Archive for June, 2006

Sneakin’ in a Workout

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Recently, I’ve reverted back to bad habits. I’ve been sneaking into gyms again. I used to sneak in by acting like I was new to the neighborhood and wanted to try out the gym. Or if that didn’t work I would simply speed-walk by the receptionist’s desk as he or she barked out, “Excuse me sir? Sir?!!” This time around, I’ve found an even easier method. Since it is the age of the internet I realized I can now simply sign up online and automatically get a one-week free trial membership. All I had to do was enter my name, phone number, address, and email address on the gym’s website. The gym would then send the free trial pass to my email address and I’d print it out.

The first time I did it, I entered legitimate info: Rob Lathan, etc. The next time I did it, I slightly changed it. My name became Sam Lathan and my phone number and email changed a little. After going through this procedure a few times, I’ve started to run out of possible fake names and email addresses. Last night, when I filled out my info, my name became Bob Latham, my phone number became my new work number, and my email became Niki’s email address at Hunter College.

When I presented this info to a saleswoman at the same gym I had sneaked into several times before, she looked at me skeptically, then said “Have I seen you before, Bob?”
Me: (Long pause before realizing I was the Bob she was referring to) “Oh. Uh, no.”
Her: “You look familiar. Do you have an I.D.?”
Me: “Oh sure.” (I wasn’t expecting this. But I gave her my work I.D.)
Her: “How come it says, ‘Rob Lathan’ here?”
Me: “Oh well, um, Rob is my nickname. I go by either Rob or Bob.”
Her: “Okaaaaaaay?” (At this point she had to be on to my plan. Not only were the Rob and Bob incongruent. But so were the Lathan and Latham. And even more glaring, the email address I used was was “ngenetos@hunter.edu”. I was so busted.
Her: “Well enjoy your workout….Bob.” (I think she just wanted to get rid of me.)

This morning I received another call from the gym. It was a different salesman this time. I was at work, so I answered the phone as I normally do.
Me: “Hello, this is Rob Lathan.”
Salesman: “Is this Bob?”
Me: “Uh yeah.”
Salesman: “Did you enjoy your workout yesterday, Bob?”
Me: “Yeah, thanks.”
Salesman: “Any interest in joining the gym?”
Me: “No thanks.”
Salesman: “Do you work at Hunter College?”
Me: “Um, yeah.”
Salesman: “We offer some aggressive deals to Hunter employees. Would you like to hear them?”
Me: “Okay.”
Salesman: “Well, we can cut the initiation fee down to $49. And your monthly dues would go down to $85. Would you be ready to join now?”
Me: “No that’s okay. Thanks though.”

I might have to go back to speed-walking past the receptionist’s desk now.

Also, I think I might win the worst citizen of the week award.

Putting Red to Sleep

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Last night, I had one of those rare tough-decision, movie-moments. You know those moments in the movies where some cowboy is faced with the grim prospect of either shooting his beloved horse, named Red, or allowing the horse to live a little while longer as it struggles through the awful pain of having a gimp leg. Every single time, the cowboy shoots the horse. Sad music plays. And everybody weeps.

But since I’m not a cowboy, just a plain old city folk, my horse was actually a mouse. For the past few days, this mouse had been our third roommate. At first it seemed okay to have him around. (Well at least for me. Niki wanted him out from the get-go.) It would be a little jarring to be sitting on the couch watching TV, and suddenly see a little creature dash across the floor. But after doing my best to block out what I just saw, I would return to my program. And I wouldn’t see the mouse for a while.

But then the mouse started getting cocky. He’d run across the bedroom floor, stop in the middle, do a little jig, and then run back into his hole, all while Niki screamed like a little school girl and I yelled out, “Come back here you little bastard!” Not only was he getting free rent, but he was taunting us about it. Bottomline: mousie had to go.

