley, 35, launched Sex Doll Official in 2018, a company which sells customized dolls. Speaking on This Morning with hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, Jade, who was joined by sex doll Amelia, opened up about one service they offer where they create a replica of deceased partners. Asked if she had people ask for a doll of their dead partner, Jade said: “Yes, actually I have. Loneliness is a massive issue and I think one of the most surprising aspects of this industry for me, is really it’s not all seedy and sexual.” Jade was joined by sex doll Amelia. “I’ve had lots of customers who genuinely come to me and they want a doll for comfort purposes only. I think that’s fantastic. I think in that case I’m fulfilling my job by providing comfort to somebody in their time of need.”

Ladies and gentlemen, those of you who read this site regularly know that it is a rare topic indeed that renders me speechless. However, this is one of those topics. Thank you and goodnight.

PS- Hey, I know when to keep my mouth shut.

PPS- Usually.

Some headlines just write themselves, ya know?

Alabama investigators are currently searching for a man who allegedly kept an “attack squirrel” inside his apartment and fed the caged animal methamphetamine in order to maintain its aggressive behavior.

Since Mickey Paulk’s Athens apartment was searched on Monday morning, the caged squirrel has been released into the wild, Limestone County Sheriff’s Office’s Public Information Officer Stephen Young confirms to PEOPLE.

According to Young, officers responded to a report on Monday at approximately 8:30 a.m. that Paulk, 35, was allegedly keeping an “attack squirrel” caged inside his home and feeding it meth.

After obtaining a search warrant, Young says animal control and narcotics officers searched the home, located in the 21000 block of Piney Chapel Road, where they seized a number of illegal items, including the squirrel, meth, drug paraphernalia, ammunition and body armor.

First of all, I’m shocked that Mickey Paulk was in possession of illegal items. Dude looks like a model citizen. Secondly, owning an attack squirrel seems like an odd choice, amirite? Seems like a mountain goat, a saltwater crocodile, or a honey badger would be better choices. Maybe a komodo dragon. Anywho, glad the little tree rat is free to roam the forest terrorizing forest creatures and whatnot. Those meth hangovers are a bitch.

PS- When I was in college at Ohio State guy I know had an attack rat. He’d turn that rodent loose and it would come straight at you. Horrifying.

Sweet ride.

WALHALLA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina woman who police say was driving drunk will not be cited with a DUI because her vehicle of choice was a toy truck. News outlets quote police as saying that instead they charged 25-year-old Megan Holman with public intoxication. They say they spotted her cruising down the road in a Power Wheels electric toy truck after a caller reported a suspicious person on the street. Officers say she was driving about a mile from her home in Walhalla when they stopped her.

What an injustice. Listen, I ain’t mad at Megan Holman. Not at all. I mean, who amongst us hasn’t had a couple barley pops and took our Fisher Price Power Wheels Electric Toy Truck out for a spin? No harm no foul, amirite? And what about the fun hating narc who called the po-po? That’s no way to live your life, ruining other folk’s good times. Get a life, random snitch. Free Megan Holman! Free Megan Holman!

PS- I’ve been to Walhalla, South Carolina. There’s a 90% chance Megs was heading to Triple Ds out on Highway 11.

PPS- Xzempt is playing there Friday. Road trip! 

PPS- Of course you shouldn’t drive anything drunk. Chill.

It’ll take a minute (the sunken boat is actually a broken car antenna on a windshield).

I love these guys. “Do I look like a cold cheeser to you?”

 – A mother from South Carolina was arrested after entering an elementary school without permission where she says she was just trying to confront her son’s bullies. 

The interaction soon got emotional, and according to a police report as well as the Greenville County School District, Jamie Rathburn was seen yelling at a group of kids and a teacher. 

Brotherton said there had been several isolated incidents between Rathburn’s son and fellow classmates but she said it was nothing that would constitute bullying, which she defines as repeated behavior by a specific individual or specific group of people.   

“Maybe in her mind she was going there to confront a bully or a couple of children, but in not knowing who those were and choosing to yell at dozens of innocent kids, there is nothing appropriate about yelling at other people’s children’s in a school setting after you’ve snuck in illegally,” Brotherton said. 

According to Brotherton, some of the specific incidents involved another classmate making faces or telling Rathburn’s son that his haircut was “silly.” 

