Bikini Briefs, Ferrari's, and Little Black Books

(Originally ran on November 24th, 2003 as "Bikini briefs and little black books")

If you were expecting a column on what I'm grateful for, think again, weenie. In the words of my good friend Sarah Comin, "take off your sentimental pants, cause I'm not in the mood."

(I have no idea what that last quote means, but it sounded like a dang fine way to start a column.)

Anyway, like I said, I don't feel like doing something lame like writing a "top-ten grateful list." I could tell you about what I'm not grateful for, like parking enforcement or the Los Angeles Lakers, but I might just wait until the end of the school year to burn all my bridges. This week, I'll tell you about my little black book.

I don't have any phone numbers in my little black book; I've got a little black cell phone for that. My book is used to write down odd observations, column ideas, or strange quotes that feel like they need to be immortalized.

The book covers nearly four year's worth of ideas, some of which have been used, many of which haven't. The first ideas I have written down are a bunch of items I came up with when I was trying to plan a ward Toga Party. Some of the best ones were the riding lawn mower race, the chili cook-off, and the human truck pull, where we'd tie a huge water-weenie around someone's waist and watch them pull a Toyota 4X4 around a parking lot. They were good ideas, but most of them never came to fruition since the night of the party, lightning struck a nearby power pole and killed the electricity for the whole night. Go figure.

One of the most recent entries concerns the suggestion that I write about my experience as a cameraman at KSL eight years ago. My last night on the job I almost crashed into Ruth Todd on live television when I pushed my camera in too far for a zoom shot. This other time I stole Mark Eubank's parking spot. That was kind of funny.

There are a ton of ideas that I haven't used yet. I have yet to write about the concept of Greco-Roman Massage Therapy. That one has potential, I think. So does the idea of writing about how to make Road Rage work for you.

One column idea I have lots of notes for is the column on nicknames. I've already written up a draft of it, but it's not funny enough. It does reveal the background of my "Peat Moss" nickname, and tells the story of how a pair of cheetah print bikini briefs and the nation of France got my friend Randy the nickname "Cheetahman," but besides that it's just filler.

From time to time I just write random statements that just feel like they should be saved for some future prospect. My favorite of those is "After discovering the spiciest of all Doritos, Wayne gains the confidence he needs to woo Sheena." The phrase "London Derriere" also beckons to me.

One whole page is dedicated to ideas I've had that would work in a stand-up comic act. I've wondered about doing stand-up ever since I covered the front of my public speaking class in shaving cream and half-thawed Lynn Wilson burrito bits in an effort to convince my classmates that the frozen burrito was the most versatile product on the market. The new act would feature me playing drums while singing the theme to "The Love Boat." It might work.

Unfortunately, browsing through this book makes me painfully aware of the fact that I haven't accomplished some lifelong dreams. On one page I've listed a bunch of "things to do," like drive a 308 Ferrari, skydive, or dunk a basketball on a ten foot hoop. So far, I've driven the Ferrari, but I really resent the fact that my body has decided to make me work to be able to dunk a basketball. I also feel that a man of my spiritual and intellectual stature deserves bigger pecs.

One page features a list of names I just think are funny. Many of them came from a childhood of reading "The Far Side." Among them are Murray, Agnes, Ray, Floyd, and Wayne. I've always felt "Hoss" was a pretty cool name, and I would regularly use it when I would yell at dualies that were driving too slow in front of me. But now I actually know two guys named Hoss.

Now that's something I'm grateful for.