And so I went to the nearest Duane Reade and got one of those glue trap doo-hickeys. I placed 4 of them all around our apartment. Whoever made those things was a genius, albeit a very cruel genuis. Within an hour of putting the glue trap down, we had a hit. As I was watching Entourage, I heard a slight rustling around. I looked back and on the kitchen floor was one of the most gruesome sights I’ve ever seen. The mouse was stuck in the glue trap and was struggling with all its might to get out. Niki screamed again. I looked on dumbly.

After a while I gathered up enough courage to scoop up the glue trap with squirmy mouse, took it outside, and placed it on the sidewalk in front of my apartment building. I tried freeing the mouse by placing a stick under it but the glue was too powerful. I watched on as the mouse continued to struggle to free itself. But he wasn’t going anywhere. He was stuck there. Forever. And so I realized I had to do that same horrific deed as those cowboys. I had to kill Red.

I didn’t have a six shooter on hand, so I looked around the street for a potential weapon and found it: a brick. Holding the brick over the defenseless mouse I was waiting for some booming voice to say, “No Rob! Don’t do it! I was just testing you!” But the voice never came. So I took a deep breath, looked to the side, and began pounding the brick down. After way too many repetitions of this, I finally stopped. Mousie was dead. No sad music played. And nobody weeped. Though a few people walking by did give me odd looks. I tipped my hat to them, made a proper burial for Red, and walked off into the sunset. Or actually back inside to finish the rest of Entourage.

Hasselhoff Don’t Like Stilts

Monday, June 19th, 2006

This morning I was on the Today Show performing the electric slide on stilts.

If that sentence isn’t bizarre enough for you, there’s more.

Regis Philbin, David Hasselhoff, Brandy and some British guy critiqued my stiltwalking routine.

Also, Matt Lauer greeted me live on television by saying, “Hi I’m Matt Lauer. Have you met Regis yet?”

I certainly have gotten a lot of mileage out of these “Crazy Legs”, huh?

Here’s a video of the event:

Electric Slide on Stilts from lathan on Vimeo

a/k/a Gallagher

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

Last night I attended a screening of the documentary “a/k/a Tommy Chong”. Will Becton, a friend from high school, edited the film and was a co-producer. He did a fantastic job. The film is funny, entertaining and a nice little glimpse into the bizarre political world of Operation Pipe Dreams. You should go see it. It’s playing at the Film Forum in New York now.

Of course it’s completely ridiculous that Tommy Chong served any jail-time at all, especially since he was primarily targeted because of the stoner character he plays. But actually, he’s not the only one. There are several comedians on the Goverment’s Most Wanted list for the illegal characters they play onstage. Here is a partial listing of those comedians and the crimes they commit:

1. Gallagher – Possession of a Deadly Watermelon Smasher
2. Tim Conway – Fraudulent “Dorf on Golf” Instructor
3. Carot Top – Aiding and Abetting the Use of Giant Foam Props
4. Emo Philips – Indecent Voice Inflection
5. Woody Allen – Munchausen by Proxy

Any others?

Weddin’

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

Yep, I did it. I got married. It was in Fort Wayne, Indiana where the wife-y is from. Contrary to popular speculation I actually refrained from wearing a fake mustache to the ceremony. On top of that, I stopped myself from mooning the guests as I declared my vows. And even more unbelievable, I even held back from doing the first dance on stilts. But since it was a “Latham” wedding after all, there was still plenty of theatre of the absurd on hand. As some of you may have heard, my father made an appearance at the Rehearsal Dinner as a singing Elvis in a full Elvis jumpsuit. Here are some pics of the entire weekend:

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Elvis Belts Out His Third Song of the Evening. The Rest of the Fam’, As Well As Niki and Her Parents Look On in Disbelief.

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First Dance, Sans Stilts

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Me Trying to Remember All the Lyrics to “Louie, Louie”. Cousin Paul Rocks the Guitar. Uncle Paul Strums the Bass.

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Brother-in-Law Van on Keyboards

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Nephew Sam on Vocals

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Wife-y Niki on Vocals

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Guests Do Their Best Attempt to Greek Dance

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I Do My Best Attempt to Break-Dance

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Things Get Out of Hand

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Niki and I Walk Out to Bubbles. Awwwwww.