She says that these incidents continued to occur over the course of the school year and eventually became violent, saying that he was thrown off a ladder slide by his neck and even hit with a computer.  

Rathburn has since sincerely apologized for her behavior but says she was just fed up with how her son was being treated. 

“Anyone who chooses by their own admission to illegally sneak into a school building, yell at a hallway full of 8 and 9-year-old children, and curse an elementary school teacher in front of those children is going to get put on a no trespass notice and not be allowed back into the school for the rest of the year,” said Brotherton. 

Kids, let me tell you a rule of childhood that’s as old as time. If you want to shake that nerd image the last thing you want is for mommy to show up at school to fight your fights for you. It’s just a bad look all-around, man. Hey, if I got picked on at school the last thing I’d do would be to run home and tell my parents. Dad would have taken a look at me, slapped me upside the head and told me to man up and take care of it. For the zillionth time, if you’re going to jump in and save your kid from every little bit of adversity how will they ever learn to fend for themselves?

PS- Making faces at someone is considered bullying now? Telling someone their haircut is silly? Where will it all end?

PPS- If I had $5 for every time I was thrown off the slippery slide by my neck I’d be a millionaire today. That’s nothing, man. Barney Hansberry once got the merry-go-round going so fast I flew off, took out three 1st Graders, hit a basketball pole and lost the feeling on the right side of my body for 15-minutes. Good times. 

Thought provoking.

So I was watching hockey last night, which I rarely do but it was Game 7 so why the hell not? Plus I love to see the city of Boston lose no matter the sport so fingers were crossed, ya know? For some reason Charles Barkley was there giving his 2-cents which made no sense but not much does anymore. Anyway, Charles started with a simple polo shirt, but came back wearing this ensemble:

That, my friends, is your classic unbuttoned button-up with some sort of paisley design thrown in for good measure. You can see the polo underneath. So what’s up, Chuck? As always I have some theories, ranked in order of probability:

1. Charles was having a delicious bratwurst, or perhaps some Dippin’ Dots, and dropped a dollop of mustard or ice cream on his polo. Hence the cover-up. But what are the odds of someone having a XXXXL shirt handy?

2. One of the suits in charge told Chuck he needed to be more presentable, that a mere polo wouldn’t do. Being the irascible rascal we know him to be, he grabbed whatever he could find and threw it on, buttons be damned.

3. Being a hockey game and all, it was cold. Charles adjusted accordingly. Also oddly.

4. Charles didn’t want to carry a bag on his flight to St. Louis so he wore a couple sets of clothes simultaneously. He also has on two pairs of pants, underwear, and so forth. 

5. Charles Barkley thinks this looks good.

Bottom line, the fashion world as we once knew it has been forever altered. But for whatever the reason, this must be investigated post haste. Questions must be answered.

Charles, the world awaits.

It’s June, and that always meant a month chock full of basketball. We had Monday and Wednesday night league games, shootouts, our PV Youth Camp, and of course our annual pilgrimage to WVU Team Camp, the Gary Williams Team Camp before that, or even the Bob Huggins Camps at UC and the Ohio U Camps under Billy Hahn back in the late 80s and early 90s. All were always great times.

As you might expect, stories abound from those days . . .

One year we arrived in Morgantown on Friday, got registered at camp, and I got all the guys checked into their hotel rooms. About an hour later my hotel phone rings, and I pick up.

“Hello?”

“Coach, this is T-Bag Medley. I have a question.”

Yes, he gave me his full name.

Because you know, it could have possibly been T-Bag McGinnis or T-Bag Mertz or any other number of my friends named “T-Bag” that happen to refer to me as “coach.” You can’t make this stuff up, kids.

Anyway, I told the guys and for the rest of the weekend and probably forevermore “T-Bag” would be known by his full name of “T-Bag Medley.”

Good Lord.

One time at WVU I heard some of my players being too loud in the hotel lobby. I went out there (pretty upset with them since their were other people in the lobby) and found a couple of my guys in the little room with the snack machines and stuff. They were talking loudly so I ripped into them pretty good, and as I did I noticed a player named Boom slowly disappearing behind one of the machines until he was completely behind it.

Me: “Boom! Why are you hiding behind the machine?”

