Let’s go clubbin’

My kind of bathroomDuring my recent flight to Vegas, while high above the clouds, my mind wandered. I looked up and down the ailse, surveyed the peeps around me and tracked the whereabouts of the flight crew. I then glanced at my lovely wife and pondered, “I wonder how difficult it’d be for us to make it in the bathroom.”

Of course, such a thought was doomed to failure. There was a hyper-active toddler to watch, plus a bored preteen who would never tolerate a prolonged absence without a game of 20 questions (example – Rob, why is your arm blue?).

I sighed the sigh of unpleasant realization. The door to the Mile High Club was closed to me, perhaps forever. To prevent my suddenly assuming an uncomfortable, upright position, I began to ponder – is there any club out there for me?

For example, baseball has all kinds of clubs. There’s the “500 Career Home Run Club,” the “30 Homer, 100 RBI Club” and “Home Run Hitters Supeoned by Congress Club.” Last season Alfonso Soriano started his own club, called the “40/40/40 Club.” I’d be lucky to record those numbers playing “Major League Baseball 2K6,” much less in attempting a real-life remake of The Rookie (which itself was a remake of real life played out like a movie).

Besides, I’m not in MLB, or any other sports acronym. Like the airplane potty, entry is denied me. Too old. Too slow. And about as athletic as a blind bowler with no thumbs and a limp.

There has to be some club which recognizes my special skills and abilities, or honors the obstacles I’ve met and overcome. I wonder what they could be:

The “80 Hour” ClubI hung at least a million of these on hangers
During the summer sandwiched between my first two college years, I got less rest than Sisyphus. Monday through Friday I rose like Lestat at 6:15ish and headed to my full-time job as a temp at the local Maidenform factory. (Yes, that Maidenform. Stop giggling. It taught me a lot. I had no idea the difference between an A and a C. I also thought that referred to shape). At 4 p.m. I departed that factory and reported to duty asap at Food Lion, where I also put in a minimum or 40 hours a week. I would stock shelves until 2 a.m., then went home for a less-then-four hour “lunch” before heading back to bra land.

I had two breaks a week – Wednesday evenings and all-day Sunday. Otherwise, I was either on a clock or waiting for one to ring. I did this for three months. I survived via Mountain Dew. I drank a six-pack a day. I was forced to quit cold turkey when this one nerve in my eye would not stop jumping. It looked like I had a umping bean under my brow. Went over real well with the ladies.

Pro Sports Grand Slam Club
At first this doesn’t sound very impressive, but you have to understand the context. Within a few months time I scored seats for four pro team events. I was in Atlanta for Braves-Cubs, Charlotte for Panthers-Cowboys, Charlotte for my dear departed Hornets-Knicks, and Greensboro for Hurricanes-Sabres. Now here’s the impressive part – I went to three of the four free. Now that is talent!

20-15 at 33 ClubI could read this with my eyes closed
I’m hitting my mid-30s with eyes sharper than Michael Jordan’s fashion sense. I’m the only person in my office with no need for nose wear or tiny clear dishes in my eyes. I read magazine in the dark and stare at computer screens all day, every day. I’m confident I could soak both eyes in tuna juice and spend four hours sleeping at a cat shelter, then walk out into a thin fog and spot Calista Flockhart in camouflage from 300 yards out. Now if only I wasn’t colorblind.

Iron Stomach Club
It has been well established that I can devour and keep down about anything. My favorite drink as a child was milk mixed with Pepsi (Thank you Laverne). I’ve put down – in one sitting – 24 Jamaican scorching squared wings and live to tell about my tail the next day. There is nothing I will not eat (except country style steak, my kryptonite).

I put the tummy to the test during our honeymoon in Cancun. Anyone who has ever enjoyed time at a Mexican resort knows the one rule which all tourists must abide – NO NOT eat the local food. It does to bowels what Ron Artest does to rap. Well, I love a challenge. My new wife and I visited an open-air restaurant. It had a tree holding up its roof and bathrooms bleach-free since 1964. Against her better judgement, I ordered three tacos. Best. Food. I. Ate. That. Week. My wife then knew she had married a real man (until, of course, she found my Star Trek VHS collection).

The Unbroken Club
I have never broken a bone. Never*. Even after repeated runs at Appalachian Ski Mountain and countless childhood games of Smear the Queer, I’m untouched by a cast, much less a sling. There are days I do tempt my wife to test that membership, but I’m pretty sure this club is as exclusive as Augusta, only without drab jackets.

* This isn’t entirely true. I did once break my sister’s collabone. It was a complete accident. It involves a shooping cart, paper towels and a whole lot of vomitting.

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Clubfrom back in the day
I once had the pleasure of interviewing Gregg Edelman for television. Thus, I have appeared with him on camera. I’m degree No. 1. He’s No. 2. So you know how the game goes –
Gregg Edelman appeared in Spider-Man 2 with Tobey Maguire.

Tobey Maguire appeared in Pleasantville with Don Knotts.

Don Knotts was in The Private Eyes with Irwin Keyes.

Irwin Keyes was in Friday the 13th with the one, the only, Kevin Bacon.

It’s like we’ve known each other our whole lives!

A Margarita in the Gap Club
I miss New Orleans, the only city I’ve ever visited with a bar inside it’s mall offering $1 Jagermeister shots and margaritas for two bucks. Of course, we had to stop at the Gap – just to drink. One step in. Gulp. Gulp. Back out. It’s a pretty unique club.

What kind of clubs are you in?


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