Ramblings from an old man

By Michael Brooks

 Last Wednesday, I officially became old. I hit the big 4-0. New music suddenly became terrible. I suddenly became concerned with how the grass in my yard looked. Teenagers became trouble makers. And my attitude became grumpier. 

Actually, I have been grumpy for years, but now I have an excuse. Maybe I shouldn’t let things bother me like I do (especially now that I am old) but I can’t help it. I am a Grammar Nazi. If I see you spelling like a first grader on social media, I am going to tell you about it. I HAVE to tell you about it. And it is even worse if I spot a spelling mistake in one of my articles in the paper after it goes to print. It will drive me crazy.

I also get grumpy at businesses. Petsmart is the worst. You can take your pet in and they can poop anywhere they want, but if I do it suddenly everyone throws a fit.

Anyway, I thought I would open up my next 40 years by sharing some information about myself. So, let’s have some fun. I will list some random things about myself that you may find interesting (or you may not find them interesting, but now that I am an old man, I just like telling my stories, whether anyone is listening to me or not) and I will add in one random thing that is not true. C’mon, you  know that not every single story that Grandpa tells you is true. You can then go and find this article on jacksonconews.com or the Jackson County Herald Tribune Facebook page and guess which one is not true and I will let you know which one is the false story. There is no prize for being correct, other than knowledge, but isn’t that the best prize of all? Nah, you’re right, it’s not a good prize. Oh well.

You wanna play a game?

1) My first job was working at a movie theatre in high school. For about 15 years after high school, the theater was always my second job. While working at the theatre in Odessa, an agent for Tim McGraw called and said that they wanted to reserve a theatre for him, and some of his family. When he and Faith Hill and their kids arrive, they got into the theatre without being recognized. By the time the movie ended though, people had figured out they were in the theatre. So, after the movie ended, all the teenage girls that worked with me had stopped McGraw in the hall and were getting autographs. Hill took the kids over to the arcade. Because I’m a guy, and because it was Faith Hill, I told the other male coworker that was there at the time to grab a broom and we “swept” the floor as we made our way to the arcade. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as sly as I thought I was and she caught me looking at her figure. Her catching me caught me off guard, and all I could say was “you’re great.” 

This is the normal level of “smooth” that I have in my dating life, so it wasn’t all that out of the ordinary for me.

2) The morning duty of my sister and myself was to make our beds before we left for school. My sister had several stuffed animals that she would place in the center of the bed after she made it. One day when we came home from school all the stuffed animals were thrown all over the floor. This continued for a few days. Finally we came home one day and the stuffed animals were all thrown off the bed again but this time, the head of one them had been tore off. We had no indoor pets and our parents didn’t believe us. We never did figure out what was going on.

3) My first wreck was with a cow. I had a buddy who lived about 10 miles out in the country. One night I was driving him home just after a really bad thunderstorm. On the way, we saw a power line down. It was sparking and jumping all over the place. I had slowed down to a crawl in my vehicle while watching the power line spark and dance around, and when I looked forward again, a cow was right in front of my car. I hit the brakes. The cow rolled on to the hood, rolled off, hit the road, got off the road, and ran and stood by other cows. My hood was caved in, but somehow, my car still ran. As we were inspecting the damage, a cop pulled up beside us. Someone had called him about the down power line. He asked me what happened and I explained, after asking me to identify the cow, who was now standing beside 10 or so other brown cows I told him what happened, but he wasn’t taking the information down, he was watching the power line. The same process happened again, and by the time I finally got to the cop that took the accident report, I was a little miffed about having to describe this brown cow that I ran into, so I told him it was a purple cow with pink spots. That is what the police reports in the local paper printed. My insurance company had several questions for me after the paper ran.

4) One day, Tommy Lee Jones came into the theatre (also the Odessa theatre). One of his representatives had called and said that he had been filming a movie and he wanted to bring in a  movie reel so they could see how it looked. We agreed. They showed up and we took the canister with the movie reel in it upstairs to get ready to load it in the projector. When we opened the  canister however, it was actual camera film that was on the reel. It looked like they had pulled it directly from their camera, rolled it up, and expected us to to somehow show it on our projectors. When we tried to explain that we had no way to to show it the way it was, the representative got mad, saying that we didn’t deliver on what we said we would do, and went into the theatre to get Jones. He walked out, going past us without saying a word or looking at any of us and walked back into his famous life.

5) I was homeless for three months. I lived in the bed of a pick-up and would sneak into various friends houses when they were at work so that I could take a shower. Thankfully, it was fall, and I had an old blanket, so it wasn’t all that bad. Once I finally had enough money from paychecks built up, I was able to rent an apartment and get back on my feet.

6) I love karaoke. For a decade, I was a karaoke DJ. Back in college (Midland College) I used to hang out at a bar called The Ranch that had karaoke several nights a week. During my third year (at the two year college) my sister started working as a waitress at the bar. The Ranch had its fair share of mid-to higher level county singers perform there and since my sister worked there, I always had the opportunity to get there early and talk to the singers. I got to talk to the guys from Richocet, Perfect Stranger, Sean Moray, and Rick Trevino. I also got to see Chris LeDoux perform a couple of weeks before his surprising death. Aside from one of the guys from Perfect Stranger flirting with my sister, they were all laid back guys. All except Rick Trevino. He was drunk when he came on stage (for those of you that have seen Pat Green live...he was “Pat Green Drunk”). He forgot the words to his songs and finally completely stopped singing right in the middle of one of his songs. It was maybe his fourth song of the night. People started booing him and he started cussing at everyone from the stage. Some of his people came and got him off the stage and quickly ushered him away to his bus. People were very mad.

I’m sure I probably have a lot more interesting (or uninteresting) stories, but now that I am old, I don’t remember them anymore, so we can just go with these six.

Jackson County Herald Tribune

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