Boom, in a small, trembling voice: “Because I’m scared.”

Keep in mind this was from a senior and 3-year varsity player. All I could do was laugh and walk away.

Some of my players hadn’t spent a lot of times away from home or in hotels, as was evident one day when one of them took me aside and whispered, “Coach, while we were gone today somebody came in and cleaned up our room. They made our bed and everything. It was awesome!”

The kid was tickled to death, like he’d hit the lottery or something. Couldn’t have been happier.

McCloy vs. 911 Wings.

Draise vs. 911 Wings.

And I’ll never forget a yearly tradition at Hugg’s camp at WVU – the yearly Eating of the 911 Wings. You see, there was a place called Kegler’s that had the hottest chicken wings on the planet. They were so hot they were called 911 Wings. Although we didn’t force players to try one we always told them it was a PV basketball tradition, a Rite of Passage if you will. Almost all the players tried at least one. Those wings were absolutely brutal. To watch them take a bite, then nod their head like it wasn’t that bad, only to see the heat kick in and tears come to their eyes, well it was memorable to put it mildly.

I like to think of it as the ultimate team-building exercise.

Note: 2017 grad Jay Riley could order a plate of those damn things and not bat an eye. Kid had an iron stomach. Or maybe no taste buds.

Once while we were out eating at a restaurant I had a player order extra futons for his salad. The waitress just looked at him blankly and asked, “You mean croutons?” as the table erupted in laughter.

I used to take my teams out to the University of Maryland for the Gary Williams Basketball Camp. It’s a long story but I used to be the Commissioner of the camps there for Gary from 1989 to 2002.

The kids who attended Maryland Camp came from the Washington DC area as well as Baltimore, Philly, New York City and schools all along the east coast. To say my Southern Ohio boys were out of their element was a bit of an understatement. Still, my guys hung out with the city boys, stayed in the dorms with them, and more than held their own on the basketball court. To me it was a win-win all-around. You know, expanding cultural horizons and all that. Not to mention it made my guys better playing against such good competition.

Which brings me to a story that Gary Williams, legendary former coach at Maryland, still tells to this day. Remember that it was 1992, and “trash talking” was in its early stages. Understand that trash talking hardly ever led to violence on the court, it was just a part of the game for players from the playgrounds of the inner-cities. My team, however, was not used to it. It hadn’t made its way to our neck of the woods yet.

With this in mind, my Ohio boys had been in a particularly intense contest with a team from Philly, which we happened to have won. Afterwards, in a corridor outside the Cole Field House floor, words were exchanged between an opposing player and one of my guys. After the other player challenged my player with some unkind words, a punch was thrown.

Somebody got throttled, and he wasn’t from Ross County.

Gary Williams, the aforementioned Maryland coach, happened to be in the corridor and jumped between my player and the other guy who was, well, on the hallway floor. At that point, as Gary will tell you, the following conversation took place:

Coach Williams: “What are you doing, man? Why did you punch him?”

My guy: “Coach, where I come from we only talk like that for a minute. Then we start to hit.”

Gary thought that was the greatest thing he’d ever heard, and he could hardly wait to tell me about it.

Another story at Maryland involved a certain player of mine whose name I’ll leave out to protect the not-so-innocent. This guy liked the ladies, and it just so happened a girls rugby camp was going on the same week as our basketball camp. During our lunch break I was in a car, and as we drove I noticed him flirting with a young lady.

Sorry, but this was too good to pass up. As we passed I stopped the car, rolled down the window, and said this:

“Hey man, we should be getting those STD test results back any time now. I’ll let you know if you’re clean.”

I’m telling you, the look on his face was priceless. Hers too.

Then we drove away.

My last story from Maryland didn’t involve my players, but instead involved me. You have to remember that Cole Field House was a legendary basketball arena. All the ACC greats played there, guys like Len Bias, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Grant Hill, Kenny Anderson, Billy Cunningham, Christian Laettner, Ralph Sampson, James Worthy, Joe Smith and David Thompson. In 1966 the famous National Championship game between Texas Western and Kentucky took place in Cole. Texas Western had an all-black starting line-up and Kentucky was all-white. Led by the legendary coach Don Haskins, Texas Western beat the Adolph Rupp coached Kentucky 72-65. Bottom line, it was a storied, historic arena. Knowing that makes the following story more relevant . . .

