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Holiday weekend brings out the grumpy guy

By Dennis Minich

I don’t know why, but lately I have been craving chicken. Normally I am an avowed beef eater, but recently I have looked for opportunities to eat chicken. I’ve had fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, wings, chicken sandwiches, basically everything but livers and gizzards. And I really didn’t know why until this weekend when it occurred to me, “I am in a fowl mood.” It just seems like things that normally wouldn’t warrant a second thought are suddenly irritating me.

For example, last Friday morning I had an appointment for some medical testing at a hospital up in the city. Being the Friday before July 4, there was traffic everywhere and plenty of police keeping an eye out making the speed limits drop significantly below posted numbers.

I hate to remind people, but cops won’t stop if you if are going the speed limit. If you are in a 65-mph area, doing 65, you don’t have to slow down simply because there is a cop on the side of the road.

When I finally got to the hospital, I found out my procedure, scheduled for 9 a.m. might be late, as in a bunch late. It appears that even hospitals have last-day-before-holiday runs, so I got to sit and wait while people who might actually have been sicker than me were able to jump the line, leaving me waiting.

The drive home made the trip up seem like we were on an expressway. I was driving down I-29 at the blistering 22 mph and decided to take an exit. I had no idea where I was, where the exit left or where I would end up, but it had to beat creeping along in three-lane deep traffic. Fortunately, I found another highway, took it and in 10 minutes I had successfully found my way to I-29, about a mile downstream from where I started.

Friday night was going to be a great night. I had seen the Blue Angels were going to perform a flyover of Kauffman Stadium, so for the first time this year I decided to make a trek to the ballpark. An accident on I-435 led me to 87th Street to Blue Ridge Boulevard. It was actually a fairly nice drive, until we got within sight of the ballpark and realized the line to the parking lot was nearly a mile long. I will note I could have skipped the game, but had about $100 invested in tickets and another $30 in parking, so by golly, I was getting in. By the way, $30 to park? That was for the premium lot, but it was basically full so I saved about 10 steps by upgrading to the hoity-toity parking ducats.

Needless to say, we saw no flyover, if there was one. Once inside I was excited by the fact it was “Buck Night” meaning hot dogs and peanuts were just $1 each. The only problem was the lines to every concession stand were at least 25 people long, not just the buck lines, but all lines. With no vendors in the stands, there was nothing to eat or drink, so at least we saved a few bucks.

At least the Royals won, so that was great. But everything else was pretty iffy. We left in the seventh inning, one to beat the crowd and the other was to find someplace to eat.

So, then Saturday rolls around and it turns out it’s my birthday so suddenly I am older. What a depressing way to start a weekend. Fortunately, there were some friends and family there to help me “celebrate” the occasion and while their efforts were greatly appreciated and enjoyed, it didn’t change the fact I have now reached the age where I actually qualify for the senior discount at all of the fast-food chains.

Sunday was a day of hearing fireworks and the three dogs in the house barking at each and every one. In our neighborhood
there were plenty of fireworks, so there was also plenty of woofs, so it was nice to get the day over with.

Monday could have been delightful, but some people think just because there was a holiday they don’t have to work so I couldn’t go to the bank, the post office or even to my favorite eatery.

I guess you could say I now take my responsibility to be a grumpy old man seriously. While many of you were celebrating and enjoying the holiday, I was finding things to complain about. The good news was Monday night I found a restaurant featuring fried chicken so I was able to feed my cravings. I guess maybe that can serve as an uplifting conclusion.

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