It was the last day of camp, the parents had arrived to pick up their kids, and I was announcing the championship game. The contest was nearing its conclusion when I said the following:

After the game all parents and visitors need to go to the tunnel end of the gym so they can watch the awards ceremony.”

Believe me, I said this with all sincerity and honesty. Never gave it a second thought. But then, all of a sudden, future Hall of Fame coach Gary Williams is looming over me screaming:

“Does this look like a GYM to you, Shoe? Michael Jordan did his first cradle dunk here! Lenny Bias played here! An all black Texas Western team beat an all white Kentucky team on this court in 1966! This is COLE FIELD HOUSE, MAN!”

I’m paraphrasing but that was the gist of it. At this point I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe, which only made Gary angrier. I mean, he was serious but it was so funny at the time I couldn’t help myself. In the meantime any coach within 10-feet was slowly backing away as to not get caught in the line of fire. As far as Coach Williams was concerned I’d insulted the sacred grounds of Cole Field House by referring to it as a “gym.”

Believe me, to Gary Williams that was sacrilegious, man. 

Being the good guy that Gary was we laughed about it together later, but at the time I thought I was gonna get coldcocked by one of college’s all-time greatest coaches. Whew.

Believe me, there are more stories that will have to wait and be told another day. But bottom line, these few stories are what’s great about coaching. Not all the great memories are from time spent during a game. They’re from practices, camps, on the bus, and when we together as a team far away from game night, developing relationships that will last forever.

Ultimately, it’s all about relationships.

Leeds- A great-grandad fulfilled one final sentimental journey when the hearse that was carrying his coffin stopped off at a Burger King restaurant so that he could buy one last Bacon Double Cheeseburger.

Seventy-one-year-old Leonard Durkin passed away as a result of heart failure on 28 May following a lengthy illness. Prior to his death, he requested to be taken to Burger King because he visited the restaurant regularly with his son Peter after his wife – Peter’s mother – died two years ago.

The Bacon Double Cheeseburger was Leonard’s order every time, and he confided to his son that once he was gone he’d like to be taken one last time.

So that is exactly what they did.

The hearse drove through the drive-thru of the Burger King on Elland Road, Leeds, and the burger was placed on top of the coffin for Leonard’s journey to his final resting place.

The jokes didn’t stop there, either. As his coffin passed through at his crematorium service, it did so to the strains of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’.

Man, this opens up a whole new can of worms, amirite? I’m trying to think what drive-thru I want to go through when I kick the bucket. Hopefully it’s a restaurant that hasn’t even opened yet but will in say, 2054 or thereabouts. If I’m not that lucky though I think maybe I’d like to cruise through the Mako Mike’s parking lot and have Angie run me out a Cajun Chicken & Shrimp Pasta. Hell, the smell alone just might wake me up. Seriously though, just toss a box of Cheez-Its and a jar of Cheez Whiz in my coffin and I’ll be good to go.

PS- Am I the only one that finds he died of heart failure a little ironic?

PPS- That “Ring of Fire” touch topped the whole thing off, huh? Icing on the cake.

Not dead! NOT dead!

You’ve heard of the Walking Dead, but North Carolina officials are warning locals about the crawling undead. The state’s Department of Parks and Recreation has posted a photo on its Facebook page of a “zombie snake,” a reptile known for defending itself by lying on its back and pretending to be dead.

The Eastern Hognose, also known as a Puff Adder, is found as far south as Florida and Texas and as far north as Minnesota, according to ABC News.

Some have claimed the snake can shoot venom as far as 25-feet.

Department spokeswoman Katie Hall was quick to defend the snakes to USA Today. 

“We love hognose snakes,” she said. “They put on this really dramatic display, but it’s kind of adorable.”

Hey Katie Hall, I have some advice for you. Any possum playing dead serpent that can shoot venom 25-feet shouldn’t be compared to a Yorkshire Terrier puppy. Good God woman. Look at that thing, just pretending to be deceased only to pop up and shoot venom in your eyeball like a damned demon from hell. Kind of adorable my ass.

Chills, man.

Discuss.

You guys know about my issues with language. I’ve written about the subject in several blogs, most famously “Updating My “Things I Hate” List, a classic if there ever was one. Well, to me anyway. With that in mind, let us talk about words and redundancies. Forgive me, for I shall be repeating myself once or twice. Let’s do this . . .

“You’re exactly right.”

Listen kids, if you’re right you’re right. Otherwise you’re wrong. Exactly right implies you’re righter than the person who also got it right. I’m getting a headache.

“I’m working on my inner core.”

No, just your core will do, thank you. We know the core is inner, because you know, there’s no such thing as an outer core. By the way, people who blather on about working out are nauseating.

“He’s reverting back to his previous behavior.”

See, if you’re reverting you’re automatically going back. After all, you can’t revert forward. That seems risky and even dangerous. Seems like if you tried you’d probably pull a hammy or a groin or something.

“We’re sending the snitch to a safe haven.”

Again, a haven is by nature safe. There are no dangerous havens, although “Dangerous Haven” definitely sounds like a movie you’d see on the Lifetime Movies network.

“The perp has a prior history of criminal behavior.”

Is my blog about redundancy getting redundant or is it just me? Because history is already prior. There is no prior future. Redundant, man.

“Your sum total for the donuts is $193.63.”

Again, the sum is the total and the total is the sum. That sounded like something that could be sung in a children’s education program. “The sum is the total and the total is the sum, Say it right you stinkin’ bum! No? Alright.  In addition, somebody is eating a lot of donuts.

“That kid is throwing a temper tantrum.”

I’m pretty sure all tantrums involve tempers, hence the redundancy. You can’t have a gleeful or joyful tantrum, you know. What the hell, let’s all use “fit of rage” from now on anyway. That’s way cooler.

By the way, if you look to the left of the page and scroll w-a-a-a-y down you’ll get to a “categories” bar. Then scroll even farther down until you see “words” and you can find several things I’ve written about words. You’re welcome.

That’s all I got. Just had to get it off my chest. Thanks for listening. I feel better now.

 

Because what’s more heroic than saving a pizza? I mean really? In the first video below you’ll see a man perform an amazing, dare I say death-defying, act of bravery as he rescues a pepperoni and cheese pie. Below that you’ll witness a Super Dad grab a flying umbrella that was sure to impale anyone who happened to be nearby. Well done, heroes. Well done indeed.

Like many people I’ve seen a lot in my life, been through some things I wish I hadn’t, and have seen friends come and go. Some friends went of their own volition, others I sort of extricated myself from, and way too many died before they should have. My late uncle, a man I had great respect for, once told me that if on the day you die you can count the number of your true friends on one hand you’ll be a lucky man. At the time I was sort of incredulous and didn’t understand it. Five friends or less? Please. After all, I had a plenty of friends at the time.

Or so I thought. Over time though, I’ve come to realize he was right.

You see, as a kid you think you have all these friends that will be there forever. Buddies for life and all that. But as time goes by your circle begins to get smaller. Things happen – people get married, move away, or maybe you just drift apart. Other times events happen in your life that sort of force people to take a side, to stand up for you, and quite often they don’t. That’s the point where you realize they weren’t quite the friend you believed them to be.

For an example, I had a guy that coached for me, a man I’d hired and helped along the way, a man I’d considered a friend. I unexpectedly lost that job awhile back, and I haven’t heard a word from him since the day he’d heard I was being non-renewed. He’d coached for me for 5-years. Guess you never know what’s going on inside someone’s head.

When you go through those experiences, the experiences where people have to put themselves out there for you, the times that taking a stand is required, those are the times you find out who your true friends are. Because for some, friendship is conditional.

And it’s at those points in your life when your circle of friends grow smaller. The good news is that although the circle is smaller, it is also stronger.

You know why? Because real friendship, like real love, is unconditional. A true friend will be there no matter what, right there beside you, even when you’re wrong. A true friend won’t try to lead you or follow you, but simply be beside you.

Here’s what Jim Morrison of The Doors had to say:

A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he or she really is.”

Jim knew what was up.

Will a true friend tell you when you’ve made a mistake? Point out what an idiot you’ve been? Hell yes they will, and I’d expect nothing less. But when the time comes to pick a side there’ll be no question where they’ll stand.

Years ago I was with an old friend and I’d been going through a tough time. I was in the middle of a breakup and I was explaining the circumstances to him. I’d just gotten started when he put his hand on my arm and said this:

“You don’t have to explain. I’m on your side automatically.”

I’m not sure even he understood what those words meant to me at that moment.

So true friendship is unconditional and can survive anything. A true friend accepts you for who you are, flaws and all. They have your back through anything that may arise, and they love you enough to be honest with you, even if the truth hurts. They want what’s best for you and they won’t abandon you when times get tough or you’re of no use to them anymore. A true friend will also keep you humble. Believe me, my best friends have no trouble in that department.

Given all that criteria, I suppose it’s no surprise that during your lifetime few will qualify. As for those that do, cherish them and do your best not to lose them.

Because as my uncle said, if on the day you die you can count ’em on one hand you should consider yourself lucky.

A couple things stand out to me as I watch these videos. First of all, some of these jokes would never fly today because people are so damned thin-skinned about getting insulted. Secondly, nobody delivered a line like Paul Lynne. I mean, you know you’re funny when people hear the question and begin laughing before you even give your answer.

PS- Paul Lynde died 37-years ago. That’s sort of jarring.

WARNING: Watch the :14 second mark at your own risk.

Check out that Dik-Dik, man. Adorable. This little dude lives in the bushlands of eastern and southern Africa. They’re tiny and stand about 12–15 inches at the shoulder, are 19–27 inches long, weigh 6.6–13.2 pounds and can live for up to 10-years. They can also scurry at nearly 30 mph, which is pretty damn speedy. Dik-Diks are named for the alarm calls of the females. In addition to the females’ alarm call, both the male and female make a shrill, whistling sound. These calls alert other Dik-Diks to predators. Check out the videos below to see and hear some real honest-to-goodness Dik-Diks. Anywho, Dik-Dik.

Ever heard of Prancercize? It’s the new fitness craze that’s taking the nation by storm. Founded by the electric Joanna Rohrback, Prancercise is a great workout from head to cameltoe. Check out the video, man, and watch Joanna prancercising like a boss all over that golf cart path. From trot to gallop, that lady has the grace of a gazelle. Now excuse me while I prancercise my way out of the house and right on down the street.

PS- I bet Joanna Rohrback would be fun to hang out with. Personality for days. 

PPS- That workout gear is badass, man.

PPPS- Killer soundtrack.

That’s oozing personality right there.

Do you believe in signs? As in those times when it seemed that someone, somewhere was trying to tell you something? I didn’t for most of my life. However, over the last several years things have happened that made me change my mind. What follows are six experiences I or my close friends have had where things pretty much defied explanation.

Back in 1996 I lost my best friend and brother-in-law Jigger. Jigger was a great guy, loved by many, and was involved in education his entire professional career as a teacher, guidance counselor and finally a principal. After his death several strange things happened that caused me to pause and wonder what was happening. One of these instances occurred at his funeral, which was held in his hometown of Bainbridge, Ohio. The casket had been lowered into the ground and we were listening to the preacher give a final prayer. Just after he said the word, “amen” the 3:00 pm dismissal bell rang at the elementary school behind the cemetery. We all just sort of looked at each other with raised eyebrows.

Coincidence? Probably.

But other things can’t be attributed to pure chance. For instance, a couple days after Jigger’s death my sister received some checks he’d ordered in the mail weeks prior. The problem was that the checks had her name on them, not his. That one was a little harder to explain.

In 1999 I lost another good friend, this time it was Tim. Tim is the only person who I ever felt appreciated the Beatles as much as I did. We’d talk for hours about them, arguing about song lyrics or album covers, the relevance of certain songs, who was the most talented Beatle. I was always a Lennon guy, he leaned towards McCartney. We used to argue about which was the greatest Beatles album. He always said it was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and I always argued for Abbey Road.  We could never come to an agreement on that one, debating for hours on end over which was the greatest album.

On the day of Tim’s funeral, after the burial I went down to my basement where I had a bar, my library, and my music collection. I made a drink, sat down on my couch and laid my head back, just trying to unwind after a trying day. When I finally looked up, though, something caught me eye. A CD had fallen from among the hundreds from on my shelves and was on the floor, right in the open, where it had inexplicably landed right in the middle of the room.

The album was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. 

It seems that Tim had gotten the last word.

A couple years ago I lost Andy, another lifelong friend. He lived in Florida, and after his death myself and another mutual friend Tom made the drive down to Florida for his memorial. On the way home we were talking about Andy and a song the three of us used to sing to each other. One of us casually mentioned that it would be just like Andy to cause that song to pop up on the radio. You know, as a sign. Soon after that Tom saw a blown semi-truck tire on the road and said aloud, “You know, I see those blown tires all the time but I’ve never, ever seen it happen in person.” Next thing you know we were passing an 18-wheeler and BOOM, that very thing happened, not 5-feet from us. It seemed like Andy had chosen another way to give us a sign.

Last June my sister Karen passed away pretty suddenly. After her burial I went to a local bar to meet some friends who knew I needed them. It’s a small place, it was early, and I was the first person there. The bartender asked if I wanted some music, I said yes, and she went over to play some tunes.

The first song she played? The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles, one of my big sister’s favorite songs. I asked the bartender why she chose it and she said, “I don’t know. It just came to me.” 

You know, I’m pretty sure it didn’t “just come to her.” I mean, what are the odds?

This last story involves my sister as well. A couple that was very close to Sis, Shelley and Joey, were at the beach on their summer vacation the day of my sister’s memorial. The memorial was to begin at 2:00 pm, and as they sat on the beach talking and thinking about her they decided to have her favorite drink, a Rum & Coke, in my sister’s honor. Neither had any money on them and they wanted to have the drinks at precisely 2:00, so Joey got up to run back to their room to grab some cash to buy the drinks at a nearby Tiki Bar. Then, just as Joey stood, he looked down in the surf. There, floating right up to him, was a $10 bill.

That $10 was exactly what they needed for the drinks.

They just looked at it, then each other, and knew it was a sign.

And these six aren’t the only things that have happened. I have a few other incidents that gave me pause as well and caused me to wonder if there was something other than coincidence was going on, something bigger than all of us.

The Universe? God?

What to you all think about this? Have you been given any signs?

The 80s, man. What a decade. Big hair, spandex, high-wasted jeans, leg warmers, neon colors, cut-off sweatshirts, mullets, I could go on forever. I taught at a middle school in Greenfield, Ohio back then and everyone looked like they were straight out of Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club or Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Anyway, I ran across this gem today and it’s so 80s it hurts. Denim for days, man.

PS- I had no idea Jordache jeans still existed, but damned if they don’t.

PPS- That one guy looks like the lead singer of Fine Young Cannibals. Google it.

PPPS- If I was that denim I’d be distressed, too.

Newshub – Dressed only in his underwear, an Australian man has heroically chased down a man who was attempting to rob his house.

Kym Ambrook was asleep in his Adelaide home on Monday, when the sound of floorboards creaking woke him up at 4am. When he went to investigate the noise, he found a home intruder. Despite being underdressed, Ambrook chased the man out of his home and yelled for his neighbours to help. ”I was out there in all me glory – I did notice I run faster naked,” he said through laughter.

Once the men had trapped the invader, Ambrook sprinted back home to grab a defense. He returned armed with a didgeridoo and a torch and held the robber until the authorities arrived. 

Nothing quite says batshit crazy like a didgeridoo and a torch, huh? That’s a fight you aren’t winning. You can come at me with an uzi, a shotgun, a machete, even a bazooka, but if you come at me with a didgeridoo and a torch I’m tucking tail and getting out of Dodge. I mean, what was Kym Ambrook going to do, beat the guy to a pulp and then set him on fire? I’m thinking that yes, he was. Best think twice before you try and rob Kym Ambrook. Australians, man.

PS- If you heard the name Kym Ambrook you’d never expect that bro, would you? Looks more like a Bubba Jackson or something.

PPS- If you don’t think I’m ordering a didgeridoo online today you’re out of your gourd.

Too many high school athletes across the country are dying, and the epidemic isn’t getting better. About fifty high school athletes died last year from direct or indirect causes related to their sports. Thirteen of those deaths were football players. The worst part about it all is that most of them could have been prevented. More than 90% of sudden deaths in sports are attributable to sudden cardiac arrest, heat stroke, and head injuries. This map shows what states are meeting the minimum best practices regarding the health of high school athletes.